A/N: Written for Mystii (dancing with tragedies)'s "not so common" pairings challenge at the Next-Gen Fanatics forum.
Prompts: stagelights, aqua, just not meant to be
All Your Lies
you dance like a queen
in spite of all the things you never wanted
when you're left out in the cold
you dance like a queen
your silhouette is still my reflection
you speak to me in riddles, you speak to me in riddles
[secret life; thriving ivory]
It was supposed to end up being one of those "friends since birth" falling irrevocably in love sort of clichéd deals.
But you can't have best friends falling in love when they're not even best friends anymore, can you?
It started out so easy, for the world is nothing but simplistic when you're six years old.
She's over for a regular play-date at his house and eventually they get so caught up in their child-ish games that include making indefinite amounts of mud pies in the backyard that she gets later than she thought and decides to stay for dinner.
It happens the way it always does, and Luna Scamander knows beforehand that when her son's best friend is coming over, she's going to have to set an extra place at the dinner table.
The two sit next to each other as usual, their feet dangling, legs too short to even reach the kitchen floor yet.
Lysander sits across from them, making it his job to not laugh at any of their jokes and giving them scornful glances whenever they accidentally take a break from their own world and look his way.
His parents don't notice any of these six year-old "I feel left out" politics, and instead make conversation that they're used to, Lorcan and Dominique voicing their humble opinions as always, Luna and Rolf simply giving them knowing smiles.
For once, Lorcan the chatterbox stays suspiciously quiet for a few long minutes, and Dominique is left feeling awkward, shooting his twin brother looks of "What happened?" over the table.
At the moment, she feels like everyone hates her, because even Lysander doesn't respond to her (though he never seems to, does he?).
Finally, Lorcan inhales a huge breath, receiving a weird look from his father in return, and begins talking again. "Nicki, I've been doing a lot of thinking, and - will you marry me?" he asks loudly.
The clutter of the utensils and food on plates abruptly stops, and Lysander, of all people, snorts and says, "Are you serious?" under his breath.
Dominique ignores Lysander, who seems to be waiting for her to answer the question he imposed upon his brother, and instead looks straight at Lorcan. "Not in front of your parents, Lor!" she exclaims, covering her now red face with her hands.
Lorcan lets out a small laugh, poking her in the arm repeatedly. "Does that mean yes?"
She nods, now coming out of her previous burst of embarrassment. "Lor, you know the answer - always and forever, remember?"
He sighs, claiming to have forgotten this particular fact, and after Luna and Rolf are finished with their sudden fit of laughter at what's just occurred in their own home, Lysander storms off in all of his six year-old glory without giving any reason for his departure.
Dominique and Lorcan look at each other and smile, because now they're officially engaged, meaning he can call her "Dominique Scamander" without being reprimanded now, and this is the kind of thing that they've always imagined "always and forever" to feel like.
It crushes them both inside when in the end, it turns out they were just not meant to be.
They get five more years of freedom and incessant laughter, and the ironic thing is what was supposed to be the best day of their lives is the day that changes everything - for good.
He feels like something is being taken away from him, something precious, and no matter how hard he tries to avoid it, his heart is shattering into a million little pieces when he's sitting at the Gryffindor table, watching her being sorted into Slytherin.
His brother is sitting at the Ravenclaw table, shooting concerned looks in his direction every five seconds, going back and forth from looking to Dominique and then to Lorcan.
In truth, Lysander isn't looking at the two of them at all. Instead, he's taking the time to observe the giant space between the Gryffindor and Slytherin tables, feeling a wave of remorse wash over him as he realizes that they're both about to go through what he's gone through for eleven years.
Even so, the loneliness he's felt over the years is probably nothing compared to the pain they might go through.
But Lorcan meets up with his brother later that night, assuring him that it's going to be okay, because he's not going to admit defeat yet, since he's sure that one little thing can't change eleven years of the past.
It takes them two months of a few stolen moments over the weekends and saying less than ten words to each other in Transfiguration every other day to realize that it's not going to work out.
At least, she does, and she doesn't hesitate to state her opinion, though lightly, because she knows every single small thing about him, and if there's one thing he'll never admit, it's that he's always been a lot more sensitive than she ever was.
