A/N: Welcome fans of "An Unexpected Correspondence." Here is your sequel. If you haven't read the first story, I suggest that you do before starting this one. It'll be more like a prologue because I feel like this is the real story. Thanks for reading. Now, on to the show…
"One Fine Wire"
You know, you were right. This is a lot more difficult that I thought it would be. When I thought I was writing to someone I didn't know there was a lot I felt I could divulge. But now knowing that it's you? It's been tricky, to say the least. You mentioned that you trust me because you know that I won't spill your secrets and whatnot. It isn't that I don't believe you, but I find it hard to understand why. What have I said or done that made you think you could trust me? I'm not saying that you're wrong to do so, or trying to convince you that you were wrong. But I suppose I am rather curious as to why, after all the years of calling me terrible names and shooting down my confidence at every corner, would you decide you could trust me?
See, I'm having a bit more trouble in the trust department than you seem to be. You say you haven't told your friends anything that I've written to you, but how do I know that's true? Well, granted…they haven't been teasing me about anything I've told you. So okay, maybe you haven't told them anything I've already written. But what kind of guarantee do I have that you won't tell them something I write in the future? I guess I could hold your current letters hostage in exchange for that guarantee. But I'll be honest. It doesn't feel right to begin our new pen-palship with threats and whatnot.
So I suppose I would like to thank you for wanting to continue. I mean, maybe this will give us a chance to decide not to hate each other anymore. Though, I can't honestly say I hate you exactly. I try not to use such strong language if I can avoid it. Hate is a word I try to reserve for people like Rita Skeeter. Although truthfully, before we started this pen-pal program, I would have probably put you in that category. Now though, I can't say that I hate you anymore. But we have a long way to go before we can be friends, don't we? I mean, you can't just jump from hating someone to being friends with them. It's not enough to just 'not hate' someone. Perhaps we'll get through it, and then again, maybe we won't. Maybe you'll just read all of this and decide you changed your mind and don't want to deal with it. I wouldn't blame you, and I won't hold your letters hostage. If at any point you decide to throw in the towel, I'll give you all of your letters back so you won't have to worry about that. I hope you would extend me the same courtesy. I'm not going mushy on you, am I?
Well, on to the more pen-pal type questions. I'm not sure if you've heard, but I've started up a student organization called the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. It's all about helping House Elves have more rights and such. I mean, did you know they're practically just slaves? The entire situation just seems ludicrous to me. How can we treat these creatures as such? And there are so many working within Hogwarts itself! Anyway, I'm hoping to get the word out more. I want to help them in any way I can. Would you like to join? I can keep your name off the records, if you wish. It's only two sickles to join, and that mostly pays for things like pamphlets and fliers and such. I could understand if you don't want to, but I have precious few members as it is, and another would be a great help.
I guess my question for you is to describe what the Slytherin common room is like. I know it's down in the dungeons. Is it cold down there? And dark? I know the potions classroom is dark and a little damp, and always cold. I wondered if you guys have the same environment in your dorms. It just seems like it would be intolerable if it were. I suspect Professor Snape keeps his classroom the way he does specifically to make the students uncomfortable. But it's only a suspicion. I don't really have any facts to back that up.
I can't think of much more to write. I hope this letter finds you well, which feels a little odd to say, considering it's you of all people.
She sighed and rolled her head a little, trying to alleviate the strain in her neck. The teachers were assigning an almost impossible load of homework, trying to cram the students' brains with knowledge before the holiday. Essays, reading, practice, and sheets of questions filled her afternoons and evenings as she tried to stay ahead, though it seemed everyone else was just trying to keep up.
On top of all of this work, she had to figure out what to put in her letter. She started it and stopped several times, finally deciding to give it up and just write what she felt. Once she was finished she leaned back in her chair a little. She stretched her arms high over her head, leaning a little to one side and then the other to get the blood flowing in her body again.
As she did this, something caught her eye. She didn't turn. She didn't have to. She knew what she was seeing.
