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There was a reason why Pansy was standing in the corridor, wearing nothing but a sheet. It had happened before, always for the same reason. If you had asked her why she was standing, naked, in the corridor outside the head boy’s room, all she would have said would have been “I really don’t want to talk about it”. And she did not. More than anything in the world right now, except perhaps one thing, she wanted to disappear, to never be seen again.

But she could do nothing except try to get back to the dormitory without being seen by anyone. As she slipped into the Slytherin common room, she was relieved to find that everyone had gone to bed already. Rubbing her bruised wrist, she climbed up towards her bed, wincing in pain. He had gotten angry with her this time, throwing her out of the room with such force that she had hit the opposite wall.

She was convinced now that he could never love her, not even make love to her as he ha done to so many of the other girls. Pansy could not help but feel envy towards those girls, every time she caught them slipping out of his room. It was as though they went out of their way to hurt her, to flaunt what they had and she did not. It tore her in two to know he hated her, would always hate her. She flung herself onto the four poster bed, and sobbed with a sound that would break hearts into pieces.

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Draco Malfoy, the Prince of Slytherin and seducer extraordinaire, strode fuming around the Head’s common room. Why did she keep doing this to him? It was not the first time she had show up stark naked in his bed, in his own bed for Merlin’s sake. It was not that he was not attracted to her, he most certainly was. However, he knew that they would both be married off by their parents the second they graduated from Hogwarts to produce proper Pureblood children to continue the blood line.

He hated to think what her father, or worse, his own, would say if either of them knew their children had been sleeping together. Draco’s father turned a blind eye to his philandering as long as he stuck to half bloods. Mud bloods were too filthy for his son to touch, but by the Malfoy creed, half bloods were non entities anyway.

Oh well, he might as well forget about Pansy and go and chase up that rather dishy Ravenclaw seeker from the year below. That was how he had always coped with his feelings for Pansy before, go find another girl, get good and drunk with her and have a bit of fun. No, he could stand to have anyone else in his bed tonight, it hurt too much.

Draco started to wish he had not thrown Pansy out now. Quickly he turned his mind away from the pretty, more than pretty body he had found waiting for him between the sheets. It did not work, it was all he could see, and he found himself halfway to her room before he could stop himself.

Trying to wrestle his legs into walking the other way, Draco failed to notice that he had arrived at her door and his traitorous arms were pounding on her door. It did not open. Unsure whether to be disappointed or relieved, he turned to go. Something pulled him back, he was still holding on to the door handle, and as he watched, helpless, it turned.

He was glad now that she had a private room all to herself, not cheap but defiantly worth it at times like these. Looking cautiously around the open door, he whispered her name “Pansy?” He could hear her sobbing now; he could feel his heart tremble, then crack, then shatter into a hundred thousand tiny ice cold shards. No longer able to control himself he sprang to her bedside and threw open the curtains. There she was, lying face down on top of the blankets, still clothed only in a sheet.

“Pansy?” He sat on the edge of her bed, and gently, tentatively, ran a hand down her bare back. Her head sprang up, her tear blotched eyes opened and she sat up to face him. “You came.” It was almost a sob. The relief and love in her voice cut him like a knife, but he could be nothing but honest.

“Yes. Pansy, I came to apologise. I truly did not mean to hurt you, in any way. I was afraid. Scared of what I might do if I let myself go, scared of what it would mean for our friendship. I love you, and I never want to let you go but if we were found out, I would never see you again.”

Pansy nodded, she knew what would happen as well as he. They would both be married of to distant corners of the world before you could say Jack Robinson. They would never be allowed to see or speak to each other again. They would be forbidden to say the other’s name. She knew all this but she had decided years ago that she did not care. She would trade away her freedom for one night with the love of her life.

He was holding her close, closer than she had ever been to anyone before. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to the pair of them as the embrace became a kiss, his lips pressed fiercely against hers. He would do anything for her, protect her form any one, and she could love no one but him. Gradually the kiss deepened, became less gentle and more passionate and urgent. The sheet fell away and she pulled him backwards until he was lying on top of her.

Suddenly he broke the kiss and stood beside her, tears running down his face. “Pansy, I can’t” he eventually managed to choke the words out. “I’m sorry, not… not now. I couldn’t bear to never see you again. Soon, I promise, but I can’t now. Pansy, I’ll convince my father. If he makes an offer, your father won’t refuse. I want to marry you. I could never marry anyone but you, not anymore. Will you marry me? Not because our parents want us to, but because I love you?”

