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Harry Potter and the Compilation of x Reader One-offs

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The past couple of weeks leading up to this particular Saturday had been especially hard on your boyfriend Percy, so you had been doing your best to help him adjust to living on his own. You stopped by his flat every evening with some takeout for dinner or helping him make something to ensure he at least ate. It had been quite the shock when he showed up to your place as a complete wreck the night of the incident, but he hadn’t opened up to you again after that first night. It seemed as if he had instead withdrawn into his work, you considered yourself lucky to get a few curt sentences out of him whenever you ate dinner together.

Honestly, you knew that his family situation was a bit of a ticking timebomb, but you would have never imagined that it would blow up in such an extreme fashion. While you may have agreed with his family on the issues of Dumbledore and Voldemort, both sides crossed a line and Percy really just needed some support.

He’d come around, he always did.

The Saturday morning started off well enough, it was a muggy and overcast summer’s day in London and you had managed to convince Percy to lay off his work for a few hours to at least upgrade a few pieces of furniture for his flat. It was incredibly minimal in its current state he had a rickety dining room table for two, a tiny desk that couldn’t even hold all his paperwork, a couch that looked like it was from the 70s, and a twin bed that was slightly too short for him.

While you were out, you managed to find some excellent affordable replacements and some other pieces of furniture at a secondhand shop run by a fellow wizard. Before you returned to the flat though, you practically dragged him to a cafe that the two of you often frequented on dates to get a bite to eat. Percy at least chatted with you about a report he was writing on some important legislation on international broom regulations, though it was with notably less enthusiasm than normal. Still, you took it as a good sign that he was starting to return back to his normal self.

Not wanting to linger outside for too long due to the hot and miserably humid weather, the two of you returned back to his flat to get the new purchases put into place. Thankfully work was easy thanks to the shrinking and growing charms and his small flat was something you now considered to be actually livable in.

Sitting down on the cushy loveseat together, it seemed like as good as time as any to finally give him your flatwarming gift.

“Hey, Perce, I have something special for you …” Grabbing your bag up from the floor, you

“You really didn’t have to—”

Before he could finish, you offered him the picture frame that was wrapped in a gift wrap patterned with the logo of Percy’s favorite professional Quidditch team. He took it from you hesitantly before unwrapping it to reveal an enchanted picture taken of the two of you together at a Ministry gala dinner a few months back. It was a loop of him laughing at a joke you had cracked and making some witty comment back before the two of you noticed his coworker taking the picture, Percy then took you by surprise by leaning down and kissing you on the cheek. Without a doubt, it was your favorite photo of the two of you together and you had been meaning to give him a duplicate of it for some time, you just always kept forgetting about it.

The silver frame was your own handiwork though, along its left side was a tree with lush and detailed foliage. Its leaves would move as if disturbed by a breeze and some clouds would roll by along the top of the frame.

“It, um, is supposed to change with the seasons. Let me know if it doesn’t so I can try and fix it …”

Running his fingers over the frame he looked at you with a surprised expression. “You enchanted this yourself?”

You gave him a shy nod, his lack of a full response leaving you uncertain as to whether or not he actually liked it.

Thankfully, he quickly alleviated your worries by giving you the first genuine smile you had seen from him in two weeks. “Well, this is positively exquisite, love. Thank you, I shall be sure to cherish it.”

“I’m just glad you like it, dear. It’s nice to finally get to repay you for all of the adorably romantic things you do for me, you hopeless romantic.”

A red blush began to bloom under his freckles and he was quick to clear his throat before saying, “I-I am no such thing.”

“Sure, you big softie.” Leaning up, you placed a light kiss to his cheek.

Percy spluttered and was about to retort when there was a hurried knocking on the door. His brows furrowed and he was quick to stand up, sitting your gift on his new coffee table, before heading to the door and answering it. Careening your neck, you tried to see who it was, but the redhead’s tall frame ended up obscuring them from view.

Percy, please—

The door was slammed shut with a sharp crack before Molly Weasley could get out more than two desperation soaked words. Her voice alone was enough to make you wince, but the way that he slammed the door right in her face only intensified the expression on your face.

His mother banged on the door for a few more moments, even from where you were on the loveseat you could hear her muffled crying and begging for Percy to come home. However, the silence within the apartment was oppressive, he didn’t move from where he was in front of the door, as if he was frozen in place.

After what felt like minutes, the pleading and banging stopped and Mrs. Weasley was gone. It was then that he finally turned around and slid down to the ground with his back pressed firmly against the door. You were freed from your own daze when a pained sob escaped Percy’s throat.

Without even thinking about it, you practically ran to his side and knelt down beside him. Wrapping an arm around his shoulders, you pulled him close and pressed a kiss to the crown of his head, trying to provide him with any semblance of comfort as he began to cry hysterically. You used your free hand to gently remove Percy’s horn rimmed glasses, as they were already fogging up from his heavy crying. After you sat them down on the ground, you pulled him closer and began to rub his back with your free hand and he finally wrapped his arms tightly around you, burying his face against your neck.

You didn’t know how much time passed of the two of you just holding each other as he cried, but eventually he was coherent enough to speak. “I-I shouldn’t have…sh-shouldn’t have done that. Mum’s always been the…the one person—” He broke off as another heavy sob racked his frame. This was just like how he was after the fight, as he immediately regretted the cruel things he had said to his father during the heat of the moment.

“Shhh, love, it’ll be okay. You can’t undo what’s been done, but I’m positive she’ll forgive you …” As much as it hurt you to see him like this, you knew you had to keep a calm head and help ground him with some logic.

You felt him try to shake his head against the crook of your neck. “I’m the…the worst child. I-I’ve always worked so…so hard and it’s never been e-enough.”

“Now, I know for a fact that’s not true and so do you. You’re just having a serious row with your family, it happens sometimes. There are some people out there who actually kill their parents, you know … But your parents love you just as much as you love them, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.”

You knew that being one of the middle children was hard on him, especially since he was the proverbial ‘black sheep’ of his family.

“I know it doesn’t feel like it will now, but I know it’ll all work out in the end due to that.”

“But how…how can I ever even look any of them in the eyes again? After e-everything I’ve said, after everything I’ve done …”

“With time. It feels impossible now, but it’ll get better with time. I promise you that.”

Percy took his pride in ‘always’ being right too seriously, it’d take him a while to overcome that and apologize to his family but you were confident that he would. For right then, all you could do was try to give him some form of hope and physical comfort.

He remained silent as the two of you held onto each other for some time longer, though Percy had long since calmed down into an occasional sniffle. The painful cramping of your legs from the awkward position was finally unbearable.

You pulled away from him and gave him what you hoped was a comforting smile. “How about I make us some tea and you tell me more about that legislation? You didn’t get to really talk about the precedence of it earlier like you wanted to.”

“That would be wonderful. Thank you, love.”

Still, it took him a couple of moments of hesitation to let you go before he began to wipe away his tears using the palms of his hand. You couldn’t help but grimace when you stood up, the action making your legs ache even worse, and were quick to start your short journey to the stove to try and loosen them back up again.

While you were putting on the tea, you heard him call your name.

“Yes?”

“I love you.”

“I love you too, Perce.”

You just hoped that your promise would hold true, there was nothing more you wanted for him than to be happy with the ones he loved the most.

Chapter Text

Hugging your robes tight against your frame, you pushed on against the wind as you snuck down to the Black Lake after your final class of the day. The castle was stifling and you needed some fresh air, some time away from your classmates. A few moments to reset your emotions and clear your head.

As you were beginning down the hill you thought you heard your name called faintly from somewhere behind you, but you knew it was most likely a combination of the wind and your mind just playing tricks on you. And so you pressed on. Thunder rumbled faintly in the distance, a forewarning of what was to come.

A storm was brewing, but you didn’t care.

The lake was churning, white capped waves contrasting violently with the dark waters. Stopping a short distance from the edge, you stretched your arms out, finally allowing the wind to pull at your robes as it pleased. You couldn’t help but smile as the cool wind tugged at your hair and caressed your hot face, its embrace was exhilarating. The wind had always felt like home to you and this time was no different. Freed from the prison of your mind, you allowed yourself to live in the moment and just focus on the sensations of the wind and light spray of the lake.

“What, pray tell, are you doing out here?”

Brought down to reality with a start, you instinctively clutched your shirt as you whipped around to see who had followed you all the way out here. Much to your surprise, you found the Head Boy staring at you with a raised eyebrow, only a couple of feet in front of you now. His once immaculately styled black hair all mussed up from the wind and robes whipping dramatically around him.

“Merlin’s beard, Riddle! You about gave me a heart attack …!”

His lips quirked upwards in a slight smile as he spoke up a bit louder to be heard over the crashing waves. “You didn’t answer my question. What are you doing out here? It’s obviously about to storm.”

“I just needed to get outside and clear my thoughts for a bit, y’know? Besides, this is my favorite type of weather.” Crossing your arms over your chest, you continued without waiting for a response. “But what are you doing here? I wouldn’t have expected you, of all people, to follow me.”

Tom crossed his own arms over his chest then, matching your own posture. “I was…curious. Besides, I may not be one of your prefects, but I still can’t let a student wander out when it’s about to storm like this.”

“Why didn’t you stop me earlier then?” Something just didn’t feel quite right about this.

“Well, I actually tried to, but you were too lost in your thoughts to notice. And as I said, I was curious about what you were up to.”

His eyes shifted to somewhere behind you and before you could ask, a loud clap of thunder provided you with your answer.

Tom nodded back at the school. “Now, come. Let’s head back to the castle, I’d rather not get caught in a downpour.”

Without waiting for you to respond, he turned on his heel and began to head back toward the castle. Letting out a small huff, you dropped your arms back to your sides and jogged forward to catch up to him and those long legs of his.

Falling into step beside him, you found yourself realizing just how odd this situation was. The quiet and enigmatic, yet charming and popular Tom Riddle had followed you out and was now escorting you back in total silence. The two of you had barely shared more than a sentence or two during your nearly seven full years at Hogwarts. Yet you had caught him staring at you before a few times, as if he was attentively observing you. To be on the receiving end of the attention of someone as brilliant and handsome as him was flattering, yet at the same time there was always something that made you feel slightly uneasy about him so you had never approached. But what was that something, exactly?

Snapped out of your thoughts by the feeling of a raindrop landing on your cheek, it seemed as if it was finally going to start raining. Before you could reach for your wand to cast an umbrella charm, your companion beat you to it. Without so much as a word, a beautiful jet of pale blue energy flowed out of his wand creating a transparent shield from the rain. Well, it was truly more of a beach parasol than an umbrella, easily able to shield you both as it even shifted to counter the changing direction of the wind. While the charm was simple, his magic was too elegant not to admire.

Thankfully, the two of you weren’t too far from the castle by that time and you were able to slip back inside without issue. As the heavy wooden door shut with a thud, a bolt of lightning lit up the empty side hall before a muffled boom of thunder followed it a few seconds later. The rain was starting to pelt at the arched windows as wind whistled through some cracks in the masonry.

Tom was quick to dispel the charm and opt to start removing the mud from his Oxfords with two flicks of his wand before drying them out. Following suit, you began to straighten yourself back out, though not with as much ease as him. When you looked back up at him he was preoccupied with smoothing down his hair, his green and black robes were already back to their same impeccable state as always.

“Well, um, thanks for escorting me back …” Making eye contact for a moment, you shifted awkwardly on your feet, unsure of why he was still lingering. “I’ll just be heading back to the Ravenclaw tower now.”

As you were about ready to turn, he took a step closer to you. “Please wait a moment.” When you paused, he continued speaking. “It seems as if there is something troubling you. I know Ravenclaws have a penchant for getting trapped in their thoughts, but…if you need someone to talk with, I wouldn’t mind.”

“But why? We’ve never really spoken before.” You stared at him with what was undoubtedly a quizzical expression, you could feel the small crease already forming between your eyebrows.

While he took a few moments to think over your response, a flickering flash of bright lightning illuminated the hall. Even though it was for but a brief moment, the burst of light had made Tom’s typically handsome, angular features look unattractively sharp…almost gaunt. It was undoubtedly a trick of your imagination.

A louder clap of thunder followed and you felt a shiver run down your spine as he appraised you with that same observant expression, it felt as if he could look right through you. “Because it clearly must be something significant to have you go outside in such weather and I am not so unfeeling as to ignore a classmate’s troubles.”

Hesitating for a few moments, you let out a heavy exhale through your nose. “I suppose it couldn’t hurt, though I don’t know if you’ll be much help.”

“Oh?” Tom surprised you yet again by placing a hand lightly between your shoulder blades as he led you to the nearest stone bench. “And why is that?”

“You’re the top student in our year, you don’t really need to worry about your future at all. I’ve heard you’ve already got job offers from the Ministry.”

“Ah, I see. You’re understandably troubled about what you’ll do after graduation. A common anxiety.” Running his fingers thoughtfully over his bone colored wand for a few moments, Tom spoke again, “For what it counts, I don’t plan on working for the Ministry, I have far greater plans for my life than that. The path to get there is filled with just as much uncertainty as any other’s.”

Your face felt a bit warm from being so presumptuous, everyone just assumed that everything came easily to Tom, you included. Grasping a handful of your robes, you remained silent as you could practically feel his dark brown eyes scrutinizing you. Another brief flash of light and loud roll of thunder filled the stretch of painful silence as you struggled to think of how to respond.

“Well, what career do you plan on pursuing?”

“Oh, um, I’d like to become an Unspeakable, maybe? I, um, I’m just not entirely sure if the Ministry would hire me for such a position … And if they don’t hire me, then I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Raising your hands, palms up, and outstretching your fingers with a flourish, your frustration began to slip into your tone, “It’s not like I’m good at anything outside of academics, but Hogwarts doesn’t really hire recently graduated students as professors. I could maybe write books about creating spells or Latin, but I doubt I could make a living off of that …” Your face only grew hotter as you realized just how you had been rambling. “Um, I’m just rambling now, aren’t I? Sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize for, my dear.” That term of endearment had an unmistakably playful lilt to it. “Though I must say your worries are entirely unwarranted.”

The matter of factness of his tone took you by surprise and you felt your face heat up for an entirely different reason at his smooth delivery. “I…what?” Any unease you had felt had completely evaporated by this point.

“You’re one of the most academic students Hogwarts has seen, on top of being creative enough to invent your own spells. Professor Slughorn doesn’t just invite anyone into the Slug Club, you know. Have you talked with him about seeking a position in the Department of Mysteries?”

If your face felt hot before, but now it felt as if it was aflame from his words of praise. Coming from Tom, you knew that those words carried a significant amount of weight. Trying to regain some semblance of composure, you cleared your throat. “No … He always seems so busy with everyone else and I’d rather get in on my own merits than not at all, in all honesty.”

You dared to take a peak at Tom then, who was staring at you with a look of what could only be described as incredulity and it perfectly matched his tone. “Well, you are most certainly not a Slytherin then. Professor Slughorn would be more than happy to put in a good word about your talents and introduce you to the right people. You’d still get the job by your own ability, it’s just that networking is essential to get most positions nowadays.”

When he put it that way, you couldn’t help but feel a bit embarrassed that your anxiety about your future had prevented you from talking with Slughorn about it earlier. As your face grew warmer, you kept your gaze firmly on your hands as your fingers curled tighter into the black fabric.

“However, there is still another month until we have our O.W.L.s, I’m sure he can have something arranged if you talk with him soon.” When you gave him a shy nod in response, he continued, “And even if you don’t end up at the Ministry, I’m sure you’d be able to manage at any job you set your mind on. I doubt finding a job will prove to be an issue for you.”

Right, you couldn’t change what you had already done, er, failed to do, so it was best to focus on the future. You were honestly surprised by just how much this conversation with Tom had practically destroyed the very same anxiety that had been almost suffocating less than an hour ago. Letting out a shaky breath, you released your death grip on your robes and smoothed out the fabric to give yourself something to do as your mind continued to race.

“Thanks, Riddle. I’ll be sure to do just that tomorrow after Potions class.” Finally daring to look up and meet him, you gave him a small but grateful smile, even though you knew your face was likely still a bit flushed.

“I’m glad to hear it.” While he didn’t give you a full blown smile, he still looked pleased at your words and his deft fingers paused in their places along his wand. “Perhaps you wouldn’t mind telling me how it goes over a cup of tea at Hogsmeade this Saturday?”

You could only stare at him dumbly as your mind tried to figure out just what he meant by that. The most attractive and intelligent young man in the entire school hadn’t just asked you out, had he? There was no way. He hadn’t shown any of that type of interest before, the way he sometimes watched you never felt like they were that. But maybe they were? Maybe you were just overthinking things like usual?

Almost as if he could read your racing thoughts, he provided the clarification you needed before you could part your lips to ask. "As a date, yes. I’d like us to become better acquainted, but if you’re not interested I wouldn’t be opposed to talking as potential friends instead.”

His beautiful eyes crinkled in amusement as you seemed to struggle to find your words again. "Yeah, um, yeah—sure. I’d like the same thing. It being a date, I mean.” You pressed your lips together out of the sheer awkwardness that was that delivery.

He seemed entirely unbothered by it though, if anything you got the feeling that he was almost smugly pleased by your acceptance of his offer. “Excellent. I’ll meet you in front of the gates at two?”

“Y-Yes, that sounds perfect.”

“I’ll see you then.” Standing up, Tom tucked his wand back into his robes with a naturally elegant flourish. “I look forward to hearing about your talk with the professor.” Giving you a small farewell nod, Tom left you sitting dumbfounded on the bench as you stared after him.

The rain began to absolutely slam on the window panes then, but you didn’t know if you had just been so absorbed in your conversation with him that you hadn’t noticed or if it was just because it was raining harder.

What just happened? The thought echoed through your mind until a thunderous boom broke you from your stupor. Adjusting your robes to ensure that there was no sign that you had been outside before the storm, you headed down to the Great Hall for supper.

No longer dreading being surrounded by the people who seemed to have everything together, but instead excited about your most unexpected date.

As Tom lounged in a green velvet armchair looking out into the dark abyss , he couldn’t help but run his index finger over his middle left finger as he reflected on today’s success.

Having an insider in the Department of Mysteries would prove to be quite invaluable, indeed. Especially when they were someone with some actual talent and intelligence that he had been keeping an eye on.

The trap was set and all he had to do was charm and ensnare his prey into joining his ranks.

Another storm was brewing, but you didn’t know.

Chapter Text

Remus Lupin

  • There wasn’t much music in Remus’s life, so he had no reason to dance.
    • But that was before you waltzed right past his walls and into his life.
  • The two of you first dance at James and Lily’s wedding reception.
    • You had to practically drag Remus onto the dance floor after the first dance was over, since he was insistent that he was incapable of dancing.
    • He was stiff initially as he held one of your hands and placed the other on your waist as the two of you began to sway to the rhythm.
    • You had to tell him to relax and give his hand a squeeze to get him to loosen up a bit, jokingly assuring him that you didn’t care if he stepped on your foot or anything.
    • He then playfully pretended to step on your foot and managed to loosen up a bit.
    • The two of you ended up dancing the night away, with plenty of teasing from Sirius and Peter.  James was too absorbed in his new wife to really notice.
    • From here, it began to seep into your domestic life.  Since Remus really enjoyed it.
  • Remus mainly likes to slow dance, having you in his arms and close.  Just wrapped up in the moment and the music.
    • For a fleeting amount of time, he can escape his head and just focus on the most important part of his life: you.
    • On evenings when things feel oppressively hopeless, Remus likes to put on a record and just hold you close, swaying with you as he rubs your back.
  • If he’s in a good mood or if you’re feeling especially down, you might get treated to him putting on a more upbeat glam rock song if he’s unable to cheer you up any other way.
    • He wasn’t entirely lying when he said that he couldn’t dance, he’s adorably awkward as he tries to do some classic dance moves like the twist or the running man.  And it’s so bad.
      • So bad.
    • Remus looks ridiculous and it never fails to make you giggle and join in.

Sirius Black

  • This man is a dancing machine.
    • He loves music and he loves jamming out to it, especially when he gets to do it with you.  There’s honestly nothing that makes him happier.
  • He likes all types of dancing and a wide variety of music.  He’s actually a really good dancer and can pull off even more ridiculous dance moves, even when he’s just joking around.
    • Some subgenres of rock may be his favorites, but if it’s a bop.  It’s a bop.  And he’ll dance to it.
    • Swing dancing?  Sure.  An overdramatic waltz?  You betcha.  Headbanging?  Hell yeah.  Comedically bad interpretive dancing?  His specialty.
    • If there’s music that he likes playing, he’ll at least be tapping a foot or nodding his head along to the beat, maybe even mouthing the lyrics if he doesn’t feel like full out singing along.
  • Dancing together starts even before the two of you start officially dating.
    • He’d often rope you into dancing with him and would take advantage of the close proximity to flirt with you.
  • Oh, you think you’re safe in public?  Wrong.
    • You’ll be in the grocery store together, just minding your own business and doing your shopping when something like ‘Take a Chance on Me’ ABBA starts playing on the overhead radio.  Instantly, you know what’s about to happen.
    • You cannot stop him from dancing around you, lip syncing the lyrics and being an absolute goofball.  Obviously trying to embarrass you and not caring about any stares he may get 
    • If you tell him to stop, he’ll pull out a ridiculous looking move (most often an over exaggerated shimmy) and will continue to do so until he sees you crack a smile.  You can’t win against him.
    • However, if you try and escape from his public embarrassment, you will get dragged into some couple’s dancing.
  • However, he can be romantic too.  It’s not all just for fun.
    • On nights in, you’ll often find yourself getting roped into some sort of dancing.  Most of it is for more upbeat stuff, but he always ends with a couple of slower songs.
    • He likes to twirl you and dip you deeply before pulling you in for a smile filled kiss.

Regulus Black

  • The two of you actually start off your acquaintanceship with a dance at an elite social event your parents dragged you to when you were both 16.
    • You both knew of each other at Hogwarts, but Regulus was reserved and the two of you had never really talked much before.
    • Being bored of just standing around, you ended up asking him to dance when the next song, a waltz, was about to begin since it was a simple dance you could manage through.  Much to your surprise, he agreed.
    • The two of you took the floor and began to waltz, silently at first but then chatting about your favorite academic subjects.
    • You couldn’t help but be awed by how well he led you.
    • The song, while long, seems to pass in a flash as the two of you enjoy each other’s company.
  • Regulus is also a very talented dancer, but in a much more formal way than his older brother.  He isn’t quite as loose or casual with his dancing.
    • He’s elegant and has excellent posture thanks to the ballroom dancing lessons his parents put him in from a young age since he actually took it seriously.
  • His favorite is the waltz, as he enjoys the music the most and appreciates the simplicity of the dance in its most basic form.
  • The two of you often have ‘dancing dates,’ either organized by both sets of parents or on your own accord when you sneak away to an empty classroom at Hogwarts during the school year.
    • One of his favorite things is imparting his knowledge to you, teaching you how to foxtrot and quickstep.  Or maybe some advanced waltz moves if you’re feeling up for it.
      • He’s quite patient with you and is a surprisingly good teacher…even if you sometimes get a bit distracted by how attractive and close he is.
    • Often times, the two of you just waltz around while talking about your respective days and any problems you might have been having.
    • These are his most cherished dates and memories.
  • The first thing you noticed fade away from your relationship with Regulus was the dancing.
    • Instead, your dates were more often to Hogsmeade and were shorter.  He seemed distracted and distant.
    • You thought things were going back to normal when he invited you over to his house for a dancing date while his parents were away during the evening in the summer.
    • The two of you waltzed, but you did most of the talking since Regulus kept asking you questions about how you were doing.
    • He pulled you into a gentle kiss as the song was winding down.
      • “I’m sorry for…everything.  Please know that I love you.”
      • “I do and I love you too, Regulus.”
      • As the record came to its end, he reluctantly released you and let you leave.
      • That was the first and last time he ever explicitly said that he loved you.

Chapter Text

Remis Lupin

  • This man is not used to having someone live with him, so it takes him a little while to adjust.  He’s very tense and overly proper at first, worrying excessively over your comfort, but after some teasing on your end he loosens up a bit.
  • Since he’s not all that big on going outside (especially after his condition gets outed), the two of you spend a lot of time just relaxing together.  Most often doing some reading or, during the time he was a professor, grading papers and assignments.
    • One of his favorite things is just sitting in the same room as you while you do your own things.  
    • You’ll often catch him staring at you with those adorable puppy dog eyes of his, just brimming with adoration for you.
  • There are so many cuddles.  This poor man has been touch starved for so long and he takes full advantage of living with you.  
    • If you’re having a bad day, he’ll always cheer you up with some chocolate and cuddles in bed.  Often, he’ll regale you with some ridiculous stories from his time at Hogwarts.
  • His favorite way to go to sleep is with you curled up against him his face buried in your hair.  Even when you have to shift positions from getting too warm, he’s still going to have a hand on your waist or part of an arm draped loosely over you.
  • The only arguments that really crop up between you two occur when the monthly full moon approaches and his mood worsens.  His self esteem problems flare up, along with his sense of guilt for dragging you down.
    • He’ll often go outside and get some fresh air afterwards.  More often than not, you’ll end up going to sleep alone on those nights.
    • However, if you’re a light sleeper you’ll get woken up by him coming into bed and cuddling up to you.  Pressing a featherlight kiss to your forehead and whispering an apology.

Neville Longbottom

  • Living with Neville is filled with sunshine and plants.
  • Seriously, your home quickly becomes filled with species of potted plants that can grow outside of direct sunlight.
  • If he’s able to, he’ll have an impressive garden growing outside.  Filled with all kinds of plants, magical and otherwise.
    • The easiest way to make him happy is show interest in his hobby and get involved in tending to it yourself.  
    • He’ll teach you everything he knows in a very excited fashion, he’s a fantastic teacher and his enthusiasm is infectious.
  • Neville loves Muggle cooking with you, especially when the two of you can use herbs he grew himself.
    • It gives him a sense of accomplishment and it’s a great opportunity to just talk with you while making something tasty.
    • You tend to do a lot of the more sensitive things, like using a knife or mixing things in at certain times, but he becomes a good helper with some practice and patience.
    • He tries to learn how to cook on his own and surprise you in bed with breakfast one morning and he succeeds, kind of.  The food’s a bit burnt and frumpy looking, but he tried his best.
  • On the downside, Neville breaks a lot of things.  A lot of things, especially plates.
    • Thankfully, magic allows for quick repairs of the items and you’ve become quite good at healing magic to treat any injuries Neville may receive.
  • He’s not the biggest cuddler in bed since he gets overheated pretty easily, but he does like holding your hand whenever he can.  Often times, you’ll wake up with your hands intertwined.
    • There are other times when he wakes you up after having a nightmare reliving some of traumatic events he’s been through and he just needs to be held.
  • He loves Muggle technology and the two of you often have movie nights, he’s especially fond of romantic comedies and musicals.  

Bill Weasley 

  • Unfortunately, Bill is often away in Egypt for his job and the breaks when he’s able to return home are short-lived, even if he does his best to take as many as he can.  He tries to make up for it when he is home though.
    • For one, he always brings home something for you and something for your home.
    • As such, your home is totally awesome, it’s filled with a bunch of amazing (not cursed) artifacts and antiquities.
  • He also likes to bring you home flowers (as he thinks it means more than just conjuring some up), so there’s just about always some in a vase.
  • Every time the two of you are home together, you’re just about always doing something.  Most often it’s something outside.
    • His favorite things to do with you are to teach you some Quidditch moves out in the yard or go on short walks with you around the neighborhood.
    • When the weather isn’t great, you’ll most often play some board or card games inside.
  • The two of you don’t really argue too much, Bill’s a very good communicator and you have a very functional system in place for expressing your needs and wants to each other.
  • Photos are very important for him, he loves journaling your life together through photos.  So expect him to take a lot of photos with and of you, since he likes having a few to have on him when he’s at work.
    • He also has a ton of his family’s pictures around the house, it’s easy to tell just how much he loves his family.  
    • In particular, there’s also a lot of photos of you, Bill, and Charlie from your Hogwarts days as well.
  • He absolutely loves seeing you wear his shirts around the house, he thinks it’s the cutest thing ever.
  • Bill is a huge cuddler and is very fond of physical contact in general.
    • Even if you don’t go to sleep cuddled up together, you will wake up with his arms wrapped around you.  

Chapter Text

To say that your relationship with a certain Potions master was fraught with tension would be the understatement of the century.  There was undoubtedly something there between the two of you, though it was hard to say exactly what given how subtle and controlled your fellow professor often was.  

While the two of you shared a close relationship filled with banter and debate, one that you deeply cherished.  His ability to read you like a book, however?  Not so much.  You woke up sick, but were resolved to make it through all of your lessons for the day.  Given the fact that you were already behind in your lesson plans for the semester, taking a day or two off would be a problem.

And if Snape noticed you were sick, you knew he’d get in the way of your ill-advised plans.

So far, you were getting by in the day without too much difficulty thanks to taking your only anti-nausea potion, once you decided to teach your lessons while seated at your desk that day.  It wasn’t unusual of you to do so for more lecture-heavy classes, since it only took a flick of the wand to write instructions and notes on the chalkboard and erase them.  

None of your students had seemed to notice something was off, though you hadn’t interacted with any of your fellow staff yet that day since you had skipped breakfast.  Now that wasn’t something you ever did, since it was one of your prime opportunities to talk with Snape.

However you couldn’t afford to skip lunch and knew you had to try and at least eat something, even if the thought of food as a concept was entirely unappealing to you.  And that meant sitting at your usual spot between Minerva and Severus.

Taking your seat at the table, you found that the Transfiguration and Potions professors had beat you to the table.  Immediately, you felt the latter’s stern gaze on you.  Fantastic.

“And where precisely were you this morning?”

“Oh, you know, I needed to get caught up on some grading and wasn’t feeling particularly hungry.”  That was the partial truth, you just hoped Snape would buy into it.

He maintained eye contact with you for a few moments more and you got the distinctive impression that he saw right through you.  “Is that so?”  Finally, he dropped his gaze back to his meal and you felt like you could breathe again.

You grabbed a couple of rolls from the platters in front of you. “Yes, though I didn’t think you’d miss me so much over just skipping a meal.  If I’d have known, I would’ve brought my papers down with me.”

“Do not flatter yourself.  I was merely curious due to the inconsistency in your schedule.”  While his tone was a bit sharper than usual, it wasn’t enough to indicate that he was anything but 

Minerva normally stayed out of the debates and banters the two of you often engaged in.  It seemed that this time was different as she leaned over and playfully nudged you with an elbow. “He was quite worried, actually.”

Minerva,” Snape said, his voice low with warning.

“Oh, come now, Severus, being worried is nothing to be ashamed of,” she said before she turned her attention back to you.  “But is that really all you’re going to be eating today?  You need to eat more than that after you skipped breakfast, I imagine that’s why you’re looking paler than usual.”

You hadn’t even taken a bite of one of your rolls yet, it seemed entirely unappetizing.  However, Minerva’s chiding tone told you that she wasn’t going to let you get away with eating next to nothing and you begrudgingly added the blandest food available to your place.  While you didn’t dare look at Snape, you could feel his gaze on you, undoubtedly scrutinizing your every move.  You just hoped he didn’t notice the slight tremble of your hands.

With the food added, you looked back over to your senior professor.  “Happy?”

“Very.”

Thankfully, you were able to eat in relative peace after that.  McGonagall busied herself by chatting with Flitwick and Severus seemed uninterested in talking, yet you could feel him staring at you from time to time.  Just chewing and swallowing the food felt like a chore, but you managed to clear your plate by the time the lunch period came to an end.  It was almost certain that, even with your best efforts, the subject of your affections had seen through your act.  He always could.

As such, you were quick to hustle out of the Great Hall once the clock chimed, wanting to prevent Snape from trying to walk with you and likely ruin your plans.  Exerting yourself to walk so briskly was beginning to make you light-headed, but you didn’t slow until you had reached one of the side corridors that led to your classroom.  Thankful that you had beaten the crowd of students, you didn’t feel too bad about pausing for a moment to regain your bearings.  Your classroom was so close and yet you felt like you would topple over at any given moment, pushing yourself any further would be especially unwise.

Neville seemed to always arrive at the classroom first, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when you saw him make an immediate beeline toward you after he turned the corner.  “Professor, is something wrong?  You look really pale …  I could, um, go get Madam Pomfrey?”

“No, that won’t be necessary.  But thank you for your concern, Mr. Longbottom.  Go on ahead to the classroom, I just…need a few moments to think is all.“  It was difficult to put your teacher persona on when you felt like the gentlest breeze of wind would be enough to knock you off your feet.

“Are you sure?  It wouldn’t be—”

“There’s no need for that, Longbottom.”  Snape’s tone was bitingly sharp as he strode up to the two of you at an intimidating pace.  “Her classes are canceled for the rest of the day.  If you wish to be of use for once, then I would suggest you take your leave and pass the message along to the rest of your classmates.”

"R-R-Right.”  However, poor Neville seemed stunned in place from Severus’ sudden appearance.  You could see the Potions master’s jaw clench and knew that he was starting to lose his temper with the boy.  Ever since the Boggart incident earlier that year, he had been especially hard on the Gryffindor.  It wasn’t fair and you needed to say something, even if your disorientation made it feel like a chore.

Snape beat you to it, however, as he took a step closer to Neville and glowered down at him, his words laced with venom.  “Are you incapable of doing even the simplest of tasks, Longbottom?  Leave.”  

Neville was pale as a ghost, but by some miracle he was able to regain control of his motor functions again and practically bolted away from the two of you.  Once he had rounded the corner, Snape let out a heavy exhale before turning his steely gaze onto you.  The anger previously on his features almost instantaneously faded away.  However, that incident crossed a line and in your sickness induced stupor, your anger and disappointment was able to get the better of you. 

Waving your index finger around for emphasis, you bgan to rant, “Look, I don’t like to swear, but: What.  The.  Royal hippogriff was that, Severus?!  Neville was just trying to help and I’m perfectly able to keep teaching, there was no—”

“That is quite enough.”  Severus crossed his arms over his chest, his voice was quiet but commanding enough to silence you instantly.  “We can discuss Longbottom later, when you are in the proper state of mind and not acting like a ridiculous child.”

Severus—”

However, he cut you off yet again when he reached a hand up and felt your forehead just long enough to feel your temperature.  The surprise contact was enough to make your face suddenly feel hotter than it already was.  “As I suspected.  It seems as if you are running a fever.  And your face is quite flushed too …”

“I’m fine.  Really.”

“Considering the fact that you were just shouting in the halls, do forgive me for not buying into such obvious nonsense.”  Before you could try and refute things any further, Snape gently grasped your wrist.  “Now, you’ve been out of bed long enough.  I’ll be escorting you to your quarters.”

There was no room for argument if his tone had anything to say about it, yet you realized that by doing so he would end up being quite late to his own class.  “But…what about your class?”

“They will wait.”

Those were the last words exchanged as he escorted you through the halls, keeping a firm grip on your wrist as if he was concerned you’d try and break away.  However, he kept his pace slow enough to prevent you from over exerting yourself too much farther, even pausing every once in a while to give you a brief break.  The only thing troubling about this arrangement was the gawking the two of you received from the straggling students, but his glares seemed to be scare them into looking away quickly enough.

When you reached your small apartment in the staff’s wing, Snape accompanied you inside and directly to your bed, only releasing your wrist when you sat down on it.

“Now, describe your symptoms to me.”  While you weren’t entirely certain as to why he asked such of you, but you complied regardless.

Once you had finished your description, he gave a small nod. “I see, I believe I have a potion that could help reduce your symptoms.  I’ll bring it to you in between classes.”

“Thank you, Sev.”

He moved to the door and opened it, before he paused and looked at you over his shoulder.  “Your attempt to work today has clearly exacerbated your symptoms, which will not do.  Stay in bed and rest.”  While his long hair obscured much of his face, his tone was…gentler in a way that made your heart flutter.

“But—“

That’s not a suggestion, but an order.  Obey.”  And with that, he took his leave and the door shut behind him.

Knowing better than to not comply with his order, you climbed under the blankets and buried your hot face against the cool pillow.  While you certainly would have to have a serious chat with him about his treatment of Neville, it was still nice to know that he cared for you in his own way.

Chapter Text

The energy in the stands of the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch was electrifying as the scores between the two teams got closer and closer.  Usually the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw Quidditch matches weren’t this close, but Ravenclaw was quickly catching up as their Chasers were managing to get some goals in using some experimental tactics.  However, Cho Chang and Harry Potter had both spotted the Snitch and it would only be a matter of time until one of them caught it and brought the game to an end.

However, your eyes were not focused on the two Seekers, but rather on your spectacularly stupid boyfriend: George Weasley.  You knew he had been a bit frustrated lately due to some issues in his family and that he used Quidditch as a way of blowing off steam, but this?  This was just idiotic.

The redhead was playing especially aggressively today, he was intentionally trying to aim the Bludger at the stronger and larger of the two Ravenclaw Beaters.  It was beyond stupid, partially since it was leaving Alicia vulnerable, but most importantly because this was a direct contest that he obviously wouldn’t be able to win.  Needless to say, it had you on the edge of your seat since it was obvious that George was playing with fire…and most likely either going to get in trouble for breaking the rules or, worse, injured in the process.

Fred ended up having to veer off from shielding Angelina to try and get his brother to leave it be.  However, he ended up being too late.  It all happened so fast, but your stomach dropped when you saw the Bludger hit George right on the middle of his forehead and got knocked out from the blow. 

It was only a few moments later when Harry grabbed the Snitch, completely oblivious as to what had just happened.  Gryffindor won, but that was the very last thing on your mind.


After the match, George had been taken to the Hospital Wing, still unconscious, and you had followed suit along with the rest of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.  However, Madam Pomfrey had all gotten kicked out about a quarter of an hour ago for being too loud and rowdy for the Hospital Wing.  Thankfully, the matron had permitted you to remain, so long as you kept quiet.

You had been trying to read a single page from your Charms textbook for the entire time that you had been stuck in the Hospital Wing, but you were too distracted and anxious to really focus.  As such, it didn’t take much movement on George’s end to alert you to when he came to.

Immediately, he winced and slipped a hand up to rub his forehead.  “Ugh, what happened?”

“That Ravenclaw Beater really gave you a good Beating for being so bloody stupid’s what happened.  You got knocked straight off your broom, your lucky Madam Hooch had such quick reflexes, otherwise you would’ve hit the ground.  Madam Pomfrey says you’ll probably be in here for a couple of days, but should be fine …”  You trailed off when you noticed he seemed to zone out, worry that maybe Pomfrey’s initial tending to his injuries hadn’t been thorough enough.  “George?”

Your concerns were immediately placated when a weak grin broke out on his face, “Hey, did it hurt when you fell from heaven? I’m only asking because it hurt when I did and I thought I might have done it wrong.

You stared at him blankly for a couple of moments before rolling your eyes at his incredibly cheesy pick-up line, though you couldn’t prevent yourself from smiling at the same time.  “You’re an absolute idiot, I’ve been worried sick about you and the second thing out of your mouth is a joke.”

“But I’m your absolute idiot.  And it got you to smile, which is what counts since I’m fine.”

“I don’t think that’s how this works, but I’ll give you a pass this one time.”  His grin only grew as he pulled his hand away from his healed injury to offer his hand to you.  Your own smile grew as you accepted it.

Just what were you going to do with this lovable idiot?

Chapter Text

It was late on a cold December evening and yet you found yourself standing in the Astronomy Tower instead of in your toasty warm bed.  Luckily, it was a clear night over Hogwarts so you were able to enjoy a view of the stars.

It almost made enduring the chill worthwhile, but it wasn’t why you were at the tower that evening.

“Thank you for meeting me here, I know it was a bit short notice.”

The light, airy voice from behind you pulled your attention away from the velvety night sky.

“Of course, I wouldn’t miss out on spending time with you.  I know we’ve both been a bit busy lately with the end of the semester.”

“Thank you.  It’s nice to have someone to be like this with…I’ve only ever read about it in books before.”  While she was smiling, the admission of her social isolation made your heart ache.

However, between the adorable smile on her face and how her pale blonde hair seemed to glow in the moonlight, you found yourself unable to look directly at her for too long.  She was too beautiful and in spite of the cold wind prickling your skin, things were beginning to feel almost uncomfortably warm.

“But you, um, said you had something you wanted to ask me?”  Admittedly, you were trying to not get your hopes up, since it could have been quite literally anything, knowing her.  

“Oh, right.”  She placed her hands on the rail in front of you, putting some of her weight on it as she leaned forward to gaze at the stars.  “You know, when I was a child my father and I used to go outside on clear nights, just like this, and stargaze from time to time.  The stars were always so beautiful, but it always made me a bit sad since I could never reach out and touch them.  They were always so far away …”

She trailed off, lost in thought for a few moments, before she turned her silverly blue eyes back toward you.  “I asked you here because you’re like the stars, but far better.”

“What do you mean?”  Despite how cold it was, you couldn’t help but place your hands on the railing as well.  Just wanting something to hold onto to steady your trembling hands.  You didn’t quite follow her logic, but you could tell that it was a compliment.

Luna slipped her hand over yours before explaining, “You’re bright and beautiful, but I’ve realized that I can actually touch you.  Just like this.”

You felt your brain practically short circuit from her touch alone and her words just further sent you into a dumb stupor. 

“So, I was wondering if you’d be my date to the Yule Ball?”

You knew full well that she wouldn’t have phrased it like that if she was asking you as a friend, It took you a few moments of processing that bombshell revelation before you managed to regain some semblance of composure.  “B-But wouldn’t us…going together make things…”

Blinking a few times, she seemed quite perplexed at your anxieties over how her dating another girl would fare among her bullies.  “Worse?  Oh no, that’s unlikely.  I don’t think the Nargles really care much about if I start dating or not.”  She gave your hand a gentle squeeze.  “Besides, even if they did, we could deal with it together.”

Working up some of your courage, you leaned over and gave her a chaste kiss on the lips.

“Together it is, then.  I’d love to be your date to the ball, Luna.”

Chapter Text

It was your third year when you first really took notice of the quiet Tom Riddle.  The two of you shared a Defense Against the Dark Arts class and he was, by far, the best student in the class.  Both in terms of knowledge and application he already surpassed, at the very least, most fifth year students.  It was hard to not notice him.

While he was starting to gain popularity, no one really seemed to know much of anything about him outside of the fact that he was from a Muggle orphanage.  Always being at the top of your class and placidly calm, it was honestly hard to imagine something he was afraid of.

But that was precisely what made the subject of your class that day all the more interesting: Boggarts.

When you had entered the classroom, all of the desks had been shoved along the walls and a rumbling chest sitting ominously near the front of the room next to Professor Merrythought.  You presumed it was a Boggart inside that was so desperately trying to escape the chest.

When the bells chimed signifying class was in session, the DADA professor shut the door with a wave of her wand before beaming at the room full of nervous students.  “Alright, class, please get into a line and we will get into today’s lesson on Boggarts.”

Everyone quickly did so, vying to be toward the back or middle, of which you thankfully acquired a position almost directly in the middle.  Glancing around at the order of students, you noticed that it was mostly Gryffindors up front.  Tom Riddle, on the other hand, was at the very end of the line.  It seemed like you and your peers would have to wait till the very end to see what he feared …

You were snapped from your thoughts as professor Merrythought began to lecture the class briefly on the Riddikulus charm, making everyone repeat it several times before she unlocked the chest and began the practical lesson.

Waiting had made you jittery, you weren’t entirely certain as to what form your Boggart would take or if you’d be able to imagine whatever form it took as something funny.

Twirling your wand in your fingers you repeated the incantation in your head over and over again.  Everyone’s Boggarts were vastly different: the grim reaper, a Muggle military airplane in the sky, Grindelwald, a giant snake, a horde of spiders, and so forth.  Seeing everyone else’s just made you dread when your time was up all the more.

Finally you were up.  “Now, dear, repeat the incantation for me, if you will.”

Riddikulus.”

“Very good,” she said. “Are you ready?”

You gave her a nod as you stared at the chest, holding your wand out in front of you with a trembling hand.  You heard her cast the unlocking charm and suddenly the Boggart burst out of the chest in a swirling mass.  It only took a moment for it to take the form of your greatest fear.  The sight of it was enough to give you pause, but after a couple of moments you were able to regain control over yourself and cast the charm as instructed after picturing the most absurd thing you could imagine.  It worked and the subject of your greatest fear turned into something downright silly, earning you the biggest laugh from your peers out of everyone who had gone.

Feeling better about yourself, you moved to stand along the side of the room with everyone else who had already gone to observe the rest of the students.  Finally, the subject of everyone’s interest was up.

While Tom normally had a smile, his face was utterly devoid of expression as he repeated the incantation to the professor and readied his white wand in front of him.  Merrythought opened the chest and the Boggart burst out violently, the lid slamming against the chest’s back with a slam.  Unlike with you and all of the other students, it transformed almost instantaneously upon being freed of its prison.

Thud.

The corpse of Tom Riddle laid mangled on the ground, limbs splayed in unnatural directions.  The glassy brown eyes staring directly at you.  The sight of it was enough to force you to turn your head away, though it didn’t help much since you could still feel the unseeing gaze on you.

It didn’t go away in a few moments like you had expected and you began to hear your classmates murmur.  Daring to look up, you saw Tom frozen in place, his yew wand quite visibly trembling as he pointed it at the Boggart.  While he was quite pale, he looked to be almost as white as his wand.

Riddikulus.”

Nothing.  After a moment, the Boggart taunted him by shifting shapes as it moved a bit closer, the sight was enough to shush the class once more.  This time, the new grotesque corpse was burned severely, the only indication that it was supposed to be Tom were the scorched Slytherin robes on it.

Riddikulus.”

Again, nothing happened for a few moments before the Boggart took the opportunity to start shape shifting again as it moved closer.   However, it didn’t get the opportunity to finish as Professor Merrythought stood between her student and the creature.

It shifted into a giant werewolf, but with a flourish of her wand she casted the spell that Tom had failed to do and it transformed into a goggly eyed, lolling tongue werewolf plush.  It looked ridiculous enough to break the tension in the class and earn some giggles from the other students and your instructor took advantage of it to return the creature to its chest.  Tom didn’t laugh, however, he stood there with a blank expression on his face, almost as if he had put on a mask.

When the lock clicked shut, she turned to the class with a forced smile.  “Good work today, everyone.  Class is dismissed.”

The muttering returned as people began to file out, the professor stopped and said something to Tom before casting a levitation charm on the chest and moving it up to her office.  He still stood there after she had left, motionless and lost in thought, staring down at his wand as if it had somehow betrayed him.  When the professor was a ways off, you approached the Slytherin boy.  Yet he didn’t seem to notice you until you cleared your throat, his cool dark brown eyes meeting your own.  

“Hey, Riddle, I know we’ve never talked before, but, um, it was a good effort, you know?  I don’t think I would’ve been able to cast the spell either if my Boggart looked like that.”  You gave him a small smile at that.

For a moment, there seemed to be a flicker of an unreadable emotion on his face.  Before you could even process it though, he returned your small smile with his own and shyly dropped his gaze to the wand he held in his hands.  “I highly doubt that.  You handled your Boggart as if it were nothing.”

“It was harder than it looked.”  Slipping your wand back into your pocket, you couldn’t help but feel a bit embarrassed at the praise.  “Just don’t be too hard on yourself, okay?  I’m sure you’ll get it next time.”

“Yes, I doubt it’ll prove to be an issue but thank you …?”

You gave him your name as you offered a hand out to him. “It’s nice to finally talk with you a bit.”

“Likewise.”  He took your hand and gave it a firm shake.

Shortly after he had released your hand, you heard the office door open and you gave him a short wave goodbye before leaving the classroom.


Before you knew it, it was almost the end of your seventh year and things had changed drastically since your fateful class on Boggarts.  In the span of only four years, Tom had gone from a cute young boy to a tall and extremely handsome young man.  And you were quite lucky to now have him as your boyfriend, even if the two of you weren’t yet public about your relationship.  While he, perhaps, wasn’t as emotionally open as you would’ve liked, he was otherwise the perfect partner for you.

Despite the secrecy, the two of you still sat at the same table in your advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts class that was at the very end of the day.  Today’s lesson was a bit special, as it was your second to last class before your N.E.W.T’s and your class had voted on having one last practical lesson over two review sessions.  

As some of the final students straggled into the classroom, you looked over at Tom.  “What do you think the professor’s going to teach us?”

“An excellent question, perhaps something useful like Occlumency?  Though I doubt a single lesson would be worth much.”  He gave a small shrug.

“Hm, I’m not sure.  But it isn’t like there’s a lot of advanced magic that we haven’t at least touched on.”

The clock chimed before he could respond and Professor Merrythought promptly shut the door before standing up from her desk.

“Today, we’re going to start learning a difficult bit of magic that the average wizard and witch are unable to perform, it’s truly a spell that separates the most magically gifted from the rest.  Which is why I only teach it as something extra to my most advanced students.”  She smiled proudly as she looked around at her small class.  “But first, we do need to talk a bit about some common errors I noticed on your last homework assignment and touch on the layout of the review session next class.”

The mention of learning such a difficult piece of magic stirred some whispers in your small class, you and Tom shared a look.  While his expression was controlled, his lit up eyes betrayed his excitement and thirst for learning new magic.  The DADA professor quickly brought everyone’s attention back to the front of the room and began to discuss the homework and review session.

“Now, onto the fun part of today’s lesson …  Expecto Patronum!”  A silvery blue fog poured out of the tip of her wand before taking shape into the form of an aardvark.  The spectral animal circled around your professor a couple of times before darting into the aisle separating the two columns of desks.  It promptly vanished into thin air once it reached the door.

“That was the Patronus charm, a corporeal version to be precise.  Now, one lesson isn’t going to be enough to do something like that, but I suspect most of you should be able to conjure up an incorporeal form.  It’ll be a start.”

With that, Professor Merrythought launched into a short lecture on how to conjure a Patronus, languishing details on the specifics of the happy memory and precisely how to let it flow through you.  It was quite abstract, so it wasn’t hard to see why this particular charm proved to be such a challenge for most people.

Once she finished, your class was allowed to start trying your hand at conjuring a Patronus, so everyone stood up from their seats and began to take cracks at it.  Carefully thinking over some of your happiest memories, you opted for a strategic approach and started off with some of your earliest memories and worked your way forward, trying to let them ‘fill’ you as instructed by the professor.

About twenty frustrating minutes passed and, at best, you had been able to produce some indistinct blue wisps from the tip of your wand.  But you were getting closer, you could feel it.  Some of the other top students were already producing very small, shield-shaped incorporeal Patronuses.  If they could do it, so could you!  You just needed to find the right memory …

Tom, much to your surprise, actually seemed to really be struggling.  While just about everyone had produced at least some wisps, he had produced absolutely nothing.  You were a bit frustrated, but your boyfriend was visibly irritated, which was a rare sight, indeed.  His jaw was clenched tight as he glowered at his wand, as if it was somehow its fault that he was unable to cast the charm.

It reminded you of the time when you had first spoke with the young orphan boy those four years ago.  As much as you wished there was something you could do to help him out, you knew it was something he’d have to figure out on his own.  And even if there had been, you knew he would have never accepted your aid anyways.

Exhaling, you turned your attention back to your own wand, doing your best to clear your thoughts of him—unless …

You thought back to how much fun you had during the first time the two of you hung out as friends in the library, chatting amiably about Defense Against the Dark Arts.  Eyes closed, you let the warmth of the memory spread throughout you, you cast the charm again.

Expecto Patronum!”  When you opened your eyes, you were surprised by a small shield of silvery wisps emanated from your wand.  Now you were getting somewhere!

Now you only needed something stronger …

Immediately, your mind jumped to when Tom asked you out after one of your study sessions together last semester.  It had been very traditional and perhaps a bit cliche, but it didn’t make it any less memorable or dear to you.  He had conjured a single, stunning chrysanthemum flower and asked you if you’d accompany him to Hogsmeade that weekend on a date.  The memory of it was enough to bring a smile to your face as you closed your eyes once more and let the warmth spread throughout your chest.

Expecto Patronum!”  The shield was larger this time, impressively so compared to those of the other students.

But you knew you could still do better now that you had gotten the hang of this.

Finally, you recalled meeting him for that first date in the Three Broomsticks.  How that was the moment when it finally set in that you were on a date with your best friend who you believed you had been hopelessly crushing on for two years, perhaps even slightly longer.  That the handsome, brilliant, and (of course) ambitious Tom Riddle had chosen you to date.  Allowing the happiness of that moment to fill you, you tried once again.

Expecto Patronum!”  When you opened your eyes, you were surprised by seeing a silver specter of a creature leave your wand.  You were only able to maintain it for a few fleeting moments, during which it eagerly circled you before flying up and fading away.

Professor Merrythought called your name as she approached you, “A most excellent job!  Being able to cast a corporeal Patronus so quickly is no easy feat.”  The proud grin on her face made your chest swell with a sense of accomplishment.

Those feelings were quickly brought down a notch, however, when you glanced over at Tom who was obviously watching you.  The frustration that had previously been written all over his features was gone, instead there was just … nothing.  Despite his blank expression, you got the impression that he was upset and a sense of Deja Vu swept over you.

The rest of the class passed by quickly, as some of your fellow students asked you for advice on how to ‘feel’ the memory properly, but not Tom.  Never Tom.  Once the clock chimed, you promptly approached him as he was shoving his textbook back into his rucksack.

“Hey, don’t be too hard on yourself, okay?  I’m sure you’ll get it next time.”  You nudged him with your elbow and gave him your best reassuring smile.

Your words gave him pause, you almost didn’t notice his expression harden for but a moment before he let out a small chuckle, though his words rang hollow in your ears.  “Yes, I doubt it’ll prove to be an issue.  But thank you.”

“Tom, not that you need me to remind you, but you’re the most magically gifted wizard Hogwarts has seen in a long time.  Boggarts and Patronuses can’t change that.”

Suddenly, the way his beautiful eyes made contact with yours suddenly felt all the more intense, you doubted you’d be able to look away from him even if you wanted.  However, the spell of it was quickly broken as Tom slipped his pack over one of his shoulders.  “Yes, I suppose you’re right, but let’s go ahead and head to the library though.  Dawdling around won’t help us on our N.E.W.T.s.”

With that, the two of you walked to the library and sat at your normal table tucked away in the back corner.  Pulling out your Transfiguration textbook, you began to leaf through it to find.  However, it was hard to focus with the feeling of Tom’s eyes boring into you.  He had been quieter than usual on the walk there, you had no doubt in your mind that it was still related to his failure of conjuring even an incorporeal Patronus.

“What is it?” you asked, looking up to meet his eyes.

“But what memory did you draw upon?”

Feeling a bit embarrassed you were quick to drop your gaze back to the textbook, your cheeks starting to warm.  “It was, um, when you met me for our first date at the Three Broomsticks.”

You saw that brief flicker of emotion across his face again, but this time you were able to just barely catch what it was: confusion? Surely, that wasn’t right though.  It must have been too quick and your brain failed to interpret things correctly.  After all, he was now giving you that obnoxiously smug smirk of his, there wasn’t a single trace of uncertainty or confusion to be found.

“So, I mean that much to you, hm?”

Quickly, you grabbed the folded parchment you had pulled out to take notes on and playfully smacked Tom on the head with it.  “Oh, hush up, you.  You already have a big enough ego as it is, you don’t need me to say it aloud.”

His smirk broke into an attractive grin, but his eyes didn’t share the same mirth.  However, once you placed the parchment down on the table, he took the opportunity to reach across and place his hand over yours.  “You’re very…important to me too, pet.”

The cool feeling of his hand over your own felt pleasant and his words warmed your heart, it made it hard not to swoon.  Even if his cold eyes strangely looked almost maroon in the candlelight of the library …

Chapter Text

You sat among your house mates in the Great Hall, in spite of the victory feast to going on around you, you felt quite … hollow.  Too many good people had been lost in the course of one evening.

It was when you were first trying to eat that you noticed them, the Malfoys, sitting toward the opposite end of the very same table you were seated at.  Nobody else seemed to pay them any attention as they huddled together, totally alone and looking very much out of place.  You froze, surprised that they were still there, however that quickly passed.  You knew what you needed to do.  You grabbed your plate and got up to go sit with them.

After all, before this stupid war, Draco and in spite of everything the two of you had actually managed to grow quite close over the years, to the point of being best friends with the hint of something more.  However, he had pushed you away the previous year by starting to act like the cruel bully he had been to you during your very first year at Hogwarts.  After he had created some distance between the two of you, he then began to totally ignore you whenever you tried to speak to him … which had almost hurt worse, in a way.

Still, you had never stopped caring for him, you knew him well enough to understand there had been a serious motive behind him pushing you away.

Sitting across from them, you managed to give a small smile to Draco and then to his mother and father, respectively.  You had never met them before, but you weren’t going to let them intimidate you.  “I’m glad to see you’re all okay.”

A series of emotions flickered across Draco’s face, though they passed too quickly.  He seemed more stunned than anything by your appearance as he stared.  Lucius looked mildly confused, but Narcissa actually gave you a small smile.  Though you could tell there was still a hint of disdain to it, you had seen that type of smile all too often from some of your pure-blood classmates.

“Is this a friend of yours, Draco?” Lucius asked when his son kept silent.

Narcissa chimed in, “Yes, I believe this is the friend he’s told us so much about.”

Any confusion on the older man’s face quickly faded and was replaced with nothing short of pure and utter disgust.  You were quick to drop your gaze to your plate, bracing yourself for the worst. “Oh, so this is that—”

“—Father, please.”

Daring to look back up, you were surprised to see Draco defiantly staring up at his father.  You definitely weren’t as surprised as his father was though, the disbelieving look on his face said it all before it transitioned into a cold rage.  It looked as if there were some choice words he wanted to say, but he still had enough sense to stay his tongue in public.

“I’m sorry, father, but,” he glanced over to you before continuing, “she’s very important to me and I just … don’t want you to talk about her that way.”  You felt your face heat up at the admission, knowing that defying his father took a lot of bravery on Draco’s behalf.

Narcissa looked between the two of you before letting out a sigh and looking over her son to her husband.  “Yes, Lucius, she’s gone through the trouble of joining us.  Surely, for the moment we can—”

However, their mutual attempt to sway the Malfoy patriarch was cut off, as he stood up abruptly and his grey eyes flashed with indignation.  “You may, if that’s what you wish, but I certainly will not sit idly by in the presence of such ilk.”

With that he actually strode out of the Great Hall, leaving you alone with Draco and his mother.  Some of the people seated nearby began to mutter, 

Narcissa’s shoulders drooped as she watched her husband storm off, looking overwhelmed and considerably older than her 42 years.  Turning back to you with a pained smile, the previous disdain now absent.  “I’m sorry for my husband, he’s worked up right now … we all are, really.  But … thank you for joining us, I’m glad for the opportunity to finally meet you.  I’ve always been happy that Draco had such a good friend, regardless of your blood status.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Malfoy.  I’m glad to meet you as well, though I’m sorry about your sister …  I know the two of you were close.”

She pressed her lips together and you could tell she was trying to fight back tears, it was obvious that she was just barely holding it together. “You’re too kind, truly.  But I should go talk with Lucius, I’d rather him not be alone right now …”  Giving her son a quick hug before pressing a kiss to his forehead, she left the two of you alone to go find her husband.

A few moments of silence hung over the two of you after she departed, but Draco was the first to break it.  “I’m sorry.”

You shook your head.  “It’s really fine, I know you don’t have any control over your father—”

“No, not about that.”  He paused as he ran a hand through his hair, turning his eyes to study the wood of the table.  “Well, no, I mean, I am sorry about that too, but … I was talking about the way I, um, treated you before.”

Nudging him with your foot under the table, you smiled at him once he made contact with you again.  “I know you are, but I already forgave you a long time ago.  I knew you must have had a reason for it and that you’d come back around eventually …”

You hadn’t ever seen Draco cry before, but your confidence in him was enough to make him tear up.  “I’m so sorry, I just … didn’t want you to get hurt, I was doing some dangerous things and couldn’t risk dragging you down with me.”  He slipped a hand up and rubbed at one of his eyes, trying to prevent any tears from slipping out.  “But I don’t know what I would’ve done if something—”  He shook his head, the words cut off in his throat as he was trying his best not to cry outright.

Not caring of how it looked, you slipped under the table to quickly take a seat on the bench beside him.  Wrapping your arms around him, you pulled him into a gentle hug.  "Hey, nothing happened, right?  I’m still right here with you and we’ll have plenty of time to make up for the time we lost.”

Wrapping his arms back around you, he pressed his forehead against your shoulder to hide his face and you began to rub gentle circles into his back.  The two of you stayed like that in silence for a while.

Draco pulled away first after he regained his composure.  “Thank you for giving me a second chance, even after everything.”  He swallowed thickly and you thought his smile looked more nervous.  “But I hope that this time we can be more than just friends.  I know my parents will come around eventually once they see just how exceptional you are.”

Your heart felt like it could explode out of sheer joy in that moment, but you managed a quick nod before you regained your ability to speak.  “I’d like that very, very much, Draco.”  While you didn’t believe that his parents would ever fully approve of you, Lucius especially, it didn’t really matter to you.

He gave you the warmest and most genuine smile you had ever seen from him before pulling you closer and pressing a chaste kiss to your cheek.

After how dark and lonely the past two years had been along with the bitter end to the war, the future that stretched ahead of you two finally seemed to be bright and filled with hope.

Chapter Text

Sitting on the dock of the Black Lake on a warm  day in May, you dipped your bare feet into the cool water.  Letting out a content sigh, you pulled out a book you had found in the library that seemed interesting.  It was an older book, but it detailed the different mortuary practices of different societies: wizarding and Muggle alike.  It had been a great find, you had previously thought that you had exhausted all of the books on such subjects in the library.

You didn’t get too far into reading before you heard the light tread of another’s footsteps on the dock.  Glancing over your shoulder, you were unsurprised to see that it was none other than Tom Riddle.

It seemed as if he had developed a bit of a habit of ‘accidentally’ bumping into you over the course of the school year.  You couldn’t say you minded it though, you quite liked his company and … perhaps you fancied him a tad.

“Come to enjoy the nice weather, Tom?”

“I have, yes.”  He stopped just shy of you. “Mind if I join you for a while?”

You shrugged in response.  “Be my guest.”

And with that, the young Slytherin prefect sat down beside you on the dock, though he sat cross-legged rather than dipping his feet in the water.  You could feel his dark eyes regarding you, but you paid it no mind as you resumed reading your book.

A few minutes passed before he voiced what was on his mind.

“Why do you always read books on such … morbid subjects?”

You marked your spot before looking to him.  “I just find it to be interesting, is all, and always have, really.  I don’t find it to be as dark and depressing a subject as people make it out to be.”  Moving a hand to rest on the dock behind your back, you leaned backwards a bit.  “I take it you don’t find it all that interesting, then?”

“It’s … complicated.”  He looked out to the middle of the lake, his dark brown hair tousling in the light breeze.  “More than anything, I just don’t see any point in dwelling on such topics.”

“Well, I think that it can tell us a lot about our values and cultures, but it also provides us with a better insight into our own morality.  Besides, I find it to be a bit comforting, in its own way.”

Tom was silent for a long while as he stared forward, as still as an immaculately sculpted statue with his jaw clenched tight.  “How so?”

His question snapped you out of your silent spell of admiring just how handsome he was.  Dropping your gaze down to where your feet rested in the water, watching the surface of it as your light kicks caused the water to ripple.  “Well, it’s one of the very few things that are certain, you know?  That’s comforting to me.  Life is full of surprises, often unpleasant, so the fact that there’s an end to it all isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

“But why?”

