Beren (beren_writes) wrote,
Beren
beren_writes

Fic: Black Magic By Moonlight 22 of 35 (HP/AB xover) [R/15] or [NC17/18]

Title: Black Magic by Moonlight - A Harry Potter/ Anita Blake crossover
Chapter: 22 of 35 - Confrontation
Author: Beren
Pairings: Asher/Anita/Jean-Claude, Anita/Nathaniel, Harry/Nathaniel/Draco, Harry/Draco, Anita/Micah
Rating: R/15 or NC17/18
Summary: Harry Potter could find trouble in paradise and when Draco sends him to St Louis for a holiday it's not paradise and there's lots of trouble. With dark magic, vampires, lycanthropes and more, who else could sort it out but Anita Blake?
Chapter listing: click here for other parts, publishing schedule and A/N
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling and Laurell K. Hamilton, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, Orbit books, Time Warner Book group, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is set post Harry Potter and the OotP and post Incubus Dreams and therefore has SPOILERS for all previous books. If you don’t want to know anything that went on in or before HP book five or AB book twelve do not read this story.

Chapter 22 Confrontation

Anita was not with them this evening at the Circus, for which Harry was actually glad. Feeding his vampire had gone smoothly since he almost had the hang of it now, and he was pretty sure Anita would not have approved of his other reason for being there. Ever since he had met Melanie on his first visit his conversation with her had been lurking at the back of his mind. This was a being that had known Salazar Slytherin and was, as far as Harry knew, the only other parseltongue in the world.

Jean-Claude had seemed totally unfazed when Harry had asked if it would be alright to visit the lamia, but then Jean-Claude rarely looked anything but completely in control. This time, however, Harry thought that his request had been pre-empted because there had been absolutely no discussion, just agreement. There had been a couple of warnings about Melanie's nature, but that was all.

The fact that Damian had conveniently appeared out of the woodwork to act as a chaperone was not lost on Harry either. He was almost sure he had heard mention of the fact that Damian was supposed to be working at Danse Macabre that evening when he had called Anita earlier. He made it a rule to touch base with her even when they were not meeting up, because she seemed to be making a career out of worrying about him, and it must have been chaos at her house when he phoned, because Anita had been having three conversations at once. Damian had been one of the people she was talking to, and working had definitely been mentioned; yet here he was at the Circus instead.

"Jean-Claude knew I was going to ask to see Melanie, didn't he?" Harry said as he followed the red-headed vampire into the depths of the Circus.

Draco was following silently behind having simply raised his aristocratic eyebrows when Harry had suggested his boyfriend might prefer to play chess with Asher or something. Harry was actually quite glad of the company of both men, since he knew instinctively as well as logically that Melanie was dangerous. Having backup was never a bad idea, but even the uncertainty of the lamia was not enough to deter him from wishing to speak with her.

"I believe it was considered a strong possibility," Damian replied with his usual calmness. "Jean-Claude requested my presence in the eventuality that you did request an audience with Melanie, since I am one of the few vampires she will tolerate."

Well it was nice everyone was being up front today; if there was one thing Harry could not bear it was being coddled and kept from the truth. Being looked after and given the facts he could cope with quite well, however.

"Is she really as bad as Anita makes out?" Harry asked, wondering if Anita's view might be a little skewed on the matter.

"To those she does not like," Damian replied, finally looking at Harry, "yes."

The green eyes that pinned him down were almost completely calm, but at their depths Harry could see something much more alive. There were layers to Damian that Harry became more and more aware of the more time he spent with the vampire.

They turned another corner into a hallway which contained only one door. There was a gauze-like curtain over the door that shimmered in the light and Harry had absolutely no doubt they had arrived. Damian stepped in front of him and calmly knocked on the door.

"Enter," a singsong voice called from beyond.

Harry couldn't be sure, but it sounded as if Melanie was in a good mood. With an efficiency of movement that Harry associated with combat trained people, Damian pulled the curtain to one side and took hold of the door handle. The oak obstruction sung back silently and Damian entered, holding both the door and the curtain out of the way from the inside for Harry and Draco to enter. It was the perfect position for a bodyguard, a fact that did not pass Harry by.

The sight that met Harry's eyes almost sent him straight back out the door again, at first sight Melanie appeared completely naked. The lamia was arranged in a large comfortable chair and looked like some exotic queen. Her dress, because Harry realised to his relief that she was wearing one, was a see through golden gauze, under which there were small patches of material in significant places so close to the woman's skin tone as to be almost invisible. The whole effect was to allow Melanie to be clothed without looking as if she was clothed at all.

