Lex Luthor pushed back his sleeve, looked at his watch, and scowled.  Vicky was over an hour late, and while she was not one for punctuality, she was never this bad.  She’d been the person to call him and set a date for his last night in London.  He’d been hoping to see her, too. 

Shouts rose at the far end of the pub, as soccer fans cheered the players on.  The pub was relatively busy with the after work crowd.  The television blared the game from its stand above the bar.  Lex sat at the opposite end, nursing his third beer.  At eighteen and a college Junior, he could hold his alcohol, but he didn’t want to be tanked when Vicky arrived.  Too much alcohol made him maudlin and he needed to stay sober enough to coax her into bed.

Victoria Hardwick was his last shot to lose his virginity before he returned to the States and his girlfriend.  Lex had been with Annabelle for a year and a half and they still hadn’t rounded second base.  Annabelle wasn’t that type of girl.  She was nice, sweet, and wholesome, and Lex enjoyed her company, but he was going into his third year of college as a virgin.  Lex would’ve dumped her ages ago if she weren’t best friends with Amanda, the girl Lex loved.

But Amanda was in love with Jude Royce and Lex was stuck with playing ‘boyfriend of the best friend’ in order to remain close to her.  And since he wanted to remain on Amanda’s good side, he didn’t push Annabelle into satisfying his needs, nor did he look for sex elsewhere in Metropolis, where word could get back to her or Amanda.

Which was why he wanted to see Vicky.  His dad had forced him on a business trip to London on behalf of LuthorCorp, his summer employer, and it gave him the opportunity to get rid of his pesky virginity.  It was difficult enough being a Luthor and attending Metropolis University, especially looking like he did, without the added disgrace of still being a virgin at his age.  Vicky would hopefully cure that problem.  She’d slept with everyone else in their group of friends from boarding school, so why not him?  She wasn’t one to blab of her conquests, either, so neither Amanda nor Annabelle would ever know, but he would, and he also wouldn’t have to lie about it to other guys anymore.  It was a win-win situation.

If Vicky ever showed.

The soccer fans started cursing and yelling at the television, increasing the noise in the pub.  Lex glanced at the screen, but didn’t understand enough about soccer to know why they were unhappy.  He took a draught of his beer and turned the other way to look past the tables and out the smoke-colored glass window.

A person appeared suddenly around the curve at the end of the bar, startling Lex.  He hadn’t seen anyone approach.  One moment the space was empty, the next a guy was standing there, wearing the strangest clothes.  It looked like black priests robes, complete with hood.  The hood was pulled up, shadowing pale, pointed features.

Lex watched as the guy pointed a brown stick at the bar.  Lex saw his mouth move, but the noise in the pub prevented him from hearing what was said.  It didn’t matter, because light shot from the tip of the stick and lit fire to the bar.

“Fire!  Fire!” the guy shouted inexplicably.  “Run!  Fire!”

Flames erupted on the surface of the bar, climbing high in an instant.  The fire roared down the bar, licking the glasses dangling from the overhead rack, burning everything in its path.  Glasses exploded, alcohol fueling the fire.  Heat scorched Lex’s skin as he reared back, lost his balance, and fell off the stool.  He slammed to the hard floor, knocking the wind out of him and bruising his skull.

“Fire!  Fire!  Fire!” the guy continued shouting.  Panic spread quickly.  Patrons ran for the doors, shoving the tables and each other.  Cries and yells of fear competed with the crackling roar of the flames.

Lex pushed himself unsteadily to his feet, coughing from the heavy smoke spreading throughout the room.  Sparks jumped from the bar and set the stools alight.  Lex’s sleeve caught fire, and he yelped and smacked his hand over the burning material, extinguishing the flames.  He coughed harder as he inhaled more smoke, bending double and staggering in the direction of the door.

Someone crashed into him, knocking him off balance, and he stumbled into someone else.  They both started to go over, but whomever he ran into regained his footing and caught Lex, too. 

“Get out of here,” was growled urgently in his ear, as he was steadied on his feet.  Lex turned.  It was the guy who’d set the fire.

Eyes the color of a stormy sky met his gaze and a different kind of fire sparked in Lex’s belly.  Heat spread swiftly up into his chest and down through his groin.  His breath hitched.  His palms started sweating.

The guy looked equally affected, as he stared into Lex’s eyes.  He licked his lips.  His hand tightened on Lex’s arm where he gripped it.

Shattering glass startled them both, jerking them out of their daze.  Panic infused the guy’s features.  He pointed the stick in his hand at Lex.  Stupefy!

Lex saw a flash of red come out of the tip of the stick and hit him in the chest.

The world went dark.

Draco Malfoy swore, caught the unconscious muggle with the gorgeous blue eyes, and dragged him quickly away from the fire.  He didn’t have time for this.  The other Death Eaters would be at the pub—

—Right now.

Draco dropped the bald guy and disapparated with a pop the instant he saw a black-robed figure appear.  He apparated to a safe spot long enough to draw on his bone-colored mask and then apparated back to the pub.

Avada kedavra!” Draco cast at a muggle’s back, immediately joining in the melee.  Seven other Death Eaters, in hooded robes and masks, struck down the remaining muggles as they fled out the door.  The fire Draco had caused engulfed the entire bar area of the pub.  Smoke rolled thickly, making it hard to see.  He coughed, his lungs burning when he inhaled. 

His fellow Death Eaters were overcome by the smoke, as well.  One of them signaled retreat and they began disapparating.  Draco spared a glance at the unconscious form of the person he’d stupefied.  He hoped help arrived before the muggle burned to death.  Granted, it was just a muggle, but there was something about him…

Draco left the pub and appeared with the others at Lord Voldemort’s current base.  Coughing unattractively, he fell in beside the others and entered the main gathering hall.  The house they were in appeared rickety on the outside, but inside rivaled Malfoy manor in space and grandeur.  Lord Voldemort sat on a throne on a raised dais, Nagini spread at his feet, waiting the return of his Death Eaters.

The masks prevented the Death Eaters from recognizing each other, but Draco knew Lord Voldemort had no trouble identifying them all.  Concentrating on the wall above Lord Voldemort’s head, he carefully built blocks around his thoughts.  If Lord Voldemort used legilimency on him, he’d see Draco receiving instructions with the others and then Draco apparating to a pub already on fire.

After bowing, the one who’d signaled retreat stepped forward.  His voice sounded raw from the smoke inhalation.  “My Lord, we have been partially successful in our mission.  Muggles have died at our wands.  However, many had escaped before we arrived.  A fire at the pub had caused evacuation and, at most, ten were killed.”

Another small group of Death Eaters filed in beside Draco.  One of them stepped forward and bowed.  “My Lord, Aurors apparated into the hotel moments after we arrived.  We succeeded in taking down at least three of them and many muggles before our reduction in numbers forced us to return.”

A third group of Death Eaters entered the main gathering hall.  One stepped forward and bowed.  Lord Voldemort held up his hand.  “You have returned to report failure at your assignment.”

“Yes, My Lord,” the Death Eater said warily.  “The young persons… club… was empty.  Not a single muggle in sight.”

“It seems the traitor in our midst has been busy.”  Lord Voldemort looked displeased, as another group of Death Eaters entered.  “My question would be how he accomplished such a feat.”

Draco’s inner pocket burned.  He continued to stare at the wall.  The Death Eaters did not voice their opinion on how it might be done.  No one wanted to be branded a traitor by making a suggestion.

Lord Voldemort made a dismissive gesture.  “Leave.”

Draco and the others obeyed.  Lord Voldemort beckoned for Wormtail and instructed him to take the reports at the door, for he did not wish to be disturbed.  The Death Eaters dispersed, returning to their homes to await Lord Voldemort’s next call. 

Draco apparated to his flat, shed his mask and robes, and hid the self-inking quill and transfer parchment in its usual secret spot.  He’d been lucky to be in the room when the strike locations had been picked, thereby giving him a chance to warn his contact on the other side.  Voluminous robes weren’t the most comfortable, but conveniently hid a person writing beneath the material.  (A Quick quill would’ve kept his hands free, but the stiffness of the quill made it hard to hide.)  Whatever Draco had written on the parchment had appeared on another parchment in Moody’s possession.  He’d starred the group location he’d been in, leaving it up to him to prevent a slaughter at the pub.

It was one part of the job that he disliked, saving muggles at peril to his own life, but he had pledged to do everything possible in order for Lord Voldemort to be taken down and that included protecting those lesser than him to the best of his ability. 

Drawing on a pair of pressed muggle trousers, a pale blue oxford shirt, and a baseball cap to hide his hair, Draco stuffed his feet in sneakers and apparated to the street across from the pub. 

Muggle fire trucks and emergency vehicles blocked the road.  The local constabulary held gawkers at bay.  Draco pushed as close as he could to a barricade and searched the scene.  The fire had been extinguished.  Ambulance workers rushed in an out of the building, helping up scraped, dirty patrons, giving them breathing apparatus.  A few muggles wearing suits took notes on pads, entering and leaving the pub.

Draco made his way through the crowds surrounding the scene until he managed to get closer to the door.  He slipped his wand into his hand and tapped it against his head with a mumble of the chameleon incantation.  A trickling sensation spread from the top of his head down his body, as the spell worked.  He glanced around quickly to see who’d noticed his casting.  A fast obliviate to those closest to him and he ducked under the barricade. 

Blending into his surroundings, he moved swiftly, but carefully, past the suits and fire fighters.  As long as he didn’t attract direct attention, the muggles would overlook his presence because of the spell.

Draco peeked inside the ambulances, looking for the muggle he’d stunned.  If he were already gone, he’d have to start checking area hospitals.  The muggle would return to consciousness in less than two hours, but Draco couldn’t chance a story about a man with a wand causing the fire, especially since Blue Eyes had seen Draco’s face.  The wizarding world monitored the muggle press for just such stories, especially with the war, and if the information fell into the wrong hands…

Paramedics carried out the bald muggle on a stretcher at that moment, and Draco hurried to follow them.  He climbed into the back of the ambulance before they lifted and pushed the stretcher inside, cramming himself into a corner.  One other paramedic got into the back; the other closed the doors.

Confundus,” Draco cast on the paramedic in the vehicle.  The paramedic wobbled and plopped onto the bench seat beside the stretcher.  A confused expression wrinkled his face.

Draco heard the driver door of the vehicle open and he swiftly aimed his wand at the bald muggle.  Ennervate.”  

Blue Eyes arched and awoke with a gasp into the breathing mask over his face.  Draco stilled, as the paramedic snapped out of his confused state and began doing his job.  Charms had never been Draco’s strongpoint – he’d barely passed his N.E.W.T. last spring – and he cursed mentally that he’d have to wait.  The ambulance was underway.

The hospital was probably a better place to erase someone’s memory, Draco supposed.  He wished he could’ve done it while the muggle was unconscious, but for reasons involving brain activity and other things he couldn’t remember from Flitwitck’s class, the person had to be conscious in order for the spell to work.  With Blue Eyes awake, they’d shuffle him off into a waiting area, at which time Draco could lure him into private and do the job correctly.  There’d be less chance of Draco screwing up the charm, or having to charm more witnesses, if he waited.

“Try and stay calm, and breathe normally,” the paramedic instructed Blue Eyes.  “You’ve been in a fire and inhaled a lot of smoke.  We’re taking you to the hospital right now.”

Blue Eyes indicated with a slight nod that he understood and lay still on the stretcher.  Draco was impressed by the lack of panic.  Muggles were a skittish lot, from what he’d seen through his encounters with them over the summer.  His crash course in Muggle Studies had prepared Draco to blend in if necessary, not understand them.

The trip to the hospital was short.  Draco followed the paramedics as they wheeled Blue Eyes into the sterile hospital.  The nurses gave Blue Eyes a perfunctory exam and directed him to a bed in a crowded, open wing.  There, the paramedics left him with an oxygen mask and sooty clothes.

Draco cut to the side of the bed and drew the curtain swiftly.  Blue Eyes, who’d been lying on the cranked bed, jolted upright.  He began coughing hard.  Removing the mask, he grabbed a plastic kidney dish from a side table and spluttered into it.

Draco waited until he stopped hacking to speak.  “All right, then?”

Blue Eyes focused on him, piercing the camouflage spell.  “You.”

Draco backed into the privacy curtain as a shiver slithered down his spine.  The muggle had such gorgeous, intense blue eyes.  Draco felt like he was falling into a summer sky.  His hands tingled.  His licked his dry lips.

Blue Eyes dipped to look at his mouth before returning his heady focus to Draco’s gaze.  He inhaled a raggedy breath and started coughing again.  The connection broke, and Draco nearly staggered at the loss.

Shaking off the disquieting feeling, Draco moved closer to the bed and palmed his wand.  Blue Eyes caught the action and his face flashed briefly in panic before smoothing over in a mask.  Draco was impressed a second time.

“You caused the fire and then knocked me out with that stick,” Blue Eyes said.  “Do you mind telling me how?”

