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Chapter 1 : 1. Life Imitates Art
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Its hard to believe a year has gone by. So many things happened, maybe it feels longer, maybe not. A year, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, a lifetime and yet nothing all at once.
Some days I expect to wake up and be back in the days when everything was simpler. This year, this one year has made everything so empty, so different. Life has changed, and yet I wake up expecting it to be a year ago, that Christmas Eve that changed everything for ever.
I expect to look out the window and see Blaise standing on the street, close my eyes and see Ginny laughing in the living room, see the world through rose colored lenses, back to when everything was do or die and we never knew the meaning of compromise.
Somehow she changed all that. One night, one moment and she walked into our lives.
And yet it seems like yesterday Luna was sitting in our living room.
But now....now she lies cold and dead in her grave, and we are forever changed.
(One year ago....)
Draco Malfoy stood quietly gazing out at the street below him. Down the street a homeless man lay on the cold ground. An expensive car came screeching around the corner causing the man to jump back, giving the driver a rude gesture before settling back in on the sidewalk.
"Can you believe this?"
Draco turned slowly to look at his roommate. In the dark it was hard to make out Dean's silhouette, but Draco knew he was there. "Believe what?"
"This!" Hurrying his way across the room Dean shoved a sheet on paper into Draco's hand.
The blonde arched an eyebrow at the man before looking at the paper in his hands. "Eviction, huh? Does this surprise you?" His gaze jumped up to Dean. "He said he'd evict us. We were warned last week."
"But we had a deal."
"Deals change Dean. You're smart enough to know that."
"Maybe you could ask your father-"
"I'm not asking my father anything. You know he won't give us money anyway, no matter what. Disgrace to the family, I am."
Dean sighed rubbing the side of his face feeling a sudden pain under the skin. "This is crap."
"Couldn't agree with you more."
"He used to live here! How can he just-"
"Preaching to the choir I'm afraid. I feel the same way, but I'm not the one who can keep us here, am I?"
The edge of Dean's mouth turned up slightly. "Well, you know, you could always offer him a good time."
"Dream on. Neither he nor I are into guys."
"Hey, sex is sex sometimes, Draco."
"Then why don't you offer him a good time as you call it?"
Dean let out a bark of laughter that made Draco want to flinch. "Not into guys either I'm afraid."
"Well than what in Merlin's name made you think of that idea?"
"Grasping at straws here mate. Desperate times you know."
Draco's attention turned back to the street, the moonlight hitting his hair making it seem almost silver as opposed to his usually white blonde color.
The phone rang from across the loft. Dean made his way hastily across the room, tripping over notebooks and cups scattered across the floor. "Hello?"
"Hey guys! Guess who's back?"
Dean smiled and turned to Draco who was casting him a glance, eyebrow arched. 'Blaise', he mouthed. The edge of Draco's mouth turned up slightly before he turned back to the window. "Hey, when'd you get back?"
"Just now. Throw the key down, mate."
Dean put the phone back into the receiver. "Draco, toss the key to Blaise."
Draco lazily grabbed the spare key from the table and made his way out to the fire escape. He glanced down over the edge.
Blaise stood in the street looking ever like the traveler. On his head sat a wool cap that reminded Draco of something a child would wear, his jacket was worn and dirty. He smirked. "Love the bum look."
Blaise smiled, waving at arm. "Toss the key down will you? I'm freezing my balls of out here."
"Need to grow some first to freeze them off!" Carelessly Draco tossed the keys down to Blaise before disappearing back into the loft.
Blaise twirled the keys in his hand for a moment before holding them tightly in his hands. He hoisted his back up higher onto his shoulder, began across the street and was blocked by a guy. "Got a cigarette?"
Blaise regarded him for a minute before he nodded. "Sure."
As Blaise reached into his pocket the man grabbed his arm. Blaise looked up and had a second to think before he realized what was going on: he was being robbed. He swung his bag hard into the guy's gut and took off running, down the street and into an alley.
The guy was momentarily out of breath, but soon recovered, running off after Blaise, his friends behind him. It didn't take long before they caught up with him, and soon Blaise was laying bleeding on the floor, his head spinning.
"Do you really think that he'll kick us out?"
Draco turned lazily back to Dean. "Said he would didn't he? Normally that means that he will."
"But he's was our friend-"
"Was. Things have changed Dean. We've all changed. Too good for us now I expect."
"But-" The lights flickered and went out. "Shit!"
"Fucking place. Might be a blessing to be kicked out come to think of it."
"I'm telling you Draco, you could go to your father-"
"No, Dean." He made his way across the room, flipping over the box to the circuit breaker. "It wouldn't do any good." He flipped the circuits over and over again, but to his dismay nothing happened. "Cut off our power I expect."
"Where the hell is Blaise?"
