Chapter 6 : Priceless moments
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Lysander watched her closely.
He didn’t know why she was acting like this, and it pained him to see her in this state. He had been observing her over the past few months, watching as she grew weaker, every ounce of life and vivacious be drained from her. He had had sharp, inquisitive observational skills his entire life, some thing he was told he’d inherited from his father. So he could take one look at Dominique and see she was unhappy. It was obvious to him, yet no one seemed to notice. Like now, for instance.
The entire hall was filled with students laughing, chatting and giggling. But there she was, sitting amongst her friends at the Gryffindor table, but she wasn’t eating, talking or laughing. She hadn’t done any of those things for a while. Her eyes were drawn to her plate, busy moving her knife ad fork around but never lifting either to her lips.
Her hair was fanned out limply around her face, her cheeks were unnaturally pale and Lysander could have sworn her eyes had dimmed a shade darker, tainted with their sadness.
Lysander had attempted to bring the subject up with James, who just waved a dismissive hand with his trademark lopsided grin and shooed the topic away, completely convinced that Lysander was being a pain in the ass about nothing at all.
But Lysander firmly believed what he felt and saw, and for this, he felt accountable. He couldn’t very well say any thing to the girl; he knew well-enough she’d throw insults at him or whip out her wand. And then he’d push her away even further, although he doubted she could go much further before tumbling into a pitfall of depression.
He decided he had to find some one, some one to guide her through this so that there was light and laughter for her in the end. Someone who could change her.
With this thought clearly bolded and outlined in his mind, Lysander let his eyes trail lazily as he watched her figure retreating from the table, her bag weighing her down, her eyes stamped to her feet and her eyebrows knotted and taut.
Lysander quickly made a decision, acting out of emotion rather then rationalism. He stood up from the table too. He was going to make sure she was alright, she hadn’t eaten a bite at dinner.
“Oof!” Dominique fell, her knees buckling, her feet slipping beneath her and her arms flying out, throwing her left hand out to catch herself. A split second later, she’d landed with a sickening crack.
Pain blurred in Dominique’s vision, her mind reered into shock, still grasping the process of what’d just happened. A second ago she was just standing?
A scraggly dirty-blonde haired boy’s face loomed above her own, his gaze worried, he grabbed her arm gently, his voice floaty and sweet. “Bless the Nargles, are you okay?”
Dominique pushed her pale strands of hair from her face, slightly out of breath, she sat up, ignoring his hand on her arm. The world span before her eyes, Lysander’s concerned features swimming in and out of focus. “You’re a freak,” she muttered, pressing a palm to her forehead and licking her lips, trying to regain her composure.
She missed his small, amused smile. “No apparent memory loss then,” he noted.
Dominique frowned, leaning forward to pick up the closest, fallen book, one of the many that had scattered around the corridor when she’d stacked it oh-so-gracefully.
Grasping the corners of the worn library book, she lifted it, before dropping it unexpectedly, a surprised gasp escaping her lips as a ribbon of hot pain shot up her arm.
Lysander’s amused smirk dropped at once, his eyes growing dark again. “What’s wrong?”
Dominique hissed, massaging her wrist and glaring at the library book the whole time. “Frick, I think I’ve sprained my bloody wrist.” She hadn’t landed that hard had she? Since when had her bones been so weak?
Before Dominique could say any thing else, or inspect her wrist closer, Lysander had snatched it up, quickly but gently, crouching low to the ground to give it a proper examination. His eyes were twinkling with a sort of detached fascination, his breath warm and fluttering against her cheeks as he lowered his head.
She was caught in surprise with the genuine look of concern and tenderness in his expression. His lips were pulled down in a frown, and his was muttering some thing low beneath his breath with acquired concentration, his fingers clasped delicately around her wrist and rubbing smoothly over her aching bones. Suddenly, she felt the blinding pain begin to ebb away slowly before he hit a particularly tender spot.
“Ouch!” Dominique drew back her wrist instinctively, glaring at him. He looked vaguely uncaring that he’d hurt her.
“It’s at least sprained,” he informed her.
“Thanks, Captain Obvious.” Her voice was light, but he just glanced down at her, his dark eyes growing brighter. Her stomach unexpectedly plummeted, she felt a flush in her cheeks and she didn’t know why.
He stood up abruptly and began gathering her books for her while she sat motionless on the floor, absentmindedly watching him as she cradled her throbbing wrist to her chest. She contemplated how tender and caring he’d been, focused on examining her wrist, obviously placing a well-learnt spell so that the pain had lessened. Without so much as even glancing at her, Lysander had stowed all her books in her fallen satchel, swinging it over his own shoulder and proceeded to bend down, grasping her elbow firmly.
“What are you doing?” she snapped.
“Taking you to the Hospital Wing,” he replied calmly, not even struggling to lift her.
“Oh.” Dominique didn’t even bother to protest. She didn’t want to go to the Hospital Wing, she hated Madame Clove, but her wrist was becoming more painful again and she didn’t want to ask Lysander for any more favours so she was left with no choice but to follow him.
They walked in silence, Lysander a step or two ahead of her. He’d dropped her elbow once he was assured she was safe to walk steadily on her own. Dominique glanced furtively out of the corner of her eye. He was humming under his breath, his dark eyes trained on the ceiling above.
