Draco wouldn’t consider himself a hateful person. He said his prayers daily, lacked in enemies, and couldn’t honestly say that he wished death upon a man. Blood thirst and corporal punishment were subjects he tended to shy away from, to the commodore’s displeasure and his mother’s delight.
Looking upon the gallows, from his position in the shade beside his father, he couldn’t understand why men and women made it a habit to observe such horrific happenings. Watching one hang by his neck in such a lovely square sickened Draco. Despite the crimes committed, death was an intimate affair and it felt wrong to deliver it before a crowd in such a humiliating position, even if the miscreant didn’t grant that choice to another.
“Ronald Weasley, be it known that you have for your willful commission of crimes against the crown. Said crimes being numerous in quantity and containing acts of or relating to piracy…”
Tuning out the man reading off of a scroll, Draco’s eyes locked onto the man being led up to the gallows. His hair was limp, hanging down to his shoulders, and a fiery red almost as vibrant as the uniforms some of the soldiers wore. Despite the intimidating drumroll and the stating of his crimes, his blue eyes met those of anyone who dared hold his gaze. Draco felt his stomach flop and his chest tighten when they locked with his gray eyes and after only a moment, he glanced down at his hands.
“… for conspiring with known enemy to the crown, convict, and pirate, Harry James Potter…”
Draco’s eyes widened and he looked up at the red-haired man again. He was part of Captain Harry Potter’s crew? His mouth went dry and he gulped—this man, Ronald Weasley, somehow seemed much more dangerous than he had before.
He chanced a look at his mother and father and wondered how they could look on with such stony expressions on their faces. Draco knew that his father had to be an expert at controlling his emotions—it was an important art one must master before even considering breaching the world of a politician—but it still unnerved him.
“And for these crimes you have been sentenced to be, on this day, hung by the neck until dead.” The man rolled up the scroll and tentatively met the eyes of the pirate. “May God have mercy on your soul.”
As a soldier stepped forward to secure the rope around the pirate’s neck, Draco could hear his pulse thrumming in his ears. He’d never watched a man die before—he’d only attended this hanging because his father had insisted he start partaking in public events, as Draco would most likely secure the position as governor once his father stepped down. It hadn’t fully occurred to him until that moment that he’d actually witness a man’s life torn from him.
“May God have mercy on all our souls,” he breathed, his words audible to only himself.
Once the rope was snug around the pirate’s neck, the soldier stepped back and nodded to the executioner. He stepped forward, toward the lever that would unhinge the trapdoor-like floor beneath the pirate. Draco took a deep breath and prepared himself, pushing his emotions away in an effort to remain indifferent.
Right as the executioner reached for the lever, a thud sounded and Draco wondered if the lever had been pulled. He frowned—the pirate was still standing at the gallows. Confusion flooded him as a disheveled soldier stumbled into the courtyard, panting and mumbling hysterically.
“What is the meaning of this?” Commodore Snape demanded sternly, striding toward the broken man.
“P-pirates,” he stuttered. “They’re in the village. Headed this way.”
Commodore Snape’s nostrils flared and his eyes narrowed. Draco turned to his father, ignoring the commodore’s response. The only indication that Lucius Malfoy was even remotely unsettled by the soldier’s words was his white-knuckle grip on his cane. Narcissa took her husband’s arm and looked on with wide eyes, alternating between the gallows, the commodore, and Draco.
“Governor, if you’ll follow me, we’ll get you and yours to safety.”
Lucius hurried after the commodore, glancing back frequently to make sure that Narcissa and Draco were following. Draco’s mother had his hand in a death grip and she would pull him closer every time they’d hear the shattering of glass or a scream. The commodore led them through back roads, avoiding the main streets in the village. Draco could hear the commotion and the sound of swords clashing, could hear the sound of children wailing and men and women crying out. Despite his lack of military experience, he wanted nothing more in that moment than to go and help. He wanted to do something, anything, to ease the shrieks and gasps even a little bit, but his parents and the commodore would never hear of it.
The wooden cottages that had previously been surrounded by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the scent of pastries and flowers, and the clang of metal were now being set ablaze and ransacked. The cobblestone streets that Draco had once strolled down were littered with unmoving bodies and watered with blood, mud, and rain. The people he’d once chatted with or delivered business to were now stumbling through the streets, screaming for their loved ones, for mercy, or lay unfound and forgotten beneath rubble.
“Commodore, is there not something we can do for these people?” Draco demanded, grabbing his mother’s arm as she nearly tripped over a wooden board.
“My men are already doing all they can to defend Port Royal, Draco. Forgive me for being blunt, but any attempt of yours to aid them would merely be a hindrance.”
Draco scowled, but hurried after the commodore and his father, if only to ensure that his mother was brought to safety. It was becoming increasingly more difficult for her to maneuver the streets in her large skirt and tight corset. Lucius glanced back and motioned to Draco to hurry, hooking his arm underneath his wife’s arms and practically carrying her up the pathway to the manor.
The doors flew open and Draco and his parents were promptly rushed inside. There were soldiers hurrying from room to room, locking and securing all the windows and doors.
“Draco, son, go up to your room,” Lucius ordered, letting Narcissa be whisked off by some nursemaids.
“Father, I can help! If I’m to truly become governor-”
“Draco, please.” His father’s eyes softened slightly and Draco could see the utter terror and desperation in the gray irises that mirrored his. His blood went cold seeing his father so vulnerable.
Despite the fact that every fiber of his being was shouting at him to rush out the doors and go to assist the soldiers and the villagers, he gave his father a curt nod and ascended the grand staircase to his quarters. A young soldier followed him up and as soon as Draco entered his room, the man shot him an apologetic look.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Malfoy, but I’m only following orders. It’s for your own safety.” Confusion flit across Draco’s face, disappearing as soon as it had appeared once the soldier shut the door behind Draco and locked it shut from the outside.
Anger reigned as Draco lunged for the door, rattling the knob and pounding against the polished wood.
“Release me this instant! I’ll not be made a prisoner in my own house!” Draco slammed his fists against the wood over and over again, desperate to be let out, but despite the footsteps echoing outside, no one answered his pleas.
With a low growl, he slammed the palm of his hand against the door one last time before stepping back and taking deep breaths to calm himself. There must be a way out of this god forsaken room, he assured himself, rolling his shoulders back and turning to look around his chambers.
“Aha,” he murmured, grinning.
He strode toward the French doors that led to his balcony. It overlooked the ocean and had lush greenery directly below. Draco could see fires blazing in the village and he steeled himself, gathering his courage. What kind of man would he be if he hid away in his bedroom like a coward? What kind of man would the citizens of Port Royal think him?
Pushing any inklings of doubt from his mind, Draco gripped the balustrade and swung his leg over the edge. Gulping, he glanced down at the ground beneath him. The fall would most certainly ruin his new coat and breeches. His mother would have his throat if she knew he was even contemplating wrecking the set she’d had imported from Paris.
With a small grumble, Draco let one hand go to rub his throbbing temple. He had to focus. Exhaling sharply, he furrowed his brows and reminded himself once again that every moment he wasted thinking of fashion there were pirates running loose and people being slaughtered. That sobered him immediately and he glanced down at the ground once more.
The sound of a canon going off caused him to yelp and jump, which, in turn, resulted in Draco losing his balance and slipping off the balustrade. His stomach lurched and he cried out, his hands grabbing at thin air. He managed to clutch a tree branch, but it snapped in his hand and did nothing to slow his fall. Somewhere between the blink of an eye and eternity, his back finally collided with the harsh earth. Pressure spread throughout his body and he swore he’d never felt such pain before.
“Oh, Christ,” he mumbled, slowly forcing himself into a sitting position.
Draco tentatively arched his back and hissed as the pressure intensified. He wondered if he broke his spine—perhaps he’d be paralyzed. Then how would he help the villagers? Squinting one eye shut and watching anxiously through his open eye, Draco wiggled his toes and watched, in relief, as the tips of his boots shifted slightly. Good. With an annoyed huff, he realized that he’d most definitely be left with a bruise—he’d only gotten one before in his life, when he’d attempted to ride a horse and gotten bucked off, and the dark splotch did absolutely nothing for his delicate complexion.
Hoisting himself up, Draco dusted off his breeches and looked around, frowning as he realized that he had no idea which way the town was. Using the manor as a guide, he started through the thick greenery, hoping to God that he was going the right direction.
Just as filling his lungs was starting to become somewhat of an issue, the trees started to thin. Draco sighed in relief and was about to continue onward when a twig snapped behind him. Whirring around, he gasped as each of his arms was enveloped in an iron grip. He lunged forward, desperate to escape, but his efforts were in vain—his assailants merely sniggered and adjusted their grip, holding him securely. He wrinkled his nose at the stench of rum and sweat.
“Unhand me at once,” he demanded, thankful that his vocal chords were much more confident than his pulse. “My father will hear of this!”
He glowered at the two men holding him. One was rather short, only reaching Draco’s chin, and had sandy blond hair. The other man had tanned skin and dark hair. With a start, he realized that the shorter man had a wooden leg.
“Timber Toe,” the taller man snickered, “have ye ever seen hair so white?”
“Nay,” Timber Toe grinned wickedly, his Irish accent prominent, “an’ he certainly is a pretty thing.”
“I am not pretty,” Draco growled, struggling to lurch himself out of their grasp.
“I say we kill him and get it over with,” the dark man grunted.
“What’ve ye bloody idiots done now?”
Draco, still bristling from the absolute gall of these men—most definitely pirates—glowered at the bronze-skinned man that stepped into the clearing. His hair was in dreadlocks, streaked with gold, and tied back with a lock. Only upon seeing the bloodied sword at the man’s side did he realize that these were pirates. It hit him forcefully and he found himself numbed and clenching his jaw to keep from shaking or begging for mercy. Malfoys did not, under any circumstances, beg.
“We found ‘im runnin’ from the manor, Zabini,” Timber Toe explained.
“We were about to kill ‘im.”
Zabini stepped forward, only stopping when he was a head away from Draco. His eyes narrowed and scanned Draco, taking in the lavish dress and facial features. Draco didn’t move, using every ounce of pride in his bones to keep himself upright and unmoving.
“Yer the gov’ner’s son, are ye not?” Draco merely lifted his chin and remained silent. “Answer me!” When he still got no answer, he snarled. “So be it. Take ‘im to the cap’n, boys.”
Draco’s eyes widened, “what?”
“You heard ‘im,” the taller man was grinning. “Ye get to meet the cap’n.”
Draco muttered obscene words underneath his breath—words that would cause his mother to faint if she heard him saying—and fumed. Timber Toe and Tommo, as he’d discovered the other man’s name to be, had tossed a damp, moldy sack over Draco’s head and bound his hands with some spare rope. Desperate to do anything to slow their progress toward said cap’n, Draco ceased the moving of his legs.
“Bloody hell, he’s more trouble than he’s worth, Zabini,” Tommo growled.
“Lift ‘im like a lady’s skirt, lads.” Draco yelped as he was promptly hefted up by his elbows.
“My father will have your necks for this!”
“Did ye hear that, Timber Toe? His daddy’s gonna have our necks,” Tommo chuckled.
“Why, you mongrel-”
“Shut ‘im up, Tommo,” Zabini said gruffly.
And the last thing Draco was aware of before falling to darkness was the scrape of a sword against its sheath.
“Aye, get up, ye lubber.”
Draco squinted as the sack was pulled off of his head.Almost instantaneously, a bucket of salty water was splashed upon his face. Gasping for breath, his jaw dropped and he shook his head in an effort to clear his eyes. Rambunctious laughter sounded around him and he gulped, wondering where he was.
He rested on his knees in the middle of a circle of about twenty men. They were all golden from the sun, wearing disheveled clothing, and either staring at him with curiosity, dislike, or as if he were a slab of meat.
The floor beneath him was rocking and he could hear water lapping against something. A mast loomed behind him, sporting a large obsidian sail with a skull and crossbones. The skull had an emerald green lightning bolt on its forehead that made Draco’s blood freeze. That was Captain Harry Potter’s mark. He was on The Green Siren.
“What do we have here?” Came a rough, amused voice.
Draco turned to face forward again in time to see the bane of the King’s existence himself striding through the crowd of men, who parted respectfully for him.
Stories of Harry Potter were told all throughout the Caribbean. How his hair was darker than shadows and his eyes put emeralds to shame. How he could speak to and command all creatures of the sea. One of the most famous legends was how he’d seduced a siren to do his bidding and drag Captain Greyback himself to Davey Jones’s locker.
Looking at the man, Draco couldn’t help but wonder if the stories were true. Harry Potter’s soot hair was held back from his eyes by a maroon piece of cloth that covered his forehead. Strands tickled his stubble-lined jaw and shoulders and danced with the wind, framing his face, which was all shadows and angles. He was wearing dark breeches, leather boots, and a loose, near-transparent white shirt that did nearly nothing to cover his chiseled chest. A belt slung low around his hips was decked with multiple daggers and a sword. Most impressive, however, were his absinthe eyes, lined with kohl to repel the sun.
“The gov’ner’s son, cap’n,” Timber Toe announced proudly.
“And what, pray tell, is Lucius Malfoy’s son doing on my ship?” Harry raised an eyebrow, not bothering to look at Timber Toe or any of his men.His eyes scanned Draco critically and contemplatively.
The men all turned and looked at Timber Toe, Tommo, and Zabini. Draco noticed Ronald Weasley, the man who was to be hung, was standing right behind Harry Potter, his arms crossed over his chest and his face stony, yet pensive.
“It was Zabini’s idea, sir,” Tommo quickly said, earning an eager nod from Timber Toe.
“I say we make the picaroon walk the plank!” One man shouted, earning cheers.
“I say we slit his throat!”
“Why not cut out ‘is tongue and send it to Lucius Malfoy ‘imself?”
Cheers and shouts broke out amongst the men and Draco gulped, feeling his pulse quicken at the threats. Surely they wouldn’t kill him after dragging him all the way here. He imagined the horror his mother would face if she were to receive his tongue. The men instantly quieted when Potter lifted one of his hands.
“What is your name?” He asked Draco, viridescent eyes finally locking with molten silver.
“Draco Malfoy.” Draco internally applauded himself for keeping his voice so even. Captain Potter shared an unreadable look with Ronald Weasley. Gathering his courage, Draco lifted his chin. “I demand you release me this instant!”
The men around him erupted in equal parts laughter and outrage. Timber Toe and Tommo were sniggering and Zabini was grinning evilly. Captain Potter merely narrowed his eyes and tilted his head to the side.
“Mr. Malfoy, I don’t think you’re in any position to be making demands,” Potter drawled, stepping closer, the thud of his boots against the wooden deck sounding all too ominous.
“Your men slaughtered innocents,” Draco hissed, anger slowly seeping into his veins. “The people of Port Royal did nothing to you, yet you bury them beneath their homes and water the island with their blood and tears.”
The captain merely smirked. “Have you been told you’d make a fine poet, Mr. Malfoy?”
Draco’s temper flared once more at the captain’s complete insolence.
“You’re despicable,” he spat.
“Despicable is as despicable does,” he turned to Ronald Weasley. “Will you show our guest to his room, Red?”
Ronald Weasley, or Red, nodded and strode toward Draco, hoisting him up by the rope that bound his wrists. His blue eyes were hard and they blazed into Draco’s. The crew made way for him as he made way for a set of doors that led beneath the helm, but not without spitting before Draco’s feet and whispering threats. Standing up, Draco could see the cerulean ocean that stretched toward the horizon. Port Royal was a mere shadow now in the evening light.
Red led him to a door, which he unlocked and pushed open. Inside the room was a four-poster bed with sheets the color of wine, a small, round window near the ceiling, and a trunk.
“I recognize you,” Red stated as he pulled a knife from his belt and swiftly removed Draco’s bindings. “You were in the courtyard.”
Draco massaged his chafed wrists and let his anger drain away. “I didn’t want to watch you die. God knows you may deserve it if you and your friends are killing innocents as you did in Port Royal, however.”
Red tucked his knife back in his belt and crossed his arms over his chest, fixing Draco with a set of narrowed eyes. “It would do you good not to anger anyone whilst the captain’s not around, Mr. Malfoy. Those friends of mine would wring your neck right now if the captain let them.”
Ignoring the terror that gripped him, Draco gulped and raised his eyes to tentatively meet Red’s. “And why isn’t he letting them?”
“Because you’re worth more to him alive than dead,” Red said easily.
“Am I supposed to be thankful to him for that?” Draco asked dryly.
Red stepped forward, causing Draco to instinctively take one back. “Harry showed you mercy out there, Malfoy. Regardless of the fact that he didn’t make you pay for that outburst you had, it would do you good to remember not to anger him. He didn’t gain his reputation for nothing. Egg him on and, despite your value, one day he’ll snap.” Red strode to the door, but right as he was stepping through the threshold, he turned his head and looked at Draco once more. “I’m warning you, Malfoy. The stories you’ve heard about Harry? They’re true.”
Draco glanced up as the door was pushed open. In walked a thin man with mousy brown hair, large eyes, and a seemingly permanent grin.
“Ahoy, bucko,” Creevey locked the door behind him, then carefully placed a tray of bread, cheese, and a cup of water on the closed trunk near Draco’s bed. “How’re ye feelin’ this fine day, mate?”
The young man flopped down on the bed as Draco knelt down beside the tray and narrowed his eyes at the meager meal. Bread and cheese had been all he’d eaten for the past few days, an apple from Red being the only dietary change. He’d been offered rum, but had declined, stating that it was a dreadful drink that turned even the most respectable of men into blithering idiots.
“As well as a man may feel whilst being held hostage on a ship filled with men who’d like nothing more than to slit his throat,” Draco sneered at the bread, but ripped off a piece and chewed on it nonetheless.
It was extremely bland, just like the last few pieces, and he’d be glad to never see another piece of bread for the rest of his life. He could feel Creevey’s eyes on him as he ate.
“C’mon, it’s not that bad, laddie. Ye’ve got me an’ Red, haven’t ye? And the cap’n’s feeding’ ya more than most of the crew gets.” Creevey smiled toothily at Draco in a way that he must have thought was reassuring.
Draco merely scowled at the mention of Harry Potter, the beloved cap’n. Draco hadn’t seen him since his first day on The Green Siren, but couldn’t stop thinking about him. The nerve of that man. The fact that he’d kept Draco locked in a room for days with only Red and Creevey for company was positively deplorable. Draco had tried searching for something to do, but the trunk was filled with clothes, both coats and dresses. There were no books in the room, nor was there any parchment or quills.
For the past few days, Draco had passed his time doing mindless, simple things. Standing on his trunk and gazing out the window at the rocking waves. Laying on his bed and observing the canopy, letting his mind wander where his body could not. Wondering if Commodore Snape had already set sail in search of Draco. Pondering what Potter was doing.
“I suppose that’s a more optimistic way to see things,” Draco muttered in a wry monotone.
“Aye, there ye go.” Creevey beamed at him. Draco downed the cup of water and nibbled on the cheese, prompting Creevey to stand up. “I’ve got to go—Zabini’ll have my hide if I don’t help Timber Toe mop the decks.”
Draco ignored the pang of disappointment. “Alright. Thank you for the food, Creevey.”
The pirate looked pleased at Draco’s appreciation. “It’s my pleasure, bucko.”
Draco listened as the echo of the young man’s footsteps faded away, giving in to the lapping of water against the hull of the ship. Letting out a long sigh, Draco lowered himself down onto his bed and leaned back against the pillows. If he listened, he could hear the shouting of the crew as they went about their daily chores. Red would be surveying the mens’ work, most likely, and Creevey would be mopping up with Timber Toe. Zabini and Tommo would be tending to the sails. As for the captain, he’d either be in his quarters or at the helm.
He’d gotten this information from Creevey on his third day aboard The Green Siren. The man had been more than happy to answer Draco’s questions, as it put off having to do his duties. He’d been told all about the running of the ship and a bit about Red and Harry. Creevey had gone on about a few other crew members as well, but Draco hadn’t cared enough to pay his attention.
Creevey’s absence reminded Draco once again of how lonely he was aboard the ship. Half the men aboard wanted to kill him and the other half were unlikely to protest, seeing as how most pirates despised Lucius Malfoy. Draco’s father had a hand in the hangings of dozens of pirates, ridding Port Royal of the criminals. A chance at bringing the governor down a peg would surely be one that no buccaneer would be able to resist.
“Damn this ship to hell,” Draco muttered, kicking his trunk.
Pain erupted in his toe and he hissed obscenities beneath his breath, grabbing his foot and hopping over to the bed. As the pain slowly faded, he exhaled heavily and buried his face in his hands, wanting nothing more than to be back at Port Royal helping his mother translate French or listening to his father ramble and rant about the laziness of Commodore Snape’s men.
In that moment, Draco decided that he needed to get off the ship. For the second time that week, he planned an escape.
Draco steeled himself, trying not to feel too bad about what he was about to do. It had to be done. There was no other way he could get off the ship. He got a better grip on the tray that Creevey had left that morning and stood beside the doorway, ignoring the frantic pounding of his heart. He’d never hurt someone physically before, unless one counted the time he accidentally whacked Commodore Snape in the face with the blunt of his sword while trying to learn. Needless to say, his father refused to let him around any sort of weapon.
“You can do this, Draco. You’re the governor-to-be of Port Royal.” He murmured under his breath, trying to build up his courage.
