Title: Just Because I Couldn't Say Doesn't Make Me A Liar
By: unperfectwolf
Rating: PG-13 for a bit of name calling
Disclaimer: The entire thing isn't mine, and while I would love to have it, I'm not staking claim. Title from "Wow" by Snow Patrol.
Authors Notes: Comedy's never been my strong suit, so I hope this was good enough. Now, drama I can do (in fic or in real life!). Beta'd by the wonderful ranhuo, most likely because she was sick of me bitching about my lack of beta. Happy Holidays, kireinakanjou.
Summary: "For your in-for-mation, Draco," she pronounced carefully, "I'm not pissed. I'm just slightly inebriated."

JUST BECAUSE I COULDN'T SAY DOESN'T MAKE ME A LIAR

"Why don't you get down off your high horse - or stool as it may be - and join us, Granger?"

She turned her head enough to glance at the man out of the corner of her eye. "No thank you, Blaise."

The man, who was taller than she was despite that she was sitting on a tall bar stool, rolled his eyes. "Granger, when will you learn?"

She sighed. "Not this year, Blaise. Please?"

"Oh, but Granger, Malfoy will be so disappointed." The man leaned against the bar next to her. "Come on, you know you want to."

Hermione looked at him for nearly a fully minute before she snorted and turned away, picking up her beer and taking a nearly too large gulp.

The man sighed. "Don't make me do this. Please don't make me do this, Granger." Hermione only looked at him again, causing him to rub his eyes before he reached out and took the glass from her.

"Hey!" she cried out, grabbing for the glass. Blaise smiled faintly at her attempts and set the glass down on the bar, out of her reach.

"Come on now," he reached out and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her down off the stool, towards the back of the room, supporting her in her half drunken stumble.

"I really don't want to go, Blaise. Really really."

The man shook his head. "Granger, you knew we'd be here and you still came."

"Blaise," she begged him softly, tears welling up in her eyes. As sure sign, the man knew, that she was far drunker than she'd ever admit to. "I really don't want to see him. Please," her voice broke slightly as she pleaded with him.

Blaise stopped. "Hermione, you wouldn't be here if you didn't want to see him."

"What if I came to see you?" her voice was small, almost childlike.

He rolled his eyes. "Then you'd have dropped by, love. You know where I live."

Hermione pouted and he laughed. "All of your excuses used up now?" she nodded slowly, bringing a hand up to wipe her eyes. He sighed and began to lead her back towards the table he, Hermione and Draco used every year on Christmas. Or, the one that the three of them had used every Christmas.

The tradition had started the year of what would have been their seventh year. Harry had defeated Voldemort and the Wizarding World had rejoiced and somewhere in the middle all of the celebrations were those who were still lost got left behind.

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter's best friend. She was the "brains of the operation" and the "know-it-all" and after everything was said and done, she had nothing more that the Wizarding World wanted. No one wanted to know what obscure books she'd found her information in, or how she'd managed to come up with the right modifications to ancient spells or how she'd figured out what eccentric wizards from centuries past meant in their writings. They wanted the action heroes, the ones who had exciting stories to tell, the ones who looked good on the front of the newspapers.

After the initial interviews, people began to ignore her and slowly she faded into the background. People didn't stop her on the street and while her name rang some bells, people didn't really see her as a hero.

Never mind that with out her, there wouldn't have been a plan to defeat Voldemort or the means to implement said plan. Never mind she was the one who taught Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived Again, how to use the spells that she had found.

And so she'd become the allusive ghost-like figure who only went to the events that she was dragged to and was seen coming to and from the houses of people who were worthy of public scrutiny, but otherwise had mostly disappeared.

Draco Malfoy had been the center of attention from the time he was born, if not since the public had known he was going to be born. After the failed attempt to kill Albus Dumbledore, which no one than a few close friends of Harry Potter actually knew about, he'd completely disappeared. He'd been found by Hermione Granger on one of her trips into the less reputable places where she gathered knowledge. She'd kept her mouth shut in exchange for his help, something he felt marked her as having matured more than anything else did.

They'd spent nearly four months working together. In the end, it hadn't been any of his help that had allowed her to find the information she needed, but often she would credit him to her sanity through the months of research.

Through it all, only Blaise Zabini knew that they were in contact, and he wasn't going to be telling anyone. Upon occasion he would joined them, and Hermione hadn't been surprised by either boy's intelligence.

When Hermione had turned away from the spot light and faded from public memory, both Draco and Blaise had followed her lead. Upon occasion, Draco was mentioned in relation to one person or another, but all three of them had managed to scrape a life out of ministry jobs and obscurity for nearly ten years.

On the Christmas Eve before Voldemort's demise, Hermione, Draco and Blaise had been locked in the back room of a shop in Knockturn Alley, deep in the depth of some insane wizard's journals from nearly a thousand years before. When the shop keeper, who was allowing them to search the books with out purchasing them, had come to kick them out, all three had been at loss for where to go.

Hermione, of course, could have returned to her parents home, or the Burrow, and celebrated, but neither place was entirely comfortable to her. Her parents had become distant when she'd explained what had been going on in her life for the past years, and why her school had closed. The Burrow was awkward, with so much tension and so much sadness. She preferred solitude to the strangeness that had invaded a place that had once been a warm and inviting place.

Draco was on his own, stuck in a hide-away in Knockturn Alley. His mother was somewhere in France, staying with relatives, and even if it had been safe enough for him to go to her, he wasn't sure he would have.

