Pansy had always been the one to be chased, never the chaser. In Pansy’s opinion, no boy was worth chasing after. No boy was worth laying awake at night for, skipping meals for. No boy was worth writing sappy love letters to, and positively no boy was worth sprinkling your expensive perfume on said sappy love letters for. Pansy knew her worth.
She could never be that girl.
And then Draco came along. The boy with skin paler than marble, with his silver hair like the sun reflecting on one of those expensive diamond earrings her mum used to wear, and his eyes grey like the night sky on a gloomy evening.
Of course, Pansy had met Draco before, their parents had been friends. Perhaps it hadn’t been the first time they had met, but it was the first memory she had of him. She remembered destroying Draco’s toy broom by sitting on it, expecting it to truly carry her toddler body’s weight and fly off. She had been invited to his fourth birthday party and he had proudly shown her all the toys he’d gotten, including the self-flying broom. Before her little toddler brain could fully comprehend what had happened, Pansy was on the cold tiles of Malfoy Manor and Draco’s grey eyes were clouded by tears as he ran from her, the now lifeless broom split in two, as he showed the severed pieces to his mother. Pansy couldn’t care less for Draco’s big, tear-filled eyes, back then.
That same year, right before Pansy’s own fourth birthday, she had moved to France with her parents, for reasons unknown to her, back then. France had been an absolute dream, she loved walking through the flower fields and watch the rising sun. The silver haired boy who’s toy she once had broken hadn’t crossed young Pansy’s mind there, his face a blurry memory fading under the crashing waves of the ocean and his teary eyes drowned out by children’s laughter. If she had known that would be one of the last times she would have been truly happy, she wondered if she would have done anything different.
The year Pansy turned eleven, her family moved back to England. Pansy had cried, heartbroken to leave all her new found friends behind, memories of walking through green timberlands and baking apple pie with her friends fresh in her mind like scars that could never heal. She had begged her parents to let her attend Beauxbatons, like all of her friends back in France would.
She deserved the best, her dad had told her, and Hogwarts was it. Pansy had wanted to believe every word that came out of her father’s mouth, but instead, she felt incredibly lonely and betrayed, the way only an eleven year old could feel.
That very first day on the platform, waiting for the Hogwarts Express, Pansy had looked into the crowd of unfamiliar faces, feeling unbelievable tiny and insignificant. And then, right there on platform 9 ¾ , Draco stood, accompanied by his parents, same as her. If Pansy had looked up, she would’ve noticed how their parents exchanged a stiff nod and made eye contact that promised nothing but trouble. But Pansy had been too young and too preoccupied with the young silver haired boy from her past to notice.
And so it was, through all their time spent together. Pansy didn’t have much experience with love and being in it, but when Draco smiled at her, a genuine smile, all teeth and sparkling eyes that partook, she knew that she would cross the great lake the muggle way to see him smile at her like that once more. God, the things she would do for Draco. Her entire personality was based on what made Draco happy, what made him laugh. She molded herself into something she knew he would like, and it was enough for her, it was enough to know she was someone he’d enjoy to be around. When he laughed at her jokes, when he turned his full attention to listen to her, stories about her past in France or perhaps something stupid Weasley had said in class, feeling like she mattered to him was more than enough.
The first time Pansy felt she really meant something to Draco, something more than just a friend, was when he took her to the yule ball that particular Christmas. She had felt like the luckiest girl there, regardless of Granger’s pathetic attempt to steal the show in her periwinkle blue dress. (Pansy had thought Hermione looked really beautiful, although she’d never admit that to anyone out loud.)
Draco had picked her, hadn’t he? Draco had picked her and he had danced with her, called her pretty, even. Pansy had planned on kissing him, that evening, but she couldn’t build up the courage to possibly ruin their longtime friendship.
Happiness hates the timid, Pansy later found out.
