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A Tale of Two Princes by academica
Chapter 3 : Year Two
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5


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“Paige?”

 

The girl started slightly at the sound of her name. She looked to see her father extending a hand down to her from his place on the ladder. “The beet root, please.” The two were wedged tightly into the tiny Potions pantry, attempting to finish up inventory mere hours before the start of term.

 

“Sorry.” She found the jar in the half-full box on the floor and handed it up to him.

 

His next words were even more surprising. “Are you all right?”

 

Paige knew she must look deep in thought if her father noticed enough to ask. Well, she was quite pensive. The Hogwarts Express would be pulling into the station at five o’clock, and instead of hanging eagerly off the Astronomy Tower, this year she would be awaiting the arrival of Draco and her friends at the Slytherin table with everyone else. If she wanted to get closer to him, she would need to appear inconspicuous, just one of the crowd. After all, if Pansy got any hint that Paige sought special attention from her boyfriend, she would have her head.

 

“Yes. Are we almost done?” She asked, handing him a jar of horned toad entrails automatically as he sought it from above.

 

“I suppose.” He frowned slightly, having very little… well, patience for impatience. “Do you have a prior commitment you simply must dash off to?”

 

“No.” She replied quietly. “I-It’s just that the Sorting will begin soon.”

 

“A fact of which I was already aware.” He said dismissively. “Though I did not expect you to be so interested in the placement of the first-years, seeing as you have moved on to second year.” He shifted a jar of bumblebee legs to the left to make room for a bigger one containing millipede segments. “Or perhaps it is simply that you miss your friends?”

 

Paige nodded. He couldn’t possibly understand, of course – the people he spent time with were more like associates than friends, anyway.

 

Professor Snape extended his hand downward, motioning to the jar of field mouse brains in the box. “There is still half an hour before the train is scheduled to arrive. You’ll have no trouble finding a seat.”

 

Paige sighed, handing him the jar. He took it, found a place for it on the shelf, and then climbed down off the ladder, turning to face his daughter, placing one hand on each of her shoulders.

 

“You know, Paige, I love you very much.”

 

She nodded with a smile, no longer able to maintain her air of frustration.

 

“I am very proud of you. You are beautiful, intelligent, and good-hearted, all prized qualities that make you a gift of a daughter. You are also becoming an talented witch, and I am especially glad to see how your interest and skill in my own field have grown.” His expression flickered just slightly at his next words, a change so tiny that no one who hadn’t lived with him for many years would have even noticed. “Your mother would be very happy to know you.”

 

Paige looked down. This was a difficult subject for him. Her mother had left many years ago, around Christmastime, when Paige was only two. Her father had never explained her departure, but Paige had deduced that it likely had to do with his solitary nature and frequent absences from home, which occurred at all hours. As far as she was concerned, her mother could stay away. She and her father had always done just fine by themselves.

 

“Now, I know you enjoyed spending time with Draco this summer, and I’m sure you’re very excited to see your friends again this evening.” He looked at her intently. “Just be careful. Remember what I’ve always told you: not everyone has good intentions. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes.” Paige nodded again, leaning in and giving him a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Don’t worry, Dad. You’ll always be my number one.” She smiled.

 

“That is why you’re my favorite daughter.” He placed another hand on the ladder. “I can handle the rest of this myself. You’d best go and get ready, don’t you think?”

 

Paige looked down, realizing that she was still in sweatpants. “Right. Thanks.” She headed off to the common room, wondering how she was going to decide what to wear to the Sorting.


 


 

The first class of the year for the Slytherin and Gryffindor second-years was Transfiguration. The students filtered into Professor McGonagall’s classroom, dividing instantly into their respective sides. Paige chose a seat near the front, her friends following closely behind. Draco and Daphne both moved to sit next to her, but Pansy predictably plopped her bag down first. “You know, I was so busy telling you about my trip to Paris with my mother, I completely forgot to ask about your summer last night at dinner. Since you didn’t bother to owl me even once, I’m assuming it was action-packed.” She said, smiling as if she expected a very juicy story.

 

“Oh.” Paige said shortly, blanking. Draco shot her a cautious look from the next row back. They had spent a great deal of time together, mostly talking about life at Hogwarts and taking turns on Draco’s new broomstick. Paige had even taken a few trips out to Diagon Alley with Draco’s mother to explore the shops. Though these activities were harmlessly platonic, Pansy would surely assume the worst if she ever found out, and Pansy knew everything that anyone knew at Hogwarts. It was thus very important that these details remained between Paige and Draco alone.

