Title: Truth and Moonlight

Rating: PG

Ship: Marcus Flint/Katie Bell

Summary: Katie Bell and Marcus Flint talk.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling and are not owned by me.

Kathleena Bell made her way onto the Quidditch Pitch, the full moon up above softly illuminating her soft blond hair. It was a hot summer night and she'd been unable to sleep in the stifling atmosphere of the castle. She had yearned to feel the wind blowing through her sweat dampened hair, the rush of exhilaration, the excitement of seeing the world down below her, of not being a part of it. She'd grabbed her broom and silently made her way through the dark castle hoping against hope that Filch wouldn't be waiting around the corner. She'd made it with out getting caught, a feat within itself. Katie was still wearing her pajamas. Her baggy red pants, splattered with gold stars, hid the strong, muscled legs she'd earned through nearly six years of playing Quidditch. Her top was patterned in the same way as her pants and fell just above her belly button, exposing a hard, trim, stomach. The straps of the top were thin keeping her as cool as possible. It didn't, however, prevent the sweat from trickling down her body and making her clothes cling to her contours. Years as Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team had given her a tone body but few hardly saw it. She hid herself behind her school robes and baggy clothes. She didn't really know why, it just made her feel secure. She looked up, surprised to see that she wasn't alone on the pitch. Suddenly she felt rather vulnerable, she knew she should have just slipped one of her school robes over her pajamas but it was so damn hot.

She debated upon fleeing but the figure that was circling the pitch didn't look to be a teacher and she decided it was probably just another student that had been unable to sleep and was trying to beat the heat. She watched them circle, doing loops and figures in the air but she couldn't identify the flying style, it was definitely not one of her teammates. With a small shrug, she mounted her broom and kicked off, rising in the air. She could feel the rush of air drying the sweat off of her body almost instantly and she sighed in pleasure as she lazily flew higher. She didn't let the other flyer out of her line of sight.

The moon wasn't quite bright enough for her to identify the student so she pushed curiosity aside. It didn't matter who they were, all that mattered was that she felt free. There was nothing holding her down here, no family obligations, no NEWTS. She could simply be Katie, and she liked that feeling. She flew upside down and closed her eyes. She felt the wind pulling at her long hair. She wished that she could fly forever, everything would be so much more simple. The NEWTS were coming up in a few short weeks and she had to get a good score so she could get a good job and help out at home. Her father had died long ago and her mother had been sick these last few years and the mediwitches at St. Mungos didn't know what was wrong with her. Her little brother would be starting Hogwarts next year and they needed gold to buy his supplies. The problem was that it was gold that they couldn't spare. Not to mention the twins, nearly eight years old now, needed things too. So, Katie had to put her dreams of playing for a Quidditch team aside and instead she had to be sensible and responsible, and that was the problem. She wanted to be a child for just a little while longer and once she graduated that wouldn't be an option.

There were so many things that she wanted to do. She wanted to play Quidditch professionally, she wanted to be admired, to be loved. That was something sorely missing from her life. Over the years she'd had a handful of boyfriends but none of those relationships had never worked out. Sometimes she wondered if she pushed people away. It was so hard to let someone into her head or into her heart. All of her friends knew her as being quite and reserved. She knew how to love but not how to be loved. His face flashed through her head but she blocked it out. It probably didn't help that she wasted her love on someone that would never love her back. Someone who probably didn't even know that she existed.

She ran her hand through her hair. She was ridiculous. Where had all of her logic gone? She considered herself an intelligent person. She was practical and responsible and her little infatuation was everything but. When the time came fore her to settle down she was going to do it with someone that was everything she had always told herself that she wanted. Someone who was strong and intelligent. Who was kind and serious. Someone who would take care of her but also allow her to take care of them. There were so many things that she wanted. She was starting to believe that they were things she wasn't ever going to be able to find.

As soon as she graduated she would be working as a waitress at the Leaky Cauldron as well as holding down a job at one of the shops in Diagon Alley that was run by one of her Uncles. She was also going to be trying to take over the household responsibilities at home and look after her siblings. When was there going to be time for romance? Simple answer: There wouldn't be. She had accepted that long ago. She wasn't bitter or angry about it. It was a fact, she would deal with it. There were no other choices. As long as could find a spare moment to ride her Nimbus 2000 she would be fine. Flying was all that had ever really mattered to her. It was the one thing that she was always able to rely on.

Katie opened her eyes, not even realizing that she had closed them. She gasped in shock as she nearly collided with the other person. She swerved to the left just in time to avoid running straight into them. Her heart in her throat, she pulled her broom around, and along with the other student, she began to descend. She landed and walked over to them. Her legs were a bit shaky after such a scare. She hadn't realized that she had been going that fast. If the other flyer was indeed a teacher she would be in a large amount of trouble.

"I'm so sorry I nearly ran into you, I wasn't paying attention..." she trailed off as a few of the clouds shifted giving her enough light to see by. Her mouth suddenly went dry, standing in front of her, wearing a dark green Quidditch robe was none other than Marcus Flint. To put it frankly he looked pissed off.

