The Two Broomsticks
by glossolalia

1. Rosmerta

They never had anything in common. Especially not back then.

At Hogwarts, Hooch's hair was dark copper, cropped to the nape of her neck, unruly as a goshawk's feathers after a long flight.

Rosmerta clearly remembers the first time she noticed, really noticed, Hooch. Her first thought was 'covetous Kali, what is that girl thinking, going out like that?' A moment later, she caught herself, regretting the casual meanness, and looked more closely.

Hooch had reached her full height, a neat and angular, somehow lanky 5'4", by her third year. That morning, early in their fifth year, she lounged over breakfast in the Great Hall, scratching absently at the back of her neck. Disordered shanks of hair shifted over her square hand. The faint scratches were very pink against the luminous pallor of her skin.

Nowadays Rosmerta can laugh at how she and the other girls got themselves up back then, charming their hair straight and shiny as mirrors (though her curls never quite took the charm and usually bounced back into existence by second period), ringing their eyes with kohl like cheap Cleopatras.

The fact remains, however, that Hooch was, even then, absolutely hopeless when it came to fashion. In fact, she was hopeless in terms of basic neatness and presentation. Her hands and face were perennially chapped red from Quidditch, a dark-brick shade that clashed with her gingery hair and startling golden eyes. Her robes were shapeless, either trailing behind her as she took her long, loping strides, or bunched up into the waist of her denim trousers when she mounted her broom - and usually for hours after she dismounted, until someone said something.

Oddest of all, at least according to the usual social mores, she was also quite popular, from what Rosmerta could tell. Younger Quidditch players looked up to her - a Gryffindor first-year even cut his hair to match Hooch's, ruffling it up in back just like hers - and the girls in her year in Hufflepuff considered her, they told Rosmerta, 'a real hoot and good egg'.

Rosmerta, of course, did not lack for company of her own. Ravenclaws stuck together, after all; she had many friends in the other houses as well. Friends had always come easily to her, like good looks and a quick mind. She was tall, for a girl, already curvy in all the right places while most of her friends were still struggling with spots and growing pains. 'No one likes a braggart,' her mother always told her in her heavily-accented English, and Rosmerta tried to take that advice to heart. Not for her to preen and judge; she had nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by smiling. That was her mother's other favorite piece of advice: 'just smile, everyone likes a smile.'

She'd had three boyfriends at her Muggle comprehensive before the Hogwarts letter arrived. She treated her dormmates to hushed descriptions of snogging - at first just kisses, then, as the years went on, hands on her breasts, what a bloke's thing feels like in his trousers when he's excited, how to make a boy whimper by biting his ear.

She excelled at Charms and had become a prefect almost as a matter of course; girls and boys alike sought her out for advice, though the boys, she suspected, had ulterior motives.

Her only real rival in terms of looks and popularity was Bellatrix Black, but Rosmerta - unlike Bellatrix - did not care to think in terms of rivals. She was popular, she believed, because people were basically good at heart and responded to kindness in equal measure. Bellatrix and her sister Narcissa were, by contrast, popular only among Slytherins, and then only because of others' fear and their own haughty cruelty.

So it was fairly strange, to say the least, that she next became aware of Hooch thanks to Narcissa Black's offhand comment during duelling club. Girls only duelled other girls, naturally, and this was itself fairly novel, another innovation under the new Headmaster. Rosmerta's father, a medieval historian at All Saints', was agitating for (Muggle) Women's Lib, but Hogwarts and the rest of the wizarding world were slow to catch on. If they ever really did.

Rosmerta had just handily defeated Bellatrix with a Hair-Sizzling Charm. Narcissa hurried, as always, to her sister's side, patting out the little flames with one hand and saying, "Oh, Bella, poor thing. Women should never try to win. Keep up with that, mudblood, and you'll be as Sapphic as Hooch."

The first insult stung, as it always did - her father might be a Muggle, but he knew more about wizardry and loved magic more deeply than most pure-bloods - but it was the second that stopped Rosmerta in her tracks, confounding her.

"Don't listen to her," Andromeda, the other Black sister said, taking Rosmerta's arm. "That hex was brilliant."

