Categories > Books > Harry Potter > We're In This Together

New Paradigms

by zugrian 0 reviews

Adjustments to Harry and Pansy's change of status. Harry opens up to Pansy.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Dobby,Harry,Pansy - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2018-05-29 - 4395 words

0Unrated
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, yada yada. I'm pretty sure Rowling never used the word paradigm in the series, which is a shame. It's a lovely word.

Author's Note: In a lot of romance stories, Harry's saving of (insert damsel here) leads to a life debt being paid by becoming engaged/betrothed/married in a sweet, fairy-tale like fashion. Obviously, I am doing something a bit different here, and the whole servant thing will lead to interesting things to come.

As for people wondering about a lack of Dumbledore so far, you will see more of him over Harry's third year than you do in the book, but Harry doesn't really interact with Albus very much in canon until book 6. The old man is a fairly distant figure for much of the series.

Also, just for a stylistic point, I am going to try to avoid rehashing book events as much as possible. Or at the very least, blow through them quickly. I assume everyone reading this has read Prisoner of Azkaban, so I shouldn't have to quote several pages of it as I go through the entire boggart lesson, for example.

-oOoOoOo-

When the next morning came, Harry awoke feeling better than he had in a very long time. He could definitely get used to waking up next to Pansy. He certainly had slept a lot better than the night before, when he had been worried about her being down in the dungeons out of his reach. His right arm was still around her and he breathed in the smell of her hair. This made her begin to stir. She touched his hand that was idly caressing her stomach and turned over.

"We really did it," she said as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

"Yes, we did."

"I can hardly believe it's true. Getting free from my bastard father was just a dream for years." She looked in his eyes, seeming to search for something.

"Guess we won't need that betrothal contract anymore."

"I guess not. We don't have to worry about how to kill my father and trick my mother into signing it either."

"Well, what will we scheme about now?"

"I'm sure I'll think of something." She smiled and rolled away, climbing out of bed. "Don't take too long getting ready; I need to go over several things with you about the rules for this sort of thing. We have Potions after breakfast."

"And Snape would be certain to try to push my buttons to see what he can get away with." She nodded at him. "I won't be long."

Harry was quicker than Pansy in getting ready so she had him wait, listening outside her door while she went over the rules for their situation that she'd already looked up. He wasn't surprised that she had planned this far out. While the sorting hat may have thought Harry could have been a Slytherin, Pansy was leagues more devious than he was. Snape was bound to try to see how far he could push Harry, so Pansy made sure that he knew exactly what to do. Harry thought her predictions were a pretty good guess so he agreed with her and suggested that she discreetly touch his arm or something if he started to rise to Snape's bait. Seeing a Slytherin sitting with a Gryffindor in his class would almost certainly cause the bastard to try cause problems. Harry just had to hope that he could keep his head.

Pansy gave him a kiss for luck and to suggest why he should make sure to do things right. It was a good positive reinforcement.

Breakfast was a little awkward as many of the Gryffindors were still unsure about how to deal with Pansy sitting amongst them. Harry paid them little mind. Surprisingly, Ron didn't even bother mentioning her, although that might have been because he was too busy on his third plate when Harry and Pansy left the table.

They took a slow leisurely path down to the dungeons. Harry thought it would be a good idea to try to be as calm as possible before reaching the greasy bat's domain and Pansy walked quietly along beside him.

They were still two of the first to make it to the class room and Harry led Pansy to a table right at the front of the class. Normally, he wouldn't want to be this close, but for today's purposes, it would be necessary. As the rest of the Gryffindor and Slytherin students filled up the room, there were more than a few mutterings going on. Hermione and Ron sat at the table behind them. Before they could say anything, Snape swooped in to the front of the class.

"Miss Parkinson, what are you doing sitting with Potter?"

Harry was only just able to keep from smirking at the predictability of the git's sneer.

