Solace

Rating: T
Characters: Pansy, Draco, Harry, some Ron, some Hermione, Blaise
Warnings: Slight non-con. Couple curse words
Summary: And she'll die wishing how it could've been, and she'll live knowing it never can be.

.beginning.

"….And she hates you." Pansy says, matter-of-fact, a change to her usual dithering tones. Draco stares at her, empty and shakes his head.

"Shut up." He says slowly, slipping his fingers between hers. Pansy sighs and traces the head line on his palm. She looks at him, admiring the faint paleness of his skin.

"Your life is so defined by fate," she speaks once more, feeling her way around the thick groove that decides how much of his own life was under his control.

"Defined by what others decide for me, you mean." He says, curling his lip. Pansy turns over to face him, her hair—dark and impossibly straight—falls over her cheek as she does so.

"Do you think he ever thinks of me, Draco?" She asks turning on her back once more, wrenching her hand out of his.

"I doubt it. Got more than ugly Slytherins on his mind, I should think." No real conviction in his voice—it is dead. Tears leak out of Pansy's dark eyes, drip onto Draco's pretty silken sheets. She'd been in too deep, for too long. She couldn't place her feelings for Potter, she certainly loved him, but it was difficult. She couldn't ever just speak to him, and it hurt her. It hurt her to see his eyes glaze over—the pretty shards of bottle-green glass narrow and he'd look away, and stare into her eyes, and Pansy would need to kill her.

"It's not fair." She says, voicing the words she would never say in front of anyone else. Only Draco. "Why? Why won't he love me? I love him, oh so much. But he just won't see. He sees her, sees her smile, her laugh, her tears…why can't he see mine?" She is talking to herself now, and Draco sighs and closes his eyes.

"You don't need him Pansy. You don't."

-- --

She is in classes, and it is the only one she shares with Draco and him. She wants to talk to him, to hear his voice call her beautiful, anything. She wants to run her hands through that hair—black as hers, untidy and perfect. She wants most of all to kiss him, to feel his smooth lips on hers. She wants it to be brilliant. She resigns herself to another day of taunts and jeers.

She walks in with Draco, and instantly the room is thick with tension.

"Slytherins," Her voice is speaking now, and it is annoyingly high-pitched, "Way to start off a brilliant day." He responds by possessively gripping Her by her waist, stroking her side gently. Pansy looks over at Draco, she can't bear to look at Him. Draco's face is crumpling, she notices, and she must be strong for him.

"You'll keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you, you jumped-up little Mudblood." She sneers, and Potter trains his eyes on her. Granger is nearly spitting, and her hair almost stands up on end.

"We don't need this, Hermione. Purebloods spouting filth about their own prejudiced ideals. Especially Purebloods with faces from an advertisement for the RSPCA." Harry says coolly, and she watches as Granger snorts. She didn't know what that meant, but she didn't like the sound of it. She looks over at Draco again—he had regained his ice-cold mask. She didn't like that Draco—the one who didn't laugh, and didn't smile…didn't cry.

"You'll all die and then where will we be? Spouting more of our prejudiced ideals—soiling our mouths with more filth. And you, Mudblood," he says almost viciously, "will be first." He narrows his eyes, and Pansy knows it's killing him. Potter was certainly killing her.

"We don't need this, Draco." She mimics, slipping her hand into his, spinning him round.

"I hate him." Hermione says thickly, her voice pained.

"I hate her." Potter replies, kissing his girlfriend on her cheek. The Professor soon arrives, and Pansy cannot dissolve into tears—but it is ripping her apart.

-- --

"I tell him, today." Pansy says into Draco's arm—the coolness comforts. She feels so hot; embarrassed at the thought of telling Harry how much she loves him.

"You won't. You can't get three feet without Granger on his arm, or Weasley by his side. And the only way I will be able to tell Granger is if I lock her in a broom closet." Draco whispers flatly. He runs his fingers through the straight tresses, catching at the nape, he traces her jaw through to her chin. He tilts it up and places a small kiss to her lips.

"Hey. Forget him. You're better than him, Pans." Draco gives her a smile and releases her face, and she misses his warmth. "D'you want me to walk you to your dormitory, Pans?" Draco asks, slipping his fingers between hers.

