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24 May 2006 @ 10:48 pm
Fic: Dancing With Ben Hall  
Title: Dancing With Ben Hall
Rating: R
Summary: For Harry, fighting Dark Lords is a job that goes hand in hand with occupational hazards. Such as, for example, accidentally breaking through to another dimension where Lucius Malfoy is the King of England.
Warnings: AU (duh)
A/N: This chapter is all for cutecoati on the fantabulous event of her birthday! I hope you had an excellent one, dearheart.

I: A Minor Miscalculation
II: A Proposal Of Marriage

III: A Slip Of The Sword

One of the servants had left Draco’s fencing gear in his dressing room. Part of it comprised a brown-paper-wrapped package. Draco knew at once what it was -- his new foil. The foil that he had commissioned with all his father’s love for frippery, pared down to something sleek and oblique and tapering.

Draco tested the weight of the foil and made a few experimental stabs, but his heart wasn’t in it. His heart was far more concerned with things with which it had no right to be concerned. Like the smell of honey and lemon in tea, or the way leather patches folded over the crease of a tweed-swathed elbow. Draco’s heart was very keen for Draco to subjugate all the sense that it had taken him nearly two decades to appropriate for the sake of small laughing wrinkles at the corners of brown eyes.

And Draco liked to think that Lucius was the stupid one.

With a sound that was half an angry sigh and half a repressed moan, Draco shrugged out of his jacket and made a spirited attempt to wrestle it back on to the hanger. This effort was not due to his philanthropic concern about saving servants from overwork. After all, picking up after royalty was what they were invented to do. However, Draco severely disliked the thought that illiterate girls in mob-caps could do something that he couldn’t. Fortunately the story about Draco and the Day of the Ironing had never reached Lucius’ royal ears.

Feeling disconsolate, Draco tucked the hilt of his foil under his arm and wandered into his sitting room. It was a well-appointed chamber. In Diagon Palace, gilt was something that could not be avoided save if one walked about with one’s eyes closed, but Draco had done his best to keep it to a bare minimum. The Prince Regent before Draco -- Lucius himself -- had been very fond of the combination of pink and gold wallpaper and deep mauve carpets, but a little magic had soon put that to rights.

Magic was yet another thing of which Lucius disapproved. This was far from being an original thought on his part. The current distaste for all things magical -- given that they were, in public opinion, both common and vulgar -- had gone from strength to strength in the last century or two. The fact that the small number of practitioners were mostly crackpots, quacks and social climbers did nothing to allay magic’s poor reputation. It was one of the main reasons that Draco had first taken it up. It didn’t take long for a genuine fascination to take hold, somewhat to his surprise. The study of magic was one of the few, aside from fencing, that Draco had not thrown up after a few months. And continuing with fencing was only in deference to the memory of Remus’ tutelage.

Even Lucius might have found reason to be suspicious at the vast changes that Draco had wreaked upon his quarters. Happily, the strategically placed royal family portait in the sitting room served to make Lucius uncomfortable whenever he visited, and his stays were invariably on the short side.

Usually the smooth white walls with the small design of ivy calmed Draco’s mind, filling him with an gratuitous sense of satisfaction. Today -- before he could even appreciate the little curl on the stems of the leaves -- his attention was rudely distracted by something so utterly incongruous that Draco had to blink several times before he could believe what his brain was insisting was true.

There was a boy curled up on the floor. For all intents and purposes, he seemed fast asleep. A shock of jet-black hair tumbled over his forehead. He was breathing deeply, his thumb inching closer to his mouth with each deep breath. And he was almost entirely naked.

Caught between fear and curiosity, Draco ventured closer. As a precaution, he held his foil at the ready. It was not a weapon designed to kill, but he reckoned that he could make the boy severely regret being alive if he did happen to pose a threat.

