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Nobody's Inn

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4 August 2007

The roadside inn might appear abandoned if not for the plethora of vehicles filling its car park.

Eldham's coastal town was twenty-minutes south alongside a two-lane byway, an area frequented by the wealthy elite, politicians, and holidaymakers alike. Those twenty minutes made a world of difference, however, because little more than open fields, whizzing cars, and a familiar ocean scent surrounded the hobbled hotel.

Hermione shook off her lingering vertigo after getting pulled through the Portkey, landing in a field across from Nobody's Inn.

The 'n' and 'o' flickered as she ran across the byway, sporadically going out and reading a rather ominous 'body's Inn,' and the smell of cigarette smoke met her before she even walked inside.

The motel seemed as good a veil as any.

She blew past the front desk, bypassing a middle-aged woman who manned the small station, ignoring Hermione and her beeline toward the lift. Once inside, she pulled out her wand, waving it anticlockwise before pressing the emergency telephone button. A voice sounded through the speaker.

"Password?"

"Cornish pixies," said Hermione.

"Press three, please."

Despite the motel only having two floors, Hermione followed the instruction, causing the lift to begin moving. A chipper ding sounded right before the doors swung open.

Dingy and dark was soon forgotten, replaced by bright opulence.

Skysted Hall was Wizarding England's most luxurious hotel. The structure starkly contrasted the Muggle Inn serving as its cover. With countless spells maintaining secrecy, it sat Magicked atop sprawling acres – housing stunning sea views, a spa, multiple bathhouses, three restaurants, shops, and two massive pools.

This weekend, it hosted the union between Ron Weasley and Daphne Greengrass.

The pair was hardly what anyone expected. Especially Hermione, despite long ago coming to terms with the idea that she and Ron were destined for friendship and nothing more. That ship sailed, and after quite a few wreckages, Ron had found someone better at lighting that fire behind his eyes.

They made sense, and Hermione ignored the pang of discontent, half wondering if anyone would ever light that same fire for her.

Perhaps not because the stronger half of her wanted none of this.

Granted, this hadn't been Ron's doing.

"I woulda married her at the bloody Ministry. Who cares if the hotel has a bath spa and portkey-serviced concierge?"

But Daphne Greengrass was nothing if not posh.

She and Daphne got on well enough, both making equal efforts towards friendship to appease Ron, accepting they would be in one another's lives forever. The glaring issue was not Daphne, so much as it was her best friend: the hellfire witch with a 'b' who could make a Pygmy Puff bite.

Pansy Parkinson could find an argument in anything – the sky's colour, which way was left, how many people and who could sit at the bridal table. Wedding planning had been an outright disaster.

No, the flowers should be white roses, not pink.

Goodness, think of the centrepieces. The blues will clash.

Oh, heavens no. The bachelorette party will be in the south of France, not at some meagre Diagon Alley pub.

She had survived this far – the engagement party at the Greengrass estate, the hen night (riddled with ex-Slytherins and too much Firewhisky), and most importantly: Ron's request that she helped Molly and Daphne with the logistics of planning Wizarding Britain's wedding of the century. The term had been coined thanks to Pansy and her job at the Prophet.

Now, she only had to survive two more events: the rehearsal tonight and the wedding tomorrow. Then it was over. Done. She'd never have to work alongside Pansy Parkinson and her enormous ego for the rest of her life.

Hermione made her way through the hotel's lobby. Housing floor-to-ceiling marble and people buzzing about, Hermione spotted Astoria Greengrass – Malfoy, now, and massively pregnant to show for it – inside the atrium. She returned her friendly greeting.

"Rather nice hotel, isn't it?" asked Astoria.

That was the understatement of their lives.

"It's ... large," Hermione said the second-biggest understatement.

"Daphne always did like a scene. Me? I would have got married at the Ministry if Draco's parents hadn't thrown a fit."

"You sound like Ron. What are you doing down here?"

Astoria was the matron of honour, but a certain maid of honour made it abundantly clear that her role (as Daphne's best friend) trumped even blood. Astoria didn't seem to mind, taking a 'back-broom role' as Pansy declared, agreeing with whatever was decided for décor. And food. And the ridiculous colours displayed around the dancefloor.

"Oh, um. Just admiring the flowers," said Astoria. "Rather clever enchantment, isn't it?"

She gestured vaguely, and Hermione couldn't tell if it was regarding the lobby's large koi pond, multiple statues, flowered archways, or the floating plants beside the front desk.

"It's certainly very eye-catching."

"Well. Must be off. This one will want to nap before the rehearsal dinner." Astoria gestured to her rounded stomach. "See you tonight."

