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longing for another.

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Pansy sighed as Astoria stopped in front of yet another jewelry store window. “You know, I agreed to have a couple of beers and go watch a flick. Not stand around while you look at rings for you and your adulterous fiancé.”

“Adulterous is a big word for you, isn't it?” Astoria countered back. “And I can't help it. It's bothering me that we don't have rings yet.”

Pansy shook her head and grabbed onto Astoria's elbow, pulling her away from the window. "It's a good thing that you don't have rings yet. That means you still have time to come to your senses and realize that marrying Draco is the worst possible idea you have ever had."

Astoria pulled her arm from Pansy's grasp as she fell into step beside her. “You really aren't ever going to be okay with this are you?”

“I don't understand it. At all,” Pansy said firmly, glancing around before pulling Astoria around a corner. “You know what? Fuck the movie. Let's just go get drunk.”

Astoria laughed and shook her head. “I'm starting to wonder if you do anything other than drink.”

“I do plenty of other things, thank you very much. I work, I cook, I sleep.” Pansy turned to Astoria and flashed her a grin. “I just happen to be much better at drinking than anything else.”

“Well, maybe if you spent less time getting drunk and more time actually talking to the people at the bar with you, you might find someone that makes you realize that there is more to life than working, cooking, sleeping, and drinking,” Astoria said, walking up to the door of their favorite bar and pulling it open.

Pansy laughed. “That's not going to happen. I told you, Astoria, I've given up on relationships.”

“Yes, but you still haven't told me why,” Astoria said, taking off her scarf and following Pansy towards the bar. “Whatever happened to that girl that you were like in love with? You hardly ever talked about her, but fuck Pansy, it was obvious.”

“It wasn't that obvious.” Pansy sighed and nodded at the bartender, quickly ordering up a bottle of tequila and a couple of beers. “She, um, she was with someone else,” she said carefully, sending a quick glance in Astoria's direction, inwardly sighing in relief when she noticed Astoria wasn't looking at her. “And I'm not a homewrecker.”

“Sorry,” Astoria said, smiling as the bartender set a shot glass down in front of her. “You sure they were solid? Maybe she's single by now.”

Pansy grabbed her shot glass from the bartender's hand and knocked it back, trying to figure out how the fuck she'd ended up in this conversation. “They were, um, engaged last I heard.”

Astoria shook her head and picked up her glass, knocking the shot back before turning to look at Pansy. “Her loss. And yours too, if you're going to use that as a reason why you shouldn't find someone.”

“I'm sure I'll change my mind someday,” Pansy said, throwing money down on the bar and snagging the bottles, turning to walk towards a table. “Once I get lonely enough to convince myself that it's better to be with someone than to wait on that whole love thing. Clearly, it's not going to be finding me any time soon.”

Astoria gathered up the glasses and followed along, sinking down into the booth's bench seat and propping her legs up on the opposite one. “Love's not that fucking simple, Pansy. That's why it's so fucking amazing when you find it, and why it's worth fighting to keep it.”

Pansy poured them another shot and she quickly downed hers. “And somehow the conversation has been turned back towards Draco. You're amazingly good at that.”

“Please, you gave me an open invitation when you said the word homewrecker,” Astoria said, kicking at Pansy's thigh gently before knocking back her shot. “And well, it's the truth. There's more to love than just monogamy and eternity and all that bullshit.”

“Those are rather big words for you, aren't they?” Pansy teased, sliding Astoria's beer across the table. “You never used to think that stuff was bullshit, by the way.”

Astoria snatched the beer up and took a long swig. “It's not. It”

“A contradiction in less than ten words,” Pansy laughed. “That's impressive.”

"Look, all I'm trying to say is that there are ideals and there is reality. Having Draco all to myself for the rest of eternity? That's an ideal." Astoria reached for the tequila and poured herself another shot. "Having to share Draco with Harry? That's reality. Life is far easier to deal with if you live in reality instead of an ideal fantasy land."

“Yes, well, my reality is a two-bedroom flat and no one to share it with,” Pansy said, leaning back and sighing. “Finding someone to share it with is the ideal.”

Astoria shook her head. “No, it's just a part of reality that hasn't happened yet. Christ, I never knew you were so defeatist about this. It's depressing.”

“Not defeatist,” Pansy protested. “Just realistic.”

Astoria tilted her head back and stared up at the ceiling, taking in the hazy feeling as the alcohol started to affect her. “Alright, enough of this. Let's talk about something else.”

Pansy's eyes drifted over the sinews of Astoria's neck, watching as they worked while Astoria swallowed down her shot. “Like what?”

“Anything that doesn't involve love and relationships. I'll even listen to you talk about work if you'd like.”

“Well, I can certainly do that. We got in pieces for an exhibit on Sudan today and I'm so excited about it.”

“Then talk away.”