(1937-10-18) Progress...No, Really
Details for Progress…No, Really
Summary: Ria gets some alone time with Lucian to gossip, try to make him jealous, and bond a bit. It's a strange sort of progress in their relationship, but progress, nonetheless.
Date: October 18, 1937
Location: Slytherin Common Room
Related: Understanding Innuendo

Slytherin Common Room, Hogwarts Castle

The Slytherin commons room is a low-ceilinged, dungeon-like affair illuminated during the day by a multitude of greenish lamps and a roaring fire which also works to partially ward of the perpetual chill of the dungeons. The common room is filled with low-backed, black and dark green leather sofas and armchairs accented with buttons that create dimples deep in the upholstery. For the decorative carvings of the dark wood cupboards, the columns, the mantelpiece, and other architectural details of the room run strongly towards snakes and skulls motif. All these details combine to create a quite grand atmosphere with a touch of spooky and cold.

Day or night the enchanted windows are filled with an eerie green glow from the water on the other side. Occasionally the Giant Squid and other residents of the Black Lake will swim by the portals. Over all the common room has a sunken ship feel, though is oddly enough also gives a strange cozy sense as well.

Not in the mood of dealing with the maddening crowd this evening, Ria asked Luc to speed through his dinner so that they could spend some quiet time together. She herself isn't too hungry, so she settles her appetite with plate of fruits that she nicked from the Great Hall. She's seated atop a pillow on the floor, her head resting against the stomach of Lucian, who is laid out on one of the couches. All the while, she reads the morning's copy of the Prophet and gently pats his stomach with her free hand, without even thinking. At his goading, Ria's trying her best to be more openly affectionate, but she can't help but eye the doorway every few seconds. "Jocunda's going to be in Hogsmeade this weekend. Don't know if you heard," she says idly after spotting an ad for it in the paper. "I want you to meet her."

Lucian is feeling pretty damn good right now. Ria actually went out of her way to spend more time with him, and is showing open affection (for now). Now she actually wants him to meet her family, instead of merely consenting to it. Progress! "Alright. Sounds good. Is she going to be around all weekend?" His hand rests gently on her shoulder, not pawing, but just being a presence.

And he should be! The Slytherin girl is languid and has her guard down, which takes a considerable amount of effort on her part. "I'm not sure…though I hope she is. I haven't seen her in a while," Ria hmms over it, still petting his stomach. The ab muscles feel kinda cool against her palm, though she'll never admit that's what's giving her cheeks a slight rosy hue. "I hope for Kaiden's sake though that she will. He almost missed Xavier during the last one," she pouts. "You won't believe why." And after she says that, her cheeks go even redder though she has a look on her face as if she's itching to tell Lucian something.

Lucian grins, noting the redness, and even more so her eagerness to gossip. "Tell me. What did he do now?" He doesn't mind her touching his stomach one bit. Though he never shows it off, he is a bit proud of his body. Years of hard work in his family's stable didn't churn out a weakling!

Ria's green eyes peer left and right, scanning around just in case there are lurkers about in the empty common room. And when she's determined it's alright, she rises to her knees to leans in close to whisper into Lucian's ear. "He was sleeping with Briar. Crocker. That vulgar American girl," she pulls back to show her strong frown of disapproval and unintentionally revealing her much she's blushing. "I never thought in my wildest imagination. Apparently they're dating now. But who knows if they reached that agreement before or after the consummation," Ria scowls, crossing her arms before poutily resting her temple against his chest this time. "I'm trying to give him his space and let him make his mistakes but the idea of it makes my blood just boil."

Lucian bolts upright, robbing Ria of her stableboy-abs pillow. "What? Kaiden and Crocker?" He frowns disbelievingly as he tries to wrap his head around that. Shifting his eyes to Ria, his arches an eyebrow. "Why does it make you so upset? I'm betting he doesn't think much of you being with me."

