“I hope Dirthamen Evanuris takes a long walk off of a short dock!” Selene huffs.
“Ah, he’s not such a bad guy, Sel.” Says Adannar from beside her as they stride through the halls and towards the Great Hall.
“You don’t think anybody is ‘such a bad guy’ Addy,” Selene sighs dismissively “So that hardly counts for anything.”
“You aren’t normally so quick to dismiss people, either,” he points out. “What is it about this guy that bugs you so much?”
“Who’s bugging Selene?” Pipes in Serahlin as they join her and the rest of their group at one of the long wooden tables to eat lunch.
“Dirthamen Evanuris,” Selene mutters back before going into a poor impersonation of him “ ’Oh look at me, I have so much money and free time that I know every vague reference to everything ever and everyone else is always wrong because I know everything and blah blah blah.'”
Serahlin just gives a nod and a soft “Ah” while exchanging a look with Adannar. “I take it something in particular happened in class then?”
Selene throws her arms up in the air, frustration returning “He corrected the professor! 'Oh Professor Vitality I’m so sorry but did you know that according to Brother Genitivis writings in some obscure book that only exists in my personal collection, the dates you’re giving us are inaccurate’ like-like-UGH. What a pompous-STUCK UP, NUGHEADED-UGH!”
“Did he really say that?” Ana asks as she bites off the end of a piece of celery.
“No.” Adannar corrects.
“He may as well have!” Selene fumes as she stabs a fork into the salad that appears before her. “So sorry the rest of us peasants don’t have access to every book in existence!”
“I think you’re exaggerating,” Venavismi chimes in “He’s a pretty quiet, docile guy. I think you two would get along if you just got to know each other.”
Selene levels a glare, fork pointed directly at Vena, one carrot matchstick dangling off the end. “That’s traitor talk.”
“It’s not traitor talk,” Vena laughs. “He’s my roommate! And you’re my friend! One people, one love, etc etc.”
“No, it’s definitely traitor talk.” Ana says, scooching to sit besides Selene, who indicates towards the redhead with a 'See???’ motion.
“Banana’s just mad because I got the snitch before she did in the last match.”
“You cut me off!”
“From my perspective, you tried to cut me off.” Vena points out. “Selene, help me out here.”
“Oh no,” Selene says “I’m not a traitor.”
“You’re a Ravenclaw! I won the match for our house!”
Selene just shrugs and plunges the fork into her salad with a quiet muttered “It’s also that bourgeois nughumpers house, so you’re on your own.”
“He’s still leagues better than his brother,” Serahlin tuts. Her brother Tasallir nods in agreement beside her. “I hope he wanders into the forbidden forest and doesn’t come back.”
“He still giving you problems?”
“He’s giving everyone problems,” Serahlin nods. “I’m surprised Professor Melarue hasn’t expelled him yet.”
“I heard they tried,” Uthvir says. “Headmaster Haninan said this place was his best chance to 'improve’ though.”
“His potential improvement shouldn’t mean the rest of us have to suffer.” Ela pouts.
“I’m sure they’re doing the best they can,” Aelynthi points out. “If Falon'din crosses a major line, even Headmaster Haninan won’t be able to stop Nanae from doing what they have to to keep the rest of us safe.”
“They should just get rid of the whole family,” Selene mumbles. “Save us all a lot of headaches.”
“Doesn’t work that way,” Victory says, tapping her shoulder reassuringly “You’ll just have to put up with him a while longer.”
“Five more years,” she groans. “I’m not gonna make it.”
“Your measurements are inaccurate,” Comes a voice from behind Selene. She jumps, having thought she was alone in the Ravenclaw Common Room this late at night. Or early in the morning, depending on your perspective.
“My measurements are fine,” she insists. Dirthamen scrunches his eyebrows together, moving closer to her and picking up the parchment with her experiment written on it.
“You have too much mandrake root for this desired effect.”
“Your antidote could kill the person you give it to. Is that your goal?”
Selene sighs, and snatches her parchment back from him. “Of course not.”
“Then I must re-advise; you are using too much mandrake root.”
“I’m really not.”
“Are you also using dragons breath? Selene, this potion is liable to-”
There is a small explosion then, an eruption of fire from her portable cauldron as a large draconian growl fills the common room. Dirthamens arm wraps around her shoulders, yanking her back and away from the worst of the flames.
