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Reciprocity

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1.

Roger loved his sister. Really, he did, even if understanding Tracy was as hard as — well, as hard as it must be for her to understand him. It had taken them eighteen years to realise that they had almost nothing in common, but they had found a middle-ground where they both pretended otherwise while each continued to do their own thing and defended the other to their parents. One parent, at least — Mum nagged her, and Dad nagged him; and nowadays Roger knew perfectly well why they had gotten divorced.

It'd taken him weeks to convince Tracy to give him a key to her flat, but someone needed the spare set. What if she and Daphne locked themselves out one day? Daphne's sister was still at school, and Tracy would never give the spare to Mum ... and Dad was a muggle and couldn't Apparate over whenever she needed him.

That was why Dad had phoned him up and told him to go check on Tracy. She hadn't called or visited him in a fortnight, and Trace was the world's biggest daddy's girl, which meant Dad was half-mad with worry. He had no way to contact Tracy's flatmate either because Daphne was terrified of the phone, so it would be best if Roger just went over there and looked in on her.

No one responded to his knock, so he opened the door and immediately regretted it. Not just because Daphne screamed like a banshee, but because he did not want to see Tracy naked.

(He screamed too, to be perfectly honest.)

"So 'flatmate'?" he asked later, after they'd put on clothes and he agreed to come out of the kitchen cupboard.

"So Angelina ditched you for the surviving Weasley twin?" Tracy retorted.

He dropped it. Until he decided to needle her about coming out to Mum and Dad.


2.

Unfortunately Megan did have to return to Britain on occasion, even though she was well-settled and happy in Paris, and her mum's fiftieth birthday was one such occasion. She wasn't stupid enough to agree to stay at the manor with her parents or to bring somebody along with her, so she ended up staying at Daphne's flat without her boyfriend the Russian prince. (She had brought photos.) It was a rather nice flat, considering what Daphne must make as a trainee healer and Tracy, as a Ministry drone, and comfortable.

Maybe it was too comfortable because Megan walked straight into their bedroom without knocking, forgetting the habit that the three of them (herself, Millicent, and Pansy) had developed out of necessity their sixth year at Hogwarts.

"Christ, Megan!" Tracy exclaimed as Daphne yanked the sheets over them both, and Megan sneered at the muggle curse.

"Daphne. We're meeting Blaise at six for dinner, remember?"

Daphne smiled apologetically. "I ... forgot? Give me twenty minutes. I'll need to fix my hair."

"And put some concealer on your neck. — Merlin, Davies, are you part-vampire?"

Tracy groaned and fell back into the pillows, which had the benefit of revealing inches of bosom.

Megan was not adverse to looking, but only briefly. She wasn't a pervert.


3.

Her first Christmas Ball as Mrs Malfoy was shaping up rather well, Astoria thought, until Draco leaned over and hissed, "Where's your sister?" Mum was showing off Apollo to a gaggle of other mums (grannies now, she supposed), but there was no sign of Daphne anywhere. Or Tracy, which made it even more urgent that Astoria find them before someone else did.

Hopefully they had managed to make it to a guestroom, but she doubted it. She didn't know what Tracy found so attractive about her sister, who was possibly the most annoying person in the whole world, but those two were like cats in heat. Less so now that they had Apollo, but Astoria knew them well enough to assume that they'd jump at the opportunity to escape him for a few minutes and run off to christen someone else's home.

Astoria set her jaw. "I'll find her. Them."

Her husband squeezed her arm in support, and she slipped off. They weren't difficult to track down. They were in a cupboard near the ballroom, and they fell out of it, thankfully fully-clothed and only somewhat disheveled. She rolled her eyes. "This is a family event, you know."

Daphne laughed throatily. "It's not like we're doing it in the ballroom, Tori."

"Still."

"So proper now that you're Mrs Malfoy," her sister teased, and Tracy giggled into her neck. Astoria pursed her lips to hide her own smile.

"You two are awful. Sort yourselves out before you come back to the party." She flounced off.


4.

