A/N: Omgosh hey lovliest ones! This chapter is funner, I think. We'll see what you think. Happy reading Xx

Beta Love to mah snakey-sister Kaarina_Riddle!

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November 20, 1998

Soft, luxuriant locks threaded through her fingers. She rubbed the hair between her fingertips, pulling and tugging, prodded on by her growing urgency. Kisses were peppering her neck, nipping and suckling her reddened skin, and she felt heat bloom low in her abdomen.

Pansy squirmed her legs and moaned, gripping the hair she held tighter. She opened her eyes, not quite sure who she held in her arms… or who was holding her. Tilting her head to the side and simultaneously giving her mystery man better access, she let her eyes flutter open to see the tan, well-muscled arms which twined around her waist and pulled her towards a lithe and lean body.

Holding his head closely to her neck with her right hand, she let her left wander down between the gap which separated them. Her fingers trailed along his incredibly toned chest, wishing desperately to feel skin against skin. She traced the hard planes and muscles she felt just under the fabric of his shirt, taunting her. Her fingers slid lower down his abdomen, intent on finding the hem and sneaking underneath.

Her plan went haywire when she felt his skillful lips began to wander… first from the column of her jaw and then to her collar bone, exposed thanks to the low-hanging camisole she wore. Without her permission, her eyes fluttered shut once more, her mission forgotten, and her right hand fell to the nape of his neck, squeezing and holding him there as a rush of arousal flooded her senses.

She wished he would keep up his explorations and tug down her camisole to pay her aching breasts much needed attention. She hoped she wasn't wearing a bra, but strangely she couldn't seem to remember either way. He released his grip on her left hip and moved his right hand up to tease her breast, as if he'd heard her silent plea.

She wasn't wearing a bra.

Knees buckling, she gasped for air and held him tighter still, frenzied with lust for the wizard in her arms. Something long and hard brushed against her abdomen and driven by sheer need, she threw her leg around his hip, using his shoulder for leverage as she brought their bodies closer. A moan ripped itself from her mouth at the delightful friction she felt with their bodies pressed together so intimately. His answering groan threw gasoline on the fire which raged inside her.

"Fuck," he hissed, sending tingles whispering down her spine. "So good… Pansy."

Pansy shot up in bed, gasping for air, clutching her chest. The room spun as she attempted to get a grip on her surroundings, a hard feat to manage with darkness blinding her.

But it wasn't really so dark.

No, even as she sat her eyes adjusted to the darkness. It was morning—very early morning at that. She ran a hand through her long, brown hair and then let her fingers fall to her lips. They were tingling and her heart was hammering in her chest as if it had all been real.

She'd dreamt of Potter.

Potter… and he had called her Pansy.

Just thinking about her name on his lips made her abdomen muscles clench with want. It was so forbidden but yet somehow so appealing. She threw her head back on the wealth of pillows on her bed and pushed her foot against her calve, getting her legs hopelessly twisted in the sheets. It was then that she realized she was quite aroused—uncomfortably so. She was overcome with the overwhelming desire to give herself much needed relief.

She sighed in frustration, tangling her hands in her hair again just so she wouldn't be tempted to let them wander. She wasn't so sick and depraved that she would sink low enough to get herself off to thoughts of The Savior—a man so far out of her reach it was laughable.

What the bloody hell had Potter done to her? Was it some kind of trick? Had he cast some spell over her or slipped her a potion? Not that she could see why he would bother. But how was it that he could make her feel so feverish? And it wasn't constant either. Like that time in class several days ago—she'd been aware of his presence when she'd entered History of Magic, but she'd been fine. So why she went from feeling fine to wanting to stomp straight over to where she knew he sat, likely staring at her if the prickling sensation she felt on the back of her head was any indication, and launch herself on his lap, straddling him before proceeding to snog him senseless—she had no idea. But the urge was so powerful, she had no choice but to flee the room before she gave into temptation.

Sort of like she was trying to keep herself from doing now.

