By Jedi Tess of Gryffindor
Summary: The deep, personal friendship of Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini with a sickening "Gryffie" twist ^_^ Also a roundabout D/G with a bit of H/B.
A/N: I'm not sure where this came from or what the point of it is. All I know is it had to get written, cuz it was in my system. I hope you all enjoy and if you don't – well, I don't really care. I write for me, with the subconscious hope that someone else might learn to enjoy it as well. Thanks for reading. Hope you like.
Disclaimer: If only I owned Raine Maida . . . lead singer of Our Lady Peace, in case anyone's dumb. If you haven't heard these boys, folks, you're seriously missing some kick-ass, deeper than shit music. Take my advice and dig up Spiritual Machine, there second CD. That's not where the song I quote from (All For You) comes from, but SM's just a great album. Anyway, now that my little add stink for OLP's out of the way – I also don't own Potterland *sigh*.
A Suburban Man
At my door
But I don't think
I'll let him in
He wants discipline
Control – Over – The Way – I Live
Wants the best for me
Old school philosophy
But I –Will turn – My back – On him
He's a part of me
He'll buy me anything
But I – Just Need – A Friend
- Our Lady Peace, All For You
Blaise Zabini sighed, readjusting her position in the oversized loveseat and hefting her sobbing companion's head back up onto her shoulder, as said companion was rather unable to make himself move. With tenderness she'd been unaware she possessed until late last summer she brushed her long, delicate fingers through his platinum hair and kissed his temple.
"You've got to tell me, Draco," she said quietly against his ear. "It'll eat at you if you don't."
"I don't want to think about it," Draco Malfoy muttered hoarsely, nestling against her shoulder like a scared child – which he was.
"You'll dream about it for ages if you let it lie, love," she murmured gently. Draco lifted his head up to meet her eyes. Blaise had always found watching her best friend crying to be a thoroughly rattling experience. He didn't make a sound – not a sob or sniffle. His voice didn't even really change. But buckets of glistening tears would course down his cheeks, causing already heartbreaking beauty to be magnified ten-fold and become almost suicidal in its intensity.
"I can't stand it," he gritted, returning his head to her shoulder. She rubbed his back soothingly, waiting for the imminent explosion. Come it did, in its usual form.
"Fuck him!" Draco hissed, his breath warm against her neck. "I'll kill him myself, Blaise. Mark me sodding words. He'll die at my hand, Azkaban or no." He paused, taking a deep, shaking breath. "It was the Mark again. I refused it. In front of the his Wankerness this time. And on top of that, he thinks he knows who I've been 'pining for', as he put it. Stupid, outdated git."
"Oh, Draco, you didn't!" Blaise pulled back to gaze into his tear-stained expressionless face in horror. Every other time Lucius had tried to force Draco to accept the Dark Mark, it had been in the privacy of Lucius' study, away from the prying eyes of Lord Voldemort. Upon Draco's refusal, Lucius would usually torture him a bit, and then lock him in one of the deepest dungeons in the Manor before going to inform the Dark Lord that Draco felt unworthy of the honor as yet and was working tirelessly to prepare himself. Apparently, that story had just gone to the wolves.
And now, to cap it all, Draco had finally found someone he thought he really cared for (though he was too stubborn to tell her about it) and Lucius was about to fuck that up as well. Blaise scowled.
"Yeah," Draco saw her expression and gave a hollow laugh. "Bloody brilliant, eh? I'm definitely on your level of nutters." He was, of course, referring to how she and Draco had become best friends in the first place.
~*~ Flashback ~*~
It had started with Blaise being brought to Malfoy Manor by her mother, who enjoyed visiting for two reasons. The first, as Blaise had discovered to her disgust, was that Lucius and her mum were sleeping together. The idea turned her stomach, but gave her and Draco a good laugh. The other reason wasn't hard to conjecture. The Malfoys and Zabinis, two of the most powerful Pureblood families in the world, fully intended to see their only children united in holy (or otherwise) matrimony.
Draco and Blaise had a rather platonic, "hi, how are you?" relationship resulting from them being in the same House and being on the Quidditch Team together for several years. Neither was keen on the idea of marriage, especially to each other. As friends, they got on all right, but neither (however attractive the other was) wanted anything more.
Still, it was safer to pretend to go along with it, as Draco was already under a lot of pressure about the Dark Mark. Blaise, fortunately, was female and would therefore only be allowed or required to have the Mark if her husband had one. Hence the reason her parents wanted her hitched to Draco.
Upon Blaise and Cassiopeia Zabini's arrival at the manner on a hot August day last summer, they'd been shown into the parlor, and then the sitting room, where they were asked by the cowering house elf to wait for Master Malfoy a moment, as he was engaged with his son.
