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The Blind Date

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“Andy, how could you?!”

“What? Cissy, you act like I’ve committed some kind of crime.”

“You signed me up for,” she stopped pacing and looked at the letter in her hand. She didn’t recognize the letter head. “What even is this?”

Andromeda tried to hide her smile at Narcissa’s confusion. She had told her sister that she’d won a free magical makeover as part of a contest she’d entered, and while it wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t the whole truth either. But Narcissa deserved it. Needed it even.

“It’s just a quick makeover…andthenyougoonadatingshow.” Andromeda mumbled quick and low, grimacing as she waited for her younger sister to start screeching at her.

“A WHAT?!”

“Just calm down, Cissy.”

“Calm down? Calm down?” Narcissa stomped her foot petulantly, the letter in her hands shook, and her voice raised an octave at being told to calm down. “Have you lost your bloody mind? I’m not doing this. I’m not.”

“It’s really not that big of a deal. Look,” Andromeda moved to stand in front of her younger sister who was fuming. “All you have to do is show up, get a free makeover, which you need because I’ve never seen you look so frumpy and sad in your entire life, and then you go on a date.”

“It’s on bloody television, Andy! How is this not a big deal? I’m not…I can’t…”

“You can. Sweetie, it’s been years since Lucius has been gone. Draco has moved on, has a family of his own now and you… You just sit in this house day after day waiting for merlin knows what. And is that a gardening book you’re reading?” Andromeda grabbed the book off the table, turned to the bookmarked page, and rolled her eyes. “You’re reading about soil readiness, Cissy. You need to get out, have fun, get laid…”

“Oh yes,” Narcissa gave her a derisive glare. “Your answer to everything. Sex.”

“Well, sometimes sex is the answer, Cissy.” She said waggling her eyebrows. “Merlin’s sake woman! Just take a chance!” Andromeda yelled.

Narcissa eyes gave her away and Andromeda could tell she’d won her over. Now all she had to do was get her there.

~

Ginny sat across from Hermione who was focused on the crossword puzzle in front of her. “So, I was thinking, maybe, if you’re feeling up to it, we could go on a double date.”

Hermione groaned. “Ginny, please. I’m perfectly comfortable here with my crossword and hot chocolate and fuzzy socks. I did the dating thing. It didn’t work.”

“You can’t just give up on finding someone, you’re only 27! Come on! The Hermione I know doesn’t just quit; she keeps trying.”

“Honestly, Gin, dating is just so terrible. I’ve had enough of first dates that don’t turn into second dates because men feel threatened by me.”

Ginny took a deep breath before asking her next question. “What if it wasn’t a man?”

“If who wasn’t a man?”

“Your date,” she said matter-of-factly. “What if you didn’t date a man?”

Hermione brows burrowed in confusion for a second before a hot blush raced up her chest and cheeks. “You mean date a woman?”

Ginny just nodded, her eyes not leaving Hermione as she processed her suggestion. Hermione’s scarlet cheeks and body language gave away her shy enthusiasm at the idea.

“Look, I know you maybe aren’t ready to admit that you like women yet. But your breakup with Ron was terrible and I’ve watched you halfheartedly attempt to date a string of men without so much as a hint of interest in them.” She sat down beside her best friend on the couch and placed her hand on Hermione’s knee. “But look at you now. All flushed with excitement at just the mention of dating a woman. Also, I’ve seen the way your eyes lingered on Fleur and Narcissa during family dinners. Even on Luna while we were still at Hogwarts, for that matter. You clearly have a thing for blondes.”

Hermione flashed back to one such dinner at the burrow. She had just finished helping Molly clean up and had retired to the den for a bit of light reading. Really, it was just an excuse to get away from the enigma that was Narcissa Black. She’d been sat across from her during the meal and had stumbled her way through conversation. She couldn’t focus with Narcissa’s eyes on her. Or well, she could, just not on the current state of muggle affairs or whatever they were discussing. No, she was too busy imagining the woman’s gaze caressing her naked body (and the confusion about why she wanted that to begin with) to participate in polite conversation.

