I'm sure most of you probably know that I'm not deeply excited by fluffy stories. I'm more of a fan of darker and bittersweet stories, and I adore atmosphere and imagery.
Lavender Brown/Pansy Parkinson
Michael Corner/Lisa Turpin
Katie Bell/Zacharias Smith
Charlie Weasley/Nymphadora Tonks
Stir My Heart
MELT MY HEART
IN A FOG
BE MY HERO
I LOVE YOU
Title: In A Fog
Rating/Warnings: 6-7th Years/ Sexual Situations, Slash, Strong Profanity, Substance Abuse
Word Count: Around 800...
Author's Notes: Betaed by the lovely Natalie/hestiajones
All Pansy ever wanted was safety. Was that so much to ask? Apparently yes, because the world refused to recognise her beauty, intelligence, humour, and instead judge her for having the bravery to say what everyone in that hall had been thinking. And eventually Potter had given himself up. How many lives could have been saved if they’d handed him over when she suggested it?
Was wanting to be safe so wrong? She’d felt it so rarely, that it might be, for all she knew.
The only time she felt truly safe, from the cruelty and judgement, was when drunk. It created a fog around her, inuring her to the outside world. She had taken to sitting in the corners of the bar, observing the petty dealings of others’, guessing who was about to fight or kiss or scream with whom. Most people ignored her. Occasionally someone would recognise her, shout at her, but Goyle was the bouncer, and he saw to it that trouble was dealt with quickly. He’d found his calling in life, as had she.
At least she wasn’t the sort to slap on make-up and a skimpy dress, get p----- and kiss any man who would have her. There was one like that, with an inch-thick layer of make-up and a top so low cut it might as well not be there, sitting unsteadily on her bar stool, and surveying the room. The woman shook her wild hair, and Pansy suddenly realised it was Lavender Brown, although she bore little resemblance to the defiant, angry DA member Pansy had tortured several times.
Pansy remembered that Lavender had always bit her lip, letting droplets of blood emerge, rather than a scream. Now, however, given the violence of Lavender’s shade of lipstick, she doubted she would even notice blood. Pansy realised she was staring, because why else would Lavender walk--no, strut across the room, and seat herself on the same sofa as Pansy?
“Hello, gorgeous,” Lavender said. “It’s very late for someone as pretty as you to be alone.”
Pansy was speechless. She was also flattered, confused by the other woman’s attention, and deeply disturbed by how upset she was at the realisation Lavender didn’t recognise her. Because that meant that when Lavender did realise who she was flirting with, she would go, which Pansy didn’t want. Because if Lavender, someone she had hurt, could accept her, speak to her, slide her hand across Pansy’s thigh, then why shouldn’t others, eventually forgive and accept her?
She felt her breath quicken, but this was too public, and so she pushed Lavender away. Lavender laughed, a strong, throaty laugh.
“Fine, darling,” Lavender said, smiling at her. “That’s fine. But I saw you looking at my tits.”
“They’re hard to miss,” Pansy replied, unable to stop herself. Lavender laughed again, voice full of warmth. She did have beautiful lips, full and sensual, unlike Pansy’s thin ones, and strong shoulders with such smooth white skin. Pansy realised she was staring, and looked at Lavender’s face, to see a cheeky grin spread across it.
“You’re cute.” Lavender reached out, and tweaked Pansy’s nose. Pansy turned away, but she just moved closer, until Pansy was pressed against the wall, just as she had once ordered Lavender to stand, taking a brutal satisfaction when the girl finally screamed.
Maybe Lavender had erased it from her memory, or maybe the dual fogs of lust and alcohol were preventing her from remembering.
Lust. Lavender wanted her. Mean-spirited, cowardly, pug-faced Pansy was being desired by Lavender Brown, war hero.
“So cute,” Lavender murmured, lips looming larger as they came closer. Pansy nearly choked on the stench of alcohol. Then Lavender was kissing her, brutally, that Pansy struggled for air. Lavender must have realised because she pulled back, but only slightly. Pansy realised that Lavender’s hand was knotted in her hair, the heat between their bodies too much to bear, and yet too much to let go, and all Pansy wanted was to be held by Lavender’s arms, kissed by Lavender’s lips. She leant forwards, and they shared one gentle, blissful kiss.
