She was upset.
Adrien could tell she was by the out-of-character swoops that threw her off balance; by the clumsy fumbling with the quaffle; and by the brilliant blue of her eyes—they were only ever radioactive when she was on the verge of tears.
It was hard to see everything going on through the thick fog hanging in the air, and Adrien’s omnioculars were having a hard time spotting the players and focusing on them.
Sitting through her practice was torture, Adrien found, was torture. He usually loved to watch Marinette play, but it was obvious that she was distressed, and there was nothing Adrien could do about it except watch. He jumped to his feet with a gasp when she slipped and almost fell off of her broom.
The whistle blew, and Kim, the Slytherin Team Captain, shouted, “Alright, guys. Practice is over!”
The Slytherin Quidditch Team descended to the frosty grass below, many of them talking amongst themselves. Marinette was alone, and Adrien’s stomach twisted when Kim gently took her aside.
Adrien leaned forward with his omnioculars, his golden and black striped scarf suddenly hot against his neck as he watched their exchange from the stands.
His heart dropped into his stomach when Marinette darted off, her hands coming up to cover her eyes. Adrien stood and made his way down from the stands as quickly as he could.
Alya would know what to do , he thought, taking long strides to find his way toward the locker rooms. Alya was supposed to be there so they could practice summoning charms while they watched Marinette’s Quidditch practice. However, she’d cancelled last minute to help Rose and Juleka with a Potions assignment for Snape’s class, and Adrien found himself cursing under his breath.
Adrien waited outside the locker room for twenty minutes. Marinette’s teammates emerged every few minutes, sometimes stopping to talk to Adrien, and sometimes shooting him sympathetic looks.
After thirty minutes had rolled by and no one else was emerging, Adrien pushed open the locker room door to look for her.
“Marinette?” he called softly, voice echoing against the tiles scaling the floors and walls. “Where are you?”
A faint sniffle answered him, barely audible, and Adrien followed it to the last row of cupboards. He found Marinette, face in her knees and back pressed against a neighboring cupboard. Her own was thrown open, equipment spilling out as if she had tried to shove everything in at once and failed.
She didn’t move upon his approach, but he knew that she was aware of his presence. Adrien leaned against the cupboard beside hers, looking down at her hunched form. His heart gave a painful tug when she slowly looked up and met his gaze with her own teary one. She wiped at her eyes, a small, pitiful laugh escaping her mouth.
“Hey, sorry I’m taking so long,” she mumbled, another laugh bubbling from her mouth as she made a move to stand. “I lost track of time.”
Adrien took her into his arms, gently pressing her head to his chest and willing her doubt to dissipate. “It’s okay. I’d wait forever for you.”
She pulled away with a small snort that turned into a sniffle. Her eyes were ringed red, and her cheeks were flushed. “You’re ridiculous,” she said, shooting him a genuine smile that probably would have knocked Adrien on his ass if he wasn’t so worried about her.
He returned her tiny smile, warmth blooming in his chest. “Ridiculous for you, maybe.”
Marinette’s smile softened. She leaned into him once more with another sniffle, and Adrien desperately hoped the small quiver in her frame was a giggle and not a sob.
Marinette had never been an overly emotional person. Adrien had been enamored of her since the first time they’d met in their first year and had quickly become one of her best friends. He’d learned the curve of her moods and walked the banks of her resolutions, but he had never seen her fall into a negative pit with his own eyes until they’d started dating.
She was actively optimistic and kind (her sass only really ever present in the face of cruelty or him). One of the many things he loved about her was her ability to be strong for others.
There was always a glint of steel in her gaze, he mused; it was a rare time when Adrien caught her in a weak moment. He’d only seen her cry twice since they’d started dating a year ago.
Adrien bit his lip and resisted the urge to run for Alya. She always knew how to cheer Marinette up. Adrien often feared that what he did to console her wasn’t enough.
Swallowing his uncertainty, Adrien kissed her head and ran his hand up and down her back. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Marinette drew her face away from his scarf and shook her head, her smile pitiful. “Maybe later. I’m really hungry right now. Let’s go find Alya and Nino and eat something.”
Upon seeing Adrien’s frown, Marinette stood on her tiptoes and surprised him with a kiss, which, of course, was his ultimate weakness. “Don’t worry about it, mon cher,” she murmured into his lips, eyes glimmering mischievously. “I’m okay now that you’re here. Thank you.”
