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For Mystii's 'those Weasley girls' challenge, with the pairing Lorcan/Dominique and the prompts 'above', 'unexpected', and 'necktie'.
And she can paint the world a thousand shades of starlight, but she can't possibly reach through his tangled threads of heartbreak and heal him, can she?
Lily looks pretty as a picture in her jade-green dress and her curls as bright as fire and she's sitting on a chair on the outskirts of the dance floor and pouting because –
Oh, yeah, she's in love with Teddy, not him, remember?
He pours his glass of lemonade down a potted plant because James and Louis probably spiked it, the buggers, it even tastes like firewhiskey instead of lemonade and even he knows the charms to keep it tasting like the original drink, and – wait, where was he?
"Hey, Lily-flower, want to dance?" Teddy's asking now, having left his bride in the arms of her father, one hand extended towards Lily.
And, damn it, Lorcan really wishes he didn't hate the guy, but Teddy's grinning at her in a way that makes her whole face light up and she jumps into his arms with a squeal of delight and this is ridiculous and, yeah, he kind of does hate him. Because, hello, Teddy's married and Lily's eleven years younger (she's his age) and yet she's in love with him and he'll always own her heart and there's no place for him in this crazy little love triangle.
"Something bothering you?" asks a familiar voice, making him whirl around to confront the unexpected trespasser into his little bubble of the garden.
Except it's Dominique standing there holding a teacup, and she's kind of hard to confront because she's one of his best friends, y'know, and she's smiling at him like she does whenever they're pulling pranks, so Lorcan lets his fists unclench and a smile cross his face.
"No, nope, nothing," he says, lying through his teeth and knowing she would see right through him – she's Dominique, and she's always been good at spotting secrets, as evidenced by the fact that she's the only one who knows about the tattoo on his back.
"You're lying," she says matter-of-factly, her blueblue gaze catching and holding his with an intensity that would make him uncomfortable if he hadn't known her for so long.
"You're right," he tells her, flashing her a grin and hoping she'd forget all about it.
(Who is he kidding? She's Dominique, for Merlin's sake.)
"Am I going to have to charm this out of you?" she asks, mixing a spoonful of sugar into her cup of tea and prompts abandoning it on the refreshments table for some other poor sap to pick up, drink, and turn into a rainbow banana, or something equally amusing.
"Yes," he answers without a second thought and immediately regrets it when she tilts her head and smiles sweetly, turning that Veela charm up a couple (dozen) notches.
"What's the matter?" Dominique asks, her voice silky-smooth in an imitation of her mother's, but with an undercurrent of playfulness that's uniquely Dominique and makes him think that she's trying to hold back laughter. Actually, he knows she's trying to hold back laughter, because she's just started giggling.
"You're horrible at this whole Veela charming thing, you know that?" Lorcan teases, reaching over to tweak one of her orange-gold curls.
She bats his hand away, still giggling. "Shut up. It's only because you're used to it. And you seem to prefer redheads to blondes, anyway."
"You're not redhead or blonde," he points out before he fully comprehends her words. "Wait, what?"
Dominique raises an eyebrow and picks up her teacup again, apparently having changed her prank strategy. "I mean, one can't possibly argue that Lily's not redhead, y'know?"
He splutters, but before he can formulate a coherent retort, she's turned and wandered away, passing her teacup to a random Veela cousin on her way through the dance floor.
Minutes later, that Veela cousin transforms into a rainbow apple (close enough), and all he can think about is Dominique.
It takes some time, some careful maneuvering, some precise timing, and some butter sneakily slid onto Louis's hands (don't ask), but he finally manages to corner her for a dance.
"Enjoying the party?" Lily asks him, sounding a little breathless and dizzy, and even though she's in his arms, she seems impossibly far away, lost in a fantasy world of her and Teddy dancing without a care to Victoire (and him).
"Yeah," Lorcan mumbles, spinning her out and back in. "You?"
"It's wonderful, isn't it?" Lily gushes, hazel eyes bright, blissfully oblivious to his churning stomach. "Everything's so beautiful! I'm so happy for them!"
He really hates it when she tries to lie to him.
"Oh, really? You didn't seem to be enjoying it half as much before Teddy deigned to dance with you," he drawls, feeling annoyed when all she does is frown at him.
"What do you mean?" she demands, stumbling a little when they next spin around.
