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31 October 2016 @ 10:38 am
FIC: The Road to Nowhere (Fred/Pansy) [1 of 2]  
Title: The Road to Nowhere
Author/Artist: sunshine_sundae
Characters: Fred/Pansy
Prompt number: 127
Word Count: 12,600
Rating: Fiction MA
Warnings: Occasional profanity, explicit sexual themes, one brief scene of sexual assault (not gratuitous)
Summary: Whoever said a Slytherin wouldn’t sacrifice everything to protect the ones she loves? Pansy Parkinson spies for the Order, falls in love and saves the world.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author’s Notes: This is a war AU, so although most canon events occurred, they began later on and were stretched out over a longer period of time. The Battle of Hogwarts never happened, although the Death Eaters have taken over the Ministry. Hopefully, further hints of the timeline and any other changes to canon will come through as you read it! Thank you gjeangirl for such a wonderful prompt, and thank you, as always, to my beta. Please enjoy!




PART I




Pansy Parkinson paused, quill in hand, and eyed the closed door with concern.

Her boss, Corban Yaxley, was in a meeting with Lucius Malfoy and a few other lower-level Death Eaters. They were, she was disturbed to discover, discussing Andromeda Tonks and whether or not they needed to kill her.

Pansy knew this because she clearly had a death wish and had planted a Muggle listening device beneath his desk.

“She has gone too far this time.” Yaxley’s voice buzzed like an angry bluebottle in her ear. The man had a temper Pansy had witnessed all too many times before, and she could hear it bubbling beneath the surface now. “We must act.”

“Much as I agree,” came Lucius Malfoy’s smoother, dulcet tones, “my sister-in-law is a generous benefactor…”

“She is harbouring fugitives!” Yaxley banged his hand on the desk, making Pansy flinch.

The wizard sat opposite gave her an odd look.

Spider, she mouthed sheepishly.

“Parkinson!” Yaxley snapped, and she jumped again. Her head jerked up to find him standing in the doorway, blond hair scraped back in his customary braid, deep grooves in his forehead as he glared at her. “Get in here.”

“Yes, sir,” she murmured, as she shuffled her papers into a pile and lifted a surreptitious hand to check her hair covered her earpiece.

Yaxley made an impatient sound.

Now, Parkinson.”

“Of course.” She fluttered her eyelashes and followed him dutifully into the office. “What can I do for you?” she asked as he sat back at his desk.

His eyes raked lewdly over her body, lingering, as they always did, on her hips and breasts. Although she was almost entirely covered—her demure work robes ran from wrist to throat to ankle—Pansy suddenly felt horribly exposed.

Not that Yaxley ever did more than look. As a pure-blood and daughter of a high-ranking Ministry official, Pansy was off limits, and no man could lay a finger on her without her say so.

She lifted her chin.

“What can I do for you, sir?” she repeated. She didn’t miss the way Yaxley’s eyes gleamed at the honorific.

“Lots of things I’m sure,” he drawled, “but for now, just one. Summon Greyback and his snatchers. We have a new target.”

* * *


As soon as the clock in her office struck five, Pansy was out of the door. She hurried home—something that took much longer now Yaxley had ordered the disconnection of the entire Floo network, save for the most important people, naturally—then Apparated straight from her living room.

Her destination was an abandoned Muggle pub, deep in the Scottish Highlands. She supposed it had once been very picturesque, set as it was above a wild sea loch. Now, though, it was almost entirely derelict, its ancient wooden beams leaning precariously to the side, the wind whistling forlornly through its boarded windows and leaky roof.

As usual, Pansy sneezed several times on arrival. No matter how many times she scourgified the room, the grime seemed to double in volume by the time she returned.

“Merlin, I hate this place,” she said grumpily, kicking a large pile of crumpled velvet curtains and almost immediately regretting it when plumes of dust engulfed her head. “Motherfu—”

Language, Parkinson,” a familiar voice teased from behind.

She should have realised he’d get here first. She’d activated her signal coin—a silver sickle linked by Protean charm to one of his—just before she left the Ministry, and, much to her ongoing disbelief, infamous prankster Fred Weasley had turned out to be one of the most exasperatingly punctual and reliable people she’d ever met.

He grinned at her from the shadows, hands shoved deep in his pockets, unruly red hair falling about his forehead.

