You will never love me
And this I can't forgive
That you will never love me
As long as I will live
Mother always said that the most important thing in life was to be yourself and if people didn't like you, that was their problem. Father taught me to be selective in the parts of myself I showed the world in order to avoid being hurt. They both taught me manners, the way to present yourself in the most pleasing manner to the world around you, the way to impress people and make them like you.
For them it works. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm doing something wrong.
It was easy to follow that advice when I was eleven, when I first met the famous Harry Potter. I was polite at our first meeting - the one, glaring omission being that I didn't introduce myself. I remedied that later, presenting myself with the confidence of my station, extending my hand in friendship only to have it verbally slapped away as the famous Savior of Our Kind rejected my company and advice for Weasley's.
At this point it would have been easy to have my faith in my parent's teachings shaken. After all, I'd been polite, I'd done exactly as they told me, and it didn't work. Instead I remembered my mother's words and decided there was something wrong with Harry Potter, something that the rest of the world, so dazzled by his early defeat of Lord Voldemort, didn't see. I determined to show it to them.
They still don't see it. I've been trying for years to point out his faults, to draw attention away from him and his group of Gryffindors and back to Slytherin, where it belongs. It's not working. I keep telling myself it's because the Mudbloods are degrading our society, just as Father says. They lack manners, automatically calling each other by their first names, not waiting for an invitation. Or maybe the invitation is implied in their introducing themselves backwards, the fact that they lead with their given name stating that they prefer that form of address. It would certainly explain a lot. It doesn't quite explain the ease with which they start treating each other as casual acquaintances, not even treating the teachers with the respect they deserve but as more of an extended family, but it does explain a lot.
Yes, it's easy to believe that the problem is with them, even though there are more of "them" than there are of "us" - three houses of "them" to our one!
It's disconcerting, though, to listen to them give each other advice, especially when romance is involved. It's disturbing to hear so many lips, so quick to condemn anything even remotely Slytherin!, repeating my Mother's advice. Be yourself. If they don't like you, that's there problem.
They, the nebulous "they" that makes up our world, are right about so many things. Despite his many flaws, Harry Potter did beat Lord Voldemort. Even Father, one of Voldemort's followers admires him for that happy accident. When he found out Potter would be attending school with me, he counseled me to befriend him. That way, if a new Dark Lord rose, or if Lord Voldemort somehow returned, I would be guaranteed a chance to pick the winning side, either by banking on my friendship with Potter, or betraying it. I would have introduced myself on the train anyway, who wouldn't want to be friends with a living legend?, but Father still encouraged it.
Potter is a wonderful Quiddich player as well, even if many of his wins have been due to a superior broom as much as superior skill. I wish I could fly half as well as he can, to have it come so naturally. No matter how much I practice, I know I'll never be able to beat that easy glide he attained the second he mounted a broom. I have to try though, have to find some way to beat him or face my Father's disappointment. It's really not fair.
At least I can prove myself better than some of the Gryffindors. Take Weasley's little sister, for instance - at least I can write poetry. His eyes are green as pickled toads? What sort of valentine is that? Besides, that's not even close to the color of his eyes. My Mother has a necklace with stones the color of Potter's eyes - pale, clear with just a hint of green, yet vibrant enough that the color shines even in dim light. In the sun, light dances through them like the beams that cut through lake water if you swim under it with your eyes open. That is the color of Potter's eyes. The disturbing part is that I don't remember when I memorized it. I don't remember exactly when the desperate need to make him, and the rest of the world, notice /me/, the yearning to have him acknowledge me as at least an equal, if not a friend, turned into a desire for something more, a desire for a not-so-nebulous something that I'll never get.
As with his friendship, Harry Potter's given that something to Weasley.
I don't need to close my eyes to see them - Potter, still slightly sweaty from Quiddich practice, his back pressed up against the side of the broom shed, head tilted back so Weasley could easily lean down and claim his mouth. I can even see the way the late morning sun hit their hair, turning Weasley's red fringe to a flame red that was almost painful to look at, creating softer highlights in Potter's perpetually tousled mop.
Part of me wishes I'd said something, disturbed them, broken them apart for one of our standard shouting matches. That wouldn't have been very Slytherin of me though, would it? No, far more within my House standing to withdraw silently, find a group of my fellow snakes, and turn my anger and pain to laughter, cheerfully telling them (and everyone else passing), what I'd just seen.
The story's been spreading all day. As it's grown, it's been embellished, and not always by my house-mates! Last I heard the two of them had been half undressed and Weasley'd had his hand down Potter's trousers. If you remove Weasley from the equation, it's a lovely image.
The Gryffindors aren't taking the news well. It's really fairly surprising - Slytherin is supposed to be the House of Liars, yet I told the entire house I was queer several years ago. No one's had a problem with it, not even Pansy who doesn't hide her crush on me and still offers to be my obligatory date should I need one. No one's even had a problem with the fact I'm in love with Potter of all people. Not only have Potter and Weasley kept their relationship a secret, but from the sounds of it, their house is about ready to disown them. The true irony is that despite this Gryffindor's reputation of being the "friendly, accepting" House is undoubtedly going to be unmarred, as is Slytherin's reputation of being the House of cold, heartless bastards.
