In his own personal and unbiased opinion, being Blaise Zabini was really quite hard.
The seventh year Slytherin sat on one of the green couches in the common room, staring intensely at the fire, thinking about the difficulties of his life. There were so many things. Firstly, he had to deal with the duties that came with being Pureblood royalty. The rules, the restrictions…not that he followed them much. But in theory.
Secondly, being Slytherin royalty. He had gained his position through hard work and good genes. Being a part of the infamous Platinum trio helped, as did his astonishingly good looks, but it was mainly his attitude. His aesthetic. His I’m a God and you are all beneath me physique sent boys running and girls swooning. It took work, though. It took a lot of care to care this little.
But the main reason that being Blaise was difficult, and the reason he was thinking about his problems at this particular moment, had nothing to do with Pureblood or Slytherin royalty.
Instead, it had everything to do with the snotty and infatuated blonde he had the displeasure of calling his best friend.
Almost by the hand of God, the common room entrance in the wall opened at that exact moment and the Slytherin Prince himself, Draco Malfoy, stormed on in.
“Blaise!” he nearly shouted, making his way over to the couch.
The dark-haired boy sighed in exasperation. “Yes, Draco?”
The blonde flopped down next to him and crossed his arms. “You will never believe what just happened.”
Blaise did not have the gift of prophecy. In fact, he believed the entire branch of magic to be complete and utter trash, but he saw this full conversation in his mind’s eye before he even responded.
“That uptight swot…”
He rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Sorry, which one?”
Draco nearly spat out the answer.
Ah yes. What an unexpected plot twist.
This was the main reason that being Blaise Zabini was such a damn pain in the ass. Because Blaise’s best friend Draco was in love with the jewel of Gryffindor house, Hermione fucking Granger.
Draco didn’t know he was in love with her.
Granger didn’t know he was in love with her.
But Blaise, oh merlin, Blaise knew.
“What did she do this time?” he asked his friend, leaning back and settling in to watch Draco deny his feelings some more.
“Well you wouldn’t believe the audacity she has…”
“Do tell,” he replied sardonically, knowing that in his rage, Draco wouldn’t notice the sarcasm.
“She organized the patrolling schedules, the patrolling schedules to interfere with Quidditch. Can you believe her? She’s deliberately goading me.”
“Nice that it isn’t working.”
“She’s been doing it for years,” Draco continued, hardly noticing Blaise’s contribution. “Trying to undo me. You know her, so attention seeking and goddamn annoying. One up-ing me in everything. I get Quidditch captain, she gets Head Girl…”
“Not that you’re bitter.”
“…and prancing around the castle like she fucking owns it.” Draco looked up with a sudden gleam in his eye. “Someone needs to take her off her pedestal.”
Blaise’s head hurt. “Who would be so brave and valiant to take on such a task?”
Draco started nodding. “That’s it. Take her off her pedestal. That’s what I’m going to do with Granger this year. Take her down.”
Blaise turned his eyes back to the fireplace. “You do that.”
“She just fucking gets under my skin,” Draco said. “You know?”
“Fucking Christ,” his best friend muttered, before leaning back more into the cushions. He turned his head to look at Blaise. “How was your day?”
Blaise gave it ten seconds. “Pretty good, I think I’m making good headway with that Ravenclaw…”
“OH and another thing!” Draco exploded once again. “Her fucking posture…”
Ah yes. It was very difficult being Blaise Zabini.
The Slytherin blinked several times, slowly coming into consciousness. He was lying in bed, staring up at the angry face of Draco Malfoy, not ten inches above his own.
“Mate, I’m taking a nap,” he said, yawning.
“No, listen, I need to fucking tell you about Granger.”
Blaise had to bite his lip to stop from groaning. “What happened?”
Draco sat at the end of Blaise’s bed, practically shaking in anger. “Well, this fucking bitch, do you know what she did?”
“I assume you’re about to tell me.”
“She fucking suggested that I meet her in the library to go over the Quidditch schedules before she makes the next patrolling schedules.”
Blaise propped himself up and blinked. “What’s the issue?”
