Strangefellows by teShara
It was a bar like no other, or so he’d been led to believe.
Diagon Ally had been constructed in the 14th century. Hogsmede in the 19th. But the Nightside had always been and so had Strangefellows.
If there were answers to be found they would be found there.
Draco Malfoy made his way through the Nightside, having
taken a broken down fireplace in a long dilapidated Wizarding manor in
Well, beside just walking there, but that had meant going into the London Underground with all those filthy Muggles, hoping his directions were correct.
Yes, it was easier just to Floo there. The security measures were long decayed on the manor and after one attack by feral doxies there seemed to be no more threat. At least from this side.
He sat on the floor of the manor eating his packed lunch and looking at the paintings still on the walls. He could not identify a single portrait.
This must have been one of the homes evacuated during the reign of Grindelwald.
Either that or it was owned by one of the families that had disappeared. Far more likely, considering he didn’t know anyone on the wall.
He polished off the last bites of a ham sandwich and popped the cork out of a bottle of lemonade. He took a deep swig, savoring every drop.
He may not survive this trip. Actually, odds were pretty good that he was going to end up dead.
He would miss lemonade. It was one of his most favorite things. Especially the kind the house elves made for him. Not too sugary, with a dash of honey.
He lamented this might be his last bottle and he felt sorry for himself. He left a last swallow in the bottle and slipped it into his robes.
He picked up a large black leather case and he was ready to go.
Draco mustered up what little courage he had left and threw a handful of Floo powder into the fireplace.
Alex Morrissey grumbled to himself as he polished the dark wood of the bar for the umpteenth time that day. Behind his glassed his eyes were closed and he was counting to ten.
So help him, if that crowd of demons tried to harass one more customer he was going to summon his ancestor, Merlin, and see how fast it took them to level the entire Nightside.
He would probably die, of course, but at least he could finally get some peace.
He was almost to ten for the third time when he heard the banging.
His head snapped up and he stared at the door leading to the back room and to the basements below. He put a hand on the black beret perched on the back of his head and made sure it was still secure.
He knew the protective spells on Strangefellows were extensive. Nothing dangerous should be able to enter without being obliterated, let alone get that close to Merlin’s body.
He motioned to his bouncers, Lucy and Betty, and they took the bar for a moment as he went to the back door.
He didn’t see anything besides the usual landing before the stairs started going down. The banging seemed to be coming from behind one of the walls.
Now that he was near the source of the noise he could hear the swearing.
“Hello?!” Alex yelled at the wall. Betty and Lucy both snapped around, their attention being drawn to their employer.
The banging stopped for a moment.
“Hello?” A muffled voice came from behind the wall.
“Who is that?” Alex demanded. “And how did you get in there?”
“I used the Floo and your fireplace is boarded up!” The voice sounded highly annoyed. “Stand back!”
“Don’t!” Alex yelled. “There are wards all over and you’ll be fried!”
“Bugger!” The voice said, sounding very frustrated.
Alex turned around to yell only to be confronted by Betty, who was already holding a hammer.
The hammer fell against the wooden wall, splinters of wood ricocheting on the landing. Alex flinched as the wall started coming apart.
Small stone chips started falling to the floor with the wood.
“Stop!” Alex looked at the small hole they had made and the weakened wood around it. “Can we pull it apart?”
The wood bowed slightly as the person behind the wall started kicking it.
“Probably.” Betty shrugged and watched the struggle behind the wall.
Alex motioned to the wall impatiently and Betty got a grip where the hole was and tore a plank of wood lose from the wall. There seemed to be an extensive stone fireplace behind it.
He could see a young blond man staring out at him.
“Why on earth would you board up your fireplace?” the young man demanded.
“Gee, I don’t know.” Alex snapped. “Maybe because we haven’t used the Floo network in half a century.”
Betty broke off another piece of wood and Alex could get a better look at the man, barely more than a boy.
He stood in long black robes trimmed in velvet. By the tilt of his face and expression Alex guessed he was from a rich family. A wand hung at his belt and he carried a large black case.
“Haven’t seen your kind in awhile.” Alex said flatly. “What do you drink?”
“Firewhisky?” The blond didn’t look like his hopes were very high.
