“Ach…” Bigby Wolf fanned the lapels of his soft black coat with one hand, as he twirled Red. Her hooded cape splayed out around her as she spun. “A tell ye, Ginger… It’s sweltrie tae be a wouf and jink aboot like this.” A toothy grin played across his muzzle. “A’course it coud juist be the company…”
“Why Maister Wouf,” Cee’s painted eyes playfully narrowed on him, “whit big eyes ye hae.”
With a playful laugh she dragged him off the dance floor and away from Danny, Tommy, and the girls. The pair jogged over to one of the refreshment tables. “Ach… Ah caud use a wee nip.” Red muttered as she ladled some punch into her cup.
“Oh, yea?” Foozle patted at the breast of his coat with a crooked grin.
“Fooze,” she shook her crimson locks, regarding him with mock disdain, “Ah’d loose me badge.”
“Fair enouch, luv.”
“An Ahmno the only prefect here, ye ken…” She smiled as Cassidy approached them from behind MacFoozle. “Lo thare, Cass.”
“Hey, Céilidh,” he smiled. It was a bit forced, and he never really met her eyes.
“Evenin, mate.” Foozle turned around and addressed the pale gray clad mage with a nod of the head and an offer of punch. “Punch?”
“No thanks,” he declined with a shake of the head. The Hufflepuff shrugged and drank the punch himself.
Cassidy stood there a moment. Now that they were there, now that he had his opportunity, he wasn’t sure what to say. He had hoped that it would come to him in the moment. It didn’t, and an awkward silence fell about the trio. A silence that lasted about three seconds when the band broke into their next tune. Cassidy had just worked up the ice-breaker in his mind when the opportunity slipped past him once more.
“Fooz, wad ye mind excuisen us fuir ah wee bit?” There was a certain tightness about the eyes that few but her closest friends would pick up on, “Prefect talk ye ken?”
Orlando nodded slowly, “Oh, aye. Nae ah problem. A awe Tati a bab at the bowster,” he said, then turned to Cass, “Dinnae ye be rinnin aff wi’me lass, ye hear?” He clapped Cassidy on the shoulder and scampered off through the crowd in search of Tatiana.
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Cass answered as Orlando headed off, a little relieved to have been robbed of his first opportunity. Apparently, he needed to think this out a little better. So… planning to kill yourself?didn’t seem like the best idea for an opening line. Shaking off the thought, he gave a last look to make sure his date wasn’t alone and bored before turning back to Céilidh.
“So, since we both know that ‘prefect talk’ was a pretense,” he said with a slim smile, “What can I help you with?”
“Whair tae begin?” Céilidh sighed heavily. “‘Tween prefect duties, an qudditch, an awthing…” she trailed off, not quite knowing how to continue. It was true, even with divination class, their opportunities to talk had been few and far between, and certainly never in an environment conducive to the nature of what was to be discussed. It was almost as if –
“The fates are conspiring to keep us apart, it seems,” Cassidy smiled a small smile that quickly faded when he noticed the look that had come over Céilidh. “Sorry, did I say something wrong?”
“Ach, no,” Céilidh waved a dismissive hand. Her voice, however, spoke volumes to the opposite. Her eyes dropped to her shoes, “It’s juist… A wis escortin the fairst years across the loch, an A reached for ma wand for ah bit o’light, an…” she trailed off once more, struggling to form the words.
“An it wis wairm, an thare wis ah bricht flash,” the words began to pour out of her like an opened floodgate, “An A haurd Tommy an ‘Ryn’s voices, but A couldnae see them, an then A seen Belle, an she wis clauchtin ah wee critter, an then A seen ‘Lando, an he wis fawin, an thay all wis singin’, an the next thing A ken, A wis in the Great Hall.”
Cassidy narrowed his eyes reflexively, and Céilidh seemed taken aback by the sudden change of expression. Before she could react further, though, Cass shook his head and she seemed to pick up on the nonverbal signal… he was more surprised than anything. Truth be told, he wasn’t surprised she’d seen something… just that it was so poignant to his own visions, and that he was hearing about it now. Now, when he was about to act on his own sight.
“Nothing. Well, not nothing, but…” he tried to put it all together in his mind. Visions of the like weren’t what one might call – linear. Quite often, at least for the uninitiated, they bounced around and made little to no sense. There were elements of Céilidh’s vision that seemed random, but were all tied together for some reason, and that’s where he’d begin.
“This song, does it have any meaning to you?”
“Ma Granda used to sing it tae me when A wis ah wee lass,” she shrugged, “But it wisnae the hail song in ma dream.”
“I’m not sure of the significance of Tom and Aeryn, or Belle.” Cassidy stopped short, not sure if he should continue.
“Cass?” Céilidh prompted once more. “Ye didnae say onythin aboot ‘Lando…”
“Orlando isn’t going to fall…,” Cassidy said, his eyes glancing over to make sure Fooz was still out of earshot. “He’s going to jump.”
“Eh?” she asked, her eyes widening slightly. “An then yer arse fell aff… Wit ur ye haverin aboot?”Without thinking, she put her hands on her hips, a very clear sign that she didn’t like what she was hearing.
Cassidy frowned. “I’m not sure I can explain it,” he said, his eyes dropping towards the floor. “But,” he added, looking back at her directly, “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t do it under his own power… have you noticed him acting strangely at all, lately?”
“Nae,” she replied, shaking her head. “No mair no kyndly. E’en wit the exploding cludgie.”
“You’re absolutely sure?” he pressed.
“Aye,” she frowned, their entire conversation running through her head again. Then it dawned on her and she looked a Cassidy with wide eyes.
“Tonight,” she said in a hushed voice, “It’s tonight isna it?”