Love Letter
by RubyKate

It all starts when Pansy sends Hermione a love letter. Anonymously, of course, and only because Draco dares her to. She's not sure why that was a good enough reason, because she hates Draco, she's sure of that, but when he dared her to send Harry Potter a love letter, she was filled with a competitive urge and so she said, 'Is that the best you can come up with? I think Hermione Granger would be a better choice, don't you?', because apparantly teenage boys think of nothing but lesbians, so Pansy's rather smug elder sister told her this summer. And Draco went rather pink behid a snigger, and said, 'Go on then. And let me read it before you give it to her.'

So Pansy finds herself in the library cloakroom with Draco that lunchtime, planting a many times unfolded and refolded piece of paper in Hermione's bag, and running away again before Hermione returns or Draco dies of blushing.


Pansy often has trouble sleeping. She thinks it's because she thinks too much. About home (not that she misses it, but she wonders what it feels like to be empty during the day time when her parents are working) and Potions (because her father has high hopes that she'll follow in his footsteps) and Draco (because she hates him) and her sister (who writes her engimatic and vain letters every week) and books (because she likes to be alone) and nail varnish (because she thinks painting her nails will help practice concentration. It hasn't helped) and what other people think of her (not because it might upset her, but because she likes to know everything) and Hermione (because Pansy often wonders if she might have turned out like Hermione if she hadn't had such a ridiculously annoying family and Slytherin destiny).

And on this night, the night after she leaves a piece of paper covered in red ink in Hermione's bag, hating herself and Draco and Hermione, Pansy thinks about what Hermione might think upon finding such a thing and what she herself might think if she were to be in that situation. Pansy thinks about it for a few minutes and decides that she'd suspect Draco of being pathetic, and then tear it into neat squares and burn it in the candle flame when everyone else was asleep. But as for Hermione's reaction, Pansy has to admit that for once she has no idea.


In the morning, Pansy notices that Draco keeps staring at her. Rather than stare directly at him or ignore him, she watches him out of the corner of her eye and notices that in his breaks from staring at her, he's staring at Hermione Granger.

Pansy leaves half her breakfast untouched and stands up, pretending not to hear Draco call her over. She should've known better than to even talk to Draco yesterday, let alone go along with one of his stupid dares. Hermione Granger, of all people, too. What had made her say it? Pansy vainly hopes that Hermione will discard the letter without a thought and that Draco will grow up overnight and that she will be left alone with her books and her expensive pillow from home behind the curtains on her four poster bed - but she knows better than to trust hope.

"Hermione," Pansy says, almost walking into the other girl and immediately struggling to gain control of the situation. "How interesting that I bump into you, of all people."

"What do you mean?" Hermione asks, looking rather uncomfortable. She's clutching at least five books, as usual, her hair falling in front of her eyes and she shakes it back, stupidly.

"Well, so soon after my letter." Pansy doesn't know why despite being so capable of thinking forever on her own, she seems to lose all sensibilities when she's around other people.

"I... oh, fuck off, Pansy, alright?" Hermione says, suddenly, the words spilling out of her mouth as she darts around the corner just as quickly.

Pansy can't help but to feel a little stunned. Hermione Granger, swearing. She turns her lips up into an amused smirk, just in case anyone is watching, and walks very briskly towards the dungeons, because you can never be too early for Potions.


When Pansy has finished her work and is waiting for the rest of the class to catch up, she allows herself to think some more, and finds herself realising that Hermione was possibly a little unfair. Pansy imagines a scenario in which she had genuinely written Hermione a love letter containing all her most secret thoughts (the idea makes her snigger, but nonetheless she goes on with the idea) only to be turned down by a suddenly viscious Hermione who thinks that Pansy's just making the whole thing up for a dare. The fact that actually, in the real situation, Hermione is right to suspect, is not the point. Pansy could have meant it, but Hermione didn't wait to find out.

Pansy makes up her mind, slightly amused at herself, to behave a little more nicely. It won't do to have people knowing exactly what she's capable of. But on the other hand, is it really worth the effort? To have to go around smiling all the time despite stupidly boring letters from home and stupidly easy homework that she could have managed last year and the way that all she has to be in a year of stupidly immature children. No, it's probably not worth it. Not for Hermione Granger, anyway.


"Pansy," Draco drawls, stupidly, as she enters the common room. He's sprawled across an armchair in a haphazard way that he thinks makes him look casual and careless, but unknown to him has the added effect of making him look about five years old.

"Draco," Pansy acknowledges and doesn't stop walking towards the dormitory.

"How's things with you and lover girl Granger?" He'll never learn how to smirk properly. It's not about being smug, it's about being carelessly amused.

"Fuck off, actually," Pansy says, spinning round before she has a chance to think about it. It would have been better to keep walking instead. "It was a dare, remember?"

"I just dared you to write a letter. You suggested Hermione." Draco doesn't know when to stop smirking. What he says is true, of course, but it won't get him anywhere like that.

"Er, yeah, Draco, I'll remember that next time you get all red and excited at the suggestion of lesbians."

"Yeah, right," Draco says, obviously at a loss for things to say and relying on his stupid coolness.

