(1937-10-13) Tempting Fate
Details for Tempting Fate
Summary: Lois sends Leander a message that he should meet her on the roof with the intention of ending their short-lived romance. Leander has other ideas.
Date: October 13, 1937
Location: Rooftop
Related: Suspended, Promises, etc.

Roof Hogwarts Castle

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and overcast.

The ramparts of Hogwarts Castle are massive and provide an uninterrupted pathway all along the outside of the castle as well as giving any visitor an amazing view of the surrounding grounds, Hogwarts Lake, the Forbidden Forest and even Hogsmeade. The view is only interrupted by some of the taller towers of the castle like the Astronomy Tower or the Owlery. The ramparts themselves have chest height walls to either side creating a six foot wide corridor. Every two feet or so crenellations rise up another three feet making the walls almost eight feet tall at those points. Strong winds tend to blow along the ramparts frequently making it a particularly uncomfortable place to be at during the winter but making it nice and cool during the hottest days of summer.

Twenty minutes ago, the note arrived. Written on crisp parchment (lightly scented with orange blossom), borne on the wind of a captured-and-released Slytherin Second Year. It's unsigned, but the delicate writing within is surely familiar:
'Leander -
Meet me on the roof, by Astronomy staircase. Twenty minutes.'
A streak of scarlet and gold flutters in the cool autumn breeze, easily visible from the stairwell. Lois is seated nearby, perched between two crenellations, feet dangling over the roof tiles. So there's that: whatever it is she wants to talk about, it's not so grim she's afraid Leander will shove her off anything!

After receiving said note in the Slytherin Commons, Leander had spent a minute or two staring at it in a mixture of dread and… well, mostly dread, actually - before packing his things away and heading up to the roof. He's not spent a lot of time up here during his Hogwarts career, as he knows some students have (perhaps this is because of an unhealthy deficit of snogging during said career), but he still knows the way well enough to find the place. The dark-haired, dark-eyed boy emerges from the stairway wearing a thick black cloak over his schoolclothes and notices the Gryffindor girl immediately. "Lois…?"

"Leander." Lois turns her head in his direction, gracing him with… it's not really a smile, but it's not quite a neutral expression, either. She's nearly as pale as he, but clear eyed and calm. The Gryffindor gives him a single grave nod, before jerking her chin in her general direction. Come sit. Come sit and have a difficult conversation in a potentially hazardous location! "I didn't interrupt anything important, I hope?"

"No," Leander says, his face trained into a careful mask of detachment. Normally he's not so good at that around Lois, but under these circumstances the cold-pit feeling in his stomach is helping tremendously to keep his brain in working order. The Slytherin boy walks over to the crenellation and slips his legs over the edge so that he can sit down next to her. His gaze goes out over the castle grounds, and he clears his throat, but says nothing.

"You're not getting expelled." Lois gets straight to the point, though her voice is characteristically gentle. "And I don't think Sluggy is taking points, either. From you or your brother. I - I tried to make sure he understood that these things that keep happening, they're happening because of… impulse, not… malice." After a moment's pause, she adds: "I'm the only one who lost points -" her mouth twists a bit at that, instinctively, because Lois hates losing House points, but she plows on through "- and rightfully so for not saying something sooner."

Leander listens to all of this stoically. His shoulders untense just a /little/ at the Gryffindor's initial proclamation, but his jaw remains set and he continues staring out at the cool, rainy autumn landscape. His cloak has been charmed to repel liquid, and he suddenly reaches up to unclasp it so that he can drape it around Lois's shoulders without any warning. After that, he immediately looks forward again and frowns. "I apologize for that."

The unexpected cloak is looked askance at - but Lois, after a moment's thought, bites her tongue. Instead, her pale wand appears in hand, a murmured "Accio scarf!" retrieving said woolen item from where she had it fluttering earlier. Without comment, she reaches over and tucks it around his shoulders. (Despite hanging in the damp wind, it's both dry and warm. Charms are the best.) "I'll make them back," she says, quietly. "That doesn't matter."
It's a long moment before she speaks again. "Are you doing all right? And how is Ripley?"

The Slytherin boy has his hands clasped together on his lap, and he flexes his fingers so against each other that they crack. Half-startled, he looks down and loosens his grip, then nods to Lois when she dismisses his apology. His eyebrows do go up a little when she puts the scarf around his shoulders, though. "I…" He stops saying whatever he was about to, because just as he starts, she questions him. "I'm - I suppose I'm not doing so well," he says slowly, his voice slightly puzzled. He's not the type to dwell on his emotions. "Ripley is rather morose, but we talked, as you suggested."