 

“Well, I spent most of my time with Dad, actually.” Paige said finally. Pansy’s expression fell slightly. This admission was clearly a disappointment. “He really wants me to be his apprentice when I get a bit older, and he thinks we need to start early to make sure I’m ready for it.”

 

“That’s no fun.” Pansy sighed, running a hand through her hair. “I mean, how are you supposed to get a boyfriend if you spend all day in the dungeons? I don’t even want to see your nails.”

 

Paige was about to check them herself when Professor McGonagall signaled the start of class.

 

“Good morning, students.” The professor said, beginning to pace up and down the center aisle. “I hope you all enjoyed your summer, and it’s good to see everyone back at Hogwarts. The first project we shall undertake this year is the process of turning a rabbit into a sweater. This spell will work with just about any furry animal, and it can make quite a difference if you ever find yourself in the midst of a very cold winter with your family pet. As always, the creature will not be harmed, and you can turn the animal back when you no longer have a need for the sweater.”

 

The students chuckled a bit and began to move into their usual groups.

 

“Just a moment, please.” Professor McGonagall interrupted. “Now, I am pleased to see that you all had no trouble making friends during your first year. However, it’s always good to seize the opportunity to get to know others and make new friends. Therefore, I will be placing you into pairs for this lesson.”

 

The Slytherins and Gryffindors groaned at equal volumes. Ignoring this, Professor McGonagall began separating the students into groups of two. When Draco was paired with Dean Thomas, Pansy immediately moved next to Paige in a move of desperation, but Professor McGonagall motioned for them to separate. “Miss Parkinson, you’re with Miss Brown.” She paused, thinking carefully. “Paige… Miss Bulstrode, if you will.”

 

Paige nodded, glancing toward the back of the room, where Millicent was seated. Though they had both been paired with Gryffindors, Daphne and Pansy both shot her a sympathetic look. Millicent was more than a mere social calamity; she didn’t seem to possess a great deal of skill as a witch, either. Paige would most likely be doing this lesson on her own, only to share the credit at the end. Sighing, she tossed the strap of her bag over one shoulder and strode back to where Millicent was sitting.

 

“Hi.” She said softly, setting her things down and taking a seat. “I’m Paige.”

 

“I know who you are. Everyone does.” Millicent said, though her tone was not unkind. “I’m Millicent.” She offered, looking nervous. Paige felt a pang of pity.

 

“It’s nice to meet you.” Paige replied, petting the black rabbit before them.

 

“Obviously you’re good at Potions.” Millicent added. “How are you with this?”

 

“I suppose we’ll see.” Paige said, and the rabbit seemed to tense slightly.

 

The girls worked through the lesson slowly. Paige picked it up after a short time, and with a bit of help, Millicent was soon able to do it on her own as well. Professor McGonagall even asked them to demonstrate for the class toward the end of the period. When the lesson was over, they returned the rabbit to Professor McGonagall and Paige packed up her things to go. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her usual crowd heading her way now that they had been freed from their respective partners. Millicent seemed to notice this as well, seeing as she finished packing up very quickly.

 

“Well, thanks. It was nice to meet you.” She said, turning to go with a small smile.

 

Paige nodded, arranging the strap of her bag across her body.

 

“Go on now, Bulstrode, you can’t hog her attention forever.” Pansy drawled loudly, coming up behind them and taking Draco’s hand. “Come on, Paige, why don’t we celebrate your little act of charity with a chocolate? Mum sent me some this morning and I’ll get so fat if I eat them all.” She laughed cruelly. “We’ve got time to stop by the common room before Potions, don’t we?”

 

“Actually, Paige, I’d like to have a word, if you don’t mind.” Professor McGonagall said, standing by the door. “I’m sure your father won’t mind if you’re a minute or two late.”

 

Pansy rolled her eyes, leading the group out of the room. Behind them, Harry Potter and his friends also exited. Hermione Granger offered Paige a genuine smile, which she returned.

 

“I paired you with Miss Bulstrode because I thought you’d be the most civil out of your group of friends. I was correct.” She smiled at Paige. “As usual, you make me proud, Paige. All of us are quite proud of you.” She paused, and then seemed to remember what she’d truly meant to discuss. “I’m doing a lesson on alchemy for my seventh years in a few weeks. It is, after all, sort of a pairing of Potions and Transfiguration. Anyway, I need your father to look over my draft and make sure I’ve done the Potions history component correctly.” She handed Paige a very thick roll of parchment. “Could you ensure this makes it into his hands?”

