Apart, they meet.
Draco is waiting on her empty bed when she enters. Pansy stops for a moment and watches as her last remaining room mate leaves her alone with him. Millicent, reluctant but still walking away, gives her a look of sympathy before she closes the door behind her. It soft closing jars her and she comes back to her senses.
He's lying on her bed, staring at the stone ceiling, not an expression on his face. Pansy has heard rumours of the Gryffindor rooms. How boys aren't allowed into female rooms. She knows why Slytherin didn't extend that policy to his own House. He expects all Slytherins to be honourable. To not to be, is to be not be a Slytherin. One who breaks the invisible rules, becomes invisible to fellow house mates.
And what would be life without fellow human beings? Being ambitious is one thing, but breaking the silent rules and laws are simply not done.
She has also heard of the four poster beds, the privacy that they have. Sometimes she craves to have her own little place instead of the wide open bed, bare and green. It's that openness that makes her magic her bed every morning so people can't find any trace of her being here. Sometimes she wonders if she disappeared, no one would notice because there was nothing she really showed that she lived here. Well... except for the bathroom, but that was a different matter altogether, she needed her perfumes and lotions.
Slytherins have no secrets or are supposed to not have any from their fellow house mates, but they all hide nonetheless.
His hair is mussed, and he looks beaten. Not bloody and broken, but on the inside. Pansy wasn't there when he found about his father's capture and imprisonment, but she can now clearly imagine what he would have looked like.
Sitting beside him, she places a soothing hand on his shoulder. He's icy cold, like he has been frozen. She almost brings her hand away from his arm.
Boys don't cry, it's like a cardinal rule. But in Slytherin girls don't either. The weakness is not allowed. Pansy would not have it any other way.
A reviled cousin of hers is in Gryffindor, through she pains never to admit it someone, like he pains never to speak about her. But during the summer, they spend time together and sometimes they talk, out of sheer boredom. What he tells of Gryffindor makes her glad of her house. Slytherin can be loud as well, but canaries?
Pansy would curse, hex and bodily main with her own self, the person who ever dared to do something like that. She doesn't know how a person could handle that.
Laughing, she was once told by an insane aunt, at least Pansy always considered her insane, is the best medicine. Pansy doesn't know where she was told this, she knows the aunt could have never thought it up. But she likes it. She tries to laugh at least twice a day. Giggles five times that and snicker as many times as she likes.
Since she began this laughing regime, there have only been three days where she has not done this. But Pansy does not like to talk about those days and just laughs, maddeningly, when ever someone brings them up.
Stroking his pale, soft hair, Pansy tries to not to appear any more nervous than she already has. "Draco? W-What's wrong? Is it your father?" He tenses and she nearly brings her hand away from him. "Please tell me Draco."
He stares up at her, but his eyes are blank and unseeing. She wonders what he is trying find with those eyes, because it certainly isn't here and with her.
"It wasn't the classes, or the teachers was it? Um, the Gryffindors weren't that stupid today, surprising us all. Hufflepuffs still haven't grown a spine. Ravenclaws are still buried in their tedious tomes. Nothing has changed, has it Draco?" Her voice catches on the last note.
Rolling away from her, so that he is head down into her pillows, Pansy hear him take a deep breath, taking in her scent, one thing she does leave behind. For a moment considers slapping him for being a pervert. It doesn't seem to be like that, when she hears his next gasping, choking breath.
Crying... Draco's crying! The sounds of his near silent sobs almost bring her to tears. Seeing him like this, it's like he has been broken and Pansy hates that.
She always remembers him as her shining prince, with his noble frame and sharp tongue. It hurt sometimes to hear him speak, but she would rather hear words of torment than nothing at all.
"Oh, Draco, please, stop, please. I'll do whatever you want, I'll you..." she stumbles over her next words, knowing that they will bind her deeper into the Malfoy mess, "I will help, I can I know I can, please. Draco, stop it, please."
"It's doesn't matter, Pansy, you can't help me. Only I can do this, it was what was given to me and I will do it. It's my task and he himself gave it to me. It's an honour Pansy," he says, like he is trying to convince himself. "You can't help Pansy... You're not enough!"