She cleared her throat, not quite knowing what to say. “Since when have you been so Healer-ish?” she questioned bluntly.
“My entire life,” he replied, his eyes now scanning the passing portraits, as if taking in all their splendour and beauty with the utmost seriousness. “I’ve always enjoyed healing animals.”
Dominique choked on her own spit, all intentions of being kind and grateful flew out the window. “Oh so I’m an animal?”
Lysander’s eyes turned to her, smiling secretly and serenely, “did I say I enjoyed healing you?”
Dominique shut her mouth quickly, her jaw clenching tightly.
“- and it wont take long to heal, duckling, but unfortunately I still require you to stay over night -“
Madame Clove was peering down at her through half-moon spectacles, her speckled hazelnut locks kept fluttering in and out of Dominique’s face as she lent close to observe Dominique’s, what turned out to be a broken wrist.
The older lady grinned at her, “obviously got weak bones, eh?”
Dominique forced a smile, her insides churning with the hope that she’d bugger off already and leave Dominique be. “Yeah.”
“I sent your friend away, hope you don’t mind,” continued Madame Clove, “but there are classes on.”
Dominique just shrugged and didn’t bother with an answer. She lent back against the pillows and Madame Clove bustled away, finally, a friendly, sweet tune leaving her lips in a continuous whistle that eventually faded away as she disappeared into her office.
After glaring sharply at the two boys down the other end of the infirmary until they ceased their nattering, Dominique finally let her eyes flutter shut.
She was thankful that she didn’t have to attend classes, as she couldn’t be bothered any way. Who knew she would thanking Lysander for forcing her to come to the Hospital Wing? Or thanking he was there at all when she oh-so-gracefully tripped over her own feet?
Dominique’s solitude was short-lived, however.
She suppressed a low groan, she should have suspected as much. She was a Weasley after all, and to be left alone was like asking if Grandpa Weasley would be successful in his endeavours to the moon.
Cracking one eye open, Dominique watched as her younger cousin edged her way closer to her. She took in Rose’s vaguely worried appearance, her hands clasped firmly in front of her, her bushy curls let loose and tumbling down her shoulders. “Are you alright?” she asked, biting her lip nervously.
Dominique nodded, but sensed that wasn’t why Rose was here. “It’s nothing, just a little break. Nothing Madame Clove can’t fix, any way.”
Rose nodded distractedly. Dominique rose an eyebrow.
After a minute of silence, Rose caught Dominique’s distinctly derisively amused expression.
“Is this the part were I force you to tell me?” Dominique asked and Rose couldn’t help but laugh.
She relaxed, but only slightly, she sat herself down in the armchair provided by her cousin’s bed. Then, with her lower lip still caught between her teeth, she stared determinedly at Dominique. As the fire flicked nearby, Dominique caught an uncharacteristic display of fear in her sincere bue eyes.
“Well… oh Mini, this is so hard to say,” Rose glanced carefully at Dominique as if frightened she’d explode at any second, “but I think, maybe, you will understand. I mean, you know, this really out of character for myself… and I very rarely act so rashly. Like, very, very rarely…”
Dominique watched half-amused as her younger cousin continued to fidget in confusion and worry, lapsing into another silence and contemplating deep in thought as she stared into the fireplace opposite Dominique’s bed.
Dominique fought back her smile, “Rose, I’m sure whatever it is… isn’t as bad as it seems.”
Rose glanced at her, catching her bottom lip between her teeth, she exhaled breathlessly, “really? Do you think so?”
Dominique nodded in what she hoped was a reassuring manner. “Yes, I really think – ”
“I’ve been dating Scorpius Malfoy.”
“- bloody hell!”
Rose’s bright sapphire eyes were wide, her breath caught in her chest and her fingers in a painful twist on her lap. Dominique stared at the flames dancing wildly in the fireplace before glancing back to Rose, who sat utterly fear stricken, then back to the fireplace.
“Oh Mini! Please, please say some thing,” pleaded Rose, leaning towards her cousin desperately, grasping the sheets in her fists.
Dominique gave a heavy sigh, chewing on her own lip in serious thought. Another second past, another peek at Rose, and she couldn’t help it any longer.
Dominique began laughing, catching the austere attention from the two 4th year boys down the other corner of the Hospital Wing. But even then she couldn’t stop, her fists slapping against her knees, choking on her own breath, her shoulders shaking incessantly with mirth.
“Your!” Dominique gasped for air, taking in the surprised expression drawing over Rose’s pretty features as the hilarity ceased to stop, “face! Priceless!”
Rose’s eyebrows crumpled, but she still had a slight smile playing across her lips. “You’re so mean!” she cried, however it was obvious she was relieved, “you had me oh so scared!”
Dominique pressed her hand against her mouth, trying to ease her chortles before Madame Clove came dashing out, “I can’t believe it.”
Rose became silent once more, throwing herself against the back of her armchair, her mahogany curls fanning out, “I really don’t know how it all began. I find it hard to believe myself.”
Dominique, exhausted from so much effort in laughing, gave a long, low whistle, “Uncle Ron is going to love this.”
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