Your brows furrowed at the question, unable to understand what part of what you had said he was referring to.  “Pardon?”

“Why does it have to be a certainty?  Why do we accept such an inevitability?”

The way he delivered it was almost juvenile in a way, it strongly reminded you of a child who was just learning about death.  In that moment, you remembered what his Boggart had been during your third year and it all clicked into place.

“I don’t know outside of the obvious answer: that it just is.  I mean, it seems like we can only prolong our lives more than anything else.  That’s what the Philosopher Stone does and it doesn’t seem like anyone else has found magic that would cheat death.”

Again, he remained silent for a long pause and you took the opportunity to glance back over at him.  With his right index finger ghosting over the base of his left middle finger, he seemed lost in thought.  

Clearing your throat, you decided to shift the topic to something a bit more interesting, but potentially touchy, and as such you kept your gaze firmly away from him.  “But why are you so scared of it, Tom?  If you don’t mind me asking …”  However, he was the one who had initiated this heavier train of conversation, so it only seemed fair.

He scoffed at your question and moved to lean backwards on his hands, not entirely dissimilar from your own position.  “I’m not scared of it.”  Despite his relaxed posture, his tone had a slight sharpness that suggested otherwise.

“Oh?  Last I remember, your Boggart was—”

“—Was is the keyword there.”

It was hard to tell if he was being defensive or if he had really overcome his fear of death and had let something else take its place.  “Well, I’m glad to hear that.  But then let me rephrase my question: what about death scared you so much?”

“Simple: it’s a weakness.  To die is to experience the ultimate and final defeat, there is no returning from it …”  His voice wavered slightly as he trailed off.

“That’s an interesting way to look at it.”  You glanced over and made eye contact with him then, glad that his defensiveness had faded away.

“Not especially, I would say that your way is certainly more … interesting than mine.”

You gave him a small grin, not oblivious to the fact that he was speaking of it in the present tense all of a sudden. “Well, I guess we can agree to disagree.”

“I suppose so,” he said.  “But, tell me this, if you were faced with death, would you not be scared at all?”

His dark brown eyes felt as if they somehow intensified as they continued to meet yours.  “I never said that I don’t fear it, I do to an extent.  So I would be a bit scared, but I just … don’t fear it as much as a concept, if that makes sense.  I think there are worse things than dying …”

Tom seemed to consider your response before giving a small nod, “It does, I suppose.”

The two of you turned to stare back at the lake then as the conversation seemed to naturally die down, silently enjoying each other’s presence for a while.  Or at least, that’s how you interpreted it given the next thing that came out of his mouth.

“I must admit that this has been a most … intriguing conversation.  Would you mind, perhaps, doing this more often?”  He paused, before adding further detail.  “Maybe even over some lunch at Hogsmeade?”

Your eyes widened, surprised by the sudden offer.  “Like … a date?”

He let out a small chuckle, “Yes, like a date.  I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while now, but I could never quite work up the courage to do so …”

“Well, how could I say no?”  A grin broke out on your face as you cracked what you knew to be a terrible joke, “It sounds like a killer good time.”

Tom blankly stared at you for a couple of moments before dramatically rolling his eyes.  “I should push you into the lake for making such a pathetic attempt at a joke.”  A small, handsome smirk tugged at the corner of his lips then before he stood back up.  “But perhaps I should just rescind my offer, instead?”

“Okay, okay, no need to go that far, Tom.  No more terrible jokes,” you paused for a moment as you made direct eye contact with him once again, “cross my heart and hope to die.”

He just shook his head at that, jamming his hands into the pockets of his trousers. “Meet me tomorrow at noon in the courtyard.  Don’t be late.”

Before you could take another stab at a humorous remark, he had turned on his heel and left you alone with your book once again.  Though it was hard to focus on reading after holding that conversation with him, there was just so much on your mind.


Getting so closely involved with Tom Riddle had been a mistake, although it wasn’t one that you really regretted.  Many of your fondest memories from your last year at Hogwarts centered around him.  However, you had realized early on that his fascination with death rivaled your own, but it went deeper.  So much deeper, to the point of obsession.  As strongly as you may have cared for him, you were able to realize that he was likely to walk down a dark path, if he wasn’t already, though you truly had no clue just how correct you were on that count.  It was hard to miss after you noticed just how much time he spent with the Slytherin blood purists, a fact that many of the other students and professors seemed to be wholly oblivious to.  Besides, your relationship had always been very one-sided emotionally, while he seemed like an ideal partner there was just always something … absent.  Your connection felt too superficial.

As such, you had gone your separate ways shortly after graduating Hogwarts, doing so before he departed for a trip to Albania.  And that was the last time you had ever seen or talked to Tom Riddle.

Years had passed and you hadn’t really heard anything of your former significant other either, outside of the fact that Slughorn and him had severed their connection.  

Needless to say, it was a bit of a shock when you got a knock on the door to your home late one night to find none other than Tom standing before you.  Or … at least you thought it was him, though he looked so different and considerably older than he should have.  His previously handsome features were angular to the point of looking almostinhumanly gaunt, he looked almost ghostly pale as well, and his previously full head of hair seemed to be thinning and receding.

“Tom …?  What are you doing here?  How did you—”

As your eyes met his eyes, now a dark reddish-brown, your question died in your throat from the hatred that abruptly shone in them.  “Speak not of that name, I am Lord Voldemort and you will do well to remember it.”

Before you could attempt to get any more words out, he procured his pale wand.  “Imperio.”  Aware of what was happening, but unable to do anything about it due to the strength of the spell, your body moved on its own and let Lord Voldemort into your home.

He looked even more terrible in the light as he ran his right index finger up and down his wand repeatedly.  “Now, for the reason I came here…  I’m afraid that I’m here to tie up some … loose ends, if you will.”  The sickening smile that broke out on his face only emphasized his intent: he was there to kill you.  What had you done?  Why was he doing this?

“Ah, it’s quite simple really.”  He tilted your chin up to face him with the tip of his wand, panic flowing through you as he seemed to respond to your thoughts. “You know too much, my pet.  If you had only been obedient and remained useful to my cause, then you could’ve avoided this turn of fate.”

“Besides, I wanted to inform you that I have accomplished what no one else has: true immortality.  And in my journey to subjugating what you so foolishly claimed to be the unconquerable, I have realized that you were correct on one count …”

He leaned in close, his face only about an inch away from your own, though you were powerless to do anything.  “There is something worse than death …”  To your temporary relief, Voldemort moved his face away from yours, only to get even closer as he pressed his mouth up to your ear, hissing out the last words you’d ever remember.

“And that’s me.”

Chapter Text

Voldemort watched the pair of you with curious eyes as he took a sip of wine, carefully observing how you tended to Thaddeus’ minor injuries.  There had only been a couple injured in the latest and largest raid on a Muggle settlement to date, thanks to some meddlesome Aurors appearing near the end of the mission, but the Dark Lord was pleased.  Only his most loyal and earliest servants had been permitted to stay, everyone else had been dismissed.

Never had he understood the two of you.  Mulciber, while undoubtedly his most loyal yet soft-hearted follower, seemed an odd match for someone as enigmatic and unyielding as yourself.  In short, he was weak and you were strong.

Yet something curious happened when the two of you were together, something that had eluded his understanding for all this time.  He could see it now, with the way your eyebrows were knit together in concern and you whispered words of comfort to your husband.  The way that Thaddeus did his best to put on a brave face and act like he wasn’t in any pain.

The looks the two of you shared and the hints of a disgusting feeling he sensed whenever he pried into your minds irritated him since he could not fully fathom their meanings.

Quickly drowning his disgust by downing the rest of his glass and pouring himself a new one.  Returning his gaze to the two of you over his goblet, he found himself wondering if there was, perhaps, just a singular grain of truth to his former teacher’s ramblings.

Preposterous.  Surely, reflecting on this would reveal otherwise …


“You’re betrothed, Mulciber?  Well, it definitely didn’t take your parents very long to pair you off …”  Avery spoke from the chair he was lounging across, glancing up from the newspaper he had previously been reading when Mulciber dropped the bombshell.

Tom was intrigued by this notion of arranged marriages, though he held his tongue.  His position as leader of the group was still tremulous at best, he could not afford to make a faux pax that emphasized his lesser blood status.  Instead, he opted for the more suitable question.  “And who’s the lucky girl, Thaddeus?”

His fellow sixth year shifted a bit in the armchair he was seated in, Tom noticed a blush spreading over his cheeks when he stated your name.  Curious.

Seriously?!  You’re like … the total opposite of her, mate,” Rosier chimed in, actually showing a rare semblance of emotion with his monotonous voice.

“Yeah, you’re going to get bossed around for the rest of your miserable life,” Avery said, though he had fixed his gaze back on the periodicals in front of him.  “Say good-bye to having any fun.”

Returning his dark eyes to Mulciber, he spoke again.  “But do you fancy her?”

“Of course he doesn’t—”

“—I do.  I really do.  She’s really not as bad as you guys think.”  Rosier blinked, surprised at the combination of being cut off and being proven wrong in the same instant.  Tom noted that the certainty in Thaddeus’ voice and serious expression were atypical.

Very curious, indeed.


Rosier and Avery were elbowing each other, arguing over who Professor Merrythought favored more as a student.  Tom was only vaguely aware of the pointless squabbling since he was focused on something far more fascinating.

From the other side of the small pub, he was watching you on your date with Mulciber.  Ever since learning of the betrothal, he had started paying attention to you in the classes you shared, subtly observing how you interacted with those around you.  Based on these observations he had concluded that you were stoic, serious, and quiet.  In short, the entire opposite of the group’s jokester.

And yet, you were smiling brightly at the boy across from you and contributing just as much to the conversation as he did.  Most interestingly to him though, Thaddeus seemed more serious than usual and less animated.  The way he looked at you was just … weird.  Tom didn’t know what that curious expression meant.

However, he heard one of his ‘friends’ call him by his normal name as he was trying to discern the emotion that was written on the other boy’s face.  Turning back to the two boys sitting with him, he glanced between them.

“What?”

“Riddle, what are we doing here?” Rosier repeated, a hint of irritation seeping into his tone.

A sharp gaze was all he got in return, telling him to try again.

“Fine, Voldemort, why are we tailing Mulciber and his girl?  Surely, we’ve got better things to do.”

"I’m simply curious over something, but I believe I have seen enough for today.”  He finished off his butterbeer with one last swig before standing up and looking down at his lesser compatriots.  “Let’s take our leave.”

That expression would be something he’d have to think over …


It hadn’t been a surprise to Tom when Thaddeus requested him to be his best man at the wedding.  After all, he had managed to ingratiate himself into the position of being the ‘best friend’ of many of his Pure-blooded peers, including all three of his earliest friends.  He put off going immediately to Albania for a couple of weeks to attend the wedding, primarily to try yet again to satiate his curiosity.

It had been nearly two years and he was still no closer to understanding it than at the beginning.  He hoped this wedding would help him make some sort of progress in understanding what this odd … thing was between the two of you.

Standing along the sideline of the altar, he closely observed the two of you throughout the ceremony.  Never had he seen or heard Thaddeus radiate such pride, nor had he seen you cry.  Or really, anyone cry from joy.  It was disturbing.  While this marriage was undoubtedly beneficial for the both of you in terms of status, you were both sacrificing your dependence in the process.  How could anyone be happy to forfeit something so precious?

At the reception, his speech was well-received by your fellow classmates in attendance, though he could feel the antipathy toward him radiating from the older Pure-bloods.  He paid them no mind, they would be put into their place with time, there was a more pressing matter for him to pay attention to.

Up until the first dance, the two of you were holding hands and sharing that same, strange expression between yourselves.  He had no doubt that it had to be ‘love,’ but your relationship made absolutely no sense with what he had read about the emotion.  The two of you had virtually nothing in common from what he could tell and your relationship had been arranged.  It gave him a headache just thinking about it.

And yet, as the two of you began your first dance as a married couple and shared a chaste kiss, he only grew more certain about the fact that it was, indeed, love.  

He left the event feeling disturbed and with more questions than before.


Years passed during which Tom kept more to himself, focusing on networking with his clientele at Borgin and Burkes and eventually spending some years abroad.  Learning about the Dark Arts and searching for prospective supporters in unusual places.

When he returned to the UK more powerful than ever, he organized his earliest supporters to brand them with the first Dark Marks and finally set his plans into action.  The two of you had been gifted with the marks in the process, honored with the prestige of being among his first Death Eaters.

Riddle kept his expectations for Thaddeus low, since while he was useful for his connections and his loyalty, he had never been the brightest or the strongest of his inner circle.  You, on the other hand, could prove more useful given your unique set of abilities and cold exterior.  However, he had some concern that you would prove to be as self-preserving as Rosier, someone who he wouldn’t be able to put much confidence in to see a job through to its end.

It was when the two of you returned from one of the earliest organized attacks on a Muggle settlement that he realized he had stumbled upon something that could solve his issues with the both of you.

“How dare you try to abandon us when the Aurors finally showed up!”  You shoved your pointer finger into the other Death Eater’s chest, nostrils flaring.  “You could’ve gotten Thad killed if he hadn’t prevented you from leaving, you coward.”

Rosier scowled down at you, though he didn’t even bother to move your hand away.  “Oh?  I thought the two of you would have been smart enough to leave then.  Killing members of the Ministry is not what we set out to do tonight, our target were the Muggles.”

“Well, some of us were still finishing that attack and needed some cover, Rosier.  It wasn’t time to go until we put the Dark Mark up and you knew it,” Mulciber joined in, his tone uncharacteristically harsh.

Voldemort and the other Death Eaters watched in silence as the three of you continued to bicker, curiosity keeping your Master from intervening earlier.  Thaddeus was surprisingly sharp, converting his witty sense of humor into viciously cunning mockery.

“That is enough.”  Voldemort finally stepped forward and the room fell silent, he placed a skeletal hand on your shoulder and Rosier’s.  Looking toward you and your husband with a pleased smile, he spoke, “You both did well tonight, my dear friends.  Your loyalty ”  He then turned to Rosier before continuing, voice suddenly turning ice cold.  “But I am sorely disappointed in you.  An old friend of mine you may be, but you shall not receive a second chance if you attempt to disobey my orders again.  Do you understand?”

“Yes, my Lord.”

“Very well.”  With that he released you, though he kept his hand placed firmly on Rosier’s shoulder.  “The rest of you are dismissed for the evening, we shall reconvene on the morrow to discuss our plans for this weekend.”

Perhaps this arrangement he had found so disturbing could prove useful …  It seemed as if when you were together, your flaws wouldn’t pose an issue.  Now, if only it were so easy to keep the others in line.


However it wasn’t until that very night that he had come to realize the full extent of the effect the two of you had on each other.

When one of the Aurors had managed to set your Death Eater robes aflame, a feat which had sent your husband into a cold rage.  “You shouldn’t have done that, you filthy Mudblood.”  Voldemort paused to observe the unusual scene play out in front of him.

While you quickly put out your robes, he turned to the poor Auror and uttered the incantation to cast Fiendfyre.  A massive, fiery hawk erupted from his wand and descended upon the other man, engulfing him in flames and granting him one of the most painful deaths imaginable.

That was something he would have expected of Avery, but Mulciber?  Never.

Thankfully, all of his servants were able to flee from the apartment complex as it burst into unstoppable flames, the predatory fire leaping over to the neighboring buildings.  Feeling satisfied with the destruction that was rapidly spreading, Voldemort lifted his wand to the sky, “Morsmordre!”  A torrent of emerald green sparks erupted from his wand and took their place in the sky in the form of a giant skull with a snake protruding from its mouth.

In the chaos illuminated by the orange flames and green glow of the Dark Mark, he spotted that a pest had also managed to make it out to join you.  The foolish Auror immediately began to fire off attacks at Mulciber, more focused on seeking revenge than escaping with his life.

As the other Death Eaters began to Apparate away to escape any re-enforcement that would soon be arriving, Voldemort found himself staying.  Not because he cared about if either of you lived, but out of that same curiosity that had motivated him in the past.

Both of you were dueling the survivor, though it wasn’t until he managed to land a slicing spell across Mulciber’s shoulder and dangerously close to his neck that things got interesting once again.

How dare you!” His red eyes widened when he heard you roar out in outrage.

As your husband collapsed to the ground, you began to fight with a degree of power that he had never witnessed from you before, quickly overpowering the man who had injured your husband.  “Avada Kedavra.”  

Moments after the flash of green light and distinctive thud of a fresh corpse hitting the floor, he heard a sudden crack and the pair of you were gone.  Leaving him by himself as he stared up at his signature mark in the sky for a few moments, looking to it as if it could provide him with the answers he still did not have.

When he heard the familiar cracking of other Aurors Apparating in for damage control, he finally took his leave.

After all of these years, he was still no closer to understanding than at the very beginning.  Yet he couldn’t be more pleased with the effects.


The Dark Lord sat his wine goblet down, the corners of his lips stretching into a hideous sneer.  Albus Dumbledore was an old fool and his belief in the power of love was utter nonsense.  It was a weakness, not a strength.

There had to be something else at play that made the two of you more useful when together.

“Is something the matter, my Lord?”

His crimson eyes met Mulciber’s then and his expression relaxed into an off-putting smile.  “No, my friend.  I merely remembered something unpleasant.”

Voldemort looked between the two of you then, his lips quirking upwards a tick more as he called your name.

“Yes, my Lord?”

“I must regretfully inform you that Mulciber’s right ankle is injured, it seems as if he twisted it during the combat.  He has been keeping hush about it to avoid from troubling you.”

"Thank you for telling me, my Lord.”  In the blink of an eye, you went from utterly stoic to death glaring at your husband.  “And when were you going to tell me that, Thad?

The man looked sheepish, shifting in the arm chair like he had all those years ago.  “I, um, I was going to handle it when we got home?  It’s not that big of a deal—ow!”  He let out an undignified yelp as you lifted his leg to inspect the injury.

Picking up his goblet once again, he took another sip as he watched Mulciber squirm under your care.

Well, he supposed it didn’t really matter why the two of you made each other stronger, all that mattered to him was that it would remain that way.

Chapter Text

Sirius Black

  • Sirius loves to roller skate.  It’s a fun Muggle activity that his snotty parents disapprove of and enables him to zoom around, how much better can it get?
  • He’s definitely more of an inline skate kind of guy.
    • He actually owns his own pair of Muggle skates that he’s doodled all over in permanent marker, they’re also signed by James, Remus, and Peter.
  • The date was his idea, of course.  He and the other Marauders would occasionally visit during summer vacation (though usually only James and him skated).
  • If you’re a clumsy or inexperienced skater …
    • Sirius is a total show off, to a nearly insufferable degree at times.
      • He brings his inlines and just laps you so many times while you’re just struggling to skate upright.  You quickly lose count.
      • Usually he’ll slow down right when he’s passing you and do a trick like a spin before winking at you and zooming off again.
    • However, while Sirius does have fun trying to both impress and annoy you simultaneously, if you’re really struggling he’ll be right at your side to help you out.
      • If you need someone to hold you up to keep you stable, he’ll skate backwards while the two of you hold hands and talk.
      • And if you want to skate on your own for a bit, he’ll always zoom over to you and help you up if you fall down and will make sure you’re okay before laughing with you about it.
    • He’ll also just spend a lot of time skating alongside you otherwise, maybe teasing you a bit for being so slow.
  • If you’re an experienced skater …
    • It’s going to turn into a competition as to who can go the fastest or do the most advanced tricks.
    • The two of you impress the more casual skaters and you end up attracting a bit of an audience with your silly competition.
    • At some point, the competition dissolves and the two of you just jam out to the music and hold hands while lapping the rink.  Sometimes doing a bit of couples skating together.
    • If either of you fall, there will be quite a bit of playful mockery
  • If you’re willing, Sirius would love nothing more to go on more skating dates.  To him, they’re the best way to get return to normalcy for just a little bit.

Regulus Black

  • Regulus has never skated in his life, even though he’s always been a bit curious about it due to Sirius skating in the house.  It kinda looked like fun.
  • When you suggested a roller skate date at a Muggle rink he was a bit iffy at first since he’s very worried about his parents’ approval, but figured that as long as he kept it on the down low it’d be fine.  What his parents didn’t know couldn’t hurt them, right?
  • If you’re a clumsy or inexperienced skater …
    • Both of you are in the exact same boat and it ends up being a lot of fun since you’re struggling together.
    • One or the other of you will fall at any given moment, it ends up being more you than Regulus since he picks up on it a bit quicker.
      • If you’re trying to skate together and hold hands, when one falls the other will go down with them.  
      • Typically fits of giggles and apologies will ensue as you both struggle to get up.
      • More than once, one of you succeeds to get up and then goes to help the other … only to fall back down in the process so you’re both struggling.
    • Some of the other skaters have a fun time watching the two of you fall constantly, though neither of you really notice.
  • If you’re an experienced skater …
    • Most of the early part of the date is just you helping Regulus learn how to keep his balance on the skates and helping him up when he falls.
      • His pride takes a bit of a hit and you get to see him get adorably flustered and embarrassed.
    • Thankfully, he’s pretty coordinated so once you help him get the hang of it he’s probably going to be good to go.
    • Once he’s not so busy focusing on not falling, you may be treated to having conversations with him about how awful Muggle music is.
    • He’ll be pretty big on holding your hand and keeping you close, since he’s not terribly confident in his abilities it’s a bit of a comfort to have someone more talented nearby to help him.
  • Regulus has a really good time, though he’s very sore from falling so much. He definitely wouldn’t mind going on more dates like it in the future.

Nymphadora Tonks

  • Even though Tonks is clumsy to the point where she often trips over thin air, she loves roller skating.
  • She’ll likely propose it first and you’re not entirely sure what to expect when you agree, but you know it’ll be a fun night.
  • If you’re a clumsy or inexperienced skater …
    • If one of you is upright, the other one is on the ground.  It is incredibly rare for you to both be up, Tonks spends the most time down on the floor though.
      • If you pass her when she’s on the ground, she’ll try to jokingly trip you at least once.
        • Only for you to lose your balance and actually fall down next to her.
        • The look on your face was priceless and you’re treated to one of her fits of snort-filled laughter.  You can’t really be mad at her after that since its contagious.
    • In the rare times that you’re both up, you’ll stick together along the walls until Tonks tries to make a break for it only to wipe out while turning the corner in a hilariously over the top fashion.
    • There’s just a lot of jokes made at both of your expenses and you’ll end up with yet another inside joke by the end of the night.
  • If you’re an experienced skater …
    • Tonks is so clumsy that she manages to take you down a couple of times throughout the night, in spite of your best efforts.
      • She treats these as victories and will tease that she’s rubbing off on you.
      • Alternatively, she may try to get you to slip up by using her abilities to shift her face into something like … Severus Snape’s when you pass her.  She’s careful to make sure only you can see it, of course, but she really can’t help  herself.
    • She’s genuinely hopeless, though she has a good attitude about it and will cheer you on if you pass her in the skating rink.  
      • It can be a bit embarrassing since she gets quite loud about it, but it’s also really cute due to how genuinely proud she is of you.
    • Honestly though, she really appreciates any attempt you make to help her stay upright for more than a minute and will reward you with some kisses on the cheek.
  • Skating with you is a really fun way for Tonks to forget about the stresses of Auror training for a little while and get some good laughs.  The soreness and bruises are totally worth it for her.

Chapter Text

It was at the start of your Fifth year when you stumbled upon Tom Riddle’s secret talent.  

You had been performing your duties as prefect, roaming the halls.  Nothing was happening in the small, nothing ever did.  Deciding to take advantage of the quiet evening, you set off to do a spot of exploration on the fifth floor of the castle.

As you wandered around, you ended up passing by the Music classroom, only to stop in your tracks when you heard some quiet piano music drifting out from behind the closed door.  Standing outside for several moments and just listening, you couldn’t help but feel almost entranced by the dulcet tone of the piano.

Curious about who the talented player was, you opened the door and peered into the room.  Immediately spotting a familiar Slytherin prefect seated at the instrument.

His fingers came to an abrupt stop down on the keys, dark brown eyes meeting yours with his pale face as unreadable as a mask.  The sour notes hung heavy in the air and while you had merely caught him playing the piano, it felt as if you had intruded on something intimately personal.

“You’re really quite good.  I, um, I didn’t know you knew how to play.”

His expression softened into a handsome ghost of a smile.  “Thank you.”  Tilting his head slightly to the left, you felt him appraise you with curiosity. “But I thought I was the one responsible for this particular section of the fifth floor.  I wasn’t expecting another prefect …”

“Well, I was just, um, getting bored standing around and decided to … wander a bit.”

“I see.”  The finality of his tone indicated that he likely wanted you to just leave, but you really couldn’t help yourself.

“Would you mind if I listened to you play more?”

Tom let out a small hum, mulling over your question before finally giving a small nod.  “Only on two conditions.”

“Name them.”

“First, it’ll only be for one song.  And second, you’ll keep this as a secret between the two of us.”  

You really didn’t understand why he wanted to keep his piano playing a secret, but you agreed regardless.


The memory of how you first talked to Tom brought a small smile to your lips as you recognized the nocturne he was playing.  Sitting in on his practice sessions had become common practice for the pair of you, though they now took place in the Room of Requirement that he had discovered a year ago.  A setting that enabled him to practice any time outside of class, not just sneaking in some during slow nights of prefect duties.

His long fingers were dancing over the keys, playing certain small sections of the song over and over again.  Each fragment was played precisely seven times before he moved onto the next.  He seemed to be lost in thought and you had learned that repetitive actions like this helped him think.

If you didn’t enjoy his company as much as you did, you wouldn’t have been able to stand it.  However, you had become quite talented at tuning it out while you did other things, only stopping to listen when he’d finally play the full piece.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever told anyone this story…  But would you like to know how I learned how to play?”

You looked up at him from your book, surprised to hear him suddenly addressing you, your ears only perked up more when you heard it was something private.  “I’d like that very much.”  Despite being friends, Tom never really talked much about himself outside of his achievements and academic interests, let alone about his past.  It was an irresistible offer to finally learn some more about him.

“When I grew up in the … Muggle orphanage,” his voice dipped from honey to venom before shifting back, “I don’t believe it should come as any surprise that the other children thought of me as different.“  

Knowing that this was something serious, you placed your book down on the small table in front of you.  As if he could feel your eyes on him, his repetitive playing came to an abrupt stop and he shifted over on the piano bench, making a small nod to the now vacant spot next to him.  Not needing further instruction, you moved to sit down beside him.

“And do you know how children treat those that are viewed as different?”  As suddenly as he had stopped, he began to play once more.  This time he started the piece from the very beginning, no longer playing in repetitive fragments.

“With cruelty?”

“Precisely.”  His fingers seemed to dance over the keys entirely of their own volition, flawlessly playing each note with practiced ease.  “I was always alone, some of the other children even had the audacity to mock me, if you can believe that.”

“I honestly can’t.  Everyone seems to adore you now, Tom.“  There was, perhaps, the tiniest twinge of jealousy in your voice, your mind immediately going to all of his ardent admirers.  You thought you saw him smirk out of the corner of your eye, but when you looked up from his hands to his face, he was wearing his normal thoughtful expression.

“Well, some of the others were quite cruel.  But in particular there was a boy who transferred into the orphanage one day.  He decided that I was especially peculiar and would make a fine subject for his mockery.”

Your eyes were drawn to his fingers as they began to dance over the keys, your heart aching with pity from hearing of his sordid past.  “You see, he always impress the other children by playing the out of tune piano we had in the orphanage and he succeeded as none of us knew how to play it.  And so, I took it upon myself to educate myself with the hope of overshadowing him, only practicing in secret whenever I could.”

“Of course you did.”

“And, of course, I succeeded in only a couple of months.  The look on his face when he realized that I could play just as well as him was well worth the trouble.”  The chuckle that escaped his throat at that was enough to put a smile on your own face.

“I take it you developed a taste for playing though?”

“Oh, more than you could possibly know,” his lips quirked upwards in a sly, yet handsome grin as if there was some sort of inside joke that you were unaware of.  “I learned that it helps me think and, I must admit, I always felt a bit … special for being able to play better compared to the other children.  It was wonderful.”

And you felt undeniably special as you sat there beside him, privy to so much information that no one else knew about him.  


You were relaxing in the small home of your long-term partner, his hands resting over yours as he instructed you on how to play an all too familiar song on his piano.  His skin felt pleasantly cool to the touch as he sternly corrected your technique or made suggestions to how to improve, the perfectionist in him coming out in full force.  Even so, he was a surprisingly good tutor, albeit a strict one with high expectations of you.

However, while you were enjoying his close proximity and the piano lesson, you had to admit that you had been missing his company quite dearly as of late.  The two of you had been dating for the past three years and, instead of growing closer, it felt as if he was becoming more distant without any warning.  

He was always working.  Always consorting with his Slytherin friends from Hogwarts.  Sometimes even vanishing to travel to unknown places for a week or so at a time, you could never reach him during those times.  Even by owl mail.

Given all of that, it had become rare for the two of you to spend time together like this and you hated it.  When you had finished playing all of the song’s notes, you lightly rested your hands on the keys.  The question on your mind came tumbling out of your lips without you even thinking much about it, “Why have you been so absent lately?”

“We’re spending time together now, aren’t we?”  He let out a small sigh before he rested his chin on your shoulder, leaning his head against yours.

“Yes, but you’ve been more absent than usual as of late …”

He pulled his hands away from your own in order to wrap his arms around your waist, pulling you even closer to himself.  “Mm, is this not enough for you?”  You felt his chin shift as he pressed an open mouthed kiss to the side of your neck.

Your face warmed and a small shudder ran down your spine from the contact, though you didn’t give in to the temptation this time.  He always seemed to to these tactics and you were often quick to cave whenever he did, as he wasn’t exactly generous with his touch.

Tom.”  You felt him frown against your skin before he pulled away, resting his chin back in its previous position on your shoulder.  “You’ve only been spending time with me when you need things as of late, I just want to spend more time together with you like this …  I miss you.”

“My work keeps me busy, you know that.”  His tone was chiding as he loosened his arms around your waist.  “You’ve known who I am and what you were agreeing to when we began to date.”

“But is it wrong of me to even ask to spend more time with you?”  It seemed perfectly reasonable to you, especially considering how long the two of you had been together.

The fact that you weren’t letting this go as easily like usual clearly irritated him as he abruptly stood up.  “I am already doing my best to make time for you, you should know that by now.”  When you looked up at him, you felt your heart ache at the sheer coldness in his eyes.  “I don’t need you continuously trying to manipulate me into neglecting my work to spend more time with you by guilting me.”

“I’m not—”

“Intentionally or no, that is precisely what you’re doing.”

The certainty in his tone took you off guard.  You had never even considered the possibility that your earnest attempts at spending more time together with him were actually a form of manipulation.  But then again …  “Even if it is, how is that any different from how you treat me?”

Finally, the cold expression cracked, though you wished it hadn’t.  Never had you seen him look as wounded as he did in that moment, brows raised and pressed together.  “I have always treated you with the utmost care and respect, because I love you.  Never would I resort to something so base as manipulation.”

Were you just imagining and reading too much into things?  You felt confused, the self-assurance of which he spoke with completely contradicted your own understanding of the dynamic between the two of you.  And the hurt expression on his face only made you feel as if you were a monster.

“I’m going to go make some tea,” Tom continued when you remained silent.  “I think we could both use some time to clear our heads.”  Before you could even open your mouth to protest, he had turned on his heel and headed down the short hallway to the cramped kitchen.  Leaving you alone with your whirring thoughts as you began to fall down the rabbit hole of second guessing yourself.

Your elbows hit the piano keys as you buried your face into your hands, sour notes echoing what had just played out between the two of you.

Perhaps you actually had been in the wrong …


Placing the tea kettle on, he regarded it with a perfectly blank expression.  He tapped his fingers against the counter, playing silent notes to himself as he thought.

How unfortunate.

You had always been so well behaved, folding to his will with a well-placed touch of his hand.  Not entirely unlike how he drew the desired notes from the piano, he supposed.

After all, a useful instrument was all you were to him: a convenient means to help him achieve his ultimate ambition.  If you became more trouble than you were worth, well, he figured he’d have to play that by part ear when he came to it in order to make the most of such a valuable loss.

He’d just have to play you until it was time to break you …

Chapter Text

  • The two of you were friends first before dating, but Percy was always interested in you.
    • Due to his pedantic and more literal nature, he finds that he has a hard time connecting with others.
    • So he wanted to make sure that you don’t mind that about him and as soon as he was, he asked you out on a very traditional dinner date.
    • When you agreed, he couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off of his face for the rest of the day.
  • Due to how much of his identity is built around his work, it can be really hard to get him to actually go on dates.
    • Writing letters back and forth is one thing, but getting him away from his desk overflowing with paperwork is an entirely different beast.
    • Often times, you two compromise and spend a night in, talking about your work, current events, and any interesting new things you’ve learned lately.
    • He gets better about it after the Battle of Hogwarts, since that was a very rude awakening about not wasting the time he has with his loved ones.
  • When you do go out, there are a few different types of locations that Percy enjoys the most.
    • He’s a bit of a nerd and he knows a ridiculous amount about the history of the wizarding world.  So he’s a huge fan of going to historical places and geeking out.
      • Bonus points if they’re related to certain political figures that he’s obsessed with.
    • Nights out and getting dinner before going on a walk in a nice scenic place are always really nice to him.
    • Quidditch match dates are his absolute favorites though!  He loves Quidditch and you, so it’s the best.  
      • And you get to see the pompous Percy Weasley loosen up and jump up and down while rooting for his favorite team.  It’s the cutest thing ever.
  • To the surprise of absolutely no one, Percy is a huge romantic and always likes to go above and beyond with you.
    • He always has a photo of you with him.  
      • He’ll legitimately cry if you ask to take a photo of the two of you together for him to carry around instead.
    • While it may take him a while to say ‘I love you’ in a relationship, you’re going to hear it a lot afterwards.
    • Will legitimately write you love letters filled with saccharine purple prose.  It’s very embarrassing, but super sweet.
      • If you write him any back, he’ll also keep them on his person as well.  Whenever he’s having a bad day, he’ll read through them and they instantly make him feel better.  Always.
    • All around, he’s just a very attentive boyfriend who loves with his whole heart.  You’re incredibly special and important to him and he’s never going to let you forget it.
  • That also means that he’s very affectionate … just so long as it’s behind closed doors.
    • Not big on PDA, he’s very easily flustered if there are people around to observe the two of you.
    • He will hold your hand in public, but that’s it.
    • Percy loves to cuddle though and, especially, kissing you so there’s always a lot of physical contact in your relationship.
    • When you’re over and he’s not at his desk, you’ll be cuddling on the sofa and just talking … which more often than not devolves into snogging.
  • He’s a talker and is prone to info dumping and rambling, so it always makes him ridiculously excited when you ask questions or make insightful commentary.
    • Literally, just asking one or two questions about Percy’s interests is enough to make his entire day.  
    • Most people in his life either mocked or kind of ignored this part of who he is, so the fact that you actually listen and care just means the world to him.
  • While full blown arguments aren’t too common, they’re absolutely terrible when they do happen.
    • Percy really struggles with his temper and he has an unfortunate habit of saying things that he doesn’t really mean, just for the sake of hurting whoever he’s arguing with.  
    • Just because you’re aware of that fact doesn’t make it hurt any less when it does happen.
    • He gets better about owning up to his mistakes and doing whatever he can to make it up to you.
      • In the early stages though, it could take him over a week to come around.  Swallowing his pride is very hard for Percy, since it’s all he feels like he has.
      • But he always comes around.
  • Bonus Angst: Fred’s death haunts him and his dreams for years, he never truly gets over it.  There are just too many regrets in the whole situation and he will always feel at least partially responsible.
    • On nights where he’s especially tormented by it, all you can really do is make him some of his favorite tea and hold him close.  Just letting him cry.
    • It takes him a long time to tell another joke and he ends up breaking down after he does.
      • Similarly, it takes him some time to even let himself laugh again.  He doesn’t feel like he deserves to.

Chapter Text

Everyone always seemed to love Tom Riddle.  Well, everyone aside from you.

You never fell for his charms, at least, not fully.  As attractive, talented, and magnetically charismatic as he may have been during your Hogwarts years there was always something a bit … off about him to you.  No one ever really seemed to know much about who he was as a person and while he acted otherwise, you felt as if he always had a smug sense of superiority to him.

For some reason or another, your skill had managed to snag his attention during your sixth year together.  

And so the game began.  

He pursued and you played hard to get, only jokingly returning his advances.  No matter what technique he tried to win you over with, it always failed and you would tease him about it.  It was all great fun, really, while he was interested in you—there was nothing about it that felt romantic or genuine, it was something 

The two of you danced around each other until you graduated and went your separate ways.  Though you did take a bit of pride in knowing you were likely the only person he pursued who didn’t succumb to his seduction.

Really, you hadn’t paid the former Slytherin prefect any thought for years.  At least that was until you entered Borgin and Burkes on Valentine’s Day after shopping at Diagon Alley to pick out a gift for a meeting with your friend you had the next day.

Heading into the dark artefact and antique shop, you began to shuffle toward the nearest aisle to just start aimlessly perusing.  It thankfully seemed to be almost entirely empty when you were visiting, though you spotted the sole worker behind the counter when you walked in.  His back was turned to you, as he was tidying the shelves behind the counter, so you weren’t able to see who it was.

Most of the artefacts were actually quite interesting and before you knew it, you had been wandering around for several minutes and enjoying yourself.  There were all sorts of odd objects and curiosities, most unlike any you had seen before.  However, you were quite afraid to touch any of them considering that any of these objects were liable to be cursed.

It wasn’t until you saw a shadow out of your peripheral vision that you realized you were no longer alone.

You turned around to see an all too familiar face approaching you from down the aisle.

“Well, isn’t this a lovely surprise.”

As you made eye contact with him, you felt your breath hitch in your throat.  He had only grown more handsome since the last time you saw him at graduation.  Tom’s features were more angular and mature, his dark eyes weren’t as cold and unfeeling as you remembered them to be either.  Yet he felt more refined than the cocky academic you had jokingly flirted with all those years ago.

Your stunned silence only caused a smirk to break out across his lips.  “Hm, do you see something you like?”

Ah, there it was.

“I’m quite fine, actually,” you said as you crossed your arms over your chest, “The only thing I see is someone obnoxiously full of himself.”

“Oh, my apologies for the confusion, I was talking about the merchandise I noticed you investigating.  You are a customer after all, no?”

You felt your face heat up a bit, most likely to a visible extent since the arrogant expression on his face only seemed to intensify.  You knew he was just toying with you.  “I am and I am interested in it … whatever it is.”

His dark eyes shifted between you and the object in question before he stepped until he was only inches away from you.  Within your chest, you could feel your heart come to a temporary stop from the close proximity.  He was just so very attractive and it didn’t help that his cologne smelled positively divine.

You were snapped out of your trance when he pulled away to look over the artefact you had been admiring before he showed up.

“Hm, so this is what intrigues someone as picky as yourself.”

“I’m not picky.”

“I beg to differ, our time together is a testament to as much,” he glanced up and made eye contact with you, lips still pulled into that same self-assured expression. 

“There was never a ‘together’ with us, Tom,” you said as you felt your face warm up just saying that aloud.”

“I know, that’s precisely the issue.”

You only crossed your arms a bit more tightly over your chest as you tore your attention away from him and to the object in his hands.  “Whatever.  But more importantly, what is that?  I imagine you’re supposed to know all about the inventory here …”

“And your imagination would be correct.  This particular artefact dates back to approximately three centuries ago, we have traced it back to a famous wizard of the era who used it for—”

He went on, spouting off the history of this particular artefact, reciting a perfect description of it from memory.  Your sure it was most likely quite fascinating; however, it was hard to focus on what he was saying.  After you mistakenly took your attention off of the object in his hand and dared to look back up at him and got distracted by how handsome he looked.  Your eyes kept falling back to his lips, as they were just so …

Once again, you were brought back to reality when he called your name, his amusement only growing if the way his eyes now crinkled was any indication.

“Were you listening to anything I just said?”

“Not exactly …”

“Well, perhaps you finally have found something you’re more interested in then?”

Dammit.

“I’m quite content, thank you very much.”

He quirked a brow at you and you knew exactly what he was silently asking you.

“I was just … well, I realized that I wasn’t so interested in the object after all.  Hearing of its history just made me realize that it wasn’t what 

There was a small pause as he regarded you, smile fading into something subtler.  The way his eyes met yours then felt almost eery, as if he were looking right through you.  However, it was short-lived as he dropped his gaze back to the object in his hands.

“Well, if you aren’t interested in admitting even that much, then I doubt you would care if I invited you to dine with me after I get off work,” he trailed off as he placed the object back on the shelf, intentionally taking another step to be close to you once more.

You stared at him, uncertain if it was simply his close proximity that was making you reconsider your aversion to him or if you were just finally falling under his spell.

The moment was fleeting, as he merely gave you once last glance, an almost sultry one at that, before turning on his heel and slowly stepping back toward the counter.  He was clearly baiting you again and yet …

“I’d consider it,” the words came tearing out of your mouth without you intending them to and you decided to backtrack slightly to make it sound slightly less desperate, “Actually—I meant, I’d actually consider it since I’m not seeing anyone right now …  So I might as well.”

“Is that so?” he asked, looking over his shoulder at you with that stupidly satisfied look back on his face.

“Unfortunately.”

“Well, I suppose I’ll take that.  If you decide you are interested, then dress nicely and meet me here at 5 o’clock sharp.”

He walked back to the counter with that and you took your leave of the shop, feeling too embarrassed yet excited to spend any further time in that shop lest you make a greater fool of yourself.


Meeting up with him that evening, you were surprised that he actually snagged you a table at a rather nice restaurant in the more upper end exclusively wizarding area in London.  Apparently, he was quite well-connected, that or something unsavory had occurred.  It certainly wouldn’t have surprised you.

But you didn’t want to think about that.  You already regretted agreeing to this enough as it was.

Tom’s looks may have changed, but he didn’t seem as if he had changed much at all on the inside, though his arrogance did seem more muted than you recalled.  However, that did mean it was a great deal of fun to flirt with him and he did have some fascinating stories about working at Borgin and Burkes.  There were a lot of characters that passed through its doors, apparently.

You realized halfway through while he that you were … actually enjoying yourself.  His cunning humor and sharp tongue combined perfectly with his magnetic charm.

However, there was one thing that was bothering you about him.

You decided to put it out there after the two of you had finished your meals and were waiting for the check, which he had oh-so-graciously offered to cover for you since he had invited you out.  Really, he was behaving as more of a gentleman than you had expected, which was a pleasant surprise.

“So, Tom, how is it that you don’t have a significant other?  I find it hard to believe that someone such as yourself is still single …”

“Oh?  What makes it so hard to believe?”

You rolled your eyes and took a sip of your beverage, knowing full well that he was just fishing for praise.  “You know very well what the answer is.”

“I am afraid that I am wholly ignorant so, please, enlighten me,” he said before taking a languid sip of his wine, eyes clearly laughing at your annoyance.

“It’s simple: you’re incredibly handsome, intelligent, and charming.  To say you’re popular with … well, everyone, is an understatement.  You’ve got to be single by choice, surely.”

Sitting down his wine glass he gave you a single nod.  “Your deduction is correct.  I find that the life of a bachelor is best suited to my needs.  After all, it would be hardly be fair to have a serious partner when I’m so already dedicated to my … work, as it is.”

There was something off about the way he said that, but you couldn’t put your finger on it.  You decided to ignore it, you knew it was most likely part of the version of your game that he was playing.

“So, what precisely made you want to ask me to dinner, then?”

“I believe you know precisely what it is I’m interested in.”

“Is that so?”

“Still playing coy, I see,” he tilted his head to the side, some of his dark wavy hair falling into his face, “I wonder what all it’d take to get you to drop that shoddy acting of yours.”

Your face was immediately set aflame by that as you were stunned into an embarrassed silence.  Unfortunately, right when you finally found your voice again, the waiter came and prevented you from delivering a sharp retort.

With the bill taken care of, the two of you left without partaking in any further conversation.  Once you were outside of the restaurant you found yourself mildly surprised when you felt him link his arm with your own.  The simple contact was enough to set your heart racing.

“I’d like to accompany you home, if you that’s alright with you, of course.”

Of course, it wasn’t necessary thanks to Apparition, but it was obvious what he was getting at.  What he wanted with you, specifically.

And while you knew it was wrong in every conceivable way, you found that you were okay with finally giving your former game a proper finale.

“I suppose it couldn’t hurt anything …”

With that, you Apparated arm in arm with him to your home and right in front of your front door, your back facing it.  He disentangled his elbow from your own then and moved to stand in front of you.  

His hand came up to cup the side of your face, his skin felt pleasantly cool against your flushed skin.  You could feel yourself press against the palm of his hand, already coming to crave more of his touch.  Lucky for you, you noticed him start to lean in, face coming dangerously close to your own.

Right when you closed your eyes, you heard him ask, “May I kiss you now?”

This cheeky bastard.

“What do you think?”  Your eyes shot open in order to give him the sharpest glare you could muster, which only seemed to amuse him.

“Ah, still playing coy are we?”

He was going to make you admit it, if you wanted it anyways.  And you did.  You reallydid.

“Fine.  Please kiss me, Tom.  I’m tired of—”

You were cut off as his lips were pressed against your own, his hand sliding back to cradle the back of your head.  Right as your eyelids fluttered shut, you already felt his tongue run along your bottom lip.

Deciding to get a bit of revenge for him forcing you to admit your desires, you denied him access and refused to give into his request.  

You could practically feel him smirk against your lips at the denial and his free hand began to caress your side, broad hand sliding down over your ribcage and waist.  Suddenly, in one fluid motion you felt it dart down your back and onto your ass, of which proceeded to shamelessly grope.  You let out the gasp he had desired and seized the opportunity to slip his greedy tongue into your mouth.

Before you knew it, your back was pressed up against the front door as Tom’s tongue voraciously explored your mouth.  One of his hands remained fixed at the back of your head, ensuring the kiss remained as deep as possible, while the other roamed all over your body.

It was utterly intoxicating and your mind was unable to focus on anything other than him for the time being.  You didn’t even know how long the kiss had lasted, it managed to feel both long yet too short at the same time.

When he pulled away, he only did so partially as his lips were still brushing against yours as your half-lidded eyes stared into his own, though they looked strangely red in the lighting.  In the brief moment of clarity, you felt so foolish for denying this for as long as you did.  Pride be damned.

Leaning back up, you closed the distance between the two of you this time.  The singular kiss quickly devolved into a series of heated, open-mouthed kisses as you buried your fingers into his thick hair.  

Red hot lust was pumping through your veins, never had you wanted anything more in your life than you did him in that moment.

Feeling Tom’s hand briefly retreat before the door swung open behind you.  You would’ve stumbled backwards, if Tom hadn’t stabilized you by pulling you flush against him for a few seconds.

When he didn’t make any move to pull away from the kiss or lead you inside after so graciously opening the door, you seized the initiative.  Grabbing him by the lapels of his dress robes, the two of you stumbled through the door and he gracefully kicked it shut with a light bang.

As you led him to your bedroom, he’d occasionally pin you against a wall to exchange a particularly deep kiss and draw out some more moans from your throat.  Articles of clothing were also lost along the way, though you weren’t entirely certain as to who was stripping who.  Every kiss only made you get more consumed by the feeling of his mouth on yours and hands moving over your bare skin, losing sense of everything else.

Somehow, the two of you managed to make it to your bedroom, which you realized as you were pushed back onto the bed.  Quickly, he settled himself on top of you and pinned your hands above your head, his brown eyes gleaming in the dim lighting as he hovered over you.  

He looked like a predator sizing up their prey and it only served to intensify the lust pooling uncomfortably in your lower stomach.

You could see his gaze linger on your neck before he leaned down and pressed his mouth against your sensitive skin, teeth lightly grazing before he soothed the agitation by sucking on the skin.  It was enough to make you bite down on your lip to help prevent you from letting out any further sounds, not yet wanting to give into him so entirely.

Tom smiled against your skin before leading a trail of open-mouthed kisses to your ear before whispering, “I’m afraid you’ve already lost, so there’s no point in trying to resist any further.”

You squirmed under him as he teasingly ran his tongue along the shell of your ear, trying to make it difficult for you to respond.  Still, you managed to stammer out, “It’ll take more than this to get me to drop my ‘shoddy acting.’”

A shiver ran down your spine as you felt the reverberations of his ensuing chuckle against your skin.

“Is that so?  Well, you’ll give into me entirely soon enough, my pet.”

Chapter Text

Today was going to be the day.

This Valentine’s Day was going to be the day in which you finally talked with Luna Lovegood.  The two of you had been in classes before, you had only been able to admire her from afar and do your best to stand up for her whenever you’d hear someone speak ill of her.  She was always so, well, herself and it was something you had always admired about her.  Plus, you had learned over the years of classes you’ve had with her that she was very kind, intelligent, and open-minded.  

Was it any wonder that you developed such an immense crush on her?

However, the right opportunity to talk with the Ravenclaw never presented itself.

You knew that her father was the editor of the Quibbler, you often saw her with one in hand in the Great Hall in the mornings.  And so, you had taken the opportunity to do some research into the tabloid and, my, what a fascinating rabbit hole to fall down into.  

But now you had something to actually talk about with her!  All you needed to do was sit down next to her at breakfast and strike up a casual conversation, you could always fall back on discussing your Astronomy class if that failed.  Ultimately, you hoped to subtly ask her out and had come up with multiple possible approaches to do so.

You got this.

Stepping into the Great Hall with a few of your fellow Slytherins, you spotted Luna seated by herself at the foot of the Ravenclaw table.  One of your friends caught you looking at her and gave you a small smile and thumbs up in support before heading over to the Slytherin table with everyone else.  It provided you with the small boost of morale that you needed.

You walked over to Luna and sat down beside her, waiting for her to look up from the magazine in her hands.  It only took a few moments for her to lower it and look over at you with those prominent eyes of hers.

“Good morning, Luna.”

“Oh, good morning,” she said before posing your name as a question, “Right?”

“Right,” you said, feeling a pleased smile grow from the fact that she remembered your name, “ But, um, do you mind if I ask you something?

She returned your smile with a soft one of her own, “I wouldn’t mind at all.”

“Well, I read last week’s edition of the Quibbler and I was curious about something …  It mentioned something about a rumored sighting of a, erm, Crimple-Horned … Snarklax, I believe?  I was wondering if you knew what exactly that creature was, since we haven’t learned about it in our Magical Creatures curriculum.”

Your genuine curiosity caused her to sit down her Quibbler as she bounced very slightly in place, silvery eyes sparkling with excitement.  You wondered how often people demonstrated any interest in her interests, rather than just mocking or dismissing her entirely.  It hurt your heart a bit to consider …

Her dreamy voice shifted to something with a little more energy behind it as she explained, “Oh, yes, I certainly do!  But it’s actually known the Crumple-Horned Snorkack.  They’re very rare and elusive, you see.  They’re very intelligent creatures and quite shy, so they’re good about avoiding human eyes.  Father says they’re almost certainly exclusive to Sweden, but I can’t help but wonder if they haven’t spread elsewhere …”

“And what makes you think that?”

“Well, quite a few things, really,” and with that she launched into explaining her reasoning, on the surface it all seemed quite absurd but you were able to notice there was a definite logic to her way of thinking.  But even if you didn’t entirely believe in the existence of an unsubstantiated creature, you had to admit that it was still quite a riveting subject.  Especially because she was the one you were talking with, there was just something incredibly engaging about the way she talked and explained things. 

The two of you continued like that for a few minutes, you ended up forgetting about your simple plan to ask her out due to how riveting the discussion was.  You weren’t entirely sure how the conversation shifted, but she ended up gesturing to the magazine resting on the table in front of her.

“Have you read today’s edition of the Quibbler?”

“I have not.”

“I highly recommend it, did you know that February 14th is the other time of year in which Nargles are the most plentiful?  Apparently, they’re quite fond of hiding in the decorations,” she trailed off as she glanced upwards at the heart-shaped lanterns hovering in the Great Hall in place of the typical candles.

“Oh, I didn’t know that.  But, um, what exactly is a Nargle?  I’m afraid I haven’t read about those yet either …”

“Understandable, most people don’t talk about them …  They’re quite mischievous creatures with a fondness for stealing things that don’t belong to them.  So it’s best to be careful, I wouldn’t want you to lose anything either.”

You pressed your lips together and tilted your head to the side slightly, pondering over the possible implications of thieving Nargles stealing things from her.  But you decided to avoid broaching that subject as you sought her advice instead, “How should I go about being careful, then?”

“It’s known that they can’t stand Butterbeer corks, so that’d be a good place to start,” she said as she looked back over at you, her smile growing ever so slightly, “Perhaps we should go to the Three Broomsticks this evening and ask Madam Rosmerta if she’d be willing to part with one so I can make you a necklace like this too,” she pulled at the cork of her necklace to show it to you before continuing, “And then we can talk more about the Quibbler over some Butterbeer, if you’d like.”

Wait, did she just—

“That’d be lovely, Luna,” you paused for a moment as you felt your face warm, “Do you think we could consider it a date?”

“Definitely, it’s the perfect day for that sort of thing, isn’t it?” she paused as her pale brows drew together, her head tilting slightly to the side as she continued, “Well, Nargles aside, of course.”

“Of course,” you replied, feeling over the moon that everything went well.  Even if it didn’t go according to plan.

The two of you spent the rest of breakfast together and walked to class together, her skipping slightly at your side.

 

Chapter Text

Part of you had been dreading the Yule Ball ever since Cedric broke up with you in early November and broke your heart in the process.  Honestly, you didn’t plan on going since you knew Cedric would have a date, given the fact that he was one of the champions, and seeing him with someone else would ruin your night.  

Especially if you were alone.

Thankfully, your fellow Slytherin, Draco Malfoy, seized the opportunity and ended up asking you to accompany him in early December, which you surprised yourself by agreeing to.  The two of you were in different years, with you being one above him, so you hadn’t known each other all that well.  Most of your interactions up until then were confined to some of the group conversations that occurred in the common room.

However that quickly changed during the lead up to the ball, as the two of you began to spend more time together and found that you had a great deal in common.  More than you had with Cedric, apparently.

Stepping into the Slytherin common room, you felt like you were worth a million galleons.  You had taken great  Draco was already waiting for you, looking dapper (if not oddly priest-like) in his black, high-collared dress robes made of velvet.  It only served to emphasize his particular brand of haughty handsomeness, never had he looked better.

He offered his arm to you with a smile.  “I must admit, I feel a bit bad for everyone else attending the ball, since I have the most stunning date.”

You rolled your eyes a bit, but linked your arm through his anyways.  “Empty flattery doesn’t work on me, Draco.”

“And who said they were empty?”  He didn’t even miss a beat as the corner of his lip twitched upward in a subtle smirk.

His grey eyes, the ones that reminded you so much of Cedric’s, laughed at you as a blush undoubtedly broke across your face.

“Maybe you should’ve been put in Ravenclaw with that quick wit of yours.”

He let out a low chuckle before patting your hand. “It’s cunning wit, my dear, which is an important distinction to make.  So, I do believe my particular brand of wit is well at home in Slytherin.”

“You’re positively insufferable, you know that?”

“Of course, but I’m not as insufferable as those know-it-all Ravenclaws.  I can assure you that much.”

Normally, you wouldn’t have laughed at that remark, but perhaps you were feeling a bit bitter toward a certain Ravenclaw from your year.

Walking arm and arm with Draco, the two of you spent the walk to the Great Hall indulging in some banter and both enjoying the way in which most of the students the pair of you passed gawked at the pair of you together.  Any reservations you had previously harbored about the ball had evaporated and now you were quite certain you’d be in for a fun night.

At least, that was until you approached the entrance hall and saw Cho and Cedric together.  She looked gorgeous and the way he looked at her was just like how he always used to look at you, back when the two of you were first together.  It hurt, but you weren’t about to show it.

However, your date seemed to notice since he leaned over to whisper, “They’re not worth your attention.  He foolishly squandered his opportunity with you, let him realize how great of a mistake he made.”

“But—”

“No buts.  Just focus on having a good time tonight, I’ll handle anything that may come up.”

You felt your heart swell from his earnest promise to take care of any problems that may arise over the course of the evening, you knew you were in good hands with him. “Thank you, Draco.”

He gave you a small nod and a surprisingly kind smile in return and led you further away from the two of them so you wouldn’t have to see him, you passed Harry Potter on your way.  You were able to catch him scrunching up his nose slightly when he saw the two of you.  Draco and you shared a good laugh over that while you waited for the Great Hall to open.

When it did, you were awed by how beautiful the winter decor looked and you and a group of your fellow Slytherins found a table along the fringe to sit at for dinner.  The conversation was pleasant for the most part, though a lot of it was spent ragging on both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff for representing Hogwarts instead of Slytherin, and you were able to push Cedric and Cho from your mind.  They were out of sight and out of mind.

When Dumbledore had all of the students stand up after dinner was finished, you had to watch the Hufflepuff and his Ravenclaw date dance around as the champions enjoyed the first dance.  You couldn’t help but feel some jealousy well up inside of you, though you caught Cedric looking at where you and Draco were standing along the sidelines.  His expression was hard to read, but he didn’t look happy either. 

You were thankful when everyone was able to join in on the dance and you were able to just focus on your date once again.  Draco was, unsurprisingly, an incredibly elegant dancer and truly embodied what a member of high, pure-blood society was supposed to be like.  The two of you continued to talk and laugh, having a ball of a time as you enjoyed the music and atmosphere.

The two of you were beginning to walk off the dance floor, still holding each other’s hand from when you had been foxtrotting when you heard an all too familiar voice call out your name.

You let go of Draco’s hand and turned around, delivering what you hoped to be a cool look toward Cedric, though his polite smile didn’t so much as falter.  “What?”

“Would you mind sparing one dance with me?  I’d like to talk …”

“I’d rather not, to be honest.”

In the corner of your line of vision to your left, you could see his date watching the two of you, lips were pressed into a thin line as she did so.  Clearly she didn’t approve of this.

Draco didn’t seem to either as he stepped forward and in front of you, getting between the two of you, and sneered at the taller boy, “You have your own date, why don’t you go talk with her instead and leave mine alone?”

“Well there’s something very specific that I’d like to talk about, so I can’t exactly do that.”

Diggory, the lady said no.  So I’d suggest you take your leave before I make you,” he spat, his words laced with venom.

You could see the way Cedric’s expression dropped from his patient smile into something more hurt and you felt your heart ache at the sight.  Part of you still cared for him and if he wanted to talk with you, then … perhaps you could at least do that.

It was for one dance, how bad could it be?

“It’s fine, Draco.”

The Slytherin glanced back over his shoulder at you, pale brows knit together in confusion and worry.  “Are you certain?”

“I’m capable of thinking for myself, you know,” you gave him a small smile and a pat on the shoulder, “You can do without me for one dance.”

Draco looked between the two of you before stepping aside, letting you make what was undoubtedly a poor decision.  However, the look on his face told you that if anything happened, he’d be ready to intervene and you couldn’t be more grateful.

Cedric took you by the hand then and led you out onto the dance floor, though his touch felt more hesitant and unsteady than Draco’s.

“What did you want to talk about, Cedric?” you asked, keeping your gaze focused on the collar of his dress robes.

“Why are you here with Malfoy?  I didn’t want to believe that you were going with him until I saw it in person.”

His tone was even, but it sounded forced.  Immediate irritation flooded through you, since it seemed like he had interrupted your night to interrogate you over your choice of date.  Unbelievable.

You looked up at him and gave him a saccharine smile and made eye contact with him out of defiance, “Oh, it’s quite simple, really.  You see, he asked me and I agreed.”

Cedric exhaled heavily through his nose as he tightened his hold a bit on your hand, clearly not having any of your sarcasm.  “Why did you agree, then?”

“Because, unlike a certain someone, he doesn’t mind the fact that I can be ‘distant’ and ‘self-centered.’  And I wanted to have a good time tonight.”

This wasn’t fair of you by any stretch of the imagination, but fairness wasn’t something you particularly cared about in that moment.  It earned you one of Cedric’s rare frowns, clearly the remark had hit its mark and it filled you with a petty sense of satisfaction.  As far as you were concerned, that was some slight retribution for the way he broke your heart.

“So you chose to go with an egotistical bully in order to have a ‘good time’?  That doesn’t make much sense to me.”

“Slytherins stick together, Cedric, and he’s never been anything but a complete gentleman to me.”

“Yes, because you’re a Slytherin.  If you were from any other house, you’d most likely find yourself on the receiving end of his cruelty.”

“Ifs and buts don’t matter, we’re both Slytherin and who I may or may not fancy is none of your business.”

Those words left your mouth before you had even realized it and it stunned the both of you alike.  Did you fancy Draco?  You hadn’t really considered it, at least not consciously, but … perhaps you did.  It sounded right, at the very least, and you had to admit that you enjoyed his company.

“You fancy him?”  The indignation in his tone annoyed you and you knew in that moment that he was almost certainly jealous, he never sounded like that otherwise.

“Perhaps I do.  Why do you even care?  Don’t tell me you’re jealous …”

“I care because he’s a no good bully, he’ll only hurt you and,” he trailed off, lips pressing into a thin line as he silenced whatever he was about to say.

You let out an empty laugh at that, feeling anger starting to boil inside of you.  What composure you had snapped as you let  “Oh, that’s rich, coming from you.  You knew who you were dating when we started off, yet you still wanted me to change into something I wasn’t and broke my heart into pieces in the process.  You have no right to provide commentary on who I choose to be with, no matter how well-intentioned you may be.”

Those words hit Cedric so hard that he flinched as if you had just struck him, he turned his head downward and his dark hair fell into his face, shielding his light grey eyes from view.  For a brief moment you felt bad about being mean to him, but you found that your anger quickly superseded any warm regard you still felt for your ex-boyfriend right then.

“I just want you to be happy …”

“And I just want you to leave me alone.  I’m finding that I’m happy with Draco and, clearly, you’re quite happy with Cho.  You seemed to have moved on rather quickly and I’d appreciate it if you let me do the same.”

With that, you pulled away from him, unable to stand his touch for even a moment more.

Only a moment had passed since the two of you stepped away from each other, you glowering at him while he looked like a wounded puppy, before Draco swooped in.  He cut between the two of you and was quick to grab one of your hands and lead you back into another dance, grey eyes glaring daggers at Cedric all the while.

When he finally looked back at you, his sharp features seemed softer than usual.  “Are you okay?  That seemed to go just as poorly as I anticipated …”

“I’m fine, though I should have listened to you.  Apparently, Cedric doesn’t approve of us coming to the ball together.”

“Is that so?” he glanced back over at the Hufflepuff before looking back to you with a small smirk, “Well, it seems like he finally realized his mistake and a bit too late at that, lucky for me.”

“And me,” you said, smiling up at Draco.

Chapter Text

“Go bother someone else, Black,” you spat, storming back to the castle after your nice afternoon reading outside had been so rudely interrupted.

“But why should I when I specifically want to bother you?” he said, sounding too close behind you for your liking.

You found your fingers tightening around your wand, agitation growing with each passing moment.  “Because I don’t want you to.  Shouldn’t that adequate reason?”

“Adequate reason to keep pursuing you, perhaps!”

Sirius Black was the single most vexing individual you had ever had the displeasure of meeting, you pitied Regulus for having an insufferable twat like him as an older brother.  And yet … there was something inexplicably charming about him at the same time, which only made you hate him all the more.

Unlike a large portion of the other students, you didn’t fawn over the rebellious Gryffindor, but rather treated him with the deserved coldness of someone who seemed to seek out every opportunity possible to bother you.

