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Raelle dropped into the seat next to Abigail, “L’Amara has it out for me. She gave me detention tonight.”

Neither Abigail nor Tally, who was across from her, gave her any sympathy. “You were late again,” Tally didn’t even bother questioning.

“Well…Potions is so early in the morning!” Raelle whined. “I make it to the rest of my classes on time. Mostly.”

Abigail shook her head like a disappointed mother, “We are barely into our second year and you already have detention. And you have no one to blame but yourself.”

Raelle turned from one friend to the next and pouted at them. When that got her nowhere she scowled and stood up, “Fine, I guess I will study in my common room tonight.”

“No, Raelle!” Tally called after her, but she kept moving. If they wanted to be jerks they could deal with the consequences.

She quickly regretted rashly leaving her friends. Her transfiguration homework was making absolutely no sense tonight. She thought about asking Glory if she was having any better luck, but decided she wouldn’t be able to focus much tonight anyways. After stashing her books in her dorm room she grabbed her broom and made her way to the quidditch pitch. That was a much better way to spend the rest of her night until her detention.

 

She stopped, panting, in front of the potions classroom door. Her broom was still clutched in her hand. She may have lost track of time. A quick glance at her watch showed that she got there just in time. Professor L’Amara opened the door and did not seem surprised at all by the condition Raelle was in.

“Come on, slugs won’t pickle themselves.”

Raelle was about ten minutes into her three-hour detention when a knock came at the door. She moved so she could watch as Professor L’Amara opened it to reveal Professor Quartermaine and a third year Raelle had seen but didn’t know.

“Sorry Izadora, something has come up I have to attend to right away,” Professor Quartermaine said in that even voice Raelle knew so well. Quartermaine was head of Hufflepuff and as such had more than a few conversations with Raelle about her attitude during her first year.

“Nothing to worry about Anacostia. I already have one student tonight, another is no problem.”

Professor Quartermaine finally looked around the room and when her eyes fell on Raelle the blonde offered a sheepish smile. The head of her house looked between her and the brunette and seemed to be debating something.

“Something wrong?” L’Amara asked, clearly just as confused as Raelle was.

“Oh, she’s just concerned about me being a bad influence,” the third year supplied with smile.

Quartermaine looked absolutely exasperated, “I don’t have time for this. Ramshorn is all yours Izadora. Just…keep an eye on her.” With that the Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor took her leave.

Raelle saw the fond smile the Potions Professor spared Ramshorn, “Why do you enjoy antagonizing her?”

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” Ramshorn said with a straight face as she entered the room.

“Uh huh. Go help Collar pickle slugs. Try not to be a bad influence.”

Raelle watched the brunette approach, until she felt the slug slip out of her grasp. Then she was staring at her shirt in disgust, hoping the smell would come out eventually.

“You got something on your shirt,” Ramshorn offered helpfully when she reached the table.

“Thank you for pointing that out, might have gone all night without noticing,” Raelle responded dryly. That earned a laugh and she immediately knew she liked the sound. She dropped her voice conspiratorially and leaned closer, “So, what are you in for?”

She was pleased when the older girl leaned in to play along, mischief dancing in deep blue eyes, “Anacostia came across one of my experiments.”

“Experiments?” Raelle took the bait like she knew she was supposed to.

Ramshorn shrugged nonchalantly, “I don’t know why she was so concerned, it’s like she thought the balloon was going to blow up the castle or something.”

Raelle couldn’t stop her grin, “A balloon?”

“Well,” Ramshorn quirked a brown, “that’s all she was able to prove it was. How about you, what are you in for?”

Raelle blushed a little in embarrassment, “I am not a morning person, and I’ve been late to every potions class for the last couple of weeks.” She didn’t normally care about impressing people, or what others thought of her in general, but she felt an absolute need to impress the brunette sitting across from her. “I mean, sneaking around the castle at night tends to keep me up pretty late.”

“You sneak around the castle at night?” Ramshorn didn’t quite seem to believe her.

Raelle puffed out her chest, “Well yeah. That’s the best time to go exploring.”

“How does that go for you?”

“Well,” numerous nights flash through her mind, “Some night go better than others. I got locked in an old armory room of some kind for a couple of days once. But, I know all kinds of secret passages now.”

Blue eyes surveyed her and Raelle tried not to fidget under the scrutiny, “Guess you’ll just have to show me sometime.”

“I’m Raelle.”

“Scylla.”

 

Professor Quartermaine had been right to be concerned. The two girls bonded quickly, but being in different grades and houses they didn’t spend much time together over the next couple of years. When they did, they had a habit of encouraging each other’s less rule abiding tendencies. They served six more detentions together. It would have been seven, but Anacostia tried punishing them separately after catching them exiting the Forbidden Forrest for the second time. Tonight would actually be their seventh together. They had been caught conducting another one of Scylla’s experiments. Raelle hadn’t really followed with what they were doing, just that it involved mushrooms and a dead bird.

