Read over the drabbles and choose one most favorite and one least favorite drabble. While reading, keep in mind the prompt and word count restrictions. Once you've chosen, put the number of each drabble in the corresponding box at the end of this post. Please remember to put number of the drabble and not the name; it makes it a lot easier for us to keep track. Each most favorite vote will receive +1 point and each least favorite vote will receive -1 point. The drabble with the most points will win, the two drabbles with the least points will be sent packing. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
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Enough babble, onto the drabbles!
PROMPT:Each drabble must include the following nouns:
- Person: Friend
- Place: Malfoy Manor
- Thing: Plant
WORD COUNT: 200-499 words
TITLE: You Never Know
WORD COUNT: 412
WARNING(S): Gratuitous alcohol use.
“He’s my friend,” she’d insisted when he asked why she’d agreed to housesit at Malfoy Manor while Draco and Hermione were away on their honeymoon. “It’s the right thing to do.”
But as soon as the first guest arrived and Pansy started having the house elves lay out platters of food, he began to suspect that her offer had been a bit less generous than he, or Draco, had been made to believe.
Within half an hour, the Manor was crawling with people, most of whom Harry only recognized in passing from having surprised her at work with lunch on her birthday and the couple of days he’d had off from the Ministry. Spotting her across the room, he maneuvered his way through the throngs. “I need to borrow the hostess for a moment,” he told the woman Pansy had been talking to, putting an arm around his wife’s shoulder and leading her to a secluded corner.
“It’s my boss’s birthday,” she hurried to explain, and he sighed. “I’m the newest hire, so I got volunteered.”
He glanced around and noticed that several of the guests were passing around bottle of Firewhiskey and grimaced. “All right, but did you have to give them so much alcohol?”
She whipped around, her mouth open in shock. “I didn’t give them alcohol!”
Pansy was waiting at the door when Draco and Hermione returned, smiling sweetly. Mercifully, they’d gotten the last of her hung-over co-workers through the floo a couple of hours before, and she and Harry had been cleaning every inch of the Manor since. She was proud to say that it was more spotless than it had been before he left.
Unfortunately, Draco hadn’t even made it through the door before his head tilted thoughtfully and his eyes narrowed, focused on the decorative bush that rested just beside the front door. Inwardly, she cursed, vaguely remembering having heard someone wretch just after walking outside the night before.
He glanced at her, then nodded to the plant. “Does that look a bit wonky to you?”
“I think you’re imagining things, love. Now come inside.” He accepted this with a light shake of his head and walked inside behind his new wife, never to see Pansy wave her wand behind her back or wrinkle her nose in disgust.
Back home again, Pansy flipped through the photos she’d taken with a private smile and the knowledge that she was holding a career’s worth of blackmail.
TITLE: En Garde
WORD COUNT: 416
“Let me guess, you’re here to make sure he’s really dead.”
Startled from his too-close examination of a plant in the foyer (he could have sworn it was growling at him), Harry spun around and gazed up at the woman descending the stairs. He almost didn’t recognize her until he caught the flash of contempt in her eyes.
“Park—I mean, Mrs. Nott,” he amended quickly.
The corners of her mouth turned up in a bitter smile. “Back to Parkinson, I’m afraid. Theo’s moved on to other…things.”
Harry raised his eyebrow but said nothing. He had a faint recollection of some nasty business between the Notts from his brief perusal of the gossip pages in The Daily Prophet . However, as he didn’t care much for the petty problems that plagued former Slytherins, Harry decided to press on with the reason for his visit to Malfoy Manor.
“I’d like to speak with Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, if they’re available.”
Pansy crossed her arms in front of her. “They’re not here at the moment. I’m sure you understand why.”
Harry moved closer, invading Pansy’s personal space and forcing her to tilt her head up at him. “That is precisely why I’m here. Despite what you might think, the Ministry is prepared to investigate the circumstances behind Draco Malfoy’s murder.”
“And since when is the Ministry concerned with the fate of former Death-Eaters?” she countered heatedly as she took a step back. Harry felt a brief rush of satisfaction at the subtle movement. It was childish, he realized, but something about Pansy’s attitude, that thin veil of politeness drawn over haughty condescension, annoyed him.
Taking a deep breath, Harry tried to focus on that task at hand. “Why exactly are you here, Miss…” he placed just the slightest bit of emphasis on the word, “Parkinson?”
