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August 3rd, 2007


[info]accio_arse11:50 pm - FIC: When Thighs Attack! (NC-17)
Title: When Thighs Attack!
Rating: NC-17
Length: 5,200
Pairing(s): Minerva McGonagall/Xiomara Hooch, references to Xiomara Hooch/Poppy Pomfrey
Summary: Hooch’s thighs have been the subject of an unfortunate prank and McGonagall must help her. Silly PWP.
Warning(s): Unfaithfulness, magical teeth, bad language, wizarding porn, object insertion
Note: A really big thanks to my betas, schemingreader and electromoon. Any mistakes are mine, of course.

Written for featherxquill, for fem_exchange. NB Hooch is called ‘Xiomara’ here, because the recipient does so in her own fics, but she’s also sometimes called ‘Rolanda’.



It was just so tempting.

Minerva drummed her fingers on the oaken wood of her Headmistress’ desk. The problem was, she knew exactly what was concealed in that far drawer. The mere thought of it was enough to distract her terribly from… what was it she was supposed to be doing again? Ah, yes... working out Mr Filch’s annual ‘added peril’ allowance, based on the number of times he had been molested by the students this year. Really, it wouldn’t take much to distract her from that, would it?

But, still…

She had confiscated the ‘naughty parchments’ from the Gryffindor boys earlier that day. They’d been in the corner of the common room, sniggering and passing them around, when they should have been at class. Silly stuff, really - at least that had been her first impression when she’d looked at the picture on the top parchment.

Three young women in pale lacy bras and knickers were jumping on a huge four-poster bed, walloping at each other with pillows. With each bounce their breasts jiggled and quivered as they whooped and giggled in high-spirited glee.

Suddenly, one pillow exploded. Feathers danced here and there in a flurry of white fluff. The young ladies clutched at each other in the confusion. Abruptly, the image stopped mid-motion, the three women frozen with their arms around each other’s sinuous waists. Then the feathers disappeared, the picture rewound, and the women were back at the start again, shrieking, bouncing, jiggling.

Yes, quite exceptionally silly, snorted Minerva, her eyes drawn to the nipples of the dark-haired young woman, just visible through the lace of her bra. It had something to do with sex, she supposed, but really. Only adolescent nitwits had time to waste on that kind of thing. Hogwarts didn’t just run itself.

Then she turned the page, and the sight of the two positively naked women on the parchment underneath brought her thoughts screeching to a halt. Minerva’s breath hardened and she felt an unaccustomed heat flush across her face as they launched themselves at each other in startling, lurid close-up. Instinctively, her hand went across her mouth, as if for protection, and she found herself biting the backs of her fingers as she watched the women kissing, licking and even sucking on each other’s bodies. One of them made her slippery way down the other’s curved stomach, nuzzling briefly into the tussock of hair at the base, before extending a darkly pink tongue and plunging right into the hot, wet, crinkling folds between the other’s widening legs. With a flicker the magical image halted, sped backwards, and then they were kissing, sucking and licking all over again; a continuous loop of hot, wet mouths and sweat-drenched skin.

A series of thunderous knocks rattled her outer door; Minerva jumped at least six inches into the air. Checking herself for any visible signs of her recent, inexcusable dereliction of duty, she stiffened her back and prepared to welcome the visitor.

“Enter!” she declared.

The door flung open. It was Hogwarts’ Quidditch instructor. Her short grey hair was mussed and her flying robes hung off one shoulder.

“Minerva! Thank bloody Nora you’re in! I’m absolutely desperate!”

“What on earth is wrong?”

“Those bloody Hufflepuff ratbags - that’s what’s wrong! They’ve only gone and done it again!”

Madam Hooch made her way from the door over to the Headmistresses’ desk, walking slowly and carefully, her legs as far apart as she could hold them.

“Xiomara! Do you have an injury?” asked Minerva, with obvious concern.

The other woman gritted her teeth.

“Injury? I wish! The first years smeared Teeth-U-Like all along my broomstick again, just before the start of the lesson. You think it might have got a little boring the second time around, but oh, no, the little fuckers apparently thought it was even funnier…”

“Language, Xiomara!”