Ria let out a small yelp as her head it catapulted off his torso and onto his lap. Raising her head up again, she pouts and fixes her hair, just in case Lucian messed it up with his sudden movement. "Yes. That's what I said. Crocker, " she repeats, somewhat surprised by his magnitude of … surprise. "Why does that shock you so much? I mean I didn't think he'd go all the way with her so soon, but when you really think about it, is it really so unbelievable that it's her? I mean she's always been so crude in her manners and language. And she's American. I wouldn't be surprised if she seduced him…" Thus, the transition into her answer for Lucian's second question. "That's the thing Luc. I don't really trust that girl. Ophelia was one thing. She was just a little lamb that Kaiden snogged into emotional slaughter. But Briar's different. She's not dumb and not as easily led. I wonder if she's purposely trying to get something from him…"

Lucian blinks, trying to formulate his words carefully. "No, she's not dumb. But I don't think she's all that conniving. She's just really forward." He shrugs, "She probably really likes him. I mean, they're both in Hufflepuff. They've had enough years being around each other. Like us."

Ria sighs and leans her back against the bottom of the sofa, arms crossed as she frowns. "But how can you know that for sure?" she asks. Of course, Ria assumes everyone is conniving because she herself is fairly conniving. Defense mechanism 101: assume all are the enemy. "And furthermore, how could they have slept together so soon? They were barely dating!" she pouts more at this latter part.

Lucian smiles warmly at Ria. Sometimes her naivete about certain things is just utterly adorable. "I guess they just had chemistry. Or they were just feeling really horny. I don't know." He shrugs. "Like you said. She's American." As if that should explain it entirely.

Ria keeps quiet, still pouting and crossing her arms disapprovingly. "I suppose…," her volume trails off at the end, cheeks red but still full of thought. She questions whether she should bring it up with Lucian though. Usually, he's her go to person when anything comes up in her mind, but this topic is something particularly difficult to bring up. Anyhow, she snaps herself back to reality and turns to him, "Never mind them. There's nothing I could do at this point anyhow. Kaiden promised to try and get along with you if I left him and that girl alone. What've you been up to as of late? Did you get to talk to that Animagus woman yet?"

Lucian sighs with a touch of relief that that particular subject is past. Better work on strengthening things with Ria before going there. "I didn't get the chance. She was always hanging around that Auror, and I'm not keen on spilling what I want in front of him."

"Auror?" Ria tilts her head over, settling to rest her head on his lap instead. "Oh, you mean the one dueling against Dumbledore and demonstrating spells?" She sighs in a dreamy manner, idly playing with a button on Luc's shirt while she says, "He was quite good looking wasn't he? His taste in undergarments are a bit dull, but very handsome none the less. Dignified. Refined. And one of the most amazing duelers I've seen, the way he caught himself in the air like that." She looks up impishly at Luc from the corner of her eye, as if she knew exactly how she wanted her boyfriend to react.

Lucian scoffs, predictably. Stupid dignified handsome Auror making his girlfriend swoon. "Sure, he's decent with a wand. But his advice is terrible. He's telling students to use a Fumos smokescreen on the dueling stage. That's a great way to waste precious casting time. It's next to useless when you've got no lateral mobility."

Ria tuts once and rises up from her seat on the floor to instead settle herself onto Lucian's lap. "Are you kidding me? I thought that was brilliant advice. And he's been dueling for so long, I think he'd know a thing or two," she continues on with her dreamy look as she leans against the back of the couch. Her green eyes look up hazily to the ceiling while she reaches up to twirl her hair around in a girlish manner. "The way he said it too. So commanding. It kind of intimidates you, but in a good way." That's it. It's obvious that she's trying to push some buttons now.

Lucian is taking the bait, nonetheless. "Seriously? Brilliant? He suggested going to one knee behind the smokescreen right after saying that most spells are aimed at the chest. Yeah, real brilliant. So the spell meant for your chest can hit you right in the face, instead. It wasn't intimidating. It was bloody moronic." He frowns, clearly frustrated that his girl could be so blinded by Auror Bowlerhat's good looks.

"Moronic? Oh don't be so harsh Lucian, you sound a little jealous. Don't you worry, someday you'll be as great as him. Perhaps greater…I hope," Ria gives a smile that's equal parts sweet and snaky. She really likes to see him squirm about. It makes him all the more adorable. Speaking of hats. "You know not a lot of young men his age can really pull off the bowler hat. The way it sits on his head." She puts her own hand atop Lucian's head to signify and imaginary one. "Maybe I'll get you a bowler hat. It might make you look really proper and charming like he does," Ria tilts her head curiously as if imagining it on Lucian. That's right, one more little jab.

Lucian rolls his eyes. "I will be greater. You know damn well I will. And no hats. I hate hats." Nothing to contain that mane of gold! "So…when are you going to tell me about that shiner you had?" A subject change might just save him further humiliation.

