Disclaimer: The people you recognize? Yah, they aren't mine, but that doesn't keep me from kidnapping them and using them in any way I desire. Er, no, wait, that came out kind of creepy.

In Vino, Memoriam

Harry wasn't drunk. He wasn't drunk, but he was getting there. Gatherings were always a trial, some more than others. He remembered the one where Susan was getting married, where.. Wait a minute. Susan had just gotten married an hour ago. What was he remembering?

Neville was a bit past "getting there". "You know Harry, I remember when Susan and I got married. We had to get married second because I had to marry Hannah first because Susan had to keep her name."

"Yah, I remember. But you weren't the one marrying Susan, that was me. We had the marriage contract, remember?"

"Uh, no, I don't, mate. Let me get another drink and I'll think about it. You know we always remember better when we have another drink."

A more-than-half-drunk Draco Malfoy wobbled up, inadvertently giving Neville his fresh drink when he stumbled and the drink landed in the other man's hand. "You're so far wrong you're not even wrong, Potter. I'm the one who married you. My father set it up to steal your money. How can't you remember that?"

"No way! I'd never marry you, Malfoy! How would that work, anyway? Neither of us is a woman."

"You were a woman that time. Uh, I think. Or maybe I was. Sometimes it seems either way."

"Get out of here. I'd never marry you even if you were as good-looking as your mother."

"Keep your eyes off my mother!"

"Ha! I remember that one time, I went back in time and went to school with your mother and killed your father and then she was so sad, someone had to console her."

"You... You... You'd better not have!"

"Ha! Who's your daddy, Draco?"

"Damn you, Potter, that's not funny!"

"Uh, Harry? I don't think that story makes any sense."

"Maybe I remembered wrong, Nev. It's a little foggy. Maybe another drink would clear it up."

"Funny, isn't it, how when we get drunk, we remember things we never remember? The world gets fuzzy but our memories get clear."

"Yah, I was talking about that with Ginny one evening before we went to bed -"

"What? You went to bed with my wife? I thought you were my friend, Nev!"

"You're delusional, Potter. All that running around being a hero must have damaged your brain. Weasley married me after you were killed and -"

"You're the delusional one, Malfoy. She married you after Harry was killed? You see him standing right in front of you, don't you?"

"I see three Potters sitting in front of me. Gah! I'll never get drunk again."

"Maybe he's right, Nev. I remember I was killed. I remember I was killed lots of times. Sometimes it was by Volde-, er, sorry, and sometimes it was by the aurors after I killed him and sometimes it was even Ginny after we got married so she could get my money."

"What money, Potter? I remember you whining like a little baby when you found that Dumbledore had emptied your vault before you even started Hogwarts. There's no way a gold-digger like Weasley would have married someone poorer than she. That's why she married me, but I showed her. I poisoned her after the wedding night."

"Get out of here, Malfoy. You never married Ginny. You never married anyone. Neither did you, Harry, not unless you got married and didn't invite me but you promised you'd let me be best man if you got married, and I never was, so you didn't get married."

"You're drunk, Longbottom. That barely made any sense."

"I was going to have you as best man, Nev, but you were dead. It was a great ceremony. I saved the place of honor for you. No one else would dare to take your place as best man, not you, the Boy Who Lived."

"Oh, that's right. I wonder how I forgot that."

"Your glass is empty. Maybe you're sobering up and nothing makes sense any more."

Neville nodded at those words of wisdom and went for a refill. On the way, he passed by Hermione explaining something to a small group.

"... the theory is similar to reincarnation as believed by many religions. The difference is that in reincarnation, the soul enters another body some time in the future of the same universe and lives out that life. In the new theory, a sufficiently powerful and strong-willed soul will cross into another universe and enter the same body. In both cases it is possible to have flashbacks of previous lives, but in conventional reincarnation, the visions would be of strange people and places. In the new theory, the soul, the person, would see many of the same people in different events or might even see glimpses of the future."

Neville lost track of the conversation because he finally figured out how to stop circling Hermione's table and complete his epic quest to find the bar. When he returned, Harry and Draco were still arguing over who married whom.

"Uh, guys, I've been thinking. If we're married, who are our wives? And why aren't we with them?"

The other two stared at him.

"Look, I was just walking around over the whole room here. It took me a while to find the bar because they moved it. So I saw a lot of couples dancing together or sitting together. And even if the women got together to talk and the men got together to talk, they would look at each other. So why aren't we doing any of that?"

That was a puzzler. Harry and Draco stood up to survey the crowd with their blurry eyes and they came to a startling realization.

"All of the girls from our year in school are here, and they're all with guys. Guys who aren't us!"

"You're right. Maybe that's why we're over here drinking alone with each other."

"But that's not what I remember. I remember living with ... No, that's not right. Susan got pregnant but she died before we could get married."

"That makes sense. Of course you couldn't marry her if she was dead. I guess Kevin wasn't so fussy and that's why he married her today."

They all nodded in condemnation of their former classmate. Some people had no standards.

The nods of agreement turned to nods of unconsciousness as massive amounts of alcohol finally overcame youthful metabolisms. Before long, the three single men were slumped across their chairs and each other in a fashion that would have resulted in blackmail photos being taken if all the film hadn't already been used on the wedding ceremony and the sober first half of the reception.

At the next table over, all of the women rolled their eyes at the stupidity of the three. They wouldn't let their husbands or boyfriends get drunk like that, especially not in public. They all looked around the reception hall to check on their significant others. No corrective action needing to be taken, their conversation moved on.

"So, has anyone written any new stories?"

"I have." "Yes." "Me, too."

"I have Harry being the Girl Who Lived and how that made her adventures different than Harry's real adventures."

"My latest has a marriage law after the war ends, forcing all of the school-age girls to marry an older pureblood man to help rebuild the families. Harry and Draco team up to defeat it, then Harry marries Hermione and Draco marries Daphne Greengrass."

"What about Neville?"

"Oh, he was killed during the war. He died heroically, so he should be happy if ever reads it."

"Not that he ever will. These stories are just for us girls. I don't think I could write as openly if I knew a man was going to read them, and then they wouldn't be any good as therapy, would they?"

"You're right about that. Speaking of, we should keep our voices down. Three men are just a few feet away."

"Oh, don't worry about them. They're so drunk, they'll never hear a thing."

"Your ideas are always the wildest, Lisa. Where do you get them?"

"I don't know, really. I have a few drinks and then they just come to me. It's like I'm almost remembering them, like a past life."


Inspired by Challenge #3 on LunaStorm's profile page (FFN user 2257366). I didn't follow the challenge at all, which is why I didn't say this was a response to it.