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20 November 2004 @ 09:34 pm
I fantasise about sleeping  

My dad is finally home from Dublin. As he quite rightly pointed out, this will be the first time in six years that I will see him every day.

...

Oh joy. A daily lecture instead of a weekend one. Still, he shall be useful for driving and things.

I discovered two things today. One: My brother is utterly unlike me. (Me = eccentric, imaginative, obsessed with escaping the mundanity of 'real' life, forced since birth to defend myself against people who scoffed at the idea of reading books 'lyke omgwtfbbq, who does that wierdo stuff?' in the name of 'friendly banter'.) He is such a sheep and, *shudders*, looks set to be one of Them, the popular ones. Imagine a brother of MINE having a breeze of a conventional time in high school! It beggars belief. Two: I hate stew. Yucky, boiled to flavourlessness string. Now Dad is home we'll probably get it EVERY night. Damn post-war England cuisine and his lack of culinary skillz!

But onto more important matters! coralia13 , I am afraid that I have terrible, terrible news (I'm prone to exaggeration...no, that's not the news). Due to random explodey thingys on my floppy disk when I first wrote this fic, only chapters 1-5 and 8-10 are saved on my hard drive. (My laptop, while purtyful and beautiful and all things nice, as well as the love of my life, has no floppy-disk drive.) This means I shall have to type out 26 pages worth of size 10 font by hand (well n'oh, hardly by foot) and it will take me the time, what with college and all.

So as a milksop, I humbly offer what I regard as my best work to date - two slash (sorry!!) fics. While there is, obviously, no Hermione/Draco lovin', my best efforts at humour (I wasn't trying to be funny in Snakes and Ladders...) may placate you, or so I hope and pray or would pray were I not a fully-paid-up, card-carrying athiest.

SO!

Chapter title from the song. (It's on the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack. Will look it up later.) Opening lyrics: Renaud. Which I translated xD. At the end, I mean, because it sounds worse in English than in French.. ENJOY!

Chapter Five: THE WRONG KIND OF RIGHT

Tout arreter, termine! finis les utopies, les reves brises

L'coeur d'artichaut est fatigue

Mais jamais j'n'arret'rai de t'aimer

Seamus was a little surprised that Dean wasn’t all in a tizzy for his upcoming second date with Ginny. He supposed that once the milestone first date had been struggled through, the second impression wasn’t that important. He said as much to Dean, who, once he’d figured out what Seamus was talking about, laughed and said he was just going to wear what he’d worn the first time.

Seamus halted, stock-still, in the middle of the school corridor. The effect was lost on Dean, who’d continued walking, and the jostlings of irritated people eventually convinced Seamus to move on. He caught up with Dean, panting slightly. Dean gave him a quizzical look.

‘Dean, you cannot wear the same clothes twice running!’ he panted in despair. ‘She’ll think you don’t wash!’

‘Why?’ Dean asked, and Seamus realised to his horror that Dean was actually sincere.

‘Because, you daft pogo-stick, she’ll see you in the exact same clothes!’

‘Yes, but you see me in the same clothes all the time, and you know I wash,’ said Dean equably, with unshakeable logic.

‘Yes, I do. I also go round your house nearly every day, occasionally seeing your washing machine, I know you have a wardrobe of more than one outfit and most importantly,’ Seamus steeled himself for the lie, ‘I don’t look on you as a potential sexual partner, as Ginny does!’

‘Does she?’ Dean asked in excitement.

Seamus rolled his eyes, somewhat relived, however, that Dean had not picked up on the false note in his voice. ‘Potentially, yes. That’s the point. Your mum, for example, sees you in the same clothes, and as she lives with you she has no worries that she’s brought up an unhygienic son. Ginny doesn’t, so she also doesn’t know if you wash either yourself or your clothes. Obviously she assumes that you do, but you have to prove it to her. Ergo, you must wear another outfit. And not a tracksuit, before you even ask.’

‘This dating business seems to be a whole load of work,’ Dean said, disgruntled. ‘How come I can’t just wear what I usually do?’

‘Funnily enough, girls ask themselves the same question all the time,’ Seamus said conversationally. ‘And the honest to God answer is, you can – when you’ve been married to her for thirty years, have possibly seen up her uterus while she gives birth to your kids and are set to grow old and dribbly together in some clapped-out retirement home. Then, and only then, can you stop trying to impress. In other words, when it’s too late.’

‘You know, I’ve just realised why you’re such a great friend,’ said Dean dryly. ‘You have such a wonderfully positive outlook on life. It’s so inspiring.’

