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Ring of Fire

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Draco sat nervously on the end of the elevated examining table, barely able to refrain from kicking his feet. It was bad enough to have to be there in the first place, but then the Healers had been keeping him waiting for an interminable amount of time, and all the while, he’d been wearing nothing but a thin cotton robe and his socks, the chill of the room making his extremities cold and his bollocks try to draw up inside his body. Did no one understand the meaning of the words Warming Charm?

And they’d taken his bloody wand when they’d admitted him, so he couldn’t even do anything about the temperature, and he was already having a very bad day – very bad month as a matter of fact – and all he wanted to do was get this over with and go home already.

He fidgeted with one of the strings on the gown, once again debating whether to tie the thing closed for the added warmth. But the thought of having to untie it in front of the Healer, as if he’d been pitifully trying to retain some semblance of modesty that he was going to completely abandon as soon as they examined him, just made him cringe. It would just add another layer of shame to the whole experience, which he could do without, thank you very much.

It was a small consolation – oh so small – that he would at least be able to keep some tiny fragment of dignity from the whole horrific episode since he’d specifically asked for a male Healer. He shuddered to think about the indignity of having to show…everything…to a woman. Hopefully, it would be an old, weathered veteran who would be so used to seeing odd cases come in that he wouldn’t even bat an eye at Draco’s predicament, just wave his wand, fix the problem, and then five minutes later, Draco could be dressed and Apparating home.

For the love of Merlin, please let that be what happened.

He heard the crisp knock on the door right before it began to open, and Draco took a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves and fighting down the rising flush. He could do this. Healers saw stranger things every day and were obligated by law to keep cases silent - although if he ever heard so much as a peep of this ever getting out, he could sue for every last Knut St. Mungo’s possessed.

The thought of taking the hospital’s money made him feel better, so he was able to raise his head to meet the Healer’s gaze with some equanimity.

“Hullo, Malfoy. Long time no see.”

“Potter? Potter?” Draco’s voice rose to Banshee-like registers. Oh no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no! There was no bloody way he was going to let Potter of all people check him out. “Get out! Get out!”

Potter winced. “Good to see you, too, Malfoy.”

“I want another Healer! I demand to be seen by another Healer!”

“Not possible, I’m afraid,” Potter said, grinning with much too much amusement. “You asked for a male Healer, and I’m the only one on staff right now who is free.”

“You’re lying!” Draco accused, drawing his flimsy robe tightly around himself and wishing he’d closed the opening after all.

“’Fraid not. We only operate a skeleton crew this late, and Healer Stevens is taking care of a nasty set of hexes on two Aurors. And before you ask, yes, they do take precedence over you. So unless you want Midge or Diane to take a look at you, you’re stuck with me.”

Draco bit his lip in an agony of indecision, his hands clenched into fists. He couldn’t have Potter be his Healer! Potter hated him! And he – he hated Potter, too! They’d been arch-nemeses in school, and even though it had been ten years since then, the hate had carried over!

And besides the hate – which was all-consuming and fiery! – there was the itty bitty smidgen of lust. Having Potter ogle his bits and bum, well, that would be...problematic. He imagined Potter making him bend over the table, lifting up his gown and telling him to spread his legs…

His face burned just thinking about it, about Potter making him pull his cheeks apart so he could get a better view and forcing Draco to tell him in explicit detail about his problem…it would be incredible – incredibly! Incredibly – he was suddenly grateful for the coolness of the room – it would be incredibly disturbing, and he would never recover from the trauma! Why Potter would probably expect him to recount each and every—

“Malfoy?”

Draco glared at Potter crossly, not because he’d interrupted his thoughts, oh no, but because how dare the git have the nerve to be a Healer in the first place! Yes! Potter should have become an Auror or a Quidditch player, or something else that would have kept him away from St. Mungo’s during the one time Draco had need of it.

It was all Potter’s fault!

