Gemma looked up, not even bothering to try and hide that her face was soaked with tears. Normally she would never have shown herself in such a state, but.... there was no normal anymore. Not with this boy. And there never would be again, no matter how hard she tried, no matter how much she fought, no matter how much she resisted.... because the truth was, she didn't want to. She wanted it like this, even though it was tearing her apart to even admit it.
"Do I deserve it?" she asked him quietly, her voice as broken as his, "How do you know? For all you know, this is all routine for me." She sniffed, pushing her hair out of her tearstained face. "But it isn't," she whispered, "It's not; it could never be!" Her voice gained back some of her old vehemence and strength on these last words, then failed her entirely. In place of words, she simply gazed at Orion, waiting for her voice to return.
"I shouldn't have baited you," she admitted finally, "Then this wouldn't have happened. Things could've gone on the way they had been going; me loving to hate you and you hating to love me." She took a deep, quivering breath. "But at the same time.... I wouldn't trade this for the world." She looked back at Orion, trying to smile. "At least I know now that you're a good kisser," she tried to joke.
“Am I?” A tone of genuine surprise flitted through his voice. For an instant he looked to her face. The tears he saw made him feel guilty, and he went to sit beside her. “Good to know, being my first time and all I guess. You’re amazing, yourself, so you know. And, no, you shouldn’t have baited me. I only regret hurting you. I hope you can understand why I had to stop…while I could…” He trailed off, losing himself in thought. Perhaps it was something wrong with the Sober-up potion. It removed the superfluous signs of alcohol intoxication, but not the irrational behaviors. Orion got up once more and went over to his window. The scene below was Diagon Alley in its full bustle of shoppers, and he watched the crowd for several seconds as he thought. An herb to aid in clear thinking… “Schisandra.” He surprised himself into jumping with the word spoken aloud, but went over to his Herb Trunk and started digging for a sample. He emerged with a bottle holding a branch covered in red berries. He went over to the still bubbling cauldron of Sober-up and dropped six of the fruits in. A cloud of sweet yet spicy smelling smoke began roiling off of the liquid, finally stopping. The finished potion was a pomegranate red, clear liquid with the occasional flash of gold.
“Schisandra.” "Excuse me?" Gemma nearly giggled at Orion's sudden outburst. She watched as he hurried over to his potions trunk and pulled out a bottle containing a branch covered in red berries. Moving over to his multiple cauldrons, he pulled six berries off the branch and dropped them into one of the brews. It smoked and steamed, finally resolving into a brilliantly-colored, almost sparkling liquid.
Gemma got smoothly to her feet and padded over, still barefooted, to stand beside Orion so that she could peer into the cauldron. "What is that, exactly?" she asked, unable to keep the curiosity out of her voice. She drew in a deep breath. "It smells great...."
She glanced at Orion, the corners of her mouth curving up slightly. "Not to belabor the point, but I can't believe that was your first time." A giggle excaped her before she could stifle it. "Sorry, that sounded awkward.... I mean, your first kiss. It seemed like.... at least the thousandth, or something." She shook her hair back from her face and put her hands on her hips, tilting her head to one side. "Are you sure you're not trying to manipulate me again by saying that? Or rather, are you sure you didn't just make that up to make me pity you or something?"
Orion gave her a sidelong glance. He drew a small vial from his trouser pocket and showed it to her.
"That's the modified Sober-up potion and this...Clear, sparkles like diamonds...you recognize it?" He took a drink of the Veritaserum.
"That was my first time ever kissing a woman besides my mother. I've fantasized about kissing you since I first saw your picture." He stood relaxed and straight. His posture was even more casual because of the relaxing effects of the truth drops. At this point, he knew she could ask him any question for approximately three more minutes and he'd answer truthfully. He was hopeful and nervous at the same time, wondering if she'd take advantage of the fact.
"Wait, don't--" But Gemma was too late, Orion had already drunk the small vial of Veritaserum. He paused for a second, then said in a perfectly calm voice, "That was my first time ever kissing a woman besides my mother. I've fantasized about kissing you since I first saw your picture."