After saying their goodbyes, Hermione stood in line, trying to remind herself of why she even agreed to this.

Oh, right. It was because of how utterly happy Ron had been when Hermione agreed to join the bridal party.

Ron easily filled his side of the wedding; Harry, George, Bill, Charlie, and Percy were assigned the role of groomsmen. So, when Daphne asked Hermione to be a bridesmaid – along with Pansy, Tracey, Millicent, and Astoria – she had agreed in a heartbeat. That was before she knew what it entailed.

A voice pierced through the air like nails on a chalkboard.

"What do you mean cancelled? This is outrageous!"

Hermione peered over, recognizing the dark-haired witch standing at the front desk. She left her spot in the queue, cutting ahead.

"What's going on?" asked Hermione, standing beside Pansy. A man yelled, displeased by her line-cutting.

"Hey!"

"Piss off," spat Pansy, turning to glare at the man glaring at Hermione. "They lost my reservation and have the audacity to say there's nothing available."

"You're making a scene," said Hermione, nervously glancing back at the angry group behind them. "I booked a suite with a pull-out sofa bed. You can stay with me if nothing turns up."

"I'm not sleeping on a couch like some destitute Muggle."

Hermione ignored Pansy, giving the front desk witch her name.

"Hm," the young witch mused. "I can't seem to find you on our reservation list either, Miss Granger."

Pansy seethed.

"Is this hotel run by trolls? Re-book us then! This is your fault –"

"Unfortunately, it looks like we're sold out, tonight through Sunday."

"We've had these reservations for months!"

"You could try the adjacent Muggle Inn –"

"Are you mad?" Pansy crinkled her nose as if the lobby smelled of rotten fish. "I demand to speak with your supervisor."

"I am the supervisor."

"Then let me explain, one last time … We're part of the wedding party." Spoken as if it equated to being royalty. "And I don't think the bride and groom will be pleased to hear how their best friends were forced to sleep in some flea-infested motel – while they're paying a small fortune and garnishing your hotel fabulous publicity."

"One does not simply make a guest room appear out of thin air."

"Then cancel someone else. I'm sure Daphne's great aunt Moe will do splendidly."

"Pansy, don't be rude."

But it was like asking a Flobberworm to perform arithmancy. The argument between the employee and Pansy didn't abate.

"I did not Portkey all this way to sleep atop bed bugs –"

"The Muggle Inn is cleaned thoroughly, I assure you –"

"I will not step foot within that monstrosity."

Hermione was the one who finally gave in, fuming as she stormed away from the front desk. Seconds later, she heard Pansy's heels clack behind her.

"Wait. Hey! Where are you going?"

"Back to Nobody's Inn – to check if they have rooms. Not all of us sustained heavy metal poisoning from licking silver spoons."

Pansy gave an indignant huff.

"I. Did. Not –"

"We have to try something," said Hermione flatly, and Pansy must have agreed because she followed without another word.

They soon left luxury, stepping off the lift onto the dark, dingy carpet. Flickering light threatened to give Hermione a migraine as they walked up to the much smaller desk.

"Just one room?"

"Two," said Pansy and Hermione simultaneously.

The Muggle woman's acrylic nails clattered against the keyboard as she typed, making quite the harmony when mixed with Pansy's impatient finger tapping.

"We have one room left," said the front desk employee. "Two double beds."

"We'll take it," said Hermione, handing over her credit card and ignoring Pansy's look of disapproval.

"You better not snore," she said, snatching the room key from Hermione.

When they reached the placard matching the scribbled number on their key's holder, Hermione said, "Two-thirteen. This is it," opening the door and flipping the light on.

As much as she wanted to berate Pansy for her dramatic reaction – retching sounds and 'Salazar's cock, is this what hell looks like?' – it was not entirely unwarranted. The green carpet, the yellowed curtains, the dingy smell ...

Not to mention the one bed, not two, covered by the ugliest red and brown duvet Hermione had ever seen.

"There's only one bed."

"I see that," snapped Hermione.

"This is ghastly! My bed is five times larger than this at home. Hell, the cot Astoria got for Scorpius's nursery is larger than this."

"That woman must have given us the wrong key."

It was the only explanation Hermione could tell herself, picking up the receiver sitting on the nightstand and dialling the front desk's number. "Hi, yes. I think you gave us the wrong room … why? There's only one bed ... Right. I see ... No, that's fine ...Yes. Bye."

Hermione looked sullen while putting the phone down. "This was the last room in the entire motel."

"Brilliant. Fucking brilliant."

