This is a follow-up to 'An Illicit Apology', the final chapter in an accidental trilogy.
I very much wish, sometimes, my life didn't mirror my Auriga Sinistra's...especially because I don't have the ability to hex someone...
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not at all.
Auriga Sinistra, professor of Astronomy, is so far beyond angry that not even a gallon of Sleek-Eezy could keep her crazed curly hair in its place at the moment. She's furious and if she finds who she's looking for, he's going to wish he'd never set eyes on her naked body.
There's a conversation going on outside her office door that's distracting her murderous thoughts and she takes a quick moment to compose herself. Shouting at the intruders would do no good for anyone, least of all herself, and while the idea of wreaking havoc upon some unsuspecting students makes her smile in a slightly evil – and Slytherin – way, she knows she isn't that person.
That person is currently holed up in his dungeons, hanging from the rafters like the giant oversized bastard of a bat he is.
She had known, in the back of her romance-addled mind, that it was a bad idea, but in the midst of being kissed senseless and having things done to her that hadn't been done in a million years she kind of pushed the knowing away behind closed doors and ignored it. Now, in her current state of fury, she's wishing she'd never locked the sensible part of herself away. Such a silly idea in hindsight.
Bastard. Bastard. Bastard.
She'd give a year's pay to hex him into a tiny toad and bounce him along the narrow hallways of the castle.
Two years' pay to leave him in the Forbidden Forest with a note attached to him that read 'Kiss me. I'm a prince'.
She should be impressed. It's not every day two people living in the same house (theoretically) can manage to avoid each other so masterfully for a solid two weeks, especially when meals are communal and they both have occasion to take tea with Minerva in her study.
'Good god, Auriga, what happened to your hair?' Victoria Vector's voice breaks through her rage and she realizes she's been holding her wand so tightly there's an imprint of the handle in the palm of her hand.
She frowns at her friend. 'Nothing. I'm just a tad upset, is all.'
'You look as though you've been struck by lightning. I haven't seen it this bad since Snape set fire to it a few years back.'
At the mention of Snape, her rage returns. Victoria, not so astute on an average day, senses Auriga's distress and a silent 'oh' forms on her perfectly shaped lips.
'You slept with him.'
For some reason, hearing it aloud and from someone other than herself breaks the rage. She slumps forward, bangs her head against the desk, and says in a voice that can only be categorized as a wail, 'Yes.' She doesn't raise her head again, mostly because looking at the floor and concentrating on the stone beneath her feet is doing wonders for the frustration headache that's building between her eyes. 'And now he won't talk to me.'
She hears the click of Victoria's shoes on the stone and feels the warmth of the other witch's hand against her back. It's comforting and she bites back at tears she promised herself she wouldn't cry.
'It's not every day I have the chance to say this, but have you considered the possibility you're in love with the bastard?'
Tears! She's been reduced to tears by a good shag and the realization she's always wanted more from him.
'And have you considered the possibility that he's in love with you?'
She sits up quickly. 'What?!'
Victoria rolls her eyes and smiles. 'He's in love with you Auriga. Has been for ages.'
This was not a possibility she'd considered. In fact, it wasn't even on her radar. The knowledge that the man she's head over heels in love with may very well be in love with her is…complicated.
She rests her forehead on the blotter once more.
Having decided after her conversation with Victoria that sitting in her office with her head buried in the sand wasn't at all productive, Auriga packed herself up and decided to bury her head in the sand on top of the Astronomy Tower. At least that way, she reasoned, she'd get some fresh air and if she had any murderous thoughts her victim was a good sixteen flights of stairs away and by the time she got there, she'd have burned them all off on the way down.
She'd been curled up in a particularly comfortable alcove for about an hour when a house elf appeared with a large mug of tea and a plate of biscuits.
'Miss Victoria thought you might be wanting these, Miss.'
Auriga smiled her first real smile in two weeks and thanked the little elf who nodded and disappeared with a crack that echoed in the night air. Tea and biscuits – nothing better in the world to cure a bad day…or fourteen.
Of course she will eventually have to make her way down to the dungeons and face her self-diagnosed problem – she knows this – but for the moment she's content to ignore him and the problem he poses and stew in her own neurotic thoughts for awhile longer. It isn't healthy – also something she knows – but she doesn't have a clue as to what she's going to say when faced with him…
'So this is where you've disappeared to.'
Which appears to be sooner than she originally suspected.
Bastard with impeccable timing.
He's standing in the center of the tower, frowning at her under the full moon, and all murderous impulses leave her in a quick rush. She just feels…defeated.
'I've only been here an hour or so. I was in my offices before, just like I have been every single day for the past two weeks. Funny how my routine never changes.'
He crosses his arms, arches an eyebrow at her, and dons his most familiar 'what in god's name are you rambling on about' expression. 'Is there something you'd like to talk about, Auriga?'
She matches his expression with one of her own, the one that says 'I can't believe I slept with you and you haven't talked to me in two weeks'. She's been practicing it for quite awhile.
'I'd love to talk about something, anything, really, seeing as how it will be the first time in two weeks you've spoken to me. Two weeks to the day, actually.'
Now he just looks confused and she feels a current of anger run through her.
'You're upset because I haven't spoken to you in two weeks?' He has the gall to sound surprised. She nods. 'Auriga, I haven't left my rooms in two weeks. I've been preparing a potion for the Headmaster that required precision and constant attention. I haven't even taught my own classes.'
Maybe if you'd gone down to see him, you would have found that out…
She mentally slaps herself.
She can barely make out the smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, but it warms her heart a little to know he finds this all so amusing.
'You thought I was avoiding you,' he says matter-of-factly and with a step towards her.
'Because we slept together?' Another step.
She feels her cheeks grow hot. 'Yes.'
He laughs a hearty growl and takes a few more steps to close the distance between him and her position in the alcove. 'You're absolutely ridiculous,' he says when he finally reaches her.
'I've come to realize that, yes.'
He reaches out, takes her hands, and pulls her to her feet. She lets his arms wrap around her, lets his warmth seep into her. It's taken her forever to understand that where she is now, in his embrace, is home.
'It won't be easy, this thing between us,' he says and his lips brush against her hair.
'I don't know about you, but I've never been a fan of easy things.' She leans back to look up at him and he kisses her softly. 'Of course it helps that when you do that, my toes curl.'
'They do that when I do other things,' he murmurs against her lips. 'Perhaps you'd care for a demonstration…'
Yes, he's a bastard, but, as he sweeps her off her feet and carriers her down six flights of stairs while she laughs at his account of Minerva teaching potions, she'll fully admit to anyone who asks that he's her bastard and, in the end, isn't that what really counts?