Running in Circles
and you can stay with me forever
and you can stay with me for now
and tell me if I'm wrong, and tell me if I'm right
and tell me if you need a loving hand to help you fall asleep tonight
- cold coffee, ed sheeran
She disappears, and he can't say that he's surprised.
Her eyes are always full of searching for something more, for something beyond the restraints that hold them, for a world larger than their small wizarding society. With one glance at her father, he can tell that Percy Weasley does not approve of his daughter's decisions, but her face seems to say 'since when have I cared what you think?'
She's the kind of girl that just doesn't fit in. In a word, she soars. She's high above the rest of them, floating in the sky, leaving trails behind her. She's unpredictable, rude, and slightly mean, if one would dare to say those things to her face. However, she's different than anyone he's ever known.
He can see that beneath the walls that she puts up, she has feelings. She cares what her dad thinks about her, she cares about her sister, and, most of all, she cared about her mother. Deep inside, he knows that her mother's death was the reason for her change.
Out of jaded eyes, he watches her, but he never dares to say a word because Molly Weasley II and Lysander Scamander never really had the same mental capacity.
He can't say he's surprised when she disappears, though. In fact, he's pretty sure that he saw it coming.
When she resurfaces at last, she has more streaks in her red hair. She soars above the rest of them, her eyes narrowing constantly as if she is judging everyone within a reasonable distance, yet all he can do is watch.
"Where'd you go?" he asks once, leaning back against the fireplace at yet another multi-family dinner. It's the summer before their first year out of Hogwarts and his mind is swimming with images of her.
He expects some smart remark with an insult hidden beneath the surface, but instead, she smiles. She actually gives him half a smile. Then she crosses her arms. "Why should I tell you?"
"Because I'm curious," Lysander responds after a moment, having grown used to her defensiveness. He's observed her for a while now. However, his heart is beating out of control, because this is one of the few times he has dared to speak to her. Normally he's too scared to even greet her.
"Yeah, I'll believe that," she scowls, glancing back down at her black nails and subtly informing him that he's made a wrong move. It takes a careful person to be able to break down the walls of the Slytherin ice queen, and any wrong move will result in death. At last, she glances back up again. "The casanova of the school cares about the Slytherin ice queen? Scamander, you really need to rethink your priorities."
She stares at him for a moment, as if she is expecting a reply. When she doesn't get one immediately, she stands up, as if to storm off in anger. He finally forces his mouth to move. "Wait, Molly!"
"Yeah?" she raises an eyebrow, as if to seem all the more threatening. He thinks she doesn't need any help on that account.
"Uh," he stands there for a moment, staring at her. Finally, he works up the nerve to speak. "Would you… maybe… want to hang out sometime?"
Blinking, she glares at him, confused. Then she pulls a piece of paper out of her bag and scribbles something on it. Glancing back up at him, she questions, "Do you have a Muggle phone?" When he doesn't respond after a moment, she groans and pulls her phone out. "Like this, you imbecile? Seriously, I thought you got a decent grade in Muggle Studies."
"Oh, that," Lysander replies, a small smile appearing on his face as he remembers the tiny phone that always sits by his bedside at home. "Yes, I do have one. Why?"
She hesitantly hands him the slip of paper, and he stares at the strand of numbers until they blur together before taking it. Frowning, she tells him sharply, "Call me sometime. That is, unless you're too much of a coward, Scamander."
He stares after her as she saunters away, probably to scare more of her little cousins, but the truth is that he is too scared to trail after her like some little puppy. He knows she won't appreciate it.
Slowly, he sinks to the couch, tracing the numbers in his mind over and over again. She's given him his number. How can this possibly be the same girl he'd observed just months before?
He feels the paper drop from his hands in shock, and he sinks further down into the couch, wondering what is going on.
At dinner, he can hardly so much as meet her eyes.
While she was gone, he'd been with a thousand girls at Hogwarts. The problem was that none of them were her.
And they still aren't, he realises as he welcomes his newest guest into the house. She has brown hair with blonde highlights, and she's small and fragile and everything that Molly isn't.
He kisses her with fire but doesn't feel it returned, and he finds himself fingering the number in his pocket, wishing to call but thinking that it's far too soon.
The girl's brown hair flames to fiery red, her eyes to jaded green, and as he clutches her closer he can almost pretend that she is Molly.
That is, until her soft voice breaks the silence. "You know, Scamander," she tells him thoughtfully, "You've lost your touch." She picks up her bag off the chair and turns to leave.
"No, wait—" his voice cracks, because he's really unsure as to whether he can stand being alone. She turns to raise an eyebrow at him, just as Molly had—
Forget about her.
