‘I think it is forbidden. There must be some moral and emotional law they are breaking by doing this.’
Blaise snorted. ‘They’re breaking every magical law there is.’
‘I’ll drink to that,’ Alicia replied, raising her glass. Blaise followed her example and both sighed. They were lost in thought for a moment, Alicia downing her drink faster than was healthy, while Blaise sipped slowly, muttering to himself. Eventually Alicia groaned and slammed her now empty glass down on the bar.
‘It’s paedophilian from her side,’ she exclaimed.
‘That’s not a word,’ Blaise said smugly. ‘It’s paedophilical.’
‘That’s not a word either,’ Alicia called out offended.
‘It sounded better than yours,’ he said.
Alicia slouched on the bar, thumping her glass on it a couple of times.
‘It’s paedophilic or paedophiliac,’ the bartender smirked, as he refilled their glasses. Alicia winked at him, causing Blaise to roll his eyes.
‘Amen,’ Blaise said cheerily, clanking his glass against Alicia’s. She spared the bartender another longing look, than turned back to Blaise.
‘It’s unnatural,’ she murmured.
‘Immoral,’ Blaise sighed, shaking his head.
‘Defying all logic,’ Alicia nodded.
‘And they’re dragging us down with them!’ Blaise snarled. Alicia nodded despondent.
‘Look at us,’ Blaise cried out. ‘Sitting here like old mates. I don’t even like you.’
‘Neither I you,’ Alicia spluttered.
‘I don’t even want to be seen in public with you,’ Blaise continued.
‘Neither I with you,’ Alicia whined.
‘Yet here we are. A Slytherin and a Gryffindor. The beautiful and mighty Blaise Zabini and the Alicia Spinnet. Shame on us!’
‘The Alicia Spinnet?’ Alicia asked insulted.
Blaise shrugged casually. ‘Couldn’t think of any adjectives which weren’t insulting.’
She slapped him, but there wasn’t any power behind it. They had been drinking for quite a while already.
‘We’ll become social outcasts thanks to them,’ Alicia moaned, clutching the sleeve of Blaise’s blazer. ‘Don’t let them do this to us.’
She looked at him pleadingly, her eyes a little teary. It made him want to laugh, but he didn’t. The situation was too serious for that.
‘We could always bail,’ he suggested.
Alicia froze. Her eyes seemed to dry up in an instant and she awfully slowly turned her head towards gaze. It reminded him of the Exorcist and he shivered slightly.
‘What did you just say?’ she asked in a low voice. Her disapproval was obvious.
‘You heard me, Spinnet,’ Blaise replied.
‘You’re not serious, are you?’ She looked at him wide-eyed now. She was starting to go teary-eyed again.
‘Of course I am,’ Blaise snapped. ‘Do you have any idea what they’ll say about us? Are you that desperate to become a social pariah?’
‘I bet it will be nothing compared to what they’re already saying about them,’ Alicia shot back.
‘Hardly,’ Blaise muttered.
‘And we won’t really be social pariah,’ Alicia said. ‘We’ll always have them.’
‘Yay,’ Blaise said dryly.
Alicia didn’t reply, just banged her glass on the bar again. She signed the bartender for another drink, then leaned back. She looked at Blaise, not saying anything. Her face was blank; she only sighed.
‘What?!’ Blaise snapped eventually.
‘It’s unnatural,’ she said, ‘and weird. And strangely discomforting. It’s not logical –‘
‘Paedophilic,’ the bartender said, bringing Alicia her drink.
‘Yes, paedophilic,’ she smiled, ‘though not really, because they only differ two years.’
The bartender shrugged and Alicia winked at him. Blaise cringed.
‘Just get on with your story,’ he sighed.
‘It’s wrong in every sense,’ she continued. ‘But it’s also what they want. What Angelina wants. She says he's not the smug coward he was at Hogwarts. She says that beneath his cold exterior and extreme blood prejudice there's actually a very intelligent man. Says the differences between them is what made her fall for him in the first place.’
She smiled ruefully.
‘I told her that her children would be evil, conniving Slytherins with platinum blonde hair.’
She let out a pitiful chuckle.
‘Have you ever seen that, Zabini? Black kids with platinum blonde hair?
