Chapter 13 : kiss me
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Settle down with me
And I'll be your safety
You'll be my lady
Kiss Me -- Ed Sheeran
beautiful chapter image by tda's aconite
Rainne sits on the couch in the common room, leaning her head on Ben’s shoulder. His wounds have been mended and all evidence of their rule breaking is gone. They both stare at the fire in silence, watching the embers lick the charred wood. Everyone else has gone to sleep, but Rainne can’t leave Ben’s side. He plays with her hair, holding her close.
“Rainne,” he says. She shuts her eyes at the sound. His voice is like a melody.
But she is angry at him.
“I can’t believe you did that,” she says quietly.
He doesn’t understand.
“What do you mean?” he asks.
“I have lost almost everyone I have ever cared about,” she can’t look up at him. Her eyes remain fixed on the flames as tears stream silently onto her lap, shimmering with the orange light as they fall, “I can’t lose you too, Ben.”
He pulls her up, forcing her to face him. She looks away. He holds her face, wiping away her tears, but she is still sobbing.
“Rainne,” he says seriously, “Look at me,” she refuses, “Look at me,” he repeats. She obeys and looks at him sternly, “Listen to me when I say this. I am not leaving you, okay? I’m not going anywhere. Don’t forget that.”
She begins to sob and he pulls her into an embrace.
“I’m not leaving you,” he repeats softly, kissing the top of her head.
She lays in his arms, listening to his heart beat and matching her breathing with his as her tears subside and they drift off to sleep.
Rainne wakes up, keeping her eyes shut. She is still in the common room, laying on Ben’s chest while he rubs circles on the small of her back with his thumb.
He notices her breathing change.
“Good morning, beautiful,” he says.
She smiles, looking up at him.
The pale morning light illuminates his face. It can’t be later than six in the morning.
Rainne wants to stay in Ben’s embrace forever but the shuffle of early bird students interrupts their moment.
They both look at each other a moment longer but know they have to get up. Rainne and Ben stretch themselves off the couch and Ben gives her a hug to reassure her of what he told her last night. They go their separate ways to get ready for the day.
“I’ll meet you in the Great Hall later,” Ben says as he walks to his dorm. Rainne nods and does the same.
She yawns as she opens the door to her room. The girls are still asleep, Carmen snores softly in her bed, her blond hair a knotted mess. Rainne collapses on her mattress and falls asleep instantly, cuddling her soft pillow and tangling the sheets between her legs.
Ben falls backwards onto his bed, exhaling. He feels strange -- no, strange isn’t the word. He has felt strange before, this new feeling is unfamiliar. He sits with his back against the bedframe, looking around the room. James and Remus sleep quietly in their beds. Sirius, however, is nowhere to be found. As if on cue, the toilet flushes and Sirius walks over to his bed, plopping down on it.
“Oh, hey, Nightskin,” he says upon noticing Ben, “How was your night?” he wags his eyebrows. Ben chuckles.
“We just slept, dude,” he says, “It was nice,” he adds after a moment.
“What a pansy!”
“Oh, shut up!” says Ben, smiling. He chucks a cushion at his friend, who catches it with ease, “One day you’re going to stop whoring around and then you’ll know what it’s like to care about a woman.”
“Are you suggesting that I don’t care about women?” asks Sirius in mock horror, “Women are everything to me. What with their curves, their soft, bouncy hair, their bright smiles, their piercing eyes...” he clutches his chest and falls to his side dramatically, laying down, “Oh, I’m in love. With all of them.”
He wags his eyebrows and Ben laughs.
“You better stay away from Evans or Prongs will have you murdered,” he says.
“Yeah, yeah,” says Sirius, “And Rainne, of course,” Ben chuckles, “So are you two an item yet?” Sirius asks him.
Ben opens his mouth to answer, but realizes he doesn’t know. After all the chaos the night before, they hadn’t had a chance to talk about their feelings for eachother. Maybe she was avoiding it? Maybe she wanted to go back to being friends? Ben shakes his head as if to shake out all his insecure thoughts. He looks at Sirius and shrugs.
“I don’t really know,” he says.
Sirius nods as if he’s been in that position before.
Which he obviously hasn’t.
“Well,” he says, looking at his watch, “I’m going back to sleep. See you in six hours,” he salutes Ben and shuts his curtains, promptly snoring. Ben laughs and does the same.
This is it. The end has come for her.
She has never been in an earthquake, but this has to be what it’s like.
Rainne braces herself for the inevitable crumbling of the ceiling that should happen any moment now.
“Wake up!” someone yells. Rainne opens her eyes to see her three roommates shaking her bed.
Okay, so maybe it’s not an earthquake.
Rainne sits up and they let go of her mattress, choosing instead to sit on it with her.
“Sooo?” says Carmen, wagging her eyebrows. Rainne smiles and blushes, causing the girls to giggle and demand details.
“We just cuddled,” says Rainne.
“There is no way you were down there all night just cuddling.”
“Spill the beans, Pemberton!”
Rainne laughs, “I swear, we just fell asleep on the couch!”
“If you say so,” says Lily, but Carmen isn’t convinced.