“By magic.  I’m a wizard.”  Draco went with the truth, since he was so impressed.  Besides which, he’d be obliviating Blue Eyes’s memories, anyway. 

“I take it that’s your wand?” Blue Eyes said with a skeptical drawl.


A corner of Blue Eyes’s mouth quirked.  “It’s not all that big.”

“It’s not the size, but how you use it,” Draco completed the innuendo with a smirk of his own.

“Let’s see, then,” Blue Eyes said, his voice dropping seductively.  “Show me how a wizard uses his wand.”

Draco’s nostrils flared and his jeans grew tight in swift arousal.  The tingle in his hands returned.  He raised his wand.  Scourgify.”

The soot vanished from Blue Eyes’s skin and clothes.  Blue Eyes didn’t seem to notice, or care, as he leaned towards Draco, intent and desire flaming in those summer sky irises.  Draco’s wand fell onto the bed, and he grabbed the lapel of Blue Eyes’s spell-cleaned, lavender shirt and crushed their mouths together.

Sweet Morgana.

Lex felt hot all over, burning from the inside out.  He knocked the hat off the guy’s head, gripped his hair, and held him in the kiss.  Lex was consumed by the hard mouth and sharp tongue pressing, darting, and rasping against his own.  He’d never been as aroused as he was at that very moment, not even when he’d watched Kurt and Eileen fuck in front of him on a dare.  And he didn’t even know Wizard-boy’s name.

“What am I doing?” Wizard-boy pulled away far enough to mutter.  “I can’t do this.”  He dove back into the kiss.

Lex lay back, taking Wizard-boy with him.  The weight of Wizard-boy on top of Lex drove him crazy.  His hands roamed over Wizard-boy’s neck, shoulders, back and arms, and clutched his hair, while kissing him madly.  It was insane.  He felt totally out-of-control.  He couldn’t get enough.

Wizard-boy broke off suddenly, pushing up and sucking in a huge gulp of air.  Lex was pretty breathless himself and he fought the tickle of an oncoming cough.  He stared into mesmerizing gray eyes framed by wild strands of white-blonde hair.  Wizard-boy’s pointed features were splotched pink with arousal.

“Bloody hell, you’re gorgeous,” Wizard-boy said raggedly.  He shook his head hard, as if trying to dislodge something.  “I can’t do this.  I need to get out of here.”

“No!” Lex burst and then started coughing.  Wizard-boy climbed off and picked up his stick.  Lex grabbed his arm, shaking his head fiercely, speaking between coughs.   “No… don’t…”

“I have to, and I have to obliviate you.  I can’t chance you’d tell someone about me.”

“I… won’t.”  Lex pressed his lips together and suppressed his coughing.  He blinked his watering eyes and cursed silently.  Wizard nonsense or not, he didn’t want Wizard-boy to disappear.

Wizard-boy muttered several pungent swear words and crushed his lips to Lex’s again.  He jerked back before Lex could respond and aimed his stick at Lex.  “This won’t hurt you.”

“You’re wrong.”  Whatever Wizard-boy was going to do, the mere thought of his leaving made Lex ache.  “Don’t go.”

“I don’t have a choice.”  Wizard-boy smiled bitterly.  “Good—”

The curtain flew open, causing them both to jump.  Wizard-boy whipped his stick around at the perpetrator and then, equally as fast, hid it behind his back.  A stern-looking matron in nursing whites eyed them suspiciously.  “The doctor will be here momentarily.  I need to take down information on the patient.”

Wizard-boy nodded perfunctorily.  “I shall leave you to do your job, then.”

“No, wait—”  Lex grabbed Wizard-boy’s arm again, stopping him from leaving.  He looked at the nurse.  “Do you have a pen I can use?”

The nurse frowned, but handed over her pen.  Lex clicked the tip and searched for something to write on.  “I’m staying at the Mayfair.  My flight isn’t until tomorrow.”  The nurse didn’t appear inclined to give him paper, so Lex pulled Wizard-boy’s arm closer and began writing his name, home address and phone number on the sleeve of his shirt, just in case.  He could see a dark splotch beneath the taut material of the pale blue shirt as he wrote.  “Come by the hotel tonight.”

Wizard-boy’s lips curved on one side.  “All right.  I will…,” he glanced at his arm, “…Lex.”

Lex grinned.  “I’ll see you later, then.”

“Yes.”  Wizard-boy grabbed his hat, gave Lex a quick, hard kiss on the mouth, and met his eyes with an intense, hungry stare.  “I’ll look forward to it.”

The heat that had waned in Lex flared to life again.  With anticipation for later humming in his loins, he watched Wizard-boy walk away, until he was completely out of sight.

He never showed at the hotel.  And Lex never knew his name.

Three Years Later

International portkey never failed to make Draco ill, which was convenient, in an ironic way, as the toilet was where he needed to go in order to enter the United States without a passport.  Unlike wizarding Europe, America was quite strict on who they’d allow into their country.  But as Draco didn’t want to leave a trail, he couldn’t register his presence.

Unwrapping a piece of chocolate, Draco bit into the restorative treat to settle his stomach.  He dropped his portkey, a broken hand mirror, into the used portkeys bin and strode to the toilet.

“You want the last stall on the left,” Mundungus Fletcher told Draco.    They, along with Mad-eye Moody, stood in a warded bedroom at Moody’s house, where Draco had been hiding for the past two weeks.  Dung handed Draco a capped potion vial and a wrapped sweet.  “Drink the potion, then climb through the air vent.  Eat the sweet once you’re outside.  It will make you big again.”

“Do I need to worry about apparating from the International Wizard Port?” Draco asked, pocketing the items.

“Depends on where you’re going.”

Draco glanced at Moody, his contact and the only person that knew his destination.  No one else would have known he was leaving Britain if Dung’s smuggling knowledge wasn’t needed.  Moody indicated with a nod to answer. 

Draco pulled the scrap of shirtsleeve from his pocket, a preservation spell cast on the material.  “Fifteen-ten Driscoll Avenue, Metropolis, Kansas.”

Dung tapped his lower lip.  “Kansas is one of them middle states.  There won’t be many wizards there.  There aren’t wards outside the Port.  You should be able to apparate right to the building in Metropolis.”

Draco folded the scrap carefully and returned it to his robe pocket.  “It’s in the muggle world, so I’ll have to take more precaution in arriving.”

Dung half-smiled knowingly.  “It wouldn’t do to become news when you’re attempting to make a quiet escape, eh?”

Making a quiet escape was most important for Draco’s health and well-being.  Moody’s house was safe, but Draco couldn’t fathom spending who knew how long in one room until the war ended.  Laying low in another country, an ocean away from the war and the death mark hanging over his head, was the best plan of action.

It also gave him the chance to see Lex Luthor again.

Draco hadn’t been able to scrub Lex from his thoughts since the day they’d met and, on more than one occasion, he’d found himself dreaming he was with Lex while shagging someone else.  There was a pull to find Lex after such encounters, to discover if the intense attraction he’d had for Blue Eyes would mutate into the best shag ever.

Draco’s traveling robes swished around his ankles as he stepped into the last stall on the left in the empty toilet.  The air vent was ankle high on the wall, beside the toilet.  Gray slats angled over five-centimetre spaces, allowing air to pass through from outside.  Draco removed his robes, revealing muggle clothing of black trousers and a wine-colored shirt.  He shrank and pocketed the robes, tucked his wand up his cuffed sleeve, and took the potion vial from his other pocket.

Checking to make certain the sweet was accessible, Draco uncapped and drank the vile-tasting potion.  It worked immediately.  He began shrinking at a rapid rate, feeling like he was freefalling on his broom with the world whooshing past in a blur.  He stopped at the height of twenty centimeters.  His clothes had shrunk with him thanks to an ever-fitting charm on the material.

Draco recapped the vial and stuck it in his trouser pocket.  The lowest edge of the air vent was within reach and he hoisted himself through the open slat.  “Disgusting,” he muttered, making a face at the dead bugs, mold, and dirt in the vent.  Being careful where he stepped, he walked the short distance to the slats set into the outer wall of the Port building. 

The drop to the ground was further than the height to climb into the vent and Draco splash-landed in a puddle on his arse.  Cursing Dung, Draco stomped out of the puddle and waved his wand at himself with a drying spell.  He smoothed his clothing and his hair.  He then apparated with a crack.

Fifteen-ten Driscoll Avenue, Metropolis, Kansas, turned out to be a tremendously tall building, rather than the flat Draco was expecting.  Afternoon sunlight streamed through the walls of glass, glinting off the highly polished marble floor.  Tall potted plants stood sentry, equally spaced along the windows.  He could see a reception desk near the lift, with two muggles in identical clothing behind it.

Draco, still shrunk, hurried behind a dense, leafy potted plant near the door.  A canopy covered the doorway outside, and a uniformed doorman stood at attention on the opposite side of the glass.  A few muggles walked past in the relatively warm October afternoon.  Vehicles traveled back and forth down the street.

Draco unwrapped the sweet, popped it in his mouth, chewed, and swallowed.  In an instant, he was growing, shooting up to his natural height of 178-centimeters.  He bent forward as he grew to hide the fact that he was changing size.  Any muggles who saw him would merely think he’d dropped something.

Draco straightened, tucked his hand in his pocket, and strode casually around the plant for the door.  The doorman opened it for him without a word.  Pleased, he sauntered over to the desk and the two muggles behind it.

“May we help you?” one of the muggles asked politely.  By his tone, Draco could tell the building was in a posh neighborhood, a place he fit in well.

“I’m here to see Lex Luthor,” Draco drawled, not leaning on the counter.  Only plebeians leaned.

“I’m sorry, sir, but he does not live here any longer.”

Inwardly, Draco frowned, though his features stayed placid.  “Is that so?  I suppose he might have relocated in the three years since I last saw him.  Tell me, do you have his new address?”

“I am not at liberty to give that information, sir,” the muggle said.

Draco thought quickly.  “I have a telephone number, but I gather that might have changed, as well?”

The muggle indicated yes with a nod of his head.  Hell, Draco swore silently.  He rubbed his aching arm where the dark mark was tattooed into his skin.  He had backup plans if Lex had married or was otherwise indisposed, but Draco had looked forward to seeing the magnetically attractive man who’d had shared a starring role in his fantasy life for the past three years.

The muggle came to his rescue.  “I could call him for you, if you’d like.”

“Yes, please do,” Draco said.

“Your name?”

“Draco Malfoy.”

The muggle picked up the telephone receiver and made the call.  “Mr. Luthor, this is security from the Driscoll Avenue building.  I have a gentleman named Draco Malfoy here who wishes to speak with you.”

Draco waited.  The muggle listened to whatever was said, and then passed the phone over the counter to Draco.  Draco took it and tentatively put it to his ear.  He’d learned about telephones from Moody, but had never the chance to use the muggle contraption.  “Hello?  Are you there?”

“This is Lex Luthor.  Can I help you?”

The smooth baritone slid through the receiver, into Draco’s ear, and right down his spine.  He repressed a shiver.  Unbelievable.  “This is Draco Malfoy,” he said, remembering to speak normally.  “We met at a rather fiery pub in London three years back.”

A sharply drawn-in breath came over the phone line.  “I remember.”

“I’m on holiday in America and I thought I would look you up, only I arrived to find you no longer live at the address you’d given me.”

“I’ve been exiled to Smallville as of two weeks ago,” Lex said.  “Stay there.  I’ll have a car sent to drive you.”

“That’s all right.  I have transportation.  If you’ll give me the address…”  Draco held out his hand and the muggle behind the desk gave him paper and a pen without prompting.  Good muggle.

“Thirteen-thirteen Bedsford Lane,” Lex said.  Draco jotted it down.  “I’ll see you in a couple hours, then?”

“It will be much sooner than that,” Draco said, tearing off the paper.  It was tacky on one side and stuck to his finger.  He shook his hand and it fluttered onto the counter.  “I hope you’re prepared for visitors.”

“Yes.”  Lex sounded somewhat breathless.  It made Draco’s trousers become tight across the crotch.

“Good.  Watch for me on your doorstep.”

“I will.”

His name was Draco Malfoy.

Lex hung up the phone and wiped his sweaty hands on his black trousers.  He had a name to go with the face that he compared everyone to and found them wanting: Draco Malfoy.  Lex’s heart trip-hammered in his chest and he swallowed thickly.  Anticipation curled in his gut.  Draco Malfoy.

Three years had gone by, but Lex was as excited as he’d been the same day he’d met Draco.  Hell, he was more excited by a phone call from a virtual stranger than he’d been getting his first blowjob.  It was ridiculous.  No wonder he was still a virgin at twenty-one. 

There had been something about Draco, though, that Lex couldn’t forget, and no matter who he’d dated in the intervening years, none of them compared to the Wizard-boy he’d met in London when he was eighteen.  Clark Kent, his newest friend, came close to invoking the pure lust he’d felt with Draco, but now, with a single phone call, Lex knew Clark didn’t hold a candle to him.

