By: Provocative Envy
It all starts at Draco Malfoy's annual Christmas Eve poker game.
That's when Vince and Greg get wicked fucking food poisoning from the sketchy Thai food they'd brought over, at least.
(05:33 am) ur still coming right
(05:34 am) i guess
(05:34 am) even though its gonna suck
(05:34 am) nah
(05:35 am) malfoy might be lamer than usual
(05:35 am) but watching pansy and potter argue is a thing of beauty
(05:35 am) its like they choreograph that shit
(05:36 am) not what i meant
(05:36 am) still need a ride to the airport?
(05:37 am) im leaving in like an hour
(05:37 am) yeah
(05:38 am) u know we're not going to all pair off and ditch u right
(05:38 am) this is like bro-cation part two
(05:38 am) just with more snow
(05:38 am) and less terrible hipster beer
(05:39 am) and ur all bringing ur girlfriends
(05:39 am) and im going to be alone
(05:40 am) even pucey and warrington are bringing girls
(05:40 am) to make each other jealous
(05:40 am) !
(05:41 am) which is going to backfire horribly
(05:42 am) hope im drunk when it happens
(05:42 am) man will that be fucking epic
(05:43 am) yeah
(05:49 am) was the cabin reserved under ur name or gregs
(05:55 am) mine
(05:56 am) sweet
(05:57 am) so
(05:57 am) how long do u think it'll take daphne and granger to get into another catfight
(06:00 am) on the plane
(06:01 am) or
(06:10 am) depends how long daphne holds out on calling hermione the librarian
(06:10 am) and if draco laughs again when she finally does
(06:11 am) hella accurate
(06:12 am) hey bro
(06:13 am) can u pack extra toothpaste for me
(06:14 am) wtf
(06:14 am) theo
(06:15 am) idk
(06:15 am) im out
(06:15 am) i fucking hate buying toothpaste
(06:16 am) theres like
(06:16 am) too many to choose from
(06:17 am) like how many flavors of mint can there actually be
(06:17 am) spearmint
(06:18 am) cinnamint
(06:18 am) glacier freeze
(06:18 am) or some shit
(06:20 am) hermiones parents are dentists
(06:20 am) she tells me and draco what to buy
(06:21 am) and that last one is a gatorade flavor
(06:22 am) jesus christ
(06:22 am) how often do u hang out with them
(06:24 am) ?
(06:25 am) shes nice
(06:25 am) and smart
(06:25 am) and draco likes basketball
(06:26 am) finally figured that out did u
(06:26 am) yeah
(06:28 am) hey
(06:28 am) true or false
(06:29 am) malfoy picks all his beer based on how ironic the label art is
(06:29 am) lolllllll
(06:30 am) true
Warrington's fake girlfriend is named Luna Lovegood.
She shows up with a green corduroy duffle bag and a travel mug of weird herbal tea that smells like horseradish and Marcus furrows his brow when they're all standing at the airline check-in desk because she isn't really anything like what he'd been expecting from a guy like Warrington, even if the relationship isn't actually real.
Like—she's fucking tiny, practically pocket-sized, and she's younger than Warrington by a good four or five years, minimum, and she's got her long blonde hair twisted into a messy knot on top of her head with what looks like an unsharpened yellow pencil and a lone plastic chopstick stabbed right through the middle—and fuck if Marcus isn't kind of morbidly curious about what security is going to say about that—except she's also got these wide blue eyes that remind him of shit like watercolor paintings and clear summer skies, and she has this dreamy, super serene smile that makes him think of lazy Sunday afternoons and fairytales and maybe those elves from the Lord of the Rings movies, and she's pretty cute, he supposes, but there's a brightness to her, an innocent kind of…effervescence, that doesn't belong anywhere near Cassius Warrington's sharp edges and grey morality and particularly grating brand of asshole behavior.
"Think he found her on Craigslist?" Theo mutters, slapping his boarding pass against the flat of his palm. "No, wait—ten bucks she's a…sophomore? No, a freshman—a freshman at Brown. Yeah. Definitely Brown. Declaring a major there is like going to a fucking Build-A-Bear, man, I swear—"
Marcus scratches at the scruff on his chin and watches, transfixed, as the girl—Luna—says something to Hermione that causes Draco to choke on his stupid preppy caramel latte and thump his fist against his chest while Hermione just, like, gapes at Luna with an expression on her face that Marcus can only really describe as horrified fascination—and Potter's next to her, chortling into his Styrofoam cup of cheap gas station coffee while Pansy yawns into the curve of his shoulder, and Daphne and Blaise are lip-locked and grinding their hips together against the blue-tiled wall adjacent to the men's bathroom door, and Warrington and Pucey are having a heated whisper-argument over by the ATMs, and—
"Where the fuck is Pucey's fake girlfriend, though?" Theo asks, looking intrigued.
He wonders what the girl—Luna—had said to Hermione.
He wonders if it had even been that outrageous.
He wonders if her feelings had been hurt by Draco's customary (over)reaction.
