The wedding of Daphne Greengrass and Blaise Zabini was altogether much too grandiose, in Astoria’s opinion.
She’d not said as much to her sister, of course, and she wouldn’t. It suited them, anyway. Daphne had always been one for extravagance, and Blaise, too, had quite a keen eye. There were also far too many people in attendance Astoria wondered briefly when Daphne had reconnected with half of the people she saw milling about the ballroom of the Zabini estate. The end of the War just over two years prior saw to the burning of many bridges, no matter that both the Zabini and Greengrass families had managed to keep themselves neutral. It heartened her, at least, that her sister had managed to mend so many bonds.
Then again, she thought, spotting Pansy Parkinson some ways away, perhaps some people were here simply to fill the vast space.
Pansy was, perhaps predictably, standing inappropriately close to one Draco Malfoy, who sported a look if disinterest more intense and precise than Astoria had ever seen. Impressive, considering the people she’d grown up with.
Astoria had never properly met the Malfoy heir, though everyone of course knew who he was. She’d seen him; he’d been in the same year as Blaise and Daphne, and he made such a spectacle of himself, besides. But she could not claim to know him. Still, when Pansy took another half step closer, reaching out to stroke his arm, and Malfoy’s jaw tightened in restrained discomfort—or perhaps simply annoyance—Astoria found herself walking up to the two of them.
“Forgive my interruption,” Astoria said sweetly, with a cool smile. The two of them looked to her, Pansy with a raised brow and a slight puckered nose, and Malfoy with a practiced mask of absolutely nothing. “I simply had to say hello, Pansy! So good to see you. It’s been far too long.”
Pansy, perhaps softening at the personal attention, flashed a brilliant white smile. “Astoria, dear! It has been quite a while, hasn’t it? You’ve graduated, haven’t you?”
“Yes, just last spring, actually.” Astoria saw in her periphery as Malfoy adjusted his grip on his champagne flute. “I’d of course love to catch up with you, but our lady of the evening would just love to see you.”
Pansy straightened and fixed her already impeccable hair, straight and intense black and just brushing her shoulders. “You’re all too right, of course. I wouldn’t dare ignore a request from the bride on her wedding day. Astoria,” she nodded, and looking over her shoulder with a hint of a smirk, “Draco.” And she sauntered away.
Astoria watched her go, glancing around the room for Daphne.
Turning back around at the lordly voice over her shoulder, she was met with Draco Malfoy watching Pansy depart just as Astoria had, dispassionately swirling the last of his champagne in his flute.
“Pansy. She’s harmless, really. If a bit tactless.” Draco turned his gaze upon her, and his gaze was one of the coldest she’d ever beheld. “Still, I should thank you. I’m a bit…out of sorts at the moment, and the last thing I wish to deal with is a put-out Pansy Parkinson.” He passed his near-empty glass off to a passing house elf.
Astoria huffed what might have been a laugh, remembering a much younger Pansy coming over for tea and a chat with Daphne quite regularly, and some of the worse days that came with it. She then offered her hand for a proper introduction. “Astoria Greengrass.”
He took it, and bent to place a chaste kiss on her knuckles. “Draco Malfoy. It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Greengrass.”
“The pleasure is mine, sir.” While Draco had been courteous, Astoria had the growing sense that he was just a bit overwhelmed with the evening. “I hope I’m not overstepping, Mister Malfoy, but I’m afraid I’ve become rather flushed. Would you care to join me in getting some fresh air?”
He inclined his chin just the slightest bit, considering her for a brief moment before nodding. “Of course,” he said, offering her his arm.
They exited into the courtyard. People were outside too, but there were fewer and the noticeable decrease in noise calmed Astoria. The Zabini family, in something of an odd tangent from the norm, lived in an Italian style villa, albeit one that was significantly larger than perhaps a villa is supposed to be. Astoria had not come to the Zabini household before Blaise had started seriously courting Daphne, and the architecture had enchanted her. Admiring the masonry as she was wont to do, she was, embarrassingly, a tad startled when Draco spoke again.
It wasn’t accusing or mocking, though Astoria had to fight a blush all the same. A simple observation, without obligation to elaborate. So she didn’t.
“Yes, I suppose I am.”
That got his lips to twitch in the tiniest suggestion of a smile.
She considered that a success.