In the years since Millicent had been in charge of Candace Queen's protective detail, she'd learnt a great deal about Lydian Magiceuticals and its Muggle subsidiary, the Lydian Applied PharmaResearch Group. She'd also learnt who Queen's professional enemies were and how to keep her, and her company, safe from them. That said, it was Queen's personal enemies who proved more challenging to defeat, not least because Queen was careless of them.
"Ms Queen, please, it was your husband who tried to sell company secrets. I have the proof. Why won't you look at it?"
"Pish!" Queen replied. "Carl doesn't need the Galleons. His allowance is quite generous."
Millicent sighed. "He doesn't believe that he's been fairly compensated for his work on the lycanthropic suppression potion."
Queen, sitting at her desk while Millicent paced before it, peered over her spectacles at her. "Fine. I'll give him a pay rise and set him working on transforming the potion into a pill against hirsutism for the Muggle side of things. That'll calm him. Carl likes a puzzle."
The only puzzle Carl wants to solve is—
"Oh, and Mills?"
"Yes, Ms Queen?"
"You work too hard, and I don't appreciate you enough. Come back for me around nine. I'll have a surprise for you."
The last of Queen's "surprises" had taken reams of paperwork, more Galleons than Millicent earned in a year, and no less than seven applications of Obliviatus to correct.
Queen laughed. "Don't look so sour. This one's a researcher for the company, and excellent company, herself." She raised a hand as Millicent began to speak. "She's of age, I assure you—and quite the most beautiful girl I've ever seen."
"Yes, but does she wish to be seen?" Millicent asked, before she could stop herself.
Queen scowled and looked down at her paperwork. "Nine sharp, Miss Bulstrode."
Millicent took herself off at once; she was no fool, and if playing voyeur for the pervy Queen was what she had to do to maintain her position—the only one she'd been able to secure after the war—then that's what she would do.
Initially, Millicent hadn't minded Queen's little shows; they'd served as fuel for her own fantasies, which had been, by virtue of her reputation and lack of charm, all she'd had. Now, she couldn't stomach them and spent her days lonely and frustrated knowing that no witch wanted her, not even as a friend. As Millicent touched the knob of Queen's door to activate its voyeuristic charm, she remembered Pansy's reaction upon hearing about her "extra-contractual obligations":
"Get out of my sight, you despicable, Candaulistic beast! I want nothing more to do with you!"
The wood of the door became transparent, and Millicent, taking a deep, guilt-ridden breath, gasped to see Queen's latest girl.
Luna Lovegood was laughing, laughing so hard as Queen's long, thin, lecherous fingers danced over her pale skin that those ridiculous glasses of hers were in danger of falling off. Millicent felt a deep liquid disgust to see her so exposed but couldn't tear her eyes away; Lovegood was magnificent. Perfect toes; lovely legs; intriguing silver-blonde curls guarding glistening, pinkened flesh; pert, perfect breasts—Millicent swept her gaze up Lovegood's body until it reached her eyes—which were wide open and staring directly into Millicent's own.
Throwing herself away from the door, Millicent fled the betrayal she'd found in Lovegood's gaze.
There was something so alarming about the sound of Lovegood's voice raised in anger that all Millicent could do was obey. She stood, frozen to the spot and with her back turned to Lovegood as peals of ugly laughter reverberated down the corridor from Queen's office suite.
Millicent started in the sudden silence. "I'm s—sorry, so sorry! She makes—"
"She does no such thing. You watch because you want to, you know you do."
Horrified, Millicent felt a tear slide down her cheek, and she clenched her eyes shut as Lovegood moved to stand before her.
"Look at me," Lovegood commanded her.
"No, can't, seen too much."
"Oh, stop babbling, Bulstrode. We're beyond that, now."
Millicent opened her eyes and shrieked. "You're naked!"
"Well, I was hardly going to put those clothes back on. She touched them."
Millicent covered her eyes, shame and lust coursing through her.
"Do you want to touch me?" asked Lovegood.
"Do you want to touch me?" Lovegood asked again, this time softly into Millicent's ear.
She shuddered. "I don't have the right."
"You have the rights I give you," Lovegood replied, grabbing a fistful of Millicent's hair and dragging her down to her knees, "and I want my orgasm."
The scent of Lovegood's arousal overwhelming Millicent's shame, she seized Lovegood's hips and buried face in her cunt.
"You . . . you let me touch you."
"Yes, I did," Luna whispered, "and if you want to touch me ever again, you know what you have to do."
Millicent jerked upright and blinked at Luna as she was stretching languorously upon the safety of her office floor. "You're not suggesting that I murd—"
"Of course not," Luna interrupted with impossible calmness, "but a . . . person like Candace has no right to hold authority over others. She's unfit to lead, morally so. There's a clause in her contract that says as much."
"How do you know that?"
"We talked during our tea. I think Queen brought up the subject of morals to test mine."
"Oh. But the company, isn't it hers?" asked Millicent, uncertain as to what Luna wanted of her.
"It's her mother's, Cordelia Queen's, and Candace only has the running of it if she fulfils her contractual obligations—which don't include seducing her staff in front of her security specialist."
"But if I prove that she's been doing that, I'll—"
"Expose yourself to censure?"
"Well, yes, but more to the point, I'll expose you. I . . . I don't want to do that, Luna."
Luna reached out to stroke Millicent's arm. "She captures everything with surveiling charms? Saves them in a Pensieve?"
"Then steal the Pensieve before you suggest to Carl that he visit his mother-in-law to discuss the terms of his divorce. Cordelia Queen has a horror of bad publicity, you know, and once she knows what her daughter's been up to, she'll take care of everything. I doubt your name will come up at all, given Carl's ego, and if it does, well, you did help Candace . . . and you do want to touch me again, don't you?"
"So much," Millicent breathed more than said, wondering if it would truly be so easy to "dethrone" Queen.
Increasingly, however, the only personal services that Millicent performed were for Lydian's head of research, a witch who was often so preoccupied with her work that she forgot to eat. Millicent couldn't cook, but she engaged a chef so that she could surprise her with picnics, enjoying the astonishing way in which her lover always expressed her appreciation over dessert.
"It isn't necessary to seduce me with food, Millicent," Luna told her, after once such occasion. "I'm yours, you know."
"Yes, but I still can't think why you are."
Luna smiled. "Because you never tease me, and you keep me all for yourself."
Millicent gathered Luna up into a fierce embrace. "I do, and I always will. I promise."
"You needn't promise," Luna murmured. "I know that you love me."
"I do, Luna, I do."
"Then show me," Luna commanded.
And Millicent, as ever, obeyed her.