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Timeless Death Trap

Packing suitcases, and boxes, to leave the small studio flat, that was no longer his, with no single penny to his name, Harry heard it again. The song from the cafe in Vienna. Some of his neighbours had in on speaker, and he only heard a muffled version. It somehow irked him that he couldn't place its familiarity.

A lot of things irked Harry recently.

He hadn't seen or heard from Draco since Salzburg. Alone and miserable, he had made his way back to London. He and Hermione were still on non-speaking terms despite the fact that she had apologised plenty of times. Apparently meeting some Miami Ink dude had been a lifetime dream of hers.

Once back home, Mr Flitwick, his fuming landlord, had knocked a hole into Harry's door, because he hadn't paid his rent for the last three months. Apparently, Mr Flitwick had tried to contact him on several occasions, but he didn't remember. Came to think of it, Harry realised that he didn't remember a lot things lately, so he shrugged his shoulders and apologised. Unfortunately, Mr Flitwick was more interested in bank transfers than manners, and Harry found himself packing with no idea where to go.

He gulped down a cup of coffee, lit up a cigarette, and inhaled greedily. "Stupid Draco," he muttered to himself. "Why the fuck did you leave me hanging? Where the fuck did you go?" He clenched and unclenched his fingers. "Unreliable bastard son of a bastard!"

He took the empty mug, and smashed it against the closest wall. "Fuck you!"

Another cup flew against the wall.

"I hate you!"

"I hate you so much!" Harry sank down, big tears rolling down his cheeks.

"Fuck it! Fuck it all. I'm so sick of this pointless shit, this pointless life."

He rolled into a foetal position, and sobbed for god knows how long. Until all energy and tears had finally left him, and only an empty human shell was left behind.

"Its okay, Potty," he heard a meek voice whisper after a while.

Harry opened his eyes and caught a cloud of blonde in his peripheral vision. Draco was standing next to him.

"I haven't seen you in a while," Harry remarked coldly.

"I have been away," Draco said, as if Harry hadn't noticed.

"Yeah," Harry said, and extinguished yet another cigarette.

Draco walked to the window sill and sat down, his legs dangling. He gave Harry a tender smile, "You were happy there."

"Yeah," Harry said. He lit up another cigarette. Then he sighed.

Draco looked at him, concern written all over his face. His eyebrows were drawn together, and he was biting the nail of his right thumb.

"Just lost in thought, I guess" Harry answered her unasked question. He shrugged his shoulders, and pulled another strand of his hair. "I don't want you to leave ever again! You and me, forever together."

Draco said nothing for a while. They were looking at another. The silence grew more uncomfortable by the second. Harry shifted nervously.

Draco got up from the window sill, and started pacing the room up and down, a habit that had driven Harry crazy when the blonde had still been alive. "Okay," he said in a low, unfamiliar voice. His big grey eyes pierced straight through Harry. The serious expression wasn't one that he had seen very often on his blonde friend. It made him look older, harder.

There were hard lines around Draco's mouth now, His small lips, a bit thinner than he remembered, formed a straight line. His chin looked pointy, something he had never noticed before. Cheeks, usually blushed with a soft rose hint, were now pale and hollow, and there were black circles underneath his eyes.

Overall, Draco looked like gaunt, his red shirt was hanging limply down his frame, revealing white, beanpole-like legs with wobbly knees.

"You lost some weight," Harry said.

Draco shrugged "I look the way you choose to remember me."

Harry shook his head: "I want to remember you the way you looked the last time I saw you. At the party, before you..." he gulped, trying to hold back tears.

His body was shaking.

He usually refused to remember that day at all. It made him sick to the stomach. Too many emotions were boiling inside of him, and he didn't know how to handle them. He jumped up, and ran to the bathroom, bent over the toilet and emptied his stomach.

Draco had followed him, and was looking at the mirror above the sink. He studied his face as if it was something he hadn't seen before, then turned and inspected his body, including a vast selection of scars up and down both arms, Harry hadn't noticed before. He turned to the brunette, a questioning look on his face. "But this is exactly what I looked like that night."

Harry brushed his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt, then stood up, and helped himself to some water. "No," he said in the softest voice. "No, that's not true."

Draco sat down next to him, and put his arms around Harry's shoulders, then pressed a soft kiss to his temple.

They didn't talk. They just said in silence.

Harry had the sudden urge to drink. Unfortunately there was no alcohol left in - no longer his - flat, so he put on his shoes and jogged to the corner shop. On his way, he was pondering over Draco's words, while the events of that particular night were playing inside his head like a movie.

There was no phone call, no text message, and no facebook post. Harry was waiting for Draco at the Three Broomsticks, for a late breakfast. Having to wait for Draco for half an hour or more was nothing out of the ordinary. Waiting for an entire hour was still somewhat normal within Draco-timekeeping-standards, but the clock kept on ticking along and ticking, and Harry knew that something wasn't right. He had no explanation, but his stomach was clenching, as if anticipating bad news.

He did his best to ignore the feeling, and drowned it with another beer, while he waited and waited for the blonde.

After two hours, Harry was growing concerned. He pulled out his mobile, and tried Draco's number once again, but wasn't surprised when the phone went straight to voicemail. He tried one, two, three more times, and kept on telling himself that Draco was probably still in bed, soundly asleep and his worries were for naught. There was this awkward voice in his head though, that told him it wasn't true.

Harry ignored it.

Not wanting to go home, he strolled around town aimlessly, until he found himself on Oxford Street, occupying his mind with some retail therapy, that included a forty quite aloe vera cream. He had no logical explanation for this particular purchase other than that the sales assistant at Selfridges looked so much like Draco, that it was against Harry's nature to say no. Also, he didn't want to give the impression that he was too poor to afford proper grooming.

He briefly contemplated going over to Draco's new place, but decided against it.

He didn't remember his exact reasoning.

Instead, he spontaneously decided to visit his friends Blaise and Daphne, and together they watched some DVD's. They drank too much, smoked too much, and at the end of the night, Harry saw rainbows and unicorns flying around his head.

He remembered, that he had rolled on the floor laughing until tears were streaming down his face, unable to get a grip on himself. Just lying there, laughing, felt too good to ever stop.

Perhaps he subconsciously already knew that he wouldn't have reason to laugh again for a very long time.

Once the film was finished, Blaise switched the television to SKY news, but Harry continued to laugh and laugh. Some riots were just as funny as the Euro crisis, and a recent terrorist attack somewhere abroad downright hilarious.

He remembered Daphne starring at him, scolding him for behaving like an idiot, while Blaise encouraged his craziness, his phone in his hand, and filming everything.

Harry had to put his head between his hands and was craving fresh air despite the fact that he was outside. His breath got rapid, and he was short of passing out. Bile was raising inside his stomach, and he could feel his face turning green. His entire body was shaking, and cold sweat was running down his forehead and temples. He gasped, coughed, hiccuped at the same time, feeling like he had swallowed the heaviest, largest stone on earth.

Only then did he realise that tears were streaming down his face, and he cried, and gasped, and clenched his white knuckled-fists.

He had tried to hard to keep the most dreadful of all memories safely locked away, but it was on pushing to the front of his mind, unable to be stopped by the strongest barrier in the world.

The television suddenly announced the tragic death of a well known TV personality. A picture of Draco, which had been taken the night prior flashed up on the television screen. He was smiling innocently, eyes wide open, and blonde hair slightly tousled. He was wearing his favourite, bright red Louis Vuitton shirt. It used to be his father's, and was the only thing he owned of this man. It almost reached down to mid thigh and completely covered the short shorts he was wearing underneath.

"Suicide," the host said and words like: "razor blade, bathroom, found by her cleaner, pool of blood" followed.

Harry he couldn't help it. Unable to stop his laughing fit, he laughed and laughed, tears rolling down his eyes.

Harry was vomiting. Bale covered the floor, his shirt, and he even managed to get some of it into his hair. Greenish liquid was pooling out of him until he felt completely drained.

He couldn't turn his mind from the truth any longer: He had been rolling on the floor and howling with laughter when he had heard of Draco's death, as if it was the funniest thing ever.

Harry felt as if the floor he just stood suddenly exploded into mind was fighting an ethereal fight of good and evil. Of sanity and insanity.

His heart stood still for a moment, while everything he had ever believed in and everything he ever was, shatterd into the a thousand shards.

Like mosquitoes, those pieces were attacking him now, humiliating him! He could hear their laughter ringing loudly in his ears.

The mosquitoes sounded a lot like Hermione, Ron, and even Blaise.

They bit their way through is skin, and crept inside of him.

Tiny little feet left their tickling imprint on their way through his veins to the clenching area that was his heart.

More and more of those little pests were following. The mosquitoes were everywhere. In- and outside of his body, he could hear their marching in step, reformed to one big giant who was completely overwhelming him.

With each of their little steps, the thumping noise of their feet got louder and louder, until the noise level resembled a full blown machine gun in war.

In an instant reaction he wanted to cover his ears, but that would have been no avail. The rumpus was within him.

