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One-Trick Pony

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Summary: The reflections of a young woman on the morning of her wedding. Part 1 of the Zabini sisters series.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Non-BtVS/AtS StoriesarganteFR1512,4181381226 Oct 0426 Oct 04Yes
Title: One-Trick Pony

Author: argante

Pairing: girl!Blaise/Draco, implied others. Cookies ((and perhaps custom drabbles)) to the first person who can tell me who the other two people girl!Blaise and Draco are paired with are.

Spoilers: Nothing in particular, really. If you’ve read the books, you’re good, if not, you’re still pretty good.

Rated: R, for language, mostly.

Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine, not mine. All lyrics from Nelly Furtado.

Distribution: The usual places. Also, ask and you shall receive.

Feedback: No flames, please. Be nice, be helpful, and be constructive.

*((italics)) denotes flashback speech/line/thingys.


~*~

you were just a child
ready to explore
and everything you saw
looked like an open door

nobody can control me
nobody can conform me
nobody can disown me
nobody can ignore me


She should be happy.

She should be ecstatic, really, for today she’s marrying the most sought-after man in the Wizarding world.

At the end of today’s festivities, she’ll cease to be Miss. Blaise Emmeline Zabini ((‘Good, strong name. Named for your father’s parents’)), a name she hated anyway – always preferred her middle name, just like her sister – and become Mrs. Draco Lucius Malfoy.

paint over me with your dreams
shove away my ethnicity
burn every notion that i may have a flame inside to fight


Yet there is no cause for rejoicing, on either side of the wedding party. Close though they are, neither the bride nor the groom wish to be a part of this particular marriage. It is a marriage of necessity, of political convenience; the last-ditch effort of bigoted, pure-blood maniacs to protect the ‘clean’ bloodlines ((‘You will marry him, Blaise, because I have decreed it! And there’ll be no more silly notions about love and romance.’)). The Zabini’s are old pureblood, bloodlines at least twenty-seven generations clean of that most hated dirty blood, and up until two generations ago strictly Italian ((‘Per Rimanere Puro!')). They have no ties to any of the English pureblood families, no connections through blood or marriage or land. She grew up with the constant clamour of mothers to secure their daughters the single place as the future Mrs. Zabini, rushing to turn her baby brother into that perfect son-in-law, while the fathers rushed to claim their sons a shiny new brood mare, ‘pick one of three’. It made her and her sisters prime real estate, and she knows beyond a shade of bitter doubt that her father took pride in the bartering that took place over his daughters, like they were nothing but common cattle. ((‘A million Galleons for the eldest Zabini.’ ‘One and a half for the youngest.’ ‘Don’t bother; Malfoy’s already banked five on her. Only the best for his Draco.’ ‘Well then, how about two on the middle one’.))

They had all been paired up by their twelfth birthdays, contracted and signed away, her father’s hands washed well clean, rings of silver or platinum or gold, embossed with the house crests of their husbands-to-be, nestled on the fourth fingers of their left hands, the Zabini ring transferred from her mother to the hand of the lucky winner, even though she was a lion. ((‘McDonald, Natalie.’ ‘GRYFFINDOR!’)). Emma was picked as Draco’s betrothed as soon as she was sorted into Slytherin, and can remember with no small amount of relish the jealous hatred that always flared in Pansy’s eyes whenever her own ring, silver and green with the Malfoy snake, caught the light. ((‘Stupid bitch. Think that that ring on your finger will keep you safe?’ ‘Maybe not, but definitely safer than you.’)) It was like a blinking neon sign, forever reminding Pansy that, although she simpered over him and escorted him to dances, he’d never be hers. Emma didn’t particularly want him, but she’d liked having something to hold over the head of the other girl, found a petty, vindictive pleasure in having something better, shinier, prettier, than the self-proclaimed Slytherin princess, who’d been forced to settle for Teddy Nott.

baby they build you up
only to tear you down


But perhaps – for all that she didn’t want him as her husband, the man who became more like her brother during their years together at Hogwarts, sharing a dungeon and when her nightmares were particularly bad, a bed – perhaps she managed the best deal of all her sisters. She thinks of her eldest sister, Grazia ((‘She’s definitely a beauty – pity she’s a ‘Puff. It’ll definitely affect the price.’)), five years her senior, whom she idolised as a child, with her long, thick dark hair and dark brown eyes, her creamy skin and soft smile. She’s Graziella Flint now, married and pregnant, a carbon copy of their mother; simpering, obedient, broken.

