A huge thank you to the reviewers, you guys keep me going.
Weasley was still a first class git and Pansy couldn’t understand what a beautiful young woman like Gabrielle Delacour was doing with him but nevertheless she still smiled and worked her magic and at the end of the appointment, Crooked had a brand new wedding to plan.
Hermione had stayed in the back and Violet ventured out for the second appointment of the day, so Pansy felt alright with leaving the office to meet Adrian for lunch and his mysteriously worded ‘favor’ that he needed.
She waved to Millie as she took the long road to the cafes, shouting “More to the left,” as her old friend stood in front of their nightclub, watching Corner huff as he adjusted the sign on the window.
Millie laughed as Corner stumbled, but Pansy noticed that Millie still helped him, held the stool he was balanced on, even while swearing at him for his awkwardness. Strange.
She walked further on, resolutely ignoring the Weasleys’ joke shop even when George almost fell out of a window trying to get her attention about something. No thank you, Pansy had already spent the whole morning dealing with the most annoying one out of their whole brood, she was done with gingers for the day.
Fortescue’s was already busy, people were milling around with ice creams, even though the weather was getting progressively chillier and Ian Fortescue- Florean’s nephew, was zipping around the store like a bee, trying to network with as many customers as possible.
Pansy gave him a wave of hello, knowing better than to ignore a business contact. Fortescue had long been a contractor of Crooked Events, providing cakes for weddings and sweets for other ceremonies. Both Florean and Ian were good wizards, good men and Pansy actually enjoyed working with them which couldn’t be said for a lot of people.
She turned left, seeing the Three Broomsticks almost immediately and went in, circling around the tables towards her usual booth in the back. She put her purse down, making sure that none of her files would be bent and began looking around for her cousin. Adrian was leaning over the bar stand, flirting with Rosmerta as his bright pink hair stuck out in unimaginable angles.
Pansy rolled her eyes, leaned for better aim and shot a Stinging Hex right at Adrian’s backside.
She laughed to herself as he yelped as the hex made impact. He then gave Rosmerta a wink, took the two Butterbeers he had ordered and made his way back to the booth.
“I see that your hexes are still as potent as ever,” he murmured as he slid her drink over to her side.
Pansy smiled pleasantly, “If you weren’t such a manwhore, I wouldn’t have to hex you for your attention.” She took a sip of her butterbeer, sighing as the frothy liquid hit just
the right spot.
Adrian grinned and a female patron that looked faintly Hufflepuffish in origin, Pansy narrowed her eyes at her, watching as the woman swooned and almost missed her chair.
“Can’t help it,” he drawled, “the ladies adore me.”
Pansy paused and stared. “Are you really that big headed?”
Adrian shrugged as Rosmerta came around with two plates. She gave him a smile as she handed him his sheppard’s pie and barely acknowledged Pansy before depositing her fish and chips.
“Did you do something to Rosmerta?” Adrian frowned as the barmaid moved away.
“What’d you mean?” Pansy bit into her food, sighing as the first taste hit her mouth.
“Well, she’s always so nice to people, so you must have done something to piss her off.” Adrian reasoned. “She barely even looked at you while you were here.”
Pansy ignored his question, preferring to focus on her food. Truth was, she knew why Rosmerta didn’t like her and she preferred not to think about it. She had left that part of her behind in school. She was an adult now, a businesswoman and if she preferred to avoid the question- well then, it was her right to do so.
“So why’d you want to talk?” she slid the plate away, sighing contentedly as the food hit her stomach. Really, some of life’s greatest pleasures were so simple.
Adrian paused from winking at some poor wench, no doubt leaving her heartbroken by his fickle nature and turned to Pansy. He beamed at her.
“Pansy, you’ve always been my favorite cousin-” Adrian leaned forward, eyes gleaming and steepled his fingers.
“What do you want?” Pansy narrowed her eyes.
Adrian sighed and immediately, all traces of the buffoon were wiped off his face. “You’re working too much, Pans. It’s not healthy.”
Pansy huffed in disgust and crossed her arms, she glared at Adrian “I’m not
working too much. I have a new business, I need to make sure that it’s running smoothly.” She spat the words out, angry that he was still on this, that he was questioning her work ethic, questioning her life.
“Pansy,” Adrian’s voice was soft as he took her hands in his, holding on even as she tried to rip her hands out of his paws. “I know you. You’re my family, the only blood family that I really have left,” he swallowed and when he looked up again, his eyes looked sad and serious and she was reminded of the boy who taught her how to ride a broom and who beat Malcom Braddock when he got a little too handsy with her during fourth year.