"Don't leave," he says huskily, walking back over to her and placing a gentle hand on her shoulder. "There's no need to leave just yet. Come back inside and we'll have a snack." He gives a quick wink, his hand trailing from her shoulder down to her small hand. Encasing her hand in his, he drags her back into the house, feeling a bit desperate.
They don't end up doing anything of any importance, though. They sit by the roaring fire with cups of wine in their hands, staring at it as if it could implode at any given moment.
"I wish I knew what I was doing," Lysander tells her, placing the cup of wine beside him and turning to look at her.
"I wish you did too," she giggles softly, putting her hand on his shoulder. It seems like more of a friendship gesture than anything.
First, Molly Weasley invaded his life; now she has invaded his relationships as well.
His shaking fingers are positioned over the keys, and he finally gathers the courage to type in her number.
For a moment, he hesitates, his finger hovering just above the SEND key. It's then that the door slams, shaking him out of his reverie.
"Just call her already," Lorcan Scamander hisses, rolling his stormy grey eyes at his twin brother. "Honestly, Lysander, if you don't call her now, someone else will. And honestly, I don't want to deal with you moping about the apartment every day because she has rejected you, so call her now."
Sighing, he presses the SEND key at last, feeling a sense of empowerment come over him. It fades as soon as the phone begins to ring, though, because he starts to question what he's done. Does she really want him to call her? Was the whole thing just a dream? It's weird, this sudden nervousness, because he's a Casanova and he hasn't once been nervous about a girl so far. The thing that he's come to realise lately is that Molly Weasley II breaks all of his rules.
She answers on the fifth ring. "You got me."
"Well, hi," he feels himself gulp, and Lorcan raises an eyebrow at him. Mustering up his confidence, he asks flippantly, "You busy tomorrow?"
"If you have something interesting planned, then no, I'm not," Molly replies after a moment, her voice harsh as always. "However, if you do not, then I am busy. Very busy, in fact."
"I was wondering if you were up for going to get coffee," he replies after a moment.
A silence ensues, one that he's not willing to break. After a moment, Molly finally responds, "Do they have black coffee?"
"Always, I believe," he replies, taking mental note of that in his head. Molly Weasley likes black coffee.
"With sugar?" she continues, and he can hear the babble of people behind her. Absently, he wonders where she could be.
He realises then that she is waiting on a response and tells her quickly, "You know it."
"Then I'm there," she retorts, and he can almost hear the smile in her voice. "Pick me up at 1 PM sharp."
Then she hangs up, not even bothering with a goodbye, and he falls back onto his bed, head spinning. Could this really be happening? He'd never really thought about what would happen if she ever actually agreed. He'd only imagined the asking part.
Now his head spins with images of them together—her clutching his hand—and he decides that possibly, maybe, this could be his biggest victory yet.
As he waits in the restaurant, he finds himself bouncing with anticipation. Can't be too long now, he thinks internally. He begins to drum his fingers along the length of the table, creating a rhythm that corresponds with the beating of his heart. Calm down, Lysander, he berates himself. If this doesn't work out, there are plenty of other girls out there.
The problem is that none of those girls are anything like her.
The door slams shut, and she steps in, streaked hair flying behind her. In a whirl, she stalks over to the table and sits down across from him. "Hi."
"Hey," he greets her cautiously, taking her hardened expression as a signal that she's not too thrilled with the world right now. Slowly, he stands up. "Want me to go get the drinks?"
"Black coffee, three sugars," she tells him, not bothering with pleasantries, which sort of irritates him.
He spins on his heel to stare her down. Her green eyes seem venomous, dangerous, almost, and he knows that what he's about to do might result in his death, but he crosses his arms anyway. "Magic word?"
"What?" she spits. "How about Avada—"
He cuts her off there, noticing the stares of their fellow customers. "Relax, Molly. Just say it. it won't take that big a chunk out of your pride."
This seems to irritate her all the more, but she grumbles out a "please" and slumps down onto her chair. He stalks off, feeling slightly victorious but sort of as if he has ruined the day already.
Quickly, he orders a black coffee and a hot chocolate (as he's not really the coffee type of guy) and picks up a few sugars. Some pretty dark-haired girl is gazing at him from the corner, making him feel slightly uncomfortable. Hiding his head, he walks back to the counter and picks up their drinks, then takes them to the table.
"You got it right, Scamander," she says appraisingly. "Not bad."
He thinks that that's all the thanks he'll probably ever get from her.
Sitting down at the table, he smiles at her. "So, uh, you've got a pretty big family…"
"Which cousin are you interested in?" she inquires brazenly, raising an eyebrow at him. "Because Dominique has run off with that Malfoy kid, and Victoire's dating Teddy—she's a bit too old for you, anyway…"
"I'm not interested in your cousins!" he interrupts, feeling cross.