Draco wouldn’t be suffering so much if Potter hadn’t turned into such a fit, handsome bloke with eyes somehow even greener than they’d been in school, with hands that looked capable and strong, with—

“Malfoy.” This time his name was filled with exasperation. “I’ve been a fully licensed Healer for the last four years. There is nothing you can say or show me that I haven’t read or seen or heard about before. Now it says here that you’re having a problem with a newly-acquired tattoo. What kind of problem exactly?”

Draco narrowed his eyes, taking offense to the purely business-like tone. Here he was, having a virtual mid-life crisis as he discovered Potter was actually reasonably attractive, and stupid Potter didn’t even care that Draco was basically naked on the table in front of him?

He didn’t fucking think so.

“The tattoo around my anus burns my partners whenever we’re in the middle of sex. Want to see?”

The look on Potter’s face was well worth any and all humiliation Draco was currently experiencing.

“B-b-beg pardon?”

Draco smirked. “I said the tattoo around my anus burns my partners during sex. My goodness, Potter, for a supposed professional, you are decidedly dim-witted. What part of that was difficult to understand?”

He rather enjoyed Potter spluttering. Combined with the dark red of his face, it was rather reminiscent of their Hogwarts days.

“Just what kind of tattoo did you get?”

It was Draco’s turn to look away this time. Really, he much preferred when Potter was the one off balance, and now that the momentary sadistic pleasure had vanished, he was once again filled with mortification at the whole situation. “I was drunk, alright? I don’t even remember getting the tattoo, let alone asking for that particular one or requesting it do…” he waved his hand, “…anything unusual. Once I’d realized what I’d done, I decided to keep it rather than go through another session to have it removed, but that was before I found out about…the burning.”

“How can you not remember? You got a tattoo around your – that had to have bloody hurt!”

“I said I was drunk!” He was not going to discuss the particulars about the days after he’d gotten the blasted thing with Potter of all people. About how it had hurt, then ached, then just had gotten extremely sensitive— “Very, very drunk, alright? Can we move on now?”

Silence. When Draco glanced at Potter, all he saw was a furiously blushing face looking anywhere but at him.

“I – I see.” Potter cleared his throat. “Is it – is it just during penetrative sex? Or does it happen whenever anyone…touches you there at all?”

Draco swallowed, staring at the ugly painting on the wall that attempted to depict some kind of soothing pastoral scene. “I’m not quite certain. I’ve only attempted to have sex the one time since I got the tattoo, but my partner complained of being burned so badly that he worried I’d caused him permanent damage.”

“Ow!” Potter muttered, cringing. He cringed even harder when Draco scowled at him. “That is to say, um, I haven’t heard of anyone coming in with burns around his…groin recently. Where did he go for treatment?”

“There weren’t any burns,” Draco said, fixedly contemplating the artist’s overzealous use of orange. “Once we’d…separated…the burning sensation gradually went away.”

“I see.” Potter wrote on the file, the color finally leaving his cheeks as his training began to take over. “And you? Did you notice the phenomenon at all?”

“No. Nothing seemed amiss.” Or at least it hadn’t until his partner started cursing and yelling. And not in the good way either.

“Alright. Well then…” Draco could hear the effort he put into trying to sound nonchalant. “Let’s take a look, shall we?”

Draco jerked to his feet. “You know what? I think I’ve changed my mind. I’ll just be going then—”

“Malfoy! You can’t just leave! I haven’t examined you yet—”

“Completely unnecessary!” Draco fumbled for his clothes on the chair beside the table. “Anal sex is highly overrated!” That was a lie. A lie so epic in its untruthfulness that Draco was almost surprised he hadn’t been smited on the spot. Nonetheless, he’d go without it for a while longer, at least until he could find someone else to help him. And since it didn’t seem Potter was going to leave right away, he’d just take his clothes to the nearest loo and change inside, or maybe he’d—

“There’s no reason to be nervous—” Potter began, reaching for his arm.

