Disclaimer: I don't own anything familiar.
A/N - It's been a very long time since I updated, and I haven't been on fanfiction net in a long time. I've been hanging out over at livejournal quite a bit. The reason I'm back is because all the e-mail that I received two days ago was from fanfiction net because of this story. I read over a couple of my older stories and decided "Eh, what the heck...I'll update and see what happens."
Enjoy the chapter.
The walk to the Hospital Wing had been uneventful in the sense that no one had tried to physically lash out at Pansy. The werewolf was a useful shield at keeping people at a distance, and if he noticed the whispers or stares that Pansy received he hid it well. Once, she had stumbled going up one set of stairs, cursing as the older man caught her by the arm. Shaking him off she sent him a purposeful glare to let him know she was perfectly capable of catching herself. He didn't bother to catch her when she stumbled again a few steps later, but he did send her a wry half smile before donning a more serious expression.
Madam Pomfrey shook her head and mumbled something under her breath when Pansy and the werewolf had entered her domain.
"Take a seat on a bed Miss Parkinson." Madam Pomfrey ordered pulling out her wand.
Pansy did so silently.
"Thank you for bringing her Remus." Madam Pomfrey smiled grimly at the werewolf before hurrying over to Pansy. The healer began to murmur spells over Pansy's leg.
"My pleasure Poppy. I'd hate to think what you'd do to me if I let injured students roam the halls alone." The werewolf joked as he began to leave the ward.
"Oh. Remus," Madam Pomfrey said turning away from Pansy. "Before you leave could I speak to you in my office?"
"Well, yes." Remus said, a light frown crossing his features.
"Just let yourself in. I'll be in there soon."Madam Pomfrey said turning back to Pansy. She started murmuring spells again.
In a matter of minutes Madam Pomfrey smiled up at Pansy. "There you go. All patched up. I don't think you lost enough blood to need a blood replenishing potion. Just try to go to bed early tonight and drink some orange juice at lunch or dinner and you'll be as good as new tomorrow. Rest for a few minutes while I talk to Professor Lupin."
"Thank you." Pansy said running her hand over where the gash had been. No scar. No sign that there had ever been a cut. Pansy sighed lightly. She had a certain respect for healers. One of the most extensive curriculums at any University was for healers, especially if you were planning on specializing in a particular healing field such as Psychmancy or Hemology.
The Slytherin hadn't ever told anyone but she found the thought of being some sort of a healer an interesting future. She didn't want to be a school healer like Madam Pomfrey. No. She didn't want to be in any position where she might have to help mudbloods, but she wouldn't have minded being a personal healer to the dark side. It was a far minded fantasy of course. Her parents would never approve. They had done everything in their power to keep her as far from the fighting as possible. Their full support had been given to the cause, but they had always wanted their daughter to marry a war hero not be a war hero or war healer in her case.
Pansy had been kept as close to home as possible, even though the ravenette girl was more than willing to be on the field next to all her other friends that had given themselves to the cause. The thought of merely being a breeder had left her with with an acidic taste in her mouth. Pansy was no militant feminist but the desire to be great was there buried beneath years of manners and traditions that had been forced upon her. She was a pure blood, but she was also an individual capable of decisions.
Not that any of her dreams would ever come true. No. She knew better. Her mind might bolster and shout but she could never openly betray her parents wishes. She would marry whomever they decided. She would have children. She would take care of her house and be dutiful to her husband and the pureblood race. That was to be her life. It didn't exactly fill her with joy, and it wasn't exactly what she wanted, but it was what she had accepted long ago before she was even old enough to imagine that there might be something else in life that she wanted.
The life that her parents had led and all her ancestors had led wasn't a bad one. On the contrary, it was a life that many envied. Numerous people would give anything to have the stability that her life promised. She would never go hungry. Her children would never be without the best. They would have regular holidays.
It wasn't that it was a bad life at all. It was just...she had no choice in the matter. And that was really what she wanted. She wanted the choice. The choice of whom to marry or if she indeed even wanted to marry at all. The choice of if she wanted a career or to be a house wife. Just to be able to choose something about her life would be pleasant. But at the same time she knew that even if she had the choice she wouldn't know what to do with it. Frozen with indecision. Everything in her life had been left to someone else, and she wouldn't have the first clue how to take control of her life if her parents would allow it.
