K8! (cardigankate) wrote in pphp_ldws,

Round 3, Challenge 7 - Voting

Alright ladies and gents, this is the last time voting for Round Three. So, you know, let's get a lot of y'all, yeah? :)

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 challenge! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

If, at any point in time, you have a question about the voting procedure, please contact inadaze22 or me ASAP. Thanks.

All participants must vote!

Enough babble, onto the drabbles!

PROMPT: Rationality vs. Incoherence
"It has been my misfortune to be engaged in more battles than any other general on the other side of the Atlantic; but there was never a time during my command when I would not have chosen some settlement by reason rather than the sword." -Ulysses S. Grant
WORD COUNT: 500 words exactly

TITLE: Lunacy
WARNING(S): none

“That’s it. You’ve gone and lost the plot completely,” Pansy insisted as she looked around for a way to escape her current predicament.

“No, it makes perfect sense!” Harry said, caging her in with his body and damn persistence.

Pansy didn’t like feeling trapped. He backed down slightly, perhaps sensing her unease. She let out a small sigh of relief; apparently he hadn’t given way to complete lunacy. “Listen, I know you have this crazy idea in your head and I’ll be completely honest with you, sure in another time, another place, I might… might consider it. But we both know it won’t work.”

He beamed at her. Okay, not the reaction she was going for. He was supposed to clue in on the rejection part, not the “on the planet Mars we could be together” part.

“So is that a maybe?” he asked hopefully.

“No, Potter, it’s a no. Haven’t you ever been rejected before or do witches just fall at your feet as you walk the streets?”

“Of course they don’t… I mean there was that one time outside Borgin & Burkes but Hermione said she was only— ”

Pansy snapped her fingers in his face. “Focus! I was joking. I don’t care what happens between you and other witches.” She crossed her arms and added, “It’s none of my business.”

“Don’t be jealous.”

“I’m not jealous!” she snarled. How delusional; he needed to reacquaint himself with St. Mungo’s Ward 49.

“You looked upset when I mentioned that other woman but I’m not interested in anyone else if you were worried about that.”

Pansy growled in frustration.

“Not sure why you don’t see it but we make perfect sense. We’re real. That night, at Malfoy’s wedding, it was the best night of my life and I’ve had some damn exciting nights. That one I never wanted to end. I know you’re scared but you can trust me.”

Pansy sunk down onto the nearby bench. She sighed. Why did he have to make it so hard to see reason? Yes, it had been a great night but it was some crazy blip in the fabric of the universe; rationally it made no sense! Before that night they’d never even spoke a civil word to each other and now he was practically declaring his undying devotion. Why couldn’t she attract a normal wizard for once?

“You’re really serious about this? And I suspect you have no plans to give up lunacy anytime soon.”

“I am. And I’ll wait. If you need time, I can wait.”

She hesitated. “Okay, fine.”

Harry smiled like he’d just won the Quidditch World Cup ten times over. “I’ll pick you up at seven. Tomorrow night.”

“Don’t get too excited. I still think this is your nuttiest idea yet and you’ve had more than your fair share. I’m only saying yes so I can say I told you so.”

Harry kissed her quickly on the cheek as he left. “So am I. See you at seven.”

TITLE: Of Sound Mind

She’d never really been the same after the war. The war had affected many of them, both Muggle and magic, some in harsher ways than others. The stronger ones could relieve it as a bitter, painful memory; the others... they became a little… lost.

At first, it had been subtle, short periods whereby she would suddenly go quiet, more so than deemed normal, or she would just burst out in a crying jag. As time progressed, it worsened. She would go into a state of anxiety, getting worked up at the slightest of things, her high-pitched voice wailing things he couldn’t comprehend, before she would grow calm and silent again.

His heart ached, but there was nothing he could do. He tried to reach out, ask her what was wrong, but he couldn’t. At times, he would feel so much like a failure; this woman who meant the world to him, who he was about to be married to, and he was unable to be a source of support for her.

Why did it even matter that he was The-Boy-Who-Lived, the one who had vanquished Voldemort? He couldn’t even do this simple task for her.

“Pansy…” Harry called out. She was right in front, staring at him, but she didn’t seem to hear. Lost in her little world—again.

“Pans?” She didn’t even twitch.

“Pansy!” he shouted. Nothing.

Just as he was about to raise his voice again, she clasped his hands, a soft smile spreading across her face. He grinned back; she was alright, for now.