A few minutes later, Lucius had appeared, tucking his coal black wand back up the billowing sleeve of his robes. He'd kissed her mother's hand and then Blaise's. Blaise had felt the lips linger a touch longer than was necessary and had to exercise a lot of control not to slap him. Then he'd asked her if she wouldn't like the gardener to show her Narcissa's prize rose collection, as he was fully aware that she loved roses above all other flower, while he and her mother did a bit of "catching up."
Blaise, knowing perfectly well what Lucius and Cassiopeia wanted to be alone for (to shag each other senseless), had hastily agreed to a quiet stroll. Upon asking where Draco was, she was informed that he was "indisposed" and probably wouldn't be well enough to see her for a few days. As they were staying a week, he reasoned, Blaise and Draco would have plenty of time to "get acquainted."
Lucius had directed her to the front door and then left her to find her own way out to the gardens. Blaise, however, had other ideas. She wanted to find Draco, find out if he'd thought of any way to get out of marriage-at-17 (they'd both agreed to work on this over the summer before leaving school the previous year in hopes of avoiding the blessed union), and see if he really was ill. She wasn't sure she believed Lucius' story. And she'd seen his tight jaw and the wand tucking business as he'd entered the sitting room.
So she'd slipped up the stairs to where she assumed the bedrooms would be. She knew she wouldn't be caught by Narcissa, as the only reason Cassiopeia was here was because Mrs. Malfoy was away on a trip to the States for a week. Blaise poked her head into several empty bedrooms – she assumed they were guestrooms – before finding one with Draco's trunk against the far wall and various Hogwarts schoolbooks spread out over a large mahogany desk.
Draco was nowhere to be seen.
Blaise nodded in satisfaction and headed silently back down the stairs. It appeared a bit of exploring was in order.
As several hallways led off the entrance hall, Blaise was forced to take a guess. Twice she came up with dead ends. The third time, an out-of-place brick wall. She might have left it at that, but she had a nagging feeling that the brick wall wasn't there for décor. She tapped it.
Her hand went right through.
She yanked it out again, staring at the image before her. It looked solid. She felt it again, and again her hand went through as though the image were a Muggle hologram. Taking a deep breath and glancing furtively around to check that no one was about, she stepped through the image.
She was standing at the top of a wide wooden staircase. At the bottom was a long, wide aisle. And lining both walls was a row of cells, created by thick meddle bars going from floor to ceiling. They looked like dog kennels in a pet shop Blaise had once visited in Muggle London without her parents' permission with her friends Millicent and Pansy. Dog kennels with chains hanging from the walls, and various unpleasantly sharp, steel objects lying promiscuously about.
She descended the stairs slowly, staring around at the otherwise empty cells. Well, almost empty.
At one in the very back, lay a limp figure. A very familiar limp figure.
"Draco!" she gasped, staring in horror at his lifeless body. She began to run toward him. Beside the thick bars of the cell, she fell to her knees.
"Draco, wake up!" she hissed, ignoring the obvious stains on her white, knee-length dress and trying to reach through the bars and shake him. She couldn't reach, but he must had heard he voice because his head rolled over to face her. Blaise felt a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach.
His face was bloody from several exploded blood vessels and quite a few fresh flesh wounds. Blood had dried at the corners of his mouth as well, and his eyes were glassy.
"Blaise?" he mumbled, blinking up at her.
"Oh my god, what did he do to you?" she whispered, staring and realizing that his shirt and Muggle jeans were slashed, great bloody lesions visible in vivid red.
"Nothing I'm not used to," he mumbled raggedly, coughing and rolling over to let the blood from his mouth drip onto the cell floor.
Never in her life had Blaise felt more wretched than she did at that moment. While she had seen several men and women murdered by the killing curse in her lifetime and was often tortured with the Cruciatus by her own father, those had always been clean. Blaise had never seen someone so badly mangled in her life. Her heart wrenched in her chest and she got to her feet.
"You've got to get out of here," Draco gasped, wheezing painfully. "If Lucius or your mum catch you down here – "
"I'm not going anywhere," she told him shortly, looking around desperately for something to pick to ordinary looking lock of the cell door with. She would have used her wand, but a warning from the Ministry about underage wizard law was a dead giveaway that she was meddling in what ought not to be meddled in. In frustration she ran an agitated hand over her immaculate hair –
Her hand froze on a long, gem-encrusted hairpin.
Without thinking about it, she yanked the pin out, ignoring her now lopsided hairstyle as she began to pick frantically at the lock on the cell. After a moment, it clicked. Blaise grinned fierily. She'd always been a quick study. She shove the door open and rushed to Draco's side, her heart constricting as she saw the agony through the grime on his still-magnificent face.
