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Standing a Chance

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"Honestly Hermione, how can you not dress yourself for a date, you are 29 and two offices away from being the head of magical state in Britain. Useless Gryffindor." Pansy rolled her eyes and flicked through the wardrobe in front of her. "Though with clothing like this to choose from it's no wonder. Do you ever go out?" She went on without giving Hermione a chance to sputter an answer. "No. Of course not. You and that cat are on the couch every night after 5pm and then you're in bed by 10 like a grandmother." She pulled something out that had decent enough lines that she could transfigure it into something worthwhile. A wave of her wand and it changed colors from that awful Gryffindor red to a nice green so deep it almost looked black out of the light, hem shortened to something someone would wear this century and the neckline lowered so it wasn't Yule Ball approved. "Here."

"I can't wear that! I'll bend over and everything will fall out." Hermione was bright red even looking at it. 

Pansy just shrugged. "Then don't."

"What do you mean 'then don't?' You don't know what the night is going to entail!"

Pansy rather thought the indigance was cute. Stupid Gryffindor getting in her head like this. She rolled her eyes once again. "It most likely won't entail mortal combat, sit down, cross your legs like a lady, don't lean so far forward reaching for something when you can ask to have it handed to you. Honestly, you're clever enough to figure it out. Brightest witch of her age my left tit."

"I hate you." But she grabbed the dress out of Pansy's hands anyway.

"Yes, that definitely explains why you owled me in a state this morning about what to wear. People definitely do that with enemies."

Hermione kindly flipped her off as she disappeared into her bathroom to get ready. Pansy collapsed onto her bed to wait, unmade of course because Granger, while being the biggest neat freak about her library or notes, was a little bit of a slob elsewhere. Who didn't make their bed? It took two seconds, for Merlin’s sake, a swish of the wand, and yet she sat down and got a rush of faint scent, the floral of Hermione’s shampoo and the more musky scent of her perfume, coming up from the covers. She had good choice in scents. Perhaps that was why she didn't push too hard on the other woman making her bed like any other functioning magical adult. Perhaps. 

Thirty minutes later the sounds of the shower stopped and then there was the normal scrabbling of Hermione trying to figure out just how in the world to get ready. If she hadn’t already known that the woman had bribed Pavarti Patil with help with her potions essays for the rest of the year in fourth year to help her get ready for the Yule Ball, Pansy would have wondered how she had pulled that off, but as a good Slytherin, of course she knew everything. She counted down to herself, wondering just when Hermione would give up and call her in. She got to all of fifty when Hermione’s voice came from behind the door.

“Updo or down?” She was already a bit exasperated. “And why in the world did I agree to this again?”

“To get the youngest Weasel to shut up, I suppose.” 

“I know you like her, why do you call her Weasel?” Hermione cracked the door open, glaring out at Pansy.

“Because it riles you nicely, why else?” She arched a rather perfectly shaped eyebrow, thank you very much. And if she focused on that she wouldn’t focus on the fact that Hermione had nothing but a towel around her and was very damp still. Those were not normal things to notice about a friend.

“And I’m sure that telling her she needs to find someone else for you to date would be a fun activity for her.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Not if you tell me updo or down. And dramatic makeup or understated. Then I think we can find some sort of peace between us.”

Pansy snorted, trying not to sneer at the lingering image of Ginny Weasley setting up a blind date for her. Or any date really. No thank you she was perfectly capable of finding her own dates, that’s what the Shimmering Unicorn and its exclusive clientele was for. She wasn’t about to pick up a woman from some common sports bar that ginger jock loved, no, she had class.

Instead, she thought of the dress, thought of Hermione’s scant necklace collection and thought it over. “Half up and half down, otherwise you’ll be pushing your hair behind your ears all night like you have a tic. You can let them know about your disgusting chewed quill habit on the second date instead. But for Salazar’s sake use the hair potion I got you for your last birthday please. That half priced one you use only lasts half the night and you know it. And the makeup...not dramatic, that’s what the dress is for, but understated is for day looks. Cats eye and a bit of green shimmer, and I mean a bit, Hermione you aren’t a bloody fairy.”

Hermione laughed once before shutting the door. “At least not the kind you’re meaning, no.”

Pansy was more than a bit confused which probably meant, “are you referencing a muggle saying again?”

“Yes, Pansy, it’s a slang term for gay people, not usually complementary, but fuck them, I can reclaim what I want.”

Since she was Hermione Granger, Golden Girl, that was fair enough, she supposed.

“She really hasn’t told you who she’s set me up with?” Hermione asked a few minutes later. “I know you two gossip even though you both pretend not to every single time I see you together. The clamming up as soon as I step around the corner is a clue.”

“That’s her, not me, thank you very much. I know how to be covert. It’s not my fault Gryffindor teaches you to all be honest and true and fucking wankers.”

“What right and proper language from such a high class woman,” Hermione sassed. 

“Just for that I’m picking out your ugliest accessories for tonight.” Pansy pushed herself up and towards the few jewelry boxes that Hermione owned.

“No you won’t, you’re the Editor of Witch Weekly and if I said in public that you’d sent me out ugly as sin, it would either be fashionable the next day or you’d lose all your reputation.”

“Oh get stuffed.” Not that she wasn’t right, it would be fashionable by the next day, but that didn’t mean she had to throw that in her face with all the righteousness of a Gryffindor who knew they were right. Merlin alive, why was she friends with this woman again?

She sorted through everything that Hermione had, pulling out a pair of passable fake emerald teardrop earrings, making a mental note to replace them with the real thing next Christmas, after all if she was to be Minister she’d need the real article to look the part, and a delicate Elfish gold bracelet, strands woven into intricate knots that caught the light just so. When had she gotten this? She’d never seen it before and it was actually decent.

Hermione opened the bathroom door and stepped out, hair falling softing in tamed loose ringlets down her back, the front of her hair gathered back and pinned at the back of her head with a golden hair clip with emeralds to match the earrings. Well, at least she’d managed to pick something out on her own that was acceptable. She put out her hand and dropped the bracelet and earrings into the other woman’s palm.

“Since when have you had an actually decent bracelet and hair clip?”

“The pin was my grandmother’s.” Hermione went quiet as she always did after talking about her muggle family.  “She only wore it for special occasions, so I keep the same habit.”

“And your first date in two years is a special occasion.” Though the snark lacked all of her normal bite.

“I thought so.” Hermione shrugged and then Pansy actually looked at the dress on her and, Salazar, was her heart supposed to be beating this hard? She’d known that it would look wonderful on Hermione when she’d been altering it, but seeing it like this? Merlin, she needed a moment. She couldn’t exactly have a moment, but she needed one. She could only hope she wasn’t blushing.

“And the bracelet?” She managed to say in a perfectly even voice. There were few things she felt thankful to her parents for, but poise and etiquette training was one of them.

“Oh,” Hermione blushed, “I uh, bought that on a whim, actually because I thought it would be something you’d approve of.”

“I very much do.” Their eyes locked for a moment and Pansy, as people savvy as she was, had no idea what in the world passed between them, but it was something .

Hermione’s wrist shot out. “Can you help me put it on?” She waved off Pansy’s next comment. “Yes, yes magic and all that exist whatever, but you also have hands.”

Pansy didn’t even have it in her to snark this time, she just took the bracelet, carefully unlatched it, and put it on, fingers brushing against Hermione’s warm skin for a few moments, and only the tightest reign on her magic kept it from arcing to the other woman. She hadn’t had this little control of herself and her magic since before she’d gone to Hogwarts. She had to get a hold of herself, damn it.

“Thanks,” Hermione said, a bit squeakier than normal, but Pansy brushed that off. 

She took a step back and gestured for Hermione to put the earrings in so she could get a look at the full ensemble. Hermione obeyed her without another word and Pansy nodded. Granger looked damned hot. Perhaps a little too hot, the thought crossed the back of her mind, but she ignored it, as she always did. Instead, she turned around, rummaged around in the bottom of the wardrobe again, and pulled out the one pair of heels that were high enough for a date and work or some stuffy party full of old maids, and charmed them so they were actually comfortable and Hermione couldn’t fall on her face. She put them on the floor and Hermione stepped into them before looking at herself in her full length mirror.

“I shouldn’t be surprised that it takes you less than five minutes to make me look like this, and yet.” She turned and enveloped Pansy in a hug, heels now making Hermione tall enough that Pansy was being treated to an up close and personal view of the cleavage the dress so gracefully showed off. “Thank you, I don’t know what I would ever do without you.”

Hermione’s wand vibrated on the nightstand and she stepped back. “Bloody hell, just in time too it seems.”

Pansy held up a clutch, the same dark green as the dress and gold fastenings. “You aren’t taking that bottomless hellhole you call a bag tonight and ruining my hard work.”

“Joke’s on you all of my purses are charmed to be bottomless hellholes as you call them.” She took the clutch from Pansy and grabbed her wand, waving it until extra lipstick and a few other things all flowed into it before it snapped shut. “I’ll owl you about everything when I get home?”

“Oh please, Granger, you’re telling me everything blow by blow tomorrow over breakfast.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Fair enough I suppose. I figured that might be the price I paid for all this.”

“But of course.”

Hermione leaned forward and dropped a kiss on Pansy’s cheek. “And now I guess all that’s left to do is apparate there.” She stepped back and turned on her heel, disappearing with a pop.

Pansy sank down half a second later on the bed again, unable to keep in the groan she’d been holding on to since she’d seen Hermione in nothing more than a towel. She’d been ignoring all these little hints and signs for so long, but now, well, she had no bodily integrity after seeing one Hermione Granger in a nice dress and done up for a date and she couldn’t really kid herself anymore like she could over the little rushes of affection over tea when Hermione said something stupidly cute or the way her smile made her heart flutter or whatever other mushy bullshit she felt in the last few years of their friendship that she’d so carefully dismissed. Of fucking course she had to be a lesbian stereotype and fall for her best friend. Malfoy would not let her hear the end of this if he ever found out. The fucking git. She rubbed at her face and groaned some more. But who else was she going to drink with about the fact that she’d just helped her best friend that she was in love with get ready for a date with someone who decidedly wasn’t her . Better that she had a few fire whiskeys in her when he found out than not.

She pushed herself up and apparated directly into Malfoy’s foyer with her usual dramatic flourish, leaving behind the soft scents of Hermione’s sheets, but none of the frustration. 

 

--



Narcissa had only been talked into this because Draco still had puppy dog eyes that could get her to do anything, even if he was almost thirty. She supposed it would just be a lifelong weakness for her. She couldn’t even be angry about it, he was her baby boy after all.

It didn’t hurt that this was one of her favorite restaurants and even if this blind date didn’t work out, at least the wine selection would. And if it went anything other than spectacularly, she was definitely indulging in more than enough wine to sink a ship. A Black, stooping to the level of a blind date. There were generations of her family rolling over in their graves right now, she supposed. Then again they were still probably going round and round over her divorce, so what did their opinion matter anyway, they could spin like a top for the rest of eternity and she couldn’t be bothered.

The table Draco had reserved them was one of her favorites, able to see most of the dining room for optimal intelligence gather, back to the wall so no one could sneak up behind her, alcove that it was in amplifying sound from around the room just enough that Narcissa could concentrate and make out almost everyone’s conversations one at a time if she chose while she was watching the coming and going of other patrons. Her Dragon knew her well.

She was here twenty minutes early because a good Slytherin knew that the key to any interaction that was uncertain was to not let the other person get the drop on you, even if this was just a harmless date. Some old habits she would gladly carry into the beyond with her. That, and having a glass of wine mostly empty by the time the actual date rolled around would only help loosen her up just a bit. She might not snap off the other person’s head if they were truly atrocious, she tended to be generous when she was a glass or two in, but no further.

Narcissa’s eyes flicked up to the door, sensing someone powerful step onto the dining floor. Her eyes locked on a woman in a dress that was fabulously mind melting, low cut, but not enough to be scandalous, a hem that showed off legs that were marvelously toned, fitted so that it showed off the body underneath without being lewd, and that color was a stroke of subtle brilliance. She wondered just where the other woman had gotten it. Perhaps that was her date she was rather ogling, and if that was the case, oh no, whatever would she do? She laughed to herself quietly before actually managing to pull her eyes up to the woman’s face finally and freezing mid-chuckle.

Hermione Granger was staring back at her from atop that dress. And now the maitre-d was turning, showing her the way to her table, walking through the main floor, making a beeline for her table. She held her breath, hoping against hope that they stopped anywhere else, but no, they kept right on.

What in the Salazar’s name was she supposed to do in this situation? The woman was the same age as Draco for Merlin’s sake. She couldn’t be seen on a date with someone quite literally half her age. And what exactly would Draco think when he…

Draco was the one who had set all of this up. Draco was the one that told her it was a date not just an outing to make a new friend, a date. He knew and yet he’d gone ahead with this plan anyway? What in the world was he thinking?

Her eyes swept over Hermione Granger’s body again as she was steps away from the table again and tilted her head just slightly. A bright witch, nearing the peak of her power, who was beautiful? Unfortunately Draco seemed to have nailed her type down to a t. Her Dragon really did know her it seemed. And it made the “really, mother, just give it a chance before you go running to the hills,” speech he’d given her before sending her off make that much more sense.

Well, she was a Slytherin, and she wasn’t about to let Hermione Granger catch her on the wrong foot. Draco could be dealt with later along with whoever had helped him plan this, because she was rather certain that Hermione wouldn’t have agreed to a blind date set up by him, close as they were now via mutual friends. She had a few candidates in mind already.

Narcissa pushed out of her chair with a smile that she didn’t really have to force. “Miss Granger, I see it’s you who’s been looped into this blind date shenanigan.” She stepped forward, gripping the younger woman’s arms lightly before kissing her on the cheek lightly, smelling something wonderfully floral, perhaps orange blossom, and lingering for perhaps a moment longer than she should. She pulled away again and let the maitre-d reseat the both of them.

Hermione, for her part, was checking out Narcissa with none of the subtlety she had shown, which she found amusing. She knew the witch had a decent poker face, but right now that seemed very much beyond her. The boost to her ego was more than slight. Of course her dress was to die for, Anathema had told her she’d killed someone to get it on sale, and one never could be too literal with her, and she’d otherwise made sure she looked better than she had in years, willing to impress whoever ended up on the other side of the table, but most importantly show the rumor mill that she wasn’t planning on becoming an old spinster. She was still young for a witch, after all. 

The younger woman finally shook herself a bit and answered Narcissa’s implied question. “Yes,” she laughed, “Ginny wouldn’t stop bothering me until I agreed.”

Narcissa had to pause for a moment before replying. The woman’s brain was one of those few that screamed its thoughts so loud, disjointed little fragments shooting past her that all connected so quickly it was almost hard to keep track. She wasn’t surprised that that was how the Brightest Witch of Her Age’s brain worked, but being this close, she had to recalibrate her mental shields to bring everything down to a manageable level that she could ignore...if she chose to anyway. For now she was rather enjoying the “oh no...so attractive...do I know how to talk?” thoughts that were zooming by.

“Ginny Weasley,” Narcissa said, considering. Draco had gotten very close to Harry Potter after the war. To the point where she’d been surprised that he’d announced his engagement to Ginny. She had felt almost sure that….she didn’t read Draco’s mind as a rule, no mother should read their son’s mind, but some thing she still couldn’t help overhearing, and she could have sworn she saw a ring in Draco’s mind, on his finger, and green eyes looking up at him from one knee beside it. But Draco also Ginny almost as much. And she still did wonder. Oh did she wonder. But Draco would tell her in his own time, and that was that. 

“I didn’t know she was so fashionable,” she continued, gesturing at Hermione’s ensemble, trying not to snort. The woman was as daft at fashion as they came unless it was Quidditch sportswear. 

Hermione laughed and it was lovely and musical and Narcissa found that perhaps she was a bit more over her head than normal in a social situation because her heart hadn’t fluttered like that since Hogwarts. Dear Salazar, she couldn’t be acting like a schoolgirl, that was beneath her.

“Merlin, no, she’s the one person who might be worse than I am. No, Pansy helped get me ready tonight.” She gestured at the dress. “She altered this herself.”

Narcissa hummed her approval. Perhaps she’d have to invite Pansy over to tea to thank her for this vision. “Now that certainly tracks. Her originals have always been remarkable, even when she was younger.”

A hint of a blush crossed over Hermione’s face as she nodded. “I always thought so, even when she was a prat in school.”

Now it was Narcissa’s turn to laugh. “Somehow I get the feeling that you’ve said something along the same lines for Draco.”

“Oh certainly, and to his face too. He doesn’t deny it.”

“Would you believe me if I told you that was all Lucius’s doing?” Narcissa arched a teasing eyebrow.

“Considering what he’s told me about Christmas and birthday presents that you got him? Not a chance.” Hermione grinned, shrugging one shoulder, hair slipping forward and covering her collar bone. Narcissa had quite the urge to tuck it back into place.

“Well, I suppose I can’t argue with that. But he is my Dragon, so I doubt I would change a thing.”

“He turned out right in the end, that’s what matters.” She reached forward and took a sip of her sparkling water and relaxed a bit. “I admit, I thought the beginning of this date was going to be rather awkward getting to know someone else before some common topic came up that would while the night away, but it hasn’t felt like that at all.” She snorted. “Of course Ginny will never let me live it down if I tell her she set up a decent date, so if you could keep that between us…”

“Oh assuredly. Draco is most definitely going to sweat for a least a few minutes before I let him off the hook for these plots.” She picked up her menu. “Now, Miss Granger, enough about those hooligans, have you been here before?”

“No, I’ve walked past it more than once and thought about it, but I never could find the excuse to spend most of a paycheck on a meal even if I can well afford it.”

Narcissa felt her eyes spark. She did so love introducing people to new things that they enjoyed immensely. “Ah, wonderful, do you trust me to do a bit of ordering then?”

Hermione glanced around the glittering restaurant for a moment before looking back at her. “Narcissa Black in a fine dining space? I think I’m in good hands.”

“I’ll endeavor to keep your faith in me then.” And half a second later a waiter was by their table, pad at the ready, attentive as ever as Narcissa rattled off a few of her favorite dishes and a few more that she thought might please Hermione, before he disappeared, leaving them alone to start their date in earnest.

Chapter Text

Pansy knew that muggles had their own version of a hangover potion, but from what Hermione had said it didn’t seem nearly as effective. And if she were a muggle right now, she would probably still be in her bed hiding away from the light, but she wasn’t a muggle and hangover potions existed for a reason, thank Merlin. She hadn’t meant to drink quite that much while talking to Draco, but, well, even with the man she’d been friends with since childhood, admitting to something that could be seen as vulnerable wasn’t the easiest and it had taken three drinks before she even began to say anything of note. Then when it had all come out, it had been like a geyser, unable to be stopped and she’d drank more just to deal with that and then there was Draco looking at her a bit guiltily after she’d explained everything, and she had no idea what that was about and. Well. She’d overindulged on passable wine and here they were, one hangover potion down at eight in the morning on a Saturday.

She flooed into Hermione’s living room, holding a tray of baked goods from the bakery a street over from her flat that Hermione loved. She banished the ash from her person and projected her voice through the place magically because she was far, far too posh to yell of course. “I brought pastries, Granger, don’t think you’ll get out of telling me about your date while we eat them.”

There was a groan in the direction of Hermione’s bedroom and Pansy had a moment of panic over whether Hermione had brought her date home with her last night, but then shook it off. That wasn’t who Hermione was. She’d wait at least three dates before thinking of taking someone home. She’d probably just stayed out late talking to her date and wasn’t awake yet. Which. Considering Hermione was an early riser normally...she swallowed hard. She would just have to wait and see what Hermione told her, no need to panic herself now.

A few minutes later Hermione emerged, hair still sleep mussed, but dressed in a t-shirt and yoga pants, bare feet padding along the floorboards. “Morning.” She yawned widely.

Pansy felt her stupid betrayer heart melting. Now was not the time, not when Hermione had just gone on a date . If it wanted a say in things it should have realized it was an idiot over this woman sooner. It wasn’t as if Hermione had been on a date any time in the past forever. She could have had a wide avenue to waltz right in and sweep her off her feet, but no she had just kept herself in denial instead. Some days being a Slytherin and keeping things close to the vest was the worst . Not many days, mind you, but some.

“You want tea?” Hermione asked, already in the kitchen setting things up to brew.

“Last time I checked I was British.”

Hermione turned and then rolled her eyes at Pansy. “A simple yes would have sufficed. And been the polite answer. You’re always on about how you’re the highest of class and yet the snark, the snark says otherwise.”

“You are a friend and thus you’ve unlocked access to the snark.”

“And the snark before we were friends?” Hermione waved her wand and the water set to boil the muggle way. She swore it tasted better though Pansy couldn’t taste the difference. She humored her, though, and it was only a few minutes difference.

“Ah yes, that was because you weren’t high class. Anyone of the same breeding as myself wouldn’t have batted an eye at that.”

“Yes Karen,” Hermione deadpanned. 

Pansy gasped, setting down the pastries on the kitchen table so she could dramatically grip her chest. “I’m mortally wounded. I’m not a Karen.” She straightened up. “It’s too common a name.”

Hermione snorted, getting tea down from the cabinet she kept stuffed full of different tea varieties. Pansy had learned that certain teas had certain meanings, even if Hermione herself didn’t realize it. She pulled down a white tea and orange blossom mix, one that she only got out for especially good days, and that was all Pansy really needed to confirm that her date was wonderful. The pit of her stomach sank down past the floor and lingered somewhere probably on the ground floor seven stories below. Bloody hell. How was she supposed to make it through this conversation again?

“Excuse me, Lady Karen then.”

Pansy smiled, but it felt thinner than it normally was around Hermione. “Now that is more like it, Granger.” She swallowed as Hermione measured out tea for the pot. “Date, details, you owe me after helping you get dressed.”

Hermione lit up as she turned back around to Pansy, only stopping a moment before the kettle whistled, setting it aside to cool for a minute or two to the right brewing temperature. “You’ll never believe who it was that Ginny set me up with. I’m not even sure how she managed it, but…”

“If I’ll never guess it, why don’t you just tell me. Or I could start guessing Wizengamot members who were born before women got the right to vote.”

“Wizarding women or muggle?” Hermione’s eyes were horrified nonetheless.

“When did muggle women vote for the first time?” She hadn’t been aware the date was different, but it must have been based on that.

“Well I mean, technically 1918, but really more like 1928 for all women without all those bloody stupid property laws.”

“Then wizarding.” Which had been in 1876.

“I hate you. I mean it would have been horrible either way, but you know that’s worse.”

“It’s the one I meant originally, so how exactly is that worse?” She rolled her eyes at Hermione’s mouth opening to say something and cut her off. “Yes I know exactly why it’s worse in terms of years, I mean in terms of intent.”

Hermione frowned and huffed at that one, taking the time to pour the water in the tea pot now that it had had time to cool and waving the pot over to the table along with the mugs she’d set out. “I hate when you have a point,” she said finally.

Pansy sniggered. “Oh no, the know it all can’t stand when she isn’t the one in the right, who would have ever known.”

“I will kick you out of this apartment and eat all of the pastries myself.” Hermione sank down in one of the chairs and set to sorting through the pastries for her favorite, a chocolate croissant.

“I highly doubt that. After all, you’d have done that ages ago and then we wouldn’t be friends.” Pansy took her own seat. “Enough being dramatic, that’s my bit, tell me who your blind date was.”

Hermione made a satisfied noise as she pulled her pastry from the box. She set it on the plate in front of her and looked a bit giddy. “Narcissa Black.”

Pansy had to sit there for a moment, blinking. Had she heard right? And Hermione was giddy about it? Of course Lady Black had changed since the war, but Hermione was stubborn. She didn’t forgive or forget easily. Of course maybe Hermione had talked to her before since she was friends with Draco? They hadn’t discussed it, but it would make sense. That’s why she saw Lady Black as often as she did anymore. Perhaps somewhere along the way they’d let things lie and that had paved the way for this years later.

“Really?” Pansy had a hard time swallowing. “I wasn’t even aware she was into witches.” If she had been aware...Merlin, what would her teenage years been like? Narcissa Black was how she’d realized that she was gay. The woman was just absolutely perfect, poised, razor sharp wit, and a hidden intellect that was more dangerous by half than anyone around her put together nine times out of ten until it was too late. How could she not have crushed on her. Every summer she spent time at Malfoy Manor just to see her. Draco being her friend was a perk too, obviously, but no, it was really for Lady Black past second year.

“She is, most assuredly.” Hermione sighed with a bit of a dreamy edge. “She kissed me so thoroughly there’s no doubt.”

“Is she a good kisser?” The words slipped out of her mouth before she could stop them, but she had to know.

“I’m still weak thinking about it, Pansy.”

She whistled, lowly. Of course she was. Her childhood crush and her current crush had kissed and it just had to be good. Salazar’s busted left nut. The feelings coursing through her right now were vast and unexplainable, but mostly just chaotic. She felt a bit like she was choking on air.

“And…” she trailed off, frowning. “Not to put a damper on any of that, I believe you entirely, look at the woman, but, about the war?” They’d had their own talks about what a prat she’d been at school and she’d apologized. She couldn’t imagine it was different. She’d been a child. Lady Black had not. She had to make sure that Hermione wasn’t falling to hurt herself. She was her friend. Even if this hurt like salt in a wound.

Hermione reached out and took Pansy’s hand, squeezing it softly. “We settled all of that right before her trial. She apologized. She set up her foundation to help make it right. We haven’t much talked since then, but I’ve kept apprised of her goings on, as with all the former denizens of the dark side that were let off easily. She’s...she’s just as wonderful as she appears. Now at least. Have I told you about the time Harry, Ron, and I ran into her in Madame Malkin's before sixth year?”

Pansy shook her head. She hadn’t, but she’d heard about it from Draco years ago so she didn’t really need to listen to the explanation. She just gripped Hermione’s hand back and listened partially as she explained that incident, and then slipped into a play by play of the date. Narcissa had been just as perfect as Hermione said, charming, funny, just the right amount of flirty, she listened when Hermione talked, offered thoughtful commentary, everything that a good date should do, she’d done it at more. And Pansy realized just how happy the two of them had been on this date. And she realized that there was no way she could open her mouth now. She...she loved both of these women for different reasons, at different stages in her life, but that didn’t lessen anything. Slytherins could be selfish, yes, but not when it came to protecting the ones they loved. So she swallowed and smiled and laughed with Hermione, letting her tea go cold and her pastries untouched. She wasn’t in the mood for sweets after all.

She lasted for an hour and a half before she excused herself, citing a lunch with a fashion designer friend in Paris that she most definitely didn’t have for another two weeks, and making her escape. Her head was still spinning to the point of aching. It almost felt like she hadn’t taken a hangover potion at all. She rubbed at her forehead as she popped into her flat, making towards her liquor cabinet. Nevermind that it was before noon, some days just called for a drink. Then she would order the most ridiculous comfort food she could think of and spend the rest of the day reading trashy romance novels and somehow, someway get her head around the fact that Narcissa and Hermione had a second date two days from now, on a Monday of all days, Hermione’s busiest day, but still she’d made time for the other woman, and that that date would likely be the first of many and she would have to be normal . She could do that. Merlin knew she’d gotten through harder things, but fuck if this didn’t somehow hurt more.

She’d just poured three fingers of whiskey into a tumbler when there was a tapping on her window. Pansy turned to see an owl perched on the windowsill, elegant with it’s white and brown spots and face that said it was far too good to be running such errands. She hadn’t seen the particular owl before, but something about the breed was familiar. Draco had had one of them once, she thought. Perhaps he’d gotten another one?

She padded over and opened the window. The owl dropped the letter in her hand with a glare and then flapped off. Well then. Pleasant owl that one was. And somehow she liked it all the more for it.

Pansy stepped back and closed the window before sliding her finger under the flap and lifting off the wax seal. She blinked and flipped the flap back down and looked at the wax. The Black family crest. Narcissa had sent her a letter. Why had Narcissa sent her a letter? They met for lunch every now and again but usually they set the date and time when they saw each other in person out at a function somewhere and they happened to come across one another. She’d never written her before. They weren’t really that close. She only wished they were.