"I think you're confused professor. There is no Parkinson here, sir," she answered with a small grin. Harry was impressed by the layer of politeness that he knew was covering Pansy's actual scorn for the Slytherin head of house. House Potter was now Pansy's true house and Snape just had to try to poke his enormous hook nose in. "I am Pansy of House Potter, though a reminder is understandable at the moment until you get used to my new status."

"Regardless of your status," the sneer was overwhelming, "you are still a member of Slytherin. Sit with the rest of your house!"

"Excuse me, professor." Harry was so happy to interrupt. "Your request would be interfering in the affairs of House Potter. Neither the law, nor I, will allow you to separate my servant from me."

"Ten points from Gryffindor, you arrogant brat!" Harry merely sat down with a nod. 'That's Lord arrogant brat to you,' he thought to himself and stifled a chuckle. Snape stared angrily at the couple in front of him for a moment while the rest of the class was silent. Eventually he turned away and barked out his typical "instructions are on the board" and everyone got to work as the slimeball refused to do even a tiny amount of actual teaching.

The air was tense for awhile as everyone started brewing Shrinking Solutions. Once Snape was able to get his arrogant attitude back to its usual level of disgust and hatred towards students, he spent most of the rest of the period berating the other Gryffindors. He seemed to ignore Harry and Pansy almost completely. He focused his bile towards Neville, his second favorite punching bag, and went so far as to threaten Longbottom's toad. In other words, the usual nastiness from everyone's least favorite professor.

-oOoOoOo-

Finally, the class ended and Pansy followed Harry to lunch. She whispered in his ear that she was proud of him as they sat down in the Great Hall. No one noticed that over the din of so many people grabbing plates of food. Harry responded with a wink. Pansy knew that there would be a lot more gossip now as she had publicly outed herself to the other Slytherins in her year. But she wanted to do so on her own terms, even if there was a good argument to keep things vague for as long as possible. A bit of Harry's bad influence was rubbing off on her- there was a small bold part of herself that was happy to announce that she belonged to him.

"I guess she's here to stay then, huh?" Ron asked.

"Yes."

"Great." The redhead muttered something about stinkin' snakes and Pansy just smiled to herself as she saw Harry's annoyance with the fool. It might take awhile, but she would eventually be rid of the weasel. A nicer person might have thought twice about pushing away one of Harry's closest friends, but not even Harry would ever accuse Pansy of being nice.

"Was that confrontation with Professor Snape really necessary, Harry?" Granger's obsession with authority confused Pansy after hearing about all the things she'd experienced during their first two years. 'I guess she's not nearly as smart as she thinks, especially if she's clinging onto some sort of respect for Snape of all people.'

"I think it was, yes. Things could get worse if I didn't draw a line in the sand, so to speak. As I said, the law is on my side, so he needs to get that through his head now before he makes things worse for himself."

"He's a teacher, he could make things worse for you, Harry."

"I have a lawyer to help deal with things like this for a reason, Hermione. Imagine what could happen to Snape for harassing a noble house, especially if I just happen to make a public complaint. For two years, I've dealt with that petty tyrant's cruelty. I don't believe for one second that no one else has ever complained about that bully's utter lack of teaching ability, which makes me think that Dumbledore must be protecting him for some reason. Well, he can either learn to leave me the hell alone or deal with the consequences."

Granger looked aghast at Harry and Pansy rolled her eyes. Pansy decided to speak up at this moment, mostly because she didn't want Granger to become ever more annoying, especially during a meal.

"I wonder what this year's Defense professor will be like."

"Good question, I am very curious about him myself." This Harry said, but he kept to himself his questions about Lupin, a man who had apparently been friends with his father and at least known his mother as well. He'd need to do some research, digging through his mother's journals. While the teacher had introduced himself, briefly, on the train, he made no mention of knowing Harry's parents.

"He can't be worse than last year," Ron said, amazing Pansy with his ability to speak an entire sentence during a meal. He didn't even spit anything at her.

"I don't know, Ron. Hermione seemed to really like last year's Defense lessons for some reason," Harry said, smirking at the bookworm who blushed deeply.