Only sparing a cursory glance over your shoulder, you flicked your wand backwards with a hex intended to trip him up to enable you to slip away.

But, like always, he effortlessly deflected your hex and an obnoxiously smug smirk broke across his face, “Come on, don’t be like that.  I just want to ask you something today.”

“If it’ll get you to leave me alone, ask.”  You said as you stopped abruptly, unhesitatingly turning around to face him.  It both displeased you to see that he was only an arm’s reach away, but you did your best to ignore it.

His dark grey eyes seemed to light up with mirth at your agreement, though it felt more like they were mocking you.  “So, you’re finally listening to me for once?  That’s a nice change of pace.”

“I regret indulging you for even a moment,” you said, words laced with venom, and turned away once more, about ready to break into a full blown sprint to escape him.

He reached out and grasped your wrist just hard enough to bring you to a halt.  When you glared back at him, he only held out his free hand in front of him to try and placate you, the laughter from his eyes extinguished in an instant, “Okay, okay.  I get it, I’ll lay off the attitude for a bit.  Just … hear me out, okay?”

When you didn’t respond for a few moments, he took it as his cue to continue.  “I’d like us to maybe go to the Three Broomsticks and just talk over some Butterbeer some time.  I know you and Regulus are close, so I’d like to clear some things up … and just get to know you better.”

Your eyes narrowed as they flickered between his own, uncertain as to just what game he was trying to pull on you.  “No.”

“No?”

“Yes, no,” you said as you wrenched your wrist out of his grip, “I don’t know what you’re getting at, but I’m not some pawn to be used in … whatever is going on between you and Regulus.”

You were able to see his eyes widen before you turned and began to, green and black robes dramatically trailing after you.  He called your name out, trying to get you to stop, but you didn’t.

It wasn’t until you felt your feet suddenly affix into place that you realized what he had just done.  Thankfully, you were able to gather enough of your balance to prevent yourself from toppling over and landing flat on your face.  You pointed your wand at you feet, entirely ready to free yourself and quickly continue on in your escape.

Before you could cast the counter spell, you felt Sirius’s hand rest on your shoulder.  This wasn’t like him, normally you were the one to take shots at him to get him to leave you the hell alone.  Instead,  he was actually trying harder than usual to get you to listen to him.

You decided you’d give him five seconds before hexing his face off.

“It has nothing to do with Regulus, look,” he waved his wand as he spoke, nonverbally undoing the hex himself and simultaneously making you decide not to go through with your impulse, “I just … I fancy you, okay?  I only bother you because I think you’re cute, but seeing you all driven and irritated is pretty hot.”

Your face heated up from the confession of his feelings and the compliments, as indelicate as they may have been.  You had to admit that while he was undoubtedly incredibly frustrating and you didn’t exactly agree with how he handled his family situation, you knew he had a good heart and a sharp mind on top of being brave.  Furthermore, Regulus’s comments about his brother told you that the two of you had similar interests and tastes.

However, there was still one other issue, even if he genuinely liked you.

Turning around, you did your best to ignore how warm your face felt as you stared him down.  “You only like me because I’m the only person who doesn’t flirt and fawn over you.  The moment I say ‘yes,’ you’ll lose interest since you won’t be chasing after some impossible goal anymore.”

Sirius pressed his lips into a thin line, thinking over your words before shaking his head.  “Nah, I think I like you for who you are, though I definitely do appreciate the challenge.  It just makes you more interesting,” he paused before a smile returned to his face, “But I suppose there’s only one way to find out?”

He raised his eyebrows at you, clearly hopeful that you’d agree.  The sincerity in his eyes was enough to tell you that he wasn’t just trying to pull your leg.  And it wasn’t like one date would hurt anything …  You could always leave halfway through it if he started acting up again.

“Fine, I’ll go to the Three Broomsticks with you.”

There was a beat of silence before his smile stretched into a grin, the warmest one you had ever seen from him since it lacked the usual smug quality that made you want to punch him.

“And what do you know?  Seems like your theory was wrong since I’m only looking forward to enjoying some Butterbeer with you!”

You shook your head a bit at him, a smile gracing your own features.  “You’re ridiculous.”

“No, I’m Sirius,” he said with a wink.

Even his terrible, rehashed joke wasn’t enough to diminish your own anticipation for the date.  That had to mean something.

Chapter Text

Working at the sleepy paper shop was beyond dull.  It was yet another dreary December day outside, heavy grey clouds lazing over the horizon and making the shop seem even more depressing than usual.  As you organized the various magazines set up across the way from the counter, for what had to be the umpteenth time that day, when the jingle of the door rang out.

Glancing over, you couldn’t help but feel a smile break out across your face upon seeing the twins who had recently become regulars at the shop.  Even just the sight of them was always enough to break up your excruciating boredom with their brightly colored clothing and shocks of brilliant red hair.  

However, their senses of humor and amazing magic tricks were what really sold the deal for you.  They were truly like two beams of sunshine in human form and you couldn’t be more glad for their company.

The more assertive of the two, who you had come to identify as Fred, approached where you were working a surprisingly serious smile on his face.  “Fancy seeing you here again!”

“Indeed, seems like we’re quite lucky,” George said, following his brother over.

“Well, I do work here.”

“Unfortunately for you,” Fred said, a playful grin breaking out across his face as his act came crashing down.

Placing your hand on your hips, you delivered the two a mock glare, “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“That a lovely lady like yourself manages to work at one of the most boring places imaginable,” George said, picking up a nearby magazine and beginning to flick through it, obviously trying to downplay the flirtatious remark.

You felt a familiar warmth begin to bloom across your cheeks as you quickly redirected your attention back to the already straightened stack of magazines you had been working on before the two had waltzed in.  However, Fred didn’t let you distract yourself for too long.  He snatched your attention away from his brother’s comment by abruptly placing his hand palm up in your line of vision.

Pausing, you turned to look at him, head cocked slightly to one side as if to silently ask him what he was doing.  You had a feeling as to what was about to happen and it alone was able to bring a smile to your face once more.

“And that’s why we’re here, well, and to buy some newspapers.  But mostly to alleviate your boredom for a few minutes.”  With a small flick of his wrist, a deck of playing cards appeared in his outstretched palm, almost as if by magic.  Your eyes widened from the sight, still easily awed by the level of sleight of hand prowess these two had.

George rolled his eyes and coughed, “Show off.”

“Well, one of us has got to charm her, George,” he waggled his eyebrows at his brother, who only shook his head slightly in response.

Your face only felt as if it was growing warmer though before you could make a comment of your own, he effortlessly slid the cards out of their box.  You could only watch in awe as he used a rapid dynamo shuffle to mix the cards up before fanning them out and offering them to you.

“Now, pick a card.  Any card!”

Without thinking much of it, you picked a card at random which turned out to be an eight of Spades.  “Now what?  I thought you were a better magician than using the whole ‘pick a card’ trick.”

“Just wait and see, good things come to those who wait,” he said as he gave you a small wink.  “Turn it so the back of the card is facing you and, here’s the important part, look me directly in the eyes as I perform the trick.”

You did just as he asked, though the way you were making eye contact with him was leaving you flustered.  His eyes seemed to laugh at you all the while, clearly able to see the effect he was having on you.

It was easy to feel him flick the card with his fingers and you saw the movement out of the corner of your eyes.  You didn’t really see how he could have performed an act of sleight of hand by just flicking the card, but you honestly didn’t understand how they performed half of their tricks.

“Alright, now turn it back around!”

Rotating your wrist, your eyes went wide when you managed to pull them away from Fred’s and look at the card.  The eight of Spades had miraculously turned into the Joker.  Somehow. However, you couldn’t recall there being any sensation of your earlier card being removed from your grasp.  It wasn’t like your grip had been loose, though perhaps you had been more affected by looking him in the eye than you anticipated?

“How …?”

“Ah, how a good magician never gives away his tricks, even when the asker is as cute as you are,” he gave you an obnoxiously cheeky wink at that.  If it were anyone else, you probably would’ve wanted to deck them … but with Fred?  It worked.  

It really worked.

If you hadn’t come to resemble the color of a tomato earlier, you knew you had.  Even your ears were burning up.  Trying to cover up how hard you were blushing, you turned your face away and pretended to cough.

Fortuitously, it was then that George grabbed a couple of newspapers and put them at the register, looking a bit sulky.  Taking the cue, you parted from Fred and rang up the small purchase.  

“I hope you’ll show me an even better trick next time, George.”

They did seem to take turns in showing off to you along with amping up their flirtations, though you weren’t entirely sure what to make of it.  They were both incredibly charming, though it was hard to tell if it was all just fun and games for them or if there was … something more to it.

The way he grinned at you seemed to hint at there being something, “Oh, I definitely will.  It’ll knock your socks right on off, I guarantee.”

“Well, color me stoked!  I’ll be looking forward to it.”

The two of you shared a smile before he picked up the two newspapers and headed over to his brother, handing one to him.  They both gave you a small wave and went to speak at the same time to say their goodbyes.

Fred started, “Don’t die of—”

“Take care—” George began simultaneously.

You let out a small laugh as you watched the two of them dramatically glare at each other, Fred elbowing his twin in the ribs.  

“Ow!  What was that for?” George said with a wince, rubbing the place where his twin had just hit him.

“Talking over me, you git,” Fred retorted as they began to make their way toward the exit, now more focused on each other than you.

“No, I believe you were talking over me.  Which is quite rude, you know.”

“Was not.”

“Was too.”

When they exited the shop, it suddenly felt all the colder and drearier in their absence.  You hoped they’d return sooner rather than later.

Chapter Text

After trying with your husband to have kids for months unsuccessfully, you finally made an appointment at St. Mungo’s to see if something was wrong.

And something was.  The nurses hadn’t seen a curse quite like it and it didn’t take you long to figure out who had been behind it.  Bellatrix Lestrange had hated you in particular for dating Draco and she was certainly powerful enough to cast such a potent curse.

You felt numb as you headed back home to the small estate you shared with Draco, glad that he wouldn’t be home for a couple more hours so you could try and figure out how you were going to tell him.

The sound of the door shutting behind you didn’t register as you trudged over to the sofa and collapsed onto it.  As your mind ran through the options of how to go about sharing this painful information with your husband, the shock of the revelation wore off and your emotions flooded your system.  Tears began to pour from your eyes as your heart sunk like a stone in your chest.

The two of you wanted children more than anything else, having your own family.  It wasn’t fair that some cruel, dead woman was able to deprive you of that just because of your blood status.

It wasn’t fair.

You knew how important continuing the Malfoy line was to his parents, even if you were a ‘Mudblood’ they preferred it to having the Malfoy name and blood die out.  Surely, he would need to leave you and find someone who he could have a biological child with.  The thought of losing your husband over this only made your chest ache, burning with pain, as the tears came out all the harder.

However much time passed with you crying hysterically like that, you didn’t know.  But unlike last time, the sound of the door opening and shutting felt almost deafening.  You sat up and did your best to quickly wipe away the tears, taking a few deep breaths in a vain attempt to steady yourself back out once more.

Draco stepped in right as you were able, hoping that it would be enough to make you look at least passably presentable.

His grey eyes narrowed as he stopped in the archway, immediately knowing that something was off.  He knew you too well and could undoubtedly see how irritated your eyes were.  In what felt like a blink of an eye, he was standing right in front of you before kneeling down.

“What happened?” he asked, voice soft in a manner reserved exclusively for you.

Unable to look him in the eye, you turned your face downwards to stare at your hands folded in your lap.  “I found out why we haven’t had any luck in getting pregnant …”

He must have heard the subtle trembling in your voice as he took your hands with his own in a show of support.  Patiently, he waited for you to continue, gently rubbing his thumbs over the backs of your hands to try and bring you some semblance of comfort.

“I—” you started, but choked over the fresh lump forming in your throat, but you pressed on after sniffling, “I’m infertile.  It seems like I was—I was cursed by your aunt.”

Draco released your hands as he moved up to wrap his arms around you and pull you into a close embrace.  He pressed a kiss to the crown of your head as he held you and you could hear that he was starting to cry himself as he managed to force out three excruciating words: “I’m so sorry.”

That only made you cry all the harder as you wrapped your arms around him, in-between sobs you managed to choke out, “It’s not your fault.”

“I should’ve been there with you when you received the news.  Not to mention, if you were with anyone else—”

You cut him off by shaking your head, “I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else … even with this.”

He let out a shaky sigh of relief, your words striking just the right chord to at least alleviate his guilt for the moment.  the two of you just stayed like that for a while, uncertain as to what to say next.  The silence was all it took to remind you of where your thoughts had been before his arrival home and you could feel your heart start to shatter all over again.

While you couldn’t imagine living your life with anyone else at your side, you thought that this would be what broke up your marriage.

“B-But you’re probably going to have to leave me and find someone who you can, right?  To continue the Malfoy line and all,” you trailed off and had to take a deep breath in before continuing, “You should, actually.  It’s important.”

Draco pulled away from the embrace then and ran his hands up your arms to rest on your shoulders.  The way his brows were drawn together and how his lips were pursed told you that he was wounded by the mere suggestion.  “Absolutely not.  I don’t care about that.”

“But your parents—”

—He silenced you as he slipped one of his hands up to gently cup the side of your face, his thumb gently brushing away some of your tears.  You couldn’t help but lean into his touch, desperately needing his comforting touch in that moment.

“My parents have never mattered in this relationship.  And as you just said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else, even with this,’“ he gave you a weak smile, “I don’t care about the Malfoy bloodline, not anymore.  It honestly does not matter to me whether it continues or dies, however, I do care about you, the love of my life.”

As fresh wave of tears began to flood your eyes you felt your lips began to quiver from how deeply his words touched you, “Draco …”

“We’ll get through this together, we can always adopt.  I’m sure any child would consider themselves lucky to have you as a mother.”

While you hadn’t considered adoption prior to this day, the fact that your husband was suggesting it filled you with hope that you’d still be able to have your own family in the near future. 

“All right, if … if you’re certain.”

“I am, love,” he said, looking you dead in the eye to prove it.  Even through your tears, you could tell how serious he was and it brought you an indescribable degree of relief.

“I love you,” you said, giving him an anemic smile through the tears that were still coming.

“I love you too.”

He pressed a kiss to your forehead before pulling you into another tight embrace, burying his face into your hair.  The path forward to heal from this wouldn’t be easy for either of you, but you would be together through it.  And you’d still be able to have the family you always dreamed of, you’d just have to go about acquiring it in a slightly different way.

Chapter Text

You were an enigma to Tom Riddle.  On the surface, the two of you seemed to have a decent amount in common, at least as far as academics and interests went.  You were certainly different, that much he knew.  However, no one seemed to know much of anything about you.  You rarely, if ever, spoke up in class.  

Essentially there was no way for him to do any research on you, which was fascinating.  It was rare for him to encounter a proper mystery to unravel.  Ever since he realize that that’s precisely what you were, he had been keeping a careful eye on you without you even knowing it. 

However, it wasn’t until he was flipping through an academic work on advanced potioneering techniques in the library one evening when he slithered toward finally starting the process.  He was trying to research obscure facts to use to impress Slughorn when he noticed someone, who happened to be none other than yourself, enter his line of vision in a nearby aisle.  For the time being, he set the book down to observe you with his full attention for once.

Tom watched as you found the book you were searching for in the nearby aisle, observing the way your fingers moved along the cover.  Upon cracking open the book to start flipping through its pages, you finally seemed to notice him.  Smiling faintly to himself, he felt a twinge of amusement upon seeing you perform a double-take, eyes slightly wide as they met his own. 

The two of you stared at each other for a few moments before he allowed his private smile to grow into a charming smile for you.  Immediately, you averted your face as you looked down to the book you were holding, drawing up your shoulders as you quickly walked off.

Never had he run into a fellow student he couldn’t crack.  And you certainly weren’t about to be the exception.  With that thought, he smirked to himself and looked down to his ring, running his index finger along the pyramid shaped gem.  It reminded him that he had something of greater import to focus on for the time, you could wait a little longer.  Perhaps he could even make another earnest attempt at gathering some intel on you …


A week later, he was mildly surprised when he saw you sit down at the table across from his own.  Even more so when you actually looked at him and smiled.  The latter was an especially new development and a most pleasant one, at that.

Ever since the initial incident, he had only taken further notice of you and had taken up the habit of observing you in whatever classes the two of you had together.  It wasn’t like he had anything better to do, he had already mastered most of the material, after all.

He only let you catch him about ten percent of the times he was actually observing you, not wanting to run the risk if.  Besides, he caught you staring at him just as much.  It seemed as if it had turned into a bit of a game between the two of you; one that he already had down to an art form.

Tom was surprised that he actually found himself enjoying the surreptitious glances the two of you shared … along with the ones you didn’t, especially when you were the one making them.  He noticed that your smile seemed to grow whenever you thought you were being sneaky.  It was intriguing behavior and, he couldn’t lie to himself on this matter, it did stoke his ego a bit to see how pleased you were with yourself.  After all, you weren’t the typical mindless fawner he was tragically accustomed to having to deal with; you were different, perhaps even special.

What you didn’t know couldn’t hurt you, of course.  At least for now.  That would change, depending on his plan.

Speaking of which … you were starting to distract him from his original purpose of coming to the library that afternoon.  He needed to put the finishing touches on his brilliant Potions essay for Slughorn as the final blow before bringing up the subject of Horcruxes after the next meeting he was invited to.

Tom exchanged one final glance with you, dark eyes meeting your own for but a moment.  When you looked away, he shook his head to himself before practically burying his nose into his book, doing his best to ignore the feeling of your lingering glances upon him occasionally.


The two of you would play that game during each shared class and in the library from time to time, never saying anything, but always looking at one another and enjoying each other’s presence.  In the meantime, he  It seemed like Tom was never going to be able to find out anything more about you.

As such, it seemed like a fact that he was going to have to take direct action.  The Slug Club’s rapidly approaching Christmas party at the end of term seemed like an excellent excuse, besides Professor Slughorn seemed fond enough of you.  You would likely be an asset in helping him smooth things back over with the Potions master after their conversation of Horcruxes.

It’d be a win-win, so to speak.

It was a pleasant surprise when he spotted you sitting by yourself in the library, it presented the perfect opportunity to go in for the kill.  Without any hesitation, he stood behind the chair across from you, giving you one of his most beguiling smiles when you looked up at him.

“May I sit with you today?  We don’t have to talk, but I’d like to enjoy your company up close, for once.”

Your eyes flickered between the book lying open in front of you and the Slytherin prefect.  “Yes, you may and … I’d like that, actually.”

For someone as observant as him, the light blush that spread across your cheeks was a trifle to pick up on.  It seemed like he was having his desired effect on you already, which was almost disappointing since he was hoping for more of a challenge.  However, it was your potential as a tool in his arsenal that he cared most about, not how fun it was to win you over.

However, his smile never faltered as he took the seat, his less positive thoughts remaining a secret to you thanks to his placid expression.  He pulled out his Transfiguration textbook from his rucksack and began to study, allowing you to get back to your own work.

The two of you continued to play your little game as you did so, he initiated it this time around.  As it progressed, he coiled in preparation to strike at precisely the right moment.

When you caught him staring for the seventh time, he struck.

Unlike usual, he didn’t drop his eyes away from your own, instead maintaining direct eye contact as he tilted his, “I was wondering if, perhaps, you had a date to the Slug Club party?”

It was an empty question, he already knew the answer all too well.  You never came to any event with a date, you were always off on your own.  You were always alone.  He had been observing you long enough to know that much.

You shifted in your chair at his question, eyes unable to meet his own for once, “I, um, no.  I don’t.”

“Well, it seems as if we’re both in a similar predicament, then,” he said, allowing his lips to quirk upwards in a convincing imitation of a warm smile.  “Would you consider accompanying me to it as my date?  I’d like to get to know you better.”

You just blankly stared at him for several moments and during that time, he was wondering if perhaps he had made a miscalculation along the way.  Finally, a smile broke across your lips and all was right with the world once more.

“I’d love that.  Those parties are always such a bore, I just spend most of them standing around.”

“Indeed they are, I’m hoping that bringing along some pleasant company will help make the evening more enjoyable, myself.”

The two of you shared a smile before you shyly dropped your gaze back to your textbook.  His expression flickered in that moment, eyes flash while a smug smirk graced his lips.  When you looked back up, his expression was back to his perfectly irresistible smile, as if it hadn’t changed at all.

It wouldn’t be long before he had your code cracked in its entirety.  And then?  He’d finally be able to sink his fangs into his prey, leaving you precisely where he wanted you; at his mercy.

Chapter Text

It was a perfectly ordinary and quiet evening in the Mulciber residence.  You were relaxing by the fireplace in the parlor, reading through the day’s Daily Prophet to follow the other side’s reporting of the war.

Really, you couldn’t care less about what they had to say, but you were bored and eagerly awaiting your husband’s return from his Death Eater duties that day.

You turned the page and, almost simultaneously, you heard the crack of someone Apparating into the entry way of your home.  The sound brought a smile to your face as you set down the newspaper and hopped onto your feet.  Before you could take even a step, however, you heard some shouting; one voice belonged to Thaddeus, but the other was owned by a stranger.

That was enough to wipe the grin right off of your face as you bolted for the door, drawing your wand from out of your pocket.  You could hear a commotion breaking out, blue and white light seeping through the cracks of the door that separated you from.

Grabbing the doorknob and turning it, you heard Thaddeus yell out, “Avada Kedavra!

As you pulled the door open, you saw the brilliant flash of green light from the Killing Curse.  The stranger’s body hit the floor with a sick thud.  There was no doubt about it, the man was an Auror judging by his uniform.  And blood from some of his prior injuries was seeping onto your rug.  Fantastic!

As your eyes darted around the entry way, making note of the scorch marks from the short tussle that had just broken out.  You were quick to cast a jet of water out of the tip of your wand to put out the curtains that had been set on fire.  

Once that potential crisis was averted, you shot a glare at your still masked husband, who was standing there like an idiot.  “What in Merlin’s name is a dead Auror doing in my house?”

Our house, love,” he said as he lowered his hood and removed his mask, giving you a cheeky wink, before he shifted his blue eyes down to the corpse, “But, uh, he just kind of grabbed onto me while I was Disapparating?  It wasn’t precisely my fault.”

He looked like hell, his brow was covered in sweat and he looked beyond battle worn, clearly it had been a more contentious conflict than usual.  And, admittedly, it was hard to stay mad at him when he was in such a poor state.  You still couldn’t let him get off scot-free, however.

“Well, you should’ve been more careful, Thad.  If he would’ve been able to get out or figure out where we live, we would’ve been outed as supporters of the Dark Lord.”

“Oh, doubting my abilities, are we?” he said as he twirled his wand, “I think the prompt way I handled this says it all, really.”

You rolled your eyes, before crossing your arms over your chest, “Can’t you take anything seriously?  In those few seconds, our curtains were set aflame, a priceless mirror was shattered, and someone was killed.”  You paused as the annoyance faded, instead being replaced with raw concern as you continued, “But more importantly, you could’ve …”

You trailed off, unable to finish the sentence as you turned your gaze back down to the corpse.

The humor faded from Thaddeus’s eyes at that as he walked over to you and gently placed his hands on your upper arms and got you to make eye contact with him again, “Look, love, I’m here safe and sound.  And he’s dead as a door nail,” he withdrew one of his hands to gesture at the lifeless Auror as a brief humor-filled smile returned to his face, “There’s no point in wondering about the what-ifs in this war.  Otherwise we’d both die of worry.”

He had a point and you knew it.  “You’re right.”

Your husband leaned down and placed a quick kiss to your lips, “Glad you can see that this time, I usually am.”

“You’re insufferable,” you said, though it contrasted with the smile that broke across your face.  The two of you shared a moment, relishing in the warmth of his humor.

“Now, let’s worry about hiding the body and getting everything back to normal, shall we?  I’m sure our Lord won’t mind having another body for … whatever it is he does with them.  I’ll deliver it to him tomorrow, so we shouldn’t be harboring a dead body for too long.”

With a flick of his wand and the incantation, “Wingardium Leviosa,” the body lifted eerily up into the air, stiff as a board thanks to Thaddeus’s concentrated magic.

You know, I was joking in that birthday card when I said I’d help you hide a body,Thad.”

“Well, apparently not,” he said, giving you a smirk over his shoulder, “Now, where should we stash ‘em?  Probably the wine cellar, don’t think we’d want to stumble across this bloke by leaving him anywhere else in the house …”

“Oh, shove it,” you said, though you followed along behind him, “But I second the wine cellar.  Perhaps we can cast both a Shrinking Charm and Disillusionment Charm on him, just to be cautious, though we’ll have to mark where the body is.”

“Brilliant, see, this is precisely why I married you.”

“To help you hide dead bodies?”

“No, because you’re far smarter than I am.  Although, that is a definite perk.”

You stared at the back of his head for a moment, feeling incredulous at the thought of what he likely would’ve done without your help.  Or lack thereof, really.

“Please don’t tell me you would’ve just left the body out in the open.”

Silence was your only answer as the two of you reached the panel that gave way to the hidden cellar entrance.  He undid the locking mechanism with his free hand and the door swung inwards, giving way to the dank stairwell that led down to the cellar.  Waving his wand, the body began to hover over the stairs.

“Thad, really?

“Hey, I’m a simple man, darling.  What more do you expect of me?”

You saw that he was moving to enter the stairwell and quickly moved to remind him, “Duck—”

He smacked his forehead square on the door frame, as often happened, since it was shorter than all of the other doors in your house and he was a tad too tall.  With his concentration broken, you heard the dead body drop onto the steep stairs and clamor down them before eventually coming to a stop.  It was out of your sight though, thank to the inky blackness at the bottom of the stairwell.

You could only let out a sigh as you stared at the bottom of the stairwell, pinching the bridge of your nose in exasperation at Thaddeus’s thoughtless nature.  “I’d expect you to not smack your head on that doorframe every single time, especially when you were carrying a dead body, but that’s obviously expecting too much as well.”

“Okay, so perhaps I’m a very simple man, but that’s all part of my charm.  Got you to marry me, didn’t I?  So I must be doing something right,” he said with a sheepish smile, rubbing the back of his neck.

You snorted at that, “Let’s just focus on hiding the body for now, we can talk about how charming you are after we get the house and you cleaned back up.”

“After you then, my dear.”

Lumos,” you cast as you descended the stairs, just wanting to get this over with so you could make sure your idiot of a husband didn’t have any injuries he was trying to hide.

Chapter Text

It was just you and Fleur left, seated at the dining room table to continue working on decoration plans for the wedding.  All the others who were helping with the planning process had already retired a while ago, but the two of you were still up spitballing ideas.

Leaning back in your chair you twirled your quill listlessly between your fingers before dramatically pointing it at her and saying, “Okay, but what do you think of—”

“I swear, if it ees anozzer dragon-related idea—”

“But dragons are the best, Fleur!” you whisper-shouted as you leaned back in your chair, throwing your head backwards for emphasis.  After a beat, you returned back to sitting upright as you continued, “Wouldn’t you want a little enchanted paper model of a Opaleye flying around the venue?  Ooh, or maybe a larger Welsh Green!  You could put a tray on its back and have it carry the finger food around or something.”

“Absolutely not,” she said, shooting down your idea cold without even looking up from the parchment she was scribbling some ideas on.  “’owever, zat may be something to keep in mind for your wedding.” 

You blinked a few times, feeling as if you had missed a piece important context somewhere along the way, “Come again?”

Fleur looked up at you then, the confused expression on her face seemed to perfectly mirror how you felt, “’Aven’t you and ze dragonologist been dating for years now?  ‘Ave ze two of you really not thought about eet?”

It wasn’t like Mrs. Weasley was exactly subtle about her desires for the two of you to get married, but she was always like that.  Sometimes your friends would tease you about it too, but it was never really serious.

“I mean I’ve definitely thought about it, but … it’s just not something we really talk about?”

“And why not?” she asked, her tone soft with genuine concern.

You shifted a bit awkwardly in your seat, “It’s just,” you pursed your lips as you waved your quill vaguely while you tried to find the right words, “not something that comes up organically 

“Probably because ze two of you are always talking about dragons, no?” she asked, a teasing lilt to her silky voice.

“No, we talk about plenty of other things too.”

“Let me guess,” Fleur said, pausing for effect to tap her quill to her lips as she pretended to think, “Quidditch.”

You shook your quill at her as you added, “And about our families.”

The two of you did talk a lot about dragons and Quidditch, those were two of Charlie’s biggest interests, after all.  But there were other things too, they just didn’t come up as often as your three favorite topics to discuss.

“Ah, ‘ow could I ‘ave ever forgotten?” she said with a brilliant smile.

“We just … have a lot of overlapping interests, is all.”

“Yet zat’s precisely why, you two clearly love each other very much ‘ave a great deal in common.  You two would make a perfect married couple, just like Bill and I.  Eet’s only a matter of time before ze two of you get married.”

You couldn’t help but feel your face heat up a bit from her kind words, but before you could open your mouth to respond to her words.

“Beesides, I would like us to become in-laws!  You ‘ave always been nothing but kind to me and I consider you a dear friend.”

Those words touched you further and you had to blink a few times to try and prevent any tears from welling up.

“I’d, um, I’d like that too, Fleur.  I just don’t know if Charlie’s ready for that kind of commitment yet and I don’t want to rush him.”

“I understand, but you should really talk about zis with ‘im.”

You let out a sigh, the thought of trying to bring it up with him just felt awkward, even though the two of you had been together for so long.  “I’ll, um, try?”

“Now, we ‘ave talked for long enough!  Back to work, we still ‘ave much to plan out tonight.”

“Right.”


You ended up being asked by Fleur to serve as her maid of honor, so you and Charlie were quite the pair.  The days before the wedding passed in a flurry, with you playing a very active role in getting everything set up.  As the event approached, you noticed that your favorite dragonologist was becoming progressively more and more nervous.  You just thought that it was most likely from having to give a speech at the wedding reception in front a bunch of strangers.  That’d make anyone nervous.

The ceremony was beautiful and you may or may not have cried, Fleur and Bill just looked so happy.  And it was nice to have a moment of peace in the midst of the hellish war that had been raging.  For one night, you were able to enjoy yourself at the reception, dancing with Charlie and chatting with some of the other guests.  

However, you certainly didn’t like it when it was so rudely crashed by the Death Eaters.  The moment of blissful normalcy in the midst of the conflict so cruelly ripped away from you. 

After the interrogation by the Death Eaters was finally over, you found yourself sitting on the Burrow’s front steps, just wanting some fresh air after the crazy night.  You heard the front door open and close before Charlie joined you on the steps, sitting close enough so his shoulder brushed against yours.  He cleared his throat and nervously scratched the back of his neck, keeping his eyes focused on the ground in front of the two of you as he prepared himself to speak.

“You know, I was going to wait to tell you this, but after what just happened my plans got a bit messed up … I still don’t want to wait any longer, though.”

Something in his tone made you feel a bit nervous, obviously it was something serious.  “What is it, love?”

Even under the dim lighting of evening, you could tell he was starting to blush something awful.  “Well, I may or may not have overheard some of the conversation you had with Fleur a few nights back …”

You froze, uncertain as to which one he was referring to, since the two of you had pulled quite a few late nights planning out the details together.  “Which conversation?”

“The, um, one about us getting, um, married.  I was going down to the kitchen for a midnight snack and … yeah.  It got me thinking …”

“Oh,” was all you could think to say, uncertain of how else to really respond in that moment.  While he seemed nervous, you couldn’t tell how he felt about it.

“I talked with Fleur and Bill about it and I wanted to wait until the very end of the reception.  So this isn’t nearly as nice as I was planning, but here goes nothing …”

You weren’t certain quite yet as to what was going on, or perhaps you just didn’t want to get your hopes up.  “Charlie, what are you talking about?”

He smiled as he shifted to face you, giving you one of those charming half-smiles of his.  “I know I can be pretty oblivious and a bit of an idiot at times, but I hope you know that I love you and am so grateful to have you as my best friend.”

“I do,” you said, starting to feel your heart hammer in your chest.  This wasn’t going to actually be what you were thinking it was, right …? 

“Well, then”—he looked down as he pulled out a box from the inside of his dress robes and opened it to reveal a simple ring—“I know it’s not much and that this isn’t exactly romantic, but I really want us to be partners for the rest of our lives.  If you’ll have me …”

You felt yourself tear up at the proposal and nodded your head furiously before he could even finish his spiel.  Even if it wasn’t super romantic, it was sincere and that’s all you cared about—if you cared a great deal about grand romantic gestures, your relationship with Charlie would have died out a long time ago.

“Of course I will!” you said, without a moment of hesitation as tears of happiness began to slip out of your eyes.  “But I must admit that I’m impressed you managed to avoid bringing up dragons for once.”

He let out a delighted laugh at that before taking the ring out and slipping it onto your left ring finger.  “I’m glad you noticed, that required a great deal of restraint.”

“Oh, I know it did,” you said before draping your arms around his neck, flexing your fingers and enjoying how the new ring felt on your finger.  “I love you, Charlie.”

“I love you too.”

You leaned up and captured his lips with your own in a loving kiss.

There was a great amount of cheering from within the Burrow and when the two of you pulled away you saw that the other Weasleys and straggling guests had been watching you from some of the windows.  Bill and Fleur were positively beaming at the two of you from the nearest one, the eldest Weasley even shot the two of you a thumbs up.

It seemed as if there would be yet another wedding you and Fleur would be working on planning.  This time, as future in-laws.

Chapter Text

There was always something to do following your return to Romania with Charlie.  Between work and networking to gather support and resources for the Order of Phoenix back home, there was almost no time to even think about your wedding—let alone plan it.

In fact, it seemed like your dear friend Fleur had put far more thought into your upcoming wedding than either you or Charlie.  Your sporadic correspondence revolved around it, providing a sense of normalcy in the midst of the chaos of war.  It gave you hope and something to look forward to, you didn’t doubt that she felt the same way.

April rain pattered against the wooden roof and you found yourself lying in bed, rereading the letter you had received from Fleur today by the orange light of the lantern on your bedside table.  The comforting weight of your fiancé on the other side of the mattress was not lost on you.

It was your first quiet evening together in two weeks, usually one of you would return well after the other was asleep.  Your home felt so much cozier with him there.

“Hey,” you said, rolling over to face him.

No response.  It didn’t even seem like he heard you.

“Charlie?” you tried again, waving a hand in his peripheral vision to try and get his attention.

He just kept on reading, entirely absorbed in the new Dragonology text he had gotten his hands on from work.  

You rolled your eyes before raising a hand and slowly moving it toward his face in order to poke him in the cheek, smooshing his cheek against his teeth.  “Earth to Charliiieee!”

“Hm?”

You let your hand drop back down when he looked at you with raised eyebrows and an amused smile on his lips.

“I got another letter from Fleur today.”

He tucked the pamphlet from the Dragon sanctuary he was using as a bookmark in his book before closing it in order to give you his undivided attention.  “And what did she say?”

“Her and Bill are still doing well, nothing new’s unfolded that we haven’t already heard about.  But guess what she suggested we should have at our wedding this time?  It’s something you’d like.”

He hummed in thought for a moment before tilting his head to the side and offering you a noncommittal shrug.  “I don’t know, what?”

You shot him a stern look, telling him that he had to make a guess.

“Okay, okay,” he said with a light chuckle, warm brown eyes twinkling with good humor.  “How about … a baby Welsh Green?”

“Charlie—”

“Hey, you’re the one who asked!  If we could have a Welsh Green there, I think it’d make for an exciting guest.  And a baby is more manageable than an adult … for the most part.”

“No!  We’ve already talked about that, I’m fairly certain your mum would start breathing fire if they set anything aflame—especially your hair.”

He let out a hearty laugh at that, a small snort punctuating its middle.  You couldn’t help but grin at the sound, feeling a combination of satisfaction at getting him to laugh like that and tender adoration of the man you loved.

Once he regained his composure, he cleared his throat.  “But seriously, what did she suggest?”

“Apparently, she’s become good friends with the ice sculptor who did all the pieces for the Yule Ball.  And, apparently, he owes her for something that she did not want to elaborate on.  But it means …”

“… A dragon ice sculpture?”

“Correct!  You technically can have a Welsh Green at the reception, just an ice version.”

“That’s cool,” he said, lips turning upwards slightly more at his terrible joke.

You stared at him before you raised your eyebrows and drew up a hand to rest on your chest.  “Was that a pun?  In my house?”

“Yes and technically, it’s my house,” he said as he placed a hand on your shoulder, smile breaking into a full blown grin.  “Chill.”

“That’s it, I’m calling off the wedding!”

Jokingly, you threw back the covers, knocking his hand off of your shoulder in the process and made to move like you were about to hop out of bed.  

Charlie laughed and sat up with a mischievous smile that lit up his entire face, “Oh no, you don’t!”

His scarred left arm hooked around your waist, pulling you back toward him and holding you tight against his chest.  Before you could realize what he was doing, it was too late.  The rough fingers of his right hand were quick to slip under your night shirt and attack your side—going directly for your weakest spot with pinpoint precision.

You squirmed against him, trying to break free of his grip on you, but it was no good due to how strong he was.  A violent fit of giggles erupted from your throat and tears from laughter at your eyes as you continued to helplessly try and escape.

It didn’t take long until you felt as if you were unable to breathe, laughter only intensifying as Charlie wiggled his fingers against your skin in just the right way.  Tears began to stream down your face as you tried to find your voice in order to beg for him to stop, but you couldn’t.

“Surrender!” he finally said after what felt like an eternity, easing up his onslaught just enough to allow you to get some words out.

“Y-Yield!  I yield!” you managed to force out between bursts of laughter, wanting your surprise torture to come to a swift end.

Charlie’s hand retreated, fair and square, and he slipped his right arm around you as well.  

“This is random, but what do you think the odds are that my mum’s going to chop my hair off again?  I’m a fully grown adult, you’d think she’d grant me clemency for my own wedding.  … Right?”

You snorted at the new tangent.  “Oh, no, it’s still one hundred percent.  And if she somehow doesn’t, Fred and George will.  They had too good of a time making fun of you to not force you to have short hair for your wedding day.  Those toothbrush comparisons were especially harsh …”

He groaned at the reminder as he buried face against your neck, tightening his arms around your waist.  “I know you’re right, though I’d rather not be subjected to that teasing again.  Plus, it’s taken months to grow back out after she sheered almost all of it off like that …”

“Honey, you know you can always use a hair growth potion, right?  I actually bought you one that’s still sitting in our cupboard as we speak.”

“But it’s not the same …!”

“Okay, no, it actually is.  It’s still your hair, Charlie.”

“It’s different.”

How is it different?!”

“It just is.”

“That makes no sense from a logical perspective.  Hair growth potions just speed up the process, they don’t do anything—”

And so, the two of you somehow spent the remainder of your evening debating the efficacy of hair growth potions and whether or not they were a ‘cheap’ way of growing one’s hair back out.  

It was ridiculous, but you wouldn’t have had it any other way: Debating something trivial in his firm embrace while the rain came down outside.  It lulled you into a warm sense of security and filled with hope about what the future after the war would bring.


Only a month had passed and everything felt different, hollow and less vibrant when you compared it to that moment of domestic bliss in the midst.  The war had ended and you should’ve been happy for it.   grateful for the chance to finally be able to take a step back and breathe and finally marry the love of your life.  However, what it had taken from you—from everyone—was now made abundantly clear in the aftermath as you all collectively attempted to move on.

Sunlight filtered in through the windows of the dining room at the Burrow, warm and golden, in sharp juxtaposition with the melancholic atmosphere.  The air felt heavy once everyone was seated around the dinner table for the first time since the Battle of Hogwarts.  

Well … not everyone.

You glanced over toward George, who was just pushing around his food around the plate and not listening to the attempt at idle conversation flowing through the room.  Both he and Percy had hardly been eating as of late, you spared the other young man a glance to see that he wasn’t even trying—just staring at his plate, hands folded in his lap.

Arthur and Bill were trying their best to keep some conversation going. Charlie, Ginny, Ron, and you were all participating, doing your best to make small contributions to stave off the depressing air.  Even Molly occasionally made a minor contribution, but you noticed that her eyes kept wandering over to where Fred should be.

However, you realized that Fleur was surprisingly quiet.  As you took a bite of the shepherd’s pie your future mother-in-law had cooked, you looked over to your dear friend.  Only to find that she was staring right at you, a contemplative look on her face.

There was an aptly timed lull in the conversation, which she took full advantage of.  “When is ze wedding supposed to take place?”

“Oh, um, we haven’t set a date yet,” you said, shifting slightly in your seat at the sudden question.

“Well, we should change zat!  A summer wedding would be ideal, no?  Perhaps late July would suit ze two of you?”

You were quick to look at Molly, worried that she’d feel insulted by Fleur talking about your wedding so soon after.  However, you noticed that there was a small spark of light in her eyes that had been so dull as of late.

“A summer wedding would be awfully nice, but we’ve barely done any planning—given everything.  It just isn’t realistic,” Mrs. Weasley said.

Fleur waved her hand.  “Nonsense!  If most of us work together, we should ‘ave no problem.  Especially since ze ‘appy couple want a small ceremony, yes?”

You understood then what she was doing.  Everyone needed some hope, something to look forward to in the midst of both the processes to grieve and rebuild.

“Yes, we’ve talked about wanting to keep things manageable and cozy.  Just family and friends, ideally.”

Out of your peripheral vision, you saw Charlie give a small nod of agreement.

“Zen we ‘ave nozzing to worry about!  We can get started

“Since we’re going to have everyone together, d’you think we could play Quidditch afterwards?” Ginny spoke up, brown eyes lit up.

“Definitely!” Charlie responded without missing a beat, grinning at his baby sister.

Molly tutted at that.  “Not in your dress robes, 

Ginny scrunched up her nose at the idea.  “Who would play Quidditch in their dress robes?”

Bill was quick to point across the table at Charlie.  “He has on at least one occasion that I know of.”

Their sister shot the Dragonologist a look that was equal parts of disbelief and scathing judgment.

“Hey, it was just that one time!” Charlie rebutted, a blush starting to creep across his face under the scrutinizing gazes of most of his family.

“Wait, you did what?” you asked, unable to stop yourself from smiling at this new revelation.

“Okay, it was just a very casual game with a group of friends.  We all dressed up to play Quidditch of going to the Celestial Ball.  It was quite silly, I admit, but it was fun.”

“Were those the same robes I wore to the Yule Ball?” Ron piped up.

“Probably.”

Now it was Ron’s turn to look disgusted with his older brother.  “Then you definitely weren’t dressed very well at all, Charlie.”

Fleur nodded.  “I ‘ave to agree with Ron.  Zose robes were ‘ideous!  Your school robes would ‘ave been far better.”

“Yeah, I also happen to agree with you,” Charlie said, letting out a small laugh.

Molly narrowed her eyes.  “Charles Weasley, you could’ve been hurt!”

“But I wasn’t and it was years ago, mum.  Look, I’m still here and am going to be getting married this July, apparently.  No need to get upset over things so far in the past.”

Molly pursed her lips, still glowering at her son for doing something so stupid, but Arthur chimed in.  “It’s fine, Charlie, we all did our fair share of careless things in our youth.”

“And what did you do that I don’t know about, Arthur?”

“Nothing, of course, dear.  It’s just a, um, Muggle figure of speech,” he said, blue eyes wide with fear behind his horn-rimmed glasses.

The atmosphere already felt lighter than it had in recent memory and Fleur took advantage of it: Starting by sharing some of the ideas the two of you had thrown around during your correspondence.  

Percy and George still remained sullen and shut off, but everyone else seemed to open up slightly more again—excited to all come together for something positive.


It felt like you blinked and suddenly it was the day of your wedding.  Both Molly and Fleur worked together, helping you through every step of planning—helping you focus on settling into your new work.  Charlie entrusted all of the planning to you, as he had started working at the (relatively) local dragon sanctuary for Welsh Greens.  It was more time consuming than your temporary job with the Ministry, so leaving it mostly to you was perfectly reasonable (but still mildly frustrating).

You had both agreed it was best to stay in England with your families for the time being.  He would always have a place to return to back in Romania when the time came—as would you.

With each day things were getting easier and brighter, almost more normal, even.  As nervous as you were about getting married and how smoothly everything would go, you found yourself growing equally excited.  Excited to and to finally become an official Weasley—no longer just an honorary one.  As quickly as the day seemed to sneak up on you, it was still too long of a wait.

But finally, the day dawned … only for the capricious island weather to decide that it would downpour right when the guests were beginning to arrive.  Yet everything seemed to go smoothly enough, Fleur was a large reason as to why—doing her utmost as your maid of honor.

Rain drummed against the top of the pale gold tent and you felt your heart pound in time with it as you prepared yourself to walk down the aisle.  You took a deep breath as you locked arms with your father.  You took one last moment to adjust the flowing bottom of your white and gold trimmed dress robes, smoothing out some creases.

As you entered the main room, all eyes were on you, bur yours were only on your husband-to-be.  Charlie looked beyond handsome in his simple set of red and gold dress robes, with his ponytail still intact, even.

But what took you the most was the way he looked at you, chest puffed out with his brown eyes glossy—he was positively beaming.  You felt your own tears began to well up at the sheer amount of love and happiness behind his smile.

After you took your spot at the altar, your eyes never left his freckled face.

“You … I—I love you,” he whispered, already starting to get choked up over what precisely he wanted to say.

“I love you, too,” you whispered back.

You barely noticed Bill grin at you from his spot behind the groom as his best man as the ceremony got underway.  Throughout the only was unable to contain her weeping, just overwhelmed with happiness.  But also from the sorrow knowing that Fred wouldn’t be able to witness his big brother getting married.

The two of you said your lines and exchanged both your vows and rings before sealing your union with a kiss.  It was a simple ceremony, as short and sweet as it was straightforward.  Once it was completed and everyone had finished cheering for the two of you, it was time to set up for the reception.

Molly was still crying some as she, Bill, and Fleur did the bulk of the work, levitating the tables for reception into place.  With a flick of Bill’s wand, the carpet that had lined your makeshift aisle seemed to stretch and grow—hardening into a hard wood befitting a dance floor.  The chairs were sent flying (careful to avoid partygoers) to tuck under the tables and lanterns floated up to rest near the ceiling of the event tent.

And so, the reception was set to begin.

One of Celestina Warbeck’s criminally underrated songs (in both yours and Charlie’s opinion), ‘Your Love Makes Me Soar Like a Dragon,’ began to play and the two of you took the floor for your first dance.

Charlie gave your hand a gentle squeeze as he led you in the dance as you placed your other hand on his shoulder, the rough calluses on his hand providing a stark contrast to the smooth fabric of his dress robes.

“It seems like there is a Welsh Green here, indeed,” he said, glancing over to the ice sculpture.

“Fleur means business.”

Some origami Dragons flew overhead as flashes of light from your father-in-law’s camera lit up the tent.  You glanced up at them, lips parting in awe upon realizing how detailed were.

“See?” you asked, looking back to your husband. “Precisely what I mean.  She didn’t even tell me about those, I’m sure she’s hidden plenty more dragons around this tent …  I bet you’re happy about that, hm?”

Charlie remained silent, though, just staring at your face as if he was trying to dedicate its details to memory.

“Charlie?  Earth to my husband?” you asked in a sing song voice, unable to help yourself from smiling more.

“You look absolutely perfect.“

Your face flushed with warmth from how genuine and awe-inspired he sounded, he wasn’t one to really comment on looks which only made it all the more special.

“So do you.  You even got to keep your hair,” you said as you slipped a hand over to run your fingers through his 

His dark brown eyes crinkled with mirth.  “That I did, ‘fraid I’d look considerably less perfect next to you, looking like a ginger toothbrush.”

You both laughed and he pulled you closer, opting to rest his forehead against yours after the giggles died down.

The two of you spent the rest of the dance in an affectionate silence, going through your practiced steps (as simple as they may have been) with everyone else watching on.  It was a magical moment, one that you’d undoubtedly think back on fondly for years to come.

After everyone else began to pile onto the dance floor, you and Charlie enjoyed a few more dances together following the traditional dance with your parents.  However, after that he ended up getting dragged off to dance again by a friend from your Hogwarts years, Tulip Karasu, who wanted to get caught up.

With him occupied, you ended up bouncing around and mingling with some of the guests, accepting congratulations and getting caught up with your own friends who hadn’t seen much of due to living in Romania.

Glancing around, your heart warmed at the sight of George talking with a girl named Angelina that he had invited as his plus one to the event.  You hadn’t seen him smile since Fred’s death, but it was there now—weak, but undeniably there.

You watched for a moment as Ginny laughed and pulled a playfully reluctant Harry up from where he was seated to dance.  As they got up, your eyes fell from them to a table beside the wall of the event tent.

Percy was seated there alone, looking stiff and out of place in the merrymaking going on.  However, he also didn’t look like he wanted to leave—something you had noticed about his behavior.  He seemed almost afraid to waste any possible time with his family.

“Hello there.”

He pushed his glasses up and managed to sit up even straighter, somehow.  “Congratulations, I’m very happy for you both.”

“You don’t seem very happy, though.”

His mouth opened and closed as he seemed to try to find words, but ultimately he said nothing.

In his silence, you offered him a hand, “Well, would you do me the honor of being my first new sibling to dance with me, Percy?”

He stared at you before pointing at his face, “Me?”

“Yes, you.  You’re my brother now … and it’d mean a lot to me if you accepted my offer.”

His blue eyes cycled between your outstretched hand and your face before he hesitantly reached out and accepted it.  “I suppose I can, but there’s just, um, one small problem.”

“And what’s that?”

“I don’t know how to dance.”

You couldn’t help but let out a laugh as you squeezed his hand and gave it a light tug forward.  “Neither do most of the people here, Perce.  We make it up as we go along!  I’ll look just as stupid, trust me.”

He stood up from his chair and allowed you to lead him to the dance floor, though he seemed to drag his feet all the while.


Unbeknownst to you Charlie watched as you tried to teach Percy some dance move that you were quite fond of, only for the tallest of the Weasley boys to absolutely butcher it.  You humored him and managed to dance even worse, something that seemed to be effective in providing him with comfort—judging by the small smile you managed to bring to his face.

Never could he have imagined that he’d meet someone that made him fall in love before.  In fact, he would’ve outright dismissed the notion that he’d ever get married before he met you.  Yet, there he was: A newly married man, watching his spouse make an idiot out of themselves with his brother.

Life certainly could be strange at times, taking you down paths you never thought possible.  In the past year, he had experienced things beyond his imagination, both for the best and worst.

The rain continued on, well into the night, but so did life and Charlie knew that life would, as well.  No matter the twists and turns it took you down, you’d be able to go through it together.

The thought made him smile.

Chapter Text

Tom was sitting in the armchair, reading the American Wizarding newspaper and enjoying a cup of tea during an evening in.  The apartment belonged to a friend of yours, who was out of town for the moment, and he was enjoying the moment alone.  You had gone out for a walk, wanting to take in the view of the city at night.

Your wand was resting, though he didn’t think much of it at the time, nothing especially dangerous had happened since your arrival in the American port city a couple of days ago.  

It wasn’t until he looked up from his paper upon hearing the door that the night took a turn for the interesting.

You stumbled in, hands clutching the handle of a knife that you had been stabbed in the abdomen with.  “T-Tom, I-I—”  You choked over your words, fear written all over your face, a sight that Tom normally would’ve potentially enjoyed in any other scenario.  Blood was starting to seep out from around it, the wound having been agitated during your struggle back up to the apartment.  Leaning 

He quickly got to his feet and met you in the entry way, long legs carrying him to you surprisingly quickly.  Before you knew it, he scooped you up, bridal style, and carried you into the heart of the living room.  Tom was the picture of stoic calmness as he did so, even in spite of the urgency of the situation.  It was strangely comforting.  Now that you were in capable hands and safe, the combination of shock and adrenaline fading from your system caused you to pass out in his arms.

He laid you out on the couch before he went and grabbed his enchanted black leather gloves, slipping them on, before he picked up his wand.  Kneeling down beside you, he analyzed the wound.  In particular, Tom’s eyes lingered on the weapon and he felt a cold rage start to build within him.  You were his property and this was, quite obviously, the work of some filthy Muggles.

Grabbing the knife, he pulled it out with steady hands, not entirely caring if you were entirely unconscious or not.  He just wanted to get this done, since he now had some important business to take care of.  Thankfully for you though, you were out cold.

Sitting the bloody knife down on the coffee table, the blood rolled off of his gloves, he quickly rolled your shirt up and over the wound in order to set to work on casting a couple of potent healing spells to tend to both your internal and external injuries.  While it wasn’t his specialty, he had assisted the matron in the hospital wing enough to know what he was doing.

In no time, the wound was sealed back up, the only indication that there had just been a knife in you was a thin, silvery scar.  Satisfied, he returned your shirt to how it had rested before, using his wand to remove the bloodstains from your clothing and stitch up the cut fabric.  Then, he evaporated the blood off of the blade and the table

Curious about what had prompted the attack now that the mess was cleaned up, he began to go through your pockets to see if anything was missing.  And sure enough, your wallet was absent.  It seemed like an armed robbery and you must have struggled, so the fiends stabbed you.  Part of him couldn’t help but feel a bit displeased at the fact that you had been almost killed by such lesser creatures, he had higher expectations for you, but he could re-evaluate your potential value to him later.

He noticed the necklace he had gifted you had been stolen, which made this all considerably easier.  Retrieving his pocket watch, he tapped his wand to its face.  A smirk broke out across his face as the hands of the clock shifted to form a compass, pointing to the direction the necklace was located in.  It seemed as if the thief was on the move and he’d be able to track the scum down without much of an issue.

However, it wouldn’t do if you were to wake up while he was absent, he’d have to be there for you to provide comfort, after all.  He strolled into the bedroom and fished out a sleeping draught from his luggage before returning to you, forcing your mouth open and pouring just enough to ensure you’d be out for around two hours.  Once that was done, he grabbed his trench coat and shrugged it on before stepping out into the chilly New York evening.

And so, the hunt was on.


Tom came to a stop in front of what appeared to be an abandoned building, the excitedly twitching compass’s arrows indicating that this was the place.  Strolling around the building with light footsteps.

“Jesus Christ, you should’ve pulled the knife out!”

“As I said, I panicked, I didn’t actually think I’d have to stab—”

With his wand firmly in his grasp, the wizard pushed the metal door open and strode into the room as if he owned the place.

“Who the hell are you?!” the larger and almost pig-like looking man yelled at him, Tom noted that he was the one who had been yelling at his accomplice earlier.

With a wave of his wand the pair of Muggles were rendered frozen in place, unable to move or speak.  Nonverbally, he cast an Imperturbable Charm on all the exits of the room to ensure that they wouldn’t be disturbed.

“Who I am matters not to the likes of you,” he said, voice as dead as the look in his eyes.  “All that matters is that you damaged that which is mine.”

The frigid anger building within him began to crescendo as he approached the one who was responsible for stabbing you.  The fact that a Muggle had the audacity to attack someone of magical blood was unforgivable in his eyes.  Patting the man down, he found your stolen wallet and necklace and slipped both into the pockets of his coat.   

Satisfied at having your belongings back in his possession, he pulled the knife out from where he had hidden it within his coat.  Tom offered it to the man with his free, gloved hand in exchange for the items he had just taken.  “Imperio.

The Muggle’s eyes glazed over, the fear and confusion instantaneously fading from his face as he was Imperiused.  With another flick of his wand, the binding spell was released and he was free to carry out what the half-blood wanted him to do.

The man took the knife before turning to his friend and ambling over to him.  There was a flash of silver as the knife quickly slashed across the portly Muggle’s pale throat.  Tom released the spell that bound him in place and he fell to the ground like a sack of bricks, hands futilely grasping at the wound on his throat to try and stop the bleeding.

“Very good,” the yew wand swished through the air once more and the Imperius Curse was lifted.  The Muggle blinked as he stared down as his dying friend, horror quickly dawning upon him and all the color drained from his face as the knife slipped from his fingers.

“I-I didn’t—”

Crucio.

The vermin writhed around on the ground, screaming out in agony from the potent Torture Curse.  Tom didn’t let the curse up for at least half a minute.  The struggling Muggle had gone still from losing consciousness by the time he released the man who had stabbed you from the throes of agony of the curse.

He broke into hysterical sobbing as soon as the curse was lifted, curling up in on himself.  However, as the pain seemed to fade, he was quick to reach out and grasp Tom’s ankle, looking up at him with pleading eyes. “P-Please, sir, I-I’m all—I’m all my son has.”

Tom blankly stared down at him for a few moments before he kneeled down to get slightly more on the man’s level, “Is that so?”

He nodded furiously as tears streamed down his face, “I-If you have any mercy, please just … just let me go.  I-I didn’t mean anythin’ by it, I—I didn’t know.”

“It’s unfortunate for you that I don’t,” Tom’s eyes flashed red as his lips split into a cruel smirk.

Legilimens,” he cast before his target could even try to respond, deciding to try out a new technique he was working on mastering.

Delving into the Muggle’s mind, he found the memory of the man’s house and young son with relative ease.  With concentration, he brought the images to the forefront of his victim’s mind before altering it to have the boy as the house went up in flames.  The message he was trying to send was clear, he’d go after the boy next once he was finished there.  When he felt that the man understood that, he pulled his superior mind away from the thief’s.

“No, no, no, not my boy, please kill me, but not—”

“—Imperio.

The man grabbed the knife from its place on the floor before raising it to his own throat and slicing it deep.  As soon as that was done, he released the Muggle from the Imperius curse to let him die in both physical and psychological agony, thinking that his son was going to die due to him.

Rolling his shoulders and feeling satisfied with how the offenders had been taken care of and that it would look like a murder-suicide case, he headed to the nearby Wizarding alley to pick up something for you before returning to the apartment.  He had no interest in actually wasting his time on the freshly made orphan.

He had an image to maintain, after all.


When you came to, you found you had been moved and tucked into the bed.

“Ah, ah, ah,” Tom chided as he stood up from the chair in the corner of the bedroom to make his way over to the bed.  “You need to rest, that was a nasty wound you received …”

Just the sight of him was enough to bring you a sense of comfort and you relaxed back against the mattress before giving him a weak smile.  “I hope I didn’t give you too much of a fright.”

“Oh, you did, but you’re just lucky I’m able to keep calm during emergency situations.  Otherwise I’m not sure if you would still be here.”  He sat on the edge of the bed at your side, gently grasping your nearest hand with both of his.  “It certainly didn’t stop me from worrying over you while you were unconscious though …”

Out of habit, you reached your unoccupied hand up to mess with the locket Tom had purchased for you as a late graduation present with his first paycheck.  You were surprised to actually make contact with it, though.  The whole incident was but a blur in your memory, but you could’ve sworn that your necklace had been broken off of your neck.

Your partner cocked his handsome head to the side, perfectly wrought eyebrows pulling together in a look of concern.  “What’s the matter?”

“I thought … my necklace was one of the things that got stolen.”

“Well, you still had it on when you stumbled in the door, so I think you might be a touch bit confused.  I take that it was an armed robbery, then?”

You nodded as your fingers ran over the silver, heart-shaped locket that you treasured above all of your material items.  The relief that washed over you from knowing it was safe and sound was immense.  While losing your wallet was beyond inconvenient, you couldn’t replace that necklace.

While you were lost in thought, Tom released your hand in order to reach over to the bedside table and pull a vase close to the edge, effectively drawing your attention to it.  The crystal vase was filled with brilliant blue flowers with petals that opened and closed like delicate butterfly wings.  They were positively stunning and you felt awestruck as you looked at them, desperately wishing you were able to sit up to properly admire them.

“I got these for you,” he said before he looked back over to you.  “I’m sorry for not being there for you, I should’ve gone after you when I noticed you forgot your wand.”

“Tom … you didn’t have to.”

He set them back on the table before moving a hand down to tenderly brush some stray hair away from your face.  “I wanted to, though.  After going through such an ordeal, you deserved something nice to wake up to.”

“You’re nice enough to wake up to all on your own,” you said, giving him your best grin to try and lighten the mood.

Tom let out a low chuckle before leaning down and capturing your lips in a short, but gentle kiss that you immediately melted into.  If you didn’t know better, you almost would have thought he was smirking, rather than smiling into the kiss.

When he pulled away, he ran a hand through your hair, “Well, I’ll make sure you’re all taken care of, my pet.  Just leave everything to me and you’ll be better in no time.”

Chapter Text

Adjusting the strap of your bag, you glanced around as you waited for your pen pal to show up to your agreed meeting spot in Hyde Park.  The two of you had been pen pals since your freshman year of high school, you were originally only supposed to write to each other for half a semester.  However, that had turned into four years of regular correspondence.

Finally, you had been able to make it to London on a week long vacation and meet your good friend, Fred Weasley in person.  He was incredibly charming and funny over letters, if not a bit odd, but you couldn’t help but wonder how he’d be in person and if you’d live up to whatever expectations of you.

Your eyes ended up landing on a familiar face, or at least you thought it was familiar.  The two of you had only exchanged photos a handful of times and his always seemed to come out blurry, as if he never sat still in photos, for some reason.

The redhead’s brown eyes met yours then and he made a direct beeline toward you.  It definitely seemed like he recognized you and it was only confirmed when he stopped in front of you and said your name with a slight questioning lilt.

You could only nod, feeling your cheeks start to warm up.  Oh no, he was cute.  Really cute.

“It’s nice to finally meet you.  You know, you look much prettier in person than you do in the photos,” he said with a joking wink.  “I hope you have a better camera, otherwise you’re not going to do any justice to the superior sights here.”

“Well, you don’t look as blurry in person as I expected.  I almost didn’t recognize you, apparently the cameras here are also inferior.”

A grin broke out across his face at that, though there seemed to be a twinge of embarrassment if the pink tinge that spread across his freckles cheeks were any indication, “Ah, so you’re just as cheeky as you are over your letters, aren’t you?”

You gave him a shrug and rocked back onto the balls of your feet, “Is that a good thing?”

“It’s a very good thing.”

“Then yes, I am.”

The two of you shared a smile for a few moments, just basking in the other’s presence.

Fred ended up clearing his throat after a couple of moments to break the silence before holding his arms out to the left, gesturing down the sidewalk.  “But enough standing around and looking like idiots though, let’s start your very own private tour of London!  Led by me, the magically charming Fred Weasley,” he said, playfully giving you jazz hands.

“Lead the way, Mr. Weasley.  But what, pray tell, can I expect to see on my tour of London?  Outside of rain in the near future, of course.”

“Ah, you Americans really don’t have any patience, do you?” he asked teasingly as he began to walk off with you falling into step beside him.  “Telling you would ruin the surprise and there’s no fun in that.  Just be thankful it isn’t raining now, though you’re right that’ll it’ll probably change soon enough.  One of the downsides of living on an island, you see.”

You rolled your eyes, but let him lead you around the city regardless.  He took you to stereotypical tourist spots, as well as other locations that were more off the beaten path.  All the while regaling you with tales, supposedly historical in nature, about the sites he showed you.  However, how much was true or just nonsense he was making up on the spot, you couldn’t always tell, but you always played along and treated it with the utmost seriousness.  You noticed he always liked to make a lot of jokes incorporating magic into whatever he was talking about, he definitely had a very active imagination.

When your stomach growled, the two of you ended up finding a small hole in the wall cafe off the beaten path to grab a bite to eat at.  As the two of you sat down, the joking atmosphere he had been keeping up the whole day seemed to fade as he began to try and seriously converse with you.

“But how was your flight?”

“Loooong, I’m still feeling a bit jet-lagged, to be honest,” you said, your nose scrunching up before you took a sip of your beverage.

“Could’ve fooled me, you’ve been very energetic so far.”

“That’s because I have such a fun tour guide, if I was stuck with someone boring—I’d probably be dragging my feet along.”

