Log In

Home > Fanfic > Harry Potter and the Whore of Slytherin > Chapter 1

Harry Potter and the Whore of Slytherin Chapter 1

Pansy's book-bag dropped to the floor in front of the doors to the Great Hall, the books spilling everywhere. By the time she'd gathered her books, she was the only one still in the hallway, under the pointed gaze of the Deputy Headmistress.

Just as she'd planned.

It was the work of an instant to cast a Privacy Charm around herself and the Professor; for this one spell, thanks to hundreds of hours of practice, she could dispense with her wand. She'd heard that the Headmaster could cast most spells wandlessly, something that, if true, raised her respect for him even further.

"Please find an excuse to speak to me alone, Professor," she said as the noise of the students was muted, her voice clear in the sudden silence. Then, before McGonagall could respond, she canceled the charm and stood, making her way to the Slytherin table.

She had to admit that the Deputy Headmistress reacted better than she'd expected; the woman made no sign she'd heard anything. Nor did she pay any more, or less, attention to Pansy than normal. As Pansy stood to leave, however, McGonagall appeared behind her.

"Please come with me, Miss Parkinson," she said, tightly. "I wish to discuss the manner in which you have performed your duties as a prefect this year. I expect I will have the same discussion with your fellow prefects." She raked her eyes down the table, making several of the Slytherins flinch, and even Draco was unable to meet the professor's hard gaze. "Now, Miss Parkinson."

Pansy didn't have to fake the shiver of fear that ran through her body. She knew perfectly well that the least she could expect for her participation in the Inquisitorial Squad was the loss of her prefect's badge, although she was fairly certain they wouldn't be able to expel her, since Umbridge had been the official Headmistress at the time.

"Yes, ma'am," she said obediently, grabbing her bag and following the professor out of the hall. Before McGonagall could turn towards her office, she added, in a quiet yet urgent tone, "The Headmaster needs to hear this as well."

McGonagall fixed her with a piercing stare, then nodded shortly. "I expect you have an explanation for your behaviour," she said.

"Yes, ma'am," Pansy said, surprised. Anyone overhearing them would have assumed that the comment referred to her actions as a prefect, rather than what she was doing now; she hadn't expected a Gryffindor to be quite so... adept.

McGonagall didn't say anything more, leading her through the halls with an expression on her face which would lead anyone seeing them to the obvious conclusion that Pansy was in a great deal of hot water.

Pansy rather hoped it was the wrong conclusion.

"Violet Crumble," the professor said to the statue in front of the stairs to the Headmaster's office, and it stepped aside. "After you, Miss Parkinson."

Pansy stepped onto the moving stairs gingerly, allowing herself to be carried upwards. As she approached the door to the office, the Headmaster called out for her to enter, and she did so, fighting to keep the nervousness off of her face.

"Miss Parkinson... what an unexpected surprise," he said, looking completely unsurprised. "Is there a problem, Professor?"

"I do not know," McGonagall said. "Miss Parkinson asked me to bring her here, after casting— wandlessly, if I'm not mistaken— a Privacy Charm around the two of us. As it seemed she wished to keep her request private, I brought her under the pretense of discussing her behaviour as a prefect." She fixed Pansy with a look. "Which we will be doing, Miss Parkinson."

Pansy nodded, unsure where to start now that she was here. The Headmaster, apparently sensing her unease, waved her to a chair.

"Please, have a seat, Miss Parkinson," he said. "Lemon drop?"

"No, thank you," she said. "But I would like to request that you administer Veritaserum."

McGonagall gasped, and even Dumbledore looked startled. "Veritaserum?" he asked. "Why would you wish me to do such a thing?"

"Because you will not believe what I have to tell you without it," she replied, forcing herself to keep her hands loose at her sides. "And I believe that it is imperative that you do so."

McGonagall frowned at her. "Miss Parkinson, what could you possibly have to say which would justify the use of Veritaserum?"

"I am not, and have never been, a Death Eater or a sympathizer," Pansy said calmly. "And I want to help Potter stop the Dark Lord."

McGonagall's eyes widened. "Why would you think Mister Potter would be involved in such a thing?"

Pansy rolled her eyes. "Because while I may not be a Ravenclaw, I'm not an idiot. Whether he wants to be involved or not, the Dark Lord won't give him a choice. I don't understand why, but I assume there must be a reason; the Dark Lord is a monster, but he's neither a fool nor insane."

"And why would you wish to oppose him?" the Headmaster asked.

She shivered; Dumbledore's eyes lacked their customary twinkle, instead seeming to bore into her.

"Because if Potter can defeat a dozen of his top Death Eaters with only three fifth-year students and two fourth-year students, he'll be able to stop the Dark Lord once he's better trained."