Pansy began a tirade, using cleaning charms on every visible surface, trying her best to better the heinous room. She opened the windows, cast a spell to sanitise the duvet, dusted the lampshades, and removed the lingering scent of cigarettes. It worked well enough – within minutes the smell was forgotten, and the carpet looked a more vibrant shade of green.

Hermione considered her other options.

There was Harry and Ginny, of course. She could sleep snuggled between them ... And James. And Albus. Merlin, why did they have to co-sleep with their children?

Perhaps Ron?

Right – sleeping in the same room as your ex-boyfriend on the eve of his wedding wasn't odd at all.

Daphne?

Staying in the same room as her parents.

Millie and Tracey?

Already sharing a room.

Astoria?

Surely, she and Draco booked some lavish suite with a pull-out sofa or a second bedroom. But it seemed equally awful as this, and a particular moment from the hen night Hermione needed to Obliviate from her memory came to mind. "I've been so randy this whole pregnancy – we have sex practically every night."

Nope.

Everyone was either matched up or married. Few options remained.

"Are you okay, Granger? You look a bit peaky."

Hermione took a deep breath. "Just fine."

Because it was fine; Hermione willed herself to grow up. It was one night, two at max.

"You can call me Hermione, you know. We aren't in school anymore."

"Granger suits you better." And then Pansy smiled sweetly. "I'm showering. Today has been endless, and it's not even five."

Pansy took an eternity, but as steam wafted from beneath the bathroom door, Hermione couldn't help thinking how the smells of lavender and lilac were a welcomed addition.

Pansy walked out in a towel, hair still wet and beads of water clinging to her skin. Hermione ignored the way her eyes were drawn to Pansy's legs, watching as she bent down to rummage through her trunk.

"My dress for tonight better not smell like this place … I don't think even the best cast Scourgify could rid the heinous scent of Muggle."

"And what's wrong with Muggles?" asked Hermione through gritted teeth.

"They're just rather ... different don't you think?"

I hate you; I hate you; I hate you.

Hermione hoped the telepathic communication and her brows furrowing in disgust conveyed the message. But Pansy seemed to enjoy the nerve she had hit.

"Don't get me wrong – different is fun sometimes," said Pansy, brazen and shameless as she dropped her towel and kicked it beneath a chair.

Hermione's mouth went dry at the innuendo and image. Her eyes danced along pale skin as dark hair dripped onto Pansy's back, up until she cast a drying charm. Frozen like Petrification, she couldn't look away. From Pansy's arse, or her breasts with pert, pink nipples standing at attention, or her –

Oh hell.

Her eyes dropped to the apex of Pansy's thighs for the briefest moment, forcing them away.

"I'm showering too."

The bed creaked when Hermione stood and ran into the adjacent en suite. She returned exactly fifteen minutes later: showered, changed, and with her hair tamed into an up-do. Pansy lounged atop their bed, glancing over while reading a magazine. "You're wearing that?"

Hermione looked down self-consciously. "It's just a rehearsal."

"And dinner inside one of Europe's nicest hotels," said Pansy. "You're an embarrassment to the wedding party."

Hermione went to reply, but her protest was interrupted.

"Here – I have an extra dress." Pansy levitated a dress from her belongings, making it land on Hermione's head. "Try it on."

The tone made her angry, and she nearly used her wand to set the expensive fabric ablaze, just to prove a point. Instead, she tried proving a different one, wanting to make Pansy as uncomfortable as she had been earlier.

She stepped out of her sundress, stripping to her bra and knickers; not missing the way Pansy didn't bother looking away. Pansy's eyes bore holes into Hermione's skin as she quickly shimmied into the skin-tight, floor-length gown and matching black dress robes, pausing to stare at herself in the mirror.

"I'm not wearing this."

"Of course you are; you look phenomenal."

Hermione ignored how the compliment made her chest tighten.

"I look ..." Like you. "Like a harlot."

"You looked like a Muggle school girl," said Pansy, making a face at the discarded yellow dress. "Now you look like a powerful witch."

"I am a powerful witch."

The way the words formed around Pansy's lips sent a chill down Hermione's spine.

"Then dress the part, darling."

Hermione tugged at the dress's hem, putting on a pair of heels with all the impatience and anger she could muster into a single task.

"Fine." Because as much as she wanted an argument, there wasn't a good one. "Let's get this over with."


"—and their families combined could populate a small country. I mean truly. I can't remember that one bloke's name for the life of me. Caleb?"

"Charlie," said Hermione, rolling her eyes and kicking off her shoes once they arrived back inside the motel room.

"Everyone thought our miserable situation was a hilarious punchline," said Pansy, following suit. "I noticed how you excluded one detail, though."

"I don't see how that's a detail; I've shared a bed with Ginny plenty of times."