‘Well, you know what they say,’ Seamus replied airily. ‘Optimism begins in a broad grin, and pessimism ends in blue spectacles. I’ve always said glasses would suit me, don’t you agree?’

‘Yes, as long as they’re on someone else’s face,’ Dean agreed.

‘Oh, witty! We shall make a cynic of you yet, my dear.’ Seamus leered at him. ‘If marriage doesn’t do my job for me, that is.’

‘Stop!’ Dean complained. ‘I haven’t even got to third base and you’re scaring me off. All this talk of getting married.’

‘Haha, rather you than me,’ Seamus said unsympathetically.

After a while, during which Dean appeared to be thinking hard (you could always tell by the little wrinkle between his eyebrows, which of course Seamus never looked at when Dean wasn’t paying attention), he spoke.

‘Marriage or third base?’

~

Overnight, Hermione’s eye had swelled to the size of a duck egg, but unfortunately not as attractive a colour. Various bruises and scratches on her face and body were aching as her body began to heal, and her foot – taped up in bandages and a heat pack – was burning to the touch. Her mother had been shocked at her appearance, and had wanted to sue Pansy for damages. By morning, after a sleepless night of torture, Hermione found herself becoming more and more amenable to the idea.

Her mother took one look at her, a plate of toast and eggs in her hands, and pronounced her completely unfit for school. For once, Hermione didn’t protest. Even leaving aside the considerable pain she was in, she had a lot to think about. She sent a text message to Blaise, to tell her she wasn’t coming in, and asking her if she had any idea what reason Pansy had for attacking her. It didn’t deliver, however; clearly Blaise kept her phone off during school.

She lay back on her pillows, freshly plumped by her mother before she left for work, and let sleep claim her.

~

Sev was in a state of shock. His lover and the man he was in love with had turned out to be brothers. It was more than a little squicky.

He wandered around his apartment, a cup of bitter coffee clutched in one hand, and considered phoning in sick. He certainly felt sick at heart. Marv had spoken little more after his first three words, making no pretence of having a real excuse for leaving quickly. Sev envied him. He endured an uncomfortable silence with Lupin for what seemed like hours, but was only a few minutes in reality, before Lupin had mumbled something and left also. By then, Sev couldn’t even summon up the energy to drink himself into oblivion. He had walked home in a daze, getting caught in a spring shower and ruining his trousers. He couldn’t be bothered to care.

He decided that, unpleasant though the thought was, he needed to talk to Lupin. He needed to clear the air. So many things were uncertain – was Lupin gay? In what exact reference frame could Remus Lupin and Marvolo Riddle – hell, he hadn’t even known the guy’s full name before he went and messed up his life – be termed brothers?

Even in his confused, weary state of mind, he knew which question bothered him most.

~

Blaise sat in class, humming quietly to herself. It was clear by break-time that Hermione wasn’t in, although Blaise didn’t have her phone with her to confirm. She was sitting on her own in English, looking at the back of Black’s head, which was bowed. She couldn’t feel angry at him for causing her best friend to be beaten up – by this stage she had heard from Lavender that he had broken up with Pansy. It was painfully evident that he was missing Hermione, and after all his relationship with Pansy was over now. The path of true love never did run smooth, and all that. In this case, it had taken a detour into outer space smack-bang into a couple of asteroids.

Speaking of love...Blaise glanced around the room. Ron was sitting at a desk at the back, giggling at nothing. Pushing herself off of her chair, she stalked over to him.

‘Where’s Harry?’ she asked, feeling a tentative right to ask. They had shared headphones, after all.

Ron didn’t reply, so she repeated her question, louder, and Ron deigned to look at her. She was startled by his empty looking eyes. Of course she’d known he was on drugs – she knew everything – but she’d had no occasion to see him up close before. She was shocked by his sunken, pale features, and made a worried face.

‘Harry, man?’ Ron said slowly, as if dredging up each word from a long-obsolete memory bank. ‘Is he, like, one of my brothers?’

Blaise curled her lip at him and returned to her seat, pondering all the while what on earth to do about him. Twelve steps was about all she could think of, and she’d only seen that in Clueless.

Lavender stopped in front of her, eyes alight with new gossip. Nothing made Lavender come alive like passing on scurrilous rumours that had been confided to her in strictest confidence.

‘Guess what?’ she said in what she clearly thought was a whisper.

‘You’re a fool and I’m not,’ Blaise said, seriously.

