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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 14: Chapter Fourteen - Choice









“I want to tell him everything.”







The Auror looked blankly back at first, before his expression slowly registered calculation. He was looking for the ruse, for the ulterior motive. His eyes asked why.


Why?

Because she was not vibrant, didn’t spark, but with the same quality as a chilled breeze, could lift away the fog in his mind. Because her skin didn’t turn cold in the rain. Because her face had the beauty of solemnity where her mouth turned down at the corners. Because her eyes seemed able to read secrets.

 

The Auror motioned to the guard, and bent quickly to order instructions into his ear. The guard turned and walked briskly to the end of the hallway while Draco waited, fingers moving restlessly across the wall. The Auror approached him rapidly.

 

“This had better not be a trick, or you’ll be off to Azkaban within the hour.”

 

Draco didn’t bother to sneer, instead, he retreated farther into his cell, out of sight of the watchful Auror. He leaned against the wall, both hands on his forehead, blocking out the familiar, but imaged, screams.

 





If he was dead, she could retreat. The thought threatened to burst from her, and seemed particularly vengeful in her throat, tearing forward and building peculiar pressure behind her eyes. But she couldn’t block the thought; did not have the vulnerability required to swallow it. If he were dead, she would fall backward, into thoughts that seemed to fill her with painful structural damage, as though any moment she might crumble into dust.


If you’re gone, please, let me go.


But she didn’t know.


It had been her choice, her instinct, her mistake; how heartbreaking and healing and sharp. Her choice. Choice, deliberate, instinctive, the forbidden apple, just within her reach. Bite, it dared her, taste what you told yourself you wouldn’t. Make the choice.






Flashback 




 
 Dinner. Pansy procrastinated, waiting on her bed for the last possible moment to get dressed. She pulled on one shoe just as a knock sounded on her door, but she didn’t bother to open it. He let himself in, looking pristine except for the undone tie that dangled from his neck.

 
“You’re running late,” he said, casting an amused eye over the dress that was half unzipped and the shoe remaining in her hand.
 

“I was busy,” she said, casting an eye into the mirror to pin back her hair.

 

“Doing what?”

 

She ignored him except to turn her back and allow him to zip the dress. She turned around and examined his tie for a moment before tying it neatly, their tradition since she was six years old and he couldn’t do it himself.

 

“You’re anxious,” he said simply. She stiffened only slightly and pulled away.

 

“I’m irritated.”

 

“You’re anxious. You just don’t let anyone see.”

 

She turned and smiled pointedly at him, leading the way out the door.

 

“That’s right, Pans. Just keep smiling,” he said after her, offering a smirk.

 





Dinner with the Moon family was never Pansy’s favorite part of the Christmas holidays. Delia Moon was perhaps the most simpering, false woman Pansy had ever met. Not to say she wasn’t clever. In every carefully aimed comment towards anyone, Delia hid a second meaning. Matthias Moon was a sharp-faced businessman with only his own interests in mind. He was well-known for tastelessness and a wandering eye. They came to dinner every year with the Parkinsons, Malfoys, Zabinis and Notts and drank all of the wine. Pansy couldn’t understand why her parents associated with such a family, but they were business associates, and so had to be tolerated. Less useful was their daughter, Lilian.

 

Lilian was, naturally, the picture of sensous beauty, with gleaming, fire-red hair and golden eyes. It was her attitude, however, that made her such a deep annoyance, and perhaps a source of some nervousness, to Pansy. Lilian delighted in making herself a target of attention from Theodore and Draco, while managing to subtley insult Pansy at every turn in the conversation. By the end of the evening, Pansy was annually in a towering temper.

 

To Pansy’s annoyance, Lilian had seated herself with a pointedly empty chair at her right side, which Draco graciously accepted. Pansy took her seat on his other side, next to Blaise, who raised his eyebrow in amusement at her stiff expression. Pansy shot him a scowl before turning to smile gracefully at the Moons.

 

“Hello, Lilian,” she greeted, noticing the girl’s perfect smile in her direction.

 

“Hello, Pansy. Hasn’t it been ages? That color looks so nice on you, you’re so white,” the girl returned, and Pansy braced herself for a long evening.

 

“Draco, why did you never tell me you were such a good Quidditch player? I’d love to see you play,” Lilian began, turning her eyes to him.

 

“Yes, she’d just love to see his broomstick,” Blaise murmured in Pansy’s ear, grinning impishly at her. Pansy rolled her eyes discreetly.

The night wore on, and Pansy grew gradually more desperate to return to her bedroom with each mocking smile Lilian sent her way. She paid little attention to the adults, and instead held whispered conversations with Blaise, ignoring the disapproving looks from her mother.

 

After dinner, Pansy’s parents retired with the others to another room, for the inevitable argument about business and politics. Pansy was left to survive among her classmates and Lilian, who quickly decided to entertain themselves in the library. Pansy followed reluctantly, and was kept sane only by the company of Blaise, who, mysteriously, seemed to have little interest in the suggestive conversation of Theodore, Draco, and Lilian.

 

“Ah, Pansy,” Blaise sighed dramatically. “Jealousy suits you.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Pansy replied, only paying half her attention.