"We're not friends," argued Pansy.

Too true, but Hermione had already declined Harry's offer.

"Stay with us. You and Pansy hate each other –"

"We're adults, we can set aside our differences. And really, the Motel is nicer than it seems."

A lie.

Liar, liar, she was a bleeding liar.

Hermione was mature enough to admit that she held a certain ... morbid curiosity toward Pansy Parkinson. It was sheer inquisitiveness. It meant absolutely nothing that her gaze lingered as Pansy stripped naked in one corner of the room.

"Can't you go into the bathroom or something?" asked Hermione once Pansy peeled her dress off. "I thought your lot was supposed to be modest."

Between Pansy's voyeurism, Millicent's soon-to-be one-night stand (courtesy of their waiter from tonight), and Astoria's sex joke during dinner that made Mr Greengrass nearly choke on a piece of asparagus, Hermione was beginning to believe the conservatism Purebloods boasted was a farce.

"Hey, Millie is a half-blood, and Astoria is well – Astoria. Besides," Pansy duplicated Hermione's tone. "We've all changed a bit. Don't you think?"

Yet another understatement from this weekend.

Hermione went bright red when Pansy caught her looking. "Like what you see or something?"

No. Yes.

Shit.

Hermione made a face of disgust.

"Ever the narcissist, aren't you? I'm going to change ... in private."

Bravery flickered this time as Hermione ran into the bathroom, hoping Pansy wouldn't notice the flush travelling all the way down her chest. She changed into her pyjamas, walking out to find Pansy had done the same. Yet another differing detail between them. While Hermione's sleeping attire was sensible, Pansy's looked downright sinful as she lounged in bed, boasting a cream-coloured, silk nightdress which left little to the imagination.

The room was clearly cold, judging from how Pansy's nipples pebbled through the thin material. Hermione looked down, staring at the carpet fibres as if they held hidden answers to tonight's woes.

"Aw. Look at your schoolgirl pyjamas. Are those the same ones you wore at Hogwarts?"

"Of course not."

Though admittedly, the baggy t-shirt and plaid shorts were doing her figure no favours.

"Not all of us need to look like we stepped off a fashion catalogue while asleep."

"You're lucky I'm even wearing this; I normally sleep nude."

Hermione's mouth went dry, but she managed a disapproving sound, sitting beside Pansy and pulling out a remote from the nightstand.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going to watch some telly before bed."

Try and rid my mind of this dreadful night.

Pansy yawned as if the statement bored her. "How very Muggle of you."

Hermione didn't reply, flipping on the television in front of their bed.

It was the noise that registered first.

"Oh, fuck yes – "

That sigh of ecstasy; the wanton moan that fit perfectly as the scene zoomed in on a naked woman atop a bed, her legs open.

"OH. MY. GOD!"

Hermione shrieked; her jaw unhinged. She smashed the remote's off button until the screen went black.

Pansy looked the farthest thing from bored now, her interest piqued by the pornographic feature that fit their setting like a missing puzzle piece.

"What was that?"

"It ... er. Whoever had this room before us must have left that channel on."

"Muggles watch each other have sex?"

"No! I mean, yes, sometimes. Some do." Hermione tried to steady her racing heartbeat. "It's like those 'Wands Up!' magazines."

"What would you know about those?" asked Pansy.

"I ... well, um – I confiscated plenty as a prefect."

Pansy snorted, saying something that sounded a lot like, "Prig."

"Just because you and Draco never took the position seriously."

"We were too busy re-enacting the magazine's positions to confiscate any."

Hermione re-enacted someone vomiting. "How vile –"

"Not with each other," Pansy clarified. "We had differing interests. Or the same, you could say."

Hermione deduced what should have been obvious. "You ... you like girls?"

Pansy found amusement in the blundering question.

"Draco and I have the same type apparently: Muggle-loving brunettes."

Hermione's expression wouldn't win her any poker championships, and Pansy was quick to clarify again.

"Don't get all excited; I'm talking about Leanne Gershwin." Then she smirked. "What? The image of me kissing a girl makes your head spin?"

"Just having a hard time imagining you with a Hufflepuff," said Hermione, not missing a beat.

"Stranger things have happened."

Like this. And like the waggle of Pansy's eyebrow.

The air inside their bedroom shifted from heavy to stifling. A twinge settled low in Hermione's abdomen, and she had to execute restraint, shoving away a multitude of mental images that appeared without permission.

"Play it, Granger. Call it educational; for both of us."

Pansy sneered at the television like it was a dare, and Hermione didn't back down from the challenge.

She switched on the TV set, the screen illuminating bare flesh and uncensored images of two women kissing, up until the brunette reached down, playing with the blonde and massaging between her legs.

