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21 November 2004 @ 03:27 pm
The dying throes of the French kick, I promise  

coralia13 , pour tu.

Minnie’s heart was all of a flutter as she dressed for her first tutorial with Gil. She chose her outfit with care, settling on a new lavender turtleneck and smart but casual navy slacks.

She arrived to a small, Spartan room smelling of fresh paint and, inexplicably, lilac, decorated in a unobtrusive fashion - all tortured metal and white ash. About eight people, varying in age from early twenties to sixtyish, were seated uncomfortably on the ultra-stylish chairs, trying to make small-talk. Minnie settled herself fussily beside a man who looked about her age or older.

‘Mundungus,’ he said, extending a hairy hand and blasting her with whiskey fumes.

‘Minerva,’ she said with equal curtness, removing her hand from his grasp as soon as was politely possible.

She was saved from further communication with the wino by the bouncing arrival of Gil himself, wearing a white polo shirt and ironed jeans, and wafting a strong scent of Paco Rabanne into the room, which at least killed the smell of flowers. To prevent any of the others from seeing the foolish smile she couldn’t hold back, she dropped her head and fiddled with her pens.

‘Well, I see we’re all here,’ Gil said, rubbing his hands together and grinning his Colgate smile. ‘So I think we’ll do a spot of introductions, eh? For those of you who don’t already know, I’m Gil, your lecturer, tutor, and all-around good guy.’ He paused and winked at a pink-haired woman with a pin through her nose. She started back stonily. ‘Or at least, that’s what it says on the tin. So we’ll start on my right. Just say your names, that should be easiest.’

‘Minerva,’ Minnie said, in her ‘teacher’ voice.

‘Mundungus,’ the man beside her growled.

‘Dora,’ the pink-haired woman said with a sneer.

‘Dedalus,’ said the oldest man, whose tufts of white hair protruded from underneath his green top hat. He appeared blissfully unaware of the fact that he looked like most people’s worst idea of a leprechaun.

‘Dolores,’ simpered a small, squat woman who looked remarkably like a toad. She had to be in her late thirties at least, but she was wearing an Alice band with a bow on it. Minnie wrinkled her nose in distaste.

‘Cornelius,’ said a short man dressed in a too-tight suit. He tipped a wink in Dolores’ direction, and she giggled girlishly.

‘Gideon,’ said a man with a bored expression, and the easy grace of a relaxed tiger.

‘Well, that seems to be about all,’ Gil said, smacking his hands together in delight. ‘And just let me take this opportunity to welcome you to this Eng. Lit. Master’s programme. I hope you’ll all have an interesting and learning-filled two years!’

Minnie gazed up at him mistily. Most of the others simply nodded, and started getting out writing materials. Dora’s scowl only deepened, so that it appeared to be etched into her face Ten-Commandments style, and Gideon looked at him wonderingly, as if he were an escaped hippopotamus that was peacefully chewing his front lawn.

Gil had brought a projector and was putting up slides covered in his large, swirly handwriting. Uncapping her pen, Minnie began to take it down word for word.

Gideon, who was sitting across from her, shook his biro helplessly, and leaned across the table.

‘Minnie, isn’t it?’ he said. ‘May I take one of these?’ He reached over and picked up one of her small mountain of Bics.

‘Of course,’ Minnie said, more than a little affronted at his audacity, but not caring enough to reprimand him. From then on, her attention was firmly focused on Gil and his lecture, and she forgot all about her lost biro.

~

Draco insisted on helping Hermione up to bed. By, basically, holding her around the waist and hauling her upwards.

‘Just mind you don’t hit your foot off anything,’ he said with a frown, while she gripped his shoulders and shut her eyes and tried to reduce her waist size by holding her breath.

The journey up the stairs had never taken so long before.

Once they had reached the top of the stairs, he stood back a little, allowing her to get her balance. One warm arm was still hooked around her waist, fingers of one hand digging ever so slightly into her hipbone. Feeling suddenly discomposed, she pushed his arm away and began a one-legged sprint to her bedroom. Draco easily kept pace with her, smiling slightly.