A young man was standing behind her in the kind of outfit Nathaniel and co usually wore on stage, but Harry was used to sights like that having been in Anita's house often enough so it didn't faze him half as much as Melanie had.

"Welcome," the lamia greeted with a smile that actually went all the way to her eyes, "I am so pleased you decided to come and visit me, and your companion as well."

Melanie spared Damian a glance, but Harry doubted the vampire would be acknowledged more than that.

"Please, have a seat."

There were two chairs set just to one side of Melanie, so Harry took the one closest to her and Draco the other. It was all very civilised.

"Would you care for refreshment?" the lamia asked as she lounged in her chair, absently stroking the hand of the young man behind her.

"No thank you," Harry replied politely, "we just ate, but please, don't let us stop you."

That drew an interesting smile from Melanie and Harry wondered what he had just told her she could do, but the lamia did not comment on it.

"If only all who visit me were so polite," Melanie said as she looked him over from head to toe. "I do not believe we have been properly introduced. I am Melanie, last of the lamia and this is Zak, my companion, it is a pleasure to welcome you to my home."

"Thank you," Harry had agreed with Draco that it was probably best if he did all the talking in this encounter. "I'm Harry and this is Draco. It is a pleasure to be here."

Melanie practically beamed at him, which was a little unnerving. From what Anita had told him, the lamia was not usually a very personable creature and had a liking for death and destruction, but Melanie seemed genuinely happy.

{I was very pleased when Jean-Claude sent word you wished to visit,} the lamia said and it took Harry a moment to realise she had switched into Parseltongue. {It is so rarely that I find anyone worth talking to.}

It struck Harry as rather rude to speak in a language not everyone in the room could understand, but the last thing he wanted to do was upset Melanie, so he was not about to point this out.

{I have only ever spoken to snakes like this,} Harry replied in kind. {It feels very different talking to someone such as yourself.}

That earned him a small smile.

{The little ones have limited understanding,} the lamia replied and a small green head appeared over her hip from the confines of the chair, {and their conversation skills are not well developed, but they are a boon to me. I have not had another to converse with in such a long time, but maybe soon.}

Harry's curiosity almost had the better of him, but he managed to sit on the obvious question before it fell from his lips. The Slytherin part of his nature pointed out that was one can of worms he was unlikely to want to open.

{If you don't mind me asking,} he said, trying to relax in his chair and appear at ease, {did you give Salazar Slytherin the ability to talk to snakes?}

Melanie picked up the small snake, which was making its way across her lap, before she replied.

{Yes,} she replied, and Harry could not help but notice the sad look in her eyes as she spoke, {he was most dear to me.}

Pausing, she looked up at him as if she was considering something.

{If you would like, it would please me to talk about him,} she said rather wistfully.

{Please,} Harry replied since he had come expecting to have to carefully elicit answers to the questions that had been piling up in his mind about the darkest founder of Hogwarts.

Placing the snake around her neck, Melanie sat back and closed her eyes for a moment, as if preparing herself. When she looked at Harry again there was a small smile on her face.

{I met Salazar when he was no more then seventeen summers old,} the lamia began, {a dear boy, forever curious and wishing to learn. We met at a social gathering and his first words were to compliment me on the snake I was carrying. The moment I saw him I wished to make him mine.}

Melanie's eyes were no longer watching him even though she was still looking in his direction; her gaze was on the memory she was recalling.

{I had not expected to find anyone so engaging among the mortal races,} the lamia continued her story, {and we spent many weeks together. I was not the last of my kind then, but there were few of us left and I found in Salazar someone I wished to spend eternity with. When it came time for me to leave he agreed to accompany me and become my mate.}

That rather surprised Harry since nowhere in the histories of Slytherin did it mention that Salazar had been the mate of a lamia. It seemed rather an important detail to leave out.

{We performed the ritual to bind us together,} Melanie's voice was so sad now, {and we waited for him to change. At first we believed all was as it should have been, and the first time he spoke to me in my own tongue we were so joyful, but after a time we realised that he was not changing. His magic would not allow him to become my mate. We could never be together.}

As the lamia looked at him, Harry could almost feel her pain, although no one who could not hear her words would have known how deeply she was hurt. Harry realised he was being allowed to see something so very personal that there was probably not another person alive that knew it.

{I'm so sorry,} he said and genuinely meant it. {That must have been terrible for both of you.}

Melanie gave him a sad smile.

{It broke my heart,} she replied, {although there are those who would have you believe I never had one. I left him then, in the quiet of the dawn as he slept. I could not bear to watch him grow when I knew one day he would die. I have avoided all contact with your kind since.}

Harry felt so sad for her; he did not want to imagine what it would do to him if he lost Draco. A broken heart had been known to kill, especially where magic was concerned.