He wonders how Warrington had coerced her into coming on the trip.
He wonders if she really is a freshman at Brown.
(12:33 pm) that was the worst four hours of my life
(12:33 pm) holy fucking shit
(12:34 pm) you slept most of the flight
(12:34 pm) ?
(12:34 pm) that tension though
(12:35 pm) yeah
(12:35 pm) hella rough
(12:35 pm) its weird that the girl pucey tried to bring used to know pansy and daphne
(12:36 pm) fucking small world bro
(12:38 pm) do you know what pansy did to her
(12:38 pm) that was so awful she legit ran away when she saw her at the airport
(12:40 pm) uh
(12:40 pm) haha
(12:40 pm) yeah
(12:41 pm) sort of
(12:41 pm) it was a long time ago
(12:41 pm) ?
(12:42 pm) remember when daph was dating that irish kid
(12:42 pm) the diplomats son?
(12:42 pm) finnegan
(12:43 pm) daphne dated him?
(12:43 pm) yeah
(12:43 pm) seamus
(12:44 pm) total fucking douche
(12:44 pm) drove a mustang
(12:44 pm) thought because he had an accent he was some kind of sex god
(12:44 pm) literally
(12:44 pm) that's the phrase he used
(12:44 pm) such a douche
(12:44 pm) anyway
(12:44 pm) wait
(12:45 pm) didnt he just get engaged to a guy
(12:45 pm) i think we're facebook friends
(12:45 pm) yeah he came out last year
(12:46 pm) i don't understand
(12:46 pm) what does he have to do with pansy and that girl at the airport
(12:47 pm) well
(12:47 pm) daphne was dating finnegan right
(12:48 pm) why don't i remember this
(12:48 pm) uh
(12:48 pm) this was the semester u were in juvie
(12:49 pm) oh
(12:49 pm) yeah
(12:50 pm) so
(12:50 pm) finnegan cheated on daphne with airport girl
(12:50 pm) lavender?
(12:50 pm) i think that was her name
(12:51 pm) yeah
(12:51 pm) lavender brown
(12:51 pm) it was like every terrible 90s porn cliché ever
(12:52 pm) a locker room blow job during lunch
(12:52 pm) she even had her hair in pigtails i think
(12:52 pm) shit
(12:52 pm) lol
(12:52 pm) right
(12:52 pm) like
(12:52 pm) wicked unsanitary
(12:53 pm) anyway they got caught
(12:53 pm) typical rumor mill bullshit tried to make it like it was daphne's fault for not putting out
(12:53 pm) and
(12:53 pm) pansy went postal
(12:53 pm) like
(12:54 pm) how postal
(12:55 pm) hella postal
(12:55 pm) just
(12:55 pm) HELLA
(12:56 pm) oh
(12:56 pm) sometimes im glad shes with potter
(12:57 pm) and not me
(12:58 pm) i feel that
The first words that Marcus actually speaks to Luna Lovegood are about their sleeping arrangements.
"You can take it, if you want," he says, awkwardly shuffling his feet as they both stand in the doorway of the only downstairs bedroom in the cabin; he'd planned on claiming it so that he wouldn't have to listen to all his coupled-off best friends enthusiastically bone for the next two weeks, but he feels a little guilty at the thought of leaving Luna to deal with those assholes by herself. "I can just grab the room next to Potter and Pansy. It isn't a problem. He's still scared of me."
Luna studies him for an uncomfortably long moment. She has to tilt her head back to meet his eyes, and he instinctively hunches forward, crossing and uncrossing his arms over his abdomen as he tries to make himself seem smaller, less intimidating—because he knows what he looks like, especially to strangers, especially to girls, knows that his shoulders are too broad and his muscles are too obvious and his face is too mean—
Luna suddenly offers him a really fucking brilliant smile.
And his throat just—
"That's very kind of you, Marcus," she says, and he thinks that he might actually be losing his goddamn mind because her voice is light and airy and musical and the only thing he can come up with to compare it to is a fucking cloud—which is crazy. He's crazy. Voices aren't clouds. Clouds aren't voices. Clouds are…clouds. They float and they're filled with rain and they cover up the sun. Luna's voice isn't like that all. Luna's voice might as well be the sun. "—could share, though, the bed is fairly large—much bigger than the bed in my dorm, certainly, and I've shared that with plenty of people."
He blinks. And then, just to be sure he isn't hallucinating, he blinks again.
Her smile doesn't falter.
"The bed," she replies easily. "I'm perfectly fine with sharing it. You're quite enormous, of course, but I'm a very competent sleeper."
He opens his mouth.
She skips—legitimately fucking skips—into the room, tossing her bag onto the floral-print armchair by the window.
He closes his mouth.
"What?" he says again, tone plaintive.
She bends over at the waist to touch her toes, arms loose, and he tries to force himself to not look—she's wearing those skin-tight black cotton legging things that Pansy and Daphne have so many pairs of and holy fucking shit do they leave absolutely fucking nothing to the imagination—but he can't quite tear his gaze away.
