(1938-10-13) Just Friends
Details for Just Friends
Summary: Emerson's alone time in the Gryffindor Common Room is invaded by Kimiko and Niko, and the drama following them.
Date: 13 October, 1938
Location: Gryffindor Common Room, Hogwarts
Related: Rain Dance, Duel Declined, After the Challenge

Night has fallen, and dinner has both come and gone. The common room of Gryfindor house was all hustle and bustle until about an hour ago, when most went to their rooms, to sleep or study. Emerson is one of those few who has lingered, with a 5th year charms book set open in his lap as he sits near the fireplace. He doesn't seem to be paying much attention to the book, staring a bit sullenly into the fire instead.

Kimiko emerges from the girls dormitory, clutching her sketchbook to her chest with an exasperated frown on her face. From behind her, a few voices follow — other girls making cat-calls and smoochy sounds, followed by a round of giggles. With a heavy sigh, Kimi flops down on a sofa near the fire.

Niko returns to the commons, wearing his Quidditch gear and carrying his broom, he makes his way over to the armchair and flops down on it. He looks rather beat from the quiet extra Quidditch practice he has just came from, letting out a deep sigh, he says "Sooo tired." he says his with a chuckle.

At first, the cal calls and such escape Emerson, or he just doesn't bother looking over. Afterall, he's not known for partaking in such tomfoolery anyway. Still after a moment his gaze does shift over towards the ne'er-do-wells and he frowns at them. Then Niko enters and Emerson casts a glance towards him, quirking a brow and slipping a small leatherbound book from his robes, pulling the strap that holds it shut off and flips it open musing, "I'm pretty sure I didn't miss a practice today…" he offers quietly.

Kimiko's tormentors quickly retreat back to the girls tower after the Prefect shuts them down. Kimi gives Emerson a grateful smile and pushes herself up to a sitting position. "Thank you. They've been at that for hours." Her eyes flicker to Niko, then quickly shift guiltily away.

"Just getting a little extra practice he says slowly." to Emerson, softly with with a nod "Want to be on point when we start this season." he says slowly with a small nod. Niko turns his gaze towards Kimiko, tilting his head curiously, apparently the gossip hasn't reached him yet, "What was all that about Kimiko?" he asks softly, pushing a bit of amber hair out of his face.

Emerson ahs once and nods at that, glancing down at his small book. He puts the strap back on, and slips it back in his pocket. "Likely something childish." Says the non-adult. A hand is waved at Kimiko, a gesture of acqueissence, "No trouble, comes with the job." and then he looks back to Niko, "I should probably start getting extra practices in too, don't want to make a fool out of myself in my first starting match."

Kimiko grimaces toward Niko. "It's about…well…apparently there's some rumour going around about…um…us." She rolls her eyes dramatically, to make it abundantly clear that she couldn't possibly have any idea where such a rumour might have come from.

Niko looks at Kimiko and smiles warmly, "Ah." he says slowly with a nod, "People will always take friendships out of line, the situation with Douglas this morning, more then likely when I challenge him to a supervised duel, people saw that as me being running to your rescue." he says with a small wave of his hand, "But no I don't want to look bad on the pitch either."

A brow cocked and head canted to the side, Emerson looks a bit confused, "I still hold to it being foolish, but apparently I missed something. What happened this morning?" He glances to Kimiko, adding, "If you don't mind my asking that is."

Kimiko nods in vehement agreement with Niko. "I'm sure that's all it is. Heh…silly girls." It's the shifty eyes that make Kimiko so convincing. Really. "Nothing…nothing happened. Just Macmillan saying awful thing about Muggles and how we are 'real wizards', and Niko quite valiantly challenged him to a supervised duel." Clearly, time to latch onto that subject change. "I can't wait to see you all back out there on the pitch. School is always more fun during Quidditch season." Kimiko has never missed a game, and always arrives brimming with house spirit.

Niko chuckles, "Well he said I wasn't a real wizard so I was glad to show him otherwise." he says slowly with a small shrug, "He declined because he isn't willing to back up his words." he says slowly with a small wave of his hand, the small smile on his face. "Seems maybe people have taken it out of context." he says with a shrug.

Once more an expression of understanding crosses the Prefect's features, "I understand now." he offers with a subdued tone, "Personally I've never had much regard for blood purity. My sister and I are only half-bloods and we managed well enough I think." he looks back to his book now, flipping a page, "So what did this have to do with you, Kimiko?"

Darn. She tried to take the detour toward Quidditch. "Oh…just that I was there when he was saying those awful things, and…well, he upset me and I left. So, Niko was saying that he thinks that people are assuming that since he challenged Douglas, he must have done so because of some romantic notion." Kimiko forces out a laugh. "Which is silly, of course. Because Niko is with Janette Abbott." Her gaze shifts over to the fireplace, where she doesn't have to look anyone in the eye.

