FIC: "Behind the Masks" for anguis_1 Recipient:anguis_1 Author/Artist: ??? Title: Behind The Masks Rating: R/NC-17 Pairings: Gregory Goyle/Marietta Edgecombe, mention of past Greg/Pansy Parkinson Word Count: ~5500 Warnings/Content Information: *[frottage, semi-clothed sex, minor Hermione-bashing, minor Pansy-bashing]*. Summary: Falmouth Falcons' Beater Gregory Goyle would never be the cleverest man in the room, but he wasn't quite as dim as people believed. Now if only he could get the team's new Healer, Marietta Edgecombe, to see that too. Author's/Artist's Notes:anguis_1, it was a pleasure writing for you – I'd never written either of these characters before, so it was a great experience to try my hand at both of them. I hope you like the results.
Much gratitude and thanks to my incredible brain stormers and hand holders: R & K & K2 & M, all of whom helped me figure out the whos as well as the wherefores and whys of this fic, and wouldn't let it defeat me, and my betas: K & K2 (again!) plus J for making it so much better than it was. And of course, much love to our ever-patient mod, bethbethbeth, who puts up with my tardiness year after year.
Gregory Goyle narrowed his eyes at the sound of his wooden Beater's bat meeting the iron surface of the Bludger, watching it careen away from his team and towards the Catapults' Chasers. It was a good sound, a comforting sound, a sound that made him feel proud. There was nothing he liked more than to be outdoors, high above the pitch on his broom, working with his fellow Falcons...
He swung at the second Bludger as it came zooming towards him, sending it soaring back into the knot of Catapults, narrowly missing Chaser Fox. She swerved out of the way at the last minute, missing her chance to sink the Quaffle.
Greg smiled to himself as he heard the crowd — at least the Falcons' fans — roaring with approval. He definitely liked that sound too. He was well aware that he was a man of few skills — his father, Gethin, had made sure to drill that lesson home often enough — so any approval was music to his ears.
Once he'd believed (courtesy of his dad) that the only way to get ahead was to be a hard man, a tough man, all brawn and no brains. Someone to be a good soldier for his betters. He knew he wasn't the cleverest of blokes, but the loss of his best mate at the Battle of Hogwarts, the aftermath of the War, and life on probation for crimes perpetrated as both a member of Dolores Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad and the Carrows' Inner Circle had taught him otherwise.
Now he thought for himself rather than looking to people like Draco Malfoy — or his father, still locked away in Azkaban, still spouting Voldemort's twisted philosophies as if their side hadn't lost the war. He'd spent his whole life believing he was thick, dim stupid, —but time in rehabilitation had taught him otherwise. Gregory Goyle would never be the cleverest man in the room, but he wasn't quite as dim as people thought.
Still, Greg knew he was overly large, and built for hitting things — just not his fellow Wizards if he could help it. Being a Beater for the Falcons was certainly a right step in that direction. The team motto: "Let Us Win, But If We Cannot Win, Let Us Break A Few Heads" suited him to a T, but now he left that part of him behind as soon as he exited the playing field.
At least he tried. He was no angel, just a rehabilitated devil. Sometimes things didn't quite go as planned, but he kept his nose clean, and his toes on the right side of the law, and that's all that mattered.
Squinting in the bright afternoon sun, Greg tried to suss out where the Bludgers had got to. He saw a movement out of the corner of his eye...
Then there was a sickening crunch as one of them slammed straight into his head, courtesy of Catapults' Beater Williams. Greg felt himself being thrown off his broom, then he was plummeting down like a very large boulder. Before he could manage to get out his wand to slow his fall, he'd hit the ground and everything went black.
"Gregory? Gregory, can you hear me?"
Greg groaned at the sound, slowly attempting to open his eyes. He was lying flat on his back on a firm surface while someone loomed over him, limned in bright light like a halo. Bright red-gold curls came into focus, framing a pale, pretty, feminine face with large, brown eyes. Dressed in light green robes, she looked like one of the angels that flitted about in an ancient painting by some Italian bloke that had hung on the walls of Hogwarts.
Perhaps I've died and gone to heaven, he thought, before managing to rasp, "Are you an angel?"
She gave him a small smile and shook her head, curls bouncing lightly on her shoulders. "No, Gregory. I'm your new Team Healer, Healer Edgecombe. You've had a very bad fall and a blow to the head. Can you wiggle your toes for me, please?"
He complied, although it hurt to do so. He followed all of her instructions, moving various appendages and body parts until she let out a noise of approval. There were lights shone into his eyes, then pokings and proddings with assorted instruments, followed by a succession of foul tasting potions.