It had been halfway through their fifth year at Hogwarts when Draco started pulling away from Pansy. She had thought it had been her. He knows, he knows, he knows. She had been too clingy, or perhaps he had just gotten tired of her. It tore at her, that she couldn’t put her finger at what was bothering him. No attempts at that bringing that smile she so loved back on his face were a success. Instead, Draco sent empty shells of what once was Pansy’s way. A sad excuse for a smile that barely reached the corners of his mouth accompanied by zoned out eyes.
That was the first time Pansy felt like she started to lose him.
And so, she had. Unsure of how to approach Draco the correct way, she lingered too long. Too long to notice how Draco was forced into becoming a death eater, too long to notice the begging look in his lifeless eyes. Pansy had been too naïve, too stupid perhaps, to realize what had been going on in Draco’s life. Too preoccupied with herself to help him when he needed it the most.
Pansy hadn’t been entirely sure why she decided to show up, that sunny Wednesday afternoon, in her periwinkle blue dress. After all, her and Draco hadn’t talked, after the war. Pansy hadn’t really talked to anyone, to be fair. She could feel hundreds of pairs of eyes searching her, felt them like spiders walking over her bare skin. For a split second, she considered turning right around and walking out. Why did she think she could do this!? How could she have possibly thought it was a good idea to come, to see the man she loved with another woman?
“You came,” his voice was like a refreshing splash of water when she needed it the most, there was no other choice but for her to smile. Pansy turned around, her stream of thoughts melting like snow on a sunny day when she saw him. He looked older than she remembered. The war had taken it’s toll on everyone, and the silver haired boy she once knew, who was now a man, was no exception. It didn’t matter much to Pansy, he was no less beautiful now than he was when he was still by her side.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Pansy said, her eyes scanning over his face. He might’ve grown older, but he looked twice as happy.
“We hadn’t heard much of you as of late, I wasn’t sure if…” his sentence crumbled under her night sky eyes, eyes he used to look in multiple times a day. Now, he couldn’t be careful enough picking the words he wanted to say to his former friend. Draco had hoped that upon seeing Pansy, things would go back to how they once were. He should’ve known better.
“Well,” Pansy said, looking around the crowded room, “I’m here. And so is…. Potter, I see,” she spoke, seeing the boy who lived stand a few feet away from her. Draco sent her an apologetic smile.
“I know. I had to invite him. Astoria said it would be good form. Imagine my shock when he actually showed,” the both of them laughed, a shy, soft laugh shared between two people who used to know each other so well. Pansy looked up at him. Draco had always been a head taller than her.
“I’m really happy for you, you know,” Pansy forced herself to look into his eyes as she spoke her words. It wasn’t entirely a lie. She was happy he had found love, but her jealousy couldn’t stand that it wasn’t with her. Maybe that’s why she didn’t deserve him.
“You’re my best friend, Pansy,” Draco sent her a grin and touched her hand briefly. Pansy felt like crying. “It means a lot, coming from you.”
“And you’re mine, Draco,” Pansy forced herself to once again look up at him, and smile. A mediocre ghost of a smile, at best. A sad excuse for a smile that barely reached the corners of her mouth accompanied by zoned out eyes. He didn’t seem to notice, not really. Too blinded by his own happiness to notice. Pansy couldn’t find it in herself to get angry at him for it.
“Who would’ve thought, huh?” Draco said, a smirk seemingly permanently plastered on his face. “That I’d be so lucky to get married.” Me, Pansy internally screamed, I would’ve. Before she could reply, however, Draco’s smirk made place for something all too recognizable. Something she had seen in the mirror looking back at her, when she was thinking about Draco. Flustered cheeks and glowing eyes. Pansy didn’t have to look back to see who he was looking at.
“Do you mind if I…” Draco motioned to the woman behind her. Pansy shook her head, placing her hand on top of his.
“It’s your wedding, after all,” and just like that, he who she considered the love of her life was married to someone else. At least the smile she so loved had made a reappearance. Just not for her.
Pansy had once been under the impression that she could’ve been enough.
She knew better, now.