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Thread: The SIXTH TTB DRABBLE BRAWL~ THE FINAL RESULTS!!!!!!!!!

  1. #1
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    The SIXTH TTB DRABBLE BRAWL~ THE FINAL RESULTS!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome Brawlers,

    welcome to the blood-fest!!!!


    Before I give you prompt one, I will recap a few of the rules for you.

    1) All drabbles must be PM'd to me (Equinox Chick) by Thursday 7th June 8PM BST (that's British Summer Time - if you are unsure what the time difference is then use a converter on google. I am NOT your International Clock - YOU. HAVE. BEEN. WARNED.)

    2) Once I have posted the drabbles. late entries cannot be accepted.

    3) If you are having any sort of problems with your entry then you MUST PM me. I will disqualify participants without points, unless I hear from them.

    4) Sadly, internet problems are beyond my control, and I cannot allow late entries if you are suffering.

    5) A poll will be set up each week for voting. You may vote for yourself. But, please, please, please, do NOT tell anyone which drabble you wrote. Do NOT try to get people to vote for you. Seriously, guys, this is uncool. We want the best brawler to win, not the one with the biggest circle of friends.


    PROMPT!


    In honour of the fact that it is very soon his birthday, your first prompt is:


    DRACO MALFOY/A.N. OTHER


    Yes, this is a pairing challenge. One of your characters must be Draco, the other is a lucky/unlucky character of your choice. It may be canon or non canon. You have free rein, except ... NO OC's.

    Remember, all drabbles must be between 200-500 words.
    Rules may be read here.


    Use this form for your entries:

    PHP Code:
    [B]Name:[/B] (this will be removed before I post)
    [
    B]House:[/B](this will be removed before I post)
    [
    B]Title:[/B]
    [
    B]Ratings/Warnings:[/B]
    [
    B]A/N:[/B

    Good Luck!


    ~Madam Carmerta~

    NB: This week has been set early as your barmaid realised she might not be around tomorrow. Usually, the prompts will be posted on Sunday.

    Any questions? PM me to preserve anonymity.
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 06-02-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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  2. #2
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    WEEK ONE


    Draco/Other



    Below are fifteen drabbles (yes we had three Zach Smiths who headed for the RoR rather than battle it out). Please read them all and then follow the voting link




    You will be asked to vote for your FAVOURITE and your LEAST FAVOURITE drabble.

    When voting, please bear in mind the prompt, the spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) as well as which one you like best or least.

    Don't get your friends to vote for you. This is anonymous and we work on an honour system. face it, do you want to win because you are the best or because you managed to bake the best cookies to bribe people with



    GET READING AND VOTING




    Title: Redemption
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years, implied sexual situations.
    A/N: I hope this isn't too sappy and that I didn't mess up too badly

    He didn’t really know how it happened the first time. There must have been a slight moment of weakness, because normally he would have refused to let her follow him home.

    They had known each other for quite some time, but it was not until that August evening that he buckled.

    “No one deserves to be alone, Draco,” she’d said. “Not even those who refuse company.”

    And before he knew, they were at his doorstep, up the stairs and over the threshold to his one-room flat. He knew that it was wrong, because he felt himself want it just a little bit too much. But he couldn’t say no, they had already gone too far.

    Even so, he flinched as she kissed his Mark and she looked him right in the eye and said: “It’s just a scar. We all have them. Watch out, I might just show you mine.”

    She was careful and gentle and slow. He could barely allow himself to breathe.

    That was the first time.

    The second time she kept quiet, like him, while the rain hammered against the window. Afterwards, she planted a kiss on his forehead, as he pretended to be sleeping, and left with a scent of honeysuckles trailing behind her.

    This time, the third time, she falls asleep by his side.

    It is then he understands, with heavy finality, that this is happiness.

    It really isn’t about glory or power, which was what he thought before the war. It isn’t even about the possibility of redemption, which is what he’s been struggling to comprehend these last couple of months.

    It surprises him, a little.

    He had thought it would take so much more for him to ever feel this calm again. A grand gesture, a completely selfless act in front of the entire world, to set him free.

    And he had known that he would never be able to pull that off.

    Maybe it doesn’t take more than this. Maybe redemption isn’t about giving, but taking. To accept a second chance and try not to mess it up.

    She moans a little in her sleep and rolls over on the side. He smiles slightly, as he puts his arms around her and buries his face in her hair. The curls are soft, almost like fur. The sun is about to rise, but the light is filtered through the snow that’s started falling outside.

    He pulls the duvet up so that it completely covers them and whispers;
    “Good morning, Astoria.”

    ****************************************

    Title: Sisters
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, no warnings
    A/N:


    “Draco, you remember Daphne from Hogwarts, don’t you darling?”

    Narcissa and I had been conversing politely for a few minutes when she turned from me to accost her son. I barely disguised a wince. The person I most wanted to avoid was being forced upon me, and wriggling out of it would require excessive rudeness. I had not wanted to attend tonight for precisely this reason.

    My family lost a lot, almost as much as the Malfoys, as a result of backing the wrong people during the war. As a result, my parents felt that these events were a necessity if we were to retain any of our old social standing. Apparently, we had to present a united and well groomed front to prove that we weren’t broken. It was for similar reasons that the Malfoys were holding the party in the first place. They were lucky that their finances had recovered enough to allow it.

    If I had had my way, I would have continued to avoid Draco, as I had done ever since our days at Hogwarts together. Back then, I had been the owner of the most awful schoolgirl crush on him. The worst part? He knew it. He knew it, and he took advantage of it whenever he tired of Pansy’s fawning. On second thoughts, that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that, on seeing him walking towards me, I felt a familiar flutter brewing in the pit of my stomach. Somehow, he had retained his power over me, after everything.

    He raised an eyebrow in greeting, and gave me a stiff half bow. I bent my head in acknowledgement, grateful that I learnt long ago to disguise my blushes. Introductions over, Narcissa left us to talk, but Draco’s mind seemed to be elsewhere. As we conversed, I observed him closely. His attention was on the far corner of the room. A swift glance revealed to me the object of his attentions. Astoria.

    Once more, I had been bested by my thinner, bubblier little sister. I had hoped that Draco, of all people, would see through her projected charms to the shallowness within, but it seems that I placed my hope in the wrong vessel. Life was so much easier before Astoria was old enough to attend these gatherings. Eventually, Draco excused himself from our conversation, and - surprise surprise - headed straight to where she stood next to an ornamental vase.

    My heart sank as he engaged her in conversation and she responded with unusually genuine enthusiasm. No, I told myself, despair was not allowed. I was a Slytherin and I would fight for what I wanted, even if it involved fighting my sister. Shoulders back, I walked gracefully across the marble floor towards them. I was half way there when he took her hand. I was three feet away when, together, they turned and walked out of the double doors into the moonlit grounds. My mask remained intact. My heart shattered.

    ***************************

    Title: Picnics
    Ratings/Warnings:3rd-5th years/kissing scenes.
    A/N: Draco=love

    “Draco, come on!” Astoria said, giggling. “Can’t you walk any faster?”

    “I can’t believe I agreed to this,” Draco muttered as he trudged up the hill. His blond hair was tousled, sweat trickling down his face. “This was such a stupid idea.”

    “This picnic was not a stupid idea,” she said, frowning. “It’s high time you go out and enjoy life, Draco, you cannot stay cooped up in that house any longer.”

    Draco stopped walking, crossing his arms over his chest. “I’m not going any further. You can set it up here if you want to, but I’m not walking another step. Merlin, why we couldn’t just Apparate…”

    “Fine, sit here then,” she said, plopping down on the ground. Closing her eyes, she leaned back and lay down on the grass, her golden locks spread out over the earth like tiny tendrils. She looked so exquisite that Draco stopped breathing. She was an angel.

    He sat down beside her, stunned. “Astoria, what exactly -”

    Before he could finish, however, she seized his hand and pulled him down. Letting out a very un-Malfoyesque squeak, Draco landed on the clump of grass with a thud.

    Astoria let out a shriek of laughter, her blue eyes full of mirth. “Now tell me, Draco, wasn’t that fun?”

    “Oh yes,” he said irritably, rolling over to face her. “Yes, that was fantastic, absolutely spiffing.”

    Still laughing, Astoria propped herself up on her elbow and looked at him, touching his arm. A while later, Draco realized her fingers rested on top of his fading Dark Mark. He withdrew his hand as though it were burnt.

    Astoria didn’t look hurt. Cautiously, she took hold of his arm again, looking him in the eye while she did so.

    “Why do you do that?” he asked, tearing his eyes away from her, ashamed. “This part of me – it’s vile. It’s one thing I want to forget. Why do you touch it?”

    The scar was almost gone; he could hardly discern it from his pale skin. However, every time he saw it, it served him as a reminder for what he had been. Draco felt guilty. He couldn’t forgive himself for falling in love with Astoria. She deserved someone pure, someone who didn’t have a dark background. Someone who was not him.

    Astoria closed her eyes again, looking deep in thought. “It’s a part of you,” she said finally. “It’s something that’ll be with you forever. If I love you, Draco, I love all of you, including this mark.”

    “But Astoria -”

    For the second time, she silenced him. This time, however, she kissed him softly on the lips. All thoughts were driven away from his mind as he felt her soft lips on his. Subconsciously, Draco’s hand found its way into her hair, his fingers curling around her locks.

    After what felt like an eternity, they broke apart. “I love you, Astoria Malfoy,” Draco murmured.