She pushed open her door to a blaze of late-afternoon sunlight. Shielding her eyes, she advanced cautiously, almost tripping over the tray her mother had left that morning. Grabbing for the blind, she tugged violently at it, plunging the room into sudden shadow that left her blinking red spots from in front of her eyes.

She recoiled at the state of her room. The covers of her Garfield-adorned bedspread were tossed from when she had made her hurried exit, revealing the white sheets like a gaping mouth. At her desk, the canary-coloured lamp was adrift in an ocean of papers, books and folders, with a few odd pens sticking up like drowning sailors. Here and there a yellow Post-it waved like a flag. The wooden floor was almost invisible under a tide of debris, in the form of splayed books, books and more books that refused to fit onto her stuffed bookshelf, as well as papers, clothes and odds and ends.

Yes, it looked oddly neat, she thought with a frown. Clearly, her mother had been sneaking in here to clean again.

‘Nice place you’ve got here,’ Draco said, without a trace of irony. This was achievable, despite the fact that his feet had vanished under a neap tide of scrunched papers, because his was one of the few bedrooms - aside from Hermione’s - that would have looked tidier after being hit by a hurricane.

He looked around at the bright yellow walls. Above the bed there was a huge print of ‘Sunflowers’, and in the space between the bookshelves and wardrobe hung Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’, which glimmered in the rays of sun that had managed to sneak in under the drawn blinds.

‘Did you decorate the room to match the prints, or the other way around?’ he asked teasingly.

‘A bit of both,’ Hermione said, tossing back her bed covers so that the bed was to made what mud is to Ming pottery. ‘I love yellow.’

She hefted herself onto the bed, smoothing it out underneath herself to remove the annoying bumps. Draco plumped down beside her, crossing his legs to keep his shoes off the covers, and jammed his hands behind his head. Hermione tilted sideways a little to avoid his elbow.

‘When did you get the Kiss?’ he asked.

‘Oh, about five years ago. Why?’

‘Have you ever seen any of his other work?’

‘A little, in books.’ Hermione grabbed a pillow and stuck it behind her head. She threw another one at Draco’s stomach, and he did the same.

‘It’s quite erotic, isn’t it?’

‘Yes. Do you always speak in questions? And are you saying I’m not allowed to have an erotic print in my room?’

‘No,’ Draco said scathingly. ‘To both questions. I was just making conversation.’

‘Try something else then. Like hand-knitted jumpers.’ Hermione shoved the pillow down with a fist and burrowed into it, lying stretched flat, away from Draco. ‘You’d look very fetching in one. Like Lupin on a bad day.’

‘He has a tattoo.’

‘Really? That’s surprising. It doesn’t exactly go with his image, does it?’

‘Just because he wears Arrans doesn’t mean he can’t decorate his body with ink pictures,’ Draco said reprovingly. ‘That’s stereotyping, that is.’

‘Of course he can,’ Hermione yawned. She was too tired to get into a debate with him now. ‘Why don’t you like your name?’

‘I do,’ he said defensively. ‘Black is a great name. Dangerous. Sexy.’

‘Keep dreaming,’ she laughed. ‘No, I meant, D - your given name.’

‘It’s stupid,’ he sighed.

‘Tell me anyway,’ she encouraged.

‘That’s the reason! The name is stupid. Draco. It’s Latin for Dragon. Trust my dad.’

‘What’s he called, then?’

Draco paused. ‘Lucius.’

‘Oh.’ Hermione stifled a snigger in her pillow. ‘But - your piercings.’ She rolled over and found herself looking up his nostrils, which were commendably pink and hairless. Too lazy to sit up, she grabbed his collar and pulled him closer.

‘Yeah,’ she murmured, creasing her forehead. His eyebrow bar was in the shape of a dragon.