Pansy smiles, tenderly, knowing the real warmth and meaning behind the biting words. Draco wants her help, anyone's help, but he won't let them, he won't let them be damned like he is. She also knows, that he will succeed and will be even more proud of himself, because he did alone without their help. He will want the glory all for himself then, just as he wants her help now but refuses it for future glory.
Lying down beside him, Pansy throws an arm across his waist and tries to sleep. Knowing that when she wakes up in the morning, he will be gone, but he will leave his tears behind, in her pillow.
Surrounded by chaos, cradle in fun, scattered amongst laughter, one only one of the many mighty brave Gryffindors.
Ron is doodling in a textbook, some nonsense and Hermione is busy at a similar but much thicker textbook, underlining passages. Harry stares at his and sighs.
He shouldn't have asked. What made him think that she would abandon Draco for him? Maybe stupidity, he thinks, because he knows few Slytherins who are brighter than a tarnished penny. But then, he also considers, if he said that, he probably would have been slapped and she would have stormed off and resolved never to speak to him.
Maybe she would never speak to him again, and then maybe, it would end their maddening conversations. He wouldn't have to deal with her silly and totally and wrong views on the world. Because they were, Harry is sure that they are. He trusts Dumbledore with his life, and knows that he would end his life for his Headmaster. Why can't she see that Dumbledore cares for all? Even, Harry wrinkles his nose, nasty evil snot sucking Slytherins? Like her, he ends lamely, even in his own mind.
"Pie," Ron says suddenly and surely. Harry and Hermione look up, out of curiousity's sake if not for anything else. "I want pie. Yes, pie is good and I want pie," Ron sighs, "I wish they could make my Mum's pumpkin and lemon pie. It's really good," he sighs again.
"Who do you wish you could make your Mum's pumpkin and lemon pie?" Harry asks, because of the way that Ron dismally ended his sentence.
"Elves, of course," Ron answers, missing the narrowing of Hermione's eyes. "I asked them once, or twice, and yet it just didn't taste the same. Pity I think, if the whole school could enjoy the pie, everything would be much better."
Hermione looks ready to explode, so Harry once again, intervenes. "Blueberry pie is good too. I had it a school fair once and I still remember the look on Dudley's face when I beat him at this tossing game." He turns to Hermione, "How 'bout you, what is your favourite pie?"
Tilting her head to one side, Hermione smiles warmly. "I like the school pumpkin pies but I always remember how my great aunt Libby, when she was living with us before she died, would make the most delicious cranberry tarts. I like those tarts better than any pie, I'm afraid."
"Mum used to make the pie whenever I was up really early on winter mornings," Ron shifts and smiles, "I would always get first bite and the last before anyone got up. It was great."
Harry thinks of their conversation and can't help but grin. Pie. How would have thought that pie, all sorts of pie, would unite them all. Harry resolves to eat more pie to pay tribute to it's greatness.
It's a few weeks later when Millicent walks up to her and clears her throat and then stands back awkwardly, but in a firm position.
Pansy looks up from her homework and gives Millicent a tired stare, she's been having trouble sleeping lately, her mind just refuses to stop thinking when she lays her head down and about trivial and silly things too. It's been taking her hours just to go to sleep, lately she has been going to sleep earlier than usual but she still wakes up tired and cranky. It has not be that pleasant to be around Pansy.
Through no spoken invitation is made, Millicent sits down on Pansy's bed, clearing a way for her form among the scattered notes, open books and long scrolls of parchment.
"Hmm? What's wrong, Millie? That Theodore, rat, hasn't been sending you those dreadful letters has he? Those could put in person down, with his twisted words. And Theodore, should be making a short visit to Azkaban for his crime. That boy has no idea of style."
"No it's not that, it's just that I've been wondering about the future." Millicent fidgets and gives Pansy a weak smile, before staring at her hands in her lap.
"Your future?" Pansy flops down beside Millicent and gazes at the stone ceiling, slightly glowing, and frowns. "Now what do you mean by that?"