She disentangled her foot from the curtains and shot him a withering glare.

“Didn’t fancy cleaning up a bit?”

“Oh but I know you enjoy it so,” he said, strolling across the room to meet her. Pansy glanced in disgust at the filthy fabric chairs, the cobweb-encrusted tables, the huge chunks of plaster dislodged from the ceiling.

“If I had my way,” she said darkly, “I’d burn this place to the ground.”

Fred chuckled and gestured to her face.

“You’ve got a little something… hang on.” He licked his thumb and before she could stop him, swiped it across her chin. “Got it.”

“Ugh!” She wrenched herself away from him, scrubbing the back of her sleeve across her face and scowling up at him. “You asshole!”

Fred let out a gust of laughter.

“Pansy, love, you wound me,” he teased. “Now, why did you summon me here like your personal genie, eh? I was just about to thrash Ron at Exploding Snap.”

Pansy had drawn a breath, outraged, but then she remembered the reason she was here and her indignation melted away. Fred clearly realised it was serious, because the smile slipped from his face.

“What is it?” he asked, instantly no-nonsense.

“It’s Andromeda,” Pansy said. “She’s in danger.”

* * *


Fred didn’t come back that evening. He’d listened tensely as Pansy filled him in on the snatchers’ plan to infiltrate Andromeda’s home in the dead of night—which night, she didn’t know, but she had a pretty horrible feeling it’d be tonight—and murder the witch in her bed.

“The wards…” he had begun, but Pansy cut him off.

“Can be broken.” She gave him a significant look. “You know that as well as I do.”

He did. Before the Ministry fell to the Dark Lord, Pansy’s job in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement had been removing curses and other dangerous enchantments cast by criminal wizards. Now Yaxley used her to break into safe houses and intercept rebel communications.

She’d always been very good at wiling her way into things.

Armed with as much information as Pansy could give, Fred had Apparated away to organise Andromeda’s escape.

She just hoped he wasn’t too late. Andromeda had been walking a dangerous line for a long time now, maintaining outward appearances of support for Voldemort—renouncing her murdered Muggle-born husband, renouncing her rebel daughter and son-in-law—while secretly providing money, supplies and emergency beds to the so-called Order of the Phoenix.

Pansy respected her enormously, mostly because it had been through Andromeda that she had made contact with the Order. The woman had convinced them to spirit her nephew, Draco, out of the country almost a year prior, although they had been less generous to Pansy.

“Draco lost the trust of the Death Eaters,” Kingsley had explained carefully when Pansy confronted him. “You, however, work for one of You-Know-Who’s most trusted followers. You are privy to vital information…”

“Information I can give you now,” she’d interrupted sharply, but the tall, dark-skinned wizard simply shook his head.

“I’m sorry, Pansy,” he’d said gently, but in a voice that brooked no argument. “It’s not enough.”

And that had been it. End of negotiations. If Pansy wanted to leave the Ministry, then she had to help topple it first.

Before he left, Fred promised to let her know Andromeda was safe. For a while, she sat on the doorstep to the pub, watching as the dying sun bathed the hills with blood-orange light. Eventually, though, when the sky grew dark and cold, and still with no word from Fred, she decided she’d better go home.

She didn’t bother going to bed, simply curled up on an armchair in her living room, waiting, waiting, always waiting, for her enchanted coin to grow hot and rearrange its etchings so she’d know Fred and Andromeda had made it safely away.

It never did.

* * *


“Alright, darlin’?”

Pansy glanced up to see one of the better-known snatchers, Scabior, slouching over her desk. He looked particularly grubby today—smelly, too—his matted hair hanging like rat’s tails around his shoulders. Tired and more worried than she felt she should be about Fred’s conspicuous silence, Pansy found it difficult not to physically recoil.

“Can I help you?” she asked coolly, flicking through her papers.

“Here to see your boss, pet,” he said. “He wants to congratulate me. On accounts of my work last night.”

Last night. Pansy’s head shot up. Scabior seemed to think she was impressed that Yaxley had called him in specially, because he puffed up like a peacock.

“Oh?” she asked, forcing herself to sound aloof, barely interested, although everything inside her was straining for answers. “And what did you do to deserve such an honour?”

The snatcher planted a hand on her desk and leant conspiratorially towards her.

