(1937-12-26) Reunited With Ria
Details for Reunited With Ria
Summary: The day after Christmas, Ria comes to Hogsmeade to see Lucian, and he tells her about what has been haunting him.
Date: December 26, 1937
Location: The Three Broomsticks
Related: Personal Demons

Lucian stands ankle-deep in snow outside of the Three Broomsticks Inn. He is bundled up in his Hogwarts winter cloak, a green and silver scarf wrapped around his neck, which does little to guard his reddened nose and cheeks from the cold. The breeze is biting, in spite of the afternoon sun overhead. Rubbing his arms for warmth, he looks up and down the road expectantly. She said she'd meet him here. She said she'd come.

And this time around, what Ria says, she does. Bundled up in a fur-lined winter coat of fine quality, the young girl turns the corner from the east end of High Street, doing her best to tread carefully through the snow while hurrying as quick as she can. A fashionable tan felted hat sits a top her head, though she has a hand clasped over it to hold it down with the other carries a neat shopping bag in it. "Lucian!" her face lights up with a relieved grin and she quickens her pace so that she can reach him and pull him into an tight embrace, "I'm so sorry I couldn't get here sooner!"

Apparently all is forgiven, for the moment Lucian hears her voice, he is running into that embrace, and pressing his lips to hers. "I missed you so much," he whispers when they can finally take a breath. There is a strained quality to his voice. Could he have been that forlorn without her? Or…is it something else?

Ria savors the greeting kiss for as long as humanly possible, temporarily forgetting the biting cold and only remembering how wonderful it was to have him close. Her arms squeeze around him for dear life, and once clouds of their breath float into the air, her brow furrows upon hearing the tone of his voice. That doesn't sound good. "I missed you too…," she lets her words trail a bit trying to figure out his tone until she asks, "What's wrong, love? Tell me what happened when you sent me that owl…" The letter had been lingering in her mind for days and the poor girl couldn't get away from her father, who insisted on toting her around to all his colleagues in homes for her future career.

Lucian looks around searchingly, then back to the inn itself. "Can we go inside? I don't want anyone listening." If he didn't look so disturbed, one might take his request to get an inn room with her for something else completely. He gives her an apologetic grimace, guessing what she might think.

Ria can't help but peer around to see what the hell her boyfriend is looking for too. But there are no hints, and she only presses her lips together in worry watching him looking rather paranoid. His request though, does successfully catch her off guard a bit at first but given the situation she merely takes a deep inhale. "Uhm…okay…," she nods, licking her lips nervously and placing a hand on his shoulder to lead him inside the Three Broomsticks. She's the one hurrying now. Anything to get the words out of him. This tension is killing her.

Lucian takes Ria by the hand to lead her inside. It's more than a little embarrassing (maybe for both of them) when he has to let her pay for the room. The boy is dead broke. But once inside the inn room, he breathes a bit easier. He slips out of his cloak, tossing it over a chair. He turns to her, then turns away, then paces toward the bed and back again, hands running through his hair as he searches for the words to say.

If she didn't love him so damn much there is no way in hell she would have done this. It was perhaps the longest 5 minutes of Ria's life waiting for the woman to give her the room key. In that time, she avoided everyone's gaze thoroughly as she fidgeted and pulled the high fur-lined collar of her jacket over her cheeks so as to hide her blushing. All of this while the room clock ticked slowly on. As soon as she got it (with a knowing smile from the woman's face nonetheless), she jetted to their room immediately, trying to avoid being seen by anyone who may know her family.

Being inside the room though does certainly put Ria a bit at ease, but a different tension arises instead. And with some anxiety, she pulls off her jacket and hat to hand it very neatly on a hook behind the door. With great care, she straightens out the skirt of the red dress she wore, after all she hasn't seen her boyfriend in a while. She wanted to look good. But now she's paused awkwardly in the corner unsure of where to sit and peering at Lucian expectantly to say something.