So, yeah, she had been distracted.

That got a rise out of Hermione. “Fleur doesn’t count! She’s Veela, everyone finds them attractive!” The fact that her best friend didn’t deny her attraction to women didn’t get past Ginny and she breathed a small sigh of relief that maybe there was some light at the end of this very long, very gay, tunnel for her dearest friend.

“Actually, their um… ‘powers of persuasion’ only work on those who are sexually attracted to them. Man or woman.”

Hermione thought back to one such dinner at the burrow. She had just finished helping Molly clean up and had retired to the den for a bit of light reading. Really, it was just an excuse to get away from the enigma that was Narcissa Black. She’d been sat across from her during the meal and had stumbled her way through conversation. She couldn’t focus with Narcissa’s eyes on her. Or well, she could, just not on the current state of muggle affairs or whatever they were discussing.

No, she was too busy imagining Narcissa’s gaze roving over her naked body.

“So, you mean everyone could tell…,” Hermione’s eyes went wide. “When we were all at the burrow… Everyone could tell?”

Ginny saw the panic rise in Hermione’s eyes and tried help ease her mind. “Yeah, it was pretty obvious. But we all love you the same ‘Mione. Even Charley. Maybe especially him because he knows how powerful the draw of a veela can be.”

Oh my god.” Hermione buried her face in the crossword that was in her lap. “How can I ever go back there again? Oh my god. Everyone knows? I’m mortified! Why didn’t you say something sooner, Ginny?”

“You weren’t ready then. I’m not totally sure you’re ready now but you were oblivious to your own preferences and making yourself so unhappy trying to date men. I was trying to give you space to figure it out. Instead, you decided to just stop trying all together.”

Hermione let out a groan. “What do I do now? I don’t know how to be… how to… how exactly does one be a lesbian? I need to go to the library.”

“And do what? Find a book on how to eat pussy?”

Hermione pinned Ginny with an offended look. “You did not just say that. I can’t believe you just said that.” A beat later, “do you think they’d have something like that?”

“Merlin’s beard, ‘Mione. No. No books.  Some things you just have to learn by doing,” she waggled her eyebrows suggestively with an evil little smirk on her face.

“Why am I even friends with you?”

“Because you love me and I’m the one who is going to help you get your first gay date.”

“And how exactly are you going to accomplish that?”

“Welllllll, I sort of, might have, already talked to Luna about signing you up for that show she’s producing on QBTV.”

“Absolutely not! You’re bloody insane if you think I’m going on television to get a date.”

“Please, Luna needed a third contestant for the pilot episode and all you have to do is sit there and answer questions. If the woman chooses you then you go on one date with her. The worst that can happen is the date is terrible and you get free makeover and dinner.”

Hermione rolled her eyes but underneath the annoyance, Ginny detected a hint of gripping curiosity. “Fine. For Luna.”

Ginny’s squeals of excitement could have pealed the paint off the walls.

~

The stage lights came up as the shows theme song and a familiar voice started the opening montage. “Next on QBTV, will it be love at first sight or will it be the date from hell? Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s Blind Date and here is your host, Rita Skeeter!”

“Welcome, welcome my lovelies to Blind Date!” She smiled at the crowd, clearly in her element. “Will it be love at first sight tonight? Let’s find out!”

The audience cheered and if Hermione wasn’t so busy second guessing her decision to help her friend out she would have been surprised at how full the studio was for a pilot episode.

“Now then, let’s meet our contestants who are all hoping for a date. Contestant number one is Gilderoy from Aberdeen, contestant number two is Hermione from Hampstead and contestant number three is Hagrid from the Forrest of Dean. Come on in you lot!”

The audience went crazy as the three of them walked out onto the stage and took their seats. Rita walked up to Gilderoy who was sat in the first chair to the right of Hermione. He was wearing a button up shirt with a maroon sweater tied about his shoulders. A prepatory schoolboy look if Hermione had ever seen one and she rolled her eyes finding it hard to believe that she had once found this man attractive.

