Numb Without You (Draco Malfoy)

07

Pansy Parkinson is everything that is wrong with the Wizarding World. If she were a witch during the Salem Witch Trials of the 1600s over in America, then she would have certainly been burned at the stake. As anyone who has taken Muggle Studies at Hogwarts knows, all the real witches during that time were smart enough to not get caught. Those who were burned were all innocent muggles caught up in an conniving little girl’s twisted lies. However, I am sure that Pansy would have given them proper reason to burn her too. Although, come to think of it... I may be a little biased given our history.

I ripped open the door to stare intently at Draco and Theo, who to this point had not realized I had been listening to their entire conversation. “And why would Pansy Parkinson be coming here exactly?” I demanded to know. Both boys shifted uncomfortably and wouldn’t meet my stern gaze. “I’m waiting for an answer that doesn’t make me want to rip my own hair out.”

“I didn’t know she could hold a grudge this long.” Theo muttered to Draco who looked paler than I thought was even possible.

“Then clearly you don’t know Aurora.” Blaise said as he walked out of another bedroom, presumably his own. He looked at me and nodded. It was as close as he would ever get to smiling, “Sorry, I mean Rory.”

“Would anyone care to explain?” I glowered at the group standing before me as I continued to lean on the door.

None of them raced to answer me, so Blaise rolled his eyes and spoke up, “Draco is sort of dating her.”

I glanced in Draco’s direction for confirmation and he looked ashamed of himself, and also very annoyed with Blaise for blowing his big secret, “It’s nothing serious.” He assured me. His grey eyes darkened with worry, “I’m not even that interested in her. She’s just kind of... there. It’s a convenience thing.”

“Tell that to her.” Theo guffawed and even Blaise let out a quiet laugh. “She thinks she lives here. What’s she going to do when she finds out Aurora Dolohov has officially moved in to our flat before she has?”

“This is all just temporary,” I warned them as I rolled my eyes, “Seriously though, it’s like none of you ever bloody left Hogwarts all still hanging around each other like this.”

“Says the girl who was dating Aidan Hastings up until yesterday.” Draco snapped back passing just as much judgement about myself as I had towards him. I could tell he wished he hadn’t said it the moment the words escaped his lips. It really did sting hearing him say it out loud, given the trajectory of the last 24 hours for me. Draco’s eyes shifted to the lift door that Pansy could walk through at any second, “Actually, Blaise, if you could occupy Aurora for a few hours that would be really helpful.”

“Don’t you dare talk about me like I’m a problem that needs a solution, Malfoy.” I snarled menacingly. “You told me to come stay here. You wouldn’t take no for an answer. In fact, you didn’t even wait for my answer at all.”

“Blaise, please.” Draco ignored me and begged his friend. I think he already knew he was too late. The bell rang and the lift doors opened up revealing the pug-faced girl in question.

“Draco, darling!” Pansy drawled as she threw all of her bags to the ground and raised her arms up into the air excitedly. She wasted no time closing the space between herself and the blond haired boy standing in front of me. Pansy wrapped her arms around him tightly while Draco stood rigid, still staring right at me with concern in his grey eyes. I’ll admit, as much as I hated sharing the same space with Pansy in any capacity whatsoever, the pained look on Malfoy’s face was making it all worthwhile.

Pansy wasn’t totally incompetent. She knew something in the room was off, despite still not being able to understand just how little interest Draco Malfoy had in her besides her being a warm body to fill his empty bed. She pulled away from Draco, but still clung to his arm as she looked at Theo and Zabini expectantly. “What’s going on?” She asked the three boys suspiciously. Theo said nothing, but his eyes flickered towards me, revealing my presence behind her with no words necessary. Pansy spun around on her heel, dragging Draco along with her and audibly gasped when she saw me. “What is she doing here?” Pansy seethed.

“You better stay back,” I warned her, “I do believe that I still owe you a swift punch in the face for what you’ve done to me.”

“For what I’ve done?” She said as she took an instinctive step away from me out of fear that I would stay true to my word. Her tone grew increasingly more shrill with every syllable that escaped her lips. “You’re a bloody criminal.”

“So is your boyfriend.” I snarled and nodded towards Draco who cringed at the mere implication of his relationship status, “Or does he need to roll up his shirt sleeve to remind you?” I was absolutely livid. Very few people irritated me in the way that Pansy Parkinson did. “Just because you were fortunate enough not to be Marked, doesn’t make you any less complicit than the rest of us.”

“It does in the eyes of the Ministry.” Pansy said smugly. Even Theo and Blaise had to agree with her on that one.

“Not for long.” My eyes narrowed at her. “If Draco Malfoy successfully goes through Granger’s program, what makes you think they will stop with just him?”

Fear flashed through all of their faces, until Theo began to smirk, “If only we could all be as lucky as Malfoy to get someone like Aurora Dolohov as our sponsor.”

“I’ll make sure that you don’t.” I assured him and his mouth gaped open in shock.

“I didn’t think she has the authority.” Blaise challenged me. He raised a brow and looked my up and down, seemingly unimpressed.

“Maybe I don’t, but I know people who do.” I snapped. Of course, this wasn’t entirely true. I didn’t know how much power Hermione actually wielded within the Ministry, but it had to be significantly more than I did. None of this mattered though, because the four of them didn’t know either. I could make up whatever I wanted, really. Who was going to dispute me?

“Malfoy, you’ve got to tell her.” Blaise said simply. Draco looked as if he might murder him right then and there. He knew the spell.

