Chapter 3 : Ploys and Regrets
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He gave a grimace and held out his hand; he’d might as well try to charm her.
‘A dance then, I suppose?’ Pansy grinned and took his hand.
‘Of course, silly.’ she said with a giggle, and he put his other hand to her waist. She giggled again; placed one hand on his shoulder, and gripped the other tightly in her hand.
He led, head held high but kept wincing as she frequently stood on his feet. The music was speeding up and Pansy kept tugging him in all sorts of directions, most particularly in front of a large group of girls (a mixture of Slytherins and Beauxbatons). Draco went red and looked down as Pansy's heel dug into him particularly hard.
Pansy kept on smiling horribly, and twisting towards the girls. Only by an immense effort could Draco steer her away; lots more people were joining the dance, and Draco made his way into the middle, so the watching crowds could not see.
He saw Krum lift Granger high into the air, and she gave a loud laugh and Krum pulled her close to him.
Seeing this, Draco rather viciously pulled Pansy towards him, although immediately regretted it. She squealed and her arm smacked him in the head. He cursed rather loudly, causing Lavender Brown to turn around and give him a scornful look.
Pansy’s arms were now awkwardly placed round his neck, and her smell was overwhelming. She giggled yet again, as she pulled him closer, making it hard for him to breathe. He looked down at her, and she her face leaned to his, and he panicked –
Then the song stopped with a final note from the bagpipes, and Draco let go of Pansy quickly. She looked hurt, and her shoulders drooped. Draco said tonelessly ‘Let’s get drinks.’ And he began to walk towards the bar.
Almost everyone was on the dance floor now; only a few were still sat at the tables.
Draco watched Potter pass him, leading one of the Patil twins (he couldn’t tell which) away to a table where Weasley and the other twin were sat. Potter opened a Butterbeer, and said something to Weasley which Draco couldn’t catch over the loud music. Ron looked surly, and appeared not to answer.
‘Draco, come on!’ said Pansy irritably. Draco had unknowingly stopped, watching Potter and Weasley. Crabbe gave a grunt behind him, and Draco jumped, looked around and carried on towards the bar. He looked over and saw a Beauxbatons boy walk over to the pair.
At that moment, Pansy gave an exasperated sigh as Draco slowed down again, trying to hear what they were talking about, and gave him a little push.
Draco stumbled a little then walked briskly, leaving Pansy behind.
Crabbe and Goyle followed, and once they had arrived Draco picked up the first drink he saw and downed it.
And regretted it.
His throat burned and he doubled over, coughing and spluttering, as tears came to his eyes.
‘Draco, what is it?’ cried Pansy and she clutched onto his arm immediately.
Nott walked over, well more like strutted, and he gave a shout of laughter.
‘Firewhisky!’ he said, laughing louder now. He went to the bar, grabbed a glass and handed it to Draco.
‘Here,’ he said, still chuckling.
Draco downed this one too, and a cool creamy liquid slid down his throat; Butterbeer.
He straightened up, tears still threatening as another song ended.
That was quick, he thought. And his heart skipped a beat as he saw Granger sit down in a seat next to Potter.
He murmured his thanks to Nott, and wandered over. Pansy who had been busying fussing at his hair and face, quickly turned, grabbed a random glass, and then rushed over to Draco.
‘Are we going to dance again, Draco?’ she said, batting her eyelids at him as she tried to keep up.
‘Later. I’m tired.’ And he sat down on a chair a few meters from Granger, trying with all his might to hear their conversation.
Pansy sat on the edge of her seat, so she was exceptionally close to Draco, as in, she was practically on his lap.
‘Draaco,’ she cooed, ‘I’m cold,’ and she stroked down his arm gently. Draco looked down at her skin, and there were no Goosebumps there. He snorted; a typical woman-type ploy to try and get all cuddly.
When Draco didn’t respond, Pansy leaned in even closer, so their faces were only a couple of inches apart.
‘Draaco,’ she said again her hand moving to his face, ‘didn’t you hear me?’ and her fingers started caressing his cheek.
He cringed away, trying to listen to Granger. Pansy suddenly stood up and said loudly, ‘you don’t even care, do you?’ and stormed away. Draco was shocked but relieved, and as to not look too conspicuous, called Crabbe and Goyle over to sit by him.
‘What’s up with you?’ he heard Granger say in an exasperated voice.
‘If you don’t know,’ said Weasley scathingly, ‘I’m not going to tell you.’ And he picked up his Butterbeer and began to drink.
Draco saw Granger and Potter exchange a glance.
And suddenly Nott was in front of Draco. He cursed internally, but looked up at Nott expectantly.
Nott didn’t say a word; instead he pulled up a chair next to Draco and began to sip at his drink.
He bristled with anger. He was trying to listen to the Potter lot; why couldn’t Nott just go off with Daphne?
Nott turned to Draco, and said, ‘what happened to Pansy then?’
Draco shrugged, ‘went off with a friend. What happened to Daphne?’ Nott grunted noncommittally.
‘I was talking to a Beauxbatons girl and she got jealous. She stormed away somewhere, and the Beauxbatons girl said ‘Well, I can see zat you are wiv someone’ and stormed off.’’ He imitated a lofty high voice and then slammed his empty glass down on the table in front of them.
‘I mean, what does she expect?’ Nott continued, ‘That just because I asked her, I don’t want to get with some other girls as well?’ Nott shook his head, and played with the glass in his hands. Draco laughed.
‘That is the general idea, Nott,’ he said, although completely agreeing with what he’d just heard. A waiter came along and Draco took a Butterbeer from him and took a large swig. Nott stared at him in surprise.
‘You mean,’ he said quietly, ‘I’m not allowed to be with any other girls because I asked Daphne?’ he shook his head in disbelief. ‘Blimey, I should have come stag.’
And then he stood up and walked towards the bar to get another drink.
He turned round, but Hermione was nowhere to be seen. He bristled again. Crabbe and Goyle were slumped in their seats, not talking, barely even moving save to crack their knuckles from time to time. Sometimes Draco wondered if they had feelings or thoughts, or if their heads were instead filled with buzzing.
Krum was suddenly there, talking to Potter and Weasley,
‘Vare is Herm-own-ninny?’ He said and worry was in his voice. He was holding two Butterbeers.
‘No idea,’ said Ron bitterly, he looked up. Krum was rather tall. ‘Lost her, have you?’
Draco suddenly stood up. He had seen a sparkling blue travelling through the crowd on the dance floor. He told Crabbe and Goyle he was off to find Pansy and delved into the crowd, on the lookout for the sparkling blue once more.
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