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At the top of my mind

Chapter Text

At the top of my mind, I could think of several occasions that were just as degrading as the one I find myself in. My 11th birthday for example, where I didn't show any real proficiency in magic as I held in hands my brand-new wand. Made of a beautiful pine wood tree with a dragon heartstring core and 12 ½" lengths, very rigid but still perfect for me. Not that I thought that at the time, of course, I still remember being very angry at mister Ollivander's for picking that one for me.

And yes I know that the wand picks its owner but try to explain that to a child born to one of the oldest pure-blood families and that it couldn't do a simple spell. It just didn't fit and father thought the same, actually, he made his opinion very clear in one of his famous disciplinary sessions, showing me how much that wasn’t good enough for him while I cradled myself in the cold floor.

I can still feel the cruciatus curse running through my spine from time to time, just a reminder that I'm still not good enough.

But let's get back to the present and my current prediction, I'm at the ministry being interrogated by a group of aurors and I say interrogated hastily. They are relieving my most private and deepest memories through a pensieve, a new and intrusive technique, along with a veritaserum potion, to find out if I was a death eater.

I guess that after the first war and the vast majority of suspects claiming that they are being held under the imperius curse, no one would get that chance this time and if I was not being the subject of this new method maybe I could find them to be clever, crossing a line but still clever.

So this is me right now, sitting in the middle of the room, while they look for any kind of dirty that could mean the end of my family's name or a new beginning and to be completely honest I couldn't care less.

“Well it seems that the suspect was telling the truth and on the behalf of the ministry of magic you are now exempt from the accusations of supporting the Dark Lord and the attempt of murder of Harry James Potter, all of your family's states and assets are now restored to you.” said Auror Graves, a tiny man with too much power in his hands while looking at me with disgust all over his face.

“Our deepest condolences and apologies miss.” His words would have touched me, if the look on his face didn't show how much he wished that he was right, and I was a filthy death eater, just like my father as he previously pointed.

“Thank you sir” I said while signed the paperwork and left that horrible room.

Walking to the elevator and pressing the buttons to the main floor made me relax a bit. I never once liked going to the ministry and let's say that this last visit didn't change my mind about that.

As I arrived at the main square and walked to one of the numerous fireplaces, I could only think of getting home. Home.

What was “home” now? Of course, I had my states, and that included the main manor where I grew up, but was that home? After everything? After that day?

No, it wasn't and after coming to that agreement I choose a different direction.

“Malfoy manor” I said loud and clear because being lost in the floo network was not going to be the highlight of my day.

The first thing I heard after the floo took me to my destination was someone screaming “Stupefy” at the top of their lungs and hitting the side of the fireplace, the very one I just landed in.

“Bloody hell, stop that it's just me Draco!” I screamed while taking hold of my wand just in case another one was incoming.

“Pansy? What in Salazar's name are you doing?”

Seeing that he had calmed down, I carefully stepped out of the fireplace to face a very drunk and distressed Draco.

“Well I'm glad to see you too Malfoy, thank you for your warm welcome.” I said while rolling my eyes, dusting my hair and clothes.

It was his turn to roll his eye at me. “Stop being so dramatic Parkinson, what are you thinking coming here through floo anyway? I didn't even know that the fireplace was still connected to the network, mother have been going through all the manor renewing our defenses. I thought she would have severed the connection to the house, and you should know better! At times likes this announcing oneself before entering a house is the correct way to avoid being hit by a spell.”

Now I could be stubborn and say all the right words to make him feel like an ass, but he was drunk and I had a long day, it just wasn't the time for that.

“You are right, I should have considered the current events and let you know that I was coming here before taking the floo, but in my defense, I was not in the right state of mind.” I said while sitting in the nearest couch.

“Did you lose?” he asked taking the spot next to me and I could finally see him properly.

He looked tired, the events of these past years finally catching up with him, making him look older than he was.

“No, all the family's states and assets are mines once again.” Closed my eyes taking a deep breath. “The whole thing just drained me.”

He scoffed. “Yes, having somebody scouring through your memories can be tiresome, not to say humiliating.”

All I could do was nod. People had lost so much at the war that I wasn't going to focus my energy on that, but before I opened my mouth to say anything he went on.

“On top of that, Saint Potter chooses to testify in my favor. Like I needed any of his pity, the only reason I allowed was because of mother, she didn't deserve to suffer the consequences of father's and mine's actions.”

I took his hands in mine.“Drake you need to understand that it wasn't your fault. Wait let me say my bloody piece.” I stopped him before he could interrupt me.

“Yes you are doing the wrong thing, but it wasn't your fault, you didn't have a choice.” I paused taking a deep breath. “We didn't have a choice. We never had a choice. So stop beating yourself for things you couldn't change, what's done it's done.” Squeezing his hand one last time before standing and walking to the bar in the corner of the room.

“Want some more or are you drunk enough?”

“Gin.” Was the only thing that he said before coming to stand next to me.

“Here to new beginnings, I guess.”

I still don't know if he huffed or laughed at my statement, but he still clicked his glass on mine before taking his drink to his mouth.

“So what now to the new Lady Parkinson?”

That question took me to the reason I had come to his house in the first place. Where would I go, what would I do? My whole life was planned before I was born and now that I finally had the freedom I always dreamed it seemed so suffocating, that the only answer I had to him was taking my firewhiskey in one go and pouring myself another glass.

Chapter Text

It was dark when I left Draco’s house, he and Narcisa said I should stay for the night, but I could see that they had things to talk about. So I left, walked out of the little warmth that their home had, launching myself through the cold night just as lost as I entered and so drunk that I couldn't even walk straight, but my head was held high, because no matter what happened I was still Pansy Parkinson and I didn't put myself through all of that to just crumble in the middle of the street.

Let it be recorded that you should never try to apparate when you're drunk out of your mind. I landed several meters away from my destination, and it was not a graceful land let me tell you, it was a face first kind of deal.

“Merlin's beard” I exclaimed.

Pulling myself up from the ground and fixing my face before starting to walk to the nearest bar in sight. I could hear the animated voices coming from inside, happy that the war was over.

The door announced my presence and all the joyful talking turned to hushed whispers as I walked to a table. I was used to the whispers and the stares, but still, there’s a change in the air, a heaviness that it wasn’t there before. I guess people are feeling braver, I mean they just won against the Dark Lord, his followers are being sent to Azkaban and their hero came out alive, what else they needed? Well apart from getting back the ones that have fallen of course, but I'm getting sidetracked here.

A waitress approached my table just as I took my seat.

“What do you want?”

There was an attitude to her tone, but all I noticed was how beautiful she was.
Just little shorter than me, with blond hair that framed her face and contrasted to the freckles in her cheeks, plump lips and dark brown eyes that for unknown reasons made the hairs on the back of my neck stand and my cheeks heat.

“Firewhiskey, please.” I said while sliding a galleon on the table, even with all the courage gained from drinking previously with Draco I couldn't look straight into her eyes, there was something in them that I couldn’t understand even for Morgana's sake.

People seemed to relax a little after they realized that I was not there to start something and maybe the large amounts of firewhiskey I kept drinking showed that I was not in the mood for anything else.

I stayed like that for what it seemed to be one hour before the chair in front of me was pulled, and someone sat, making me frown as I rubbed my face in an attempt to sober myself just a little before I had to deal with whoever that was.

But as I lifted my face to look at the newcomer, my drunk mind was not prepared for that.

“Hi, Pansy.”

That simple but foreign greeting coming from him made me silent. I'm not proud to say that it took me some time to begin talking and much longer before I noticed that the whole bar was silent, watching our interaction closely from their tables.

Straightening myself as I took the rest of my drink and a deep breath to prepare myself for whatever was coming.

“Potter.” I finally replied, he seemed relieved with my willingness to talk to him.

As I looked at him, I could barely recognize the golden boy everyone was so proud of. For someone who just defeated evil and saved the world, the great Harry Potter didn’t look so great at all. His eyes looked hollow and had big purple rings just below them, his hair was a mess, and he seemed skinnier somehow, his skin was just as pale as Draco’s, but what kept me interested was the way his shoulders are down as if he just lost the battle.

“How are you?” he said.

I felt myself frowning at his question but still answered. “Good and yourself? Rejoicing on the spoils of war?”

Cringing mentally for the apparent harshness in my tone, I watched as he chuckled before taking a sip of his butterbeer.

“Good too and actually not as much as everyone keeps saying that I should be.”

I could see that.

“Well, you still have time.” I raised my hand asking for another drink.

“I suppose, yes.” he said while toying with his mug.

We stayed in silence for a couple of minutes before he started talking again.

“I was at the ministry this morning.” My eyes are on him as he began talking.

“An Auror named Graves cornered me and said that I had to see something. I thought it would be just another report or whatever, but he showed me something different.”

This whole time he didn’t look me straight in the eyes, but as soon as he finished his sentence his eyes locked into mine and I knew deep down what he was going to say.

“I’m so sorry Pansy, if I had known maybe I could have done something to help, maybe we cou-.”

I stood up and excused myself before walking to the bathroom, my heart beating so fast that I thought it was going to give out.

Taking hold of the sink, I closed my eyes and started to take deep breaths to calm myself.
Splashing some water in my face helped quite a bit, I thought before taking a look in the mirror, I was white as parchment.

“Bloody Potter.” I exclaimed before splashing some more water.

“Sorry, i-.” Jumping at the sound of his voice I turned to face him.

“What in Morgana’s sake you think you are doing Potter? Following me to the bathroom just like some creep, can't you get a clue when a girl doesn't want to talk to you or are you this dense?” Sneering those words at him made me feel a little better, but still, he kept talking.

“You didn't seem well when you left the table and after everything that happened I just wanted to see if you are ok.” I laughed, really laughed at his choice of words.

“So you see-no, invade my memories without my permission and now you know what I've been through? You have no idea about anything so stop acting like it.” At the end of the sentence, I could feel myself shaking while I held back the tears.

“You're right, I don't know and I come to realize that I never knew. Everyone is congratulating me on something I did, but that it was someone else's idea, my whole life I thought that you guys are the bad guys just to realize that you didn't have a choice either. We are all just playing with the cards we've been dealt with.”

We stood there looking at each other.

“What in Merlin's beard are you talking about Potter? What bloody cards?”

It was his turn to laugh. “It's a muggles say, what I meant is that we didn't choose any of this, we are just pawns, and we did the best we could with what we had.”

Well, he was right and what was I supposed to say now? After everything, I've done, there he was offering me redemption, even if it was only a moral one.

I huffed at that thought and held out my hand. “I'm not gonna say sorry, but I can say that if there was any other way, I wouldn't have chosen that one.”

He smiled and shook my hand. Draco will throw a fit once he hears about this.
That thought made my eyes jump wide open and my hand to grip his making him frown.

“Did you see Draco’s memories?” I said in a harsh tone before he could say anything.

“No I didn't.” he answered confused by my reaction.

“Good, keep that way Potter, not everyone, is as graceful as I'm under these circumstances.” I said dropping his hand and running mine through my hair.

“Harry, call me Harry.” Chuckling at his ridiculousness, we began to walk out of the bathroom, only to encounter the entire bar eavesdropping on us through the door.

“Wonderful.” I said starting to making my way through the crowd.

Leaving a couple of galleons on the table, I made my way to the door. The air was cold outside and again the reminder of my current situation came to my mind making me snort in exasperation.

“I'm sorry about them. It's been hard to shake so many people, you shouldn't have to leave because of me.” Shrugging my shoulders, I started walking.

“Not everything it's about you Potter, sometimes people have their own things to sort out.” I said. “ But thanks for sharing. Goodbye, Harry.”

At the top of my mind, I could think of many memories I had of this house as I walked through the gates. I could talk about the time my mother gave me my first broom and I learned how to fly on those grounds. The day my mother showed me the herbivicus charm and made or garden bloom with pansies, we stayed the whole afternoon making crowns out of them. There was a number of good memories, but just as much of the bad ones.

Touching and turning the door handle, the door made the same sound it always did as I pushed her in. A loud squeaking noise. No matter what we did, that noise was always there.

The house looked overall the same, the people in the ministry left almost everything in their place. Aside from anything they categorized as an item of the dark arts of course.

Walking through the rooms took my mind to the last day of the war before I even realized.

After I screamed in the great hall that we should grab Potter, the Slytherin's are being taken to the dungeons and I took that chance to sneak past professor Slughorn and head out of the school grounds.

I ran as fast as I could to reach a spot that enabled me to apparate home. The gates opened to my presence as I rushed inside calling for my mother.

“Run Pansy, don’t come near!” I heard her scream as I was getting close to the living room, coming to a stop just as saw him standing over her.

“Bad girls that don’t do their tasks, don’t deserve their rewards. Don’t you agree with me, dear?”
He looked straight at me as he said. “Avada Kedavra.”

I can still hear myself screaming for my mother before I cast stupefy at him, launching him in the air and onto the small coffee table. I never once raised my wand at him and I guess that saved my life, his knowledge that I wouldn't do anything made him lower his guard long enough for me to surprise him with that spell.

Standing still for several minutes with my wand raised and tears rolling down my face.
As I began to walk towards them my breath became more rapidly, my hand started to shake, but my eyes are fixed on his frame on the ground. It wasn’t until I saw how his neck was bent to the wrong direction that I let myself fall to the ground and hurried to my mother’s corpse, hugging her close to my chest as I cried for I don’t know how long.

And it was in that position that the auror’s found me, clinging to my mother's body.

Taking a deep breath and one last look, I reached for my wand. “Bombarda Maxima!” I screamed while pointing to that same room.

I guess I was going for that new beginning after all.

Chapter Text

A week has passed since I destroyed the living room, and several other rooms actually. Before I finally stopped exploding every room that reminded me of my father, a very dramatic way of showing how much I hated him I know, but I couldn't care less.

Well not until I took a look around and remembered that I was the one who had to clean the whole thing. Yes, magic helps but it's still a tiresome and boring task.

Three other days passed before I've finished fixing and decorating the manor. Changed the colors of the walls for something warm and bright, just like my mother always wanted, unlocked the family's library a place I was never allowed in because father didn't think I was worthy of the privilege.

And let me tell you, walking through those doors and seeing for the first time what was inside made my heart clench.

It smelled just like her, there were parchments half written on a table, a couple of books and an armchair beneath a window that gave view of the whole garden.

The next week I practically lived in that library, reading my mother's notes. That was until Draco started to show up in odd hours.

