"I don't know, Penelope." Percy cast a discreet look down at his brand-new, shiny Prefect badge. "We really shouldn't. I mean, we're supposed to set a good example, and all that."

"Well, if you aren't interested…" Penelope tossed her long, curly hair over her shoulder and turned as if to leave.

"No, er, that's not, er, at all —" Percy took a deep breath, attempting to quash his inner scruples. Merlin, she was beautiful. "What I mean is – I'll meet you behind Greenhouse 2 at eleven?"

She gave him a bright smile. "I'll see you then."

-o-o-o-

At ten minutes past eleven, Percy stood behind the greenhouse, nervously running a finger around his cloak collar. Where was she?

"Sorry I'm late." Penelope sounded out of breath as she rounded the corner. "I had a narrow escape on the way over. Snape." She grinned as his Adam's apple wobbled. "Don't worry; he didn't see me. Our house points are safe."

Relieved, Percy let out his breath as she looked up at him expectantly.

Expecting what?

He cleared his throat. "So what did you think of Binn's lecture today? Isn't he—"

"Let's walk down to the lake." Penelope had spoken simultaneously.

Percy stopped mid-sentence. "Very well."

Keeping a safe distance from the Forbidden Forest – and the castle – they walked toward the cliffs. When they reached the shoreline, Penelope sat down on a rock and patted the space next to her. "Have a seat."

He sat.

There was silence.

As Percy's breath puffed white clouds into the winter air, Penelope pulled her cloak closer around herself and leaned against him, shivering a little as her hand brushed his.

"Are you cold? Allow me." He sat up, pulling out his wand to cast a warming spell. Puzzled, he heard her give an exasperated little huff. He didn't know why. The soothing warmth seemed much nicer to him.

There was more silence.

As they watched the almost-full moon rise higher in the sky, Penelope again settled against him.

This time, he didn't move.

The mountains towered around them, sharply outlined in black against the star-studded, clear night sky. Small waves lapped against the base of the cliff. Owls hooted as they circled over the forest, dipping in and out of view. As they watched, a merman surfaced off in the distance, raising his spear before once again disappearing beneath the silvery surface of the lake.

Penelope sighed contentedly, her eyes shimmering in the moonlight as she tilted her face toward his. "I guess there is more than one kind of magic at Hogwarts," she said softly.

Percy gave that some thought. "Well, yes, I suppose there is. There's our magic, of course. And house-elf magic. That would be considerably different from ours. For one thing, they don't require a wand. And they can Apparate from Hogwarts when no one else can, did you know? And I guess merpeople and centaur magic is different, too. Even if they don't technically live in Hogwarts. But…"

"Percy, shut up and kiss me," Penelope said crisply.

Oh.

Percy closed his mouth with a snap.

And as was his habit, he did as he was told.


This story was written for the dyno_drabble community on livejournal in response to a recent prompt ("More than one kind of magic exists at Hogwarts.") Writers were allowed to pick any canon pairing for their response. Not beta read.