"Holy … shit."

Pansy verbalised Hermione's thoughts, racing as neither of them looked away. Her own body was on fire, watching the scene – with very little narrative and an overabundance of close-ups – with Pansy present and intensifying the experience. Hermione briefly wondered if someone could unravel just from visual stimulation alone and ... morbid curiosity, regarding the person they sat beside.

Oh, gods. She had to put a stop to this, lest she ruined one of the few pairs of knickers brought along for the trip.

They watched for longer than anyone could deem accidental or appropriate, and Hermione was the one who finally gained her wits back, changing the channel but to no success. Hermione smacked the remote a few times, trying again. It wasn't until one of the girls reached a very loud climax that she pressed the off button frantically, tossing aside the remote like it was possessed.

She was finding it rather hard to breathe, and neither of them said a word. Hermione attempted to minimise what just happened – as if it were an everyday occurrence and not the definition of cataclysm.

"That's enough telly before bedtime. The blue light isn't good for your circadian rhythm."

"Muggles – they watch that … together?" asked Pansy.

"Yes. All the time," Hermione lied. "But ... er – it's getting late. We should get some rest."

She pulled out one of the many books from her trunk, announcing her exhaustion and plans to read a bit.

"Do you bring a travelling library everywhere you go?"

Hermione's brain was the equivalent of mushy peas, so she just scowled silently.

"Fine, grandma." Pansy flipped onto her side, dark hair spilling across her pillow. "Wake me in the morning."

The book was impossible to read; a quandary that rarely afflicted Hermione. The same sentence couldn't stick, even after re-reading it for the third time, due to certain images preoccupying space inside her mind. She couldn't stop replaying those scenes – that actress, somehow transforming into a Pansy lookalike, with dark hair and intense eyes, bringing the other to blissful completion.

Oh hell.

This wasn't her. The Hermione of yesteryears would chide, blush crimson, and clutch metaphorical pearls at her current behaviour.

Pansy Parkinson? I would never –

No, she wouldn't. She won't.

But her body was screaming.

She looked over her shoulder and let herself drift away into a fantasy where this wasn't her childhood bully that she lay next to. A world where she didn't imagine waking Pansy up with the most telling kiss and –

No.

The other witch faced the opposite direction, but that didn't stop Hermione from noting everything. She watched the rise and fall of her chest. The way her hair looked: silky and shiny and –Hermione let her head tilt, taking a silent inhale – smelling of white roses.

It wasn't some secret or unknown tidbit: objectively, Pansy was beautiful. With sleek hair and dark eyes, she somehow turned Hermione into some perverse, peeping Tom.

Making certain the soft snores meant Pansy was truly asleep, she allowed herself a shameless gaze. A flutter settled low in her belly, travelling south into a tell-tale twinge.

She had always appreciated the female form, but no situation gave her an opportunity for anything besides fantasy. Pansy, however, was unbashful. She could see right through Hermione, knew exactly how to provoke her. Each sideswiped glance during dinner was proof enough.

She knew.

The very idea made breathing difficult again; Hermione's frontal cortex battled her body to stand down so that fire could extinguish.

Pansy was rude, indignant. Everything Hermione hated, because after all, beauty didn't outweigh cruelty. She reminded herself of each reason, the laundry list of awful things Pansy had done – past, present, and probably future.

But the universe always liked a challenge.

Maybe Hermione did too.

That ache, once a small kindle, now grew – burning her fingertips and begging them to reach out and touch the sleeping figure. This time, her body fought and nearly won, contending common sense: kiss her, touch her, shag –

No.

Logic bit back as Hermione flipped over, her mind shifting from sapphic lust to putrid, mid-century wallpaper.

She flipped off the bedside lamp; darkness enveloped their bed.

Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep.

She could feel her arousal, could feel how much her body wanted the one thing she forbids.

Hermione tried playing a reel of every horrible thing Pansy had done to her throughout the years. The memories could fill a full-length film, and it wouldn't win any cinematic awards.

But then her mind shifted to another film – pornographic in nature and featuring two women unashamedly playing with one another. To Pansy's naked form: full breasts, and round hips, and smooth skin begging for Hermione's touch.

She listened as Pansy let out another soft snore. Her lips were full, beautiful, illuminated by only the fluorescent yellow of streetlights leaking inside through their thin curtains.

Maybe Hermione could slide a hand into her knickers ... Could go into the bathroom, straddle the loo, rub herself to an easy climax. 

No.

That was unthinkable. Wrong, on so many levels.

