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I. Inebriated

Drink it all away, numb it down to none
Stay awake tonight and wait for the sun
You say you hate your life, you ain’t the only one
Let your frustration out the gate and watch the pony run
One double, for the hunger and the struggle
Two for the fool tryin’ to pull apart the puzzle
Three now I smile while I wait for your rebuttal
By the fourth shot, I'm just another child in a bubble
Atmosphere "Pour me Another"

You examined the cup you held in your hand. It was a simple glass cylinder with a crude handle. No beautiful, sleek design. It wasn’t embellished in the least. There were scuff marks in various places, and it was chipped slightly near the bottom. There were a few flecks of residual where it had not been washed and dried well. Absolutely perfect.

The pub that you were seated in was rather dark and dingy. It was a welcome change from the high class bars, with polished chrome counters and music playing softly from the speakers which you usually frequented. No one networked here; few even recognized you.

You pulled the hood of your black cloak up and over your distinctive fair locks; The Malfoy Blonde. If anyone here was even remotely sober, they were bound to notice it. This might mean they could possibly recognize a picture from the Volderian Herald as it tended to publish articles with a photograph of a Malfoy at least every other day, if not in every issue. Glancing around, you chose to err on the side of caution, taking out your wand and performing a quick spell. After a distorted glimpse of yourself in the glass you concluded that your spell had worked properly; your hair, normally white-blonde and lengthy, was now a choppy brunet.

"One glass of your strongest whiskey, if you will," you drawled in your regular manner. The barmaid's eyebrows shot up, high into her fringe. You quickly noticed your mistake and covered for yourself by coughing and switching to a gruff, somewhat uneducated tone.

The barmaid delivered your drink in due time, though not nearly as quickly as a house-elf would have at the Manor would have done. You began to sip slowly. Soon, you took to gulping down each drink the waitress brought like a shot, one after the other. Bad things happened when you were so terribly pissed, but you took no notice to prudence and continued to throw the drinks down your throat.

A cloudy haze settled on your vision and your brain. Your tongue took on a life of its own. These were the times when you loved anonymity, nobody gave a damn if the bloke in the corner got totally pissed and ran his mouth. Whereas if you were you were Draco Malfoy, the cover story of the Volderian Herald would be guaranteed for a month. The imaginary headlines were already posted on the cork-board in your mind.

A short, stubby man sat down on the rickety stool next to your own. It wasn't until he began to speak that you acknowledged his existence. Through your drunken stupor, you eventually deduced that his babbling on belladonna root was brought on by his drink.

"So tell me," the man slurred his words heavily, "whaddya thin' the wor't potion is?"

"Felix Felicis," you answered promptly, without even a moment's hesitation. Neither of you were intoxicated enough to dismiss the fact that this was an extraordinary answer.

However, you chose to give no further explanation until he asked. Inevitably, the man's curiosity won over his little restraint.

"Well, are ya gonna say why?" The man wildly gesticulated, his hand jabbing the air punctuating his words in his incredulity.

You opened your mouth after several moments, the man nearly wetting himself in anticipation. You licked your lips carefully whilst pondering the situation. He probably wouldn't remember anything in the morning anyway, judging by the bleary-eyed look he was giving you. Of course, that could be part of your own bleary-eyed look as well.

"Sometime it don't know wha' lucky. 'Specially when you are you' an' stupid." Your English began to slip as your drink slipped down your throat.

"Ya mean- ya a'tually tried Felix Felices?" the nameless stranger's eyes widened like huge saucers.

In this part of London, nobody could brew the lucky potion, nor could they buy any of it. If they had been able to, they wouldn't be there. Suddenly, the man's regard for and interest in you soared. However it soon dropped again as he heard your cautious rejoinder.

"Mah, 'coursent," you slurred, "wase distan’ cousin, be'talka family on' he was foundou,"
The man's smile dropped, yet he still pressed for more. By now, you were far too inebriated to prevent your mouth from answering. Suddenly, the floodgates of your compartmentalized mind crashed through with the weight of a thousand bricks. Your light head tumbled into a deluge of sounds, sights, and most of all, sensation.

The rain pounded hard and cold against your window pane. You pulled the soft green cotton sheets off your lean, pale chest. The dank weather did not bother you.

Although almost everyone and their mother had been fervently praying for sun and a warm breeze today, you rejoiced at this unfavorable turn. It was symbolic. The tides would turn soon. You were leaving your schooldays, going onto bigger and better things.