"Can you remember anything at all?" the Healer finally asked.
"Was playing against the Catapults, then—" Greg furrowed his brow. It hurt to do so. "Then a Bludger cracked me in the head?"
She nodded. "That's right. I'm afraid you've got a concussion. You're lucky it wasn't worse given everything that happened to you, especially that fall."
"Reckon I've got a very hard skull," he replied. "Been told that often enough."
That got a laugh out of her. "You're going to have to stay off the field for a little while. Until you're better. Do you have anyone who can get you home and watch you for a few days?"
Greg started to shake his head in dissent, but it hurt too much. "No, not really," he admitted with a wince. His mother and his best mate were dead, his father in gaol (not that the old man would have ever wanted to play nursemaid to anyone), and he generally kept to himself when not playing on the team. For a brief time, there had been Pansy Parkinson, but that had gone sour quickly enough.
"All right then." Healer Edgecombe pursed her lips in thought. "I can have you admitted to St Mungo's for observation tonight, and then, if you're well enough to go home, I'll let you do that tomorrow. After that, we can work something out between us — what's a team Healer if not to keep an eye on her patients?" She patted Greg's arm; her fingers were warm against his clammy skin. "Does that sound all right to you?"
All he really wanted to do at that moment was to lie still with his eyes closed, and rest until the assorted aches and pains went away. Still, he liked the feel of her hand on his arm and the sound of her voice was soothing. "Yeah, sure. You're the Healer," he said. "Whatever you think is best."
Greg's stay at St Mungo's had lasted all of thirty-six hours before he'd been allowed to leave. True to her word, Healer Edgecombe had taken him home, making certain he was in a fit enough state to be left alone, and making him promise to check in with her every six hours or so to ensure he was okay.
Her given name, he discovered, was Marietta and she'd been a Ravenclaw at Hogwarts, just a year ahead of himself. He hadn't known her there, although her face did look vaguely familiar. It wasn't a shock that they'd never interacted in the past — most Ravenclaws rarely socialised with Slytherins, especially anyone not considered to be a great thinker, like Greg himself. He was surprised at how simple it was to talk to her. He'd always thought of the majority of her Housemates as a bunch of crawly bum swots and know-it-alls — but Marietta was nothing like that.
She was also very, very easy on the eyes.
Recovering from concussion was one of the dullest things Greg had ever had to endure. Lights were too bright, sounds were too loud, and everything hurt. There was very little he could do other than lie in bed or on the sofa, resting. He'd never been one for just lying about and doing nothing. He liked being on his feet and moving — but that was impossible now. So Marietta's daily visits were more than welcome. They broke up the endless hours of boredom and gave him something to focus on other than his aches and pains.
She was also kind to him, making certain he ate and drank properly, and that he was on the mend. When she came to his house, she'd talk to him in a low, soothing voice, telling him stories or jokes to keep him entertained. Greg definitely liked the attention, particularly from such a pretty girl. No one else had ever been that nice to Greg before in his life. Not his father or his mother. Not any of his friends or House mates, and certainly none of his teachers. Not even Pansy when they'd been going out.
When he'd been with her, she'd demanded much, and given little in return, constantly telling him how lucky he was to have her. Granted Marietta was his Healer, not his girlfriend, but he appreciate her company more than he'd ever truly enjoyed Pansy's.
Pansy had only ever wanted to be with him because she needed someone after the War had ended, and had dropped him like a hot potato as soon as her fortunes had started to improve. Even Greg could understand why she'd have chosen Blaise Zabini over him — Zabini was everything Greg himself was not: well-connected, wealthy, and most of all good looking.
It hadn't even hurt him when she'd left. All he really missed was the shagging, along with the ability to go places with a pretty woman on his arm, neither of which was that terribly important. He hadn't dated much since Pansy's departure from his life, choosing to spend his time concentrating on his training and his team.
However, Marietta's regular visits had begun to remind him that there was more to life than just playing Quidditch, or having a drink down at the local with his teammates. They were also beginning to make Greg realise that he was lonely, and had been for quite some time. Perhaps he'd always been this alone — he'd just been too thick to notice before.
"Right. Well, then," Marietta flicked her wand over Greg's prone body one last time, "I'd say you've healed up rather nicely."
"I'm okay, then?" He struggled into a seated position, grateful that it didn't hurt to move nearly as much as it had.
