Gemma watched Orion make his way back along the hallway. She couldn't help smiling at his last comment to her, for he was right: she knew what he would prefer, since it was exactly what she wanted, too. It nearly pained her that she wouldn't be able to even see the boy again after they left here for nearly a month, until the gala his parents were hosting. It didn't seem fair, somehow, but she knew it really was: she wasn't even supposed to know Orion yet, technically.
With a sigh of irritation at the prospect, she flopped down in one of the waiting-room chairs to wait for Orion's return. On a whim, she opened the book he had given to her, intending to skim it,only to have a small piece of paper fall into her lap. Curious, she scanned the first few lines, then stopped reading, feeling a sensation like weightlessness settling over her. It was a note from Orion to her. She wanted terribly to read it, but she also felt the tiniest feeling of... something else. She wasn't sure what it was, but she was spared from trying to figure out by the sound of someone, a girl, calling her name.
"Hey! Hey, Gem!" Gemma looked around to see who it was, and a large smile spread across her face.
DC nearly dropped the bags and Bruce. Sofi was calling out to...to the blonde. They knew each other? What? WHAAAT? The boy almost felt bad for taunting the girl earlier. Gem, Sifia called her. The pair of them were chatting gaily now, and he felt ignored. Time to fix that.
"Well hello again, Miss Blondie. I see you know Sofi, so I musta been wrong about my earlier assesment of ya..." His voice went sing songy for a moment in his apology. "So-rry! Name's DC. Asshole, trickster, and probably the person you're going to wind up hating worst of anyone you know..." He gave Gemma a charming grin, intentionally laying on the bad vibes. She creeped with him. His skin crawled around her, and he felt like he HAD to pay attention to her. And he didn't like it at all. His only retaliation was being...well, himself. Sofi, no doubt, saw through his pompousness as all tough-guy show. This 'Gem' probably wouldn't. Oh well.
Gemma stood up as her friend Sofi came over, and returned the girl's greeting hug with enthusiasm. She and Sofi knew each other from Hogwarts; she was the only actual friend that Gemma had made in her one year there. They didn't have everything in common -- Sofi played Quidditch and was good at Potions, for instance -- but they got along well and had fun talking together.
"Wasn't expecting to see you here, Gem," Sofi said teasingly, her tone and body language totally relaxed as a smile spread across her dark-skinned face, "Are you visitin' someone?" Gemma smiled back.
"Yes, I was, but he's able to leave now, so I'll be off soon," she replied, "But why are you here, Sofi? You're not sick, I hope..."
"Nah, but I am a patient right now," Sofi explained, "Idiot at the Quidditch store busted my arm pretty bad, so I got stuck in here.... Who's this boy you were visiting, eh?"
Gemma was opening her mouth to answer when another voice, that of a boy, spoke up. She froze at the sound of it, for she recognized it instantly: it was the voice of the boy she'd encountered earlier, the one whom she had also seen in Diagon Alley. Wait... was Sofi hanging out with him? Gemma wondered in horror. She listened to the boy's words and introduction warily, watching him as though he might try and attack her. When he didn't, she relaxed slightly, but only enough to give him a polite nod.
"A pleasure, um... DC," she answered him, holding out one hand as though she was afraid it would be bitten off, "I'm Gemma. And apology accepted, if you are a friend of Sofi's..." She left off her last name on purpose, so that he wouldn't make fun of her again for being a pureblood.
How cute...she recoiled from him like he was dangerous. Little did she know, he was. Most people expected order from the world. DC was the anarchy that rocked it on its axis and kept it moving. His grin reached his eyes and softened into an expression that wasn't evil.
"Likewise...Steel's got a good head on her shoulders, and is a decent influence on me...I suppose if I'm gonna judge you on the company you keep, I'll include her. I don't share nicely though..."
With his hands full as they were, he tagged her extended hand with an elbow in greeting. At that moment, he spied the book.
"Ew...potions? Seriously? I'd rather read the packaging on toilet paper I think...yuck...So you were in Hogwarts at least long enough to know Sofi, and yet still avoid my attentions....so, since I was in detention even when I was asleep last year, I'm going to guess that was your first year then...Welcome to England, blondie. And yes, I'm going to call you that until you introduce yourself. And maybe afterwards too OW!" He threw a mock glare at Sofi, who had elbowed him sharply. So his mouth ran. Nothing new. Maybe it was the freaked out expression on blondie's face. Sofi always WAS protective of her friends.
