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It all starts at Daphne Greengrass’s annual Fourth of July party.

Sort of.

Well—

That’s when the cops come, at least.

 


 

(01:23 am) daphhhhh wtf

(01:23 am) im hiding with ur weird neighbor in his basement and it smells like burritos and clearasil

(01:24 am) can i come out yet

(01:26 am) dunno

(01:26 am) but brb

(01:26 am) draco’s helping me hide the keg in the pool

(01:26 am) so the cops are gone?????

(01:28 am) also what that doesn’t make any sense

(01:30 am) maybe

(01:31 am) im just gonna come back

(01:31 am) hes trying to get me to watch lord of the rings with him and i think it’s the one where the trees talk

(01:32 am) idk what ur talking about but draco made a face so that sucks??

(01:32 am) then again that might just be him pining

(01:32 am) for that girl

(01:32 am) who didnt show tonite

(01:32 am) the one hes been “dating” since christmas

(01:32 am) bitch

(01:32 am) OH

(01:32 am) btw

(01:32 am) vince and greg say they saw g i jane in a squad car down the block or smthng so be careful

(01:32 am) g i jane??

(01:32 am) vince and greg are high

(01:32 am) doesnt mean theyre wrong

(01:37 am) uh yeah it does but whatever im on my way i’ll see you all in a min

 


 

Pansy doesn’t technically get arrested.

She feels like it’s important to make that distinction.

There are handcuffs—which are spectacularly uncomfortable, seriously, she’s barely even tempted to make sex jokes about them to the dour, middle-aged female officer who drives her home—and there is a patronizing never-ending speech about the legal consequences of underage drinking and how awful premature liver disease is and it’s all boring enough that it probably came straight off the back of a pamphlet from the guidance counselor’s office at the high school but Pansy stops listening after the fourth red light they get stuck at so she can’t really be sure.

Besides, the roof of her mouth still tastes like cheap vodka because who even knew that it came in plastic bottles and her dad’s stern don’t-fuck-with-me face is lit up and flashing repeatedly across the screen of her phone—and she sometimes wonders if he’d used his personal Pentagon geek squad to hack her photo gallery so she’d have to use the super-scary super-soldier picture of him as his contact icon—but she thinks, with a sinking swaying lurch deep deep in her gut, that this might just be the last straw for her.

She’s totally right.

 


 

(02:42 am) my dad’s about to lock my phone and keys in the bottom drawer of the desk of doom so don’t send me anything stupid

(02:42 am) like

(02:43 am) dnt talk about blaises dick or that dream i had in spanish last week about staff sergeant pucey okay

(02:43 am) especially the dream

(02:43 am) fuck

(02:43 am) fkjllllllllllllllllllllll

(02:47 am) k

(02:47 am) draco and blaise and theo say theyre sorry u got caught btw

(02:47 am) and that marcus still thinks ur super hot

(02:48 am) pans?

(02:49 am) oh r u already gone

(02:49 am) shit

(02:50 am) hi mr parkinson

(02:52 am) Hello, Daphne.

 


 

Community service?” she bleats, defensively clutching the bottle of neon pink nail polish she’d swiped from the salon after her last mani/pedi; she’s wearing a thumb ring, an admittedly tacky throwback to the early nineties that never fails to make her dad feel gruff and awkward and old. “You can’t—I’m not a delinquent, daddy, you can’t just—”

“I can, sweet pea, and I am,” he interrupts with a tired, long-suffering sigh. He pinches the bridge of his nose and glances uneasily around her bedroom. She’d strategically left a half-full box of tampons on top of her dresser earlier to remind him of her hormones and her mood swings and her relative feminine frailty but that doesn’t seem to be working this time. “You…since your mother…I’m afraid I might have been too lenient with you. Uninvolved. Distant. I intend to rectify that.”

An unpleasant, unfamiliar emotion—guilt, maybe? Is that a thing?—churns like butter in the pit of her empty stomach. She frowns and then squares her shoulders and promptly tells herself to get the fuck over it because her life is not a Nicholas Sparks novel and she does not have heart-to-heart talks with her dad, like, ever, and so she tosses her hair with a well-practiced flick of her chin and almost immediately has to suppress a wince when she remembers that she’s really fucking hungover and goddamn it that fucking hurts.

“By putting me in one of those—those horrible polyester jumpsuits on the side of the freeway? Do you even know how sensitive my skin is?”

Her dad narrows his eyes—flinty slate blue, she thinks with a pang, just like hers—and levels her with his most fearsome unimpressed stare. “You’re going to volunteer at the county animal shelter, Pansy,” he finally says in the tone that he usually reserves for people being court martialed. “I’ll even be driving you. No arguing. No faking sick. You need to learn some discipline.”

She glowers at the neon pink nail polish in her hand.

She ends up painting her toenails a remarkably depressing shade of dark purple.

 


 

(07:14 pm) daph do cute boys go to animal shelters

(07:14 pm) to like play with puppies

(07:14 pm) and pick up girls

(07:14 pm) like me for instance

(07:14 pm) does that happen outside of hugh grant movies

(07:14 pm) it doesn’t right

(07:50 pm) i don’t think its hugh grant ur thinking of

(07:51 pm) i think u mean matthew mcconaughey

(07:51 pm) the guy who was in like all those kate hudson movies

(07:52 pm) which

(07:52 pm) so weird right

(07:55 pm) idk i think it might be weirder that you know how to spell his name

(07:59 pm) thouhgts on doing a smoky eye tomorrow

(08:06 pm) ???

(08:06 pm) too much???

(08:10 pm) “too much”

(08:10 pm) lol

(08:10 pm) srsly pans

(08:11 pm) thats blasphemy

 


 

On her first day, she wears a distressed designer denim mini skirt, a turquoise paisley handkerchief top, and a highly impractical pair of cork wedge espadrilles. She spends forty minutes on her makeup and texts Daphne twice to consult on the relative wisdom of using liquid eye liner in the middle of a heat wave.

It doesn’t end up mattering.

By eleven, an overly enthusiastic Dachshund has slobbered all over her face and smeared clumps of blue-black mascara across the curve her cheek while fucking dissolving two full layers of carefully blended peach-pink bronzer—and an incontinent elderly Calico has pissed on her shirt. The college student in charge of the volunteer program—a tiny girl in mom jeans and slip-on Vans named Hermione—gives Pansy a stilted, sympathetic smile and then loans her an ill-fitting cotton t-shirt that’s so fucking big it falls right past the hem of her skirt and droops sadly down the slope of one shoulder.

She wants to cry.

She doesn’t, though, because the other volunteers—the Weasleys, an annoyingly exuberant family of tall freckled redheads in matching crocheted sweaters; and Millicent, a heavyset girl with unfortunate eyebrows who may or may not have a bizarre affinity for cats—are obviously expecting her to.

Pansy is a lot of things, but predictable isn’t one of them.

Usually.

Predictable usually isn’t one of them.

 


 

(9:00 pm) remember that goldfish i had in eighth grade

(9:00 pm) the fat one

(9:00 pm) we named him neville

(9:02 pm) lolllllllll

(9:02 pm) yeah

(9:02 pm) poor neville

(9:03 pm) remember how neville died

(9:04 pm) um

(9:04 pm) old age? pirahnas?

(9:04 pm) no

(9:04 pm) i put him on a diet with me

(9:04 pm) for solidarity

(9:05 pm) which i guess ur not supposed to do with fish or something

(9:05 pm) idk

(9:05 pm) its not really the point

(9:05 pm) the point

(9:05 pm) oh yeah u were trying to fit into that dress ur mom had

(9:09 pm) blaise says hi btw

(9:09 pm) theo is here too

(9:09 pm) we’re playing celebrity clue

(9:10 pm) right

(9:11 pm) hi

(9:12 pm) anyway

(9:12 pm) im really bad with animals

(9:12 pm) that’s the point

 


 

On her second day, she slams the passenger door of her dad’s regulation black government-issued SUV and promptly trips over the curb in the yellow-striped loading/unloading zone.

“Whoa, you okay?” a dark-haired boy calls out, jogging to her side from where he’s just parked his motorcycle. He has bright green eyes and an awesome shoulder-to-hip ratio and really nice, strong-looking arms but his jeans are rumpled and baggy and his hipster glasses are thick-rimmed and round and taped together with what she suspects is that gross novelty moustache-print duct tape she’s seen at the drug store and, just, no. Hermione can have him.

“Yeah,” Pansy replies, taking his hand with a wince; she has gravel embedded into the fragile skin of her palms. “I’m just, you know, fighting with my dad right now, so…I was maybe paying more attention to making a fabulous dramatic exit than I was to, like, gravity. Or whatever.”

