Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Taking Advantage

Pansy Parkinson was awakened by the sound of tapping on her bedroom window. Figuring it was an owl, she rolled over in bed trying to ignore it, but the tapping became more insistent. After a couple more minutes of this, Pansy got up to let the owl in. She found herself hoping, as she threw her covers off, that the incoming letter was from Draco. She thought there was a good chance it was because he was the kind of person who would be so inconsiderate as to send a letter in the middle of the night. On the other hand, he hadn't bothered to contact her at all in the month that they had been on summer holiday. However, when Pansy opened the curtains, she was surprised to see not the Malfoy eagle owl, but Draco Malfoy himself. He was standing outside her first story window with his broomstick in his hand.

Pansy quickly opened her window and watched in awe as Draco climbed inside. "What are you doing here?" she whispered.

"I needed to talk to you."

Pansy looked down at her clothes and wished she were wearing something slightly sexier than a t-shirt and flannel pajama bottoms. "Now?"

"Yes, now," said Draco impatiently as he sat on the edge of her bed.

Pansy put her hands behind her back and surreptitiously pinched her wrist to make sure she wasn't still dreaming. Once she was sufficiently satisfied that she was indeed awake, she sat next to Draco on the bed. "What do you want to talk about?"

"My father."

Pansy didn't know how to respond to that. "Oh, okay."

"He's still in prison."

"I kinda figured."

Draco sighed. "Mother is quite upset, and Aunt Bellatrix keeps coming around the house, telling us how she was there and it was all Father's fault that the mission failed. She's really a dreadful woman. Mother says to be patient with her because Azkaban has addled her brain. But what about Father?"

"Oh, well, I'm sure he won't be in there nearly as long as your aunt was. I mean if your Aunt Bellatrix and all those people were able to break out it should only be a matter of time before… And don't they say that the Dementors are already on our side?"

"Do you think we can actually win this war?"

"Of course, their savior Potter is hopeless."

"He got my father arrested, didn't he?"

"Well, yes, but that's only temporary and he'll never be able to fight the Dark Lord."

"But he has fought the Dark Lord and won, a few times now."

Pansy was confused. Harry Potter bashing was usually Draco's favorite pastime. She had heard him say the exact same things on several occasions. Why was he playing the Devil's advocate now? "What are you saying, Draco?"

"Who was there at the Ministry that night? Potter, the Mudblood, the Weasel, two Weasels actually, Longbottom and some Ravenclaw. That was all, right?"

"I think so."

"I think my father did screw up, and so did Aunt Bellatrix and the other Death Eaters who were there. If they can't beat six underage wizards, then obviously the organization needs revamping. They need new blood."

"Are you saying that you want to be a Death Eater?"

"Don't be stupid, Pansy. Of course, I want to be a Death Eater." Pansy looked down at her feet. She heard Draco sigh and say, "I didn't mean to call you stupid. I'm sorry. Honestly, you and Blaise are the only good friends I have. You know, because Crabbe and Goyle are…"

Pansy giggled. "I know. Where is Blaise?"

"In Italy, visiting his grandparents."

Ah, thought Pansy, so I'm the last resort. Crabbe and Goyle are too stupid, Blaise is out of the country, why not visit Pansy? She wished this upset her more, but if she was honest with herself, she didn't care what had brought Draco to her window. It only mattered that he was here with her now. "Well, of course you want to be a Death Eater, but you are going to wait, aren't you? You're still underage."

"Potter's underage; no one tells him he can't fight."

"Is this what you wanted to talk about?"

Draco leaned back and rested on his elbows. "No. Actually I didn't really have anything specific in mind. I just wanted to get out of my house. It's not the same without Father. I guess I was feeling a little lonely."

Once again, Pansy was unsure what to say to him. Draco had glanced over at Pansy and was now staring at her with a fascinated expression on his face. "Pansy, I…" He trailed off.

"What?"

"I just realized how rude it was to show up at your window and demand your attention."

"Oh, I'm used to it."

Draco's gray eyes shone. "Yeah, I imagine you are." He sat up and turned to face her. "Why do you put up with me?"

Pansy wasn't sure where the conversation was going. "Well, I… You're my friend."