Adrien was tempted to believe her, but he knew her too well; whatever this was was going to affect her performance and her mindset.
They made their way to the Great Hall, fingers entwined, and conversation of their classes heavy in the air.
Through dinner, Adrien watched Marinette carefully. Even as she chattered with Alya, who was as gung-ho as one could expect, something seemed off.
To his surprise and disappointment, Marinette insisted on going to sleep way before curfew.
“Practice really tired me out,” she insisted with a half-smile, his hands clasped in hers. “I want to be prepared for the game on Saturday, and that means catching up on sleep.”
Adrien kissed the knuckles on both of her hands, devastated to be losing time with her, but respecting that she wanted space. “Alright. Storm the Hufflepuff Common Room if you need anything.”
That got her to giggle. “I’m sure they’d love to see a Slytherin march in and demand to see the House prefect.”
Adrien, with an air of importance and a smirk, leaned in closer. “A vision in green like you? Who wouldn’t want to see it?” He kissed the corner of her lips and pulled away with a more genuine smile. “Besides, they all love you. They’d welcome you with open arms.”
Marinette blushed, gaze dancing away. “Ah, I don’t know if I’d say that.”
Adrien kissed her full on the mouth. “I would,” he said quietly when she pulled away.
Marinette smiled, bright and beautiful and almost completely genuine. “Thank you, Adrien. Good night.”
And with that, she slipped from his grasp and disappeared into the Slytherin Common Room.
Adrien returned to the Great Hall to check in with the Hufflepuff first years before leaving them to their own devices. He wandered the castle aimlessly, thinking to himself. He wanted so badly to cheer Marinette up, but what could he do? It didn’t help that they had a Divination exam the following day...
With a start, he remembered that he’d been meaning to collect a book that he’d left in the seventh floor’s North Wing when he’d been reviewing for the Divination exam with Marinette. He quickly made his way up a few flights of moving staircases to the seventh floor.
The North Wing was nearly empty when he got there; only a few Ravenclaws lingered, seated in chairs or mulling about the collections of books lining the walls.
Adrien searched for his Divination book, earning him some curious looks. To his chagrin, he was unable to find it. He released a frustrated sigh and left the North Wing. Not only was he missing a book now, but he still had no idea what to do about Marinette.
He turned and paced a short length in the opposite direction. The corridor was empty; only his footsteps and the distant voices of Ravenclaws echoed off the walls.
What made Marinette happy? Many things, actually. She was a generally happy person, and it was rare for her to be overly affected by something.
Adrien spun on his heel and walked a few paces in the opposite direction, hands wringing together with a nervous twitch.
He could take her on a date! Yes! She loved going on dates. But where? When? How? Their next Hogsmeade outing wasn’t until the following weekend.
What was he going to do?
Adrien nearly jumped a foot in the air as a door on his right sprung open as if popping out of the wall. He blinked slowly, staring at it. Had that been there before?
With cautious steps, he approached the door, which was barely cracked open. Light spilled out onto the floor, and Adrien pushed the door further open and slipped inside.
Adrien was on the floor instantly, sliding idly. He scrambled back with a surprised shout, but didn’t move much of anywhere. With a start, he realized that he was skirting across a layer of ice.
Confused, Adrien grabbed onto a long, protruding bar and slowly pulled himself up. His mouth fell open.
Before him, in all of its glory, was the Eiffel Tower looming overhead. Brilliant lights sparkled along the length of the tower, stretching out and touching the clouds lingering in the dark sky.
Adrien instantly recognized where he was.
Paris’ most popular ice rink stretched out in every direction, glinting like a block of gold under the Eiffel Tower’s attention. It was completely empty, which meant there was no way that Adrien was actually in Paris…
So where was he?
He wandered around, eventually finding his way off of the rink and onto solid pavement. To his immense surprise, a picnic basket sat on a blanket. When he opened it, a selection of conversational jams and jellies and whistling loaves rested inside of the basket.
After marveling at everything for a few long moments, Adrien stumbled his way back to the door he’d come through. Upon stepping into the corridor, the door behind him slid shut and melted into the wall.
Adrien blinked and ran his hand over the stone where the knob had been. Nothing.
And suddenly, Adrien had an idea.
* * *
“Dude! We’ve been looking for you!”
Adrien jumped, skidding to a stop in the middle of his race to the library. His eyes landed on Nino and Alya, who were approaching him. “Oh! Hey, guys. What’s up?”