“Well, doll,” he said with a nasty grin. “I killed a Weasley, didn’t I?”

* * *


Not Fred, not Fred, please Merlin, not Fred.

Pansy’s hands shook as she summoned him from the Ministry bathrooms that evening. Despite clandestine enquiries, she hadn’t been able to find out for sure which Weasley the snatchers had allegedly killed, or whether one had even been killed at all. The other Order members had Apparated him and Andromeda away before they could confirm it.

“I got him right in the head,” Scabior had insisted. “There’s no way he could survive.”

Outside the office, Pansy’s fingers had clenched round her quill, her chest so tight it hurt to breathe.

She heard a creak of Yaxley’s chair. She could picture him leaning back in his seat, eyeing the snatcher with a faint sneer.

“But he escaped,” he said, voice very calm and very low. It was a dangerous sign, that voice of his, and Scabior proved himself not entirely stupid in recognising it. There was a pause, before he admitted nervously that yes, yes he had, but…

“And so did Andromeda Tonks.”

Pansy imagined the snatcher sinking down in his chair.

“Yes,” he said weakly. She felt almost sorry for him. Almost. If he truly had killed a Weasley, then he deserved a hex or two.

Yaxley gave him three.

The rest of the day had passed agonisingly slowly. For the second night in a row, Pansy escaped home as quickly as she could and Apparated straight to the pub.

“Fred?” She glanced wildly around the empty room, then raced into the next, and the next, swatting away cobwebs and hanging wires. “Fred? Fred?!”

Nothing. He was always here first. Why wasn’t he here first?

Her wild search had thrown up clouds of dust that clogged in her throat and made her eyes water. Desperate for air, she stumbled through the door, out into the open scrubland. She was trembling, breathless.

Fred couldn’t be dead. He just couldn’t.

“Looking for something?” a voice asked drily.

She whirled round to see him slouched on a bench, arms folded, hair glowing in the crisp autumnal sunshine. He knew exactly why she was so frantic; it was written plainly across his smug face.

“You—” She stared at him. “You bastard!”

“You were really worried, weren’t you, love?” he teased, patting the space beside him. “Come here. You look like you need to sit down.”

She remained stubbornly standing, arms folded across her chest.

“I thought you were dead.”

“Clearly,” he said. “You were screaming my name like a banshee.”

Pansy narrowed her eyes at him. So he’d heard her, had he? Had it not occurred to him to put her out of her misery? No, the arrogant git had simply sat back and enjoyed it.

“I was not screaming,” she said, because she hadn’t been. Really.

“You were, but I knew I’d get you doing it eventually,” he quipped, making her flush and scowl even harder. “Come here,” he said again, cupping his eyes against the sun.

She went, although she made sure to stomp so he knew she wasn’t happy about it.

“You’re a despicable human being,” she said as she sat. “I wish you really had gotten hexed.”

“Me too,” he said, “but my blasted brother knocked me out of the way.”

Pansy looked at him, startled, but he simply held out a cellophane wrapper. “Edible Dark Mark?”

Pansy stared at the multi-coloured jelly sweets, then back up at him. His expression was casual enough—almost too casual, and there was something hard about his eyes.

“No… thanks,” she said, having learnt early on not to accept anything Fred claimed to be edible. He shrugged and pocketed them.

“Suit yourself.”

She eyed him carefully. There were dark circles beneath his eyes, and now she noticed it, a nasty scrape along his stubbly jaw. He looked like he hadn’t slept a wink last night either.

“Scabior was telling truth, wasn’t he?” she asked softly. “Someone did get hit.”

“George,” Fred said flatly. “Bloody idiot. Should have let me take it.”

Merlin, his twin.

“Is he—is he okay?”

He gave a half-shrug.

“Yeah,” he said, and although he spoke gruffly, Pansy could hear the pain in his voice. “Curse missed his head, thank Merlin, but took his ear clean off.”

“Shit,” Pansy breathed, eyes wide. Fred evidently approved of her assessment, because he flashed her a humourless smile.

“It’s pretty bad,” he agreed, “but he’s alive. Been lapping up the attention too, the sod.”

Pansy raised her eyebrows.

“As if you wouldn’t do the same.”

Fred snorted, turning his face up to the sun.

