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Wed Feb 4, 2015 02:41

Tensions had been running high in the Thestral camp and for many different reasons. Every one of them had some kind of issue that was distracting them so much that eventually they'd had to call a time out. In true Quidditch style they flocked to the Pit to drown their troubles in cheap whiskey and forget the impending match against the Firestorms.

Max and Ri were making their way down the road to the village in double time. They'd been held up by Minister Sundbee as they left the Manor, babbling something about curfews or the idiocy of youth. It had taken a while but after several attempts to convince him it was actually a Friday night and curfew didn't apply at the weekend they'd managed to break free.

"No. No. No," Max was saying firmly. "You can't leave Keats on the right by himself. He'll only get killed."

"That would probably help," Ri pointed out.

"Brad won't have it."

"Pffft," she made a noise.

"Oh. I see," he grinned at her.

"What?" Orion pouted.

"You two haven't made up yet then?"

"Of course we have," she huffed and crossed her arms. He continued to stare at her. "Well, no. Not actually," Ri admitted. "I don't know. Anyway, how would you tell?" Max shrugged reluctantly and they dipped their heads under the low beam that marked the entrance to the Pit.

Immediately she noticed Dagon by the bar and weaved through the crowd towards him. Max broke off to curl his arms around Arabella Basey who was locked in a battle of strategy with the burly Thestral Captain.

"Hey," she grinned at Dagon. Her hand slid across the counter top and stole his drink out from under his nose.

Dagon carefully shut the book he had been studying as his drink reappeared in the hands of the Thestrals beater. He signalled for another one and gave Orion a second look. “Good evening, Ri,” he said, with only the slightest inner twinge. ‘Ri’ was hard to get used to saying. It was so informal, and Dagon had been brought up to us a persons full first name. “Your parents spent a lot of time and effort choosing that name for you,” his pre-Aecrest tutor would say. “Do not insult them by this shortening, nick-naming nonsense.” No matter how much it suited.

“You’re looking quite lovely this evening.” He frowned and shook his head a bit. They had come to the agreement that their attraction had been brief and had since settled into a cool friendship. He found himself taking a second look and noticing things about her that he was certain a gentleman shouldn’t be noticing about a young lady and a friend should most certainly be ignoring about his friend. Like precisely how low cut the top was or the way the light glistened off her hair. “That is, you look as ready to face off the Firestorms as you ever will.”

Orion smoothed the folds of her dress and grinned. It was simple, dark grey marl with a cut out back tied in a bow and short sleeves. Not that Mr-Strapless-Isn't-My-Thing had anything to do with that decision of course. No, no. It had just been the first thing that came to hand when the impromptu drinks idea had been floated.

"Aw, thanks Goo!" she said with an affectionate nudge. Ri had none of the trouble with nicknames that he seemed to. Most people didn't even know her actual name. "And you," she added and straightened his tie. "Just like that book. No one ever teach you not to read in bars?"

He gestured to the drink she had stolen. “That might be a bit strong for someone of your size…” He watched her gulp it down with an eyebrow quirk that said he‘d tried his best to warn her and sipped the one he had replaced it with. She considered stealing that as well but in the interest of fair-play she restrained herself to just taking the cherry and ordered herself another two. He gave her a look that usually came from the likes of her brother and she stuck her tongue out at him. "Thestrals don't do half measures," was all the explanation she gave.

The conversation inevitably tuned to Quidditch, as Becca had so rightly pointed out was the only thing they had in common, and to his borrowed broomstick.

“Incidentally, seeing as the match is so close, have you quite finished whatever experiment you so desperately needed my broomstick for?”

"Oh...sure," she gulped. It wasn't like she'd forgotten all about it and left it lying in the hedgerows when she went to lunch with Randy or anything. It was probably still there. If someone hadn't used it for firewood of course, there were Reym kids about after all. "I will get that back to you. ASAP." Then to the subject of what it was for.

"Funny you should ask that," she began, after knocking back both drinks she'd ordered in quick succession. Her vision was slightly more blurry afterwards but she was still standing up in her heels so there was no need to stop now. "Someone told me a riddle. Well, Randy said it wasn't a riddle after all but something I should be punching that someone for but he wouldn't tell me why." She popped another cherry into her mouth and tried to ignore the tingling feeling spreading across her skin. He was still looking at her. "Oh, right. It went like this. Why would..."