Adrian,” she insisted softly, taking her hand off her wand. “I don’t need anybody, I’m fine being alone.”
She turned away from him, not needing to see the fact that he obviously didn’t believe her. Her eyes strayed to the window outside, to the crowds rushing about on their lunch hour and the tourists browsing the shops.
She jolted as she saw two familiar figures walking together, holding hands. It was Faith and Neville. For once, Faith was out of her black Unspeakables robes with the Ministry insignia, she was wearing a pair of jeans and a checkered black and red shirt with her hair loose around her shoulders. Neville was wearing a t-shirt over a pair of loose fitting jeans, he looked his age for once and the two of them looked disgustingly carefree and happy.
They held hands, not in that self conscious way that most couples did it but in such a way that spoke of a true connection. Like they couldn’t imagine not being tied to each other, not touching each other at every available opportunity.
Faith, who Pansy had seen take down Draco and Blaise during a sparring session, looked soft, feminine. In love.
Pansy had to turn away.
Adrian was giving her the puppy dog eyes. “Pans,” he implored and she swore
that the bastard’s voice wavered, “I’ve known you since you were born. I know who you are and I know that you’re lonely. I just want you to be happy.”
“Oh fuck you Adrian,” Pansy sneered, discomfited by the fact that someone she had grown up with thought her so lacking. “Not everyone had to be coupled up
to be happy.”
“No,” Pansy turned the old bitch persona on, subconsciously reveling in the freedom of letting her inner bully run out to play, “how’s the dating scene going for you
, hmm? Astoria finally stopped sending you howlers?”
There was a tense silence before Adrian sighed and slapped a purple parchment on the table.
“What’s this?” Pansy curled her lip and refused to give Adrian the satisfaction of actually picking it up.
“It’s a matchmaking service, they’re quite good,” Adrian explained, somehow managing to sound patient and condescending at the same time.
“Oh fuck you twice
,” Pansy snarled, getting her bag and shoving the table away from her in order to stand up.
She began moving away from Adrian, anger throbbing at her temples and then she heard him say “How’s Aunt Priscilla by the way?”
Pansy stopped. She breathed through her nose, not caring in the slightest about sounding like an enraged teakettle but she still turned around and stomped back to the booth where Adrian was looking particularly smug.
And he had stupid pink hair.
,” Pansy answered carefully, knowing by the idiotic glint in Adrian’s eyes that he was planning something.
“Mmmm,” he smiled genially at her and patted her side of the table, “come. Sit.”
Pansy was a Slytherin. She knew how these things went. So she went and sat, eying him warily.
“So, who would have thought that Morag would marry a Hufflepuff?” Adrian opened the game, blinking faux innocently.
Pansy was getting a really bad feeling about this.
“And such a blonde
one to boot,” Adrian continued conversationally, picking the peas out of his slice of pie. He had always hated peas, the poncy bastard. “I always did
suspect that Morag harbored some sort of secret affection for Draco.”
The dots were beginning to connect, detailing a much worse picture than Pansy could have thought of.
“Tell me,” Adrian speared a soggy carrot and held it up to his mouth, “Malfoy’s still your date to Morag’s wedding, right?”
“Isn’t that wonderful
?” Adrian beamed at her. “I’m taking aunt Priscilla as my date, it’ll be a big reunion for everyone- I remember how much auntie always liked
Drakey poo,” his teeth were white and Pansy had to sit on her hands in order to stifle the urge to leap across the table and punch them out of his mouth.
“What do you have?” she sighed, knowing that the jig was up.
The foolishly grinning expression slid off his face just as quickly as it arrived and Adrian pushed the plate away. “I have pictures of Draco making out with Boot at the last Ministry function, you can clearly see both their faces, the intensely obvious fact that they’re both male and both are sporting some impressive stiffies.” He paused and grinned, “D’you wanna see one?”
Pansy nodded silently.
With a swish of his wand, Adrian produced a glossy eight by eleven where she could plainly see her oldest childhood friend sticking his tongue down Terry Boot’s mouth.
Fucking Draco with his unrequited lust for Potter.
Boot, while not as powerful as Harry Potter, had the unfortunate combination of both being dark haired, speccy and gay. Of course Draco would go after him. It was like having a sort of Potter to his own disposal without the messiness that going after actual Potter would cause.
