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Pissing Contest

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Summary: Xander and Harry trade sob stories over way too much alcohol. Some humor, some angst. You've been warned. Challenge Response 313.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Xander-CenteredKeiFR1311,8923104,60813 Jul 0613 Jul 06Yes
AN: I have a chapter that is 2/3 written for Trick or Treat. I've been working on it
all week. Considering it usually takes me two hours or so to churn out a chapter
from start to finish once I find the time and inspiration to write I am
disgruntled.

Wrote this to try to break-up the writer's block. Will continue to slave away at
that last 1/3 until it gets out. Hopefully *very* soon.

Challenge 313: Drowing Sorrows in Muggle Longon
Xander and Harry meet in muggle London post "Chosen" and "Order of the Phoenix".
There must be too much alcohol, exchanging of stories and a verbal fight over
whose the most pathetic. Balanced humour and angst for extra points.

Uhh, I made it in the Leaky Cauldron cause I'm lazy. Also, my fight is more of a...
chat. But, notice the pun in the title.. huh... huh? Post Chosen and Voldemort.

I disclaim. I own nothing but one very large, very noisy cat.


************************ Pissing Contest ***********************


The two men glared at each other balefully over their chosen alcoholic beverages.
The Leaky Cauldron had reopened barely a month ago, and despite the effort made
to brighten up its interior, the crowd was still sparse. Some of that, of course,
was due to the fact that a brightened Leaky Cauldron was still a pretty grim
place. Some of the absentee customers were also due to the fact that many of
the regulars were, well, dead.

But the real reason the Leaky Cauldron was nearly empty at nearly midnight on a
Friday night was due to the fact that Alexander Lavelle Harris and Harry Potter
were there.

Again.

Staring at each other balefully.

Again.

Both were quite splendidly smashed.

Again.

So smashed that they both enthusiastically endorsed the updates given to the
pub during its reconstruction. Since these updates mostly consisted of a new
rug, which was bought used, and an extra candle on every table, that wasn’t
saying much. They weren’t even magical candles.

Harry Potter, savior of what was left of the Wizarding World, had a nearly
empty bottle of Firewhiskey clutched to his chest, partly because he was
half convinced that Xander would finally realize what a foul drink Vodka was
and try to steal his alcohol. Partly because if he didn’t hold onto the bottle
with a death grip, the likelihood of it falling along the journey back to his
mouth was rather high.

Xander Harris, He Who’s Life Sucked, was content enough to leave his bottle of
Vodka on the table, mostly because it was already empty. The second bottle, that
one was staying right next to one of his four feet.

Stupid double vision.

The younger man pointed an accusatory finger at Xander, or tried to, his arm
kept swinging more vertical than horizontal with a will only a bottle of
Firewhiskey could impart. “You,” the greatest wizard in his time, slurred,
“are drunk.”

Xander blinked once, twice, and managed to get his one eye to focus Harry down to
a multiple of two. He had the feeling that if he had still had the two eyes to
focus he’d have been in even more trouble. And likely puking. Which was still
a distinct possibility since Caleb hadn’t ripped out his stomach. “N’you aren’t
Scar Head?”

Harry scowled. “Cyclops.”

“Wearer of dresses.”

The younger man squinted in a misguided attempt to glare. “’Re dress robes.
For DRESSING.”

Xander snorted and attempted to figure out which of the two bottle was the real
one. “That’s what I said. Dresses.”

Harry watched critically as Xander picked the wrong bottle and swore, loudly, as
he toppled off of the bench to sprawl on the floor in an ungainly, unshaven
heap. Feeling a little left out on the cursing Harry added in a few
heartfelt buggers, prats, and gits to the mix. This verbal exchange, which
was a little more one-sided than Harry had hoped for, spurred him on.

“Dunno why you’re all smashed. Your friends’ll still alive.” Xander found the
real Vodka bottle finally and was trying to get the mouth of the bottle to his
mouth with limited success. At Harry’s proclamation Xander paused long enough to
flip the younger man a one-fingered gesture. At this reminder the dark-haired
wizard paused to reconsider his statement, “Uhh, ‘cept for the ones who are dead.”

Harry attempted to do a mental tally of who exactly among the rugged bunch
of Americans were still alive, but since his own full name was growing fuzzier by
the moment, he was merely left with a bitter sense of indignation. “I saved the
world you know.” Xander didn’t remark, still occupied by the Vodka, so Harry
forged onward, “Stood in the Great Hall with Ron n’ Mione. All full of Death
Eaters n’ Voldemort. Stood up and saved the world.”

Not in time to save Ron and Hermione though. Barely in time to save himself.
Those were the memories no kind of alcohol on earth would dull. The leering
faces shrouded in hoods. The cold sweat that made his hand slick against
the well-worn grain of his wand. The gleeful hiss of Voldemort’s in-drawn
breath.

The smell of charred flesh that had once been his best friends.

Harry hiccupped and felt tears fill his eyes.

Xander struggled to an upright position and watched the mental breakdown solemnly
as one could with a ragged eye path and a single crossed and bloodshot eye.
“Saved the world,” Harry muttered as he dashed the tears away with the bath of
one hand.

Xander nodded sagely and leaned his head against the bench. “Sucks to be you.”

The wizard nodded. “Damn straight.”

“Not in those dresses.”

