Where: Astronomy Tower, first Saturday
What: Half-apologies and nasty tempers.
It was the first weekend spent at school, and for some reason utterly lost to Pansy, the Slytherin common room was packed with first years working feverishly on homework. She had wandered through for a bit, poking a few Firsties here and there, closing huge tomes simply for her own entertainment, and reminding them all that it was Saturday in an attempt to get rid of them that was more polite than she could stand. Oh how they were persistent. She rolled her eyes, strode back up to the girls' dormitory and grabbed her cloak and wand, and then navigated with little care the common room sprawled with little hands and fingers and scrolls that, once or twice, fell under her own unapologetic feet. She pushed the portrait door open, and paused once outside, trying to think of the most interesting place for her to go. It certainly didn't lay behind her.
Draco had returned from the Quidditch pitch a short while ago, feeling utterly exhausted after spending a good two or three... or four hours doing nothing but practising the sport and making whatever small improvements he had to on himself. Time wasn't an issue. Likewise, his homework had been put on the back burner. After all, certain things such as that could be rectified; when all eyes are turned to you...that could not. Now, he made his way back from a very rushed dinner, heavily ladened with scrolls of parchment and various volumes on Quidditch strategy, holding onto a shred of hope that the First Years had vacated the Commons, and he would at least be able to find enough space to breathe, let alone be comfortable.
Pansy tapped a finger to her chin patiently, finally deciding that the Astronomy Tower would be a suitable place to wander to, even if only to have to think of something else to do. She wasn't concerned much about homework- it was still Saturday, and there was really no chance that she would be able to get anything done with the First Years swarming about the commons anyways. Pansy stepped away from the portrait and into the hall, starting along the quickest route to the Tower, prowling the halls safely with her Prefect badge, hoping she wouldn't bump into any annoyances along the way. Dinner was well enough over, she reasoned, and stepped quickly through the dungeons, worrying over whether or not her cloak would be warm enough.
He had just started down the corridor that held the portrait hole to Slytherin when, with her back turned and walking toward the adjacent corridor, he spotted Pansy. 'I suppose the swarms of locusts haven't left just yet...' he mused silently, standing still for a moment as he pondered what he was to do with himself now. Draco looked down at the scrolls regrettably. The library would surely be closed; he supposed he could sort them out in the Dormitories, but the prying eyes, the questions... he didn't like to divulge anything that wasn't necessary. He knew how things spread around the school... he, himself has spread most of them. Taking one final, decisive look down the corridor, he hurriedly ran into the Portrait hole, proceeded tediously through the Commons and dropped off his parchment and books in the Dormitories in a safe, secure location, and ran out once more, following Pansy's path. He was sure she was heading toward the Astronomy Tower, and decided against taking an alternate route to get there quicker. Surprises were sometimes good things...
Pansy slowed her pace slightly, creeping to a crawl once or twice when she got lost in her own thoughts. It had been a long week, especially with only talking to Draco when absolutely necessary, and not talking at all to Daphne. It had been a very long, boring week. She sighed and shook her head, walking a little faster, when she thought she heard something moving behind her. She stopped completely and turned around, peering into the rapidly darkening halls. She narrowed her eyes, but all she could see were halls and windows. She bit her lip a moment, then started off again after pulling out her wand, not taking the time to think about anything but her destination. She couldn't shake the feeling that someone was following her, and she didn't like it at all.
Draco followed Pansy in the shadows, noticing that his following her had quickly turned into some sort of game, a challenge. He never lost a challenge. When his Housemate stopped suddenly, Draco froze for a moment, and wondered if the darkness was enough to conceal him from her suspicions. He let out a low, relieved breath as she turned back around, not daring to move until she had gotten far enough ahead of him. He loved challenges, just not cutting it close. More cautiously this time, he began to move once more down the corridor.
Pansy wound her way down to the Astronomy tower, only pausing once she reached the doorway leading to the stairs. She looked down both ends of the hall carefully and, finally satisfied that she was alone, replaced her wand before carefully following the dark steps that led up into the tower. When she reached the top, she cautiously eased open the door and peered around the edge of it to make sure the room was empty. It was. She smiled to herself and wrapped her cloak more tightly, moving to a bench to peer at the stars.