"Listen to who?" Over her shoulder, Rosmerta raised her wand and sent a small stench hex toward Narcissa before turning back to Andromeda. "And what's Sapphic?"

Andromeda laughed, dragging Rosmerta to the far corner of the room, where Hooch leaned against a wall, idly levitating the weapons cabinet. "Oi, Hooch! Rosie here wants to know what Sapphic is."

Hooch's eyes, wide-set and the color of sun through tea (or, Rosmerta would later think, firewhiskey), raked slowly up and down Rosmerta's body.

"For one thing," she said, and her voice was husky, as if she'd been shouting too much, "it's a lot more fun than you're used to."

Rosmerta's fingertips and cheeks tingled, as if she'd just come inside from a long winter walk. Andromeda swatted her wand lightly against Hooch's shoulder.

"Sorry," Hooch said. "Just taking the piss."

She did not say anything more, leaving Rosmerta at once baffled and impatient. A quick trip to the library after tea gave her an answer - "in the manner of Sappho, poet of Lesbos" - that was no answer at all.

That was when she really started keeping an eye on Hooch. Before then, she'd been aware of the girl as an oddity, a champion flyer, another Hufflepuff in the Hufflepuff crowd. Now Rosmerta looked at Hooch, searched out answers to questions she couldn't quite formulate, and wondered what was going on.


Just before the Christmas holidays, Rosmerta was in the owlery. Her father was in Heidelberg on a sabbatical, and she was consulting with the owl master whether the letter could find its way to him. Hooch strode up to the nearest window, strapped a small package onto a great gray owl's leg then patted it fondly.

"Her name's Artemis," she said, catching Rosmerta's eye and extracting a squealing mouse from her pocket for the owl. "Had her since I was small."

"Lovely," Rosmerta replied. She didn't have an owl of her own. Instead, she'd brought her Siamese cat Kiki to school with her. She had to look away; she could hardly bear to hear the crunching and squeaking as Artemis devoured her snack. "She's quite, erm. Large."

Rosmerta took care not to seem to hurry away down the spiral steps, though that was what she was doing. In Hooch's presence, she was assailed by feeling at once disordered and overladen. As if her hair had suddenly re-curled itself, her robes had developed intractable wrinkles, but at the same time as if her mascara had caked, her lips gone greasy, her perfume turned overwhelming. Hooch caught up with her, however, and Rosmerta stopped short halfway down the steps.

"Y'know, you're really pretty," Hooch said.

Rosmerta smiled. This, she could handle. "Thanks. You're -"

"A fright, I know. Look, though, I was wondering. I look at you, all put together and -" Hooch's chapped cheeks seemed to redden several more shades and she clicked her tongue against her teeth. "I wonder -"

"I can teach you some charms," Rosmerta offered. "Skin-brightening, hair-smoothing. I'm working on an eye-glittering one, but it's not ready yet."

Hooch grinned at that. Her eyes narrowed to slits and her teeth were, in the shadows of the staircase, very white. It suddenly occurred to Rosmerta that Hooch didn't need any help. Especially not from the likes of her, overly made-up and fidgety, too curly, too tall.

"That is, I mean -" Rosmerta faltered. When Hooch touched her shoulder, her hand's pressure sent a wave of vibrations through Rosmerta's body.

"Not what I meant," Hooch said softly. Her voice, Rosmerta was learning, was always slightly husky. "I look at you and I wonder how -"

Rosmerta never learned what it was that Hooch wondered. Hooch's palm, slightly wind-roughened but very warm, had curled around Rosmerta's neck and Rosmerta tilted into the touch, shifting her weight against the cold stone wall, brushing her nose against Hooch's, then her lips.

The kiss resolved Rosmerta's disorder and worry, changed them back to confidence and warmth. She could kiss; she wanted to kiss. Hooch's neck was long and cool under Rosmerta's hand, her hair a coarse tangle, and their lips pressed, fitted, molded together.

Oh, Rosmerta thought, curling an arm around Hooch's firm, narrow waist, losing her breath as Hooch licked the inside of her lower lip, Oh, well, yes...


