"Sherlock, what are you doing?" John whispered, following the light that shone from the other boy's wand. "We are going to get in trouble."
"Well, what's life without a little risk?" the boy with the dark hair whispered back, a smile that John could not see lingering on his lips.
It had always been like that. Since they had met on the first week of their first year at Hogwarts, John always ended up as Sherlock's companion, a partner in crime. Their association had been a surprising one. Students from different houses didn't always socialize peacefully, and Sherlock was indeed a Ravenclaw from head to toe: clever, genial even, and snob because he acknowledge that fact. More than once John had to supress the temptation to roll his eyes at any of Sherlock's remarks concerning his own intelligence. Still, John knew that Sherlock had a good, loyal heart. To him, at least.
The way they had met had been quite remarkable. Even if only in the first week of school, Sherlock had managed to get into trouble, inside and outside the classroom. Teachers had no patience for his way-to-clever questions and schoolmates found his knowledge annoying. Being a know-it-all – even if you did, in fact, knew-it-all – had never been well accepted. John was the quiet type and had tried to stay out of trouble. Until that day
It was a cold, grey and unpleasant afternoon. The rain was falling at constant pace and showed no signs of stopping soon. John walked out of the castle for a while. All students were concentred inside the main hall and the noise they were making was being too much for John. As he walked by the main entrance, still sheltered from the rain, he saw him. A tall boy, with dark hair and long arms and legs, surrounded by a bunch of Slytherins, who seemed to be mocking him. The boy was trying not to pay them attention, but with no way to run, John could see anger forming on his eyes. John, up to this day, had no idea why he did what he did, and if he had decided it consciously, but he had decided to intervene. He walked out of the castle and into the rain and faced the circle.
"Why don't you leave him alone?" he asked, defiantly.
The circle of boys turned around, facing him. John blushed immediately, cursing himself for not being able to look braver.
"Oh, you want to play too." said a boy, black hair and pale skin. John remembered him from being one of the Slytherins first year's leader. If his memory did not betray him, his name was Anderson. John didn't like him. He was scary.
As fearless as he was able to, John stood in the same place. Leaving the other boy now would be cowardice and he was no coward.
"He hasn't done anything wrong, so why won't you leave him alone?" John tried again, hoping that his words were more capable than his actions so far.
"Why do you care so much?" the boy asked again. "Or is he your boyfriend?"
As he said the words, the other boys started mocking him, making kissing sounds and saying nasty things. John was done with it all. He turned to the taller boy, who was facing him with a concerned and surprised face, as if he wasn't used to have someone defending him.
"Let's go inside, it's raining." John said, pointing the door of the castle with his hand.
The boy followed him, able to escape from the circle of Slytherins now that their attention had been deviated.
"Oh, needed to be saved by his boyfriend!" A girl shouted now, smiling to Anderson, looking for his approval. "You are just both stupid. Maybe you should buy new clothes for your boyfriend, Sherly-boy, and maybe he can buy you a new brain. Freaks!"
Sherlock and John didn't look at each other. They turned around and with a precise movement Anderson and the girl, Sally, were lying on the floor, blood coming from their noses. As they turned around to go inside, with a crew of Slytherins' astonished faces, they found themselves trapped by their transfiguration teacher, Mrs. Hudson.
"Just what do you both think you are doing? Sherlock, have you seen the mess you've made? Hitting a girl? And you boy," she said to John. "You have got yourself in a big trouble. You need to see the director now."
The bunch of Slytherins that stood behind was still too shocked to rejoice with the news.
Sherlock sat at the entrance of the director's office, while Mrs. Hudson went inside to talk with the director. John sat as well, his hand still hurt from punching Anderson.
"Thank you." Sherlock said, finally, looking at him.
John smiled and nodded.
"It's no problem. I am John, by the way." He said, a hand extended in front of him.
Sherlock hesitated but finally took the hand in his own.
"Sherlock." He said, simply.
There was a table filled with papers next to the chairs they were sitting on. With a quick glance Sherlock understood what it was and he picked one up. "Do you want to go on a little adventure?"
John looked at him, confused. Sherlock showed him the slip of paper.
"What's this?" John asked.
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Isn't it obvious?"
"It's not obvious to me."
Sherlock had to remember to be nice. That boy had helped him out without a reason to and without asking anything in return.
"This is our escape. Come on!"
And getting up, he grabbed John's hand and ran in the direction of the library. A few moments later, when they were already concealed in the restricted section, Sherlock explained everything. Mrs. Hudson would eventually find them, but that would give them at least a few hours. Detention was on its way, and it might better be late than now.
John walked slowly now, remembering that first day, the way Sherlock had no trouble to falsify teacher's signatures that would get them into the restricted section. That place had been their hiding-palace since that first week. They had become inseparable. And since the rumours of the historical punches they had presented Anderson and Sally with were spread to every student in the castle, no one was brave enough to mess with any of them.
Still, Sherlock had never ventured to go to the restricted section by night. This was more than fake signatures, this was violating all school rules, something Sherlock had taken as a challenge ever since that day so long ago.
"I swear to God, Sherlock, if we get expelled, my mom will kill me. And my ghost will hunt you until the end of your days." John sensed something different in the air and Sherlock stopped. The light from his wand shone bright, without flickering. "What are you doing?"
"Nox." Sherlock murmured.
As the light went out, John froze in place He didn't really like dark places. He felt Sherlock coming closer. John didn't move. By the way his breath was making the hairs of his neck rise, John could tell Sherlock was very close. He cleared his dry throat and asked, in a whisper again.
"Why did you bring us to the restricted section in the middle of the night? It's not like we are going to find anything here now."
"I am not looking for anything. Not anymore." he said.
And with the complete darkness surrounding them, John eyes blinked several times, adjusting to it now. He could see Sherlock's outline.
"What have you found then?" John asked, trying to keep a steady conversation. The closeness was making him nervous. But not scared, not scared anymore.
"You." Sherlock whispered.
Before John could access what Sherlock had said he felt more than he saw. Sherlock's lips were on his, quietly, gently. There was no more getting into trouble now. There was no being expelled. It all seemed suddenly unimportant and worthy.
As Sherlock pulled away, looking at him through the curtain of darkness, John smiled. He opened his eyes and Sherlock was smiling as well, the wand lit again, making their shadows dance among the books.
"Are you okay?" Sherlock asked John.
John nodded, without answering. Then, he asked.
"No one ever comes to the restricted section, not even during the day."
Sherlock didn't understand where that was going but he nodded. John continued.
"How many fake slips do you think we can pass through Miss Molly in a week, before she gets suspicious?"
Sherlock laughed, caressing John's face with his thumb. He supposed they would have to find out.