(1937-10-04) Knight Takes Queen
Details for Knight Takes Queen
Summary: Lucian, the self-styled Black Knight of Slytherin, wants an answer from Ria about that most important of teenage questions: Will you be my girlfriend?
Date: 4 October, 1937
Location: Grounds, Hogwarts
Related: Dueling Hearts, The Crowing of Cocks, Et tu, Brute?

The fall sky over the knolls is stained with vibrant colors of orange and traces of dark blue as dusk is just starting to threaten the Hogwarts grounds. Lucian and Ria have been going for a stroll for about an hour now around the perimeter that's closer to the foliage, a ritual they do regularly. Because of the slight chill in the air, being outside has become a bit less popular lately so the vast expanse of grass is mostly empty except for the occasional dot of a people spread out in good distances away from them. "I'm all signed up for the dueling tournament, did you put your name on the list?" she asks, "It sounds pretty exciting except all the hubbub about it being just for fun is just complete bullocks to me. I can't wait to just knock someone out you know? I've been really working on my hexes." She gives Lucian a grin, but then when they near the forest edge one corner of her mouth crinkles slightly into a frown and she admits, "I hate passing by here lately…even if I'm not going in…"

Lucian has been relatively quiet during the walk. It isn't so unusual. Sometimes these walks are spent catching up on the events of the day — the latest gossip, who they've tortured recently, or which students are in need of said torturing — but sometimes they are just a chance for the friends to deflate and get away from the stresses of school and Prefectship for an hour or two. Though today seems like one of those deflation days, Lucian's mind has been racing with recent events. He gives a quite "Mmmhm" of confirmation that he's signed up for the competition — of course he's signed up. At Ria's admission, he inhales sharply, his eyes darting down the hill to a particular boulder sitting at the edge of the treeline, and the memory narrows his eyes. "Did you mean what you said? That I haven't respected your wishes?"

Ria eyes the very same bolder as her companion, and its as if the two are in similar mental wave lengths as they walk along together in the fading sunlight. With her elbows bent, she fiddles with her fingers in front of her, held at the level of her belly. And her brows not as they keep going. But she turns to glance at him sidelong, when he asks his question. Biting her lip just for a moment, she replies, "I'm sorry…I said that without thinking. So much was going on that evening with you and Ripley there…and then Leander being reckless and I was about to make an unbreakable vow." She puts a hand on his shoulder and looks at him, "It was a rash statement statement. I was just feeling a lot of pressure. It's not true, you've been most respectful."

An invisible burden visibly lifts from Lucian's shoulders. "I've tried. I've always tried to respect you, because you've respected me, even though I'm not like a Sykes. I get shite for it, too. Don't think I don't hear people call me your dog, or your servant." He shakes his head, pinching his lips in obvious frustration.

"You're not a Sykes. That's not a bad thing, we're all bonkers in the head," Ria smiles softly as she knots her fingers behind her back and walks on. But she pauses suddenly, turning to him a scowl forming on her face. "Who says that Luc? Tell me," she insists. "Who says that? I'll make them regret they had a brain to think such a thought." The glaring rage that seems to glow in her eye and the husky wolfish way she says the threat solidifies how serious she is about following through with it.

Lucian chuckles, grinning with satisfaction at seeing her protective side. "It doesn't matter. My point is that I don't care what they say. I know what I am, and they're pathetic for trying to tear us down." He gives those words a moment to sink in. "It's actually a little flattering, how they always pair us up in some way. Listen, Ria…it's been four days now. I know you've been preoccupied with the vow — whatever that was really about." He still has no idea what was in her knapsack, and hasn't asked. "But don't you think it's time we continued our conversation from the dock?"