“Oh hellllllo, Gilderoy,” Rita greeted playfully. He smiled like the playboy he fancied himself to be and returned her hello. “Didn’t you have time to put your sweater all the way on?” Rita teased him and the whole studio laughed as he gave a sheepish look. “Now Gilderoy, tell us a bit about yourself, won’t you?”

Hermione looked around while Rita conducted her introductions. As this show was called ‘Blind Date’ she was aware that the person asking them questions and trying to pick a date was in a noise cancelling booth during the introductions and was unable to hear anything about them. Hermione was lost in thought about the person who would volunteer to find a date like this and missed most of what Rita and her ex-professor were talking about. As it was, she and Rita had a long, sorted, history and if she had known it was her hosting, she most definitely would have said no, helping her friend be damned. But she was here now so she took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves.

“And I understand you enjoy the outdoors?”

“Oh yes, yes. I’m a gifted yachtsman and I like to have a girl in every port.” The audience whistled at that, but Hermione just cringed. He tried to correct himself when he remembered where he was. “But I’m looking for that one special mate.”

“Oh, well, I can’t make any promises about tonight, but I can promise you that we’re all excited to hear your answers. Enjoy Blind Date, Gilderoy.” She shook his hand as the audience clapped and moved on to Hermione’s chair next. “Well, well, Hermione. If our audience here and at home were not aware, we have a bit of a celebrity in our midst this evening!”

The crowd went wild, causing her to blush. “Not really. I’m just a normal person like everyone else.”

“And she’s modest, too.” Rita winked at the audience getting a resounding ‘awww’. “Now Hermione, you are from Hampstead but you are currently working at the ministry of magic are you not?”

Hermione gritted her teeth; she really disliked that woman. “Yes, as you well know, after the war and the trials I took a position there.”

“Oooo, and what position is it that you assumed? Oh dear, excuse me,” Rita feigned checking her own temperature on her forehead before she corrected herself, “I mean took there?” She turned with a sly smile and wink at the crowd of people causing Hermione to turn beet red.

She cleared her throat, “I work in the Magical Artifacts department.”

“Tell us a bit more about yourself. I’m sure everyone is dying to know what makes the golden girl tick.”

“Uh, right, well… I play piano forte and I enjoy classics.”

“Let’s be thankful you didn’t look at me when you mentioned classics.” Rita made a lighthearted jab at her own age.

Hermione hummed. “Well, I did say ‘classic’,” Hermione replied with a bit of snark in her voice, reserved just for this woman, and the audience erupted with laughter.

“Oh, you are a naughty one aren’t you! I’ll get you for that Hermione. I jest, I jest.” Rita replied trying to recover from the very public burn. “And what is it that you hope to gain from tonight?”

What she wanted to say was “I’m hoping that I’ll meet someone that I could carry on an intelligent conversation with. Maybe someone who sees me for me and not the notoriety that comes with my name.” But what came out of her mouth was an unconfident and mumbled, “uhm, I guess I’m hoping for a date?”

Rita gave her a small smile. “Well, I can’t guarantee you’ll get that tonight, but I do wish you luck!” The audience cheered for Hermione and Rita moved on to the chair at her left where her good friend Hagrid sat. At least she wasn’t all alone on the stage. Hagrid looked more harried than usual and she was sure that he too, only agreed to this to help Luna.

“My dear, Hagrid. Nice to have you!” Rita exclaimed.

Hagrid grunted and stared at the camera as it magically rose up to be at his eye level.

“You’re from the Forrest of Dean. Tell us, what’s it like there?”

As Hagrid launched into his very long explanation about how the forest looked like well…a forest, but they had great Ale and beautiful women, Hermione’s thoughts turned again to the mystery woman in the booth. After a few Ooo’s and Aaah’s from the audience, Hagrid interview was over, and it was time for them to introduce the mystery woman.

Hermione took a deep breath and waited.