“Come on! Give me a break! You’re not the one with dentures for thighs!”

Minerva pursed her lips. “And how may I help? Wouldn’t you be better off in the hospital wing?”

Xiomara looked uncomfortable at that; even more so than she had while attempting to walk with teeth between her legs.

“Well, that’s the thing. Poppy and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms at the moment.”

“I see,” replied Minerva.

For the last six months, the wild, tempestuous relationship between the school nurse and the Quidditch instructor had been the talk of the staff room. There’d been some humdingers of fights between them, even audible through the solid staff quarters’ doors, although their reconciliations afterwards were almost as fearsome. Minerva had once had to beat a tactful retreat when she popped into the hospital wing and heard their noisy and increasingly explicit activities from behind one of the shielded beds.

“I have the ointment here, from before,” said Xiomara, wincing as she delved into a hip pocket situation uncomfortably near to her problem. “I just need someone else to rub the damn gloop onto me. The magic doesn’t work if I do it myself.”

“Very well, then,” said Minerva. “Do you need to lie down?”

“Sure - how about on your desk? Lots of room there.”

Indeed there was. Minerva’s desk was the very model of order and cleanliness.

Before the Headmistress could say anything, Xiomara had hoisted herself onto it, splayed-legged and backwards, unhooked the front of her robes, torn off her flying breeches, and flung everything onto the floor. Dressed only in her sports vest, knickers and shiny leather knee-boots, she leant backwards onto her elbows, arching her neck in frustration.

“Oh, Minerva, do it quickly! It’s like an army of Hungarian Horntails marching up my thighs!”

The unctuous green salve had a distinct herbal aroma; it tingled inside Minerva’s nostrils as she dipped the tip of her finger into it. She moved towards the witch squirming upon her desk, and was suddenly and horribly aware of Xiomara’s nipples, clearly visible beneath the stretched fabric of her vest, puckering the fabric and hinting at the circles of darker skin underneath.

A sudden fear shot through the Headmistress – but, no, it couldn’t be true - could it? Minerva’s heart speeded up, thumping hard and tight. Did Xiomara know about those parchments hidden in her drawer? Was that the real reason why she had come to her to perform this obviously intimate task? Had Xiomora somehow found out that she’d been watching women touch each other?

No. She was being ridiculous. The Headmistress took a deep breath, inhaling the tantalising medicine as she tried to relax. She really was letting her imagination get the better of her.

Hurry up!” urged the other witch. “For pity’s sake, get the stuff out of the pot and between my legs!”

Xiomara spread herself even wider, and Minerva’s eyes opened at the display of toned muscle and thigh leading inexorably all the way to the edge of her snug underwear. Through the stretching fabric of her knickers, as Xiomara humped and wriggled, Minerva clearly saw the mound of her lips and the divide between them.

And, of course, she saw the teeth.

Little, gnashing teeth; waving like a dozen pearly flags on either side of her inner thighs. Her finger covered in aromatic green slime, Minerva put a finger out to daub the first one. Almost there… she was almost touching the tiny, snapping, sharp little tooth…

“Careful, now!” bellowed a voice above her head.

“I’ll be done a lot sooner if I can have some peace and quiet!” snapped Minerva, angry at herself for flinching.

Steeling herself again, she put her hand out and soothed a little of the greasy green unguent on. The tooth didn’t feel at all hard or sharp, but warm and soft, like skin; just as she expected Xiomara’s thigh to feel. The gentle flesh gave slightly under her touch. The whole process was surprisingly satisfying.

“Oh, that’s soooo bloody gooood…” sighed Xiomara. Her agonised writhing finally ground to a halt, and one of her legs relaxed slightly into the table. “Do more, please do more.”

Minerva obliged, tentatively smearing the sweet-smelling ointment all the way up Xiomara’s left thigh, while the other witch groaned and whimpered and sighed her approval. The teeth became smaller and pinker as they disappeared under the magical goo.

“You are wonderful. Did anybody ever tell you that? You are wonderful. Ohhhhh….

“Yes, dear,” replied Minerva, dryly, although a thrill of satisfaction shot through her at all the strange noises she was making Xiomara produce. Those groans were doing odd things to her, somewhere just beneath her stomach. She supposed it might just be delayed indigestion from the second helping of porridge she’d had at breakfast. It definitely wasn’t anything else.