"Then are you interested in Lucy? I think she might be your type, that is, if you can break her away from your immature brother," she rolls her eyes. "Or one of my aunts, because that's just disgusting—"
"I'm not interested in any of your relatives," he tells her darkly, rolling his eyes. "I'm interested in you."
That shuts her up, if just for a moment. Her eyes widen as she stares at him, then she fidgets for a moment before speaking. "I guess that's all right, then."
He smiles at her, a brilliant smile that seems to light up the room in all its glory, and then changes the subject because he kind of hates the awkwardness. "So, what are you interested in?"
"Death, spiders, that kind of thing," she says easily, causing him to start. Laughing, she tells him, "I'm joking, Scamander. Honestly, get a sense of humour. What I'm interested in is… hm, I rather like writing."
"Writing?" he questions, giving her a small smile. "That's not something I'd expect of you."
"Judging me, Scamander?" she retorts wryly.
"No," he finally replies. "I just, you don't seem like the type."
She laughs again, as if she takes some sort of pleasure from his pain and embarrassment. "Well, I am, so I guess your idea of 'the type' is wrong. I do it often, actually, whenever I'm trying to drown out the multitude of idiots that seem to constantly be at my house. Thankfully, since Lucy's off to school again, a lot of them have stopped coming over, but honestly—" She cuts herself off and shakes her head. "What about you?"
This is the most that he has ever heard her talk, and he finds himself enamored with her voice. As she addresses him, he shakes his head, as if to snap out of his daydreams. "What am I interested in?"
"Yes," she replies carefully, but then she seems to change her mind. "Hang on a second, let me guess. You're a Quidditch buff, judging by the size of those muscles. You're probably not very studious. You enjoy chatting up girls and, well, doing things—"
"How did you know that?" he demands, leaning over the table.
"It's written all over your face, Scamander," she laughs easily, and he finds that this is more than he has ever heard her laugh. "You really should be more private with things like these."
His eyes widen, but he manages to settle back in. They ease back into another conversation, something less intriguing but more comfortable, and as the seconds pass by he finds how very easy it is to talk to her. What amazes him all the more is how very comfortable she seems to be with him.
After what seems like only minutes, she glances over at the clock on the wall. "Merlin, it's late. I promised Dom that we'd watch Muggle movies tonight." He takes in this new information—that she appreciates Muggle movies—with wonder. She stands up and gives him a small smile. "See you later, Scamander."
"Wait," he calls, seeing that she's about to poof. "Can we do this again sometime?"
"Why not?" she shrugs, and then she disappears, a ghost of a smile still upon her face.
Thankfully, the Muggles aren't watching them anymore, but somehow he thinks that she wouldn't have minded if they were.
(Though the Ministry might mind.)
The next day, his head is so muddled with thoughts of her that he has to call over one of his snog buddies from high school to distract him. The girl kisses like fire but somehow it's not enough. He finds that he can't forget about her, no matter how hard he tries.
Like the last, this girl storms out in disgust, and he falls onto his bed, trying to collect his thoughts. He wonders why he's so overwhelmed by her all of a sudden. Sure, he has noticed her for years, but she has never been the only thing he could think about—that is, until now.
She has interrupted his life, turned it completely upside down and shaken him a bit for good measure. No other girl has ever accomplished what she has managed to in just a couple of days.
The worst part is, he is completely sure that she didn't even mean to.
She stars in his dreams that night, dancing among the stars, shining like the sun. He reaches out to take her hand but she fades, drifting off until she's completely out of sight, just like before when she'd left.
(He makes a mental note to ask her about that, because he still doesn't know where she went.)
His father Floos in the next day, without invitation or even asking beforehand. Settling down in one of the boys' comfortable armchair, he commands Lorcan and Lysander to sit on the couch across from him. Lysander shudders as he remembers the multiple girls he has kissed on that couch. Lorcan pointedly ignores him.
"So, boys," their father says gruffly. "Have you got a job?"
"Have you got a job?" Lysander retorts.
That makes his father turn red, which Lysander finds slightly hilarious. "Yes, I do have a job," Rolf Scamander hisses under his breath. "But that is not the question, young man. I am asking if the two of you have found jobs."
That causes Lysander to squirm uncomfortably. Confidently, Lorcan informs his father, "Yes, I do have a job. I work at Gringotts as an apprentice."
Just that is enough to make Lysander snicker. Rolf nods, then glances over at his laughing son. "Lysander. What is your job?"
"Um," Lysander hesitates for a minute, his brain trying to formulate a good lie. When he can't think of one, he just scowls. "I haven't got one."
"You haven't got a job?" This causes Rolf Scamander to turn even redder, so that he is now the approximate shade of a tomato. "Lysander Alexander Scamander."
"No, I haven't found one that's right for me yet," Lysander retorts, crossing his arms across his chest. "You know, like Mom always says—never take a job that's not right for you and all that."
