Harry didn't fall asleep that night. He lay in his bed wondering. Those hours at the lake had been...different. This coupling had neither the violence nor the desperation of previous encounters. It seemed dreamlike in his memory - the stars shifting in and out of focus, the deliberate grace of Draco's touch, the quaking pleasure, the sharp smell of grass and damp earth. Heat and cold had seemed painfully acute, more like emotions than sensations. And the look in Draco's eyes...
Harry marveled at the way he reacted to the Slytherin. He had screamed as Draco's fingertips lead him in the torturously slow dance towards climax. He had screamed himself hoarse. *Such pleasure is a kind of pain.*
Finally, Harry's thoughts were interrupted by the sounding of his alarm, and he grudgingly staggered from his bed to greet the day.
Pansy sat on her bed, a mirror in hand, staring deeply into her own countenance. People rarely paid very much attention to her face. Friends whispered their gossip with sidelong glances, and enemies, behind cupped hands. Boys rarely seemed to drag their eyes from her cleavage or buttocks. No, her face wasn't her best feature. It was plain and flat - not ugly, but not pretty either. Aristocratic.
Today it looked pallid and drawn - a radical change from her usual composed expression. Someone was bound to notice. She couldn't be seen like this. She magicked away the bags from under her eyes and cast a faint glamour to disguise the unusual paleness of her skin.
It wasn't fear that sucked the blush from her cheek. Certainly it was a frightful thought, what Draco might do to her if he learned of her betrayal. He wouldn't kill her though. Pansy knew that much. He could die because of what she'd done, but he wouldn't kill her. No, it wasn't fear. It was guilt that sallowed her skin. Bitter, useless guilt.
It had been the perfect plan, really. She'd told Goyle - the father, not the son. The son was too stupid to be of any use. The father was just stupid enough to try to curry favor from the Dark Lord in any way he could. Goyle would tell Voldemort. He would make Draco look like a traitor for carrying on with Potter. He would make Lucius look like a traitor for condoning his son's behavior. Punishment would be the obvious course of action.
Now Lucius was a survivor. He would twist the situation in any way necessary to save himself - including allowing Draco to take the brunt of Voldemort's fury. And as Draco had crushed her dreams, Voldemort would crush Draco. He might simply kill the young Slytherin. He'd probably do worse, using Draco's relationship with Potter to his advantage, and everyone else's detriment.
How did the saying go again? - 'Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain.'
She shouldn't have told Goyle, but Lucius, who would have punished his son and put an end to the relationship. Lucius would never hurt Draco as Voldemort would. Lucius was Draco's flesh and blood. But Pansy had really, really wanted to hurt Draco. *And now, there'll be blood on my hands.*
But Draco was intelligent, was he not? If she warned him of the danger, he might be able to save himself. Pansy threw herself into action. She gathered her books and walked in quick, determined strides towards the breakfast hall. Perhaps her guilt was not so useless after all.
She caught Draco moments before he stepped through the doors to join his friends at the Slytherin table and hauled him into a dark corner. He grunted in surprise, jerking away to see who had abducted him. A flash of disappointment crossed his face. *He probably thought I was Potter offering a quick snog before the morning meal,* she thought crossly.
"Parkinson." Draco only called her by her last name when he was particularly annoyed with her. "Whatever you want with me, I'm not in the mood."
"I know, Draco."
Pansy put on her best sneer. It would do her no good if Draco thought she had gone soft for him. "You. Potter. Lakeside retreat..."
Draco's demeanor darkened with rage. He slammed the girl against the wall. His voice was soft and dangerous. "Quite the little voyeur, aren't you. You think you can blackmail me now?"
Pansy forced herself not to cower in fear. Draco could be very imposing when he felt the need. She wiped all emotion from her face. "Oh, Draco, don't get your knickers in a twist." A coarse, common phrase to mock Draco's coarse, common treatment of her. The insult worked. He reigned in his rage, released her from the wall and stepped back.
Pansy took a moment to smooth out her robes. "I would never try to use this information to toy with you. Toys are for children, don't you agree?"
"You're not going to blackmail me. Would you mind enlightening me as to the point of this little chat, then?"
"Let's just say I'm not the only one who knows. My owl should be returning to my room any moment now."
Draco paled, if that were possible with his complexion. "My father. You told my father."
"Why no. Actually it haven't tell you're father. Sir Goyle, rather, has been informed of this fascinating development between you and Potter."
Draco drew his eyebrows together in confusion. "Why would you -"
It was now Pansy's voice which had gone soft and dangerous. "Just think of the repercussions."
Draco took a few moments to do just that. He was as smart as Pansy suspected. He needed no further explanation to understand the consequences of her actions. Pansy waited to see what the blonde would do next.
Draco just looked at her. The anger was gone from his face. Hopelessness had taken it's place. In a sad, lost voice, he said, "Why?"
Pansy hadn't expected this reaction. *So, you're human after all.* She forced herself to maintain her stoicism in the face of Draco's obvious suffering. She smiled cruelly. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Draco. You know that."
She turned to leave. "I'd love to see how you squirm your way out of this one."
Draco watched her go. He then turned back towards the breakfast hall. He wondered at her parting phrase. He had thought that her only purpose was to torture him. And yet, by the way she'd worded that last statement, it was as if she were challenging him to save himself. This was too much to think about. He turned his attention to his breakfast.
Blaise tried to start up a conversation, but Draco only offered a few noncommittal answers, his mind only registering direct questions. He needed to formulate a plan. He had to tell Harry. Harry had to understand the danger. Ugh - and then the idiot would probably run to Dumbledore and he'd never be able to look the old man in the eye. *Damn it, it's not bloody fair!* A plan. He needed to formulate a plan. Unfortunately, he had no information to work with. The only thing that Draco knew about Voldemort with any certainty was that he wanted Potter dead.
And in a moment, Draco hated Voldemort. It was funny - Draco had never hated him before. He might not have liked Voldemort, but had certainly never hated him. So the bastard had wanted to kill Potter. It had'nt bothered Draco before. Only now, the Dark Lord might actually have the means to do so. *And no one touches what's mine.* Draco suspected that if he wanted to protect the Gryffindor, he'd have to break off their arrangement.
Draco did want to protect Harry. He didn't dare question himself as to why. Instinct told him he wouldn't like the answer. He only knew that he wanted Harry safe, and he was standing in the way of Harry's safety. He had to end their...whatever it was they had. He had to end it. He didn't know if he was even capable of ending it anymore. Needing air, Draco quickly swallowed about half of his breakfast and excused himself.
Across the room, Harry watched the blonde leave the hall looking upset and distracted. He frowned. Turning back to his friends, he found himself unable to maintain interest in their idle, happy chatter. His frown deepened. Seamus asked if anything was the matter. Harry shook his head, grabbed a fork, and picked at his food until it was time for class.
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