‘No, silly!’ Lavender batted her on the arm while Blaise gave her an incredulous look. ‘Did you hear?’ She didn’t wait for an answer but ploughed on regardless. ‘Apparently, a couple of weeks ago Pansy overheard some girls in the bathroom saying that Hermione Granger is in love with Black! Then he broke up with her, and she was so mad, that’s why she beat her up! Can you believe it? I was right all along!’ She sighed mistily. ‘It’s so romantic!’

‘What, getting beaten to a bloody pulp?’ Blaise shook her head. ‘I never had you down as that kinky, Lavender.’ But Lavender had moved on, to spread the word far and wide, whether anyone was interested in it or not.

But Blaise was interested. She realised with a sinking heart that the girls Pansy had overheard had been Hermione – and herself. She had given Hermione the rope to hang herself. Hermione was not going to forgive her for this. She grimaced and slumped down in her seat.

At that point, Harry entered, seconds in front of Miss McGonagall who, Blaise noticed, was looking very spruced up all of a sudden. She’d have to investigate that.

However, all thoughts of her teacher disappeared from her head as Harry shyly approached her desk, hesitated, then sat down beside her. Then, Blaise was hard-pressed to keep a grin from spreading all over her face.

~

Draco was feeling both incredibly worried and extremely guilty as he sat through McGonagall’s class, passing the time by drawing idly on a copy. Hermione’s injuries, although far from life-threatening, were still pretty deleterious. In addition, he had been the unwitting cause of them. And he thought he’d let Pansy down gently, considering what he could have said. He wasn’t worried about being her next victim; he held a black belt in Tai Kwon Do. That was probably why she hadn’t come after him. The only puzzling thing about the whole situation was why she had gone after Hermione. It wasn’t as if he had told Pansy he’d been using her to make Hermione jealous; he wasn’t that stupid, or unfeeling. Perhaps she’d made the connection on her own.

And that was worrying, because if Pansy – who’d have a hard time reading if someone cut off her finger – could figure out that he was in love and all other soppy things with Granger, then anyone could. And the whole world would be party to her rejection of him. Wonderful.

He was missing Hermione, but there was another edge to it too, namely that he was concerned over her welfare. This was a bit different from the squirmy feelings of lust she generated (well, that the thoughts of her generated) or the thrill he got from winding her up. It was involved; it was caring. It was bloody scary.

It was the nagging feeling of obligation combined with the genuine desire to see her that spurred him on to asking Blaise where she lived.

‘Why, so you can throw petrol over her house and set fire to it?’ she said, but there was a noticable lack of bite in her voice. Draco noticed Harry hovering nearby, but as usual dismissed him. It never occurred to him to connect Harry’s presence with Blaise’s unusual good humour. ‘Don’t you think you and your cronies have done enough damage, Black?’

‘I’m sorry about that,’ Draco said humbly. ‘Jesus, if I’d known Pansy was going to go batshit I would have – ’

‘Handled the situation a bit more delicately?’ Blaise suggested.

Draco paused. ‘I was going to say I would have given Hermione a big stick,’ he admitted. ‘But your idea has merit. In theory anyway.’ He wasn’t going to go into the details of his recent break-up with Blaise.

Blaise seemed to be sizing him up. Draco wondered nervously if he was going to be found wanting.

‘It’s twenty-one Magnolia Cresent,’ she said at last, and he breathed a sigh of relief. ‘The house with the green door.’

~

Seamus decided that Dean needed to be taken shopping rather urgently. This was convenient, as Seamus also required some new clothes. Unfortunately, Dean didn‘t see it that way. He treated the whole expedition as one step down from getting teeth pulled. He only shut up when Seamus promised that they could go to Virgin Megastores afterwards and jointly buy the extended version of the Return of the King on DVD.

He nearly had to drag Dean by the arm to get him into Topman, as Dean was convinced it was a girl’s shop. Seamus smiled apologetically at some mothers with prams, who were looking at him in consternation.

‘Yes, he’s at that age,’ he confided to them. ‘Terrible, isn’t it?’

Then Dean had the temerity to hiss that Seamus was embarrassing him.

‘Actually you’re making a fine job of it on your own,’ Seamus said coolly, and, while Dean concentrated on opening his mouth to reply, pushed him inside.

Dean adamantly refused to buy anything from a ‘boutique’, as he called it. Seamus, however, made several successful purchases, which even Dean agreed looked decent on. It didn’t sway him at all towards choosing something for himself, though.

Seamus saw Dean looking with longing at the Champion Sports across the street, and walloped him on the arm. Complaining proved to be enough of a distraction to get him into a jeans warehouse to purchase some half-decent trousers. The lack of pink and any frills whatsoever appeared to be of great comfort to Dean, who immediately chose an armful of pairs to try on. Seamus had a short but vicious battle with him to make pick another armful that were not so utterly hideous. In the end Dean bought three pairs, and Seamus had talked himself dry to ensure they were ones that actually looked good on him.

