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.
Author's Note: I've gotten complaints about how I categorize this story, to the point where I have gone back and forth on it. So here's the warning that will hopefully put all of that to rest. (If anyone still cares.) This is under "Pansy P. & Harry P." because they are the main characters. It is not necessarily meant for Harry/Pansy fans, but just because you might not like how the relationship goes doesn't make it not a Harry/Pansy fic.
Pansy lay in bed and waited for her boyfriend to come home. It was three in the morning, but she hadn't closed her eyes once that night.
Pansy scratched at the Dark Mark on her arm absently. She thought about the night she had gotten it. She remembered the fear as she waited for the Dark Lord to test her loyalty by putting her under the Cruciatus Curse. That was nothing compared to the terror that gripped her when he branded his mark onto her skin. She had done it for Draco and for her parents. It had been for everyone but herself. Two days later, in Pansy's first and only battle, the Dark Lord had fallen to Harry Potter and Draco had fled the country.
Draco was back in England now, and Pansy knew that she could go back to him when this relationship fell apart. Tonight, she told herself. It's falling apart tonight.
She looked around the bedroom, Harry's bedroom, to memorize every detail. She'd probably never see it again after this night. Her eyes had long since adjusted to the dark and she could see the room with amazing clarity. Her sight settled on a picture of the Weasleys that Harry kept on his dresser. All the Weasleys were waving at her, but Pansy's eyes focused on one.
Ginny had also recently returned from an absence. She had gone missing immediately after the final battle and a week later several letters had arrived in her hand telling those closest to her that she needed to distance herself from the horrors she had seen. Harry and Ron had spent a year looking for her, to no avail. When she returned with no recollection of the two years she had vanished, everyone suspected foul play. Yet months of Auror investigation never revealed what Pansy knew instinctively. Draco took her, Pansy wanted to shout. Why isn't this obvious to all of you? Harry would say things like "If Malfoy hadn't returned months before her, I'd be sure it was he." He never learned that when Pansy smiled serenely it meant, "You are so wrong." Draco would have known that, and that's why Pansy never said a word. She saw her future laid out before her and she knew with whom she needed to ally herself.
Falling in love with Harry had been so unexpected. When the Death Eater witch-hunt that Harry was leading found her, Pansy agreed to name names in exchange for immunity. Others had been afraid to talk because those who had after the first war were hunted down and killed when the Dark Lord returned. If Pansy was the only lesser peon who understood that the Dark Lord would not get a third chance at exterminating the Muggle race, that suited her purposes just fine. Not many romances got their start in a cold investigation room looking at mug shots, although, Pansy reflected, quite a few probably end like that. Harry was starting to believe that Ginny had really left him and at the time when he was ready to move on, he was spending hours every day in a small, isolated room with Pansy. It all started with Harry telling her that she had gone above and beyond the obligations of her deal and that was really decent of her. She said something about liking the company, and a few weeks of flirting later, they started dating.
She was his first. He wasn't hers. Harry was very understanding about that. He was understanding about everything. She knew that Draco loved her in his way, but being with Harry was like nothing she had ever experienced before. She never once doubted that this was more than a rebound relationship.
Then, on the night of Harry and Pansy's first anniversary, Ginny came stumbling back to the Burrow with no memory. In hindsight, Pansy was a little flattered that Draco had chosen that night. He was trying to break them up. Ron, in his haste to tell Harry of Ginny's return, had interrupted their dinner, and Harry had left in the middle of it to go see Ginny. As she blew out the candles, Pansy knew where she stood. Later, she had tried to make it clear that he should be with Ginny if that what he wanted. She swore that she wouldn't try to fight it or make a scene, but Harry said not to worry. He said that his and Ginny's timing had always been off and he wasn't going anywhere.
Now Pansy waited. She knew it wasn't only Ginny that kept him from coming home. She looked down at her arm. Faint red lines crossed through the scar where she had scratched it. She knew that their relationship was falling apart and she knew that this mark was at least part of the reason. She had to make him face it tonight. Otherwise it would be too late.
Pansy heard the pop that signified Harry presence in the living room. In a moment of cowardice, she made a split second decision to feign sleep. She heard the door open and she admonished herself for her weakness. She stirred convincingly.
"Harry?" She yawned. "What time is it?"
Harry turned around too quickly, guilt written all over his face. "J-just after three."
"Where were you?"
He avoided her gaze. "Working."
Harry sat on the bed and concentrated on untying his shoes. "Alone."
Pansy couldn't take it anymore. She sat up. "Just say it! Tell me that you're done being noble and you can't stand to look at me because of this mark on my arm. Tell me that you're sleeping with Ginny because she isn't tainted by evil. Please just put us both out of our misery."
Harry hesitated. "I fell in love with you, Pansy. That wasn't a lie. It's just that I thought that would be enough, but it isn't. I can't… see beyond your past branded on your arm. I can't forget what you used to be. I thought it would get easier, and it's only getting more difficult. I don't think I can… be with you anymore. I'm sorry."
Even though that was what she had expected him to say, it hurt to hear the words. "And?"
"Pansy, I don't—" He sighed and Pansy knew he was struggling with the words. He didn't want to hurt her. Pansy could have laughed if it hadn't been so sad. "I have been with Ginny."
Pansy blinked back the tears and lay down She rolled on her side, facing away from him. "I guess I always knew it was going to end this way. And, to tell you the truth, I'm almost relieved. I was so tired of waiting for this." She took a ragged breath. "I never belonged here. I was never part of—It's time for me to go back and be with my kind."
He placed his hand on her arm. "I don't know what you mean by that, but you don't have to go back to Malfoy. You're not like him."
"Harry, you're telling me that you can't love me because of who I was. If I don't belong with you and I don't belong with Draco, where do I belong?"
Harry tightened his grip on her arm. "I did love you."
Pansy couldn't hold back the tears. "I know." She forced herself to use the matching past tense. "I loved you, too."
Harry climbed into bed behind Pansy and wrapped his arm around her stomach. He was still fully dressed and wearing at least one shoe, but Pansy understood the sentiment. "I would leave—" she started.
"No, Pansy. Stay. Just tonight. One more night."
"That's what I was going to say. I need one more night. Tomorrow, you'll be with Ginny and I'll be with Draco. The world will make sense again. And this will just be… what it was."
Pansy placed her hand over his. It sat low on her stomach, and she thought about the news she had received that morning. There was no way he could have known; the placement of his hand was just a heartbreaking coincidence. If he'd known, he wouldn't have let her go.
Harry fell asleep fairly quickly and Pansy listened to the deep breaths for hours, but she couldn't sleep. She didn't want to miss a second of her last night with Harry. Tomorrow she would go to Draco and be back in his bed by that night. She thought about the baby growing inside her and prayed that it would have inexplicably blond hair and gray eyes.