"Since when have you listened to your mother?" Rolf replies, his voice harsh. "Lysander Scamander, by the time I return in a week, you better have found yourself a job, and I mean it."
"What will you do if I haven't?" Lysander replies, his eyes flicking up to meet his father's.
"Well, your mother and I will stop supplying you with money," Rolf retorts, staring at his son. "And then you won't be able to make your monthly payments. Then you'll both be evicted, but Lorcan has a job so he'll be able to afford his own place, but you'll end up as a hobo on the street."
That thought kind of scares Lysander, and he finds himself nodding quickly. "I'll try my best."
"Trying isn't enough anymore, Lysander," Rolf says gruffly. "You've got to do it."
Then there are more hugs, but Lysander thinks that it feels completely wrong. His father is tense and not the same loving man that Lysander had grown up with. He finds that, as his father vanishes into the fireplace, he misses the man he'd come to know and love.
"So, going to find yourself a job now, kiddo?" Lorcan smirks, ruffling his twin brother's hair.
He scowls at his brother before just shaking his head. "I don't know where to start."
Lorcan pauses thoughtfully before walking to the kitchen. Confused, Lysander follows him. "I don't think food is going to help me think, but uh… maybe you're thinking of something that I'm not…"
"Just you wait," Lorcan grabs a card off of the counter and scribbles something on it before handing it back to his brother. "Go to this address tomorrow. They're a magical company, and they're looking for people to fill in a couple of places. And I think you might do all right there if you tried hard enough."
He takes a taxi to the place, and as Lorcan had instructed him that morning, he raps three times on the door. Rap, rap, rap. His heart pounds in time with the knocks.
At last, the door begins to move. He clings for dear life to the door knocker as the walls open up and the door is jerked inside of the house. The house seems to fold into itself, and he is thrust into a hallway. Immediately, he falls to his knees.
"Don't worry," a cheerful-looking man walking down the hall tells him with a wink. "You'll get the hang of it eventually."
"Eventually," Lysander mutters darkly, and he continues to walk down the hall. But as he walks, he finds that despite the fun-looking entrance, this place is nothing but a glorified office building. He wonders absently if he can stand working in a place so boring.
Feeling slightly discouraged, he trudges on to the room with a golden plaque saying 'Manager' beside the door. Slowly, he steps into the office. "Hello."
The grey haired man eyes him. This man certainly seems to be the managerial type, with a grey mustache, dark beady eyes, and a bow tie to match. For a moment, the man stares at Lysander as if he is a piece of dirt of the street. Then he beckons him in. "Have you scheduled an appointment?"
"No," Lysander says brazenly. "Was I meant to have?"
"Considering you've just barged into the office of the boss, yes, you were meant to have," the man glares at him. "What is your name, boy?"
"Lysander Scamander," he replies easily, taking a seat across from the intimidating man.
"Lysander Scamander, hm? Son of Luna Lovegood, brother to Lorcan Scamander. I've heard a lot about you, and you seem to have the confidence that goes with your legend," the man says, tapping his pen against his desk.
That catches Lysander's attention. "Hang on, legend?"
"Yes, legend. Now silence. It is time for your interview. After all, isn't that what you came here for?" His tone is patronizing, almost, and Lysander doesn't like it much.
"Yes, that is what I came here for." Lysander leans back in his chair, a smirk plastered upon his face. "But before we start. What exactly is this place?"
"Shouldn't you know that before demanding a job interview, young Scamander?" The creepy man's eyes twinkle with mirth at Lysander's latest demand. "Or have you chosen to pointedly disobey that standard as well?"
"I haven't a clue as to what you're talking about, but I'd like it very much if you could tell me a bit about this place," Lysander hisses, gritting his teeth and folding his hands in his lap.
The man starts to explain then. "This is the Regulation of Society. After the war, the Ministry of Magic branched off a bit, and we were born. We regulate wizards, try to keep them in check. Kind of the equivalent to the Muggle police force."
"But what's with all the offices and paperwork?" Lysander wrinkles up his nose. "The Muggle police I saw in the movies actually did things. They didn't just sit around and be lazy all day."
"Young man, we do have a special force of trained men and women, but they are out back," the boss informs him. "What you are seeing here is just the research team. They find out who's doing what and send out the forces."
"Awesome," Lysander's face lights up. "I could be a force leader. I've been told I'm rather resourceful with magic."
The man chuckles humourlessly. "You wish, Scamander. No, I reckon that you'll be good with the research team."
"The research team?" His head spins out of control. "Look, mister, you cannot be serious. I can hardly even tolerate sitting in a classroom for an hour, much less in a stuffy office for more than an hour—"
"It's the only job open, Scamander, and it will teach you patience." The man gives him an annoyed stare. "Look, do you want it or not?"