It really was ridiculous.  He didn’t even know what Draco looked like now; he recalled only a faded wisp of a face in his dreams.  The memory of the physical craving he’d felt hadn’t faded, however, and he kept waiting for someone else to invoke that sheer desire.  No one had as of yet, and the few handjobs and blowjobs he’d gotten since that fateful day lacked something and, combined with his own wariness of other people’s motives, having been burned by supposed suitors who only wanted his money or for him to do something for them and the humiliating experience with the high-class hooker his father had paid to seduce him, curtailed his wish to take that last step.

But with a single phone conversation, Lex was raring to go.  He had plenty of lubricant, being a single guy whose main source of pleasure was masturbation.  There was an unopened box of condoms in his night table drawer, too.  He’d brought them from Metropolis when he’d moved, where they’d been in his drawer for a couple of years.  He wondered if condoms expired.

Oh god, he was going to have sex.

It hit Lex suddenly like a freight train.  He was going to have sex.  Sex.  That thing two people did which supposedly was the best activity ever.  He’d read all the information about sex online, especially about with other men since he leaned more in that direction.  He knew the theory and the positions and the need for lube and preparation—

Lex stood abruptly, his chair rolling back to hit the credenza behind him.  The red and purple reflection from the sunlight shining through the stained glass window bounced off the glass desk and nearly blinded him.  He needed to take a shower.  He needed to get clean inside and out if he was going to have gay sex.

The doorbell rang as he made for the stairs to the second floor and his bedroom.  He paused in the hall, one foot on the carpeted lower step, looking in the direction of the front door.  A servant emerged from a side hall and went to answer it.  Lex waited to see if he would have to deal with whoever rang the bell before readying himself.

“My name is Draco Malfoy.  I believe I am expected.”

The British lilt, which Lex had heard moments ago on the phone, drifted into the castle through the front door.  Draco was here?   Confusion mixed with Lex’s arousal.  Draco had been in Metropolis, he’d thought.  How could he be in Smallville already?  He couldn’t have lied about his location, since Lex spoke with the security guard at the residential complex on Driscoll Avenue. 

Lex took his foot off the step and turned as the servant led Draco into Luthor Manor.  His hand gripped the curved end of the stair banister as his eyes met Draco’s.  Heat spread through his limbs.  Draco’s pale, aristocratic features creased in the corners of his mouth and eyes as a slow smile spread across his lips.

“Sir, a Mr. Draco Malfoy to see you,” the servant said.

“Thank you.  That’ll be all,” Lex said, not taking his gaze from Draco.  The other man was more striking than he remembered.  His stomach felt funny.

The servant left, and Draco sauntered closer, hands tucked casually in his pockets.  He stopped inches from Lex.  “Hello.”

Lex swallowed, wetting the dryness of his throat.  “Hi.  You got here fast.”

“Hn.”  Draco’s gray irises seemed to swirl with silver streamers.  “I told you I would.  I didn’t want to wait a moment longer to see you again.”

Sweat broke out under Lex’s arms and between his shoulder blades, as nervousness and anticipation rushed through him.  “How long are you in town?”

“For as long as you’d like,” Draco said in a seductive drawl.

“Good,” Lex said huskily.  “I’ll have your luggage brought to the guest room.”

“As long as it’s close to your bedroom.”  Draco removed his hands from his pocket and touched Lex’s jaw.  He lowered his head and his breath whispered against Lex’s lips.  “I hate having to go far to dress.”

Lex surged forward, closing the minute distance between their lips.  His breath hitched, his eyelids fluttering shut, mouth pressed firmly to Draco’s. 

Draco made a soft sound of want, curved his hand around Lex’s scalp, and deepened the kiss.  His tongue swept against Lex’s lower lip.  Lex opened for him, accepting the harder, wetter kiss, and kissing just as passionately in return.  The heat he’d felt before exploded into a fiery inferno in his chest and at his groin.

Moaning, Draco dragged his mouth from Lex and sucked kisses along his jawline.  Lex tilted his head to give Draco access.  “You’re still so bloody gorgeous,” Draco mumbled against Lex’s skin.

“Draco,” Lex breathed wantonly, clutching Draco’s shoulder with one hand and the banister with the other.

Draco shuddered and bit the side of Lex’s neck.  “Say my name again.”

“Draco.  Fuck, Draco…”

Draco yanked away from Lex abruptly, eyes wild and face flushed.  “Bed.  Now.  Or I’m taking you right here on the steps.”

Lex swayed, licked his swollen lips, and nodded.  He almost stumbled up the first step, catching himself with the rail.  His heart hammered loudly as he led Draco down the second floor corridor.  Draco’s shoulder brushed his with every step. 

Lex smacked the doorjamb with his hand as he entered his bedroom.  Pain jolted him from his aroused haze.  Reality and nerves set upon him.  He was in his bedroom with a man and they were going to have sex.  Oh god.

Lex flicked a sidelong glance at Draco.  The attraction was palpable.  Physically, he was raring to go, a feeling he’d wondered if he would ever have again.  His mind was spinning, however, questioning his judgment.  He didn’t know Draco from Adam.  He could have invited a serial killer into his room, or worse, a flunky of his father’s out to debase and humiliate Lex.  Lionel knew of Lex’s desire for men; it would be just like him to ‘teach Lex a lesson’ and set Lex back on the narrow and heterosexual path.

“Um, this is it.  My room.”  Lex didn’t stutter, though it was close.  He wiped his clammy hands on his trousers and looked everywhere other than at Draco.  Tall windows covered by gauzy drapes split cream-colored walls, filtering in the afternoon sunlight.  Dark wood furnishing matched the trim.  A soft violet coverlet brushed the hardwood floor on either side of the antique four-poster bed.

The door closed behind him with a quiet snick of the lock.  Lex’s muscles tensed, even as his erection pulsed in his briefs.  He had an incredible urge to flee. 

“Lex…”  Lex flinched when a hand was laid on his shoulder.  He recovered quickly, turning towards Draco. 

Time caught, frozen in an infinite second, as Lex met his piercing gaze, and Lex found that he didn’t care if Draco was an ax-murderer or an abject lesson.  He wanted Draco, right here and right now.

As if reading his mind, Draco was upon him instantly, devouring him with lips and teeth and tongue, and Lex was his willing prey.  The air around them grew hot and heavy.  Lex scrabbled at Draco’s shirt buttons as Draco tugged at Lex’s belt buckle.  Arousal pinked Draco’s pale, smooth chest, and Lex mouthed his prominent collarbones.  Draco shoved his hands down the back of Lex’s trousers, grabbed handfuls of ass, and crushed Lex against him as he dove in for another rough kiss.

Lex fisted a hand in Draco’s silky hair, ravishing his mouth.  He humped against Draco’s lower belly, feeling Draco’s stone-hard cock dig into his hip.  He whimpered in the back of his throat.  It was better than he remembered, kissing Draco, feeling his taut body, drowning in the sensation of pure desire.  

Lust raged through Lex, lighting him on fire.  This was what he’d been waiting for: the out-of-control blaze of attraction and want– no, need to have sex or he might die.  His body was tight and throbbing, passion sparking underneath his skin.  His clothes smothered him, and he toed off his shoes and struggled to unbutton his shirt without stopping kissing.

Draco was the one to pull away.  Starved, feral eyes focused on Lex, pinning him in place, until hidden by Draco yanking Lex’s shirt off over his head.  Draco’s shirt landed on the floor with Lex’s and he pawed at his trousers buttons.  Lex hopped on one foot, then the other, removing his own trousers and socks.

Erection straining against his black briefs, Lex watched unabashedly as Draco finished undressing.  He noticed a black tattoo and a stick double-strapped to Draco’s left forearm in some sort of holder, the tip near Draco’s inner wrist.  He started to ask, but then Draco shed his briefs and Lex’s mouth went dry.

Draco snagged Lex by the waistband and dragged him into another kiss.  Lex’s underwear ended up on the floor with the rest of the clothes, half-tripping out of them as Draco walked him backwards towards the bed.  Their cocks bumped and brushed wet lines across their skin.

Everything seemed louder, suddenly, as Lex’s knees hit the edge of the bed.  He gasped as Draco pushed him down and back, and the first press of their naked bodies together.  His feet were still on the floor.  Draco was doing something with his hands above Lex’s head, but Lex was too busy grinding up against Draco’s taut body to care.  Wiry pubes scratched the sensitive skin of his dickhead.  Orgasm burned on the back of his tongue, so close…

“No. Wait.”  The words mumbled against Lex’s mouth made Lex tighten his handhold and wrap his legs around Draco’s slim waist.  The last time he’d heard Draco say that, Draco had left and Lex hadn’t seen him again for three years. 

Draco pushed up with surprising strength for his lean frame.  He looked down at Lex, obviously saw Lex’s distress, and chuckled softly.  “I’m not going anywhere this time.  I was going to suggest getting on the bed properly.”

“I wasn’t…” Lex blustered and let go.  He shoved himself onto the bed lengthwise after Draco straightened.  His cheeks heated at being caught worrying.  He covered his embarrassment by fixing the pillows behind his shoulders against the headboard.

Draco laid his hand on Lex’s bare thigh, stilling him.  Lex glanced at Draco from under his lashes and inhaled unsteadily at the smoldering look he received.  Those storm gray eyes seared a path as they trailed slowly down Lex’s nude body.  Draco’s hand curved inward, rubbing across his thigh, drifting higher.  Lex’s hard cock jumped, thumping against his lower belly, as Draco’s fingers carded through the sparse auburn thatch surrounding his shaft.

“Gorgeous,” Draco breathed reverently, hand drifting higher, tracing the ridges of Lex’s torso.  “I’ve wanted you for so long...”

“You could’ve had me, but you never showed,” Lex said, cursing himself as soon as the petulant words were out of his mouth.

Draco climbed onto the bed and over Lex like a sleek leonine cat.  He hovered over Lex, not touching him anywhere, white-blond hair framing his down-turned face.  His lips curved, pulling higher on one side of his mouth.  “I’m here now.”

Lex swallowed and sank into Draco’s silvered gaze.  “Yes.”

“The things I’m going to do with you…” Draco lowered his head and captured Lex’s mouth.

Lex lit anew, heat spreading like wildfire in his body.  He threw his arms around Draco’s shoulders, kissing passionately in return.  Draco moaned and shifted over Lex.  His knees depressed the bed on either side of Lex’s hips.  Lex could feel Draco’s scrotum, hot and heavy, resting on Lex’s erection.  Lex squeezed his eyelids tightly shut and tried not to come.

Draco fumbled for something on the bed, broke the kiss, and muttered a Latin-sounding word.  Lex’s mind was too scrambled to translate.  Draco jumped back into the kiss almost immediately, his breath hot against Lex’s face, tongue plunging roughly between Lex’s lips.  Draco lifted off Lex’s cock and Lex vacillated between despair and relief.

Draco slid one hand behind Lex’s shoulder, broke the kiss again, and opened his eyes to look at Lex.  He twisted his body, reaching back behind him, and Lex sucked in a sharp breath when long fingers wrapped around his shaft.  Draco shifted his hips and Lex’s eyes grew huge.  His fingers dug into Draco’s skin, his pelvis bucked reflexively, and—


Draco rolled with Lex’s buck, riding out the sudden burning stretch of Lex thrusting inside him.  Lex’s expression was a mixture of surprise, awe, and panic.  It took no more than two rocks of his hips for Draco to understand why, as he watched Lex’s face screw up and turn bright red and felt the pulse of orgasm.

The twinge of disappointment didn’t remain.  Draco should’ve thought to take the edge off first.  If Lex had been even a fraction as aroused as Draco, it was understandable why he’d come so fast.  Draco wouldn’t last long, either.

“All right?” Draco said, studying Lex. 

“Yes,” Lex clipped, not opening his eyes.  The downturn tilt of his lips and the continued redness to his skin told Draco he was embarrassed.  Again, understandable, but Draco didn’t want this to end before it really started.

Propped half-sitting against the headboard, Lex’s mouth was easy to reach.  Draco brushed a kiss across Lex’s lips, then another and another, until Lex reciprocated.  Tingles trickled down his spine when Lex kissed him back.  Tiny shocks prickled his bare skin wherever Lex touched.  It was like nothing he’d felt before— no, that wasn’t true.  He had felt the shocks and tingles once before: three years ago, with Lex.

Tucking away the information for later examination, Draco lost himself in the depths of Lex’s mouth.  He breathed heavily through his nose, gasping for extra air between the slide and thrust of their tongues and the crush of their lips.  He moaned in the back of his throat, passion rising, his cock throbbing against the soft, hot skin of Lex’s belly.  He wrapped his hand around his stiff length and jacked with agonizing slowness, teasing himself mad.

His hand depressed the pillow behind Lex’s shoulder, fingers curling in the soft material as his pleasure grew.  Lex’s fingers skimmed over Draco’s shoulders, leaving a trail of shocks in their wake.  His cock twitched in Draco’s arse, and Draco exhaled noisily and jacked harder.  His dry hand rasped against the sensitive skin of his shaft.

