Disclaimer: Ah, it is better to
have owned Harry Potter and lost then to have never owned Harry
Potter at all... or so I would be led to believe, as I've never owned
Harry Potter. Because JKR is selfish. Let me have a turn, come on!
-This is dedicated to the weird
girls at Unredeemed, and to the weird guys too, I suppose. Haven't
met any of them yet, though, so their existence is only hearsay. And
the beta, who, despite the fact that she doesn't even have to look my
way if she doesn't feel like it, still read this. And the missus, who
also looked at it, because elle m'aime.-
Life is change. No one thing in the
world will consist of the same particles it started with within ten
years. From the view of the universe, that's the slimmest fraction of
a blink of an eye. But there are some things that never change.
Draco Malfoy was pissed.
Interesting feeling, really. He'd been drunk before, of course, but
not so much that he was actually stumbling over perfectly level
terrain. Didn't help that it'd been raining. Bloody weather.
said Draco, falling face-first into mud. Part of his mind said as he
fell, I am a Malfoy. This is far too undignified behavior for
someone of my breeding. The rest of his mind said, Oof!
he muttered, trying to stand up. But the ground kept moving and every
time he got a footing it went around on the other side of him.
If Draco had been
sober, he probably would have said something to the effect of, “I
can't get a foothold, it's getting darker, colder, and wetter, and
I'm going to have a headache the size of London tomorrow morning.
Shit.” As it was, he said, “Ow.”
he yelled out of habit, because somethings, even when thoroughly
hammered, never changed. “Goyle! Come an' carry me. Can' walk.”
He waited in the
mud for a moment, then decided they weren't coming. “Dammit! No
point in havin' 'em 'round if they're not going to be 'round so they
can carry me 'round.”
He rolled over
again to attempt to stand, and might have made it if he hadn't caught
the hem of his robes under one foot.
He was content to
lay in the mud for a bit longer. Eventually, he thought he heard
footsteps, but by the time he'd gotten into a position to look for
the maker of the footsteps, they were gone.
He sat on the mud,
considering his options. Unfortunately, his options were, as far as
he could tell, stay there until the ground was dry enough to stand,
stay there until he was sober enough to walk, or stay there until
pneumonia set in and he died. None of them appealed to him.
Where were they coming from? He looked around, and spotted movement
in front of Honeydukes. “Hey!” he called out, pride
temporarily forgotten. He was wet and cold and wanted to go home.
“Hey, you! From Hon'ducks. Honeydoneys. Hon... outta the c'ndy
The shape seemed to
turn and notice him. It approached him, or at least got bigger. And
seemed to multiply. “Feeling under the weather?” it asked
sharply. Draco's eyes finally saw sit to look in the same direction
for a moment. He saw black hair and cheap glasses.
Potter,” Draco slurred.
wrong, Malfoy?” Potter spat. “You look a little down.”
He paused, sniffing the air. “You're drunk, aren't you?”
nearly so think as you drunk I am,” Draco replied.
stupid. It's raining and I can still smell you.” Potter sighed.
“God, I don't want to do this,” he muttered. “Give
me your hand.”
“For what do
you want it for?”
“I'm going to
take you back to Hogwarts. Because I'm an idiot.”
die than get help fr'm you,” Draco snapped. Or would have
snapped, if he'd been in complete control of his tongue.
stupid,” he said again. His hand was still out, and Draco
stared at it. Figuring that he wouldn't remember how he got back last
night anyway, he took Potter's hand and stood. And almost fell again,
before he was caught and his arm thrown over Potter's shoulder.
“What're you doing out here this late, anyway?”
why'd you come?”
to f'rget, y'diot,” he clarified, pointing his finger
authoritatively at Harry. One of him, anyway. There seemed to be
three. Funny, that.
you come to forget?”
exasperatedly. “If I... if, if I still rememembered,” he
said, “I'd be back in the pub drinkin' till I f'rgot.”
Potter fell silent, appropriate wallowing in his own idiocy.
They walked along,
or rather, Potter walked, and Draco was dragged, out of Hogsmeade,
but it was still a fair distance from Hogwarts. Eventually, the
silence got to Draco, and he broke it. “What're you doin' here
so late y'rslef? Er, self?”
absently, “I wanted to buy Ginny a gift, and she was with me
all day. I just recently got away from her long enough to sneak to
Hogsmeade to buy a box of chocolates.”
scoffed. “They say 'at the, er, mother's what you c'n expect
with the daughter, y'know. An' one look a-at her
mum'd tell me 'at she doesn't need choc'late.”
It was a particular
witty line, Draco thought. And then he fell into the mud, and
considered that he might have been ill-advised by himself.
the bloody hell, Potter? Pick me up this 'nstant!” Draco
Potter was walking to the castle alone,
but it wasn't terribly far for a sober person. It was infinity for
Draco. “Find your own way back, Malfoy,” he yelled over
Draco pulled his wand from his robes.
“I'll curse you, Potter! Don't think I can't do it jus' 'cause
'm drunk! 'll get you and your two iden'ical brothers!”
