Lost Blood: The Tale of Pansy's Two Princes
Warnings: Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme
Era: Hogwarts Pairings: Draco/Pansy, Justin/Pansy
Characters: Dumbledore, Draco, Pansy, Skeeter, Justin
*Written for darkladyofslytherin's 'A Very Slytherin Challenge: Pansy' challenge and mixed with faerieall's 'Interhouse pairings' challenge, miss_remus's 'Non canon pairings' challenge, and PhoenixRoseQueen's 'Pansy Parkinson' challenge on HPFF* He had seen the paper, knew what would happen, and asked the Headmaster for help. Then he had gone to find her. He had gone to find her.
Author's Note: I actually do want to expand on this but at this moment I don't have time. Maybe in the future…
Chapter Three: Imperfect Circle
Perfection at the cost of a lie is something Pansy only semi-willingly comes to live with.
Pansy didn't know exactly when she had fallen asleep, but her dream had startled her awake. Something about the way Justin had looked at her in the dream had made her wake in a sweat. He had never looked at her that way before; her mind must be making up fantasies for her.
Fantasies for which her body surprisingly lusted but her head rebelled against. "No, I will not fall for a Hufflepuff! Much less a mudblood!" Pansy told herself heatedly.
But it was not the kind of heat she was trying to muster. This was body heat not anger; this was something she had never felt with Draco.
Draco had always been a cold man, both in public and in private. Pansy knew he cried, knew when he was upset, but never would he allow her to openly know that. Instead he hid everything from her and tended to only treat her affectionately when it suited his purposes.
Pansy had always known she was more of a servant to Draco's needs than a girlfriend, that's just how things were in the pureblood world. Yet, with Justin…with Justin…
She couldn't think. How could she think anything about the man who had actually treated her kindly and with respect after everything that had happened?
When the Headmaster had ordered them to bed, he had walked her back to the main hall, he had asked if she would be ok. In the course of one evening, she had found a new court, a new high class society, in the savior of the muggles and a mudblood.
Such an abrupt turn around had left Pansy completely perplexed, so much so that she barely registered the intense loathing of the other Slytherins when she returned to the common room.
Pansy remembered that she had immediately climbed into bed, but still could not recall when she had finally succumbed to sleep. The last thing she could remember thinking was how this was all so new to her.
She had always been a Death Eater's daughter. She had always been slytherin who tormented muggles and mudbloods because they didn't deserve their magical gifts. She had always been the ring leader of the Slytherin's top girls. The high class girls who ran the school and made sure Salazar's wishes were carried out.
But now she, Pansy Parkinson, was at the bottom of the social ladder. She wasn't even on the ladder; she was the dirt it sat on. She had become the person she used to walk all over. Her prince was no longer Draco, a fellow Slytherin and pureblood she thought had cared for her, it was a Hufflepuff. And not just any Hufflepuff, it was Justin Finch-Fletchy, a boy she had tormented on multiple occasions with Draco and their friends.
How could he even have thought to help her after everything she had done to him? It was almost as confusing as figuring out what her father would do once his lie was out. She didn't want to lose him, but he had brought it on himself, he had done this to their family.
Everything in her life had changed and Pansy had not even done anything to facilitate it. Her father, the man she had based all her beliefs in men on, had now destroyed her and cost her the other man in her life that she thought meant something. How could life turn out to be so fickle and easily broken?
Pansy rolled over. It was still dark out but she had been in her four poster bed for hours before the others so she was wide awake now. The clock on her bedside table read 4:57 AM. Too early to get up and leave the common room but also too late for her to fall back asleep, not that she could anyway. The only thing she could do was lay under her covers and anguish about the day to come.
Rita Skeeter would never recant her story Pansy knew that, so she tried to imagine how she would get used to her new life at the bottom of the barrel.
The surprising thing though, was that she didn't really seem to mind. Something about her dream had stuck with her and now Pansy was seeing everything in a new light. Perhaps she had lost everything but after the reactions were Draco and her friends really worth hurting over? Their allegiances had changed so quickly towards her, why should she bother crying over them? Besides, she had discovered a strong person in Justin who, despite having been at the other end of her crude comments, had rode up like a knight on horseback to save her without the slightest reason other than she had needed it.
Pansy beat her fist against the bed, she wasn't about to let those capricious people have such a strong hold on her. She threw the covers off and stood triumphantly in the dark, silent dormitory. All the other girls lay fast asleep around her and for just a moment she thought viciously of hexing them. In the end however she decided her new path was against that and so only got dressed in some of her favorite school robes.