“We’ll get it out of you some day,” she says with a mischievous grin. Rainne laughs.
“What time is it, anyway?”
“Around eleven,” says Marlene, “We were waiting for you to go get breakfast, but we might as well just wait for lunch now.”
Rainne agrees and goes to the bathroom to wash last night’s make up off her face. She is still in her costume, though she took the wings off earlier that night. She decides to go ahead and take a shower, feeling grimy. The hot water punches her flesh, loosening her tense muscles. While cuddling with Ben was sweet, sleeping on the couch left much to be desired.
As the steam fogs up the mirror, she remembers last night’s events. She remembers almost being hit by an unforgivable curse. She remembers seeing a jaguar, of all things, on the dancefloor, growling at the Death Eaters. She remembers Sirius grabbing her hand and pulling her to safety.
She remembers Ben laying on the glass covered floor, bleeding.
She remembers him promising to stay by her side.
She smiles at that thought.
Finally clean, Rainne rejoins the girls on her bed. They, too, were thinking of the chaotic party.
“Did you see James jump in front of Lily?” says Carmen.
“Of course I did,” says Lily dryly, “I was right there.”
“What about that puma?” muses Marlenne, “That was crazy!”
“Yeah,” wonders Lily, “Where did it come from? Where did it even go? Why did it defend us and not them?”
“I hope it’s okay,” says Carmen, “It was really beautiful.”
Rainne sits and listens to her friends talk and wonder about the attack. She is finally at the point where, if she wants to say something around them, she can. She doesn’t have to worry about her throat closing up or her mouth drying out. She feels comfortable around them. She is so happy to have found people she can be around without feeling like an outsider.
Soon the girls decide to head to the Great Hall. They all pig out like they haven’t eaten in ages, except for Rainne. She eats a salad, of course. The Marauders show up causing a ruckus and inhaling food. James sits across from Lily, throwing peas at her, somehow thinking that will win her heart. Remus and Sirius whisper mysteriously, planning their next prank. Ben sits next to Rainne, putting his arm around her. She smiles at him as she picks at her salad. The sun shines on them in the clear blue sky of the enchanted ceiling.
“Hey, Benjamin,” says a sickly sweet voice. Ben and Rainne turn around to see Summer Day, a Ravenclaw sixth year, standing behind them.
“Oh, hey, Summer,” he says, turning back around to continue eating his food. She doesn’t leave.
“Have you started the Charms essay yet?” she asks him. He furrows his brow, confused by her random question.
“Uhh, no, not yet,” he says, looking at her strangely, “Why do you ask?”
She giggles, twirling her blonde hair with her long fingers.
“No reason, I mean, I just need some help with mine,” she says.
Help? Thinks Rainne, she’s a Ravenclaw. Aren’t they supposed to be smart?
“Oh,” says Ben, confused as well, “I’m rubbish at Charms. Maybe Rainne or Lily could help you. They’re brilliant at it,” he turns back to the table once more, ending the conversation. Summer gives Rainne a look of disgust and walks away, obviously not happy with the result of their conversation. Lily and Rainne share a look.
What the hell? mouths Lily. Rainne shrugs. Lily is about to say something when James interrupts her.
“Oh, Lily flower,” he says, “Would you pretty please with a cherry on top go out with me?”
Lily glares at him while he grins, hopeful.
“I hate cherries,” she says. His grin fades while everyone laughs.
Carmen fans herself.
“It is so hot,” she says, “It’s November. What the hell?”
“I’m kind of sweating,” says Marlene.
Carmen nods, “Let’s go swimming,” she suggests. Marlene nods eagerly. They scarf down the rest of their food and run out of the Great Hall.
Sirius looks at the guys, wags his eyebrows, and follows the girls out.
“I am not missing that,” he says, laughing.
Lily looks at Rainne, pleading. Rainne doesn’t want to swim. Anxiety whispers to her.
You are so pale and fat and disgusting, why would anyone want to see that?
Rainne shakes her head. Shut up, she thinks.
Lily pouts, and Rainne concedes. The group exits the Great Hall. Ben holds Rainne’s hand, warming it with his touch. They run to the lake, and all but Rainne jump in. She sits at the edge, dipping her legs in. Ben swims around her, talking to her, while the others splash and swim around.
“Why don’t you want to get in the water?” asks Ben, floating in front of Rainne.
“I...” she tries to come up with a lie, “I’m afraid of the giant squid.”
“Oh, come on, it won’t hurt you! It lives at the bottom,” he says, trying to coax her into the water.
She shakes her head and he drops it.
He doesn’t even try that hard, says anxiety, Stupid girl. Nobody likes you.
Rainne frowns, trying to push the negative thoughts out of her mind. She decides that, even if she won’t swim, she is going to have fun today. She kicks water at Ben, giggling. Ben splashes her and soon everyone is splashing each other. Rainne smiles and laughs, happy. She is content.
Maybe her life isn’t so bad.
author’s note: so i know this was kind of a filler, but i liked writing it. rainne was happy, and i got to introduce a whole new character. hmmm, what will happen with her? any predictions? we’ll have to see...
i also made a meet the author page, so go ask me questions! i love hearing from you guys.
thanks for reading!
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