We began a routine where he would come to the manor, we would drink and talk about how everything was changing for us. Not once talking about the things that hurt, neither of us had the guts to say something, so we just did what we are taught to and put everything under the rug.

But one night were interrupted by an intense banging in my door.

“For Merlin’s sake, what!?” I yelled at the person as I opened the door.

There wasn't an amount of liquor in the world that could prepare me for the fact that Harry bloody Potter was at my door, in the middle of the night.

“Potter? What in Salazar’s name are you doing here?”. He looked worse than that time at the bar, but it was his bloodshot eye that stood out the most.

“Hey Pansy, I'm sorry for coming here it just that I, don't know where else to go” He tried to fix his hair by running a hand through it, but it just made it stick out more.

Before I could say anything Draco came out of the room wanting to know why I was taking so long.

“Did you get stuck in the doorway Parkinson?”. He halted his steps at the end of that sentence. I think he too wasn't ready for the sudden appearance of Harry Potter.

It's has been a while since I allowed Potter to enter my home and walked him to the living room we've been before he got there.

He sat down on the couch, nursing his drink and looking at his shoes, while I stole glances at Draco from time to time.

He knew that Potter had seen my memories, all of them, and by the look of his nails I think he was just a little anxious.

Huffing at their antics I draw Potter's attention to me.

“So are you going to enlighten us? Because I'm sure that any of your friends would welcome you with open arms if you showed up in their doorstep” I put an emphasis on “any”.

He took a sip of his drink, but remained in silence.

I could see from the corners of my eyes that Draco was about to lose his temper.

“I broke up with Ginny” His voice stopped Draco's imminent outburst. “Ron is mad at me for that, and Hermione still out looking for her parents, so I can't bother her with this.” I found that last piece of information odd, but didn't press on as he took a deep breath. “I know we are not really friends, but I didn't want to go to a place where people would patronize me and say that I'm just stressed, and that everything is going to go back to normal.”

Silence took over us for a couple of minutes before Draco's laugh caught us by surprise.

“So, you've come here because Pansy wouldn't be nice to you?” he said between his laugh.

That made me chuckle a little, then it turned to a full laughter after Potter sheepish agreed with Draco.

In the end we are all laughing at the situation, I mean, who wouldn't? Pansy Parkinson, Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter walk through a bar, well a manor in this case. The thought alone made me laugh even harder.

“Well I'm sure Weasel is going to calm down some day, you know, after he takes that stick from his arse.” Said Draco.

Sneering at the mention of Weasley I nodded my head, for some reason his mere existence made me irritated.

“Yes, besides you broke up with her before agreeing to something bigger. That would've been the real mess.” I finished saying as I poured myself another drink.

And before I could stop myself I kept talking. “At least you didn't promise something just to break your word and show up later engaged to Theodore fucking Nott!” Spitting those words made me feel better, even if it was just a little. “And not even bothering to owl, just letting the other person find out through an announcement note in the Daily Prophet.” I ended my rant breathing heavily.

It took me some time before gathering my thoughts and calming down. Such a pathetic thing, losing my temper for someone who didn't deserve.

“I saw that earlier over breakfast. I'm sorry about that Pansy.” said Potter, I saw how he stole a look at Draco who at that moment choose to touch my thigh.

“I should have expected that, Daphne was many things, but brave wasn't one of them.” Finished my drink and refilled everyone else's.

“It was foolish to believe that she would confront her family for me. The Greengrass family are not notorious for their forward ways of thinking.” My throat felt rough as I held my tears back.

“At least you don’t have to go to their boring tea party’s anymore and pretend to be interested in Mr. Greengrass awful speech’s, I mean, how many times do we really have to listen about the “Sacred” Twenty-Eight? We got the point, move on old fart.” Said Draco rolling his eyes and making me smile.

Merlin, who many times I pretended to be interested and even going as far as asking him actual questions, just to create a good impression. All of that for a girl who couldn’t care to write me a letter to tell me we are over.

“Fuck Daphne.” I got up too fast, almost falling on the ground. “I refuse to stay here moping around some girl that clearly doesn’t deserve any of my time.”

Draco raised his glass. “I will drink to that Parkinson, it was about time you grew a backbone and moved on from Greengrass, she’s always been a whiny brat.”

Potter also raised his and both of them looked at me expectantly. “To not dating whiny brats.” I said raising mine too and pointing at Potter. “And to unconventional friendships.”

“To unconventional friendships” He replied chuckling at or antics.

So that was or night, drinking and talking about whatever came to our minds.

Teasing Draco for liking Gilderoy Lockhart books of all things, Potter's first time catching the snitch and my weird nose phase as we watched the sunrise.

I was almost passed out when Potter broke the silence that had fallen upon us.

“I’m gay.” He breathed out before passing out himself.

Harry Bloody Potter.

Chapter Text

It was still earlier in the morning when I woke up startled by a sudden movement. Draco was trying to sneak out without waking everyone up, but I've never been a heavy sleeper.

I was about to say something when he made a sign for silence and looked at Potter.

Taking that as my clue I got up and followed him to the door.

Outside was cold, but at the same time comforting. Draco seemed nervous and a little rigid, Potter’s revelation was making him stressed.

“I know Drake” I whispered softly as he looked at me with wide eyes. “I don’t think he knows, and you never said anything out loud but I know the signs.” I smiled sadly at him.

Neither of us knew what more to say. Feelings are never a subject that we've been proficient at it. So I took up to myself to break that cycle by hugging him.

“Everything will be fine, we don’t need to hide anymore.” I said in his ear.

His only answer was to tighten his arms around me, before stepping back and apparating.

By the time Potter woke up I had already done everything I needed for the day and was just reading in the library.

“Hermione would be ecstatic to see this.” He said entering the room and taking a look around.

I gave him a snort. “I'm sure coming to my home is not on her agenda Potter.”

He chuckled. “It looks bigger than it seems. Extension Charm I presume?” I arched my eyebrow at him.

“Hermione's fantastic at it” He said while rubbing his neck, a clear sign of his discomfort. “Thank you for the potion, it really helped with the hangover.”

It was my turn to chuckle. “Your welcome, only the best for my guests.”

“Draco left already I see.” He seemed to think about something.

“He had some things to deal earlier.” For a moment I thought I saw disappointment in his face, but in the end he just nodded.

Silence fell between us once again.

Huffing in exasperation before closing my book. “Just say it already Potter, being subtle is not one of your strengths.”

“I’m sorry for dumping that on you guys yesterday, it just got out. I didn’t mean to offend anyone or make things uncomfortable.” Taking a deep breath, he kept going. “I thought that if someone was going to understand, that someone was you and for a moment I didn’t consider that maybe it would make Draco uncomfortable, and if, so I’m very sorry Pansy.”

He talked for several minutes, enough to make me consider using my wand to shut him up, but I could see where he was coming from. Who else was going to listen without judging him?

So I stayed quietly waiting for him to finish rambling.

“... I mean everyone is expecting things from me now, but they forget that I’m just a kid still and that I have my own things to figure out.” He finished running his hand through his hair.

“Tell them that, I mean, you already did everything you had to do for those people. So tell them that you’re going to live your bloody life and if they don’t like they know where to shove it.” That made him smile.

“You know I would never expect this kind of pep talk from you.” Rolling my eyes at him I crossed my arms.

“And do tell what you expected then? That maybe I would curse you and force you to do something about it?” I’m not going to lie, while he talked non-stop that thought really crossed my mind.

He seemed embarrassed. “No! I didn’t mean like that, I just-”

Laughing at his discomfort I got up and walked to where he was. “It’s a joke Potter, don’t be an idiot.”

That remark made him relax. “Great, well I guess I’m going then. Lots of people to disappoint and not enough time.” He chuckled.

After he left I laid down on the couch and thought about everything we talked yesterday.
And although the revelations are just crazy to believe it really happened, only one thing kept coming back to my mind and making me frown. Why would Granger be out there looking for her parents? That just didn’t make any sense and for some odd reason I couldn't shake those thoughts out of me.

I must have fallen asleep, because when I opened my eyes again the sky was turning dark. The house was deadly silent and it sent chills through my spine. It didn't matter that I changed the color of the walls and the furniture, the lack of warmth was just as present.

A knock on the door pulled me out of my mind.

Blaise Zabine has always been big on affection demonstrations, well at least with those that he cared about. So I kept myself from flinching as he hugged me as soon I opened the door.

“It's nice to see you too Zabine”

He took that moment to releasing me from the hug and hold me in place by the shoulders.

“Please forgive me Pansy, I've been out of the country trying to help mother find a new husband and I just saw the news. I'm very sorry about Daphne and Nott's engagement, but I always told that you deserved better than Greengrass.” He finished his monologue with disgust all over his face.

He had a point, Blaise never cared much about Daphne. Something he made sure that she knew.

“And you are right, sadly I had to learn that in the hard way, but whatever.” I sighed. “Well come on in, I want to hear everything about your mom's latest victim.” I snickered at him while he punched my shoulder.

The month went by quickly.

Draco and I continued to having meetings on my house, now with the addition of Potter and Blaise, who kept looking dumbfounded at Potter the first time it happened.

I was sure that nothing could ruin the nice routine we created, but nice things always come to an end.

“Dear Miss Pansy Parkinson,

We are pleased to inform that the repairs on Hogwarts are finally done!

Because of the last year events, we are happy to inform that all 7th years are welcomed and required to redo the term to complete your formal magical education.

We await your owl.

Yours sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall
Headmaster.”

Chapter Text

At the top of my mind I could think of several occasions where I performed this same task. Packing my suitcase was something I always enjoyed, the perspective of getting far from father was always a marvelous thing.

But this time around I felt conflicted.

I knew that I was not going to be welcomed and that was understandable, I never made an effort to appear pleasant or even be pleasant to others, so that wasn't my issue.

My issue with the prospect of going back to Hogwarts was the possibility of not having a home. Because that's what always was, a home, one that I couldn't have.

Blaise and Draco are worried about how much our going back was going to affect the Slytherin House, since we, as well of a good number of Slytherins, are not exactly welcomed in most places these days.

Not that I cared, I mean I was sorry about what I did through these years, but I had no choice in the matter. Father always knew when I drifted from his path.

Potter on the other hand was choosing to ignore the fact that his friends wouldn't understand the new, I dare to say, friendship we formed. He seemed more worried about Granger and her difficulty to find her parents, which was understandable.

I made a search on the family vault and took the potion father brew with the purpose of find me on the not so rare occasions that I ran away.

“Take it Potter.” He looked confused by my sudden appearance in front of him. “Give to Granger and tell her to put a piece of her hair inside before breaking the vial.” He jumped from his seat and grabbed the potion. “Now go before you put fire on my house with the amount of thinking that you are trying to accomplish.”

He didn't seem bothered about my comment on his lack of intelligence, he still had a huge smile on his face when I saw him apparate outside.

When I turned around Blaise was looking strangely at me, while Draco pretended to be busy.

“What Zabini?” I said crossing my arms.

“Did you just assisted Granger on her search?” His eyebrows are frowned and he look confused.

I never thought much of Granger, besides the obvious fact that she's brilliant and muggle-born. The rest, well I had a reputation to keep and a very dysfunction father to please, so to me it was just words and mindless actions.

“I helped Potter, he was at the limit of his thinking capabilities and it was bothering me.” I said shrugging.

They scoffed at my answer, a reaction that I just rolled my eyes at.

The next day we decided to venture into the Diagon Alley, which made Draco apprehensive.

“Where else we would go Draco? Knockturn Alley? That would certainly make people talk.” You could always count with Blaise to be reasonable, people would indeed talk if they saw us there. Knockturn Alley always welcomed those who were up to no good.

“Besides, they are too coward to come and do something, so relax and stop reaching for your wand.” I whispered the last part as I took his hand in mine, in an attempt to keep him calm and avoid any misunderstanding.

Who could blame his reaction? People knew his father was a death eater, a very loyal on, and that he participated on Dumbledore's murder. He had his reasons to be distrustful.

Even with the looks and whispers, we managed to have a good time while picking up the supplies we would need for the new term. But the best part was that I finally bought myself a broom. Father never allowed one, besides the one I used to play as a child.

The last stop would be Gringotts.
I needed to pick up a tiny amount to take with me to Hogwarts, just to make sure I had enough to buy any candy from Honeydukes.

Draco was making fun of my reasons but before I could say anything a laugh caught me off guard.

Seeing her again was not how I imagined it would be. I thought that it would make me spin on a turmoil of anger and sadness, but it just made me feel pity. Unlike Nott I knew her well enough to recognize the signs, the fake laugh with the hand covering her mouth, the smile that didn't reach her eyes accompanied by a sigh that could be confused with tenderness but in fact hide her apathy.

Still, she looked beautiful, her golden hair had grown and reached her waist. She seemed leaner than I remembered but not sickly.

A pressure on my hand pulled me out of my musings and before I knew it the new couple was coming to our way.

“Parkinson, Malfoy and Zabini, what a wonderful surprise.” She said with that same smile, her eyes on the other hand focused on mines and Draco's interlaced fingers.

I noticed her grip on Nott's warm tightened a just a bit.

Blaise did the favor of greeting then, pulling me out of my head again.

“Greengrass, Nott I hear that congratulations are in order.” Theodore just shrugged.

“Indeed, thank you, Parkinson we are very excited about the wedding, would be more if not for McGonagall's little letter.” He said with disdain. “But in light of the new term, the wedding had to be pushed further back.”

“A sad thing truly, but if you excuse us we have somewhere to be, Pansy has business to attend on her vault.” Draco said and I just nodded along making a movement to go to the balcony.

“I will accompany you, it's been so long since we talked properly. You don't mind do you Dear?” I was going to protest but before I could have a say she interrupted me. “I insist!”

“No, go on but don't be long I'm bored already.” Nott said and my only response was a tight smile as she interlaced our arms.

Soon as we passed through the vaults' door, her act stopped and her posture changed, her eyes seemed to cut deep into me.

“You and Malfoy seem comfortable with each other.” I rolled my eyes at that.

“Yes, well we've always been good friends as you know and I could say the same about Nott's but I don't care enough about it.” This caught her by surprise, she came to stand closer to me and took her hands to the back of my neck, pulling our bodies together.

“Don't be like this Pan, you know why I have to do this, but it doesn't mean we can't still have our fun.” That statement made me angry.

 

I reached for her arms, taking them from around my neck and took a step back.