Hermione adjusted in bed, trying to get comfortable with every blanket and pillow configuration known to mankind. She tried one leg under the covers; tried both legs out. Blanket, then no blanket. She tried to support her knees with a second pillow, shoving it between her legs before –

Fuck.

Arousal strangled her, the pillow brushing right where she was trying to ignore. Her body reacted with instinct, some feral reflex causing the slightest rock of her hips, pleasant sensations making her stifle a sigh.

She'd done it before – getting off with a pillow or blanket shoved between her legs. At school, in her room at home. But never with another person nearby, nonetheless, sleeping beside her.

This is so wrong.

It fluttered into her mind, darkening like ash. Morality didn't hold a seat at this table, and she couldn't stop, even if she wanted to.

This was nothing; Pansy was dead asleep. No one would ever know ...

Hermione arched into the pillow, angling her hips and clenching her thighs until its position was perfect. Her body wanted more, singing praise each time she dragged herself along the material. She wanted her clothing off, certain she could topple that peak within seconds – imagining how good it would feel with her bare clit grazing firm fabric.

She continued tiny movements, purpose and pleasure driving each rock of her hips. She could feel the tension building. Could feel her body begging –

A hand clamped over Hermione's mouth, stifling her petrified gasp.

"Imagine what everyone would say," Pansy's breath tickled her ear from behind. "If they knew Britain's Brightest Witch was a pillow humper?"

Her mind short-circuited, mortification rising into her cheeks as she let out a muffled sob.

"Don't worry, love," Pansy was quick to insist, "I can keep secrets, too."

A shiver travelled the length of her spine, unable to formulate a reply even as Pansy's hand fell from her mouth.

"Now," she purred, stroking Hermione's stomach before moving lower. "Are we going to do some song and dance of denial – "

Pansy reached around and threw the pillow on the ground, shamelessly slipping a hand inside Hermione's pyjama bottoms, her fingers meeting the gathered wetness.

"— or are you going to let me have you tonight?"

Her mind went numb as a finger traced her slit. Her moan of approval gave no hint of protest, along with the breathless "Fuck," forced out as Pansy brushed her clit.

"So wet and ready – aren't you?"

Pansy's touch was heaven, but she gave nothing in earnest. She traced her fingers lazily, playing with her; massaging and pinching and rubbing tender flesh only to withdraw her touch as Hermione groaned in frustration.

"Such an eager little virgin ... but no, you don't get that yet."

"I'm not a –"

"Shh. Shut your brain off for one night."

Pansy grabbed her wand, turning on their bedside lamp and climbing atop Hermione. "We won't be needing these," she said, vanishing their clothing before leaning down.

Their breasts brushed one another's, their stomachs flattening against each other. The kiss Pansy planted was soft at first, a guiding and rising innuendo as their mouths moved in unison. Hermione's jaw fell open; Pansy pushed her tongue passed parted lips.

Kissing sans clothing gave Hermione the boldness she needed, letting her fingers roam.

Pansy's skin was perfect against her touch: smooth as she cupped both breasts, and soft as her finger bushed hardened nipples. Pansy groaned in approval, duplicating the motions and letting her mouth join the fun, swiping her tongue against Hermione's nipple.

Sparks became fireworks; the ache between Hermione's legs grew unbearable.

As if reading her mind, Pansy switched their position.

"You know … I never thought I'd be envious of a pillow," she leered, forcing Hermione's body into place. She lifted one of Hermione's legs in the air, straddling the other, their limbs interlocking.

"Shall I finish what you started, Granger?"

Either panting, "Please," or the death grip on Pansy's opposing thigh, made her answer clear, and Pansy took the hint, lowering herself until they met.

The contact was ecstasy, Pansy's sex grazing Hermione's. It was only a tease, then again, as Pansy repeated the motion – rocking her body with gentle playfulness.

Hermione contended softness, trying to gain enough momentum as pleasure coiled, increasing with every movement.

"Not yet." Pansy tsked, stilling Hermione's hips. "So eager – " Then another tease with renewed friction, " – you like touching cunts with another woman?"

"I ... oh."

Pansy rocked her pelvis, another gentle graze meant to derail sanity.

"That wasn't an answer, Granger."

"Yes."

She strung out the word with mindless repetition as Pansy continued, rubbing Hermione's clit against her own as soft pressure became torture.

"You want more, don't you?"

Hermione nodded frantically, the contact too much and not enough. Contrasting Hermione's breathless whimpers and desperate hip-bucking, Pansy was the picturesque portrait of composed. Hermione watched her breasts bounce in tandem with her hips, dancing back and forth; watched her face – shameless as she stared down to where they joined.

"Such a pretty pussy – you like getting it played with?"

