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A Kind of Magic Spell

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"I'd like to thank you all for your continued hard work on making this weekend's Pride Parade a success." Jess Urupe, the Lead Chair for the Pride Community smiled broadly, looking around the table with evident pleasure. Hermione smiled back at them, accomplishment and excitement making her giddy. They had all been planning the parade for months now, and Hermione was proud of everything they'd managed to get done.

"I think we're in really good shape for this year's event," Jess continued, "but before we adjourn for the evening, there's one more topic I'd like to discuss, and this one's a little more serious. Security. I know a few of our committee members expressed concerns in our previous meetings about the safety of the event, and I know several of you were planning on investigating potential solutions."

"Aren't the Aurors going to be there monitoring the parade?" asked one of the youngest committee members, Owen, a lithe and undeniably pretty boy who was fresh out of Hogwarts.

"Unfortunately," Miriam Goldstein—Anthony's aunt—said under her breath, barely loud enough for even Hermione, who was sat next to her, to hear.

"Yes, a small contingent of Aurors will be there," said Jess slowly, their expression conflicted. "And I'm sure they'll do their very best. The Auror Department has made a lot of strides in the past several years, but we have to remember that they haven't always had the best reputation when it comes to protecting the rights of our community."

Owen's brow furrowed in apparent confusion, and a part of Hermione squirmed at the implication of Jess's statement. She almost wanted to speak up and defend the integrity of the Auror Department—she knew that Harry had requested he be put on the parade detail and he was as honourable as they came. She also knew that he, unfortunately, didn't speak for all Aurors, and he'd complained to her often enough about his co-workers for her to know Jess's fears were far from unfounded. It wasn't until recently that Hermione had really started researching and looking into the history of the queer community—her community—and while she knew things had got better, she also felt it would be presumptious and arrogant of her to dismiss the concerns of a generation that had seen and lived through so much more than she had. Many of the people in this room had been advocating for LGBT rights since before she was born.

"To be frank," Jess continued hesitantly, "I don't think it's wise to assume the Aurors will be there for our protection, so much as to ensure we don't step out of line and start a riot. And with the Purity Party gaining in popularity…"

An angry murmur made its way around the table, and Hermione scowled. She would have thought the war would have shown just how dangerous that exclusionary way of thinking was, but apparently ten years was plenty of time for people to forget that particular history.

"Do you expect there to be trouble?" Lee Jordan asked bluntly. He'd been put in charge of marketing and advertising, and would be broadcasting from the route on parade day to his thousands of scarily adoring fans. Being a black, queer Half-blood, and one who was relatively well-known as a popular radio personality, would certainly paint a target on his back.

"I sincerely hope not, but better safe than sorry," Jess replied. "Likely the worst we'll have to deal with are some vitriolic protesters, but I'd rather not take any chances. We'll, of course, have the standard temporary non-violence wards set up around the parade route and common areas, but I share in your concerns that they might not be enough. Did anybody have any other suggestions?" Jess looked hopefully around the table.

"Well, I did find something, though it's a bit unorthodox," Susan Bones began, and Hermione's ridiculous heart began to race. Susan was sitting directly across from her, her pink-tinged blonde hair pulled up into a sleek bun, showing off the shaved undersides. She looked gorgeous, as usual, and Hermione had spent most of the meeting thus far forcing herself to focus on keeping the minutes instead of staring dreamily across the table at her girlfriend.

Her and Susan had been friendly enough at Hogwarts, though they'd never been particularly close. After the war, they'd both taken positions at the Ministry, but Susan's work as a public defender, and Hermione's in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, meant that their paths rarely crossed. It wasn't until Hermione had joined the Pride Committee earlier this year that they'd reconnected.

Hermione, fresh off an embarrassingly late realisation that she fancied woman just as much as, if not more than, men, had found herself struggling with trying to find a sense of community. She'd wanted to meet more people like her, and maybe even finally find a woman she liked well enough to snog, but had been completely at a loss as to how to go about it. It had been Ron, actually, who'd helped her out in the end. He'd reminded her that Lee Jordan, who was frequently in attendance at the various Weasley gatherings, was queer as a wingless Abraxan and apparently quite active in London's gay wizarding scene. She'd found him at the next Burrow brunch, and they'd spent several hours talking. Eventually, he'd convinced her to join the Pride Committee, saying they were always looking for volunteers to help organise their various outreach events and pointing out that it was a great way to meet others in the community. Given her love of planning, it was work she was well suited to, and the committee had welcomed her with open arms.