But then, when she started speaking, he found that he couldn’t understand a word. His forehead creased, his lips turned downwards.

“What are you trying to say, Pansy?” he asked.

She didn’t reply, chattering on about Merlin knew what. Harry wanted to grab her shoulders and shake her, at least it would pull her out from this lunatic state… right?

Finally, she paused, an indescribable look on her face. Harry breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank goodness, Pansy. You really scared me back there,” he said, enjoying this bit of her sanity. But once again, his words didn’t seem to faze him at all. He racked his brains, worried; it was getting increasingly harder to arouse her from her ‘state’.

Just then, she began again.

“They’ll find a cure, Harry. Don’t worry,” Pansy Parkinson said gently, holding his hands tightly in hers. She said that every night, every night for the last four years. It was to remain positive—for him. But along the way, it had become some sort of mantra to her. Maybe if she recited it enough, it would come true.

“Pans, it’s time to go. They’re closing,” Draco Malfoy called from his position outside the room. “We can come back again tomorrow.”

“I’ll be here tomorrow,” Pansy whispered, brushing a kiss across his stiff, chapped lips. “Goodnight, Harry.”

She rose slowly, heading towards the door, leaving the dark-haired man lying, lying on the stark white St. Mungo’s bed.

TITLE: Something So Simple

Harry sighed in frustration. This was not going at all how he had expected it to go. But then again, when had anything he had done ever gone smoothly? He took a deep breath, tried to compose his thoughts, and tried again.

“Pansy, what I mean to say is, wannagooutwithme?”

Pansy regarded him with confusion. “Sorry, what, Potter?” Pansy was almost ready to walk away from the conversation she was having, or at least trying to have, with Harry. He had approached her while she was on her lunch break, and after proceeding for a few agonizing minutes talking about the weather, he had tried to ask her something else. Whatever he was trying to say looked as though it was about to kill him as he'd tried to ask her at least five times, and it still wasn't coming out any better than the first time.

Harry let out a groan, nodded to her curtly, stood up, and walked away. As soon as he was out of sight, he let out another large groan and dropped his head in his hands. Why was it so hard to just ask her out?

He had barely known Pansy Parkinson during his time at Hogwarts. She was a Slytherin, and he was a Gryffindor. Total opposites, and all things considered, enemies in a certain sense. He had detested most of the people she had been friends with, including but not limited to Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini and the rest of that crowd.

As Merlin would have it however, Draco Malfoy was now none other than his partner for many of his Auror missions, and he and Blaise regularly joined Harry and Ron for a boys night out.

It was during one of these nights that he had first seen Pansy again since the war. She had been at the Leaky Cauldron during one of their nights, and Blaise having seen the girls she was with, slyly sauntered over. Draco had followed reluctantly, as he was already dating Hermione, and Ron pulled Harry across with him.

He had seen Pansy everywhere it seemed since then. She was at the Ministry Ball celebrating their new Department. She had been in the same bookstore as he, looking for the same book as himself. As it turned out, there was only one copy left, so he had graciously given it her, not that it was either here nor there.

The point was, somewhere along the way, he had grown slowly more and more infatuated with Pansy Parkinson. He had come to crave her wit, humor, intelligence, and everything about her, the way a sugar addict craves sweets.

And he couldn't spit out the words to ask her for a simple date.

Pansy stared after him confusedly. Then, something clicked. She stood up, and walked out of the break room, going the same way she had seen Harry leave.

She found him round the corner. “I'd love too,” she said softly.

He lifted his head, and smiled.

TITLE: The Dark Side of Life

"I saw you with Lovegood today," Pansy said as she pursed her lips tightly.

Harry smiled weakly at her, knowing where this was heading. "Yes, she was trying to sell me a year's subscription to the Quibbler."

"Was she now?" The tone in Pansy's voice was dark, vicious words hiding behind her prettier ones. "It looked to me as though she was coming onto you."

"Don't be daft!" laughed Harry. "Even if she was -- and she wasn't -- I would have turned her down. I love you, and only you, Pans."

Pansy raised her eyebrows. "Are you sure about that?"

Harry nodded.

"Then why did you speak to her?"

Resisting the temptation to say it was perfectly fine for him to talk to other women, he pulled her into a bear hug and wrapped his arms around her tightly. He knew reassurance was the best way to calm her down. "I couldn't really get out of it, though I tried."