    Standing up, Astoria grinned. “I love you too, Draco. Now let’s go!”
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 06-07-2012 at 08:22 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Title:Never Meant To Be
    Ratings/Warnings: Third-Fifth Years, brief reference to sexual situations


    She wiped tears from her eyes as wind tossed her hair. A chill creeped through her body as she waited by the familiar lake. A warm bed was waiting for her, in a house filled with people who loved her, and yet she was out in the cold—waiting for him.

    Lowering herself to the ground, she rested her back against a large oak tree. The first time she’d made love to him had been against this tree. The bark had scratched her skin, but she didn’t notice until the next day.

    Footsteps crunched through the dead leaves. She didn’t move, only closed her eyes and begged for the strength to do what had to be done.

    “Hermione,” he said, stepping into the clearing—their clearing.

    She looked up, fresh tears streaming down her face.

    A look of surprise clouded his sharp, grey eyes. “What’s wrong?” he asked, falling to the ground beside her and pulling her into his embrace.

    “Draco,” she whispered.

    “What is it?” he insisted, cradling her in his strong arms. His touch felt so right—so natural.

    “I—I can’t do think anymore,” she told him. Pulling away from him in that moment was the hardest thing she’d ever do. She refused to meet his eyes. “We’ve done this for too long. It was one thing months ago when the world was falling apart. Everyone took comfort where they could find it. But we can’t mourn for a war we survived forever—none of us can. We have to go back to the real world.”

    “This is the real world,” he said, shaking his head as he reached out for her again. “I love you. I’ve always felt something for you, but we were so far apart. I acted like a prat instead of telling you the truth. But it was no coincidence that you were the one to find me that night. I was so lost in guilt and you pulled me back, Hermione—you. It was always meant to be you.”

    “No.” Tears blurred her vision. “It was never meant to be me. I made commitments, Draco. I have a life waiting for me. We both knew that when we started this. And your life can’t include me anyway, not really. Do you honestly think I’d be welcomed into your family? I won’t be the reason you lose your parents, Draco. I know what that feels like.”

    “I love you.”

    “I love you, too,” she admitted, “but it’s not enough. We have different lives.”

    “We can change all that. Hermione, please.” His voice broke.

    “I’m sorry, Draco. Ron proposed and I’ve accepted. This is the way it’s meant to be.”

    “No.”

    He reached out for her, but she got to her feet, moving out of his grasp. Again, she wiped the tears away, vowing they’d be the last she’d shed for Draco Malfoy.

    “Good bye, Draco,” she said before Disapparating back to her home and fiancé.

    ****************************

    Title: That Pompous Ass!
    Ratings/Warnings: Mild Profanity, Kissing, Draco being smarmy
    A/N: Hope you enjoy!


    You know that feeling you get on the back of your neck, when all the little hairs rise? Let’s just say that it wasn’t just the little hairs that were rising. Granted, we were at one of Dad’s friend’s house for a party. Many suitable gits- I mean men were on the prowl, and as Mum has told me, I am beautiful. But this one was different from all the others. He was dressed in a simple black suit with a dark shirt and tie, a fresh breath from all the gaudy, frivolous dress robes most pureblood wore.

    His steel grey eyes raked up my body, pausing at my chest. He met my eyes and smirked, clearly liking what he saw. Then he strolled across the room and held out a hand.

    “Care to dance?” he drawled. I took his hand and shrugged.

    “Might as well.” He led me onto the dance floor just as a slow song started.

    “I don’t believe I caught your name,” I said. He smirked again. Merlin was he arrogant. Of course I knew who he was. Draco Malfoy, former bad boy. Last I heard he was dating one of the Selwyn girls.

    “Draco Malfoy. I believe your sister was my classmate at Hogwarts.” I nodded.

    “Daphne. She always spoke highly of you.”

    “Really? How is she?”

    “She’s in America, negotiating for Dad. He has a deal with a potion supply company.” He looked me in the eye and kissed me. How dare he kiss me while we are in public. Does he have any dignity?

    I suppose Cecelia was right when she said he was a good kisser. But he had no reason to do that. I am not interested in dating, at least, not until I have completed my duelling teacher certification. I see no reason why I should become a vapid housewife who lives only to please my husband.

    He released me, smiling at me. It was a sweet smile, but he had no reason to do that. I took my hand off of his shoulder and slapped across the face. Then I stomped away, glad to get rid of that pompous ass.


    *One year later*


    “Do you, Draco Lucius Malfoy, take Astoria Camellia Greengrass to be your lawfully wedded wife?” He looks over at me. Wait, was he crying? He smiled at me as he said “I do.” We turned towards the magistrate, who waved his wand over us.

    “I know pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride.” Draco and I embraced. Happily ever after does happen after all…

    **********************************************

    Title: Regrets
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd Years - None
    A/N: I decided to go canon - enjoy!


    If I stare at the letters long enough, maybe they’ll go away.

    I blink, and they’re still branded into my vision, unmoving and cruel. Nothing will make it disappear. I could scratch away her name in the fresh marble monument, and she’d still be dead.

    Daphne Greengrass

    Her name shouldn’t be here. It should be mine, I was the one stupid enough to come fight when I was only fifteen.

    I feel a presence behind me. My hand moves instinctively to my pocket for my wand, but after a minute I relax. Nobody wants to kill you anymore.

    I flick my eyes over, just for a second, as a boy joins me beside the monument. Draco Malfoy looked as though he had aged a thousand years since I last saw him, but he’s still just seventeen. He, too, is focused on a particular name, one I don’t know.

    Colin Creevey

    “Astoria, is that you?" he asks. I nod. “I’m sorry about your sister.”

    “Mhm.” That’s all I can do. Everyone says the same thing, as if me hearing those words for the hundredth time is somehow going to make a difference. Unless you can bring her back, I don’t want to hear it...

    “Who’s Colin Creevey?” I say finally, breaking the silence.

    Draco stiffens. “He’s a year younger than me. Muggle-born.”

    “I thought your lot didn’t like Muggle-borns.” I say bitterly.

    “I thought your lot didn’t either. Besides, I’ve changed a bit.”

    “I think we all have.”

    I stare at the monument as something to do. The rain that had been coming down all morning stops and the sun comes out, blatantly disregarding our feelings.

    “I killed him,” Draco says tightly, “during the battle. I would have been killed if I didn’t, so I didn’t know what else to do. I wish I had just died.”

    I know the feeling. Knowing you’d never be able to forgive yourself, as long as you lived.

    “I did something stupid. I snuck back for the battle, and Daphne saved my life, but she was killed.” The danger of tears in my throat makes me stop talking.

    “It’s not your fault,” Draco says quickly.

    I’m not going to excuse what Draco did. I stay silent.

    “I read in The Prophet that Daphne’s funeral was today. Why aren’t you with your family?”

    “I - I couldn’t face them. They all know it should have been me.”

    In a heartbeat, I’m in tears.

    Draco slips an arm around my waist and holds me while I shake with sobs, together momentarily in our grief. But I need to calm down, I shouldn’t act like this…

    “You should go – for her. You’ll regret it if you don’t, and I know enough about that.” Draco pauses, kicking at the ground. “I’ll go with you… if you want.”

    I nod and start to collect myself.

    He gets me through the day. He brings me back to life.

    Two year later, we stand at the altar.

    ************************************************** *****

    Title: Amends
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st/2nd, none
    Wordcount: 499


    I cannot be worthy.

    This is the one thought that is with me every day, the first thought in the morning when I see her coming out of the shower and the last thought each night, when she’s fallen asleep with the book in her hands again.

    I don’t know what it is that draws her to me. I have gone over it countless times in my head, how we ended up here. At least it keeps me up at night, and then I don’t have to dream.

    We were in the same year at Hogwarts, but I never even noticed her, and I doubt that she paid me much attention. We shared no classes at first – she was in Ravenclaw – and if we took any NEWT classes together, I don’t remember. I didn’t pay much attention to classes around that time. I knew her sister, vaguely. She was one of the Gryffindor girls who didn’t follow Potter around at all times. It was her sister, Parvati, who visited me in Azkaban, too. Not out of sympathy, mind, but because she had landed the job of reporting my trial from a personal angle. We had four interviews around the time of my trial, and she was supposed to meet me for a fifth after it was all over. I still distinctly remember sitting in that café in Diagon Alley, with every other passer-by staring at me openly. At least the other half had the decency to hide their curiosity.

    When she showed, I didn’t realise at first that this wasn’t the girl I had been speaking to for the past months. They are completely identical. Padma – my Padma – explained that there was an emergency with another story, and that Parvati wouldn’t make it. She had only come to make her sister’s excuses, but I craved the company. Those interviews had been my only real human interaction, and I only realised this when they seemed to be taken from me.

    As she turned to leave, I asked her to stay for one cup of anything, I was buying. She hesitated for a moment, but she stayed in the end. She hasn’t left me since. With Parvati, I could always tell she was trying to be objective, but there was judgment in her eyes whenever she looked at me. Padma doesn’t see me for my mistakes. She gave me a fresh start.

    And I wonder if that’s right.

    Mother isn’t happy about this relationship. The Patils aren’t a well known family in Britain yet, because they only moved here twenty years or so ago. Mother is convinced I need to make a match with a girl from a popular family to rebuild our name.

    I don’t even want a name anymore. I just want a normal life, whatever that might be like. Free from guilt or judgement. But do I deserve that? Am I worthy of normalcy, or am I supposed to make amends for the rest of my life?
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  4. #4
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    Title: Seen
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd/none
    A/N:



    They look, they always look at me. Staring openly or quick covert glances, it doesn’t matter. They look, but not a single one of them ever sees me.

