Terrible day anon, and that is extremely generous... I know creativity isn't a faucet. But if some Hansy lightening bolt struck you, I could not would not complain.
The thing Harry hated most about Pansy Parkinson was the way she pushed her hair back when she was reading. She’d been coming into the same coffee shop he liked for three weeks, always ordering the same thing, always sitting in the broken down green arm chair by the window with the spider plant. She’d kick her shoes off, tuck one foot under her, and read her book for an hour, then leave. And the whole time she shoved her hair back behind one ear only to have it fall forward again. She’d do it over and over again for the whole hour and he kept seeing the motion out of the corner of his eye and it distracted him.
He was supposed to be reviewing a long series of dull regulations. There were rules for Aurors - so many rules - and most of them hadn’t been updated since 1479. In 1479 some poor sucker had been asked to review them all, and had.
Apparently it was his turn to be the sucker.
He hated it.
He didn’t like fighting dark wizards. The idea had seemed noble when he’d been fifteen but now he thought he might have changed his mind and being asked to read through pages and pages of this garbage and make suggestions for changes wasn’t making the job any more appealing. He’d taken to abandoning the Ministry offices to work here where the coffee was better because there was no way any human being could read through this stuff without coffee. He’d asked Hermione for help and she’d laughed at him - actually laughed - and told him no friendship was great enough to take that on.
And he’d been doing fine until Pansy had starting appearing. Every little shove of her hair distracted him, and then he’d realize he’d been staring at her cute nose and her perfect lips and her smart little skirts for ten minutes and he’d force his eyes back to the parchment in front of him.
Then she’d push that hair back again.
He finally couldn’t stand it and on a Monday at 2:37 in the afternoon he shoved his hand in her face with the elastic hair tie he’d taken from the table where Hermione had left it when she’d gone up to Ron’s room the night before. “If you tied that mess back you’d stop having to play with it,” he said.
She looked slowly up from her book and met his eyes for so long he began to squirm under that gaze. “Potter,” she said at last. She plucked the elastic from his fingers, placed it between the pages of her book, and closed the cover with a snap. “What’s it to you?”
“You’re bothering me,” he said, realizing how stupid that sounded as soon as the words left his lips.
“So?” she asked.
He had to bluster on now. He’d trapped himself. “I have to read this,” he said. He had the day’s pages in his other hand. They were confidential. He couldn’t just go about leaving them on coffee shop tables. “I can’t focus with you around.”
She shrugged. “So stay in your office,” she said.
“I hate my office.” Sometimes you only hear the truth when you say it out loud, and all the ways he’s resented this work, and all the ways being an Auror was a letdown, and all the ways he didn’t want to ever have to fight a Dark wizard again crystalized in that one sentence and he sank down into the hard, wooden chair directly opposite her and said again, “I hate it.”
The spider plant brushed against his cheek and he batted it away with annoyance. Pansy reached over and took the pages out of his hand and skimmed them. “You read through this on purpose?” she asked.
“It’s my job,” he said helplessly.
“So quit,” she said. “You’re rich aren’t you?”
Harry nodded, though he still felt poor. He still felt like the kid wearing ill-fitting hand-me-downs and he suspected he always would. Her face softened for a moment and he wondered bitterly which of the ‘Poor Harry’ unauthorized biographies she’d read. They ranged from sentimental to salacious and none of them did more than flirt with the truth but most liked to dwell on the horrific Muggle parenting he’d endured. Abuse sold.
She slipped her book down into her bag, put her foot back into her shoe, and stood up. “Good,” she said. “Since you’re rich you can afford to take me to dinner.”
“It’s the middle of the afternoon,” Harry said. “I have to go back to - “
“Ugh,” she said. “You do not. Are you taking me on a date or not?”
Harry decided he was. He most emphatically was. And he did. The Ministry sent three owls demanding the classified and confidential files back and one Howler denouncing him for quitting after they’d made a special accommodation for a man with no N.E.W.T.s Pansy sent one back.
He watched her write it.
She kept shoving her hair back behind one ear and he thought how much he loved that absent-minded gesture.