He smiles at her, sort of, but it’s forced and tight and honestly a little uncomfortable. She lets him help her up, deliberately arching her back to smooth out the creases on the bottom of her sherbet-colored linen shorts, and wonders what the fuck his deal is when he only glances at her bare legs for a few cursory, lingering seconds.

“Right,” he says dryly, rubbing at his neck and hastily stepping away. “Gravity. Or…whatever.”

She hikes up an eyebrow and almost sneers, then, because oh. Oh. Of course. He’s one of those guys. The guys who assume that she’s vapid and shallow and stupid because she would rather watch Project Runway reruns than pretend to like the Daily Show—the guys who assume they’re too good for her because she doesn’t wear flannel or corduroy or listen to shitty indie bands or blog about feminism or cats or Nickelodeon or, like, French politics—the guys who assume that she’s easy even while they claim that they’re serial monogamists and just want a girl who drinks beer and understands football but still stare at her tits every chance they get and make bets in the locker room about whether or not she stayed a virgin after her one date with Marcus Flint during freshman year—

God, she fucking hates those assholes.

“Pansy Parkinson,” she coos, introducing herself with coy flutter of her lashes because fuck this guy, seriously, he’s probably exactly Hermione’s type. “I’m volunteering here for the rest of the summer. Are you here for a puppy? Or—no, maybe a rabbit?”

He clears his throat. “Er—neither, I’m not here for a pet, but—a rabbit? What?”

She giggles in as high a vocal register as she can physically manage and has to bite back a smirk when he grimaces at the sound. “Oh, just, you know, they’re kind of twitchy and antisocial and those don’t really seem like qualities you’d be too bothered by,” she chirps blithely, twirling the end of her hair.

His gaze flickers with surprise and maybe even a little interest before shutting down and going sharp with irritation. “You’re right,” he says, deadpan. “I’m much more bothered by those fluffy, high-maintenance little purse dogs that never stop barking.”

She glares.

He sarcastically motions for her to walk ahead of him into the building.

Yeah—

Fuck this guy.

 


 

(6:35 pm) what even is a top chef

(6:35 pm) like

(6:35 pm) top of WHAT

(6:36 pm) you know?

(6:38 pm) yeah blaise’s second most recent ex stepdad is a producer i guess and he said that show is totally fake

(6:38 pm) all staged

(6:38 pm) and the sidebars are like scripted and stuff

(6:40 pm) huh

(6:43 pm) this stefan guy is such a dick though and it seems pretty…

(6:43 pm) organic?

(6:45 pm) the bald swedish guy??

(6:46 pm) i think he’s from finland

(6:46 pm) yeah same thing lol

(6:46 pm) he was definitely a dick

(6:47 pm) such a dick

(6:50 pm) but

(6:50 pm) like

(6:50 pm) still kind of hot, right? objectively i mean

(6:53 pm) um

(6:53 pm) like there’s something about him

(6:53 pm) usually WHEN he’s being a dick

(6:53 pm) it’s some kind of weird asshole phenomenon i think

(6:53 pm) i fucking see it everywhere ugh

(6:54 pm) like they go from a soft 6 to a solid 9 in 30 seconds flat

(6:54 pm) THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

 


 

His name is Harry Potter.

He’s a sophomore in college and, according to Millicent, has a lot of pent-up orphan angst as well as a tumultuous on-and-off relationship with the youngest Weasley girl. Pansy learns that he’s some kind of soccer prodigy—he apparently turned down a try-out with the national team because he wanted to do something more useful with his life like go into teaching or law enforcement or fucking fast-food franchise ownership, who even cares—and he’s been best friends with Hermione since they were children. On paper, he’s a typical white-bread nice guy with sad eyes and a tragic past and he therefore has an essentially bulletproof excuse to be a sulky condescending dipshit to whoever he damn well wants and Pansy cannot fucking stand him.

She thinks the feeling might be mutual.

He snickers meanly when she refuses to vacuum the Reptile Room—because monitor lizards are fucking terrifying and have forked black tongues and unapologetically remind her of every single bad B-grade horror movie she’d had to suffer through at Daphne’s slumber parties in junior high and, just, no, Pansy’s not doing that again—and he huffs with disdain when he spots her gluing baby blue claw caps to the front paws of a litter of Maine Coon kittens. He makes a hundred and one scathing, scornful jokes about how young and pampered and naïve she is, how ludicrously skimpy her sundresses are, how Hermione should probably speak more slowly when she explains how to administer eye drops to the Beagle with the corneal abrasion because Pansy might need some extra time to fully grasp the concept

He’s a dick, basically.

But then she catches him glancing appreciatively at the curve of her ass when she bends over in her new outrageously tight vintage cut-offs and it’s like a cartoon lightbulb goes off over her head because oh my God how is this guy even half of a functioning adult if this is how he goes about wooing unsuspecting high school girls and she knows, okay, she knows that she has to avenge her own honor or whatever because seriously, he’s seriously a dick—so she goes on the offensive.

She wears shorter shorts and smaller skirts and the laciest, raciest push-up bras she can unearth from the depths of both the internet and Daphne’s underwear drawer; she buys a giant plastic container of Blow Pops and sucks and licks and slurps at them as messily as she knows how; she draws his attention to her mouth with vibrant shiny candy-red lipstick and she drags melting ice cubes from the shitty employee refrigerator down the overheated skin of her chest when they get assigned to walk the Dalmatians together and she’s obscenely loud about recounting her scandalous, sexually-explicit Staff Sergeant Pucey dreams to Millicent during their mid-morning Nutella breaks—

And things change.

Sort of.

 


 

(3:22 pm) can u ask blaise if he knows someone for me? from school?

(3:22 pm) u can’t ask him urself?

(3:23 pm) he’s not picking up his phone and i assumed he was with you

(3:25 pm) he’s with theo

(3:25 pm) they’re on a date

(3:25 pm) i think they’re mini golfing

(3:25 pm) ???????????????????????????????????????????

(3:25 pm) with each other or

(3:27 pm) yeah

(3:28 pm) we’re…trying something i guess u could say

(3:28 pm) it’s all very experimental

(3:28 pm) kinky

(3:28 pm) and kind of hot

(3:30 pm) yeah

(3:31 pm) so hot actually

(3:31 pm) like

(3:31 pm) im pretty sure im forever ruined for regular sex now but like WHAT A WAY TO GO you know

(3:33 pm) um

(3:33 pm) logistics???

(3:33 pm) well

(3:33 pm) let me put it this way

(3:34 pm) if i had a sex bucket list like u do

(3:34 pm) i could probably just set it on fire at this point

(3:35 pm) i cant figure out if im jealous or not

(3:36 pm) im acutally a little jealous of myself if that helps

(3:36 pm) it…might?

(3:37 pm) anyway

(3:37 pm) dracos here eating all the oreos again

(3:37 pm) making those gross gigantic sandwich things with the filling

(3:38 pm) ugh its like he doesn’t know what a calorie is

(3:38 pm) but um u can ask him whatever u wanted to ask blaise?

(3:40 pm) yeah

(3:40 pm) draco’s metabolism is half the reason i stopped going to church

(3:40 pm) AMEN

(3:41 pm) ask him if he has any classes with harry potter

(3:41 pm) or

(3:41 pm) as i prefer to call him

(3:41 pm) captain asshole

(3:41 pm) ??

(3:42 pm) he’s choking

(3:43 pm) so

(3:44 pm) i think that’s a yes?

 


 

On her ninth day, she asks Draco to pick her up at the end of her shift. She gives him the wrong time, of course, because she has a plan and a grudge and it isn’t like she’s ever been all that punctual to begin with. Besides—Blaise had told her that Draco and Harry have some kind of obsessive, crazy embarrassing playground rivalry that no one else really pays attention to or understands the reasoning behind and Pansy desperately needs to see what that is all about because she isn’t morally opposed to blackmail and Draco is in possession of the only remaining photographic evidence of the six months she wore braces in the fifth grade, so. It’s fair.

“Pansy, I love you like the sister I never really wanted, but it smells like guinea pigs in here and I don’t—”

Draco?” Hermione gasps, and Pansy spins around, startled, just in time to see Hermione fumble with a navy blue ceramic water dish that’s shaped like a fish. “What are you—wait, you two—you know Pansy?”

Draco gapes at Hermione, his douchebag wood-framed Ray Bans dangling precariously from the tip of one finger. Hermione’s face is flushed, and she looks weirdly panicked and indignant and angry and Pansy has no idea what the fuck is going on.