“No, I don't know why you have. Nothing was stopping us from being together, besides your cowardliness.” She pulled out of my grip and crossed her arms.

“And what about my family? The other people? They would talk about it, we would always be judged.” She took a breath. “I know that for you it's easy because your family is not there but some of us have a status to maintain.”

“My family is dead Daphne not in some vacation. The thing is, I would have fought for us even if bothered people, because what it mattered to me was us and not what people would've thought about it. But that's not here nor there, you've chosen the path that most suits your needs and I'm done hiding who I really am. So I hope you are happy and that everything works out for you but I'm done with us.”

I didn't give her a chance to reply, walking out of the vault and back to the cart.

As we left Gringotts and bid our farewells to the couple, I felt a rush of cold and excitement. Everything that held me back was left behind, some of those things were sad, others were necessary but all of them made me free.

 

Saying goodbye to the boys I apparated way.

Getting home after a busy day is one most wonderful feeling in the world. I was already laying in bed reading a book with a nice cup of hot chocolate on the side, it was relaxing and just what I needed after today's.

I was in the middle of the book when the moment was interrupted by a letter that came floating through the open window. A simple but delicate thing that held just three words and a rush of warmth.

“Thank you.

Hermione”

Chapter Text

The day of the beginning of the term I arrived earlier on King's cross station, the platform 9 ¾ was almost empty, a very strange sight from what I was accustomed.

We usually waited for the last minute to enter the platform. Father hated crowded spaces, specially those filled with “sheep” as he liked to call the people who didn’t follow the Dark Lord path.

It always made me nervous, I couldn't sleep the night before going to Hogwarts because I was afraid to lose the train and be trapped home with him and I felt bad because I loved my mother, but I needed to be way or I would be swallowed by his oppressive presence.

I found a spot to accommodate my luggage and opened a book just to pass the time. Which worked because when I pulled myself out of it, the platform was blooming with children, families and a smiling Harry Potter that was walking in my direction with none other than Hermione Granger, and what I assume are her parents.

“Sometimes I believe you read just as much as Hermione.” He said greeting me with a hug.

I snickered, something that from the corners of my eyes I could see that made Granger tense a little. “I'm sure that's not true, it's not my fault that you don't read at all and whatever amount anyone else reads is already too much for you.”

That made her give a small smile and I took that as a positive sign that I could acknowledge her and her family.

“Hello Granger, you seem well and I'm glad that you're able to find your parents.” She bit her lip nodding at my direction and seemed conflicted with my pleasant greeting.

Potter in the other hand kept looking between us, curious about our interaction.

“Hello Parkinson, thank you it was a very difficult task.” She looked at her parents smiling and I could only nod.

Maybe sensing our discomfort Mr. Granger took a step in my direction and held out his hand. “Thank you for your help Miss Parkinson.”

“It was the least I could do sir.” I said taking his hand.

I don't know what took Granger more by surprise, the fact I was not giving her and her family a hard time or that I shook her father's hand. Maybe both. It was not the usual bashing that I was accustomed to giving her that’s certain.

We started a nice talk, Potter started explaining how her parents were dentists, some type of muggle doctor that fixed your teeth. Something that made me very curious, I knew some spells that could do that, but it's very hard to perform these on yourself.

Her parents seemed delighted that I had shown an interest in them and I guess that they didn't expect that from me which gave the impression that they knew about our history.

Granger in other hand kept most to herself, she added something here and there, but I could see that she was uncomfortable.

So that gave time to see her and I think this was the first time I saw her properly. I mean really look at her for more than one minute before saying something hurtful, and I was surprised by what I saw.

Hermione Granger is a brilliant witch obviously, but also a gorgeous woman.

It was like I was seeing her for the first time.

Her hair still had its signature volume, but she managed to tame enough to fit perfectly with her face, her eyes held a little of gold in a deep sea of brown that didn't seem to have an end while her nose had a couple of freckles on its tip, her lips are plump and held a heart shape form that combined perfectly with the curve of her hips.

I must have been lost in my thoughts for a long time because Potter not so subtlety, nudged my arm trying to catch my attention.

Everyone was looking at me and I had to blinking a couple of time before focusing on the conversation again, I could see Potter's curiosity from the corners of my eyes but chose to ignore.

It wasn't long before a flash of red appeared in the station, and they excused themselves to go greet the Weasley’s.

All except one.

“Not that I don't appreciate your company, but shouldn't you be skipping your way there?” I said nodding my head in their direction.

“We haven’t spoken since the day I broke up with Ginny and I still need to say to them that I’m gay.” He kept running his hand on the base of his neck, something him and Draco had in common when nervous.

“They are your friends and besides that, you saved the whole world Harry you’re entitled to live your life the way it mosts suits you, so if they don’t accept who you truly are. Well, know that we Slytherins take care of or friends.”

I didn’t need to look at him to know he had that stupid smile on his face, the same on he always had when any of us acknowledged the new friendship we’ve formed.

“So just go there already and stop being so dramatic, we already have Draco to fill that particular spot.” That made him laugh loudly, making Granger look over her shoulder with a frown on her face and Weasley to angrily cross his arm, while telling something to her.

“Thanks again Pansy.” He said before going to their encounter.

The train made the first nosy to announce that boarding was allowed and that was accompanied by Blaise and Draco arrival.

“You’re late.” Was the only thing I said before handing my luggage to Blaise and entering the train.

“Sorry, for some reason Malfoy just needed the perfect outfit for the day, and change her six times after.”

“I wanted to be prepared and it wasn't that many times!” I know Draco enough to know in fact was that many times.

We chose the further compartment on the train, very little people walked this far and it was best to stay away from people, the worst part was that it was far from the closest bathroom, so as we approached Hogwarts I had to leave and go change robes.

Seeing myself in the mirror with the Slytherin's colors brought back memories I was not able to handle in that particular moment, so I did my best to push it back as I left the bathroom.

I almost knocked over someone with the door in the way out of the room.

“Sorry.” I said not looking before trying to get past the person. But for some reason she didn't step aside.

Hermione Granger was in front of me with suspicious all over her face. She was already changed in her robes, particularly the one with the long sleeves something that I found strange, it was rather warm.

Before I could say anything she pointed her finger at me, waving it angrily.

“I don't know what type of games you are playing but I want them to stop right now. We've already been through so much, and we don't need whatever you planned.” She ended her speech breathing heavily and I forced myself to not make any rude remarks.

“There are no games Granger, not from me or anyone for that matter.” I said looking at her.

“Do you really expect me to believe that you've had a change of heart? You may be fooling Harry but I know you enough to know that this act it just that, an act. You just want to be on his side now because yours lost.” The dry laugh that left my mouth made her even more angry, I could see that the tip of her nose as well of neck are getting redder.

“Do you?” She seemed confused by my question. “Do you know me at all? Because I know this is the first time we actually talked, besides throwing insults at each other, and it’s my fault really. The thing is Granger is that I never had a change of heart, the only thing that changed is that now I can be myself and not the part of me that was expected and allowed by my family standard.” I signed sadly and wasn't able to stop a tiny smile.

“Potter maybe clueless sometimes, but he knows exactly who I am, probably better than Blaise or Draco.” Her hand went unconsciously to her left arm. “Or even me.”

Taking a deep breath I took a step closer to her, her hand went to her wand and its tip touched my chest.

“I’m sorry for everything I’ve said and done all of these years. I know that this seems empty after all, but I’m truly sorry Hermione and even if you don’t believe in my word, I promise that I have no desire to be that Pansy, she’s dead and gone like everything else.” She didn’t answer after I finished, so I made my way around her to go back to my compartment.

“I still don’t trust you.” I turned around to see she still had her wand pointed at me.

“We both know that Potter can be stubborn, so I gather well be seeing more of each other and I hope I can at least show you that I have no ill intent towards any of you.” I said shrugging. “See you later Granger.”

The last thing I heard from her was a loud annoyed huff and that made me smile.

Chapter Text

At the top of my mind I could describe the various emotions that I've felt when arriving or returning to Hogwarts. The fascination of my first year, the pride of my second, the responsibility of my third, the wariness of my fourth, the infatuation of my fifth, the dread of my sixth and the desperation of my seventh year. All emotions that once enveloped me in a tight embrace, now gave space to a calmness.

This time there was no pressure, no expectations or reputation to uphold. I was here to be me, not to act according to else's views and that thought made smile, a true smile, those who reach your eye and make hard to see, so large that I was afraid my face would split in two.

I turned around and found that Draco did not share the same reaction as me.

“It's gonna be fine Drake, no matter what happens, we are going to be there for each other in a way that we couldn't before.” I held his face in my hands and gave him a kiss on his cheeks. “And if everything goes to shit we just throw Blaise as bait and run like we have fire on our arses.”

“Hey!” Blaise protested as Draco laughed so hard that he's eyes watered, and he had to hold his stomach. My smile got even bigger after that and I didn't even think it was possible.

I pulled them closer to the line for the carriages and my smile dimmed at the sight of the Threstals. The beasts looked more haunting in person than I believed would be.

“You can see them too.” Said a soft voice.

"Hello Luna, how are you?” The carriages stopped, the Threstal next to us turned his dark eyes at me, making me shudder. “And yes, I suppose I can.” I said taking my eyes off the Threstal and looking at her.

She hasn't changed a bit, aside from her hair that now rested on her shoulders, she still had that easy smile on her lips and eyes that seemed to see through your layers.

People could say many things about Luna Lovegood, but at least she was true to herself. It did not matter what other people thought, her ideals and her way of being her, never changed. She didn't adapt to make others happy, she simply let them say their pieces because it did not mean anything and in the end that's all I ever wanted for myself.

It was one of the things that kept me from picking on her, not that I thought that she would retaliate but I just couldn't gather the courage to maybe take that look from her face.

“I'm sorry for your loss.” She said making me shrugg. “Everyone lost something or someone, it's not a big deal.” Before she could say something Potter stopped next to us with Granger and Weasley, who thought it was a nice idea to open his mouth. When it was?

“Typical.” He said with a heavy look on his face. “But what else could you expect from a snake? You lot only care for yourselves, I don't even know I we have to put up with you, your kind should be in Azkaban with the rest.” he spat at me crossing his harm to appear intimidating.

Potter made an attempt to interfere, but I was faster.

“See, as I said everyone lost something. Weasley for example lost his brains, but if he can take a good look maybe he can find it up his ass.” Draco snickered, making Weasley even more angry, his face was turning as red as his hair. “But since that's unlikely to happen, perhaps you should let the more intelligent people form sentences, you don't want to hurt yourself with such big words.” I finished smirking at him.

He made an attempt to pick his wand but Potter stopped him.

“Come on mate, don't do this. We already had enough of it.” He looked Weasley's straight in the face before turning and looking at me.

I raised my hands in surrender and smiled at him.

Granger's face held a frown that only deepened as she watched our interactions.

Blaise chose that moment to remind Potter of their ongoing bet. “If you are quite done, do remember that you owe me a rematch on Wizard's Chess. I will not be the one to help Pansy do her shopping.” I rolled my eyes at him.

“Are you that bad?” I almost jumped out of my skin, Luna as so quietly watching our interactions that I forgot that she was even there.

I could feel my face heathen and Draco was the one to answer her.

“The worst, she dragged me around for hours to buy furniture after she destroyed her house and had the nerve to be pissed of after I begged for a break.” I interfered after that remark.

“Stop being so dramatic Malfoy, we only had started looking at the stores.” Potter took that as opening to add his piece.

“You can't deny that you are the worst at choosing Pansy, you take forever to pick something.” I narrowed my eye at him. “You are one to say it Potter, how much time did you take combing your hair this morning?”

We kept your bickering for quite a while actually, before Granger had enough.

“Can we go Harry?” She said making us look at her, she kept her eyes at Potter but I could see that she was uncomfortable, maybe even angry. It didn't take me long to understand that the look on her face did not show angry but instead showed hurt.

Potter only nodded sheepishly and made his way into the carriage with Granger and Weasley on his toes.

I helped Luna climb the step and followed after with Draco and Blaise.

The ride was awkward, to say at least.

I kept a light talk with Luna about some Nargles and who much she hoped they wouldn't keep stealing her shoes. Not that I believed in them but I didn't see the point on pressing the matter.

Weasley kept talking to Harry hastily, clearly not happy with the odd friendship we made these past months. But what kept bothering me was Granger, her usual questioning personality hadn't shown yet, but she kept her eyes on us.

The only time that I saw her express something was when Weasley said something that I couldn't hear clearly, it made her frown and steal a look at me and then back at Potter who was blushing like a first year. The last thing that she said was that they would talk later and turned her face to look at the lake.

We got close to the castle and Draco slipped his hand in mine dragging my attention to him.

He looked sick and my heart clenched. Of all of us, he was going to be the one target the most. People could only see the son of a Death Eater who followed his father's steps, but couldn't see the boy who had no choice.

All our lives the paths we should follow had already been traced, there wasn't space for questions, for wants, for doubts. Our parents had already chosen our choices before they even knew what to name us. The only thing they left for us was obedience and blind loyalty.

But they are not here, there wasn't any more shadows blocking our eyes. We are free to be the person we want to be, for good or for bad, now it was up to us.

I clenched his hand while Blaise put his on top of ours making me smile.

The Sorting Hat had been right all along.
In Slytherin you'll make your real friends.

Chapter Text

We parted our ways with Harry and the others, saying a brief goodbye to Granger and Weasley, which they returned with a grunt and a nodd. Potter insisted to hug, something that drew glances and whispers from everyone around us, while he smiled at it. Typical.

Luna also hugged me before she left, saying she was happy that the Wrackspurts finally left me be. I still have no idea what an Wrackspurt is but I still smiled back at her.

Looks of disgust accompanied us as we entered the great hall and walked to the Slytherin table. Many of the returning Slytherins kept to themselves, avoiding the crowds looks.

I could see Nott and Daphne sitting right in the middle, a spot once upon a time reserved for us, but that didn’t matter. Goyle was there too, sitting next to Nott and looking out of place without his counterpart. Bulstrode, Davis, Bletchley and a couple of others are scattered around the table with their head down, but that soon changed when they saw us.

We took our places at the end of the table with as much pride as we could gather, facing the rest of the houses with our heads high. Their judgmental eyes and aggressive stance was expected, but what made me furious was their hypocrisy. Acting as if only Slytherins had part in the Dark Lord uprising and never once doubting their fellow colleagues, those whose face I knew very well.

