October 22, 2018, 04:18:33 AM

Author Topic:  whispering like it's a secret only to condemn the one who hears it [lucas]  (Read 478 times)

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Angharad Hughes [ Shop Worker ]
1004 Posts  •  20  •  Heterosexual  •  played by laura
late january 2002

It was snowing softly in Hogsmeade village; little flurries were whirling around in the cold breeze that was ripping up and down the high street. Harri had chosen Hogsmeade as a meeting point for a very particular reason: she was hoping it would remind Lucas of how they had been in school. Remind him that they hadn’t changed, really. They were still the same people – just a little older, and a little wiser.

She’d written to him shortly after she’d gotten back from Australia, just asking if he wanted to meet for lunch or a coffee. She didn’t know whether he was busy, or if he had a girlfriend, or anything about him really, anymore. When they’d last bumped into one another in Diagon Alley it had been summer, half a year ago and what felt like half a world away. They hadn’t really gleamed much from the impromptu catch-up then, but she’d been in a bit of a slump, caught off guard and unprepared. Not this time.

Angharad wanted to tell Lucas everything before he found out from someone else. Now that she was working in Diagon Alley there was a chance they’d bump into each other more often, and though George and Ron had promised not to tell anyone about her ‘illness’, there was always the chance that they’d let something slip, or that someone else would work it out. Harri had been isolated from the general Wizarding population for so long, it was bound to raise alarm bells to anyone with half a brain.

She should have told Luke from the start, Harri realised now, but she’d been terrified that he would hate her. Hate what she had become. She still did, but there was nothing she could do about it. She wouldn’t let it beat her, she’d decided – with a little encouragement from the male members of her family, both immediate and extended.

Now that she had a job, and she’d been somewhere exciting, it seemed the perfect time to meet with Luke again. She could actually tell him what she’d been up to, and gently lead him into the reveal. They hadn’t quite settled on what they were going to do or where – Lucas’ reply had been vague and Harri had been reluctant to suggest Madam Puddifoot's just in case he got the wrong end of the stick. The food would be lighter at Puddifoot's, more like cake and coffee, and therefore opportune for a quick getaway if things turned sour, but in this weather the cosy interior of The Three Broomsticks was sounding preferable – and she hadn't had a butterbeer in ages. She was stood outside the pub, as agreed, wrapped in a thick camel-coloured coat, knitted bobble hat, and tartan scarf.

@Lucas Benett
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 08:59:41 PM by Laura »
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Lucas Benett [ Hogwarts Adult ]
2010 Posts
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He wasn't sure he was going to turn up.

Bumping into her in the summer had been exhilarating. Lucas remembered just how good Angharad made him feel when he was around her, like he was invincible. She had this strange sunny aura around her, like she was radiating happiness. It sideswiped him somewhat, shunting him back several years to the unsure teenager that had been completely head over heels for her.

The warmth drained away, like water down a plug hole as he remembered that she'd been the one to call time on their relationship. He'd been so stunned and so hurt that he'd just let her go, despite wanting nothing more than to fight for her. It was all water under the bridge now, of course, but a very small part of him still blamed her, like she was the reason he'd been unable to get a steady girlfriend, like she was still holding his heart too tightly.

Then  he realised that standing her up would be a pretty shitty thing to do so he'd written her a response, shrugged his navy pea coat on and headed up to Scotland.

Harri was little, tiny even, but she still had so much power over him. The saying was "absence made the heart grow fonder" but the updated version should be "absence makes the mind wander". Because it did. Often, when it came to her. He was to blame, too. He should have kept in touch, they were friends first and foremost before they ever became lovers. She heard she had a job now and he was pleased and keen to see how she was settling in.

The small snow-laden town was exactly the same as he remembered it and he walked past Madam Puddifoot's with his eyes on his brogues, never once peeking into the sugar sweet happiness inside because it made his insides hurt. Seeing her familiar figure outside the pub, Luke broke into a gentle jog and cracked a smile. "You must be freezing," he gently admonished her, placing a kiss on her cheek in greeting before opening the door and ushering her inside.

Luke had picked over their last conversation in minute detail, often in the dead of night. Angharas hadn't mentioned a boyfriend but then again, he hadn't asked. The most peculiar thing he remembered was the reaction she had to when he mentioned a full moon party in passing. Horror and fear. She looked as though her heart had fallen out of her arse. He'd put it down to maybe being afraid of the dark or something.