*****************************************************************

“S’not such a big deal. I killed m’ best friend when I was sixteen.”

Harry had joined Xander on the floor at this point, and both men were lying on
their backs, spread eagle in the completely deserted bar. “Evil wizard?” Harry
asked solicitously, though he was mostly concentrating on not having to greet
the Firewhiskey on the way back up quite yet.

Xander flung an arm over his face to shield it from even the minimal light of
the Leaky Cauldron. “Nah, evil Vampire.”

“N’t all Vampires evil?”

The American paused to gather his scattered thoughts. “Ever meet Spike, ‘fore he
died in the Battle of Knockturn Alley?”

“Yeah.” Harry remembered meeting someone who could have been an older version
of Malfoy. Remembered the red end of the fag the blonde had been smoking, the
quick flash of malicious fangs.

“There’s your answer.”

“Definitely evil.”

Harry could hear more than see Xander’s bitter smile. “Yeah. Ponce.”

*****************************************************************

“You know my Mum died to protect me?” Xander’s gentle snore conveyed the depth of
his interest, and Harry would have been irritated if he hadn’t been feeling quite
to sleepy himself. “Never knew them, parents. They just got burned up, from
lovin’ me.” There was a lull in the snoring and Harry took advantage of the quiet
to quickly rush the end of his thought out, all jumbled and backward. “Wish it
was me. They’d be better than this.”

Xander snorted. “Don’t know that. Mine lived through ev’thing a Hellmouth could
spit up. Both evil. Maybe yours have been evil too.”

Harry considered this and was having difficult finding a flaw in Xander’s
logic. “Wouldn’t be drunk…” he muttered uncertainly.

“Why not, mine always were?”

Xander reflected on his childhood, outside of the bits with Buffy and Willow
and Giles, with the clinical neutrality a lifetime of emotional neglect had
provided. “Wish mine were dead too. Make holidays easier.”

*****************************************************************

“Fell in love with Buffy first time I saw her. All golden and stuff. Great
breasts too.” Harry delayed his response so that he could rinse his mouth out
with slightly metallic tasting water from the sink in the loo. Firewhiskey
definitely left something to be desired on the way back up. The younger man
shot Xander a questioning if off-centered look though. “Was sixteen,” Xander
replied somewhat defensively, “noticed stuff like that.”

“Were friends only?”

It was Xander’s turn to pause as he held one hand over his mouth and swayed
slightly, despite resting the majority of his weight against the other sink in
the loo. His face turned pale, then a sickly green, but he fought it back. “One
of the girls till the end.”

“Never once touched ‘Mione. Couldn’t… Ron, and, never had people love me
‘fore. Couldn’t risk that for touching. Wasn’t worth it.”

“Had to watch her die three times, ya know. Found her the first time, floating like
a flower, all white and still.” Harry watched, mute from his blooming hangover,
and the complex emotions chasing across Xander’s features as he forgot his own
woes for a moment. “Pushed air back into her lungs cause I couldn’t let her
go.” Harry swallowed, and suddenly wished he was back in the stall throwing
up. “Second time she flew, like a bird. Still white, and pulsing with energy,
till she hit the ground. Red stains everywhere.” Xander’s fingers trailed,
shaking, along the edge of the sink as he continued, voice growing so soft Harry
had to strain to hear him. “Still couldn’t let her go. Forced her soul back.
She never forgave us.

“Third time, was different. Didn’t fly, or float, just burned up, like a
roman candle. Pretty light and ashes. Like a Vampire even.” He hiccupped
in slightly hysterical laughter. “Still can’t let her go. Can’t make her
stay though, so part of me went with her. Far, far away.” The laughter
turned bitter. “Least part of me got to heav’n, huh?”

“Xander…”

The older man went on stubbornly. “Watchin’ Wills was worse. Weren’t any lights
for her, no perfect moments of terrible beauty.” Harry remembered. Willow had
made it to the Last Battle of Hogwarts. Had been in the Great Hall with him, and
Ron and Hermione, with Xander at her back. None of them would have gotten out
alive, even after Voldemort, without her sacrifice.

Some nights, when the nightmares were especially fierce, he could almost feel
the rising tide of immense, incomprehensible power that she had called that
day. Called and left her mind open so that it could rush out like a swollen river
and sweep the rest of the Death Eaters away.

It hadn’t been pretty, just terribly, terribly brave and terribly,
terribly terrifying.

Suddenly Xander bolted to the stall, having finally lost his battle with both
his emotions and the alcohol. Harry stared at his bloodshot eyes in the
cracked mirror as his listened to Xander heave and sob in the same breath.

The mirror tutted them both imperiously.

*****************************************************************

“There’s a service for them all tomorrow.”

“I know.”

The two men sat at the empty bar again. On nights like this, when Alexander
Harris and Harry Potter chased each other with bottles and stories that gave
other customers new nightmares to add from the war, the staff left them alone
after closing. Just locked them in until morning.

“Don’t think I can go to another memorial,” Harry whispered. “Its like I can’t
move on, when all they let me do is to go back to all the places that made me loose
so much to begin with.”

Xander snorted grimly. “Where would we move on to?”

Harry’s mouth opened and then closed as his reply died on his lips. “I… I
don’t know.”

“Yeah,” Xander said softly, “me either.”

The End

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