“Do I know—how do you—this is where you work?” Draco finally blurts out, visibly upset. “I thought you said—”

“I didn’t lie,” Hermione interjects quickly, huffing and fidgeting and crossing her arms over her chest; her hair is escaping its customary textbook-smooth French braid, and the ugly ribbed cotton tank top she’s wearing is riding up the front of her stomach. Pansy doesn’t think she’s ever seen Hermione so flustered. Or disheveled. It’s pretty fascinating. “I do work at my parents’ practice on Saturdays, but that isn’t—what are you doing here? Did you follow me?”

Draco’s jaw drops. “Yeah, no, you definitely did lie to me,” he retorts, his expression turning mutinous. “And no, I didn’t follow you, Jesus fuck, although maybe I should have, huh?”

Hermione’s lips compress into a thin white line. “Did you ever think, Draco, that I had a very good reason for compartmentalizing my life? You and I—it was never serious, you said that yourself and quite clearly meant it if you’re hanging around with Pansy now, so why should I have risked—”

Never serious?” Draco repeats, voice growing louder. “Seven months of monogamy and you—you unbelievable fucking—”

The metal door swings open.

“Hey, ‘Mione, where’d you put the ferret food?” Harry asks, shuffling backwards into the room, his threadbare, heather grey v-neck damp with sweat and sticking in a really frustratingly distracting fashion to the sinuously shifting muscles in his shoulders and upper back because yeah, duh, why wouldn’t the totally awful, totally off-limits older guy who confiscated and then threw away her last pack of imported clove cigarettes just that morning be fucking stupid-hot. “What the fuck? What’s—why the hell is Malfoy here?”

Hermione flinches guiltily.

Unsurprisingly, it all goes downhill from there.

 


 

(5:08 pm) what does vociferous mean

(5:08 pm) i keep thinking it has something to do with trees

(5:08 pm) but idk

(6:30 pm) draco was totally banging my uptight nerdy boss

(6:31 pm) and u know how he was planning on introducing her to us at your party last week

(6:32 pm) yeah

(6:32 pm) he was pretty bummed when she didn’t show

(6:33 pm) yeah he’s all into her

(6:33 pm) it’s way more gross than it is cute

(6:33 pm) but

(6:33 pm) get this

(6:34 pm) he’s like her dirty little secret or something

(6:34 pm) she lied aobut where she lived and stuff and her friends had no idea they were even together

(6:35 pm) oh HELL no

(6:36 pm) i will cut a bitch

(6:36 pm) we should key her car

(6:37 pm) it was pretty fucked up

(6:37 pm) like

(6:40 pm) draco came to drive me home and she was just all like “what are you doing here? are you stalking me? how dare you have feelings?” and then captain asshole barges in and he goes apeshit on draco

(6:41 pm) and me

(6:41 pm) like me called me dracos “flavor of the week” which

(6:41 pm) hello

(6:41 pm) inaccurate

(6:41 pm) NOT FUCKING HIM

(6:42 pm) or anyone for that matter ugh

(6:42 pm) but yeah

(6:43 pm) it was kind of a disaster

(6:45 pm) ouch

(6:45 pm) u should throw a party when ur dads away next week

(6:46 pm) and invite these bitches

(6:46 pm) i’ll get marcus to come down

(6:46 pm) he’ll bring pucey

(6:46 pm) maybe warrington if he isnt at one of those weird supper clubs in jersey

(6:47 pm) we’ll pull a carrie on their asses

(6:47 pm) bloodstains

(6:47 pm) no

(6:47 pm) also ew

(6:47 pm) i didn’t mean literally pans

(6:48 pm) but srsly

(6:48 pm) they picked the wrong people to fuck with

(6:52 pm) yeah

(6:56 pm) they did

(6:56 pm) vociferous means aggressive btw

(6:56 pm) nothing to do w/ trees

 


 

On her twelfth day, she’s standing next to a bank of stainless steel wire bird cages and clasping a shrink-wrapped package of pine wood shavings to her chest and legitimately praying for strength when Harry pauses in the doorway for no readily apparent reason other than to scowl disapprovingly in her general direction and that just—

No.

That’s fucking it.

“Hey, asshole, what’s your deal?” she demands, dropping the wood shavings and ignoring the piercing shriek of a nearby lorikeet.

He scoffs. “I’d accuse you of playing dumb, but somehow I don’t think you have to try that hard.”

She props her hand on her hip and points a furious finger at him. “No, see, thatthat level of animosity is totally uncalled for,” she snaps. “I was never actually sleeping with your BFF’s boy toy—good job jumping to conclusions, by the way, a-plus for effort—which is literally the only thing I can conceivably think of that might make your perpetual, like, rage monster bad mood around me even a tiny bit understandable—”

“Jesus Christ,” he bursts out, interrupting her, stalking closer, “you think everything’s about you, don’t you—and don’t even answer that, because of course you do, you’re just like every other obnoxious—”

“Um, newsflash, fuckface, the premise of this entire conversation is about why you, like, arbitrarily decided to hate me, so, yeah, it has to be at least a little about me—”

“—selfish, superficial daddy’s girl with a trust fund—”

“—are you just making this up as you go along? Because I don’t have a fucking trust fund, God—”

“—bratty and spoiled and, and, entitled—”

“—this isn’t, like, an episode of The O.C. and you are definitely not a hotter but way less funny version of Seth Cohen—”

“—bet you don’t know how to care about anything other than yourself—”

She grits her teeth and feels a faint glimmer of shame and uncertainty which, okay, sure, awesome, another totally valid excuse to hate the guy. She’ll take it. “Aw, what gave me away?” she simpers, crossing her arms over her upper abdomen; it’s kind of like she’s hugging herself, but that’s too fucking pathetic to even ironically contemplate so she’s careful not to go there. “Was it the lip gloss? It’s strawberry flavored, in case you were curious.”

His nostrils flare and his eyebrows twitch and he looks so ridiculous that she can’t hold back an insulting snort of laughter that she refuses on principle to acknowledge as unkind because, seriously, again, fuck this guy, he deserves it. “Artificially sweet,” he returns, meeting her eyes with what she thinks might be an unspoken challenge. Or maybe a threat. Given their track record, it’s probably the latter. “Must be contagious.”

She smirks.

He wants a challenge?

“Can’t really be sure,” she says with a calculated shrug of her shoulders—and her breasts heave and the neckline of her shirt slips down and the scalloped black lace edge of her bra peeks out and yeah, she’s almost definitely going to win this…conversation—argument—thing. Whatever. “I don’t know what I taste like.”

His gaze darts from her mouth to her cleavage and then up and down her legs and the dull pink flush creeping around the side of his neck is so fucking delicious that she nearly forgets to keep her face blank. “And here I was under the impression that you had your very own subsection on Reddit,” he replies, and the set of his jaw is tense and hard and combative but he’s rocking back on his heels like he’s nervous and that’s unexpected enough that she doesn’t tell herself she’s being stupid when she takes a step forward.

“Did you try and Google me?” she asks, absolutely fucking delighted. “You did, didn’t you? That’s either super cute or super creepy, I can’t even—”

“It wasn’t creepy—” he blusters, raking his fingers through his hair.

“I bet you say that to all the girls,” she sighs, patting him on the shoulder.

He glances at her hand. She doesn’t remove it. “You’re not a girl,” he counters quietly. “You’re a problem.”

She chews on the inside of her mouth—and then her tongue darts out to wet her lips and he swallows when she drags her nails down his arm, fingertips skimming over soft warm tan skin, and the air goes still around them, still and hot and electric, and her breathing falters and his pupils expand and eclipse those bright bright bright green eyes and she has an insane thought about how she’s out of her depth in a big way, an important way, and she wants to drown in it and she wants to drown in him because he’s lowering his head and she’s tilting hers up and she’s almost painfully aware of every inch of her body, of every inch of his, of where they aren’t touching and where they should be touching and—

“You know what you do with problems, Harry?” she murmurs mischievously, and the words fucking tingle as they leave her mouth and fall into his.

His hands hover over her hips, hesitant and trembling. “No,” he admits, voice cracking. “What do I do?”

She presses her thighs together. “You fucking solve them,” she says, and his eyes darken and her pulse races and then—

And then—

And then a trio of powder blue parakeets are screeching and pecking at the bars of their cage and Harry and her are springing apart like they’ve been fucking electrocuted and he’s turning around and walking away from her about as quickly as he can without flat-out running.

“That was weak!” she calls after him, shaky and mocking. “You could have at least tried to grope me before you escaped!”

From the hallway, she hears him swear and collide with a plastic cart full of squeaking cat toys.

She smiles—

Until she remembers what he’d said about her before she—before they—just, before.

Her smile fades.

