Chapter 159 : Self Preservation
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“Did you have anything to add Ms. Parkinson?” a tall Death Eater asked.
“No sir,” she sputtered out quickly turning her gaze from the group to the man speaking to her.
The man walked up the thin dark haired girl and looked down at her looking rather upset, “Do not lie to me girl.” Pansy looked up at her father terrified. “Do not have me ask you again.”
Pansy struggled trying to verbalize and sputtering out incoherent sounds from her lips. She attempted to bat her lashes as she did for all the boys. However, the look her father gave her sent chills down her back and she knew her charm would not work on him, not today at least.
“I said IwishIwouldhavebeensortedintoRavenclaw,” the words jammed together as she spoke quickly trying to get the taste out of her mouth. The unfamiliarity of the truth always makes her stomach turn. Pansy Parkinson was pureblood and she was expected to say and think certain things no matter how it made her feel. Tonight she was expected to be standing where she was now ready to fight for their cause no matter how it made her feel.
Her father stepped back and looked over his daughter with a confused expression on his face. “Did you or did you not offer Harry Potter up to the Dark Lord an hour ago.”
“I did sir,” she answered confidentially.
“Then why are you saying such blasphemy,” he yelled loudly with his voice echoing in the forest causing some of the nearby Death Eaters to cower back.
“I offered him up because I’m not much of a fighter,” she spoke quietly looking to the ground.
“Nonsense girl, you are a Parkinson you are a born fighter.” Mr. Parkinson spoke matter-of-factly turning away from his daughter walking away.
“Dueling is so tasking,” she said exasperated. “There are so many other things I’d rather be doing.”
“What could be more important than serving the Dark Lord,” he asked confused turning around to face his daughter once again.
“Shopping,” she asked hopefully with a small smile. Before her father could give her a response or lecture more Death Eaters began to arrive at the meeting spot. Pansy recognized several of her housemates with their parents. Some of which looked impatient waiting for the impending battle others looked terrified. Pansy kept an impartial face because that is truly how she felt, impartial.
Mr. Parkinson walked back to his daughter bending down to her ear, “I will deal with you after this is over,” he spoke sternly. She took his words seriously. She knew if the Dark Lord succeeded her father would forget this whole conversation and if the Dark Lord failed and her father survived she would be disowned. She recognized Bellatrix who began to speak about strategy. Pansy space out while starring out to the lights of Hogwarts that could barely be seen through the trees.
She was thinking back to moment when hundreds of wands were pointed at her. No one heard the quick breathe she took in at the other student’s actions or how her heart rate increased. She always knew she said things before she thought because even as she spoke the words to turn over the boy who lived she regretted them immediately. She did not want to fight she just wanted to get out of the whole mess. Offering up Harry Potter seemed logical. However, when the Ravenclaws stood up to hex her into next week she knew it was not a logical idea. A logical plan is what she needed now.
The jeers of the Death Eaters brought her back to the present, in the Forbidden Forest. The group began to walk closer to the castle and Pansy found herself just watching the group move towards to the Dark Lord. She unknowingly began taking steps backwards further into the forest. No one, not ever her father, noticed she was no longer a part of the group. Soon she could no longer see any of them. She stopped moving when she heard some footsteps some distance away. She turned to see a shadow of a person, but it was not a Death Eater. Strange lights seemed to be surrounding the person.
She quietly walked closer to see the stranger. “Potter,” she whispered aloud. She listened and watched as Harry Potter talked to what seemed to be ghosts that soon disappeared. Pansy watched as Potter began walking in the direction of the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters. Pansy was shocked that he was really going to sacrifice himself. She stood still for an unknown amount of time until she heard the yells cheering and sounds of celebration.
“Harry Potter is dead,” she softly said a loud to herself. She took one step towards the group she was suppose to belong to. She paused with her right foot head of the other and suddenly did an about face and began running. She ran away from her father, away from the Death Eaters, away from Voldemort and away from Hogwarts. She began running faster than she ever had run before until her breath could no longer be found.
She bent over resting her hand on her knees sucking in breath after breath. She ignored the sweat rolling down her face as she slowing stood back up to find herself standing in front of a very large tree. She pulled her wand from her robe and pointed it at a fallen tree limb off to her side and transfigured it into a ladder that reached to the top of the tree. She shrugged off her house robes and gripped her wand in her teeth as she began to climb up the tree.
This was her logical plan. Her one shot to show she could have been something else besides who she was: a Death Eater’s daughter, a Pureblood, a Slytherin. Pansy’s only logical option was to do nothing. Self preservation seemed to be her only option. How Slytherin of her she thought. She continued to climb higher and higher and finally reached a height which allowed her to see Hogwarts. She carefully moved off the ladder and sat on a sturdy branch as she watched shots of lights of all colors be flung about. The battle had already begun and she sat atop the trees like a coward.
“I should have returned. I should have fought,” she spoke towards to battle. She sat atop the tree tops mesmerized as she watched the battle continue. The air was thick with smoke and the smells of death. She watched the lights in the distance until suddenly there was nothing. She perked back up as the sun began to rise.
There was something missing from this sunrise, the Dark Mark. Tears fell from her eyes. She did not have to think as she made her descent from the tree tops. She knew Voldemort had been defeated. Pansy did not know how or by who but she felt a weight being lifted from her shoulders with each step she took towards the ground.
She made her way quickly to the castle in the early light knowing there would be injured; perhaps they would let her help. She thought maybe her actions tonight would not have been so cowardly if she would have been in the house the sorting hat wanted to place her in, Ravenclaw. But no, she insisted the hat put her in Slytherin, her family’s house. Maybe she would have come up with a plan; maybe she could have saved Harry Potter instead of offering him up for slaughter.
She stepped on the main grounds of her school which was almost unrecognizable from the damage. The large doors were open and she walked silently into the Great Hall. Her eyes scanned the survivors as no one seemed to pay her any attention. Suddenly Pansy’s heart skipped a beat as she saw him. Harry Potter, the boy who lived had once again earned his name. She allowed herself a small smile as she walked up to Professor McGonagall.
“Ms. Parkinson,” the elder woman said very surprised with a hint of skepticism.
Pansy looked at her former teacher seriously and spoke with confidence, “I want to help.”
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