She flipped it back open again and drew the letter out with hands that were not shaking thank you very much. Inside was definitely Narcissa’s elegant script. She’d tried to copy it as best she could when she was a girl so she knew it almost as well as her own. It took a few moments for her to actually be able to read it instead of just staring at it, almost longingly.

 

Pansy,

 

Hermione informed me that you were the one who altered her dress for our date. Given just how much I enjoyed seeing it on Miss Granger, I thought it only appropriate to invite you to tea tomorrow at three. I do so hope you can attend. It has been some time since our last meeting and I would love to catch up.

 

Sincerely, 

-N.B. 

 

Pansy set down the letter and slammed back her drink in one go. Well fuck.

 

--

 

Narcissa waved her wand, tea settings organized just so. Getting along without a house elf at first had been rather daunting right after the war, but now she took pleasure in the preparations. Something about easy, repetitive work soothed her, that, and the thrill of getting her timing just right. The floo sounded just as she laid her wand down. Right on time, as any well bred woman would be, and Pansy Parkinson was nothing if not well bred.

She swept to the foyer, Pansy dusting herself off with her wand, looking lovely in a deep plum wrap dress that hugged her figure in just the right manner and emphasized her prefect, creamy skin. It hadn’t surprised her one bit when Pansy had gone into fashion, even less when she ended up the youngest Editor in Chief of Witch Weekly. She’d always known how to get what she wanted.

Well. Almost. The war years had been rather hard on them all in one form or another, but the woman had recovered most admirably, better than even she herself had. If she hadn’t had Draco to keep going for, to grow and change to make a life with, who knew what would have happened to her. She certainly wouldn’t be standing in her foyer with this woman after a date with Hermione Granger that had gone better than she could have ever hoped. Her heart was skipping in her chest just thinking about tomorrow. There had just been something about the woman that had clicked in a way that she had experienced only a handful of times before. Ironically she got along with Pansy in the same manner, but very different contexts. It only seemed fitting that she had helped Hermione look so lovely two days prior.

“Good afternoon Pansy, how has your Sunday gone so far?” She asked by way of greeting. There was no need to be so terribly formal when she’d known the woman for most of her life and she’d stayed over almost every summer after Draco had started attending Hogwarts. 

Pansy’s smile was wide as it was normally on seeing her, but there was a tightness at the corner of her eyes. Narcissa hadn’t gotten through the war without being hyper aware of any and all body language and micro-expressions. Something was bothering her, but not something she wanted Narcissa to know. The urge to open herself up just a bit and figure it out, as a good Slytherin was wont to do, pulled at her, but she refused. Pansy had earned her peace and privacy ten times over. She wouldn’t pry, but she would lend an open ear if Pansy wished to speak.

“It’s been productive, actually. I found myself a bit restless, so I sunk the energy into a few new sketches.”

Narcissa’s eyes widened slightly. “Have you given it more thought then?” She’d asked Pansy on several occasions if she’d ever thought of launching her own fashion line, but she’d been happy with her Editor in Chief position, and Narcissa respected that, despite certainly being ready to invest in an atelier with Pansy’s name on it if she said the word.

Pansy drew a tiny leather-bound notebook out of her pocket and enlarged it. She handed to Narcissa, shifting just slightly on her feet after she took it, belying the bit of nervousness she felt, even if the rest of her stance was confident. 

“Yes and no. I have what amounts to around two years of lines in there for every season and a few pieces besides. All classics and timeless so there would really be no issue with keeping things back. Things in the now have their place and ultimately push things forward and I do appreciate them, but they aren’t what drive my personal creativity.”

Narcissa flipped open the notebook and started to leaf through slowly. They were all stunning as normal. In fact. She stopped on a dress colored in an icy blue that she knew was the same shade as her eyes, cut as an evening gown flowing down to the floor elegantly, with a gauzy cape around the shoulders. That was a dress she’d love to wear at the next gala she had to attend. It would stop everyone in the room. And it didn’t hurt that the cleavage cutout would hold Hermione’s attention. She’d be almost eye level with it. A perk indeed.

She tapped the page. “I’d love to wear this personally.”

Pansy’s brain usually was silent enough to her if she didn’t go looking. As with all pureblood children she was taught at least the basics of occlumency, nothing that stopped Narcissa, of course, but enough that she hardly ever heard the woman unless she was experiencing very extreme emotions. She didn’t so much hear anything intelligible now as feel what amounted to a shock across her skin and then a hint of something warmer, embarrassment perhaps? But why? It was a lovely dress.

“Fitting, I suppose, since I designed it for you actually,” Pansy said finally, voice steady, like nothing had ever happened, and for anyone but Narcissa, no one would think any different.

They stared at each other for a moment, Narcissa putting a smile into her eyes to let the younger woman know she was more than fine with that, found it flattering even. Pansy looked away first and cleared her throat.

“Anyway, I do have a great amount of designs, and I do like the idea of a fashion line with my name on it, but I did intern at a few magical houses, the minutia…” She trailed off and tilted her head. “You would think running a fashion and lifestyle magazine and a fashion line would have considerable overlap in the business portions, and they do it part, but what they don’t overlap on, is what I find tedious. Yet if I put my name on a company I would want it to be how I wanted it, no questions asked. I couldn’t exactly do that if I wasn’t firmly in control. So my dilemma remains. Perhaps if someone trusted was at the helm running the day to day while I still continued my current day job and provided the designs, it would work, but, well, you know what it’s like to trust as a Slytherin.” She laughed softly.

Narcissa thought over this problem for a few moments, still looking over designs. Eventually she pulled herself back and gestured towards the sitting room. “Perhaps we should sit for tea while I ruminate on this. I have a few ideas tickling at the back of my mind, but they need to settle before I know where I’m going.”

Pansy nodded. She knew what Narcissa was like and unlike a great many people was comfortable in silence and allowed her time to think. She could be quick on her feet, of course, but when she was allowed the time to plot out all possibilities, that is when she really shone.

They served themselves tea and sandwiches as Narcissa looked through the last of the designs. She’d know the woman was skilled, truly, but looking through all of her sketches it truly would be a shame if she didn’t get her chance to bring these collections to the world just because some of the business aspects of running a House weren’t to her liking. She could see her lines being very big hits not only here but on the continent as well. But what to do.

She shut the notebook gently and passed it back to Pansy who shrunk it and put it back into her pocket with careful hands. The sketchbook meant a lot to her clearly and it made Narcissa smile softly. To build trust was a tricky thing, but usually bred by close contact. Everyone in Pansy’s life that she would place the desired level of trust to help her run a company was not in fashion or business. Narcissa herself had the skills, of course, but most of her time was eaten up with her foundation otherwise she wouldn’t hesitate to offer. No, this required building another relationship with a person in the industry, someone who would handle Pansy’s sketchbook with the same reverence. 

“Tell me, do you have any openings for people who would work directly under you at your magazine?”

Pansy frowned then nodded slowly. “Mauritza is retiring next year to go tour the world and lie on a beach and seduce men, as she’s said to me many times. She’s my art director and I was her assistant before I moved a few spaces up the ladder. The only reason I’m in this job now because she didn’t want it. I’ve been thinking who to replace her with, but it’s not really obvious internally who to promote. Her current assistant is a moron, but he suits her needs so I let him be.”

“Find someone qualified externally, perhaps a bit over qualified. Say that if they work with you for the next…” She trailed off thinking of a good time frame, “two years and your business relationship works out and you trust them and their decisions, they’ll help you launch your house, have day to day control, and design input. They can build it into a multinational brand, be one of the big faces, big names. I think someone in the industry should bite on that, especially with your reputation. And if you show them your designs. They truly are quite something.”

Pansy thought it over a moment before nodding. “I think that might work out. I have a few ideas of who to ask already, actually, now that you put it that way, not people I know well, but ones I think getting to know would be fruitful. And two years would be enough to test them out on the decisions in the areas I rather hate to make sure they’re competent.” She looked to Narcissa and smiled. “I really appreciate your advice. I always do.”

“Of course. Your talents deserve to be shown to the world. You really are extraordinary, Pansy. I’ve always thought so. You have this way of bringing out people’s best qualities. I certainly noticed with Hermione on Friday night. The dress you altered for her quickly was a work of art in and of itself and that took you all of what? Two minutes?”

There was an absolutely cacophony of mental sound, like Pansy’s shields had crashed down, and for a handful of moments, they were . She could hear everything and wasn’t quick enough to be able to shut it out. With the flood coming at her, it was hard to add extra protection to her mind, and as sorry as she was, she couldn’t help but invade Pansy’s privacy. It was either that, or have a short term mental break from being overwhelmed. 

“Salazar help me--I can’t take it anymore I should just move to Siberia and never--she’s right Hermione looked so hot--she believes in me!--want to kiss her right now--want to know if she’s as good as Hermione says--wonder if Hermione is as good--Merlin why did I fall for her--why did I fall for them both?--Morgana if she only knew I imagined eating her out in that dress--how am I going to stand it--only two days and I’m falling apart--feel out of control--bloody Slytherin I can do it--deep breath, sip your tea, nothing’s wrong--everything’s wrong--why the two of them out of everyone?--why?--ouch--don’t react--keep on your mask--ouch!--am I having a heart attack?--dramatic, you’re fine--vacation after this--calm down--be fine--ouch.”

And Narcissa felt the pain herself and knew it for what it was. Heartache. She stilled the urge to rub her own chest before the images dragged her under. She saw a glimpse of herself, younger, colder, elegant and made up to a T, but the edges were softened by the viewer, awe in every angle. Another of her a bit older, drawn, perhaps right before the war, and the feeling of wanting to protect herself enveloped her. Another later, during her changes, growing, learning, and the proud feeling flooding through her. A few months before, at lunch, laughing, and a squeezing heart of someone who knew someone they couldn’t have. And then Hermione was in front of her, a first year, being teased until she cried and the overwhelming sense of guilt. Later, bedraggled and soot smudged in the ruins of the castle and hate and nervousness at the change coming. At the Ministry, cheeks filled out again, smiling, a frail scrap of an expression, and remorse and hope and an extended hand in peace. The first genuine laugh painting Hermione’s face and the joy and satisfaction that put it there. Two years ago, seeing Hermione on her couch relaxing in sweats with her cat and a book and the fondness that almost stumbled into realization before pulling back. And then two days ago when the realization had hit, seeing Hermione in the dress Narcissa loved, and the bitter disappointment of being too late.

She blinked, finally able to stem the tide and shield herself as Pansy herself started to get a grip on her emotions. She took a sip of her tea, hands steady as if nothing had happened, but it most assuredly had. She looked over the woman in front of her, considering. Pansy Parkinson was in love with her and Hermione. There was certainly no denying that, not after everything she’d seen. Deeply in love, deeply enough that she was trying to let them be happy, to never let either of them know, to still be their friend instead of opening her mouth. When people thought that Slytherins were selfish, they were right in some instances, but they always forgot this, that a true Slytherin would put everything on the line for their chosen few. She certainly had in that forest at the Battle of Hogwarts.

She sat back, considering. If it had been Pansy in danger, would she have done the same? She didn’t even have to think about it, the answer was yes. Well then. Didn’t that put things into perspective. This woman was as important to her as her son, and despite the fact that she was Draco’s friend, maternal was certainly not how she felt about her. She’d always viewed her as a friend and equal past her graduation, more now that she was a powerful woman in her own right. Now the question was what to do about this.

“Narcissa?” Pansy asked, sensing something had gone awry, though her face had just the slightest bit of confusion on it. She didn’t know what happened. She’d informed the woman years ago that she was a natural legilimens, but she never really told anyone just how powerful she was. Perhaps she thought she’d only gotten just the barest of glimpses.

“Yes, darling?” There were certainly things she needed to look into, primarily if Hermione had any inclination towards her friend, but perhaps there was potential here. What a powerful group they would make. Narcissa bit the inside of her lip, feeling excitement flow through her at the thought of a plot.

Pansy’s eyes narrowed. She’d never called her darling before, she was certain of it. It’d been a conscious choice to use it now. She wanted to see if the woman would catch it, and catch it she had. She could see the moment she realized that Narcissa had gotten more than a glimpse and now wasn’t rejecting her outright or acting as if nothing had happened. Oh no, it was subtle of course, but Slytherin games usually were. The wheels behind her eyes started turning and Narcissa thought that maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t even have to make a scheme of her own. Pansy was motivated after all.

“Since I designed a dress for Hermione, I think it’s only fair that I make you something for tomorrow,” Pansy finally said after a moment’s thought, a bit of a smirk just edging up her lips.

Oh yes, she was motivated indeed . “I think that’s a wonderful idea, darling, very, very wonderful.”

Chapter Text

Well. Pansy certainly had made her life more interesting by agreeing to dress Narcissa. And of course she wouldn’t have even suggested such a thing if not for the fact that something had been going on, sitting at that table with their tea growing cold and she couldn’t let it go. This would allow her to play for time of course and scope out just why Narcissa had called her darling and why she’d looked like that while doing it. Which now meant she actually had to find something suitable for Narcissa to wear. Something that she hadn’t already designed yet since Narcissa had just seen quite literally everything she had on paper. And she had twenty-four hours to design, cut, and sew it.

She was going to have to stop being so dysfunctionally gay when she made her promises. Not that she saw another way to deal with this particular problem right now, gay or not she had done the best she could to keep herself intimately involved in the game, but. She pinched the bridge of her nose and stared at the blank sketch page in front of her. It was taunting her, she swore she could hear it. If she was anyone else she might just set the damnable thing on fire, but she was better than that, thank you.

Though not by much.

Her brain was just stuck at the thought about what would look good on Narcissa Black because the obvious answer was everything . The woman could wear sackcloth and ashes and the new morning half of the witches in wizarding Britain would be trying to put their spin on it. One supposed that could just be because she was a Black and a former Malfoy and if there were any true royalty in magical society those two families would come the closest. Truly, though, it was more about sheer force of will. Narcissa was just a presence , never unnoticeable in a room unless she wanted to be, and her word was almost always final in most halls of wizarding power even though she held no office. Pansy had no idea how she’d managed that after the fall of the war, but she had and that only made her more impressive. What sort of dress did you design a woman like that?

She frowned harder for a moment. Well. She’d designed Hermione’s dress on the principles of ‘what any date would like to see’ and designed around her best assets. This time, however, she knew Hermione and knew what the other woman was most attracted to physically in a woman. They’d talked about it, though Pansy had only gotten her to admit anything other than a ‘sharp intelligence and an even sharper wit’ after she’d had two firewhiskeys and three butterbeers. Then the story had changed to “pretty, pretty eyes, and necks, oh Merlin necks, I just want to kiss them. And boobs. Mhm, yeah, those too.” Which Hermione had not remembered the morning after, but was still the reason she wore low cut tops around the woman. Why exactly she hadn’t figured out that she’d been half in love with Hermione this whole time sooner was beyond her. Ah well, it gave her something to work with now. And Narcissa’s cleavage was...she swallowed hard. She was going to have to do a quick fitting on this dress, she decided. Magical tailoring charms wouldn’t be near as good as doing it herself, of course.

Her pencil started moving, sketching out a modified swan neck collar to draw attention to Narcissa’s neck, plunging the neckline just below the bust, doubling down by adding just a bit of a cinch there, thank Merlin for magical charms to keep everything where it needed to be, kept the dress sleeveless because Narcissa had arms that were subtly defined until the right moment and then suddenly they had everyone with taste drooling over them. Not that she had ever drooled of course. The hem she let drop until just above the knee, nipping in the dress at the waist and letting it flow from there. Narcissa in a miniskirt would kill Hermione outright and that wasn’t yet the objective. Though the idea did bear merit for later. 

She blinked at the sketch for a moment. She had the barebones of something good here and something that would sit up and get Hermione’s attention in the biggest way. Though she hadn’t done anything to emphasize Narcissa’s eyes. She could do that same ice blue color she’d used in one of her sketches, but no that was too obvious now. It had to be something else. Then she remembered a dress that Narcissa had worn ages ago, a brilliant purple that had reflected up to her eyes and turned them the palest shade of lavender in the reflected light. She’d looked ethereal, a fae from the old legends come to life, and she she hadn’t realized she’d been in love with Narcissa before that moment, she would have certainly then. Yes. Yes, that color would certainly do. Now all she had to do was actually make the thing real.

Her hands set to work again, editing finer details, adding embellishments, finery to make it Narcissa’s and no one else’s. Salazar knew, if enough people saw this dress on Narcissa perhaps she’d just have to launch her house soon rather than later. Narcissa wouldn’t be stingy on the name dropping and praise for her if someone asked who the dress was from, especially not after the afternoon’s talk. If that happened she would certainly have yet another thing to plot on her hands, but somehow, despite being something she’d wanted since third year, it was far less important than the plot right in front of her. Business she could figure out easily enough. Halfwit men did it therefore she could do it with one arm tied behind her back and half-distracted. Hermione Granger was a harder problem.

She was designing this dress for Narcissa, could physically fit this dress on her and let her actions speak for her interest, not that Narcissa needed it after today. She was certain she’d seen enough when her mental shields had dropped for far longer than she’d planned. More that she’d get a clue to Narcissa’s broader intentions during the fitting. She was still going on the date with Hermione after all and one could never be too sure about a Slytherin’s intentions until they were intentionally revealed. She’d called her darling and encouraged her to make this dress, but did that mean she wanted her to pursue her and Hermione or was it something different? She supposed she would treat it as her favored outcome, both of them, until she found out otherwise. She might just be able to force it into being that way if she tried hard enough, even if that hadn’t been what Narcissa had had in mind in the first place. 

But after years of being friends with Hermione, just how did she get the stubborn woman to see that she wanted her in a very different way. For all her brilliance, for interpersonal relationships, she could be quite thick at points. And she wasn’t one for grand sweeping gestures. Nor did she want Hermione to think that she was trying to sweep her out from under Narcissa’s grasp.

She sighed as she grabbed her wand to call for fabric, something silky, but not pure silk, it needed to have a bit more weight to it, a silk cotton blend should do it and it would keep Narcissa cool in the summer weather and if anything more...steamy should happen. Her hands worked, tracing out the pattern she wanted on the fabric carefully. It took concentration, but not enough that her mind couldn’t keep whirling on, giving her ideas and then just as quickly throwing them out. No grand sweeping gestures, but an underhanded plot was very much on the table, and yet she didn’t want it to be too underhanded. If it worked it would be the beginning of her relationship with Hermione. She couldn’t have that begin on a fake note. It would be like trying to pass a hollowed out sickle in the upper end of Diagon, the consequences would far outweigh the gain.

She scrubbed her hands over her face, leaving a smudge of chalk on her cheek. She could feel the fine grit of it on her skin, but she didn’t have time for that right now. She looked at the outline and nodded. That would do. She set magic to cutting out the shape for her, watching it like a hawk all the while.

Perhaps she could say that she was thinking of going out on a blind date now that Hermione’s had worked out so well? Maybe that Draco had set her up? Could she set it up to where Hermione was her date? Would that work even? No, that was a terrible idea. She could perhaps take that idea and morph it into just taking Hermione to a romantic restaurant, but she knew that would just fly over her head. No this was more complicated than that. 

She inspected the pieces of the dress as they floated down to her work station. Perfect, as usual. Good. She would accept nothing less for this. Not that she usually did, but the standard were even harsher for this dress obviously. She blew her bangs out of her face with a heavy sigh. She needed to get a trim soon, they were starting to get annoying.

Pansy laughed once as the thought of just telling Hermione what it was that she wanted straight out crossed her mind. Definitely not her style. Though...Hermione had a compulsive need to help. If she framed it as a situation where she used no names and like she needed Hermione’s help in deciding what to do next….Salazar, that was almost horribly cliched wasn’t it? And what were the chances of it actually working? Hermione would honestly help her but she would think Pansy was being at face value as always. She’d earned Hermione’s trust like that. Politics had changed her in that she didn’t think the same of everyone, but Pansy wasn’t everyone, and wasn’t that just half the problem right now. Ugh, if only the damned Gryffindor would just ask her out and be the bullish one for the both of them that would suit her just fine. But first the woman had to know that she was in love with her first.

Oh. Oh. Perhaps there was an idea, a bit of an amalgamation. She could say that she was open to dating again, did want to settle down finally, but was having problems finding someone who fit her ideals. If she dropped something about always hating the fact that she thought it was romantic when best friends fell for one another, and how was she supposed to find anyone half as good as the golden girl. Her coup de grace could be that Hermione had taken her childhood crush now too, and considering they were taken and not looking for a third, well, wouldn’t just make her search that much harder. All just on that dry sense of humor and snark she always used, no real feelings behind it, except this time there actually were. Hermione wouldn’t think anything of it until later. She always overthought everything. She’d think about Pansy being her best friend, think about what she’d said, and have no choice but to wonder if two plus two equaled four. If she added on a bit more physical affection than her normal, nothing that would still be friendly, but noticeable, that would only up the ante.

She sat down and summoned the sewing machine and started away on all the bigger seams. If she played that right Hermione would be the one charging in with her Gryffindor-self head first, realizing that she might just be interesting in Pansy, but that she had a time limit to do something about it, and since she was honest to a fault, well, she would have to tell Narcissa about it too because otherwise she would explode with guilt at keeping a secret from the woman she was dating. 

Pansy blinked, realizing something, stopping her stitching for a moment. She would be using Hermione much like she had a suspicion that Narcissa was using her. Were Slytherins really that predictable, using someone else to do their dirty work and still reaping all the benefits?

Of course they were.

And this way, well, it would be Hermione’s idea, and Pansy wouldn’t have to put herself out there until it was the right time. She could do that when she needed to, with people she trusted, even if it still wasn’t her strong suit. And she trusted Narcissa and Hermione with her life.

She started sewing again, humming quietly under her breath as the dress she designed quickly came to life. She had an idea. It may or may not work out exactly as planned, but she knew the players and the game well enough that she had more than a seventy-five percent chance of success. That was good enough for her, and even if it didn’t go as planned, well, it wouldn’t all self-destruct. She could try another tack. It truly was nothing ventured, nothing gained in the best way.

So she let her hands work, brain calm again and absorbed by the stitches until she held Narcissa’s dress in her hands, spelled now to the right purple color. And oh yes, yes this would work indeed. And it would certainly be her pleasure to make sure this fit Narcissa optimally, right before Hermione arrived of course. Then her first salvo would start, and oh, wouldn’t that just be fun?

 

--



Narcissa opened the door for a slightly flustered Pansy. “Sorry I’m late, I hope you got my owl explaining why.”

She had, of course. An emergency at the office on a Monday a week from the publishing deadline wasn’t the most surprising thing in the world. “I did, is everything fixed?” She stepped back and let the woman in, but half a step short so Pansy would have to brush by her.

Pansy stepped forward without hesitation, supply kit and garment bag slung behind her so she was pressed even more into Narcissa than planned, brushing their fronts together lightly. The younger woman smelled like the paper and ink of offices and the last lingering hint of a jasmine perfume. It was a rather pleasant smell and she hummed quietly to herself. That she could certainly get used to next to the fire after a long day, relaxing on the divan with a bottle of wine. She was tempted to dip into the other woman’s mind to see just what she had planned to make that a reality, but held off. Sometimes surprises were quite fun, and in this she actually found she wanted a bit of mystery. 

“Merlin’s saggy ball bag, yes, finally. Sometimes the incompetence of my lower staff astounds me. Or really I suppose it’s the fact that they hide things. I’ve made it clear that while I expect the very best, if something is not going well speaking up beforehand is much better than keeping everything secret until it explodes. I don’t yell if problems are brought to me early enough to fix them easily. But no. At least once an issue some bloody fucking wanker hides something until I have to call in the bloody light brigade to fix it.” She huffed loudly, seemingly inches away from just stomping her foot in aggravation.

Narcissa reached out and placed a hand on Pansy’s arm. The woman calmed down a bit almost immediately, distracted by the touch, but doing nothing as noticeable as looking down at Narcissa’s hand on her. She squeezed gently, feeling the soft skin underneath her and biting the inside of her lip. If she felt that soft all over she was going to be delicious. 

“You’re here now, that’s all that matters, darling.” She glanced to the clock hung in the parlor off to the right. “However, we will have to hurry along if the dress will be ready when Hermione arrives at seven for dinner.”

“Right, yes, lead on and I’ll get down to it then. It should fit rather well already. I do have a good eye for measurements.”

Narcissa bet she did after all the time she’d spent surreptitiously staring at her. She laughed almost silently to herself and led Pansy up to the second floor and into the family wing. After the divorce she’d chosen one of the smaller Black family homes to live it, but it was by no means actually small. Her family hadn’t ever known the meaning. She led her to the end of the hall, the master suite, which she of course claimed as mistress of the manor. She wondered just how long Pansy would freeze upon realizing that she was in her bedroom for the first time. Oh, wouldn’t it just be adorable. It certainly would give her the motivation to complete whatever scheme she had quickly, so her second time in this room could be more...pleasurable.

She pushed open the door and led Pansy inside, walking over to the three way mirror stationed right outside her closet door and directly across from her rather massive four post bed. Granted it was a large set of rooms, of course, but there was hardly any missing it. Pansy’s gait faltered. Narcissa was impressed that she managed to start herself up again only half a second later, but her eyes kept glancing back to the bed. The woman had never been in her rooms when she was younger. Draco had been taught to knock and they would come to him. Considering her predilection for sleeping in the nude, and the fact that Lucius was the equivalent of a university aged boy showing off his empty alcohol bottles, but only with sex toys, well, it was certainly better that way. Not that Narcissa didn’t have her own collection of sex toys, but they were stored in a beautifully crafted wooden chest hidden below the bed as Merlin intended. Which one would be Pansy’s favorite, she wondered. 

A wicked grin crossed her face. She could send thoughts as well as receive them if she was close enough to the person emotionally. Would Pansy drop the things she was holding? Oh she just had to see. She focused on the bright spot of the other woman’s mind and nudged just briefly, enough to create a hole that a stray thought could believably slip through, and then sent an image of the box open and all its contents and then a faint wondering about Pansy in the next moment.

She had to hold back a laugh as that caused the witch to choke. It was rather smoothly turned into a cough, but Narcissa had known it for what it was. She had most certainly won this round of interaction. Pansy would have to work with Hermione mostly likely if they wanted to get one over on her. Clever witches, both of them, but she was the one with twice their experience. That sent a zing of excitement through her that thoughts of the witches separately didn’t bring. Of course she liked the idea of having the two of them together, she wouldn’t be pursuing this if not, but that thought gave her pause. She hadn’t thought about two partners before this, hadn’t been allowed to want such a thing for most of her life thus far, but...it felt right to want. Interesting that her witches could teach her something about herself already.

For now, though, it was time to stop tormenting the witch. They were on a schedule after all. Then she could torment Hermione all night on their date. Poor woman would regret her own self-imposed three date rule, but that did give them all time to come together as it were. She smirked at her own pun. They certainly would be doing that later, she was sure of it.

“Now, how would you like me for the fitting?” Narcissa asked, continuing until she was standing right in front of the mirrors.

“I, uh.” Narcissa watched her realize something that added just a touch of pink to her cheeks. “Right, it’s very low cut and should be decently form fitting, so no bra and probably no slip if that’s your usual.” 

Ah that would do it then. But Narcissa had no such hesitations. She waved her wand and the clothes she had been wearing banished themselves into the hamper in the closet and she was standing there in just a scrap of a thong. If Hermione decided to break her rules, of course she wanted to be ready.

“Sweet Salazar fucking Slytherin, you’re gorgeous.” Pansy’s mouth seemed to move before she could shut it. Her color deepened, but she stood tall nonetheless. Good.

“Thank you, darling, I do put in the work to keep myself looking good.”

“I would say so.” She cleared her throat, dropping her back off to the side and handing over the garment bag.

Narcissa unzipped it and revealed a dress in the same shade as one she’d owned years before. She’d loved the color, but the style had gone out of fashion and she had still been caught within the need to be that high society wife, and once it was out, she had donated it with regret. She ran her fingers over the fabric, soft and cool like silk but more weight to it.

“Silk?” She asked, slipping out the dress and then carefully pulling it on. She looked at herself in the mirror, and even with the few places that it needed adjusting, it was beautiful.