He was looking at her with fearful concern. She was ready to bet that he wanted to say something along the lines of ‘You’ve lost it.’ She felt like she had. For all her outward calm, the strangeness of him and his whole body and his closeness, of his face so near to hers, of seeing the blackheads where his eyebrows met, was doing odd things to the menagerie of butterflies that had taken up residence in the pit of her stomach.

‘Open your mouth,’ she ordered, and, making a confused face, he complied. Peering closer, assaulted by the strong scent of mint Wrigleys, she determined that the other stud was the same. Pushing his jaw closed for him, she quickly lay back down.

‘You, um - I mean, you have dragons,’ she said, suddenly flustered. He was still hanging over her, strands of blonde hair tickling his ridged cheekbone. She could feel the warmth of his breath on her top lip.

‘Yeah,’ he said, moving off to lie on his back once more. ‘And a dragon tattoo. So yeah, I like the whole dragon thing, but I do not want people to call me Draco. Okay?’

‘Received and understood,’ Hermione said, pretending to salute. ‘Though if I had such a cool name, I wouldn’t hide it,’ she added, in a loud whisper.

Draco pretended no to hear her; he was staring up at the print once more.

‘It’s not that erotic,’ she objected, looking at it too.

‘On the contrary, what’s more erotic than a kiss?’ he bantered.

‘I could think of a few things,’ she said dryly.

‘No, that’s just sex,’ he said, with iron-clad certainty.

Hermione rolled her eyes. He was so self-assured, she could just…sleep.

A few moments later, Draco looked down into her relaxed face, and watched her deep gentle breathing for a while.

Before he left, he tucked the covers around her. And washed up the ice-cream bowls in the sink.

~

Sev ended up in the Leaky Cauldron again. Soon, he decided moodily, the alcoholics would be hailing him as an old friend. So he might as well live up to the reputation by getting as rat-arsed as he should have done last night.

He ordered tequila, because, although he rarely drank spirits, he knew they had a more immediate and long-lasting effect on him than beer. That was the reason he usually avoided them like the plague - even the smell of vodka made him heady. But tonight was special.

Sev was licking the salt off his third glass when Marv walked in. He paused at the door, eyes surveying the room, and they widened a little when he saw Sev slumped over the bar wearing the philosophical expression of the truly drunk. He was still dressed in what he had worn to school that morning, and he hadn’t exactly been in much of a state to pay attention to his outfit. It consisted of elderly jeans with one pocket torn off and an interesting pattern of Tippex stains, loafers and a hideous, dust-covered blue jumper with nothing underneath. It was testament to his inherent appeal that he managed to fall short of looking profoundly revolting.

‘Give me two of whatever he’s having,’ Marv ordered the barman, and rested his arms on the counter along from Sev.

Sev looked up, squinting slightly, as if the soft halogen lights were burning his eyes. ‘Oh, s’you,’ he slurred. He held up a hand, finger pointed, which wavered slightly. ‘Lu-Lupin’s brozzer.’ He started to giggle foolishly, his head dropping into the crook of his arm so that his dark hair - clean of gel - flopped all over his jumper and into his eyes.

Marv said nothing, only took the glasses proffered by the barman and scooted onto a barstool next to Sev. ‘Here,’ he said, holding one out for Sev.

Sev snatched the glass and downed the contents in one go, splashing his cheeks with liquid, and shuddered slightly as the alcohol burned down his oesophagus. Marv watched, mesmerised.

‘I’ve never seen anyone drink that fast, and I’m me,’ he remarked. Sev reached for the second glass, but Marv grabbed his hand.

‘I think you’ve had enough,’ he said, and added, ‘Besides, this one’s mine.’ He picked up the glass and drank it off in three swift gulps, while Sev watched with the expression of a baby seeing his lolly going down the gullet of the big mean robber guy.

‘Put it on my tab, Tom,’ he said to the barman, and hefted Sev to his feet. He lolled bonelessly. ‘Come on, sunshine.’

