the pearl

Cigarettes And Lakeside Conversation

They know each other peripherally, heard housemates bragging about encounters, that sort of thing. Despite the size of Hogwart's itself, the classes were quite small, and everyone eventually knew of everyone else.

They first met one moonlit spring night — out by the far side of the lake — both of them attempting to be as far away from the school as possible without actually leaving the grounds. One used a secret passage her brothers told her about. The other simply squared her shoulders and walked out the front door.

It was late in the evening, and it was one of the few times during the school year when the students weren't expected to run straight to their towers after dinner. She had stepped out for silence, she had stepped out for a smoke.

They didn't mean to run into each other, but, then again, no one does. She was sitting on a rock, smoking a cigarette and skipping pebbles on the lake, and she was taking a slow stroll around the lake, happening upon her just as a particularly smooth pebble skipped five times across before sinking down.


She took another drag and picked up another pebble when a voice said behind her, "You shouldn't do that."

She turned around and snorted, blowing smoke through her nose like the dragons her brother loved. "Didn't think your type was the kind to worry about 'shouldn't's," she said.

The other girl shrugged and, surprisingly fluid for someone her size, sat down next to her. "I'm only suggesting it. Of course, if you want to wake up the Mermen, be my guest. I suspect they'll be rather angry, though..."

She sighed and set the rock down, glaring at the other girl, but not saying a word.

The other girl willfully ignored the glare and, instead, looked at her cigarette. "Can I have one?" she asked.

She straightened. "One what?" she asked back.

The other girl nodded. "So how many points would McGonagall take off if she knew you smoked?"

She snorted again. "I suppose you're going to tell her?"

The girl shrugged. "Not if you give me one."

She sighed and reached into the pocket of her robe, pulling out a pack of cigarettes with a Muggle brand stamped on them and a lighter with the Union Jack stamped on it.

The other girl took them and smirked. "Buying your packs at St. Pancras?"

"I don't think you'd be surprised to find out how easy it is to sneak off for ten minutes when it comes to my family," she replied as the other girl lit up her cigarette. There was a slight pause as she bit her lip. "I'm Ginny," she finally said, trying to sound as offhand as possible.

The other girl took a long drag, and slowly blew out the smoke. "Millie," she replied. There was another pause, as they both looked out over the lake, then Millie spoke up again, using the same vague offhand-ish tone Ginny had just used. "I saw you during the Christmas break — were your parents too busy trying to save the world to spend Christmas with you?"

Ginny looked back at the girl, her eyes narrowing. "I saw you too," she replied icily. "Were your parents too busy sucking Voldemort's cock to remember you existed?"

Millie grinned, holding up her hands in a conciliatory gesture. "Congratulations," she said, "on being one of the few Gryffindors brave enough to say his name..."

Ginny shrugged and looked back out towards the lake. "After spending my first year killing chickens and luring students for his teenage memory, I can't really say that his damn name scares me anymore..."

Millie nodded. "True..." She paused, watching Ginny intently. "So what was Christmas all about?"

Ginny tamped the butt of her cigarette out on a rock and carefully put it in her robes. "I have to keep all the butts with me until I go home — I don't trust the mermen or the house elves...and other students even less..."

Millie raised an eyebrow. "And you're avoiding my question." She threw the pack and the lighter back at Ginny.

Ginny caught it and pulled out another cigarette. "Yeah," she said. She flicked the lighter, cupping her other hand to protect the flame. "I am." She leaned forward to light her cigarette.

Millie sat down next to Ginny and looked out towards the lake. "Well, just guessing from the way the Holy Trinity have been shunning you at mealtimes, I'd say you got yourself involved in the middle of their little triangle..." She saw Ginny stiffen out of the corner of her eye, but kept looking towards the lake. "Since they went home for Christmas without you, it certainly looks — to the outside observer, of course — like someone didn't get invited back home..."

"They didn't —" When Millie turned towards her, Ginny straightened and looked at her angrily. "They wanted me to come home," she said, her voice tight. "I just thought it'd be better if I didn't..."

"Why?" At Ginny's surprised look, Millie shrugged. "You were invited home — a big meal, a bigger family, lots of presents... Why stay here in the dark empty castle?"

Ginny's eyes narrowed. "I wasn't the only one staying here, though, was I? Why did you stay? Finally just too ugly for your family to tolerate you?"

Millie let the insult slide off of her, smiling dryly. "Alas, I just plain can't go home. They're living in the hope that instead of a daughter, they'll get a letter informing them of my unfortunate demise..."

Ginny looked at her with wide eyes. "Why?" she asked after a few seconds.

Millie shook her head. "I asked first, little Gryffindor..." As Ginny's eyes narrowed again, Millie leaned closer. "C'mon...I won't tell anyone..." she said.

"Like I could trust a Slytherin!" Ginny snapped back.

"Pfft. Have I suddenly run off and told Snape about your little cigarette habit without realizing?" Millie snapped back. Ginny bit her lip and Millie looked at her. "I would hope you'd expect better of me, Ginny."

Ginny nibbled on her lip for a few more seconds, then sighed softly. "I'll tell if you tell?" she asked.

"And neither of us will tell anyone else," Millie replied firmly.

Ginny nodded and looked back over the lake. She took a drag from her cigarette and sighed again. "Ron proposed to Hermione during Christmas dinner this year," she said flatly.

"...And?" Millie asked, bored.

