A/N: This is my first fic in the HP fandom so please let me know what you think. This was inspired by the song Wide Awake.
"Another Druella." She motioned for a refill of her slowly depleting tumbler before downing the last drops and holding the glass out for the barmaid to fill it up.
"Call me Dru, sweetie." The barmaid reminded her for what seemed like the thousandth time since she walked into the Hog's Head an hour prior. Before filling up her glass once again and giving her a motherly- look before patting her hand and walking down the length of the bar top to wait on a new batch of customers.
I love you. She took a generous swallow, before pushing her errant curls out of her face.
Swish and Flick. See Mione, I CAN do it. She glanced down at her hands clasped around the liquor glass. With a shake of her head she tried to dispel the memories that were accosting her on an endless loop before taking yet another sip of her drink. The bell over the door made a soft sweet little jingle alerting the bar patrons that another person has come to escape life's' curveballs whether it be to celebrate the unexpected or to drown themselves to block it out as much as possible.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw someone lay down their coat on the bar top and motion for Deuella. Who scampered over with a bright smile and a pleasant smile for the newest customer.
"What can I get ya sugar?" she asked sweetly.
"Firewhiskey and lots of it." The patron sighed out before taking a seat next to her.
Oh God, I know that voice. Please don't be him, please. She silently pleaded before turning her head a fraction and was met with the profile of none other than the ferret, Draco Malfoy.
He turned his head, and his grey eyes met hers for the briefest of moments before looking back at the wall of mind-numbing agents. He tapped a rhythm on the nicked and beaten up mahogany counter before Druella came back with his glass filled to the brim and the bottle floating behind her.
"Here you go." She said setting it down in front of her school nemesis before looking at her and grabbing the bottle that was suspended behind her and topping off her drink, yet again.
"Well, cheers Granger." Draco said sarcastically motioning his drink towards her in a salute before bringing his own glass to his lips.
She couldn't move; she could only stare at him. He had changed so much from the days of Hogwarts. Not in big, grandiose ways but little imperceptible ways that she should honestly have no way of knowing. Yet she did.
His hair was longer; taking on a shaggy quality to it that reminded her fondly of Harrys'. From what she could gather from his profile, he had broadened out a bit. Lastly though, the thing that had changed and shocked her to the core was that the air that surrounded him wasn't permeated with hatred, and prattiness. God was that even a word? How much has she had to drink? She wonders silently.
"Or is it Weasley now?" he asks with a hint of disgust, nodding to her left hand that is holding her own glass of Firewhiskey.
Shaking out of her mental inventory of Draco Malfoy she looks down a moment at the ring that is a glaring reminder of her and Ronald's love, or rather lie. She sighs out a ragged breath before ripping off the proverbial Band-Aid and hoping she doesn't bleed out at the feet of Malfoy.
"Granger. Just Granger." She says melancholic before lifting her glass and saluting him before downing the whole glass in one go despite her throat and esophagus' protest.
Her face scrunches up at the fire that erupts in her throat causing her to cough.
She can practically hear the smirk that is forming on the git's face. She flashes him a withering stare before looking around for Druella, or better yet the bottle of Firewhiskey.
"What did the Weasel do?" He wondered aloud, causing her to stop her searching and focusing back on her unwelcome bar companion. "Let me guess, he told you that he wanted to live with Potter after the wedding. No, that the food at the reception would consist of all left-overs." He prattled on, a smile slowly gracing his face.
"Leave it alone Malfoy." She barked out, completely done with his "fun".
"Well than pray tell Granger, what could it have been? " He presses, turning to her fully.
"None of your bloody business now leave me alone." She hisses at him before turning from him completely and continuing her desperate search for an elf or anyone that can get her some more drink, or to throw Draco out on his bum.
"I got it! He asked you t-" his voice taking on a child-like glee.
"HE CHEATED ON ME!" She roared spinning around on her seat to yell at him. "Happy?" She spit sarcastically at him before grabbing his drink and downing it.
The hum that permeated the bar was silenced, as all the patrons swiveled their heads to take in the two of them at the bar. That is until Druella decided to set down a plate of chips in front of her and told the bloody lot of them to mind their own business or else she was closing the bar.