Lex turned his head, breaking the kiss, and Draco raised his to look at Lex.  Lex panted, air escaping past his wet, swollen mouth, hot against Draco’s face.  His stunning blue eyes focused on Draco, as he lowered his hand between them.  Fingers wrapped around Draco’s over his cock, the coarse pad of Lex’s thumb wiping over the damp tip.

Draco uttered a curse, hips jerking reflexively, bucking into their dual grip.  Lex watched him intently as their conjoined hands stroked faster and rougher.  Sweat dampened Draco’s hairline.  His heart rate picked up speed.  All the while, he felt like he was drowning in Lex’s gaze.

He climaxed swiftly and violently, without warning, orgasm ripping from his core.  He spattered Lex’s abdomen with a choked cry.  The world went out of focus, his body shuddering hard.

When the last drop was wrung from him, Draco dove into a harsh, messy kiss.  Lex’s arms went around his shoulders and Draco shoved his other hand under the pillow beside Lex’s head.  Their chests plastered together, squelching in Draco’s semen.  Draco didn’t care.  He kissed Lex with more hunger and passion than he’d felt prior to orgasm.  The tingling spread throughout his body, sparks dancing behind his closed eyelids.  The air crackled.  Lex hardened inside him.

With a wounded-sounding groan, Draco began rocking.  Lex’s cock stiffened further, filling Draco’s arse.  Lex scrabbled for purchase, raised his knees, putting his heels against the bed, and thrust up with his pelvis.  Draco kissed Lex rougher, panting into Lex’s mouth, bouncing, rocking, fucking.  His thighs and arse burned.  Lex humped up into him, scratching and grasping Draco’s back, neck, arms and shoulders, breathing raggedly.  Heat rose from their sweating bodies.  The bed squeaked.  Lex cried out.

Afterward, Draco didn’t move far.  His semi-hard cock nestled against Lex’s spent penis.  The extra pillows were thrown onto the floor.  Stretched out over Lex, supporting his weight on his elbows and knees, positioned between Lex’s thighs, Draco’s lips met Lex’s lazily, bringing them down from their coital high.  Lassitude surrounded the bed, weighing Draco’s limbs down.  Lex stroked a hand idly up and down Draco’s arm.

“Mn,” Draco hummed, exhaling contentedly, laving his tongue against Lex’s lower lip.  “I’m glad I didn’t get the chance to obliviate you.”


“Erase your memory.”  Draco bit Lex lightly on the chin, enjoying the sight of Lex’s flushed countenance.  “I’d planned to do it that night, after we’d fucked like satyrs.”

But things had happened, like being called by Lord Voldemort and having to wipe out the Puddlemere United Quidditch team without the ability to give warning.  That had been a night he’d rather forget.

“The stick,” Lex said, thoughts tumbling visibly in his eyes.  “You think you’re a wizard.”

“Fifteenth generation pureblooded wizard.” Draco shifted and pulled his wand from beneath the pillow.  It was still attached to the wrist holder.  The leather straps dangled, gold buckles glinting in the waning sunlight coming through the windows. 

Muggles tended not to believe unless they were shown, Draco knew.  Lex’s skepticism radiated from him.  Draco aimed his wand at the clock on the night table and pictured a silk scarf.  The buckles jingled with a complicated flick of the tip, as there was no incantation.

The clock lengthened and softened, turning from black to green, until it fully transfigured into a scarf.  Lex gasped softly.  He stretched, snagging the edge of silk between his fingertips.  The scarf flowed between his hands as he examined it.  Draco shifted off of Lex onto the bed beside him and scowled when he saw faint time stamps in the material.

“I’d say it was a trick, but I don’t know when you would’ve set it up,” Lex said, squinting at the material.

Wingardium leviosa,” Draco cast with a flick and a swish, buckles smacking lightly against his wrist.  The silk scarf lifted into the air like on an invisible string.  Concentrating, he raised the scarf high, near the ceiling, and made it float magically around the room.

Lex gaped, and then wrinkled his brows, as if trying to think of a rational explanation for a flying scarf.  Draco smirked, made the scarf dive bomb Lex, freeze at the last second, and tickle his nose with the frayed end.  Lex sneezed.  Draco laughed.  The spell broke and the scarf landed on Lex’s face.

“Imhotep was one of the first humans labeled as a ‘wizard’ because of his genius and ability to diagnose and cure people’s illnesses.  After his death, the Egyptians worshiped him as one of their gods,” Lex said almost absently, as he ran the scarf through his fingers again.  “Today, he is more commonly known for his coining the phrase, ‘Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die’.”

“I never paid attention in History of Magic, so I couldn’t tell you if you’re right or not,” Draco said, freeing his wand from its holster and setting both on the night table.  He didn’t clean up, because they were only going to get dirty again, and soon, too.

“How does it work?”

“How does what work?” Draco said.

Lex pointed over Draco at the night table.  “Your wand.  Unless you call it something else.”

“No, it’s a wand.”  Draco picked up the wand again and held it between the tips of his fingers, showing Lex.  “A wand is a wizard’s or witch’s instrument to use the magic inside of them.  With the proper spell word or wand movement, you can do about anything.”

“Like get from Metropolis to Smallville in a few seconds?” Lex said, appearing fascinated.

Draco nodded.  “I apparated here.  I had to take an International Portkey to get to America, though.  I’m not powerful enough to travel such a long distance without being splinched.”

Lex glanced questioningly at him, and Draco knew what he wanted explained.  “A portkey is an item ensorcelled to transport you between two points without using your own magic.  Splinching is when you apparate from one place to another, only you leave like normal and reappear with a leg sticking out of your forehead.”

“So, magic isn’t perfect, or easy,” Lex said, looking at the time stamps on the scarf again.

“No,” Draco said, climbing suddenly on top of Lex.  “But it can be a lot of fun.  Inligo.”

The scarf slithered out of Lex’s hands, wrapped around both his wrists, and tied them above his head to the bedframe.  Draco smirked at the startled expression on Lex’s face.  His cock hardened, pressed against Lex’s stomach.  He traced the tip of his wand down Lex’s neck, tapping the hollow of his throat.  “Let me show you a little something I picked up during my schooldays…”

The buzz of the intercom woke Lex from his post-coital doze.  He had to untangle himself from the green silk scarf in order to answer.  Draco lay sleeping beside him in the bed, his light snores lifting the white-blonde hair hanging over his face.

“Yeah?” Lex said into the receiver once he’d picked up the call.

“A Mr. Clark Kent to see you, sir,” the servant said over the line.

“Let him wander around.  I’ll be down shortly.  Also, have my guest’s bags brought up and put in the room next to mine.”

“Mr. Malfoy had no bags, sir.”

Lex glanced at Draco, but decided to wait to ask about it.  “Okay.  Direct the staff that Mr. Malfoy will be staying and you are to do as he instructs, within reason.”

“Very well, sir.”

Lex hung up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed.  The sun had sunk low in the sky, casting long lines of orange-gold onto the hardwood floor through the gauzy-curtained windows.  He rubbed a tired hand over his face, rose, and headed into the en suite bathroom. 

The mirror above the dual sink painted a reflection of satiation.  Fading red marks circled his wrists and his lips looked slightly swollen.  His blue eyes seemed to glow in the bathroom light. 

“I just had sex,” he said matter-of-factly to his reflection.  A large, self-satisfied smile spread across his reflection’s face.

Draco stirred as Lex dressed in a zippered fitted pullover and trousers, both black.  Propping his head up with a hand, Draco’s half-lidded gaze held a predatory glint as Lex sat on the bed to put his socks and shoes on.  “Where are you going?”

“My friend Clark is here,” Lex replied.

“Hmm.”  Draco rolled onto his back and stretched.  Lex drank in the long, lean lines of his lover’s – he had a lover! – pale, nude body.  Heat flared in his belly.  “I’d best put on some clothing if we have guests.”

Lex felt himself grinning at the use of the term “we”.  “I would’ve had someone bring up your bags, but you don’t appear to have brought any.”

“Hand me my trousers,” Draco instructed, as he reached for his wand on the night table.  Lex retrieved the clothing from the floor and from the pocket Draco removed a thumb-sized rectangular box.  He handed it to Lex.  “Put that on the floor.”

“What is it?”

Draco smirked.  “My trunk.  Engorgio.”

A flash of white light came from the tip of his wand and hit the tiny box.  The box enlarged with a jump, becoming a steamer trunk with the initials DLM engraved in silver on the front.  Lex didn’t let his astonishment show.  Much. 

“Do you mind if I use your bath?” Draco asked, lazily twirling his wand as he sat propped against the headboard.

“The bathroom’s there.”  Lex motioned towards the open doorway.  “I’ll be downstairs.”

Draco inclined his head.  Lex dared a quick kiss on his lips and then left the bedroom.

Downstairs, Lex found Clark in the war room, crouched in front of the scale model of the siege of Troy.  He felt a stirring of attraction upon seeing Clark, who reminded him of a Greek statue come to life, but the fire of need that ignited the instant he laid eyes on Draco was missing.  Perhaps if Draco hadn’t appeared, Clark would have one day been Lex’s lover.  Now, however, he’d just be a pretty friend with a fascinating propensity for rescuing people.  “Save any lives on the way over?  You keep it up and you could make a career of it.”

Clark straightened and stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans.  “I was just dropping off your produce.  Sorry my parents gave you a hard time.”

“Ah, if push came to shove, I would have arm-wrestled them for it.”  Lex had gotten the cold shoulder from Jonathan Kent when he’d phoned to place a standing order with Kent Organic Farm that morning.  The missus must have talked some sense into Jonathan about the value of money, even if tainted by the Luthor name.

Clark gave him a tight, uncomfortable smile and shifted his gaze to the model.  “Planning an invasion?”

Lex walked over beside Clark and picked up the Trojan horse.  It was exquisitely detailed.  “My father gave this to me when I was nine.”

“Cool gift.”

“It wasn’t a gift.  It was a strategy tool.”  Lex put the horse back on the path to the city gates.  “My father equates business with war.  Take the battle of Troy.  It started because two men were in love with the same woman.”  He glanced sidelong at Clark.  “Kind of like you and the quarterback.  That’s why he strung you up in that field, isn’t it.”

“If we’re at war, Whitney’s pretty much won her,” Clark said, unable to hide the defeat in his voice.

“You lost one battle, Clark.  That’s all.  Besides, I don’t believe Lana’s as infatuated as you think.”

Clark scoffed, picked up a foot soldier, and touched the carved sword.  “The guy’s the captain of the football team.  The whole town treats him like a god.  Game over.”

“If you hadn’t pulled him out of that burning truck, your problems would be solved.”  Lex smirked at the look Clark gave him.  “I’m kidding, of course.  Don’t worry, Clark.  I’ve got your Trojan horse.”

Lex walked over to the fireplace mantle, picked up a small lead box, and showed it to Clark.  He opened the lid, revealing the necklace with the cheap gem inside.  Clark took a step back, looking a little green around the gills.  “Clark, you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Clark said, shoving his hands in his back pockets.  Lex glanced down at the necklace and then closed the lid.  “That’s a cool box.  What’s it made of?”

“Lead.  My mother bought it in a Kasbah in Morocco.  A little guy told her it was made from the armor of St. George, the patron saint of boy scouts.”  Lex traced his finger over the worn, unrecognizable seal on the top.  “She gave it to me before she died.  I think she was trying to send me a message.”

Lex pushed aside the heartache that always appeared when he thought of his mom and offered the box to Clark.  Clark appeared taken aback.  “I can’t take that,” he said.

“What is it about the Kents and gifts?”  Lex wanted to chuck the box at Clark’s head.  Instead, he held it out patiently.  “It’s yours.  Hand it to Lana.  Tell her what happened.  Trust me, once she opens it, you’ll win her heart.  That necklace gives you the power.  All you’ve got to do is use it.”

Clark took the box reluctantly.  Lex withheld his sigh of exasperation.  He tried to do something nice as a way to pay Clark back for saving his life and Clark wouldn’t cooperate.  Either the teenager was too angelic or too stupid to accept what was being offered.

“Do you have time for a game of pool, or do you have to get home?” Lex asked, glancing at the ornate clock on the mantle.  He didn’t know how long Draco would be in the shower. 

A grin slid unconsciously across Lex’s lips.  There was a naked man upstairs in his shower, washing up after having a lot of sex with Lex.  Lex tugged at his zippered collar, lowering it more, as heat rose from his skin in memory.

“Uh, Lex.  You’re looking kind of happy all of a sudden.”  Clark cocked his head curiously.  “Almost… glowy.”

Lex skimmed a hand over his scalp and tried not to blush, or blurt out his recent deflowering to Clark.  “I have a guest visiting and I was thinking of introducing you.”

Clark smirked slyly.  “A female guest?”

“No.  Definitely not female,” Lex said.  “But it is what you’re thinking.”

Clark blinked several times.  “You’re gay?”

“Do you have a problem with that?” Lex replied bluntly.

“Er, no.  Of course not.”  Clark didn’t sound too convincing.  “I’ve watched Will & Grace.”