Draco gasped, looking aghast. “She fucking suggested that I take time out of my day to go meet her, Hermione Granger.”
Jesus fucking Christ. “It sounds like a good idea. It’ll work the schedules out at least.”
“But… but Blaise! I would never want to spend time with that fucking bookworm. Why would I ever want to?”
“Who said anything about you wanting to?” Blaise smirked. The look of shock on Draco’s face was the highlight of his week.
“I…you just…fuck off, Blaise,” Draco snarled.
Blaise shrugged. “Just go meet her about the schedules and then you’ll be free of her forever. Isn’t that what you want?”
“Good,” he replied, rolling over. “Now go make nice with your wife and let me sleep.”
“What the FUCK did you just say?”
No one quite understands hardship like Blaise Zabini.
“Draco,” Pansy said, at dinner a week later. She was trying to get his attention as the blonde stared blankly forward, white-faced and shaking. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing is the matter,” he snarled back. Pansy flinched and shot Blaise a worried look.
Blaise sighed, looked up, and followed Draco’s line of sight. Sure enough, as if written in the stars, his best friend had his eyes glued on one Hermione Granger, who looked to be in a very in-depth discussion with Dean Thomas.
“You alright there, Drakey?” Blaise asked, glancing down at his mate’s hands. They were crushing the silverware.
“It’s sickening,” he muttered, glancing away from the Gryffindor table for the first time. “They’re all over each other. I’m trying to eat.”
Blaise glanced back at Granger’s non-physical and platonic conversation. “Really going at it like rabbits, aren’t they?”
“Why do you care anyway?” Pansy asked, glancing back to see what the boys were watching. “It’s just Granger.”
Blaise could hardly suppress his groan.
“Excuse me?” Draco said, glaring at her. “It’s…it’s not just Granger.”
“Why not?” Pansy said, popping a carrot into her mouth and chewing.
“Because,” Draco stuttered, looking flabbergasted. “She’s…she’s doing this to goad me.”
Finally, they were getting somewhere. “Why would her talking to Thomas be goading you?”
“Because, Blaise,” Draco started slowly, as if his friend was an imbecile. “Yesterday, I told Granger that no one could ever love her big head and bigger hair. She’s trying to prove me wrong.”
Merlin. “Why did you do that?”
“Because,” he started, leaning forward as if getting ready for a rant. “It’s fucking true. What sort of low-life could ever find himself falling for Hermione Granger? Just because she’s smart, and not absolutely terrible to look at. Who would ever? It’s disgusting.”
Blaise’s eyes shifted to Pansy, who for the first time looked like she got it. The amusement adorning her features was a pleasant change.
She smiled. “Yes, they’d have to be a low-life. Maybe that’s why she’s going to Hogsmeade with Weasel this weekend.”
There was a beat of silence. “She’s…she’s doing what?”
“Yep,” Pansy replied, popping the ‘p’. “I heard it from Daph, who’s Charms partners with him. Apparently, it’s their first date.”
At the word ‘date’, Draco’s face went purple.
“Okay,” Blaise said, standing up. “Why don’t we head back to the common room, Draco?”
His best friend didn’t even reply before standing up and storming out of the Great Hall.
Pansy looked up at Blaise. “Do you think he knows yet?”
“Nope,” he replied. “Give it two more months. Listen for the scream of anger.”
“Blaise Zabini!” a voice shouted at him in the hall.
The Slytherin groaned in response, waiting for Draco to start ranting about Granger again. However, as he stopped walking and turned, he realized that he hadn’t been Draco yelling.
The voice had been female.
In the middle of the third-floor corridor, Hermione Granger stood, cross-armed, glaring at him and looking about as scary as an angry cat.
Blaise sauntered over to her. “Anything I can help you with, Madame Head Girl?”
She narrowed her eyes. “You’re best friends with Malfoy, right?”
Good god. “Well, we don’t stay up braiding each other’s hair, but for your intents and purposes, yes I am. Why? What did the bastard do?”
