Chapter image by wayward @ TDA
After five rounds of fire whiskey Avery was drunk as a skunk. Regulus made him lean on a stone wall while he stretched his arms. He had dragged Avery all the way from Hog’s Head after they had been kicked out because of drunken brawling. The bloke weighed like a ton of bricks and mumbled incoherently about tooth fairies and handbags while flapping his arms like a bird.
Perhaps he moonlighted as a fairy.
Twenty stones of slytherin badassery stealing a tyke’s teeth would send any parent screaming in terror. No wonder, if there were bribes involved. Avery looked more like a designated baby snatcher.
Regulus snorted at his own thoughts and shook his head in despair. His mate couldn’t hold liquor much better than a measly first year. It was a fucking disgrace. If they hadn’t known each other since the sandbox wars, he would have left him right there. No question about it.
He turned his head the other way when Avery seemed a shade too green and spewed his dinner all over the dungeon floor. Disgusting. Maybe he should have wrangled a couple of house elves to do the babysitting duty. With an annoyed flick of his wand, he cleaned up the mess.
Wilkes and Rosier didn’t even notice the minor barfing incident as they were arguing about pro and cons of having a pure-blood girlfriend.
“I’m telling you mate, pure-blood princesses are not worth it.” Evan Rosier bellowed on top of his voice.
“The minute you cop a little feel, the mothers will hold a luncheon size of the Wizengamot. The next thing you know, they are debating about colours of wedding decorations, flavor of the cake, you will be stuffed into a suit and on a road to perdition in front of friends and family. I would rather face a dragon.”
The reason they had gotten shitfaced was implied. Poor Wilkes had a mother who had discussed about her son’s future with his bride-to-be’s family. Instead of being a good boy and agreeing to father a brood of genetic miracles as soon as he would graduate, Wilkes had broken up with his girlfriend and gotten hammered in a matter of hours. Now he was dreading breakfast and expected a howler on a morning post.
Still it was better than biting a bullet, Regulus thought and ran the hand through his black hair.
“Well, at least you would have gotten lucky. And she didn’t look like a mountain troll.” He tried to console his friend.
“I should have seen it coming.” Wilkes mumbled and took a swig from a bottle of whiskey.
“She was far too nice to begin with.”
“You did the right thing, mate.” Rosier gave a clap on his friend’s back. “I would have run for the hills as well.”
They rounded a corner in an erratic fashion. Rosier was the first one to come a full stop. Wilkes staggered at his heels and with a muffled ‘Eek!’ took a nose-dive to the floor. Avery slobbered all over Regulus’s shoulder and all in all, they must have been quite a sight.
A slender girl stood in front of them. She had long dark hair and a pretty mouth hanging open. It was hard to say which party was more bewildered by the odd encounter.
Avery belched loudly and a sound reverberated around the deserted dungeon hallway. Wilkes and Rosier were staring at a girl eyes glazed in drunken stupor. What an excellent group of idiotic mates he had, Regulus thought. Fortunately the girl wasn’t wearing a prefect’s badge. At least there would not be any detentions.
He heard a quiet sniffle and took a second look of the girl. Her brown eyes looked puffy and there were wet stains on her cheeks. She tried to wipe tears dry with a sleeve of her over-sized sweater and look defiant in front of the boys, but her lips trembled ever so slightly.
He would have rather been anywhere else than near a blubbering girl. In fact, he was pretty sure that if he ever met a boggart, it would be something that would weep bucketfuls of tears while wailing until his ears hurt.
Regulus cringed at the thought and tried to hold Avery upright.
“Evening.” Rosier was the first one who was able to utter a coherent thought.
The girl just nodded and stared at them with an arched eyebrow. She definitely wasn’t impressed by them. Most Hogwartian girls would have giggled or at least blushed to tomato red in front of four strapping Slytherin boys, but not this one. She sniffed once more and after calming down a bit threw a pointed look to Wilkes who still lounged at the floor like a bloody dimwit he was.
“Are you too drunk to stand up?” She asked Wilkes with a slow and steady voice, like speaking to a three-year-old who wasn’t as bright as his parents would have liked him to be.
Wilkes scrambled to more vertical position. He wobbled a bit and took support from the wall.
“You’re not a Slytherin.” This pearl of wisdom came from Avery who barely managed to keep his eyes open.
“Excellent deduction skills, Watson,” she said.
“Who the hell is Watson?” Rosier looked like he was trying to ravel a difficult arithmancy problem.