Lex felt suddenly very disappointed, like he’d just lost the bid on a duplicate Warrior Angel comic he’d wanted to acquire.  “I’m glad to find you’re not a homophobe,” he said blandly.  “Draco may be here a while.”

“Who you date is your own business.”  Clark focused on the lead box in his hands, lightly hitting the side of it with his palm.  “I’d like to meet him, but I’d better get home for dinner.  Mom and Dad are waiting for me.”

“I understand.  I wouldn’t want your meal getting cold.”

Clark smiled faintly and held up the box.  “Thanks.  I’ll get this back to you soon.”

“It’s a gift, Clark.  Keep it.”  Lex slid his hands into his pockets.  “Tell your parents I said hello.”

“Okay.  Uh, bye.” Clark gave him another smile and left.

The war room seemed to dim without Clark’s presence and regret settled in Lex’s chest.  He hoped Clark’s reaction was simply a first time introduction to someone gay and the awkwardness that occasionally went with it.  He’d hate to lose a friendship before it really began.

“There you are.”

Lex turned as Draco entered the room from another door.  Draco’s hair was slicked wetly back and he was buttoning the cuff of his blue shirt.  “Where’s your friend?”

“He had to leave.”

“You sound despondent.”  Draco stopped in front of Lex and corralled him against the model table.  “Did something happen?”

“No.  Not really.”  Lex took his hands from his pockets and slipped them around Draco’s waist.  “Sometimes you just don’t know your friends.”

“Friends are overrated.”  Draco lowered his head, intent vivid in his eyes.  “Now, lovers, on the other hand…”

Lex opened for the kiss, eyelids falling shut.  His mouth warmed beneath Draco’s and tendrils of sexual heat coiled in his gut.  He hadn’t thought he could get it up for the fourth time, but his body was proving him wrong.

Draco’s stomach rumbled loudly and they laughed into each other’s mouths.  Draco broke off and gave him a rueful grin.  “I suppose we’d best find nourishment.  We need to keep up our strength.”

“Cook should have dinner almost ready.”

“Good.”  Draco stepped back and smoothed the front of his shirt.  “Afterwards, I’d like to explore the town.  I need to find out if there are other wizards in the area.  That is, if I’m welcome to stay?”

“You can stay as long as you’d like,” Lex said. 

He secretly hoped it would be for a long time.

Unless they were putting on a muggle front, Draco found no wizards or witches in the Smallville area.  On the one hand, that was a good thing, since he didn’t have to worry about where the Americans’ loyalties lay when it came to the war overseas.  On the other hand, it isolated Draco from all things normal.  The trade-off was Lex, however, and Draco didn’t mind that at all.

Draco grew more enamoured of Lex as the month wore on.  Although Draco had started out wanting to stay for the sex, they couldn’t actually spend all of their time in bed, sadly, and that left hours to kill during the day.  Lex wasn’t one to be still, or to be quiet, and the days passed with lively conversation, sharing exploits of boarding school, commenting on fashion, and listening as Lex spouted some historical anecdote about any topic or complain about work.

Draco couldn’t keep his hands, or lips, off Lex, either, which was both enjoyable and disconcerting.  It wasn’t as if he tried to stop touching Lex and found that he couldn’t; it was that he wasn’t usually so physically intimate with a person outside of the bedroom.  Just touching Lex casually made him tingle pleasantly, the sexual aspect fading into a contented hum under his skin.  It also made the ache from his dark mark vanish when Lord Voldemort activated it.  He suspected some sort of magic at work.  He didn’t know what kind, though, as Lex was a muggle, and he had no one currently available to ask.  He’d be worried if it didn’t feel so right (and the spells he’d cast detected no dark magic between them).

Draco let his concerns go and chose to enjoy however many days he had with Lex.  He’d get an international gull post eventually, telling him to return to Britain, or Lex might tire of him and send him on his way.  Neither prospect was very favorable and he’d shoved away the pang of loss those thoughts created in exchange for the pleasure he felt every time Lex smiled.

The click of fencing foils drew Draco to Lex’s office.  Lex fenced with his instructor twice a week in various rooms in the manor, but today wasn’t the normal day.  Draco had left Lex alone earlier so Lex could get some work completed.  Despite being wealthy, Lex was employed operating a factory in town.

“Look at your moves, Lex.  They’re rash; no thought to their consequences.”  An unknown male’s voice drifted through the open doorway into the hall. 

“If I wanted a running commentary, I’d buy one of your books on tape,” Lex replied, sounding a trifle winded.

The other man chuckled.  “You know what your problem is?”

“Enlighten me.”

“You’re ruled by your emotions.  You always have been.”  Draco paused at the threshold to the office, as he witnessed Lex being disarmed.  The taller man dressed in whites, with a mane of greasy hair that reminded Draco of Severus Snape, pressed the tip of his epee to Lex’s throat.  “And that can be a fatal flaw.”

Draco’s wand dropped into his hand with a twitch of his wrist.  Stupefy.”

Red spell-light shot from the wand end and struck the man in the back.  The man’s legs buckled and he collapsed onto the floor.  The epee clattered to the ground beside him.

Lex’s startled gaze located Draco in the doorway.  “What did you do?”

“Knocked him unconscious,” Draco said, stepping over the prone man to reach Lex.  With his free hand, he touched Lex’s throat.  “Are you all right?”

“Yes.  I can’t say the same for my father.”  Lex looked down at the man on the floor.  “Will he be okay?”

“He will be, if you give me satisfactory explanation as to why he had a sharp point against your unprotected throat.”

Lex’s mouth pulled up in one corner.  “You sound worried.”

“Of course I was worried, you twit,” Draco said.  “I find it distressing when someone aims a deadly object at my lover.”

“He wouldn’t have hurt me.”  Lex frowned and looked at his father again.  “I don’t think.”

“That’s reassuring,” Draco said acerbically.

“He’s my father, Draco.”

“Yes, well, our parents have a way of hurting us the worst when we least expect.”

Lex studied Draco.  “There’s a story in that statement.”

“My mother left without a word or thought to me after my father died, leaving me to deal with everything on my own, including the press, Ministry Aurors, barristers, and financiers, when I had no experience handling any of them and I was still coming to grips with having seen my father killed in front of my eyes.”  Draco’s mouth compressed into a thin line from the memories.  He was still furious with his mother for leaving him unprepared and alone at seventeen.  The Ministry had run roughshod over him and he’d lost a lot of valuable items that had been in the Malfoy family for generations before they’d finally let him be.

“I’m sorry,” Lex said quietly.

“Forget it.  It’s not your concern.”  Draco winced inwardly at the flash of hurt he saw on Lex’s face.  “I meant, it’s long past and while your sympathy is appreciated, it’s unnecessary.”

Lex shrugged as if he didn’t care and looked down at his father once more.  “What are we going to do with him?”

“I’ll revive him and put him under confundus, and you can tell him he slipped on your foil.”  Draco walked away from Lex, giving them both a moment’s respite, and retrieved Lex’s fencing epee.  “He should accept the explanation and be none the worse for wear.”

“Okay.”  Lex crouched and rolled his father onto his back, into a more natural falling position.  “Do you want me to introduce you two?”

“No.”  Draco returned with the epee and positioned it near the unconscious man’s feet.  “It’s best I remain unseen so he does not suspect any involvement by me.”

“He doesn’t believe in magic,” Lex said.

“But he could believe that I smacked him on the head with a billiard ball,” Draco pointed out.  “Besides, I would like to meet him on a more appropriate basis, when I ask his permission to court you formally.”

Lex blinked wide eyes at him.  “Court me?”

Draco didn’t know where that had come from, but now that he’d said it… “It’s what a proper wizard does when he fancies someone.”

“Doesn’t courting imply a goal of a more permanent relationship?” Lex said slowly.

“Do you mind?” Draco said, and found himself holding his breath waiting for the reply.

A flush stole across Lex’s cheeks.  He swallowed visibly and lowered his eyes.  “No, I— no.  I don’t mind.”

Utter joy and fierce possessiveness surged through Draco.  He stepped over the unconscious man, grabbed Lex by his fencing whites, hoisted him to his feet, and into a plundering kiss.

Lex moaned and leaned into Draco.  His hands wrapped around Draco’s waist and clutched the back of his shirt.  The fencing padding was too thick and Lex smelled rather ripe.  Draco banished both with a couple words and a wave of his wand.  Velemin abegi.  Scourgify.”

With a really adorable squeak that did funny things to Draco, Lex covered his groin with his hands.  “Draco, my father is on the floor.”

“He’s unconscious.”  Draco licked Lex’s shoulder.

Lex sidestepped with a half-aroused glare.  “I am not having sex in front of my Dad.”

“Very well.”  Draco pointed his wand at Lex and pictured a cute white mouse. 

A moment later, Draco accio’d Lexmouse into his hand, tucked him into a shirt pocket, and apparated to the bedroom.  Putting Lexmouse in the center of the bed, Draco transfigured him back to normal.

But normal Lex was as pale as a ghost and wheezing.  Panic and fear reflected in his huge eyes.  “What did you just do to me?”

“Made you portable,” Draco said, becoming concerned.  He set his wand on the night table and climbed onto the bed.  “I can’t apparate with people, because there’s a chance we’ll get splinched together.”

“Don’t ever do that again,” Lex said between wheezes, his hand clutched against his heaving chest. 

Draco reached for him.  “Lex—”   

Lex flinched.  Draco dropped his hand.

They sat in silence, save for Lex’s breathing, which finally got under control.  Draco didn’t know what he did wrong, but whatever it was, he vowed not to repeat it.

“Fuck,” Lex said suddenly and ran his hand over his bare scalp.  “You turned me into a mouse.”

“It’s the animal I know how to transfigure best.”  Draco adjusted the cuff of his sleeve.  “Turning you back to human is relatively easy for me, as well.  It’s a matter of undoing the original transfiguration, reversing the process, rather than transfiguring a mouse into a human.”

“And you do this with magic.”

Draco glanced up at Lex’s awed tone.  He cocked his head.  “Well, yes.  I am a wizard.  Transfiguration is a skill we learned in school.”

“I know you’re a wizard.  I mean, I believed you when you told me, and I’ve seen you do some neat stuff, but…” Lex shook his head slowly, as if he were dumbfounded.  “You’re a wizard.”

“Er, yeah.”  Draco reached out to touch Lex again and hesitated.  “You are all right, aren’t you?  I didn’t screw up?”

Lex laughed in a childish manner.  “No, I’m fine.  It’s just… magic!  It really exists.”

“Mn, yes.  Has forever.  Wizards and witches came first, but not everyone had equal powers.  Those with little to no magic felt ostracized and bitter since they couldn’t do what was natural and formed their own communities, which muggles, or non-magic folk, eventually descended from, if I’m recalling my History of Magic lessons correctly.  As I told you, I didn’t pay much attention in class.”

“Why doesn’t everyone know about wizards and magic, if you’ve been around so long?” Lex asked, with an eagerly curious look.  “We hear about you in myths, legends, and stories, but it’s all supposedly fiction.”

Draco knew Lex soaked up information like a sponge and nothing was trivial to him.  It endeared him to Draco even more.  “Muggle religion happened.  With the split in the communities, after a while, people forgot their roots.  Things that occurred magically became known as religious miracles or evil curses, depending on what had happened.  Religious leaders began persecuting those suspected of ‘casting evil’ and the wizarding world was forced go into hiding. Laws upon laws were drawn up to keep us safe from the stakes and gallows.”

“That’s understandable,” Lex said.

“But not easy to comply with,” Draco said.  “As muggles are descendants from wizards and witches, muggle babies are occasionally born with magical powers.  This creates a danger to the wizarding world, because we can’t just leave the child in the hands of the muggles, who like to do heinous things in the name of security and science, when it’s really fear.  The wizarding world used to steal magical babies and place them in proper pureblood families or wizard orphanages, so they grew up safe and in the world they belonged to. 

“Then, some ruddy bleeding hearts decided it was wrong to take children away from their natural parents, and soon muggles were being integrated into the wizarding world along with their children.  Because of this travesty, it wouldn’t take much, a wrong word in the wrong ear, and the whole wizarding population could be exposed and annihilated.”

“You sound like you support segregation,” Lex said.

“I do.  There’s a war going on in the UK and in Europe which revolves around this very issue.  Unfortunately, the side I wanted to support is being lead by a complete nutter who tortures his own followers and kills those who got caught following his orders, received no assistance, and managed to escape from prison by himself and return faithfully to his Lord.  And then his Lord laughs in his face, calls him useless, and casts avada kedavra on him in front of all the assembled Death Eaters, including his son, who had to witness his father die for no reason—”

Draco’s voice broke and he pressed the palms of his hands against his eyes.  “Bugger,” he muttered, fighting the sting of tears.  More than four years had passed, and it still hurt to think of Lucius Malfoy’s undignified and undeserving death.

Lex shifted on the bed and rubbed Draco’s back.  He didn’t say anything, for which Draco was grateful.

Draco composed himself and smirked weakly at Lex.  “I suppose you can figure out what happened next.”

Lex continued rubbing soothingly.  “You can’t follow someone who kills your family.”

