Elusion

Chapter 66

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Summary: Madness is not a state of mind. Madness is a place. What happens when Harry stumbles into it and gets trapped there? A Harry Potter version of Alice in Wonderland but a thousand shades darker.

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Harry weaved through the crowd and made his way to the bar at the far end of the club. The music thrummed pleasantly through his veins as he stopped at the bar and leaned over the counter to eye all the bottles filled with colourful liquids on the wall. It was a bit mesmerizing and he was tempted to taste them all. Getting drunk was at the top of his newly formed bucket list at the moment. Harry spied four bartenders working the overcrowded bar but a blondie caught his eye and he signalled him to come take his order. The blonde hesitated before coming to stand in front of him. Harry quirked up an eyebrow and grinned at him. He looked young, a little above seventeen or eighteen maybe. He had a cherubic face and sapphire eyes that glowed in the dim light. His blond curls framed his face and the first word that crossed his mind was 'Angel'. Harry leaned closer to him and spoke loud enough so that he could hear him over the music,

"Do you know who I am?"

The blonde nodded quickly and Harry's grin widened. He crooked his finger and signalled him to come closer. The blonde leaned over the counter and Harry rested a hand on his shoulder as he brought his lips close to his ear and spoke,

"I've never tasted anything alcoholic and I want that to change tonight. But there's a slight problem… I don't know the first thing about these sort of drinks and I believe you can help me out there. So, tonight, you have one job… Get me drunk."

The blonde leaned away from him and was about to say something when a short, stubby man appeared behind him and pushed him out of the way. Harry didn't like that…he didn't like that at all. He smiled widely when he saw Harry and offered his hand. Harry assessed him for a while and surmised that he was the owner of his place,

"Mr. Potter, I was informed of your presence here and came as soon as I could."

Harry made no move to shake his hand and the man dropped it with an embarrassed flush. Harry felt a little satisfied. That bastard should be embarrassed for treating his employees like that. The voice inside his head chimed,

Hypocrite.

Harry scoffed at it. He only treated Umbridge and Bella like that because they were evil. Besides, he admitted that he was a hypocrite so this matter was null and void and he finally spoke,

"I believe you're the owner of this place."

The man nodded, a little bit of smugness returning to his face,

"Yes, Mr. Potter. And I came here to inform you that everything here is complimentary for you."

Harry smiled and rested his elbows on the counter,

"How kind of you but… I am perfectly capable of paying for everything."

The man shook his head,

"I did not mean to imply…"

Harry raised his hand and the man went silent,

"If you want to do something for me then I want that blondie to serve me and only me for the duration of my stay here."

The man turned around and scowled at the blonde before turning back to face him,

"Mr. Potter…we are a bit understaffed at the moment and this is his first day on the job."

Harry felt a little overjoyed at that fact and pulled out his pouch. He grabbed a fistful of galleons and dropped them on the counter. He didn't miss the greedy glint in the man's eyes at the sight of them,

"Will that be enough to pay for his services?"

The man vanished them with a wave of his wand and spoke with a lecherous grin,

"That will be more than enough, Mr. Potter but can I interest you in someone more experienced."

Harry smiled as sweetly as possible and dismissed him with a wave of his hand,

"No, he'll do just fine."

He turned to the blonde and signalled him close again,

"What's your name?"

The blonde stepped closer and twisted the cloth he was holding in his hands nervously,

"You don't have to be nervous around me. It's not like I'm going to eat you…besides you're probably a year or two older than me."

That did nothing to lessen the blonde's nervousness so Harry grabbed the cloth from his hand and spoke,

"Look at me, Angel."

The blonde looked up and Harry felt a little mesmerized by those sapphire eyes,

"It's your first day on the job, right?"

The blonde nodded. Harry smiled,

"Well, I don't know anything about bartending but I think confidence is the key to succeed in everything. If you aren't confident then people will end up taking advantage of you."

