I’m trying to pay attention, I really am. But it is extremely hard to concentrate about goblin uprisings when the butterflies in your stomach are staging an uprising of their own. I glare at the back of the blonde head, trying to muster some kind of anger to feel about the fact that I will, once again, have to beg Anya for the notes in order to maintain my grade in this class. I can’t.
The butterflies swirl violently when the blonde head turns around, and even though I know she is probably looking at the clock, it feels like she is looking straight at me. I keep my face as expressionless as I can. Professor Jaha’s voice proves to be successful in putting most of the class to sleep within the first few minutes- everyone except Anya, who should probably be in Ravenclaw with her studious and energetic note taking, and Clarke. Clarke always shifts in her seat, causing her hair to shift every which way, catching the light so that my eyes are drawn to it and can’t escape. She moved with an unbridled energy, and I imagined it was because her spirit longed to be out on the Quidditch field.
Everything Clarke does is beautiful, from the way she brushes her quill underneath her nose when she is thinking, and flinches when it tickles her, like she doesn’t know what she is doing, to when she whacks a bludger at someone’s head when it dares to come near one of her teammates. I let myself imagine what it would be like to have Clarke Griffin defending me, being loyal to me, trusting me.
I was jolted out of these daydreams by the end of class. Anya punched me on the arm, her usual go-to when I stop paying attention to the world around me. She yanked on my arm, “We’re going now, dreamer.”
“Hold up a second.” It takes me a while to pack up my stuff, partially because I am loathe to leave the room with Clarke in it, and partially because I am still half in the daydream, struggling to connect with the reality crashing down around my ears. It is like breaking the surface of the water when I finally see the way my hands move to replace the stop on the inkwell and place it in my bag.
I see Clarke coming towards us, and I stare at her in terror. I wouldn’t know what to say to her, so even though my heart wants to say hello, my head lets Anya pull me out of the classroom and down the corridor.
I don’t look back.
As I copy Anya’s notes in the common room that night, I think of Clarke again. I want her to trust me more than anything, but I know that since I am a Slytherin, she isn’t likely too. Hufflepuffs may be loyal and accepting, but even they don’t like Slytherins. I don’t know how to get close to her. Maybe I should just try to woo her.
When Anya comes back to retrieve her notes, she sighs at the hearts I’ve drawn around “Clarke + Lexa” on my own paper, muttering a quick spell that copied her notes onto my paper, erasing the hearts and the words, before she leaves the room without saying a word to me.
That’s the other problem. Clarke is a halfblood; her mom is a muggleborn, and my friends don’t approve of my feelings. Or of Clarke, for that matter. According to Anya and Gustus, Clarke is a genetic mistake; something evil, unnatural, and something to be avoided. Even Professor Flamekeeper, or Titus, as I knew him growing up, has expressly told me that pursuing a relationship with Clarke Griffin would be disastrous to my family’s image and my schooling career. I suspect that Anya told him about my feelings for her, and didn’t talk to her for a week following the incident. When Gustus told me that I couldn’t prove anything, I relented and talked to her again. I can’t believe that I can’t trust my friends with my feelings for Clarke. They call muggleborns and half-bloods disgusting.
What disgusts me is anybody ever thinking Clarke is less than perfect, anybody ever treating Clarke as less than perfect.