“I am not nervous!” he said shrilly, stepping out of the way. No touching! He was basically naked, and Potter was wearing his official Healer robes, and Draco might have had a small thing for men in uniform, and it just wasn’t cold enough in the room for there to be touching!

“I’ve seen plenty of men’s bums before!”

Draco stared at Potter, blinking rapidly, one shoe falling to the ground from the jumble of clothes in his arms.

“In a purely professional way,” Potter said awkwardly a minute later.

“Why you…you’re a poof!”

“So are you!” Potter said defensively, and while it was a valid point, Draco realized something too important to pay attention to him.

“You just want to see my arse for your own perverted gratification!”

“I do not!”

“Ha! Likely story, Potter!” He dropped his clothes helter-skelter back onto the chair and advanced. “This is probably why you got into Healing in the first place! In order to take advantage of hapless young virile men who need—”

“Don’t be ridiculous!”

“Wait until I tell The Prophet—”

The air around him went from too cold to too hot over the span of one second. The look Potter gave him should have had him quaking in his boots, and while a frisson of something went up his spine, it wasn’t fear.

“Oh, stop looking at me like that, Potter,” he demanded acerbically. Draco would not be responsible for his actions if Potter didn’t. That man wore anger like the finest set of dress robes, accentuating and complimenting his every movement. “I would never go to The Prophet over something like that. Do learn how to take a joke.” He rolled his eyes. “Although…I do still believe you just want me naked for your own nefarious ends. But who could blame you really?”

Anger slowly melted away, becoming confusion and then reluctant amusement. “Malfoy, you are still the biggest wanker I have ever known.”

“Now see here—”

“Will you please get on the table so I can examine you now?” It was the “please” that did it. Potter had never said that to him before. He rather liked it.

Draco gingerly sat on the edge of the table. “How do you want me? On my back or…my stomach?” Merciful heavens, it sounded like he was propositioning Potter.

Potter’s hand on his shoulder kept him from jumping down. “Relax.” Draco scowled. Right, that had been helpful. “The sooner we get started, the sooner this whole thing will be over.”

It made him scowl even harder. “I’m not an idiot, Potter. I realize that.”

“Then what’s the problem? You can’t still be hung up on what happened back in school?”

Oh sure, as if Draco were the immature one!

“It’s just…you’re not old!” he said accusingly. “You’re supposed to be old and wrinkly and seasoned!”

“You…want an old man to look at your bum instead of me?” Potter asked, his eyebrows going clear into his bangs.

Why that – that wasn’t – he didn’t mean – fine! Fine! “Whatever, Potter! Let’s get this over with!” And with that, he hopped down and, turning around, bent over the table and flung his gown over his buttocks.

If Potter’s shocked intake of air was anything to go by, Draco had surprised him somewhat.

An extremely long and humiliating moment later, he heard Potter cast a spell, then cold fingers were touching him.

“Potter!” he squeaked. In a very manly fashion, however.

“Sorry! Um, protection spell for my hands. They’ll warm up in a second.”

Tentative hands parted and spread his buttocks, and Draco shivered. Because of the cold and not anything else.

“You have a ring of fire around your anus!”

Draco swung his head around to glare indignantly at Potter. “I already said that!”

Potter’s eyes snapped up from where he’d been staring when he realized Draco was looking at him. “No, you didn’t!” he said, blushing hotly once again. “You said your tattoo burned your partner!”

“And why else would it burn unless it was a ring of fire?”

“Why would a ring of fire tattoo burn in the first place?”

“I don’t know! That’s why I came here, so you could tell me and fix it!”

They glowered at each other until they both seemed to simultaneously realize what was between them. Namely, Draco’s bum.

Draco went back to scrutinizing the leather of the examination table, cursing alcohol, tattoos and life in general. Sweet Merlin, Potter’s fingers were still…and his face was scant centimeters away… This was unbearable. Even knowing it was a figment of his imagination, Draco could swear he could feel Potter’s breath against his naked skin.