“Maybe. Maybe not. I’d rather not find out if you don’t mind.”

“If it makes you feel any better,” Pansy said, eyeing his freckled profile, “Yaxley hexed the living daylights out of him for letting Andromeda get away.”

“Oh yeah?” Fred cracked open an eye.

“Yeah,” she confirmed. “He was hopping mad all day. Casting curses left, right and centre.”

He looked at her properly then.

“Not at you, I hope,” he said, eyes running over her as if checking for injury.

“Of course not,” she said. It was hard to keep a trace of bitterness from creeping into her voice. “I’m his favourite.”

Fred’s gaze jerked sharply back up to hers, shoulders tensing.


“Parkinson,” he said, voice dangerously quiet, “tell me he hasn’t…”

“No,” she said. He knew about her… uncomfortable relationship with her boss, and she saw his mind go to the darkest place. “He would if he could, I think,” she added. “But I’m a pure-blood and a supporter of the Dark Lord. They haven’t quite sunk to preying on their own just yet.”

Fred seemed to relax a little, but the deadly look in his eyes hadn’t entirely dissipated.

“If he ever touches you, I swear I’ll…”

It sent a little thrill through her to hear Fred threaten Yaxley with bodily harm, but she was, of course, a fierce and competent witch, entirely capable of protecting herself should it come to it.

She ran a finger up a wand.

“Believe you me,” she said, “if that fucking man lays so much as a finger on me, I’ll hex his bollocks off and feed them to Nagini.”

Fred stared at her, mouth open, eyes wide.

“Feed them… feed them to…”

“Nagini,” she repeated helpfully. “I’ll feed his bollocks to Nagini.”

A moment as this sunk in, then perhaps the most wonderful sound she’d ever heard as Fred Weasley threw back his head and laughed like she’d never heard before.

* * *


“Andromeda sends her thanks,” he said as they stood, eventually, to Apparate their separate ways.

Pansy glanced down, embarrassed. The gratitude in his gaze was deep, and it was doing odd things to her chest.

“Tell her I’m just glad she’s safe,” she said.

He touched her hand then—gently, the barest brush of warm fingers against hers. Her head lifted in surprise to find him closer than she expected, a little smile tugging at his lips.

“You did good, Parkinson,” he said, then with a brief squeeze of her hand and a muted crack of Disapparition, he was gone.



PART II






It had taken many months for Fred to trust her. The first thing he’d told her, quite brutally, had been what a fool he thought Kingsley and Andromeda were to put faith in her.

Of course, the first thing she’d told him was to go fuck himself.

She remembered their school years—the havoc Fred and George had caused, the endless pranks, tricks and windups. Her life was on the line, and here she was depending on a man who, as far as she knew, had never taken anything seriously in his entire existence.

Their meetings in the beginning had been tense and suspicious from both sides. Fred, in particular, had always seemed on edge, eyes darting into the shadows as if he half-expected a league of Death Eaters to leap out at any moment.

Pansy supposed she couldn’t blame him for not believing her. She was a good actress and an even better Occlumens. Yaxley, for example, thought she worshipped him.

She had, of course, been rather peeved when, a few weeks in, Fred had tried to use Legilimency on her. She hadn’t known he could do the spell—wandlessly and wordlessly to boot—although it wasn’t the most polished attempt she’d ever encountered. Gryffindors were, after all, not renowned for their subtlety.

Hoping to avoid an argument, however, she’d nudged him out time and time again, hoping he’d believe he’d botched the spell and give up.

But he hadn’t, and eventually she realised he wouldn’t—not until he was satisfied she wasn’t a double agent for the Death Eaters and she wasn’t about to turn them all over to Yaxley.

If she was going to survive this, if they were going to survive this, then she needed him to trust her. She needed him to know that she was telling the truth.

So, six weeks in, she sat herself opposite him in the pub’s least shabby booth and placed her wand on the table between them.

“You’re a Legilimens,” she said. When he glanced at her, surprised, she shrugged. “You’re not as subtle as you think.”

“You felt it,” he said sheepishly, and she smiled.

“I’ll let you in,” she said. “Just this once.”

* * *


He murmured the spell out loud this time, those deep brown eyes locked on hers. Pansy felt a familiar crawling sensation at the front of her skull and fought the overwhelming urge to boot him straight back out.