They avoided my stare when I caught a glimpse of their attempt to blend in. I snorted and stood even more prideful. Say what you want about us, but at least we are facing things head on and not deceivingly trying to blend in as one of the “good” guys.

The great hall doors finally closed and McGonagall stood from the faculty table.

“Welcome the new and the old that now return, another year full of magical education awaits you. Today we start a new term and a new chapter in Hogwarts history, one that many of you took part in the past months, for good or for bad please remember that Hogwarts will always be here to welcome you home.

With that in mind changes will take place!

1 - No type of prejudice will be tolerated. All students are welcomed, never mind their heritage, their house or their actions in the fight against the Dark Lord. The ministry already did their job of judging those who needed judgment and is not up to us to go against their decision. That being said, the punishment for this will be expulsion.

2 - The house point system is still in place. Your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. Keep in mind that these apply to your behavior towards your fellow students.

3 - Violence between students is only permitted in a duel and will be severely punished otherwise.

4 - The Forbidden forest is off limits and students are not allowed to enter without the company of a professor…”

Her speech kept going for sometime and I was starting to lose focus when her last change made the hall roar with disapproval.

“...And last but not least, the returning 7th years will be sharing a common room. Your house rooms will be connected to it and well encourage inter house interaction.
The last war showed us that it server us no good holding to old prejudices and segregations, so I pledge that you show the younger students that we can stand united as one.” I repeated that several times in my head while the Headmistress called for silence and made her last move.

A table appeared out of thin air in the middle of the great hall, just as big as the one we are currently sitting on.

“The returning year will be sitting here for now on.” The hall went wild again and I could feel myself sweat between my fingers. “Silence! I understand that many of you don’t think this is fair, but all that happened these past years could have been avoided if we started cutting old traditions by its root. So I pledge you to try, maybe you'll be surprised with what you find.”

No one dared to say anything or made any sort of move to stand up and sit on this new table. Every house kept looking to see who was going to be breaking an unspoken rule. And I was not surprised when I heard a loud commotion, followed by determined footsteps, in my mind I already knew whom that belonged to, but I still had hope as I lowered myself in the table, trying to blend in with the crowd.

A foolish attempt because it didn’t stop at all the owner of those steps as he shouted from his place at the new table.

“Come on Pansy! You too Draco and Blaise, we still have to catch up on your trip to the Diagon Alley, I must know how much time it took Pansy to find a new set of cauldrons even if she already knew exactly what she wanted to buy in the first place.” My face was on fire I was sure of it. I could feel the heat that spread to my body as the idiot kept babbling about nonsense.

I stole a look at Draco and Blaise, just to see that they are frozen in their places, eye wild as they watched all of the houses looking at us.

“Don’t make me go there you guys I’m already comfortable and I can keep going for as long as I want. Oh! Pansy did you finally got rid of that stain on your couch from when w-” I jumped out of my seat before he could say anything else.

“That’s enough Potter, Merlin’s beard! We are coming just calm your bloody tits.” I shouted at him earning a reprimand from the Headmistress which I was wise enough say sorry to.

Grabbing Draco and Blaise on my way by their arms and dragging them were that idiot was seated. I practically shoved then in the bench before sitting right in front of Potter.

“I bloody hate you, I hope you know that.” He had the nerve of laughing at me and kept that stupid smile on his face.

“No you don’t, I know you can’t confirm anything with Draco being so dramatic but I know I’m your favorite.” He finished that with a smug face and before I could say anything Blaise seemed to finally unfroze and jumped to fight Potter on who was a bigger idiot.

“Please Potter don’t hurt yourself, we all know that I’m Pansy’s favorite and I don’t even know why we are sparing Draco’s feelings he’s not even in the third place. That spot is held by Pansy’s new love of that muggle’s food, pizza if I remember well what’s is called.”
Draco chose that moment to come back and join their little game.

“I hope you all choke with the pie you traitors.” I sneered at them, which they responded with more laughter, making me roll my eyes. So much for respect.

Every student on that hall held the same expression, their eye wild and their mouths open. None of them expecting our friendship.

The food was summoned a little after our commotion and a couple of 7th years began to join our table. Luna as one of them, and even if she didn’t need because of her grade, she still took the seat right next to me and began to eat some pie that was in the feast.

But I was too nervous to eat, each student that entered the table kept their distant from us, throwing looks of suspicion. Grangers voice pulled me from my surroundings and made me look straight at her.

She seemed to be having an argument with Weasley, probably about Potter’s going mental and calling us to sit with him.

He had one of her arms in his hand and that bothered me, I could hear she asking for him to let go but he kept pressing on the matter. After a while she was finally able to free herself and turned around just to catch my eye on her.

She stood still for a couple of minutes before she raised an eyebrow at me and walking towards us, taking a seat next to Potter who smiled even bigger and thanked her for it.

My eyes followed her every move, just to stop when she met my gaze.

“Granger, nice to see you again.” I said.

“Parkinson.” She said while the usual frown returned to her face. Seeing that I was not going to be the one to break our little stare contest she huffed angrily once again making me smile and deepening her frown before rolling her eyes. “Pass the damn turkey.” She finally said while crossing her arms.

Which I did with a smirk and repeated that action with several other plates, she was testing how far I would go and I was not going to lose, so I complied and handed all the food she asked for. Which in return just made her even more angry and confused at my lack of bite.

The rest of the dinner went by without major problems. Weasley chose to remain at the Gryffindor table and kept glaring the whole night, I was actually a little impressed with his ability to shove food in his mouth and still glare.

It was finally time to go the common room and I was dreading that moment.

We followed Professor Slughorn through the hallway, only to stop by the new wall with all of the Hogwarts Headmasters/Headmistress paintings.

The paintings of Dumbledore's and Snape opened together, showing a huge room with all of the houses colors.

I watched Draco eye Dumbledore's painting, whom in return just smiled warmly at him.

The students began to enter and we followed after. There was big couches scattered through the room, a big table like the ones used in the library, several sets of love seats and pillows next to the fireplace.

I was so busy admiring it that I didn't notice that a semi-circle formed around the Slytherin's, not until Blaise touched my shoulder.

Here we go, I thought as I crossed my arms and stared at them.

Chapter Text

At the top of my mind I couldn’t think of ever been through this type of situation, well not at least by the people who should be my allies.

Parkinson and the other Slytherin’s were cornered by the other houses the moment the portrait’s closed.

The majority of the students had angry expressions, I could see some of them with their wands in hand, ready for the fight that would probably come.

Ron made a pleased sound next to me, puffing his chest with a smile in his face. While Harry was tense, looking between Parkinson and the other students.

I could feel myself reacting to his reaction, I was doing quite a lot since the day he gave me Parkinson’s tracking potion. The thought of her made me turn my attention to them.

She was in the middle, flanked by Malfoy and Zabini, I was almost expecting them to be mirroring the aggressive stance that the other students had, but the more I studied them, the more I could see that they didn’t look frazzled by it. In fact, they looked almost bored, as if expecting this type of reception.

“So? Are you gonna stay there huffing and puffing or there's a purpose to this?” She said with her arms crossed and a smirk, one that I was very familiar with. I was surprised when I felt myself relax, I didn’t even notice that I was tense. But after so many unusual behaviors, I was glad to see a reaction that I could understand, that I could rely on.

There was a moment of silence before a Hufflepuff boy, Bagby I think, took a step towards them. “Don't think that you're welcomed here, McGonagall maybe keen to forgiveness, but we know your true nature, and we will not be tricked.”

Parkinson huffed in return. “It's that all then?” She said taking a step forward to the stairs that led to the Slytherin part of the bedrooms, only to be stopped by a Ravenclaw that pointed his wand at her, it's tip touching her chest.

Harry broke the barrier standing in the middle of the circle, ready to defend her again. That action was just so out of character that I still couldn't comprehend.

Parkinson kept her posture rigid and her eyes in the Ravenclaw boy while Harry tried to calm down both of the sides. The Slytherin's are not taking lightly Parkinson being threatened, Malfoy and Zabini had dark expressions with their wands now in hand.

But a crunching sound followed by a screech caught everyone's by surprise. My head snapped to the direction of the sound just to see Parkinson holding the pieces of the wand that once was pointed to her chest.

She proceeded to trust the pieces in the boys hands. “I hope you are aware to where you can shove it.” She sneered at him.

The boy, Saunders I believe it was his last name, was frozen in his spot with eyes wide open and chin quivering.

“You bloody snake! You broke my wand! I'm going to the Headmistress, I will have you expelled!” He yelled at her while waving his arms in the air.

Then she smirked and I felt again my body relaxing to the familiarity.

“Go on them, nobody is stopping you mate. I'm sure McGonagall will love to hear all about you pointing your wand to someone who hasn't raised theirs to you.” She finished shrugging and walking past Saunders with the rest of the Slytherin house in her trail.

Harry for a moment looked like he was going to follow them as if it was the natural thing to do, until Malfoy pulled his attention.

“I don't think we will need rescuing today.” He said laughing while touching Harry's arm. Since when they touch each other?

“Yeah, I think Pansy's got this one Potter, see you later.” Zabini with humor in his voice.

My discomfort came back fast, everything was so confusing. In the past I could rely on my instincts to help me analyze and predict to a certain point, what the other person would do based on my observations alone.

But now, I was lost.

This situation if happened a couple of months ago I would know what type of pathway they would've followed.

Parkinson would have raised her wand, while saying something hurtful and elitist with Malfoy and Zabini backing up her, as well the other Slytherin's. Then Harry and Ron would be the firsts to try to defend the rest of the other houses.

But now Parkinson was the one keeping the conversation civil, at least to some extent, while Malfoy and Zabini only stood there waiting, practically bored by the situation.

And Harry…

Harry was at the front line, trying to protect her, protect them.

I'm proud of my intelligence, my hunger for knowledge was what kept us alive for so long. But no book that I've read prepared me to the inconstancy of this situation and I never enjoyed unpredictability.

My thoughts are interrupted by Harry, he seemed worried and I didn't quite understand at first, but one glance at the common room and I saw why. Almost everyone already retired for the night.

“Is everything alright?” He asked. His tone showed concern, but also had a trace of dread, maybe predicting a fight between us.

I only hummed in return. My head was still spinning trying to make some sense of what was happening.

“Well, I'm going to sleep then. Are you sure that you are ok?” the concern in his voice more prominent.

Before I could say anything Ron made that choice for me, increasing my bad mood.

“She already said that she is fine Harry, why don't you go to your snake friends and make sure that they fine too? You seem to be very concerned about them nowadays, never mind the fact that they almost bloody killed us.” he said while shoving Harry, who in return just rolled his eyes at Ron and turned to me waiting for my answer.

“I'm fine Harry and that's enough Ronald, there's no reason to start a fight.” I walked past them and sat down in one of the couches that was in front of the fireplace.

“Well Goodnight then.” I only nodded in return, closing my eyes and making myself comfortable. Today was a long day and I just wanted to relax a little.

Obviously that wasn't going to happen because Ron thought that it was the perfect time to throw a fit about Harry's new relationship with the Slytherin trio.

“Did you see that? He bloody acted like I was not even there. I tell you, Parkinson charmed him, must be, or he wouldn't be acting like this!” I decided that the best course to this conversation was to simply give him the answers he wanted, otherwise he was not going to leave me be.

“Already tested for that when he told me about it, used every spell that could break outside influence and made him drink a counter potion to the ones that were left. His clean and it seems that his friendship with them is willingly.” I still kept my eyes closed with the hope he would finally catch a clue and leave.

But being aware of others emotions was not one of Ron's gifts. So of course he stayed and to my surprise, tried to put his hands on me.

“What in Merlin’s name are you doing!?” I said shoving his hand away and looking at his face, he had the nerve to look confused by my reaction.

“What's look like Hermione? I'm trying to snog my girlfriend what else?” He replied, his face starting to become red.

I stared him in disbelief.

“Girlfriend? Are you insane? We are no longer dating Ronald Weasley! I told you that much the day I left, alone mind I tell you, to look for my parents.”

He at least had the decency to look ashamed. “Well, yes but you found them. So I thought that we are good to go again!”

Now I was angry. Jumping from my seat and turned to him pointing my finger to his face.

“How dare you!? I was not in some vacation, so don't speak as if I was just going away for the summer. I was gone searching for my family something that I made very clear that was important to me and that never mattered to you.” I was starting to raise my voice but I didn't care anymore.
“I'm only good to you when I'm fitting your views of a relationship, otherwise I'm only throwing an unnecessary fit.” He made a move to get up but I shoved him back down and that surprised him.

“No now you will listen to me Ronald, I stayed a month in the Burrow nursing you while you mourned Fred's death. Doing everything for you, from your food to your laundry and when the time came for me to count on you to do the same thing, you kept postponing until I couldn't take anymore and when I confronted you about it, you did what you always do, you play the victim, you try to turn things around, twisting my words and making me feel like an ass for thinking about what I want.

I mean, my boyfriend refused to help me because he didn't think that my needs are just as important as his, but the girl who always hated me and tried to kill our best friend took the actual time of her day to provide me with the means to find my parents.”

I took a deep breath before finishing my speak. A calm wave took hold of me making me more confident.

“The thing is that's not how a relationship should base on. I want to be heard, took care of it and supported just as much and you can't give it to me, that's something I understood after 2 weeks of waiting for you to turn up or sending an owl to say that you are coming for me.” I smiled sadly.

“You are many things Ron, but above all then you are selfish and I don't see you changing any time soon.” I stopped for a second to lock my eyes on his face. “And to be quite honest I don't want to wait for it. So I was seriously when I said we are done, I hope you understand and don't make things unnecessarily harder because you are one of my best friends, no matter what happened between us, that is not something that will change.”

I waited some time and for that time I actually thought that he was going to be mature and understand what I just said. But once again I hoped for something that he couldn't give me.

His face went to a deep red and this time I didn't stop him from getting up.

“What in Merlin’s beard Parkinson give it to you? And why did you even accept? It could be a curse or something like that. It's Pansy Bloody Parkinson you should-”

“Stop! If after all that I said, that was the part that you focused on then just go Ron, I'm tired and my decision was made. We are done.” I took a step back and pointed for him to leave.

Something that he did while shoving of his way every furniture, until he reached the stairs, for a moment he stopped. Muttering a 'whatever' before disappearing upstairs.

I don't know how much time I stayed curled in that couch crying, but the next thing I know is that there was something close to me, something that expelled a warmth and had a sweet smell.