Niko nods slowly, "Yeah I think they took it out of context like I said, Kimiko was rather upset, but I didn't challenge him to a duel, specifically over that, it was to make him put his money were his mouth was." he says with a small chuckle, a warm smile on his lips, which gets tugged at slightly when he gives Kimiko a look, before his gaze moves back to Emerson. "Next time I go out for extra practice I will make sure I drag you along." he says with a small chuckle.

There's a moments pause after all is said and done as Emerson considers what they've both said, and finally he just nods, "Sounds like they're just being immature." Even though his scottish accent has mostly faded into generic low-rent London, there are some finer points to the way he says things, like imma-TOUR. What a ponce. "Well I'm glad it was resolved." And then he offers a nod and even a hint of a grin, which is in general not something he wears often, "That'd be great, thanks."

Kimiko returns her attention to the boys, since the attention seems to be shifting away from the topic of the rumours. "So, um…what's new with you, Ramsay?"

Niko just leans back in the Armchair slowly, closing his eyes for a moment, trying to let his mind settle on this rather interesting news he just discovered. He doesn't say anything for now, he needs to get this all figured out in his head, before it really does spiral out of control.

"New? Nothing really." Emerson offers quietly, "Aside from getting picked as Prefect over the summer." But he's such a letter of the law sort that it's no real surprise there. "And getting on to starting string for Quidditch this year." His tone changed there a bt, indicating some nervousness.

Kimiko beams happily at Emerson, suddenly transforming into a ball of sunshine. "Congratulations on both counts. You deserve them. The school needs Prefects like you."

Niko smiles, "We will do fine this season, I think we have the strongest team." he says slowly the warm smile on his face, "And with amazing support from awesome people like Kimiko, how can we let them down?" he says softly, stretching, "I can't wait for our first match." he says a bit of excitement in his voice, "Kimiko won't let me quit to focus on my N.E.W.T.s so she has me under a bit of pressure." he says jokingly.

See, now that causes Emerson to stare at Niko, then at Kimiko. Humor is sometimes lost on the boy. "Why won't you let him study??" he all but exclaims. He doesn't yell, it's late in the commons, but he does look quite stern. How does this kid manage to have any fun?

Kimiko blinks wide-eyed at Emerson. "What? I'm not stopping him from studying. I just don't want him to quit the Quidditch team." She looks to Niko, pleading with her eyes for backup.

Niko smiles warmly at Kimiko, "I was joking about quitting the team the other day with Angelus." he says with a small wave of his hand, "And Kimiko didn't like it, so I have been giving her a hard time about it is all Emerson." he says slowly with a chuckle, "I have plenty of time to study and am getting excellent marks on all my N.E.W.T.s" he says softly with a nod.

There's a moment of realization and Emerson smiles. It's a brief thing, dying out quickly as he looks back to his book, "Sorry Kimiko, I didn't realize he was joking." he pauses a moment, "Glad to hear the studies are going well. Personally, OWLS are stressing me out more than a little bit."

Kimiko gives Emerson a relieved smile, nodding. "I understand. OWLs had me all in knots. Just remember, you've got all year to prepare." But Niko doesn't get off so easy. A couch cushion goes flinging through the air at him. "You were joking? You don't joke about quitting the team! That's just…wrong!" Try as she might to appear angry with him, she can't hide an impish grin peeking out under her narrowed eyes and wrinkled nose.

"Just stay focused when you actually take your O.W.L.s" is all the advice he gives. Niko doesn't even try to dodge the cushion, it hits him square in the face knocking his head back slightly, before his head snaps back down, a playful smile on his face, "Why not? You look so…" he says stops biting his tongue, forcing a smile, "Worried when you… heard." he says with a small nod.

Emerson just shakes his head at the pillow tossing and general playing about. Emerson has never been terribly playful…or childish. Nor does he ever seem to talk about why that is. He just nods to Niko, "Focus I can do." he offers quietly and goes back to skimming over the words on the page.

Kimiko doesn't even have to hear the words Niko bit on his tongue. The notion alone is enough to turn her cheeks bright pink, and oh look, the fireplace is incredibly interesting again. But with Emerson focused on his book, she risks a glimpse over at Niko that the girls upstairs would love to catch her in. "Maybe they're asleep up there now," she mumbles, pondering returning to her bed.

Niko has found his broom, wow this is a very interesting broom, when he notices that Kimiko easily figured out what he was going to say, his hands move over his broom slowly, "Has it really been that bad?" he says looking at Kimiko, the smile fading from his face, "I'm sorry if it is." he says slowly.

There's a moment where Emerson is half looking at the book and half at the two of them. He quirks a brow a bit and shuts the book, "I'm gonna head to sleep you two. Try to keep the gossip worthy material to a minimum." He runs a hand through his hair, then neatly pats it back into place, taking his book and getting up out of his seat.