"I mean that you spent the entire ceremony and a majority of the reception pouting at Teddy and Victoire," Lorcan tells her, and this, at least, makes her eyes widen and her feet stop moving. "And then as soon as Teddy started dancing with you, you cheered up."
"So, I can't be happy that he danced with me?" Lily demands, her Potter-Weasley temper firing up, right on cue.
"No, you just can't be jealous of Victoire and then turn around and tell me you're so happy for her when I know you're head over heels in love with him!"
Lily rockets back on her heels, an expression of discomfort growing on her face. "I am not, Lorcan. And why do you care, anyway?"
"I care because you're lying to me, and we're best friends, and I hate it when you lie to me," Lorcan says. "I care because you're so wrapped up in Teddy and being jealous of Victoire for having him that you haven't even bothered to look beyond a guy who's eleven years older and happily married to see who really loves you. I care because you can't s – "
He stops himself here, partly because he's run out of breath and partly because her eyes have widened in a way that has him worried.
"Lorcan, are you – are you seriously saying that – " Lily seems so incredulous, it kind of hurts. She reaches out to touch him, her hand grazing his palm, and he finds himself startled to realize that her touch invokes nothing in him – no butterflies, no dizziness, no electricity, nothing.
"I'll see you later," he manages, pulling away from her, and runs away.
"Wait!" she calls, but he's too far gone to listen.
Dominique's sitting on the edge of the roof when he finds her. All around her, breezes are swirling, become steadily cooler as the pink-gold sunlight begins to fade over the horizon, and high above them, stars are already starting to glitter in the darkening sky, bright against the velvety background of the heavens.
"Hey," he greets, for lack of anything else to say.
She glances over, blue eyes warm and bright. "Hello. Are you all right?"
Lorcan half-grins. "You're too perceptive, you know that?"
"Believe me," Dominique laughs, "I know that. My cousins complain often enough."
He scrambles to a sitting position near her, swinging his legs over the edge of the roof. "You ought to start charging for your makeshift therapy sessions, or something."
"I couldn't do that." She braces her palms on the roof tiles and tilts her head up to the heavens. "You might not be able to afford it."
Her words linger in the dusklight for a moment, innocent and teasing, but with something deeper twisting inside him, and for the first time, his head's not filled with LilyLilyLily, but instead with the beauty of the sunset and the stars and Domi—nope, not going there.
"Are you going to tell me what happened?" she asks curiously after another heartbeat of silence.
Lorcan shakes his head to clear it. "Uh, yeah. Lily and I got in an argument."
Dominique tilts her head, orange-gold curls spilling over one shoulder (not that he notices how they shimmer in the light or how they bounce like – never mind). "Which has been happening a lot recently," she points out lightly.
He sighs. "Yeah, I know. I just – how can she possibly not see it?"
"I don't know," she replies honestly. "It's surprisingly easy to miss something when it's right in front of you, you know."
Lorcan pauses, wondering what she means, but she's already standing up and walking over to the ladder that leads down into Shell Cottage.
"Where are you going?" he asks, twisting around to look at her, a little unsettled by her words.
Dominique brushes a honey curl out of her face. "I think it's time we get back to the party. Lily'll be wondering where you are."
She descends the ladder and disappears into the chaos of the wedding, leaving Lorcan alone with the stars shining above him.
"Does it ever bother you?" he asks Victoire in a moment of boldness fueled by his inherent Gryffindor-ness. "That your baby cousin is in love with your husband?"
Victoire hesitates, a glass of wine halfway to her lips, and levels him a thoughtful stare over the table they're sharing while Teddy makes his rounds through the Weasley girls. "Should it?" she asks finally, her voice light and satiny in a way that reminds him helplessly of her little sister.
"Yes," he says, a little unsurely. "Shouldn't it? I mean, it would bother me."
She sets her wine glass down, and something's telling him that she wants to laugh at him. "I do hope you don't pride yourself on being emotionally savvy, Lorcan."
He blinks. "What?"
"After all," Victoire continues easily, "you're the one who can't realize it when a girl's in love with you."
It strikes him as rather funny that he's being told he's oblivious by Lily's cousin. Funny, and rather insulting at the same time, anyway. "Excuse me? Which girl?"
Victoire favors him with a secretive smile. "Figure it out."
Lorcan frowns – he's a Gryffindor, not a Ravenclaw; riddles are not his thing. "You never answered my question."
She stands up and glides over to his side of the table, her trademark big-sister look that he's seen her use with Lily and Dominique and Lucy and Molly a thousand times on her face. "Love is complicated, Lorcan," she tells him, taking his hand and squeezing. "But it's never wrong."
