I don't own any of the Harry Potter characters
This is a Sequel to The Danger Of Dreams and Keep On Dreaming, following Ricardo and Lily, from the day they meet. I started The Danger of Dreams, and just fell in love with this pairing, so I figured I'd make a story out of them.
Ricardo Marquinez had always had bad dreams. For as long as he could remember he'd fallen to sleep with a fear of the long, terribly haunting cavern of his own mind as his eyes closed to the darkness of the night. He often went for days without sleep, staying awake for so long that his body gave way to exhaustion and he would fall into a sleep of fear and painful memories that made sweat seep from every pore in his body. He woke up to wet sheets and the empty darkness of a room which he could never recognize, with people whose voices he could not register until his heavy breathing and strangled sobs had died down.
His life prior to school had been full of recurring dreams, horrifying images and memories playing before his eyes so very vividly that there was no sign that it was a dream until he awoke again, sat somewhere so very different to the prisons of his mind that he became so worried, so confused and uncertain, that more than once he would hyperventilate, and his guardian would rush into the room, waving her wand and relieving the tight knot of panic in his chest.
When he entered Hogwarts, his dreams were as vivid as ever, but the room that he slept in was so unfamiliar in the norm, that after a night of horror and anguish, he would wake to more confusion than ever before. The first night in the Slytherin dormitory found him crying out, sweating and weeping, awakening the five boys with whom he shared his dormitory; that first night, he knew he'd found friends worth keeping.
It had been the same dream as always on that night, and it chilled his bones as much then as it had the first time. Sometimes, to some degree, it was worse than ever before; each time he noticed details he had before failed to note, and each tiny, apparently insignificant detail would heighten his torture more so than ever before. Ricardo remembered clearly the looks on his roommates faces as he awoke, tangled in the sheets of his four poster bed, tears streaming down his face and sweat forcing his pyjama top and shorts to stick to his body. He had screamed for help, screamed for Eva, his guardian and his friend; it was not Eva who came.
Sometimes, Ricardo wondered what might have happened had James Black not been placed in Slytherin house that night; the thought was an unwanted one. All that Ricardo knew, was that the moment James had calmed him down, he had forged friendships that felt as strong and unbreakable as goblin-wrought silver.
He had thrashed around in fear for what felt like hours, his calls falling on the ears of four strangers, his anguish unshared and heightened by that loneliness. It was James' face that stopped him reaching for his wand and sending hexes in every direction he could. While four boys had looked at him in fear and worry, James had met his eyes with an understanding so plain and clear that something had stilled in Ricardo, calming him instantly. If ever Ricardo had met someone whose face could calm without words, it was that of James Black.
Later, James had told Ricardo in strict confidence that his father used to have nightmares that forced him to relive any memory in his life that he had come to despise, nightmares so vivid that he would try to change their events, try to somehow undo whatever had happened. It was James that Ricardo told of his past. It was James that convinced the other four boys that Ricardo was not a freak to be feared. It was James that Ricardo valued above all of his other friends. It was James who, at night, when Ricardo awoke in tears as he often did, would stand at the base of his bed and speak to him softly, calm him with words, not magic, and sit up in the deserted common room into the early hours if Ricardo could not bare to return to bed. In six years of his company, whenever his sleep had been disturbed, Ricardo had had the reassurance of his best friend, a boy whose understanding on a cold September night had founded something no money could buy; a friendship of trust, confidence, help.
When James Black was announced as Head Boy, Ricardo was truly worried.
It was not that Ricardo was unhappy for his friend, for that was just not the case. If anyone deserved such a position, it was James. No, his worry was based purely on selfish motives; Head Boy and Head Girl had the privileges of their own private dormitories, and after six years of waking to his best friends reassurances, Ricardo was unable to face the possibility that his nightmares might suddenly be faced alone, as he always feared they would be.
James knew. James always knew. The moment they saw each other, a few weeks before the end of that summer, the day after they received their Hogwarts letters, James knew. He saw the look, partially hidden in Ricardo's blue eyes, of fear and uncertainty, and he had had a solution in a split second.
"Don't worry about it," he had said, meeting his friends eyes with understanding. "I'll talk to Snape. I'll sort something out. I promise, you don't need to worry."
It had been in that moment that the depth of their friendship had truly revealed itself to him. It had been then that he'd promised never to do anything to hurt him. He hadn't met Lily.
He didn't see James that night until they were in the common room; his Head Boy rounds on the train meant that they didn't leave together, and he hadn't really had the time to scour the benches for all of them before the Sorting. When he saw James, he smiled and raised a hand, briefly clapping his shoulder before sitting back down. James raised an inquisitive eyebrow, and Ricardo replied with a nod. They didn't need words to know that he was asking how he'd been sleeping. The others might have missed it; neither of them could have.