Footsteps sounded outside Draco’s room, as did whistling—the same tune Creevey was always humming. Draco wiped his sweaty palms on his breeches and gripped the tray tightly, hoping to God that nobody would hear the clang. The sound of Creevey fumbling with the key in the lock caused Draco to gulp and he took a deep breath, raising the tray over his head.
“Ye won’t believe what Tommo-”
Draco let out a high-pitched yelp and swung the tray down, slamming it atop Creevey’s head. The mousy-haired man grunted, then crumpled to the floor, bringing some bread and cheese and a cup of water with him.
“Oh God, oh God,” Draco whimpered, dropping the tray and bending down to make sure that Creevey was still alive.
He let out a shaky, relieved breath when he felt Creevey’s pulse beneath his fingertips, then grabbed the bread and cheese and stuffed it in one of his shirt pockets. He also took the key that Creevey had dropped. After dragging the young man over to the bed and arranging him so that he’d at least be comfortable whilst unconscious, Draco poked his head out of the doorway.
Boisterous laughter and cups clinking echoed from the deck and he glanced up and down the hallway a couple of times before stepping across the threshold and pulling the door closed behind him. He murmured an apology to Creevey as he locked the door, then tucked the key away.
Draco crept down the hall, glancing around him and flinching at every creak of the ship. Upon reaching the set of doors that led out to the deck, he pushed one of them open just a bit, then looked to see what was going on.
The crew was laughing and dancing, downing bottles of rum and shooting birds that flew overhead. In the setting sun, they were certainly a sight and if Draco weren’t so terrified of capture, he might even find it amusing—he’d never seen a man drunk before, only heard stories from Commodore Snape’s men.
Hearing footsteps behind him, Draco dashed out the door and lunged for the staircase that led up to the helm, hiding in the shadows behind a barrel of rum. His heart pounded as he watched a familiar set of boots—Red’s boots—walk past his hiding spot.
“Oi, Red! Ye seein’ yer lass in Tortuga?”
Draco watched as Red snatched the bottle from Timber Toe, then took a swig, shoving a dancing crew member away from him with a half-amused expression. “Dunno yet, mate. We’ll see.”
“Ye think her ship’s gonna make port?” Tommo wondered, gulping down his own bottle.
“A man can hope,” was all Red said before clapping Timber Toe and Tommo on the shoulders, then striding up to the helm.
It was what felt like centuries before the men finally started drifting off, heading below the ship to sleep off their drunken stupor in their bunks. Draco’s legs had fallen asleep and his bottom was numb, courtesy of the stiff wooden floor. The last man to leave was Red, who succumbed to fatigue whilst humming about a pirate’s life.
After he was absolutely certain that everyone was asleep, Draco pushed the barrel of rum out of his way and stumbled out from underneath the staircase. He groaned and put his hands on his hips, arching his back in an effort to stretch it out.
For the first time in days, Draco was able to see the vast ocean surrounding him. Stars glittered overhead and moonlight washed the deck in a glowing radiance. The only sounds were the water lapping against the ship and the occasional bump from below. It was now or never.
Draco hurried over to the rowboats, ignoring the anxious tingles spreading throughout his body. His pulse was erratic as he fumbled with the knots that anchored the boat to the ship—why were there so many knots? At last, the rope gave way and Draco grabbed it, prepared to lower the rowboat into the water below.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” came a low drawl behind him.
Draco spun around, grasping one of the oars as a weapon—he’d recognize that voice anywhere. Chartreuse eyes glowed at him, luminescent in the starlight. Harry was leaning against the mast with his arms crossed over his chest and his legs crossed. A smirk rested on his lips.
“I assume this is the part where you kill me,” Draco snarled.
Harry pushed himself away from the mast, toward Draco. “What use would you be to me dead? I need you alive, Draco.” A shiver ran down Draco’s spine upon hearing it spoken in Harry’s husky voice—he assured himself it was merely because of the breeze. “This is precisely why I cannot possibly, under good conscience, allow you to leave the ship.”
Draco narrowed his eyes at the man. “You honestly expect me to believe that? I’m not dense.”
“Believe what you will. I have no reason to deceive you.” Harry shrugged, then stopped a few feet from Draco. “But if you lower that rowboat and leave in it, your life will be in greater danger than if you were to stay aboard the Siren.”
“Is that so?” Draco sneered, suddenly feeling quite bold. “Tell me, is a chance at freedom really more dangerous than being aboard a ship with a crew that would like nothing more than to throttle me?”
“At least onboard the ship you have my protection against anything and everything. Out on the open ocean, some angry pirates will seem like nothing.” Harry stepped closer, tilting his head to the side and fixing Draco with an almost predatory mien. “Tell me, Draco. Can you swim?”
He gulped and crossed his arms over his chest, lifting his chin at the soot-haired pirate. “That’s none of your concern. And anyways, I’ll be in a rowboat, so-”
“What happens when a large wave overturns the boat? Or a dolphin nudges it?” Harry was slowly moving closer. “What happens when a leak erupts? What happens when you realize you’re lost and have no clue where to go? Not even the royal navy will find a small rowboat in the middle of the Caribbean, Draco. What will you do then? Pray?” Harry tsked, still advancing on him. “What happens when you come across sirens? They’re not too forgiving, you realize.”
“Hilarious,” Draco growled, ignoring Harry’s proximity. “Sirens don’t exist.”
His emerald eyes twinkled knowingly, but he merely cocked his head to the side again. “Is that so?”
“Yes. Yes it is.” Draco gulped, but kept his shoulders squared and his chin high. “I don’t believe in myths and legends, Potter.”
“How dull,” he remarked, resting his hand on his belt.
“I’m not a child,” Draco snapped, glaring at the pirate. “My father will have your head for kidnapping me.”
“I’m terrified,” he said in a monotone, the corners of his mouth quirking up.
“You think this is a joke?” Draco glowered at him.
“I’d like to see Lucius Malfoy try to capture me.” He stepped closer, prompting Draco to take a step back.
“My father is not a man you want to cross, Potter.”
Harry grinned wickedly. “Neither am I.”
Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments on the previous chapters! I'll try to respond to them all. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them! I'll answer any and every, as long as my response doesn't mean giving away any spoilers.
The first thing Draco was aware of was the ache in his head. He could feel his pulse thrumming beneath his temples, as it let out a dull pain at every beat. With a long groan, he rolled over and sat up, putting his fingers to his head and applying pressure in an effort to relieve the pain.
“Rise and shine, Lumpy.”
Draco snapped his head to the doorway, where Red stood smirking at him, holding a tray of food. “What did you just call me?”
“Lumpy,” Red said simply, striding over and setting the tray on the edge of the bed. “You’ve got a lump the size of a cannonball on that silver head ‘o yours.”
A worried cry slipped out of Draco’s lips as his hands flew to the source of the pain and prodded it tentatively—there was a lump. “Why is there a lump on my head?” He screeched, staring wide-eyed at the red-haired pirate in front of him.
Red chuckled, “what, you don’t remember?”
Suddenly, it all came back to Draco: knocking out Creevey, sneaking through the hallway, hiding underneath the staircase, then being caught by Harry as he was about to leave in a rowboat. He frowned as he realized that Harry must have been the one to render him unconscious. A jolt of anger surged through him and he swiftly stood, shooting a hard glare at Red.
“Take me to see Potter,” he demanded, clenching his jaw.
Red sighed in exasperation, “you’re kidding, right?”
“Do I look as if I’m kidding?” Draco narrowed his eyes.
“So be it,” Red grumbled. “Remember, Lumpy—Harry’s your best chance at surviving on this ship.”
Draco narrowed his eyes. “Don’t call me that.”
Red merely shrugged and moved to unlock the door. He paused, then turned to look at Draco. “You’re not stupid enough to attempt another escape in broad daylight, correct?”
“I don’t intend to flee,” Draco rolled his eyes.
“Right, then.” Red unlocked the door, then gestured for Draco to follow him.
They made their way down the hallway to a set of double doors. After shaking his head in exasperation, Red rapped his knuckles against the wood. They waited for a few seconds, Draco silently fuming, before the door was wrenched open. Harry raised his eyebrows questioningly.
“What is this?”
Draco’s eyes narrowed and he pointed to his head. “What is this?”
“That is your head.” Harry closed the door behind the two of them, then took a seat behind a large table with a tattered map spread out over it. “Although if you hadn’t already known that, I daresay Lucius Malfoy did an abysmal job of raising you-”
“I meant the lump, Potter,” Draco snarled, stomping over to the table and slamming his fist down.
When Harry looked up, his absinthe eyes were narrowed and cold. “I told you I couldn’t allow you to leave the ship.” He tilted his head to the side and surveyed Draco as if he were a piece of meat. “Surely you didn’t think I was jesting.”
“You…” Draco took a deep breath, willing himself not to punch the pirate in the face. “You are a savage. You and your entire crew. You’re uncivilized, you’re barbaric, and you’ve no respect whatsoever for the crown that kept you and yours safe for centuries. Your manners are atrocious, half of you can’t even speak proper English, and you strut about the ship partially naked half the time!” Draco ignored the fact that anger was causing his voice to come out uneven. “Do you know who has to clean up after your raids? Do you realize how many innocents you’ve slaughtered? All you do is sit in this nasty room and look at your nasty map while your crew drinks their nasty rum, not sparing a single second thought for those you’ve affected. You are despicable.”
Draco panted heavily, attempting to even his breath. Harry’s expression hadn’t changed throughout his rant and it was impossible to attempt to discern what was going on in his mind. A shock of nerves jolted through him upon realizing that he’d leaned so far forward that his face was less than a foot away from Harry’s. He quickly straightened his back and clenched his fists at his sides, waiting for the captain to say something.
Harry was staring at Draco contemplatively, rubbing his hand across the stubble at his angled jaw. The kohl around his emerald eyes was smudged, causing his gaze to appear all the more intense.
“You know,” Harry stood and rested his knuckles on the table, leaning forward, “I’ve only just realized that you’ve done nothing to earn your keep on this ship.”
Draco’s jaw dropped. “You kidnapped me!”
“It’s hardly fair to my crew—they work so very hard.” Harry continued as if Draco hadn’t spoken. “So starting today, you’ll be joining Zabini and Timber Toe. They could always use an extra hand.”
“You don’t honestly expect me to work on a pirate ship-”
“Red, will you escort Mr. Malfoy here to the deck?”
“Sure thing, mate.” Red smirked and prodded Draco’s shoulder. “Let’s go.”
“I’m not going anywhere-”
Harry sighed and pulled a revolver from his belt, causing Draco’s blood to go cold. He swiftly pulled the hammer back with his thumb, then rested his finger over the trigger. Emerald eyes shone wickedly at Draco, dancing behind the gun. “You were saying?”
Draco gulped, then stepped back from the table. “You’re going straight to Hell.”
“Already there, love.” Harry tucked the revolver back in his belt, shooting Draco a smirk.
Red led Draco back through the hallway and out another set of double doors to the deck. A couple of men were climbing ropes up to the mast, some were rushing around doing God knows what, and others were on their hands and knees scrubbing the wooden floor, wincing as Zabini shouted at them to ‘put thar backs inta it.’ Draco’s mouth went dry—Harry and Red couldn’t seriously expect him to scrub the floor like some sort of servant.
“Oi, Zabini!” Red called, “Lumpy here’s gonna join you.”
“Aye, that be true.” Zabini grinned, then threw a dirty rag at Draco, who barely caught it. “Get to work, ye landlubber!”
Draco was promptly shoved down onto his hands and knees. Zabini grabbed a bucket and splashed water on the floor in front of him. Aghast and sure that this was some sort of stunt, Draco gaped at the scene around him.
“Get ta work or yer not gettin’ lunch, ye bilge rat,” Zabini threatened, before storming across the deck to yell at some unfortunate soul.
Pushing away what was left of his pride, Draco used his tattered rag to clean the grungy deck. The sun was burning his skin through the shirt he wore and his knees were numb. His fingernails were caked with grime and his skin was coated with a sheen of sweat. He’d never felt so filthy in his entire life. Draco shuddered to imagine what his mother would say were she to see him—he knew he most likely made a sorry sight.
Draco was given a short break for lunch, in which he greedily inhaled his bread and cheese and listened to stories from Creevey. The man had happily accepted Draco’s apology and, frankly, Draco wasn’t sure if Creevey even remembered his wretched escape attempt.
All Draco could think about during his rest, however, was the fact that Harry had pulled a gun on him. Nobody had dared threaten Draco’s life like that before. Thoughts gnawed at him as he wondered whether Harry would’ve actually shot him. He knew he should’ve been more afraid—he should be positively terrified of Harry. After all, stories were told of the daunting and ruthless captain of The Green Siren. Where fear should’ve been, anger and intrigue resided.
After his lunch break, Draco was put to work assisting Timber Toe and Tommo with the knots and sails. They’d both teased him mercilessly upon watching him try to tie a sail down with a bow and had only ceased their taunts upon a man named Bottom stepping in and teaching Draco to knot it properly. He’d pat Draco on the back, then assured him that he’d get the hang of it eventually.
By the time the sun started dipping below the horizon, Draco was ready to faint. His fingers and hands were raw and his skin burned upon coming into contact with anything. It felt tight and constricting—an overall uncomfortable sensation.
For the first time since he’d been dragged on board the Siren, Draco slept restfully and dreamlessly.
Draco groaned, cursing the pounding on his door with every obscene word in his vocabulary. It had been two weeks since his first night on board the Siren and he had yet to become accustomed to being awoken at dawn. He could hear the pounding footsteps of the rest of the crew as they rushed to their positions, getting a head start on their chores.
“Up you get, Lumpy!” Red gave his door one last rap before leaving to tend to the steering wheel.
With one last sigh, Draco shoved the covers away from him and pulled on his shirt, wincing as his muscles ached. Most of the crew was already hard at work when he arrived on deck and Creevey called out a cheerful greeting before having half a bucket of water dumped over his head by Zabini.
Draco smirked, then strode over to the mast to help Bottom hoist the sails. The sight of the black sails still sent a wave of nerves to shudder through Draco, but he was slowly getting used to the sight of them. The stories of the Siren that sailors would come home with always chilled Draco’s bones. The sails darker than shadows, the smirking skull and crossbones, and the piercing lightning bolt across the skull’s forehead were legend amongst seafarers. To Draco, it seemed almost an act of betrayal to be the one displaying the forbidding sails.
“Top ‘o the mornin’ to ye,” Timber Toe clapped Draco on the back before climbing up to the crows nest and joining Tommo.
Grumbling and widening his eyes exaggeratedly in an attempt to wake himself up, Draco picked up a knotted pile of rope and got to work untangling it. His long, nimble fingers were starting to become rougher and calloused.
He’d mentioned this to Bottom a couple of days previous and had received only laughter. As an explanation, the man had shown his hand to Draco and stated that Draco’s hand was like a lass’s cheek compared to his. It was a running joke amongst the crew now that Draco had ‘lady hands,’ much to his displeasure.
“What did that pitiful rope do to offend you?” A shadow loomed over Draco.
Registering that he’d been scowling, Draco smoothed out his features and looked up at Harry. His face was expressionless, but his eyes—which Draco had realized were the color of the sea, much to his aggravation—were twinkling.
“It kidnapped me and put me to work on a ship,” Draco quickly replied upon seeing Harry’s head tilt.
The head tilt. Draco dreaded the cant of Harry’s head, as it meant that he was considering, pondering, or surprised by something interesting. It was occurring more and more often around Draco, something he knew was most likely due to Draco’s habit to get caught up in his thoughts during a conversation or let one of these thoughts slip off his tongue.
“You don’t despise the work as you’d like many to believe,” Harry said easily, crossing his arms over his chest and looking out at the horizon.
“I abhor that accusation,” Draco snapped, glaring at the dark-haired man.
Harry merely shrugged. “Yet you don’t deny it.
He pulled a wicked dagger from his belt and used it to loosen a knot that Draco had been having trouble with. Draco forced himself to mutter an incoherent ‘thank you,’ as his fingers had been starting to become numb due to the stubborn tangle. Harry winked and opened his mouth to say something more, but was interrupted by Tommo.
“Cap’n!” The man had a wide grin.
With a curious frown, Harry clenched the dagger between his teeth and pulled himself up to the crow’s nest with a rope. Draco would never admit that in that moment, he had been watching the muscles of Harry’s back and biceps clench and contract as he did so. He also swore never to divulge the fact that he found the sight of Harry’s windblown hair and a blade clenched between his teeth highly attractive.
He watched as Harry pulled the dagger from between his lips, then twirled it expertly between his clever fingers as his line of sight followed the direction in which Tommo and Timber Toe were eagerly pointing. A twitch of the mouth turned into a full-blown smirk.
“Tortuga,” he murmured fondly. He turned and leaned down over the side of the crow’s nest, addressing the entire crew. “Who’s ready to stock up on some rum and wenches, lads?”
The entire crew started cheering and punching their fists in the air, beaming at Harry as if he were a god. Timber Toe and Tommo were doing some sort of jig in the crow’s nest and Zabini was grinning widely, clapping Creevey on the shoulder and gazing yearningly at the horizon. Harry slid gracefully down the rope and tucked his dagger back into his belt.
“Tortuga?” Draco questioned, not quite believing he heard Harry right.
“Tortuga.” Harry’s eyes were sparkling. “It’s an island off the coast of Haiti. Have you heard of it?”
Gulping, Draco nodded. “You can’t honestly expect to make port there and sail away with your life. Barbarians and… savages live there. It’s uncivilized and dangerous.”
“Careful, Draco. I might just think you care about my wellbeing.” Harry’s eyes glinted mischievously and the corners of his lips were quirked up.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Draco quickly said, ducking his head down so Harry wouldn’t see the blush crawling up his neck. “I’m simply warning you. Commodore Snape’s men have never visited that island without casualties.”
“That’s because his men are employed by the crown.” Harry adjusted the maroon piece of cloth he kept tied over his forehead and ran his fingers through the shaggy, raven hair that hung in front of his face. “I’ve not had a single fatality during a visit. My crew is well-known in Tortuga and no sensible man, drunk or not, would dare harm someone under my command.”
“Even the criminals are frightened of you,” Draco muttered to himself, sneering.
“And for good reason.”
Draco’s eyes locked with piercing green ones and he suppressed the urge to glance away from the intense gaze. To his absolute horror, Draco felt his breeches tighten slightly. This could not be happening. He immediately focused back on the tangled rope, pulling the mass onto his lap in an effort to conceal something he knew Harry’s sharp eyes would take notice of. Unbeknownst to him, they already had.
“You ought to take care of that,” Harry murmured.
Draco’s eyes snapped up and his cheeks burned. “Wh-what?”
“The rope,” he tilted his head to the side innocently. “How are we to… erect the sails with tangled rope? It seems awfully hard.”
Assuring himself that Harry’s choice of words was a mere coincidence, Draco swallowed down a mortified whimper and glanced back up at the simpering captain. “If you’d desist from distracting me, I’m sure I’d be through by now.”
“I’m distracting you?” His eyes were gleaming with amusement, much to Draco’s chagrin.
“Yes, and you know you are.” He grit his teeth and willed the lower half of his body to cooperate.
“Alright, I’ll stop, then.”
When Harry showed no inclination to move, Draco chanced a look at him. “Your mere presence is distracting,” he stated, irritation apparent in his tone.
Draco closed his eyes and murmured a prayer to find the patience to deal with Harry. Lord knew he’d need it.
Draco yelped and flinched as yet another shot was fired, flabbergasted when laughter erupted and the music continued. He had been dragged into a boisterous pub by Timber Toe and Tommo almost as soon as they’d made port. After a bit of time, Bottom and Creevey had joined them, then eventually Red and Zabini. Harry had tasked Red with the responsibility of keeping an eye on Draco—as if he couldn’t take care of himself—then disappeared.
A cup of rum was slammed down in front of Draco and a bit sloshed over the edge. Timber Toe raised his glass, prompting the other five and Draco to lift theirs as well.
“To our newest edition, Draco!” He slurred, having had a few drinks already. “The lumpiest of ‘em all!”
“To Draco!” They all chorused, before gulping down their rum.
Draco glared at Timber Toe, incensed at the toast, but took a grudging sip of the alcohol, having never had it before. It tasted odd on his tongue and burned a bit on its way down his throat, not unpleasantly. Feeling a bit more confident, he took a larger gulp.
“Aye, there ye go, mate!” Creevey pat Draco on the back and bounced his shoulders and head to the tune of the music.
Laughter and cheers filled the air, as did gun smoke, alcohol, and the stench of bile. Women with extremely low-cut bodices and men with scraggly, limp hair and no teeth danced merrily through the pub, finding jouissance in their mutual inebriation. Draco almost envied their ability to relinquish their dignity.
He didn’t realize until another mug was placed in front of him that he’d finished his first drink. His mind felt a bit fuzzy, but he reached for the rum nonetheless. After he finished that drink, he was pulled up by a flushed Timber Toe.
“Come on, mate!”
He laughed as Timber Toe led them through the room, dancing and singing along with the other occupants of the pub. He twirled around and ignored the slight spinning of the room as he danced with men and women alike, kissing strangers on their cheeks and receiving sloppy smooches back. It was the happiest he could remember feeling and Draco swore he’d never felt so free.