Lucian finally stops pacing, though his rising anxiety hasn't lessened at all. He stares at her over the seemingly vast few feet between them, his eyes empty. "Ria…I killed a man." The words drops like lead, and the ensuing silence from him gathers like a dark cloud.

Ria runs a hand to smooth over her hair. She can't sit on the bed. That's odd. The chair. Okay maybe the chair but then she'll have to squeeze past him and they'll be awfully close. It seems like her mind seems to be momentarily on other things as she eyes the chair. It had forgotten the matter at hand until he looks at her, and for mere seconds their eyes meet before he lays the news on her. Huh? Ria blinks once, unsure if she heard correctly, those hazel-green eyes wide a jaw dropping ever so slightly. "Wh…you what?" she asks again. That's it. She's sure must have heard wrong and with a slight half smile she says, "You're kidding me, Luc. Come now, tell me what's really going on."

Lucian shakes his head, his face grave and stony. "I'm not kidding. I killed someone. The most powerful Severing Charm I've ever done. It…" He sighs. "There were these Dark wizards…did you read about the attack on the 20th?"

Ria's mouth opens to say more only to shut itself once again as she mulls over what to make of this. It's all too intense to believe. Then Lucian mentions reports of the attack and instantly she gasps, covering her mouth with her polished fingers. "Oh Merlin!" she exclaims in a shouted whisper, "That was you?!" The soles of her feet tap against the hardwood floor when she rushes forward to place a hand on each of his shoulders. "Oh but how?! What happened?! Are you hurt?! Were you hurt?!" Ria almost seems a bit panicked, hands rotating him left and right checking his face and what not for any signs of damage like the worried worried girlfriend she is.

It takes a few tries to gather up her hands in his to try to settle her. "I'm fine, Ria. Really." Physically, anyhow. "After that Fiendfyre snake appeared, these wizards came out of the forest. I was already in the air on Dragon…my hippogriff. So we charged them, Dragon and I. He tore them up pretty good. But…then Kriegbruder Apparated in, and he took Josie Davies. That little Gryffindor Firstie I've been tutoring." He scowls sharply as the memories replay in his mind. "So…Auror Bates and I went to London. He knew where to find her. The whole thing was to lure him close, I think. But…they didn't realize I'd come with him. He hid me with a Disillusionment Charm. We were in this warehouse, fighting…and this wizard came up behind us. He realized I was there when he saw my shields. I held him off…for a while…but he was going to break through." There is no horror, no trembling like when he faced the Goblet of Fire. Recalling this, his voice is calm, even cold. "He only gave me a half-second opening, and I took it. Severing Charm. I cut his head off."

A few tries indeed! For Ria was frantically on a search for any marks of malice on the boy's body, jaw stiffening while the knot between her brows grows tighter and tighter. It's only when Lucian manages to gather her hands together that she stops and listens with her eyes looking directly into his. Her shoulders heave slightly up and down making it evident that she's trying to calm her breathing as she listens. But the increasing danger in his tale only makes her bite her lip. Even after he finishes, Ria says nothing. Her gaze searches his face, finding now trace of anxiety in his, which at least makes her feel a bit of relief to see him calm. But her eyes gain a glassy wet look to them when she says quietly, "Were you scared?"

Lucian blinks with a bit of surprise. He hadn't expected that question, or hadn't considered it. But he shakes his head, "No…not really. I didn't want to die, but…it wasn't fear that made me do it. He was…he'd have killed us both, and then we'd never get Davies back." He frowns, squeezing her hands. "No…that's not really true. There was one moment…I was afraid…that I wouldn't see you again."

At that, the corners of Ria's mouth crinkle again as they always do into their concerned frown. There's really nothing. Nothing at all she can say to that. In fact, her brain is so mashed up by all this frightening information that it only has the power to react. And her face scrunches up and contorts as if she's trying to contain herself, only to fail then tears spill out of eyes and over her cheeks. "Oh Luc, I don't even want to entertain a thought like that…," she lets out a stifled sob as she just stands there in front of him crying, hands squeezed within his.