He squeezes his eyes shut. Deep inside, he knows that if he does not take the job, his father will murder him. At last, he opens his eyes. "Fine. I'm in."
"Well, welcome to the team then, Scamander," the man extends a hand to him, one that he takes cautiously. "I'm obviously your boss, Klaus Thomas. Pleasure to have you here." Something in his tone implies that it is anything but good, but he leads Lysander out of the room nonetheless. "This will be your new office, Scamander. I suggest that you get right to work—that is, unless you don't want to be paid for this week."
Lysander grumbles under his breath, but walks over to the group of people anyway. They all turn to stare at him, and he realises that he's definitely the odd one out now. All of them have on glasses or collared shirts. The vast majority of them look like the type of nerds he occasionally teased at school, and a rush of guilt sears through them.
"Hey, I'm Lysander," Lysander announces. "The newest addition to your team?"
"Are you sure you didn't get lost on the way to the Quidditch department?" one of them sneers, crossing his arms across his chest. "Meathead, it's that way. Take a left, swing a right—"
"No, I'm meant to be here," Lysander feels his face flush with colour. He sits down in the only empty chair, and all of his new coworkers glare at him. All he can think is how very much he doesn't want to be there, and how much this new job is going to suck.
That is, until someone marches by. Someone with red streaked hair, a black leather jacket, and a death glare that could murder Lord Voldemort.
His breath catches in his throat.
"Scamander?" she raises a questioning eyebrow at him. "Why are you here? Are you stalking me?"
"No, I have a job here," Lysander pronounces, smile on his face. "I'm working in the research department."
"With the geeks, huh?" Molly rolls her bright green eyes. "Suits you." All the geeks squeak in protest, but she flips her hair and smirks. "I've gotten a job where I actually do something. Catch the bad guys, all the dangerous jobs, you know. Just like my family." She cringes at that word, and somehow Lysander catches her hidden meaning. He has a feeling that she has only taken this job to prove that she is not a worthless Slytherin, and somehow, that scares him. He blinks, but it's too late—she has already stormed off, the rest of her team at her heels.
He thinks absently that maybe this job won't be so bad after all.
Days pass. He finds himself falling into the pattern of his new job, and it's really not so bad after all. He's not the smartest person, but he is admittedly a bit more observant. His eyes always snap to the small details that others seem to miss. Somehow, he pegs it to years observing girls, girls like Molly. Everything seems to lead back to her.
One of his coworkers, Hana, stumbles over to him, photograph clutched in one of her small hands. She's a tiny little thing, complete with a bushel of frizzy blonde hair atop her head and a pair of too-big square glasses perched upon her nose. Despite her imperfect appearance, she's adorable, hilarious, and Lysander enjoys her company more than the rest of his coworkers.
She sets the photograph down on his makeshift desk with a grin. "Let's put your observing skills to the test, Ly."
He scans the photograph before looking up. "What am I looking for?"
"Well," she replies hesitantly, "the man in the photo has been accused of being a Death Eater."
"Evidence for or against?" Lysander mutters, glancing at the balding man before glancing back up at his coworker.
Slowly, she brings her hand up to bite one of her cough syrup coloured nails before shrugging. "Both, I suppose. I mean, it's only fair to support the side that is right… right?"
"True," Lysander looks back down at the photograph. To normal people, it might just appear to be a normal (but slightly creepy) man, but to him, his eyes flash immediately to the small details. Mind whirring, he begins to point at once. "Look, there. His sleeve's rolled up a bit, and you can see the faint curve of something, perhaps a tattoo. Not to mention that book there on the table. It says Ev-, and unless he's reading a fancy romance novel about a girl named Evelyn, I'd suspect that to be a book of evil spells. There's also a drop of red there, just at the tip of his finger." He pauses at last, taking a breath. "Need anything more?"
"Wow, you're amazing, Lysander," Hana informs him, her eyes bright with admiration. For once, he allows himself to revel in her praise, mostly because he's never really been the best at anything before. He is decent at Quidditch, but his friends James and Jacob Wood are better. And he hadn't done so well in school at all; he had failed over half of his OWLs, much to the dismay of his father. But this—this is something that he's good at. Hana flushes. "I mean like amazing, like at this, not in general, though you're pretty cool in general—"
Thankfully, someone comes up to interrupt the awkwardness, though it is not someone that Lysander that Lysander recognizes. This guy is not his type of friend, anyway. At first glance, he seems to be perfectly polished, what with his suit, tie, and shining loafers. He offers them a distorted smile before turning his gaze Lysander's why. "How do you know Molly?"
"Uh, dude, who are you?" Lysander questions, exchanging a what-is-going-on here look with Hana.