Draco had never before seen such garments as this boy was wearing. A pair of thick, short stockings encased his feet, and they were covered in odd bobbles. The article of clothing preserving his modesty -- barely -- was a shade of washed-out grey that would have made Lucius turn up his eyes in abject horror. Draco guessed it to be a very small set of drawers, but he couldn’t see fastenings anywhere.

In the space of a soft snore, the boy rolled over, his limbs gently splaying out. The cloth between his legs bulged in a way that was somehow more provocative than all the colour plates of luscious nudes that Draco had pored over as a seven-year-old. A tide of prickles broke over Draco’s skin, reaching out tingling fingers to deeper, hotter parts of him.

There were no fastenings on the front of the boy’s drawers, either.

Draco wondered if he could blame Cornelius for this.

Just as Draco managed to summon up the righteous anger and betrayal that was the only proper response to his body’s ridiculous reaction, the boy’s eyes drifted open. With the slowness of continental drift and migratory air patterns, his gaze travelled around the room. They opened wider and wider as they did so, and Draco held himself back from peering forwards to see what colour they were. As if it mattered.

They both chose the same moment to speak.

“Where am I?” asked the boy, propping himself up on his elbows.

“Who are you?” asked Draco, politely averting his eyes from the shift of muscles in the boy’s torso.

“What d’you mean, who’m I?” The boy sounded angry, and not at all sensible of his gross breach of etiquette. While Draco was of the opinion that deference towards the aristocracy was ridiculous in general terms, in his own particular case he thought it quite justified. The boy’s unreserved lack of it irritated him. “Don’t you know?”

“Of course I don’t,” said Draco. He regarded the boy with distaste and mounting crossness, a nice counterpoint to the pounding of his heart. “You fancy I know every servant by name? Are you lost? And where are your clothes?”

“My what?” The boy looked down at himself. This brought out latent hollows in his chest, and Draco had to grip the hilt of his foil very hard. “Oh, Christ.”

“I hardly think that He in on hand to supply recaltricant skivvies with their missing uniforms.” The confused, sweet tightening in his belly made Draco snappish. He was also starting to genuinely wonder if the boy had a screw loose. Perhaps he was a serial murderer, like the infamous Michael ‘The Kid’ Jackson. Where was a silly housemaid with a very heavy coal scuttle when Draco needed one?

“I’m not a bloody servant. Or a skivvy, whatever that is.” The boy looked up at Draco with narrowed eyes. “Who they hell do you think you are, Malfoy? Prancing around as if you were the King of England. Bloody hell. I’m going to kill Hermione when I find her.”

“How dare you address me with so little respect!” yelled Draco, realising too late that he was displaying an equal lack of decorum. “What distant planet did you fall from? Pluto? Are you perhaps making a social call from the Milky Way? Seeing as how everyone in the kingdom knows that I’m not going to rule until my father dies and I inherit the throne.”

“The throne of what?” The boy snorted through his nose.

England, of course, you blithering mooncalf.” Draco sneered at the boy, who was looking inordinately amused. “Are you a wandering village idiot? If so, you can wander right back out again. I shall be merciful, and not have you flogged for breaking into the Prince Regent’s apartments and gravely insulting his person.”

“Prince Regent?” The boy’s forehead furrowed, what little Draco could see of it under the messy curls.

“Oh, good Lord.” Draco pressed his forehead. “I see we’re going to have to start from the beginning. We are in England. The sky is blue. It is the twentieth of December in the year of our Lord one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine. The King of Scotland is Albus of House Dumbledore, the spiritual leader of Wales is his Grace Severus Snape, and -- let’s see if this rings any bells, shall we? -- my father, Lucius of the Exalted House Malfoy, is King of England.”

The boy was wearing a very queer expression. “Right. Now pull the other one, it’s got bells on. Next you’ll be telling me that Sirius Black is the Lord High Ruler of France.”

