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under the purple sunset

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1.

The first time it happens, Pansy is desperately in need of a new quill. As a children’s book author, the perfect quill is very essential to her day-to-day business. Being a Monday though, Scrivenshaft’s is closed, the lazy wanker.

This is precisely why Pansy doesn’t like being in Hogsmeade. (It has nothing to do with the younger wizards and witches running around, full of potential, nothing to do with irritating memories.) The only reason she even came out here was because Daphne insisted on meeting at the Three Brooksticks for lunch, and a pregnant witch always gets the final say on meeting places.

Quintessential Quills is on the corner, and it must be new, Pansy’s never seen it before. She’d certainly remember a window display with a quill writing the shop’s name over and over in changing-color ink, covering up the entire window and then starting over. Not to mention the muggle fairy lights lining the display. It certainly isn’t her first choice of store, but she really ought to finish ‘Erik’s Escape’ today and a regular quill simply won’t do.

Pansy nearly turns around the moment she steps in, the shop far smaller than the outside appears. Roughly a meter by a meter, it’s a shop that would make more sense as a stall on a busy street rather than in a quiet corner of Hogsmeade. All four walls- including the back of the door- are lined with various quills. There only seems to be one of each, a puzzling business model. And as she looks up, there are quills on the bloody ceiling.

“The self-correcting Fwooper likes you.”

Pansy blinks, slowly recognizing the younger Ravenclaw. Of course Lovegood owned such a ridiculous shop.

“I beg your pardon?”

Lovegood doesn’t blink at the acid in her tone, merely gestures up to a lurid yellow quill. “That one.”

Pansy isn’t sure what face she makes, but whatever it is, has the girl laughing, light as bells. “Too young, okay. This one then.”

She hands her a handsome mahogany quill, some breed of hippogriff, and Pansy moves it around, likes the weight of it.

“It’s self-inking, don’t use it after midnight, it prefers the shade.”

Pansy nods, pleasantly surprised she had the ideal item. “I’ll take it.”

.

Pansy finishes Erik’s Escape, is well into Fiona’s Foibles when the clock strikes midnight. The quill sputters out, magical ink already depleted. Grumbling about rip-off classmates, Pansy digs out an old bottle of ink, dipping the quill in it.

She brings it back to the page, but the quill is dry. She does it again, disbelieving, and sure enough, the quill soaks up ink but the moment it touches parchment, it goes dry. Bloody ridiculous.

Pansy throws the quill down with a huff, grabbing her wand and changing for bed. She’ll deal with it in the morning, needs sleep.

(To her surprise, the quill works like normal the next morning. And the rest of the day, not a hint of running out of its ink reserves. At midnight it vexingly stops again, and Pansy’s getting rid of this childish nonsense. Once she finds a decent replacement of course, it is uncannily well balanced for her hand.)

 

2.

Everyone is dating someone and her mum won’t shut up about it. It’s like the woman memorized every single boy that went to Hogwarts within six years- in either direction- of her, and she enjoys questioning why she isn’t dating each of them.

The easy answer would be because she’s a lesbian thank you very much, but she isn’t gonna drop that bombshell until she’s financially stable. Until then it’s answering shrill questions with gossip that may or may not be true. (Whatever, it’s close enough.)

Diggory’s dating Potter, yes mum they both like men, no I don’t want to know if they want a third. Zabini’s getting married in a season remember mum, and Malfoy has a contract, and don’t you dare mention Goyle again. Flint and Wood have been together since graduation, no mum, Hogwarts does not make people gay- yes, fine, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

It’s exhausting. (But boy, does she appreciate that every pureblood boy she knows is dating or at least rumored to be.)

She’s walking down Knockturn, when she spots Magical Miscellaneous Mementos where the Potage branch used to be. There’s a few unrecognizable items in the window, glass and metal fused together into something, and curious, Pansy heads in.

It’s a large shop, but it still feels cramped with all the shelves overflowing. Most items she doesn’t recognize, but she does spot a telescope and a set of scales and a rather shallow pensieve. Walking to the front she notices a familiar head of blonde, with rising incredulity.

“How do you have two oddball shops? How are you still running both?” Pansy asks, doesn’t bother with pleasantries.

Lovegood tilts her head to the side, pale eyes wide. “Business is good. You’re here for the answering machine right?”

“The what?”

Lovegood reaches under the counter, brings up a box of black plastic with knobs. “For when you don’t answer a firecall of course. It will record, and if you want, reply in the manner you would.”

Pansy’s struck by the image of her mother having to give her long spiels to a box and pulls out her purse. “How much?”

.

“-really dear, you’re getting to be that age where you simply aren’t marriage material. Now, I’ve spoken with your second-cousins and gotten a list of eligible boys from Durmstrang. I’ll owl you, and I’ll know if you don’t act on it, Pansy Parminder Parkinson! Ahem, and do try to lose some weight dear, the Malfoy’s annual ball is coming up. Talk to you soon dearie.”

The answering machine clicks, an eerie echo of Pansy’s voice spitting back, “Get stuffed mum!”, and the connection closes.

(Upstairs, blissfully unaware, Pansy soaks in her bubble bath. Unfortunately, her mother does not take this response well, penning a howler immediately.)

 

3.

