A/N: This takes place during Show a Little Faith: Chapter 30 - Faithful friends who are dear to us
- Lysander -
The night had started normal. He had no reason to believe anything out of the ordinary would happen. He'd closed up the shop with Fred around four in the afternoon. Rather than staying open for any last minute shoppers, George had always insisted that the holidays were for family. Lysander wasn't complaining about that at all.
He and Fred headed to the party together, excited to test their new product. They'd gotten the idea when it came up that James and Violet had been caught under the mistletoe at the last Christmas party. Violet had made some comment about how she might have seriously considered kissing him if she thought he actually wanted her too, rather than assuming he was just taking the mickey.
Lysander had researched the charms and had come up with a combination that he thought might work for their purposes. There had been a few variations and failed attempts, but they hadn't really been able to test it fully. They came up with a version of enchanted mistletoe that simply appeared whenever two people who were attracted to each other stood together, and had tested it on Lorcan and Roxanne. It had worked perfectly. But if they were going to test something at the Christmas Eve party, they didn't exactly want to give all of the parents and the couples an excuse to snog each other all night. They could still market that one, but they had to come up with something else. Something better.
They threw in physical touch, and then decided that it should be two people who'd never actually kissed before. Fred and Lysander saw it as an opportunity to stir the pot a bit. So he'd charmed half a dozen sprigs of mistletoe that they were hoping would appear whenever two people who had repressed feelings for each other came into physical contact. Lysander even thought that it would continue to pop up whenever those two people were near each other throughout the night, even if they didn't touch each other again. The mistletoe would remember.
It was pretty impressive charm work, if he did say so himself. Fred was ecstatic and couldn't wait to test it out. All they had to do was pull the mistletoe out of its box, tap it with a wand, and say noditium. It would disappear, only to show up at the appropriate time within a fifty yard radius of where the charm was cast.
Once they'd arrived at the party, they'd snuck into Harry's office and performed the charm on the mistletoe. All six now vanished, they returned to the party, anxiously awaiting for one to appear. With all their friends under the same roof, there was no way someone wasn't harboring secret feelings for someone else. Here's hoping there was a case of mutual affection.
"Lysander, dear," called a dreamy voice as they made their way back out to the living room. He made his way towards his mother, who was standing by the fireplace with Fleur.
"I was just telling Fleur about the trip you and your brother took with your father. Tell her about the Graphorns you saw when you were camping in the mountains."
Lysander gave his mother an indulgent smile. "Are you sure Mrs. Weasley wants to hear about all that? It's rather dull."
Luna looked at Fleur expectantly, who seemed slightly uncomfortable with the open look on Luna's face. Fleur gave Lysander a look that told him she was prepared to listen.
"We just saw a few of them from a distance," Lysander explained. "Dad wanted a closer look, but the mountain range was a little too treacherous. We almost had to Confund him to talk him out of it."
He chuckled lightly, and Fleur gave him an amused smile.
"Rolf and I used to be quite the daredevils when we were younger," said Luna in a far off voice. "This one time we jumped into a river and swam across it at night so we could have a better look at a Mooncalf mid dance. They only come out during the full moon, you know."
Luna continued to talk to Fleur, who sipped her wine as she did her best to indulge Luna. Lysander gave Fleur a small smile before slipping away. He adored his mother, but he understood why she was too much to handle for some people. Especially someone as tight laced as Fleur Weasley. He passed Bill, who gave him an amused smile as he made his way to rescue his wife.
Lysander scanned the room and saw Fred greeting the Wood family who had just arrived. Fred shook hands with Oliver, before kissing Katie on the cheek, slapping Caleb on the back, and pulling Eva into a one armed hug.
Damn. Fred would be disappointed. Yep, he was looking above his head. That was shit luck. Lysander was the only person that knew about the secret crush Fred harbored on Eva, as far as he knew. And he was only aware because he was around Fred all the time and had taken a rather educated guess.