He relented and let Dean into Champion Sports, but refused to let him buy anything, despite his pleading expressions and pouts. However, when he saw the rugby jerseys, he was immediately interested. They actually seemed to be made to fit, unlike Dean’s football ones. Or perhaps he bought those too big.

‘Here, try these on.’ He shoved half a dozen into Dean’s arms.

‘But I don’t follow rugby!’ Dean said in amazement, sifting through the jerseys, which included ones from France, Australia, Munster and South Africa.

Seamus rolled his eyes. ‘And what has that got to do with it?’

By four o’clock he was completely exhausted. He sat in the booth of a coffee bar with Dean, who had tossed his clothes bags unconcernedly to one side and was exclaiming over his – their – new DVD. Seamus half-listened, almost asleep.

‘Hey, I want to thank you,’ Dean said awkwardly. ‘For all this – you know, for helping me and stuff.’

Seamus looked at him silently for a moment. Dean squirmed a little.

‘You know what they say,’ Seamus shrugged. ‘Teach a man to fish, you teach him for a lifetime. You’re meant to take all this on board for future reference.’

‘Yeah, well, cheers. You’re a great mate, you know,’ Dean said earnestly.

‘Wow, thanks,’ Seamus said ironically, and turned his head away. ‘I’ll treasure that,’ he whispered, almost under his breath.

~

The ringing of the doorbell startled Hermione out of a half-doze under her comfy mound of bedclothes. Wearily, she struggled out of bed and wrapped an old, bald bathrobe around her favourite yellow pyjamas. Once she had made it into the tiled hallway, after clinging onto banisters and various walls for support, she was cursing her lack of foresight for not wearing slippers. If she looked down, she was half-certain she’d find her feet encased in mini ice-blocks.

Shoving back her tangled hair, she opened the door into Black’s face. She stared at him, mouth open, for a second, before determinedly shutting it again.

‘Hermione!’ she heard his injured voice from the other side of the door. ‘Open up!’

‘What are you doing here?’ she yelled back, tightening her robe around herself, even though he couldn’t see her through the solid door.

‘I – I can’t talk through a door!’ he said in a loud and, she thought, cross voice.

‘On the contrary, that’s exactly what you are doing!’ she retorted.

‘What?’

Annoyed, Hermione opened the door again. One couldn’t have a proper skirmish of words when one of the combatants was pretending to be deaf.

Black was standing on the doorstep wearing an obstinate expression, and what passed for the school uniform in his world. That is, dark blue jeans, Adidas runners, the school shirt and tie – untie, in fact – and a black sports jacket. With his haughty, aristocratic features and eyebrow piercing, it made for an incongruous image, and Hermione found herself suppressing an unwonted urge to giggle.

‘Did you get put on detention today?’ she asked curiously.

Black looked at her as if she’d sprouted another head. ‘What? No.’

‘Oh.’ She hung onto the door handle for support, favouring her good leg. ‘It’s a nice day, isn’t it?’ She swung forward to look up into the lowering sky, which was leaden and filled with ominous black clouds. The outside air was freezing.

Black looked uneasy now. The head had clearly been joined by fangs dripping with blood and gore. ‘Yeah,’ he said carefully, in the tones of someone who is anxious not to upset the balance of a person who was so clearly dancing too close to the edge.

Hermione leaned forward further. ‘Gosh, I didn’t know we had hanging baskets!’ she exclaimed.

‘Um, Hermione, did they give you any, like, painkillers?’ Black asked cautiously.

‘Only a few,’ Hermione said with dignity, and suddenly lost her grip on the door. Shocked into putting her injured foot on the ground, she howled in pain and fumbled for equipoise. Black jumped forward and grabbed her bodily before she could fall.

Hermione found herself face squashed uncomfortably somewhere in the region of Black’s neck while his hands clutched her robe, dragging her clothing in all directions. She could feel the collar of her pyjama top choking her, while it’s hem was skirting the bottom of her ribcage and allowing a broad expanse of her tender stomach to scrape painfully against the rough fabric of his jacket.

‘Are you okay?’ he said, and she could feel his vocal chords moving against her cheek.

‘Absolutely!’ she squeaked hastily, and he released her, backing away and staring down at his shoes. She took the opportunity to yank down her pyjama top to decency and re-knot the cord of her robe.

‘Well...did you want to come in?’ she asked. Too late she realised that catching her had meant that he had already crossed the threshold. ‘Em – well, shut the door then. Do you want some tea?’