Through smiles and tears of joy, everything she had ever wanted had come true, she finally managed to speak her acceptance. As his eyes lit up and all the pain and anguish behind them fled, she took him into her arms once more and then, with one last kiss he left her there, the happiest woman in the world.

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“Draco, come into my study” Lucius had a hard cruel voice much like his master’s. “I believe you know what we must discuss. It is essential that you select a suitable bride at once in order to produce as many pure blood children as possible.” He sneered at his son, “I believe you have been engaging in … shall we say practising for this event? This must stop immediately! I will not have you bring shame upon your family and your bride in this manner.”

Draco stood with his father leering up at him from the chair behind his desk. Only three weeks had passed since he had proposed to Pansy, during which time he had worked hard at studying and in his exams, hoping to impress his father. He had even managed to come top in potions, beating the mud blood know it all. He had, for the first time in his life, managed to make his father, if not proud of him, at least acknowledge his accomplishments. This must be the reason that, as he had hoped, he was being given some say in the choice of his bride. He could not appear to be too eager to marry anyone however, or Lucius would be very suspicious.

“As my son, and the heir to this manor, it is fitting that your bride should be from a good family, not hugely inferior to you. As such I have three candidates in mind that I wish to discuss with you. Firstly, Giselle Avery. I am sure you have encountered her at school; she is two years younger than you. Her father is well thought of by the Dark Lord and a union between our houses would bring advantages to both sides. What think you, boy?”

Draco was starting to feel nervous, what if Pansy was not one of the “candidates”? It would be a lot harder to persuade his father if that were the case. He snatched at the first objection that came into his head. “Father, with all possible respect, she is no more than a girl. Two years is a large difference and…”

Lucius cut across his, venom filling his every word. “Two years is nothing. I should not have thought that my own son should have put a trifling whim such as this before the good of the family. This is the behaviour of mud bloods!”

Trying to calm his father, Draco was getting desperate; he knew he had to target his father’s weakest point, his grandchildren. “I must respectfully say, sir, that this was not the point I intended to convey. The girl is still attending Hogwarts and will for another two years, until which time the marriage cannot take place. There will be no children for another three years yet. This is the point which I wished to stress, not an emotional one. Emotion as I am well aware has no place in a marriage of alliance” There, he hoped that would throw his father off the track.

“Ah, that is an excellent point to take into consideration. One I had not thought of. Very well then, you cannot marry Miss Avery. The next candidate is Miss Nott, she is a year older than you and I have been informed that she is strikingly handsome. What say you to her?”

This was an easier suggestion to ward off. In his sixth year she and her boyfriend had been attacked and beaten when her father betrayed the Dark Lord under the influence of Veritaserum. “Sir, I know the woman of whom you speak, and she is indeed entrancing to look upon. I would be doing you an injustice however, if I allowed her face to blind me to the grievous consequences such an alliance would have. I need not remind you, I am sure, of the Dark Lord’s displeasure with her family. I fear he might look upon such an arrangement as treasonous.” He did not need to say any more, his father had gone pale at the mere mention of the Dark Lord’s anger.

“Quite right, boy. I had overlooked that point in favour of finding you a suitable bride. I regret, however, that you will be less than pleased with the final candidate, whom I thought the least suitable, but who you have proved to be the best” Draco’s heart sank, who did he know who was pureblood and who his father might think he hated.

“There are many arguments in her favour. Her family is not poor, and her father has more connections at the ministry, and in other useful places than even myself. Contacts which may prove useful. I speak of course of Miss Parkinson, who I am in a position to know has plagued you from the moment you set eyes on her. I am also aware that she is no beauty but I do not expect that this will figure in you decision. I believe this to be a good match for you and I hope you will do your duty to me.”

Draco hung his head, so as not to let his father see the fiery joy in is eyes. Let his father think he was unwilling, if that was what he wanted to think. He forced his face to resume a neutral expression before he answered his father. “Certainly I will do my duty father. If you think this woman to be the best match for me, I will of course carry out your wishes. When are we to be wed?”

