The Least Tragedy by dee
Summary: So many things died during the war, really this is nothing at all.
Categories: Harry Potter
Warnings: Language, Themes
Published: 16 July 2007
Updated: 16 July 2007
The Least Tragedy by dee
Chapter 1: The Least TragedyAuthor's Notes:
The divorce was finalised on the 21st of March. On the 22nd, Pansy got up, same as always, drank her coffee, went to work.
There wasn't really anything to mourn. Seventeen months, a week, four days. Even Muggle celebrities managed longer than that.
She remembers the first time Draco kissed her properly. The first real kiss. So cold, so clear. They'd kissed before, of course, because they were supposed to be dating, everyone knew they were supposed to be dating, even them. They were outside. It was winter. She had snow in her hair.
"Parks," he said, and - "Yeah?" - she turned and he was closer than either of them had expected. His hand on the side of her face, warm skin, he'd taken his mitten off.
He kissed her smooth and lingering and sweet - mostly sweet, anyway. Maybe a little not sweet. Maybe a tiny brush of his tongue against her almost parted lips. Maybe she'd hummed just barely into his mouth.
It ended naturally, and she forgot it almost immediately. "Your nose is cold," she said, and he laughed.
She didn't tell him when she found out because she wasn't sure how he'd feel about it, and he was going away the next day anyway. He was always going away, always busy, but he was fighting for what they believed in, she could hardly begrudge him that.
She thought she'd have time.
She hid it from him while he was away, struggling through morning sickness when he got in touch. (Which he still did. He was very conscientious. Later, she realised that was so she wouldn't have to lie when either side asked - and both did. Or, alternatively, she had no choice but the truth.)
Because she hadn't told him, she couldn't tell anyone else, not even (especially not) her mother, because knowledge was currency.
By the time Draco came home, she told herself, she'd know what she wanted to do with the baby.
Circe Magazine ("for the witch who wants everything") takes up the top floor of a trendy renovated warehouse, and the doors up and down its corridors are never fully closed. The editor's policy is that a sharing, inclusive workplace is a vibrant, creative workplace. It drives Pansy vibrantly and creatively mad, because people are constantly barging in on her, and she thinks wistfully that if she could just close the flaming door, maybe they'd think she wasn't in and wouldn't disturb her every ten minutes.
She's just about got the proofs perfect when the knock comes, and she glares at her big easel, not daring to look away as she measures out the boundaries of the necessary charm with her fingers, her wand clenched between her teeth. Two minutes more. But the knock sounds again, and she grimaces around ten inches of hazel. "What?" she shouts as best she can, still not looking away from her work.
"Is that any way to greet a friend?" It's a rich voice, a beautiful voice. Everything about him is beautiful and rich.
Pansy smiles around her wand at the canvas her fingers are still pinning. "Blaise."
"I'll be downstairs."
He leaves. She actually gets something finished, for once. See? Not such a bad day after all.
She hasn't kept up with any of the girls from school. Millicent went to America, of course, and Daphne, Tracey, those girls... none of them seemed to want to know her after the divorce. Or, more specifically, after the divorce and the Dark Arts Investigative Committee left the Parkinson fortune in the hands of the Ministry and her mother's name in the mud. (The Malfoys, of course, got off.) After that, Hepsibah had been found hanging from the chandelier in the west ballroom of the house in Anglia. So many people had owled Pansy transparent, saccharine condolences. Like they cared. Like she cared. Like her mother had even allowed Pansy in the house since she'd said those three life-altering words: I've left him.
In fact, she hoped it hadn't been a suicide. She hoped her father had finally found the courage to do what should have been done many years ago. She couldn't ask, though, because Frank had taken as much of the Parkinson wealth as he could easily lay hands on and gone to the Cayman Islands. Wasn't answering owls, of course. Leaving Pansy her magazine job, a monthly struggle to make rent and the pointed whispers of wizarding society.
Third-hand she'd heard that Tracey had been made a divisional leader at the Floo Network. Occasionally she heard from Blaise that he still saw Daphne at the Ministry when he was by on business. In the Minister's office, where Draco worked as well. The fucking slag.
She couldn't summon that much ire. He was a good catch. He always had been.
Blaise is waiting in the lobby, the receptionist charmed almost out of her chair and across the counter. Mind you, he probably only had to walk into the building to achieve that; Blaise has been Circe's "most eligible Wizard" twice in the past four years, and the female staff tend to flutter about when they're doing photo shoots.
"You're looking well," he says, straightening up from the counter as Pansy comes down the final few steps. He kisses her cheek, and Pansy shuts her eyes against the daggers being shot her way.
"Really?" she says. "I feel frightful. I need a coffee and a cigarette." And a damn good fuck, but she doesn't say that.
Blaise smiles, sparkling and charming and a little wicked, as though he's heard it anyway, and Pansy can hear the receptionist's heart skip a beat from all the way over here. "Well, let's see what we can do about that." He tucks his arm around her waist and guides her towards the door, tossing over his shoulder, "See you next time, Yvette."
Was that her name? Pansy hasn't bothered learning. They're all interchangeable bimbos. She doesn't give a damn.