"But why take the risk of coming to us?" McGonagall asked. "Why not simply take a neutral stance?"

"Because if the Dark Lord wins— something I felt inevitable, before these events— the best I can hope for is to be a brood mare for whoever my parents choose to marry me off to," Pansy said, calmly. "If Potter wins, I have more options. But if something isn't done, and done soon, Potter won't survive the summer."

McGonagall gasped, and the Headmaster stiffened. "Perhaps Veritaserum is in order after all," he said, opening a drawer in the bookshelf beside his desk and retrieving a vial. "Do you consent to the administration of Veritaserum, Miss Parkinson?"

"I consent to the administration of Veritaserum, as I've requested," she said. To her surprise, he only administered two drops.

"I believe that will allow us to be confident of your truthfulness, while allowing you to speak freely," he said, the twinkle returning to his eye. "Perhaps you could begin by explaining why you believe Mister Potter's life is in danger."

Pansy nodded. "Have you seen Potter in the last few days? The look on his face, the utter blankness, the lack of— anything? I have. And I've seen it before, when my cousin came for a visit after being married to Vincent's older brother. And when I went upstairs to tell her that supper was ready, I found her in the bathtub, with her wrists cut and a vial of poison on the floor. With the water red with her blood." She was thankful for the detachment the Veritaserum provided, thankful that the horror of the memory was distanced. "Potter looks just like she did before she went upstairs to take her bath."

The Headmaster's face greyed, and he groped for a chair. "Minerva?" he said, weakly.

"I... cannot argue with her observations," the professor said, her voice tinged with horror. "He's been avoiding me, ever since I returned. I assumed he was distraught over the death of his godfather, but I had no idea it had reached such a point. Worse, I believe he has been avoiding his friends, as well." She frowned. "I do not normally interfere in the personal lives of my students, but it is obviously a different situation when it becomes this serious. I must admit, however, that I am at a loss. I simply do not know what to do, and tomorrow is the end of term."

McGonagall looked up at the Headmaster. "Albus, you cannot send him back to those—" She cut off, looking at Pansy. "Back to where he normally spends the summer," she finished, a hint of apology in her voice. "I've told you what I suspect, and even if I'm wrong, they are hardly supportive. He needs to be with people who will support him."

"I'm afraid he must return there, for his own safety," Dumbledore said, sadly. "Indeed, I fear that this summer he must spend more time there than ever, given the dangers we now face. I do not know what I can do."

"Send me with him," interjected Pansy. "I believe I can keep him from killing himself, if you can convince him I'm sincere."

McGonagall raised an eyebrow. "Why would you be better able to do that than his friends?" she asked.

"Because I've never seen any indication that he's interested in boys, so Weasley wouldn't be helpful," Pansy said. "And it's fairly obvious that he and Granger are not involved, no matter what the papers claimed. Besides, I don't think she's a good choice for this sort of thing; she's far too bossy."

McGonagall pursed her lips. "I'm afraid I don't follow you," she said, tightly. "Miss Granger is a very intelligent girl, and would understand that he's hurting."

Pansy nodded. "I'm sure she would," she said. "But she'd try to tell him how he should feel, or that he should talk, or.... And I'm relatively certain she wouldn't be willing to give him something to live for. I am. Do you know what I'm called, around Slytherin?"

McGonagall's lips tightened, but before she could speak, the Headmaster interrupted. "Neither Professor McGonagall nor I spend time in the Slytherin common room or the dormitories," he said. "Perhaps you could enlighten us?"

Pansy suspected he knew, but either didn't want to admit it, or wanted to be certain she was indeed referring to what he thought she was. Or perhaps he simply wanted to force her to say it.

"They call me the Whore of Slytherin," she said simply, and smirked at the looks of surprise on their faces. "Are you surprised that they call me that, or that I know, or that it doesn't bother me?" she asked idly.

"What— I— How dare they!" McGonagall said indignantly. "I assure you, Miss Parkinson, I will speak with your Head of House about such derogatory—"

"Don't," Pansy said, surprised at her boldness in interrupting the professor. "After all, it's technically accurate. I am a whore."

The older woman's reaction was all Pansy could have hoped for, but the Headmaster didn't seem shocked in the slightest. "Perhaps you could explain, Headmaster? As a former Slytherin, I'm certain you would understand."

That got a reaction, from both of them. McGonagall cut off in mid sputter, and Dumbledore's jaw dropped open.

"Slytherin?" the Deputy Headmistress asked, at the same time as the Headmaster asked, "How did you find out about that?"

Pansy smiled. "Umbridge gave me a pass to the Restricted Section of the library," she said. "I looked it up."

