Meeting You

Hi Everyone! Thank you all for your kind reviews on my first story, Dripping Seconds. This is my second, and much shorter story. It's also a Maggie x Henry story. I hope you enjoy it.

The first time he met Margaret Winnock, he was running haphazardly and late into his History class on his first day of school.

"Henry Griffin?" the teacher said, curious but reserved. "Seeing as it's your first day, we'll let it go. Did you get lost?"

"Yes," I gasped out between panting, hurried breaths. If only Jasper had been willing to come early and show me where my classes were… He thought darkly to himself, considering a few choice words in a variety of languages that hopefully none of his classmates would be able to grasp.

He stumbled to his seat, forgetting, as always, that he was wearing a heavy backpack. He liked to travel light.

In the seat down his row, but more towards the middle (he was against a wall), was a girl he managed to notice even through his embarrassment and anger towards Jasper. She was pretty, he admitted to himself, short with long dark hair and, unlike the rest of the class, wasn't looking at him. She was focused attentively on the teacher, her notebook out and ready.

The class passed in a blur he was hardly able to focus on, perking up only when he heard the names of places he had been or lived in, which was often enough that the teacher never noticed his glazed eyes. He couldn't wait for it to be over. To occupy himself; he tried to understand his classmates, but, though most very superficial, found himself stuck on the very attentive girl he had noticed earlier.

Even when the teacher left to get something, leaving the class in the perfect place for unsupervised chatter, the girl never looked at him.

She was the only student who never looked his way, the only girl who wasn't eyeing him with some upsetting desire in their eyes. And for that reason, he found himself very intrigued.

"Jasper," he said, coming up to his cousin in the hallway between History and Math. "Who is that girl?" He pointed out the girl, who was collecting some notebooks and a book from her locker.

"That, cousin, is Margaret Winnock. She's really, really smart, but don't try to talk with her. She scoffs at anyone with an IQ below hers…which, of course, is all of us."

"I think she's lonely."

Jasper laughed harshly. "Her? Please. She pushes people away. That girl wouldn't be lonely if she had to live in he woods by herself for years."

"I like it in the woods."
"That's not the point, Henry. The point is she doesn't want friends, nor does she need friends, nor will she allow people to be her friends. That being said, give her the space she needs, no friendship or anything else will come out of it. The only thing she's good for is for teaming up on projects." Jasper walked away, obviously believing the conversation was done.

"I think people like you are why she is lonely," Henry said quietly, and turned to go to his next class.

He saw the girl called Margaret again in his English class, right before lunch. The teacher had to talk to a different teacher, and so he went over and tried to talk to her.

Up close, he realized that something about her poise and facial expression reminded him of a statue he had seen somewhere. He decided that, if what Jasper said about her had been true, she would like that. And probably would be able to educate him on the history of the statue.

"Hi," he said.

Her head snapped up from the book she was reading, the same book he had seen her retrieve from the locker earlier. She looked at him. "Oh. Hello." Her voice was neither friendly nor unfriendly. She looked back down at the book.

"I'm Henry…Henry Griffin. I'm new."

She glanced up at him again. "Oh. You're Jasper's cousin. I can't say I see the resemblance. I'm Margaret Winnock."

"Jasper says you are very smart." He wanted to catch her off-guard, to see some emotion flit across her carefully composed face.

"Does he?" She said, flatly. There was something in her voice, but it wasn't shock, but bitterness. "Well, I suppose that's one of the nicer things he could have chosen to tell you about me." She looked back down at the book. He remembered the other things Jasper had said, about her being stuck-up and antisocial, and was glad he hadn't mentioned them.

He thought about telling her about the statue, but couldn't decide whether he wanted to or not. She didn't seem to want to talk to him, though it wasn't as though she didn't really want to talk to him. She just didn't seem to have anything she wanted to say to him.

No matter where he had been in the world, girls had always harbored some sort of fascination for Henry, something that he had never returned. This was especially awkward in countries where he would be considered of eligible age to marry. And for once in his life, he had met a girl that absolutely couldn't care less.

Backing away, he went back to his seat.

He didn't think she had noticed, or had paid much attention to him at all.

For some reason, that made him unhappy, and as he struggled to pay attention to the teacher, he found himself in a bigger tangle than before.