"Lor," she begins, because she's letting him go now, and it should be easy, but it's not - and her (accidental) use of his nickname makes that all the more apparent, "this isn't the same anymore."
"What are you on about?" he asks, averting his eyes away from her, because he may be the emotional one, but he's most definitely not the stupid one.
She sighs, and let's him interpret her words for himself, leaving with just a quiet, "I'll see you around, okay?"
And that's the most sorrow goodbye he's ever heard, because she couldn't even look him in the eyes when she said it.
So they fall apart much more naturally than they ever fell together, and instead of completely falling out, over every passing year, something grows between them that's much worse than if there was nothing at all.
"Oh ho ho, if it isn't Dominique Weasley," he announces in his usual bitter tone when it comes to anything that concerns her. "How are you on this fine day?"
She scoffs at him standoffishly, wishing it wasn't a Wednesday so she wouldn't have to deal with NEWT level Potions, moreover, the people (person) in that particular class. "I'd be better if you weren't here."
Ridiculously enough, he doesn't take the hint, and instead takes the seat next to her. "Good," he whispers, breath so close to her ear that it makes her shiver, "you can suffer more if I sit right here, yeah?"
And that's the way it is for them - not love, not hate, but pure and simple suffering.
One would think that they would just let go of their fall-out of six years ago, but they couldn't (didn't).
So hostility was the only available option, and they make the whole objective of their lives to inflict as much agony onto the other as is humanely possible.
She hates how Lorcan Scamander is always talking to her in riddles, how the fact of how much he hates her is always on the tip of his tongue, yet he doesn't have the nerve to just say the truth to her face.
(She hates how much she notices when that single, persistent blonde curl falls over his blue - no, aqua eyes, and how he doesn't even have the decency to fix it.)
He hates how Dominique Weasley, the one with the fire-red hair, is always so cold to him, and warm to everyone else, making him feel like he's committed some sort of crime.
(He hates how well she knows him, how she can still anticipate his every move before he makes it, like reading an open book without even trying.)
"So, how's the William Zabini thing been working out for you?" he asks her shamelessly one Wednesday afternoon, because when they've got this full hour to break each other's nerves, their energy shouldn't be wasted on Potions, of all things.
She hesitates, and replies, "Just fine, thanks very much."
"Really?" he says, raising his eyebrows. "Because that's not a 'just fine' sort of look."
"If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were actually caring for a moment there, Lorcan," she manages, laughing internally at her own joke.
He ignores her, and says, "Just making sure you're okay, Dominique," with a softness in his voice that should be illegal.
Her breath hitches in her throat, and he's not doing this, and she's not staring into those oh-so aqua eyes, and she misses him so much...
...And she needs to get a hold on herself.
"Don't worry, Will treats me just fine," she tells him crossly, thanking Merlin that she brought herself back to reality in time.
"I'm sure he does," he says reluctantly, turning his back to her as soon as he says it.
She's not about to skip this golden opportunity. "Why, are you jealous?" she asks, snorting.
He gives her a horrified look. "Hardly. I think I'm happy enough without you," and it's amazing how things between them can go from joking to sexual tension to coldness in the span of under a minute.
"That's what I thought," she says bluntly.
Dominique breaks up with Will the following week, Lorcan seeming as nonchalant as ever, trying his hardest to hide his inner satisfaction.
She bumps into him one night after scrubbing floors in detention for calling a Gryffindor sixth-year boy a "stupid, worthless waste of space" in public.
It hadn't been the greatest night.
"Out of my way, Scamander," she commands, in a bad mood already, not even considering bumping into her worst enemy a factor in her anger at the moment.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa - what are you doing out and about so late, Weasley?" he asks curiously, immediately catching on to her irritated tone.
She gives in to having a nice chat with him, because it doesn't look like he's going to let her make it to her common room anytime soon. "Detention," she says, smiling sweetly. "Happy now?"
He holds back a laugh, shoving his hands into his pockets in that way she's grown to hate. "Detention? That's pretty badass, even for you."
She takes offense to the smile that's slowly growing on his face. "Did you not understand me the first time? Fuck off, Lorcan!"
To her annoyance, he remains unfazed. "What did you do to get a detention?"
"Why are you choosing now to make polite conversation with me?" she retorts exasperatedly.
