Another meeting with Harry and Pansy.
"Parkinson." Smoke wafted between her painted red lips, as she gave Harry a quick smiling in greeting. Her dark hair is sleep tousled, but otherwise she seems very well presented.
"Potter." He frowned as the smoke, after escaping from her lips, found it's way to his lungs, burning it's way down. Acrid, disgusting and Harry coughed on the taste. It tastes bitter, different from Muggle cigarettes, from the one time Harry tried them.
It was very early in the morning, the sun had not yet risen and both of them were already dressed for another school day. A gray mist rose from the Forbidden Forest sweeping it's way around Hogwarts. High above all vanished, turrets disappearing, towers invisible. Hogwarts was shrouded in mystery. Only one of the towers is clear from the mist and fog. Gryffindor Tower is but a mere shadow that Harry can barely make out.
Harry knew though, that by the time the sun rose and most of the castle started to awake, the mist would be gone. Hogwarts would be clear for all to see. Most people never saw Hogwarts like this. Harry hadn't know about, like many students and teenagers he found mornings twisted. Dreams had driven him early. One day he had left the Gryffindor common room and went for a walk. He hadn't returned until lunch time.
Last night Harry had another dream. About Sirius. About Cedric. About his parents. About all of them dying, for him, because of him. He hated that, Harry hated that.
The mist was easy to lose yourself in. Thickening, billowing, overwhelming. Delicate and moist, Harry sometimes thought that it would always stay the way it was and always was. The fog rolling around Hogwarts like a lover. Harry tried to forget as he Looked back at Parkinson, a smile lighting his face as Harry's eyes remained curiously distant. Half of his face was lost in the mist and fog, strong for now.
But not for forever. In the pre dawn light, Parkinson smoked, the smoke winding it's way, blending in with paler, but powerful mist.
"You do know that smoking is against school rules?" He's cursing himself at once. Did that sound so, goody two shoes or what?
She laughs, a deep, throaty sound. It comes deep inside her, amusement very much so obvious and Harry cringes at the sound. "You say," and he knows that he about to be criticized, "That you are not the Golden Boy of Hogwarts?"
"Well... That is to say, that I'm not," he manages to stumble and stutter out.
"Hmph, you might be so, Golden Boy, but your gold is like piss." She waves her arm in the air, "A gentle spluttering arc, Potter."
Her smoke is nearly finished, and slowly she lets go of it. There is a brief amber orange flare before the light dims, surrounded by her overhanging ash and white paper. Parkinson squashes under her foot, deliberately destroying in front of him.
"It's gone now," she whispers, "Have you got any thing else to harry me about Potter? Because," she lets out a sigh, looking into the dark green Forest, "I'm not really in the mood..."
His mind takes in her words, but it's not until a moment later that he grins, almost not wanting to. A smile is tugging at her lips, they stare hopelessly at each other, then erupt into near hysterical laughter.
"You're so silly Parkinson! Just like a child, teasing me, making that stupid pun..." Harry exclaimed over the bubbling laughter, she had stopped laughing through a impish grin still adorned her face.
"Maybe, Potter, I just like to have fun! " She rolled her eyes at him, "Sometimes people do, you know. You're so serious all the time, well..." She looked at him slyly, over shoulder, "Except when you play Quidditch. So, Potter, like having a stick between your legs?"
He gapes at her, silent at her words. Outrage soon follows, "I most certainly do not! Parkinson, you really have a very dirty, perverted mind."
Shrugging, she gave him an amused look, "See! Still so serious! I thought it was a good joke, you see, everyone of the Quidditch team laughed when I... Can't you ever loosen up?" She finished.
"Can't you ever tell the truth?" Harry retorts back. She stills and stares at him slowly, through a dark fringe, she's solemn and he loses his humour.
Shaking her head quickly she looks away from him. The sun is tearing at the mist. "No Potter, you don't want to hear the truth. I don't want to hear the truth. What's so good about it? What? It just hurts in the end, everyone feels pain. Why does anyone want that?" Her gaze dropped, "So, Potter, want a drag?"
"Er, I've already smoked before. I didn't like it. It burned my throat and..." Harry smiled weakly, running a hand through his hair as Pansy stared at him cooly.
"Just one, Potter, just one."
Harry opened his mouth to reply, but she shoves the cigarette in his mouth. He chokes momentarily, but then grips the stem firmly, giving Pansy a heated glare, as if to show her down.
Taking a small gasp, Harry is overwhelmed by what he tastes. "It is," Harry chokes and stares as Pansy takes the cigarette out of his mouth in one fast gesture, "Not like the one I had before."
"No. I didn't think it would be. This is a special blend. One especially made for me. I don't think I'll give you any more Potter, you're too weak to handle it," she blows a ring into his face and grins merrily, her eyes dark.
"Thanks Parkinson, thanks for nothing."
She laughs, giggles overwhelming her lips. "Oh, Potter, you do spin tales."
"I don't Parkinson. You just have a wronged perception of the world. Because your truth, isn't a truth. That's why it hurts. Because it isn't real."
"You're not all pure, Potter, do you know that? We all have our secrets and Dumbledore isn't telling you everything. Neither is the Order - "
"How do you know about the Order?" Harry burst in, stepping forward so he was closer than before, leaning into the face, her eyes widening for one quick second.
Looking away from him, she shrugged looking flippant, yet pensive, "Do you know about Death Eaters Potter? How they ravage the earth killing their way to victory?"
"I know," she smiled wickedly, "That the Order is your version of the Death Eaters, only, only you try to keep a secret what you are doing. And the Aurors... Well they are just as terrible."