That was the left leg finished with - or almost. A few rogue marauders, tiny and gleaming white, trailed a toothy path into the scooped hollow between Xiomara’s leg and body, and then disappeared underneath the seam of her underwear. Minerva could just see their little tips dancing through the fabric of her knickers.

“You’re amazing, Minerva… feels bloody amazing…”

Minerva wasn’t sure that she was quite amazing enough to even consider putting her fingers in there, the forbidden zone underneath Xiomara’s underpants, not even for a work colleague of over twenty years. Really, how could she ever look the woman in the face again once she’d smeared green goo onto her privates? No. She didn’t think so.

She took up another handful of sweet green gunk and advanced on Xiomara’s right thigh. The inside of her upper leg was still densely populated with merrily waving, fully-grown teeth. She tenderly smoothed the goo on, feeling the long, lean thigh muscles beneath Xiomara’s soft skin as angry teeth faded and disappeared. This really was rather relaxing. She felt herself lean into the other woman’s body.

“Ahhhhh, so good, Minerva, so good…”

Oh dear. She was coming perilously close to the top of Xiomara’s thigh again, to the tiny trail of teeth leading into her knickers.

“Don’t stop, Minerva. Please don’t stop… so bloody good… almost there...”

Xiomara was flat out on the table now, her lean legs as far apart as she could stretch them, her voice a husky tremble.

“Ahem.” Minerva stood back and cleared her throat, unsure of how to proceed.

“Minerva?” Xiomara’s head raised slowly from the table. Her yellow eyes were half-lidded, the pupils glutted with pleasure. “You’ve stopped…?”

“I’m not sure I can continue any further,” said Minerva. Her voice sounded suspiciously squeaky in her ears. “The rest of the teeth are - in there.”

“Are you kidding me?” Xiomara’s weather-lined face crunched up into an expression of incomprehension. “It’s not like you haven’t got one yourself.”

“I’m well aware…”

“In fact -” Xiomara propped herself up onto her elbows. Her chest rose and fell, deeply, as she gathered her fierceness in. “You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

“What?”

“You heard what I said.” Xiomara slipped off the table like an eel and advanced towards the other witch.

Minerva, reversing against a bookcase, was incredibly aware that she was being backed into a corner by a member of staff clad only in their underwear and a pair of knee-high flying boots. A heady, intoxicating smell drifted up towards her; Xiomara’s naked thighs, covered in shiny, dripping salve.

Despite the idiotic situation, Minerva felt a frisson of excitement shoot down through her groin and tremble in her legs. It was as if one of those confiscated parchments had come to life. Just inches away, there was so much incredibly naked, adult female skin on display, more than she’d been close to in years. Xiomara’s lightly muscled arms were almost surrounding her. Her delicate collarbone was just in front, like a temptation, waiting to be touched, and below that there was the shadow of the valley of her breasts.

Minerva’s head pounded and rushed in anticipation, the wafting aroma of the salve mixing with impossible arousal. Just a moment longer.... the gap of the warmth of their bodies was about to be breached... skin, so much skin… she could almost feel the explosion of their first touch…

One second more and she’d be meeting Xiomara’s flushed lips, kissing and sucking, joining tongues until little jolts of excitement blitzed behind her eyes, then kissing Xiomara’s long, curving neck, down between her small, muscular breasts, and down further, over her well-toned stomach, and down even further, rolling down the waistband of her knickers to lick inside…

Then the image would freeze, rewind, and they’d be doing it all over again, kissing…

No!

Minerva McGonagall, what is wrong with you today? Have you entirely lost your marbles?

But at some point during her brief fantasy Minerva had bent forward, her eyes closed and her face leaning into the imaginary kiss.

Oh!

Minerva nearly panicked as eager lips met hers. A warm body was pressing close and hands were grabbing at the heavy fabric of her robe, pulling her in. Her eyes flicked open and she gasped into the mouth of the other witch. An overwhelming rush of blood spun around her head as she felt Xiomara’s warm lips on hers and a tongue push into her mouth, firm and seeking.