Hooch was beautiful. At least, for several months, Rosmerta thought so. She loved the long, stone-firm muscles under Hooch's freckled skin, loved the freckles themselves, like bits of marmalade caught on porcelain, loved the coarseness of Hooch's lips, sandpaper over the velvet of her mouth.

"Shut up," Hooch would say when Rosmerta tried to tell her what she looked like. She'd grab Rosmerta's wrist, make her drop her wand, then roll over on top of her or push against a wall, and kiss her until Rosmerta had little idea of her own name, let alone anything else.

They met in secret, in the unused classrooms on the third floor, in a broom cupboard never visited by anyone but house elves, in the prefects' washroom on the fifth floor, just inside the Forbidden Forest, and, once, memorably, on the Quidditch pitch itself. Then, the grass was silver with night-dew, scratching at Rosmerta's bare skin, shining around Hooch's head like a dim halo as she slid lower, her lips trailing over Rosmerta's belly.

For whatever reason, Rosmerta was never discomforted or confused by how much she enjoyed looking at, touching, tasting Hooch. She'd sit in the library, studying for her OWLs, and squeeze her thighs together faster than her heartbeat, thinking about Hooch's hair (coarse, yes, but fragrant, too) or the blisters on her palms, swollen over the network of finely-ridged calluses, how she hissed when Rosmerta kissed each one in turn. How Hooch, champion and hero, would quiver after she came, falling back into a heap of pale skin and freckles, breath coming quick and shallow, thoroughly spent. How she, Rosmerta, made that happen.

And then, in the anxious hush of the library, her breath would catch in her throat, her thighs would be wet, and she'd smile to herself like the Cheshire Cat as she came, rocking against the old seat.

Yet she would not, could never, touch Hooch in public. It just wasn't done, she'd try to explain, but words always failed her.

"You snogged Caradoc Dearborn at the Harvest Ball last term," Hooch pointed out. "And weren't you caught second year with Thad Templeton, sneaking out of the dorms?"

"That's different," Rosmerta said. They were lying on their backs, robes pulled hastily over their sweat-chilled bodies, on a sofa in the west wing. It was a Hogsmeade weekend, and only the distant thunder of first-years could be heard.

Rolling onto her side, Hooch planted her chin into the curve of Rosmerta's breast. Her eyes were always vaguely unsettling, particularly this close to.

"It is," Rosmerta insisted. "They were... They were just boys. And they didn't mean anything, it was stupid, it..."

As usual, she trailed off. Hooch's gaze was steady, her face calm and slack, save for the tiny wrinkle of concentration between her eyebrows. Lifting her head, Rosmerta darted down and kissed that wrinkle.

"Different," Hooch echoed. "Right."

Hooch always looked at Rosmerta the same way she sought out the Snitch - carefully, and deliberately, but not without the occasional explosion of motion. Now was no different, but nerves stirred inside Rosmerta, anxiety crawling out like ivy, and she wrapped her arms around Hooch's narrow, bony shoulders.

"Nothing like this," she said, thinking it would assure Hooch. And herself.


That summer, Hooch played Quidditch for the all-women European juniors team. Rosmerta went home to Cambridge, was badgered by her father to do magic she wasn't allowed to perform, and studied Spanish with her mother.

'Mother's tongue' was an odd phrase, but it made Rosmerta smile with its aptness. With her mother, Spanish was a brief, lyrical language where everything sounded like the fragment of a poem. Alma, soul; alba, white; escoba, broom; cebolla, onion. By August, she was dreaming in Spanish occasionally. When she dreamed about Hooch, they spoke in Spanish like a private code.

When school started up again, Rosmerta had grown another inch and a half, cut her hair to her shoulders, letting it curl as it would, and wore Muggle clothes beneath her robes. Things were changing - nothing one could point at, but the purebloods were louder, the country as a whole was sinking past recession into something resembling depression, and anxiety seemed to crackle in the air, everywhere.

Hooch returned to school deeply tanned from her summer in the air. At first, they picked up where they'd left off: secret meetings, hands under robes, long looks across the Great Hall and lingering glances in the library, snogging in the stacks or the owlery. But Hooch was captain now of her house team and she'd made yet more friends, loud and imposing athletes of both sexes. Rosmerta was studying hard, taking remedial tutoring, desperate to regain her academic standing after what Professor Flitwick deemed her "exceedingly disappointing" OWL results.