She nearly growled. “That…that arrogant son of a bitch approached Ron earlier today and gave him shit for being a…a mudblood lover and ‘bringing down his already disturbingly low pureblood status’.”
Blaise couldn’t stop the groan this time. “Look, Granger. Draco heard that you and Weasel were seeing each other, as they say…”
“That’s not even true!” she cried. “Ron and I are like siblings. We would never… gross.”
Blaise sighed. Oh Pansy, you conniving devil. “The Hogwarts rumour mill, you know how it spins.”
She rolled her eyes. “Regardless of whether or not it was true, Malfoy had no right to say those things.”
“Draco has no right to say ninety percent of his daily speech. Hasn’t stopped him before.”
“Why would he even care?” she burst out. “It has nothing to do with him.”
“But, Miss Granger, the thing you’ll realize one day about Draco is that in his world, everything has to do with him.”
“Just tell him to fuck off,” she snarled.
“Tell him yourself if you care so much to seek me out,” Blaise said, turning on his heel and leaving.
“I don’t care!” she shouted from behind him.
“That seems to be the running theme,” Blaise muttered to himself.
“So you’ll never guess who I ran into today,” Blaise said, as him as the group sat around the fireplace.
“Who?” asked Pansy, glancing up from her copy of Witch Weekly.
Blaise swore that if Draco had been in another room, he would have crashed through the wall to join the conversation. The blonde looked up so fast he nearly broke his neck. “The bookworm? What did she want?”
“She wanted to talk about you,” Blaise replied, sitting back and waiting for his response to have the intended reaction.
Draco’s jaw dropped, his grey eyes widened slightly, and Blaise could sweat that he saw his friend’s pulse speed up at the base of his neck. “What about me?”
Draco’s attempt at nonchalance was pitiful at best.
Blaise took a few moments to examine his nails before responding. “Something about being angry that you yelled at her little boyfriend.”
Was that…disappointment on his face? “The prat fucking had it coming to him,” Draco said, making a foul attempt at sounding superior.
Blaise smirked a little. “Mate, you should’ve seen her. She got so angry. There were glares, shouts, she got a little flushed.”
His ears perked up at that. “Really?”
Blaise nodded solemnly. “It was like she was a really angry cat. All about you. Man, she was just dying to get her hands on you.”
Draco was blinking rapidly and breathing quicker.
“To rip you to pieces,” Blaise clarified.
“She’s just going to have to come get me herself,” Draco said, before standing up and leaving the common room.
Pansy gave Blaise a look. “That was a little cruel.”
He shrugged in response. “I’m just trying to speed up the inevitable.”
“Which is?” she asked, flipping a page of her magazine.
He took a deep breath. “They’re going to run into each other in an empty corridor, get mad, start yelling, and end up having passionate sex against the wall. It’s fate.”
She blinked several times. “Well, I mean, it’s not impossible.”
Blaise leaned back on the couch. “It’s just a matter of time.”
A few weeks later, Blaise was sitting in the common room late one night, trying to finish a Transfiguration essay. He had two inches to go when Draco stormed in.
Blaise looked up in shock. His friend was panting, his robes were disheveled, and he looked like a damn mess.
Which meant one thing.
“Who was the lucky dame?” Blaise chuckled, finishing a sentence with a flourish of his quill.
There was a moment of silence. He looked back up to observe Draco shaking his head.
“That bad, eh? What did she do, bite your dick off?”
“It was Granger,” the blonde spit out, flinching as he spoke.
Blaise dropped his quill. “Pardon?”
Draco stormed over to where he was sitting and sat across the table. “I fucked Granger.”
Blaise almost let out a cheer. “How’d that happen?”
The Slytherin Prince nearly growled. “You wouldn’t believe…this fucking slut…we were arguing…”
“Wait,” Blaise interrupted. “Were you in an empty corridor?”
Draco blinked. “Yes.”
“Anyway,” the recently shagged continued. “And she fucking… she just comes on to me. And I…what am I supposed to do?”
“How about not shag her?” Blaise suggested, silently laughing at Draco’s turmoil.
