Elusion

Chapter 67

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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's heart was overjoyed to see Rabastan so close to him…that selfish thing was practically dancing in his chest. He needed to quash it…quash this…Rabastan didn't deserve this. He had to be cruel to be kind…He had to be cruel to be kind…he had to be cruel to be kind. He repeated that mantra over and over in his head as he took a step away from Rabastan and spoke,

"I'm sorry…I didn't mean to disrupt your date. You can get back to it now. The show's over."

Harry watched as the werewolf was hauled away by two bulky looking wizards who were probably the security guards. He watched Rabastan walk away from the corner of his eye and he felt an extremely hollow feeling settle in his chest and stomach. This is for the best. It's for the best. Harry held back a groan as the owner hurried towards him through the crowd,

"I am so sorry, Mr. Potter. Please accept my apology and forgive me."

Harry looked down at his gloved hands and another wave of joy coursed through him as he felt them throbbing with pain,

"I should be thanking you and him. Could you have him brought back here?"

The owner's eyes widened and he looked at him like he had gone mad. He knew he was a bit mad. He bowed his head and spoke,

"As you wish, Mr. Potter."

The owner hurried away in the direction where the guards had taken the werewolf. He turned around and looked at Deus, who appeared pale and extremely worried. Harry smiled at him and inquired,

"What's wrong, Angel?"

Deus was eyeing his gloved hands and Harry was about to reply when the owner's annoying whiny voice interrupted him. He turned around and found him standing with the werewolf on his side. He stepped closer to him and the werewolf flinched away. His face was still covered in blood. Harry assessed the damage and surmised that he had probably broken his nose again. His upper lip was split and he spied a fractured cheekbone. Harry only felt a dull ache in his jaw and a constant throbbing pain in his hands. He didn't mind it though. He was cherishing it. It was supposed to make him happy but it didn't. He didn't feel happy. Before the werewolf could back away any further, Harry leapt forwards and grabbed him in a hug. The werewolf went stock still and Harry whispered against his ear,

"Thank you."

When Harry pulled away, he realized that the werewolf looked stunned and the owner's jaw was hanging open. He addressed the owner,

"If you want to make amends then I suggest you take good care of him. Have him healed and fix him up with anything he needs."

The owner nodded shakily and Harry smiled in contentment. He was about to turn away when the werewolf spoke,

"Thank you for what?"

Harry smiled and winked at him,

"You wouldn't understand."

He turned his back to them and saw that the worry on Deus's face had been replaced with admiration. He was looking at him like he was some kind of a hero. Hero…He hated that word…hated how bitter it left his mouth. He sat down on a stool and spoke,

"I'm not a hero, Angel. Stop looking at me like that."

Deus smiled softly and conjured a clean glass in front of him. Harry looked down at the empty glass and spoke,

"I want something extremely potent. I've had three glasses and so far, I've only felt a little bit of that buzz. I want to be out of my mind, Angel."

Deus's smile wavered,

"People usually drink to forget their misery and pain. Are you…I mean why do you want to be drunk?"

Misery and pain…How accurate but not accurate at all. Pain was such a small word for what he was experiencing. He closed his eyes and the image of Rabastan walking away played on the forefront of his mind. His heart ached and bled. It was worse than the physical pain he was feeling right now. He tried to distract himself and asked,

"Have you ever thought about the things you want to do the most before dying?"

He opened his eyes and saw extreme puzzlement in those sapphire eyes. But then the puzzlement was gone, replaced by clear determination and a secret smile,

"I have."

Harry raised an eyebrow,

"And?"

Deus lowered his head and Harry saw a blush creep up his neck and heat up his cheeks,

"Well, now you've got me curious."

Harry winced as the pain in his hands spiked but he was pretty sure Deus didn't notice it. He covered his mouth and coughed while he waited for Deus's answer. Deus looked up and finally spoke,

"I want to get a tattoo…several tattoos and a piercing…well several piercings."

Harry couldn't quite believe his ears and he leaned forward,

"Really? That's what you want? I thought you were all sweet and innocent. Why would you want something like that?"

Deus laughed softly,

"Exactly because of that…I don't want people to think of me as sweet and innocent. And after the advice you gave me today, I want them all the more."

Harry was intrigued,

"We can get them together."

Deus looked startled,

"Together? You mean…You want them too?"

Harry rested his elbows on the counter and grinned,

"There's no harm in it, right? We can get them in the next couple of days."

Deus smiled for a brief moment and then it vanished,

"I haven't saved enough for those yet. I just started this job today."

Harry tsked,

"I'm going to pay for it. Don't worry about that. So, what else do you want?"

Deus was about to decline when Harry gave him a soft warning look,

"What else do you want, Angel?"