 

“Of course.” Paige nodded, taking it from her. “Did you need anything else, Professor?”

 

“No, that’s all. Scurry along to Potions, now.” Professor McGonagall said absently, already having mentally moved along to her next task.

 

Paige headed out the door and turned quickly down the stairs to the dungeons. Her father wouldn’t embarrass her for being late, but his tolerance was not infinite, even for her.


 


 

The weeks continued to pass, and Paige busied herself with schoolwork while trying not to notice Pansy and Draco canoodling at every turn. She was enjoying a break from such a performance on this particular evening, sitting in the common room after classes and idly working on an essay for History of Magic while listening to Marcus and Adrian plan the annual Saints and Sinners party.

 

“I say this year we make it a lingerie party.” Adrian grinned.

 

“Oh, you can be sure I won’t come.” Paige said, glancing over at him.

 

“That’s fine. You’re not exactly one of the easiest girls in Slytherin as it is.” He replied.

 

“Yes, but you would be one of the best catches.” Marcus added, smiling at her. “Because of this, I’m afraid our little get-together must include only Paige-friendly activities.”

 

Paige smiled at her friend, rolling her eyes as Adrian sighed dramatically.

 

“You’re going to look so fit in that uniform.” A voice said behind them. Pansy and Draco came into the common room, Crabbe and Goyle trailing in after them. Pansy noticed Paige sitting in the middle of the room. “Ooh, have you heard?”

 

“Heard what?” Daphne spoke up from her place in the corner, where she was watching Blaise and Theo play wizard chess.

 

“I’ve just been made Seeker.” Draco said proudly. “On top of that, my father has graciously donated brand new Nimbus 2001s to the entire team.” Marcus attempted to look as though he didn’t care, but the brief sparkle in his eye gave away his delight at being given the newest, fastest broomstick on the market for the small price of kicking his old Seeker off the team.

 

Most everyone in the common room was now paying attention, and they voiced their approval.

 

“Anyway, as you know, our first game is coming up very soon.” Draco continued. “I’m sure you all will show up to watch us put the Gryffindors in their graves.” He glanced at Paige, meeting her eyes for a little too long before Pansy spoke up again.

 

“Come on, Drakie, let’s go outside. You’ve got to take me for a spin on your new broomstick.”

 

Draco cringed slightly at the nickname. “Pans, you hate flying.” He said quietly.

 

“Nonsense.” She laughed, cuddling up to him, clearly enjoying all of the attention.

 

“Erm, all right.” Draco looked back at Paige once more before heading for the door with Pansy.

 

“No one is going anywhere.” Professor Snape came through the door, looking very cross. “Everyone take a seat. Something very serious has just occurred, and Professor Dumbledore has instructed me to discuss it with all of you.” He looked around the room. “Greengrass, Zabini, go up and rouse the students napping in their rooms.” A group of Slytherins filtered into the room now, some looking scared, others confused, and some even appearing triumphant.

 

When everyone was assembled, Professor Snape took his place in front of the fireplace. “As some of you know, a message was found written in blood in a corridor a few moments ago. The message indicated that the legendary Chamber of Secrets has been opened, and that the Heir of Slytherin has returned to claim the lives of Muggle-born students.”

 

Paige sat forward slightly in her seat, surprised. Naturally, she had heard the story before, but for some reason she had always assumed it was just a myth meant to frighten Muggle-borns. Her father’s expression, however, demonstrated his belief that this was a very real concern.

 

“Our house is now under a great deal of scrutiny from the rest of the school. As a member of the faculty, I am obviously charged with protecting all of the students, including the Muggle-borns. If anyone has any information on these events, I expect him or her to come forward immediately and reveal those details to me so that some resolution of this matter may be found.” He stood up and exited the common room, indicating that the meeting was now over. The common room was immediately abuzz.

 

“Who d’you think it is?” Adrian asked.

 

“Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?” Pansy said. “It’s not like they’re going to give themselves up, though. They’d be expelled, wouldn’t they?”

 

“Probably sent to Azkaban.” Paige corrected.

 

“It’s not such a bad thing, I think.” Draco said, sitting down. “This school would be a lot more respectable if we got rid of all the Mudbloods.”

 

Paige looked down, not wanting to get involved. Blood status had never concerned her much.

 

“You incriminating yourself, then, Malfoy?” Marcus smirked.

 

“No, it’s not me.” Draco retorted. “Wish I knew who it was, though. I’d give him a list.”

 

“Granger’s name would be at the top.” Pansy added, giggling.