“Never mind.” She sighed. “Are you lot going to just stand there or can you make some room and let me pass?”
“It depends.” Wilkes had a suggestive glint in his hazy eyes.
“On what?” She looked quite frustrated. “What could it depend on? Your capability of performing higher brain functions while inebriated? Because really, I already gathered that.”
“Now, don’t use the big words, if you don’t know their meaning.” Regulus chuckled. He found himself amused by the way his mates and himself got scolded by the girl.
“I mean that you could give us a reason to let you pass.” Wilkes took a couple of unsteady steps towards her.
She was clearly dismayed by the idea. She backed away until she was against the wall. Wilkes just winked to the other boys and sauntered after the girl while flopping his sandy hair off his eyes.
Regulus sighed and shook his head. If Wilkes was already trying to rebound, he should have found at least an easier target.
“Get off me, idiot!” That should have been Wilkes’s last warning, but the twat didn’t get it.
“Ow! The fucking bitch! She slapped me!” Wilkes moaned and staggered back with a murderous look in his eyes.
That was enough of this stupidity. Regulus decided to end it, before it resulted in a full-fledged bloodbath, an unpleasant hour with a headmaster and a probable suspension. All the things he liked to avoid. The Dark Lord had assigned him to keep an eye out for happenings inside Hogwarts and now his dumb mates were this close to annihilating the plan.
“Wilkes. She doesn’t want you.” He said with a sigh. “It’s been a long night and I’m sure you will find much more alluring choices from our common room. So let the wench go and go get some.”
Wilkes stared at him stupidly. In the end Rosier poked him to the right direction and Avery followed after them burping abc’s. Tomorrow morning was going to be interesting. Hopefully Wilkes wouldn’t remember the girl and retaliate the slap with any of the dark hexes he enjoyed giving out.
Regulus grabbed her by the wrist and started to drag her down the corridor towards the entrance hall. The girl was struggling, but he drew her along him anyways.
“Do you always keep such a charming company?” She asked him after failing to withdraw her hand.
He ignored the question. The end of the hallway was in sight. The girl would survive rest of the way on her own. He removed his hand from her wrist gingerly.
“Look pipsqueak, the way out is that way. Just run along now.” He nodded towards the door that led to the entrance hall.
“Don’t call me that. My name is Bess Merriwether. Use it. And just because I’m a Hufflepuff you have no right to call me names.” She was a cranky one for sure. Pretty, but far too cranky.
“Fine, pipsqueak. You have a name. Good for you. Just don’t start bawling again.” He couldn’t handle more tears tonight. Merlin, let there be no more tears for the rest of his life. Women were such complicated creatures. He pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.
“I should have remembered that only Puffers are dumb enough to run around the dungeons without someone as a back up.”
He pushed the girl towards the door. Sooner he would be rid of her, the better.
“Why would I need a back up?” She asked with the wide eyes.
He couldn’t believe his ears. She was either foolhardy or just plain fool, he thought. Or maybe both. The dark times were creeping up on them and she thought that the dungeons were safe place to play at nights. Must be downright peachy to live in the imaginary world like that.
“Here’s a tip: stay out of the way. Not all Slytherins are as willing to play nice as I am. In fact, don’t expect me to be nice either.”
“You’re not very scary, you know.” She flashed him a brief smile.
The girl simply couldn’t take a hint. What kind of nutter she was?
“I’m not trying to. If I tried, you wouldn’t be there anymore.” He said and opened a door for her and waiting for her to go through it.
“We’ll see.” She walked through the door and waved goodbye to him.
“There’s a reason why people don’t expect much from Hufflepuffs. Don’t try to break the mold, Merriwether. You will just get a headache.” He said after her and slammed the door shut before the girl could answer.
Freaking Puffers. No sense at all.
He walked back to the Slytherin common room hands in pockets and thinking about how at least one disaster was avoided. Too bad that the girl was a Puffer. What he was thinking? The Puffers were off limits. It was almost as bad as thinking about boning a squib. He shivered. Maybe he needed to find some friendly Ravenclaw bird with a generous attitude to rectify the matter.
A/N: First of all, everything you recognize belongs to JKR. Watson belongs to Arthur Conan Doyle.
To all you fair readers, what do you think about my little story? What about my weird bunch of slytherin death eater wannabes? Any guesses why Reggie is creeped out by crying women? Any thoughts would be welcome to that little box... =)
Big thanks to my wonderful beta Megan. =)