~

“Now let’s meet the woman one of those three will be dating. Since it’s blind date and real names are revealed at the end, I’d like to introduce you all to our mystery woman of the evening. She’s recently single and looking for love. Come in, Narcy!”

Narcissa could kill her sister for talking her into this ridiculous idea. The reaction of the audience when she started to decend the stairs was somewhat unexpected. There were a few gasps, and a few boo’s (which hurt though she would never admit it), but overall it was a positive reaction. She exchanged air kisses with Rita before taking her seat and pulling out the question cards in the side pocket of the chair.

“Narcy, so glad you could join us this evening. I’ve just interviewed your potential suitors and I’ve just got to say to you Narcy,” Rita looked to the crowd and shook her head before turning back to Narcissa. “The best of luck to you.”

This earned a chuckle from the audience as well as Narcissa as she could only imagine the rabble they had managed to drum up for this farce. Good luck, indeed.

“So, tell us a bit about yourself, Narcy. I know our suitors are wondering about you.”

“Well,” she stared suddenly unsure about how to describe herself. “As you said, I’m recently single and while I wouldn’t say I was, ready to mingle, I am not averse to some stimulating conversation over a glass of cabernet.”

The audience just stared and Narcissa fought the urge to get up and walk right off stage. Instead she added, “I also like gardening.”

Rita latched onto that last tidbit of information like a dog on a bone. “Ahh, so one could say you don’t mind getting your hands a little…dirty?” Laughs and jeer’s came from the audience at the innuendo.

 Narcissa might be known as a frigid bitch to the masses, but she was well aware of her sexual appeal. People may hate her, but she was fuckable. She knew it; had even used it to her advantage during the war. But that was years ago, and she was ready to cultivate a new image. Despite her upset at being forced into doing this show, she really was ready for some companionship and, dare she admit, fun. Step one was embracing the idiot holding the microphone.

Narcissa cut her eyes at Rita and she could tell the audience had prepared itself for a caustic remark. Instead she surprised everyone with a playful smirk. “Yes, I suppose one could say that.”

“My, my.” Rita fanned herself, feigning being hot. “Well, I certainly hope that one of our suitors is ready to munch, MULTCH, I meant mulch. Gracious, looks like it’s time for a commercial break. We’ll be right back with Blind Date, stay tuned!”

“Cut,” was yelled by a random cast member and Narcissa sagged in relief in her seat. Andy was so going to pay for this.

~

“Question number one.” Narcissa read it to herself first and had to stifle a groan at the pure ridiculousness of the question. “If you were a candy which would you be, and why?”

“Let’s start with contestant number one.” Rita directed.

Gilderoy looked up, a blank stare on his face. “What are we doing here again?” The audience laughed as Rita looked back at them, eyes wide and a comical frown on her lips. Narcissa’s brow furrowed in confusion at his confusion.

“Right,” Rita said. “Moving on. Contestant two. Which candy would you be, and why?”

“Oh, um, well… I’d have to say Skittles.”

Up to this point Narcissa hadn’t heard any of the contestants speak but she had just assumed that the contestant panel was all male. She was pleasantly surprised upon hearing the very feminine voice now answering the candy question. She had never hidden that fact that she found women attractive and if she were being truthful, she desired women more than men, but her arranged marriage to Lucius left little in the way of sexual wiggle room. She had tried to get her husband to engage in a threesome, if for nothing else than to sate her own curiosity, but Lucius refused. They couldn’t risk the ire of the Dark Lord and their cronies which all found homosexuals to be in the same vein as mudbloods. Undesirable.

But hearing the woman speak now, it didn’t really matter what her answer was – Narcissa was intrigued.

“Ho, ho,” Rita chortled. “And why is that? Anything to do with tasting the rainbow?”

Narcissa chuckled at the blatant attempt at innuendo.