“She…she was all over me…I couldn’t…”
Okay, Blaise, take it easy on the poor bloke. “Well, of course you couldn’t.” There was a pause. “How was it?”
Draco looked flabbergasted. “It was…it was Granger, that fucking prude…how do you think it was?”
“Probably awesome,” Blaise reasoned, shrugging. “It’s always the quiet ones.”
Draco didn’t respond.
You go, Granger.
“Are you going to fuck her again?” Blaise asked, trying not to chuckle at Draco’s conflicted face.
“How could you even suggest that, mate?”
Blaise shrugged. “You never know.”
Draco shook his head so vigorously he really should’ve broken his neck. “I need to go take a cold shower, get her off me. I can still feel her hands, Blaise.”
“Then go shower,” Blaise deadpanned. “Or go shag her again.”
“Oh, fuck off,” Draco responded, before storming up to the dormitories.
Blaise couldn’t help laughing at his friend’s predictability. However, his laughter died when he looked down and realized that dropping his quill had spilled ink all over his essay.
Being Blaise Zabini was so hard.
It was midnight after an interclub party. Blaise was in his room, kissing the neck of the pretty sixth year Ravenclaw he had been pursuing.
“Blaise,” she purred, arching her neck towards him.
“Yeah, baby,” he whispered, as his hands began to move her dress up her legs.
That’s when the knocking began.
“Ignore it,” Blaise whispered, pushing her harder against the wall.
“Blaise!” A voice called from outside as a fist pounded on the door. “I know you’re fucking in there.”
“I swear to the Founders…” Blaise muttered before calling back. “Not a good time, Draco!”
“Open the door, you bitch.”
Blaise mentally slapped himself in the face before detaching him from the girl and groaning. “Give me one second,” he muttered, moving to the door and opening it a fraction to meet the white face of Draco Malfoy.
“Mate,” Blaise muttered. “I’m kind of occupied…”
Draco didn’t even let him finish before storming into the room. The Ravenclaw gasped at the intrusion before turning to Blaise. “Maybe I should just go.”
“No!” he cried, but she had already left. He turned to Draco, fuming.
“I could literally castrate you right now.”
“I fucked Granger again,” Draco said, pacing, hardly even noticing Blaise’s comment.
“Why the fuck do I care about this?” Blaise said, angrily. “So, you fucked her again. Big deal.”
“It is a big deal!” Draco cried. “It’s Granger! With her hair, and her pretty eyes and her stupid laugh and…”
“You have to be the densest person I’ve ever met,” Blaise said, rolling his eyes. “Have you ever in your entire life felt an emotion?”
“I’m feeling emotions right now,” Draco replied, skin still pale. “Something weird happens in my stomach when I see her. It’s…it’s warm, I guess?”
“You absolute fuckwad,” Blaise responded. “You’re in love with her. That’s it. That’s the mystery.”
Blaise had never seen a jaw drop faster. “I…I am not in love with her! That’s…that’s blasphemy.”
“Draco, you can’t go a day without mentioning her. If I had a galleon for every time you said her name, I’d be richer than my mother.”
“That’s not love, that’s hate!”
“Thin line,” Blaise said. “Now, because you’re a bastard and just interrupted my evening, you can get the hell out of here and deal with this new concept called feelings by yourself.”
God, Blaise hated his life.
“You’re going to set the table on fire if you stare at it any harder,” Pansy said to Draco about a month later at dinner.
Blaise didn’t even have to look to know.
Even though Draco hadn’t told him anything more, he knew that the Slytherin Prince and Gryffindor Princess were still shagging. The late-night arrivals, the unexplained marks on them both, and the pink blush that appeared on Granger’s face every time she glanced at Draco were telling enough.
“Have you come to terms with your feelings yet?” Blaise asked patiently, as if addressing a child.
“I don’t have any feelings for her,” Draco muttered, casting his eyes downwards.
“You know, I’m getting pretty tired of this,” Blaise said, biting into his meal.
“Tired of what?”
“You,” he replied, pointing at Draco with his fork. “You’ve spent years not being able to focus on anything but this girl, you got infatuated, now you’re banging her, and you still can’t admit to yourself that maybe, just maybe, it means something more.”