Bottom shoved another drink in Draco’s hand and they clinked their glasses together, toasting to rum. Zabini dragged Bottom and Creevey away to dance and Draco found himself caught in the middle of Tommo and Timber Toe, singing along.
“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!” Draco chugged down the last of his rum, no longer shying away from the substance.
“This right ‘ere is the life!” Tommo announced.
Red was sitting at their table in the corner, his lips locked with those of a frizzy-haired brunette. She was dressed differently than the other woman in the pub, wearing a loose-fitting shirt, breeches, and a belt stocked with various weapons. His hand, which was resting on the back of her neck, was holding a sailor’s hat that had to belong to the woman.
Draco stumbled over to the table and took a seat, groaning when the room suddenly spun. Once everything was back in order, he looked over at Red and the woman. They were both watching him with amused grins.
“Oi, Lumpy.” Red held his hand in front of Draco’s face. “How many fingers am I holdin’ up?”
Draco squinted. Red’s hand wouldn’t stay still long enough for him to count and he said so, much to the mirth of Red and the woman.
“Ronald, leave him alone,” the woman chided, tugging playfully at Red’s ear.
“The poor bloke won’t even remember this tomorrow, Mione.”
The door slammed, prompting Draco to furrow his brow and glance up at the entrance. Harry strode in with a frown on his face, looking deep in thought. Draco wanted to ask him what was wrong. He wanted Harry to stop looking so upset because he looked so much better when he was smiling.
“Finally.” Red stood, pulling the woman up with him.
Harry’s features instantly smoothed out upon approaching the table. “Captain Granger,” he grinned and hugged the woman. “How have you been Hermione?”
She beamed at him and Draco decided that she was really quite pretty. Obviously, she didn’t hold a candle to Harry, but he could see why Red liked her. “I’ve been alright. Did you see Ginny? She’s wandering around somewhere with Parkinson and Chang.”
“I did. She threatened to put a bullet between my eyes if I didn’t make port more often,” Harry chuckled.
Draco was shocked and he knew that his jaw had dropped. Someone had threatened Harry? And she’d gotten away with it? He rubbed his eyes, wondering if he’d heard right.
“…and he’s sloshed. I’ll meet you back at the Siren, mate.” Red disappeared off with Hermione.
Harry smirked down at Draco and took the seat beside him. They were nestled in the corner of the room, shadowed by an upper loft. Without turning to him, Harry spoke.
“I hear you’ve discovered the joy of rum.”
“Why did you look so sad?” Draco slurred, leaning his head against the wall and pouted at Harry.
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about,” Harry muttered, sipping at his own glass of alcohol.
Draco groaned. “You’re so mysterious,” he lifted his boots onto the seat and wrapped his arms around his legs. “Stop being so enigmatic. I like it.”
At that, Harry looked at him and raised an eyebrow. “If you like it, why would you like me to stop?”
“Because I’m not supposed to like it.” Draco rolled his eyes as if it were obvious. “I’m supposed to like it when women do that, not you. So you have to stop it right…” Draco waited a few seconds, then blurt out, “…now!”
Ignoring his antics, Harry tilted his head to the side, his brows knit slightly. “Are you saying you’re attracted to me, Draco?”
Nodding rapidly, Draco readjusted his position on the seat so his feet were back on the ground and he was leaning against the table. “But you can’t tell anybody because I’m not supposed to.”
“And why is that?”
Draco scowled. “You’re not very smart, you know.”
“Because you’re not a woman. I’m supposed to marry a woman, not a man.” Draco suddenly started giggling, causing Harry to raise his eyebrows. “And certainly not a pirate! I couldn’t marry a pirate man. My father would have a heart attack.” Wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes, Draco grinned at Harry. “And you’re a pirate and a man. It’s not practical. So I can’t be attracted to you. That’s why you have to stop climbing ropes and looking at me with your eyes.”
“Climbing ropes and looking at you with my eyes?” Harry was chuckling.
“Exactly.” Draco shot up, straightening his posture and looking seriously at Harry. “You have to stop being mysterious too.”
“Draco,” he ignored the way his name slid sinfully off Harry’s tongue, “you’ve something yet to consider.” Harry’s absinthe eyes held his gaze captive and they sparkled wickedly, devils dancing in them. “What if I want you to like me?”
His eyes widened and he stared at Harry. “You’re evil!”
“Yes, you’ve informed me once or twice.”
Draco squinted at Harry, biting the inside of his cheek nervously and leaning forward, before whispering conspiratorially. “Why would you want me to like you?”
Harry leaned forward as well and his warm breath ghosted over Draco’s mouth, causing a shiver to run through Draco’s body. Right as Draco’s eyes fluttered shut in expectation of a kiss, stubble and a hard jaw brushed against Draco’s cheek and Harry’s lips moved against his ear.
“Why would I want you in the first place?”
“Because I’m the governor’s son,” Draco whispered.
“Because you’re different.” Harry leaned back in his seat and took a sip of rum, smirking at Draco, who was suddenly feeling quite faint. “Think about whether you want me back or not,” he drawled, not flinching as another bullet was fired.
Drunk or not, Draco already knew the answer.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
“For how long must we continue down this wretched path?” Draco demanded, shoving a large branch out of his way. He winced as it whacked Bottom in the face.
“We’re nearly there,” Red answered, using his sword to help Harry slice a pathway through the foliage.
The morning after they’d made port in Tortuga, Harry had instructed they set sail for an island called Ballena. Red’s eyes had widened and he’d pulled Harry aside for a few minutes. Draco had heard them argue in angry whispers, but hadn’t been able to discern what they’d been saying.
Zabini was guarding the ship and Harry had ordered Red, Draco, Timber Toe, Tommo, and Bottom to accompany him to visit someone Red had merely referred to as “the lunatic.” Harry had shot him a severe glare, piquing Draco’s interest.
It seemed as if they’d been walking through this jungle for ages. Despite the fact that Draco was starting to become accustomed to hard work and strenuous activity, his legs ached, his back ached, and he had a sharp pain in his side that caused him to wince at every step he took. What frustrated him most was that the five other men didn’t seemed bothered at all by the trek.
“Tommo, look.” Timber Toe smacked his friend in the chest and pointed ahead. Curious, Draco followed Timber Toe’s line of vision and his jaw threatened to drop.
In the middle of a large lake, there was a massive tree. About twenty feet up was a hollowed out house that used the tree itself for the walls and roofing. A small door at the base of the tree seemed to be the only way into the house. Fireflies glowed around the windows and candlelight sent shadows across the surrounding branches.
Red held a rowboat steady while the four of them clambered in. Harry let Red settle down beside Bottom before disconnecting the rope that kept it anchored to the shore. He gave it a firm push, then leapt gracefully onto it, balancing himself with one of the edges. Draco ignored the flutter in his stomach and instead gazed into the water.
It was opaque and shimmery and he realized that there were scales gleaming at the bottom, casting extraordinary colors across strange fish. He watched, in horrifying fascination, as a lizard-like creature swallowed an entire school of miniscule guppies. Turning his attention back to the bottom of the crystal clear lake, Draco wondered what sort of animal could produce scales so breathtakingly stunning. They constantly shifted colors, maintaining a pearly sheen.
“Siren scales,” Harry murmured to him. “Each one is worth a fortune.”
“Why aren’t you collecting them, then?” Draco frowned in confusion.
“Taking a Siren’s scale or blood without the creature itself handing it to you will curse you for life. The woe that is sure to follow isn’t worth all the riches in the world.” Harry spoke softly.
Draco supposed it was one of those settings that was so magnificent you couldn’t help but be hesitant to break the majesty. He forced himself to pull his gaze from the scales and gulped. He normally wouldn’t believe in such creatures, but seeing the glimmering plates at the bottom of the lake was proof enough. Neither man nor random act of nature could’ve created such beautiful artifacts. He looked up at Harry, entranced by the severity of his angled face and the vivacity of his eyes. His usual maroon bandana shaded his vision and kept most of the raven hair from his face. His eyes were scanning the lake and the surrounding forest warily.
He caught Draco staring and let a slow smirk slide onto his face, raising one of his eyebrows cockily. Draco quickly glanced away, scowling, attempting to cool his heated cheeks. He wondered why he couldn’t seem to stop staring and thinking about Harry—it wasn’t normal and it wasn’t right.
Red tied the boat to a wooden pole near the base of the tree, then they all climbed out of the boat. Draco’s foot got caught underneath a root as he attempted to disembark and heat flooded his body when one of Harry’s arms hooked around his chest, keeping him from falling flat on his face. Harry swiftly stepped off the boat and helped Draco steady himself, an amused smile dancing on his lips as he did so.
Draco quickly regained his balance and brushed Harry’s hands away from him, not appreciating how they seemed to quicken his heartbeat. As he followed his companions, he assured himself that his erratic pulse was due to his near-death experience, not touching Harry.
The six of them made their way up toward the base of the tree, following Harry’s lead. Timber Toe and Tommo were speaking in hushed tones, glancing apprehensively over their shoulders at the deceptively silent forest and creaking boat. Draco kept his eyes lowered, following Harry’s footsteps exactly—roots curled through the floor of the island, twisting and tangling in an attempt to overturn one’s balance. He didn’t need the humiliation being steadied by Harry once more would undeniably bring.
Upon reaching the base of the tree, Harry’s clever eyes scanned the gnarled bark. Draco watched with unveiled curiosity as one of the captain’s hands reached out. Slender fingers stroked a rune—how had Draco not seen it before?—and Harry murmured something in a language that was wholly foreign to Draco, yet somehow sparked a note of familiarity in his memory.
“What did you just-”
Draco’s query was cut short as the tree bark seemed to scuttle away, morphing into a sort of doorway that blended in with the rest of the trunk. His eyes widened and he had to clench his jaw to keep it from dropping. After casting a quick glance at the other four, he was comforted in the fact that all but Red seemed just as unnerved by the bizarre act of nature.
“Potter, what just happened? What did you do?” Draco demanded, slowly stepping back from the tree.
Harry raised an eyebrow. “Scared, Malfoy?”
Draco shoved his fear down, burying it beneath contempt for the other man. Harry would not be given the simple victory of causing Draco to back away. “You wish,” he sneered.
Harry smirked and gestured to the opening. Curling his hands into fists to hide the slight tremors of discomfort, Draco strode through the archway and found himself looking up into the tree. A winding staircase was carved into the wood and scintillating fireflies were floating above the steps, lighting the passage. He noted that they looked like stars.
Harry led the way up the steps, leaving Draco to trail behind him. Timber Toe and Tommo were left to guard the entrance. Making his way up the steps, Draco found himself wondering just how he’d gotten himself into this situation. He wasn’t sure how he’d ended up making the transfer between a prisoner and something resembling a crew member. Where he’d been desperate for an escape from The Green Siren, he now found himself running errands, or whatever this was, with the captain himself and getting sloshed with the crew. It was a revelation that made Draco sick to his stomach. If only his father could see him.
They approached the top of the steps and Draco could see that there was some sort of beaded curtain leading into a larger room. He supposed that this was the hollowed out portion of the tree that he had observed from the boat. Light seeped through the beaded drape and Harry pushed it aside, holding it wide for Draco.
The room was cluttered, to say the least. Cages and herbs hung from the ceiling and the walls were covered in maps, pictures, runes, and shelves. In the middle of the room was a round table covered in sand and shards of… siren scales. Draco’s eyes widened and he gulped.
“Hello, Harry.” The voice was soft and sweet, but commanded all attention. Draco’s eyes snapped toward the direction of the voice, then at Harry.
The man’s lips curved up in a genuine smile. “Hello, Luna.”
A woman with huge, luminous eyes stepped out from seemingly nowhere. Her hair was as pale as Draco’s and it was long and thick, braided down her back. Shells, flowers, and fur were twined in it. She was wearing a dress that appeared to be made of moss and had a crown of flowers and fronds atop her head. Rings of different crystals and gems sparkled on her fingers. As if feeling Draco’s gaze, her attention immediately snapped to him. A smile graced her lips and Draco couldn’t help that his pulse quickened.
“Draco Malfoy,” her voice held excitement. “I’ve been wondering when you’d come to see me.”
“How do you know my name?” Draco demanded, a sense of foreboding creeping over him.
Luna’s lips curved up at the corners and she stepped forward, trailing a feather-light finger down Draco’s temple. Her eyes searched his, her brow furrowing slightly, before they lit up. She giggled and stepped back, a gleeful expression upon her face. Draco now understood where Red’s given sobriquet, ‘the lunatic’, came from. Draco wasn’t certain this woman was stable.
“The scales were correct,” she breathed, unable to take her eyes off of Draco. “You’re special.” As if a flip had been switched, she seemed to snap out of it, turning her attention back to Harry. He was observing the exchange with a calculated look. “Now, what was it that you came to see me for, Harry?”
The gears in Harry’s mind paused for the time being and he fixed Luna with a somewhat ambivalent mien. Draco knew for a fact that Harry would be questioning him on Luna’s odd behavior. “Apparently there’s a… rumor going around.” Harry and Red exchanged an inscrutable look. “Has he really escaped from the locker?”
Luna nodded to herself, then settled down at the table in the middle of the room. She gestured toward the seats, prompting them to follow suit. Draco sat between Harry and Luna. He couldn’t help the confusion muddling his mind. He had no clue what Harry meant by ‘he’, though he assumed that Red and Luna understood him perfectly. If it was any consolation, Bottom looked just as bewildered.
“Captain Voldemort is free of Davy Jones,” Luna said calmly. Red went rigid and Draco noticed that every muscle in Harry’s body had tensed near imperceptibly. Captain Voldemort? His mother had told him stories of the pirate when he was younger. How he’d battled with the Marauders, backed by an army of damned pirates, and they’d sent him deep into Davy Jones’s Locker.
“Surely you don’t mean the fairytale pirate,” Draco had an expression of disbelief across his face. “He doesn’t exist.”
“How?” Harry demanded, ignoring Draco.
Luna shrugged—it seemed her apparent indifference was grinding on Red, who was glaring at the woman. “I suspect he gained assistance from an ally. One who wishes the seas to be rid of pirates and believes himself able to manipulate Tom Riddle.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed slightly and Draco suddenly felt uneasy beneath an absinthe gaze. It was gone as soon as it had come.
“What is he after this time?” Harry questioned.
A sad smile flitted across Luna’s face. “Have you heard of the Lord of the Lamented?”
Draco frowned as Red suddenly froze. Bottom was as white as a sheet. He turned toward Harry, perplexed as to what had sparked the reactions, to find that the other man had shutters over his emotions, blocking out any observers. He was starting to get frustrated with the lack of information and explanations.
“What is this… lamented lord or other?” Draco turned to Luna.
“The Lord of the Lamented,” Harry’s voice cut like glass, “is thought to be the master of Death. It’s a myth-”
“It is no more a myth, Harry Potter,” Luna interrupted, “than your father.”
Harry’s jaw clenched and Draco found himself once again lost. “I’m sorry—your father? What does this have to do with-”
“Nothing,” Harry said sharply.
“So Voldemort is after the title,” Red intervened.
“Yes,” Luna said softly.
“What do you know about the Lord of the Lamented, Luna?” Harry questioned.
Luna reached for the shards of siren scales on the table and pulled a flower and some sort of rune-engraved shell from her hair. She held them in her hands, closing her eyes and murmured in the same language that Draco had heard Harry speaking in earlier. Harry watched her closely, so Draco followed suit.
Suddenly, her eyes shot open. Gone were her pupils—the entire orb was a glowing silver that seemed to light the entire room. Her hair was radiating similarly. Draco watched with horror.
“Lord of the Lamented you wish to be
Heed these words, for they’re your key,” her voice was raspy and gentle, soft, yet booming and echoing. It sent shivers down Draco’s spine.
“Create with these an unforgiving potion
Ichor from each to display your devotion
A mortal of accursed and holy tongue
That who Death has not yet stung
A creature of the damned, whose heart is taken
That of a man who’ll never awaken.”
She suddenly slumped, grabbing hold of the table to keep her balance. Draco quickly reached out in an attempt to keep her from falling. She shot him a curious look, but smiled in gratitude nonetheless. After a few short moments, she straightened and Draco removed his hand from her shoulder. Luna was eyeing Harry with amusement.
“Harry, your eyes seem more green,” she murmured softly.
Draco glanced at the other man, who was raising an eyebrow at Luna. “Do they? It must be the lighting.”
Red was smirking, but Bottom, once again, looked just as baffled as Draco. He was thankful that Bottom was there to provide a source of… comfort.
“You have the prophecy now, Harry,” Luna emptied the contents of her hands onto the table. “The question is what are you going to do with it?”
“I can’t simply kill Voldemort—he’d come back eventually,” Harry was staring at Luna, who nodded in agreement. “And there’s absolutely no doubt that something needs to be done about him.” Harry suddenly inhaled sharply and his eyes snapped to Luna’s. “No,” he breathed.
“How else?” Luna’s voice chimed.
“Any way else.” Harry’s jaw was clenched. “I am no hero, Luna.”
“Roll over and show your belly if that is what you desire, Harry,” Luna stood and took something from her shelf, bringing it back and placing it on the table in front of Harry. It was a blood-red vial. Empty. “But I have faith in you.” Her eyes turned to Draco and she smiled. “With Draco’s assistance, you’re already far ahead of Tom Riddle.”
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Draco paced up and down the ship, arms crossed loosely over his chest, mind whirring. The sound of bottles clinking, rambunctious laughter, and water sloshing against the side of the ship was barely registered as he attempted to process the new information.
He broke it down into frank facts. Sirens existed. The Marauders existed. Captain Voldemort existed. Captain Voldemort recently escaped from the Locker. Someone might have helped him. Harry had to stop Captain Voldemort before the man became the Lord of the Lamented. Apparently, he, Draco Malfoy, played a vital part in Harry’s success.
If Draco was perfectly honest, it all seemed like a dream. He expected to wake up at any moment and find himself back in his bed at the Manor. Those days seemed so far away. Despite the slight ache in his chest when his thoughts would touch upon his mother and father, Draco was surprised to realize that he didn’t regret sneaking off his balcony nearly a month ago.
“I can hear the gears churning in your mind.”
Draco started, his thoughts returning to the present. His head twisted around to find Harry sitting on one of the steps leading up to the helm. His hair hung loose around his angled face and his eyes seemed to glow in the shadows.
“It’s a lot to take in,” Draco admitted. He turned to fully face the other man. “How long have you been sitting there?”
“Luna seems to think there’s something especially significant about you.” Harry blatantly ignored Draco’s question, causing the blond to take a deep breath to calm his rippling temper.
“If you’ve come to interrogate me, I’m just as clueless as you are,” Draco snapped.
Harry’s eyes bore into his with such intensity that he was tempted to look away. Despite this, Draco forced his gaze to remain firm, refusing to let this man intimidate him. Unfortunately, this also meant that he was required to gaze into Harry’s ethereally viridescent eyes. Doing so when he was attempting to train himself not to was a form of exquisite torture and served to muddle his mind. He found himself wondering why he was feeling such peculiar feelings toward Harry when he had never experienced them toward another before. He needed to snap out of it while he was still capable.
“While we’re on the subject of interrogation, what did Luna mean by your father being a myth?” Draco broached, breaking the crushing silence.
“That is none of your concern,” Harry replied smoothly and tersely.
Draco exhaled sharply, then headed toward the double doors that opened to the hallway that led to his room. “You’re infuriating,” he announced, not sparing the other man a second look.
“Funny, I seem to recall you admitting that you quite liked it,” came the drawling reply.
Draco froze. His pulse quickened and he swore the blood running through his veins was poison. He spun to face Harry, who was leaning against the side of the ship, a maddening smirk on his face.
“I also seem to recall that I was inebriated.” Upon a rapid skim through his memories of that night, he triumphantly added, “and you implied that you wanted me to like you.”
“Have I ever claimed otherwise?”
“You did hold a loaded gun to my head,” Draco sneered.
Harry tilted his head to the side. “Don’t take it personally, I do that to most people I come into contact with.”
“Charming,” Draco muttered. He turned to retire, but Harry’s voice stopped him once more.
“Have you done what I’d asked you?”
Draco didn’t face him. He merely turned his chin slightly toward Harry’s voice. “What do you mean?”
Slow, precise footsteps echoed across the wooden floor. Draco’s eyes tracked the approaching shadow and his ears strained for any noise - only merriment from below the deck was processed. Soon, heat engulfed his back and the hairs on the nape of his neck seemed to tingle. He could barely hear the lapping waves over the blood pounding in his ears.
“Do you want me back?” He murmured in a low voice.
Draco remained silent, despite the screaming war raging in his mind. Proclamations of how wrong it was to want a man were being thrown at him in a rapid succession, but were being combated by desperate ‘YES’s in response to Harry’s question.
“I shouldn’t,” he whispered. It was so low, he worried it got carried away by the wind.
“Let’s place rules on affection, shall we?” Came the sarcastic reply.
Draco rotated to face Harry. “You don’t understand. I shouldn’t… I can’t.”
“Obviously you can. You do.” Harry’s hot breath ghosted over Draco’s lips - that’s how close they were. Impossibly, Harry moved in closer. “I know you can feel the inevitability of this. I see it in your eyes every time you look at me. Deny it as long as you’d like. Just know that you’re wasting your time.”
“You think you have it all figured out.”