“Sirius Black?” Draco tapped his lip. “Of the Noble House of Black, of course. One of my mother’s innumerable relatives. No, he’s not Lord High Ruler of France. For one thing they call their king the Bonaparte, for some delightfully esoteric reason. You must be quite insane. Lord Black has a title and estate of his own -- not to mention that the French would never stand for having an English ruler. Inbreeding and incest are the orders of the day en France -- or so the war propaganda would have you believe. My father is not what you’d call ‘subtle.’”

“Very funny, Malfoy.” The boy’s face had gone hard and shiny, like polished wood. “Ha, ha, I’m laughing a lot. Now give it up. Did Voldemort capture me or something? Are the Death Eaters keeping me prisoner?”

“I honestly can’t imagine why they would.” Draco leaned on his foil. “Bunch of old fogies swilling port and smoking cigars in their club and plotting to get their sons into Parliament. Not really the sort to take hostages, unless you count their wives.”

“Right.” The boy closed his eyes and smiled beatifically. “I get it. I’m dreaming. So if I go back to sleep, I’ll wake up and be back home.”

After a few silent minutes had passed, Draco cleared his throat. “So, how is that working out for you?”

“Oh, no,” the boy whimpered. “I’m still here. Wherever here is. It must have been that last curse he threw at me. I can’t believe this.”

“Then may I suggest that you try, and promptly? I have been extremely patient, but I’m really quite agog to find out why you had the temerity to turn up almost naked in my sitting room. I’m not entirely certain of the legislation, but it could in fact be a hanging offence.”

“Hang on, let me ask some questions. What’s your name?”

“Draco, Prince Regent, first in line to the throne of England,” recited Draco in a bored voice.

“You’re sure it’s Draco?”

“Well, yes. I would have much preferred a proper royal name, like Henry, or William, but Mother would insist.”

“Well,” said the boy, “fuck.”

“Excuse me?” Draco raised his eyebrows. “It’s not that bad. There was a King Arseunder once, you know. It’s the only name anyone remembers from history lessons.”

“No, it’s just that … fuck.” The boy blew his fringe out of his face. “That’s the only word that could possibly describe what I’m feeling right now. Fuck, fuck, and fuck. Fuckity fuck.”

“Fuck,” said Draco, experimentally. “I can’t say that I feel it expresses much, but then again I am not a peasant.”

“Neither am I,” snapped the boy. “I suppose it doesn’t matter what reality we’re in, you’re still an enormous turd.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“Aside from the obvious?”

“May I remind you of how I could have you hanged?” Draco prodded the boy in the chest with his foil, which made him drop to his elbows again with some haste. Rather enamoured of the power, Draco dragged the tip of the foil up to the boy’s chin, and used it to prod his chin from side to side so that he could study the boy’s face from each angle.

“I suppose you have a name?” asked Draco. The foil lazily tripped over the boy’s Adam’s apple and moved up to caress the skin under his ear. It rather entertained Draco, the way the boy was doing his solemn best not to swallow.

The effects it was having on Draco were best left undefined.

“Harry,” said the boy. “Harry Potter.” He pushed his hair out of his forehead with one hand. All his weight fell to one elbow, and Draco’s eyes slid down the severe lines of his hips with all the helplessness of terminal gravity. “Do you recognise this?”

With an effort, Draco disengaged his eyes from the dark curl peeping out of the boy’s drawers and turned them to his forehead. He could see long spindly fingers, chewed fingernails, spirals of hair slaloming in all directions, and a thin pink scar bisecting his forehead.

“What, you were dropped on your head as a child?” Draco nodded. “It explains much.”

The boy’s voice was full of wonder. “You really don’t know, do you?”

“Know what? That you’re a fool? My apologies, but that was obvious from the outset.” Feeling that the boy -- Harry -- had become distracted, Draco trailed the foil down his chest again. He was hoping to hook that stray curl on the tip. Because it would embarrass the other boy. Draco had no other reason for doing it, at all.

Harry laughed. “I’d rather be a fool than a hero. So you’re the King here?”

