Inspired by maboroshi-hime's excellent Mr. Elric story, and its sequel, Endless Moments.
Oh and, this story; It's just a one-shot folks. Disclaimer: If I owned HagaRen; well, I wouldn't be writting fanfiction then, would I?
EDIT: from marboroshi-hime's comments, which i totally understand. Hope you enjoy it better now.
Sibohan lifted her eyes from her book to glance across the Ravenclaw common room. A group of girls were giggling over something, letting out an occasional sigh. One girl clapped her hands to get the attention of the others, and cleared her throat.
"Alright, girls...," she paused, then smiled widely, "to the Library!"
Sibohan cocked an eyebrow quizzicly. The library? She knew that 'leader-girl'; Jennifer Leary. She irritated Sibohan to no end; and it hadn't gotten any better when she had joined M.E.S.S.
The teen sighed, and shut her book. Honestly, she didn't understand all the fuss about Mr.Elric. Sure, Sibohan would agree, he's not unattractive. But anyone with any amount of sense in their head could understand that he simply wanted to be alone. It was just the feeling she got off him.
Sibohan slid off her chair and walked up the stairs, meaning to put her book away. She stopped at Jennifer's bed; it was right in the corner of the room; and saw Mr.Elric gracing the cover of a magazine. She watched for a moment as Mr. Elric glanced nervously about; he didn't seem at all comfortable.
"I don't blame him," the witch spoke, reaching to flip the magazine over. After all, who could? Not one student knew how Mr. Elric had arrived at Hogwarts, and Mr.Elric's quiet nature only served to fuel any rumors.
Bless his soul though; Mr. Elric didn't do a thing to quell them. He seemed quite lost in the wizarding world. Hell, even she'd admit it was easy to be.
She was a fifth year Ravenclaw, with muggle-born parents. Quite of a shock to them, a pair of Irish Catholics living in Britian. They had tried to be supportive; given that Sibohan was more skilled at things like Transfiguration from the get-go, her father likened it to alchemy; he tried to cheer Sibohan up that way.
But ultimately, she had to go to Hogwarts. The sorting hat scared her quite a bit; after all, it did tap in to her inner-most thoughts and memories. And its voice; it was so loud. At first, she thought it was shouting out her objections to a house like Slytherin to the whole of the gathered, but when it put her in Ravenclaw, and she stood up; nothing was any different. No one had heard her.
A bell chimed from the common room; it was about three o'clock. Not quite late enough for dinner, not early enough for lunch; and no classes for the rest of the day (she had been feeling a bit ill). So Sibohan Maynard (she had taken a new last name because her parents requested it) slipped her book back into her trunk and made for the library.
It was a well-known fact about the school that Mr. Elric was not the librarian any longer; it was rumored to have something to do with his very short absence. But he did seem to enjoy being around the books, and was frequently visting the library. Not a very strange thing for a professor to do, Sibohan reasoned.
When she entered the library, Sibohan was met with M.E.S.S's departure. They giggled, and threw a disdainful look at her collectively. She didn't react until after they had left, letting out a small laugh.
The young witch had not, however, expected to see Mr. Elric still in the library, searching through books. She said nothing, only joined him in his venture, albeit on the opposite side of the aisle.
Sibohan glanced over her shoulder at the professor, surprised
that, up close, he looked so fragile. It seemed, quite literally, like
he had the world on his shoulders once, and he just never forgot the
weight of it.
And up close, she couldn't look at him and think "professor". He was still so small..forgetting height, he just was very slender and...he looked worn out.
His hair was pulled back in a low ponytail, which swept across his back with the movements of his head. And the sunlight, streaming through the window, played through that hair, making it look even more beautiful..
But when Mr. Elric turned around, Sibohan gasped. He looked so..young. Not that she hadn't seen him up close before but, when he was deep in thought like that...his facial features betrayed his wisdom.
Unfortunately, Sibohan's gasp caused Mr. Elric to actually wake from his thinking and look at her. Sibohan blushed fiercly and buried her face into a book.
There was a moment of akward silence before anyone spoke.
"I'm older than they think."
Sibohan lowered the book.
"What?" she spoke, the lilting accent of her parents nearly all but gone because of her years in England. Mr. Elric rubbed the back of his head and gave a weak smile.
"I know; don't look it, do I?"
"No," Sibohan's voice was soft. She could sense a bit of an accent on Mr. Elric's words.
"Are you alright?"
Mr. Elric chuckled, muttering something about adressing people.
"I'm fine; just...," Mr. Elric sighed, "worn out. Tired."
Sibohan nodded, then spoke again.
"You um, do know you have a fanclub?"
At that, Mr.Elric's eyes widened, and he paled a small bit.
"A...fan..club?" he muttered, "Oh.."
Sibohan hung her head.
"Yeah, I'm sorry about that Mr. Elric. I wish I could do something about it; those girls don't seem to have any sense in their head..,"
Sibohan snapped her head around to look at the professor. She fumbled for her words.
"Well, sir, it's very obvious that you're shy, and don't want people prying, or fawning over you. You just want to be," Sibohan watched Mr. Elric turn his face away, "alone.."
There was a moment of silence before Sibohan went back to searching
through the books, assuming Mr. Elric did the same. But when she set
down her book on "The History of Hogwarts", she looked up to see Mr.
Elric standing silent.
He brought his hand up to his face (the other one, she noticed, didn't seem to function as well) and flexed it a few times. Mr. Elric gave an overwhelming sigh, and tugged his sleeve down.
In a moment of unclarity, Sibohan reached out to touch Mr. Elric's shoulder. He jumped, and she pulled her hand back.
He's warm, she thought, sputtering an apology.
"S..sorry. I shouldn't have.."
"It's okay," Mr. Elric muttered, "you just...scared me, is all."
There was a moment of silence.
"You were trying to comfort me, right?"
"uh..," Sibohan nodded meekly.
"But thank you.."
"Thanks Sibohan. I needed that."
Mr. Elric turned and resumed browsing the library, but Sibohan left and returned to the common room. She pondered Mr. Elric (Edward, as she'd later learn from sitting in the common room at the same time as Ravenclaw's MESS girls) reaction, but decided against prying. Mr. Elric didn't need the extra attention,and she didn't feel like getting glared at for the rest of the year by the MESS girls, or getting in trouble.
. Yes, she'd admit; he is good-looking. But she wasn't going to be stupid and start 'crushing' on him. That, as anyone could see, was unneeded. As was prying.
She was walking through the halls a few days later, when she saw one of the Weasley Boys...Ron, bump into Mr. Elric. She watched the professor scuttle away, and Ron walked past her, muttering something that sounded like, "a BLOODY metal arm!"
She shook her head. She was distant friends with the Weasleys but, Ron; he was clearly out of his mind. Her mind turned to other things; like her homework for Potions.
And she walked on, leaving the past few days to drift into forgetfulness.