“I know what I want. I’m bold enough to get it.” Draco’s eyes flicked down to Harry’s lips. “You know what you want, you’ve just yet to accept it.” Harry took a couple of steps back, breaking the trance he’d put Draco in. “When you have, you know where to find me.”
Draco watched, helpless and feeling oddly as if he were drowning, as Harry sauntered through the double doors, out of his vision. He felt like screaming. He took a deep breath, letting his rampant thoughts settle. As soon as he stepped through the double doors and into the hallway, he knew what he was going to do.
Without bothering to knock, he strode into Harry’s room. Green eyes met his as Harry raised his eyebrows. He was obviously preparing for bed, as his shirt was off. Without pausing, Draco let the door swing shut behind him and marched right up to the other man.
“You vexatious minx,” he snarled, cupping Harry’s face and crushing his lips against his with a bruising pressure.
Strong arms immediately circled around his waist and pulled him flush against a hard body. The scent of salt and fire flooded his senses as his blood became crackling electricity. Heated hands slipped beneath his loose shirt, one tracing the curve of his spine and the other dipping beneath the waist of his breeches. Draco gasped, suddenly feeling quite exposed, and Harry took this as an opportunity to slip his tongue through Draco’s parted lips.
Harry tasted metallic, a detail Draco expected to regard with distaste, but instead found himself intoxicated by. He found himself melting as Harry’s tongue caressed his and when Harry threatened to pull away, his fingers knotted in tousled, inky hair and tugged the other man closer. Harry let out a low growl, a noise that made Draco’s breeches tighten. One moment, Draco was kissing Harry back with all the passion he could muster and the next, his back was being slammed against a wall. He let out a sound that could only be described as a whimper.
Confident hands skimmed the hem of Draco’s shirt before tugging it upward. Feeling rather accommodating, especially if Harry kept doing that thing with his tongue, Draco lifted his arms so Harry could swiftly remove the loose fabric. It was tossed somewhere behind them, then taut muscles were aligned with his and Draco had no hope of regaining his rationality.
If he’d known that skin-on-skin contact was so phenomenal, he’d have barged into Harry’s room much sooner. Waves of heat rippled against him, immersing him in a sort of aura that was utterly Harry. He drowned in it and let himself indulge in Harry’s godlike physique, trailing his fingers down Harry’s spine and tracing the lines of his defined abdomen. Harry made a low sound in the back of his throat, then tangled one hand in Draco’s silky hair and dipped the other beneath his breeches, firmly cupping his bottom.
Draco gasped just as the door opened. He made eye contact with Red, who looked quite taken aback.
“Out,” Harry ordered, not pausing, trailing butterfly kisses down Draco’s neck.
Red quickly closed the door and Draco could hear his hurried footsteps echoing down the hallway. Draco opened his mouth to say something, but found it otherwise preoccupied. He was vaguely aware that he was walking backwards, then suddenly his knees hit a mattress, causing him to lose balance. Harry’s arms circled his waist, then placed him on the bed, almost as if it were nothing.
Harry settled over Draco, propping himself up on his elbows so as not to crush him, then absinthe eyes locked with silver. “Is this alright?”
Draco swallowed any misgivings he may have had. “Don’t chicken out on me, Captain.”
A smirk slid onto Harry’s face.
“C’mon, Lumpy Lady Hands, ye can pull harder than that,” Timber Toe teased, leaning down from the crows nest to shoot Draco a toothy grin.
“Aye, look at Bottom, bucko. Give the poor lad a hand,” Tommo added.
“I am,” Draco insisted, giving a harsh tug on the rope.
He and Bottom finally hoisted the sails, then were about to fasten the rope when the double doors leading below the helm opened. Red and Harry walked out, speaking in low voices. Red was speaking in a hurried, urgent tone and Harry’s brow was creased in concentration. Green eyes rose and met his, then a slow grin spread on the other man’s face. He said something to Red, who then glanced up at Draco and turned the color of his hair.
Quickly turning back to his task so as not to let Harry see his complexion was emulating the first mate’s, Draco busied himself with securing the flags. By the way Bottom straightened, he could make a fairly educated guess as to who was behind him.
“Mr. Malfoy, a word.”
Draco turned to face Harry. “Just one?”
Harry merely strode to the port of the ship, resting his elbows on the side and looking out to the horizon. After a split second of debate, Draco followed and stood beside him. Through Harry’s sheer shirt, he could see the same shoulder blades and spine he’d traced the night before. Without turning to make sure Draco was there, Harry spoke.
“Have you wielded a sword before?”
Draco was caught off-guard, not expecting such a question. “A sword?”
“Heard of one?” Harry raised an eyebrow. “You’re to be accompanying the Siren and her crew on this venture. If you’ve any hope of surviving, I must insist you learn to defend yourself.”
“I can defend myself perfectly fine, thank you very much,” Draco protested, frowning at the pirate.
“Oh, really?” Harry tilted his head slightly. He strode up to the nearest crew member, Zabini, and pulled his sword from its sheath. He tossed it to Draco, who barely caught it, then swiftly pulled his from his belt. “Let’s see, then.”
Harry lunged forward, swinging his sword toward Draco’s neck. Draco yelped, bringing his sword up to deflect the blow, yet somehow still ending up with a sharp sting on his cheekbone. Harry moved closer, swinging his weapon once again, causing Draco to jump backward, falling on his bum, and let go of the hilt. Harry caught the sword in his left hand, then smirked.
Draco scowled. “Just because I know how to defend myself doesn’t mean that I know how to wield a sword.”
“Nonsense,” Harry drawled. “If you’re to be joining me, you’ll be employing a sword.” Harry stepped forward and took Draco’s hand, hoisting him up so he was standing once again. At such a close proximity, Draco was flooded with his scent once again. Harry winked, then replaced his hand with the hilt of the sword Draco was using. Stepping back, Harry gave his weapon a confident twirl. “We’ll start with the basics: blocking.”
Draco let out a long sigh.
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Draco woke to the sound of cannonfire. He was alone in Harry’s bed, though the other man’s imprint in the mattress was still visible and warm. He slowly sat up, blinking the sleep from his weary eyes. At the sound of another explosion, he jerked forward and leapt out of the bed, quickly pulling on his clothes. He could hear shouting from the deck, both above and below, and could make out Harry’s dominating orders as if he were in the same room.
Rushing to the door, Draco struggled to wrench it open, but found himself locked in the room. He gave the door another shove, then let out a cry of frustration. This reminded him far too much of a near-parallel pivotal point a month previous.
“Bull-headed pirate,” Draco snarled, giving the door a harsh kick.
Ignoring the throbbing in his toe, Draco scampered to the window behind Harry’s desk. Through the glass, he could make out the King’s flags. His eyes widened as he realized that Commodore Snape was most likely on board one of those ships. There were three vessels, all surrounding the Siren. Draco realized, with a start, that they were being attacked mercilessly by Harry and his crew. Despite the fact that Harry’s crew was severely outnumbered, Draco knew chances were slim that they’d defeat the Siren.
He needed to do something.
Moving quickly, he opened and closed Harry’s desk drawers, desperately searching for anything to assist him in his escape. In one of the top drawers lay the same pistol Harry held to his brow the first time Draco entered this room. He took it with him, slipping the knife resting on Harry’s desk into his belt. Pointing the pistol at the door lock, Draco fired it, jerking at the kick it delivered. Without pause, Draco pulled the door open and rushed through the hallway, heading toward the deck. Another jolt of cannonfire caused him to stumble and grasp the wall for support.
The shock of destruction, or lack of, revealed to Draco that the impact wasn’t affecting the Siren. At this revelation, he urged himself to hurry. Draco wrenched open the double doors and his jaw dropped. Dozens of Snape’s men lay lifeless upon the deck, glazed eyes unblinking. His stomach dropped as he saw Harry engaged in a fight with one of Snape’s men. Just as Harry spun around and drove his sword home, their eyes met. Draco’s heart stuck in his throat as he watched the other man fall to his knees, then go limp.
Never before had Draco seen Harry take a man’s life. He’d heard Harry threaten men and and certainly heard stories of the captain’s ruthlessness, but this first-hand account paralyzed him. Harry looked like an avenging angel, kohl-lined eyes blazing and muscles rippling. This reality lived up to the stories that Draco regarded as nightmares.
Harry’s eyes displayed first shock, then fury. He yanked his weapon from the man’s chest, then stormed toward Draco, deflecting swings and ducking beneath swords as he did so.
“What do you think you’re doing out here?” Harry demanded, grabbing Draco’s upper arm and pulling him back toward the double doors. “You’ll get yourself killed!”
His voice, normally arrogant and lax, was hard and stern. Absinthe eyes were glinting and his maroon bandana kept his hair from sticking to his glistening brow. Draco attempted to wrench his arm out of Harry’s grip, but it was to no avail.
“I can defend myself, Harry,” he insisted, staring unflinchingly into his eyes.
“You’ve only been practicing for three days.” Harry shoved Draco to the ground and swung his blade. Draco only heard a gurgle of blood and the sound of a weapon being dropped. Without letting him turn to see, Harry pulled Draco to the double doors and was about to shove him behind them when Draco made contact with a very familiar set of eyes.
“Father,” he murmured. Then, lunging forward, “Father!”
Lucius was on board the Accelerator, the only ship in Snape’s fleet even remotely capable of matching The Green Siren. He was shouting Draco’s name desperately, ducking beneath crossed blades and running down the deck of the ship. Draco gasped as his father ran straight into Tommo, who instantly lifted his blade to slice Lucius’s neck.
“No!” He screamed, struggling so fiercely in Harry’s grasp that his feet were off the ground.
Tommo paused, then frowned and looked between Draco and Lucius, realization dawning upon him. His eyes then turned to Harry, whose face revealed nothing. Tommo’s eyes remained trained on Harry, awaiting an order. Lucius’s eyes were wide and he was frozen in the pirate’s grip, desperately keeping a slight distance between the blade and his throat.
“Let me go,” Draco demanded, turning to glare at the pirate.
“You know very well I can’t do that.” His lover’s voice was cold.
“That’s my father, Harry!” Draco formed his hands into fists and pounded on Harry’s chest and arms, wriggling and attempting to free himself from the other man’s grasp.
“We need you for this voyage. You heard Luna--”
Draco’s eyes widened as Harry suddenly released him, then whirled around, wielding his sword, to face the Commodore. Snape had a revolver held to Harry’s forehead and a few of his men quickly formed a circle around Harry, their guns aimed straight at him.
“Captain Potter, if you’d be so kind as to accompany us to my ship,” Snape drawled. Timber Toe and Creevey rushed forward in an attempt to assist Harry, whose eyes were hard and chin was raised, but were stopped by Snape’s voice. “Any pirate who moves will result in the death of their beloved captain.”
Draco’s heart froze when he heard that and his stomach dropped at the realization that Harry was refusing to look at him. Harry was led toward the plank connecting his ship with the Accelerator, then guided across by the blades of the bayonets held by Snape’s men. He was directed to the middle of the deck, then surrounded by a circle of men wielding weapons. Draco followed and upon reaching the ship, was engulfed in his father’s embrace.
“Draco, thank the Lord. Your mother will be so pleased we’ve finally rescued you.” Lucius pulled back and held Draco by his shoulders, his eyes holding deep emotion. Draco’s throat felt constricted as he looked at his father--he hadn’t realized just how much he’d missed him.
Then his blood went cold as a feeling of betrayal swept over him. While his father and his men had been searching for Draco, he’d been drinking with the crew and engaging in all sorts of debauchery with an enemy of the King, the same man who’d wreaked havoc and despair upon Port Royal. He struggled for air as he shot his father a weak smile, then turned to look at Harry. He was staring straight at Snape, looking as cocky and in-control as ever, considering the position he was in.
Draco realized, with a start, that Tommo, Zabini, and other members of Harry’s crew were slowly moving toward the Siren, sneakily swinging across to the other ship or climbing across other planks. To his horror, he found himself unable to say any words of warning to Snape’s men or his father. He made eye contact with Red, who gave away no emotion as he crept toward the wheel.
“I ought to slaughter you here, you filthy pirate,” Snape sneered at Harry. “Lord knows I’d be doing the King a service--a jury would deem you guilty anyhow.”
Harry spat on Snape’s shoe, which caused the other man to narrow his eyes and clench his jaw. “I dare you.”
Without a thought, Draco rushed toward the circle of men, breaking through them and standing before Harry, acting as a wall between he and the commodore. He noticed Harry stiffen behind him and Snape’s men adopted a look of confusion.
“Draco!” Lucius burst, bustling forward and standing behind Snape.
“Commodore, don’t,” Draco insisted, looking the other man in the eyes.
“Draco, move,” Snape ordered.
“Only upon your word that he’ll be free of harm.”
“Draco, he kidnapped you-” Lucius started.
Suddenly, a strong arm was being hooked around Draco’s waist and he felt something cold and sharp press against his throat. His eyes widened as he was pulled against a familiar, solid chest. Harry had taken the knife from Draco’s belt. A piercing pain shot through his heart as he realized with his lover was doing. He gulped and closed his eyes, feeling like a fool for believing Harry wouldn’t take advantage of him.
“Ah, how the tables have turned.” Harry murmured, his stubble brushing against Draco’s ear.
“Harry,” Draco breathed, his voice tinged with concern and anguish.
The pirate ignored him. “Here’s how this is going to work. You’re going to let me go or I’ll slit your pretty son’s throat.”
“Let him go,” Lucius immediately ordered. “Put your guns down, that’s my son!”
“Don’t hurt me,” Draco whispered to Harry, blinking his watering eyes, scared to gulp and disrupt the blade pressed to his skin.
After a staring contest with the pirate, Snape finally commanded his men to lower their weapons.
“Wise choice.” Draco could hear the smirk in Harry’s voice. Using the arm hooked around Draco’s torso, Harry walked backward, bringing Draco with him as a shield, never letting his knife stray from Draco’s flesh.
“Take me with you,” Draco softly pleaded, out of his father and Snape’s earshot.
“You’re a distraction,” he murmured. “I can’t have you getting me into situations like this.”
“You nearly got me captured, I use you for my escape. I say we’re square, love.” Harry spun Draco around, quickly moving his knife back to Draco’s throat. “It’s best you find that lovely lass of yours and forget about me. You’re not made for the sea, anyhow.”
“You need me to defeat Voldemort-”
“I’m sure I’ll figure something out.”
Draco gripped Harry’s shirt, acting defiant and angry, but desperately felt around for a small vial. His fingers closed around the glass tucked into Harry’s belt and he slipped it into his palm, then up into his sleeve--he knew Harry would have no choice but to come back once he realized it was missing.
“You’re despicable,” Draco snarled, letting go of Harry’s shirt, playing the part.
“That ought to be your catchphrase.” Harry brushed his thumb across Draco’s cheek, then grabbed a rope and swung across to his ship, dodging the gunfire that ensued once Draco was released.
Draco watched as the ship raised the anchor, then sped away. The Accelerator was stuck until its brother ship arrived, courtesy of the Siren’s cannons. His fingers played with a small blood-red vial as he watched Harry and his crew near the horizon.
Draco maintained a stoic expression as his father, the Commodore, and some other official-looking man argued. He was merely there due to his father anxiously trying to train him, as it was obvious that Draco would be next in line for the position of Port Royal’s governor. Whereas this had made him feel quite proud and important previously, it now caused a sickening feeling to churn in his stomach. The mere notice of that feeling caused Draco to fret over his psychological welfare. He knew it had something to do with Harry and The Siren.
“-obviously wanted him for a reason! Lure him back and we’ll hang him on the spot!”
“Do you honestly think Potter will come back just for Draco? The abduction was of convenience! Draco is nothing more than the son of a man of power to the scoundrel-” Severus was interrupted.
“You intend to use my son as bait?” Lucius snarled at the man who had introduced himself as Cornelius.
“This is Harry James Potter . We’ve been after him for years-”
“It wouldn’t work anyway!” The Commodore argued.
Chewing the inside of his cheek, Draco reveled in the knowledge that Harry would return whether the Commodore and his men did anything or not. He had to. Obviously it would be for the vial, but Draco was confident that he would find his way back on board the Siren. He needed to—to prevent Captain Voldemort from becoming the Lord of the Lamented and for no reason other than that.
“He must know something of value! He was on board for what? Two? Three fortnights?” Cornelius turned to Draco, his face resembling a tomato due to his argument with Severus. “Is there nothing you can tell us of Harry Potter?”
“His whereabouts? His frequents?” The Commodore added.
Now that all attention was turned toward him, Draco cleared his throat slightly and shifted in his seat. “The one port we made was in Tortuga,” he lied slightly. Draco knew that this information, while true, wouldn’t betray Harry, nor would it aid much in the Crown’s search for him: Severus and his men steered clear of the barbaric island. “I was kept beneath deck otherwise.”
His father would faint if he found out that Draco had gotten inebriated whilst in Tortuga. His father would faint if he found out about most occurences Draco had experienced aboard The Siren. Draco mulled this over, beginning to feel quite lightheaded himself. It was as if he became an entirely different person when permitted, when out at sea, immersed in the wildest environment in existence. If Harry had been raised at sea, Draco could comprehend the other man’s untamed habits.
“Of course Potter would make port in Tortuga,” the Commodore sneered.
“Can we not send a fleet of men to ambush his crew upon their next port?” Cornelius turned to Severus.
“I’m not risking sending my men to such a barbaric and uncivilized island—it would be like forcing them to live with animals until Potter decided to make his presence.”
“No matter how it occurs, Captain Potter must be punished for his sins,” Lucius announced. “I’ll not have the miscreant who kidnapped my son and terrorized my people sail free on these waters.”
Draco glanced down at the table and slipped his hand into his pocket, absentmindedly fingering a small vial.
“You’ve no idea how relieved your father and I are to have you back.” Narcissa took a sip of her tea. “As soon as he realized you were missing, he ordered the Commodore to prepare a ship and a crew to set after you.”
“I’m glad to be home,” Draco said smoothly, attempting to ignore the guilt seeping into his conscience.
“Men like Harry Potter—well, not men, heathens —truly make a mother wonder whether a god truly does exist. And if so, why he allows such beasts to live despite their sins.”
“It’s true. I’ll not use the Lord’s name in vain, but it makes me wonder.”
Draco placed his cup down and took his mother’s soft hand into his. “Everything happens for a reason.” Shooting her a reassuring smile, he leaned back in his armchair and released her hand. “And I’m home now—that’s what counts.”
Narcissa smiled, but it quickly faltered. “I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through, what you’ve seen on that awful ship.”
“It wasn’t all bad,” he mused. Draco didn’t bother telling her that he often found himself missing the Siren, missing the structure and the crew. The captain especially.
“You’re changed,” she said sadly. “I can see it in your eyes. You’re not the same as before.”
Draco took a sip of his tea. “I’m wiser now. More experienced.”
“It worries me, Draco.”
“I know there are things you aren’t telling me. Things you’re keeping from the Commodore and your father.” Narcissa had a sad look in her eyes. “I don’t know why.”
“You’ve never been out at sea, mother. You wouldn’t understand.” Draco averted his gaze to the window, to watch the same horizon he’d been studying since he returned home.
“I’ll try to understand.”
Draco imagined telling her about the Siren. Explaining, in detail, how he had attempted to escape only to realize he’d never learned to swim. Telling her about how he’d scrub the deck with Creevey and hoist the sails with Bottom. How he’d compare his callouses with Zabini and listen to the other man’s stories. How he’d feign irritation at Timber Toe and Tommo’s teasing, but would secretly amused. He imagined telling her of his affair with Harry, with a man . The same man his father and the Commodore were hunting down. He couldn’t fathom her reaction.
“I can’t say, mother. It’s best for you not to know.”
Narcissa sighed. “Very well, then.” She smiled tightly. “Now, let’s discuss a more pleasant topic. I’m planning a gala celebrating your return.”
“Mother, that’s not necessary, really.”
“Nonsense.” Narcissa waved him off. “All the noblemen and their families will receive invitations. Every girl will want a dance with you.”
Draco was surprised at the instant disgust that reared upon the mere thought of romancing a woman. He knew it was Harry’s doing—that the other man had… had ruined him somehow. Nonetheless, he smiled as if he were pleased with his mother’s news.
“When will it be held?”
“In a fortnight.”
Hey guys I know this is fairly short and it's been forever since I've updated, but I'll get better about that. Pinky promise :)). Anyways, I have an update coming up VERY soon and it may or may not contain a green-eyed pirate.
Draco shot a tight-lipped smile toward one of the women his mother had introduced him to. He had refused to dance, instead sitting beside his father at the head table and watching his guests twirl around the room. He held no interest in any of the noble mens’ daughters, though it seemed they were competing for his attention. Whenever he would make eye contact with one, she'd blush and giggle to her friends. Draco didn't think he could handle another minute of this gala.
“Darling, go dance. You're being awfully rude just sitting here,” his mother chided, all the while maintaining a brilliant smile for the guests.
“No, thank you,” he declined. “In fact, I'm feeling quite ill—perhaps I'll retire early.”
“Good evening, mother.”
He stood and pushed his chair in. Something felt off, but he couldn't place what it could be. It was just an odd feeling churning in the pit of his stomach. Nodding politely to one of the servants, he left the ballroom and made his way up to his bed chambers. He found himself wondering if perhaps he had eaten something funny, but concluded he just needed a drink to calm himself.
Loosening his cravat, he sighed heavily and pushed his door open, leaning against it once it was closed. Closing his eyes, he inhaled deeply, then exhaled slowly.