Harry say Deus's sapphire eyes warm up,

"Love…I want to fall in love…"

Harry felt his smile fall away,

"Love?"

Deus's smile faltered as well. Harry rearranged his expressions and asked as nonchalantly as possible,

"I mean why love?"

Deus leaned forward and asked,

"Aren't you in love?"

Harry scoffed and leaned back,

"No. What made you ask that? Do I look like I'm in love?"

Deus lips curved up,

"You might be. I wouldn't know. I haven't fallen in love yet."

Harry felt his smile return and he laughed,

"Are you hitting on me?"

Deus shook his head looking extremely flustered,

"No…That wasn't my intention…You have to believe I didn't mean to."

Harry straightened up,

"I'm just messing with you. Relax."

Deus visibly relaxed and Harry saw his gaze wander to his hands again,

"Where did you learn to fight?"

Harry looked down at his hands again,

"I didn't learn how to fight. It was just a spur of the moment thing."

Deus looked worried again,

"They must be hurting."

Harry smiled,

"They are but I'm enjoying it."

Deus looked puzzled,

"Enjoying the pain?"

Harry nodded. Deus wouldn't understand. No one would except Rabastan or Voldemort,

"There's a bruise on your jaw."

Harry knew there was and he had a feeling it was going to ache like hell in a while,

"I need a drink."

Deus immediately went to the wall and came back with a black bottle that had a green label pasted over it. Deus broke the seal and filled the glass,

"This is Knotgrass Mead. containing 23% alcohol. Made from 100% pure ingredients, which include knotgrass in addition to traditional fermented honey."

Harry eyed the dark amber coloured liquid in his glass but couldn't bring himself to move his hands. They were already aching and he felt unable to move his fingers. Deus seemed to have picked up on his dilemma and placed a straw in his glass,

"Can I get you some ice for your hands and your jaw?"

Harry nodded as he took the straw between his lips and took a long draw. He watched Deus vanish and saw Rabastan settle down with his date on the stools next to his. He wanted to ignore them but it was almost impossible to ignore the guy's deep baritone as he ordered drinks and talked animatedly about the mansion he had recently purchased. Harry took another sip of his wonderfully sweet drink and hoped it would erase the bitterness poisoning his veins. He kept his gaze focused on the counter as he chewed on the end of his straw and waited for Deus to return.

Three minutes later, the guy was beginning to sound irritated because Rabastan hadn't spoken a word ever since they had taken those seats. Harry resisted the urge to look at him as his heart cheered with joy in his chest. So, apparently Rabastan wasn't happy. Deus returned with a smile on his face but a wary look in his eyes. He placed the towel filled with ice on the counter and Harry spoke,

"Did the owner scold you?"

Deus shook his head but his sapphire eyes screamed yes,

"I'll have a word with him later."

Deus shook his head frantically,

"No…please…I really need this job."

Harry finished his drink in one draw and spoke,

"Come work for me at the ministry, Angel."

Deus eyes bugged out of his head and Harry eyed his empty glass,

"I'm not kidding. I do have the authority to hire anyone I want and if you're terrified of Voldemort then don't be. You seem wasted on a place like this plus the pay will be ten times better. But, of course, you have the option to decline."

Deus eyes shimmered with tears and Harry tried to understand what he'd said wrong,

"Umm…I didn't mean to hurt you, Angel."

Deus wiped away the tears and spoke in a choked voice,

"I will be eternally grateful to you."

Harry smiled in relief,

"So, you accept?"

Deus nodded with a watery smile and Harry spoke,

"Excellent. You can come by the ministry tomorrow. Now I'd very much like it if you refilled my glass and helped me with the ice."

Deus nodded and got to work. He had just taken Harry's hand in his to remove the gloves when the sound of a glass shattering made them both turn. Harry concealed the grin that threatened to show itself as he realized that Rabastan had tossed his glass to the floor and was stalking towards him,

"Hands off him."

Deus immediately released his hands and Harry leaned against the counter as Rabastan came to stand infront of him. Harry saw nothing but possessiveness burning in his eyes. Deus spoke in a low timid voice,

"Do you want me to call security?"

Harry shook his head,

"There's no need, Angel."

He rose to his feet and Rabastan's dance partner came to stand beside him, grabbed his forearm and tried to drag him away,

"Rabastan, let's go."

Rabastan yanked his arm out of his grip and growled,

"Get lost, Sebastian."

Harry's heart was jumping up and down in his chest with happiness. The voice in his head was reprimanding him but he tuned it out. The guy sulked off and Harry watched him leave,

"Sorry about your date."

Rabastan leaned closer to him and gripped his collar,

"That's the only thing you're sorry for?"