A slow smile spread across Draco's face. Pansy felt her pulse quicken and she knew, somehow she just knew, that he was seconds away from kissing her. She leaned in a bit and sure enough, Draco's hand cupped her cheek and began to snake through her hair to the back of her head. He pulled her face close to his and looked deep into her eyes. As he closed the distance between their lips, Pansy decided that this was the most romantic moment of her life.

A few seconds later, Pansy was trying to relish in the kiss, but her mind was thinking traitorous thoughts. Thoughts like, "Well, this is one way to beat loneliness—" and "Why do I put up with him?" She realized that she did care what had brought him to her window. Was it this? Did he expect her to sit around waiting for him to bestow kisses on her? Suddenly, as Pansy was starting to think that she should stop the kiss, Draco pulled away. He put his hand to his mouth and shook his head. Pansy was beginning to get annoyed when Draco said, "I don't want to take advantage of you."

"You're not taking advantage of me. I wanted this." Pansy figured that, as she had used the past tense, that was true. She prepared herself for another kiss, determined to enjoy it this time, but Draco shook his head again.

"That's what I mean. I know you want this. I've always known that you wanted me. And I take advantage of that."

That's certainly true, thought Pansy.

"I don't want to take advantage of that anymore."

Pansy narrowed her eyes. "What does that mean? Are you breaking up with me?"

Draco smirked. "We're not dating, Pansy. That's the problem. Apparently you think there's something to break off."

Pansy felt like she'd been punched in the stomach. She had known that they weren't dating, but on the other hand she did think there was something there, something that had to be broken off before either of them… did anything with anyone else. What if he had been snogging other girls in abandoned broom closets this entire time? She wanted to scream. She could not believe that she woke up for this. "I'm glad you came tonight. Thank you for setting me straight on our…" Pansy could not even think of a suitable ending for the sentence.

"Pansy, before tonight, the first and only time we ever kissed was after the Yule Ball."

"No! That's not true. We kissed when we were writing 'Weasley is our King.' I said I would help you write the verses and suggested that we make buttons and you said that I was brilliant and you kissed me." Pansy was aware that she sounded slightly hysterical, but decided that was appropriate as it mirrored the way she felt. It was as if she thought she would be able to convince him that there was a relationship there.

"That doesn't count; it was a peck on the lips. Our only real kiss was a year and a half ago."

"Before tonight," Pansy said sullenly.

"Right. Don't get mad at me, Pansy. I'm trying to say that I feel bad for leading you on."

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, thank you. That makes me feel so much better."

Draco laughed. "Pansy, I don't think you understand what I'm saying here."

"And what are you saying here?"

"Okay, just listen and don't interrupt me." Pansy braced herself for more figurative punches in the stomach. "I was sitting here a few minutes ago, and I realized how you've always been there for me. Remember when I lost my first Quidditch match to Potter and I confided in you that I was afraid the only reason I got on the team was because of my father's… generous donation to the team?" Pansy nodded. "You held my hand and told me it wasn't possible that Potter was a better Seeker than me. The game was fixed. The Snitch had been charmed just like the Bludger. That wasn't a theory or a suggestion; you presented it as a fact. We both know—"

"Your father did not buy your way onto the team. You're a good Seeker. You've won many games. Potter… In his first game, the Snitch flew into his mouth. Clearly there's a conspiracy."

"That's what you said then. Not the part about winning, but… But there isn't a conspiracy. Potter's just a good seeker." Draco insisted, seeming determined to get his point across.

"You're being very weird about him tonight."

"Yeah, I suppose I am. Remember in third year when I was attacked by that beast? You spent every spare moment at my bedside in the hospital wing. And when I was released, you fussed over me for months."

Pansy squirmed a little. "I remember everything, Draco. Get to the point."

"The point is, what I've been trying to say is, that I don't want to take you for granted anymore." Pansy opened her mouth to tell him that she'd already figured that part out, but he waved his hand at her. "Don't interrupt. I don't want you… Okay, you threw me off. There isn't really anything between us right now, but I want there to be something."

At first Pansy thought that she had misunderstood. "Then why did you stop kissing me?"