"C-Can I stay with you tonight D-raco?" She pleads, crystalline tears gathering in the corners of her eyes. She angrily wipes them away and collapses into a puddle at Draco's feet.

"Please. I can't face being alone. Please, Draco…" She grabs his robes and he stares down at her, his eyes icy. Pansy scrambles to her feet. Draco hates pleading—his father always taught him that his dignity was the one thing he had—aside from his name. She can't help it; she needs Draco. He is her rock. She can't be without him.

"Please." She repeats, and has to wipe away more tears. Draco softens, and tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear.

She retreats, and Draco slips an arm around her shoulders. Pansy leans into him—and wonders what it would be like if Harry was taking her to his rooms.

-- --

She knows they're wrong for each other. They're both too good, too light, she knows that they are going to outshine each other, and one is going to dim. And the other won't be able to survive without the other's light, and they'll both go out. They need the darkness—he needs Her. Harry needs Pansy. She sees them laughing—Harry's tone low, Hermione's higher, but not as when she is talking to Pansy…or Draco. Hermione clutches her stomach and giggles. Harry wraps his arms around her, and places a kiss to her temple. She sits up to capture his mouth. Pansy turns away, crossing her legs tightly. She is aware of hands slipping around her waist—and they are not Draco's.

Zabini.

"Don't touch me." She hisses and tries to prise his hands off her.

"He doesn't want you, Parkinson. He hates you. Can't you see that?" He whispers into her ear, and it is cutting. He leaves, and she doesn't spare him another look. She steals a glance over to Potter instead—and he has noticed her. Her heart rises in her chest—and she looks hopefully at him; his face clouds over. She turns around, and he is standing there. Harry has seen Draco—she realises. He hasn't noticed her at all. He turns away.

"Has Zabini hurt you? I'll kill him." Draco sits beside her, and she adjusts her position, kicks her legs up in front of her and lies, her head in Draco's lap.

"Mmm…I love you Harry…I love you Draco…" She falls to sleep. Draco strokes her hair and looks away. He is staring at Hermione again.

-- --

"I can't go on like this. I need her." He moans, and she sighs.

"What's so wonderful about her? She's dreadfully common—nothing." Pansy is angry, and Draco can tell. He treads lightly.

"She beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. And—she's a genius…"

"…And she hates you." Pansy finishes, ending another conversation.

"Shut up." Draco sighs, and they sit in companionable silence. She needs him.

-- --

"You're just exactly like them all. Worthless. Sycophantic. Useless. You're nothing." Harry Potter says this with eerie calm.

"I—" love "I—" you. And she cries. She falls to her knees and cries. She's useless, and worthless, and a sycophant. She's ugly, and fat, and plain, and she's coughing on her own tears. She can't remember much, but somebody lifts her up. It is not Draco, not Harry. A shock of Red hair awaits her as she sets her down at the entrance to the dungeons.

"Harry wanted to leave you." Weasley says abstractly, staring a point to the left of her head. "I told him Malfoy'd kill him if he did."

She couldn't think to speak, but she leans heavily into her portrait. Harry hated her.

"Get lost, Weasel-bee. They'll kill me if you find out the Slytherin password." But she smiles slightly as she says it, and Weasley grins before he walks away. Maybe she won't need Him to save her. Maybe she can save herself, somehow.

-- --

Draco has it out with Potter, when he hears what Potter has said to her, and Granger slaps him and calls him all sorts of filthy names. Draco has never been brave, never been emotive, and Pansy's heart hurts when Weasley tells her what happens.

"He told her he hated her. That he'd love to see her die." Weasley says this softly, and Pansy looks away.

"He doesn't. Wouldn't." She replies, and shakes her head to stop her feelings onrushing her, engulfing her. Weasley takes it as vehemence and leaves. Pansy is alone again. Draco does not come to see her. He is resting his own heart.

She raises her eyes skyward, and counts the stars in the ceiling of the Great Hall. It is late, and Pansy knows this is the only reason Weasley allows her to speak with him. It is because no one [Potter can see. She blows upward, and her fringe moves with the gust of air. It is nice to know she can do some things herself.

She is walking back to her common room when she hears voices. It is Potter and…Weasley?

"You made her cry." Weasley says, and he doesn't sound approving.

"She deserved it." Potter says sharply, and Pansy flattens herself to the wall.