Hermione groaned, one hand clutching the sheet, the other on Pansy's thigh as her body yearned for release.

"You think about me when you touch yourself?" Pansy asked. "Get off on how much you hate me – then stare at my tits and fantasize about doing this."

She nearly came undone at the increased pressure; at how Pansy trembled in earnest, moaning as dark hair curtained her face. Hermione met her halfway as their bodies moved together. She was close, so close. So fucking good as she let the thought slip, seconds away from that glorious peak before –

"No, no, no."

Hermione groaned, her body jerking from the stolen pleasure as Pansy froze, taunting mercilessly. "Are you going to come already, Granger? From only a little dry humping?"

There was nothing dry between them – slick and swollen, arousal coating down to their thighs as Hermione whined, trying to renew that glorious momentum.

"Pansy – "

"You know nothing of delaying gratification. Only ever had boys who wanted to get you off – never just wanted to get you, then play all night."

"Please."

"Say it."

Hermione shuddered, resorting to pleading. "I need to come – "

"That's not a need. That's a want."

"I want to – Pansy, please."

It was equal parts perfect and torment when Pansy conceded. She didn't give in, didn't allow the orgasm quite yet, but as friction renewed and increased, Hermione could sense Pansy's movements growing clumsy, more and more desperate as she clutched tighter to Hermione's thigh. 

"Fuck, Granger. I could watch you like this all night."

She'd rather agree. Watching how Pansy grew greedy for pleasure – watching as she moaned, nails digging into Hermione's leg as her own tensed– was enough to send her toppling over that peak.

A climax tore through Hermione, glorious spasms making her movements erratic, profanities forming and falling. The ripples were blinding, riding each wave; certain she had milked every drop of pleasure the orgasm provided before opening her eyes.

Pansy smirked from above.

"Enjoyed that did you?"

"Come here."

Hermione wasted no time, dragging Pansy down to the mattress before joining them with another kiss.

Hermione let her hands roam, tracing everywhere. She tried making a mental map, committing to memory each soft crevice and dip and curve of Pansy Parkinson's body.

Hermione's fingers danced along Pansy's thighs before moving higher, teasing her pussy before sliding a finger inside her. She relished the silken arousal coating her fingers, watching how Pansy squirmed and groaned into her mouth when Hermione's thumb came down, brushing her clit.

"How do you like to come?" asked Hermione, adding a second finger.

"Your tongue, ah fuck – please."

Watching Pansy turn to putty in her hands increased the need to watch her fully come undone. She wanted to watch her toes curl and eyes roll back the same way Hermione's had.

She bent between Pansy's legs; face-to-face with parted, pink lips – swollen and slick with want. She took a page from Pansy's book – giving her slit a languished lick with no commitment, starting at her centre and ending right before her clit. She let her fingers play, gently teasing the other witch without touching where she wanted. She pinched her, rubbed her hood, touched everywhere except where her swollen bud ached for attention.

"Granger, if you don't lick my fucking —oh, fuck. Yes."

Hermione's mouth came down to join her fingers, gently sucking Pansy's clit as two fingers twisted inside her. She alternated between sucking and flicking the sensitive nub, gauging when Pansy's moans turned from docile to desperate.

Pansy made a sound certain to wake the entire Muggle motel when Hermione sucked and tongued that bundle of nerves, slender fingers raking her hair. She rocked her hips, grinding out pleasure against Hermione's mouth. Her legs tensed, desperation evident in every word, profanities mingled with breathless pleas.

If the motel had security, they would have been called. In hindsight, a silencing charm would have been prudent ...

But she didn't care. Hermione wanted to bottle and drink each sensation of making Pansy Parkinson unravel; each sound, and taste, and the velvety feel against Hermione's tongue. Each jerky movement, as spasms made Pansy shudder for a long moment then slack.

She tasted like bliss.

Hermione would never not want this.

In true Pansy fashion, when the tremble of orgasm was through, she ripped Hermione away, forcing her onto the other side of the bed.

"I'm going to sleep," said Pansy.

"Oh ... well, good. It's one in the morning and we have to be up a six for breakfast and mimosas, before hair and makeup."

"Whose awful idea was that?" asked Pansy.

Hermione rolled over.

"Yours."

Neither of them knew how they ended up in an entangled mess of limbs come morning.


She had never avoided anyone so much in her life. Granted, avoided was a strong term, given how impossible it was.

When Hermione awoke from her fitful night's sleep, Pansy was already gone. She walked through the motel, crossing the threshold of perfectly cast concealment charms, to see the luxury hotel was already abuzz with excitement.

Breakfast was a disaster of averted gazes and stolen glances. Hermione had to keep herself from drinking a third mimosa, listening to the tangible panic inside Daphne's voice.

