Stargazers & Starry Nights
They meet in a hallway, accidentally, when he crashes into her, and it creates a whole bout of awkwardness.
With a frown, she picks up her books. "Whoops. I'm- I'm really sorry, I didn't see you there."
"No, I'm the sorry one, I mean," he blushes. "I'm the one who should say I'm sorry. I'm Hugo. Hugo Weasley."
She nods with a smile. "I've heard of you. I- I'm Ella. Ella Finnegan. Gryffindor, and judging by your tie, you're a Hufflepuff?"
"That I am," he confirms with a smile.
Glancing at him, she thinks for a bit before she speaks again with a grin. "Well, I've heard about you. Apparently you're dating Gemini Malfoy?"
"Wait, what?" Hugo's eyes widen, and he looks as if he's going to faint at the very notion of this. "No, no. I'm not dating Gemini, we're just friends, if even that. She's basically the bane of my existence," he confesses awkwardly, shoving his hands in the pockets of his Muggle jeans that he wears instead of his robes after hours.
Laughing, she just offers him a smile. "Well, anyway, it's good to meet you, Hugo. But I really must be getting to class…"
"Wait," he pleads before offering her a smile. "Do you want to meet some time? You know, hang out."
"I'd like that," She replies with a soft smile. "Astronomy Tower?"
"Why Astronomy Tower?" He asks, running a bit faster to catch up with her.
"I like stars," She replies simply before turning and walking off, leaving him to stare after her.
It's not a dramatic meeting, but it makes an impact on him nonetheless.
He feels himself grow all the more nervous as he walks up the stairs. Ella isn't the typical bouncy, flirty, in your face kind of girl that he usually finds at Hogwarts, and that makes her sort of special. It's the reason why he'd asked her to hang out. It's the reason why he's ascending the stairs now instead of returning to his dorms and going to sleep as he does on normal nights.
Pushing the door open slowly, he whispers, "Ella? Are you there?"
The door opens all the way and he sees her sitting there, telescope pointed at the stars. Confused, he sits down beside her. "Stargazer, huh?"
"That would be me," she replies with a blush, adjusting her telescope. "Do you not like the stars?"
"Not the biggest fan of Astronomy," he confesses, blushing now too and looking down at his lap. "But, of course, I never really studied it, so maybe you could, um, show me…?"
She turns around, giving him a bit of a scrutinizing stare, as if she's trying to decide whether he's trying to flirt with her or not. Hugo wishes that he knew if he was or not. But finally, she just turns back around with a shrug, scooting over to offer him a place by the telescope.
He slides over beside her, noticing the way that his leg awkwardly touches her and the way that as he peers in, her arm brushes his as she points out the constellations.
"That's Gemini," she tells him, "and there, over there, that's Sirius, the dog star, and are you listening to me, Hugo?"
"Of course I am," he replies sincerely, first, because he's Hugo and he can't lie. But second, because he can't keep his eyes off of her for five seconds as she speaks.
He blames his hormones, but then again, they've never really been a problem for him before. He doesn't know what to say, so instead, he just smiles awkwardly at her, turning back to the star-studded sky as she continues to point out the constellations to him. It's riveting now in a way that Astronomy never was, and if she was his teacher, he had a feeling he would've gotten an 'O' on his exam.
"How do you learn all of these?" he mutters absently, staring out at the sky and the infinite number of stars out there.
"I just have a talent for it, I suppose," she sounds as if she's never thought about it, and she's not bragging, either. Turning back toward her telescope, she peers out again. "Did you know that people can have their own stars?"
"Well, then, I pick that one," Hugo says with a sweet smile, pointing out not the brightest star in the sky, but the one that sparkles the most.
She turns to him, amused. "You have to actually buy the star to make it official."
"Whoops," he replies, blushing a bit.
"But I prefer your way, anyway," She assures him, turning back to the telescope and peering through it. Suddenly, she turns the telescope down to look at the ground.
Crawling closer, Hugo whispers, "What are you doing?"
"Shh," she says absently, staring at the ground. "Look, Hugo! Your sister Rose is out there with Scorpius Malfoy. And they're… they're snogging!" She sounds positively excited by this.
"They are?" Hugo asks, snatching the telescope from Ella's hands and peering down at the ground, to where his older sister is, in fact, snogging Scorpius. "Oh my gosh, they are. I can't believe she didn't tell me."
"That's not exactly the sort of thing you tell your brother," Ella mutters. "I mean, I have an older brother."
"Wait," Hugo turns curiously to her. "Why were you so excited, anyway?"
Turning red, she shakes her head. "I have a bit of a… thing for gossip. I mean, I really shouldn't like it, but I do like gossiping. Especially when I'm the first to know something big like this." She goes scarlet.
"It's okay, I, um, wouldn't say I get it, cause I don't, but you know," he beams at her before turning back to the scene unfolding below them. "My sister and Malfoy. If he breaks her heart, well, then, I'll..."
"You'll what?" Ella laughs. "Honestly, Hugo, I haven't known you long, but I can already tell you're not the violent type or the scary type."
He shrugs, but joins in her laughter, because her laugh makes him want to laugh too. "I suppose I'm not that much of a threat."
