It wasn't, Zacharias Smith thought, that he meant to be an arsehole. He found he couldn't help it. He was just a very honest person. He told people what he thought rather than what they wanted to hear. He didn't really know how to think before he spoke, he sometimes wondered if he had been cursed at birth because of all the trouble that particular trait had gotten him into. That was why he now cared little if others thought him cruel, it was better that way, he couldn't waste his energy feeling guilty over everyone he had ever offended. The only remaining fault to his honesty (one that was currently causing him much suffering) was a tendency to make obscenely embarrassing confession and act of inappropriate impulses at the worst of times.

He'd consequently taken to spending much of his time in disused classroom and around the Quidditch pitch. Places he could be alone.

He was actually rather proud of his self-control. He had gone nearly three months without blurting out anything ridiculous or performing any actions that he would be unable to take back at a later date. Even he, with all his pride, hadn't expected to last a whole three months.

It was getting harder by the day.


Detention, he decided, was a bitch. It wasn't that he didn't deserve detention but he didn't deserve a detention that involved three hours writing lines in a locked classroom with nobody other than fellow Hufflepuff Justin Finch-Fletchly.

Justin Finch-Fletchly whom he'd been spending the last three months resisting the urge to push up against a wall and molest.

Screw bitch—life was an Umbridge-loving, death-eating whore. And probably friends with his father as well.

How had Justin wound up in detention anyway? The guy was from 'a military family' and had an obscene amount of respect for authority that he seemed unable to ignore, not to mention being very well organized, behaved and mannered, he was hardly a potential king of trouble makers.

"What got you this detention?"

Okay—that was so not fair! Justin wasn't allowed to steal his conversation starters – and yes, Zacharias Smith was allowed to be immature in his head.

"Professor Sinatra was not at all pleased with my explanation of the truth about why Astronomy is a waste of students' valuable time," the blond said with a shrug, "And you?"

Justin's cheeks flushed pink and mumbled something incoherent that was odd since Justin wasn't usually the mumbling sort, Zach wasn't sure but he though he remembered the curly haired teen mentioning public speaking lessons, which could explain it.

"What was that?" Zach asked, raising an eyebrow.

Justin blushed deeper, "I got a little irritated and charmed Filch's cat to turn purple whenever he wasn't looking at it. I got five points from Flitwick for 'impressive charmwork' and a detention," Justin was still blushing but a hint of a grin was tugging at the corners of his mouth. The idea that the rather wimpy teen had a mischievous streak amused Zach greatly never mind Justin's smile… Zach had several ideas of his own for that mouth, which we was desperately trying to keep quiet about.

Justin had turned back to his parchment and was biting his lip in concentration. Zach continued watching the dark haired teen in an attempt to memorize each detail of his features so that they could stop surprising him into thinking awkward thoughts. His hand was still flying across the parchment, occasionally stopping for more ink, but after a dozen repeats, any set of lines became tediously easy.

"What do you have to write?" he asked. He felt uncomfortable talking to Justin but he would rather have a potentially weird conversation than silence.

Justin glanced up at him, almost surprised, "Oh. Umm… 'I will respect the wishes of others in regards to the colours of their pets and possessions. I will also refrain from using magic in the corridors."

Zach felt a smirk cross his face at Justin's obvious discomfort with the idea that he had broken rules. Justin blushed again (in a way that made Zach wonder just how many other ways he could think of to make his house mate blush) and continued writing.

"I've just got to write, 'I will respect the school and its staff,' - dull huh?" Zach joked.

"Yeah." Justin didn't look up. Zach scowled. Where the hell did Justin get off with ignoring him? He stretched his arms above his head and groaned loudly. Out of the corner of is eye he saw Justin glance at him and then look away. Several more minutes passed.

Zach leant back on his chair and loosened his tie. Justin's eyes flickered towards him again. Had he been sharing his detention with anybody else they would have been deep in conversation right now—the risk of him making some humiliating confession be damned. Justin was intelligent, charming, insanely attractive and, apparently, more interested in writing lines than talking to Zach. The blond Hufflepuff let out an audible moan of annoyance.