Things trailed off between them, so slowly that Rosmerta wasn't even certain Hooch had noticed. Glances trailed away, glimpses grew less frequent, and Hooch never entered the library, while Rosmerta was there every chance she got.

When Fabian Prewitt offered to tutor her in Transfiguration, Rosmerta accepted gladly.


In their seventh year, Hufflepuff won the Quidditch Cup and Rosmerta took up with first Fabian, then Gideon Prewitt. After sitting the NEWTs, Hooch joined the Holyhead Harpies. There she met Olwyn Wentle, the veteran Keeper. For her part, Rosmerta moved to Hampstead with the Prewitts and joined the staff of a Muggle dress shop.


2. Hooch

The war changed everything, of course.

Before it came, the Harpies had three winning seasons under their belts. Quidditch Today had dubbed Hooch and Olwyn the Dastardly Duo. She was so busy training, keeping house with Olwyn, and looking forward to the next World Cup, that she never quite noticed the atmosphere changing.

When Death Eaters appeared on the pitch during a home game against the Cannons, Hooch was flying so high she only saw green fire and smelled acrid smoke for several moments. Descending into a welter of screams and cracking bones, she saw Olwyn hanging off the rightmost goal hoop, mouth open and acid-green flames licking at her robes like asps seeking mother's milk.

She dived harder, clutching her broom with a body turned to talons, chasing the last of the Death Eaters suicidally fast. She succeeded only in driving her broom into the ground, breaking every bone in both her hands and arms and knocking herself out for six hours.

She'd failed at the only thing she knew how to do.

When she awoke in hospital, two things happened. Her hair turned pale silver - not overnight, but over the course of five days, like leaves in autumn - and she resigned from the Harpies. This was, it turned out, unnecessary, as the league was disbanded for the foreseeable future due to "social unrest" two days later.

She was discharged the day after that. Voldemort was at his height, good wizards barely dared to walk the streets, and the Muggle-born on St. Mungo's staff stayed home. Hooch had spent a week in bed, gazing down at her useless, worthless body, bandaged and plump, feeling distrust and disappointment with it simmer and stew into hatred.

In the 1940s, her mother's father had invested on a whim in the fledgling Floo network. Hooch therefore had a small income that freed her from having to work. Knowing that she couldn't live in the house she'd shared with Olwyn, she moved to Edinburgh. There she took a small flat in the wizarding district off Charlotte Square. Edinburgh's pervasive damp cold reminded her of Hogwarts, when she'd been, if not happy, at least reasonably content. She listened to Celestina Warbeck's Most Beloved Hits and did not move until strictly necessary.

For nearly three years, through the rest of the war and afterward, she used magic incessantly. Apparating from kitchen to bath to her bed (narrow as her school one, and much less comfortable), using the few domestic charms she'd learned from her mother and aunts to subsist on stews and under-boiled rice, even combing her hair without using her hands. Exertion was pointless, while magic, at least, would not fail her.

She is embarrassed, even now, to admit that she did nothing during the war. Save for that one chase of a Death Eater, she was entirely useless and sidelined. What, she reasoned, could she possibly offer as help? A benefit Quidditch match? All sport had been suspended. Flying lessons to the war orphans? She was a retired jock with early rheumatism where her arms had broken who'd only passed her exams at school through sheer luck.


"I dare say that in the coming years, we're going to need all the fun and merriment we can get," Dumbledore told Hooch. He looked older than she remembered, but then again, so did she. When he entered the pub, he'd looked around the crowd, not recognizing her at first. Hooch got that a lot.

The war was over. She had come north on his invitation, ostensibly for the dedication of a memorial to those in her year who had fallen. Nearly forty-five, all told; no one knew how to count those who'd been sent to Azkaban or simply disappeared. War wasn't Quidditch; there were not clear sides, whatever the Ministry said.