Hermione had not expected to see Susan there, though she supposed it was rather foolish of her, thinking she was the only one from their year that fancied women. Hermione had immediately gravitated towards her, perhaps because she was the only one other than Lee that Hermione knew at all, or perhaps because Susan was smart and funny and gorgeous, full of the kind of quiet confidence Hermione had always envied in other women. Only, she was beginning to realise that the funny feeling in her chest she'd always felt when looking at beautifully brazen and unapologetically self-possessed girls growing up was maybe less about envy and more about desire.

Thankfully, Susan hadn't seemed to mind that Hermione had glommed onto her like a Clabbert, and they'd quickly become fast friends. Susan was witty and passionate, full of so much fire that Hermione couldn't help be drawn towards her warmth. Hermione had told herself she was more than content with just friendship, particularly as she didn't have many other queer friends, but when Susan had asked her out for a drink last month, Hermione had practically fallen all over herself in her haste to say an emphatic yes.

Hermione had been nervous—she'd never been good at dating, and didn't have any experience at all with dating women—but there'd been no need to worry. Dating Susan wasn't all that much different from being friends with Susan, which had come so naturally from the start. Only now they got to hold hands and make out on Hermione's sofa until Hermione's lips were swollen and her body flushed. Recently they'd progressed from Hermione's sofa to her bed, where Susan had dedicated herself to showing Hermione just how good sex with a woman could be.

Very, very good, it turned out.

It was still new between them, delicate and tenuous, exhilarating and breath-taking. Hermione's breath caught every time Susan smiled, her heart raced every time they so much as brushed up against one another. It was almost frustrating, really, how utterly and completely Susan absorbed Hermione's attention, but Hermione was too damn happy to remain annoyed for long.

"I'd say unorthodox is kind of our speciality," Jess told Susan genially, bringing Hermione's focus back to the present conversation. "What have you got?"

"I was looking into effective ways to strengthen the temporary wards we'll be using, since obviously we can't cast permanent wards, which are much stronger, in a public space. The kind of wards we're using are some of the least effective, as the Ministry's not permitted us to use any wards with more aggressive forms of detection and prevention." She huffed, clearly annoyed by the red tape. "It seems to me what we really need to do is increase the accuracy and potency of the wards we can set up. That way we can be more confident that anybody with ill intentions will be dealt with."

"And you've figured out a way to do this?"

"Well…" Susan hedged, an eager gleam in her gaze as it flicked briefly over to Hermione. "One method that came up a number of times during my research was sex magic."

Hermiones's brows rose as the rest of the group broke out into amused titters. Jess grinned, clearly intrigued by the suggestion.

"Sex magic, eh? And how exactly would that work?" Lee gave a loud laugh, and Jess rolled their eyes. "Aside from the obvious, of course."

"Of course," Susan agreed, flashing one of those sharp smiles of hers that never failed to make Hermione's knickers grow damp. "We'll need two… volunteers to conduct the ritual. We'd want to do it on Friday evening, since it won't be effective until after the temporary wards have been set up. It'll need to be done somewhere within the wards, and there are some ingredients we'd need in addition to the incantation—nothing we can't easily get at Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary."

"And it will really strengthen the wards?" Miriam asked.

"It should," Susan replied. "I've never done it before, so I can't say for sure, but the magical theory is sound. Given the breadth of the wards and how long we're leaving them up for, I think we'd only need to perform the ritual once, though we could refresh it if we need to." She shrugged with an elegant roll of her shoulders that Hermione really shouldn't have found as mesmerising as she did. "There are some more particulars when it comes to casting the spell itself, but that's pretty much the gist of it."

"Sex magic is pretty potent, even if it has mostly fallen out of use," Jess mused thoughtfully. They turned a sly look towards Susan. "I don't suppose you have any idea of who these volunteers should be?"