Potter turned around and came back to
Draco. “First, that's a quill.” Draco examined it. It was
a quill. How'd that happen? “Secondly, if I carry you back, you
have to keep your mouth shut.” Draco opened his mouth, but
Potter shook his head. “In fact,” he said, pulling out
his wand and pointing it at Draco's mouth, “Silencio!”
The rest of the
trip was very quiet, although Draco's mouth kept moving out of habit.
He was eventually uncerimoniously dumped in front of the Slytherin
common room. Eventually Crabbe and Goyle or someone brought him in
and Unsilenced him. He then threw himself on his bed.
“How'd I get
back here? Why am I covered in mud?”
Crabbe and Goyle
shrugged. He'd made one of them—he wasn't entirely sure which
one it was—perform a Hangunder Charm on him, but he still had a
headache and couldn't remember much of last night. He shed his
mud-encrusted robes and took a shower. He felt better getting
dressed, but that feeling disappeared when he dug through his dirty
robes to find his wand.
There was a
mud-soaked letter. He remembered yesterday morning.
Dear Mr. Malfoy:
On Thursday, the twenty-fourth of
October, Dementors attacked Azkaban prison, presumably under the
orders of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. While few Aurors were harmed in
this attack, there were several casualties among the prisoners. Your
father, Lucius Malfoy, was among them.
bothered to read the rest. He knew what it would say: words of false
sympathy and no apologies, because that's what the government had
always been and some things never change. He'd refolded it and shoved
it in his pocket. He'd then proceeded to the Hog's Head, where he
stayed until well after dark, drinking until he finally forgot why he
It'll be in the Daily
Prophet, he realized.
But they probably wouldn't mention the Malfoy name. Not without
permission, and they would most certainly not get it.
Draco dropped the
letter on the stone floor, pointed his wand at it, and muttered,
Damn Potter. Damn
the Dark Lord. Damn everything.
shocked when he read the Daily Prophet that morning. He'd
known. He'd found out last night.
He'd run back to
Honeydukes through the rain because Trelawney had been standing in
front of the one-eyed witch with the Astronomy professor, apparently
arguing over some message in the stars. He'd passed Malfoy, but he
hadn't known it to be him at the time. He hadn't known it was
anything living at the time.
When he'd arrived
in Honeydukes, he'd found a piece of paper stuck to his shoe. He'd
peeled it off and had intended to throw it away, but he'd caught
sight of the name “Malfoy.” Curious, he'd read it, and
instantly wished he hadn't.
He'd felt a certain
amount of pleasure. Lucius had, after all, tried to kill him. He'd
nearly sacrificed Ginny to bring back Voldemort. He'd done almost
everything one could do to make life Hell for other people.
But no one deserved
to be Kissed.
He'd bought his
chocolates and left the candy store, and heard Malfoy, of all people,
calling him. Of course, upon realizing who he was, Malfoy had
promptly told him to go away.
wrong, Malfoy?” he'd asked, a lot more harshly than he'd meant
to. It was hard to be sincere with Draco Malfoy. He'd sniffed
a bit in the cold, and smelled liquor. The area around Malfoy had
reeked of it, even in the pouring rain. “You're drunk, aren't
Malfoy had been
marvelously drunk. So Harry had dragged him back to Hogwarts,
to the Slytherin common room. He'd slipped the letter back into
Malfoy's pocket before he dumped him off.
And now it was in
the paper. Of course, even the entire magical government wouldn't
have been able to cover it up for long, would they?
you done with that?” Ron asked, motioning to the paper. He
handed it over to Ron, who promptly flipped to the sports page to see
how the Cannons were doing. Some things never change.
you read this?” Ron asked excitedly.
The Cannons! They're eighth in the league!” He went on for a
moment until his brain caught up with his mouth and he said, “Wait,
what about Azkaban?”
his head, Harry flipped to the front page of the paper and indicated
the story in question. “Wow, Harry, this is... really
big. D'you think they got Malfoy's dad?”
Harry felt the odd urge to conceal his
knowledge about the elder Malfoy for the time being, as he had with
Neville's parents. It was up to Malfoy when he said something.
“Dunno,” he said. Safe enough answer, he reckoned.
A bit later, Hermione joined the two of
them. She merely nodded grimly and a look appeared on her face that
neither Harry nor Ron were completely comfortable with. But it soon
disappeared when she was forced to roll her eyes at Ron about his
Cannons obsession. “Obviously,” he sniffed, “some
people have absolutely no respect for the Cannons. They ignore the
Cannons out of hand when it doesn't suit their needs. But I am no
fair weather fan!”
“How could you be?”
Hermione teased. “They haven't had any fair weather.”
And they bickered, just as always,
because some things never change.
Later, Potter would contemplate going
up to Malfoy. He might offer his hand in truce, because he too had
lost someone he loved.
But Potter could see the smirk form on
Malfoy's face as the hand was extended. Malfoy would express his joy
that at least he, Malfoy, had not allowed dreams to lead him into
murdering his own loved one.
And Potter's hand would close into a
fist, angry at the Malfoy of his own thoughts. And there would be no
truce, which would be just as well, for neither truly wanted one. And that would never change.
You poor, misguided souls. Go
read something better. This is Terrible. With a capital T and that
rhymes with P and that stands for POO.