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Defences up!
Wed Apr 4, 2018 09:11

Cleo blinked slightly in surprise when Winston Pierce approached her, and asked to be her partner. She was pretty sure he’d never said as much as two words to her before, outside perhaps of some functional requests ‘excuse me, please’ or ‘could you pass the salt’ - that kind of thing. She knew Winston was that sort that thought parentage mattered and, given that until recently she’d been missing fifty percent of hers, and the other half was Muggleborn, she had been far beneath his notice. That should have been her first clue that something was wrong. But it merely registered as strange, not necessarily threatening. It seemed not even to register as the former with the elf at the back of the room who, whilst they had been told to look out for ‘unusual’ or ‘inappropriate’ behaviour towards Cleo were perhaps not well versed in the social nuances of the classroom, and although they watched attentively, did not seem to feel the need to intervene for someone merely speaking to her.

Her guard went up a little when he mentioned how unhappy she’d looked lately because that was personal and she had no desire whatsoever to get that personal with anybody, much less him. Still.. He seemed to just be making polite small talk. Small talk that was making her uncomfortable, sure… That was making her revise her desire to be around other people… Perhaps. She noticed the way his eyes wandered over her body and she definitely didn’t like that. This wasn’t going well…

And then, suddenly, she was wearing a ballgown. Cleo did not spare many thoughts for how it really was an exquisite garment, and probably far more luxurious than anything she would ever really own - it had a well-fitted bodice of fine lacy flowers and flowing champagne skirts in a fabric that seemed almost lighter than air, and which were rippling gently in spite of the lack of any actual breeze - she was too busy being concerned that she was wearing a ballgown in class and as if that wasn’t odd and uncomfortable enough just for the fact it didn’t belong it meant that all kinds of parts of her that had previously been safely wrapped in her robes were now on show. The thin straps and sweetheart neckline… Cleo pretty much always wore t-shirts. She wasn’t used to so much of her body being on display.

And he was calling her beautiful. The ballgown was inexplicable, but that was unmistakable, because there was no way Winston Pierce would ever pay her a compliment. Unless he was enchanted. She didn’t want this. She didn’t want any of it. She didn’t want his attention, she didn’t want to be able to do that to people, and she didn’t want to be on display to everyone in a stupid ballgown! The effects Winston was feeling probably came to an abrupt end as Cleo’s barriers went back up…. Quite literally. Before the elf or Professor Nash could react, a brick wall sprang up first between her and Winston, but quickly encircled her, shutting her off from any further approaches or unwanted stares.

Cleo took a deep, steadying breath, staring down at the dress. She was like a princess in a fairy story, trapped in a tower. Only she would be quite happy to remain here.

  • I am a bad person. A very bad person.Winston Pierce, Crotalus, Tue Apr 3 21:03
    Defense Against the Dark Arts was not Winston's favorite class - Professor Nash was remarkably talented at making them over-analyze all the fun out of it - but he would grant that he learned the... more
    • Defences up! — Cleo, Wed Apr 4 09:11
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