(1937-09-30) Dueling Hearts
Details for Dueling Hearts
Summary: Lucian finally makes his move, asking Ria to date him, and as he expected, it is a duel of words.
Date: 30 September, 1937
Location: Lake Shore, Hogwarts

Stale castle air gets to your head eventually. That's even true on occasion for Ria, who can notorious stay inside for days without a problem if she wanted to. And since the horrid smell of still lake water somewhat grosses her out, she's opted to sit at the farthest point out on the dock, and finds that the dock surface is tolerable if she just lays out a blanket. So here she is basking in the cloudy Scottish afternoon sunlight, with a box of chocolates open next to her while she slowly binges one by one. Knowing their long-time friendship, Lucian would likely know to find her here if he were looking.

Lucian strolls down the dock, taking it slowly to compose himself. He tries to visualize the dock as a dueling stage. He just needs to steady himself, take his stance, and wait for his opening. There is always an opening, even with the untouchable Ria Sykes. As he gets nearer, he makes no effort to disguise his approach, but he stops about six feet back from her. His eyes settle of the fancy confections — far more impressive than the small box of cheap chocolates in his hand, all that a poor boy like him can afford. He looks down at his gift, and tries to quickly decide whether to just fling the sweets into the lake to avoid embarrassment.

Ria's sensitive ears easily pickup the incoming foot steps and she turns to look over her shoulder to see who it is. She's leaning on her left arm while her legs are together and fold to the right in true lady-like fashion. Only children and Native Americans sit down with their legs crossed, that's what mother always said. But the second those green eyes catch Lucian, she actually smiles warmly and seems rather glad to see Lucian. Though she does take notice of what he carries in his hands. "Have you come to join my chocolate picnic this afternoon Luc?" she jokes and makes a 'come hither' motion to have him join her.

Damn. She saw the chocolates. "Huh…didn't realize you already had chocolates. Must be from Fox?" Oh, Lucian's probing alright, watching her facial features — like a feint in a duel to observe an opponent's reaction. He does take a seat beside her, one leg outstretched, the other bent to provide him an arm-rest.

Ria tilts her head a quirks her brow, slightly surprised at the accuracy of his guess. "How'd you know?" she asks as he sits down. She's been trying her best to keep his advances secret, but apparently it's not enough. "They're not bad," she says with a shrug and looks at the lid before shutting the box. But then looks at Lucian's own box before adding, "What do you have there?"

Lucian sighs, resigning himself to humiliation. "These…are for you. Sorry they're not fancy like Fox's. I just thought you'd like them." He afford the small box, containing a mere six bite-sized chocolates molded to resemble the Slytherin house crest.

"Goodness, really wish I got a lot of chocolates more often," Ria snickers jokingly and gently accepts the box. Like any present she's ever received, she carefully opens it up and a soft smile lights up her face when she sees the crest. "This is pretty wicked, Luc," she says admiringly. "Where'd you get this?" Of course, she doesn't hesitate to dig in and choosing the bottom most corner she pops in her mouth, chewing gratefully.

Lucian shrugs, her reaction earning a slight smile. "From Harkiss'." It's a Hogsmeade weekend after all, though Lucian usually only goes if he's with Ria. He really can't afford it, otherwise. "So, how's your arm? You're looking like you're all healed up."

Ria mmmms appreciatively, taking her time chewing and enjoying the sweet. "Caramel. The best," she nods. There's almost a sense of comfort in the way she says it. And licking the tips of her thumbs and forefinger she nods, "Yes, I'm all better now. I can go back to doing cartwheels or whatever I did before." But she does pause to sigh and look out onto the lake, a corner of her mouth crinkling. "I'm bored though. This all sucks."

Caramel? There's caramel in that chocolate, and she thinks its the best? Score one for Lucian! "I have something that'll brighten your day. Or maybe darken it." He grins, producing the other package he arrived with, which he'd kept carefully hidden behind him. It is soft, square, about the size of a textbook, and wrapped in simple cloth.

Ria cleans off the corner of her lips with her pinky and is about to grab another one of the chocolates before he pulls out another present. "What kind of options are those, Luc?" she snickers and in a similar to fashion to the box she puts the present on her lap and delicately unwraps the cloth, "Well what is it?"

Lucian gives her a cocky grin. "Juts open it." As the wrapping comes off, a bolt of black cloth is revealed underneath. It is smooth and shimmers, like satin. But where there is no shimmer, in the shaded portions, the darkness is as deep and black as the night sky, and even reveals the twinkling of tiny spots of light, like stars.

Ria does exactly as she's told and opens the box, but she pauses strangely to observe the cloth. Slowly she holds up the cloth into the sunlight to get a better look and was rather amazed to find that the black simply stays black. And then she let's the cloth run through her fingers and flow back into the box. After a long silent pause, she thinks about it for a moment, suddenly lifts the cloth again and then instantly turns a deep shade of red. "Lucian…this isn't….this isn't lingerie is it?" she instantly snaps at the boy, looking rather cross, but somewhat embarrassed at the same time.

Lucian literally palms his face. "Bloody hell, Ria. It's the material for your costume. I got some of the Arts Club kids to help me…told them it was for a backdrop. What kind of nonsense has Fox been filling your head with, anyhow?"