"Oh Merlin, don't tell me she was one the fraud's fangirls?" Pansy snorted. Granger looked outraged, which made Pansy smile all the more.

"Do you still have the Valentine he sent you?"

"No!"

"I forgot about that, Harry," Weasley said with a laugh. "Lockhart sent her a card and she tried to hide it from us."

"Because I knew you would make fun of me," Granger pouted angrily.

"Well, you were fawning over a moron. That's hardly our fault," Harry answered.

"I thought you liked to read, Granger. You always seem to have memorized most of the textbooks when I've shared a class with you." This would be a fun little test, to see how far and how hard she could push Harry's brighter friend.

"What's that supposed to mean? Everyone knows I like to read."

"Didn't you read all of his books then?"

"Yes."

"Then why didn't you notice all the glaring errors and outright lies. There were three different cases of him supposedly doing multiple things at the same time, depending upon which book you were reading. Plus things that are flat out impossible, like how he claimed to have cured a werewolf. Some of the higher year Ravenclaws were writing a thorough debunking of that con man's claims. I guess now I know why you weren't sorted in with them."

"Why is everyone picking on me?"

"Sorry, Hermione," Harry said as he patted her hand. "Next time you get a crush, just pick a better guy please." He smiled at her and Pansy noticed that Granger seemed to cheer up a bit, but she didn't melt the way a lot of girls would if Harry gave them a smile like that. This brightened Pansy's day quite a bit- the bookworm had no romantic interest in Harry, for some strange reason. Which meant that Pansy would have less reason to try to drive her away, assuming she could just be a bit less annoying. The weasel would still have to go though.

-oOoOoOo-

That afternoon, they had a practical lesson in Defense as Professor Lupin led them to the staff room where a boggart was located. Snape sneered and insulted Longbottom, which made Pansy stifle a laugh. She didn't like the boy who seemed to be little more than a squib, but Snape's utter loathing of him was almost amazing. True, he was a total bastard to most students, even some of the Slytherins, but he seemed to truly despise Longbottom and Harry. At least in Harry's case, she had an idea of a possible reason.

Granger did her usual teacher's pet routine, throwing her hand up as high and as fast as possible to try to answer every question. It was really bloody obnoxious, and if Pansy was going to have to be around the girl, she'd have to try to get her to at least rein it in a bit. Even Harry looked aggravated by her behavior when Lupin asked him a question and Granger was bouncing on her feet next to him. Did the girl think that it was a crime if any student other than her knew an answer for once?

As Lupin had the class start to line up to take on the boggart, Pansy quietly led Harry to the back of the queue. He seemed eager to try facing the boggart, which reminded her why he was in Gryffindor. On the other hand, she didn't want anyone to know what either of their greatest fears might be. Thankfully, Harry followed her lead.

The class seemed to do well, learning the Riddikulus spell to deal with the boggart, but the teacher appeared to not want the boggart to focus on Harry. Lupin interrupted the line when it should have been his turn. Pansy was glad to be behind him but she could tell that Harry was bothered by this.

Afterwards, Harry told his friends he'd see them later at dinner as he needed to find something back in his quarters. Pansy followed him, noticing how upset Harry was, but waited till they were alone back in their rooms before trying to find out what was the matter.

As they entered their common room, she asked, "What's wrong? You aren't just mad that you didn't get a chance at the boggart, are you?"

"Not just that, no," Harry said as he went into his bedroom and opened his trunk. "Did it seem like Professor Lupin intentionally kept me from facing the boggart to you?"

"Yes, I noticed that too." Pansy was glad that he caught that.

"That seemed strange to me. Why would a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher specifically stop me from the practical lesson? Especially me of all people. He saw me having to deal with that dementor on the train."

"But that's not all..."

"No, it isn't. I didn't tell you much about what I'd read in my mum's journals. I have only made it part of the way through her first year, but even in that period of time, she mentioned that my father had a group of friends- hooligans, actually, she called them- that included Sirius Black as well as Remus Lupin."

"He knew your parents..."