The warm air and chatter hit him instantly as he was quick to shrug out of his coat and drape it across the back of a chair. The table was small and away from the door, partly to keep warm but mostly because their conversations would go unnoticed. Lucas offered her a broad smile, his anxiety softening around the edges like it was so prone to doing when he was around her. "Thanks for the note," he said casually as he reached up a large hand and ruffled it through his hair, shedding the snowflakes.

He couldn't even blame it on him being busy because he hadn't. Christmas was sort of a non-issue. He'd spent it at his grandparents' home, without his mother and his wayward siblings and it had been really nice. Lucas hadn't had any new assignments as of late, except the promise of when the weather warmed up. She had a bit of a tan, he'd noticed. The Welsh paleness of her face was somewhat lessened, she looked healthy, happy.

There was an air of awkwardness that settled over the pair and Lucas was not oblivious. It felt painful to know the young woman sitting across from him knew all of his deepest secrets and his darkest fears and there she sat, feeling like she was miles away. The urge to lean across the table and kiss her, just for old time's sake, was overwhelming. "Drink?" He asked suddenly, moving to stand.

then you float into the hallway, like some neon silhouette
i'm slowly losing oxygen and my hands are soaking wet.

Angharad Hughes [ Shop Worker ]
1004 Posts  •  20  •  Heterosexual  •  played by laura
As her warm brown eyes locked onto Lucas’ approaching figure Harri’s stomach did a somersault. She wasn’t sure if it was from happiness, or nervousness, or something else. Luke entered her little bubble of personal space with ease, as if nothing had ever changed between them, and she found herself melting into his touch, however fleeting. “I’m alright,” she replied softly with a smile, not wanting to start their interaction with a negative response.

The Three Broomsticks was exactly how she remembered it. Having led the way in, Angharad chose a table in the corner, away from the hustle and bustle of the bar and less likely to be overheard by other patrons. She pulled her hat and scarf off and slipped out of her coat, revealing her healthier-looking frame underneath, then sat silently.  The blonde looked up at him with soft surprise at his words, her eyes watching the way his hands ran through his thick, dark hair. “I— you’re welcome.” She paused for a moment, trying to figure out how to continue without sounding like she was taking a dig at him. “We haven’t had a chance to, catch up for a while.”

“I—“ Angharad had started to make a confession of longing when he spoke at the same time, cutting across her with his one-word question. The blonde nodded hastily, “Yes, please – a butterbeer would be... perfect.”

Lucas stood and went off to the bar to order their drinks, leaving Harri to her own devices for a minute or two. Suddenly this all seemed a lot less simple than it had when it had just been a plan, an idea in her head. Now it was real. She had to tell him, she couldn’t leave today without Luke knowing everything – or as much as he would sit and listen to. He seemed in an amiable mood, but now the former Hufflepuff was wondering if she shouldn’t have picked somewhere more private to meet. Somewhere where, if he reacted poorly, there wouldn’t be onlookers to witness it.

Before she had a chance to really work herself into a panic attack, Lucas was back and bearing their drinks. She smiled politely and took her butterbeer, lifting it and having a sip before setting it back on the table. “Thank you. I haven’t had one of these in... months.” She licked her lips, flicking her eyes up to meet his. Her fingers traced a shape over the knot in the tabletop. “How have you been? Still writing for the travel magazine?”
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Lucas Benett [ Hogwarts Adult ]
2010 Posts
  • "Mr. Darcy, I do believe you've poked me on Facebook!"
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"No, we haven't." Luke's tone was soft and almost nostalgic as he offered her a smile. They hadn't caught up in ages, she was right. He didn't know whose fault that was; maybe his, hers, both or neither. People drifted apart, especially since leaving school but they'd drifted when they were still studying. There was a dull ache in his chest, a familiar pain that was never far from the surface. It felt like forgotten memories, secret memories and he didn't feel like she had the right to bring them back up again, even accidentally.

Butterbeer it was.

He was thankful for the breathing space. Out of habit, he'd looked at Harri and she looked good. It was almost sacrilegious. She was trying so hard to reconnect and he needed to get over things in the past. So they'd broken up. Big deal. Millions of people did it every day but Harri wasn't a million people. Lucas had a hard time determining if his pride was bruised or he was still in love with her. Either way, he felt uncomfortable. He wasn't going to give up on their fledgling friendship but it was painfully clear, at least to him, that a lot of things had happened.