As I opened my eyes there stood, right in front of me. A hot chocolate levitating in the air with a note.

“I always enjoy a hot sweet beverage after a rough night, maybe you will too.

Pansy Parkinson.

P.S.1: It's not poisoned.
P.S.2: If you don't believe just wake Potter and make him drink it, this is the reason he gained those extra pounds.
P.S.3: Don't tell him that I said that.”

I couldn’t stop the corners of my mouth lifting up and smiling a little.

A noise behind me caught my attention as I sipped the drink, in time to see Parkinson leaving through the portrait’s. That made me frown, I checked the time and it was 04:30 in the morning. What she could possible have to do so early?

That thought stayed in my mind, but I was too comfortable to do something about it.
The hot chocolate combined with a gray blanket that I now notice that was covering me and the fireplace just made want to sink further in that cocoon of comfort, warmth and the smell of lavender.

Chapter Text

Woke up later in that morning, the common room was starting to fill with students, so I hurried myself to change before I was late for breakfast.

When I came down Harry was there waiting for me, perhaps Ron was still in a bad mood after last night or just late, but he hasn't there.

“Good morning Hermione, ready for breakfast?” He looked happy, maybe a little too much actually. I noticed that he kept twisting his fingers nervously and was avoiding my eyes.

I rolled my eyes at him.

Fought Death Eaters and Voldemort himself, but Merlin forbid he has to deal with any type of emotional response.

“Yes, come on Harry or else we will be late.” I said pulling him by his robes.

The walk to the Great Hall was filled with greetings. Almost every single person said 'hi' or nodded acknowledging us, even going as far as asking for our autographs, it was a bit disconcerting. I was not used to this, obviously I saw the treatment Harry received for years, but actually receiving the same one was unnerving.

From the corners of my eyes I could see Harry trying gather some courage to talk to me. It was nice to see that he was going back to being himself. After the war and the counting of deaths I saw him spiraling with sadness and a guilt that wasn't his, but now things seemed to be better. I just couldn't decide if it was just something that happened or if Parkinson had something to do about it, maybe Ginny even, but that was unlikely since he broke up with her.

“Just ask Harry, you don't need to keep walking on eggshells around me, we both know that I'm going to interrogate you soon enough, so why don't you go first?” I said with a tease smile while linking or arms and bumping my shoulder on his.

He exhaled in relief. “Yeah, I know that you're going to lose any time soon and demand answers. I'm surprised that you're able to hold your curiosity for so long.” That earned him a slap, which just made him laugh a little before becoming serious again.

“Well, last night I saw Ron entering the boys room, he didn't look very happy and when I asked if everything was alright he just told me to piss of. So I'm wondering if you two had a fight after I left.” His cheeks are pink with embarrassment.

Harry wasn't very good it words or feelings, and tried to avoid both, but here he was trying. Another thing that changed after the war, he was more confident and wasn't trying to blend in with the crowd, he seemed to have found himself and that made me smile. Seeing him struggle through the years trying to be as normal as anyone else was difficult to say at least, with all that usually happened every time the term began he never really had that option.

“He just had to be reminded that we are not together anymore, something he didn't think it I was serious about.”

“Wait you guys broke up, when?” He stopped walking, he was really surprised by the information. I should have thought that Ron wouldn't tell him or anyone about our breakup.

“Before I left to look for my parents, I kept asking him to come with me and help, but my needs aren't in his priority, so I decided that I’ve had enough. Thought that at least he would have said something to you, but your reaction is answer enough.” I started to pull him again to the Great hall. “And before you say anything, I'm fine with this decision it was the right one to make.”

The hall was already filled with students and I directed us to the Gryffindor table, greeting Ginny and the others.

Harry engaged in a conversation about quidditch with Ginny, and they seemed fine, despite the end of their relationship. I wish I could say the same about me and Ron, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Not so long after, Harry got up announcing he was going to eat his breakfast at the union table and asked if we would like to go with him. That spread a silence.

“I know it's awkward and many of you don't think that some people deserve to be here, but this type of segregation is what made the war possible. If we don't take the first step to break the circle, we are bound to repeat it.” He finished his speech looking at the returning 7th year.

I knew that he was right, but forgiving it's not an easy thing to do.

Neville was the first to rise, followed by a reluctant Dean who pulled a not so happy Seamus. “We trust you Harry.” Said Neville, while Dean nodded along.

“It's the snakes that we don't.” Seamus added with a sneer, which earned him a shove from Dean. “Bloody Hell, fine we will try it out ok mate?”

They left after that, but Harry was still waiting for the remaining 7th year to manifest itself, but the others just avoided his eyes.

He let out a sigh, and turned to me.

I raised my eyebrow at him and gathered my things. “An explanation better be on the way Harry James Potter, because I’m reaching my limit.”

Laughing was his first answer before putting his arm around my shoulders and guiding me to the table.

“Trust me Hermione, stick long enough, and they will come naturally.” He added which earned him a slap in his stomach. “Or I will just do that any time you want I guess.”

Rolling my eye at him I focused myself on the table.
There was actually a good amount of people sitting, and after last night it was kind of surprising.

“Come on Hermione they are over there.” I looked at the direction that he was pointing, and I could see Malfoy and Zabini seated, but no Parkinson. Perhaps she wasn’t back from where ever she went this morning.

We took our seats right in front of them.

“Draco, Blaise, how are you? And where’s Pansy? Still sleeping?” Harry asked while helping himself with some breakfast.

“Good morning Potter, Granger.” Malfoy greeted back.

“Good and how about you two? No she’s not, I believe she still not back yet.” Zabini added from behind a sample of the Daily Prophet.

Malfoy snickered at that. “I bet a Sickle that she got herself lost.”

“I’m in.” Zabini said lowering his paper.

“Well I guess we are going to find out soon enough, here she comes.” Harry announced.

Parkinson was walking as fast as she could with the amount of things she was trying to carry. Her hair looked wet and messy, her clothes are crooked and even her tie was out of place.

I never thought I would be seeing Pansy Parkinson looking so, well human I guess.

“See I told you, just stay close and all will be answered.” Harry said in my ear startling me, I guess my expressions betrayed me and I wasn’t able to hide my surprise at the weird sight of a ‘normal’ Pansy.

Not that I could be blamed for, she never once looked any less them proper in all these years.

She dropped herself in the seat next to Malfoy with a loud thud, taking a moment to catch her breath.

“Well, good morning to you too Miss Parkinson, we almost though we would have to send a search party for you. What happened, did you got yourself lost?” Malfoy teased which earned him the sight of Pansy’s middle finger.

“Fuck off Draco, I didn’t get lost.” She replied while trying to groom herself. “I stopped on a tree after my run and fell a sleep on it.”

Harry laughed while Malfoy passed a Sickle to Zabini, looking sour for losing their bet.

“How wonderful, I’m glad that you too are having fun betting at my cost.” She huffed.

“That’s what you did after leaving the common room this morning Pansy? Running?” They are caught by surprise by the sound of my voice, I guess they didn’t think that I would be addressing them at all.

She took a moment to gather herself before continuing her task. “Yeah, I had another nightmare and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I thought that running would help, which it did just not how I was expecting.” She finished saying while rolling her eyes.

I was surprised by how easy it was to get my answer, part of me expected some type of fight from her part.

“Just take the potion Pansy, I don’t see the point of having a crap night if it can be solved.” Zabini said rubbing his temple, I guess this was something they had discussed many times before.

“I’ve already said that I don’t like taking Dreamless Sleep, just feels wrong and I end up waking just as tired for some reason.” She said shrugging.

Before Zabini could argue with that, Luna literally skipped over to us.

“Hello everyone!”

“Hello Luna.” We said back.

“It’s wonderful to see such happy faces in this fine morning.” She added with smile in a very Luna way which just made more funny because Malfoy was still pouting about his silly bet and Pansy looked like a mess.

Turning her attention to Pansy, she pulled a thick black notebook. “Here you forgot this when you left in a hurry, the nargles almost took it.”

Pansy reached fast for the notebook. “Merlin’s beard, I didn't even notice that I had left behind! You're a lifesaver Luna, thank you.”

“You're welcome.” She said with the same smile and stayed still just looking at us for a couple of minutes, making it awkward.

Malfoy poked Pansy's ribs and whispered for her to say something.

I could swear that she was embarrassed when she finally understood what he was saying.

“Well, would you like to eat with us?” Red was starting to color her checks. I was more than impressed by the display of emotions that they are giving, there wasn't anymore arrogance or elitism.

“Oh! Thank you but I'm going to be seating with Ginny today.” Luna replied, but made no movement to leave, she now stared at Pansy which made the red reach the tip of her ears.

All of a sudden Luna reached forward for Pansy's neck with both of her hands, making her flinch with the unexpected movement.

For our surprise Luna's just adjusted Pansy's tie and left our table saying goodbye.

We all stayed still not quite understanding what just had happened, but when we looked between us trying to find an answer, we reached to the same conclusion.

“It's Luna.” We said at the same time and laughed a little.

I was quite surprised to be having a nice time with them, something Harry seemed proud of. From the corners of my eyes I could see Harry trying to hide his smug face.

A huge noise came from the Slytherin table and Daphne Greengrass was walking fast to our direction with what it seemed to be a confused Nott tailing after her.

“For Salazar’s sake, what now?” Pansy ran her hand through her hair, that action made her look older than she was, tired even.

“Lovegood, really? That's what you went for? Don't you have any piece of pride left? Couldn't you choose someone else to snog?” Greengrass practically screamed at Pansy angrily.

“Bloody hell Daphne, what nonsense is this? What do you mean Parkinson is snogging Lovegood, is she queer?” Nott asked in a mocking tone after catching up with her.

Every student was paying attention to them. Greengrass, for her part seemed to remember where we are and her expression changed from angry to apologetic.

Parkinson in other hand had a cold one in her face. Her eyes are sharp and for a moment I remembered the little girl who made nasty remarks about people.

She looked like she was going to do just that, but Harry's voice caught her attention.

“Don't do it Pansy, she's not worth it.” He seemed worried.

Malfoy and Zabini are tense and looked on the verge of jumping his seats.

I turned my eyes back on her just in time to see her taking a deep breath before addressing the couple.

“Hello to you Daphne, a fine morning isn't?” She said with a smile that didn't reach her eyes. “I'm good thanks for asking, as for your other inquiries. Well although I don't agree to your tone because Luna's a delightful person, I'm not snogging her and if I was it is none of your damn business.” Her tone was calm but I could see she was holding herself back.

“And to answer you Nott, yes I'm. Now if the two of you could leave. I would like to finish my breakfast.” She then took her seat and started to serve herself.

I was unsure of what to do, I definitely wasn't expecting this turn of events when I followed Harry here.

Greengrass made an attempt to speak, but Malfoy cut her. “I think is best for you to leave Daphne, before I say something you are not going to like.”

She went white and muttered some apologize before dragging Nott back to their table.

The whole hall exploded with whispers.

I wasn't sure what to say and the others didn't either.

“At least she's hot mate, I mean she could have you paired with Bulstrode.” Seamus said with a frown.

Pansy actually laughed at that remark, really laughed, followed by Zabini, Malfoy and even Harry, which was confusing because although it was a funny thing to say, it wasn't that funny.

Zabini seemed to notice my confusion and explained.

“Bulstrode actually tried to snog Pansy in our 5th year.” He said between his laughs. “She had to sleep in our dorms for 3 whole months because she was afraid of her.”

“Of course I was, I caught her staring at me sleeping right beside my bed. It almost scared me to death!”

That broke the ice between the groups, Pansy and Seamus started talking about the ways of performing some type of fire spell while Neville and Zabini shared their interest in herbology.

It was a surreal situation.

Harry bumped his shoulder in mine, dragging my attention. “See not so bad after all.”

“It's always like this?” I asked looking at the trio that was unlikely getting along with the others.

“Most of the time, is quite overwhelming the first time, but it gets better. You should join us for a tea party at 18 o'clock on the room of requirements, I think you will find it very enlightening.” He said with a secret smile, damn him and his knowledge of how badly curious I was.

“Shut up Harry and eat your food before it gets cold.” I said while he laughed at my spend.

I was pondering about everything that had happened in the small-time we are here and I had to agree with Harry. Perhaps I just had to be there to get the answers that I wanted.

Stealing a look at Pansy I came across a sudden realization.

Since when I call her Pansy?

Chapter Text

At the top of my mind I couldn't think of a time when I felt anything but love for Daphne.

I still remember the first time we kissed, the first time we slept together, the first time we said I love you. So many firsts that counting seemed impossible, but I guess this will be a new one, because love is far from my mind right now, and after so many years of imagining how would be when we are finally free to be together, the reality left a bitter taste in my mouth, one that I tried to mask with some toast and pumpkin juice, but the taste just got stronger, like the tears that are threatening to leave my eyes.

A hand on my knee caught me of guard and made me jump slightly in my seat. Draco looked apologetic about that.

His hand was cold and sweaty, making me wonder if his action was to comfort me or himself.

I interlocked our fingers and smiled at him, trying to pass as much of security that I could.

The whispers are accompanied by the pointing, and the pointing by the staring. Usually this wouldn't bother me, but being a lesbian has been such a troubled part of my life that even though I don't feel ashamed, it’s still hard dealing with what other people think about, and she knew that, but once again my feelings are not a priority.

Breakfast was soon over and just then I noticed that Weasley hadn't shown his face. Perhaps that had something to do to with Granger sleeping in the couch last night and why she looked like she'd cried?

I stole a quick glance at her, she seemed lost in her thoughts as she munched a piece of bacon.

Taking my eyes away and running it through the hall, it just reminded me about how nervous I was and the amount of people in the hall was not helping.

I decided to distract myself by taking a moment to see what classes I had first, stalling so the majority of the students could leave.

Worked so well that I didn’t notice that the boys had already gotten up and left for theirs.

Rolling my eyes, I noticed that Granger was just was distracted as me and also looking at her timetable.

“What do you have first?” I asked surprising her.

She looked around noticing that we are the only ones left on the table and it was her turn to roll her eyes.

She then looked back at me answering. “Runes.”

“Oh! Me too.” I replied.

There was a pause between us, I didn't know exactly what to say after that, and she was just as uncomfortable.

“So, do you want to walk together?” I grimaced when I noticed how pathetic I sounded.

I’m glad that the boys are not here or I would not hear the end of it.

She stayed silent staring at me, and I was ready for a negative, so much that I almost didn’t register her answer.