She'd probably end up doing exactly what they wanted anyway simply because she didn't know how to do anything else. Even the fact that she hated her new longer hair and the plan to cut it behind her mother's back had been filtering in and out of her daydreams the past couple weeks wouldn't ever really happen. It was so much simpler to just give her parents what they wanted that she wouldn't ever dare to actually go against their wishes.
It's just how things were.
"Miss Parkinson, you're welcome to go back to class now, unless you feel that you need that blood replenishing potion."
Pansy glanced up as she came out of her thoughts. "I think I'll be fine ma'am."
"Alright dear. Just be safe and try not to let me see you or your friends in here to much." Madam Pomfrey said smiling grimly again. The werewolf appeared in the doorway of Madam Pomfrey's office with a thoughtfully somber crease on his worn features before heading to the entrance to the hallway without looking or saying anything to either of the other occupants of the room. "I'll be sure to send an owl to your professor letting them know you were in here." Madam Pomfrey added watching the werewolf leave.
"Thank you." Pansy said keeping her face void of expression. Her nerves were anxious as she watched the small scene pass before her eyes. She had seen the way her parents and other Death Eaters had acted far too often when they feared that the Dark Lord might blame them for some mishap to not notice when others were gravely worried. The werewolf and Madam Pomfrey were worried about something, but Pansy wasn't sure what for.
Pansy breathed a sigh of relief when she reached Potions. It was a haven. Professor Snape wouldn't tolerate anyone ridiculing his house. Her and the other snakes would be safe during this class. The large door creaked loudly as she opened it and all heads turned to look at her as she made her way to the table her and Draco had used for their entire seven years of schooling. Professor Snape didn't say anything to her until she had taken her seat.
"Madam Pomfrey has already owled me, Miss Parkinson." Pansy nodded gratefully. "Mr. Malfoy please give Miss Parkinson the instructions for today's potion."
"Yes Professor." Draco turned more to her and continued to cut his ginger root into thin slices. "We're making the Babbling Beverage. It's really simple. I think he's just wanting us to get used to the cauldrons again. Probably doesn't want to risk anyone blowing things up."
"What do you need me to do?" Pansy asked.
"I've already added most of the ingredients. I just need to add this ginger root and squash up the slugs and add their paste with powdered horn root and then add them to the potion. You want to squash the slugs?" Draco asked.
"Not particularly." Pansy said making a face.
Draco smiled slightly, still not looking up from his ginger root. "Fine. Here. You can cut the ginger root. I'll squash the slugs." Draco said handing Pansy the knife. She took it and began to cut silently.
Minutes passed the only sound passing between the two snakes was the steady chop of Pansy's knife and the slurping noise as Draco squashed the slugs. Both were lost in deep thought as they went on with their task. When the end of class finally came they had an exceptional potion to turn it.
Professor Snape had taken it up without a word, but Pansy and Draco had been in his house long enough to tell when he approved of something.
"Mr. Malfoy, Miss Parkinson, please stay after class." Professor Snape said just as class was dismissed.
Pansy and Draco gathered their things before heading to the front of the class were their head of house sat behind his desk.
He finished straightening some of his papers before completely turning his attention to his two students.
"What happened?" Professor Snape asked evenly. Draco spoke up quicker than Pansy could.
"It was Brown. Lavender Brown. She tripped Pansy twice. The first time it was when Pansy came into class late. The second time was when we were leaving class to come here. The second time I caught Pansy but we both ended up falling against a desk. It cut Pansy's leg. I saw both times, but the werewolf was watching so I couldn't do anything to Brown."
Professor Snape nodded. "Why were you late to Lupin's class Miss Parkinson?"
"Draco and I were taking turns walking the first years to their class. When it was my turn I found them in the hall with three Gryffindor. They had tricked Opal and Jacob into following them and they were muggle handling them. I....explained to them in a way they could understand that they weren't allowed to handle the Slytherin house that way. Jacob and Opal were unharmed besides a few bruises." Pansy sucked in a mouthful of air. "We have to go get them, Sir. I doubt they'll be able to find their way to the Great Hall without our help." Pansy started to head to the door when Snape's voice stopped her.
"Miss Parkinson that won't be necessary. Miss Stefanova is currently in the hospital wing and I imagine Mr. Burke or Miss. Granger is already escorting Mr. Reynolds to lunch."
Pansy froze then slowly turned back to her Professor.
"What?" Draco asked frowning. "What are you talking about?"