The corner of her mouth crinkles again once the topic is rekindled. Ria continues to walk forward again, hands intertwined behind her back as she steps foot in front of foot. Her impeccable black oxfords crunch and shuffle around the browning leaves. "I suppose we could…," she says quietly. "But I'm still not sure what answer I can give you, Lucian. Or if I can offer you anything different from earlier. I can understand the want for close companionship, or the want to snog someone…" She trails off at that last bit, and her cheeks flush. "But I have trouble understanding the -need- for it. I'm not sure if what you're asking for is what I want…"

Lucian sighs, his hand going to the back of his neck to relieve the mounting strain. "What do you want? You madden me sometimes, Ria. I ask you out, and you give me the runaround. But that thick-skulled twit Ripley stalks and blackmails you, and you agree to a date that you don't actually have to go on. I get that maybe you're just not interested in me like that. Fine. Just say so, if that's the case. I can take it." He steps into her path, stopping and turnings to face her. The autumn wind picks up and tousles his golden mane, and a moment, he looks so very much like the lion he might have been in another life. "But if it isn't, then give us a chance to find out."

"That's different. I wiped his memory without his warning. I wouldn't have cared if it was some other sorry sap, but he's our housemate. He practically begged for that damn date when the odds were completely stacked against him. It's the least I could do for something so pathetic," Ria frowns and her fingers twist and turn into each other even more so now than before. But she stops suddenly, her wide green eyes peering at him as the wind tosses about her own hair just as his own. "It's not that I'm not interested, Luc," she begins meekly but picks up with more anxious intensity as she continues on. "Sure, I've entertained the thought of us together. But I'm self-centered. You know this. What if it doesn't end amicably, or what if I decide I don't like it and call it off? Will you hate me then? Will you stop being my friend? I can't have that Luc. I can't bear it. I can't bear the thought of you going away completely…."

Lucian cannot help but smile at the notion that she's considered him that way. He spreads his arms in a wide shrug. "What if the moon falls out of the sky? I'm not going to live my life worrying about 'what if.' I can't answer your questions. I don't know how it will end, or if it will. But I know that we're good together. We're great together. I know that you're fantastic, and I want to be with you. I think you want to be with me too, but you're afraid." He falls silent, staring at her for a few eternal heartbeats. Then, without warning, he acts. For better or for worse, he swiftly leans in to cup her face and kiss her.

Ria's cheeks flush pink as the blood rushes to her head. Just seconds before she was frozen in front of Lucian, wordlessly looking back at him as well like they were reflections of each other. His words made her brow furrow with consideration, and without warning he moves in and kisses her. She can hardly process it. Ria only feels hard excitingly warm he is, and she knows she wants to be kissed more. It's evident by the way she steps forward, her delicate hands cling onto the sides of his sweater for dear life and they way she replies to him gently in an almost apprehensive way.

Lucian's heart thumps like a war drum. Her reaction was more than he could have hoped for. He was prepared for a slap! His arms slide down and curl around her back, fingers lacing to keep her enclosed in the circle of his embrace. He lets the kiss linger, and deepen. She tastes so sweet, and her feminine scent fills his nose and makes his head spin.

The way Ria seems to ease when pulled into his arms, it's evident she feels safer, more comfortable perhaps. Her heart's beating so loud in her ears, she's sure he can hear it. She senses the pounding in his own chest though which reassures her and allows her to follow along easily when things deepen. Her hand rises up to brush the side of his face, and then runs slowly into his hair which is wonderfully soft. And for a few more glorious minutes she lets herself get overwhelmed. Too overwhelmed maybe because she pulls back suddenly to look at him with wide eyes and small warm exhales of surprise. And then biting her lip she buries her face into his chest, arms also tucked in close when she murmurs, "Luc…I…"

Lucian tightens his arms, wrapping her into his protective embrace. "I'm not sorry. I've wanted to do that for a year. The only thing I'm sorry about is that I took so long to do it." He dips his face to kiss the top of her head. Oh, how intoxicating the smell of her hair is. "Everything will be alright, Ria. I promise. I'll take care of you, and you'll take care of me. Like we always have."

