A/N: Erm…I don't really know what this is. I'm not sure why I wanted to write it. But whatever; I simply needed some quiet time and here's where my brain led me.
Honestly, I don't know what you're going to think of this. Maybe you'll like it and find it sweet. Maybe you won't. I won't pretend to know how you judge. Just let me know either way.
When It Rained
Tonight, it rains.
However, it is not a gentleman's rain, falling with discretion and grace to the earth making limited noises so as not to disturb anyone. Though, it can neither be a thunderstorm, because it does not wreak its havoc with carelessness, or blind zeal that can never be quenched.
It is a rain of moodiness, of petulance. The sky is a steely, ill-tempered gray, raindrops like missiles pitter-pattering down to earth and escaping from the overcast clouds that know they have no business being there. It is a rain of bitterness, of brooding and broad-spectrum melancholy.
Mist, humid and sultry, caresses her window like warm breath, giving her a frosty filter with which to survey the world outside, the pure Scottish greenery at its best with the attention of abundant water. Green and gray are all she can see, lying back on her side upon her bed, her red hair fanned out across the pillowcase, her body motionless.
Her stomach is clenched, her heartbeat perhaps a little slower than it should be. She watches, watches, her meandering thoughts landing in that one place, the same place, every time she tries to roll the dice and find a different prognosis.
She knows who she's thinking about. She knows what she's looking for. Nevertheless, neither of these statements of fact is doing her any good.
Because in truth, she just didn't know things could happen like that.
She didn't know that commenting on his lack of concern in several aspects of his life – jokingly, over his refrain that doing his homework tonight would be a waste of time – would invoke such a swollen, over-blown reaction from him.
How could she, anyway? He had given no indication that in spite of everything, he could yell at her like that, like he did when they were young and yelled all the time. She thought they were over it, childish as she must sound. She thought they were all right. But still…
The rain keeps falling, falling, its gentle cadence echoing in her ears and reverberating through her body. She chews idly on her lip, continuing to watch the rain coat the outside world, turning her thoughts around in her head over and over again, for what seems like hours.
She hears the voice, his voice, behind her and instinctively – before she can stop herself – she turns her head.
And sure enough, there he is, leaning would-be-casually against her doorway – dark hair in his eyes, hands in his pockets.
His expression is stoic, careful, but all the more poignant for it. She's always sort of admired this about him – how someone so wildly passionate can keep so composed when the time requests it. Her heart skips a beat and she fights to follow his example.
"H-How did you…?" Her throat is thicker than she would have thought.
"Sirius showed me how to trick the staircase," he answers, anticipating her question. His tone is scrubbed clean of any giveaway inflection, sentiment, and his eyes are much the same. "He knows all sorts of useful tricks about the castle. Comes in handy sometimes."
"I see." She nods vacantly and her gaze falls to his feet. They're bigger than most, clad in casual trainers. She focuses in on how blue they are as she evenly inquires, "Why are you here?"
He shrugs, carefully noncommittal. "Because I knew you'd be."
"Oh." She continues to refuse to meet his eye. "I've proven myself to be quite predictable then."
"Maybe." He refuses to implicate an insult; but she can't help but notice all the same that he similarly refuses to implicate a compliment. She allows her gaze to rest at his knees.
He walks to the bed where she lays, his steps effortless and his penetrating stare never changing, and he rests his knee at the foot of the mattress, just by her feet. Instinctively, she curls up tighter, her eyes smoldering almost hopefully, but not naively.
The two of them stare at each other, tentative but chary, patient, aware. She waits a few moments, in case he has anything more to say, but he doesn't. She decides to take initiative.
"It's raining," she finally informs him softly, resting her face in the palm of her hand, supported by her elbow. "It has been for the past few hours now."
"I see that." His tone is smooth enough to put the most polished marble to shame. "You love rain."
"I do." She takes a breath. "But you don't."
"That's true, I normally don't."