"I expect so," she said carefully, setting down her gillywater. She could not understand why Dumbledore wanted to talk to her; there were many others in her year, in the years around her, who could bring fun and merriment to the world far more easily than she could.

"After all, in leisure and sport are born community and fellowship," he went on, accepting another flagon of mead from the barmaid. "Isn't that so, Rosmerta?"

Startled, her heart crashing against her ribs, Hooch looked up. The barmaid was Rosmerta. Tall and light on her feet, curling hair tugged back and piled atop her head, she looked just the same. Lushly beautiful, all curves and smiles. Hooch's hand curled around her glass and she realized that Rosmerta was as changed as she. Not nearly so obviously, of course, but her eyes were guarded and her smile faintly false.

"Hullo," Hooch made herself say.

Rosmerta exchanged Hooch's empty glass for a full one, her hand brushing softly over Hooch's. "Good to see you, Rolanda," she said.

In the din of the pub, of her heartbeat, Hooch could not be sure whether the comment was at all sincere. She'd been keeping away from company for long enough that she doubted she could read people's meanings any longer.

Rolanda, however. Rosmerta used her first name, lightly, familiarly, and no one ever called Hooch that besides her parents and Olwyn.

"Do have a seat," Dumbledore told Rosmerta. After a brief protest, Rosmerta complied, squeezing onto the narrow bench next to Hooch. Her body seemed, still, to bring its own warmth with it, and she still wore that strange gardenia-scented perfume that she'd worn at school. "Your timing is as graceful as ever. I was just about to ask Hooch if she'd like to join the staff."

"Really?" Rosmerta smiled, looking back and forth between them. "That's wonderful!"

Hooch's mind went blank as new parchment for several excruciating moments. Dumbledore offering her a job versus Rosmerta smiling fully, sincerely, at her for the first time in a decade: each was as bizarre as the other and combined, they were beyond belief.

"I -" she said and gulped half her gillywater. Dumbledore stroked his beard, nodding as if she were speaking, as if she were able to speak. Perhaps he was reading her mind, but if he was, all he'd be able to get off her would be an unformed jumble of Rosmerta, curls down a neck, Hogwarts, the owlery stairs, Olwyn dead on the pitch... "Thank you?"

"Excellent," he said, rising and shaking her hand. "Owl Minerva tomorrow for the contracts and such, will you?" He shrugged one shoulder like a boy caught without homework. "I'm terrible with paperwork. I'll leave you two to catch up."

"Fun and merriment," Hooch said to herself. She felt Rosmerta stir beside her, getting ready, no doubt, to make polite apologies and get back to work. Hooch grabbed Rosmerta's arm before she was aware of what she was doing. She always did think with her body first, her brain later.

Rosmerta's large, depthless eyes widened further, then blinked rapidly when Hooch released her.

"We're closing in an hour," she said, covering Hooch's hand with her own. "Perhaps you could stay. Wait for me."

Wordlessly, Hooch followed her to the bar, taking the last stool from the end, waiting. She did not know what she was waiting for, only that Rosmerta had asked her to do so. She watched Rosmerta flirt with the customers, pour mead and mix pumpkin cocktails with both hands, go up on her toes to slide through the crowd, never faltering. Her hair came loose, curving down her neck, and her laugh was unmistakable, even from the other end of the pub.

'The proverbial straight-girl crush,' Olwyn had said when Hooch told her about her past, about Hogwarts and Rosmerta. 'We've all been there, haven't we?' Hooch hadn't disagreed, though she felt, vaguely, that Olwyn had gotten it wrong; but Olwyn was older, far more experienced, broad and blunt as a Beater's bat.

So she kept silent, though she knew that, if anything, Andromeda Black ('I'm sorry, Hooch, I think I just like you without all the snogging') was her straight-girl crush. Rosmerta had been different, only Hooch didn't quite know how.

She didn't know in words, at least. Her senses knew, remembered all over again the swell of Rosmerta's breast under her hand, the softness of her lips and the deliberate, concentrated squint she'd always get just before she came, as if pleasure were an extra-credit problem she was determined to solve. As she sat there, waiting for the pub to close, Hooch's mouth remembered the width of Rosmerta's smile - she always smiled, especially when they kissed - and her ears warmed, remembering the soft little grunts Rosmerta gave up almost unconsciously.