“Silk cotton blend. It needed more weight to cling the right way.” Pansy drew out a few pins and set to work, at ease now with something to focus on.

“And so it does.” Narcissa hummed in pleasure. “And this is brand new all in a day and it’s brilliant. However did you manage it?” She resisted the urge to run her hands down the dress. Right now that would only get in the way and probably prick a finger.

“I just took what I knew Hermione liked in a woman and designed a dress around that. If her jaw doesn’t hit the floor I’ll eat my hat.”

“Wonderful, darling,” she purred, “I knew you’d come up with something perfect.”

Pansy glanced up at her for just a second, but there was pride and wonder in her eyes. Merlin, if that didn’t make her want to tug the other woman up and kiss her. She would be putty in her hands in an instant. She shifted slightly at the thought, willing herself to calm for now. There would be time later, of course, and then she could indulge. 

The fitting continued, Pansy fixing the problem areas bit by bit, making an already perfect dress extraordinary. She was content with the silence that developed. Pansy needed to concentrate, and it was no hardship to watch her work. But even with the quick, deft hands she had, the doorbell rang out before she was done and Narcissa saw a moment to do a bit of meddling of her own to increase the pace of their coming together.

She pulled on the wards, tied into her own magic by blood, and suddenly Hermione was in her bedroom, about ten feet from them, looking absolutely gobsmacked at what had just happened. She looked around, tamed sleek hair, whipping about her face for a moment until she saw Narcissa and Pansy.

“How in the world did I end up here?” Hermione asked, before she actually registered Narcissa’s reflection in the mirror and the dress on her body. “Oh! I. Oh. Narcissa I’m. I. Uh. Um.”

Pansy stood and stretched, moaning just slightly at the action of unbunching muscles and stepped around Narcissa to get closer to Hermione. “Narcissa, I think you might have broken her.”

“I think it’s rather well established that it’s teamwork. After all, she wasn’t this nonfunctional at the last date. It must be the addition of the dress.”

Hermione was still a bit too broken to reply. Her mouth kept moving but no words would come out.

Narcissa saw the moment that Pansy’s body language shifted just slightly, leaning forward as if to action and she waited for something interesting to happen. “Now all that I need to design a dress of myself to causes someone to be that speechless over me. Then perhaps I might find a girlfriend and settle down.”

Hermione blinked and turned immediately to Pansy. “Wait, what? I thought you said you were done dating forever because it was, and I quote ‘a load of Merlin be damned patriarchal bullshit that a woman needs to end up with a partner anyway and if I need an itch scratched I know a good bar to pick up someone to fuck.’ You said that six months ago! Who are you and what have you done with my friend?”

Pansy shrugged and rolled her eyes “Well, just because dating is a bloody clusterfuck doesn’t mean that I don’t want to find someone eventually. On my terms of course, it isn’t like I’ve become a mole person. Besides, I said that after the worst date of my entire life, do you remember?”

Hermione shivered and nodded. “Goldfish girl.”

“Goldfish girl,” Pansy agreed. “Not everyone can show up to a blind date and find Narcissa Black on the other end of the table, hmm?”

Narcissa sensed a moment here that needed to be taken. “To be fair, darling, if you had, I’m certain it would be us on this second date now. You are a remarkable woman. It’s very obvious how the two of you ended up so close. You truly are magnificent. Together? I imagine there is little the two of you can’t do.”

Hermione blushed a deep crimson at the praise. Oh my, didn’t that just make her want to eat the woman alive right here, right now, date be damned. She could kneel in front of her in a second and she was sure that Hermione would collapse the second she realized her intentions. And then Pansy, oh, devilish Pansy would certainly find something to do with herself. Perhaps just sit back and watch and touch herself. Or perhaps try to join in. But no. Not yet. It wasn’t right this time.

“Yes, well, Draco and Ginny know better than to meddle in my private life. Unfortunately in this case. Who knows. They could have just as easily set me up with Hermione.” She smiled at her friend with a suggestive tilt of her eyebrow. “Ginny does keep saying that we need to get our bloody lesbian shit together after all. I thought she was going to trap us under the mistletoe last year just to get us to kiss and fall in love like one of those dime store romances she reads.”

Hermione laughed at that, but there were wheels turning behind her eyes. “She did plan to, but Harry distracted her for us, I think. There was only so many times we could say we were just friends.”

“Are you saying that you wouldn’t have kissed me to free us from the mistletoe, Granger?” Pansy arched an eyebrow. “That you would’ve just hexed the littlest weasel until she took it down instead?”

“I imagine it would be no hardship to kiss Pansy,” Narcissa said, smiling at the rising color in Hermione’s cheeks coming back now after just finally having faded. “I certainly wouldn’t destroy the mistletoe if I was trapped under it with her.”

“I would have kissed her,” Hermione said after half a moment. “Of course, it’s the path of least resistance. And every other gay woman at the ministry has told me that she’s very good with her tongue.”

Narcissa might be wrong, but she thought Hermione looked a bit jealous at that. She filed the bit about Pansy being good with her mouth again later. She had some ideas for that, certainly. 

“Hmm, I thought I’d be a bit over half by now. I do have an appetite after all.” She shrugged nonchalantly. “And no one at home to slake that thirst. No one is near impressive enough nor do I trust any of them enough to let it go farther.”

Now that Narcissa rather thought was the deepest truth and not a facade to try and get Hermione to realize just what was in front of her. She put a hand on Pansy’s shoulder and squeezed. “Well, if you need someone to help you vet anyone you might find interesting, I’m always here.”

“And if you need to talk, you already burst through my floo more often than not.” Hermione smiled. “Speaking of, are we on for Thursday still? I know it’s right before publication week, so I thought I’d ask.”

Pansy pulled back a bit, no longer leaning forward, no longer engaged in the subtle games to get her way. The woman had talent, Narcissa would give her that. This was exactly when she would’ve pulled back too. “Yes of course. I’ll hex the idiots at the office if they cause me to miss trashy movie Thursday and they know it.” She turned back to Narcissa. “Now, let’s finish up that dress so you can get on with your date.”

Chapter Text

Pansy was rather exhausted by the time she managed to floo into Hermione’s apartment once again. She desperately hoped Hermione already had the food ordered and the wine opened because she desperately need it. She could also go for just laying her head in Hermione’s lap and having her hair played with, but that was probably a step too far for now. After she had some wine in her, she had a plan, but not until at least the first half of her curry was gone. At least she hoped Hermione had gotten curry. Chinese was also acceptable, but curry had become a new comfort food for her after the other witch had introduced her ages ago.

“Hermione?” She called out, dusting herself off.

“Kitchen,” came her reply.

Pansy walked into the kitchen to find the scent of curry wafting up from take out boxes and she could’ve cried happy tears. If Slytherins did that of course. “Oh I think I love you Granger, that’s exactly what I wanted tonight.”

Hermione turned around with a mostly full glass of wine and handed it over. “Thought that might be something you wanted too. I even sprung for the fancy wine you like.”

Pansy wanted nothing more than to kiss her in that moment, but just took the wine instead. She took a huge slug of it and sighed. “Yes, yes I certainly do.” She rubbed her face with her free hand, not caring about her makeup right now if the fixing charm had worn off. “Next Wednesday truly cannot get her fast enough.”

“You say that once a month.”

“I do, but September issues are always the worst. Never mind that we’ve been working on it for the better part of three months since it’s that massive, but it’s always so much trouble.”

Hermione reached out to squeeze Pansy’s shoulder supportively. “I’m sure it’ll be lovely. And even though you moan about it somehow I know you still love it. Just. Love it more with wine.”

“I’ll drink to that.” Pansy tipped her glass up and poured half of it in her mouth. “So what movie are we watching?”

Hermione fidgeted for a moment. “Well, uh, I’ve been in a romcom mood lately.”

“Gee one does so wonder why,” Pansy snarked. “Especially after the letter I got Tuesday telling me all about your date after I left. I still don’t understand why you didn’t shag her.” Not that she was very upset about that. If she could pull this all off before Hermione and Narcissa slept together for the first time, she would love that. She wanted to watch their first time together desperately .

“Oh shut up you bloody git. I can wait until tomorrow.” Her hand dropped to her back. “Or more likely the date after that. I think I’m about to get my period, and while that’s not really embarrassing in the grand scheme of things--”

“Yes, yes, we’re all women and you’re normal rant about normalizing periods,” she cut in.

“Yes exactly. But I don’t want the first time to be so messy. That can come later if Narcissa’s comfortable.”

Somehow Pansy imagined Narcissa was more than fine with a little blood. Especially after that view of her toy box she’d seen through that memory on Monday. What she wouldn’t give to have Narcissa use every single thing on her.

“You’re adorable when you want to make things perfect, you know that?” Pansy took up a plate of food. “So what trashy rom com am I being forced to watch this time?” Their movie nights had started out as a way to catch Pansy up on muggle culture, but once she’d seen everything that Hermione deemed good, they’d just started watching whatever came to mind. On a string of particularly bad movies and the delight of making fun of them, they’d decided just to continue watching bad ones on purpose and thus trashy movie Thursday had been born. And the fact that Hermione wanted to watch a rom com now, well, it definitely wasn’t hurting her wider plans.

“13 going on 30. It just came out.” Hermione picked up her own plate of food and they both went into the living room and settled down as she clicked on the TV and set the movie to playing.

Pansy felt herself practically melting into the couch as she consumed mass quantities of curry. She hadn’t had time to eat lunch today and now that there was food in front of her, she was starving as fuck. Ugh, having this sort of thing on the daily? It sounded like heaven really.

They watched together, Pansy asking if muggles had really thought that that was fashion in the 80s, and Hermione confirming. Goodness and they didn’t even have sticking charms for their hair. That seemed like far too much work. Hermione muttered something about the ozone layer, but waved Pansy off when she asked what that was to explain it another time when she wasn’t two glasses of wine deep.

Rather delightfully as the movie played, she realized it was perfect for her. A friend realizing that their best friend was the one for them romantically? It couldn’t have been better. Well. It would have been if all three of them had decided to end up together, or at least sharing, but she could certainly work with what she’d been handed. 

When the movie was over and the bottle of wine gone, she felt warm and loose and yes, this would do as far as mind frame went for revealing a bit of weakness. She was safe with Hermione anyway.

She sighed dramatically and flopped back on the couch. “You know,” she said, almost as if she was actually reluctant. “As sappy as it is, I’ve always sort of loved the idea of falling in love with your best friend. I suppose that just makes me like every stereotypical lesbian out there, but.” She shrugged. 

Hermione scowled for a moment. “Wait, wasn’t your best friend Draco for the majority of your life?”

“I mean, sure, he was, and no I wasn’t ever really interested in him. Well, I thought I was, but that was just heteronormativity at work. That, however, doesn’t change that I still liked the thought of it.” She rolled her eyes at Hermione. “It only got better after a. Realizing I was gay and b. Getting actual good friends who were girls.”

She looked over at Hermione to watch her put things together. Of course, there were gears turning behind Hermione’s eyes, there almost always were in some shape or form, but she could see the necessary calculations taking place.

“Especially since now you’re dating my childhood crush and that fantasy is off the table. Now there’s just the best friend thought.”

Hermione blinked. “You had a crush on Narcissa?”

“Oh nothing past tense about it. She’s Narcissa. One doesn’t exactly outgrow a crush on her. You know how she is. She’s just...magnetic.”

Hermione nodded and sighed a bit dreamily. “She really is.”

“Yes and since I don’t think you’re open to a third or anything that’s off the table.” She shrugged. “So best friend is where all hope seems to lie now. Certainly would solve my trust issues with falling for someone don’t you think?”

“Wait,” Hermione blinked a few times. “A third? Like polyamory? You’d be ok with that?”

“Of course. Old pureblood families have done it for years. Mostly in the shadows of course, since it’s usually with a halfblood to strengthen the lines after there have been inbreeding problems, but it’s acceptable in wizarding society as a whole because of that. I grew up with that as a normal option so long as I wasn’t the third anyway. I don’t particularly care now. All I care about is two people who would love me and pay attention to me.”

Hermione couldn’t help but snort. “You do love attention.”

“Exactly.”

The other woman sat in silence for a few moments, gathering up their glasses and plates with her fidgeting hands. “If it’s acceptable, why haven’t I seen anything written about it? It’s not really acceptable in muggle culture. I’ve heard whispers about it, of course, but really that’s more in one night only type of deals.”

“Probably because you weren’t looking in the right books. It would be mentioned more in pureblood literature for obvious reasons. I have a few trashy romance novels about the concept if you want to read them. As far as more factual contexts, Black Library should have plenty of texts on it if you want to ask Narcissa.”

“Oh. Maybe I should do that. I do like learning new information after all.” Her voice sounded as if it was coming from far away even though she was right beside Pansy on the couch. 

Pansy could feel things slipping neatly into place just with these few nudges, but going in for the final blow didn’t seem like a bad idea at all right now. “Have you thought about it then?”

Hermione blushed red enough that Pansy knew she had. Oh wasn’t that just delightful. She would laugh if it wasn’t completely the wrong move at the moment. No this was more a moment for a confession. She could do that if it helped.

“You know Blaise Zabini’s mum, Anathema?” Pansy asked.

Hermione looked a bit thrown by the sudden topic change, but it wasn’t really. “Yes, why?”

“Oh good, then you know she’s absolutely stunning.” Really the witch was a modern work of art. She was pleasant to talk to and clever as the Salazar Slytherin himself, and Pansy had had a crush on her for a time, mostly just aesthetically based. She hadn’t known her well. Certainly not well enough to ever compare to Narcissa or Hermione, but nonetheless. “For a few years after Hogwarts right after Narcissa got divorced and she went to stay with Anathema until the press died down, I used to imagine that somehow I’d manage to worm my way between the two of them. The rumors are that Anathema is an absolute tiger in bed and I would not mind that in the slightest.”

“She’s suspected of at least seven murders!” Hermione squeaked out.

“And? Hermione, I’m gay not a saint. She hasn’t been convicted or even interviewed more than twice for all of those. Do you really think she did it if they can’t get any more evidence than that?” Of course she had, but she wasn’t about to tell Gryffindor Hermione that when she was making a point.

“Merlin knows the DMLE is largely incompetent so yes?”

Pansy laughed and tilted her head to concede that point. They all were idiots there, yes. Even Harry, though she’d never tell Draco or Hermione that on pain of being hexed until she cried uncle. He was decent enough, but not being the brightest at school only got you so far with people who could plan loops around you.

“Fine, fine but that doesn’t change that she’s the hottest witch I’ve ever seen aesthetically.”

On that Hermione hesitated. She was truly that attractive indeed.

“And it doesn’t change that I definitely wanted to be in the middle of that sandwich on at least a semi-permanent, if not permanent basis. So. Have you?”

“In passing?” Hermione’s voice was a squeak. “Not really with anyone in particular, just...I’ve wondered what it would be like.” She looked off to the side, now as red as a tomato. “Um, I just, I uh, inpornI’veseenIreallylikewhenonewomanisgettingfuckedandthenshe’seatingouttheotherone,” she said all in one big unintelligible rush.

“What was that?” Pansy asked, even though she could guess.

“In porn I’ve watched, I, uh, really like when there are three women when one of them is being fucked by one and in turn she’s eating out the other. And if you repeat that to anyone else I will hex you to death, you have my vow.”

Pansy waited until Hermione turned back to her before she took her hands and squeezed them gently. “Hermione, snarky bitch that I am, know that there is never a time in the last ten years that I’ve wanted to do you any harm. Now that we’re best friends that goes triply. I would never tell anyone your secrets without your complete consent. I love you far too much for that.” She pulled the other woman into a long hug, relishing in her warmth before pulling back with a smile. “And just so you know, you’re the only one I’ve ever told about the Anathema-Narcissa sandwich, just so you know how much I trust you.”

Hermione looked touched at that. “I’ll never do anything to betray that, Pansy. You know I won’t.”

“I do. That’s why you mean so much to me.” And perhaps the wine had made her say a bit too much, but in the moment it seemed perfect, and that plotting little space inside her, the one that always knew when she was going to get her way, it warmed. Hermione was going to do exactly what she thought she was. All she had to do now was wait.

 

--

 

Narcissa looked down at her attire for her fourth date with Hermione. It was actually what muggles would consider casual. She might have asked for tips from Draco who had in turn asked Harry, but here she was in jeans that she had to admit cupped her butt admirably and would make Hermione that much gayer over her, and a form fitting t-shirt that certainly didn’t hurt her cleavage considering the nice v-neck. She certainly could work with this. It was a better outfit for a picnic anyway. She’d never actually been taken on an honest to Merlin picnic and was a bit excited at the concept. It seemed rather romantic, really. And seeing as it was their fourth date and had been four days since their last date, she had hope for perhaps getting Hermione into her bed as well. Or perhaps depending on where the picnic was, on the picnic blanket. She certainly wasn’t picky.

She grabbed all of her things, including fried chicken which she had read was a traditional picnic food, and apparated to Hermione’s flat and knocked on the door. It popped open with a burst of magic and she stepped inside to find a slightly harried Hermione. 

“Hi Narcissa, sorry, I uh, lost track of time, but things are almost ready to go,” she said, talking a million miles an hour.

“No need to worry, darling, I have nowhere else to be this evening.” 

Hermione paused for a moment to smile at her, step forward into Narcissa’s arms and stay there for a long moment. Even through her mental shields she could tell that there was something wrong, something buzzing loudly under the surface. She was tempted to open herself up and see, to see if the thing she was so riled about was Pansy, but she held off. Hermione couldn’t help but tell her in time. It wasn’t in her nature to keep secrets for long. At least secrets from those she considered close. Otherwise...well, putting Rita Skeeter in a jar and telling no one save Harry and Ron certainly showed that in a different world she could have been a very good Slytherin.

The other witch stepped back and smiled up at Narcissa. “Thanks, sorry, just a bit frazzled after today and then well.” She shrugged. “Things do get away from you at times. I’m sure you know how it is with everything at your foundation being so busy.”

Narcissa nodded. Oh she certainly did, but that sort of nervous energy wasn’t due to things being busy. Well. In part they probably were but only because Hermione hadn’t been able to focus today and had run behind because of it. She had a feeling her focus issues were not going to be soon solved, but she had no remorse for the fact that both her and Pansy would soon be distracting Hermione in other, more pleasant ways.

Instead she held up her container. “I did bring fried chicken. I read it was traditional.”

Hermione beamed at her. “It is in some places. My parents never packed it, but I’ve always enjoyed it. Thank you!”

“Of course, darling.”

She watched as Hermione gathered everything up, fitting things into a picnic basket that had to be bigger on the inside considering the amount she fit into it, adding Narcissa’s own container last before sealing it up. She held out her arm for Narcissa who took it, wrapping herself around the shorter woman easily and thoroughly. Hermione sighed and nestled in and Narcissa felt a strong swell of fondness. It had been a great while since someone had been so relaxed around her, so easily willing to seek comfort in her. She dropped a kiss on Hermione’s head before she felt the pull of apparition take them somewhere else.

They landed on an outlook perhaps halfway up a mountain, looking out over the shallow valleys before, warm wind whipping around them. The view was spectacular and there seemed to be no one for miles around. Hermione beamed up at her as she took in everything with a smile. Well this would certainly do if Hermione decided that she was up to be had today. It would definitely be memorable as a first time just from the scenery alone.

“How did you manage to find this place?” She finally asked, turning back to Hermione.

“I got lost on a hike with my parents once and ended up here. Once I could apparate I came back here when I needed a breath of fresh air and a think. It’s one of my favorite places.”

Narcissa leaned down and kissed Hermione gently. “Then thank you for sharing such an important place with me, darling.”

Hermione blushed furiously and nodded. “Of course.” She set to work with another burst of flustered energy. Really the woman was just too easy to rile. Narcissa found it adorable. She laid out the picnic blanket, using sticking charms to make sure it stayed in place despite the breeze around them, then laying out the food and plates with careful precision.

Narcissa sank down at one of the settings and looked around at all the foods, most of which she hadn’t even seen before and seemed to be covered in some sort of sauce. “What’s that?” She pointed at a dish that she thought had potatoes and celery in it, though unsure because it was covered in something creamy.

“Oh that’s potato salad, it’s potatoes, celery, eggs, onions and pickles in a dressing that’s made out of mayo and a few other seasonings.” She then looked up at Narcissa and saw that she rather didn’t have a clue on half the foods in front of her and went down the list describing everything, egg salad sandwiches, summer rolls, pasta salad, cucumbers and onions, Mexican street corn salad, several different varieties of other sandwiches, deviled eggs, pico de gallo, lemon bars, chocolate chip cookies, and even a cherry pie.

“When did you even have time to make all of this, darling?” It looked to be enough to feed an army of people and might have taken a small army of house elves to prepare in an afternoon, but she knew the other woman was strictly against hiring a house elf, still working towards their independence, just more tempered by adult reason now.

“Well I mean magi really does help with all the chopping and such. A lot of the salads are just chopping things up and putting them in a bowl to mix, which magic can do too after I measure everything out needed for the dressing. It would have taken hours if I was a muggle, but being muggleborn, it took me an hour and a half or so with three sets of knives doing all the prep work I could ever need while I attended the harder things.”

My, my, the concentration it took to run one set of magical house gear was quite a bit, but to run three at the same time and do other, more complicated things at the same time? Well, she shouldn’t be surprised, Hermione was the brightest witch of her age and all, but still, very impressive.

“An overachiever in everything, I see, Miss Granger.” She smiled widely. “I admit I most certainly am the same. I think that’s why we fit together so well.”

Hermione’s smile was genuine even if there was still a bit of a flush on her cheeks. No doubt people had always framed her overachieving ways as something to be made fun of, but she certainly never would. Oh no, those tendencies were how you got somewhere in life, provided you know the right opportunities to use them. And Hermione was working her way up to the highest seat in the Ministry slowly but surely. She might just be the youngest Minister ever at the rate she was going. If she stuck by Narcissa? Oh she would make sure of it. She had the money, the resources, and the connections and she knew how to get her way both cleanly and with dirty hands when necessary. There was nothing that would stop her.

“Now, which of these is your favorite?” She asked. “I’ll try that first.”

Hermione pushed forward the container of deviled eggs with a smile. “I swear I could eat and entire dozen eggs at once if they were made like this. There’s just something about them.”

Narcissa picked one up and took a bite and hummed, there was tang and a hint of sweetness to go along with the silky texture of the egg white. She could definitely see why it was a favorite and why Hermione would want a dozen of them. They were very good. In fact. She finished off the one she had and took another, watching as Hermione lit up over the fact that she liked them that much.

“I could make you a plate of the things I like best?” Hermione asked.

Narcissa swallowed and patted her lips with a napkin before speaking. “That sounds wonderful, darling.” And watched as Hermione scooped out small portions of most of the salads and put a hand full of tortilla chips and pico de gallo on her plate with half a caprese sandwich before handing it over to Narcissa. She accepted it gratefully and picked up her fork, ready to try everything, but not before watching Hermione open the container with the fried chicken she brought and take out two pieces and put them on her own plate. Her heart fluttered in her chest for a moment, and here she was thinking that perhaps she had outgrown schoolgirl tendencies. No, perhaps she hadn’t, she just hadn’t had the right partner to bring out the giddiness in her since she’d been a girl. Hermione Granger really was one of a kind.

They talked as they ate, pleasant conversation, Hermione’s mind always keeping up with Narcissa’s with ease, even out pacing her in some things. This was why she’d agreed to a second date after the first. Even if nothing else had come of it, Hermione was good company, but there had been more than a spark for something else. And Narcissa wanted her rather desperately right now, but still, there was the buzzing in the back of Hermione’s head, shoved aside now to have a pleasant date with Narcissa, but she knew that it would be coming to the fore sooner rather than later. She wondered if she could somehow scheme that into ending up in bed with both her and Pansy before the day was out, but that was probably pushing things a bridge too far. Hermione wasn’t quite as ready to pull the metaphorical ripcord on more pleasurable things like Slytherins were. Probably something to do with just how sanctimonious most Gryffindors got, not that Hermione was, but well, she’d grown up with the rest of them, it would have an effect. They would need to go on at least one date first, though Narcissa did think that it would only take one. Pansy had been her best friend for years and she’d been on enough dates with Narcissa to know that they were compatible. She could stand that compromise.

When they were done with their food, Hermione stuffed everything away again, casting a cooling charm inside her bag to keep the food fresh before turning back to Narcissa. “I didn’t really have anything else planned besides dinner, but would you stay and watch the sunset with me?” She pointed over to a group of trees nearer to the edge of the outlook. “I usually lean against one of those trees if I’m watching sunrise or sunset. This ledge faces  mostly south so it’s got a decent view of both.”

Narcissa stood and offered her hand to Hermione, sweeping up the blanket in a sweep of her own wand, cancelling the sticking charms from before, and walking over to the indicated trees. She arranged the blanket with another swish of ebony wood and sat down, leaning against the tree, parting her legs and patting the area in front of her. Hermione took the hit with an excited grin, sitting down and scooting back to lean against Narcissa, snuggling into her with gusto. She wrapped her arms around Hermione and held her, relaxing thoroughly and sighing, smelling the woman’s shampoo and feeling at peace. 

They sat like that in silence for a long while, watching the sun slip towards the horizon, saying nothing, but just glorying in the presence of one another. Narcissa had missed casual intimacy like this. She leaned down, kissing Hermione’s neck lightly, hoping that it conveyed just how thankful she was for this reintroduction to feeling the softer things in life. She hadn’t ever stopped with Draco of course, but that was different. He was her baby boy, and while she was soft, so soft, only for him at some points in her life, she had also been as hard as titanium for him as well to make sure her little one was safe. Hermione...Hermione she knew could protect herself, at one point had even protected herself from Narcissa herself. She didn’t have to worry about her in the same way. She could just be in the moment, cherishing and reveling in it. 

“Narcissa?” Hermione had tensed in her arms.

Ah so it was finally time now was it? The sun had almost set and the darkness was closing in around them. “Yes, darling?” She hummed in her ear.

“I, um, I, I’ve been doing some reading and I…” She trailed off, seeming to try to find the words but failing for now.

“Reading on what?” Narcissa prompted.

That seemed to give Hermione the direction her courage had needed to go forward, but had lacked the words to continue. “Pansy said something about trios being...not common in the wizarding world but common enough in pureblood families to help with the whole inbreeding of family lines thing enough that it was acceptable as a practice. I looked into it, actually. I hadn’t come across anything about this before, but Pansy said it was just because I hadn’t been looking and she was right, once I started looking it was everywhere and I’ve spent most of the last few days reading instead of working and oh Merlin, I think might regret that later but also I don’t and I--”

“Hermione, darling, breathe, you don’t have to be nervous about whatever point you’re getting to. The Blacks never used a third to stabilize the line, but honestly they should have, so I’m familiar with the concept.”

“Right, sorry, yeah--”

“No need to ever be sorry for feeling as you do. Just breathe and walk me through what has you so frazzled about it.” She squeezed Hermione to her. The night around them was starting to cool off, and while cuddling with Hermione kept her warm enough, she supposed the other woman might be getting a bit cold. She transfigured a leaf that just landed beside her into a blanket and draped it over Hermione with gentle hands.

“Um, well.” She took a breath. “I suppose it had me on edge because, well, Pansy told me about that concept just after she’d made a joke about the two of us being together and not looking for a third and she said that right after explaining to me that she’d always had a liking of the concept of falling for her best friend. Then she said that her best avenue for finding ‘sappy romcom level love’ which isn’t a direct quote but definitely in the tone she meant it, was to fall for a best friend because I was already dating her childhood crush and she couldn’t go down that alley anymore. She didn’t say I was her best friend, but I’m well aware of Pansy’s other friends and I know I’m her best friend. I think she’s in love with me. With both of us. And she isn’t really saying anything because she respects both of us and wants us to be happy.” She paused for a long moment.

Narcissa let her take her time with everything, just held her steadfastly in the growing dim. Some part of her wanted to turn her around and kiss her until she knew everything would be all right and that she would take care of both her and Pansy and not to worry, but the more rational part knew she had to work through this herself. 

