Disclaimer - I do not, in any way, shape or form, own any of these characters, settings or themes. They all belong to the wonder that is J.K. Rowling!


I read the letter again, for the third time.

I was going to be a professor at Hogwarts.

Hogwarts, of all places!

It just didn't seem real yet, even with the stiff, cream parchment in my hands as proof.

Amongst the stress and shock, one thought drowned all others: Draco will be the first to know.

I smiled then, thinking of my incredibly handsome and incurably arrogant friend, Draco Malfoy. He would insist on going to the nearest pub and getting completely blasted, like always.

Can we have a round of beer for Professor Parkinson? He'd say to the bar maid, loudly enough to cause the entire pub to erupt in congratulatory remarks.

Congratulations, oh, beautiful friend of mine. He'd say, glass raised to me, with that look in his eye, the look only I brought out in him. The Pansy look.

I smiled, looking over the letter again, and then stuffed it in my jacket pocket for safekeeping. I left then, locking my mailbox, securing the rest of the letters and bills under my arm, and jogged up the stairs of my flat building to flat 203.

Next to my Slytherin dorm at Hogwarts, my flat in muggle London had to be the most comfortable I've felt in a setting. Sure, there was the Parkinson manor, nestled in the hills near a small wizarding village, but it was never home. Hogwarts was always the better place for me. That's why directly after the war, I bought the small flat, with a fireplace, and a balcony with a view of the Eye and the Thames River. It was outside the wizarding world, yes, but it had been what I had needed at the time: a place away from the Daily Prophet and Witch Weekly always posting stories about the war victims.

I wanted somewhere quiet.

My flat was just that. A nice, small, yet well built home. I loved it.

Once inside, I put the mail on the table next to the door, along with my keys and shrugged out of my jacket. And, walking into my small kitchen, grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge to satiate my thirst.

Leaning against the counter, I looked around the flat, the pictures of my younger brother and I in New York blown up and framed on the far wall by the window, Blaise and I laughing at Kings Cross in a small frame next to the telly, and Draco and I in Paris in a small frame by my sofa. Although unmoving, the pictures held memories, times I was truly happy.

I walked across the living area, sat down on the brown plush sofa there and picked up the old, silver frame that held mine and Draco's smiling faces. It was my favorite picture, from a time when we were worry free, and 15. Before the war, and his dark mark. We're outside some fountain overflowing with water and children all around us. He's looking directly at the camera, smirking, and I'm gazing up at him, a goofy smile on my face.

I nearly began to walk down memory lane when my muggle mobile phone began to vibrate in my jeans pocket. I set the frame down in my lap and flipped the phone open without looking at the name or number of the caller.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Please tell me why you have voluntarily decided to live in the seventh circle of hell also known as muggle London." Draco's quiet voice came through the receiver.

I laughed quietly, and stood up, walking the straight line at the edge of the throw carpet over the dark, hard wood floors of my flat.

"Definitely the food." I replied sarcastically, smiling at Draco's laugh on the other end.

He sighed and made a frustrated sound. "Please expect me over in about thirty minutes. I need to tell you something." He said seriously, but I could sense the smile in his voice.

"Pray tell what you're doing in muggle London in the first place, dear. Not just to gossip with little old me?" I said, overtly sweet. I spun and walked around the back of my sofa, trailing a lazy pointer finger across the seam.

Draco laughed, and sighed again. I could hear the sounds of the London streets, taxis and fellow pedestrians. It was somewhat funny to picture Draco Malfoy walking in muggle London while speaking on a mobile phone. "You wish. Mum had me come to the city to get some ridiculous perfume that only sells in a muggle shop." He sneered. "Bloody woman." He said quietly.

I laughed, turning around again to face the window of my flat. "What are you coming to me for? Something serious?" I asked curiously, admiring the look of the London lights at night.

"Not yet." He said. I could imagine him shaking his head. "I don't want to tell you over this…thing." He said. Draco's love for mobile phones was all but absent.

