A/N: I'm so sorry for the long absence. But you know how RL gets. You know what makes things better and me into a more productive writer?
And yes, I'm shameless enough to resort to blackmail.
“My god,” said Pansy slowly, blinking in horrified fascination as Draco stood in front of her, hands uncharacteristically fisted in his trouser pockets, posed in one of his ‘serious’ poses “you’ve gone completely ‘round the bend.”
Considering the fact that she was covered in a thin sheen of sweat and several gashes were swelling with crimson droplets of her blood, Draco thought it highly hypocritical of his best friend to disprove of this plan.
“What?” he scowled and came out of his pose enough to flick off some imaginary lint on his shoulder. “It’s a perfectly sound plan.”
Pansy stared at him and absentmindedly wiped off some of the blood that was beginning to drip down from her forehead, making it the thousandth time that Draco cursed whatever deity it was that picked Pansy for this slayer gig. She was already reckless enough, but an added supernatural
incentive to risk her arse daily and nightly was something that made Draco’s head just thinking about it.
“But,” she wiped the blood on her trousers and Draco cringed, “you’re the most homosexual homo I’ve ever met.” She paused and continued thoughtfully, “and that includes my cousin Aidan.”
Pansy stopped to consider this fact, mentally weighing the two men’s foppishness against each other. It was true. She sighed and wrinkled her nose at Draco before moving past him to the dormitory.
“Oi!” she heard the very dignified Malfoy heir shout behind her and paused in her steps, tilting her head back in question. “Shouldn’t you get those cuts looked at? Pomfrey’s been brewing up some new salve that heals cuts almost immediately.”
Pansy grinned “And how would you know that princess?”
Draco flushed a brilliant red and scowled, immediately bringing to mind the unfortunate incident in fourth year with the Moody impostor and Draco’s as per usual big mouth and inability to direct his misguided hormones into productive ventures rather than more Potter prodding. “Quidditch…Potter…Bastard…” he mumbled angrily, eyes slitted and nostrils flaring as his hackles visibly rose. He stared at a wall angrily as if envisioning Potter’s head mounted on it. His eyes even glazed over a bit.
“Mmm,” Pansy eyed him and shifted in place, leaning against the long stick in her hands, thankful for the bamboo rod that they trained with- the one that made such a nice balancing post. “Maybe you should tone it down with the explicit homosexuality in school? Though I understand that boarding schools have some of the highest percentages of same sex relationships out of any educational institutions.” She winked at him lasciviously, “Something about sleeping in such
Draco took a step back, horror on his face having swiftly replaced the previous mixture of Potter induced anger. “What?” he squeaked.
Pansy raised an eyebrow.
Draco flushed darker, cleared his throat and tried again “What?”
“Tell me,” Pansy took a closer step, fully amused and delighted by the return of her favorite past-time: Draco baiting. “Have you ever had any inappropriate thoughts about Theo?” She tapped a finger against her lips and smirked, “He does have that luscious arse that almost everyone in six years is lusting over.”
“I thought people were lusting over my
arse,” Draco mumbled petulantly and crossed his arms.
Pansy laughed, “You’re old news darling. It could have something to do with the fact that you’ve had your nose broken three times since the term started,” she paused, “or the fact that you’re absolutely and unavoidably gay for Potter.”
Draco, Pansy reminded herself, was her best friend. They had known each other since they were five years old and had shared tutors before coming to Hogwarts. There was no way that he was going to kill her.
But he looked like he really
Instead, he turned an alarmingly purple shade that he had only achieved during second year- after his father had gotten into that unfortunate scrap with the Weasley patriarch and had been forced to sport an unseemly black eye for the twenty minutes that it took for the swelling to go down.
“How do you feel about Greg, Draco?” Pansy pressed on. “He’s lost a lot
of weight in the last year, he’s become the stocky type- muscular, rather than bulky.” She smiled disarmingly, “And he cooks
Draco made a noise like a dying fish and apparently having decided that valor was truly overrated, turned around and fled up to the boys’ dorm. Even his white blonde hair stuck up in terror, almost resembling Potter’s crazy follicle mess from where she was standing.