Marv hailed a cab and shoved Sev into it. He gave the driver - a mate, as it turned out - the directions to his house.

‘Who’s this one, then?’ the cabbie - a fat, balding man wearing a Liverpool strip - chuckled. ‘He’s pretty, although it’s a shame about the nose. Peter won’t like it at all.’

‘Fuck Peter,’ Marv said succinctly. ‘Drive on, Phineas.’

~

Gideon caught up with Minnie as she was walking swiftly down the corridor, hoping to catch up with Gil. To Cornelius’ obvious disgust, Dolores had waylaid Gil with a breathy request to be shown the way to the libraries, which were clearly marked on the map of the campus each of them had received. Minne was planning to casually loiter around in the reception area until he passed by.

Someone rudely tapping her on the shoulder halted her. ‘What?’ she snapped, spinning around to find the man who had borrowed her pen - Fabian, was it? - standing louchely in front of her, eyes half-lidded. He was extremely tall and thin, like a lath, with a shock of dark red curls and a stripe of freckles across his nose. Minnie thought he looked incredibly ugly.

‘Your pen,’ he said briefly, and turned on his heel to walk away.

Minnie stared at the biro that he had pressed into her palm, then at his retreating back, with it’s sharply-outlined shoulder blades tucked away like wings.

‘Thanks,’ she mouthed, and felt the urge to do something childish and naughty, like stick out her tongue at him or give him the finger. Heroically resisting the impulse, she stalked away, walking very maturely. Totally adult.

She could have sworn she felt his eyes on her as she clip-clopped down the parquet flooring, but when she dared a glance over her shoulder, he was gone.

Shrugging mentally, and frowning for no identifiable reason, Minnie continued on towards the reception. It took her a minute to remember why she was going there in the first place.

~

Sev risked opening an eye, and discovered that his brain’s urgent messages to the effect of not attempting that under any circumstances had been, in fact, spot on.

He felt like all the salt in the tequila had washed up to form a crusty rim on his eyelids, similar to a high-tide line on a beach.

But after all, it wasn’t so bad. It just felt like someone had hit a gong the size of the universe with the hammer of the gods, and he was at the point where he could feel nothing but the ringing in his ears and a faint tremor all the way through his body. Perhaps if he didn’t move, at all, for the next, oh, say thirty years, he could avoid the pain altogether. Sure, he’d miss out on a few other, slightly important things, like living, but he was prepared to do the deal at that moment.

‘I was wondering if you’d died,’ a voice said conversationally. It did not seem to be in any way grieved by the thought, and Sev wondered if it was an angel and the reason for the blessed numbness was that he was, as it were, dead.

The prospect didn’t seem so terrible.

Marv’s narrow, planed face came into vision, making Sev hastily revise his earlier ideas. If Marv was an angel, there was no hope for heaven.

‘Are you going to speak?’ Marv asked levelly.

Sev experimentally tried moving his vocal chords. There was a slight change in the tone of the engulfing ringing noise, but nothing more sinister than that.

‘No?’ he whispered. Marv made an amused sound in the back of his throat, and disappeared again.

Sev tried to evaluate his surroundings, but not too strenuously. He’d got as far as ascertaining that he was lying on a sofa on his stomach, with his torso completely naked, when Marv returned carrying a cold compress and a glass containing cloudy water.

‘Can you drink this?’ he asked, and, not waiting for an answer, propped up Sev’s chin and held the glass tilted to his lips. Forced to either drink or choke, Sev chose the former, despite the discomfort of the pressure on his throat from holding his neck up.

‘My tequila remedy,’ Marv added irrelevantly. ‘Disprin in water.’

The movement had broken the unnatural whistling in his head, along with the full pain of eight glasses of straight tequila to a head that thought a couple of half-pints of weak lager was pushing it. He groaned.