How was this happening?

Her legs were completely crumpling underneath her. She could dimly sense the pointy edges of many books digging into her back; only the weight of Xiomara’s body was still pinning her against the tall bookcase. Then Xiomara grasped her by the hips, something tilted, and the floor rushed up to meet her. Minerva squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the inevitable impact - which never came. She was hovering; a hair’s breadth away from the floor, just floating on a thin cushion of air. Oh, that’s right. Quidditch safety charm. Minerva gently drifted to the ground, onto one of the thick woollen rugs dotted all around her office.

Now, I wonder what colour yours are…” Xiomara was sitting at her feet, a grin tilting her face as she fiddled with the edge of Minerva’s robe.

The thick green fabric was shoved unceremoniously up her legs; Minerva felt the velvet of her robe brush little hairs all along the way. Goosebumps ran along her skin right up to behind her neck. Before she could come to her senses or raise a protest, a hand, no, several expert fingers had reached her serviceable tartan knickers, working the fabric across the lips of her vagina, and Minerva dissolved into wonderful unaccustomed pleasure.

Without even realising it she opened her legs further, melting into the floor beneath her. All the awareness in her body centred on those few fingers, touching her hot sharp core, creating a delicious itch that simply demanded to be relieved. Shivers of molten magic shot up towards her nipples, tingling and…

Ahh!

…without warning, the wonderful sensations were gone.

“Don’t stop,” Minerva begged. Only a faint whisper of her words emerged. She dragged her head off the ground to see what had happened.

But deft, capable hands were already grabbing the fabric on each side of her hips, and with a swift tug, Minerva’s tartan bloomers were being stripped from her all too willing person.

“Yes! Oh, please…”

She lifted herself off the ground to help, the material scraping all down her legs, teasing along her sensitised inner thighs, tickling behind her knees and tangling on one of her shoes. She kicked away her knickers, impatiently, but it was firmly caught on the sturdy heel of her left foot. Xiomara’s head was hidden behind the thick rolls of robes which had bunched up around her waist.

“Yes, please,” she confirmed to the unseen source of pleasure somewhere between her legs, her snagged knickers forgotten.

Before she’d even finished that second word, something talented and alive was in her, probing deep within, and she knew that those silly parchments had it all wrong because she hadn’t possibly been prepared for anything to feel as good as this, whatever this amazing thing was.

So much sensation it was almost too much to bear. It reached down into her nerve endings so that they screamed and begged for more all at the same time. A sweet run of sweat started to build up on her stomach, behind her knees, between her buttocks, dripping ticklishly into unseen places. Far away, a wall of release beckoned, distant as yet, but slowly and surely approaching. It was liquid and it was unstoppable, like the lake forcing its banks after a warm summer storm. Her whole body prickled hotly with every second that it drew closer.

Minerva grasped the thick woollen strands underneath her. It was coming. It was here. The first wave of orgasm convulsed between her legs, radiating out across her body and scorching her skin.

“Mmmmmmmuuuugh!”

The next shudder hit, with even fiercer intensity… and another… and another… They seemed to go on forever, rippling down her thighs, up her belly, flushing across her face. And another… and another… finally dying away, leaving Minerva limp and wrung out, a casualty of Xiomara’s incredible tongue. Minerva lay inert and incapable on the rug.

The other witch emerged from between her legs, wiping her glistening face on something voluminous, lace-trimmed and tartan.

Crawling up Minerva’s body, Xiomara stretched forward for a kiss, a smug little smile on her face. Minerva could smell her own juices a split second before she tasted them – then Xiomara’s tongue had pushed its way in again, and the tang of her raw self flooded her mouth, sharp and sweet. As Xiomora leant onto her, Minerva’s nipples protested, aching and tingling from her recent orgasm.

“Whass’ at?” Xiomara suddenly broke from the kiss, rolling away to grab something from the lower shelf of the bookcase. She started to lazily twirl the golden, cylindrical item through the fingers of one hand with a thoughtful, considering look.