The itch on his body turned into a rash. Vibrant red, with nasty pimples. One after the other decorated every inch of visible skin.

It didn't stop there! Harry could feel them on his nerves, and each of his inner organs. It was burning him from the inside.

He wanted to scream. The air in his lungs was suffocation him. Harry had never been a screamer. His vocal cords never worked like that.

The only thing his mouth produced was a shock of bitter aftertaste behind his gums.

"Ey, you! You alright?"

Somebody shook his shoulder. Groggily, Harry opened his eyes, and found himself confronted with the corner shop owner. With his eyes adjusting, Harry noted that he was lying just in front of the shop, covered in his own vomit.

"Do you want me to call an ambulance for you?" Asked the owner, his mobile in hand. Still feeling dizzy, Harry shook his head. "I'm okay now, thanks," he lied.

"Here, have this" The man pressed a can of coke into his hands. "It will make you fell better."

Harry took one careful sip, than gulped the entire can down like a man dying.

"Anything else I can do for you, lad?" The owner inquired, scratching his scruffy white beard.

Harry was still lying on the ground, clutching his head. "I'm not drunk," He announced. "I was just about to get started though. Was just on my way to get some JD from your shop in fact."

The owner erupted into a crackling laughter, that ended with a coughing fit: "Lad, I doubt you need any poison tonight. Go home, give it a rest."

Harry's heart started to beat just a little bit faster. There was no way he would survive tonight without being completely wasted. He didn't want to feel anymore. He wanted to forget. Forget his own name, his life ... his pain.

"I really need a drink," Harry begged. "Its just... I didn't have a good day, okay." The owner shook his head, but tattled back to the shop to retrieve a bottle for Harry. He tsk'd when he handed it over to the with vomit caked young man. "I really shouldn't be doing that," he said. "If you find yourself in a hospital tomorrow morning, I wasn't the one who sold you that, okay lad?"

Harry nodded, and handed the man a small pouch filled with change.

"Well, lad - if you're fit to drink, you're fit enough to remove your filthy arse from my door step," The owner made a shushing motion and a disgusted look crossed his face.

Harry managed to get up, but staggered for a bit before he was able to steady himself.

"Go," The owner urged.

Harry obliged as quickly as he could, which wasn't very quick at all, and stumbled back home, the bottle clutched into both his hands.

Just as he was around the corner, another wave of nausea hit him and he found himself dry-heaving.

That memory again.

As soon as he had left the corner shop's merciful distraction, it once again glued itself to the forefront of his helpless mind. Harry wanted to shout, scream, hit the wall... He would do anything to get rid of this heavy... it wasn't pain.

It was something worse than that.

Not caring, he slumped down on the spot, and opened the bottle of instant nightmare relieve potion, in his hand. As eagerly as an addict, he forced the liquid down his throat until the last drop.

His fuzzy brain registered a car passing by somewhere close. Out of the rolled down windows he heard the same songe that had been driving him nuts since Austria. The car passed, and left behind the noisy cloud of regular London traffic.

Harry scratched his aching head, and wondered why he was so intrigued by that piece of music.

Another stroke of headache hit him unexpectedly, and he drifted back into unconsciousness. Good music or not, he wanted nothing more than to be surrounded by peace providing blackness.

Harry awoke again and reached for his pack of cigarettes, but found it empty. He picked himself off the ground, grumbling, and walking straight ahead with no sense for time or direction.

When he had a look around his current location, he noted with disbelief that he was in front of the Sainsbury's he used to work at until not too long ago. He staggered inside, carving cigarettes and if possible another bottle of JD. He hoped to find Ron, or some other colleague, who might be convinced to hand out both free of charge.

There was this song again.

It slithered from the speakers right into his ears. Harry tried to ignore it. The music seemed to follow him like a shadow.

It seemed Sainsbury's had a complete staff turnover since he left as he had yet to spot a familiar face. He helped himself to some chicken wings from the hot plate, not feeling any guilt at all. Nobody realised if they went missing anyway. The guy running the section had similar work ethics to Harry, and never gave a shit.

That song was still playing in the background. Why anyone would produce a rubbish piece of music like that, he'd clearly never understand. A group of teenage girls was passing him on their way to the cosmetic aisle, all bobbing their heads, and singing along. Harry rolled his eyes and felt like approaching them to recommend some acne products and weight loosing solutions.

Then, all of a sudden, the song pierced directly into his nerves.

He was just about to put a hot wing into his mouth, but stopped dead in his tracks. Dropping the bite, he went as still as a statue.

Everything froze inside of him. His blood went cold and hard, clogging his veins, and his heart started skipping beats. His head went light and numb. He felt like a train was running through his brain. Loud, wailing and stomping until the constant choo choo's were driving him into insanity.

Then he wasn't capable of feeling anything any longer. The world stopped spinning.

Why?

How could that have happened? Why didn't anyone warn him?

His body, statue like just a moment ago, was now shaking like little leaves in a November storm. How his legs managed to support him, he didn't know.

Someone or something must dragged him out of reality and thrown him into a parallel universe... this... This was too wrong to be real! It hurt every single nerve in his brain. A bizarre dancefloor-pop version of 'Kickin Cotton Balls"

Harry screamed. He screamed until he could scream lo longer. Until his vision became blurry, and he couldn't tell nightmare from reality.

He looked around, wondering why no security guards were running in his direction.

No one paid attention to him. People passed by, without a glance in his direction. The shelfstockers continued stocking their shelves as if they didn't even see him. No manager came rushing along to drag him out of the store like a crazy person.

"You weren't there when I needed you the most, you imprint of a fool!" Draco shouted at him, his face red.

Harry started to shake. He was pulling his hair harder and harder. Without realising what he was doing, he continued. Strand after strand he pulled out, while he tried to find the right words to explain himself to Draco.

The blonde was piercing him with accusations. Every single misdeed, everything he ever did wrong, all was thrown back at him.

"You never listened to me! You spend your life, living in your own misery, doing nothing but pity yourself." He laughed without any humour. "But you never saw or cared for the people around you. You never acknowledged when I needed someone, because all you ever focused on was your very own miserable life." Draco took a breath.

"No wonder everyone turned away from you. No wonder you don't manage grow up, and now wonder you keep on digging your own hole with every passing day!"

Harry started to pull his hair even harder. "Please," he begged, "I cared about you. All the time." He hid his face in his hands, and started to sob. "I'm sorry, that I failed you, and I'm sorry that you had to think that way. I'm so sorry for being blind and ignorant, and I'm sorry that I never told you how much I love you. I'm sorry for being weak" Harry let his tears run freely now, while the words just kept on blurring out without any control.

Draco stopped, and eyed him with a wary expression. "You loved me?" He asked. "I do," confirmed Harry.

"Why did you never tell me?"

Harry shrugged his shoulders, then took a deep breath, swallowed some of his saliva, and stared onto the ground. "Because when you love someone as much as I love you, your only urge is to thrive to be the person they need you to be." He gulped. "And you needed a friend, and not a partner. And I am so so truly sorry that I was a shitty one." Fresh tears rolled down his cheeks. "I'm sorry," he repeated again, his voice thick with tears." He cried. He screamed. He pulled more hair. His skin was already showing.

Draco said nothing, but disappeared. Fading into non-existence. He wasn't needed any more.

The song was finished now, replaced by the loud and cheerful voice of the radio host. "And this is the current number one: 'Kicking Cotton Balls' by Heronymous. For those of you who don't know, that's the pseudonym for Harry Potter. The guy you probably remember for being Draco Malfoy's constant sidekick. With only 24 years of age, he recently died of alcohol intoxication. According to his friends, he never got over Draco. They said, that the day Draco died, was the day Harry had stopped living, too.

The song you just heard was written for Draco. A farewell to life."

THE END


















Epilogue

Harry opened his eyes. His head felt clear. Clearer that it had ever felt before. He carefully looked around his surroundings, and found to his surprise that he seemed to be a very white and very clean version of King's Cross Station.

Waking up in strange places was hardly ever a good thing, but he felt surprisingly safe wherever he was.

Strange colours, he had never seen before, circled around his head. Just a few steps away from his waking place was an old fashioned sign. Platform 9 3/4 quarters, it read. Underneath, still clad in ugg boots, and red shirt stood Draco, a happy grin on his face.

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Mozart Shaped Dreams

Hermione opened her mouth, then closed it again. She took a deep breath, and made another attempt to speak. Still, no words escaped her lips.

She scratched her nose, then removed her glasses, gave them a quick clean, and put them back on.

Harry still stood in the door frame, starring at the goldfish that somehow had replaced his friend.

Finally, Hermione managed to breathe one single word: "What?"

Harry released his lower lip from between his teeth. How could he explain himself? He had never been particularly good with words. Unless he was writing a song, that was. Maybe he should try to explain himself with lyrics? Harry drew in a deep breath: " my solitude is suffocating me - I feel trapped in a places I used to be free. Now the shackles called life are breaking me."

Hermione just looked at him as if he was crazy. "Can you repeat that in English, please?"

