Baz is plotting.
Well, Baz is always plotting. This time though I'm sure it's something big. He's been staying out later and later, every night is worse than the last. The sun was actually up this morning when he walked in. I know this because obviously, I stayed up to figure out what he was up to. I've stayed up every night. Crowley, I'm exhausted. I need to know what he's up to though, what he's planning.
Penny says I'm being paranoid.
Penny always says I'm being paranoid.
I might start following him again, like I did in 5th year. It's not like I'm getting any sleep while he's out anyway. Maybe I'll learn how he stays sane on that lack of sleep too.
He's sitting across the dining hall from us, me and Penny that is, not so much as a hair out of place or droop of his eyelids.
He sees me staring and sneers. I meet his gaze though I know the bags under my eyes must detract from the venom in it.
He just rolls his eyes and looks away, like it's beneath him to even look at me. It takes every ounce of self-control I have not to march across the room, grab him by the collar and force him into another of our own unspoken staring contests... or glaring contests I suppose.
I turn back to Penny, slathering butter on my sour cherry scone with slightly more force than necessary. "What do you think he's up to?"
Penny looks up from her food at me and shakes her head. "No."
"What do you mean, no?" I ask, having difficulty forming the words around all the scone in my mouth.
"I mean no, Simon." She sighs, giving me a somewhat pitying look. "You've exceeded your 'talking about Baz' allowance for today."
What? That can't be right. We're only at breakfast.
"Penny." I groan out, mouth still full of scone.
You'd think after all these years I'd know how much scone I can fit in my mouth at one time, yet I feel the saliva in my mouth drying up as the scone gets hard to chew due to its sheer volume. I blame Baz. I'd have paid more attention if I hadn't been so bloody annoyed.
Penny seems to be considering taking my inability to talk as a cue to escape, she doesn't though, she uses it to give me a good telling off instead. "Simon, I think you're overreacting. Baz hasn't done anything to you in weeks. You're doing more harm to yourself by staying up every night waiting for him than he's probably even planning."
Maybe that is what he's planning, to make me paranoid and exhausted and then strike. Penny's right though. Penny's always right. What I’m doing isn't helping especially if that is his plan.
Penny's gone back to reading her book, stopping every so often to have a bite of her breakfast.
I relent. Or maybe it's the scone that makes me relent. I finally swallow the last remains of it, chugging down a lot of tea to chase after it, at that point the conversation is just over.
"What are you reading?" I ask, putting a smaller piece of scone into my mouth this time. Let it not be said I never learn from my mistakes.
Penny perks up significantly at the question. "It's about illegal magic and how we deal with contemporary spells."
"For what class?" I panic, thinking I've missed some bit of homework.
"For fun." Penny shrugs closing the book over her middle finger to mark her page. "It's all very interesting. Since spells are so diverse in terms of when they crop up and how powerful they'll be, they have to sort it by categories." I'm not really all that interested, but I listen none the less, god knows she listens to my stuff enough. My stuff mainly being complaints about Baz of course. "Things like mind control are obviously a pretty big no, love spells, compulsion, things like that. But when you get into the details and things get blurry, that's where it really gets good."
I think Penny senses I'm not fully invested in this conversation. I also don't think Penny cares as long as she gets to talk about it.
"Sleep spells are a big grey area, so are truth spells and even memory wipes. Anything that doesn't take away your free will but just messes with it a little."
Penny seems about to go on, but I quickly swallow my scone and interject. "Wait, there are truth spells?"
"Yes, of course, there are spells for nearly everything," Penny says, though I know she knows why I asked. Penny has a way of telling me that something is a bad idea by just the tone of her voice, it doesn't matter what words she's saying. This one sounds like a very bad idea. "Though most are illegal."
"Right," I nod slowly. "But there are ones that aren't?"
Penny frowns at me. "Simon." There's warning in her tone again. I ignore it.
"You've exceeded your quota." She reminds me.
"This is important Penny. I need to know what he's plotting. You don't even need to tell me, just give me the book?"
Penny is also very good at telling me something is a bad idea with the look on her face. Regardless she slides the book across the table to me.
It's getting a bit much honestly. Living in the same room as Simon Snow.
It's nice when he's asleep. It still hurts, of course, having him right there. So close I could reach out and brush the curls back off his brow. I know I can’t. I also know I can’t stop wanting to because Crowley I’ve tried.
I can just pretend for a little while. Pretend that we're not mortal enemies. Pretend we don't have to fight. Pretend that I could reach out and touch his face and that I wouldn't get a broken nose for it.
When he's awake though, it's not the same. We exchange our tirade of insults and sneers... well, that's mostly me. He mainly just stands there and tries in vain to figure out how to form a complete sentence. He's an idiot. A beautiful fucking idiot. An idiot who stays up waiting for me to get back from hunting.
I've been hunting for longer of course. Hoping that this time I'll come back, and he'll be asleep. So, I don't have to fight and argue. So, I can just pretend. Snow won’t even let me have that mercy though.
Sunrise. Fucking sunrise. I came back at sunrise and he was still awake. Waiting for me.
He looks like shit from it. I can take a piece of solace from that at least. I'm tired though. I can't keep this up forever. Even my top of the morning is starting to wane. I'm too tired to keep casting it.
I'm sick of it all. So, I don't go hunting tonight. I resign myself to spending the evening between arguing with and ignoring Snow.