"I don't believe, you. Parkinson, you're just one of them. A Death Eater, or one in training... You have never been nice, never been remotely pleasant... Why now? Why me?"
Smiling she shrugged thoughtlessly, "Oh, I don't know. You are fun to tease, and you react so easily. No wonder Draco pokes fun at you all the time... You're so..." She shrugged again.
"You're Draco's..." He stops.
"Yes, my dear Mr Potter?" She is smiling, as the smile is nasty. Twists her face into something not even close to feminine. It's like her face is a lemon, just squeezed.
Glaring at her, he sat on the ground. It was cold and damp with dew. But he ignored it and focused on her feet. They were tapping against the ground lightly, to a beat he didn't know. "You are wrong... about the Order, about everything."
"I'm wrong?" Her tone is remarkably calm.
"Yes," he nods firmly, "Totally wrong."
"Why, Potter? Why am I so wrong, so bad?" Her eyes flash and he stares at her wild hand gestures. Pansy is coming closer to him and for one of the first times he wonders if she will get close enough so he can see the colour of her eyes.
He stares at her, mouth wanting to answer but the words are locked in his mind. "Because - " He is interrupted for a hiss as her nostrils turn white and her brow is pinched.
"Because I'm evil... How like a fairy tale. Am I the wicked witch just waiting to be vanquished? Who is the hero then Potter? You? You think you can defeat the Dark Lord?" She laughs, "You have no idea of what powers he possesses, he's..."
"You don't know anything about me! You're just toying with me, playing a game with my mind," he laughs, bitterly, "For all I know you could be subverting me to, to him!"
"Potter, you have no sense or concept of reality..." She was playing with her finger nails, inspecting them slowly, most of them were smooth and nicely shaped but one was, crooked and cracked. "Who do you think I am?"
"What - " She had no sense of anything! She made no sense, no sense at all.
"You're the hero right, Potter? You're going to save us all and free us, aren't you? That's what you are supposed to do. You're what the Prophet calls the Chosen One! It's what you have to do, isn't it? It's madness! You're mad, crazy!"
There is quiet for a time as they both stare at one another unblinkingly.
"I don't know. I don't know Parkinson! Do you? Do you? Because that would help! This was heaped upon me because of who I am but not because of what I am. I never got to choose this, it isn't my choice to be the Boy Who Lived, I never knew who that person was until I was eleven! How can I be this person? How can I?"
"Oh... I never knew. All I saw was you rejecting Draco." She sighs and sits in the dirt, seemingly uncaring of how it marks her clothing, "We've been engaged for so long that I always supported him."
"You're engaged?" Harry asks, shocked that someone as young as Parkinson was.
"Yes, since," she tilts her head back, "I think was two. It's a family thing. A pureblood thing. Well, my type of pureblood thing. It's not like I never knew anything different." She sighs, "Don't look at me like that. It doesn't make anything different. It doesn't make anything about me different. I'm surprised you didn't know. I thought everyone knew."
"No." He says softly, "I thought this kind of thing didn't happen any more. At least in Britain. So, you've always know what was going to happen?"
"That we were going to be married? Yes, my mother has been planning every since the betrothal party. She has my dress robes all planned, the food on stand by, the flowers decided. Everything..." She breathes out expansively, "You really never knew? Everyone in Slytherin does..."
"I never heard anyone talking about it. I guess in Gryffindor, it's different," he says.
"That's why, maybe. I suppose that Granger does know, she would. She has her finger on every gossip in Hogwarts. Every the brilliant brain." Pansy laughs, "Weasley would assume you knew, if he knew, he's pureblood and so he would, even if it was unusual."
"You and Malfoy," he shakes his head, "I suppose that's why you're always so clingy and supportive," he shrugs and steps away from her.
Anger flashes across her face and but the she appears pensive, "I wonder... No." She smiles, "I guess that's why, Potter, why I am 'clingy'."
"I didn't mean in a bad way!" He snaps, "Well, necessarily. You don't always have to appear like a simpering idiot, a smile on her face and an acid tongue. No one likes you."
"Really? No one likes me, everyone hates me, I think I'll eat some worms," she says morosely. "You sure know how to make a girl feel happy Potter, thanks!"
"I er, I didn't mean it like that, Parkinson!"
"Then what do you mean? I thought you were the one who was prattling about the truth, not me! If you value it so much, then why don't you say it? Why don't you, Potter!"
"It hurts! The truth!"
"Of course it does! It's reality! That's what I have been trying to say!"
"But why be such a bitch about it?"
"Because I am, and that's the truth!" She yells, standing up and pointing a finger at his chest. "Just like you're a nosy, stuck up, arrogant sucker!"
He hates her at that moment. He can see the hate in her eyes. Harry doesn't know why they even started talking, they both should have known that it would end up where all conversations between Gryffindors and Slytherins ended: a fight.
"Look," her voice was quiet, "The sun is rising..."
"Yes." He turned, looking the sun right in the eye, it hurt, blinding him no doubt but he endured. It was coming over the Forbidden Forest, but it still loomed. Dark, primeval and the overwhelming powerful force of nature.
"Does it matter?"
"No. I guess not."
She's looking at him, a expression in her eyes that he can't determine, "No... Nothing seems to matter any more. Good, evil. Light, dark..."
Breaking through the mist the powerful, yet distant rays of the rising sun washed away the last remaining traces of night and the predawn mist and fog. It retreated, into the green shadows of the Forbidden Forest.