Harry paused and saw something like awe shining in those sapphire eyes…the kind he had seen in Rabastan eyes for him. Rabastan…Why was he still thinking about him. He had to forget him. He was here to forget him. He focused on the blonde's angelic features instead and spoke,

"You have a beautiful face and I'm sure plenty of people here are having some very obscene thoughts about you. If you're going to be doing this job on a permanent basis then you'll have to face a lot of that on a daily basis. Now, if you don't want people to act on those thoughts then you'll have to man up and be confident because if you show even a tiny sliver of vulnerability, these people will pick up on it and rip you apart. So, my one and only advice to you is to stay strong. Be courteous, since that's in your job description, but don't let anyone touch you and don't let their words affect you."

A small smile finally graced the blonde's bright lips and completed that illusion of him being an angel. Harry could feel his own smile brighten. His voice was as smooth and sweet as honey when he spoke,

"Deus Miller."

Harry shook his hand,

"I'm going to call you Angel. I hope you don't have a problem with that."

Deus shook his head and Harry laughed softly,

"Okay, so, what do you suggest for my first drink."

Harry watched as Deus turned around and eyed the wall. When he turned back to face him, he had a confident glint in his sapphire eyes,

"How about firewhisky, Mr. Potter?"

Harry groaned and shook his head. He saw Deus's confidence waver and spoke,

"Firewhisky is fine. Don't call me, Mr. Potter though. I hear it enough at the ministry and everywhere I go. Just call me Harry."

Deus placed a coaster in front of him on the counter and placed a glass over it. He went to the wall, grabbed a bottle, came back and poured the drink into the glass. Harry eyed the bright orange liquid for a moment before picking it up and taking a cautious sip. Harry felt it sear his throat and fire him with something that was like courage. Courage...he didn't need that. He downed the rest of the glass in one and enjoyed the pleasant burn at the back of his throat. He smiled at Deus who was looking at him with nervous anticipation,

"That was great. Now, I want something stronger. Impress me, Angel."

Deus turned his back to him and frowned at the wall before picking out a bottle and setting it on the counter,

"This is Dragon Scale. It starts out as an ale and winds up as a lager"

Harry watched with interest as Deus replaced his glass with a clean one and poured the reddish frothy liquid in. He picked it up and took a sip. It started off with an explosion of fruity flavours over Harry's taste buds but eventually it winded down and tasted clean and crisp. It was an absolute delight,

"It's wonderful."

Deus smiled as one of his fellow bartenders came to discuss something with him. Harry left them to their discussion and turned around to survey the crowd on the dance floor. He took a sip from his glass, rested his elbows on the counter and leaned back as he watched the people dance and writhe against each other. And that's when he saw him.

Harry had to pull off his glasses and rub his eyes to confirm that he wasn't hallucinating. He turned around and looked at Deus immersed in some discussion about the inventory with the other bartender,

"Angel, can you see that man?"

Deus looked past him at the spot Harry indicated with his finger. The other bartender piped up,

"Mr. Lestrange? He's a regular…or used to be a regular…"

Harry turned around and eyed Rabastan again. He looked so different. He was dressed to the nines in a black silk shirt and black jeans that were so tight they looked painted on his long legs. He hadn't slicked up his hair and let them fall around his face. Harry's gaze was glued to him and he found himself unable to look away,

"He used to be a regular?"

The other bartender spoke indulgently,

"Yes, he used to come here regularly on the weekends more than a month ago but then he stopped coming. It's good to see him back though."

Rabastan moved to the dance floor with and It didn't take him long to attract attention. Before long, he was swaying his hips to the rhythmic music, his eyes closed and head thrown back on another man's shoulder. Male hands touched his hips as their owner ground his crotch against Rabastan's ass. Harry wanted to look away. He wanted to turn his back on the entire scene. Rabastan was moving on. This was good. It was what he had wanted, hadn't he?

Harry watched the display with growing distaste. How did that man know that it was okay to dance that way with a total stranger? Harry wanted to punch him in the face for grinding against Rabastan like that. His eyes roamed over Rabastan's silk shirt with contempt before settling once again on the hands holding Rabastan's hips. He glared at the guy's hands, but instead of disappearing under the force of his gaze, they slipped under the silk shirt to grope Rabastan's pale stomach.