"Apparently they were all in Gryffindor, same year even."

"So, you're looking for what exactly?"

"I'm going to do a bit of research, see if I can figure out more about just how well he knew them."

"Do you want some help?"

Harry looked down at the journal in his hand and thought for a moment before shaking his head. "Not right now. I think I want to check part of this myself."

"I understand. They're your mother's journals. I won't pry, but..."

"But?"

"If you want me to help, let me know. I'm here for you, Harry."

"Thanks."

-oOoOoOo-

For more than an hour, Pansy tried to work on her essay about boggarts. She found it hard to not keep looking over at Harry though, who was rifling through several volumes of his mother's journals. Eventually, after a particularly angry grunt, she gave it up.

"So, what have you found?"

"He definitely knew them, both of my parents."

"How well?"

"Pretty damn well. I didn't read everything, obviously. I was just skipping through looking for the name Lupin. Apparently, he was one of my father's best friends for basically all seven years at school. He became close friends with my mother in their later years. They were prefects together in their fifth and sixth year. One of the last entries mentions how a group of several of them were all going to be working with Dumbledore after graduating in the war effort against Voldemort. The group included my parents, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin."

"He was one of their best friends." Pansy could see that Harry was barely controlling his emotions.

"So where the hell has he been? Two of his best friends die and their orphaned son is abandoned and he never bothers to check up on what happened. If a decade from now, Ron betrayed Hermione and her kids were left without any parents, I would make damn sure they were taken care of. Not left to grow up in a bloody cupboard!"

Harry realized what he had let slip in his anger. He had heard her quiet gasp and knew it was too late to take it back. He found himself unable to look at her.

"Harry," Pansy said quietly as she reached out and softly squeezed his hand. "I'm yours. You can order me not to tell anyone about any of this and I never will. You can tell me anything."

He let out a sigh and said, "Give me a minute," as he went into his room. She heard him digging through his belongings and a few minutes later he came the room. "Do you remember getting your Hogwarts letter?"

"Yes."

"I assume it was addressed to your bedroom." She looked down at his outstretched hand, which held an envelope. It clearly said that he lived in a cupboard under the stairs. Pansy understood now even more what Harry had meant about being treated like a house-elf by those damn muggles. She felt herself grinding her teeth. How dare they! She forced herself to take a deep breath and calm down. Pansy reached over to him and pulled Harry down onto the couch with her. She softly kissed him and guided him to stretch out, with his head in her lap. She began running her fingers through his hair to soothe him.

"That explains why you're so kind to Dobby."

"Yeah, he's sort of like a kindred spirit. I never had to iron my hands but..."

"But they hurt you." Harry didn't answer her, he only stared off into the distance. He had never seemed so vulnerable, so ashamed. She knew that she would have to tell him more of her own past to try to get him to let her help him.

"My father only struck me once, but wizards tend to use their wands, not their fists. I can't count how many times I felt a stinging hex, whether it was for not acting properly, not working hard enough, not sitting up straight enough, and on and on.

"I told you that he had used the Cruciatus curse on me twice. The second time, you were there to help me. Let me help you, Harry."

The moment stretched out in silence before he responded.

"I don't remember the first time one of them beat me. Actually, I'm not even sure which one of them it was. Probably my cousin, I guess. Kids hitting each other never stands out. Of course, I was never allowed to hit back. If I ever did, something worse would happen."

Harry had to take a breath before he continued.

"I can't remember a time before I had to do all of the chores. Dudley was too precious to ever lift a finger. Vernon and Petunia were just glad they wouldn't ever need to pay for a maid or a gardener or a chef. By the time I was five, I had to cook all the food. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had been allowed to eat with them. But I was lucky to get something I might have burnt or a few scraps left over. There were a lot of nights when I was too hungry to fall asleep, or if I did sleep, it was only after passing out from exhaustion."

Pansy was glad that he was looking at the fire as she felt tears streaming down her face.

