In the Library
By: Rynne

I wait for him in the library.

We’ve always met in the library. Well, at least ever since we’ve started meeting in the first place. Since we’re in different years, we don’t have any classes together, and we hardly ever meet in the common room. We both have images to keep up; his that he is above associating with me merely because of my relationship with my brother Sirius, and me because I am younger than he and related to the abovementioned brother.

Politics nearly always dominates any inter-Slytherin dealings, and our interactions are no exception.

So we meet on neutral ground, and you can hardly get any more neutral than the library. There we can sit together, two Slytherins in a vast sea of Ravenclaws (or so it seems sometimes). We hardly ever talk, but you know, we don’t even need to.

We sit and we study. Hardly material for a romance, I know, but the potential is there, just waiting, simmering below the surface, for him as well as me, I believe.

Ah, and there he is. He slips into a seat across from me, unloads his books and scrolls of parchment and quills, gives me a nod of greeting. I nod back, not expecting any more from him.

He picks up a book, props it on some others, and begins reading. I sneak a glance at the cover—ah. Moste Potente Potions. It must be his personal copy, the Hogwarts one is in the Restricted Section.

I go back to my own book—Advanced Transfiguration—but keep one eye on him. He has his sleek, shoulder-length black hair pulled back, but a few tendrils keep from in his face, and he pushes them behind his ears. Some strands fall in front of him again, and I have the sudden urge to push it back for him, but before I can even begin to reach out, he brushes it away again.

We go back to studying in silence, him with his Potions and me with my Transfiguration. But not even the advanced principles of vanishing, normally a fascinating subject for me as a way to annoy my elder brother by vanishing his socks and making him think Kreacher stole them, could distract me from those long, elegant fingers, delicately turning over pages, that normally smooth brow now furrowed in concentration, those few strands of black hair hanging in front of his eyes.

In a completely impulsive decision, I reach forward to brush those strands of hair out of his eyes, just as he lifts his head to look at me. My hand ends up cupping his cheek, and we both freeze. I can feel his warm breath on my wrist, coming out just slightly more quickly than is normal. Our eyes lock, glittering black on icy blue, and stay that way. I will my hand to move away, but it disobeys, and now starts hesitatingly stroking his cheek.

And perhaps strangest of all, he doesn’t move throughout this. I can see in his eyes no discernible emotion, but the way his face is slightly leaning into my palm and his breath slides quickly over my wrist are more than enough indication for me that my advances are at least not unwanted, if not downright welcome.

Finally I move my hand away, and—did his face just fall for a moment?—push my chair back, standing up swiftly. I move around to his side of the table, and now it’s him looking up at me, for perhaps the first time I can remember. Slytherins with power don’t seat themselves lower than Slytherins without it, and he being definitely more respected in the Snake’s Den than I am has more power than I do…normally. But here he is, still looking up at me.

Hoping I’m not being too forward, I hold out a hand to help him up. His gaze shifts from my face to my hand, and for a moment I think that I’ve gone too far, that he’ll completely ignore my gesture and therefore show I am no longer in his favor, before his own hand slowly lifts and grasps mine. He slides his chair back and I give his hand a tug. He stands up gracefully and I lower my hand, but he holds on for a few seconds longer before dropping it.

Giddy with the realization that I was not incorrect with my assumption, I start towards the exit of the library, telling him with one thrown backwards glance to come with me. A library is no place to conduct matters best dealt with discreetly and in private, and a romantic (or hopefully so) assignation is no exception. I remember a small private room Sirius told me about years ago, before I showed myself to be more closely allied with our parents than with him, and I think we might go there.

He does end up following me, though he soon catches up and falls into step with me, even though we both know I have a destination in mind and am leading him there. We walk close together; not closer than is appropriate for friends, but close enough that I can feel his heat right beside me. I smile, and a quick glance at him shows the corners of his mouth also turning upwards. Delightedly, I keep walking, until we reach our destination.

As you probably can easily tell, I am very satisfied with recent proceedings.