Minerva’s eyes widened. The thing that Xiomara was so casually twirling about was only Ceriddwion’s Mystical and Calamitous Carrot, supposedly once the property of Helga Hufflepuff, one of the esteemed founders of Hogwarts. Granted, its magic had all but been burnt out by now, but still - it was a serious item of magical heritage, not a toy.

Minerva drew in her breath. “What do you intend to do with that?” she said, dauntingly.

At least, she’d intended to sound daunting. It was slightly difficult with a mostly naked witch lying on top of you, leaning in for another kiss. Minerva groaned as Xiomara nibbled at the edge of her lips, tickling and teasing. How had every inch of her body become so incredibly receptive? Minerva suddenly twitched in alarm - what in Merlin’s name was that pitter-pat drumming away over her groin?

Teeth.

The tiny, marching teeth were still dancing away inside Xiomara’s knickers. Minerva felt them waltz against her naked pubis, tapping a mysterious toothy rhythm through Xiomara’s smooth cotton gusset. Every micro-movement played havoc with that part of her that was still so open and vulnerable, so swollen and sopping after her recent activities. Minerva’s hands crept down – around Xiomara’s waist, over the edges of her hipbones, until one hand had insinuated itself between their bodies and their crotches, and over the tantalising teeth trapped behind the thin of fabric of Xiomara’s knickers.

Minerva found one tooth and gently circled it. It was a lively little rascal.

Xiomara shuddered under her fingers. “Oh bloody hell Minerva! That itches to fuck…. bloody sodding unbearable.”

The jar of ointment had rolled onto the floor nearby; Minerva reached out for it. Stripping herself of her white cotton knickers with incredible speed, Xiomara gratefully laid herself out for treatment on the rug, legs akimbo. Her vivid, pinkly flushed labia poked out, squarely aimed forward, causing a weight of urge to blossom up inside Minerva. She wanted to bend forward; to smell and taste those intimate, inviting places, to touch Xiomara where it would make her sigh and scream, just as she had done for her.

But not yet - she didn’t fancy the prospect of happy little teeth flailing sharply quite so close to her face.

She slathered green goo on the first tooth; at the junction of the thigh, through the tangle of greying hair, Xiomara wriggling under her finger.

“Merlin, yes, yes!” Xiomara’s hand was stifling her cries.

Goo on the next tooth; a rotational little devil, harder to pin down. Got it! Minerva watched as it disappeared, becoming pink and smooth under the insinuating follicles of pubic hair. Closer now… Every tooth brought her nearer to the lip’s divide and the scarlet folds held within, as engorged and ruffled as a display of ornamental foliage.

“Yes, yes, do them all! They’re so damn… urgh!” Straining with exertion, Xiomara dug her heels into the floor in a brutal effort to keep still.

The last tooth stood proud. It frisked its merry way at the very apex of Xiomara’s mound just above where the lips met, covering her sensitive nubbin underneath. Minerva lifted her finger towards the tooth, hesitated and stopped. She would never get this chance again. Slowly, she lowered her head, breathing in the camphor, the clary sage, the sapient pearwood; the forest of fragrances radiating from Xiomara’s tangle of hair. Her tongue gently reached out…

The tooth vibrated briefly under her tongue, a token protest, then relaxed in complete surrender to the attack. As Minerva began to suck, it felt like eating ice cream with a metal spoon on a cold winter’s day; hideously wrong and yet somehow completely right.

“Ohmybloodyhell…ohmy…” Xiomara tailed off into a groaned string of incoherencies.

Minerva’s tongue worked lower, into the forbidden, moist pinkness. She was enveloped in it all; the taste of Xiomara, unique and almost edible, the damp treasure all around her mouth, the sounds and shudders of Xiomara’s appreciation. The lone tooth continued to rotate and pulsate; Minerva could feel its frantic vibrations through the walls.

Minerva began to use her tongue to lick with long, considered strokes, pushing flatly at the muscles below the two sets of lips. Every second or third stroke she brushed by the dancing tooth, as if by accident, and every time she did so Xiomara twitched, then simmered back into a puddle of limpidity.

“Fuck me,” murmured Xiomara. “Fuck me.”

Minerva felt something poke her in the shoulder. Startled, she looked up.

