Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Author's Note: So, when JKR had introduced Rolf (if you can call it introducing a character) and Astoria, I had been livid. After all, that meant one clear thing for my favourite pairing – Draco and Pansy. But then, on fictionalley, in retaliation, I and some others decided to come up with a Rolf/Astoria pairing, and somehow, it all seemed to relate back to Peruvian Vipertooth Vodka and that became our drink of choice. And the result of loving Draco and Pansy a little too much and having a desire to fuel unusual pairings resulted in this story. Tell me what you think; every review will be appreciated, positive and negative.
Peruvian Vipertooth Vodka
The Leaky Cauldron felt like the perfect place for him right now – dark, dingy, strong smell of alcohol and a completely miserable atmosphere. Yup, this felt like home to Rolf right now.
Ignoring the tables, he went straight to the bar, sitting himself down on one of the stools towards the centre because the corner ones were already taken by people who seemed just as miserable as him and far more drunk. He was hoping to be in their state in ten minutes...five minutes would be pushing it.
"Hannah – Tequila Sunrise." His voice carried over the low sound of dissatisfied murmurs and brought the blonde to him within seconds.
"Rolf, what're you doing here? You're never here this late."
Or drinking hard liqueur...but all he said was, "Yeah, I wanted a drink, Tequila Sunrise." He looked away before she could say anything, avoiding her glances and questions.
She went away to get the drink, not being in the mood for idle chit chat anyway. Today had been a horrific day, from waking up with a headache to having her one-year relationship ending; and for some other blonde, to add insult to injury. Her hands shook but, straightening her back a little with a sniff, she forced it to stop shaking, adding the necessary mixtures to make a Tequila Sunrise. Who was she to care about just another guy getting drunk anyway? It never worked with her boyfriend...why would it work here?
"Here you go." Her tone was snappy and that was what made Rolf take a closer look at her. As far as the dim lighting would allow him to see, she looked upset. Her skin seemed paler than usual and her smile was absent. Her hair, normally pulled professionally back, had little bits falling over her face and whilst it added a certain careless charm, it wasn't the usual Hannah before him.
He'd opened his mouth to call her back when the stool to his right was dragged violently out and another blonde sat next to him, just as aggressively. He was hit with a strong smell of...something...flowery? Sweet? Whatever it was, it smelt artificial and churned his stomach a little...although it could have been the Tequila Sunrise that he'd downed in one gulp.
"Barwoman!" The blonde slammed her hand on the bar for emphasis as she raised her nasal voice to demand Hannah's attention.
Hannah returned but instead of her usual warm smile (or the rather forced one she'd been wearing just now), there was a scowl and a look of distaste and anger directed at the blonde next to Rolf.
"What do you want?" Hannah's tone was snappy, in the least, as she looked at the blonde locks and perfectly painted face with a look of absolute disgust. Once again, Rolf opened his mouth to say something – something like what was going on? Why was Hannah being so rude? And once again, the Blonde stopped him from saying anything, with a dismissive "Vipertooth Vodka" – without a please.
It was getting on Rolf's nerves by this time. How could these people act so rude and despondent? It's not like they had their hearts torn out and shredded into pieces and returned with a pretty bow and a distant smile. They had no right to act this way.
But these thoughts were interrupted when Hannah asked the Blonde tartly, "Vodka? Are you even eighteen?" That same disdainful note from before was present. Was she even eighteen? He glanced at her from the corner of his eyes but all he could see were glossy, polished blonde curls. That didn't give the remotest clue to how old she was but her response startled him.
"Not everyone looks older than they are." Cruel...but a little true. Hannah had never looked that young. "Now get me a shot of Peruvian Vipertooth Vodka. Now!" She was used to being obeyed – that much was clear. And her tone had that slight indescribable tilt of the aristocratic. He eyed her with brief interest, wondering what kind of a woman could order not just Vipertooth Vodka but the Peruvian kind. She was blonde, stunning, caking her face with make-up and unquestionably shallow.
And just for a second, he really missed those kinds of people – the shallow, snobby kind that cared about status, money and class more than anything like nature and possible mythical creatures. And this longing led him to make the first truly selfish decision of the day. "Hannah? Get me Peruvian Vipertooth Vodka."
Her face turned a pinky purple colour and he was seriously worried that she would hex him for a few seconds. To his side, the blonde was shooting daggers at him with her eyes and as soon as Hannah moved away to get the drink, she opened her mouth and chose a few choice swear words that would have undoubtedly shocked and appalled him if he'd listened. He didn't. He instead chose to stare at his empty glass, turning over memories – bad ones more than the good ones – and contemplated the misery that was his life.
Hannah returned, slamming the shot of vodka in front of him and walking away without a glance at the Blonde next to him and for the first time that day, Rolf felt a twinge of guilt; Hannah's eyes had looked suspiciously red and whatever he was going through didn't blind him to the fact that Hannah was going through something as well.
"Here," He said, breaking into whatever the blonde was currently saying to him. She looked astounded and, thank Merlin for small miracles, it had at least stopped her mouth for now.
He went back to swirling his empty glass before him, thinking back to a blonde who hadn't cared enough to wear make-up, who used to get drunk from a few sips and why hadn't she loved him enough? How couldn't she love him enough when he had loved her so completely and fully and maybe if he went to her and told her all this, maybe, just maybe, it could sort it all out and she'd come back to him? But some faint voice was telling him this was a bad idea because that Tequila Sunrise had left a certain sense of distance in him, turning his head just that slightest bit of foggy that should've told him he'd had enough but that instead made him want to drown a few more shots.
"Thanks," the word was snapped at him, reluctantly as hell and he turned to look at the blonde bomb-shell beside him, thinking and wishing for a different blonde altogether.
Without quite thinking through the implications, although maybe he had subconsciously been searching for a fight all day and this was yet another attempt at it, he shrugged negligently and replied, "I didn't do it for you," carelessly. It was true; he hadn't done it for her. It had been either to shut her up or to start a fight with her but it had definitely been all for him. And for a moment, he wondered what kind of a fight he'd gotten himself into. Would she screech at him, making his ears bleed, literally or figuratively? Would she launch at him, pulling his hair and stabbing him with the well-manicured talons she called nails? Would she burst into tears and try to emotionally blackmail him?
She did none of it. She looked at him through dangerously narrowed eyes, speculatively. And then she laughed, a reluctant, more than a little embittered and mirthless laugh, but all the same, she laughed. And it was actually quite a nice laugh, Rolf thought, through that slight hazy fog that had covered him mind. They said nothing else for the next few hours. They ordered some more drinks, drank them in silence (or at least Rolf did; the blonde made acerbic remarks to Hannah, who made equally cruel taunts at the blonde). Rolf wasn't even sure whether he left first or she did, but all he knew was that he woke up sometime around half three the next afternoon, an awful taste in his mouth, his throat burning and the start of a vicious headache.