"It looked like it," said Pansy snarkily. "From where I was standing it seemed you wanted to rip her clothes off."

Harry was unable to stop himself rolling his eyes, a movement Pansy quickly picked up on.

"So you did want to, then." Pansy pulled away from him, standing up and folding her arms. "I knew it."

"Of course I didn't. I don't find Luna attractive," Harry said hurriedly, then realised she wanted something more than that. "I think she's ugly, okay?"

Pansy smiled tightly. "Good. Make sure you avoid her in future, though. I'm sure she's after you."

"You think everyone is after me," chuckled Harry. "Even that woman who passed me the charity leaflets in Hogsmeade."

Pansy grumbled loudly. "She specifically targeted you."

"Because I'm rich!" Harry nearly shouted. "I'm great for charity workers, Pans."

"For what -- fucking them?" Pansy said nastily, glaring at him.

Harry sighed. "Pansy, you know you're the only one for me. How many times do I need to tell you before you believe me?"

"If that was true you wouldn't flirt with other women." Pansy's voice was soft now, and Harry could tell she was starting to slip into a more upset than angry state of mind. "I'm not blind, you know."

"No, you're not," Harry agreed. "But you do see things through very distorted glasses. We've talked about this, haven't we? And you've agreed you might not be seeing things as they are."

"Still, I think --" Pansy started.

"I think it's about time we get you help, Pans," he said calmly, hoping not to rile her with his suggestion. "I love you, and I'm not going to leave you, but... half the things you come out with are insane."

Pansy smiled through the tears in her eyes. "I'm scared they'll try and take you away from me..."

"They won't," Harry reassured her. "I can promise you of that. Now, can we go to sleep?"

"'Course," replied Pansy, undressing. "But we have to get down to the real fun first!"

TITLE: How to Dam the Duchess
WARNING(S): a cuss word or two

Pansy Parkinson flipped her hair. A fluid motion of synergetic preportions. The back of her hand slid with expertise along the slender column of her neck before her fingers spread out causing her long ebony hair to fan over her shoulder. Yet not once did she pause in her insane diatribe the entire time. She just kept talking and complaining and accusing and demeaning! Like a wicked duchess on a power-trip.

Harry Potter crunched his eyes closed and the heels of his palms rubbed furiously at his temples while he attempted to express his exasperation and aggravation but she wouldn’t let him get a word in edgewise. Some innate act of courtesy kept rearing its monstrous head and he kept cutting himself off to hear her out respectfully. Except it made his anger grow and grow until his entire body was humming with adrenaline and tension. Every muscle was tautly constricted and he could feel his jugular vein throb and flicker with indignation.

She just wouldn’t be quiet.

He wanted to slap her, shake her, until she shut up and understood his point.

Instead he clenched his jaw until he thought his teeth would shatter. His hands balled in furious white fist, yet he kept himself in check, but was dizzy from the over-extension of will power.

There was barely a foot between them and the magic was manifesting in pops and static. The air was vibrating and felt like it might explode.

He raised his voice and she attempted to match his volume and then he just shoved his palms against her cheeks and brought his mouth against hers. Without preamble. Without intent.

Pansy reared back in surprise and instinctively, Harry followed her, his fingers slipping into her soft locks, clenching until they were knotted at her nape.

There was no movement. Just mouth against mouth. Candent, electrifying and frightening.

Then reality snapped at Harry and he jerked himself away from her.

Pansy’s violet eyes are open wide and her mouth was pink and raw, hanging agape. Her hand was pressed against her chest and her breathing was erratic. Like she might hyperventilate.

But she wasn’t saying a goddamned word.

He took a deep breath to steady his breath and nervously rubbed at his hair, letting his hand slide to his neck. Slowly, he raises his green eyes to her shocked violet ones. “I just wanted you to shut up.” He rationalizes, feebly and his voice is hoarse from all the energy he’s expended.

She sucks in quickly. “Potter—You … me … I.” She exhaled with frustration and smoothed her fingers over her face. Her face is red and it’s like watching all the things that are in her head are tripping over themselves to get out of her mouth and she is humiliated at the outcome. Then she lifted her chin and folded her arms. “That’s not how I imagined our first kiss.”

He smiled a little. It was exactly how he always wanted it to be.

Poll #1598849 Round 3, Challenge 7
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VOTING ENDS FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST!

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Round Three, Challenge Seven
Rationality vs. Incoherence
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