Challenge: "Numbers for Pairings Challenge"
Pairing: Hermione Granger/Narcissa Malfoy nee Black
Hermione had always hated social events. There was nothing there for her, not really. Sure, she got a free dinner and a lot of very good champagne, but she had to put up with old men leering at her and old flames wanting to rekindle something from the ashes of a relationship that had been doomed since before it started. They were all the same, nothing was ever different at any of them, and Hermione hadn't enjoyed one since the first, when she had been happy with Ron, happy to stand back as the ginger soaked up all this attention, just happy to see him happy. But that had changed after he'd had that affair, with Lavender Brown of all people, and even though she never had a date it was still expected of her that she attend these stupid, ridiculous, pointless parties. She internally raged as she stepped out onto the cool balcony, taking a deep breath and then a deeper drink from her champagne flute. The brunette leant against the railing, letting the cool air wash over her after the stuffiness of the ballroom. Everyone else was enjoying themselves, that much was obvious, and she was just putting a dampener on things. After this glass she'd leave, she'd already done the smooching and ass-kissing that was mandatory, and she had no reason to stay otherwise. She glared at the glitter that had transferred from her dress to her arm. She had no idea what had possessed her to wear a green dress that had swirling patterns of silver glitter on it, but something had grabbed her when she'd seen it in the shop window, and she'd just been forced to try it on. And it was a perfect fit. The corset-like bodice was tight and emphasised her small breasts, then it flared over slender but feminine hips to trail down to her feet, which were encased in skyscraper silver heels. She'd gotten good at walking in them through the years, as she'd grown from the brightest witch of her age to one of the most eligible bachelorettes in London. Not that that was something she really wanted to broadcast as she had enough men throwing themselves at her at all times. She heard heels clicking behind her and smiled when she noticed that it was Narcissa, who was also in silver.
"You look really happy," the blonde noted drily.
"People keep on looking at me and I don't like it," she complained and the older witch rolled her eyes.
"That's because you look beautiful."
"Yeah, sure," Hermione sighed and ran a hand through her now short hair. After the war she'd had it all cut off, and it suited her, so she kept it. "I'm getting glitter everywhere," she complained.
"Isn't that your fault as you wore a glittery dress?"
"Well, yes, but that's not the point, I wasn't expecting it to shed this much."
"You're just not a happy bunny today are you?"
"When am I ever?" the brunette rolled her eyes. "Anyway, did you have fun sucking up to people I know you hate and having to explain to seven million people why you broke up with Malfoy Senior?"
"Oh, yes, it was great fun," she said sarcastically. "I hate these events almost as much as you do. I swear everyone thinks that just because I'm divorced now that they can perve on me?"
"Didn't you know that being single means that everyone's allowed to stare at you?" the brunette pretended to gasp, mock shocked.
"Well, you'd think that I'd at least be allowed a little bit of breathing room? I mean, I haven't exactly been divorced for ages, have I?"
"You did start the proceedings around three years ago, Malfoy's just a douche."
"Fair point," the blonde sighed. "Come on, let's get out of here." They both downed what was left of their champagne, dumped the empty flutes on a neatly placed table and went to go get their coats and bags.
"How're you getting home?" the brunette questioned as she slid on a black trench coat.
"Apparation, of course. Feel like coming over for a drink?"
"Sounds like a plan." Cissa grabbed the shorter woman's arm and spun on the spot.
As soon as they were once again steady on their feet both woman slipped their heels off and sighed as their toes sank into the decadent carpet. Almost the whole of the rest of the apartment had wooden floor, but the blonde had insisted that she have carpet in the bedroom and the lounge, saying that it made the whole place feel warmer, more like home. The apartment was tasteful and modern, but still felt lived in, not as though it was in a showroom or something of the like.
"I've got red wine, white wine, Firewhiskey, Butterbeer, tea, whatever you want."
"Vodka and Diet Coke?" she just had to be awkward.
"That's a good plan actually," the blonde smiled and fixed up both their drinks.
"I'm going to go change out of my dress… I can throw some clothes out that I reckon will fit you so that you don't crease yours by sitting in it?"
"Thank you," Hermione said with a small smile and took a sip of her dark coloured drink, leaning back into the sofa with a heavy sigh. A few moments later some clothes flew out of the open doorway of Narcissa's bedroom, landing on the sofa next to the brunette, the door closing behind them. She got up and headed for the bathroom, grabbing the clothes on the way.
When Hermione came out the bathroom later on Narcissa was already seated on the leather sofa, sipping sedately from her glass. Both women were wearing loose cotton tracksuit bottoms and tank tops, had scrubbed their faces free of makeup and put their hair up. The brunette crumpled onto the sofa next to her and sighed again.
"Oh?" the blonde raised a perfect eyebrow.
"I just want people to leave me alone and yet they just seem to be everywhere and they want to talk to me. Why do they want to talk to me? Why do I even have to go to these stupid things, I work in a tiny bookstore for heaven's sake."
"You're always going to be the Golden Girl, the brains of the trio, so on and so forth. Ron and Harry are happily married but you continue to be single and ended up the most attractive of the lot. You already know all of this, and I know that you hate it, but so do I, and I grew up with it."
"Yeah, which means that you at least already knew what to do," she sighed again and slid down the sofa, leaning her head on the blonde's shoulder and swinging her feet up.
"The easiest answer to all this is to get married and have children, then they'll leave you alone."
"I don't want to get married to some random man and have lots of gross children. I hate children," she whined.
"So do I, and I have one."
"Yeah, but he's grown up now."
"You have glitter in your hair," Narcissa said, rather out of the blue.
"Oh for God's sake, I'm just going to be finding that everywhere for the next month!"
"I have said to you before; never wear a sparkly dress!"
"But it was so pretty."
"It was, yes, especially so on you."
"You looked positively radiant."
"Of course I did," the blonde said smugly and the brunette laughed, lifting her head, looking into blue eyes.
"You'll want to keep that ego in check; I hear that people don't find them all that attractive."
"Do you find egos attractive?" the jovial tone that had filled the rest of their conversation was gone, Hermione could tell that her friend was completely serious.
"Depends who the person with the ego is," her voice matched the blonde's serious tone as she lost herself in the swirling icy blue depths of the taller woman's eyes. She couldn't stop herself from leaning in, couldn't stop herself from pressing her lips against the pale pink ones of the blonde. And the blonde found herself responding in a way that she had suspected from the very beginning.