The two of them cough, one of the windows flying open to let the smoke out of the room. Selene re-opens her eyes, blinking away the spots after the too bright flames nearly seared them out of her skull.
She sits up, pulling herself out of Dirthamens grip.
“Well,” She says, patting some of the ashes off of her cloak. “I will admit that there was, perhaps too much dragons breath in that particular attempt,”
Dirthamen nods, but Selene continues as though he hadn’t “But nottoo much mandrake root. So you were wrong, too.”
He frowns, at that.
“You nearly blew the two of us up.”
“I didn’t ask you to come down here.”
“If I had not, your face would be suffering severe burns.”
“Or, I wouldn’t have lost my concentration, and would have noticed the excess dragons breath in time.”
“That seems unlikely-”
“But not impossible.”
Dirthamen sighs. Stands. Brushes some of the ash off of himself.
“I suppose that is technically true.”
A few other students start coming down the stairs to see the commotion, and Selene hurriedly packs up her things before they can ask her any questions.
Vena comes down the stairs too, noting the scorch marks and smoke still in the room, and makes note of Selenes absence from the room. He shakes his head, arms crossed over his chest as he looks at Dirthamen. “No luck, huh?”
“It appears not.”
The following years schedule brings with it several classes that Selene has to share with her self-appointed rival. She is not thrilled to find him in her Arithmancy class, Study of Ancient Runes, and Defense Against the Dark Arts.
She is even less thrilled when she is paired with him for Advanced Potions.
“Perhaps this way you will be less likely to set fire to the classroom,” He points out as they set up their station.
Selenes shoulders raise as she bites her tongue; she has to work with him for the rest of the year after all. Perhaps calling him a nughumper to his face isn’t the best way to kick off the year.
His brother glaring daggers at her from the table behind them isn’t helping things, either.
Selene does feel a pang of pity for Tasallir, who seems to be carrying the two of them throughout most of the assignments while Falon'din complains about smells and sticky substances on the floors potentially staining his boots.
But mostly she’s just ready to smack Falon'din when he grabs her arm after class.
“Hey, bitch,” he sneers. “Stay away from my brother.”
Selene raises an eyebrow. “What is that supposed to mean?”
“I mean, I know about you two. I hear about you both getting all cozy and shit in the common room, I saw you cuddling up during potions. Its gross, and you need to stop. He’s not gonna give you any money or whatever, so just leave him the hell alone.”
Selene frowns, and slowly pries his fingers off of her arm. “Listen,” she says. “I have never once, ever, sought out your brother. Apparently, someone on the school board seems to think its funny to throw us together at every turn, but rest assured, I’m not after any 'money or whatever’.”
“Then why’d you partner with him?”
“We were assigned partners you daft elf.”
Falon'din lets out a heavy breath through his nose and straightens.
“Fine. Whatever. Just remember, he’s my brother.” he sneers before walking away.
Selene just shakes her head and mumbles. “They were right; you areworse.”
The next day in the Common Room, Dirthamen has a dark bruise covering much of his left cheek.
Vena stays at Dirthamens side for breakfast, and he joins the group for most of the morning.
Most of them stick to awkward conversation, trying not to mention it, or the way his eyes never seem to leave the bowl of cereal in front of him.
Selene feels a sting of guilt. Of course she had thought he needed a slap, but not…not like this.
“What happened?” She finally blurts, staring straight at Dirthamen.
The rest of the table goes silent, as he slowly glances up at her, rather than into his bowl of what by now is just soggy wheat with sugar and milk.
“I upset my brother,” he admits. “More than usual.”
“This is a usual thing?”
“Normally he is more careful not to leave a mark. Yesterday he seemed to be…particularly incensed, however.”
Selene drums her nails on the table. “Have you told anyone about this?”
“Our father believes we should 'sort it out’ ourselves.”
“What about a teacher?” Aelynthi chimes in.
Dirthamen shakes his head. “It is a family matter.”
“The hell it is,” Selene says, standing abruptly. She holds out a hand for Dirthamen “Come on. Aelynthi, you come too.”
He nods, and the three of them make their way into Professor Melarues office, where Selene knocks thrice on the door before it swings open.
“Come in,” they call without looking up from their papers.