"You're welcome," he said easily as he dropped down and into his seat with a glass of lemonade. He'd never really liked butterbeer, he didn't see the appeal. It was far too sweet and he hoped against hope that Angharad didn't remember the time he'd consumed too much and them vomited into a bin.

"Good," Lucas replied with a genuine smile. Oh sure, his family was insane and he'd cut all ties and he was struggling to get by but he was good. He desperately wanted to tell Harri the ins and outs of the fights with his mother and his siblings but he found himself remembering that they weren't close any more.  He was one hundred percent alone. Besides, it was a lot to dump on someone so soon. "Yeah," he chuckled as he sipped his drink. "It's going really well," he added cheerfully. "Though it's a bit frustrating," he admitted as his blue eyes watched a drop of condensation roll down the glass. "You know, writing about all the tourist hot spots when really, all I want to do is discover the hidden gems. I think people would appreciate that more. No one wants to hang around in a mad crowd, do they?" He mused.

He chanced a look up at her while she was distracted and he found himself sighing gently. He daren't look at her hands. The sight of an engagement ring might force him to hurl into a bin again but for very different reasons. There was a very slight part of him that was still mad at Angharad. Mad at her for breaking things off, mad at her for still having this power over him, mad at her that he hadn't been able to have a proper relationship because every girl he met he measured against her. And they always fell short.

"How's your mum?" Lucas asked politely but genuinely interested. From the brief time they'd been introduced, he did really like her. Her family, except her eldest brother, had all been very warm. Deep down, he didn't really want to know about how her family was doing. An uncomfortable silence settled over the pair and every fibre of his being was screaming at him to do something. He hated the word "closure." It was too American and such a vague concept but one he thought he might need.

Luke extended his hand a little as though to touch her own but stopped himself before their skin made contact across the table. "Sorry," he replied, embarrassed as he flushed pink. She probably didn't know how calming her touch had been in the past. It'd probably be unsettling for her to hear now.

then you float into the hallway, like some neon silhouette
i'm slowly losing oxygen and my hands are soaking wet.

Angharad Hughes [ Shop Worker ]
1004 Posts  •  20  •  Heterosexual  •  played by laura
“That’s good.” She nodded softly, her warm brown eyes met with Luke's as he smiled at her and Harri found herself returning the expression automatically. She didn’t bother to wonder if Lucas was lying – what did he have to keep from her? She took him at his word that things were rosy. She was happy for him, glad that he was doing well. She hoped that by the next time they met, if they met again, she could answer the same, with the same level of honesty.

“Oh?” Her brow furrowed lightly as he admitted to his job being frustrating, before relaxing into a knowing smile. “Oh. I think you’re right.” She agreed, slipping back into a more comfortable place as they discussed something that wasn’t their feelings or lifechanging experiences. “If somewhere is already a hotspot, surely people know enough about it?” She asked rhetorically. “I’d rather read about... I don’t know. Maybe not the Bermuda Triangle, but somewhere off the beaten track.” Angharad had sat up and gotten quite animated as she spoke, but upon catching Luke’s eye shrunk back a little, “But maybe I’m not like everyone else.” She said quietly, hoping she hadn’t overstepped by talking like they had used to – openly, objectively.

“I just got back from Australia, actually.” She said, just for something to say. To keep the momentum they had gathered going. “To see my cousin,” she explained, wary of sounding like she was living some jetset lifestyle. "Have you ever been?" She asked, "I hadn't actually... even gone outside of Britain before." Angharad offered a small smile, a little embarrassed that she was sitting across from someone who had probably been to all four corners of the globe.

Her mam? Harri's eyes widened the slightest bit before reverting back to normal. "Mam's good." Harri lied. Well, it wasn't a big lie. Just a little fib. Her mam was alright, really. But Angharad and her other no longer had the strong bond they had once had. Although Harri was starting to come to term with the fact that the attack hadn't really been the fault of her mother, she couldn't help but be firm in the belief that if her mam hadn't worked in the Werewolf Capture Unit, then none of this would have happened. She could have gone back to school and finished with everyone else. Gotten a real job. And fixed things with Lucas earlier. "Everyone else is.. good too. I think Taran wishes he was playing for the Catapults right now, they're higher in the league than United. Emyr's on a bit of a slow part of the year, his work'll pick up towards summer though. Aled is still Aled." She ended with a funny little smile. She knew Luke and Aled had not had the best rapport.