On the other side of the wall, Hermione looked as confused as a chameleon in a bag of skittles for a moment before the overtly sexual response from Rita registered. “Uh, no. I was just going to say that I like the variety of colors and flavors all in one place. They’re like a library that way, all sorts of information in one place. Libraries are my favorite.” Hermione stopped a beat, then blurted out, “I like cherries.”

Rita’s smile fell at the awkward and stilted answer Hermione had given and she just stared at her.

But Narcissa found it endearing. So, she likes to readand cherries, she chuckled to herself.

“Ooookay, thank you for that…enlightening answer. Suitor number three?”

Hagrid looked directly into the camera after repeatedly being told to ignore it. “I’ont really eat candy, but back in the forest I would sometimes come across some sour weed growing and would pluck ‘n chew it for hours. Love the stuff. S’ppose it could be a bit like me, too. Wild ‘n such.”

Hermione and Gilderoy laughed beside him (though Gilderoy’s laugh was empty like he didn’t get the joke), Rita just looked pained and Narcissa had her head in her hands, holding back a whine of frustration at the entire exercise.

Narcissa sat up as Rita walked back to her side of the stage. “When we come back, question number two! Blind Date will be right back after these words from our sponsors.”

“CUT!”

~

“And we’re back! Thanks for staying tuned. Let’s jump right into the next question. Narcy, what have you got for them?”

“Describe your perfect date.” She commanded without preamble.

“Suitor number one. What say you?”

“The perfect date… I’d say sometime in April, maybe the 25th? It’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket. Did I mention I sail? At least I think I do. I have trouble remembering things. What were we talking about again?” He flashed a winning smile like he had just given the best answer and dared his competitors to top that answer if they could.

Rita turned to Narcissa, “you know, I suddenly find myself happy to be hosting this show and not participating in it. Merlin’s beard, Narcy.” All Narcissa could do was nod in agreeance and wait patiently for it to be over.

“Suitor number three? Could you describe your perfect date for us?”

“The perfect date, aye? I’d take the lass on a wild ride on me motorbike. She’d hafta sit in the side car mind ya, then a trip to the Three Broomsticks for a pint or two before we go to the Forbidden Forest and visit the acromantualas. They love to drink.”

Rita moved a shaky hand through her hair, both believing and disbelieving what Hagrid’s perfect date would be. Meanwhile, Narcissa sat unmoving in her chair; frozen by pure fear at the thought of visiting the Forbidden Forest much less the nest of acromantula that he had mentioned. She hated spiders. A fact that no one, save her son Draco, was aware of.

“That sounds…fun. Don’t you think Narcy?”

Narcissa bit her lip, lest she say something terrible, but her expression said everything she couldn’t. No. No that did not sound fun. It sounded the opposite of fun. It sounded downright terrifying. So, instead of answering she redirected the question. “Suitor number two. Go ahead and describe your perfect date for me.”

Hermione perked up in her chair and leaned back thoughtfully before answering.

“Well, I don’t have much experience with successful dates, most of the men I’ve dated previously were boring wankers and I’ve never dated a woman before, so I don’t know how it would work, and my friends won’t let me research it…” A few snickers from the audience broke her concentration and she realized she was rambling. “Off topic, right. Back to it then. Uh, I like to learn. Though a trip the library seems dull, and I’ve recently been told that some things are better learned by doing, so maybe I’d sign us up for a class. Cooking or, OH, dancing! Then afterwards, if she were willing, maybe a nice dinner and walk about out in the muggle world where we could talk and get to know one another better. I know not many witches or wizards venture out there in my world, preferring to stay to areas they know, and that’s understandable. But Narcy would be safe with me. Scouts honor. Plus, Cheesecake Factory has a pretty great menu.”

Now that sounds fun, Narcissa thought to herself with a smile, and nodded along with the woman’s answer. She had never ventured out to muggle London. Lucius was adamant it was inferior, and she hadn’t wanted to rock the boat. Their status with the Dark Lord took precedent always and she couldn’t afford to be curious. Perception was everything, after all. So, like a dutiful wife, she stayed home bound. Only coming out into society if her husband found it lucrative to do so, often asking her to use her assets to woo potential business partners or even distract the Dark Lord himself. Were it not for her having to consider the safety of her son, and her pure blood marriage bonding that prevented divorce, she would have left him long ago. She never wanted that life.

