Slytherin Hearts by LadySugarQuill
Notes: Orignally written in Spanish for Helena Dax at aisinfronteras. Based on Split Seven Ways' song "Slytherin Hearts", because Wizard Rock is the best thing ever.
I've never been one to believe
In wearing my heart on my sleeve
Or in devotion or in life long love
But maybe you are what I need.
Split Seven Ways - "Slytherin Hearts"
It was a perfectly normal evening at the Greengrass House.
The sky was pale blue tinted with pink, lovingly matching Phoebe Greengrass' new fanged geraniums. The branches of her favourite laurel swayed gently in the warm April breeze, and even the birds seemed trained to sing nothing but the same two notes.
Tables were spread across the green lawn, all white and green tablecloths and silver trimmings and pretty ornaments, and guests were spread as well, patriarchs of important families and Hogwarts classmates alike, draped very much like the tables only with less white and more green - and blue; funny where House pride would turn up.
No less than what was expected, Asteria thought, for the Seventeenth of the youngest daughter of a Pureblood family worth their name.
It was all the picture of normalcy, a facade carefully constructed with soft chatter and fake laughs and real laughs as well, as if many of those who would have been there in different circumstances weren't dead or in Azkaban. The notable Pureblood families in Great Britain had risen, shaken their gold-embroidered Twilfitt and Tatting's robes and moved on with their lives. Just like all the other wizards in the county, really, the only difference that they preferred to pick up the pieces instead of crying for them. Most were Slytherins, after all, and if there was something they knew how to do, it was adapting to survive.
The presence of the Malfoys, Asteria suspected, was part of that same perfect mask. Narcissa discussing their precious gardens with Mother, Lucius tasting the wine, blood-red in the pale evening light, all blending in with the rest of their own kind.
However, there were cracks in the facade. No glamour spell covered Blaise' scar; no one except Mother talked to Narcissa.
And there, standing next to the worst cherry pastries, a cup of tea in his hand and a bored look on his face, was the greatest crack of all. Draco Malfoy, not in the centre of attention, as Asteria was used to see him, nor bossing his peers around, but standing in a corner, letting his tea grow cold. She picked up a too dry scone (Mother should have let her cook, Daphne was hopeless), and studied him carefully. He was still rather thin, although not a much as on that last, terrible year. He had cut his blond hair shorter, and his dark green robes fit him wonderfully. Asteria sipped her own tea, and mused.
The Malfoys had been unusually early. As the bored, first few guests had occupied themselves in admiring her gifts (almost all delicate, feminine and boring), Draco had approached her, his hands worrying one of Mother's lacy napkins.
"I am very sorry about your cousin", he'd said. He had shot a nervous glance towards his mother, with that sixth sense all children have: she was looking at him, her expression unreadable on her marble face. Draco had turned back then towards Asteria, but wouldn't meet her eyes. "I wish I could have..." His voice was lost in the general noise.
It had taken Asteria a moment to shake off the surprise. She hadn't been in good terms with Vincent for a long time, and anyway he'd brought his fate upon himself as far as she was concerned. But this wasn't the Draco she knew – or that she though she knew.
"Thank you," she'd said, peering at him curiously. And then, "Here." Draco had stared alternatively at the tea-filled cup and her smile. "You're going to need it to face my sister's dishes".
Asteria thought she saw a small smile on his face, but then Draco had nodded stiffly and pulled a hasty retreat to the corner he hadn't abandoned since.
And for this reason the sunset found her studying the young man like a Transfiguration test. After all, she may not really know Draco Malfoy.
All Greengrasses prided themselves on being rational Slytherins. Asteria's parents had given her a clock for her birthday; it wasn't the traditional gift for a witch coming of age, but it was useful, and they'd always done things their way, at least in the safety of their home.
It didn't matter how much they tried to ignore it, she thought, things had changed after the trials – after the war. Many of them for the worst, and yet...
Asteria poured some strawberry tea on her mother's second best china (the best only for the family, Phoebe used to say). The fragrant haze mingled with the sweet, flowery scents of the garden. Draco was trying to swallow one of the horrible scones without losing all dignity, white long fingers on white porcelain.
He certainly is no hero, Asteria smirked. She sipped her tea, watching him surreptitiously pick a cherry out of his pudding.
But he's cute, she muttered over the hem of her cup, and smiled.
. edited 31/3/2015 .