Alya looked at him like he’d grown a second head. “Where’s Marinette? And where are you going? Curfew is in an hour.”
“Marinette was tired, so I took her to her Common Room about a half hour ago,” Adrien said, eyes darting between the couple in front of him and the library at the end of the hall.
Ever the detective, Alya followed his gaze. “The library? Are you really going to fit in some last-minute studying? How like you, sunshine.”
Adrien rolled his eyes at the jab. “Leave my study habits alone.”
Nino snickered. “We’ll let you get to that, then. Don’t get caught after hours, Mr. Prefect.” With a wink, Nino and Alya were skirting past him, giggling to one another.
Adrien slipped into the library and headed straight for the Hogwarts section. After thumbing through a myriad of thick, dusty books, Adrien pulled a couple out and began searching the pages.
Hogwarts: A History held no answers for him.
Map of Hogwarts was less than helpful.
Finding Your Way: Hogwarts lacked anything useful.
Adrien, feeling defeated, opened the last book he’d grabbed; it was a small thing that looked more like a journal than a traditional book. The ends were nearly in tatters, and the gold script of the title was faded.
Hogwarts: Interesting Happenstances
When he opened the journal, it was obvious that everything had been hand-written.
“Secret passages, vanishing cabinets, the Great Lake, the Forbidden Forest, moving staircases, dungeons… the Room of Requirement.” Adrien stopped flipping through the pages. “The Room of Requirement,” he repeated, “is a secret room in the Hogwarts castle that only appears when a person is in great need of it. One must pace three times before the blank wall for the door to appear and serve its purpose. The room becomes whatever the witch or wizard is most in need of at that moment. It does not appear on any maps and exists in its own space and time.”
Adrien set the journal down. Had he stumbled upon the Room of Requirement?
* * *
Adrien laid awake in bed that night, thoughts circling the Room of Requirement. Could he get it to work again? Would he be able to take Marinette there?
Marinette. It felt as though he’d been in love with her forever. If five years was forever, that is.
He could still remember seeing her for the first time in their first year; it was a brand in his brain.
The Hogwarts Express cogged along the tracks to Hogwarts. At the bright age of 11, Adrien was going to Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry. His parents had told him countless stories about their adventures at Hogwarts, and Adrien couldn’t wait to begin his own experiences.
His new friend, Nino, was sitting across from him and beside a girl who had opened their compartment door and sat down without asking. Adrien had thought it rude at first, but the girl, Alya, was simply just an abrupt person.
The compartment door slowly slid open, and a small girl with startling blue eyes and raven hair peeked in. “Hi,” she said, beaming a smile at the three, “I’m Marinette. Do you mind if I join you?”
Adrien’s mind immediately began reeling. She was perhaps the prettiest girl he’d ever seen. With a start, he realized that the only available seat was beside him.
She was looking at him, innocent eyes wide. Adrien swallowed.
“The seat is yours,” he said thickly, surprised at the state of his voice.
Marinette grinned at him and took it. Up close, Adrien saw that her nose was splattered with freckles.
Adrien sighed fondly. They’d spent much of the train ride talking; Alya and Marinette had clicked instantly, and the four of them had decided to stick together.
The sorting ceremony had surprised him. He’d expected to be a Hufflepuff like his mother, but he’d thought for sure that, after seeing Marinette tell Chloé Bourgeois off on the train, Marinette would be a Gryffindor like Alya.
But she’d been called as a Slytherin.
Adrien remembered watching her make her way over to the table, shocked. To this day, Adrien was sure that Marinette would have made an amazing Gryffindor. Now, though, he realized why she was such an amazing Slytherin.
He rolled over, a happy sigh escaping his mouth. He loved thinking about the relationship that had bloomed between them. By third year, he had announced that he was in love with Marinette Dupain-Cheng to whoever would listen and began openly flirting with her in attempts to court her.
A smile stretched his face as he reflected on her reaction. She’d been startled, to say the least, and brushed off his “silly lines” and “ridiculous antics.” Of course, Adrien had made it clear that he was her friend before her future lover (she’d scoffed at that, too, but look who’s laughing now), so they’d been able to maintain a strong friendship while he openly pursued her.
What was funny about the matter was that most students their age thought it was odd to see a Hufflepuff chasing after a Slytherin; they were jokingly deemed Romeo and Juliet by the majority, as Slytherins and Hufflepuffs traditionally didn’t get along.