But she did want that date.

~

“Time for the last question! Narcy what would you like to aske the suitors before you make a choice?”

She had already made her choice but was stuck on this stage through one more round of question and answer. With a huff she asked, “what is your favorite spell and why?”

“Oh, a good question indeed. Suitor number one?”

Gilderoy clearly didn’t understand the question so she repeated it. “Suitor one. What is your favorite spell and why, please?”

“Spell?”

“Yes, spell.”

“Spell. Like, magic spell with wands? How curious! Can you do magic?” He asked, brows furrowed “Can I do magic?”

“Oh dear, I guess we’d all forgotten that your obliviate spell backfired years ago. How unfortunate for you. No dear, you can’t do magic. Just forget I asked.” Rita walked over and patted his back. “How about a nice cuppa? Luna, be dear and get him something to drink.” Rita turned to the audience who had been snickering and tittering softly. “Well, that’s one suitor down. But no worries, Narcy. You’ve still got two options available to you.”

Narcissa was so ready for this to be over, but she wanted to save the woman for last, and end on what she knew would be a good note. She directed her question to suitor three.

“I don’ actually, well…that is to say… I’m particularly fond of transfiguration.”

Rita tried to smooth over his bumbling. “There now, that wasn’t so hard was it?”

Hagrid answered with crossed arms and a mumble. Something about rigged questions and creatures being easier to deal with.

“Suitor two,” Narcissa’s voice floated over the wall. “The last question to you.”

Hermione smiled shyly and cleared her throat. “Expecto Patronum. I wouldn’t call it a favorite necessarily, but it has served me better than any I’ve used and saved my life on multiple occasions. Though it’s not everyday that one is attacked by dementors, I find it useful for sending messages in a pinch. As for why? Aside from what I’ve already stated… I’ve read, though I’ve never witnessed it for myself, that in the magical world there is this myth that your true love shares your Patronus. I suppose I always sort of been drawn to that. A mystical, magical link between two people, true love and all that. It’s just fanciful children’s stories, of course, but how wonderful would that be to find a truly magical mate. So, that’s why. Because Expecto Patronum has something a little bit extra, doesn’t it? It carries the promise of a deeper connection and I suppose the romantic in me hopes that one day I’ll find it.”

No one in the studio was speaking, they hardly were breathing. Rita was positively stunned at the sincerity of her answer and Narcissa was beside herself with need to meet the amazing woman on the other side of the wall.

A slow clap began from the audience, spurring Rita back into action. “Right, well. That was a positively lovely answer. I’d like to thank you all, even suitor number one, for coming on our show today. It was truly a pleasure, but now it’s time for our dear Narcy to choose!”

“Nar—” she was interrupted.

“I choose suitor number two.”

The audience cheered loudly, both at her choice and her eagerness. But she couldn’t care less about them. She was ready to get off this stage and meet the woman who had captured her attention so fully.

“Well then. Let’s see who you didn’t choose. Suitor number three, come meet Narcy.”

Hagrid lumbered across the stage and when he set eyes on Narcissa was shocked, then sad he’d missed a chance to take her out. She had been instrumental to them in ending the war and in the past 10 years had become a reliable outlier at family functions at the burrow, tagging behind Andromeda who always forced her along. She and Hagrid had shared many cups of tea listening to Molly dictate the running of the house during holiday dinners.

“My dear friend! I thought that might be you! You poor dear, they talked you into this too, eh?

The half giant grumbled, “Sorry sods, the lot of them.” Narcissa just chuckled in agreement.

“Save me a seat at Christmas dinner, yeah?”
“Of course, anything for you Narcis—” She was interrupted by Rita clearing her throat, reminding them they were still filming, and no proper names were to be used.  “I mean Narcy,” he finished with his eyes looking skyward.