It was Cecily's fault. Cecily had wanted him to find them because she needed to introduce her grandmother to two of Theo's friends who seemed normal, and Tracy could act the muggle when she needed to and Daphne had picked up enough to get by with her father-in-law. ("I don't even scream when the fellyphone rings anymore!" she had proudly proclaimed to Cecily, who could only nod with a strange, fixed smile on her face.) Right now Mrs Ferrars and her son were talking to Sophie Roper, a muggle-born who worked in the Department of Mysteries with him, but Cecily had introduced her as his work colleague, not his friend.

The Ferrarses already found it strange that Theo's only family consisted of his two cousins, but he could hardly invite his great-aunts to come spend time with muggles. (Aunt Helen, Daphne and Astoria's mother, had almost had a panic attack when he handed her the invitation.) Theo — and Cecily — didn't need them to start wondering what was wrong with the family he had, and Astoria and Draco weren't helping matters by standing in the corner with their son and their nephew and niece, speaking to no one else and staring at the muggles like they thought there could be a witch-hunt on the menu.

So he had gone in search of Daphne and Tracy after they disappeared. Yes, he knew what they got up to whenever they got a moment alone (everyone did), but Theo really hadn't expected to walk in on his cousin and her wife — who was quite possibly his best friend, not that he or Tracy would ever admit it — in the throes of passion at his own engagement party.

"For God's sake!" he hissed.

They broke apart, and they looked at him, embarrassed (Daphne) and indignant (Tracy), before bursting into laughter.

"This isn't funny. My future grandmother-in-law wants to talk to you!"

Tracy rearranged her clothes. "Oh, come on. It's the first time we've had a moment to ourselves since Pythia was born. Blame Roger, if you have to blame anyone. He refuses to babysit unless he can use it to his advantage when picking up women."

"I don't think I've ever said more than two words to your brother before."

Daphne grinned. "In my experience, that makes people easier to hate, but Roger might be the exception. He really is foul."

"He really is," his own sister said.

Theo rolled his eyes. "That's neither here nor there. Get yourselves fixed up, get back out there, and tell Granny Ferrars that I'm a half-decent bloke who will treat her granddaughter well. You get extra points for telling her how good I am with Apollo and Pythia."

"What can we cash in our points for?"

"Babysitting."

Their eyes lit up, and Theo tried not to think too hard about what they would use their spare time for.


5.

Pythia had left the house before Muv and Mum and Apollo had woken up, eager to escape before any of them could ask her where she was going, so she didn't know their plans for the day either. It turned out that the answer to that was, "We're going to make-out in the kitchen while your brother goes to play a game of pickup Quidditch with the lads."

She really wished that she had known that before she went to pour herself a glass of juice. (Scorpius was right, she was the architect of her own destruction.)

"Gross!"

"It's not gross, it's beautiful," Mother countered. And maybe it was, after twenty years of marriage, but still —

"It's gross," Pythia insisted.

Mum rolled her eyes. "And where were you all day, Thia? Daphne and I were worried sick."

"Obviously you weren't."

"Pythia Tracy."

"I was out. With friends."

The mums exchanged a look. "Boyfriends, I suppose," Mother said.

"Just the one," she said, grinning.

Mother snorted, and Mum elbowed her.


+1

Daphne screamed, and Tracy gasped. Apollo's jaw fell, and "Jim" — aka James Sirius Potter, Pythia's future brother-in-law — went for what he probably thought was a charming but apologetic smile. It looked like he was having some kind of fit, really.

"Oh, er — hey there, Mums."

"A-Apollo Brian, put on some clothes!"

Daphne nodded in agreement.

"I can't do that without, you know — revealing more of myself?" He winced.

Jim was the only thing standing in between him and his mothers seeing more of him than they had since he'd been eight. Tracy grimaced at the thought, and she hoped Daphne wasn't looking at the naked Potter boy. The last thirty years hadn't been as kind to Tracy as she honestly would have wished.

"We'll step outside for a second," Daphne said, and she pulled Tracy out with her. "So —" she began.

"Thia is going to kill him."

"Almost undoubtedly. Is it wrong of me to hope it doesn't work out? I like the Potters well enough, but —"

"No one deserves two Gryffindor sons-in-law," Tracy concluded.

Her wife sighed. "Exactly."