He was sitting in the corner of the library, several tables over from her and a little behind her. She thought that perhaps he didn't want to be seen by her, and instead of calling him out on it, she decided to just let it be. If he wasn't ready to talk about everything yet, she would leave him alone. She had been friends with boys long enough to know that they didn't usually want to talk about, well, anything really. Unless it was Quidditch or food or the answers on her homework, they mostly preferred to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves. She could respect that.
But she couldn't help but smile a little as a thought came to her. She leaned over to her right and grabbed her backpack, digging through one of the smaller pouches on the side. She came up with an elastic band to tie her hair back with. She proceeded to pull her mane of bushy hair back from her face and tied it back at the nape of her neck. She had to admit this had a dual purpose. First of all, it would help keep her from trailing the ends of her hair through her ink on her Transfiguration essay. This was the practical reason.
The other reason was the post script on his last letter. He had mentioned that she looked better with her hair pulled back. She couldn't help it, but it made her want to wear her hair away from her face all the time now. Mostly, she didn't give in to the urge. She didn't want to inflate his ego more than it already was. But, in a moment like this when she knew he was watching her, she wanted to make sure he knew that she took his comment into account.
She pursed her lips as she went back to her essay. She wasn't sure what possessed her to care really. She figured it was just because her best friends never seemed to pay attention to how she wore her hair. They never noticed one way or the other. She was sure that only one of them even recognized her as a girl, which frustrated her to no end. She had been getting tired of being treated like that lately. She wanted her red-haired git of a best friend to notice her. But she was starting to think it was a lost cause.
The fact that her one-time enemy had noticed instead made her belly squirm a little. She wasn't sure how she felt about that. She was sure her friends would knock her senseless at the notion. And besides, it was only because she was lacking in attention, right?
You want to know why I trust you? You can't imagine how long I've been sitting here, pondering that same question. I'm a Slytherin. We don't do trust. It isn't a natural tendency for most of us, or Malfoys either for that matter. But perhaps that's the very reason I trust you. I mean, you're a Gryffindor, aren't you? The epitome of trust and bravery? If you were another Slytherin, there would be no question about it. I would definitely not trust you any farther than I could throw you. Which, no offense meant, wouldn't be very far. I'm a seeker, not a weight lifter. You can't weigh that much, honestly, but it has to be more than what I can throw.
You get the idea though. I'm rambling, aren't I?
The consensus is that I do trust you, whether I should or not. I spent some time being suspicious of your motives. But try as I might, I can't figure out anything you would gain by deceiving me. And I don't blame you for not trusting me in return. I have been rather nasty to you over the years. Sometimes with good reason, sometimes without. I'm not here to beg forgiveness, mind you. But I hope you won't hold all of those instances into account when it comes to future trust. As a matter of fact, I'm going to say for you to go ahead and hold those letters hostage, as a sign of good will. If I ever give you reason to think I've been sharing this information with someone else, feel free to show my letters to your friends. I do hope you'll wait until you have definite proof before cashing in on this however. I know you are always accurate in your facts in class so I hope you'll use that same intensity when deciding whether or not I've betrayed your trust in the future.
Not that I believe you have any reason to fear. But I do think you need assurances and I understand why my word alone wouldn't mean much to you. You're right about jumping from hate to being friends. That isn't going to happen overnight. And I'm not entirely sure we could be friends, you know with the whole muggle-born thing hanging over your head. But I suppose I don't mind trying to not hate you. We'll try it and see how it goes.
As far as S.P.E.W. is concerned, I have heard of your organization. It would be hard not to, the way you preach about it in the Great Hall. I think it's great that you feel so strongly about something, and are working to make changes. But I think you have a long battle ahead of you and I'm not signing up for that. Personally, I'm one of those people who believe the house elves like their lives. Most of them anyway. I'm sure there are a few who are actually mistreated. But I would say on a whole, they're probably better just left alone. Now I know you well enough to know that you're going to want to argue this point with me. I'm not likely to change your mind and I'm not going to bother to try. Just like you shouldn't try to change mine. This is one of those subjects we're going to have to agree to disagree on. If not, we'll argue in every letter from this point on. If a good debate is something you want, you should sign up for Professor Flitwick's Debate Club or something.