‘I said that there was a big chance they’d blow up the house while practicing Dark Arts in the cellar. That they’d want skulls on their wallpaper and that her parents-in-law would probably try to kill her in her sleep.’
Blaise smirked. ‘They won’t even wait for her to fall asleep.’
He signed the bartender for another drink.
‘I told him she would definitely cheat on him with a Weasley, resulting in red babies which could never be his. Told him she was not the sort of person we socialise with, that he was out of her league. She would want to braid his hair, perhaps even force him to grow dreads. I told him she would want to live among Muggles and eventually would hire one of them to murder him or permanently disable him so she could get his family fortune.’
‘Did he believe you?’ Alicia asked.
Blaise shook his head.
‘Did she believe you?’
Alicia shook her head.
They both laughed and in a bold move Alicia laid her head on his shoulder. He pretended not to notice.
‘At least, Zabini,’ she said, ‘we know that we did whatever we could. They’ve obviously got their minds set on this and all we can do is support them.’
‘Spoken like a true Gryffindor.’
Alicia punched him.
‘You better be nice to me,’ he told her. ‘From now on I’m the only person who’ll talk to you.’
Alicia raised an eyebrow.
‘We’ll be shunned forever. People will throw bananas at us wherever we go. We’ll be Those-Two-Who-Let-It-Happen.’
‘That’s a bit extreme,’ Alicia said.
‘Is it?’ Blaise asked. ‘Is it truly?’
He smiled at her and she rolled her eyes.
‘We have to do this,’ Alicia said. ‘For them. They need us. Angelina needs me. Most of her family and friends won’t even talk to her anymore. You know George called her a Blood Traitor because she’s marrying an ex-Death Eater.’
‘And Draco’s being called a Blood Traitor because he’s marrying a Muggle lover.’
Alicia snorted. ‘Oh, the irony.’
He ruffled her hair, simply because he could.
‘Everyone tried to break them apart,’ Alicia said passionately. ‘Everyone was against them. They still are against them. But that didn’t stop them. They kept going, they kept running. And when they couldn’t run anymore, they crawled.’
Blaise resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He looked down and suddenly found Alicia’s hands holding his.
‘They can’t crawl any longer,’ she said, looking into his eyes intensely. ‘We need to carry them, Blaise.
‘We need to carry them.’
Blaise raised an eyebrow.
‘You’re drunk,’ he stated.
Alcia sighed. ‘Maybe a little. But I’m serious. We’re their friends. They need us.’
‘Even though it’s disgusting, immoral and paedophilic?’ Blaise asked. 'And all the other things we've covered in the past hours?'
Alicia was still holding on to his hands.
‘Yes, it's also outrageous, aberrant, wicked and just very wrong,’ she said, ‘but it’s what they want and they’re our friends.’
‘Technically they are not my friends,’ Blaise said. ‘Only Draco is.’
Alicia slapped him again. He was glad she had to let go of at least one of his hands to do so.
‘Don’t worry,’ he smirked. ‘I’m not bailing out. I was just making sure you knew what you were getting yourself into. I mean, you could be next.’
Never!’ Alicia exclaimed.
Blaise shrugged. ‘After we do this I’ll probably be the only bloke who’ll still talk to you, so it’s not like you have any options. Marrying me will be the only chance you have of reproducing.’
‘That’s not true!’
‘Well, you’re not completely atrocious or anything but I know for a fact Weasley, Jordan and Davies refuse to talk to you since you’ve chosen Angelina’s side, so I think that kind of limits your options.’
Alicia couldn’t help but to laugh.
‘Fine,’ she gave in with a chuckle, ‘we’ll make it a double wedding.’
‘I knew you would give in to my charm eventually,’ Blaise smirked. ‘But I have to refuse. I’m not as stupid as Draco. I do believe you’ll hire a Muggle to kill me.’
He looked at the clock on the wall and then back at Alicia. It was almost time.
‘One more for courage?’ he asked as he signed the bartender to come over.
‘One more for courage,’ Alicia agreed.
When the church bells sounded that afternoon, the newly-wed couple, Draco and Angelina Malfoy, walked outside, their fingers entwined and content smiles on their faces. Behind them were the only two witnesses to their small wedding ceremony. Their steps were unsteady, their laughter just a bit too loud, but despite their drunkenness and their aversion against the whole marriage, they were there. That was what friends were all about.