Blaise Zabini, your dormitory mate, gradually began to wake. He called out groggily, "G'Morning," he rubbed his eyes, "shit!" Blaise sprang out of bed with all alacrity. Apparently he had just realized today was Graduation. You followed his lead, rose, and began to don your dress robes, making sure each button was securely fastened. A Malfoy always looked his best.

Standing side by side, Blaise and you ran wet combs through your hair. Each blonde lock on your head was put impeccably in place until your appearance positively reeked of wealth and superiority.

Once Crabbe and Goyle, your minions at best, finished dressing after a fair amount of shouting on Blaise and your parts, you descended down the steps to the green and silver Common Room.

A hearty luncheon feast was served and the bitch of a Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall, made her remarks. They were most likely aimed at 'inspiring yet sober in lieu of the current situation,' but, in your opinion, they were simply insipid. What self-respecting person would ally themselves with a stupid Hufflepuff? Or worse, a foolhardy Gryffindor? You were steadfastly certain in your belief of the Dark Lord's victory. Little Potter and his 'brave' friends stand a chance, no matter how many allies he had, as they were all more or less useless. Hell, you were working assiduously to become a Death Eater so you could help finish Scarhead, Weasel, and the Mudblood off. That would truly be a glorious day for the wizarding world.

Each name was called in alphabetical order. You were not even aware of the procedure until you heard a loud cheer from your house table and saw your mother clapping just slightly more vigorously than her usual soft, elegant applause. You stood and walked with your head held high to the front, where the headmistress presented you with a relatively worthless slip of paper, certifying you had successfully completed your magical education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Oh the joy.

You were soon let out onto the grounds for a reception. The food set out, though not particularly sophisticated, was scrumptious and you ate with as much vigor as could be considered decent manners. The same could not be said of your minions, however. You moved amongst with the old Pureblood crowd, accepting their congratulations politely. Gifts were given all around and finally you met up with your mother again.

"Draco, my little dragon," she spoke softly, but proudly, "well-done. You are officially an adult. I congratulate you. Yes," she paused as her eyes clouded over in her own thoughts, "very well done." She placed a parcel in your hands, and motioned for you to open it. You carefully untied the strings revealing several boxes.

The first box was from your Aunt and Uncle Lestrange. Inside was a gruesome looking torture device, with several knobs and a strange glow in the core. Typical Bellatrix. Various other relatives that were wanted by the incompetent ministry had sent packages in their absence, as well. Your own father, Lucius, had sent you a gilded wooden box lined with velvet. Several large flasks of terribly rare and difficult potions were stored inside, such as Amortentia, Veritaserum, and Felix Felicis among others. But the last gift you received was the most precious of them all. It was just a small piece of parchment that read:

Well done. I expect you at the East Wing of the Malfoy Manor tonight at eleven o'clock. Be precisely on time.

-The Dark Lord

Visions of duty and power welled up inside of you. Tonight was the night you would become one of his most trusted, an honour above all others. You checked your pocket watch, five-thirty PM. You had four and a half hours to pass away before you started an hour of mental preparation for your meeting. To ensure the fates would be on your side, you gulped down a vial of Felix Felicis. After a short period of random meandering, you felt an inexplicable urge to wander alone near the lake.

The black, murky waters stirred with the odd creatures that lay underneath the surface. A large tentacle covered in pads slipped out of the water and crashed back in with a large splash. A soft whimper reached your ears. Your brain told you to continue on; you were in no mood, nor ever would be, to help whimpering people or small woodland animals. Yet, your feet carried you toward them. Eventually you gave up trying to break the path and went along with the potion’s effect as guidance.

As you neared the voice, it became certain that the potion must have been faulty. The voice was human, female. On a night such as this, with the impending meeting with the Dark Lord, surely the lucky thing to do would not be to go comfort some wench. Damn! Now you would have to wait until the potion wore off. You massaged your temples as a disconcerting thought manifested in your mind. You drank enough to last you through the night, you made certain of that. Why shouldn't have you? It was a gift from Lucius Malfoy. He procured only the best. He would never give you a faulty potion. You shook your head in disgust. No, that was even worse. If it wasn't faulty, it went against all logic. Even in the world of magic and strange occurrences, the world still had its patterns, and this was, most certainly, an unusual one.

You approached the figure and muttered a stream of curse words under your breath. The figure was one certain graduate you really did not desire to see tonight. The potion had to be faulty; there were no two ways around it. Tonight was going to be one of the oddest and longest of your life.

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