{He was a great man,} he told Melanie, trying to ease her pain at least a little. {I don't think we know everything about him anymore and history seems to see everything as very black and white, but he was definitely great.}

Melanie leaned forward in her chair and before he realised what was happening Harry found that she had taken his hand.

{Will you tell me about him?} she asked, almost as eager as a child. {I would like to know what he did with his mortal life.}

Harry nodded, after all he could not exactly refuse. He was not sure how much he would tell her, but he knew he had to offer at least some of what he knew. Glancing at Draco to check to see if his lover was bored he found the Slytherin almost glassy eyed and somewhat flushed. A small shake of the head from Draco made him turn back to Melanie, but he made a mental note to ask what was going on later. If there had been something wrong, Draco would have made it known, but Harry could not help wondering at his lover's expression.

Sifting through his memories and being suddenly grateful that Draco had punctuated every conversation with 'Slytherin is great because...' after they had first become allies, Harry launched into his turn to talk.

====

Harry was not sure how long he and Melanie talked, but by the time he finally left it had to have been over an hour, if not two, but surprisingly, Draco did not appear in the least annoyed. If he had had to sit there listening to two people converse in a language he did not understand, Harry thought he would have at least been tetchy, but Draco was not; dazed and a little sleepy, yes, tetchy no.

"Draco," Harry asked the moment they were back in the hallway, "are you alright, you look flushed?"

"I'm fine," was the rather short response.

He might have left it there had it not been for the fact that he spotted Damian smiling slightly. He only caught it out of the corner of his eye and when he looked at the vampire full on the sign of amusement vanished, but it had definitely been there. Now Damian had had a full view of the room the entire time the three of them had been in the room, where as Harry had had all of his attention focussed on Melanie, so it occurred to Harry that Damian knew something he didn't.

"Are you sure?" he pushed gently to see what would happen.

The flush of Draco's cheeks went just a little darker and Harry realised that his boyfriend was blushing. One of the rarest sights known to man was an embarrassed Draco Malfoy and Harry could not help enjoying it. He had been mortified so many times over the past few days that it was a relief to be on the other side of the equation.

"Yes," Draco replied and refused to look him in the eye.

"You've gone red," Harry observed in his most blissfully innocent tone, even though he knew exactly what he was doing.

If Draco looked at him properly the Slytherin would spot what he was up to, but since he was avoiding eye contact Harry had free reign.

"It's just a little warm," was the guarded response.

"You're not coming down with something are you?" Harry put on a beautifully concerned voice. "Anita seemed to think that you shouldn't get things like colds after the second mark, but if you're not well maybe we should ask Jean-Claude some more about it."

"I'm fine," Draco insisted and finally looked up, at which point Harry knew he was caught. "You utter bastard!"

Draco really didn't do embarrassed well, but Harry couldn't help himself, he laughed.

"I'm sorry," he apologised immediately, "but turn about is fair play. Now tell me why you're embarrassed."

He glanced at Damian and spotted the small smile back again, even though it disappeared just as quickly. For a while he thought Draco might storm off in a mood, but eventually his boyfriend sighed and rolled his eyes.

"It's the parseltongue," Draco finally admitted in a very low whisper.

Harry thought it better not to point out that even whispering the conversation would be perfectly audible to Damian.

"It does things to me," the Slytherin finished.

For a moment Harry frowned, not sure what Draco was getting at and then it dawned on him.

"Oh," he said and felt a grin forming on his face, "really?"

"Yes really," Draco all but hissed back at him.

Harry didn't know whether to feel sorry for his boyfriend having to sit through hours of the conversation between himself and Melanie, or jealous that Draco had had to sit through hours of parseltongue. It was always a difficult choice when teenage hormones were involved.

"Maybe we can borrow that room again?" Harry suggested with an innocent bat of his eyes.

It was Draco's turn to laugh.

"I'm going to have to tell Nathaniel he's created a monster," the Slytherin said and took Harry's hand.

"Well what did you expect," Harry replied with a grin, "after all I am two thirds of my own triumvirate."

Then he set off down the corridor dragging Draco behind him with Damian trailing after them like a good bodyguard. Due to some building work Jean-Claude had going on they had to head back into the main Circus before they could enter the other half of the living quarters. It was something to do with a water main, because Jason had been moaning about it earlier, but Harry had not paid much attention.

It was as they were weaving through the crowds of tourists that Harry suddenly came to a complete stop and for a moment he wasn't sure why. Something had caught his attention and he had reacted, but on instinct, and it took his a second or so to figure out what had occurred. Spinning round he scanned the crowd and his eyes settled on one face.