Then again, Marinette was an extraordinary Slytherin, so not many people could fault him when she had more admirers than most of the female upperclassmen did altogether.
“Hey, Marinette,” fourth-year Adrien greeted, sidling up to her with a smirk firmly in place.
Marinette, in all of her green-robed glory, turned a raised eyebrow on him. “That look spells trouble.”
“You spell ‘love’ a bit differently than I do, then,” Adrien stated, grin widening upon the offended blush Marinette’s cheeks took on.
She shot him an unimpressed look, which was marred by the scarlet hue of her face. “You incorrigible flirt.”
He matched the quickening of her steps. “What can I say? You bring out the best in me.”
Her irritated moan, forever something she’d used as a way to end his voracious flirting, still made him smile. He’d only managed to confess his genuine love for her during their fifth year, when his attempts to court her had escalated to their climax.
The look on her face, tinged red from the snow, tickled his heart; she’d given him a shot, and they’d quickly fallen into a dating pattern that had carried them to sixth year.
Adrien jokingly swore that he’d write a novel about their love story one day, and sometimes, he jotted memories of his encounters with Marinette on parchment so he wouldn’t forget them.
If the Room of Requirement reappeared for him, he’d have another thing to write down.
* * *
Just as Adrien had suspected, Marinette was in low spirits the following day, as well. Part of it could have been the Divination exam they had, but Adrien had an inkling that it had something to do with how Quidditch practice had gone the prior evening.
When asked about it, Marinette immediately straightened her back and smiled, though Adrien could see right through her.
“What’s wrong, chérie?” he asked her earnestly, winding his fingers through hers during Potions and leaning toward her.
Marinette blinked at him. “Nothing,” she said, though it was hardly convincing. “I’m just a bit tired.”
Adrien couldn’t get much more out of her, so he decided instead to go full-steam ahead with his surprise date plan.
At the end of dinner in the Great Hall, Adrien told Marinette to meet him on the second floor past curfew.
“Adrien,” she hissed later that night, taking quiet steps down the corridor, “remind me again why we’re out after hours?”
Her hand was warm in his, which would be grounding if they weren’t breaking one of the main rules Hogwarts had. Adrien’s heart raced with adrenaline as he twisted around to see Marinette’s expression. The laugh he was trying to stifle snuck its way past his brilliant grin, and she blew out a frustrated breath.
“Never told you in the first place, my lady,” Adrien hummed, facing forward once more.
If all happened as planned, she would have a good night’s sleep. A little later than wished for, maybe, but it would be better than tossing and turning for hours like he suspected that she might. Adrien hoped she would have fun.
He peeked around a corner, creating a momentary rest before tugging his girlfriend along with renewed vigor. A small yelp escaped her lips, enough for him to give a huffed laugh.
They were almost there.
He hadn’t really thought much of the walking distance after his original preparations, but he supposed that wasn’t something they could avoid now.
“Since when did you become so adept at sneaking out?” Marinette asked, eyebrow raised when Adrien turned to shoot her a smirk.
He offered a quiet, playful shush before answering, “It’s as though you don’t even know me. I should be offended.”
Marinette took longer strides so she could keep up with him, and Adrien would have made a height joke if he weren’t terrified of being caught by a wayward teacher or cat. She tugged at his hand, likely to get him to slow down, but Adrien persisted with a small smile. He squeezed her hand in response, picturing the pout on her lips.
She blew a frustrated breath but squeezed his hand back. It made his heart do a little jump; a hard thud against his ribcage.
“But you’re not offended because I’m me. Aren’t you supposed to be a prefect, though? Nonetheless, a Hufflepuff Prefect?”
Adrien looked at her and winked. “Don’t tell anyone, but I’m secretly a bad boy.”
Marinette gave an inelegant snort. She slapped her free hand over her mouth, trying to muffle the sound a second too late. It was followed by a little giggle. Adrien smiled, happy to see her mood slowly but surely lifting.
“‘A bad boy,’” she mocked. “I suppose dragging a girl along to unknown places at night, blatantly breaking curfew rules, is a pretty bad thing to do. What kind of example are you setting for the children?”
Adrien chose to purse his lips shut, cutting back on the smile that wanted to burst forth.
“Okay, come on. Don’t leave me in the dark,” Marinette pestered quietly after a moment, daring to dart up beside him and kiss his jaw (not fair!). “Please?”
Adrien could feel himself blushing to the roots of his hair. “That is treachery. Bribery is not accepted.”