She didn’t though. She wanted him to trust her, after all.

So she drew a shuddering breath and she showed him the day the Death Eaters took over the Ministry. How they’d barely even bothered to battle their way in. How they’d cut down anyone brave enough to stand in their way.

She showed him the moment when, flanked by dark wizards in black robes and silver masks, Yaxley marched into her office, imperiused her boss right before her eyes and declared himself the new head of Magical Law Enforcement.

Do something about the bodies, he’d ordered with a careless wave of his hand. You, he added as Pansy stood, hesitant. She’d shivered as his eyes snaked with interest over her body and an unpleasant smile stretched across his face. Show me to my new office.

“Pansy…” Fred whispered, back in the present, but she shushed him with a hand.

She showed him her father, trembling with fear as he and the other officials pledged their allegiance to Lord Voldemort. She showed him the snatchers dragging slumped and bleeding bodies across the marbled floors of the Ministry.

She showed him her new boss as he trapped her behind her desk. As he leant over her shoulder, breath hot on her skin. As he whispered what a good girl she was, right in her ear.

She showed him her hatred, her anger, her fear. And then, because she felt like he’d seen too much, because it made her feel too vulnerable, too exposed, too weak, she showed him an obscene and pornographic fantasy of the two of them going at it on the table.

He huffed and jerked backwards, breaking the connection with a jolt.

“Fucking hell,” he said, cheeks turning red.

She laughed, delighted, and leant back against the booth.

“Sorry. I couldn’t resist.”

“Merlin, Parkinson.” He blinked, as if trying to clear the image, and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Pansy figured she’d given him a raging hard on.

She let her eyes drift over him—the broad, solid shoulders, the way his jumper pulled taut across his wide chest, the smooth freckled skin of his forearms beneath sleeves rolled to the elbow. When her gaze finally returned to his face, she saw his eyes had grown hot. His cheeks were still flushed, although whether that was from embarrassment or arousal she wasn’t sure.

She’d only imagined the two of them together to tease him, but in that instant, she realised she found the thought rather…intriguing.

Even now, more than half a year later—now she knew his kindness, his loyalty, how fiercely he protected the ones he loved—she still did.

* * *


“Yaxley is growing suspicious,” she said.

It had been a month since Andromeda’s narrow escape, and she and Fred were sat side-by-side on the pub steps, looking out over the grey waters of the loch and the sweeping hills beyond.

“Of you?” he asked.

“No, of course not. He doesn’t think I’m bright enough.” She squinted up at the pale cloudless sky, pulled her collar up around her neck as the brisk autumn breeze grew just a little stronger. “He knows someone’s leaking information though.”

“I can’t pull you out,” Fred said quietly. “Not yet.”

High above, a bird of prey hovered, a buzzard, its great wings outstretched. She watched it for a moment, part of her wishing she could simply fly away, part of her finding the thought of leaving her home—leaving Fred—entirely inconceivable.

“I know,” is all she said.

He didn’t reply, and when she glanced at him, he was watching the bird too, something slightly wistful in his expression.

He had a hard profile, she realised as she studied him. Age and adversity had chiselled his features into sharper angles than she remembered from their school days—although to be honest, he’d been two years older and she hadn’t known him as much more than an infamous prankster, an older boy to giggle about with her friends.

But he’d always been attractive. Not quite beautiful, with a nose that was ever so slightly too big, with a mouth that was just a little too wide. But attractive, certainly, and never more so now, as they sat together, wrapped up in several layers of jumpers and coats and scarves, his cheeks pink with cold.

She wanted to run a finger along that tense line of his jaw, until it loosened under her touch. She wanted, she realised with a jolt, to brush her lips across his until they softened, to stretch her body out against his until the long, taut lines of his limbs melted into her.

She shifted closer on the step, almost without realising it, then stopped. Because Merlin help her, her life was complicated enough without snogging her handler.

“What will you do after the war?” she asked quietly to snap herself out of it. “Go back to your shop?”

His eyes flickered towards her.

“I don’t—” He hesitated. “I don’t know.” There was a trace of sadness in his voice, and Pansy knew why.

The joke shop he and George owned on Diagon Alley had been attacked by Death Eaters in the first few months of the war. Luckily, he and his twin had escaped, but the shop now lay a burnt out shell—everything in it, all their hard work, completely destroyed.