Ginny gave Millie a sharp look. "Well, I don't know. Maybe things are different for you, but would you want the girl you've been fucking for the past two years sitting there at the table, right between the roast potatoes and the sugar-snap peas, as your boyfriend pops the question?"

Millie whistled softly, then glanced over at Ginny slyly. "So are you still fucking her?"

Ginny snorted and coughed slightly, blowing smoke out of her nose. "Oh...oh, definitely not...not when my mother has been planning the fucking wedding party for over a year now — I think she's even made me the head bridesmaid..."

Millie winced, chuckling. Ginny looked over at her, deadpan, then joined in the laughter. They laughed for a minute, then, Millie looked up at Ginny. "Does he know?"

Ginny snorted smoke again. "Shit, no. He still thinks his sweet innocent baby sister cries into her pillow every night over the Awesome Mighty And Handsome Harry Potter..."

Millie laughed again and quietly applauded. "Impressive," she said, smiling widely. "Very impressive."

Ginny nodded in thanks, then raised an eyebrow. "So what about you?"

Millie looked innocent. "What about me?" she said.

Ginny's eyes narrowed again. "Don't you even dare..."

Millie held up her hands, laughing. "I'm teasing..." She finished off her cigarette and snuffed out the butt. "I'm afraid I don't quite have the dramatic potential of carrying on with my brother's fiancee," she said dryly as she handed Ginny the butt. "But neither do I have the pitiful sense of self-sacrifice that goes so well with it."

"So what was it?" Ginny asked, her voice sharp as she took the butt and placed it in her robes, quickly finishing her own as she did so. "Caught masturbating to a picture of Sibyl Trelawney?"

Millie chuckled. "Heavens save me from such a banal fate!" she exclaimed. "No, I'm afraid it's far more lurid than that..." Ginny fished out two more cigarettes, placed both into her mouth, and lit them. At Ginny's inhale, Millie continued. "I was in a threesome with Draco and Pansy."

Ginny began to choke, dropping the lighter and quickly pulling the cigarettes from her mouth. "Excuse me?" she said in-between coughs. "You fucked Draco Malfoy?"

"Ugh, no," Millie replied, taking one of the cigarettes from Ginny. "I was there purely to give Draco the ultimate in male stroke-off fantasies — his girlfriend being shagged by another girl." She paused to take a drag from her cigarette.

"So what went wrong?"

Millie exhaled slowly. "A guy like Draco, a girl like me...what do you think?"

Ginny leaned close to Millie. "Several times, then?" she whispered conspiratorially.

"And gushed right up to the elbow," Millie said in the same low tone.

It was Ginny's turn to whistle.

Millie nodded. "Yeah, it was nice. But after seeing that, any man is bound to get a little jealous, and if you're as..." Millie paused. "Inadequate as Draco, well..." She paused again. "Telling someone's parents that you caught her forcing herself on your girlfriend certainly seems like the proper revenge, doesn't it?" She looked at Ginny's shocked face with an air of bemused regret. "So much for little Millie's inheritance..."

It took a few minutes before Ginny could respond and when she finally did, all she could say was "Fuck."

"Not with them again..." Millie replied.

Ginny shook her head. "How do you do that?" she finally asked.

"Do what?"

"Act so fucking nonchalant about all this..." Ginny looked at her. "I could barely stop from screaming when Harry pulled me aside and told me that Ron was looking at engagement rings. And've been kicked out of your damn house — and you don't seem to care at all..."

Millie sat there for a few minutes, thinking and slowly smoking. "I did care..." she said, her voice soft. "When I first got the letter from home, I was a wreck. Didn't sleep, didn't eat, spent hours in the library reading of the ways you can prepare nightshade without tasting it... I pretty much figured my life was over, and it was only a matter of time before I ended it."

"What stopped you?"

"Christmas." At Ginny's disbelieving look, she continued. "No, honestly. There I was, sitting at a table with the professors — McGonagall tipsy, Dumbledore grinning like he had just set loose twenty monkeys in a seaside funhouse, Snape in that huge pink milkmaid's bonnet that could've given me nightmares — and you were laughing at him and getting those terrified first-year Hufflepuff kids to laugh along with you — and I realized...I realized that if I ended it all here, I'd be letting them win." Millie looked at her and smiled softly. "And I just couldn't do it. So it was Christmas...and, oddly enough, you."

Ginny licked her lips slightly, and blushed. "Um...Millie..."

Millie looked away, blushing faintly. "Oh, don't flatter yourself too much, Ginny," she said quickly. "You're a pretty girl and all, but, really, I prefer short, blonde, busty, and entirely too giggly..."

Ginny raised an eyebrow. "Good, because I was really thinking you just weren't smart enough for me." She grinned. "I mean, please — not even a prefect?"

Millie chuckled and put out her cigarette butt, shaking her head. "Oh, Ginny, thank you..." She handed Ginny the butt. "I am sorry for smoking half of your cigarettes, by the way."

Ginny shook her head. "Oh, it's all right. I'll figure out a way to grab some more — even if I have to start lifting wizard brands from behind the counter of the Three Broomsticks."

"You can't do that — the figures on the packs start shouting if they're picked up by a minor. And moreso if you haven't paid for them."

Ginny looked up at Millie. "Oh, tried already, I see? I suppose that means I should give up all hope?"

Millie smiled mischievously as she stood. "I may have tried..." She held out her hand towards Ginny. "But I'm willing to try again, of course."

Ginny took her hand, stood, and the two girls walked back towards the castle.

This Harry Potter story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at