Lavender moved away. Without her body near, Pansy suddenly felt very cold, as if the fog of alcohol had been Vanished by the fog of lust that had enveloped them both, and now only enveloped her.
“Oh, Pansy,” Lavender said, grabbing her drink from the table and knocking it back. “I am very drunk, but really, compared to you, I’m sober. How drunk must you be to think that I would ever want to be with you?”
With that Lavender stood up, bumped into someone, and promptly kissed him, clinging tightly to his body, as tightly as Pansy wished Lavender would cling to her, and leaving Pansy far too sober, with an empty glass.
You definitely caught the edge of cruelty, which I think always lurks with this pairing, so well here, mystery author. You've done a really good job to making Pansy very pitiable. It's dark and sad and slightly brutal, which make for a very emotive dynamic between them.
I've always found something really interesting and compelling about this pairing but they are so very rare, so thank you so very much for writing them for me.
Title: Blue Dragons and Second Chances
Rating/Warnings: 3rd-5th Years—Mild Profanity, Allusions to Sexual Situations
Word Count: 800…ish
Author's Notes: Thanks to my lovely think tank, namely J, for the term ‘draconis azul’, which is essentially a wizarding version of a blueberry daiquiri. And this made me giggle.
* * *
The pub was noisy that Friday night; seemingly every soul in the building was embroiled in a loud, boisterous conversation. It was just one of those nights, those places, where people didn’t go to be alone. Katie should’ve realised this before she stepped across the threshold, but naturally, the desire for large quantities of alcohol eclipsed her better judgment. So she sat down, despite recognising her mistake, and ordered a trio of drinks to minimise the bartender’s obligatory chitchat. It was halfway through the third when someone tapped her on the shoulder.
“Hullo, gorgeous,” oozed an annoyingly familiar voice. “Fancy finding a quiet place to talk?”
Katie blinked at the man who had just sat on the bar stool next to her, not quite believing his nerve. Of all the people: Zacharias sodding Smith. After what he did — or rather didn’t do — she didn’t think even he would have the bollocks to approach her, let alone implying that she leave with him. Wanker. “Go away,” she said flatly before downing the remainder of her beverage.
“Aww, c’mon!” he said, his words hazing together in disarray. “I’m not that bad, am I? I mean, I smell all right.” Zach sniffed his jumper. “Well, maybe a little smoky. But I’m a decent bloke, and pretty girls shouldn’t sit alone in crowded rooms.”
Hard-pressed not to laugh in his face, Katie said, “No, you’re a coward and a git.” She plucked the glass from his hand and examined the cloudy blue liquid. “And what the hell are you drinking?”
She chortled. “And you got drunk off of that?”
By that point, Zach had finally seemed to realise that she had known who he was. A dull spark of recognition flashed on his face. “I know you, don’t I?” He snapped his fingers and pointed toward her face. “You’re that girl!”
Rolling her eyes, Katie said, “Well done. I’m found out.”
“Bell! Katie Bell!” The wheels in his head continued to turn, evidently, as his grin of triumph slowly morphed into a frown. “No, I don’t suppose that would be a good idea.”
“You think?” she sneered. “You left your classmates there to die. How can you even look at yourself in the mirror?”
Something flickered briefly in Zach’s eyes before his expression returned to one Katie found very familiar: disdain. However, it didn’t appear to be directed toward her as he turned his head and stared at the door. “Never mind,” he said. “I’ll just be going now.”
As he walked away from her and toward the door, Katie felt a pang of sympathy when she noticed that no one seemed to be going after him. He was probably the only other person there who had come alone, and at that moment, it seemed like the saddest thing on earth. She had chosen to be alone; nobody wanted him around. His pick-up line earlier had reeked of false confidence, like he was trying to convince himself that there was a chance of any other answer than the one he was given.
In a moment of weakness she’d probably regret, Katie heard herself call out, “Oi! Smith, wait!” When he turned back to look at her warily, she patted the stool next to her, giving the patron who had been looking to occupy it a hostile glare, and said, “Buy me a drink and let’s talk.”