Harry was just about to open his mouth again, but Hermione stopped him. "I need a drink for this." She waived him into her flat, where Harry immediately fell into the comfy couch, scarring Crookshanks, Hermione's cat away.

Hermione sat down on the floor, a bottle of Smirnoff in her hand. It was only half full. She hadn't been joking about needing a drink.

"Okay" she drawled out: did you take any drugs today? Larger than life amounts of alcohol? Spent the afternoon sniffling the nozzles at a petrol station?"

Harry didn't even bother rolling his eyes.

"What was that about your job? You haven't really quit, have you?" she asked.

Harry shrugged, and shifted into a more comfortable position. "My job always only was an end to needs, and now those needs have ended. They sent me a letter today, the invitation for another disciplinary. Honestly, I think they were going to sack me anyway."

Hermione's eyebrow rocketed to the sky. "But how you're gonna live? Pay your rent? Don't tell me you've decided to live of benefits?"

"You remember us celebrating my contract with Gryffindor, don't you? I have a job. I'm a professional musician now!"

"Harry, mate" Hermione tried her hardest to keep her voice calm. "You're possibly maybe about to BECOME a professional musician. You have your contract, yes, but you haven't been in the studio, you haven't done any PR, you haven't done any performances, you haven't done a fucking CD release. Its all at the very beginning stages. There is nothing to grab yet. At this point, you can't be sure that they won't forget about you at all!" She took a deep breath. "At least, wait until one fucking pay check, decorated with the Gryffindor logo, is walking into your direction before you make any stupid decisions."

Harry bit his lips. that was not what he had expected to hear! "That doesn't matter. It will happen and I know it! Its a matter of time only, and Frances had already confimed that 'Cotton Balls' will be released soon. Maybe I just don't have to go to the studio and re-record because my demo is already good enough!"

"Harry, you're not really stupid enough to believe that, are you? Every single song gets recorded in a professional studio! A company like Gryffindor certainly won't release a demo tape, now matter how good it is!"

"I said it doesn't matter!" Harry jumped up from the couch, and jerked at this hair.

"I need to get out, I need to get away, without giving a shit what will happen afterwards. For all I know, I will have an appointment in that stupid recording studio by the time we come back!"

"Well," exclaimed Hermione and got up, too: "I can't stop you, can I?" She then walked towards the little shelf in the corner, right next to the kitchen door, and took a small piggy bank off the top shelf. She opened it and counted the money that was falling out. "I've got one hundred seventy-five pounds and eighty three pennies in here. Take it and book a trip. Make it somewhere nice, and warm with a beach. If I can't stop you, I might as well enjoy myself"

The next morning, Harry was on his way to the airport again. This time, with Hermione in tow. Both of them were clad in comfortable cargo pants, long sleeved t-shirts, and comfortable converse shoes.

It was barely seven o'clock in the morning, but the Piccadilly line was already packed. Various pieces of luggage were stored between different shapes of legs. In the middle of it sat an old worn Eastpack messenger bag, and a vintage backpack with flowery design, which was all Harry and Hermione needed for the next couple of days.

Their flight to Vienna was leaving somewhere around nine o'clock. They would arrive at their destination around midday. Plenty of time for some sightseeing, recommended by Hermione's Marco Polo travel guide. Harry had tried to convince her to go to Salzburg with him, even if it was for just a day-trip, but Hermione didn't budge. Vienna, in her and her travel guide's opinion, was culturally diverse, and the Mozart-ness of Salzburg just not her cup of tea.

"Do you think they speak any English there?" Harry asked, suddenly worried. They would probably have to talk to locals occasionally. Draco had taught him a few words in German, but apart from 'Ich bin ein kleines weisses Karnickel ' he didn't remember anything, and knowing Draco, it was probably something rather useless.

Hermione lifted her eyebrow, and Harry knew that his question must have been somewhat stupid. He didn't understand why though. As far as he knew, Hermione didn't speak the language either.

"You do realise that they have a lot of tourists that don't speak German. I'm pretty sure the locals speak enough English to communicate."

Harry hoped Hermione was right. It would make sense though. After all, almost everyone nowadays knew some English, right?

The two of them arrived at the right terminal and hurried to the check in desk. Technically, they still had a lot of time, but Harry was growing more anxious.

Both only carried hand luggage, and made it swiftly through security. "Welcome to the world of Duty Free!" announced Hermione. Harry was hot on her heels, when he spotted packs and packs of cheap cigarettes stocked up at the back of the shop. He was upset when the salesman told him that he needed to book an international flight to get the discounted Marlboros.

"But I'm flying to Austria!" He had complained, waving his ticket in front of the assistant shop manager's annoyed face. The man, rolled his eyes, and explained for what was probably the tenth time that Harry would need to fly outside of Europe to qualify as an international traveller (Probably hoping that Harry would go there on a one way ticket soon).

They finally boarded the plane and Hermione made herself comfortable in a window seat. Harry was seated between her and a middle aged man in a grey, expensive looking suit and horn rimmed glasses.

Very few minutes later, a flight attendant with too much make up, and a neatly pressed red uniform announced that the plane was about to take off and that all electronic devices had to be switched off. Harry thought he heard Draco mutter "Electronic devices? They should call them 'Infernal devices' considering how much they fuss about mobile phones.

When the plane machine touched ground at Vienna international airport, Harry made sure he was the first to exit the diabolical flying device with a green tinted face. His mood improved once they left the airport for the city centre.

After a stroll around the cobble stoned marked square, they found a traditional cafe in one of the little narrow side streets and enjoyed austrian specialities. It was basically coffee with whipped cream, and while Hermione seemed to enjoy her drink, Harry eyed it warily. The blob of cream, awkwardly swimming on top of the beverage, looked less then appetising to him. Why couldn't Austrians just pour milk into their coffees like every other sane nation? Harry shuddered, while he watched the white cloud melting into grease.

He only took a sip ever so often to give Hermione the impression that he was sophisticated enough to enjoy what he was drinking. She was the one paying, so he felt obliged not to complain and order something 'proper'.

Harry's credit card had informed him earlier that it declined the purchase.

"Maybe the money for the rent was already deducted," Harry had mused when he put the plastic back into his pocket.

That one sentence, though whispered, got Hermione's attention in a whim.

"The money for rent?" she screeched in capital letters. "You would have wasted the money that you need for your rent on a coffee and Apfelstrudel?"

"Well, you see..." Harry started to explain, but had to admit that all his reasoning sounded stupid, even to himself. He sighed.

"You really have to sort our your priorities," Hermione said without any judgemental undertone, which could only mean that she was really worried about him.

Harry immediately felt five inches smaller.

A short time later, the two of them got tired of window-shopping and walking around the picturesque city centre, and made their way to their hotel. The hotel small, and so it came with no surprise that their fourth floor room had to be reached via a staircase. It left both of them out of breath. Harry immediately fell onto the first bed, only now realising how much his feet were aching.

Hermione fell down next to him. "Can't walk over there now," she announced, pointing to the other bed.

Harry understood perfectly well how she was feeling.

About an hour later, Harry woke up to Hermione shaking his shoulder. "We're on holiday. Let's not waste our time with sleeping."

"What time is it?" mumbled Harry with his head still buried into his pillow.

"Just after eight."

Harry rubbed the sleep from his eyes. "My feet are aching, and my legs are aching, and my back is aching, and my shoulders are aching and..."

"And your head will be aching soon, too if you don't stop complaining right now!" Hermione threw a pack of Paracetamols at him. "Here, take one of them, and let's go."

The chatty, young receptionist was able to recommended a place that was only five walking minutes away from the hotel.

They played some kind of traditional austrian folk music, consisting of an accordion and - funnily enough a lead trumpet, while the singer made some odd noises, 'yodling', it was called, according to his know-it-all friend.

The trio on the stage did quit a good job of entertaining the mainly elderly crowd. Everyone was swaying along.

Beer was being served in oversized mugs that reminded Harry of the Oktoberfest, and he immediately decided to like this place a lot.

Harry's head turned when he heard some English chatter coming from the left. Young people, probably around their age, were having a rather pointless conversation in an American accent. Feeling more at ease, now that they were not the only foreigners in there, Hermione introduced herself.

Harry crossed his arms and sulked. They weren't here for a full day yet, and he had already been abandoned. He took a swig from his mug, but didn't really find it in him to enjoy his beer.

He heard Hermione laughing at something. One of the guys was drunk-whispering into her ear, which meant that it was loud enough for Harry to understand random words like: "Miami ink... convention... coming July" He rolled his eyes. Trust Hermione to find other tattoo-freaks wherever she went.

"So what brought you to Vienna?" He asked the blonde waitress instead, and asked for a third oversized beer.

"I truly hate the capitalistic and neurotic world we live in nowadays. Honestly, if I wasn't that capitalistic and neurotic myself, I would consider relocating to the jungle!" Announced a heavily drunk Harry later on the way back home.

Colin and Dennis, the two new friends he made, just seconds before leaving, were supporting him on either side.