    What they think they see is the young man from the paper, the Death Eater who got off thanks to Harry Potter. They think they see a curiosity, or a disgraced schoolmate, or even a dangerous criminal.

    None of them stop to speak to me. They drop their eyes and hurry past, reach for young children’s hands to pull them away, stand silently watchful like sentinels.

    My mask never slips. Even if they tried to look past it, they would see nothing. It is too perfect. I have had too long to build it, shape it and smooth it seamlessly into place.

    There is only one pair of eyes that refuse to be fooled.

    Her eyes.

    Familiar eyes, in an unfamiliar face; it took me over a week to place her. Her sister had been in my year at Hogwarts, but we’d moved in different circles, and while I knew there was a younger sister, I had never met her. I never even knew her name, but I do now. Astoria.

    She was sitting, as she is right now, on the other wall of this café, a cake and coffee before her, and she looked at me. Not with revulsion. Not with pity. She looked at me, calmly, before nodding and going back to her coffee. As though we were simply casual acquaintances, nothing special about either of us.

    A fortnight later, she did it again. Same café. Same tables. Same look. I could feel it then, that her eyes had slipped straight past the mask and really seen me, but all she did was nod and return to her coffee, like the first time.

    I sit here now, at what has become my usual table in the usual café. I can see her, at her usual table. Watching her, I wait to see if she will look up again. I am careful; I don’t want to appear to be staring. As soon as her eyes lift to mine, though, I am aware.

    The expected nod never comes.

    Instead, she smiles. Smiles at me! When I think of the last time someone smiled at me… Yet hers is so genuine, the corners of my mouth slip upwards automatically. They freeze into place there as she unexpectedly stands and crosses the room.

    “Hello, Draco.”

    Long years of practice keep the surprise off my face, or so I hope. She gives no sign of noticing, at least, so perhaps my mask has fooled her just a little.

    “Hello, Astoria.”

    ***********************

    Title: The Lying Game
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd year/none

    He told himself he wouldn’t do this again.

    But he knew he was lying.

    He loved the bitter satisfaction of taking her away from another boy, of making her feel loved when that pathetic Michael Corner couldn’t. He loved the silent victory of having a Gryffindor sigh his well-known Slytherin name… even if it was a Weasley.

    Weasley or not, she’s still the most wanted girl at Hogwarts, he thought to himself.

    It had been a challenge to get her, but that was what Draco wanted. His stomach bubbled with excitement at the thought of finally winning that battle and he could feel the adrenaline from that first night course through his body. Watching the struggle of indecision on her face as his hands already moved around her was victory enough. But then she actually chose him, her body giving in to his. It took every ounce of him not to brag about it to his fellow students – letting go of the secret would ruin the fun.

    And it was already getting too easy for him, even now as she waited patiently by the entrance to the hidden staircase he could see the challenge was gone. She wasn’t nervous or scared, her finger nails not digging into the palms of her hand. She looked relaxed, much unlike the first couple of times when she had been hesitant, her body leaning slightly forward as if she would run at any second. But now she looked almost happy to actually wait for him to come to her.

    He shouldn’t have come. He should have ended it, just not showed up and moved on to another girl with more fight.

    Yet his feet kept walking, slowly taking him closer and closer to her silent figure. Closer to her thick red hair that felt so soft between his fingers; closer to her fair and freckled skin that was always so warm under his lips; Closer to her life that was so different from his.

    He felt an ache in his very core to have her, to touch her, to just be with her.

    No, he thought to himself, this is just a game.

    But he knew he was lying.

    ********************

    Title: Draco's Lament
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th years; Mild profanity.
    A/N: -


    He is sorry but he’s not sure he can actually apologise to her, no matter how many times Potter says it might help. What would Potter know about being sorry, anyway? What would he know about guilt? He’s the sodding saviour of the Wizarding World. Everyone should be apologising to him for putting their bloody lives in a pair of seventeen year-old hands.

    He really is sorry, but looking at her across the pub, he’s not sure he can actually apologise to the back of her head, let alone her face. Sometimes, she walks through his nightmares and he wakes with a scream. What if he screams, now? He wants to scream. He really, really wants to. So, he turns to leave.

    He really is sorry but he has to leave.

    “Malfoy.”

    He swears and turns back around at the sound of his name.

    The rumbling, tumbling voice of the barman seems to hover in the air. Her head whips around and their eyes meet.

    “What can I get you?”

    “Nothing,” he snaps at the barman. He isn’t looking at him but he can feel the knowing look focused on his neck, as if the word coward is creeping across his skin along with the red flush of shame.

    No, he's not looking at the barman. Instead, he’s looking at her. He’s sorry that he’s looking at her. He’s sorry that he can’t turn away.

    “The usual it is then.”

    Her face is the same from his dreams. She hasn’t changed since he last saw her, although he can’t remember when that was exactly. He wants to scream. He wants to leave but he can’t now that she’s seen him.

    “Hello, Malfoy.” Her voice hovers in the air, too, only it is soft and cold and strange. There is a hard look in her eyes and he flinches back when he realises it’s a look he’s familiar with. He’s seen it in his own bathroom mirror. He sees fear. She probably wants to scream, too. She probably wants to get up and leave, only she has something that he does not.

    Her face isn’t flushed with red. Her face is pale and clear and so very, very brave.

    And he is so very, very sorry.

    He is sorry he didn’t leave earlier before the barman spotted him. He is sorry he didn’t tell Astoria where he was going because then maybe she would have come with him. He is sorry that Potter is such a persuasive twit.

    He really is sorry for all of these things.

    But most of all, he is sorry he nearly killed Katie Bell.

    ******

    Title: Distractions
    Ratings/Warnings: None
    A/N:

    Draco clutched the edge of the sink, breathing heavily. Fragments of broken glass scattered the bathroom floor, as the result of his fist's collision with the mirror. All of his focus and frustration was channeled into the reflective shards, so the presence of the fiery redhead in the background went unoticed.

    "Something bothering you, Malfoy?"

    He whipped around, his fists clenched so tightly that he was surprised his fingernails didn't slice through his palms. Her interruption of his private fuming didn't bother him quite as much as the absence of the trademark Weasley sneer that was always in place when she talked to him. He immediately noticed the difference in her usual appearance when he turned to face her.

    The empty brown eyes that stared back at him held no resemblence to the ones that usually glared in his direction. The long red waves that spiraled down her back were unkept and frizzy, as if she no longer cared enough to brush them. However, the absence of the obvious dislike that usually radiated from her was the most disconcerting. One thin ginger brow was raised in a somewhat sarcastic manner as she waited on his response, but she was missing all of her usual snide.

    "None of your business, Weasley," Draco snapped. He really wasn't sure what to make of her sudden concern. He certainly didn't want her company, but a familiar argument was a welcome distraction to his troubled thoughts. The half hearted glare she sent his way didn't serve her usual Weasley temper any justice.

    "I assume smashing mirrors is a favorite pastime of yours? I should have guessed."

    Her witty remarks reminded him of the fleeting relationship they had shared in the past. Memories of their short lived romance were painful to think about, so he quickly pushed them to the back of his mind.

    "Maybe. Even if that's true, it wouldn't be any of your business, would it," he retorted.

    "Oh, but it is now," she replied as she stepped closer to him. Draco stepped backwards as she advanced on him, but his retreat was blocked by the sink.

    "Weasley, I don't have time for this. Get out of my way," he hissed.

    "Coward," she growled, her eyes flashing dangerously. "Can't even finish what you started, Malfoy? How about you deal with me now?"

    Her face was barely an inch from his now, and he could count every last freckle on her nose. Before he had time to register what was happening, she grabbed the front of his robes and yanked him towards her. Her lips smashed against his with staggering force. His own body immediately responded.

    Draco could almost feel her frustration, desire, blinding fury...

    The reasonable part of his brain screamed at him to stop. However, in the midst of a war, the occasional distraction is welcome. Nothing served as a better distraction than Ginny Weasley.
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  5. #5
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Beetle Eyes


    “Astoria! Don’t blow my cover!”

    “But Daphne, you can’t run away!”

    “Shh! If I don’t, I’ll have to marry him.”

    “But he’s rich. And handsome.”

    “He’s in self-denial.”

    “Then he needs someone to help him. Daph, you could help him: you’re a Healer.”

    “Yes, but I can’t marry a man I don’t love.”

    “But if you don’t love him, who do you love?”
    “You’d tell.”

    “I wouldn’t, Daph, I swear I wouldn’t.

    “I still don’t trust you. You’ve said that before, and then you told Mum. She can worm anything out of you. You’re so weak, Astoria.”

    “Fine then, don’t tell me. But it’s not that Goyle, is it? He’s so ugly. Or Cadwallader? His brother was in my year and he was so mean.”

    “No, it’s not Goyle. You’re so stupid, Astoria. I wouldn’t run away with a half-wit. Besides, I’m just going to a friend’s.”

    “Who?”

    “You didn’t really think I’d tell you that, did you?”

    “I suppose not. But if you leave-“

    “-When I leave.”

    “When you leave, I’ll have to marry him.”

    “Isn’t that what you want though?”

    “I…I…”

    “I’ve seen the way you look at him. Your eyes light up when he enters the room.”

    “Daph!”

    “It’s true though, isn’t it?”

    “I suppose. But he needs you, Daph. I think he loves you.”

    “He doesn’t need me. He just needs someone. Besides, I wouldn’t want to marry him when he’s completely smitten with somebody else.”