"That's him," he said pointing, "that's the man from my vision."

Empty eyes met his and then the prey was off and running. Harry had gone cold as he realised that the enemy was inside the circus, but as soon at the man began to run so did he. If they had been alone he would have used magic, but there were too many Muggles around and not everything could be explained away by vampiric power. His entire focus narrowed down to the disappearing figure and he ran without thinking about it.

His beast rose towards the surface as it sensed prey, but he did not let it out. Moving through the crowd at speed was ridiculously easy, he just treated them like the trees he had run through at full moon. All that mattered was the prey and he did not even consider what he was doing. What he would do with the man once he caught him was as irrelevant as considering the possibility that he might not catch up.

The enemy disappeared around a corner, heading towards the living quarters and Harry sped after him, intent on stopping the man before he reached anywhere he could do damage. However, as he came around the corner someone had beaten him to it. Two vampires had appeared out of nowhere, one light, one dark, and they had the prey between them.

Harry came up short and had to fight hard not to challenge the pair for the prize. He was so far into the mindset of the hunt that it was almost overwhelming, but he clawed onto his self control with everything he had. The two vampires were vaguely familiar, but he did not know their names.

"Wicked, Truth," Damian's voice behind him made him turn and he saw the other vampire and an out of breath Draco.

For a moment he felt a pang of guilt, but then he sensed the dark magic coming from the prisoner and he turned back to the other little group. The empty eyes that looked at him sent chills down his spine. The man he had seen in his vision no longer existed; there was just a shell with a purpose.

"I believe we should deal with this privately," the blond of the two vampires said calmly, never loosening his grip on his captive.

Reigning in the desires of his beast, Harry kept his mouth shut and just went along with it.

====

Harry stood in the corner of the small room and just watched. He had learned that the tall dark haired vampire was Truth and the tall blond one was Wicked and they could both be very scary when they wanted to be. Being a stubborn Gryffindor had worked in his favour since he had managed to end up on the inside of the room with Draco, Asher, Wicked and Truth, but it had been a close thing.

It had been unanimous, however, that Jean-Claude definitely not enter the room since everyone was sure he was the target. The master of the city was currently outside waiting to hear any information those inside could extract from the prisoner, which was so far nothing.

The man was chained to a chair thanks to a spell Harry had cast, which was one of the reasons they'd let him and Draco stay, and was surrounded by the other three vampires. On a small table off to one side was everything they had found in the man's pockets. This consisted of some cash and a small bottle of blood red potion.

So far the vampires had tried persuasion, mind tricks and brute force and their prisoner had just taken it all and said nothing. What gave Harry the creeps was that the man had not so much as said his name in the entire time he had been under interrogation. It was eerie in the same way the empty stare was eerie; Harry was pretty sure there was nothing really there to ask questions of.

"Let me try," Draco said, pushing himself away from the wall where the Slytherin was standing next to Harry.

Harry looked at his boyfriend to try and gauge what Draco was thinking and from the cold look he saw on his lover's face he knew instantly. When the final battle had been almost upon them, the Aurors had known what was going to happen and they had deputised all those who would be fighting. This had exempted them from the mandatory sentence in Azkaban for using an Unforgivable curse for the duration of the battle. Harry had seen the look on Draco's face when they walked into battle and the first spell his lover had thrown had been the Crutiatus curse.

"Which?" Harry asked shortly.

"Imperius," was the equally terse response.

At least there would not be lots of screaming.

"What do you intend?" Asher asked in a perfectly even tone, as if he had not just spent the last hour trying to terrify the prisoner.

"It's a spell that allows a wizard to completely control another's will," Draco said with a matching tone. "It's highly illegal and should give us answers in a very short time."

Wicked and Truth had not crossed paths with Harry or Draco, except from a distance, but they had obviously heard about their powers because they both stepped back before Asher nodded. Harry would have rather that his boyfriend not cast an Unforgivable, or that he do it instead, but Draco was the better of the two of them at casting such spells. The Slytherin had been drilled in them by his father; Harry had only ever cast them in an emergency.

Draco did not bother with a wand; he simply reached out his hand.

"Imperio," the Slytherin cast efficiently and a blast of light hit the prisoner.

For a few moments all was still.

"Harry, remove the chains," Draco said eventually and with a wave of his hand he did as he was told.

The vampires did not seem comfortable with an unsecured enemy in their midst, but they did not object. Harry was more worried about Draco and quite what the curse would be doing to him. Casting an Unforgivable was not very pleasant.

