"What the hell, Pansy?!" she yelled, hitting the table more forcefully than she anticipated and gathering the attention of half the Slytherins in the Great Hall.
"What is it?" inquired the brunette in a monotone, not even bothering to look up from the letter she was writing.
Daphne fumed at that.
"Is it true?" she asked, not bothering to lower her voice.
'And to hell with all the attention!'
Pansy finally deigned to look at the distressed blonde.
"You'd have to be more specific, Daph, I don't know what you're talking about…"
"Liar!" she hissed back, feeling her blood boil inside her veins and slapping the table again for good measure. "They saw you! With her!"
In her rage, she vaguely registered her sister rolling her eyes and leaving the Great Hall, muttering something under her breath, while her friends stayed behind gawking at the scene, no doubt to tell her the details later.
"Again, more specific Daph, there could be plenty of 'hers' to talk about…" was the only reply from the other girl.
'Oh, the nerve!'
"I'm talking about Luna fucking Lovegood, you dumb whore!"
Never mind that it was all the Great Hall listening to them now, not just the Slytherin table; she could already hear the rumour mill starting to fill in the gaps of the conversation, with one Romilda Vane in charge of the operation.
But she didn't care about that right now: if all of Hogwarts got to know that Pansy Parkinson was a cheating whore, that was ok, as long as Daphne was concerned.
'That will teach her something!'
Even after that insult - meant more to shook Pansy than actually hurt her - the other girl stayed calm and collected: the only sign that gave away she was now engaged in conversation was the slight tremor of her left arm, one Daphne had learned to read as impatience.
"Oh, that…" she replied, shrugging.
"Yes, that! Surprised I found out?! Well, you shouldn't: after all you took the liberty to fuck her in the middle of Slytherin's dungeon, during the day! Did you get off knowing people would see you? Did you want me to see you?"
Pansy smirked at that, aware all the attention was on her.
Even the few teachers who had made it in the Great Hall this early didn't intervene to stop the fight in behalf of the first years, who were all gaping, beat red at the interaction.
'They're all a bunch of nosy bitches.'
"Aren't you the one who gets off when people watch?" shot back Pansy, her grin getting wider as Daphne gaped at her "I remember quite clearly you begged me to take you on that same wall. Pity that it was at night and nobody found out. Well… now at least they know!"
"How dare you!" Daphne exploded, anger and embarrassment making her vision blur and her cheeks turn a rather pretty shade of red.
Pansy shrugged again, knowing that that would make Daphne even angrier.
"So you decided to fuck that weirdo to get back at me!" she shouted, after which there was a commotion from Gryffindor table as a feisty redhead jumped on her feet, yelling.
"You watch your mouth, you shallow bitch! Leave Luna out of this!"
"Afraid that can't be done, ginger" intervened Pansy, laughing "She's already been in, if you know what I mean."
Ginny blanched at that and shot a look at the Ravenclaw table, were people were straining their necks to intermittently look at the fight and at Luna, who was still seated and eating breakfast, seemly disinterested with whatever was happening around her.
"Well then, since you have already found another blonde to take care of your needs, you won't be needing my help anymore. Go to hell, Pansy, and bring that Loony with you!" she seethed and turned around, ready to leave.
"You shouldn't be this hostile to her, Daphne: she only did that to get your attention. She didn't even want me to touch her, at first…" Luna finally interjected, her dreamy voice carrying all the way to Daphne in the silent Great Hall.
Ginny covered her eyes, in despair.
At that was when Daphne completely lost it.
Since Pansy was the closest, her fury made her launch herself towards her, across the table and on the marble floor, knocking down several plates in the process.
The brunette tried to shrug her off and get up, but her grip was iron and she managed to keep her down, scratching every inch of skin she could find.
Nobody was brave enough to intervene and separate them, or maybe everyone was so morbidly taken with the whole affair to make it stop so soon.
Daphne didn't know what happened then: suddenly she wasn't trying to kill Pansy anymore, but many feet from there, charging the blonde Ravenclaw with all her might.
Then a blur of red, and a freckled face was hovering over her, screaming.
"You will not touch her! Am I clear?!"
The redhead then punched her, hard, and she bit back a cry as she struggled to free herself and reach the blond bitch behind her.
"For Merlin's sake, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!"
Minerva McGonagall had finally entered the Great Hall.
Immediately, Daphne felt herself being pulled away from the ginger by a spell and, in a matter of seconds, emerald robes were in her periphery and a deep sense of dread replaced the fury.
That was totally not how she had imagined the whole thing.
And, to make matters even worse, Loony Lovegood had not even suffered a scratch.
"What were you thinking?!" exploded Professor McGonagall, when they reached her office, her face livid.
"She started it!" exclaimed Ginny, pointing to Daphne, who was sporting a bloody nose and was glaring at Pansy.
"I don't care who started it, you are all to blame for the fight!" replied the woman "So, who would like to explain?"
A knock on the door, then Professor Snape joined them, an annoyed expression on his face.
"You sent for me, Minerva?"
"Yes, Severus. As you can see, two of your girls have decided to behave as a bunch of animals in the middle of breakfast today. I am appalled by their behaviour and I trust you to punish them accordingly."
The man survived the students silently, then:
"Who started it?"
"I did" spoke Daphne, looking at the floor.
"Was there a reason?"
The girl stayed silent.
"So? I don't have the patience or the time for these petty things. Was there a reason, or am I to assume you suffer from some mental instability?"