"My apologies." The guy straightens his tie. "My name is Castor Carrow. Now, how do you know Molly? She isn't the sociable type, normally."
"I don't think it's really any of your business," Lysander replies carefully, "but she's a family friend, and we're on all right terms."
"She didn't exactly seem thrilled to see you," Castor retorts.
Narrowing his eyebrows, Lysander shrugs his shoulders. "She isn't ever really thrilled to see anyone."
That doesn't seem to amuse Castor. Instead, he just folds his arms across his chest and glares. "I'd watch my step if I were you, Scamander." With that, he stalks away.
This in itself worries Lysander, since he'd never cordially introduced himself to the other girl. He turns to Hana, eyes wide. "What was that?"
"I haven't a clue," Hana replies in a rush, picking up the photograph. "I've got to go now. Bye!"
Confused, he watches as she dashes out of the room, and then he leans back in his chair, considering all that has gone on that day. Finally, he just gives a shrug.
What has his life been reduced to?
"You have a job?" Rolf Scamander questions, raising an eyebrow at his son. "Where at?"
"The Regulation of Society," Lysander declares proudly.
"The—" Rolf nearly chokes on his coffee, causing Lysander to smirk a bit. Frowning, he continues. "How did you manage to get a job there?"
"They wanted to teach me responsibility?" Lysander tells him, feeling a bit scared now. He wonders how high-profile the Regulation is, and if they'll fire him soon. After all, he's pretty okay at his job, isn't he? They wouldn't fire him… right?
"How much are they paying you?" Rolf demands.
"Uh, 3 galleons an hour," Lysander replies lazily, noticing the widening of his father's eyes. "What? I am perfectly capable of making my own money, and I'm doing very well at this job, thank you very much." He feels the urge to stick his tongue out at the conclusion of his speech, but somehow, he resists.
"You haven't kept a single job in your life," Rolf reminds his son before raising an eyebrow. "Lysander, I just think it would be best if you would—"
"Says the explorer," Lysander rolls his eyes. "Besides, I've only ever had two jobs before this one."
"Both of which you were fired from within your first few days of employment," Lorcan calls cheerily as he enters the apartment.
That causes Lysander to flush with anger. Scowling, he stands up.
"Wherever are you going, Lysander?" Rolf questions as Lysander begins to ascend the stairs. "This discussion is not over."
Feeling harsh, Lysander turns around and says darkly, "This discussion is over for me. I am of age now. I can make my own decisions, Father."
"Just don't come to me when you're unemployed once again, Lysander," his father retorts bluntly before stepping into the flames and vanishing. All Lysander can do is watch him.
"Nice one, Ly; you certainly got him riled up," Lorcan remarks from the kitchen. "He might cut off our child support or whatever it's called now."
Ignoring him, Lysander storms up the stairs to his room, where he pulls out his Muggle cellphone. His numbers automatically dial the inauspicious numbers, and he hears the ominous ringing. Once, twice—
"Scamander," she answers on the third ring, her voice as irritated as usual. "What do you want?"
He hesitates for a second before asking, "Doyouwanttoget—"
"Slow down, Scamander; I can't understand a word you're saying," she drawls. "Now repeat yourself, please."
"Would you want to go with me to get some coffee?" he inquires, his heart pounding faster than usual.
"Now?" She pauses for a moment, her breath the only noise on the other side of the receiver. At last, she speaks again. "Sure, why not?"
Mentally, he gives a small screech of victory, but then he remembers the girl on the other side of the line. "I'll be there soon," he promises her, and he glances in the mirror.
Maybe he can manage not to screw this up.
Later that night, he asks her tentatively, "Who's Castor?"
"Castor?" A small smile appears on her face, and she gives a small, un-Molly-like laugh. "Castor Carrow? Have you met him, then?"
"Well, he kind of threatened me at work today," Lysander explains. "I mean, I guess you could call it a threat. He seems like more of the business type, though the real question is—is he your type?"
"Jealous much, Scamander?" She smirks. "No, he isn't my type. He's my best friend, my fellow Slytherin, my partner in crime, my brother, almost. I think the real question here is if you are my type."
For a moment, he stares at her. He takes in her scary appearance, her multiple streaks and dark makeup, and then he simply nods. "I think I am."
Smirking once again, she folds her hands and places her head on top of them. "Tell me about it."
For just a while, he talks and she listens, and it is beautiful.
"You look like you had a nice night last night," Hana exclaims as he walks into work the next morning.
Laughing nervously, he sits down in his chair and smiles over at her. "That's because I did. How did you know?"
"I guess you're rubbing off on me," she tells him nervously before shoving a pile of photographs over to him. "These all need examining. I'll explain each one when I get to it."