"Um.... ok," Gemma answered, feeling herself blush. "When did you first see my picture?" She remembered about the Veritaserum and backtracked hastely. "Wait, don't answer that...." She thought for a second, her mind flying at a million miles an hour, her lower lip clenched between her teeth and her head slightly back. "Um.... ok, let's put it this way," she said finally, looking back at Orion, "What was it about my picture that made you.... er... fantasize?"
Orion felt perfect. Gemma was here, asking him questions, and it would please her to answer them, so he obliged.
"Your smile...and your eyes. They promised adventure, passion, intelligence. They were correct."
He smiled at her, knowing that he answered truthfully and well, and it would please her. A small part of his brain watched the question and answer session. He could lie, but he wouldn't. It was little known, except to true practitioners, that Occlumency could protect a wizard from mot only Legillimancy, but also Veritaserum. Fewer still knew that Orion was an Occlumens. Still, he didn't hinder the questions, didn't shield himself, and waited for her next question.
"Really?" Gemma's eyebrows went up, and she grinned. "That's not usually what people say...." She turned away from Orion for a moment, wondering what she should ask next. It would be fun to ask more questions like the one she had just asked, but they were for all intensive purposes throw-away questions. She really should ask more important ones, things she would never get to ask Orion again without him trying to hide information from her.
But I want to ask another fun one! she thought, grinning broadly. Just one more, then.... or maybe two more...She turned back, still smiling. "All right, Orion, next question," she stated, "When I landed on you in the bookstore.... what ran through your head?"
His answer will tell me my third question... she mused, a wicked little giggle running through her mind.
"I believe it was a thought about your chest being in my face." Internally, the part of him not affected by the potion sighed and wondered why she was asking these questions. She wasn't really this vain was she? When he got her out of her shell, she was truely a deep thinker. Yet, the potion was already starting to loosen its grasp on Orion's mind and she still was asking silly questions. Gemma was apparently not a skilled interragator.
Gemma laughed aloud. She couldn't help it; Orion's answer was just too funny.
"I knew it!" she crowed, still laughing, "I so knew it! Why is that always the way boys think? Damn, I forgot again; don't answer that last question, ok?" She looked skyward again, considering possible questions. She really did need to get on with the important questions before her time ran out, but.... they were so hard to ask.
Just do it, she told herself, You'll never get the chance again.... She looked Orion straight in the eye, took a deep breath, then asked her questions, her voice quiet.
"Why do you love me? I mean, how can you? With all my faults, how can you still honestly tell me that you love me? Or was it honest at all? Just answer me those things..."
"I love you because you are gorgeous, intelligent, vivacious, and unafraid of life. I can love you because, even though I'm not perfect, you make me want to be perfect. I can honestly tell you I love you for two reasons: The first is that I actually feel the emotion. The second reason is that I am currently under the influence of Veritaserum, and must therefore speak the truth. It was honest, when I told you, and when I will tell you again in the future."
Finally, she got to the meat of the matter, the question that had been nagging her. Orion was surprised that this was the question, and dismayed that she hadn't believed him earlier when he told her his feelings. Perhaps now she'd believe him.
Gemma bit her lip, though this time it was more to stop tears from returning to her eyes, rather than in relation to any thought or manipulation on her part.
"Thanks," she managed finally, a tiny sniff still escaping her, even despite her best efforts, "Thank you. That's probably the nicest thing anyone's ever said about me, or thought about me, or anything..." She bit her lip again, so hard this time that it began to bleed. "Ow, damn," she muttered, trying to lick the blood off. She glanced at Orion, unable to keep the amusement out of her eyes. "Mind helping me with this?" she asked saucily.
He said nothing, instead moving over to her. He took her face in both his hands and kissed her gently, before drawing out another small vial from his pocket. The powder he dabbed from it stung slightly, but healed the cut quickly.
Orion kissed her again slowly. The moment was interrupted by a tapping on the window. Orion glared over at the two barn owls waiting to be admitted and kissed Gemma again out of spite, ignoring the impatient pecking. He moved to let them in and take their letters. One avoided him and went to Gemma instead. Both were from the school, and abnormally heavy for the typical school year message.
"Oh. Look, I'm Headboy....thats interesting." Orion examined the badge with a small amount of pleasure. He was honored to be chosen, but knew that he wasn't the best person to trust with power. Oh well. They'd find out to their own detriment.
