Fighting Faults by Lirie Halliwell
Summary: He would have been happy to admit defeat. Admit that he had made a mistake, hurt her, and brought this upon himself. But she didn’t ask for his admittance, didn’t wish to deal punishment or see him pay. She just wanted out.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters: Blaise Zabini (boy), Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood
Compliant with: None
Era: Post-Hogwarts
Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: No Word count: 1905 Read: 4702 Published: Jul 06, 2007 Updated: Jul 07, 2007
Story Notes:
Maybe there is continuation. It doesn't sparkle that much, though... *scrunch up her nose*
Thanks Jess for her kind reviews and betaing.

1. Dancing with Wood by Lirie Halliwell

Dancing with Wood by Lirie Halliwell
Fighting Faults



She was dancing with Wood again. Why on earth was she dancing with Wood again? Why for the love of Merlin’s beard did she even come here with Wood? Why did she think it perfectly acceptable for her to be prancing around with handsome men while he, Draco bleeding Malfoy, was watching her every freckled goddamned move? And where the hell was that waiter with his drink?

It was his event, hisestate, hisband and hisblooming dance floor. And he did not remember ever giving her the permission to walk on that parquet, let alone dance there with some Quidditch pretty boy. In fact, he doesn’t remember putting a ‘plus one’ on her invitation, so she really had no right bringing that soulful-eyed sod along with her tonight. He really should ask him to leave. Or better yet, ask the butler to throw him out. That thought brought a smirk to his lips. The following thought, however, in which Ginny storms out after Wood, throwing Draco a scathing look, soundly nipped that idea in the bud.

Damn it, he was trapped in spending the night with those two as a permanent eyesore in his neck.

Yes, he knew that last statement had little sense, but he had been on his fifth whiskey and Wood had just dipped her so low, her back should have snapped. It obviously didn’t as she continued to spin and sway and wrap herself entirely around that prick. Why the hell did the band continue playing this music? Haven’t they noticed the lurid displays it spurred on the dance floor?

“Oh, well, isn’t that our lovely Miss Weasley dancing with a nice young gentleman,” a sudden voice pierced through Draco’s murderous reveries, causing him to sneer at its dark-skinned owner. “Is that Oliver Wood? Well, they do seem like an attractive couple. Don’t you think so?”

“Say, Zabini, is that Longbottom making a feast of your girlfriend’s earlobe?” Draco mused out loud, not taking his eyes off the dancing couple. No, not a ‘couple’, they better not be a couple. A ‘twosome’. Actually, no, not a ‘twosome’, just… just two unrelated un-attracted people dancing together with absolutely no hidden lewd agendas. Oh gods, he hoped there were no bloody hidden lewd agendas.

He caught her glancing in his direction just before Wood twirled her around and his chest clenched. There was no glaring and no anger, indicating that she was still vexed with him. Neither was there the smirking smugness that revealed that she knew very well what she was doing, pushing all of his right buttons, and that this was the punishment he had to endure for his misconduct. There was actually nothing that could point to that she even noticed his presence there, noticed the palpable blackness in the aura around him as he was forced to see her dance with another. She simply looked away, as if her eyes grazed nothing but a lifeless ice sculptor.

A feral quiet growl from his side caught his attention for a moment, and he assumed that Blaise had finally spotted Lovegood by the refreshments table being awkwardly patted and touched by the infamous Herbologist.

“It is all your fault, you know,” Blaise said gruffly, tightening his grip on the brandy glass to prevent unbecoming reactions. “We should broaden our horizons, you said. Break the walls of prejudice, promote integration, you said. Know your enemy, et cetera. We couldn’t have known our enemies, broadened our horizons and promoted integration not in a Muggle striptease club? You couldn’t have been intrigued by a Muggle library instead?”

“Zabini, I told you already. Pansy said they practiced alchemy there, and I know I should’ve known better, but Muggles practicing alchemy, mate! I had to see it.”

“Alchemy, indeed. Quite a bit of magic they did there, stripping us both of our money and our significant others in a matter of an hour. Absolutely amazi—dear Merlin, Drake, that cacti lover just stuck a tongue in her ear. I have the wildest urge to burn some defenseless shrubbery. That’s it, I can’t take it,” Blaise muttered and made a move towards the two, only to be halted by Draco.

“If you act like a buffoon now, she will only get hazy-eyed at you again and act as if she’d never met you before,” Draco warned his friend, somewhere at the back of his mind admonishing the fact that in spite of his lifelong beliefs, he had actually lived to see the day when he’d know the behavioral patterns of Loony Luna so well. He guessed little choice was granted on the matter since the girl was the closest friend of his girlfriend and the girlfriend of his closest friend.

Blaize clenched his jaws and huffed angrily, seizing the elusive control back in his grasp. His eyes trailed away for a second, and he smirked. “Well, you now have the opportunity to follow your own advice, mate,” he said, indicating the dance floor with a tilt of his head.

Draco frowned, realization dawning on him as he watched the tall Quidditch player, dip his face dangerously close to hers. One of his hands was snaked around her waist, while the other cupped her face, and she seemed to be not all that objective to the physical proximity that made Draco sick to his stomach.