He looks up as I enter the room, from his desk, where he's reading. There's a piece of paper that he's hurriedly scribbling on, covered in short phrases, many of them crossed out. He shoved the paper under the book when I walk in.
I narrow my eyes at him. "What are you doing Snow?"
"Nothing." He snaps a little too quickly. Then, "Reading."
Ah, Simon Snow, as eloquent as always.
"Have you really left your elocution assignment this late?" I sneer at him. There is, of course, no elocution assignment. Hopefully, he'll be too distracted by being an ass back that he doesn't realise that.
"No this isn't school related." He stops, glancing up at me frantically. "We have an elocution assignment?"
I raise an eyebrow at him. "You can perhaps see why my first guess wasn't academic curiosity."
He snaps the book closed and starts hurriedly gathering his things. Probably running off to find Bunce and beg for her help.
"Honestly I'm surprised you read for pleasure at all given you take about double the time a child does to read." I jab at him again hoping for some kind of reaction. I can feel his magic; the smell of smoke fills the room and it's near suffocating. He doesn't say anything though.
So obviously I try again. "Is that what that piece of paper was for? Were you writing down words phonetically while you tried to sound them out."
The door slams before I can even get to the end of my comment and he's gone. Honestly, I'm a little put out by that. Does he not even want to argue anymore. I do my best not to pout over being unable to bait Snow. I fail miserably.
I know I don’t want to fight with him all the time. Fighting is better than him not being there at all though.
I let out a sigh that’s more exasperated than it should be given I was the one annoying him.
There was always next time.
I shut the window and close the curtains, maybe it was better that he was gone, I wouldn’t have to deal with freezing to death while I slept. Classes had just ended and the sun was still up, but I was exhausted, so I changed into my pyjama's endeavouring to do my homework later tonight when I wake up.
Even tired as I am, it takes a while of tossing and turning to fall asleep. It's strange not falling asleep listening to Snow breathing or counting the moles on his face, like children count sheep. I'm not sure how long it takes me, but I manage it eventually.
There was no elocution assignment because of course there wasn't. Still, it wasn't wasted time. I found Penny and we ended up in the library. I'm still pouring over the book and Penny seems surprised by that.
"What about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" I ask. Not only does it stop people from lying but apparently it makes them spill all their secrets when prompted by little but thinking of them.
Penny sighs and shakes her head. "No good, for one, it's heinously illegal, not to mention immoral."
"The truth hurts?"
Penny actually shoots a glare at me. "Simon, are you even reading the full sentences? That one will hurt you whenever he's telling the truth. Also, once again, Illegal."
"Truer words have never been spoken?"
"Liar, Liar pants on fire."
"Simon, you've been saying for years that he's a vampire." She says without looking up from the book she was now reading, or attempting to at least, given my ceaseless interrupting.
"So?" I ask, brow furrowing.
"Vampires are flammable." She said 'vampires', not 'he', not 'Baz'. 'Vampires'. She still doesn't believe me, that much is apparent. She has a point though, if he is a vampire, which he is, that would probably kill him.
"Penny for your thoughts?" I offer up with a sly grin.
"Only works if he takes your money." Penny has apparently given up on shooting down my ideas, and I must admit I'm feeling a bit disheartened from all of it. "Look, Si, if you must, maybe start with the truth will set you free." She still disapproves, I can hear it in her voice, but at least it's something. Even if she's only giving me that something to stop me lighting Baz on fire.
I quickly flip through the pages, searching for the spell. Reading the passage, I groan. "Pen, this only works if he wants to tell me a secret. Why would Baz want to tell me anything?" Baz doesn't want to tell me anything except maybe that he wants to kill me. Still, on the off chance there is something, he won’t be able to lie to me until he tells me that secret so...maybe?
"Give it a try Simon. It's one of the tamer ones, we can work our way up from here." We? If this was what it would take to get Penny on board, properly on board, then I guess I work with this.
When I get back Baz is asleep. Actually, asleep. Not out and plotting.
I hesitate a second when I see him. Maybe Penny's right, maybe this is wrong. His hair is splayed out on the pillow and I can hear him snoring softly. His eyelids flutter every so often bellow dark eyelashes and at one point he tugs his pillow closer and presses his face into it, mumbling something indecipherable. So, Baz hugs his pillow in his sleep, in 7 years of living together, how did I not notice that till now?
I don't mean to stare. I'm only doing it because I'm trying to decide. Trying to work up the courage to do this. It's not an offensive spell so Penny assured me the anathema wouldn't do anything. That's not why I hesitate though. He looks so vulnerable right now. If I'm going to spell him surely, he should be awake and able to defend himself.
Then I remember this is Baz I'm looking at. He wouldn't give a toss whether or not I was awake and paying attention if he was going to spell me.
I grit my teeth and raise my wand. "The truth will set you free." I say the words and actually hear the magic in them for once. Honestly, I didn't think it would work. I doubt Baz will even believe it was me that managed it.
I'm getting ahead of myself. I don't know that it's worked. I need him awake and questioned to know that. That can wait until tomorrow though, when he's awake. When I'm awake. I'm not entirely sure I'm awake right now with how little sleep I've gotten over the past week.
I change into my Watford pyjamas and head to bed. Merlin knows I can barely handle Baz when I'm fully conscious and coherent. I'll need my sleep for this.