“George wants to,” he said. “He and Hermione have all these plans.”

Hermione? Pansy gave him a questioning look.

“Did I never tell you?” He let out a short laugh. “They got married last summer. Expecting a baby now too.”

She raised her eyebrows. Granger and George, huh? She’d always figured the know-it-all had been having it off with Fred’s younger brother, Ron.

“Are they still in the country?” she asked. She could imagine just how terrifying it would be to bring a child into the world as it was now. If it was her, she’d have left in a heartbeat.

“Yeah.” Fred pursed his lips. “I know George wants to take her away, but she’s having none of it.”

“That sounds like Granger,” she said, and he smiled—a little bleakly, she thought.

“Yeah. Would be a shame to lose them if they did leave though. We need all the help we can get.”

His words were flippant enough, but Pansy felt her stomach twist all the same.

The Death Eaters spoke publicly of the resistance as a mere bug, an inconvenience, to be squashed, but Pansy knew—from Fred, from Yaxley, from overheard conversations behind closed doors—that they were a real threat to the Dark Lord’s tenuous hold on power.

At least they had been. And they had to stay that way. The just had to. She wasn’t sure what she’d do if they weren’t.

“Is it really that bad?” she asked.

Fred shrugged, buried his nose briefly in his scarf.

“It’s better with you,” he said simply.

Her eyes slid to his, and he seemed to realise how …significant that sounded. He flushed slightly and gave her a sheepish smirk.

“What about you?” he asked. “What will you do?”

He was clearly trying to change the subject. Pansy considered pursuing it, but decided (very charitably, she thought) to let him off.

“Oh, I’ll go away,” she said, gaze returning to the open sky, where the bird was still hovering. “Somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. Where I can forget all of this, you know?”

She saw Fred nod out of the corner of her eye as, high above them, the bird suddenly dived, rocketing to the ground. Moments later, it soared back upwards, something small and frantically wriggling in its claws, and Pansy felt a deep chill, right to her very bones.

“If, of course,” she said absently, “Yaxley doesn’t kill me first.”

* * *


It appeared Pansy’s fears were justified because, several days later, Bellatrix Lestrange swept into the department, a maniacal gleam in her eye.

“It seems,” she announced as the room fell utterly silent, “that we have a mole in the Ministry.”

Pansy squashed a flicker of alarm as Voldemort’s most sadistic follower zeroed in on her.

“You,” she said, pointing her wand straight at Pansy’s chest. “I want to question every witch and wizard in this room. Make it happen.”

Pansy hastened to obey. One by one her colleagues vanished into Yaxley’s office—some openly quaking with fear. Without fail, each resurfaced pale-faced and sweating but very much alive. Pansy didn’t dare eavesdrop, but evidently, Bellatrix hadn’t found anything incriminating.

Eventually, though, there was no one left to interrogate but Pansy. Her heart thumped hard as she stepped, slowly, towards what could very possibly be her final moments.

“Close the door,” Bellatrix said. The woman was perched nonchalantly on Yaxley’s desk, legs crossed, nails tapping on the wood. Yaxley himself was sat behind her, in his large leather chair, his back ram-rod straight, his expression tight.

Pansy knew the consequences for him should a spy be discovered in his department.

“Please,” Bellatrix purred, gesturing towards the solitary chair in the centre of the room. “Sit.”

Pansy swallowed and did as she was told.

“Really,” Yaxley said stiffly. “There’s no way Ms Parkinson…”

“Silence!” Bellatrix shrieked, and Pansy flinched. The older witch didn’t miss it; her onyx eyes snapped instantly to her newest victim, and a smirk traced her lips. “Pansy, is it?” she asked softly.

When Pansy nodded, she slipped off the desk, long lacy skirt swaying.

Pansy,” she sing-songed. “Strange things have been going on here in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.”

“Have they?” Pansy asked, heartened to hear her voice stay steady.

“Oh yes.” Bellatrix ran her wand through her long, gloved fingers and stepped deliberately towards her. “Empty safe houses, dead Death Eaters. It’s almost as if they knew we were coming…”

She stopped right in front of Pansy and touched her wand lightly to the younger woman’s temple.

