(1938-11-07) A New Man
Details for A New Man
Summary: Lucian shows Ria how he's trying to be a better man and focus on the future. Also, there is canoodling.
Date: 7 November, 1938
Location: Hogwarts Library
Related: Striking the Pacifist

Sometime in between her classes, Ria has settled herself into a comfy corner, isolated by tall shelves just how she liked it. The table in that corner is solely occupied by her and her parchment though at the moment she's standing before one shelf, pulling a book off from it and having a look see. Though occasionally her eyes flicker over to the restricted section. In the quiet, still environment, Ria hears two voices speak from the other side. "They were just talking all the sudden and then he just kissed her! Delphina said she saw it herself," the girl says low enough for library standards, loud enough to be heard through the shelf. Ria frowns. Already? It was hardly a day ago. She sighs, this is not going to fair well with him. But seeing as she's got work to do, the Slytherin girl figures she'll address it later whenever she sees him next, and resolves instead to go on with scanning the book in her hands.

"Don't you girls have somewhere else to gossip?" Irritation can be heard in the familiar voice of a young man.

The girls burst into muted giggles, scarcely containing their wicked mirth. "He doesn't know!" One of them hisses in conspiratorial delight. "Well, I'm not going to be the one to tell him." Their snickers soon fade away as they move off to elsewhere in the massive library.

Intently, Ria's green eyes scan the page - left, right, left, right, until his voice emerges. "Shit," she mostly mouths to herself, and the book shuts with a slap. Inhale, exhale. Come on Sykes, you practiced a couple lines to yourself just the other day. Were those girls right? Did he really not know? Her mouth makes a straight line before putting the book back to its proper place. And once she's ensured the girls were gone, Ria steps around to the other side of the shelf. "Proudmore," she greets him casually. She hasn't called him that in a while. Not since before they were dating at least.

Lucian is just standing in the aisle, searching book titles, when Ria appears and addresses him. He flinches, startled. "Hades, Ria. Don't sneak up like that." Glancing behind him to make sure the girls are well and truly gone, he gives her a warm smile, keeping his voice low. "We're alone."

Ria's eyebrows almost raise. He really didn't know, look at that pathetically warm smile on his face! She can't help but snicker back, it's been a while since they've not tried to tear each other apart. Leaning against the shelves she nods and replies, "We are." And this is why she loves the library. Ria's tempted to tell him then and there, but the moment is far to calm and sweet to ruin it just yet. She'll hold off for the time being. Taking a few steps forward down the aisle of books, she asks, "What're you up to?"

Lucian looks back to the row of books he was examining, and spots the one he'd been about to pull out. He shows it off to her: Magic At Stake: A History of Witch-Burnings and Other Religious Persecution. "Just some research. That book we got at Bonfire Night was a little light on details, so I'm trying to fill in the blanks. I had no idea the number of witches and wizards executed by Muggles was so high, and that's just the confirmed cases."

Ria blinks at the title of the book and then a warm grin spreads on her face. He's reading a book on witch burning and she couldn't have been more smitten that right in that moment. "That's a good one. Picked it up my first year," she says leaning her head against the shelves looking up at him affectionately. She recommended that book to him a long time ago, but she'd rather not hold it against him now. Now that he was actually considering things. "And yes, people like to think we're in the advantage because of our magical abilities, but leave muggles to their own devices they can be very conniving and deceitful as well. There's still a threat there." With her cheek against the shelf, she gives him a doe-eyed look before saying, "Hey, can I ask you something?"

Lucian flips through the book, shaking his head in astonishment at the various woodcuts of women, and a few men, being burned at the stake. "It's insane. Most of them didn't even do anything." He glances up, and his heart skips a beat seeing her looking at him like that. "Y-yeah, ask me anything."

"Yeup," Ria nods smilingly at his realizations. Though she would like to shake him a bit. Has he not been listening to her for the entire duration of their friendship? It's possible since there were many girls before her in his life. He may have been deafened by their attention, or their larger assets. "Can you kiss me?" she asks simple enough with confidence that they're truly alone.

For a moment, time stops. That simple question sends Lucian's entire world spinning in disbelief. But there she is, the center of the hurricane, smiling at him. His actual hesitation doesn't last more than a second. Casually setting the book aside in an empty space on a shelf, he closes the few feet between them, his hands coming up to cup her face and draw her into the kiss he's wanted to give her for two weeks.