Kimiko rises along with Emerson, shuffling toward the stairs to the girls dormitory. "Hey, nothing gossip-worthy happening here. We're all fine here. Everything's fine." She nods repeatedly, as if that will do more to convince him.

Niko chuckles softly, "Kimiko and I are just really good friends." he says slowly with a small nod, "You rest well Emerson." he says softly with a small wave.

A nod is offered, and a shrug to go with it, "No business of mine, it'll just give the flocks less to talk about." He offers a wave to Niko and to Kimiko, "Night you two."

Kimiko gives Emerson a little wave, watching him go as she makes her way slowly up the stairs. Once she and Niko are alone, she pauses, smiling down at him. "What did you mean? When you asked if it's really been that bad. Has what been that bad?"

Niko blinks slowly, "The girls…" he says slowly looking right to left, as if thinking about an escape, "What did you think I was talking about?" he asks slowly, running his hand through his hair.

Kimiko shrugs. "I wasn't sure. I thought that might have been it. I just-…it made me wonder if I'm making things too hard for you. I know I keep saying I'll back off, and then…you know. Are we going to be able to do this? To just be friends?"

Niko listens to her, his gazes moves back to his oh so very interesting broom. He doesn't say anything, he just stares at his broom, not thriving well in complex situations, "Do you actually like me or is that I am not obtainable now?" he says slowly, his gaze moving up to Kimiko.

Kimiko sighs and comes down the stairs a bit, seating herself on the bottom step. "I've thought about that, actually. I tried to tell myself that's all it was." She shrugs, looking down at her hands. "Maybe it started that way. But…I think it just opened my eyes to…to how wonderful you are." She peeks up at him with eyes full of fear after such a bold admission.

Niko shakes his head, "I hear that from both you and Janette, how wonderful and how perfect I am." he says slowly in not more then a whisper, "I am just Niko." he says slowly with a sigh, "I don't know if we can be more then friends, I don't know if we can be just friends." he says softly, "You are absolutely amazing, a very lovely, beautiful person." he says softly, "Janette is just as amazing, lovely and beautiful." he says softly, "Both so different and both those things for very different reasons…"

Kimiko can't help a little wince at the mention of Janette. It would be so much easier if she could hate the Slytherin girl. "I don't think you're perfect," she says with a wry smirk. "Perfect would be scary. But you're kind, and intelligent, and you stand for what you believe in." She stands up, but somehow looks smaller. "I just wish I'd had my chance…is all. I'm trying to be just a good friend, but…I can't stop feeling the way I feel. So I don't know what to do, Niko."

Niko sighs softly, "Well thanking you for not thinking I am perfect, that is a very large word to live up to." he says sloiwly with a nod, "I am just Niko." he says slowly with a nod, "And I wish you had a chance too, I really like you Kimiko…" he says slowly, "I can't stop feeling something towards you either, I have no idea what to do." he says standing up shaking his head, "Because I like you both for very different reasons." he says slowly with a sigh.

"You know, this would have been easier if you'd said you didn't feel that way about me." Kimiko gives a humourless chuckle, shoulders slumping. But she gathers herself up, taking a deep breath. "But…we are Gryffindors. We know what the right thing to do is. Or rather…we know what we mustn't do…right?"

Niko smiles softly at Kimiko, "Exactly, though I don't want to loose you as a friend, we may just have to deal with the awkward tensions." he says slowly, "And I will have to be honest with Janette, that there may be some accidental slips of flirtation. Because we fail to be keep that from happening." he says with a small nod.

Kimiko fidgets nervously with the hem of her sleeve. "Do you really think we can do that? I'm not so sure that I can." She tries desperately to keep the tears from coming, and while she doesn't outright sob, there is a glistening in her eyes speaking of the tumultuous emotions being held back. "This isn't getting any easier," she says, wringing her hands. "I want those girls to be right. Every time we're around one another, I want you to hold me and…" There she finally bites her tongue.

Niko closes his eyes for a moment, his mind racing back to how this all started in the Great Hall, how it has just escalated, every moment he has been around Kimiko. He lets out a small sigh, as certain words she says continues to echo in his mind, 'to be right' and 'you to hold me' are the two phrases that seem to echo the most, his mind moves to her in the rain, her face in the rain, her dancing. Finally he opens his eyes, reaching down he picks up broom and just starts to head towards, the boys Dorms. "Goodnight Kimiko, I will see you tomorrow." he says slowly, his tone as soft as ever, though a small tear forming in his eye can be seen, as he walks.

Kimiko is frozen in place, unable to move or speak due to a thousand conflicting impulses racing through her mind. Let him go. Go after him. He isn't yours. He should be. You will shame yourself. You will regret your actions. Finally, when he's almost out of sight, she whispers, "Good night."

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