Pansy chuckled to herself and began making her way up to the girls’ quarters. Sometimes it was entirely too easy.
After she had showered and changed, she decided to make her way down to the kitchens. Lunch was over and dinner was still a couple of hours away. Pansy was starving.
She pulled on a black muggle sweater that Dawn had given her from the vast resources of her own closet and a pair of leggings that fit her like a second skin and left the dorm. There was almost nobody down in the common room, except for Draco who was studying the Numerology textbook with a look of intense concentration. Theo was sitting across from him, deeply engrossed in his own text and Pansy got a wicked idea before making her way behind Theo’s back.
Slayer stealth was always good for playing tricks on people, she thought.
She sent a non-verbal stinging hex at Draco’s backside, purposefully making it as gentle as possible and didn’t even laugh as he hissed and jumped up.
When his eyes landed on her though, she leaned over and still careful not to alert Theo to her actions, stuck her tongue into the side of her cheek and made an extremely lewd gesture with her hand.
Pansy sent Draco a wink at his helpless spluttering and jumped back in time to strike the most nonchalant pose she could find in her arsenal at such short notice to Theo’s look of blank incredulity.
“Parkinson,” he nodded at her, eyes amused even as his body posed in unmistakable wariness.
“Nott,” she nodded back at him and strode towards the door, but not before reaching over and smacking a loud kiss on Draco’s temple where the hair was softest. She really did love the big girl, foul mouthed drama queen that he was.
The corridors were blissfully empty as she made her way down to the secret entrance to the kitchens. She ran into a couple of Hufflepuffs that she scared away with a sharply raised eyebrow and snarl, a Ravenclaw that walked into her- nose buried in a thick book and eyes distant and glazed.
The Hufflepuffs she sent scurrying in the other direction, and the Ravenclaw- she turned the tiny second year around and gave her a more or less gentle shove in the other direction, watching the girl contentedly move in a wholly different direction than she was initially heading.
Pansy was still chuckling to herself over this particular piece of Slytherin-like deviousness when she came upon the portrait. She tickled the pear and couldn’t help the smile that came to her face when it giggled in delight and the hidden entrance behind the portrait opened to reveal the staircase down to the kitchens.
She skipped down to the hustle and bustle of the elves hard at work. Three of them launched their tiny bodies in her direction as soon as they saw her. “Misses Parkinson!” the one wearing a tiny chef’s hat hollered with faint dislike coloring his voice.
Pansy didn’t like that elf, instead preferring the slightly alcoholic one to him. She gave him a tight smile and a nod and turned to Winky. “How’re you doing Winky?”
The female house elf wavered in place, clutching the butterbeer bottle close to her chest and blinked humongous brown eyes filled with a thin sheen of tears “Mistress Pansy,” she hiccupped and leaned closer, almost as if trying to close the distance between herself and Pansy’s leg, “yous is here again. Is you hungry?” she weaved and one of the passing house elves caught her and straightened her out before continuing on his way.
It was supremely distressing to Pansy, seeing one of the most diligent elves she had ever known, reduced to this gibbering wreck.
She didn’t know the full extent of what had happened, but all she knew was that her uncle’s elf wasn’t working for the Crouch family anymore and after Pansy had found out that Winky was now working in the Hogwarts kitchens- she made every effort to come and see her.
“Sure Winky,” Pansy sighed and tried to herd the elf towards a table, “come, sit with me while I eat. Tell me how you’re doing.”
This, she thought to herself miserably, patting awkwardly at sobbing elf back ten seconds later, was what she got for trying to be nice
. There was a reason why Pansy Parkinson didn’t do nice. It was because she sucked at it.
Once Winky had settled down and the crazy looking elf, the one with all the socks and the insanely perched ears had finished with glaring at Pansy and had deigned to bring her something to eat- they sat down and Pansy patted Winky’s back quickly, before scuttling back to her seat on the bench and the tall sandwich waiting for her.
