A/N A simple oneshot that came into my mind and wouldnt go away, so I tried to pen down every single image and line that came into my mind. May be considered slightly Dark by some, but I think it's not so much Dark as it is realistic. Not all one-night stands end up in eternal love, you know. Read and review.
She is running She is yearning
A hundred miles an hour inn the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away
She is yearning
Does Anybody Hear Her, Casting Crowns
She's been here for an hour and she's already fucking sick of the place.
It's not the grand, expensive clubs she's used to dancing the night away, nor is it anything like the bar of the Palace that she always winds up in drinking her sorrows (and a certain Chuck Bass) away in. This was the kind of places she's always assumed to have existed only in horror stories or in days past ye olden prime.
It's a bar.
As its identity of a bar suggests, the place is brimming with booze (literally; a keg nearby had burst due to a drunken duel and a misplaced Expulso) and oozes of sleaze. The lights are dim and the booze (a ridiculous name that could only be used to describe cheap beer such as this) flowing, and the waitresses parading in ridiculously short skirts and tightly-laced corset tops with half their breasts spilling out into the faces of eager, lusty men.
It was not a pleasant sight.
As always, the cause of her presence in this unfortunate bar could only be attributed to a single driving force; one who had been the singular cause of most bad decisions Blair Waldorf has ever made in her life, the primary bad influence in her otherwise perfect, straight-A life.
As always, Serena van der Woodsen never fails to deliver.
Blair growls a little under her breath and sips her Firewhiskey a little more generously, and her white teeth slam against the dusty glass a little harsher. The liquor is aptly named, as the aftertaste boils a trail down her throat, and her ski jump nose crinkles before she takes another rather undignified swig. The taste is crude, and cheap; but it's the most expensive this bar offers and so she's willing to make do. The whole purpose is, of course, to get drunk. Drunk-till-you-can't-stand-without-puking-on-someone's-pants drunk. Drunk-till-you're-unable-to-form-coherent-thoughts drunk. Drunk-till-you-can't-think-about-Chuck-Bass drunk.
Drinking is better than dancing.
Blair stares at the crowd of faceless people decked in the most revealing robes they can squeeze into, grinding as hard (or as close to the hot ones) they can go. It's just a mass of thrashing limbs out there, a giant orgy with clothes on. She can practically smell the emitting of pheromones from over here, just as clearly as she can hear the high pitched giggle of the one and only Serena van der Woodsen (who was very, very drunk) in the center of the throng, probably getting felt up by a stranger and laughing about it.
Serena has brought her here, because it was "one of her favorite bars" and a place where she "feels free to relax and hang loose", something which she is mulishly convinced that Blair needs to do. Of course, Blair doesn't buy it for a second, especially since Serena makes the brief round of introductions, giggling tipsily with a drink in one hand and hanging on to a dark-haired man's arms, his hands edging under her robes and his tongue halfway down her throat. Her little circle of friends all include men that were probably rapists (they were all too ugly; none of them could possibly have gotten any), who leered at her with depraved looks and roving eyes.
A place for her to hang loose, indeed.
The only other person sitting at the bar is a man slightly older than her. (Not bad, she thinks. She can do older men.) He's got platinum blond hair that gleams under the strobe lights that stray from the dance floor, and she's acutely disgusted and fascinated by the copious amounts of gel apparently spent slicking it back. She can't quite see his eyes, but she can tell he's well muscled under those robes and that's enough to make the Firewhiskey start burning in her stomach and lower still.
(It was the Firewhiskey, right?)
His head slowly turns toward her, as though he can somehow read her thoughts, and his cold, slate gray eyes and the arrogant smirk stretched on his thin lips are enough to infuriate any Waldorf.
"What the hell are you staring at, loser?"
A smirk curls up the corners of his mouth, as he stares at her almost patronizingly. She feels naked, stripped bare under his gaze, because those eyes seem to know how useless and utterly pathetic she feels. As if they know how much of a little girl she really is; and underneath the dulling blanket of inebriety her temper flares up; she'll show him she's not a little girl anymore.
His gray eyes are harsh and his blond hair almost white in the light, and he's so completely unlike Chuck Bass and that's enough for Blair to answer the challenging look in his eyes and smirk on his lips.
Blair reaches out and kisses him hard, and she can't help but feel satisfied (pleased? or revolted?) that he returns it with much fervor. They cling to each other, two people at the bar, drowning in each other's misery and sorrow.
There's an old Muggle adage, misery loves company, and they're both misers.
He's Draco Malfoy and she's heartbroken and drunk, so it takes only seven Firewhiskeys and a half-hour halfhearted conversation (more of making out, really) before he leads her upstairs and lays her on the bed, whispering sweetly in her ear, you're beautiful. They both know he's just saying it so she doesn't change her mind halfway and leave him unsated, but all the same those words are such a close relative of I love you so that just makes her cling to him even harder because she wants it so desperately to be true.