"I'm sorry." Lois lets it hang in the air for a moment, before her eyes drift down to her lap. "Slughorn's going to talk to you about the… way you've been using magic inappropriately. I hope you're not angry with me for going to him, but I won't blame you if you are. It's just," absently, her fingers play with the cloak's draw cord, twirling it around a finger, "whatever's going on, and I know you won't tell me, it's obviously bigger than anything I can handle." Quietly, she adds: "I'm glad you and your brother talked it over, though."

"Talk to me…" Leander's voice trails off, and his dark eyes narrow to slits. He stops breathing entirely for several seconds, then slowly inhales. "You've arranged for me to seek - therapy." The boy shakes his head to indicate that he's not angry, but Lois can probably practically /hear/ his teeth grinding together. Even though his hands are now physically separated by several inches, he clenches his fists hard enough to make his knuckles crack once more. "Frankly, the idea galls me. It's belittling," he says, his voice even and lacking any hint of petulance - but perhaps /more/ than a hint of Pureblooded arrogance. As usual, Leander states facts. But one of those hands - now relaxed - moves over to gently wrap around one of Lois's. "Very well."

"But it's not!" Lois is quick to protest. "Lots of people just need… someone to talk to. It's not a sign of weakness. Feelings get so muddled when they're just cooped up in your head, don't you think? Muggles call it 'psychology'. Lillian and Lloyd -" that's right, Lois calls her parents by their FIRST NAMES, that's the sort of family the Pyms are, "- swear by it. And besides," the defensive tone becomes tempered, gently, by subtle humor, "it's not like Sluggy is hard to talk to. He's a darling." The hand on hers is looked at, for a long moment, though she makes no move to unseat it. Though Lois says nothing, it's obvious she's trying to decide something or another.

<FS3> Leander rolls Awareness: Failure.

Leander has no idea who Lillian and Lloyd are, though he automatically assumes they're Gryffindor Housemates (he'll be horrified to learn about the first-name basis later, if it ever comes to that, no doubt). Though he keeps his face carefully neutral, the way his eyes remain slightly narrowed probably expresses his opinion of Muggle 'psychology'. Still, he's compliant enough: "You're right. Professor Slughorn is reasonable. I'll speak to him." He completely fails to notice her hesitation about the presence of his hand, though he turns to look at her, his expression softening. "For you. However, in return for my compliance with this… /therapy/…" His words say 'therapy', but his voice says 'degradation'. "I would like to ask you something."

Oh, Leander. This is just the tip of the Bizarre Muggle Notions iceberg, you know. And possibly the tip of several other icebergs, with the hesitant way Lois is starting to open her mouth. At the same moment he speaks, she opens her mouth to say, "Leander, I…" Well, she dominates their conversations often enough, so: "All right. What is it?"

There's no hesitation, of course, when Leander does something potentially disastrous for him. Calculated risks, and all. "I'd like you to be my girlfriend." Before she can say anything to this, he continues - and in spite of his cool demeanor throughout the rest of their conversation, his cheeks grow considerably less pale. "I know I don't deserve that. But I've wanted it since Second Year, even though I never told you before these last few weeks, so I can't bear the thought of losing any chance I might have." He leans a bit closer to her, his eyes staring intensely into hers - but this isn't about romance, for him. It's a negotiation. Typical Leander. "In return, I will offer you something. Even though I believe I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, I… it seems to me you believe I need watching. And unless I'm mistaken, you seem to enjoy providing guidance." He's not the /most/ perceptive person in the universe, but between the Prefectship and her attitude towards other students in general, it wouldn't take Merlin to figure that one out. "My offer is simple, then. I will allow you to give me any order or rule you like, and I will comply without question whether I'm with you or not, on my honor." You've got to give it to him, he is /very/ good at measuring nooses for himself.

"I…" Alright, let's be real. Lois ABSOLUTELY asked Leander up here with the SPECIFIC intention of friendzoning him. And earlier in the day, she ABSOLUTELY came to the conclusion that all this meddling was a bad gig. And if he had kissed her, or written her poetry, and begged with tearful eyes, she could have stayed strong, stayed true, stayed the course. But. Well. "I - are you quite serious, Leander?" Lois gazes at him with wide eyes, forgetting to sternly remove her hand from his, or coax her fascinated expression into platonic sobriety. "That's - that's quite… quite the offer."

"I'm always serious," Leander replies. He smiles at her without even an iota of humor, although deep in his dark brown eyes there's a hint of something else - victory. He found the single chink in her armor. As for the potential consequences of this - well, he's aware on some level that they're dire, but such things have never stopped him before. Defying all probability, in such moments, is practically what he lives for (coincidentally, he's probably the type who'd bargain his soul to the devil in return for the right favor or two). In fact, there's even a faint hint of romantic elation in his voice when he finally states: "I wouldn't offer if I didn't trust you completely, or if you weren't the one thing I want above all others."

