Author's Note: Hey guys, I haven't written fanfiction in a while now – (I've been working on a novel) but after recently visiting Leavesden Studios where the Harry Potter movies were filmed (absolutely amazing, getting to walk down the actual Diagon Alley, walk around the Great Hall and go on the Knight Bus are only a few of the highlights of the tour!) it inspired me to write something new, so I wrote this quite quickly at 3am.
This little oneshot is inspired by the Dolly Parton song Jolene but this is not a songfic. Enjoy and don't forget to review!
The wide tarmac road was dark and silent, dimly lit by a singular flickering lamppost, its trunk scrawled with graffiti. Small houses lined the street, interspersed with narrow lanes. An owl soared silently overhead and vanished behind an overgrown hedgerow and then with a cracking noise, a slim, young woman appeared quite suddenly beside an overflowing rubbish bin. She looked left, then right and withdrew a wand from her cloak pocket and began walking swiftly northward through a darkened lane.
How peculiar that this woman, the woman she was going to visit, should live in a place like this now, she thought. She had fallen far in the past eight years, from a grand house in Kensington to a scrubby, nondescript part of south London. What a contrast this was – but many things had changed for many people and it was no less than she deserved – her family's gold seized by the Ministry, her house taken, her life turned upside down. She felt no pity for her.
The woman came to a halt before a brick house with double glazed windows; identical to those that surrounded it. There was little indication that this Muggle house belonged to a witch, apart from the tawny owl perched on the fencepost. Its eyes followed the woman as she headed up the path and towards the door where she raised a hand, hesitated for a moment, and knocked upon it. She waited.
It was opened slowly and cautiously by a tall, thin woman with a small, round nose and long, shiny dark hair. Her eyebrows contracted as she surveyed the woman standing before her.
"Hermione Granger," she breathed and there was nothing welcoming or friendly about her tone. "Whatever can I do for you at this hour?"
"We need to talk, Pansy," Hermione replied, her eyes fixed almost beseechingly on Pansy's own. "I need to speak to you,"
Pansy leaned her shoulder on the doorframe and folded her arms. "I haven't seen you in three years," she stated.
"Yes," Hermione replied "I know,"
"If you're looking for information, I don't have any. I don't know where any ex Death Eaters are, the Order already contacted me a month ago looking for leads, –"
"This isn't about the Order," interrupted Hermione. "This is about Draco,"
Pansy inhaled deeply and rubbed her face. "I haven't seen him in a year," she said, but her eyes did not quite meet Hermione's own.
"That's a lie," Hermione said forcefully. "And we both know that,"
Pansy said nothing and pursed her lips.
"I have to have this talk with you," Hermione told her. "I don't want to be here, but my happiness depends on it"
Pansy remained silent but she turned away from the door and walked back into the hallway. Hermione followed and closed the front door behind her.
She found Pansy in the living room, a small, stuffy space with a bookshelf, wooden chest and several soft chairs. A fire was crackling in the grate and a wireless was playing quietly from the mantelpiece. Hermione noticed a Sneakascope resting on a small table next to an empty teacup and a wand, but it was still and silent.
Hermione chose a chair opposite Pansy who was staring listlessly out of the dark window, her face reflected in the glass. She looked fraught.
"You watch that Sneakascope often," Hermione observed. "Don't you?"
Again, Pansy said nothing.
"I need to ask you something," said Hermione. "It's awkward and a part of me feels shameful for having to do this, but I have to,"
"You want me to leave him alone," said Pansy quietly, still not turning away from the window.
"You could have your choice of men," said Hermione. "You know very well you could, how they flock around you, believing you to be so charismatic,–"
"It doesn't matter," said Pansy. "You think I am so shallow as to find comfort in that fact?"
"If you take him, I'll never love again. I know I won't and so I'm here, prepared to swallow my pride because I don't want to lose him. You think this is easy for me, coming here to beg you not to steal my lover?"
"Gryffindor courage," Pansy laughed humourlessly.
"Slytherin egotism," Hermione countered.
Pansy laughed hollowly. "Yes, indeed,"
"I understand how you could easily take him away from me, I know your character Pansy…determined to get what you want, despite what ruin you leave in your wake but please, step away from this. You don't know what he means to me"
"Perhaps you don't know what he means to me," replied Pansy. She rose and took a photograph frame from where it was hidden, sandwiched between two books on the shelf. Hermione peered over her shoulder. It was a photo of Pansy and Draco, standing together in the Hogwarts grounds, somewhere near the lake. As Hermione watched, Draco put an arm around her waist and Hermione's stomach contracted.
"You had your chance," Hermione told her. "You had your chance years ago but you lost it, you threw it all away. You don't love him, you want him. Don't take him just because you can,"
Pansy replaced the frame, wedging it firmly back into the books, crossed the room into the kitchen and placed a kettle on the stove.
"Do you want some tea?" she asked.
Hermione watched her take mugs down from the cupboard. "He talks about you in his sleep," she said.
Pansy's hand trembled slightly as she put the mug on the counter. "Guilt trips don't work on me, Granger," Pansy snapped at her, throwing teabags into the mugs. "Why should I care about any of this, it's a waste of both our time,"
"Probably," Hermione agreed. "You're probably right…but can you blame me for trying?"
Pansy turned to her. "Go back, Granger. Go back to him if you love him so much. But you're aware of what he can be like and however desperate you are to change him, it won't happen. I've tried"
"Then you didn't try hard enough," Hermione insisted passionately.
She turned and walked out of the kitchen as the kettle began to whistle. "My happiness depends on whatever you decide to do. Just remember that," she added quietly and with a rustle of her cloak, walked quickly to the front door.
"Why should I care about your happiness?" Pansy yelled after her.
Pansy waited for the door to close, took the kettle from the stove and returned to the living room. Back at the bookcase, she withdrew the photo frame and caressed its edges before suddenly, violently throwing it to the floor where it shattered. Tears rolled down her cheeks.