 

“I hope they find out who it is soon.” Paige said quietly to Adrian, avoiding getting involved in the current conversation. Hermione seemed nice, as far as she was concerned, and she made a fine witch. “I mean, I’m not looking forward to all this anti-Slytherin sentiment Dad’s talking about.”

 

Adrian looked at her with a slight smirk. “Isn’t there already plenty of anti-Slytherin sentiment?”

 

Paige nodded, laughing just slightly. He made a good point.


 


 

If the rest of the school held any anti-Slytherin feelings, they had a wonderful opportunity to express them at the first Quidditch game of the year. While the crowd was usually limited to the two houses competing, this time Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff students came out in droves to support Gryffindor. Paige didn’t envy her friends down on the field from her place in the Slytherin stands. However, true to Slytherin form, they carefully hid any anxiety they had in favor of bravado.

 

Marcus shook hands bitterly with the Gryffindor captain, Oliver Wood. With an amused smile, Paige recalled catching Wood in the act of staring at her at lunch one day. He seemed like a nice boy, really, but he was a little too squeaky-clean to be interesting. Below her, the game began.

 

Unfortunately, the game did not go well for the Slytherins. Marcus and Adrian flew hard against the wind initially, netting several goals for the team and putting them far ahead of the Gryffindors, but thanks to the hard work of the Weasley twins, the Slytherins fell behind after a while. Draco seemed a bit too bent on tripping up Harry Potter to pay attention to the Snitch, and he lost ownership of it after a long and harrowing chase and a rather hard landing. As the game concluded and the Gryffindors began their celebration, Madam Hooch took a look at Draco.

 

“You seem all right, but best to have Madam Pomfrey take a look at it just in case.” They both looked up to see Paige and Pansy trailing onto the pitch to see if Draco was okay. Paige held an expression of mild concern, whereas Pansy simply looked ticked off that her boyfriend hadn’t lived up to her expectations. Harry walked past them toward the exit, handing the snitch over to Madam Hooch as he went. Paige congratulated him quietly on his performance, but he either didn’t hear her or didn’t care to respond.

 

“Paige, would you mind helping Mr. Malfoy to the hospital wing?” Madam Hooch asked, preferring to seek the assistance of the girl she knew and trusted over the disenchanted-looking Pansy.

 

“Sure.” Paige nodded, and Draco’s expression lightened slightly. As happy as she was to enjoy a few moments alone with Draco, Paige knew better than to cross Pansy. “Pans, you coming?”

 

“No, thanks.” Pansy crossed her arms. “I’ve got homework to do. Besides, he looks fine. I’m sure he’ll be back to the common room in no time.” She added, speaking with an air that implied that she was disappointed not to have a victory party to distract her from her studies.

 

“Okay.” Paige nodded. Draco didn’t seem disturbed by Pansy’s behavior at all.

 

“Well, go on. It’s getting dark.” Madam Hooch advised.

 

Paige offered Draco her shoulder for support, but he declined, preferring to walk beside her. “She’s right. I’m perfectly fine.”

 

“Well, it won’t hurt.” Paige smiled. “Besides, you aren’t really in a hurry to get back to the common room, are you?”

 

“No.” Draco laughed softly, but his face darkened considerably. “I really messed it up.”

 

“It’s not all your fault.” Paige replied. “Don’t let her make you feel like that.”

 

“Oh, they’ll all say it, it’s not just her. They’ve already forgotten those expensive new broomsticks.”

 

“Well, I think you did fine for your first game.” Paige moved to open the door for him into the castle, but he stopped, turning to face her.

 

“Paige, you are awfully nice to me.” He said flatly, smiling slightly at her.

 

“You’re my friend.” She replied, looking slightly confused.

 

The air between them hung in silence for a moment, and just when the crickets were beginning to chirp too loudly, he moved to her quickly and pressed his lips to hers.

 

She almost fainted from shock. Was this really happening? Was Draco Malfoy kissing her?

 

It was not the first time.

 

They were both nine. It was the end of a long day of playing out in the garden, and he had offered to walk her home instead of her having to walk by herself. They were standing in front of her house. She would normally have been embarrassed, but they had been best friends for three years and he knew all her secrets. He kissed her on the cheek and then on the lips, briefly, at the last minute. He said he just wanted to know what kissing was, but he had done it twice, so he must have liked the idea of trying it out on her at least a little bit. She had stopped him after that. Her father was waiting, she said, and she had to go, but she’d see him tomorrow.