Realizing his body had gone rigid, Harry tried to relax but couldn't quite manage it. He watched the guy knead Rabastan's stomach, his hand clearly slipping up to stroke his nipples. Rabastan's lips parted. He was clearly enjoying himself…enjoying having his chest groped by a total stranger. Harry lifted his eyes to Rabastan's and found him already looking at him through sultry, heavy-lidded eyes. Rabastan smiled at him and bared his neck to the other guy, letting him kiss his neck while the guy's hands stroked his nipples. Harry didn't need to hear to know that Rabastan was moaning, grinding back against the other man.

He turned around immediately before he did something he would regret again. Rabastan deserved happiness. He wasn't going to ruin him again. Harry couldn't help but wonder if Rabastan would have brought him here if he had agreed to go out with him that day. He set down his glass on the counter with more force than necessary and Deus started,

"Is something wrong, Mr. Potter?"

Harry bit back a growl,

"I told you not to call me that."

He realized his mistake and looked up at Deus,

"I'm sorry."

Deus shook his head and smiled,

"If you don't like the drink then I can get you something else."

Harry emptied his glass in one gulp and was about to speak when a hand slid onto his back, followed by the weight and pressure of a taller body beside him. The man slid a glass filled with an ember coloured liquid in front of him. Harry pushed it away. Who knew what it contained? Instead he signalled Deus to pour him another Dragon Scale. He was about to politely thank the guy when the hand on his back slid possessively down to the top of his jeans, a light circling pressure.

Harry allowed himself to sink into a fantasy that it was Voldemort or Rabastan. The hand drifted over his hips, and Harry tipped them to meet the touch, skin tingling, a light buzz in his head as he gulped enough of the drink to keep the fantasy alive.

The fingers on his hips dipped between his legs, a light brush forward, and then dug into the crease as the hand gripped hard. The fantasy evaporated and Harry wriggled free,

"Thanks for the drink."

Before he could get clear, the guy's hand wrapped hard around Harry's upper arm,

"What's your hurry? You were shaking your ass at me just fine."

Harry got a good look at his face. Hard eyes, flat nose. Probably had it broken in a few fights. His ragged appearance and pointed teeth gesticulated to the fact that he might be a werewolf.

"I said thanks for the drink."

Harry tried to pull free without turning it into some kind of shoving contest. Not that he would mind it. He was itching to get his frustration out but creating a scene here wasn't going to do anyone any favours and on top of everything else he didn't want to ruin Rabastan's night. The werewolf leaned closer to him and spoke,

"Whore."

Harry's blood hummed in his veins as determination and anger took over. He sucked down the rest of his drink and leaned into the unsuspecting bastard,

"Mmm. I like dirty talk."

The man released his arm, and Harry's hand shot down, grabbing the guy's nut sac and giving it a twist so he had his attention,

"I said thanks. If you're looking for a whore, it's going to take a lot more than a drink to get over having to look at your face. Now, you're going to step away from me and get out of this club. Clear?"

The man grunted, eyes squeezed shut, lips thinned in a grimace of pain. Harry twisted harder,

"I asked you a question. Are we clear?"

The man nodded his head and Harry released him. But he quickly learned that that had been a mistake as the man swung his fist and pain blazed up as it connected with his jaw. That was the breaking point of his patience. At that moment, Harry was blinded by a five-course serving of rage that tasted bitter, yet surprisingly satisfying. The werewolf raised his fist to hit him again and Harry went to punch him in the face. When his fist came in contact with his nose the werewolf fell to the ground wailing in pain. Harry didn't even feel it. His fist should have ached, his knuckles should have hurt. He grinned. Dumbledore's curse was good for something after all.

Harry tackled him and held him down so he could not fight back. Harry seriously doubted he could've anyway as his fists continued to hit his face. He was dimly aware that the music had stopped playing and he was surrounded by people watching the fight. Suddenly pain flared up in Harry's knuckles…intense and blinding…all at once. He stopped immediately and looked incredulously at the man's bloody face, then at his gloved hands and burst into a fit of exuberant laughter...

He was dragged away from the werewolf and forced to his feet but he couldn't stop laughing. It took a moment for him to gather himself and when he managed to see through the haze of tears, he found Rabastan standing inches away from him, staring at him with a mixture of concern and incredulity.

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