“It was either something I ate or I must be going mental,” he murmured to himself. “And look—now I'm talking to myself. Lovely.”
A low chuckle echoed in his room and he instantly jolted and straightened, eyes darting madly in search of the source. He felt his blood run cold when he finally noticed the man draped across his armchair, polishing his sword. Draco drank him in, wondering if he was a delusion. Bright green eyes locked with his and he gulped.
“I'm not too pleased with you at the moment, Draco,” Harry drawled.
“How did you even get in here?”
Harry gestured toward the balcony, where the French double doors were propped open, but offered no other explanation. “I believe you have something of mine.”
Draco crossed his arms over his chest. “This is such an invasion of privacy. If you'd simply knocked—”
Harry stood in one swift motion. “Christ, Draco, stop avoiding the topic at hand.” He strode toward him, where he was pressed flat against the door. Suddenly, his hands were skimming Draco’s chest and sides, dipping in his pockets.
“Oh my god,” Draco tried shoving Harry's hands away from where they were searching his person, ignoring the tingles running across his skin.
“Where is the vial, Draco?” Harry's eyes locked with his and the intensity within them caused Draco to glance away.
Draco wet his lips, then stepped away from Harry to give himself some room to think—the other man clouded his rationale. “You need me on this voyage, Harry, Luna said-”
“You're a distraction. I can't constantly be saving you.”
“I've been learning how to fight! Snape’s men have been teaching me-” Harry swiftly tossed Draco the sword he had been polishing, then pulled another from the other side of his belt. “Why are you carrying two swords?”
“Let's see, then.” Harry ignored Draco's question and instead tapped the blade of his sword against Draco's. “Hold your own and I'll let you come with me.”
“Harry, I've only been practicing for a few days and you've been fighting for your entire-”
Without listening to Draco's words, Harry surged forward, swinging his sword. Yelping, Draco just barely deflected the blow, backing up and away from the pirate. As Harry continuously and ruthlessly played the offense, he moved so swiftly and gracefully that Draco had to wonder where he’d learned to fight. Kohl-lined eyes blazing, he kept his gaze locked with Draco's.
Draco found himself basking in Harry’s presence, despite the obvious fact that the other man was repeatedly bombarding him with a lethal weapon. Realizing how pathetic he seemed, he pushed any thoughts of how much he had missed Harry from his mind.
Glancing away and watching their colliding blades, Draco struggled to keep up with Harry, whom he knew wasn't putting much effort into their duel. His brow furrowed as he desperately raised his blade to block Harry's, ducking beneath the force of the other man’s blow. In a move that Draco wouldn’t have thought possible, Harry spun around, easily deflecting Draco’s blade, before swiftly launching himself at Draco, sword raised. Draco froze, feeling the cold sting of Harry’s blade on the side of his neck, panting heavily.
“Snape’s men couldn’t tell the blade from the hilt,” Harry said in a monotone.
Clenching his jaw, Draco let Harry take his sword back and watched as the other man sheathed them. Harry hadn’t even broken a sweat, whereas Draco’s heart was racing.
“Admit it, I’ve gotten better.”
Harry turned away and sat on the edge of Draco’s bed, looking as if he owned the place, as if Draco was the intruder rather than himself. “You’d be able to hold your own in a fight against Creevey,” was all he said.
“I held my own against you,” Draco argued.
“Really? I almost killed you once or twice there,” Harry smirked and ran his fingers through his hair.
“You wish,” Draco sneered, crossing his arms over his chest. They were silent for a few moments. Draco watched the fire turn Harry’s absinthe eyes gold and cast dark shadows across his face. Stubble lined the other man’s strong jaw and Harry had neglected to wear his bandanna. He was stunning.
“I’m coming with you whether you like it or not,” Draco said quietly.
Harry let out a long sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. “You don’t understand the dangers. You’ve not experienced anything to make you understand just how savage the seas can be. Nor her inhabitants.”
“I don’t care,” Draco proclaimed. “I refuse to sit in this manor and attend balls and speak with politically corrupt men. Not when I’ve had a taste of freedom.”
Harry had a small smile on his face by the time Draco had quieted. He stood and advanced upon Draco, a smirk growing on his face when Draco didn’t back away. He removed Draco’s cravat entirely, his calloused fingers nimbly making work of the already loosened knot, tossing it carelessly to the side.
“I wonder,” he mused, running his thumb across the rich velvet of Draco’s coat, “if you’re addicted to the sea,” his eyes met Draco’s, gleaming with mirth and mischief, “or to me.” Draco gulped, but didn’t respond, too busy soaking in Harry, finally allowing himself to guiltlessly remember their nights aboard the Siren. “Because if it was the sea you missed, I know you would have found your way aboard a ship somehow.” Harry stepped impossibly closer so his heat was rolling off him and onto Draco. “But instead you waited for me. You knew I’d come for the vial.”
“I didn’t expect it to take two fortnights.” Draco involuntarily closed his heavy-lidded eyes as Harry’s fingers ran along his jaw, his thumb smoothing Draco’s bottom lip. He felt Harry’s hand duck beneath his coat to curl around his waist. Draco felt a shiver run down his spine and he must have shuddered because Harry was smirking again.
“There was something I needed to attend to.” His hot breath ghosted over Draco’s lips, which had suddenly gone dry. He watched Harry’s eyes drop to his mouth as he wet them.
Just realizing his hands hanging limp by his sides, Draco raised them to Harry’s chest, clenching them in the thin fabric of his billowing shirt and tracing the hard muscle beneath. He had missed this so much his heart hurt with the pain of it.
“Admit it,” Draco breathed, ducking his fingers beneath Harry’s shirt to trace his defined torso, “you missed me.”
Rather than make such a confession, Harry leaned forward and pressed his mouth against Draco’s, using the hand on Draco’s waist to pull their bodies flush together. Draco’s breath caught, then he was kissing Harry back with all the passion he could muster. He raised a hand to tangle in Harry’s untamed hair, keeping the other man from pulling away, though by the feel of it, Harry had no intention of doing so.
Using his tongue to part Draco’s lips, Harry deepened the kiss, causing Draco to let out a soft groan. He had missed Harry’s metallic taste, missed the controlled dominance with which Harry kissed. His breeches tightened when Harry nipped at his bottom lip and he tugged at Harry’s shirt, making his intentions clear.
“The crew is waiting,” Harry breathed, pressing kisses along Draco’s jaw, then sucking on a soft spot beneath Draco’s ear.
“I haven’t seen you in two fortnights,” Draco panted, “they can wait.”
Harry chuckled, then nipped at Draco’s earlobe before pulling back and swiftly removing his shirt, letting it drop to the floor beside Draco’s cravat. Draco took a moment to admire the other man’s body, letting his eyes roam across chiseled biceps and pectorals, down Harry’s washboard abdomen, then to the trail of dark hair that disappeared beneath Harry’s breeches. His fingers traced Harry’s hipbones almost reverently.
“I’ve always wanted to have you in your perfect little manor with the governor and the Commodore just downstairs,” Harry growled in his ear.
Draco’s eyes widened and he dragged Harry in for another kiss.
“Christ, how far away did you make port?” Draco scowled as he felt sand in his shoes.
“Just around this bend. We didn’t actually make port—we anchored it in case we needed to make a quick departure.” Harry turned to shoot Draco a wicked grin. “I hope you don’t mind swimming a bit.”
Draco’s jaw dropped. “You know I can’t swim.”
“This is my revenge for you taking the vial.”
“You’re despicable,” Draco spat.
“How many times have you informed me of this? It must be at least the tenth.”
Draco glared at the figure ahead of him, irritation coursing through his veins. “God forsaken pirates,” he muttered, kicking sand in Harry’s direction.
“Cheer up a bit,” Harry called back to him. “I did just give you the best orgasm of your life.”
“Don’t be cocky,” Draco scowled.
At that Harry turned, mirth evident in his eyes. “It’s not me being cocky. You told me it was the best of your life right afterward.”
Draco cursed himself beneath his breath, causing Harry to let out a low chuckle. They walked around a monstrous rock jutting out from the mountainside, Draco taking care not to get his shoes damp, then he couldn’t help the warmth that flooded his body at the sight of the black flags, the familiar skull and crossbones with the green lightning bolt.
The ship was only about a two minute swim from the dock, according to Harry. Looking down into the dark water below, Draco gulped. Harry had assured him that he’d help him toward the ship, but he still wasn’t pleased at the prospect of being completely submerged. His mother had never let him swim in the ocean as a child and had always warned him against doing so.
“Harry, can’t they lower a longboat or something-”
“It’s barely even a swim.” Harry turned to him when they reached the end of the dock. Draco could see Timber Toe and Tommo lowering a couple of ropes to pull them aboard. “Don’t worry—I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Gulping, Draco nodded, trusting Harry. He hadn’t put his coat back on, as Harry told him it would weigh him down.
“Don’t think about how deep it is. Just hold onto me, all right?”
Harry dived in gracefully, emerging a moment later, pushing his hair back. Draco could see his feet treading water beneath the surface and he gulped, pushing down his misgivings. The ocean seemed to be calling to him, urging him to jump in with Harry. Ignoring the unease that accompanied those feelings, he took a deep breath, then jumped. Once his head was submerged, he felt a burning tingle spread throughout his entire body.
He emerged, gasping for air, but felt something thrumming through his veins, could feel his skin tightening and morphing. He was barely aware of Luna leaning over the side of the ship, screaming at Harry to get out of the water.
His head ducked beneath the surface again and he let out a gurgling scream as his legs were immersed with a searing pain. It felt as if knives were piercing his legs and hips and he drew in a heavy breath before realizing he was breathing underwater. He didn’t register the sound of his breeches and shoes ripping.
All of a sudden, a deadly calm settled over him and he felt something in the back of his mind manifest, taking control of his conscious. He gracefully emerged from the water, aware that he was nude. Harry’s eyes were wide and he was gaping at Draco, still treading water. Draco was only barely aware of Harry’s crew staring at him, of Luna still shouting at Harry to get out of the water.
“Come to me,” he commanded Harry, though he was aware that it wasn’t in English. His voice sounded like a string of musical notes, a soft baritone. It seemed to harmonize with the sounds of the ocean and the wind.
Harry didn’t move, still staring at Draco in unconcealed astonishment. Luna was chanting something, her eyes closed and platinum hair blowing in the wind. Draco was flooded with confusion, but that calm conscious seemed to take over again.
“Come to me,” he heard himself say, or rather sing.
He was slowly moving toward Harry, gracefully and smoothly gliding through the water. The waves lapped at his shoulders. When he was right in front of Harry, he pulled the other man toward him, pressing their chests together. Harry still seemed to be in shock.
Suddenly, when Harry was only a breath away, he felt a deadly hunger overcome him, morphed from the calm. He opened his mouth and bared his teeth, though through Harry’s mirrored eyes he could see that they had elongated slightly and his canines were sharp fangs. He let out a sound, but instead of the singing being soft and sweet like before, it came out as more of a hissing cry.
He lunged for Harry’s throat, dragging the other man beneath the surface. Harry fought him, shoving him away, then everything went black.
Tell me in the comments below what you guys think - I'm curious to see how you guys feel about this turn of events :))
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
Soft murmurs danced at the edges of Draco’s consciousness as he slowly faded in and out. He was aware of a low, chanting sound and hushed voices. As he gradually came to, he felt hard wood digging into his back, most certainly bruising his tailbone.
He picked up on the low voices and immediately discerned Harry’s—it was hard and had a sharp edge to it. “Fetch him some clothes and a blanket—he’ll need them.”
Footsteps echoed away and Draco felt each one vibrate against his back. The side of his head, right above his ear, was throbbing and he let out a soft groan. Immediately, the voices stopped, as did the chanting. He felt cool, delicate fingers brush over his eyelids, then pull them up. Draco made a noise of protest and turned his head away, blinking rapidly. Gradually, everything began to come into focus.
Luna was kneeling down beside him, her large eyes almost glowing. A slow smile curled her lips when Draco’s vision focused.
“Draco Malfoy,” she cooed, “welcome back.”
Blinking rapidly, attempting to clear the fogginess from his mind, Draco struggled to sit up, grunting with the effort. His body felt spent and his muscles ached miserably. He put a hand to his head, applying pressure where the thudding in his skull was most prominent. Only when he felt the breeze tickle his skin did he realize that he was quite naked. Inhaling sharply, he curled in upon himself and wrapped his arms around his body. Gulping down panic, he glanced around at his surroundings.
He was on the deck of the Siren, along with Luna, Red, and Harry. Red was politely looking away, but Luna was watching him with a smile dancing at the corners of her lips. His eyes met Harry’s and he felt ice run through his veins—Harry was regarding him with apprehension.
“W-what happened?” He croaked. “What did I do?”
Harry’s green eyes flared. “You don’t remember?”
Draco felt that same panic bubbling in his chest and struggled to contain it. Harry opened his mouth to speak, but then Creevey came running onto the deck with a pile of clothes and blankets in his hands. He gave them to Harry, who then ordered him to remain below deck with the rest of the crew. Creevey nodded obediently, but glanced worriedly at Draco and offered him a sympathetic smile before scurrying off.
Harry clenched his jaw, then strode over to Draco. He knelt down to envelop Draco in a blanket, then pressed some of his clothes into Draco’s hands. “Here, you ought to be freezing,” he muttered. As Draco clumsily pulled on a pair of Harry’s trousers, Harry tugged a tunic over his head, then wrapped an additional blanket around him.
“I’d appreciate if someone would inform me of what’s happened.” Draco clutched the blankets to his chest and leaned back into Harry’s warm embrace.
“You’re a bloody mermaid.” Harry’s eyes snapped to Red, who merely crossed his arms over his chest. “What? Someone needs to start talking.”
Draco was gaping at Red. “M-mermaid? What?”
“Draco-” Harry started.
“Is this some sort of prank?” Draco glanced between the other three people on the deck. “Some sort of initiation back onto the ship?”
“Not a mermaid,” Luna shot an exasperated look toward the red-haired first mate, “a siren.”
“A siren,” Draco said carefully.
“You didn’t know,” Harry said quietly.
“No, I didn’t know,” Draco snarled. “Nobody bothered to tell me I was a- a siren.” He ran his fingers through his hair and tried to ignore the thudding. “Please tell me this is a prank. I have legs for christ’s sake.”
“You didn’t a bit ago,” Red remarked.
“Red, go make sure we’re still on a steady course,” Harry said in a voice of barely-concealed irritation. It was obvious, even to Draco, that it was a dismissal.
“That was an order.”
The two men stared each other down before Red nodded curtly, then strut toward the steering wheel, away from the three of them. Draco pulled up his trousers and observed his legs—they looked perfectly normal.
“I should have just listened to you when you said you couldn’t swim,” Harry said roughly, running his fingers through his hair and clenching his jaw.
“What does this have to do with anything?” Draco demanded, turning to meet Harry’s gaze.
“That is how sirens shift,” Luna said softly. “They must be emerged in salt water. That is why you did not know you had siren blood in your veins.”
Harry whipped his glare to Luna. “But you did. You could have warned us so Draco didn’t have to go through this.”
Luna merely met Harry’s gaze head-on. “I do not play with fate, you know this.” Harry clenched his jaw. “He would not have believed me if I had told him.”
“But I would have.” Harry’s voice was raising. “If I had known I could have helped his first transition. I could have consulted with Moony and talked Draco through it so he knew not to give in to the siren.”
“Moony?” Draco questioned.
“What’s done is done,” Luna said with a finality. “All you can do now is help train him.”
“And what makes you think I’m qualified to do that?”
“You are the only human able to,” Luna said sharply. “Do not feign ignorance.”
Draco could feel all the muscles in Harry’s body were taut. He put a hand on Harry’s arm, understanding Harry was upset despite being confused by the conversation.
“You cannot run from your past forever, Harry Potter,” Luna said more softly. “Draco needs you right now and you cannot defeat Voldemort without his assistance.” Luna raised her chin as if she expected Harry to protest to what she was about to say and was preparing for his reaction. “You need to call an Order meeting.” Harry inhaled sharply. “You know it’s necessary.”
Harry was silent for a long time before he finally nodded. Draco felt him stand behind him, then Harry’s arms were around Draco pulling him up. Draco stood on bare, shaky feet and he was embarrassed to note that most of his weight was on Harry.
“Draco needs rest,” Harry said in a voice that left no room for question. “We will discuss this further tomorrow.”
Luna nodded in agreement. “As do you.”
Draco let Harry steer him through the double doors and into his room. It looked exactly as Draco remembered it. Harry closed the door behind them, then let out a long sigh. Wordlessly, he walked over to the corner to splash his face with water, dampening his hair and the front of his shirt.
Stifling a yawn, Draco sank down on the edge of the bed, inhaling deeply when the familiar scent of Harry filled his nostrils. Salt and smoke. He was about to lean back and crawl under the covers when he noticed Harry was slipping into bed himself.
“You’re not going to take your shirt off?” Draco wondered, frowning.
Harry shook his head. “It’s too cold.”
“That’s never been a problem before.” Draco studied Harry.
He noticed faint marks beneath the thin, damp cloth of his shirt. Draco’s breathing hitched. Before Harry could move out of the way, Draco snatched the front of his shirt and yanked it upward. Draco immediately tasted bile on his tongue.
“Oh my god,” he whispered, his eyes wide.
“Draco, don’t,” Harry’s hands wrapped around Draco’s wrists, attempting to get Draco to listen. “It doesn’t hurt, it’s fine-”
“I did that to you,” Draco said, his voice hollow.
Harry’s chest had numerous marks dragging across his chest, dangerously close to his neck. They weren’t particularly deep, but they would leave light scars and they were a vibrant red. Draco felt dangerously faint.
“…listening? It’s fine.” Harry was cupping his face and looking into his eyes. “It doesn’t hurt. You weren’t yourself. It’s not your fault, Draco-”
“Oh god, I did that to you,” Draco choked. “I hurt you.”
He twisted away from Harry and blinked away tears of shame. Instantly, calloused fingers were gripping his chin and twisting his head to face Harry. He looked desperately at Harry, terrified of what he had done and what he had become.
“Draco, listen to me,” Harry’s voice was stern, but laced with a pleading tone. “Calm down. Do you want to know how we got you back onto the ship?” Green eyes pierced Draco’s. “I’m the one who knocked you out. That’s why your head hurts. We’re even, all right?”
Draco stared at Harry, unblinking. Eventually, he nodded slowly and swallowed down his stress. He felt even more exhausted. “Okay,” he said hoarsely, “okay.”
“Okay,” Harry parroted, combing his fingers through Draco’s hair.
He pressed a kiss to Draco’s temple before moving to his side of the bed and pulling his shirt off. Draco let out a long sigh, then rubbed his eyes, trying to force the day away. He wanted everything to be normal again.
“Go to sleep, Draco,” Harry said softly, his voice muffled by his pillow.
Chapter 12: Chapter 12
When Draco woke, Harry was gone. He closed his eyes and listened to the sound of the sea sloshing against the side of the ship, listened to the echoes of boots thudding against the deck, listened to the loud voices outside. He wasn’t sure what the crew knew, what they saw. He wasn’t even entirely sure of what had happened or what it meant.
Draco dressed slowly and was relieved to see that Harry had left him a tray of food. He looked out the window, at the clear skies, as he slowly ate and gathered his courage. He needed to mull over what he knew and what it meant.
He was a siren. That much had been proven the day previous. Draco thought back to the day he had met Luna, on Ballena, when Harry had told him of the siren scales and Draco had allowed himself to believe in the existence of the creatures that produced them. He couldn’t fathom that the blood of the creatures that shed such ethereal scales ran through his veins. He seemed too bland to be a descendant of those beings.
He knew that the Marauders existed. He knew that some Order existed and Harry was to call a meeting with them. He knew that Captain Voldemort—Tom Riddle?—existed. He knew that Captain Voldemort was attempting to become the Lord of the Lamented, whatever that meant, and apparently it was up to Harry to stop him. He knew that he was to help Harry.
He didn’t even know how he could help Harry. He felt acutely out of his depth.
Draco sighed and rubbed the side of his head—it still throbbed a bit. He rested his chin on his fist and tried to make sense of their undertaking. He was still pondering this when the door swung open. He looked up and felt his chest flutter.
“How’s the head?” Harry asked, closing the door behind him before making his way over to Draco. Draco didn’t know if he ever would get used to the way Harry moved—like a predator. Graceful, yes, but dangerous nonetheless.
“It’s fine.” Draco waved him off. “There’s not a lump again, is there?”
Harry laughed softly and shook his head. “No lump this time.”
Harry leaned over the desk and took a piece of bread from the plate, popping it into his mouth before heading back toward the door. Draco knew Harry was aware of his eyes on him. He turned his head as his hand reached for the door handle.
“You should know the only people aware of what happened last night are Red, Creevey, Luna, and the two of us,” Harry’s voice was straightforward and almost abrupt, but his eyes were gentle. “The rest of the crew thinks you almost drowned, actually,” he said, an amused smirk curling his lips. “They’re under the impression I saved your life and dragged you back onto the deck.”
“Oh, lovely,” Draco said, though he was secretly grateful—he didn’t know how he felt about the entire crew being aware of his…predicament.
