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They’d been pardoned. Pardoned because Draco had been too weak and his mother had been too grateful. Pardoned because Harry Potter pitied them, forgave them and spoke for them. Draco had never been more furious and ashamed.
Her sudden stiffening jerked him out of his thoughts. They were, by that point, so crammed into their small section that her leg was pressed firmly against his. It was a closeness that they had both disregarded, most probably because there were other, more pressing matters, which made that small discomfort seem insignificant.
“It’s her sister,” she explained. “Somehow, the little twit got herself a connection in the prisons. If I fuss over Daphne in front of her, I might get a chance to see my mum and dad.”
The Prison Cell
How could a little girl achieve as much in the post-war world with her limited knowledge and nonexistent connections as his father had with all of his experience and control?
"I need your help," she said quietly. "Please. I won't waste your time, I promise. I just didn't know how to ask."
A Midnight Outing
"Salazar's wand, Greengrass," he drawled. "I didn't realize what a creative vocabulary you had."
The First Attack
He loathed her for being young and pretty, for growing better instead of worse. Her self-confidence infuriated him, especially now that he knew she hadn’t always possessed it. The idea of bringing her back down to her proper level, even for a moment, was too tempting to pass up.
The Boiling Point
But every time he looked at her, every time he touched one of her childish hands or said something that brought a blush out in her cheeks, he was reminded that she wasn’t another Pansy or Mildred. She didn’t know—couldn’t know-- what she had gotten herself into. For all her cleverness and scheming, she hadn’t seen the destruction and chaos of Draco’s world, and for reasons that he couldn’t quite explain, he wanted to make sure that she never would.
He watched Astoria with both hands clenched into fists in his cloak. She was so stupidly excited about the evening, her cheeks flushed and her chest rising and falling with sighs of impatience and enthusiasm. He knew that she was under the impression that something about the evening would be under her control, and he scorned her for having such a foolish illusion in her mind.
The Engagement Party
Try as he might to avoid recognizing it, his head was swimming. He could barely keep concentrated on one subject for more than a few moments—his mind kept flashing back to images of Astoria. Astoria coming towards him like a ghost in her too-pale dress. Astoria staring up at him with her wide, dark eyes.
An Invitation for Tea
The most beautiful, endearing aspect of Astoria was her ignorance. She had never been lovely and would never know that she had grown into it. Daphne had seen the world and hidden from it—Astoria had watched evil unfolding in front of her and remained untouched by it.
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