Sofi watched as DC inserted himself into the conversation, effectively taking it over. It irritated her, since she hadn't seen Gem for nearly a month, and she liked the girl. She had a good head on her shoulders, despite the fact she was a Ravenclaw and therefore too smart for her own good.
The conversation took several interesting turns, including to the subject of Sofi herself, which made the girl's face grow warm. But then DC started his usual running-of-the-mouth, and Sofi noticed the slightly freaked-out expression on Gemma's face. Aw, come on, Cross, she thought with a sigh, Don't be such a jerk... She elbowed him hard in the side, simply glaring back when he shot such an expression at her.
"Hey, leave off, Cross!" she ordered, "No acting like a prat around Gem, you gotta treat her like a lady... unlike the way you treat me..." She caught the fact that Gemma was blushing out of the corner of her eye and couldn't help grinning. "Hey, ignore this guy, 'k, Gem?" she instructed, "He's all right, really, though he's very inconsistent in his manners.... bad habit, I suppose..." She elbowed DC again, though lighter this time. "And hey, no bashing Potions, you know I like it... and Gem's actually not that into it; she prefers Transfiguration and Charms, which is, like, the only reason I did well in those classes last year..."
She sighed, rubbing her forehead. "And she did introduce herself; you just weren't listening, I think, Cross..."
Wow, yeah, Steel definitely stuck up for Gemma. That was good. The girl seemed so timid that she could use a good friend, and there weren't any better than Sofi, in the boy's opinion.
"Geesh, sorry boss lady...you know I have the attention span of a tea spoon...anyway, I'll leave you two to gab while Bruce and I go drop the crud off in my room. Adieu, adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow..."
He gave a foxy grin and bowed at the waist , spinning around and strutting off. Yeah, he was sshowing off for Sofi, and she either paid him no mind or didn't care. Oh well. Let them have girl time. He'd be back soon enough.
Was he just showing off? HE WAS TOTALLY SHOWING OFF!!
Sofi was furious. DC, the little prat, was definitely flirting, both with her and with Gem. How he could do so, after his little speech about not wanting to be with her, was bad enough, but Gem too? The girl didn't deserve it, Sofi knew; she already had to deal with guys bugging more than even Sofi herself did. And now DC was joining in.... it was enough to make Sofi's blood boil.
Gemma, who had been watching DC prance away with an expression of utter confusion on her face, turned to Sofi and frowned slightly, her face, lovely enough that even girls noticed her, filled with concern. "What's wrong, Sofi?" she asked, "You look a bit.... miffed."
Sofi snorted with laughter, quirking a grin at Gemma. "Yeah, just a bit, Gem," she muttered back, "That prat... He's so... sooo..."
"Odd?" Gemma suggested, "I don't remember ever meeting him at school, and I'm fairly sure I would have.... I've never had such a difficult time keeping track of a conversation in my life, if that even qualified as a conversation..." Sofi recognized this as one of Gemma's jokes, and laughed accordingly.
"Yeah, I know what ya mean... He's a pretty cool guy, but, I swear, sometimes he's the world's... biggest... prat..." She sighed, brushing her hair out of her face. "So... anyway... What's up? You said you were here to see a guy... who is he?"
Of all the times and places to lose a wand, why now? Why here? Orion brushed the frustration away from his mind and closed his eyes. With situations like this, it was better to simply relax and think. Since the chair he had conjured had disappeared, but his bed was not made, that means that the spell wore off and it truely disappeared. It wasn't banished by the cleaning staff. And, since the last place he remembered seing his wand was on the arm of the chair, it must have rolled...under the bed.
Stooping swiftly, Orion made a blind grab under the bed. Spider, dust bunnies, candy wrappers...this was a hospital? Seriously? Did anyone clean under these beds?!...And there was his wand.
The retrieved implement looked sad, covered in all of the dust. Gingerly, Orion wiped it off and restored the black wood to its dull, deep luster. Satisfied, he strode out of the room. A small smile played on his face as he thought about the letter. She'd be surprised, for sure. Would she be happy? Hopefully.