He and Fred hadn't actually been able to spend a lot of time with Eva since she'd graduated Hogwarts. She was busy training with the Kenmare Kestrals on their reserve team and wasn't able to floo or apparate too and from the pitch since you had to cross the channel to get there, which meant she had taken up residence in Ireland at their training facility. She'd protkey home every once in a while, but Lysander hadn't seen her since they'd celebrated Dom's birthday in November.
With Eva's absence and Ethan's busy schedule with Auror training, that meant the frequent presence of Dominique Weasley, who was currently only working part time at The Leaky Cauldron. She was close with Roxanne and Violet, and she'd always gotten along well with the boys too. Lysander found he didn't mind the continued presence of another witch, especially one as full of life as Dom. She had an infectious and mischievous energy to her that had landed himself and Fred in a couple of sticky situations over the past few months. He'd never known her to be a troublemaker when they were in school, but he supposed that job was very much taken up by himself and Fred and James. Lysander had heard rumors from Violet that Dom and Eva had actually stepped up in the prank department in order to give Ethan a little bit of trouble as Head Boy.
He saw proof of this himself when Dom had managed to get him and Fred kicked out of Puddlemere's last home match, much to James' displeasure, when she'd charmed bad words to appear on their foreheads whenever they spoke. A few staff members had to remove them when some nearby mothers with young children had lodged a complaint. Dom had found them after the game, laughing hysterically as they'd still been unable to reverse the charm. Being pranksters themselves, they were almost more impressed than anything. It had actually given them an idea for a product for the shop that they were still in the process of testing. They'd taken to consulting her on some other projects a few times since then as well.
They hadn't mentioned the mistletoe, though. He wanted to figure that one out himself. As much as Lysander loved working with Fred and appreciated Dom's help on occasion, he wanted some things to be his own. Even if it was something as simple as enchanted mistletoe. You had to start somewhere, right?
"Anything yet?" Fred asked as he approached him. The party had been going on for about an hour now, and he'd seen nothing. Louis had only seemed to interact with his female cousins all night, although he did talk to Eva at one point. She'd given him a shove in a sister-like fashion, and Ly had breathed a sigh of relief when nothing happened. That could have been disastrous. Dom, Ethan, and Eva had interacted and hugged each other in greeting, but nothing there either. He'd always wondered about that, and was thankful to see they all really were just friends. When Bobby and Lucy bumped into each other while trying to coralle his siblings and nothing happened, he was surprised. Then he'd remembered he'd set the age limit at sixteen, and Lucy wasn't there yet. He wasn't even sure if Bobby was. That also meant Lily wouldn't be affected either.
He was beginning to think it would never happen when they got roped into a conversation with Rose about the products they were developing for the shop.
"We're actually testing some tonight," he'd told her excitedly, trying to stay optimistic, but then James had approached and his attention was drawn to Al and Erin. He'd immediately been disheartened when he saw Erin rest her hand on Al's leg and nothing happened, but then Rose had explained. Another opportunity lost. It was beginning to look like there were no two people in the house who secretly wanted to snog each other.
He felt a hand on his arm, and smiled when he saw Dom standing at his shoulder.
"Have you lot seen Lou?" she asked. Lysander glanced around the room but shook his head when he failed to spot him, the others doing the same. She huffed and let go of his arm, turning to go.
"Wait! You can't leave!"
Everyone looked at Fred like he'd lost it. His eyes were wide and his smile was comically large as he looked between Dom and Lysander. She gave Fred a suspicious look.
Lysander could only ever remember seeing Fred that giddy when he got something right on a prank or experiment.
"Because you two are under the mistletoe."
Lysander's head snapped back so fast he doubted anyone actually saw it move. There was the proof right above him. One of the sprigs of mistletoe that he had charmed earlier was currently hovering over himself and Dominique Weasley.
Okay, so something was definitely wrong with the charms, right?