Draco had slowly begun creeping up behind Pansy as she approached the Astronomy Tower, so as to assure that she and entered, and so he could measure an acceptable amount of time for him to wait outside before entering, himself. He waited a good ten minutes before even considering going in. If Pansy had not stopped so many times, been so suspicious, he would have hurried in after her a while ago. But, he did not want her to think that he'd followed her, like a desperate puppy or ... something. Finally, when he felt that her suspicion would be lessened, Draco removed a small volume from his pocket, pretended to be reading, and began trudging up the steps to the Astronomy Tower. Upon reaching the door, he feigned a sort of absentminded, lost attitude, and pushed it open, walking into the Astronomy Tower without glancing away from his book once.
Pansy started when the door opened, reaching for her wand and scowling reflexively at whoever had dared to bother her peace. The sky was fully dark now, and she wished she'd brought a watch so she could threaten whoever it was with the school curfew. Once she took a moment to really see who it was, though, she sighed and rolled her eyes. Prefect badges weren't any good against Draco Malfoy. There wasn't much in the universe that was any good against Draco Malfoy- except maybe lack of atttention. She turned again, facing her back squarely against Draco, looking up at the stars with a much fiercer concentration than she had before. She still wasn't talking to him. Not until he begged for forgiveness.
Draco continued to act obliviously, slowly sauntering over to one of the window ledges, and seating himself on the edge. A few moments later, as if startled slightly, he glanced up, slowly turning to look in Pansy's direction. He couldn't help but smirk slightly at the girl's pride and indignation. "Oh..." he said casually, pausing, "I...didn't know someone else was here." Draco stood up and closed the book, holding it against his chest as he leaned on the stone wall, facing Pansy.
Pansy's lip twitched slightly, beginning to wonder if it was really by any accident that Draco was standing next to her, but her expression remained the same. "Hmm... well now you do," she said, with great indifference, turning her body slightly away from Draco- a subtle gesture that Draco could never miss. She knew she couldn't ignore him for very long, as the stars were only enthralling to a point, and she hoped offhandedly that he might simply shrug and leave. She didn't really want that, of course, but he had been so very wrong, and she was going to stubbornly wait for an apology.
For a few minutes, Draco stood motionless, uttering not a word, and continued to watch Pansy patiently. In his mind, he was calculating, making plans of action, disregarding them, and finally choosing the best. For a short while he had pondered simply saying that he would leave her alone and begin to walk out, but that would be too risky, and he knew that there wasn't a shot in hell that Pansy would tell him to stay. So he traveled down another road... "Let me ask you," he said suddenly, returning his book to his pocket and walking over to Pansy's window, still keeping a small amount of distance between them, "What is so exciting and utterly enthralling about a night sky that you'll stare at it for this long, hm?" He turned to look at her, raising a brow and standing tall, arms crossed over his chest.
Pansy sat very still, and very uncomfortably, hoping that Draco wasn't watching her but knowing that he was. She wasn't too terribly adept at keeping her emotions from rampaging about her face, but she supposed she was managing all right, as he wasn't laughing yet. The room was so quiet, and when Draco finally spoke, she jumped slightly. She watched him carefully as he spoke, then let a smirk slide along her lips, rising slowly with patience practiced and learned from Draco himself. "Are you jealous?" she asked softly, pausing to gauge his reaction. "Are you jealous that the stars might be more entertaining than the Draco Malfoy?" Her eyebrows raised, and her green eyes settled upon him until he answered the question.
Draco hoped desperately and prayed to the gods that he hadn't blushed this time around. He had become adept at controlling his facial features in order to give the impression of a certain emotion, but that rosy curse had since been his downfall in various situations. Draco studied Pansy for a moment, before allowing a small grin to seep through to his exterior, accompanied with a slightly arrogant chuckle. "Oh my, Miss Parkinson, you've caught me," his laugh grew a bit more as he took a seat on the ledge of the window, "That's exactly it: jealousy. My, my, you're accuracy is uncanny." He gave the girl an incredulous look, before continuing. "No, dear, I'm not jealous. I was making friendly conversation since you seem incapable or unwilling. Besides, I know for a fact that I'm more interesting than the stars, anyway."