“Tell me what?” Pansy asked. She was focused intently on Draco, but kept me within her peripheral vision. I knew she was worried that I might sucker-punch her, and believe me, it was very tempting.

“Draco didn’t tell you?” Theo feigned stupidity, but his crooked grin was getting wider and wider by the second. He was enjoying Malfoy’s misfortune even more than I had been just a few moments ago, “Rory moved in today.”

“She what?” Pansy screamed in Draco’s face. His face reddened and he glared at Theo.

“Relax, Pansy.” Blaise said, “You won’t even realize she’s here.”

“Somehow I doubt that.” Pansy said as she glared at me, “Aurora Dolohov wouldn’t know how to shut her mouth even if a Ukranian Ironbelly was sleeping nearby.”

I had had enough of Pansy’s insults by this point and lunged forward ready to fight. I didn’t get the chance to make contact because Draco grabbed me by the waist and held me back while Pansy screamed louder than Moaning Myrtle.

“She just tried to kill me!” Pansy cried. She was so over-dramatic about everything. The girl was a walking hyperbole. “You really want to live with an attempted murderer?”

“There’s already one of those here, and its not me.” I glowered in Draco’s direction as he was still holding me back. Draco’s eyes darkened at the mere mention of our sixth year at Hogwarts.

“Blaise, Theo, please.” Draco pleaded with his friends as he shouted over us girls, “Just take Aurora out for a few hours while I get things settled with Pansy.”

“I think I’m fine where I am.” I sneered. Blaise rolled his eyes and didn’t say a word as he reached forward to grab my arm. Draco let go of me in the same moment and the two of us disapparated. The next thing I knew we were standing in front of Madam Malkin’s in Diagon Alley. Theo was not far behind us. I pushed Blaise away from me, still very angry, and gave Theo a warning look. The two boys backed off and let me readjust my clothes.

“Let me buy you a drink.” Theo said as he nodded towards The Leaky Cauldron. I didn’t object and led the way to the establishment. We sat down at one of the unoccupied tables and Theo went to go get a round of firewhisky shots for us.

“You’ve still got quite the temper.” Blaise noted as he watched me carefully.

“Some things will never change.” I scowled and swiped the shot from Theo’s tray before he even set it back down. I threw my head back and let the alcohol burn my throat as it slid down. I immediately felt more at ease when I looked at the two sitting opposite me, “You got mad at me when I compared you to Crabbe and Goyle, but so far you’re both doing a pretty god job as their replacements. Draco only had to tell you once to do something, and you did it.”

“It’s only because we want Pansy out of the apartment.” Blaise explained and Theo nodded his head enthusiastically.

“She’s a real pain in our arse sometimes.” Theo agreed, “But even I have to admit, she’s gotten pretty fit since Hogwarts.”

“You find Pansy Parkinson attractive?” I laughed in his face and he turned a violent shade of red. “That’s just embarrassing.”

Theo glared at me, “She’s got a nice body. I’m still a man. I can’t help but to notice especially when she’s traipsing around my home like she owns the place.”

“Don’t let him fool you,” Blaise drawled, “He’s had a thing for her for years.” Theo kicked Blaise under the table and muttered something about keeping his mouth shut or he would use the Cruciatus curse on him in his sleep, but I was too distracted by who was walking into The Leaky Cauldron to notice.

A small-framed silhouette stood in the doorway and I recognized her instantly. Hermione Granger was looking around frantically, until her eyes landed directly on me. She hurried over talking quickly as she went, “Rory! Thank Godric I’ve found you! I went by your flat today and something really odd was going on there.”

“What do you mean?” I frowned. It came as no surprise to me, but my name was still on the lease, so I was still financially responsible for Camille and Aidan’s reckless behavior, at least for the time being.

“Camille opened the door and said you didn’t live there anymore. But there were lots of wizards inside. No one that I recognized. It looked like some weird sort of meeting was going on. Do you know anything about it?” Hermione bit her lip nervously as her eyes drifted over towards Theo and Blaise, whom she still didn’t much care for. She quickly snapped her attention back to me.

“No, but Camille is into some pretty twisted things.” I shrugged, “I wouldn’t worry about it too much.” My words didn’t ease any of Hermione’s worries, or even mine necessarily, but I didn’t want to focus on that right now because I had my own problems to deal with, “And she is right, I don’t live there anymore as of last night.”

“What happened?” Hermione asked. She looked nervous for a second, but sat down after giving Blaise and Theo one last apprehensive glance. I sighed and went into a detailed account of my last 24 hours, yet again, sparing the details of my night at the Manor. I wouldn’t give Theo and Blaise the satisfaction of knowing that I willingly spent the night in Draco Malfoy’s bed, and I was too embarrassed to tell Hermione that fact either.

Hermione looked at me in complete and utter shock when I finished regaling to her the night’s events. “I can’t believe that George and Angelina are hooking up.” Was the first thing out of her mouth. It even made Blaise laugh as I scowled at her.

“I just told you my gut-wrenching tale of woe and you’re focused on George Weasley’s sex life?” I snapped.

“It makes sense she wants to know. He is practically her brother-in-law.” Theo noted causing Hermione’s face to flush, “You’re still with the stupid red-headed git, aren’t you?” His poor choice of words brought Hermione right back down to earth and she frowned at the boy.

“Hermione is better than the three of us combined at spells.” I warned Theo. “I would watch your back speaking about her boyfriend that way.”

“Since when have you become the Weaslebee defender, Rory?” Theo rolled his eyes as he used Ron and his brothers’ nickname coined by Malfoy during our school-days. “I really don’t know you at all anymore, do I?”

“Clearly, you don’t.” I answered.

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