He stares at her, into those sky-bright blue eyes so reminiscent of a world far away, and then she offers him a smile and wanders away, back to Teddy and her happily-ever-after.
And it's not all that hard to realize just who she reminds him of (and who she's talking about).
(They're sisters, after all.)
Lily's always been a persistent girl, so he's not all that surprised that she corners him half-way through dinner and plants herself in front of him.
"We need to talk."
Lorcan blinks down at her. "What about?"
"About you. Me. Us," she replies, gesturing wildly.
"Well, that clears it up," he drawls, knowing his sarcasm is being a little unfair, but not finding it in himself to care at the moment.
Lily stomps her foot. "Lorcan. I don't want to fight. Can you just tell me the truth? Do you love me or don't you?"
Lorcan runs a hand through his hair. "Would it make a difference, Lily?"
"Yes," she insists, crossing her arms. "We could – we could try, Lorc. I'm sure I … I mean, I'm not in love with Teddy and this could work, us, together, y'know? Since you're in love with me and all – "
"Whoa," he interrupts, raising his hands. "Who said I was in love with you?"
(Because the truth is, she's piercing him with that bright hazel gaze of hers and he's feeling nothing, nothing at all, and yeah, that kind of throws him for a loop because he's spent so long pining after her that now this sudden lack of butterflies is startling, but he can't see any way around the fact, either.)
Lily tilts her head, looking puzzled. "Isn't that what you said?"
He sighs. "No, Lils. Look, I – I was just confused, all right? You're my friend, and I don't want to ruin that. You're in love with Teddy – "
"I am not!" she protests automatically. "And Lorc, I'm not stupid – I know you had a crush on me. What happened?"
Lorcan shrugs, trying not to show how hurt he felt by the use of the word 'crush'. "I don't know, Lils. Maybe I fell out of love with you."
Lily stares at him. "How? Why?" She seems utterly perplexed as to how that could have possibly happened.
"Because you didn't notice me!" he explodes, startling her into a step back. "Because you were always moping about Teddy and you never bothered to notice me, and, really, Lily, can you blame me for not wanting to put up with that anymore?"
"But, Lorcan," Lily whispers, stepping closer. "I do notice you. And I want to give this a try."
She reaches up, one arm fastening around his neck, tugging him down, and a part of him wants to just give in and let her kiss him because he's wanted this for so long and it's finally happening, the girl of his dreams is finally in his arms, her head angled, her lips nearing his own and –
Over her shoulder, he catches sight of Dominique by the refreshments table, her head bowed over a glass of lemonade, but her blue eyes glance up for just a second and catch his gaze.
For a moment, his mind is swimming with honey curls (not strawberry) and blue eyes (not hazel) and Dominique, and then he pushes Lily away.
"I'm sorry, Lils," he tells her, genuinely apologetic. "But it's a little late for this."
"What do you mean it's too late?" she demands. "Lorcan, I'm willing to try, isn't that enough?"
Lorcan hesitates for a moment, then leans down and presses his lips to her temple. "I'm sorry," he says, and she seems to deflate before his eyes. "I'll see you later."
Lily bites her lip. "Yeah. Bye, Lorcan." She turns and walks away.
Perhaps she'll never know what she missed, but Lorcan knows what he might have missed if he had let her kiss him.
Across the room, Dominique flashes him a dazzling smile, and Lorcan returns it with a grin.
Later, long after the wedding reception is over, he finds her on the beach, and he has to spare a moment to wonder why he always seems to find her. And then he realizes that she's standing in front of the shore, barefoot in the white sand, the sea glimmering blue all around her, stars shining high above her and –
"Hey, there," he says, nudging her shoulder with his once he's far enough into the ocean to stand next to her. "You know the party's over, right?"
Her blue eyes slide towards him, and she smiles. "I know. There's supposed to be a shooting star tonight, and I don't want to miss it."
"How do you know that?" he asks curiously.
"Astronomy Nightly is always up-to-date on this sort of stuff," she tells him. "Are you going to stay here and watch?"
"Anything to get out of cleaning up the backyard," he says, grinning.
Dominique laughs. "Can't blame you there."
There's a pause as they both stand there, ankle-deep in water and breathing in the fresh air. Then, she says, "What happened with Lily?"
"We…broke up, I guess you could say," he answers with a wry grin.
She tilts her head. "You were never together."