He grinned at that, “I take it you’re having a good time, then?”

“Obviously.  I would’ve made an excuse to go back to the hotel by now if I hated your company.”

“I am honored that after four years of talking over letters, you find my company to be tolerable.”

“That’s not what I—”

Fred’s brown eyes laughed at you and you rolled your eyes, knowing what he was trying to get you to do, “Okay, fine.  I’m having a fantastic time, you’re funnier in person than I was hoping.  It’s honestly not fair.”

He shrugged as he leaned back in his chair, the mischievous glint in his gaze only seemed to intensify.  “Well, I’d say the fact that you are considerably cuter in person is far more unfair.”

You choked on your drink and felt your face heat up as he chuckled at your expense.  While you had thought you had a crush on him from just writing to him, it was on a whole other level now that you were here with him in person.


You met with Fred every single day to do things and travel around and just outside of England’s capital city.  It was the most fun you had probably had and with every day, you found yourself fancying Fred all the more.  He was irresistible and flirting with him was a great deal of fun, though you didn’t know how serious he was about it.  You were only there for such a short time after all and maintaining a romantic relationship over letters may not be something he was into …  

On the final full day of your trip, Fred met you in front of your hotel, though his unusually stiff posture seemed to indicate there was something off.

“Hey,” you said with a smile, tucking your hands behind your back as you leaned forward when he didn’t return your greeting right away, “Is something the matter?”

“Not exactly, I’ve actually talked with my parents about something and … I’d really like to introduce you to them,” he said, though he seemed to notice the way your eyes widened out of surprise and fear and quickly added on, “I swear they don’t bite.  My brother Ron was a biter as a kid, but he’s grown out of that.  Cross my heart and hope to die.”

He dramatically crossed his heart and seemed to ease up a bit now that the bombshell request was out in the open.  You couldn’t help but be concerned about meeting the gigantic Weasley family, but at the same time, you thought it might be a nice way to end your trip.

“Okay … but where do you all live?”

“A village called St Ottery Catchpole It’s about a three hour drive,” he paused and tilted his head to one side as he narrowed his eyes.  “I think.”

You stared at him, beyond confused.  “What do you mean ‘you think’?  How have you been getting out here to meet up with me?”

“Oh, that’s easy.  I can show you, in fact.”  He offered you his hand and after a moment of hesitation due to not knowing where this was going, you took it.

He led you into an alley and pulled out a piece of wood in the shape of a wand from his pocket.  If you weren’t entirely weirded out before, you were really getting there by that point.

“What are we—”

“—Just trust me.  You may end up throwing up, it’s very common for most people’s first time Disapparating.”

“Disappa-what?

His brown eyes reflected both nervousness and hope as you heard a small popping noise and were suddenly twisting.  You felt like the last bit of toothpaste being squeezed out of its tube, it was terrible.  However, it lasted for but a moment and you found yourself suddenly in a field.  Obviously, you were no longer in London anymore.

It was undeniable that you had literally just teleported.  Something that you thought only existed in the genres of science fiction and fantasy.

“Wow, I’m impressed!  You actually didn’t throw up, better than me when I Disapparated for the first time.”

Tearing your gaze away from the strange-shaped house, you looked back to Fred, your eyes undoubtedly screaming at him to explain what the hell he had just done to break the laws of physics.

“You know all that ‘nonsense’ I joked about?  You know magic and all that …”

You could only nod, still entirely dumb and feeling a bit ill from the sudden travel.

“Well, it’s … it’s all real.  Magic, spells, wizards, all that good stuff.  I’m one, a very skilled one to do what I just did, of course.”

Even with your limited knowledge, you knew he was yanking your chain as far as that was concerned and you gave him the playful glare that he deserved.  “Right.”

“So you can talk!  I was worried there for a moment that you splinched your tongue, or something …”

Closing your eyes for a moment, you pinched the bridge of your nose as you felt a headache start to come on thanks to the sheer amount of implications.  “Let me get this straight, you used … magic to teleport us here.  Magic is real and you’re a wizard.”

“Correct on all counts!”

For some reason, this revelation being delivered four years into your friendship with Fred was a bit upsetting.  “Why didn’t you tell me this sooner, Fred?”

“Would you have believed me?”

You felt your shoulders sag since you knew that the answer was a firm negative.  Silence was your answer.

“Precisely.  That and, well, it’s not exactly legal for us to go about telling Muggles about the existence of magic.  Granted, I don’t care much about the law, myself, but I’d rather not face the penalties.”

“Muggles?”

“Yes, that’s our word for people who don’t have magic, like you,” he said, though he could see that you were starting to become overwhelmed from all of the information that he was dumping on you.

Gently, he placed his hands on your shoulders and gave you a reassuring smile, a red blush spreading across his pale face.  “I wanted to tell you though because I fancy you.  A lot.  This has been the best week I’ve had and I want to try and make something work between us.  But that means letting you know about all of this … and meeting my family, too.”

The degree of sincerity he expressed then was rare for him and it made your heart do some dramatic flips to hear that he felt the same way.  “I like you a lot too, Fred.  And I’d really like to make this work, even if there’s a lot more I’m going to have to get used to than I thought.”  

That was all he needed to close the distance between you and press his lips against yours in a gentle kiss.  It was surprisingly sweet and the pleased grin he was wearing when the two of you parted was beyond handsome.  You honestly forgot how to breathe for a moment due to just how attractive he was.

Taking a few steps forward, he playfully tugged on your hand to break you out of your stunned state and get you to follow him.  “Come on, my mum and George have been dying to meet you ever since I first mentioned you to them.  They’re going to love you, I just know it.”

Without a second thought, you followed him into the Burrow to meet the rest of the Weasley family.  The existence of magic would take a while to get used to, but you were glad that Fred cared enough to let you in on the secret.  It really made your first trip to England beyond magical.

Chapter Text

With a crack Tom found himself back in his flat, finally returned from his time in Albania.  The gentle light of dusk filtered through his windows, being the only source of light for the moment.  With an almost reverential gentleness, he set his suitcase down near the door before making his way into his spartan bedroom to grab a change of proper clothes.

You’d be over soon enough, he had stopped by the nearby Owl Post Office to send you a letter to notify you of his return to England.  As promised.

Which meant that he needed to be presentable.

Opening his armoire open, he quickly grabbed a simple, yet elegant set of more casual robes.  Setting them down with care on his bed and placing his pale wand atop of them, he shrugged off his black Muggle blazer and let it fall to the floor.  As he began to unbutton his dress shirt, his eyes drifted over to the standing mirror in the corner of his small room.  

His fingers froze over the second button as he stared at his reflection.  But it wasn’t only his own, was it?  Just like his pathetic name.  A younger, perhaps gaunter, Tom Riddle Senior stared back at him, looking handsome but dreadfully ordinary.

The longer he stared, the less his face looked like his own.  Until it was his father’s face staring at him, eyes unseeing beyond Death’s veil and skin drained of what little color it once had.

The lights flickered with Tom’s emotions and with a crack the mirror’s smooth face was broken in an instant.  When the lights settled, the mirror’s glass was fractured to the point where it was rendered utterly useless—all cracks and no reflection.  He paid it no mind as he turned his back to the piece of furniture, fingers deftly undressing himself.

Once the Muggle garments were pooled on the floor, he slipped his favorite robes on and immediately felt more himself.  Stretching his fingers before he picked up his wand, he let out a small sigh.

Yes, he was no ordinary, lowly Muggle like the man he descended from.  Nor would he ever face death, like the bastard had at his hands.

He was Voldemort, descendant of the great Salazar Slytherin and all was going according to plan.

With a flick of his wand, the mirror repaired itself and the clothing from his Muggle disguise flew into the hamper, where it belonged.  He didn’t even look back as he left his room, he headed over to the piano in his living room.  You were going to be there any moment, there was no point in wasting his time to start something that would only be interrupted—nor did he want you to see the treasure he had gone to retrieve.

He was about to take his seat on the bench when he heard a familiar soft pop near the front door.  His fingers twitched slightly, itching to finally play again, but being denied after being so close to those black and ivory keys.

Turning around, his dark eyes met yours and a smile broke across his face.  While he would never embrace the fact of his feelings, the sight of you was incredibly welcome after being surrounded by Muggles for as long as he had been.  You were, at the very least, several cuts above those vermin.

Before he could even go to say anything though, you ended up barreling into him, arms flung around his back as you buried your face into his chest.  If you weren’t so tiny, perhaps you would have knocked him back a tad, but he stood fast in spite of your onslaught.

“I missed you!”

“I never would’ve guessed,” he returned wryly, though he returned your embrace.  Large hands gently running up and down your back.

You pulled away just enough to pout up at him, “Did you miss me?”  

A low chuckle rumbled in his chest, “I did, actually.  I thought that went without saying though, after three full months apart.”

He removed a hand from your back in favor of gently brushing some stray hair back into place, knuckles brushing lightly against your skin.  The action had the impact he wanted it to, your face flushed with color as you leaned into the contact.  

“Well, it doesn’t hurt to say it aloud, you know,” you paused for a moment and he watched your eyes narrow slightly, “Especially when you go off for god knows what, since you won’t tell me …”

“As I’ve told you, pet, it’s confidential business.  I couldn’t tell you, even if I wanted to, which I do, by the way,” his voice was stern, but he was careful to keep the warm vibrato in his voice.  None of his underlying agitation was betrayed, the mask he wore of a devoted partner was flawless.

And you bought it, hook, line, and sinker.  “I know.”

“Perhaps there’s some way I can make it up to you, however?” he said, suggestion oozing from his tone and he leaned down in order to—

—He blinked when he felt your hand quickly drop down from the back of his neck to block him from closing the distance.  The rejection ringing like a sour note in his mind.

“I just want you to hold me, Tom.”

Confusion quickly flooded his mind as your request gave him pause, not understanding why you would just want him to hold you when you could do something more.  However, his expression was entirely neutral, not betraying his lack of understanding of your innocuous desire.  

Before you could notice that something was off, he effortlessly scooped you up, bridal style, and carried you over to the sofa with great care.  You let out a delighted squeal when you felt your feet leave the ground and wrapped your arm back around Tom’s neck.

He sat down on the piece of furniture before lowering you so you were resting in his lap.  It didn’t take you long to get comfortable, pressing your face back against his chest.

“Thank you, Tom.”

The sound of his birth name was like nails on a chalkboard, even when spoken in the saccharine tones of your voice.  His eye twitched and he flexed his fingers out of habit, as if the action would flick away his distaste for that disgustingly normal name.

“Of course, anything for you.”

“What all did you do while you were away?  At least … if there’s anything you can tell me.”

“Oh, there’s plenty I can share with you.  My travels were quite interesting,” I wish you could’ve come with me though.  It would’ve been far more so with you there at my side.”

You scoffed at his flirtation, though he could feel your lips quirk upwards in a smile.  He knew you well enough to know that you were almost certainly blushing as well.  “Just tell me about your trip, flatterer.”

“It’s not flattery if it’s true, dear.”

Tom.

Again, his eye twitched, but he was able to swallow the sound easier this time.  The day when he could shed his mortal name would be a welcome one, but the time was not yet right for that.  He had an image to maintain, especially if he wanted to keep you firmly under his charm.  

“Very well.  I suppose I should begin with the day I arrived in Albania.  The village I found myself staying in was quite a curious one …”

As he began to recount his time abroad, you allowed your eyes to slip shut as you listened to him in order to focus on each word, hanging onto each word with rapturous attention.


The cadence of his velveteen voice was the closest thing to music to fill the small London flat for the time being, dusk light dying down into the shadows of the night.  At some point, the two of you adjusted positions so that he was laying down, feet dangling slightly off the edge of the sofa’s arms, with you laying atop him in a position that enabled you to listen to his heartbeat.

During a lull in the conversation, you tilted your face to look up at him, chin resting against his chest.  

“You know,” you started, voice soft with mild exhaustion from staying up so late, “you’re looking a bit thinner.  Did you not eat enough while you were away?”

Tom quirked an eyebrow at you, though his expression remained otherwise neutral, “Am I?  I suppose I’ll have to take you out for dinner more regularly as a treat once my paychecks start coming in, then.  I’m afraid my meager savings were used up over the course of my trip …”

The thought of being able to go out with him more regularly was enough to shift your mind away from his slightly more haggard appearance and fill you with warmth.  Getting to spend more time with him after so long sounded positively heavenly.

“Oh, that’s right, you’re starting work at Borgin and Burkes now, right?”

“Next Monday, yes,” he said, fingers starting to run through your hair before he resumed speaking, “But it’s getting late, you should go home.  We’ll have plenty more time to spend together in the weeks to come.”

“But I don’t wanna,” you whined as you buried your face back into the soft material of his robes.  “I haven’t seen you for three months.  Three!

“I know, but I still have to unpack, pet.”

“That’ll take you like two minutes,” you paused for a moment before looking back up at hi, “If that, even!”

His onyx eyes met yours as he was silent, mulling over your words.  “Very well, but you are not to enter my room as I do so.  Do you understand?”

“Yes, but does that mean I’ll get to stay?”

“Of course,” he paused for a moment, before a small smirk broke out across his face as the insinuation crept back into his voice, “But only if you indulge me in something more than just cuddling before we sleep.”

“Oh, gladly.

Without saying anything further, he was easily able to move you aside as he sat up, though you followed suit.  Before he got up, Tom leaned over and abruptly captured your lips in a searing kiss.  Instantly, you melted into it, your mouth.  It was fleeting, yet as he pulled away he playfully tugged your bottom lip between his teeth.  His face lingered for a moment after he released it, still dangerously close to your own, before he stood up and broke the moment.

Without another word or glance back, he waved at his suitcase by the door and it came flying to him, handle resting perfectly in his hand.  You were left staring longingly after him, arousal flowing wildly through your veins from his silent promise of what was to come.

A minute passed and he had yet to emerge from his bedroom, you found your eyes drift over to the nearby parlor piano.  Without thinking much of it, you got up and sat yourself down at the bench.  During Tom’s absence, you found yourself starting to play through one of his favorite nocturnes.

Ever since the two of you had started dating, you had resolved to eventually learn to play somewhere close to his level.  And while he had been away, you found that spending your time learning how to fluidly play some of his favorite pieces was a way to help feel less lonely.  It almost felt like he was with you whenever you played through a song.

“Ah, you’ve been practicing diligently, I see.”

Your fingers froze over the keys, body perfectly still from the sudden surprise of his voice.  “You can tell?”

“Most certainly, you’ve actually improved a great deal,” he said, sounding progressively closer as his long legs stroll over to you and almost as soon as he finished speaking, you felt his hands rest upon your shoulders.  “It seems like a truly special reward for your hard work is in order then, hm?”

While his praise was enough to make your heart sing in delight, but the innuendo immediately after was all it took to revive.  You couldn’t help but squirm under his large, firm hands as the thoughts of what else they were about to do to you surged through your mind.

It had been three months since he last held you close, but also three months since he last performed the things only he could do to you.

Any potential response you had died in your throat as you felt, lips pressed right beside your ear as his provocative tone came to a crescendo, “Isn’t it, my pet?”

You could only furiously nod before you turned your head to look at him, heart pounding in your chest.  His dark eyes met yours for but a moment before his mouth crashed upon yours once more.  Hands slipping down from your shoulders to begin roaming your body in all the places you most desperately longed for his touch.

No reward had ever tasted so sweet.

Chapter Text

  • It takes a while for the two of you to begin actually dating, mostly due to some things on Charlie’s end.
    • He’s certainly not the most familiar with romantic feelings so it takes him a good while to realize that those are what his feelings toward you have grown into.
      • However, he values your friendship so much and is utterly clueless about romance so he’s not comfortable on acting on them.  At least not right away.
    • If you don’t make the first move, he’ll have to talk things out thoroughly with Bill before eventually asking you out.
    • You’re actually the first—potentially only—person Charlie has ever felt that way about, which makes you incredibly special to him.  
      • As such, he treats your relationship very seriously right from the start and is quite terrified about screwing it up in its early stages.
  • Charlie is very passionate about his interests and family, so as such those topics often make their way into your discussions and activities.
    • They’re not all he talks about, of course, but he has a gift for turning any conversation back to dragons, Quidditch, or his family.
    • If you’re with this particular Weasley, then that means you probably share at least one of these passions or simply enjoy people who are intense in their passions.
    • If you don’t know much about dragons and/or Quidditch, he’ll be more than happy to teach you everything he knows!
      • Charlie’s a great teacher and his enthusiasm is positively infectious.  Though you may get distracted by how cute he looks.
  • If the two of you start dating before graduating Hogwarts, your
    • Charlie does his absolute best to be a good boyfriend and make you happy, though it takes a while for the two of you to fall into a rhythm.
    • He gets more pumped up than usual whenever you’re watching him during his Quidditch matches.
    • As far as dates go, the two of you often spend time in bookstores, looking for books on dragons and whatever your interests may be.  You always end it by going and getting some Butterbeer or maybe some other sweets together.
    • Going out for walks around the school grounds is also very common, along with just sitting and relaxing around the Black Lake on nice days.
    • As a prefect and Head Boy, study dates are also very common!  He likes helping you stay on top of things whenever you have a lot going on.  Even more so if you’re a fellow prefect.
  • Charlie is very physically affectionate, he is with his siblings and he is with you as well.
    • Hugs galore with this boy, he loves to hug and will do so whenever he’s feeling happy or whenever he thinks you may need some cheering up.
    • He’s bad about just staring at you and grinning like a lovestruck idiot at times.  
      • It’s a very similar expression to how he looks at dragons, which is saying something.
    • Generally speaking, he’s not easily embarrassed, so if you like some PDA he’ll comply, though his natural inclination is to keep things to handholding, hugs, and brief kisses while around others.
    • Cuddling is fantastic, especially if he’s able to reread one of his favorite dragon books while doing so.
      • Bonus points if you let him read to you, it just feels really intimate to him and he’s able to share some of his knowledge and passion with you, which is great.
      • Alternatively, he also loves it when you read to him since he finds the sound of your voice very soothing.
  • If you don’t live in Romania after he starts work as a dragonologist, the two of you will work out ways to visit each other.
    • He’s big on returning home to the UK to be with his family as often as he can, so you 
    • He does love it when you come to Romania though, since he gets to take you on a tour of his workplace and introduce you to his favorite dragons.
    • Of course, he always makes sure the two of you have plenty of time alone together and will go on fun day or weekend trips.
      • They’re almost always outdoors, he’s a huge fan of hiking and camping, especially in locations with native populations of magical creatures.
        • If you’re not an outdoorsy type, he’ll stick to mainly doing hikes and nature walks with you and keep them simple enough for you to enjoy.
      • Only take him to Muggle zoos with high quality enclosures, anything less and he’ll get sad for the poor creatures.
      • Would absolutely love Muggle theme parks with rollercoasters if that’s one of your things, especially if there are some dragon themed attractions.
    • He tends to be especially physically affectionate during these times, taking your hand in his own calloused one as the two of you walk together.
      • There’s almost always some contact and a large part of it is just because he doesn’t want to waste any of his time together with you.
  • Charlie is fastidiously loyal and diligent, so the worst part of a long distance relationship with him is just not being able to see him regularly.
    • He always writes when he can, but sometimes his work gets a bit too crazy and he may miss a couple of days.  He’ll always make up for it by sending you an extra long letter.
    • One of the best things about him is that he very rarely, if ever, gets jealous.  He’s just not the type, especially since he trusts you with all his heart.
  • As far as arguments go, Charlie is relatively level-headed and mature so it’s exceptionally rare for things to get particularly heated or intense.
    • Usually, they crop up due to him being oblivious to something or being too caught up in his work.  
    • But he’s a pro at de-escalating them, since he always did his best to break up arguments between his siblings growing up.
    • He’s not one to double down on something, especially if he knows it hurt you.  He may explain his behavior, but he never uses it as justification if his actions were unintentionally harmful.
  • Overall, Charlie is a bold partner with a heart of gold, who does his best to pursue his dreams and stay close to his family with you by his side.

Chapter Text

  • Given her fairly direct personality, Luna’s fairly likely to be the one to seize the initiative and ask you out first.
    • Will likely slip it into a normal conversation, it’s so smooth and subtle that it may take you a moment to realize what she asked.  You may even give an initial response before understanding it.
    • She’s pretty sharp and if she senses that you think she’s only asking you to hang out as friends, she’ll bluntly state that she means it romantically and that she likes you.  And will do so in multiple different ways, if necessary.
      • The last thing she wants is for you to both not be on the same page, especially since she really likes you and wants you to know it!
  • Given that Luna’s known for her eccentric, individualistic nature you’re going to have a lot of interesting dates.
    • Expect to go on outings hunting down some of the magical creatures that her father’s told her all about.
      • On a related note, if you can see the Thestrals too, she’ll make a date of taking you out to meet the ones in the Forbidden Forest.  
      • The first time will likely be a bonding experience, if you’re comfortable with it, in which the two of you talk about what enables you to see them.
    • When you go to her home, she’s liable to spend time painting with you.  If you don’t know much about it, she’ll encourage you to just paint whatever you’re ‘feeling’ or may give you some lessons, depending on your dynamic!
    • Often, she’ll hear of some hole in the wall place or event and the two of you will go to it.
      • This can range from visiting a cozy cat cafe to a museum ran by a single person in their house.  
      • Pop-up musical performances or art shows by obscure artists are her favorite things, though.  She appreciates Muggle art more than your average witch or wizard.
    • Luna also derives a lot of enjoyment from going to places that are in-line with your interests, since she loves learning more about them and partaking in them with you.
    • However, one of her favorite things is to curl up and read the Quibbler with you.  
      • These can lead to some of your most enjoyable, off the wall conversations.  She’s very proud of her father and she likes being
      • If you have any really good ideas, she may suggest you write a piece and her father may put it in!
  • One of Luna’s uncommon strengths in a relationship is that she’s very wise and empathetic.
    • Whenever you’re going through something, she will be there for you—steadfast and true.  Listening is one of her best skills and you will always be heard and understood by her.
    • Granted, she’s unlikely to tell you what you want to hear, but she will always tell you what you need to hear.  She does practice tough love, nor does she dance around it.
    • Her advice, although sometimes nebulous in delivery, is very sound and is equally as helpful as her calming presence.
  • In terms of affection, she’s a big fan of it!  Though she does prefer to be the initiator and for things to be on more of her own terms, at least at the start as the two of you learn what the other likes.
    • Handholding is her favorite thing ever.  Will hold your hand everywhere.  If you’re next to her, the odds are very good that she’ll reach out and intertwine your fingers with her own.
      • If she’s in a particularly good mood, she may try and use it to goad you into skipping alongside her (please do, it makes her giddy!).
    • She’s not really the biggest on snogging, usually has to be in a very specific mood to be up for it.  However, she loves kissing you, she’s just usually more of a one and done kind of person.
      • Be prepared for back of the hand kisses followed by a charming smile with her, since she’s holding your hand more often than not.
    • When the two of you do snog, her hands are constantly moving as she possesses a serious case of wandering hands.  They are incapable of staying still.
      • Running them through your hair and scalp is something she particularly enjoys, since the texture is really pleasant on her fingers.
    • Really, in general, she enjoys playing with your hair a lot.  If it’s long enough to style, she’d love to go to town on it.  
      • Always keeps your tastes in mind, though if you let her experiment—expect some very humorous results.
      • However, she knows some really intricate braids, her father let her practice on him a lot when she was young.  
        • He taught her everything he knew, actually, and used to braid her hair a lot when they had father-daughter days.
    • In a more domestic setting, she’s big on hugging you from behind and placing a greeting kiss on your back/shoulder/neck.  It’s those small gestures that she’s a big fan of.
    • Will absolutely borrow some of your clothing if she can fit into it.
      • If you’re similar sizes and you like her style of clothing, the two of you may borrow each other’s clothing on the regular.
  • She tries to write love letters for you, though they’re not necessarily … conventional.
    • Tends to work in obscure magical creatures and comparisons that absolutely no one else would view as flattering or romantic, but you know her well enough to know otherwise.
    • Her prose always seems to be more like poetry than anything else, there’s an ethereal, airy quality to it that is so distinctly Luna.
    • For her, she finds that she has an easier time expressing the depth of her feelings toward you with pen and paper.  While she can do it in person, she never feels like it comes out quite right.
      • You’re so important to her, people who understand her are few and far between.
    • If you write her anything, she’ll keep them all in an enchanted shoebox under her bed, along with her other treasured items that she doesn’t want stolen by Nargles.
      • Will reread them whenever she’s having an especially difficult day or when you two aren’t spending much time together.
      • Honestly, anything you give her will end up in that box to be admired her by her on the regular.  
      • She’s just highly sentimental when it comes to you.
  • While it isn’t her primary love language, she really enjoys making you things as gifts.
    • You’re going to be the owner of some beautiful paintings.  Luna always paints them with you in mind and the amount of love and care that go into all the details make them very special to you.
    • Also likes to knit things by hand for you, her mother used to knit a lot and she’s held onto some things her mother knitted for her when she was a kid—even if she can’t wear them anymore.
      • Luna doesn’t fear the sweater curse as far as you’re concerned, so she takes her time with everything she makes for you.
      • Love is put into every stitch and she knows your taste well enough to create something you’ll absolutely love.
      • Will sometimes charm her pieces to have moving patterns of something you like (i.e., stars, cats, lizards, clouds, etc.).
  • As far as arguments go, she’s not really one to partake in them.  The closest you two really get is if you say something less than nice about something important to her or callous, intentional or not.
    • Rather, it’s like a switch is hit and her personality becomes withdrawn and detached, yet more grounded.
      • It’s like an overcast summer day when the breeze shifts from something warm and inviting to cool, with promises of a storm.
    • Usually, Luna just needs some time to think and let it go, as she’s very forgiving by nature, but you need to own up to your mistakes with her to earn forgiveness.
    • She’s not really someone who causes many arguments on her end, she’s very relaxed and flexible.  
      • Instead, misunderstandings are more likely to crop up from her unique outlook and way of living her life.  
      • She’s more than happy to explain and is endlessly patient with you, which is the main reason why arguments are so uncommon.
  • Overall, Luna is an incredibly kind and loving partner who is certain to broaden your horizons.  The fact that you treat her with understanding and kindness and love her for her eccentricities, not in spite of them, means the world to her.

Chapter Text

  • Severus is not an easy man to get into a relationship with.  At all.  His problems, personality, and position as a spy make it almost impossible. 
    • However, through ample patience, insistence, kindness, and years of being close on top of the stars aligning, you somehow find your feelings reciprocated.
    • After so long of you taking the lead in terms of advances, he’ll seize the reins the moment he decides to actually act on his complicated feelings.
    • He’ll ask you to come to his place for dinner in a very direct, no frills fashion with an almost commanding tone when the two of you are in private.
  • As your safety is always his top concern, dates with him will be covert in nature since he needs your relationship to be kept a secret from the other Death Eaters.  
    • This does mean that the two of you are quite limited as far as dates go, mainly being confined to your living spaces.
      • This is something he tends to feel quite guilty about, since he wishes he could do more for you.  
      • As such, he tries to make his house at Spinner’s End a touch more habitable for when you’re over.
    • If you’re a fellow professor, the two of you will switch between your respective quarters since they’re relatively close to each other.
      • If you’re not, he tends to have to sneakily slip out and head over to your place whenever he can—which isn’t terribly often and becomes harder with each passing year after Harry’s at Hogwarts.
    • Usually, the two of you spend a great deal of time just talking about the happenings in your respective lives or any mutual interests you share.
      • If you want to get him to unwind and relax, you might be able to goad him into playing Wizarding chess with you or some other strategy game.
    • Outside of the school year, he really savors being able to dine with you and spend more time together in general.
      • Much like his personal hygiene, he normally doesn’t put any effort into cooking, but he makes an exception whenever he cooks for you.
      • Severus is actually a very good cook when he tries.
      • Some of his favorite evenings are when the two of you cook together, especially if it’s a more complicated dish and he gets to show off just how much he can do with a mere flick of his wand.
  • Being exceptionally cerebral in nature, your relationship has a lot of intellectual elements to it.
    • Given the incredibly high level Severus is at, he doesn’t mind simplifying and explaining things as needed—though if you’re able to keep up with him without it, he’ll be quite pleased to have an equal.  
      • While he may not have much patience for his students, you’re special to him and thus have a snarky and stringent, but patient tutor in him.
      • If you show interest in improving yourself, he would enjoy drawing up things like logic puzzles for you.
    • This extends to his humor, he’s quite wry and sarcastic with an appreciation for clever jokes.
      • Banter with you is something he thoroughly enjoys and the two of you may make a game of trying to one-up the other.
      • Often times, the two of you only have to share a glance and you just know what the other’s remark would be.  
        • The two of you are actually able to hold entire conversations through just expressions and eye movements, which helps a lot when you aren’t able to be seen talking together in public.
    • Tends to talk a lot about magical theory, he’s liable to teach you spells he creates to help improve your ability to defend yourself.
      • Will also insist on teaching you Occlumency, at the very least.  Your lessons together are very different in tone from his with Harry, though he’s no less strict with you.
    • One lesser known talent he possesses is composing poetry.
      • Being the romantic at heart that he is, he may give you love poems from time to time.  They are beautiful and full of the feelings he seldom lets out of his tight control.
      • You inspire him to write plenty, but most of them will never see the light of day.  
        • While he doesn’t have the heart to incinerate or vanish them, he hides them away in a clever spot among his many bookshelves at Spinner’s End.  
  • In terms of affection, Severus is actually quite doting in the comfort of privacy.  So long as you initiate it during the initial stage of your romantic relationship.
    • A large reason behind this is that he is starved for affection and love.  He adores you and can’t get enough of having you close, though he feels terribly selfish due to the secretive nature of your relationship.
    • Has a habit of placing his hand on the small of your back if the two of you are standing next to each other.  Similarly, he’ll place a hand on your nearest knee when you’re sitting together.
      • That’s about as far as he’ll go on his own at the start, he tends to hold himself back and won’t initiate things like cuddling.  Even if he craves it.
    • Loves just holding you close and while he may complain if you sit in his lap without asking first, his momentary smile that he intentionally lets you see represents his tacit approval.
      • Enjoys being able to rest his chin atop your head or shoulder as he carries about with his reading or paperwork.
    • Kissing you is something that he absolutely loves, he melts every time you kiss him.
      • He can get carried away by his feelings for you pretty quickly, so it’s not uncommon for things to get heated.
      • Snape will pull you as close as he possibly can to himself.
      • Every time he touches and kisses you, it feels like he’s dedicating everything to memory—as if it may be the last time he gets to be with you like that.
  • His romantic feelings are going to be a complex jumble between the ones he harbors for you and Lily.  This can introduce a hurtle to your relationship.
    • Given his intense emotions, he has a hard time letting anything go, even if he wishes he could.  He doesn’t know how.
    • While this isn’t something he’d ever share with you, in his mind he’s always had a bad habit of comparing the two of you.
      • As the one person he was the closest with for the majority of his early life, the expectations and norms he has are based off of his relationship with her.
      • Severus does make an active attempt to curb this cognitive process, since it hurts him and he knows it’s not helpful nor fair to you.
      • You and Lily are entirely different people and he’s also no longer the pathetic, lonely boy he was as a child.  The fact that he has you with him is testament enough to that.
    • Your presence in his life is a blessing and, given his very closed off nature making it hard for him to get professional help, your relationship is quite possibly the only thing to help provide him the tools he needs to learn how to move on.
      • It provides him with the motivation and the strong emotional support that he so desperately needs to do so.
      • Don’t try to ‘change’ or ‘fix’ him since you can’t, this is something he has to do on his own—all you can do is provide him with your understanding and support.
    • With time, the jumble may become less tangled as he works through years of ignored issues.  
      • However, there will always be part of his heart that belongs to his first love, it just becomes something healthier.
  • Arguments are going to happen and when they do, they are explosive.
    • Subjects can range greatly, from trying to get him to be less harsh toward his non-Slytherin (mainly Gryffindor) students to some jealousy on either your or his end.
    • Severus is the kind of person who bottles everything up and compartmentalizes his feelings, he has to and is very good at it.  However, he experiences intense emotions—love and anger, especially so—which can be problematic.
    • Worst of all?  He knows you too well and will absolutely say things in the heat of the moment that he knows will hurt the most if his temper is at a fever pitch.  
      • Even if he doesn’t mean them, the venom just pours out.  Still, after all these years, even though he knows all too well that they shouldn’t.
    • Then he storms off and ignores you while he processes his feelings, swinging from fiery to frigid in the blink of an eye.
    • This is short-lived, he’ll usually do his best to go above and beyond in terms of apologizing, even begging for your forgiveness if he must.  
      • While he is a proud man, he will gladly swallow it if it makes the difference between keeping and losing you in his life.
  • Overall, Severus Snape is a loving and devoted partner, but one who has serious problems that may be detrimental to your relationship.  The two of you have room to grow as both individuals and a couple, so long as your future together is not cut short …

Chapter Text

Since the inception of your time at Hogwarts, you had been close with both Severus and Lily.  Of course, that placed you in a bit of a rocky spot when things turned sour between them.  While you disagreed with Severus’ behavior and found his obsession with the Dark Arts concerning, you weren’t about to abandon him.  As such, you found yourself gradually growing distant from Lily, because the two of you were just on entirely different pages as far as your Slytherin friend was concerned.  

It hurt, but it was an inevitability.  You made your choice and Severus was worth it to you.  The thought of him being alone, friendless, in his situation was a distressing one and you weren’t about to let that come to pass.  Especially since you fancied him something terrible and had for years.

It was a snowy December day during your sixth year when you he two of you were walking to Hogsmeade.  Severus wasn’t entirely willing, but he needed a break from revising for the end of term exams.  Thankfully, you managed to coax him out by promising to get him a book of his choice at Tomes and Scrolls.  Otherwise, you doubted he would’ve come.

The two of you were trudging along shoulder-to-shoulder, snow swirling all around you and adding to the inch or so of accumulation already on the ground.  While the cold stung your face, you felt flushed with warmth at the continued contact with Severus.  There was something almost magical and surreal about it, being otherwise isolated in an expanse of snowy whiteness with your long-time crush.

“I like you, Sev,” you said, words flowing out without your mouth without you realizing it.  It took you a second after hearing the phrase muffled by your house scarf that you realized that was something you had said aloud.

In spite of your heart suddenly racing, you kept moving and prayed that your scarf managed.  Snape, on the other hand, stopped abruptly, frozen in place.  “You what?”

You turned around upon hearing the surprise and confusion in his voice, a rare open display of emotion on his end.  Clearly, he had heard you and now you could either double down and suffer the consequences or play it off.  While you knew he still cared about Lily, he seemed to be ruminating on her and their situation less and less.  There was always a chance that perhaps he reciprocated your feelings, if only partially.  It would be a place to start from and you’d only get there if you doubled down and owned your thoughtless slip up.

“I fancy you.”

Silence hung in the air for a few moments as Severus simply stared at you as if you were speaking an alien language.  However, you were able to catch his eyes momentarily softening before returning to their usual intimidating firmness.

“Why are you telling me this now?  This isn’t exactly the ideal location to have this type of talk, unless you’re intending for us to develop frostbite,” he drawled in his usual wry way, though you could notice some red creeping past the lower part of his face currently obscured by his green and silver scarf.

Instead of waiting for you to respond, he moved forward and promptly grabbed you by the wrist, pulling you along behind him as he resumed your journey to the Three Broomsticks.

Following along, you grinned up at him before spouting an attempt at a justification for what you had just done, “Well, it’d hardly be a date if I told you after we arrived.  Short notice is better than no notice, right?”

“You are positively unbelievable.”

“Does this mean you’re not opposed to it being a date?”

“ … Perhaps.”


Severus had been avoiding you after that first impromptu date, actually, he was doing more than just evading your attempts to talk with him—he was downright giving you the cold shoulder.  His signature glares and all.  While this icy act may have put other people off, you knew him well enough to understand that.  This wasn’t your first song and dance of this type with Severus, it was definitely the worst to date.  You didn’t think such was possible after the ‘Mudblood’ incident, yet here you were.

Every time in the past, it was borne out of either insecurity or frustration and, given the circumstances, it seemed most likely to be in the former.

After two insufferable weeks of his attempt at trying to push you away, you managed to catch him slipping into the artefact room when you were coming in from the clock tower courtyard.  This was your best chance at cornering him and putting an end to this nonsense, who knew when you’d get another shot.  You waited for a couple minutes before entering the dusty, cramped room.

Severus had been in the middle of setting up his pewter cauldron, his copy of Advanced Potion Making resting beside it with a series of ingredients resting on its cover.  The moment you entered, he dropped his textbook and procured his dark wand, instinctively aiming it at the intruder in the off chance that it was one of his enemies.

He lowered it upon seeing that it was you, black eyes dropping back to his equipment as he resumed his preparations.  He spoke in a frigid manner, reminiscent of the winter weather outside, “What do you want?”

“To figure out what’s going on, obviously.  You’ve been avoiding me like the plague and I’d like to know why.”  You approached him then, taking a seat beside him on the cold ground before continuing, “If you don’t want to date, then I’d rather you just—”

“—It’s not that,” he said, hands stopping abruptly in their work.  

“Then what is it?”

He lowered his head, a curtain of black, greasy hair falling.  Your only answer was silence, you knew that to mean that brilliant mind of his was working overtime to decide whether or not he should open up to you.

“Sev, I care about you.  A lot.  Now that we’re dating, you need to communicate with me because I’m not going anywhere.  Your problems are my problems, even though they always have been, really.”

You wished he’d rely on you more since it killed you to see him suffer on his own like this.

“Why would you ever choose to date me?” he asked, velvety voice quiet and subtly laced with an emotion you couldn’t quite place.

“I just said it: because I care about you.  You’re the smartest, most talented person I know and,” you paused for a moment to reach out and take his nearest hand in yours, “and I always enjoy being with you.  You make me happy.”

“But I’ll just ruin this—us—like I do with everything else,” the words were rapidly pouring out of him, hot with pain and frustration, now that he was no longer suppressing them.  “I’m not … I’m not made to be with anyone else.  I don’t deserve this, you, and … you should be with someone who does.  Someone who doesn’t ruin everything they touch.”

“No.  You don’t deserve to be alone, nor were you ‘made’ to be so.  No one is.  I want you to be selfish when it comes to this, because if you deserve anything … it’s to be happy.  Furthermore, you’re not going to ruin anything either since—thankfully—I’m a tad more patient than you are,” you gave his hand a light squeeze.  “But in all seriousness, I’m choosing to be with you and we can learn how to work through this relationship together.  But that requires us to be …?”

You raised your eyebrows as you leaned forward, doing your utmost to indicate that he needed to finish the sentence in case your tone was inadequate.  nowing full well that he could at least partially catch a glimpse of you 

“… Together,” he said softly with only a minor note of reluctance in his voice.

“Precisely!  See, you really are smart as a whip.”  Instead of leaning backwards, you moved your free hand up to pull his greasy black hair away from his face, revealing the light pink painted across his cheeks—even so, you could still see the hesitation and concern storming behind those beautiful dark eyes of his.  “And I think you’re deserving of a reward … don’t you?”

Before he could respond, you closed the distance between the two of you and pressed your lips to his.  He froze for a moment and you took pleasure at being able to take him off guard for once.  With some hesitation, he began to move his chapped lips against your own and thread his long fingers into your hair.  The kiss was sweet and tender, with Severus growing more confident in it with each passing moment.  You couldn’t help but tilt your head to one side and deepen it, tangling your own hand into his hair as you savored the contact.  

Tragically, he eventually had to part for air and the two of you simply stared at one another as you caught your breath.  

Overcome by the intensity of your feelings for your dearest companion, you were quick to say one last thing on the matter as soon as your breath had returned to normal, “I like you for you, Severus.  I know what that entails and I’m not going anywhere.  No matter what.”

Silence was your response once more, though this time it was accompanied by him sliding his hands to the sides of your face, reverentially cradling your cheeks, before leaning down and kissing you.  This time, there was more certainty behind it and a passion that left you positively breathless.  

Perhaps it was still bitterly cold outside, but you were lost in the blissful warmth of his kisses.

 

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry, but I failed you, my Lord.  I was unable to complete my duties, I was stopped by the Potter boy.”

No muttering broke out among the other masked Death Eaters, instead there was a silence—oppressive and stifling.

You kept your head down, eyes focused on the glossy, dark wood of the table in front of you.  Under it, you held your husband of thirty years’ hand with an iron grip.  Thaddeus was doing his best to keep you calm, as you both knew all too well that you’d have to face consequences for your failure.

Lord Voldemort regarded you for but a moment, red eyes glinting in the firelight.  “Bested by a mere child, fresh out of Hogwarts, were we?”

"Yes, my Lord,” you said, heart pounding against your ribs as nausea began to overwhelm your senses.

“Stand,” your Dark Lord commanded.

And so you did after quickly releasing your husband’s hand, knowing that if you did not.  Masked or not, you had dignity to maintain as a representative of your house and in front of both your husband and son.

You kept your eyes focused in front of you, unseeing, as you waited for whatever retribution Voldemort would deliver.  Seconds felt like hours with each tick of the grandfather clock ringing in your mind like a hammer’s blow.

Crucio.

There was a flash of light and then pain.  Agony.  Your senses were flooded as your bones burned, nerves searing with red hot pain.  It was the entirety of your existence for that terrible spell.

When he released the spell, you found yourself on the floor in the fetal position, limbs trembling and your throat raw from screaming.  Gasping for breath.

Crucio!

Even though it didn’t seem possible, the pain was even more intense the second time.  It felt like your very bones were melting.

You didn’t entirely process it, but there was a scraping sound and the pain abruptly stopped.  Thaddeus had pushed himself up from his chair, voice wrought with distress, but muffled through your delirious state.  “Please, my Lord, that’s quite enough—”

With a mere flick of his wand, Thaddeus was silenced completely.  There was no mumbling or whining, which you hoped meant he had merely cast the difficult Silencing Charm on your husband. 

“Ah, my dearest friend,” Voldemort said, left you crumpled helplessly on the floor, instead strolling over to your partner.  “It seems that you have forgotten yourself.  We must discipline any of those who defy or fail me, it is a necessity.”

The subservient man bowed his head in acknowledgement that Voldemort was correct.

“As such, you will remain in this state until our next meeting in two days.  Is that understood?”

He gave a weak nod.

“Good, I hope you will not incur my wrath further.  I take no joy in punishing my most loyal friends, but I do not play favorites.”

Silence yet again fell over the room, since that was a warning to every occupant: That any of them could be next.  Voldemort strode to his spot at the head of the table, paying you no mind.

With a great deal of struggle, you forced yourself back on your shaky legs and moved back to your seat at the table.  At least you had your mask on to maintain what little dignity you had, your tear-streamed face was far from respectable.

“Now then, Tongues … report to us about what you learned from the coded letter.”

And so, the meeting continued on, though it was all just a blur to you. 


The two of you Apparated home as soon as the meeting was over, not wanting to linger in Voldemort’s presence longer than absolutely necessary in case he decided to punish you further.

You shrugged off your Death Eater robes and removed your mask, practically throwing them into the innocuous looking, but heavily guarded chest you kept in the parlor.  Thaddeus followed suit, though he kept his back to you as he waited for you to move away from.  When you did, he tucked his carefully folded robes and mask inside before shutting it with a loud thunk.

His hands remained firmly placed on the chest, face down and obscured from your view thanks to his position.

“Thad?”

He remained still and you took action by gently placing your hand on his shoulder.

It took a few moments before he turned around, revealing that his mouth was gone.  There was only a smooth expanse of skin where it should have been.  The sight was shocking and made your blood run cold, knowing full well that he wouldn’t be able to eat or drink until Lord Voldemort undid the curse.

“Can you make any noise …?”

He shook his head and pointed to his throat, trying to indicate that his vocal cords had been affected as well.

You could only stare at him as you processed the entire situation, mind still frazzled from the extreme pain you had endured only an hour ago.  “I’m so, so sorry, Thad.  If—If I had only succeeded, then this wouldn’t have happened.  I’m a disgrace to the Mulciber name.”

He shook his head, eyebrows knit together as those blue eyes of his shone with indignant rejection.  That’s not true, they seemed to say.  Mirth then filled them and while you didn’t know what stupid joke crossed his mind, you knew that it was probably something that would’ve made you laugh.  He was good about doing that, even after thirty, long years together.  It was always one of his saving graces.

Tears blurred your vision again as the only words you could think of saying slipped from your lips, over and over again, “I’m so sorry.”

Thaddeus grasped your face with both hands before leaning down just enough to rest his forehead against yours.  His thumbs tenderly brushed against your cheeks, wiping away your tears while trying to provide you with what comfort he could.

Silence reigned over your estate the evening when you needed to hear your husband’s voice the most.

Chapter Text

It was a perfectly normal day at Hogwarts during your fifth year.  Well, they were about as normal as things could be, given the terror looming over the castle, and your own curious twist of fate.  Muggle-born students were being petrified by some unknown magic, which was disturbing.  Especially since the staff seemed utterly clueless about what to do about the threat.

Yet, such dark circumstances were counterbalanced by the fact that you had managed to stumble into a clandestine relationship with none other than Tom Riddle.  The two of you suited each other quite well and he always made you feel special, the fact that you had to just pose as friends didn’t bother you as such.  If anything, it added a slight thrill to what was, otherwise, a standard teenage relationship.  

There was another factor that helped mitigate your anxieties: You were of adequate Wizarding blood.  That meant that you weren’t terribly worried about being targeted by Slytherin’s heir.  You had bigger concerns looming over you at that moment, chiefly your Transfiguration exam the very next day.  

It didn’t take long after you departed from the great hall to hear Tom call out your name, like clockwork.  You slowed down your pace, not that he even really needed you to, given how tall he already was for your age.

“So, yet another student was petrified before dinner,” Tom said as he fell into step beside you.  

Glancing over at him, you were surprised to see that his brows were drawn together in a rather pensive expression.  He was always less worried about the Muggle-born students than you, but you didn’t find it odd given the fact that he was a Slytherin with blood purist friends—it was to be expected and part of being with him. 

“What’s the matter?”

Tom’s dark eyes flitted over to you for a moment before returning to focus in front of him.  “I can’t help but wonder if this heir will expand his targets or, perhaps, start attacking students over personal matters.”

“But why?  It’s not like you have anything to worry about, being as popular as you are …”

“I’m worried about you, actually,” he said, words blunt and casual.  “I’d hate if something ended up happening to you, especially if it is the fault of the staff for being unable to quell a threat.”

Your pace slowed for a brief moment, but you quickly swallowed your surprise.  Tom was a highly private individual and to see him be so blunt about his feelings with you was new.  It touched you deeply, but before you could even think as to how to express such, you noticed something black shuffling in the peripheral of your vision.

Glancing over at the window-lined wall, you noticed that the large black thing wasn’t actually a singular thing.  Oh no, it was an entire column of spiders, creeping up the wall and squeezing through a window.  There were probably hundreds of them, all of varying sizes and creepiness.  The odd behavior didn’t even grace your mind, as the sight of so many good-sized arachnids set your body into a vicious fight-or-flight response.

You screamed and hid behind your boyfriend, fingers digging into the black material of his robe, bunching it up as you clung onto your shield for dear life.  Your heart was pounding against your ribs and your lungs.  All you could do was bury your face against his back, trembling at the thought of having to even so much as see those spiders again.

Merlin, what are you—” Tom started in a tone dripping with venomous irritation to make you draw in on yourself, only to abruptly cut off.

He seemed to put things together very quickly, as he retrieved his pale wand from his pocket and cast, “Arania Exumai!

There was an intense flash of blue light, even with your eyes screwed shut.  Some minor scuttling followed it, but after a moment all was silent once more.

“They’re all gone now,” he said, the earlier irritation nowhere to be found in his soft, velvety voice.

You took some deep breaths to try and calm down as best you could, your heart was still going a mile and minute.  That lasted for a short while, with Tom patiently waiting for you to release him.  Thankfully, no one else turned down the hall before you were able to let go of his robes with only a slight tremor.

Now that you no longer clung to him, you just felt ridiculous.  The sight of spiders was enough to reduce you to a screaming, shaking mess in front of your relatively new partner.  They weren’t even that close to you.

Tom turned to face you, but you kept your gaze planted firmly on your feet, too humiliated to even look at him, heart still not quite back to its usual rhythm.  “I’m sorry for, um, screaming.”

“It’s quite fine, you just startled me is all.  I take it that you’re an arachnophobe?”

You nodded your head, face heating up at having to admit that.  It made you feel like such a child.  Even though you refused to so much as glance up at him, you could feel those dark eyes of his observing you.

“Well, then, you can’t exactly help it, now can you?  We all have our fears, I doubt I’d face mine with any more grace than you just did.  Now come, let’s start heading to the library before any more show up …”

His words made you feel a bit better, but you let out a snort at his comment as the two of you fell into step once more.  “What are you even scared of, Tom?”

“Hm, clowns, for one,” he said, voice taking on an almost self-deprecative quality. “I find them disturbing.  I imagine it’s the combination of the painted on smiles and disproportionately large shoes.  Mainly the painted on smiles though, I think.  There’s something eerie about faking happiness at any level, but especially at the exaggerated one that they do.  Wouldn’t you agree?”

“I couldn’t agree more.  Though I can’t say I would expect the great Tom Riddle to be afraid of clowns.”

“I believe there are many things about me that you wouldn’t expect, my dear,” he said, shooting you a half-smile.  There was something a touch bit ominous about it, perhaps, though you couldn’t quite put your finger on it.

He changed the subject onto your Transfiguration exam then, opting to use the rest of your walk to the library as a way to create your plan of attack for the study session.  Your phobic outburst was completely forgotten about, or at least it seemed to be.

As strange as it was, it felt nice to know that Tom didn’t think any less of you for your phobia.  But if only you knew that you were dealing with the very master of what even the spiders feared.

Chapter Text

Remus Lupin

  • Remus knows the motivation struggle better than most people.  Given his particular set of circumstances, there are stretches of time where he just feels like it’s pointless to try—that both he and his prospects are entirely hopeless.  
    • However, he’s learned how to push through those habits and does what he can to help you do the same.
    • While he’s not kind with himself, he is incredibly gentle and encouraging with you.  And is very insistent that you treat yourself with the same kindness.
  • Of course, one of the first things he will do is try and cheer you up before conversing about the problem itself.
    • Chocolate is his go-to given its neurological effects, of course, but he will also offer cuddles and whatever else he knows brings a smile to your face.
    • May even tell some terrible jokes to get you to loosen up a bit, if you’re particularly tense and stressed.
  • Depending on how you frame your issues, he may go about providing you with gentle motivation in a number of different ways.
    • First, he may tactfully remind you why you need to do the task(s) that you’re putting off.   He does this by asking you, making you put it in your own words and think over all of your motivations for what you’re doing.
      • He hopes that it’ll reignite your fire if you think about the ‘why,’ about your overarching goal.
      • This is a good way of reminding you that the long-term reward is better than the temporary gratification that comes with procrastination.
    • If you need some more intense motivation, he’ll ask you to envision what would happen if you didn’t do the thing you’re procrastinating on. 
      • This may either remind you of the consequences of putting it off or, alternatively, remind you that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t do perfectly on it.
    • If your procrastination is borne from a creative block, he’ll force you to take a break and go do something together.  There’s no point in beating yourself up over it, after all.
      • It’ll be something to try and get you to see things in a different light or to provide you with the jolt of motivation you need.
  • Throughout your actual work stage, he’ll make sure you’re doing okay and not pushing yourself too hard.  
    • Will sneakily drop off chocolate or your favorite sweets every once in a while.
    • Checks in every hour to give you a reason to keep up with your work, makes you take a short break to tell him what you’ve accomplished and how things are going.
    • No matter how much you completed, you’ll get a quick peck on the lips and a verbal reminder of how proud he is of you and how much he loves you.

 

Severus Snape

  • While Severus is undoubtedly softer around you, he takes a more methodical approach and prefers doing more than relying on his words to motivate you.
  • After learning of your motivational problems, he’ll ask enough questions to allow him to help you figure out a course of action to efficiently.
    • Will make it feel more palatable by starting on smaller aspects of your work, like finding resources or outlining your project, to help get the ball rolling.
    • He may even help provide you suggestions or work alongside you just long enough to get you started.
  • While he is a rather, well, severe person, it can actually be quite helpful in its own way.
    • He has absolutely zero tolerance for any self-deprecation you may be inclined to partake in.  
      • Everyone struggles with motivation at times and he will use cold hard facts to repudiate your remarks.
    • Is actually really good at putting things into a perspective that makes them less intimidating.
      • i.e., Just do what you can and put in your best effort—that’s all you can do.  Trying to be perfect will get you nowhere, as perfection does not exist.
    • May be petty and pull out some student’s essay (probably Ron’s) he was grading that was clearly procrastinated on, given its low quality. 
      • Does this as a way of putting the fear of god into you about how rushing your work may compromise its quality.
  • Will remind you to take regular breaks, since burning out or forcing yourself to do too much in one sitting will not be helpful to your work’s quality. 
    • He’ll wordlessly use his magic to place a cup of tea on the corner of your desk or even a homemade snack that he made especially for you.
    • If he notices that you do not stop, he will intervene and command you to step away from your desk and follow him.  
      • It ends up with the two of you sitting together, with you pulled into his lap and one of your favorite books in his hand.  He’ll read a chapter aloud to you, before making you get back to work.
      • If you need to bounce ideas off of him or have encountered a snag since your last break, he’ll be more than happy to extend your break and provide you with some feedback.
      • Granted, he does have a lot of work to do himself, but he needs to make sure that you’re treating yourself with the kindness that you deserve.
  • In addition to ensuring you take breaks, he may sporadically drop by and ask how much work you’ve completed since the last time he checked in with you.
    • He does this to keep you a bit on edge and working, knowing that the extra pressure may be what you need to finish your task.
    • However, he’s careful to never be discouraging by it, and always parts after giving you a kiss on the forehead or a lingering touch on the shoulder and telling you to keep up the good work.

Chapter Text

The July sun was beating down on you as you let yet another gnome loose over the garden hedge.  Even though its high-pitched squealing was muffled thanks to your earplugs, you were still fairly certain that your ears had started to bleed.

De-gnoming the garden at the Burrow was hard work, but someone had to do it in preparation for the wedding.  And you just so happened to be the only Magizoologist present.  So, of course, your best friends Fred and George oh-so-generously volunteered you for this task.

Bastards,” you grunted as you swung another gnome around.  Once you were satisfied that it was dizzy, you let it fly with reckless abandon.

As soon as the gnome’s head had left your fingertips was when you realized that there was a man crossing right in front of the hedge.  Directly in-line with where you had tossed the small creature.  Thankfully, they had the reaction time needed to duck just enough for the gnome to whizz right over his head.

Charlie Weasley popped his head back up and grinned at you.  His broom was draped casually across his broad shoulders and his red hair shone like fire in the afternoon light.

Before he could say anything though, you ripped your earplugs out as you began to make your way toward the hedge—ignoring the gnomes scattering under your feet.  “Hopping hippogriffs, I’m so sorry!”

“It’s quite alright.  I always get carried away with it too,” he said before offering you with one of his hands.  “I’m guessing that you’re the Magizoologist friend I’ve heard so much about?”

You took his hand and gave it a firm shake.  “I am.  And I know that you’re the famous Charlie Weasley, I remember watching you play Quidditch.”

“That’s right, you were a year above the twins, weren’t you?”

“I was!  Though I didn’t really talk much with anyone above my year—outside of the Prefects, of course.”

“But of course.  Bet you got into all sorts of trouble with those two dragging you along,” he said, brown eyes seeming to laugh in the warm light.

“You’re one to talk, getting dragged into the Cursed Vaults and all.”

He let out a chuckle at that before slinging his wrist back over the broomstick.  “Fair point.  But I’m surprised you never made it over to the Burrow, I was always curious about you—the twins have always sung your praises, you know.”

You glanced back over to the house, wondering where those two dorks you called friends were.  “I don’t, actually.  It’s all sarcasm and gibes with those two, I’m surprised they’ve spoken of me in any other way.”

“That’s just how they show they care.  Pranks, jokes, and lots of teasing.  Mum was always glad you helped keep them in line some.”

The notion made you laugh.  “I’d have a better time keeping a Hungarian Horntail in check than the twins.  I did nothing, just tagged along with them, usually.”

As soon as you mentioned the dragon, Charlie’s eyes lit up.  “Do you have much experience with dragons?”

“Not much, unfortunately.  I did study some Welsh Greens up at the local reservation as part of my training, but that’s about it.  I love reading about them though, definitely wouldn’t mind working with them more.”

“They’re marvelous creatures to work with!” he said, bringing his hand back down once again to excitedly gesticulate as he continued.  “If you ever get tired of being a standard Magizoologist, you should consider becoming a Dragonologist.  Becoming one is the best decision I ever made, we always need more people up in Romania so … there’s definitely work available.”

The idea of working strictly with dragons had crossed your mind in the past, but you enjoyed too many other creatures to limit your career to just them.  Perhaps that would change in the future though, you would have to specialize eventually, after all.

“What’s your favorite dragon species to work with?  I’ve heard Peruvian Vipertooths can be quite nasty too, though I doubt you have many of those brought to Romania …”

“On the contrary!  I’ve worked.  They’re more comparable to the twins than a Hungarian Horntail.  They’re small, quick, smart as a whip, and unpredictable—to the average person at least.”

“That does sound an awful lot like the twins,” you said with a laugh.

“I find them quite fun to work with as such, you see, there was one time when my coworkers and I had to sedate one to perform a dental procedure,” he leaned over the hedge, regaling you with his tale and weaving in a good helping of humor as he went.

The gnomes ran around at your feet, some even feeling emboldened enough to yank at the cuffs of your pants, but you paid them no attention.  All of yours was focused on Charlie and his bright eyes.


Arthur lifted the curtains and peered out of the window, curious about how your de-gnoming was going.  He always felt quite bad about throwing them about, as the poor things were quite charming in their own funny way.  Given that you were doing your own thing, he could only hope that you weren’t being too harsh on them …

When he saw that you were standing there, laughing with his second eldest son, he couldn’t help but smile as he knew that a certain somebody would be over the moon to hear about it.  Glancing over his shoulder, he called out, “Looks like Charlie and our Magizoologist friend are getting on quite nicely.”

He heard Molly let out a loud gasp from the kitchen, followed by a clamoring of pans and the sound of footsteps rushing toward the living room.  Sure enough, his wife darted out and made it to his side in record time, ducking underneath his arm to peer out the window.

“Why didn’t I think of it before!  They’d be perfect together, so much better than one of the twins …”

“Molly, meddling—”

“Shush, dear,” she said, not even looking at him.  “It’s about time Charlie found someone.  And I don’t meddle.”

Arthur’s glasses slid down his nose as he shot his wife a skeptical glance.  “You definitely do.”

Molly gave him a light whack on the shoulder, gaze playfully stern.  “Don’t you dare ruin this moment for me, Arthur.  You know I’ve always wanted that angel in our family.”

“As have I, but these things have to happen naturally, like they did with us.”

He leaned down and placed a peck on her lips, unable to prevent himself from smiling as he saw her expression soften to something more affectionate.

Chapter Text

It was with a heavy heart that Charlie left the Quidditch locker rooms for the last time.  The beautiful late June evening did nothing to melt the icy numbness he felt from knowing that there would be no more official Quidditch matches in his future.  However, he was surprised to see that you were standing just outside the exit, still waiting for him.

“Seems like the others went ahead and left you.”

“Yeah, I told them to go on ahead to go celebrate.  I just … needed some time alone.”

You glanced over toward the stands of Quidditch pitch.  “Bet you’re going to miss it, huh?”

“More than anything else at Hogwarts,” he said, gaze following yours to admire the view of it, one last time.

“Even more than me?” you asked with mock affront.

Your attempt at humor earned you a half-smile from your good friend as his eyes flickered back over to you.  “Course not.  I’ll miss you both equally.”

As always, he responded to your humor with earnestness and this time it was a high compliment, at that.  You couldn’t help but grin, feeling a flood of warmth spread across your face.

“I’ll miss you too, you know.”

“I do.”

The two of you just stared at the Quidditch stands for a time in the golden light of the setting sun.  The silence between the two of you felt electrified, there was so much to say—and yet, where were you to even begin?

Your eyes flickered over to him every once in a while, taking in his visage as if it was the last time you’d get such an opportunity.  His flaming hair was still growing back out from the last time his mother had cut it and his features looking more angular and mature than ever in the natural lighting.  He truly had grown so much from the boy you had first met, was it any wonder that you had fallen for him as hard as you did?

But for all you knew, this could very well be one of the last few occasions you got to talk with him before he left England.  Not everyone stayed friends with the people they were close with during their Hogwarts years and he was going so far away.

“Hey, Charlie?”

“Hm?”  He glanced back over to you.

“Will you write to me from Romania, since all of that’s been made official now?”

“Of course!  I’ll write to you about all of the dragons, maybe even send you some photos after I save up enough to get a camera.  And I promise I’ll always stop and visit with you, whenever I come back home.”

“I’m looking forward to it,” you said, though the words rang slightly hollow.

You were looking forward to it and you were happy for him landing his dream job, you just didn’t want him to be so far away.  He meant too much to you to be okay with seeing him so rarely.

A less comfortable silence settled in as the two of you regarded the other, uncertain of what to say next.  If there was a time for you to spit out your feelings for him, you were likely not going to get a better chance than this to confess

You averted your gaze to the ground as you dug your fingers into the palms of your hands, you cleared your throat.  “Is, um, is it okay if I tell you something?”

“Of course.”

Taking a deep breath in, you forced yourself to look up at him.  As soon as you did, the words you wanted to say caught in your throat upon seeing him smile at you with such affection.

“I—uh—it’s nothing.”

“Are you sure?  It sounded pretty—”

“Yeah.  It was just something dumb, so don’t worry about it.  You should be getting back to all of your teammates to celebrate right about now,” you said and took a step back.  “Besides, I promised I’d meet with one of my other friends soon, too.  Just wanted to say congrats on the win!”

“Um, thanks,” he said, a brow raised in confusion from your abrupt shift in behavior.

Before he could say anything more, you turned and borderline sprinted off, feeling upset with yourself for even thinking about doing something so brainless as to confess to him.  That would ruin your friendship and then you’d never see him again.

For a reason unknown to him at the time, he raised a hand after you—almost like what he’d do when going after the Snitch.  He wasn’t sure why, but he had been hoping for you to say something to him.  What, he didn’t really know, he just knew that there was something.  It was confusing to him and he could only stare as you faded into a mere speck in the background.

What were these feelings?


When it came time for the battle to begin, you opted to be among those who accompanied Horace Slughorn to aid in gathering reinforcements for the others.  You knew full well that the forces stationed at Hogwarts would not be enough and time was of the essence.

You were standing toward the front of a large crowd of citizens, ranging from those who lived in Hogsmeade you had woken to the families of Hogwarts students Slughorn had called upon.  Everyone was almost there and the Potions master was preparing to rally your makeshift troops and descend upon the castle when you noticed a familiar figure pushing his way through the crowd.

Charlie Weasley made a beeline for you as soon as he broke free of the throng, hair askew as if it had been severely blown about.  His short-sleeved shirt was rumpled and the burn scars on his arms stood out in the silvery moonlight.

“Charlie?!  What are you doing here?  I thought you went back to Romania due to an emergency situation at work.”

He grinned at you, though his eyes remained deadly serious.  “I did, but I heard the news and got back here in record time.”

You narrowed your eyes at him, biting back the urge to ask how the hell he managed to get from Romania.  Instead, you let out a sigh and crossed your arms over your chest, now anxious with the knowledge that he’d be participating in the battle as well.