Pansy didn’t even flinch. “As a friend of the family, it was only natural to offer my assistance to Lucius and Narcissa in their time of need. When they return, I’ll be sure to inform them of your visit,” she added with a smile that was anything but warm.
Harry’s eyes narrowed at the obvious dismissal but there was nothing he could do. With a curt nod, he made his way to the door. As he walked out into the cold sunlight, Pansy’s voice, laced with mocking laughter, floated over his shoulder.
“It was lovely talking to you, Potter. We should do it again.”
The door slammed behind him before he could respond.
TITLE: All’s Fair in Love & War
WORD COUNT: 434
WARNING(S): Slightly AU.
The Pansy in the Great Hall before the Battle of Hogwarts had been a plant. The real one was at Malfoy Manor, waiting impatiently for what was to come.
"It's over," came a voice she had come to recognize without hesitation. She knew every inflection, every tone. Harry stood just outside of the fireplace in the sitting room where she had waited.
Her heart skipped a beat and she tugged on the hem of her blouse nervously. "You're here, so am I correct in assuming He Who Must Not Be Named is..." she trailed off. That particular outcome was unthinkable; the Dark Lord was too powerful. But here stood the black-haired boy, battle wounds abound but very much alive.
"He's dead." Harry didn't flinch. He'd gotten past the point of being affected by death of that caliber. There were some things one could never unsee.
The corner of Pansy's lips twitched. Her actions had not been in vain, after all. "And what of me? What of my family?"
Harry stepped further into the room. He looked exhausted, both physically and mentally. She wanted to hold him, but this was not the time yet. There was more for her to do before she could do that without question. "I have members of the Order of the Phoenix on their way to retrieve your parents and brother now. They will be safe while things settle. I can't pretend that it won't be bad for awhile, though. Death Eaters are fleeing. Not all were captured."
And Draco? She daren't say it aloud. Nothing to hinder her cause. She wanted no mistaking her intentions. She cared for Draco as a friend. "Will you stay with me? Just for awhile. I could use a friend." Her voice sounded small in her ears; vulnerable, just as she had planned.
Harry hesitated. He needed to see Ginny, needed to talk to those who were left back at the castle. "Yes, I'll stay. I understand this is hard for you. You did a good thing, though. You came over to the right side. Your intelligence helped the Order capture at least a few of Voldemort's supporters that were not at the castle tonight." He awkwardly moved to embrace her in a friendly hug. He was not sure what made him do it, but it could partly be blamed on his own need for such an embrace right now.
Pansy relaxed and hugged him back, smiling smugly to herself. The Malfoys might do whatever they had to do for family. But Pansy? Pansy would do whatever she had to do for love.
TITLE: Geranium lover, I’m live on your wire
WORD COUNT: 257
WARNING(S): None (Title from “Let’s Go” by the Cars)
Harry glowered at the ballroom full of glittering sophisticates and knocked back another long swallow of his firewhisky.
Misery incarnate, he almost longed for a new Dark Lord to rise, so that he could be justifiably hacked off, instead of indeterminately peevish.
Also, he was bored out of his rakishly scarred skull.
No such luck. Not even Malfoy was interested in playing evil reindeer games these days. He was far too keen on getting into his best friend’s knickers.
The swotty one.
Harry set down his tumbler carefully, signaling the house-elf minding the bar for another round. The mental picture of Ron in a frilly thong positively begged to be obliterated.
Another five minutes and then he’d blow the joint.
Not wide open, unfortunately. Hermione would not be pleased if he mussed her fiance’s not-so-humble abode. Especially after his parents went to all that trouble renovating it to please her at Draco’s behest.
A grimace stole over his mouth and his eyes narrowed when he caught sight of flashing deep blue eyes, and lips a blurred “o” of crimson as she laughed at something Zabini said. They were dancing closely together, and her arms slipped up to his shoulders to encircle his neck.
As Harry watched, her arms drew him closer still.
Poor schmuck. Blaise had obviously forgotten everything he’d learned in Herbology. She had him now, ensnared in her embrace and Blaise would cease breathing before he realized he was being strangled to death.
Devil’s Snare. Her parents had definitely named her after the wrong plant.
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Round Two, Challenge Eight
It was my friend, with a plant, in Malfoy Manor!
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