Disclaimer: Alas, I'm losing my creativity with disclaimers. I'm not J.K Rowling. Apparently.
Astoria glanced across the gloomy gathering. For a beautiful summer wedding it was truly dismal. Most of the guests were injured or grieving the loss of a loved one. She scampered over to her newlywed sister Daphne Nott. Daphne looked thoroughly miserable, reflecting the mood of the reception on her pretty young face.
"Come on Daph, he's Nott too bad." She joked. Daphne gave her a sour look.
"Oh ha- ha Tori, I see what you did there. My poor ribs may never recover." She retorted sarcastically. Astoria pouted at her sister, who promptly burst into tears.
"Oh Daph! Smile, it's your wedding day! Daph you're married!" Astoria flung her arms around her older sister in an attempt to comfort her. Daphne snivelled and tried to compose herself. In Astoria's eyes; Daphne had lost all dignity agreeing to an arranged marriage. The days of pure-blood supremacy were dead; this kind of tradition should die too.
"You're right Tori, of course you are. But people are dead, and some of the guests here may as well have murdered them. People aren't even talking to Cissie and Draco." Daphne was truly distraught; she had been as close as Draco allowed people when they were at school. Astoria had met Narcissa, his once beautiful mother with her white blonde hair, now purely white, a few times before at ministry gatherings. Astoria suddenly realised what her sister was getting at.
"Enjoy yourself Daph; I'll entertain the Malfoys with some Tori charm." She winked at her as she left to make her way to the Malfoy table.
Astoria had always secretly admired Narcissa Malfoy. Her lie during the war, the lie she told the darkest wizard, the greatest legilimens, of all time could have killed her, but for her son she lied. Astoria wondered how many other lies Narcissa had told. Had she ever wanted to become a death-eater, or was it purely Lucius' will? Astoria had also been in quiet awe of Draco Malfoy. He had never seemed to have friends, yet he was never alone. He had been 'close' to a few people, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, Pansy Parkinson and Daphne, but never friends. She had wanted from a young age to get to know cold, lonely Draco. She never had.
She reached the small white table where Narcissa and Draco sat in silence.
"Hello Narcissa, Draco." She greeted them. They both nodded in acknowledgement. This is going to be tricky, thought Astoria.
"May I sit here? All the small talk and smiling is making my face hurt." Astoria said, demonstrating her distress by rubbing her cheeks. Draco gave a weak smile. She had to hide her shock; he had never smiled when she was around before. He had smirked and sneered but never smiled.
"Of course you may." Replied Narcissa, she showed no emotion, this was not new. In all her life, Astoria had only ever seen Narcissa's face show boredom and fear.
"Thank you. My mother won't bother me if I'm socialising." Astoria was trying hard to make conversation.
"Bother you?" Draco sounded interested, a hint of amusement in his voice. Astoria rolled her eyes.
"She's trying to match me up with someone." She replied. He laughed. Laughed! Not a snicker or a cackle. Astoria was hungry to hear the sound again, the sound of his laughter.
"My mother keeps setting me up with various pure-blood girls, half of them are my cousins!" Draco replied and it was Astoria's turn to laugh.
"It's perfectly legal to marry your cousins Draco." Narcissa replied, her pride hurt at her son's reactions to the girls she wished him to marry.
"Yes, but my children would have twenty toes on each foot and two heads."Draco retorted.
"Don't be ridiculous." Narcissa sniffed. Draco looked at his mother, his voice still joking but his grey eyes serious,
"Ridiculous is just what I need." He told her.
"Um, I really want to break the silence but I don't know what to say." Astoria stated, a little sadly. Draco smiled at her,
"I'm sorry; it's been a little strange with just the two of us at home. It's good to socialise but we're in need of practice." He explained. Astoria seized her opportunity. Smiling coyly back at him she replied,
"Perhaps I could help." Draco realised what she was doing, but offered his mother a chance.
"Mother, would you like to socialise with myself and Miss. Greengrass?" He asked formally. Narcissa declined his offer politely with a shake of her head.
"I should leave you to it, I shall talk to Elladora then leave, do be back by the morning Draco." She replied. Both Draco and Astoria said goodbye, then walked off into the crowd.
"So Astoria, why did you come and talk to myself and my mother?" Draco enquired. Astoria shrugged.
"My sister wanted you both included, I offered."
"Just a perk that I'm the best looking bloke here." Draco added. Astoria smacked him lightly on the arm.
"Who says that? I for one find you unbearably ugly." She lied. He could tell and laughed again, the sound sending shivers down Astoria's spine.
"Hmm, I believe that was a lie." He was very close; she could feel his warm breath on her neck.
"Are you about to drink my blood?" She asked bluntly. He laughed again, but instead of hearing it she felt it.
"No. I'm more veela than vampire." He replied.
"More vain than anything else." She retorted. He sighed in defeat.
"You found my flaw, Astoria." He pretended to look distressed. Astoria snorted.
"You have more than one my dear." She answered back. He gave her another look of false misery.
"You have a cruel tongue, Miss. Greengrass." He sighed. Astoria shivered as his sigh warmed her neck.
"Oh do I? I believe it is you who is famed for their insults." She answered, backing away and turning to face him.
"It's you who cause all my hurt, my dear." He replied smoothly. Astoria took a deep breath, not quite believing what she was about to say.
"Well if my tongue wounds you so, why don't you find a better use for it?" She asked daringly.
"Oh, I will." He murmured. He bent down, for Astoria was really rather small, and kissed her fiercely. All of a sudden Astoria found a pure-blood she really wouldn't mind continuing the blood line with.