Written for Michi, because she loves Pansy/Draco and there's not much of it out there. This is only the first chapter. It will be continued, whether my muse likes it or not.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter isn't mine. This should be very, very obvious.
December was always a cold month at Hogwarts. Inevitably, snow would fall, icicles would form on the window ledges, and the castle would be cold. That's what the scarves were for. They let students cling to every particle of warmth they could get their hands on, and show their house pride.
When it was six below in every classroom, not many people cared about what house their peers were in.
Pansy Parkinson curled up on the couch beside the fireplace in the Slytherin common room. It was much colder in the dungeons than in the Great Hall, like the castle was showing hatred towards her house. She was sure that the Gryffindor tower was deliciously warm, that none of the Hufflepuffs were huddled around their single fireplace trying to salvage the heat.
Pansy rubbed the wood of her wand absently, briefly considering creating a bonfire with the extra furniture. She quickly discarded the idea as being unduly dangerous. She didn't want her robes to get singed, after all.
"Don't they bloody heat this place?" Draco Malfoy's disgusted voice floated over to her from his place on the other side of the room. Pansy drew her robes tighter around her, resting her head on a pillow and closing her eyes.
The couch bobbed under her as the most well-known Slytherin sat down near her, muttering all sorts of nasty hexes under his breath. Pansy assumed that these hexes would be directed at whomever had forgotten to heat the dungeons, if Draco ever found them. Draco was not known as the most forgiving of people.
A foot jabbed her in the side. Pansy opened her eyes. Draco was looking at her curiously. "How can you sleep in this cold, Parkinson?"
"I'm not sleeping," Pansy retorted, "or else I wouldn't be talking right now."
Draco lifted his shoulders in an effortless, elegant shrug. "You could have woken up."
"Well, I didn't," Pansy said quietly, closing her eyes again.
It was their last year in Hogwarts. Pansy's family had known the Malfoys for as long as she could remember, and probably much longer -- wealthy pure-blooded families tended to stick together. In the seventeen years that they had known each other, Pansy could not remember a single time when Draco had willingly called her by her first name. She had always been Parkinson to him.
It was normal for him, of course. Crabbe, Goyle, Zabini, Parkinson. She assumed that it was a Malfoy thing, as Lucius Malfoy had the same habit.
The couch shifted again, as Draco got up. "I am going to complain to Professor Snape," he announced for the whole room to hear. "I should not have to put up with this." Emphasis on the I.
The door slammed loudly as he left. Pansy glanced up at the fireplace. The flames flickered, hypnotising her. She examined a flame, idly noticing the interplay of colours within it. It seemed almost hypocritical of the fire to have a darker base, when it cast so much light.
Pansy twisted her hands within the Slytherin scarf. They felt somewhat warmer when she did that, so she kept her hands that way, hoping that Draco would be able to convince their head of house that frostbite was not the best motivator for academic success.
Gregory Goyle sat down beside her, the couch sinking under his weight. Pansy sighed in irritation, wondering if the warmth was worth the company.
"Have you seen Draco, Parkinson?" Goyle asked.
Pansy ignored him for a moment, lost in her own thoughts. He continued to stare dully at her.
"He went to ask Professor Snape for some heating," Pansy finally said, standing up. She had decided that she would rather freeze in her room than put up with the walking, talking brainless wonders that were Slytherin house's least intelligent students; namely, Crabbe and Goyle.
The latter was looking at her. "Oh," he finally said. "Okay."
Pansy lifted an eyebrow at him and drew her robes around her as she left the common room. The halls to the dormitories were lit by flickering candles; the light glanced off the stones of the wall.
The rhythmic tapping of her shoes echoed down the hallway. Pansy took a left, and opened the door to the room she shared with Millicent Bulstrode. Millicent was out, no doubt finding new and exciting ways to torture small animals. Pansy wrinkled her nose in disgust at this thought.
She closed the door behind her, and it locked automatically. Privacy was highly valued in Slytherin house, where backstabbing and theft were almost as common as nice, kind deeds surely were in Gryffindor tower. Of course, Pansy knew that she was partially secured from theft, since Draco was behind most of the amazing disappearing belongings.
Draco had promised her that he wouldn't steal her things. Pansy hadn't believed him – what person in their right mind would believe him? – but nothing of hers was ever taken. Millicent, on the other hand, often complained of lost books and games and clothing.
She sat down on her bed, studying one of the paintings on the wall. It was a woman, looking wistfully at whoever had painted it.
Ten minutes passed.
Fifteen minutes, and there was an almost imperceptible change in the air. Pansy blinked, then smiled. It seemed that Draco had succeeded.
The warmth surrounded her, pervading the blankets she lay on. Outside, she could hear Draco talking. His voice grew louder, and then softer; the sound of his steps faded into the distance as he walked further away from her room.