    “But you two are perfect. And who’s this girl getting between you and Draco?”

    “You listen to Mum too much. We’re a perfect match in Gringott’s vaults and that’s about it. But I can’t tell you who it is. You might get…ideas.”

    “Can’t you just tell me? I won’t go out and hex her or anything. I promise.”

    “Look, Astoria, I have to go. Stop bothering me.”

    “I’ll carry your suitcase downstairs for you. But you have to tell me who this girl is.”

    “Watch your step: it’s dark.”

    “I can see that, Daph. Why do you have to choose the middle of the night to run away? And who’s this girl?”

    “Shh…you’ll wake Mum.”

    “But Daphne, you can’t run away tonight. It’s raining.”

    “Like that’s going to stop me. It’s better for running away in. Hides your tracks a bit.”

    “Well, I guess you’ve made up your mind. I’ll miss you, Daph, really I will. But please tell me who this girl is before you go.”

    “Only you, dear sister. Goodbye, Astoria Greengrass."

    ***************************************

    Title: Breaking
    Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th, non explicit torture
    A/N: Inspired by JKR's comment that Draco was good at compartmentalization.



    Draco Malfoy had to watch while Aunt Bellatrix tortured their prisoners. In her own way, she was trying to help him. Everyone knew that he had failed to kill Dumbledore. By watching the prisoners get tortured and occasionally helping, he was proving that he was worthy of his Dark Mark.

    Part of him knew that.

    The other part agonized and screamed from someplace buried inside him.

    “Everyone breaks eventually,” Bellatrix told him. “Everyone.” She grinned, while tapping her wand against her open palm.

    He wondered if he was going to break, if one day, he would just stare, wide eyed and unseeing, even without being physically tortured. The guilt was going to eat him alive someday. But today was about survival. So he locked his guilt away too.

    Draco had never really noticed Luna Lovegood before. He had heard about the strange Ravenclaw girl, of course. But she had never mattered to him... not until now.

    Aunt Bellatrix was doing something with her wand that he didn’t want to know. “Such a pity to spill unnecessary pure blood,” she said, as if somehow the lack of blood made the torture okay.

    Lovegood had screamed, at first. Then she had cried and begged.

    Draco let his mind go blank. His eyes were open but he didn’t see Lovegood on the floor, body unnaturally contorted by his aunt’s spells. He tried to go somewhere else, some place happier, but for some reason Luna was still there.

    He saw her in her uniform, with Dirigible Plum earrings and Butterbeer cork necklace, her wand tucked behind her ear. He saw her in those ridiculous spangled silver dress robes that she had worn to Slughorn’s Christmas party. She said his name with a smile.

    He blinked and suddenly, he saw her, on the floor of the manor, limbs splayed out at unnatural angles, bruised, crying. She was saying his name. “Draco... please...” Her fingers feebly stretched towards him.

    “You’re not allowed to sully his name, blood traitor.”

    She cried for her father, and then for her mother, as Aunt Bellatrix continued her work. Draco watched, rooted to the spot, unable to do anything.

    Finally, Bellatrix was done. “Take her downstairs, Draco,” she ordered. “Heal up the worst of it, but do remember to leave some of her hurts.” She sauntered away.

    Draco took out his wand and slowly began working on Lovegood’s broken limbs. Thanks to his aunt, he was becoming a reasonably skilled Healer, but he couldn’t fix everything. He avoided her eyes. When he finished, he whispered, “I’m sorry.”

    He took her back, wishing they could leave, and knowing that he couldn’t save himself or his parents, much less her.

    As he locked the door, she replied, “I know.”

    Something splintered inside him. He glanced down at her face, and saw only forgiveness. He barely managed a nod, before he fled, burying her forgiveness inside.

    Today was about survival. Everything else would simply have to wait.

    *********************************

    Title:The Space Between
    Ratings/Warnings: 3-5th, very mild sexual situations
    A/N: Draco/Astoria; 496 words in Word



    He dreams.

    He dreams, and the terrors that rage in the dark are the last space between us, the only place where I’m still not welcome. Some nights I think he will tell me, share the burden of evil, confess his sins… but he never does. Instead, he sits on the edge of the bed, legs dangling, breathing and breathing and breathing until the monsters slide down and away, deep into the place where he keeps them.

    In five days I will be his wife.

    The nightmares have tormented him every night we’ve spent here, in his old bedroom. Narcissa insisted we stay at the Manor the week before the wedding, and we agreed, both to appease her and to help with last-minute planning and details. But now, as Draco jerks awake in the darkness again, gasping and shaking, I know the cost has been too high.

    He sits on the edge of the bed with his bare back to me, fists in the sheets and eyes on the floor… breathing, breathing.

    Behind him, I brush my palms against his back. You’re okay. I’m here. But I don’t say these things. Instead, I rest my forehead in the space between his shoulder blades. “Is it because we’re here?”

    He takes a long time to answer. “Maybe.” His voice is hoarse. “Yeah.”

    “Let’s go home.” I despise how I sound, weak and pleading, but I hate it here. Narcissa has done her best, but there’s a pervasive darkness in this house that awakens everything inside him he despises, everything he tries to forget.

    I kiss and kiss his back, drawing a line from his neck down. “Please tell me, Draco,” I whisper.

    He reaches for my hand, pulls my arm around him and kisses my palm. This is his answer: I love you, but no.

    “Will you never trust me?”

    He slinks back into the blankets and reaches for me. “Astoria.” He says my name as if he’d been the one to choose it, and I cannot resist him. I mold my body to his as he takes my chin and makes me look at him. “Of course I trust you. But to tell you...” He trails off, a pained look on his face.

    “I know you’ve seen terrible things… done things…”

    He winces and I press closer, fingering the hair at the nape of his neck.

    “Why do you stay?” he wants to know.

    “Is love not reason enough?”

    He moves his eyes around my face for a while, searching. “I honestly don’t know.”

    “I believe in second chances.” Yes, I do.

    His jaw clenches and his eyes—black in the darkness—glaze with unshed tears. “You wouldn’t if you knew…”

    I catch his lips in a kiss and rest my forehead against his. “Draco Malfoy.” Words struggle around the lump in my throat. “Try me,” I say, both a dare and a plea.

    And eventually, in a whisper-voice with noses touching, he begins to talk.


    *********************************

    Title: Of Weddings and Heartbreaks
    Ratings/Warnings: 1st-2nd, none
    A/N:

    I stood at the back of the hall, waiting for the opening chords of the organ that would cue my walk down the aisle. There were butterflies fluttering in my stomach, taunting me with the ideas of tripping over my long dress. One last quick look told me that everything was in place. I readjusted the flowers in my hand.

    The organ began to play. I took a deep breath and began walking down the aisle. I kept my eyes on the groom, using him as my anchor. Instead of approaching him, I moved slightly to my right. My place was behind the bride, not facing the groom.

    I turned and watched as the other bridesmaids walked up the hall and took their place beside me. Once all of them had fell in line, a hush fell over the crowd.

    My little sister looked beautiful as she walked down the aisle. Her long, white dress floated behind her. Her beautiful, golden curls were piled on top of her head. As she approached the altar, her face radiated with her perfect smile and sparkling eyes that saw only him.

    Seeing my sister like that almost made me feel happy for her. Almost. And I might have, had she not been about to marry the one man that had broken my heart.

    I plastered a fake smile upon my face as the official spoke of something about true love. Once upon a time, I thought I had true love, but it only ended in heartbreak that never had a chance to heal. He instead chose to find true love with my sister.

    I remembered every moment of our relationship as the wedding went on. The hesitant smiles shared at meetings. The flowers sent to my desk in the early days of getting to know each other. The shameless flirting at work functions: the smiling, the teasing, the soft touches that could easily been mistaken for accidents, but were so much more. Our first date. Stolen kisses in hidden broom closets away from prying eyes. The first time he told me he loved me. The first time I brought him home. Our last kiss.

    Before I knew it, both bride and groom had said “I do.” My heart broke into a million pieces for what I hoped would be the last time.

    We sat down to sign the documentation. The groom, then the bride, the best man, and, finally, me. I hesitated only a moment before signing. He noticed. As I stood up, we locked eyes. I turned my face away from him.

    It finally sunk in. Draco Malfoy, the only man I had ever loved, had just married my sister, and I, Daphne Greengrass, was going to have to get over it.

    ************************************************** **********

    That's it!!!!!

    Voting closes on Sunday 10th at 3PM
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  6. #6
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Brawlers – gahhh, this hasn’t happened before. I have a tie for elimination. Whilst one of the places has been filled (and the participant has been PM’d privately about this), I do need to eliminate one more brawler, so ....

    I need to conduct a flash poll to decide which of these brawlers will leave.

    Please vote for your FAVOURITE drabble out of



    Title:Never Meant To Be
    Ratings/Warnings: Third-Fifth Years, brief reference to sexual situations

    She wiped tears from her eyes as wind tossed her hair. A chill creeped through her body as she waited by the familiar lake. A warm bed was waiting for her, in a house filled with people who loved her, and yet she was out in the cold—waiting for him.

    Lowering herself to the ground, she rested her back against a large oak tree. The first time she’d made love to him had been against this tree. The bark had scratched her skin, but she didn’t notice until the next day.

    Footsteps crunched through the dead leaves. She didn’t move, only closed her eyes and begged for the strength to do what had to be done.

    “Hermione,” he said, stepping into the clearing—their clearing.

    She looked up, fresh tears streaming down her face.