Harry blinked his eyes in mock confusion,

"Is there something else I'm supposed to be sorry for?"

Rabastan released his collar and his gaze travelled to Deus,

"Are you going to destroy him too?"

Harry turned to look at Deus,

"Do you fancy me, Angel?"

Deus shook his head looking utterly mortified. Harry rose to his feet and spoke,

"You can dance with anyone you want…allow anyone to touch you…let anyone grope you but you couldn't stand to see Deus touch me…What does that say about you, Rabi?"

Rabastan's head fell and Harry gripped his chin despite the pain that little movement caused to flare up in his knuckles. Rabastan met his gaze and his eyes were shining with tears,

"I can't help it. I tried to forget you…tried to hate you…tried to wipe away your memories with someone else's touch. It didn't work…I want you...More than I did before…"

Harry let his hands fall away. He wasn't sure if he was in his senses. He turned around and frowned at his empty glass. Was he drunk? Maybe. He was sure about one thing though. He wanted Rabastan too. He had felt everything Rabastan had felt, anger, jealousy, sadness and misery. Harry felt Rabastan's hand on his shoulder,

"Please, Harry."

Harry's head spun for a moment and he collapsed back on the stool,

"I need another drink."

Deus was about to pour him another drink from the green labelled bottle when Rabastan spoke,

"Two Italian Vermouth Biancos."

Deus nodded and went to grab whatever Rabastan had ordered. Rabastan took Harry's hand in his and removed his gloves. Harry groaned out in pain and squeezed his eyes shut. He jerked away his hand as Rabastan applied the cold towel to his knuckles,

"Owww!"

Rabastan took his hand and continued to torment him with the ice. Harry tried to get away his hands again but Rabastan's hold was firm and he spoke softly,

"For the first time, I'm actually glad you were reckless."

Harry laughed and opened his eyes. The smile on Rabastan's face was warm and the happiness in Rabastan's eyes was so obvious and so beautiful. He'd though he'd never see that again but here he was…so undeserving of Rabastan's love and attention but still a recipient of it. He looked down at his hands and saw the dark reddish-purple bruises on his knuckles. He flexed his fingers and another cry escaped his lips along with an exclamation of joy. He could move his fingers again. Every second of the pain was worth it. Rabastan raised his hands to his lips and kissed them. The alcohol had failed to intoxicate him but the giddiness he felt from just the touch of Rabastan lips against his skin muzzled his higher thinking in much the same way and he felt absolutely intoxicated.

Rabastan pulled his lips away and released his hands. He started applying the ice to his jaw and Harry winced. Deus placed their drinks in front of them and Harry downed his in one gulp. Rabastan tsked,

"You were supposed to enjoy it."

Harry winced again as Rabastan pressed the ice to his jaw. He looked at Deus and signalled him to refill the glass. The ice had almost melted when Rabastan placed the towel on the counter and picked up his glass. Harry held up his and this time sipped it slowly. He wasn't prepared for the fireworks that went off on his tongue or the sparks that rushed through his nerves and burst into a kaleidoscope of colours in his mind. Maybe it was Rabastan's company…his warmth…his affection. The colours began to dim and Harry closed his eyes and took another sip to revive their vivaciousness. He repeated it over and over again until his glass was empty. He opened his eyes and saw a beautiful smile on Rabastan's lips,

"I think you've had enough for one night."

Harry shook his head and his vision blurred. Everything swam in and out of focus,

"One more."

Rabastan put down his glass and rose to his feet,

"Time to take you home."

Harry rose to his feet and struggled to keep his balance. It was like some sort of outer body experience. His legs weren't working as he told them to. Neither did his hands. Or his fingers. Somewhere, deep inside he knew his brain was sending signals telling them what to do. Whether or not his body was listening was a different story. Instantly, the world tipped over and Rabastan grabbed him,

"Harry…"

Harry looked up at Rabastan and whispered,

"I don't have a home."

A pained expression crossed Rabastan's face. He felt Rabastan slip an arm underneath his shoulders to balance him. He was about to lead him away from the bar when Harry shouted,

"Stop. I…I haven't paid."

Rabastan kissed his temple and Harry felt like swooning,

"It's covered. Just relax."

They had taken a few steps forward when Harry struggled to turn,

"I haven't thanked Deus."

Rabastan laughed softly and after a minute Deus came to stand in front of him,

"Thanks for everything. Just…just come by tomorrow."

Deus nodded and smiled softly,

"It was my pleasure."

Rabastan spoke softly,

"Can we leave now, Harry?"

Harry nodded and let his head fall on Rabastan's shoulder. It felt right…everything inside him felt right as he soaked in that wonderful warmth. This was meant to be and he wasn't going to fight it again.

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