Battling for control seemed to have become the new constant in her life.

Potter had some power of her regardless of how mad such a notion sounded even in the privacy of her own mind. What to do about it was another issue entirely. She surely couldn't confront him about her feelings—she didn't have the guts! If he attempted to pull her aside himself she'd probably run. He wasn't like other boys who she could quickly wrap around her pinky finger and that made him someone to fear.

Oh—what was she saying? It didn't matter that Potter was different— that he stirred tumultuous feelings in her— she was a Slytherin and she wouldn't lose her head around any wizard, least of all him. She wouldn't run—she couldn't let herself. Her pride would hardly allow it. She would just have to treat him as she would anyone else. There was no way she was going to give him any indication he was special—give him power over her! That would only make her vulnerable and Pansy Parkinson never allowed herself to become vulnerable.

She threw her sheets off of her and kicked them down the bed with a groan of dissatisfaction. Sod it all! She wasn't a self-martyring Gryffindor, she was a snake and if she wanted fulfillment then dammit she would get it. Moistening her lips with the tip of her tongue she relaxed against the linen and skimmed her fingers over her bare stomach. She was wearing the same camisole as in her Potter-dream, and even though the visions lingering at the recesses of her mind were becoming hazy, the feelings were still there and the promise of sweet relief dangled in front of her temptingly.

Her heart galloped in her chest as she slipped her fingers underneath the waistband of her pajama bottoms. His face swam to the surface of her mind, so strikingly clear she might convince herself he was really there. She imagined his eyes were heavy lidded and his jaw slack like he had been the day he'd pulled her into the alcove. She imagined the fire in his eyes she'd seen that day in the classroom when righteous indignation had provided her with enough courage to stare him straight in the face. Electricity thrummed through her body as her fingers traced her heated flesh, slowly building up the need as she skillfully had so many times before.

But this time was different.

Her folds were slick and just the idea of him doing this to her with his fingers replacing her own sent her running towards the deep chasm that promised bliss at full speed in no time at all. Her teeth tugged at her lips as she continued to stroke her needy flesh, unable to stave off her pleasure even if she wanted to. In seconds she was arching her back and bucking her hips, rolling against her own hand shamelessly, visions of him feeding her fantasies.

It only took one, two circles of her clit to have her fracturing… shattering… spiraling headfirst into the deep abyss where wave after wave of pleasure shot through her for what felt like an eternity. She rode the intoxicating waves, gasping her elation as sweet delirium took her, before she fell back down against the bed, her chest rising and falling sporadically.

It was the longest orgasm she'd ever remembered having and brought by her own hand no less—in a matter of seconds.

She suddenly felt more edgy than before, her suspicions creeping back to her. She clutched the sheet to her chest and froze still as her breathing slowly came back to her. She had got off… to images of him. She should feel shame for such a deed, but she couldn't help but think Potter was partially to blame… somehow. She only needed to figure out just how.

Later on that Day…

Pressing her eyes closed, Pansy let her magic charge up inside her chest before she felt it tingle through her arm and finally slide to the fingers clutching her outstretched wand. She frowned when she failed to bend the magic to her will and glanced at the palm of her hand again where she'd hastily scrawled the repairal spell.

Narrowing her eyes at the ruined rubble of the ledge she'd been assigned, she tried again, adjusting her wand movement slightly as she enunciated the spell. Her mind was consumed with thoughts of a pessimistic nature. Already they were approaching the half point in the school year and she didn't feel very much closer to making progress socially or academically. As she stood and worked on repairing the crumbled stone, she wished it were as simple as practicing a spell to fix her damaged reputation. She'd never readily admit such a thing troubled her, but it definitely shut a lot of doors in her life. The social circles she ran in before would hardly help her now.

