Pansies or Real Men Wear Pink

Monday October 3rd

Pansy had one weakness: Ducks. She wasn't sure what it was about them, especially when they were still ducklings, but she deeply and devoutly loved them.

Of course she was taking this secret to the grave. You didn't survive as the Queen of the Slytherins if you had a weakness. She was reasonably sure Draco wouldn't mind her secret but she had long since stopped caring what Draco thought about her. She had bigger fish to fry. Like Blaise.

Blaise, who made her toes curl just thinking about him. While Draco was the King of Slytherin, Blaise was the handsome, dashing Duke de Corsica. And Pansy very much liked Spain.

But her romance with Blaise would have to wait until she was over her current love of ducks. She would not show any weakness to him.

"And what are you up to?"

Pansy nearly jumped and turned to look at Blaise. "Just thinking," she replied, slightly breathless.

"About?" Blaise pressed, taking a seat beside her. They were in the Slytherin common room. She had taken over her usual couch, where she could see the entire room while working on an essay for Defense Against the Dark Arts. She was finished with the essay and her mind was blank.

Fortunately Draco chose this moment to enter the common room, once again surrounded by hopeful Slytherin girls. His hands were deep in his pockets and his head was down. Pansy knew the particular reason for his current dark phase. With the war over, Weasley boy and Granger girl, the faithful sidekicks had finally acknowledged their fascination with each other and gotten together. Pansy saw no down side to this. Granger had gotten a lot more lenient with her Prefect duties, making everyone's lives easier and Weasley was easier to distract and torment.

This arrangement left Potter out in the cold though and that was the side of the equation that Draco seemed to want to exploit.

Since the Slytherin King was adverse to a real relationship with any girl for reasons she was not privy to, he had taken to randomly grabbing a Slytherin girl and letting her cling to him until Potter was gone. Unfortunately for Draco, every girl in Slytherin wanted him like that and he was finding it hard to get rid of the girls once they started clinging. Pansy had considered making a formal announcement and becoming his girl but she was afraid of what Blaise would say.

"Draco," Pansy replied. "I was thinking about Draco."

Something dark flickered through Blaise's eyes and he looked over at Draco as the Slytherin King stalked his way to the Head boy's room.

"What about him?" Blaise asked and Pansy felt there was a bit more ice than necessary in his voice. Just what did Blaise have against Draco?

"He needs a girlfriend."

"You volunteering?" Blaise asked.

"God no," Pansy snapped and Blaise laughed. "I like him enough but we would never work."

"Good to know," Blaise replied. "Good luck with finding Draco a one true love, though."

Pansy looked over at him. "Why do you say that?"

Blaise relaxed back. "Draco's got some pretty high standards."

"Like?"

"Like she has to be smart. She has to not care about social status. She has to not care how much money he has."

"Does such a person exist?" Pansy asked and Blaise laughed again.

"Not sure. But now you see what I mean. And those are only a few on the list."

Pansy suddenly got a horrible idea. "Let's do it."

"Do what?"

"Find Draco's perfect girl."

8()8()8

Draco Malfoy was in a foul mood and it was all that Damn Potter's fault.

It had started as such a great plan, he reflected. Torment Potter's failure at being able to procure a girl by hanging with every Slytherin girl he possibly could. If Potter's face wasn't precious enough, it added to his playboy status which was not a bad thing.

The problem was these silly girls seemed to think he meant it.

Draco flopped on his bed and reflected on the whole situation. There wasn't a girl in the lot of them that he would even consider dating. They were all pretty which had never really been an issue to him. Sure he would like an attractive mate but it wasn't necessary. He'd rather like brains.

If it hadn't been obvious from the beginning that Granger was going to end up with Weasley, Draco might have tried there. Now she was fair game. Ridiculously intelligent fair game. So far as he knew the only other two people who came close to her level of intelligence were Pansy (who was so ridiculously in love with her mental image of Blaise in duck pajamas that she wasn't even worth considering) and that youngest Weasley kid, Gen or Gin whatever his name was.