Dumbledore sighed. "I must ask you not to reveal this information to anyone," he said. "Given the reputation our house has earned over the last century, I fear it would do great damage to our morale."

McGonagall was staring at him in shock. "Albus— a Slytherin? Surely Miss Parkinson is mistaken!"

He shook his head sadly. "No, not at all, but your reaction is exactly why I do not wish it spread about. Think, Minerva— do I not have even more ambition than Riddle? Not for power, or eternal life, but for a world where all are safe, all are free? It is that sort of ambition which placed me in Slytherin."

"I... had never considered it like that," McGonagall admitted. "I don't know what to say. I'm... I'm sorry, Albus. I'm the Deputy Headmistress. Such prejudice has no place here, and yet I'm no better than some others."

Dumbledore smiled at her, a little sad. "No, Minerva, I fear that for a time such prejudice is needed, until Riddle is defeated, and his followers lose their influence in the house. Until then, as much as I hate to admit it, we must keep a wary eye on them."

McGonagall frowned, but didn't argue, instead turning her attention back to Pansy. "I must also admit that I'm shocked to hear of your behaviour. You clearly are a self-confident young woman, even if you do not normally show it. What possible reason could you have for allowing yourself to be taken advantage of so?"

Pansy couldn't help the giggle that escaped at the professor's question. "I'm not being taken advantage of. I'm taking advantage of them. There's not a boy in Slytherin who doesn't either owe me a favor, or want to. More to the point, every one of them knows just how useful my body can be. I had no intention of being locked away by my husband, Professor. I intended for them to see me as an asset. I would have assured that only my husband could get me with child, of course, but I intended to be free to seek my pleasure— and business, of course— where I wished." She could tell from the look on McGonagall's face that she didn't understand. "I intended to keep what freedom, what control I could. I don't think you realize some of the restrictions the Death Eaters put on their wives, Professor. My cousin killed herself where she did because it was the only place she could, thanks to a loophole in the commands she was given— the commands she was forced to swear an oath to obey."

"Albus, surely you can't condone this!" McGonagall protested.

"No," he said, sighing. "I don't. But I could not bring myself to condemn her to a life of slavery, either, so when word of her... activities... came to my attention, I did... nothing. And now, it seems, I made the right choice."

McGonagall's face paled. "Albus, surely you don't intend to condone—"

"If it will save Harry's life, if it will allow him a chance at happiness... I have condoned far worse than this, Minerva," Dumbledore said. "And it may, in the end, be his only chance at... enjoying life. There are no guarantees that he will survive Voldemort's death, you know that. But... if it will make you feel more comfortable, I will provide a chaperone." He raised a finger, stilling Pansy's protest before it left her lips. "I will also instruct the chaperone not to interfere, if Harry consents. We must allow him to live, Minerva, as much as he can. We must allow him to be a boy."

"Oh, yes, and your last attempt to allow him a normal childhood had such wonderful results, didn't it, Albus?" McGonagall spat, and Pansy was shocked at the bitterness in the woman's voice.

"I believe I can now tell you the truth, Minerva," Dumbledore said, wearily. "I did not place him with his relatives to allow him a normal childhood, despite what I told you. Indeed, I knew they would be abusive, and I knew every time they did so. But I placed him there anyway, because I knew that any place else would have been worse, in the end." His eyes flickered to Pansy, then returned to McGonagall. "I will explain further at another time, if you wish, but this is not the time to discuss such things."

For a moment, Pansy thought the professor would protest, but then she glanced at Pansy, clearly having forgotten her presence.

"I— yes, I suppose you are correct," she said, somewhat flustered. "I suppose— Albus, is this something that will be good for Harry in the long run, but hard on him now? Because I do not think he could bear more pain, not after what Miss Parkinson has told us."

"I believe this will be good for him, both now and in the long term," Dumbledore said. "There are of course no guarantees, but I believe it is the right thing to do to ease Harry's pain, and to give him a chance at happiness. And is not a chance all any of us get?"

McGonagall looked reluctant, but finally nodded. "Very well. I will not say I am comfortable with this proposal, but if it's what's needed to save Harry—" She turned to look at Pansy. "Miss Parkinson," she said, softly, "I apologize for my reaction. I do not... understand why you did what you did, but I had no right to speak to you so without knowing your reasons. And if it will let you help Harry...."

Pansy was shocked to see tears gleaming in the stiff professor's eyes, and she responded automatically. "There is nothing to apologize for, Professor. Few people would understand."

"Nonetheless," McGonagall insisted, "I was wrong, and if you can help Harry.... Please, Miss Parkinson, help him. Help him."

"I will," Pansy said, sincerely. "I promise."