Ria presses her cheek on his hand, and exhales into the kiss, her breath warm and calm. There's a delightfully wonderful familiarity to all of this as if realizing this is what she's been lacking all these month. She prolongs it for a long as possible kissing Luc back until it naturally breaks, and she presses his forehead against his with a smile. "I missed that," she loops some of his hair behind his ear, "Thank you."

Lucian nods, staying close, and even shifting so his larger forming is shielding her from view if anyone should approach behind him. "You don't have to thank me. That's yours whenever you want it." He lets a beat go by. "I love you." He caresses his thumb over her cheek — oh, to feel that soft skin again. "So," he says with a teasing grin. "Is this when you tell me that Shafiq kissed you?"

She's still in a state of bliss until - what? Ria pulls her head back to get a better look at him. "Wait…so you knew?" she pouts, holding each of his shoulders in her hands. "I was convinced you'd find out from me or someone else and start a feline rampage." It sounds like that would worry her, but deep down inside she wouldn't mind if she saw it happen. She sigh and steps back from Lucian with a playful smile and says, "Oh well, I guess that cute act is rather futile now. No need to go on pretending then."

Lucian reaches out to snag her by the forearm and pull her back to him. "Ooooh, no. You're not getting away so easily." He chuckles, his eyes still full of adoration. "I still want you to tell me about it, and I want to know if you want me to step in. From what I heard, he was way out of line."

Ria laughs as she's pulled back in like a tide, perhaps just a tad willingly. And stuck close to him in his hold she wraps her own arms around his waist and nods. "Yes quite out of line, though I've made my point." By doing what she does best, burning shit! "I compensated him for a dance I never got to have with him at the Halloween thing. It was by the lake, we were sitting around with Andromena and Chris. And he pulled some funny moves at first but I thought nothing of it, since everyone knows how he tends to be with girls. Though he was under the impression I was encouraging him."

Lucian blinks, caught a bit by surprise. "By the lake? I'd heard this happened in the Common Room." Lucian furrows his brow with concern, but is remaining uncharacteristically calm at the news of another boy trying to move in on his girl.

"Yes well the following evening we had been talking in the common room, and he tried pulling those funny lines on me again and getting in my face. Of course I didn't think he was serious, and called him out on it until he actually … well you know … did it," Ria explains the gap the story he heard. Reaching around his arm, she places her thumb between his brows to massage his frown out. Don't get mad Lucy, don't get mad.

Lucian takes a deep, steadying breath. The anger is obviously there, but held in check. "That's when the slap came, right? Please tell me the slap was real. I heard it rattled the windows and scared the squid." His arms curl around her in an unconscious possessive gesture, linking behind her back.

Her thumb still continues working at the knot, and Ria can't help but let out a hearty laugh. But she puts a damper on her volume, seeing as they were in the library, by burying her face and laughing into his chest. Her own tiny frame shaking from amusement within his own warm arms. "Is that what everyone's been saying? That's perfect!" she grins and looks up at him. "I wish it would have been so, but I made a stand that should have metaphorically made the same impact, I believe." She nips at the top of Lucian's nose though and says, "In his defense, he apologized to me this morning in a letter. So don't fret over it too much, you promise?"

Lucian nods solemnly, squeezing her affectionately. "I promise. I'm trying to be a new man. You were right, I haven't respected your decisions, and it's not my place to jump all over every little thing in your life. I'm just doing what I can to try to be the big thing in your life. I'm here if you need me, for anything at all. But I promise I won't go punching any more rocks. Not even Alphard's stony skull." He smirks and winks, dipping his face to steal another kiss.

Ria's smile this time is much more subtle, more a curve than toothy. Her polished fingers run along his scalp and comb his hair back, as if scouring uncharted territory. "I believe you and appreciate you and love you," she nods, even giggling at the last bit before being swept away into another kiss. Still smiling, she indulges him with affectionate pecks back. A long, deep one on his lips, traveling along his cheek, gently pulling him closer to land behind his ear where she whispers, "I've got to get back to work now, Luc."

Lucian sighs, but nods, holding on just a bit longer. "Alright. Listen, just one more thing. I have a plan for handling both of our fathers, and I need to talk to you about it. But…it's pretty serious stuff. I'll try to arrange another patrol together soon, so we have more time to talk about it. Until then," and he really lays one on her, leaning her back so he's the only thing holding her up. A kiss to remember him by until next time!

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