"As right as rain." She tucked her wand into a pocket of her robe. "I'm giving you a clean bill of health and will tell Winstone you're fit to play again. I'm sure he'll be pleased to have his star Beater back in action."
From what Greg knew, the Falcons had been lagging in the League ever since his involuntary departure. He was looking forward to getting back onto his broom and proving his worth.
"However, I am going to recommend you wear a helmet for a few more weeks, just as a precaution. The last thing I should think you'd want is to be sidelined again so quickly, and no doubt you'll be glad to see the back of me after all this time," Marietta continued, picking up some of her instruments and packing them into her worn brown leather Healer's bag.
"What?" Greg blinked in surprise. "No. Not really."
She reached up, cupping his cheek with her hand and caressing him gently. She was trembling slightly. "You're very sweet, Greg."
He felt his face starting to heat up. "I mean it though."
"I'm sure you'll see me around and about." She pulled her hand away abruptly, returning to collecting her things, oblivious to his embarrassment. "Although I would caution you from falling from your broom again in order to get my attention."
"I'd prefer to see you off the pitch than on it," he admitted. "It would be a lot less painful for a start."
That made her laugh.
"Maybe—" His mouth was dry, his tongue thick as he glanced over at her; he didn't think it was just a side effect of the potions she'd made him drink. He wasn't sure what possessed him, but he found himself blurting, "Maybe we could go out sometime. For a drink. Or a coffee or something."
To his dismay, he saw Marietta tense, hovering over her case, her knuckles turning white as she clenched a phial in her fist. She exhaled slowly, then began to shove the rest of her things away. "I don't think that would be a very good idea," she finally said, suddenly looking anywhere but directly at him. "I-I'm your Healer. It wouldn't be professional."
"Oh...yeah." Greg felt his heart sink. He supposed he ought to have known she'd turn him down. After all, he'd been a known member of the Inquisitorial Squad, of the Carrows' gang. She had to know his history and, as a Ravenclaw, had probably been on the other side. Why would a woman like her ever want to be associated with a bloke like him? "I suppose it wouldn't. Sorry," he mumbled.
"No need to apologise," Marietta reassured him. Her case closed with a loud 'snap'. "I'm flattered. Really."
"Flattered," he echoed, shifting uncomfortably.
"You're very sweet, Greg," Marietta repeated. Before he could say anything further, she'd pressed her lips to his cheek in the briefest of kisses, then grabbed her things, and rushed out of the house.
The next week was beyond painful for him. While Greg's body had healed, his heart was now surely as broken as his skull had been. Before the accident, Marietta hadn't registered at all with him; he'd barely noticed her. But now? He saw her everywhere during games and practices, whether he wanted to do or not. She seemed to be forever tending to his teammates — healing Hathaway's crushed fingers, Spencer's cuts and scrapes, Burton's broken nose, Weatherly's torn ligaments — even taking care of players on the opposing team when needed.
He wanted to speak with her, but had no idea what to say. He'd never been good with words or women. Greg was pretty certain there was nothing he could do or say to change her mind anyway — it wasn't as if he hadn't done awful things in the past, even if he regretted them now. It had taken seeing Vincent die so senselessly in front of him in the Room of Requirement to give him even the slightest clue, but Greg had no way of explaining that to Marietta. He reckoned she'd never listen — her sort never did — and he supposed her scorn was well-deserved.
The match against the Pride of Portree had been going well, with the Falcons leading by 60 points. Greg had been getting his frustrations out by sending the Bludger far and wide at every given opportunity. At one point he'd been penalized for bumphing; the Pride's fans were a vocal lot, and he'd lost his temper when a group of them had started heckling him for wearing a helmet. He knew he looked ridiculous, but the last thing he needed was to have his nose rubbed in it.
Having a large iron ball hurtling towards them at top speed soon shut those louts up. Greg hadn't regretted his actions for even a minute. The looks of sheer terror on their faces as the Bludger nearly smashed into them had made it worth getting sent off the pitch for.
The crowd went wild as the Pride's Chaser Spinnet sunk a Quaffle through the highest hoop. Half of them were roaring with approval as she started her victory lap around the pitch, the rest booing and shouting insults. Suddenly, purple-grey smoke exploded from the stands as a spell went off, and Spinnet began to weave precariously on her broom. The perpetrator of the spell, clearly a Falmouth fan judging by his dark grey and white robes, was quickly restrained, then hustled out of the stadium. Meanwhile Spinnet continued to fly erratically, spiralling lower and lower towards the ground.