Lucas moved his hand closer and Harri withdrew hers into her lap. Her eyes were downcast as she fiddled awkwardly for a second, flicking back up as he apologised -- for what, she wasn't sure. Angharad frowned, "No--" she blurted out quickly, then took a deep breath in. It seemed like it was now or never. "I. The reason I..." she swallowed, pushing her tankard a little to one side before looking up and fixing her eyes on his. "I wanted to meet up to tell you something." Her voice was even, for now. "To tell you a lot of things." She continued. "There's... I want you to hear it all before you.. decide to leave or, or whatever." She glanced around the pub to see if anyone was too close for comfort, but they had this corner to themselves. "The real reason I didn't go back to school after... the Battle... was because over the summer something happened."
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Lucas Benett [ Hogwarts Adult ]
2010 Posts
  • "Mr. Darcy, I do believe you've poked me on Facebook!"
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  • Trophy Closet This member reached the Pebble level before July 2015!
Lucas found himself smiling at her. It felt easy, comfortable, like it used to. He regretted that she hadn't come with him on his travels, assuming that she even wanted to in the first place. "Sounds good," he told her gently, agreeing with her exactly. In a way, he wondered if he'd been subconsciously writing the guidebooks for her. In a way, he'd always known they liked the same sorts of things. Maybe he was trying to make up for past transgressions or maybe he was trying to bridge the gap or maybe he didn't know what he was doing.

"Oh wow," Luke was quick to say with wide eyes as he heard that she'd visited the other side of the world. Harri needn't say that she was visiting her cousin, it wasn't really any of his concern but he heard himself give a sigh of relief. The image of her with beachy hair and a tan was getting too much to handle. "No, never," he said wistfully. "But I want to. You could give me tips," he joked but his smile faltered somewhat. Harri wasn't that type of girl. She wasn't shy, she wasn't sheltered, she was full of life and spirit. It upset him to know that only now was she starting to venture out. "Well that'll do it," he said quickly to try and stem her sadness with a joke. "From nowhere to ten thousand miles, that's a great place to start."

He nodded along gently, interested before he offered Harri a wan smile when she spoke of Aled. Lucas understood the big brother thing but there was always an element of thinly veiled distrust. He never did tell her that he might have threatened to break his fingers one day.

He heard a metaphorical record scratch in his head as he realised that the warm feeling of nostalgia had been snatched away. Like the world had tilted on its axis, Luke blinked but nodded at her reluctance. He knew it. They'd been through a lot and while he was willing to patch things up, he had a feeling that they weren't exactly on the same page. Did it hurt? Absolutely. But in true Angharad style, it wasn't malicious. It was gentle and he accepted it. He had to. What other choice did he have?

No, she'd said. He didn't know if she was rejecting him or his apology but instead, he sat on his hands anyway. "Okay," Lucas prompted her along softly with an understanding nod as his eyes flickered across her face. He knew she didn't need to explain anything. Break ups happened. Her feelings were valid, whatever they were and he wasn't expecting her to lay it all on the line. Selfishly, he wasn't sure he wanted to hear them. They were different people now and while she'd never been far from his thoughts, he couldn't go back.

Things got very seriously very quickly. Lucas was silent as she spoke. The crackle of the fire and the gentle hum of chatter was all like background noise now. All he could hear was the ticking of his watch as he looked at her. Whatever she wanted to say must be pretty serious. She'd asked him to meet her and he assumed it was just for a catch up but things had ended so abruptly. Did she have regrets, too? She didn't need to apologise but if she wanted to offer one, he'd take it. He wasn't blameless in this. He'd done some pretty stupid stuff, too.

"Leave?" Lucas blurted out, concern creasing his handsome facial features. Now he was panicking. His brain was trying to process these hints at speed and he'd some to a conclusion; something or someone had hurt her over the summer. Everyone at the Battle had scars, physically or emotionally and no one came out of unscathed. What was bothering was the fact that Harri hadn't trusted him enough to come to him with whatever issue she had. He might have been able to help her. Lucas felt like he'd been punched in the gut. They were no longer dating but that didn't mean he didn't care.