"Did you stash those all over the house again?" Dominique asked her cousin with a roll of her eyes, apparently unfazed by the situation.
"Not exactly," Fred said with a grin. Lysander glared at him, his face turning red as the implications of what had just happened started to sink in. Fred better not say anything if he wanted to survive the night.
"Go on," Fred encouraged them. Now he was really pressing his luck. Dom gave a snort in amusement, and Lysander risked looking at her, but she was focused on Fred.
"Just because there's mistletoe, Fred, doesn't mean I have to kiss him."
She turned and walked away, not even glancing at Lysander, her hips swinging so that her black dress swayed back and forth and fluttered around her knees.
Fred was laughing, and Lysander glared at him once again.
"This isn't funny," he snapped, but Fred just laughed harder.
"Oh, but it very much is. Did you even know?"
Lysander felt himself turning pinker at this. "Not exactly," he mumbled, his arms crossed as he looked down at his feet. This seemed to tickle Fred even more as he practically cackled at his best friend.
Not exactly? What the hell did that mean? Some deep undiscovered part of him wanted to kiss Dominique? There was no way.
Well, there was, if he were honest. She was a girl and he was a bloke. But she was his friend. He was her friend. There'd never been anything like that between them. Did he think she was pretty? Sure he did. Beautiful, in fact. Did he enjoy spending time with her and take pleasure in her company? Absolutely. Did he find her smart, and funny, and challenging, and all around brilliant? Yeah, but that didn't mean he wanted to snog her, did it?
"What're we missing?" James asked. Fred was able to calm himself down enough to answer, and Lysander braced himself for the conversation that was bound to be uncomfortable for him.
"Remember how we said we were testing products tonight?"
James and Rose nodded.
"Well," Fred continued, giving Lysander a very pleased grin. "We charmed the mistletoe so that it only pops up over two people who would like to, shall we say, take advantage of the situation? And have yet to do so?"
James' eyes widened as a grin broke out across his face. "No way."
"Oh yes," Fred said with a delighted grin. "That's how Ly knew Al and Erin must have snogged already. They've got to have made physical contact at some point in the evening, so think of it as a suggestive nudge. I'm guessing you hugged her earlier or something?" said Fred, turning his attention back to Lysander.
"She grabbed my arm to steady herself just now," Ly muttered, refusing to look at any of them and thinking back to the moment her hand touched his arm. It had felt warm and familiar. It wasn't like his heart had started racing or an entire future with her had flashed before his eyes the second she'd touched him. "It doesn't mean it's actually working properly," Lysander tried to reason, with himself and his friends. "It could have been a malfunction."
"You did most of the charm work yourself so you should know better than anyone just how well they work," Fred argued back. He had a point. If Lysander wanted to get out of this, he had to admit he'd done something wrong. And he felt certain he'd gotten it right.
"You could always test it," Rose suggested innocently. "She's right over there. Go stand next to her."
That was the last thing he wanted to do. It would most likely ruin their friendship if he walked up to Dominique and snogged her right now. Knowing her, she'd probably slap him, and not stop there. He'd be walking out of here significantly less male.
Thankfully, Lysander didn't have to respond as Harry called everyone's attention for toasts. He could think about this later, maybe check his charm work. Because even if he didn't want to be wrong, he also had to be sure he was right.
Once Teddy had finished his toast, Lysander made sure to steer clear of Dominique. If the mistletoe were to appear again and she were to notice, she'd probably accuse him of trying to seduce her, and then get all irate about it. Either that or she'd think it was some kind of prank. He didn't want to have to face her questioning either way. He didn't fancy trying to talk to her when his mind was still trying to wrap itself around what had happened.
There were a few times where it looked like she was about to approach him, but he'd managed to sneak away each time before she got too close. Deciding he might as well do what he could to keep it from happening again, he made his way back into Harry's office where they'd left the boxes for the mistletoe. He tapped each box with his wand, and the mistletoes magically appeared inside of them. They wouldn't be popping up again.