Marinette pulled his hand up to her lips and began kissing each individual knuckle as they moved, and Adrien swore that he almost collapsed by the third one.
“Marinette,” he hissed, face on fire as he pulled his hand out of her grip, “play fair.”
She linked their arms together and sighed into the crook of his neck, to which he nearly jumped a foot in the air. He made a mental note to get a slow, cruel revenge.
To his immense relief, he recognized the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy and knew the Room of Requirement was on the opposite wall. He searched the corridor for any onlookers before focusing his mind on what he wanted.
Marinette stared at him as he paced back and forth before the empty wall.
“Adrien?” she whispered, mouth pressed into a thing line as an eyebrow climbed up her forehead. “What are you—?”
The Room of Requirement took the form of a door, which emerged from the stone as if bubbling to the surface of a liquid. Marinette’s mouth opened and closed like that of a fish before she looked at Adrien.
He grabbed her hand and tugged her through the door, barely cognizant of her “eep!”
They were immediately sliding on the wet, icy surface of the ice rink, the Eiffel Tower gleaming brilliantly overhead. The door that led out to the corridor shut on its own, leaving them to slip on the stretch of ice laid out before them.
Marinette stumbled on the sudden change of surface, latching onto his arm and making his own balance shift as they slid across the ice.
“Adrien Agreste!” she yelped, staring down at her legs as she struggled to stand only to slip again. “What did you do?!”
“Wh—why do you make it sound like I did something bad? It’s just an ice rink!”
“An ice rink,” she repeated slowly.
He felt himself smiling. “The Eiffel Tower’s ice rink.”
Her expression was inexplicably blank.
“Oh, Adrien,” she said suddenly. To his utter relief, a smile stretched her lips. It was shaky and tearful, but it was genuine. “What are we even going to skate with?”
He let out a breath and helped her straighten up before pointing to the barrier, where skates and sweaters rested. There was no snow, but their breaths formed little clouds upon leaving their mouths.
“I came prepared,” he whispered, watching her smile bloom like a flower in season.
* * *
Adrien rose early the following day, heart singing. They’d laughed and skated, and eaten to their hearts’ content, and he’d gone to sleep tasting the jam on her lips.
The Great Hall was buzzing with activity as people shoveled breakfast down their throats. Adrien had shown up as early as he could to catch Marinette before she raced off to the locker rooms with her teammates.
Before she went, she cupped his face with her hands and kissed him full on the mouth. Adrien, surprised because Marinette wasn’t big on PDA, barely got to melt into her before she was pulling away with a murmured “I love you” that stuck to inside of chest and caused everything to short-circuit.
When he took his seat at one of the long tables across from Alya and Nino on wobbly knees, they made fun of his face for a solid four minutes before moving on to talk of the game. Adrien managed to tune in, but his focus was divided between possible strategies and the fact that his body was on fire.
The walk out to the Quidditch pitch felt like it was miles long. Adrien sweltered with anticipation; if Slytherin won this game, they would be far enough ahead of the other Houses to win everything. Not that Adrien wasn’t cheering for his own house, but… Marinette.
The Slytherin team was actually pretty cool. They were some of the nicer members of Slytherin, which had an equal distribution of bad seeds and good wizards and witches. Among the team (that Adrien actually knew) was Lê Chiến Kim (the captain and keeper), Kiana Marina (one of the chasers), Paniona Bagil (one of the beaters), and Marinette. Most of the team was male save for three, but the only truly mean person on the team had to be the seeker, Klint Coleman, who Adrien had the displeasure of seeing in Potions.
The stands were swimming with every student and teacher that attended Hogwarts; Quidditch was the school’s most popular event, and everyone showed up for the games.
The student announcer, Aurore Beauréal , was excitedly listing off the names of the players and the stats of the teams as the orchestra started blaring music.
Adrien, Alya, and Nino all shuffled into the front seats of the lowest student box, leaning over the edge to see if they could peer into the locker rooms.
“Is she feeling better?” Alya yelled over the roar of the students, dark eyes momentarily fixating on Adrien.
The smile that overtook Adrien’s face must have been answer enough, because Alya rolled her eyes before facing forward once more.
“...and on Slytherin, we have players Kiana Marina, Sarin Morguearty, and Marinette Dupain-Cheng as our chasers! The stats are high for this trio, folks. Sarin Morguearty, a seventh year, has an average of six goals per game. Below him, Kiana Marina, a fifth year, with an average of four goals per game. And sitting on top of the stats is Marinette Dupain-Cheng, a sixth year, with a whopping ten goals per game! What a phenomenal player!”