“No. You truly are dense, are you not? I am the Prince Regent. My father is the King.”

“Whatever.” Harry watched the foil, sucking in his stomach as it passed. Losing heart now that Harry was paying attention, Draco pulled it away.

“And you? What is ‘here’ for you? Are you from Ireland, perhaps? They don’t tend to keep up with foreign affairs. It would quite harsh their mellow.”

“Here is … I have no idea.” Harry frowned. “Oh, no. Oh, no, no. Where’s my wand?”

“I should think it was very obvious where that is,” said Draco tartly. His annoyance boosted his courage, and he brushed the swelling in Harry’s drawers with the tip of his foil. And smirked.

Harry let out an outraged gasp. “Not that! My magic wand!”

“Yes, I’m sure you think it’s magic,” sympathised Draco. “Makes all the girls scream too, doesn’t it?”

Harry scowled at him. “Are you telling me that there’s no magic in this poxy place?”

“I’m growing tired of your insults,” hissed Draco. He waved his hand. There was a faint smell of burning. Draco surveyed the results of his handiwork with undisguised satisfaction. “There’s magic for you, you --” he struggled to think of a suitable epithet, and resorted to something he’d overheard the butler use on an under-footman “-- twerp.”

Harry followed Draco’s gaze down to his own chest and yelped. “What have you done to me?”

“Magic.” Draco made an innocent moue with his mouth.

When Harry spoke, it was in little volleys of spit through clenched teeth. “You. Branded. Me.”


“With a dragon.”

“This is also true.”

“With a fucking heart on its arse.”

“You are marvellously devoted to that word.”

“Does it come off?”

“It does if I decide it does.” Draco blew on his fingernails. “Say, for example, if you were my father, the small replica of that very dragon that you have on your left buttock cheek and have not, as yet, discovered, would remain there forever.”

Harry looked at Draco with something that came close to grudging admiration. “And if I were me, what would I have to do?”

“I’m sure I’ll think of something wildly suitable,” drawled Draco. He thought the dragon on Harry’s chest was very fetching, if only because it gave Draco a legitimate excuse to stare at Harry’s rose-pink nipples and the downy hair between them.

That he wanted to look at these things did not make him feel all that well disposed towards Harry, on the other hand.

“You have yet to explain how you got here, or why you are in that outlandish attire,” added Draco.

“What, jocks and socks?” Harry laughed. “Don’t tell me you don’t have those in this world, either.”

Draco raised his eyebrows.

“Oh, God. You don’t.” Harry’s voice was small. He flumped back on the floor and covered his face with his hands. His next words were muffled by a cage of fingers. “What am I going to do?”

Draco sucked his lower lip in between his teeth. Quite aside from the fact that only a madman would do what Harry had just done, and Harry was only moderately insane if Draco was any judge, there was something about Harry’s entire mien that begged to be believed. He was so completely transparent, right down to his clothing -- not that Draco was observing that very closely or anything. Harry didn’t make much of a revolutionary, either. They liked to wear very loud stripes and as many feathers as the average bantam could provide, to announce their status as such.

That left Draco in something of a quandary. If Harry was from another world or planet or whatever it was that he was suggesting, then what was Draco to do?

“Oh, stop that melodramatic moaning,” he said irritably, when Harry showed no signs of pulling himself together. “This situation is highly irregular, but it’s nothing that can’t be mastered with a little British steel.” He prodded Harry’s bony knee with his foil to emphasise the point. “No matter where you are, you need food and clothing. That I can provide.”

“Really?” Harry’s hands slid down his face, revealing two wary eyes. Two wary bright green eyes, which Draco hadn’t noticed in the least. “Why would you do that for me?”

“Call it a random burst of benevolence.” Draco buffed his knuckles on his shirt. “Besides which, my valet left my service last week to get married to an under house-maid. Vexed my father greatly, given that she was Wednesday on his rogering rota. You can fill in as my man for time being, until I find someone qualified and you get your bearings, or whatever it is you plan to do now that you’ve infiltrated the royal headquarters.”