"It was a lover's quarrel.." mumbled the redhead, in the end.
Snape managed an unimpressed face.
"I couldn't care less for this kind of things, especially if it involves the Gryffindor house. Go away and solve your problems some place else, away from the first years. I don't want to see you."
Then, with a swift turn, he was gone.
Professor McGonagall was evidently unhappy with that.
"Well then, Miss Weasley, I guess it's your turn."
"But Professor! It's not fair! I've got nothing to do with this quarrel!" Ginny complained.
At that, Pansy snorted.
"As if we would step that low…"
"Miss Parkinson!" reprimanded Professor McGonagall, as the redhead looked ready to strangle her "Do show some respect!"
The girls calmed down, if barely.
"Then why, in the name of Morgana, were you punching Miss Greengrass, if you had nothing to do with it?" inquired the woman.
"I was just defending my friend Luna from that bitch."
"Language!" hissed the teacher, already sensing a headache forming.
And it was barely 9 in the morning.
"And what of Miss Lovegood? Am I missing something here?" she finally asked, taking off her glasses.
The three girls looked at each other, nobody wanting to spit out the details.
"Mm, she was also part of the quarrel. But she..um, didn't hit anyone." awkwardly explained Ginny, flushing.
Minerva rubbed her eyes and sighed in defeat.
"As Professor Snape so eloquently put it: solve these things some place else. I am going to let this pass, since I trust you all learned your lesson. If I find any of you getting into a fight again, there will be heavy consequences."
The three girls nodded and hurried out of the room.
Professor McGonagall sighed and picked up the picture on her desk: Amelia smiled back at her in her summer dress, their cottage a white dot in the distance.
'Lover's quarrels: remember when they were the biggest problem in the world? You would certainly have laughed at this situation...' she thought, smiling sadly at the picture.
She got up and straightened her spine; it was nine thirty in the morning and she was already exhausted.
'Time to teach the first years… I hope they can behave, for their sake.'
"So…" started Ginny, when the three of them were out of the door and almost at the staircase "Which one of you would like to apologize?"
The two Slytherins looked affronted at that.
"You better scram, ginger, before the dragon here roasts you!" Pansy said, patting amicably Daphne's shoulder.
"Don't touch me, you whore!" was the hissed reply from the blonde.
"Oh, come on Daph! This morning was definitely the most fun I had for the past month!"
Daphne stared at her.
"Fun? Did you not realize we are breaking up?" she screeched.
"In order to break up, we'd have to get together first: you do realize that, right?"
"We are! We've always been together!" huffed Daphne, throwing her hands in the air.
Afraid she'd never hear the end of the conversation if she moved, Ginny stayed frozen in place, barely breathing. Now she understood why her mum had become obsessed with those stupid love novels she had found stashed in the pantry once.
"Are we?" shot back Pansy, her breath becoming laboured "Because I don't recall you ever replying to my question all those years ago!"
"What?! Pansy we were eight at the time!" yelled the blonde, gathering a few annoyed glances from the near paintings "You asked me if I wanted to be your wife forever and ever!"
"Yes" interrupted the brunette "And you ran away without replying!"
"I ran away to get you a daisy to put in your hair! You kept that for three days straight, until your mum forced you to take it off!"
Pansy rolled her eyes.
"Because I thought that was your way to politely say no! I just wanted to keep something you gave me!"
"And then years later I gave you my fucking virginity! Isn't that enough of a proof that I wanted to be with you?"
All the paintings were now avidly listening, while Ginny had turned beat red; not that the two girls cared for any of them, anyway.
"But… You never replied to my question!" repeated feebly Pansy, visibly calming down "I thought you just wanted to have some fun!"
Daphne started pacing impatiently.
"Oh, bloody hell! Some fun? I have never looked at anyone else in my life. You've always been the one for me! And now, after all these years, I find out you've been frolicking around with other girls in the mean time?"
Pansy started to shake her head and took a step towards the blonde.
"No, it was just that one time, I swear!"
"Is that supposed to make me feel better? Because it doesn't!"
"No, I know… I just…" Pansy sighed, in defeat "I wanted you to feel jealous, so you'd actually admit that we are together."
Daphne blinked, shocked.
"Is it the only reason? Did you really think I don't love you?"
The brunette smiled sheepishly, making the blonde roll her eyes.
"You've never actually said it."
"Pansy Parkinson, you are the most oblivious and insufferable girl in the world." Daphne started, taking Pansy's hands in hers and bringing their lips together in a light kiss "But I love you for that. And, of course, I want to be your wife forever and ever."
At the brunette's dazzling smile, Ginny realized she was copiously crying at the scene and was not alone in that: all the paintings were, inconspicuously or not, wiping away their tears with tissues, tablecloths and, in some cases, pieces of armour.
'Well, time to go I suppose. Before someone thinks I'm a sap too.'
The two girls didn't notice her leaving, lost in each other's eyes, but that was for the better.
Now that Ginny knew there was no competition to be worried about, she made her way to Charms with a newfound energy and a light skip in her step.
Luna was still available, after all.
Time to set up a plan.
A/N: Hello everyone, hope you liked the short story! English is not my first language and this is not betaed, so all the mistakes belong to me. On that note, if someone's interested in some beta work just let me know, I have some stories I'm working on that I would like some help with. Anyway, thanks for reading and please let me know what you think!
Until next time,
Disclaimer: All the characters and settings belong to the brilliant J.K. Rowling.