"I've never understood why." Her eyes flicker to his chest.
"I find it gloomy," he says. "I prefer the sun. Easier to play Quidditch when it's around."
"Everything is about Quidditch with you," she murmurs.
"Quidditch means something to me."
"And rain means something to me."
"I never said that was a bad thing."
"You act like I'm strange for thinking so."
"You do the same."
"I follow your example."
"And I follow yours."
"So whose fault is it?"
"I don't know."
"Does it matter?"
"Do you want it to?"
The dialogue passes swiftly between them, coasting upon the delicate surface of deep waters they take lengths not to fall into. She is left without a response to his final question. She parts her lips as if she is about to speak, but she ends up closing her mouth and finally catching his gaze for the first time this evening.
His expression is steady, his face as handsome as ever as he regards her with the same misty interest he's always had for her. There is no twitch of his mouth suggesting a suppressed smile, no glimmer of vibrancy in his limbs. He is perfectly serious – just like she wishes he could be more often. She is unsure if she ought to be pleased or disconcerted.
"I was under the impression that everything mattered with you," she finally says.
"Everything does matter," he agrees. "I suppose the problem lies in how much."
"So what do you trying to say here?"
He exhales and it sounds a lot like a sigh. His composure promptly crumples and he's left looking at her with his bright eyes, his tell-tale expression.
"I don't know," he admits. "I never know what I'm trying to say. I'm kind of an idiot."
"I've noticed." She allows some of her guard to fall as well and the corner of her mouth twitches with amusement.
"Well, you're the one who listened to me after six years and went out with me," he points out. "I dunno…maybe you should get used to this."
"What, to fighting with you over nothing?" She arches an eyebrow at the prospect.
"No…" He purses lips and rests his knee more solidly upon her mattress. "To…well…to us not being perfect."
"I know we're not perfect," she informs him at once.
"I didn't think for a second you don't," he assures her, "but I dunno. You were so…upset."
"So were you."
"But now I'm not." He pauses. "Are you?"
She doesn't have to think about this. She shakes her head.
"No," she says. "No, I'm not upset."
"Our fight was stupid." He acknowledges this with a rumple of his mop of messy black hair, which means he's over it. "Really bloody stupid, and Lils, I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry too." Her jade eyes almost glow as they take him in, all of him this time. "You're right, it was stupid. Stupid of you to overreact and stupid of me to overreact to your overreaction."
He chuckles slightly and all his warmth rushes back into his face – and consequently, back into her as well. She chuckles with him.
"You really are an idiot," she informs him.
"Well, don't go on flattering me, you'll make my ego swell," he tells her very seriously.
She reaches her leg out and gives his hand a little kick. "But," she continues, "I love you. You and your idiocy."
"I always knew you'd come around eventually," he says, exultance in his tone.
She smirks, but chooses not to respond to this remark. He now climbs onto her mattress, his weight sinking it in, and he crawls to where she lies. Amused, she watches as he settles in on his own side behind her, his one hand finding hers and squeezing it tight and his other supporting him up.
"I thought you didn't like the rain – or watching it," she says.
He rests his chin on her shoulder, breathing in the rather floral scent emanating from her neck. "But you do," he responds into her skin.
Grinning fully, she tilts her head back so that a cascade of hair falls in his face and muffles him. Grinning himself, he pulls her into him and shakes himself out of all the red, reclaiming his chin's spot on her shoulder and focusing his vision in on the rain still pitter-pattering like missiles on the window in front of them.
He lies here with her and he holds her close, reveling in their contended silence. He kisses her neck and makes her smile and truly, nothing and no one else in the world matter right now. The general loveliness that comes with being here, being together, far exceeds the melancholy brooding of the outside world.
The overwhelming amount of stormy grays and greens outside is no longer intimidating, but almost comforting, in that it has its own beauty, its own virtues, and the sun can still come out tomorrow.