He tucked the boxes up on a high shelf so no one would be likely to stumble across them and went back out to the party.
"Lysander, would you do me a favor?"
He was stopped by a rather frustrated looking Mrs. Potter. "A lot of the drinks need to be restocked in the dining room and I can't find either of my idiotic sons. Would you mind? Everything should be in the pantry."
He nodded and she gave him a grateful smile before hurriedly moving away. Lysander made his way through the crowd of people, grateful to have something to do. He entered the kitchen, enjoying the peace and quiet of it. Moving to the pantry, he began to search the shelves. He heard the sound of the party grow louder for a moment before the sound was deadened again, signalling someone had entered the kitchen from the living room. Lysander grabbed one of the crates of butterbeer and moved back out into the kitchen as he heard whoever his company was opening a cabinet.
Dom was standing on her tiptoes, grabbing a drinking glass from a shelf. Her black dress looked shorter like that, revealing more of the back of her thighs. The bodice was rather simple, much like Dom. It if it wasn't for the skirt, it would almost look like she was wearing a fitted t-shirt. She wore no jewelry, and if she had any makeup on, he couldn't tell. Not that she ever needed it. She was plenty beautiful on her own.
Looking over her shoulder as he came out of the pantry, she gave him a small smile, sinking back onto her feet and moving to fill her glass with water. Lysander moved forward and set the crate on the island in the middle of the kitchen. He'd never been nervous around girls, so why did he suddenly find himself without the ability to get an intelligent thought to go from his brain to his mouth?
Really? That was the best he could come up with? She turned around so her back rested against the counter, nodding as she took a few big gulps before speaking. "There seems to be a lack of beverages in the dining room."
"Yeah," he said with an apologetic smile, nodding towards the crate that his hands were still resting on. She didn't say anything else, just stared blankly ahead, her mind clearly somewhere else. Deciding it best to do something useful rather than stand there awkwardly, he picked up the crate and started to head towards the dining room.
"Why are you avoiding me?"
He stopped, slightly surprised at the question as he turned around. "What?"
She gave him a look that clearly said she wouldn't take any shit right now. He sighed and moved forward, setting the butterbeer crate back on the counter that separated them and facing her. Lysander didn't say anything, though. He didn't want to lie to her, but he didn't want to acknowledge what had been bothering him either. To be honest, he hadn't realized he'd been that obvious about avoiding her.
"Is it because of earlier?" asked Dom, her manner straightforward.
What was with the one word questions? Couldn't he string together at least two words at a time?
"Yes, Ly. Earlier," she said forcefully. "I'd hoped we were good enough friends by now that we could talk about things if they ever became uncomfortable."
"We are," he assured her. "We can. I just didn't want to make you feel even more uncomfortable."
She sighed, moving so she stood at the end of the island, her arms straight and her hands braced against it with her back towards the pantry.
"Did I upset you?" she asked. "I didn't mean to make you think…"
He quirked a brow at her in question, but she was staring at the crate of butterbeer in front of her. "Make me think what?"
"I was kind of harsh, wasn't I?" she asked, almost as if it were no big deal, but there was a nervous quality to her demeanor. "I made it sound like it was the last thing in the world I wanted to do."
This was a different Dominique than he was used to. She seemed uncertain, when she was normally so sure of herself. It allowed him to refocus. He turned to face her, resting his hand on the table between hers and looking down at her. Dom's eyes met his, but she didn't raise her head.
"What the fuck's going on? Have you finally gone round the twist?"
She fully looked up at him now, a familiar sassy look on her face. "Fuck off. I'm being serious."
"So am I," he said with a smirk. She lifted a hand for a moment to smack him in the chest, before returning it to the table. "What were we talking about again?"
This got an eye roll from her. "You're a git, you know that?"
"I've been told."