Pansy skipped breakfast the next morning. She spent the extra hour studying herself in a mirror and doing her hair.
It came as absolutely no surprise when Draco walked in unceremoniously. He had a habit of disregarding the privacy needs of others, so Pansy had learned to padlock the door while she was changing.
"Where were you at breakfast, Parkinson?" he demanded imperiously. Pansy looked at him out of the corner of her eye, and continued tying her hair back. "Where do you think?" she asked, dropping her arms and looking at her reflection.
"Here, of course, actively losing weight. You are a stick, Parkinson. These came for you." Draco tossed two letters onto her bed. One of the envelopes was easily recognisable; the regular dark blue, from her parents. The other was white and she didn't know who that was from.
Draco crossed his arms, waiting for her to open them. Pansy knew he was every bit as curious as she was about what was in the white envelope.
She opened the navy envelope first, just to spite him, and sat down on her bed. "Oh," she said softly, reading.
"Well?" Draco asked crossly.
"Just from my parents. I am to stay here over the holidays." Pansy shrugged dismissively, and picked up the white envelope.
Opening it was anticlimactic. It was, in fact, a terribly dry letter from the Daily Prophet telling her that her subscription needed renewal. Draco didn't know this, so Pansy gasped theatrically and put her hand to her mouth.
"Oh," she said dramatically, feigning an expression of shock.
"Well?" Draco demanded, sounding very much like a younger version of his father. "What is it?"
Pansy quirked an eyebrow at him, and tossed the letter to the bed. Draco took it and skimmed it quickly. He rolled his eyes. "Very funny, Parkinson."
"That's what I thought," Pansy said innocently.
Draco did this every morning. Pansy knew it was his own twisted method of caring for people; he would never come right out and demand that Pansy eat something, because a Malfoy worried about no-one. Malfoys were self-sufficient and cold. Malfoys, quite simply, did not care.
So, in effect, Pansy had a personal mail-delivery service. Sometimes the mail delivery brought her a bun or two from breakfast, always not caring.
"Get out," she said. "You're not supposed to be in here."
"So? There are a lot of things I'm not supposed to do," Draco drawled, leaning against the wall.
"Get out," Pansy repeated, opening the door. Draco lifted an amused eyebrow. Pansy narrowed her eyes.
With an exaggerated sigh, Draco strolled out. Pansy slammed the door behind him. Every morning, like a routine – it was almost comforting.
Wednesday. The same as Tuesday, which was the same as Monday. Pansy veritably floated through life, paying attention to nothing in particular. Everything was the same. Day after day, week after week, year after year – things were always the same.
There was always Harry Potter. He was always the same; still had a certain childish charm about him, even at seventeen years old. Pansy would admit that he was fairly good-looking, but that was probably only because anyone was good-looking when standing beside Ron Weasley.
Harry Potter always had his yearly fight. Granted, the losses mounted on both sides, but Harry Potter was always there. Always with his friends, the epitome of a perfect Gryffindor, everyone's hero.
Draco was always there. Unlike Potter, he had aged spectacularly, and most of the female population at Hogwarts now could not remember a time when Draco Malfoy had not been devastatingly handsome.
Good girls, Pansy reflected, always went for the bad boys.
There was always Dumbledore. He looked more and more tired as the years passed, but he was there at every meal, present at every event. Pansy wondered if he only had one set of robes, since he always looked exactly the same.
One thing always changed. No matter what, there was always a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Every single year since Pansy had begun attending, there had been a different teacher. This year, it was a bad-tempered, middle-aged woman named Professor Roy who taught by lecturing.
Roy was currently shaking her wand at Seamus Finnigan, who had been playing hangman with Dean Thomas and ignoring the teaching.
"Someday this will all become useful and then you'll wish that you had listened in this class!" she ranted.
Pansy tuned her out. She rested her chin on her hand, staring off into space.
Twelve and a half minutes later, a note hit her head. She picked it up off the floor and unfolded it.
What say we hex Weasley, explode a desk and get the hell out of here in the chaos? I don't think I can take another word from her.
What say we hex Weasley, explode a desk and get the hell out of here in the chaos? I don't think I can take another word from her.
Pansy looked over at Draco. He was smirking. She was not surprised. One nod, and they both surreptitiously pulled their wands out. Pansy didn't particularly like getting in trouble, but sometimes, it was worth the risk. "Furnunculus," she whispered, just as Draco's mouth formed the word 'incendio'.
As they had both predicted, chaos spread throughout the room as soon as the desk caught fire. Pansy put her wand back down her sleeve and stared, mesmerised, at the column of fire. She traced the tongues of flame with her eyes, until a hand grabbed her wrist and jolted her out of her reverie.
In the midst of the confusion, nobody noticed Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson slip out the door. Roy was not the most attentive teacher, and once the fire was out and the hex was taken off of Ron, she taught the rest of the lesson, completely oblivious to the fact that two of her students were gone.