 

Her father wasn’t waiting now. She put her hands softly on his face and kissed him back.


 


 

For some reason, Paige thought everything would be different when she woke up the next morning, but it was all much the same. Pansy and Draco sat together at breakfast, they held hands when they walked to class, and they snogged in the common room at night. The only changes were the brief moments when Paige and Draco were alone, which were sometimes accidental but most often created by hanging back a little behind the others or pretending to need to ask a professor a question after class. They would escape around a corner and kiss in the shadows, passionately clinging to one another because they knew they would have to act completely different when they went back out in public. Paige wondered how long it would go on like this.

 

Really, she wondered how much longer she could go on like this.

 

She was thinking about this for the fifth time that day as she stood in a greenhouse, carefully pulling up mature Mandrakes and plucking their leaves for the draught her father was making for the petrification victims. There were several now, the latest of which had been Hermione Granger, and the culprit was still at large.

 

She repotted her current Mandrake and pulled off her earmuffs to take a break before pulling up the next one. Her ears no longer obscured by the pink headgear, she clearly heard the greenhouse door open and shut behind her. She turned, expecting Professor Sprout, but saw Harry instead.

 

“Hello.” She said, greeting him but not offering a smile.

 

“’Lo.” He surprised her with a reply. “Er-what’re you doing?”

 

“Relax. Professor Sprout knows I’m here.” She rolled her eyes. “If you must know, I’m collecting Mandrake leaves to make a remedy for the petrified students.”

 

“Oh. Your dad’s making it, then?”

 

“He’s Potions Master, of course he’s making it.” Paige shook her head, annoyed that he was preventing her from moving forward in her task.

 

“I just sort of thought, you know, since he’s head of Slytherin-“

 

“What, that he supports it?” Paige stared at him, offended. “Of course not.” She turned back to her task, not really caring if she caused him to pass out. “Neither do I.” She added under her breath.

 

“No! I just-“ He sighed. “I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant. I don’t know what I meant.”

 

She paused, not looking up.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m just a bit irritable these days.” He added. “Everyone thinks it’s me. The heir, I mean.”

 

She said nothing at first, and then placed a hand firmly on the Mandrake. “Did you need something in here? I’ve got to finish this before too long. I’ve got a charms essay to write.”

 

“Erm, no, but—could you not?” He said.

 

“Excuse me?” She turned again. “Can’t you just go somewhere else?”

 

“Not exactly.” He glanced outside. “Lockhart’s out there. He’s been chasing me down to help him do his autographs all afternoon.”

 

Paige laughed softly. “He’s a real idiot, isn’t he?”

 

“Yeah.” Harry laughed as well. “Anyway, I’ll put on earmuffs, but please don’t kick me out.”

 

“Are you any good with these things? I could use some help. Got a long row ahead of me.”

 

“Sure, I suppose it would pass the time.” He sat down, putting on a pair of gloves.

 

“Listen, Harry…” She bit her lip, looking at him. “I heard about Hermione. I’m sorry.”

 

“Yeah.” He said, looking up at her. They had almost the same eye color. “Thanks.”

 

The two of them stayed out in the greenhouse until after dark, just to make sure Lockhart had gone.


 


 

Near the end of the year, things changed drastically for the students at Hogwarts. Another message was found written on the wall in blood. The faculty had tried to keep it under wraps, but by lunchtime the next day, all the students knew that Ginny Weasley, a first year, had been stolen away by the Heir of Slytherin into the Chamber of Secrets. Paige had thought this was quite strange, since the Weasleys were technically purebloods. She looked around for Harry to express her condolences, but he and Ron were nowhere to be found. The faculty were all walking around with grave faces, as was much of the student body, and the rumor was that the school would be closed by the end of the week if the Weasley girl wasn’t found unharmed and the heir apprehended. Classes had been cancelled, and Professor McGonagall was in charge, since Professor Dumbledore and the Hogwarts gamekeeper had been taken away by the Ministry. The students had nothing to do but catch up on homework, play Gobstones, and wonder about the events of the past few days.

 

It was under these circumstances that Paige had agreed to go out on a date with Blaise Zabini.

 

She came in around midnight, carrying her strappy sandals and wanting nothing more than to get out of her tight black dress. She had had a hunch that this would be a bad experience, and she had been right to think so. Blaise had been a perfect gentleman at first, bringing her flowers and escorting her in a carriage, but then she had discovered that their nice dinner was to be held with his mother at their elaborate home. Blaise’s mother had proceeded to interrogate her about her family history and domestic skills over five courses and three hours, and at the end of the night, Blaise had tried to stick his tongue down her throat rather than simply saying goodbye. If it hadn’t been so traumatic, she might have found it funny. Instead, she chose to forget about it, turning to go up to her room and put on her pajamas.

