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Dragon hunting
by Liz Barr
Feb 2002
rating: mild R for language
characters: Not mine. Rowling's.
summary: Draco Malfoy slums it.
feedback: appreciated.

He strolls through the club as if he owns it, and who knows, maybe he does. He looks around with a proprietary air, master of all he surveys.

You know that he's dangerous, but you can't stop looking at him.

He's followed by five men, some young like him, one older.

The older one meets your eyes. You flinch. He gives you an almost imperceptible nod, maybe a greeting, maybe an acknowledgment. Maybe an apology.

You know this is a bad sign.

The companions are nothing compared to *him*, though, he outshines all of them. He outshines everything and everyone in the room, and he knows it.

He'd hate you and everyone else here if it weren't beneath him. Instead of hatred, he settles for contempt: far more mellow.

He despises all of you. He's slumming it tonight.

You can't help but notice that his men have taken positions by the exits. The bouncer has vanished.

The music is still pumping, the lights are flashing, but no one's dancing anymore. You're all watching him.

He looks around. He is the prince tonight, this is his ball, and he plans to do a hell of a lot better than an ash-covered kitchen maid.

You felt beautiful when you got dressed tonight. You felt special. You felt *worthy*: worthy to belong in this club, in these clothes, with these people. Now he looks you over, and next to him, with his silver beauty, you're a frump, and you're grateful for it.

He has rejected you. He moves on: to a beautiful blond who you've quietly hated all evening.

You don't hate her anymore. But then, there's no point -- whatever glamour she possessed has worn off now. She is cheap, tawdry, worthless.

Or perhaps, you think out of nowhere, *another* glamour has been put over her. She is less desirable with every passing minute.

He looks back at his companion, the older one.

"Nice try, Sev." His voice is drawling, careless. "I put up with your games on condition that you don't interfere with mine." His eyes narrow. "So why the fuck are you interfering?"

The man says nothing, but when you look at the blond, she is beautiful once more. She lacks the radiance she possessed earlier, but she is lovely again.

She's still not good enough

He looks her over, slowly. You want to hit him, but you don't move. No one moves. This is like one of those nightmares, where you need to run, hide, escape, but your legs won't carry you.

In the end, he turns away.

"Fucking muggles," he says. "I don't now why you brought me here, Goyle."

One of the younger companions looks away.

He turns to leave, but pauses at the older man's side. He speaks softly, but you can make out his words:

"I keep your secrets for you, Sev. To be frank, I don't give a fuck about the bloody war. But if you come between me and what I want..."

The man says nothing. Leaving, he meets your eyes once more, but you cannot read his expression.

Later, you find that the memory is inexplicably hazy, but some instinct keeps you away from the club. It's unlikely that he'll return, but you've escaped the dragon once.

Next time, you might not be so lucky.


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