Pansy can't think why she lets herself get into these situations with Draco. She hates him, she really does, and there never ever seems to be a moment when she feels anything other than irratiation and rage towards him. But that's the safest way, isn't it? something inside her says, and Pansy shudders.


It's Winter, and Pansy doesn't want to go outside where snow doesn't have a chance to settle in the wet and muddy ground. So she finds herself a back corridor between two study rooms that nobody seems to use, and lights up a cigarette. She knows a charm to get rid of the smoke smell, helpfully taught to her three years ago by her sister, who suggested she started smoking in the first place. Only the thing is about Penny is that she never suggests, she just informs you, as if she's doing you a favour because of course you could never work out the latest trends yourself 'By the way, everyone wears these nowadays', and 'You ought to know - everyone's terribly bored of black'. Pansy doesn't know why she listens to Penny, when she's so capable of thinking by herself. Or Draco. Or Hermione fucking Granger, who thinks she's so clever for using words that Pansy's used since she was six. Only that was Penny's suggestion again, wasn't it?

Pansy realises too late that footsteps can be heard, and all she has time for is to pull her face into a smirk. The Hufflepuff second year disapears as soon as he arrived, running back down the corridor noisily and sounding stupidly out of breath. Pansy rolls her eyes, despite the fact he's gone and there's nobody else to see it, and wonders if he's gone to fetch a prefect, or just to hide under his quilt for the rest of his life. She can't be bothered to put out the cigarette, or attempt to hide it, or just leave, and is rather amused at herself for leaning against the wall so uselessly without the energy to even put out her cigarette.

There are more footsteps, slower than expected. That must mean Prefect, surely, or teacher, but teachers are too exhausted after class to go patrolling, that's what Prefects are for. But Pansy's a fucking prefect herself, she shouldn't have to follow orders. Prefects' privelege, says Penny, who of course, was once one herself.

The footsteps stop, just around the corner but nobody appears. Pansy hears somebody take a deep breath, and calls out, 'Is that you, Granger?'

'Yes,' Hermione announces, stepping forward with a sudden boldness. 'Pansy, you know you're not supposed to be smoking.'

Pansy says nothing, and simpy smirks, because she doesn't want to open her mouth in case the words that come out are somebody else's.

'Pansy,' Hermione repeats, sternly, and Pansy realises that she has to say something.

'I smoke, because I'm hoping for an early death,' she announces. They're not her words either, but at least this is a quote.

'...are you?' Hermione says, surprised, and then frowns, bites her lip, evidently angry at herself for not thinking before she speaks.

Pansy decides, that for once, she's not going to take advantage of Hermione's awkwardness. 'It's from a song, Granger,' she says, and takes another drag of her cigarette to remind herself that she is still Pansy really. 'A Muggle song, actually.'

'Oh. I didn't know that you liked Muggle things...' Hermione cuts her own sentence short again, but manages to quite bravely, if a little unsteadily, look Pansy in the eye.

'I don't, necessarily, it just amuses me,' says Pansy, and waits for Hermione to say something else. She doesn't, and Pansy gets impatient and forgets to think. 'Of course, you wouldn't expect me to like Muggle things, or music at all, because I'm a bitch.'

'I didn't say that,' Hermione says, firmly, and Pansy wonders why Hermione's bothering to deny it. Perhaps she's just over-defensive or hopelessly nice, or perhaps it's the truth. Pansy smirks, because it's always a good thing to do when you don't know what to say. She has a horrible feeling that Penny told her that, but she can't remember, which is an alarming thought.

'I didn't say it,' Hermione says again, 'but you don't exactly make me think you're not one. A bitch, I mean.'

'Have you really never sworn before?' Pansy asks, giving into curiousity. 'I mean, before today.'

'Yes,' Hermione says, quickly, looking surprised. 'But not very much,' she admits. 'Does it matter?'

Pansy expected the quick answer, but only half expected the confession. 'Oh,' she says, and leaves it at that.

'What do you mean, "oh"?' asks Hermione. 'Does it matter?' she says again.

'Not really. I just wondered.'

'Well, fucking don't, okay?'

'It seems bitchiness is contagious,' Pansy announces, blurting out words to hide herself. 'Shame you couldn't catch the actual boldness though, or it doesn't really work. You are supposed to be a Gryffindor, aren't you?'

When Hermione kisses her, Pansy is more surprised than she's ever been, more so than when Draco announced she was accompanying him to the Yule Ball or when Penny ran away from home last year and didn't get in touch for two weeks. Pansy also finds herself wishing, for the first time in her life that she didn't smoke, even though Hermione doesn't seem to mind. And not only does she not appear to mind about the smoking, but also about the fact that Pansy is a Slytherin and possibly a bitch (Pansy thinks she might be too lazy to be a bitch) and is supposed to be the best friend of Harry Potter's arch-enemy and the fact that she breaks school rules. And that, Pansy decides, is probably enough for the moment.

It started with a love letter and it ends with Hermione kissing Pansy against a wall, the stupid love letter in Hermione's fist, scratching at Pansy's stomach through her thin shirt and for once Pansy decides to stop thinking.


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