Title: Old Lace
Rating: Like I know how to work this new system. In the olden days, I probably would've rated this R, just to be safe.
Summary: Just a guy and a girl who maybe shouldn't be together. Or maybe should. There are no heroes here, and no damsels in distress. Ron/Pansy.
Notes: This little whatsit is dedicated to bk, who, despite every word I've said to the contrary, has been extremely patient during the interval between "I'll write your story" and "I wrote your story." Be proud, dude. My one and only foray into HP, and it's all for you.

Disclaimer: Blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah. And don't pretend you don't know exactly what that means.


-

"If you were a colour, do you know which colour you'd be?"

He arches an eyebrow at that; he's pretty sure he doesn't care.

She grins in a way that tells him she knows exactly what he's thinking and doesn't mind in the least. That's good, because it's never a bright idea to piss off the girl who has full knee access to all your manly parts... and it could have been really unfortunate that he didn't think of that before, but fate has decided to be kind just this once.

"Old lace."

Her chin is propped on her arms, which in turn are folded atop his chest. He'd have thought it would be uncomfortable, having her draped over him like this... except she's so small, and she doesn't weigh all that much, especially when her legs are splayed on either side of his. And she's completely naked, so that's a total bonus.

"You're old lace," she says again, as she peers at him from a distance far too close than should be comfortable for either of them. He can see every fleck of brown in her otherwise green eyes. "Maybe ivory white once, long ago... but faded and worn in by now."

He doesn't say what he's thinking—that he thinks she may be right.

Instead he asks what it would take for him to see her in lace.

She smacks him with a pillow.

And as he kisses her, he wonders if being here with her is the least ordinary thing he'll ever do. Unpredictable. The Boy Who Lived's best friend? And The Boy Who Lived's arch nemesis' girlfriend? (Though it would be easier to just say Ron Weasley and Pansy Parkinson, but then who are they?)

Sneaking around, if he'd needed excuses, might have been difficult. Hermione could always claim she was off to the library. If he were Harry, he might have said he was training/meditating/brooding/whatever.

So he tells himself he's lucky there's never anyone around for him to have to explain his absences to.

Calling her Pansy (flower-soft, sweet-smelling girl) doesn't mean anything. It takes one less breath than "Parkinson". Less time, less effort, thus reinforcing the un-relationshipness of their... not-relationship thing. Like rather than impersonality, it's more important to take the economical route (and wouldn't Malfoy have a field day with that, "So Weasel, so poor you can't even afford a relationship?" And he would reply that this wasn't a relationship, and that was the whole point, because Malfoy was apt to get the details wrong like that in his haste to slip in an insult. No, actually, he would probably say "shuddup you git", and later, when he'd had time to reflect, he would think "why didn't I say that?").

She calls him Ronald. "Ronald, come here." "Ronald, shut up." "Do you like this, Ronald?" "How about this?" (Okay, so she didn't say his name that last time, but he was saying hers—lots.)

But when she's at Draco Malfoy's side, she doesn't call him anything. Doesn't even look in his direction. He knows this because he's looking at her—not obviously, not enough to give anything away—but he looks enough to know that she doesn't.

Am I being used, he wonders sometimes. But if he is, he's certainly using her in return, and that means it's all right. Because people use each other in relationships all the time (except this isn't a relationship), and that's what it means to be with someone—you use them for the things you can't get all on your own. Like sex (real sex), the comforting sound of a heart beating in unison with yours in the dark of the night, and certain two-for-one deals. And truth be told, he doesn't mind even if he is.

He catches her staring at him in the library. He'd been studying with Hermione, but she'd had to leave to attend to some sort of Head Girl Duties. He doesn't know the specifics, never does—only that she doesn't have much time left for him these days, and Harry spends most of his waking hours training for either the final battle with You-Know-Who, or Quidditch.

He's staring hard at a mostly blank piece of parchment wondering exactly what colour it is (and coming up blank because he is male, and in his world there are only nine colours: orange, blue, green, red, brown, yellow, grey, pink and purple—eleven if you count black and white).

And a funny tingling feeling makes him scratch his head. When that doesn't help, he looks up.

He didn't even know her eyes were green until that day. (Harry's, sure—but everyone knows that.)

Fifteen minutes later, they're snogging in the restricted section.

He says something about how he thought she was supposed to be Malfoy's girl.

She replies (between wet, hot kisses), "Who said I wasn't?"

He never asks why—maybe he already knows.

Knows it in the way she's always just standing there at Malfoy's elbow—if Crabbe and Goyle aren't already occupying the space with their hulking forms.

Knows it in the way all eyes are always focused on Malfoy, to see what Malfoy would do, what Malfoy would say, just as all eyes are always focused on Harry...

He just kisses her back.

She says she's supposed to hang off Draco's ("Malfoy," he mentally corrects her) arm. Just like he's supposed to stand one step behind and to the right of Harry Potter. He doesn't say anything, doesn't shift from where he's laying with her all pressed up against his side, both of them sticky with cooling sweat and not minding it in the least. He pretends it's because he's not much for conversation, you know, afterward—and not because he understands exactly what she means.

They've never spoken about the impending war, or their diverging sides. Neither of them is going to be leading armies anytime soon, or recruiting soldiers to their cause.

He suspects she has doubts. He hopes she's smart enough not to expect him to save her. He hopes he's smart enough not to try. Because the bumbling sidekick is never the one to rescue the damsel in distress.

And he thinks he knows why's he's old lace, not ivory white.

He is the youngest son in a family of seven children. So mediocre, he can't even manage the youngest child in a family of seven children. That honour goes to Ginny, who also holds the distinguishing position of being the only girl in a family of seven children.

Of course, he is best friend to Harry freakin' Potter. Though, sandwiched between The Boy Who Lived and the cleverest witch in all of Hogwarts (maybe even the whole wizarding world, he wouldn't be surprised), his mediocrity is even more glaringly obvious. It's like why Ginny won't wear bright colours ("vibrant colours against fair skin make you look pasty!").

He is pasty old lace.

Pansy glares at him. "That's what you're thinking about right now?"

She has finally worn lace for him.

He's already shown his appreciation once tonight... but he's not hesitant to lavish on additional praise. After all, he is male and adolescent, and everything else that entails.

She has a younger sister. He is surprised the first time he hears her mentioned.

"What, you thought you had the market cornered on siblings? Just because the rest of don't have seven brothers apiece—"

Five, he corrects her.

"What?"

"I have five brothers. I'm the sixth, then there's Ginny."

"Oh."

There's a pause, then he says curiously, "How come this is the first I've heard of her?"

She snorts (and he likes how she can do that while she's all naked and bedraggled, and still not make him want her any less), "You mean, how could I have forgotten to mention her during all of our previous heart-to-hearts?"

For a brief instant he's almost sheepish, because he knows he's never cared to know before. But then he remembers he's not supposed to care. He's supposed to not care. He remembers before her there was yellow, and white, and nothing in between.

There is another stretch of silence between them. He turns toward her.

"You know... the bumbling sidekick never saves the damsel in distress."

She looks at him for a long, long time, until he thinks she's decided it's not even worth the breath to call him stupid.

Then she says, "When I run into a damsel in distress, I'll be sure to pass along the message."

He's silent for a while, contemplative. Finally he decides he doesn't know how to respond to that.

Instead he says, "So. What's she like?"

fin -