Lucian clings to her fingers, his face tightening at the sight of her crying. It's a lot to pile on her all at once, so it's hard to konw what she is reacting to. "Are you afraid? Of me?" He braces himself, trusting and praying that she isn't, but terrified that she's barely keeping herself here.

In the midst of muted sobs and sniffles, Ria shakes her head, still unable to control her tears despite her efforts to control all the other symptoms. "No, of course not!" she practically cries out in a weeping groan, as if he was ridiculous for even suggesting such a thought. "I'm more afraid of losing you!" The statement alone is enough to break her into a fit of silent sobs, her shoulders bobbing as she looks guiltily down at the floor. "I should have come immediately. What was I thinking? I'm so sorry."

Lucian pulls her, a little roughly, into a hug. "You didn't know. I don't care. I'm just glad you're here now." He sounds out a long, laborious sigh, as if he'd been holding his breath for about a week. "I don't even know who I am anymore, Ria. I should feel horrible for taking a life. But I don't. Not like that." He lowers his eyes, as if in shame, but he tries to catch hers, to see her reaction.

Ria steps forward when pulled, instinctively just burying her face into his chest, not even paying any mind to how silly or pathetic she may look or even that her makeup was probably all smudged and soggy with traces probably on his shirt now. But something about Lucian's scent and warmth makes her heaving shoulders subside into slow rises and falls and she wraps her arms around him for comfort. He's right. He is here now. That's what matters. Chin rising to look up at him with a pair of red eyes and rosy nose from crying she frowns, "Don't. Don't you ever feel horrible for that. It was absolutely necessary, and had anything - and I means anything happened to you, I myself would have made sure that man was dead." Her eyes narrow up at Lucian. While threats aren't much come coming from a 17-year-old girl, there's something sincerely venomous and almost murderous in her face when she says it. And the way she pulls him tighter against her protectively only solidifies her words.

Lucian dives into her eyes, latching onto that passion there. He nods soberly to her words, "I believe you. I'd kill again if it meant protecting you. Without question." It is an odd mixture of dark promises of death, and deeply passionate proclamations of love. He dips his face to claim her lips, as if sealing a pact between them.

With all these threats and talk of attacks and being attacks, Ria's blood boils beneath it all. The furious rage against whoever the hell could have even raised a hand against Lucian still lingers angrily within her. And her eyes wander his face ardently and yet also defensively until they stop on his mouth. It's like he read her mind with that kiss, her head hanging back a bit from the intensity of it all, but she responds with equal passion as if making a promise. But her hands cup each of his cheeks, showing that she's purely enjoying his presence and taking in the fact that he was still there in front of her for her to touch and hold.

Lucian responds almost immediately to her hands on his cheeks. He curls his arms to arch her back against him, and turns his head, deepening the kiss. There is a need there, to feel her, to hold her possessively, to convey his love wordlessly. The days without her had been an eternity of self-doubt and inner turmoil. Her presence now is opening the floodgates for all of that tension to pour out of him.

Ria easily exhales the second she's pulled in closer, standing now on the tips of her toes to reply eagerly. The fingers on his face only want to bring and feel him nearer, and she moves a hand around to nape of his neck. Oh her poor Lucian! How could she not have seen him sooner? A hand wraps around to his strong back as she grips onto him with all her guilt mixed in with all her relief, and she rubs hit up and down his back comfortingly to let him know she's there for him. Parting the kiss for the briefest of moments, she asks in a whisper, "Is everything okay now? Are you still in danger?"

Lucian chases her lips for a moment, until he realizes she wants to speak. He shakes his head, just slightly. "No. They're all dead, or in Azkaban. They weren't after me, anyhow. I doubt they even had a clue who I was." He drops a few kisses on the corners of her mouth. "I love you so much. Most girls…I think they'd have run away screaming. But not you."