The thing is that he has actually become scarily accurate at this by now. He is able to pinpoint the proof in minutes, sometimes seconds, and her impressed gaze causes him to feel all the more uncomfortable as he continues. He doesn't feel like he is doing anything, really, much less someone to be impressed by, but he smiles at her anyway and continues on.
His days are spent like that, day after day of the same old thing. Most of the time, he helps to capture criminal after criminal. After a while, it becomes a bit monotonous; his only bright spot is when he spots Molly in the hallways and sometimes going out for coffee with her. Still, he persists, as it is his only source of income.
That is, until the day that Molly Weasley herself marches into his office and plops down across from him. "Scamander."
"Yeah?" he says, startling a bit as his gaze catches hers. A shiver travels down his spine, and he shudders inadvertently.
As always, she pointedly ignores this, and instead of commenting, she gets straight to the point. "Scamander, they're holding a ball this year for the entirety of the Regulation. Have you heard anything of this?"
"No, I haven't," he replies, entirely puzzled. It doesn't seem like the type of thing that the strict Regulation would do. Still, he doesn't question it.
"All right," she sighs, looking a bit insecure. "Would—would you be interested in—"
"In going with you?" he finishes for her. A smirk appears on his face. "Only if you promise that your buddy Castor won't murder me."
"I swear," she retorts, a small smile appearing on her face. "You know, Scamander, you're not that bad sometimes."
"So I've heard," he smiles back at her, feeling more ecstatic than he had in a while. "You should get back to work."
"As should you," Molly retorts, putting her hands on her hips. "Hear there's a lot of photos to be analyzed."
"You honestly suck," he sighs.
"As do you," she rolls her eyes. As she walks out, she calls behind her, "Be right back; going on an important and exciting mission!"
He sighs and nearly collapses into the pile of photos.
The thing he thinks that most people do not know about Molly Weasley is that she is positively stunning. And as she descends the Grand Staircase, he thinks that all the more.
She has depleted her face of her usual dark makeup; instead, she chooses a soft purple makeup that accentuates her pale features. He can hardly breathe as he steps up to take her hand. "Who are you, attractive stranger?"
Her foot moves faster than the speed of light as it collides with his thigh. Scowling, she tells him, "You know who I am."
Laughing, he pushes a strand of loose hair behind her ear and tells her, "You look lovely."
"I hate you, Scamander," she declares, but she blushes as she says it. "Though you look decent as well."
He figures that's as good a compliment as he'll ever get, and he leads her to the dance floor. As he places a hand on her shoulder, he whispers, "Do you know how to slow dance?" It's a condescending question, really, and he has a feeling that she will not appreciate it.
"Yes," she hisses, moving him forcefully until they are in the correct position. "Just sway to the music, Scamander."
It's nice, almost soothing, being with her, and he almost wonders why he hadn't gone after her before. She doesn't look as comfortable, though. Somehow, she seems a bit terrified.
The night continues nonetheless, and he dances with her every chance that he gets, in hopes that eventually she will loosen up and finally look as if she is having fun with him. That moment never comes, though, because she looks tenser by the day. He finds it sad, as he is enjoying himself very much, and at last, he gets up the nerve to ask.
"Is something wrong?" he asks her during the last dance, supplementing his innocent question with a soft kiss to her cheek.
"Yes," she says, angrily jerking away. She blinks once, twice, and then takes another step back. "Yes. I shouldn't be falling in love with you."
Then her eyes widen all the more, as if she's just realized the imminent reality of her statement. Turning, she takes another step back and murmurs something that sounds a bit like, "Sorry." He guesses it's probably the best apology that she has ever given.
He calls her name, but it does not stop her from running off once again into the darkness.
The next Monday at work, things prove to be all the more odd. As soon as he gets there, Molly is waiting outside his office, her eyes downcast. She finally seems to be able to meet his eyes. "The boss says that he wants you in his office," she tells him simply before storming off in the other direction.
He stares after her, confused, and his heart speeds up a little, though whether it's because the possibility of losing his job seems all the more real or because Molly has just talked to him, he doesn't know. Slowly, he strides over to the office and walks in. "You called?"
"Impolite as always," Mr. Thomas chuckles. "Sit down please."
Lysander does as he is told, feeling more confused by the moment. "Am I being laid off?"
This seems to crack Mr. Thomas up all the more. "No, Lysander. Quite the opposite, actually. We'd like for you to accompany the team on their latest mission. I've heard quite a bit about your abilities, and they could be very useful out there."
"What happened to me being irresponsible?" Lysander questions, quirking an eyebrow.
"Truth be told, I originally hired you only to teach you a lesson, but you're better at this than I thought," Mr. Thomas replies thoughtfully. "In fact, you're a whole lot better than I had expected."
"Uh, thanks." Lysander feels warm all over. This is the opposite of what he had expected, actually, and he feels a swell of pride.