“We’re glad to have you, but things are going to be dangerous.”

“I work with danger for a living, so I think I can handle this.  My family’s already there and I’m not about to let them face this without me.”

“Just try not to do anything rash, okay?  I’m sure your family will be okay, they’re the toughest bunch I know.  There’s no need to do anything stupid and get yourself injured or worse trying to get to them.”

“I know,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck with one of his hands.  “I’ll try and be careful.”

“You better do more than just try, Weasley.  After all, you still have to get me all caught up on what you’ve been doing since going back to Romania.  You promised, remember?”

His eyebrows shot up before a smile broke out across his face.  “Well, then, I guess I don’t have much of a choice, then.  Do I?”

“You don’t,” you said, returning the grin.

His pulse quickened as he realized that this could be his last opportunity to let you know how he felt now that he finally understood it.  He had tried and tried over the course of time you spent together for Bill’s wedding, but he had never been able to.

“Then, let me keep that promise by—”

“Everyone!  May I have your attention please,” Slughorn called out, using the Amplification Charm on his voice to make himself sound louder.

—taking you out on a date, once this is all over.

Those words dried up in his throat as your attention was stolen by Slughorn, his heart pounded against his ribcage as he took in your features.  He couldn’t shake the feeling that this may be the last time he’d get to do so.

He’d just have to try and ask you after the battle was over, so long as he lived through it.  It was himself he was worried about, not you.  The thought of you not making it didn’t even cross his mind, to him, it was a given.  He was the daring one between the two of you, after all.  

On the way to the castle, the two of you were separated in the crowd.  The last he saw of you was a fleeting moment of eye contact and a smile as a family managed to work their way between you.


After the battle was won and Voldemort’s body was dragged off, Bill accompanied Charlie to the place where the bodies of the fallen had been taken.

Some other survivors were already there, mourning their losses and filling the grey stone hall with sorrowful cries.  He still couldn’t accept the fact that Fred was among them.  None of it felt real to him.  As his gaze shifted from a pair of grieving parents back to the row of bodies, he froze mid-step.

There you were, laid out beside a girl, around Ron’s age, who appeared to have been mauled to death.  By contrast, you looked peaceful, though your eyes stared unseeing up at the ceiling.  That was all it took to make everything real to him.

You were dead and so was Fred.

“Charlie?” Bill asked, wrapping an arm around his brother’s shoulders.

Tears blurred Charlie’s vision as he choked over his words, but Bill must have followed his gaze and figured it out, since he pulled him closer.

“I—I’m sorry, I didn’t know that,” he trailed off before giving his brother’s shoulders a squeeze as he tried again.  “I know the two of you were close.”

Not close enough.

“There—There was so much I didn’t get to say,” Charlie said, barely above a whisper.

Bill winced at the sound of his brother’s despair and pulled him into a tight hug, shielding him from having to look at your dead body for the time being.  “I know.  That’s how it always is.  It’s the same way we all feel about Fred …”

Charlie could only shake his head as he allowed himself to cry, wrapping his arms around his older brother in a desperate desire for comfort.

His heart sunk as he looked to where you lay, understanding what was most likely implied in his brother’s refusal.  He felt helpless as he did his best to provide comfort to his younger brother, waiting for him to be ready to move on to visit Fred’s body and mourn him as well.

There were no words that could mend his brother’s heart, so Bill said nothing.

Chapter Text

“YOU TRAITOR!”

Severus could neither afford to freeze upon hearing you roar those words, nor let the others see how deeply they cut him.

He whipped around on the staircase, black robes billowing about him as he easily deflected your nonverbal Incendio.

With each successive attack you made, he blocked each one effortlessly as he climbed his way back up.  It was child’s play for him, yet he didn’t attack you.

“This is your only warning: Cease your foolishness.  Now.  We do not wish to spill magical blood needlessly, but I shall if I must.”

“No!  Not after what you did—I won’t.”

With renewed fire in your eyes you shot off a Reductor Curse, which he deflected with a flick of his wand.

“Then you give me no choice.”

Finally, he fired off a rapid series of nonverbal spells.  You were knocked back into the nearby wall, your wand clattered to the ground.  Yet you immediately grabbed your weapon and got back up.  Bloodied and bruised, but still incessant, you aimed your wand at him with a trembling hand.

He felt nauseous, but he only sneered at you with cold eyes.  “Yield or die a needless death.”

This was why he never should have let anyone in again.  He had a purpose he had to uphold above all else.  Memories and ghosts to honor through the secrets he kept.

“Kill me, then,” you spat with venomous hatred.  “I can’t believe I ever loved you.”

There was no room for his emotions now.  He felt the eyes of the other Death Eaters on him and knew what must be done.

This was the price for his foolishness, though you certainly deserved far better.

Avada Kedavra.

A flash of green.

And so you fell, crashing into the ground along with his heart.

Chapter Text

With the long lost diadem corrupted and stored safely within the Room of Requirement, Tom felt quite satisfied with himself after laying his own curse on the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor.  However, there was still much he had to do in order to pave the road for his rise to power.

He needed legitimacy to gain a following.  It was no secret to the Pure-bloods that he was of lesser status, his Muggle surname branded him as such—no matter what he did to try and shake it.  He’d have to ingratiate himself into their society, thankfully he had his less prestigious ‘friends’ to call on to get his foot in the door.

It wasn’t until All Hallows’ Eve that he was able to reap the reward of what he had sowed during his years at Hogwarts.  Thaddeus Mulciber’s family was throwing a celebration for the occasion and, of course, his friend had secured him an invitation.

At the ball, Tom could feel the judgmental eyes of those who dared to question and doubt him.  While he knew he was greater than all of them combined, he would have to prove himself and integrate himself into their society.  Navigating the obstacle of the very prejudice he wanted to sow and nurture.

Yet he paid them no mind as he took a sip of his red wine, dark eyes focused intently on one thing and one thing only: You.

Out of all the witches and wizards close in age to him present, you fulfilled his most important needs.  First of all, you were available and of a reputable line, not promised to any of your close or distant cousins at the present moment.  Second, and most importantly, you were interesting and someone who existed out of the dull confines of normalcy.  While he knew he’d grow bored of you in due time, you would be the most amusing and the person he’d mind courting the least.

The task of having to spend so much time with a single person left a more bitter taste on his tongue than the dry wine.  However, it was easy and he might as well make use of his good looks while he possessed them.

Speaking of which …  You caught him staring, the two of you held eye contact from across the room for a few moments and he watched as a blush exploded across your skin.  He smiled against his wine glass as he finished his drink off before setting it down and crossing the room.  His plain dark robes set him apart from the velvety, glittering robes of the other attendees, though your eyes focused on him just the same.

“Pardon me, but I couldn’t help but notice that you look positively stunning this evening.  I’ve found myself quite … distracted, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.”

You gave him a once over, interest written all over your face, as you offered him your hand.  Undoubtedly, the gesture was what set off the chorus of whispers, with people aghast at the prospect of a Pure-blood offering their hand to someone of lesser status.  Reveling in the attention, Tom accepted it and bowed to lightly brush his lips against your knuckles.  He let his touch linger just a smidge longer than what was expected before dropping your hand, eyes crinkling at the sight of your blush spreading.

“And you are …?” you asked, though the way you pressed your hand to your chest contradicted your blasé tone.

“Riddle, though I expect you already knew that,” he smirked as he dropped your hand.  “I believe we had a few classes together, though we never had the opportunity to speak.  A shame, truly.”

“Perhaps I did.  I didn’t think you’d remember me, on the other hand.”

“And why is that?  I do believe I’d remember such a striking face, at the very least.” he asked, tilting his head slightly to one side.

You averted your eyes, face growing even redder.  “Well, you were the one who caught the Heir of Slytherin, on top of being the best student Hogwarts has likely ever seen.”

“You flatter me,” he said dismissively, though his lips twitched upwards at the recognition, regardless.

“No, I’m honest.  You’re the flatterer here,” you fired back, taking a sip of your own drink and stole a glance up at him.

“On the contrary, I’m being honest as well.  I find lying distasteful, though I ”

“That would make the two of us.”

He fetched a flute of champagne as the House Elf servant levitated the silver platter nearby, sparing not even a glance at the pathetic creature.

He took a drink before speaking once more.  “So, if I recall correctly, you were also in the Slug Club?”

And so, the two of you spent the rest of the evening chatting, paying no mind to the judgmental stares of those around you.


It was a snowy evening in Diagon Alley and the ascendant Dark Lord found his patience with you wearing thin as the two of you walked side-by-side in the narrow streets.  His thick, black robes were being pulled at viciously by the wind, cutting for an impressive figure as you walked to the Leaky Cauldron together.  Obsidian eyes staring forward, frigid and hard, as he was lost in thought.

Things were stagnating before he could even get them off the ground.  Of course, if he couldn’t have you, there were other, lesser creatures he could pursue.  Yet you were only barely tolerable to him, largely thanks to your wit and cunning.  

It was a challenge he was not going to back down from, either you’d give in or he’d make some … arrangements.  It’d be harder to pull off, of course, but given how insipid most of the people around you were—he doubted anyone would notice the effects of a love potion.  Yet, to do so would be admitting defeat.  

And he never lost.

“Do you think we’d be able to consider this as a first date?” he asked, dark eyes glancing down to you.

“You’ve asked before and it’s still the same answer: No,” you said bluntly, shifting the newly purchased books in your arms.  “I didn’t think you were so interested in me.”

“But why not?  And on the contrary, you seem perfectly interested in me.

His eyebrow twitched as you let out a laugh.  “That’s an arrogant assumption to make.  Perhaps I just enjoy your company as nothing more than a friend?”

“And perhaps I’ve committed murder,” he said, voice dripping with sarcasm in spite of the statement’s truth.  “That is to say, that there’s no point in denying the truth.  You fancy me, just as I fancy you.  And yet you deny me …”

Finally, you met his gaze and the two of you came to a stop under a street lamp.  Snow lazily swirling within its stream of light as you regarded one another, heavy silence filling the space between you.  He noticed the way your face flushed further, from reasons outside of the cold, and the rush of realizing that he was making progress surged through him.

“Okay, okay—fine.  I do fancy you.  And it’s not that I want to, really, but—”

“I’m a Half-blood,” he spat, eyes flashing dangerously in the golden light, the thrill of a step forward tainted by the reminder of his ties to the ordinary.

You flinched a bit at his ferocity of his repressed self-hatred surfacing.  His expression softened immediately, sour distaste spreading through his mouth from losing his composure.  Even so, you remained silent, thinking over what to say next carefully.

“Yes,” you finally confirmed, shifting your books yet again in your arms.  “I’m sorry, but no matter how much I may like you—I’m to eventually find a Pure-blood partner.”

“A Half-blood, such as myself, may not be ideal; however, I do believe that I’m quite preferable to some of the ilk of purer blood.  Additionally, further interbreeding in your line.”

“Tom …”

“You know I’m right.  If it’s your parents you’re worried about, then I assure you that I am more than willing to undertake the challenge of winning them over.  I’m very persuasive, as I believe you know as well.”

He watched as you pursed your lips, brows drawn together as you thought over his claims.  His words were swaying you, but he couldn’t let you linger on it for too long—he needed to force you to where he wanted you to be.

Thinking quickly, he gripped your shoulders with his slender hands, his skin looking milky white in contrast with your winter robes.  The gesture snapped your attention back in the moment and, most importantly, back up to him.

“I fancy you and as strongly as I may believe in the value of upholding tradition, I will not let it get in the way of us obtaining the happiness we desire.  I am determined to pursue you and to make you mine—regardless of whatever anyone else may think of our match.  You and I belong together.”

His impassioned declaration left you speechless, your eyes wide and lips parted in an adoring awe.  As Tom’s black eyes flickered between your own, he determined that it was time to move in for the kill.

Leaning down, he claimed your lips with his own in a confident kiss.  He watched as your eyelids fluttered shut as you reciprocated the act, one of your hands abandoning the books you had been cradling in favor of resting on his shoulder.

Sliding a cold hand up, he cupped your warm cheek in his palm as you relaxed into the kiss.  His open eyes and focused on the snowflakes that melt upon making contact with your skin, not unlike you, he thought.


The more clandestine status of your relationship from that point forward was not unwelcome to him, rather, being confined to his flat was a welcome limitation.  He didn’t have to bother wasting as much of his hard-earned money that way, after all.

That Spring evening, he found himself seated on his piano bench, playing a Nocturne in a minor key that you weren’t familiar with.  All you knew was that it was beautiful, just like him.  And could only stare transfixed as you watched him play to utter perfection, warm sunlight filtering in through the open window.  Admiring him just as much as you admired the music he created.

Tom felt your adoring gaze on him as he played and he drunk it up, savoring this brand of attention while it lasted.  He was talented and remarkable, yet he rarely got to show off in this manner since—

“I love you.”

His fingers froze over the keys of the piano from hearing those three words spill out of your lips and crash his train of thought.  They were strange words to hear, never had someone told him such before, let alone mean them.  This was far earlier than he had expected to have to deal with it, apparently, his efforts had put him ahead of schedule …

When he said nothing, he heard you get up from your seat in his armchair.  “I-I’m sorry, if it’s too early—”

“No, no—I was just surprised, is all.  And … I love you, too,” he said, velvety voice warm with affection, though his eyes stared at the piano’s keys, cold and unfeeling.

“You do?”

“Of course.  I’ve just been too scared to say so earlier, since, well, I’ve never loved anyone before you and didn’t know how to go about saying it.”

He looked to you and put the mask on of the enamored lover then, forcing his eyes to crinkle as he pulled the corners of his lips upwards, careful to create a slight falter in his smile.  You needed to feel comfortable in his adoration for you, yet also he wanted you to pity him—the poor orphan boy, grown into a man who never knew love.

He still didn’t, of course, nor did he care to ever experience an emotion that turned people into simpering fools.  But that was for him to know and you to remain woefully ignorant of.  

You came to him—just as he expected—and he shifted over on the bench, allowing you to have a seat beside him.  He let you gently cup the sides of his face with your hands, the tenderness of your expression entirely foreign to him.  However, your positive response seemed to affirm that his mask was still a convincing one.

“I’m so glad …”

“As am I.”

He leaned down to rest his forehead against yours, brushing his nose lightly against your own.  An affectionate gesture that he had read about in numerous romance novels he had suffered through for research purposes.

It seemed effective, as you smiled more before tilting your head to the side just enough in order to press your lips against his.  He reciprocated it, one hand slipping up to gently tangle itself in your hair, while the other remained on the piano’s keys.  Idly tapping silent notes as he waited to be able to go back to playing the piece you had interrupted.


Tom sat, long legs crossed at the knee with his left finger drumming idly against his leg, impatience growing with each moment he was left waiting.  He watched your parents whisper to one another near the doorway before letting his eyes shift to the sunny summer day outside.

Your father finally broke away from his wife and made his way back over.  The woman spared a scornful look at him before slinking out of the room.  He felt his temper flare in response, though he derived some satisfaction from knowing that she’d come to regret looking at him one day.  When he ruled singular and supreme.

“My apologies,” your father said as he sat down across from him.  “We’re not in total agreement over your request.  Though I did promise you an answer by this time …”

“No need to apologize, sir.  I understand all too well that my blood status and career put me at a disadvantage when it comes to the prospect joining your family.”

“Indeed,” the other man said with approving eyes.  “I am a man of my word, as you know.  And while, yes, it is by no means an ideal match … I like you, Tom.  And our child clearly does as well.  And as such—”

Tom’s fingers picked up the tempo in anticipation, lightly drumming out the beat of the song stuck in his mind.

“I will approve of the match.  You are related to the Gaunts, a once noble house, and your argument pertaining to being careful to avoid intermarrying is a sound one.  A match with a Half-blood is not unheard of, though it will raise some eyebrows.”

He bit back the urge to smirk as he stood onto his feet and outstretched his hand to the other man, forcing a delighted smile onto his face instead.  “Thank you, sir.  I’ll be sure to treasure them for the rest of their life.”

“Call me father, Tom.  You’re going”  Your father stood up as well, accepting his hand with a warm smile of his own.

“Of course, father.”

The word rolled off of his tongue strangely, thoughts flickering back to the man he had killed when he was only 16.  He had no father, nor did he have any want for one.  However, he need only tolerate this for a short time, a few more months and he would be free.

His wife popped her head back in again, saying something about a guest, though he didn’t care enough to make a note of it.

“Well, I best be going then,” Tom said, clasping his hands in front of him.  “Thank you again for allowing this match.”

“But of course!  I’d be remiss to let such a brilliant, ambitious young wizard slip away from my family.”

And with that, he Disapparated away with only a slight pop.  In a moment, he was back into his flat.  Without a moment of hesitation, he moved across the living room and sat down at his piano and began to play out the waltz that was stuck in his head.  

A smirk twisting his usually handsome features into something more bestial as his fingers danced across the keys.


Rain poured down as the two of you jogged to a nearby gazebo for cover, the sudden downpour soaking through your Muggle clothing.  The capricious English weather brought a summer rainstorm, yet no relief from the muggy heat of the day.

Brushing some damp hair out of your face, you glanced around the dilapidated gazebo before turning back to your love.  “What are we doing here, Tom?  I thought you weren’t fond of Muggle things.”

“Oh, I’m not.  However, I spent a great deal of my youth in this very park.”  He pointed to the left and your eyes followed his finger, outstretched toward a worn out, grey building with the words ‘Wool’s Orphanage’ painted on a sign.  “That was the hell I called home up until I came to Hogwarts.”

“That’s it?  I thought it would’ve been …”

“At least somewhat nicer?  Yes, most would assume such.  Words cannot convey how abjectly terrible being raised in such a ramshackle place is, filled with the ordinary and mundane.”

“Then why did you bring me here?  I thought you never wanted to come back here.”

He slipped a hand into his pocket, feeling the weight of the small ring box resting there.  This part he loathed, but it was a necessary evil.

“That’s true.  However, I wanted you to better understand where I came from and how far I have risen in spite of it,” he said, swallowing his distaste as he got down on one knee and looked up at you, watching your eyes go wide.  “I know that I am not an ideal match, given my circumstances; however, your father has granted his blessing.”

He pulled out the box and opened it, revealing a simple silver ring in the shape of a serpent devouring its own tail—an Ouroboros.  Your eyes flickered between him and the ring, uncertain as to whether or not this was really happening.

“Will you marry me?”

“Yes!” you shouted, getting down to his level and throwing your arms around his neck.  He barely had time to process your acceptance when you pressed your mouth to his in a passionate kiss.

He exhaled heavily through his nose out of irritation, something that could be taken as a sigh of relief, as he returned the kiss—hardened eyes drifting toward the orphanage he had once lived in.

The rain’s rhythm echoed through his mind as it beat down on the gazebo’s roof, reminding him of the complicated song he had been working on perfecting as of late …


Tom rested his chin against his palm as he watched you and your mother flit around the room, animatedly.  His dark eyes glimmered with amusement as he turned his gaze to stare out the window he was seated next to, dark clouds contrasting starkly with the changing color of the leaves outside.

He was the only party privy to his sick joke, that you were all planning for something that would never come to fruition.  And it was to be such a lovely event too, as extravagant and filled to the brim with the elite of the Wizarding world, just as one would expect from the wedding of a Pure-blood.  Even if it was to a mere Half-blood, such as himself.  Though he wouldn’t be viewed as such for much longer …

However, he would not be shackled to another person for any length of time, the only time he would stand to bear such was if he had no other choice.  

“Tom!”

Your voice snapped him from his reveries and he turned his attention over to you, a smile easing across his face with practiced ease.  “Yes, dear?”

“We need a tiebreaker.  Which of these two invitations style do you like best?” you said, holding up a piece of pale parchment with elegant silvery borders and then another with a metallic black outline, sharp and angular.

“Which do you prefer?”

“I think I like the silver one, it’s lighter and more suitable for a wedding.”

“Then that one, of course.”

Your mother made a small noise of disapproval, though he noticed a smile creep across her face.  “Looks like he already has the right mindset of a proper husband, which is more than I can say for your father.  Already letting you have your way like that …”

Your nose wrinkled in distaste at her remark, mirroring the very same he felt.  “Mum, don’t be ridiculous.  He probably doesn’t have much of an opinion and he wasn’t paying attention.”

He shrugged at your teasing accusation, his smile turning more playful between his fingers.  “You caught me.  My mind was wandering, since you two seemed to have it under control.”

“What were you thinking about?” you asked.

“I was imagining how perfect you’ll look coming down the aisle, I must admit that I’m quite curious about what dress robes you’ll chose.”

His eyes laughed with cruel delight as he watched a lovesick expression bloom across your face, your mother even smiled for once.  Finally, he was winning her over, though that changed nothing for what he had planned for her.

She ended up breaking the silence, getting you to return your attention to the board of potential invitees she was standing in front of.

However, he had to admit that this was getting dull, what started out as a challenge was now mere child’s play.  He let his mind return to wandering as he focused on the blowing leaves outside, tapping a slow rhythm against his skin.


Your untimely death by the wand of some filthy, deranged Muggle-born came as a terrible shock to your family.  After all, who would ever have expected you to be slain only a week before your Christmas wedding?

It was a shame, Tom had to admit.  Your magical blood was precious, but he knew that more would be spilled by the time he took his throne at the helm of the Wizarding world, taking his rightful place over man and Death alike.

Letters lay ignored and unopened on his coffee table, all from the upper echelons of Wizarding society to express their condolences for his loss and denouncing the Mudblood responsible.  

He was grieving the loss of his fiancée, after all, it would be most peculiar of him to respond immediately.  Their sympathy borne from this tragedy would be temporary, yes, but all would come in due time.  In the meanwhile, he just wanted to savor his hard-earned independence and solitude once more.

Tom smiled to himself as his fingers flew across the piano’s keys in improvisation of a waltz in a maddening tempo.  The instrument sang under his lethal touch—notes resonating in a euphoric melody—as a winter storm raged outside.

Chapter Text

Professor Snape trolled the classroom, a sneer seemingly permanently affixed to his face as he appraised his students’ work.  Your eyes flickered between him and your cauldron as you stirred the teal liquid, nervous to see that he was nearing where you were.

“Remember, there is no room for error when it comes to brewing the Draught of Peace.  If you cannot brew this, then you should abandon all hope of continuing in my class,” he drawled, passing you without so much as glancing at your work.  “I only take students who prove their competency … which most of you lack.”

Fred Weasley snorted from behind you and you heard the Potions master pause accordingly, you could picture the glower your crush was on the receiving end of.  Clearly, Professor Snape had singled the singular Weasley twin in your class out with that remark.

However, you couldn’t afford to be distracted and you grabbed your jar of powdered moonstone and poured it into your cauldron with a trembling hand until the bubbling brew took on a slight purple hue.  Without a second to waste, you set it back down and slipped your stirring rod into the mixture and 

One.  Two—

Something light, but pointed made contact with the back of your head.  You flinched and your hand jerked as a result, panic immediately seized you as you finished the third and final, counter-clockwise rotation.  If that messed up your entire draught …

You took a deep breath and turned the temperature of the flame up just enough to allow it to simmer.  Seven minutes and you’d have to add two drops of syrup of hellebore and seven minutes to get your moron of a friend to leave you alone.  You glanced down at the ground, intentionally avoiding looking at Fred, and noticed what appeared to be a Muggle paper airplane.

After sparing a glance over at Snape to make sure he wasn’t paying attention, you bent down and picked it up.  After you set it down on your table, you unfolded it to reveal three simple words:

How’s it going?

You stared at Fred’s handwriting for a few moments, eyebrow twitching all the while.  Sparing a glance to make sure the professor was still on the opposite side of the room, you grabbed your quill and scrawled out:

Some people actually want to make it to N.E.W.T. level potions, Fred.  

Then, you crumpled the parchment up into a firm ball and turned around to finally face the redhead.  He waggled his eyebrows at you, clearly enjoying himself as his own draught simmered.  In retaliation, you chucked the ball at him—making direct contact with the bridge of his nose.  He flinched, but easily caught it before the parchment could land in his cauldron.

A couple of students around you snorted or shook their heads, used to the kind of mischief you two always got into.  Fred winked at you after making the successful save and you could only roll your eyes at him.  It wasn’t until after you had turned around and tried to refocus your attention on watching your potion that you could feel Professor Snape’s hawk-like eyes land on you.  He had suffered through having you two in classes together for the past five years, so he was no stranger to your tomfoolery. 

“What are you two dunderheads up to?” he asked, suddenly standing right in front of your table, voice frigid with impatience.

“Nothing, sir.  I’m just observing my draught simmering to ensure it’s going well.”

When you looked up to meet his eyes, you could read the disbelief in his cold, black eyes as he scowled down at you.  You could usually tell when the young Potions master was having a good or a bad day, today was quite clearly a bad one.  He hadn’t even caught you doing anything, yet he looked entirely done with you.

“Very well, then.  However, if I hear so much as another sound from this part of the classroom, you and Weasley will be spending your evening scrubbing cauldrons in detention.”

“Yes, professor,” you said, quickly dropping your gaze back down to the simmering liquid.

And with that, Professor Snape resumed his patrol of the classroom, stopping every once in a while to criticize some poor student’s technique with his razor-blade of a tongue.

Thankfully, Fred left you alone after that.  It was a longer stretch of time than he normally waited to stir up some trouble, so for once you found yourself hoping that he had actually gotten distracted by actually deciding to put an effort into his Potions work for once.

Finally, you were on the verge of completing your potion and were among the first of the class to reach this point.  It didn’t seem as if the earlier incident had sabotaged you, but it was hard to tell.  Seven drops of hellebore was all that stood between you and figuring out if you had managed to get a decent Draught of Peace put together.

One.  Two.  Three.  Four—

A crumpled ball of parchment landed beside your cauldron on the table, the sudden movement ended up causing you to squeeze the dropper a bit too harshly, releasing a whole spurt of syrup into your cauldron.  The white mixture didn’t turn blue blue, as it should have with seven drops, but instead changed to a sickly grey color.  A grey haze of smoke began to radiate from it, clearly not a good sign for your grade.

You looked up to the ceiling, fighting the urge to turn around and hex the nose right off of Fred’s face for this.  Surely, it had to be something substantive this time, right?

After you unfurled the ball, you found that he had actually scrawled a full-length sentence underneath it this time:

Fancy considering our detention tonight a date?

Heat quickly flooded your face as you read that question over more than a couple of times.  He already screwed up your potion and it wasn’t like you were a stranger to detention in the dungeons with Snap.  What did you have to lose at that point, really?  You were probably going to be fine on the O.W.L.s, even if Snape hated your guts.

As an answer, you turned around and tossed the parchment into Fred’s cauldron.  Immediately, it dissolved into the intensely pink liquid and green sparks began to shoot off, high into the air of the vaulted classroom.  You didn’t see what ingredient he added next, but the potion began to sizzle.  Larger red sparks erupted from it, screaming as they darted around in corkscrew motions.

Over the chaos, Fred shouted, “Is that a yes, then?!”

“Duh!”

You laughed as Fred high-fived the other Gryffindor seated next to him, but quickly found yourself taking cover underneath your desk as a red spark whizzed right over your head. The bottom of Professor Snape’s black robes came into your line of sight, though you couldn’t make out what he yelled at Fred about since the screaming of the sparks was deafening by that point.  The sounds only grew louder and more frequent as they landed in other cauldrons, setting off a chain of reactions and ruining most students’ potions.

Suddenly, it all fell silent and everyone began to crawl out from their hiding places under the desks.  Professor Snape looked between you and Fred, lips curled in a venomous fit of distaste and anger.  If you weren’t so used to seeing him this worked up, perhaps it would have scared you, but you were immune to his intimidation by that point …

“Detention!  Both of you, for the rest of the week!””

After Professor Snape turned and strode off to his desk, he said, “Class is dismissed.”

Everyone else stood around awkwardly, not sure as to whether or not that meant the whole class failed.  You could only grin at Fred before you milled out with the rest of your class, getting a few nasty glares on your way out.

As the two of you left the dungeon, you gave him a light elbow to the ribs.  “Thanks for ruining my potion, Fred.”

“Any time!  I had to come up with some dramatic, yet chaotic way to ask that question …  Plus, you were looking so frustrated that I had to do something to lighten things up.”

You furrowed your brows at that.  “Did you … really have those effects all planned out?”

“Of course, it’s basic knowledge of ingredients, really.  Took me a bit to decide on which effect I wanted, but screaming sparks was the best one I came up with.  I think it turned out to be quite the spectacle, don’t you?”

“You’re unbelievable.”

“And yet you agreed to go out with me anyways,” he said with a grin.

“I did.  You’re the fun kind of unbelievable.”

The two of you headed out to the courtyard to enjoy your time together before your next class of the day.

Chapter Text

Grey clouds blew about overhead, dark with the promise of rain, as the wind blew through the rose bushes in front of the residence.  A peacock’s cry pierced the air as you stood on the elegant stoop, eyes transfixed on the glossy black door in front of you.  How long you stood there with the wind howling around you, you weren’t entirely certain.

You took a deep breath in, then out, and finally brought your hand up to knock on the door of Malfoy Manor.

As much as you loved Draco, you held no love for his parents.  Always looking down on you, always sneering, always whispering—was it any surprise you couldn’t bring yourself to develop much affection for them?  Yes, you were no Slytherin and of course you didn’t buy into that blood purity garbage, but you were still their son’s friend.  His closest friend.

Needless to say, you weren’t entirely sure what you were going to say to try and get one of them to let you in.  If anything even would.  However, you had to try something to see Draco.

“Go away,” you heard Draco say from the other side, voice cold yet brittle.

“I don’t plan on that, not after you’ve ignored my owls for—oh, I don’t know— an entiremonth.”

“I was hoping you’d get the hint, but apparently you’re too dense.  Leave.”

You only rolled your eyes at his insult and tried the doorknob, only for it to not budge.  You didn’t really expect it to, but it was worth a shot.

“Aloho—”

You were cut off by the loud suction sound of the door sealing shut.  Apparently, Draco had cast a non-verbal spell.  Of course he was going to make this difficult, he always did, but thankfully you knew better than to let it thwart you.

Finite Incantantem,” you said with a wave your wand, causing the door’s seal to pop off.  “Draco Lucius Malfoy, we can talk through the door if we have to—I don’t care—but  I am not going to sit by and let you keep doing this to yourself.”

There was heavy silence and you wondered if you had driven him off; however, that was quickly quelled as you heard the loud click of the door’s lock.  It swung open, slowly but surely, and your eyebrows shot up at the sight in front of you.

Your good Slytherin friend from Hogwarts stood there, looking like even more of an absolute train wreck.  His sharp handsomeness was nowhere to be found, instead he looked gaunt and sickly.  There were thick bags under his pale blue eyes, which already looked empty enough on their own.  It didn’t look as if he had spent any time outdoors lately, you couldn’t help but wonder if he had even touched his broom in the past year since the Battle of Hogwarts.

You tucked your wand back into your pocket as you stepped inside and he wordlessly shut the door behind you, careful to rein your expression back in as you looked up at him.

“The silent treatment isn’t going to scare me off either, you know.”

“Oh, trust me, I know,” he said, still facing the dark door, almost seeming as if he was unable to face you.

You glanced around the entryway, drinking in the silence of the still opulent countryside estate.  “I take it that your parents are out?”

Draco moved to turn around finally and your attention was drawn back to him, observing how he at least made the effort to stand up a bit straighter and tuck his hands behind his back.  His usual haughtiness was still there, though it didn’t seem the same as usual.  Still, it was a promising sign, all things considered …

“Yes, they’ll be out until the evening.  I’m amazed you were able to guess something right for once in your life.”

You shrugged, a smile gracing your lips.  “Hey, I can do it sometimes.  Like that time I called that Professor Lockhart was a fraud—and he was!”

His own lips seemed to quirk upwards in a smile, but you watched as he forced it away.  “Perhaps, but not often.  Now, let’s sit down and just get this over with.  Follow me.”

Before you could even really process the request, he began to move toward the parlor.  It was just as dark as the rest of the house and you scrunched your nose up as you sat down on an over-stuffed, black velvet armchair.  The very same one you had felt so small in back when the two of you were thirteen year olds, playing a game of Wizarding chess under Narcissa’s protective gaze.

“Ah, yes, I forgot how drab your parents’ taste is.  No wonder you’re so cheery, being stuck here all the time …”

He leaned back in his chair, expression still hard and eyes distant.  “You didn’t come here to banter with me, I’d rather get to the point.  The sooner we do, the sooner you leave.”

The barbs of his combined tone and words bit into your heart, but you paid them no mind.  This was intentional on his end and you weren’t going to give him what he wanted—not yet and hopefully not ever.

“Very well then.  Why are you ignoring my letters and pretending like I don’t exist?”

“As I said, I was trying to get you to understand that I want you to leave me be.”

You couldn’t help but roll your eyes at how he was intentionally dodging what you were actually asking.   However, you decided to play along, hoping that he wouldn’t try to weasel out of it if you did.

“And, pray tell, what were you trying to hint at outside of the obvious fact you just?  Silence isn’t the most direct mode of communication, after all.”

There was a pregnant pause and you hoped that he wasn’t about to try and come up with a way to dodge the question again.  You opened your mouth to try and follow up when he finally decided to speak.

“That I don’t want you as a … friend anymore.  Perhaps we were close at Hogwarts, but I’m putting that behind me.”

Your fingers dug into the crisp velvet of the chair as daggers pierced your heart in spite of your mental preparation for such cruel words.  You drew in a breath to calm yourself.

“We both know that’s a lie.  You think you don’t deserve my friendship, don’t you?”

“Don’t be preposterous,” he spat, defensive venom spiking his tone.  “I don’t even care about you that much.”

Yet he couldn’t even look at you as he said it, but the words still stung to hear—even if he didn’t mean them.  You let out a mirthless laugh.

“That’s an even bigger lie.  We both know that we’ve fancied each other since fourth year.  You care for me just as much as I care about you.”

His expression was entirely blank as he focused on the nearby window with a clenched jaw.  “Perhaps you did, but I assure you that your feelings were quite one-sided.  After all, I asked Pansy to the Yule Ball and never once did I ask for you to accompany me on a date, though I always pursue.  But even if you were correct, it’s time to move on past such—such vapid childhood fancies, we’re adults now.”

It was all a lie.  He never pursued you romantically because his parents wouldn’t have approved of the match, that was a silent understanding the two of you had always shared.  And you accepted it for a long time, as you were content with being his friend, even when he tried to cut you out the first time during your sixth year.  He was difficult and a bit of an ass, sure, but you two were always happier together.

You knew all that, but the silence that loomed over the two of you following it was beyond oppressive.  He really was trying his hardest to push you away, wasn’t he?  You were sick of it already, knowing that he was hurting himself just as much as he was hurting you.

“You know what I think, Draco?” you said as you stood up, eyes blazing as you crossed the short distance to stand directly in front of him. “I think you’re just afraid to be happy and truly move on, like you think you don’t deserve me in your life.  You’re trying to cut out the good from your life to punish yourself.  You’re not moving on, you’re hurting both yourself … and me in the process.  I don’t think I need to say how unfair that is to the both of us.”

He was speechless for once in his life, pale eyes still unable to meet yours as he stared out the window as drops of rain began to splatter against it.  You watched as he swallowed thickly, undoubtedly starting to lose his iron grip on his emotions.

“Please look at me,” you said as you crouched down in front of him and took his hands in your own.  There was a moment of resistance, but he finally looked down and met your eyes with his own.

“I’m not going to let you do this to yourself, since you deserve to be happy again—just like everyone else who suffered in the war.  I love you and I … I want to be here for you, through everything,” you said and gave his hands a gentle squeeze before you gave him a slight smile in an attempt to lighten the mood. “I’m really going to be—what did you call me two years ago?—an ‘obnoxious thorn in your side’ this time around … if you let me, of course.”

Your open confession of love seemed to take him aback, or so you judged by how wide his eyes got.  The surprise quickly faded from his expression as his eyebrows knitted together.

“I don’t need an emotional crutch.  I can support myself, as I am not as weak as you are.”

It was a weak rebuttal and you knew that he wasn’t resisting for anything more than the sake of it in order to preserve his pride.  His physical state was enough to rebuke his claims, he was anything but all right.

“Look, everyone needs support sometimes.  I do and, yes, so do you.  Besides, there’s nothing wrong with even just wanting it.  I think it goes without saying that even if neither of us needed the other, we’ve always been stronger together … we can work through this just so: Together.”

Draco seemed to deflate as he let out a heavy exhale and leaned back in the chair, eyes sliding shut in a dramatic fashion as he pinched the bridge of his nose.  “I suppose you’re not going to relent on this subject any time soon?”

“Absolutely not,” you said with a cheerful bravado, though you knew you would if he actually meant what he said.

“Then I don’t really have much of a choice, then, do I?” he asked, cracking an eye open as a slight playful lilt crept into his voice, perfectly matching the ghost of a smile on his lips.

You let out a laugh, delighted and free at his compliance, as you released his hands and forced yourself back up onto your feet.  Before you could straighten out completely, you leaned forward and managed to snake your arms around him in a hug and rested your chin on his shoulder.

He tensed for a moment before reciprocating the gesture, loosely wrapping his arms around your waist before he leaned his head against your own.  You couldn’t help but wonder if he had shut his parents out, since Narcissa always seemed to be a very doting parent—always fussing and touching her beloved son.  The thought made your chest ache, but you said nothing.  That would be a conversation for another day.

In that moment, you finally had your friend back.  The position may have been uncomfortable for you, but you didn’t care.  Your personal comfort was honestly the last thing on your mind right then.  Instead, you focused your attention on rubbing light circles against his back to provide him with some semblance of physical comfort.  You couldn’t help but smile as you felt him melt against you, tightening his arms around you as he pulled you closer.

A couple of minutes passed like that before you felt him stiffen under your touch yet again.  You paused in your ministrations as you let him have time to gather his thoughts, knowing him well enough to understand that he was likely working up the courage to say something difficult for him.

“I’m sorry and I—I love you too,” he said, barely above a mumble.

You smiled as you nuzzled the side of your face against his own.  “I know.”

How long the two of you stayed like that in comfortable silence, with the only sound being the soft pattering of the rain, you didn’t know, nor did you particularly care.  

All you could think about was what the future would hold, clinging to the hope that you would both be able to put the trials and tribulations of the Second Wizarding War behind you.  Together.

 

Chapter Text

“Everyone, for today’s potion you’ll be working together with a partner.  As first years, it’s good to learn how to work together in pairs, especially for potions that may prove tricky for your skill level.”

Professor Slughorn smiled amiably as he glanced around at his class, his eyes lingered on you for a moment longer than the others, almost certainly out of pity.  You were a loner and were one of two students who sat at a table by themselves.

You glanced around as everyone else seemed to quickly pair off with who they were seated with, hoping desperately that one of them would break off to join you.  

No one did, which meant that you’d be stuck with—

“Hello, friend!  I see that you also need a partner.  You are in luck, for I’m quite good with Potions, if I do say so myself,” Gilderoy Lockhart beamed down at you with his astonishingly white teeth on full display.

“Lucky me,” you said, with more sarcasm than anything else.

“Indeed!  I’m Gilderoy Lockhart, by the by, but you probably already knew that,” he said, offering his hand to you after setting his pewter cauldron down on the table.

You begrudgingly took his hand and gave him your own name.

“Well, it’s nice to finally meet you!  I’ve been curious about you, but you always have your nose in a book and ignore me when I try and talk with you.”

Granted, you ignored everyone when you were reading, as you tended to be so engrossed in whatever book you were reading that you just didn’t notice them.  

“Let’s just brew this potion and get this over with …”

“Very well, then!  I’ll have you know that you’re working with someone who will make another Philospher’s Stone before graduation—”

You tuned him out as you opened your Potions textbook to the correct page and began to read through the instructions, uninterested in his unrelated bragging about alchemy.  He droned on and on as you lined up the ingredients based on how much preparation was needed before adding them to the concoction.

Much to your surprise, he seemed to understand what you were doing and began to crush the first ingredient without you even having to tell him.  You watched him for a moment out of surprise, before grabbing the next group of ingredients and working on chopping them up.

Unfortunately, you weren’t very practiced with the knife and your attempts at cutting up the herbs were horrendously uneven.  You grabbed another stalk and were about to try again, when—

“Here, let me do it,” your partner said and took the knife from your hands without warning.

Irritation flared at the notion that he thought he could do better; however, it quickly gave way into shock as you watched him effortlessly slice the ingredient up into perfect ribbons.

Once he was finished, Gilderoy glanced over at you and flashed you a smile.  “See, you have to hold it with more confidence and make your slicing motion perfectly, uh, perpendicular—yes, that’s the word!—to the stem.  Best keep that in mind going forward.”

“Huh,” you said, staring down at the perfectly cut herb.  Perhaps he wasn’t really as daft as you, and everyone else, initially wrote him off as.

You looked back up at him with a small smile, “What were you saying, again?”

Gilderoy’s blue eyes lit up with delight.  “I was talking about Quidditch and how I plan on excelling at it!  I take it you’re not familiar with the sport, then?”

“Not especially, no.”

“Well, I’ll tell you all about it as we work.  I probably should’ve asked how familiar with it you were to start with.  I can’t imagine how lost you must have been as you listened, especially if you didn’t even speak up!”

“Oh, you have no idea,” you said, the minor note of amused sarcasm flying completely over his head as he launched into talking about the sport.

He delivered the ins and outs of Quidditch to you in a surprisingly eloquent way for someone your age, though it was delivered in the most braggart way imaginable.  He constantly worked in his own achievements and skills, trying to impress you with his ‘prodigal’ abilities.

The two of you worked easily together, following along the directions easily without even a need to communicate over them or who would do what.  All the while, you listened to him with a degree of amused interest, 

When it came time for Professor Slughorn to evaluate the class’s potions, you found yourself feeling almost as confident as Gilderoy looked.  Your potion turned out precisely as it was described in the text, it certainly wasn’t smoking like some of the others in the class.

The professor raised his eyebrows as he analyzed your potion before he retrieved a vial from his cloak and dipped it into the liquid.  After it was filled, he lifted it up and into the light to admire it with a pleased expression.

“My, this is quite the superb work, you two.  Most impressive, indeed.”

“Thank you, professor,” you said.

“But of course,” Gilderoy said, almost talking over you in the process.  “A most impressive potion from a most impressive pair of most impressive students!”

Professor Slughorn’s smile faded as he looked down at your fellow Ravenclaw, a subtle note of distaste souring his expression.  He moved on to the next pair of students wordlessly after tucking the sample of your potion into his robes.

Your partner puffed his chest out as he looked back to you.  “A most excellent job, friend!  It seems like we make a good team.”

“I guess.”

“Then, would it be fine for us to sit together and pair up in the future?” he asked, his bravado faltering ever so slightly.

“Sure,” you said with a shrug.

“Wonderful!”

Little did you know that your agreement marked the beginning of a most unlikely and peculiar friendship.


Three years passed and you were seated on the floor of the Ravenclaw common room, back pressed against the statue of Rowena Ravenclaw, as you enjoyed your Saturday morning reading session.  You didn’t even bat an eye when a figure donned in lavender colored dress robes entered your peripheral vision and took the seat beside you.

“Hi, Gil,” you said, still not looking up from your book.

“Hello, friend!  How are you this fine morning?”

“I’m enjoying reading, quite obviously.”

“I can see that.  But do you know what else is going on today?”

“… I don’t.  Is there something I should know about?”

“It’s the Ravenclaw vs. Slytherin Quidditch match!  I was hoping you’d come and cheer me on today, since this is a big one and a great deal is riding on me.”

You shifted uncomfortably in your spot at the notion of attending such a rowdy event, plus you didn’t like the thought of possibly watching him get injured.  The Beaters of other teams tended to like to aim for him … and you couldn’t really blame them for it.

“I’d like to, but I think I’d rather stay in and get caught up on my reading.  You know how I am with crowds …”

“Oh, I see,” he said, unable to prevent his bitter disappointment from slipping through.  When you glanced over at him, though, his usual smile was plastered on his face.

“Well, that’s perfectly understandable,” he said, after you made eye contact with him.  “Perhaps you’ll be able to make it next time?”

“Maybe, but either way—good luck.  I doubt you’ll need it though, since you’re such a great player, and all.”

Gilderoy’s chest puffed up at your compliment, positively eating up your intentional pandering.  “Thank you!  Your well-wishing is much appreciated.  However …”

“However …?”

“I suppose you could help me in another way.”

You narrowed your eyes at him, immediately suspicious.  “I’m not going to help you cheat.”

“I wasn’t going to ask you to!” he said, placing his hand over his heart from the insult.  “Rather, I was going to ask something more pleasant of you in the case of Ravenclaw winning this match.”

“And what would that be?”

“Well, if I win the match for Ravenclaw, I was hoping you’d agree to accompany me to Hogsmeade to enjoy a refreshing glass of Butterbeer on a celebratory date!”

You blinked a few times, trying to process the question through the strange, overwhelming mix of confusion, panic, and … joy that flooded your heart.  “What?”

“I said—”

“—I know what you said, I’m just … surprised.”

“Yes, I know it must come as a great shock that someone as amazing as me would ask you out.  But please just consider it, since you didn’t outright refuse me.  We can talk more about it after I win the match for Ravenclaw.”

Before you could get a word in edgewise, he had gotten up and left, clearly wanting the last word.

Slytherin won and Gilderoy ended up being knocked off his broom with a concussion and a broken arm.  He didn’t seem to remember your earlier conversation and for that, you couldn’t be more grateful.

You weren’t entirely sure how you felt about Gilderoy, though there did seem to be … something there.


One year later and you found yourself sitting in your usual spot, with your back pressed up to the base of the statue for Ravenclaw House’s founder.  You had been careful to avoid any further talk of dating with him since you were still very confused as to how you felt about him.

“Friend, I have devised something magnificent that you absolutely must see!”

You looked up at him with narrowed eyes.  “Please don’t tell me you carved your name into the Quidditch pitch … again.”

“No, no, of course not,” he said, his smile remaining just as brilliant as ever.  “I have something new I came up with—something most impressive.  Why, it rivals what even the Dark Lord himself has done.”

“I’m really not sure that’s a bar you should be aiming for, Gil.”

“I’m not aiming for it, on the contrary, I aim to surpass him in terms of prowess.”

You let out a heavy sigh and slipped a bookmark in place before shutting your book, knowing that he’d just go on like this until you acquiesced.

“Very well, show me whatever it is you have created.”

He puffed out his chest at your agreement, brilliant eyes flashing with delight.  “Fantastic.  To the Astronomy Tower, it is!”

“Wait, the Astronomy Tower is off—”

But before you could say anything further, he grabbed your hand and pulled you out of the Ravenclaw common room.  The contact was enough to make your heart lurch into your throat, following along dumbly as you stared at your joined hands.

What was this strange, giddy emotion you were feeling?  It wasn’t the first time you had experienced this warm, fluttering sensation with him.  In fact, you felt it often when you were in his company, but it felt so much more intense when he held your hand.  Did you actually fancy him?

Lost in your thoughts, you didn’t even realize that you were being led up the stairs of the Astronomy Tower until you were almost to the ramparts.  

Gilderoy pushed open the door and the two of you were outside in the warm autumn evening.  You let out a small exhale upon seeing how beautiful the sunset was, painting the clouds various shades of radiant gold and pink.

However, he took no such time to admire the splendorous evening and instead released your hand.  Without so much as looking back, he strode over to the parapets and looked up to the sky.

“I’m sure you’ve been wondering what display of brilliance I am about to show you.  But before I show you, do you have any guesses?”

“No, not really.  It’s hard to know what all goes on in that head of yours.”

He let out a delighted laugh, utterly missing the point of your quip, like always.  “Yes, I would not expect anyone else to truly understand the greatness of my mind—even someone as close to being my equal as you.”

“… Right.”

The young man cleared his throat at your less than enthusiastic response before amping up his act.  “Of course, it would also be difficult to anticipate that I, Gilderoy Lockhart, would be able to parse out the spell that the Dark Lord uses as his mark.”

You crossed your arms over your chest, suddenly feeling a bit uncomfortable at the mention of the Dark Mark.  This wasn’t going to end well, was it?

“I have, of course, made my own variation of it and you will bear witness to my glorious creation.  Behold!”

And with a strange series of wand motions he pointed his elegant cherry wood wand up to the sky and shouted something incomprehensible to you.

A green light erupted from its tip and shot upwards like a firework before exploding into a burst of emerald green stars, forming a glittering fabric as the light rippled into the form of Gilderoy’s face.  Green light illuminated the clearing of the tower, shining brightly in the waning light of dusk.

It was impressive magic that did, indeed, rival that of the Dark Lord’s.  The glittering green hologram was gorgeous, even if it was in the shape of your idiot friend’s face.  Undoubtedly, he had even the Dark Lord beat in the realm of narcissism.

However, upon first glance you had no doubt that someone would mistake the oversized head of your friend for the actual Dark Mark.  Which was now hovering over Hogwarts.

Your eyes went wide as you snapped back into reality and you rushed forward, whipping your own wand out.  “Finite Incantantem!

“Hey, why did you—”

You grabbed his hand and began to pull him back toward the entrance, ignoring the wounded expression on his face that made him look strangely weak-chinned and pathetic.

“Come on, let’s go, Gil.  We’re going to be in so much—”

Professor Flitwick stood in the doorway, face grave behind his thick brown mustache.  You stopped dead in your tracks at the sight of his disapproving, yet unsurprised expression.

“Well, it’s good to see you, professor!  I take it you’re here to—Ow!”

You stomped on the blonde’s foot to get him to shut up, clearly he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.  But did he ever?

Your head of house’s frown deepened at the action, his usual mirth completely and utterly absent.  “5 points from Ravenclaw for that.  We do not hit other students in Ravenclaw.”

“Yes, professor,” you said, dropping your gaze down to the floor, preparing yourself for the lecture that was guaranteed to follow.  You heard him stepping forward and begin to pace, something that he always seemed to do when lecturing his students as a form of punishment.

“Now, I do not know what happened up here; however, I saw what seemed like a Dark Mark on my way back to Ravenclaw Tower to chat with a student.  Yet upon closer inspection, it was Mr. Lockhart’s head.  I do not know what the, but I do hope you understand that such a prank is in poor taste—countless students were undoubtedly startled by such a sight.  And understandably so, given the fact that the Dark Mark was cast after many of their relatives and even friends were killed.
What were you going to say to me, Mr. Lockhart?  I hope that you were about to explain why such a careless prank was pulled.”

Panic seized you once more as you looked between the professor and Lockhart, noticing how terrified Gilderoy suddenly looked—finally, he understood how severe this scenario was.  You knew him better than anyone else and he was one who preferred to weasel his way out of trouble whenever possible, even if it was at the expense of others.  Including you.

Either way, you’d be taking the fall for this.  You might as well thrust yourself upon the sword and endear yourself to Lockhart, rather than for him to stab you in the back with it and botch it in the process.

“He was going to say that he was glad you’re here to punish me for such a cruel and stupid prank!  I thought making fun of Lockhart’s big-headedness would make for a good laugh after seeing the look on his face, but I realized the error of my actions when he got angry and pointed out to me how wrong I was.”

Professor Flitwick looked between the two of you, looking quite skeptical in spite of your convincing delivery.  “Is that true, Mr. Lockhart?”

Gilderoy actually looked conflicted, the first and only time in your entire time at Hogwarts that you had ever seen him hesitate.  In fact, he looked … wounded?  

“It is, Professor Flitwick.”

“If that’s the story you two want to go with then you,” he said, pointing at you.  “Come with me to the Headmaster’s office.  Mr. Lockhart may return to Ravenclaw Tower immediately, but both of you cost Ravenclaw fifty house points and earned yourselves a week’s worth of detention for sneaking into an off-limits part of the castle.”

You grimaced at the thought of having to go talk with Dumbledore about this, Flitwick’s disappointment was bad enough but the Headmaster’s was far worse.  Something you, unfortunately, knew from experience.

However, you stepped away from your friend and followed the professor, only sparing a glance back at him as you were led away.

He stood there, looking small and dejected against the great expanse of sky that stretched over the tower.


You let out a sigh of relief when the door knocker granted you entrance to the common room.  Without so much as glancing around the room you automatically trudged toward the stairs to head down to your dorm room, that is until you heard someone call your name.

Gilderoy was the sole occupant, as everyone else had retired for the evening, so it was just the two of you.

“How did it go?”

“I lost another hundred house points and got lectured on the significance of the Dark Mark …  However, I don’t think the headmaster entirely bought that I did it.  He asked me like three times if I was sure I was responsible.”

He didn’t seem to register any of it though, he just seemed to stare blankly at you with his brows drawn together as if he was confused about something.

“Gil, are you okay?”

“Did you mean it?  That I’m big-headed, I mean?”

You could only at him for a moment as you processed his question before letting out an incredulous laugh.  “Of course that’s all you waited for to ask me!  Yes, yes, I do.  It’d take someone arrogant and self-absorbed to think only of themselves after their only friend took the fall for their stupidity!”

Guilt quickly extinguished your irritation as you watched his bottom lip quiver and, once again, he looked entirely pathetic.  He swallowed thickly and steadied himself, faking his typical bravado and looking less handsome for it.

“I see.  Well, then, I thank you for what you did and I will spare you the trouble of being friends with someone as arrogant and self-absorbed as I.”

“Gil—”

"Good night.”

And with that, he practically bolted down the stairs, leaving you standing there utterly dumbstruck.


Weeks had passed and you found yourself incredibly lonely.  Yes, he was an arrogant ass at the best of times, but he was your arrogant ass.  And it was far too quiet and normal without him brightening up your day.

He was blatantly avoiding you, opting to sit off by himself in every class you shared and running away from you with his tail between his legs whenever you attempted to approach him.  It didn’t seem like he was going to relent any time soon, which didn’t surprise you given how damn stubborn he was.

At least you had your books for company, but they didn’t soothe the pain of feeling like you lost your only friend.  Perhaps because there was something more to your feelings for him, as much as you wished to deny it.

You had, somehow, come to fancy the superficial fop of a young man.  Perhaps it was because he was the only regular source of positive interaction in your life.  Or perhaps you just genuinely found him charming in his own, weird way.

It took his absence for you to finally accept the feelings you had harbored for years.

And so, that was how you found yourself seated in the bleachers of the Quidditch pitch for your first time in your Hogwarts career.  As often as Gilderoy had begged you to come cheer him on as he played Seeker for the Ravenclaw team, you could never bring yourself to attend the games.  They were loud and filled to the brim with people, both things you were not especially fond of.

However, it meant he never would expect you to be in attendance now that you weren’t friends: It was a prime ambush opportunity.

Surprisingly, you found yourself enjoying watching the match.  It just-so-happened to be another Ravenclaw versus Slytherin and Gilderoy zoomed around the pitch with surprising finesse.  You had never realized how skilled with the broom he was, it seemed like there was some substance to his bragging.

The game ended a couple of hours into the match when he managed to grab the Golden Snitch after a fierce race against the other Seeker.  And you found yourself up on your feet, jumping and hollering with the rest of your House at the victory, heart warm with pride at your friend’s success.

Once everyone settled back down and began to evacuate the stands, you made a beeline for the locker rooms.  Strategically, you found a tree to hide behind that Lockhart would have to pass by on his way back to the castle.

You were left waiting there for an astonishingly long time, all the other members of the Ravenclaw team had long since left.  You were starting to wonder if he took some other way back that you weren’t aware of.

Right as you were about to give up hope and leave, Gilderoy came strolling out, hair styled to perfection and dressed to the nines.  Of bloody course that’s why he took so long …

When he got close enough, you took a deep breath to steel your nerves and moved to stand directly in his way.  

He stopped dead in his tracks upon seeing you, hurt quickly.  He looked like he was about to bolt for it.

“I’m sorry, Gil.  Yes, you can be a bit arrogant at times, but I didn’t—I didn’t mean to hurt you over it.  I was just angry.  If it makes you feel any better, I know I’m not a very good friend either.  I realized that today when I watched you play Quidditch after refusing to all this time.
I’m so sorry and I’d like us to do better together going forward.”

“You … watched me play?”

“Yes, and you were just as brilliant as you claimed.”

He seemed to think over your words for a few moments, before giving you a weak smile.  “I suppose that someone as magnanimous as I am can forgive you.  I … may or may not have missed spending time with you.”

“And I missed you too,” you said, unable to prevent yourself from smiling at his own way

For a moment, the two of you just stared at each other for a few moments before you gave into your impulse and rushed over to him, wrapping your arms around him tightly.  You were overjoyed to have your friend back and he seemed to feel the same way as he reciprocated your embrace and pulled you close.

The physical proximity sent your heart into overdrive and you felt your face flush with warmth.  It was really nice and you were enjoying the scent of the cologne he had laid on surprisingly thick.

As if he could read your mind, you heard him ask, “Does this mean I can finally get that Butterbeer date?”

You pulled away from him, heart hammering all the harder from your shock,  “Y-You remember that?”

“Of course, I would never forget something so important!  You never brought it up and you seemed to always change the subject when I tried to bring it up again.”

“Oh.  You were being considerate …”

“Yes, I was!  Quite generous of me, considering how much I fancy you.  However, if you don’t want to, I won’t bring it up again, unless you change your mind in the future, of course.”

“Well, you are quite charming.  So … let’s go enjoy some celebratory Butterbeer.  Together.  On a date.”

Never had you seen him smile so genuinely before as he linked his elbow with your own.  “To Hogsmeade for an unforgettable date, then!”

“To Hogsmeade!” you said, laughing as the two of you headed to the sleepy village, arms linked.

And it certainly was unforgettable, for you, at least.

Chapter Text

The nib of his quill skated across the parchment with practiced ease, flowing cursive letters in black ink forming under its sharp tip.  As Tom finished a line of his Potions essay, he felt someone staring at him.  In a fluid motion, he slipped his quill over and into the inkwell, coating it in a fresh coat of ink as he stole a glance over to see who was admiring him.

His eyes met yours and he watched with amusement as your eyes went wide before you quickly dropped your face down to your book, just a tad too close.  It didn’t stop him from noticing the dark blush that crept up to your ears from being caught.

He stared at you for a few more moments, waiting patiently until you tried to steal another glance at him, only to catch him still staring.  With a devilish half-smile he turned his attention back to his quill, lightly running it against the rim of the well to remove the excess ink.  Before resuming transcribing his essay, cheeky expression still present on his face.

This was a game the two of you had played for around a year, yet you had never spoken to each other before.

Out of the mundane masses that filled the halls of Hogwarts, you were a breath of fresh air.  Witty, ambitious, powerful, and diligent in your studies, you seemed an ideal match for him.  Of course, you were nowhere near to being on his level, but no one was—you were at least different and interesting, though.

But most importantly?  You were of high status and from a pure-blood family—things of which he was not and would be able to make use of.  Marriage was out of the question, of course, but there were ways to go around it while still granting him legitimacy.  

With graduation only a few months away, it seemed like the opportunity to strike was fast approaching.  He had been planning it for months now and—

“She’s out of your league, my Lord,” Mulciber said, sporting an easy-going smile that almost covered up his dry mockery.  Almost.

The remark was enough to tear Tom’s attention away from you, half-smile falling into a perfectly neutral line.  His face was perfectly still for a moment, cleared of all emotion as he bit back his urge to call out his ‘friend’s insolence.

Out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed Avery and Rosier share a look between them, seemingly privy to something that he wasn’t.  He reflexively put on a polite smile, masking the anger starting to well up within him.

“Pardon?”

Thaddeus cocked his head to the side, face suddenly looking all the more hexable as he broke out into a grin.  “I said: She’s out of your league.”

“Ah, yes, because you’re one to talk, Thad.”

“Actually, as a matter of fact, I am,” he said, leaning back in his chair, “You see, I recently received an owl from my pure-blooded parents with good news.  It seems that she and I are to be wed in August—a marriage arranged by our parents.  So, I don’t know how I feel about my lord ogling my fianceé.”

“Well, then you have nothing to worry about, my friend,” Tom said, tone carrying a sharp bite to it despite the pleasant smile he wore.

“Ah, I just assumed that was the case.  After all, we are the best of friends, aren’t we, Riddle?”

“But of course, Thaddeus.”

The two of them locked eyes, pleasant smiles only vaguely concealing their mutual animosity.  Tom was almost impressed, usually Mulciber wasn’t this assertive, at best he typically just let himself be dragged along—perhaps even barking out some witty joke out of discomfort.  This peculiar behavior could only mean one thing: The Mulciber heir cared about you, an alien concept to Tom.

“U-Um, would you be able to answer some questions about the theoretical component of this Potions essay?  I didn’t absorb any of it in Slughorn’s class …” Avery asked in a wavering voice as he fiddled with his glasses.

“I’m afraid I just recalled I need to do some studying for Ancient Runes.  But I’m sure our friend Damien can answer questions you have just fine.”

Before anything else could be said, Tom stood up and all of his books, ink well, and quill went flying into his bag with a mere wave of his hand.  He glanced back to your fiancé following his mundane display of his magical prowess.  The other boy failed to look at him and he couldn’t help but smirk to himself as he strolled out of the library, head held high.

Tom Marvolo Riddle always got what he wanted, the objects of his ambitions were never too lofty.  This one would be a challenge, indeed, but one with an enviable reward that would make things come easier upon graduation.

All he needed was a change of plan to win this game.


Thaddeus Mulciber smiled to himself when he entered the Three Broomsticks to find you already seated at one of the booths.  He made a beeline for you, unwinding the green and silver scarf from around his neck.  As glad as he was to be out of the February cold, it was nothing compared to his eagerness.

“Thanks for agreeing to this date or meeting, whichever you prefer.  I figured it’s about time we talked and I get the part where I have to disappoint you out of the way.”

You let out a small laugh out of politeness, but before you could think of something to reply with, he leaned forward and whispered in a surprisingly grave tone of voice, “You know, you don’t have to laugh at my jokes unless they’re actually funny, which is a rare event, I’m afraid to say.  Best to not act now, lest you bruise my ego by stopping after we say ‘I do.’“

“A fair point, I’ll be sure to keep it in mind,” you whispered back, mimicking his tone, this time with a more genuine smile on your face.

“Well, then,” he started, blue eyes gleaming with curiosity as he leaned back in his chair, “how are you feeling about this whole ‘arranged marriage’ business?  Not too afraid, I hope?”

You snorted.  “Oh, hardly!  You’re the least frightening candidate I could’ve been paired with.  I’m just—I’m really not a fan, though I knew this was going to happen ever since I was a little girl.  No offense to you, of course.  I just … don’t know you.”

“Well, that’s something we can work on over a couple of tankards of Butterbeer, my treat, of course.”

“And a nice helping of chips, I hope.”

“Aha, a lady after my own heart!  Two Butterbeers and an order of chips coming right up,” he said, standing up with a loud scraping of his chair.

You smiled again, already looking more lax than you had when he first spotted you across the pub.  It was a good start and he went up to the counter to make the order with his chest puffed out ever so slightly.

The drinks were poured quickly and, thanks to the help of magic, the chips were quickly sliced and fried before being hovered onto a plate—fresh and golden, cooked to perfection.  He passed the coins to the worker before picking up the plate, balancing it precariously on his right forearm, and grabbing the glasses.

He turned around and—Tom Riddle.  Tom, or rather Lord Voldemort as he insisted he be called, was suddenly at your table and offering his hand to you in a handshake, which you gladly accepted.  A little too gladly, in fact, judging by the pretty blush that was blooming across your face.

That bastard.

Drawing in a deep inhale, he forced his most pleasing smile on his face as he weaved his way through the busy pub and back to your table, balancing the drinks and plate of chips with ease.