“With this,” whispered Xiomara, proffering the Mystical and Calamitous Carrot. The mysterious, approximately carrot-shaped device was smooth, golden, rounded at both ends and slightly curved. “Stick it up inside me. I’ll come better that way.” Xiomara waved it again.

“What? No!” said Minerva, shocked and drawing back.

“No?” Xiomara looked down the length of her body at the other witch. Minerva’s reply seemed incomprehensible to her. “But look how it bends - you can even ride on it at the same time.”

She reached down and had inserted it before the horrified Minerva could stop her, or even grasp the full possibility of what she was doing. What if some residual magic still remained in the Mystical Carrot? Nobody had ever been able to figure out what the Carrot had even been for in the first place - and now Xiomara was putting it in there! Minerva was used to Xiomara’s offhand attitude to danger – her icy winter swims in the lake with the merpeople, the competitive dragon castrating, and she’d even heard rumours about involvement in illegal Runespoor tossing – but surely this was reckless, even for her?

Apparently not. Xiomara exhaled as the Carrot sunk partway in, squirming her hips and making clear sounds of appreciation.

“Oh, it’s cold - but warming up nicely,” she sighed, jiggling it about inside her. One smiling eye opened at a peek towards Minerva, then rolled back as she groaned in enjoyment. “Mmmmmm.”

Still shoving the Carrot in and out of her with one hand, Xiomara began to guide Minerva’s hips closer towards her with the other.

“You know – mmmm - what would be – huhh – even better?” Xiomara panted for breath. “You on top – humhhh – on top of me – mmmm.”

A heady mixture of sex and salve dripped from the air. The magical object was moving inches away from Minerva’s entrance, brushing at her mound with its round golden end, tickling at her pubic hair. Oh dear. It seemed as if she was going to be quite as reckless as Xiomara, after all.

She lowered herself a little further, and Xiomara paused while Minerva let the smooth metal breach the entrance to her vagina. There was a slight resistance, she pushed down further – and then the muscles gave - she was penetrated. Her inner walls were deliciously, tinglingly sensitive.

“Oh bloodyfuck! I felt that! Minerva, I can feel you!”

“I – feel – you – too!” replied Minerva, breathing hard from only the top half of her lungs. The slightest movement of Xiomara’s body was transmitted through the rigid metal rod stuck up inside them both - including the crazy rotations of that tiny tooth, still buzzing away between them.

The Mystic Carrot thrust deeper and deeper, slipping easily in the rush of Minerva’s juices. In her deep groinal muscles Minerva felt a slow, wonderful pressure beckoning; a familiar feeling now - the signs of an oncoming orgasm. Just a touch, just a nudge, and it was going to shoot waves of pleasure through her body. Oh how she wanted, how she craved that again. Minerva sped up, slicking her hips back and forward, relishing each grind. She felt fingers tickle her pubis – it was Xiomara’s hand, crushed between their bodies as she frantically wanked herself. For a second, Minerva watched Xiomara’s face twist in ecstasy, then she too thrust a hand down and found a place beside her own clitoris, an urgent spot that demanded to be rubbed and rotated and nuzzled.

She was almost there now - oh, Merlin, yes, here it came - just as amazing as the first time. Minerva dug her head into Xiomara’s shoulder and their muffled cries joined until both witches lay still and exhausted.

Would this madness never end?


********



A cautious knock sounded at the door of the Headmistress’ office.

“Come in!” commanded Minerva, barely looking up from her paperwork.

Poppy Pomfrey, the school nurse, sidled partway into the room, one hand on the doorknob.

Minerva felt remorse batten on her like a bloodsucking leech. It was only yesterday that she’d done those things with Xiomara, but the shame seemed to have been with her for months now. To have had no thought of her responsibility to others, to the school, to Poppy – to just have given in, overcome by one reckless moment of lust. To have kissed Xiomara – to have kissed her there to have made such improper use of a item of Hogwarts heritage! How could she have done it?

“Poppy!” she managed, in something like her usual efficient tones. “And what can I do for you?”

“I wanted to talk to you about yesterday, Minerva. About Xiomara.”

Oh, dear Merlin, no. Xiomara must have told her. Minerva had a pretty shrewd idea of where this conversation was heading. Renewed waves of guilt burnt her from head to toe. She didn’t seem to be able to move a muscle; even breathing had become oddly difficult.