"I-I-I am sorry Granger." He said after several attempts to speak.
"Yeah well, it was my own mistake. I should have known." She admitted sullenly, whilst picking up a chip and popping it into her mouth. Maybe some food would do her good she thought as the mixture of salt and vinegar swelled on her tongue, erasing the taste of the liquor.
A porcelain hand shot out and took a chip from her plate before she had a chance to bat it away. Glaringly over at him, she scooted her plate from his reach, before going back to eating her food.
"Why are you here? Celebrating or drowning your sorrows?" she asked playing nicely, since it seemed he was, well as best to his ability.
"Drowning my sorrows. Celebrating. A bit of both, I guess." He offered while motioning for two butterbeers. She quirked her eyebrow at him, signaling for him to continue while munching on the slowly depleting plate of chips.
"If you must know, Miss Know-It-All I got word today that my father died in Azkaban last night." He said solemnly. She scooted the plate over to him as a friendly gesture, or rather as friendly of a gesture as they could get. He picked up the last two remaining chips and chomped on them quietly before popping the lid off the butterbeer placed in front of him.
"So why the celebrating?" she asked quizzically, opening up her butterbeer as well.
"He's dead." He said quietly, before taking a small sip, "for the first time in my life I'm in control of myself, my fate, my actions." He finished looking over at her with a look of guilt marring his features.
So there they sat, in a companionable silence, a tentative friends taking root in the commonality of sorrow, and unfulfilled promises.
After what felt like hours, and it probably was, considering that the patrons of the Hogs Head were more drunken war vets then students she sighed before spilling her guts to her arch-nemesis.
"I walked in on them. He was with her, in our bed." She said shakily, fighting off the tears that were threating to bubble forth.
"Ouch." He said before glancing over at her.
"How could I have not known? I mean it obviously wasn't the first time, because he had brought her back to our home, knowing I wouldn't be home." She asked him rhetorically.
He didn't have an answer for her, and honestly she didn't want one. She just doesn't want to feel like a fool.
"Well if it's any consolation, you can't do any worse now." He teased. She couldn't hold back the small smile at that little jab at Ronald.
"Is that a smile I see Granger. Wow, I didn't know you knew how to smile. I thought you only knew how to scowl and frown." He said jokingly.
"Yes, well what can I say it's the natural response I have around you. Considering you are, or rather were a massive git to me in school; ferret." She teased back, moving closer to him an inch or so. What the heck is she doing, the drinks must have got to her because if she didn't know any better she would say she's flirting with Draco Malfoy. She thinks before pulling back quickly and asking Druella for a glass of water, and possibly another basket of fries.
The basket is set down in-between the two and ignoring the warning of them being fresh from the fryer they dig in. He grabs the chip out of her hand with a smug look on his face that she can't help but admit is quite attractive in this faint light of the bar. "Hey, that's my chip." She says indignantly, pointing at him.
"Well now it's mine." He smiles a genuine rare smile, that for a moment she is taken aback at how different he is from the boy she knew at the beginning of her school years, forgetting her argument as he swallows the chip.
Of course she can't help but laugh as he realizes that the chip is still way too hot and it burns his tongue. "Serves you right for taking something that isn't yours." She says sternly, with a glint of laughter in her eye.
"I get what I want granger, damned the consequences." He says voice scratchy from burning his throat on the stolen chip.
God he sounds sexy. The thought flits through her mind as she listens to the power play that is coming from Malfoy. She can't help but think that was a play on words for something quite more meaningful, yet she pays it no mind and lets the alcohol consume her. Leaving no thoughts except for the few that demand he not eat her chips.
Glancing at him sideways once more she can't help but think that the alcohol didn't really do its job. Instead of it numbing her brain and closing her off for the night, it opened her eyes to everything; the horrible situation with Ronald, and a new glimpse into the person that is Draco Malfoy.
She decides that tomorrow she'll blame it on the alcohol as she pulls out more than enough to pay for the two of them and grabs Draco's hand pulling him off the seat and towards the door, with just enough time for him to grab his coat.
Out of the lion's den and into the snake pit.