Giving him a good looking-over, Blaise slid the straps of her dress down and pulled her undershirt over her head. Then she began binding up the still-bleeding wounds on Draco's arms and legs with strips from the once white tank top.
"Look, Zabini, you've got to bugger off," Draco panted, and Blaise, now close enough to see his face, saw tears glistening against the blood and dirt. "Lucius will kill you if he finds you."
"Draco, how long will it be before someone has a good look at these abrasions?" she asked, ignoring his question. She was falling into calculating medic mode, adapted from two years of medi-witch training with Madam Pomphrey as an addition class at Hogwarts.
"Dunno," he said, giving up trying to make her leave. "He's left me down here for a week before. Usually one of the elves brings me something so I don't starve."
"But these cuts are going to get seriously infected!" She was staring at a particularly nasty gash that had gone deep enough to see bone. "Especially this one. If it's not healed properly, your leg will have to be amputated." She stared into his clearing eyes, saw the fear and mingled rage there. "I'm going to help you."
"Get out, you stupid girl!" he gritted. "If you get caught, he'll do this and more to you and – "
"I'm not leaving you like this, Draco!" she snapped. "You're my friend, and I couldn't stand it if you died before you got a chance to send Lucius to the underworld!" She paused, abruptly aware of how out-of-character she was being, and then took the plunge with a cool, "I'm going to save you."
Draco stared up at her, his heart in his eyes. She doubted if anyone had ever risked their neck for him before and Blaise knew that she would never have seen him like this is he hadn't been in such an agony of pain, misery, and gratitude. Instinctively she took his hand, feeling closer to him that she ever had to anyone in her life.
"I'm not going to abandon you, Draco," she told him, leaning down to kiss a welt that slashed his pale, perfect cheek and ignoring the streak of blood that marred her full lips. "Lucius can rot. So can Voldemort." She realized she had tears in her eyes and hastily ducked her head to hide them. She blinked hard as her eyes met his again.
"I'll be back tonight to get you bandaged properly," she went on briskly. "You'll have to stay dressed like that or they'll know that more than elves come down here. In the meantime, get some rest. I'll send an elf down with dinner, alright?"
"Thanks," Draco muttered, slumping against the wall, tears still leaking from his eyes.
"You've always taken care of me, haven't you?" Draco said, sitting up and reading the look on her face perfectly. "You saved me then, too. Too bad the thought of sleeping with you makes me want to hurl myself off a tower."
Blaise slapped his shoulder playfully.
"No, it doesn't," she said, knowing perfectly well how lovely she was. "You just don't want to shag me because you don't shag your best friends and because you've got a certain redhead in mind who makes your toes curl."
"I was serious, Blaise," he mumbled, rolling away from her and sprawling himself gracefully across the couch. "If you hadn't snuck down to take care of me, I'd probably be dead. And you did almost get caught. Reckon that was the bravest thing you've ever done, wasn't it? Turning all Gryffie, aren't you?" The idea seemed to amuse him, because he went on. "Who'd you hang around with when I wasn't here over Christmas, sweetheart?"
"I wasn't used to sneaking around," she said defensively, ignoring the blatant innuendo. "I was too worried about you to realize that my dress was dirty, my face a mess of your blood, and my hair looked like a small bird was caught in it."
"And the fact that after you ditched your tank top your chest was on a rampaging path of destruction," he sniggered. Blaise hit him again.
"I thought you were being serious," she snapped over his yelp of pain. "If my boobs hadn't been nearly falling out of my dress, Lucius would have been paying enough attention to my bullocks story to know that I was lying through my perfect teeth."
Draco let out a bark of laughter, and Blaise felt a grin tug at her lips. She leaned over and rested her head on his shoulder.
"Feeling better?" He rested his cheek atop her curls.
"Always. Thanks, Zabini."
They sat in silence for a long time, ignoring the chilling night that was settling over their rooftop haven and watching the stars wink into life.
"You know," Blaise said softly after a time, tucking her hands into her cloaks lined woolen pockets, "I'm not the only shoulder you have anymore. Said redhead could help you just as much as I could. Probably more, since she wears her heart in her eyes."
"It's different with her," Draco sighed.
"Oh, get with it, Zabini," he retorted coldly, pulling his cloak more tightly about his shoulders. "There's a bit of a difference between you and little Weasel. You know what I go through because you're in the same boat, more or less. Weasley lives a fairy tale. Her life is one big hug, isn't it? Her parents love her to pieces, her brothers are all successful – except maybe Potter's git friend – anyway, they'd die before they let anyone hurt her. She wouldn't understand."