It's the next morning when she awakes alone in an unfamiliar bed, tangled in coarse sheets naked and shivering from the cold. She drags herself to the vanity mirror in the corner and mechanically tries to smooth down her curls, before she breaks down and cries her heart out, because she's a Waldorf and she's not supposed to be doing things like that.
It gets even worse when a month later she realizes she's pregnant.
Against the general opinion, she decides to keep it. She's older and more alone than ever, (She still has not spoken to Chuck Bass since the day he walks into her apartment on the Upper East Side with a bouquet of hydrangeas and a pressed suit and sees her cradling a pregnant bump. Nate is happily married to a Muggleborn living on the countryside in Merlin-knew-where, with approximately six half-blood brats. Serena has already divorced her fourth husband and is busy hooking up with an international Quidditch player in Bulgaria the last time they'd spoke), and Blair just wants to feel in charge of something, to feel like her life has gotten more meaningful than it was five years ago.
Besides, if Eleanor could raise her, then she could raise her own child as well. Right?
She names her Lucretia Waldorf, because his last name is as hazy a memory as his face. She has her chocolate brown doe eyes, but the aristocratic nose and the white-blond hair is a constant reminder of the nameless somebody in her past who has all but faded to be a vague shadow in her jaded past.
She can't quite bring herself to forgive that misshapen memory.
She was a mess of jumbled jigsaw pieces when he found her, and now he's stolen a part of her and she can't quite manage to piece herself back again. She's just going to have to chase him down and steal it back, then. Or steal something of equal value from him; for a barter.
A piece of his heart should do nicely.
She raises Lucretia as any Waldorf will (a whirlwind of dollhouses and pink satin and the crucial lesson never to settle for anything less than the best), and she re-hires Dorota to look after Lucretia in the Upper East Side penthouse while she flies off to London to work as a Defense Attorney in the Legal Department in the Ministry of Magic, Britain.
The reports of a brewing war is utterly ridiculous, she tells all who will listen to her (and they all do, because she still rules the Pureblood high-society in America); who will want to start a war in Britain during the hosting of the International Haute Couture Show? And as sheep do, her friends (she likes to think she's past the phase when she refers to them as her minions) all vigorously nod their heads and laugh at the absurdity of it all, in the process reassuring Blair that it is safe to proceed.
When she is in London, Rufus Scrimgeour is killed by Lord Voldemort and the Wizarding community in Britain tumbles into chaos.
And if war has one thing in common with scandal, it's that Blair Waldorf will always find herself in the thick of it.
The next time they meet again she's older and prettier, and not as half as naïve. He's older, stronger, and pledged to a Dark Lord so evil not even God can save.
Her whole office is packed into a single room while the black-robed figures systematically root out the Muggleborns. The Ministry has fallen and they're the ones unlucky enough to be working late, and Blair can't help but wonder, what exactly are the Aurors doing if Death Eaters are in the Ministry itself. She watches as a group of people try the hero-thing, whipping out second wands and refusing to surrender, in the name of "courage and nobility" (their words, not hers). She watches as they all go down under the onslaught of green lights, one by one.
And now the crowd Blair is huddled with is now rapidly thinning and the bodies on the floor keep piling up.
He's facing her and his mask has long since fallen off in the tumult, and she can see the platinum blond hair, still slicked back in the ridiculous hairstyle. His face is a bared snarl as he spits out curses; curses that arc through the air and she watches helplessly as green light jets (singeing a lock of her hair in the process) toward an ugly, bushy-haired witch with billowing robes. The witch takes the curse silently and drops onto the cold floor.
Blair's almost proud that despite her terror she never screams; not once. Waldorf's never lose composure; not even when that's all they have left.
Finally, she's the only one left standing, head held high, and he slowly turns towards her. His eyes are animalistic as he snarls something incomprehensible in her.
He asks her what is her name and she replies Blair Waldorf. He hears the pureblood name and glances at her once as though checking the legitimacy of her statement (as if she would lie about that). She feels a slight pressure in her mind and she wonders if she's going to be awfully damsel-in-distressy about this and faint. But the Death Eater in front of her (the one with the pale, pointed face like a Q-tip) is nodding and turning away without looking back even once, and so she can't help but sigh in relief.
As he fires a curse into the air (Morsmordre), his sleeve rides upwards and Blair sees the inky shape of a skull with a snake slithering out of its mouth.
He glances briefly at her, and Blair sees him full in the face, and for the first time pieces the niggling thoughts in her head as to why he looks so familiar. She stares at his face painted with blood, and underneath the blood of his enemies she is forcibly reminded of another face, one with big, angelic eyes and hair the exact same shade and chin tilted at the same proud angle. She recognizes Lucretia Waldorf in him, and at that moment she remembers the face from the night three years ago of tangled limbs and cheap liquor and white bed linen and salty tears.