"Bell," he sneered, his eyes narrowing to glare at her. His arms were folded over his chest and he had that horrible sneer on his face.

"Flint," she replied, as her heart plummeted to her stomach. They'd never once talked to each other, all for that they'd both been on their house's respective Quidditch teams since their second year. She might not have talked to him but he hadn't escaped her notice. She had definitely noticed him. He wasn't all that handsome but he had these dark, impenetrable, eyes the color of a forest at night. His eyes had always intrigued her, so much so, that she sometimes found herself looking at him in class. Often times, she would see him staring off into space with a lost look on his face. She always wondered what he thought about. One simply did not just go up to a Slytherin and ask them to bear their heart to you, especially if you were a Gryffindor. Katie swallowed hard not knowing what to say and keenly aware of the fact that she could have been better dressed for the occasion.

"I wish all of the Gryffindors displayed your flying skills, then we'd beat you without even trying. Not that we have to try that hard to begin with," he said with a smirk.

Katie tried not to let herself look into his eyes but she was drawn to them. It seemed that for the longest time all she did was look into those eyes. She felt almost lost in them. It was as if they held the answers to a billion things that she had always wanted to know and it was hard to look away, so hard.

'This is Marcus Flint, he's a Slytherin for Merlin's sake! You don't know him... so stop wishing that you did,' she said to herself. The smirk had died from his lips and he was looking at her, his eyes taking her in, accessing her, a puzzled look on his face.

"I'd better get back to the castle," he said suddenly. He turned around and walked off of the pitch. Katie watched him go, yearning, for some reason, to follow him. In two weeks they would both graduate and probably never see each other again. She wondered if she would ever regret not following him, not talking to him at least once. For some reason it seemed important that she say something.

"Flint, wait!" she said watching as he stopped, hesitated and then stayed in place. She finally caught up with him and they were standing mere inches from each other. She had no idea what to say, nor why she wanted to say anything at all. Something was simply drawing her to him, maybe it was the heat, or maybe she was tired. Either way, she was sure that she'd lost her mind. She looked up at him through her strands of golden blond hair wondering what to say and how to say it. A small breeze blew past them giving each of them a little relief from the heat and Katie watched as it blew through his short hair, slightly ruffling it.

"I've always wanted to talk to you," she said from out of nowhere, her face going red. She wondered where all of her Gryffindor courage went. She usually didn't get flustered, at all. Spending so much time with Fred and George Weasley had all but cured her of embarrassment. She could just imagine how they would tease her if they saw her right now.

Marcus's eyes narrowed as if looking for some ulterior motive. "Why?" he asked softly. Even though it was hot, she shivered at the sound of his voice, there was something there, something she couldn't identify.

"I don't know really, you just seem... I don't know." She wanted to call herself several kinds of fool for being so ineloquent at a time when what she said really mattered.

'He must think that I'm out of my mind. Who am I kidding? I think that I am out of my mind.' she thought wryly. She didn't know how to explain it to him when she didn't even know how to explain it to herself.

He hesitated a moment, "Would... would you like to go down by the lake? It might be cooler there." He wasn't smiling, she wasn't sure she had ever caught him in a real smile, but the hateful smirk he usually wore plastered on his face was completely gone.

"I'd like that," she followed him, her broom tucked safely under her arm. It was indeed cooler by the lake and she silently thanked him for the suggestion. The annoying trickle of sweat that had begun running down her back, stopped.

"So what, exactly, have you always wanted to talk to me about?" he asked sitting down on a bench and she sat down at the other end of it. She was intensely aware of how close they were. This was so strange. She loved the way he talked. She's heard his voice a million times but it had never been directed towards her. It had never sounded so unguarded either. It was also missing its hateful edge.

What did she want to talk to him about?

"Nothing... and everything," she admitted figuring that she had nothing lose. If he told all of his friends tomorrow and they laughed at her, so what? She could put up with it for two little weeks. How could she tell him that she had an inexplicably pathetic crush on him? That of all the boys at Hogwarts he had captured her attention and held it for years now. How did someone tell something like that to someone that they really didn't know. She wanted to know him. She thought that she knew parts of him, just from casual observation. All the things that she wanted to know, his hopes, his dreams, those were things that he would never share with her. She wasn't even sure that she wanted him to. That would make it so much harder.

There was an awkward silence and Katie wanted to head back up to the castle and forget this had ever happened. Her hand played nervously with the edge of her pajama top as she tried desperately to think of something to break the silence. Several jokes came to mind but she imagined that coming from her, at that moment, they would be dry and humorless. Absently she noticed that her wrist had begun to throb. It happened occasionally since it had been broken a few years ago. She began moving her wrist in a circle trying to work out the discomfort. She looked up as she saw movement. Flint's hand was reached out toward her. It took her a moment to realize what he wanted. She hesitantly held out her arm. He took her hand in his and with his other hand he began to massage her wrist. It instantly felt better.