Ria leans in slowly, face lingering close to his. She was ready. She was set to quell his rage with a sweet kiss, and she came soooooo close to it. Until he asks her that question. She freezes with eyes half-lidded and lips half-puckered, looking positively awkward until she pulls back and opens those greens again. "Shiner? Oh…my eye. Yeah I fell in the club room. Dropped something and dove forward to catch it before it hit the ground, but I banged my eye on the edge of the table," she clears her throat and licks her lips. Yeah…hopefully he'll buy that.

Lucian doesn't buy that. Not for a second. "Ria, we promised the truth between us. Come on, don't start that." A bit of the lion's ire starts to rise again. It isn't quite the rage she wanted to quell, but it has struck another nerve; memories of their painful beginning.

Ria half pouts. She knew he'd pull the truth card on her for this one. "The thing is…it's…not really my secret to tell," the suspended prefect sighs, shuffling about on Lucian's lap as she leans against the couch back and crosses her arms again. Her eyes scan the room warily once more. "Okay, the truth is…You know Gabrielle Evans? That Ravenclaw a year under us? She socked me. Right in the eye. I didn't think she had it in her…" She frowns, touching the skin around her eye as if sort of pissed that she got hit. "She was rather emotional and just lost it on me." Biting her lip she looks around one more time before leaning in and lowering her voice to a whisper once more, "But the thing is, when I tried holding her arms back so she wouldn't try and get me again, but she kept wincing every time I grabbed her wrists. I felt something under her sleeve on one of them. I've an inkling of what it is and I don't think she wears an extra layer of clothing underneath if you know what I mean…"

Lucian frowns, showing a bit of concern. He's not completely heartless, after all. "Wincing? What, you think it was bandaged or something?" The Prefect in him comes out. Evans may not be Slytherin, but she's a student with a problem, and he can fix problems. "So…what do we do about it? And don't think this gets you off the hook for trying to lie to me." He smirks.

"It could have been. She was just so emotionally stricken, you know? And she acted completely rash, which well…I don't know her to be," Ria rests a thumb on her bottom lip thoughtfully. "I tried asking her what was bothering her, but she wouldn't tell me. I was thinking we should at least let Warren and Ajax know so they can keep an eye on her. They're her prefects. They see her most often, and so it would be best. I considered talking to Mopsus as well. But I'm not 100 percent sure and I could be very wrong. I'd rather not cause a stir." Her lips press together as she asks Lucian, "What do you think we should do?" But at his last smirk, she can't help but smirk back herself and with a challenging retort she says, "Oh punish me then. You wouldn't. You can't."

Lucian eyes her, and lets the challenge go for the moment. "She's not going to trust us to help her. But maybe the Ravenclaw Prefects. This could actually look good for you at your tribunal, if you report this to the right people." There's the Slytherin, and it leads right to a wry grin. He gently cups her cheek, coaxing her near for a gentle kiss. They get close enough to feel each others' breath, and he murmurs, "Ria…" beat, "…this is your punishment." With that, he pulls away with a cheshire grin, denying her the kiss. He stands up, lifting her into his arms, then setting her on her feet. "Good night, Ria. I'm turning in early." He winks, and starts to walk toward the Boys' Dormitory.

Ria smirks slightly when he mentions how it would benefit her hearing. "You said it, not me," she shrugs casually. Of course, she thought of all this already while developing her plan. The arrogant smile is easily melted off as soon as she feels his hand on her cheek. And freezes, anticipating their lips touching in 3…2…1…nothing! Ria's confused at first when she placed back on her feet, but by the time he's walking away she scoffing. Her hands on her hips as she glares at his walk while she watches him walk off. Her cheeks are flushed with embarrassment when she says, "Y-you can't do that." It's almost bratty how that comes out and she stomps on after him to try and step into his path so that she can aggressively pull his chin toward her and get her good night kiss. When it comes to Lucian Proudmore, Ria gets exactly what she wants!

Lucian's catlike smile doesn't falter when she intercepts him, demanding a kiss. Cue sarcasm: Nooo, he didn't see that coming at all. Feigning defeat, he succumbs her to demand, giving her a soft, sweet kiss before turning in for the night. It seems that when it comes to Ria Sykes, Lucian gets exactly what he wants, too.

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