Ria blinks at his reply, but then turns an even deeper shade of red when she realized how wrong her conclusion was. Covering her mouth with her finger she says, "Oh god, I'm sorry! I've gotten weird perverted presents as joke gifts before. It's a habit." But she picks the cloth up again, this time draping it over both arms and watching it shimmer admiringly. "I take it back Luc…-this- is pretty wicked…," she says taking a bit more out of the box. "How did you…How did they…."

Lucian shrugs, recovering slowly from the awkwardness. "A little transfiguration of the cloth's reflective qualities to alter how it reacts to light, and some enchantments to make it look like the night sky. There's more to be done with it, but it really needs to be sewn into a dress first. That part, I can't do."

"That's really impressive. I'm amazed at how -black- this is," Ria says, holding the darker parts up to the sunlight again just to see how nothing passes through it. "I don't know how to sew, but I could ask someone. I'm getting ideas already just looking at this, and now I'm rather excited to see what you're going to wear," she grins, a full grin that hasn't been seen in a couple of days. After neatly folding the cloth back into the box, she moves to wrap her arms around the boy's shoulder and say appreciatively mid-hug, "Thanks Luc. You really didn't have to, but thanks. It really helps take my mind off things."

Lucian inhales deeply at the hug — a rare, willing physical contact from Ria Sykes. His head swims a little, but he is quick to gather his senses. The battle isn't over until it's over. "Ria…listen. I want to talk to you about something serious."

Ria retracts the hug at the appropriate moment, holding Lucian with a hand on each shoulder arms length away. She's rather unsure of that tone he says it in. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong, exactly. Not unless you've…" Lucian stops himself there. Wrong approach. He starts again. "We've been friends since First Year. We've done just about everything together. Same house. Joined Dueling Club together. We even got into Sluggy's club together." He doesn't mention getting their Prefect badges at the same time. Best not to remind her of that right now. "We're close, right? Real mates?"

Ria nods slowly, "Of course, Luc. Real mates. You're the one of the very few people who understands me."

Lucian nods in affirmation. "Exactly, and you're probably the only person who understands me." Dammit, why won't his heart slow down? He's a duelist…the self-appointed Black Knight of Slytherin. Nerves are not an issue for him! "Ria, I didn't just ask you to the dance because it's convenient. I want to be there with you…on a date."

Ria's mouth remains ajar a moment, her jaw going just a tad slack when she looks at him. Her eyes scan his face only to find that he's being sincere. So sincere in fact that it's a bit overwhelming for her at first, and she turns her head away to look at the lake. "What's…what's wrong with going as friends? Is it really important for it to be a date?"

Lucian blinks in astonishment. "Seriously? I ask you out on a date and you ask me if it's important? Merlin's beard, Ria. If you don't want to date me, just come out and say it. We'll just forget I said anything." He wants to go. He wants to get up and leave. But backing just isn't his style. Let her counter. See what she's made of. Never show your opponent your back.

Ria bites her lip as if she's embarrassed that she got caught giving such an avoidant answer. So when he forces her to answer she snaps like a dog in a corner, "Fine, I don't want to date you." She frowns at Lucian. Unable to keep too strong of a scowl she breaks a little. "But I don't really want to date anyone yet. And I don't understand why everyone's so obsessed over it right now. Doesn't anyone want to accomplish other things? Want focus on other things? We have the potential to do so much more … I feel like I'm the only one who thinks that way anymore." The corner of her mouth crinkles again as she rubs her arms, "It makes me feel weird…"

Lucian doesn't flinch or retreat from her rejection. "You're not weird. You're driven. Don't you see? That's what makes us work so well together. We both want the same things. We can do more together."

"Lucian," Ria says softly, placing hand on his knee, "Who says we're not already working together? Who says we haven't already achieved great things as we are? You're my dearest friend. I care for you and trust you almost more than my own brother. My own twin. Is it really not enough?" Her brows upturn and her eyes never leave his as she awaits an honest answer.

Lucian smirks, "Yes, I suppose it's enough. But I'm surprised at you. I know I don't want to settle for 'enough.' Do you? I thought were we both trying to be the best."

Ria's lips purse. He's certainly got her cornered there. And after a minute of frowning at his thought (though she's really just considering it), she say, "I really can't stump you, can I?" Her snaky grin sneaks back into the scene.

Lucian shrugs, smiling confidently at her. "I knew you'd try to outmaneuver me. But seriously, think about it. We'd be great together. We'd rule this school, and after graduation, all the chains are off. We'll have the Slug Club to boost us, and let's face it, we might be the most talented witch and wizard at Hogwarts right now." That might be an exaggeration, but they're not exactly weak in their spellwork.

"This all sounds so political. You wear me out," Ria says, yawning and stretching her neck lazily in the afternoon sun, while she massages one of her shoulders. But she throws a brief glance at Lucian, her expression half casual, half serious. "But I'll consider it," is all she gives him, which is much more than she's given anyone else.

Lucian nods, "Do that, and don't take all year, alright? I'm a catch, Ria. Don't let me slip away." He gives her a teasing smirk…but she knows him well enough to realize that he's not joking. He clearly feels that he is worthy of the great Ria Sykes, and isn't afraid to say so.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License