She tumbled off her broom and onto the grass, not far from where Greg was sitting. He saw Marietta dash out from the stands to Spinnet's side, Healer's case in hand. There was no reason she had to be there — the Pride had their own Healers on call — but that didn't seem to stop her. Rolling up the sleeves of her robe, she began to check the prone Spinnet for injuries.
"No!" he heard Spinnet shout, thrashing wildly as Marietta tried to calm her down. "Not you. Not YOU! Keep away from me!" The Pride's Chaser was clearly Confunded. Meanwhile, several other Healers were heading towards them, clearly wanting to help.
"Don't touch me, you traitor, you— sneak!" Spinnet shrieked, the venom in her voice undeniable. Greg saw her make a grab for Marietta's wand, and then the two women began to struggle.
There was a bright flash of light, and Marietta yelped in surprise. Without another thought, Greg jumped to his feet and ran to her side, pulling her gently from the fray while her fellow Healers tried to subdue the agitated Spinnet.
"Marietta, are you—?"
She gave a muffled cry, her hands covering her face. Greg glanced down to see her face had taken on a greenish tinge, the skin slimy and bumpy. Fleshy appendages like the tentacles of a jellyfish hung down from her temples. "I need to go," she moaned. "Please—"
"I'll take you out of here," he said stalwartly. "I'll take you anywhere you want to."
Marietta whimpered again, biting her lip as if in thought. For a moment, Greg thought she was going to send him away, but instead she grabbed her case, gave a terse nod before whispering, "Your place. Can you do that?"
"Yeah." He wasn't the greatest at Side-Along Apparation, but this was an emergency. Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled Marietta close, squeezed his eyes shut, and concentrated. Everything went black, and for an instant, it felt as though he was being squeezed from the inside out...
...and then they were in his living room, panting hard as everything began to right itself again.
"We're here," said Greg. He felt stupider than usual as soon as the words came out of his mouth. Of course she knew where she was. It wasn't as if she hadn't been there many times before.
"Th-thank you," Marietta replied. Greg could feel her shaking in his arms.
He let go of her immediately. "What do you need to fix your face?" he asked. "Do I need to get you anything special? I will if you want me to."
"I'm not sure yet. I don't know exactly what Spinnet did." Marietta let out a small sigh of frustration, then dropped to her knees, grabbing her bag on the floor. She began to rifle through it frantically, grabbing at assorted phials and items at random. Clear slime was dripping down her face into a puddle of the floor.
Greg nodded, then crouched down next to her. "She was out of her head, she was. Calling you a traitor and all that. You only wanted to help her. Stupid bloody Gryffindor."
"I-I know." Marietta seemed to be growing increasingly agitated as she searched through her things. It upset him to see her that upset. It hurt to see her in this condition, especially when she'd done nothing to deserve that kind of treatment.
When he and Vincent had worked with Dolores Umbridge, the very first thing she'd tried to teach them was how to deal with jinxes, hexes, and curses — or at least how to remove them if possible. He had to try and make things right for Marietta. Whipping out his wand, he pointed it at her.
Her head snapped up, tentacles flailing, and more slime spraying around the room. "Greg, what are you doing—?"
"Merlin, no—-!" she exclaimed, but it was too late.
The spell struck her full in the face; Greg watched as her skin began to ripple, the greenish tinge beginning to fade before transforming back to a more normal pink. Well, nearly normal. A line of angry purplish-red scars ran across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose, marring her pretty features.
He found himself staring at her, his mouth hanging open in surprise.
Marietta clapped her hands over her face, hiding from him, a sob escaping her lips. "Don't look at me! I'm horrible!!"
"What?" He was confused by her reaction. "No, you're not. You're all better now. Other than some weird marks which—"
"That's what I mean!" she wailed. "You can see them now!"
"Well, yeah, but—"
"I need to go home." Still hiding her face from him, she began to throw her possessions haphazardly into her case. "I'm sorry I—"
Greg moved in closer, putting his large hand on her shoulder in an attempt to calm her down. "You don't need to go home yet. You're upset. Let me make you a cuppa or something?"
"I—" she choked back a sob. "How can you look at me? I'm grotesque!"
"No, you're not," he insisted. "I don't know what those things are, but they'll go away eventually."
"No," she snapped, "they won't. I've been trying to make them disappear for over five years now. This is the best they'll ever be. Why do you think I hide them under a glamour?"
"Oh." He felt foolish now — his Finite Incantatem must have removed the glamour along with Spinnet's hex. "They're really not that bad. How did it happen? Was it from dragon pox? My cousin Isolde had it once and she—."