"Because I don't want to take advantage of you anymore."

"I don't understand. And don't repeat it again. I get that you don't want to take advantage of me."

"I… I don't want to take—" Pansy make an exasperated sound. "—you for granted anymore. I don't want to expect you to always be there. I mean I do want that, but there needs to be words."

"You're taking me for granted…" repeated Pansy. "What words?"

"Like 'girlfriend' and 'relationship.' I want there to be something between us. Why don't you understand?"

Pansy's eyes grew wide. "I thought you meant… sexually. You mean… you want to… be in a relationship with me? Officially?"

Draco looked worried. "Yes. But I want sexual stuff too."

Pansy put her hand over her heart. "You stopped kissing me because… it felt wrong. You wanted to be my boyfriend first. We could have had this conversation later, but you wanted me to know how much it would mean to you."

Draco shifted uncomfortably. "I don't know if that's exactly—"

"Is this the real reason you came? Was that stuff about you dad just—"

"No, I really am upset that my father is in prison."

Pansy put her hand over her mouth. After a few seconds she said, "I shouldn't talk. I'm going to ruin this and you're going to change your mind. Of course you're upset about your father. I'm—"

"Pansy—"

"—so sorry that I said that. I promise I'll be more—"

"Pansy! Stop. It's okay. I didn't change my mind."

"I'm doing it again. I should just…"

Pansy crossed her arms and grabbed the bottom of her shirt. She had it lifted halfway up when Draco called out, "Whoa, no. That's not what I meant. Put… put your shirt down."

Pansy lowered her shirt. "I'm confused again, Draco. Don't you want to have sex?"

Draco reached out and put his hand on her knee and slid it up her thigh. "Yes, I want to, but it's… it's too soon." It seemed to pain him to say the words. He drew back his hand. "I'd still feel like I was taking advantage of you. It would have been so easy for me to say these things, shag you and leave. I have to prove that I mean it."

Pansy laughed quietly. "Draco, I would have slept with you even if you hadn't said anything. You could have just shown up and asked." Then Pansy remembered her reaction to the kiss earlier and added, "Probably." Draco didn't respond so she asked, "So you want to take it slow?"

"Yeah, that—"

"Draco, I'm going to hate myself for this, but I have to say something. You haven't been acting like yourself tonight. You didn't get into insulting Potter and now you're… initiating a relationship with me. Are you sure you're not just in a weird mood and you won't regret this later?" Draco tried to say something, but another thought occurred to Pansy. "And if you're initiating this because you're uncharacteristically concerned about my feelings, but want to take it slow because you're not attracted to me, I'd rather know now and not in six months when I've made it perfectly clear that I'm ready and you have no more excuses and have to say point blank, 'You do nothing for me.' I wouldn't be able to take that."

Draco laughed. "Pansy, no. That's not why I want to take it slow. And six months? Not that slow. I was thinking after two dates."

"Oh. You know, I always hoped I'd lose my virginity to you."

"I always hoped I'd lose mine, period."

Pansy smiled. She felt giddy and lighthearted. Draco wanted them to be together officially. She pretended to bite her nail, but in reality bit the tip of her finger to make sure she really wasn't dreaming. "I am glad you came. I have never been more glad that Blaise spends his summers in Italy."

"What?" Draco said, bemused.

"Because you couldn't talk to him so you had to talk to me tonight."

"Oh, I thought you were implying that you and Blaise were… It didn't even occur to me to talk to Blaise. I wanted to see you tonight. I've never noticed how insecure you are before."

"I've never shown you how insecure I am until now."

Draco smiled and stood. "It's rather late; I guess I should be getting home. Mother will be alarmed if she finds my bed empty. I'm all she has right now." He reached out and grabbed his broomstick, which he had propped against the wall. Then, he sat on the edge of her window and said, "Can't I have a goodbye kiss from my girlfriend?"

Pansy's heart skipped a beat when she heard him use the word 'girlfriend.' She nodded and walked toward him. Once she was within arm's length of him, Draco took a hold of her arm and pulled her close. As she lowered her head to meet his lips she decided that this was the most romantic moment of her life.

END