‘Have you got any Coke?’ he asked hopefully.

‘’Fraid not. My parents are dentists. No fizzy drinks, no chewy sweets.’

Black looked horrified. ‘You poor deprived child!’

Hermione stared at him, decided he was for real, and shook her head. ‘We do have orange juice. Or ice cream.’

‘Ice cream isn’t a beverage,’ he objected.

‘What about ice cream floats?’ she retorted. ‘The kitchen is this way.’ She began to hobble in the direction she’d indicated.

Black strode forward. ‘Here, hold onto my arm,’ he commanded. Even though it was humiliating, she acquiesced, because trying to get support out of a dodo rail was more difficult than it looked. ‘And ice cream floats are just ice cream having an identity crisis.’

‘Well, you don’t have to have any,’ she said wearily, clutching his arm, which had all sorts of interesting contours under the sleeve of his jacket.

‘Who says I’m not having any?’ he objected. And grinned, a little.

~

Sev finally caught up with Lupin when he was unlatching his bike from the school bicycle rail. If Sev didn’t know better, he’d have thought that Lupin was avoiding him. Hell, he did know better, and Lupin was avoiding him. But he’d be damned if he’d let him away with it.

He put a restraining hand on the handlebar. ‘Lupin, we need to talk.’

‘About what?’

Well, at least he had replied. But his voice, for all its courtesy, was icy-cold and formal. It was not a voice that suggested the hearer should hang around for cocoa and marshmallows. Nevertheless, Sev persisted.

‘About last night. I wanted to explain.’

‘You don’t need to.’ Still Lupin wouldn’t look him in the eye. ‘It is quite obvious that you in some sort of – relationship with my dissipated brother. Far be it from me to stand in your way.’

‘Its not like that, Lupin,’ Sev said, frustrated.

‘Then what is it like, Snape?’ Lupin was looking out on the road, his voice calm and steady and absolutely infuriating. ‘I walk in to find you snogging the face off him. In my book that constitutes some sort of attachment. Unless you are in the habit of passionately kissing strangers?’ His voice dripped with sarcasm at this last.

‘No, I’m not,’ Sev said desperately. ‘But I’m not – bloody hell, I’m not going out with him! It was just a one-night stand.’

‘How nice,’ Lupin said distantly, and Sev realised how stupid, in the face of evidence, his last statement sounded. ‘Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go now.’

Sev stood staring at him, clutching the handlebars tightly. Lupin was looking down at his hands now, the tough gelled spikes of his hair hovering just under Sev’s nose.

‘Could you please take your hands off my bike?’ Lupin asked coldly. Stunned, Sev snatched his hands away as if burned.

Which of course he was.

~

Once she had got rid of Black, Blaise gathered up her books and turned her attention to Harry, who was lingering in the classroom. They were the only two left, aside from McGonagall, who was organising her papers.

‘Well, I have to go to my locker,’ Blaise began uncertainly.

‘I’ll come with you,’ Harry said eagerly.

They walked in companionable silence, careful to hold their books at the opposite side of their bodies to the other person. Every so often, their free hands would tangle together, and they would look and smile at each other, and disengage them.

Blaise hurriedly tossed her books into her weatherworn satchel while Harry waited patiently. For some reason, it seemed to take her twice as long than normal; things kept slipping out of her grasp, and it seemed that every book she needed was buried at the bottom of her locker. At last everything was in, and she breathed a sigh of relief. Then her pencilcase fell.

‘Oh, for the love of Pete!’ Blaise said loudly. Before she could move, Harry had bent and retrieved it.

‘Don’t stress out,’ he said, handing it to her and smiling. Blaise stood still for a moment, transfixed by it. She loved his smile. It was hesitant, and never lasted long enough; it was rather crooked, and bent in the middle; his teeth were small, uneven, and glowed in the dull lighting.

‘Yes, I should take lessons from Ron,’ she said, and immediately wished she could bite her tongue out. Harry’s happy countenance disappeared, and his face darkened. Blaise was struck by how sad and helpless he looked.

‘He could teach you a lot,’ he said bitterly. ‘He could teach you an awful lot.’ He turned away, his shoulders compressed, as if he was curving in on himself.

Blaise felt an unfamiliar stab of panic. ‘Wait!’ she said, and reached out to touch his retreating back. He paused, his body taut, as if expecting a blow. Blaise frowned at that. He faced her again, dark brows drawn together like advancing armies.

‘I’m sorry,’ she said, wincing. ‘I shouldn’t have said that. It was thoughtless.’

