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It's time to play the music! It's time to light the lights! It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!
Max hardly knew what he was singing; it was a song he’d heard someone humming once when he was out as a child with his grandparents in Aberdeen. Of course, they had steered him away from the catchy little song and the Muggle children. That might have been the end of the song, except he had heard it again, not that long ago in a pub in London. He’d snuck out – of course – just the other weekend with a few mates and heard a drunk and rowdy group of young men chanting the same catchy tune. He may have even joined in that night, yelling the song with the drunken collegiate men. It had been stuck in his head every since. Who were the Muppets? And why did they have their own show? Well, whatever they were, he was glad they had this little ditty he could sing between shots of firewhiskey. He’s already sung the song once. It had four verses. So this, he counted, tipping back the shot glass, was his fifth.
He sang the song slow, leaving time between each verse. By now, he was drunk. He was weaving the song from the Muggle boys with the latest hit from some one-hit wonder Wizard rock group. He couldn’t help it; feeling sorry for himself in this moment. He hadn’t talked to his best friends in weeks and when he finally saw him at that stupid party Christopher Whitley held – sure, he took a girl home – he hadn’t talked to Balthazar either. It seemed everyone hated Max, including himself. Why had his mother done that? If she’d just managed to be celibate like his uncle or even just settled down with one someone else, she would still be alive and his best friend wouldn’t have deserted him. Surely, those who had known the first fake story had since heard the retraction of it. And those who hadn’t known anything knew the truth now too. Or so he thought. The reality likely was that Zar wouldn’t reveal the secret – he was family. And family, as far as Max could tell, no matter how messed up the web was, was meant something.
Filling up his shot glass again, something sparkly caught his eye. Behind the black curtain were rows and rows of costumes. Rising from his spot in the middle of the stage, the Slytherin headed towards the glittering garments, completely forgetting his drink and his troubles for the moment. Wandering a crooked line, he reached out, fingers colliding with soft velvets, whispering cottons, and shimmery silks. He pulled an old fashioned doublet from the rack and slipped his arms into it. He fell open across his chest, but he didn’t care. There were feathered hats, lovely Three Musketeer-type hats. It was a quick trip from the top of the clothing rack to the top of the snake’s head and the most flamboyant of the hats made the trip nearly instantaneously.
In the mirror on the wall, Max could tell he was missing something. Shoes, or so he had heard, could complete any outfit. There was nothing but women’s shoes that he could find, but for some reason that didn’t bother him. Slipping off his black Italian leather loafers, the young man tried to stuff his large feet into the sparkling heels. It wasn’t the most perfect fit, but it would work. Sliding back out towards center stage, Max picked up another verse of the song, this time adding dance moves. He couldn’t help but dance like a fool, realizing that nothing he seemed to do probably matched the original and that he looked like an idiot. So he slung back the sixth shot and sang straight through the end of the song, not even noticing the door open, footsteps on the stairs or down the aisle, or the presence of another person around at all.
“And now let's get things started! Why don't you get things started? It's time to get things started, on the most sensational inspirational celebrational Muppetational – this is what we call the Muppet Show!”
A heavy blanket of indecision cloaked the young woman as she wandered through the halls, pondering where she wanted to spend the evening. Everyone was busy doing their own thing and she had been left to her own devices. She had no real desire to sit down and read or to work on any of her assigned papers. She could go to sleep, but that didn't seem appealing either as it was almost a cop-out on the rest of the night. Blyssenor pursed her lips together in a frown and surveyed the quiet corridor ahead of her and that was when the idea struck her. It had always been this way; she'd meander and rack her brain for somewhere to go when she felt listless and always forget about the theater until the very last moment. It was her refuge in a way; it was nearly always quiet, so she could simply mess around with the costumes and props. Maybe even play a few tunes on the piano if that suited her fancy. With her destination decided, she took off at a much quicker pace, a small smile curving her lips.
It did not take her long at all to reach the large double doors. The gryffindor paused in front of them, a heavy breath parting her lips. Slender fingers reached up and gently traced a line down the middle of the doors. So many things had occurred behind them, so many dark memories. Happy ones, too, but some of them were muddled by darkness. Her head shook and she pushed the wooden slat open quietly. The sound of another met her ears immediately and she frowned; while outside the room, she had heard someone singing... but she hadn't even considered the possibility that they would be in there. There was a part of her that wanted to leave immediately, for she had no desire to share her refuge with anyone else. However, curiosity drew her inward and she stepped inside, quietly pulling the door closed behind her. That voice was incredibly familiar but it was much harder to recognize while singing. The clothes, which were also clearly from the costume bin, also concealed his identity. At least until Blyssenor caught sight of his face. Her jaw dropped.
