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Because "AU" Literally Means "Gold"...

Chapter Text

“Miss Stark.  A word, please.”

Margaery shoots Sansa a sympathetic glance before exiting the lecture hall, and the red-haired girl catches herself biting her lip with nerves as she approaches Professor Lannister’s desk.

The American lit professor dresses much better than any other member of the English faculty- perfectly-tailored suits, an expensive wristwatch.  And yet he wears his facial hair in a peculiar, outdated style that makes him look like a grizzled lion, ready to pounce.

He hands her a packet of stapled paper; it’s the theory assignment he’d critiqued last week, the one that she stubbornly refrained from editing (she just handed a clean version of the original in on the due date).  

Sansa winces a little, bracing herself for the low mark she’s sure she’ll see at the top-  

No marks, no corrections- nothing but an “A” written in bold, red ink.

“Oh!” she exclaims before she can stop herself; her cheeks immediately flood with a warm blush.

“Yes.  'Oh'.”  Professor Lannister straightens his already-erect posture and narrows his gold-green eyes in a look of appraisal.  ”You’re a strong writer, Miss Stark, and stubborn to a fault.  But, luckily for you, I place a great deal of value on confidence and conviction.”

He falls silent for a time, but continues to stare at her- Sansa shifts her weight from her heels to the balls of her feet…she feels her palms sweating…

Finally, the professor continues.  ”I need an undergraduate research assistant to help me with a book that I intend to publish at the end of the year.”

Another pause, another bead of sweat forming at Sansa’s hairline and threatening to trickle down her brow.


“I…”  Professor Lannister raises one silver-gold eyebrow, and Sansa pushes through her trepidation to say, “Yes. Thank you, Professor.”