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Sinners by ciararose

Format: Novella
Chapters: 18
Word Count: 39,570
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Draco, Pansy
Pairings: Draco/Pansy

First Published: 11/12/2006
Last Chapter: 01/21/2008
Last Updated: 01/30/2011

Summary:

Gorgeous banner by silv3r_ic3 @TDA





3 years have passed since Graduation, and the war continues. The line between good and evil has become blurred and wearied. In a battle that has changed each participant in a different way, can there be a beautiful side to evil? No matter how tainted or regretful, can love exist among the cruelest of Dark followers? Through love, grief, joy, fear, and death, this is not the story of the saint. This is the story of the sinners.


Chapter 9: Chapter Nine - Persuasion







Draco was feeling contemptuous.

 

It was nice, actually. He hadn’t felt this sneering disrespect in a long time. Though why it had returned now, he wasn’t sure. Did one have the right to feel contempt when they were wandless, bloody, and in considerable pain, on the ground, in a cell?

 

Probably not.

 

Prisoners, as he knew them (and having had considerable experience with prisoners, he did) generally went through phases. The numb disbelief. The blind panic. The resistance. And finally, the acceptance.

 

Draco felt none of that.

 

In fact, besides the downright contempt for his situation and himself, he felt nothing. He wasn’t afraid- he’d had worse to be afraid of. He wasn’t angry, either, although anger was something that came easily to him. He did, however, experience now and then a twinge of regret.

 

He wasn’t sorry for what he had done. He had done it, he had made the decision, and he had no interest in what other people had lost for him. He wished only that he had achieved some semblance of what, when he was younger, he had yearned for. He had wanted people to remember his name. He wanted to achieve something that no one else had. He wanted to ensure that he would leave something behind, some tether. And frankly, he had done none of that.

 

When he was eventually subjected to the Dementor’s Kiss and then disposed of, he would be a headline, not for what he had done in life but what he symbolized in death. That wasn’t what he had been looking for. And within a few months time, he would be forgotten. The Malfoy line extinguished, not in a grand explosion but in a puff of smoke as brief as that of a candle being snuffed.

 

No one would remember him- except, perhaps, for Pansy.

 

And that was another uncomfortable regret. He had never said anything to her. Her last words to him had been, in fact, “Come back.” And he wouldn’t. It was so fitting that the only person whom he never wanted to break a promise to would be the one who’s request he denied. Fitting because the world owed him denial. Fitting because she was, in herself, an exception.

 

Maybe she thought that, before his seventh year, he had never noticed her. It wasn’t true.

 

He knew that, for whatever reason, she was the one who withstood him, his rage, his envy, his lust, his resentment. She had thought that he took her for granted. In that, she was right. But could she blame him? When she had offered, he had accepted. It wasn’t as though he didn’t have a conscience. He did. He knew that she wanted more, and he had given it when he could. She hadn’t understood that he had tried. It wouldn’t have been hard for him to care for her. But why give her what he wasn’t sure he knew how to give?

 

Did she think he wanted to hurt her, that he enjoyed it?

 

And Merlin, he had lost control sometimes. When he was angry or upset, and she was there, relentlessly, and he could see how hard she tried. Until her, no one had ever looked at him like that- like she didn’t care that he could hurt her, like she wasn’t at all afraid.

 

And that was the deepest regret that plagued him. She would never look at him again.

 


Flashback






“So the cursed necklace… and when Weasley was poisoned…”

 

And Draco felt it, the certainty that he had made a mistake in telling her this. It was a dead weight in his stomach; the knowledge that she would know what he had done. There was no explaining; he had made his choice, and he didn’t regret it. But he still couldn’t bring himself to answer her, to confirm what he would always be in her eyes.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

His eyes snapped up, meeting hers, which were not yet accusing or condemning.

 

“I couldn’t tell anyone.”

 

“You told Crabbe and Goyle.”

 

“I didn’t really, I just…”

 

“God, Draco. Have a little faith.”

 

That wasn’t anything like what he had been expecting to hear.