Harry grinned wolfishly, then slipped out of the room. Draco listened as his footsteps, light as they were, faded. He finished off his breakfast, then walked over to the corner of the room. He splashed some water on his face, then looked at his reflection in the mirror hanging above the basin.
He tried to search in his eyes, in his skin, in his teeth, in his fingers, for any semblance of the creature he had become the night before. All he had for reference were his hazy memories and the accounts of Harry, Luna, and Red.
Draco couldn’t help but feel frustrated that he knew virtually nothing of what had happened to him. Apparently there was some animal, beast, siren, inside of him, dormant until triggered by the complete immersion in salt water. He felt oddly violated by his own body—he felt he should have been able to tell it was there. He had no idea where it came from and whether he controlled it or it controlled him.
He wondered if his parents knew.
With a long sigh, Draco grabbed a nearby rag and used it to dry off his face before running his fingers through his hair and steeling his expression. He was going to go out onto the deck and act as if nothing had happened. Normalcy was what he wanted at the moment even if his life was anything but.
He ducked his head to laughs and pats on the back as soon as he stepped on deck. Even Zabini ceased his usually sharp glower in order to shoot Draco an amused expression. It wasn’t a cruel one—just teasing. Draco shook his head and bit back a smile as he bore all the jokes.
“Next time we’ll lower a rowboat fer ye, Lumpy, aye?” Timber Toe clapped Draco on the back and ruffled his hair before climbing the mast to join Tommo.
Draco nearly jumped when he felt a hand rest on his shoulder. It was reassuring and he recognized the familiar calloused grip.
“Don’t worry ‘bout ‘em,” Bottom said, his tone light. “It’ll all blow over soon.” He smiled at Draco—it was slightly timid, but it lifted Draco’s soggy spirits. “If ye like, I can teach ye how ta swim.”
Draco couldn’t help the tilt to his mouth. “Thanks,” he said sincerely. “Perhaps I’ll take you up on that one day.”
Bottom practically beamed at him before hoisting some ropes higher up on his shoulder and heading toward the mast. Draco watched him go, feeling a sort of fondness in his chest for the man. He seemed too gentle to be working on a pirate ship—much less The Green Siren.
His eyes searched the ship and landed up near the helm, where Harry stood, arguing with Luna. Again. Even where he stood, Draco could tell that Luna was calm and rather nonchalant whereas Harry was merely appearing to be, presumably through no small amount of effort. His clenched fists, lingering near his weapons belt, gave him away. Draco didn’t envy Luna, though she didn’t seem worried or threatened in the least. Her golden hair was blowing in the wind, flowers, shells, twigs, and all, and there was a slight curve to her mouth. She was cradling some shells in her hands, shifting them from palm to palm, mindlessly and lovingly.
Luna seemed to feel his gaze, as their eyes met and her face lit up. Harry followed her line of vision and seemed almost surprised by Draco’s willing presence on the deck for a split second before he schooled his features into the blank, intimidating mask he tended to wear whilst on deck.
Draco walked up to where they stood, each step on the staircase creaking beneath his shoes as he made his way up toward the helm. Luna and Harry both angled their stances toward Draco, though Harry crossed his arms over his chest. He didn’t look pleased, his brow slightly furrowed.
“Harry and I have decided to begin your training,” she said cheerfully.
Draco’s brows shot up toward his hairline. “Excuse me - training?” Harry merely ran his fingers through his tangled hair, tucking it back into the bandana, and rested his hand on the hilt of his sword—not threateningly; just in a way that Draco could tell was comfortable to him. “Training for what?”
Harry shot him a look and Luna merely giggled softly, mostly to herself than anyone else. “To teach you how to control your instincts, of course.”
Draco’s glance darted toward Red, who had one hand on the wheel and the other on a compass. He caught Draco’s gaze and his flicked to Luna before going back to Draco. His blue eyes widened slightly and he sighed. The message was clear: Loony.
Turning back toward Luna, Draco frowned. “How can Harry help me train it?” He looked Harry up and down, confusion most likely evident on his face. “You’re not…are you?”
Harry quickly shook his head, though his muscles were still taut, tense. “No. No, I’m human.”
Luna snorted softly and Harry shot her a sharp look. Luna opened her mouth, apparently about to say something, but Harry beat her to it.
“We’ll anchor near shore, then the two of us will take a rowboat in,” Harry said, his voice leaving no room for compromise. He looked as if merely saying it pained him. He turned away from Luna and Draco, toward Red. “Find the nearest island and drop the anchor. We shouldn’t be more than a day, depending upon how it goes.”
Red nodded and Harry stepped away from the wheel, heading back down the stairs. Draco followed, though Luna stayed behind, closing her eyes and smiling as the breeze tangled in her hair. Draco wondered how she could be so carefree despite knowing about Captain Voldemort’s quest and the danger they were certain to put themselves into by stopping him.
He was watching Luna so intently that he walked into Harry upon reaching the bottom step. Harry turned and fixed Draco beneath his kohl-smudged, vivid eyes. His brow was furrowed and he looked intense. Harry crossed his arms over his chest and no Draco wasn’t looking at his biceps.
“This won’t be easy,” Harry said quietly. “Luna seems to think it’s important, but we don’t have to go through with the training if you don’t want to.”
Draco raised a brow. “Scared?” When Harry didn’t rise to the bait, merely tilted his head to the side and cocked a brow, Draco sighed and mimicked Harry’s position, crossing his arms over his chest. “I don’t necessarily want to, but I feel that I need to.” Harry didn’t say anything, waiting for Draco to continue. “I need to learn how to control this and I need to learn more about it,” Draco said softly. “I can’t just ignore it and hope it goes away or that…that what happened last night was just a bad dream.” Harry’s jaw clenched imperceptibly. “It’s not likely I’ll keep from being emerged in salt water forever, anyway. Who knows? Maybe this has something to do with how I’m meant to help you.”
“Oh, it definitely does,” Harry says, though he doesn’t sound happy about it. At all. It comes out almost as a growl.
“Well then,” Draco says, lightening the tone of his voice and straightening his spine, “my decision’s made for me. You’re going to help me train.” After a split moment of contemplation, he added, “And you are going to explain to me just why you, of all people, are qualified to teach me how to control…it.”
Harry didn’t say anything. He just looked at Draco for a moment before turning away to head toward the mast.
Draco sighed. He felt oddly comforted by the familiarity of Harry’s moodiness. He wondered how it was that Luna, of all people, managed to bring it out in him.
“Only when it comes to you,” Luna said in a sing-song voice, right behind him, causing him to jerk in surprise. He stared at her, wondering if she could read his mind, when she smiled. “Your eyes are like the pages of a book,” she explained, before brushing her thumb across Draco’s cheekbone and flitting toward the edge of the ship, near the water, to look down into the sea.
“Christ,” Draco muttered, wondering what his life had become.
Draco kept all his limbs as close to his center as possible, away from the edges of the rowboat. If Harry noticed, which he undoubtedly did, he didn’t say anything. Draco focused on the sloshing sounds on the edges of the boat and on the hard muscles in Harry’s arms and chest as he rowed them toward the shore of the island.
The island was small—Draco could see it begin to curve in upon itself—and he reckoned he could walk the perimeter of the island in a day or so. Nonetheless, the sand was a pristine white and could be seen beneath the clear blue water. Draco saw small, colorful fish darting about the grains, ducking and darting through the shadows the boat created. Back at Port Royal, it was a rarity to see any fish—they were too wary of humans and boats—but here they seemed almost friendly.
He turned his head to look back at the large, looming shadow The Green Siren was against the blue sea. Draco thought he ought to be worried that he seemed to consider it his home for the time being, but only found a sense of pleasure at an adventure being fulfilled.
“We’ll walk along the beach until we’re out of view of the Siren,” Harry said. “It’s shallow enough here that I’ll be able to grab and restrain you if anything should happen.”
Draco nodded, gulping down any misgivings. Sensing Draco’s discomfort, Harry shifted his leg so it pressed up against Draco’s, a warm, familiar presence. Draco’s eyes glanced up at met Harry’s and he held the other man’s gaze.
When they were close enough to shore, Harry hopped out of the boat, not caring that he was soaking his boots and breeches in the process, and trudged through the water, pulling the boat along to the beach. When it was wedged in the sand, unable to go any further, Draco stood shakily and carefully made his way over the the end of the boat that was rested on the sand. Harry held out his hand and helped Draco step out of the boat and onto the beach. Draco’s mind flickered to when Harry had helped Draco off the boat when they had arrived at Ballena to visit Luna.
So much had changed since then.
He helped Harry pull the boat completely onto the shore, then followed a pace behind the other man as he strode down the beach. Draco wondered how it was that Harry managed not to kick up sand as he walked. Upon asking, he was simply met with a grin and shrug.
Draco hadn’t realized how much effort it took to walk through sand. A sheen of sweat covered his brow and his leg muscles ached. He decided to distract himself by wondering about Harry.
Despite being with Harry, in close quarters, being closer to Harry in ways he hadn’t been close to someone before, the other man was an enigma. Yes, it had been what had intrigued Draco at first, but now he was itching to peel back the layers of mystery shrouding Harry. Harry had a way with twisting conversations and flipping questions and he somehow managed to evade most inquiries Draco flung at him about his past or his certain talents or areas of knowledge. Draco still hadn’t found out why Luna had called Harry’s father a myth, still hadn’t figured out what language Harry had spoken to get into Luna’s…abode. House?
He still wasn’t sure how Harry could help train him. Why Harry rather than Luna? Draco reasoned that Luna seemed to know more about sirens than Harry.
Mulling this over, Draco wondered if this was true. Harry had been the one to first mention sirens to him, the night he had first tried to escape. It had been seen as teasing then, but it was a start. Then, on the lake outside the tree that made up Luna’s house, he had explained to Draco about the siren scales. In the water, when Draco had become the creature, he was the one who somehow managed to get him back onboard relatively unscathed. Draco wanted to slap himself when he realized his last point—Harry’s was the captain of The Green Siren.
“All right,” Draco said, his tone filled with determination, “explain to me why you’re so interwoven with sirens.”
Harry tilted his head to smirk at Draco, obviously amused. “Excuse me?”
“I deserve an explanation,” Draco pressed. “You obviously know a lot about sirens, apparently enough to train me, so I feel I at least ought to know how or why.”
“You’re right,” Harry said after a bit, and Draco felt the tension give way in his shoulders. That wasn’t so difficult. Unfortunately, Harry didn’t expand upon that.
Draco let out a loud breath of air, but his protests and nudges fell upon deaf ears.
When they finally got to an area of the beach Harry was satisfied with, Harry plopped down on the sand and pulled off his boots, then his shirt. Draco’s brows shot up toward his hairline and he audibly gulped.
“Shoes off,” he told Draco, curling his own toes into the sand. Draco studiously focused on his own shoes to avoid staring at Harry—it wasn't as if he’d never seen him shirtless. He knew rationally that it was ridiculous for him to be so affected merely by some exposed skin.
Once he’d yanked his shoes off and placed them neatly beside Harry’s, he turned toward the other man, avoiding looking anywhere but at his face. Harry didn’t give any indication that he noticed this, besides grinning almost smugly.
“Clothes off as well,” Harry said.
“What?” Draco’s eyes widened and he stared at Harry in shock. “I hardly think now’s the time-”
Harry laughed softly. “I recommend you take them off now so you don’t ruin them—I doubt you’d like to climb back aboard in nothing but my shirt.” When Draco’s eyes remained wide, Harry clarified. “Shifting will cause the clothes to rip.”
“O-oh,” Draco said, feeling heat crawl up his neck and settle in the tips of his ears and his cheeks.
“Not that we won’t have time for other activities later.”
Draco cleared his throat and bit his lip to keep from smiling. Harry was amused, watching Draco with that stupid head tilt again, and Draco didn’t look at him as he pulled off his clothes, folding them and placing them neatly beside his shoes.
Once he was undressed, he followed Harry down to the water, self-consciously wrapping his arms around himself. The water was warm, luckily, though he felt his heart begin to race upon thinking of entering it.
“Just put your feet in for now,” Harry said. “Get used to the feeling of the water and allow your instinct to calm you and let you feel comfortable with the sea.”
Draco nodded and stepped closer to the water. When the tide surged upward, Draco winced as it glided over his feet. Harry moved to stand beside him, shoulder-to-shoulder, digging his toes into the sand like he wanted to plant himself there forever. With Harry beside him and the water starting to feel familiar, his pulse slowed and he found himself almost lulled by the pushing and dragging motion of the current.
“Good,” Harry murmured. “Are you ready to move on?”
Draco gulped, but nodded his head nonetheless.
“Lie down,” Harry said, “horizontally.”
Draco raised a brow, despite knowing exactly what Harry meant, and Harry made an exasperated sound in his throat.
“You know what I mean—relative to the shoreline.”
Draco followed Harry’s instructions and worked to keep his breathing even.
“When the water rises, you’ll be submerged,” Harry said briskly. “You’ll shift, only for a few seconds, before the water recedes again. I’ll be right here. Just try to get used to the feeling of switching between your human and siren form, all right?” Draco nodded. “Good, here the tide comes.”
Draco didn’t have time to fret over the idea of shifting into it again before the water was washing over him. He felt a sort of static run through his body, felt something both wholly uncomfortable, yet right, pulsing through his veins. He remembered the feeling of his skin tightening and morphing and that was all the warning he received before his legs felt like they were on fire, like they were being fused together. He wanted to scream. For all he knew, he may have.
Hands were on his shoulders, pressing him into the sand, alternating between keeping his hips and his shoulders down. A familiar voice was echoing in his ear, speaking in a language he knew wasn’t English. It wasn’t any sort of common tongue he’d heard before, yet he could understand perfectly. The words were dark, dangerous, seductive, were telling him to remain calm, to focus on the voice.
He sucked in a breath deeply, desperately, and felt calm, before realizing he was inhaling water. Just as that same deadly calm started to settle over him, to grab the reins of his conscious, the water receded, leaving him ashore.
He gulped desperately for water, needing to breathe, and felt his legs tingle and sting as they separated. Draco barely had the sense to push himself up onto his elbows and watch as glimmering scales, almost resembling moonstones, were buried beneath his flesh, blending back in with the pale skin of his legs and hips. Draco was panting heavily, his legs shaking and his mind spinning.
Strong arms slid beneath Draco’s back and knees, then he was pulled into a hard, heated chest. The sand disappeared beneath him and he was being carried higher up onto the shore. Draco grabbed onto Harry’s bicep, onto his shoulders, anything, as he was carefully placed back down onto the sand.
“Take deep breaths,” Harry murmured, clever fingers brushing Draco’s hair away from his forehead. “You did well.”
Draco barely had time to appreciate the soothing, protective tone of Harry’s voice before he was jerking his head toward Harry, eyes wide, mouth filled with salt.
“You—you spoke—what language was that?” Draco demanded, his mouth not being able to keep up with his thoughts. “How could I understand you?” His heart was pounding and he was overwhelmed.
Harry lowered himself into the sand next to Draco, bringing his knees up to wrap his arms loosely around them. “Siren song,” he said after a moment.
“How can you speak it if you’re not a siren?” Draco was subconsciously rubbing his thumb along his leg, feeling the skin rather than scales, gaping at Harry.
Harry cleared his throat. “My father,” he said, offering no other explanation.
Draco opened his mouth to press the subject, but Harry interrupted him, cutting him off.
“Let’s do this once or twice more, then we’ll head back to the ship. I don’t want to be away from the Siren when night falls.”
Harry Potter was a fool if he thought Draco would drop the matter. Draco resolved to ask Luna.
Chapter 13: Chapter 13
I apologize in advance - I didn't have much time to edit it, but I wanted to get it posted for you guys ASAP, so there may be some errors. I'll probably come back to it in a day or two and make some adjustments when I'm not so tired. Hope you enjoy!
When Draco woke, the first thing he noticed was that the pale hairs on his arms and neck were tingling.
The second thing he noticed was that Harry was absent, his side of the bed already cold.
The third, and most unsettling, was that it was deathly quiet.
The sound of water sloshing against the side of the ship was only audible if he closed his eyes and listened very closely. He could hear noise coming from the deck, but it was soft, commands whispered solemnly rather than shouted jollily.
Draco’s brow furrowed and he climbed out of bed, hurriedly pulling on his shoes and shirt. The air was chilly and he tugged on a coat as well before lightly making his way over to the window, trying to see outside. A dense fog obscured his view and created a gentle condensation on the glass.
Upon leaving the room and making his way on deck, he felt his throat tighten in shock.
The Siren was surrounded by the fog. Water droplets covered nearly every surface on the deck, trickling down the edges of the ship. Draco could see through it well enough to discern the entire ship, though a few feet beyond the Siren, the chilly haze thickened. It was as if they were sailing through a cloud.
While most of the crew was quietly, soberly, going through their chores, Draco saw Timber Toe and Tommo leaning over the edge of the ship, looking into the water. They were murmuring to each other, Tommo’s eyes wide.
Draco made his way over to them, curiosity taking reign. Upon seeing Draco’s inquisitive expression, Timber Toe nodded his head toward the water. Draco’s eyes widened, his brows drawing together.
The water was calm, barely moving, and was milky and shimmering. It looked like an opaque liquid metal, blending with the fog as far as Draco could see. The water, if one could even call it that, was so dense that he wasn’t able to see down to the bottom, though if the Siren was able to sail on it, he guessed it was very deep.
“Where are we?” Draco asked, his voice barely louder than a breath.
“Coniunctio,” Luna murmured, coming up behind Draco. She stood beside him, her orb-like eyes gleaming as they reflected the liquid. Drops of dew were clinging to her hair and eyelashes, only serving to make her look even more ethereal.
“Aye,” Timber Toe said, “that cleared things right up.” Tommo shot him a look.
“The Order’s safe-haven,” Luna clarified.
“The Order?” Draco frowned, confused.
“Harry, Harry, Harry,” Luna sighed quietly, rubbing her thumb along a crab shell she conjured. “The Order of the Phoenix,” Luna explained, “is thousands of years old. The purpose of the Order is to keep peace between the elements. Without it, there would be only chaos.”
Draco looked at her incredulously. “And how did Harry manage to call a meeting with them? Can anyone ask to see the Order? Why haven’t I heard of them before?”
Luna merely raised her eyes from the water, meeting Draco’s unflinchingly. “There is much Harry has neglected to tell you, Draco Malfoy.” She turned her head toward the wheel, where Harry stood, somehow looking like he belonged in the mist, on the impossible water. His hair was slicked back with the moisture in the air and his expression was unwavering, his shirt clinging to his powerful body with the sea smoke. He looked like one of the demigods Draco’s mother used to read to him about. “His type is unparalleled.”
Draco pulled his eyes from Harry back to Luna. She was already watching him. He decided to come right out with it. “Who are his parents, Luna?”
Her eyes twinkled with knowledge. “You will find out soon enough, Draco Malfoy. Harry knows it’s inevitable.”
Draco ran his fingers through his hair—it was getting longer. “Why, in Christ’s name, does everyone have so many secrets?” He exhaled sharply. “There is a certain beauty in candor that nobody on this ship seems to appreciate.”
Luna tittered, rearranging some of the flowers braided into her hair. “She is a mysterious mistress, the sea. Temperamental and lethal.” She met Draco’s eyes meaningfully. “Why do you think Harry thrives in her arms? He was born for her.”
Mouth dry, Draco’s eyes turned back to Harry. He resolved to mull over Luna’s words, attempt to make sense of the enigma she had woven. Draco looked back down to where his hands rested on the side of the ship, damp with the moisture in the air. He was thankful he had the good sense to put on the coat—if not, he would surely have been shivering. Looking around, he realized Timber Toe and Tommo had climbed up to their post in the crow’s nest.
Suddenly the ship lurched, coming to a violent stop. Harry and Luna seemed to be the only ones unfazed. On Harry’s orders, Zabini and Bottom secured some rope to the inside of the ship, then tossed it overboard. Ordering the crew to stay put, under Red’s watch, Harry beckoned Luna and Draco toward him.
“You’ll accompany us,” Harry said quietly to Draco. “Perhaps we’ll be able to find some answers.”
Draco nodded, relieved that Harry wasn’t going to attempt to keep him on the ship.
Luna grabbed hold of the rope, grasping it between some excess cloth from her dress so as to protect her palms, and slid down swiftly. Draco heard a soft splash. Gulping, he leaned over the side of the ship and eyed the water warily.
“This isn’t salt water,” Harry murmured. “You’ve no need to worry.”
Mimicking Luna, Draco pulled the sleeves of his shirt over his palms, then wrapped them around the rope. He kicked off the side of the ship, sliding down quickly. The friction still managed to make holes in his shirt and rub his palms raw. He landed in a small puddle of the milky liquid. Luna was standing off to the side, singing softly to herself and looking around. The fog seemed to part for her, leaving a small pocket of relatively clear air.
Harry landed beside him, then moved to stand near Luna. Draco watched as a pocket of clear air, similarly to Luna, followed Harry, engulfing him. Observing the air around him, Draco realized the fog had cleared around him as well.
Draco watched as Harry pulled a dagger from his belt, then sliced his palm open. He couldn’t help the gasp that escaped his mouth at the sight of Harry’s blood. Harry’s eyes met Draco’s, then Harry clenched his injured hand into a fist, murmuring something softly beneath his breath, then letting the blood drip into the shallow milky liquid they stood in.