She took out all her frustrations on mending the ledge, trying not to think about the fact that come March she would need to petition the Healing program at St. Mungo's. There would be no relying on a good name or her father's pull to get in—those things didn't matter anymore. There were no vast amounts of Galleons sitting at Gringotts to bribe committee members with. For the first time in her life, Pansy didn't know the comfort of money. If anything, the desire to bring back the familiar life she took for granted before was a huge driving factor in selecting a career, especially one as esteemed as a Healer. That and her penchant for Healing Charms.

She'd always taken pleasure in healing Draco and her friends when they needed it. It gave her a brief reprieve during the war. She liked the way it felt to perform those kind of spells—to feel the magic flutter through her body. It was strangely satisfying.

Another driving factor—she wanted badly to help her mother restore the manor and buy back some of the costly heirlooms they were forced to sell from what the Ministry hadn't already seized. It pained her to recall hocking their costly tea set— a beautiful collection in pastel green in grey as an ode to Slytherin with an iridescent shine shifting charm— only to help pay the fines they'd amassed. Pansy had never seen her proud mother allow a single tear to escape her eye before. She didn't want to see it again. She wanted it all back. She wanted Parkinson Manor as it once was, not falling to neglect. Even the portraits were ashamed of them, constantly berating herself and her mother for allowing filthy blood-traitors to get the better of them.

Pansy had more than enough to worry about without needing to add Potter to the mix. Each time The Savior tried to weedle his way in her mind she forcefully clamped down on the thought—effectively shutting him out. She didn't need to think about how she'd allowed herself to give into temptation and let her thoughts drift to him in the privacy of her bed. No one need ever know. It was mortifying. A Parkinson never staked claim on something or someone they couldn't have. It was an embarrassment she would never admit to.

Besides, there were more important things to worry about, clearly. She needed to pull out all the stops if she hoped to have the career of her choice. Sure, she could probably always have a job with Draco. He and Theo were going into Potions together. She was no Divinator, but surely it wouldn't be long before the two of them built a thriving empire. She could probably always rely on the both of them offering her some menial job— a secretarial position, maybe— but if she wanted to do something she truly wanted she was going to have to work for it, and she was going to have to work harder than everyone else.

A smile tugged at the corner of her lips as her spellwork gradually went from strained to effortless. Distantly, she could hear her classmates off in other areas of the Tower firing off spells of their own. She imagined much progress would be made today. Smiling wider, she felt proud to be part of such an effort. Even if she could only boast a small role, she would still be leaving her mark on the castle.

Her mind initially dismissed the sound of approaching footsteps, too swept up in the task at hand and having grown used to the sound of the other students working somewhere alongside her. It was his voice— that velvety, baritone— that jarred her from her silent musings and sent shudders racing down her spine.

"There you are."

She stiffened, her fingers tightening around her wand as she made herself turn around and face him, brown eyes instantly getting helplessly trapped in his startling green gaze. She still wasn't accustomed to seeing him without his trademark glasses.

"I thought you were on the east end helping Greengrass and Davis." Potter shifted his feet, his wand tucked in his denim pocket, his black hair adorably disheveled.

He was looking for her? But… why? Her mind worked frenetically in an attempt to understand why he would seek her out and what he could possibly want from her. All the while, she seemed to have lost the ability to form cohesive words and stood gaping stupidly at him. Her heart hammered and her brain fogged as she fought the gripping pull of his stare.

He shifted again, having the audacity to look uncomfortable if not mildly affronted. "Where've you been?" he tried again, confusing her all the more with his apparent concern for her whereabouts.

Repulsed by his ability to seemingly paralyze her with merely a look and the sound of his voice, she mentally shook herself, clearing her mind. She needn't beat herself up about it so much— it was a normal teenage reaction— a hormonal one. The reason for her startling reaction to him was simple—she'd clearly been deprived of sex too long and was bound to respond to the first alluring male she crossed paths with.


Had she just referred to him as alluring?

She tried not to think of just how alluring he looked currently, refusing to allow her eyes to wander over his form as they wished desperately to. Something about him exuded sexiness, and it was all she could to keep herself from drawing closer.

"What do you want?" She was immensely pleased with how disinterested her voice sounded. Now to only make her eyes keep her secrets too.