“Sure.”

Walking side by side Granger was a very uncomfortable experience, besides the fact that we never had this type of relationship, the amount of people that greeted her as we passed was absurd.

Some of them ignored my presence, while others had the guts to ask if she was alright or if she need any help.

The woman helped defeat the Dark Lord himself, but had to be protected from me. It was bloody ridiculous.

Rolling my eyes I shoved my hands in the pockets of my pants to keep me from doing something stupid. She was kind enough to give this a chance and I wasn't going to allow my temper to get the best of me.

From the corners of my eyes I could see that she was starting to get bothered too and for reasons that I couldn't quite understand I wanted to remedy that.

We still had a couple of minutes to spare, so I made a change in our path.

“Here, let's take this passage.” I said nodding to the hall in our left.

She frowned and hesitated a little before following me through.

“Why did we come this way? The hall we are in was a straight line to the classroom.” She looked genuinely confused and I just shrugged.

“I thought it would be a nice break from your fans, you didn't seem to enjoy the attention that much.” I replied.

I heard her steps stopping. “Is that so? Or perhaps you just didn't want people to see you after the hole drama with Daphne Greengrass?” I winced a little at the mention of Daphne's name.

Turning to face her I could see how defensive her stance was.

She had her arms crossed and her nostrils flared, her hair looked like it was dancing wildly on her shoulders and for a moment I found myself wondering if it was as soft was it looked.

Blinking myself back to the present I raised my hands in surrender.

“Calm down Granger I'm not trying anything, I just thought that you would appreciate a break from all that.” I gestured at the direction we came.

“It's not your place to assume what I want or not, so next time try asking first.” Part of me wanted to make a sassy remark about the fact that she chose to follow me, but I decided to not push her buttons on this moment.

So I just nodded in agreement. “Of course, I am sorry for the way that I handled. I was just trying to help, truly and if you prefer we can go back there.”

Her stance visibly relaxed and I felt myself releasing a breath that I didn't know I was holding.

“I don't need to be handled.” She narrowed her eyes. “Let's just go.” She walked past me. “And thank you it was actually starting to bother me.” This last part she said almost in a whisper while putting some of her hair behind her ear, it was kind of cute.

I shoved my hand back in my pockets nervously, this day was already stressful enough without my hormones going crazy.

So nodding and letting her lead the way we fell in a comfortable silence, which I was grateful.

All the seats have already been taken when we arrived, all except for one at the back of the class.

The prospect of sharing a table with Granger didn't bother me, but I've seen the way she looked and reacted to my, well our presence, she was uncomfortable to say at least and I didn't want to deal with that right now.

I tried to find some Slytherin that I could perhaps sit with, but every single one of them turned their faces the moment that they caught my eyes.

“Bloody traitors.” I angrily whispered while walking to the table and taking a seat.

Granger's also tried to see if there was a seat elsewhere that she could take, but came to the realization that we are stuck together.

Class was dragging and I had forgotten how Runes could be monotonous.

I had my head down on my arms and had charmed my pen to write by itself, something Granger didn't like very much given the way she was glaring at it and then at me from time to time.

A yawn left my mouth and that earned me a kick in the shin.

“Bloody hell.” I exclaimed, perhaps a little too high, catching people's attention.

Straightening myself up I made sure to glare at her, which in return just made her smirk.

The class was soon over.

Gathering my things I pondered if I should say anything to her before leaving. It was such a normal thing to be doing, but given our history it just seemed foreign.

Taking a deep breath I tried to not seem so nervous as I talked. “Thanks for walking with me Granger.” I said. “See you around.” and left for my next class.

I ignored the whispers that accompanied me through the day. The fact that the role school new about me should be my primary focus, but weirdly enough that was not the case.

Granger was. For some reason I couldn't help but act like an idiot in her presence.

Draco and Blaise are already waiting for me when I arrived at the seventh floor, and I was relieved to have someone to talk to.

“You want her to see you for you, not the brat that you used to be.” Blaise said after I shared my thoughts.

We had just entered the room of requirements and I had thrown myself in one of the giant pillows on the floor finally relaxing.

“That's so bloody ridiculous that makes sense.” I said frowning. “It just bothers me to be constantly reminded that I was a shitty person and that's all I will probably be forever.”

I knew I was being dramatic, but today was an emotional day and I had the right to be dramatic.

“Forget about that, shouldn't you be worried about the repercussions of Daphne's jealous? Several Slytherins came to us to see if you are really snogging Lovegood.” Draco snorted.

Rolling my eyes I just waved him out. “Why should I be concerned? There's no one left in my family to disapprove anything that I do.” I sneered, my eyes threatening to release the tears I've been holding back. “Besides I could do a lot worse than Luna, she’s actually a really nice company, aside from all the Nargle stuff.”

“Better than Daphne that’s certain, I’ve always said that-” Blaise started saying but Draco and I interrupted him.

“You deserve better than Greengrass.” We said in unison, bursting into giggles.

We kept bickering between ourselves until the door opened and Potter came in.

“Finally Potter, I thought we would have to start without you.” I said lazily.

“Sorry guys, I had some convincing to do.” He said and turned to look at him.

There stood Hermione Granger, with her dancing hair and arms crossed.

“I hope that’s ok.” Potter said with the most unapologetic look in his face.

“You didn't ask them beforehand? You and I well have a talk about this later Harry Potter, but right now I want to know what in Merlin’s name is happening between the four of you.” She said pointing her finger to each of us.

Bastard, he did this on purpose, we are trapped in the room of requirements with the brightest witch of our age and it seemed that we wouldn't leave before giving her answers.

I just groaned and sank deeper into the giant pillow I was in.

“Oh grow up Parkinson and sit straight.” Great, Just great. I thought rolling my eyes.

Chapter Text

We didn't quite know where to start, the whole situation was uncomfortable, I mean it took weeks before we fully relaxed enough around Potter to be able to talk about things and now we had to do that process in one afternoon.

I could see Granger starting to lose her patience at every passing moment, and I didn’t want to deal with that again.

I got up and I could feel her eyes following my movements.

“Where are you going?” She asked as soon as I started walking.

“To get us some bloody tea.” I replied while rolling my eyes at her attitude.

The boys snickered at the mention of tea and that made me smirk, is these moments that remind me that we are still Slytherin’s, and as such we are entitled to have a little fun at somebody else's expense.

I closed my eyes and waited for the room's response, and that didn’t take long to happen.

The familiar set brought a smile on my face, the rush of memories made my eyes fill with tears so fast that I had to take a deep breath to compose myself. This has been an emotional day, and I can’t wait for it to end.

“Come on Pansy, a cup of tea would do wonders right now.” Blaise called.

Rolling my eyes I took the set to where we are seated.

“Potter why don't you do the honors?” I said, making him tense. Blaise and Draco had smirks on their faces, and I was controlling mine.

“Well you are closer Pansy an-” He started saying trying to weasel his way out.

“Non sense I insist!” I said cutting him of and sliding it closer to him.

He tried once again and this time Granger was the one to stop him.

“For Merlin’s sake, I will pour the bloody tea.” She exclaimed.

Now, I could not have predicted a better outcome. So I just smiled and gestured to her to go ahead.

She then leaned forward to start serving it and I couldn't stop myself from staring at her bottom.

That took me by surprise, making me sit straight so fast that she even turned for a moment to see what was going on. Which I just ignored.

I could see Draco and Blaise from the corners of my eyes, and from the looks on their faces, I would never see the end of it.

So I gathered the little dignity that I had left and gave them the finger.

“Now, Now Pansy, don't be an ass.” Blaise said smirking. Bastard.

By that time Draco was laughing and even Potter, who I thought was oblivious of the situation.

“Did I miss something?” Granger asked, clearly losing the little patience that she had.

“No!” I said so fast that just made them laugh harder. “They are just being bloody idiots, can we drink?”

She took a moment to analyze me, but choose not to press the matter, and I couldn't be more thankful.

We each took a cup.

“Cheers!” The three of us said and proceeded to drink.

The firewhisky filled my senses and I felt more at ease, but that same thing can’t be said about Granger, she was coughing uncontrollably and got up so suddenly, that Potter and I did too in reflex.

“Is this some kind of joke? Did you bring me here just to pull a prank on me? I could expect this from them, but not from you Harry!” She trusted the cup in Potter’s hand and turned to leave, with one hand trying to sooth her burning throat.

She looked so hurt, so sad that I wondered if that was the expression that she made when we used to bully her. Not once she let us see how deeply upset she was with our actions, and seeing that for the first time made my stomach hurt.

My body moved, and before she reached the door I was behind her, taking hold of her arm to keep her still.

“Let me go Parkinson!” She screamed at my face, making me flinch.

“Wait, we are not trying to pull a prank, I mean, yes we didn’t tell you about the firewhisky and part of us wanted to have a little fun, but it wasn’t to upset you or anything.” I was talking fast that and my heart was pound so hard that I could feel it on my throat. “You asked what was happening between us and well this is what normally happens. We meet at my place, and we pick up the tea set to drink.”

She tried to pull her arm again, and I let it go just to stand between her and the door.

Before she could say anything I kept talking.

“Not recklessly, sometimes we don’t drink at all, but in days like this, days we feel bad, we just drink and talk. We are not trying to piss you of Granger, we are just joking around, like we do with Potter!” I looked at him and he jumped to help.

“Yeah Mione, it was just to break the ice, please, we didn’t mean to upset you.” He said touching her shoulder.

She was breathing fast and seemed torn between slapping Potter or me.
Something that she quickly resolved by just slapping the both of us, and let me tell you, Granger has some heavy hand.

“Are you both idiots? You don’t do that to people!” She began to lecture us between slaps. My arm by that time was hurting so bad that the area was almost numb.

“And why the hell do you serve whisky on a cup of tea?!” She said, now with her hands on her hips, while we nursed or arms.

“That’s actually a funny story, you see we used to meet at Pansy’s, but one of the days we got there, the place was in ruins! She had destroyed the entire kitchen and was sitting on the living room like nothing bloody happened having a cup of tea, which was the only thing that survived the destruction.” Draco said.

She then turned to me with a confused expression on her face, and I could feel my face start to heat.

“It was my mother's set, so fuck off Malfoy!” I said to him.

We stayed in silence for a couple of minutes looking at each other before she exploded in giggles. Potter followed her in her laugh, with Blaise and Draco snickering at the back and I could only stand there rolling my eyes.

“Well I'm glad that you all are enjoying laughing at my spence.”

“Don't be like that Pansy we are just having a little fun.” Granger replied in a mocking tone and a spark in her eyes, making me smile and the boys laugh even harder.

After that we went back to out sits and continued to drink.

Now that she knew exactly what was in the cup, Granger was more careful and even seemed to enjoy herself.

Potter told her how the two of us met after the war and how we got to this point.

She made sure to listen closer to everything that we said, always eyeing me when she felt that Potter wasn't being so honest in his answers, and I was quite thankful for his efforts to not say too much, I was not prepared to share the details.

Potter himself only knew because of that noise Auror, who obviously received a howler on his unprofessional behavior.

In the end we ended up having a nice time, so much in fact that we even lost dinner.

The boys are in high spirits and that was expected after the amount of firewhisky that we drank. They are singing some silly Quidditch song loudly enough that the whole castle could wake up, but I couldn't care less about it.

After the day that I had, I was glad for the distraction.

Granger was giggling as she tried to keep her walk straight while avoiding tripping on her on foot. I guess she can't hold her liquor that well because I had lost count of the times I had saved her from hitting the floor.

“How are you holding up Granger?” I said with amusement in my voice.

“Quite well I might say.” She replied between giggles. Her cheeks and nose red from the alcohol, the candle light from the castle gave her a glow, perfectly framing her face.

“I can see that, do you want a hand or maybe take a moment to catch a breath?” I asked laughing a little about the faces she was making while trying to focus on what I was saying.

She tried to walk again and the same thing happened, which made her laugh.” I guess I could take a breather.”

She put a lock of her hair behind her ear, and a second one slipped.

I almost didn't have time to hold myself back before I moved the lock, it was an automatic response and the firewhisky was not helping with my ability to control my impulses.

“It's everything fine there?” Draco asked from down the hall.

“Yes, you guys can go ahead we will catch up.” I said waving them away.

They soon left and we stayed there in silence.

I was leaning against the wall across from her, watching as she breathed in and out, staring at her own feet. I can't say how much time passed before her voice cut the silence.

“How can this situation not bother you?” I had to blink several times before registering what she was saying, and she kept going.

“How can you and Harry create this “bond” after you tried to kill him?” That made me flinch a little but I kept still, letting her get those feelings out of her chest.

“I can barely look at Malfoy after the incident on their manor!” She raised her voice, and I was ready to defend Draco, but she raised her hand at me and locked our eyes.

Hers are filled with tears that are threatening to fall, and that made me stop completely while making my stomach hurt.

“I'm not saying that I blame him, his actions probably saved both of our lives, not to say Harry's when he was asked to confirm his identity.” She put her hand beside herself and closed them into fists. “But how can this not be bothering you? I know that I was not told the full story and I'm trying to understand, but how can I just accept everything and move on from that? How are you able to be near me after years of hating the very thing that made me, me? How can all of this happen as if we didn't hate each other for so many years? I'm trying make sense of things and look for ways to get past all the history that we had, but how can I do that if I keep feeling that at some point I'm going to be stabbed on the back?” She finished saying and was now fully crying, she slid on the wall she was laying to the floor and I didn't quite know what to say to calm her down.

She was right in her fears, we never had any type of relationship and now we are acting like long-lost friends.

My body kept asking me to leave and not deal with this, she was drunk, I was drunk and this was not the time to be emotional. But how could I do that, when she was in front of me crying her eyes out?

I knew what I had to do, I did not like it, but I knew what was needed to be done.

So taking a deep breath I went sit beside her.

I took a vial from my pocket and Snape came to my mind making me smile a little. He would always tell us to keep at least one vial on ourselves because you never knew what type of opportunity could cross your way.

He would probably hit me on the head for doing this. But I choose to not overthink.

Taking my wand out and pointing to my temple I choose carefully the same memories that Potter had seen that day on the ministry, pulling them out and depositing inside the vial.

The thread glowed brightly while dancing inside the vial and I took a moment before closing it.

