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

Twenty-five: Jackknife

keywords: mobsters, Draco Malfoy as a McGuffin, Cho/Pansy, aleatory, and causerie.

Ahaha okay first thing? This is probably the worst I've ever been at sticking to the keywords. They're all there, just... not explored much.

And finally, I know this has plotholes. Like the whole Malfoy thing, for one. To clear it up before you all ask, this is a bit of a parody on the ZACHARIAS IS EXACTLY LIKE DRACO! ideal. So basically Zacharias goes away for a week, Draco temps for him, and when Zacharias comes back everyone still thinks it's Draco. Got it? I'd wanted to explore that plotline more but, as you can see, I was running VERY late with this.

R for language and the insinuated.
About 2,200 words.


Oh the shark has pearly teeth dear—

“Hullo, Malfoy!”

—and it shows them pearly whites—

“Mornin’ Malfoy!”

—just a jackknife—

“Looking well today, Malfoy!”

You know that shark bites with its tee—oh fucking hell! You ruined my song!” Zacharias Smith yelped at the now entirely confused third hallway in the left precinct on the right corridor of the third level in the sixth expansion pod of the Ministry of Magic. Growling, he pulled his grey knit cap further down over his blond hair and made a plan to storm the rest of the way to his office, stopping only for a moment to give a quick wave to Ernie MacMillan, still a Hufflepuff at heart.

Except, behind the glass wall and the filing cabinets and the wizzdings and the whodads and the whatyoutalkinbouts and the little row of metal balls that click the monotony by and by and by and by and make Zacharias want to grind his teeth into cocoa, the poor sod slaving his youth away was not Ernie MacMillan.

“You,” Zacharias snarled at the stooped figure, pathetically trying to fit a whatsits into a fandangled whatchyamacallit (Everyone knows you just tickle its thingamajig.). He backpedaled and figured, if he did this now while the stupid git was flailing around with his stupid git shaggy black hair and his stupid git glasses and his stupid git exposed forearms and his stupid git arse in those stupid git black trousers that aren’t Ministry regulation in the slightest but fit so stupid git nicely, then the stupid git would be totally surprised and maybe wet himself. Zacharias nearly did so himself, just thinking about the look that would be on Harry Potter’s face when he—in all his snow dusted, song interrupted, really quite pissed off glory—tramped into Harry’s office and made his day horribly, terrifically sour.

And that’s when Harry’s shirt slipped untucked and his trousers became caught on his desk corner and Zacharias made a startling discovery: Harry Potter had amazing hipbones.

And that’s also when he ran into the door, fell to the floor, and caused three interns (all in a rather impressive succession) to trip over his prostate form and muck up six months worth of research. All because Harry Potter had amazing hipbones.

Zacharias sighed, and then groaned because a red heel was thisclose to puncturing his liver. But mostly he condemned Harry’s hipbones to torture by the beings in the yuckiest part of hell. Or by his lips. Whichever, really.


“Where’s Ernie? What’s happened to Ernie? What did you do with Ernie? I liked Ernie better because he’s Ernie and is very much not you. So where is he, eh? Where’s Ernie? Eh?!”

Harry looked up from his ham and cheese melt, looked at the finger with the bitten nail trembling just over his nose, and then looked back at his ham and cheese melt. He sighed. “You’re back, Zach. How wonderful for us all.”

“It’s Zacharias.”

“I’m sure it is.” Harry took a bite of his melt, and then continued talking with his mouth full. “How was your trip?”

“Not bad. Ever been to France in wint—wait! Stop it!” Zacharias scuffed around the table, careful to keep at least one finger within eye poking distance of Harry. “You’re tricky, Potter.”

“It’s Harry.”

“I’m sure it is.”

Harry smirked into his water. He took three large gulps, set the glass down, and wiped his mouth. “What do you want, Zacharias? And please, put your finger down before I bite it off.”

Zacharias held his left hand to his chest protectively. “Where’s Ernie? I go away for a week and he, what? Did he die? Are you temping for him? Did you bite his fingers off, too?”

“Relocated, no, no, and possibly. I am a bit of a biter.” Harry finished his ham and cheese melt in six bites.