“And I think she’d go out and make some new best friend somewhere, both because she does want love no matter what she’s said in the past about patriarchal standards being bullshit and for that she’d need the level of trust she has in a best friend to actually let herself fall, and because being around me would be too painful for a while, maybe forever, and she would need someone else.” She took another deep breath, this one shuddering just a bit. “Narcissa, I don’t want her to make another best friend. She’s my best friend. She should...she should fall for me.”

She nodded softly, head moving gently against Hermione’s. “And what would that mean for us, darling? Because just stringing Pansy along because you are jealous certainly isn’t like you.”

“No I...I don’t want that either. And I certainly don’t want to lose you.” She was stock still now, almost vibrating like a wire. “After all that research I, um, well, it would be sort of perfect if Pansy is in love with me and with you and I’m...I don’t know what with Pansy but she’s certainly mine, and with this thing between us, well, it would rather work out like it was fated. If I actually believed in divination anyway. The jury is still very much out on that.”

“So you want us all to enter into a triad together is what you’re saying?” Narcissa had to be very clear on what the other woman wanted. Clear and honest communication was what would make this all work after all, even if clear and honest from a Slytherin was something rather different. Hermione already understood that after being friends with Pansy and now being with her.

“Yes. I do.” She finally twisted around in Narcissa’s arms so she could look at her. “I understand if you don’t want to be, maybe it could be more of an open triangle if you were willing to share me with her, I think that would work too, if not quite so perfectly I just--”

Narcissa put a finger over Hermione’s lips to silence her. “Hermione, darling one, I’ve known Pansy for a very long time as Draco’s friend and then a woman in her own right. There’s a reason I’ve kept in touch with her all these years when Draco’s other friends I’ve treated as if they were my own during their childhood and then let go on their way afterwards. Pansy has always been a bright spark, much like yourself. And now that she’s a powerful woman in her own right? If Pansy would want this, to be with the both of us? Darling, I think that would be perfect.” She laughed quietly. “All three of us together? Merlin, the wizarding world wouldn’t stand a chance, would it?”

Hermione blinked, tears appearing in her eyes like they’d been summoned. “Really?”

“Really.”

The younger witch launched herself forward, kissing Narcissa as the sun finally slipped below the horizon, leaving them coated in soft blue light where they almost shone like stars. Narcissa kissed her back for all she was worth, smiling into it. Fate worked hard yes, but Slytherins of course worked harder. Pansy had needed less than two full weeks. She had to say she was impressed. Impressed, and now a bit impatient to have them both in her bed.

They pulled apart and Narcissa rested her forehead against Hermione’s. “I do believe this means we need to go talk to Pansy, hmm?”

Hermione sat up straighter. “Now?”

Narcissa maneuvered so she could stand up and pull Hermione with her. “No time like the present, hmm?”

Hermione’s eyes widened but she nodded. Narcissa smiled and collected all of their things before apparting to Pansy’s doorstep with ease. 

Chapter Text

Pansy yawned and stretched, putting away the dinner dishes with a flick of her wand. She didn’t often have time to cook but in the days after deadlines, especially after the September issue deadlines, she let her staff take it easy, half days weren’t uncommon, and work crossing her own desk was slower, so she had time. By next week they’d be back at frantic, but she knew how to take time to relax when it was handed to her. She had the rest of a bottle of wine with her name on it for tonight and a long soak in her absolutely monstrous bath tub and then perhaps an early night. Well, early night for her. She was partial to being a night owl when left to her own devices.

She grabbed her bottle of wine and her glass and headed towards the stairs. She was halfway up when her wards pinged her. She turned and squinted at the front door, just visible from where she was on the stairs. She wasn’t expecting visitors. Yet her wards didn’t tingle like it was someone to worry about. So someone keyed into her personal wards was here. Was it Hermione? But she and Narcissa had a date tonight, she shouldn’t see her until tomorrow. Unless it had somehow gone wrong?

That thought had her hurrying down the stairs towards the door just in time to open it right after the knock. She blinked, seeing both Hermione and Narcissa there on her doorstep, curled together. Well, it definitely hadn’t gone wrong then if they were side apparating like that. What didn’t answer her main question though.

“Hello, fancy seeing the both of you here on date night,” Pansy said, arching an eyebrow. But she stepped back, sensing the need to come in from the both of them. She gestured into her living room, eschewing the much more formal parlors and sitting rooms for the one she actually used day to day, complete with her own TV that Hermione had rigged to work with magic so she didn’t have to have someone come out and connect her very magical manor to a cable line. If cable would actually even work in Parkinson Manor, she had doubts it actually would.

She summoned two more glasses and split the last of the bottle of wine between them, handing a glass to Hermione and Narcissa before sinking down on her couch. “So,” she said, drawing out the world, “what does bring you here? Not that I don’t love your collective company, but usually the both of you give some sort of notice before dropping in.” She looked directly at Hermione who looked both excited and absolutely terrified and her heart started beating harder in her chest. Was it time already? She knew that she’d planted the idea, but she hadn’t been so sure that it would work this quickly. Was she actually going to be able to kiss both of them tonight? Oh Merlin, she was only half ready, not that she’d ever show it. Now that it was here, well, honestly a part of her thought she might never get this far no matter her scheming. She needed a moment for it to sink in.

“Sorry,” Hermione finally said, cracking first, because of course she did. Narcissa could sit silently for an age if she wanted to. “It’s just that we were on our date and uh. Well, I realized something and I uh, well, we uh came here to ask you something.”

Narcissa put a stilling hand on Hermione’s knee which had started shaking when she was talking. “Hermione had rather gotten the feeling from you that you were romantically interested in the both of us.” Her eyes were twinkling, not giving away in the slightest that she had found out first through Pansy’s brain screaming because she was too gay to function, unfortunately. She didn’t foresee that slip up happening again in the future, what with what was happening here in front of her, she would very much be secure in the knowledge that she would have the two witches sitting in front of her for her own. Any slip ups that she might have would be in private, and she could certainly handle that.

“And Hermione and I have discussed this and thought it prudent to come over immediately to see if you would be interested in going on a date with the both of us say…” She thought visibly about her schedule. “Friday?”

“Yes,” Pansy said without hesitation. She meant to play it a bit cooler than that, but, well, she couldn’t exactly degrade the smile on Narcissa’s face or the surprise on Hermione’s. She smirked at the other woman. “Did you really think I was going to say no, Hermione?”

“I honestly have no idea, I just know I was very nervous.” She was blushing and it was adorable, and oh thank Merlin that everything had worked out as planned.

“I think I could tell from all the uhs and ums a second ago.” She stood and made her way around to sit on the coffee table in front of Hermione to take her hands. “But there was a reason I told you about my life long disease of being romantic and wanting to fall for my best friend, and it wasn’t just because we were watching that mediocre rom-com.”

“Rom-com?” Narcissa asked.

Hermione glanced at her and both of them perked up. “Narcissa, have you ever watched any muggle movies?” She asked.

“Not really, Draco has seen a handful and generally thinks they are interesting technology, but he hasn’t taken me to one yet. Apparently my blending into the muggle world skills still need work.” She shrugged elegantly. “Considering I was introduced to jeans and t-shirts today, it’s a fair observation really.”

“Invite her to Trashy Movie Thursdays?” Pansy asked Hermione.

“Yes, definitely, but before the trashy movies, I think she’d love Casablanca.” Hermione wiggled a bit in her seat. “And Gone with the Wind. And My Fair Lady. Oh it’ll be brilliant.”

“I think you just want to see women in period dress. Don’t think I haven’t noticed your very gay for that.”

Hermione blushed. “I might just. But I know you love Audrey Hepburn so hush.”

Pansy gestured at Narcissa. “She’s brunette Narcissa. I have a type.”

“Oh do you?” Narcissa purred.

Pansy felt herself melting just a little, but she managed not to show it on the outside. From Narcissa’s smirk, though, she knew Pansy was a puddle for her anyway. Damn, why did she have to fall in love with another Slytherin again? She could run rings around a Hufflepuff.

And yet. Well. She wouldn’t have nearly as much fun would she? Wouldn’t feel the frisson of excitement crawling up from the base of her spine to tingle along the rest of her body. If she was being completely honest with herself she probably wouldn’t fall for someone who couldn’t take her full on and win sometimes. Not all of the time, because she was far too sore of a loser for all of the time, though she wasn’t sure if that would really apply to Narcissa. It was unclear. She supposed she would see.

“You are the archetype, so,” Pansy said, as smoothly as she could.

“That’s wonderful to hear, darling.” She reached out and cupped Pansy’s face and oh no, there was going to be no hiding just how gay this was making her. “Was I, what was it the kids are calling it now, your gay awakening?”

“I think you saw that you very much were,” Pansy said, leaning into Narcissa’s hand.

“Saw?” Hermione asked, looking very intrigued by what was happening in front of her.

Pansy met Narcissa’s eyes and cocked an eyebrow, questioning if they should come clean about their minor collaboration to help everything towards this end with all of them together. Narcissa thought for a moment before nodding, taking her hand away from Pansy’s face, but not before swiping her thumb gently across Pansy’s lips almost as a promise for later. Pansy was definitely looking forward to when that promise was realized. 

“Well, you see, you know when I had tea with Narcissa a week or so back?” Pansy asked, turning to Hermione now that her face was free.

“Yes, why?”

“I obviously was having a bit of an...interesting time keeping it together, what with the two of you now dating and both my current crush and my former childhood crush together and rather hexing any plans I might have had in the face. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I’d pushed down the feelings I’d had for you since...it’s been a while, let’s say that, and had only finally acknowledged them just as I was helping you get ready for your first date and obviously then it was too late. Anyway, I showed up to tea, had a bit of a gay malfunction in front of Narcissa, she’s told you she’s a natural legilimens yes?”

Hermione nodded and sat forward eagerly. “I’ve actually been doing a bit of research on that in my spare time, it’s fascinating.”

Pansy glanced back at Narcissa and the both of them shared a fond look, because of course she had. That was their Hermione.

“Yeah, well, I was with her at tea, and my brain short circuited and sort of spilled the beans about me having feelings for the both of you and Narcissa saw. Which, I thought my goose was cooked and I was rather dying of embarrassment, but then she called me darling, and I knew the game might be afoot if I could get you on board.”

Hermione blinked. “All that took was her calling you darling to figure out that she might be ok with all of us getting together?”

Pansy shrugged. “Of course, what more would I need?”

“I do not think I will understand Slytherins in my lifetime, but go on.” Hermione threw up her hands a bit before sitting back a bit, leaning against Narcissa subconsciously. 

“You might just have a lifetime to try and figure it out, hmm?” Narcissa said, lowly.

“I might just.” Hermione dropped a kiss on Narcissa’s neck and the older woman melted into the touch in a way that Pansy had never seen before. Salazar, if she didn’t get to kiss these women soon she might just combust.

“Anyway,” Pansy said to get the story over with as soon as possible to move on to other, more pleasant things, “after that I thought about what might make you realize that I was certainly game for being with the both of you if you were ok with it, and well, Narcissa helped more than a bit during our dress fitting, though none of that was planned, but it did lead rather brilliantly into last Thursday where you happened to pick the perfect movie for what I’d planned to say.”

“You planned to tell me about falling for a best friend being something you’ve wanted?” Hermione’s eyebrows inched towards her hairline.

“Well of course, do I ever reveal more than I plan to? And if I didn’t plan what I was going to say, wouldn’t I sometimes reveal more of my hand that I was comfortable with? It’s plots on plots, Hermione, you know this,” Pansy said.

Hermione thought about that for a moment before acknowledging the point. “Do you ever get tired of plotting? I mean, not that I don’t agree with the outcome of all of this, because I don’t think I ever would have considered it otherwise unless it was my idea, but I think all the time and I feel the need to just shut off my brain sometimes for some rest .”

Both Narcissa and Pansy looked at each other and shrugged. “Not when it pays off so handily, darling.”

“Yeah when your plans pay off, the hit of satisfaction you get makes everything worth it. Especially this one. This one perhaps might be the best one yet.”

“Slytherins.” Hermione rolled her eyes, but it was with a fond smile on her face.

“So yes, that’s how we got here, a bit of plotting, and you did exactly what I thought you would, and now we’re going out and scheming wins again,” Pansy said with a smug smirk. She paused for a moment though, a bit of nerves strangling her for a moment. “That is ok, I hope?”

“I wouldn’t have agreed to date the two of you if I didn’t know something like this was going to happen sometime. I can’t imagine the subterfuge that Christmas will involve.” Hermione laughed. “Something Mission Impossible level I’m sure.”

“We haven’t watched that one,” Pansy said, scowling.

“It’s just knock off James Bond and not my favorite genre, so I thought we’d skip it.”

Ah. Those James Bond movies had only been good for the Bond Girl, so fair enough.

“Anyway, it seems only fitting it starts like this.” She looked at Pansy and Narcissa for a long moment. “But don’t think for a second that this sort of thing is acceptable all the time in our relationship. I know that talking about feelings is anathema, but I know the both of you can do it, so I expect that from the both of you when necessary. I think that’s only fair, don’t you?”

Pansy blinked and nodded silently. Oh dear fuck she was gay. Hermione asserting herself was always hot, but like this? Merlin’s left tit, she was only a gay woman, she had her limits.

“Yes, darling, of course. We will keep our plotting in the relationship to shenanigans and nothing more important. We certainly wouldn’t want to lose you.” Narcissa dropped a kiss on Hermione’s head.

“Good.”

They sat together like that for a moment, Pansy on the coffee table with Hermione’s hands in hers still and Narcissa hugging the woman from the side. It was nice. Everything truly felt at peace in the moment. Well. Mostly at peace. Pansy still very much wanted to kiss them, but she could wait for a better moment.

“Now,” Narcissa said, breaking the silence, “the true question is where to take you both on our first official date.”

Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but Narcissa was faster.

“No, no, darling, you did plan this date and it was wonderful. It is technically my turn to plan. Pansy can plan the one after that and join our little rotation. But this one as our first outing? Oh, that was always going to be mine to plan no matter what. I must show you off to the world in style. Mmm, yes, indeed.” Narcissa looked far away and licked her lips.

Pansy looked at Hermione who was having rather the same reaction as she was, short circuiting in gay. They truly were useless gays. Ah well, she could stand that as long as Narcissa was in the equation.

“But for now, it is late and it is certainly a work day tomorrow, so I should get you home, and leave you Pansy to the rest of your evening. You will certainly need your beauty rest for Friday.” Narcissa’s smirk just made Pansy want to kneel on the ground in front of her already. “And I need time to plot.”

She stood, pulling both Pansy and Hermione with her. She leaned forward and kissed Pansy on the cheek, lingering for long moments before pulling back with a smirk.

Hermione darted forward and hugged her hard. Pansy held her for a long moment, reveling in the contact that meant something different now that they had a possibility of more. She pulled back finally and attached herself back to Narcissa. 

“We’ll see each other on Friday then, darling.” Narcissa said, before exiting the room.

Pansy knew a good host would follow her out and show her guest the door, but honestly? Her knees turned to water the second that Narcissa and Hermione were out of sight. She sunk back down on the coffee table and let out a huge breath. She was going on a date with Hermione Granger and Narcissa Black. An honest to Merlin date. She covered her mouth and shrieked to herself. And if no one ever heard her, she had plausible deniability that she never had done such an undignified thing. But really, what else was she supposed to do on a night like this? Read a book? She rather thought not.

Now, though, she had to face the interminable wait for Friday and as patient as she could be, well, there were always exceptions, weren’t there? This would probably be the only time that she wished work was busier to distract her. As it was, well, another glas or two of wine should do the job well enough, she supposed. But not before she set a timer to count down to Friday with a twitch of her wand, glowing green in the corner, before she went off in search of another bottle of wine.

 

Chapter Text

Narcissa, of course, had had a plan the second that Hermione had said that she wanted to be with Pansy as well. It had been brewing in her mind before that, but in that second she had known it would be truly perfect. And it did involve an early start and a bit of deception and an owl to Witch Weekly stating that Pansy wouldn’t be in this morning in her handwriting so no one would be the wiser that it wasn’t her who had taken off. Hermione wouldn’t have appreciated such a gesture, but she was well aware that Pansy would be rightly impressed by such forgery. All of the Scared Twenty-Eight wove anti-forgery spells into their quills so no one could copy their writing by magic. Narcissa had done it by eye since magic certainly couldn’t prevent that. Yet anyway, that sounded like an interesting spell to try and perfect later. 

But the fact of the matter was that she wanted to make up a bit of lost time with Pansy and certainly make up for the inequality of the time she’d spent alone with her darlings. She knew the other woman wouldn’t think anything of it, but she did, and she knew it would touch Pansy deeply. So this morning she was collecting her before she apparated to work and they were going shopping and then on to the spa to have a massage and their hair done for their date and they would get to see Hermione’s mouth drop open seeing them together dressed to the nines. It would be perfect.

So Narcissa floo’d directly into Pansy’s foyer, knowing her wards would alert the other woman that she was there. She wondered if she had caught her before she had started getting ready for the morning or was she wandering around already, most of the way dressed and ready.

“Am I going to have to put a special ward tag on you?” Pansy asked, appearing at the top of the sweeping staircase, still in her robe, but freshly showered. She’d been up for at least a short while. Narcissa licked her lips. Fresh and clean Pansy looked even more edible than dressed to the nines, but that had always been Narcissa’s preference, to see who a person truly was behind the mask they put on for society. There was nothing that drew her in more than getting to see everything a person might want to hide. Willingly, of course, when it was a romantic partner. Everyone else? Well, that just suited her purposes.

“Knowing you, darling, I think you already do,” Narcissa said, climbing the stairs slowly with a Cheshire grin on her face. Her eyes couldn’t quite find the motivation to stop roving Pansy’s form. Shame that she had plans to take her later with Hermione for the first time. She could certainly stand to have her here, bent over the railing, moans echoing across marble, and offending portraits of Parkinsons long past, hidden away as they were now in far corners of the manor that Pansy never used. They would certainly still hear if she fucked her here, the acoustics were just right. That could be used for later, she was certain.

“You aren’t wrong.” Pansy looked up at Narcissa, several more inches shorter than her than normal without her normal heels. She could practically scoop the entire woman into her arms like this and Pansy would certainly get an eyeful of one of her best assets.

Narcissa bent down and kissed her thoroughly. She couldn’t help it, seeing her like this. If she didn’t allow herself to kiss her, to allow some outlet, she would just take her right here. From the way Pansy was kissing her, she didn’t think the other woman would mind in the slightest. Were it not for Hermione, she would just say the hell with the day and drag her to bed just on the kiss alone.

“Well, good morning to you too,” Pansy said, panting, when Narcissa finally found the strength to pull back.

Narcissa laughed, deep in her throat, and she watched as Pansy’s pupils dilated even further. “Yes, good morning, darling. A very good morning indeed.”

“I think I need another shower. This one cold.” She cocked an eyebrow at Narcissa. “I’m assuming you’ll want to wait until we’re with Hermione, anyway.”

“A correct assumption.”

Pansy rubbed her hands across her face and groaned, but nodded a second afterwards. “I mean, I feel the same way, but my sense of judgement went out the window the second you kissed me so I’m not the best judge right now. Merlin, I’ve been waiting for that since I was twelve.”

“Worth waiting for?” Narcissa teased.

“You damn well know it was.” Pansy tried to take another step back to give herself a bit of breathing room, but her knee gave out, and sent her dipping towards the floor. Narcissa reached out and caught her easily, keeping her up until Pansy could get her feet under her. “Why am I not surprised that you are stronger than you look?”

“It suits my purposes to be deceptively strong. Yoga is very good for improving strength but not bulking out a body to the point of being noticeable.” She let a wicked grin onto her face. “That and the improvement in flexibility make it well worthwhile.”

“Bloody fucking hell just strike me down from above Merlin I will not make it to tonight,” Pansy said, in a whisper that Narcissa thought she wasn’t supposed to catch, but certainly had. The acoustics really were wonderful in this area. “What brings you here so early? Our date isn’t set until seven,” she asked, recovering admirably. 

Narcissa produced a copy of the letter she’d sent into Witch Weekly, letting her staff know she was taking a day and handed it to Pansy. “It seems you’re taking a day off and the two of us are going to find dresses that will cause our Hermione to malfunction in some new and interesting way and then on to the spa for a massage and getting our hair done. All my treat of course since I’ve rather coopted you.”

Pansy looked over the letter and then back at Narcissa. “I wouldn’t even know this is a forgery. That’s rather impressive, how did you manage it with the charms?”

She debated on keeping her secrets, she certainly wouldn’t tell anyone else. But Pansy was, and had always been different. “They don’t prevent manually copying something by hand. And if you turn someone’s writing upside down, it’s much easier to imitate. You’re just looking at shapes then, not words, and it lets your brain focus on recreating them.”

“Oh that is very interesting,” Pansy said, eyes sparking to life, a hundred plots and schemes coming right to the forefront.

“Yes, I learned it from a classmate at Hogwarts who’s muggle father was a conman. She certainly taught me a lot of useful information.” Like how to eat out a woman properly for one, most assuredly something she would be using later tonight as well.

“And here Draco only taught me how to knick sweets from house elves who would’ve just let us have them if we demanded them anyway.”

Narcissa laughed at the memory. She’d caught him at it more than a few times, but he’d always thought he’d gotten away scott free. She let him live with that impression, there was no harm in it. She had always loved the mischievous look on his face as he was sneaking around and couldn’t bear to wipe it from his face. He had actually gotten better when Pansy had started staying the summers. She had thought it was most likely because Pansy was a bit better at planning than Draco, and this almost confirmed it.

“Why do I have the feeling after the first time or two it was you who was teaching him how to knick sweets and not get caught?” Narcissa arched an eyebrow.

“Because you’re very, very smart, and I didn’t want you to see us sneaking off after that first time you caught us together. You couldn’t possibly know that I was doing anything wrong in your manor. I would have died of embarrassment. That and I think at twelve I thought pulling off such an impressive heist would most assuredly impress you as well. I don’t know what I thought would come of that, but it was definitely a thought running through my mind.” She shrugged, a bit of a blush playing on her cheeks.

Narcissa pulled her forward again and kissed her. The fact that she could do this now any time she wanted? Oh that was truly marvelous. Pansy was just so very responsive to her. As she slipped her tongue into the other woman’s mouth she moaned softly and Narcissa had to reign herself tightly in to make sure nothing more than kissing happened. The woman would surely be the ruin of her, especially when combined with Hermione Granger, but she’d long ago realized that being ruined in the eyes of society mattered little. She’d always rise above. And with Pansy and Hermione at her side, that would be even easier than it had been after the war.

“Narcissa,” Pansy groaned, pulling back. “I really will have to get into a cold shower if you keep kissing me like that, Merlin’s arse.”

“Just think about how your frustration now will make tonight worth it.” She cupped Pansy’s face gently and leaned forward to drop a kiss on her forehead. “And certainly motivate you to help make sure that our Hermione ends the night in bed with us, her three date rule be damned. I do not know about you, but I want her desperately at this point.”

“I had to get myself off in the shower because I woke up from a dream of fucking her and when I realized it could actually be reality, well, awake or asleep, it seems I needed a bit of relief at that thought.”

Narcissa felt herself grow a bit weak in the knees at the thought of Pansy coming in the shower just minutes before she’d gotten there. Oh, if she had walked in on a such a sight? She wouldn’t fan herself, that would just be a bridge too far, but Salazar’s Snake, she couldn’t say that she wouldn’t have walked directly into the shower and helped the woman out.

“Now I think I might need a cold shower, Miss Parkinson.” She let just a sliver of ice drop into her tone.

Pansy looked up at her with eyes sparking with joy and mischief. “Oh no, what a nightmare for you.” She took another step back, this one not going awry and knees fully supporting her. “I’m going to go get dressed then since it seems I decided to skive off work on a light week anyway. I’ll meet you downstairs. I think if both of us end up in my bedroom we might never make it out, hmm?”

Narcissa couldn’t say that she disagreed with that, so she took her time descending the stairs, and waited patiently as twenty minutes later Pansy clicked down the stairs, now in her normal heels for the day, dressed as casually as she ever did, which meant she matched Narcissa perfectly. 

“Now, where did you have in mind for shopping?” Pansy asked, excitement in her voice. Of course a fashion mogul would enjoy shopping, well, if at the right venues, anyway.

“Well, considering what you’ve designed for both Hermione and myself for our dates, we need to match that level of pure perfection, which will be startlingly difficult, you are absolutely wonderful, darling. So there’s only one real choice, we must away to Paris.”

“Salazar, you’re the perfect woman,” Pansy breathed out.

Narcissa laughed and walked over to take Pansy’s arm. “Well, you certainly had to have at least one of your partners love shopping, and it certainly wasn’t going to be Hermione.”

Pansy snorted. “No it definitely wasn’t. The times I’ve managed to drag her out to update her wardrobe have been like pulling teeth. I designed that dress I did because she had absolutely nothing suitable.”

“We’re going to have to fix that.” Narcissa pressed down to activate the permanent portkey to Paris she had made ages ago when she first married Lucius and had little to do but go shopping regularly and tend to the house, which really just meant tell the house elves what to do. To say she had been bored would have been an understatement, but that had led her into some of her more interesting dives into the library and better plots later, so she didn’t really regret that free time. 

“Most assuredly,” Pansy managed to say before the portkey pulled them through the wormhole and into an alley just off the main street of magical Paris. “Bollocks, I hate portkeys even if they are the most convenient.form of long distance travel.” She looked a bit green around the gills and Narcissa rubbed her back soothingly.

“Do it enough and you will get used to it, but when I say it takes ages, I’m not being facetious. I think I made weekly trips for five years before I finally noticed that I wasn’t feeling ill anymore traveling.”

Pansy took a deep breath and leaned a bit into Narcissa for a few moments, eyes closed against the morning light , before she nodded and stood straight again. “I’m ok now. I don’t react as poorly as Harry does, the poor git throws up every time, but I do always need a minute.”

“I certainly can give you more than a minute if you need.” She kissed Pansy’s temple lightly.

“No, I am good, really.” She hesitated for a moment, but only a moment before she stepped the rest of the way into Narcissa and kissed her lightly on the lips before pulling back. “I believe we definitely have some shopping to do.” Her eyes lit up. “We should find something for Hermione too and owl it to her.” She laughed. “She won’t have anything to wear anyway and I guarantee she’s panicking at work right now.” 

“Oh now that is a delightful idea. Do you think we should include the lingerie as well?” Nothing too over the top...this time. Hermione wouldn’t refuse something so obvious a dare as sending her lingerie, but on her own Narcissa took her as a bit plain in her choices. They’d work there way up to something truly spectacular bit by bit so the woman wouldn’t feel self-conscious, just sexy and empowered.

“You’re evil, I love it, and yes, yes we should. In Slytherin green if we can manage it.”

Narcissa threw back her head and laughed. “And you say I’m the evil one.”

They walked onto the street together, still arm in arm. “Where did you think to start?” Pansy asked.

She smiled and pulled them towards her favorite shops. They whiled away the morning wandering from shop to shop, finding the perfect set of lingerie for Hermione almost right off and indeed in Slytherin green. Narcissa’s mouth watered at the thought of taking it off of her later tonight, but despite their wanderings, nothing had caught her eyes for a dress for herself. Pansy had found one in her absolute favorite shop on the street, which pleased Narcissa to no end as it felt like such a subtle way to mark Pansy as hers. That and the fact that the dress truly had been perfect on her and had made Narcissa almost choke on her own spit when she’d seen it. Hermione really would stand no chance of not completely going haywire. She wondered if the woman would do accidental magic tonight seeing her. Wouldn’t that just be amusing indeed? 

A few shops later they’d found something for Hermione that both of them had wanted to see on the woman so much they’d stopped speaking out loud and Pansy had dropped her shields just enough to allow Narcissa in to see her absolute excitement over the dress and how she pictured Hermione looking in the dress. Narcissa had sent her back a picture of the dress on the floor and how pretty a picture it made. Feeling the arousal that had coursed through Pansy at that thought was a heady, heady thing. Narcissa had offered her wand for the charge without a word. It was off and away to Hermione along with her lingerie five minutes afterward.