“You right, I can't ask you to get past all that, not while leaving so many blank spots in the story.” I touched her arm, and she cleaned some of her tears before looking at me. “This is exactly the same thing that Potter saw and made him choose to give us a chance, I hope this will be a start for us. I understand how difficult this must be, and I am truly sorry for the way I behaved all these years Hermione, it wasn't something that I believed but I still reproduced and that hurt you on the process.” I trusted carefully the vial in her palm. “I do hope though that you will be able to give me, us, a chance to prove that we are more than a bunch of bigots, that we are more than the house we are put on.” Closing her hand around the vial and her for a moment. “And if you can't find in you the heart to forgive us, we will understand, and we'll make sure to keep to ourselves.”

Releasing her hand and getting up from the floor, I stuck my hand out to help her get up from the floor. “Take your time, you don't need to say anything, I just ask you to allow me to fix things, I know that even this is too much to ask for, but please Hermione, think about it.”

She opened her hand and stared the vial for a couple of minutes before putting inside her robes and taking my hand to get up. She tried to walk by herself just to realize she was still pretty drunk, so I offered my arm for support and was quite surprised when she took it.

The walk to the common room was silent, but still comfortable. I could see by the lost look on the face that she was thinking through what I said, that and the fact that her other hand was inside the pocket with the vial.

We took the stairs up to the Gryffindor's bedrooms and I left her by their door. I was starting to make my way down when her voice once again cut the silence, making me look back.

“Thank you, Pansy.” She said now with the vial on her hand.

I nodded. “Make sure to drink a full glass of water before sleeping, it will help with the headache. Goodnight Hermione.” And left before giving her any chance to reply.

My head hit the pillow and I could finally process all that had transpired on that day.

First I was out to the whole castle thanks to the former love of my life, second most of my peers believed that I was dating Luna Lovegood and that ridiculous enough seems to be worse than being a lesbian by itself, third Hermione Granger hated my guts and fourth even with that knowledge I trusted her with my most private and deepest memories.

So I did the only thing that I could do. I flipped myself onto my belly and made sure to muffle the sound of my desperation inside the pillow.

Chapter Text

At the top of my mind I couldn't think of a time when I've felt this hot, not even when Harry, Ron and I were fleeing the room of requirements in the Hogwarts battle, and the bloody room was on fire!

After Pansy left I stayed at the door trying to compose myself before entering, I didn't want to explain anything while being this drunk. My entire focus was on crossing the room to my bed without any accidents.

I was still finding hard to believe that she's done something like this, giving me access to her deepest memories, especially because I wouldn't in her place.

The gentle light danced between my fingers almost taunting me to look at it, to pass through my moral’s and take a glimpse of its secrets.

In one way I felt compelled to just do it, to just get the answers that I wanted since our encounter on the train and be done with the whole thing. Anyone in my position would not think twice, specially given our history and how things went after Voldemort fall.

But part of me still was reluctantly.

After the afternoon we had, I was sure that I would leave with the perfect understanding of the situation, but that wasn't the case. The more I analyzed their interactions, more questions I had.

Do that justify invading her privacy, her most precious memories and secrets just to satiety my need for knowledge? No, I need this because otherwise my mind would keep spiraling with anxiety, waiting in the corners for the time of their inevitable betrayal, never once allowing me to relax in their presence.

I could feel an episode building up inside me, making my heart speed up and my breaths uneven, my body fighting for control while my mind went all over the different possibilities.

It was so weird seeing them so normal, so much like us. I was used to seeing them as Death Eaters, as evil and vile people who used their power and influence to manipulate everything around them. But this second afternoon showed me that they could be victims too, trapped in something that they had no control over with the option to go along or die.

I'm sure that they did not tell me their whole story, just the glimpses that they are comfortable with, but even that helped me see things a little different.

They reminded me of Harry, the lack of control over something that he did when he was just a baby leaded us to where we are today. It was bittersweet coming to that realization, and yet comforting to know that he had people whom he could relate to.

When I entered the room, the soft snores and smell of chocolate made me smile, my mind finally allowing me to regain control, calming myself down. It was like being thirteenth again, sneaking in after curfew because of Harry and Ron. Simpler times indeed.

Now I was sneaking in after spending my afternoon with Blaise Zabini, Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson. Who in Merlin’s beard would've thought that would happen?

A laugh left my lips after that thought, and I had to use my hand to stop myself from making a scene and waking up the other girls.

Making my way to the bed I made sure to cast a muffliato just to be sure, before letting myself fall on the bed, allowing all my body to fully relax for a moment with my eyes closed.

I don't quite remember falling asleep, but next thing I know I am being woken by Parvati, so loudly that I certain that she had woken the whole dorm.

“Hermione? Wake up! You’re going to be late for breakfast.” She said while shaking my shoulders. “Are you okay? You're usually the first to wak- is that a memory? Who's it?” Her words came out so fast that o had some trouble keeping up.

“What time is it?” I asked while trying to gather myself. My head was throbbing and any movement made the pain worse.

“It's early, breakfasts just started.” She replied, but kept her eyes in the vial in my bed. “So, who is it?”

I’ve forgotten how noise she could be, and was sure this would have no end if I told her who it belonged.

“Nobody's, thank you for waking me up.” I said with a smile, that I know didn’t reach my eyes, before making sure to put the vial in my drawer and locking it with my wand while I headed out to the bathroom.

Breakfast was almost over when I finally took my seat on the table.

The trio had amused expression in their faces, and even Harry seemed to be smug about the fact that I was late.

“Good morning Mione, did you sleep well?” He said with a smirk.

“Don’t be cheeky Harry, my head is killing me. For Morgana’s sake how do you keep drinking that? I'm feeling like death.” I said holding head on the table.

They just laughed at my misery.

“Here, drink these.” I raised my head to see, and a small vial was in front of me with a cup of juice on the side.

“It's my own recipe for the aftermath of drinking too much firewhisky, it's the only reason these idiots are able to be functional.” I was already drinking the potion before she even finished talking. She chuckled at my desperation, but I choose to ignore.

“Forgot to drink that water didn't you?” She asked smirking.

“Sod off Parkinson.” I said narrowing my eyes at her, which just made her smile larger.

The potion worked so smoothly that I was impressed, it reminded me of the potion she gave me to track my parents. Brewed with perfection.

My surprise must have shown in my face, because Parkinson smug face just got worse, if that was possible.

Harry and I parted ways with the trio, and headed to Charms together. I’ve forgotten how much I enjoyed our talks, even when I felt that I was acting more as his mother than his friend, we always had a way of understanding each other.

It was nostalgic walking the halls with him, we are sure missing Ron, but since our talk he still has yet to come around and I knew better than to press him. Although with Harry’s friendship with Parkinson and the other I don’t think he’s going to be doing just that any time soon, at least not before they have some type of fight.

“Pansy told me that she gave you a memory.” I just made a small sound to acknowledge his statement.

“Have you take a look on it?” From the corner of my eye I could see that he was nervous, his hand was tightly holding the strap of his bag.

“Not yet, didn’t felt quite myself yesterday.” I bumped my shoulders on his and gave him a small smile before getting serious. “I’ve not made a decision about seeing or not.”

He seemed to be conflicted about saying something or not, and if I knew as well as I thought, it was better to let him decide for himself, and then tell him how unreasonable he was being.
“I’m gay…” His voice came as a whisper and it rendered me mute, of all things this was not one that I was expecting.

After that I went on automatic, I don’t quite remember saying or even acknowledging his words, the rest of the day was a blur and in the end I found myself at the edge of the black lake, sitting by a tree.

Everything was out of control again.

A noise in the trees snapped me out of my torpor and filled me with an overload of emotions that I was not ready to deal.

“There you are, I was sure you would be in the library but I guess somethings change.” Ginny Weasley stood just a few steps from me, cheeks as red as her hair.

“Needed some space to think without people coming to see how I was doing I guess.” I made sure to give her a pointed look, which she just shrugged with a smile and came sit by my side.

“Yeah, well I don’t really care for that.” She said making me giggle. Her friendship was one of the things that I was glad that hasn’t changed after my breakup with Ron.

“Why are you looking for me Ginny?” I asked and was surprised by the tired tone in my voice.

“Harry was a bit distracted today at practice, so I was ready to tear him a new one when he said that he finally had the balls to tell you about the whole gay thing, and apparently your reaction was not the best." Guilt began fill me in waves and my only reaction was to cry.

“Gees Mione, he’s just gay it’s not like he’s dyeing or anything.” She then proceeded to pat my back like I was some child, making me narrow my eyes at her.

“I’m not crying because of that!” I shoved her hand away. “I’m crying because I couldn’t react better, and by the way why are you not upset about it?”

“I was very angry at him for it, felt a bit betrayed you know? But after saying a bunch of stuff and had some time to calm down, we sorted things out.” She smiled at me. “It’s not what I wanted, but I also didn’t want him to be with me for pity, so I’m happy that he’s happy.” She stood up and pulled me up with her.

“So come on let’s get you two talking and be done with all this drama, because I’m not losing to Hufflepuff of all things.”

She all but dragged me to the common room to the corner where Harry was with his head between his hands while Malfoy whispered something at him, and Parkinson seemed to be distracted writing in her notebook.

Our eyes crossed briefly, and she closed her notebook before calling Malfoy to give us privacy, he seemed to be reluctantly about it but in the end left with her.

Ginny took that as an opportunity to also leave. “I will let you two talk.”

He was a mess, his hair was even more out of place, his eyes and nose are red from crying, my guilt got even bigger after seeing him in that state. “Oh Harry, I’m truly sorry! I didn’t mean to put you through this.” I made sure to hug him and was not able to stop myself from trying to fix his hair. “Things have been so different after the war that I’m having trouble dealing with changes. I just needed some time to process everything, and I don’t mind as long you are happy.”

His arms held me tightly against his chest.

“Thank you for understanding, and I’m sorry for throwing that at you, but when Pansy told me about giving you her memory I was worried. I wanted to tell you first.”

“Well not first since Ginny knew before me and even Parkinson!” I said rolling my eyes.

“Yeah there's that but out of the two of them, your reaction was the only one that really mattered. You are my family and I just wanted you to be ok with it.”

Now was my turn to cry, and his awkward self just froze, not knowing what to do. “Damn you Harry Potter, just hug me.”

We stayed there for a bit before leaving for dinner, Ginny was there talking to Parkinson of all things along with Luna, even Ron had made the effort to sit on the union table today which gave me some hope on the future.

Sometimes life's not perfect, it doesn't always make sense or follow a clear path, but as long you have people there for you the journey doesn’t seem so frightening.

It was already late when I curled myself on the couch next to the fireplace.

Today had been one of those days that you just wished you never left your bed, I felt emotionally tired and out of place.

The smell of hot cocoa reached me almost at the same time as the floating mug that carried it.

“Hard day?” Pansy Parkinson was leaning against the wall with her hands in her pockets.

She was wearing a simple t-shirt and sweatpants, with her hair up in a loose bun. She looked almost muggle-like, and it was quite the vision.

I could feel my ears began to heat from embarrassment when I caught on my thoughts. “Yes, thank you.” I said as I reached for the mug.

A gray blanket floated above me before covering my legs and reminded me of the first night at the new common room. “I hope this help making it better, even if is just a little.” She took a pause. “I’m glad that you and Harry sorted things out, Goodnight Hermione.”

Watching her leave made some part of me want her to stay, I wanted to have someone to talk, to share and above all of those things, I didn't want to be left alone.

So in an impulse I put the mug on the ground and went for the stairs. “Pansy, wait! Would you make me company?” I tried to not let my embarrassment take my courage away while I waited for her response.

She didn’t even turn to decline my proposition, choosing to simply to continue her way up.
I felt so humiliated, so angry that my eyes filled with tears, and I was ready to scream at her when Malfoy’s voice came from upstairs.

“Get out Pansy! Bloody hell go die somewhere and let me sleep you ass.” A loud sound of a slamming door followed and Parkinson came down.

“Sorry for that, I just thought we are going to need these.” She said while holding a jar of cookies.

A laugh left my lips while I dried my eyes. “Merlin, Malfoy is right you are an arse.” I said before taking hold of her hand and pulling her to the couch.

“Well Granger that just revoked your cookie rights, I hope you are happy.”

Chapter Text

At the top of my mind I could remember several times were I've put myself in impossible situations and still was able to overcome whatever was thrown at me, but this, this was something else.

After pulling Parkinson to the couch, all my bravery decided to leave me and I froze on the spot next to her in the couch.

I was sure that she would make some remark about it, but instead she just made herself comfortable beside me.

She levitated a coffee table that was in the corner of the room just, so she could put her feet up while she eat one of Malfoy's cookies.

Part of me wanted to say something, to tell her to keep her feet of the table, but I couldn't, my voice seemed to be trapped inside my mind, and that was starting to make me panic.

My heart was beginning to speed up, and I was trying so hard to not lose control that I barely registered that she was talking to me before her hand caught me off guard.

My mouth was so dry that was difficult to talk, so I just made a humming sound in acknowledgment.

She didn't seem to mind for my lack of words, choosing to simply repeat herself.

“Draco's mom used to bake these for us when we are little and had a hard day like this, she said that it was special and that one bite would be sufficient to make everything right.” She said with a smile, while offering one to me. “I used to think that she baked them with some kind of potion, because every time they worked.” She took a bite of her own cookie before finishing. “Later I've found out that the only special ingredient in these cookies had was love, and for some reason they just got better.”

I smiled at her story, before I knew I was even put my own feet on the coffee table.

“Oh my, what would the people say? Hermione Granger relaxing.” She said to me with amusement.

“They would probably ask why you're with me in the first place.” I replied smirking at her and taking a bite of the cookie. She was right, they did make things better.

“Yeah.” She paused. “Why am I here Hermione?” I didn't have a good answer for that.

I picked up my mug from the ground and took a big sip of the chocolate before answering. “I didn't want to be alone.” I said as if it was that simple.

“Well I am a good company, so I can understand where are you coming from.” She replied with a shrug making me giggle.

We stayed there in silence for a while, eating cookies and watching the fire. It was weird how comfortable the situation was.

Parkinson pulled her wand, and started to play with a flame, making it dance in front of us.

The whole thing was beautiful, her movements are delicate and precise, it showed how confident she was in her abilities. But all things must come to an end, the flames stopped dancing, and she used them to ask me a question.

“Have seen it?” It spelled.

First I found funny why she was choosing to ask me like that, but after a quick thought I understood.

“Not yet.” I whispered.

With a swirl of her wand, the flame changed the words. “Why?”