He didn't respond for a moment and proceeded to study her quietly. It was Pansy's turn to shift uncomfortably. She was equal parts torn between wishing he would simply leave her be and wishing he would close the gap between them and push her up against the partially mended wall.

"I don't know," he finally answered, his tone hollow but his eyes honest. "But I—," he broke off, his brow furrowing and jaw tightening as he glanced away. He seemed to be grappling with some internal dilemma and Pansy wondered if he felt it too—this strange connection between them. His mouth fell slack and he turned to face her once more. Avada green eyes brighter than ever. "I can't seem to keep myself away." He took a threatening step forward and she instinctively stepped back. "No matter how hard I try." He moved towards her again and she moved back, a coordinated dance between enemies.

All too aware she was the one retreating, she jutted her chin defiantly and planted her feet. "I don't know what you're talking about." But her voice faltered— trembled, even— and he noticed as a predator spots weakness in it's prey.

He purged the scant distance between them swiftly— so swiftly, her head spun— and she quickly pressed her back against the wall. "Don't you?" He was far too close, his breath mingling with hers. He smelled like cloves and sandalwood and broom polish. She blinked rapidly, trying desperately to suffocate the fear threatening its way to the surface—fear of the unknown. "Because I think you're lying." His hypnotic eyes became harder, shrewder as they narrowed in on her, peeling away at her defenses. "I think you feel it too… this pull."

Even as he said it— as he named it— something shifted around them. Perhaps it was the crumbling of her many lies she'd built as defenses, but when they fell she felt it. The prickling awareness. The clenching in her gut. The pulsating need that bloomed low in her abdomen. It was hard not to moan. No one had ever had this sort of effect on her—no one but him. And he was admitting he felt it too. The longer he stood, invading her space, the stronger it became, and the harder it was to resist the seductive call to bring herself closer to him until she couldn't tell where one of them began and the other started. It was maddening. It descended her mind into a blissful haze almost drugging in nature. She was suddenly very aware of the way she clutched her wand to her chest almost desperately, of how her eyes had squeezed shut against the truth of his words. How she must look to him? She had guilt written all over her.

"Open your eyes," came the sharp demand, "open them and tell me you don't feel it too."

But if she obeyed, it would all be over because she couldn't endure the wave of feelings crashing over her and be assaulted by the vision of him all at the same time. She didn't have the courage to face it all and still deny what was so glaringly obvious. So much for keeping her Slytherin-cool around the man. He'd done something to her and now she couldn't think clearly. Perhaps if she kept her eyes squeezed closed long enough he would bore of this game and leave her be. Her heart clenched in anguish at the disturbing thought of his departure.

Something soft brushed against her lips and her eyes snapped open.

She gasped. Potter was skewering her with his gaze. She couldn't look away if she wanted to. He'd kissed her. Maddeningly… impulsively… he was going to do it again.

"Tell me I'm wrong," he challenged, his lips descending ever-closer, mere centimeters.

"You're," she swallowed convulsively, feeling like a frog had caught itself in her throat. "You're wrong."

Something clattered on the ground between her feet. Her wand, maybe, as now her fingers clutched at emptiness.

"Liar." Grabbing her shoulders, he pressed her harder against the wall until the stone scratched roughly against her blouse. His eyes dropped to her mouth and Pansy couldn't help but dart her tongue out to sweep across her lips, entranced by the sound of his hastened breathing and the sight of his eyes no longer green, but darkening to an impossible shade of black. Only flecks of emerald remained.

Black eyes of a predator, and they were watching her, and surely she must be barmy because none of it could really be happening.

He brushed his lips against her, once… twice… so fast it made her head spin. He dug his fingers harder into the flesh of her shoulders, his expression a captivating mixture of anger and lust. There appeared to be a battle raging inside of him, but Pansy no longer felt such turmoil herself. She stopped entertaining thoughts of escape. She didn't even make a conscious decision to indulge in her very secret fantasies—she didn't seem capable of conscious thought at all. She only knew she wanted him… wanted him badly and was no longer content with the chaste kisses he'd given her.