Justin's quill went flying across the room.

The dark-haired teen jumped out of his seat and darted over too it muttering his apologies. He wasn't wearing an outer robe so, as he bent over to pick up his lost writing implement, Zach's eyes were drawn effortlessly to the way that the black school trousers tightened over Justin's arse.

"Fucking hot."

Justin's head jerked around to fast that he probably gave himself whiplash, "What?!"

Zach realized with a wave of nausea that he'd spoken aloud.

"What was that you said?" Justin repeated, almost hesitantly.

"Er…" Zach shook himself mentally; Smith's did not get stuck for words, "I said, um, I said I'm fucking hot."

Justin nodded, "Yeah you are - I mean it is! You'd think they'd have a more balanced heating system."

There was a long, awkward silence. Justin fidgeted with his quill and Zach drummed his fingers on the desk.

Zach cleared his throat and Justin started with surprise before diving back towards his seat and scribbling furiously on his parchment.

They sat like that for almost ten minutes. It was quite possibly one of the most awkward situations in the history of Hogwarts.


Zach glanced over at Justin. The brunet was rubbing the side of his hand where he appeared to have stabbed himself with his quill.

Zach let out an unwilling snort of amusement.

"It's not funny," Justin spat, "I never got used to using quills – why can't wizards use biros or pencils or something?"

"There's nothing wrong with quills," Zach defended, "Except Umbridge's one last year."

Justin winced, "That was horrible…"

"You had detentions with her?" Zach asked, "When? Better yet – what for?"

"The first one was for refusing to do any homework," Justin frowned, "The other four were for not 'behaving' in the first."

"What did you have to write?" Zach enquired glancing down to the top line of his own multiple scars, 'I will not voice unwanted opinions."

Justin walked over and laid his hand flat on the desk, "The top line was what I decided to write in the first detention. The second line is what she made me write."

Zach looked down and the carefully lifted Justin's hand and held it up to his face to examine the words. What he saw caused him to explode with laugher.

Etched into the back of Justin's hand in bold capital letters was the phrase 'I told you I was hardcore.'

Justin laughed with him, "She didn't appreciate it, but when I realised she was making me write in my own blood I couldn't resist, hence the subsequent set of 'I will respect authority' lines - as if I don't already."

Zach rolled his eyes, "Damn right. Wish I'd thought of writing something different though, I just sulked at the demented cow through the various detentions right up until the 'I will keep my wicked opinions to myself' lines."

"But I like listening to your opinions, why would anybody want to stop something so wicked," Justin grinned. Zach pulled a face at Justin's juvenile play on the multiple meanings of the word wicked.

"Seriously though," Justin added, "Self-mutilation as a form of punishment was way out of line. I at least developed a skill for objecting in ways she couldn't punish me for but it must've sucked to be you."

Zach gave a small shrug, "Yeah but you could also spin it that it was okay for me because I'm a Quidditch player and I'm tough where as a skinny, fragile little doll like you could have gotten broken."

"Fragile little doll!" Justin choked, "You do realise that I'm less than two inches shorter than you and you're one of the tallest people in the year!"

Zach laughed jokingly, "Yeah but people describe me as tall, athletic and powerful – they describe you as medium height and agile but very slender."

Justin took an indignant step backwards. It was at that moment that Zach realised he still had a grip on Justin's hand but it was too late to do anything about it as momentum sent them both crashing forward to the ground.

Zach blinked dazedly and placed a palm upon the floor to steady himself. As his focus returned Justin's face swam into view inches from his own.

He realised with a (mortifyingly girlish) flutter that he was half-straddling, half laying on the dark haired teen. He hoped his pulse had only sped up from falling off the chair – if Justin could do that do him so effortlessly then his reputation for composure would be completely ruined. Not to mention the aspersions it would cast on his sanity.

Then Justin was kissing him.

Zach tensed instinctively and Justin immediately pulled away, rolling from underneath him and jumping to his feet. As Zach pushed himself into a sitting position, Justin grabbed his bag and belongings from where he had been sat and moved them over to a desk by the window with an air resembling that of a spooked unicorn. He was as far away from Zacharias as the room would allow.