And then one of Potter’s fingers traced the circle of the tattoo.

Draco’s cock, which had been hitherto dormant from the cold and the circumstances, chose that moment to twitch and start to swell with blood, and Draco realized the state of affairs hadn’t been unbearable before. It had been distinctly pleasant as a matter of fact, because life was truly, excruciatingly, insufferably horrific right now.

He jerked his hips away, ignoring Potter’s “hey!” and the feel of his fingers slipping over Draco’s skin as he lost his grip in his surprise.

He would have liked to get up and put on his clothes and storm out of the room before Potter could ever find out – before he could ever even suspect – that Draco was getting a trifle excited by the random stray breeze – no, no, not breeze, not thinking about Potter breathing and what he was breathing on – by, by the, uh, by the fine quality of the leather on the table! Because Draco enjoyed quality things! Enough to get more excited than was proper perhaps, but there you go. Yes, leather. Not Potter. Aha! It was to laugh! Ha!

“You saw it! Now, take your wand and fix it, and then I’ll be on my way, and we’ll never have to cross paths again!” He ignored the small tingle of disappointment at the words. Stupid weakness for men in uniform!

“But I – but—”

“Just spit it out, Potter!” Sodding hell, his face was still right there, and Draco, rather than wilting now that Potter wasn’t touching him anymore, was getting more and more excited instead. Oh, the injustice!

“It…it wasn’t hot when I touched it,” Potter muttered. “I can’t diagnose anything if it’s not acting up.”

Merlin, no! The only time it had done anything was when—

Draco started to squirm around, meaning to get up somehow and use his hospital gown to hide his erection, but Potter made the oddest sound in the back of his throat, and Draco froze.

Right. No squirming.

“And how do you propose we get it to act up, Potter?” he asked. He’d intended his question to be biting and harsh. But it ended up sounding husky and low instead.

“You could…uh…have you tried…” Potter coughed, and Draco had to close his eyes, because he really could feel the air against his bum that time. “Have you tried doing anything…by yourself…to make it—?”

The question hung in the air between them. Shit. Potter was suggesting he fuck himself with his fingers while Potter watched, the bloody pervert!

His erection bumped against his stomach so hard, he could swear he heard the slap.

“I did try,” he said after a bit when he thought he had his voice under control. “Out of scientific curiosity. To see if I could replicate the effect. You know, afterward. But um, nothing – nothing unusual anyway – happened.”

Really, it was like erotic leather. The gall of St. Mungo’s to spend money on leather that was sure to excite its patients! This was supposed to be a place of healing! Not some damn brothel—

Potter coughed loudly and for a very long time.

Draco frowned. “Speak up, Potter! I didn’t understand you.”

“Didyouusejustyourfingersorwereotheritemsinvolved?” Potter asked again. It took some time for Draco to translate, but when he did, he wondered if he had put a dent in the table’s side from the force of his body’s reaction. Items? As in toys? Potter wanted to watch Draco use toys? Who knew Potter was such a kinky sod!

“What are you suggesting, Potter?” he asked for clarification, wishing he could see his face.

“I’m not suggesting anything!” Potter cried. “I was just asking!”

“Oh.” Draco definitely didn’t feel any regret about that. Not even one bit. “Just my fingers then.” He didn’t know why he felt like kicking Potter suddenly – well, perhaps it was just long-ingrained habit – but the urge to give him a swift—

“Then, um, you’ll have to tell me how you want to proceed, Malfoy.”

“What do you mean?” This time his voice was definitely sharp. Stupid Potter.

“Well, as I said, I need to see the tattoo, er, flare up before I can figure anything out. If you would like, I can give you something to, er, use on yourself while I pull the curtain around you, and if you start to feel any burning, I can come—” he cleared his throat. “Er, that is to say, I will…look things over…as soon as you feel the burning. However, there is no guarantee that anything you do to yourself with activate whatever charm is on the tattoo, so it might be a wasted effort.”