"Okay," Ria says breathily after sighing in relief. Her hand still rubs at his back affectionately though at this point she's unsure if she's doing it for his comfort or for hers. "I'm just happy to have you here, you know? All this is a lot to take in and it makes me feel like if I let you at any second you could slip away," she presses her forehead against his, "So no. I wouldn't run away. Not from someone I care for this much." She shakes her head, looking up at him before closing her eyes to stand on her toes once more. Her fingers grip a bit tighter into his back and she whispers against his lips, "Just promise that you'll keep yourself safe for the rest of this holiday, and come back in one piece come January." She lingers so close to his face, it's as if she doesn't want to wait to hear his answer only desiring to be kissed by him more.

Lucian nods as if in a daze, his lips brushing hers. "I promise." But before he grants her the kiss, he adds, "Hey…come back with me. Come stay at the farm for a while. I want you to meet the hippogriffs and Camilla." He keeps his face just a hair breadth from hers, as if trying to tease the answer out of her.

Ria leans forward to claim the kiss, only to have him speak more and she presses her lips together only looking slightly put off by the delay. She blinks however and tilts her head, "Hippogriffs?" Again her mouth crinkles into a half frown. "But…I'm not dressed to handle hippogriffs right now," she says with a bit of worry looking down at her red dress. She got all prettied up to see her boyfriend, not some winged creatures!

Lucian lifts a hand to her face to stroke his fingers down her hairline, then cup her cheek. "Please?" He obliges her, at least a little, with a soft kiss before continuing. "This might be my life now, Ria. I want you to experience it. Especially before…" He frowns, "Before my father comes and ruins it all."

Ugh, she already said she'd kill for him! Isn't that enough to give her a free pass on handling animals at the moment? Ria will admit however, that his touch is rather convincing and closing her eyes and nuzzles her cheek against his hand. "Hmm well…I suppose I could if Camilla wouldn't mind lending me a set of clothes," she sighs, continuing to nuzzle. "I could just transfigure them to size the best I can." But she opens her eyes at the mention of Papa Proudmore. "Your father? Is he…taking actions against the arrangement?"

Lucian smiles when she entertains the idea. It's a weak smile, but the first in a long while. But it fades immediately when the conversation turns back to his father. "She took the hippogriffs from him. He's not going to let that slide. He takes these things personally, and he's got the influence at the Ministry to make life very hard for her. She thinks her boss will protect her, but she just doesn't get how this works. Money talks, and my father is swimming in it."

Ria scoffs at the idea adding it with a frown and a shaking of her head to solidify her disapproval for the situation. "He was treating them poorly. Terribly poorly. There are anti-cruelty laws for magical creatures in place to protect them. Isn't there some physical evidence on them to show what bad condition they were in while you were away at school?" she rambles on sounding very much like a bitchy barrister stating her case in front of a judge. "If you have proof, not even money could talk over that."

Lucian sighs, leaning his forehead against hers. "I wish that were true. But judges can be bought. So can witnesses, barristers…he's done this sort of thing before." He shakes his head, "It's not over yet. But I need to convince Camilla that she's not ready to handle him. She's going to need help…I just don't know what."

Ria sighs, the weight of her head balancing out against the weight of his. "I wish I could … do something. I'd ask my father only he wouldn't stand against Actaeon Proudmore over a topic that he isn't too passionate about," she continues to think over any possible plans of action. Her hand rises to cup his cheeks once more and bringing her face close to reassure him she says, "The best thing we can do is keep positive, okay? If I can think of anything I will. Only, you'll have to have faith in Camilla for now. It's the most you can do." She looks sorry to give him such open ended advice, but she strokes his cheek softly to show that she means it.

It's no more or less than he had before, but somehow, coming from Ria it all means more. Lucian nods, managing half a smile. "I love you." What more is there to say? He presses his lips again to hers, finally giving her that kiss — that real kiss — that she wanted. Something about the feel of her lips makes it all feel like it will be alright…for now.

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