Or there’s her darling Toby ((‘I don’t know why you insist on using that name. It’s so... masculine. You’ll never get a husband.’ ‘Perhaps, Grazia my dear, that’s the point. And besides, it is my name. I wasn’t the one who chose Tobias for a middle name.’)), barely 2 years older, the stepping stone between Grazia and Emma. A pretty, honey-blonde Ravenclaw, with an affinity for books and the secret – or not so secret – brains behind many Weasley twin pranks, originally intended to be Mrs. Cassius Warrington. Something which became impossible when, in Emma’s fifth year, she was caught collecting information for ‘the other side’; Dumbledore, Hogwarts, Harry Potter. ‘Natalia Zabini’ became synonymous with anything and everything that was associated with ‘the good side’, and Emma had mourned when the family disowned her, cut her off from everything, and still mourns the loss of her closest sister. Still mourns the loss of her own courage. Because she had wanted so very badly to be a part of the Gryffindork Golden Trio, wanted to join her lover and all his do-gooding friends – who became her do-gooding friends ((‘Come on Emma, just a second, I promise.’ ‘Hermione...’ ‘Come on, I need to get away from those boys for a minute. Please!’)) -- in their battle for the light. Wanted to with all her heart, but the fate of her beloved sister deflated any courage she had left; she is no Gryffindor, when all is said and done.

The last she’d heard ((‘Why don’t you owl us anymore, Em? What, us mudbloods not good enough anymore?’)), Toby was a Mrs. Weasley – Charlie, she thinks – and that makes Emma happy. Because the Weasleys are good people, and she knows that Toby, who for all her brains could be so easily ruled, will not meet Grazia’s fate. She takes comfort in that thought, and thinks that maybe, just maybe, when she is no longer under her father’s thumb, she’ll be free to visit her sister. Of course, considering Draco’s history with the Weasleys, maybe not.

then count the stars and the ten million woes
just you and the universe judging each other


She sighs, sipping from her glass of champagne and casting her eyes around the room. Her beautiful, broken sister is fussing over one of the bridesmaids, and her mother is hovering over her head, her attention absorbed by the creases of her wedding robes and the exact fall of her hair. There is little that they have to do to her; she’s blessed with the glossy, dark curls of her mother’s family and the clear, smooth skin of her father’s family, almost identical to Grazia in all but eye colour, demeanour and height. She has Toby’s blue eyes ((‘Eyes like your mother, the both of you.’)), the strange mix of a Slytherin and Ravenclaw ((‘Strange, strange. Where to put you? Now, what’s this? A future Mrs. Malfoy? Well then, better be... SLYTHERIN!’)) and stands not much taller than five feet ((‘My little pixie. They like lilies the most, did you know? Because they’re so elegant, and they smell so beautiful. I’ve always thought I might name my daughter Lily.’)).

With a small hitch in her breath, Emma ((‘Emma, always Emma. My Emmie.’ ‘You know, only you and Drake call me Emmie... just like my parents only call me Blaise.’)) pushes the glass away from her, so hard that it slides along the polished tabletop and tilts, toppling over and smashing. The golden liquid within it forms effervescent rivers along the table, dripping onto the thick, undoubtedly expensive carpet, and the glass splinters, flying away on random trajectories with that lovely little tinkling noise that glass makes when it breaks.

“Blaise!” her mother rebukes, almost more out of habit than really caring, or even understanding. She pays no attention, simply allowing her eyes to roam, until she meets Narcissa’s eyes in the mirror, and the light in the woman’s eyes makes her stop, makes her hold her gaze.

oh, it’s in your eyes
i can see the weakness
you don’t have to hide


Cornflower meets azure, and Emma can read understanding in those eyes. Of course, she thinks. If there is anyone that would understand, it is Narcissa Malfoy – Narcissa Black. She knows what it is to be forced into a marriage when you love another. She knows what it is to feel hollowed out inside, shelled like so many prawns, to just need to break something, plain and simple. She can feel her lips turn up slightly at the corners, in a smile, but a cold one, untouched by mirth of any kind. She reads recognition in those eyes, their pale blue sparkling with regret and years of untold pain. Oh, to live under the thumb of Lucius Malfoy. At least with Draco, she knows she’ll be respected. She’s not in love with him, not at all, because that is reserved for another, totally unlike her husband-to-be in all imaginable ways, but she won’t deny that she loves him.

