a trick question (erb_) wrote in zhficrelay,
a trick question

Nineteen: The Beautiful Comes Later

Keywords: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a bride or groom but not a wedding.

This is a REMIX of spectacular's Spider's Web, which means that YES you should read that first, but NO you don't have to. If you don't know what a remix is, it's where one author takes another author's story and either tells it from a different point of view or changes the ending or whatever. I chose to tell her story from a different point of view and I included a few of her lines of dialogue near the end.

And it's very... train of thought-ish. That's a slight warning, and you'll get what I mean when you read it.

PG-13, again, for language and a couple sexual mentionings.
About 1,600 words.

The Beautiful Comes Later

Zacharias wiggles, obscene, underneath Harry’s arched fingers. Or wait. No. No, that’s not right. Open your eyes, Harry. There you go, see? It’s just Ron and Hermione bickering over homework and Seamus making googly eyes at the back of Dean’s neck and Ginny rolling on the floor in laughter and you stroking that pillow in your lap like the other side of it has tender, pouting Hufflepuff lips and is sucking you off.


Go to bed, Harry.

The next morning Zacharias sidles up close and knocks his hip against Harry’s, making it look like an accident but—wink, wink nudge, nudge—it’s not. And Zacharias is looking smug and confident and mentions something about crushing Harry in Quidditch today, but that’s not right because Harry’s not playing Hufflepuff today, he’s playing Slytherin and is that Zacharias sitting down next to Susan Bones over there? Oh god, it is. Then this must be…

Harry Potter will never be able to look at Draco Malfoy again. Ever.
(Except for when he beats Draco at Quidditch, which he always does. Ha ha HA, take that you winky nudging rat bastard freak.)


“What about this one?” Harry asks, his finger poking a picture of a girl between her legs. The pictures in this book don’t move, so she doesn’t run around screeching about sexual abuse, just continues to stand there in her wedding dress, looking on the verge of eating her own foot.

“Too post-modern pretentious,” Zacharias says with a raised, blond eyebrow. “Look at the ghosting they’ve done to her. Instead of an emotional portrait of a woman left scorned at the altar we’ve nothing more than a blurry painting meant to make you go ‘Oooh!’ and ‘Aaah!’ and compare the artist to Warhol or Picasso and go on and on—”

“Muggle studies is really stupid,” Harry cuts in. He turns the page roughly. “Actually, I take that back. You’re really stupid. You are the worst partner I have ever had and I’ve been put with Malfoy and Neville at the same time,” he seethes.

At this exact moment in time Zacharias could not imagine doing anything besides beating the shit out of Harry with a dusty, screaming book. Imagine his (and the book’s) surprise when he kisses him, instead.

Shortly after the Muggle Studies Incident and thankfully quite a while after the Draco Malfoy Nightmare, Harry begins watching the Hufflepuff Quidditch team practice without fail. He’s not sure why, either, as it’s not really interesting or beneficial. He’s not doing it for his team, and even if he was, he’d pick a better team to spy on. Sorry Hufflepuffs, he thinks, but you sort of really stink. Harry also thinks that’s probably because Zacharias has been made captain and, well, he’s not bad at Quidditch, but his strengths definitely lie in areas like babbling about art and making no sense and being a big, beautiful prat and making people like Harry fall in crush with him.

Because he’s not in love. He’s sixteen and he’s a boy. If it were a larger word Harry probably wouldn’t even be able to spell love, which is funny, isn’t it? It’s such a tiny word, tinier than most of the other important ones, and everyone can spell it but no one really knows what it means.


The first of each month becomes “their day”. Harry isn’t sure why, doesn’t really care why, could definitely live the rest of his life without knowing why, and blocks Zacharias out when he tells Harry why. Having a reason for having a day sort of makes this fumbling around into a relationship, doesn’t it?

Harry shivers at the thought just as Zacharias nips on his earlobe. Zacharias grins and does it again. Harry curses his unfortunate timing and then shoves his hand down Zacharias’s trousers.

“Harry! Are we practicing Quidditch today?” Ron, his freckles… glowing? Whoa. Harry decides he needs to spend a bit more time recovering and shaking off the afterglow (which turns out to feel more like afternausea and afteridiocy) before clambering back into his common room.

“Uh,” Harry responds.

“You said you would help me with my DADA homework, Harry.” Neville, piping up from the corner.

“Huh?” Harry tries not to fall over.

“Are you feeling okay?” Hermione, eyes searching and not really looking concerned at all.

