It was not uncommon, when Jane went looking for Sherlock, to find her sulking grumpily beside the door to the Ravenclaw common room, book in front of her, having given up on getting in. Sherlock, unfortunately, hated riddles.
Hiding her smile in her scarf, Jane went over and nudged her friend’s shoulder with her knee. “Hey, you. Trouble with the knocker again?”
Sherlock looked up, and looked glad to see her, but then frowned again and shot a glare at the door behind her. “It hates me, I think. All of my attempts to circumvent it have given it a grudge against me.”
Jane held out her hand and helped Sherlock up. Then she picked up her friend’s bag, and put it on her shoulder. “Come on and we’ll go do something then. You can come to the Hufflepuff dorms if you like. Or we can just wander around and find an empty classroom til we have to be back in our dorms.”
“Actually,” Sherlock said, grabbing Jane’s hand again and smiling in a very familiar way, “There’s something I found the other day, that I wanted to show you.”
Being dragged through the hallways wasn’t an uncommon phenomenon with Sherlock, but it always made the tips of Jane’s ears go pink.
They were in their 5th and 4th years, Jane being one year above Sherlock. Jane had fancied Sherlock, though, she was pretty certain, since she was a second year and Sherlock was a first year. It had felt silly back then, but now that they were practically attached to each other and it hadn’t gone away, Jane couldn’t help feeling that at least on her end it had gotten fairly serious. She really, really liked Sherlock. There just wasn’t much of anything she could do about it.
She thought sometimes about the day they’d met. On the train. Jane had, in spite of being a Hufflepuff, not made any particularly close friends her first year. She knew everyone, and everyone liked her, but she had no desire to sit on the train with any of them, especially Stamford. She’d rather read a book.
Being there early, she’d had a carriage to herself, which a small girl with short curly hair had entered and given a once-over before walking in and sitting down. “You don’t mind, do you?” she’d asked quietly. Jane could tell she was nervous.
“No,” she’d replied. “Are you a first year?”
The other girl had nodded. They had talked all the way to Hogwarts. Sherlock was a muggleborn, with only her book knowledge of what to expect, so Jane had filled her in on some things. She had been just as brilliant, then, though, and had still deduced quite a few things about Jane as they talked. She’d tensed right after she said anything, though, wide-eyed like Jane was going to leap over and punch her. Of course, Jane had complimented her instead, sad that the reaction was that ingrained. They’d been friends ever since.
Bumping into Sherlock, who had stopped walking, pulled Jane from her thoughts, and she grinned, embarrassed.
Sherlock was taller, now, and her hair was longer. But she was just as brilliant as the first time they’d met. Even more so, really.
“Sorry,” she said, and Sherlock just shook her head.
They were standing in front of a wall. It seemed that apparently, Sherlock had found another secret passageway or something. She was good at that. More times than she could count, Sherlock had snuck into her dorm in the middle of the night, woken her up, and pulled her off to explore something.
“If you found this earlier,” Jane asked, “Why are we only going here now?”
“It’s complicated. I’ve been doing experiments with it for weeks, and I think I’ve figured it out. I didn’t want to show it to you until I figured out what it was. Stand still.”
Sherlock let go of her, paced back and forth a few times, and a door appeared.
Jane smiled. “Christ. That is pretty cool. What does it do, though?”
Again, Sherlock didn’t respond, but pulled Jane through the door.
Inside, there was a massive, beautiful library. There were books all along the wall. There were two chairs, one more modern, one more comfortable looking. There was a fireplace. It was the loveliest place Jane had ever seen. She laughed, incredulous, and went over to the shelves, finding books she loved and books she’d never heard of. It was all wonderful, though. Absolutely gorgeous and comfortable looking. She looked over at Sherlock to see her smiling as well.
“What is this place? Some kind of secret library? I don’t get how it’s here and no one’s said anything.”
Sherlock shook her head. “Actually, how it works is that it’s a room that can be whatever you’d like it to be. Literally whatever you’d like it to be. It’s got all sorts of variations, all you have to do is think about what you want. When I needed to hide it was a broom closet, but I came back and it was gone, I kept trying to get it to come back. It did, but it was slightly different. Started trying to work out the mechanic and eventually it became a bedroom, because I was so tired and didn’t think I could get back into the dormitory. So that was how I figured out it could change. Then I kept testing the parameters, but I haven’t found anything it can’t do yet.”
“You are so brilliant,” Jane said softly, shaking her head, and Sherlock blushed.
She loved it when she made Sherlock blush.
“It’s really nothing. Just some experiments. I am a Ravenclaw after all, all about the pursuit of knowledge.”
Laughing, Jane resisted the impulse to hug Sherlock, and instead started looking around the room more. There was a little alcove by one of the shelves, that looked perfect for curling with someone in. Maybe kissing them. As she thought that, she noticed some lip balm on a nearby shelf and blushed. She grabbed it. “Does it... add things, then? As you think you might need them?”
Catching sight of the lip balm, Sherlock grabbed it from her hand to look at it and raised an eyebrow at her.
“My lips are chapped,” Jane protested weakly, taking it back and putting some of it on. It looked unused at least.
