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Marrying Pansy Parkinson by Persephone33
A/N: This plot is by Felicitas, who I hope is well pleased by the way I’ve fleshed this out. I’ve taken some drastic liberties with the characters, though, be forewarned. For instance, Ron is neither repulsed nor maddened by Draco. I prefer a sane Ron. This isn’t the first time I’ve made him this way; see His Girl for another example of ‘calm Ron’. Harry is being punished by me, and he isn’t allowed to speak unless it’s strictly necessary. He gets enough screen time in the books, I think. My thanks go out to freedachickens, for the PI beta, and Miran, who looked at it and said nice things, even though she was busy.
Chapter 1 by Persephone33
Draco Malfoy sat in a small, dirty room in the Ministry of Magic awaiting his fate. By merely looking at him, a casual observer would never know that beyond the door and across the hall, a group of witches and wizards comprising the Wizengamot were determining his fate.
Two other wizards sat in the room with him as allies, albeit unlikely ones. It was Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, not Pansy or Vincent or Gregory that had testified on his behalf. He had worked for the side of the war that had won, thankfully. He has even saved a few lives and now he sat between two of his fellow soldiers, waiting for his solicitor to make an appearance and tell him whether he’d be spending the next few years in a private room in lovely downtown Azkaban or be released of all charges.
He never guessed that it would be somewhere between the two.
He was a little peeved that his fellow Slytherins hadn’t showed, Pansy in particular. They’d always been close, but he got the distinct feeling that she disapproved of his latest political move. Siding with Gryffindors evidently warranted prolonged silence from her.
Ron looked over at Draco and shrugged. “Buck up, mate. Harry testified for you. In those people’s eyes, Harry can do no wrong. They fall all over themselves for him.”
Harry rolled his eyes but remained silent.
Usually one to come in a room in a flurry of expensive robes and bits of parchment, Blaise Zabini entered the room in an uncharacteristic slump. He placed a sheaf of parchment on the centre of the table and gazed steadily at the blond man on the other side. “You’re a lucky bastard, you know.”
Draco knew his friend well enough to realize that it wasn’t going to be all good news to follow and didn’t relax visibly like the wizards on either side of him.
Blaise sat in the rickety chair, pinching the bridge of his nose and, after screwing up his face in thought, sighed deeply.
Draco remained impassive for several moments before he could no longer remain silent. “Do you think we could dispense with the histrionics, and perhaps, just perhaps, you could tell me what went on in there while I’ve been out here?”
Blaise sighed again, and it proved to be Draco’s last straw. “Speak, Blaise, right now, or I’ll show you that I don’t need my wand to show you pain.”
Blaise then nodded and set his attaché case on the table, producing Draco’s wand. “Against better judgement, and at the risk of my safety, I’ll return this to its owner,” he said with a smile.
Draco reached for his wand, and the moment his fingers touched it, “Rosewood. 11 ½ inches, core of Dragon Heartstring,” he heard Mr. Ollivander say in his ear. He felt the magic course through him and was immediately more at ease than he’d been in months, since the charges were first brought against him. His body visibly relaxed, and he settled back in his chair, which creaked ominously.
“Feel better?” Ron asked.
Draco couldn’t help it. He smiled at the trio of men surrounding him. “Much.” Then he directed his attention at his closest friend. “Speak,” he commanded.
“It was all due to my brilliance, Malfoy,” Blaise began.
“Yes, and I’m sure I’ll get the bill to prove it, Zabini. Get on with it, you git,” he said without malice.
The solicitor cleared his throat. “Cleared of all charges,” he stated.
Ron stood and whooped, Harry sat back and smiled, but Draco merely raised an eyebrow. “And?”
“And… they put you on probation.”
Ron sat back down. “That won’t be too bad, Malfoy. Some community service or you teach the elderly to play the drums or something, right?” he joked.
Draco repressed the urge to strangle Weasley. He was, after all, grateful for his help. Strangulation wouldn’t be a proper thank you. He mentally reminded himself to have a house elf write a note, before inwardly shaking his head of superfluous thoughts. “What sort of probation?” he directed at Blaise.
“You’ve been put under restrictions,” Blaise continued in a businesslike manner. “Who you talk to and where you go will be monitored by the Ministry. Your holdings, home, and the Malfoy fortune have been locked down, and you have to meet certain requirements before you can get them back.”
“Will they need to watch him take a leak, as well?” Ron asked incredulously.