“Huh?” Harry repeats. He swallows. There is no way his friends are this dumb. Surely they must see his rumpled shirt, his uneven trousers, his blush and his red lips and his—well, okay, his hair is always this messy. Zacharias probably groomed it while they were on the floor, the sneaky… sneaky…

Harry gives up thinking for a while, choosing instead to go up to his dorm and hide under the covers from his friends and curly blond boys with no gag reflex to speak of and impending doom taking the shape of a long-term commitment.


“Hermione’s sort of creepy,” Zacharias says the last day before the Christmas holiday begins and he goes home. Harry shoots him a look over his cup of coffee. “Well, she is!” Zacharias insists. “She’s always watching you, haven’t you noticed? And she’s always making notes that no one can understand so I can’t even borrow them and figure out what the fuck she’s up to.”

“She’s not up to anything,” Harry mutters, not really believing himself (since when is Hermione not up to something?) but feeling the Gryffindor urge to stand up for her, anyway.

“I suppose you’re going to tell me she just enjoys taking notes obsessively, then?” Zacharias drops a sixth packet of cream into his coffee. It’s beginning to turn beige.

“Yes, actually,” Harry says. He can feel himself getting worked up. His temper is hot inside of his cold skin, slightly chapped from the walk to Hogsmeade.

“Fine, stand up for your friend instead of your boyfriend,” Zacharias says airily, as though he’d just told Harry to look at the dead bird sitting on—whoa whoa whoa. Boyfriend? As in, steady? As in, Zacharias-and-Harry? As in, what the fuck?

“What the fuck?” Harry asks, a note too loud.

“Well, I mean.” Zacharias looks around in jerky movements and tries very hard not to blush (Harry can tell because Zacharias’s eyebrows always scrunch together when he’s trying not to do something, like blush or cry.). “I thought that, you know… since you asked me out for a coffee… I dunno. It’s just the two of us—”

“It’s always just the two of us, Zacharias,” Harry snaps. “I never see my friends anymore because of you.” Harry does not mention that he never sees his friends because he can’t stay away from Zacharias, he wants Zacharias to borrow him from his old life and never give him back.

“It’s always the two of us because all we ever do is fool around!” Zacharias hisses. The elderly witch sitting to their left gasps and sits up a little straighter. “So, you know, I thought since you’d invited me out somewhere that meant you actually wanted to see me and not my prick. But I was obviously very, very wrong.”

Harry gapes like a trout. He feels like a bass.

Zacharias smashes his dark blue hat on his head and stands up. He gives Harry a steely look and says, very loudly, “You’re not that good, you know. I don’t think you’re worth my time, Harry Potter.”

“Yeah… well! No!” Harry groans and moans and slams his head into the table. He doesn’t even realise the coffee is in his hair until it starts to burn his scalp.


Harry wants so badly to wake up from a midday nap on a spring Saturday and feel Zacharias pressed up against him. He wants to not be able to move his hand because it’s caught between those long, long legs. He wants to be reassured, comforted, and pushed around. He’s tired of walking around bewildered and unused, untaken.

Harry wants so badly to stop waking up feeling hated by love.

But there’s nothing. Nothing for him to walk to or from, nowhere for him to leave his mark. There are no other minds for him to try and dissect and get horribly lost in the process. The only way for him to go is forward towards Zacharias and that skinny Syltherin bitch and a punch in the face.

Harry wants to be happy knowing Zacharias is going to miss those two teeth, but he can’t stop thinking how he’ll miss them, too, which is such an insane thought because they’re just teeth.

Him and Zacharias are also just boys, just going to school, just having hormones. So why the fuck did everything have to become so monstrous?


“There’s room in my compartment,” Zacharias mumbles as though he’s being forced to say it.

“There’s room in this one, too,” Harry says, stone cold, although most of that is just nerves because Zacharias was sort of right way back in December—yeah, Harry remembers all the way back to December. No, he can’t explain it, either—Hermione’s staring is getting a bit creepy.

“You know what I mean,” Zacharias says under his breath.

“Yeah, I do.”

Harry thinks about what he’s doing. His brain pokes at his heart and shouts “What happened to him? What happened to him? What happened to him?” over and over again and his heart shouts “Me! Me! Remember me? Me!” until Harry can’t hear anything anymore and next thing he knows he’s standing up and he’s walking behind Zacharias and it feels good.

spectacular's next five keywords are: a theme of gold, drums, a mirror, a tongue piercing, and an epic contradiction

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