 

“Did you think I’d run away?” she whispered, taking hold of his left arm and pushing back the sleeve, her eyes burning into the ugly mark there. She traced it with a gentle fingertip, and he wanted to pull his arm away, because his stomach was twisting and he felt a sudden urge to run, but he did nothing, and watched her instead.

 

She raised his arm and pressed the brand to her cheek, leaning into it and looking up at him.

 

“When have I ever run away from you?”









Dawsen. A senior member of the Ministry, an Auror, and a seasoned warrior. Possibly the most dangerous person Pansy could possibly seek out.

 

She was on her way to the alley where he regularly Apparated to work.

 

She had gotten the information from the cowardly security man she had accosted at the Leaky Cauldron. He had been more than willing when she offered to coax it out of him with her wand.

 

“In the alley behind the department store…”
 

“Seven-thirty a.m. every weekday…”
 

It was an interesting use, really, of people who would otherwise be a brainless shield. They heard things, and all it took was the right kind of persuasion to force it out of them.

 

Persuasion was something Pansy knew all about.

 

She had been instructed, at the age of sixteen, in something she didn’t yet fully understand the merits of. How ironic that Narcissa Malfoy had been the one to share the wisdom.

 



Flashback






“Pansy?” came a woman’s voice, accompanied by the telltale sound of heels on expensive wood. Pansy looked up from her perch in the drawing room, closing her book with a snap. Narcissa Malfoy was a charming woman when she wanted to be, but that didn’t mean Pansy felt at all comfortable disregarding the rules of formal conversation with her.

 

“Where’s Draco?” the woman asked, scanning the room with her eyes. During the days Pansy spent at the Manor, it was rare that she be left to entertain herself, and Pansy knew Narcissa would reprimand Draco for it.

 

“He’s writing a letter, Mrs. Malfoy,” Pansy explained, smiling as she sat up straighter. Narcissa moved further into the room, looking graceful and lovely as always.

 

“To whom is he writing?,” Narcissa asked, her forehead furrowed in disapproval. Pansy ducked her head in mute answer. She must have asked a hundred times.

 

“My son,” Narcissa began, sitting down beside Pansy on the edge of the seat, “is many thing, Pansy. Considerate is not always one of them.”

 

Pansy was tempted to nod fervently, but didn’t.

 

“He’s like his father in many ways, Pansy. But I promise you, he can be persuaded.”

 

“I’ve tried, Mrs. Malfoy. He’ll never tell me what he doesn’t mean to.”

 

“Maybe you’re not persuading him properly.”

 

Pansy looked at the older woman quizzically. She liked Narcissa Malfoy, who was always a little enigmatic but often helpful in a conspiratory way.

 

“There are all kinds of ways to get under a person’s skin, dear. Charm, fear, threats, seduction, distraction. Keep trying. Eventually, you’ll get there.”

 

She stood up and started to leave, before turning briefly back to the girl on the sofa.

 

“I want my son to be happy, Pansy. I think you try your best.”

 

On that mysterious note, she left Pansy to her thoughts.

 







Charm, fear, threats, seduction, distraction…

 

If she were still alive, Pansy would have found Narcissa Malfoy and thanked her personally for the information.

 

Even as she entered the alley, Pansy felt the odd sensation that prickled between the nape of her neck and the brand on her arm. She wanted to get this over with, find Draco and go. She hated the deceptive feeling of being watched; knowing even as you turned around that there would be nothing to see. She ran her fingers over her left forearm and continued down the alley, slipping into a doorway and pressing in the shadows as she got nearer the center.

 

She waited there for perhaps five minutes before a soft Pop! reached her ears. Footsteps approached the doorway where she stood, hidden, and they were almost upon her before she slipped out, wand held ready.

 

The man reacted so quickly she barely had time to block the curse he had thrown at her. She tossed her hair out of her eyes and saw that he was running in the opposite direction, casting curses over his shoulder to hold her at bay. This time, it was Draco’s advice she counted on.

 

“It only takes one…”
 

She ignored the curses he was firing, they were missing her and intended only to keep her from persuing until he had called for backup. As he was  a senior member of the Auror Department, the only thing that kept her from being actively chased at the moment was the fact that she had caught him off guard very early in the morning. She raised her wand and concentrated on his retreating back, holding her arm steady, before murmuring her spell.