* * *
The burn of sunlight made the nerves behind her eyes buzz, but Katie willed herself out of bed. It was when she padded toward the loo to brush her teeth, only to find the door wasn’t actually there, that she registered she was not in her own flat. “What the —”
Looking around, she saw the tell-tale signs of the owner of the pleasingly decorated room: Ministry robes draped over a high-back chair, miscellaneous hair and cosmetic products surrounding a shaving mirror, masculine singing coming from what she assumed was in the shower, the potent spice of love-making hanging in the air. . . .
“Oh, hell,” she moaned, burying her face in her hands. The last thing she remembered was Zach banging on about wishing he could just forget about everything that happened at Hogwarts, how he wanted to be different. And then she had told him she had just broken up with her boyfriend. While she couldn’t recall specifics, it didn’t take a genius to figure out how it had ended.
Embarrassed, Katie looked her discarded clothing to make a clean getaway, but she stilled when she found them neatly folded on the bureau with a note that said ‘I ordered breakfast’. Something about the thoughtfulness of this made her think that, if he indeed wanted to change, it didn’t seem as impossible as it had twelve hours before. And the idea of being there for it didn’t seem repulsive in the slightest.
Rating/Warnings: 3rd-5th Years/ mention of sexual situations/strong profanity
Word Count: Around 800...i'm not cutting this any more. The 6th-7th year part is already missed :(
Author's Notes: Poor Michael. He always seems to draw the post-Hogwarts short straw. As does Lisa in this, but I haven't seen her messed up as often as I've seen Michael.
“What’s the name of the word for the precise moment when you realize that you've actually forgotten how it felt to make love to somebody you really liked a long time ago?" is from the Sandman comics- Brief Lives, I think, by Neil Gaiman. “I Love You” is the Lovenote used.
Michael hadn’t meant to talk to Lisa. He’d successfully avoided her for most of the past ten years, and therefore could easily slipped away before she noticed him. But as soon as he’d felt himself under the intense gaze of her bright blue eyes, he had felt compelled to speak to her.
When he approached her, she acknowledged him with a nod, before then looking towards her husband, Terry, who was on the other side of the room, joking with his friends.
Amongst Michael and Lisa’s mutual friends, the state of the Boots’ marriage was an open secret. Terry was happy. He had always been a fiercely intelligent, bordering on fool hardy, man who had very little understanding of the feelings of others, something that had only become smaller since his body was irreparably broken by the war. Lisa was far from happy.
And suddenly, standing next to her, although intimate, it seemed like the only thing it could say. More than that, it seemed as if the last decade had not happened at all, and they were still as close as they’d always been.
“It’s not the 19th century, Lisa. You don’t have to stay with him.”
Lisa didn’t take offence at his presumption, instead smiling quite eerily, and saying, “No, I do.”
“Not,” Michael asked, frowning, “Not because of us?”
“Of course because of us,” she snapped, looking at him briefly before guilt flashing across her face, and she returned her gaze to her husband. “We shouldn’t have done it.”
“It was ten years ago. And he was on the run.”
“Stop making excuses--” Lisa sighed with irritation. “I loved him, and it would kill him to know that we--I couldn’t have left him. When they said he’d never use his legs again, how can you leave someone then?” she said, staring at Michael.
“You should have talked to me,” Michael said, suddenly feeling immensely sad that this was a decision Lisa had made without discussing with him. Because, before he was her lover, he was her best friend.
“I’m decided,” she said, her voice terse. “I will care for him until my dying day. And I’m sure he’ll outlive me. He’s become so--cruel.”
“Can he get his leg over still?”
“Michael!” she gasped, staring at him in shock, but unable to hide her grin of amusement. Michael felt a rush of pleasure at having provoked the first smile of her evening.
“Well, can he?”
“Yes, he can. When he wants to. Which isn’t often. Sometimes I think he might have someone, but I no longer care. Once, I read somewhere, about someone asking, “What’s the name of the word for the precise moment when you realize that you've actually forgotten how it felt to make love to somebody you really liked a long time ago?" And I thought how breathtakingly sad that was.”