"Stand up," Draco said firmly.

The prisoner moved to his feet without hesitation.

"Hold your breath," was the next, unexpected instruction.

It would never have occurred to Harry, but Draco had devised the perfect test. A person under the Imperius curse would hold their breath until they died; a person who was faking it would never be able to. It was fine for the first minute of so, like watching a statue, but eventually the man began to twitch. He was still holding his breath, but his automatic bodily functions were trying to take over. Harry made himself watch, but he didn't like it.

Only when the man's lips began to turn blue and the prisoner was swaying on his feet did Draco relent.

"Breathe and sit," Draco said shortly. "Harry, chains."

Without having to think about it Harry replaced the bindings he had previously removed. He could not help being glad that that part of the interrogation was over. Somehow ordering a man to suffocate himself was worse than anything that had gone before.

"State you name," Draco said clearly and evenly.

Not a twitch and absolutely no sound.

"State your name," Draco tried again, but as Harry looked into the prisoners empty eyes he knew there would be no response.

"Tell me why you are here," Draco changed tack.

"To give the potion to the master of the city," the words were so unexpected out of their so-far silent prisoner that every person in the room started slightly.

"Tell me who sent you," Draco ordered firmly.

Silence again.

"Tell me why you must give the potion to the master of the city."

Still nothing. It was with cold dread that Harry realised what was going on. There were no answers being given because there were none to give. All that was left of the poor wretch of a man he had seen in his vision was a shell with one purpose. He didn't know if the automaton could be given another task by his masters, but Harry knew without a doubt there was nothing else of the man except his task.

"Draco, stop," he said, completely sure of what he was doing, "he doesn't understand. Can't you see, the reason he hasn't told us anything yet is because there's nothing to tell. All he knows is 'give the potion to the master of the city'."

When Draco turned and looked at him Harry realised that Draco knew all too well. With a wave of his hand the Slytherin ended the spell and walked slowly back to Harry.

"I know," Draco said without any trace of emotion in his voice, "I was just hoping there might be something left."

Harry squeezed his love's hand, it could not have been pleasant to be in magical proximity to such a mind. It made him shudder just to think about it. Still holding his hand, Draco turned and looked at the vampires.

"This is pointless," the Slytherin said in a tone that begged no argument, "there is no mind left to question. I could feel it. I think it's safe to let Jean-Claude in here, he," Draco indicated the prisoner, "can't hurt anyone like that."

The three vampires looked at each other and appeared to be having a conversation that involved nothing but body language, but eventually Asher gave a small nod.

"We agree," Jean-Claude's second in command said, "and it is time to make a decision."

Without anymore discussion Asher walked to the door and opened it. Harry had no doubt Jean-Claude had been able to hear everything from outside because the master of the city simply walked in and looked at the prisoner with a rather sad expression on his face.

"Were this simply our business," Jean-Claude said evenly, "I would have this poor wretch put out of his misery. As it is, I fear we must contact the proper authorities."

It seemed to Harry as if all eyes in the room went to the small bottle on the table.

"Mon enfant," Jean-Claude continued and looked over to Harry, "would you perhaps know of anyone who might be in a position to assist us in discovering the nature of the contents of the bottle?"

Looking at Draco, Harry thought about it, but he was not sure if even Snape would be much help in this. This wasn't the type of potion he was used to and he wasn't convinced a wizard or witch was the right person for the job. Draco gave a slight shake of his head and Harry assumed they were thinking the same thing.

"I don't think our experts could help very quickly," he said honestly. "The police's experts are more likely to be useful since they're familiar with this sort of magic."

The fact that the dark magic coming off the bottle would probably encourage a wizard to destroy it more than analyse it was another factor that Harry chose not to mention. He wasn't sure what they were like on this side of the Atlantic, but at home the Ministry was very short sighted in such matters.

Jean-Claude considered the reply for a while and finally nodded.

"Then we shall let Anita's friends have our little collection," the vampire said decisively, "and I shall deduce a way to explain why we did not inform ma petite of our activities this evening."

They had all decided that Anita would overreact to Jean-Claude being in danger and hence they had left her out of the loop. Now they were going to have to face the music.

End of Chapter 22
On to next chapter NC17/18 | On to next chapter R/15
Tags: category: het, category: slash, category: threesome/moresome, ch_story: black magic, fandom: anita blake, fandom: crossovers, fandom: harry potter, fictype: 30kwds up, fictype: chaptered, genre: creature fic, genre: vampires, genre: werewolf, pairing: ab - anita/nathaniel, pairing: hp - harry/draco, pairing: threesome/moresome, rating: r to nc17, type: chapter listing
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