"Maybe," she said. "That the only reason you aren't snogging her silly?"
"You know it isn't," he scowled into the night, brow furrowed.
"You don't want her to get hurt by Lucius – that's the trouble, isn't it?" Blaise glanced sideways at her friend. "Look, Draco, we all run that risk, simply because of who we are. You know you can protect her."
"What if I can't?" His voice was so low that Blaise almost didn't catch the short comment.
"It's your call," Blaise shrugged again, getting to her feet. "But knowing Weasley, I'd guess that she doesn't give a rat's ass what your dad might do to her. She likes you, Draco. A lot. It's obvious. Why do you think her git brother's got his boxers in such a twist?"
At last, Draco cracked another smile, getting to his feet as well. He withdrew his wand and pointed it at the couch.
"Dismagnifus!" It couch shrunk to the size of a hotdog and Draco picked it up and slipped it into his pocket, making a mental note to put it back in the Slytherin common room where it belonged before he went to bed. Then he followed his impish friend to the roof door.
The crept quietly through the maze of Hogwarts' corridors, avoiding patrolling Prefect, including said 'git' Ronald Weasley and his bushy-haired Head Girl girlfriend, and made it to their common room without incident.
"Fang of Doom," Draco said, and the entrance to the Slytherin common room opened before them. "You'd think we'd find more creative passwords."
"I seem to recall Potter saying something like that to Weasley a few years back," Blaise returned.
"What? How could Potter know our password?" Draco stared at her, eyes narrowed. Blaise raised her eyebrows.
"You really ought to pay closer attention to them, especially when they start muttering to each other in class," Blaise said coolly. "They snuck into our common room in second year. Didn't you know?" She smirked at him.
Draco opened his mouth, closed it, opened it, started to speak, and then sighed, rubbing his temples.
"Whatever it is, I don't want to know," he mumbled. "Goodnight, Blaise."
She smirked at him, and pulled him into a tight hug.
"Goodnight, love," she murmured in his ear. "Dream about your little redhead and forget Lucius. He's not worth wasting your life worrying about. Go on." She pulled back and turned toward the girls' dorms.
"Blaise?" Draco's voice was mildly curious. She turned.
"Speaking of curling toes, who's your latest fling?" he asked. "I heard from Pansy that you were seeing someone around Christmas, but you wouldn't say who."
"Oh, did you?" she sneered at him, fully aware of her advantage.
"So – who is it?" he demanded, crossing his arms over his chest.
"If I told you, you wouldn't like it," she said carefully. She knew she'd have to eventually, but wasn't in the mood to have him being all murderous right before the beginning of classes the next day.
Draco studied her for a moment, his eyes narrowed. Then they widened, and his expression became disbelieving. Blasie kept her own face as blank as she could, although she had a sinking feeling that he'd pick up on her surreal emotional state anyway.
"Zabini, if you tell me it's Potter, I'll find Gryffindor Tower and throw you both off it," Draco hissed, taking a step toward her. Blaise couldn't help giggling.
"Fine – then I won't tell you," she said, turning away.
"Blaise!" he snapped. "You've got to be joking!"
"Chisté, ha ha," she quipped, flaunting her Spanish, just to annoy him. "See you in the morning, Draco."
She set off through the confusing maze of passages that made up the girls dorms until she came to hers. Then she paused, smiled. Removing her wand, she pointed it directly at the ceiling.
"Expositrum Draco Malfoy," she murmured. An image shot out of the end of her wand of Draco, his wand pointing in front of him, moving along a dim corridor somewhere near the 7th floor. He was scowling and muttering mutinous nothings under his breath. A moment later, he collided with someone moving in the opposite direction, her wand also drawn, her expression also stony. The two teens paused, stared at each other for a moment. Then tiny Ginny Weasley shoved Draco against a wall and began snogging him silly.
Blaise snorted with laughter, and flicked the image from the end of her wand. She had no doubt why Ginny Weasley had also been out in the wee hours of the morning. Thanks to her and her new flame's expert scheming, everything had gone to plan.
His job was to tempt Ginny to go looking for Blaise, and Blaise's was to get Draco angry enough to try and track him down in the middle of the night. Too good to be true, really, that Weasley and Draco were daft enough to fall for it.
"Gotta hand it to you, Potter," she muttered, pulling on her pajamas and sliding into bed. "We do make a great team." And Blaise Zabini fell into a blissful sleep, dreaming about her best friend's raven-haired adversary and the fun they were going to have giving Draco and Ginny hell in the morning.
Not sure why I wrote this, but it had to get written so whatever. Sort of roundabout and not connected to any of my other fics, but hell, sometimes you've just gotta do these things.