"You suppose?" She says with a laugh again, but then she turns back to her telescope, and he joins her in seeking out the stars.
They sit like that for hours upon hours, just looking for stars and talking some of the time, but not all of it. The silence isn't so awkward, though most things are awkward with Hugo involved, but it's one of the less awkward things he's experienced.
That's the day that the stargazing becomes a tradition.
From that night on, every night, Hugo joins Ella in the Astronomy Tower and they gaze for stars. It goes on for weeks and weeks, yet they never get bored. Even Hugo, who isn't the best at Astronomy, doesn't mind the stargazing nights at all.
One night, though, she turns to him. "Do I bore you, Hugo?"
"You? Bore me?" his eyes widen. "How could you even think that? If anything, I would think that I bore you with my lack of knowledge. I mean, you're the expert here."
With a tiny tinge of red stinging at her cheeks, she nods. "Thanks. I was… I was just wondering."
"Why would you think that?" he wonders simply, staring at her as if he's waiting for a response.
She just stares at the ground, tracing circles against the paneled wall with her foot. "I don't know. I suppose I'm just a normally shy person and… and now that I'm branching out… I don't know what people think of me, and that scares me."
"Want to hear how I see you?" Hugo asks with a smile, leaning back so that his head nearly touches hers.
"Sure, go for it," Ella replies, but her voice trembles as if she's very nervous about this.
"Well, I see you as a beautiful girl, first of all," he smiles over at her, just being the normally sweet Hufflepuff that he is (always was). "But that's not all. You're beautiful, and you're really smart, as I can see through the fact that you are able to remember a lot of the infinite number of stars up there in the sky. You're also a really sweet girl, and well, funny too when you're trying to be mean-"
"Excuse me?" she interrupts hotly. "Trying to be mean?"
"Yes," he laughs, "don't worry, I can't be mean either. But either way, you're pretty much an amazing girl and don't think any differently. Don't let anyone ever tell you any differently, got that, Finnegan?"
"It's Ella," she informs him, but she starts to laugh. Hesitantly, she reaches over and wraps him in a hug. Into his shoulder, she mutters, "Thanks, Hugo."
"No problem, Finnegan," he teases her again, and she just scowls at him as she pulls away, so he continues with, "Do you prefer Stargazer, then?"
"I do prefer that to my last name, thank you very much," she frowns at him before laughing.
"Very well," Hugo claps his hands and grins at her. "Stargazer it is then."
She laughs, he grins, and that's the first time she gets her infamous nickname that sticks with her for quite a while.
He finds her there, one night, under the stars that seem to shine for her. She smiles at him, but it seems a bit forced (he's always been able to see through her like she's under a magnifying glass). "Hugo."
"Stargazer," he greets her. "What are you doing out here?"
Completely ignoring his question, she asks with a frown on her face, "Hugo, why am I in Gryffindor if I'm not brave?"
The question takes him completely off guard. It's not one of those things that he spends time pondering- he's not a brave boy, therefore he wasn't sorted into Gryffindor. But Ella's a completely different person than he is, obviously. With a smile at her, he tells her in the sweet way of hers, "Ella, the Sorting Hat has its reasons with everyone. It put you into Gryffindor for a reason, and obviously, if you were sorted here, you had the Gryffindor qualities- you have the Gryffindor qualities, no questions asked."
"But Hugo," she demands, seeming to be getting a bit impatient with his explanations, "I'm not brave like everyone I know."
"You're braver than me," he tells her simply. Then, if just to shut her up, he takes her in his arms and twirls her around under the stars, her hair reflecting the light from the stars.
Starlight shining in her brown eyes, she tells him, "You know, Hugo, I've always wanted to be kissed under the stars."
Not making any comments about her apparent romantic side (soft side) or anything, he just smiles and replies, "Got it, Stargazer," before he leans in and presses his lips to hers.
It's a sweet kiss, a soft kiss, but she looks like she's in shock- like she hadn't actually thought that he would do it. But she kisses him back anyway before she pulls away, staring at him for a second before she catches her breath. "I thought you said you weren't brave."
"Well, I'm not," he stares down at the ground. "That's called rash, impulsive, and I might have picked it up from my multitude of Gryffindor cousins."
"Don't you have something you want to say now?" she says simply, staring at him expectantly.
"What, that I like you, Stargazer?" he laughs. "I thought that was evident."
She laughs too, walking over to him, and he kisses her on the lips again under the starlight, before twirling her around again and setting her down. "Aren't you going to say something?"
"That I like you?" Her eyes twinkle, and he can't decide if it's the reflection of the stars or her amusement. "I thought that was evident."
Both of them laugh, and end up falling onto the field, staring up all night at the expanse of stars that shine for them.
They fall asleep that night under the stars, and neither of them mind.
He finds out later that she's always wanted to sleep out under the stars.
A/N: Well, there's my short oneshot just to show I can write short little fluffy things ;)
Thanks to Listen (fabricated fantasies) for my borrowing of her OC, Ella. I didn't do her justice but I think she and Hugo are cute anyway.
And yeah, please read and leave a review, it would quite honestly make my night! =)