She doesn’t really want to think about why.

 


 

(6:00 pm) do i really have to come to dinner

(6:05 pm) daph

(6:22 pm) daphhhhhhh

(6:33 pm) yes

(6:33 pm) and u have to wear The Dress

(6:37 pm) how long did it take u to capitalize that

(6:38 pm) more or less than one whole minute

(6:39 pm) quit deflecting

(6:39 pm) and put the goddamn Dress on

(6:43 pm) this is dumb

(6:43 pm) crashing ur confusing threesome date

(6:44 pm) im like the fourth wheel

(6:44 pm) on a tricycle

(6:44 pm) be honest do u just want me there to eat all the breadsticks

(6:44 pm) u do dont u

(6:47 pm) why r u acting so weird

(6:47 pm) what happened

(6:48 pm) ??

(6:52 pm) is this about draco and all the epic moping hes been doing over that girl who looks like a librarian

(6:52 pm) but like an actual librarian

(6:52 pm) not a hot one

(6:55 pm) The Dress is too short

(6:57 pm) wtf

(6:57 pm) im coming over

(6:59 pm) no no

(6:59 pm) im fine

(7:00 pm) but im wearing a maxi skirt

(7:00 pm) and a crop top

(7:00 pm) PANSY

(7:00 pm) YOU WOULDNT DARE

(7:00 pm) TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW

(7:02 pm) who are u really unsubtly trying to set me up with btw

(7:02 pm) it isn’t marcus again is it

(7:03 pm) i mean

(7:03 pm) it’s not NOT marcus

(7:04 pm) ugh

(7:04 pm) hes too big

(7:04 pm) i always feel like hes going to accidentally break me

(7:05 pm) like

(7:06 pm) one of his biceps is bigger than my head

(7:07 pm) plus whenever we argue he just grunts and pets my hair

(7:09 pm) and idk

(7:10 pm) his eyes are SO blue

(7:12 pm) are you listing reasons to date him or to not date him im lost

(7:19 pm) i like green better

 


 

Her dad gives her back the keys to her Land Rover the night before he leaves for Fort Lauderdale.

“I’m proud of you, sweet pea,” he tells her, briskly twisting off the cap of his beer bottle but not actually drinking any of it.

She looks up from the totally bitchin’ pair of suede fringe ankle boots she’s taking out of a silver Nordstrom shopping bag and blinks in confusion because what? “Um,” she says. “Thank you?”

He chuckles wryly. “I know you could have finagled a way out of your community service if you’d really wanted to,” he explains, peeling at the pretentious parchment label on the front of his beer; she doesn’t know who the hell introduced him to independent microbreweries but it’s super embarrassing to go to Whole Foods with him now which means that it’s probably Lucius Malfoy’s fault. “You could have spent the summer at the pool with Daphne and those boys you two always have tagging along.”

Pansy thinks that this is perhaps far too innocent of an estimation of how she would have spent her summer had she not been volunteering to clean up after homeless puppies but she wisely chooses not to mention it. “Yeah,” she says, stalling. She puts down her new boots and moves to grab a Diet Coke from the refrigerator. “I mean. It hasn’t been that bad.”

Her dad studies her with his crazy penetrating Ghost Protocol interrogation eyes and she gulps down about half of her soda. “Well,” he replies, propping his elbows on the kitchen island and fiddling with her rhinestone-encrusted pink leather Juicy keychain; it’s shaped like a cupcake and the icing is covered in rainbow-tinted glitter. “Whatever—or whoever—is keeping you there…I’m proud of you for sticking with it as long as you have.”

She reaches up to adjust the knot of her halter top and curls her toes into the smooth hardwood floor and ignores how uncomfortably tight her chest suddenly feels. “I’m um—I’m home for dinner tonight, so,” she eventually says. “Pizza?”

He takes a sip of his beer. “Sure, sweet pea—but no mushrooms.”

“We always get mushrooms,” she reminds him, already scrolling through her phone. “Mom loved them.”

She hears the TV switch on and the familiar background lull of whatever old basketball game is currently playing on ESPN Classic. “Yes,” he drawls, “but you never have. You pick them off.”

She furrows her brow. “But—”

“Pansy, it’s okay,” he interrupts, and his tone is gentle and patient and understanding and she feels a little like she has whiplash because her dad loves her, of course he loves her, but he hasn’t used that particular voice around her in years, not since after the funeral when he’d been shoving her into the offices of what seemed like every grief counselor and adolescent psychologist on the entire fucking eastern seaboard and she had finally lost it and just screamed and screamed and screamed into her purple satin pillow and he had admitted that he didn’t know what to do with her and she still sometimes remembers how exhausted he’d looked and how selfish she’d felt and the relief that had clouded his features when she’d apologized and lied and told him she was fine fine fine she just had her period and it was always worse on the second day and could he please find her some chocolate and her box set of Friends DVDs and maybe call Daphne for her because—

“Right,” she says absently, tapping her fingers against the cold aluminum of her soda can; she’s wearing the sterling Tiffany tennis bracelet her dad had bought her for her tenth birthday and absolutely hates how young she feels. “No mushrooms.”

He mutes the TV just as some raspy two-packs-a-day commentator from the eighties starts to rant about Larry Bird. “Maybe we should get Thai instead,” he suggests mildly.

 


 

(2:01 pm) so im at bevmo with theo and blaise and draco

(2:02 pm) and theyre just getting vodka and that gross cinnamon stuff with the gold flakes in it because apparently the librarian dracos obsessed with really likes it and he thinks she might come tonight

(2:02 pm) ugh

(2:02 pm) why is even still talking to her

(2:04 pm) anyway

(2:04 pm) any special requests

(2:05 pm) like maybe a handle of captain morgan for captain asshole

(2:07 pm) omg

(2:07 pm) that explains so much

(2:07 pm) shes been like WHISTLING all morning

(2:08 pm) she didn’t evne make me refill the litter boxes with millicent earlier

(2:08 pm) how gross

(2:08 pm) i bet theyre banging again

(2:15 pm) yeah dracos got some definite swagger in his step today

(2:15 pm) smug face level 200

(2:17 pm) hes so annoying when hes getting laid

(2:17 pm) its like his chin gets extra pointy

(2:18 pm) u guys should lock him in the freezer where they store the kegs

(2:18 pm) keep him on his toes

(2:19 pm) lolllllllllll

(2:19 pm) he wouldnt even notice

(2:19 pm) hed just see all the craft beer and start drooling

(2:20 pm) him and his dad are so fucking intense about that shit

(2:20 pm) RIGHT

(2:21 pm) any last requests??

(2:21 pm) champagne?

(2:22 pm) red bull

(2:22 pm) and maybe some blueberry stoli

(2:22 pm) ?

(2:22 pm) blueberry stoli tastes like muffins

(2:23 pm) yeah

(2:28 pm) i wonder if harry is going to even come tonight

(2:28 pm) captain asshole?

(2:29 pm) like

(2:29 pm) i didnt invite him

(2:29 pm) but

(2:30 pm) yeah

(2:30 pm) um

(2:30 pm) about that

 


 

It’s a little after eleven and Pansy is in the middle of her living room doing watermelon Jello shots with most of the men’s water polo team from Georgetown and trying really, really hard not to glance too obviously at the front door every few minutes but she’s almost drunk and she’s idiotically anxious andshe’s wearing The Dress and her tits look awesome and her eyeliner is on point and in her expert opinion pretty much everyone should want to fuck her because even she would want to fuck her but she’s waiting for—she’s waiting for—

Harry and Hermione walk in with three Weasleys and Neville Longbottom.

Pansy gapes blearily at all of them for about twenty seconds too long.

“Turn down for what!” Daphne sing-yells as she shimmies in from the backyard; she’s being held up by a bemused Blaise and an exasperated Theo, and she squints at Harry and Hermione when she notices them at the door. “Oh, hey—Captain Asshole and the librarian! Draco! Draco, come inside! Your booty call is here!”

Hermione’s cheeks turn pink and the two Weasley brothers choke on either laughter or outrage, Pansy can’t really tell, and the girl Weasley just scoffs and leans closer to Harry, who is—

Well.

Harry is staring right at Pansy, mouth slack and eyes wide and the expression on his face makes her gut clench with something slow and scorching and dirty and she fucking shivers because he wants her and—

He scowls.

“Sleeping your way through the roster, Parkinson?” he demands, nodding at the water polo boys behind her, most of whom have apparently taken off half their clothing in the two minutes she’s been unfairly distracted by Harry and his everything and while the almost drunk and judgmentally impaired part of her is fucking thrilled that he’s clearly jealous on her behalf, the sane sensible significantly less drunk part of her is pissed that he thinks he has the right to be.