Pansy narrowed her eyes slightly, taking a small step backwards to better see Draco as a whole, wondering if she'd seen a blush creep across his face, but in the end blamed the awkward lighting. "That fact is highly debatable, Draco," she said. "Even so far as to say that it's simply your own personal opinion." She smirked, but lacked the warm affection she usually reserved only for Draco. "The stars are quite pretty and lovely and interesting. And they aren't stuffy or rude or jealous, because they don't talk.There's an awful lot you could learn from the stars, love." Pansy smiled, insincerely, and turned to a window adjacent Draco's, so that her back was turned only partially to him.
Draco laughed slightly. "Perhaps debatable to you. But I'm sure I can name a good number of our Housemates whose opinions would differ greatly along with my own," he said casually, watching with a smirk as Pansy moved away. Her lack of affection and cold attitude didn't phase Draco. He was familiar with the ways of women, especially when it concerned his mother... or Pansy. Standing up, he followed Pansy to the next window, remaining slightly behind her, to the side. "I may be, as you say, stuffy, or rude, or..." he paused, snorting a bit, "...jealous... But you wouldn't be the first person to throw those accusations my way; and I haven't stopped talking because of such. Have no intentions to now. I suppose you'll just have to learn to put up with me and my...'jealously'," he finished with another laugh, lifting his chin haughtily.
Pansy raised an eyebrow, unamused and unimpressed. Were they sitting in the Great Hall right now, she would have more than likely already tipped a glass over Draco's head by now, but as they weren't, she would simply have to stand up for herself. "I won't have to learn to do anything," she said, straightening up and making sure that Draco knew she meant it. "You can treat me like a lady," she continued, inclining her head slightly, "because it's no secret that there's a fine gentleman in there... somewhere." She gestured with her hands, doubtfully. "But then again, if not, I have other friends, and we can just be mere and common acquaintances while you parade about with whichever of our disease-ridden housemates you happen to tolerate at the time." Pansy really hadn't meant to voice the last bit, but she only faltered for a second, turning and solidly meeting Draco's gaze.
As Pansy had her back turned to Draco, he rolled his eyes slightly at her tirade, feeling it was inaccurate and uncalled for, and couldn't help but feel slightly affronted at the girl's comment about his treatment of her, and his gentlemanly attitude. He was raised to be nothing less. She could insult him as much as you like, throw names around, call him rude, stuffy, even jealous; but insulting his upbringing was a completely different story. He realized these feelings of being slighted were sincere, and decided that now would be a most opportune time to show them. With a "hmph..." he sat himself down on the ledge once more, turning his face toward the window. "I'd like to pride myself in thinking that I do treat you, and every other deserving girl, like a lady. I'd also like to think that I am what I was raised to be," he said, adding in a quieter voice, "If common acquaintances is your desire..." eyes never wavering from the window.
Pansy watched Draco carefully, marking carefully the changes in his expression. She couldn't tell if he was being sincere or not- it certainly looked like it- and she particularly hated the slighted look he was wearing at the moment. She sighed, wanting to do something other than just stand there. She wasn't very good with talking about feelings and things- especially with Draco. "You know that's not what I desire." She shook her head and lowered it towards the ground, feeling quite betrayed by the windows, but after a moment, stamped her foot. "Oh, hell, Draco! You can't tell me that you've never- not once- taken me and the things I do for you for granted, can you? I don't feel like a lady with you. I feel like a stupid little girl!" Pansy didn't realize how loud her voice had grown until she had finished speaking, and she winced lightly at the unease of silence.