Adrien stood and cheered as loudly as he could, nearly being drowned out by the crowd of onlookers.
“Oh!” gasped Aurore, leaning over the edge of her box, microphone in hand. “And here they come!”
The Slytherin Quidditch team burst forth from their locker room in a straight line, taking a couple of laps around the field on their broomsticks before clumping in the center. Adrien was jumping up and down at that rate, omnioculars focused on Marinette, who was doing that cute handshake she’d invented with the other two chasers.
“And there’s the Ravenclaw team!”
On cue, the Ravenclaw Quidditch team zipped out in similar fashion to the Slytherin team, lapping their opponents before coming to a stop in the center. The teams shook hands before flying off to their positions.
“Madame Hooch enters the field as the players take their positions,” Aurore stated, nearly falling out of her box.
“Now,” rang out Madame Hooch’s voice, momentarily silencing the crowd, “I want a nice, clean game. Rule violations will result in the loss of points. Got it? Good.”
“The bludgers and snitch are released!” Aurore informed the crowd. “The first team to catch the golden snitch wins one-hundred and fifty points!”
Madame Hooch bent down, scooped up the quaffle, and—
“The quaffle is in the air, and the game begins!”
A flash of green revealed that Marinette had snatched the quaffle and was jetting toward Ravenclaw’s goal posts. She wove between the Ravenclaw chasers, passing the quaffle between herself, Kiana, and Sarin. In a quick dodge, she managed to beam the quaffle through the left-most goal.
“Marinette Dupain-Cheng scores! Ten points for Slytherin!”
The stands roared to life; if there was one player everyone loved regardless of House, it was Marinette. Adrien would have to tease her about her popularity the next time he got the chance.
Ravenclaw was a formidable opponent; the game was close the whole time.
“Ten points for Ravenclaw!”
“Ten points for Slytherin!”
“Quaffle intercepted by Katie Briggs!”
“Ten points for Ravenclaw!”
“Lukas Myers barely avoids a bludger hit by Paniona Bagil! Nice shot!”
“Quaffle intercepted by Marinette Dupain-Cheng! Have my children! Kidding, Professor McGonagall, kidding!”
“Ravenclaw’s seeker, Liona Carson, just dove! Close behind is Slytherin’s seeker, Klint Coleman!”
Adrien was leaning over the edge of the box, watching the seekers. Marinette dashed by directly overhead with the quaffle, tailed by two Ravenclaw chasers.
“Marinette Dupain-Cheng scores, adding another ten points to Slytherin’s score just as Klint Coleman possesses the snitch! Slytherin wins with a sweeping victory of three-hundred and eighty points!”
The stands erupted like an active volcano, spilling down the stairs and into the Quidditch pitch as the players descended to the ground. A majority of them shook hands, and Marinette, from what Adrien could see over the heads of other players, even hugged Ravenclaw’s chasers with a beaming grin.
Adrien pushed his way through the crowd, cheeks hurting from how hard he was smiling. When Marinette caught sight of him, her joy seemed to double as she ran at him.
He scooped her into his arms and spun in circles, holding her tight. She pulled away, her smile blinding. “This is all because of you,” she murmured into his cheek.
Adrien kissed her, to which there were loud whoops and cheers. “You’re amazing,” he told her earnestly when he pulled away. “I love you.”
Marinette cupped his face and mashed their mouths together, half kissing and half smiling. “I love you, too. Thank you.”
He reluctantly set her down and let her get dragged into the crowd of admirers, all of whom were congratulating her with grins and fists to the shoulder.
Adrien patiently waited on the outskirts of the students, hands in his pockets. He’d step in and walk with her once everyone swept away to celebrate Slytherin’s win for the evening in the Great Hall.
When he saw his opening, he rushed in and took it, winding their hands together.
Marinette jumped and turned to face him. “You scared me!” she scolded, gently whacking his arm.
He leaned in and kissed her cheek. “I have to keep you on your toes somehow, don’t I?”
Marinette laughed in that contagious way of hers, attracting the attention of most everyone walking around them. “You idiot.”
“ Your idiot, though.”
Marinette lifted their twined hands up to her lips and kissed his knuckles. “Of course.” The wink she sent him was fatal, but he figured it was fine; he’d already died and gone to heaven, anyhow.
He supposed that not every angel had wings.