 

His voice, coming out of the shadows by the fireplace, stopped her. “Don’t go out with him.”

 

She paused, searching for his face. “Trust me, never again.” She laughed quietly.

 

“No, I mean it. Don’t go out with anyone. Please?” He leaned forward into the firelight, his expression pained, as if he’d been sitting there all night, waiting for her.

 

“Don’t go out with anyone?” She frowned. “Draco, you can’t ask me to do that.”

 

“It hurts me to see it.” He said desperately.

 

“Do you think it doesn’t hurt me to see you with Pansy? She treats you like the dirt on her shoes.” Paige sighed, folding her sweater over her arm. “You can’t just expect me to sit around and wait for you. I’m not like the others, fawning over you helplessly. You know that.”

 

“I know.” He said quietly. “I just—I really like you, Paige.”

 

“I like you, too. A lot.” She said softly.

 

“I think—I know I would be happy with you. We would be good together.”

 

“Oh, we’d make quite a pair.” Paige nodded, looking at him. She walked over, offering him a smile and kissing him softly for a long moment. “You know what to do, Draco.”

 

“I can’t leave her.”

 

She stepped back, her smile falling. “Why not?”

 

“My parents like her. They think we’re going to get married after graduation.”

 

“Your father, you mean. Your mother doesn’t like her, you said so yourself.” But it didn’t matter. Lucius Malfoy’s opinion was all that mattered, wasn’t it? “Do you like her?”

 

“I-I don’t know.”

 

“Well, it sounds like you have enough to figure out without whatever we have complicating things for you any further.” She said coldly, clearing her throat. “Anyway, I’m off to bed. See you in the morning, yeah?”

 

“Mmm-hmm.” He said absently, staring into the fire as she headed up to her room.


 


 

On the last day of the year, Paige headed down to breakfast, noticing an obvious divide in the student body. The houses of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were crowded around the Gryffindor table, excitedly celebrating the return of the petrified students. From their chatter, Paige gathered that Harry and Ron had taken Lockhart down into the Chamber of Secrets and destroyed the monster. The heir had been the Dark Lord, which she realized someone should have thought of at some point. Dumbledore and Hagrid had been returned to their posts, and most of the school was ecstatic.

 

On the Slytherin side, something entirely different was happening.

 

As she walked over, the students fell silent, looking at her in disbelief. They parted to allow her passage, all of them except two people standing at the end of the line. Draco was talking quietly to Pansy, who didn’t seem to be paying attention, her eyes locked on Paige instead.

 

Paige had never seen Pansy so enraged.

 

“You.” Pansy strode forward, looking like she was about to explode. “YOU! YOU SLUT!”

 

Paige stopped short. The entire hall was now paying attention to their interaction.

 

“How could you? You’re supposed to be my friend, you’re supposed to be a nice girl!” Pansy exclaimed.

 

“Pansy, I…” Paige struggled to find the words. “He kissed me first.” She said firmly at last.

 

Pansy turned around to stare at Draco, who simply nodded. She looked back at Paige, laughing cruelly.

 

“You stupid bitch, you can’t do this to me.” She smirked coldly. “You can’t.”

 

“Pansy, it’s done.” Draco said. “It’s over.” He walked over, stepping between her and Paige. “Crabbe, Goyle, you going to make my girlfriend carry her own things?” The two boys instantly dropped Pansy’s bags, which they had been forced to carry around for two years, and hurried over to take Paige’s things from her hands. She reluctantly allowed it to happen.

 

“Here, take this.” Draco dropped his own bag in front of Goyle, looking at Pansy as if he was surprised she was still there.

 

Pansy gaped at the whole scene, opening and closing her mouth like a fish. “I-I-“ Finally, she closed her mouth, unable to grasp the fact that she had just been dethroned. “I’m still the most beautiful girl in school.” She finally hissed, shoving Paige out of her way and storming out of the hall, Daphne in tow. The boys stayed behind.

 

Paige stared after her, also unable to believe what had just happened. Oh my God, he picked me.

 

“Well, that’s never been true, has it?” Draco kissed her on the cheek, glancing up as Pansy made her way out of sight. He smiled at her, offering her his hand.

 

Paige finally tore her eyes away from where Pansy had just stood. She took his hand with a smile.

 

It was going to be a good summer.


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