"Ok" I said, nodding my head. "I'll see you soon."

After hanging up, I dropped the phone on my sofa and ran to the entrance hall to a mirror hanging on the wall adjacent to the door. I checked my appearance, ruffling my dark hair, pinched my cheeks to give them color, and bit my lips. I straightened my just above the knees dress, and made sure that my brown eyes were clear of any smudges or weirdness. I smiled, checking my straight teeth, and then cupped my hands around my mouth and blew into them, checking my breath.

"All's clear." I smiled into the mirror, immediately aware that all of this preparation for Draco Malfoy, king of 'commitiphobia', was completely ridiculous. The boy had been telling me how beautiful I was since I was three. I think I was safe from any sort of horrible ugly anything.

But that was just it, after so many years of friendship, no matter how beautiful, funny, smart or sexy he said I was, I was never his girlfriend. Draco didn't 'do the girlfriend thing'. It was against his nature.

That didn't stop me from making sure I looked perfect in every second of exposure to him. And it was just that: Whenever he came around, he willingly allowed me to be exposed to him.

Draco Malfoy, the most handsome man I had ever met. His pointed features, stormy grey gaze, milky white skin and beautiful, silky blonde hair made him the most sought after wizard of our age. When we'd go to a pub, girls would openly stare at him. As if he was an angel, or some type of incredible, touchable god.

He wasn't, of course. He treated most people like rubbish. He only really loved a few. His mum, the woman who sacrificed so much to keep him safe, Blaise, the only male at Hogwarts that could match his superior intellect, and me.

I never felt like I belonged on that short list. I was far from superior. I had been told I was beautiful my entire life, but only really grew into my facial features when I began my twenties. I never had the delusion that I was ugly. A mirror could solve that, but I was neither the most beautiful witch ever, nor the most intelligent one.

I mean, sure, I was in the top 10 best students of our Hogwarts class, but I was no Hermione Granger.

I excelled at Charms, and Defense against the dark arts, whereas, Draco excelled at Potions and Transfiguration.

Draco nearly loved me due to our forced play dates when we were children. We grew up together, and after so many years of secrets, hexing frogs in the forbidden forest on weekends, and drinking after curfew, you grow attached to someone.

Or at least I did. The problem was, attachment wasn't my only desire. I wanted Draco to love me. More than a friend love. But, that was impossible. So, I settled for the next best thing: A friend with benefits.

We would meet up occasionally, shag until both of us were satisfied, and then go drinking. He would never kiss me in public. I'd save my hand holding for my flat, or his. I'd get my Draco fix however he'd let me.

It wasn't rainbows and sunshine all the time. Most times, he'd leave with a charming smirk and "Until next time", and I'd curl up on my sofa, watch some ridiculous romantic muggle movie, and sob until the credits. What he didn't know couldn't hurt him.

That all happened until a couple of weeks ago, when he wouldn't even return my owls. I'm not the jealous sort. I don't comment on his multiple flings, or the twats he snogs in alleyways, but once the boy doesn't even reply to my owls, something is wrong, and it causes worry. I've never not had contact with him, whether it is our recent usage of mobile phones, flooing to each other's flats, owling, or firecalling. I was worried, to say the least. And, although his call had made me feel a bit of relief, I still wanted to know the reasoning behind his absence from my life.

It scared me how much I missed him after only two weeks of not seeing or hearing from him. That's what it all came down to.

It didn't even hurt my feelings that he hadn't contacted me. I just missed hearing his voice.

Bleeding hell, I've got it bad.

A light tap on the door interrupted my inner worrying.

I'll return to the subject after he's gone. I thought, taking a deep breath.

I looked in the mirror once more, making sure not even a hair was out of place, and then opened the door with a smile.

Draco gave me a once over with his steel eyes. He was leaning against the doorway in denim jeans that hugged his thin legs, a simple white t-shirt, and a black leather jacket. He looked beautiful.