“Ah, Thad, what a happy surprise!  I didn’t know you were here, too.  I was just introducing myself, you see,” Tom said, eyes crinkled in their own subtle laughter.

“A happy surprise indeed.  We’re actually here on a date, though I know that’s a novel concept to you, Riddle.”

“You’ve never been on a date before, Tom?” you asked, with such wide, innocent eyes.  The usage of his first name only made Thaddeus’s eyebrow twitch.

“I’m afraid not, I know there are rumors on the subject—but it’s true, I have yet to court anyone.  Unlike Thad, I’m afraid I’m a bit more selective with pursuing members of the fairer sex.  Most likely due to my solitary upbringing at the orphanage, I’ve always been a bit of a loner so it takes someone quite special to catch my attention.”

Your date set the drinks down on the table as he bit his tongue, hands starting to tremble from the rage surging within him at the combination of tactics Tom was using to try and make himself seem charming to you.

“Oh, I’m so sorry about your family, Tom.  But surely someone really caught your fancy?  I’m sure you could have your choice of whoever you wanted,” you asked, clearly eating it all up and making him all the angrier.

“You flatter me.  No, but even if there has been someone, I simply haven’t had time between all my studies, being at the top of the year does have its disadvantages.  Though I’m hoping that’ll change once we graduate.”

“I’m sure it will—”

“—Well, it’s been lovely to see you, Tom,” Thaddeus interrupted before finally taking his seat, practically throwing himself back down upon his chair.  “But I’m sure Rosier or Avery are missing you by now.  Plus, I’d very much like to get back to enjoying my date.”

“Of course,” he said, but instead of leaving, he took your hand and lifted it up to his face, placing a chaste kiss to your knuckles.  “It’s been a pleasure, miss.”

“Um, likewise,” you replied, blush spreading like wildfire as he let your hand go.  Tom shot him a smirk, wicked and decidedly ugly in its sharpness, before turning on his heel and strolling off.

Thaddeus watched him stroll off, jaw clenched as he seethed at the gall it took for Riddle to make such a bold move.  

“So, you two are friends?  I always see you together.”

He let out a bitter laugh as he turned his attention back to you, response coming out a bit too forcefully.  “Unfortunately, but it’s complicated.”

“I see,” you said, quickly focusing your attention onto the table standing between the two of you.

His anger died down some at the sight and an awkward silence settled over you.  He observed you as you grabbed the pewter tankard and took a drink of the Butterbeer, 

“Do you fancy Tom?” he blurted out.

You choked on the drink, your fading blush suddenly exploding as you set the glass down with a loud thunk, some of the sweet liquid splattering onto the table.  “N-No, of course not!”

“Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

“You read Shakespeare?” you asked, quite clearly trying to deflect from the question at hand.

“Well, I am a pure-blood too.  Of course I’ve read all of his works, Muggle and Wizarding, both.  I’m not an uncultured swine, believe it or not.  Though I am certainly no Tom Riddle, speaking of whom,” he said as he leaned back in his chair, elbow resting on the top of its back as his fingers flexed irritably, “you do fancy him, yes?”

“Perhaps … a little,” you said, dropping your gaze back down to the table.  “But so does practically every girl at Hogwarts, he’s 

“I’m aware, but that’s because you really don’t know what he’s like.  I do and I recommend you stay clear of him, I’d rather you not get wrapped up in the same things I am.  I will say that he’s a good friend"—he paused as his nose wrinkled slightly—”well, mostly, so long as you don’t aim for the same things.”

You seemed to ponder his words over for a moment, before looking back at him with furrowed brows (an expression which looked awfully cute on you, he thought).  “It sounds like you’re speaking from experience.”

“Oh, trust me, I am,” he said, taking a swig of his drink.

“What did you two compete over?”

“That’d be you, actually, and it’s an ongoing affair.  Though, I’m afraid I’ve already won, given that we’re to be wed.  He’s fighting a losing battle.”

“Me?” you asked, pointing to yourself, seemingly shocked at the revelation.

“Yes, you.  I’m quite certain that he’s fancied you for a while now, but I imagine he didn’t act on it because he’s just a half-blood.  I can’t imagine any other reason why he’d sleep on pursuing the most charming girl in our year for so bloody long.  I would’ve approached you earlier if I thought I had a shot, but I’m not one to set myself up for failure.”

His heart melted at the smile that blossomed across your lips as he rambled on, it was the loveliest smile he had ever seen in his life.  It was then that he realized he truly had it bad for you, though the ache in his chest told him that it wasn’t returned.

You weren’t smiling because of him, but instead because of Tom.  That could be changed, though.  He’d get you to smile like that because of him, perhaps it wouldn’t happen until long after you were married, maybe not until after you had your first child together.

But it would happen, all he needed was to stay steady and keep his temper in check.


The admission that Tom almost certainly fancied you haunted you for the next few days, eating away at your heart and distracting.  You adored Tom and had for longer than any of your previous crushes, yes, but it was a hopeless match.  Even if he did reciprocate your feelings, your parents would never allow the match.  And you loved and valued your family too highly to be disowned.

It was out of the question.

However, if you didn’t say anything, you were going to go mad.  He was still giving you those lingering looks during your shared classes.  There was never any opportunity to talk with him alone and you didn’t want Thaddeus to know, since he had seemed quite insecure about the situation …

You knew that he frequented the Restricted Section, having pretty much free rein of it after being appointed Head Boy.  So, you got permission to research something generic there for an extra credit Defense Against Dark Arts assignment you didn’t actually plan on doing.

For the past couple of days, you had spent a couple hours of your evening there, flipping through some old books with the help of the Lumos Charm and hoping that Tom would drop by.  However, he hadn’t yet and you were just about ready to give up hope that day when the door to the Restricted Section swung open and shed some light on you.

And there was Tom, the warm light of the library filtering in behind him making him look almost angelic by contrast—the golden hues highlighting the delicate waves of his raven hair and giving him an almost ethereal glow.  He was unbelievably handsome.  Your heart stopped for a moment at the sight before you regained your senses, just thankful that it’d be harder to see your blush once the door was closed.

“Ah, it’s about time you showed up,” you said, ignoring the fluctuating pitch of your voice from nerves as you snapped the book you had been reading shut.  A flick of your wand and the Lumos spell was extinguished through a nonverbal Nox.

The Slytherin paused at the doorway, looking surprised for but a moment before an understanding smile crossed his face.  He let the door shut behind him before striding over to you, tucking his hands behind his back as he did so.  The absence of light from the main library made the narrow corridor of the first aisle grow dim once more, cloaking him in shadow.

The silence that hung between you two was thick with tension, you could practically feel his dark eyes studying you—almost as if you were transparent and he was looking right through you, rather than at you.

“Do you have something you’d like to tell me?  I noticed you’ve been staring me an awful lot lately …” 

“Y-You did?”

“I notice everything,” he said, removing a hand from behind his back to lightly brush against your face as he tucked some stray hair back into its proper place.  How did he even see that in the dim lighting?

You shook your head, knowing better 

“Is it true, then?”

“Is what true?” he asked in a low purr—you could hear the smile in his voice.

“That you, um, fancy me.”

He took a step closer and you instinctively took a step back, coming into contact with the bookshelf behind you.  Your heart thrummed in your chest as he leaned forward, face then only a few inches from your own.  He was so close that you could smell the fresh scent of mint on his breath.  Seconds ticked by as he lingered over you, letting your anticipation simmer into near frustration before finally breaking the tension.

“I do, yes.  But the more important question is: Do you fancy me?”

“I-I do.”

You had said the first part of what you came there to, confessing your feelings and gaining clarity on his own.  However, you still needed to tell him that you couldn’t.  You opened and closed your mouth a few times, hesitating from the combination of his close proximity and the fact that he actually did fancy you.

You didn’t want to turn him away, to ultimately deny these feelings you had.  But you needed to do it and you thought of how your family would be disappointed and how Mulciber would be hurt.  ‘It’s for the best,’ you reminded yourself, and with that thought you regained your ability to speak.

“But—”

Your eyes snapped open wide as he suddenly closed the distance between the two of you and his soft, cool lips were pressed firmly against your own.

Unable to help yourself, your eyes fluttered shut and you moved your lips back against his.  You slipped your dominant hand up to cup the side of his face, while your other arm snaked around his neck.  Tom’s hands came to rest on your hips, long fingers curling into the fabric of your uniform’s skirt as he did so.

One of his hands slid up, dragging along your side—lingering ever so slightly over your breast on its way up—before coming to rest on the back of your neck.  He used its placement to tilt your head back, deepening the kiss and enabling himself to press up against you further, letting you feel more of him as the hard wood of the bookshelf dug into your back.

The increased contact was enough to spark a flame of need within you.  In response, you slipped your hand past his face and tangled it into his hair, using your gentle grip to help control and deepen the kiss further.  

Right when you felt like your lungs were about to burst, he pulled away, but just barely—seemingly.  His lips still brushed against your own, nose bumping against yours, as his hot breath fanned across your face.  It was hard to believe that this was his first time kissing anyone, it felt so—

No.  You needed to stop this, but your arms felt like jelly and your resolve wasn’t all that much better.

“Tom—”

Before you could even get out a word of actual protest, his mouth was on yours again, this time hungrier, needier.  You couldn’t help but let out a low moan in response, melting underneath him once more as you reciprocated it.  This kiss was somehow deeper, at the very least the cool, minty flavor of his mouth tasted all the stronger.

Suddenly, you realized the reason as to why: Your lips were parted and his tongue was in your mouth, fervently gliding along with all the confidence of someone who had already dedicated its details to memory long ago.  Coming back into some semblance of sense, just the wrong kind, you began to run your tongue against his own—slipping it past and into his mouth to do your own exploring.

While he kept one hand on the back of your neck, the other started to really roam.  You arched your back into him as you felt the pads of his fingertips—pleasantly cool against your hot skin—along the dip of your back, slipping down past the waistband of your skirt and underwear before grabbing a handful of your ass.

You were growing so unbearably hot …

Right when you felt like you were about to get some sense of reprieve through more of his touch on your bare skin, his mouth retreated from your own.  You let out a whimper of complaint, only to be silenced by feeling him start to press kisses from the corner of your mouth down to your jawline.

As his lips moved down to your neck, you gladly tilted your head to the side, granting him easy access as he began to press heated open-mouthed kisses against your flesh.  You curled your fingers tighter into his hair, letting out a low moan of his name when his lips brushed against a particularly sensitive part of your skin.  He kissed it again, this time with more force, as he keened his hips into you with notice—shifting just enough as he did so to create some tantalizing friction.

It was then that the perverseness of the situation finally crashed down on you, far too late.

“Stop, please.”

He froze in place, that tantalizing mouth of his still pressed against your neck.  You could feel how tense he suddenly he was, but you didn’t let that sway you as you quickly pulled your hands away from him in order to shove him away.  However, you barely had to push before he stepped back and away from you, but only just barely.

You could still smell the mint of his breath as he loomed over you, reminding you of the lingering taste of him still on your tongue.  But it was the feeling of his eyes drilling into you was unmistakable, even if it was hard to see in the dim lighting.

“We can’t, Tom.”

“But you seemed to enjoy it plenty.”

You bit down on your tongue, unable to deny that charge.  “I-It’s not that I don’t want to, but we can’t.”

“And why not?”

“I’m engaged.”

“But you don’t love him, do you?” he asked, reaching out a hand to cup the side of your face.

You swatted his hand away, knowing all too well that you wouldn’t be able to deny him again.  “I don’t, but I … I can learn to, I think.  I don’t have a choice.”

“Don’t you, though?  I know that I’m only a half-blood, but I am related to the Gaunts through my mother and given my intelligence and charm, surely—”

“—No, you don’t understand.  I have to maintain my family’s blood purity, I cannot be with a half-blood.  I’m sorry, but as much as I want to I just—I can’t.”

“But, even then, we could still have something outside of the confines of your marriage.  From my understanding, affairs are quite common among pure-bloods forced into the confines of arranged marriages.”

You stared at him, actually considering his words for a moment as you remembered the way his touch felt.  However, you couldn’t and you knew as much.

“No.  My house is too honorable for such a thing, my parents would never be able to look at me if they learned of an affair.  I’m sorry, but this—us—can’t happen.”

Before he could say anything further to try and tempt you, you pushed past him and bolted for the exit of the Restricted Section.  He didn’t try to stop you and you didn’t look back as you made your way out, heart already aching plenty at the prospect of leaving him alone in the dark.

You didn’t even care to stop and fix your appearance, despite knowing that Tom messed you up plenty.  All you cared about at that moment was getting back to your room and curling up in your bed to cry this out.

To finally have the one you had admired from afar for so long in your grasp, only to have to let him go due to your circumstance was beyond cruel.


Tom’s eyes glowed dangerously red in the warm candlelight, dark eyes transfixed on where you and Mulciber were engaged in your first dance.  You were the picture of beauty and your groom the picture of happiness, the latter being a truly disgusting sight.  

He sipped on the red wine he was nursing, trying to wash away the bitter taste of defeat.  As temporary as it would undoubtedly be, it was still a repulsive, unnatural thing.

He didn’t lose anything to anyone—

“Riddle, would you care to dance?” asked a former Slytherin woman, already quite tipsy, who just so happened to also be a pure-blood.  He glanced to the dance floor and saw that now other couples were starting to join the newlywed couple there.

His eyes flickered back to her her for a moment before his lips curled into what was undoubtedly a charming smile.  However, he was nothing but repulsed at the notion of so much as touching the slightly older woman, of whom he remembered to be quite dense and weak of constitution due to inbreeding.

“Nothing would delight me more, my dear,” he said, accepting her hand and placing a light kiss onto her knuckles, as he had done with you not so long ago.  His disdain was masked as flawlessly as always, judging by the way she giggled like an imbecile.

His eyes met yours as he led her onto the floor and he watched as your eyes crumple up with pain.  It was brief, but as he turned to rest a hand on his dance partner’s waist, he wondered if you still recalled the way he kissed you.  How often did you think back to his failed attempt at a persuasion tactic?

As he began to waltz with his new opportunity, as insipid as she may have been, he caught your eyes again—this time it was more drawn out and melancholic.  Mulciber glanced over to see who you were looking at, his smile instantly faltered upon making eye contact with Tom.

Upon being caught, the half-blood returned his attention back to the woman in his arms, who had been babbling about something banal all the while.  He let out a low chuckle or nodded when it was correct to do so, playing his part to begin winning over her heart.

Yet his smile was genuine, as he couldn’t help but ponder if you’d be imagining that it’d be him caressing you that night.  Perhaps, you’d even moan his name by accident?  It filled him with a sadistic sense of delight, knowing that you still seemed to want him, not your husband.

No one denied Lord Voldemort and lived to tell the tale, but that would all come in due time with ample suffering, of course.

Chapter Text

With a soft pop, you Apparated back into the main room of the flat you shared with Tom after a busy day with work.  You had managed to get off early and were just excited to return home to be with your love on his day off.

It wasn’t until you were sliding your work bag off of your shoulder and onto the ground that you looked over to Tom’s armchair to see him sitting there.  He was sitting poised, taking a deep drink from one of your teacups.

Upon seeing you, however, he was quick to carefully set the teacup back down on the table and—

Thud.

Blood.  Your eyes snapped open as you realized that what Tom—your beloved Tom—had been drinking looked like blood.  His lips were stained red, just like the edge of the tea cup, and some of the dark red liquid was trailing down from the corner of his perfect lips to his chin.

“You’re home early, my pet,” Tom said and punctuated it with a closed mouth smile, as if nothing at all was out of the ordinary.

Silence was his answer.  Your eyes darted between the teacup on the coffee table and your significant other.  Mind too busy occupied by wondering if you were just hallucinating this macabre vision.  

That isn’t how blood worked, yes?  And Tom wasn’t a vampire, right?  So, then you had to be imaging it, surely?

He waved a hand and the teacup vanished, likely back into the cupboard and pristine once more, just as how it should’ve been.  Under your transfixed stare, he grabbed the napkin that had rested beside the teacup and dabbed away the blood that had dribbled down his chin.  

When you still remained silent, he shifted in his seat and concern blossomed across his face, as if he was only just now realizing that something was unusual.  

Though when he spoke, his voice was just as soft as ever, “Is something the matter?  You’re behaving strangely.”

You could only continue to gawk at him for a while longer until, finally, your voice returned.  “Is that—Is that blood?

He tilted his head to the side, regarding you silently with what felt like great care.  So great that you could’ve sworn his dark eyes were peering directly into the darkest depths of your very soul.

“Indeed, it is,” he said before beckoning you with an index finger.  “Now come here.”

You felt your heart stop for a brief moment as your blood ran cold from his blatant admission.  Shaking your head, you took a step back toward the door.  “No!  Why are you—”

“Come here and I shall explain,” he said, running a hand through his wavy black hair.  “You have nothing to fear from me, though I was hoping to keep this a secret so as to avoid causing you discomfort.”

Your eyes flickered between his to try and read if there was something underlying you were missing, perhaps a lie to detect.  However, your apprehension started to melt away upon seeing the way his eyebrows knitted together—looking genuinely upset.

Please.

His apparent sincerity was enough to win you over and you crossed the small room against your better judgment.  As you stopped just shy of him, you watched as his shoulders relaxed and he gestured with his right hand for you to take a seat on his lap.  It was uncommon for the two of you to sit like that, typically reserved for nights where he was in the mood to be physically affectionate.

After another moment of hesitation, you sat down across his lap and automatically wrapped your arms around his neck.  All the while, you kept your eyes focused on the collar of his casual black robes.  Not his face and especially not on his lips.

“Thank you.  Now, you know of my, largely, intellectual curiosity in regard to the Dark Arts, yes?”

You nodded.

“Well, I learned of a very obscure, taboo branch of magic that involves consuming Magical blood—pure, of course—as a means of enhancing one’s own magical abilities.  It is only taboo because of baseless societal misgivings, linking it to the extreme of cannibalism and linking it to actual vampires.  In reality, blood can be collected safely and consensual manner—no violence, no danger.”

As he spoke, his hand began to rub up and down your back in long, comforting strokes.  When combined with the warm timbre of his voice, you found yourself relaxing as your initial fear began to ebb away under your unwavering trust of Tom.  Yet, there were still some things that bothered you that he had yet to address.

“Okay, but how did you get it?  Aren’t there still diseases you have to worry about?”

“No, Rosier is my donor, we have a system in place to both withdraw blood at responsible intervals and insure the blood’s longevity after it’s been collected—keeping it safe consume until the right day.  It’s all perfectly safe, I assure you.”

“Well, even then, doesn’t it taste bad?  Like those nasty blood lollipops from Honeydukes,” you trailed off, face scrunching up at the memory of how awful the one you tried on a dare tasted.

“It’s different, in fact, I’ve become quite fond of it, perhaps too much so,” he said before tucking a long finger under your chin and tilting your face up to look at him.  “I can give you a taste, if you’d like?”

His face was so close to yours and your breath caught in your throat from just how handsome he was.  Truly, he looked as if he had walked straight out of a virtuosic oil painting, even with the crimson of blood smeared across his pale lips.  When combined with the sudden suggestiveness of his tone, you were left feeling light-headed.

Perhaps that’s why you didn’t outright deny the offer.  Or, perhaps, you were simply curious.

Regardless, you nodded in your dazed state and Tom was quick to claim your lips as his own.  Your eyes fluttered shut as you moved your lips against his, only a vague metallic flavor betrayed the fact that this was no ordinary kiss.  It wasn’t until Tom expertly slipped his tongue into your mouth that the full lingering flavor of the blood flooded your senses.  

Sliding a hand up, you tangled it into his silky hair before tilting your head in order to deepen the kiss and allowing your tongue to meet his and slide back into his mouth.  You could feel him smirk into the kiss and his hands begin to wander lower and lower …

Yes, when combined with his flavor, you found that this was a taste you, too, could acquire.

Chapter Text

Today was the big day: The Hufflepuff versus Gryffindor Quidditch match.  It was one that could have serious repercussions for the House Cup, enabling Gryffindor to pull ahead of Slytherin.  However, with Charlie as Gryffindor’s Seeker, their success was nigh but guaranteed.

After you finished breakfast, you began the long trek to the Quidditch pitch with your duffel bag that contained your Quidditch gear slung over your shoulder.  As you were about to leave the castle, the opposing team’s Seeker caught up with you before falling into step at your side.

“Hey, good luck today,” Charlie said, before a cheeky smile broke out across his face.  “You’ll need it.”

“Considering that you could fly laps around our Seeker if you wanted to?  Yeah, probably, but we’ll still try our hardest.  Hufflepuff doesn’t go down without a proper fight!” you said, playfully scrunching up your face in a dramatically over competitive expression as you shook your fist at him.

He let out a small laugh, brown eyes crinkling from the smile that lit up his face. “That’s true.  If I don’t catch the Snitch today we’ll definitely be in trouble.”

“Because our Chasers are vastly superior to yours?”

“I thought that went without saying.  Though I was referring to you in particular.”

“Oh.”

You felt your face flush with warmth as the two of you continued walking on in silence.  If Charlie felt awkward in the slightest, you couldn’t tell, when you spared some glances over at him, he just looked lost in his own head—either on plays for the upcoming game or on dragons (like always).  All you knew was that you definitely felt mildly awkward, but in a good way.

“Hey, what do you say we make a friendly wager?” Charlie spoke up after the two of you were almost to the locker rooms.

“About what?”

“About who will treat the other to celebratory Butterbeer following the match.  If that’d be something you’d be interested in doing, of course.”

Your heart skipped a beat, even though you knew he likely meant it as just friends.  “Of course, I would.  So I take it that I’ll pay if Gryffindor wins and if Hufflepuff does, you will?”

“Precisely.”

“Well, why not?  Guess that’ll only give me more incentive to score as many goals as I can.”

“Fantastic.  I’ll meet you at the Three Broomsticks after the match, then?”

“Sounds good to me.”

You smiled as you headed into the locker room, butterflies fluttering in your stomach from more than just nerves now.

image

The game proved to be nail-bitingly close.  While it was true that the Hufflepuff Chasers were able to outdo both the Gryffindor Chasers and Keeper, the problem came in with their Beaters.  They rivaled the Slytherin pair in terms of aggressive play style, making the game quite hazardous for the members of the Hufflepuff team.

If it weren’t for them, you probably would’ve scored enough goals to make the game lean decisively toward Hufflepuff, but alas, such was not the case.

Both the Seekers had spotted the Golden Snitch and the chase was on.   And you were doing well enough, given the obstacles in your way.  Things seemed to be going okay for both you and Charlie.

At least, that seemed to be the case until a Bludger came out of nowhere to hit you in the shoulder as you were nearing the Gryffindor goal hoops with a Quaffle in hand.  While the padding of your protective gear was enough to prevent your shoulder from getting dislocated, the force was enough to knock you from your broom.

A gasp tore through the crowd as you tumbled to the side.

Thanks to the time you had dedicated honing your reflexes, you were able to grasp onto your broom with your free hand—dangling perilously from your broomstick.  Your heart lurched itself into your throat, heart pounding in your ears as the realization of just how high up you were sunk into your gut.

Your gloved hand and arm strained as you tried to pull yourself up using just the one arm, unwilling to drop the Quaffle unless you absolutely had to.  Thankfully, the Hufflepuff Beaters were doing what they could to keep the Gryffindor ones off of you as you desperately tried to reclaim your broomstick.

You heard Charlie call out your name and you quickly glanced over, only to see that he had stopped his broom.  While you couldn’t see his expression thanks to the distance and his goggles—he definitely looked paler than usual.  And when combined with the tone of his voice, you knew he was concerned.

Meanwhile, your team’s Seeker zoomed past him, too laser focused on the Snitch with their hand outstretched to have noticed the accident.  

Charlie’s concern was all it took to give you the push you needed as you managed to barely pull yourself up and back onto the broomstick, albeit a bit clumsily.  You let out a heavy sigh of relief as you settled back on your broom in proper form, hands trembling as you gripped your broomstick.

“You good?” one of the Beaters shouted at you over the applause of the audience.

You were momentarily distracted by seeing Charlie hesitate for a moment more before zooming after your team’s Seeker, going faster than you had ever seen him go before.

“Yeah!  I’m fine, now go!”

They gave you a nod and zoomed to the other side of the field, where your fellow Chaser was getting held back by the Gryffindor Beaters’ onslaught.

However, before they could even get very far, the whistle of the referee blew.  Charlie had resumed the hunt for the Snitch too little, too late as the announcer yelled out: “HUFFLEPUFF WINS!

Your Seeker grinned triumphantly as they held the Snitch to the crowd, chest heaving from the amount of energy they had exerted in the hunt for the Snitch.

And the Hufflepuff and Slytherin stands went wild, cheering for Hufflepuff’s victory.  Your other teammates all flew over to the Seeker, yelling and whooping at their successful capturing of the Snitch.

Yet you hovered where you had gotten back onto your broom, Quaffle still tucked under your arm.  It didn’t feel like a win for you as you watched the way Charlie’s face crumpled.  

Rather, it felt like a terrible loss that was all your fault.

image

Following the Hufflepuff victory, you split off from your team in favor to go wait for Charlie at the Three Broomsticks.  Mood souring as you sat at your usual corner booth, waiting and only hoping that Charlie was still going to show up.

Even though it felt like an eternity thanks to the ticking of the pub’s grandfather clock, he did show up only a few moments later than you.

“Are you okay?” you both asked in unison.

The two of you blinked at each other, surprised by the synchronised question.  Charlie took the free side of the booth as he squinted his eyes in confusion.  “Why wouldn’t I be okay?  You’re the one who got knocked off their bloody broom.”

“Well, I didn’t actually fall.  I’d say that’s more minor than coming close to winning for my team, only to get distracted at the worst moment … by me.”

Your shoulders sagged as you stared down at the table, guilt welling up in the pit of your stomach.

“It’s not your fault.  I gave them a stern talking to about being more careful

You glanced back up at him, your expression mirroring his own in terms of confusion.  “But they were just doing their job …  It’s my fault for not having a more secure grip on my broom, I think.  Shouldn’t you be pleased that they did what they were supposed to?”

A blush crept across his freckled cheeks and he shifted uncomfortably in his chair.  “Well, I just … I didn’t want you to get hurt.”

“You were that worried about me?”

“Of course I was!  Because you’re my …”

You tilted your head to the side as you watched him trail off, averting his gaze down to the table.  While you couldn’t see his face anymore, his ears were turning a brilliant shade of red—the result of his blush spreading.  You waited for him to finish, but the clock only kept ticking on.

“Charlie—”

“—Do you like me?”

“Pardon me?” you asked, heart suddenly pounding like a kick drum in your chest.  “Like a friend, or …?”

“The ‘or’ one.”

“I, um, I do, yes.  But, um, do you?  Like me back, I mean?”

You watched as much of the tension in his shoulders seemed to fade and he looked up at you with the softest, warmest smile you had ever seen in your life.  Never would you have imagined that Charlie Weasley would actually feel the same way about you.

“I—I think so.  I’ve been confused about it for a while since feelings are … tricky, very tricky.  But after seeing you almost fall like that, well, it made me realize just—just how important you are to me and that I really do want to be something other than just friends with you.
I was honestly about to fly over and catch you if you lost your grip, I wasn’t even thinking about the Snitch …”

As he spoke, you felt your heart melt as you lost your ability to form words due to how overwhelmed you were by sheer happiness.  If you hadn’t almost fallen off your broom earlier, you would’ve been convinced that this was nothing more than a dream.

He waited patiently for you to speak and after a few ticks of the clock, you finally found your voice once more as you grinned at him.  “So, uh, I guess we can consider this our first date, then?”

“I think so.”

“You still have to buy though, since that was the deal we struck,” you said, scooting closer to the corner of the booth, intentionally sliding your hand close to him in the hopes that he’d pick up on what you were hinting at.

His brown eyes darted between your moving hand and your eyes before you saw his spark with understanding.

“That’s fair,” he replied and slipped his hand under the table to gently take your own.

He waved Madam Rosmerta over with his free hand, smile breaking into a broad grin as his warm, callused hand enveloped yours.

Butterflies filled your stomach as you gave his hand a gentle squeeze, finally able to bask in the pleasant glow of victory.  Just of a different type than Quidditch.

Chapter Text

Tom adjusted the cuff of the black button up dress shirt as he took a sharp turn down a narrow alley, just wanting to find a covert place to Disapparate after the client he was supposed to visit wasn’t home.  

He hated having to travel to the homes of Wizards and Witches who shamed themselves by living among Muggles, but it was a part of his job.  But to be stood up by one, especially at the end of his shift?  It made his blood boil.

His thoughts were disturbed by the sight of a large man, dressed in dirty Muggle clothing, leaning against one of the alley’s walls as he took a deep drag from a cigarette.  Tom only spared him a cursory glance as he walked past, lip curling from distaste.

“Where are you goin’, mister?”

The Wizard continued on, eyes still focused straight ahead as he pretended to have not heard the Muggle address him.  It wasn’t worth his time.

“Tom, come over here, mate.”

He stopped at the sound of his birth name, only to understand when another man, broader and plainer, stepped out of the shadows from an offshoot of the alley just ahead.  The Muggle came to a stop in front of him, arms crossed over his chest.

Tom.  What a pathetic, ordinary name.  But it fit the common Muggle man well enough.

He clenched his jaw, staring down the other Tom.  “Get out of my way.”

The two Muggles laughed at his command.

The man in front of him gave him a once over before saying, “And what’re you gonna do ‘bout it, rich boy?  Bet a light breeze could knock a beanpole like you over.  Just fork over the money and we’ll let ya go.  Real simple.”

Riddle felt his blood pressure rise as the man behind him chuckled.

“Hardly.  I’ve got no money to give you, so you’d best get out of my way,” he spat.

“We’ll just have to see whether that’s true or not, now won’t we?” the Muggle Tom said as he took a step forward.

As Tom reached for his wand, ready to incapacitate these scum and Obliviate them, hurried footsteps rushed toward him from behind.  He had barely registered it when something came down onto his skull.  Hard.  

And his vision went black.


It hurt.  Everything hurt.

He winced as he forced his eyes open, vision slowly coming back into focus as he blinked.  Immediately, he moved to push himself up and onto his elbows, breath coming out haggard from the effort.

His senses were dulled, mind muddled with confusion as it reached to recall what had just happened.

Warm, red drops trickled down from a gash that had formed along his scalp.  Quickly dripping onto the cobblestone of the alley.  His dark eyes focused on the pool of blood that had formed underneath him—growing with each drop of the precious liquid that was shed.  

Such that was far too valuable to be spilled by those of such filthy, polluted blood.

The memories of what had happened hit him at that thought.  Anger overtook the pain in his system as he forced his head to whip around—searching for the culprits who had done this to him, in spite of the pain.

But the Muggles were long gone.  All he could see was his wallet and wand left in front of him, just out of reach.  With a grunt, he managed to push himself up enough to assume a sitting position.  His ribs seemed to scream at him to stop, yet he did not listen; he could not afford to.  Not while he was out in the open.

After a few moments of adjusting to the pain, he forced himself up and onto his unstable feet.  He stumbled over the few feet to his wand, moving far too slowly lest he risk the abject embarrassment of falling over.

He fell onto his knees in front of them, greedy hands grabbing his wand—long fingers running over it to insure that it hadn’t been harmed while he was out for some unknown amount of time.  Some tension left his pained shoulders upon realizing that it was perfectly fine, yet he continued to shift it between his hands for a few moments longer.

The cool wood felt pleasant against his skin, providing him a much needed reminder of his superiority, though it did little to soothe his maimed pride.  He turned his attention to his wallet after he tucked his wand back into his pocket.

Upon opening it up, he found that everything was left intact—his Wizarding currency likely viewed as being worthless by those scum.  The irony was not lost on him.

It seemed as if they realized he had been telling the truth and then decided to beat him up.  Muggles were such savages, so bestial in the way they carried their violence out. Disgusting.

He would’ve showed them true violence if he hadn’t been knocked out.  Oh, the things he would’ve done for daring to lay so much as a finger on him …

To think that he shared the same birth name as that brute repulsed him, only reinforcing the need to shed his former self and finish his transition into Lord Voldemort.

On that thought, Tom forced himself up onto his feet, spite motivating him as he fished his wand back out and Disapparated out and away from that place, just wanting to return home.


When your love returned, you were dabbling on the parlor piano, trying to parse out the notes from the song that Tom always seemed to play as you waited for him on your day off from St. Mungo’s.

Your ears were trained to pick up on the faint pop of him Apparating into your shared flat, so when you heard it, you jumped up and turned toward him with a broad smile on your face.

It faded immediately upon seeing the state Tom was in, horror and concern replacing your happiness at having your partner return home.  He was barely able to stand upright, the left side of his face was covered in blood, a visible gash was present, and just … so much more.

He looked like a patient that would come stumbling into your workplace, needing treatment following some type of physical assault or accident.  Tom wasn’t the type to get into accidents, which meant that it was the former.  Something that felt like an impossibility.

After your initial shock wore off, you began to rush toward him as concern flooded your system.  “Tom!  What—”

Don’t,” he seethed, nostrils flaring at the mention of his birth name and eyes flashing dangerously as he backed away from you.  He resembled a snake, body taut and prepared to strike at even the slightest provocation.

Your hand stopped dead in your tracks at his rejection, confusion only intensifying by his strange behavior.  That head injury must have been quite severe to have him acting in such a manner.

“I just want to help—”

“—I don’t need your help.  I don’t need anyone’s help.”

The words stung, but you knew them to be true enough, given your unconventional relationship.  Still, he was hurt and you loved him.  Healing spells were your literal line of work, it was your duty to help.

Taking a deep breath, you decided to press the matter and stepped forward, “You look like you were in some type of violent Quidditch accident, you look like you need help.”

“No, I’m fine.”

“You’re not—”

“I’m.  Fine!” he hissed, the veins along his hand popping up from just how much force he was using to press down on the gash on top of his head.  

His features seemed to contort in his fury, he looked strange and ugly, utterly unlike the man you had come to love.  It took everything you had not to flinch and shrink back.

Without another word, he hobbled away from you and down the short hall and into your bedroom.  The door slammed shut behind him and the lack slid into place with a resounding click.  

After taking a couple of minutes to plot out your course of action, you headed down the hall and tried opening the door, only to find that it was still locked.  With a small sigh, you pulled out your wand and tried Alohomora before trying the door again.

But the door didn’t budge, it was still locked.  With a heavy sigh through your nose, you knocked on the door to get his attention, if you messing with the door hadn’t already.

“Can you let me in?”

Silence.

“… My Lord?”

Still nothing.

You bit your bottom lip in worry as you began to try any spell you could think of to try and counter what was, undoubtedly, one of Tom’s own creations.  But nothing worked and you remained locked out of your own bedroom while your partner remained injured inside.


 

A few hours passed while you were effectively locked out of your own bedroom.  Granted, that was for no lack of trying on your end: You had tried a few times to get Tom to respond to you or, better yet, open the door.  And yet it was still sealed shut by some mysterious spell.

Upon giving up on finding a way in, you passed the time by sitting curled up on the couch, knees tucked under your chin as you anxiously waited.  Hoping that your plan would go over well and that you’d be able to tend to his wounds properly …

While he was adept at healing magic, just like he was with seemingly every branch, he wasn’t a trained expert—there was only so much he could do, pride be damned.

Finally, you heard a clicking from the bedroom door and it swing open with its familiar creak.  Without a moment to waste, you leapt onto your feet and rushed down the hall and into the bedroom.

You let out a sigh of relief upon seeing him laying there on the bed, over the covers and still in his Muggle disguise.  His body was tense as he was laid out on his side of the bed, hands folded over his waist, head turned to look at you.  This was a presentation, you had no doubt that he had most likely been curled up in the fetal position as he tried to sleep off what he couldn’t heal.

Granted, he definitely did look somewhat better, with the more obvious wounds having been healed up by his own hand.  However, his body language betrayed that he was still in a great deal of pain.

“Finally letting me in our bedroom, are we?” you asked, doing your best to cover your concern with humor.

The corners of his lips quirked upwards in the faintest suggestion of a smile as he turned his face away from you, opting to stare up at the ceiling instead.  

His voice was still cold and clipped as he said, “I wanted to apologize for lashing out at you as I did.  That was unbecoming of me.”

You were under the impression that he didn’t truly mean it, at least not in the way it was presented, though there seemed to be a lot going on in his head at the moment.  Undoubtedly tied to how he got into such a sorry state to begin with.  He was a proud man and you knew that his pride had taken just as severe of a beating as his body.

Needless to say, it was something you could overlook, especially since you rarely ever caught him being insincere with you.  Out of everyone, you were quite certain that the only person who truly saw him for how he was.

That thought only intensified your drive to help him and you could only cross your fingers, hoping that your plan to maneuver around that damn pride of his would work.  

After taking a moment to think, you said, “Well, you did receive some sort of trauma to your head.  I’ve seen far worse reactions than that one.  Speaking of which … I’d like to perform an examination and tend to anything.  I’m sure you’ve healed the worst of it, my Lord, but I can tend to all of the remaining ones: Please, let me serve you.”

“… Very well.”

Even with the note of reluctance in his voice, he at least sounded more like himself and that brought you some comfort, just glad that your plan had actually worked.  You crossed the small room and crawled onto the bed with your wand drawn, ready to set to work.

It took a great deal of time and you had to help him undress, since the most pronounced damage was in his ribs—they were severely bruised, potentially with some light fractures, from some type of blunt trauma.  As if he had been kicked repeatedly.

The thought made your stomach churn, but you worked diligently, trying to not get too distracted by his bared skin.  You caught Tom smirking at you after a moment of distraction, not wanting to give him any further satisfaction you continued on with your work, face flushed with warmth.

Once everything was adequately healed up and you were certain he wasn’t concussed, you flopped down onto your half of the bed—thankful to finally lay down and that you were off tomorrow.

“I’ll get you a potion to help with your ribs tomorrow, though I hope they’re less painful now.”

“They are.”

“Good.”

Silence hung over the two of you and you opted to take the opportunity to cuddle up to him, being careful to avoid disrupting his ribs in the process.  Your heart ached with a subtle rage, upset that Tom—of all people—had been abused in such a heinous way.  

“I hope you know that you’re better than whoever or whatever did this to you.”

He let out a low chuckle and draped an arm around you.  “I know, pet.  Trust me, I know …”

Between the comfort of being in your own bed and the sound of his heartbeat, you shortly found yourself drifting off to sleep—leaving Tom to his own thoughts, eyes staring coldly at the ceiling as he continued to plot his revenge.

Chapter Text

Quidditch wasn’t really your thing.  The stands were loud and crowded, plus the game itself wasn’t something you were especially well versed in.  While you wanted to support your dearest friend and long-time crush, Charlie Weasley, you preferred to do so in other and (in your opinion) more direct ways.

And so, you had yet to go go any Quidditch game during your time at Hogwarts.  All you knew of it came from Charlie and your other friends who were more Quidditch forward.

In fact, Quidditch was perhaps the farthest thing from your mind as you trudged back through the foggy Hogwarts grounds, returning to the castle following your Care of Magical Creatures class.

You heard Charlie call out your name from behind, which took you off guard, you stopped in your tracks in order to wait for him to catch up.  Normally he stayed behind to ask Professor Kettleburn questions, most often about dragons or how to pursue a career in Dragonology.  

It didn’t take long for him to catch up and you were quick to get moving again, walking side by side.  

“You’re coming back up to the castle awful early.”

“Yeah, well, there’s something more important I want to do right now.”

“More important than quizzing the professor on dragons, hm?” you asked more to yourself than him, but as soon as the words left your mouth Quidditch finally popped back into your mind.  “Ah, it’s got to be about the big Gryffindor versus Slytherin Quidditch match tomorrow, right?”

He grinned at you, face lighting up with enthusiasm and making for a sight that made your heart melt.  “Precisely!  I wasn’t sure if you’d forget … or something.”

“Charlie, I would never forget, since it’s so important to you.  I just don’t go to the matches.  I was going to wait to wish you good luck until tomorrow.”

There was a small pause as his grin faltered and he was quick to turn his face back toward the front, focusing his attention on the castle that was looming in the near distance.

“It’s, um, it’s actually about that.”

“About me waiting to wish you good luck?”

“No—I mean—thank you, but I meant the ‘not going to matches’ part.”

“Oh,” was all you managed to say, feeling more than a little foolish as warmth began to creep across your face.

If Charlie noticed your embarrassment when he glanced back over to you, he didn’t show it as he pressed on.

“So, would you come to this match?  For me.  I know it’s not really your thing, but it’d just … it’d mean a lot to me, if you could for this one.”

You wanted to agree immediately, in fact, you planned on doing so; however, the surprised words that came flying out of your mouth instead: “It would?”

“Yes, it would.  I feel like I could do anything with you cheering me on, really.  Which would I think I’m going to need for this one.  I don’t mean to impose or anything, you don’t have to, but I just … I wanted to at least ask.”

Perhaps it was just your imagination, but there seemed to be a slight red spreading across his freckled cheeks—undoubtedly matching your own blush.  You stared at him in silence for perhaps a moment too long as you tried to discern if your mind was just playing a trick on you or not and promptly snapped your attention back in front of you and cleared your throat.

“Well, I don’t think you have much to worry about, since I know you’re the best Seeker any team has.  Buuut, I think I can,”—you looked back to him with a small smile—“For you.”

He returned your smile, shoulders visibly relaxing.  “Thank you.”

He was definitely blushing.  You just didn’t know what to make of it.  Nor did you have the time to, since a certain pink haired mutual friend of yours came bounding over from the training grounds with a bright smile.  The strange, slightly awkward atmosphere between the two of you instantly dissipated with the addition of Tonks’ presence.

“Wotcher guys!  I was hoping to bump into one of you.” 

“Well, at least you didn’t do it literally this time,” Charlie said, jokingly.

Tonks’ smile grew into a grin as she fell into step next to you.  “Hey now, I don’t bump into people, Weasley, I knock them over.  You know that better than anyone else, I think.”

“Unfortunately.”

The conversation flowed freely from there, filled with light-hearted banter, as the three of you made your way down to the Great Hall together for dinner.  However, you found that your mind kept continually wandering back to Charlie’s words and how cute he looked when he blushed.


 

It was … surprisingly fun.  The match itself was quite close, up until the Golden Snitch was spotted, at least.  Slytherin was pulling out all the stops with their cunningly brilliant (and occasionally underhanded) tactics, while Gryffindor largely relied on brute flying skill and offense to get them by.

Perhaps you didn’t mind the loudness too terribly for once since you were being just as loud, doing your best to cheer Charlie on.  Of course, the odds of him catching you cheering for him were slim to none, but it was the principle of it that mattered.

Snitch was spotted, a blur of crimson and gold robes zoomed toward it—green and silver followed suit shortly thereafter.  

It proved to be a nail-bitingly tight race: The Slytherin had a faster broom, but Charlie was the superior flier in terms of skill and had a head start, equalling things out.

However, it looked like the Slytherin Seeker was just about to be able to reach forward and snag it.  That was until the Snitch flitted about in a bizarre corkscrew-like motion, shooting upwards and in a general trajectory to the left.

Charlie was able to predict the movement and followed suit, performing a complicated trick move on his broom—you could only watch in awe.  The Slytherin Seeker was left to trail behind at a greater distance than ever before, unable to recreate the same pattern of movement as he just shot straight upwards.

Silence fell over the crowd, seemingly holding a collective breath, as he reached out.  His fingers wrapped around the Snitch and—

GRYFFINDOR WINS!

The crowd was sent into a frenzy of applause and cheering and you were no exception.  

You found yourself hopping down the steps to get back to solid ground.  Charlie must be awfully happy with how the match turned out, you thought.  

And that made you awfully happy.

Given the fantastic victory and the minor injuries sustained by the Gryffindor Quidditch team, you knew you’d have to wait by the locker rooms and shout a quick ‘Congratulations!’ as the team paraded their way back to the dorms.  But still, you wanted to make sure that he knew you actually watched the match, since it was unlikely that he spotted you during the game itself.

However, you were surprised to find that Charlie seemed to be waiting for you.  Well, at least you hoped he was.  He was standing near the exits from your House’s portion of the stands, after all.  Not to mention that he was there by himself, standing proudly in his crimson and gold accented Quidditch robes, broom still in hand.  

His brown eyes were scanning the crowd, but they were quick to lock onto you and his grin only grew as he did.  So he was waiting for you.

Your heart squeezed from a crushing sense of happiness in your chest, but you wasted no time in running toward him and engulfing him in a tight hug.  Not caring one bit of the large crowd of people still filtering out around you.

“You were brilliant, Charlie!”

He let out a warm, rolling chuckle as he wrapped his arms back around you.  “Thank you.” 

The hug lingered for, perhaps, a few moments longer than it should’ve, but it was the type of magical, all encompassing hug that neither party seemed to be able to bring themselves to end.  Finally, you were able to force yourself to let go of him first, face feeling as if it were aflame as you did so.

You coughed and looked down to the ground, not entirely certain of what to do or say following that.  Thankfully, you didn’t have to worry for too long, as Charlie broke the silence for you.

“Say, would you like to accompany me on a victory lap around the pitch?  It’s still quite crowded down here.”

The question was enough to force you to look back up at him with wide-eyed surprise.  “Really?”

“Really.”

You thought over the offer for only a moment before your surprise melted into a mildly teasing smile.  “Just so long as you don’t pull any of those broom tricks while I’m on it with you.”

“As tempting as it’ll be, I’ll try not to.”

The mischievous light in his eyes suggested that you still weren’t entirely safe from any maneuvers, but how could you pass up on the offer?

“Then … let’s go.”

With that, he let his broom and you quickly got on behind him, wrapping your arms tightly around his waist.  Most people moved to steer clear as the two of you took off and Charlie was careful to avoid the rest.

Soon, you found yourself soaring through the air at a surprising speed as you.  The combination of your close proximity and the wind whipping about the two of you was enough to get your heart pounding.  Even though it was Charlie’s victory, you still felt indescribable elation.

Which of you whooped first, you weren’t entirely certain, but before you knew it the both of you were hollering and laughing.  Just basking in the pure delight of your victory laps around the now empty Quidditch pitch.

However, much to your surprise, he eventually slowed down and veered off from around the edge of the pitch to come to a stop in the middle—hovering high above the green grass below.  The position was a bit awkward for talking, so you didn’t mind much that Charlie kept himself facing forward and didn’t crane his neck around to face you as he talked.

“But really … thank you.  Given the way that Snitch moved today, I may or may not be convinced that you’re my good luck charm.”

You let out a small laugh at that.  “That’s doubtful.  I have rotten luck, you know.  Don’t see how I could bring anyone else good luck.”

“Well, I think you’re lucky to me.  And there’s only one way to test it … if you wouldn’t mind coming to more games in the future, anyways.”

“I wouldn’t mind at all.  I really did have a great time today, watching you made me really happy.”

There was a beat of silence and you were afraid that you had said something a bit too far.

“I’m glad,” he said, his genuine tone was enough to set your mind at ease.

To you, that seemed to be the crux of why you were currently hovering only Merlin knows how many feet.  However, he lingered there and you felt him grow tense.

“Charlie?”

“There’s, um, actually something else I wanted to ask you.”

He turned his face around and you and you were surprised to see that his thick brows were drawn together by concern.  

“What is it?  You know you can always ask me anything.”

“I know,” he said, though his smile was still concernedly anemic.  “I’m just … I’m not really good at this sort of thing.  I didn’t even think I was capable of feeling this way, so I have no clue what I’m doing.  But I promised myself that I’d ask you if you showed up to this match and we won.”

His cryptic rambling only confused you, yet you still felt butterflies flitter in your stomach out of anticipation.  “Okay …?”

“Would you like to go to Hogsmeade together?  As a date, not as friends.  If you want to just be friends, that’s fine too.  We can go as friends, too.  I still don’t—”

As adorable as his flustered rambling may have been, you cut him off by leaning up and pressing your lips against his in a chaste kiss, albeit a slightly awkward one due to the angle his face was at.  You were unable to stand seeing the usually confident Weasley squirm under the anxiety of something new and intangible, especially when you did feel the same.

You smiled at him when you pulled away, opting to tighten your arms around him instead.  “I’d love to.”

“Brilliant,” he said, both sounding and looking mildly dazed following the kiss before a broad grin broke out across his face.  “How about we go for one more lap before heading out, then?”

You laughed, “That sounds perfect.”

The final lap was all the sweeter as the two of you celebrated in a more mutual form of victory.

Chapter Text

Fred found himself on a solo mission early during their fifth year, stealthing around the castle just before curfew as he kept an eye out for Filch and Mrs. Norris.  The goal?  To sneak into the Prefects’ bathroom and replace the soap with frog spawn soap following an argument with his older brother, Percy.

The bathroom should’ve been empty at that time, but he could’ve sworn he heard some sort of muffled … singing?  He thought it just had to be his mind playing a trick on him.

“Sandalwood,” he said and the door swung open.  

As soon as it did, he realized that it wasn’t in his head as your voice pierced the air of the large bathroom.  You were singing as you combed through your damp hair in front of the grand mirror, having already changed into your pajamas.

Your voice was the most beautiful thing that he had ever heard.  It was strangely ethereal in its richness and echoed unnaturally throughout the room.  Even though he was running a covert mission, he just stood there for several moments—just utterly enchanted by the sound.

He didn’t even realize when he had started walking, but he eventually found himself approaching you in some sort of stupor.

It wasn’t until he was almost right behind you that you shrieked and dropped your comb, startled by the sudden appearance of somebody behind you in the reflection.  As soon as you stopped singing, he was freed from the trance-like state he had entered and was left blinking rapidly as he stared at you.

“You’re not supposed to be here, Weasley!” you shouted, eyes wild with panic.

“Well, you’re not either—given that it’s almost curfew,” he paused for a moment before his brows knit together.  “What are you doing in here so late?  Can’t imagine you were just holding a little concert for yourself in here.  Brilliant voice you’ve got there, by the way.”

Your face prominently flushed as you turned your gaze downcast to focus on the ground.  “Um, thank you …”

The fact that you didn’t deny his jab struck him as odd.  “Wait—You were here just to sing, then?  Really?”

“Yes, because it’s the only place I can.”

That only made him more confused, considering how heavenly your voice was.

“I’m pretty sure you could join the Frog Choir.  Or Muggle Music.  Or any of the other music clubs, for that matter.  With a voice like yours, I can’t imagine you’d be turned away.”

“No, it’s not—it’s not that simple, Fred.”

He was mildly impressed that you were so certain that it was him, you had likely noticed that he was the more daring of the two.  He did stupid things both on his own and with George, but George was less likely to pull pranks like this on his own.  However, his curiosity was the most intense feeling right then.

“And why not?”

“Well, I suppose you’d figure it out sooner or later …  My mum’s a Siren, which is why my voice is the way it is.  I can’t really sing anywhere else because it would give me away as a half breed.  We’re not viewed especially well by our society, you know …”

His chin slipped forward as his eyebrows shot up, mind immediately going toward the implications of how you came to exist.  "Wait—Wait a minute.  You’re telling me … that your mum … is a fish?”

The siren in the nearby portrait grumbled at him in the strange-sounding Siren dialect of Mermish.  While he didn’t understand a lick of what she said, he could tell that she was right mad at him.

“Sorry,” he murmured toward the portrait, not entirely meaning it, before you could start stringing together your own response.

“I—No!” you said, whipping your increasingly red face upwards to make direct eye contact with him.  “She’s more than that, even if most of Wizarding society doesn’t get that …  My mum’s just as smart as any ordinary human, she’s just got a tail and an inhuman voice.”

His brown eyes softened with understanding and he shifted the weight of the box tucked under his arm since it was starting to get uncomfortable.  He didn’t think any less of you for your heritage, it was just a touch bit surprising, is all.  You were still his favorite Prefect, whatever your mom was didn’t matter to him.

“Does that mean you’re a good swimmer, as well then?  You wouldn’t happen to have scales?  Gills?  Maybe even the ability to transform into a mermaid once every full moon?”

“No, it’s just the voice.  I’m half-siren, not a bloody werewolf,” you said, worried expression melting into a small smile.

“Oh, well, that’s quite boring, then, isn’t it?  Though I guess it explains why you’re so beautiful.”

“For your information, I could lure you to your death, if I so wanted to.  It’s hardly boring,” you said, pointedly ignoring his flirtation as you gestured with your comb to his box, though the blush that crept up to your ears still gave you away.  “But as to what’s actually boring, what’s that tucked under your arm?”

Ouch.

“Just some frog spawn soap.  Want to get back at my pompous prat of a brother and figured I might as well annoy the other Prefects too, while I’m at it.”

You shook your head and let out a heavy sigh.  “You’re unbelievable.”

“That, I am!  Gotta give you Prefects some trouble, it’s important to keep you all on your toes.”

“But I do hope you know that I’m not going to let you replace all the soap, right?”

“I kind of figured.  You also want me to keep you being a half-fish a secret too, yeah?”

“Half … half siren.”

“Same difference,” he said with a shrug before flashing you a cheeky grin.  “But I will only do so on one condition.”

“And what’s that?”

“That you sing to me again, just preferably not in order to lead me to my death,” he paused for effect as he tried .  “Maybe, even on a date?  Never dated a half-mermaid before.”

“You’ve never dated anyone before.”

“Only to your knowledge.”

You rolled your eyes at him, but a small smile worked its way across your face regardless.  “I suppose I wouldn’t mind singing to you on a date.”

He grinned, his whole face lighting up at your agreement to his impromptu invitation to go out with him.  “Great!  We can talk about the details over breakfast tomorrow then?  If you don’t mind sitting with the troublemakers over the infinitely more boring Gryffindor Prefects.  We probably don’t want to stay here much longer, Filch will be here soon enough on his patrol.”

“That sounds like a plan to me, Weasley.”

The two of you headed to the Gryffindor common room, being careful to keep an eye out for Filch and Mrs. Norris.  You shortly made it back to the Fat Lady and gave her the password before stepping into the Gryffindor common room and retreating to your rooms—only exchanging a cursory good night.

He set the box of frog spawn soap on the floor before kicking it under his bed.

“And where have you been, Fred?” his twin spoke up from the neighboring bed.

“The prefects’ bathroom.  Getting a date, actually.”

“You got a date?  At the Prefects’ bathroom?  Just now?  With who?” George asked, sitting up in bed with eyes wide with surprise.

“I did!  Just now.  And you’ll see who at breakfast tomorrow,” Fred replied as he quickly undressed himself and changed into his pajamas.

“You’ve got to be pulling my leg …”

“Not at all!” he said with a devious grin as he flopped onto his bed.  “But good night, I need to get some beauty sleep in order to prepare for planning my date tomorrow.”

“Right.  Good night.”

As he stared up at the red velvet canopy, he couldn’t help but smile to himself as he began to brainstorm date ideas in his head.

Chapter Text

It was a bleak December day when you found yourself in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, just looking for something to lift your spirits as you dreaded returning to Hogwarts.  It was just … wrong, since Hogwarts was your second home, after all.

You had to admit that the Pygmy Puffs were an excellent distraction and you were really starting to consider getting one.  They were colorful, cute, and so very soft.  Their care was also minimal and it’d be easy enough to hide one in your dorm room, it wasn’t like any of your dorm mates would rat you out, anyways.

“You know, you look awfully familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on it …”

Upon glancing up, you found yourself face to face with one of the shop’s owners, presumably Fred, standing there with a flirtatious smile on his face.  You could feel a blush creep across your cheeks from the attention.

You may or may not have had a tiny crush on Fred and admired him from afar back before he graduated.

“Well, that’d be because our time at Hogwarts overlapped, Fred.”

He leaned an elbow against the enclosure, leaning against it.  “What year were you, then?”

Since he didn’t correct you, you took it to mean that you were, most likely, talking to Fred rather than George.

“Well, I’m in the same as your brother Ron’s, actually.  Or … was, may be more correct.  Since he’s absent and all.  By the way,” you continued and finished by giving him your name.

His eyebrows shot up as he gave you a once over, incredulity obvious on his face, animatedly overdramatic.  “You’re Ron’s age?  Could’ve fooled me.”

You let out a laugh and gave a small shrug.  “I get that a lot.”

“What, that you don’t look the same age as my baby brother?”

“Well, I didn’t say ‘exactly,’ now did I?” you fired right back, challenging his quick wit.

Fred grinned, warm brown eyes crinkling most handsomely with delight.  

“Fair point.”

The two of you simply shared a smile for a moment, both seemingly enjoying the energy going on between the two of you.  Fred broke the spell by glancing over to the small, colorful creatures huddled together in the display.

“So, you’re considering getting one of these little guys?” he asked, scooping up a bright magenta Puff.  A remarkably cute one, at that.

“I am, yeah,” you said, but trailed off as he began to toss the tiny creature from hand to hand, a bit too roughly for your tastes.  “Do they enjoy that?  Or am I witnessing an instance of creature cruelty right now?”

“Yes, they don’t mind being tossed about at all—they actually seem to enjoy it, within reason, anyways.  Kinda like children, in that regard.”

You pursed your lips as you raised an eyebrow at him.  “You throw children around in your free time, do you?”

“No comment,” he said as his grin turned awfully wicked.

“Well,” you started, unable to repress your own devious smile, “I suppose it’d explain a lot if Ron was one of your victims.”

Fred laughed, the kind of boisterous laughter that demands one to throw their head back.  You couldn’t help but feel proud, smile growing as you basked in your accomplishment.

When the burst of laughter was over, his warm smile returned as he gave you a reverential nod, “It really would, wouldn’t it?  But I’ve got to say, you’ve got a sense of humor.  Shame you’re Ron’s age.”

“Well, I am of age and graduating in a few months, plus I know how to Apparate.  Two years doesn’t make that much of a difference, you know.  In fact, I could probably beat you in a duel.”

His face scrunched up when you listed off the final point.  “Oh, now, I don’t buy that at all.”

“What?  Do you want to duel to see who’s right?”

“To be honest, I’d really rather take you out to lunch, if you’d like.  It’s about time for my break, anyways.  Don’t think George would mind if I take off a bit early.”

You blinked a couple of times, taken aback by the smooth suggestion.  “I’d like that a lot, actually.”

“Brilliant!  Let’s ring you up so we can head out.”

“Wait,” you said, narrowing your eyes at him.  “Do you do this for customers who you want to get to buy things?”

He winked at you.  “Only for the most witty and attractive ones.”

You only pursed your lips once again in response, clearly not buying it whatsoever.

“I’m joking.  The Puffs sell themselves, really, so there’d be no point.  Besides, it hardly makes sense from a business perspective for me to regularly treat people to lunch to get them to buy things.  I may have red hair, but that doesn’t mean I like to be in the red.”

You relaxed.  “Well, I suppose that makes a fair amount of sense.”

“Glad to hear it.  Now, let’s get you rung up, so we can go eat.”

Fred led you to the cash register and checked you out, putting your little magenta Pygmy Puff in a carrier box.

“Oi, George!” 

“Yeah?” the twin said, head popping over the railing upstairs like a Jack in the Box.

Fred craned his neck to look up at his twin while hooking his elbow with your own.  “Hold down the fort, will ya?  I’ve got myself a lunch date.”

George shook his head, contradicting the encouraging smile on his face.  “Well, go on, then!  It’s not like you don’t already make me do most of the work anyways.”

“We split things evenly.  If anything, I do all the hard work—increasing sales and all using my charm.”

Your lunch date began to lead you out of the shop with that, though George clearly wasn’t done as he snorted.

"That’s rubbish!  Who does the finances?  Oh, that’s right,” he pointed to himself, “I do!”

Fred leaned over to you, playfully tapping on his temple as he whispered, “I actually do them, given my impressive intellect by being the smarter twin and all.”

“I heard that!” George shouted.

“No, you didn’t!” Fred shot back, over his shoulder.

You shook your head with a soft giggle as Fred ushered you out of the shop, the warm jingling of the shop’s bells announcing your departure.  The two of you joked and laughed as you headed to his favorite pub.

And as you did so, you found that your spirits were more than just lifted.  They were soaring.

Chapter Text

The Burrow was filled with the specific brand of chaos associated with the thirty first of August, with all of the children bustling around their rooms upstairs to pack things up.  You and Charlie had popped back to England for a few days to spend with his siblings, the only one absent was Bill—as he was busy with his job in Egypt.

However, it was as you stepped into the cozy living room that you were reminded of a simple fact: not quite everyone was gearing up to go to Hogwarts.  As a light rain pattered at the window panes, the only daughter of the Weasleys was seated on the sofa.

The youngest still had another year till it’d be her turn to go to Hogwarts and you noticed she was looking quite glum as she aimlessly rolled a Quaffle over in her hands.  Her hair was damp, telling you that she had been out in the rain.

It seemed like a prime opportunity for you to get to know her a bit better.  Without any further hesitation, you crossed the room and sunk down beside her on the well-used piece of furniture.

“Hey there, Ginny, it’ll only be a year before it’s your turn, you know!  It’ll be ‘round before you know it.”

She blinked over at you, seemingly unfazed by your smile, “But a year’s too long.  I wanna go now.  It’s not fair that I’ll be the only one left …”

“Well, unfortunately, I can’t speed up time.  However, I can help distract you.”

Her nose scrunched up some.  “It’s raining outside, so we can’t play some one-on-one Quidditch.  I don’t wanna get grounded again already.”

“That’s true.  Which is why I was thinking we do something a bit different,” you said, smiling as she seemed to perk up a bit.

“What’d you have in mind?”

“Do you know how to braid hair by hand, Ginny?”

“Not really.  Mum just braids my hair sometimes,” she trailed off, giving you a small shrug.

“Well, I know a few different styles.  May be nice to practice, since they can come in handy for putting your hair up while playing Quidditch … and may be helpful for making friends in the girl dorms, too.”

She perked up at that and whipped her head around back over to you, her damp, red hair flying about and spattering you with some water in the process.  “Teach me!”

“Gladly.  Let me just dry your hair out, first.  And I’ll show you all the simple ones I know.”

With a flick of your wand, a warm jet of air began to blow out of it and you used it to thoroughly dry her long hair back out until you were satisfied.  With another, you summoned a small, but very simple hand mirror that had been laying on the cadenza.

You handed it to her and she turned around, using it to watch as you began to braid her hair and walk her through the various steps.


 

The two of you chatted about mostly Quidditch and some about what Hogwarts was really like as you took turns explaining to her as you demonstrated it to her and then letting her practice on you.  After teaching her the few simple styles you knew, you were finishing up by braiding her hair up in a more complex for fun to let her wear for the remainder of the day.

It was only then that she decided to bust out a question that had, seemingly, been weighing on her mind for some time.

“Why’re you dating Charlie, anyways?  I thought he only cared about dragons and Quidditch, I didn’t even realize you were dating until you told everyone.”

You let out a small laugh as you finished up the braid.  “Well, that’s something we have in common, actually.  I’ve never met anyone else who is just as passionate about their interests as I am, so we really bonded over it.  And things just kinda progressed from there.”

She let out a small hum in response, seemingly thinking it over a bit too much.  

“Why?  Do you not like that I’m dating him?”

“No, I like you,” Ginny said, shaking her head. “Just didn’t get how you ended up with him.”

“Well, that makes the two of us,” said Charlie, exiting the kitchen as he used his wand to two cups of tea toward where you were on the couch, his other hand holding his own cup.

Ginny opted to non-verbally communicate her annoyance at her brother eavesdropping through the classic move of sticking her tongue out at him.  Though she gladly accepted the cup and took a healthy gulp of it.

“How much of that did you overhear?” you asked, raising an eyebrow at him while the cup and saucer floated into your hands.

“Enough,” he admitted, with a sheepish smile as he sat down on Ginny’s other side, effectively sandwiching her between the two of you.

“I didn’t know you were such an eavesdropper,  Charlie,” you said, teasingly.