For the second time a silence settled in but this time Zacharias fought against it by clearing his throat loudly.

It was apparently the trigger Justin had been waiting for as he let out a steam of garbled, hurried words.

"SorryI'msosorry. Ishouldn'thave-Ididn'tthink-Ijust… pleasedon'thitme- Itwon'thappenagain. Ijustlost my head foramoment. I know you're notandI'mandpleasedon'thateme- andifyoucouldjustforgetI… I'msorry…"

His speech was getting progressively faster and more difficult to comprehend as Zach finally got back to his feet.


Justin stopped suddenly, jerking his head around to stare out of the window, his fists clenched and his posture rigid. He skin had gone pale and he was shaking almost imperceptibly.

Zach took a deep breath and forced himself to walk towards Justin until he was standing directly in front of the teen.

Zach slammed his hands onto the desk with a thud, vaguely amused at the way that Justin jumped at the action in spite of his insistences that he wasn't so easily made nervous. The blond teen ducked his head slightly to decrease the effect of his standing form towering over Justin's sitting one and casually placed a hand on Justin's jaw, pulling him around to make eye contact. It was more challenging than it sounded because although Zach was able to force Justin into facing him he could do nothing about Justin's persistence in averting his gaze.

"Justin…" he hissed slowly. Justin gave him a panicked glance. "Look at me," he continued.

Justin took a shuddering breath and met his gaze with fearful defiance.

Zach smirked and walked slowly around the desk, moving away from it as he did so until he was stood a few meters to Justin's right; Justin's eyes were following him nervously.

"Stand up," the blond drawled. He suddenly recognised the look on Justin's face as the brunet did so, slowly. Justin was readying himself for a beating. Zacharias swore internally, he'd overlooked how jittery Justin was– he hadn't meant to give the impression of an attacker. Justin's expression was one of genuine fright.

"C'mere," Zach remarked, consciously softening his tone in an attempt to assuage Justin's nerves but without removing the commanding attitude.

Justin walked towards him with some trepidation although his face was slightly less pale than before. He stopped several inches short of Zach arms' reach. 'Justin,' Zach realised, 'was actually being serious when he said he thought Zacharias was going to hit him. What was up with that?'

Zach, who was wavering between baffled and frustrated by this point, closed the gap himself.

Actually, he closed it far more then necessary and consequently left only and inch between his own face and Justin's, which now sported a wide-eyed look and was more flushed than ever.

Zach breathed out lightly, suddenly thankful that he'd used toothpaste and mouthwash today rather than the quicker but less effective 'oral hygiene charm', and resisted the urge to laugh at the expression on Justin's face. Justin, although a very open and vibrant person, most of the time, kept up a reasonably mature and dignified poise which in younger years had only slipped in times of much duress and was now rarely missing. This was probably the first incident in a long while which had given Zacharias the opportunity to see Justin completely unprepared and somewhat exposed. In other circumstances, he would have probably taken the opportunity to verbally tear his fellow Hufflepuff to shreds.

Instead, he leant forward and rather gracelessly shoved Justin up against a desk as their mouths collided. If he was going to have a total lack of self-control then Zacharias decided he ought to get some enjoyment out of it. After a minute and a half, he decided to do Justin the courtesy of pulling away and verifying what was going on.

"Erm," he began. He couldn't think of anything else to say. It was fairly annoying; he'd spent his entire life with an insult or a witty comeback at the ready but yet he repeatedly found himself stuck for words around Justin Finch-Fletchly.

Justin gave him a tentative smile and Zach felt yet another (mortifyingly embarrassing) flutter from in his abdomen. Perhaps was just better to go with his instincts on this one, he decided, as he pulled Justin back towards him. He'd always wanted to test the actions speak louder than words theory.

A/N - I've proofread this as completely as I can but as everybody knows it's hard to spot your own mistakes so if anybody has seen any please tell me - I can't promise they'll get fixed immediately but it helps if I know. Erm... If people could review that would be awesome.