Blaise's mother was still in England, but he'd given up on holidays with her long before. Always too enthralled with her latest conquest, she'd rarely had time for him if she was home.

So the three of them had exited the shop, cloaks wrapped tightly around them and scarves pulled up across the lower half of their face to ward off what they could of the biting wind. At the corner where they would have normally gone their own ways, they'd turned and looked at each other. After a few seconds, Hermione had rolled her eyes and they were off to a small corner pub, seated in the very back in the shadows.

It wasn't until the tenth year that things had changed. Hermione hadn't shown up and Draco wouldn't tell Blaise why. Now, a year later, she was there again. And even if things had changed, Blaise was glad his two friends were there.

Draco looked up as they returned, his blond hair falling into his eyes and causing him to flick it aide. Hermione's eyes followed the movement before flicking back to the floor.

Thinking she could hold herself up and get herself into the booth, Blaise released her. She immediately stumbled towards the table, catching herself at the last second, if only barely.

"Thanks," she muttered darkly.

Draco eyed her, then looked over at Blaise. "Where in the seven hells did you find her? In a gutter? She's completely pissed, Zabini!"

Blaise rolled his eyes and settled into the both across from Draco, sprawling enough to make Hermione eye the seat next to Draco.

She didn't end up taking it, but instead shoved Blaise over, nearly toppling herself. "For your in-for-mation, Draco," she pronounced carefully, "I'm not pissed. I'm just slightly inebriated."

Draco snorted. "Same thing, Granger."

At the sound of her last name, she started sharply, jarring Blaise too. He eyed them, wondering what would have made her last name sound so foreign. For as long as they'd been meeting, the boys had referred to her and each other by their last name and she'd called them by their first names. Something had happened, though he didn't know what.

Dinner progressed quietly. Hermione downed several more beers and Draco wasn't been far behind with a stronger form of liquid courage. Blaise had sipped on a single beer, watching the two intently.

"So, Hermione…" he started, after an intense silence. She'd looked up and he'd almost wanted to laugh at her glazed look. "Where were you last year?"

"With Ginny and Harry," she told him, her eyes nearly crossing as she tried to focus.

Draco snorted into his glass. "Scarhead and Weaselette? Was your dinner good or did their kids eat it all before you could get a bite in?"

Hermione turned and glared at Draco. "Dinner was delicious, thank you very much. James, Sirius, Charlie and Lily are all very well behaved children, and I know that Cedric will be as well."

"All of their children, named after dead people. Can't Potter just move on?" Draco slurred his words slightly.

Hermione's eyes narrowed and she held her glare. "I think they're all lovely names."

"You would, wouldn't you Granger?" Draco snapped.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she all but snarled.

Blaise was slowly feeling less secure in his seat as the two got worked up. He'd wanted them to confront each other, but he'd forgotten exactly how bad their fights could be when they got drunk.

By now, Hermione and Draco were leaning over the table, nearly face to face, snarling insults back and forth. "I knew you were still a little ferret, out to lie and cheat. You never were sincere. I should have just told them all where you were before they found that thing and killed it."

Blaise winced and could tell that Draco restraining himself from hitting her. He was surprised that Draco even did that, since he'd always had trouble with control when he was drunk. Blaise smirked, remembering the first time he'd seen them drunk together. The tension between the two hadn't had anything to do with dislike, not then, and he suspected, not now.

"Bitch," Draco ground out between his teeth.

"Bastard," she countered.

"Whore."

"Arse."

"Slut."

Her eyes narrowed. Blaise could see the name at the tip of her tongue. If she said it, he knew that dinner would be over and it would be ending with wands drawn.

The word traitor never left her lips. Instead she flung a spoonful of mashed potatoes into Draco's face.

Blaise's eyes widened and he scooted as far out of their range as possible. A gravy soaked scone flew at Hermione, hitting her in the face. Carrots flew back at Draco.

The bartender eyed them, but Blaise waved him off. He knew that if they hadn't had a significant investment in the place over the years, they'd have been gone before he'd even managed to get Hermione to the booth.

As it was, he was ducking a spoonful of peas and wincing as gravy was thrown into Draco's face in retaliation. For drunk people, the two of them had amazing aim.

A flick of Blaise's wand had two pitchers of water at hand. Another had them up ended over the two of them. They both froze. Before they could gather any ammunition to fling at him, Blaise waved his wand and cleared the table. "Are you finished?"

Hermione huffed. "Not nearly."

Draco snickered. "I think you made her mad."

Blaise snorted. "Madder than she is at you? Not possible. She got drunk alone because of you."

Draco winced, and Blaise knew the story was a long one and he'd be hearing it – and the excuses for Draco's actions – sooner than later, but at the moment all he wanted to do was get his two best friends talking again so he didn't have another year of trying to do everything twice.

"I…" Hermione looked down and licked her lips. Draco sighed and looked up, eyeing the top of her frizzy head.

"Um," he cleared his throat. Hermione looked up and cocked her head to the side. Their eyes met.

Draco smiled slightly, the dazed drunk look slowly left his eyes. Hermione bit her lip, then spoke. "I'm sorry, Draco."

"I," he sighed. "I am too."

Blaise smiled. An apology was a start. Maybe next year they'd be back to normal.

Rating(s) of the fic you want: PG to (hard) R
Three things you want your fic to include:
1/ Post-Hogwarts
2/ Food as weapon
3/ Dramedy
Three things you do not want your fic to include:

1/ Rape
2/ Lucius Malfoy (mood killer!)