“Right you are, mate.”  Draco traced his finger over the rough curve of Lex’s bent knee.  “I wanted to bring the Dark Lord down, horribly, but I am intelligent enough to know I couldn’t do it on my own.  So, I met with someone I knew I could trust on the other side and thus began my illustrious career as a spy and saboteur, and how I ended up meeting you at that muggle pub in London.”

“It seems as though you would have met me, anyway, but I would’ve been a spell away from dying.”

Draco’s chest tightened.  “You almost were.  I’ve killed plenty of people, muggle and wizard alike, in that war, and it didn’t matter to me, so long as I would get my revenge in the end.  If you had still been standing, if I hadn’t fallen for you when I looked into your eyes…”

Lex cupped Draco’s chin, turned his head, and brushed a kiss against his lips.  Lex smiled crookedly, a little shyly.  “I’m glad it instead ended up the way it did.”

“Me, too,” Draco said quietly, and leaned in for another kiss.  He closed his eyes, and both apologized and thanked his father for giving him Lex.

The Beanery was busy for a weekday night.  Lex found two seats open near a low round table and claimed them.  Draco had gone to the bathroom to fix his wind-blown hair from the drive.  Indian Summer had hit Smallville and the warmth of the late October air had allowed Lex to put down the convertible top on the ride.

Lex sat, opened his briefcase, and removed a stack of files.  Embarrassed by his “fall”, Lionel had given Lex until noon tomorrow to lay off twenty percent of his workforce at the plant.  Lex was not happy with the demand.  Why did Lionel bother putting Lex in charge of the plant if he wasn’t going to let Lex run it as he saw fit?

“Your name is on the wall in the toilet,” Draco said, as he sat elegantly on the orange chair beside Lex.  He hitched up his trouser leg and propped his ankle on his opposite knee.  “Apparently, boys in this town have dirty thoughts about your baldness.”

Lex smirked.  “What about you?”

The look Draco gave him made him very hot under the collar.  “I’ll act them out later.”

Arousal tickled Lex’s spine, even though he was sated from their lovemaking session prior to reviving Lionel.  Draco chuckled as Lex sifted through his files.

Despite the seemingly magical pull between them (his body was obviously tricking him and being demanding to make up for the years of denying it sex), Lex was finding the time he spent with Draco fully clothed and not touching as equally enjoyable as the time spent in bed.  Intelligent and tart-tongued, Draco could hold a conversation without involving money or wanting something from Lex.  He asked for very detailed explanation of “muggle” culture and objects and answered any of Lex’s questions about the Wizarding world with extensive description.  They also enjoyed playing fierce games of chess and cards.  Lex was comfortable around Draco in a way that he hadn’t been around anyone and, for once, he wasn’t worried about being stabbed in the back.  It was a nice feeling, one he didn’t want to lose anytime soon.

Lex’s musings were interrupted by the waitress’s shadow spilling over his open files.  “Hi, Lex.  What can I get you?”

Lex looked up in surprise, to see Lana Lang, Lionel’s mistress’s niece and Clark Kent’s current crush, wearing an apron with a notepad in hand.  “Lana, what happened?  Did Nell put you out on the street?”

“I decided to join the workforce,” Lana said with a smile.

“Good for you.  I’m sure you’ll be employee of the month in no time,” Lex said, leaning back in his chair. 

“Right now, I hold the record for most dishes broken in a single day.”

“Better bring my cappuccino in a Styrofoam cup, then,” Lex joked.

Lana jotted his order down and looked at Draco.  “And what can I get you?”

“Whatever he’s having, darling,” Draco said, flashing her a gorgeous smile.

Lex hid his grin as Lana tucked her hair behind her ear, flushing lightly.  Draco got that reaction from nearly all the girls and some of the guys, too.  It was the accent combined with his good looks.  Lex pretended he didn’t swoon when Draco’s attention was directed at him.

“Are these checks together or separate?” Lana asked, writing down his order.

“Together,” Lex said.  At her curious glance, he introduced them.  “Lana, Draco.  Draco, Lana.”

“A pleasure,” Draco said.

“It’s nice to meet you, too,” Lana responded.

“Lana and I go way back,” Lex said, with a teasing grin.  “We met while I was demonstrating the breast stroke to another girl.”

“Really?” Draco drawled with an upraised eyebrow.

“It was quite educating to see,” Lana said dryly, causing Draco to chuckle.

“I’m sure it was.  Lex excels at the sport.”  Draco reached over and put his hand on Lex’s knee.  “Though, I find that Lex is best at the dogpaddle.”

Lana’s eyes widened.  “Oh!”

Lex felt the heavy blush spread over his face and bare scalp.  “Draco…”

Draco’s gray irises danced devilishly.  “It’s the truth.”

“You two are—” Lana gestured between them and crossed her fingers.

“Hn, yes.”  Draco squeezed Lex’s knee and returned his hand to his side.  “You’ll be seeing us together for a very long time, if I have my way.”

“Seeing who together?” Clark said, appearing behind Lana, wearing a red football jersey.

“Lex and Draco,” Lana said, half-turning to Clark.  “Our new resident couple.”

Lex shifted on his seat, feeling pleased and embarrassed at once.  He glanced warily at Clark, but Clark didn’t appear to be uncomfortable like last time. 

“Ah.”  Clark sank into the seat across from Lex and Draco.  “How are things going here?”

“Today is one of those days I just want to scream,” Lana said, holding her hands like claws.

“Well, for what it’s worth, I think it’s cool you got this job,” Clark said.

“I’m sorry I’m not going to get to see you play tomorrow.  New girl gets the worst shifts.”  Lana poised her pen over her notepad.  “So, can I get you anything?”

“Uh, maybe a cup of coffee.  Black.”

“Coming right up!” Lana chirped, spun on her heel, her hair fanning behind her, and bounced away to fill their orders.

Clark looked at Draco, looked at Lex, and looked at Draco again.  “Hi.  I’m Clark.  You must be Draco, Lex’s friend.”

“Lover, actually,” Draco said with a haughty tilt of his chin.  “And intended, once I request permission to court him.”

Clark was taken aback.  Lex glanced sidelong at Draco and realized Draco was staking claim.  A silly grin crossed Lex’s face as his heart did somersaults.  Clark wasn’t interested in him that way, but it was nice to be wanted possessively.

“You two are that serious, already?” Clark said.

Lex heard the thread of concern in Clark’s voice.  It also made him feel good.  He’d really like to keep Clark as a friend.  “Is that a problem?”

“Of course not.”  Clark tugged at the front of his jersey, looking somewhat abashed.  “I just— Chloe made me read things about you and I didn’t think you were the type to settle down.”

“My exploits have been greatly exaggerated by the press, Clark,” Lex said, an understatement, considering he’d lost his virginity only a few weeks ago.  “Besides, sometimes you simply know when you’ve met the right person.  It’s like… magic.” 

Lex looked at Draco and received an amused smirk in return.

“Then, uh, congratulations?” Clark said.

“Thanks,” Lex said.  “It means a lot that you’re okay with it.”

Clark ducked his chin in an aw-shucks way.  It reminded Lex that Clark was only fifteen.  “You’re my friend.  As long as you’re happy, I’m good.”

“I’m happy,” Lex said assuredly. 

“Then, I’m good.”  Clark glanced up from beneath his bangs, with a small smile.

“And I’m going to throw up,” Draco declared.

Lex chuckled and Clark appeared embarrassed.  Leaning forward, Clark tapped the files on the table.  “What are you working on?”

Lex sighed in displeasure.  “Trying to figure out which poor bastard should get the ax.  My father wants me to cut twenty percent of my workforce.”

Clark winced in sympathy.  “Any way around it?”

“Once my father’s made his mind up, he’s not easy to turn around.”

“I still think you should cause an explosion at the plant,” Draco said, smoothing the material of his trouser leg.  “It creates a win-win situation.”

“An explosion?” Clark said.

Lex shook his head.  “All my employees are covered by life insurance policies.  If they die on the job, their families get large settlements.  An explosion at the plant would cut twenty percent of my workforce and the employees families will still have money to live off of, therefore, my dad gets screwed while still getting his way.”

Clark’s eyes grew huge.  “You’re not going to do that, are you?”

“Of course not,” Lex said.  Draco scoffed and examined his nails.  Lex rolled his eyes.  “I’m going to pick five hundred names out of a hat, instead.”

Lionel Luthor was a powerful man, but he lacked the poise of someone born with a pedigree.  His slick tongue and shrewd business sense brought him up a few notches in Draco’s estimation.  Still, Draco was, in essence, marrying below his station and it showed in his dealings with Lex’s father.

“Court my son?” Lionel repeated with a laugh.

“I assure you, sir, my intentions are honorable.”  Draco stood with decorum across a massive desk from Lionel in a glass and chrome-decorated office in Metropolis.  He had decided it was time to formally request permission to court Lex.  He’d allowed a fortnight to pass after Lex had angered his father regarding the layoffs at the plant, to ensure Lionel did not reject his request out of spite.

“Why would you want to do something as preposterous as that?” Lionel said, still sounding like he’d been told a joke.

Draco did not find the situation humorous.  Requesting permission to court a son or daughter was an important event and should be treated with solemnity and respect.  “It is what one does when they desire a future marriage with the intended.”

“Marriage!”  Lionel laughed heartily, again.  He stood, circled the desk, and put an unwanted, proprietary arm around Draco’s shoulders.  “I know Lex’s proclivities may lead you to believe he would want a relationship with a man, but I assure you, he is merely sowing his wild oats.  He will marry a suitable woman when it is time for him to wed.”

Draco picked off Lionel’s hand and stepped out of the faux embrace.  He gave Lionel a scathing look.  “Sir, as your are Lex’s father, I shall withhold my offense at the belittling of my person.  Your son is a suitable candidate for a man of my station and I find him to be delightful company.  A match between us would be both profitable and pleasant.  I shall ask you again for the permission to court your son.”

Lionel lost his entertained expression and his stare darkened.  “Your infatuation with Lex ceases to be amusing, Mr. Malfoy.  You are to pack your belongings and leave the castle tonight.”

“Do not threaten me, Mr. Luthor,” Draco said, giving up his pretense of politeness.  It would jeopardize his chance at attaining permission, but no one spoke to a Malfoy in that manner.  “I will not be disparaged by a nouveau riche muggle with no pedigree behind his name.  I am a fifteenth generation Malfoy and the current head of the Malfoy family with more wealth and standing in my little finger than you could ever possess in your entirety.  I wish to wed your son, Lex, and I ask you once more for the permission to court his hand.”

“Hunh.”  Lionel stroked his beard, appearing intrigued now.  “Your articulate vehemence is noted.  Fifteenth generation, you say?  Where does your family hail from?”

“Wiltshire.”  Draco felt the wind change in his favor.  He should’ve known money and power would be more attractive than an emotional plea.

Lionel nodded slowly, thoughts tumbling almost visibly in his head.  “Very well.  I give you permission.  Although marriage is illegal between homosexuals, I’m certain we can work around that and come to a contract that will be mutually beneficial.”

Draco refrained from sneering derisively.  If he weren’t so fond of Lex, he wouldn’t put up with Lionel’s crassness.  “I’m sure we shall.  Good day.”

He left Lionel undoubtedly plotting to get his grubby hands on the Malfoy fortune.  It would be a difficult task, considering, after what had happened when his father died, Draco had appointed guardians over his estate firmly entrenched on the other side of the war, to ensure that the Ministry would be unable to take his money, property, or remove valuable items from the manor as reparations.

Draco apparated back to Smallville, and a spring grew in his step as he went in search of Lex.  Now that permission had been given, Draco could woo Lex as he deserved.  Then, not only would Draco have a place to stay for the duration of the war and the aftermath, it would be with someone he wanted to spend a lifetime getting to know better and introduce to the wizarding world.

Who would have thought he, Draco Malfoy, a staunch separatist, would fall in love with a muggle?

Someone somewhere was laughing like mad.

“Lex!” he called, heading for the office.  Ideas ran high-speed through his mind, ways to show Lex he was wanted and adored until he truly believed it and consented to marry Draco.  And if none of his ideas worked, he’d tie Lex to the bed and shag him into agreement.

If Lex didn’t get killed, first.

Draco pulled up fast, heart seizing in instant fear, when he stepped through the doorway.  Six Death Eaters in full robes and masks spread in a half-circle throughout the room, all with their wands aimed in his direction, save one, who had Lex in his grasp.  Lex’s face was red and blotchy, his expression pinched in a suppressed grimace of pain.

Hesitation would net Draco a coffin, something he’d learned in his years as a double agent.  He flicked his wrist, his wand dropping into his hand, and he apparated with a pop as two Death Eaters cast spells at the space he’d occupied a beat prior.  He re-appeared on the other side of the office, behind the bar, and aimed his wand at Lex. 