"There, now," Rosmerta said at last, wiping down the bar with a clean flannel. She shook the hair out of her eyes and smiled at Hooch. "Quiet, finally."

"I should -" Hooch started. She could not think, and her senses jangled and chimed, and she really ought to make her excuses and return to Edinburgh.

"Upstairs," Rosmerta said, "we'll be more comfortable there."


3. Hogsmeade

Rosmerta was no barmaid - she owned the Three Broomsticks - and once Hooch was inside the small suite of rooms on the third floor, she never wanted to leave. The walls were painted dove-gray, photographs both still and animated crowded the shelves, and the furniture looked as soft as Rosmerta herself.

An old Shooting Star '78 hung over the fireplace; despite herself, Hooch was drawn to it. When Rosmerta returned from the kitchen with a plate of sandwiches and steaming mugs of tea, setting them down on a side-table, she moved behind Hooch, wrapping her arms around Hooch's waist and tucking her chin on Hooch's left shoulder. The touch was wholly unexpected, and Hooch jumped.

Murmuring something apologetic, Rosmerta eased her hold.

Thankful that she couldn't be seen, Hooch felt a blush covering her face and neck. She wanted to relaxing into the touch, wanted to tip back against Rosmerta's chest and sigh.

Instead, she said, "I didn't know you flew."

Rosmerta's self-deprecating laugh rippled down Hooch's back. "On occasion. Not very well." Then she pressed an open-mouthed kiss against the nape of Hooch's neck, lingering and moist, hotter than firewhiskey, and Hooch trembled. "That belonged to Fabian."

"Oh," Hooch said, the chill of grief - didn't she have all of Olwyn's Quidditch things in a trunk? - battling the heat of Rosmerta's kiss.

Everyone was haunted these days; there were more ghosts than living people. Even in the monkish solitude of her flat, Hooch knew that - indeed, the proliferation of ghosts was one of the primary reasons for that solitude.

Fractionally, so gently that the motion was invisible, Rosmerta let Hooch go and backed away. "Have some tea," she said, indicating the tray.

Hooch cursed herself, considered apparating away and never showing her face again, but Rosmerta took her hand and urged her to sit.


They talked. They talked quite a bit, those first few days after Hooch moved to Hogsmeade. She returned briefly to Charlotte Square and was inexplicably surprised at how easy it was to pack her things. She'd never really lived there, and the traces of her presence vanished as if they were charmed. That they weren't, that she packed and cleaned without magic, only underlined just how faintly she had lived in the last several years.

In Hogsmeade, Rosmerta always had a Welsh mead on tap for Hooch, a mug of it just settling by the time Hooch entered the pub. She would set it down on the bar, grasp Hooch's hand, and smile brightly as a Snitch.

They talked, about the war and those who had survived - Andromeda Black had married a Muggle and regularly owled Rosmerta pictures of her daughter; old Flitwick was back at Hogwarts after having received the Order of Merlin for charming an entire contingent of Death Eaters into hula-dancing through the streets of York - and about those who had not. The Prewitts, it emerged, had both been Rosmerta's lovers at the end; Rosmerta arched a brow and wiped down the bar more vigorously. 'Things were arsy-versey everywhere, weren't they?' she said, and Hooch had to agree.

Some nights, they didn't talk. They flew instead, Hooch coaxing Rosmerta out of her old-fashioned posture on the broom, showing her how to flatten herself, how to kick up speed and enjoy the flight. Hogsmeade's air-space was quite safe and they could fly as high as they'd like. Silhouetted against the night sky, Rosmerta looked like someone out of a medieval engraving, her robes streaming behind her, curls tickling the moon.

By September first, they were friends.


They hadn't quite spoken of the kiss that first night. Hooch had her reasons, and Rosmerta seemed to respect them. She might have regretted it - Hooch didn't know and couldn't seem to ask. Rosmerta was as physically affectionate as she had been as a girl; after a long broom-ride, she'd hug Hooch, press a cold cheek against Hooch's, kiss her excitedly. It might have meant nothing.