“And the alternative?” he asked, already suspecting the answer. Coincidentally, he no longer felt like kicking Potter. Odd that.

“Well, it might be that the tattoo artist put a curse on the…er…area, so it only starts causing problems when someone else is…”

“You’re a randy little bugger, aren’t you, Potter?” he asked, peering over his shoulder once more.

What?” Potter’s face lit up like Christmas lights, red and glowing.

“Luring unsuspecting men to your examining room and having your wicked way with them! For shame!”

“I-I-I—”

“But I’m on to your game, Potter!”

“Malfoy! That’s not—”

“You can do whatever you want to my body, but I expect dinner at a restaurant of my choosing and dancing to make up for—”

Malfoy!”

“Oh, lighten up, Potter!” Draco smirked before going back to survey the sexy leather underneath him. “You’re still so easy to rile.”

“Why you – that was all – I thought you—”

“Really, Potter, you just recommended I let you bugger me with a medical device. I don’t think dinner and dancing is really too much to ask, but if you insist on skipping all the preliminaries, then get on with it. I would like to have this resolved tout de suite.”

It made Draco feel infinitely better that Potter was now as thoroughly embarrassed as he was, because the whole situation was mad. Never in a million years would he have ever thought he’d find himself in this particular position. Not the physical position, of course. He’d imagined that. But the—

“Alright.” Potter’s voice was slightly hoarse, and Draco barely controlled another shiver. He heard a series of whispered spells, then, “You’re going to feel my hands on your thighs. It would actually be easier if you spread your legs a bit more—”

“No!” he said quickly. His annoying erection was still as rampant as ever. “I like it like this!” His eyes widened. “I mean, I would feel more comfortable keeping my legs closed right now!”

“Right. Of course.” Potter gave a nervous laugh, which he cut off quickly, thank Merlin. No man wanted to be naked and have someone laugh. “So…” he coughed again, “my hands on your thighs. You’ll feel them going up. Now one hand is going to part your buttocks while one finger of my other hand is going to start stretching you.”

Bloody hell. Potter’s step by step explanation of events was naughtier than the dirtiest pillow talk Draco had ever heard!

Draco had to bite his hand to keep from groaning as he felt the lubricated finger push inside of him. His cock flexed, and the muscles in his legs and back tensed up at the exquisite sensation.

“Relax,” Potter said, the finger pushing steadily further. Once again, it didn’t really help, especially since he knew Potter was watching his finger go in and out of Draco’s arse, still in uniform, while Draco was mostly naked. Fuck.

“Okay, now I’m going to insert another one. You’ll feel me pulling the first finger out, and now I’m pushing two of them in. Are you doing alright, Malfoy?”

Alright? He was bloody marvelous! Maybe it was because he was a Healer, but Potter knew exactly where to push and how fast and how forcefully, and oh, oh, oh, Draco was getting much too excited from Potter’s fingers, and wouldn't that be marvelous? Draco would never live it down if he came at the hands of Potter of all people while Potter just stood there and stared!

“That’s enough stretching, Potter! I told you to get on with it!”

“What? Oh, right, right.” The fingers withdrew. “Okay, once again you’re going to feel my hands on your—”

“And no more talking!” Draco’s cock pulsed, his breaths too fast, his heart pounding. The urge to spread his legs as wide as they could go was making him tremble as his muscles fought against his mind, and Potter’s sex talk wasn’t making matters any easier!

“Huh? Oh, sorry.” And then something larger than Potter’s two fingers was breeching him, something cool and unyielding and long was sliding into him, was making his eyelids flutter, was making his teeth ache from clenching them together, and fuck, that was too good, knowing Potter was watching him take it all, feeling it move further and further inside of him until he just felt Potter’s fist against his skin, savoring the burn—

“Is it,” Draco panted, biting his lip and swallowing before trying again. “Is it getting hot?”