The writer tried to rearrange his face and hide his concern, surprise and upset. "Okay," he said again quieter, softer. Whatever this was, it wasn't about him. It was about her, she was the important one here. Lucas desperately wanted to move closer to her, to comfort her, to placate her but after her previously lukewarm position, he decided to stay exactly where he was. It wasn't fair. She was too sweet to be feeling so isolated. Instead, he placed his hands on the table so she could see where they were as he prompted her along carefully. "I'm listening."

then you float into the hallway, like some neon silhouette
i'm slowly losing oxygen and my hands are soaking wet.

Angharad Hughes [ Shop Worker ]
1004 Posts  •  20  •  Heterosexual  •  played by laura
Angharad chewed on her lip gently. It felt like she’d betrayed Luke in some way whilst she was in Australia; it had been Hefin’s fault. Well, not wholly his fault – she realised that her cousin hadn’t forced her into anything, but if he hadn’t meddled Harri could have still had a perfectly nice holiday and wouldn’t currently be sat here feeling guilty that she’d made an attempt to move on with her life. An attempt that had, really, only prompted her into doing the opposite and reverting back to what was comfortable: Lucas. Well, she was sure he’d not been celibate since Hogwarts, and they weren’t together – they were barely even acquaintances now. She shouldn’t feel any remorse. “Yeah,” she said quietly with a small smile, “I didn’t see everything but, definitely.” Her smile widened at his words.

As it had always tended to do, talk of family caused the conversation to falter somewhat. She wished Luke had had a better experience. She didn’t know if everything was better or worse than it had been when they’d been in school, but the fact he hadn’t volunteered any information about his own family was enough to cause Angharad not to ask.

The petite blonde drew in a deep breath to calm her nerves. Under the table she was wringing her hands, fidgeting nervously. Her warm brown eyes stayed fixated on his as she remained determined to tell him. Everything. Finally. If he’d stay, that was.

“You know my mam works for the Ministry, in the Beast Division,” she started, her voice steady despite her anxiety – she’d practiced this a hundred times in her head but now it seemed like there was no real way to ease someone into this news. The more she delayed it, the more she was prolonging her own misery. “And she came with Dad and Emyr and Aled to help at the Battle, because the werewolves had sided with… You-Know-Who.” She swallowed softly, flicking her eyes to check – once again – that there was no one nearby to overhear, before looking back at Lucas. “A… werewolf that mam had.. helped round up their pack, he found our house in the summer and—” her mouth hung slightly open for a moment, the memory of that night still very much present in her mind, before she finally willed herself to blurt out “He bit me.”

She just stared at him for a second before seemingly shrinking on the spot; her head dipped down and her shoulders curved inwards. She couldn’t look him in the eye. Couldn’t see the disgust when he realised that she wasn’t clean. That she was a monster. Angharad wondered if this had been a good idea after all. Her eyes began welling despite herself – she thought she had gotten over this, but she supposed until Lucas knew, she wouldn’t be over it. “I’m sorry.” She said quietly, her voice cracking as the tears started falling silently. “I didn’t want you to—to touch me.”
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Lucas Benett [ Hogwarts Adult ]
2010 Posts
  • "Mr. Darcy, I do believe you've poked me on Facebook!"
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  • Trophy Closet This member reached the Pebble level before July 2015!
Lucas felt himself nodding along. He remembered Angharad's mother. She was petite with kind eyes and easily less threatening than her older brothers had been towards him. With a frown, he shifted uncomfortably on his chair at the mention of the Battle. It was almost like a taboo subject. Everyone knew what happened but no one ever really spoke about it.

He flinched.

Like a record scratch, everything came screeching to a halt. Everything faded away almost instantly; the gentle chatter of the pub, the clink of glasses and his previously good mood. Like a popped bubble, he suddenly felt cold. A werewolf had found their house? The flash of anger wasn't directed at Angharad, it was directed at her mother. "Shit," he swore softly as he took his glasses off his face and pinched the bridge of her nose. So many questions were boinging around his head like a pinball machine. What had her mother done? Why wasn't their house better protected? Why wasn't she better protected?