Loves him as she loves her little brother, her baby Marius, like a best friend.

And that’s what he is; her best friend. He’ll just never be her lover, and she doesn’t feel guilty for thinking such a thing; she is well aware where his heart lies, and it is most definitely not with her. No, his heart lies with a red-haired, brown-eyed Mediwitch he has been forbidden.

yeah, you do it for a price
i can see it in your eyes
see that role was never mine

that you’re an ideal, hell i never steal
but i stole you from, from another one


((‘Oh, for fuck’s sake, Drake! Just go to her, already! Pull your head out of your ass, and quit this star-crossed family rivalry thing. You are not your father, thank Merlin, so stop acting like him!’

‘And what good would that do, huh? It would leave me disowned, my father minus five million galleons with nothing to show for it, and you without a husband... although I rather think you’d like that part of it.’

‘Yes. Yes, I would, almost as much as I’d like seeing you happy! Because, egotistical as I’d like to be, I know that I can’t do that.’

‘You do, Emmie. You make me happy, just... different happy. You make me happy like I make you happy.’))


She sighs again, this time with resignation, and her eyes move in the mirror. They rest upon the face of Marius’ fiancée, the beautiful Natalie McDonald, with her big, round violet eyes, long, wavy chestnut hair and soft Scottish lilt. She’s tall and slim and pale, a light dusting of golden-brown freckles across her nose and the distinct glint of dread and fear in her eyes. ((‘Poor Natalie, having to marry a Zabini. They’re all in You-Know-Who’s inner circle, you know. One’s a Flint, and the one that was in our year’s going to be a Malfoy. Rotten, the lot of them.... ‘xept Toby, o’course. She’s my sister, an’ all.’)) Emma’s stomach tightens, and she immediately smiles for the girl, forcing some warmth into the gesture.

this is a place so deep
the water’s so deep i hesitate


The poor girl is not yet 16, but she’s engaged to be married to a man she hardly knows and she’s at her future sister-in-law’s wedding, watching a woman who should be dancing with happiness sit, detached, watching the world through a pane of reflective glass, while the bride’s eldest sister is fluttering superficially over some random woman, her belly heavy with a child she is having only to fulfil a contract, and the bride’s most beloved sister is nowhere to be seen, exiled for daring to do what she thought was right, to marry for love. Here is a girl who needs reassurance, ((‘It’ll be alright, right Hermione? I can divorce him once the war’s over, can’t I?’)) who needs to know that not all arranged marriages are hopeless, that it’s possible to get a happily ever after from even the worst situation imaginable. I’m sorry I am not that reassurance, Emma thinks sadly.

and i don’t mean to rain on your parade
but pathos has got me once again


There are two girls in the mirror, now, violet and brown and pale and blue and black and creamy, but both frightened, both lost, both drowning in a sea of money and power and centuries of pureblood bullshit bigotry and duty. They’re merging, blurring at the edges, and she wonders which was the one that needed to be reassured, again?

She’ll be nothing when all is said and done, another name on a tapestry, a small entry in the genealogy books, worthy only of a ‘Wife of’ and ‘Mother of’, because that’s all they’re good for, the only thing any good Death Eater wife ever does (("Your one duty as the newest Mrs Malfoy will be to present my son with heirs. For the price I paid, you can at least accomplish that, if nothing else.’)).

i am not a one-trick pony
for you i will not dance
for you i will not prance


She knows already that, if nothing else, her name will read ‘Mother of...’, knows because she had Hermione cast the spell last month, knows because she watched Hermione’s lips whisper the word ((‘Conceptualis’)) and saw the light swirling around her belly, the pulsating pink of it indication of one thing. She thinks her daughter will have bright hazel eyes, just like her Daddy ((‘They’re my mum’s eyes, or at least that’s what my Gran says. I’ve never really seen them… proper.’)), and lots of curly dark hair and milky skin, like her Mummy.

She thinks she will name her Lily, and she thinks that maybe, just maybe, she’ll be happy. ((‘I’ll wait for you, I promise. ‘Till tomorrow, ’till next year... ‘till forever, if you want. If you ask, I’ll wait.))

And though it is selfish, she thinks she just might.

But she will wait, too; wait out this war, and wait out this marriage.

and before this existence you were always there
waiting for me
you are, you are the realest thing i know

hands down
the realest thing i know

~fin~

The End

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