The Pretty Slytherin

Chapter One

"Who's that girl with Crabbe?" Hermione said, craning her neck to get a good look.

They were in the ballroom at Hogwarts. Well, the Great Hall, which was the ballroom when the House tables were pushed against a wall, as they were now.

"Never seen her before," Ron said.

Harry didn't know why they cared about who was dating Crabbe. Draco's goons were the enemy. Of course, it was more believable that someone would be dating Crabbe more than Goyle.

It was their sixth year. Harry was hung over Ginny, but he couldn't bring himself to tell Ron. Dating a best friend's sister just wouldn't feel right without having the approval of his best friend.

His last girlfriend had been Cho Change. They fell apart after she refused to agree with him about Marietta Edgecombe's treachery.

His mood was not helped by the fact that Hermione and Ron were now dating, but he, Harry, was alone. Ginny was with Dean. Cho, if she even still liked him, was with Roger Davies. And now Draco's goon was dating a pretty girl who of course would have no interest in him, Harry. If she was dating Crabbe, she probably hated all the kinds of people Harry liked. Hermione, because she was Muggle-born, Ron, because he was a blood traitor, Lupin, because he was a werewolf. No way did Harry want a relationship with a girl like that.

Luna came over and started talking about the Ratfang Conspiracy. Harry excused himself and went near the refreshments table, thinking he might drown himself in pumpkin juice.

Lavender was already downing the pumpkin juice. And cherry tarts. And chocolate frogs.

"Harry, can I ask you a question?"

"Shoot," he said, pouring himself some juice.

"Did Ron break up with me just to be with Hermione?"

"I'm not sure I should answer that question."

"He did, didn't he?"

"Probably, but…maybe you should discuss it with him."

"I can't discuss it with him because he's always with Hermione!"

"Well, they are dating."

"And no one wants me." Her eyes flickered, threatening tears.

"Someone will want you," Harry said.

"But I want Ron."

"Love is complicated," Harry said, taking a sip of his drink.

"Ron's looking this way," Lavender said. She peered into Harry's eyes, then wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.

If Harry had thought that having to confront his best mate with the idea of dating his sister was the worst thing in the world, he was wrong. The worst thing in the world was telling your best mate that you liked how his ex-girlfriend kissed.

Lavender disappeared in the crowd, and Ron came over. "What the hell were you doing?" Ron asked.

"She came on to me," Harry said.

"Lavender…wouldn't do that. She's not that type."

"I think she probably is," said Harry. "Or maybe she just wants to make you jealous, since you're with Hermione now."

"Jealous? Of you and Lavender? Ha! I'd be happy to see her with someone, anyone, else, other than me."

"Well,l I'm not dating her, all right?" Harry said. "It was just a kiss. She came on to me. Nothing is going on between us. Nothing is ever going to go on between us."

"You might want to tell her that before she sends you an engraved necklace with your nickname, 'Har-Har', on it."

Ron walked away from Harry, leaving him to his pumpkin juice. After a while of watching people dance, he went over to ask Luna. At least she would know they were just doing it as friends. Lavender would probably make out with him like crazy if he asked her, and he wasn't up to that right now. And anyway, he needed someone from outside his House near him. Someone in Cho's House.

Luna accepted and they danced a couple of numbers together. Looking into her eyes, Harry knew that no romance could ever exist between them. Even the idea was laughable. Besides, he had a thing for red-heads right now. Well, one red-head anyway. Unfortunately, Ginny was off limits.

Crabbe's girlfriend's leg brushed against Harry's by accident while he was dancing with Luna. Both Harry and Crabbe's girlfriend ignored each other. Harry had felt a jolt rush up his leg, not knowing what it was. He was sure Crabbe's girlfriend didn't feel any such thing, just the natural feeling from having your leg bump into someone else's. It was nothing. She was pretty, but Harry knew that Death Eaters could look good, but that didn't change their evil interior. Voldemort himself was once very handsome. But now he was in need of rhinoplasty and looked like he was on death's door. Perhaps Crabbe's girlfriend would be a future Death Eater. It would not suit him to be with her.

Why was he even thinking about her? He didn't know her. A brush on the leg didn't mean anything. Sure, her leg was bare, her dress robes ending in a skirt whose end came above the knees, but Harry's bottle-green dress robes covered his own legs.

He had felt her skin. He glanced over at her hands. They were smooth and beautiful, with teal nail polish.

A flash of desire to steal some Amortentia from Slughorn's office and feed it to Crabbe's girlfriend entered his mind. He shook his head. He couldn't do that. That was cheating. And that had led to Voldemort's birth, as Dumbledore had been showing him that year. Did he want to father another Voldemort?

But none of his children would be fatherless. Unless he was killed, of course. But it wouldn't be by choice. Maybe if he fell in love with this girl, they could have a beautiful life together.

Deciding that he might as well punish himself for sick thoughts like that the way Dobby punished himself for disobeying orders, Harry asked a fifth-year Hufflepuff with size eleven feet to dance with him. She kept stepping on his feet and it hurt every time, never as bad as his scar could hurt, but certainly terrible. But he deserved it for wanting Crabbe's girlfriend and plotting to steal her by ulterior motives that would make them both unhappy in the end…

Who knew that love could be so painful? Emotionally. The physical stuff Harry could deal with, but the emotional part drove him crazy.

After finally getting away from the Hufflepuff with large feet, Harry decided then and there that he would never date or dance with a girl again. That would make everything easier.