"I'm trying to have a conversation and you insist on avoiding the issue."
"The fucking incident with the mistletoe, idiot!"
He couldn't really believe she'd actually said it. Feeling anxious once again, he removed his hand from where it rested between hers and turned back so he was facing away from her.
"You don't need to worry about it. I'm sure it was just malfunctioning."
"Malfunctioning? Was it something you and Fred were working on?"
Well, he might as well just tell her now. Idiot.
"Just me, really. We got the idea to actually charm the mistletoe this year so that it wasn't in a fixed place and would appear at random."
He's tried to say it as nonchalant as possible, and chanced a glance at her. She seemed intrigued.
Lysander grimaced. "Okay, not completely at random."
She waited for him to continue, but there was no way he was doing that willingly.
"Ly," she said in a warning tone. He sighed, turning to look at her again.
"I charmed them so that they'd only pop up over two people who've made physical contact. And wouldn't mind snogging each other. And have yet to do so."
He didn't feel like spelling it out for her any more than that, so he was thankful when her eyes widened and her face turned slightly pink, something Ly couldn't remember seeing happen before. It took a lot to make Dom feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
"Oh," she said quietly. He watched as she chewed her lower lip, moving her hands so they were clasped on the edge of the surface in front of her as she leaned against it. "That's some pretty impressive charm work."
He felt pleased at the compliment, but only slightly. "Thanks, but I'm not sure it worked."
She shrugged. "Knowing you it probably did. You're better than you give yourself credit for."
She'd said it in the familiar friendly tone he was used to; complinetry, but making him feel like she was ribbing him. It made Lysander feel relieved that things weren't completely cocked up between them because of his previously undiscovered hormones. He gave an amused snort.
"Thanks, but wouldn't you rather it hadn't worked?"
She shrugged, looking straight at him with a hint of defiance and a bit of mirth in her eyes. "What makes you think that?"
"Well…" he said slowly, hoping this wasn't a trap. "You seem relatively okay with the fact that I wouldn't mind… you know..."
Dom gave a snort of amusement at how uncomfortable he was. Talking about his feelings wasn't something Lysander did well.
"I think you're only seeing one side of this," said Dom, her eyes boring into his as if willing him to understand. His brow furrowed in confusion as he looked at her. One side? What was that about? Was she saying she didn't care that he apparently wouldn't be opposed to snogging her? She was either out of her mind or…
It hit him like a freight train. He'd been so caught up in what this had revealed about himself, that he hadn't even given a thought to what it revealed about Dom. It had to be two people who were both interested in each other. There was always the possibility he'd gotten the charm wrong so it only popped up if one of the parties were interested, but then the mistletoe would have appeared when Fred had hugged Eva. That really left only one conclusion, and the way Dominique was staring at him in a challenging and enticing way was just about all the confirmation he needed.
He barely even thought about moving before he was. His right arm swept forward and snaked around her waist as he moved around the corner of the counter, pulling her to him. He kissed her soundly, and the rush he thought he'd been missing when she'd touched him earlier was there instantly. His enthusiasm carried him forward so that he walked her across the kitchen until her back hit the pantry door, slamming it shut as he released her waist and rested his hands against it on either side of her head. He felt as well as heard her moan as he moved his mouth against hers. Lysander couldn't quite remember the last time he'd snogged someone, but he did know it had never been this damn good.
She reached forward and gripped the front of his shirt in her hands as he pulled her bottom lip between his teeth, releasing it and pulling his mouth away from hers only to adjust the angle of his head. She was softer than he'd expected her to be, but her kisses were firm and demanding. It almost felt like a battle for dominance. One he'd most likely be happy to let her win if they carried on long enough. Unable to keep his hands off her anymore, he moved them into her hair, marveling at how soft it was as he ran it between his fingers and moved to press his body up against hers. As wonderful as it all felt already, he didn't plan on stopping there.