No longer in control, her head lolled to the side as she felt his nose brush from the line of her jaw down to her neck. His tongue lapped at the skin just over her jugular, tasting her. She whimpered in sheer need.

It was sinful. The sounds she made. For him.

"See?" he whispered against her throat.

"What?" she inquired hoarsely, feeling dangerously close to delirious thanks to the sizzling desire that raced through her limbs and settled like molten lava in the pit of her abdomen.

"You want this." His accusation caused her knees to buckle, and his right hand fell from her left shoulder to grip her by the waist much like had happened in the sex-dream she'd had that morning. He licked at her neck— teasing her— and she melted. "Why should I choose you?" he bit out harshly between licks.

She frowned, unsure of what exactly he was asking her… unsure of everything. Lost in desire.

"Give me a reason," he continued, speaking against her throat and working his way back up to her mouth. "You sold me out. You're nothing but a frightened little girl." He tugged her bottom lip between his teeth and tugged, making her cry out.

"Maybe you're right," she relented. "I wish you weren't but—" There was an argument somewhere… an argument of her personal worth, but it had seemed to vanish right when she needed it most. She couldn't think and could hardly defend herself at a time like this. Shame and indignation warred with frenzied heat and lust.

He rolled his hips against her stomach and her eyes widened in surprise when she felt the hard ridge of his arousal press against her. Catching her hair between his fingertips, he rubbed and pulled, arching her head. "You're mine," he declared hotly, before slanting his mouth against hers, lips clashing and teeth scraping… finally.

Pansy didn't attempt to argue with his ridiculous statement. Surprisingly, no argument came to mind. And she was finally snogging him… snogging Potter. The pounding need that had built up inside her chest grew in tandem with their kiss. It was always how she imagined it would be. A pull and take so much like their volatile relationship. One of her arms curled around his neck, tugging him closer, whilst the other found its way to his face, tracing the chiseled lines of his cheek.

Potter tasted like he was made for her.

Harry! Her mind amended with a possessive growl.

Potter tasted like redemption and she was quickly finding herself addicted to such a flavor.


Harry withdrew for a second, only to look at her thoroughly kissed lips—flushed and full and berry pink.

So much better than his fantasies.

She was panting and her eyes were heavy lidded—long lashes sweeping against cheeks stained a becoming magenta. Entranced, he couldn't help tracing the outline of her lips with his fingertip, eager for more of her exquisite flavor. Ginger pear tea and cinnamon and strawberry lip gloss. His inner beast roared, but Harry was determined to stay in control and savor this moment even if he was stealing it. Even if he was perhaps partially to blame because he'd completely abandoned all pretenses of keeping his Veela charm in check.

None of that mattered when he had her body stretched before him, taut up against the wall and ripe for his attentions. Parkinson went rigid underneath him, as if partially coming to her senses, but he would have her arching that pretty little body off the stone wall soon enough. He was growing tired of her always resisting him in some fashion or another and would have her participating with equal fervor. Trailing his tongue along the column of her jaw, she whimpered in a very un-Parkinson-like fashion and he relished in the sound which shot straight to his growing cock. His eyes raked over her, shining gleefully and pleased with her visceral reaction to him. She couldn't help but react.

Leaning down, he gently sucked her lip, spurred on by a strange possessiveness. His hands wandered the slopes of her body— learning her curves— and desperately wanting to feel underneath the flimsy material which separated them. He suddenly hated her inky blue blouse—the one he'd been admiring just a few hours before when they'd received their assignments in class… when he'd vowed to come seek her out and enact his plan to get to know her.

Well, that plan had gone to shit.

Sod it all, but he couldn't really bring himself to care, could he? Not when he had the object of his affections writhing in his arms. His hands found their way under the hem of her shirt and whined around her back, admiring the smooth skin he found there as his fingertips played at her bra line. Licking her lips, he coaxed her mouth to part for him so he could deepen their kiss.

