(1937-10-01) Best Friend Magic
Details for Best Friend Magic
Summary: Hephaesta goes to Ajax for advice about her romantic interest.
Date: 1 October, 1937
Location: Ravenclaw Common Room
Related: In the closet, Midnight Melancholy, Hope Renewed

Hephaesta has been pacing (limping) around the Ravenclaw common room for about an hour, waiting and hoping to see the familiar blue hair of her favourite Prefect. Every time a door opens, she stops, watching wide-eyed, as yet another non-Ajax Ravenclaw comes through.

Finally, Ajax does appear. He ended up having a long interview with a professor to discuss matters of hallway protocol, and it was, well, egregiously dull. He had to take a late breakfast (with permission, of course) and has only just returned, wandering into the room with no idea of what awaits him.

"Ajax!" That was louder than intended. Hephaesta click-whirrrs over to him. "Can I talk to you? It is extremely important." Already, she is reaching for his sleeve to try to tug him to a curved sofa by one of the windows.

Ajax isn't feeling very argumentative right now, so he just lets himself be tugged over and then flops onto the sofa, grinning faintly. "What's the matter, Phae?" he asks, curious.

Hephaesta nibbles at her lip, suddenly looking a little nervous. "Well…um…has Ophelia talked to you much lately? About…me?"

"Not SUPER lately," Ajax admits, "but I've hardly talked to her the last few days because of class stuff. Why, is everything all right?"

Hephaesta licks her lips. This might be more awkward than she thought. "Well. Alright. Um." She looks around the room, thankfully mostly empty, and lowers her voice a bit. "I…like Ophelia. I really…really like her."

Ajax's face lights up a bit at this. "Really? That's great! I mean, you're great together. I'll bet you two would make a really great couple, someday. I mean, the age difference isn't all THAT much, or it won't be in a year or two."

Hephaesta's face beams like the sun when he approves. She is often so serious, but when she smiles — truly, happily smiles — it is a thing of pure, innocent beauty. "Yes…I mean, I'm fourteen. I'm not that young. But…well…there's Kaiden." She takes a deep breath. This is usually when the tears start, but she's been doing so much better lately.

Ajax raises one skeptical blue eyebrow. "The guy with the charming figure and no apparent brains to match?" he asks, clearly doubtful of Ophelia's interest.

Hephaesta resists nodding. "My cousin. He's…not stupid. He just doesn't apply himself. But…he asked her to be his girlfriend, and she said yes. I didn't know, but when I found out…it hurt so much. Ajax, I didn't understand. I've never really felt this way about anyone." She pauses for breath, trying not to sound too clinical as she describes her emotional revelation. "It wasn't until Ophelia suggested that I might be interested in her that…that it just made sense."

Ajax looks much more thoughtful, now. "I'm not saying he IS stupid. I'm saying he BEHAVES unintelligently. That doesn't seem like her type. And… if they're together, then I suspect it won't last. I'll find out more. For now, you should just be patient. See what happens. She wouldn't have mentioned it to you if there weren't a REASON."

Hephaesta nods, swallowing hard. "I made her awfully upset. I was hysterical, honestly. It's embarrassing." She shakes her head. "We made up, and I told her that my feelings hadn't changed. I said I wouldn't pressure her, but that I want to prove to her that I'm worthy of her." She makes a wincing face, "Was that too melodramatic?"

Ajax shakes his head. "No, I don't think so. I'd say it was… noble! You're being true to your feelings and honest with her. What else can you do?" He reaches out to put a hand on her shoulder. "Hang in there, okay? It should be fine."

Hephaesta does tear up a bit, but this time it isn't a precursor to sorrowful sobs. She smiles, sniffling a little. "Thank you. I'll try to be patient. I can wait. I want her to know I'm not just a silly little girl." She laces her fingers absent-mindedly. "Is there…um…any advice you could give me? You know Ophelia better than anyone."

"Be honest, and be yourself," Ajax says, and then he laughs a little. "I know, it sounds like something your mother would say, probably. Well, mine wouldn't, but that's not the point. The point is, honesty, and to thine own self be true!"

Hephaesta giggles a little, sniffling and nodding gratefully for the advice. "My mother would tell me to try wearing make-up once in a while." She rolls her eyes. "But, yes…you're absolutely right. I must be true to myself, and to her." She talks big, but there is a certain terror in her eyes. First loves are nerve-wracking!

"You can handle it," Ajax says confidently. "And if you need help, I'll be around, too! Best news of all: I like you a far sight more than your cousin. Loads more. So, you've got the best friend blessing. That's some powerful magic, if you ask me."

Hephaesta gets something of a guilty smile at that. "Thank you," it comes as a whisper, but only because if she says it louder, she'll probably really start crying. "Can I…hug you?"

A lopsided smile settles on Ajax's face, and he reaches out to give Hephaesta a decidedly big-brotherly hug. "Aw, 'course you can! I'm not really very formal, and I do like to help people feel better."

Hephaesta settles into the embrace. It's the sort of hug she'd give her little brother, Archie. But in this case, she's Archie, being supported by an older sibling. "You're the best, Ajax."

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