The blood droplets rested in the liquid, like oil in water, for a few moments before glowing brightly. They seemed to shiver for a bit before gliding across the opaque liquid, creating clear pockets in the fog as they created a path. Pulling a rag from his belt, Harry wrapped it around his hand as he began to follow the droplets. Entranced, and slightly horrified, Draco could do nothing but follow him, his shoes splashing in the "water". He was surprised to note that his feet weren’t wet—just cold.
“Blood magic,” Luna’s voice tinkled. “A powerful, ancient craft.”
They followed Harry, who followed the droplets. The fog cleared around them, then thickened as soon as they passed. Upon glancing behind them, Draco was slightly alarmed to discover that he could no longer see the Siren—it was obscured by the thick fog.
Draco wasn’t sure how long they had been walking through the fog and “water” before a massive black dog emerged from the mist. Draco slapped a hand over his mouth to disguise his surprise, as Luna and Harry were unruffled by the beast’s sudden presence. Harry came to a stop, prompting Luna and Draco to do the same.
The dog closed its eyes and lowered its great snout to the droplets of Harry’s blood. Draco’s mouth was dry with fear—he had never seen a dog so large. Dew glistened on its shaggy ebony coat and its tail was raised warily.
Opening its eyes, the dog looked up at Harry. Draco watched, his jaw slack, as the dog pushed itself up onto its hind legs. Its body slowly stretched, fur giving way to a long black coat embroidered with gold, hind legs becoming leather boots, the shaggy coat disappearing in favor of long, wavy black hair. The man standing before them was a bit taller than Harry. He had mischievous grey eyes and an infectious grin.
“It’s been too long,” the man said, clasping Harry’s shoulder affectionately.
“I only wish I were seeing you under better circumstances.”
The man directed his attention toward Luna and Draco. He smiled at Luna. “It’s been ages since I’ve seen you as well,” he nodded politely to Luna, who beamed back at him. Then his eyes were fixed upon Draco. He cracked another grin. “Did you not warn him?” He quirked an eyebrow at Harry. “The poor lad looks about ready to faint.” He turned back toward Draco. “Sirius Black,” he introduced.
He gulped and wet his lips. He was relieved when his voice came out evenly. “Draco Malfoy.”
Sirius’s brows rose ever-so-slightly. “Narcissa’s boy.”
Draco’s eyes widened. “You know my mother?”
“We share blood,” Sirius said. His eyes scanned Draco. “As, I suppose, do you and I.”
Draco glanced at Luna, who was smiling knowingly, and Harry, who looked just as surprised as Draco.
Suddenly, a large shadow passed overhead, moving so quickly it was a blur. He ducked on instinct, eyes wide. Draco heard an ungodly screech, then the sound of something flapping.
“Charlie,” Sirius said, a fond smile stretching over his face. He turned to Harry. “I’m sure he’ll be glad to see you.” Draco didn’t miss the glance Harry shot toward him. “Come, we don’t want to keep everyone waiting. Apolline isn’t known for her patience.”
Harry and Sirius fell into step, murmuring softly to one another, leaving Draco to walk with Luna. Her arm would brush against his every once in a while, a comforting presence.
After a bit of walking, Draco noticed the fog thinning. He could make out an inexplicable circular platform. Water spilled over the edges, landing in a deep pool, then was somehow sucked back up to the top of the platform through a system of vines, which not only tangled together to create a set of stairs leading to the top of the platform, but created a small wall around the platform, most likely to avoid an unfortunate accident. As they approached, Draco gazed at the vines, watching as water trickled through them. It was unfathomable, yet right before his eyes.
Small orbs of fire, which Draco had mistakenly thought were fireflies, floated around near the platform and the steps, lighting the path, illuminating their way through the fog, which had mostly cleared. Draco reached his hand out toward one and was surprised to note that they were emitting warmth.
“How is this possible?” He whispered, captivated.
“There is much you don’t know, Draco,” Luna said softly.
Sirius led the way up the steps to the platform, Luna right behind him. Though hesitant at first, Draco was surprised to note that the vines held admirably beneath their weight. Harry brought up the rear, his footsteps nearly silent.
The platform itself was lit with more of the fire orbs, drifting lazily through the air. The fog had cleared completely, only thickening behind the short wall of intricately-woven vines. The platform was covered in soft grass. Eight thrones formed a semicircle on one half of the platform, facing the side closest to the steps.
“Ah, you’ve brought them in one piece.” A man with curly light brown hair and scars across his face approached. Despite his rather ragged appearance, his eyes were soft. They were a pale green, an infinitely different shade from Harry’s vivid emerald.
“Moony,” Harry said, his eyes bright.
So this was Moony. Draco thought it was a rather odd name, but said nothing.
“Luna, lovely to see you again.” His voice was genuine and warm. His eyes landed upon Draco. “You must be Draco.” Surprised, Draco nodded. He hadn’t expected this Moony to know who he was. “Harry mentioned you when our paths crossed briefly in Tortuga. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” He shook Draco’s hand firmly. Even his hands had scars wrapping around them, disappearing up into his worn cloak. “Remus Lupin.” Upon seeing Draco’s confused expression, he clarified. “Some do call me Moony. It’s a bit of a long story.”
“Who are we waiting on?” Sirius asked.
“Prongs and Charlie,” Remus said. “Minerva, Albus, and Apolline are seeing to something in the lacus.”
“Charlie’s close,” Harry said. “We saw him on the way.”
Just as he said that, a shadow swooped over the platform. Draco looked up and took an involuntary step backward, jaw slack and eyes wide, not for the first time that day. Harry’s hand moved to rest on his lower back, grounding him, as Draco saw his first dragon.
It was huge, half the size of the Siren, and covered in ruby red scales. Its leathery wings ended in wicked talons. It had a narrow snout, out of which smoke was swirling out of, and had gold eyes with pupils not unlike a cat’s. It took up about a fourth of the platform upon landing and tucking in its wings.
The man who leapt off its back was muscular with hair like fire. His eyes were large and blue, his skin was dotted with freckles, and he was wearing leather breeches and a thin tunic. Draco watched as he stroked his hand along the dragon’s neck, then murmured something to it. It gave a loud screech—the sound Draco had heard earlier—then took off into the fog.
“Do my eyes deceive me or is that Captain Harry Potter?” The man’s voice was low and friendly and he walked gracefully, joining their circle.
“It’s good to see you, Charlie,” Harry said, returning the smile.
Draco felt a prick of jealousy in his chest. He quickly smothered it, ignoring Luna’s knowing look.
Voices echoed from the steps and Draco felt Harry tense behind him. Four more people entered the platform. The first two were women, one slightly taller than the other. The taller one was beautiful, ethereally so, and had skin like ivory. Her blue eyes were framed by thick lashes and pale hair, the same shade as Draco’s, cascaded down her back. Some of it was braided, pulled out of her face. The shorter woman had black hair, twisted into an up-do, and clever green eyes. She had a stern face and wore a pointed black hat.
The man behind her had long silvery hair and an equally long and silvery beard. His blue eyes twinkled behind half-moon spectacles and he wore a midnight blue cloak.
The last man to enter caused Draco to freeze. He looked exactly like Harry, but with hazel eyes and fine smile lines around his eyes and mouth. He wore a coat that looked similar to Sirius’s and had a weapon belt around his hips, just like Harry.
Draco could tell the exact moment the man took notice of Harry. His eyes widened and his mouth instantly curved into the largest, most genuine smile Draco had ever seen. Harry stepped toward the man, the first time Draco had seen him look hesitant, and the man practically bounded up to Harry, throwing his arms around him and embracing him tightly, not seeming to mind that they had company.
They exchanged a few quiet words before pulling apart. The man’s face was bright with joy as he turned from Harry to greet Sirius, Remus, Charlie, and Luna. Finally, he turned to Draco, running a hand through his messy hair.
“Draco Malfoy,” Draco introduced, not needing to be prompted. The other man shook his hand warmly.
Draco’s assumption that this man was Harry’s father had been correct. James moved back to speak with Harry.
“The Order of the Phoenix,” Luna explained softly, “is comprised of a Head and one representative of each element, the only exception being the water, the ocean. Apolline Delacour,” Luna nodded toward the beautiful blonde woman, “is a Veela, rulers of the air. Charles Weasley,” she gestured toward Charlie, “is a Dragon Tamer, rulers of fire. Minerva McGonagall,” Draco looked toward the other woman, the stern-looking one, “is leader of the Animagi, rulers of the earth, and the Marauders,” Luna turned her head toward Sirius, James, and Remus, “rule the sea.”
“Wait,” Draco said, his head spinning, “you… you mean to tell me…” his eyes drank in the three men, “they’re the Marauders?” Luna smiled. “I thought there were four of them.”
“Peter Pettigrew works alongside Davy Jones,” Luna said. “His duty is to command the judgment of souls. He cannot pause it for an Order meeting.”
Draco absorbed the information, not being able to help the fact that he was openly staring at the people around him. He had grown up listening to stories of them and their kind, believing them to be myths. He couldn't remember how many times his mother had told him the story of how the Marauders had battled against Captain Voldemort and his army of the damned, eventually emerging triumphant and trapping him in Davy Jones's Locker.
He now found himself standing amongst them.
Knowing who Harry's father was, Draco found himself putting together puzzle pieces that Harry had deigned to. It was no wonder Harry was so at ease on the water, no wonder he knew siren song and had become so infamous himself. Power was in his blood—Draco doubted Harry could have been normal even if he'd tried.
The man with the long, silvery hair and spectacles spoke and everyone quieted.
“My friends,” he said, “let us begin.”
Chapter 14: Chapter 14
I'm so sorry that this update took forever! I had the chapter half-written, but had some major writer's block so I eventually just deleted what I'd started on and completely rewrote the chapter. This might have some errors in it, but I wanted to get it posted for you guys ASAP. Thank you also for all your lovely comments - they were what helped motivate me to keep writing this. I appreciate them so much and read them all and promise I'll get better about responding to them all :)
Harry stood with his arms crossed over his chest, shoulders squared and back straight. His stance was strong, almost cocky, and very self-assured. He met the gazes of each of the Order members unwaveringly, as if daring them to challenge him. Draco and Luna stood slightly behind him, flanking him.
The Order members were seated in the eight thrones. One of them was empty and Draco assumed that was Peter’s. All but Sirius and James were sitting straight. James was resting his chin on his fist, leaning against one of the armrests, and Sirius was sprawled in his seat, one of his legs thrown over the armrest of the throne. He still managed to look curiously regal. Draco saw Apolline shooting Sirius disapproving glances while he studiously pretended not to notice. Remus merely looked amused.
It was difficult for Draco to wrap his mind around the fact that Sirius shared blood with his mother. He had seen the Black family tree countless times and Sirius wasn’t a part of it. He looked for any semblance between the Marauder and Narcissa and found only the same high, elegant cheekbones. Thinking of his mother made Draco’s heart ache, so he turned his attention to Harry, who had begun to speak.
“There is a prophecy,” Harry said, his voice cool.
“Regarding?” The man with silvery hair asked gently. Luna had whispered to Draco that this man was Albus Dumbledore, leader of the Order.
“The Lord of the Lamented.”
Charlie’s brows raised as Apolline’s furrowed. Draco noticed Sirius began to pay more attention, as he stopped fiddling with one of his rings and sat up a little bit.
“Does Peter know about this?” Remus questioned.
“I assume not. I’ve no way of contacting him.”
James spoke. “He must have his suspicions. He was the one who alerted us that Voldemort had escaped the locker. I suspect he’s already begun guessing at Voldemort’s intentions.”
“How did Voldemort escape the locker?” Apolline asked, her voice lilting and almost entrancing. “I notice Peter is not amongst us.”
James instantly whipped his head to the side to stare her down. “If you’re implying that Peter had a hand in this, I suggest you hold your tongue. He is a Marauder. I would appreciate you not accusing him of betraying the Order.” The expression on his face was almost identical to the one Harry made when determined.
“It is a concern that needs to be raised,” Apolline pushed. “No one has ever escaped from the locker before.”
“I agree with your suspicions that he had help,” Luna interrupted, stepping forward slightly. Though she spoke softly, her voice carried and everyone turned to look at her. “Someone believes if they assist Tom Riddle in gaining the title, he will be indebted to them and they will be able to manipulate him to do their bidding. Someone wants the sea rid of pirates and is desperate enough to enlist a pirate to help them.”
“Only a human would be foolish enough to do this,” Apolline said sharply.
Minerva spoke sternly. “We begin to digress.” Everyone quieted. “Is Tom Riddle aware of this prophecy?”
“If he is, he heard it from either Sybill or Cassandra,” Luna’s voice sounded dreamy, almost far away. “This is an ancient divination. Either of them could have channeled it.”
“All we know,” Harry said, “is that he’s actively seeking the power.”
Everyone was quiet for a little while. All Draco could hear was the sound of the dragon’s wings flapping somewhere above, sounding far away, and the water cascading down the platform. He shifted his weight and waited for someone to speak, slowly processing all the information he was gathering. Everyone was seemingly deep in thought and when the silence was finally broken, it was by Albus.
“How do you propose we stop Tom Riddle?” This was directed toward Harry.
All eyes were on him, everyone wanting to hear some sort of solution. “Somehow, we need to send him back to the locker.”
“He will not go easily,” Charlie was frowning.
Sirius was smirking. “We’ve sent him to the locker once, we can send him back again. What say you, Prongs? Moony?”
“No,” Albus said, quietly yet firmly. “You cannot put your given tasks on hold again. The ocean needs your command. I’ll not have chaos reign in your element.” Albus looked at Harry. “You were the one to hear the prophecy. I suspect fate has already been put into motion.”
Harry instantly tensed. “I’m not the right man for this task. I’m no hero, nor would I like to be. I am a pirate. I was hoping to inform you of this, then wash my hands of it.”
“I am afraid there will be no hand-washing, Captain Potter,” Minerva said.
“And if I refuse?”
Draco’s eyes widened slightly at Harry’s defiance. He couldn’t imagine daring to challenge the word of any member of the Order. This was Harry, though—he didn’t seem as if he was overly fond of doing what anyone told him to, no matter who that person was.
“You wouldn’t have brought Draco if you were truly planning to refuse.” Albus had a small smile on his face.
Suddenly, all attention was on him. Draco, initially shocked by Albus’s words, considered them. He realized that Albus had a point. He wasn’t even sure if Harry had been aware of the reason he had brought Draco.
If Harry truly had planned to pass the task over to the Order and be rid of it, he wouldn’t have found Draco and come back for the vial. He wouldn’t have brought Draco—whom he knew was vital to the mission—back onto the Siren. He wouldn’t have brought Draco to the meeting. He wouldn’t have cared if Draco knew more about the Lord of the Lamented or Voldemort or the prophecy.
“We will all assist you in any way we can,” Albus said gently. The other members of the Order nodded their agreement.
Harry’s muscles were taut and Draco could see that his jaw was tightened. He cleared his throat, then looked over at Remus, Sirius, and James.
“Where do I begin? How do I go about this?” He sounded uncertain, for the first time Draco could ever remember.
James’s face was twisted with a combination of pride and worry. It was Sirius who spoke.
“You’re going to need to find allies. Voldemort will undoubtedly have an army of humans behind him, especially if it was a human who helped him escape.”
“Don’t I need information first?” Harry asked. “I should know more about him and his plans before I make my own.”
“Find allies first,” Charlie said. “Leave finding the information to us. We each know how to find you, so we’ll each come to you with information within a fortnight.” He looked at the rest of the Order. “Agreed?”
“He’ll know, by now, that we’re after him so he’ll be ready for a fight,” Sirius continued. “Nonetheless, it’s your job to find him. Then, you just have to kill him and send him back to the locker before he becomes the Lord of the Lamented. Simple.” He said the last part nonchalantly and almost cheerfully. Draco shot him a look of disbelief.
“Right,” Harry said sarcastically. “Simple.”
“We’ll be there to help you along the way,” James reassured him. “Already, you have seven allies right here.”
Looking at the faces of those around them, Draco suddenly felt the reality of the situation. He was going to help Harry stop Voldemort.
They were actually going to do this.
The Siren was still deathly silent when they returned. Timber Toe, Tommo, and Bottom were shooting Draco curious looks and Red looked anxious. Draco’s mind suddenly made the connection between Charlie and Red—he knew that Red’s real name was Ronald Weasley. He took in Red’s fiery hair and blue eyes and wondered if he and Charlie were related. If they were, he found himself questioning why Red was on a pirate ship if his brother was a dragon tamer.
He was drawn from his thoughts by Harry’s boots striding across the deck. The mist was still thick around them and Draco could feel it dampening his clothes and hair. A sheen of moisture had already gathered on his skin and he could feel droplets of water gliding down his neck, back, and arms.
Harry walked up to the wheel and pulled a compass from his weapons belt. He had used the moisture in his hair to slick it back and keep it from his eyes. His brow was low and he looked determined, yet displeased.
“Hoist the sails.” His voice was low. “Raise the anchor.”
Immediately, the crew members scrambled to do just that. As they all followed Harry’s orders, Draco walked up to the helm and stood beside Harry. He let his arm brush against the other man’s. Harry didn’t say anything, just stood still, one hand resting on the wheel, the other holding a gold compass. His eyes watched as his crew raised the sails.
“Where are we going to find allies?” Draco asked quietly. “Tortuga?”
Harry was silent for a long time before shaking his head. “No,” he said, “not Tortuga. We’re going to an island called Asylo.”
Draco had never heard of such an island. He had spent many hours with the Commodore when he was younger, poring over maps, learning about the sea, but he couldn’t remember ever hearing of Asylo.
“Asylo? Why Asylo? Is it some sort of secret pirate island?”
“Something like that.” The wind caught in their sails and Harry steered the ship as it slowly began to move. “I know of an ally who makes port there every two fortnights.”
Draco’s curiosity was piqued. “Who’s this ally?”
Harry turned his head to look at him.
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
Thank you for all your lovely comments! I love reading through them and they inspire me so much (: I hope you guys enjoy.
Draco and Harry were on an atoll of sorts, standing on the sand. The atoll was a narrow beach of fine, white sand in the middle of the ocean. Standing there, Draco felt nervous. The water was a deep, beautiful blue and got clearer as it neared the sand. Harry had rowed them there from the Siren, which had dropped the anchor further out. Draco could see it against the horizon. The atoll was on the way to Asylo and despite Draco’s reluctance, Harry and Luna had insisted that they practice shifting again.
“This honestly isn’t necessary,” Draco said, for the third time.
Harry shot him an unamused look. “You’re the one who demanded I bring you along on this mission. I guarantee the fact that you’re a siren has something to do with this, so if you truly want to be of help, you’ll learn to control it.”
Ever since the meeting with the Order, Harry had been different. Not quite sulky, but he was moodier than before. Draco found himself wondering about Harry often. About his past, about what had happened between he and James, about who his mother was and why they would find her on some island.
It had been a while since Draco had thought Harry to be despicable, but it had always been a truth in the back of his head: Harry wasn’t one of the good guys. He was a pirate. He did whatever he wanted, damn the consequences, and he was perhaps the best and most feared pirate out there. It was difficult for Draco to reconcile the fearsome Captain Potter the rest of the world knew with the determined Harry who was now going on a voyage to try and stop Voldemort from doing harm.
“You’re going to actually swim today,” Harry informed him.
Draco shot him a bemused look. “Is that wise?”
“You know how to shift now without much pain, which means your body is getting used to it. Now you must control the part of your mind that contains your siren instincts.” Harry’s thin white shirt and messy hair were blowing in the wind. His kohl-lined green eyes glimmered against the ocean. “I’ll talk and just try to hang on to my voice so you don’t let yourself slip away, all right?”
“This idea is insane.”
“My best ones usually are.”
Half of Draco was terrified to touch the water and the other half was desperate to. He felt at war with himself and took a deep breath, realizing he just needed to trust Harry. Grey eyes met green.
“What if I lose control?” Draco asked quietly. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”
“Don’t think about that,” Harry said firmly. “Just focus on my voice and you’ll be fine.”
Draco exhaled slowly as he walked into the water. The waves swept up onto the sand, then receded, a calming pattern. It washed over his legs and made his skin tingle. Once he got up to his waist, he turned to look at Harry.
“Start talking,” he advised. “I’m about to dive under.”
Instantly, a dark and alluring song fell from Harry’s lips. It was low and seemed to echo off the sea, off each one of his pores. It sounded like the wind and the waves and the water and the blood pumping through his veins and he never wanted to hear another sound in his entire life. Draco closed his eyes and let himself truly listen to what Harry was saying.
“Focus on my voice, you can do this.”
Taking one last deep breath, Draco dove beneath the next wave. Unlike the first couple of times he had shifted, it felt like a shiver. As he had grown accustomed to shifting, the excruciating pain had subsided almost completely. In the water, as the waves rolled over him and he swam deeper to accommodate for his tail, he felt that deadly calm slowly start to roll over him. Desperately, he swam higher up toward the surface to listen for Harry’s voice.
“Draco, keep listening to me. Listen to my voice. That’s it. Focus on my voice.”
He surfaced and looked toward the beach, toward where Harry was standing. They made eye contact and Draco felt that deadly calm subside. A feeling of almost giddiness replaced it as Draco realized that he had shifted and stayed in control. He grinned and leaned back, flicking his tail into the air. The moonstone scales shimmered in the sunlight and reflected off the sun and the water. Harry was staring at him with the corner of his mouth quirked upward.