With a complicated flick of the tip, Lex started shrinking.  Draco ducked behind the bar, keeping the image of a mouse firmly in his mind, ‘seeing’ Lex transfigure.  Green light flashed overhead as the Death Eaters shot the Killing Curse.  Draco couldn’t breathe, terror freezing his lungs, hoping beyond hope that Lex hadn’t gotten hit.  He apparated again, knowing the only way to save them both would be to grab Lex and flee. 

Draco popped up in the balcony overlooking the office, rows of books rising behind him.  He saw Lexmouse scurry across the hardwood floor and a Death Eater aiming for him.  Accio mouse!” Draco cried, leaning over the balcony, reaching towards Lexmouse as Lexmouse zipped from the ground into the air.

Avada Kedavra!”  Expelliarmus!”

Draco yipped and threw himself onto the ground.  Both spells exploded against the balcony rail.  Lexmouse squealed as he sailed past where Draco had been and thumped against the bookshelf.  Draco winced, rolled to his knees, and crawled quickly over to Lexmouse.  Grabbing the dazed Lexmouse, Draco stuffed him in a pocket and apparated from the castle.

The man-made lake was calm.  The sinking sun reflected against the surface of the water, rippling at the edges.  Colorful leaves had fallen from the surrounding trees, floating on the lake like small boats.  Draco disapparated on the muddy shore.  Still on Lex’s property, but hidden by the woods, they were temporarily safe. 

Draco took Lexmouse from his pocket, set him carefully on the ground, and transfigured him back to normal.  Lex looked scared and in pain.  Draco touched Lex’s face, shoulder, and down his arm.  “I know I said I wouldn’t do that again, but I had no choice.  Are you all right?”

“Who are they?” Lex said instead of answering, wiping a shaky hand over his sweating scalp.  His burgundy button-down shirt was torn at the elbow, and the glimpse of that point of bone made him seem very vulnerable.

Draco’s fingers tightened around his wand, anger flaring.  That scum touched Lex.  “Death Eaters.”

Lex swallowed and glanced in the direction of the castle, even though it couldn’t be seen from where they stood.  “They wanted you.”

“I know.”  Draco rubbed the back of his neck.  “That they’re here means either the war is over and the Dark Lord won or my whereabouts were tortured out of my contact.  Whatever the reason, we have to leave.  Disappear.”

“You’re not going to fight them?”

Draco looked at Lex like he was insane.  “There are six of them and one of me.  And who knows how many more are on the way?”

“Is there someone you can call for help?” Lex said.

“Moody, maybe, if he’s not dead,” Draco said, frowning at nothing across the lake.  “I’m not high on the priority list of the few wizards who knew what team I really played for.  Nearly all the opposing side otherwise thinks I’m a Death Eater, and the Death Eaters know I’m a traitor.  It’s one of the reasons I came to America, aside from wanting to see you again.”

Lex flashed him a half-smile before it was swept away by worry.  “Disappearing will be easy, with my money and contacts, but what about my staff at the castle?”

“If they’re not dead already, they soon will be,” Draco said bluntly.  “Count on downtown to be decimated, as well.  Death Eaters do not take defeat lightly.”

The corners of Lex’s eyes pinched as he frowned deeply.  “I can’t allow that to happen.”

“Why not?  It’s not like you have many friends here.”

“Thanks,” Lex said sarcastically.  Draco shrugged.  Lex shook his head.  “We still have to do something.”

“I’m more concerned about your safety and my own than a bunch of strangers’ well-being,” Draco said.  “If there’s one rule of war that I’ve learned, it’s that it’s every wizard for himself.  No one is a hero when faced with certain death.”

“Yet, you were a hero every day since you were seventeen.”

Draco scoffed.  “Right.”

“You told me you spied on the Death Eaters and sabotaged their efforts whenever you could,” Lex said.  “You’ve saved lives repeatedly under the threat of discovery.  You may not have charged in, guns blazing, but that doesn’t make you any less of a hero because of your actions.”

Draco felt his cheeks and the tips of his ears heat.  “I was only doing it as revenge for my father.”

“Selflessness rarely exists in today’s world,” Lex said, stepping closer and slipping his hands behind Draco’s neck.  “I like my heroes a little dark.”

“Does that make you my damsel in distress?” Draco put his hand on Lex’s lower back.  “Are you the virgin I saved from being sacrificed?”

Lex lowered his gaze and Draco watched as a bright red flush climbed from beneath the collar of Lex’s shirt, spread over his face and covered his entire scalp.  Lex’s fingers fidgeted with the nape of Draco’s hair.  “I’m not a virgin anymore.”

Draco caught the underlying meaning and his jaw dropped.  “You mean you… I…”

Lex nodded minutely.

Sweet Morgana.  Draco moaned roughly, dragged Lex fully against him, and attacked his mouth.  A virgin.  Draco’s cock throbbed.  It was not the time, nor the place, but he wanted Lex desperately, pride and possessiveness swelling inside him.  He kissed Lex harder, deeper.  Lex’s fingers dug into the back of his neck.

A splash yanked Draco from the depths of Lex’s mouth, startled.  He whipped around, wand raised, eyes searching for what made the noise.  The lake rippled near the edge where they stood.  Lex crept closer to the lake, bent, and peered into the water.  “A fish,” he declared, though his voice was hushed.

Adrenaline flowed through Draco’s veins, mixing with a return of his nervousness and fear of the Death Eaters.  Later, after they were holed up somewhere safely, he’d take Lex over and over and over again, until any lingering trace of Lex’s virginity had been claimed by Draco and Draco alone.  He gave the curve of Lex’s arse a heady stare.

Lex straightened, turned, and caught Draco’s look.  His blush returned, even as he smirked wolfishly.  “You’ve already plucked that cherry, too.”

“Doesn’t mean I’m not hungry for more,” Draco drawled and licked his lips obscenely.

Lex sauntered closer, loose-hipped, like walking sex, and rubbed blatantly against Draco as he passed.  “It’s all for you.  But not until after we remove the problem at the castle.”

Draco’s arousal lost power at the reminder.  He sighed.  “I suppose we could cause an explosion, fell them all in one swoop, if we can figure out a way to get them in one spot.  They’ll check the castle for me first before expanding their search.  Most people go back for belongings, like idiots, when they’re forced to rabbit.”

Lex bit the side of his thumb, his brow furrowed, and then looked in the opposite direction of the castle.  “I think I have an idea.”

“Are you certain this will work?”

“Yes.”  Pause.  “I think.”  Lex smiled disarmingly at Draco’s look, as he opened the valve on the tank.  He crouched under a window outside the castle.  Retrieved from the plant, the black tank had a biohazard symbol painted on it.  A pinched hose was attached to the tank’s nozzle.  “The toxin in this tank should knock them out almost immediately.  We just need to get them into the room.”

Draco peered cautiously through the window, cupping his hands over the leaded glass.  “I’ll knock over one of the display cases.”

“That would be too obvious,” Lex said, straightening.  He lifted the tank.  “Open the window.”

Draco aimed his wand at the lock.  Alohomora.” 

The window unlatched.  Draco used his fingernails under the casement edge and pulled the swing window open.  Carefully, Lex leaned over the sill.  Draco supported and boosted him as he lowered the tank to the floor of the war room.  The hose on the tank extended to its fullest as Lex squirmed backwards on the sill.  He held onto the pinchers that kept the hose plugged.  “Ready?”

Draco grasped the back of Lex’s shirt with one hand and had the other on the open window.  “Ready.”

Lex took a deep breath and unclipped the pinchers.  “Go!”

Draco yanked him off the sill, and Lex stumbled backwards and landed on his ass.  Draco shoved the window shut.  It was too well-oiled to make any noise.  Draco glanced at Lex.  “How about if I animate your playset?  It will make the Death Eaters curious and most likely investigate.”

“Go for it.”

Draco faced the window and made a complicated motion with his wand.  Animus.”

A yellow light flashed from the tip of Draco’s wand, bounced against the windowpane, and sped towards Lex.  Lex yelped and rolled out of the way.  The spell hit the grass where he’d been sitting.  The browning grass began waving in the area struck.

Draco appeared sheepish.  “Oops.”

Lex pushed himself into a sitting position with a mock glare.  He was really amused.  Magic didn’t make wizards perfect.  “Try that again.”

“I’ll have to open the window,” Draco said, touching the glass.

“Not far, and try not to breathe when you cast,” Lex said, looking at the animated grass.  The blades had started pulling free from the ground and ‘walking’ on the roots.

Draco took an audible, deep breath, pried open the window an inch, and made the complicated movement with his wand again.  Animus,” he said on an exhale and held his breath again.  The yellow spell light shot through the window opening and struck the scale model of the siege of Troy.  Draco closed the window and then cupped his hand over the glass to peer inside.  “It worked.  The soldiers are moving.”

“So is this grass.  Draco!”  Lex jumped to his feet and dodged as several uprooted grass blades launched themselves at him.  The blades whipped their tops back and forth, making high-pitched whizzing noises as they cut through the air. 

Finite,” Draco cast at the animated grass.  However, his spell didn’t encompass all the uprooted blades.  One managed to land on Lex’s shoe and the grass blade cut right through his trousers, his sock, and the skin of his ankle.

“Ow!”  Lex shook his leg, trying to dislodge the grass, but the roots wrapped around his shoe.  He hopped and lost his balance, crashing to the ground.  More blades attacked.  “Draco!”

“I’m trying.  Finite.  Finite.”  Spell light from Draco’s wand picked off the blades attacking Lex.  Finite.”

Lex beat at the blade cutting his shirt and arm.  “This isn’t the commotion I wanted to cause,” he muttered, pinching the head of the blade between his hands and ripping it in half.  He could swear he heard a scream.

Draco disenchanted the remaining grass and offered a hand up to Lex.  “Are you all right?”

“Yes.”  Lex scowled at the blood on his shirtsleeve, where the grass had cut his arm.  “Just nicked.”

“Do you have plasters at your office?” Draco asked, cupping Lex’s elbow.  He parted the tear in the shirt and studied the cut on Lex’s bicep.

“It can wait.  We have more important matters to deal with,” Lex said, nodding towards the window.  Luckily, there was only one window, as the war room was at the northeast corner of the castle.  The Death Eaters would’ve only seen them hopping around outside if they entered the war room, and if they did that, the toxic gas should fell them instantly.

Draco didn’t look happy with the injury or with himself.  Lex knew better than to say ‘everyone makes mistakes.’  Instead, he crept over to the window, cupped his hands against the glass, and peered inside.

The scale model soldiers, for the most part, were fighting on the battlefield of Troy.  The Trojan horse sat inside the model city, its sides open, with soldiers climbing out.  Several engaged in swordfights across the parapets of the city walls.  Those that fell toppled over the wall, bounced off the table, and landed on the floor.

Draco joined him at the window, looking inside.  “Violent little buggers.”

“Did you cause them to do this?” Lex said, rubbing his arms for warmth, wincing when he hit the cut.  Their fast escape didn’t include grabbing a coat for the November weather and Lex hadn’t thought to get one from his office at the plant.

“No.  I only animated them.  But they’re soldiers.  They were created to stage fights.”  Draco pushed back from the window and surveyed their surroundings.  “It shouldn’t be long before the Death Eaters notice.  The fighting is probably loud.”

Draco was right: it wasn’t a long wait.  Lex ducked reflexively when a black robed and masked Death Eater walked past the war room door.  Draco saw him and stepped aside quickly, his back to the stone wall of the castle. 

Cautiously, Lex raised his head and peered through the window.  Draco did the same.  The Death Eater stood in the doorway of the war room, wand raised.  The bone-colored mask was smooth, save for two eye-slits, hiding the Death Eater’s expression.

He must’ve called to the others, because as he stepped into the room, two more Death Eaters appeared in the doorway.  Lex held his breath, not moving, so as not to draw attention to his head poking above the windowsill.  The Death Eaters’ focus seemed to be on the table.

Come on, come on, Lex thought, willing the toxin to work.  The two other Death Eaters entered the room.

The original Death Eater swayed.  Lex bit the inside of his cheek.  The miniature soldiers fought viciously on the model table.

Yes,” Draco whispered gleefully, as Death Eater number one collapsed to the floor.  The other two Death Eaters separated, one going to check on his fallen comrade.  He crouched, swayed wildly, and fell on top of the prone Death Eater.

The remaining Death Eater had to have shouted, even as he went down, cracking his chin on the model table as he collapsed.  Two more Death Eaters came running, wands brandished, bursting into the room through the side door.

Avada Kedavra.”


Lex was tackled sideways, a green bolt of light ricocheting against the window where his head had been.  Draco covered him bodily, wand extended.  Avada Kedavra!”

Lex craned his head and saw the sixth Death Eater outside with them.  The Death Eater had jumped out of the rebound course of his own spell, directly into the path of Draco’s Killing Curse.  The green light struck the Death Eater in the chest.  He fell instantly.

Heart hammering, Lex gulped at his near miss of death.  Draco scrambled off Lex, bending low, wand raised defensively.  He ran to the corner of the castle and peered cautiously around it.  Lex rolled to his feet in a crouch, prepared to move on Draco’s command.

Draco’s tense shoulder did not relax, but he straightened.  “Clear.”