A loud bang sounded and he tore himself away before he could explore her more, looking around the room to try and identify what had caused the racket.
He whipped around and saw James standing in the doorway that led to the dining room, a smirk plastered on his face as Roxanne, Lorcan, Violet, Rose, and Al all looked on from behind him. Lysander blushed and cleared his throat, trying to think of something to say as Dom tried to untangle her hair. He felt a sense of satisfaction knowing he was the reason she was in such a state.
"Yeah," Lysander finally said breathlessly, looking at James and deciding to be bold. "Until you so rudely butted in."
Lysander continued to look at James in annoyance, a little too nervous to see how Dom had reacted to his words.
"So sorry about that. We needed to get in the pantry," James said with a cheeky grin. Lysander assumed James was now here to accomplish the work he'd been sent to do, and he was about to tell him there was already a crate out, but Dom's movement distracted him.
She pushed herself off the door, moving to stand next to Lysander. It surprised him how much he itched to reach out and touch her as she calmly stood at his side. James smirked and went into the pantry, retrieving a crate of butterbeer and a few bottles of firewhiskey.
"You can carry on," he said with a nod, and moved back into the dining room, the others disappearing with him. As soon as the door swung shut behind them, Dom buried her face in her hands and let out a groan.
Lysander had no clue what to do. Could he touch her now that they weren't snogging? Did she expect him to offer some sort of reassurance or say it was no big deal? It had been embarrassing to be barged in on like that, but that didn't mean he regretted it in the slightest.
Dom moved around him, making her way towards the sink where she'd set her glass of water earlier. She took a few sips before handing it to Lysander, who took a few drinks himself without much thought.
"Did you have any clue?" she asked. "Before tonight?"
He didn't need to ask what she was talking about, because he'd already asked himself the same thing. "I don't think so. You?"
She looked at him for a few minutes and he tensed up under her gaze in anticipation. She shook her head from side to side.
"Bloody fuck," he said, downing the rest of the water before filling the glass again and handing it back to her. She drank eagerly.
"I felt a little funny after the mistletoe popped up and I walked away," she said, sounding a little breathless after chugging the water. "Disappointed with myself almost. And then I felt like you were ignoring me and that bothered me even more and then when you explained everything...it just sort of clicked together."
He nodded, completely understanding what she meant. Now came the tough part. He could play it off like it was no big deal, or he could actually follow his gut and see where this could go, even if it scared the shit out of him.
"So, what do we do now?" he eventually asked, feeling proud that he wasn't running in fear. She shrugged, taking another drink of water before setting the glass down. Dom kept her gaze directed at the counter as she spoke.
"I'm not ready to jump into anything."
He studied her for a moment. She was still nervous, but she wasn't running away from whatever this was either. Dom had always been rather sure of herself. He liked that about her.
She met his eyes, letting out a breath and nodding. "Okay, what then? We can just ignore all this and go back to being friends, but I don't think I'll be able to forget what just happened."
"I don't think I'll want to."
Lysander had spoken before he'd fully thought it through, but that didn't make it any less true. The honesty was worth it when she smiled at him.
"Let's just play it by ear, yeah?" he suggested, stepping closer to her so that they were both leaning against the sink and facing each other. "We can hang out, maybe experiment in the snogging department a little bit more?"
She actually giggled at this, and he found himself smiling brightly at her. "And if you play nicely, I may even be persuaded to take you out on a date one of these days."
She scoffed and rolled her eyes, stepping forward and draping an arm across his shoulder and around his neck so that her hand tangled up into his hair. A shiver ran down his spine and his hands instinctively went to her waist as her other hand trailed up his bicep. It was amazing how natural it all felt.
"I guess I'll have to behave myself, then."
He chuckled, dipping his head closer as she tipped hers up. "Please don't. That would be bloody boring."
She laughed as his mouth descended on hers and he kissed her, hardly able to keep from laughing himself.