Pansy is having a rather lousy day. It shouldn’t even be a bad day- her publisher is delighted with her increased productivity, her mum hasn’t contacted her since the howler last month, and the noisy neighbor (who can somehow be heard over layered silencing charms) has moved out. All in all, things are looking up.

She just doesn’t feel it. She wants-

Sleek and Svelte Salon is on the corner of Horizont Alley, has all the fixings of a pureblood beauty parlor. It seems to be suspiciously perfect, but there’s nothing odd in the windows, and the lettering doesn’t look like Lovegood’s hand. Pansy shakes the thoughts from her head, she’s getting paranoid. It’s been a while since she got weird items from her schoolmate, it must have been a fluke. She shouldn’t bother remembering what the blonde’s handwriting looks like for Merlin’s sake.

A bell chimes as she walks in, her senses tingling. It’s a small shop, a wall of nail polish on one side and two squashy leather armchairs in the room’s center. There’s a coffee table between them, and Pansy isn’t surprised to see Lovegood in one of the chairs with an airy smile.

“Pick a color.”

Her eyes go to the greens first, but she doesn’t want to be boring. Walking closer, there’s some pretty blues and purples, but they’re not quite what she’s looking for. Her finger runs along the line, stopping suddenly at the end. There’s a very dark gray, nearly black, with hints of red and green and blue sparkles when the light catches it right.

“This one.”

The bottle floats over to Lovegood the moment she points, and Pansy goes to the empty chair. As she sits, a wave of comfort and warmth envelops her. It’s a rather powerful charm, even knowing that it’s happening doesn’t strain it. She’s relaxed, happy really.

Lovegood turns to Luna as she paints her nails, silly stories about imaginary creatures rolling over her. She can’t remember the last time she was this relaxed, or happy, and somehow the thought isn’t depressing, it’s merely a fact.

Luna sends her away with some last words about nargles, and Pansy is having such a lovely day. The sun’s out again, and she practically skips home.

.

The next morning she wakes up with a migraine, and nails the color of vomit. By noon she’s hungry and the nails turn pale, deathly looking nearly colorless things. The polish obviously coordinates with her mood, and Pansy’s more than a little annoyed (tinged with orange) that she’ll have to be in a euphoric state to get back the color she wants. (And by then, she won’t even care. Ridiculous.)

She really ought to start avoiding Luna’s shops. Besides, she still doesn’t understand how there are so many. Nor when they appear where. She hasn’t seen the quill shop since her first visit. (Not that she’s been checking after any meet up with Daphne.)

 

4.

Blaise is an absolute bloody bastard. She can read right past his little wedding invitation to the youngest Weasley, the passive aggressive checkbox for if she’ll be bringing a date. She wants to check yes, Merlin does she want to. To stuff it in his prissy pretty face, and all her other classmates, that she’s doing perfectly well thank you. That-

There’s a familiar tingle of magic, and Pansy isn’t surprised to see a nondescript shop pop into existence. Frolicking Fantasies is in loopy cursive over the door, and without another thought, Pansy walks in.

Luna’s wearing bell earrings, chiming as she turns to her with a smile. The shop isn’t plastered with items as usual, just a simple clay golem in the center. She’s surprised despite herself- golems are borderline dark magic, if only because the ministry is afraid of what a powerful and dedicated person can do with them.

“Is this my wedding date?”

Luna hums, “I was going to take Golemsiyah, but I suppose we both can. Do you have a gender preference? Golemsiyah doesn’t.”

Pansy blinks, “Wait, the Zabini-Weasley one?”

“Mhmm, I do hope Blaise isn’t planning on following in his mother’s footsteps. She always had so many heliopaths afraid of her.”

Pansy snorts, “Fairly sure he wouldn’t be marrying into that family then.”

“You’re right,” Luna agrees, “true love would break such a curse.”

Pansy isn’t going to even touch that, eyes flicking back to the lump of clay. “Why don’t we just go together?”

Luna’s eyebrows disappear, a grin popping up, “I’d like that.”

(Pansy doesn’t know what kind of mischief a golem would have unleashed, better not to test it.)

 

+1.

Pansy is walking around Carkitt Market aimlessly. There isn’t anything she truly needs, but she was curious if one of Luna’s odd shops might pop up. The wedding not-date was rather fun, and she’s found herself thinking of witch more than she’d like to admit. What it might be like to-

A greenhouse made of all green glass pops into existence, vaguely visible plants lining the walls. The sun is setting over the roof, sunlight bouncing in the most scenic of ways and Pansy doesn’t question her luck, walking into the building.

Luna’s humming and watering plants, and as she looks around, Pansy realizes this is her home.

“Oh well done, I rather thought it’d take you another month to find me here.”

Pansy blinks, isn’t sure what to do with that. “Thanks?”

Luna nods serenely, vanishing the watering can and approaching her. “You want to say something.”

“I do,” Pansy agrees, words coming without thought. “You make me happy. I think I do the same for you? Do I?”

Luna pets her cheek, fire burning where she strokes. “One day I will love you.”

Pansy chokes on nothing. She knows not to expect certain reactions from Luna, but still- a declaration of future love surprises her. Her imagination works overtime, places her desk in the corner with her writing and Luna making herself a new flower crown. It feels inevitable, yet unbelievably grand.

She smiles, “You see it too.”

And Pansy can’t even question her certainty, for Luna leans in and kisses the sense right off of her lips. (One day, Pansy thinks dazedly, one day soon she’ll love Luna too.)