Draco suddenly found himself thinking about that kid. He hadn't thought about that Weasley in almost four years. It helped that the boy stayed far out of his way. Still, Draco reflected, if he had been gay, the boy would have been his type.

Draco suddenly grinned. Maybe he would. Be gay. Not really, but if he made the moves on Gen or Gin this Hogsmeade weekend he would not only get the privilege of seeing Potter turn new shades of red when the boy doubtless returned his affections, but he would get to see Weasley boy's head explode.

Draco laughed aloud, happy for the first time all day.

He sat up as his owl flew into the room, bearing a large cream envelope with the Malfoy insignia on it. Draco winced a little but he was still in a relatively good mood from coming up with a new torture to inflict on Potter so he got up and took the letter.

It was from his mother and cordially worded.

Draco, my darling son,

It grieves me to no end to know that you have not yet chosen to pursue a romantic interest. I'm sure you believe you have all the time in the world, but I might add that you need to find a girlfriend. After all your father and I...

The letter continued in that vein for some time, reminding Draco that it was never too early to find the woman of his life.

Draco crumpled the letter. He supposed he should be grateful that the war was over and his parents were finished trying to pressure him into being a Death Eater but this was almost worse.

Still it was nice to know that they cared. Kinda nice.

He sighed and walked to his desk to write a letter back.

8()8()8

Ginny played with a strand of hair as she lay on her back on Hermione's bed. They were in the Head Girl's room and Ginny was having serious consternation as to whether she wanted to cut her hair again.

On the one hand she liked her hair at this length. Her hair was cut boyishly short right now and in addition to the baggy hand-me down robes she always wore, she was often being mistaken for a boy. She kind of liked that. Her perchance towards androgynous had been a great help during the war and kept the men-sharks of Hogwarts from bothering her too much.

On the other hand, she kind of fancied having a boyfriend. There wasn't much she could do about her clothes but that sort of thing never bothered her like it would have bothered Lavender. She liked her jeans and baggy tee shirts. After all she didn't have the greatest rack in the world and she was okay with that but that didn't mean the guys wouldn't notice that she was only a B cup, especially when she stood next to Lavender of the D cups (which she was pretty sure were implants).

"Hermione, should I cut my hair again?"

Hermione looked up from her essay (which wasn't due for another month). "It's your decision but I think you look lovely with longer hair."

Ginny examined her hair again then got up and looked at herself in Hermione's full length mirror. Her hair looked like a rock star's, long in the front but trimmed to the nape of her neck in the back. It looked cute on her but boyish and with her freckles, her face looked cute but not beautiful or lovely.

Ginny grabbed one of Hermione's head bands and pulled it on. Her hair stuck up randomly behind the head band but she focused on her face. With the bangs back, her freckles didn't seem so noticeable and her brown eyes seemed somehow prettier.

"I think I will grow it out," Ginny announced. "How long do you think it will take?"

Hermione finally put her pen down and crossed to Ginny. She took the head band out of Ginny's hair and fingered the soft strands. "On average hair grows six inches a year."

Ginny groaned. "Six inches a year? God, this will take forever!"

Hermione laughed. "Well, how long to you want it?"

Ginny gestured to the middle of her chest. "About here, I think."

Hermione studied her critically. "A hair growth potion would put your hair to the middle of your back," Hermione said, gesturing to a point just above Ginny's naval.

Ginny smiled. "And how long would that take?"

"A week."

"A week! Hermione, you're amazing!"

Hermione laughed. "I'll have a potion ready for you on Friday morning."

"I thought we still had some from the war," Ginny said.

Hermione suddenly blushed. "Well, we did but..."

Ginny suddenly put two and two together. "You gave some to Ron, didn't you?"

Hermione's blush intensified. "I like his hair this long. You remember that week he was in the hospital wing? I kinda slipped some into his medicine until his hair was as long as it is."

Ginny laughed. "I wondered about that. I take it he doesn't know?"

Hermione shook her head. "No and I'd appreciate it if..."

"He won't find out from me. I promise."

Hermione smiled gratefully and Ginny laughed. Hermione watched Ginny laugh and wondered how any guy could think she was really a boy. When she was like this it was so painfully obvious.