Draco is cornered. Normally, this would require extreme evasive action, consisting of physical retaliation and copious amounts of jinxing. But even before they moved in for the kill he could smell expensive hair products and a perfume mainly comprised of crushed belladonna.


"Dear, I know you have always had some uncontainable attraction to me, but do you really have to sneak up on me in the prefect's bath?"

"Just enjoying the view, darling." Pansy smiled, "And the alone time."

"For any reason in particular?"

"Just to talk."


He gently shoves her aside and starts the water, turning the precise blend of colors necessary for the perfect bath.

"May I join you?" Pansy asks in a flirtatious tone.

"Are you clean?" He asks in a serious tone.

"I haven't shot up in weeks." She jokes, starting to disrobe with no shame.

"I'll scourgify you if you step one foot closer."

"Clean me, baby, I've been a dirty boy." She's giggling now.

"Yes, dearest, you're 'one of the guys' in the most disturbing of definitions." He rolled his eyes.

"Enough for a serious talk about emotions?" She sits behind him on the stone, her legs crossed and her face stoney.

"If you think guys talk about emotions than you clearly aren't one of us."

"Then we can have girl talk."

"Merlin, woman, out with it already!"

"I'm turning Ginny into a lesbian for you."


"I'm turning Ginny-"

"Don't mock me. I hear perfectly. By 'what', I meant explain yourself, bloody mad woman."

"Then articulate yourself properly."

"Explain yourself properly first, and I won't have to."

"I've gotten Ginny out of the way, for now, by convincing her to start a fake budding relationship with Lovegood in the attempt to make our young heroine jealous."

"The young heroine being Potter."

"That's Harry to you, hero."

"Oh merlin. You think I'm in one of those trashy novels you're fond of."

"I see the bedroom eyes you and Potter make at each other."

"You're daft. I only ever look at him with dread or sadistic amusement."

"Draco, honey, I'm just doing this to make you happy!"

"Merlin, woman, don't touch me with your germ-infested hands while I'm in the bath!"

"Don't be so finicky about germs while I'm trying to give you love and affection!"

"You're not Pansy! Pansy never gives a shite about anyone's love and affection! What Hufflepuff has procured polyjuice potion in an attempt to ridicule me!"

Draco spins around and a wand appears out of a place Pansy can't quite place and it's aimed at her.

"Darling, you're being very stupid about this."

"I'm being practical."

"And shameless." She smirks down at him and the very convenient bubbles that were slowly disappearing, one by one, but he doesn't even flinch, "Do I have to tell stories of our childhood? It was the age of five, when we were at a dinner party at your mansion and you discovered the stark difference between boys and girls because, until then, you were under the delusion that everyone had a lesser impressive version of what you had in your pants."

"Of course you would use that story."

He sighs and relaxes back into the bath.

"Because I'm Pansy. And you are being incredibly stupid."

"I feel like a Gryffindor. I have no clue what's happening."

"It's overexposure. And you've fallen for one, no less."

"You keep saying that as if it's actually happened, Pans."

"Because it has, sweetie, and I've given you about a week before the girlfriend moves in for the teary intervention."

"Pansy, what is this really all about."

"Draco, you're unhappy. You've been unhappy since you were born."

"And you believe Potter to be the salvation to my unhappiness."

"Well you're the one who has everything set in motion already. You've established the first meeting, first year, established the friendship this year, with him, and for what? You two are supposed to hate the very sight of each other, and now you're walking together and laughing together and going on bloody adventures together, and for what?"

"For you."

"If you were really that selfless, sweetheart, that wouldn't have been the way to go about it. It worked, yes, but it wasn't selfless."


"I'm not angry at you for it. Call me a Hufflepuff, but it's not as excrutiatingly painful as I thought it would be. And you're happier, now, but you're still not happy."

"And you believe a romantic entanglement with Potter would make me happy."

"Yes. So I've set things in motion for you."

And with that, she scuttles off.

"Women." He shakes his head with a small sense of dread building in his stomach, "Bloody insane, the lot of them."

It's during potions that Pansy has the opportunity to implement another phase of her plan. The Granger addition.

"Who do they think they're fooling?" Pansy mutters, grinding the belladonna leaves to a fine powder.

"Pardon?" Hermione asks, counting to five and then stirring the cauldron once counter-clockwise.

Pansy starts, looking at Hermione as if she hadn't realized she had been speaking aloud. Then she sighs, careful not to blow the belladonna out of the mortar, and leans in closer to Hermione.

"Those two. Our beloved self-involved heros of the houses?" Pansy is careful not to look at the two while Hermione's eyes snap to Harry and Draco bickering with each other.

"What do you mean 'fooling'? They're acting the same as they always do."

"Yes, yes, their sniping comes so naturally to them. Ever wonder why?"

"Because they spent the last seven years fighting with each other?"

"No, no, look at them. Potter's not even doing that strange facial tick he has whenever he's annoyed."

"Yes, they're friends now. What are they supposedly masquerading as, Parkinson? Really, I have no clue what you're alluding to."

"Draco and Potter could never be friends. They can be enemies, of course, there's enough intensity for that. But friends? That sounds so weak."

"There's nothing weak about friendship!" Hermione retorts, a little too loudly, and a few students turn to look at her. Brilliant.

"For those two, though?"

"And what do you suggest? They go back to hating each other?"

Pansy looks at her.

Hermione frowns back.

Pansy waggles her eyebrow.

"Honestly, Pansy, is everything a dirty joke to you?"

But Pansy smirks inwardly when Hermione gives Draco and Harry a puzzled look, before getting that determined expression on her face.

It's in between the dining hall and the common rooms that Hermione whisks Harry off into an empty room, brushing everyone off as she faces Harry with her 'getting to the bottom of things' look.

"Harry, has something been going on lately?"

"What d'you mean, Hermione?"

"Well, you've been a little distant lately. And you and Ginny haven't been spending much time together. And the whole arrangement with the Slytherins, of course, have been very peculiar."

"So are you looking for just one general reason for everything? Or an explanation of each issue in great depth."

"I'm looking for the truth, Harry, I'm worried about you."

"Nothing is happening, 'Mione."

"Right. I have been completely mistaken. You and Ginny aren't drifting apart, you're not slowly becoming best mates with Malfoy, and you're not depressed."

"I'm not depressed!" He shook his head, "None of what you said is true!"

"Because I'm an idiot."


"No. Tell me the truth, Harry. I know when you're lying to me, and you'll feel better when you talk about it."

"No, I won't."

"In the long run."

"What am I supposed to tell you when even I don't know what's happening? My girlfriend hasn't said more than two words to me, Draco's, well, he's a git, but not the same evil prat he's been since I met him, and it's almost like we're friends or something, although if I can't stand Justin Finch-Fletchley but can spend all my time with Draco Malfoy of all people, what does that say about me?"

Hermione didn't want to acknowledge the fact that Harry's problems with Ginny only warranted a fragment of a sentence, while Harry's mind was filled with a blond ferret. And that Harry had called him 'Draco' without noticing. So she didn't.

"All it says is that Justin is an annoying prat, even Slytherins look good next to him." She was at a loss about his other concerns, "And that you need to have a long talk with Ginny."

"I suppose you're right."

"Oh, and don't tell Ron that you don't mind Malfoy's company."

"I'm confused, not stupid."