How Wizards Do Money: Fay Dunbar
It was strange how they hadn’t known it until after his death, and then how quickly it spread, the whispers traveling like creeper vine up into the dormitories: Dumbledore. Is. Gay.
“I mean, was gay,” Lavender said. “But it’s not like he dated anyone so it doesn’t matter.”
Parvati snorted. “Dumbledore wouldn’t date,” she said.
Fay sat on her bed, hugging her knees. Hermione looked up from her book. “They shouldn’t talk that way,” she said, and Fay nodded, and said nothing.
Ten years later, it was Padma next to her on the bed, reading a book. Padma read much more than Fay did; she’d go through a book a night, sometimes, neatly moving the finished volumes to their stacks by the door, to be taken back to the library. Fay held a book, sometimes, but mostly what she liked was to sit next to Padma in their bed, their ankles touching under the sheets, until she was ready to fall asleep.
Fay and Padma live together in an apartment near the Ministry. Both of them work there; Fay as an auror, and Padma in the research department. The Ministry is in fact where they found each other, both of them turning up at an event designed to welcome LGBT members, Fay feeling a little embarrassed to see Padma there and then wondering why she felt that way.
She hadn’t even known Padma was working at the Ministry, although it seemed like just about everyone worked for the Ministry at some point. It was the place to go for smart wizards who needed work, and Fay was ready for a job, having burned out her Quidditch ambition on a single year of trying to make a go of it professionally. (Later she’d watch Ginny Potter play for the Holyhead Harpies and burn her jealous energy into loud cheering and frantic pennant-waving.)
Because Fay was a year behind, Padma was ahead of her on the Ministry pay scale, which was old and codified and managed by goblins. This meant that Padma, on their first date, tried to treat, putting forward the shy argument that it was logical.
Later they saved the difference in their salaries as their Vacations and Wonderful Adventures fund, to only be used on things that made them both wonderfully happy. Fay was unused to the idea of being wonderfully happy, but Padma had read about this particular happiness fund in a book that Parvati had loaned her. (Padma and Fay were extremely close to Parvati and her husband, and in fact the two couples chose to marry on the same day in an enormous and joyful mixed-faith ceremony.)
The truth is that Fay would have been happy enough without the special fund, but she did enjoy traveling to Antarctica with Padma and standing upright on the bottom side of the globe. She enjoyed everything with Padma; her continuous reading, her thirst to chase an idea until she captured it, the way she laughed, the way she explained that spending a ridiculous amount of money on a trip to Antarctica was logical.
“We set aside this fund for wonderful adventures, and so now we get to have one,” she said.
And Fay smiled, and took Padma’s hand, and off they flew together.
Previously: Angelina Johnson
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