"Because it looks like this is the time it'll most annoy you," he responds obviously, not skipping a beat.
Sighing, she replies, "If you have to know, I said something apparently 'offensive' to someone in your house."
"My house? Last time I checked, I don't own it," he begins, holding up a finger, "and secondly, you make being in 'my house' sound like some sort of wrongdoing," he finishes, holding up a second finger.
"Well, that's the goal, isn't it?" she says absentmindedly, checking the corridor behind him for any approaching professors. "It's past curfew, what the hell are you doing out here?" she asks him, only now noticing that he hasn't given her a valid reason for being here.
"Not being as badass as you, obviously," he mentions, taking in her every detail, including her crossed arms and hair that's getting longer each and every day.
"Would you just let go of the 'badass' thing? That was one time, in fourth year, and I didn't mean to..." she trails off, knowing that he recalls the incident where she had received her first detention.
"I can't let go, Nicki. I can't let go at all," he says in his usual bitter tone, "always and forever, remember?"
And if she wasn't listening to his exact choice of wording, it would have sounded like any of his other insults.
"It's Dominique," she corrects, mind racing at his use of their "always and forever" phrase, because apparently the kid has forgotten that in her mind, the first eleven years of their lives never happened. She can't let him forget that she'll always be Dominique to him and everyone else, not Nicki. "And just to clarify, I'm more badass than you'll ever be."
"Of course you are, aren't you?" he says, ignoring her first statement. "You couldn't handle your best friend being so unlike you. Maybe that's why you had to let him go."
She's taken aback more than she ever has been with anything that he's said to her in the past seven years, even all the stupid jokes about her being pretty ("Oh, sorry - did you think I was talking about you? I'm flattered, really, but I was actually talking about that girl standing right behind you."), all the insults, everything.
"He didn't know her as well as he thought he did," she says quietly, mustering up enough courage to not turn away, because avoiding him isn't the asnwer. "He doesn't know that if he would have turned back once - just once, that things might have been different."
"Don't give me this role-playing shit, Nicki," he says, voice almost a hiss. "I'm tired of all this nonsense. I'm tired of thinking about how things could have been different, alright?"
He's moving closer to her now, and Merlin, she's forgetting everything that she's supposed to feel for him, and she thinks it's always been something different all these years, always hate or pain or deception and for one day (night), she just wants it to be different.
"Lor," she breathes in slowly as he gets closer and closer to her, and this isn't fair at all because he's totally guilting her into this.
But she's not making any valid attempts at stopping him either, is she?
He does the inevitable, kissing her passionately for who knows what reason, but hey, they're way beyond the "caring about reasons" point now.
She tries mumbling something as his hands find her waist, but she's forgotten why she was going to protest in the first place and her only legitimate thoughts are his name running through her head at a million different speeds all at once, the feeling of his lips on hers, and everything that they've both secretly wanted but never had enough courage to go after, since all they've ever known is pain, not love.
She follows his lead, running her hands through his delicate hair, feeling some sort of weird comfort as a moan escapes his lips.
They stumble for a bit, forgetting where they are, thinking they're wasting time every passing second that their lips aren't interlocked, but break apart long enough to find the nearest empty broom cupboard.
And from then on, it's already a tragedy in itself, because the whole world knows that Dominique and Lorcan were never meant to be, and if they ever do anything stupid like this, then the aftermath is quite frankly going to be ugly.
She wakes up a few hours later, wondering why her body aches in so many different places and why she's feeling so warm, in spite of it all.
She opens her eyes fully to face the disaster she knows is awaiting her, and when she turns onto her left side, she realizes she's in the arms of a shirtless, sleeping Lorcan Scamander, his warm breath inhaling and exhaling peacefully into her hair.
No, no, no.
She does the first thing she can think of, which may be the dumbest thing as well, because leaving quietly without informing him and letting him think that it was all a dream would have been the better option, wouldn't it?
Too bad, because she's already shaken him and he's stirring, nearly woken up.
"Wha - Dominique?" he slurs, rubbing his eyes and taking his hands off her immediately. "Where...?"
She sits up, moving as far away from him as possible in such an enclosed space, and tries to play the victim card, knowing that he's not going to buy it. "You took advantage of me, didn't you?"