"You know how last year we had meetings with Professor Snape about our career choices? Well, you see, I don't really feel like being a sideshow in the Russian Wizarding Circus any more and - "
"I really don't know how you managed to say that with a straight face, Millie, you're just plain strange to be in that freak show," Pansy comments, then winces as her words come back to her. "Not that I meant in like that, I knew that is was a joke and you're not meant for it..."
Millicent shrugs, "Oh, I know. My brother actually suggested it. I think it was my great grandfather who started the tradition and now all Bulstrodes to it. But, seriously Pansy."
"Sure. Um, so what do you want to be? I always thought you could make a good writer, your scathing replies beck to that awful Nott boy can be quite delightful."
"Actually, I've already made up my mind. It's er, a school teacher," Millicent ducks her head and her hair falls across her face as she hides.
"A schoolmarm?" Pansy sits up and stares at Millicent. "Well, I'm not totally surprised. You do like the thrill of wielding power and think of all the cute boys you'll be able to see grow up!" Pansy giggles.
"Yes, well, I think that's slightly illegal, but thanks for your thoughts Pansy. They are always appreciated." Millicent stand up and smiles, a red tint still to her cheeks.
Pansy giggles, and waves her hand. "No problem Millie." She throws a hand up in to the air. "I, Pansy Parkinson, live to serve the lesser people!"
Raising an eyebrow, Millicent shakes her head, "Whatever you say, Parkinson, whatever you say. After all," she grins, "Don't want the holds on your fragile, delicate mind to break, now do we?"
"Damn straight we don't!"
Harry was half awake when he stumbled into the common room, it was nearly morning and the fire still burned in the hearth. Everything was red, gold and red.
He hadn't slept for more than five minutes when nightmares had started taking over his mind. Strange forms twisting through his dreams, dead white and slender, with hollow eyes and black gaping holes for mouths.
They has cried out to him, longing for release. From their pitied, tortured existence. They wrapped their forms around him and squeezed until their wails brought him to nearly scream himself.
Dead souls, by Voldemort, but these weren't normal ghosts that resembled humans. These souls had not choice to wander the Earth, by their death and the dark magic that caused it and destroyed their ability to pass over until Voldemort was dead. It was tasked to him to kill.
Only then would they leave him, the tainted figures of the dead. Their souls or bodies had been used in Dark Magic and only when the user was dead could they leave their hated forms and exact peace or vengence.
Blinking in the dawn light, Harry shook his head and shuddered. Curling up on a couch, closing his eyes against the invasion of light, his mind still bleary from sleep, he tried to forget the dream.
"Harry?" The voice was soft and muffled, like it was coming from far away. Opening his eyes, Harry realizes that his short nap has gone longer than expected. Students are beginning to mill and leave the Common Room, all leaving curious stares at the Boy Who Lived, who sat sheepishly, sleepily with a frown on his face.
Red, more red. "Yeah?" He says weakly, rubbing his eyes and turning away from the stares.
Ginny looks nervous, and her tone is unsure. "Are you all right?" She whispers, as if she doesn't want anyone to hear. "It's not..." Her eyes flicker to the scar and Harry closes his eyes, wondering how much she has heard over the years and how much she longs to know.
"No. Something else," which isn't totally a lie, Harry considers. He shrugs, and stand up, stretching his shoulders. He flinches when he feels a light pressure on his back, gentle but firm.
"Nothing?" Her words are dark, but she keeps her voice lightly. A frown shadows her brow but.
"Yes!" Harry snaps and feels remorse instantly when Ginny recoils, her feature hurt. "No. No, I'm sorry, I just didn't get much sleep last night, Ginny, I'm sorry."
She looks down, "Yeah, I know," and he knows too. "You'd better get dressed otherwise you'll have nothing to eat!" She grins, weakly, but all the same Harry smiles back, "Otherwise, Ron may just eat all of Breakfast."
He nods, "Thanks Ginny."
Smiling again, he is reminded how beautiful and lovely she is. He doesn't know how he forgotten with it staring in his face every day, it should blind him, he thinks casually, sighing softly as Ginny waves goodbye and leaves.