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Distribution: Twisting The Hellmouth / Fanfiction.net

In response to the 20 minutes with Pansy challenge by Jinni.


"No. Absolutely, positively and emphatically NO."

Professor Severus Snape looked at the girl before him, his lips set into a grim line as he listened to her entirely expected response. She was a member of his house, and a daughter to a family whose name was almost as feared as his own.

A typical Slytherin princess, she was from an old bloodline. As such, her life was all planned out for her, even before her naming ceremony.

Pansy Parkinson was expected to grow up, marry Draco Malfoy, and take the dark mark like her parents.

She would do so, along with several of her classmates, over the up and coming Christmas holiday.

Yet, he was nothing if not observant, and he had seen the deadened and resigned look in her eyes that she had affected lately all too often in his own reflection.

When the representative from the Watcher's Council came to Hogwarts and identified her as a Slayer, he knew that she had a choice – one that would take all of his Slytherin cunning to persuade her to accept.

The alternative would not be acceptable. Not with the power she now possessed; nor with her newly acquired knowledge about him.

He squeezed the bridge of his nose, knowing that he had given her much more than an option for a different future – he had given her the key to his own demise, by insinuating where his true loyalties lied.

No; she needed to go with them. If she did not....

Well, it wouldn't be the first time he'd have to arrange an 'accident' – all for the good of the cause.

"Miss Parkinson – I cannot make this decision for you. I can only say that you do have a choice – as distasteful as you may think it is right now, it is nothing compared to what you will have to endure as either a servant to Voldemort, or a member of the house of Malfoy."

He sat back in his chair and opened a drawer to his desk. From the drawer he removed two things; a diary and a pensieve.

"I cannot allow you to take these back to your dormitory; however, I will leave you in here to peruse these items. Perhaps they will help you make your decision. Your fate is in your own hands."

Pansy stared numbly at the objects the professor placed in front of her. What, did he think that someone else's experience and memories would entice her to leave the only world she'd ever known and take residence with that group of ... of... filthy, disgusting Muggles? She shivered at the thought. Still, she didn't relish the thought of become a death eater, knowing full well the kind of things that that commitment required from her.

But muggles... not even mudbloods – muggles! She had always been taught that they were a scourge upon the earth and worthy only of her disgust.

Why in the world would she give up her birthright to help – protect – them?

Snape had left her alone in his office. Snape. She crinkled her nose in disgust at the thought of him. He had just proven to be a blood traitor – the worst of the lot. The knowledge she now possessed about him would guarantee her a high position in the ranks of the death eaters if she were to join them.

--When-- she joined them, that is.

With a small snort, she opened the diary and began to read.

An hour later, she placed the small diary on her Professor's desk, puzzled. It was written by Narcissa Malfoy – Draco's mother – in her seventh year at Hogwarts; before she had married Lucius.

Lucius was, by any pureblood female's definition, a most desirable mate. Draco didn't hold a candle to him; sure he had the same angelic good looks, but he was severely lacking in the sheer magnetism and charisma that Malfoy Sr. had in abundance. Draco was only a poor imitation. It was one of the things that really grated on her – yet, she thought that she could change him, given time.

It seemed that the young Narcissa didn't share her opinion of Lucius – not at all. In fact, if the diary was to be believed, she detested him, preferring instead to date a... ugh... no.

She couldn't wrap her mind around the fact that the cool and aloof Narcissa Malfoy was once head over heals in love with a Weasley.

Why? Puzzled, she opened the diary a second time.

She snorted as she read some of the records of Narcissa's encounters with Alfred Weasley. A romantic sod he was, and not bad looking either based on the one faded picture that she found of the two of them.

Besides the picture, she found a lot of various mementos that were pressed into the pages, accompanied by hastily scribbled notes. A four leaf clover that they found, while picnicking under the bleachers during a Quidditch game; a dried and pressed rose that he had given to her after a particularly passionate rendezvous in Astronomy tower; a threadbare handkerchief with the initials ASW engraved in the corner, that he used to comfort her with when she had fretted about Malfoy Sr.'s lascivious and undesired interest in her.

A dried dandelion, which was found underneath their cloaks after the first time they made love.

She turned to the very last page of the diary, and saw that it was blotched with tears. It didn't contain a written note, but instead a clipping from the daily prophet.

It was assumed to be an accident, but Pansy knew the families involved too well to believe that.

Malfoy had expediently removed his competition from the picture.

Unnerved, she put the diary back down on the desk and picked up the pensieve.

Twenty minutes later, she hastily dropped the pensieve back on the Professor's desk, and found a wastebasket where she proceeded to deposit the remains of her lunch.

The images of Narcissa Malfoy being gang raped and brutalized by all of the death eaters, including her own father – and after she had married Lucius – caused her to break out in a cold sweat.

Draco's mother, who she had always thought to be cold and aloof, was something else entirely.

That something being a broken shell; a shadow of someone once vibrant and warm.

She still wore a horrified expression of disgust when Snape came back in -- this time accompanied by the muggle who would be appointed her watcher.

"Come with us, Pansy. Make a difference," Xander Harris said softly, knowing of the shock treatment the girl had just received.

She looked at the shadowed, yet hopeful eyes of her head of house, and then at the warm and concerned gaze of the one-eyed, yet rather good looking... muggle... and nodded her acceptance.

He flashed a brilliant smile at her, and she thought to herself that perhaps she might -- just might -- be able to get over her disgust.

~End Ficlet~