Max Auctherlony was in heels dancing around like an idiot, singing about some weird thing called the muppets. Who the hell were the muppets? Wait the better question would be... why was he dressed up? She could smell the alcohol from where she stood and that in addition to his mannerisms suggested he was drunk. Still, Blyssenor had always thought the slytherin just... lured women to his bed when he was drunk. He'd persuaded Lydia in that sort of fashion, hadn't he? The girl's head shook and she laughed silently as she walked carefully down the narrow aisles, azure gaze stuck to the show that was being put on this evening. She plopped down in the front row and watched him for a few moments before clapping loudly and obnoxiously, intent on getting his attention. This behavior was so out of character for him that she had no idea whether or not he would be embarrassed that she had caught him in the act of being a fool.
"Evening, Auctherlony. That's quite an outfit you have on... and what a performance! I didn't know you preferred heels. I have to say, they look great on you. Although.. I don't think you need the extra height."
The applause surprised, but did not embarrass Max as it might have another lad. No, you see, the Slytherin had self-confidence by the bucketful. Normally he would have been too reserved, too boxed in and restrained to be dancing about in women’s heels and sparkly costumes, but every once in awhile even the most rigid of men needed to do something to blow off some steam. And apparently this, tonight, was his version of reducing the steam that had been building up inside his brain and threatening to drive him insane. Intoxicated and singing a goofy song in front of the former Head Girl were the least of the snake’s problems these days. He was faced with having to reconstruct his entire image – not just the one other people had of him, but also the one he had of himself. Who was Max Auctherlony these days? Certainly the lad in question was the last one to have any idea. If someone could have just assigned a brand new identity to him, he likely would have accepted it gladly and without question. In his drunken haze, he might even spill the entire story to the pretty young woman before him; if only she were to ask.
“Well, you know,” he replied, bowing at her enthusiastic applause. “They were there,” he gestured over his should, “And I was curious. They make the women of Hogwarts a bit more confident; I wanted to see what they would do for me.” Max flashed the witch his signature charming smile. It might have been a bit cockeyed in his drunken state, but it was just as enchanting as it usually was. At least for most girls. If it were to work on Blyssenor had yet to be determined. “Glad you’re enjoying the show, Wright. Care for a drink?” He swaggered back over to the glass and bottle positioned at center stage and finished off the drink he’d poured for himself and never gotten back to. He made no move to strip the clothing, but he did kick off the heels his feet had barely managed to fit into to begin with. “What are you up to this evening? Just lurking about the castle? Looking for someone to spend some time with?” His momentary honest kindness disappeared and left behind his usual façade of what could only be called “man whore.”
“I’m told that I can really help a woman pass the time. If you’re interested, that is.”
There was certainly one concession that Blyssenor had to give Max. He was attractive, devilishly handsome even, and that accent of his could set female hearts a flutter. She had talked to him before, most definitely, but she had never been around him in this type of situation. Now there was absolutely no reason for her to blame Lydia for giving into his wiles, not that she had in the first place. A soft laugh parted her lips at his explanation and she shook her head, one slender hand raising to tuck a few crimson tresses behind her ear. Suffice to say that she wasn't clothed in anything that could be considered remotely sexy; jeans and a royal blue t-shirt that had clearly seen better days was her attire. Now he was tempting her with firewhiskey and if she was entirely honest with herself, that was very hard to resist. The gryffindor pushed herself up out of the chair and walked back up the aisle. In a matter of seconds, she had lifted herself up onto the front of the stage with ease and was on her feet, foregoing the stairs entirely.
"You know, I'd actually love a drink," The seventh year nodded as she came to stand next to him, features painted with an amused expression as she looked him over in his costume. Without waiting for him to pour her the drink, she grabbed the shot glass from wherever it lay and tipped the contents of the bottle into the glass. Swirling the contents around gently as she replaced the bottle, Blyssenor laughed heartily at Max's offer. Of course. She hadn't said more than a few sentences to him in terms of conversation and he was already trying to work his way into her pants. That was the game he played, after all. Her head shook once the laughter died down and she knocked back the shot easily, ignoring the burning aftertaste. Normally she might have taken the first shot with a chaser, but there was nothing available and her pride would not allow her to dissolve into a coughing fit in front of the slytherin male.
"I've been told that as well, actually. But rest assured that I have no interest in sharing a bed with you tonight, no matter how inviting the offer is." She smiled up at him as genuinely as she could, trying to convey just how much she meant that. As long as he didn't do something ridiculous like cut himself and bleed all over the place, she should be fine. That was what always got her into trouble and she had no desire to experience that sort of shame again. "To answer your question, I'm just... out and about. I like the theater. I hadn't expected someone to be drunkenly singing about.. what was it? Muppets?"
Laughing, Max was amused by her snatching of his drink. He wouldn’t have presumed to be on good enough terms with him that the duo could share a glass, but she didn’t seem to mind. He didn’t really need another one – or want one even – but, it seemed rude to make the lady drink by herself. Searching the floor for his temporarily misplaced wand, the Scotsman pulled a small trifle from his pocket, little more than just a scrap of paper; he quickly transfigured it into another glass, replacing his hand in his back pocket. He poured a much smaller portion into his own heavily used glass and held onto to the half-empty bottle. Striding to the edge of the stage, Max settled upon the lip, gazing out at the seats. It was hard to believe that destruction had befallen the place just a few months before as it had been right and was now better than ever. Swinging his legs, bouncing them off the stage, he continued to hum his song, patting the spot beside him and waiting for the lioness to either sit beside him or decline, racing to the other side of the theater. She had no personal reason to hate him, but girls, or so he’d been told, had a tendency to hold grudges on behalf of their friends. And the Scotsman had “deflowered” her friend.