Susan grinned back at them. "As a matter of fact…"

"Surely there's got to be a more efficient way to bolster the wards than sex magic," Hermione interjected incredulously, unable to contain herself any longer. She couldn't deny that the idea of sex magic was fascinating—most magic she was unfamiliar with was—but it did seem a bit… archaic. Here they were, trying to bring the wizarding world into a more modern age while seriously contemplating using sex magic to solve all their problems. What was next, virgin sacrifices?

Susan gave her an exasperated, disbelieving look, and Hermione gazed back at her, confused. Surely Susan wasn't upset because Hermione had questioned her idea, was she? Hermione hadn't believed Susan was that kind of witch, and the thought that she might be made Hermione's stomach churn uncomfortably. Next to her, Lee tried to suppress a laugh with a hasty cough, and Hermione frowned at him.

"I was going to say that since I'm the one who's done the most research into the spell, it probably makes the most sense for me to participate in the casting," Susan said, her tone rather pointed as she stared hotly at Hermione. "Perhaps aided by the talented witch I'm currently dating?" Here, Hermione flushed. "But if said witch thinks we should find a different method instead of having sex, then by all means, let's go with that."

The muffled giggles grew louder as Hermione's eyes widened in sudden comprehension. Merlin, she was an idiot.

"No," she said hastily, her voice squeaking. She cleared her throat and continued in more subdued register. "No, that sounds, erm, very good. Great, even. Let's definitely give the sex magic a try. For safety's sake."

"How very selfless of you both," Jess said with unrestrained amusement. "We're really so very lucky to have such dedicated committee members."

♀♀

"You're sure that Tom's all right with us conducting the ritual here?" Hermione asked as Susan led them up the back stairs and towards the room she'd procured for them at the Leaky.

"Yes, he's fine with it. I assured him there won't be any damage and that we'll leave the room exactly as we found it." Susan shut the door behind them before pushing Hermione up against it, pressing their hips together. She rubbed her nose against Hermione's affectionately. "Stop worrying so much."

Hermione quirked a small, self-deprecating smile. "You know I can't help that."

Susan grinned back at her, her expression fond. "Yes, I know. But we've got to conduct the ritual within the wards, so unless you want to have sex in the middle of Diagon Alley or in the backroom of Weasley Wizard Wheezes, the Leaky is our best option."

Hermione nodded. "I know, I'm just… nervous."

"Don't be," Susan said confidently as she stepped away from Hermione and began rummaging around in their bags for supplies. She smiled at Hermione over her shoulder. "It's magic and sex, and I've got it on good authority that you're exceptional at both."

Hermione flushed red hot, as much from lust as with pleasure from the compliment.

She helped Susan move the furniture to the edges of the room in order to clear enough space for the large spelled circle Susan was to cast in the centre of it. Once that was finished, Hermione went about spelling links between the circle and the temporary wards while Susan mixed the necessary herbs. Her entire body vibrated with anticipation, and she kept up a steady stream of chatter as she worked, musing on the theortical applications for sex magic and asking Susan questions about her research. Susan appeared happy to indulge her, her expression amused rather than offended that Hermione was as excited about the magical theory behind what they were about to do as she was about the sex. Hermione was always excited about having sex with Susan, but it wasn't every day she got to experience magic in such a new way. The fact that Susan seemed to understand was just another tally in the long list of reasons why Hermione was falling arse over tit for her.

Susan was just finishing up with the herbs by the time Hermione had completed the magical links. Susan dumped the fragrant concoction in a large copper bowl before setting the entire thing alight with a soft-burning flame. Smoke began to curl through the air, quickly dissipating and leaving behind a truly incredible scent. Hermione breathed in deep, the ember of desire inside her rapidly kindling into flame as white-hot energy licked at her skin.

"Oh," she said in surprise, staring at Susan with wide eyes. "That's different."

Susan shivered and gave Hermione a hungry smile. With a hasty slash of her wand, a pile of pillows appeared in the centre of the circle. Another slash, and her clothes Vanished entirely, leaving her lean, sinewy body entirely bare. Hermione swallowed thickly, and her mouth began to water.

"No need to be uncomfortable," Susan said while gesturing gallantly at the plush mountain of pillows. "After you."

