The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Some Things Never Change  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

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.


“Oof!” 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!


“Damn mud,” 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.”


“Crabbe!” 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.


More footsteps. 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 store!”


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.


“Go 'way, Potter,” Draco slurred.


“What's wrong, Malfoy?” Potter spat. “You look a little down.” He paused, sniffing the air. “You're drunk, aren't you?”


“I'm not nearly so think as you drunk I am,” Draco replied.


“Don't be 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.”


“'d rather die than get help fr'm you,” Draco snapped. Or would have snapped, if he'd been in complete control of his tongue.


“Don't be 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?”


“F'rget,” Draco muttered.


“No, really, why'd you come?”


“I came to f'rget, y'diot,” he clarified, pointing his finger authoritatively at Harry. One of him, anyway. There seemed to be three. Funny, that.


“Oh. What'd you come to forget?”


Draco sighed 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?”


Potter replied 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.”


Draco 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.


“Wh't the bloody hell, Potter? Pick me up this 'nstant!” Draco yelled indignantly.


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 his shoulder.


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.


Draco hadn't 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 was drinking.


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, “Incendio.


Damn Potter. Damn the Dark Lord. Damn everything.


~*~


Harry wasn't 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.


“What's 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 you?”


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?


“Hey Harry, 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.


“Harry, did you read this?” Ron asked excitedly.


“About Azkaban?”


“What? No. 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?”


Shaking 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.


Fin.


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.

//
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