“Now then, the moment we’ve been waiting for!” Rita turned to the audience and did her best to rile them up. Raucous cheers and clapping filled the small studio and Rita called over the microphone, “Suitor number two come meet Narcy!”

~

Hermione was struggling to move from her chair.

Early on, after hearing the woman’s stage name ‘Narcy’, she had foolishly allowed herself to hope that it was Narcissa on the opposite side of the wall. Even talked herself into imagining that their voices matched. For the past 10 years Narcissa had been at nearly every holiday meal at the burrow, and though she was dating Ron, she’d be lying if she said her eyes hadn’t wandered over the woman’s very curvaceous figure; Hadn’t trailed the seams of her clothing and wished she could run her fingers along the places the fabric clung to. She thought she was being subtle.

Apparently not.

And now here she was. About to go on her first gay date and no idea what to do. What if she didn’t like the way she looked? Hermione had struggled with her hair as long as she could remember and on particularly humid days it got quite frizzy. What if she didn’t like that? What if she thought she talked too much? What if she didn’t like the fame and notoriety that came with the Golden Girl? What is that’s all she liked?

Obviously, there was something in her answers that the woman liked but it’s not like she had a ton of choices to begin with. Maybe she felt like Hermione was just the lesser of three evils. With all these thoughts weighing on her mind, she took a shuddering breath and steeled herself to meet her date.

~

Narcissa could hear the staccato clicking of heels on the stage floor as her date started walking to her and for a flash of a second, she wished that the woman was a certain shy brunette. When she felt Hermiones eyes on her the first few times it unnerved her. She was old enough to be the young witch’s mother, for goodness sakes! But as the years passed and Hermione matured and grew into herself, Narcissa found that she relished the lingering glances. She thought of bringing it up to her once, even went so far as to approach her, but Hermione just blushed at being caught, apologized profusely, and excused herself outside to play quidditch in the yard. For someone with a larger than life image, she certainly didn’t carry herself that way.

No, the ‘Golden Girl’ wasn’t who Hermione really was. After getting to know her the past few years and being privy to more than one domestic dispute between her and the dullard Ron during family gatherings, she had a chance to see Hermione. Really see her. And she liked what she saw.

Narcissa decided right there that after her obligatory date was over with the mystery woman, she was going to ask Hermione out. She enjoyed her company, her gentle temperament and thirst for knowledge. Maybe it wasn’t fair to this woman to already be dumping her, but since being freed from her years spent in magically induced marital servitude, she wasn’t one to wait around for what she wanted. Not anymore. And what she wanted was Hermione.

~

When Hermione rounded the corner of the wall she was stunned into silence. “You.” She whispered softly, not daring to believe this was real.

“And you…” Nariccsa said, appearing equally as stunned.

Overcome with emotion Hermione’s eyes began to mist and Narcissa approached her as one would approach a skittish kitten. A few slow, purposeful steps in Hermione’s direction put them face to face. Narcissa lightly reached up to cup her face, her thumb brushing lightly over her cheek, almost lovingly.

“Don’t cry ‘Mione”

A single tear fell from her eye as she admitted to Narcissa and the audience who had been long forgotten “I wanted it to be you.” She whispered, “I wanted it to be you so badly.

The next thing Hermione knew she was being swept up into a kiss. Everything else faded around her and all she could feel was this woman and the undercurrent of her magic that swirled around them. Hermione registered the presence of her Otter but there was something else, another Otter. There were two now.

Oh. OH!

A mate. Her mate! Her true love. Their magics swirled around them, encasing them in a bubble of energy. The audience was enraptured at what was happening and the entire building had stopped moving except the camera crew who were still filming.

When the swirling stopped the women separated and stood staring, neither seeing anyone except the other.

And inside the studio a slow clap started and the audience went absolutely crazy with glee, jarring Rita out of her daze and she remembered she was being recorded. “Well, folks. There you have it! True love’s kiss and only on Blind Date! Tune in next week!