She narrows her eyes. “Body shots!” she announces loudly, holding up her forgotten Jello shot and squeezing it into her mouth; she doesn’t look away from Harry as she swallows and she smirks when a muscle in his jaw visibly twitches.

Turn down for—wait, what? Body shots?” Daphne slurs, idly smacking a kiss against Blaise’s neck and smearing her lipstick along the collar of his shirt. Blaise just sighs fondly while Theo smiles and tucks a strand of Daphne’s hair behind her ear. “I swear, you have the best ideas, someone find salt and help me with my zipper because we’re going first, Pans, it’ll be like cheer camp all over again!”

Harry’s forehead creases in a frown.

Pansy arches a brow.

“You coming, Potter?” she asks sweetly, and she knows it’s a dare—of course it’s a dare, what else is their nonexistent relationship even about—a dare that he’d have to be an imbecile to not pick up on—

He shrugs. “Probably not till later,” he replies with a smug, easy grin.

Her answering laugh is a little strangled and a lot hysterical but she doesn’t even care because he’s sauntering towards her with intent and he’s doing that behind-the-back one-armed shirt removal thing that she has never actually understood the mechanics of and she’s so happy that she has panties on that have lace everywhere because friction is absolutely a thing that she needs more of and if she shifts her thighs just right she can—

“Holy shit!” Daphne suddenly shrieks. “Is that fucking Neville Longbottom? When did he get hot?”

 


 

(12:05 am) pans

(12:05 am) PPPPANSY

(12:06 am) PETER PAN

(12:06 am) PANSANELLA

(12:06 am) PANCAKE

(12:06 am) PAN-AMURRRICA

(12:09 am) omg whhatttt

(12:09 am) and pansanella isnt a word

(12:09 am) its a salad

(12:10 am) and u spelled it so wrong like arent u dating an italian guy where the fuck is he and why did he let u keep ur phone

(12:11 am) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

(12:11 am) um

(12:11 am) NO

(12:11 am) I LOVE YOU

(12:11 am) SO MUCHHHHH

(12:11 am) I KNO I ALREDY HAVE A SISTER BUT SHE SUCKS SO MUCH LIKE ALL SHE CARES ABOUT ARE THOSE WEIRD PONY CARTOONS AND PEANUT BUTTER

(12:13 am) astoria is ten years old 

(12:14 am) SO UR MY SISTER IN ALL THE WAYS THAT MATTER OKAY

(12:15 am) LIKE

(12:15 am) I KNOW WE DONT DO THIS

(12:15 am) CUZ UR ALLERGIC TO FEELINGS

(12:16 am) BECAUSE OF UR THING WITH UR MOM

(12:16 am) AND BECAUSE UR DADS LIKE THE FUCKING PATRIOT IN ROBOT FORM OR SOMETHING

(12:16 am) IDK

(12:16 am) FEELINGS MAKE U WEIRD

(12:17 am) BUT

(12:17 am) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND I NEVER WANT YOU TO NOT KNOW THAT OKAY

(12:19 am) where are you?

(12:20 am) im in ur hot tub with blaze and theo

(12:20 am) blaise

(12:20 am) BLAISE and theo

(12:21 am) theyre making out

(12:21 am) its like all my dreasm coming true at once

(12:22 am) is this what fairy tales look like

(12:25 am) where did u goooo

(12:25 am) marcus and pucey are on their way btw

(12:25 am) with vince and greg and someone named millicent?? idk

(12:32 am) pansyyyyy

(12:47 am) oh

(12:49 am) r u coming out here????

(12:55 am) im in my bathroom with captain asshole

(12:57 am) brb

(12:57 am) i think he locked the door

 


 

“I wanted to apologize,” Harry says stiffly, inspecting a tube of tinted Dermalogica moisturizer with what seems to her like a super unnecessary amount of urgency. “I wasn’t…nice to you, and you didn’t really deserve it at first—”

At first?” she echoes, incredulous.

“—I made a lot of assumptions,” he continues, turning his attention to a small palette of metallic grey eye shadow. “I was just—I’ve spent a really long time avoiding girls like you—”

Girls like me?” she bleats.

“—and it wasn’t personal, not exactly, I just…” he trails off, grimacing at a pair of tweezers she’d left sitting next to the toothpaste on the far counter. “I didn’t wantto like you, and with the way you look—”

The way I look?”

“—since I’ve only been in one real relationship—which I fucked up, by the way,” he goes on, peering skeptically at a giant glass jar full of cotton balls. “And you seemed, you know, experienced—

Experienced?”

“—and I figured out pretty quick that the—the vain, ditzy airhead thing was all just an act,” he says, flicking the plastic dispenser on a bottle of gingerbread-scented hand soap. “And I maybe…I maybe was waiting for you to slip up and prove me wrong about that—”

“Is this really happening right now?

“—but you were so…I mean, yeah, you’re attractive, which you rubbed in my face every fucking chance you got,” he grumbles, looking irritated; he runs his fingers across a neatly folded pink washcloth hanging from her towel rack. “And I didn’t think you actually…I mean, I knew you didn’t like me very much, I made sure of that, but the idea of you even being attracted to me seemed so far-fetched—

“This is the worst apology in the history of apologies, oh my God.”

“—so that day in the aviary, I couldn’t really tell if you were fucking with me or not, but you were so…so…different from who I wanted you to be—you weren’t vapid and you weren’t stupid and you weren’t going to let me get away with treating you like I had been—”

“Seriously, you need to shut up, this is terrible.”

“—and I know I’ve been a dick—”

“Understatement.”

“—but I really—I want to talk to you and make you laugh and take you to the fucking movies and maybe meet your dad and—and I want you to prove me right, okay—”

“I thought you were doing better for, like, a split-second there, but—yeah, false alarm.”

“—so, I’m sorry,” he finishes, folding his arms over his chest and scrunching up his nose. “I like you a lot, Pansy.”

She deflates a little at how unbelievably fucking earnest he sounds. “I—I think I like you, too. Maybe. Probably.”

He leans backwards against the counter and gives her a smile that’s slow and sincere and adorable. “Okay,” he says expectantly. “Your turn.”

She cocks her head to the side. “What?”

“To apologize,” he clarifies. “For, you know, the teasing and the lollipops and that shit you pulled with the ice cubes.”

She blinks for a while and tries with minimal success to process what he just said because—

What?”

 


 

(01:10 am) omg

(01:10 am) so draco just had the weirdest ffight w/ the librarian

(01:10 am) she poured a can of red bull down his shirt

(01:10 am) they were yelling at each other

(01:10 am) about mistletoe

(01:10 am) which

(01:11 am) what

(01:11 am) its july

(01:12 am) anyway theyre gone now

(01:13 am) she left

(01:13 am) and he chased after her

(01:16 am) those redheads are fucking owning at beer pong btw

(01:17 am) except the girl

(01:17 am) shes with the water polo team

(01:20 am) who are they anyway

(01:20 am) like why r they here

(01:22 am) OOOOH marcus and pucey just showed up w/ some girl who looks like a yeti

(01:25 am) where r youuuuu

 


 

Pansy means to slap him.

She’s pretty sure about that.

But when she raises her hand and opens her mouth to say something totally cutting and ruthless and scathing

She just—

She means to slap him.

She does.

Except—

That isn’t what happens.

Not exactly.

 


 

(01:33 am) omg neville longbottom is passed out in the pool

(01:33 am) is it bad if hes face down

(01:34 am) should blaise help him

(01:36 am) marcus is hardcore looking for u btw

(01:39 am) and vince and greg brought ediblessss

(01:39 am) the redheads are all about it

(01:39 am) theyre bonding

(01:39 am) awwwwww

(01:39 am) wait are they twins?

(01:39 am) how did i not notice that

(01:44 am) srsly where are u were going to taco bell

(01:44 am) do u want a chalupa

(01:50 am) oh god

(01:50 am) my weird neighbor has ur address????