But now they still have to find her a dress and they had almost gone through all of the stores she’d ever been in in her many years of coming to Paris to shop. Nothing just seemed right. She felt that Pansy agreed. They’d found a fair number of magnificent dresses she would love for other occasions, but nothing right for Hermione .

“Is there anywhere you usually stop that we haven’t gone into yet?” Narcissa asked. They were quickly approaching their reservation time at the spa and while she certainly had something she could wear at home, she wanted it to be special. 

“There are a few places, but mostly high fashion places I’ve been when needing things quickly for shoots, not really any place I’d buy a dress for dinner. We could see if they have anything, Merlin knows you have the figure for everything they could possibly have, but…” she trailed off, thinking most likely along the same lines that Narcissa herself was, that dinner with Hermione needed to be elegant but not over the top. That just wasn’t who Hermione was as a person.

Narcissa turned a corner onto a smaller street in magical Paris, one away from the larger designers, where up and comers opened their first boutiques before they either succeeded and moved onto the main street or died and faded back into an empty shop front. She paused in front of an empty shop, painted a pale sea green that reminded Narcissa of Pansy’s eyes. She peeked through the glass inside to see a medium sized store with the basic wall hangers and free standing clothing racks still inside, but barren of any personality. Really, there was nothing special about it beyond the color of the front but that color alone was enough to make her pause. This just seemed...right, somehow.

“Pansy,” she said, just loud enough to be heard in the din that was echoing from the main street. “Look at this store front.”

Pansy turned from the window of another shop across the way, moving her head around to see if it was a place they might want to spend any time looking. “Yes?” Her eyes took in everything in an instant and she walked across the street to take a closer look. “You know what’s odd?” she asked, fingers coming to rest on the green sideboards.

“What?” Narcissa asked her, watching as Pansy looked over everything again with a careful eye and a bit of an air of wonder just at the tail edge of her expression.

“When I was younger, after I figured out that I wanted my career to be in magical fashion of course, I always dreamed about having a shop in Paris. My mother used to take me shopping here at least once a year every year before she morphed into a right fucking cunt and fucked off to Eastern Europe to go find more Moldyshorts sympathizers somewhere where they wouldn’t get arrested immediately or at the very least have their property seized.” 

Pansy shook herself out of that. Narcissa knew that the government actually had seized their property for a good long while after the war, but Pansy had been a minor still so her trust had not been swept up, and after Pansy herself had been investigated for her involvement in the war, at the glacial pace of everything government based, everything had been returned to the woman, then fully past her majority and already working full time to support herself. She’d told Narcissa when she’d got all the records back she’d seen where her parents had taken a huge portion of their vaults and run, as much as they could get away with really, but not nearly enough to keep living in the same style they had been. She’d changed vaults, changed keys, changed goblin account managers, and increased security. She’d wanted her parents to have no more money, not even a stray knut. Narcissa didn’t blame her, parents abandoning their child should rot as far as she was concerned. Let alone those who would do so over the crazed ideals of a madman.

“Anyway, after that I always dreamed about a shop here that was this color. Now Trelawney’s been inhaling incense fumes for far too long, but even I have to admit this is a bit more than coincidence.” She frowned. “Granted it’s not at the right time considering I’m not ready to launch the first collection yet, let alone open a storefront but…”

And Narcissa made a mental note to find the owner of this building and buy it from them through one of her many shell companies. Pansy would never know it was her that owned the building, but she would make sure that this storefront was ready and waiting when Pansy was. Until then she could rent it out with the clause that this green not be changed and then it would still match perfectly.

“Perhaps it will be still open when you need it,” Narcissa said placidly as if she wasn’t about to make sure it was. “You never know what might happen.”

“That’s true enough.” She lingered for a few more seconds before she nodded and turned back to Narcissa. “But this does actually give me an idea of where to go. One of the up and comings that we just featured in the September issue just opened a store down the street from here. They might have something that would work. Even if they don’t, you need to see the work, it’s all very good quality. Honestly the most impressed I’ve been with a new designer in a while.”

Narcissa smiled at Pansy. “By all means certainly introduce me to a new designer. I will never say no to such things.”

Pansy led her up the street with hurried steps until they were outside a store that was painted a deep shade of blue with sparkling silver lettering. It almost reminded her of the night sky without being so gauche as to actually try and draw out such a galaxy based design anywhere. It simple, understated, elegant, and immediately drew her in from the first, even before she looked into the window at the clothing.

“Oh,” Narcissa breathed, stopping in front of the dress that served as the centerpiece to the window dressing. It was the same shade as the storefront itself, deep indigo but the fabric had just a hint of silver shimmer to it. It clasped around the neck in a strappy halter style, straps forming a small star in the center that could be easily missed if you weren’t looking. The dress swooped down the back from there, leaving a good three-fourths of the back of the mannequin on display. It draped in smooth flowing lines down to just below mid-thigh where the hem had just the barest hint of gold thread, enough to catch the eye but not enough to break the subdued elegance of the rest of the dress.

“That one,” Pansy said, “it has to be the that one.” And she pulled open the door and went inside, greeting the shop girl and pointing at the window display before Narcissa even had a chance to move.

She followed in behind Pansy for the girl to beam at the both of them. “Yes we do, but if you like, Camille is here today Miss Parkinson, if you’d rather have her help you and your--” The woman looked behind Pansy to see Narcissa and stopped for just a second before continuing, “Lady Black, lovely to see you.”

Narcissa came to stand just behind Pansy, hand resting on the small of her back, claiming. “You make a very fine window dressing,” she said mildly. Anymore the pause in addressing her could still be for fear over her role in the war or because of her high social standing. She always played for time to make sure she had the right impression of which it was. This girl in front of her seemed to be more the former than the latter sadly enough.

The girl warmed a bit at that. “Oh thank you! I put that together myself actually. It was my first one.”

“You have natural skill then, something to be proud of and to use going forward. A good eye is useful in many things.” She smiled to let her know that she was being completely honest. “Now you said something of the designer being here this morning? I would love to meet her. That dress is a work of art.”

“Of course, one moment please!” She scurried off into the back without another thought.

Pansy turned to her and cocked an eyebrow, glancing at Narcissa’s hand that had coated to her hip now with an amused expression. “Very tactile, hmm?”

“Well, you’re certainly mine aren’t you? There are always subtle ways to tell others such things and touch is one of them.”

Pansy hummed her agreement at that. “Well, I certainly don’t mind. Almost strange that it’s you being the possessive one and yet…” She looked Narcissa over, thoughts flying back and forth about everything that she’d witnessed Narcissa doing and then, “Actually never mind I’m not surprised in the least.”

“I didn’t think you would be.” A smirk flitted across her face. “You certainly wouldn’t be if you’d gotten the glimpse inside of my mind that day at tea.”

Pansy blinked, a bit dazed and far away, thinking about what just Narcissa could mean by that and coming up with rather delicious answers. “Do you have to make me this dysfunctionally gay in public?”

“But of course, darling.”

“I shouldn’t have expected anything less.” She snorted and turned back around at the sound of heels coming towards them.

“Miss Parkinson, so you did decide to visit after all!” A very French witch exclaimed the second she ducked out from behind the curtain separating the shop from the back rooms.

“Well we were in Paris doing a bit of shopping and nothing else was doing the trick and I remembered that you had just opened up your store so here we are.”

Narcissa stepped back to let Pansy take charge of this interaction. She’d shifted into her professional editor persona, and Narcissa had only gotten glimpses of this through the years. She was very curious about just how Pansy comported herself in these situations. She had more than a bit of a feeling that it would be very, very attractive. 

“Nadine says that you love the newest piece I designed?” Camille’s smile increased dramatically. “I had her put it in the window to see if it would draw anyone in as a test, and lo and behold, it certainly worked on a grander scale than I was hoping.”

“Certainly. It is a gorgeous piece. Matching it to your shop’s exterior was a stroke of genius.” 

“Thank you, darling, the night sky has always been an inspiration of mine. I thought it only fitting really to have my shop be designed around that. And it had been ages since I had designed anything using that color scheme and I wanted to see how much I’ve improved since then and I’m very happy with the results.”

“If you have any more ideas on that level I think a new collection for next spring wouldn’t be remiss. It would certainly be eye catching on the runway at fashion week. Anything that does well there certainly would see another few pages in Witch Weekly.” Pansy’s tone was rather dry and matter of fact for all that she was most assuredly trying to get her way.

Camille’s eyes sparked. “Well of course I would certainly endeavor to do my best during fashion week. What designer worth their salt wouldn’t?”

“But of course. It is the quickest way to be noticed and truly launch or revive a brand after all. Fashion week is a bit of magic in and of itself, don’t you think?”

Narcissa caught the echoes of the awe Pansy had felt at her first fashion week rippling through her. It had been London’s, impressive, of course, but nothing like Paris or Milan, but it had certainly been enough to draw her in and never let her go. She felt such a swell of affection for the woman. One of the things she hated about growing up in the way that she had was a great many of her high society peers had no real passion for anything. They were old money and provided they didn’t do anything egregious, they could live off their investments in lavish style for the rest of forever and they would never run out of money. It bred complacency. Men had some sort of job managing the family company or the investments or positions on the boards of other companies that took up about half their time, but nothing that really drew them in unless they were shrewd businessmen who wanted to get their hands dirty, otherwise they had managers for such things. Women weren’t expected to do anything at all besides keep house and perhaps be a member of some suitable charity. For all that Slytherins had ambition, it was more about social climbing and perhaps politics, and while she found these decently important, they were a true reason to exist. Pansy had the fire that she was looking for in someone, someone with actual purpose and passion. So did Hermione. There would be no useless peacocking from them like there had been with Lucius, thank Merlin. She felt truly excited about their future in a multitude of ways. 

“I truly do.” Camille nodded quickly. “Now, was it you or Lady Black that was interested in the dress? I would be more than glad to help either of you into a piece of two of mine. It doesn’t get much better in terms of social advertising, does it?”

Pansy laughed lowly. “No, I don’t believe it does. But Narcissa was interested. We’re going on a date with our girlfriend later and your dress was perfect for the occasion.” Her eyes were hard, daring Camille to say something even slightly off about their arrangement. It wasn’t likely unless Camille was a muggleborn and didn’t know the pureblood custom, but Pansy wasn’t being too careful. Narcissa felt the urge to pull the pin on revenge grow taught in the younger woman’s mind just in case. She set her hand on Pansy’s waist again to calm her. Camille didn’t seem to the be type to say something stupid, at least to their faces, which was good enough for now.

“Oh wonderful! A nice cocktail dress of a date or formal function was exactly what I imagined it for.” She looked to Narcissa. “Lady Black if you’d allow me to take your measurements quickly, I can have one of them tailored to you in a moment’s time.”

Narcissa stepped free and let the other woman cast the measurement spell on her. It had take her ages to not flinch when someone had a wand pointed at her, but the fear was long past, and Camille herself was, at least on the surface of her thoughts, exactly as she appeared to be. Another few quick waves of a wand and the dress few from the back room, adjusted itself, and packaged itself neatly.

She held out her own wand for payment but Camille waved her off. “The word of mouth will be more than enough payment.”

Narcissa didn’t lower her wand. “You are an up and coming designed, dear, and I have more than enough money. I will gladly pay for the dress and tell everyone who asks where I acquired it from. You deserve to be paid for your work in both ways.”

Camille was a bit speechless at that, but decided not to argue, completing the spell to take the gold from Narcissa’s Gringotts vaults the next second. “Thank you Lady Black, you honor me.”

“And you will make me look fabulous in front of our girlfriend. It is certainly a fair trade.” Her eyes shifted with a mischievous glint. “I am truly hoping that she slips into accidental magic and this only ups the chance.”

Camille laughed and her and Pansy said their goodbyes and the next minute they were back out on the street. 

Narcissa smiled at Pansy and looped her arm through the younger witch’s again. “On to our next appointment then, darling?”

“Oh definitely. After all this shopping I could use that massage you mentioned.” She paused to lick her lips. “And definitely something to pass the time between now and when Hermione sees you in that dress would be a good thing, otherwise I might just go a bit stir crazy.”

Narcissa laughed throatily, hand shifting from Pansy’s arm to grip at her other hip, but not before just casually brushing the top of her ass. “I think you’ll live, darling.”

“No,” Pansy said choked, “no I don’t think I will. You might just be out to kill me.”

She maneuvered them so they were walking towards the spa now. “Only in the most pleasurable ways. Just wait until later.”

Pansy just groaned, and kept on walking with her.

Chapter Text

Pansy looked at herself in the mirror, sliding her hands down deep crimson fabric. Sweetheart necklines were one of her favorites, and she was sure it would definitely be one of Hermione’s favorites by the end of the night too. She felt relaxed and refreshed and fabulous. The hairdresser had truly known what she was doing and her hairstylist at Witch Weekly couldn’t have done any better. She certainly felt ready to take on this date with Hermione and Narcissa. 

Well, if Narcissa would let her live for two seconds with assassinating her with innuendos or insinuations about tonight or touching her. Salazar, in that respect she felt ready to combust. She needed for them to pick up Hermione solely for the fact that she needed someone to help take the heat off her for Narcissa’s teasing. In fact, she had lasted most of the day with Narcissa’s teasing, she had a feeling Hermione would be a puddle on the floor halfway through dinner. She was too easily flustered. She couldn’t wait to watch it happen. She couldn’t wait to help .

Narcissa appeared behind her in the mirror wrapped her arms around Pansy’s waist, setting her chin on her shoulder. “Ready to go then?” She purred into her ear.

“Oh definitely.” And she meant that in all possible meanings of the word.

There was a dark chuckle and the barest nibble on her earlobe before Narcissa pulled back again. “Wonderful. I find myself rather starved .”

Pansy remained ever more sure that this woman was going to be the death of her. “Then we should most definitely go get Hermione so we can find some relief from that, hmm?”

“Indeed.” Narcissa took her hand and then squeezed, a moment before they were apparating onto Hermione’s doorstep. Pansy snorted at the fact that they kept appearing on each other’s doorsteps rather dramatically recently. She supposed that soon enough it would resolve itself to all of them just walking out of the floo instead like nothing was amiss with just appearing in the foyer and starting a conversation, but she would expect nothing else from all of them. In fact, she wouldn’t really mind the company.

Hermione’s door popped open as it usually did when she wasn’t quite ready and the two of them walked inside. 

“Be out in a second!” Hermione called from down the hall.

“Ten galleons says she’s still looking at the panties and wondering what we were thinking,” Pansy said in a low voice.

“Ten that she has them on but she’s giving herself that Gryffindor pep talk speech they all know. She certainly wants to wear them or else she would just refuse. She is stubborn after all.”

“Maybe she just got lost imagining us taking them off of her later?”

“Oh, I’ve certainly spent some time imagining us taking them off of her.”

Hermione appeared around the corner the next second before Pansy could agree with that statement. “Ok then, ready to go. Sorry I--” she stopped talking, looking at Narcissa and Pansy and most assuredly losing her mind in one instant. “ Oh.” 

Pansy watched with glee as Hermione just stood there and stared at them for, long, long moments, trying to say something, but not being able to form even one word. “Just wait until you get to take them off of us, Granger.”

And that was when the glass of the window nearest Hermione finally cracked, spider webbing out to cover the whole of it. Pansy had to hold herself back from clapping in delight. They’d actually managed to get her to slip with her magic! Oh the dysfunctional gay jokes she could now make were many and varied and she was going to have fun with all of them.

“Well then,” Narcissa purred, stepping forward, wand outstretched, mending the window with a silent flick as she stalked the rest of the way to stand right in front of Hermione. She lifted her chin so she was staring into Narcissa’s smirking eyes. “Seems you’re a bit overwhelmed, darling. Isn’t that just adorable. You were already so flustered when it was just me but adding Miss Parkinson in the mix just made it much worse. I admit, I find that rather intoxicating myself. I do so love when you become nonfunctional just because you’re so overwhelmed by your attraction.” She brushed her lips over Hermione’s. “It’s a powerful thing, hmm?”

Pansy stepped forward, worming her way to Hermione’s side. “Cat got your tongue, still Granger?” She wanted to lean forward and kiss her like Narcissa had, but stopped herself. This was all still new and while it had been Hermione herself who had initiated this date, at least for the most part, she wasn’t sure yet if a kiss this early would be welcome.

Narcissa, though, made that choice for her, thankfully, and turned to kiss her, deep and long inches from Hermione’s face. She thanked Merlin for magical makeup that would never smudge no matter what happened to it until the counterspell was applied, because otherwise her lipstick would have been absolutely ruined. She pulled back dizzy and a bit faint, and almost as brainless as Hermione was at that moment.

“Oh Godric,” Hermione squeaked when they were done, and then she was pulling Pansy forward herself, kissing her, hot and furious and demanding, exactly as Pansy had imagined her hot headed Gryffindor friend would kiss. And just like she imagined, Hermione ceded control of the kiss easily, hardly needing any time to understand what Pansy wanted. Merlin’s beard, Hermione was going to be putty beneath her and Narcissa, wanted to be putty beneath them. The thought turned her on so readily, it was only Narcissa’s hand at her back that made her pull back, panting, chest heavy and almost slipping from her dress. She’d have to remember a few mild sticking charms in a few moments, when she could function. She had just kissed Hermione Granger and they had both liked it enough that they were practically melting into the floor with need.

She turned to Narcissa, who’s pupils were blown wide, a hungry look on her face, and just the hint of a plan for later in her eyes. Pansy felt like someone cast a jelly legs on her. She was going to need a moment before she could walk straight again. Narcissa looking like that now? Salazar, what was she in for later, and could they just skip dinner and get to it now?

The older witch stepped back with a sizzling look at the both of them. “We must have dinner before dessert, don’t you think, darlings?”

Pansy rather thought fucking not, but also she knew that if she said as much somehow Narcissa would make her regret the statement in perhaps the best way possible, but still, not a lesson she would want to learn. So she swallowed and nodded and stepped back from Hermione and temptation as well. She cast a cooling charm on herself to tone down the flush in her skin, and shock herself out of the last vestiges of overwhelming lust, but still, the heat in her lower abdomen remained at a low simmer threatening to slowly cook her from the inside out.

Hermione took a deep breath and shook herself slightly, finally seeming to come back to herself for now. “You know it’s just patently unfair that the both of you showed up looking like that. In fact I’m almost positive that it’s a crime under some law. Or I could propose it to be. Whichever I need to make it, I certainly can for the safety of my windows.”

Narcissa chuckled. “It’s fixed now, isn’t it? Such are the wonders of magic.”

“I think she’s more worried about if we show up looking any hotter she’s going to burn the place down on accident,” Pansy teased. If Narcissa looked any better she might accidently help, really, but she wasn’t about to admit that.

“That’s what a large scale aguamenti is for.” Narcissa shrugged.

“I’m not that dysfunctionally gay!” Hermione huffed.

“Hermione,” Pansy said, turning back to her, “you just stood silent for a good two minutes, cracked a window with wild magic, and then kissed me so soundly that we almost missed dinner. Are you really sure about that?”

“Oh shut up.” Hermione rolled her eyes but her cheeks were decidedly redder again.

“If you’re both done with having a contest about who is the most dsyfunctionally gay, we do have reservations to keep, darlings.” Narcissa held out both of her arms.

Pansy stepped forward and took one. She’d been with Narcissa all day and still had no real clue where they were going to dinner, other than some place very nice considering their dresses. Not that she hadn’t tried to glean that information from the other woman, but Narcissa had kept it rather tightly under wraps. She hadn’t even let slip to what country their reservations were in, which was rather excessive. Well. Not that Pansy had outright asked that question, but she had wondered aloud if they would end up in the Prophet, all of them going out together, obviously romantically entangled because Narcissa was not going to keep her hands off of them. She hadn’t kept her hands off Pansy all day, even if it was just a brush on the arm, or a touch to her hand, there was never long before the next one. It had both driven Pansy up the wall after the morning they’d had, and delighted her that Narcissa couldn’t stop touching her. Being irresistible to Narcissa Black was the most heady thing she thought she’d ever experienced. Though perhaps it was going to take a close second to being irresistible to both Hermione and Narcissa at once. Considering how Hermione had kissed her, that didn’t seem long off.

Hermione took the other arm a second later and without another moment’s hesitation, Narcissa spun on her foot, and they were off into the blank darkness of apparition for a moment, before landing on a street that was bustling with people, save for the area they’d landed in that seemed to be roped off. An apparition point that wasn’t in an alley? Even the best restaurants normally couldn’t get an area of busy street blocked off for such a thing. It was just easier to put them in out of the way places and then just spruce up the looks of whatever alley or back corner they happened to be in, if it was an upscale sort of place. She only knew of one restaurant that managed it and that was because it was the favorite place of some past Minister of Magic and they had asked him personally.

“We aren’t,” Pansy gasped, looking to Narcissa with wide eyes. She had tried to get reservations here before but the wait even for someone of a noble house was almost a year. If they didn’t bend the rules because of your class status, it would be at least five before you could get in. She’d only ever been once and that was because her parents had put in for a reservation for her graduation from Hogwarts the year before she’d even gone to Hogwarts.

“Yes,” Narcissa said simply, gesturing at the building in front of them.

“We aren’t what?” Hermione asked, rather clueless.

“Narcissa somehow killed a man for reservations at Le Poulet Noir. Or did Anathema kill the man as a favor?” She arched a brow at the older woman who just rolled her eyes fondly.

“No killing was necessary, from myself or otherwise. Just a bit of blackmail that keeps on giving.”

“Blackmail?” Hermione crowed, drawing back from the two of them in a bit of horror. But not too far, really. Even Gryffindor righteousness only extended so far when you were so dysfunctionally gay.

“Oh nothing terrible like that, darling. It’s not as if I’m hiding something terrible so someone doesn’t face the full justice of the law. I just witnessed an embarrassing moment that most men would have brushed off by now and laughed at, but Frederic has never been most men.”

“What did he even do?” Pansy asked, leaning into Narcissa in her intrigue.

“He got a wine pairing wrong for a meal for Lucius and I.” She laughed. “It was the seventh course and Lucius was already drunk and hadn’t even noticed, but I glanced at the bottle and noticed it was wrong and just raised an eyebrow. It was a fine wine, it didn’t truly matter, but when he noticed he became paler than The Bloody Baron. Once Lucius had absconded to who knew where, the bar most likely, he begged me never to tell anyone, that his professional integrity was on the line. I assured him that no one would think anything of the slip, he’d brought something comparable, but if he really wanted to cover it up, I could be silenced for short notice reservations once a year.”

Pansy laughed. Oh exploiting fragile masculinity was always the best sort of plot.

“That’s really it?” Hermione asked, perplexed look on her face. “He really just could have given you a discount or taken your forgiveness at your word for the mixup, and he just didn’t?”

Narcissa shrugged, pulling them both forward towards the doors now. “Men and their pride is a strange combination. But it allowed for reservations for us tonight on short notice. I thought it was only fitting to take the both of you out somewhere that was just as singular as my darlings.”

Hermione blushed as they ducked inside the dimly lit restaurant. It screamed understated elegance, no gaudy gold fixtures, no crystals on every surface, but if you cared to look closely, every single part of the room was made from the finest materials, the rugs hand knotted, the chandeliers hand blown glass, the privacy charms around each table so thorough that not even the Unspeakables had been able to crack them, tablecloths with that subtle shine of something made from acromantula silk, elven glass wine glasses, everything was the best of the best without screaming nouveau riche.

The maitre’d appeared seemingly from the ether and took one look at Narcissa and nodded. “Good Evening Lady Black, your table is ready.” And he swept them towards the back of the restaurant to a table that was secluded enough there wouldn’t be subject to everyone staring at them, but perfectly visible to all those important enough to have permanent tables at the restaurant. Narcissa had certainly come out strong already on her quest to make sure that the wizarding world knew that both Pansy and Hermione were hers and hers alone. And this was only the first date. Was she so very sure that it would all work out already? The thought made Pansy’s heart beat hard in her chest. It felt right, truly it did, but even she didn’t have the confidence just yet to declare it to the world like this. Narcissa truly was something else.

Narcissa caught her eye and smiled, knowing what Pansy must be thinking, though her shields were up enough that she couldn’t be catching whole thoughts just now. Letting Narcissa in past the outer shields had been an easy enough choice, she trusted the woman with her life, but beneath all of them? Well Narcissa wouldn’t expect her to, really. They all had to have some semblance of privacy, after all.

They all took their seats, the maitre’d pushing their chairs in for them with a careful push, before he handed them menus and then disappeared back from wherever he’d come from.

“This had to be the nicest place I’ve ever been in,” Hermione said, looking around. “These charms are better than the Ministry. Who in the world did they pay to do them?”

“No one knows,” Narcissa said, setting down her menu after only a glance at it. It was an unspoken custom that while the restaurant did have a menu, that you were supposed to order the tasting menu, which was different for every person. The rumor had it that it was based off of magical signature, what you got, but know one really knew that either.

“Even the Unspeakables are stumped if that tells you anything,” Pansy added.

Hermione’s eyes widened a bit at that. Those secretive bastards did seem to know everything, so the fact that they didn’t was surprising. That, and Hermione’s current position in the Ministry meant she had more than passing control of the Unspeakables in some departments. Perhaps not the right divisions for this particular knowledge, but enough that she would have to be rather more floored than a normal person. 

“Sometimes meetings of state that need absolute privacy take place here,” Narcissa said. “I’m sure you’ll know about those soon enough, Hermione.” Her lips curved into a rather sinful smirk. “You’re planning on running in four years when the next elections happens, are you not?”

Hermione blinked and sat back, dropping her menu in surprise. “I hadn’t told anyone else about that decision yet, how did you figure it out?”

“Your relative position at the Ministry, the fact that within the next year you’ll be promoted again, and the political friends you’ve been gathering. Very little happens in the ministry that I do not know about.” Narcissa shrugged one shoulder elegantly. “It suits my purpose. My foundation needs government approval and extra funding to expand and provide more services, of course. Knowing the political goings on only helps make that a reality.”

“Godric, could you get any hotter?” Hermione breathed.

“Definitely,” Pansy said almost immediately. “Though in public, no probably not.”

“I-I-” Hermione groaned and put her hands over her face. “Five minutes without stalling my brain out, just five minutes is all I ask of you.”

“Oh come on, Hermione, you could do it before with me, I’m sure you can figure it out again, hmm?” She taunted.

“That’s when we were friends and I didn’t want to kiss you!” Hermione protested.

“Or did you? Narcissa said that you were jealous of the thought of me making another best friend. What was that really about, hmm?” She arched an eyebrow.

Narcissa just sat back and watched them bicker with a soft smile on her face. She probably thought it was cute, the both of them arguing like this. Pansy also found it adorable to argue with Granger like this because of how flustered she got and then the look on her face when she got fiercely passionate about something, so she could relate, really. 

“I, that was.” Hermione paused for a moment and rested her forehead on her hand. “Merlin, I was really that blind, wasn’t I?”

“Oh you totally were. I can’t really call the kettle black here considering, but,” she drew the last word out. “I’m going to.” She laughed.

“You’re terrible.”

“And you can kiss me to shut me up later.”

“Oh I’ll do more than that!” Hermione leaned forward, showing just a bit of teeth, but was immediately stopped in her tracks by Narcissa’s voice.

“Will you now, darling?” Narcissa purred. “Because I rather think you’ll be very busy doing whatever I tell you to.”

Hermione visibly swallowed and seemed to have no come back for that. Pansy didn’t dare say anything either. She had more than a feeling that that same tone used on her would shut her up just as efficiently. She could fluster Hermione, yes, could command their kisses, but she had no illusions that she was the one ultimately in charge. Narcissa let her have some of the control when it suited her, and no more.

And damn if that wasn’t the hottest thing she’d ever experienced. 

“She’s tortured me since this morning, Hermione, you’ve gotten off rather easily,” Pansy said, watching Hermione gather herself once more.

“Oh I’ll get off easily all right,” Hermione muttered near silently.

