A/N: Procrastination is the best motivator to write. I am supposed to be studying for my exams, completing projects, and doing stuff that is decidedly not fanfiction writing.
"You can't marry him." Harry Potter finally said. They were in the Weasley kitchen and she had been sitting by the windowsill, poring over bridal magazines. He had been watching her for a full ten minutes, with her not paying him any attention, until he finally spoke.
"I must say, I'm rather thankful that the decision to get married lies with the groom and not on his best man." Pansy replied without taking her eyes off her magazine. "Nonetheless, I appreciate your input on my upcoming nuptials."
"You misunderstand, Parkinson. I refuse to stand by and watch Ron get hurt."
Pansy sighed and looked at him, her piercing blue eyes drilling into his green ones. "Did Draco get the same speech when he married Hermione?"
Harry snorted. "That's different. Draco loved – loves – Hermione."
"Oh really? And why are you so sure that I do not feel that way for Ron as well?" Pansy replied with a roll of her eyes.
Harry stared at her intensely. Pansy could feel the fine hairs at the back of her arms standing at its roots. "Because you are in love with me, Parkinson."
If he expected a reaction at that, he was not to get it. Pansy Parkinson was a pureblood Slytherin, raised from birth to mask her emotions with cold indifference. Indifference helped in politics. Indifference gives you control. "How utterly narcissistic of you, Potter." She replied coolly.
"You won't even deny it?"
"Deny what?" She asked back. "That a one night stand in the middle of the war equaled something serious? That it equaled to being in love?" She laughed scornfully.
"It was not a one night stand and you know it," Harry replied gritting his teeth. She was being difficult. However, falling in love with a difficult woman was not Harry's issue. The woman being engaged to his best friend was.
"If we're going to be technical about it, then yes, it was a series of desperate shags scattered throughout the time you were supposed to be hunting for whats-its-name with Hermione and my fiancé instead of a one night stand."
"It was hard sneaking into the castle to meet you, you know. I was almost caught a couple of times and I knew that Hermione was already wondering where I'm really going." Harry said with a grin.
"Well, yes, it was hard to sneak out to meet you too in Hogsmeade too Potter."
"Do you remember when you told me you love me?"
Pansy remembered. It was a mistake, a moment of weakness, a snippet in time when her walls faltered. Basking in the afterglow of what must be the best shag in the world, she felt happy, safe, and content. Things she never thought she could feel again after the war has begun. She was already drifting off to sleep, yet her heart was bursting at the seams with uncontained emotion and just before she succumbed to the darkness, she whispered, "I love you, Harry."
It would do no good, however, for Harry to know that she remembers such an event. "You must be confusing me with some other witch, Potter," she replied indifferently, "I do remember the shag but I don't recall professing my undying love to you."
Harry smirked, "would you like a Pensieve, Parkinson?" He held up a small vial filled with a silver fluid-like substance. "That night was a memory I'm rather fond of."
Pansy panicked inside upon seeing the memory. He kept it? She thought, but why would he keep a memory of that night of all nights? "That's very crass of you, Potter, to remember fondly the days when you were sleeping with your best friend's fiancée."
"That was before you and him!" Harry replied angrily.
"Yes." Pansy replied as if speaking to a daft child. She had to keep on redirecting Harry's responses to different things, things that didn't lead to her mistake that night a few years ago. "And now, there's me and him, yet you still keep blabbing about things that hold no water anymore."
"You don't get to decide on those things alone, Pansy! You do not get to end our relationship alone!"
"What relationship?" She sneered, "you, yourself, pointed out that I was a great bed buddy and nothing more!"
The Final Battle was over and Harry had won. Her parents were dead. Her relief for his survival was overcome with her grief for her parents' deaths. They were good parents, contrary to popular belief on pureblood families, they loved Pansy and did everything they did because they thought it would result into a better world for her. She found Harry seated alone at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. It was their spot, secluded behind Hagrid's hut and a thick covering of bushes.
Her heart jumped at the sight of him, alive and breathing. It was true that she was cold and ruthless when needed to be but this was the man she loved.
"Harry," she whispered, taking a few steps to approach him.
She saw him visibly stiffen at the sound of her voice, and she took a few steps back involuntarily. He heaved a huge sigh and said, "at the very least, you were an excellent shag, Parkinson." He said, tonelessly, "thanks for the great time." He said before standing up and leaving, burrowing deeper into the forest, walking farther away from Pansy. She watched his back as he moved away from her, watched as she did on those nights when he would leave after they made love, but this time, she knew he would never return.
"I never said such a thing!" Harry replied indignantly, yet the spark in his eyes told Pansy that he remembered their conversation in the forest as much as she did.
"Would you like a Pensieve then, Potter?" She replied snidely, mimicking his earlier words. "Granted, I don't keep such memories stored at ready for viewing, but I'm pretty sure I could conjure it up pretty quickly."
"Don't you dare blame this mess on me, Parkinson! You disappeared from England right after the battle cleared up!"
She did. She escaped with Draco and lived in the Mediterranean for a couple of years and only returned when Wizarding England went back to normal. It was safer for the both of them. Draco was a minor and did not actually kill Dumbledore. Pansy was at the very worst, connected to the losing side by her family and friends only. It was the wisest move to disappear until the dust has settled.
"Why do you even care, Potter? You pushed me away."