"Well, go out there, boy; they'll be leaving soon," he commands, and Lysander does just as he says.
"There's the last member of our mission," one tall guy says. "Let's head out."
Being on a mission is even more exciting than Lysander had anticipated. There's just something about the rush of being out and driving in a stuffy old van that interests him.
Or maybe it's just the fact that Molly Weasley is crammed in next to him, even if she's pointedly ignoring him.
He gives her a smile that she doesn't return.
Once they finally arrives, he finds that the house smells. That is the first thing he notices. Then his eyes flash immediately to the window, which is slightly ajar and has footprints all over it. "Someone's climbed through that window."
Everyone's eyes flash over to it, and he can see the immediate agreement on their faces. "Barricade the doors!" someone shouts.
"The person is still in there," Lysander finishes, dashing to the window. Without a second thought, he jumps through the window and into the house.
Someone is standing there, just as he had expected. They are holding a wand and staring at him. "Stay back."
He whips his wand out and points it back at him. "You stand back."
"You wouldn't dare kill me, little Ministry boy," the man sneers. "You'll get murdered."
"Yeah, but I would dare do this," Lysander retorts. He puts all of his anger in frustration into the one spell, and scowling, he yells, "STUPEFY!"
The spell bursts out of his wand, and the other man does not even have a chance to retaliate before he hits the floor. Everyone seems to burst in at once, and Lysander's head spins.
"That was very brave," girls tell him, and the guys work to find out what's going on. Then Lysander hears a faint beeping from somewhere nearby. Eyes wide, he yells what he thinks should be obvious. "There's a bomb! We all need to get out!"
He hears the footsteps as people follow him out, and he hopes that Molly will follow.
On the ride home, Molly Weasley II finally looks over at him. "You saved my life."
"Yeah, well, it wasn't a big deal," he rolls his eyes.
"It wasn't a big deal?" she raises her eyebrows, looking more indignant than the first time he had talked to her. "You saved all of our lives, Scamander. It is kind of a big deal."
"Well, there isn't really much you can do to repay me or to make it up to the man who lost his house. Though I'm fairly sure that the Ministry will have it repaired in no time," Lysander babbles, before realizing that he probably sounds like an idiot and shutting his mouth. "Anyway…"
Frowning, she leans over and kisses him quickly, leaving his heart fluttering like a butterfly. Turning a bit red, he mumbles, "Well, there is that."
She just slaps his arm softly and kisses him again.
Later that afternoon, his father comes back over. He stares at Lysander for a moment. "I suppose I owe you an apology."
"I suppose you do," Lysander scowls.
"Yeah, I didn't realise that you were so good at your job," Rolf tells him, sounding a bit ashamed. "Lysander, you're a hero."
Though he doesn't feel much like a hero, he gives his father a half-smile anyway. "Thanks, that means a lot coming from you."
"Keep doing what you're doing, son," Rolf tells him, giving him a smile. "You're on the right track."
Lorcan shoots him a thumbs-up from the kitchen. Somehow, Lysander just thinks he'll be happy to have the 'child support' back.
He gets a call from Hana later that night, telling him that he's a hero. He still doesn't believe it.
Molly stays over at his apartment that night. Lorcan just gives him a knowing glance and for once, doesn't comment, though Lysander doesn't think that he and Molly will be doing anything like that. He kind of just wants her for comfort after such an intense day.
She seems to be more fragile than ever as she lies in his arms. He wraps his arms tighter around her torso, pulling her to him, and for once, he has no trouble falling asleep.
When he wakes up in the morning, he slides out of bed (being careful not to wake her) and walks to the kitchen. Once he's there, he prepares a pot of coffee and pours Molly a cup, just the way she likes it.
The girl stares at him for a moment, looking entirely amused before glancing down at the cup of coffee. "You made me coffee?"
"With three sugars," he replies, a proud grin plastered upon his face. "Just the way you like it."
"I love you," she informs him, crossing her arms across her chest. "Just don't go spreading it around, huh?"
"I love you too," he replies with absolutely no hesitation.
Finally, he feels like he has accomplished something.
A/N: OMG I'M FINALLY DONE WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE.
Dedicated fully to my lovely friend Bri (swirling-summernotes), because she is lovely and her birthday was not TOO long ago and I feel like she needed a lovely fic and I KNOW this isn't lovely but whatev. I love you, Bri! 3
Also please do read and review, and don't favourite without reviewing. In case you haven't noticed, reviews mean the world to me.
And to end this with a fangirly rant- FINALLY I'VE MANAGED TO WRITE MY OTP. I FEEL SO PROUD, NOT GONNA LIE. :') NEW HEADCANON HERE TO CORRESPOND WITH A NEW MAD.
Kay, r&r and all that. =)