“Was it you, lovely?” she murmured, bending down so her lips brushed Pansy’s ear. “Legilimens.”

Pansy’s eyes flickered shut as the witch burrowed into her mind, snatching up thoughts, scanning them, then tossing them aside like screwed up paper. She clenched her hand around the arm of the chair, almost shaking with the effort of holding back her most incriminating memories while simultaneously convincing Bellatrix she wasn’t.

She must have been successful though, because there was no crippling pain, no flash of green light.

“Hm,” Bellatrix said, straightening to her full height. “Looks like your department’s in the clear, Yaxley.”

Pansy’s boss leant back in his chair, relief etched in his brow.

“I told you it must be the snatchers.”

“Yes,” Bellatrix said thoughtfully, her eyes raking over Pansy. There was something in the witch’s gaze—something distrustful—and Pansy held her breath. But then she was swanning away, and Pansy felt almost giddy with the relief of it.

But her relief was short-lived; Bellatrix paused in the doorway and shot Yaxley a lazy smile.

“I’d keep an eye on this one, Yaxley,” she warned playfully. “She’s a lot smarter than you think.”

And then, bait laid, she was gone. A flutter of dark lace and wild hair and the loud slam of the door.

Silence.

Pansy sat, frozen, in her chair. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Yaxley lean forward, fingers steepled in front of his face. When she dared glance his way, she realised his pale blue eyes were narrowed.

He looked… suspicious. Suspicious of Pansy in a way he’d never been before. A shiver ran up her spine as she imagined what he’d do to her—how brutally he’d hurt her—if he ever discovered she was the mole…

No. She pushed the thought firmly aside. If Bellatrix had seen the truth, she told herself, then she’d already be dead. Whatever the witch had found hadn’t incriminated Pansy in the recent leaks of information.

She cleared her throat and stood.

“Well, if you don’t need anything else…” When Yaxley shook his head, she smiled nervously. “Alright then.”

She’d almost made it safely away when she sensed movement behind her.

She turned, but it was too late. Before she could react, Yaxley had backed her into the door, his much larger body pressing her back into the wood.

She went instinctively for her wand, but he caught her wrist and pinned it down by her side.

“Wha—” she gasped, but stopped short as she saw the look of intent in his eye.

He pressed his mouth to her ear.

“What are you doing, hm?” he hissed. “What did Bellatrix see?”

“I didn’t—” She inhaled sharply. “Nothing.”

She felt his fingers press into her hip and tried not to flinch.

“No one can touch a pure-blood,” he murmured, “but a pure-blood traitor, well…” He thrust into her and she realised, with horror, that he was hard. “That’s a different story entirely.”

A wave of nausea so strong that for a moment, she couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. But then she found her steel and lifted her chin.

“Get off me,” she said sharply.

He did so, and it was to Pansy’s everlasting relief that it was with nothing more than a sneer.

There it is,” he said. “And here I was thinking what an obliging little witch you were.”

“My father—” she began, but he cut her short, slamming a palm into the door beside her head and making her recoil.

“Your father is a puppet,” he hissed, face inches from her. “You think he can protect you? You think he could stop me if the Dark Lord let me have you?”

Pansy shrank away. She’d seen Yaxley’s temper—although she’d never before been on the receiving end, and she didn’t know what to do.

Survive, a little voice in her head told her. Just survive.

She swallowed.

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” she said, voice splintering. “Bellatrix searched my mind. She found nothing.”

His lip curled but he didn’t reply. She forced herself to appear small and frightened—not particularly difficult when he had her up against the door again, when she didn’t have much chance of stopping him should he decide to hurt her—and looked up at him with wide, beseeching eyes.

“I do as I’m told,” she whispered. “Always.”

He held her gaze for a long, terrifying moment, then those harsh, blunt features twisted into a scowl and he pulled suddenly away.

“Fine,” he said shortly. “Go finish your work.”

She inclined her head, trying not to show how hard her stomach was roiling.

“Yes, sir,” she murmured as meekly as she could manage, hoping he’d just step back, just let her open the door and slip away.

He did so, fortunately, but not without one final warning.

“I’ll be watching you, Parkinson,” he snapped, turning away. “Now get out of my office.”

* * *


Pansy was still shaking when she summoned Fred and Apparated to the pub that evening. Of course he was there before her. He was always there before her.

