Disclaimer: I disclaim ownership of Harry Potter. Sad.
Author's Notes: This is a Draco/Astoria story, mostly written using the prompts over at 12(underscore)stories at livejournal.
Thanks to Jordan for being simply the best beta there ever was. I heart you hardcore, Jo.
This one shot was cross posted to livejournal on August 21, 2010.
by: Touch of Violet
I know that it's early
and it's too hard to think
and the broken empty bottles, a reminder in the sink
but I thought that I should tell you
if it's not too late to say
I can put back all the pieces
they just might not fit the same
The Other Greengrass Girl
The portkey took Draco Malfoy and his girlfriend right into the front yard of the Greengrass house. There were others arriving at different areas, all dressed to the nines. This was the first time in several years the Greengrasses were hosting a party and everyone was anxious to get inside their home.
He thought taking the portkey was a bit ridiculous, since the Greengrasses lived relatively close to his own manor, but Pansy had not wanted to walk the distance, and Draco didn't feel like arguing. All day she had been going on and on about this party, and how he really should thank her, because he wasn't really invited but she was allowed to bring a guest, and it was the party simply everyone would be talking about.
Draco really couldn't care less about the party.
Pansy seemed particularly excited about the fact that the younger Greengrass daughter would be in attendance. Apparently, she never went home for the holidays; with good reason.
"She's in her final year at Hogwarts," Pansy had rattled on as she tore through her closet, "and she is in Hufflepuff." The word was spoken as if it were a curse.
Draco had raised an eyebrow.
"Probably the first Greengrass in a generation to not be in Slytherin! Not to mention, to be sorted into Hufflepuff of all houses. Ha! No wonder she's never home for the holidays. A Hufflepuff."
Apparently part of the reason the Greengrasses were throwing a Christmas party was to show off their two, now of age, daughters. But the reason most of their guests were attending was to get a look at the younger daughter who was freak enough to defy the natural order of things and disagree with the basic concepts their circle of associates adhered to.
"So?" Pansy's high pitched voice cut through his thoughts. "You haven't said anything about my dress!"
It was a pink, frilly number and she looked rather like a flamingo. Deciding she might take his observation as an insult he said, "You look very thin."
She beamed at him. He wanted to gag.
There wasn't anything wrong with Pansy. At least, once you got used to her, anyway. And she had known him for forever, stuck by him when others had left, and worshipped the ground he walked on. He was the source of the problem - he just wasn't sure what the problem was.
After the battle at Hogwarts a little over a year and a half ago, things had been difficult for him and his family. Many turned their backs on them because they had been Death Eaters. Still others hated them because they had switched sides at the end. Maybe before the very end, Draco thought, and then pushed those thoughts away. He didn't like remembering those days. Neither did his Mum. And he thought his dad didn't either, though it was hard to be certain. Lucius was never home. Ever. Draco wasn't entirely sure where the older man spent his time, but he didn't dare ask his mother.
She already ate so little. He didn't want to remind her of anymore troubles.
"Not very Christmas-y," Pansy snorted, and Draco was more than a little surprised to see they were already standing in the main hall of the Greengrass home. It wasn't as large as his manor (granted, there were few homes that were) but it was a sizable home. The room had been decorated in green and silver, Slytherin crests adorning the windows and walls. In the corner was a small fern tree, placed almost as if an afterthought. That was the only Christmas type decoration he could see.
"Not a bad home though," she admitted with a condescending snarl. "Not as nice as my home, but, oh there's Daphne!" She left his side and practically bulldozed through the crowd to get to the bar in the back of the room where two redheaded girls sat, sipping demurely at fruity drinks and giggling to each other.
There were many pureblood families in attendance, Draco noticed. He recognized almost everyone. But no one approached him. Instead, they avoided him as if he had some sort of contagious disease – like maybe the faded mark on his forearm was a virus they could catch if he sneezed in their direction.
Well, Draco sniffed, crossing his arms and absentmindedly fiddling with the sleeve of his dress robe that covered his scar. He clenched his jaw and glared at the room as a whole. Fuck you too.
He caught site of his girlfriend dragging a tall, redheaded girl in a green dress away from the bar. Daphne. He did remember her. She had always been in the background at school, like part of the furniture or a painting – present, but not of any actual importance to him. She had a look of terror on her face and he could only guess why.
There was a redheaded girl left at the bar who was staring after them with a smile on her lips. She had to be Daphne's younger sister, the famed Hufflepuff of the family. Her eyes met his and her expression changed.
He had expected that. Most people stopped smiling when they recognized him. Most of them scowled, looked angry or even afraid. But that wasn't the case with the younger Greengrass girl.
She looked at him with pity.
"Don't be ridiculous," he heard his girlfriend say. "It's just Draco! Honestly, Daphne." She cleared her throat, but Draco couldn't look away from the girl at the bar. "Honey, you remember Daphne?"
He could feel the blood pumping through his veins; his heart slammed against his chest and his palms were drenched in sweat. He couldn't remember the last time he felt this angry. She – a fucking Hufflepuff – would dare look at him like he was someone to be pitied? What the hell did she know?
Ignoring the girls at his side ("Draco?" Pansy demanded in a shocked tone, "Draco?") he marched over to the bar; though no one looked at him, they seemed to know when he was approaching and quickly moved out of the way.