Draco was happily bouncing along in front of them. "Life is like a public toilet. You only ever realise that you're out of toilet paper when it's too late!" he announced, and Harry nodded wholeheartedly. "One shouldn't stumble through life blindly. Always make sure to wear proper glasses," Harry submitted.

"Yeah, sometimes you need wine glasses, sometimes you need beer glasses, sometimes you need tumblers," Colin added.

All nodded in agreement.

"You know, people are always greedy and always jealous. They always want what they do not have. Sometimes I wonder whether they really want what they don't have, or if the average homo sapiens is prone to self torture!" Harry concluded.

"I like S&M once in a while," Draco remarked.

As it turned out, his new friends were planning on going to Salzburg tomorrow. Harry almost couldn't hold his excitement! He would get to see his personal paradise after all!

He didn't bother telling Hermione anything, still upset that she had abandoned him.

She was already lying in bed by the time he arrived, still awake, and obviously waiting for him, but Harry ignored her and went straight to bed. He put his headphones in, and The Strokes on full power. She could talk all night if she wanted.

The next morning Harry left before sunrise. Hermione was still asleep, not noticing anything. For a moment he felt bad for not leaving a note, but this thought got lost in his excitement.

Despite not remembering much of the previous night, Harry knew that they had decided to meet at the Vienna train station. Their was a leaving at eight. It was five to eight, and he still needed to find out which platform the train was leaving from.

"Did you find it yet?" Draco leaned over his shoulder to glimpse at the timetable.

"Platform number nine!" Harry remarked, his finger lingering on the evidence. "We need to get all the way to the end. Only the last few carriages will go all the way to Salzburg."

He grabbed his backpack, and started to run. The big clock, over-looming the train station was sitting at an uncomfortable seven fifty-eight. Only two more minutes until the train's departure. "That's more like platform 9 and three quarters," Draco remarked next to him.

Colin and Dennis, were already waiting on the train, holding the doors open for Harry. Draco jumped in first, and a while later Harry breathed, and coughed around the corner. The train doors almost slapped into his face, but fortunately the conductor had seem him waddling along, and obviously had had mercy with his sweaty out of breath face.

Dennis looked at him and laughed. "You just single-handedly destroyed one of my favourite assumptions about England" he remarked.

"Me?" Harry asked, pointing to himself with a big question-mark over his head. "I didn't do anything at all."

Confused, he removed the guitar case from his back, and put it in between his knees, then sank into an empty seat.

"Well, up until a few moments ago I thought that every Brit was some kind of David Beckham wannabe," he joked.

Tired and hungry they found themselves in a Salzburg cafe a few hours later. Their table crammed with Apfelstrudel, and other Austrian desserts, and Harry was in heaven. He felt like unwrapping his guitar, and compose a love song to its deliciousness right on the spot. The strudel was freshly baked, and steaming hot, as if it had jumped straight from the oven onto his plate, and was served with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, that no other vanilla flavoured ice cream he ever had in his life would dare to compete with. The whipped cream on top - Harry didn't even have the words to describe it. It was so fresh that they probably whipped the cow along with it.

He laid his head back and stretched his long legs under the table. A moan, that would put every adult movie star to shame escaped his lips, as he rubbed his steadily growing belly.

"Harry!" Draco squealed, his eyes almost bulging out of his face: "Would you mind!" But Harry knew from the tone of voice that he had a hard time stifling his giggles.

Excusing himself from the table, Harry left the cafe to have cigarette outside. "Helps digesting," he mumbled, automatically thinking that he had to excuse himself.

'I've clearly spent too much time with Hermione lately' he mused, after Draco threw him a bewildered look.

Austria was absolutely awesome. Not really bothering with what other people might think of him, he sat cross-legged on the sidewalk, just a few steps away from the cafe, and enjoyed the rich favour of his beloved Marlboro's. With the curiosity of a child he watched tourists rushing along the highly populated Getreidegasse.

"Gay-try-the-gah-sa," Harry tried to pronounce the name of the street correctly. It was a very weird name for a street. Gay-try. Try-gay... Harry liked it.

Most of the buildings were decorated with non-matching modern looking shop signs and Harry couldn't decide whether this added an odd charm to the place or was destroying the scenery. However, flowing over the heads of the many by-passers were still lush and pompous old fashioned shop signs with neatly calligraphed names. With enough concentration and squinting, he managed to ignore the mismatching modernness, and focused on what this place would have looked like in the nineteenth century.

He envied the people living back then. They truly appreciated the beauty of the town they were living in. Music had required talent instead of stage make up and auto-tune. Fashion had required a seamstress's skill, and not a designer label. A true appreciation of beauty, instead of something that needed to be interpreted by someone with a PhD in Art Design, or something stupid of the sort. Mozart must have been one lucky guy, well.. for a short time at least.

All of a sudden he missed his Lily, his guitar.

He wanted to play.

He wanted to compose, write beautiful music that described the atmosphere of this special place.

Slowly, he picked himself up from the ground and marvelled again at the magic of the place surrounding him, then he walked back to the cafe.

One day, he promised himself, he would come back here with more time on his back. He would come along and bring his guitar, sit at this particular spot, and play some music.

He took another breath, and refined his plan. Perhaps the guitar wasn't enough. Maybe he should bring his Bellatrix, his violin instead. Truth was, he got a bit rusty playing it, but he would pick up quickly. Then he would play some of Mozart's beautiful music, and make sure that everyone walking down Getreidegasse, would not only know who Mozart was, where he was born, and what he looked like, but also how it felt to be enchanted by the wonderful music that he had created.

Harry couldn't help smiling when he came returned to his friends. Ordering himself a glass of beer, he pretended to listened to his friends' conversation, while daydreaming of living here one day.

"Potty, you look and sound like you just did the naughty out there," Draco helpfully remarked.

They continued doing some sightseeing until it was time to find a cheap little Bed and Breakfast.

It was a silent taxi ride to 'Pension' that had been recommended to them. What a funny word, he mused after he heard the German equivalent for Bed & Breakfast.

"Argh!" Harry groaned "I'm never ever going to get up again in my entire life, I promise!" He had fallen onto his bed, legs dangling off the side, his arms lying beside him, and his face crammed into the pillow. In any other circumstances the position would be painfully uncomfortable, but he was too tired to care.

"I take your word for it, because if you try to drag me out of my bed in a couple of hours, I'll be seriously mad at you" Draco replied, his voice filled with sleep.

'Weird' Harry's fading consciousness noted. Ever since Draco came back to him, he had had the same chirpy tone of voice. There had never been any trace of tiredness or fatigue before.

Now that he came to think of it, this was the first time, the blonde had announced he was tired.

Harry yawned. He was too exhausted to worry any further.

The next morning Harry woke to the sun shining brightly in his face. He stretched his stiff muscles, and yawned loud enough for anyone in a ten mile radius to her.

"Good Morning," a too cheerful voice greeted him from the bathroom door. Contrary to last nights promise, Draco was already awake.

"It is not normal to be in such a good mood at fuck past midnight," complained Harry, but managed to get his lazy limbs out of the bed. He picked up his jeans and Hard Rock Cafe Vienna t-shirt, and stumbled into the bathroom.

The shower was brief, and he skipped shaving, or combing his hair. He had a date with the cafe from the day before, where he planned to stuff himself through the entire selection of austrian cuisine: Palatschinken, Germknoedel, Kaiserschmarren... Harry was even able to remember, and pronounce, the names of the dishes correctly.

A bubbly waitress came to take his order. "How do you like Salzburg so far?" She asked.

"Bloody brilliant," Harry nodded enthusiastically. "That must be the best place in the world. You're so lucky to live here."

The waitress smiled: "How much longer are you staying? I could play guide for a day," she winked at him. Harry gulped, and eloped into a coughing fit. He looked at Draco in a plead for help, only to realise that his friend somehow left without a trace. "My boyf..." he started, and turned his attention back to the waitress, and his eyes almost bulged. Somehow, she had morphed into a Draco-look-alike.

The Draco-look-alike shrugged her shoulders, and turned to leave. "I'll have your cappuccino ready in a moment."

She didn't look back.

Harry was confused. He stretched his feet and sank lower into his comfortable seat, then folded his hands behind his neck and whistled along with the strangely familiar music coming from a hidden speaker.

Mature Content


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Grown Up Cage

Harry missed another two days at work, which he spend sulking in his bed, ignoring all incoming calls. And there were quite a lot of them. The last time he checked, Mr Snape had called him a total of three times. Two calls had been made from his company number, one from his private mobile.

There were calls from Ron, Hermione, and even his mother had tried to get hold of him. Plus, a few from unknown numbers.

Harry had counted a total of seven voice-mails, but he deleted all of them without having listened to even one. He didn't care. About anything.

Harry also ignored his doorbell. People were coming and going, ringing said bell, more or less frequently, then shuffled around, muttered to themselves and left, when it became apparent that he wouldn't answer.

Some even knocked on the door. Or banged on it like there was no tomorrow, until the downstairs neighbour shouted and complained about the noise.

"Harry, I know you're home! Please open the door"

"Potty, come on, mate! Let's talk this though, okay?"