Draco wondered briefly if saving Weasley’s life had been worth it.
“Ron,” Harry reprimanded mildly.
Blaise continued speaking, “They’ve prohibited all contact with Slytherins.”
Draco looked affronted. “You’re joking.”
“No, I’m not. You’re only talking to me because I’m your lawyer and Harry ‘I saved the bloody world’ Potter is sitting right there.”
Draco frowned. “What requirements will have to be met before I can go home? Before I have control of my inheritance?” he asked.
“You have to get married.”
Draco was stunned. “Please be joking.”
“No. No, they were quite firm on this. There is no appeal. They feel it will create stability. You’ll be less likely to return to your wicked ways if you were attached to a ball and chain,” Blaise said wryly. “No marriage, no money. You have to be married.”
“That’s the most asinine thing that I’ve ever heard.”
“It is the Ministry,” Blaise replied.
“To whom?” Draco asked.
“To whom will I have to marry?”
“Oh,” Blaise murmured, shuffling through the parchment, “they didn’t say.”
“That was kind of them, wasn’t it?” Draco sneered.
“Bastards,” Ron spat.
“Ron,” said Harry warningly.
“What am I going to do?” Draco whispered to the room at large. The three other men looked back at him without answers.
“What am I going to do?” he repeated to himself.
“Get married?” Ron suggested helpfully.
“Ron,” Harry sighed again.
Blaise took another piece of parchment out of his case. “I’m afraid there’s no way ‘round it. They were very clear on that point.”
“Who will I marry?”
“Oh, Draco, there are lots of girls to choose from, and you’re not altogether unfortunate looking,” Blaise began.
“Thanks so much. You know how much your opinion means to me,” Draco retorted.
“So,” Blaise continued smoothly, “it’s just a matter of choosing someone.”
Harry slid the parchment over to him and handed him a quill. “Perhaps if you made a list?”
“A list of potential brides?” Draco asked.
“Right.” Draco exhaled heavily and stood up, throwing down the quill. “This is ridiculous,” he spat.
Ron took the quill and pulled the parchment over to him, scribbling down some names.
“What about Susan Bones? She’s alright,” he suggested.
“A Hufflepuff?” Draco shrieked. “Are you joking? Not on a bet.”
Ron crossed out a name. “Then Hannah Abbot is out, too, then.”
Draco’s head snapped up. “Well, Abbot does have an exceptionally nice set of--” He interrupted himself, “No. Absolutely not.”
“One of the Patil twins?”
“Only if they’ll come as a matched set.”
“I will not have your leftovers, Weasley.”
Ron scratched through several names. “I suppose Hermione’s out, then?”
This was met with a horrified look and a retching noise.
“Right. Tracey Davis?”
“She’s a Slytherin,” Draco said dismissively.
“So?” Blaise asked.
“So, you said I couldn’t be around Slytherins! Keep up!”
“No, no. You can be, it just has to be with an approved Ministry escort,” Blaise read, correcting himself.
“Oh, Draco replied. “Still. No. Tracey Davis is too…”
“Too,” Harry finished.
“Quite,” Blaise agreed.
“Daphne Greengrass?” Blaise suggested. “She’s a pureblood, even.”
“So’s Weasley, and I’m not going to marry him, either,” Draco said sarcastically. “Greengrass is a slag. She’s seen more tail than a centaur at the back of the herd.”
“Yeah,” Ron said, having an epiphany. “Parkinson. You’re mates. She’ll understand.”
Draco shifted uncomfortably. “Pansy’s not really speaking to me right now. She wasn’t at my trial and hasn’t responded to any of my owls. But yeah, she’d be my first choice. I can’t just go see her, I suppose?”
“No,” Blaise replied, “you’ve got to have an escort. Your Ministry approved escort is--” He stopped, shuffling through the stack in front of him. “Ah. Ginny Weasley.”
“Oh, that’s lucky,” Ron said. “Gin’s great.”
Harry looked sceptical.
Another Weasley, Draco thought. He wasn’t sure he could stand the first one he’d collected.
“It will all be fine, Draco,” Blaise reassured him. “You’ll meet with Miss Weasley, and then go see Pansy and get her help. She’s never been able to say no to you. You’ll get married, get your inheritance, and continue to live your bloody charmed life, I’m sure.”
Draco nodded. Ron clapped him on the shoulder. “Let’s go meet my sister.”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.