As he got closer, he could get a better visual on the girl who he was going to freakin' murder. Her red hair was short and curly, and framed her heart shaped face – her stupid, ugly heart shaped face. Her eyes were round and stormy blue, sparkling up at him like sapphires – like cheap, knock off ones that only drag queens would bother wearing. Her silver dress was strapless and accentuated the creamy, pale skin of her shoulders and chest – she might as well have been deformed.
He had fully intended on telling her off, but when he reached the bar, she smiled at him in such a way that her nose wrinkled. She had freckles on her nose that spread out to her cheeks, he noticed. And they were the ugliest things he had ever seen. What was she, part Weasley?
Well, pureblood families were all at least distantly related.
Ugh. He needed a drink.
He ordered a firewhiskey and tried to ignore the way he could hear his heart pounding in his ears.
"Hello," she greeted.
He sipped his drink, enjoying the soothing burn down his throat. He nodded in her general direction, never taking the glass too far from his lips. Draco had had a couple of shots of cheap alcohol to help him through the night before Pansy had showed up, but nothing quite compared to firewhiskey. He took another long, slow sip, savoring the way it warmed him from the inside out.
"I'm Astoria Greengrass," she said, offering her hand.
Her hand was small, her wrist was thin and her fingers were long. Her finger nails were short and unpainted. It was a hideous hand.
He shook her hand and grimaced at how annoyingly soft it was. "Draco Malfoy."
She continued to smile at him even when he took his hand away too quickly and ordered his second firewhisky. At least the look of pity was gone.
He glanced at her from the corner of his eyes and saw her wry smile; he couldn't remember why he was mad at her for a moment.
"Having a blast," he told her, setting his drink on the counter and motioning to the bartender. "You?"
"Ah," she leaned back on the stool and motioned around the room. "I'm right at home here, surrounded by these festive holiday decorations."
He snorted, amused. "You're the Hufflepuff one, right?"
She smiled so big her could see all of her teeth. Maybe she meant to be threatening? "That'd be me. You can see how my parents have accepted my sorting so well." He couldn't help but glance at all the Slytherin crests decorating the room. "I'm in my seventh year; you'd think they would have backed down by now."
He took his refilled glass in his hand and sighed. "Old grudges die hard." Draco realized that was the wrong thing to say when pity flashed across her face again. It was infinitely worse, being pitied. He much preferred being hated.
"But things can change," she said in a determined voice, her eyes shining. "People change. My parents will come around eventually. They're good people, they really are. They're just…misguided in some areas."
He wondered if she was talking about her parents after all.
Draco took a small, slow sip of his drink and did not look at her. He wanted to get away, but his feet seemed to have melted to the ground.
"I remember you," she said in a whisper.
As cautiously as he could he glanced at her. A blush lit up her face, making her freckles more prominent.
They weren't so bad, he decided. He started to count them.
"From school," Astoria continued, defiantly staring at his face. She had four freckles on her right cheek, three on her left. "I don't think you're as bad as people say. I-I don't think you're as bad as you want people to think." Six freckles on her nose, one placed right on the very tip.
Thirteen freckles in all. No, they weren't bad at all. He took another sip of his drink and sat down on the stool next to her. "I don't remember you."
She dropped her gaze to her hands, her blush increasing. "Well. I was two years behind you. And in another house."
"Hn." He could feel all the alcohol he had consumed throughout the evening want to take over the conversation. He didn't fight it. "You must've fancied me."
She rolled her eyes and fiddled with her hair, the color never leaving her face. "So?" Her eyes met his again, almost as if she was daring him to tease her.
He smiled for the first time in a long time. "Poor, poor Astoria. Pining away for an unrequited love all these years."
She snorted. "It wasn't like that."
He was grinning so broadly he was sure he looked insane. But he didn't care. He was enjoying himself for the first time in ages. "So tell me how such a cunning girl as yourself ended up in a house like Hufflepuff?"
She shrugged, obviously grateful for the change in subject. "I don't know, really. I grew up in a home where everyone was sympathetic to, well, you know." He tugged on his sleeve absentmindedly. "But someone's heritage never really mattered to me. I do try and fit in with my family." She motioned to her dress. He figured she was trying to point out that she and her sister had worn Slytherin colors, but his eyes were drawn to the creamy skin of her chest. "But, I guess I'll just forever be the black sheep."
"Black sheep?" He echoed with a quirk of his brow. He kind of liked the sound of that.
"Oh, yes," she grinned. "My deviation from the norm is quite the scandal for the Greengrasses. My decisions have made those around me rather uncomfortable." She took a sip of her drink. "And I enjoy every minute of it."
He definitely liked the sound of that.
He smiled and raised his glass. "To the black sheep, then."
She nodded and tapped her glass against his. "Happy Christmas, Draco Malfoy."
"Happy Christmas, Astoria Greengrass."
End Notes: This was written for the "green" prompt using 12(underscore)stories Colours table. I do realize that my description of Astoria Greengrass does not match how she will look in the Epilogue of the DH movie. My explanation for this is as follows: JKR does not mention in the book that Astoria is at Platform 9 3/4. She most certainly does not describe her looks. The only way we know Draco marries Astoria is from interviews that took place after DH was published. And while I think it is lovely that Tom Felton's real life girlfriend plays Draco Malfoy's wife in DH, it is most certainly not cannon (in the sense that the almight JKR has not deemed it so). Plus, her sister's name is Daphne. And years of watching Scooby Doo has made it impossible for me to picture a Daphne who is not redheaded. So. There.
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