Chapter Fifteen :: You All Knew This Would Happen
(But That Doesn't Make It Any Less Enjoyable)
I was awakened by a large bird, which happened to be sitting on my head. In a sleep-befuddled daze, I stared up at its huge amber eyes. The owl hooted impatiently, and stopped about in my hair a bit for emphasis. Suddenly quite awake and swearing under my breath, I shoved it off my face and sat up to un-tether a note from its leg. As soon as it was free, the bird was off like a shot. I stumbled murderously into the bathroom to find my comb as I opened up the note.
Glad to know you're well. Very busy at the moment; will catch up with you directly before the Revel. Be good and play safe.
I incinerated the note with a snap of my fingers (fun party trick—you should try it out) and finished fixing my hair, mildly amused. 'Be good,' indeed. The two of us would really have to iron out a more respectable secret code if we decided to kill people more often.
I was halfway through brushing my teeth when there came a subtle pounding from the hotel door. Some would say the previous statement was an oxymoron. I would say it was Crabbe and Goyle.
Hurriedly, I spit out my toothpaste and made to let them in.
Sure enough, the Invincible Team stood outside, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. "What time is it?" I snapped as they shuffled inside.
"Uh, dunno," Goyle said thickly. "Eightish?"
Strutting briskly back into the room, I found the dagger and its belt under the bed, and strapped it on before finding some passable robes in my trunk.
"So what's all this about a Muggle?" Crabbe asked, practically bouncing on the tips of his beefy toes with excitement.
"Voldemort wants us to find a sacrifice for the Revel," I said, pulling on a shirt.
They practically squealed. I was muchly disturbed, and remedied this by sidling over to the lump that was Pansy's sleeping form. Crabbe and Goyle trailed closely after me like a couple of very non-cute puppies. "Wake up," I said sharply to the lump, pulling the covers down. "Things to do, people to abuse."
Her eyes snapped wide open. She took us all in for about two seconds, and then squeezed them tightly shut again. "This had better be a nightmare," she growled.
I yanked her to her feet and ushered her to her trunk. "Nope!" I said cheerily as she half-heartedly attempted to kill me. "But look at the bright side, you couldn't hurt us nearly as badly if this was a nightmare!" I dragged out a pile of robes—which matched miraculously, thank you very much—and stuffed them into her hands. "Change!"
Pansy slapped me away and proceeded to rummage for another set of robes. "What do you all want?" she groaned, shoving past us into the bathroom and slamming the door.
"Need help with the Muggle!"
I kicked the door impatiently. "This is mandatory. You're an important part of my plan."
I heard a derisive noise from inside, coupled with the sounds of rapidly moving clothing. "You've got a plan, Malfoy!? Need I remind you of the last plan you had, which ended with me laughing my ass off at you in the middle of a dungeon? Or the one before that, when an explosion leveled the entire—"
"Childish mistakes," I dismissed loudly. Crabbe and Goyle shuffled uncomfortably behind me, and I stopped them cold with a glare. "Pansy, I'm serious! Get out here right now and—"
She opened the door and looked stonily at me as she pinned up a final ringlet of blonde hair. "Do you even have a target?" she asked scathingly.
"In fact, I do," I growled back.
She raised her eyebrows. "Who!? Where?"
"A rather fetching young blonde idiot who erroneously checked herself into this hotel a few days ago, thinking it was just another Muggle establishment."
Pansy nodded, finding this acceptable. "And how do we plan to catch it?"
"Boss," Goyle said excitedly, "can we use a net?"
I turned to give him the Look of Death. "I was going for a more subtle approach," I said nastily.
The two of them looked extremely disappointed. "Can we use a net at the end, at least?"
I covered my eyes as Pansy snickered rudely. "Yes. You may tote her away in a hammock once she's good and unconscious. Satisfied?"
The two of them conferred briefly. "Yup. Carry on."
Pansy began to cackle anew.
"Shut up, you," I snarled. "Anyway, as I was saying, we're going to lure her out of the hotel—the staff mustn't see us. Pansy, you and I are going to distract her until we get down the beach, at which point these two lunks are going to either hit her in the head or Stupefy her. They will then proceed to carry her away in their hammock."
Pansy leaned against the doorjamb. "How do we distract it?" she asked shrewdly.
