Chapter 39 - No Turning Back

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"Draco, can I borrow you for a few minutes?" Pansy asked as they all headed back to their corridor after dinner.

It was DA night, so they would all be heading back out again shortly, since most of them had continued helping with it. Draco turned from where he had been chatting to Harry about what they were going to practice that evening.

[Here it comes,] Harry commented, [she's finally decided we're all bonkers and she's going to kidnap you.]

Draco just about managed to keep the smile off his face.

"For anything in particular?" he asked.

"Well I haven't had designs on your person since we were fourteen," she replied, "but..."

"I'm gutted."

She smiled at his dramatic flair.

"I'm introducing the effect of potions on some Transfigurations tomorrow," she said, "and I'd like to make sure I have everything perfect."

[She could ask Professor McGonagall about that,] Harry said.

[Ah, so you are learning,] Draco commented back. [This has nothing to do with potions. Makes a good excuse though.]

"Can you manage without me for five minutes?" Draco asked, giving Harry a very pointed look.

"Um," Harry replied playing dumb, which made Seamus snigger like a twelve year old.

"I'll make sure he doesn't get into any trouble," Hermione volunteered with a huge grin.

"Oh thanks," Harry responded to that.

"Come on, Pans," Draco said, "before we catch Gryffindor idiocy."

"Way too late for that," Pansy replied, but led Draco off towards her room.

It wasn't the first time Draco had seen inside Pansy's current residence, but he was always surprised each time by the delicate femininity of it. Pansy always showed a hard edge to the outside world, like armour, but her room was all pastels and flowers. Draco always found himself hoping that, after this war was done, Pansy would have more time to be herself and could expose her gentler side to the world.

"Okay, Pans," he said once the door was closed, "what is it you really want?"

"What are you and Potter up to?" she asked in a very blunt and direct manner.

Draco was shocked to realise his friend was worried about him.

"So you noticed then," he said.

"Stop deflecting," was her terse response to that.

"It's one of Harry's projects," Draco said after a few seconds silence, "and, no, I can't tell you what it is."

Pansy frowned.

"He's discovered something else as well as ..?" She did not mention Transferring directly, even though Draco was sure Pansy's privacy charms would be as good as any he and Harry had.

"Let's just say, if he's successful, people will be talking about it for a long time," Draco replied.

"Is it dangerous?"

"Of course it is," Draco said with a shrug. "When has Harry ever found anything that wasn't dangerous?"

"And you haven't told anyone about this, not even Dumbledore." It was not a question.

"You have been paying attention," Draco said with a nod of his head.

Pansy crossed her arms, narrowing her eyes speculatively.

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