“Really? I never would’ve taken you for the biting type.” Zacharias grabbed a salad off of the lunch cart the red-heeled intern from this morning was pushing around the large, bland lunch room.

“I never figured you’d take me for any type.”

“Well, after this mor—” Zacharias stuffed a fork packed with lettuce into his mouth, promising himself he’d work on finding a better way to avoid saying every single thing that crossed his mind.

“Self-restraint?” Harry smirked, goofy with a dash of sly.

“What?” Zacharias popped a cherry tomato in his mouth.

“You just said, ‘I need to work on finding a better way to avoid saying every single thing that crosses my mind.’. I suggest self-restraint. Does the body wonders. Some even say it’s better than milk and sliced bread combined.”

“Better than sliced bread?” Zacharias asked as Harry stood up and brushed crumbs off the front of those stupid git trousers. They were probably stupid git crumbs, too, but Zacharias was too enamored with the way Harry’s hands so carelessly touched himself to notice.

“Not sure. But I believe that’s what they’re saying. I’ll get back to you on it, though. What time do you get off tonight?”

“Er, five? Ish?”

“Then I’ll do some scooping around and I’ll let you know at five. Ish,” Harry said. He smiled appraisingly and, scratching his head, walked back to his office.

Zacharias watched him leave. By the time it became impossible for him to look at Harry’s arse without being completely obvious, he realised he’d just been flirting with the same man he’d wanted to brutally bitch out in an admittedly nonviolent manner not five hours earlier. And then he choked on a carrot slice. He threw his arms above his head (a surefire remedy for Not Choking Anymore) and accidentally clocked the lunch cart girl on the chin.


Pansy Parkinson performed a healing charm on Cho Chang’s chin and tried hard not to laugh.

“I am having the worst day ever. I’m going to kill Malfoy.”

“Is it Draco doing this to you?” Pansy asked, sitting in her cubicle standard swirly chair.

“I think so?” Cho ask-said. “I mean, he’s blond. How many other blonds are there?”

“True,” Pansy said.

“And if he’s not, he’s still blond and he’s still annoying me, so he might as well be Malfoy.” Cho sighed. “Anyway, I have to be getting back, now. We’re still on for dinner tonight, yeah?”

“And your place, after,” Pansy called over her shoulder, already getting back to work.

“It’s always my place,” Cho remarked, not watching where she was going.

The thought of the night ahead was promising—or as promising as a night of regularly scheduled formalities and sex could be—and Cho was beginning to pepper up. She fidgeted with her right heel, pausing to run her fingers over its smooth, geisha red finish.


At around ten past five-ish, Harry knocked on the door to Zacharias’s office and peeked in, a curious half-smile on his face.

“You’re late,” Zacharias said, noticing Harry’s expression. “What?”

“This used to be Malfoy’s office.”

“Well, sort of. He was temping for me last week, but it still wasn’t technically his office,” Zacharias started putting his things in their proper places for the night.

“No, I mean, before you came over here. Months ago. This was his office,” Harry said, sounding a bit distant. Zacharias looked up from colour coordinating his quills.

“Er… okay?”

“Oh no, it’s nothing,” Harry started, shaking his head slightly. “I’ve just only been in here once before and, well, all things considered I really didn’t get a chance to see it.”

It took Zacharias a second, but most things these days did. “You didn’t? Oh Harry, no.”

Harry furrowed his brows, chewing on a hangnail. “Oh, I didn’t?”

“No!” Zacharias wailed. “You fucked Malfoy?!”

“AUGH!” Harry tripped over his feet and fell kind of on Zacharias’s desk. Pansy stubbed her toe on the wheel of her swirly chair, the doorman fell asleep and hit his head, a goblin decided to start another rebellion, and all of Hogwarts sneezed in perfect harmony.

“I knew you’d end up gay and with bad taste; anyone could’ve seen that coming,” Zacharias quipped, “but Malfoy? You should’ve just had a twenty pound whore. Or even a dog would’ve been better.”

Harry breathed in deep and slow. “I did not, will not, have not, and will never so help me god fuck Malfoy. And if I go batshit and try to, you can personally slap me around by means of distraction.”

