Ironwood

HP/Eroica crossover fanfic

By Filigree Silver

Characters and accessories created by J.K. Rowling and Yasuko Aoike, I'm merely borrowing them.

 

Lamplight revealed a wooden stick. A pretty stick, carved from a dark brown and gold-streaked heavy wood. The object was over a foot long, slightly less than an inch in diameter at its lathed base, and tapering to perhaps a quarter of an inch across at the tip. A subtle spiral, like a flattened narwal's tusk, had been cut into the silky wood from base to tip. Bands of dark-green silk ribbon cinched it tightly into the padded case.

In the lamplight, Dorian thought the wood looked very much like Klaus' dark-chocolate and mahogany hair. He reached out to touch the artefact.

"Get. Away. From. That!" the Major growled from the doorway.

"Klaus, it's beautiful," Dorian breathed reverently, peering into the long, narrow box. It was the size of a necklace case, which Dorian had been expecting when he'd nicked the thing from the Schloss safe. Silly Major, to keep anything truly valuable there! But the pretty toy inside, now that was unknown. Old, judging by the condition of the worn leather and silk-lined case. Something about it seemed familiar. "What is it?"

"Not yours," Klaus said, advancing slowly into pouncing-range. "Give it to me, now!"

The blond thief looked up, blue eyes half-lidded in a smirk. He evaded Klaus's outswept arm and danced back across the floor.

"Why, my dear Major. I've not seen you this agitated about something that isn't a tank or an oxhide belt. It's not a gun. It's too short to be a billiards cue. There's only one, or it might be a set of chopsticks. Could it possibly...oh, how simply delicious if it were!"

"Was?"

Dorian swayed on his high-heeled black boots, stroking the case suggestively. "A toy?"

Klaus roared and leapt over the desk at him, moving faster than Dorian anticipated. Klaus's heavy boot caught him on the ankle. Dorian flowed into an effortless tumble that took him away from his lovely and unstable Major. The box was not so graceful. It flew out of Dorian's hand and clattered spinning across the floor, the precious cargo still snug under its tied-ribbon bands.

"You know not of what you prattle," Klaus snapped, standing over Dorian. The infamous Magnum was out, aimed steadily down at the thief's head. From this angle, Klaus was spectacular, Dorian noted dreamily, not really hearing the man's words. Only the frayed tone of his splendid tiger's snarl: "If you were not occasionally useful to NATO, I would be tempted to shoot you for dishonouring a part of my history!" Klaus sighed. Dorian watched the Major's face change from angry to resigned and annoyed. The thief wanted Klaus's anger. At least then, he knew Klaus was treating him as an equal.

But the Major leaned down and extended his free hand. "Once again you prove yourself a frivolous fool beneath my notice. Stop sullying my floor with your backside and get up. And stop staring at me like that, you fop."

Dorian took the hand, let himself be pulled upright. "What about your stick?"

"It would take more than a fall to break that thing," Klaus said, then in an undertone, "Pity."

"If you don't want it anymore, I'll take it," Dorian offered, still giddy from being this frustratingly close to the warm human machine that was Klaus' body.

That earned him a bark of laughter. "You would do appalling and immature things with it, I am certain. If it did not burn your fingers off, at the first touch. Forget it, Herr Gloria."

Dorian had been squinting sidelong at the strong lean hand still holding the gun to his temple. Something about the grip seemed different. "You customised it!"

"Eh?"

"It's the same wood as your stick. When did you do that?" Dorian found himself babbling. "The grip's always been black plastic." He looked confused. "Hasn't it?"

Klaus chuckled, the sound seeming warmer, closer, and much more dangerous. "Ach. Your mind sees more than your eyes. I should expect it, perhaps, from one who almost had enough of the Gift." The Major pulled Dorian closer, the metal barrel imprinting a cool kiss on Dorian's forehead. "They are both desert ironwood, from the same lightning-struck tree that my mother found on a holiday when she was still carrying me. It is strange, what gifts our parents give us without our consent? You have heard the KGB and the STASI agents, the mercenaries and the terrorists — how they call me 'der Freischütz', the one who can hit anything at which he aims? How I find the plans, thwart the spies, catch the fools? Have you ever wondered, my thief, if I am truly that good?"

"I never doubted," Dorian whispered worshipfully, eyes closed. "Klaus. You have never shared this much of your life, before."

"Confession is good for the soul," the Major answered. "I can confess freely, without fear, to you. Open your eyes."

Dorian obeyed.

"Look at the case on the floor," the Major commanded, relaxing his grip on Dorian's hand. He pointed at the odd little heirloom, turning his palm upright and crooking his fingers in a beckoning gesture.

Dorian's sight followed the line of Klaus's arm and hand.

In his ear, Klaus whispered "Accio!"

Dorian's heart leaped.

The stick shuddered in its silken bonds, then slid neatly out from under them. Darted backwards through the dim air, its base landing into Klaus' extended fingers.

Klaus flexed his wrist, stroking the stick's tip along Dorian's right cheek.

The blond's eyes were huge in the dim light. He trembled. "I know this. I've seen this before, haven't I?"

"Probably," Klaus gave a low, humourless laugh. "Let's see." He growled a phrase in Latin, too fast for Dorian to grasp more than 'reverto'.

Blue light lashed up into Dorian's skin and skull, momentarily turning his cornflower eyes into burning stars.

When the sparks faded, he was utterly still in Klaus's grip, staring sharply at the stick.

"You have a wand. You have magic. You're a wizard," Dorian breathed, then looked up at Klaus. Neither of them expected the raw longing in Dorian's face or voice, or the weakly-bewildered fury in his next words. "You bastard. You have it, and you don't use it. I wanted it. I waited so long for my eleventh birthday, but the Hogwarts' owl never came, and Mama called me a useless unmagical Squib, and they made me look at Great Uncle Everett's wand while it glowed blue, just like yours —"

"Ssshh, my thief," Klaus crooned. "You are not useless. You have magic sufficient to get in quite enough trouble! Believe me, golden one, you would not want this burden. It is thirteen inches of ironwood with a naga's-hair core, and I wish to God I had never seen it."

"But you don't use it!"

Klaus tapped the Magnum with the wand. "One focus works much like another; the ironwood grip has the same core as this child's toy. I am the Free-shooter. I use my magic nearly every day."

The wand caressed Dorian's jawline, and spat tiny golden sparks. He moaned, suddenly weak-kneed and dizzy with lust.

Klaus whispered again in his ear: "You want me now, even more."

"Yes."

"You want the power I bear."

"Yes," Dorian gasped, before higher brain function could regret honesty.

"And that," said Klaus sadly, "is why you cannot have it. You would misuse it. Misuse me. And God help me, I might even let you." He sighed, then crossed his arms around Dorian to pull the blond closer. Cold metal and warm wood met again at Dorian's temples. "I wish you had been worthy of magic. Of me," Klaus whispered, then said distinctly: "Obliviate!"

Once more in the fog of forgetfulness, Dorian stood passively in his Major's embrace.

He never knew it when Klaus kissed him chastely on the forehead. Led him, like a sleepwalking child, to a comfortable leather armchair. Wrapped his unresisting fingers around a square leather case. Opened the lid just enough, so that lamplight picked out details of a rare jewel — an elegant Renaissance gold pomander-pedant nestled in the coils of an enameled gold chain.

Wand, case, and gun safely in hand, Klaus closed the door behind him, just as a dreamy murmur became a gasp and a soft coo: "Oh, I'll bet it was Tyrian's — and I think I can still smell rose petals!"

 

 

Eroica