"Where is Astoria –"

"Had a bit of a lie-in; Tracey is going to get her."

"I need her."

"Relax," said Pansy as if the word had ever worked on anyone in the history of forever.

It was one crisis after another.

The cake was chocolate instead of red velvet. The flowers in her bouquet were pink roses, not white. The caterer had a nasty bout of Dragon Pox, so the braised chicken and fresh-caught lobster had to be scrapped and started from scratch.

"Bloody fucking hell; my dress ripped," said Millicent.

"Do not charm it yourself," said Pansy, flourishing her wand. "That's expensive satin."

And then, right as they were getting dressed, a pained moan interrupted. 

"Ouch," said Astoria, holding her protruding belly covered by the blue bridesmaid dress. "I'm fine ... just more braxton hicks."

"I swear if you have this baby on my wedding day, I will never forgive you."

"Don't worry." Astoria waved her hand as if swatting away an invisible gnat. "Mum was in labour for over two days with each of us. We have plenty of time."

Despite her panic rivalling Rita Skeeter after losing her Quick Quotes Quill post-Battle of Hogwarts, Daphne was the picture-perfect bride. Once they were all dressed, their hair charmed into elaborate updos and the blushing bride photographed for Witch Weekly's yearly wedding edition, Daphne turned to Hermione.

"Why didn't you love him enough?" she demanded, wearing a toxic hybrid of alarm and confusion as she interrogated Hermione. "To marry him?"

Cold feet fast approached frostbite.

"We, er … just weren't right for one another –"

"Why?"

Probably had something to do with what happened last night.

"Um –"

"You must have known something – when you two broke up." Daphne looked like she might self-implode, questions falling like the ringlet curls framing her face. "What if he doesn't really love me? What if he wakes up one day and realizes I'm messy and annoying and high-maintenance –"

"Merlin and Morgana, he already knows those things," said Astoria, rolling her eyes. "Besides, you could fill a novel with 'what ifs' – it would be nothing more than a tragic work of fiction."

"GIRLS!"

The wedding planner appeared, standing at the bridal room's entryway.

"What is taking so long?" asked the middle-aged witch holding a clipboard. "Hurry, hurry! The music already started. Tracey first, yes – good. We practised this yesterday ... Oh, bollocks, are you drunk? Stand straighter!"

"Do you think Chris is single?" asked Tracey, eyeing the groomsmen and giving a flirtatious wave from across the corridor.

"Charlie," Hermione corrected.

Music greeted them as they walked toward the hotel's lavish rose garden. The sun on her skin felt heavenly, and she let herself stare at the blue sky too long, nearly blinding herself while walking arm-in-arm with Geroge down the aisle.

Somehow, the universe had a sense of humour; Hermione and Pansy stood beside one another as the ceremony began. The altar was tall and framed in flowers, the warm day mellowed by their backdrop's breeze – nothing but open sea and inviting sun surrounding them. An old witch stood between Ron and Daphne, reciting a spell said in traditional wizarding weddings.

"Through all of life's spells – be it curses or charms, I do so take thee wed."

And after Ron and Daphne recited each word, they kissed, and everyone clapped as a binding spell was cast around their intertwined arms.

"Think you'll ever take the plunge?" Pansy whispered into Hermione's ear over the hum of cheers.

"Perhaps," she said, moving with the ensemble as they filter back down the aisle. "Stranger things have happened."


"You're a dreadful meddler," Draco told his wife, watching Hermione and Pansy slow dance, handling the steps surprisingly well given the gaping onlookers.

"All in the name of love, dear," said Astoria, basking in the satisfaction of matchmaking.

"You seriously confounded some Muggle motel employee?"

"Yes."

"Cancelled both of their existing reservations?"

"Yes."

"Magicked their room – by doing what, exactly?"

"Er – oh, nothing. Just silly Muggle things; technology and whatnot."

Draco raised an eyebrow.

"Speaking of Muggle things," Astoria quickly changed the subject. "Now that you and Ron Weasley are basically brothers –"

"Please stop saying that."

"– perhaps we can venture into Muggle London with them, once Scorpius is born, to go see – oh, wow. Ow."

"Another one?"

"We should probably head to St Mungo's after they cut the cake ... They're pretty regular, every three minutes."

"Orbetter idea – we could leave now so that you don't walk into the maternity ward crowning."

"That cake is Swiss-made and cost more than Daphne's wedding dress."

Draco rolled his eyes. "Whatever you say."

"Plus – I have to congratulate Hermione and Pansy." Astoria giggled. "And tell them they can have our suite tonight."