"Harry, I'm your friend. I want talk with you, open door, okay?"

"POTTER STOP BEING SUCH AN IDIOT!"

"Potty, please!"

"Good Afternoon, Mr Potter. My name is Officer Finnagan, me and my partner, Officer Thomas just want to see if you're okay."

"FOR FUCK'S SAKE - OPEN THE DOOR, MATE"

"Mr. Potter, please open the door"

After only one day Harry had mastered to blend all the annoying voices out. There was no reason to listen to them. They were nothing. They meant nothing...

Why would his friends do that to him?

Who was the idiot that sent the police, for gods sakes?

His mother's and Hermione's faces came to his mind. Both of them could have been responsible.

So what if he got drunk? So what if he decided on having an orgy? He did not have to explain himself, did he? As long as he didn't harm anyone else or break the law in process, he was free to do whatever he liked!

Well, okay, perhaps he had broken the law with the amount of cocaine that he had used, but so what? It wasn't like he was the only person in London ever trying drugs! There were thousands of more severe cases out there. He wasn't even an addict! He had only tried it once!

It had been a one time thing!

It wasn't his fault that everyone made a big drama out of it.

His last admission to the A&E had been three month ago - if he remembered correctly. The whiskey overdose during his interview didn't count anyway. Who didn't drink prior to a life changing appointment?

Harry ran his fingers through his overgrown hair, then stumbled towards the kitchen. He didn't feel like leaving the house, but his refrigerator recently developed a severe case of anorexia, and he was starving as a result.

"Harry, what are you doing?" A soft voice asked from the direction of his bed. Harry shrugged, but turned around. "Just making some coffee," he replied, "and have a cigarette. Haven't had one for the entire day"

Draco was gone when Harry went back to the bedroom. That was not out of the ordinary. He came and went as he pleased these days.

Harry grabbed his guitar. His fingers ached to play some music. So much had been going on lately, and his twisted head needed an outlet for all the bottled up emotions that were running amok in his head.

Harry was covered in sweat, as usual when he finished composing a song and usually he wasn't too bothered by it. Today however, he had to jump into the shower. He had to wash this dreadful filth of his body that reminded him of the failure that he seemed to be in the eyes of everyone else!

The bathroom mirror reflected a blob of lobster-red surrounded by steam when Harry had finished his shower. The water had been hot. Too hot, but that was how he had wanted it.

Harry had scrubbed his arms, his chest, his legs, back and face until he couldn't handle the pain any longer. Still stark naked, he walked back to his bed to lay down to feel miserable.

"Harry?"

"Harry?"

"Are you alright?"

"Harry I'm worried!"

Slowly, he opened his eyes and saw Draco kneeling next to him on the bed. He was fidgeting and caressing his neck with one hand. "You're back" Harry exclaimed. "I never know when you come, or when you go, or for how long you're going to stay!" He complained.

"But that is entirely up to you Potty," Draco replied. "You make me come and go. I come whenever I'm wanted and leave whenever I'm no longer needed."

Harry exhaled, and got off the bed. He fished for the closest pair of boxers and an old red t-shirt, didn't care whether they were dirty or not, and put them on. That was enough clothing, as he didn't intent to leave his flat at all.

Draco wrinkled his nose in disagreement. "That's what you call an outfit? Potty, I have always loved your 'I-don't-give-a-fuck' - style, but don't you think this is a bit over the top? At least get some clean boxers. I can smell them all the way to nirvana!"

Harry sighed, but removed the shorts and grabbed for another pair. He gave them a thorough sniff to ensure he picked clean ones this time. Turning back to Draco, he received an approving nod.

"Play that song for me again," asked Draco. With the guitar already in his hands, Harry sat cross legged on the bed, tuning the instrument. Draco took a seat on the window sill, dangling his legs. He was whistling a tune along with Harry's guitar tuning, and then laughed at his own non existent musical skills. Harry couldn't suppress a smile. It was just like old times.

Harry changed the guitar cords a little, making them move powerful, and added a little crescendo here and there.

At the second chorus Draco chimed in, sounding like a rusty trumpet. But this was just perfect. The song sounded better this way, like a natural part of the chorus. The missing piece.

Harry threw his guitar aside and ran to his computer, plugged it in, and powered it on. While the screen was loading, he was running around the tiny flat like a frantic chicken.

"What are you looking for?" asked Draco frowning.

"You'll see, you'll see," was Harry's muffled response from somewhere behind his bed.

He was throwing some mess from one side to the other: dirty and clean socks, a couple of candy wrappers, some unopened mail from last month, something that could have been a leftover slice of pizza at one point and - after a loud shout of triumph - a microphone, that he handed his to Draco.

Harry started the song again.

There was no need to plug in the guitar or sing into the microphone himself. He would just add Draco's voice to the already recorded version.

Harry was completely engrossed in his music and just continued to play one song after the other. Some of his own, some covers, and then something he made up on the go. He only took notice of the time when the upcoming sunrise started tickling the nape of his neck.

When he looked up, he found a stray microphone lying lonely below the windowsill. Harry shook his head, feeling disappointed. He hadn't even noticed Draco's leaving. "Tosser could have said good-bye though," he muttered.

He fished for a pack of Camels that he didn't remember buying. (Camels... seriously? Who bought that shit?).

Once he finished the cigarette, and gave his balls a good scratch, he sat down to edit his recordings. He tweaked and tinkered with Draco's lyrics until he was satisfied with the result.

Harry had spoken to Frances about a release date for his song some time last week. It was a very brief conversation, and Harry was too excited to really listen. As a result, he didn't remember a lot. He just hoped there would be time to add Draco's lyrics to the released version.

Thinking quickly, he forwarded a short email to Gryffindor with Draco's recording in the attachment, and an explanation that they were essential for the song. Together, they had created a masterpiece.

His rumpling stomach advised him that it would be a great idea to leave the solitude of his flat, and grab a bite somewhere. There was a pub around the corner that served the most delicious minced pies in all London. He hadn't been there for a long time.

He had avoided the place because it reminded him of Draco. They used to meet up there all the time, shared a laugh, and poked fun of other customers. They had been there almost daily

"Once or twice a months perhaps. Maximum," a voice suddenly interrupted his musings.

Draco was back.

"It felt like it was much more often," mumbled Harry while he was looking for a left and right shoe that were preferably remotely similar.

"Take those at door," Draco suggested.

Harry looked up from under his bed, where he was currently looking for one of his converse.

"These are my running shoes" Harry said, shooting daggers at the offensive pair of footwear.

Draco only laughed at him: "So what? Since when have you become so picky over shoes? Just put them on, I doubt that anyone in the pub will mind - or even notice!"

Harry didn't care much about shoes in general, but this pair held a flair of sweat and endless torture. "But they're my bad karma shoes" he whined.

There was no need to turn around to see Draco shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Harry had a very accurate mental picture. Draco's antics didn't bother him though. They really had nothing on Hermione's eyebrow. That was one infernal torture devise!

Draco didn't say anything, but no matter how hard he looked, he could not find any shoe for his left foot! It was between going barefoot or wearing the dreadful trainers.

Only - and really only because the weather outside was less then ten degrees, the trainers screamed victory.

With said torture devices strapped to his feet, Harry opened his door, just to find Hermione standing on the other side, evil eyebrow in place.

Apart from that, she was wearing her purple tracksuit, her dirty black trainers, a funny device that looked a lot like a watch but was measuring her pulse, and had her hair pulled into a ponytail.

Hermione broke out into a wide grin and hugged Harry like there was no tomorrow. (Actually, there would be no tomorrow for Harry, if she continued her vice-like grip!)

"Need... to... breathe..." he coughed, and bent over, his hands on his knees, exaggerating. Hermione, completely oblivious to his brush-in with death, rambled on. "I was prepared to smash this bloody door in to and drag you out of you self inflicted misery, but you're already here, gear and all. I'm so glad to see you coming around, mate!". Her beam was possibly lighting up the north pole at the moment.

"I ... - but - ... What?" was all that Harry could voice in his baffled state of mind.

They had parted on a massive argument over his sanity, and Hermione wanted to go running as if nothing had happened at all? By the time he could think of a coherent response, Hermione had already dragged him four levels, down and outside of the building, still chatting away.

It was a freezing cold morning (much cooler than expected Harry wasn't sure whether he should continue to trust the BBC weather forecast). The wind blew icily around his red nose. Harry had both arms wrapped around his body, a burning cigarette in one shaking hand, which Hermione audibly disapproved of.

Perhaps he would light up another one as soon as this was done. Or maybe he should consider smoking two at a time just to really freak her out. He knew she was still struggling without cigarettes.

He wasn't a mean person per se, but he hated how he always ended up being the biggest failure known to mankind in the eyes of his friend. Hermione had to understand that she wasn't perfect as well.

He wanted her to fail, and he wanted to rub it in on every occasion possible. He would raise his own eyebrow, and he tell her in his most self-righteous voice how disappointed he was in her. Then he would cross his arms, and raise his eyebrow even higher, so that it disappeared under his hairline, like Hermione's did whenever she was on a roll, and suggest she seek professional help. He would even go ahead, and pick up a leaflet for her.

