Imogen Lyra Malfoy-Granger leaned on the wooden rail of the stands and watched the Slytherin Quidditch team with a bit of a dreamy sigh. It wasn't that she cared about flying. Flying skills impressed her not at all. What she was watching was Paxton. One year above her in Slytherin, the quintessential bad boy and destined to be the father of her children, though he didn't know it yet. She knew he was a cliche with his dark eyes and dark hair and she didn't even care. He sat on his broom and yelled across the pitch at another player and she stared at how perfect he was and tried not to be too obvious about it.
Fortunately for her, every other girl lined up on the railing had eyes for the same thing, and none of them spared her a glance. Her ambitions regarding Paxton were not exactly unique.
"He's so good," one girl said with a breathy catch to her voice. "He'll be captain next year, I bet, even though he'll only be a fifth year."
Lyra nodded but didn't look away as the game ended and the Slytherin Chaser settled the ground. He shook his head and pushed his dark hair out of his eyes as he grinned at one of his fathers.
If Paxton looked good in his uniform, he looked even better when he flung himself down into the chairs in their common room and sucked on a quill as he worked on homework. He liked tight Muggle t-shirts and combat boots and she was thirteen years old, in her third year at Hogwarts, and not a child, so she knew things. She knew what she looked at and what she looked at was fine.
What she looked at also had no idea she existed and it wasn't fair. She was thirteen. THIRTEEN! She was practically an adult, and she knew she was in love, and this was the love that would last forever and ever, and that they were meant to be and they'd have a dozen babies and it would be amazing. He just had to, you know, notice she was alive.
Her parents had met at Hogwarts, after all. And Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny had too. Everyone met the love of their life at Hogwarts. It was practically a rule.
Not that she liked rules that much, but that was not the point. The point was she and Paxton Wood were meant to be together and all she had to do was get him to realize it.
"Paxton." She could hear his father even from where she stood. The wind must be carrying their voices just right and she strained to eavesdrop. "Good game, but if you don't watch yourself out there, you'll break your hand, and then what?"
"Dad," Paxton hissed. "Shut up. No one knows about that."
"If you can't play, your father will have my head," Marcus Flint said. "Just… be careful, okay? I'd hate for all your hard work to be ruined because a bludger got you."
The wind shifted, and Lyra couldn't hear what he said to that. Paxton, as usual, didn't notice her smiling at him in the Common Room, and didn't notice her smiling at him on the train, and then she was home for the winter holiday and slouched in front of her favorite dinner as her parents tried to ask questions about school and classes and she answered in monosyllables and she knew it was rude but she didn't care. She wouldn't see Paxton for the whole holiday, and he didn't know she was alive, and everything was horrible.
"Lyra," her father said as he tucked her in that night and brushed her hair off her face. "If something's bothering you, you can tell me."
It wasn't as if he would understand because adults didn't know anything, but she scowled and said, "He hates me."
"Who hates you?" Draco Malfoy's voice got dangerously quiet but she didn't notice.
"Paxton Wood," she said. "He's perfect and smart and good at Quidditch and he hates me. He smiled at that stupid Posy and he borrowed a quill from Muriel, and he sat with Cassie and that horrible Rosetta on the train, but he's never even said hullo to me." She sniffled and then she was crying and her father sat with the stiff posture he got when he had no idea what to do.
"Paxton Wood," he said slowly as he placed the boy she met. "Marcus' son?"
She nodded and took the handkerchief he handed her to blow her nose. "And he's going to play some game over the holiday, and his father was all worried he'd break his hand or something, which doesn't even make sense, and I can't even go!" she wailed.
Her father, for some reason, began to laugh. "I think I can get you tickets," he said. "But, if I remember what Marcus said the last time we met, it's not Quidditch you'll be seeing."
She sniffled again. "What is it?"
"How do you feel about classical piano?" her father asked.
. . . . . . . . . .
A/N - A Lyra Imogen ficlet for ktbeh. Happy very early birthday!