Hermione hesitated for only a moment before Vanishing her own clothes, her skin flushing as she felt Susan's appreciative gaze slide over her body. She lowered herself to the floor and leaned decadently back against the pillows, putting herself shamelessly on display. She wasn't usually so daring, hadn't quite reached Susan's confidence and comfort in her own skin, but something about this particular moment seemed to call for boldness. Hermione was rewarded for it in the way Susan licked her lips and hastened to join her in the circle, dropping down between Hermione's spread legs.

"Shall I—" Hermione's voice cracked, and she cleared her throat. "Shall I get us started then?"

"Please do," Susan said, her voice rough. "I'll go mad if I don't get to touch you soon."

God, the way Susan looked at her was intoxicating. Hermione wasn't sure she'd ever felt so wanted by a lover; it was empowering, the way Susan managed to make her feel so beautiful and desirable exactly as she was, frizzy hair and bitten fingernails and incessessent need to be right included. It was entirely new for Hermione, being with somebody who cared for her, not in spite of her imperfections, but because of them, because they were all part of what made Hermione who she was. It had been a little over a month since that first date with Susan, and Hermione kept trying to rationalise the depth of her feelings away, dismissing them as too much, too soon, but Susan seemed to be one of those impossible situations she couldn't think herself out of. Hermione was falling for her, falling fast, and even though it was terrifying, she didn't want to stop.

The last thing she wanted to do was stop.

Instead, she opened her mouth and began to chant, words pouring out of her with ease, the required spell long-since memorised. The energy dancing across her skin began to grow stronger, brighter, taking on a strange luminescence as magical sparks jumped between her and Susan.

Susan's stare remained heated throughout Hermione's oration, and the moment she uttered the last word of the spell, Susan's lips were on hers, kissing her breathless. Hermione gave herself up to it, riding the spell-enhanced wave of lust as it crested between them both. She slid her hands down Susan's soft, smooth back, arching up against her as Susan straddled her left thigh, her cunt hot and wet as she settled against Hermione's leg. Susan sat up, pulling away from Hermione's lips and grinning down at her when Hermione let out an involuntary whine.

"Merlin, you're gorgeous," Susan said emphatically, and then she slid two fingers inside Hermione up to the knuckle.

Hermione gasped and bucked up into Susan's hand, writhing on her fingers as Susan stroked a come hither along Hermione's inner walls. With practised ease, Susan rotated her wrist so her thumb could join in on the action, swiping rhythmically across Hermione's swollen clit. Her muscles clenched and released in time to the pleasure pulsing through her, squeezing down around Susan as her hip joints grew loose and elastic, her legs and pelvis unlocking and opening up beneath the onslaught like Alohomora.

Susan's gaze was hungry as she looked down at Hermione like she couldn't believe her luck, like Hermione was the hottest fucking thing she'd ever seen. She leaned down, sucking one of Hermione's nipples into her mouth, dragging her teeth along the bottom curve of Hermione's breast. Hermione groaned and did her best to hold on to her frayed sanity, stretched thin with the pleasure running riot through her. She grabbed hold of the pillows beneath her, doing what she could to brace herself as her orgasm built, more thrilling and overwhelming than anything she'd ever felt.

"Oh." Hermione meant to sigh, but it came out more like a scream as Susan's clever mouth and fingers finally pushed her to her peak. She shuddered and thrashed about as she came, pure paradise liquifying her insides as a great wave of energy expelled from the circle and reverberated through the ward connections. Entwined as she was with the spell, she could feel the sudden increase in the wards' strength, augmented by the sex magic. The energy swirling and sparking around them was depleted, but not completely spent, and already Hermione could feel it building once more, reminding her that the spell wasn't finished just yet. They were still one orgasm short.

She smiled lazily up at Susan, the familiar post-orgasm satiation warming her skin with a healthy glow. Susan smiled back at her, and then gasped when Hermione took hold of her hips, keeping her in place as Hermione lifted her thigh, rubbing up against Susan's slick cunt.

"Shall we finish the ritual, then?" Susan asked as she ground down against Hermione's leg with a pleasurable shudder.

Hermione licked her lips.

"Yeah," she breathed while coaxing Susan forward, urging her to straddle her face. "It would be my pleasure."