"Mediwitchery," he explained. "I've got a bit of a talent for it." He continued to move his fingers over her skin and she refused to acknowledge that her arms were covered in goosebumps. His touch was soft and gentle. It was strangely just as nice as she had always imagined it to be. Some might have thought his touch to be rough but it wasn't. For a Slytherin he was surprisingly tender. She tried to block out the thought of exactly how good it felt. She wondered if her face was aflame from her thoughts.

"I've thought... I've thought about you too." he replied softly. She held her breath waiting for him to continue but he didn't. She couldn't believe this was happening. He was touching her. They were talking. It was the middle of the night. It all seemed so unreal. Like a dream. It was a good dream. She closed her eyes and let herself be lulled by the continuos motion of his fingers. A part of her was screaming at her to stop. She was letting her guard down. She was tearing down all of the walls that had protected her. He could have asked her any queston right then and she would have answered it. She felt calm and safe and exhilarated at the same time. It was something that she felt only when she was flying. There was the threat of falling but at the same time it wasn't something that she really feared.

Suddenly the silence was broken.

"Last year, when I fell off my broom during that match you rushed over to make sure that I was all right. My team mates couldn't have cared less but for some reason you did and I didn't know why. I still don't know why. I've wondered but I never came up with an answer. I've wanted to talk to you, to thank you, but I didn't know how to bring it up. There's something about you that... intrigues me." He was looking at her in a most calculated way. It wasn't bad, she didn't feel like he was trying to find her weaknesses. More like trying to get her, or the situation, to make some sort of sense. She wasn't sure that he was going to be successful. She certainly wasn't.

His hand was so warm. Their hands were still palm to palm, while his other hand massaged her wrist. This was almost like Quidditch. She felt like she was dodging bludgers and trying to catch the Quaffle while hoping she didn't fall off her broom while anticipating the screaming of the crowd as she made a goal. So many emotions all at once. This was worse though. Did he know? Could he tell by the mere fact that she was sitting with him that she liked him? He had to know. Why else would he still be there? Why was he still there if he wasn't fascinated by the possibility? Cruelty, maybe? Perhaps he was trying to get her to make a fool out of herself so that he could ruin her. There were so many questions and he wasn't likely to out and out answer any of them.

She looked down at their hands and her heart nearly stopped. His fingers had stopped touching her wrist and had now traveled up her arm. His fingers were barely touching her skin as they moved up towards her elbow. It almost tickled but in a way that didn't make her want to laugh... it made her feel other things. She looked up at him and found him studying her. She nearly looked away but she couldn't quite bring herself to do it. There was something too intimate about looking at him in the moonlight while he touched her arm. Her heart was pounding and she wondered if he could feel her pulse pounding through her skin. She imagined that he could. If only she knew what he was thinking.

"What are you thinking?" The question caught her off guard and she couldn't help but laugh. It eased the heaviness that she felt and allowed her to talk. Her heart didn't quite feel like it was going to leap out of her chest anymore.

"I was wondering what you were thinking," she said with a smile. When he returned it she thought that she was going to die. She had never seen him look at anyone the way that he was looking at her. He had really smiled. She felt giddy inside.

He looked at her for a moment. He went to say something, hesitated, and then started again. "I was thinking that I've never had anyone look at me the way that you do. I... I like sitting here with you. It's strange. I've never done this with anyone before. Let alone someone like you. Usually... usually I know what's expected of me. Everyone wants something. I like knowing where I stand. You don't give me that benefit."

What did she want from him? A million answers presented themselves but she wasn't nearly brave enough to say any of them. All but one.

"I want to get to know you."

Again he smiled. "I'm not sure anyone has ever wanted that from me before." He sat her hand down, resting it on the bench. She held her breath and then secretly smiled when he rested his hand next to it so that they were almost touching.

"I do. I hope you don't think I'm silly. I just have the urge to know what goes on in your head. You always look so contemplative. I can't help but wonder what you think about." Part of her wanted to confide in him that sometimes she wondered if they were more alike than her Gryffindor sensibilities would permit her to admit. Something inside of him was calling out to her and she wasn't going to deny it. There was something about him and she was finally getting to know him. She was discovering who he really was and it was easier than she had thought it would be.

"Thank Merlin it was so hot out tonight," she said with a smile looking up at him, thinking that one hot, miserable, night had pushed them together. One magically odd night that she wasn't going to forget. Even if, in the morning, he acted as if none of this had happened she would be content in knowing that she had been right about him all along. There was something there. Only time would tell if he would share it with her.

"Thank Merlin that you need flying lessons," he said playfully and she laughed. There was no malice in his voice and she liked the idea of him teasing her. She was so used to being teased that it put her a little at ease. She looked down at their hands. They were so close. Impulse took over and she slowly lifted her hand and rested it on top of his. It had been such a strange night and she was looking forward to all of the strangeness yet to come.

The End.