"Hermione Granger happened to me," Marietta interjected, her voice tinged with bitterness.
"Granger?" he echoed. "But she wasn't even there today."
She turned back towards him, blinking back tears, her face flushed with embarrassment. "You really don't know what happened to me?"
Greg shook his head. "No. Should I?"
Marietta swallowed hard, and drew in a deep breath. "Do you remember when we were at school, b-back when Umbridge was in charge?"
"Of course I do."
"My best friend was a girl named Cho Chang."
"Yeah, I remember her. Chaser for Ravenclaw, wasn't she?"
"Yes. She—well, we joined Potter's group. Dumbledore's Army."
He nodded, unsure of whether she was aware of his role in trying to bring that particular group down. "Yeah, I knew about them."
"I didn't really want to join them." Marietta wrung her hands together nervously. "I mean I didn't not want to join them either. I just— I didn't know what to believe. Cho fancied Potter, she wanted to impress him, and she was my friend. It was something to do. I-I don't remember a lot of it, to be honest."
"Granger made us all sign a list of names — it's all a blur now, but I remember that much at least. My mum worked for the Ministry, in the Floo Network Office. She still does. There was a lot of pressure on her to report to Cornelius Fudge if anything looked amiss; there was a lot of pressure on me to do the right thing. I didn't—I wanted—" She took another deep breath, wiping tears from her eyes. "I didn't really want to take sides. I didn't know who or what to believe. I didn't know what was really true. I was scared that my mum would lose her job if I did something wrong, especially when Umbridge was running everything. We couldn't afford for her to get sacked. We might've lost our house — it was just the two of us, you know? I love my mum, and I was scared. I was only sixteen—"
Greg had some vague recollection of there being someone who had tipped Umbridge off to the antics of Potter and his friends. The Inquisitorial Squad had gone after them, but hadn't had much luck until someone had grassed on Potter's "army". Until that moment, he'd had no idea who the betrayer had been.
"I finally broke down and confessed to Umbridge. At least what little I knew. I had no idea Granger had cursed that bloody parchment." Marietta's lip curled up in anger. "Perhaps if I had, I might not have—"
"You were a kid. You were scared," Greg said with a scowl. "Anyone who expected otherwise is an idiot."
"I broke out in pustules. Big, awful pustules spelling out 'Sneak' on my face. They wouldn't go away — I tried Bubotuber pus, Essence of Murtlap, all sorts of spells and potions, and nothing worked. I've seen experts from all over, and no one's ever been able to help me. One of the reasons I became a Healer was to try and get rid of them." Her flush deepened. "You must think I'm a horrible, vain person, but it's not fair, is it? Granger gets the Order of Merlin, and I get branded for life."
"No! Of course not! That wasn't fair of her. Not in the least." There had been a time when Greg had hated Granger — for being a Mudblood, for being an annoying swot, for being everything he wasn't. But then she'd helped save his life, and Draco's too. She, Potter, and Weasley could have left them to die in the Room of Requirement, the way Vince had, but they'd got them out instead. Still, some of the old resentments began to creep in as he thought of what she'd done to Marietta.
"Everyone was being pressured to take sides back then. It was before the War. It was so confusing," Marietta continued. "I made a mistake. Loads of us did." She gave Greg a pointed look.
She knows, he thought.
"It's not fair that we have to keep paying for them forever. We were children," Marietta said. "How were we supposed to know what to do?"
Greg had asked himself that plenty of times in the past five years, and never found a satisfactory answer. "I don't know. But it's over now. We can't let that ruin our lives forever, can we?"
She wiped away another tear with the back of her hand. "I can't ever look in a mirror without being reminded of my stupid mistakes. I'm hideous. Why do you think I didn't want you to go out with me? My looks are a lie — it wouldn't have been fair to you."
She didn't want me to go out with her. Not the other way round. Greg raised his eyebrows at the admission. "Well, now I know, and I still think you're beautiful."
Marietta gaped at him, her eyes wide.
"It's true. I'm not bothered by those scars. You don't need to put any glamours on around me." He shrugged. "Besides, look at me — I'm not exactly ever going to be the winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award, am I?"
She responded with a shy grin.
"I look like a half-troll. I'm big and ugly and thick, and I—" Nervously, he raked his large fingers through the bristly thatch of dark hair on his head. "I was on the wrong side of things in the War. Nearly got put away for a few years, but Azkaban's overcrowded, and they decided I could be rehabilitated. Been on my best behaviour since then." He shrugged. "It's all I can do, really."