"Yeah, I know," Lorcan laughs. "I guess I just realized she'll never love me back."
Dominique opens her mouth to respond, but just then, a shooting star arcs through the sky and her half-formed sentence trails off into a gasp of delight. "Lorcan, look!"
Lorcan glances up at the night sky just in time to see a glittering golden trail of stardust left behind by the shooting star, bright against the velvety backdrop of the heavens. "Did you make a wish?" he asks her, voice soft and husky as he turns to smile at her.
"Yeah." Dominique flashes him a cheeky smile. "I wished you would finally show me that tattoo of yours."
He snorts. "Liar. That is not what you wished for."
"Well, I can't tell you that, otherwise it won't come true," she says, grinning. "And I really do want to see your tattoo."
"Well, I'm not taking my clothes off in this weather just so you can see a tattoo," he informs her firmly, though he can already feel his resolve weakening in the face of her bright, imploring blue gaze.
"I can take them off for you," she suggests, her smile full of mischief in a way that reminds him of those long-ago days when it was him and her and their friends playing in gardens and pulling pranks on the other kids.
"Oh, yeah?" he challenges. "Go for it."
He hadn't been expecting her to actually do it – but then, she's Dominique, and since when does she go back on her word?
"All right," she says lightly, reaching forward and loosening his necktie with one hand. "If you insist."
She's suddenly standing right in front of him, her head bent over his tie as she tugs it loose and tosses it on the sand nearby. Something similar to electricity is blazing up and down his body as she begins to unbutton his shirt with careful hands.
"Dominique," he breathes, a little overwhelmed, because, hello, he's seventeen and he's only just gotten over his first love and here's one of his best friends, inducing those ohsocliché butterflies in his stomach as she – as she takes his clothes off, and, yeah, his face is totally bright red at the moment.
"Hm?" she murmurs, drawing his attention away from attempts to cool his blush. "Do you not want me to?"
"No," he coughs. "You can – I mean, you may as well, considering…um – "
Dominique tilts her head and smiles at him before tugging his shirt off and letting it tumble to the sand. "It's on your back, isn't it?"
Lorcan gulps and turn around, sensing rather than hearing her breath catch in her throat. He knows what she's seeing – a majestic stallion stretching from one shoulder-blade to the other, inked in midnight-blue with jet black wings spread across his back.
"It's beautiful," she breathes, her fingers ghosting over the tattoo, sending shivers down his spine. "Why do you keep it a secret?"
He takes a moment to regain his breath from where it's caught in his throat. "I don't know. I don't want people knowing, I guess – it's my secret."
Dominique traces one wing of the stallion. "Our secret," she corrects.
Lorcan turns around. "Right," he says with a smile.
She's standing very, very close.
Before he can really think about it, he's leaning closer, his head angled, his arms around her waist, her hands on his chest and lighting his body on fire with her every touch. She tilts her head just right, and he takes a breath and closes the gap between them.
She tastes like watermelon, and her hands are hot on his bare skin and he can barely think from all the sensations; he only has time to wonder how long she's wanted this before he's lost in a daze of starlight and watermelon and lemonade and Dominique.
He draws back for a moment, leaning his forehead against hers and gasping for breath. "Do you…do you want to go out with me?"
Dominique smiles lightly, her fingers tracing designs all over his chest, and he should be cold, being shirtless in this weather, but her touch is all firefirefire and she's too warm pressed against him for him to feel anything but amazed.
"Of course I do," she tells him, giggling a little. "You're clueless sometimes, you know that?"
"You love it," he points out, grinning, drawing her back in for another kiss before she can protest, and soon, he's forgotten everything but the taste of Dominique and the feel of her in his arms, her body light and warm and perfect against his.
And now his world's painted a thousand shades of starlight, and it's beautiful.
Author's Notes: Hey, look, a new pairing! :D I'm trying to branch out and stuff, y'know ;) Hope you guys liked this! I have to admit, I'm quite fond of this pairing, though it's not one of my favorites.
And to my friends who do love this pairing, this is for you! Hope (AccioHope) and Ella (trade these shoes), I hope you guys liked my first shot at Lorcan/Dominique! :D I love you both!
And to my wonderful twin, Beth (Ella-Bethh), this is also for you, because you gave me the wonderful additional prompts of 'sugar', 'electricity', 'tattoo', and 'shooting star'! Thank you! I love you!
Don't favorite/alert without reviewing, please and thank you :)