Pansy snorted out a laugh. Well, she wasn’t wrong, really. She was beginning to wonder if she was going to have to spell herself from soaking through her barely there panties and onto her dress. This dress was far too nice to be ruined like that. The panties, however, well, those could be kept as a souvenir of the night. Oh fuck. They would probably be Narcissa’s souvenir. She gripped her wand quickly and charmed herself so the only thing that would be ruined tonight besides her sanity were her panties because the gush of wetness that that thought had just engendered was far too much to do anything else. And Narcissa’s knowing look after the charm settled? Well, that certainly hadn’t helped either. 

But when Narcissa spoke again, it was on to safer topics. “Have you given more thought to hiring someone on at Witch Weekly for the eventual switch to lead your house, darling?”

“Oh I’ve narrowed down the applicants for that already, actually.” Seeing that shop earlier had just given her another kick in the pants to actually get it done. She’d set up the interviews next week. “Hopefully by month’s end someone will be working with me. Actually, I have two different people in mind and two different positions open. I was thinking it might be better not to put all my eggs in one basket. If the first one doesn’t work out I’ll be back to square one and I certainly don’t want to wait that much longer to launch everything.”

“House?” Hermione asked.

“Fashion house. You know the designs I’ve showed you over the years?” Pansy asked. She had shared her wider dreamed of eventually owning a clothing line, but hadn’t really fleshed out the details with Hermione. She knew general things about her work and supported everything she did, but fashion would never be Hermione Granger’s interest just like Ministry law would never be hers. 

Hermione nodded. “They’ve all been really good. I think anyway.” 

“They truly are, darling, which is certainly why she needs to launch her own brand. Such talent only comes every so often into the world. And when it does sometimes the resources aren’t there to make it shine. I only want our darling to have everything she needs to shine.”

The waiter appeared in the same manner that the maitre’d had, order pad at the ready just as soon as Narcissa had quit speaking. “Do the mademoiselles know what they are having tonight?”

“The tasting menu for all of us, with the wine pairings of course,” Narcissa said, gathering the discarded menus and handed them over.

“But of course. Frederic will be around with your wine in a moment.” A wave of his wand filled the glasses already on the table with ice water and then he was gone.

“Tasting menu?” Hermione asked. “I didn’t see that on there.”

“It’s an unspoken thing.” Pansy shrugged. “Everyone gets seven courses, they’re almost all different and you love everything.”

“It’s the magic that makes this place special and why there is such a long wait for reservations,” Narcissa added, agreeing. 

“Alright then, I trust you. It should be interesting and I’m always willing to try anything once.” She looked back at Pansy. “So you’re bringing on people at Witch Weekly as a tryout of sorts to know if they’ll be good for running your house? Are you going to keep your editorship? You’ve worked your ass off for it.”

“Exactly why I need someone else. I want to design the clothes, but the day to day running? I’d rather keep my day job. So. This seems like a good compromise and a way I can finally move forward.”

“I do have rather ingenious ideas,” Narcissa said, a lilt of humor in her voice.

“I’m not disagreeing there, certainly.”

“So we’ll be the editor in chief of the largest magazine in the magical United Kingdom and designer for what I’m sure will be a wildly successful clothing line, and then also the head of one of the largest charities, and the Minister of Magic? Sounds like a Slytherin power wet dream.”

Pansy and Narcissa laughed together. There was really no denying that point so they both just nodded.

“But think of it, darling, the three of us always willing to help the other out? The heights we can reach will be almost unheard of. It will be marvelous.”

“And she isn’t just talking about the sex,” Pansy deadpanned.

Narcissa’s glance was fondly exasperated. “That as well. And the heights of cheek from the two of you.”

“Oh, you’ve never been cheeky a day in your life, Narcissa?” Hermione asked, leaning forward, mirth in her eyes. “Never?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am the height of refinement. There is certainly no room for cheek within me.”

They all sat for a moment before busting out laughing. The amount of light and happiness and joy she felt in this moment were beyond what she’d ever hoped for. She felt warm and safe and cared for just sitting at a table, waiting for their dinner. It almost didn’t feel possible, and yet, she didn’t have to pinch herself to be convinced it was real. The two women in front of her were just...like that.

The sommelier showed up a moment later, pouring their wines. Pansy sat back and let Narcissa take charge of the interaction, both because she was the one informally in charge of their little group and because this was the man that she had black mail material over, as tiny as it was, and she wanted to see just how she handled him. Which, since it was Narcissa, of course it was with an absolute deftness that Pansy hoped she could emulate at some point in her life. The man never seemed to be put out that she was there, she was gracious and fair and he seemed almost as if he still liked Narcissa. Well. She wouldn’t exactly blame him if he did.

With their wine poured and accepted, the first course appeared on their plates a moment later. Pansy inhaled, smelling fresh bits of mint and the hint of earthiness of lamb wafting up from the three little amuse bouche on the plate in front of her. She’d just been thinking about making lamb recently, on one of her rare cooking binges. Whatever magic they had to plan their menus, it was definitely up to snuff.

“Oh this smells divine,” Hermione said, picking up her silverware, glancing at Pansy’s and Narcissa’s plates. “And definitely different from both of yours. What did you both get?”

“Some sort of lamb and mint sauce.” Pansy picked up her own silverware and speared the bite, popping it into her mouth and biting down, sighing at the perfect little taste. She could have this every day and she would only grow a little tired of it.

“Mussels three ways it seems,” Narcissa said, diving into her own food.

“And you?” Pansy asked before she inhaled, or rather refrained from inhaling the other two bites on her plate. She took a sip of wine to slow herself and almost moaned at that too. It really was just the right wine pairing. Merlin bless that magic existed to make such things possible.

“Quail eggs with hollandaise it looks like.” Hermione popped on into her mouth and nodded. “Definitely. Oh Godric, I’d like about fifty more please.”

“Oh, darling, the best is truly yet to come,” Narcissa said, and it was about more than the meal, it was about everything at once. 

Pansy just smiled and ate another bite. She most definitely agreed. 

They worked their way through the courses one by one, each more sumptuous than the last, until their desserts, all three the same this time, but with different wine pairings for all of them, was over and done. She was full, satisfied, and she couldn’t recall having a better time at a meal than this one before. She could have this every night, not the meal itself, or even the restaurant, but the company, which was the more important aspect, really. Narcissa and Hermione were hers with none of the fragileness of possibility that should go along with first dates. Perhaps that was the real magic inside the restaurant, even with the hundred other charms and spells surrounding them. Who truly got such a beginning as this? She never thought she would, certainly not when she was standing in the ruins of Hogwarts, at the lowest point in her life. She wondered what that past self would think of her sitting here with both Hermione and Narcissa, in love before it had even truly begun and yet it had started a lifetime ago. She didn’t think her younger self would appreciate it. But she’d been a right git, so who really cared what she thought.

“Where to next?” Pansy asked, standing from the table and stretching subtly. Two hours of sitting did leave a bit of stiffness no matter how comfortable the chairs. She hoped the answer was home to Black Manor and into that huge bed in Narcissa’s bedroom, but she sensed that there was a bit more to their night yet before she got that privilege. 

 “You’ll see in just a moment.” Narcissa led them both back to the apparition point and then pulled them both in close, kissing them lightly on the lips one after the other, tasting of the same chocolate caramel tart, sweet as sin, before she pulled them off to another destination.

They landed on a terrace somewhere Pansy had never seen. It was overlooking a town square that was packed to the brim full of people, excitedly buzzing, obviously waiting for something to happen. There were vendors around the edges of the square, selling just about anything a person on the street could want, from food to clothing to games of chance. It had to be some sort of festival then, but she had no idea for what.

“Where are we?” Hermione asked. 

“Cornwall, my family has a town-home in a little village here that has a celebration every year. I think it’s about dragons? I’m not exactly sure why. It also has to do with the founding of the village. I haven’t looked into it further in the intervening years and my parents would never let me ask anyone if I went out to get a treat from a vendor.”

Pansy was amazed they’d even let her do that. 

“Well, letting me get a treat was a stretch. More that I snuck out and didn’t really dare to speak to anyone for fear my parents would know I had if I knew something more about the festival than I should. And then they overlooked whatever scraps of paper trash the house elves found in my room later so long as I toed the line.”

Ah, yes, there it was. Pansy’s parents would have done much the same. They never really denied her anything, but Merlin help her, the lectures she’d had to sit through if she said something even vaguely sympathetic about a muggle or a muggleborn.

“Why even have a townhouse in a muggle village then?” Hermione asked.

Narcissa nudged her so she was turned to the right to see the beach only half a mile off or so. “We had beach houses closer, of course, but this had the convenience of being in a village as well. Easier for last minute supplies, entertainment, things of that sort. And I suspect that one of my less uptight relatives was the one who actually bought the place ages ago. After that, well, the Blacks rarely give up property that is theirs.”

“Fair enough.” Hermione nodded.

“It became one of my favorites because of the festival and because there were other mothers around when I was just starting out with Draco. They...they had better advice than similar mothers of my own station. Imagine that, considering they actually took care of their own children instead of farming them out to house elves.” Narcissa’s lip curled. “But now there are fond memories here and I thought perhaps it might be a good idea to share the festival with the both of you. Especially the fireworks, which should be starting any moment now if I have timed our itinerary right.”

Hermione perked up. “I love fireworks! Even non-magical ones are lovely.”

“I thought so too. I’m glad you agree.”

Pansy had never seen muggle fireworks. She supposed they were mostly the same, they probably just were a bit simpler. Perhaps they didn’t move around or maybe they did but they didn’t last nearly as long, something like that, she was sure.

“Is it bad that I see that funnel cake cart and even though she just ate seven courses, I’m still thinking about getting one?” Hermione asked.

Pansy nudged her in the side teasingly. “Do you have two dessert stomachs in there?”

“For funnel cake? Yes. It’s funnel cake. You only get it when there’s a festival or carnival or something similar.”

“What is funnel cake?” Narcissa asked. “I’ve seen the words for years but as I never could make heads or tails of just what it was supposed to be, I’ve never ordered it.”

Hermione glanced at Pansy who shrugged. She had no idea what it was either. Probably not cake made out of a funnel, but that was about all she had.

“I’m going to go get one then. You both have to know the sugary deliciousness of one. One moment.” She looked out over the terrace for a moment, spotted some place she deemed appropriate to apparate to, and then was off with a pop.

“But why call it funnel cake?” Narcissa wondered. “Do you think it’s served in a funnel?”

Pansy laughed and shook her head. “I have honestly no idea.” She stepped into Narcissa. “Hermione will certainly educate us. But for the time being.” She stood on her tiptoes and kissed Narcissa gently for a long few moments. “This has been the best date I’ve ever been on strictly for the company alone, but then you had to perform the wizarding equivalent of a muggle miracle with those reservations.” She smiled into Narcissa’s lips before kissing her again soundly. “Just what else will you surprise us with next?”

“Well,” Narcissa said, a bit breathless when Pansy pulled back a final time. “I know you were thinking rather hard about the bed in my bedroom at the manor, but I did spend time refreshing the rooms here. Once the fireworks are done, I plan on dragging the two of you inside and having my way with the both of you. Is that surprise enough for you?”

Pansy felt almost liquid. “Yes, that will certainly do. Salazar’s snake Narcissa, you turn Hermione into a stuttering mess and you completely destabilize my knees. How in the world is it fair that you only seem to blush at most?”

“Practice,” she said simply, but not before leaning forward to whisper in Pansy’s ear. “And you’ll find later that I’m just as affected as you. That spell you performed at the table? I’ve had to do the same.”

“Fuck. Me.” She only stayed standing through sheer force of will.

“That is the plan.” She stepped back from Pansy. “But truly, darling, this has been a magical night for me as well. I felt happy before with Hermione alone, but the addition of you?” She looked off into the night, feeling for a moment just the barest touch fragile. “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.”

Pansy saw no choice but to return honestly with honesty. “I feel the same way. It’s...I couldn’t have ever imagined how good this would feel. How easy. It just. It works. For something that almost fell into our laps it just is .” 

“Sometimes the best magic just is.”

They stayed silent for a long, long moment, until with another pop Hermione Granger appeared, holding a huge plate of fried dough covered in powered sugar. “Got one!” She crowed happily. “And the only reason I’m not covered in sugar is because of a charm. Bless them. I think my mother would have killed to have such a charm when I was little.” She smiled, only the briefest glimpse of pain in her eyes, speaking of her parents. It had gotten easier in the intervening years, she knew, to talk about the people she’d lost to her own spell for their safety, but it would never actually be easy . So Narcissa stepped forward, casting her own repelling charm on herself.

“Believe me when I say that if I hadn’t applied those to every fabric surface in the manor when Draco was younger, so many priceless heirlooms would be stained with vegetable mush.”

Pansy snickered at the image of her long time friend as a cranky three year old throwing food. It fit him perfectly, the absolute git.

“Oh, I can’t wait to lord the fact that I know about that know over him.” Hermione grinned. “Anyway, this is just a tear and share sort of thing.” She demonstrated by taking the edge of the dough, ripping it off, and then plopping it in her mouth with a satisfied smile.

Pansy cast another repelling spell on her dress. She hadn’t taken a chance with dinner, she surely wasn’t taking a chance now with powdered sugar. But she ripped her own piece of and ate it and oh my, the muggle were on to something after all.

“This is delicious,” Pansy said, quickly going for another bite. It didn’t matter that she was full, she was going to eat more of it now, please and thank you.

Narcissa looked similarly pleased. “It was perhaps a good thing I didn’t know what these were as a child. I don’t think I would’ve stopped eating them until I was sick.”

“I did that once.” Hermione had sugar on her cheek already somehow and Pansy wanted nothing more than the kiss it off. “Didn’t even put me off of them for a second. They’re good. Also dentists for parents probably didn’t help that binge.” She laughed and ate another bite. “I had to get the sugar in while I could.”

They finished off the pastry quickly between the three of them, fingers sticky with sugar by the end, but dresses thankfully saved. She cleaned her hands with a quick scoufigy and they banished the trash just in time for the first firework to shoot above the town and explode in a shower of sparks. Pansy jumped just a bit until the sparks above her distracted her. The bright red lights changed to gold and before they could fade another one took its place.

Hermione sidled up to her, slipping under her arm and cuddling up to her. Narcissa was there a moment later on her other side, sandwiching her between the two of them while the fireworks continued to go off above them. The lights and shapes weren’t mind blowing like wizarding fireworks, but they were perfect, playing off the planes of Hermione’s and Narcissa’s faces. She couldn't help but pull Hermione into a kiss and in a moment, Narcissa’s mouth was on her neck and she moaned into Hermione’s mouth. Oh fuck, it was already too much and not enough being trapped in between the two of them. She wanted even more.

“Hermione,” she breathed. “Let us take you to bed tonight?” As the finale exploded above them.

“Yes,” Hermione sighed, leaning hard into Pansy. “Please. I’ve been thinking about it since you both sent me those underwear earlier today.”

“Oh thank Merlin!” Pansy exclaimed. And then she snorted. “Narcissa was right about what had you delaying so long in the bedroom when we picked you up.”

“Of course I was right.” Narcissa chuckled. “Well then, the bedroom awaits, hmm?”

“Yes, yes, yes please.” Pansy grabbed both of them and tugged him towards the door.

“And here I thought I was supposed the impatient one,” Hermione said, sniggering.

“I think you’ll be the one begging later,” Pansy snarked back.

Narcissa waved open the door from the terrace to the bedroom. “So will you, darling. So will you.”

Well. Pansy didn’t have anything smart to say about that. She just walked into the bedroom instead. There would be time for snark later after at least one orgasm. Maybe two. She’d see.

Chapter Text

Narcissa shut the door behind them, watching as Pansy and Hermione stumbled towards the bed, still joined at the mouth, unable to pull back even for a moment. The sight was rather wonderful, she had to admit, but she knew that she could make it even better with just a bit of direction. She slipped off her heels and padded forward, putting a hand on both of their waists. 

“Darlings, take off your heels, hmm,” she said, voice low, smoky, and definitely enough to get the attention of two rather excited women.

Hermione snapped back in an instant, taking off her heels, now even shorter than before. Narcissa just wanted to wrap her up in her arms forever. It was rather cute that the shortest one of them was also the most fiery. Perhaps it was because she was so short. There wasn’t a lot of room to diffuse her attitude.

“Are you thinking about how short I am?” Hermione asked with a huff. “I’m a perfectly normal height for a woman. It’s the two of you who are giants.”

“178 centimeters is not a giant, darling, not even a half giant, you have to be at least 250 for that.” Narcissa smirked, not denying that she had indeed been thinking about how short her darling was. It was worth the cute pout that made its way onto her face. And such pouts could assuredly be kissed off.

She leaned forward and kissed Hermione soundly until she melted into her and most definitely forgotten what they’d been talking about. Touching someone like this, it amplified her legilimency in a way, but a strange one. She couldn’t hear thoughts as she normally would until she pulled back, but she felt them instead. It had been rather odd to figure out when she was little and still hadn’t understood her powers fully, but now? Oh she could use it to her advantage.

With one last peck on the lips she pulled back and turned to Pansy, who had been so busy watch her and Hermione, she hadn’t followed her first instruction, still in her ten centimeter stilettos and now was a few centimeters taller than she was. She cocked an eyebrow and looked down to Pansy’s feet before looking back up at her.

Pansy visibly swallowed and kicked off her heels the next second, sinking down to her normal height, leaving Narcissa as the tallest one in the room. It really seemed only fitting considering what was to happen next. She cast so the sheets on the bed pulled back, and then she banished her wand to the side table. What she was about to do would need no magic. 

Or at least magic that she couldn’t summon wandlessly. She did have a few of those tricks up her sleeve. Perhaps more accurately, not up her sleeve considering the state of dress she would be in pending a few more moments, but metaphors never could be perfect, could they? Unlike her darlings, they very much were perfect.

“Good girl,” Narcissa said, modulating her voice into that timbre which screamed pure sin and seduction.

Pansy didn’t lose all structural integrity visibly, but she could feel the large crack in her mental shields that had formed. She had to hand it to her for keeping it together. Hermione, on the other hand? Oh she was already leaning against the bed, knees weak. She reached out and cupped her face gently.

“Are you ready, already, darling?” She asked.

“More than,” Hermione responded immediately, eagerly, like the kid at the front of the class just waiting to be called on.

Narcissa smirked. “Shame that you’ll be waiting a bit then, isn’t it?” She patted her face once before letting go and turning back to Pansy. 

Pansy was the trickier rope to walk of the two of them. She needed to have control as well, but also needed to be controlled. Hermione being with them was a blessing in its own right. That would give them the flexibility, Hermione so desperate to be told what to do, to get an O in every subject if only she knew the directions, able to be handled by either Pansy or herself, she wouldn’t care, so long as she could do well. But Pansy, the timing to shortening and loosening the leash she wanted to be on, if only just, would take a deft hand, something that she sensed that only existed because she was herself, Narcissa Black, domineering woman, and stalwart presence in Pansy’s life. For someone the woman’s own age it would just be the instinct to control that came to the fore, but she needed both to remain in balance. It was truly like she had been made for this relationship and this relationship alone.

“Pansy, darling,” she said, gesturing the other woman forward. “I think it’s only fair that you get a bit of attention first, don’t you? After all you’ve been waiting for Hermione for how many years now?”

Pansy stepped so she was right in front of Narcissa. “I’m not really sure. I blocked it out at first since I didn’t want to ruin the friendship. It’s been a while, that’s all I can tell you.” She shrugged, in that carefree, I’m better than you way that she had, which Narcissa found rather ironic considering she certainly didn’t believe such things anymore.

“Well then, it’s certainly longer than the almost three weeks it's been since Hermione and I have gotten together.” She put a finger under Pansy’s chin and tilted her face up towards hers. “And certainly you’ve been waiting a very, very long time for me, hmm?”

Pansy didn’t have anything at all to say to that. Her mouth moved, but there wasn’t much sound other than a strangled, “Yes.”

“Hermione, don’t you agree that she’s waited long enough?” Narcissa’s hands found Pansy’s waist, resting there for just a moment.

“Yes,” Hermione hissed out on a breath, practically sprawled out over the bed now like some buffet dish just ready to be eaten. She certainly would enjoy doing that later, but for now.

Her hands coasted up Pansy’s sides, finding the zipper on her right, and pulling it down slowly. With each centimeter it tugged down, the younger woman’s breathing increased. She placed one hand on Pansy’s breastbone, a physical reminder for her to breathe. As gratifying as it might be to have a lover be quite literally so excited by the thought of her touch that she passed out before she even got to the main event, she didn’t want that for Pansy. She would be embarrassed for the rest of all time, and she couldn’t have that. She wanted Pansy to remember this night with all the love and care and excitement she deserved after such a long wait.

The zipper hit the bottom of the track, and Narcissa tugged the dress down with one hand, pulling it down just enough that it slipped over Pansy’s delicious hips to pool on the floor. Pansy’s breathing had slowed, but only just enough that Narcissa was sure she wasn’t going to hyperventilate and pass out. She would certainly take that. So she removed her hand from Pansy’s breastbone in favor of tracing the lacy cups of the strapless bra she had worn under her dress, ice blue, the same color of Narcissa’s eyes.

“I do so love this set. You know you’re mine, but no one else can tell. Not yet.” Not yet, but soon enough. She could practically see the rings that she would get her two darlings already, similar, assuredly complimentary, but not the same. Those were still a year, perhaps two away, but as with everything for this relationship, well, there was a savage sort of certainty that filled her about these two women. She didn’t know if it was one of the old family gifts for divination come back to roost in her, dormant until it sensed the right catalyst, or just fate nudging them along, but it was there nonetheless.

“I knew as soon as you pointed it out I had to have it,” Pansy managed to say in an almost steady tone.

“As any good girl would.” There had certainly been a reason she’d pointed to it after all. Her eye color seemed to be almost a focus for Pansy so it seemed highly fitting.

“Merlin,” Hermione breathed beside them, looking over Pansy from head to toe, taking her all in. She could feel the glances Hermione had taken before when they were changing at events or for a night out, the heat that they had sparked then that had been dismissed since Pansy was just a friend with a very attractive body and she was only human, of course she would react, to now where it all came together, and she reached out to touch.

Narcissa grabbed her hand before it could get there. “One moment darling, and then both of us can have a turn, but for right now, you just stay right there, hmm?”

“Fuck,” Pansy whispered.

Narcissa just smirked at her. Oh that would certainly be the point later.

She ran her hands over all the skin that was now bared to her, full hips, strong thighs, an ass that had her spending long moments squeezing and massaging it, listening to Pansy’s little squeaks and moans, feeling her composure melt more and more as the minutes wore on. She wanted her desperate by the time she pushed her back on the bed and did anything about her aching need. All before she’d even removed her bra and panties, of course. Pansy had been so delighted that their looks had caused Hermione to indulge in accidental magic, but if she didn’t get the same reaction out of this woman before her, she’d eat muggle fast food for a month as punishment.

Her hands finally found the hooks of Pansy’s bra, squeezing them deftly until they came apart. She pulled the scrap of lace off and flung it who knew where in the room. She looked at Pansy’s bared chest, nicely sized to suit the woman’s frame but with definite weight to them, rosy nipples already hard and begging to be sucked. Narcissa licked her lips, wanting to taste them, but that would be for later, she had plans. Instead she lightly tweaked them, drawing a desperate moan from Pansy. Hmm, was she normally so sensitive there, or was it just because she’d been teasing her? She had all the time in the world to figure such things out, but for now she slipped her hands back to Pansy’s hips and beneath the waistband of her panties, drawing them off quickly and leaving her entirely bare.

“You are magnificent, did you know that, darling?” She asked, eyes roaming, plans morphing as more and more ideas came to her.

Pansy took a moment, swallowing hard, before she could speak again. “Certainly doesn’t hurt to hear you say it.” The snark didn’t have any of her normal bite, but her voice was steady, if very breathless. Considering Narcissa didn’t even think Hermione could speak at this point, her mouth was moving on the bed, but no sounds were coming out, it was a feat of determination.

“Oh, I’ll continue saying it for years to come.” She stepped into Pansy and drew her in against her still clothed body, kissing her hard, long, and possessive. By the time she let her go she knew the only thing that was still holding her up was her own arms around her waist. “But for now, I think it is our dear Hermione’s turn to be disrobed, don’t you think?” She flashed a wicked grin.

“I-I-I,” Pansy said for a moment, before her brain finally caught up with her mouth. Her body was screaming at her for release and the information that she wouldn’t be getting it until at least Hermione was undressed had to have taken what little brain power she had offline. “Yes,” she finally said, “Salazar’s snake, yes.”

“I certainly hope his snake is nowhere near us,” Narcissa laughed. “I do have some acceptable substitutes for later trysts, however, but they’re certainly mine, not our long dead house founders.”

“Bloody hell, Narcissa, I think you’re trying to kill me.” Pansy scrubbed her hands over her face quickly.

“Le petit mort is a sort of death, no?”

At that Hermione just whined. Well. It was certainly time to pay attention to her, after all. She turned to the woman and tugged her up and into her arms. Pansy didn’t disappoint, pasting herself along Hermione’s back to keep their darling upright.

“I’m amazed she was that patient,” Pansy said, dropping kisses on Hermione’s neck between words.

“She’s done well for a first time with the two of us, I will give her that.” Narcissa kissed Hermione, so much more pliant than Pansy was to kiss. She could do whatever she wanted to this woman like this, and Hermione would just take it and moan deliciously into her mouth. It was truly lovely. 

She felt Pansy’s hands exploring what little body wasn’t sandwiched between them, feeling up the woman as best she could while leaving gentle nips along her neck. Hmm that wasn’t a bad idea. The thought of Hermione having to wear a concealment charm over all the hickies they left on her was a heady prospect. She pulled away from her mouth to latch on to the other side of her neck that Pansy wasn’t already working on, nipping and sucking until Hermione was an incoherent mess, and there was a nice bruise on her throat high enough that no sweater could cover it. She stared at it satisfied for a moment before she went a bit lower and did it again.

“Unzip her dress,” Narcissa sent to Pansy mentally, not wanting to move her mouth away from her task. There was a burst of excitement and an affirmative answer as Pansy stepped back just enough to get at the zipper behind Hermione. She pulled it down quickly, patience used up at this point, and Narcissa couldn’t blame her after all the teasing. Poor woman. Then she stepped back just enough so that Hermione’s dress slipped to the floor. Hermione had enough presence of mind to step out of it before leaning on Narcissa again for support.

Pansy didn’t need another nudge to continue. She unhooked Hermione’s bra in the next second, slipping the straps down off her shoulders, the Slytherin green of them the most solid thing about the garment. She reached between Hermione and Narcissa to fully tug the thing off, leaving Narcissa pressed against a topless Hermione. Merlin, her skin was so very soft all over her body, just as she had thought it would be.

“Panties too?” Pansy asked, eyes finding Narcissa’s blown wide with lust, and chest still heaving as it had been minutes before when she was the center of attention.

“There’s no real need, hmm?” Narcissa asked. “We have access to the most important bits, don’t we? And fucking her while she’s wearing our house colors still seems lovely.”

Pansy licked her lips and nodded. Crotchless panties had been a daring choice, yes, but in all other metrics the panties they had chosen were almost modest. Almost. The lace did cover everything, but well, it was rather see through. What did one expect being gifted lingerie from Slytherins.

“Please,” Hermione begged. “Just touch me. I don’t care how.”

“And I’m supposed to touch you when I’m still fully dressed?” Narcissa asked.

Hermione’s response to that was to encircle her arms around Narcissa and desperately look for the zipper or clasp that kept it up. Narcissa chuckled but glanced to Pansy. “Perhaps you’d like to help her out, Miss Parkinson?”

“Dear Merlin, gladly.” Pansy was at her back in a moment, moving her hair out of the way and unhooking the halter neck of the dress. She nudged Hermione away for a second so the dress could fall away from Narcissa’s decidedly naked chest, to settle at her hips in a pool of fabric. Pansy looped her fingers instead the material, finding the barely there band of her panties, and pulling both the dress and them down, onto the floor until she was kneeling behind Narcissa. She kissed her thigh gently, inhaling audibly and then moaning. “Seemed more expeditious to just take everything off at once, hmm? You’re wet enough I can smell you, so I thought you might appreciate it.”