(01:50 am) he says he skipped a raid with his guild to come tonite

(01:51 am) wtf

(01:54 am) pansyyyyyyy

(01:57 am) what is larping

(01:58 am) is it an instrument

(01:59 am) fow3iht23oth2332g

(01:59 am) fff

(02:07 am) marcus is going upstairs???? he has ur chalupa

 


 

Harry kisses her like they’re still fighting, all teeth and tongue and a bruising grip around her waist, which, yeah, none of those are things that she’d ever thought she’d particularly like but wow does she really really like them because she’s moaning into his mouth and it’s echoing against the custom tilework in her bathroom and he’s pushing her back to sit on the sink and stepping between her legs to spread her thighs as wide as they can go and he’s working his hand underneath the hem of The Dress and later—much fucking later—she’ll remember to be super embarrassed about the sound she makes when he rubs his thumb against the lace of her underwear but she’s way, way, way too far gone and he’s grinding the heel of his palm against her clit and she can’t think or talk or focus or anything and—

“Fuck, you’re wet,” he groans into the base of her throat, and then bites down on her collarbone and deftly flicks his wrist and oh, oh, that’s definitely a finger and it’s definitely not enough because fuck fuck fuck why did no one ever tell her how good this feels? “I wanted to do this the day we met, you know, thought about it all the fucking time and kept having to remind myself you weren’t—we weren’t—”

She reaches out and rakes her nails down the front of his jeans, feeling for the outline of his cock, and he jerks forward, into her hand, and she realizes that she finally understands the fundamental appeal of all this sex stuff because holy fucking shit does she want to see him and touch him and taste him and maybe her mouth is watering and maybe that isn’t the standard physical reaction she’s supposed to be having to a guy’s dick in her hand but this is Harry and she thinks a little frantically that she might have been suppressing the specifics of her attraction to him since they’d initially traded abysmal first impressions because yes yes yes this is simultaneously everything and fucking nothing like what she’s been waiting for—

“You’re an idiot,” she gasps. “Such—such—such an idiot—”

He smiles into her sweat slick skin and he pulls at the already-low neckline of The Dress and he’s kneading her breasts with one hand and toying with her clit with the other and she wants to say something snarky about multitasking but he closes his lips around her nipple and slides a second finger into her cunt and she basically forgets everything other than the grazing sting of his teeth and the insistent pulsing thud of her heartbeat—

Your idiot,” he corrects, and she definitely thought he hatedher less than an hour ago so it really shouldn’t be sexy and it really shouldn’t be cute and they should probably be talking about all of this in much greater detail but her brain chemistry is apparently susceptible to all kinds of illogical shit when Harry is involved because her spine melts and her breath hitches and he thrusts his fingers a little faster and sucks a mark into the underside of her breast and she’s teetering on the edge of something awesome and this isn’t the impersonal robotic hum of a vibrator in the lonely silence of her bedroom after a failed date or a busted party, no, this is faster and harder and better and—

And—

And—

Harry,” she whispers.

Pansy,” he says, soft and plaintive and perfect and she snatches at the collar of his shirt and yanks his face up towards hers and kisses him, kisses him, kisses him—

She comes with a cry.

He drags her orgasm out with soothing swipes of his thumb and she whines, she pants, she trembles—

And then Marcus Flint kicks the bathroom door open and everything pretty much goes to shit.

 


 

(2:30 pm) last night

(2:30 pm) was an unholy disaster

(2:30 pm) jesus christ

(2:32 pm) ur ring tone is so annoying when im hungover why do i let u talk me into using pit bull songs for ANYTHING

(2:32 pm) like no motherfucker i dont want ur gasolina go away

(2:32 pm) ??

(2:32 pm) thats not a pit bull song

(2:33 pm) but wait

(2:33 pm) what happened last night

(2:33 pm) i remember taco bell

(2:33 pm) did u order a mexican pizza again and cry about how it wasnt a real pizza

(2:35 pm) NO

(2:36 pm) and i still cant believe u put that on youtube

(2:36 pm) 10k+ hits and counting bitch

(2:38 pm) i hooked up with harry

(2:38 pm) in my bathroom

(2:38 pm) and then marcus broke down the door and punched him in the face

(2:40 pm) ???????????????????????????????????????

(2:40 pm) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(2:41 pm) captain asshole has game?

(2:41 pm) i didnt really see that coming

(2:44 pm) ugh no

(2:44 pm) actually

(2:44 pm) he has the opposite of game

(2:45 pm) which is something i find charming???

(2:46 pm) i guess???

(2:49 pm) i don’t knowwww daph

(2:49 pm) hes kind of a moron

(2:49 pm) duh

(2:50 pm) like he some weird hang up about relationships which he didn’t really explain very well but

(2:51 pm) i got the impression that he wanted to try?

(2:51 pm) with me?

(2:51 pm) and i thought i wanted to try too

(2:52 pm) last night

(2:52 pm) but now

(2:52 pm) most of the reasons i like him have to do with how hot he is

(2:52 pm) okay except he isn’t that hot

(2:53 pm) and i realized this morning that i don’t actually know anything about him

(2:53 pm) like

(2:55 pm) hes nice to animals and drives a motorcycle and his parents are dead and hes all weird and competitive with draco and hes really bad at apologizing and on that note hes also INSANELY stubborn and its almost impossible for him to even talk HIMSELF out of doing and saying stupid shit even when he actively intellectually knows that its stupid

(2:55 pm) didnt u literally just say you don’t know anything about him

(2:55 pm) wtf

(2:56 pm) and i just

(2:57 pm) i don’t want to make a mistake

(2:57 pm) i don’t want to think that my thing with him is one thing

(2:57 pm) and have it turn out to be another

(2:58 pm) right

(2:58 pm) okay

(2:58 pm) so

(2:59 pm) ur scared of getting hurt

(2:59 pm) do u feel better now that ive pointed out the obvious

(3:02 pm) …a little?

 


 

The doorbell rings.

She’s just started a Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon and has a half-eaten, quickly melting pint of strawberry-mango gelato resting on a bamboo coaster on the coffee table. She isn’t wearing any makeup. Her striped linen pajama shorts are sticking to the backs of her thighs and her bra is on crooked and she doesn’t think she brushed her hair when she woke up that morning and the depressing purple nail polish she’d used on her toenails a few weeks ago is flaking off around the edges and she forgot to put on deodorant and she’s an actual living breathing mess and so it’s only natural that when she goes to open the door it isn’t the UPS guy, no, it’s—

“Harry!” she exclaims, voice high-pitched and kind of warbling. “Um. Hi.”

He has a huge black-violet bruise blossoming across the hinge of his jaw and he’s wearing a surprisingly tight pair of dark-wash jeans that actually fit him and a white v-neck t-shirt with a silk-screened bald eagle printed across the front and he doesn’t look hungover at all which seems supremely unfair considering a little over twelve hours ago he was licking tequila out of her belly button, but, okay, fine, whatever.

“I thought…we should talk,” he says awkwardly. “Can I—come in? Is it a bad time?”

She’s still holding the spoon she’d been eating gelato with. She clutches it like it’s a weapon and she’s being accosted in a very shadowy dark alley and then stares at him with a vague sense of panic beginning to unfurl in her stomach because what is she going to say to him oh my God. “It’s, um, it’s fine,” she stammers, standing aside. “Not a—not a bad time.”

He follows her into the living room and she motions towards the couch and he looks amused at the sight of both her blanket nest and the pint of gelato and she’s still holding the fucking spoon because she doesn’t know what she’s doing or how to do this or how to talk to him without the benefit of sarcasm and lipstick and—

“Um. I’m just going to—bathroom. Yes. I’ll be—back. Because—bathroom. Don’t—go. Um. Just. Bathroom? Okay?”

And she flees.

 


 

(5:44 pm) DAPHNE

(5:44 pm) DAPH

(5:44 pm) DAPHSICLE

(5:44 pm) DAFFY DUCK

(5:45 pm) DAPPHO

(5:45 pm) DAPHDELION

(5:48 pm) dappho?

(5:49 pm) i legit dont get that one

(5:49 pm) HARRY POTTER IS IN MY LIVING ROOM

(5:49 pm) WATCHING KIM KARDASHIAN HAVE A BABY

(5:49 pm) AND HE WANTS TO “TALK”

(5:49 pm) ugh that episode was the worst at least kourtney like yanked her own baby out u know

(5:50 pm) AND HE HAS A BRUISE

(5:50 pm) FROM MARCUS

(5:50 pm) speaking of u really need to elaborate on that cuz i still don’t know if it was like a violent caveman situation or lke a jealous rage or likea protective older brother reflex

(5:50 pm) AND WHAT DO I DO WHAT IS THE ETIQUETTE FOR THIS DO I GIVE HIM HOT POCKETS OR BEER OR ICED TEA OR A BLOWJOB OR ALL OF THE ABOVE OR

(5:51 pm) HELP ME

(5:51 pm) !!!!!!!!!!1111111111!@@@@@@@!!!!!!!!!!!1

(5:54 pm) so like

(5:54 pm) in the interest of full disclosure

(5:55 pm) i am going to laugh at you for this tomorrow

(5:55 pm) but

(5:55 pm) srsly pans

(5:55 pm) just calm the fuck down

(5:56 pm) youre hot and smart and devious and awesome and hilarious

(5:56 pm) and he looks like he probably spent his formative years at comic con

(5:56 pm) if u know what i mean

(5:57 pm) which u do

(5:57 pm) because ur hot and smart and devious and awesome and hilarious

(5:59 pm) pizza rolls????