Ria squeezes her eyes shut and grits the teether in her mouth like she's mulling over something very very intensely. Maybe now's not the right time. This is too perfect to ruin. Her hands tighten into fists and licking her lips briefly to pick up any last taste she says while still keeping her face burred, "No…No it's not that. I…you should know that I…" And brief pause. "I kissed Ripley…before the vow. I kissed him." She hardly kept him out of the loop before. It's hard for her to keep him out of the loop now. And she braces herself now, greedily trying to remember this feeling of warmth before it no longer lasts.

Lucian stiffens, and for a moment he is as hard and cold as marble. His arms drop to his sides, and he takes a step back. His smile is gone, replaced with wariness. "When." It comes out less like a question, and more like a demand. "After I asked you out?"

Ria knew it. She knew it would go away. Staring up at Lucian with pained face, she quietly replies, "Yes." There's a pang of guilt that seems to shoot across her face before she tries to explain, "It was…it was spur of the moment, and completely unplanned. I don't know what came over me…I…." She loses her train of thought at the end, just settling to keep quiet for now. See what he has to say about it.

Lucian's eyes narrow for a moment, but he shakes it off. "Well…I guess at least it's good to know where I rate on your list of considerations." He turns away, looking out toward the boulder. Memories surge, and the associated emotions with them. He whirls back on her. "Why?! Why him? That arrogant, idiotic prat! I ask you to be my girlfriend, and you go off and snog that pathetic weasel? Just…" his voice starts to calm (a little), his expression turning from anger to befuddlement," …why?"

For once, Ria looks very small and very timid as she bows her head in shame while she wraps arms around herself. "I don't know…," she murmurs, unable to look Lucian in the eye so she simply stares a the ground. "I had just made the deal with Leander, and then end up alone with Ripley in the library the next day. I never disliked him…but my mind couldn't stop thinking if this was it. If this was the only chance between he and I. If it was the last time ever … And I wondered it so much that I went with it…"

Apparently that didn't help. "Seriously? I opened myself up to you…what was it? The day before? An hour before? I put myself on the chopping block hoping for a chance with you, and all you can think about is having a chance with that moron?" He shakes his head in disbelief. "You know what? Go be with him. Break the vow. I'll make sure Leander keeps his mouth shut. He's obviously what you want, certainly over me. So just…snog him all you like until you've melted that half-a-brain of his." There is anger in his words, but the sort of anger that masks hurt — and it's not doing a very good job of masking it.

Ria immediately shoots her head up to look at Lucian. Her face is twisted with guilt but she still defends herself, snapping her retort. "Oh come on, Luc. Had it been you I couldn't ever be with again I know I would've gotten caught up in a moment alone and have kissed you instead." Her mouth forms a straight line. "Things happen. People get overwhelmed. I caved and screwed up…." Yeah that defense probably won't help things either. But Ria has a bad habit of saying things without thinking of the consequences.

No, that didn't help either. "So, having a nice moment alone out on the docks, knowing you have a chance with me…that's not enough? But getting in one good snog with him when nothing can come of it…that's supposed to make it better?"

Ria cups her face into her palms, realizing the severe misstep she took in saying that. Shaking her head she says, "No, no that's not what…I meant by that." Massaging her temples she takes a deep breath and tries to explain again, "I didn't want anything more with either of you. I was comfortable with the way things were. But then…all this mess happened. Ideas got planted and jumbled into my head, and I was making moves based on my emotions rather than being rational. And I hurt you…Merlin, that's the worst of all." She steps forward and tries to put her hands on his shoulders to look Lucian straight in the face. "Please. Be angry with me. Get so cross with me that you'll want to shake me. But don't hate me. Please don't hate me, and then leave me…"

Her words seem to take some of the wind out of his sails, and the anger in his eyes fades to a stony, guarded look. "Are you daft? I don't hate you, Ria. I love you." He lets out a defeated sigh. "There. You've made me say it. Go ahead and run away now. I know it scares the shite out of you."