Foresight and conduct be damned, he is going to break some kneecaps.

Leaving his friend behind and barely hearing the amused, “I thought as much,” as the dark-skinned man charged as well towards his respective counterpart, Draco made his way through the present crowd, pausing for a moment at the outskirts of the dance floor. He watched the two particular figures move together and he couldn’t not notice how well they seemed together, matching in everything from the color of their robes to the complexion of their skins. She had never seemed too compatible with him – her sun-grazed skin always clashed with his pallid tones; her bright choices of colors in her wardrobe and his darker, more subdued tones; her blazing, flaring, burning red locks and his silver wisps of blonde.

Maybe this was what it really had to be. Maybe they clashed so bluntly visually, sparred so cuttingly and touched so feverishly because it had never meant to be, never meant to last. Maybe this scene before him of the two Gryffindor was what the Fates had intended all along. She was an all-consuming flame – at home with her family, her friends and enemies even – while he was frozen and stoic. Maybe ever since the beginning Fates wrote for her simply to burn him alive and move on.

A ragged breath escaped and something woeful fleeted past his eyes. The beating in his chest subsided while the constriction worsened as he glanced at his redhead in the arms of anothe—

Wait, is that his hand on her bottom? Screw Fates! They’ll have to rewrite their bloody book in this case!

Pushing his way through the dancing crowd, Draco finally made it to the dancing couple and lightly, controlling the urge to break his neck on the spot, tapped Oliver Wood on the shoulder, drawing his attention.

“Mind if I interrupt?”

Wood, surprised and baffled, was about to comply when Ginny tightened her grip on his robes and tugged to turn him away from Draco, urging him to pay no attention to the interruption. “Yes, I mind,” she shot back acidly and moved away with her partner.

Never the one to take a blunt hit, Draco followed them onwards, this time pulling Ginny straight out Oliver’s grasp without bothering much with the niceties.

“Well, your partner doesn’t mind,” he countered smoothly, nodding to the subtly miffed Oliver his appreciation, and swaying Ginny away from his soulful eyes.

“I do not want to be dancing with you, Draco,” she stated clearly, barely moving to the tune and being a highly uncooperative dance partner.

“Yes, I can see that. You’d much rather fawn over the Quidditch runt over there,” Draco noted with little rein on the bitter intonation.

“Well, you know what they say – ‘He’s a Keeper’,” she briefly flashed him a dazzling smile, making it all the more contrasting with the placidly dissatisfied expression she wore in his honor, which slipped on immediately after.

“Do they, now?” He droned humorlessly, stung by the mockery in her voice. “Look, you can’t keep avoiding and ignoring me forever.”

“It’s quite easy, actually,” she informed him casually.

“No, I mean you can’t. I am a Malfoy, Gin, and this will soon reduce me to illegal actions. You know I am not above kidnapping.”

“That might scare a schoolgirl, Malfoy, but I’ve outgrown you. This latest incident with the strip joint only showed that more clearly. And quite honestly, I do not understand why you keep pursuing me when you obviously feel something’s missing in our relationship.”

“Haven’t we already settled that Pansy tricked us into going there? You heard it from the woman herself that she did!”

“We’ve settled that you’d been tricked into going there, yes,” she nodded solemnly, staring away. There was a slight crease to her brow that she always acquired when she tried to remain unattached to the discussed subject. “But you were not tricked into staying the entire evening there, while ordering lap-dances and tucking Muggle money bills in any of the passing knickers—why are we discussing this again? I gather, you want your freedom back, so there, freedom granted.”

“I don’t want freedom! Screw freedom, just come back home to me.”

“No,” she replied simply after only a moment of hesitation and turned to search the room for something.

Wood probably, he realized bitterly and clenched his jaws. His fingers dug into the gossamer fabric of her robes and his grip tightened. “Were we really that disposable that you can run off with him straight away?”

“Careful, Draco, your fašade is slipping. You sound almost desperate,” she said cruelly, sensing his turmoil and not allowing it to budge her.

Angered and frustrated, he pressed her harder towards him, his fingers probably leaving pale blue marks wherever they gripped. “You are ripping me apart from the inside,” he hissed balefully, rage and fury shining in the mercurial glow of his eyes.

“Just wait until you see me rubbing against the groin of some nameless bloke,” she replied evenly, her manner calculated and stoic. “Then we’ll talk about ‘ripping apart’.”

Struck by the bitterness lacing her voice, he didn’t even notice when she slipped out of his grip and weaved her way back into the arms of Oliver Wood.

He would have been happy to admit defeat. Admit that he had made a mistake, hurt her, and brought this upon himself. Take whatever punishment she wished to deal and be overjoyed all along that she cared enough to get mad and to demand payment for his stupid mistakes. But she didn’t ask for his admittance, didn’t wish to deal punishment or see him pay. She just wanted out.

Why was it so easy for her to want out?

He watched her leave the ballroom with Oliver Wood and didn’t follow.
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