Title: A Friendly Game of
Author: Mrs. Witter
Summary: A boys' poker game leads to interesting revelations.
Disclaimer: Don't own a damn thing. Can you tell I am bitter? The characters belong to JK Rowling.
A Friendly Game of Poker
Part One: Poker Face
To a third party, an outsider, the setting would look like a normal male bonding ritual, men being men, gathering around a poker table with cigars, beer and junk food, catcalling, cheering, laughing and having fun. Boys' night out. Men doing manly things in their manly ways.
But to a third party, an outsider who knew the history of this particular group of men, wizards to be exact, they would find the situation downright strange.
Slytherins and Gryffindors, never the twain shall meet. Pureblood and half-bloods, it was blasphemous to have them breathing the same air. Potter and Weasley hanging out with Malfoy and Zabini; oil and water do not mix.
But the War had been waged several years before ending in the death of a tyrant.
And everything had changed. Changed. How? Nobody really knew and nobody cared to discuss it. It happened and was accepted.
Now, post-War, these men could gather together to play poker together, in a flat Muggle London. (Because they were men and that's what men did).
"I really like that vase, Harry," Ron observed as he leaned back and observed the dark blue Ming vase resting on the mantle that Harry's girlfriend had brought back from her trip to China. "It's brilliant."
"Well, now I know what to get you for Christmas," his best friend answered, shuffling the cards.
"It is a rather charming piece, Potter. Goes with the décor," Adrian Pucey put in, glancing at it briefly while making his assessment.
"I think Alicia bought one awhile back on our trip to Morocco in a peasant bazaar," Oliver Wood put in after taking a sip of his beer. "But I like yours better, more my color."
"If you ladies are done, can we please play now?" Draco Malfoy suggested with a sneer as he leaned forward on his elbows on the table. "I would like to win all of your money as soon as possible. Especially from you Weasleys, now that you have enough of it to put on the table."
"Most of it we acquired from beating your pathetic arse in poker, Malfoy," Fred replied and reached for the bowl of crisps. "C'mon Harry, my dead grandmother moves faster than you."
The cards were dealt and Marcus Flint leaned back against his chair as he fanned his out in front of him. Ron shook his head as he stared at the other man's leer. "Flint, you're about as subtle as a fuckin' elephant."
"And if you don't stop eating those crisps you'll be 'bout as fat as one, I reckon," the Slytherin shot back with chuckle. "That pretty girlfriend of yours will be disgusted."
"Gentlemen," Blaise Zabini, Hogwarts Head Boy extraordinaire, commented, the patience he had learned over the years waning thin tonight. "Let's play a friendly game of poker shall we? Like the Muggles."
"Hey!" Ernie McMillan, the solitary Hufflepuff, complained suddenly, smacking George Weasley on the arm. "Stop stealing my chips!"
'Twas to be a long night.
- & -
Conversation ranged from Quidditch to jobs to (briefly) women (because they were men and men didn't talk about their feelings) to Hogwarts and then some.
By the tenth hand, the floor of Harry's apartment had accumulated empty beer cans, cigarette butts and ashes, crisps and cookie bits and the air was stuffy with stench of alcohol and cigarette smoke mixed.
No one noticed or cared to crack a window.
"Well, well," Fred stated gleefully as he laid out his cards, winning the fifth hand in a row. He reached for the chips, galleons and Muggle pounds in the middle and drew them close to him. "You were saying Malfoy?"
"Suck my di-"
"Friendly!" Ernie reminded, kicking his friend in the shin.
Malfoy kicked back, harder.
"Ow! You bastard!"
"Cry me a river, McMillan."
"Children," Adrian clucked his tongue. "Do I have to send you to bed without supper?"
Ron shuffled the cards this time and snickered. He had lost by far the most money tonight but inside he was glad that it wasn't to Malfoy. And even more glad, although he'd never admit it, that it wasn't to Harry either. Just like everything else, The Boy Who Lived And Killed The Dark Lord, had un-fucking-believable luck at cards.
The eleventh round started and conversation picked up again, this time, taking a rather interesting turn.
"Wood: best shag you've ever had," Blaise stated after taking a puff from his cigar.
"Easy," Oliver answered smoothly, never taking his eyes off his cards. "Your mother, Zabini. Likes it rough."
The other men snickered and made whistling sounds, Dean clapping Blaise on the back as the dark haired wizard took the jeering with a wry twist of his lips. "Funny, yours likes it kinky."
Another round of catcalls went around the table. Then Ernie sighed and dropped his cards on the table. "Not my lucky night, I suppose. I'm out. Hm. Where were we? Adrian? Best shag?"
The former Slytherin crossed his arms over his chest and tipped his head, thinking. "Madame Rosmerta, post-Hogwarts. It was a rather memorable night and she had a little bit too much to drink. She was very affectionate."
Marcus nodded approvingly and Ron, who still held onto his childhood crush, felt his good mood evaporating quickly. Gaping, he shook his head and muttered, "Tell me you're joking."
"Aw, ickle Ronniekins," Fred teased and earned a punch from his brother. "What about you, McMillan? Surely you have had a night of uninhibited passion."
Ernie looked at his friend indignantly. "Padma and I have a wonderful sex life, thankyouverymuch. She's my one and only."
Draco made a gagging noise and Blaise shook his head. "No, I think there is something rather great being with one person and if the sex is great, I say more power to you, mate."
The other males groaned and then went back to the game, randomly stating names of girls they had laid in the past, embellishing a little and basically being men. Because that's what men…well, you know the rest.
The two players left remaining at the end of this hand were, if one could see the full-circle shtick of life, were an obvious pair.
Harry raised an eyebrow at Draco and grinned. "Well, it looks like it's me and you again, Malfoy."
Draco smirked. "Scared Potter?"
Marcus, who had taken a peek at Draco's card, grinned slyly. "So, Potter, best shag you've ever had?"
"Pansy, of course," he answered without hesitation. "Have you seen my girlfriend?"
"Hard not to," George put in with a snicker as Harry's eyes narrowed in his direction. "Hey! I'm just sayin', mate. She's one hot piece of arse."
"That's my girlfriend!"
"Oh pipe down, Scarhead," Malfoy stated annoyed. "Merlin, just give me your money already."
"Fat chance," Harry muttered and threw in his chips. "Call. What about you, Draco? Which MENSA member makes it on the top of your list?"
Draco had learned enough about Muggles to understand the reference and managed a small smile. Calmly, he leaned back on his chair and laid his cards down, eyes on Harry's. "Hermione Granger. Graduation Ball. Snape's office."
While the Slytherins and Ernie McMillan bust out laughing, the Gryffindors looked at him as if his head had just exploded, their mouths hanging open. Potter had dropped his cards, indicating to Draco that he had won. Casually, he leaned forward to collect his spoils.
"You…NO…never, 'Mione… touch…NO…Harry!"
"You're missing a few verbs there, Weasel."
"You lying bastard!" Ron finally managed to sputter out, face purple with rage. "'Mione wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole."
Flint, who was clutching his sides, managed to choke out, "I don't think it was 'Mione's pole that was doing the touching!"
"Aaargh!" Ron cried and launched over the table, knocking stuff over as he clutched onto Marcus's collar and sent them both tumbling backwards.
Chaos ensued. Everyone got in on the action, limbs and curses flying everywhere.
Draco pocketed his winnings and watched the melee, unaffected, wondering how long it would take elusive former Head Girl to pay him a visit.