"Easy," I said. "She's passionately in love with me. All you have to do is be the cruel ex-girlfriend you already are, drag me away, and she'll follow in an attempt to liberate her poor innocent Draccie dearest."
Pansy wrinkled her nose. "That's awfully contrived. Why can't you just seduce it or something?"
"Because I don't want to get Mudblood cooties all over me," I snapped. "I'm tired of having to take one for the team every twenty seconds, alright?"
She sighed laboriously. "Alright, alright," she said. "But so help me gods, if you goons let the beast lay a slimy finger on me, I'm going to rip off somebody's—"
"Don't worry," I said quickly. "We're all perfectly safe."
Pansy shook her head and went off to find her shoes. "Famous last words," she muttered. I chose to ignore her.
Having dispatched the Dynamic Duo, Pansy and I strolled leisurely down the inn's main hallway, quietly discussing our respective roles in the mission to come.
"So you're sure she'll still be up?" Pansy asked.
"Yes. She seems to like moping around and trying to look pretty at odd hours. All we have to do is wait for her to show up. Once I see her, you're going to stomp away looking vicious. I'll then talk to her for a little while—not long, mind you, please—and then you'll come stomping back and demand that we speak in private down on the beach. I'll resist, but you'll drag me out. Super Muggle will proceed to come to the rescue."
"Sounds alright," Pansy drawled. "Do I get to hit you?"
"No. I'll let you hit her later, though."
We entered the main reception area of the hotel. The sound of voices and laughter echoed out to us from a small salon and from the warmly-lit dining hall. My eyes swept the room incisively, and returned to Pansy.
"Okay," I said very quietly. "The show starts now."
Pansy nodded almost indiscernibly, and an instant later, she was a flawless imitation of the proverbial woman scorned: flushed face, tense muscles, trembling lower lip and deadly eyes. She crossed her arms over her chest. "How's this?" she snapped shrilly, only the words belying the falsity of her pose.
"Perfect," I veritably whimpered, and did a damn good job at looking trapped and confused.
"You're doing great," Pansy moaned melodramatically. She covered her eyes with one hand and rubbed them to make them red and teary. "Do you…do you see the Muggle yet?" she sobbed.
I patted her arm gingerly. "N-not yet," I stuttered, eyes large and innocent.
Pansy shied away and turned her back on me, arms crossed once again. "I'll give her ten minutes before I go on break," she snapped, and started to sob afresh. "I want to go get a facial before the Revel," she cried bitterly.
"You'll have time," I said, looking strained and conflicted. "This will be done in a snap."
"Damn straight." Pansy made another pitiful noise and started to blubber ostentatiously. A very loud, dissonant meow interrupted our performance.
Annoyed, I looked down to find a very fat and nasty orange tomcat staring up at me. He made the horrible noise again, and attempted to rub up against my legs. I sort of shoved him away with my foot. "The fuck…?" I muttered in earnest bewilderment. "Who the hell lets their pets roam around a hotel like this?"
"Oooh!" said an extremely perky female voice. "Is that your cat, too? He's so cuddly!"
I glanced up in horror, caught completely off-guard by the Dark Babe of the Wickens. True to the plan, I heard Pansy make a choked noise of indignation and rush off out the door behind me.
Mary-Sue had bent down and started trying to hold the cat, who apparently had a very different idea of a good time than she did. "What's his name?" she asked.
"Ah, he's not mine. Just found him wandering around her a second ago. Or rather, he found me." I forced a little chuckle.
Mary-Sue looked up smiling at me. She let go of the cat, who shot off down the hall like a fat marmalade bullet, and got to her feet. I looked enviously after the cat as he went.
"Who was that girl who just ran out?" she asked, looking out the door to see where Pansy'd gone to.
Bingo. "She's my ex-girlfriend," I said, letting a good helping of bitterness into my tone. "Her family's staying here as well." I sighed tragically. "She just won't leave me alone."
Mary-Sue was entirely suckered in. "Why not?" she asked, stepping a little closer to me. I suppressed the urge to bolt.
"I suppose she just can't admit to herself that…that I just don't love her anymore." I forced the rising bout of laughter down. Dead kittens, train crashes, Weasley in Catholic schoolgirl uniform. Think ugly thoughts!