Her fingers clenched around the hair on the nape of his neck whilst her other hand fisted into the material of his collar. Sharp jolts of pleasure lanced through him where her grip tightened and he suddenly wished desperately to have her hands explore him more thoroughly, but she still wasn't opening for him. He moved his mouth softly against hers and let his fingers trail under the restrictive straps of her bra, tracing teasing circles. She keened and squirmed against him, and he swallowed down the burning need that spiked through him as he pressed his advantage, stroking his tongue against hers.

His tongue swept passionately through her mouth, making his body come alive and thrum with electricity, but the more he tasted, the more he hungered for. With her, he could never be satisfied with a little. It was all or nothing. To resist her seductive pull over him was futile. He kissed her long and hard, until the consequences meant very little to him. He kissed her until he felt a rush of power—dark and intoxicating. He kissed her until he didn't care about the fingers tugging harshly at his hair or the tongue making his rock and swell in tandem with it.

His mind was becoming wiped clean of thoughts thanks to the raging fire that burned out of control like Fiendfyre in his chest.

They broke away gasping for air, but he seemed to need her more than life-giving oxygen. An urgent plea wrenched itself from her lips, her need as evident and undeniable as his own. He swept his tongue across his lips, lightly tasting her lingering flavor left on his mouth. He felt his control slipping as his senses sharpened yet his thoughts grew hazy at the same time. The beast was taunting him, growing louder in his mind and demanding to be let loose. Like his inner Veela, he found her desperation for him exhilarating. Fangs protruded from his gums. How he longed to sink his teeth into the vulnerable flesh of her neck.

Drawn to the location, his head fell forwards and he nipped and sucked at the spot he wished to claim.

She whimpered plaintively.

He ignored it.

Nothing else mattered so long as she kept her hands on him, even if she would progress to ripping his hair from his head. Her touch was intoxicating and he wasn't sure he could ever come down from this high. He wanted to pull her to his chest, wrap his arms around her, and cherish her like a precious gemstone.

Delirious with need, he tightened his grip around her. "Pansy," he rasped against her skin.

Pansy. Her name sounded right.

His fangs dripped with venom and unthinkingly he scraped them against her soft flesh, mad with want.

Stiffening in his arms, she abruptly straightened and pressed her hands flat against his chest, pushing with all her strength. "P-Potter," she stammered.

He caught her gaze and a fissure of panic penetrated the fog of his mind when he saw wariness mingle with the lust in her chocolate brown eyes.

"What the fuck?" Her voice was steadier now, more sure, but her chest still rose and fell in shallow pants—a testimony to the deed they had done. It was a deed so forbidden, but they had done together.

His vision cleared and his stomach twisted violently. He didn't want to think about the ramifications of this. She watched him with wide eyes, almost disbelieving and he wondered what she saw when she looked at him. It turned out he wouldn't be kept in the dark for long.

"Your eyes," she swallowed and he watched her throat hungrily, "they were black, but now they're green again." She clenched her jaw and took several steps away from him, breathing deeper the further she got. "Maybe it's you who should stay away from me."

He didn't have time to react, for ever the Slytherin, she turned and fled.

Her footsteps were drowned out by the roar inside his head.

November 25, 1998

Pansy went through the motions of the days after her impromptu meeting with Harry robotically.

She took out her frustrations on her lessons, attacking her assignments with a scholarly enthusiasm that would have given Hermione Granger a run for her money. Anything to avoid thinking about Harry and what had happened between them.

He hadn't tried to approach her again, and for that she was immensely relieved.

Yes, immensely.

Not disappointed or anything.

Why would she be? The man was a total nutter. Nothing he said or did made any sense. None of his words had any bearing on reality. Pansy would sooner launch herself from the Astronomy Tower than try to sort through that particular wizard's mind. For someone who clearly thought so little of her, he certainly couldn't help himself from keeping from snogging her senseless, could he?