"Earth to Harry, are you still here?"

A hand was waving up and down in front of his face, almost knocking into his nose twice.

"What?" He barked back and glared down at Hermione who unknowingly had interrupted his master-planning.

"We're at the tube station" She looked at him as if this was the most exciting news of the day.

"So..?"

Hermione threw him a challenging look. "You might want to get your oyster card to get through the barrier" she explained like talking to a child.

"I know that!" Harry searched through all of his pockets.

"You don't have it, do you?" Hermione inquired after some long seconds.

Harry flared his nostrils, and brushed his fingers through his hair, pulling at some strands. If he kept that habit up, he would be bald well before his thirtieth birthday. He knit his eyebrows together in an attempt for a more menacing look, but only archived a resemblance to a gorilla with constipation.

Hermione told him so.

It didn't do anything to improve his mood.

"That's it," he grunted, but not loud enough for her to hear. He went to the little news-stand and bought a new pack of cigarettes. Camels. No matter how disgusting he found them, they were Hermione's preferred brand. In his hurry to unwrap the pack, he almost executed half of the cigarettes inside. He put on in his mouth and lit it up. "Hmmmmmm" he moaned with closed eyes, and immediately took a second drag one.

He could feel Hermione's eyes on the cancer stick, shooting daggers. She almost looked hypnotised.

Harry inwardly grinned. He felt a lot better now.

Unfortunately, the moment only lasted one mere moment. Hermione got a grip on herself, and moved her attention elsewhere. To Harry's missing oyster card, to be exact. With gritting teeth, Harry ended up paying for a full day 3 Zones pass.

At the end of the day, Hermione would beg him for a smoke, he knew it.

Harry still wondered how he ended up coming here with Hermione in the first place. His stomach was still screaming for the massive breakfast it had been promised. He also hated how Draco had disappeared again without a good-bye.

'No manners, that boy,' he shook his head slightly.

Hermione had caught the movement. "What did you say"?

"Nothing," mumbled Harry and turned to look out of the window. Not that there was anything to see. He just needed to distract his eyes and mind somehow.

"And why would thinking of 'nothing' make you shake your head?"

His too observant friend inquired without looking at him.

"It just does!" Harry brushed his hand through his hair, pulling strands one more time. Hermione didn't seem to notice. She just shrugged her shoulders and starred at her reflection. She had lost a lot of weight, but still insisted that her fat 'jiggled' around when she moved to quickly.

"Women!" He huffed under his breath. As if 'jiggly' fat would have been visible under her tent-like tracksuit anyway.

Hermione ignored that comment: "You were thinking about something, quite obviously."

"It's somewhat personal. I keep my diary up there"

"Up where?"

"My brain, obviously, and I was just filling it up with some information."

"you are writing a mental diary?"

"That's what I just said!" Harry rolled his eyes. He hated having to repeat himself.

"Why didn't you just say so?"

"I didn't want to"

"Why not?" Hermione raised her eyebrow.

"I was afraid it might sound stupid"

"Almost everything you say sounds stupid, mate! That's what I like about you!"

"You like me because I'm stupid?"

Harry's eyebrow was now competing with Hermione's for the pole position.

Hermione exhaled and put her hand on Harry's shoulder, "You're not stupid, Harry, you're entertaining! - And maybe a bit of an idiot". She patted him twice, then crossed her arms again.

"I'm an entertaining idiot," parroted Harry

"There's nothing wrong with being entertaining, idiot," said Hermione: "You want to be an entertainer, so that should have been a compliment."

"I am a musician, not an entertainer!" Harry clarified, not looking at his friend. Absentmindedly, he started pulling the hair on his left eyebrow. - Or the left side of his unibrow, however one wanted to put it.

"You could do with some plucking!" A voice to his right pointed out. It wasn't Hermione's though. Somehow Draco had taken her seat.

"There is nothing wrong with my eyebrows," Harry argued.

"Good for you, mate - but why did this conversation suddenly shift to your pet caterpillars?" asked Draco with Hermione's voice and raised his eyebrow accordingly.

"You just told me to pluck them, didn't you?" Harry remarked anxiously. Tiny little alarm bells went off inside his head. Something was severely wrong with this conversation.

"I certainly didn't. If I'd start paying attention to your grooming standards, there will be no time doing anything else with my life anymore!" deadpanned Hermione.

"I must be hearing things again then" muttered Harry, and shook his head. Hermione laughed, but a small frown between her eyebrows remained. Harry bit on his lower lip. He had this dreadful feeling that he needed to be more careful how to act around his friend.

"What is wrong with my grooming standards?" asked Harry to move the conversation to a safer topic, not noticing that this was not the safest topic to discuss with a woman.

"Shall I start top or bottom?" This time Hermione had both eyebrows raised. Harry could see the imaginary list above her head growing in size. He shrugged, and slumped even deeper into his seat. "Why don't you just start in the middle?"

"Well, in that case, I will start with the hole in your pants - in a quite peculiar place - and shall continue with your cute little Charlie Brown boxers."

Harry looked down to inspect said hole. It was barely the size of a two pound coin, nothing to worry about.

"That's Woodstock, not Charlie Brown," he remarked.

"And that's better because...?."

"Because he's much cooler than Charlie Brown and he's named after one of the most awesome music festivals ever!" The eye-roll was present in Harry's voice.

"How do you know?" Hermione's eyebrow was back in full force: "Have you been there?"

"Not yet, but my time machine's already ordered." Stupid questions deserved even more stupid responses.

"You would just fit in with the crowd there," Hermione nodded. "Your clothes and hair definitely are from that era.

"Are not!"

Harry was quite certain that they wore flared jeans and flowery blouses back then. He didn't own any item of clothing that was remotely like that. The hair - maybe, but that didn't really count.

"You're trainers are certainly from the sixties," said Hermione.

"They're not. They're from Oxfam."

"Just what I said."

Hermione's eyebrow raised all the way up to her hairline and further. "You asked me about your grooming standards, didn't you? I'm pretty sure that the lumps you call clothing fit into that category."

At the next stop they emerged the train in a cloud of people that were rushing towards their perspective places or work.

Hermione was squinting her eyes, looking for someone. Seconds later, a head of red hair walked towards them. Clad in Adidas sports gear, Ron greeted them with a huge grin like a lovesick puppy on his face.

Harry rolled his eyes, and starred into the opposite direction, making gagging noises. Grouchily, he demanded that they better start running now so was finally going to get to his breakfast.

After the jog, he and Hermione sat down at the table Ron already occupied with three cups, as usual. Stomach still grumbling, Harry bought an additional 6000 calories worth of shotbread. Hermione didn't seem to notice, as she was chatting with Ron. Otherwise he would have been told off by how.

Somehow that didn't make him feel better. Harry felt left out.

After having finished his coffee and breakfast, Harry yawned, and got up. He stretched his muscles, then turned to say good-bye to Hermione and Ron, who didn't give the impression that they would miss him at all. "Okay, I'm heading off to bed now," he announced, "I'm tired enough to sleep through the next century."

Ron looked at him as if he wanted to say something. His mouth gaped open, and his eyes bulged, but no sound left his lips. Ron then shook his head, and turned to stare out of the window. Whatever it was that he had wanted to say to Harry must be something quite awful.

Harry was in self defence mode. His hands, hidden away in the pockets of his trousers were balled into fists. His nostrils flared, and his lips had disappeared into a firm white line.

Ron shook his head, defeated, and whispered something to Hermione, who put a hand on his shoulder. Both threw worried glances towards Harry, who then turned around and stalked away without a glance backwards.

Harry had an idea what that had been about. Ron had certainly wanted to discuss therapy again. Apparently Harry had made 'progress' in joining their morning exercise again, and they probably felt that this meant he was ready for another round of lecturing, and belittling, and telling him about all the advances of a mental institution.

He did not want to hear anything about that!

He wasn't interest in going back to his flat any longer and instead was riding on the tube thoughtlessly, changing trains ever so often.

When he passed Hammersmith, Turnham Green, Acton Town and South Ealing, he realised that he was on the way to Heathrow Airport.

'Fair Enough,' he muttered to himself, and stayed seated until the train reached its destination.

Twenty-two minutes later he arrived at Heathrow Terminal Five, but still felt like he had travelled far enough. There was random chatter in various languages, some people were talking into their phones, while others were having conversations with their travel partners, and for the first time Harry allowed himself to admit that he felt utterly alone and out of place.

All of them would get away eventually. They would board a plane and fly away, while he remained super-glued to his stupid little life.

"Just do it!"

Draco was talking to him.

"Do what?" He whispered back, hoping that none of the other people would catch him talking to himself.

"Go away," the blonde replied, "book a flight to somewhere. Anywhere. Sometimes you just have to leave all worries behind and move on. Being trapped in that cage called grown-up-world isn't good for you when you live there permanently. Give the child in you some time to play."

