Title: Taking It Easy
By: mandy-jg
Rating: Slight Teen
Summary: That covered boredom, but it was no cure for loneliness.
Pairing: Pansy/Fred
Deathly Hallows: Tweaked, I exchanged someone. If I met JK a year ago, I would have begged on hands & knees for it.

Taking It Easy

She heard someone say one day, 'life wasn't meant to be easy', and it seemed to be ringing so very true for her. It couldn't all be her fault, her whole world seemed to be crumbling around her feet. While the rest of the Wizarding world was celebrating, living their lives. She was stuck in a rut. Her plans, the life that she had thought she would have, didn't exist. Surprisingly, she longed for Hogwarts and all the mindless stability it offered.

The fact that she was now a grown witch wasn't something she rejoiced in. Decisions had to be made, she needed to do something with her time. Without her parents, and no one to guide her, it was all on her; and she had no idea what to do.

Before last year she had known her path. She would go to Hogwarts, she would finish her education, however un-necessary it would be in the long run. Then Pansy would step into the role she had grown up heading for, as a wife. For some that may not be all that wonderful, but for her it was all that she wanted. It was good enough for her mother, and her mother before her, it was enough for her. She was going to be so very happy, Draco and her were going to be so very happy. That right there was the first knock to the foundation.

While she had been content to wile away her time at Hogwarts, seeming to prepare herself for their life together. He had other plans. Draco may have intended to be with her at some point, she liked to believe that. Things change, and after the war finished, Draco left for France. Pansy hadn't questioned his departure. It had been hard for him, he would return in good time, and he did. With a fiancee. Apparently their parents were all old friends, she was part of the delegation from Beaxbatons in her fourth year. It didn't really matter, what was done was done, and Draco wasn't hers anymore.

Pansy should have adapted, and adjusted to this new development, and she did. Just not soon enough. By the time she had regained the ability to breath properly, to function in public. All the wizards she knew, and would consider the marrying sort were spoken for. It served her right she imagined, putting all her eggs in one basket.

So her world crumpled, and she sunk with it. There were no options open in front of her, her parents, victims of the Dark Lord were gone, for the first time since then she felt truly alone. The walls of her family home left so much space around her, she rattled around the house aimlessly. All her friends had new lives that they were building, and she sat still.

Sitting still was doing nothing for her, she was bored, there was no purpose to her life. Her families money was draining away, and her rut was developing into a very large hole. In an effort to stop it swallowing her whole, Pansy took desperate measures. She decided to do something that everyone who wasn't born into money did, she looked for a job.. There was a immediate problem though, at Hogwarts she had been so sure of her path, that her studies had been largely ignored. As a result, she didn't have any 'skills', she wasn't dumb though, not that that fact put her at the top of the 'employ' pile.

So she set the bar low, and that's how she came to be working here of all places. A joke shop. Sure it was a brilliant joke shop, but a joke shop all the same. Pansy did nothing more than stock shelves, and assist customers to find things. Hardly stimulating, but it kept her busy, and from climbing the walls at home. It also put money in her pocket, which in turn kept food on her table, so it worked out fine.

That covered boredom, but it was no cure for loneliness.

She didn't see her friends anymore. Partly because they grew apart, but a large part of it was shame. While her life was respectable to larger society, it was hardly measurable to past standards. Her life now revolved around going to work during the day, and then spending her evenings at home, alone. Maybe it was the loneliness that got to her, she could lay part of the blame for her actions on that.

He was hardly her type, and she was surely not his, but here they were. Leaving her purse behind before the weekend, and going back to get it shouldn't lead to this.

For someone who portrayed himself as happy, and carefree, seeing them slumped at the counter with a bottle of Firewhiskey, destroyed that picture. The war had hit him hard, the whole Weasley family. A missing limb, an ear, and the death of Percy, had shocked them all. Fred may walk around his shop, serve customers with a smile, but he wasn't the twin he used to be.

He had slid the bottle across the counter to her, it had burnt her throat as she swallowed. She had ended up sitting next to him on the counter, exchanging stories of their pitiful lives, passing the bottle between them. What happened next she could blame, and did happily on the drink. However bloody brilliant, it wasn't her best moment. A drunken shag with her boss, in his office, not something to be proud of. A momentary lapse, shouldn't have happened, best forgotten.

The next morning she woke with a horrible feeling in her stomach. It only increased as the weekend went by, going to work Monday morning she was filled with trepidation. He gave no signs of what had transpired between them, so as the day went on the knot in her stomach lessened. Pansy had gone home relieved, it had been a stupid thing to do, but thankfully there were to be no consequences.

She was just sitting herself down to another burnt dinner when the doorbell rang, opening the door she was surprised to see who was standing there.

"Fred?"

"Can I come in?"

"Okay," she said softly, opening the door all the way to let him in.

"I'm not bothering you?"

"No," she shook her head. "I was just going to have dinner."

"Alone?"

"Yes."

"Good," he said quickly, moving towards her, she moved away from him, stopping when her back met her front door. Fred brought a hand up, and ran it into the hair behind her ear. "I have this idea."

"I don't think it's a good one," she whispered as he lent down towards her.

"Oh, I think it's a very good one. I'm not drunk, neither are you, I need to remember it, I remember something good, don't you want to refresh my memory?" He said against her lips.

"You are my boss," she said weakly.

"Didn't stop you Friday night."

"Drunk."

"Please, tipsy at best."

"Things will get complicated," she groaned.

"They already are. We shagged, I don't remember doing it, but I know we did. Might as well complicate it completely, and remember a fantastic shag."

"Fantastic?"

"Absolutely."

Pansy could feel him against her, all of him against her. "You don't make it easy for me to say no."

"Life isn't easy Pansy, we just have to take the good when we can get it."

She looked up at him, and smiled, "well lets take the good stuff then."

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