"It's all anyone could do." To his surprise, she put her arms around him, giving him a quick hug. "You don't look like a troll at all."
She tilted her head to look up at him, and Greg wondered if she wanted the same thing he did. He decided to take a chance and find out.
He lowered his head, brushing his mouth against hers. Her lips were soft and warm, and he could taste the faint tang of salt from her earlier tears. He was also quite relieved that she didn't pull away or slap him or shout at him. Instead, she buried her fingers in his hair, caressing the back of his skull softly as she kissed him back.
Their kisses were furtive at first, growing in urgency as they continued. Greg was momentarily surprised as he felt her tongue flicking against her lower lip, seeking entrance, and even more surprised when she took his hand in hers and placed it on the edge of her shirt, against the top of her breasts. He could feel the smooth, silken skin beneath his fingers, rising and falling as she breathed. Marietta guided his hand to the ribbons lacing on her bodice, helping him pull them loose until the fabric parted and her breasts spilled free.
Taking the initiative, Greg slid his hands over, cupping her breasts gently. Her nipples stiffened beneath his questing fingers, low, throaty moans escaping her lips as he caressed her. His body was already responding to the sounds, jolts of arousal shooting straight to his groin, his cock at half-mast and throbbing painfully against his thigh.
He gasped as Marietta palmed him through his trousers, making him squirm. Her touch was gentle as she coaxed him to hardness, her kisses anything but. At first, Greg had worried about frightening her, but not any longer...
Marietta pushed him back into a seated position on the floor, then shifted, swinging one leg over his to settle in his lap. She straddled him, continuing to fondle him through his clothes. Groaning, Greg buried his face between her breasts, kissing along her sternum fervently. He let one hand stray down her back, over the curves of her arse, and under the hem of her Healer's robe. She didn't protest as he brushed his fingers over the bare skin he found underneath.
Fumbling, he pushed the damp crotch of her knickers aside, eliciting another moan from her as he stroked her with his fingertip. With deft hands, she unfastened his trousers, pulling his cock free from the confines of his clothes before shimmying forward, hovering over him.
Somehow he managed to guide himself inside her, gasping loudly as Marietta lowered herself down on top of him. She claimed his mouth, kissing him deeply as they began to move, awkwardly at first, then finding a comfortable yet frantic rhythm. Greg clutched at her hips, holding her tightly as she bounced up and down in his lap. It felt incredible to be here with her like this, more than he could ever have imagined.
However, it was over far too soon. It had been ages since he'd last been with a woman, and he had never been an expert at mastering his body. With an ear-splitting groan, he came, the dizzying rush of release crashing over him. Marietta held him close, pressing soft kisses on his brow, her fingers still playing in his hair.
Red-faced, Greg looked up as he relaxed his hold on her. "I-I'm sorry."
She looked down at him in puzzlement. "About?"
"It being so fast. Me not taking care of you first." Merlin knew there would have been hell to pay if it had happened that way with Pansy, but he wasn't about to bring his ex-girlfriend up now.
"I wasn't aware that we were stopping just yet," Marietta said lightly, then bent her head to kiss him slowly. Her kisses along with the way she rolled her hips were full of promise.
"Unless you wanted to?" He could hear the uncertainty in her voice.
"What?" Greg blinked, momentarily confused. Then he realised she needed reassurance as much as he did. Reaching up, he brushed her long, curly hair off her face. "No, of course I don't want to stop. Just maybe," he scrunched his face up in thought, "relocate. I've got a bedroom there, down the hall. Might be more comfortable than my living room floor."
"Yes, I suspect it might."
He helped her disengage from his lap before getting to his feet and hastily refastening his trousers. He held out his hand to her, smiling. She took it, threading her small, slim fingers through his much larger and thicker ones, giving his hand a quick squeeze.
"I must say you've recovered quite nicely from that concussion, Mr Goyle," Marietta said. "We'll just have to make certain you don't overexert yourself."
"You're the Healer, Miss Edgecombe. I hope you'll let me know if I am."
She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him again. "I'll be very happy to continue monitoring you, Greg. With your permission, of course."
"You've got it," he said with a nod. "Maybe later we could go out for a drink. Or a coffee. Or a meal? I really do want to take you out, Marietta."
This time the question was met by a dazzling smile. "I'd like that. I'd like that a lot."
As he led her towards his bedroom, he gave a silent thanks to whichever Catapults' Beater had hit that Bludger into his thick skull. It had clearly knocked some sense into him as well as some incredibly good luck. He would have to remember to send them a thank you note.