"That's so weird," the blonde Muggle said. "Why don't you just tell her up-front?"
I widened my blue eyes in shock. "But that would hurt her feelings!" I exclaimed.
Mary-Sue smiled blindingly and patted my shoulder. "Oh, Draco, you're one of the sweetest guys I've ever met," she said wistfully. "If only you weren't still involved with someone else…."
"If only," I agreed softly, gazing into her eyes. Okay, Pansy, where the FUCK are you!?
"DRACO!" An answer to my prayers. Mary-Sue and I both whirled around to find Pansy standing in the hotel doorway once more, rage personified. "What the bloody hell—who is this girl!? Come here, right now!" She paused, panting and looking like she was about to cry. "We really need to talk—and I mean this very instant." Glowering, she stalked forward and grabbed my by my arm and proceeded to start dragging me outside.
"Pansy!" I gasped. "Honestly, it wasn't anything. I don't know why you're so worked up!"
"Draco!" Mary-Sue called, voice full of concern. "What's going on!? Will I see you later?"
I couldn't think of a good answer, but Pansy came to the rescue. "Like hell you will, you little tart!" she positively howled back, a doubled our pace. "He's mine, he'll always be mine, and he knows it! Get out of here and leave us be."
In a second, the outraged Muggle girl was running after us. I mouthed 'good job' to Pansy before she broke into an all-out run down the road to the beach, dragging her tragically reluctant lover after her.
As soon as our feet hit the sand I let myself stumble and fall. Pansy abruptly stopped and dragged me to my feet, giving Mary-Sue the calculated amount of time to catch up with us. The dunes were high, here, and the jungle close.
Mary-Sue grabbed Pansy's arms and shook her. "What do you think you're doing, treating such a wonderful boy like Draco the way you do!?" she cried passionately. "Get over it! He doesn't love you!"
Pansy sneered hideously at her. "Well if he doesn't love me, then who's the lucky girl? Certainly not an ugly harlot like you!"
I felt my stomach and intestines suddenly knot together.
Pansy reeled from the stinging blow, and when she'd regained herself, I could see that the measured cruelty on her face had transformed into true, reckless hatred.
Mary-Sue stumbled back a few steps. "Draco—" she gasped in terror.
"Pansy," I said tersely, character broken. She didn't respond, and I panicked. "Pansy! What's wrong with you!? Don't kill her. You can't kill her!"
My ex-girlfriend advanced on the helpless Muggle like a wolf, fast and dangerous. Before I could move a step her hands were around Mary-Sue's throat. The girl screamed and then gagged as Pansy's grip tightened. I desperately attempted to pull Pansy off of her but an elbow in the stomach tumbled me to the floor. I couldn't breathe.
I looked on in helpless horror as my ex-girlfriend held the pinioned, terrified Muggle just an inch away from suffocation.
"You vile little bitch," she snarled. "How dare you touch me with those dirty Mudblood hands of yours! You are scum, do you hear me!? You and all your kind! Scum!"
I struggled frantically for my breath as Mary-Sue's struggling and hacking became more panicked, more feverish. "Pansy!" I croaked, but she ignored me. My heart was pumping ten times a second. "Pansy!"
There was a second of pure silence, and then both of the blonde girls fell, the sound of their bodies falling side by side muffled by the sand and the surf. I looked quickly over my shoulder and found Crabbe and Goyle standing there, looking winded and pale. Crabbe's outstretched fist held a wand.
I shuddered violently, and covered my eyes for a moment. I couldn't believe what had just happened. Pansy…I'd never known her to act like that. I'd never known she could act like that.
"Boss?" Goyle said, sounding very small. "What just happened here?"
A wave crashed onto the shore some hundred yards away.
"Nothing," I said hoarsely. "Get your damn hammock and get the Muggle out of here. Tie her up somewhere safe in the trees over there and take turns guarding her."
I slowly got to my feet, and Crabbe and Goyle shuffled over. As Crabbe bent down to lay out the hammock, Goyle surveyed the two unconscious girls.
"They look a lot alike," he mused.
"Shut up," I snapped. "Just do your job and get out of here."
"What're you gonna do with Pansy?" Crabbe asked.
"I'll just wait," I said quietly. "I'll wait for her to wake up."
They left us alone.