Draco looked up sharply as he heard Pansy stamp her foot and begin to shout. He cringed at the rising decibel of her voice, and restrained himself from covering his ears, something which would probably offend her even more. Her words more than her loudness, however, took him aback, and for a few moments he really wasn't sure how to go about handling this situation. Pansy was too volatile for his liking sometimes, too...used to Draco and his ways. Yet, he stayed... Though he felt like replying with a usual snarky, cutting remark like 'You certainly are acting like a little girl,' he held his tongue. Instead, he said calmly, "I didn't say that. Everyone is human, everyone has flaws, makes mistakes," Draco shrugged, looking away once more, "I can't help if you feel like a little girl. Those are your own thoughts... not mine." He crossed his arms over his chest and, keeping the thoughtful, slighted look upon his countenance, wondered if his words had make a good reparation to his deeds in Diagon Alley and thereafter.
Pansy sighed at the ease with which Draco spoke, moving to a bench and holding her head. "Do you make mistakes?" she mused, a ghost of a smirk flitting across her face, not meeting his eyes or trying to measure if he was genuine or not. She supposed that was the closest thing to an apology that she was going to get, and, in matters concerning Draco, it was some form of progress, be it two steps forward and one back. It didn't make her feel any better, though. It was impossible not to garner some sort of admiration for Draco- those who loved him adored him, and those who hated him envied him for something. Everything came too easily to him. The tower, she thought belatedly, had been a very bad idea.
Draco turned to Pansy, a slightly hurt look still present in his eyes, and smirked ever so slightly. He spun around, leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "I didn't say many," he said in a low, mischievous voice. He looked the girl once over, taking notice that it appeared she had forgiven Draco... in her own way that forgiveness was offered. He considered himself rather lucky. He also noticed that the girl appeared tired, slightly worn out from all that had occurred. Perhaps he shouldn't be so... cryptic, concealed. At least not when it involved her; he seemed to be able to do just fine without it.
Pansy raised her head and propped it up open her hands, her lips fighting against a smirk. He was so damned charming when he wanted to be. She both loved it and hated it; he was graced with it, and the loveliness attached, but it also meant he got away with doing and saying things he didn't mean or feel. "That, good sir, crosses the fine line between an understatement and a lie," she said, playfully, giving up and exhaling a deep breath. "You certainly know how to distract from the stars. It's terribly rude, and you ought to apologize." She rose again, moving to the window next to Draco, peering out rather carelessly and absently fiddling with her cloak.
Draco smirked, turning to follow Pansy as she stood and walked toward the window. He couldn't help but feeling a bit more than slightly proud of himself. Then again, he usually couldn't help such feelings. He didn't resist, however; he'd been in such positions before and, as always, he felt his inner charm and charisma almost taking over, in a sense. He said jokingly, "Perhaps," and looked briefly out the window, as if sizing up the competition, "Well, I warned you about that, and you will not be getting an apology out of me, mademoiselle. Besides," he stood up next to her, and smirked, "I'm sure there are many better things with which you can occupy your time."
Pansy narrowed her eyes, a small grin creeping across her face. "Many things better than the stars, Draco? Or better things than you?" she teased, smirking now, her face softened with false innocence. "I'm quite sure I could find both." She looked him over slowly and deliberately, chewing on a finger in thought, then nodded lightly. "Yes, definitely," she agreed, then cast another smirk towards Draco before turning sharply towards the door and starting down the stairs. She hoped he would follow, of course, but if he didn't, she had his half-apology, and the last word. Both were suitable victory spoils.
Draco kept a calm face throughout the girl's speech, watching her with a look of curiosity and a quirked eyebrow. However, once Pansy's back had been turned, he felt his jaw slacken in utter shock and disbelief. Had she really said those things to him? He couldn't believe it. Not Pansy. He watched her walk through the door with the same expression, which, after a few moments morphed into a clenched jaw and narrowed eyes. 'This is how the game is going to be played, then? Fine. She'll see...' he thought menacingly. With that, he tugged at his robes, straightening them, stood up tall and put on a prize-winning pout. He strode through the door after he felt enough time had allotted for Pansy to make her way back to the Common Room and proceeded to do the same, able and ready to release a worthy vengeance.