Harry clambered to his feet. “Um, thanks.”

Draco raised his eyebrows. “You should bow. It’s expected.”

“Oh, right.” Harry made a face, and jerked forward a little. Draco got a momentary view of the crown of the bird’s nest that was masquerading as Harry’s hair. “This feels stupid,” complained Harry.

“I’d advise you to get used to it. You will be doing it a lot, unless you have plans for a quick alliance with a female member of the nobility.” Draco gestured at one of the five doors leading out of the sitting room. “That way lies my wardrobe. Pick something to wear. Sober colours, and nothing that looks expensive or you will be accused of stealing and horse-whipped. I’ll arrange proper livery for you later. You’re dismissed, for now.”

“I can’t believe I’m actually working for a Malfoy.” Harry curled his lip.

“Are there Malfoys where you come from?”

“Better than that. There’s a Draco Malfoy too, and we’re best enemies.” Harry scrunched back his hair, a challenging look on his face.

“I can’t imagine why. You seem to be a boy of endless charms.” Draco brushed his own hair back, reflecting that Harry was probably the only other person currently at court to sport short hair. He wondered how he’d go about explaining Harry’s hair to Lucius. He could blame it on a recent bout of leprosy, perhaps.

“Yeah, well. You’re a bit different, here.” Harry paused. “Still a git, though.”

“I have no idea what that is and I don’t care to find out,” Draco informed him. “Obviously your home is a place devoid of even the most basic courtesy. When I say ‘you are dismissed,’ you are meant to go away.”

“Oh.” Harry considered this. “Where?”

Draco bared his teeth. “How should I know? The servants’ quarters. The kitchen. A dung heap. Whatever appeals to you the most.”

“’kay,” said Harry, sounding far from properly daunted. He stopped with his hand on the doorknob of the wardrobe. “Speaking of my world … are there any other Potters here?”

Draco frowned. The boy had said he was a Potter, but the connexion hadn’t had time to register with Draco until now. “Yes,” he said, stiffly. “There is a James Potter, Earl of Godric’s Hollow. Last of his line, it would appear. He is a close … companion of Lord Black.”

“What, Sirius?” Harry’s eyes had grown as round as mossy marbles.

“Do not refer to your superiors so familiarly,” snapped Draco. “Just because I realise that the threat of horse-whipping is not ubiquitous in your world doesn’t mean that others will be so lenient.”

Harry nodded, but he looked as if he hadn’t heard a word Draco had said. He let out a deep, shuddering breath that made shadows jump across his skin, and reminded Draco of a pressing need to be elsewhere.

“You’re free until six o’clock,” announced Draco. “Attend me here at that time.” He didn’t wait for Harry’s casual reply.

He left the smell of the sea behind with Harry.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Eddie Izzard
Rose: Cheeringfourth_rose on May 24th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC)
YAY, YOU'RE CONTINUING THIS!! And here I was offering bribes before checking my flist ;)

*rushes off to read*
Rose: Harry flirtingfourth_rose on May 24th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
Have read it, and am dead from squee. The scene between Harry and Draco is utterly brilliant, and I can't begin to imagine the possibilities that the scenario of Harry as Draco's valet offers ;)

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: You livescoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC)
Ha! Glad you enjoyed it. And hopefully I shall be able to come up with something. Er.

