HP 'Magic Eight Ball'

The 20 standard answers on a Magic 8-Ball are:

● As I see it, yes

● It is certain

● It is decidedly so

● Most likely

● Outlook good

● Signs point to yes

● Without a doubt

● Yes

● Yes - definitely

● You may rely on it

● Reply hazy, try again

● Ask again later

● Better not tell you now

● Cannot predict now

● Concentrate and ask again

● Don't count on it

● My reply is no

● My sources say no

● Outlook not so good

● Very doubtful

10 of the possible answers are affirmative (●), 5 are negative (●), and 5 are maybe (●). Using the Coupon collector's problem in probability theory, it can be shown that it takes an average of 72 questions of the Magic Eight Ball for all 20 of its answers to appear at least once.

Fandom: HP
Pairing: H/D (or D/H, really. Whatever. Firewhiskey is intimately involved here.)
Rating: NC-17 (see Firewhiskey.)
Warnings: AU; EWE; Junior Aurors!Harry smuff-filled center (see above); minor flangst.
Summary of Sorts: Hermione brings a Muggle Magic device to the usual round of post-workaday drinking and Malfoy is utterly fascinated. Harry, however, has his doubts as to the oracular ability of a glorified marble, especially when it comes to his personal life. This is a fickle, fateful fic, posted in drabbles, on a semi-daily basis.

Part 1/? Till we get to the end, silly!

They were drinking. They were always drinking, lately. Harry waited his turn to slug back another shot of the ubiquitous Firewhiskey and, with little real-or even pretend-interest, stuck his free hand out for the item Hermione was attempting to give over.

"Ish a Magick Eight Ball, Harry!" his friend squealed, red-faced and giggling. Hermione was a loud drunk and quite enthusiastic. Harry thought that was pretty amusing, though a little wearing after a while.

"Asshhk it whether you'll marry Ginny, do!"

As if that was a question, Harry thought grumpily, and might've said so, too, but Hermione paid him no heed and only forced the thing on him again.

"Aren't crystal balls usually…well, er, crystal clear, Granger?" Malfoy sneered from across the untidy circle gathered 'round Hermione and Ron's low-slung coffee table. "That one's blacker than Hades, if you haven't noticed. He'll have a hard time scrying anything in that."

"What's'it, Hermione?" Harry asked, still in the mood to be uncaring, overgrown billiard balls aside, and shook the hard shiny black thing only because it seemed like his gut said he should. The object looked remarkably like a huge marble—or maybe a shrunken bowling ball, sans finger holes. He'd seen those on the Dursley's telly, ages ago, and had thought them—and the people who played with them—remarkably daft.


"Like thish, Harry," and his friend swiped the ball back and jiggled it till it sloshed. She stared at it meaningfully for a moment, obviously attempting to concentrate, given the way her brow was furrowed and her hair frizzling rapidly into uncontrollable corkscrews, and finally shook it once more, determined.

"Masheek Ei'Ball," she commanded it, slurring, "am I gonna marry Ronal'Weashelly?"

A tiny white triangular surface floated into a see-through aperture in the ball Harry hadn't noticed before then.

It is certain. Stated the ball, unequivocally.

"Shee? It knowsh, Harreee!" Hermione announced, quite excited.

"Everyone knows, Granger," Draco stuck his pointy nose in their conversation again, uninvited. Not that he wasn't alright, Harry thought blearily—fuckin' bloke asked some good questions now and then. Not too shabby all 'round, considering he was a fuckin' Malfoy.

"Fuckin' Malfoy," Harry said, and pointed a finger in a wavering fashion in Draco's general direction, drawing attention to Malfoy's more than reasonable reminder of something everyone present knew was a fact. "'S'good question, Herminnie."

Draco looked miffed for a second at his new moniker and then apparently got over it. He drew his legs out from under the Swedish-designed coffee table and sidled sideways 'round some intervening people playing a sodden and apparently unending game of Exploding Snap, evidently interested in garnering a closer look at this Muggle Magic gadget.

"Riiight—erm," Hermione seemed suddenly doubtful, her inquiring scientific mind beaten but not entirely blurred by the evening's steady alcoholic consumption. "'Kay, then. Magicky Ball!" She jounced the poor thing very hard this time, till Harry feared the weird white floaty thing would fly right out.

"Ish Harreee gonna marry Ginneee, then?"

My sources say no. Another solid response.

"Ooooh! Haaarrree!" Hermione was apparently shocked, delighted and appalled in turn, Harry decided, some very small part of his mind questioning the 'delighted' aspect. That was odd. But that was also immaterial, really, given the circumstances. And Malfoy—damned if the git wasn't right there all the sudden, sharp chin practically digging a hole into Harry's shoulder, grinning like a banshee.

"Of course I'm gonna marry Gi—" Harry began to protest, because he should, but Malfoy forestalled him, taking the black ball right out of Hermione's limp hands. He gave the device a short, sharp bob and examined it with all the stately command Hermione had completely failed to muster, off her head as she was with a good seven shots of Firewhiskey. Hermione was no lightweight but she was still a girl, Harry figured, and therefore had less tolerance than he did. And fuckin' Malfoy. And fuckin' Ginny, for that matter.

So thinking, he listed into Malfoy's lean ribcage and convenient shoulder, who then automatically stuck a bracing arm behind Harry's back, propping him up.

"Am I going to marry Potter, you stupid Muggle Ball?" Draco asked of it, ignoring Harry's slumping body entirely and glaring hard at its shiny obdurate surface. Harry sucked in a vaporous breath, choking a bit on its high alcoholic content, and revved up to protest that instead.

"What?" Malfoy asked, scowling, shooting Harry a sideways glance. "Someone's got to—you're a bloody mess when you're on your own, Potty."

Outlook good. The Eight Ball responded in the affirmative. Harry, upon further consideration, decided that this was an excellent cue to pass out.

TBC…a fickle fateful fic in drabblets, mostly daily.