Sugar and SpiceWord count:
Draco will always be grateful for Astoria’s kindness, but he misses Pansy’s raging like a limb.Warnings:
The boys and girls belong to JKR, even though I’m often much nicer to them than she is.Author’s Notes:
This was written for round three at dmpp_ldws
. I came joint second out of seven – not bad, even if I haven’t yet won a challenge. :( Hopefully I can hold on long enough to do it!
He’d fallen for Astoria easily, sweet and simple as falling asleep.
She was so charming, and beautiful, too: big blue eyes and light hair that she wore up, tendrils of blonde curling about the nape of her neck. She was kind to him and careful with his bruises. In a world that had turned dark and harsh so suddenly, Astoria was a haven.
Astoria seemed innocent, but she was only two years younger than he was, and not stupid. She’d been fifteen under Amycus Carrow’s philandering eyes, she’d been a Slytherin faced with two more years at Hogwarts, and she’d known he brought the Death Eaters there. She chose him nonetheless and never mentioned his mistakes, and he would never stop being grateful.
She wasn’t like Pansy.
He and Pansy had been friends through puberty: sometimes friendly acquaintances from either side of the gender divide, later adolescent lovers. They’d taken all the rage of youth and first love out on each other. In sixth year, while Vince and Greg remained sullenly compliant, she screamed at him. Her shrieking voice and wet, raging eyes had cut deeply.
She hadn’t said he was weak, or evil, or cruel. She’d said he was stupid.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid
! Draco how could
you? You’ve got to stop, please, you must
.” And she fell on him, her mouth open and clinging, and he shut his eyes and lost himself in her heat.
They’d fought throughout seventh year and beyond. The day after Draco was acquitted of treason he and Pansy spent seven hours ripping each other’s heads off via owl post before she consented to visit the Manor.
Two months later, he met Astoria.
He’d never planned to fall in love. He hadn’t needed to: Pansy was there, steadfast and confident in her ability to capture him. He’d never thought of another girl seriously until he was fifteen, and after that Draco needed her far too much to let go.
But Astoria was... so different from everyone else. She let him forget his mistakes, where Pansy’s barbed remarks recalled them.
He was sick of taunts, and sick of magnanimous forgiveness from the victors. Why shouldn’t he choose blissful oblivion over Pansy’s angry devotion?
He felt sick the afternoon he introduced Astoria as his girlfriend. After Astoria left, Pansy looked at him with her black eyes snapping. “How utterly boring, Draco. I hope you’re dumping her.”
“I’m asking her to be my wife,” he said quietly, and watched her eyes ice over.
She attended the wedding in rose-pink robes. She comes to every Slytherin night out and she has tea with Draco sometimes. He tells her about his life, tells her about foolish work decisions and the stupid gift he gave Scorpius. She nods and says nothing.
Narcissa once commented on their changed relationship: how nice it was, to see that they’ve grown up into mellow friendship after such a tempestuous relationship as teenagers.
Draco nodded, sick, and agreed it was better now.