She opens her mouth and finds she is trembling too much to even move her limbs, so she screams until her voice is gone.
He Disapparates away, taking more of her and leaving her more broken than before.
The third (and last) time she sees him, the war's over and he's on the front page of the Daily Prophet.
She's just entered Britain from New York, because the war's over and the mighty fallen and a line of criminals waiting to be tried (and of course, executed) and money to be made. She's not stupid to offer to take on his case (he's guaranteed to be found guilty and Blair doesn't want a smudge on her perfect record); but all the same she takes Lucretia through Side-Along Apparition to see him stand trial.
Stevens is taking his case and from what she hears, the inexperienced kid is trying to plead Insanity on Malfoy's behalf.
A lost case if she's ever seen one – the prosecution has a load of witnesses to testify Malfoy's sound mind, easy. He's probably going to get the Dementor's Kiss (the British did have a morbid sense of humor), or a life sentence in Azkaban (the latter seemed unlikely, probably due to Azkaban's recent track record of losing more than half its prisoners in a day).
But she goes to the trial anyway, and brings Lucretia along (she tells herself it's to prepare Lucretia for a similar career path when she grows up).
It's crowded with members from the public equipped with Stinkbombs and fruit to throw at the Death Eaters, and the courtroom is rife with jeering and merry laughter from the audience. Blair finds seats in the last row, behind the full assembly of grim-faced Wizenmagot, so high up it's quite impossible to make out his features; he's only recognizable by the shockingly pale hair. Blair's acutely aware that she can easily be his salvation; all she has to do is to stand up and declare herself and Lucretia his family; and he just might be spared on account of him having a family to take care of. But Blair can't bring herself to forgive him for what has happened years past, and so when Madam Bones call out for witnesses she just bows her head and folds her hands in her lap.
The trial is unsurprisingly quick, and Blair doesn't flinch when he's sentenced to the Dementor's Kiss scheduled three weeks from then (the Dementors had to do an awful lot of kissing in between). She lingers at the door, one of the last to leave, unwilling to part with the last piece of her past. Lucretia tugs at her hand, and says loudly, "Mommy, who's that?"
He looks up then, and his dark eyes meet hers and flicker over to Lucretia. She sees bewilderment on his face as he stares at what might possibly be a younger, female version of him, and finally understanding and shock before his gaze snaps up to hers again.
She cannot stand the accusing gaze weigh down on her anymore, and so she covers Lucretia's eyes and turns her away. "Hush, Lucretia. We're leaving now."
"Can we stop by Mr. Potter's house on the way back, Mommy? He makes nice cookies. And he likes you, Mommy!"
"Cookies will make you fat, dear," Blair says automatically, then remembers the circumstances and hesitates. "But we'll drop by, all the same. And watch your mouth, young lady. He's already with Ginny."
"But he likes you!"
And so they leave, not once looking back at the haggard-looking man, half-covered with thrown lemons and splattered tomatoes, bound in chains and the snake writhing angrily in the inky skull on his left forearm, desperately staring at the family he never knew he had.
Blair doesn't go for his Kiss, nor does she visit him during his brief stay in Azkaban.
She sits at home in her manor and mulls things over with a glass of sherry (Muggles did always make them the best). Serena's coming over with Husband Number Five this weekend, and maybe, just maybe she might Floo Nate to say hi. Chuck's invited her to his wedding to some Veela supermodel next month, and Blair thinks she just might go (if her schedule stays empty that day). A few years ago, she might've been jealous and tried to sabotage his wedding, but she's a new person now (and she knows it'll never work out anyway). Besides, she's dating Harry now anyway.
She gets his letter only the next day, after he's reduced to nothing but a drooling, soulless shell.
It's not so much a letter from him than a letter from his attorney. Lucretia's been declared his heir and consequentially the beneficiary of the Malfoy's almost-limitless bank vault (whatever that hasn't been confiscated by the Ministry), and Blair's been appointed to watch over her trust fund until she becomes of age. Blair's quite surprised he gets her name right, given his ignorance of her existence up until twenty-one days before, but he obviously still has connections and for some reason that alone still infuriates her to no end.
Blair's first reaction is to throw the letter in the fire (she's been doing better without his help, thank you very much), but logic wins out in the end and so she just stows it away in a sufficiently dusty-enough drawer (with any luck, she'll forget all about it in a few years' time).
Blair leans back and puts her feet up on the desk (even though Waldorfs aren't supposed to be coarse like that). She's allowed to relax; she feels like finally, she's gotten the last piece of the jigsaw of herself back again.
Maybe, just maybe, it's alright to start putting herself back together one piece at a time.
A/N For me, this story is just essentially about moving on. Life sucks, you deal with it. I don't know if it's considered Dark, but you have to remember this does take place pre-, during, and post-war after all. You hardly expect rainbows and flowers.
Read and review.