“They don’t look chapped. They look- The room. Right. It can add small things. It’s added a bathroom when I forgot to mention I might need one. And it is, obviously, rather perceptive. But it can only change its structure to a great extent if you leave and come back. And if you tell it to, and I have, it can make the room imperceptible to other people as they pass by, so no one will come in here while we’re in here. Unless they know we’re here and what the room is like. But no one will, unless one of us tells.”
Jane snorted, and shook her head. “Why would I wanna tell anyone? I love this. We can hang out here as much as we like. Stay late if we want. It’s lovely.”
When she looked at Sherlock, though, she was looking at a bookshelf, her face turned away from Jane. “Thought you might want to tell one of your boyfriends or something.”
Jane flushed and turned away, tense. “I’m not gonna tell anyone, Sherlock. Christ. Just because... I mean I don’t like any of them that much.” Jane had recently started dating, because boys had been interested, and she thought it might be nice. The snogging was nice. The boys, less so. None of them were as interesting as Sherlock. “Anyways, this is... I mean it would be nice to have a place just for us, right?”
Sherlock turned to look at her, looking intense, and Jane could only look at her for a moment before she looked down.
“Why do you even keep going out with them? If you don’t like them that much?”
“Do we have to talk about this?”
“Why don’t you want to?”
Sighing, Jane glanced up at Sherlock, then turned and sat in the little alcove. She tried not to think about what she’d just been thinking when Sherlock sat down with her. “It’s nice to get to date someone. To have someone to snog and be romantic with. They keep asking, and it’s nice, so I say yes. But it’s also because the person I actually fancy isn’t going to do that stuff with me. So.”
There was a loose thread on the seat that Jane kept picking at, but when it was silent a moment too long, she looked up. Sherlock was looking at her, and she looked very unhappy. Jane tensed.
Finally, Sherlock spoke up. “You fancy someone and you hadn’t told me?”
“Well, it’s...” Sherlock had a point. They told each other everything. Jane just couldn’t tell her this. “It’s not important. Nothing’s ever gonna happen! Just cause I fancy them, I mean it’s not...”
“You keep saying them. Is there a reason? Are those actually their preferred pronouns or are you just trying to throw me off?”
Jane blushed, yet again, and knew that she probably looked as miserable as she felt. “No. She. She’s a girl. I just didn’t... I thought you might... I don’t know.”
Sherlock went wide-eyed, and Jane knew she’d made a mistake. She should have just lied. “You fancy girls?” Sherlock asked, and Jane nodded, closing her eyes. “Since when?”
“Since forever. I mean I do actually like boys as well, I just. Yes. I’ve fancied girls since... since we met, really.”
“You never said.”
“Well you’ve never said anything either! Which if you don’t fancy anyone, ever, it’s fine, but-“ Jane cut herself off as she realized Sherlock had blushed bright red. Her heart sank. “You do fancy someone. And you haven’t told me either.” Sherlock looked away, and Jane looked down. “Who is it, then?”
“I can’t,” Sherlock said softly.
“Why can’t you?” Jane protested. “You’re going to get angry with me because I didn’t tell you, but you haven’t been telling me either! Who is it?”
“That’s not the same thing at all! Your reason can’t be the same as mine, it’s not as if you fancy me.”
The way Jane froze and flushed was completely involuntary. Then she was just miserable, because she knew Sherlock had seen it, and that she knew what it meant.
“Sorry,” she said quietly, curling up a little where she was sitting.
“Oh.” Sherlock spoke just as quietly. “You... me?”
There was a pause. “Actually, then. Ah. Our reasons are the same. For not... Um.”
It took a moment for Sherlock’s remark to process, but then Jane looked up, surprised, to find Sherlock smiling nervously at her.
“You fancy me?”
Grinning, Jane pulled Sherlock into a hug, curling up with her in the small reading nook, just like she’d been thinking of a few minutes before. She took off her scarf, then, annoyed with it, and then pressed her face against Sherlock’s shoulder. “I can’t believe this.”
“Neither can I.”
Jane scoffed, and lifted her head, but found that Sherlock wasn’t joking. “That’s just... I’m not going to do the ‘no you’re more wonderful’ couple argument with you, but that’s just ridiculous. You’re... you.”
Sherlock went pink again, and this time Jane kissed her on the cheek. It only made it worse.
“Is that what we are now? A couple?”
Pulling back, Jane smiled, and grabbed one of Sherlock’s hands. “Absolutely. Assuming that’s what you want.”
“Of course.” Sherlock curled close to her again, and squeezed her hand. “Should we... I mean, should there be snogging, then? I’ve never...”
The nervousness in Sherlock’s voice was adorable, and Jane shifted so that their foreheads were pressed together. “Do you want to kiss me?” Sherlock nodded.
Moving forward, Jane kissed Sherlock, gently and chastely. She lingered, until Sherlock pulled away.
“This is... going to take quite a lot of investigation, I think. Do you have Quidditch practice today?”
Chuckling quietly, Jane shook her head, forehead still against Sherlock’s so that both of their heads moved. “No, I do not. Gryffindors have the field today. We can be here as long as you like.”
With that, Sherlock leaned in and kissed her again. Jane had a feeling they were going to spend the entire evening that way.