“Cheeky, darling, cheeky, but yes, the time for more has certainly come, hasn’t it.” She tugged Hermione around so they were both facing a still kneeling Pansy. “And there are just so many possibilities.” She hummed, reaching out and running her fingers through Pansy’s dark hair, silky and smooth against them, begging to be pulled, and so she did. She pulled Pansy into her, directly her just where she wanted her, and that was mouth first into her core. If the woman had smelled her wetness before, well it was only polite to get her a taste.

Pansy got the hint immediately, nudging Narcissa’s legs apart so she could have better access and then licking long, slow stripes over everything, cleaning up any wetness that had made it to her thighs, then zeroing in bit by bit until she was where Narcissa wanted her. Oh fucking Morgana and Nimue, her mouth was already divine, working her up quickly, learning what made her twitch and moan with a speed that from anyone else she might think was dark magic.

She pulled Hermione into a kiss, unable to keep her hands to herself right now, needing to ground herself with something and that something was Hermione's body. She moaned into the woman’s mouth as Pansy’s tongue started swirling around her clit, going in for the kill already. She felt Pansy’s need to get her off as quickly as possible, a bit of one upmanship before Narcissa inevitably broke her down into tiny pleasure soaked pieces. Of course she couldn’t let the woman have it that easily, but it was surely going to be more a fight than it normally would’ve not to come so soon.

She focused on Hermione to stave off some of the pleasure, pinching newly freed nipples on small, sensitive breasts, drawing the prettiest, most desperate moans from the woman who found herself only able to hold on to Narcissa for dear life and nothing more. Good, that was exactly what she wanted. She dropped her hand down to cup Hermione’s core, feeling the wetness leaking out of the holes in the panties, coating her palms in moments. She wondered just how quickly she could get the younger woman off if she chose to. Would she come before even she herself would? She certainly could find out.

Narcissa slipped her fingers into Hermione’s slit, finding her clit easily, swollen as it was. She caressed it gently, sending Hermione jerking even from just the barest touch. Hermione had to draw back from their kiss to gasp in a breath of air, already shaking just the slightest bit. 

“Bloody fuck, please Narcissa, please?” Hermione begged.

Narcissa glanced down at Pansy who was looking up at her, tongue still at work in wonderful ways, sending sparks of magic through her body. She cocked an eyebrow, asking the woman what to do, though she needed no permission. Pansy’s eyes sparkled with a bit of mischief. To draw it out a bit then. She laughed quietly and nodded, turning back to the desperate eyes of Hermione, and patting her on the cheek lightly.

“All in good time, darling.”

Hermione groaned, knowing just what that actually meant. Narcissa didn’t disappoint her. She let her fingers explore Hermione’s slit, finding every little place that made her moan and tense and sigh, circling her fingers around her entrance teasingly before moving on. She felt the coordination in her fingers leaving as Pansy’s tongue took her higher and higher, but for this, that really didn’t matter, it would only help really. Teasing meant that Hermione wouldn’t come before her, but that was more than fine. Hermione by the end would be a teased mess, ready to do anything she said, even more than normal, and that’s certainly what mattered. She licked her lips at an image that flashed behind her eyelids, slipped closed now to try and hold out just a little bit longer around Pansy’s tongue, licking her just in that right spot next to her clit that always sent her flying. After this she could toss Hermione on the bed, fuck her until she came at least three times, all the while Pansy sitting on her face taking her pleasure from Hermione. Oh that did indeed sound wonderful.

She cried out, coming hard, barely keeping herself upright in the aftermath. Hermione shuddered against her, overwhelmed by the sound, but it was still not enough to drive her over the edge as Narcissa had stopped moving her fingers, unable to do anything but ride out her orgasm as Pansy kept on licking at her gently, wringing out every bit of pleasure she could from the older woman.

When it was too much she had to pull Pansy from her. The witch seemed almost reluctant to go, but stood easily enough, pulled in hard to a kiss where Narcissa could taste herself on Pansy’s tongue and felt another aftershock run through her. Salazar, the woman had certainly given her her dues.

“Hermione,” she said, mumbling against Pansy’s lips. “Go lay in the center of the bed on your back with your head on a pillow, darling.” She pulled back her hand, still nestled until that moment in Hermione’s folds.

Hermione wasted no time, leaving Pansy and Narcissa to continue their kiss for another long few moments as she got settled. 

“I’m going to fuck her until she’s a boneless mess. You’re going to ride her face until you get everything that you want from her. And then you’re going to fuck me until I’m done, hmm?” Narcissa whispered, kissing across Pansy’s soaked chin and cheeks until she could speak directly into her ear.

“Oh Merlin, yes.” Pansy nodded enthusiastically. 

“Good.” And then Narcissa’s mouth found Pansy’s neck, where she sucked and bit hard, leaving an even darker mark than she had on Hermione. They both owned Hermione, yes, but she owned Pansy. The woman trembled in her arms, shuddering hard and moaning low in her throat, almost as if it was being ripped from her.

She pulled back, looking over the flushed face and glazed eyes. “Pansy?” She asked.

“Hmm?” Pansy hummed in answer.

“Did you get so worked up eating me out that you came just from that?” She asked, voice a sinful purr that would lead anyone who heard it straight to hell.

“Yes,” Pansy answered, a bit of spine in her tone that no other part of her had in the moment.

“Oh, my darling, aren’t you just magnificent .” She kissed Pansy on the forehead and then pushed her towards the bed. “Now go on, Hermione is waiting for a taste too, isn’t she?”

She watched as Pansy crawled up the bed, hovering over her for a long moment before kissing her, Narcissa’s wetness still prominently shining on her cheeks. She stood at the end of the bed for a few long moments, letting Pansy catch her breath this way, letting Hermione work herself up that much more before she fucked her, letting the night breathe for just a few seconds. This was all truly happening, solid and real, and she was so genuinely happy right in that instant. She felt her heart fluttering in her chest, felt her magic glow and she smiled. Her darlings.

When Pansy turned to glance back at her, questioning, daring her to come up, Narcissa climbed onto the bed, moment of reflection over. There would be time for all of that later. For now, she moved her way until she was behind Pansy, sitting back on her knees and reaching out, massaging one ass check before she pulled back and slapped hard enough to leave a flush of pink.

“Oh fuck!” Pansy called out, startled. 

Narcissa did it again and the woman moaned, just as she thought she would. “Has no one thought to spank you, darling?” She asked, just a bit of a taunt in her voice.

“No, I was certainly the one doing the spanking if there was to be any.”

“Then how the tables have turned.” She spanked her one last time before nudging her up Hermione’s body. They could explore that later, spanking her until she was dripping down her legs, only for Narcissa to fuck her from behind, preferably with a strap on so the woman felt a zing of pain with every spark of pleasure, just to drive her even more wild. That would have to wait until they were at her manor with her box of toys, and that was just fine. They had many, many nights to explore after all.

Pansy went without another word. Climbing Hermione’s body, positioning her knees on either side of her head, looking down with her with a smirk. “Well, Granger, I always said I was above you, but I don’t think I would’ve meant this way at Hogwarts. This is much, much better.” She didn’t give the other woman a chance to answer, lowering herself down on Hermione’s mouth. There was a muffled groan from Hermione, and then it was Pansy who was moaning, grabbing the headboard and shuddering hard. 

“Fuck, if I had known what she could do with her mouth earlier--” the statement choked off with a moan.

Narcissa could empathize with that. She felt much the same about Pansy herself. But there were other things to think about now. She nudged Hermione’s legs apart and they went more than willingly, letting her in with ease, begging without words for her to be taken. She looked down at the soaked panties, the glistening thighs and squirmed internally. Salazar, this was all so very, very hot.

She wasted no time now, positioning herself so she had the bed leverage, and then slipping one finger to circle the edge of Hermione’s entrance. There was a long, frustrated groan, muffled by Pansy’s ample thighs and Narcissa smirked.

“Merlin, whatever you’re doing to her, keep doing that,” Pansy huffed out.

Narcissa debated on doing just that, but no, she wanted to be inside Hermione now. She took pity on the woman and slipped one finger in, fucking her slowly. She was so very wet and ready, walls pulling her in, begging for more. After a few strokes she slipped in a second, curling them now to hit that spot on her front wall that should send her skyward. The hips underneath her bucked, and Narcissa couldn’t have that. She held down Hermione’s hips with her free hand as she worked the woman up, and up, listening to muffled cries, and Pansy’s freer ones as she was worked into a frenzy, grinding her core into Hermione’s face already, chasing a better orgasm than coming untouched would have been. 

She slipped in a third finger, hearing the whine as Hermione’s body pulled taught, almost there now with the stretch of three fingers. She could just help her along, or she could string it out. Pansy curled in on herself, gripping the headboard so hard it splintered a bit under her hands and magic. Such a display of accidental magic, one that she had been hoping for, nonetheless, made her feel a bit more generous. She moved the hand holding Hermione’s hips down such that she could gently stimulate her clit, and that was all it took, Hermione came with a scream that was loud even through the muffling cave of Pansy’s core, twitching as Narcissa fucked her through her orgasm and the aftershocks, but she wasn’t about to stop. No, she would keep going until she’d wrung everything from Hermione, until she would be ruined for anyone else, until all she knew was Pansy and Narcissa and pleasure. 

Pansy lifted herself off of Hermione slightly to give her a breather and herself a chance to come down. Her limbs were still trembling as if they felt as heavy as lead and it was taking everything she had to hold herself up. At this rate to get her last orgasm or two she was either going to have to use Pansy in the same way as she was using Hermione, or get herself off by grinding against the woman’s thigh. Perhaps Pansy might still impress her with her recovery in the face of getting to fuck Narcissa. They would see.

Hermione was starting to climb towards a second orgasm now. She could feel it in the way her walls her pulling on her fingers again, in the desperation of her moans. She thought about seeing if Hermione could fit a fourth finger now, but refrained. Later, they always had later. In a week or two she’d try four and then after that perhaps she might introduce the woman to her fist. Hermione would do anything to please her after all, and that power was a heady, heady thing, but only if her darling was ready for it.

Pansy, recovered enough now, lowered herself back down, dampening Hermione’s moans and cries again, twitching as Hermione’s tongue went back to work. “You have to feel this, ‘cissa,” she panted out. “So good.”

“Oh, I certainly will, darling, don’t you worry.” Perhaps not this session, but later tonight after they’d had a nap, time to recuperate, and then to go again and again until the sun rose, and perhaps even past that. One didn’t need a stamina potion when in the company of such wonderful witches. Just the thrill of being with them was enough to keep her going past the point where someone not wholly entranced by the women in their bed would give up. Narcissa never had been a quitter, though.

Hermione screamed out another release, taking Pansy over the edge with her, caught by surprise by the intense vibrations of such a sound. She managed to keep herself upright to ride out the aftershocks, but beyond that, she slumped to the side, collapsing beside Hermione, huffing like she’d run a marathon. 

Narcissa crawled up Hermione’s body in her place, kissing the woman who was only just there enough to kiss her back, tasting of Pansy from chin to nose. She allowed the other woman to recover like this for a few moments, fingers still left inside of her, but still waiting for the right moment. Hermione might not know it yet, but she was going to give her another orgasm, even if she thought her body was too tired, too sensitive to do it.

“How are you feeling, Miss Granger,” she said, murmuring against lips she was loathe to leave.

“I’m not entirely sure I’m back in my own body yet, perhaps try again later?” Hermione mumbled, only barely intelligible. 

Narcissa laughed and kissed her again for a long moment. “Oh, I don’t plan to keep you here for long just yet.” She drew out her fingers slowly, causing Hermione to shiver. “You have one more in you, don’t you?”

Hermione hesitated, not wanting to say no, but unsure.

“Relax, darling, and let me coax it out of you. I know you can. You’re such a good girl.”

And Hermione did just that, relaxing back into the bed, eyes widening again at the words good girl. That praise kink truly would be fun to play with later, but for now. She pushed back into Hermione, working her slowly and gently this time. She would be too sensitive for anything else right now. She rained kisses all over the woman as she worked her body back into life, kissing her face, neck, clavicle, leaving another few blooming hickeys for later. She made her way down to her breasts, circling those nipples she’s been craving since they had undressed her, smirking as Hermione squirmed and whimpered, feeling her tongue against her. She wondered idly if she could get Hermione off just with a bit of nipple play. Another idea for the list for later. She wondered again if that list would ever stop expanding. She certainly hoped not.

By the time she’d finished tormenting Hermione’s breasts she was fucking into her at a good speed, the desperate flush back on Hermione’s face, her walls clamping down, demanding more. She just needed a bit more and she would go flying over for the final time for now. It was a good thing that she had just the idea. She resituated herself with care, not interrupting the rhythm of her strokes, but finally getting into a position where she could bend herself such that she could lick at Hermione’s clit, holding down her hips again to make sure her nose wasn’t bruised, and licking her until Hermione gave her that sweet nectar she’d been looking for, coming all over her fingers, back arching now that Pansy wasn’t on her face, moaning until her vocal chords just decided to give out.

Narcissa smirked as she sat up, drawing her fingers out of Hermione carefully and then licking them clean like a cat with cream. Well. That had certainly been delicious. She would definitely be doing that just as often as she could.

She glanced over to find Pansy aware again, if only just, eyes a bit glazed, but hungry. Narcissa had an idea of how to deal with that, most definitely. She crawled over to the woman, kissing her so she could taste Hermione on her tongue, which sent her moaning, until she couldn’t taste anything but Pansy herself again. She drew back and kissed her on her nose.

“You’re going to fuck me while you’re fucking yourself on my thigh,” she said, flipping them around so Narcissa was now laying on the bed beside Hermione and Pansy was above her. “And do give me a show, darling, I love to hear you moan.”

Pansy groaned. “You’re going to kill me.”

“And what a marvelous way to die.” She sat up just enough to take Pansy’s nipple in her mouth and bite down gently. 

“Fuck!” Pansy was straddling her thigh a moment later, wetness soaking the skin as she jerked her hips forward and back, already moaning. 

“Certainly what you should be doing at the moment, darling,” Narcissa said, laying back again. She drew Pansy’s hands to where she wanted them to be with the motion and stared up at her expectantly. 

The younger witch followed directions admirably considering the flush already spreading over her cheeks, down her neck, and just starting to spread to her chest. She was already so excited, building towards another orgasm quickly. This was what she did to the other woman. It was heady to realize just how much she turned Pansy on. Almost as heady as the fingers that slipped inside of her, not bothering with one this far into the evening, but a cautious two, going slowly, but Narcissa only bore down on her fingers to encourage her to go faster. She was more than ready.

Clever witch that Pansy was, she got the message easily, speeding her fingers to a reasonable pace, building, exploring, seeing just what movements cause Narcissa to jerk up into her and moan. If a woman was being fucked well and didn’t have someone else sitting on their face, Narcissa was definitely of the belief that they should move almost as if they were possessed, and Pansy was certainly well on her way to finding that for her.

“Oh, darling, yes, just like that,” she moaned when Pansy’s fingers plunged a little deeper and a bit harder than they had before. She loved deep and fast, could never get enough of it and she knew that Pansy had the stamina. 

Pansy smirked down at her, the right idea entering her mind as she used her own thrusts against Narcissa’s leg to go that much deeper and harder. Narcissa’s head snapped back and her eyes slammed shut as she had no choice but to moan long and loud. Thank Merlin for silencing charms built into bedroom walls because otherwise she was sure anyone left in the square might have heard her, even though they were three floors up.

“Merlin, ‘cissa you moan so prettily.” Pansy’s hips were already starting to stutter wildly without rhythm.

“I could say the same to you, darling,” Narcissa managed to gasp out. She felt the first wave coming for her, she just needed Pansy to hold on for a bit more and she would be flying. She reached out with the hand closest to Hermione and felt around for a moment until she found the other woman’s hand. She laced their fingers together, trying to ground herself just a bit before let go. Hermione squeezed her fingers, but was still far too out of it to move, seeming to be slipping off towards a nap for now, though Narcissa wasn’t sure how with just how loud she was being.

“Gonna come,” Pansy whined, shivering for a moment before she grew still, but still valiantly fucking Narcissa as best she could through the spasms. 

Narcissa watched her come, watched her face scrunch up so prettily, and felt her body on the edge. All she needed was one last swipe of Pansy’s thumb on her clit and she came as well, back arching high off the bed, crying out until her throat was sore. Merlin above this was exactly what she’d wanted. She rode through the aftershocks on a cloud, coming down slowly until she breathing evened out and she looked back up at Pansy with an almost satisfied smile.

“That was lovely, darling, so very lovely. Do it again.”

Pansy’s breathing still hadn’t quieted, loud in the silence of the room. She held an internal debate, visible on her face, before collapsing down onto Narcissa. “I can, but give me a moment.”

Well, Narcissa certainly wasn’t going to say no to that. She wrapped her arms around the girl and hugged her, tracing nonsensical patterns on her back and Pansy’s muscles twitched under her fingers.  It was beautifully intimate like this, pressed against one another from chest to hips, legs still entangled, her other hand still holding onto Hermione. She felt the most grounded she’d ever been in this moment. The thought that this would what it would be like after every time with her darlings lit a glowing flame in her soul. It had been only a moment with them, but it had also been ages in some ways and she loved them already and finally. She felt at peace with the knowledge and closed her eyes, slipping into a state between sleep and waking to wait for Pansy to be ready once more.

They spent a few long minutes like that until Pansy finally pushed herself up again, inhaling a breath. “Ok, ok, definitely ready to go again.” Her eyelids fluttered as Narcissa’s fingers still kept tracing their patterns on her back even with the position change. “That’s both soothing and arousing. Not sure how you manage that but seeing as you’re Narcissa Black, that probably covers why, but still. She leaned forward to kiss Narcissa, sparking her body back to waking in an instant.

Hermione rolled over and tucked herself against Narcissa’s side. “I could certainly study it, if you like,” she mumbled. 

Narcissa kissed her forehead gently. “Darling, you can study whatever you like about me.”

“Good, when I’m less sleepy the next thing I want to study is how to eat you out.” She glanced up at Pansy. “Though you should get her off again so we can all cuddle. I want to be the little spoon.”

Pansy snorted. “And now she’s demanding, but only over being the little spoon.”

“It’s a very important thing, of course, I’m only stubborn about the right things.” She nestled her face in Narcissa’s neck and started to drift off again.

“Well, you heard her, darling, do get to it.” Narcissa cocked a teasing eyebrow and raised her thigh until it was pressing tightly against Pansy’s center.

“I didn’t think about how effective you two would be as a tag team. Unfortunate.” But there was a smile in her voice and eyes and her fingers went right back to work inside Narcissa. She modulated her touch to be softer to accommodate any soreness, but didn’t back off by much. Any lingering pain she felt in the morning could be healed away in time for another myriad of rounds. Thank Merlin for magic and potions indeed.

It took a bit more loving care to draw this orgasm out of her. She had always been quick to come the first time or two, but any more after that in the same session built and built, always seeming like she would come that very second, but inching her ever higher. Pansy trusted her moans and body language to know that she was going just as she should even though now it was taking longer without any words exchanged between them. She watched as Pansy crested again, crying out, seeming far less steady now than she had been before, but never faltering, she kept up the rhythm and speed ever better this time around. Narcissa reached out with her mind, drawing Pansy in, feeling the echoes of her pleasure, letting her feels what she was bringing out in her, the frantic building of almost, almost, almost. For what it lacked in speed, the climax at the end of such a climb was always worth it, hard and long and mind melting and she wanted to bring Pansy along with her for that ride. 

She felt that switch, that unspoken twinge that let her know that her orgasm was finally, truly coming. “Do you feel it?” Narcissa asked, and she wasn’t sure if she was speaking out loud or mentally.

“Yes,” Pansy hissed, she redoubled her efforts, thrusting hard and fast and deep until Narcissa’s body finally let her come, magic bursting out of her and into Pansy, taking the witch with her, leaving her no choice but to come. The both writhed together, coming and coming, soaked with such pleasure Narcissa couldn’t remember a time where it had happened like this before. Finally, their bodies gave out and they both slumped down onto the mattress, completely spent. 

For now anyway. Narcissa always had been able to recover after a short nap to go again much to the chagrin of any of her male partners who needed a bit more time.

Hermione woke up enough to nudge Pansy and Narcissa onto their sides, Narcissa spooning Pansy and Pansy in turn spooning Hermione. “Perfect,” she mumbled, before she dropped off once again quickly.

“Has she always been able to slip in and out of sleep on a whim like that?” Narcissa asked, voice a bit rough from the volume of her moans. 

“You should have seen her eighth year,” Pansy said, already slipping towards sleep. “We all shared a girls dorm since there were only a handful of us. She could sleep through anything until she heard something she wanted to wake her up and then she would be perfectly aware. I have no idea how she does it.”

“It might come in handy for something,” Narcissa mused.

“Oh, I can think of a few things right now, which means you can think of like fifty. You’re so smart, ‘cissa,” Pansy mumbled and in the next breath she was asleep.

Narcissa just dropped a kiss on the back of her neck and snuggled in. “So are you, darling,” she whispered into Pansy’s sleeping brain, “so are you .”

Chapter Text

Pansy stretched out her muscles as she walked. She was pleasantly sore, had been since the Friday before. Neither she nor Hermione had left Narcissa’s side except to go to work for the past half a week. It was certainly the mushy, ooey gooey honeymoon phase, which usually made her a bit ill just to think about, but right now? Well it felt right and damn it all if she wasn’t going to enjoy it this time. And thoroughly enjoying it they had been every single night. She was honestly thinking of having Narcissa and Hermione’s tongues insured for a million galleons. They were certainly worth it.

She smirked as the restaurant came into view. Draco sat inside already she was sure, the ministry closer to the little French bistro they frequented for their biweekly Wednesday lunches. She had gotten permission to tell him about her dating Narcissa in addition to Hermione. The older witch had said it was only fair she get some sort of revenge for the fact that Draco had set her up on a blind date with Ginny helping and this seemed wickedly innocent enough.  She didn’t know if opening with the insuring of tongue would be the way she would go, but it certainly made for something interesting, didn’t it? But would it cause her friend to blush fire engine red and sputter until he finally found some sort of words? She would have to see in the moment. 

Pansy walked into the restaurant and strode over to their usual table, a familiar blonde head of hair already sitting there just as expected. She flopped herself in her seat with a smile. “Good afternoon, Draco, how have you been?” She asked in her usual ‘polite greeting a friend’ tone. The snark would certainly come out later after the normal pleasantries. 

“The usual, work at the Ministry is good, if a bit boring. I don’t miss the old days where there were...too many Slytherins in government, but it would make it more challenging to get things done and I could certainly use a challenge.”

“Isn’t that what your home life is for?” Ok, so, perhaps the snark was already here, it was amazing she had even gotten out one polite sentence with Draco and they both were well aware of that. They’d been friends for far too long.

Draco rolled his eyes, shoulders dropping out of there oh so straight posture now that they had code switched. “I feel another swipe at Ginny coming on.”

“Actually this one was going to be about Harry to change it up, but I could go back to old reliable if you wish, Dragon .” She’d heard Narcissa call him that once in third year and of course she’d never let him live it down. Now she had even more ammo. Fucking his mother was going to be a delightful supply to her witty banter as a very peripheral benefit.

Draco considered for a moment before shrugging. “I am genuinely curious about any Harry remark you could come up with now. He’s almost boring now that He-Who-Was-Obsessed-With-Snakes is done in.”

She supposed that only someone who worked with the aurors as their counsel would think that Harry Potter was now boring. He still went on plenty of rather ridiculously hopped up on testosterone missions. He just wasn’t the absolute stupidest risk taking auror on the force.  Perhaps all the running around in the woods seventh year had done him some good.

“Well there is that new Rita Skeeter book about to come out about him. I’m sure that that will be fun to navigate all those other reporters outside his house when you want to go get kissy kissy somewhere besides that hideous old house. When are you convincing him to move in with you again? Remodeling on the manor has to be done by now.” Draco had enjoying destroying every portrait of blood supremacist relatives in the process. So had she. It had been one of their better outings really.

Draco blushed heavily. “I have a plan, he just keeps changing our after work activities at the drop of a hat. Or more Ginny usually does, but you already knew that considering your mouth was about to open to say something about it.”

Pansy closed her mouth soundly. Merlin damn it they knew each other far too well. What good was good snark if she couldn’t actually get it out without being headed off at the pass. “You know you can ask without a real plan, you are aware, yes?” She asked instead, sass in full force.

The waiter appeared with their usual drinks, setting them down and scurrying away. They came here enough they’d stopped having to say much of anything at all. The staff got a large tip for the trouble and they were left alone to snark at each other in peace. There was some value in a little consistency after all.

“Shut up, you can lecture me about relationships when you’re in one.” 

Pansy sat up straighter, oh how much more perfectly could he have set her up? The absolute glee that filled her face tipped him off.

“Don’t tell me someone actually agreed to date you. Do I need to have their sanity checked?”

“I don’t know, I think you like your mother and Hermione outside of St. Mungos, hmm?” She raised an eyebrow and waited for him to actually catch her meaning.

He blinked, confused. “What does mother have to do with this?”

Pansy leaned forward with a smirk. Oh, this was going to be too easy. “Well, you see, your brilliant little plan that you came up with with your girlfriend to set Hermione and your mother up? It had some unexpected consequences.”

Draco stayed silent now, squinting at her, trying to put everything together. She could see in his eyes that he absolutely understood, he was just trying to find any other meaning in her words than what he thought she was saying. 

“You, being thick headed as you are, I blame your father’s DNA, your mother is sharp as a tack, you never saw all the times when we were growing up that I was head over heels in love with your mother and that if you were going to set up a friend with her, the obvious choice would be me. Instead, you set her up with the current woman I was in love with but denying it. So that put me in quite a bit of a pickle. And you know what I do when I’m in a pickle, don’t you Drakey-kins.” Another childhood nickname that had died much sooner than Dragon, she wondered if he even still remembered it, but based on the fact that he was blushing, oh he certainly did.

“You didn’t.”

“I did. I came up with a very nice plot, all of which your mother knew about because she got a glimpse of my thoughts one day, and as with everything I do, it worked out.” She smiled widely. “Let me just say, getting fucked for the first time at the Black house in Cornwall under the fireworks? A lovely choice.”

“You’ve shagged. My mother.” Draco looked at her as if he might hex her, but couldn’t since they were in public and was regretting meeting her for lunch instead of dinner at one of their homes.

“Well yes. Though proportionally she’s shagged me more. And now I have access to all those embarrassing little memories you didn’t want me to have when we were younger.”

“You know the second we’re alone I’m going to hex you until you beg for mercy, yes?” Draco asked.

“You can certainly try but we both know I’m the better duelist even if I am a bit rusty and you practice with the boys after work on Thursdays.”

Draco rubbed a hand over his face and sat back. “I swear to Salazar Slytherin himself if you make a step mom joke I will hex you right here, my redeemed reputation be damned.”

“I wasn’t going to make that joke until I actually had the ring on my finger.” Pansy snickered. “Then, unfortunately for you, even if you don’t want the jokes, you won’t be able to outrun them because they’ll be true.”

Draco looked at her hard at that. “Are you really that serious about my mother?” He frowned even harder. “And you’re not doing this to take her away from Hermione too?”

Pansy dropped all the mirth from her face, serious as the grave now. She could tease all she wanted later, but Draco needed to hear this. “I’m that serious about your mother. I’m that serious about Hermione. I want them both and nothing will change that.” She swallowed hard, prepared to be a bit vulnerable right now to the man who’d been her friend for ages if it meant that he really saw the truth and was reassured that she wasn’t here to hurt his mother or Hermione. “I love them, Draco. I’ve had a crush on your mom since second year and Hermione for...ages I can’t tell you when other than it’s been ages. I do not want to mess this up in any way, shape, or form. There’s just... something , something about all of this, how it all fell together so perfectly, how it all feels so easy, I can’t really explain it, Draco, other than it feels like magic. I’m not about to be the one to break such a powerful spell. Too many consequences for a Slytherin, don’t you know.”

He looked at her for a long moment before nodding carefully. “Good, see that you don’t hurt them. Ginny will kick your ass over Hermione before she hands you to Harry for what will be a stern talking to.” 