Draco merely shrugged. "Downstairs I expect."
"He should be up here by now."
"Lazy, that's all it is."
"We should go look for him."
Draco gave him a scathing look, but grabbed his jacket and followed him down nonetheless. As they reached outside the cold air hit them like a sledgehammer. "Fucking winter."
Dean glanced up and down the street. "Do you see him?"
"No. Out getting drunk I expect." Draco's eye skipped to the corner as a shiny black car rounded the corner. "Shit, here he comes."
"Who do you think?"
Sure enough the car parked across from the building and out of the car stepped a red haired man. He was wearing a crisp business suit, expensive Draco noticed. He smiled at the two men, locked his car for precaution, and made his way across the street. "Evening."
"What are you doing here Ron?" Dean actually spat it at him much to Ron's surprise.
"Came to see if you have the rent yet."
"Funny thing about that." Draco perched on the hood of one of the many broken down cars that lined the street. "We weren't supposed to have to pay rent here."
"Yeah, but thing change. You know that Draco."
"We're your friends!" Dean gave him the most scathing look he could manage.
"I know that mate, but my boss-"
"Your father in-law," Draco corrected.
Ron acknowledged that with a slight not. "Yes, my father in-law wants to charge rent for the building now." Ron seemed to think about it for a moment. "Maybe I can help you."
Draco and Dean exchanged glances. "What's the catch?"
"Always suspicious, aren't we?" Ron shook his head. "But you're right. I want you to do something for me."
He motioned to the wall behind him. "See that?"
Dean and Draco glanced around Ron's shoulder. On the wall were several posters for a protest. "What about them?" Dean furrowed his eyebrows.
"Ginny's having a protest down the block to stop the building of a new business investment."
"That's because it will take away the home of dozens of.....homeless people."
Ron shrugged. "Not my concern I'm afraid." Without even looking at the poster Ron reached up, ripping it off of the wall. "I want you to convince her to call it off."
Both loft tenants scoffed. "She's your sister," Draco reminded him.
"She won't listen to me," Ron told him. "But Dean, she'll listen to her boyfriend."
Dean and Draco exchanged another look before Dean's gaze skipped to the ground.
"She is still your girlfriend, right?"
Draco smirked a little. "Oh no, our little Dean got dumped."
"Oh, for who?"
Dean cleared his throat. "Harry Potter."
Ron let out a bark of laughter, ripping down the rest of the posters. "No accounting for taste I suppose." As he tossed the paper in a nearby trash bin he turned back to the other two men. "Look, this is horrid, I know, but I have to do what I have to do. Get her to call off the protest, or come up with the rent money. Those are the only options I can give you." He shrugged casually as he made his way back across the street. "You have two days guys! Work on it!"
Dean and Draco watched in disgust as Ron made his way down the street in his shiny car. "Thinks because he married money he's better than us," Dean spat.
"Money brings out the worst in us."
"Draco, I didn't mean-"
"Hey, no worries." He smiled slightly as he slid off of the car. "No harm."
Dean cleared his throat loudly. "I'm going for a walk. Remember to take-"
"I know Dean. My medication. Got it."
Dean smiled slightly. "Right." He nodded his head slightly at his loft mate before heading down the street.
Draco wathced Dean for a moment before scracthing the back of his neck. "Fucking place," he muttered returning to his loft and attempting to start a fire.
Blaise came to in the alley feeling soft hands touching his cheek. "Are you okay?"
His vision began to clear as he sat up, clutching his head. He felt something wet and sticky. When he pulled his hand away from his face he found it covered in blood. He cursed quietly.
"Are you okay, hun?" the voice said again.
The girl in front of him was looking at him with narrowed, worried eyes. She looked vaguely familiar but he couldn't place where she had seen him before. Her blonde hair hung swinging around her face. She reached out to touch his face but he stopped her by grabbing her hand roughly. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
She didn't seem to believe him, but nodded, pulling her hand away. She cast him a small smile. "I'm Luna."
She nodded slightly, reaching over with an arm. "Come on, lets get you up. I'll tend to your wounds, then I have a meeting to go to."
"Yeah, a support group. Come on, I'll tell you about it."
Blaise glanced at her thin, pale hand for a moment before taking it and letting her help him up.
Draco stood silently in his loft. The attempts to start a fire worked only momentarily, and the apartment remained cold and dark. He sighed. This place was a piece of crap, but it was home. The idea of Ron trying to take it away from him was almost too much to fathom.
A loud knock sounded at the door. Draco sighed. He figured it must have been Dean. He slid his way over to the door, pulling it open with one violent movement. "What'd you forget?"
But the person at the door wasn't Dean.
Leaning against the doorway stood a girl with curly brown hair. She smiled slightly, holding a candle out in her hand. "Got a light?"
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