He wondered why his head didn't feel quite as empty as he expected

Sunspots

Pairing: Harry Potter x Pansy Parkinson

AU: Canon-adjacent; features Durmstrang!Pansy + Hogwarts Champion!Harry

Word Count: 2,432


On Pansy’s eleventh birthday, her parents get a divorce.

Well, they get a Pureblood divorce, which isn’t entirely the same thing as getting a regular divorce, but they still wind up dividing their liquid assets and staking claims on various Parkinson properties around Europe and fighting very, very bitterly about who Pansy might happen to love more.

It’s exhausting.

And while the ensuing, seemingly endless parade of expensive gifts is a rather lovely development, Pansy can never quite manage to make herself forget that her Shetland pony and her life-size Victorian dollhouse and her two-carat diamond earrings had all been purchased as emotional bargaining chips—because her parents are playing an elaborate adult version of tug o’ war, and Pansy is really just the rope.

It’s infuriating.

Which is why when her school letters finally arrive and her father begins to reminisce about the rich, bloody history of the Slytherin dungeons while her mother coos in an exaggerated French accent about the fairy gardens at Beauxbatons—well, Pansy narrows her eyes and lifts her chin and waves an unexpected third sheet of parchment in both of her parents’ faces.

“Durmstrang,” she proclaims, far too sweetly to be genuine. “I’m going to Durmstrang.”

And her mother is baffled, of course, and her father is irritated, understandably, but Pansy—

Pansy is smug.

That feeling effectively sets the tone for the next several years.

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Part of My Chemistry

Advent Prompt #11: Teaching assistant!Darren and College Student!Chris with a science lab experiment gone wrong. Chris gets worried Darren is hurt since he’s the one who blew up the thing because of a bet on how to make your teacher lose his cool. CrissColfer. 4K [AO3

Read Previous Advent fics on: AO3 | Tumblr

Chris is a planner. He wrote his first short story at age seven and decided writing would be his career by the time he was nine. It’s a conviction he never wavered on. By junior high and high school, he was planning all his courses and extracurricular activities (of which he signed up for the bare minimum possible while still having a passable resume for college applications) around what would help him develop his writing and strengthen his applications to colleges with strong creative writing programs. Now, many years later, he’s finally made it to the University of Michigan and aside from the school’s obsessive interest in football, he’s pretty damn happy with his choice. He’s got professors that understand him, that have been published themselves and understand his drive to achieve the same, that give him actual criticism and feedback on what he’s writing. Chris feels like he belongs here in Ann Arbor, like he’s home in a way he never felt in Clovis, not even on the best of days. All his years of planning and striving and working and dreaming have finally paid off.

The one thing Chris had absolutely never planned for was falling in love with his teaching assistant. Chris would never write something so cliched for any of the characters in his novel, so the fact that he’s become a walking cliché himself is a shameful secret he finds himself constantly trying to deny. But then he walks into his Chemistry lab section at 6 PM every Thursday and he looks at stupid Darren with his stupid riot of curls and stupidly compact frame and melodious voice and stupidly cute smile and he just falls all over again. Basically, he’s fucked.

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