Poppy glanced over her shoulder, back down the spiral staircase. “Oh, here she comes now.”

Xiomara, bounding and breathless, ran up the last few stairs and into the Headmistresses’ office. She stood there, panting. Under her spiky grey hair, her cheeks were the colour of damsons.

Minerva’s stomach leapt into an even tighter knot of fear. Oh no. Xiomara and Poppy were about to have one of their infamous lovers’ quarrels. They would scream loudly and at length, and then they might even throw things at each other – they had been known to do that. Minerva scanned the room. There were quite a few valuable items within easy reach, all horribly easy to break – and she’d only herself to blame.

Xiomara bent over, catching her breath, trying to speak. Finally, she managed to lift her head.

“Meanttosaythankyou - for doing the teeth thing,” gasped Xiomara, the words all coming out on top of each other. “Very kind.” She collapsed again.

“Yes, the new Hufflepuffs are little terrors this year,” said Poppy, fondly patting Xiomara on the shoulder and smiling at her.

“You’re welcome. Absolutely no problem at all, any time at all,” Minerva replied, gushing slightly in her relief.

“Terrible imposition, though,” continued Poppy, obviously embarrassed. “I don’t know what Xiomara was playing at, making you do such things for her. I’ve told her that in the future she must come straight to the hospital wing when she needs anything of that sort done. I really am terribly sorry.”

“Poppy! Stop it!” Xiomara’s face screwed up in embarrassment.

“Anyway, next time she interrupts you like that, just send her to me, and I’ll do the needful.”

Poppy!” Xiomara almost grunted in her frustration.

“Well, Headmistress, I’ll leave you to your work, then,” said Poppy, moving towards the exit.

Xiomara began to follow the nurse, then hesitated. She threw a shifty glance back to the doorway, just to make sure that Poppy was out of range, then, with a few lean-legged bounds, already completely recovered from her dash upstairs, she was over by Minerva’s side.

“About yesterday,” she whispered into Minerva’s ear, her short grey hair tickling at Minerva’s cheek.

Minerva pulled back. There were several good reasons not to get so close to Xiomara again.

“Poppy told me just today – the bauxine sap in my green ointment can cause certain reactions. You know. Sexy reactions. Gives a girl the horn. Uncontrollably. You know.”

Thank you, sweet Merlin! That explained everything. She’d been acting under a magical compulsion! Bizarre potions accidents happened all the time, and the victims were never held responsible for what they’d done under the influence. Minerva breathed freely for the first time in twenty one hours.

A finely-lashed, yellow eye winked at her from a still unsettlingly close range.

“Oh, don’t worry! I told Poppy that it hadn’t affected you. No problem getting her to believe me, of course. You’re much too professional for any of that sort of carry on.”

Xiomara leant forward again and brought her voice down to a husky undertone.

“Our little secret, eh?”

She brushed a brief kiss across Minerva’s cheek, then was gone, striding away, taking the stairs three at a time.

Really. Of course Minerva was incredibly relieved, and pleased that she didn’t have to deal with the aftermath of a staff ruckus, but now she found herself strangely piqued that Poppy had just assumed her incapable of any kind of interest in sex, at all. Didn’t she know how difficult it was for a hard-working Headmistress like herself with very high personal standards to find anyone suitable to have a relationship with?

Minerva hand went towards the forbidden drawer; the one with the contraband images full of naked, moving ladies. This time, she reached below the parchments, to her secret issue of Magical Miscellanies and Mart underneath. It was mostly full of garish advertisements for ‘Enhancingg the length of yuur wand!’ or ‘Erning Galleons!!! From the komfort of yur own home!!!’ but at the back of the magazine there were rows upon rows of tiny personal ads for people seeking romantic partners.

First there were ‘wizards seeking witches’, then ‘witches seeking wizards’. It wasn’t until right at the end, even after the ‘centaurs seeking goblins’ and ‘sphinxes seeking toads’ that there was an extremely small section entitled ‘witches seeking witches’.

Taking up her longest and most feathery quill, Minerva paused a long few minutes. Finally, she began to write.

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