Let's review. The Slytherin boy is recklessly bargaining his (moral and emotional) freedom for the sake of snatching a chance at romantic glory. The Gryffindor girl is being lured into cooperating with the tempting bait of (moral and emotional) power to suit her ambitions. They both fail at proper House-based behavior, and this will end in tears. "I…" Lois has capitulated, knows it, and knows Leander knows it at well. "… That's the most romantic thing anyone's ever said to me," the girl says, gazing up at him with wide brown eyes. Hesitantly, her free hand shifts over to fold his fingers between her own. "Promise?"

Leander really doesn't have any idea about being romantic, so the girl's statement comes as a complete surprise to him. He blinks, a flush creeping up his neck and over his cheeks now that his primary feeling isn't one of sickened anxiety, and nods to her. "Yes. I promise." While the Slytherin might be cold and sometimes reckless, his antiquated ideas about always honoring one's word are too firmly embedded in his psyche for him to ever break such a vow; this statement carries weighty finality with it. That doesn't mean he's not sly, though; a second later, he leans a little closer, droplets of water dripping off of his curly hair, and lowers his voice. "Will you order me to kiss you now, then?"

"I don't know what my parents will say," Lois murmurs, though it's not a complaint. She's in the spirit of things, now, the grim determination of thirty minutes earlier altogether forgotten. "But - well, it's old fashioned, but I have always wanted my very own knight at my beck and call…" A ladylike hand goes up to ruffle his curls, affectionate. "You should kiss me."

Leander hears the stuff about her parents, but he's still formulating a reply when she tells him to kiss her. He doesn't waste any time doing exactly that, raising the hand he isn't holding hers with across her shoulder, then behind her back so he can gently pull her against him. He leans down at the same time, tilting his head to the side and pressing his lips against hers. In spite of his calculating, distant nature he seems to enjoy this quite thoroughly. His mouth explores hers with the needful insistence of youth, and he's just in the process of softly biting her lower lip when what she said originally finally registers. Slowly and somewhat regretfully he sits up, noting that in the process of snogging her he's come dangerously close to the edge of the crenellation, and carefully scoots back. "Your parents? Surely they'll be pleased. I'm from a reputable Pureblooded family, after all." Aaaand cue shooting self in foot.

"Mmm." As she did before in that Hogsmeade alley, Lois proves herself to be a very classically feminine kisser: eyes demurely downcast and mouth pliant, she allows him to take the lead and follows merrily along, restraining herself only to the subtle setting of boundaries. One hand that rests delicately on his chest, ensuring a bit of room left between them; its twin, in his hair, deftly guiding his head back a bit whenever his mouth grows a little too insistent. When he pulls away, she looks a trifle regretful, until she notices their closeness to the edge. Oh. Right. She, too, shifts back - then, after a half a second's thought, sidles herself into position so she can lean back against his shoulder, feet dangling now on the pathway side of the wall. "Mm? Oh. Well, my parents are a bit… newfangled, I suppose," Lois says, delicately, before a hint of humor bubbles up in her voice. "But they quite approve of children disobeying their parents, within reason. So don't worry, my father won't be showing up at the school gates and demanding satisfaction."

"Newfangled?" Leander doesn't exactly know what to make of this word. Oh, he knows what it /means/, in an abstract sort of way, but contextually speaking he's uncertain. He does know that it makes him vaguely nervous, though he's not sure why. "I see," he says. In fact, he's quite confused, especially by the concept of parents encouraging disobedience of any sort. Parents just don't /do/ that. "Well, erm… I'm sure I'll love meeting them," he offers, managing a smile. Easy enough to smile now, considering what he was doing just a second ago. The boy keeps his arm wrapped around Lois's shoulders; even though it's still sprinkling on them, he doesn't really want to go anywhere, for the moment.

<FS3> Lois rolls Awareness: Failure.

"Perhaps over the hols," agrees Lois, too comfortable and distracted (in spite, yes, of the drizzle - of course, she's the one with a cloak on) to notice his nervousness. "I'm likely to be interning at Mungo's for most of it, but they'll come and visit, of course." Shifting up into his arm, she closes her eyes and relaxes. In a tone of absent-minded curiosity, the girl makes inquiries. "What are your parents like? I know your brother. I don't know that you'd know my sisters, since Leona barely goes anywhere not the library or her common room, and Lucy's only a Second Year."

Leander nods soberly to this, already making a mental note to prepare for the holidays and Newfangled Parents. He's not entirely sure /how/ to prepare yet, but that's beside the point. "Oh - I didn't know you'd be interning. I'll be doing the same at the Ministry. I'm hoping for MLE, but they rarely take on interns, so probably with another department." If she wants something else to worry about, she's got it; Leander wants to be an /auror/. His dark eyes are looking down at the Gryffindor girl as hers close, memorizing her features - it's only the second time he's been so close to her. He gently releases her hand so he can run his fingers through her hair. "I think I've met Leona, once - she's a Ravenclaw, isn't she?"