Lex rose, staying to one side of the window, as Draco went over to the felled Death Eater.  Lex leaned over and peered carefully through the window.  A quick look revealed five Death Eaters sprawled on the floor.  The miniature soldiers fought on.  “I count five down.”

“And this one makes six.”  Draco checked the Death Eater’s pulse and smiled with malicious satisfaction.  He rose.  “Hopefully, that’s all of them.”

“How long should we wait to be sure?  The gas will kill them if they breathe it too long.”

Draco shrugged.  “Let them die.  It will save me the time of Avada Kedavra-ing them.”

Lex rubbed a hand over his head.  “Killing in self-defense is one thing, but that would be murder.  And six bodies would be a lot to hide.”

“It’s dangerous to leave them alive.”  Draco looked tired suddenly, frown-lines etched deep around his mouth, his forehead, and the corners of his eyes.  “It’s bad enough that I brought them to your doorstep.”

“You didn’t know this would happen,” Lex said, stepping closer to him.

“I knew it was a possibility.”

“Anything is a possibility.”  Lex touched Draco’s shoulder.  “You can’t predict the future.”

Draco’s lips curved self-mockingly.  “I do suck at divination.”  He brought his hand up and brushed his knuckles against Lex’s cheek.  “I probably would’ve ignored the prediction, anyway.”

The comfortable heat that burned steadily beneath Lex’s skin in Draco’s presence sparked at Draco’s meaning.  Lex tried not to grin like a lovesick fool. 

He failed.

Draco chuckled and kissed Lex once, swiftly.  “So, what should we do with our unwanted visitors?”

“I suppose we could call the Sheriff,” Lex said, glancing over at the dead Death Eater on the lawn.  A blade of grass that hadn’t been de-animated was attacking the Death Eater, cutting deep slices into the mask.

“If I take their wands, they won’t have a way to escape, unless they have hidden portkeys,” Draco said.  “The question will be raised, however, as to why we didn’t fetch the Sheriff to begin with and about the toxic gas.”

“What about calling someone from the wizarding world, then?” Lex said.  “You have law enforcement here in the US, right?”

“Hn, yes.”  Draco walked over to the window, peered inside, and then leaned against the wall with his arms folded.  His wand poked up in the crook of his elbow.  “The problem therein lies that I’m not in this country legally.  The American wizarding government would take me into custody, as well, and ship me back across the pond.”

“Ah.”  That wasn’t something Lex wanted to happen – never, if he had his way.  “What about contacting someone in Britain?”

Draco rubbed his forehead like he had a headache.  “I could try firecalling Moody, perhaps.  If he’s still alive.  Otherwise, there’s no one else I can think of available, and willing, to take my firecall.  Nearly all the ‘good’ side think I’m a Death Eater and the Death Eaters know I’m a traitor.  My Christmas card list has become rather short.”

Three sharp cracks echoed suddenly in the air, causing both Lex and Draco to jump.  Draco moved swiftly, throwing a hand out indicating for Lex to stay put.  Adrenaline rushed again through Lex’s veins, his muscles tensing.  He prepared to be moused again.

Draco peeked around the corner of the castle, knuckles white around the grip of his wand.  He drew his head back, his features tense.  “Either we’ve just gotten help, or polyjuice is in usage and we won’t know it until we’re dead.”

“You were a spy,” Lex said.  “Don’t you have some sort of secret code word?”

Draco pursed his lips and nodded.  “I may have something that will work.  Are you prepared to rabbit if not?”

“It’s a step up from a mouse,” Lex said.

Draco looked at him funnily and then shook his head.   “Right.  Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be.”

Draco took a deep breath, gripped his wand tighter, and called out.  “Mad-Eye Moody, this is Draco Malfoy.  Verify your identity.  Name the day or place that I first had contact with you, when I turned robes.”

“December twenty-third at Madam Malkin’s, as you were doing some dandified fittings,” someone, Moody presumably – hopefully – called back.  “You were wearing frilly knickers that day and you screamed like a chit when I apparated into your dressing room!”

Draco relaxed visibly.  “It’s the real Moody.”  He turned his head and half-scowled as he called in return.  “Though, he needn’t have added that extra information!”  He returned his gaze to Lex and stuck his nose in the air.  “And I only wear frilly knickers on Sundays.”

Mad-Eye Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Elphias Doge had come to rescue Draco from the Death Eaters.  They were dressed in muggle clothing and Doge kept eyeing Draco warily.  Standing beside the castle outside, Draco briefed them on what he knew, silently thankful for their appearance.  He had feared he wouldn’t be able to keep Lex safe, even if they changed their names and moved elsewhere.

“There’s one here and five incapacitated inside,” Draco said, gesturing towards the window of the castle.  “We’re not certain if there are any others lurking about.”

“Doge and I will check it out,” Shacklebolt said.

“You’ll need a breathing charm of sorts,” Draco told him.  “There’s toxic gas in the room with the Death Eaters.  The canister is on the floor.  Turn the knob at the top to shut the valve and disperse the gas from the air, and you should be all right.”

“What about my staff?” Lex said quietly.

Draco turned to him.  “There are four, right?”  Lex nodded.  Draco looked over at Shacklebolt again.  “There should be four muggles inside, too.  Hopefully, still alive and unharmed.”

Shacklebolt acknowledged the information and he and Doge headed towards the front doors of the castle.

Moody finished checking the dead Death Eater on the lawn, confiscated the Death Eater’s wand, and straightened with audible creaking and cracking.  Lex shifted closer to Draco.  Draco hid his knowing smirk.  Moody was rather a horrifying sight, with his rolling false eye, missing chunk of nose, multiple scars, and wooden leg.  The animated blade of grass attacked the wood and Moody stomped it dead with the blunt tip of his fake leg.

“I’m surprised to see you here,” Draco said, briefly touching Lex’s back in reassurance.

“Unlike the Death Eaters, our side tends not to leave allies hanging in the wind,” Moody said with a grunt.

“How did you know to come?”

“Mundungus Fletcher.”  Moody spat on the ground.  “Dung turned traitor and gave up your location yesterday.  Luckily, we have other spies in the Death Eater ranks.”

“Finding me here from Metropolis obviously wasn’t too difficult,” Draco said, glancing at the unmasked Death Eater on the ground.  Draco didn’t recognize him.

“You failed to cover your tracks,” Moody chastised.  “We fixed that before following.”

“So, it’s safe to remain in Smallville?”

Moody barked in laugher.  “You’ll never be safe until the war is over, unless you’re dead.”

Draco’s focus remained on the fallen Death Eater, as an idea came to him.  “What if I were dead?”

Moody’s magic eye followed Draco’s gaze while still staring at Draco with the other one.  He harrumphed, catching on without Draco explaining.  “It could work.”

“Changing his hair wouldn’t be proof enough.”

“What are you thinking?” Lex asked.

“That there’s really only one way they’ll leave us alone.”  Draco looked at Moody, specifically his roving eye.  “Can you make a false eye?”

“Malfoy gray in colour, eh?”  Moody chuckled hoarsely.  “Clever, boy.”

As Moody plucked a blade of browning grass, Draco moved over to the Death Eater and pushed off his robe hood.  Draco tugged a few strands of his own hair free, laid the strands on the Death Eater’s forehead near his hairline, and replicated the colour.  Draco had experience with hair colouring, since his own bright hair needed to be concealed on occasion for meeting with Moody.  With a patterned twist of his wand and a spoken spell word, the Death Eater’s hair bled from dull brown to vivid white-blonde.

He glanced up to see Lex watching him.  “Don’t look,” he warned.

“Why?” Lex said.

“I’m going to put his eye out,” Draco told him.  He saw Lex pale somewhat, but he didn’t turn away.  Draco knew better than to tell him again, since Lex had a bullish stubborn streak.  He pried apart the Death Eater’s eyelids and poked the tip of his wand into the dead iris.  Lacerius.”

The spell sliced through the eye like an invisible sharp blade.  Draco pulled back his wand, dug his thumb into the socket, and flicked the eyeball free.  It came out in bits, rather disgustingly, but it wasn’t something Draco hadn’t done before as a Death Eater – although, they had still been alive. 

Draco held a hand out to Moody and was given the false eye.  Lex appeared as though he was going to hurl, but still hadn’t turned away.  A hint of pride tickled Draco for Lex’s refusal to do so. 

Draco pushed it into the Death Eater’s eye-socket and adjusted it until he was satisfied.  He cast a quick setting spell, affixing it in place, and then wiped his hands on the Death Eater’s robe.  “That should do it.  Moody, if you’ll dispel the stench while I burn him.”

“Ready when you are,” Moody said, wand in hand.

Draco looked over at Lex.  “This won’t be pretty, love.  Why don’t you check on the others through the window?”

Lex didn’t show his relief at the excuse, but Draco could see it anyway.

When Lex had walked off, Draco nodded at Moody.  Incendio.”

Flesh bubbled when it burned, and the flames melting the Death Eater’s face threw Draco back to when he’d first met Lex.  If things had gone differently, Lex could have been the one destroyed by the fire Draco had caused with the tip of his wand at the pub.  He shivered, and not from the cold November air.

“I must say, I was surprised to find you in the muggle world, Malfoy,” Moody said, casting repeated odor-masking spells.  “I had bet on you lasting only a week before running back to the wizarding world.”

“I had doubts that I’d be safe in the wizarding world, even here in America,” Draco said.  “Besides, my intended is muggle and I wanted to involve him as little as possible in the war.”  He kicked the Death Eater’s side.  “Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be.”

“That bloke’s your intended, then?”  Moody indicated with a tip of his head towards Lex. 


“Never thought a Malfoy would hook up with a muggle.”

“Neither did I.”  Draco looked over at Lex.  Lex had left the window to stand at the corner of the castle.  He leaned casually against the stone wall, his back to Draco and Moody, surveying the front yard.  Draco drank in the strong lines of Lex’s back and shoulders, and the perfect shape of his bald head.  “We’re just… right, together, somehow.  My magic seems to hum when he’s around.”

“’S’called ‘heart magic’ and it’s the basis for all that soul mate nonsense you young people spout.”  Moody snorted in derision.  “It’s not anything, really.  A wizard’s or witch’s magic does that when they find someone magically compatible to them.  It why some couples can use each other’s wands and it dampens marking spells cast on them.  Don’t hear of it happening very often between a wizard and a pure muggle, so your bloke most likely has a bit of untapped magic in him.”

“It’s not a spell or compulsion?”

“No.  It’s more like a rash you can scratch or ignore.”

“Pleasant,” Draco said dryly, as he extinguished the fire.  The majority of the Death Eater’s face, neck, and a portion of his chest had burned into an unrecognizable, blackened mass.  “Do you think that will do?”

Moody crouched and half-closed the charred eyelids over the false eye, with the gray iris visible.  “It should pass a cursory examination.”

“I’ll leave the rest to you, then.”

Moody nodded and straightened.  “We’ll be going as soon as Kingsley and Elphias ensure there aren’t any other Death Eaters about.  Our presence is needed back home.”

Draco shook his head forlornly.  “Is the war ever going to end?”

“One can only hope, boy,” Moody said.  “One can only hope.”

Draco gave him a tight nod, cast a freshening charm over himself, and headed over to Lex.  Lex jumped slightly when Draco slid his arms around Lex’s waist from behind.  “All done?” Lex said.

“Yes.  Moody and the others will pack up the Death Eaters and ship them back to Britain.  A couple will be allowed to escape with ‘my’ body and the hunt for me should be called off,” Draco said, resting his chin on Lex’s shoulder.  He’d have to remember to quill a letter to the guardians of his estate prior to Moody leaving, instructing them not to divvy up his assets between them as previously told to do by his death.  The browning grass of the front lawn stretched out before them, a sign of winter to come.  “It might be wise if we go on holiday, though, just in case.”


“Hn, a trial honeymoon, perhaps, for the winter.”  Draco nosed Lex’s ear.  “Somewhere anonymous and warm, but not too sunny.  I burn easily.”

“That sounds nice.”  Lex relaxed back in his embrace.  “But I have a plant to run.”

“You have minions.  Make them take care of things while you’re gone.”

“My dad won’t like it.”

“I don’t give a fig what that crass old cozzer thinks.  It’s not him I’m shagging.”

Lex chuckled.  “True.”

“I’ll have Moody gull me money,” Draco cajoled.  “I’ll treat you to a holiday fit for a king and shower you with gifts and pleasure.”

“I don’t need any gifts.”  Lex turned his head, glancing back at Draco.  “But I won’t say no to the pleasure part.”

Draco laughed softly and kissed Lex’s cheek.  “I do so love you.”

Lex lit up from the inside, with a slow, beautiful smile.  “I love you, too.”

Draco’s heart sang, and he drew Lex around, lowered his head, and captured Lex’s lips in a passionate kiss.  Lex embraced him in return, speaking volumes with his mouth without saying a word.  The tingle hummed beneath Draco’s skin, flowing through him, making him feel alive.  And he knew it wasn’t caused by heart magic, like Moody said.

It was Lex.


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