Five minutes later, Draco had locked himself into his room and sunk down into a chair. Talking to his father always took it out of him, especially an interview like this one. Lucius demanded the utmost respect from everyone including his son, and spoke and expected to be spoken to in the most ridiculously formal old fashioned way. On the other hand his father was at this moment writing to Mr. Parkinson to request his daughter’s hand for his son Draco, he felt that the union would be most advantageous on both sides, etcetera. Draco could not have been happier with the way the meeting had turned out. He had managed to convince his father that Pansy was the best possible bride for him, without giving away any emotion, which his father would have told him, was “unworthy of a Malfoy”

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“Oi, girl, your father’s just got a letter. You’re to be married as soon as possible.” Pansy’s mother gloated as she gave the news that she was sure her daughter was dreading. Her theory on Pansy’s broody behaviour was that her daughter had fallen in love, obviously with some mud blood scum she could never hope to marry and was moping about it. Well, she had decided, she would soon get that knocked out of her.

“Who to?” was the teenager’s only, slightly sulky, response. This just made her mother even more furious. “Why do you want to know you stupid slut? It is your duty to this family to do your father’s bidding without any questions!” At Pansy’s taken aback expression she softened “Look, pumpkin I can’t tell you. It’s more than my life is worth. You know how your father loves all the old wizarding traditions, and tradition says you can’t know who your husband is before you’re in the church. Come on dearest, we’re going shopping.”

But even shopping, which would normally have cheered Pansy up no end, could not face up to the prospect of having to marry an unknown man in less than a week. A man who would probably beat her into submission as her father did to her mother. It was not a prospect she relished. She wanted to believe Draco had managed to persuade his father but could not manage it. She did have faith in Draco, but not in Lucius. With this dire calamity hanging over her head, she was dragged for hour after hour around all the robe shops in London for the perfect wedding outfit.

At last they settled on a beautiful light blue simple floor length sheath dress with a white veil over her head. Then they were off again to find a wedding ring for her husband, how they managed that she was never quite sure. In the jewellery shop, she saw the most beautiful, most expensive necklace she had ever seen in her life. The minute sapphires and pearls were attached to the thinnest of silver wire and chain. Soon Pansy’s mother came to see what she was looking at.

“That is beautiful. I bet your father doesn’t know this but its tradition for the bride to be given gift in exchange for smiling at a wizarding wedding. If I buy you this necklace to wear on your wedding day, will you promise me you will agree to marry whoever waits for you at the altar and smile while you do it? If you refuse to marry him, it’s my head on the block too. So, what do you say?”

Pansy looked at the necklace and then at her mother. She would have sold her soul for that one piece of jewellery so she supposed it wasn’t too high a price to pay.

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He stood waiting at the altar, not knowing if she would even turn up. Tradition dictated that he had to stand with his back to the door so she could not see who he was. It was torture. After another eternity, the doors were flung open and he could hear footsteps down the aisle. When they reached him, Pansy’s father still stood between them, concealing his identity. Mr. Parkinson stepped away, and both the lovers gasped. She looked radiant, the blue dress accenting her olive skin and a delicate yet striking necklace around her slim throat.

Pansy went from Hell to seventh heaven in an instant. She could not believe that he had managed it. She was being bribed to marry the man of her dreams, how much better does life get? The smile she wore behind her sheer veil was no longer fake, nothing could be more genuine.

The ceremony seemed to take a life time, and the reception was torment to sit through, welcoming their guests and accepting their congratulations. Neither of the newly weds could keep their eyes off each other, and after they had made and listened to enough speeches to bore them silly, then listened to Lucius’s financial arrangements, they finally were able to withdraw to their new house, together.

They tumbled in the front door, mouths already locked tightly together. They managed some how to climb the stairs to the bedroom they were expected to share. As soon as the house elves were evicted, the door closed and the bolt drawn, clothes started to fall to the floor like rain. Draco picked up his new bride and threw her onto the bed, swiftly following her himself. He smirked, “Now, where were we, Mrs Malfoy?”

He took her into his arms, and started to kiss her neck and face as she ran her hands over the muscles of his shoulders. He recaptured her mouth, and this time he did not break the kiss.

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A/N: soo...? what did you think. This is my first one in this pairing and i dont read it that much but i just got this idea and i couldn't walk away until i'd finished it. i sat down at my computer and wrote solidly for about 4 hours. Please tell what you liked, what you didn't, what was beleivable and what wasn't, and any other comments you have. thanks.

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