She hadn't worn them in weeks because there was a hole in one of the sleeves and she thought it distasteful to wear ratty clothes. Now Pansy was just enjoying the comfort of them against her skin, like hugging an old baby blanket and remembering all the adventures you used to have.
Pansy spun around stupidly in the dormitory and laughed quietly to herself, what did she care anymore? It was time to start her new life and so she exited the common room and absentmindedly roamed the corridors until the main hall was opened for breakfast. She took her usual spot at the head of the Slytherin table and ignored the smug looks of the other Slytherins as they sat down nearer to the other end of the lengthy table.
She sat up straighter and caught Justin's eye as he sat down across the room at the Hufflepuff table. He gave her a small tilt of his head to ask if everything was alright and Pansy nodded. Everything was going to be alright.
Then the paper fell onto her plate, squishing the mound of eggs she had just been eating. Pansy didn't take the bite that was on her fork nor did she note that Draco had sat down next to her. The headline had stopped her like a sledge hammer to a clock.
"Peirce Parkinson confession! Muggle Gambling cover up for shameful secret!" by Rita Skeeter.
She'd been right. Everything was going to be alright, just not in the way Pansy had imagined it while lying in her bed a few short hours ago. Everything was going to be alright because everything was going to go back to normal.
Draco sat next to her and said her father was a fool to think the truth wouldn't come out eventually. As all the boys and girls of Pansy's 'gang' sat around them, they consoled her. Had they only known the truth…how terrible this has been for her…Pansy wanted to vomit. She wanted to cover them in all the lies they were spewing about how they were sorry, about how bad they felt.
Yet as much as she wanted to deck Draco when he took her hand, she didn't. Her mind was adrift, floating somewhere in a sea filled with the minds of other lost teenage girls who could not begin to fathom an answer to the changes in their lives. Still, even in the open waters, each mind was in solitude and Pansy felt very much alone. Everything had been so clear, it would be hard, but her life would have been back in her control.
Now the shackles of her duty to the purebloods sat soaking up the oils from her eggs in front of her. Life would go back to her perfect illusion, only now that dream was tainted. Sure she and her mother would still have no money, no house, no nice expensive things but they would have each other and they would have their Parkinson Status. In the world that Pansy would be growing old in, that's all that mattered.
Her mind wound in circles faster and faster, much like the muggle cars Draco was so strangely fond of, as she waited for Justin near the muggle government section in the library. As much as she had been certain of her new life, everything had unwound when things turned a full circle in the span of a single day and now she had to end things before they started to unravel again.
"You alright?" he asked, placing a strong hand on her shoulder. "I saw the paper this morning."
"Yeah, everything's back to normal I guess." Pansy saw his expression twitch only slightly and knew what he was thinking. Sadly, she felt the same.
He had been so focused on her through all this that he hadn't really thought about an outcome were she wouldn't need him. Yet he still felt that this was the right thing to happen, for her.
"Justin, I," she didn't finish, she didn't want to. It had only been a day and her life had performed a full turn on its axis. The beginning had become the end but Pansy couldn't seem to finish.
Rather than force the cutting words out of her reluctant mouth, she launched herself forward, fell into his shocked body and kissed him. After a few seconds of surprise, he held her close and returned the affection. It wasn't one of those perfect, fantasy kisses you read about; it was sloppy and off key, but they both adored it.
They also both knew it would come with a twinge of regret and felt no surprise when it tapped them on the shoulder. Because this moment, their little secret but not secret, couldn't last. Once their lips parted, so did they.
"I'm sorry," Pansy whispered against his chin as he held her, her breath still caught with his.
"Don't be. This is exactly how it's supposed to happen." Justin let go of her and moved her to arms length before looking into her eyes, "we have our own lives to live."
He let go of her and for one strangely terrifying moment Pansy thought she had been wrong about his affections for her, perhaps he didn't feel the same, "doesn't mean we can't hold this all close to our hearts though."
With one last genuine smile, he walked away from her. Pansy felt a swell of remorse as she realized what he was doing. He was letting her go so that her life would be without hassle again, so that she could live the life she was destined to. So that he wouldn't get in the way of anything. She loved him more for it and hated him just the same for being right. Her place, no matter how she fought it, started and ended with the pureblood mentality.
Such was the state of her life, to protect and honor the ideals she had been raised with but no longer really believed in. Yet that didn't stop her from doing exactly as Justin had and kept all the memories of him close to her heart.
Even as she, Draco, and their friends teased the Hufflepuffs days later, she smiled at him. And it was of no surprise to her when he smiled back. After all, in her eyes, Justin was still her only real prince.