Professor Snape sighed heavily. "Professor Flitwick had left the class alone for a moment to go into his office. The majority of the class attacked Miss Stefanova and Mr. Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds sustained only minor injuries from the attack but I'm afraid Miss Stefanova has a concussion and a broken arm. Madam Pomfrey assured me that Miss Stefanova will be perfectly fine in a matter of days. She'll have missed many of the important opening instructions that the other first years received, though. I'm going to discuss with the other Professors about giving her a written cope of all their instructions."
"How could they all attack at once though?" Draco asked.
"It was planned..." Pansy said quietly.
"Precisely, Miss Parkinson." Professor Snape said. "There are many in the other houses who would have been quite happy if no one had returned to Slytherin, and they are apparently spreading this feeling to as many of the younger students as possible. I'm not sure who exactly is leading this anti-Slytherin movement. I highly doubt it is simply one student; it is more likely a multitude of students who's family held grudges or students who have always held a disdain for our house. I don't know. What I do know is that we are going to have to keep a much closer eye on the younger students." Professor Snape sighed raking a hand through his greasy hair in a very undignified manner. He appeared to be trying to control himself. The next time he spoke his voice was much calmer.
"I have no doubt that you both can handle yourself if you get cornered. Draco, you've had plenty of hands-on experience. Pansy you've been trained just as much if not more than Draco. I know your family was very protective of you."
The two snakes stood stony faced and rigid.
"However, your younger peers are not very experienced. The sixth years and fifth years should be able to help you with the proper...instructing from their prefects. The fourth years might be able to help protect the younger students but I wouldn't rely to heavily on them .They'll probably be more needy then helpful."
"Professor." Draco cut in with a frown. "Are you saying that we are supposed to fight? I knew when I came here this year that this year was going to be hell simply because the war was over, but are you giving us permission to do whatever is needed to protect our house?"
"I said nothing of the sort Mr. Malfoy." Professor Snape said evenly. "I'm simply informing you that there is a possibility that other students might be violent, and it is perfectly acceptable to...take the necessary precautions to defend yourself. As a teacher I can not tell you to take the offensive as it could cost me my job. I wouldn't want you all to be hurt in anyway however, and that is why I warned you about the possible encounters with your other school mates."
"But Professor..." Pansy said. "What about Burke and Granger? I don't trust either of them."
"I understand if you wouldn't want Mr. Burke or Miss Granger around your younger peers Mis Parkinson, however with them being the Head Boy and Girl, Dumbledore has assured me that they won't do anything that would negatively affect any of your house mates."
"Dumbledore is a bloody nutter and a blood traitor." Draco suddenly sneered. " It's bad enough to think that mudblood Granger might be around our house, but having someone like Dumbledore pity us like we're some worthless muggle is too much. And do we even know anything about Burke besides the fact that he's a badger? He's probably a blood traitor or a mudblood himself. I don't want the future of Slytherin to be cuddly with mudbloods and blood traitors!"
Professor Snape rose from his seat, the hem of his robe flaring out angrily as if an offshoot of his emotions.
"You know nothing of pity, Draco. Sometimes...sometimes it is the only way that you can live. Your father would tell you that if he were still alive." Professor Snape hissed out.
Draco turned an an awful shade of red.
"There are things that we must do to live. If you truly care about the future of the Slytherin House then you will swallow your pride and accept help when you need it. You can accept help and quietly teach the next generation the proper way to think. That is what a true Slytherin would do. It is clever and ambitious. Do not let your pride be the downfall of hundreds of years of tradition." Professor Snape leered at him as Draco stared fiercely at the ground.
Professor Snape suddenly turned his gaze to Pansy. "Do you have anything to say about the situation, Miss Parkinson?"
"No sir." She said quietly staring at Draco from the corner of her eye.
"Good. I've been told that the other Prefects are also going to help in protecting you all. It is my hope that the attacks will be stifled in the very near future. I would hate to think what it would be like to endure this all year. Stay safe. Make allies. You're dismissed."
When they were outside of the Potions classroom Draco still continued to stare fiercely at the floor. He clenched and unclenched his fists several times.
"Draco?" Pansy asked hesitantly. "Draco...are you alright?"
"I can't believe he brought my father into all of this." Draco growled. "He knows that...I told him...Why couldn't..." an angry tear slid silently down Draco's cheek.
Pansy took Draco's clenched fist into both her hands. "He's just upset Draco. You surly can tell that."
Draco sighed swiping his free hand over his face angrily. "Come on." Draco sighed unclenching his fist and taking Pansy's hand in his. "Let's go to lunch."
A/N - Well, hope that my first update in months was worth reading. Please review lovely readers. I love you all. :D