The Slytherin common room isn't anything like Snape's classroom. It's a little colder than the rest of the castle, but we have nice fireplaces for that. I usually wear a scarf or jumper or something, when it's really cold. Other than that, I'm not sure what you want to know. It isn't wet or damp, though some of the hallways are. It's all decorated in green, silver, and black with big couches and chairs, a few tables and chairs to do homework on. There are some nice portraits of former Slytherins who have graduated. I can't imagine it's much different that the Gryffindor common room, is it?
So, a question for you. What can you tell me about muggle food? Is it much different from what we normally eat here at Hogwarts? I've had a few dishes here and there, when on holiday and whatnot, but they were muggle dishes made by wizards, so I'm not sure how close they actually came. What's your favorite muggle food? I want to know what things are good to order if I travel outside of the wizarding world.
Well, I guess that's it for this one. I have to get to work on that stupid history essay. What topic did you chose for that? I'm writing about the defeat of Grindlewald. Now there was an interesting man. Anyway, I hope you're well I suppose. I see what you mean. It is kind of weird to be saying that to you.
P.S. I noticed.
He groaned as he thought of the long trip to the Owlrey ahead of him. It was starting to get good and cold out and he was sure there would be snow any day now. He wrapped himself in a heavy cloak over his robes and headed out, glad to see that almost no one else was awake at this hour on a Saturday. He yawned, absently touching the letter tucked inside his robes.
When he thought of the bushy-haired girl he was writing to, his stomach fluttered a little. He cursed under his breath at his body's reaction. Sometimes he truly despised the fact that this girl had gotten under his skin, and really without trying. He had watched her in the library, when she tied her hair back from her face. He could tell that she'd seen him, but she didn't confront him about it. She smiled a little, tossed her hair back over her shoulder and went back to work. It made his belly roll, thinking that she had taken his advice specifically because he had asked her to.
He grumbled. Part of him hated her for it. Part of him wanted to tear her up for worming her way into his life this way. He didn't like the vulnerable feeling he got when he thought of how lovely she looked with her hair away from her face, eyes pouring over whatever book she had in her hands, watching the gears turning in her head as she found whatever she was looking for.
But another part of him, a slowly growing part, genuinely enjoyed the feeling in his stomach. That little part was happy to gaze at her from across the room, to catch her eye at an odd moment and smirk in her direction just to see the light blush that graced her features. He didn't know what to do about this, any of this. The smartest thing to do would be to stop the letters. He should just stop with the obsession with the girl who was off-limits and just walk away.
But he couldn't. Not yet anyway.
He was so lost in thought, his brain a million miles away as he walked, that he didn't quite realize he'd already made it to his destination. His feet had been moving on autopilot, steering him in the right direction. As he crested the last step and turned to go through the doorway, he walked smack into the object of his daydreaming.
He was almost knocked over and reached out to grab her shoulders, steadying himself. He was quite a bit taller than her. He hadn't remembered her being so short. But then, he had almost never allowed himself to be this close to her. She was looking up at him with her brown eyes wide. She was clearly startled since she didn't move to knock his hands away.
Her mouth parted as if to say something, but then clamped shut again. He absently wondered if she had come up here looking for the very letter that was now smoldering in his pocket. With a deep breath, he forced himself to let go of her and take a step back. He reached inside his robes and pulled out the letter. He shoved it into her hands and turned on his heel, determined to put as much distance between them as possible. He didn't like the heat building in his chest at their short contact.
He heard her call out his name, asking him to wait. But he didn't listen. Or at least, he tried not to.
A/N: Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.
Also, I now have set up a separate Facebook account for my writing! www . facebook . com/Lucawindmover (minus the spaces). This is a great way to keep informed about updates, brainstorming, ask questions and give feedback. For authors, it's a great way to bounce ideas and keep in touch. I hope you will all friend-request me. It's been a lot of fun using this account to keep up with writing!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. J.K. Rowling is the genius behind Harry Potter and those things related to Harry Potter. I just enjoy tormenting the wonderful characters she has created for us.