“Well, tonight might not work out so well anyway,” he countered smoothly with the experience of a man who had been playing this game just long enough to have the appropriate practice. “I’ve had enough drinks that I’d hate to be sloppy and not live up to the reputation you have heard so much about.” He turned his head, ever so slightly and attempted to catch her eye, sending a wink at the redhead and held out the bottle. “Care for another?” He sipped on his small amount slowly, savoring the delicate burn that flowered deep in his throat. “I like the theater too, so cavernous and just… quiet. The quiet is nice. I like coming here to think.” He paused a second, wondering why he opened up so much to her. Smiling, he cleared his throat and changed the subject. “Muppets? I haven’t a clue really. Some nutter Muggles were singing about it in the pub a few weeks ago. Catchy damn tune. Can’t get it out of my head! You’ve never heard it before? I was hoping someone could help me figure it out. I was thinking it might be showgirls.”
The gryffindor resisted the urge to comment on him conjuring another glass. She could see the reasoning behind it, though part of her wanted to tease him about being afraid of her cooties or something else that was just as childish. She could already feel the initial effects of the one shot that she had taken. Blyssenor was a lightweight, that's for sure, and while she wouldn't get buzzed off of just one throwback, she could tell the difference in the way it affected her. When the slytherin patted the space next to him on the edge of the stage, she readily padded over to him and sat down, dangling her legs lightly over the edge. She was a safe distance away from him, though close enough that it wouldn't be considered rude. All things considered, she could outrun the snake any day. Not that she thought she'd need to, but it was always something to keep in mind.
"I don't know that I agree with your logic on that - yes, thanks." The red-head took hold of the bottle and poured herself another shot, then placing the whiskey on the floor of the stage in between them. "You see... If you're drunk and the girl you're pursuing is drunk... say that girl is me. Of course, I've already explicitly stated that's not going to happen. But in any case, I don't think that the girl would notice you're sloppy because she's probably not on par either. There's also the possibility that you're a better lover when you're drunk. Just saying." She shrugged and sipped her firewhiskey slowly, much like he had, making an appreciative smacking noise after the initial sip. "Not that I've heard about your reputation or anything." Blyssenor didn't want to give him that sort of satisfaction, although her tone clearly indicated that she had heard something about him. Surely he knew that since she and Lydia were such good friends. If there was anyone the fifth year lioness was going to tell about her romp with him on the lawns, it was the former head girl.
"Never heard it before. Or showgirls. What the bloody hell is showgirls?"
Max couldn’t help but smile his crooked smile. Blyssenor was a very interesting girl; he could tell why Zar couldn’t help but mention her from time to time. It wasn’t this his friend talked about her incessantly, he the snake took notice of whomever it seemed his mate might be interested in. And well, he had to say, he could see what all the hype was about. Not only did she have a pleasing female physique and lovely face, she was quick on the draw in conversation as well. The snake could already tell that his usual bull shit wouldn’t work with the lion and that was perfectly fine with him. Working for something – or not working for that at all was completely refreshing. For once, perhaps ever if not for a very long time, he was looking at the girl like someone who actually made sense and not just a woman to take to bed. He was beginning to realize in his eighteen years that perhaps he needed to be surrounding himself with different people. And Blysse was certainly different than the usual.
“That’s probably true,” he was starting to agree with her. At least until she got to the part about him being a better lover drunk. While it was entirely possible that he was more free after a few drunks, sloppy just sounded… well, precisely that. Sloppy. But he couldn’t help but twist his crooked smile into something just a bit lewd, even if he was only teasing. “Well, since you aren’t willing to test it out, I guess all we can do is conject. Conjure… something.” Words were beginning to lose him and he set his glass down beside the bottle and leaned back, using his hands to support him as he swung his feet. “Showgirls? Well… they’re girls in shows, I suppose. Feather costumes, high heels, sparkle. I think they sing songs.” Max shook his head and enjoyed the swimming feeling of alcohol bouncing around in his system. “But Muggle culture isn’t really my forte.” He shrugged and returned to just staring off into the distance.
“What brings you out tonight?” He thought about telling her more about his troubles; for some reason he felt like he could tell the little vamp anything. But for some reason, the words wouldn’t come. Perhaps that was the drink that pushed him over, pushed him away from being able to talk and would carry him to slumber. Or maybe, it was just pushing him further into his thoughts and an astounding thought would emerge. It was that precipice and Max could have gone either way. For the moment, he was still trying to decide exactly which way that would be: blissfully reflective drunk or sloppy, knocking-stuff-over, pass out drunk. Either way, it would be an interesting ending to a night.