“Sorry, kid.” Alex watched the wall being torn apart from behind folded arms and dark glasses.
Alex squinted. “May have a crate left, but it’s probably more than half a century old. Probably flat.”
“The enchantments wore off the bottles?” The man arched an eyebrow.
“Not a clue.” Alex said. “But no refunds if they’re flat.”
Alex watched as the pompous man swept through the hole in the wall, touching his forehead and nodding at Betty. He made his way to the bar as if nothing was amiss at all and patiently sat, waiting for his bottle of Butterbeer. His bag made a loud jingling sound as he sat it down on the bar next to him.
Alex grumbled as he searched for the case of Butterbeer in his storage room he hoped was there, purely because he didn’t want the whole search to be a waste of time. He knew he saw the case as a kid but didn’t know if anything was really in it.
He finally found it behind a crate of Angel Tears, which hardly got used at all.
Alex looked at the case of Angel Tears and yelled for Lucy to serve up complimentary half a shot for the problematic demons. It was practically a narcotic for them and it would serve them right to be coerced to buy the whole damn case after all the trouble they had caused today. It was probably worth a half a century’s savings for them. Alex smirked to himself in the dark, glad no one could see him.
“I think you’d better talk to that kid.” Lucy looked serious as she came back and lifted the crate with no effort at all. “He’s over his head here and it looks like he came to talk to you.”
“Me?!” Alex said surprised. “What would a wizard want with me?”
“Hell if I know.” Lucy shrugged as she left the storeroom. “Want me to send him back?”
“Might as well.” Alex groaned.
Honestly, if it wasn’t one thing, it was another.
Alex was trying to pry the top off the crate of Butterbeer when a shadow fell over the doorway.
“Well, what do you want?” Alex snapped. “I don’t have all day.” He turned around with a Butterbeer in his hand and was dumbfounded to see the boy had opened the case to reveal it was full of gold coins.
“I’m willing to pay for your time.” Draco reached for the bottle, popped the cork out and had a swig.
“I’m all ears.”
“I want to buy your bar. There are ten more cases like this if you agree.”
“You’re completely insane.” Alex said flatly.
“Better than dead.”
“Are you interested?”
“It’s a lot more complex than that, kid.”
“Most things are.”
Alex sighed and wiped his face with his hand. He took a bottle out for himself. Might as well find out if they were flat of not. He popped the cork out of his bottle and took a swig.
Well, this was quite nice. If he had found these when he was younger there wouldn’t be any left. He sat on a crate of vodka and cocked an eyebrow at the boy.
“Sit.” Alex motioned to a crate near him. “Before I get into why buying the bar is impossible. Why do you even want it?”
“It would make me immortal.”
“How do you figure?”
“I have no offspring. If I owned the bar I’d be bound to protect it until the end of all things.”
“First of all, the bar takes care of its own, not the other way around. Second, you can still die. I’m mortal. I can die. Third, do you really want to be a bartender for the rest of your life?”
“Better than this.”
The boy rolled up his sleeve and showed Alex the brand on his arm.
Alex shot Butterbeer out his nose. What was pleasing warmth down his throat turned into a scalding liquid when forced through his tender sinuses.
“Oh, fuck!” Alex exclaimed as he tried to tend to his nose.
“Sorry!” The boy cried out.
“Christ kid, who the hell did you piss off?!” Alex stared at the Dark Mark, now a glowing red instead of the deep black it normally was when the Dark Lord summoned people. “Do you know what that is?”
“Unfortunately, yes. This is why I’m here.”
“They can find you anywhere with that!”
“So the best place to be is somewhere well protected, yes?”
Alex examined the boy for a moment.
“What’s your name, kid?”
“You know, there are worse things out there than Voldemort the Entrepreneur. Most of them are in here.”
Draco flinched for a moment. Then he looked thoughtful. “Are they hiring?”
Alex let out a big sigh.
“Here’s the deal. Strangefellows was founded by Merlin. The Merlin. Demonspawn. Scary guy. Buried in the basement. I’m the last of the line. When I go, the bar goes. Got it? I can’t leave. I can’t sell. Hell, it’s been years since I’ve even stood on the sidewalk outside.”