Angharad didn't have to tell him the next part because he'd already guessed it. He wasn't looking at her but he didn't need to. He heard the crack in her voice and his heart hurt. He blamed her mother for everything. Her brothers for arriving too late. It was silly and it wasn't anyone's fault but having someone to pin the blame too was stopping him from punching out one of the pub's windows in rage. But this wasn't her fault. The way she was shirking away from him was making his gut twist as he sat there, trying to find the right thing to say when really, all he wanted to do was tell her that it was going to be okay.

Realising he'd been silent for too long, he looked up at her and instantly wished he hadn't. Harri looked so much younger than her age, like a timid child. It wasn't fair on her. It had stolen her life away and even if she was coping, it wasn't something she'd be able to escape. He bit me. The words echoed around in his head like a bell. Was that why she'd left so suddenly? Guilt felt like a crushing weight. He'd taken her disappearance as a sign that she was done with him and their relationship. Lucas hadn't considered the fact that she might have thought she was going this for his own good, for her personal sanity or her protection. He'd made it all about him.

"Oh, Angie," he breathed softly as he swallowed the lump in his throat, his eyes wide as she started to tear up. "It's not your fault," he pressed her insistently. He shook his head at her apology. He wanted to shake her. She didn't have anything to apologise for. It all made sense now. This was her coping mechanism and if the shoe was on the other foot, he assumed he'd do the same. He wanted to ask her all sorts to try and get to the bottom of it. Was she scarred and could he see it? Would she fully transform or partly? Was she taking medication? How bad was it? All that mattered was her. They could talk about this later on.

Wordlessly, Luke got up. Swiftly, he stepped around to where Angharad was sitting. He sank down to his knees close to her, ignoring the pain that set in from the hard, sticky pub floor. He sketched out a gentle smile and hoped the anger he was feeling had dissipated enough for her to trust him again. It didn't matter that she hadn't told him but it did matter than she'd been carrying around this burden for so long. Now wasn't the time to be nursing his bruised ego.

With a firm hand, he took one of her own and brought it close to his face. Without permission, he kissed the backs of her knuckles. It was soft and not invasive, a simple, wordless gesture to let her know that  he wasn't about to run for the hills. Lucas shifted to sit by her feet. "Okay," he told her gently as he ignored the people around them in their secluded little corner. "What do we do now?" It was a "we" now. It always had been. 

then you float into the hallway, like some neon silhouette
i'm slowly losing oxygen and my hands are soaking wet.

Angharad Hughes [ Shop Worker ]
1004 Posts  •  20  •  Heterosexual  •  played by laura
Re: whispering like it's a secret only to condemn the one who hears it [lucas]
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 07:16:11 AM »
Angharad watched fearfully as Lucas reacted to the abbreviated rendition of the events that had brought them both here. She’d been building up to this moment for years, and every time Harri had pictured the scenario it had ended poorly. Perhaps it was going to be a déjà vu moment. Maybe he’d get up from his chair, politely (for when was Lucas ever not polite, even in her subconscious?) tell her she had been right to stay away from him, and leave, just like she had imagined over and over.

Finally, Lucas said something. Harri shut her eyes tight in a wince, unable to meet his gaze and prepared to hear the worst. But the words weren’t harsh, or cold, or uncaring – they were soft, and warm, and reassuring.  She peeked open cautiously, silent tears still streaming down her cheeks.

But then he was on his feet, and all those nightmares (because they weren’t ‘dreams’ if they were bad, were they?) came rushing back. Her breath caught in her throat as she mentally steeled herself for whatever was coming—and then he was beside her. On his knees, looking up at her rather than down. Her brow knitted softly in confusion. Even in the rare optimistic scenarios she had envisioned, he’d still maintained a safe distance from her and her disease. The blonde flinched lightly when he took her hand in his, her soft brown eyes wide with surprise.

More tears fell as she felt his lips on her skin, but they weren’t hot and painful anymore. They weren’t happy tears, but something more like relief than sorrow or hurt. He hadn’t run away, he wasn’t repulsed by her, he—

“We?” She said quietly, her voice thick from the tears. “You don’t— you don’t have to,” the Hufflepuff licked her lips to wet them, “I’m not trying to, to guilt you into anything Lucas. I just—I should have told you when it happened so we could stay friends. I didn’t mean to make you think I… hated you or anything.” Everything tumbled out quickly in a garbled mess; she was desperate for him to understand, but she didn’t want him to rush into anything – he didn’t know how she lived now, how her dreams of being a Healer had been dashed.
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