Draco closed the door quietly behind them, still smirking. He hefted his book bag onto his shoulder and started walking down the hall. Pansy rubbed her wrist and walked alongside him. From the classroom behind them, they could still hear various students shrieking and Ron yelling "GET IT OFF!"
Draco chuckled quietly, shooting a glance back at the door.
"Where are we going?" Pansy asked. "We've got at least an hour until class ends."
Draco shrugged. "We could go back to the common room. Everyone is in class, so nobody would see us."
Pansy nodded, and they turned left down the next hall, heading for the statue that led into the Slytherin dormitories.
The atmosphere of the school was completely different when the halls were empty, Pansy noted. The absolute silence was eerie, and coupled with the ghosts drifting through the halls, it left one feeling a bit uneasy. She steadfastly kept her eyes forward, refusing to acknowledge the ghost that was floating through the wall on her right side.
"Scared of the ghost, Parkinson?" Draco's voice invaded her bubble of thought.
"You've got to admit, it's a bit spooky," Pansy said softly. "Everything is so...so quiet. So empty." She looked up at the ceiling, and the arches of the buttresses that supported it.
"I think it's peaceful," Draco said, an air of superiority in his voice. "When everyone is in class, there are no Gryffindors to ruin the effect. It's a beautiful school, if you just look at the architecture." He veered away from Pansy, and rested his elbows on a windowsill. "Look at the lake." He pointed to the water, which sparkled in the morning light.
Pansy came to stand at his side, holding her hands behind her back. She followed Draco's finger, and nodded in agreement.
Figures moved, as small as ants, near the lake. "Care of Magical Creatures class," Pansy observed quietly. She placed a hand on the window ledge, watching the tiny people move about, detached but appreciative.
"It's almost surreal," she said.
Pansy didn't skip lunch. She was going to skip lunch, but Draco insisted that she eat something. She pretended to eat a bowl of soup for forty-five minutes, getting halfway through it by the end of lunch only with Draco's prodding.
Draco was notoriously stubborn. Pansy remembered him when he was six, throwing a tantrum (albeit an elegant, Malfoy-like tantrum) because Lucius would not give him his cane to play with. He had finally resorted to sitting on all of his father's Ministry paperwork until he was given the cane.
He was bored of the cane within five minutes. At least the tantrum had kept him occupied for the better part of an hour.
So when Draco said you were going to eat, you were going to eat and that was all there was to it. Very few people wanted to find out what happened when you denied a Malfoy what he asked for.
Therefore, Pansy ate.
"Go pick on somebody else," she grumbled quietly between mouthfuls. "No," Draco said. "Less talking, more eating. You're a wraith."
"You're not the Fat Friar either."
"What did I say about talking?"
That was the end of the argument.
All Malfoys showed how they cared differently. Lucius showed that he cared by buying out half the stores in Diagon Alley as gifts; Narcissa showed that she cared by sending profuse amounts of food; Draco showed that he cared by being an obnoxious, stubborn git. It was convoluted, but Pansy appreciated it all the same.
The afternoon was eerily predictable. Hermione Granger got every single question right in Arithmancy, and Pansy was quite sick of her nasal voice by the end of class. There was nothing wrong with being smart, but flaunting it with a voice like that was disrespectful to the ears of others.
Pansy came out of that class with some lovely margin artwork on her sheet of parchment. She was sure that Draco would appreciate the tiny doodles of various ways that Granger could be mortally injured and/or lose her voice, never to be able to speak again.
Dinner was much the same, except that she ate her way through a small plate of vegetables instead of soup.
After dinner came the arduous task of writing back to her parents. Pansy retreated to her room to do this; although there was never anything overtly personal in her letters, she preferred the privacy.
Dear Mother and Father,
She absently brushed the end of the quill against her cheek. It was soft. She didn't know what kind of bird the feather came from, but it was her favourite; it produced a sharp, clear line when she wrote.
I am doing quite well. How have you been?
She left out the way that she skipped meals. Other than that, she was quite healthy.
I am glad to hear that Morrigan finally had her kittens. Would you mind if I took one as a pet?
If there was one thing she missed about her home, it was her cat.
My marks are quite good, as I have been working diligently at my classes. I am especially enjoying Arithmancy. So is Draco.
Draco always enjoyed logical things, which is why he was currently getting the highest mark in Potions in the whole grade. Ingredient plus ingredient led to the same result, without fail.
I do wish they would heat the dormitories more consistently. Draco is of the opinion that it is a conspiracy against Slytherin House. Draco is a bit too paranoid for his own good.
'Draco is probably right,' Pansy reflected bitterly.
I need some more writing paper, as I am running low. Could you please send some?
Seven sheets left.
It was wonderful to hear from you again.