Pansy rolled her eyes, shoving a frustrated hand through her loose hair. Her attention was drawn to her friends sitting around her, each lounging on various chairs in the dungeon. More immediately was Draco sitting to her left and sharing an overstuffed green divan with her. He was talking animatedly with Theo who sat across from him, probably making some grand plans of what they would do after Hogwarts. She couldn't help feeling a flare of jealousy. The faster March approached the more her mood soured. The chance of being rejected kept her in a constant state of fear. Coupled with her restlessness brought on thanks to Harry and his odd behavior towards her, and she was an emotional wreck.

A sigh of revulsion escaped her mouth. She definitely did not do emotional! What was happening to her and more importantly, how did she get things under control once more?

She supposed if she did find herself forced in his company again, she would ask him what the fuck he'd done to her. She would also demand he stop. Her life was much-less complicated sans dealing with amorous saviors in her life. The calm, cool, and calculating Pansy was who she longed to become once more. It's what she strived for.

Little by little, she made herself tune into her fellow Slytherin's discussion, her mood plummeting all the more when it became clear what they were talking about.

Eyes narrowing on Draco, blond snake that he was, she leaned over and dropped her voice stealthily. "Are you going to The Hero's party?" An innocent enough question, but she could tell by the guilty expression on his face that he heard the not-so-subtle accusation laced in her inquiry.

He raked a hand through his hair, glancing away before drawing the courage to meet her sharp stare. "Hermione's invited me."

"So it's Hermione now?" Pansy folded her arms across her chest, annoyance seeming to have ignited inside her from out of nowhere.


His voice was pleading, and Pansy should've dropped it, after all she'd taken to calling Harry—Harry in the sanctity of her own mind so what right did she have to judge? But Draco didn't know that. And she was overwhelmed with the need to lash out at someone.

"First public appearance of the new Golden Couple, is that it?" Pansy plowed on, barely managing to keep whispering. "Good for your image, is that the way it works?"

Draco reared back as if burned and she immediately regretted the venom had poured her mouth. She only had a second of joy from it, and it so wasn't worth so obviously hurting her friend—one of her only remaining friends at that.

She immediately sat back down, ducking her gaze and fisting the fabric of the cushions. "Sorry," she mumbled hastily.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Draco's brow arch at the uncharacteristic apology. Pansy felt frustrated all over again, and not only for lashing out. What effect was Harry— was Potter— having on her? Had she or maybe had they both been victim of some spell? She heard in sixth year Romilda Vane tried to slip him a love potion in sixth year, and that wasn't the first time. Maybe it had happened again, some strange potion that sounded like nothing Pansy knew about, but this time she got caught in the crossfire too. Surely she wouldn't act this way naturally. Surely neither would he! Out of everything that was wearing on her, one thing stood out above all else.

He'd called her Pansy.

December 1, 1998

She supposed it was fitting that she should run into him at nearly the same location as where they'd last met.

"Go away, Potter." She picked up her wand and stashed it inside her Burberry coat, supremely pleased by the irritated look she'd caught on his face before she turned her back on him, spurred on by her rejection, no doubt. Her heart rejoiced, though she couldn't quite tell if it was due to the sweet taste of revenge for making him feel even a tendril of what she was feeling, or if it was his presence alone that lifted her spirits.

She hoped it wasn't something so stupidly romantical as that.

Footsteps clattered against stone as he paced ahead of her and she fought to keep from grinning ruefully even as she pulled the collar of her coat up tighter to protect herself from the wind.

He stood blocking her path and she arched a delicate brow in detached interest.

"First of all, Pansy," he said with a snarl, eyes burning with an indecipherable emotion, maybe hatred? But she was still Pansy, so she'd take it. "I'd like to know why you're avoiding me?"

Rolling her eyes, she scowled up at him. "Avoiding you?" Her hand perched on her hip. "Didn't I ask you to stay away? I know you have difficulty following instructions, Potter, but honestly, I think you're getting a little too old to keep acting like a ruddy first year."