Gemma was left gasping for breath by Orion's kisses. She had to bend her knees and prop her hands against them to remain on her feet, the sensations running through her were so strong.
How does he dothat? she wondered, struggling to regain her composure, As far as a physical attachment can go, he's got me wrapped around his little finger.... She almost smiled. How ridiculous.... the enthraller has become the enthralled.
One of the owls who had interrupted them flapped over to her; Gemma stood up and held out her arm for it. When it landed on her arm, she carefully untied the letter from its leg; it then flew off again, out the window. The Hogwarts crest was on the seal, which wasn't at all what Gemma had been expecting, especially since the letter was quite heavy for just an envelope.
"Oh. Look, I'm Headboy....thats interesting." Orion's comment brought Gemma's head up instantly. "Really?" she commented, only to have her heart sink. Orion as Head Boy? What were they thinking? Power in his hands would be like oil on a flame....
To distract herself, she opened her own letter, only to have a small, metal badge of her own fall into her palm. It was in the shape of a shield, with the letters "HG" on it. "I'm Head Girl!" she gasped in surprise, "How odd.... I wasn't even a prefect last year." She glanced at Orion, a sudden thought occuring to her.
This has something to do with the two of us, she realized, Our engagement..... She sighed heavily, but didn't say anything. Instead, she set her letter and pin down and took Orion's out of his hand. "I only hope the rumor that the Head Boy and Head Girl have to share a room is just that, a rumor..." she muttered, pinning Orion's Head Boy badge onto his black t-shirt over his heart. She briefly considered sticking his skin with it, but decided against it. Besides, if I'm nice to him, maybe he'll kiss me again....
"I'm sure thats just a rumor...there could be too much trouble to get into if you had both together..."
The look he gave her suggested the trouble that he had in mind, and his smile was a touch more inviting than he intended. As her hands pinned the badge to his tee-sirt, he wrapped his arms around her coyly. Another owl interrupted them. This one was a smaller, evil looking screech owl.
"Damn. Otis, get over here and give me the letter...stop staring at her like that."
Orion held an arm out and the owl fluttered over to him. It gave Gemma one broad eyed look and hissed at her malevolently before Orion could take the letter. It promptly flew off, flipping its tail rudely as it went out the window.
Orion read the letter while holding Gemma. It was, as expected, from his parents. He read it aloud for her benefit.
"Orion, your mother and I have tied up the loose ends with the Ministry and expect you home no later than six o'clock tomorrow. Your holiday jaunt was well recieved, but the time for us to be a family is soon upon us. The Winston family has reported that their daughter accepted the contract-did you then, Gemma? Thats good...- and as such you will be expected to comport yourself as a gentleman when you meet her. Whoops hahaha..." He chuckled gently and kissed the top of her head.
Gemma giggled helplessy at Orion's comment about his having to "comport himself as a gentleman." The kiss he placed on the top of her head helped a little; she was feeling extremely lightheaded at his touch.
"I'm afraid I didn't help much with that," she smirked, "All those attempts at attraction, and all that...." She sighed gently and pressed her nose against Orion's chest, experimenting with how it felt to be close to him. "Mmmm, you smell good," she commented absently, digging her fingertips gently into the muscles of his back. She realized what she was doing and tried to stop, but she found she couldn't: it was like an addictive substance, touching Orion.
"And yes, I agreed," she said, her tone slightly sharp due to her confusion over her seeming addiction, "I already told you that. I had to." She looked up to meet Orion's eyes. "At least your family cares about you.... what business were they tying up, by the way?"
No advertising. Be polite.
Trevor Williams: And here's a shout box to use in the meantime, too!
Sept 4, 2014 20:16:38 GMT -8
Trevor Williams: *dances* It's nearly Thanksgiving, and winter break is fast approaching. We'd love to have you at our self-hosted site. Same premise, same people, same great fun! lastresort.greywind.ca We hope to see you there!
Nov 19, 2016 15:52:51 GMT -8
Trevor Williams: Activity is booming over at our site! Come join the exciting flurry of activity and one of our many plots or start one of your own! Over 12 years open as a series. lastresort.greywind.ca
Jul 25, 2017 10:05:24 GMT -8