So, this is my secret santa gift for Lowi, and it's late, and it's crap, and I've branched off style-wise, so I'm not sure if it's even worthy to be a gift, but I love her, so. Merry Belated Christmas, love.

Draco walks into the small pub that Goyle now owns, as he does every Friday night. He winks at the leggy blonde standing at the door (whom he has conveniently forgotten to tell his wife about), and slides onto a barstool casually. He notices a sad looking brunette four stools down, and allows his eyes to run over her slim figure for a moment before sighing and drumming his fingers on the counter, the signal he uses to tell his crony to come over.

"She's hot, isn't she?" Goyle grunts to him, nodding his head at the girl, who has barely touched her Gillywater.

Draco blinks in surprise, usually his slow friend is not observant enough to notice which girl has caught his eye. Still, he regains his composure and manages to drawl, "I'm married, Goyle."

He shrugs, wiping a rag over and through a wine glass. "Didn't stop you with Marissa last week, or Penelope the week before-"

Draco shushes him by putting his hand over his mouth, for he has just noticed (with a sick feeling in his stomach at the reminder that he had just /looked/ at her) that the girl is young enough to possibly know his son. "Don't be stupid," he hisses, "can't you see? She's at least twenty years younger- my son's age, she might hear and tell him."

Goyle simply shrugs again. "She hasn't talked since she got here, even when I offered her a drink- I don't think she hears anything."

Still a bit worried, he steals a glance at her, and relaxes when she appears not to notice anything, choosing to instead stare into the bottom of her glass as though it holds the key to the universe. "Alright," he hisses. "What's her name?"

Goyle shrugs. "I dunno. She doesn't talk, remember?"

Mentally slapping himself at his own stupidity, he waves a momentary goodbye to his friend and walks over to her. Once he has reached her, he stops, realizing that he has no way in which to communicate with her. But she notices his presence and rummages in her purse for a quill and parchment to write with.

She scribbles for a few seconds, then holds it up to him. His blood runs cold at the words on the paper. 'I can hear, you dumbarse,' it reads. His face drains of all color, and she smirks, beginning to write again. 'Marissa and Penelope, huh? I don't know Scorpius very well, but I'm sure he'd love to hear that.' His heart pounds as he reads her next words. 'I'm telling.'

"Please-" he begs in a low whisper, not wanting anyone else to hear about his problems, but she smirks again, slides off her stool, and walks toward the bathroom, her hips swaying slightly.

He kicks the counter, angry at stupid /Goyle/ for getting him caught.

(But even more angry at himself for staring at her as she walks away.)

He walks into the bathroom and washes his face, somehow hoping that the cold water will shock his mind into the reality that his life will spiral out of his control tomorrow morning. He will return home, and instead of Astoria pouring tea for him with a smile, she will kick him out of the house, and the whole world will know that the Malfoys are the types of people who cheat on their wives.

He looks into the mirror in shock, as instead of showing his own reflection, it shows the same brown haired girl from before, staring at him with large chocolate eyes. He is flooded with anger, but at the same time, guilt- it is his own fault, not hers. She writes something on a piece of parchment, but he shrugs helplessly. Her face brightens in understanding, and she scratches out what she has written, instead choosing to write backwards, he assumes. 'Your friend the bartender installed a Two-Way mirror in the bathroom- doesn't that seem a bit vulgar to you?'

He glares at her- how dare she make polite, cheerful small talk when she holds the secret that is capable of ruining his life? Angrily, he searches for a piece of parchment in his pockets, and after a few tries, manages to write (passably backwards), 'The vulgarity of my acquaintance is not the topic of discussion. I simply want to know if there is anything I can do to persuade you not to discuss the information you have acquired." He writes as politically as he can manage, because maybe reminding this girl that he is someone important will snap her out of the foolish plan she has to rat him out.

She frowns slightly as she reads it, a few wrinkles appearing on her forehead and scrunching together. He tries to ignore the part of his brain saying that it's cute, because the fact that he has to call her cute only reminds him that she is far too young. Suddenly a grin appears on her face and she begins to scribble again. 'I've changed my mind, Mr. Malfoy. I'm not telling.'

He frowns, a bit confused at her sudden change of mood. 'Why not?'

The smile remains, though something changes in her eyes, and he wonders if she's going to confide something tragic and teenage-girlesque in him. He has half a mind to leave, now that he has ensured his own safety, (especially as this is why he never wanted a daughter) but something in the suddenly slow way she is writing makes him stay. 'I've already ruined one person's life with my words, I'm not going to do it again.'

He thinks about all of the lives he has ruined over the years with his words, ("Stupid Mudblood," "Will you marry me?" "Why don't we take this somewhere more private?") and concludes that she is far too good, if she has only ruined one person's life. 'That's a bad thing?' he writes carefully, half-eager to see her response.

She smiles bitterly, and for a second it reminds him of some famous Muggle painting he remembers Granger ranting about in first year. 'It is when it means that someone dies,' she writes, and he thinks about how many people have died because of him.

'Is that why you came here tonight?' he asks, wondering if like him, the visions are too much for her sometimes.

She smiles bitterly again. 'It happened four years ago,' she writes, 'I must be a real wimp to still have dreams about it, huh?' She raises her eyebrow, and he wonders if his reputation of a dislike for weakness has preceded him.

'Probably,' he writes, but then realizes that it is very difficult to convey irony through a piece of paper, and scratches it out. He looks up, attempting to think of a non-insulting way to respond, but finds that she has left.

He stares down at the scrap of parchment, contemplating whether to keep it. Finally, he decides that the risks outweigh the gains (looking it over from time to time, wondering what became of the mute girl from the bar? pathetic.) and crumples it up, shoving it deep in the bin.

Besides, with her morals, she probably was a Hufflepuff, and he really can't see the point in reminiscing about one of those.

He goes back the next day, digs through the bin, and finds his half and hers. He stares at them for a few moments in an almost bittersweet sadness at the two realizations he has just made.

He came back to retrieve the note because he could live with the consequences.

She came back to throw hers away, because she could not.