His face flushed pink, though his brown eyes were soft as he looked down into his cup of tea.  “No, I was just, well … happy to hear the two of you getting on so well.  And I didn’t want to ruin the moment, or anything.”

You could only smile at him as your heart overflowed with adoration.  His family was incredibly important to him, so you knew that he very much meant it.

“Ew, gross,” Ginny said with her nose so scrunched up with such intensity that her eyes were almost shut.

Charlie snorted as the sentimental moment was brought to a swift end and ruffled her hair, opting to change the subject.  “Hey, you can braid my hair now, though.

“Sure!  If mum doesn’t chop it off tonight, anyways,” Ginny said before hopping up onto her feet, setting her half-drunk cup of tea on the coffee table.  “I’m gonna go check and see if Fred and George need any help.”

He went ashen at the reminder and opted to take a long sip of his tea, watching her take up off the stairs.  You only scooted over and gave his knee a gentle squeeze in a show of support, knowing that no compliments about how nice he looked with short, choppy hair would bring him any solace.

There was a loud thumping from upstairs as the twins laughed, Ginny let out a squeal (either of delight or rage, you couldn’t tell), and Percy shouted something about being ‘quiet.’  Molly’s loud voice carried clearly down the stairs, tone sharp from scolding. 

Between that and the sounds of the rain, you found yourself feeling quite cozy curled up at your boyfriend’s side and enjoying a warm cup of tea—made just how you like it.

Yes, you were home.

Chapter Text

  • The two of you likely start dating in a fairly conventional way.  As a fairly well-connected and popular student, he heard some rumors that you fancied him.  Which he had a hard time believing at first because he had fancied you for some time before that.  It seemed almost too good to be true, really.
    • Once he does accept that it’s likely, though, he’ll end up finding a moment when you’re on your own and just straightforwardly ask you out on a date to Hogsmeade.
    • If you make the move first, the odds are good that it’ll end up being a situation where you two end up asking the other out.
  • For dates, he’s not picky at all!  He tends to seize initiative for planning, but he always tries to come up with ideas based around your tastes.  All he really cares about is spending time with you, really.
    • If he’d have to choose, though, his favorite dates would probably involve being able to just talk and enjoy your company fully.
      • Like enjoying a picnic in the countryside near his home on a nice summer day, with the sun shining and your laughter mingling with the sound of the nature surrounding you.
      • Or going on a light-hearted walk around St. James’s Park and doing some bird watching whilst holding hands, perhaps even doing poor imitations of some of the honking geese around there.
  • Affection is something he’s very fond of, though he’ll really adapt to your needs in the relationship.  From touch averse to very fond of PDA, he’s got no issues in matching what you need from him.
    • If he’d have to choose his favorite form of casual affection, it’d probably be handholding.
      • His two favorite ways of holding your hands are either to have your fingers fully interlocked with his or a one-finger hand hold (specifically, the pinky finger—he is weak for it and will grin like an idiot the whole time).
    • Expect forehead kisses (or nose kisses, depending on your height) followed by a chaste peck on the lips as an expression of gratitude.
    • Cedric is huge on cuddling.  He loves it and can cuddle all day with you and be perfectly content.
      • Prefers to be the big spoon, so he likes keeping you safe and secure, along with just being able to bury his face in your hair.
    • Snogging is also, unsurprisingly, something that he’s very much on board for.  He loves the feeling of kissing you, it’s absolutely lovely to him.
      • Tends to favor running his fingers through your hair or cupping the side of your face whenever you kiss.
      • Cedric is weak for having you run your fingers through his hair, especially if you drag them along his scalp.  That’s the fastest way to making the kiss go from being more chaste and innocent to heated.
    • But if you’re shier or more touch averse, he’ll always be sure to ask for consent before being affectionate toward you.  It’s one of the little things he does to show that he cares and respects your boundaries.
  • Really, he tends to grin and smile more around you than with anyone else and it’s always genuine.  Your presence just makes him happy, every time without fail.
    • While he’s an amazing student, he does find himself distracted in classes you have together.  You’ll often be able to catch him staring at you and smiling.
    • He’s also more talkative with you than most, though he’s still not the most talkative person around.  Cedric’s just very concise and to the point a large chunk of the time.
      • However, he feels like the two of you can talk about just about anything and he loves listening to your voice, so he does prefer listening due to that alone.
      • Is quite fond of bantering with you, he’s not the most humorous fellow around, but the two of you are a couple with a lot of inside jokes.
  • He absolutely loves it when you come to Quidditch games and support him.  After the two of you become serious, your support is right up there in importance with his parents’.
    • He’ll always let you borrow his Hufflepuff scarf and any sweaters, especially if you’re not a fellow ‘Puff.  He’ll even let you keep them for as long as you want, so long as he at least has some left in his closet.
    • After Hufflepuff victories, he’ll often politely leave team celebrations early in order to celebrate in private with you.
    • Following losses (especially if he feels responsible), he’ll take comfort in just spending time with you and maybe sharing some sweets.
  • Cedric is, really, not one to argue too severely in relationships.  He is the king of compromise and is absolutely phenomenal at validating your feelings and making sure like you’re feeling like you’re being heard.  Communication is one of his strong suits, which is ideal for a relationship.
    • However, if you’re engaging in some less than fantastic behavior, like cheating or bullying, you’re going to have some more serious problems.
    • Things are going to be more serious and you’ll have a thorough dialogue about it—with him expressing his opinion and why he has issues with what you’re doing.  Will at least warn you if it’s against school code and give you a chance to improve before he invokes his Prefect duties (both of which are unpleasant for him).
      • It isn’t a lecture, but it really feels like one since he’s extremely fair and the disappointment is palpable.  It’s perhaps even worse than arguing, since you really feel like you’ve let him down.
    • If you’re upset with him, he may withdraw for a while, primarily because he doesn’t want to make things worse.  
      • He’ll give you as much space as you need, though after a while he’ll start checking in and trying to open up communication again to mend things.
      • Giving him the cold shoulder really hurts him, especially if you shoot down any attempts to talk.  And he’ll be fairly open about that with you during the mending process.
    • Is absolutely the type of boyfriend to bring you apology flowers, along with some of your favorite sweets.
  • Overall, Cedric is an incredibly loyal, mature, and considerate boyfriend who does his best to be respectful and caring for you.  He’s not perfect, but he always learns from his mistakes and does better.

With a Slytherin S/O:

  • Fair is one of the best words to describe Cedric, he truly embodies that element of his House.  As such, he took absolutely no issue with you being from the House with the darkest reputation.
    • You’re you and he has the sense to judge people’s characters by who they are, not what other people from their House are like.
    • Slytherin also has many positive attributes and he’s able to see them in you, which is a large reason as to how he came to fancy you to begin with, actually.
    • Absolutely does not care what other people think of him dating a Slytherin, either, for that matter.  If people are judgmental of you, then that says something about their character—not yours.
      • Will always politely stand up for you and other Slytherins if someone puts your house down.
  • Cedric is hardly unambitious himself, but your ambition really helps give him that extra push and motivate him.  It’s probably one of the things he admires most about you, especially since it’s what really pushes him to do better, himself.
    • However, if your ambition is occasionally tempered with some ruthlessness and self-preservation aspects, do expect to engage in some philosophical discussions about ethics.
      • He’s nothing but fair in considering your points, but he’s pretty dedicated to his ideals and moral sensibilities.  
      • It’s a large part of what forms the foundation of his pride, and he just doesn’t want his relationship to put him in an uncomfortable position where he feels like he has to choose.
    • So, expect there to be some tension in the relationship over it, the extent depends on your willingness to listen to his side of things and make some changes.
  • The two of you have little, good natured competitions on a regular basis.  With some prizes to be won for the victor.
    • If you’re in the same class, you’ll see who can out-score the other on an exam, for example.
    • The prizes tend to come in the form of extra affection or who pays for the other’s Butterbeer or tea on the next date.
    • Do be warned that he is an exceptionally hard worker, so he doesn’t make things easy for you!  But the challenge is really what makes it fun for the both of you.
  • If you’re on the Slytherin Quidditch team, the competition gets amped up a little bit.
    • However, he’ll cheer on the team (and you especially, of course!) quite ardently when it’s not a Slytherin vs. Hufflepuff match.  He’ll deck himself out in silver and green to show his support.
  • If you’re a fellow Prefect, you’re likely going to end up being paired up to go on patrols together.  Mainly because your synergy is impeccable and the professors believe the two of you are more than able to be mature and responsible.  You are viewed as a power couple by both your peers and the staff.
    • If you’ve got a silver tongue (or really good puppy dog eyes), you may be able to sway him to take a short ‘break’ and sneak into a classroom with you to do some snogging on a slow night.
    • However, Cedric’s got a resolve of steel and he takes his duties as Hufflepuff Prefect quite seriously.  So, you’ll have a hard time getting him to slack off for too long.
  • One thing that would be especially troubling for him is if you associate with the blood purist Slytherins, especially Malfoy and his crew.  He’d very much disapprove of that and voice his concerns to you.
    • He regards them as unfair bullies and he doesn’t want you getting wrapped up in such a mean crowd.  He’s mainly worried that you’ll get dragged into trouble … or worse.

Chapter Text

  • Thaddeus really takes an interest in you first, since you get stuck with him as your Potions partner during your fourth year.  However, that was only the first time you really spoke, he had already noted you as someone interesting earlier based on what he’d heard from peers.
    • Thaddeus is neither the best nor worst Potions partner, he’s perfectly average at the subject and helpful enough.
    • However, he was undeniably charming, every class he managed to make you laugh at least once.  Sometimes at his own expense, but most often at the expense of others.
      • His intelligence lays in the realm of wit and socialization, you realize that his charm is actually quite calculated and that he’s not as simple as he seems.  It’s intriguing.  He’s intriguing.
    • And from there, he starts popping up around you more often, occasionally joining you for lunch or sitting at your table when you’re studying in the library.
      • He has the sense to know when you do and don’t want to talk, simply studying in silence on days when you just want to work.  It seems to you that he just enjoys your company … and he does.
    • It’s the little things that add up and, by the time your sixth year rolls around, you find yourself as good friends.  
      • Though there’s definitely an underlying tension between the two of you and always has been.  Lingering looks, slightly flirtatious lines of banter, subtle touches, and invitations to spend your time at Hogsmeade together.  
        • The boy’s just subtle enough to make you question if he’s just being friendly or if there truly is something more behind his actions.
      • Thaddeus is impressively well-connected for his age and you find yourself able to take full advantage of it to find resources for the Dark Arts.  He ‘knows a guy’ through his family for just about everything you could want.
  • Tom is slower, though Thaddeus never shuts up about you due to his pathetic little crush.  Outside of that, all he really knew about you was that you were the second best student when it came to the Dark Arts, the only one who ever came close to rivaling top scores.  However, that wasn’t enough to intrigue him.
    • No, it wasn’t until he caught you in the Restricted Section during his sixth year that you succeeded on that count.
      • You were in a corner of books that he knew to be especially dark and dangerous.
      • Yet you didn’t panic, instead you keep a cool head and try and come up with an excuse for why you were there without a permission slip.  It was almost believable.
    • Instead of turning you in to score some additional brownie points with Slughorn, something sorely needed following his recent Horcrux conversation, he talks with you.
      • And you see a side of Tom, who you always viewed as the picture perfect Prefect, that you didn’t know.  One that seldom few currently did.  
      • You find that he was just like you: enthralled by the Dark Arts, not caring so much about the defence part.
    • The two of you stand close and whisper, talking about books you’ve read and dark spells you’ve learned about.
    • Most importantly, you actually knew some things that he didn’t.  
      • Something that leaves a lingering flavor of bitter distaste on his tongue, but intrigue stirs in his mind regardless.  
      • You’re not competition, of course, how could you be?  But you aredifferent, a curiosity.  After all, you’re like him, at least, to an extent.  More so than anyone else at Hogwarts.
    • From there, he takes to starting to sit with you in certain classes, perhaps even sitting with you at lunch from time to time.  
      • Tom holds back none of his charm, doing his best to work his spell on you.  All the while, he’s sizing you up and appraising your potential worth, whether or not you’d make a worthy addition to his Knights of Walpurgis.
    • Most importantly, he helps you slip into the Restricted Section from time to time—with each of you helping the other find whatever it is the other’s looking for.
      • Two sets of eyes are better than one when it comes to finding things in the Restricted Section, so you definitely have a use to him while at Hogwarts.
  • The Chess Match.  Of course, Tom knows of Thaddeus’s crush on you.  He didn’t need his Legilimency to piece that together, even if he can’t fully grasp those feelings.  However, that doesn’t deter him in the slightest from pursuing you.
    • Tom decided that he wanted you.  After all, what better way to keep you wrapped around his finger, loyal to him alone, and submissive to his wants than by courting you?  It’d allow him to shape your role and sharpen you into what he wanted from a follower.  
      • You had potential to be terrible yet great and he wasn’t going to squander it.
    • Unfortunately for Thaddeus, Tom has the upper hand in terms of intelligence.  He’s playing Wizarding chess, while Mulciber is playing Muggle’s checkers.
  • Tom feigns ignorance of it though, growing closer to you and continuing to draw you in with his magnetic charm—though he does so slowly, trying to make it seem unintentional and natural.  
    • So, even though Thad knows, it’d surely be cruel to deny you of the person who’d make you the happiest, right?
      • Otherwise, he may lose the support of the Mulciber family, which would be a greater cost than you’re likely worth.
    • Additionally, he does rather enjoy seeing the subtle upset expressions Thaddeus gets whenever the two of you are together.
  • Not only that, but Tom’s also quite good at stealthily ruining almost anything Thaddeus tries to do with you.  He always just seems to be at the right place at the right time.
    • In fact, he enjoys being flagrantly back-handed toward the other Slytherin at times, though in a way that you wouldn’t be able to pick on.  It’s his way of reminding him of his place, along with an subtle exertion of power.
  • Thaddeus isn’t stupid and he gets what Tom’s trying to do, regardless.
    • He scales back his own pursuit, uncertain of the repercussions that will come from pursuing something that his Dark Lord also clearly wants.  The tension’s still there, but it’s even more subtle.
      • The fact that Tom doesn’t directly say anything is, really, more concerning than anything else.  It really leaves the possible punishments to Thaddeus’s imagination, which is precisely what Riddle intended.
    • However, he doesn’t give up.  He doesn’t want to.  He likes you for you and he knows that Tom doesn’t.  Tom’s never really fancied anyone and while he fools him in every other area, you’re the one subject that he doesn’t buy into.
  • This goes on for some time, both of them playing mind games with the other as they pursue you in their own ways.
    • Eventually, the scales likely tip in Tom’s favor due to the way that Thaddeus seemingly retreated.
  • Checkmate.
    • Thaddeus.  
      • Despite Tom’s superior intellect, Thaddeus is in the possession of some important things that Tom doesn’t have.  Inherited wealth, status, and untainted blood.
      • After feeling that Tom gains the upper hand, he finally caves to his emotions, knowing that he loves you more.
        • He pulls some strings and soon, you’re hearing about an arranged marriage to none other than a Thaddeus Mulciber.  An offer that’s too good to pass up, given the Mulciber family’s high status and impressive wealth.
        • He pretends like he had nothing to do with it, convincingly feigning ignorance.
      • Regardless of your feelings toward the arrangement, Thaddeus doesn’t change his behavior toward you and is nothing but patient.
        • Though he can’t help but be somewhat anxious as to what the repercussions will be.
    • Tom.
      • Tom sees right through Thaddeus, of course.  However, while it complicates his plans, there are some good elements along with the bad.
        • It does count as a ‘strike’ and he will be less permissive toward Mulciber’s failings in the future.  He’s officially on thin ice.
      • Affairs are very much a thing, especially among arranged marriages in Pure-blood society, so he’s not going to give up immediately.  You have too much potential as an asset and seduction is something he’s quite skilled at.
        • It’s not like he was ever going to marry you to begin with.  If anything, it gives him another ‘in’ to the Mulciber’s pockets and estate.  Which he won’t complain about.
        • If you always reject him, though?  You’ll be on thin ice, too.  And you shall forever be a tool that will never reach its full potential in his eyes and nothing more.
      • However, if you come to him and seek a way of getting out of the arrangement, he’ll be more than happy to oblige.  Letting you stay at his flat for a time and keep a low profile.
        • The look on Thaddeus’s face when he next sees you at a Death Eater meeting, sitting near the head of the table to young Lord Voldemort’s left was priceless.
  • The Aftermath.  Regardless what outcome your choices lead to, you must continue to earn your safety by obediently following Voldemort and delivering on whatever he commands of you.  You are an asset and a passing curiosity to him, nothing more.  There is no such thing as special treatment among the Order of Death Eaters.
    • However, Thaddeus will always do his best to keep you safe—even if you ultimately rejected him—and will prioritize you above himself.  While he’s a selfish bastard who looks down on most people, you’re his weak spot.
    • Tom knows this and takes full advantage of Thad’s weakness for you.  Especially if you do not accept Tom’s pursuit, then you will be used as a tool to punish Thaddeus.  
      • You’re a waste of potential in his eyes in that scenario, so he might as well draw out some extra use from you.

Chapter Text

Hermione Granger

Your eyes stared at the Potions textbook splayed open in front of you, unable to focus on the tiny text in front of you.  However, you didn’t dare glance over at the most intelligent, amazing witch you had ever known.

Hermione, your best friend and long time crush, was seated next to you, hard at work and (most likely) entirely oblivious as to the effect her presence had on you.  After all, you didn’t even know if she liked other girls and it tormented you.

As you were bogged down in your thoughts, you heard her say something—though your brain didn’t process the words.

“Pardon, what?”

“I asked if everything was all right?  You’ve been staring at that page for at least five minutes now.”

You spared a glance over at her and found your eyes drawn to her lips, lingering there, before sliding up to her eyes.  “Hm?”

Her eyes lit up, as they often did when she solved a difficult problem, and you watched as her face flushed.  Most importantly, her gaze flickered between your lips and your eyes as she leaned in ever-so-closer to you.  It felt as if the two of you were being magnetically drawn closer together.

That was all it took to trigger the impulse to just finally go for it.

Before she could ask you again, you leaned forward and captured her lips in a gentle kiss, heart pounding erratically in your chest.  As she returned it, your eyelids fluttered shut and you savored the feeling of her soft lips on your own.

It was short-lived, however, she quickly pulled away and cleared her throat, face flushed a bright red as she turned back to her work.  Her fingers came up to rest on her lips.  “We’re in the library.  It’s—It’s not proper, Madam Pince has a strict policy against PDA, you know.”

“Right,” you said, distractedly.  “But does that mean we can, um, continue this some other time?  In private?”

She gave you a nod as her blush crept up to her ears and you smiled.  Now you were unable to focus for an entirely different reason.


 

Ginny Weasley

You weaved your way through the crowd, trying to make it to the Quidditch players at its center.  The Gryffindor team had earned a brilliant victory and you had to congratulate your favorite Weasley in person.

The two of you made eye contact and you watched as her smile stretched into a broad grin that lit up her entire face.  Gorgeous.  It was no surprise that she had so many boys hopelessly smitten … and at least one girl, that being you.

For a moment, you forgot to breathe, but quickly recalled after you felt your lungs start to burn out of a need for air.

“Ginny, you were amazing out there!  That was fantastic flying and the way you dodged those Bludgers was just remarkable,” you gushed.  “But, seriously, congrats on the win!  I’m so proud of you.”

You noticed that as you spoke, her eyes seemed to flicker between your mouth and your eyes, distracted.  And instead of saying something, like you anticipated, she grabbed your hands and pulled you through the crowd—people moving aside in her wake.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see,” she said, something suggestive in her tone was enough to set your face aflame.

She led you over to the empty space underneath the Quidditch stands that lined the pitch.  When you came to a stop, she didn’t release your hands and your eyes flickered between her and them.

You noticed her eyes were focused elsewhere: on your lips again.  Ginny leaned in toward you, and you were quick to meet her halfway.

And your lips connected.

She brought a hand up and tangled it into your hair, you rested your own hands along the sides of her face.  It was a dizzying kiss, full of passion and emotion—the type that left you absolutely breathless.

When you pulled apart for air, you blurted out, “I like you.  A lot.”

“I like you a lot, too.”

The two of you just smiled at each other before you leaned in for another kiss, not satisfied with just the one.  Not after pining over her for so long.

Neither of you were.

Chapter Text

You were a regular at the local skating rink and had been for years.  It was a nice place to come to and get some exercise while listening to some quality music.  On that particular day, you were skating around the rink after an especially stressful day at work, just wanting to alleviate the built up stress in some fashion.  It was just you lapping the rink for the time being, the few others were taking a break and chatting.

You weren’t the only regular.  Far from it, in fact.  You knew most of them by name at that point, through sheer virtue of making occasional small talk, but there was one who you didn’t—and made a point of it.  And, for once, that particular individual wasn’t among the throng of your fellow skaters.

Maybe he wouldn’t be showing up that evening.  Now, that was a thought that put a smile on your face.

He was the biggest, most insufferable show-off you had ever seen.  And, perhaps, the most handsome one as well.  With his long, black hair and gorgeous silvery-blue eyes, it wasn’t a surprise that he was popular among many of the other skaters who seemed to fawn over him.  It just made you dislike him all the more, really.  Pinning him down for the obnoxious, self-centered type of attractive individual that must be at the center of attention at all times.

A blur of black and denim blue zoomed past you, one that you’d recognize anywhere.  It was, unfortunately, him.  You fought the urge to roll your eyes back into your skull.  Of course, you weren’t going to catch a break today.

He lapped you twice more and you found yourself speeding up slightly more both times, feeling progressively more conscious about how slow you were going in comparison.

Unfortunately, when he lapped you for the third time (right before you could complete your lap), you moved to pick up your speed further only to lose your balance rounding the curve.

After teetering for a moment, futilely trying to regain a semblance of stability, you slipped backwards and your backside hit the smooth concrete with a dull thud.

Feeling a little more than stupid, but not much physical pain, you permitted yourself to lay there for a moment.  To your surprise, you heard the sound of the stranger’s skates stopped before turning around an approaching you.  

“Need a hand up?  I happen to have two of them.”

You stared at the outstretched hand, actually considering the offer, before looking at the person to whom it was attached.  He was crouched down in front of you, a slight smirk on his punchably attractive face.  

“I’m quite fine, thank you very much.”

With a small huff, you ignored his hand and forced yourself back onto your feet.  You didn’t wait for him to stand back up before resuming your skating, figuring that the interaction was over.

Unfortunately for you, he seemed to think differently.  And you heard him quickly skate back over to you, gliding beside you on his in-lines with a grin on his face—seemingly entirely unbothered by your refusal.

“You come here often, don’t you?”

“I have for a few years now, yes,” you said, feeling the urge to be sarcastic overwhelm you.  “Quite the observant one, I see.”

“And you’re quite the cheeky one,” he said with a low chuckle. “I like it.”

Your face wrinkled up at the note of flirtation in his voice.  “I’d rather you didn’t.”

“What, you don’t want to be liked?”

Glancing away from him, you saw that you were nearing the side with the exits from the rink.  Thank god.

“Well, I’m just fine with how things were, if I’m being perfectly honest.  Nice chatting with you.”

Before he could say anything further, you skated through the open exit and directly toward the nearest bench.  As you sat down, you glanced at him as he skated off, only barely able to catch the smirk on his face as he continued to skate on.

A strange foreboding sense fell over you, and you were quick to head over to the lockers and grab your trainers as you tried to shake it off.


 

A month had passed since your initial contact with him.  And things were quiet.  So quiet, in fact, that he hadn’t been at the rink at the same as you at all—you weren’t even sure if he’d come in at all.

It was a busier evening, there seemed to be some group of primary school kids there to celebrate a birthday, but you paid it no mind.  You were just taking your time and relaxing, coordinating your movements to the beat of the upbeat music.  Just what you needed after yet another boring day of work.

“Sorry for leaving you all on your lonesome for the past month, I’m sure you missed me.”

You closed your eyes for a moment, frustration bubbling up as your sense of peace shattered.  When you opened them, you found him skating beside you, wearing the same smirk he had when you last saw him.

“You’ve got nothing to apologize for, there was nothing to miss.”

The smirk stretched into a grin as he skated around you, getting a comfortable distance away from you before shifting to skate backwards in order to face you.

“Well, it’s time I changed that, isn’t it?  What’s your name?”

You stared at him incredulously, eyes darting around at all the children currently either zooming or stumbling about the rink.  “There are a bunch of kids skating about, so I don’t know if that’s really the safest thing to do …”

“I’m not worried about it.”  He shrugged before repeating, “So, what’s your name?”

You sighed and gave it to him.  “I take it you’re going to give me yours, regardless of whether I ask or not, right?”

“You are correct!  It’s Sirius.”

You stared at him for a moment, taking in the dignified name and the individual it belonged to—the one in a washed out Led Zeppelin shirt, black bell bottoms, and in-line skates that were covered in stickers.  It seemed to fit in a way that you couldn’t quite put your finger on, even if it seemed like it shouldn’t have.

“Your parents named you after a constellation?  Are they astronomers or something?”

“No, I’m sure they’re what someone like you’d consider to be uppity, pretentious people is all.”

The way his smile twitched and the slight bite to his tone told you that there was more to it than just that.

“Right, well, I suppose a dorky name like that suits a dorky guy like you.”

That seemed to brighten the mood back up as he let out a sudden, barking laugh.  You felt your lips quirk upwards on their own accord from its infectious nature.

“Me?  Dorky?  Now that’s a first …  If you think I’m dorky, I can’t imagine what you’d think of my friends.”

“You have friends?  Now, that’s a surprise,” you said, finding yourself breaking out into a full blown smile as you enjoyed the banter.

He shrugged, tilting a head to one side, reminiscent of an intently listening dog.  “I’m quite popular, for the record.  With looks like these, how could I not?”

Riiight,” you said and rolled your eyes.  “That explains why you always seem to be here on your own.”

“Well, I actually have brought them a few times before.  But we’ve been quite busy with some … things, as of late,” he said, smiling fading into a more serious expression. “They think coming here is a bit too frivolous, but I find it relaxing.  Nothing wrong with escaping from reality for a bit, right?”

“… Nothing wrong with it at all,” you said, feeling somewhat surprised by the sudden turn in conversation.  “I come here for the same reason, actually.  Just from work—”

Your eyes went wide as you realized he was about to run into a struggling kid, but before you could say anything—he effortlessly swerved around them, showing that he had been more aware than you were.

Unfortunately, your reaction time wasn’t as quick, though you did at least manage to avoid running into the child.  In the process, you ended up tripping over your clunkier skates and falling forward, bracing your fall with your hands as your knees hit the concrete.  It wasn’t an especially hard fall, at least, since you hadn’t been going all that fast to begin with.

Sirius had continued on, assuming that you’d be able to pass the kid without an issue, but his skates quickly came into view as he.  He crouched down and—just like last time—offered you his hand.

“Want some help up?”

You looked at his hand for a moment before letting out a small sigh and took it in your own.

“Sure.  It is your fault I fell over to begin with, so it’s only fair that you help me up.”

He only grinned and pulled you up with ease, seemingly stronger than he looked.  Most importantly though, was that his hand was pleasantly warm to the touch, his fingers lightly calloused in contrast to the soft skin of his palm.  

The two of you lingered there, your hand still in his as kids skated by, their chatter and laughter fading into the background music.  A strange mixture of feelings welled up inside of you, which mostly consisted of confusion.

The spell of silence was shortly broken as he spoke up.  “That’s the second time you’ve fallen on my watch.  Am I that distracting, hm?”

“You wish you were,” you said with a light laugh and swatted his hand away, eyes darting down briefly to his in-lines.  “Still too dorky for that, I’m afraid.  Just look at those skates.”

And with that, you pushed off and resumed skating.  He did the same, falling into stride beside you once more.

“Hey, what’s wrong with my skates?!”

“They look like they belong to a twelve year old boy.  Which I suppose you probably are on the inside.”

Come on now, it’s an objective fact that stickers make everything better.”

“Says who?”

“Says me.”

The exit to the rink was coming up and you found yourself still feeling a bit strange.  You decided that you’d had quite enough excitement for the evening, you definitely had more to think over than you had when you entered.

“Ah, as riveting as this conversation is, I think that’s my cue to take my leave.  I’ve still got some errands to run tonight.”

He stopped at the rink’s edge and rested his elbows on the red railing in order to lean over it.  “Tragic, but I’ll see you around, then?”

“Probably.  If you don’t take a month to come back, anyways.”

“Don’t plan on repeating that again.  So, I’ll definitely be seeing you soon,” he said, giving you a wink before shoving off and returning to skating.

Your initial distaste returned as you watched him pick up his speed, your confusion only growing by the moment.  Before he could turn around and catch you watching him, you forced yourself to look away and go fetch your things, not wanting to give him any further satisfaction …


 

After another couple of months passed and he was just as much of a regular as before, though this time you knew his name.  And you spoke with him, they were short conversations about your work, what music you liked, and other lighter subjects to get to know one another.

It was … nice.  Very nice, in fact.  It wasn’t supposed to be, but it was, which frustrated you to no end.  If he wasn’t so bloody charming and funny, maybe you would’ve been able to continue on without knowing his name.  

You weren’t supposed to like him, yet you were growing quite certain that you were developing some sort of feelings for him.  The two of you had similar tastes and senses of humor, so even though he was a bit of a show-off … you found that he was far more likable than you initially gave him credit for.

However, something even more important that you had noticed was that he sometimes came in looking worse for wear.  Most often bruises or mysterious bandages, but with each new time you saw him, he just looked progressively more tired and gaunt.  Whatever he and his pals were busy with was taking a toll on him and you couldn’t help but worry that he was involved in something dangerous.

That evening you were skating around, waiting for him to show up since he seemed to be running a bit late compared to usual.  Worry twisted itself in your gut as time continued to tick on by.

Finally, you gave up hope and found yourself pondering if he was going to vanish for a month as you changed back into your regular shoes.  Just as you finished slipping the second one on, a familiar pair of torn, faded jeans and black boots stopped in front of you.

You couldn’t help but smile as you looked up to Sirius’s face, only for it to immediately fall.  His left arm was in a sling and there was some significant bruising along the left side of his face, along with a bandage on his temple.

“Sirius, what the hell happened to you?”

“Oh, it’s nothing,” he said with his signature shrug, though the action made him wince. “Just fell down the stairs, is all.”

It had something to do with whatever he and his friends were involved in, you knew.

“You sure about that?  It looks like they beat you up, rather than you falling down them.”

He gave you a smile, though it didn’t seem to quite reach his eyes.  “Quite sure.”

You found yourself speechless for a few moments, uncertain of what to say next.  It was clear that prying would get you nowhere with him and as concerned as you may have been, you really didn’t want to risk scaring him off.  Changing the topic seemed to be the safest bet.

“You’re not really planning to skate like that though, are you?” 

“No, I’m not.”  He sat down on the bench beside you, faintly grimacing as he did so.  “But I was hoping to run into you before you’d leave.”

“You were?”

The smile finally reached his eyes as he gave a gentle nod.  “Yeah, I just … wanted to talk a bit with you.”

Even with your misgivings about whatever it was he was caught up in, you really couldn’t help yourself.  You just wanted to be there for him and really get to know him on a deeper level.

“Well then, we could go grab a bite to eat at the pub down the street and chat?”

“Are you asking me out on a date?  Because that sounds like a date to me.”

You felt your face flush with heat as you stared down at your lap.  “I only suggested it because I’m hungry … but, um, I guess I am, yeah.”

“Glad to hear it, because if you weren’t going to ask me—I was going to ask you.”

“Why didn’t you just ask me to begin with?”

“I wasn’t sure if you liked me and I really didn’t want to make myself look like even more of an idiot than I currently do,” he paused, smile growing ever-so-slightly. “Besides, I figured I’d get to see you blush more this way.”

He winked at you and you could feel the warmth start to seep up to the tips of your ears.

You playfully smacked him on the right shoulder before standing up.  “Let’s go before I change my mind.”

You grabbed your things before you offered him your left hand to help him up.  He took your hand and you pulled him up, without the same level of ease that he had.  

And the two of you exited the rink, hand in hand.  It marked the beginning of something new and wonderful, albeit short-lived.

Chapter Text

The sun beamed down harshly as you stood in front of the abandoned red-bricked department store, you squinted in the harsh light.  It was strange, you thought, for this particular day to be so normal.  You felt overcast by mingling dread and pain, which was in direct contrast to the weather.

It felt surreal.

Your fingers danced around the silver ring on a chain around your neck as you took a deep breath and stepped through the window, entering the pristine white of the reception room.  Beside the starkly clinical feel of the place, you were quick to notice how crowded the waiting room was.  Some people were forced to stand as they waited due to a lack of chairs.

The unmistakable scent of burning flesh mingled with the acrid scent of blood, underlined by the bitter, earthy scent of healing poultices and potions.

“Welcome to St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries,” said the Welcome Witch, tone matching her dead-eyed look.  “How may I help you today?”

“I’m here to visit a, uh, a friend.  A Mr. Lockhart, to be exact?  Perhaps you know—”

“The receptionist’ll help you.”  She pointed to the front desk, of which you noticed a long queue had formed in front of its sole occupant.  Before you could even open your mouth to thank her, she had already shifted attention to someone who had entered behind you.

You shuffled over and after waiting for what felt like an eternity, were provided with directions to the Janus Thickey Ward by a somewhat more lively receptionist, which wasn’t saying much.  Apparently, that’s where your fiancé was being kept.

The attendant pointed you in the direction of the ward for the long-term patients.  You yanked on the ring as you cautiously followed the directions, feet growing heavier with dread with every single step you took.

Gilderoy had been missing for a week without contacting you before the Headmaster of Hogwarts sent you a rather vague letter on that sunny morning.

You stopped upon seeing the sign ‘JANUS THICKEY WARD’ posted above a door that was currently shut and, seemingly, bolted.  You’d track down a nearby Healer to fill you in on his condition and let you visit with him soon enough, but you needed a moment to compose yourself.

Your mind wandered to what he had been and that of which you had shared together …


 

Rain pattered against the window as you shook your wrist out, the elegant peacock quill still in hand, wincing at how stiff it was from signing book after book.  You glanced over at the pile of still-unsigned copies of Magical Me, somehow seemingly no smaller than when you had started nearly two hours ago.

It was seemingly never-ending.

Back before his fame had blown up (along with his ego, which you hadn’t thought it was possible to inflate any further), he used to sign every book himself as he quite enjoyed signing his name.  However, he preferred to occupy himself with fan mail, opting to only sign at public book-signings.  As his long-time partner, you were the one entrusted to forge his signature, manually signing it on each book to maintain an air of authenticity.

As skilled as you were at it, you did not derive the same pleasure from the activity as Gil did.  In fact, if there was a version of hell that tailored itself to maximize your suffering, you imagined that it would’ve taken the form of signing an infinite pile of books.

You heard the front door open and shut.  Then, “Your knight in shining armor has returned!” followed by some stumbling as he took his shoes off.

A small chuckle escaped you, knowing that he was about as far from a knight as you could get.  Perhaps he looked the part of a Prince Charming, but he was more of a cunning, yet strangely vapid fraud than anything else.  Nonetheless, you persistently loved him.

Footsteps led to the office and you craned your neck to watch as his head popped into the door frame, flashing you one of his genuine smiles.  “Busy at work, I see?”

“Of course.  Someone’s gotta sign all these books to send off to the shops …”

He approached you and clapped his hands over your shoulders, giving them a gracious squeeze.  “Excellent, most excellent!  I truly don’t know what I’d do without you, my dear.  You always work so hard

It was times like this that you wondered if you were an enabler, if things would’ve played out differently if you hadn’t been together since your Hogwarts years.  If you had been absent from his life.  But they were quick to pass, since you doubted it.  

Gilderoy is as Gilderoy was.  

Yet, the words still came out of your mouth of their own volition and you set the vibrant quill down on the table.  “If it were truly up to me, you’d be doing greater things, Gil.  Far greater, because they’d be your own things—true accomplishments.  You have so much more potential than this and you know it …”

His smile faltered, chin going weak as his princely handsomeness abruptly evaporated and he drew his hands away from you and rested them on the back of the chair, instead.

“Well, these are my own things.  And I am perfectly well-accomplished under the current status quo, writing as many best-sellers as I have is no easy feat!”

“Well, they are your words, just not your actions.”

Your logical points rolled off of his mind like droplets of water off wax paper.  “But it’s my words and who I am that people undoubtedly read my magnificent books for.  So, the events I write about are ultimately arbitrary, don’t you think?”

If he were to ever accept the reality surrounding the conditions, so you relented and gave him a weak smile.  “I suppose so.”

His face lit right back up as he returned your smile with a brilliant one of his own, his hands quickly returning to rest on your shoulders.  “Wonderful!  Being on the same page matters immensely to me since, as always, I am ever reliant on your support.  And I will even more with the upcoming school year, since that’ll severely limit my time to sign books and answer fan mail.”

“Of course,” you said, feeling your heart sink at the reminder and you gave your poor neck a break, opting to focus on the pile of books, instead.  “But will I really not be able to see you much at all over the break?”

“I’m afraid not.”  He began to run his hands up and down your arms, voice tender with genuine concern.  “I would hate for you to be the subject of unnecessary rumors.  After all, you showing up to Hogsmeade all the time or me vanishing from the grounds would only raise suspicion.  I don’t believe my fans are ready to accept me having a partner, even one as lovely as you.”

Your fingers came to rest over where your engagement ring was tucked under your shirt on its sterling chain, its gleaming silver feeling pleasantly cool against your skin.

“But we’re still going to be married after the school year’s over, right?  That hasn’t changed?”

“Yes, that’s the plan, as I’m hoping everything will be ready by then.  And if not, we’ll still be able to elope and continue to keep our love a secret between the two of us—truly romantic, don’t you think?”

What you wanted to say was, ‘No, I hate it,’ but, instead, you simply said, “Yes.”

Something must have rung hollow or, perhaps, it was your continued downcast gaze, because your partner removed his hands from your shoulders and stepped to the side of the chair.  Then, he stretched out his arms, looking ready to engulf you in a hug, a stupid grin on his face.  

You look like you need a hug.

Wordlessly, you stood up and wrapped your arms around him, feeling infinitely more secure the moment he enclosed you in his embrace—holding you tightly against himself.  The familiar scent of his cologne (the very same that he had started wearing back when he was sixteen) was most welcome.

While your relationship was anything but easy, you loved him.  You truly did.


 

The last time you spent any substantial amount of time with him in-person was over holiday break, when he was able to slip away from Hogwarts and pop back home.

After returning home from a rare night out, the two of you had curled yourselves up on the sofa in front of the fireplace.  For a time, he had been reading to you a selection of his autobiography, one over his Hogwarts years that you had contributed to by jogging his memory of some of his most interesting exploits. 

However, his book had been set aside some time ago as a contemplative hush fell over the room.  Neither of you wanted the night to end, but the knowledge that it would created a painfully thick tension.

Finally, you broke the silence.  “I don’t want you to go back.  This first semester’s been hard enough, having the house all to myself and a cold bed to come back to …  I can’t imagine what the next’s going to be like.”

“I wish I didn’t have to either, my love, I’d much rather be home with you and working on my next book.  But, we’ll get through this, I promise.”  He pressed a light kiss against the crown of your head.  “Just think of it, in only a few months’ time, I’ll be your husband and we’ll be off across Europe on an amazing honeymoon.  Might even write something for it in my next book … though I imagine it’ll be quite salacious.”

Your face suddenly felt hotter than what the warmth of the fire provided.  “You wouldn’t dare.”

“Aha, you’re blushing,” he said, smiling at you as his blue eyes seemed to scan over your face, drinking the sight in.  “I do so love getting to see your face go all red, just like that.  You used to do it all the time, back when we first started dating.  It was the cutest thing, you know.  Still is, actually.  Shame I rarely get to see it anymore …”

“Well, we’re hardly school children anymore.  But you’re deflecting.  Please tell me you’re joking, Gil.”

He let out a light laugh.  “Have no fear, my dear, I absolutely am.  And if I were to write it …  it’d be for private use only.”  His eyes seemed to darken as he leaned closer, voice dropping to a husky whisper.  “In fact, I believe I could give you a most descriptive demonstration of what I’d write about, if you’d like.”

He stared at you for a moment, basking in what you had just done, before a devilish grin broke across his face and he swept you up into his arms and he carried you to the bedroom.


 

Numbly, you sat down on the edge of his cot, as the Healer’s words echoed through your mind on a perpetual loop.  You noticed that he looked different, disheveled.  This only confirmed that it wasn’t your Gilderoy sitting there.

“Hello,” he said, eyes vacant as he gave you a feeble smile.

“Hello.”

“Do I know you?” asked the man who you had long considered to be the love of your life.

“You did, yes,” you said, voice sounding more like the Welcome Witch’s than your own.  “Do you recognize me?”

He stared at you, blue eyes scrutinizing your face as if he was desperately trying to recall something

He fell back onto the bed and let out a sigh of defeat.  “No.  You’re quite pretty, though.  Are you single?”

“No, I’m afraid I’m already taken,” you said, fingers moving up to roll the silver ring between your fingers once again.

He followed your gaze to the ring, no recognition or understanding reflected in his eyes at the sight of it.  “Oh, okay.  Do you know my name?”

“Gilderoy Lockhart.”

He repeated it to himself, as if he was hearing it for the very first time.  “What a nice name.  It’s nice, isn’t it?”

“Very.”

There was silence as he seemed to think using his fragmented train of thought.

I missed something, didn’t I?

“A great many things.”

“I feel like I’d remember it if it was something important,” he trailed off, losing his train of thought.  Suddenly, he perked up slightly as he said, “Hello.”

Your stomach sank.  The phrase ‘temporary short-term memory loss’ echoed in your mind.  One of the few temporary and more minor of the symptoms he was suffering from and a reminder of how permanent his overall condition was likely to be.

“Hello …?”

“Do I know you?”

“No, I’m afraid not.”

“Oh, okay.  Well, you’re quite—”

Before he could finish the sentence that you knew the end to, you stood up.  That was all you could stomach and you were quick to leave the hospital, tears blurring your vision as you returned home.

‘I’m sorry, but he’s almost certainly never going to remember you.  It’s best to not get your hopes up, dear.’

You went home and drew the blinds in your room, plunging yourself in darkness, before you hastily undid your necklace’s clasp and tossed it into the drawer of your nightstand.  Where it would lay forgotten, collecting dust until it’d be found by the next owner of the drawer.

The picture of the two of you together, smiling and laughing, still hung over the bed as you flopped down onto it and allowed yourself to cry hysterically.  His chapter in your life was at its close, with so many blank pages left untouched.  You wept for what was lost and for the loneliness that would endure going forward, since you were all he had by that point in time.

But Gilderoy isn’t as Gilderoy was, and he was certainly your Gilderoy no longer.  Nor would he ever be again.  

Chapter Text

The damp chill of the November air clung to your skin as you looked out over the impressively large pond of the Mulciber estate, nervously waiting for Tom to finish meeting with his ‘friends’ after the small party.  Its murky water reminded you of the Black Lake, you felt a wistful smile spread across your face as you recalled the simpler years of your youth.

Memories of spending sunny afternoons by its shores with your Hogwarts sweetheart, chatting and reading while basking in his radiant company.  They were picture perfect and—as you now knew—too good to be true.  All perfect lies straight out of a fairy-tale, as was the man himself; albeit of very different types, the former romantic and the latter grim.

Nevertheless, you still loved him.  So much so, that in spite of everything and all of his flaws, you found yourself terrified of losing him.

Subconsciously, you moved your hand to rest over your stomach.  Your hand lingered there for only a moment before you dropped it back to your side the moment you heard a familiar footfall approaching.  

“We can leave now,” said Tom from a few meters away, who came to a stop beside you before continuing, “You know, I believe it would be beneficial for you to start attending the Death Eater meetings.  You belong there, among our friends.”

It wasn’t a suggestion any longer, even if his voice of rich velvet made it seem so.  You didn’t bother looking over to him, you no longer needed to see his expression to recognize that subtle, underlying commanding tension.  The kind that had taken you years to notice.

You only nodded your head in resignation, even though you were opposed to it.  “Of course.”

“Good,” he said, offering you his elbow.  “Then let’s be off, I still have to finish up some important research on an artefact for work tomorrow.”

You stared at his arm, hesitating to take it as you contemplated if you should just break the news to him then and be done with it.  The news had been confirmed for you earlier that day and you were already starting to go mad with anxiety.  It’ll be fine, you thought to yourself.

With that in mind, you nodded to yourself and looked up to make eye contact with him.  “Actually, there’s something very important that I need to tell you.”

His beautiful dark eyes curiously scanned your face.  “Go on, then.”

A deep breath in.  A deep breath out.

“I’m pregnant.”

You expected an immediate reaction.  Most people would be surprised, eyes widening and lips going slack.  If it was welcome news, they’d then break out into a smile or laugh or maybe even cry from joy.  Otherwise, they may frown or yell or, again, cry from displeasure.  There should be something.

But Tom?  Tom neither said or did anything.

His expression was perfectly blank, but not the type you would normally expect from someone surprised.  Rather, it was created from by absence of it … or anything else, really.

You couldn’t speak, tongue anchored to the bottom of your mouth under the heavy weight of panic from his lack of a response.

Finally, he broke the silence.  “Are you quite certain?”

You only nodded.  “I visited the Healer this morning …”

More silence and nothingness.  All you could hope was that he was, indeed, just surprised and that this was his way of processing it.

Getting those first words out loosened your tongue and you could feel a trembling smile.  “Are you happy, Tom?  I know you didn’t want any children, but I know you’ll make for a wonderful father.”

You watched as something shifted in his expression, there was a flicker of something more unpleasant (annoyance, perhaps?) before his lips quirked upwards in a tight-lipped smile.  But there was no warmth behind it and it made your heart sink.

“I don’t intend on being a father.”

“But I’m—”

“Pregnant, yes.  I know.  However, we will not be keeping the child.”

The decisiveness and the lack of consideration for what you wanted stunned you, primarily for how blatant and shameless it was.

Seemingly in response, his gaze softened and the Tom you knew—the Tom you loved—was standing before you.  While his smile was suddenly warm in its tenderness, his eyes reflected nothing but pity.  And you felt your heart sink, suddenly feeling quite foolish.

“Forgive me for my bluntness, but I assure you have nothing but the best intentions.  You’re correct that I’ve said I never wanted children, but that’s as much because I have no personal interest in them as it is that I am not the paternal type.”  He cupped your cheek with one of his pale hands.  “But do you really believe you’ll make for a good parent, love?”

You only gawked at him.  “What?”

He tenderly stroked your cheek.  “We’re both destined for great things, my pet, but we won’t have the time to raise a child.  Nor are you any more the parenting type than I am.  The kinder, more responsible thing to do would be leaving this child at an orphanage as soon as possible.”

Knowing that he was raised in a Muggle orphanage gave weight to his words.  When paired with the self-doubt his words raised within you, you couldn’t help but feel like, perhaps, he had a point.  

However, it didn’t change the fact that you wanted this child and already loved them.  How could you not?  They were your child, not only that, but part of the man you loved would live on in them.  For them, you could become a good parent.  You could.  Yes, you definitely could.  Tom was wrong about that, for once, or so you told yourself to shake away the doubt.  

It didn’t.

“But isn’t carrying on my line important?  Don’t you want a legacy?” you implored, voice sounding so small and frail.

He withdrew his hand from your face and his smile grew.  You felt a shiver run down your spine, there was something subtly off-putting about it that you couldn’t put your finger on.  What you did know was that his handsomeness seemed to fade with it.  

More to himself than to you, Tom said, “I have no need.  I will be my own legacy.”

You didn’t ask, you didn’t want to and, even if you did, you knew better.  All you cared about was that you were going to have to resign yourself to giving up your child.  There was no room for negotiation, not unless he changed his mind of his own volition.  And that never happened.

“Now,” Tom said, fluidly switching back to his normal self, as if you both hadn’t just dropped absolute bombshells on each other.  “Let’s retire home for the evening.  You need your rest.”

He offered his hand to you this time and you accepted it, fingers trembling lightly as they came into contact with his cool skin.  With a soft pop, he Disapparated you off the Mulciber land and you found yourself back home.


 

Horror welled up inside you as you realized that you no longer recognized yourself in the mirror.  The bags under your eyes were heavy, your eyes themselves looked dull, your skin seemed paler than usual with grey undertones, and you just looked like a washed out version of yourself.

How you had gotten to such a state, you didn’t fully understand.  While you weren’t keeping the child, Tom was nothing but caring toward you (when he was present, at least) and ensured that you had everything you needed throughout your pregnancy.  Physically, you should’ve been fine.

However, between the gravity of the prospect of giving up your child and the other stresses you were being put under.  Things just seemed off in your home as of late.  Objects always seemed to end up in different places than where you had put them, even your furniture felt slightly off.  Tom assured you that nothing was out of the ordinary and that your mind was simply playing tricks on you.

Between that, the ominous Death Eater meetings, and the prospect of having to give up your child, you felt like you were starting to go mad.  Perhaps Tom was right and you really weren’t suited to being a parent …

You felt your child shift inside your womb and couldn’t help but smile as your dismal train of thought was interrupted, only to wince as they kicked your ribs.  They were bad about it and growing large enough to where it was starting to hurt, which didn’t help the constant discomfort you were in.

“A bit testy this evening, are we?” you muttered and placed your hand over your stomach.

Your smile faltered in the silence as you stared at your growing midsection and tears welled up in your eyes.

Could you really give them up?  Was that truly what was for the best?

Doubts were truly begin to bubble to the surface, then.  With a shaky breath in, you rubbed your eyes and willed the tears away.  Quickly, you shifted your mind elsewhere.

It was time for you to make dinner.  You wondered if you should go ahead and set a plate for Tom, even though it was already quite late.  Ultimately, you decided that he was almost certain to be wining and dining that important Smith lady for work, so you didn’t.

That evening, like so many in recent memory, you ate by yourself, only kept company by your thoughts.


 

The birth had been most difficult and lonesome, the father of your child was nowhere to be found—he was out of the country, doing Merlin only knew what.  It didn’t matter and you had resigned yourself to the fact that you were losing him.  But it especially did not matter when screams were tearing their way out of your throat as pain, such as that you had never felt before, wrought havoc upon your body.

Even with the magic of the practiced Healer midwives at St. Mungo’s, scream filled hours passed before your son was born.  For a few moments, you laid there broken and spent—soaked in your own sweat and blood—and you wished for death.

But Death did not come.  

Instead, the Healers did and tucked your healthy baby into your weak arms after they mended your body and cleaned you up.  As you held him for the first time, you wept with joy.  The will to live returned as you decided that you would go through with your plan.  For him.

A couple of weeks passed and you found that you could recognize yourself in the mirror once more.  Your strength had returned and your magic was flowing better than it had in recent years.  And you knew that it was time.

You held your son in your arms, unable to stop smiling at your baby boy as he stared up at you with his dark blue eyes.  He was surprisingly quiet for an infant, rarely fussing, and was able to be easily calmed by you whenever he did.  He was perfect in every conceivable way and you loved him more than you had ever loved anything before.

Yet it wouldn’t make what you had to do any easier.  With that reminder, your smile faltered and you swaddled your child before placing him back down in his cradle.

While you may have accepted that the love of your life was not the lie you fell in love with, you knew that you were exchanging a prison for a cage.  Yet you would live and, you hoped, would never have to see his terrible face again.

The elegant slope of his nose was lessening, as if the cartilage were sinking back into his skull.  While he had always been pale, his porcelain skin was white and taking on an almost waxy quality to it.  The thick head of wavy, raven colored hair atop his head was thinning, you found clumps.  But most notably, his sclera were becoming bloodshot, eyes more red than white, dark brown irises now resembling the color of drying blood.

He now like a person, but not quite.  It was most strange and it, unfortunately, mirrored the shift in his behavior, becoming more withdrawn and colder.  His presence no longer felt like a dream to you, but rather a blackhole—greedy and terrible in its emptiness.

What previously kept you bound to him was rapidly unravelling and a new, far more terrible set of chains were forged in their stead.  And their name was Fear and they were now a captor turned liberator.

It coursed through your veins as you scrawled a short note, attached it to your owl, and sent the bird off.  While you waited for a response, you wrote another note.  This one was longer and written in a more careful hand, though your quill trembled more with each stroke.

As you signed your name, there was a fluttering of wings as your owl flew over and perched itself on your shoulder.  You set the quill down and grabbed the letter tied loosely to its leg.  Relief flooded your system and you were quick to grab your meager number of things and your son.

Before you walked out the door, you looked around the dark little flat you had called home for so many years one last time.  There was no nostalgia as the door to your prison slammed shut behind you.

You made your way to the public access Floo Network in the lobby of the complex and stated, “Hog’s Head Inn.”

Albus Dumbledore waited for you, blue eyes glimmering with pity as you waited in silence for your soon-to-be-Secret Keeper to arrive at the dingy pub.  Your son slept peacefully in your arms, blissfully ignorant of the life and death situation that loomed overhead.

And you envied him for it.


 

Lord Voldemort entered his crowded flat, full of the things he had taken and pocketed over the years—just because he could.  His eyes scanned the room sensing that something was different, only to land on the piece of parchment that rested on the dining room table.

He approached it and picked up the letter that was left there, addressed to his former name.  He read it once.  And then he read it again.  And again.  And again.  And again.  And again.  And again.

Anger surged through him.  The child was to be given to a pair of loyal followers who were unable to have children of their own—they were to be given the honor of raising the Dark Lord’s bastard and further deepen their debt to him.  And while he did not need it, the thing could be raised to be a loyal and most powerful servant.

It was to have been an asset for him to use as he wished … and you had stolen it.  All out of a professed pathetic sense of ‘love.’  

He set the letter down, finally, a grin broke out across his face—slightly too wide to belong to a normal human.  Then, there was a strange, mirthless laugh.

You had always been a fool, he thought.  But this?  This was an entirely new level of naïveté. 

He knew you had gone to Albus Dumbledore for protection, it was the obvious choice.  It was almost perfect, really.  He would bide his time in order to get his way and prove his point to his former professor, while sending a potent message.

Love would not save you, he would make certain of that.  And the child would be his to do as he wished with.

Lord Voldemort’s reddening eyes flashed with greed as he set the letter aflame with green fire.


 

You were safe, for a time.  Three years passed in peace as you dedicated your life to raising your son, trapped.  You even reconnected with a friend who you trusted, so you had three visitors in your life.  Besides your friend, you had your family member (who was your Secret Keeper), and Albus Dumbledore.

Over the years, you had come to trust your professor once again and were considering switching him to be your Secret Keeper in order to try and keep your one trusted family member safer.

You were planning on bringing the subject up to your friend when they came over with a bundle of new toys and clothes for the precocious little boy.

The last thing you remembered was putting the kettle on the stove when the front door slammed open, as if blasted by a great force.  You rushed into the front room, wand drawn, as you made eye contact with Lord Voldemort.

There was a terrible stillness as you waited for him to try and cast the Killing Curse.  You waited for the sound of someone Disapparating from the nursery down the hall, but it didn’t come.

“LEAVE!” you shouted, never breaking eye contact with your ex-lover, knowing that he likely thought you were alone to make such a dramatic entrance.

Finally, you managed to hear the faint crack of someone Dispparating, right as Voldemort cast a spell.  Then there was only a desperate, writhing agony as everything became a blur.

White hot pain seared into your mind as you blinked your eyes open.  The side of your face was pressed against rough, black stone of what seemed to be a cave floor.  Your mind was slow and you couldn’t focus on anything through the pain.

Crucio.

You barely heard your own scream echo off the cavern walls underneath the excruciating pain.

A hand grabbed you and shoved you onto your back as the pain began to slowly ebb away.  You stared up at the strange face of your torturer, stark white against the dark backdrop of the cave.

The grin on his face was bestial, the sclera of his eyes were a solid, angry shade of red.  The cold, clammy hand reached up and tilted your chin up to him. “You didn’t truly think you could escape me, could you?”

You flinched away from his touch in revulsion.

“Oh, there’ll be none of that, my pet.”

With a flick of his wand, your entire body locked up under the compulsion of a powerful binding jinx.  You couldn’t blink and your lungs were now only barely working, all you could take in were shallow breaths.

“The child is dead, everything you did ended up being for naught.”

Liar.  You thought, with the blackest of hatred behind it.

He tilted his head to the side, smile falling as he regarded you.  And then he laughed.  Even after it stopped, its echo continued to bounce around the large cave.

“Most impressive.  It didn’t take you years to figure it out this time.”

You said nothing as your eyes burned with the need to blink.  His hand grasped your throat, pointed fingernails digging painfully into your flesh.  Reminding you of times

“Such a waste of precious, undiluted magical blood.  I, perhaps, would have spared you, if you had not made yourself into such a hindrance.  Taking the boy as you did …”

Nothing.

Perhaps it was due to your worsening vision, but there seemed to be a strange expression that crossed his face as he tightened his hands.  It reminded you of the look that would cross your son’s face whenever he was confused.

“Tell me,” he spat and tightened his fingers around your throat.  “How did you plan your little act of defiance without me ever knowing?  I cannot believe that you planned it during the month I was away.”  There was a pause.  “And do not tell me that it was ‘love.’  It holds no such power, as evidenced by the fact that my hand is wrapped around your throat as I speak.”

You did not look up at him with fear or hatred any longer, but rather with pity.  He was just a man.  A man who did not know the love of a parent and, as you had learned in recent months, a man whose own mother had chosen death over her son after everything she had been through in life.

Your tongue loosened up, but you held it in place of your own volition.  There was nothing to say to him, for the answer was not one that he would accept.

Rage.  Pure and utter rage was how you would describe the expression on his face as he leaned down so that his face was mere centimeters from your own and hissed, “The dead cannot pity.”

And with that, your tongue was glued back to the floor of your mouth felt yourself sliding painfully against the jagged floor.  You were then plunged headfirst into the dark water.  Bony hands grabbed you seemingly everywhere, yanking you down into the lake’s depths.

Water filled your lungs, but you could not scream.  You could not fight back or swim.  The paralysis rendered you out of control of the situation.  And so, you accepted it, in spite of the fear.

In the cold black of the water, the last coherent thought that crossed your mind was of your son.  You did not regret anything.  He was worth it all, you just wished that you would be able to see him grow up.  To see what kind of man he’d grow up into.  If he inherited anything at all from his father, you wished that it would be his good looks and nothing more.

The fear broke down into blind panic as the brain does when consumed by the need to survive, but is unable to do anything about it.

Pain, panic, confusion, and cold.  That’s all there was in those last few moments.

And then there was only the blackness as Death carried you off in the tender embrace of a long-lost friend.  Your body sunk to the bottom of the cave’s lake, joining the tens of Inferi that would eventually be in the hundreds.

Voldemort watched the surface of the water as it settled back into its glass-like surface.  His face was perfectly blank as he shifted his gaze down to look at his own reflection on the water, his bone-colored wand providing the only light.

The satisfaction he had anticipated did not come in the aftermath of his impulse, for the boy still lived freely and his message was incomplete.

There was nothing.


 

It was a sleepy October day in Godric’s Hollow.  Jack-O-Lanterns lined the stoops, grinning out in the light fog of morning.  It was days such as this that one could almost forget that there was a war brewing with the Darkest of forces on the horizon.

But Albus Dumbledore could not.

He sat on a bench, dressed in elegant, velvet robes of a rich sea blue as he waited.  He waited as if he was waiting for nothing in particular, idly twiddling his thumbs as he whistled one of Celestina Warbeck’s chipper tunes.

Yet, there was no mirth shining through the half-moon spectacles, as his mistakes were all that were there to keep him company.  He watched the neighborhood with careful eyes, doing his best to ignore the faint, swirling memories of two boys—young, foolish, and in love—and the girl his mind created from the fog.

He dipped his head as he took a moment to clear his head.  No, he was not there for those particular ghosts.

A door nearby opened—the door he was waiting for—and a mother and young boy, of roughly the age of ten, stepped out of the house in Muggle clothing.  The recently appointed Headmaster of Hogwarts looked up in order to observe the two with weary eyes.

The boy was tall for his age, with thick, wavy black hair and dark brown eyes.  Yet Dumbledore found that he resembled you more so than his father, aside from a small glimmer of the Riddle handsomeness.  He was the picture of an ordinary, young boy with a perfectly bright future ahead of him.

He watched as the child enthusiastically prattle on about something to his adoptive mother.  Dumbledore only heard the words ‘Hogwarts’ and ‘Gryffindor’ and understood why the smile of his mother’s face seemed to falter.

The boy would not be able to attend Hogwarts, not with the children of Death Eaters present to get word back to the Dark Lord about a strange Parselmouth of a child.  It was cruel to punish the child for his parentage, but it was the only way the boy could be kept safe (as he had promised you so long ago) and prevent the cycle from repeating any further.

But most importantly, it was for the greater good.

The mother did not notice him, but the boy stopped talking abruptly as he made eye contact with the older man.  Recognition dawned on his face and quickly gave way to excitement, undoubtedly from the recent Daily Prophet about Albus’s promotion.  

Dumbledore smiled, gaze twinkling with a mischief, and winked at the boy was not his father.

The boy tugged on his mother’s robes and enthusiastically pointed in his direction.  “Mum, look, it’s Mr.—!”

She glanced in the direction he pointed and cut him off before he could finish, “There’s nobody there, dear.”

When the boy looked back, there was nothing there but an empty bench.

Chapter Text

Dappled sunlight danced along the ground, filtered through the sighing canopy overhead.  It was a beautiful day.

You were heading to your boss’s office when an achingly familiar voice called your name.  It belonged to the man you were hoping to reconnect with.

Charlie Weasley, your ex-boyfriend, bounded over to you in a fireproof balaclava.  “What are you doing here?!”

“Starting a new job, actually.  Why?  Not happy to see me?” you asked, teasingly.

“Not at all—just surprised!  I thought you were working at the Welsh Sanctuary?”

“I was offered a job here, so I took it.  I was hoping you wouldn’t be too bothered by it.”

“Bothered?  On the contrary, I’m … happy.  It’ll be nice having someone just as passionate about dragons around.”

You grinned, knowing that was high praise.  Then there came a roar deep from the forest’s clearing.

“Oh, that’d be for me.  Would you wanna grab some drinks after work and get caught up?”

“I’d love to.”

“See you tonight, then!” he said and you noticed a glimpse of a blush under his mask before he hustled off.

It was a beautiful day, indeed.  You thought, smiling to yourself as you continued on your way.

Chapter Text

You were perched on the stone lip of the clocktower courtyard’s fountain, sitting beside your first love—her soft hand resting comfortably over yours.  The world was a spinning kaleidoscope of blue, pink, and purple, thanks to the Spectrescopes you were wearing.  Which, admittedly, made it quite difficult to read the latest Quibbler sprawled in your lap.

However, there was a wrackspurt outbreak at Hogwarts and Luna had been kind enough to give you one of the many extra pairs she had laying around.  Still, you found your mind growing fuzzy as you reread the same sentence over and over again thanks to the shifting light.

Luna let out a small gasp and you looked up to your girlfriend, who was wearing her own pair.  There was a note of concern in the sweet lilt of her voice, “Wrackspurts.  I can see them—all in and around your head.  Can’t you feel them?”

You only blinked at her behind the owlish spectacles, uncomprehending.

Suddenly, she was on her feet and giving your arm a gentle tug.  You stood up, the forgotten magazine tumbling to the ground in the process, and allowed her to place one of your hands on her shoulder before placing hers on your waist.  And then she began to lead you in a dance around the courtyard.