They both paused to laugh. Harry’s way with words hadn’t really improved over the years, but he still tried to give out advice and admonishments. It might work on a child, but definitely not a grown adult. 

“And then he’ll hand you over to me for my mother. Just because you are my best friend doesn’t mean that I would go easy on you.”

“I wouldn’t expect you to.”

“Good.”

Their food was set down the next moment, breaking the silence that settled between them briefly. Pansy smirked again as she picked up her cutlery for her salmon topped salad. Now that that moment was over, it was back to torment.

“Besides, your mom was the one who gave me permission to come here and torment you with details no son should hear.” Well, actually, she hadn’t said that, just to get him back for the blind date set up, but she was filling in the blanks as she chose. “How in the world did you even think of Hermione first?”

“Ginny had the idea after lunch with my mother.”

“Have you officially told her yet that you three are a triad. I don’t exactly think she could say anything about it now that she’s in one.” Pansy shrugged. Ginny and Harry both had dinner with Narcissa regularly like prospective in-laws would, but while everyone knew what was going on really, no one had actually spoken the words out loud.

“I told her I was asking them to move in with me. She asked when I was proposing. I think she’s well aware of what’s going on.” Draco sounded a bit choked. He always had moved rather slowly in relationships. That was why it had taken him literally eight years at Hogwarts to ask Harry out, the slow git. Of course all of that sniping and fighting had been unresolved sexual tension, of course it had.

Pansy laughed. “At least she didn’t ask for grandchildren. You’re going to be marrying a Weasley. She’s going to expect at least five.”

“Shut your whore mouth Pansy Parkinson. We’ll have three at the maximum.”

Pansy grasped her chest dramatically. “I am a lady Draco, how dare you say such things to me.”

“Bet you aren’t much a lady in bed with Hermione and--” he choked on the last word, unable to get it out. Some lines just couldn’t be crossed.

“Of course not, is Ginny a lady with you in bed?” She cocked an eyebrow. Of course she’d heard of what Ginny got up to in bed with Draco on random days out with her and Hermione over the years. The woman was not quiet about what she liked and just how satisfying it was to have two men at her beck and call. Pansy rather thought that two women was better. Lower refractory periods and all of that.

“Why do you always have to be right?” Draco sliced off a bite of his pork chop with an almost vicious stab. 

“Because I’m fabulous. And if you hadn’t accepted that we wouldn’t still be friends, you git.” She nudged him in the shin so he would look at her. “Also because I want you to be happy, you wanker. Which means you should ask those two bloody idiots of yours to move in tonight, plans be damned. You quite literally remodeled the place so it would suit all of your needs. Or need I remind you of the full scale quidditch pitch in the backyard you had built to replace the half-sized one you already had from when you were a kid.”

“Shut up.” But this time Draco was smiling despite himself. “I’ll ask them tonight.”

“And then you’re going to get sucked off the absolute moment that Weasley sees the pitch. Right there on the field probably because it isn’t as if she’s picky. Or you. Why am I friends with you again? So uncouth.” Pansy snickered lightly.

“Fucked under the fireworks means you were outside your first time with--Hermione!” He returned.

“You really are going to have to get used to saying that I fucked your mom. It’s going to be happening for a long time. Definitely more than once a night. The woman has got stamina .” Pansy looked off into the distance for a moment, remembering Narcissa the night before, fucking her through three orgasms with the strap-on before she was even winded . That had been lovely.

“Stop thinking about it in my presence or I’ll hex you, I swear I will.”

“Oh no, a stinging hex, whatever will I do.” She leveled a look at him. “If I have to hear your girlfriend tell me what a horse dick you have, you can stand me looking off into the distance for a few moments imagining getting railed.”

Draco perked up. “She says I have a horse dick?”

Pansy groaned and started to actually eat her salad in earnest. Of course that was what he heard, of course it was. “At least your wand isn’t compensating for anything, I suppose.” She had to pause to snort, thinking of Lucius and that absolutely ridiculous cane he’d had.

“Don’t tell me--” Draco groaned, cut off by Pansy.

“Yes I was.” 

“Both my parents in one meal, Pansy? Really? The food here is too good to waste.” He threw up his hands for a moment before returning to eating.

“I didn’t mean for him to come up at least. That was you and your horse cock that brought that about. You truly only have yourself to blame.” Ugh and now her brain was wandering to less pleasant places so they truly needed to leave this subject behind. “So,” she said instead, “you’ve thought about how many kids you’re going to have with them. Draco Malfoy, you really are head over heels, aren’t you? I remember when you said you’d never have a child, let alone three.”

Draco blushed and looked away. “How could I not? Harry’s going to be such a good father. Ginny will be an even better mother. Can you imagine how cute the children will be?”

Pansy laughed, but nodded all the same. “A ginger Malfoy, oh the old bats in the cemetery will truly be rolling in their graves.”

“Good. Let them spit roast for all I care.” He looked at her for a long moment, considering. “You know, mother is young enough that if you wanted to, having kids would be on the table too.”

Pansy blinked at that. She hadn’t really thought about having kids since her parents had fucked off and the probability that she was going to be held at wandpoint and forced to marry a man she didn’t want or else starve on intern wages while she got her career up and running had gone away. Did she want kids? Truly, herself, not just out of some pureblood bullshit ideals?

“Do you think your mother would want more children?” she asked, curious about the answer. Narcissa’s answer may differ, but it couldn’t hurt to ask Draco himself.

“She did when I was growing up. It was father who said no. Malfoys are only sons of only sons going back generations. A load of bloody bullshit if you ask me.” He shrugged. “I’m not sure if she’d want them now, she had more to do with her time. Merlin knows that you and Hermione do too, but it wouldn’t be remiss to think on it if you really are thinking about marry mother and then speak with her.”

Pansy nodded slowly at that. It was a maybe for her, she thought. If Narcissa or Hermione wanted them she felt she could go that way happily. If they didn’t, just the same. She didn’t have to have children to fulfill herself, she already knew her worth, and so long as she had her loves with her, that was all she really needed.

“You don’t give half bad advice sometimes, momma’s darling dragon boy,” she said, deadpan.

“Salazar, I hate you.” He took a long sip of water for something to do with his hands besides throw them up in the air. 

“I love you too, future son-in-law.” 

That finally tipped the balance and Draco finally, finally hexed her, sending a stinging hex her way, landing on her thigh, and then another to the other thigh. She jumped a bit at the surprising pain, but just smirked at him, oh she’d definitely won this lunch. She couldn’t wait to tell Narcissa and Hermione about it later. 

Chapter Text

Narcissa woke slowly, internally knowing it was still rather early in the morning. She had time to lay here while she woke up all the way before she had to get up and get ready for the list of meetings she had today. All the running would be worth it come the weekend when they had two beautiful weeks off to lounge on the Riviera at her favorite of the Rosier beach houses to celebrate their anniversary. It had hardly felt like a year had passed since that first date under the fireworks, but passed it had.

“I don’t understand how you wake up this early naturally,” Pansy grumped from Narcissa’s left, snuggling in tighter to her side and valiantly trying to go back to sleep.

“And yet you’re the one speaking to me, not the reverse,” Narcissa teased quietly.

“Breathing changed, woke me up, it’s not because I want to be. Get Granger if you want the morning person.”

Narcissa kissed Pansy on the crown of her head and smiled. It didn’t help that they’d been up later than they should have been once again. It was just so very hard to control herself once she saw her loves in her bed, ready and waiting for her. She had to have them at least once before drifting off to sleep. Usually more than once. Perhaps with an encore. It was certainly good that she had two loves, she thought, as insatiable as she was proving to be with them.

“Morning,” Hermione said from her other side.

“Good morning, darling,” Narcissa greeted, turning to accept the kiss Hermione offered.

“Mmm,” the younger witch yawned. “I can’t believe you keep keeping us up on work nights.”

“Can you truly not, darling, really, after all this time?” Narcissa teased.

Hermione slapped at her arm playfully. “You know exactly what I mean Narcissa Black.”

“I don’t exactly hear you complaining in the moment. In fact, we’ve woken up with enough time that I could hear you not complain again.”

“You’re incorrigible.”

“And you two talking is not helping me get what little sleep left I have the chance to get,” Pansy grumbled. “How’s that for not complaining.”

“And yet last night--” Narcissa said before Pansy cut her off.

“I’m awake at night naturally anyway. If I didn’t live with the two of you I wouldn’t go to bed until one in the morning anyway, but at least I would have peace and quiet until the alarm went off.”

Hermione leaned over Narcissa so she could kiss down Pansy’s neck and arm. “Such a grumpy Slytherin. Were it not for Narcissa I would think you’re all like this.”

Pansy’s arm shot out and pulled Hermione down on top of Narcissa, pinning her there. There was no real force behind the gesture, the woman could move if she wanted, but well, Narcissa had no issue with her not moving and she was sure Hermione felt much the same.

“You technically could go back to Parkinson Manor, darling, if you really need your beauty sleep that much. Goodness knows there wasn’t a formal move in agreement or anything.” 

There really hadn’t been, but it had been weeks since the last time either of her loves had slept anywhere else but her bed and even before that, her closet, massive as it was thankfully, had been filling with clothing that was certainly not hers. She was subtly getting rid of Hermione’s more hideous things and replacing them with similar, but more stylish pieces with Pansy’s help as a side effect. Hermione didn’t pay attention enough to her clothes to know the difference, such was the selective focus on other more important things such as work, politics, and books. She didn’t think the woman’s lease had ended either, but well, her cat was wandering the Manor somewhere too, and if that wasn’t an indication that she was here permanently, move in conversation or no, she didn’t know what was. Such things suited her just fine.

“You won’t be getting rid of me even if you had an industrial grade de-sticking potion. I’m here to stay and you damn well know it, you bloody morning gremlins.” Pansy huffed.

Hermione laughed and pushed herself up. “I’ll go put on the tea. I think that will rouse her enough that she isn’t so grumpy.”

“Wonderful idea, darling.” Narcissa stretched, feeling Pansy’s body rub at her own with the motion and shivering in delight. “I think I’ll take a shower while you assemble that.”

“Shower?” Pansy asked, sitting up right almost instantly.

“Or that might perk her up,” Hermione laughed as she walked out of the room.

“And you both say I’m the insatiable one,” Narcissa said, pushing herself up slowly, luxuriating in the time to slowly get ready, to come into herself for another day, and to be stared at by Pansy as the sheet slipped off of her chest, revealing her body rather handily. 

“Oh shut up,” Pansy said, rolling her eyes. “It’s all of us, sure, but most egregiously you. I’m sure Hermione could put together some fancy report on it with tables and everything if she wanted to. I would certainly help.” 

“I’m sure you would, darling.” She pushed herself up and out of bed, Pansy right behind her, still talking, all thoughts of grumpiness left behind as her eyes were on Narcissa’s ass. She never had been able to be grumpy when staring at Narcissa’s ass.

She turned on the shower, a huge modern thing that she’d gotten as part of making her manor the oasis she’d wanted it to be after the divorce. There was also a tub that was fortunately big enough to hold all of them. She thanked her past self for buying one so large instead of a more regularly sized one.

Steam filled the room quickly and she stepped in, Pansy right behind, plastering herself against Narcissa’s wet back, soaking up both the warmth of her and the water. Narcissa laughed, the sound bouncing off marble walls and making it seem even bigger than it was.

“One would think you’re a cat as much as you like being warm, Miss Parkinson.”

There was a spark in her mind, something that she was trying valiantly not to think about in Narcissa’s presence but was only serving the opposite purpose. Narcissa wasn’t even trying to poke, Pansy just had her shields in their normal arrangement, where Narcissa was allowed inside them, up to a point, and still she could hear everything clearly. She must truly be excited. Now the question was, did she ask about it, or did she try and figure out just what was happening for herself.

That much, at least, was an obvious answer. She would figure it out for herself. It always was more satisfying that way after all. And she had the distinct impression that Pansy would not tell her even if she did do the uncharacteristic thing and ask right out.

“I just like being pressed against my girlfriend’s tight body, and who doesn’t love a hot shower?”

“Dermatologists, according to Hermione.” What that was, she was still rather unclear on. Why was there a doctor just for skin, surely it wasn’t that complicated. Muggle medicine truly mystified her.

“Well they certainly aren’t right.” Pansy detached herself from Narcissa and grabbed Narcissa’s bottle of honey-lavender shampoo. She poured a bit onto her hands and started to work it through Narcissa’s hair, nails scraping pleasantly along her scalp and then down until all of her hair was thoroughly soaped. She pushed Narcissa under the spray again and then rinsed her hair until it was clean. 

Narcissa hummed and opened her eyes. Such things she hadn’t ever demanded of the woman. Pansy just enjoyed cleaning her hair for her, enjoyed working her conditioner through as well, which was what she was reaching for then, loved washing the rest of Narcissa too, though usually with a stop to eat Narcissa out if they had time. This morning with Hermione waiting on them with tea, however, that pleasure would probably be delayed until later. She worked the conditioner into the ends and then up, twirling Narcissa’s hair to rest on her head as the conditioner soaked in for a few minutes, before tending to herself. 

As much as Pansy liked to wash Narcissa, she only let the favor be returned on special occasions, usually when she was in the tub with Hermione and Narcissa only. Narcissa didn’t mind. The show of watching her get clean was its own reward to touching. Pansy would come right into her arms after she was done, after all. She would be fine with anything as long as Pansy came back into her arms at the end of it.

Her own ablutions done, Pansy pulled Narcissa back under the spray again, rinsing out the conditioner and then scrubbing her body, washing away all the sweat and wetness from the night before with ease. When she was completely clean, Pansy stood straight and stepped into Narcissa, just as she always had at the end of this ritual, just as she always would. Narcissa kissed her gently, holding her like the precious thing she was. She loved this woman, truly, madly, and deeply, as she had since that first night together, but even more with the intervening year of time spent together, of memories made, of thoughts and promises for a future.

Narcissa shut off the water just as Hermione walked in holding a steaming mug of tea. “I do hope you’ve left me with some hot water.”

She shook her head. A running joke, come around yet again. Magical water tanks never ran out of hot water. What was the point of magic if you couldn’t have unlimited hot water, after all.

“Maybe I’ll charm it cold just to hear that adorable squeal,” she said instead, handing Pansy her towel before grabbing her own, patting her hair dry before moving on to the rest of her body, intently aware of twin stares on the more interesting parts of her anatomy.

“That would be mean,” Hermione finally said as Narcissa stood up. “And you aren’t ever mean to me.” She sent Narcissa an innocent smile.

“She still has to work on her manipulation, don’t you think?” Pansy asked, standing on her tiptoes so she could put her chin on Narcissa’s shoulder. “That was just blatantly obvious. She’s going to have to do better if she ever expects such things to work on us.”

Hermione rolled her eyes at Pansy, but couldn’t quite take the fondness out of the gesture. “Who says I was trying to be manipulative. I was just stating facts. Five orgasms in a night is not mean.”

“You did have to beg for three of them,” Pansy said, raising her eyebrows, “some people might think that’s a bit mean.”

“I’m not some people, I’m Hermione Granger and a woman who loves Narcissa very, very much.”

Narcissa grabbed her robe off the back of the door where it was hanging. She left Hermione and Pansy to their light-hearted squabbling and found the tea service that Hermione had floated in, fixing herself a cup of tea and setting down at her vanity to drink it slowly. The sound of the shower turning on and the edge of a very distant moan came from the bathroom before she was even a quarter through. So she’d had another few minutes alone then, Pansy and Hermione’s play fighting turning into play fucking as it did a decent amount of the time. She smiled at the thought with all consuming affection.

But now that she was alone again, sipping her tea in the quiet, she did have to wonder about just what Pansy had been trying so hard not to think about. It had certainly been something good, something she would want, she was sure, but what could that be? She already had most everything she had asked for in life. She had two women she truly loved, who she was with for no other reason than she wanted to be, Draco had finally moved in with two people he loved of his own, and she would bet that a wedding would happen before the year was out. Ginny Weasley was not a patient person, and now that she’d moved in with both of her men, well, Narcissa almost felt bad for how much she was going to run right over them, less Draco than Harry of course, but still. With that woman he was a bit slower on the uptake than normal. She was happy. Her son was happy. Her loves were happy. What more could a woman truly want?

Hermione and Pansy appeared a few minutes later, fresh and clean and more flushed than they should be from just a normal shower. “I do not want to hear about my keeping you up at night if you fuck in the shower first thing, darlings.”

Pansy stuck out her tongue. “Some of us can’t stop by the Ministry as easily for an afternoon delight so the morning is the only time before we’re all home in the evening.”

Narcissa looked at the woman steadily. “As if I do not show up to Witch Weekly on occasion as well?”

“You know what I mean.” Pansy gestured to Hermione. “She won’t leave her desk between the hours of nine and five. You might show up later, but she certainly won’t, goody two shoes little Gryffindor.”

Narcissa laughed as Hermione sputtered. “You just said Narcissa fucks me at work, that isn’t exactly what a goody two shoes would do!”

Pansy just stared at Hermione much in the same way that Narcissa stared at her only a moment before. “Uh huh. Sure, Granger, sure.”

And here was that little zing of excitement again, just as strong, but no more explicable. She did her best not to react, to seem as if she hadn’t heard anything at all. If Pansy knew she’d sensed something, she would bury any physical traces of it elsewhere and she would certainly need those to figure it out. But for now, she drank the last of her tea and sighed, reaching for her wand. For now there was a day to get ready for and meetings to attend, and of course a very special lunch with Pansy to make time for now that the woman had so very much asked for it. There would be time for poking around in the lag between when her final meeting was and when Pansy would return home. She would have perhaps an hour before Hermione appeared and an hour and a half before Pansy. Tuesdays weren’t nearly as busy as Mondays for her, but there was still certainly bleedover. That would be a perfect time.

Except. It wasn’t really. She hadn’t managed to find anything at all out of the ordinary around their home. Pansy had thought ahead enough to not leave a trace at home. Short of poking into things that she certainly should get her hands into, like personal correspondence and finances, there was nothing else to check. She huffed out a breath and sat down on their bed. She had to admire Pansy for the plotting, really, but at the same time, well, she was very curious.

“Narcissa?” Hermione called from the foyer.

She pushed herself up and walked to the stairs. “Upstairs, darling. I was just getting a start on packing.” Goodness knew that with Hermione’s penchant for undetectable extension charms on every bag and piece of luggage they owned, she could just take everything she owned, quite literally, but that seemed like an overabundance, even for her usual self. 

Hermione’s excitement filled her mind, thinking about something she’d just done and how it was tied to their anniversary vacation, but blurring the best bits. Oh Merlin, now Hermione too? How in the world was she going to get through this week if both of them were obviously plotting something, but not letting her unravel their plots. It was just patently unfair.

“Oh, I should get on that as well. There are so many books I want to read!” And there was an image of a hollowed out book with two distinct place holders inside, square, not that large, really. Not enough to get her a clue, just enough to tease.

Hermione smiled up at her one last time, before banishing her work robes and then darting towards the library. Narcissa shook her head. She should have expected that the moment she said pack. The Rosier beach home had a small library, but nothing like Black Manor itself. She planned on keeping Hermione mostly occupied with both the beach, touring town, and fucking, but even she knew that if given half a moment Hermione could blow through the books that were there in the two weeks they were staying. Actually, if they lasted two weeks she’d be surprised. Which is why she’d told Hermione to pack a few from their own library, which of course led to this. She wouldn’t see Hermione again until dinner, she was sure.

Well, she supposed she could get started on the meal in the meantime. Something simple would have to do. They were running low on supplies, but sending for an owl order right before a vacation made no sense at all. Even with magical preservation spells, things left too long under them didn’t spoil, of course, but they just began to taste oddly. She settled for mushroom risotto and settled in to cook. Both Pansy and Hermione had been rather amazed that she loved to cook, especially for loved ones. It hadn’t been a skill she’d been trained in, of course, that was what house elves had been for when she was younger, but striking out on her own, she’d found the practice soothing. Magic to clean up the messes most definitely helped as well. 

“Smells wonderful,” Pansy said, popping into existence right outside the door. Adding her loves into the wards of the manor had been one of the smallest things in terms of scope, but one of the ones that made her happiest. Being able to apparate in and out as they pleased? A simple joy. “What is it?”

“Mushroom risotto,” she said, scooping up a bit of rice on her spoon and tasting it. Yes, it was done now, perfect. “You have good timing. Fetch Hermione from the library, if you would.”

Pansy leaned back out of the kitchen doorway and bellowed, “Hermione, dinner’s ready!” with her voice magically amplified so no matter what corner of the space she’d gotten into, Hermione would hear it.

Narcissa just looked at Pansy with a rather deadpan expression. “One might never know that you were raised in a noble house.”

“Oh please, I think we both know I can speak with all the wit and charm of our station when I want to. I just don’t want to.” She flounced over, wand pulling out plates and cutlery and setting the kitchen table. Unless Draco and his loves were oven she saw no need to use the dining room, not anymore. That was far too stuffy and proper for a weeknight meal with her darlings. Some traditions truly should be left in the past.

Hermione appeared a moment later, bright eyed and still as excited as she’d been when she disappeared into the books. There was a flash of a book on a shelf that she didn’t recognize, and then a suitcase full of books with a featherweight charm on it. She had to laugh at that. Of course there was a suitcase of books already. But the time they left on Friday afternoon there might just be another one too.

“Oh that smells lovely!” Hermione said, coming to kiss Narcissa on the cheek before grabbing out a bottle of white wine from the magically powered wine fridge and uncorking it.

“I rather hope it does after twenty minutes of continuous stirring.” Narcissa chuckled. That was the one thing about risotto, it took time and arm muscles of steel, both of which she certainly had, but still. 

They sat down for dinner and Narcissa wondered if she should try and poke at Pansy to see if she could get anymore information out of her via random feelings or memory flashes. Hermione’s secret she was sure she could find later in the middle of the night, nestled in the library, but Pansy’s would be harder to search out without any more clues. But did she tip her hand this early? Hmm. Perhaps the next day or maybe Thursday instead. She couldn’t let the other woman know the game was afoot when it’d just gotten started after all. So she let their dinner play on as it normally did, stories of the day, bits of commentary on the news, snark in droves, and as always, lots of smiling and laughter. Every one of these dinners healed some part of her that had had to sit through too many quiet dinners as a child, as an adult watching Draco struggle to stay silent unless spoken to, Merlin forbid she remember the ones under Tom Riddle. Her witches were a healing balm in more than one way, in almost every way.

With them dinner past quickly, bleeding into time spent together cuddled on the couch doing various things, Hermione reading a book she’d found earlier while doing her packing, Pansy glued to some muggle reality show she said she hated but couldn’t stop watching, and she herself working on a proposal for her foundation idly, but really more watching the other two. She had work hours to actually complete the thing after all. She lured her loves up to bed a bit earlier than normal so they could still have plenty of play time but manage to get their rest tonight, and then made sure she was on the outside edge of the cuddle group they all ended up in at the finish. She had plans after all.

Sneaking down to her own library was easy enough. Goodness knew she’d snuck around Black Manor so well as a youth that she could have been a ghost for all her parents knew. It came in handy now. Even with the remodeling she’d done, some of the boards that squeaked had been left behind, which she avoided deftly until she was in the room in question.

She frowned at the room. Now the question truly was, if she were Hermione, where would she hide a book in the absolutely massive room. There were shelves surrounding three different stories, cat walks surrounding the upper two. Narcissa tended to frequent the upper level, liking the view from the few reading nooks tucked up there, but Hermione liked more room to spread out. Her favorite reading couch was in the far corner in front of one of many fireplaces in the room, scattered throughout so whatever you ended up reading you’d be warm in the winter. She wouldn’t be so daft to hide it near there though.

She smiled. Hermione’s least favorite section was on the second floor, the one that she’d been slowly cleaning out over the years when she had a day or two to kill or needed some good material to blast into pieces. All the old books on muggles that her parents and their parents and on down the line had gathered to prove to themselves that muggles were animals. She’d charmed them all so no one but herself and now her loves could touch them. They all sometimes needed to hex something until it only existed on a microscopic level at points after all. That section was the least likely for Hermione to hide something in, and therefore the most likely place. If not there exactly, then somewhere near it. The entire second floor beyond that was family records, records of other pure blood houses, and the like. Nothing bu vainglorious propaganda.

Narcissa climbed the stairs and went right to the section. Nothing looked out of place, nothing was added to the books that needed to be gotten rid of, nothing was added to the books she’d been stocking in their place. She looked at the shelves around, looking for something that didn’t belong. To give Hermione credit, she had to roam about ten shelves in the opposite direction before she found it, a book she’d never seen before and a space of dust that wasn’t quite settled the same as the others around it. She grabbed up the book and opened it, finding that hollowed out book she’d seen in Hermione’s thoughts, but now it had something in both compartments. Two velvet boxes, nestled snugly inside. She breathed in. Was this?

Unable to help herself Narcissa opened both of them, finding rings inside, one obviously meant for her, the complete opposite of what her last engagement ring had been, it was small, practical, and wouldn’t get in the way of her day to day activities and instead of diamond it had her favorite gemstone aquamarine, a deep blue-green shining up at her even in the dim moonlight. Then there was Pansy’s, black diamond glinting up at her wickedly, the exact opposite of what a pureblood bride would want in a different way. Narcissa put her hand over her mouth for a moment. Hermione was going to propose on their trip. They’d spoken about it, of course, she didn’t want her only marriage in this life to be one from obligation, though she understood if her loves hadn’t wanted to get married, but both of them had jumped to assuring her they definitely wanted to, if only with her and her alone. And here it was, proof that it would happen.

She closed the boxes and placed the book back on the shelf and took herself back to bed, cuddling into Hermione that much more that night. Well. She had one answer. It was only a matter of time before she had Pansy’s as well.

Except all of her attempts through the next two days were met with nothing more than a vague sense of excitement. Narcissa truly wanted to scream to the heavens about it at the same time as being wholly proud that whatever it was was a big secret, she had gotten that much, but that Pansy had gotten good enough had shielding her excitement from Narcissa, even if it was rather overwhelming at points. She would have to ask her after all of this just what she’d done to her shields to change things around.

She had resorted to poking the bear metaphorically at dinner on Thursday, but Pansy had just smiled rather infuriatingly and gone to pack. So here they were on Friday afternoon, mustering all of their things together so they could make sure everything was there before charming it all until it would fit in their pockets and then take their portkey to their new home for the next two weeks.

“Pansy, darling, did you happen to pack that new lingerie set I got you?” She’d gone shopping to secretly celebrate the face that they were taking the next step in their relationship, and nothing said proposal like new sex toy and lingerie, of course.

Pansy’s muffled reply came down the stairs to the foyer from their room. “-ck in the blue bag.”

Was that check in the blue bag, or has she said something else? Well, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to just check considering her love was rather frantically looking over her beachwear options and just ‘didn’t know what to pick because she would ‘end up in a French tabloid and if she didn’t get called hot, some catty fashion writer was going to write about her looking dumpy and she did not have time for that, Narcissa’ and so she would rather not disturb that.

Narcissa turned the blue back on its side and opened it, finding the lingerie on top in the first second, but also, something velvet caught her eye. Velvet? Really, in the Riveria during summer? That would be far too heav--

She actually looked at it. It was a velvet box. She almost laughed out loud. It couldn’t be. She opened the box and there was a ring, a deep red garnet in the setting next to two deep green emeralds. Hermione surrounded by two Slytherins, obviously. Both of her loves were going to propose on this trip, and from what she’d overheard from Hermione so far, neither of them had a clue. She shut the box, tucked it back in the bag, and zipped it up, setting it directly where it had been before she’d touched it. Well, wouldn’t this be a more exciting trip than she’d been expecting. It seemed fitting considering falling in love with two women had been a more exciting life than she’d been expecting anyway.

Now the only thing she had to do, was to try and get her loves to propose at the same time and watch the absolute hilarity before taking them back to the beach house and showing them all the love she could give with both of their rings on her fingers. Perhaps she should owl ahead to a jeweler or two in France to add her own bit to the chaos. It was certainly a rather delicious idea.