Why was it, Hooch wondered, that she could regain her prowess on a broom as if she'd never stopped flying, but the words to ask Rosmerta about her feelings continued to escape her? It should have been simple: 'About that kiss...' or 'I'd like to ask you something...'

She barked out fouls on the pitch, whispered encouragement to the first-years struggling to control their brooms, even guest-lectured in Herbology about the aerodynamic properties of rhododendron blossoms. All those words came easily as flight.


On Halloween night, the Three Broomsticks stayed open late. Most of the staff found their way there after the school feast, and Hooch slid behind the bar to help Rosmerta handle the crowd. Despite the noise and heat, Rosmerta looked fresh and energetic, face alight and hair tumbling down her back. Hooch hefted casks and washed tumblers until she was soaked with sweat, served drinks to the voracious crowd until her ears rang.

Near to closing, Rosmerta caught her hand. "Stay?"

Hooch sank down onto an empty cask and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand. "I don't think I could move, actually."

When the pub was empty, finally, Hagrid's shouted song fading down High Street, all the chairs upended on the tables and the floor swept and mopped, Rosmerta propelled Hooch up the back stairs.

"I think -" Rosmerta said but Hooch nudged her with her shoulder and kissed her. She didn't know what to say, but it was suddenly clear to her what she wanted to do. What she wanted to do.

Chuckling, Rosmerta unlatched the door to her rooms and pushed Hooch inside. Hooch was glad for it, because she was unsteady on her feet, dizzy and a little fuzzy-headed. When they were inside, Rosmerta hugged her from behind, face in Hooch's hair, holding her tightly, sliding her hands into Hooch's dress robes.

Hooch swayed, head falling back, and started to shake when Rosmerta's fingers grazed her nipples and tugged. She was loose and so warm, taffy draped over Rosmerta, pliant and willing.

This was not how it should go, was it? Hooch was the strong one here, Hooch with the muscles still firm and aching to be used, with the face bare of cosmetics and robes dusted with owl feathers and Floo powder. Rosmerta was beautiful and womanly; she ought to be the one quivering and breathing fast. But nothing was at all simple, not like that, as Hooch turned in Rosmerta's arms and returned the kiss, harder than she'd thought possible, her hands tangling in finespun robes and grappling for purchase on Rosmerta's curves.

Nothing was simple, not with Rosmerta laughing-moaning into Hooch's mouth, her long fingernails raking up Hooch's suddenly-bared back, her heels clicking over floorboards as they stumbled down the short hall.

"Oh, yes," Rosmerta breathed and Hooch croaked, "Been a while -", to which Rosmerta replied, "I know, I know," and then they were kissing again.

Not simple, but not at all complicated either, not the way they tumbled back onto the bed, Rosmerta's chest heaving, Hooch working a knee between her thighs. Not complicated, how they found the old spots, worked their palms up under breasts, weighing and appreciating, appraising and exploring, lips going numb, throats hoarse, and Rosmerta was always full of surprises.

She rolled over, kneeling above Hooch's knees, wearing only a thin black garter and smoky stockings, her arse bare beneath Hooch's roving hands, grinding down and kissing Hooch past breathless.

Raising her head, cheeks stained scarlet and mouth swollen, she whispered a spell. "Accio dildo -" and the cupboard against the wall flew open, a long toy lifting through the air. Hooch stared up at Rosmerta, her groin already tight and too warm, and opened her mouth. No question came out. Rosmerta grinned, wrapping one hand around the dildo and jacking it obscenely.

Surprises, and it was always different; this moment was simply different in a new way as Rosmerta soothed her palms down the length of Hooch's arms, twined their fingers together briefly and suckled one peaked nipple until it ached.

"Let me," she was saying, kindly and excited all at once, damp curls clinging to the sides of her face. Hooch had not stopped quivering, but she shook harder now, swallowing and reaching for Rosmerta, watching wide-eyed as a harness buckled itself around Rosmerta's waist and, with a soft moan, she slipped the dildo into herself. The other half poked up and away from her crotch, as she moved, rearranging Hooch, sliding down the bed until her mouth brushed Hooch's mound. Hooch bucked, twisting, as Rosmerta played her tongue down and across her outer lips, then inside, coaxing the inner lips fat and full with nipping teeth and suckling mouth, then upward, curling her tongue around the shaft of Hooch's clit, thrumming the head with her tongue-tip.