The return trip was faster for the boy, but it still took nearly five minutes. When he came back to the enarly empty reception area, Gemma was talking with an athletic looking black girl. Orion was mildly surprised to see them getting along amiably, so he assumed that they knew each other and were friends. Or at least friendly. As was his manner, he slipped up beside Gemma quietly and listened until the conversation lulled. When Gemma introduced him, he greeted the other girl politely. He even let the small smile from earlier grace his features so he wouldn't be as icy as he was normally accused of being.
"Hello." He inclined his head in deference and manners. He wanted to put an arm around Gemma, but refrained. Instead, he stood close enough to her that their arms brushed. Contact enough for the time being.
"Well..." Gemma twisted her hands in front of her. She realized that this was really the first person whom she knew that would learn of her engagement to Orion. She was pleased that it would be Sofi, though, for the girl was sure to be pleased and curious. "Well... He's actually...."
Before she could explain, however, she felt a presence behind her. Turning her head, she saw that Orion himself had come up behind her. She smiled, even wider than she had for Sofi, and held out her hand to him. "Here he is now," she told Sofi, "Sofi, this is Orion Burgess, my... my fiance." She felt herself blush, but she continued regardless." Ri, this is Sofi Steel, I know her from school," she told the boy, still smiling st him. He greeted Sofi politely, moving slightly closer to Gemma so that their arms just barely brushed. Gemma's blush deepened, but she linked her arm in his gratefully.
"Wait... fiance?" Sofi asked, raising her eyebrows, watching the two of them, "How did that happen? When did that happen?" She didn't seem upset to Gemma, merely extremely curious.
"Oh... well... It was arranged for us, only a couple of weeks ago," Gemma explained, a small smile crossing her face, "Technically, we aren't even supposed to know each other yet, but we met by accident in Diagon Alley a few days ago, and... well, here we are..."
"A few days?" Sofi smirked, nodding at Gemma and Orion's linked arms, "Boy, you guys move fast..." Gemma laughed, knowing the girl was teasing, but she still looked up hastily to catch Orion's reaction.
His polite smile spread into an actual expression of happiness. The Steel girl might have been teasing, but Orion answered smoothly as if she were not.
"Well, Gem here is absolutely extraordinary. I doubt that any sane man in my position could be anything BUT happy given the circumstances. The situation on my end was most definitely aided with a picture. I knew what she looked like and how she wrote long before we actually met. Her father and my mother were in school together, you see...things...fell together from there. But...things move as Gem wishes them. I'm happy just to see her happy."
He subtly manuevered his hand into hers, holding it softly. He really didn't want to push her beyond her comfort zone. Still, she had seemed flustered by something when he came down, and for some reason he was developing protective instincts. Who knew it was capable from Orion the Heartless? Andrew would be...proud? No, amused. As soon as he was done being upset with them.
Gemma was positively beaming, something that she almost never allowed herself to do. Orion's words were enough to make her want to tackle him right there; he was clearly being genuine with Sofi, which made her very pleased, but he was also clearly wanting to let her know how he felt, as well. She glanced at Sofi, smirking slightly.
"How could I resist this?" she commented, gesturing at Orion, still smirking, "But I must ask you to turn away now, I have to thank him, you see..." Sofi laughed, shaking her head, but she dutifully turned her head and regarded the rest of the waiting room. Gemma turned to Orion and slid her arms around his neck, leaning in close to whisper in his ear.
"Thank you, Ri," she murmured softly before gently nipping his ear. Her lips made her way from that location along his jaw, gently placing light kisses as they went, until she finally reached his lips. The kiss she gave him was likewise gentle, but she knew it was enough to make most boy's knees weak, so even Orion with all his control would enjoy it a great deal. Finally she pulled away, giving him a small smile.
"Can I turn around yet?" Sofi asked, obviously trying not to laugh. Without waiting for an answer, she looked back at them, a large smile crossing her face. "Hey, great job, Burgess," she commented, "You've won the heart of the most unattainable girl in the world.... And you seem to be treating her well, too... Well done, you!" She reached over and punched Orion lightly on the shoulder, grinning at Gemma, who blushed.
"Well, not completely won it over... but he's getting closer," she answered, squeezing Orion's hand lightly and leaning over to plant another soft kiss on his jaw. She was definitely liking the high heels she was wearing; they made it so that she could reach Orion's face -- and therefore his lips -- much easier...
