Be My Valentine
Valentine's Day in Mahoutokoro is far, far more intense than what you can ever imagine compared to the likes in Hogwarts. After all, it's a big day in Japan, magical or not. The day where girls and women all over the country of the rising sun will be at war. Fighting with chocolates, over for the boy of their deepest, darkest desire.
While British witches and wizards are well-fed by the house-elves in the kitchen under the Great Hall at Hogwarts, the Japanese take pride in self-sufficiency—all students and staff do their own meals. So much so that Cooking has been a subject in Mahoutokoro's curriculum for as long as anyone in the school can remember, and every house has their own kitchen labs for the students to hone their culinary skills to greater heights.
Let us put our wands together for Kana Asakura from Seiryu—the house of the Azure Dragon—who will be our heroine of this little fluff as she battles against kitchenware to bake the perfect chocolate cookies for her not-so-secret crush.
"Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration," Kana muttered to herself while waiting by the oven. "Food cannot be outright created nor conjured from nothingness." She then pulled out her wand and twirled it in her hands to ease her nervousness. "In Muggle Studies, it's often associated with the Law of Conservation of Energy: energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transforming from one form to another."
"You're sure a hardworking one, huh?"
She was taken by surprise by a voice that spoke out behind her. She didn't recall anyone else booking the kitchen at this timeslot other than herself… She turned around, her eyes widened when she recognized the speaker.
"…Koizumi-kun? What brings you here?"
"I smelled something," the boy named Ryu Koizumi said as he bent forward, eyeing the oven with a raised eyebrow. "Something… burning."
"Oh no," Kana exclaimed at the tray of soot she had pulled out of the oven. "Not again." This was the fifth time she had failed. Even after making sure all the ingredients were flawless, all the amounts were spot on, all the steps were perfect…
It's always about the timing.
She gave the intruder a sideways glance. The timing couldn't be any worse.
Ryu cupped a hand under his chin as he studied the blackened, circular pieces on the tray. "What are these supposed to be? Cookies?"
Kana could feel the heat on her face rising. He shouldn't be here—why was he here? She had to get this housemate out of the kitchen, and fast. "I'm busy right now. Can you leave me alone, please?"
Ryu seemed reluctant to leave. He gestured at the mess around the kitchen. "You look like you need the help—I mean, this place looks like a literal war zone—and I can help you. Besides," he paused, turning around to face Kana, the tip of their noses almost touching at the extreme closeness. "Who are you baking the cookies for?"
"It's…" Kana glanced away, avoiding Ryu's curious stare. "…Nothing. Just go away."
"Uh-uh." The dark-haired boy refused to take heed of Kana's attempt to get rid of him. "You only make me want to stay here more." He added a triumphant smirk to reiterate his point.
With defeated resignation, Kana turned her back on Ryu. "Suit yourself." She just didn't want him to see the twisted look on her face now—of elation, eagerness, restlessness…
Ryu shrugged at her, picking up the scattered utensils on the kitchen table with a wave of his wand. "Oh, I will." Much to Kana's chagrin, where it acted as a constant reminder of her incompetence in the kitchen.
"We… did it."
The aroma of freshly baked chocolate cookies felt like a satisfying victory to Kana. She almost forgot the numerous failures that preceded this successful attempt. Including the fact that she had just hugged a boy—the boy—in all her excitement and relief, she forgot that she had been spending her whole time with Ryu.
Just her and him.
Ryu was as oblivious, his attention still on the cookies. "Yeah, we sure made it this time." He reached out a hand for one, only to be slapped away by Kana. "Hey!"
"It's not for you."
Kana was amused at how quickly Ryu's expressions had changed from joy to disappointment. "Hey, without my help you've already blown up this place. No rewards for my hard work, really?"
The way he pursed his lips when things didn't go his way. How cute.
But the girl refused to buy his puppy look and retorted, "I didn't ask for your help—you forced yourself to stay, remember?" She didn't want to admit her true feelings for him. Not yet.
"I didn't force myself to stay," Ryu replied, with a twinkle in his dark eyes. "You did."
Wait, he can read my mind? How? "H-Huh? Wha—"
"Your cookies," the boy went on, swiping one off the tray. "Is the drive." And he stuffed it whole into his mouth.
Kana was too stunned to react, to even stop him from stealing their hard work. She could only gape at him.
"This is good," Ryu commented. "Are you sure it's not for me?"
"Stop thinking so highly of yourself." Kana had to throw him a scathing look to regain her composure. "But… yeah, you can be my—what's the term?—lab rat. Yes."
"I told yo—" Before Kana could complete her sentence, Ryu had his lips on hers, filling her mouth with the sweet scent of chocolate cookies. Her—no, their—handmade chocolate cookies.
"…This, is the reward I want." Ryu's breath felt hot against Kana's ear. "And my answer to your Valentine, Kana-chan."
Forum: The Houses Competition
Year/Round: Year 1, Round 7
Category: Themed - Love / Love Lost
Prompt: [Action] Baking
Word Count: 966