"Another one, Dickie," he slurred, his tongue thick with vodka and whiskey. Jiggling his empty glass, he lifted his forehead from the bar and called, "Dickie! 'nother one for the road, maaaate."

He was supposed to be in Hogwarts. It was his graduation day, and he was supposed to be there. Celebrating, enjoying the moment when he had officially won his wings to be a full-pledged wizard.

Instead he was here, in a god-knew-where place that reeked of vomit and vermin, drinking until every single bloody thing he ate since last Monday was on the floor.

He wasn't even asked for any type of identification, to see if he was of age or not.

He was in that type of place.

"That'd be two galleons."

Wincing, he felt his pockets and, unsurprisingly, found them bare. "I've… I know I'd… two galleons? Bloody—here!" Grinning triumphantly, he fished the two galleons from his breast pocket and slammed them on the table. "Gift from my mum, 'ya know. 'sposed to be my graduation. Have ten more here, but seems like I… bloody hell, shut me up already."

"Gladly."

He smiled as the stench of vodka and whiskey assaulted him. There's something curious about the smell, like it was some noxious potion that'd be his cause of death tomorrow. Hell. "To the new world… and all that shit." He took the refilled glass, chucked it down his throat. Fire burned his guts, making him cringe and tear up and damn.

Damn, but it felt good to not give a fuck about tomorrow.

"'f you ask me," he muttered, bending until his forehead kissed the wooden table, "'f you ask me, I think he's in the library right now. I think him, he's—he's in her room, 'cause he's allowed to go there, unlike me and Harry, we're not, nooooooot, 'cause we can't, and Harry, he's in the library, 'cause she stayed there. Mmmm." He closed his eyes. "'sposed to be our graduation."

The alcohol was dulling his senses, until all he could feel were the sickening, pale throb on his temples, the sinking, hollowed pit in his stomach. Oh God he was going to vomit and his mouth was watering already, but immediately - so fast he saw stars - he shoved the ice inside and for a moment, just for a moment, he was saved.

"You 'kay there?"

"Mmm," he muttered, munching on the ice, feeling them liquefy in his mouth. They tasted of vodka and whiskey and death.

"Gave me a pile of books last month," he said, eyes drooping until he saw nothing. He leaned forward until hair covered his face. "It was stupid, really. Told her they're worthless because we won't study because we've to fight and we won't graduate because we've to fight and we won't live because we, we have to fight because we're friends with Harry fuckin' Potter and that's why we're goin' to die, and she did, she did die, and fuck.

"Fuck."

He was doing a damned good job of drowning himself. On alcohol, on anger, on anything he can drown himself in, because through that he might be able to forget, and wouldn't that be bloody great?

"Typical," a shrill voice came from beside him, and he heard the drag of wood against cement and of leather being sat upon. "Typical of you to find the cheapest place on the planet to kill yourself, Weasley. Ernie, Bloody Mary."

"'kinson." He didn't open his eyes, but he laughed. "Whynyou not'n Hogwarts?"

The scrape of glass against wood. "Thanks, Ernie." Clink of coins, a throaty chuckle. "What for? All I'll see there are black curtains and banners of red and gold celebrating the life and death of a Gryffindor, and damn if I'm gonna tolerate that. I won't."

He opened his eyes and looked at her. "It's not just any Gryffindor," he said. "It's…" His throat hurt, damnit. "It's her."

She turned her head to look at him. "I know. I don't care." She chunked the liquid down her throat, messily wiping away those drops that trailed on either side of her mouth. Grinning, she slammed the glass on the table. "Cheer up, Weasley. Just think, she's somewhere up there, looking down on you and guiding you like some shining beacon of light or shit. I heard all Gryffindors go to heaven." She shrugged. "Except maybe those who have Slytherin boys on their menus, so maybe she's looking up on you then."

"Fuck off."

She grinned, a predator on the prowl. "A sensitive spot there, Weasley?"

"I said—" He placed both hands on the bar and pushed his chair away. "—fuck off."

Mistake.

The moment his feet touched the ground his mouth came swooping down and his hands groped his stomach and fuck, fuck, everything he ate came rushing back.

"Manly," she noted, toying with her celery stick. "Might want to clean that up."

Clarity was something he didn't need, but it dawned on him. It dawned on him while he was sprawled on the floor, his head a feet from the ground and his elbow supporting his weight from the waist up. It dawned on him while he shook and heaved.

"Hermione," he rasped, in a voice hollow and old.

"Wouldn't she just love this?" she said, spinning her chair until she was facing him. "Three of her men just eating their balls up in grief over her death. It's all so wildly romantic, you and Potter and—" She smirked. "—Draco pining after her, but now she's dead, so what'll happen next I wonder?"

The next moments were fast and blurry. He stood and grabbed her and shook her so hard, he heard her teeth rattle. But then she laughed, like what he did was the funniest thing in the world.

"In denial, are you?" she whispered, grinning madly. "Let me help you with that. Your darling Hermione. Dead. Dead dead dead. She's not coming back, Weasley. Never." She leaned closer to him. "Ever."

She struggled to free herself, and succeeded. She succeeded because now he was shaking so hard, his fingers lost their grip on her.

She was dead.

"Here's to your new world, Weasley," she muttered, taking her Bloody Mary and tossing him a wicked grin.