"She didn't."

"She called Hermione a know-it-all." Potter says this, offhand, and Pansy bites her lip.

"She is a know-it-all. Parkinson isn't useless, or worthless."

"All she's good for is defining the lines between a girl and a dog. She's a middleman for the two. Oh yes, she's probably rather good at giving Malfoy head." He says maliciously, and Weasley makes no sound.

Pansy steps out into the corridor, and she's pale with shame.

"You're vile." She snaps, and she slaps him, and oh Merlin it's wonderful, she's touching him, Merlin she's touching him.

He grasps her hand and stares at her, his lovely green eyes harsh, and he's so beautiful, and so much stronger than she is, and his grip is hardening, and it's hurting her, but she doesn't feel it, not really, because he's touching her. She stares at her hand, and she can't help smiling. He's touching her.

"Let her go," Weasley says, and Potter releases her. She immediately raises her wrist to her face, examining the marks, and she can't speak, can't stop the grin from spreading widely over her face. It's so beautiful, the imprint he's made on her skin. Red. It's gorgeous.

He looks as if he's going to speak to her, but she is too focused on her wrist to really pay attention. He walks off instead, Weasley at his side. And Pansy is stroking her wrist, and doesn't notice his absence.

-- --

Pansy knows how to hike a skirt up to show the best possible amount of leg; she knows how to apply glamour charms to make her look like the centerfold of the April Witch Weekly. But she doesn't know how to smile a real smile, and she can't get her cheeks to pink when she laughs. Her skin—pale and definitely not dewy—doesn't glow. Hermione is pale, but her cheeks are rosy, and she always looks lit up from within. Pansy stares at her, at the pinkness of her lips—she touches her own white ones in response—the thickness of her hair—a tug at black strands—the light dusting of freckles on Granger's nose that Pansy can't see from this distance, but she knows are there.

She looks at Granger's teeth (smaller now—and unbelievably white) and the pretty narrowness of her jaw. Pansy wishes she had a narrow jaw.

She frowns as Zabini approaches the lone Gryffindor, frowns even more deeply as he sits beside her. Granger's face is momentarily darkened (he is a Slytherin, Gods forbid) but she is determined to give Zabini the benefit of the doubt. Pansy's face twists. She has never been given the benefit of the doubt. She spends her time with Draco. Therefore, she is evil. She watches Granger and Zabini with a mildly sick interest. They are talking, and Zabini tucks a lock of Granger's hair behind her ear, and Pansy is scared. She doesn't like the look in Zabini's eyes. It is hungry.

"Zabini." Pansy calls, and he looks over. He's lost his composure, and looks feral. "On to your next conquest, eh Blaise? What, your last Gryffindor wasn't long-lasting enough for you?" Zabini's losing it, but Hermione [Granger. Goddamn has snapped out of her stupor. She hastily makes excuses and scurries away.

Pansy looks behind her, she sees Draco, and she is relieved. Zabini is looking at her, and she is scared.

"I'll kill him." Draco is saying, and his voice is breaking. "At least, he-he's got a chance, he's got a chance with Her…"

"Will you SHUT UP about Hermione?" Pansy screams and everyone hears her. She doesn't care. "If you keep on obsessing about her, and never doing anything about it, you're always going to be dreaming, you'll die dreaming, and wishing, and she's never going to want you, and it'll never work." She walks away quickly, but her heart is breaking. She's hurt him, and everyone knows his secret now. And she forgets all of that, and wonders if he'll tell Potter the truth. And suddenly, she doesn't know what the truth is anymore.

-- --

"My God, have you heard?"

"Draco Malfoy—yes, that blond Slytherin—"

"Hermione Granger. Yes. That muggle-born."

"Didn't he hate her?"

"Definitely strange."

Pansy hears them all, and she does her best to ignore the whispers going 'round Hogwarts. She always denies them most viciously, and claims that she was just riling him up, riling everyone up. No one believes her, and it's been three days and Draco hasn't come out of his rooms.

She minces to class now, invisible without Draco at her side. Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs and Slytherins alike jostle her in hallways, and shove her on their ways to classes. She's become a nobody. Pansy is now so used to being ignored that she's not on the lookout to defend Draco from attacks. She hasn't been looking out for attacks, not at all. She's quite surprised when Zabini grabs her and pushes her down a corridor.