    A look of surprise clouded his sharp, grey eyes. “What’s wrong?” he asked, falling to the ground beside her and pulling her into his embrace.

    “Draco,” she whispered.

    “What is it?” he insisted, cradling her in his strong arms. His touch felt so right—so natural.

    “I—I can’t do think anymore,” she told him. Pulling away from him in that moment was the hardest thing she’d ever do. She refused to meet his eyes. “We’ve done this for too long. It was one thing months ago when the world was falling apart. Everyone took comfort where they could find it. But we can’t mourn for a war we survived forever—none of us can. We have to go back to the real world.”

    “This is the real world,” he said, shaking his head as he reached out for her again. “I love you. I’ve always felt something for you, but we were so far apart. I acted like a prat instead of telling you the truth. But it was no coincidence that you were the one to find me that night. I was so lost in guilt and you pulled me back, Hermione—you. It was always meant to be you.”

    “No.” Tears blurred her vision. “It was never meant to be me. I made commitments, Draco. I have a life waiting for me. We both knew that when we started this. And your life can’t include me anyway, not really. Do you honestly think I’d be welcomed into your family? I won’t be the reason you lose your parents, Draco. I know what that feels like.”

    “I love you.”

    “I love you, too,” she admitted, “but it’s not enough. We have different lives.”

    “We can change all that. Hermione, please.” His voice broke.

    “I’m sorry, Draco. Ron proposed and I’ve accepted. This is the way it’s meant to be.”

    “No.”

    He reached out for her, but she got to her feet, moving out of his grasp. Again, she wiped the tears away, vowing they’d be the last she’d shed for Draco Malfoy.

    “Good bye, Draco,” she said before Disapparating back to her home and fiancé.


    ****************************

    Title: That Pompous Ass!
    Ratings/Warnings: Mild Profanity, Kissing, Draco being smarmy
    A/N: Hope you enjoy!

    You know that feeling you get on the back of your neck, when all the little hairs rise? Let’s just say that it wasn’t just the little hairs that were rising. Granted, we were at one of Dad’s friend’s house for a party. Many suitable gits- I mean men were on the prowl, and as Mum has told me, I am beautiful. But this one was different from all the others. He was dressed in a simple black suit with a dark shirt and tie, a fresh breath from all the gaudy, frivolous dress robes most pureblood wore.

    His steel grey eyes raked up my body, pausing at my chest. He met my eyes and smirked, clearly liking what he saw. Then he strolled across the room and held out a hand.

    “Care to dance?” he drawled. I took his hand and shrugged.

    “Might as well.” He led me onto the dance floor just as a slow song started.

    “I don’t believe I caught your name,” I said. He smirked again. Merlin was he arrogant. Of course I knew who he was. Draco Malfoy, former bad boy. Last I heard he was dating one of the Selwyn girls.

    “Draco Malfoy. I believe your sister was my classmate at Hogwarts.” I nodded.

    “Daphne. She always spoke highly of you.”

    “Really? How is she?”

    “She’s in America, negotiating for Dad. He has a deal with a potion supply company.” He looked me in the eye and kissed me. How dare he kiss me while we are in public. Does he have any dignity?

    I suppose Cecelia was right when she said he was a good kisser. But he had no reason to do that. I am not interested in dating, at least, not until I have completed my duelling teacher certification. I see no reason why I should become a vapid housewife who lives only to please my husband.

    He released me, smiling at me. It was a sweet smile, but he had no reason to do that. I took my hand off of his shoulder and slapped across the face. Then I stomped away, glad to get rid of that pompous ass.


    *One year later*


    “Do you, Draco Lucius Malfoy, take Astoria Camellia Greengrass to be your lawfully wedded wife?” He looks over at me. Wait, was he crying? He smiled at me as he said “I do.” We turned towards the magistrate, who waved his wand over us.
    “I know pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride.” Draco and I embraced. Happily ever after does happen after all…




    The poll will close at 3.30 pm on Monday 11th June

    Vote here



    Meanwhile, here is the new prompt.


    ‘Tattoo’

    Yes, that’s it.

    Except there's a small catch.

    You cannot write about the Dark Mark because that's toooooooo easy.


    Use this form for your drabbles

    PHP Code:
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    B]House:[/B]
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    B]Title:[/B]
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    B]Wordcount:[/B]
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    B]A/N:[/B
    You have until Thursday 14th June to send your drabbles to me. 8PM BST!

    Will post full results tomorrow after flash poll closes.

    Carole
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  7. #7
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    FULL RESULTS


    RESULTS! Scores are <for, against>

    Sly Severus (S) –Never Meant To Be <1,7>
    Lost Robin (R) –That Pompous Ass! <1, 7>
    Eleanor Lupin (H) – Regrets <1,1>
    Karaley Dargen (G) – Amends <4,0>
    Lolly Lovesick (H) – Redemption <6,1>
    The Owl (H)- Sisters <0,0>
    Majestic ginny – Picnics <1,2>
    Broken Promise (R) – Beetle Eyes <0,7>
    AidaLuthien (H)– Breaking <3,0>
    Weasley Mom (H)– The Space Between <2,0>
    Maple_and Phoenix_feather (G)- Of weddings and heartbreaks <1,1>
    Free_Elf (H) – Seen <0,0>
    The Cursed Quill (G)– The Lying Game <2,0>
    Theo paleye (S)– Draco’s Lament <2,0>
    Skarlett (H)- Distractions <2,0>


    After the Flash Poll (voting for favourite)

    Sly Severus – 15
    Lost Robin – 10

    So, sadly, we say goodbye to Broken Promise and Lost Robin. We shall hug and squish them both very hard. They take away five points each for the House of Eagles. The minxy Slytherin, Sly Severus survives another round.



    AAAAAANNNNDDDD The winner of week 1 was the

    LUSCIOUS, LOVELY, LUMINOUS

    LOVISAAAAAA (LollyLovesick)

    Who takes bragging rights for the week and five very shiny points for Teh House of Badgers.

    NB: It is very likely that your barmaid will mis-capitalise, mis-hyphenate, or on occasions misspell your name. Sadly, this is the result of running a bar and inhaling the Butterbeer fumes. Please don't take offence because none is meant.



    Madam Carmerta



    OH!

    And the Zach Smiths were

    SapphireatDawn
    Sainyn Swiftfoot
    Appollonius
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 06-11-2012 at 04:05 PM.
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  8. #8
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    WEEK TWO


    Below are thirteen drabbles. Please read carefully and then vote for your favourite and least favourite.

    The link is






    When voting, please bear in mind SPaG, characterisation and the prompt... which was

    TATTOO


    Voting will close on Sunday 17th June 3pm BST.



    ************************************************** ***********************


    Title: Debt
    Wordcount: 493
    Ratings/warnings: 1st-2nd years - none
    A/N: This is a rather strange drabble, but I hope it works!

    She got it done the Muggle way. It hurt, but it was worth it. The black ink, she told herself, represented debts repaid. She knew inside that it wasn’t true, it didn’t help, but it was better than doing nothing. Better than wasting the life she had worked so hard to preserve.

    E

    E was for the cruciatus curse. She had convinced herself that she was trying to keep them from death, but in the battle she learned that there were fates which were worse. She could never take back the pain; she couldn’t erase the suffering. She couldn’t erase it, but she could replace it, saying to herself that she was drawing it out by letting herself hurt. A tiny replacement, next to nothing in comparison, but better than nothing. The memory and remorse would live on in that single, sharp E.

    L

    L was for all the bad choices. She never got that Dark Mark, but she might as well have. She had killed. People with hopes and dreams, who had been loved, their lives had been ended by her own hand, hers alone. She had been a coward; she had let herself be intimidated, she had helped the Carrows. She had been weak. The L would be her permanent reminder of that.


    S

    S was for watching. She hadn’t just killed, she had watched people kill people. She had images burned in her brain that she could never erase. A small boy bleeding to death; a girl, maybe in her fourth year, shrieking with agony as people tortured her for saying what she believed; green light, so many flashes of green light, and so many people crumpling to the ground, lifeless, like the dolls she had played with as a child. The smooth, black curves of the S were for all the people who she had watched die, just like her sister. Her sister…

    A

    A was for her little sister. They had been very close, until her sister had joined the other side, fighting for Potter. She had avoided her, avoided having to hurt her, to fight her. But then in the battle, her sister had snuck back to fight, and a death eater had hit her with a fatal curse in a duel. She had to watch the light leave her eyes. She could have stopped the curse, she was certain of it, but she hadn’t. It was her fault Elsa was dead. Her fault.

    A is for all her fault.

    The evidence was forever on her body, stark black ink in her milky white skin.

    The day of her sister’s funeral, as the pinewood casket was lowered into the ground, Pansy Parkinson slid her hand beneath her shirt and traced the letters of Elsa’s name, forever written into her shoulder.

    Elsa’s death had taught Pansy something about bravery. Something she couldn’t forget.

    This was perfect. The perfect way to remember.

    Maybe, just maybe, she could live again.

    ***************************

    Title: Charlie
    Wordcount: 498
    Ratings/warnings: 1st-2nd/mild profanity
    A/N:


    The chill of the metal doorknob stopped her. It should have been easy, so easy, to turn it and open the door, but she couldn’t move. The solid lump under her hand might as well have been stone; immovable, unfeeling. Seconds passed as she stood, willing herself to just open the door.

    It shouldn’t be so difficult. She had done this so many times before, with Ron, Bill, even the kids. She had lost count of how many times she had needed to fix a smile onto her face and walk in to Harry’s sheepishly apologetic face cushioned by those hideously green pillows.