Harry's thoughts shifted to some destinations he always wanted to travel to: A beach in Spain, a trip to Amsterdam. Salzburg, with the little cobbled streets and old fashioned shop windows. The place where Mozart grew up.

All sounded wonderful and irresistible, but he was well aware of the meagre, little red figure, that was his recent bank statement. He wouldn't be able to afford a spontaneous plane ticket to anywhere, even if he fully exhausted his overdraft.

"Too bad that you don't have your guitar on you," said Draco. "You could play some music and earn a ticket to anywhere with it."

"Maybe I really should just do that." He agreed. Somehow, his mood had already improved.

He didn't need therapy. He needed a holiday. And a plan!

Oxford Circus wasn't his favourite spot by far, the crowd usually a cloud of teenage girls who's idea of good music was Rihanna and Justin Bieber.

As soon as his guitar and mic were set up and he was warmed up, Harry played a cover of 'Knocking' on Heaven's Door' - the original version, and not the horrid Guns'n'Roses cover - and managed to make it sound much sadder than Bob Dylan himself.

No one threw as much as a penny into his direction, and Harry didn't expected them to. The song was soon followed by Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah,' and 'Good-bye, Ruby Tuesday', a song that Harry wasn'table to finish at all. As if stuck in an eternal time loop, he kept on repeating and repeating the chorus, not giving a damn that his two hours were almost up, and there was still no money next to his name.

"Fuck it all," Harry announced to no one in particular, and started to make up random notes on his guitar.

"I want to die in a fucking time machine"

"and watch myself taking my last breath over and over again"

"because, fuck it all,"

"fuck that shit!"

"I care about nothing but my own misery"

"what a pathetic life"

"Fuck that pathetic life"

He shouted out to his mismatching, cheery accords. He started to whistle to his music for a while and - without realising - did a little penguin dance.

Somewhere between senseless lyrics and uncoordinated dance moves, people started showering Harry's case with a waterfall of coins.

Later in the evening he found himself banging like crazy at the door of Hermione's second floor apartment. She opened, clad in plaited pyjama bottoms and a purple tank top, that was still too small for her. "Harry mate," she said in a sleepy and surprised voice: "What the heck are you doing here in the middle of the night that needs the attention of all my neighbours?"

"I was thinking about what you and Ron told me the other day, and I came to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with me, Hermione. I don't need therapy. I don't even need to rest. I just need to get out of here for a while. You know, go somewhere else, see a different scenery. Get a different vibe."

Hermione only looked at him, too tired to raise her eyebrow like she probably would have done.

"I went busking. Got a last minute slot, and almost made a hundred quid. Its enough for a trip to somewhere. Close the tattoo shop, let Ginny move your appointments to other days, and come with me. Let's just have some careless fun"

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Digging Rabbit Holes

Harry was once again lost in the intimidating maze some people might refer to as brain. He stood outside the small overcrowded pub, with music that seemed to be loud enough to entertain half of London. His eyes were glazed, while his expression resembled a goldfish frozen in time.

There was a glass in his left hand, too large for a shot, but too small for a beer. Did he have a whiskey perhaps? Harry didn't remember.

He was all by himself, since Hermione and Ron had remained inside like proper little non-smokers. He didn't remember how many cigarettes he had smoked this night, but a moment ago he had tossed the empty package away. Intentionally aiming for the bin, he had missed it by almost three feet. Instead it lay on the ground, and was currently being stabbed to death by a long, thin and red high heel.

Harry wondered for a moment if cigarette packs could feel pain, and felt sorry. It just had seemed to be such a difficult task at this point: walking over, bending down, lifting the pack, and for what? It was easier to pretend the cigarette pack hadn't been his in the first time.

The red heel was attached to long leg, that lead to a polka dotted dress. Its owner wore matching red nail polish and in impressive amount of black hair was twisted up into a beehive, that added an additional four inches to the already impressive height.

Harry walked closer. He had to talk to that woman, or so the alcohol in his bloodstream told him.

When he got close enough, he tapped her on the shoulder, interrupting a conversation with a plain looking friend, he hadn't even seen before. "Excuse me, please" he stuttered out, trying not to sound too drunk, but miserably failing: "Do you have a lighter, darling?" he asked, trying to send a seductive smile, that probably looked as if he'd been electrocuted for a moment.

Both woman started laughing, the Lady with the red heels not even turning around. Harry was wondering what was so ridiculous about his question, when the plain friend pointed to the already lit cigarette in Harry's hand.

"Oh" Harry exclaimed, then threw the lit cigarette away, and asked for another one. Finally the woman turned around and offered him a red Marlboro.

Ignoring the cancer stick in on front of him, Harry ogled the woman. She seemed to be older than him, probably in her mid thirties, had an impressive amount of chest hair and a 5 o'clock shadow. That was unexpected. Not that Harry minded. Despite considering himself 75 per cent heterosexual, the love of his life had been a man.

The woman... man had impressive eyebrows and a beauty mark under her left eye, which was an obvious fake. Apart from that, the face sparkled like a disco ball: glittery eyeliner, combined with glittery lipgloss and glittery blusher. Now that Harry paid closer attention, he noted that the woman's... man's body was covered in a shimmery lotion.

"Like what you see?" the transvestite asked in a deep throaty voice.

Close up, he realised that his object of attraction was almost an entire head taller than him. Harry didn't mind. Tall bodies usually meant long legs, that could wrap themselves around him in a snakelike grip, pulling him closer to...

A hand waved in front of his face "do you still want that fag, sweetie?" A now annoyed voice asked him, not too happy about his tendency to space out when he was drunk (or sober). "Yes, t-t-thank you," he barked out, embarrassed.

It took a couple of attempts for his uncoordinated fingers to place the cigarette between his quivering lips. He hated how his upper lip started to shake whenever he got too horny or too drunk. No wonder that he usually sounded like a retard whenever he tried to chat up a woman... or man.

A this moment, Harry noticed that he still held some instant bravery in his hand, and gulped it down. Vodka, already a bit stale.

He placed the cigarette back in his mouth, then repeated his question for a lighter. The transvestite in with the red heels did not move, but his - now that Harry came to think of it - gender undefined friend started to dive through their bag for one.

Long, painted fingernails stroke up and down Harry's biceps. "My name is Cedric, by the way. What is yours, sugar?"

"Hrrmmmmmmm?!" Harry answered eloquently in highest concentration.

Cedric chuckled without parting his lips. The result was a sound like the opening of a jar. He moved his hand from Harry's upper arm to his chest, then up to his shoulder, where it rested for a moment. At the same time, his friend had found a lighter and offered it to Harry, who blindly fumbled for it, not wanting to take his eyes of his new friend. Cedric scared him a bit.

Harry was right in his assumption, because the next thing he remembered was Cedric's tongue in his ear, while he took the lighter out of his hand, and lit the cigarette for him. At the same time his other hand was massaging Harry's buttocks.

Harry's own hands just hang down at his sides. His brain had decided to go on a holidays and failed to inform him what else to do with them. The cigarette was hanging between his shaking lips, but he hadn't taken one drag of nicotine yet. His main attention was on Cedric's hand, which slowly moved from his left butt cheek to the front of his jeans.

Harry felt the material tightening. His knees went a bit wobbly, and his legs started to shake.

Cedric's hand reached its - goal - and he could feel his claw-like nails rubbing against his pulsing member. Harry closed his eyes and leaned his head back. A loud moan escaped his lips. In his drunk state, he didn't care where he was, or how many other people were around him.

Cedric's tongue, which had just been attached to Harry's ear, snaked now down to his Adam's apple. A singe finger traced the veins of Harry's left arm from his wrist towards his biceps, where it was joined by the rest of the hand. The hand moved further up, until it had his neck in a vice-like grip.

"Do you like playing games, sugar?"

Harry's brain was still blank, and his body was unable to answer, which was apparently the equivalent to a 'yes.'

"I like playing games, too!" Cedric said, and nibbled on Harry's earlobe.

Somehow Harry agreed to accompany Cedric home, though he no longer remembered how that had happened. They stood outside a rundown townhouse, were a door opened with a screeching noise. Harry entered after Cedric and felt like he had just travelled forty years back in time. A lush red couch sat in the centre of the stuffed living room. The floor was a fluffy cloud of white, and the walls were covered in zebra print. Beaded strings were covering the large double windows, and the entrance to the kitchen to his left. There was a small round television blurring some black and white noise in the corner on top of a makeshift table, that looked like it used to be the inside part of a washing machine.

Before Harry could inspect the room any further, he felt himself being pressed into the couch, and covered in eager kisses. Once his shoes had been taken off, Cedric was working on the zipper of his jeans. A cry escaped his lips when his length was suddenly engulfed into a pair of hot lips and an eager tongue circled around his top.

Sweat was dripping down his back and his forehead while his cries of pleasure got louder and more desperate. He dug his fingers deep into the couch, almost ripping the fabric apart. "More, please, deeper ... yesssssssss" he heard a voice, that sounded like his own, scream.

He saw stars. Fireworks. They twinkled, and danced, and somersaulted through the sky. The world was burning in bright red flames, ten thousand times brighter than the sun. Then it started to boil, bubble, overflow. The Earth was vomiting lava like an oversized volcano. more More MORE!