“Fuck,” Pansy sighed, “what’d you want?”
“You give the dating agency a real shot, send in an advert,” Adrian’s eyes gleamed brightly with the unholy glee of a Slytherin getting his way, “and I don’t show aunt Priscilla the pictures.”
Pansy glared at him, feeling the previous fire of defiance begin to flicker and die. He had come prepared, with photographic evidence and a plan, chances were that she wasn’t going to get out of it. Still though, she was a Parkinson and a Slytherin to boot- she had to give it one more try.
“What do I care about the pictures?” Pansy sneered at Adrian, mentally thinking of all the places he could have hidden the negatives.
“Well,” Adrian smile grew positively wicked, “I’m guessing that you’re still feeding Auntie that crap line about Malfoy being your intended. And since she was in France when the whole hulabaloo with his extreme gayness came out, she still doesn’t know that Drakey poo has a penchant for men.”
Pansy groaned, feeling all the fight leave her and thumped her head on the table. “Why are you doing
this to me?” she mumbled into the table. She lifted her head up and fixed Adrian with a hate filled eye, “I thought you loved me.”
“I do,” Adrian nodded warmly and patted her hair, “this is why I’m doing this. It’s for your own good, you know.”
Her mum, while a wonderful mother, also had some of the most archaic beliefs still floating around wizarding England. The fact that Pansy was still unmarried rankled her mum horribly and only the weak defense that Draco wasn’t where he wanted to be in his career still worked to buy her time.
Pansy knew that she’d have to tell the truth one day, but if she had her way- she’d be across the world, hidden under a Fidelius and with no way for her mum to reach her.
What Adrian was threatening though, it would destroy the years of hard work she had put in making her mother believe that her life was already set up. Priscilla Parkinson wouldn’t care that her only child was working, was happy- the only thing she would care about was that Pansy had lied to her and she would start meddling.
Pansy had goosebumps just thinking about it.
She groaned and picked up the advert for Abbott’s dating agency, cursing the fates for gifting her with the most interfering cousin of all time. He was a professional Quidditch player for Merlin’s sake, why couldn’t he be like all the other sports jocks out there and not give a toss whether she was single or not.
“I hate you,” she told him loftily, “and I rue the day that I ever made friends with you.” It was true. As a pureblood, she was related to a lot
of families and chances were- half of Slytherin house were her cousins in some way. Adrian though, he was her friend.
“You’ll thank me when you’re all coupled up and sentimental,” Adrian winked at her, “Also, I’ll know if you lied about responding to the ad.” He leaned back and looked immeasurably smug, “I have my sources.”
The form had painted purple orchids circling the edge of the paper. The buds would bloom, blossom and then wither all within the space of the circle- the animation spell was beautifully done. At least, Abbott’s advert was pretty. At the very top, the words ‘Soulmate Matchmaking Service’ were almost crying out for Pansy’s mocking. It was just so sweetly romantic, so Hufflepuff that Pansy had to grit her teeth and walk away from it in order to give herself the opportunity to relax.
Besides, she remembered that there was Firewhiskey in the kitchen.
She pulled her dressing gown tighter around her body as she stood on her tiptoes to reach the cabinet and the bottle of Ogden’s Finest hidden in the back. She was a tall woman, five nine, and yet she still felt like a bloody midget when it came to furrowing for her alcohol stash. She had to keep her alcohol up high, where her mum could never reach it on the rare occasions when she visited. For Priscilla Parkinson could never know the true debauchery that her daughter got up to after she moved out of the Manor.
The alcohol tasted like molten fire and honey sliding down her throat, coating her insides with thousands of pinpricks of sensation. Pansy couldn’t believe that she was actually thinking of doing this, of giving into Adrian’s obvious blackmail. It was the stupidest thing he had ever suggested.
That was saying something, considering that Pansy had been there for Adrian’s unfortunate Latin lover phase when he had been convinced that witches liked Spanish wizards best out of all the European countries. He had even tried growing a mustache, in order to, as he so eloquently put it ‘to appeal to the ladies’.
Pansy carried the bottle of Ogden’s back to the table, and flopped down on the couch, staring balefully at the dating agency’s advertisement.
Was Adrian right? Was she just burying herself in her work in order to stay busy?
No, Pansy shook her head vehemently and took a large swallow of the fiery alcohol. She loved Crooked, it was after all her brainchild. She had been the one to come up with the idea for an events planning business.