“Nanae,” Aelynthi responds, and that, at least, gets their attention. “We need you to do something.”
Selene nods, and carefully pulls Dirthamen forward towards the head of Slytherin house. “Falon'din did this.”
Melarue frowns at the large purple mark on the young boys cheek. “Your brother struck you, Dirthamen?”
Selene squeezes his hand reassuringly in her own as he looks to her, and gives a small nod.
“…Yes.” he admits.
Melarue seems to become very still for a moment. As though running through a long line of possibilities in their head. “I will bring this up to Headmaster Haninan,” They assure him. “For now, please head to the infirmary. They will give you something there that will help.”
Dirthamen swallows and nods, but mostly seems thankful just to leave their office.
Selene follows him to make sure he actually goes to the infirmary, while Aelynthi heads back to the Great Hall and their friends.
One of the nurses ushers Dirthamen into a cot, and carefully applies some foul smelling salve to his cheek. He winces at first, but as the color starts to lighten and return to his usual skin tone, Selene can see some relief seeping into him.
“You do not have to stay.” Dirthamen informs her.
“I want to make sure you’re ok.” She shrugs.
“You do not…” he pauses.
He sighs before continuing “You do not like me.”
“Who told you that?”
“It is apparent.”
Selene raises a skeptical eyebrow.
“…Vena may have mentioned it once, when I asked if I could join you all for breakfast in the past.”
“Well…he’s not wrong.”
Dirthamen seems to sag a bit at that. “It is true, then.”
“You seem upset.”
“I thought…I had hoped, perhaps, that you and I could be friends.”
“Am I even up to your standards?” Selene scoffs.
Dirthamen blinks in confusion.
“Because you’re so…” She gestures vaguely “Like, rich? And you know everything? And you’ve got all these rare books memorized and stuff? I’m sure you have tons of people lined up to be your friends.”
“I do not,” he informs her. “My brother is more talented at creating bonds with people than I am.”
“Your brother is a jerk.” She says bluntly.
Dirthamen blinks again. “He is my friend.”
“No,” Selene says, leveling a finger at him. “Friends don’t hit friends unless it’s Quidditch. Like when Victory accidentally got Aelynthi in the face with the quaffle? They’re friends, but Victory still had to apologize. A lot.”
“My brother often hits people in Quidditch.”
“Well, yeah, he’s a Beater. Probably a good outlet for him, honestly. But you don’t play, so there’s no reason he should hit you.”
“But I had upset hi-”
“Ever.” Selene emphasizes.
Slowly, Dirthamen nods.
She lets out a breath. “Ok. Alright, fine.”
Dirthamen tilts his head, eyebrows scrunching together as he waits for her to elaborate.
“We can be friends,” She says. “Most of our classes are together, anyways. We can walk together or whatever, and you can eat with us, and at the end of the day, you and I can go back to the dorms together. So that you aren’t alone with Falon'din again. Ok?”
“I do not wish to be a burden on you.”
“It’s fine,” Selene shrugs. “I just want to make sure you’re…safe. We’re friends now, right?”
Dirthamen nods again, his disposition becoming a bit cheerier at the title.
“Ok then,” Selene nods in return. “And just so you know, I kick the ass of anyone who hurts my friends. So if your brother tries to hurt you again, I’m gonna kick his ass.”
“I believe that is against school policy.”
“Then I’ll duel him or prank him or curse his broom or something! I just…” She traces her fingers carefully over Dirthamens cheek, now back to its normal size and color, but still buzzing lightly with the recent healing, and whispers “Family isn’t supposed to hurt you.”
He swallows, and nods again. Her hand lingers just slightly over his cheek before Selene clears her throat and stands. Offering her hand to him again, she helps him to stand, and they make their way to Study of Ancient Runes.
“Did you do the homework?” he asks, trying to ease some of the awkwardness between them.
“Yeah, but the one from page 238 tripped me up, I couldn’t find it in any of my reference books, I’ll have to ask Professor Kassaran about it.”
“It is from a harder to find collection,” He nods. “I have a copy in my room.”
Selene resists the urge to roll her eyes.
“You could borrow it, if you’d like.” he says.
She blinks, and looks over at him.
He nods. “That is the sort of thing friends do, yes?”
Selene swallows and nods. “Yeah. Thank you.”