‘No,’ Harry corrected her. ‘It’s true.’ But a lot of the tension had drained out of him. Blaise suddenly wanted to hug him, just for the comfort of putting her arms around him, assuring him that he wouldn’t break. But he wouldn’t welcome that.

‘I don’t know what to do!’ he blurted, in a raw, agonizing burst of honesty. ‘I don’t know how to help him.’

‘Harry. You can’t help him.’ Blaise lightly squeezed him arm, and tilted her head to look into his bowed face. ‘Harry. He has to want to help himself.’

‘There must be something I can do,’ he whispered despairingly.

‘You can tell him. We can find out about – I don’t know. Places he could go to. Narcotics Anonymous. There is such a thing. We can do all that. But in the end, it has to come from him.’

‘We?’ Words bubbled on Harry’s lips, but he could not form them.

‘Of course,’ said Blaise, astonished. ‘You don’t think I was going to let you go through this on your own, did you?’

‘But, why?’ Harry struggled to express himself. ‘What’s in it for you? Shit, no, I didn’t mean to say that!’

Blaise snickered. Harry, relieved that she wasn’t offended, made a questioning face.

‘Well, there is the fact that I’m an interfering busybody,’ she said thoughtfully, hefting her bag onto her shoulder. ‘Lead the way to your locker. I tell you, Lavender has nothing on me. Plus, I do like helping people. Our class, this school, this neighbourhood – they’re my people. I don’t want to see them lost.’

They were walking down the hall now. It was almost deserted, and a lot of the lights were turned off.

‘And, well, mainly, I like you,’ Blaise continued. ‘I knew that, like a typical man, you couldn’t admit when you need help, so I’m giving it whether you like it or not.’

She smiled warily at him and was rewarded with a rare half smile in return.

She really wished she could hug him, right now.

~

Hermione and Black sat side by side at her scrubbed pine kitchen table, eating out of the same family sized tub of chocolate Haagen-Daas. Draco noted that her kitchen – in which pine was the predominant feature – was a lot different from his own. For one thing, it actually looked used. Narcissa, for all her artful posturing with legumes, ordered in (expensive) takeaway more often than not.

Struck by the thought, he asked, around a mouthful of ice-cream, ‘Can you cook, Hermione?’

‘Toast,’ Hermione said, startled. ‘And I can burn spaghetti, if that counts.’

‘Oh.’

They chewed – or rather sucked and slurped, this being ice cream – in silence for a few minutes. At last Draco laid down his spoon.

‘I wanted to come round here to see if you were okay,’ he said seriously.

‘I feel like I’ve gone three rounds with Lennox Lewis, why?’ Hermione said, digging into the tub again. ‘Oh, and I look it, too.’

Draco grimaced. ‘That doesn’t make me feel better.’

‘What has it got to do with you?’ Hermione shrugged. ‘Pansy beat me up. She’s a lunatic. End of story.’

‘No, that’s not quite it,’ Draco said slowly.

Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. ‘So it does have something to do with you? Go on then, tell me. Meanwhile I’ll tot up the number of your bones I’ll grind to make my bread. Or maybe just stick in my ice-cream maker.’

‘You have an ice-cream maker?’ Draco asked with interest.

‘Yes. Don’t change the subject.’

Draco squirmed in his seat, picked up his spoon and began twirling it like a baton. ‘Well, you see, I broke up with her.’

‘Oh.’ Hermione concentrated hard not to show any flicker of emotion. It wasn’t helped by the fact that Black was studying her as if she was an newly unearthed Caravaggio.

‘Yes, I think that may have something to do with it, anyway.’

‘Why?’

‘Why what?’

‘Why would you breaking up with her cause her to try and break my nose?’ Hermione asked patiently.

Black widened his eyes at her. ‘Do I have to spell it out for you?’

Hermione looked into his large grey orbs, incongruously fringed by long sooty lashes –come to think of it his brows were dark as well – gulped, and lost her nerve.

‘Oh, whatever.’ She shrugged and looked away, focusing on the opposite wall where one of her early watercolours was hung.

‘Did you do that?’ Draco asked, following her line of vision.

‘Oh, yeah. It’s awful, isn’t it? I went through this stage of wanting to be Van Gogh, but I gave up before I reached the oils stage,’ she said reminiscently.

‘Do you like Van Gogh then?’ Black asked keenly.

‘Oh, yes. He’s my favourite post-Impressionist. I would say he’s my favourite artist, but I love Matisse as well.’

‘Really? The Fauves’ work is good, but I like Pop Art better than anything before the wars. That stuff isn’t cynical enough for me. Of course, all Minimalists should be killed slowly over several days.’