They had sat talking for a while, James with a girl cuddled against him, Ricardo sat thoughtfully, lost in his own mind until James went about introducing them to his little sister. Ricardo had not met Lily before, because, though James had invited him to stay more than once in the last six years, he was not yet ready to tell people who he had never met that he slept with great difficulty, and woke up to his own yells and sobs. He knew they could have silenced the room easily, so that nobody could hear his anguish and pain but James, but there was always the underlying worry that he would wake up and not know where he was. James had never pressured him, though Ricardo knew that every summer, the invitation would be there, and so Ricardo had never met James' family, except for when James' two brothers arrived at Hogwarts. Lily was different to his brothers though, and Ricardo knew it. James had often went about explaining his close relationship with his sister, so close that the six year age difference seemed not to matter. When he saw Lily, his first thought was that in a year or twos time, she would have boys chasing after her without a doubt. Her long straight hair, her emotive, grey eyes and her aristocratic facial features would attract many, and her slim figure would catch many an eye.
She was shy, he noted, and when her eyes fell on him at James' introduction she looked unnerved and blushed. He tried his best to be friendly, though he was worried he scared her.
"How's it going kiddo?" He had asked, thinking it would make her feel more comfortable. Apparently it wasn't the case, and he watched the girl walk over to the corner with her brother in bemusement. He caught her looking at him and tried to smile, though was quite sure she missed it as she looked away almost instantly. When James returned, smirking at him with a knowing look that for once Ricardo couldn't decipher, he felt completely confused.
Lily Black had never had a true nightmare; occasionally, she had a disconcerting dream that left her a little shaken, but they were few and far between. If and when she had one, she would search out her father or James, letting them cuddle her until her nervous state had passed, before she returned to bed. She had no reason to be scared of sleep, for she had nothing to relive in dreams that caused her pain. For all of her life, she had been sheltered and protected by a family who loved her. She never needed anything, had done nothing that might cause her worry, and was completely content with her family life.
When she entered Hogwarts, she did not worry to fall asleep in the company of her room mates, and nor did she awaken in a sweat. It was easy to pass into a new life of school, with different people. She had little to worry about, and made friends quickly.
Scorpius Malfoy was her first crush; the moment he cracked a joke at dinner in the Great Hall, she thought she had fallen in love, and spent the rest of the evening becoming friends with him. It was changed suddenly, when she met her brothers best friend.
Lily had heard about Ricardo; James said he couldn't come over to their house in summer because he was busy, so she had never met him. However, she knew he was a practical joker, a comedian, and an outstandingly intelligent person. Both she and her mother had wanted to meet him, simply because they were more bookish than anyone else within their family. Lily hadn't expected a good looking boy whose voice made her stomach swoon. Meeting him, after spending several hours talking to a boy with whom she had convinced herself she was in love, was all very confusing.
He was dark-haired, with a fringe that covered one eye. Though from where she stood she could not decipher the colour of his eyes, from what she could tell, he he had a perfectly crafted face. He had a strong jaw line, slightly tanned skin, and smiling lips. He wore green and black stripey gloves that Lily rather liked, and his voice was soft and warm. When her brother asked if she liked him, she could only blush in embarrassment. Perhaps she wasn't in love with Scorpius after all.
Their second meeting was at breakfast, and Ricardo was busy shoveling as much food into his mouth as fast as he could, trying to give himself some energy after a particularly restless night. James was sat next to him, with Lily on his left, but he had not spoken a word to anyone since he sat down, except to confirm his timetable to the irritable Head of House, Professor Snape. The first time James spoke, it didn't register with him, so lost in thought was he that he had forgotten where he was.
"Oi, Ricardo, what have you got first?"
After swallowing a mouthful of food, Ricardo checked his timetable, scanning his eyes over the text, smiling happily when he found that nothing situated that mornings box. "Nothing whatsoever my dear fellow!" He grinned. "Why?" He wondered vaguely if James had a free period.
"This lot need help getting to Defence Against the Dark Arts... you couldn't give them a hand could you?" James nodded towards his sister and Scorpius, who were both looking nervous.
Ricardo shrugged, "sure," he said, then winked at Lily. "Always one to help a pretty lady." He received a hard smack around the head from James and proceeded to eat his breakfast, only half listening to his friends warning about his sister.
If Lily could have picked anyone to take her to her first lesson at Hogwarts, it would have been him. As a typical pre-pubescent eleven year old girl, she was attracted to a boy, and therefore believed herself in love with him. However many books she had read, she had not yet progressed to romance novels that might convince her that her attraction to him was on a purely animal level. Having not had a single conversation with Ricardo, she had convinced herself that it was love at first sight, and spent the first night of her time at Hogwarts wondering when they could be married. She soon discovered that he was as funny and entertaining as James had told her, and spent breakfast and most of the walk to Defence Against the Dark Arts laughing at his poetic ramblings.
As Ricardo walked both she and Scorpius towards their classroom, he pointed out passing students, muttering things in a low voice that caused the two of them to laugh so hard their sides hurt. A blonde haired, skinny boy in Ravenclaw passed by, and Ricardo pointed at him, saying, "he thought that a lust potion was Draught of Dreamless Sleep, and took it before bedtime. He ended up jumping on one of his roommates and asking for things too rude for your young and innocent ears!"