Brad came up to the bar and looked at the drinks along the back. Not that his drink order ever changed, but looking gave the illusion that he had made a calculated decision and kept idiots from talking to him. As he frowned at labels the rest of Ri’s “riddle” reached his ears. He turned as Hounslow sputtered into his drink. The other boy’s eyes were wide and he nervously adjusted glasses he wasn’t actually wearing as he fumbled for words.

Orion didn't catch on that she had said something wrong as quickly as the two boys had. She was still earnestly waiting for an answer to the riddle, even as Dagon's face ballooned and he choked and spluttered on his drink. She must be telling it wrong because Randy's face had done pretty much the same thing. So had Max's, come to think of it, and he'd said things that would turn Becca into a radish if she ever heard them. What was it with Brad's stupid riddle that made them do that? Before she had a chance to get a straight answer out of him she was attacked from behind.

Too late, he reached around and clasped a hand over her mouth. “Right, you’re just a bit too gabby tonight. Gonna borrow her for a bit.” He told Dagon, who nodded and waved, trying to regain his breath through a fit of coughing.

A large hand clamped over her mouth and a familiar, husky voice was telling her off - again. Merlin, it was annoying how he did that. What did he do, wait behind her until she said something he didn't like just so he could tell her off for it?

"I don't want to be borrowed," she tried to say, but all that came out was a string of incoherent mumblings. She wanted to know what it all meant and why they wouldn't tell her.

For a Beater, she was lighter than Brad had expected, and far more wriggly. He managed to drag her outside to the back alley behind the Pit before letting her go. The cool air hit her just as she was about to batter him over the head with the edge of her heel. He dropped her without much thought to her missing shoe.

“What the hell?” he began “Are you trying to be difficult?! You can’t just go around telling people things like that!”

"Difficult? What do you mean difficult?" she huffed. Her Dad had always told her she was difficult by nature, she didn't need it from Brad too. An arm shot out to steady herself on his shoulder while she put her shoe back on and then she stamped the heel into the ground instead of his stupid, fat head. "You told me the riddle in the first place!"

“Riddle?” Brad said. “What riddle? I never…”

Her words to Dagon came forward in his mind, along with a very clear image of what exactly that actually meant. His nostrils flared, and he could feel his muscles tensing. He had her pinned against the wall, with his hands on either side, hands that were trying desperately to become fists at the thought of Dagon and her.

“You’ve been running around asking to jump on Dagon’s…oh I’m going to kill him.”

She stumbled backwards against the wall as he charged forward and her heel got caught in a crack between the paving stones. His arms pinning her in on either side prevented her from getting enough room to pull it free though and the angry, blood red feelings that came pouring out of him were distracting. Then one particular thought hit her and in an instant she suddenly understood the faces Dagon and Randy had pulled and remembered the latter's advice. She stopped struggling with her trapped shoe and looked up at him.

"Oh my god," she muttered. "You didn't mean broomstick. You meant...oh hell no!" Small hands balled into fists and began pounding against his chest, his arms and anything else she could reach, accompanied by loud shrieks. "Forget Dagon, I'm going to kill you! You stupid son of a...." An imaginative string of insults in language colourful enough to make any Thestral blush followed. Both the words and the punches kept coming until something else occurred to her.

"Wait, why are you angry?" she turned on him, his arms still pinning her against the small section of wall. "You don't get to be angry! This is all your fault! If you'd just...oh. OH!" It was turning out to be a night of revelations for Ri as the more she yelled at him and the fiercer he looked back at her the more she understood.

The village Parson and his wife were taking their evening amble down the quiet lanes near the centre of Hogsmeade. The school children didn't venture much into the town itself after dark, preferring venues such as the Pit and various others on the outskirts. The Parson himself had been part of the Board that had made sure it was kept that way. They turned a corner onto a road of old cobbles that led back to the vicarage, lined with slim maple trees and lit with gas light. It was here that seven little words, louder than anything they'd ever heard, echoed through the streets.

"You want me to ride your broomstick!"

His wife looked shocked and held a hand to her chest in vexation. The Parson shrugged and gave her a hopeful look which she returned with the same disgust that had become his old friend the past twenty years.