“Need a partner?”
Alex opened his mouth, then closed it and looked at Draco thoughtfully. It would be nice to catch a nap or read a book from time to time. He still couldn’t leave the bar, but it may be nice to have someone tied to it with him so he could get a break now and again.
Oh seriously, what was he thinking?
“Listen, I tried that once. She left me.” Alex smirked at Draco.
Draco kicked the door shut behind him. “Maybe she couldn’t give you what I can.”
Alex felt something he hadn’t used in quite some time twitch in his trousers.
Shut up, you! Alex thought at his privates. We’ve never gone for men before!
Yea? Well it’s never been 10 years before. A small nagging thought reminded him.
“Oh really?” Was what actually came out of Alex’s mouth.
Quick as a flash Draco was on his knees in front of Alex, and to Alex’s surprise he found himself helping Draco with his zipper.
I am going to hell for this. Alex thought as he felt Draco engulf his cock with his mouth.
Shut up, you! The nagging voice insisted.
Taking advantage of a-
“Christ! Where did you learn that?!” Alex exclaimed as perfect white fingers stroked his scrotum.
He felt chuckling around his cock and Draco started going faster.
Alex looked quickly up as the door to the storeroom opened slightly. Apparently Betty was concerned with the goings on. Her eyes fell on Alex and Draco, then on the open bag of gold. Her hand covered her mouth to stifle a laugh and she gave thumbs up as she retreated.
Completely worth the teasing, Alex reasoned. And she and Lucy were lovers. If anyone would understand, they would.
At least he could be sure they would have privacy from here on out.
He looked at the bobbing head on his cock and the bag of gold. What would his ancestor think?
Who the fuck cares? He never got you head. The nagging voice insisted.
Alex was quickly beginning to think that nagging voice was his new best friend.
He looked down at Draco.
Oh what the hell.
Alex pushed Draco away from him, knocking over the bag and scattering the gold over the concrete floor of the storeroom. Then he pounced.
In a few moments he had Draco on all fours, his robes pushed up to his hips and his ass in the air.
Alex suddenly felt thankful for his fathers experiment in bar snacks, one of the remnants being a bottle of cooking oil in a no-spoil fairy enchanted bottle.
Alex lubed himself up. Then spread some oil on Draco.
“In!” Draco panted, pushing back on Alex.
Alex felt the cold concrete under his knees and felt the edge of a coin biting into his flesh.
He concentrated on cricket. He tried to list the world teams in alphabetical order.
Lord only knew if he didn’t he’d be done before they even started.
Alex started pumping like he was 15 again, wild and forceful.
Draco grabbed one of the hands firmly gripping his hips and guided it around to his cock.
Alex suddenly hoped Draco wouldn’t want him to reciprocate. This kid was smuggling a python under his robes.
Thankfully, he felt his hand covered in sticky liquid before he finished a fraction of a second later.
They both collapsed in a heap, panting on the floor.
“So do we have a deal?”
Alex sighed. He’d been offered worse things.
“You man the bar Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You can drink, but don’t get carried away. You may have seen my cock but the girls still get more authority than you because they’ve been around longer. Seen very nearly everything. Got it?”
Alex stood up shakily, straightening his cockeyed beret and pulling his pants up. He looked at Draco still sprawled on the floor.
“Keep your money. You may need it when you’ve done of this place.”
Draco sat up and smiled for the first time Alex had seen. “Where do I sleep?”
Alex was quiet for a minute. “Wherever you want.” He walked out of the storeroom and back to the bar.
John Taylor was sitting at the bar; wincing at the head Betty was putting on his pint.
In any other circumstance Alex may have winced, but he had been expecting John, he had a meeting with a nymph about a missing bottle of wishes.
“I’ll get it.” Alex said, taking the glass from her and pouring it out. The girls didn’t pour much and didn’t know how much of an art it was.
He looked up and noticed John looked slightly afraid.
“What?” Alex asked.
“You feeling all right?”
“Your shields against possession are still working?”
“As far as I know. Why?”
“Because you’re grinning as if you’ve gone mad.”
“Only time will tell, John. Only time will tell.”