“I could never feel anything more for her,” Draco snarled. “It doesn’t matter that she’s smart, and funny, and pretty. I mean, just the way she looks at me is…I can’t…I don’t care about Hermione Granger.”
And that was the moment that Blaise Zabini finally snapped.
He had spent years, YEARS, listening patiently to his best friend complain about this girl. He hadn’t pushed it. He had listened. And in return, he had been ignored. He had been yelled at. He had spilled ink on his essay. He hadn’t gotten past first with the Ravenclaw.
He had it so fucking hard.
All because Draco Malfoy couldn’t come to the realization that maybe his heart wasn’t made of coal.
Blaise stood up with purpose, swinging his legs over the bench, and began to march towards the Gryffindor table.
“Oh no,” he heard Pansy say behind him, but he didn’t stop.
He stormed on, garnering attention from other tables as he made such a big show of crossing the hall. He didn’t care. He had eyes for one person and one person only.
He headed down the aisle towards her. As he passed more and more Gryffindors, the silence in the hall grew more prominent.
At his final approach, she noticed and turned to meet his eyes. She raised an eyebrow. “Blaise, what are you…”
He cut across her effortlessly. “I’m doing this for your benefit.” Then he reached down, wrapped his arms around her waist, lifted her to her feet, and kissed her.
He barely had time to enjoy himself, or sense any of her reactions before he was yanked back, spun around, and promptly punched in the face.
“Mother fucker!” Blaise shouted, reaching his hand up to nurse his bloody nose.
“Don’t touch her, you bastard!” Draco screamed, fists still raised.
The hall went dead silent.
Blaise took several steps forward, flinching as blood trickled down his face. “Why would you care? I thought that was the exact opposite of what you were doing.”
Draco blinked several times. It was almost painful for Blaise to watch the realization dawn on his best friend. His fists lowered very slowly, he took several steps backward, and nearly ran from the hall.
Blaise took several deep breaths before taking out his wand and pointing it at his nose. “Episkey,” he muttered, feeling his nose heal.
Then he turned to Granger.
The poor Gryffindor looked scared. Her face was white, she was shaking, and he swore there were tears in her eyes.
“Do you love him?” Blaise asked, quietly enough so that her goons couldn’t hear.
“I…I don’t know,” she replied, blinking rapidly.
“Not you too,” Blaise groaned. He reached forward and took her hands.
Then he got down on one knee.
Hermione’s fear turned to terror. “Blaise, what are you doing…”
“Hermione Granger,” Blaise started, ignoring the gasps and murmurs from around them. “I don’t know you very well. You seem nice. I would love to get to know you better. Know what else I would love? For you and Draco to admit to each other that somehow, against all odds, you managed to fall in love. It’s true. I know Draco loves you because he talks about you all the fucking time. I know you love him because I’m good at reading people in the same way that you’re good at reading books. I’m reading you right now. You love that bastard, though it’s incomprehensible to me why.”
She blinked several times. “I…I’m scared.”
“And I don’t really care,” he replied promptly. “Because that boy is head over heels for you. And you haven’t had the intense, and I mean intense displeasure of hearing him talk about you every day for years as he tried to come to terms with his feelings.”
He took a deep breath. “So, Hermione, because Draco Malfoy is a pussy ass bitch, you’re going to have to be the one to tell him the truth. And honestly, I don’t care about taking him out of his misery. Take me out of my misery, Hermione Granger. Be the one. Please.”
There were several moments of silence as she just stared at him. Then, slowly, she nodded. “I’ll talk to him.”
Blaise was on his feet before she was done her sentence. He let go of her hands, raised his own to the ceiling and let out a cry of victory.
About fucking time. Freedom. Thank Merlin and the founders, he was free at last.
“Blaise, do you think Hermione will like this tux?”
“Draco, it’s your wedding tux. I doubt she’s gone this far just to dump you because of your outfit.”
“But, I mean, will she like it? Like really like it? I just want her to really like it…”
“Draco, I sweaR TO gOD…”
It really was hard being him.