"Mm. Madam Spleen is going to help me arrange it," Lois confirms, a faint smile on her face. The expression remains, but gains a subtle mixture of 'this is worrisome' and 'but it figures' as Leander describes his own holiday (and life) plans. Cracking open an eye, she peers up at him. "I s'pose they wouldn't. And you'll be competing with half the boys in my House, you know, if they offer any slots." She falls silent for a moment, then, in a combination of decorous humming with pleasure at his hand in her hair and her own (probably ominous) thoughts. "Hm? Oh. Yes. She's the one who hides in the library and throws a fit if she gets below an O on anything." Hello there, description of half of Ravenclaw.

"You're already very good at healing magic. It's a sensible career choice." 'Sensible' is quite a high compliment, coming from him. Luckily, Leander is a pragmatic sort of boy, so he's not surprised by her response concerning his own ambitions. "Yes. Probably I'd be turned down now anyway, given my recent disciplinary infractions. If things don't work out, I have several secondary choices." He frowns, continuing to run his fingers through her hair for a little while longer before he lets his hand settle back on top of hers. "She sounds nothing like you. What's your youngest sister like, then? The Second Year?" he asks, clearly under the mistaken impression that those are her only two sisters.

Lois's laugh is a muted one, more felt than heard. "I'll have to get my Defense and Herbology scores up by next year - I wish a Defense N.E.W.T. wasn't required, I don't want to go into Spell Damage anyway - but I like to think I'm well positioned for it. But I want to take the hols to make sure I'm on the right path." Because Lois plaaaaans. "As for being turned down - well, keep your nose clean, and they'll overlook it as beginning-of-term nerves, I'm sure." It's growing darker, and it will soon to time for good Lions and Snakes to be heading indoors, but she makes no move to shift away. This is pretty comfortable - within the limits of being a cool drizzly autumn day, on stone, a hundred feet up. "Lucy? Little scrapegrace. I had to take five points from her the other day for trying to jinx the third floor boy's bathroom to make farting sounds every time someone opened the door." Even at their current angle, the extent of her eyerolling is obvious. "And there's Linden, still at home - she starts next year. How about you? Are there only you and Ripley?"

Leander nods thoughtfully, his expression muted once more. "I need to study Defense as well. And Potions." His gaze goes to the setting sun in the distance where it's just barely peeking out from behind the clouds, and he silently curses it for being in such a blasted hurry. Her words are comforting, but his lips are still curled into a bit of a frown. "I suppose that could be the case." The frown lifts a little when Lois describes her sisters - not because he's amused (he's not - he's never found childish pranks particularly amusing), but simply because he's interested. "Just us, yes. Though we've always been very close." Well, until this year, at least. He uses the arm wrapped around the girl to pull her just a bit closer, as if to defy his next words: "We should probably head back inside."

"We can study Defense together, maybe?" Though she phrases it as a question, it has the subtle hint of being one of those promised orders. See? See? She's only going to use her powers for Good! Wryly, Lois adds, "I keep thinking I should try to make time in my day for Dueling Club, for the practice. I have the theory, you know, but not the experience. But… I've never liked that sort of thing - hurting people, I mean. Even only temporarily." Her mouth thins to a line for a moment, before her eyes drift up to the darkening sky. And is that especially dark cloud heading their way bringing a proper shower with it? With a sigh, Lois nuzzles her cheek against his shoulder for a moment, murmuring, "Probably," before the prefect starts to shift her way off the wall and back onto the walkway.

"Of course," Leander says, smiling a bit. Studying probably takes a close second to his newly-acquired girlfriend on his mental list of Favorite Things, so combining the two sounds like all sorts of excellence to him. "Sometimes you have to hurt one person to protect a lot of people," he says mildly. As Lois makes her way back on to the walkway, he follows her down, casting one more baleful glance at the darkening sky. He doesn't let go of her hand, at any rate. "I see what you mean, though. It's certainly not /fun/ to hurt anyone." Once they're both firmly on the ground, he begins walking towards the stairwell back into the castle. When they're near the bottom, where they'll have to part ways, he opens the door for her. "We'll study together tomorrow, then?"

"True enough," Lois agrees, before adding, in tones of mild retort, "but it's even better to help that one person so they won't want to hurt anyone in the first place." So, say. Get yourself into a position where you can run the life of a known troublemaker. Just as an example. "It's a date, then." She pauses a moment at the base of the steps, gazing reflectively up at him, a thoughtful analysis of her newly acquired inventory. Those brown eyes are alight with the gleam of a thousand schemes unfurling. Abruptly up on her tiptoes, Lois brushes a featherlight kiss on the corner of his mouth before smiling warmly and nodding. "Tomorrow. Good night!"

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