“So,” she took a deep breath and pulled at the pumpkin juice that some elf had thoughtfully handed her so that she didn’t have to choke her food down, “tell me everything.”
Winky’s voice, as always, wavered when she talked. From the sobbing undertones whenever she spoke of the Crouches and the almost reverant way she spoke about Barty the Senior to the almost motherly way she spoke about Bartholomew the junior.
Pansy listened and ate and remembered half forgotten memories of hazy afternoons best forgotten and her father’s glare whenever she intruded on his and uncle Barty’s ‘Important Ministry business’.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and asked the pertinent question and slowly but surely moved the bottle out of Winky’s reach, horribly reminded of her mother during summer vacations.
By the time Winky wound down, she looked tired. Her eyelids were almost shut and her ears were droopy in what Pansy sincerely hoped was the need for sleep and not inebriation.
“Come on,” Pansy stood up and pushed the plate away from her, eyeing the remains of two more sandwiches that the crazy elf had pushed in her direction after seeing Pansy stealthily swiping Winky’s butterbeer away from her while she reminisced about her old masters. “Let’s get you to bed.”
But the swarm of other elves roared in protest and carried Winky’s feebly protesting form away somewhere into the ether and Pansy just watched them worriedly and bit at her lower lip, feeling like the lowest of the low for having been born into this insanity but when she turned around to sit back down- she came face to face with Ronald Weasley standing next to a lanky, sandy haired bloke that looked startlingly familiar- like she had seen him around, maybe even during her patrols.
“Um,” Ron said, eyes still stuck to the moving crowd of elves- still carrying Winky like some kind of rockstar.
there Parkinson,” said the other guy and leered at Pansy with what could only be described as puppy-ish enthusiasm and gave her a rakish wink, “you’re looking particularly fetching tonight.” He frowned and took a step closer, examining the various bruises on her face and the cut on her temple that had gone down in size considerably but still proclaimed it’s existence to the world like a particularly voracious testament to Hermione’s skill with daggers. He reached out with his hand and brushed some of the hair away from her face “What happened
It was three in the morning, Pansy was tired and frankly- she couldn’t remember this asshole’s name and so she did the only thing a sensible Slytherin would do in this situation- reacting faster than his eyes could follow, she swung her elbow into his face and watched it connect with a satisfying crack.
Once he dropped, groaning and clutching at his nose, she stepped past him and was about to move away when Ron grabbed at her.
“What the hell
is wrong with you?” he demanded angrily, blue eyes ablaze as he jerked her back. “Seamus was just trying to be polite
to you. Not that a snake like you would ever understand that,” he sneered, “but your reaction was entirely unwarranted for,” his grip got tighter and Pansy looked at his fingers still clutching at her elbow with bruising strength. “Now, why don’t the three of us go up to Professor McGonnagall’s office and she can figure out how to deal with this,” he said and tried to drag her closer so that, he could presumably help his friend up, but Pansy- feeling that familiar disconnect that had gotten her into many a scrape and had started this whole business by proposing that she and Hermione take out their newly discovered yen for pain on each other, whipped her wand out and shouted “Impedimenta!”
Ron dropped next to his friend, and Seamus- was that the bloke’s name? rolled away just in time to avoid getting smashed by the redhead’s rapidly falling body.
“Sorry,” Pansy shrugged in response to his wide eyed stare from where he was laid out, still clutching at his nose but less so- like he couldn’t believe that she had hexed Ron right after having taken him down, “I just don’t like being touched.”
The corridors were empty as she walked to the Slytherin dorms and the empty feeling in her throat was back but Pansy kept her composure even as she thought of what the next day was sure to bring.
Hurting your fellow slayers in practice was one thing, but assaulting fellow students was quite another and she suddenly felt sick at the thought of what she had just done after all the effort that Faith and Dawn had gone to in order to ensure their safety at the school. Voldemort was out there, looking for them and instead of laying low and training for the inevitable day when they would meet- Pansy had just given in to instinct and maimed two of her year mates.
She felt sick.