Ria's hands squeeze his broad shoulders hard when he says it, eyes wide and unsure of what to say. For a few long seconds, her eyes linger on his lips again, and she thinks about how she wants to kiss him again, very badly. But a blink or two clears her mind she tries to avoid making a mess of things again. "It does scare the shite out of me…," she nods and agrees, letting her hands run down to his upper arms. She straightens out the wrinkles she made on his sweater and quietly proposes, "If its easier for you…you can take someone else to the Halloween feast. Maybe it'll be best for everyone if I just sit this one out…."

The tension in that moment is palpable. The would-be kiss lingers between them, waiting to become reality. "Easier…right. Sure." He starts for the castle, dark thoughts entering his mind of what he might do to Ripley after this. That little fight on the lake shore will be nothing compared to…

The words exchanged between himself and Ripley play again through his mind. Merlin's beard, what a cruel joke, that it would be Ripley that would put Lucian's head back on straight. He turns around, and marches right back to her. "No," he says defiantly, battering through the hurt and awkwardness of it all. "You're worth the fight." Once again he is upon her, wrapping her arms around her waist to lift her into his embrace, and pressing his lips to hers.

Ria feels defeated for sure, and she lets him go, standing place a moment to let him get a head start. She digs the tips of her shoes into the dirt, again wrapping her arms about herself. Just as she turns to start trailing behind him, she looks up when he speaks again, and immediately after is quite literally swept off her feet. She lets out a quiet gasp in surprise, but it's muffled by his kiss. Ria's so overcome with relief that she kisses him back fiercely as she wraps her arms about his neck and holds him close against her so tightly it's as if she's begging him to never stop. And pulling back, it's evident that she's tearing a bit and she pulls him into a hug, her head lowering onto his shoulder while she pleads, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Luc."

Lucian clings to her for fear that a passing wind might carry her away from him again. He rests his cheek on the top of her head. "I forgive you," he whispers. "Just…promise me you won't go on that date. Please. I don't know if I'd be able to stop myself from jinxing that smug smile off of his little rat face." His hand rubs her back affectionately. "I want it to be just us. You and me against the world. Like it should be."

Ria sighs, letting her warm breath brush on his neck and she squeezes him tighter, though her nose is buried in there and she's thoroughly enjoying how nice he smells. "Fine…okay…," she nods and gives in, tip-toeing to plant a long affectionate peck on his cheek, her hand holding against his opposite cheek to hold him still.

Lucian's smile starts to return at the cheek kiss. He turns his head to press his forehead to hers, gazing into her eyes. "And you're my girlfriend now? Make it official, Ria."

Ria bites her lip with their heads together, her hands clinging to the lower parts of his sweater as they did before. She rolls her eyes and sighs at his insistence, and with the corner of her mouth curling into a slight smirk, Ria slowly nods. "Alright…fine. I'm you…I'm your girlfriend, Lucian," she admits quietly and a bright flush fills her cheeks.

Lucian grins broadly, dipping his face to hers for another kiss. "I like hearing you say that. I don't think you've really understood before how important you are to me. I hope you do now." He finally lowers her to let her feet touch the ground.

Ria savors the kiss for all its sweetness and judging by how she keeps her face close to his, she's starting to get addicted to this snogging thing. "I suppose I could get used to it…," she murmurs as she's lowered. Her face is still distinctly red. "You wear me out, you know that?" And with a heavy sigh she closes her eyes and rests her forehead on his chin.

Lucian is growing rather fond of her lips, as well. The lovely shade of red is quite fetching, too. "That's just because you try so hard to keep me at bay. Just watch. Now that we're together, I'll lift you up. I'll empower you, and everyone will see the queen that I do."

Ria slowly wraps her arms around Lucian's waist, trapping him into a tight squeeze. "Merlin, that better be a guarantee," she snickers, and runs her hand over his face before pulling it closer to hers. Warm lips press against his again as she gets up on her toes once more. Just. A little bit. Longer.

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