Disclaimer: These are characters of JK Rowlings brilliance, not mine.

14 Let Dead Men Lie – Take a Stand.

Narcissa glared at her son.

Draco, possibly for the first time in his life, refused to be cowed. "I'm not doing it."

"It's that horrid Weasley girl, isn't it?" Narcissa demanded. "She's put these ideas into your head, no doubt. I knew I should never have let her stay here! We didn't have any problems before she arrived. And then she falls – practically onto our house – and you come away spouting nonsense about wanting to break the engagement! No! I won't allow it!"

"She didn't put any ideas into my head."

"Don't lie to me, Draco!"

"I'm not." He said softly. "I'm not trying to hurt you, Mother."

Narcissa was almost quivering with rage. "Mana!"

The House Elf appeared instantly. "Mistress?" She broached cautiously.

"Fetch Lucius. Tell him I need him urgently!"

The small Elf nodded, vanishing immediately. Narcissa furiously paced her sunroom, shaking her head viciously as she waited. Heavy footsteps sounded in the hallway, and Narcissa could not contain the satisfied smirk that escaped. She would have her way, eventually.

Lucius appeared in the doorway. "What is it, Narcissa?"

"Your son is throwing his life away." She spat.

Lucius rested his gaze on his son. "Explain."

"I'm not marrying Pansy."

"Do you see what I mean? Do something!" Narcissa screeched, outraged.

Lucius watched his son, thunder rolling across his face. "What are you doing?"

"I'm saying no."

"Why?" The cold snarl curled around his father's lips.

"I don't want too." Draco took a deep breath, fixing a red-headed witch firmly in his thoughts. "This isn't how I want to live my life."

"Pray tell, what do you want?"

I want Ginny.

"I want to be happy, Father. I want –"

"You want a fairy tale, Draco." Narcissa sneered.

"Is that so hard to understand?" Her son said quietly.

"What has gotten into you, boy?" Lucius roared. "My son would never be this weak."

"Then I don't want to be your son!" The words were out before he could snatch them back.

Narcissa gasped.

"Get out of my house." Lucius spat out the words, his handsome face contorted with rage.

"No, Lucius, please –" Narcissa forgot her rage, desperate not to lose her son.

"I will not say it again, boy." Lucius was deaf to his wife's plea.

Draco jerked his chin higher. There was no doubt that Lucius was serious. He turned on his heel, unable to meet his mother's frantic gaze.

He practically ran to his room. Breathing deeply, he tried to quell the screaming inside his mind. What in Merlin's name was he thinking? What was he doing? He slammed his door open, desperate to get away from the voices of his parents drifting down the hall. He grasped his head between his hands; and unable to stand, crashed into the wall behind him.

Draco rocked gently, hating himself for feeling.


She found him a few hours later by the lake they had played in as children. Pansy gently placed her broom beside Draco's, propping it against the tree. She watched the wind whip his fine hair across his face as he stared out at the churning water, wondering where she could begin.

Pansy dropped on the ground beside him.

"You did it," She said quietly.

"Yeah." His reply was bitter.

"I have to admit, Draco, I didn't think you had it in you."

"I don't." It was all for Ginny. By himself, he didn't have the strength.

"Well, obviously, you do. Otherwise I wouldn't be here, and you wouldn't be nearly as miserable as you are now."

"Are you having fun, Pansy?" Draco spat. "Are you enjoying this?"

"Completely." She said scathingly. "I loved having my mother shrieking that my reputation is ruined because you refused to go through with the engagement – oh, I had a blast. Even better was the punch-in-the-gut of a conversation that I had with my father."

"About what?"

"About how I'd better not ruin the next arrangement, should a worthy suitor look past this debacle."

"How did you ruin it? You had nothing to do with it." Draco couldn't help but feel miffed. How dare she take credit for this? This was his decision.

"I'm meant to ensnare you with my womanly wiles, or something." Pansy sighed heavily. "So even when you're the one who called it off, I still get blamed. Charming, isn't it?"

He shrugged, too absorbed in himself to care.

They sat in silence as clouds raced across the sky. Pansy watched the water lap viciously at the embankment, suddenly swamped by memories. She missed flying between Draco and Blaise, gliding over hard mountain ridges and rolling hills. Thinking back, she couldn't remember if they had ever called themselves friends – their adolescence had revolved around shouting lies so loud that they drowned out the truth: that Draco didn't want his father's approval, or that Pansy didn't need her mother to define her.

She missed feeling invincible.

"Are you going to keep sulking?"

"Parkinson, I was just kicked out of my house. I think I've earned the right." Draco snapped.

"You could do something about it, instead of just sitting there and looking pitiful."

"Like what?"

Pansy rolled her eyes. "Like find somewhere to stay, or something equally as helpful."

"What, stay with you?"

"No, I don't like you that much." Pansy scoffed.

"I broke our engagement – something that you had no interest in being a part of."

"And I'm thankful for it, but I still don't like you." Pansy let the smirk play across her features.

He felt a twinge of a smile. "Why are you here, Pans?"

She raised her eyebrow, not meeting his eyes. "I thought you might need someone."

"I don't." Draco lied. It was easier for both of them.