He gasped when Potter suddenly thrust the makeshift dildo inside him as if he’d been surprised.

“N-n-no…let me – let me just make sure though.” And Draco couldn’t stop the moan this time as he felt a finger trace the fire tattoo even while Potter resumed his slow reaming. “It might be a little warmer, but I could be imagining things. Let me try a little longer.”

Fuck.

“What was your last lover doing when he complained about the burning?” Potter asked, and did Draco hear an edge of jealousy in his voice? “

“Wha-what do you mean?” he asked, trying to collect his thoughts, a nearly impossible task. At least it helped him push the orgasm back for a little bit longer. “What do you think he was—?”

“Was it during the beginning of intercourse? The middle? The end? Was he going slowly like this? Or was it fast, like this?” Holy – he obviously needed to date more Healers, because Potter’s accuracy with that thing was astounding. Either that or keep Potter locked in his bedroom for his exclusive use, to satisfy him on demand. He whimpered at the thought. “Tell me,” Potter whispered, somehow bent over Draco’s back, his mouth next to Draco’s ear. “Tell me, Draco.”

Unfair. That was too unfair. How was he supposed to think? How was he supposed to remember anything when Potter was talking and thrusting the toy and—

“He was fucking me!” Draco gasped, unable to bear it any longer. He had to have Potter inside of him now. “Pounding into me, and if you want to do a proper job of determining why my tattoo is acting up, you’ll do the same! Fuck me, Potter! Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me—”

Draco cried out when Potter pulled the dildo out of him roughly before shoving in his own cock finally, so much hotter than the toy that he felt like he was burning up inside, hotter and thicker and fuck that was so much better! Draco could finally spread his legs and reach down to wank himself now that Potter wasn’t just coolly watching, was as mad with lust as he was, was thrusting so hard that the table was shaking, so that Draco was shaking and yelling and coming all over his hand and the stupid table, was nearly lightheaded from the force of his release.

It was a long time later before Draco blinked and realized Potter was resting on top of him, his head pressed to Draco’s back, his softening cock in danger of slipping out completely.

Bloody hell. He’d have to come to St. Mungo’s more often.

He swallowed around a dry throat before asking, “It didn’t burn you? What did you do to keep it under control?”

“Wha?” Potter asked, intelligent as always. Then he cursed, standing up quickly, and it was Draco’s turn to curse as Potter’s abrupt movement made his cock pull out completely. “I didn’t – I didn’t even notice! I mean, it got kind of warm all the sudden at one point, but—”

“You didn’t notice? You didn’t notice? What do you mean, you didn’t notice?” Draco demanded as he stood up as well, wincing and making sure the gown covered his backside. Well, maybe it wasn’t such a surprise Potter hadn’t noticed. Draco had been amazing after all.

“But that’s good news, right? That means it won’t burn your other lovers!” Potter frowned. Draco frowned, too.

“Wait. Never mind. One time really doesn’t prove anything, does it? After all, as a Healer, I can’t in good conscience allow you to go out into public and potentially harm another person just because I wasn’t completely thorough in my testing.”

Draco thought Potter’s speech would have been more effective if he’d remembered to pull up his pants and trousers. He didn’t point this fact out, however, because he was enjoying the view. “What are you suggesting, Potter?” he asked, repeating his question from before.

Potter blushed and then smiled, shrugging his shoulders. “Well, I do believe I owe you dinner and dancing, Malfoy. And maybe after that,” he said, moving closer to Draco, “I could take another look at your tattoo. What do you say?”

“I say the power of your position has gone to your head, and this was a direct violation of Healer/patient privileges, and you’re lucky I don’t report you to your superiors.”

Potter blanched.

“Really, Potter,” Draco drawled. “Do learn to take a joke. I shall pick you up after your shift is over. Until then, however, you should really pull up your pants.”