‘You have no head for drink,’ Marv said amiably. Sev wasn’t about to argue that point, because he was holding the wonderfully cool flannel to Sev’s aching forehead. Anyway, he was right, and that sort of thing tended to destroy the possibility of debate.

Marv moved to perch on the edge of the sofa, while Sev let his head press onto the arm, trapping the flannel in place. The rough touch of Marv’s jeans reawoke Sev to his semi-undressed state.

‘Where’s my jumper?’ he asked uncertainly. Omigod, his mind was screaming, he took advantage of us!

Marv must have had mind-reading powers, for he answered Sev’s unspoken thought in a lazy drawl. ‘I didn’t shag you, if that’s what you’re worried about.’ He leaned forward so that the coarse fibres of his shirt brushed Sev’s taut, highly-sensitised back muscles, and breathed in his ear, ‘I don’t need to steal gratification from comatose strangers, Severus. I have plenty of conscious ones to choose from.’ Sev shivered.

He straightened up, and continued in his normal voice, ‘On the other hand, I was stuck here waiting for you to wake up. I needed something to look at.’ He trailed a finger suggestively down Sev’s spine, making him jump. ‘Do you work out?’

‘No,’ Sev said, squirming away from Marv’s teasing finger, which he removed abruptly. ‘I just forget to eat a lot.’

‘How can you forget to eat?’ Marv asked incredulously.

‘I don’t know,’ Sev admitted. ‘Food just doesn’t interest me that much.’

‘It doesn’t interest me much either, except there are so many possibilities - you know, with whipped cream and things,’ Marv said thoughtfully.

‘Is there anything you cannot make sound dirty?’ Sev asked curiously.

‘Haven’t found it yet,’ Marv announced cheerfully, and moved off the couch. Sev’s side felt suddenly cold.

‘I’ll go make you some coffee,’ he said, from the direction of the kitchen, ‘then I’ll give you a lift home. I have to go back to the bar anyway.’

‘Home?’ Sev asked muzzily.

‘Yes, a place you reckon you inhabit occasionally,’ Marv said sarcastically, returning with a mug of coffee. Sev looked at it in distaste. He’d gone and destroyed its purity by adding milk. Still, caffeine was caffeine. He sipped, winced, and sipped again.

‘Why do I have to go home?’ he asked, rubbing his head, which was beginning to throb slightly less now.

‘Because it’s half-past eleven and you have school in the morning?’ Marv suggested.

Sev’s eyes widened in horror. ‘But I left school fifteen years ago!’ he wailed.

Marv curled his lip. ‘You’re a teacher, you prat. Come on, I’ve called Phineas.’

Marv got Phineas to drop him at the Leaky Cauldron and chucked him a fifty, along with instructions to take Sev to wherever it was that he lived, and also to shut his fat mouth concerning his lewd remarks on the brevity of their ‘date’.

Sev was almost unconscious by the time he arrived home, and tumbled himself into bed straight away. It wasn’t until the next morning that he realised Marv still had his jumper, and that he’d never told him what he did for a living.

 
 
Current Mood: workingworking
Current Music: 'Manhattan-Kaboul', Renaud
 
 
 
high and mighty mansplaining robotrimestock on November 21st, 2004 11:05 am (UTC)
OH GOD I'M SORRY I DIDN'T READ ALL OF THIS SOONER I REALLY HAD MEANT TO, TOO.

*wibbles*

*stands over you with whip and/or riding crop to get you to write more*
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 21st, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
Ah! *loves*

I see you have teh purrfect icon...you cool crazy person.

It's written! It's written! Pinky promise...I just need to type it! Please, no BDSM!! *cowers*

BTW, see any plot holes/stupid bits etc? Important to know!
high and mighty mansplaining robotrimestock on November 21st, 2004 01:21 pm (UTC)
Eeeee you really like the icon I made last night?

*flails*
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 21st, 2004 02:38 pm (UTC)
It's very you. \m/-_-\m/
high and mighty mansplaining robotrimestock on November 22nd, 2004 06:50 am (UTC)
Eee!