"Hey." I said staring at his face, looking at his hand that held a bag from the muggle store I presumed held Narcissa's perfume.

"Hey." He smirked.

I lunged myself into his arms, dug my head into his chest and inhaled his sweet, minty cologne. "Don't you dare spend another two weeks without contacting me, Malfoy." I mumbled into his chest.

His chest hummed with his quiet laugh as he put his chin on top of my hair. "You smell good." He said, inhaling the fragrance of my shampoo.

"Back at you." I mumbled, reluctantly letting go and stepping back. "And thank you." I said, smoothing my hair and stepping aside to let him in. He smirked and walked into my flat.

"What were you doing when I called?" He asked, looking past my kitchen, as if to see if I was alone.

As if I wanted anyone else I huffed, which caused him to raise a perfect blonde brow at me. "Um, I actually had just stepped in. I've been at the book store all day." I admitted, shutting the door and walking past him into the living area.

He followed, eying his surroundings. After eight years of living here, both Blaise and Draco still couldn't stand the place. They found it too small. Too muggle is really what they thought, but they'd never tell me that.

"Oh, did you ever read Crime and punishment like I told you to?" He asked with a blank expression, sitting down on the brown sofa and crossing his ankles neatly.

I smiled. "Yeah, and I loved it." I admitted, sitting next to him.

He smirked, and then eyed the picture of us in the middle of the sofa. "Taking a trip down memory lane?" He asked, picking up the frame and staring at it with an amused expression.

I snorted unlady-like, which caused another blonde eyebrow to be raised. "You came here to tell me something." I reminded him, grabbing the frame and placing it back on the side table.

He looked at the picture for a little longer, and then snapped out of whatever it was, and smiled.

Draco smiling is my favorite picture in the world. I want to frame it a million times and put it everywhere, but I didn't think he'd like that, so I settled for a simple wallpaper on my mobile phone.

I blinked out of my reverie and suddenly became curious. "Ok, what is it?"

His smile faded into a smirk and he looked away from me to his perfect nails. "I met someone." He said simply.

That's all? Draco 'meets' someone everyday. I frowned. "And, what? She's incredibly flexible?" I said sarcastically, shaking the image out of my head.

And, suddenly, out of nowhere, his smirk faded and his perfect fingernails began to pick at an invisible spot on his jeans. He looked anywhere but at me. "I wouldn't know." He said quietly.

I froze. Everything in my flat seemed to be in a frozen picture. I saw my friend, Draco Malfoy, but didn't really see him. Was he really here?

It seemed to be centuries before I found my voice again. "What do you mean?" Although newly found, my voice was quiet, my eyes wide. I'm sure I looked a lot like an owl.

And, finally, achingly slowly, Draco looked at me. And, the look in his eyes caused whatever it was in my stomach to lurch. I instantly wanted to puke. "I think I'm in love, Pansy." He said.

And then I laughed. I'm not sure what had brought it on, or what I had heard that was so funny, but I laughed as if he had told me the world's funniest joke. I laughed like a crazed hyena. That was until I felt his cool, soft hands on my shoulders, shaking me slightly.

He stared at me with amusement, love and something foreign. Worry? "Hello? Earth to Pansy Parkinson." He said, still staring me in the eye.

I didn't say anything, just simply stared back at him. This had to be some incredibly cruel joke, right? Draco Malfoy doesn't just 'be in love' with someone. There are practically laws against that.

Laws you made in your head. I thought, frowning. I got up from the sofa, and began to pace. "Ok, just let it out. Who is he?" I asked, my hands on my head.

It was his turn to laugh at me. "You think I love a guy?" He asked, holding his stomach, eyes pushed shut, laughing. "That's a good one!" he snorted, still laughing.

I stopped pacing, lowered my hands and stared at him incredulously. "You mean this 'someone' is a 'she'?" I asked, swallowing against the sudden ringing in my ears.