"I'm a very competent sleeper," she repeats, arching her back as she straightens her spine. She reaches to unzip her bag. "My circadian rhythm is almost impossible to interrupt—Daddy says it's because my hypothalamus is particularly well-maintained. In fact, if it wasn't necessary for me to be on the ground floor, I would have no trouble sleeping upstairs, even with the peculiar oversaturation of amorous couples."
Marcus squints at her as she holds up something that looks like a security camera.
"Why—why is it necessary for you to be on the ground floor?" he asks, unable to really process anything else that she'd just said.
"Because my research indicates that this is where the haunting is," she answers, tangling a long black cord around the fine bones of her wrist. "Could you mount this for me, Marcus? You're tall enough that I doubt you'll require any assistance."
He chokes on his own saliva.
"I don't—mount—mount what? What are you—what haunting?" he half-whispers.
"My thermal camera," she says blithely. "I need it mounted in the corner there—it's very important that I capture as many overnight images as I can, and based on the irregular shape of the room, that is, mathematically speaking, an ideal vantage point. Here. Could you?"
He automatically walks over to her, taking the camera and the accompanying hardware.
"I can't—I need a drill," he says dumbly.
She frowns, then brightens, then pulls a cordless power drill out of the depths of her bag.
"Daddy packed this for me," she informs him. "He also gave me condoms. He's very thoughtful."
Marcus's hindbrain zeros in the part of that statement that means Luna has condoms and it isn't really a stretch to start thinking about the various scenarios in which Luna might, like, need a condom—to use with him, maybe—and she'd be naked—so naked—
He clears his throat and fits a screw into the base of the camera.
"Um—you said—there's a haunting?" he asks, helplessly.
"Yes, this is a historic landmark in certain circles—" What the fuck? "—and a series of very gristly murders occurred in this bedroom—or the site of the original kitchen, the reports are vague—around fifty-four years ago. Several sources confirm the presence of a spiritual entity, and I'm here to fact-check the aura of the building—" What does that even mean? "—before Daddy's producer files for the filming permits."
He lines up another screw.
"That's…cool. So, like—ghost hunting? That's what this is?"
"We don't use that term, but I understand that it's a common colloquialism. A lot of Daddy's fans call it that, too."
Marcus swivels the camera around to make sure he'd installed it correctly.
"Done, I think," he says, glancing down at her; she's toying with one of her earrings—he thinks it might be a dangling gemstone radish—and chewing on her bottom lip. His stomach clenches at the sight. "So…um…how do you know Cassius?"
She raises her eyebrows.
"Cassie? Oh, our mothers were in Junior League together. Of course, that was before they both died, but—"
"Cassie?" he echoes.
"He's not really a Cassius, is he?" Luna muses.
"Uh, well, technically…he is, though? Not that you're wrong!" he hastens to add. "It's just—um—Cassius is…his name? Legally?"
She giggles, like Marcus has said something incredibly funny.
He doesn't understand what's happening.
"But it doesn't match his personality at all," she says. "It's so masculine."
Marcus stares. He doesn't think she's being sarcastic, which is...new. And a little refreshing, honestly, because between Pansy and Draco and even Potter now that he's around a lot—the amount of snarky bullshit that Marcus has to wade through to get to whatever the fuck they're actually trying to say—it can be overwhelming.
"Cassie, then," he finally manages to reply. "Yeah. Cassie. I see it."
She beams up at him, and his chest swells with something unfamiliar and explosive and really, really fucking warm.
"You do see, don't you?"
He ducks his head to hide the flush he can feel creeping into his cheeks.
He doesn't think she's talking about Warrington's name.
(02:21 am) so
(02:21 am) warrington and pucey aren't fighting anymore
(02:22 am) if u
(02:22 am) uh
(02:22 am) catch what im throwing
(02:22 am) pun intended
(02:23 am) ha
(02:23 am) pun fucking HELLA intended
(02:24 am) anyway
(02:25 am) warrington said he promised he'd take blondie to some diner in ketchum tomorrow
(02:26 am) that supposedly has a fucking jackalope head on the wall
(02:26 am) or some shit
(02:26 am) idk
(02:27 am) will u do it
(02:27 am) take her i mean
(02:30 am) maybe for breakfast or whatever
(02:36 am) slopes are open till 2
(02:45 am) so
(02:52 am) ?
(02:54 am) u awake
(02:55 am) yeah
(02:55 am) im here
(02:56 am) sure
(02:56 am) i'll take her
(02:57 am) sorry bro
(02:57 am) we'd all go but
(02:58 am) granger told daph and pansy what trans fats were
(02:59 am) and partially hydrogenated soybean oil
(03:00 am) and msg
(03:01 am) ?
(03:01 am) whatever
(03:02 am) and now theyre basically swearing off anything that hippies haven't hand made in a fucking treehouse
(03:03 am) yeah
(03:04 am) its fine
(03:05 am) sweet
(03:09 am) hey
(03:10 am) what the fuck is a jackalope
(03:15 am) is it australian
(03:16 am) ?