"Geroffme." She's screaming, but it's into his hand, and his hand is shoved too tightly into her mouth for her teeth to get a grip. He lets go of her face when he discerns that there is no one around.

"You've ruined everything, Parkinson." He snaps, and he's got an iron grip on her wrists, and it isn't nice like when Harry does it. She hates this.

"You mean your stupid little one-night-stand with Granger? I've saved her, I have." Pansy says nonchalantly, but he tightens his hold on her.

"You'll have to make do then, won't you?" He says, and she's never felt this amount of animosity towards anyone of her house. Never.

"Touch me, and Draco'll—"

"Draco isn't around, is he Parkinson? And Potter isn't around either." Pansy squeaks in denial, and he smirks.

"I've seen, Parkinson. I've observed. You're always looking at him, always staring. I saw that stupid infatuation Malfoy had with Granger ages before you blurted it out. And I've seen your little obsession for longer than you've known it." Zabini remarks, and he slips a hand round her waist, pushes her closer, and she feels it, hard and pressing into her belly. She's really scared now, but her hand is too weak, and the blood has stopped flowing to it, and she can't move it.

He releases her other hand, and begins to feel her breasts right there in the hallway, through her shirt, robes pushed aside. She knows she deserves this, she's had this coming, she's useless, worthless, a sycophant, she's nothing.Pansy looks desperately away from him, anywhere but at him, and her eyes are staring right and a shadow's standing there.

"What do you think you are doing, Zabini?" Pansy hears a voice, low and dangerous, and it's him. He rushes towards us, and doesn't hesitate to curse him. And he's her hero, and he's looking grimly down at Zabini's stiff, unmoving form.

"You all right, Parkinson?" Potter asks gruffly, and he doesn't really look at her. She has the terrible feeling that he knows, and she's scared to death.

"P-Potter. Zabini? Is he okay?" She asks, staring down at the form in front of her. Potter gapes and she's offended.

"What?"

"Nothing, s'just that after someone's almost been raped," Pansy flinches, "they don't normally wonder about the physical health of their rapist. Almost."

"Well, I 'spect he was just angry at me for messing up his chance with Granger—" she covers her mouth. She probably shouldn't have told him that, but she just trusts him so much.

"He had no chance." Potter says, and it's so final. She crumples, and massages her temples. She's pushing back more tears, but it's so wonderful to see Potter there—he's saved her.

"Potter, I, I—" She's trying to tell him, but she's choking on the words—they are like peanut butter, stuck in her throat, and damn you, she's not a muggle, she hasn't ever eaten peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and they aren't her favourite midnight snack…she hates Peanut Butter, whatever the hell it is, and she's crying now, and fuck, the tears are coming harder.

"Sssh. It's alright, Par—Pansy. C'mon, let's go to the hospital wing. You'll want to get your wrists fixed. Can you walk?" he asks, and she doesn't have the energy to respond. All of a sudden he's carrying her, and she clutches his neck tightly, inhaling the delicious scent of, of newly tended grounds, and of Quidditch, and freedom and life. And she's breathing in the smell of his hair, and she pulls her hand from underneath the rest of her body, and she reaches to touch the inky-black strands, when she catches sight of the mottled mess of her wrist. It's red and purple and blue and bruised, and it frightens her, and she faints.

When she reawakens, she is in the hospital wing, and Draco is beside her, and he looks terrible. When he's seen she's came to, he smiles, and pushes his hair out of his eyes.

"You all right there, Pans?" He asks, and she slips a hand (bandaged round the wrist) into his.

"Alright." She says and he smiles, and she's content.

She's alright.

.end.

-- --

A/n: Well, that was certainly different from the direction I wanted it to go in! At first it was going to be strictly Draco/Pansy, with a nice lovely Harry/Hermione closure scene, but this started to write itself! And then a Ron/Pansy window was open (and closed), but I knew one thing. There was going to be no D/Hr, and NO H/P, even though that's the category it's going into. It's first person (a milestone), and darker than I usually write. Rather depressing, and Draco's a bit of a sap, and Harry's a bit of a, well a bit of a bitch, but Ron is adorable, no? And there goes my long tirade.

Please Review!

Peaches,

Anya