She'd never been one to do things by half measures, so when she left Draco, when Hepsibah couldn't talk her around and she got herself kicked out of her family home, she came to London and rented an apartment in Kensington. She bleached her hair, took up smoking, and got outrageously drunk every night for two and a half weeks. Outrageously. Ended up at parties full of people she didn't recognise, ended up at Muggle parties, ended up snorting a line of cocaine off the pale chest of a wasted blond, the job made harder because he kept giggling, and she was dabbing at her nose when someone grabbed her elbow and yanked.
He had her in the courtyard before she managed to get him in focus, and then she pulled her arm out of his grip so hard she went staggering backwards, knocking a potplant off the window sill to shatter on the flagstones.
Draco turned and looked at her, this look, and she wanted to die, she wanted to crawl back into the party and pull it over her head and never, ever emerge again.
"Fuck off," she spat.
He stepped closer, but she had her eyes closed when he touched her, soft in her hair, on the side of her face. "Pansy," he said, and she screwed her eyes tighter closed against the sound of it. "I don't know what they're going to do, you have to hide."
"What do you think I've been doing?" she snarled, and shoved him hard, opening her eyes again to watch with satisfaction as he took two steps back, arms up for balance.
Shadows shifted in the courtyard - someone else she hadn't noticed. "Fuck this. Let's go, Malfoy." She couldn't pick details out of the dark, just a large silhouette, red hair.
Red hair? "Is that a Weasley?" she demanded. It was. A Weasley, one of them, the boys. And she wasn't that far gone. Some things clicked into place. So easy to connect the dots, really. As though she'd always known, but hadn't wanted to admit it.
When he reached for her again, she had her eyes open, shook his hand off before he could get anywhere near. "Fuck off," she repeated. "Go and win your fucking war. I'll be just fine. Without you."
Of course. He always went.
She remembers the last time he kissed her properly. The last time at all. Lost and alone in her own home as he kissed her distractedly at the bottom of the stairs, on his way out the door again though he only just came in the night before. She couldn't even complain; she was supposed to support the cause.
"Draco!" she'd said, not even taking care with what showed in her voice.
Maybe that was why he turned back. Left the door open even as he came back to her, standing forlorn on the bottom step, clutching the balustrade. He touched her hair, ran a finger along her hairline, as he looked at her. Really looked at her, like he hadn't in months, and she thought she'd tell him now.
But he said, "I'm so sorry, but I have to go. I have to. You can't-- I'll explain everything, I promise."
Then he kissed her, drawing her close with his fingers curled into her hair at the nape of her neck, so sweet.
And then he was gone.
"Draco," she said. But she couldn't even figure out how to say it to the empty foyer, to the closed door. I'm pregnant. Except that wasn't right. I was pregnant.
You didn't know, and now there's no reason why you ever should.
Packing took much less time than she had thought it would.
"Pansy," Blaise says, and she hates that tone in his voice, hates it when he's being serious, so she fiddles with her coffeecup, glancing up when he sighs and leans forward across the table. "Pansy. I have to tell you something. It's..." And she hates especially when he's uncertain, because nothing unsettles Blaise, nothing at all ruffles his immaculate feathers, but he's dithering over the rest of this sentence and her stomach has already fallen away, leaving a pit inside her before he says, "It's Draco. He's getting married."
She can't see a fucking thing, which is ridiculous because if she cries it will ruin her eye make-up. Absolutely impossible. The cup judders in her grip and she lets it go with a clunk onto the table. She presses her fingers into the tabletop and Blaise's hands cover them and make her blink, shaking the tears loose from her eyes. Fuck.
"I'm fine," she says, too quick. Pulls a hand free to wipe her cheeks, one quick swipe each, back and heel of her hand. "Fine," she repeats. "It's. Good for him." She tries, makes the shape with her mouth, but can't actually bring herself to ask who.
While she's wrestling with it, Blaise is watching her, as close as he can get across the table, her hand engulfed in his, his fingers so long they curl up her wrist, and he's watching her, a softness in that face that has been in every major wizarding magazine. A warmth in his eyes Yvette and all the receptionists of the world would kill to see.
"Pansy," he says, and she shakes her head, but he says it again, "Pansy." Reaching out towards her, fingers towards her face. "You know you only have to--"
"I know," she says, and leans backwards. Just a little, but he freezes, lets her hand go entirely, and she should perhaps wince, for being so sharp.
But she's always known she only has to ask. Always known she could have him.
Maybe that's why she's never wanted to.
The day she started the job at Circe was the day the war was officially over. There were people dancing in the fucking street when she came out of the office, exhausted and in desperate need of a drink and a cigarette. They were handing out special editions of the Prophet, but she didn't take one. Didn't want to look at the pictures or scan the names. She was pretty sure he'd be there, his lot thrown in with the victorious side. Clever boy.
The rest of the office was going to celebrate. Pansy, even then, was better at drinking alone. Two thirds of a bottle of vodka on the shitty little balcony off her apartment, trying not to remember that it was around now that their child would've been born.
So many people died during the war, so many things. Draco's father, two of the Weasleys, any chance of Pureblood dignity. When you looked at it like that, she's lost nothing at all; some childish idea of fairytale romance, a potential child that never even was. The least tragedy. She should get the fuck over it.
She lit a cigarette with hands that barely trembled at all, and thought one day she will.
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