Yes, Michael thought. That was sad. But to him, Lisa Turpin, or Lisa Boot as she now was, who had once been so bright, so happy, so clever, looking so melancholy, was far more heart-breaking.
“What is the word?”
“There isn’t one. But there should be, shouldn’t there?” she said, turning to look at him. Michael had to stop himself from kissing her there and then, but she must have realised because her eyes narrowed, and she took a step away from him.
“Lisa--” he reached out, but she shied away.
“Don’t touch me.”
“Because you want me?” He seized on her hesitation with hope, and continued, “You can’t marry someone out of duty or guilt--”
“You should have said this ten years ago!” she shouted, before anxiously glancing around to see who was nearby, but no one was. Terry Boot was the focus of the room, and they were on the periphery.
“You didn’t ask me, ten years ago,” Michael said, tersely.
“Because you were drunk,” she replied, sounding as if she was on the edge of tears.
“And you wouldn’t help me,” he snapped, though kept his voice down. Neither of them were looking at each other, but sipping their drinks and watching Terry play cards. “And you should have, because you loved me! You never said, you never dared say, but it was true.”
“And what about Terry?” Lisa snapped back. “What about him? He was wounded in the fighting, so many were wounded, and so many were dead, and yet most of those who survived spent the next few years drinking and ****ing and doing whatever they could to forget what had happened, what they’d done, when really they should have just got on with living!”
“Living? Is that what you’re doing? Because it doesn’t look like living to me.”
“No,” Lisa said. “It isn’t. But it’s all I have.”
And with that, she walked away, leaving Michael to swear under his breath and stare longingly after her.
Prompt: Melt My Heart
Word Count: 470
It amuses him that she’s chosen today, of all days, to turn her hair blonde. He wonders if it’s a tribute to his sister-in-law, or a gesture of defiance because, from what he’s heard, Tonks and Fleur have never really got along. He used to wonder if it was because of her old crush on his brother, but Tonks looks happy with Remus, and Charlie doesn’t think she’s jealous anymore.
“May I steal your wife away for a dance?” he asks Remus, mock-formally.
For a moment, Remus looks startled then he smiles slightly. “Of course.”
“He says he doesn’t like dancing,” Tonks says, giggling. “I think he’s just embarrassed to be seen with me.” She kisses Remus on the cheek, and then accepts Charlie’s hand and together they walk to the dance floor.
“Why would he be embarrassed?” Charlie asks. There’s a slow song playing, and he holds her in his arms, not too close, but close enough that there’s a mere hair’s breadth between their bodies.
Tonks treads on his toe, and apologises. “That’s why. You should have worn steel in your toecaps.” Then she sighs as she steps on his foot again. “Shall we stop this before I do you a real mischief?”
“Relax,” Charlie soothes. “You should know by now that I’m tough.”
As they move around the dance floor, he can feel the tension leaving her body. A smile lilts on her face and he can see some strands of her hair turning a very pale pink. Unable to stop himself, he drops a very soft kiss on her temple.
“Charlie,” she mutters. “Don’t.”
He starts to apologise, but stops, instead asking, “Why did you marry him?”
“Because I love him,” she answers, but it sounds automatic to him.
“Really? Or were you just missing Sirius?”
Tonks tries to pull away, but Charlie holds her tight and she can’t move - not without drawing attention to herself.
“Are you going to tell me some fluffy story about how he melts your heart, Tonks?”
“Shut up!” she hisses. “I love Remus and we’re married, now. You have to accept that what happened between you and me was a mistake, Charlie. A stupid, stupid moment of weakness.”
“I’ll move back to England,” he implores. “We can fight for the Order side-by-side. You can leave him.”
She says nothing, but then the song ends and she disengages herself from his arms. “I’m pregnant, Charlie; that’s why we got married. And now I think I’d like to find my husband.”
He watches her go. He stands on the dance floor, as more people start dancing around him, and watches her walk towards Remus linking her arm in his. There is a smile on her face, bright but brittle.
Her blonde curls shine in the sun, their artifice reflecting her life.