Hooch babbled and writhed as Rosmerta played on and on, teasing her to that frigid-furnacehot breaking point, then backing away, and when she lifted her head, her chin and cheeks shone with Hooch's wetness.

"All right?" Rosmerta asked, sitting up, obscene prick bobbing below her round, heavy breasts and elegant curves of waist and hips. Hooch could only nod, grab for Rosmerta's shoulders as she tilted up and wrapped her legs around Rosmerta's thighs. The prick brushed like a thick wand against her clit, her hole, and Hooch thought she'd scream if something didn't push into the tension cramping inside.

One hand braced beside Hooch's head - Hooch turned and bit Rosmerta's wrist, licked at the tendons in her fist - Rosmerta steadied herself, lips drawn back against her teeth, and nudged inside. She moaned, that long desperate lullaby that Hooch thought she'd forgotten, and Hooch remembered that the toy was inside Rosmerta, too, had been the entire time, and she pushed up against Rosmerta, felt the shaft slide friction-slow and -hot inside, and then -

Then they were fucking, and this was a surprise, and there were no words, barely even sense. Just sensory information, images - Rosmerta's fiercely beautiful face, driven and determined and gorgeous, her breasts bouncing hard, nipples dark and hard - and sounds - grunts and wet slurps and sharp slaps of skin on skin - and so much heat, sweat, rasping breath that they were both drunk on it all.

Rosmerta squinted, clutched at Hooch's shoulders, started to come with a whimper and then a shout, far louder than anything she'd ever given before, her head tossing backward, chin sharp against the ceiling, and her thrusts slowed. Hooch twisted her hips, fingers sliding in the sweat on Rosmerta's arms, pushing relentlessly back, watching Rosmerta come again, and a third time, her mouth a bottomless hole, red and wet, before she started to come herself. She clenched down on the shaft, riding it as hard as any broom, stuttering out those pleas that are perfectly sincere and wholly desperate, feeling the shaft start to slip out, feeling herself go so tight the heat might rip in her two, and then she was on her hands and knees over Rosmerta, mouth on the plane between her breasts, breathing raggedly and hopelessly, waves of pleasure racking her body.


Hooch was shy afterward, Rosmerta slack and stupid, and they did not speak for nearly an hour. The bed was wide and comfortable, however, its quilts piled softly over their damp bodies.

In the dark, Rosmerta looked very pleased with herself, lips curling up in a smile even as her eyes fluttered, then stayed, closed. Hooch felt her nerves still sparking and shaking, long into the stillness and quiet.

Rosmerta threw out her arm, pulling Hooch close. Right, then, Hooch thought, no need to be shy. Yet she was starting to think, and she hated to think. Of Olwyn, dead in the ground, and all her classmates' names on the memorial, of years spent in her flat.

When she spoke, she sounded as hoarse as if she'd swallowed Stinksap. "What're you smiling about?"

"Nothing," Rosmerta said, her eyes opening. "And you? You're grinning."

Hooch drew a deep breath. This wasn't Hogwarts, they weren't girls, and she'd learned in the years since how to express her own thoughts. "Somehow, I don't think this is the kind of fun Dumbledore meant," she said.

"Mmmm," Rosmerta replied, combing Hooch's hair off her forehead. "We'll go flying tomorrow, how's that?"

"Brilliant," Hooch said and curled around Rosmerta, sleep sliding fast through her body.


They never had anything in common. Even now, Hooch's robes are so hopeless that Rosmerta despairs of ever seeing her look nice and Rosmerta fusses over her make-up, exasperating Hooch to no end, but they've built something together.

Here in Hogsmeade, what they have in common is the war, and their time at school, but more importantly, the time afterward. Rosmerta tends to the pub and Hooch coaches and referees Quidditch, flying up to the castle every morning, flying home in time for dinner.

Whatever it is, this common thing, it's not simple. It's not all that complicated, either.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Updates / Silverlake Remix