Just...

It wasn't the world! That scenario happened inside Harry's body and he couldn't hold back any longer.

A voice laughed mockingly. "Such a little kid," it teased. "Cannot last longer than two minutes." Then the voice came closer, and turned back into a sultry whisper: "I hope you last longer next time"

Before Harry found the right words, or any words at all, he heard someone giggling. Muffled footsteps. Cabinet doors were opened, then closed, then there was the sound of liquid being poured into a glass.

Harry tried to sit up. Slowly. His body wasn't quite responding yet. He felt drained and exhausted, but in an excruciatingly good way. Eagerly he accepted the glass of whiskey offered to him, and gulped it down. "Want another one?" Cedric asked, the bottle still in his talons. Harry nodded, not trusting his vocal cords.

Along the way, Cedric had gotten rid of the polka dotted dress, and stood now in front of him in a lacy bra with leopard print, and matching panties that were...

Holy Shit!

Harry spew liquid all over himself and had a coughing fit. With teary eyes he starred again, mouth hanging wide open. He wasn't sure if he'd manage to close it ever again.

Cedric was still standing in front of him, one high-heeled foot on the black table next to the couch, smiling seductively, the whiskey bottle in one hand.

Harry gulped. Loud. His eyes were trained on his crotch-less panties. Reflected by the light, glittered several piercing against smooth, shaven skin.

The whiskey was completely forgotten. Harry's head got light, and he slid down the couch. As if asking for approval, he glanced up to Cedric with heavy, lust filled eyes.

Harry could not remember a lot of details after that. At one point, he was sure he sniffed some white powder through a rolled up ten pound note from Cedric's belly button, but then everything turned into one gigantic blur.

At some point, Cedric's friend, who's name he still didn't know, joined the party. He didn't look as plain as Harry first thought. He actually looked a lot like Draco, or rather morphed his features into Draco's.

First he only saw him standing in the corner, but then he moved over, or floated over, as he didn't touch the ground, or moved his legs. He smiled at him. A brilliant, true smile. Draco winked and took his short shorts and his oversized red shirt off. He wore nothing underneath. His flesh was white and unmarred apart from his left wrist. There was some gauze wrapped around it. Harry had never noticed it before. It was on top of Draco's pulse point, and the gauze was coloured in a brownish red tint.

Blood.

Harry shuddered for a moment, but his concentration got interrupted when Draco bent down to sit on top of his hips.

Though he was already spent, it took him less than five seconds to build an erection again. Harry moaned in anticipation.

The room began to swirl, until everything was nothing a wild mixture of colours, and even those faded into non-existence. His sense of smell, so strong just a moment ago, disappeared into nothingness. He could not hear a thing, but only feel and see.

He saw Draco on top of him, moving up and down in a steady pace. Sweat dripped down his from slender neck to his collar bone. They were surrounded by a brilliant blackness, deeper than everything Harry had experienced before.

Harry was short of exploding- and there was nothing to make it stop! The blackness burst into million pieces, and the brightest light Harry had ever seen appeared. It blinded him enough to squeeze his eyes shut.

How long had he been out? It had felt like only a mere few milliseconds, yet the entire universe had shifted, and provided him with the illusion of field of dancing rainbows. There were wild colours spreading everywhere. Some of them, Harry had never seen before and had therefore no names for them. It didn't matter.

Harry remembered more alcohol. Glasses of whiskey were passed around like water, and gulped down eagerly. A detached hand with red nail polish was pouring from a never ending bottle of Jack Daniel's, and made sure that Harry lost count on how much he actually had to drink.

A mirror was handed around, on top of it sat line of fine white powder, and a rolled up pound note. Harry eagerly inhaled all of it, while sex with Draco? or Cedric? He was no longer certain. The body shape and facial features of the person on top of him kept on morphing from one into the other.

Another body pressed itself against his backside, rubbing his member against his bum. Smooth fingers explored his body.

Suddenly the man on top of him split into two, and he saw himself having sex with Cedric and Draco at the same time.

Did his body split, too?

Harry didn't know how this was physically possible, but he was at a stage beyond caring. He groped, groaned, moaned and screamed out both their names.

The body pressed against him turned into a snake, and slithered all over his upper body, his chest, his stomach, up to his collar bone and wrapped itself around his throat, tighter and tighter and tighter.

At first, it only felt uncomfortable, but after a while it became hard to breath. Harry gulped, coughed and gasped, but no avail. His lungs started to burn with the lack of oxygen. It felt good in a strange way.

A feeling of numbness set it. Harry's arms became heavy, and he lost any feelings in his legs. His brain turned into mush, but his sense of touch became more intense, and was driving him over the edge.

More hands started touching him, caressing him all over. His shape turned obscure. He saw a weird attachment of limbs, torsos, and heads swimming in a puddle of white skin. They twisted and turned until nothing but a blur of colours was left. His own physique morphed into a blob of colour, too. Everything started to spin and twist: the furniture, walls, carpet and even the clothes, that were spread hazardously on the floor, joined. They all turned into a tornado of blue, red, pink and gold, and spiralled down, down, down, and deeper down. There didn't seem to be an end to this black hole evading his mind.

Harry couldn't help it. He started to scream.

He had to fight. The darkness was getting closer, the pull towards it was increasing in strength - or perhaps it was only he, who was getting weaker? He tried to get hold of something, or anything, but nothing existed any longer.

Only then did Harry realise that he had already ceased to exist, too. His physical form was long gone, and left behind was only his detached mind.

He found himself drowning. He was surrounded by a cool, and heavy darkness that tied him with its deep blues and greens. Harry didn't fight. He let the water pull him down deeper, claim him. Everything became colder, darker, the blues and greens turned into muddy shapes of darkness. The water turned into sticky tar.

Slowly, Harry let go.

Harry woke up to a beeping noise. Something in his head told him that it should be familiar by now. He opened his eyes to find himself once again in the local A&E, with busy nurses and doctors running around.

A few memories of last night came back to him. Images of naked men, hot sex, and too many drugs circled in his still dizzy brain.

Fortunately, the bright light didn't hurt his eyes this time. Perhaps it was still a side effect from the cocaine? Harry had never tried cocaine before and wasn't very aware of its effects on the body.

"Can I make a phone call?" he asked one of the nurses, with a voice so raspy that he didn't recognise it as his own. He just wanted to call Hermione, survive her scolding and go home.

"Over there" The nurse rolled her eyes, and pointed to the reception area. Harry got dressed into the filthy clothes from last night, and stumbled into the pointed out direction.

It seemed to be only a few moments later, when Harry truly feared for his life.

An enraged Hermione stabbed her evil pointer finger into his eyes, as she spat a long lecture on how worried she had been into his face. Harry didn't even attempt to listen. He was too scared for his eyesight.

Ron was standing right next to her, and sensibly kept his face expressionless. He was nodding at every third and failed to notice the mortal danger Harry was in.

He only wished Hermione was already done. As much as he understood his friend's worries, it was getting annoying. "I know, I know, I know, I know it all and I'm truly sorry." He brushed a few shaking fingers through his hair. "Can't we just go home and forget about it?"

As soon as he voiced his request, something in his stomach told him that his hadn't been the right thing to ask.

"YOU need help!" Hermione kept on raging.

Ron crossed his arms over his chest, and nodded in agreement: "Professional help," he clarified.

Hermione crossed her arms too. She raised her dreaded eyebrow again.

Harry couldn't believe that he had heard them correctly. He was still like a statue, his eyes bursting, and drool dripping down his gaping mouth. He had to let this sink in.

Apparently his friends truly believed that he was a case for the loony bin!

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:iconcremebunny:
Cremebunny Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh my goshhhhhhhhhhh thank you for the points!!! AHHH made my day!! *hugs* ; n; 
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HermanHans Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're most welcome... Your Draco and Harry chibis are my guilty pleasure! 
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the0cure Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the points :love:much appreciated 
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HermanHans Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome :) (Smile) 
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Angela-Sukarovska Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013
Thanks for the llama :*
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SamiVillamor Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for the llama =D
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ScarletDevil1503 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:iconrose-plz::iconthanksforthe01plz::iconthanksforthe02plz::iconthanksforthe03plz::iconthanksforthe04plz:
I really appreciate the support! :heart:
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disco-mouse Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
:wave:
Thanks for the :+fav: on My Place is Warm and Dry [link]
:heart:
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barbitone Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
Thanks for the fave! :hug:
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prettymodelboy Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Cheers!
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chouette-e Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
Thank you for the points! :hug:
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Miabambini Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you for the fave! :)
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YuToyuba Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Thank you so much for the points and fav!
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Toby512 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013   Digital Artist
Hi ^^, thanks for the badge.
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stevenbeattie Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot!!
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testosterone-tea Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Professional Writer
Thanks for the llama! ^_^
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fiery-sky Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks for the fav :)
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RalucaFratea Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for the fave and llama!
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stevenbeattie Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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testosterone-tea Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks for the fave! ^_^
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