Author's Note: I never intended to still be writing this a year later. I'm having some problems working things out, and unfortunately, I'm starting grad school next week. I'll do my best to keep this story going, but I'm sorry if it takes me a long time between updates. (As it has in the past.)


Chapter 33—Hufflepuff by Choice

Pansy did not want to believe anything that Daphne said, but it made sense. Of every single person in that school, Sally-Anne was the most underestimated. She was the kind of manipulative person who would stab anyone in the back to get what she wanted. On the other hand, that was just a figure of speech. Pansy had trouble believing that Sally-Anne would actually kill anyone.

"You said it was a him."

"I lied," Daphne said lazily.

"Or you're lying now to protect your father. Are you saying that Sally-Anne knows how to create a person out of very little? Where would she learn that?"

Daphne looked at Harry. "Why are we discussing this in front of Harry Potter? When I asked you not to go to Dumbledore, I didn't mean for you to go get help from him of all people. We could have worked something out. Look, I get that I should have been honest with you from the start, and I understand that you don't trust me, but we are Slytherins. I can't believe you got him involved."

Harry shook his head and tsked. "You didn't answer her question."

Pansy was a little impressed with Harry. She had not told him about Moonshyne, so he had no way of knowing what that "creating a person out of very little" bit was about, but, to his credit, he did not look confused at all. He rather looked like he knew exactly what they were talking about. "He has a point there."

Now Daphne was definitely getting a little bothered, which Pansy greatly enjoyed seeing. "She learned it from her mother. Your turn."

"Well, you're right. You should have been honest with me from the beginning. I still don't really have any reason to believe that you picked now to start telling the truth. And of course I went to Dumbledore. I'm sorry if you ever got the impression that I wasn't going to. I want my life back, which is something you never listed as an option." As an afterthought, she added, "Harry remembers sixth year."

"Oh, really?" Daphne laughed. "I find that hard to believe. I mean you had sex with Draco, and he still doesn't remember it."

Pansy felt her face turning red. "I didn't--" She turned to address Harry. "I did not have sex with him. That's just... ridiculous." She shook her head and spoke to Daphne once again. "And Harry does remember sixth year. You can ask him about anything."

Daphne widened her eyes. "Okay. Harry, why is it so important to Pansy that you know she didn't have sex with Draco?"

Pansy mouth fell open. "Not that. You can ask him about anything that happened during sixth year. And it's not important-- I really resent--"

Daphne cut her off, looking so, so smug again. "Fine, what do you 'remember,' Harry?" She put air quotes around the word.

Harry was not affected by the innuendo at all. "I was in the tower with Dumbledore when Snape killed him. Draco was supposed to do it, but he couldn't. He's a Death Eater." Daphne did not looked impressed, so Harry continued. "Do you really think Pansy would tell me that? Implicate Draco like that?"

"Maybe she was counting on that. Or maybe Moonshyne told you, because she was recently traumatized by the discovery."

"Ron dated Lavender. Hermione went to a Slug Club party with Cormac McSomething to make him jealous. Romilda Vane tried to give me a love potion, but Ron ate the chocolate that contained it instead, and he almost died drinking poisoned mead, which was courtesy of Draco. Oh, and there was the bracelet that almost killed Katie Bell. Draco did that, too. I don't think Moonshyne knows about any of that. She wasn't there."

Pansy had not actually known that Draco had done any of those things. She had only recently discovered that he was supposed to kill Dumbledore. She did not want to hear any more. "Why would I put all that effort into having Harry Potter help me? Obviously he remembers on his own. Can we talk about Sally-Anne now?"

Daphne sighed. "I can't tell you anything."

"Can't or won't?" Harry asked.

Daphne quirked a little smile. "Well, I certainly won't tell you anything about Dark Lords and their evil plans."

Pansy was determined to get answers out of Daphne. "All of this assumes that we believe Sally-Anne was behind the whole thing. It seems to me that being in Hufflepuff means that she was one of the people who got screwed in this thing."

"Sally-Anne wanted to be a Hufflepuff. She's hiding there for exactly the reason you just said. She's a behind the scenes kind of..." Daphne seemed at a loss for the right word. "Mastermind," she finally said.

"If she's the mastermind, what are you?" Harry asked. "Her enforcer?"

Daphne laughed and shook her head. "I haven't enforced anything. I'm more of a go-between if anything."

"She's only saying that because you're here," Pansy said to Harry. "Normally, she would be eager to brag about everything she'd done."

Daphne leaned back in her chair. "Pansy, we both know that's not true. I've never taken credit for anything."

As Pansy thought about it, that was true. "Really? So when you were fawning over the intelligence this all took, that was Sally-Anne's brilliance that you were so impressed with?" Daphne started to speak, but Pansy continued. "Never mind. That's not important. I'm still not convinced that Sally-Anne is involved at all. She is the least Hufflepuffy person I have ever met."

"Exactly. She's a hundred percent Slytherin. That's why you should believe that she would do this."

"No, that's why I don't believe that she would ever subject herself to living with those people and acting like one of them."

Harry scoffed. "Do you think that you are better than them? Hufflepuffs are good people."

Pansy sat down beside Daphne. "Ignore him.

Daphne smiled. "I'm feeling ganged up on. Why don't we go talk to Sally-Anne so that this is at least two on two."

Pansy had a feeling that Daphne was up to something. That smile said everything. Still, as much as she might hate it, this was Daphne's show. "Harry's killed better dark lords than you," she said by way of reminder.

Daphne laughed. "Actually Harry hasn't killed anyone." After looking at Harry's raised eyebrows, Daphne's smile faded. "Have you?"

Harry did not respond to the question. "Let's go talk to Sally-Anne."