‘I didn’t know you were into art!’ she said in surprise.

‘I’m a dabbler, only,’ he said, stretching back in his chair and laughing. ‘And Picasso is my god.’

‘That figures,’ Hermione said wryly. ‘Have you ever seen any of his work for real?’

‘Yeah - I was in Spain three years ago with my mum. She wanted to sunbathe -’ he wrinkled his nose ‘- but I dragged her into the Prado. Guernica - I mean. There are no words. Or too many.’

‘Wow.’ Hermione’s eyes were round and envious. ‘I’d love to see it.’

‘Everyone should. Even after all these years, it’s still poignant. That’s why I did history, I guess - I wanted to learn about the Spanish Civil War, see what exactly it was that could provoke such - a masterpiece, among other things.’

‘That’s almost admirable,’ she said in approval. ‘Do you know, Draco, I’m starting to think you have hidden depths.’

He made no response to her left-handed compliment, and when she turned to look him full in the face, slightly, surprised, she found his expression was frozen in shock.

‘What did you just call me?’ he whispered.

‘Dr - oh.’ She hadn’t even been aware of it. It had just slipped out. But she’d assumed it was his name; it stood to reason. He couldn’t just be called Black.

‘How?’ The word was bitten off and Hermione trembled at the rage suffusing his features.

‘I heard Binns…’ her voice trailed off uncertainly. ‘I only guessed - no one else heard.’

At her last comment he visibly relaxed. ‘Only you?’

‘I’m fairly certain.’

‘Oh, that’s okay. Means I only have to kill you then, and hide the evidence. In your ice-cream maker, possibly.’

The odd tension broken, Hermione set to digging in her ice cream with renewed vigour. ‘And Binns, of course.’

Translation: Stop everything, end it! end the utopias, the scorched dreams/ The fickle heart is tired/ But never will I stop loving

 
 
Current Mood: pessimisticpessimistic
Current Music: 'Tout arreter', Renaud, naturellement!
 
 
 
Caitcoralia13 on November 20th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC)
This part made me so happy! Harry/Blaise and Hermione/Draco are amazing! I'm loving it!

Sorry to hear about the stew and daily lectures, and your concerns about your brother becoming a sheep. Family woes can be the worst kind. Never fear about the 26 pages. Take your time - I will be busy with Underwater Light, until it gets too painful.

I hope things get better for you!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 21st, 2004 07:45 am (UTC)
Yes, live is cruel when stew is in it...actually, I don't really care about my brother, aside from a sort of indifferent incredulity at his boringness.

This must be the first time anyone's called UL 'Painful'. Go you!

Hehe, poor aul' Harry...He's not going to have *that* easy a time of it...
Caitcoralia13 on November 20th, 2004 07:16 pm (UTC)
I tried!!!
I did try. I got all my work done, I put on some comforting, heterosexual music, got all comfy in my bed, and set off to read 'Underwater Light'. When I first clicked on Chapter one, it came up written entirely in Asian characters. I was going to ask my roomie if it was Cantonese, but I decided that this really isn't the kind of thing someone else should see me trying to read, so I just tried to reload the page. Then my browser "unexpectedly quit". I will try again later. Any idea what is up?
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 21st, 2004 07:50 am (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
Muh. Try this link...

http://www.schnoogle.com/authorLinks/Maya/

Her het fic is there too, if you get SERIOUSLY desperate...

And no, technology hurts my brain. She ain't Cantonese, for sure.

(Ever think that people from Lesbos are Lesbians? I know they're Lesbosians...but still...)
Caitcoralia13 on November 21st, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
Ok, I will give it a shot and let you know how it goes.

(Random! But anyway, that is why lesbians are called 'lesbians'. They are named after a group of homosexual women who lived on the island of Lesbos. I don't think it's something in the water.)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 21st, 2004 12:10 pm (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
Yup, and your fic is on my favs list so I will try the first chappie after this.

REALLY? MUHAHAHAHA! I must tell Aoife...that was always her one favourite joke!
Caitcoralia13 on November 21st, 2004 08:28 pm (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
I just finished the first 11 chapters of UL. Then my friend from across the hall came in and became supremely disturbed when I was unable to produce anything more coherent than a stream of gibberish, in which words like "Youth Council", "row-boat", "weird Ginny", "dragon-skin robes", and "homoerotica" featured prominantly. Concerned that I was going over to what she called "the Dark Side", she forced me to go to the campus grocery store with her. On the way there, I irritated her further by sighing dramatically at intervals and referring to Malfoy as "Draco". I also stumbled sideways down several steps, which I chalk up to a deprivation of oxygen to my brain.