    This was Charlie though. Strong, solid Charlie who never got sick, and never ever got hurt. He just didn’t belong in a hospital; always looking awkward and out of place, even when visiting other people. Too healthy, too alive somehow, for those narrow corridors and sterile rooms.

    “Damn it, just do it!” A quiet whisper to reawaken her frozen limbs, then she opened the door with gritted teeth and fake cheer.

    A lump fought its way into her throat, as big and solid as the doorknob had been. If it hadn’t been for the familiar tattoos running up his arms, she wouldn’t have recognised the man in the bed. He looked so small, broken, even weak.

    The smile dropped from her face when she realised he was unconscious. It had taken her hours to get to the hospital; he should have been awake. Frowning, she pulled the hard, uncomfortable chair close to the bed and took his hand in her own. The fingers of her free hand traced the patterns and lines of the artwork contouring the muscles of his upper arm.

    She remembered how she had walked in on him without a shirt, when he’d just got the first tattoo, and he made her swear not to tell their mother. She remembered when he would come home from Romania for the holidays and the first thing she would do was check for new tattoos. She remembered how he could make the dragons circling his bicep chase each other with one casual flex.

    She remembered how his arms had been the only thing to hold her up at Fred’s funeral and how securely they had later held her newborn children.

    These colourful arms weren’t meant to lie still on a green hospital sheet.
    Her fingers kept tracing, around and around, until they found an empty spot, the size of a Sickle, with only freckles for decoration. A half-forgotten memory echoed through her mind.

    “Are you ever going to stop getting your arms tattooed, Charlie?”

    “Never, Ginny. Not until I run out of room.”


    The lump blocking her throat cracked, letting though a sobbing laugh.

    “Come on, Charlie, you have to wake up. You haven’t run out of room yet.”

    She got no response. No flickering eyelids, no squeeze of her hand, no easy grin. Only the regular rise and fall of his chest.

    ********************************************

    Title: Fighting
    Ratings/Warnings: None, 1st-2nd Year
    A/N: tatto: 1. a knocking or strong pulsation
    2. a signal on a drum, bugle, or trumpet at night, for soldiers or sailors to go to their quarters

    Lub Dub. Lub Dub. Lub Dub.

    I can feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. The pulsating of my heart rings in my ears and thumps against my chest. It’s a steady rhythm that reminds me that, even though I am walking through the valley of death, I am alive. I promise myself that as long as I am alive, I will keep fighting.

    Thump thump thump thump thump.

    I hear the steady pound of footsteps that can only mean one thing. Someone is running, straight at me, judging by the increasing volume.

    I turn and pull out my wand, but I am too slow. I feel sharp teeth sink into my skin. Nothing else exists besides the excruciating pain radiating through my back and into the rest of my body. It’s the first time I wish for death, for surely death is easier than this.

    I feel the whoosh of a spell as it goes over me, hitting whatever is on me. I feel the weight lifted from my body.

    Lub Dub. Lub Dub. Lub Dub.

    Through the pain, I can feel the steady pulsation of my heart.

    As long as I’m alive, I’ll fight.

    I try to get up, but the pain is too much. I know I barely moved at all. I focus instead on the steady rhythm I can feel in my chest. Slowly, I sink into it and, soon, the world fades away to black.

    Sniff. Sob. Sniff. Sob.

    I can hear crying. I suppose this means I’m dead. Why else would someone cry over me?

    Over the crying, I can hear excited chatter. I hear people going up to each other and hugging each other. This can only mean one thing: the war has been fought, the battle won. I try to open my eyes, but I can’t.

    Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

    I can hear people leaving. It must mean they are heading to find somewhere to sleep. The steady footsteps are a comfort to me. They are my tattoo, telling me that the day is done, the battle is over. They tell me that I can go to sleep. I can finally stop fighting.


    *****************************


    Title: Freedom Tattoo
    Wordcount: 499
    Ratings/warnings: 1st-2nd year/none
    A/N: This wasn't suppose to be a romance... but when pen hit paper I just knew I had to write Tonks!

    That day was the first time he saw it. He had yet to admit his feelings to her, or even to himself out of fear of hurting someone, but at that moment he couldn’t deny it – he wanted to spend every minute of his life with her. Why it took a simple thing such as a tattoo for him to realise, he didn’t quite understand, but the memory was always fresh in his mind.

    They were in the kitchen of her parent’s home, in need of some comfort after a long day of Order business. They were silently making tea and she waved her wand a little too drastically and almost knocked over a bowl of sugar causing her to reach out quickly to try and save it. Her shirt rose, only slightly, but enough for him to see the rainbow filled butterfly sitting on her hip. And for the first time in days he smiled, doing what he believed was impossible and forgot about the war.

    She weakly smiled back, embarrassed by her clumsy nature. It sadden him to see her uncomfortable; he had never known Nymphadora to be insecure about herself.

    He tried to cheer her up by saying with a grin, “That’s a nice tattoo.”

    Her eyes widen with shock but her mouth slowly crept into a smile. She chuckled and lifted the bottom of her shirt enough to show the ink again.

    “Like it?” she asked and he nodded.

    “It’s beautiful,” he said.

    “My father took me not long ago to get it. It’s meant to represent him in many ways… and my mother. I guess it could signify me, too. It’s very much a family tattoo.” She smiled up at him and he couldn’t help but wonder why she hadn’t told anyone about it. If she had it done recently, how come nobody knew? He felt a pang of jealousy for not knowing. He wanted to know everything about her.

    “How does it represent all of you?” he asked.

    “Well, butterflies symbolize freedom. My dad knows he must escape when the time comes. This is to show his freedom – everyone’s freedom from the war. It shows my mother’s escape from her Pureblood hell. And the changing colour on the wings is me. No matter where we are, no matter what happens in this war, we will always be together here.” She let her shirt fall over the image, but left her hand resting over its place.

    Remus stared at her for what seemed like an eternity. Dora meant everything to him as her parents did to her. He wanted to hold that freedom she was talking about, to be free of his curse, of his insecurities. He wanted the freedom to hold her hand through the war and make a family all their own. He wanted to be a part of that tattoo, to be with her until the very end. And if he wanted all that, then he knew he must love her.


    *****************************

    Title: Butterfly Blue
    Word Ct: 499
    Warnings: none
    A/N:

    “This your first time?”

    Hannah laughed nervously as the man mixed the color and set his wand aside. “Is it that obvious?”

    He shrugged, presenting a vial of color and some torn parchment for her inspection. “Have I got it right?”

    As she studied the brilliant blue in the tiny bottle and the image he’d sketched so quickly, memory overwhelmed her senses. She heard the blue-and-white flutter of smallish wings, felt them carrying her back to her mum’s garden where her child-self was dragging a toy rake through a patch of loose earth.

    “Hannah,” said her mum in a reverent whisper. “Look!”

    Hannah shivered, lifting her eyes to the man’s face. “It’s perfect.”

    He seemed pleased, and in no time the procedure was underway.

    “So, a memory?”

    Though she knew he was only trying to distract her from the pain of the spell, something about him made Hannah want to talk. “My mum and I were in the garden when I was small.” She closed her eyes, letting the pain of the spell propel the memory. “She showed me a butterfly that had landed on my dress. It was beautiful—bright blue with patches of white… it was gone in seconds, but when I looked back at Mum…” Hannah paused, swallowing against the rising ache in her throat. “It just… felt important.”

    “Cool.”

    One word, but he sounded sincere and she was glad she’d told him. She’d be on the train to Hogwarts in a week for the start of her final year. September was always a beginning of sorts, and these days, Hannah simply couldn’t bear the thought of a beginning that didn’t include her mum. She’d needed to do something, to mark this time somehow. Then she’d remembered the butterfly and known exactly how she wanted to preserve that memory.

    When it was all over, she gathered her money.

    “Will you show her?”

    The question startled her in spite of all she’d told him. “She was murdered.” She didn’t try to conceal the edge in her voice. “Almost a year ago.”

    The man’s face softened as his eyes searched hers. “This is on me,” he finally told her.

    “What? No, I can pay--”

    “No charge,” he insisted.

    “That’s not right—your artwork was perfect. I want to pay.”

    Then he leaned in and whispered urgently, “My dad’s been running from them for months.” The muscles in his jaw worked hard against his obvious anger and fear, and Hannah’s heart clenched in empathy. “An artist like me can’t do much to fight them, but today I can help keep their victim’s memory alive, can’t I?”

    Hannah couldn’t speak at all; she only nodded, hoping he’d understand something of the gratitude swelling in her chest.

    She stepped outside and onto the pavement, warmed by the magical sting on her skin and the sad understanding of a stranger. He’d reminded her of something important: there was more than one way to remember, and more than one way to fight.

    ***************************************
    Last edited by Equinox Chick; 06-14-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Title: Around the World and Back Again
    Wordcount: 499
    Ratings/warnings: 3rd-5th years; sexual situations
    A/N:


    Cho Chang has the map of the world wrapped around the left side of her body. It starts below her ribs and down to just above soft swell of her hip, stretching far across her back, and forward to her navel—sea to sea and back to front and all around the world, again. Dean likes to kiss it when she’s lying on her side at night and the sheets are damp upon their sweat-stained skin.

    He’s never asked about it but he’s pretty sure she told him once, a few months earlier, while they were sitting in the Leaky on Victory Day. He was watching all the faces and the way they seemed to shift between sombre greys and joyous reds. She told him that they were all part of something more. That they are part of something more.