*squeals*

Yay.
Caitcoralia13 on November 21st, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)
The plot thickens! Take your time on bringing more. Just know that the suspence regarding Blaise/Harry and Draco/Hermione is slowly killing me. And I am really looking forward to finding out what McGonagall is drinking to make her lust after Gilderoy Lockhart.

One question:
‘Where’s my jumper?’ he asked uncertainly. Omigod, his mind was screaming, he took advantage of us!
Snape is Gollum now? Or was that the royal 'Us'?
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 21st, 2004 12:15 pm (UTC)
*ponders*

Absinthe, I should imagine.

No, I just threw that in there, because it's so OOC and fits the AU theme, I suppose.

I shall come to your funeral with a white rose and a purple lily, also.

Um, both! Or, kind of like the brain and the body are two distinct entities but the brain is speaking for both? Or something? If that makes sense? *wibbles*
Caitcoralia13 on November 21st, 2004 12:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, ok, that's cool. That's what Gollum does. Snape is kind of like Gollum, in some ways. I could totally picture him biting Harry's finger off.

Which reminds me! I was at the mall with some friends the other day, and we went to a bookstore, and I found the Harry Potter section (it's like a radar, I swear), and there was this book on all the clues in the fifth book! And I was like, what? How cool! And then I started flipping through, because we didn't have much time before we had to get to the movie theater, and I wanted to see if I could pick up some fun Harry Potter facts to know and tell, and then I came across a section entitled: 'Clues that Snape could be a vampire', and I put the book away, deciding that it was definitely not worth my time. I can't believe people actually can get published this way. I could be making millions right now!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 21st, 2004 12:56 pm (UTC)
You're so crazy. I love you.

Haha! The MALL! Sorry.

What, so they're publishing books by sues now? What am I saying...chicklit is RUN by Sues. JK said he wasn't a vampire, HELLO? CALLING MAJOR TOM?
Caitcoralia13 on November 22nd, 2004 08:00 am (UTC)
And since when can a VAMPIRE referee a QUIDDITCH MATCH??? They are held during the day people!

What do you call the mall?
...
DO YOU HAVE MALLS?
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 22nd, 2004 11:50 am (UTC)
That may be a stereotype! What if he's a Black Ribboner?

We call 'em shopping centres. Or I suppose high streets...Europe only bought into 'big-ass building full of just shops' idea fairly late, I think, so we have big shopping streets instead. And a few complexes that are mainly overrun by Tescos. I'd love to see this Hot Topic of yours. Clothes are so cheap over there...*pouts*.
Caitcoralia13 on November 23rd, 2004 02:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, Hot Topic. I used to be so scared of Hot Topic! I mean, everyone says they're just pop-goth, and I suppose that's true, but for a little prepster like me, even pop-goth is scary. I had to try to get over it in high school, because one of my friends loved that store, and so every October, when her birthday rolled around, back I would go. I always felt like everyone was staring at me, thinking, "you little preppy, sheep bitch leave our store and quit infecting us with your conformity", which of course they weren't, but I'm egotistic and paranoid (a deadly combination). It was actually pretty funny, because Abercrombie (do you know about Abercrombie & Fitch?), the ultimate preppy, poser, conformist story, which should just be called Conformists Unite, was right across the hall from Hot Topic at my mall, and so walking between them, you could feel the dueling glares of the sales people. After I got done in Hot Topic, I would cross the hall and take a pass through Abercrombie to balance myself out again. It worked pretty well, but it didn't work the other way around, for some reason. ANYWAY they have some wicked cool Harry Potter shirts that I would get if I didn't feel so uncomfortable sharing my obsession with the general public.

I envy your high streets. They sound so much cooler. But I think that, in the long run, I will keep my malls. They are so nice and familiar, and some of them are REALLY nice, like the Gallerias, not to mention THE MALL OF AMERICA which is the BEST MALL EVER AND REQUIRES ALL CAPITALS!