Who: Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson
Where: Diagon Alley: the Leaky Cauldron
What: Draco and Pansy meet up for drinks and a chat
Notes: Started in AIM; continued in LJ
The party was still in full swing as Pansy made her way up the spiral staircase, keeping her steps slow to give credence to the excuse that she'd been tired out from an entire afternoon of preparations for the evening. Truth be told, she really was exhausted; she'd thrown herself into the decorating and the menu arranging so that she could legitimately claim to have overdone things now. And while standing around making small talk with people who - if the Ministry had managed to find some whit of proof of their activities - ought to be in Azkaban wasn't physically taxing, it was emotionally tiring.
But she still had plans for the evening, and she'd been looking forward to seeing Draco all week. There was no way she was going to miss their appointment now. Once in her room, she muttered a quick incantation to give her covers the shape and movement of a slumbering woman, and quickly changed into more casual robes. She was late, but she had no doubt that Draco would wait for her.
The Leaky Cauldron was no longer bustling with much activity by the time Draco arrived, dressed in loose black silk robes over a woolen turtleneck and immaculate trousers. This was rather good, Draco reflected, for less people meant smaller chances of being spotted. He definitely did not want a repeat of their last meeting, when a troublesome acquaintance of the Parkinsons had passed by, causing Pansy to abruptly cut short their rendezvous. Thankful for the reduced crowd, Draco stumbled into a secluded booth, where he sat waiting for Pansy for the forty-five minutes. He nodded knowingly at Tom the bartender, giving his customary signal for a glass of Butterbeer. Once served, Draco retired to his pensive mode, letting his mind wander back to the events of the previous week. Every now and then he would snap out of his reverie and check his pocket watch, counting the minutes. He knew Pansy wouldn't keep him waiting too long if she could help it; while he did say he'd wait for her any day, he was certain Pansy knew better than to abuse this privilege bestowed on her. However, when the time neared midnight, Draco briefly entertained the thought that perhaps Pansy hadn't succeeded in getting away after all, but shoved the worrisome thought aside when he saw a smartly dressed witch striding confidently towards him.
He was trying to be discreet in his dark clothing and his subdued manner, but his silvery hair always gave him away to anyone who wanted to look for him. Since that was the reason why Pansy was here in the first place, she immediately spotted him in the booth and headed over.
"Butterbeer," she told the solicitous Tom, who approached even before she got to Draco's booth. The order acted as a dismissal as well, so that she could reach Draco on her own.
"Cher," she greeted, extending her hand. "I do apologise for keeping you waiting."
"Pas Problème, ma Fleur," Draco replied charmingly, taking her hand and bringing it most gentlemanly to his lips. While it might seem odd that two seemingly close friends would indulge in such old-fashioned formalities, it was always Draco's secret thing to over exaggerate traditional aristocratic customs when in company of close acquaintances, and he had long since made Pansy a willing participant in his charades.
After the niceties, he gestured for Pansy to sit down across from him. "I had half a mind you'd show up late - though not this late, mind you - so I took the liberty of making reservations for us at The Golden Oracle - that's the new restaurant I told you about in my owl - for midnight. Of course, if you're pressed for time, I wouldn't mind us having our talk here. There is surprisingly very little people, and we could pretty much carry on undisturbed."
Pansy smiled at the old-fashioned gesture. It would have surprised many outside of Draco's immediate circle of acquaintances that he was given to such chivalrous displays, but few really knew the man behind the name.
She slid gracefully into the indicated seat, her small smile still playing on her lips. "If you have made reservations, Cher, it would be a shame to waste them. Besides," she added with a disparaging look at the room in general, "this is not the ideal location to discuss business, quiet or not."
"True," Draco acknowledged, sipping the last drops of his drink.
He waited until Pansy had quietly finished hers before sliding out of the booth and standing up. "We're running a bit late on our reservation but I doubt any Maitre d' with a brain would revoke the reservations of a Malfoy under any conditions," Draco informed Pansy with a haughty grin. His conceited attitude was a familiarity in their friendship and he was not ashamed that it hadn't been humbled. It was, after all, like second nature to him to be arrogant when the situation suited him. "Anyhow, if you please, I'll Apparate the both of us there from outside the bar."
"Please do," Pansy told him as she rose from her seat. "I've done enough of it tonight to last me for the next few months." Because the Parkinson Estate was so far from London, she'd had to make the journey in several hops. It was a highly dangerous and magically draining way to travel, and she didn't look forward to going back the same way.
Standing back, she let Draco take care of the drinks and then followed him out of the pub. In public, she always let him take the lead, but no one who knew her would dismiss her as a mindless minion of the Malfoys.