the pearl

Society Pages

"Honestly, Pansy," her mother said, just before biting down on a cream cake. "You're acting like you've never been betrothed before."

Pansy sighed. "Maybe, Mother," she said, her voice dripping with venom, "you never betrothed me to someone so..." She searched for the words. "Common."

Petal Parkinson rolled her eyes. "Really, darling. You're taking this entirely too dramatically." She reached for another cream cake. "What with The War and everything..." Pansy winced at the obvious capitalization of those two words. "It's utterly impossible to find you a new fiancé with the right breeding. In fact, if it wasn't for the Ministry believing that we were all under a dreadful Imperio from the Malfoys, you'd be living a life of spinsterhood — forced to sponge off of your cousin Quintilla, taking care of her obnoxious children... What kind of life would that be?" Petal wiped her fingertips delicately with a napkin, then reached for a third cream cake.

"Yes, but..." Pansy squeaked in indignation. "Lavender Brown? They're...they're..." She leaned in close, hoping that no one in the tea room would hear. "Shopkeepers!"

Petal tutted. "And very profitable shopkeepers!" she said loudly, causing her daughter to wince again and almost wish she had learned how to slouch. "With the dowry they're willing to pay, your father and I will finally be able to refurbish the manor — those unsightly hex scars from the first war are still on the grand staircase, you know." Petal looked at her daughter. "And, besides," she said. "They're a perfectly respectable family. Despite being in Gryffindor in school, I've been told by her parents that Lavender is a polite and mannered young lady, more than willing to do whatever is necessary to keep someone such as yourself in the manner you are accustomed. She's a perfect match." Petal dithered slightly over the last cream cake, then firmly took it in her hand. "And just think of how easy it will be for her to have the children! You'll never have to worry about losing your figure like I did..." She bit down on the cream cake savagely, delicately licking her fingers afterwards.

Pansy sighed and slowly stood, setting her napkin down on the table. "If it's already been decided, then I imagine I don't have a say in the matter, do I?"

Petal nodded. "We've signed the agreement, and the decorators are coming to the manor first thing on Monday — I hope you don't mind, but I had the house elves pack up your things, so that they could get started right away."

Pansy frowned. "I thought you said you were having the grand staircase repaired..."

Petal nodded again. "Of course," she said. "But since you'll be leaving anyway, I decided I deserved the solarium your father promised me shortly after you were born. Of course, the Dark Lord detested sunlight, so we weren't able to have it built, but, now..." She brushed the last of the crumbs off of her ample bosom. "And your bedroom always did have the best light, darling."

"Of course," Pansy said, her teeth clenched.

Petal smiled. "I just knew you'd understand." She groaned as she pulled herself out of the chair. "Now, give your mother a kiss," she said, moving close to Pansy. "And I'll see you at the betrothal ceremony."

Pansy clenched her fists, dutifully pecked her mother on the cheek, and watched her leave the tea room.


The Brown house was small, and cramped, and entirely too filled with people. Pansy stood next to the fireplace, occasionally charming floo ashes off of her robes, nodding distractedly at whatever people were saying to her. Yes, she was glad to be joining the family. No, she did not know what was happening in the war trials. Yes, it was a good thing the war was over. No, she hadn't spoken to Draco Malfoy in years, not since that unfortunate incident with Professor Snape.

After the tenth blast of hot air and cinders, she excused herself, making her way up the winding staircase to the attic, where a door opened into a small bedroom. Pansy glanced in and discovered Lavender sitting on the bed, holding a drink in her hands.

Pansy leaned against the doorframe and looked at the girl who would be her wife. "Are you going to finish that?" she asked.

Lavender looked up, coloured slightly, then tipped the glass back, finishing it off. "Yes," she said after a few seconds. "I am."

Pansy folded her arms against her chest and glared at her, refusing to look away. "I don't understand," she finally said. "Why on earth did you decide to marry me?"

Lavender looked up, startled. "I didn't!"

Pansy scoffed, and held out her left hand, the far-too-small diamond glinting in the half-light. "So what's this then?"

Lavender sighed. "It's not my idea, all right?" she said. "Dad decided that he needed some class, and Mum decided she wanted to marry up, and the next thing I know, I'm being measured for a wedding dress and being told I'm marrying the grand Slut of Slytherin..."

Pansy gasped. "" She searched for the appropriate words. "You Gryffindor whore!" she stomped into the room, right up to Lavender. "I don't want to marry you! Marrying a bloody shopkeeper so that my mother can do up the manor..." She stamped her foot. "I was going to be a Malfoy! I was going to be at the Dark Lord's side! Then you and your bloody Gryffindors came along and...and..."

"And what?" Lavender said, standing. "Destroyed all your fun? Ruined the love of your life? Please." Lavender sneered. "We all knew what you were like at Hogwarts, Pansy. Smiles and sweetness one minute, complete and utter bitch the next."

Pansy didn't even realise what she had done when she did it, but the aftermath of slapping Lavender came all too quickly. Lavender's face paled, save the fiery red palm print across her cheek, and she grabbed her tightly, pulling her down onto the bed with a loud shriek of indignation.

They tussled for a few minutes, pulling hair, kicking shins, screeching and yowling like cats or banshees, when, suddenly, it changed. Pansy found herself pressing harder and harder against Lavender's body, and Lavender found herself licking her lips and grunting, and, before they could call each other another cruel name or lash out with fists, they were kissing.

Fast, and still angry, and not without a small bit of pain. Kissing, and then groping, and then Pansy's hand dipped between Lavender's thighs, and Lavender squeezed it tight, and neither of them had felt this way with the boys they had chosen to marry before.

And when it was over, briefly, both of them in wrinkled robes and with mussed hair, Pansy turned to her fiancée. "I still hate you," she said, her voice breathless. "And all of this isn't worth a solarium, no matter what Mother says."

"It doesn't matter," Lavender replied. "We're still getting married. And Dad's planning to turn the manor into his new showroom anyway."


For a couple that equally reviled each other, the wedding preparations were surprisingly smooth. Both sets of parents arranged everything, picking out china patterns, flower arrangements, reception gifts, and all the detritus that came with a wizarding Society wedding, via a small army of owls provided by the Browns. Their engagement photo, a carefully spliced together collage of separate photos of Lavender and Pansy, due to the fact that in any photos where the two of them were together, they were either refusing to look at each other or had actually begun fighting, ran in The Daily Prophet's Society section. Pansy, with a particularly sharp smile on her face, carefully cut out the article and promptly posted it to Azkaban, the thought of Draco's response warming her heart.

There were fittings, negotiations, a constant stream of contractors measuring Pansy's bedroom, and, eventually, the day came. The brides wore ice white and cream, and their mothers wore lime green and crimson, respectively. The fathers looked nervous, and the Brown side of the audience glared at the Parkinson side of the audience, even though the Parkinson side consisted of a few bored-looking cousins, an elderly aunt, and a sniffling house elf surrounded by trunks containing the last of Pansy's things — the single wedding present her mother swore she could afford.

Pansy recited her lines and performed her movements and did everything perfectly to rote, right up until the point where she had to lean in close to her intended, whisper of her undying affection, and then kiss. She leaned in, smiled widely for the audience, and whispered "As soon as I can, I'm not only getting a divorce, but I'm taking you for every cent you have."

Lavender smiled just as widely. "Can't happen," she whispered back. "Your mother signed a pre-nup." She kissed Pansy's mouth closed.

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