Chapter 1 : Of Snakes and Consequence
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“Morning Lucinda.” he greeted cheerfully, far too cheerfully as far as she was concerned.
“Quiet down, someone will hear you.” she muttered. “Must you be so loud?”
“Why not?” he asked, “I thought you liked that about me.” he said, wiggling his eyebrows at her.
“Ugh!” she growled, pushing him into his seat and moving herself as far from him as possible without drawing too much suspicion – they were lab partners after all.
“Is there something you would like to share with the rest of us, Miss Rixie?” came the curt inquiry.
“No, sir, professor, sir.” she fumbled, shrinking into her chair. He may be her favorite teacher, but when his eyes were turned on her, he still gave her the chills.
“Then keep quiet and pay attention!” he said, his dark eyes menacing, shooting a look between them before turning back to the class. “Now, if you would turn your books to page three-hundred and four.”
Lucinda shot her lab partner a dark look. Why was he so insistent on being so... weird? Weasleys. They were all the same: big mouths, freckled skin, haphazard red hair, dreamy blue eyes... wait, what? No. She mentally shook herself. She had been this way all term, ever since Snape made them lab partners. Snape. Her eyes narrowed as she watched the dark figure sitting at his desk while Longbottom was forced to read a passage from the book. It's all his fault. If he hadn't made them lab partners... she wouldn't be in this predicament.
Two weeks after the start of the term, Snape decided to rearrange students - something about the Headmaster wanting to mix things up or that he didn't like how the houses tended to stick to themselves or something. She hadn't really been paying attention. Next thing she knew, she was being assigned as Weasley's partner. She cringed. She had been perfectly happy in her prior engagement.. er, arrangement.
Their first assignment had been a joint paper – another brilliant idea to get everyone working together – and it had required spending time together outside of class.
After hours spent sitting in the library with a mountain of books and deafening silence between them, they thought it would be better to get some fresh air. After a lunch break, with their respective houses, they decided to meet near the lake – sufficiently far enough away to get some work done, and, more importantly, to not be seen by her fellow classmates. Nothing could have prepared her for that afternoon.
“Where have you been, Weasley?” she spat, more than a little annoyed, “You were supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago.”
“Yea, sorry.” he said, setting down his bag, “but look, I got us some snacks.” he smiled, biting into an apple as he opened his bag to reveal more. There were apples, a few candy bars, a bag of grapes, even a tin of cookies.
“We just ate.” she stated dryly.
“And yet I'm already hungry.” he said, taking another bite. She rolled her eyes. “Just trying to be decent.” he muttered, taking out his books.
She sighed heavily, “Let's just get this over with.” she said.
For several minutes they sat in silence as they looked up information in their books. She found it surprisingly difficult, her mind too unfocused. After rereading several passages she gave up, letting her mind wander and her eyes roam. Today was a surprisingly nice day. It wasn't too sunny, but it was still rather bright out. It was ideal weather for a picnic.
Maybe that's what Weasley was going for, her mind offered.
Don't be ridiculous, she chided, he just likes to eat.
I don't know... it replied.
Oh, lovely, she thought, I'm going mad. She was about to chide herself once more when she heard the distinctive squeals of some girls a ways off. She looked up, spotting Parkinson and a few other of the Slytherin girls drooling over Malfoy. She didn't know whether to be annoyed or jealous. She had been Malfoy's lab partner before the switch and, at the time, sh thought he might have been growing fond of her.
She sighed. Instead she was here - with...
“Can I ask you something?”
“Huh? Oh, sure.”
“Why is it that all you Slytherin girls tend to fawn over Malfoy?” he asked, a puzzled look on his face as he watched the scene before them.
She laughed. “Well, just look at him.” she started, gesturing in his direction, “he's smart, handsome, confident...”
“Rich?” he offered.
“There's that too.” Weasley raised a brow at her as he shook his head. She couldn't help but laugh, “Okay, he's a huge tool... self-centered...”
“Full of himself.”
She shook her head, “Yea, ok.” she said, turning back to her book.
“So where did you find the passage on the effects of mandrake root?” he asked.
She flipped through a few pages before finding it. “Here, in the third paragraph,” she said. Ron moved closer to her, leaning in to get a better look.
“Hm, okay.” he said, nodding before looking at her with a thanking half-smile on his face.
They were so close that she could feel his faint breath on her. Mmm, apples, she couldn't help but think. She noticed his cheeks flush red, feeling hers do the same. For a moment she couldn't breathe as she swore he was leaning in closer to her. His eyes closed. Oh, Merlin, he is. She realized, though she didn't move.
When his lips touched hers, she had the sudden sensation of her heart skipping a beat. Her eyes were still closed when he pulled away, mesmerized by his soft lips. Taking in a shallow breath she opened her eyes, noticing his whole face had turned red. She was sure she wasn't too far off in color. “I -” she began, feeling speechless and overwhelmed, “I – uh, I have to go.” she panicked, quickly gathering her things and getting up. “I'll see you in class.” she said quietly before turning and leaving.
After a few paces she glanced back at him. He wasn't that bad looking, kind of cute if you thought about it long enough. Not to mention he was sweet...
She took a deep breath, clutching a book to her chest. Oh, no.
Since then things had gotten rather complicated. Because they were lab partners, she had no choice but to spend more time with him and in the weeks that followed, she had grown to like him more – and he knew it. It was all terribly frustrating. She was a Slytherin, he was a Gryffindor and her family – oh her family... they were so very old fashioned. Even if she wanted to start something with him. You do. Shut up. There just wasn't any way it could work out.
That certainly didn't stop him from trying though. He'd take any occasion to make a date of their meetings, no matter how much she protested.
“You don't really mean that.” he'd say.
“I do.” she'd respond, though she really didn't.
She secretly enjoyed it, and contrary to what she would have expected of herself, she was terrible at lying to him. Even now, four weeks after the first incident, she couldn't help but get all light-headed when she looked at him. Of course she denied it, she'd do her best to act like any other Slytherin girl in her position would, but it didn't matter – she was still into him and he was nothing but persistent.
“And don't forget the assignment I handed out last class. I want those parchments on my desk first thing next period.” She sighed.
“I'll see you after lunch then,” Ron winked. She couldn't help but smile.
Oh dear Merlin, help me.