"You tried to hand me over to Voldemort!"
Pansy snorted, "that again? Potter, all of us knew it would eventually be a face-off between you and him. Handing you over would result to the same thing, only with less casualties."
"It warms my heart to see you treat me with such indifference." Harry said sarcastically, "I mean, really, where's the concern for the man you love, right? Always have to be practical, you Slytherins."
"I was concerned," Pansy stated, "but I also trusted you to make it out alive. You are a powerful wizard even as a boy, Harry. Why do you think Draco's jealous of you so much? I hoped you could defeat him early enough without involving too much people so that my parents could have a better shot at staying alive," she finished bitterly.
Harry softened at her words, "I never got the chance to properly say this, " he said, "but I'm sorry about your parents, Pansy."
"Not your fault," she replied sternly. "Now, as much as I enjoy reminiscing not-so-fond memories with you, Potter, I still have a wedding to plan," she said as a goodbye as she made to leave through the back door. Harry reacted quickly and caught her wrist before she even made it two steps away from the windowsill.
"Don't marry him," he whispered softly, pleading with his eyes. "Don't do this to me, Pansy."
The stoic mask that she kept throughout their conversation faltered at the way he stared at her.
Harry did not know why he was doing this. Ron is his best friend. When he first told him and Hermione that he was seeing someone, had been doing so secretly for some time, they were ecstatic for him. Ron deserved happiness and clearly, this woman brought him that. When he found out it was Pansy, he was more than shocked. A year after she and Malfoy disappeared, Draco came back alone. A few months after that, he and Hermione were already going out, much to Harry and Ron's displeasure at first. A few more months and Draco had already proven himself both as Hermione's lover and as a friend to both Harry and Ron. And apparently, it was through him that Ron was reunited with Pansy.
Ever since becoming friends with them, Draco had always been closer to Ron than Harry. It's not something that bothered Harry but it was certainly noticeable. Because of that, it was no surprise that Draco set up his best friend with Ron, his other best friend, instead of Harry.
Everything fell into place after that, and a year after Pansy was formally introduced as Ron's girlfriend, they were now getting married.
Now a mere three months before the wedding, Harry couldn't live in denial anymore as he had done the past year.
He was still in love with the woman.
And he had to say this, had to try, despite knowing how wrong it is, how hurtful for Ron it could be because if he didn't he would live his whole life in regret.
Silence reigned in the Weasley kitchen. Slowly, Pansy approached him and wrapped her arms around his torso. Harry's breathing hitched at the contact he craved and missed so much. He wrapped his arms around her and held on tight, like a lifeline. She pulled back, just enough so she could look him in the eyes.
"The time for you and me is over, Harry." She said quietly.
Harry felt his heart breaking. He felt his eyes burning, tears threatened to fall. "I love you, Pansy."
She smiled, one that didn't quite reach her eyes. "Turn back time and tell me that before I left England," she said sadly, "or maybe not. Maybe things won't change. Maybe you and me are just not meant to be. Maybe we needed each other, a welcome reprieve during the war to keep us sane, and that was all there is supposed to be for the two of us."
"Tell me you love me," Harry pleaded, and when she started to withdraw from his arms at his words, he held on tighter, "please," he whispered, "just one last time."
She raised her hand to run it through his hair, ruffling it like she used to do before, "would it help in the situation?" Harry shook his head. It wouldn't. It would give him hope when there is none. "Then I won't say it," she said.
Harry allowed himself a smile, how utterly Slytherin of her, manipulative witch, he thought fondly. He released her from his arms but held onto her wrist. "Does he make you happy?"
Pansy nodded with a smile, "I've always wanted a large family. Yes he does make me happy."
"Tell me you love him," said Harry, tightening his grip on her wrist, "if you won't tell me you love me, tell me you love him instead."
Pansy stared at him directly in the eyes, "I love him." And at that moment, Harry watched her let her walls fall, let him in once more as she did all those years ago. And at that moment, Harry Potter knew that she was not lying.
She really was in love with Ron.
Choking back tears, Harry gave her a watery smile before releasing her wrist and saying, "then that is all I needed to know."
Pansy smiled at him, just like she used to, a genuine smile and not the façade she puts up for other people.
Then she suddenly snapped back to her normal attitude, cold and mean and hidden under layers so many one cannot count. "Well, I'll be taking my leave now," she said with a slight sneer, "goodbye, Potter."
Taking her cue, Harry pushed all thoughts of them away, the what-could-have-beens and the what-was-befores, and smirked, "goodbye, Parkinson. I wanted to say it was nice talking to you, but we both know it's not."
Pansy snorted, "trust me, it's no pleasure to be in your company as well, but alas, we have to endure each other at least until the wedding. Then after that, I could have three blissful, Potter-free weeks before Ron and I return from our honeymoon."
"Yes, well, don't let the door hit you on the way out, Parkinson."
She rolled her eyes and walked out.
Harry watched her reach the apparition point in the backyard.
"Goodbye, Pansy." He whispered in the air.
And then she vanished.
A/N: I wanted to write a Ron/Pansy/Harry love triangle. I have ideas for multi-chaptered fics (however, let's all admit I suck at multi-chaptered fics. I'm trying to get over my bad habit of getting tired too easily of a story, though. Let's see what happens during Christmas break. :D) so I tried pouring my feels out in a one shot instead. (Now, one-shots I can do.)