Ri's face was sheepish, well aware she'd said that sentence far too loud and convinced Blackwell was about to appear out of nowhere and give her detention. Still, she refused to look away from him until he said something.

Brad growled something equally Thestral-appropriate. “Can you just --just don’t--- just, don’t.” One of his fists thumped the wall in frustration and she flinched.

" don't like me," she whispered.

“Who told you I don’t like you?”

Ri pushed forward, trying to meet his height. “Your girlfriend for one.”

“What? She’s not my girlfriend.”

"What?" Ri blinked, confused.

“Not anymore.” Which was not the point he should have taken from that sentence, but he was too busy noticing how low that top was and how the dress showed off her legs in beating gauging how many other boys he would have to beat up or talking to her about.. broomsticks. That Schuler boy for one.

"She's not?...oh. Oh."

There were hundreds of different ways to say the word 'Oh' and Ri had managed to use most of them in the space of five minutes. Bradley was doing a very good impression of a brick wall for her efforts which didn't help at all.

Aya Gee had always been Bradley's girlfriend. At least as far as Ri was concerned. Even when Randy had kissed the stupid girl it didn't mean anything because it was always going to be Bradley and Aya, forever, regardless. It was one of those things he just loved to get angry with her about and she could recall at least two times he'd stopped talking to her altogether because of silly Aya Gee. If they were over shouldn't someone have told her? Max certainly...but the she remembered that no one knew Bradley had been kissing her all year.

There were no strings now. Not that she'd ever admit it, but from here on in she had absolutely no idea what she was doing. It had been the same when she'd fought her way onto his team and when he'd kissed her and when she'd kissed him. There was only one thing she could think to say.

"Whatever you want," she repeated her previous offer. She would worry about the consequences later.

For the past few months (which were starting to feel endlessly long) he had heard her say that and excuses clambered all over each other to tell him to stop. Aya Gee had been the loudest. With their break up, all the excuses seemed to have vanished, except for some vague notion of age difference. None of that mattered. She asked, what could he do but give the right answer?

He pressed her against the wall and gave her the full force of his kiss and when he stopped she definitely did not say no. Not when he kissed her again. Not when she kissed him. Not when they went beyond kissing ( he still wasn't sure when that happened), not when every argument, every frustration was summed up and released in one pent up burst of moment.

It was what he wanted, but afterwards, he wasn't sure it was what he should have done. He pulled away, looking at her in a new way.

"What are you?" he asked. He'd heard of Veelas, same as any red-blooded boy had, but there was no way Veelas were that intense. Not in the best of his dreams. It wasn't right though. He sounded like he was accusing her. He pulled himself together and kissed her again.

"Okay...good talk. Just...okay."

  • Excuses and Veelas - Brad, Sun Feb 1 05:44
    For the past few months (which were starting to feel endlessly long) he had heard her say that and excuses clambered all over each other to tell him to stop. Aya Gee had been the loudest. With their... more
    • Edited - Ensemble, Wed Feb 4 02:41
      • edited 2 - ensemble, Wed Feb 4 03:39
        Tensions had been running high in the Thestral camp and for many different reasons. Every one of them had some kind of issue that was distracting them so much that eventually they'd had to call a... more
        • A Leaf on the Wind - Ri, Wed Feb 4 04:49
          Up until the last moment she wasn't sure that Bradley wouldn't just growl at her, spit out an insult and stalk off as he usually did. That, or give her a black eye. He didn't though. His full weight... more
          • edit 1 - Brad, Wed Feb 4 05:20
            He wasn’t sure when they went beyond kissing, but it was something that had needed to happen for a long time now. In the back of his mind, something whispered about age differences, their status as... more
            • The Same As Always - Ri, Wed Feb 4 05:52
              He wasn’t sure when they went beyond kissing, but it was something that had needed to happen for a long time now. In the back of his mind, something whispered about age differences, their status as... more
              • Observation - Brad and Dagon, Wed Feb 4 06:13
                Drinks. Drinks were good. He nodded and held the door open for her to go through first. He made a point to walk to the other end of the bar, to avoid looking suspicious. It was, unfortunately the... more
                • Problem Solved - Max & Ri, Wed Feb 4 06:23
                  "Hey," Max caught her arm and she walked past. "You were gone for ages..." He studied her face for bruises and her limbs for broken bones. "No damage. You okay?" Ri looked up for just long enough to... more
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