“Well done.” Harry crossed his arms over his chest. “Practice swimming around.”
Draco didn’t need to be told twice. He spun backwards, then dove underwater, swimming deeper. The water here was almost completely clear and he barely had to move his tail at all to propel him faster. He pumped his tail a couple of times, then let himself glide through the water, toward a reef.
The fish swam in large, colorful groups and darted through mountains of coral as Draco passed through. Sunlight shone through the water and bathed the reef in a beautiful glow. His eyes took it all in and as he swam past seaweed, it tickled his sides and tail. He did a somersault underwater, then dove past a hammerhead shark, who paid him no heed. He explored the reef, feeling a combination of fear and thrill at the sight of all the fish, most of which Draco had never seen before.
Gliding through the water, faster than he could ever run on land, Draco felt almost at home. He felt content among the sea creatures and with the water surrounding him. He wasn’t sure how long he was swimming and testing the limits of his body while shifted before he realized that he should check back in with Harry.
He surfaced and looked around, getting his bearings. The beach was so far away that Harry was a mere speck in the distance. Draco instantly started swimming toward him, his back skimming the surface of the water. He pumped his tail quickly and put his arms toward his side as he glided rapidly through the water. It wasn’t long before he reached the beach and Draco came as close to the shore as he could without his tail skimming the sand.
“It’s incredible down there,” he said, a smile on his face.
Harry’s lips curved upward as he looked at Draco. His eyes trailed downward, toward Draco’s tail, which was almost glowing in the water. Looking between Harry and the ship, Draco had an idea.
“Get into the rowboat,” he ordered.
Harry picked up on Draco’s idea quickly. “My very own siren-drawn carriage?”
Nonetheless, he listened to Draco and walked over to the boat, pushing it off the shore, then gracefully hopping in. Draco grabbed onto the side of the boat and looked up at Harry, who was watching him with an unreadable look on his face.
He didn’t wait for Harry to respond before he started pumping his tail in the water. They started moving slowly, then faster as the boat gained momentum. Eventually, Draco’s tail wasn’t just making the boat move—it was making it move even faster. Draco looked up at Harry and saw the wind whipping at his hair, saw the huge smile on Harry’s face. The boat was moving so quickly that if Draco focused on the individual waves and ripples in the water, they were blurs. The Siren was quickly becoming bigger.
As they approached, Draco slowed down, pulling at the boat a bit, forcing it to slow down as well. He navigated it to the side of the ship, where it could easily be lifted back onto the Siren.
“How was that?” Draco looked up at Harry.
Green eyes sparkled down at him. “Spectacular.”
At night, once the drunken crew members had retired below deck, the Siren was peaceful. Water lapped at the sides of the ship and wind billowed in the sails, causing the cloth to make soft sounds and the mast to creak. Occasionally, a sound would come from the dark expanse of ocean and Draco would feel his pulse quicken with the fear of the unknown.
Luna was sleeping in the room that had been Draco’s, as Draco was now sharing a room with Harry. She stayed in her room from dusk to dawn and sometimes when Draco walked by, he could hear her singing softly to herself.
Red and Harry were at the wheel, speaking in quiet voices. Harry handed Red his compass, then walked down the stairs, moving slowly toward where Draco stood by the side of the ship, looking down at the water. Harry rested his forearms against the side of the ship and leaned forward, looking out toward the horizon, illuminated by the moonlight.
“How close are we?” Draco asked, turning to look at Harry’s profile.
His nose was straight and strong and his brow was heavy over his vibrant eyes. His stubble-lined jaw was a graceful, yet firm, angle and his windblown hair curled around his ears and the nape of his neck.
“About a few days away.”
Draco considered what he was about to ask for a little while before deciding to just come out with it. Harry would either refuse to answer, give Draco a sarcastic, distancing response, or Draco’s curiosity would be satisfied.
“Tell me about your mother.”
Harry’s head turned and he studied Draco for a moment. There was a slight furrow between his brows and his jaw was clenched. Eventually, he sighed and looked away.
“My mother can tell you about my mother.”
Draco wasn’t deterred. “Tell me about your childhood.”
The look Harry shot him was stern and calculating. “Curiosity is dangerous for everyone.”
Neither of them moved. Draco continued watching Harry, who continued staring down Draco. Tension crackled between them and it looked as if each muscle in Harry’s torso was taut. Draco wasn’t sure how long they remained like that. It felt like forever. Eventually, Harry broke eye contact and leaned back against the side of the ship, crossing his arms over his chest.
“I lived on Asylo up until I was seven. At seven, I lived on the Swift Duchess.” Draco assumed that was the name of a ship. “At eighteen, I became captain of the Green Siren.”
Draco itched for more details, but he knew that Harry was already telling him more than he wanted to. He knew that Harry wasn’t the sort of person who opened up to people. He preferred to keep his cards close and his past closer.
“The stories,” Draco said, not being able to help himself, “are they true?”
Harry’s expression didn’t change. “Which stories?”
“The one about you convincing a siren to drag Greyback down to the locker? Or the one about you battling Blackbeard on a dragon? Or the one about you finding Merlin’s treasure?” Draco had obsessed over these stories when he was younger.
Suddenly, he paused his train of thought and stared at Harry. He took in Harry’s appearance: his smooth skin, defined muscles, and youthful face. He looked to be the same age as Draco, but that couldn’t be possible if Draco had grown up hearing stories about him. He wondered why he had never realized this before. His throat felt dry.
“How old are you?” He asked, his voice hollow.
A slow smirk curled Harry’s lips. “Took you long enough.” Draco could only stare at him, wide-eyed and full of questions. Harry looked up at him from his smudged kohl-lined eyes. “How old are you?”
Draco cleared his throat. “Twenty-seven.”
Harry’s eyes seemed to twinkle. That smirk was still on his face. “I stopped aging at around twenty-eight.”
“How?” Draco demanded, still staring at Harry with bewilderment.
The ship was bathed in moonlight and Harry looked beautiful. He also looked unfathomable. Impossible.
“My parents.” Harry didn’t go very much into detail. “I won’t age, but I’m not immortal. A sword will injure me just as much as it will injure you.”
“Okay,” Draco said slowly, trying to wrap his head around the information. “Is your father immortal?” Harry gave a small nod. “Is your mother?”
“As long as the Marauders rule the sea, she’ll stay alive.”
Draco wanted to ask more questions, but Harry straightened. He hung his thumbs in his weapons belt and angled his body away from Draco.
“Question time is over now.”
He began to walk toward the double doors leading toward the bedrooms. Draco watched him, feeling his chest warm and a small smile slide onto his face. He was touched that Harry had shared even those bits of information with him.
“Thank you,” he said, knowing Harry could hear him.
Harry shot him a smirk over his shoulder. “Don’t get used to it.”
Draco watched the sea for a few more moments before following Harry.
The first thing Draco noticed upon stepping on deck was Harry. He was shirtless, his shirt tucked into the waistband of his breeches, and Draco watched as he gracefully swung himself from a rope to the crow’s nest, the motion so natural it looked easy. Harry adjusted the maroon bandana tied over his forehead and navigated himself around the mast. A sheen of sweat glistened on his bronze skin and the wind whipped his hair around his face. He looked like a formidable Poseidon from one of the paintings in the manor.
Realizing that Harry was looking out toward something, Draco redirected his attention to the line of Harry’s focus. The Siren was nearing a small island, an emerald gem protruding from the velvety sea. Shafts of sunlight pierced the misty clouds above, bathing the island in an almost ethereal glow.
Draco walked toward the side of the ship, eyes wide, gazing at the island. He didn’t need anyone to tell him that this was Asylo. Colorful birds circled the island, gliding over the water, then swooping up toward the treetops, and the foliage was lush and vibrant. Draco could imagine Harry growing up on this island, could see now how this environment had cultivated his free and untamed nature.
“By God,” Bottom murmured, beside Draco.
“Gives me the creeps,” Timber Toe muttered. “We ain’t meant to have things this nice. ’s not right.”
“Yer addled,” Tommo said, cuffing him on the ear.
“Knock it off, ye bilge rat.”
Ignoring them, Draco’s eyes remained on Asylo. They were nearing the land and, as they got closer, Draco could see a space where the trees and land parted, a cave that appeared to lead deeper into the island. Somehow, the water didn’t appear to be shallow, like the reef surrounding the cave—it looked as if the deep water led into the cavern.
His eyes turned back to the mast, but Harry was no longer there. Draco’s eyes roamed across the ship and found Harry at the wheel, his slender fingers steering them toward the cave. Kohl darkened his eyes and his jaw was clenched and brow furrowed into a look of determination as he angled the wheel, using no tools but his eyes to navigate them through the reef and toward the cave opening.
As Draco looked back toward the cavern, he realized that it was very likely they wouldn’t make it through unscathed if that was what Harry was going for. It was too narrow—his calculations would need to be perfect if he didn’t want the side of the Siren to scrape the rock. While he was sure that Harry had probably maneuvered a ship through this opening before, Draco couldn’t help but feel nervous.
“We be dead as bilge water if the cap’n don’t know what he’s doing,” Timber Toe whispered.
“Shut it,” Tommo muttered, though Draco could see in his eyes that he was nervous as well.
“Have faith,” Draco murmured to the two of them.
Despite his words, Draco couldn’t watch the cave—so instead, he watched Harry. The look on his face, Draco noticed, wasn’t quite determination as he had previously suspected. Rather, it was one of thrill. He was loving this. As he steered his Siren, he was staring down the cave, the corners of his lips curled, as if he were challenging it. He was daring the cave to scrape his beloved ship, to even touch it.
As soon as Draco realized this, he knew that the ship would emerge unscathed. Harry wouldn’t have it any other way.
The sky seemed to darken and Draco looked away from Harry. The cave loomed above them and Draco held his breath as the Siren approached the opening. Excruciatingly slowly, it drifted past the rock, somehow making it through. If Draco had stuck his arm out of the ship, he could have touched the rocks, it was so close.
The crew erupted in cheers and Draco grinned up at Harry, who had a self-satisfied smirk on his face. Draco didn’t know why he had doubted Harry—he was Harry Potter. He had been born on these waters. He was the ocean, in all its stunning brutality.
As the crew continued to cheer, relieved that the Siren had made it, Draco took in the cave around them. The rock was black, gleaming and sharp, and dripped with diamonds of the sea. The cave seemed to swallow them whole as the ship slowly floated through it, and Harry steered them toward a cavern of sorts.
It was like a foyer, if it could even be called that. The cave formed a massive ring around the water and stretched high up, creating a dome above them. It would have been pitch black if rays of light hadn’t been piercing the rock, shining down upon the Siren. A ship was already anchored in this cavern, though Draco could see no crew aboard.
The ship was glorious. Rich, gleaming wood, ivory sails, and an intricate figurehead depicting an otherworldly woman, her gauzy dress soaked and clinging to her skin, her hair flying behind her, a look of fierce pleasure on her face. This was the Swift Duchess.
The anchor was dropped and Draco could only gaze at the Duchess as the crew got ready to leave the ship. She was beautiful and daunting and Draco could picture Harry growing up on her. She was the sort of vessel that demanded respect and one could only stare in awe as they willingly gave it.
“Gorgeous, isn’t she?”
Draco hadn’t realized that Harry had come to stand beside him, his thin, cottony shirt now on, draped attractively over his muscled torso.
“I can’t believe you grew up on that,” Draco marveled.
“She’s almost as exquisite as the Siren,” Harry said. “Almost, but not quite.”
“I beg to differ.”
Draco and Harry both spun around toward the voice, Draco’s eyes wide and his heart in his throat, Harry with a look of amusement on his face. The entire crew jumped at the sound of a woman’s voice, their hands going to their swords, and were startled to see three women standing near the wheel.
The woman who had spoken had wild auburn hair woven into a braid, rosy bronze skin, and eyes the exact same color as Harry’s. They shone with delight and she had a wicked grin on her face, not unlike the one usually on her son’s—Draco could definitely see the resemblance.
Flanking her were two women who Draco assumed were part of her crew. One had golden blonde hair and tanned skin, with a weapons belt around her waist that could put Harry’s to shame, and the other had spiky blue hair, dark twinkling eyes, and a mischievous smile on her face.
“How the bloody hell did they—” Timber Toe began, but Tommo shut him up.
“You’re getting complacent,” Harry’s mother said, walking down toward the deck, where Harry and Draco stood.
“I assure you, you are one of very few people capable of sneaking onto my ship undetected,” Harry defended.
“Next time we make it onto your ship unnoticed, McKinnon, Tonks, and I might just loot around.”
Harry’s mother wrapped her son in a strong embrace, one that would have crushed Draco’s bones, then pulled back to examine him. Her eyes scanned up and down, searching for any signs of a wound, and she stepped back once she was satisfied.
“It’s been years since you last made port here,” she said quietly. “I know you’re not here because you miss me.”
Mouth tightening, Harry nodded. “I must speak with you.”
Harry’s mother led the way off the ship, sliding down a rope that had been thrown over the side. McKinnon and Tonks followed her, as did the crew of the Siren. The water was shallow, though Draco knew that there was still a swim involved and forced himself to calm his nerves before walking toward the side of the ship. So long as he wasn’t completely submerged, he would be fine.
He unrolled the long sleeves of his shirt to shield his palms as he held the rope and lowered himself down. The friction still burned, but it was better than nothing. The water was cold and jolted him slightly and as he paddled to shore like some sort of dog, taking care not to submerge his head, he endured Timber Toe’s teasing. He could hear Harry swimming behind him.
A small outcropping of rock led to a dark cave and as soon as Draco pulled himself up and out of the water, he found himself being led through the cave. He and Harry brought up the rear as they followed Harry’s mother through the winding tunnels. Draco guessed that they were in some sort of system beneath the island.
Eventually, they reached a set of double doors, which opened to reveal a circular chamber. It was domed, just like the cave the ships were anchored in, made of the same sharp black rock. Torches hung from the walls, illuminating the room, and more tunnels branched off, leading deeper into the island. Draco guessed that it wouldn’t be difficult to get lost here, underground in a maze of tunnels.
“Lead them to the dining chamber,” Harry’s mother told Tonks. “I’m sure they’d like some warm food for a change.”
Tonks nodded, then gestured for Harry’s crew to follow. Everyone but Harry, Luna, and Draco trailed after Tonks through one of the tunnels on the right. That left the three of them alone with Harry’s mother and McKinnon, who were casting Draco curious looks. Nonetheless, neither of them questioned his presence, instead leading them through a tunnel on the left.
Light flickered on the stone walls and Draco felt as if merely breathing was too loud, as if he were disturbing the quiet and the peace of the island. It seemed like a sanctuary and he felt oddly as if he were an intruder.
Pushing aside another set of wooden double doors, Harry’s mother led them into a small room, obviously a study. There were two red velvet sofas facing one another, then three armchairs arranged in a semi-circle on the side of them, forming a U shape. Shelves lined the walls, upon which books were stored, ancient, damp volumes long forgotten. Draco yearned to read some of the titles, but instead he sat beside Harry on one of the sofas, facing the other two pirates. Luna sat on Harry’s other side. Draco perched on the edge, uncomfortable with making the velvet damp—his mother would have been appalled.
“I believe introductions are in order,” Harry’s mother said, her eyes on Draco. She must have already known Luna. “Lily Evans. And you?”
She held out her hand and Draco shook it—her grip was powerful and calloused. “Draco Malfoy.”
Her brows shot upward and a ghost of a smile graced her lips. “You wouldn’t happen to be of the Port Royal Malfoys, would you?” His face must have said it all, because her smile widened and she didn’t wait for his response. “Interesting.” Her eyes flickered back to Harry. “What have you gotten into now?”
Harry’s face was grim as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Have you heard of the Lord of the Lamented?”
Lily’s face paled and she leaned back into the sofa. “So it’s true. You’re going after Voldemort.” McKinnon tensed at the pirate’s name.
Draco wasn’t sure how she was able to connect all the dots so quickly, but was thankful that he didn’t have to listen to Harry explain it all once more. It made him feel rather sick whenever he truly stopped to think about the insane mission they had embarked upon. He still remembered when it had all begun, in Ballena, still remembered Harry insisting that he was no hero.
“I’ve no choice,” he said quietly. “Even if I let the Order deal with this alone, if I sailed halfway across the world and ignored it, everything would change. I refuse to share the sea with Voldemort.”
Lily’s eyes shone and she squared her jaw. “I haven’t had a good fight in a couple of decades—this ought to do.”
McKinnon’s answering grin had Draco reminding himself never to cross these women—they seemed just as deadly as Harry, if not more so.
“You’ve met with the Order, then.” It wasn’t a question, but Lily still looked hesitant. “Did you speak to your father?”
Harry nodded, though he appeared to be guarded. Draco stored that information away for further analysis. “The Order members will be obtaining information about Voldemort and his movements, then reporting back to me within a fortnight. I assume he’s waited this long to find me because he knew I would make port here.”
Lily flashed a smile. “Your father never was too subtle.”
There wasn’t a hint of a smile on Harry’s face. Instead, he stood, suddenly looking much older than he had.
“If you don’t mind, I’m going to go eat and wash up. Tomorrow, we will speak further.”
Lily nodded, standing also. “Very well. Make sure to find rooms for your crew.” Her eyes flicked to Draco, weighing him.
They all joined the two crews in the dining chambers and Draco heaped bread and fruit and dried meats upon his plate, staying close to Harry. The two crews seemed to get along splendidly, as rum was flowing, someone was playing a fiddle, and the pirates were dancing and laughing. Lily stood with McKinnon, their weapons gleaming, talking quietly, yet watching her crew’s antics with amusement. Harry ate quickly and quietly, but waited patiently for Draco to finish his plate before stalking out of the room.
Draco followed him, knowing that Harry wouldn’t have waited for Draco to finish eating if he had wanted to be alone. He led Draco through the tunnels, their footsteps and soft breathing the only sounds in the dark caves. They passed many sets of doors and Harry led them up a winding stone staircase, so old that the steps were worn. Finally, they stopped before a wooden door. The room seemed to be isolated from the others.
The room was illuminated as Harry brought in some candles, lighting them with the torches on the walls outside. Stepping inside, Draco took in the room. A thin film of dust seemed to coat everything, as if it hadn’t been disturbed in years. Inside, there was a large four-poster bed with silk sheets, an elegant desk with piles of books beside it, and maps on the walls. Maps pinned there with daggers, marked up with ink, filled with holes that were suspiciously the size of a bullet. Another wooden door led to what Draco assumed was the bathroom and there was a large curtain draped over one wall.
Curious, Draco walked over to the curtain and pulled it aside, ignoring the urge to cough as he unsettled the dust. Behind the curtain was a hole in the rock, one that overlooked the cavern in which the ships were anchored. He studied the Siren, the ship that had once made his knees quake. Now, he only felt an odd sort of fondness.
The sound of splashing water caused Draco to put the curtain back over the opening in the rock. Harry had disappeared behind the bathroom door, moving so quietly that Draco hadn’t heard him. Stifling a yawn, Draco sat down on the edge of the bed.
His eyes roved over the room and he realized that this must have been Harry’s room while he lived on the island. It had been his room for decades, the one place on land that he could return to. This was Harry’s anchor, Draco realized, and he was allowing Draco a glimpse of it.
Standing, Draco walked over to the bookshelf. It had been carved into the rock and was stacked with large tomes and leather-bound books. One shelf was filled with books that looked identical, yet weathered, bound in the same stained black leather, all the exact same size. Curious, Draco pulled one down. It flipped open in his hands and he ran his fingers gently across the stiff parchment. He recognized Harry’s slanted handwriting immediately and realized that they were journals. The book he had opened dated back to around thirty years ago. Quickly, he closed it, not wishing to invade Harry’s privacy.
“Interesting—you have endless questions for me, yet you refuse to read the books that contain every answer you could desire,” Harry said, his voice low.
Draco’s head whipped around to see Harry leaning against the doorway to the bathroom, his head tilted to the side, his eyes intense. He was watching Draco with an impenetrable gaze, his arms crossed over his chest. His hair was wet and dripping onto his shoulders and he had changed into a pair of loose linen trousers and a gauzy tunic.
Pushing himself off the wall, Harry prowled toward him, moving silently. Draco’s pulse quickened, but he held his ground.
“Are you not tempted? When will you get another opportunity such as this?” Harry whispered, his eyes keeping Draco frozen in place. “Take a glimpse. I dare you.” The last couple of words were softly hissed as Harry stopped before him, their chests almost touching.
It reminded Draco of the stories his father had told him about the Devil, about how he would entice you with sweet words and silver promises. How his words alone could persuade a man to do anything.
Draco pulled himself out of the trance, dragging his gaze from Harry as he put the journal back on the shelf. “If you’d like to tell me, you may. I’ll not invade your privacy.”
He glanced back up at Harry, whose brow had furrowed slightly. His eyes swept over Draco’s face as he raised his hand to brush his fingers across his cheekbones, then through his hair, tracing the curve of his ear and cupping his jaw. Harry leaned in and pressed a firm kiss against Draco’s lips. When he pulled back, his eyes were lidded and there was a small smile on his face. He looked younger, almost mischievous.
“Go take a bath,” he murmured. “I want to play.”
Ahh I know it's been forever since I've posted and I'm going to try and get better about it. I had writer's block, but now I think I know which direction to go in. I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter!!