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Chapter 1 : Prologue
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Also, thank you to Sam for helping me to decide on the title of this story. Credit also goes to her for the quote on the banner :P
Beautiful CI made by Verloren @ TDA!
Las Vegas, Nevada
In the dim light of her bedroom, the young woman frowns. The biro in her hand is held tightly, the ink upon the paper thick from the unnecessary pressure of the pen, blue and uneven and imperfect.
Pansy does not like imperfect.
When she was a child, an innocent little girl with no idea of the ugliness of the world around her, her parents endeavoured to make everything perfect. They were determined to ensure that Pansy's little world was not punctuated with anything that might destroy their plan of her becoming Mrs Draco Malfoy. And yet, here she is now, in a country that is not her own, doing things she'd never have contemplated just a few years ago.
Sighing, she signs the letter with a flourish before looking out of the window. She misses owning an owl, but the state of Nevada is a scorching desert and people would notice owls flying around, particularly if they had spells upon them to help ease their thirst until they arrived at their destination. These days, Pansy visits the post office, although she can only do so on a Wednesday when the curly-haired blonde with some silly name - Cloudy or something to that effect - is working. Pansy does not know if that girl is a witch, a Muggle relative of one, a Squib or someone like Pansy herself. But it does not matter - she has employed the principle of don't ask, don't tell these days. As long as she does not know for certain that the people who surround her are Muggles, it is easy to pretend that they are not, and that what she describes in her letters is true.
Pansy’s letters describe a world she can only dream of. They talk of a thriving wizarding community in Las Vegas, and a magical hotel-casino that admits only the purest of the American pure-blood elite. They speak of a happy Pansy, laughing as she socializes with wealthy gentlemen and dabbling in the odd gamble of her own, reaping high rewards.
Her parents do not know the truth, and she does not wish for them to.
A draught blows through the gap between the undersized door and the wooden floorboards, and Pansy shivers. For all the heat that scorches her apartment building, the nights are bitterly cold. In her prior circumstances, in the dream of what she pretends is true, she would be underneath a thick fur blanket with a blazing fire next to her bed. One glance at the bed in question reminds her of the harsh reality she has found herself in: the bed coverings are thin and the Muggle heating is, according to her landlord for the past six months, “broken, but it’ll be fixed soon”.
Carefully, as she prepares a mental note to her landlord to complain about her lack of heating yet again, Pansy pulls open the topmost drawer in her desk to put her pen away and her gaze pauses momentarily over her broken wand. The sight of it causes her to remember the day she bought it from Ollivander’s - the wand was oak, eleven inches long and slightly bendy with a dragon heartstring core - and also recall the day that the Ministry snapped it as they banned her from using magic. Pansy will never forget that day when the letter came, telling her that because of her actions at the Battle of Hogwarts, her wand would be snapped and if she was found in possession of another, she would face imprisonment in Azkaban.
All Pansy had wanted at the Battle was for the fighting to stop. She’d been afraid of the slaughter; had witnessed enough devastation over the nine months prior to that day. Never mind that the Death Eaters’ victims had been filthy half-bloods and despicable blood traitors; they hadn’t thought of how their actions would affect the younger generation. Parkinson women were not born for war. Parkinson women were destined for the elite; to live untainted lives, and the Dark Lord’s followers had ignored that.
She had just wanted the bloodshed to end, and yet here she is now, in this little Muggle building pretending to be a Muggle and committing acts she’d never have even thought about before her disgrace - the disgrace that she keeps quiet from her parents and from the entire wizarding community, because Pansy knows: if she does not use magic and behaves pristinely in the wizarding community of whatever country she happens to be in, she has a chance of getting permission for a new wand and her old life back. She is careful, though: she has studied the rules carefully, and aside from revealing the existence of magic, she is permitted to do whatever she likes in the Muggle world, and only there can she earn money.
Glancing at the clock, Pansy notices the time and quickly folds the paper and thrusts it into an envelope, feeling fortunate that her parents have no experience of the Muggle world and gladly believe that pen and paper are merely the way Americans do things, before picking up a Muggle driving licence, her purse and her coat. Quickly, she puts her belongings into her pocket before leaving her apartment and rushing down the steps where a taxi is waiting.
“Evenin’, Miss Delacour,” the driver says, and Pansy nods as she slides into the back seat, naming an expensive hotel in response.
A quick check of her driving licence confirms that the criminal who made it has done his job well: the photograph of Pansy seems authentic, and the name is the exotic name she’d decided upon in a hurry after realizing that her choice of career would require a false identity. It feels like a few seconds have passed when the taxi arrives at the hotel, and Pansy exhales before paying the driver and exiting. She scurries into the foyer and then the bar, ordering herself a white wine and taking a seat near the back door as instructed. Noticing a mirrored surface behind the bar, she shifts her position so that she can check her appearance: long, flowing raven hair with dark brown eyes and a slim physique.
“Hello?” a middle-aged man in a suit asks, walking over to her. He drops his voice and looks around shiftily, his nerves clear for all to see. “Are you the girl from the escort agency?”
“Shush!” Pansy hisses, hoping that none of the bar’s patrons have heard him, but fortunately none show any sign of knowing her secret. “Yes,” she whispers, noticing the gold band on his left ring finger as she pats the seat next to her. “Relax. You’ll enjoy tonight, I can assure you.”
The man nods and extends his hand. “I’m Wayne,” he says. “What’s your name, beautiful?”
Pansy smiles and shakes it cordially. “Please, call me Fleur.”
And so the plan is set into motion.
I hope you like this story so far! I tried not to info-dump while getting enough information across, so I'd love any feedback on how well you think I did and your thoughts on Pansy so far!
Also, if you spot any formatting errors, I apologize profusely. I wrote, edited and put this chapter into the queue on my phone, and although I've done my best to ensure this is perfect, if there ends up being any odd spacing etc, please do let me know! ^.^
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