 

“While you desperately want your best friend, he spurns your attention for that of the dazzling guest, who’s charms he will no doubt partake of as you sit alone, nursing your wounds. “

 

“He wouldn’t, he knows I can’t stand her,” Pansy argued, angered by the note of uncertainty that she hoped only she could hear.

 

“There’s a word for that; I believe its called ‘cliché’,” Blaise responded sagely.

 

“You seem immune to her.”

 

“Let’s just say I have experienced her charms before. Her bark is much stronger than her- uh- bite.”

 

Pansy stared in half-disgust, half amusement. “You’re terrible,” she said. Blaise returned a smirk.

 






Pansy feigned a headache to excuse herself from the room not long afterward, but it only took fifteen minutes in her bedroom to feel like a coward. Pansy wasn’t one to run, and however irritated she felt, she wouldn’t let Lilian drive her away. She was only here for a night, and besides, Pansy had a reputation to uphold, despite the fact that every glance Lilian received seemed a little like betrayal. He was her best friend, after all. Lilian could have his attention for one night.

 

It was this resolution that sent Pansy back to the hallway and toward the library again. Before she could reach the door, however, she heard a soft chuckle to her left.

 

Turning, she found that she faced the door to a mostly unused sitting room. The was light beyond it, flickering; a fire in the grate. She heard it again, a muffled sound, half of a sigh. And suddenly she knew, beyond a doubt, what she would find behind the door. She could feel the beginnings of nausea, the kind of restless discomfort that came with sitting still too long. She didn’t need to look, she could picture the scene as clearly as if the door weren’t there. How masochistic she was, how stupid for wanting to see, to drive the splinters further in. She deserved to hurt for this, for every faith, for jealousy, for wanting. She pushed the door open, just slightly.

 

Pansy felt herself freeze, but her eyes seemed more clear than ever, clear enough to see her hands, golden against his pale skin, and her lips which seemed to leave a glowing trail behind them as she kissed his neck, marking each spot as clearly as though it had been burned into Pansy’s eyes. It was then that she noticed his tie, undone, hanging limply, and Pansy wondered strangely if he had undone it himself or if Lilian had. An odd, quietly strangled murmur erupted from Pansy’s lips and she hastened to close the door, but too late, his eyes had shifted and he seemed to freeze a little.

 

“Pansy?”

 

She was near the end of the hall before the door opened, and she considered slowing, but there was nothing she wanted to hear from him. She turned without being sure of where she was going, until she found herself slowing to a halt outside a door that looked identical to all the other doors in the house but wasn’t, most importantly, her room, or the one she had just left. She had entered and sat down on a plush couch before she realized she was not alone, and she considered leaving. She hated that Draco could do this, could make her want to run when she prided herself on the ability to cover the cracks. She wouldn’t run.

 

“Hello, Blaise,” she said, and she was dimly pleased to note that she didn’t sound strange, though she couldn’t seem to make herself look anywhere but at the candles on the wall.

 

“Pansy,” he said, nodding to her. “Feeling better?”

Something about his carefully polite tone alerted her, and she looked at him, seeing the way he was deep in thought, eyes flickering between her and the door.

 

“You already know, don’t you?” she accused, less angry than shamed.

 

“I take it you saw something you didn’t mean to,” he replied, raising an eyebrow. “If it is any consolation, he didn’t mean you to see either.”

 

Pansy laughed, a hollow sound to her own ears. “No, it didn’t look like that was his plan.”

 

“Some of us, I am sorry to say, have no appreciated of class, Pansy, darling,” Blaise said, sitting beside her.

 

“What do you know about class, Blaise? You can’t tell me every one of those fifth years was classy, particularly since I happen to know Selena Capper was among them.”

 

“Just because I don’t limit myself to the finest selection doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate taste when I see it.”

 

His finger captured a curl of her hair in demonstration and he smirked appreciatively. Pansy was silent. How badly she wanted to break his trust, as he had broken hers. How unfair, that Draco could be free of her whenever another girl offered equal attention. Pansy was sure that he never felt betrayed, no matter how urgently she wanted to betray him…

 

Pansy turned her head to see Blaise still watching her, looking thoughtful. He leaned forward, and she didn’t move away...

 





“Thursday, the sixteenth.”
 
“Yes.”

“Here? At the Ministry?”

“Yes, here.”

Draco was fighting for patience, but it was harder now than ever before, now that the Dementors were near again, because the screaming wasn’t imagined now, but faintly unceasing in his head…


The Minister leaned forward, unbothered by the Dementors, protected by the Auror’s Patronus charm. “Why are you suddenly so keen to give up?”


”I told you why.”

“I know your condition,” the Minister said, nodding impatiently, “But I don’t understand why, of all things, that would be it.”


“Does it matter? I’ve told you what you wanted to know.”

“We’ll need more information, numbers, layouts, tactical things.”

“Whatever you want.”

“Alright.”

The Minister left his chair and moved toward the group of Aurors standing behind him. They held a whispered conversation, gesticulating intensely, for several minutes before the man returned.

“We will grant your condition, on a condition of our own.”

 
“Which is?”

“That you return, once the business is done with, to the custody of the Ministry of Magic, with the guarantee that you will not be subjected to the Kiss.”

“Yes, fine.”

The Minister seemed suspicious at such a lack of resistance, but Draco didn’t bother to reassure him. They had no choice but to accept.

“Alright. Jenson, write this down.”








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