Orion almost sputtered a protest at Gemma's form of thanks. WEll, there weren't that many people in the waiting room anyway, and most weren't paying attention to the three of them. Besides, it was moderately enjoya- Oh stuff it, subconcious, how many times has she ever shown appreciation for your compliments of her? Bask, damn you, bask!
The new mental voice was amuzing enough that Orion didn't squash it completely. Besides being right, it gave him insight on Gemma's behavior. Most likely, it was a reflection of observations of the girl. Most of his mental voices were reflections of SOMEONE, so it only made sense.
The blonde's ministrations left his ears and cheeks warm. Was he blushing? Oh well. And now Sofia had turned back to them.
"Well, even if I never win her all the way over, I'd still be extremely lucky. From what I understand, she;s been extremely unlucky in experiencing how a gentleman treats a lady. If nothing else, she'll see that from me." A self centered statement for a self centered man, for sure. Altruistic, proud. aristocratic, and just enough domineering attitude to make it work. Orion rolled his shoulder with Sofi's punch and flashed an amused look at her.
"So, shall I expect to see you in any of my classes? I believe my schedule is nearly the same or identical to Gemma's. No, love, don't glare...you know how our parents are..."
"Psh... you can say that again," Sofi muttered, "If any girl alive has a worse time with guys than I do, it would be Gem here..." She grinned at the tall, handsome boy, watching his face carefully. "O' course, you seem quite confident you can repair that, and confidence of that sort usually works pretty well... if the person wants you to succeed, that is... and I'd say Gem did, eh, Gem?" She winked at the girl, who giggled softly, burying her face in Orion's shoulder to hide her deep red blush. "Aw, look, Burgess, she's so cute right now... she looks like a ripe strawberry," Sofi grinned, patting her friend on the arm to let her know she was teasing.
"Anyway, about classes... We'll prolly have a lot the same, since I assume we're all 7th-years. Most of them have classes together all the time, so... I should be seeing a lot of both of you. Oh, by the way, Burgess, how do you feel about Potions?" Her eyes gleamed. "I know Gem's not too into the subject, but I saw that--" she gestured at the Potions book still lying on Gemma's former chair, "-- and thought someone must've loaned it to her... was it you? I like the discipline, myself, ya know... well, ok, you didn't know that until just now... but anyway. Potions. Cool class, always done well in it. It'd be fun to have you join in, if you're interested, Burgess..."
A mischievious grin lit his face. Potions? How did he feel about potions? The only reason, his grandfather was fond of saying, that a Burgess publication was never used as a Hogwarts textbook was because the little numbskulls couldn't get their minds around the subtle art. Literally raised beside a cauldron most of his life, Orion felt that he knew his way around the potions table better than anyone. Whether or not that was the truth was yet to be determined. If this Sofia felt that she was good at it, then perhaps she would be good enough to be a rival. Orion relished the idea.
"Hmmmm....ever get the opportunity to read A Treatise on Transfigurative Draughts by a Helen Strauss? I helped edit it. Mother wasn't too pleased when I found some theory mistakes in her first draft of the paper...I believe she made me rewrite that portion..." The article he was citing had been published five years ago. The fact that he had been twelve was no obstacle for his mother when it came to putting her son to work.
Sofi's eyebrows shot up her forehead in surprise. "Yeah, I've read it," she admitted, "I know I don't look it --Quidditch player and all -- but I'm a bit of a nerd about Potions, so... I find everything I can to read about it. But.... you wrote part of that? Wow... It was really dense stuff, I had to read the section about combining ingredients from two potions to achieve the effect of both draughts twice to get it.... Really awesome stuff, but more in line with a brain like Gem's," she saluted her friend with a nod, "not a humble Hufflepuff like me, eh?"
She grinned at Orion, shrugging self-deprecatingly. "Anyway, it'll be a big help to have you in Potions class.... I was the only thing that kept Gem awake all last year, so maybe you can help me..."
"Hey!"Gemma protested, but she was grinning too, "You say that like it will be a difficult thing..."
"Yeah, well, it was, last year," Sofi laughed, "Though, of course, I owed you the time, since you kept me awake in Transfiguration. Nasty subject, wouldn't you say, Burgess? Or do you enjoy it, the way Gem does?"
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