"What the hell, Dominique? You - I - how?" he asks, still confused.
"Exactly, Scamander," she deadpans. "I can't believe you would do something like this."
"Something like what?" he bursts out, now fully awake and in his senses. "Don't tell me that you're sitting here, half-dressed, accusing me of forcing you into this. We both know that's complete bullshit."
On instinct, she looks down at herself and blushes, not because what he said was true, but because everything was bloody over and yet, he was still taking the time to stare at her.
"I didn't want this," she lies halfheartedly, only trying to convince herself of it.
He shakes his head at her, voice rising. "You wanted this as much as I did, don't even try to argue with that."
She closes her eyes, avoiding his piercing gaze as she always has, and contemplates the fact that she might actually have wanted this a tiny, tiny bit.
She might even be in love with him.
No, no, no.
She opens her eyes, the reality of the situation sweeping over her like a storm, and simply stares at him sitting there, waiting for her response.
She doesn't give him one.
He keeps waiting until he can't stand it any longer.
"I love you, Nicki," he whispers effortlessly across the space, and she wishes for a moment that it was a huge room instead of a broom cupboard so she could claim that she didn't hear him.
("Will you marry me?")
("If it isn't Dominique Weasley...")
("You can suffer more if I sit right here...")
("Just making sure you're okay...")
("I think I'm happy enough without you.")
("Will you marry me?")
She can't handle this.
This isn't real.
It was all supposed to be a game, and he was supposed to get played.
There's only one choice in sight, and she goes with it, whilst knowing that it'll change everything back (worse) to the way it was previously, and nothing that just happened will matter in the least.
She can hear her own voice cracking as she says it, and it's amazing that he doesn't spot her lies right then and there when she averts her gaze from him for the last time, picking up her stray clothes.
"I don't love you," she breathes, "I hate you."
(I love you.)
His eyes widen in shock, but she still continues, digging herself deeper and deeper.
"Don't think this meant anything at all to me - this was for everything, Lorcan Scamander," she says, her voice getting louder and higher with every word, "every single goddamn thing - you deserved this."
He closes his eyes for a second, everything around him exploding into a burst of unnatural colors as if he's illuminated by a pair of stagelights in the darkness, the silence growing too heavy for him to handle.
"I hate you," she repeats, then swiftly walks straight out of the broom cupboard, leaving the whole reason for the ups and downs of the last seventeen years of her life behind with every passing footstep.
He watches her go, feeling more broken than he did six years ago - but from their first year at Hogwarts to this very moment, he'd kept a little bit of his heart locked away securely inside, thinking that one day, things would eventually work out.
Of course, with his luck, they didn't, and they never will.
At least he'll never go through this again, because there's absolutely nothing left to break now.
They graduate Hogwarts and still see each other at those random family get-togethers that have become the bane of their existence over the past few years.
He steals a few glances at her and she does the same, but it's different now, because they've obviously gotten something crucial out of their systems and maybe, just maybe, they know they need to let go now.
So they do, and it turns out that bitterness never goes away, but even the attempts to evade it causes much less deception.
That's more than enough for them both, because maybe, in the end, she isn't meant to be with him or him with her. Maybe their happily-ever-after is starting over, getting ready for a new phase in their lives with new people and new places.
They've never even been about "happily-ever-afters", anyways, they always felt there was more strength in "always and forever."
Looking back, they had everything going for them - best friends (not), Gryffindor and Slytherin rivalries (they could care less), but it was easy enough to see that their only constant throughout their entire seven years at Hogwarts was the hostility of them both knowing they were never going to work out.
Whether they loved or hated each other those seven years was completely irrelevant - it was only relevant that in those seven years, Nicki was forever the most important person in his life, and Lor was forever the most important person in her life.
Ultimately, they'd gotten their always and forever.
And that was all that mattered.
A/N: So, a random, funny story that you can just skip if you want, but I felt like getting out there - the first little scene with him proposing to her over the dinner table is actually a true story, right down to the mud pies. One of my good friends told me a couple days ago that she and one of her guy friends actually did that when they were six years old, with her actually saying: "Not in front of your parents!", and now they don't even talk anymore. It was quite funny and sad at the same time, so I was immediately inspired to use that as sort of a basis for this.
Please don't favorite without reviewing!