"My cousin was the biggest, fattest, meanest kid around, either in the neighborhood or at school. So of course, he was the leader of the bullies. And that meant that I was the favorite to be picked on. I never had any friends before I came to Hogwarts. It would have been too dangerous to be my friend. Who would want to make themselves a target for the bullies?

"Besides, I was also supposedly really stupid. The first couple of times I did well in school, they hit me for doing better than their perfect little Dudley. So, I started turning in half-finished work or answering wrong in class intentionally. Instead of getting hit, they would just tell me how stupid and useless I was. That was better. Anything they ever said to me was about how awful I was. You hear something over and over enough and eventually it doesn't even register anymore.

"My uncle would always blame me for anything that went wrong. Bad day at work? It's the freak's fault! Too much traffic on the way home? Give the boy a good thumping. Usually, he would avoid hitting me in the face or anywhere that could be seen. That just meant bruised or cracked ribs instead of black eyes. The worst would be in the summer. If I didn't have to go to school, then there would be less chance of anyone seeing, not that anyone ever did. The summer I turned nine, he broke my arm when I didn't do a good enough job washing his car. Of course, it was only my left arm, so that I'd still have my good one to do all the cooking.

"I always healed pretty fast. I guess it might have been accidental magic fighting to keep me alive. I'm still surprised I somehow fell asleep that night. The next day when I woke up my arm was fixed. That made him angry- another unnatural thing the freak had done. So he broke it again and locked me in the cupboard all day.

"Again, it healed over night. Somehow, my aunt was able to keep him from breaking it for a third time. She kept me far away from him for the next few days, but I think she just didn't want to have to get rid of my body if his temper got any worse.

"She wasn't as bad as they were, at least not physically. I mean, she did hit me in the head with a frying pan a couple of times, but that seems so minor now. Mostly, she would just tell me how worthless I was. Just like my worthless parents. And how everything I did was wrong or not good enough. And she'd look at me with such loathing in her eyes.

"You know something funny? Snape reminds me of her. With his sneer and his constant look of disgust. I bet he'd love to hear how similar he is to such an awful muggle. They even knew each other years ago. Snape grew up in the same town as my mum. They knew each other before Hogwarts and were friends, at least at the beginning. I have a suspicion that he had a crush on her. That he hates me so much because I look like my dad, the man who my mother fell in love with. It's hard for me to imagine why she would have even been friends with him though since he's such a miserable bastard.

"And he has the fucking gall to call me spoiled. All the while praising the poncy little ferret. Unbelievable."

Pansy tried to breathe deeply as Harry became quiet. Her tears were slowing while her mind began to think about how these Dursleys, these muggle scum, would have to pay. And pay dearly.

"There's no justice in the world, Pansy. My parents were supposedly heroes but they died. Your father was a Death Eater, but he's alive and free. You and I end up suffering in both cases. Who was there to help me? Even as the bloody boy who lived, there was no one. Who has ever helped you?"

"Only you."

"Exactly. All those years I was abandoned to be abused by muggles. Finally, a girl I barely knew tells me how to get away from them." She looked down at him as he smiled up at her. "You've done more for me than anyone else."

"So have you. For me." Harry sat up and wiped away the last of her tears. Pansy grabbed him and kissed him. She felt utterly spent. They sat there for a moment, both with eyes closed, foreheads resting against each other.

A growl from a stomach broke the quiet.

"Was that you or me?"

"I think it was both of us."

"I don't feel up to dealing with the Great Hall right now."

"Me neither. Dobby?" The house-elf appeared with a pop.

"What can Dobby do for master Harry sir?"

"Can you get some dinner for us? Pansy and I want to eat alone here tonight."

Dobby was overjoyed to be able to cook for master Harry and miss Pansy. He disappeared with glee.

Harry pulled Pansy onto his lap. He wrapped his arms around her, kissed the back of her neck, and laid his head upon her shoulder. She remembered complaining about how scrawny he had been and felt more than a little guilty, understanding now the years of near starvation he had suffered. Oh yes, those Dursleys were definitely going to pay.
Sign up to rate and review this story