Pansy had been dreaming of organizing weddings since she was little. She had a shelf back at the Manor, full of binders for different themed weddings, with meticulous sketches done in an ever increasingly detailed hand, along with photographs of her favorite locales and descriptions of dresses, cakes and bands that she would use.
She had been a strange child.
A big part of the reason why she had been so proud of being a pureblood was the aesthetic beauty of everything that surrounded her. Parkinson Manor was the epitome of beautiful architecture and every piece of furniture, knickknack and painting in the house was sheer delight for the senses.
Pansy slugged back two large swallows of the Firewhiskey.
Division of responsibility was the reason why Crooked Events had become so successful.
Luna was good at divining what their clients really needed. Oftentimes, she could tell them about the desires they hadn’t even realized yet. Some people might have called it cheating- having a seer working in events planning, but Pansy liked to think of it as having all her bases covered.
the event and Pansy created it. If a client’s deepest desire was to get married in an Arabian Nights themed wedding, Pansy would create a sultan’s palace for them. She was bloody fantastic
at the planning and development of people’s dreams into reality.
And Hermione, with her immense brain and unending capacity for practicality was the glue that held it all together. She was the one that dealt with the Ministry for all the various permits and licenses that they needed to operate within the city. She looked up obscure charms and spells that Pansy and Luna might never have heard of and took care of the tiny details that kept Crooked running evenly.
Pansy growled, clutching the Ogden’s bottle even tighter to her chest, entering that blissful state of inebriation where normal human reactions didn’t really apply to one’s self. She didn’t need
anyone, damn Adrian with his strange assertions and puppy like eyes of doom, nor did she want
anyone. She didn’t want some random bloke, intruding on her life and messing up the things that she had spent years on. She was a partner in a flourishing and rapidly growing business, she had a stake in Millie’s Bacchanal- she was a busy woman for Salazar’s sake. She had no
time for a man.
She humphed and burrowed further into her couch, absently thanking Luna for the gown that transfigured itself into fluffier material on demand. Inadvertently, as if by some cruel hand of fate- her eyes fell on Morag’s wedding invitation. Bloody fucking Hell
If Adrian had bothered to resort to blackmail, then the chances of him going through with his threat were very high. Her cousin had less morals than a whore in Amsterdam but whenever he thought he was in the right, he was like a niffler with a gold watch. Pansy knew from experience, both with nifflers and Adrian, that it would be better to give in rather than indulging in pointless revenge fantasies and schemes.
Besides. It wasn’t like this was actually going to work. She would answer that ad as honestly as she could, not bothering to sugarcoat the rough edges of her personality like she did with her previous exes.
Pansy knew that she wasn’t exactly God’s gift to men, she had a temper, she was lewd, she drank too much and she thought nothing of verbally eviscerating someone for the sole reason of talking to her before she had her daily dose of caffeine.
Whatever. It didn’t matter. All she had to do was answer that advertisement as honestly as she could, Adrian would see the results in the next day’s newsletter subscription and he would lay off her with the threats.
Adrian Pucey might have thought himself scary, what with his penchant for violence and Quidditch trained muscles- but he had nothing on his aunt Priscilla in terms of intimidating Pansy into doing his bidding.
Pansy sighed, eyeing the almost empty bottle forlornly. She finished the rest off, anyway and summoned her quill with a quick flick of her wand. She bit her lip as she wrote and hoped that Adrian would lay off her now. Soulmate Matchmaking ServicePseudonym you’d like to use
: SlythQueen or call me Mistress. I'm fine with either one, really.Age
: Older than nineteen but younger than twenty six. Take your bloody pick mate. Occupation
: Professional stirrer-upper. I like to make things difficult for people whenever I’m being paid to do so. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I like to stir things up for the fun
of it. Tell us something about yourself
: I can be mean and bitchy and I have the perviness of a twelve year old boy going through puberty. I’m also loyal to the people I care about and I work hard at everything I do. I'm a Cannons fan through and through, I bleed orange. Deal with it.Your best trait
: My tits. They’re outstanding. Your worst trait
: I have a mouth like a sailor on leave and I don’t mean that in a blowie sort of way. See, there’s the perviness right there. Would you be able to deal with that? What are you looking to find?
A friend, a fuckbuddy, a lover, a soulmate, a husband. The lost treasure of the Mayans? Davy Jones’s Locker? Really, what are any
of us looking to find out there?
But really. I honestly do
want to be a pirate some day.Why are you using our services?
Because my cousin blackmailed me into doing it.