Zacharias spilled a jar of ink on his lap in, what sources say, was surprise.


“It’s sort of messy,” Harry said, pushing the key into the lock. “But if you want you can scrounge for some munchies while I find you something clean.”

Zacharias pulled the sticky front of his trousers away from his skin for the five hundred and thirty-seventh time. Harry pushed open the door and held it back as Zacharias walked inside. And if Zacharias knew all about men who knew all about men in that way, which he did, he was pretty sure Harry had snuck a peek at his arse before shutting the door behind the two of them.

“Er,” Harry said. “Snacks are in the kitchen, obviously. The cooker is slightly broken, so I use it to store things. Probably not a good idea to look in there. The ice box is packed, though. Um… I have some records in the main room; you can put one on if you want. Or you can turn on the telly. I have some old mobster movies, too. Gift from Dean. Do you know Dean Thomas? Oh well, I s’pose that doesn’t really matter and I’ll just go get those clothes for you now, yeah?”


Zacharias certainly had gotten himself into a sticky situation. Well, not so sticky anymore thanks to a pair of ripped and faded jeans that, according to Harry, had smelled clean enough. But metaphorically speaking, the situation was still tremendously sticky. Giant squid sticky, even.

Cause see, he shouldn’t have gone home with Harry in the first place. He shouldn’t have said yes when Harry offered to let him some clean trousers back in the office he’d never be able to look at the same way again. The first on the agenda, however, was that he shouldn’t have stopped hating Harry Potter. Logistically, it must have happened sometime between the hip bone exposure that morning and the lunchtime flirtations. That thing that made Zacharias Smith the bloke that he was had up and died sometime earlier today.

Curiously enough, no one seemed to care. Harry never bothered to tell Zacharias why he’d suddenly stopped making ugly faces behind his back and “heh heh heh”-ing sinisterly from behind corners, so Zacharias figured it suitable that he just go along with it. And if going along with things meant he got to taste those hipbones for himself, then well maybe he could live with being crazy. So far so good.

“It was when you were on the floor,” Harry said.

“Oh god,” Zacharias groaned, blushing to his ears. “Why didn’t you shut me up? Didn’t my eyes glaze over or anything?”

“Oh yeah, they did,” Harry chuckled. He scratched his left foot. “But I didn’t just want to stop you. You were going pretty strong there. You should work for the Prophet and get paid to ramble. And for the record? I have never once ‘heh heh heh’-ed sinisterly. I’ve done things behind corners—plenty of things, but none of them have been sinister.” He opened his mouth to continue, but did a mental rewind instead. “Actually, that’s a lie. Most of them have been sinister.”

Zacharias was beginning to think that he’d severely underestimated Harry’s… everything.


“So tell me,” Zacharias asked, turning his head to give Harry more jaw to suck on. “Was this the plan from the beginning?”

“Mmmmnf, wha?” Harry asked. He let out a muffled moan as Miles Davis’s ‘Round Midnight’ kicked onto the record player.

“Have you been—” Zacharias pulled Harry’s shirt up and over his head, stroking Harry all over. “—seducing me since this morning?”

“God yes. And no,” Harry breathed. “I could never—oh, I could—never—never plan that far ahead. I just sort of—of played it by ear—my ear, yeah. Bite it, oh. Zacharias.”

Zacharias felt the point of the corner outside Harry’s bedroom dig into his back as he was slinked against. He slinked back.

“I, yeah I—” Harry had taken up kissing Zacharias on the lips again, slow and full and meticulous, “My plan was to take you for dinner or something, but—but yeah, this works too. Very much so it works. Nngh, Zacharias…”


“About those—”


“Those people who—”


“The self-restraint—”


“The people who said that—god!—self-restraint is better than—oh, again right there. Harder—yeah?”


“I—harder, c’mon!—I and they said yeah they said—”


Harry pulled back, panting. Zacharias squirmed, sweaty and ready to come. Harry got on his knees.

“They said fuck self-restraint.”

spectacular's next five keywords: something orange, something French (that isn't Pansy), a farm, the dating habits of women, and rent of some form.

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