He looked at me as if I had told him I was a virgin. "Well, yes, Pansy. I am a straight man." He said slowly, as if to a five year old trying to understand rules.

I began to pace again, the ringing in my ears continued, my heart raced at an unhealthy rhythm. This was impossible. If he wasn't gay, then there's definitely no way he could love someone else.

I was about to ask him if he considered goblins or unicorns as 'someone' when I saw the look on his face. At first, he looked slightly angry with me, but that passed when he looked down. The emotion in his eyes when he looked back up at me stopped my heart. Well, not literally, but you get the picture.

"Pansy, I'm serious here." He said quietly, slowly.

I found myself nodding. There was a strange sensation of numbness spreading in my body. It began at my fingertips. "Don't you want to know who she is?" he asked, prodding me to speak.

Again I nodded, the prickling numbness now at my knuckles. "She went to school with us, you know." He said.

I didn't look at him anymore. Staring at the picture of my brother and I at the Statue of Liberty across the ocean, I vaguely registered how I couldn't feel anything from my elbows down. "She's younger. But, only by a year. She's quite mature for her age." He chuckled.

There was no feeling in my arms at all. I stared at my little brother's smiling face. "It's Ginny, Pansy. Ginny Weasley."

Closing my eyes, I breathed through my nose slowly. I couldn't feel anything. Not even the breath I took in. "Please say something, Pansy." Draco said pleadingly.

I couldn't. I lacked the ability, the necessity, and desire.

"Pansy? Hello?" Draco's voice sounded closer than the sofa. He must have been standing in front of me.

"Why aren't you saying anything?" he asked, begging me to respond.

Somehow, I was able to speak through the inability to feel anything. "Please stop." I whispered. I opened my eyes and collapsed on the floor, sitting up, with my legs in disarray.

Draco looked down at me, worried. "Do you want me to leave?" He asked, glancing at the door. This made him uncomfortable, I could tell.

I said nothing, and made no move to get up. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked weakly. My cheeks were suddenly wet; I couldn't move to dry them.

I heard his sharp intake of breath and saw him sit down across from me, my eyes followed his every move. "Because, I would have rather you heard it from me than Witch Weekly." He stated, looking me in the eye. His normally bright silver eyes were dark, stormy, worried, but he showed no emotion on his face. This was Draco: the mayor of Non-emotion Ville.

"Pansy," Draco said, moving his hand to cover mine.

I jumped back from him, shocking us both at my rapid avoidance of his touch. He let his hand fall to his side, and got up. "If you're going to act like this, maybe I should go." He said stiffly.

I regained my full motor skills and glared at him. "How did you expect me to take this, Draco?" I spat his name with as much venom as I could muster.

My tone worked, because the blonde flinched a bit and then recovered. "I dunno," He stated, running a hand through his perfect blonde hair. "I guess I thought you'd be happy for me." He muttered quietly.

I snorted, and finally got up. "So, is this all you came to tell me? Or, are you already engaged too?" I asked with an attempt at nonchalance.

He stared at me incredulously; a muscle in his jaw began to twitch. "Do you really think I would spring something like that on you?"

I laughed shortly, and walked past him towards the door. "Well, I wouldn't put that past you, Draco. You haven't contacted me in two weeks. Anything could have happened." I said as I got to the door.

I turned and looked at him. His expression was one of anger. With a defiant stomp, he briskly walked over to me and stood in front of me. "I can't believe you're being like this." He said, glaring at me.

"Draco." I said, returning his glare. "Please get out."

His glare faltered a bit. This was a first for him. I had never denied him. Ever. Then, he obligingly walked past me and opened the door, not turning around before walking out and shutting it loudly.

I stared at the spot his head had been in for what seemed like days, and finally, and surprisingly, a loud, painful sob wracked through my body, and I slid my back down the door until I sat crying against it.

Well, this was not the evening I thought it was going to be.