(6:02 pm) r u hiding in the bathroom again

(6:03 pm) hiding is a strong word

(6:03 pm) just for that im going to live tweet the shit out of our first double date

(6:04 pm) and make u eat all the breadsticks

 


 

Pansy doesn’t allow herself to hyperventilate or put on a coat of mascara or even take three-quarters of a Xanax before returning to the living room for what she is convinced will be the most detrimentally unproductive post-hook-up conversation in the history of the world.

Oh, no.

Instead, she throws her shoulders back and runs her fingers through her hair and firmly reminds herself that she is hot and smart and devious and awesome and hilarious and that Harry fucking Potter is going to have to do way better in the apology department if he ever wants to actually date her.

“Harry,” she says, lifting her chin and perching a totally respectable four feet away from him on the very far edge of the couch, “I really think we need to—”

“I’m so sorry,” he blurts out. “About last night. I was drunk. I took advantage of you. I had no idea you had a boyfriend, I swear, if I had I would never have—”

“What are you—boyfriend?”

He winces and gestures to the bruise on his jaw. “Big guy? Crew cut? Looked like he was about three push-ups away from being drafted to the NFL?”

She blanches. “You think—oh, my God, Marcus is not my boyfriend.”

Harry looks chagrined and confused and also slightly doubtful which she can admit is a pretty fair emotional assessment of the situation. “Then why did he—”

“Marcus just likes to hit people,” she interrupts, wrinkling her nose. “It’s a character flaw. He’s working on it.”

He hesitates. “Oh.”

She sniffs. “Yeah.”

He gnaws on his lower lip and stares at the TV, watching impassively as Kendall Jenner attempts to learn how to wind surf. “Then I should probably apologize again,” he finally says, face twisting. “For…well. For being so awful to you.”

“No,” she corrects, “you should probably explain why you were so awful. And then I can make an informed decision about whether or not to forgive you and, you know, you can get all up on this.”

A helpless half-smile plays around the corners of his mouth. “You’re not even being ironic when you say that, are you?”

She eyes him balefully. “Irony is for hipsters.”

He squeezes his eyes shut and huffs out a laugh. “Right. Hipsters. Like Malfoy.”

She almost grins at that. “Well?” she prods.

“What?”

She purses her lips. “You were going to explain why you’ve been such an asshole. And then, if your explanation was good enough, we were going to go upstairs and have sex.”

He chokes on literally nothing but air and she feels unaccountably smug. “Um. I didn’t—wait, really?” he manages to croak. “We are?”

“Duh.”

His tongue curls around his front teeth and his eyes are a little sharper when he turns to look at her. “Have you Googled me?” he asks abruptly. “Like—like I Googled you?”

Her brows knit together. “Duh,” she says again. “And you don’t have your own subsection on Reddit. I, like, triple-checked.”

The helpless half-smile makes another brief appearance as he pushes his glasses back up his nose. “So…you must have seen. Who I am.”

He gazes at her with fear and exasperation and anxiety and worry, which—

“Oh, my God, wait, is this—is this all about the Voldemort thing? Seriously?”

“The Voldemort thing,” he repeats blandly. “That’s what you—the Voldemort thing.”

She shrugs. “I mean—yeah? Voldemort. He was, like, a bugfuck crazy wannabe terrorist from a million years ago. There’s a bunch of documentaries on the History channel about him—and you, too, actually, although they, like, totally blurred out your face—”

He opens his mouth, and then closes it, and then opens it again. “Okay,” he says, sounding uncertain, “but do you know, specifically, what I—”

“Duh,” she says again. “He, like, tried to get your parents to drink the Kool-aid before you were even born and they totally refused because,hello, not bugfuck crazy wannabe terrorists, and then, you know, there was the murder thing and the vendetta thing and you got put in, like, witness protection for eleven years—”

“It wasn’t really witness protection—”

“—and I’m just speculating here but I bet that once they let you out into the real world again you were probably, like, all about the brooding and martyring and the self-sacrificing and if I had to guess, maybe you experimented with drugs for a little bit after that Voldemort sighting in North Dakota because you thought you were going to die—”

“Er, no—although, I did eat a brownie during orientation week last year that made me pretty sleepy, and Hermione said that was because it was more than likely laced with—”

“—but honestly, come on, everyone has their own shit to deal with, like, granted, okay, yours is a little more violent and, like, horrifying than other people’s—”

“Wow, you’re really downplaying the part where I’m the last remaining relative of a bloodthirsty serial killer—

“—it’s not like he can come back from the dead to, like, collect your scalp for his scrapbook or whatever—”

“He never scalped anyone, what are you—”

“—so depriving yourself of shit you like or love or want just to, like, really commit to your man-pain, well, that seems pretty fucking stupid—”

“Did you even watch the documentaries—”

“—not to mention a little juvenile, seriously, like, I know you grew up worshipping at the altar of that detective guy with the weird name who’s on CNN all the time—”

“His name is Albus Dumbledore—”

“—and you kind of rambled last night during your half-assed apology but I assumed your deep dark secret would be something, I don’t know, that wasn’t, like, explicitly documented on Wikipedia—”

“My apology was not half-assed, I was just distracted by that dress you were wearing—”

“—maybe a crazy stalker ex-girlfriend or, like, a twenty-page arrest record, or possibly a six-month stint in celebrity rehab up in the mountains—”

“Yeah, I’m starting to feel like you’re disappointed I’m not on drugs—”

“—anyway, it’s stupid, you’re stupid, your determination to, like, keep me at a distance was even stupider—but I’m bored with this conversation now, so—do you want a Hot Pocket?”

He looks so dazed and lost and nonplussed by her reaction to his total clusterfuck of a childhood that she wonders if she shouldn’t have been more tactful or sympathetic or compassionate while dredging it all up—but she also suspects that he’s used to being treated like he’s different or damaged or defective and she knows what that’s like, knows what that feels like, knows how much it stings, and she isn’t about to do that to him if she can help it.

“You—” he starts to say before stopping. He shakes his head. “A Hot Pocket?”

She hums. “Do you want one?”

He considers her thoughtfully for a long, long moment and his expression does something complicated and solemn and shifty that she doesn’t really care to analyze too closely. “I’m alright, I think,” he answers slowly. “But—thank you.”

She nods and then leans into his personal space. “I’m glad you said that,” she says in an exaggerated stage-whisper, “because I don’t actually have any Hot Pockets.”

She kisses him before he has a chance to respond.

The gelato melts everywhere.

 


 

(9:00 pm) guiliana rancic looks like a preying mantis

(9:01 pm) like

(9:01 pm) shes all spindly

(9:01 pm) but her shoes are killer

(9:24 pm) did u happen to leave any condoms here

(9:24 pm) like

(9:24 pm) stashed in the couch cushions or the cup holder on the treadmill or whatever

(9:25 pm) omg

(9:25 pm) SHUT UP

(9:25 pm) PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN

(9:26 pm) ????????

(9:26 pm) what is wrong with u

(9:27 pm) seriously

(9:27 pm) condom?

(9:28 pm) we only use them for butt stuff

(9:29 pm) LITERALLY NOT WHAT I ASKED OH MY GOD

(9:29 pm) i mean

(9:29 pm) its kind of what u asked

(9:30 pm) arent u on birth control anyway

(9:32 pm) well

(9:32 pm) yeah

(9:32 pm) but

(9:33 pm) …diseases?

(9:34 pm) is that a question?

(9:34 pm) i don’t know

(9:34 pm) i don’t know what im doing daph

(9:35 pm) yes you do

(9:35 pm) i promise

(9:36 pm) okay

(9:37 pm) u should prob tell him ur a virgin before the main event though

(9:37 pm) and if he doesn’t go down on u first

(9:37 pm) hes a fucking douche

(9:38 pm) tell him i said that

 


 

“So…” Harry says, dragging the word out. “Just to be clear—no boyfriend?”

She pauses. “No,” she replies, but then she smirks, pushes him back onto her bed, straddles his lap, and adds, “Not yet, at least.”

 


 

(10:33 pm) so

(10:33 pm) it finally happened?

(10:33 pm) im

(10:34 pm) you know

(10:34 pm) all

(10:34 pm) devirginized

(10:35 pm) and?

(10:36 pm) it was

(10:36 pm) good?

(10:37 pm) it didn’t hurt or anything

(10:37 pm) but it was kind of

(10:37 pm) idk

(10:37 pm) anticlimactic?