Cover me. I'm going (back) in.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 22nd, 2004 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
I still can't quite figure out if you were impressed or not...it certainly had an EFFECT! w00t!

Well, I read the prologue and first chapter of A Test of Time. It was...okay. With the amount of schtick out there, I'm not going to diss anything with proper synatax and a discernable plot...only I am.

It was pretty subtle, but her Britpicking needed WORK. Not to offend, but I don't reckon you'd have picked up on it, being American yourself, because it's not like she used overt slang or anything. But 'gotta', 'gonna,' misspelling 'encyclopaedia', calling Ron 'cute' (over here, the only things that are cute are teddy bears and babies, not real people), and making out that having two whiskeys was, like, so rebellious. Harry is too calm in persona after OotP, but I presume this was written before it so that I can forgive. I found the harping on about the engineered breakup with Ginny tedious, one reference would have done. Plus, I prefer my fics rather more humourous (as UL should indicate!).

That said, it is far from unreadable and I shall persevere, at least until I get bored. (I got bored with the third part of the Draco Trilogy, and the sequel to Lust over Pendle, by chapter ten of each, and Aja's Love Under Will by chapter two, and they were slash). I actually really, really liked the idea of Harry cuddling up to this Bludger person. The plot is actually interesting enough, although I shudder to think of Harry and Ginny getting their thang on...not to mention, she'll probably butcher Draco, am I right?

Did you never call him 'Draco' before?
Caitcoralia13 on November 22nd, 2004 08:11 am (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
No, I always call him Malfoy.

And even I will admit she does butcher him in ToT, and I don't even like him. Well, I don't like canon Malfoy. I am in love with fanon Malfoy.

Yeah, I totally didn't notice the whole "gotta" "gonna" mess. Ah, well. The benefits of being ignorant, I suppose! Well, I love ToT, but I understand how it could be really irritating if the characters seem way OOC to you.

As for UL. Hm. Well, I think she does a nice little trick by having chapter upon chapter of unfulfilled sexul tension, so that even people who are absolutely certain that Harry is straight are crying "JUST KISS HIM ALREADY!!!!" That being said, I am really enjoying it (such good writing, like you said), and I really want Draco and Harry to get together, and I am really upset about McGonagall. But you should know that this does not change my opinion in canon in the slightest. H/G forever. If UL Malfoy were canon Malfoy, then I might be very confused. As it is, he is easily recognizable as the fanon Malfoy I know and lust after in my dreams love. Anyone would want to kiss fanon Malfoy. She does a good Harry, though, and REALLY in character Ron and Hermione. Good story! Absolutely terrible Ginny, however. Freaking gag me.

How far from completed is this story? I will have to hang my head in shame if I am sitting around waiting for updates on this.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 22nd, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
Yeah, I was thinking about ToT and I'm intrigued as to this letter business...although I shall have to wince if Harry keeps playing the martyr-who-lost-Ginny ad infinitaum!

That is the best thing about it...at about UL15 I was convinced she was going to end it there - it was the pub scene, when Draco is just about forgiving him, and it ends with Harry thinking: 'I want this'. That would have been okay. I will be happy with a nebulous/unhappy ending for UL because if you read her other stuff, especially the fecken amazing Badger series, they're always bitter despite the humour. And Draco is VERY fanon, but that's just another way of saying she sees a different side of him - the side his Slytherin friends might see, perhaps. Ginny - well, this was started pre-OotP, remember; Ginny was a little besmitten twerp up till then, you've got to admit. (Many think she's the spy...)

Very far, I reckon! It hasn't been updated since, oh, March, I think, although she says on her lj that she's finished UL19. (That's a priceless piece of work too - username:mistful. Every entry is like a story.)Like the Shoebox, UL is a fandom within a fandom, and we're left hanging around waiting for the next installment...is ToT finished?
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 22nd, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
I take it back! I take it all back! ToT is fabbity fab!!
Caitcoralia13 on November 23rd, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC)
Re: I tried!!!
WOW! I am so glad to hear you say that! What changed your mind?
henbock on November 22nd, 2004 03:58 am (UTC)
Obviously
Ok why dont you use the pc and email the file to your email address and then copy it into word and then put it up i think that should work!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 22nd, 2004 06:43 am (UTC)
Re: Obviously
Because remember when I got the laptop? I started writing Chapter 8 into it, and that was fine. I had saved the others onto floppy and sent them on. BUT one of the floppies went bust because I left it near the speaker and went all unformatted on me...it contained my only copy save the hard copy of Chapters 6 and 7!