It was my turn to shrug. “I don't know exactly.” Taking a deep breath I allowed myself to say what I felt. “It doesn't feel right to be doing something like that, don't get me wrong, a great part of me wants to see, to get my answers and move forward, but the other part doesn't think is fair and is very afraid to what's comes next.”

She put her cold hand on mine, and locked our eyes. “What if what's coming next is better?”

“What if is not?” I asked frowning, while I held back my tears.

Her hand went to my face. “What if it is?” She replied with a kind smile.

That simple phrase gave me the courage to take the next step.

“Accio.” I said pointing my wand to the Gryffindor stair.

The vial didn't take long to reach us and I hesitated for a second before taking it in my hands.

“Will you go with me?” I asked looking at her.

She exhaled loudly and groaned, before getting up and extending her hand at me.

“You ask a lot Granger, let's get this sorted out already.” I only smiled and took her hand, the cold in them surprised me once again given our proximity to the fire.

We are already far away from the dorms before I realized that I had no idea where we are going to.

“Do you know where we are going?” I whispered.

She huffed at me before replying. “Weren't you supposed to be the brights witch of our age? Why I'm the one with a plan here?”

That earned her a slap in the stomach.

“No need to be aggressive woman! We are here.” She stopped in front of a wall and I could feel my face heating up from embarrassment.

The room of requirements of course, where else would we go? Not the principal office that's obvious, what would we even say if McGonagall caught us.

The door appeared and we entered the room.
A pensive lied in the middle, it's light illuminating the room softly.

“Go on them.” Parkinson said.
Her hands are in her pockets, and she seemed to be looking for an excuse to leave.

“Will you stay?” I knew by now how selfish I was being, and part of me was very sorry for it.

She let out another deep breath and closed her eyes.

The room soon responded to her wishes and a big couch appeared.

She laid on it and waved me off with her hand. “Now go Granger, we don't have all night.”

I nodded smiling at her, and made my way to the pensive.

I took a big breath before pouring the memory into the pensive and submerging my head on it.

The first thing that I noticed was how dark the room was, it clearly showed by the sun coming from the windows that it was day time, but that didn't seem to matter much. The whole room had seemed to block any kind of warmth.

A giggle followed by footsteps drew my attention and I saw a little girl running, Pansy looked so happy that I couldn't stop myself from smiling, she seemed to be about 4 years old and her black hair was so long that it covered her eyes.

A beautiful woman dressed in a purple dress was right behind her. Her white skin shined from the lack of sun and contrasted with the gold of her eyes.

The sound of a broken jar pulled my attention from whom I assumed was Pansy's mom.

Pansy had tears flowing from her face, she was surrounded by pieces of glass and even though her mom said calming things to her, it didn't help calm her down from her desperation, in fact she started to shiver and I couldn't understand that type of reaction.

She came from a wizard's home, broken things could be fixed with the simple wave of a wand.

A shadow behind us eclipsed the little light that dared enter the room. A tall man with sharp black eyes hovered over them, his lips tightly pressed together in a thin line.

“What are you doing?” He asked, I wasn't quite sure who he was addressing, but his voice made me shiver.

“I'm sorry husband, we got a little excited, but is no problem I-” Her words are cut with a loud and strong slap that made her fall into the pieces of glass, making Pansy jump slightly and me move forward to try to help her, but I had no power here.

“You are to speak only when I allow. Do I make myself clear?” His eyes stayed in Pansy's mom for a minute before going back to Pansy.

“I will repeat myself only one more time child. What are you doing?”

Pansy was still frozen in her spot, her big eyes fixed at his form while tears streamed down her face.

“ANSWER ME!” He screamed making her jump.

“I-I'm sorry father, I was playing with mommy and accidentally bumped into the jar. I didn't mean to, please!” She looked so desperate that it broke my heart, her eyes went to the floor and her whole frame was trembling.

His face twitched into a frown and the cold in his voice made me shiver once again.

“What have I told you about what happens to wild flowers Pansy?”

I tried to stop him once again when I saw he raise his wand at her, but I was only a passerby and could only watch idle while Pansy's father used the cruciatus curse on her.

Her screams echoed so loudly that I had to muffle my ears.

The memory changed and so did the room, to my surprise, this one I knew well.

Malfoy's manor still haunted my dreams and being here, even in a memory, did not make me feel any better.

“Ah, the Parkinson's how wonderful is to receive you at our home, please allow me to introduce you to my family Kevin.” I had forgotten how irritating Lucius Malfoy voice was. “This is my wife Narcissa and my son Draco.” He finished pointing to young Draco, this one didn’t have a smug face like the one we meet on our first year in Hogwarts and looked much younger too.

“Thank you for welcoming us in your lovely home, a pleasure to make your acquaintances.” Pansy’s father, Kevin, said with a bow. “This is my wife Georgia and my daughter Pansy.” He introduced them with a kind smile that almost fooled me, but I could see the lack of warmth in his actions.

“Nonsense, the pleasure is all ours!” Said Lucius. “Draco why don’t you show Pansy our beautiful garden? No need to keep you children bored with our pleasantries.” He gave Draco a pointed look before he could even whiny and motioned him to go.

“Of course father.” Draco offered Pansy his hand, but she hesitated for a moment to look at her father for authorization, he made sure to smile back and nod.

The two of them left the room but I choose to stay behind and see their conversation.

Pansy’s father dropped his kind smile and his whole demeanor changed.

“What do you want Malfoy? I’m a busy man.” Kevin said with disdain, his sharp eyes fixed on Lucius.

“No need to be so stern Kevin, we are between friends after all…” Lucius replied walking them to the couch. “And as friends I believe that it would be most valuable if we are to tie our two families together, Pansy and Draco are to start Hogwarts in a couple of years and I think they would benefit of this...partnership.” He finished with a smile.

“And what have you to offer me? The Nott's have already made me a similar proposition and I must admit that I feel more inclined to them.” That seemed to strike a nerve on Lucius because his eyebrow twitched, and he ran a hand through his hair.

“Please, have you seen their son? The boy looks like he could break with the pass of wind. I’m offering you a son-in-law that will be able to live up to our families name! Draco has already shown proficiency in potions and mostly important, he will inherit the Malfoy's influence, something that you could benefit from.” Kevin stayed in silence, and with that note Narcissa made the last argument.

“Besides, look how beautiful they look together Georgia.” She said directly at Pansy’s mom and pointed to the window before addressing Pansy's father. “They would make beautiful, strong children Kevin just imagine.” She finished smiling.

Now that sparked Pansy's father interest, he agreed to the Malfoy's proposition, firming Pansy and Draco union.

He then called Pansy back and soon they’ve left Malfoy manor.

Pansy’s mom broke the silence to ask for permission to speak.
“Go to your room child.” Kevin said to Pansy, before allowing her.

“I know you have our best interests in mind husband, but is necessary to give the hand of our daughter so soon? She's so young.” She said so quietly, so submissively that it broke my heart.

“She's mine to use as I please and you should remind yourself that. Her position in life is your own fault, your only job was to give me a male heir, but she was the best you could do!” He sneered at her face before wanking her hair and throwing her on the floor.

“STOP!” Pansy’s voice came from around the corner, and I was again broken by how helpless she looked. “Please father, I will do whatever you want just don’t hurt mother.” She begged.

“Crucio.” Was his only reply.

I had to avert my eyes from Pansy’s form, I couldn’t take seeing her writhing in agony on the floor.

“You will do whatever I want regardless of anything child. You are mine!”

Her next memory was at her 11th birthday, her mother surprised her with a tiny cake in the bed and the promise of a good day. They left shortly afterwards and went shopping in the Diagon Alley, it was wonderful seeing her reaction to every store they went to while picking her school supplies, she was happy and carefree.
Their last store was Ollivanders and it didn’t take long for Pansy find her wand, she looked so proud of herself, swing her around giggling like the child that she was, but her mother wasn’t so happy anymore, she looked more pale than normal.

It was just then that I noticed she was looking at the time.

“Pansy, I’m sorry, but we have to go little blossom, we are already late for your party.” Georgia said in a hurried tone.

Pansy's demeanor changed instantly while she took hold of her mother’s hand, so they could apparate home.

Georgia hushed her upstairs, so she may change herself and went the opposite side.

Pansy’s father was outside overseeing the decorations of the party, and didn’t even bother acknowledging Georgia when he went to report their arrival.

“I will deal with your incompetence later, our guests are about to arrive, make sure Pansy's ready.” His cold tone again made me shiver, not once I saw him show any kind of love for either of them, only indifference and rage.

Pansy came downstairs in a green dress that she wasn't so comfortable in it by the look of her face.

“Sorry for my delay father.” She greeted him it a bow.

He took hold of her face, analyzing it before releasing it with a frown. “It seems this will have to do, our guests have arrived.” As he finished talking, their garden began to fill with pure-blood families.

Malfoy, Greengrass, Bulstrode, Nott, Crabbe, Goyle and many other families attended Pansy’s birthday party.

Her father made sure to have her by his side the entire day, making her interact with every one of them, which she didn't disappoint.

She was delivering the perfect image of a pure-blood witch, she knew how to say the right things at the right times and how to say the perfect amount to inflate the ego of those present.

For a moment I thought that her father was proud of her, that this would be a good memory, one that would end with a silly birthday song and a good night kiss, but things don’t go how we wish them to go.

The children began to ask Pansy to show her wand and that caught the adult's attention.

Soon enough Pansy was surrounded by the guests and pinned on the spot by her father gaze.

She was nervous, the hand tightly holding the wand, was rigid and shaking, it was nothing like the demonstration I had earlier.

“Come on Pansy try something!” Said a boy who I was not familiar with, but I could remember seeing him on the Slytherin table.

That inflated the crowd, more voices started to join him and that didn’t seem to help.

“Go ahead Pansy.” Her father's voice cut through the ocean of people and things took a bad turn.

She tried to swing, to shake and even tried to cast a simple Lumos, but nothing worked, I could see her chest start to rise faster each time she failed.

“Oh, it's fine sweet you are still young you're going to learn.” A woman in the crowd coed at her in a pity voice.

That made some people laugh.

Her father had a dark look in his face, but made sure to disguise with a laugh of his own and diverging the crowd's attention to another topic.

“It's ok Pansy, I couldn't do anything it either, but we will get better when we go to Hogwarts!” Draco tried to cheer her up but it was no use, she was devastated.

Her night ended and the house was silent, no more decorations and happy faces, just dark rooms.

Pansy went to say goodnight to her parents, she found them in the living room by the fireplace.

I could see that Georgia had a red spot in her face, but her father had a distant look in his while he stared at the fire.

“When your mother discovered she was pregnant I was certain that we would produce a decent offspring, although she lacks finesse, she was quite the witch when I met her.” He turned to face Pansy. “I was expecting a boy, I was expecting a son that would carry on the family name and everything that we represent, but I gained you and the certainty that she would never again be able to have children again.” He took a step forward and held Pansy's face, digging his fingers. “An ordinary child with nothing to offer, a thing that only gives me disappointment and shame!” He screamed at her releasing her face.
“You humiliated me in front of the other families, you put our family name into the mud!” The slap that he differed at her face made her fall on the ground. “I should erase you from the family, expel you from this household before you do more harm to our image, but I can't.” He composed himself and took his wand. “So I will make you better.”

Once again I was swallowed by Pansy’s screams while she was pinned on the ground by the Cruciatus curse, how could a father do that to his own daughter?

Pansy’s memories are filled with torture between bittersweet moments, and watching her grow up showed how much of that happy little girl died every day in that home.

Her last memory took us to Hogwarts, this time she was sitting in the divination tower holding a letter.

The war was not kind to her, she looked tired and hurt, a look that I was not expecting since she was protected by the Carrow's.

Steps echoed behind her, but she didn’t move and Professor Snape entered the room, it was weird seeing him again, alive and well, as his last moments were filled with pain.

“He wants me to do what Draco seems to be incapable of, he’s been obsessing with rising up ranks and being the one who will deliver the victory to the Dark lord.” Her hand went to her temple, and she looked so old at that moment. “He says that if I don’t do his bidding, he will kill her and that will be my fault.” She started to cry and Snape took a hold of her shoulders.

“We can do only as much Pansy, your mother would understand if-” She slapped his hand from her shoulder and stood abruptly.

“If I what? Leave her to die? How can you say that?” She screamed.

Professor Snape remained calm and spoke quietly.

“Because she wouldn't want you to remain prisoner of your father madness.” He said before leaving her alone with her thoughts.

Long time passed after Snape left and Pansy’s emotions are all over the place.

I watched while she cried so hard that her eyes got red, saw her so furious that the whole tower seemed to shake with her rage, saw her stand still looking at the window while the battle began, not knowing what to be done and I watched her leave the tower to join her classmates in the grand hall.

Seeing things from her point was hard, I would’ve thought that they would have better than the other houses, but they looked just as defeated.

After she screamed in the great hall, I could see how regretful she felt, it was made in an impulsive moment and I could understand why now.

I followed her as the Slytherin's are being taken to the dungeons and watched when she took that chance to sneak past professor Slughorn and head out of the school grounds.

Watching as she ran desperate for her mother just to see her die was my last straw.

I left her memories and I couldn't hold myself together, the tears started flowing and I had a hard time breathing.

A pair of arms engulfed me in a cold embrace.

“You need to calm yourself Hermione, everything is fine and you're fine.” She whispered to me but how can I do that?

My vision began to tunnel, I was starting to lose conscience when Pansy put our foreheads together, holding my face in place and screamed at me.

“Bloody hell Granger, just follow my breath!” She said while breathing in and out slowly.

I grabbed the hem of her shirt and did my best to mirror her breaths.

“That's it, keep breathing Hermione!” She whispered this time. “Look at me, you're safe and everything is fine.”

Her eyes held a splash of gold in a sea of darkness, while her breath smelled like mint and chocolate. The combination spread warmth through my body and I could feel myself getting back to the present.

I embraced her, letting my face take home in her shoulders while I took in her scent.

She took some time before holding me closer, probably because she was catch by surprise and part probably because she was not used to this much contact.

“I know that you are not prepared to see how good I looked in those memories, and I'm flattered, but quite frankly I'm a little upset that you don't have this type of reaction to my gorgeous self every day.” She said in my ear, making me giggle and slap the back of her head.
“Shut up and hug me Parkinson.”

“Rude!” She said and I slapped her again.

This time her cold arms tightened around me, and she replied softly. “Yes, ma'am.”

Making me smile.