    She’s right, he thinks. It’s something the wizarding world lost sight of, once. It’s something they shouldn’t forget.

    His tongue traces the black-blue-grey lands in the black-blue-grey light. She always pretends to sleep through it but the small pucker-smile of her lips gives her away.

    He starts in the same place.

    The Pacific.

    It’s so open. He has a picture in his mind of bright blue water and a blinding yellow-white sun. He thinks of reading books at primary school, of tropical islands and pirates and a man with a wooden leg and treasure.

    It all seemed like magic back then. Perhaps that’s how he first knew. Perhaps it was within those childhood pages that he knew he was different and that he was part of something more.

    South America.

    He thinks of the football players he used to idolise. They seemed like magic, too. Somewhere inside of him, they still are.

    Dean takes her to a match, one day. Quidditch-player Cho Chang sitting in the stands with a maroon-blue scarf and shaking her head at the silliness of it all. So they just kick the ball around and everyone screams, then? Yes, yes, that’s pretty much it.

    She ends up screaming along with everyone else.

    His tongue loops across Africa, up to Asia and Europe

    They visit her grandmother one weekend in London. Mrs Chang lives in a small flat above a jewellery shop and all the walls are painted with a quiet green that helps the nerves lessen. He eats chicken dumplings in soup and ends up taking more of them home in a plastic box covered in foil.

    He finishes them all later that night.

    Britain.

    His lips move up to where Hogwarts must be.

    He thinks of Victory Day and sitting in the Leaky, of blue seas and treasure islands, of football, Quidditch, and a maroon-blue scarf, of delicious chicken dumplings.

    There is a map of the world wrapped around the left side of Cho Chang’s body. It’s a part of themselves that the wizarding world once lost sight of.

    But Dean won’t forget. He won’t forget they’re part of something more.

    Of something truly magical.

    *************************

    Title: Mudblood
    Wordcount: 500
    Ratings/warnings: 3rd-5th, injury


    Someone is knocking on the door and calling my name, but I do my best to shut them out. I close my eyes and take deep breaths as I try to work up the courage to open my eyes and face my reflection. I don’t even remember how I made it to my dormitory and the bathroom. One moment, Avery and his gang were pinning me to the ground, pointing, guffawing, and the next I was locking the door behind me and sinking to the floor.

    Go on, I tell myself. It’s only my own reflection. I’ve seen it before. I’m a Gryffindor. Can anything they’ve done to my face be more embarrassing than a Gryffindor unable to face a mirror? Before I can allow myself another moment’s hesitation, my eyes fly open, and my mouth instantly goes dry. This is my face. It must be – it’s me standing in front of the mirror after all. But I don’t even recognise myself under the layer of writing. They’ve printed the word on my skin countless times with their wands, in crude lettering. There’s barely an inch that isn’t covered by it. Mudblood. Mudblood. MUDBLOOD.

    My grandfather was a Muggle. I never even met him before he died, and yet the drop of his blood in my veins is enough to taint my own blood irreversibly in their eyes. Furiously, I plunge my face into the water basin, scrub until my skin feels raw and then some. And still, even before I look up again to check, I know that nothing has changed. When the word is once more reflected back at me, a hundred times like a screaming accusation, I break down in tears.

    Distantly, the calls from the other side of the door reach my ears. Lily.

    “Go away,” I croak between sobs. “I don’t want to see anyone.”

    “I don’t care. I’m going to blow this door up if I have to.”

    I don’t know if she means it, but I do know that she’s not going to give up, so I open the door.

    Lily stands there and just looks at me wordlessly. She swallows all the insults and curses she must be aching to hurl at my assailants and gingerly brushes her fingers against my face. I shiver at the light touch of her hand, but don’t recoil. If anyone can help, it’s Lily.

    “They must have used a modified Permanent Sticking Charm,” she murmurs. The word permanent sends a shock through me. “So that the writing sticks to your face. Like a tattoo.”

    “Can you undo it?” I ask, barely even wanting to hear the answer.

    “I’m sure Professor Flitwick can.” Lily gives me a searching look.

    “No. I don’t want anyone to know.”

    “You don’t even want to tell McGonagall what they did?” She is appalled. Hot tears burn in my eyes. I can’t tell anyone except Lily. Telling them would make it real.

    “That’s all right,” Lily says softly. “We’ll figure something out.”

    ************************************

    Title: Rumor Has It
    Wordcount: 485 (I think)
    Ratings/warnings: 3rd-5th years; References to sexual situations
    A/N: I am without a word processor at the moment. Therefore, I'm not entirely sure about the wordcount, but I did try to count it by hand several times... The wordcount may also be 498... Anyway, here it is.


    Long ago were the days when Celestina Warbeck and Kirley Duke dreamed of performing. After a short relationship throughout their last year of school, they had left each other behind to pursue their careers. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't be much of a problem. However, it was a big problem for her ...

    Celestina could not see what was so downright great about The Weird Sisters.

    In previous years, fans had been perfectly content to sing along with her lovely inspirational lyrics. However, that seemed to be a thing of the past. How could she possibly allow her fame to diminish at the smooth voices of a rugged group of teenagers? The idea was utterly ludicrous. Positively mad! Obviously, something would have to be done about this.

    Publicity. Celestina needed publicity.

    Many would say there was plenty of publicity to go around, but Celestina blatantly disagreed. There most certainly was not enough, considering the fact that her rivals had dominated the pages of the last three issues of Witch Weekly and had been all the talk on the Wizarding Wireless Network for a week! Her manager needed to hear about this.

    ***

    Celestina apparated to her parents' home, landing on their doorstep with a loud crack! After consulting her manager, he had assured her that he would help her get some juicy gossip out in the wizarding world. He had told her that he knew of a talented reporter with a sharp eye for rumors, who could definitely help her out. She was pleased that her interview with Rita Skeeter had gone well, and would now be having dinner with her parents.

    She walked in the house and pulled off her expensive cloak, before entering the kitchen. She was surprised to find an unfamiliar owl waiting for her. Frowning, she reached forward and grabbed the owl's message. After scowling at the owl and shooing it away, Celestina carefully unrolled the parchment and gasped. It was the newest copy of Witch Weekly featuring a dreadfully embarassing picture of herself and Kirley Duke from their school days. Letting out a strangled cry, she flipped to the page titled:

    Duke and Warbeck: Talented Musical Artists or Secret Lovers?

    "Fancy seeing you here, Celeste?"

    Celestina whipped around with a high pitched squeal to find the mischevious blue eyes of The Weird Sister's lead guitarist looking at her.

    "What do you think you're doing in my parent's house?"

    "I'm only here to declare my undying love for you," he drawled, smirking.

    "I barely know you! Get out of this house!"

    "Oh, but apparently you know that I have a tattoo on my bum shaped like a Qauffle..."

    "I did NOT need to hear that."

    "Well, the rumors say that-"

    Because of nothing more than a mere set of rumors, the secret love affair of Celestina Warbeck and Kirley Duke began. Rumor has it she found out exactly what that quaffle looked like ...
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  10. #10
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Title: Forever On His Arm and In His Heart
    Wordcount: 410
    Ratings/warnings: 1st-2nd Years, character death
    A/N: Apparently, the Tattoo Artist is an actual shop on Diagon Alley. It makes an appearance in the second Lego Harry Potter game.


    Walking down Diagon Alley, George trembled at the familiar sights and smells. Even from a distance his store looked sad and abandoned. He’d been away for a month. This was the first day Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes would be opened without one of its co-founders. The thought still made George weak in the knees. How could he run the store without Fred? How could he do anything without Fred?

    Trying to keep his mind focused on business, he continued towards the store. He was thinking about inventory when a sign caught his attention: QUICK, PAINLESS, HYGENIC, TATTOO ARTIST. Was that always there? He should know what businesses were on the street, but the building was a mystery to him.

    Without making a conscious decision to do so, he entered the small building. Inside it was dark and cramped. The tiny room he found himself in gave an eerie vibe that normally belonged in Knockturn Alley. Realizing he had no reason to be there, George turned to leave.

    “Can I help you with something, sonny?” a husky male voice asked.

    When George looked back a man cloaked all in black stood behind a small wooden table.

    “I don’t think so,” George replied.

    “You sure?” the man persisted. “You don’t have a girl you want to commemorate with some ink? Maybe a loved one you want to remember?”

    The last suggestion caused George to reconsider his hasty retreat. Maybe that was the reason he’d wandered into this shop in the first place.

    “Can you do a name?’ he asked. “Just a name?

    “Of course, I can boy,” the man replied, stepping out from behind the table. “What do you take me for? I can do anything your little heart desires. I am the Tattoo Artist.”

    “Right,” George replied. This was the type of guy he and Fred would’ve had a lot of fun with. In some ways, he was even reminiscent of Filch. He was certainly equally attractive. But on his own, no jokes came to mind. “I want a name on my left forearm.”

    The wizard raised an eyebrow. “Left forearm?”

    “That’s right,” George said, knowing Fred would appreciate this part. “When Death Eaters look there they can be reminded of evil and pain. When I look there I’ll be reminded of love and a brother lost too soon.”

    A few minutes later, George left the shop with Fred’s name forever embossed on his arm and a slight smile on his face.

    *****************************************

    Title: Scars
    Wordcount: 456
    Ratings/warnings: 1st-2nd, none
    A/N: I hope you enjoy the drabble.