Maybe if he's disowned, Potter will finally wake up and realize the Gryffin-freaks aren't all that wonderful. Maybe he'll join me in Slytherin. If he did, he'd be welcome, despite all of the grief he's caused us. We grant second chances as readily as the Gryffindors do, maybe more so. After all, Vincent, Gregory and I disagree all the time, but you never see us stop speaking to each other.
Of course, I'm dreaming. Potter wouldn't come over to Slytherin if you paid him. It's a pity, really, if for no other reason than the soft, dark green of the comforter beneath me would bring out his eyes wonderfully. I run my fingers over the short, velvety nap and wonder if the Gryffindor dorms have comforters this soft. They probably aren't down filled, the way ours are, since the dungeons are the coldest part of the castle, but they might be made out of the same material, probably in some excessively gaudy combination of red and gold.
There's a slight hissing sound as the door is pushed open, brushing over the carpet. I lay down and close my eyes, feigning sleep. I really don't feel up to company.
The pleasant tenor, marred only slightly by it's perpetual stutter, is enough to identify Blaise, dear Blaise, Blaise who's just bi-curious enough to kiss away tears and take the edge off my sexual need with skilled fingers. After all, it's not that different than jerking himself off.
"You're not f...fooling me. I k..know you're aw...wake."
Sigh. "Yes, yes I'm awake." I stretch, cracking one eye to regard the boy leaning against the foot of my bed, watching me with nervous, blue eyes. "Was there something you wanted?"
He frowns, absently brushing a fall of too-brown-to-be-blond, too-blond-to-be-brown hair out of his face. "You're b...brooding again. It's not good for y..you."
"Zabini, you're a busy body! If you're so worried, send for Madam Pomfrey." I try to make the words sharp, sarcastic, but they just come out tired. That in and of itself is a sign I've been brooding too much, normally I can at least manage an amused sneer. I suppose if we were Gryffidors, that would be the sign for him to ask what's wrong or if he can somehow help. As it is, he knows better than to waste time and energy on such stupid questions when he knows perfectly well what's wrong and what to do about it.
"I brought you f...food." He lifts a napkin into my line of sight and I realize I did indeed miss dinner. I squirm over slightly, giving him room to perch next to me as I eat. There's not much - bread, cheese, some fruit, things that can be eaten without silverware, but he was very careful to get only varieties he knew I'd like instead of just grabbing things at random. I wonder if the Gryffindors would be that careful? They never seem to pay attention to details unless effects their grades.
As I eat, Blaise talks, the steady stammer of his voice soothing my still raw nerves. It's amazing how something as simple as a kiss can ruin your entire day. "We owe the Ravenc...claws a favor. I fed them a new var...variation of the kissing rumor and they've been spr...spreading it like wild f..fire."
"And what did I walk in on this time? An orgy with Granger's cat?"
Blaise has always been very creative.
"No." Blaise smirks, a near mimicry of my famous expression, practiced daily in the mirror until it comes naturally to him. "But they d...did get their hand on the s...snitch and were using it as a sex t...t...toy."
I nearly choke on a slice of roast beef laughing. The rest of the food gets hastily shoved aside before I can spill it as I double up. What an image! On the one hand, utterly ridiculous when one imagines the looks of sheer horror and embarrassment on Potter and Weasley's faces, on the other hand, completely delicious if one stops to consider exactly what those frantically beating wings would feel like against the sensitive skin of one's inner thigh. I favor my friend with a rare grin and shake my head. "Only you'd come up with something like that, Zabini. Only you."
His shoulders rise and fall in a careless shrug. "They're gits, they d...deserve it."
"I couldn't agree more." I grab an apple and raise it in salute.
He laughs. We sit in a companionable silence as I finish my meal, then he gathers everything up in the napkin and carries it over to our garbage can. I lay on my bed and watch him. It's a pity there's only one seeker per Quiddich team, you can tell just from the way he moves that he'd be good. Not as good as me, naturally, but he'd be good.
"Sleep with me tonight?" It's not something I ask frequently, only on days like this when my faith in the world has been thoroughly shaken. Something about having him curled against me, petting my back, frequently kissing me, is very calming.
"Of course." The request has never been denied.
He toes off his shoes, dumps his outer robe on his bed along with his tie, and rejoins me. I've already stripped to my undershirt, knowing full well that no one would complain if they walked in and found me lounging about half naked.
It's never hard to get comfortable with Blaise, simply a matter of burrowing under the sheets and having his body spoon against me. Once, shortly after the start of the year, he told me he wished he was completely queer, or at least queer enough to enjoy the sex, because if he were he could fall in love with me and I'd have a boyfriend and wouldn't have to worry about what Potter thought at all. That's friendship. It's not the silly, empty vows that the Gryffindors make about thick and thin that get tossed out the window at the first little quarrel. It's not encouraging one another to do stupid things that will get them hurt. It's wanting to be whatever it takes to make your friends happy.
In a few hours Vincent and Gregory will come to bed. They'll see Blaise and I curled up, exchange knowing smiles, and turn out the lights. They won't say anything, because I'm their friend, and as long as I'm happy, they're happy.
The rest of the world can go hang itself. Why should we be the ones to change? There's nothing wrong with us. We're being ourselves, and if they don't like it, that's their problem.
You will never love me
And why should I even care?
It's not like you're so special
You're just the cross I bear You will never love me.
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