Pansy's elation over her crisply delivered quip was dashed when she saw him grin widely, displaying rows of perfectly straight teeth. "Following instructions?" He was scoffing at her. "As if you can tell me what to do." He was the picture of carefree, but a muscle twitched by his eye alerting her that his actions were controlled and he was making a tremendous effort on his part.

Cool, calm, and calculating Pansy was not such a far-gone cause after all. "I can when it concerns me." She lifted her jaw just subtle enough to appear out of reach, even though one might argue it was the other way around. She might have left then, and then if she had, she would have won. But instead, some foreign inspiration struck her and she couldn't resist poking him further. "I'm not sure what's going on between us, but you need to quit it."

Harry perked up, a mischievous gleam flashing through his eyes. "Going on between us," he repeated, voice dropping to that honeyed, baritone Pansy so loathed. Definitely loathed.

She stiffened.

"Whatever could you mean?" He prowled closer and Pansy made a conscious effort to plant her feet. She would not engage in their dance of wills today—the one where she always seemed to be the one who ended up on the losing side, backing away. Though in this case, the losing side did hold its appeal.

"You know what I mean," she flicked her long hair over her shoulder, her gaze darkening. "You know what happened."

He smirked, a rather dark smirk which caused her to doubt herself. "The kiss?" His smirk grew wider and somehow more menacing at her jerky nod. "It was just a kiss—simple snogging. Surely you know all about such practices."

His words wove around her, loosely catching her in a hypnotic loop before tightening in a stricture-like grip she was hard-pressed to escape from. "You know," she stammered, for some reason deciding to explain further. "It wasn't a kiss of the… of the regular variation, that is." Doubt flicked through her gaze before she dismissed it, gripping onto the hem of her coat until her knuckles whitened. "You did something, I'm sure."

His green eyes were downright gleeful, reminding her very much of a predator who'd cornered it's prey. "Really?" he sang. "What makes you think so?"

"I—." She cursed internally, berating herself for revealing so much to the man and falling right into his trap. Just who was the Slytherin here? She approached it all wrong. She should have acted like it was nothing. Now he knew how much it affected her. Now she was more vulnerable than she was before.

"Why, Pansy," he didn't say her name so much as taste it. It was somehow erotic. She felt her thighs quiver and her abdomen muscles squeeze and clench on emptiness. A delightful haze clouded her mind as his words continued to wrap around her like a vice. "I do believe you're paying me a compliment, though I doubt you mean to."

She grit her teeth against the feelings he roused in her. "Turn it off."

He blanched, the predatory smile slipping. "What?"

"You know what." Pansy didn't know exactly what, but she had a feeling he did. "Stop playing with me." The fog of delirious want receded slowly from her brain, but the feeling of overwhelming need didn't go away. Still, feeling more clear-headed than before she pressed on. "What's going on between us? I have a right to know."

Schooling his features, he was able to meet her accusatory stare again. She was thrown at how angry he appeared. Wasn't she the one who was supposed to be angry? How was he turning it around on her? Sweet Morgana—it was she who was the victim in all this! There was more fire in his eyes now than ever. Jarred, she took a retreating step back before she could help herself.

"Don't ask questions you have no desire to know the answer to."

Pansy scoffed loudly. "What do you know about what I want?"

She felt his eyes rake over her, leaving a fiery trail in its wake and causing her to shift uncomfortably. "Quite a lot, actually."

She blushed fiercely at the implication of his words.

"I also know you're a scared little coward who can't handle the truth."

Bristling, she felt guilt swim to the surface. Her eyes could barely meet his, frightened by the curiosity she saw there, spurred to run as far from him as she possibly could thanks to the challenge she saw waiting in those bright green orbs.

Ducking her head in shame, she did just that and fled past him before he could strip away anymore of her defenses and make her face the darkness.

"Yeah," he called after her, his voice echoing. "Just run. It's what you do best! But you won't be able to run forever."