The dance itself was, perhaps, similar to a foxtrot.  Just a slightly more erratic one, with the slow and quick steps intermingled—yet it somehow flowed organically, still.  Undoubtedly the byproduct of Luna’s particular brand of magic as she moved to the rhythm inside of her unique mind.

You simply followed her lead, not paying any mind to the judgmental stares and whispers of the courtyard’s other occupants.  Yet you only had eyes for her, all of them were just blobs of purple or blue on the edge of your vision.  Their opinions didn’t matter, not when you had her.

Your mind was suddenly a bit clearer as the ghost of a smile began to form on your lips, though confusion still lingered.  “What are you doing?”

“Dancing with my girlfriend, or so it’d seem.  Because happy thoughts are how you chase the wrackspurts away and I like to dance when I’m happy.”

“… But there’s no music?”

“Oh, you don’t need music to dance,” she said brightly, her hand-made radish earrings swaying lightly with her movements.  “All you have to do is move your feet and make the steps, you see.  We’re doing it right now, aren’t we?”

“So it’d seem,” you said with a small chuckle, mind now clear in its felicity.

Her breezy laugh mingled with yours and her smile grew as you continued to dance to the silent song that only the two of you knew.

Chapter Text

Evan Rosier

Abject gloom settled over you as your father ushered you into the dark halls of the Rosier estate.  Of course you knew of the Rosiers (who hadn’t?), but you had hoped your Death Eater parents would marry you off to a … lesser man.  One whom you hadn’t known during your Hogwarts years.

The house elf led you into the parlor, where your betrothed stood—donned in fine dark green satin dress robes, with silver embellishments.  He crossed the room to meet you and offered his hand to you, which you unwillingly accepted.

“Ah, it’s lovely to finally see you again, ma chère,” he raised your hand up toward his face, the sleeve his robes sliding down to reveal the Dark Mark seared into his flesh.  “But not nearly as lovely as you are.” 

His green eyes glimmered with greed and it sent an unpleasant shiver down your spine—lips lingering there for just slightly longer than they should have.

“… And you as well, mon cher.”

Your smile didn’t quite reach your eyes as he released your hand, in stark contrast to the skull grinning at you from the nearby fireplace mantel.

You wondered what poor Muggle-born it had belonged to …


 

Zac Avery

You stood not only in the home of the Dark Lord’s most loyal servant, but directly in front of the man, himself.  Who was now your betrothed, for better or for worse.

Though it was almost certainly for the worst, you quickly decided.

He was short and scrappy looking, his glasses askew in rather casual robes.  Avery looked innocuous enough at first glance, but his eyes were empty and cold.

There was no love in him.  And certainly, none for you.

“Have a seat,” he finally said, accent as undignified as the rest of him.  However, there was a commanding undertone—it was an order.

You did as he said.  He poured you each a glass of wine and offered you one of them.

“O-Oh no, I’m—”

Those round brown eyes of his—eyes that should have been kind—sharpened into daggers and you silently took the drink from him.

“To the rest of our lives.”  He clinked his glass against yours.

“… To the rest of our lives,” you muttered before taking a generous drink.

And may our time together be cut short, you mentally added with a touch of spite as you swirled your blood red wine around in its glass.

Chapter Text

It was a picture perfect spring afternoon outside, sun.  But were you outside?  Tragically, no you had a stupid bloody Potions essay to write and so you found yourself in the library—tormented by the beautiful sunlight filtering through the vaulted windows.  

Yet there was something else you were hoping to find there, or rather, someone else.  And perhaps it’d make your time indoors actually worthwhile.

By some act of divine providence, you found both of the things you were looking for in the same aisle of the library.  The someone didn’t take immediate notice of you, he was too lost in his note taking from the textbook in front of him, black quill gliding fluidly across his roll of parchment.

It took an impressive degree of self control to tear your eyes away from him and focus them on the shelves beside you.  You silently applauded your ability as your eyes scanned for the name of the author you needed, fingers running along the worn spines of the books.

Finally, you found the one you needed and pulled the heavy book off of its shelf, grimacing as its weight.  You promptly tottered over to the nearest table, which just so happened to be the very same where Regulus Black was seated.  With a small grunt, you lifted the leather bound tome and let it crash against the table.

There was the distinct sound of the librarian shushing you from where she was three aisles over.  You ignored her—like always—as you watched the Slytherin boy expectantly.

Regulus didn’t flinch as he looked up at you.  His expression was that of an exasperated man.  A man whose buttons had been pressed by your deft fingers one time too many.

“What are you doing, Potter?”

“Doing my homework, Black,” you said, with a satisfied smile as you took your seat.  “Duh.”

He shut his eyes, tilting his chin upwards as the suggestion of a wry smile graced his pale lips in sweet resignation.

“Very well.  Just don’t speak to me.”

You flipped open the old book, allowing its cover to smack against the table with a thud.  Out of your peripheral vision you saw Regulus cringe at your disregard for the priceless, antique book.

An angelic smile graced your face and you batted your eyelashes at him.  “Oh?  Awfully presumptuous to assume that I’d ever want to speak to you.”

There was a sharp intake of breath, followed by an airy chuckle—indistinguishable between amusement or irritation.  “Yes, well, why would I?  When you sat at my table.”

“It’s simple, really.  It was the closest and this book was heavy.  And I don’t reckon you own this table.”

“Ah, I see.”

You narrowed your eyes at him.  “You see what?”

There was only the vaguest notion of a smirk on his face at that, silver eyes crinkling just a smidge around the edges.  Merlin, he’s cute, you thought.  Warmth spread across your face as you pursed your lips, displeased at that thoroughly unwanted thought.

“Oh, just spit it out, already, Black.

“Impatient to hear what I think, are we, Potter?

“Like I’d ever care what you think,” you said with an exaggerated smile, quite literally lying through your teeth.

“It seems to me like you do, if you’re not letting it go.  To me, someone who didn’t care would just drop it and let me read in peace—as I politely requested of you when you sat down at this very table.”

Your eyes naturally found themselves trailing down to his lips as he spoke—not entirely listening to him speak.

“You can’t distract me with your little logic tricks, just get to the point,” you said, waving your hand dismissively.

“Actually, you seem plenty distracted at the moment.”

“And you seem to be talking an awful lot for someone who told me not to speak with them.”

“Perhaps.”

His lips quirked upwards in what you knew to be his version of a genuine smile.  It was a mere ghost compared to most people’s, but the sight of it was enough to make your heart flood with something sweet and tender.

It was there and then it wasn’t.

He turned his attention back to the textbook in front of him, pretending as if nothing had just happened.  And, most importantly, not satiating your burning curiosity.

You stared at him in disbelief before whining, “Are you really not going to tell me?”

There was a long, torturous pause as he drew it out, letting it reach its crescendo before—

“I was going to say … that you could’ve just used the Levitation Charm and found a vacant table.  Or was that just another ‘logic trick,’ as well?”

You stared up at the ceiling, taking in a deep breath as a smile of agitated resignation crossed your face.  You were bested, as usual, but that never stopped you.

“Fair point,” you said, smile no longer meeting your eyes.  “But at least my particular brand of stupidity doesn’t involve me—oh, I dunno—blindly doing whatever my parents tell me to do?  And actually consider joining my neighborhood cult who murderspeople?”

That was what you really talked about, it always was.

“What you call my stupidity, I call my duty.”

“Yes, yes, as you’ve said a million times before.  But what do you want, Regulus?  What do you really want?”

“I’ve told you what I want already, it just seems like you can’t get it through that thick skull of yours.  As a member of the noble and—”

You rolled your eyes, knowing where this was going.

“—most ancient House of Black,” you finished for him, voice shrill in abject mockery.

Something subtle changed in his face, though you couldn’t tell quite what.  You didn’t need to, since he seemed to radiate a silent, cold rage.

“As I was saying, as a member of the … Black family, I must uphold our traditions and way of life—now more than ever.  And that means leading the life that is expected of me and that I want.  There is no higher honor than to serve the Dark Lord,” he said, leaning back in his chair as his voice turned to pure ice.  “Not that I’d expect you to understand, coming from a family full of Blood Traitors.  It runs in your blood just as duty runs through mine.”

“Oh, come on!” you said, resting your elbow against the back of the chair as another shrill ‘SHHHH!’ broke through the library (which you ignored, again).  “Like you really believe in that.  Someone as brilliant and clever as you are must know that blood purity is absolute hogwash.”

There was a moment of hesitation.  His frigidity seemed to briefly melt under the surprise of hearing you compliment him so straight-forwardly.  But it was only a moment.

“My parents—”

“—You’re not your parents, though,” you said, flexing your fingers irritably.

His left eye twitched at you cutting him off, again, so you knew that you were getting under his skin.

“Then I think,” he said and set his quill down before he leaned forward across the table, “that it will be the highest honor to serve the Dark Lord.”

Your eyes shifted rapidly between his, trying to discern if he was lying or not, but there was no indication that there was.  There wasn’t a trace of anything.  

And that’s what hurt—what always hurt.

“You’ll regret it,” you said, trying to force yourself to sound more certain than you felt.  “I know you will.”

“You don’t know—”

“—I know that you’re not a bad person.  You just care about it ‘cause it’ll make your parents happy with you, don’t you?”

Oppressive silence.  Bitter waves of irritation rolled off of him, but you did not yield.  You could not.  Some day, he’d see the error of what he was doing and come to his senses.  That was a day you wanted to see, it was a day you yearned to help bring about.  

There was nothing you wanted more than to be able to enjoy bantering with him and riling him up just so you could hear him say more than usual—to earn.  But, this time, with earnest jokes and debates about the stars and potioneering and which professional Quidditch team had the best Seeker.

And you needed to hear him laugh for once.  A full, rich laugh, not a silent chuckle or a scoff.  Everyone was capable of them, after all, so surely he was no exception.  You liked to imagine what his would sound like and the joke you’d crack to bring it about.

Maybe it’d be a stupid, barking laugh like his brother’s?  Perhaps that was why he never laughed.  Yet you thought it more likely for his laughter to ebb and flow like waves of water—to crest in pitch, white-capped and frothy with a light rasp, and then crash to silence before starting anew.  

Ah, silence.  It was becoming too much to withstand.

Don’t you?” you finally repeated, voice cracking in spite of your best effort.

“I don’t have a choice,” he said.

That wasn’t the answer you were expecting and your brows drew together in confusion.  “Of course you do, Regulus.  Look at Sirius, he—”

“—I don’t have a choice,” he seethed before he snapped his textbook closed and stood up. “I’m not my traitorous brother, who was willing to turn his back on what he is and where he comes from.  And I will gladly serve the Dark Lord, I believe in his cause.  And I believe that Blood Traitors like you and your family had best watch out.”

His eyes were hard as steel as his hands flew about to gather his things, shoving his.  You could only watch helplessly, knowing that it was your fault for bringing up his brother.

“Reg—”

But he was on his way out by the time you found your tongue, long legs carrying him swiftly out of the library and away from you, with only the lies he told himself for company.  That was all they were, you told yourself.

Lies, only made real and tangible by his earnest belief in them.  You knew they weren’t the truth, but they were seductive ones: beautiful lies of prestige, approval, and status.  

But you knew that—to him—they were the truth and, worst of all, that there was nothing you could do to shake him of them.  That was the cold, hard truth of the matter and it blackened your heart with a ravenous, hollow frostbite.

You stared at the empty seat in front of you, watching as it gradually blurred into an indistinct blur of color.  Hot tears began to stream from your face and you realized you were crying.

You wiped at your eyes with the back of your hand, desperately trying to shake the achingly empty feeling spreading in your chest.

This is fine.  I’m fine.  You thought to yourself.

But the tears continued to flow as an empty laugh bubbled its way out of your throat as you sat alone at the table.

I’m fine.  You lied to yourself, again.  

And again.  

And again.

Chapter Text

Myron was downing a bottle of water following their set, tuning out the sound of the next band.  The Weird Sisters had absolutely killed it that night, but he was thoroughly bushed after that performance.  

Orsino entered the cramped backroom with someone he had never seen before—you.  He announced you to the rest of the band as a family friend and you waved at them with both hands as you gave them your name.  It was one he recognized, since Orsino often spoke about you and always insisted that he needed to introduce you to Myron since ‘you’d get on like a house on fire.’

He felt like he already knew you and it was nice to finally put a face to the legend.  And a most lovely one at that …

The rest of the group went around and introduced themselves (except Kirley, of course, who let Orsino handle it), but Myron could only really stare at you.

There was just something … enchanting about the way you seemed to sparkle with life in its rawest essence.  Seeing the way your eyes lit up as you listened to everyone tell you their names.  Well, he couldn’t help but smile a little himself.

“Oi, Myron!  Are you gonna introduce yourself, or what?” asked Gideon with a note of amusement as he polished the flutes of his bagpipes.

“Ah, but of course,” he said and he approached you with an easy swagger and held out his hand.  “I’m Myron, but I assume you’ve already gathered that much.”

You shook it with vigor as you positively beamed at him and he felt his heart squeeze in his chest at the sight.  “Oh, of course!  It’s lovely to meet you, finally.  Been a fan of yours for some time now and probably would’ve even if Orsino wasn’t in the band.”  You glanced over your shoulder at your good friend.  “Not that it’d be the same without you, of course!”

“Oh, of course,” he said with a knowing smile before moving to join some of the other boys on the already cramped couch.

“Have you, now?”  Myron raised a brow as he gave you a once over and released your hand.  “You don’t strike me as the usual Weird Sisters fan.  We don’t tend to attract radiant rays of sunshine, such as yourself.”

To meet such an enthusiastic and genuine fan without them also being too intense was … refreshing.  Perhaps it was because you were already friends with Orsino, but it didn’t feel weird or unnatural at all.

A light blush creeping across your face from his compliment, he didn’t think it was possible, but your grin managed to grow brighter.  “Well, you don’t have to be dark and broody to enjoy good music and a strong artistic vision, yeah?  Besides, your songs similar to Dance Like a Hippogriff aren’t exactly anthems for all the tortured souls out there.”

“Point taken,” he said, adjusting the faux fur coat he wore, trying to prevent his own smile from growing into something more.  “You wouldn’t happen to be free after this, would you?”

“Yeah, my evening’s wide open!  Why?”

Myron suddenly felt acutely aware of the way the rest of the band members were trying to seem busy to pretend that they weren’t listening to your conversation.  Everyone except for Orsino, who gave him a thumbs up.  He promptly cleared his throat before he turned his warm brown eyes onto you—only to find that you didn’t seem bothered by any of it in the slightest.

“Well, I’m in the process of writing a new song and I think having someone of such a … vibrantly vivacious nature would be invaluable.  Maybe over some drinks down at the nearby pub?”

Your eyes lit up at the invitation and a flirtatious lilt to it.  “Ooh, now that sounds an awful lot like a date to me, Mr. Wagtail.”

“Never said it wasn’t.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t say it was, either!”

“Well, a little mystery never hurt anyone.”

You laughed and the sound felt like a bolt of the sweetest lightning imaginable straight to his heart.  “Is that going to be the name of the song?”

Myron couldn’t help it, his smile finally broke out into a grin.  “Perhaps, if you give me something to write about, sunshine.”

“Now, how could I say no to that?”  You leaned forward slightly and dropped your vibrant voice to something softer, like rich velvet.  “Not that I was ever going to say no to begin with!”

“Seems it’s settled, then.”

“It does, so let’s get goin’!” you sang in a sing-song fashion before you moved around to his side and linked one of your arms through his.

His heart hammered like a kick drum in his chest from the contact, but he could feel the grin grow on his face as the two of you made your way out and over to the pub.

One of the members wolf whistled on your way out and, once again, he was treated to the melodic beauty of your laughter.

It was going to be a night to remember.

Chapter Text

  • First of all, Cedric absolutely adores you.  He appreciates kindness and fairness so much in others and you are certainly no exception to that rule!
    • The two of you become fast friends upon meeting, your values and personalities align nicely.
    • His more quietly outgoing and confident nature compliments your more insecure one quite nicely and he really brings out the best in you.
    • However, because you’re always seen together—his popularity ends up rubbing off on you some, making you well-liked among the student population, yourself.
  • And he falls slowly for you, with each act of kindness and thoughtful gesture you show him.   He never really stops falling in love with you, he just continues to slide deeper and deeper until he’s more than just head over heels.
    • However, what really gets him is how you’re always so kind and considerate to others.  It’s all the little things you do that accumulate and make his heart overflow with adoration and affection. 
      • The way you tidy up after others, not expecting any thanks in return.
      • The way you listen to your peers and try and provide them with advice whenever they come to you. 
      • The way you’ll volunteer to help first years get around the castle or teach them advanced spells when they ask.
    • He sees it all and every time his heart melts a little bit more.  But therein lies a problem …
  • Due to the level of admiration he has for you, it takes him a while to put two and two together.  Because while he notices all the signs, his brain just can’t compute it.  It makes no sense to him that you—of all people!—would be insecure, so he can’t really believe it.  And yet …
    • He notices how you often try and take up less space, as if you were trying to fade into the background.
    • He notices how you don’t take compliments well, downplaying them and being altogether too modest, as if you don’t believe them.
    • He notices how you don’t seem to really stand up for yourself, you’re too kind and let people walk all over you sometimes.
    • And it all absolutely breaks his heart since he doesn’t understand why you’re acting this way.  He can’t figure out what’s wrong
  • As concerned as he may be, he doesn’t want to pressure you into talking about something since it seems quite personal.  He’d rather you come to him about it.  He’s your friend, above all else, and he respects your boundaries.
    • So, he does what he can to try and help out with the specific behaviors that concern him.
    • He compliments you more often, meaning each one.  And he’ll stand up for you as needed, modeling how to do it in a kind, respectful fashion.
  • Finally, the two of you do end up having a heart to heart, with you spilling everything about what’s been bothering you.
    • It’s beyond painful for him to hear you talk about yourself like that and how you think everyone hates you when there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.
    • But nothing he says seems to get through to you, you just won’t accept the reality of the situation and deflect his counterpoints and logic.
      • It’s a rare occasion where he just feels utterly helpless.
    • You both end up crying by the end of it and he hugs you, holding you close as he rubs your back to try and comfort you.
    • In that moment, he resolves that he’s going to do something to help you see just how cared for you truly are.
  • So, Cedric, being the beloved Hufflepuff that he is, decides to take direct action to show that you.  He knows that he has to provide evidence to get you to listen to him.
    • To do this, he goes around and has people fill out a notecard, either disclosing one thing you’ve done to help them in the past or one thing they like about you.
    • Once he has all of them, he folds them up and puts them.  Due to the sheer volume of notecards he pooled together, he has to enlarge the jar to fit them all.
    • But before he’s finished, he writes his own and mixes it in with a lightly trembling hand.
  • The two of you end up meeting in a quiet alcove after school the next day and he presents you with a large jar overflowing with folded up notecards.
    • He has you pull one out and read it out to him, though he helps if you struggle to understand the handwriting.
    • You notice that Cedric seems to be a bit more nervous than usual, but you’re too touched and flustered over all the notes to really pay it much mind.
      • You’re overwhelmed with just how kind and thoughtful he was being and how much effort he went into collecting the notes.  And all for you.
    • That is, until you see his familiar flowing script on one of the cards around halfway through the exercise.
      • And you read it aloud to him: “You’re the loveliest, kindest person I’ve ever met.  As you can see, everyone loves you, but not as much as I do.”
      • It’s straightforward, simple, and honest—just like him.
    • As you read it off, Cedric’s face flushes bright red and he ends up telling you that he fancies you as soon as you go quiet.
    • When you nod your head and tell him yes, eyes overflowing with tears, he pulls you in for a gentle first kiss.  
      • It’s tender and loving, really driving home on just how much you mean to him.
    • (And you read through the rest of the notecards in bed that night, being sure to carefully tuck Cedric’s into the pocket of your school robes for when you need a pick me up throughout the day.)
  • Going forward, your relationship enables him to help you more effectively, mainly because you believe him, now.
    • He’ll softly stop you if you ever speak poorly of yourself, even if it’s just in passing.  He’ll similarly shut down any attempt at self deprecating humor.  
      • Every time, he’ll follow it up by giving you a sincere compliment.  Reminding you of one good thing about yourself.
    • But he’ll make it a point to give you concrete, meaningful compliments sporadically each day.  He likes to keep you on your toes, mainly because he can make you blush by doing so.
    • Not only will he give you compliments, but he’ll reinforce them with hugs and chaste kisses.
    • Yes, his popularity did rub off on you when you became friends, but you quickly find that his pride does as well once you start dating.  
    • He’s just so proud to have you as his partner, always beaming at you and commenting about how lucky he is to have you like a broken record.  
      • While he isn’t the most talkative lad, pretty much everyone in the entire school hears it at least once.
    • And you actually do start to believe it.  If not through the earnestness with which he professes his feelings, then through the sheer frequency in which he does so.
  • Cedric is a young man who loves with his whole heart and, so long as he lives, he is determined to never let you feel hated or ignored again.  He wants you to love yourself as much as he loves you, which is a very tall order.  However, it’s one that he has no qualms in undertaking and spares no effort in the process.

Chapter Text

It was your first time sleeping over at your long-time boyfriend’s place and you found yourself staring into the mirror as you desperately tried to pull your sleeping shorts down as low as they could go.

When you were packing for your stay in Romania, you hadn’t clearly put enough thought into your choice of pajamas …  These left the majority of your stretch marks uncovered and bare to 

What would Charlie think?  You bit your bottom lip at the thought as your mind raced to imagine the catastrophic: the look of disgust or disappointment on his face upon seeing your exposed thighs.

There was a series of three knocks on the door.  “Hey, love, you haven’t fallen and hit your head or anything, have you?”

“N-No, I’m fine.”  This was as good as it was going to get.  With a deep breath you opened the door.  “Sorry.”

The redhead didn’t react like you expected to upon seeing you in your pajamas for the first time.  In fact, there wasn’t anything in his expression to suggest that he noticed anything out of the ordinary.

“Nothing to be sorry about!  The bed was just getting cold without you and Percy slipped and hit his head on the sink once when he was younger—was a bit nervous that something similar had happened to you.”

You aren’t sure whether to laugh or cry from his combined obliviousness and concern for you, but tears blurred your vision all the same.

“Hey, hey,” he said, voice soft and dripping with raw concern, as his broad, calloused hands came to rest on your shoulders—rubbing gentle circles against them.  “What’s the matter, Opaleye?”

“Do you really not notice anything?”  His brows drew together in confusion and he shook his head, so you pressed on in a trembling voice as your frustration and self consciousness came to an uncomfortable crescendo.  “J-Just look at me, Charlie, I look so—so stupid in these shorts.  My thighs—just—ugh, I should’ve packed something else.  Anything else.”

As you spoke, his brows only shot upwards, jaw going slack with realization and the distress that came with it.  The moment you were finished, Charlie pulled you into one of his signature bear hugs—trapping you against his chest with his strong arms.  

You were immediately engulfed in a sense of immense comfort and pure love, which was the hallmark trait of a Charlie Weasley hug.

“I know it may be hard to believe, but I think you’re absolute perfection—just as you are, thighs and all.  I love you for you and the beautiful body you have is included in that.”  There was a pause as he pulled away, warm brown eyes scanning your disbelieving face before he switched the topic and placed his hands back on your shoulders.  
“I mean, I do understand what it’s like, just look at me.  I’m the shortest man in the Weasley family.  Always felt a bit self conscious growing up surrounded by brothers who grew like absolute weeds, thankfully the twins didn’t grow for too long though.”

You used the newfound distance to wipe at your eyes and sniffle, trying to regain some of your composure in the wake of the surge of love and affection from Charlie.  “But I love your height!  It’s perfect for your hugs …”

As soon as you said it, you understood exactly what he was going for and that he had, in fact, ensnared you with that remark about himself.

He smiled softly as realization donned across your face.  “And that’s precisely how I feel about you, Opaleye.  For one, hugging and cuddling with you is the absolute best, because you fit perfectly in my arms.”

You couldn’t help but smile at Charlie, your previous anxieties of the night melting away under his tender gaze and sweet words.

To make a point, he effortlessly scooped you up, bridal style (causing you to let out a rather undignified squeal), before grinning down at you.  “Speaking of which, let’s head to bed!  If I’m not mistaken, I think a certain someone’s in dire need of some cuddles?”

“You’re not mistaken in the slightest,” you said with a light laugh.

Without missing another beat, you were whisked away to your shared bed for some late night cuddles and talks.  Charlie didn’t let you go the entire night and never could you remember feeling as cherished and safe as you did in his arms as you did in that first night together.

Chapter Text

  • You are both mere prey and an object to the enigmatic, attractive Tom Marvolo Riddle.  Unfortunately, you will never be the wiser of it unless you want to be sent into Death’s arms prematurely.
    • Well, you’ll be sent there no matter what after getting involved with him, but it’s a matter of how prematurely you’d like to go.
  • For Tom to be remotely interested in courting you, you must meet two requirements:
    • You are not a Muggle or Muggle-born.  
      • As the upcoming Dark Lord, there are certain appearances he must maintain and being caught with someone of low status would be unbecoming.
      • Additionally, you are ‘ordinary’ and that is something Tom abhors.  Muddy, boring blood runs through your veins.  
        • He likes to ignore the part of him that is the same, so having you around is an unwelcome reminder of his paternal heritage.
    • You have something especially valuable to offer him and it’s something he can either make long-term use of or something worth pulling a long con to get his needy hands on.
      • This can be an ability, such as Legilimency, or it can be something more tangible like money or social status.
    • Tom dates as a means to an end, sometimes it can be a pleasurable means when paired with the right partner, but often it’s a chore for him.  
      • He’ll only use dating for long-term affairs, though he may go on individual ‘dates’ for information or other purposes.  Often flirtation is enough.
  • Tom observes you secretly for a long time, making note of how to best manipulate you into fulfilling his needs and wants.  It’s a game to him, like a chess match.
    • However, if a prime opportunity arises before he has fully articulated his plans—he’s not going to pass it up.  He is both a creature of meticulous planning and great impulsivity, largely because of his immense ego.  
  • Eventually, you or your friends will take notice of how he’ll directly stare at you, biting his lip in thought, handsome brows drawn together as he regards you with such intensity.
    • He’ll start sitting near you in class and in the library and popping up regularly.  
    • He has a penchant for being in the same place as you, but it’s done in such a way that it feels like the world is trying to set the two of you up … 
    • Of course, it’s all carefully calculated and he skirts the line between being a stalker and a romantic interest through his good looks and charm.
  • On your end, though? You’re unlikely to notice anything sinister in his pursuit of you.  On the contrary, you’re almost guaranteed to be swooning as this young man says all the right things.
    • He is utterly charming, handsome, intelligent, witty, and gentlemanly.  Everything he does is just to your taste and you seem to share so much!  
    • His words are honeyed and sweet, his voice velvety in its smooth richness, and his tongue is of only the purest silver.
    • He’ll woo you with his words, light touches, and subtle sense of humor.  He can make you laugh and he is just so utterly charming.  You’ll be wrapped around his finger before you even know it.
      • Under his intense gaze you feel special and chosen.  After all, someone as amazing as him chose to be with you, surely you’re doing something right.
    • Never have you felt so connected to another person before, it feels like an entirely new, unrealistic level of connection.
    • Perhaps, some alarm bells should go off from just how perfect he is.
      • He’s too good to be true.  And that is the unfortunate truth of the matter.
  • One big thing is that Tom prefers your relationship to be kept a secret, unless he has social standing to gain by letting people know you’re dating (i.e., you’re a pure-blood from a well-respected family).
    • He tells you that it’s because he has a certain reputation to uphold as a prefect/Head Boy.  People can’t think he’d show you favoritism or that he’s going ‘soft.’
      • After you graduate, he maintains that you avoid PDA since it’s a ‘personal preference’ of his.
        • “Wouldn’t you rather we keep it just between the two of us?  Doesn’t that make it more … special?”  He’ll ask you with imploring eyes, fingers tenderly brushing against the side of your face when you’re in private—demonstrating his point.
        • It’s irresistible, so regardless of your feelings you comply to his wishes.  He always gets his way.
    • In reality, he wants to continue using flirtation as a manipulation tactic and it’s generally most effective when people think he’s available.  
      • Additionally, he’d also like to have the option to discretely date multiple people simultaneously, should it be a needed manipulation tactic.  
      • Your feelings are irrelevant to him, just like everyone else’s.  You are an object, a tool, and nothing more.
  • In terms of dates, it depends on whether he needs to keep your relationship quiet or flaunt it.
    • If he’s keeping it quiet …
      • Tom prefers taking you out to remote Wizarding villages where there are few students from Hogwarts.  The two of you will walk around the countryside, perhaps even admire the stars.
      • Most often, you’ll have quiet study dates during your Hogwarts years (after all, they allow him to do work at the same time, a true win-win).  
        • And then once you graduate, they become quiet nights in with nice dinners he prepares using his potent magic.
      • It’ll be a rare treat when you get to go out on a date, often saved for anniversaries or when he wants to get your hopes up that ‘he’ll change’ if you’re feeling unhappy in the relationship.  
        • He needs to string you along until your role is satisfied.
    • If he’s flaunting it …
      • The two of you will go to Hogsmeade during your Hogwarts years and he’ll actually be quite liberal with the PDA.  
        • You’ll hold hands and he’ll whisper little snarky jokes in your ear, often those that are at the expense of others around you (most often those whom you don’t like).
      • At Slug Club events, he’ll be proud to call you his date and will dance with you for the events that have dancing.  
        • Provided that you won’t react too negatively, he’ll make you two the center of attention and earn some extra approval with Slughorn who approves of the pairing.
      • You’ll get to don his Slytherin scarf too, if you’re not a fellow snake.  He likes seeing you in green and silver, they’re his colors, after all.
      • Once you graduate, you’ll go to nice dinners together and events with his fellow pure-blood supremacists.  
        • You’re expected to attend, whether or not you agree with their views.  Tom always gets his way, so that’s something you’ll have to compromise on.
    • You can certainly try to hook him into doing Muggle activities, but he’ll come up with polite excuses to avoid them every time.  Eventually you just give up.
    • No matter what you do, he has a habit of making it feel like something straight out of a romance novel.  You feel so euphoric with him, sparks are constantly flying.
      • Although, things slowly change and a cycle is formed where you repeat this beautiful honeymoon stage of bliss.
  • His favorite type of date, though, regardless of your relationship’s nature?  A quiet night in where he’s able to show off for you, playing his piano to perfection and getting lost in the music.
    • This is mainly because he’s able to pretend you’re not there for most of it.  Plus, he gets to bask in your awe and compliments.
      • He’s a show-off and enjoys it when people recognize him as the talented gift to Wizardkind that he is.  Of course, he doesn’t need it, but it feels good.
    • He doesn’t mind teaching you, either.  As far as bonding goes, at least it allows him to relish in what Dippet so foolishly turned down.  He likes to think of himself as a gifted teacher.  Additionally, your wide gap in technical skill reminds him of just how amazing he is, which he relishes in.
      • But to you though?  It comes across as quite intimate and, perhaps, even romantic.
      • Although he does have high standards, his memorization abilities are off the charts and he expects you to meet similar criteria.  
        • So, while he is a gifted teacher and great at explaining things, he’s not an easy one.
  • After Hogwarts, he’ll want the two of you to move in together immediately.  This relationship moves fast at first, but quickly stagnates as he teases the possibility of marriage without ever carrying through with it.
    • You’ll live with him and your life will revolve around his schedule.  He is a creature of habit and rhythm, each day is largely regimented though there are notes of impulsivity throughout it.
      • He may veer off schedule when his fingers are itching to play a specific song on the piano.  
      • Or he may surprise you with the rare thoughtful gift (often regifted to you, but he’ll use his magic to tweak it to your liking—so you’ll be none the wiser).
    • Sometimes he’ll just straight up vanish to go on a spur of the moment trip.  He’ll leave notes for you, but that’s often all the notice you get.
      • Slowly at first, but more quickly as time carries on, you’ll notice small things start appearing in your home.  They’re ordinary, insignificant items, like wristwatches or boxes of cigarettes.
        • Tom hoards these boring things and places them around your home as if they were trophies.
        • It’s bizarre for someone who doesn’t like Muggles, but it’s best if you never ask …
  • For him, physical affection is, in and of itself, a means to an end.  And he is not generous with it.  After all, he doesn’t need it himself and it’s just so … ordinary.  
    • He withholds it, intentionally, to make it feel all the more potent and subsequently increase its worth as a manipulation tool.
      • It’s also just boring for him.  He doesn’t really derive anything from holding your hand or kissing you.  
        • He’ll often keep his eyes open when he does, especially for shorter kisses.  It’s not uncommon for him to roll his eyes, actually.
    • However, he is extremely gifted at kissing in particular.  He’s gotten plenty of practice in and it really shows, much to your enjoyment.
      • He’s arrogant, yes, but he has good reason to be.

(EXPLICIT CONTENT BEGINS HERE) 

  • Now, as far as the bedroom is concerned, it’s a slightly different story.  Mainly because he enjoys the power dynamics of sex and is able to derive physical pleasure from it.  So, it’s (in his opinion) the best means to an end, especially when it comes to deepening your ‘bond.’
    • But he specifically enjoys it the most under the important caveat that you are submissive and—ideally—masochistic.  He must be in control, but he prefers to be able to hurt you and for you to accept it.
      • The fact that you also enjoy it takes some of his enjoyment out of it, but it’s better than not being able to choke you out, use orgasm denial, or his magic to hurt you.
      • The more exaggerated the power dynamic difference is, the better.  Outside of it, he’s not really super ‘kinky’ about it.
    • He will NEVER relinquish control to you, he is always the one in power and on top.  If you are also dominant in the bedroom, you will be rendered submissive under him. 
      • This enables him to maintain his sense of being ‘above’ you (quite literally).
      • You trying to gain the upper hand or take power away from him is a direct threat to his view of self and it will not go over well.
    • He’s greedy in bed and tends to demand a lot from whoever he’s fucking.
      • Prefers to be called ‘Voldemort’ in bed, which can be a bit of a mouthful … but it is expected from him the moment you’re privy to his true identity.
        • If you aren’t, he’d rather you not call his Muggle name, there’s a strict no ‘Tom’ policy in bed.  Incoherent moans and swears will do just fine.  
      • Likes noisy partners, since that really strokes his ego the right way.  Don’t fake it or play it up though, he can tell.  He can always tell.
      • Leaves a lot of marks, both from him bruising you due to his strong grip, but also from leaving hickeys.  You’re his and he enjoys marking you as such, even if you aren’t open with your relationship.
        • He may or may not enjoy watching you struggle to hide everything the next day with a smug sense of satisfaction.
        • You don’t get to mark him though.  Ever.  Only thing is leaving nail marks down his back, since those are very easy for him to mend with magic and they boost his ego.
    • ‘Making love’ is boring.  He’ll go through the motions for you and put up an act that he cares for you, that he adores you, loves you, even.  
      • But at the end of the day, that’s all it is.  An act.  And it’s not a role that he typically finds amusing to play.
      • As such, you will not often get, but that makes it all the more special, doesn’t it?
    • Not terribly into cuddling afterwards, but he acts like he enjoys it and any other forms of aftercare you may need.
      • It’s worth the expense, since he’s figured out that it seems like an important part of intensifying your bond to him—even if it does nothing for him.  
        • He’ll often wandlessly and non-verbally summon whatever book he’s reading (typically on Defence Against the Dark Arts) and he’ll read to you, taking care to skip over any sections on material he wouldn’t want you knowing about.
    • He’ll often initiate in sexual intercourse when he needs an ego boost, but otherwise you’ll often be the one to signal that you want to take things to the bedroom (and from there, he’ll seize control).
      • Knowing you desire him and seeing the effect he has on you (or anyone, for that matter) can help soothe his bruised ego following disappointments and setbacks.
      • This sex is often very rough and tends to be much more focused on his pleasure than your own, he’s not really performing for you to the extent than he usually would.
    • As alien as it may seem to many people, he doesn’t feel any connection to the people he engages with sexually.  There’s no genuine emotion there.  It is, largely, for his own pleasure and self-satisfaction, but also as a means to achieving whatever goal he’s working toward.
      • It’s the conquest of sex that he enjoys, essentially.  He enjoys a good game of seduction, the thrill of it, just as much as the intercourse itself.

(EXPLICIT CONTENT ENDS HERE)

  • Eventually, he finds that he quite enjoys the attention he gets from you.  The love.  He doesn’t understand it (how could he?), but he wants all of it from you and more—he enjoys the worship of it.  He basks in it like a snake on a dark stone that soaks up the sunlight.
    • So long as you let him have his way in a relationship and keep giving him more and more and more, he’ll be quite content.
    • He’ll set up the relationship so that you’re dependent on him.  Be it financially or in terms of living conditions.  The power that comes from keeping you shackled helplessly to him gives him great pleasure.
      • Especially when he knows that he can discard you at any time.  That you’d be truly rendered powerless without him.
    • This means you’re going to be isolated.  
      • Tom is quite controlling, even though he makes himself seem perfectly reasonable in the process.  
      • He poisons the well and makes it seem like you’re the one cutting yourself off from people who don’t have your best interests at heart.  In reality, he’s handing you the matches and whispering in your ear to burn the damn bridge.
        • “Your parents seem to be quite harsh on you, viewing you like a disappointment …  I don’t think they like me, either.”  
        • “Your friends said all these terrible things to me about you behind your back.  Don’t you think you deserve better friends?”
      • If you’re already isolated?  Well, that’s one less thing for him to do and a plus, as far as he’s concerned.
    • Never will he be dependent on you.  You may think he’s emotionally reliant upon you, but that’s just the illusion he creates for you.  All of it is, really.
      • Yes, he may leech off of you like a parasite, but that’s because it means he has more money to save for traveling the world with.  He doesn’t need your money, it’s just convenient for him.
  • However, if you are ‘problematic’ he’ll employ more manipulative tactics to keep you in your place.
    • If you try and demand that he spends more time with you?
      • He’ll make you feel bad for asking him.  Emphasize that he already does so much for you, that he’s so very busy and that while he loves you (of course he does) he doesn’t have the time that you’re so selfishly asking him for.
    • If you keep on persisting?
      • He’ll torment you by turning a cold shoulder, ignoring you entirely until you apologize to him.  If you think you’re already not getting enough, well, you haven’t seen anything yet.
      • You’ll break and come crawling back to him, in which he’ll relent and apologize in return—holding you and kissing you oh-so-sweetly.
    • If you resist his ploys to render you dependent on him?
      • He’ll emphasize how he’s just trying to be a good partner and how he wants to be the provider, selflessly allowing you to focus on what you’re most concerned about.  He’ll insist and tailor his imploring until you break and give in to him.
    • He’s a master manipulator and derives great enjoyment from it, it reminds him how predictable other people are and how superior he is.
  • Even if you aren’t, he’ll do small things to make you feel less sane.
    • Furniture will move around your home, just a few centimeters, but enough to feel that something is ‘off.’
    • Things will never quite be where you remember them whenever he’s home.  They’ll be in another one of your usual places.
    • He’ll tell you that you said something differently than you actually did before, but he does it with such an honest and concerned expression that you believe him.  
      • You start to doubt whether or not you actually said what you thought you said.  It invalidates your sense of reality even further.
    • This makes it easier for him to make him seem like the superior decision maker, along with weakening your perception of reality.
    • Again, this is where his impressive manipulation skills come into play and he enjoys it.  
      • There’s a power in breaking someone psychologically in this particular way, which is what he takes from it.
  • Arguments are not recommended with Tom.  Given the manipulation he uses to break you down, he can get quite nasty during arguments.  However, there’s often tension that builds in your relationship once you settle in and it always comes to a crescendo, snapping violently like a piano string played under forceful hands.
    • The ‘Tom’ you know is suddenly gone.  He becomes cold and aggressive, fangs bared as he mercilessly destroys your points with logic and brings up your personal flaws.  
      • He knows where to hurt and he will hurt you, often skating dangerously close to the truth—the truth you deny so ardently.  Because he knows he can get away with it.
      • “I matter more in your life than you do in mine.”  Is a prime example of the venom he may spew at you.
    • You will come crawling back to him and he’ll suddenly sing pretty songs about changing and mending his ways.  That he’s sorry and that he loves you.
      • Such lovely words from such a lovely mouth, all lies and told in a way that make you want to believe.  And you often do, even if you know you shouldn’t.  That, instead, you should run away from Tom Riddle and never look back.
    • If you ever do run away, you’re living on borrowed time.  Especially if you seek Dumbledore’s assistance and manage to go into hiding.
      • That becomes very, very personal to him the moment you bring his mortal enemy into your affairs.
  • When you’ve served your purpose, it will go one of two ways:
    • Either you submit yourself to him entirely and accept your demotion to a mere Death Eater servant, living out the rest of your life in service to him with the Dark Mark seared into your flesh.
      • For good service, he may reward you through similar (though, more often than not, he’ll cruelly dangle such rewards in front of your nose before withdrawing them).
      • You’ll end up dead or in Azkaban when all is said and done.
    • Or he’ll kill you.  He’s quite proficient at getting away with murder, mainly because he’s gifted with magic and charming.  Avada Kedavra is simple, but it’s less subtle in most circumstances—something he can’t afford as much in his younger days.
      • He’ll either set it up to make it seem like an accident, carefully frame someone who had motive to kill you, or he’ll pin it on someone else post-murder, if it was more impulsively done.
      • Ideally, he’ll be able to enjoy a last bit of fun with you, torturing you until you absolutely break and beg for Death’s dark embrace.
      • It’s another way he’s superior to you, since that’s something he’ll never have to experience.  His Horcruxes make him, as he believes, to be a master of death.
  • Overall, Tom Marvolo Riddle is a partner you should avoid having at all costs.  As pretty and charming as he may be, he is a monster who will use you and break you to his satisfaction—taking and taking and taking everything from you.  
  • There is no love in him for him to give.

 

Chapter Text

  • lbus Dumbledore is an enigma and a chess master, just with human pieces and life or death stakes.  It is not easy to win his affection, even more so to have him act on it.
  • When you come into his life will drastically impact his course of action in pursuing you, primarily when the two of you get together … but also whether or not you do.
    • If you knew him when he was at Hogwarts …  //  If your paths cross shortly after he parts ways with Grindelwald and the death of his sister …
      • The wounds are so fresh and they linger, festering, for some time.
      • However, the two of you will grow close as friends and eventually that bond deepens into something more, something blurred and beautiful.  It’s something neither of you speak of in spite of being aware of it, for fear that it’ll ruin what you have.
        • It’s an unspoken rule, but it’s instead communicated in lingering touches and glances.
      • He’ll wait until after he’s given the object that will allow him to finally face Grindelwald.  He’ll confess his love to you as you work together, though it will be years before it comes to fruition.
        • You’ll work together to free him from his past, to help him unburden himself and face the truth of who killed Ariana Dumbledore.
        • However, it is only until after Grindelwald is locked away that he feels truly free to love you as you deserve, as old men living out the rest of your long lives together.  
          • This is when his love for you is the most ardent and tender.
      • He knows he should not waste what he has in the present moment, to not dwell on the past and dreams long gone.  
        • Albus Dumbledore loves you and you truly mean the world to him, he will not squander it over the confused echoes of feelings he needs to let go.
    • If you meet while he’s preparing to face Grindelwald …  //  If you meet him during the period of time before Tom’s rise as the new Dark Lord becomes known to him …
      • It’s less of a slow burn, though Dumbledore is still terribly wary about acting on his feelings.  He’s older and wiser, less liable to wander ignorantly into the entanglement of romantic love as his younger self was.
      • He has been burned to the very bone, felt like his heart had been burned to mere cinders.  Yet … it rises once again all the same, burning brighter than ever.  
        • And perhaps, this time, things will be different.  Perhaps you will be different.
      • His flirtations are calculated and careful as he tests the waters and slowly comes to embrace his feelings for you and you.
      • He invites you out on a date after he comes to the conclusion that he is hopelessly in love with you and, as mentioned above, that he should not linger on the love of his past.
    • If your paths cross much later in life, when the second Dark Lord is ascendant …
      • He will only admire you from afar, pining after you like the foolish old man that he is.
      • Tom is a menace and he knows all too well that his former student loathes him—that the boy will do whatever he can to get to Dumbledore.  To hurt him.  And while Albus does not fear his former student, he does fear getting you killed because of him.
        • Love, as powerful and wonderful as it may be, is not something he himself can afford any longer, at least not of the requited variety.  
        • He does not resent Tom for this, he pities him since the shell of a man he is could never understand the love that he holds for you.  
      • You are too precious, too vibrant, and altogether too lovely for him.  He will only bring you ruin and death, so he cannot afford to be selfish.  He cannot bring himself to be responsible for extinguishing your light from the world.
      • Instead, he’ll do what he can to keep you safe and at an arm’s distance at all times, though preferably farther.
      • When he sees you with another for the first time, he smiles even though he wants to cry.  You will be happy and that’s really all that matters to him … though he will always wonder what it would’ve been like to love and be loved by you.
        • Yet another secret he shall carry to the ground with him as he falls …
  • The outside world, save for perhaps Aberforth who was made privy to the nature of your relationship, will never be the wiser of your relationship—even if you get married in secret.
    • It is one of Albus’s greatest secrets, but also the sweetest.
  • In terms of dates, Albus is rather open and enjoys a great deal of variety of options, so long as the two of you are able to keep your hands to yourselves and act like you’re just good friends.  He hates it, but he’d to put you in danger even more—so you must remain his best kept secret, so long as there’s a Dark Lord present.
    • In the winter, one of his favorites is going ice skating with you on the Black Lake, especially at night when all the students and staff are tucked away in bed.  
      • Mainly because the two of you are able to be free and open with your love.
    • He loves going with you to old bookstores, going through old books and making witty critiques.  Making you laugh brings him great pride and he savors the sound.
    • The two of you may pop on over to some different sweets shops, trying candy and buying a good load of them since Albus has a serious sweet tooth.  The two of you likely have fun bantering about his strange tastes in candy, as well.  He enjoys your teasing.
      • “Al, you eat candy that only old men like …”
      • “Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I am an old man, love.”
      • Please.  If that’s the case, then what would that make me?”
      • His blue eyes crinkle with silent laughter as he pops another candy in, leaving his response to your imagination.
    • No matter what though, you’re careful to come across as two close friends.  Sometimes, when you’re both feeling daring, you’ll sneak some kisses in.  He’ll wink at you after every one, face lit up in delight at the moment you two were able to share.
  • As he ages, he prefers more cerebral dates, such as curling up with you by the fire with a good book in hand and reading together, discussing the material as you go.  Spirited debates are not uncommon, nor is good natured banter.
    • The man is ridiculously intelligent and well connected, he seems to know more than a little bit about everything and everyone.  If you have a passion for learning, you’ll find yourself in good company with a fountain of information as your partner.
      • Philosophical chats are common, as well.  He’ll talk with you about the power of the magic known as love, along with Death.  His warm embrace of mortality almost certainly will rub off on you, he does his best to help you find the same comfort in the concept that he’s able to enjoy—if you haven’t already found it on your own.
    • Perhaps, a game of Wizard’s chess or two.  Albus sometimes lets you win, his eyes always twinkle mischievously and you know that he threw the match intentionally.
    • Albus lives for banter, especially if you’re as good with words as he is.  He is a man of great wit and wisdom, so he has a great time engaging in a battle of wits and humor with his love.
    • Fawkes likes to watch on, sometimes flying over and perching on either your shoulder or Albus’s (whenever you two are debating, you take this as a sign of Fawkes telling you who’s right).
  • On the subject of Fawkes, you pretty much become his second bird dad, provided that you are true in your loyalty to his human companion.
    • Fawkes adores you and enjoys getting head scritches from you, he’ll often fly over to you and boop you with his head, letting out some pretty trills in a demand for attention.
    • He will always come to you whenever he senses you’re in danger, the phoenix is a powerful ally and where he comes—Dumbledore is often shortly behind, provided that he’s not off on some mysterious (and dangerous) activity.
  • Albus Dumbledore is a man of action, but he is also a writer with a brilliant mind.  This means that his letters to you are positively to die for in how exquisite and beautiful they are.
    • He is very thoughtful in your correspondences and his letters are always very long, but they’re easy to read and so … magnificent that you thoroughly come to enjoy them.
      • You can hear his voice when you read them and they’re so descriptive that you’re almost there.  It helps make the distance less painful.
    • Love letters are something he very much enjoys writing for you, he’s blushing and grinning (even in his old age!).
      • If you die before him (regardless of your cause of death), he’ll still write letters to you.  And, like the sentimental old fool that he is, he keeps them in a secret compartment of his desk. 
        • He misses you terribly and it’s his way of coping with your loss, writing you letters to keep you up to date on affairs, as if you’re merely a great distance away and the two of you will be reunited in the near future.  And you are, he likes to think.
        • He also knows of his role in history, of his importance to Wizarding society, and he does not want his love for you to be overlooked or forgotten by historians.  
          • Aberforth knows of the letters and he’s sworn to release them to the public, not to burn them.
          • Of course, he’d never deny your relationship if ever asked directly about it.  Only Minerva ever does though, everyone else believed you two to be merely brothers by bond—nothing more.
  • Physical affection is something that Albus really enjoys, especially of the casual variety.
    • There is just something so utterly domestic about casually touching your shoulder or back.
      • You helping straighten out some of his robes or adjust his glasses makes him weak.  He lives for these little moments of affection, the little signs that you love him and tell him as much without saying a single word.
      • He likes to return the favor for you, as well.
    • He likes having a hand on you whenever you’re in private, often times he’ll drape a whole arm around you.  It’s almost as if you’re his tether, keeping him grounded and secure in the present moment.
      • Absolutely loves it when you rest your head against his shoulder, especially if you end up dozing off.  He will not risk rousing you unless it’s something truly important and he’ll often doze off alongside you, allowing himself to savor a moment of peace.
    • He has a bad habit of pacing when he needs to think, he’ll pace around a room or just do back and forth if he’s in a cramped space.  
      • Having you around, he’s able to just sit with you, holding your hand as he bounces a leg—lost in thought.
    • Albus loves kissing you and he’s awful about smiling into kisses, you just make him so very happy and he can’t really help himself.
      • No matter how old you get, this remains a constant.
      • His beard is also quite ticklish, either in its state of beautiful fiery auburn, greying red, or ashen silver.  He doesn’t really shave it off entirely, so it’s something you have to get used to.
        • Sometimes you end up smiling into the kiss as well, because of it.
    • Very big on sneaking up behind you and wrapping his arms around you, he’s quite bad about it and tends to let out a low, rumbling laugh whenever he catches you by surprise.
  • While you are the person who he’s able to relax around and act as his sanctuary ….  Unfortunately, Dumbledore still always keeps secrets from you.  Great and terrible secrets.  He suffers his burden in silence, uncomplaining, as he does what he believes to be necessary for the greater good.
    • That is not something he wants to ever rope you into.  You are his sanctum, which he believes to be for both your own good and his own.
    • There are days during the Second Wizarding War where he feels like Atlas, shouldering the responsibility for keeping so many people safe.  Of having to bring Tom down, finally, which is something that he always feel responsible for.  If only he had been able to help the young orphan boy, if only he had been able to show him the error of his ways and teach him the value of love.  If only …
      • He is gutted with every piece that is destroyed on his board, for every life that even the slightest miscalculation costs … or every life that is a necessary sacrifice in his pursuit for a checkmate.  
      • But he will never put it into words, that is his burden to take to the grave.  And his alone.
    • If this is terribly important to you, your relationship with him will be rendered mere ash before you know it.  
      • The bright, young facade Albus radiates vanishes to something colder and he looks his age whenever you press too hard or pry on matters that are too grave for him to share.
    • However, you’re able to comfort and support him, acting like a pillar to provide him with some relief from his heavy burden.
      • There are terrible nights when he just needs to be held, feeling safe in your embrace and drawing strength from your continued belief in him.
      • He knows he doesn’t deserve it, that he doesn’t deserve you, but he’s so thankful.
  • Marriage is something that Albus would very much like, but (like every other aspect of your relationship) it must be done in secrecy.  Elopement out of the country and with someone who is capable of keeping a secret would be his method of choice.
    • Both of you keep your own last names, but in private Albus very much enjoys calling you ‘Mr. Dumbledore,’ especially if it’ll get you to blush shortly afterwards.
    • You two live together whenever you can, which can be tricky if you’re not a professor at Hogwarts or live in Hogsmeade.
    • Family was never in the cards for Albus, but if you have any children from previous relationships he welcomes them with open arms.  He adores them as if they were his very own.  He’s good with kids, they tend to trust him unquestioningly, so it’s likely your child(ren) would adore him too.
      • Otherwise, he’s content with you two having Fawkes and any other magical creatures you’d fancy.
  • Now, there are times early on in your relationship where he finds himself unfairly comparing you and his ex-boyfriend.
    • What he had with Gellert was the type of naïve, intense love that burns so very bright and hot.  It singed anything within the aura of its heat and burnt out in an explosive fizzle, searing Albus and leaving behind a wound that never quite heals.  Not fully, at least.
      • It gave him unrealistic expectations and some unhealthy habits that he has to work hard to rectify in your relationship.  It’s a struggle that he doesn’t voice to you, since he doesn’t want to hurt you.
    • What he has with you is a truly everlasting flame, since when the fire burns low—both of you help stoke it, reigniting and keeping it alive.  
      • It is a smaller and dimmer flame, but it doesn’t burn when you get too close.  It’s just perfect and warm, so very warm.
    • It takes a while into the relationship for him to learn how to curb this instinct and recognize that while Grindelwald was his first love, you are the love of his life.
  • Arguments may or may not be plentiful, depending on how easily you accept and roll with Dumbledore’s secretive ways.
    • He always treats you with the utmost understanding and empathy, Albus is always serenely calm with you.
      • Although, there are lines you may cross—subjects you should not dare to broach with him—and in which case the blue flames of his eyes will flicker and then vanish, turning to the bluest ice, instead.
      • It can be very hard to return to his full confidence if you step too far, if you hurt him too much. 
    • At times, his calm demeanor can be quite frustrating since you want him to get mad, you want him to get angry.  Yet he is a man who is in firm control of his emotions, who compartmentalizes them like a professional.
    • He always makes sure you never go to bed mad at him, though.  He’ll often offer you your favorite sweets and apologize or tell you that he understand where you’re coming from.
      • If that means staying up late and talking it out once you’ve calmed down, you’ll do that.  He’s very serious about this point, he believes it to be some of the wisest advice he’s ever received in regard to love.
  • Overall, Albus Dumbledore is a fiercely loyal and protective partner to go through life with.  He loves you with his whole heart and will go to the ends of the earth to protect you … even if it means doing some amoral things.

Bonus:

  • Regardless of which of you dies first, Aberforth Dumbledore breaks the secret of your relationship when you are both deceased and either your remains are moved to rest beside your husband’s or you are buried beside him if you follow him to the grave.
    • “Until Death do us part,” doesn’t entirely ring true for the two of you.
    • For Death reunites the two of you, having welcomed you each like old friends.

 

Chapter Text

It all happened in a flurry of motion: your husband pressed you against the wall, his lips hungrily devouring yours, filled with a burning need and promises of what was to come that evening, and your back arched against him as his fingers fumbled with the fixings that kept you dressed.  As you returned the kiss and let your hands move up to tangle into his well-groomed hair, you decided that you needed him closer.  

Much closer.  So, you shifted your weight more against the wall as you brought your legs up and hooked them around his hips, pulling him tightly against you.

Thaddeus smirked into the kiss as his broad hands slid down to your ass and gave it a firm squeeze—long fingers coming dangerously close to where you most wanted them.  A moan escaped you, full enough that it forced you to part your lips.  He took full advantage of the moment to slide his tongue into your mouth and deepening the kiss.

Your mind was so consumed by the feeling of his tongue, that you didn’t fully realize he was carrying you over to his desk until he set you down.  His hands resumed their previous job, working on undoing the complicated clasps of your robes along the back of the garment.  

Eventually, he had to break off the kiss for air and rested his hands on your hips—victorious in their endeavor of undoing your robes.  The distance, as slight as it was, immediately felt unbearable and it must’ve showed on your face.

“Now, now, my dear,” Thaddeus murmured, lips still brushing against your own, hot breath fanning.  “Patience is a virtue and I do believe we’re not in the bedroom at present.”

“Well, we’re not exactly virtuous, Thad.”

“Mm, you really want to do it here?” he asked, eyes flickering between yours before he straightened out some, lips now far too distant from your own for your liking.  It wasn’t helped by the self-satisfied smirk on his face.  “My, my … someone’s quite the needy little thing tonight, aren’t we?”

“I’m not—”  You were cut off as he ground himself against you, giving you a small taste of the friction you sorely needed.  In response, your legs tightened around him

“Seems otherwise to me, dear.”

He then lowered his face back down before you had a chance to try and fire off a retort again, but to your neck this time—mouth quickly busying itself by kissing and nipping at the flesh there.  You tilted your head to the side, giving him full access to do as he pleased to your neck.  

Your breath hitched in your throat as he chanced upon a sensitive spot, he paused before biting down, just enough to hurt in the way you liked.  An airy moan escaped you, eyes fluttering shut as he began to suck on the spot—soothing the agitation.

He pressed open mouthed kisses up to your ear and purred into your ear, “But I must say I’m certainly not opposed to it.”

“Oh, trust me, love, I can tell.”

You rolled your hips back against his, earning a low groan of surprise from him and a as you felt his erection to make your point.  Thaddeus let out a low rumble of a chuckle as he looked down at you, blue eyes now dark from just how blown out his pupils were.

A shiver ran down your spine in anticipation, you knew that it meant play time was over.  You watched as he waved a hand, which was followed by the ungraceful clattering of the desk’s previous items to the floor.  It was clumsy, emotional magic.

“Was that supposed to—”

The words died in your throat once again as his broad hands came to rest on your shoulders and he pushed you back onto the (mostly) cleared surface.  They then quickly moved down to unhook your legs from around him, allowing him to spread them as he so pleased.

“No more talking.”

You bit your bottom lip as you watched him work on unbuttoning one of the silly Muggle dress shirts he seemed to enjoy wearing, though you had to admit that you did find it pleasurable to watch him undress.  The way more and more of his skin slowly became exposed with each button.

It was tantalizing, in stark contrast to how he’d soon slide your robes off of you—bearing you all to him in one motion.  Another shiver of anticipation shot down your spine, more than ready to have him take you.

The last button was undone, he reached his hands up to pull it off and—  

The Dark Marks on each of your left forearms began to burn.  You were being summoned.  

His hands froze in place as your eyes met each other, wide with realization, before the irritation crashed over each of you.

He let out a groan as a hand came up to pinch the bridge of his prominent nose.  “Oh, how fucking typical.”

“This is the third time!” you whined as you swung your head back to let it rest against the polished dark wood of the desk.

“That bastard has the worst timing, I swear he must know,” Thaddeus grumbled under his breath, withdrawing from you and buttoning the shirt back up in a clumsy hurry.

“You really want to go out with your … little problem, hm?” you asked, eyes still half-lidded as you pushed yourself up to a sitting position on the desk.

“First of all, it’s not little, as I’m sure you can eagerly attest to.”  He said, giving you a wink.  “Second, that’s the benefit of wearing robes, no one will be any the wiser until it resolves itself.”  He tucked his shirt back in before turning back to you.  “Now, let me get you laced and clasped back up, so we can throw on the uniforms and get out of here.”

With a huff, you stood up and turned around, letting him redo what he had undone earlier.  His fingers seemed to intentionally trail along your bare skin as he did so, driving you mad with the knowledge that you’d have to wait hours to feel it again.

“And, darling,” he whispered into your ear, lips brushing against the skin there, “I’d recommend against repeating last time’s antics.”

"Or what?  You’ll punish me again?” you asked, turning your face toward his, eyes meeting his defiantly as your noses practically brushed against each other.

His eyes flickered between your own and your lips, his hands came to rest on your waist and gave you a slight squeeze.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you, hm?  Well, I assure you it’ll be … different this time.”

You liked the sound of that and you found yourself leaning closer, lips dangerously close to his.  And then the Dark Mark began to burn with a greater intensity, reminding you that your impatient Lord was waiting for you.

He gave you a gentle squeeze, lingering for a moment longer, before pulling away and heading toward where you kept your Death Eater guises.

image

The meeting was thoroughly boring and your mind kept going over to your masked husband sitting beside you—fantasizing about what he could’ve been doing to you right then.  How could you focus when you had to figure out how to make the most out of your situation?

Riddle, er, Voldemort was rambling on about some boring business involving how to best infiltrate the Auror’s office from the inside when you decided to act.  Not looking away, you slid a hand under the table and allowed your hand to make contact with his thigh.

He froze immediately, but that didn’t deter you from sliding your hand over and against his inner thigh, fingers coming awfully close to—

“Don’t,” he hissed, low enough so that only you could hear, as his other hand grabbed your wrist, locking it in place.

You only smirked behind your mask as you wriggled your fingers in a very intentional fashion, letting them rub against his crotch to give him a taste of what you could do for him.  There was a sharp intake of air as he suddenly released your wrist, which you assumed to be his begrudging blessing to continue with your ministrations for the time being. 

Taking full advantage, you snaked your hand down and palmed him through the layers of his robes and pants.  He shifted carefully in his chair, legs parting as he moved his hips forward to press against your hand.

Without further ado, you gave him a gentle squeeze and heard another shaky sigh from him—this one a bit louder, but not anything that seemed like anything more than a simple sigh.  If past times were anything to suggest what was to come, he was probably getting close to starting to make some subtle, delicious sounds.  As your hand worked its magic, he continued to lightly rock his hips against it, doing his best to keep his torso still.

You couldn’t help but press your thighs tighter together, unable to ignore the throbbing of need pick up as you imagined what his face must’ve looked like. 

Under the table, you continued to do your best to deliver him what pleasure you could. However, you tried to return your attention back to the discussion going on around you to keep the illusion up.

The Dark Lord turned his gaze in your direction, pausing in his speech as his face went momentarily blank.  Well, outside of the slight wrinkle of his nose in the vaguest suggestion of disgust.

Surely, he couldn’t have …  You were being so careful, no one around you had even given you any glances yet!

“Argenti,” he said, your husband’s codename cutting through the air like a sword.  You were quick to freeze in your ministrations as you felt him tense, this time from an entirely different issue.  “You’re always such an … active listener.  You wouldn’t happen to have any suggestions for a candidate, would you?”

“Oh, uh—Aurum!  Yes, I’d go with Aurum, if I were you, uh, my Lord.”

A tight lipped smile broke out across your leader’s handsome face.  “Yes, he was my first choice, as I just stated.  I was hoping you had a new idea to offer.”

“Ah, yes … of course, my Lord.  However, I meant that you simply go with Aurum.  There’s no point in considering anyone else for the position of spy.”

“Is that so …?”

“Absolutely, my Lord.”

“I’m glad to hear it then, it’d be a shame if you were … distracted,” he said with a cold edge as his eyes flickered over to you for emphasis.  “Thank you for your input, my friend.”

Needless to say, you kept your hands to yourself for the rest of the, thankfully short, meeting.

The moment it was over, the two of you Apparated back home.  As soon as you were in the sanctum of your house, each of you took off your mask.  The expression on his face was hard and intense, though with what you weren’t certain of.

“I’m so—”

His hands grasped the sides of your face as he smashed his lips down against yours, cutting you off.  Your eyes slid shut as you felt him take your bottom lip between his teeth, briefly pulling at it to demand entrance, before he pressed his expectant lips back to yours.  Without hesitation, you opened your mouth to him.

Thaddeus shoved you back against the nearest wall as he plunged his tongue into your mouth, hips desperately rutting against you.  His expression certainly wasn’t the only thing that was hard.

And you knew you were in for a rough night.