A red-headed girl from Hufflepuff pushed past them with a group of friends and Ricardo smirked. "She fancied Professor Snape, and, I tell no lies, threatened to 'cut off his winky' if he didn't kiss her." Chortling, Ricardo added, "you can imagine how he took that!"
Lily giggled and looked at Scorpius, who looked slightly unnerved by Ricardo's joking. She smiled at him, then looked at their guide as he began to talk to them again.
"You know on our first day, me and James got detention for not turning up on time..." He grinned wickedly at the two younger children, who both looked terrified.
"Can we hurry up then?" Lily asked urgently, her voice seeming to grow louder and squeakier. Ricardo chuckled at her, running a hand through his dark hair.
"I'm joking. They don't expect you to know it like the back of your hand... yet..." He smiled as Lily began to bite her lip and quicken her pace in nervousness. In her increased haste, she dropped a quill on the floor, bending to pick it up just as two sixth years rounded the corner, both snorting as the tallest spoke up. "Bend over for the big boys sweetie!" They called at her.
Ricardo felt a ripple of anger towards them, and a rush of valour and loyalty to James made him whip his wand out of his robes, thinking of an incantation to a spell, and shooting two yellow bolts of light into the boys chests. They both fell to the floor instantly, their legs giving out, and he lifted them up by the scruffs of their necks, hissing quietly so that only they could hear. "Say anything to her again, and I'm sure the Head Boy won't mind beating you to a pulp with his bare hands." With a warning glare, and an extra flourish of his wand that forced their ears to grow at rapid speed, he dropped them and walked away, looking at Lily and Scorpius with a smile.
"Alright Kiddo?" He directed at Lily, who nodded and managed a stammered thank you. Ricardo sent her a brilliant, confidence instilling smile, flicking his hair from his eyes and revealing their dark blue colour. Lily felt her stomach twist in attraction as she met them for the first time, seeing the mysterious depth of his character, yet his humour and good nature, all at the same time.
"No problemo duck, I was getting bored anyway," Ricardo grinned, then checked his watch, swearing to himself, and quickly apologizing. "We're going to be late, come on!" Without permission or warning, he reached out and grabbed Lily and Scorpius' hands, pulling them down through the thinning crowds of people and breaking into a rhyme that made Lily laugh. Scorpius hardly noted it, so horrified was he to be holding the hand of a boy.
"Oh fickle school, you are a fool, to have so many floors, just let it go, I'm sure you know, that people now have doors!"
Lily shrieked with laughter, "it really doesn't make sense!"
As they skipped up a spiral staircase, not slowing for a second, Ricardo said, "you're as bad as your brother, you know that?"
And the unmistakeable glow of pride on her face made him smile at her warmly.
They reached the door to the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom late, meaning that the other classes on the corridor had all entered into their rooms and begun lessons. Ricardo grinned at the two young Slytherins sheepishly. "Tell Professor Golsum that Ricardo Marquinez apologizes for having taken you to the wrong room." He bowed mockingly to them both and smirked. "Have a good day now kid's! And don't do anything I wouldn't do!" He winked at Scorpius, smiled at Lily, then turned on his heel and left them to their lesson.
Walking down the deserted corridor, Ricardo reverted to reflecting on his dreams yet again. He was always worse when he was left alone, to his own thoughts and memories. With others, he could make jokes, laugh loudly, keep his mind away from the horrible truth of his own mind. Sometimes he wished he had the guts to visit Professor McGonnagall and ask to have his dreams Obliviated, but he knew that would not be allowed - they formed his very life, the person he was... his traumas of the past had brought him to the place he was in.
He entered the library, finding a book on Advanced Defensive magic, and settling down to scan the pages for an interesting spell he did not yet know. He had worked hard since his very first day at Hogwarts, always settling down to work, always forcing his mind to concentrate on the task at hand. He achieved Outstanding grades, was in the Slytherin Quidditch team, and did anything he could to distract himself. He and James pulled pranks in the evenings. Sometimes, he would deliberately land himself in detention if he had no evening plans and he would be alone to his thoughts. He was a nerd, a prankster, a rebel and a ladies man all at once, for the sake of his own distraction. Never in his life had he spent the night with a girl; perhaps that was why he longed for something real, not just teenage fooling around. Yet he could never tell anyone but his room-mates why this was so. He established a reputation as a player, and did not care to defend himself, for the sake of putting off an explanation. Ricardo knew that one day, to settle down, he would have to tell someone other than James and his other room mates about his dreams and nightmares, yet the one girl he had considered- a half-blooded girl on holiday who attended Durmstrang- had called him fickle, and not wished to hear his story. He knew that he shunned his own possibilities by not simply making a public admittance, yet he could not bring himself to do so. To tell would be to give an explanation, and that explanation was one which he did not wish to be giving to anyone.
Thereee we go.
I know I posted The Danger of Dreams chapter only yesterday, but I got a couple of reviews asking for this, and a few Private Messages, so I thought I'd do this chapter and see how it went down.
Let me know what you think :-)
Mage of the Heart