 

“Petrificus Totalus.”

 

She counted a second before his arms and legs snapped together and he fell hard on the concrete, motionless. She approached him cautiously, if he was smart and he hadn’t been hit, he would have pretended anyway, but he didn’t move. She nudged him with a toe before bending over to flip him onto his back.

 

His nose was bleeding, an ugly result of the fall he had taken. His eyes were not darting, as was usual with victims of this curse, but instead fixed on hers and boiling over with anger and hatred. She wasn’t phased- anger and hatred was something she had experienced plenty of.

 

“Frederic Dawsen,” she said in a passive imitation of Draco at his most lazy. “I think you can help me.”

 

She waved her wand over his prostrate form, binding him in ropes, before she took of the Body-Bind curse.

 

“I don’t help Death Eaters,” he spat, struggling hard.

 

“Well then I’ll make you an offer. You help me, or I make sure you’re no help to anyone ever again.”

 

He stopped struggling as his eyes focused on her wand, which was pointing directly between his eyes.

 

“All I want is a little information. I don’t have to hurt you to get it, if you’ll cooperate.”

 

He said nothing.

 

“Three nights ago, you brought in captured Death Eaters.”

 

He neither confirmed nor denied this, but since Pansy knew it to be true, she didn’t wait.

 

“What were there names?”

 

He didn’t answer, and she let her wand twitch. His eyes were wide.

 

“That’s all I need, Mr. Dawsen. Just the names.”

 

Still, he was silent, and Pansy sighed.

 

“You have grandchildren, Mr. Dawsen?”

 

He began to tremble, his eyes darting from her wand to her face.

 

“Please don’t hurt them,” he whispered.

 

“Answer me, so they can see their Grandfather again.”

 

She waited, allowing him to imagine, and she was rewarded within a minute.

 

“Crabbe,” he began and he cleared his throat as his voice shook, “Vincent Crabbe. Gregory Goyle.  David Yaxley. William Jugson Jr.”

 

Pansy hadn’t been paying attention; she’d been holding her breath for the name she’d be looking for to fall. But after a few seconds, she noticed he had stopped speaking.

 

“And the others?”

 

“That was all,” he said, looking frightened. “There weren’t any others.”

 

“No,” she said, shaking her head. “There were more, Dawsen. Draco Malfoy. He was with them- no, stop it,” she said, jumping to her feet as he shook his head. “He was there, why are you lying?”

 

Her hand was unsteady; she was backing away.

 

“Don’t lie to me,” she hissed, and he continued to shake his head. Her thoughts were disconnected, brief and senseless. The spell that held his ropes in place was weakening, and he sensed it and began to struggle, but she barely paid attention. It wasn’t until he had Disapparated that she noticed he was free. Her wand arm dropped as she backed away, stumbling. She put her hands to her head, leaning against the dirty wall of the alley. Why had he lied? What if he wasn’t lying?

 

Stay safe. Come back.”

 

Where are you?
 

The sound of arriving Aurors breached her thoughts, and she groped in air, turning into nothingness as she heard a voice shouting. The familiar squeezing, the airless sensation of temporary nonexistence…

 

Pansy opened her eyes, looking around in desperation for the familiar castle, but she was in an unfamiliar city. It was dark here, and passers-by were staring at her- they were obviously Muggles, and they brushed past her, hurrying, not caring. There were lights all around her, from their vehicles to the buildings, and it was so noisy, and she turned once more into air and this time emerged in quiet.

 

Pansy sat down in the dirt road outside the gates of Hogwarts. Since the interrogation of Eric, it had been growing, the panic of being lost, but she had been going somewhere, and she had pretended that it didn’t claw at her. But now she was aimless. There was no trail to be followed, no helpful bread crumbs, and if he wasn’t captured then what happened?

 

“Stay safe. Come back”
 

“You are nothing without me.”

 

“We’re thunder and lightning, you and I…”

 

“This will hurt.”

 

“Yes, Draco,” she breathed to the grey clouds, to the dirt beneath her, to the trees that were rustling. “It hurts.”




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