They were polishing everything in the trophy room by hand this time. Or at least, that was what they were supposed to be doing. They lucked out and their warden for the night was Professor Graves, she had a wonderful habit of leaving part way through their detentions. She would return when the three hours were up and as long as they didn’t blow anything up they could spend their time however they wanted.

Scylla was busy looking over the oldest awards, and Raelle was busy looking at Scylla. She couldn’t pinpoint exactly when her feelings changed from platonic to romantic, but her fifth year had begun to revolve around Scylla. Any excuse to spend time together, even if it was only for a few moments, was worth it for Raelle. Abigail and Tally were disappointed that they were spending less time together, but they cheered themselves up by teasing her incessantly. Abigail had begun to threaten telling Scylla herself if Raelle didn’t woman up and do it herself soon. Like it was that easy.

“Anacostia really has the worst timing,” Scylla moaned. She was sitting against a wall halfheartedly swiping at a bronze medal the size of her head. “I was so close to working out the spell when she found us. It’s like she waits for me to make progress, but swoops in just as I’m about to crack it!”

Raelle sniggered and moved to sit with Scylla against the wall, “If it were anyone else I’d say they were paranoid, but after three years I think you might be on to something.”

“This isn’t funny,” Scylla pouted.

Raelle actively avoided looking at the stuck out lips, “It’s a little funny. And, it isn’t like we aren’t going to try again in a couple of weeks when Quartermaine calms down.”

“Oh, we try again huh?” Scylla pressed, eyes twinkling, “Little presumptuous.”

Raelle looked offended, “Fine, next time you need someone to test your potions I will be busy.”

“Like you can say no to me,” Raelle swallowed hard, wondered if Scylla knew just how true those words were.

“I can,” Raelle protested weakly. “I said no to you last week when you asked for my last licorice wand.”

“Hmm, so you care more about your sweets than you do me.”

“I never said that,” Raelle was quick to reassure. While mustering up the courage to tell Scylla how she felt was proving to be difficult, she would never want to give the other girl the impression she didn’t mean a lot to her.

Scylla’s face went through so many small expression changes Raelle would have missed them if she hadn’t become so used to watching the beautiful brunette. When she finally spoke it was like she had decided on something, “So when we try again in a few weeks, I think we should do it on the Astronomy tower.”

“Feel the need to be closer to the stars?”

Scylla gave the mysterious grin that made Raelle’s heart pound, “Something like that.”

 

 

Three weeks later Raelle crept through the sleeping castle. She knew almost all of the passageways at this point, and she used all of her knowledge to reach the Astronomy tower without being detected. The night air invigorated her, almost as much as the sight of Scylla waiting for her. The Ravenclaw waved as soon as their eyes met. Raelle took in the set up, it wasn’t the same as last time. She thought that maybe the mushrooms were hidden in the blanket Scylla was sitting on.

“How do you always beat me?” Raelle demanded.

“It’s called a secret, Collar,” Scylla taunted as she made room on the blanket.

 Raelle sat down and looked around, she frowned when she didn’t see anything from the last experiment, “What’s going on Scyl?”

“Oh you know, I decided you were taking too long and I had to take matters into my own hands,” Raelle cocked her head in confusion. Before she could further question what was going on soft lips were pressed to her own. The Hufflepuff’s mind went completely blank, the only thing that existed was this moment, this touch. Scylla pulled away too quickly so Raelle’s only choice was to chase after the lips. She kissed Scylla like she had been dreaming about for some time. Her dreams paled in comparison to the reality of the moment.

In a blink she was stretched out on top of Scylla, a need beginning to burn in her veins. She tore her mouth away from Scylla’s and quickly attached it to the brunette’s neck before she could regret her decision. Scylla was panting in her ear and Raelle nearly whimpered when blunt nails scratched the back of her head.

“Ramshorn! Collar!”

Raelle jerked back, hand reaching for her wand before she registered who had called their names. Professor Quartermaine was standing with her hands on her hips. Professor L’Amara was behind her clearly fighting a smile. Scylla moved into a sitting position and Raelle felt the need to put herself between the brunette and the professors. Before she could, Scylla quirked a brow, “Anacostia, what might you and Professor L’Amara be doing up here at this hour?”

To Raelle’s utter amazement the two professors faltered at the insinuation. Quartermaine recovered first, but her voice wasn’t quite as calm as usual, “Return to your dorms, now. We will go and check in ten minutes.”

“You're only giving yourselves ten minutes?” Scylla teased, but she stood up. Raelle followed Scylla, not entirely sure what was happening, her brain was looping back to the kiss as much as it was in the moment. She chanced a glance at Quartermaine as she passed and was certain the moonlight revealed a blush.

When they reached the bottom of the stairs to the tower Raelle’s brain started to catch up with her again. She grabbed Scylla’s hand and tugged the older girl into another kiss. Raelle could definitely get used to this. She backed Scylla up against the stone wall. Their kiss deepened and Raelle thought her knees might buckle. When they broke apart for air, they pressed their foreheads together.

“We should probably head back to our dorms,” Raelle panted but made no attempt to move.

“Pretty sure Anacostia said we have ten minutes,” Scylla breathed against her lips.

“She was right about you, you’re trouble.”