(10:37 pm) YES

(10:37 pm) THAT

(10:38 pm) is that how it was for you? you never really said

(10:39 pm) um that’s because i lost it to anthony goldstein while his parents and little brother were eating dinner downstairs

(10:39 pm) and they thought we were studying for our bio midterm

(10:40 pm) and he put this weird marilyn manson song on super loud so they wouldnt hear his mattress squeak

(10:40 pm) why would i want to ever talk about that

(10:40 pm) ever

(10:41 pm) with anyone

(10:42 pm) u always said it wasn’t that bad?

(10:42 pm) omg

(10:42 pm) wait

(10:42 pm) is that why youve been ignoring him for three years

(10:42 pm) it was the most awkward four minutes of my life

(10:43 pm) im not even positive that he came

(10:43 pm) he kept stopping to ask if i was okay

(10:44 pm) the heroin music probably didnt help with that

(10:45 pm) lolllll

(10:45 pm) don’t change the subject

(10:45 pm) wheres captain asshole?

(10:46 pm) did he leave??

(10:46 pm) no hes sleeping

(10:47 pm) does he snore

(10:47 pm) …kind of?

(10:47 pm) he like

(10:48 pm) snuffles

(10:48 pm) ?

(10:49 pm) like deviated septum snuffling

(10:49 pm) or

(10:49 pm) coming down with a cold snuffling

(10:49 pm) or

(10:49 pm) closet coke head snuffling

(10:50 pm) or

(10:50 pm) jesus christ why do i tell u things

 


 

She wakes up to Harry’s hand on her hip and his tongue on her clit and she’s lucid just long enough to silently congratulate herself on her remarkable foresight in making that appointment for a wax the other day—

But then she forgets how to think at all because everything feels so fucking good and hot and wet and he’s slurping at the entrance to her cunt like it’s dessert and it should be totally obscene how he’s mouthing at her, how he’s using his fingers to spread her wider and dig his tongue in deeper—except it isn’t, it’s awesome, and the vague lingering ache that had settled into her gut after they’d finished earlier suddenly feels distant and nonexistent as he hitches his shoulders—broad, broad shoulders, God—under her thighs and yanks her even closer in one quick motion that makes her nipples tighten and her hips roll and she isn’t really sure how it happens but the next thing she knows his face is pretty much buried in her cunt and he brings his hand around to push down on her stomach and her world ripples and spirals and narrows and then he drags his lips up up up in a filthy facsimile of a kiss and she feels his teeth graze her clit once and then twice and—

She breaks and she shatters and she soars and—

“—yes, yeah,” he’s saying, his voice low and raspy, “just like that, that’s it, baby, so good, fuck

She hardly notices him maneuver out from under her legs and slide his body up against her own; his chest is smooth and his cock is hard and the very sparse smattering of wiry dark hair on his lower abdomen is harsh and scratchy as it rubs over the delicate skin of her inner thighs.

“Are you, uh, too sore?” he asks, nosing the space between her breasts and propping himself up on his forearms.

Her lashes flutter and her brain stutters and she wastes a solid five seconds marveling at how exquisitely sensitive her cunt is—slick and soft and sloppy—as the rigid line of his cock bumps against her clit. She feels wrung out, kind of like she never wants to move again, but there’s a faint pulse of liquid lightning energy flickering up and down and around the notches of her spine, and she thinks, inanely, insanely, that she really actually wants to fucking chase it.

“I’m fine,” she says, breathless. “I want to do it again. But—not like this.”

He presses his cheek into the curve of her breast and glances up at her, hair mussed and glasses askew. “Oh, yeah?”

She grins sharply. “Oh, yeah,” she confirms, nudging him upright.

He smiles at her as she motions for him to lie down and it’s a little dopey and a lot adorable and it occurs to her for the first time that night that he’s hers now, that it’s officially okay for her to kiss him and touch him and acknowledge the creepy-crawly pangs of warmth and tenderness and affection that she’s always been so famous for repressing.

“I like you,” she murmurs, surprising herself.

He quirks an eyebrow and tugs her down on top of him. “I’d hope so,” he replies, arranging her legs on either side of his hips. “Otherwise this might get awkward later.”

His cock slips and slides against her cunt and she can’t quite hold back her short, shaky, totally involuntary moan. “Right? I could—could have just been using you for your—your body,” she manages to retort.

He cups her breasts and thumbs at her nipples and she tips her head back when he starts to pinch and twist and pull because fuck

“Could have kicked me out in the morning,” he says, clutching the base of his cock and lining up with the entrance to her cunt. “Without breakfast, even.”

She chokes out a desperate sounding laugh. “I—I expect pancakes,” she informs him haughtily. He thrusts up. She whimpers. “With chocolate—chocolate—chocolate chips oh fuck Harry—

She grinds down and she sits up straight and she flattens her hands against his chest for leverage and—

“Oh, my God, this feels so much better,” she groans, rocking backwards and then forwards and then registering her toes curling into her sheets and her muscles locking and throbbing and quivering and the thick flared spongy head of his cock brushing against something really fucking spectacular inside of her and she freezes and she tenses and she gasps—

“Right there?” he asks, moving his hands from her waist to her ass and grasping, squeezing, kneading. “Yeah? Baby?”

Yeah,” she says, biting her lip, “yeah, yeah, there, fuck, Harry—

He drives his hips up with enough force that she can hear the dull smack-slap-thud of his skin hitting hers and the angle is perfect and the friction against her clit is perfect and the length and shape and girth of his cock is especially fucking perfect because Jesus fuck she can feel all of him, all of it, and her vision is splitting and splintering and her breathing is ragged, shit, and he keeps hitting that spot that she’d always been half-convinced was imaginary and she’s seeing starbursts and fireworks and fucking supernovas and his lips are swollen and red from eating her out and his fingertips are digging into the cleft of her ass and teasing teasing teasing and that’s it that’s that’s it

 


 

(03:15 am) so

(03:15 am) quick recap

(03:16 am) omg

(03:16 am) pans

(03:17 am) i swear to god

(03:17 am) this better be important

(03:17 am) nakd blaise + naked theo + almost naked daphne

(03:18 am) if i wasn’t so worried u were on the verge of a nervous breakdown this convo wouldnt evn be happening okay just let that sink in

(03:18 am) aaahahahaha

(03:18 am) after my mom died u literally changed my dads ringtone to that “im in love w/ a stripper” song and whenever he called youd elbow me in the side and wiggle your eyebrows

(03:19 am) like

(03:20 am) u adore my nervous breakdowns

(03:20 am) they keep you spry

(03:22 am) IT MADE YOU LAUGH

(03:22 am) it did

(03:23 am) <3

(03:28 am) okay

(03:28 am) remember my staff sergeant pucey dream

(03:28 am) which one u had like twelve

(03:29 am) RUDE

(03:29 am) but true

(03:30 am) the one that made my sex bucket list

(03:30 am) with the tongue thing

(03:31 am) that we thought was only a thing in gay porn but then turned to totally be a thing in ALL porn

(03:31 am) ooooooh

(03:31 am) yeah

(03:32 am) theo’s a fan

(03:32 am) ew

(03:33 am) u asked

(03:33 am) ????

(03:33 am) no

(03:33 am) i really didn’t

(03:34 am) god ur ruining this story

(03:34 am) ur ruining it so hard

(03:39 am) well its boring

(03:39 am) like

(03:40 am) obv u and captain asshole did the tongue thing

(03:41 am) and u want to tell me about how awesome it was but how ur still a little grossed out because hello putting ur mouth THERE is super fucking gross and while i totally sympathize because ew yeah pro tip never google enemas without turning on safe search

(03:42 am) i would really like to have an orgasm now

(03:43 am) and watching your super hot boyfriends give each other blowjobs and not joining them is surprisingly frustrating pans

(03:43 am) SURPRISINGLY

(03:43 am) FRUSTRATING

(03:44 am) u really need to stop calling harry captain asshole

(03:49 am) you started it

(03:52 am)

(03:52 am) yeah i did

(03:59 am) hey

(03:59 am) have u talked to draco

(04:00 am) no

(04:01 am) he left last night with the librarian and his phones been off all day

(04:02 am) she either broke his heart and hes brooding in his dads tap room or theyre holed up somewhere fucking

(04:02 am) which

(04:02 am) I WANT TO BE DOING RIGHT NOW FYI

(04:03 am) huh

(04:03 am) wonder what happened

(04:44 am) btw

(04:44 am) youre my sister in all the ways that matter too

(04:44 am) in case you were wondering

(04:44 am) <3

(07:12 am) <3