LOVE the icon.
Rose: Harry flirtingfourth_rose on May 25th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
Pretty, isn't it? I use it in rememberance of the artist formerly known as flimpy... she's missed :(
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Still the prettiestscoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)
You can say that again! Whatever happened to her? -- or is that one of those big fandom secrets that we're just not worthy to know?
Rosefourth_rose on May 25th, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC)
I've read somewhere that someone from RL found her work, and she therefore deleted her LJ and pulled all her artwork off the net. I don't know if it's true, but it seems she's gone for good :(((
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Nitrous oxidescoradh on May 25th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC)
But didn't that happen, like, a bazillion times before? And she always just came back with a new name. Pulling the artwork off was way harsh.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Traffic jamscoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
Bribes never go out of fashion. Wise move. ♥
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Not impressedscoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
Yes -- can you believe, I never realised I'd never replied to those? I just looked at the comments and assumed that I had, and I was linking back when I realised my terrible, terrible mistake.

Ah yes, the not-so-subtle J/S undertones. Muah.
some Great Lexicographer descending from the skiesroastchicken on May 24th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
I love you. That's all I can say. There's nothing I could think that could possibly express the adoration I have for your writing and your imagination and having Draco use his foil to caress Harry and the tattoo on Lucius's bum except to say: I love you. And I love this fic so very, very much.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Matildascoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
Well. I would be nowhere, for all the bum-tattoos in the world, if it weren't for people liking those same bum-tattoos. Your adoration is appreciated -- a lot. ♥
kabeyk on May 25th, 2006 02:29 am (UTC)
Oh my god was I pleased to find this on my flist. I love curly Harry, and the whole Harry and Draco bit was sexy as hell, mmm. Also, Sirius/James!

You have really cheered me up this morning, thank you.x

ps. write more!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Rolfscoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
Curly Harry. That so works, man.

I'm glad! That makes me feel better now, given that I've been typing notes on the reproductive system all day and my hands have pretty much frozen into claws.

ps ps. ... asfkjfls
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Recyclingscoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks -- I'm glad you liked it! Plus, beaut J/S icon there. ♥
cutecoati: Coati9cutecoati on May 25th, 2006 10:25 am (UTC)

*jumps up and down*

For me! Thank you, thank you, darling! *snuggles you*

This is so utterly brilliant that words fail me. It's as AU as can be, and yet all of them are so incredibly IC... the story is intriguing and funny... and I can't wait to read about Harry's adventures as Draco's valet. Oh, the possibilities... ;DDD
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Her hairscoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
I'm extra-specially pleased that you liked it. Triple happy birthday wishes pour vous!
karadin on May 25th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
This is wonderful, hilarious! Thank you for making my day and posting more.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Shrapnelscoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
Any time! Glad you liked it.
Insufferable, man.: moody?cynicalpirate on May 25th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC)

Oh, and look at the comment I left in the last chapter for a surprise.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Pandas can't talk!scoradh on May 25th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm definitely not posting any more until ... NOVEMBER. HUH. Also, tsk.

I saw it!! I ♥ suprises like that! A+.
BOFbest_of_five on May 26th, 2006 07:01 am (UTC)
ohhhh but this fic just makes me feel all tingly! :)

“I should think it was very obvious where that is,” said Draco tartly. and “Yes, I’m sure you think it’s magic,” sympathised Draco.

Draco should win awards for saying stuff like that. Or you know, you should, for writing those lines out for him in the first place :D
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Lesbian weddingscoradh on May 26th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say no to an award. Particularly if it was shiny. ;)
murklinsmurklins on May 27th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
Harry's on the scene! Hilarious and awesome. I don't think anyone's ever tried to blame that hair on leprosy before. :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: I aen't dedscoradh on May 27th, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
Thanks! Probably not -- but it's as valid a reason as any, right?
Remus Buttplug Face: djinniyah dracolazy_daze on May 30th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
OMFG. This whole fic fills me with ridiculous gleeee. Your crack is beautiful. *flails with love* :DDD
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Sugarscoradh on May 30th, 2006 12:09 pm (UTC)
Thankee! Oh, and your icon so matches the story. Nose-picking (?) and all.
llonnylloneke on June 17th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
I just now read this, like, a month after you wrote it. I'm glad you are still continuing it.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Grand jetescoradh on June 17th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it! It's coming on in bits and blobs.