“Really, Parkinson,” he joked as he crossed the room, “if you’re so desperate to see me, all you have to do is ask…”

He saw her white face and stopped dead.

“What happened?” he asked. Tears pooled in her eyes at the concern in his voice. “Pansy?” he asked urgently, closing the space between them to grab her arms. “What happened?”

He was nothing, nothing, like Yaxley, but his hands on her brought it all back like the burst of a dam. She lurched backwards, tearing herself from his grasp like he’d burnt her.

“Please,” she choked. “Please don’t touch me.”

Hurt passed fleetingly across his face, before he realised—Salazar, she saw the moment he realised—and then she’d never seen him look so furious.

Yaxley,” he snarled.

“It’s not what you think,” she said, crying openly now. “He didn’t… he didn’t hurt me.”

Fred’s hands stretched towards her, then stopped and clenched into fists. She didn’t know whether it was because he wanted to hold her, or because he wanted to murder the man that had made it so he couldn’t.

“What happened?” he asked, voice deadly calm.

She told him. All of it. Fred’s eyes—usually so warm, so kind—grew harder and harder as she talked, but he didn’t interrupt. He didn’t try to touch her again either. She didn’t know whether to be grateful or disappointed.

But as she choked out her tale, she realised she knew one thing. Every time she thought of Yaxley—the look on his face, the feel of his hands on her skin, the heat of his breath on her throat—it grew clearer in her mind.

“I can’t—I can’t do this anymore,” she whispered.

Fred’s face twisted.

“I can’t pull you out,” he said, raking a hand through his unruly hair. “I spoke to Kingsley. He… they—they won’t let me.”

She closed her eyes, felt the tears trickle out from beneath her lashes.

She had thought as much. And that left her with only one choice.

“Then I’m out,” she said. “I’m sorry, Fred, but I can’t risk my life like this. Not even for you.”

* * *


He’d tried to change her mind, of course, but she was adamant. Suddenly cold to her core, she wrapped her coat even more tightly around herself, tried in the briefest of moments to commit his face to memory, then vanished without another word.

Weeks passed, and winter set in with a vengeance. Pansy carried on her life as before, trudging through rain and slush to get to the Ministry, then back again every evening. She kept her head down, got on with her work, and did all she could to avoid news of the Order and Yaxley’s plans to destroy it.

Fred tried to contact her. Many times. But he didn’t know where she lived, and there was no way he’d ever risk showing his face at the Ministry, so all he could do was transfigure his coin and hope she’d come to meet him.

She didn’t though. Simply sat in her bleak, empty kitchen and spun the coin on the table until it was nothing but a silver blur.

She should throw it away. Send it to the bottom of a lake. Set it on fire. Do something, so she could escape this limbo and move on with her life. She decided a hundred times that she should.

But she never did.




Parts III-V
 
 
 
mere_whispers: pic#126592146mere_whispers on November 2nd, 2016 08:53 am (UTC)
Oh, my God, this story is really very engaging.

I love Pansy, and I ship her with almost everyone. Fred, though, is someone I've only ever seen paired with her once before. But this – oh, this one's just so worth it!

The plot is amazing – Pansy playing turncoat, and fooling Yaxley – and your portrayal is very brilliant. I love your characterization of her, too. Not many people do it well; you've done it amazingly. She's scared, she's cold, and she has a lot of regard for her life – and yet she's brave enough to be a spy, warm enough when it comes to Fred, and willing to risk her safety if that'd mean Voldemort's fall.

I'm enamoured by this piece, dear author. Now, off to finish the rest of it,
xoxo!
Machiavellian Puppet Master: hp: wee!ron/harrytjs_whatnot on November 7th, 2016 01:11 am (UTC)
She should throw it away. Send it to the bottom of a lake. Set it on fire. Do something, so she could escape this limbo and move on with her life. She decided a hundred times that she should.

But she never did.


I mean, I was going to eagerly go to the next section anyway, but OMG! This! I loved this as a section ending! Just encapsulates her struggle so very well!

articcat621: pic#120760023articcat621 on December 4th, 2016 03:49 am (UTC)
Holy shit. These first two parts have completely blown me away. I absolutely love this AU and Pansy - oh my god, you've written her perfect. Eeeek! Off to read the next parts!! Xx