Alas For Those Who Never Sing

Midnight Green

Story Summary:
It's a couple of years after the war finished and Pansy comes across Draco in a party. It's bitter-sweet for the both of them, as they talk and leave many things unsaid but understood.

Alas For Those Who Never Sing

Chapter Summary:
A couple of years have passed since the war finished and Pansy comes across Draco in a party. It's bitter-sweet for the both of them, as they talk and leave many things unsaid but understood.
Author's Note:
The quotation was from It was a prompt that inspired this story and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

"Alas for those who never sing,

But die with all their music in them."

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Snr

It's a bittersweet moment for her, minus the sweet. She sees him cross the room and he looks different. The problem isn't that he looks different. It's that he's still the same in too many ways; Similar mannerisms, his smile blinding her the way it used to back in their school days, the look he gives the woman he loves - they are all things she remembers too well, more muscle memory than things she could pluck out consciously.

'Draco,' she calls out and she's overloud. She's never managed to control herself in public, her emotions perpetually illustrated in her actions and words. This time is no different.

'Pansy?' He is taken aback. She had hoped for pleasantly surprised but this hope, like so many others, dies a futile death.

'Hi,' she says belatedly. She forgets to greet the stunning blonde by Draco's side. It's unintentional rather than malicious but she knows the rumour mills will state otherwise. 'I didn't expect to see you here.' She knows she ought to show surprise similar to Draco's but she also knows it's pointless. She makes the valiant attempt anyway.

'Yeah, me neither.' Draco's reply is flat, exuding nothing but dazed surprise. Pansy wishes he would attempt to show some other emotion, anything positive, but there's nothing there.

'It's good to see you.' She forces the conversation, desperate for some sort of closure. She can see the smirk growing on the blonde's face and it's frustrating to see how well she wears it.

'It's good to see you too,' Draco lies. 'I'm sure you remember Astoria Greengrass, my girlfriend?'

Pansy has faint memories of a little blonde girl, Daphne's sister. It doesn't surprise her that Astoria's just as beautiful as Daphne. 'Hi, nice to meet you.' Pansy feels flustered and shows this very clearly with a strained smile at the end.

Astoria's smirk grows bigger and her icy reply is a clipped 'how do you do?' that is intended to show her superiority over Pansy and does so with cutting efficiency. 'I'll see you in a few minutes.' She turns to Draco, her face softening so abruptly that Pansy has to blink. She leaves and it's just Pansy and Draco and Pansy wishes she could enjoy this. She would love for the lump in her throat to leave and to not have her heart thudding quite so painfully but she has never really gotten what she wanted. It's no different this time.

'You were a little rude to her,' Draco tells her bluntly.

'I didn't mean to be.' Pansy manages to struggle the words past the lump. She's staring into his face, searching for something soft, something sympathetic or tender and she's almost sure she doesn't find it there. She searches desperately anyway, aware that people must be judging her. They think she's pathetic and many think she's evil and it's gotten to a point where she almost believes it herself.

Draco sighs, the aloof facade falls away and Pansy can almost see her Draco return. 'Why are you really here, Pansy?' "I thought I made it clear I didn't want to stay in touch," he could've added but doesn't.

It's easier to tell the truth. 'I didn't expect to see you here.' An uncomfortable silence falls between them.

'She seems nice.' It conveys neither the depth of her emotion, nor the width. It doesn't even skim the surface of her nostalgia and need for closure but it's the only thing she can say and Draco seems to sense that.

'She is nice,' he replies after a pause. He was clearly debating whether to tell the truth or not, but they've always told each other the truth and time doesn't seem to have changed that. 'She's different when you get to know her.' He phrases this carefully enough that Pansy understands his meaning. She's not a bitch; it's just a facade. It's always a facade nowadays but Pansy's astute enough to realise that it was always a facade back then too. This new world is a dangerous place to live in for a Slytherin; it's far too easy to starve on the streets these days or have acidic curses thrown at you with no repercussions.

'She's...' Draco hesitates for the right words. 'She wasn't in the battle. She was too young for it. She didn't even know Harry Potter except in passing.'

Once again, Pansy understands everything Draco isn't saying. Astoria isn't tainted by the anti-Slytherin slur most of Harry's (and the Weasleys') contemporaries have to suffer through. She's also unrelated to the torment and horrors Draco went through in his sixth and seventh year. She supposes this explains why he doesn't really want to stay in touch with her - too many bad memories from those two years. It doesn't tell her whether this relationship is one of convenience or affection; she suspects the latter. The silence feels a little more familiar now.

'I'm sorry,' he says, out of the blue. Pansy feels like everything between them is staccato, a jarring symphony of discordant chords played on a piano out of tune and fallen into disrepair by time. Just like their symphony, she has a glimmer of an idea of what he's thinking but not enough to make any response other than a 'what for?'.

He throws her a swift glance. 'For everything,' is his all-encompassing reply but their chords are striking together in time finally and Pansy thinks she understands.

'It's okay,' she lies through her teeth because she still loves him (in whatever capacity). She can't bear to hurt him, even if it pains her. 'People grow up, they drift apart.' They become polite strangers.

He takes in a deep breath, preparing himself for whatever he's about to say. 'It was see you, afterwards.' He'd seen Vince die and Voldemort had lived in his house. She could appreciate why he may not want to see anything or anyone that reminded him of those years. It still stung, though.

'I know.' She speaks so softly that Draco strains to hear her. 'It's okay.' She pushes her lips up, forcing a smile to appease his guilty conscience. She misses their companionable silences and the way they used to lean on each other, into each other, both physically and metaphorically. She doesn't pretend that they can have that again and this hurts the most.

'I miss you,' is all he can say as he looks away from her. She follows his line of sight that ends with Astoria.

'I know,' she whispers through a clogged throat. There's no point in saying she misses him as well. It's been made abundantly obvious. 'It's okay,' she repeats, as much for herself as him. She's dying to tell him that they can still be friends, at least. They can get over the past trauma together. She wants to tell him jokes, made amusing because she tends to laugh at the jokes she herself has made. She never says out loud that they could still be more than friends for each other because she believes in it a little too strongly. Instead, she bids him goodbye and leaves as gracelessly as she surely had approached him earlier.

Alas for those who never sing,

But die with all their music in them.

I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please tell me what you thought of it.