    After the Battle of Hogwarts, the clean up, the funerals, Cho Chang turned her back on the wizarding world. She was a half-blood, with one Muggle grandparent, even if her parents were a witch and a wizard. Even if she didn’t have much experience with the Muggle world, she had some. She moved into Muggle London, exchanged her Galleons for pounds and tried to put herself back together.

    No one knew her here. The streets were quiet. The Muggles had no idea that in Britain, there had been a war... that children had fought and died in that war.

    Everyone had suffered that year, but everyone else bore their scars on the outside. Fred had lost an ear to Snape. Hermione had the scars that Bellatrix had carved in. Terry’s left hand had been severed.

    Somehow, Cho had escaped unmarked from the War. She had been safe from the Carrows, because she had graduated. She had been safe from the Snatchers and the Ministry investigations because she was a half-blood. Her family had been safe: her mother was a half-blood, her father was a pure-blood. Her Muggle grandmother had died years earlier. She looked at Mrs. Tonks and wondered why she had to lose her husband, her daughter and her son-in-law, when the Changs had been completely spared. Cho had come back to Hogwarts to fight, but she hadn’t suffered - not like the others.

    Cho stood, looking at herself in a full length mirror. She wasn’t wearing a thing, but her skin still looked near flawless. The Healer said it was a miracle that she had healed without a scratch. She just felt disgusting.

    Cho needed something. It wasn’t fair that she was the only one without marks on her skin. She picked up a pen and started drawing on her skin. In her mind, Cedric was Qudditch, Hufflepuff, dreams, first love, first kiss, and first loss. She drew broomsticks, a Snitch, badgers, hearts, and butterflies. Michael was Potions, books, Ravenclaw, second chances, starting over, but losing again. She kept drawing until she had covered her body with memories and ink.

    After a few days, the ink faded away. She needed it to be permanent.


    * * *

    “Aren’t you a little young to be getting ink? Law says you have to be at least eighteen.” The tattoo artist gave her a skeptical look.

    They had all been young. Colin had just been sixteen.

    “I’m nineteen.” She was old enough to fight, to die, to kill... and she had.

    A few hours later, Cho walked out of the shop with a bandage around her right wrist and a badger inked on her skin. It hurt, but it felt right.

    It wasn’t enough, but it was a start.

    ****************************

    Title: How Vain, Romilda.
    Ratings/Warnings:1st-2nd years/none
    A/N:

    It’s no use, Ginny thinks irritably, snapping her book shut. The common room is too noisy, making it impossible for her to concentrate on her revision. Getting up from the plushy red armchair, she decides to head towards the library.

    “Ginny!” sings a familiar, annoying voice.

    The red-head sighs and stops walking. It takes her every bit of self-restraint not to turn around and Jinx the girl who had called her; instead, Ginny turns around and smiles at her with the most sugary smile she can muster.

    “Yes, Romilda?” she asks sweetly.

    The brunette flashes a grin, baring her super-white and flawlessly straight teeth. “How are you, dear? And how’s Harry?”

    Of course, Ginny thinks, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. Ever since the day Harry kissed her (Ginny’s heart flutters at the thought), Romilda had been following her around incessantly, like a dog behind its master, trying to get her to reveal secrets about their relationship. This, on top of all her other worries, annoys Ginny to no end.

    “Harry and I are both fine, thank you for asking,” she replies through gritted teeth. “Now, if you don’t mind, I need to revise for -”

    “Oh, Ginny, you wouldn’t believe the rumours I’ve been hearing about Harry,” Romilda says dramatically, ignoring her. “I can’t help but ask -”

    “Bet you could,” Ginny mutters under her breath.

    “- is it true that he’s got a Hippogriff tattooed across his chest?”

    Ginny raises an eyebrow. She can’t believe how vain Romilda can be; people are dying all around them, and all she finds worth talking about is Harry and his tattoo, which Ginny is pretty sure doesn’t exist.

    “No, it’s not.”

    “But Marissa from Ravenclaw said -”

    “Well, if you must know, it’s a Hungarian Horntail,” Ginny says derisively, hoping that it’ll shut her up. “I believe I’d know better about my boyfriend than some Ravenclaw Harry doesn’t even know.”

    Romilda’s already large eyes widen further. “Seriously? And I heard Ron’s -”

    “He might have a Pygmy Puff for all I care!” Ginny snaps, losing her patience. “I’ve got to revise for my OWLs, Romilda, so if you don’t mind -” and without waiting for an answer she traipses away, whipping her hair backwards with the back of her hand, leaving the other girl speechless and staring after her.

    **************************************

    Title: Perfection
    Wordcount: 476
    Ratings/warnings: 1st-2nd years, slash
    A/N: Started with "tattoo" and went from there. Hope this is okay even though it doesn't feature an actual tattoo.

    What do you do when perfection stands before you?

    When what you had thought could only exist in dreams, suddenly appears just as real as the mundane surroundings?

    Before he came, Albus had thought perfection and appeal couldn’t exist in the same being. To him, a beautiful face had to be marred by at least one big flaw, in order for the allure of the entirety to manifest itself. Otherwise, he’d find it uninteresting and slippery and it would slide from his grasp. He had thought that if he ever came across a perfect face, he wouldn’t be able to comprehend it. That it would pass him by, because there was nothing in it to catch his eye.

    Then that blonde man came along and all his presumptions were blown out like weak candle-lights.

    From the moment he first saw Gellert, his image burned in his mind. Like a tattoo on the back of his eyelids, a crooked smile and a knowing stare, mocking him every time he closed his eyes…

    Eyes bright enough to burn him. Lashes like a curtain in front of them. Veiled gaze, clear and unsteady at the same time. His posture and height were like that of a tamed predator’s. He dressed and carried himself like a dapper tramp and his facial expressions could contain just as much boyish glee as stately pride.

    Equal amounts of youngster and gentleman in him.
    A deep and slightly hoarse voice, which at times swung higher, a way of expressing himself like no one else possessed.

    Gellert, only eighteen and more of a man than anyone Albus had ever met.

    Pulsating light and magnetic darkness.

    A man so intensely alive.

    Albus had lived in books, in his dreams and in his mind – Gellert lived in reality.

    He wasn’t a dream. He wasn’t a schoolboy fantasy. He was a human being of flesh and blood and dancing eyes, breathing the same air as Albus, laughing with him every day, sweating in the same warmth, so close.

    Close, but never close enough.

    They could talk for hours, shuttle-cocking light phrases and hidden meanings between them. Words thrown, chasing each other, coiling and curling while illusions unraveled around them. A language that no one else would understand. The mediocre world couldn’t reach them. They flew higher, farther away each day, shooting upwards to meet the stars.

    And every night when Albus turned to leave, he did so with an ache and a song in his heart, knowing those eyes would continue to pierce him through the night, for they were now branded onto his retinas. Almost like he’d been staring into the sun. Two points of fire to burn him until he could be there, with him, again.

    What do you do when perfection stands before you?

    You make every last effort to remain in its presence.

    ***********************

    Title: The Stag and The Dragon
    Wordcount: 472
    Ratings/warnings: 3rd-5th years, for references to substance abuse
    A/N: This was very fun to write.



    “You’ve done what?” Ginny said into the two-way mirror.

    “It’s not like Muggle ones,” said Harry guiltily from the other end. “It doesn’t hurt or bleed or anything. Well, not much anyway.”

    Ginny snorted with a surprising elegance, gained through extensive practice. “What’s it of?”

    Harry looked away sheepishly. “It’s a Hungarian Horntail, right across my chest.” The picture shifted as Harry, taking a deep breath, tilted his mirror to show Ginny the offending area.

    Ginny raised an eyebrow. “Very nice I’m sure. Inspired by my comments in fifth year?”

    “It was Seamus’ idea,” countered Harry defensively. “He said that when you first came out with that, he got Dean to design one for him. He never actually got it done - kept wimping out - but he still had the picture lying around. His flat wasn’t far from the pub we were in at the time, and he’d left a window open, so he Summoned it for me.”

    “And you were drunk enough to make use of it,” stated Ginny, trying not to laugh.

    “Um, basically, yeah.”

    She rolled her eyes. “That’s the trouble with leaving the stag do 'til the night before the wedding; there's no time to deal with stuff like this. I did warn you. I had hoped that having Percy there would keep a lid on things. I specifically asked him to keep an eye on you.”

    Somehow, Harry managed to look even more sheepish. “Actually, well, George sort of got rid of him.”

    This time Ginny couldn’t contain a burst of laughter. “How on earth did he manage that? Percy with an obligation is like a Niffler with an engagement ring.”

    “And who could forget that?” Harry laughed. He shook his head and went on. “Actually, George may or may not have forged a note from that French girl Percy’s been going on about.”

    “What, that friend of Fleur’s he met when he went out to France? The one who must have been the only non-Veela there?”

    “Yeah, that’s the one. Audrey thingamajig.”

    “Chastain, I think. So Percy dashed off to see her?”

    Harry nodded with a grin. “He had had enough to drink at that point to he believe exactly what he, or in this case, we wanted. Even Victoire would have known the significance of the smirk on her Uncle Dordie’s face.”

    Ginny smiled fondly into space. “Bless the spoilt little sweetheart.” Remembering the business at hand, she focused on Harry again. “Hermione’s given you the hangover potion?”

    “Yeah, about ten minutes ago,” confirmed Harry. “She’ll be busy today, between sorting out me and Ron, getting herself ready and looking after you.”

    “I don’t need looking after, thank you very much,” Ginny exclaimed. She paused, and a wicked grin spread across her face. “I’m not the idiot with the hangover and the dragon tattoo!”

    ***********************************


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