At ten minutes before their usual tutoring session, Nicolette was not expecting Orlando for another twenty. Looking into the mirror on the wall facing away from the door, she adjusted the curls that rested loosely on her shoulders for what was likely the thirtieth time. Her arbitrary lesson plan lay, forgotten, on one of the front desks while she fretted over her looks, fully aware of how foolish she was being. Monday afternoons were beginning to be her favorite time of the week.
Orlando’s slipped into the room almost soundlessly, easing the door closed behind him. He knew he was early, and he knew how crazy that sounded. Orlando MacFoozle early for a lesson of any sort was just mind boggling, even to him. But these lessons had never really been about academics and now, well, since the events over February 14th, he knew they were going to be so much more.
He stuck his head around the corner and caught Nicolette spying herself in the mirror. His grin spread from cheek to cheek. “Dinnae wirrie, hen.” he said, coming into the room proper, “Ye leuk juist beautiful frae here.”
Popping upright as if she’d been stung, she saw his smiling reflection in the mirror. As soon as the door clicked shut, she turned, wearing a smile of her own. “You’re early…”
“Are ye kidding me?” He crossed over to the table where she sat, ducking under the strap of his bag. “We canna be seen oot in the open, Ah ken, but this is the ane time whaur we’re supposed tae be taegither.”He put his bag on the table over the laid out parchment and saddled close to her. “lee lane. Acoorse Ahm early.” He planted a kiss on her cheek.
Her arm with wand in hand raised automatically, turning and slashing through. “Colloportus.” The door made an odd squish sound as it sealed shut. “So I can’t blame this on the pursuit of education?” Her level of sarcasm was amusing.
He looked back to the door that now left them magically sealed inside. “Ah’ll lat ye blame it on whitiver ye like, hen.”
“If it is DADA you came here for…” She reached her fingers out towards the partially exposed paper. “… I did bring a lesson.” She glanced to see his reaction.
“Ah winna lie tae ye hen. It may no be daurk arts, but,” he put his hand on hers, “Ahm heare acause a whit me Granda cawed ‘the auld black magic’.”
Her usual blush lit her cheeks. “That, I am not as skilled at.” A down tilt of her head caused her hair to sweep forward, partially obscuring her face. She was beginning to see a benefit to wearing her hair like this.
“Ah beg tae differ.” Orlando grinned, scooting nearer to her. “But gif ye like, mebbes Ah coud tutor ye?”
“You tutor me, hmn?” She swept one side of her hair behind her ear. “That would be new.”
“Oh indeed,” He nodded. His elbow propped up on the table beside them, as one of his eyebrows rose.”Ah think we hae a lat o new grund tae splore, dinnae ye?”
One of her hands rested on his knee. “I agree.” A smile of her own developing.
“Volumes of it.”
“Guid.” His fingers gently rubbed the lobe of her ear that trapped her long black locks back to where they fell to her slender shoulder. It’s sheen sparkled in the lamplight of their classroom. “Ah dae like it whan ye weir yuir hair daun. It juist frames yuir louely cheeks sae richt…”
Sensing where this was leading, she pulled her face back just slightly. “You know,” Her eyes flickered to the still trapped lesson plan. “We really should try and do some studying.”
“Really?” he inquired. “Ye want tae lat schuil intae the time we git tae spend thegither?” He trapped his lower lip in his teeth. “Tha juist disnae seem richt…”
“If I don’t do my job then Sloan may decide that you need another tutor.” She leaned back in a bit.”Neither of us wants that.”
“Nae we dinnae,” Orlando shook his head, “but mynd tha this hail thing wis a ruse tae begin wi. Me mum’s no really peying ye tae gie me lessons.” It was his turn to pull back slightly as he paused a moment and gave her a sarcastically suspicious look. “She’s no is she?”
“No, but I bet she would.” Without looking, she retrieved the parchment from under his bag. “We don’t want Sloan telling her that your tutor she “hired” wasn’t doing her job. Would we?”
“C’mon, hen.” Foozle said, palming his face and slowly pulling it free. “Ye dinnae actually think Ah need the added lessons, dae ye?” He’d already given in to a fair amount to get and keep the girl he’d become so attached to. The time he’d given to impress her so much with her lessons so far had been eating into an incredible amount of time from his other activities, to say nothing of the suspicion it created. The prospect of maintaining that was just, well, unpleasing.
“Of course you don’t need it.” His unhappiness was bleeding into her. “I just have to turn this in to Sloan…” She looked down at the paper. “I guess I could rewrite it so you’d really just be doing what Sloan assigned…”
“Aye,” he took up her hand, “Ah think Sloan wad be fine wi tha. Mebbes ye juist tell him tha Ah’ve daun weel enouch an dinnae need ony extrae. Tha’s trowth enouch.”
She dropped the paper back onto the desk. “Well, what do you actually need to work on then?”
Orlando chuckled, “Dae ye want me tae be honest or glib?”
“You can’t be both?” She asked hopefully.
His head tilted to the side, looking up in thought. “Ah niver tried.” It rolled back, and his eyes fixed back on her. “Honest trowth is Ah’ve nae stairted whitever we hiv fer Sloan. Ah dinnae ee’en ken whit it is he asked us tae dae. The glib trowth is tha Ah need tae wirk on this lass Ahm browden tae…”
“Oh, blame me for your poor grades.” She rolled her eyes. “Well, now that you’re done with that, I suppose you can do the assignment over famous curses.”
“Ah dinnae faut onybody fer my grades.” He groaned and leaned back in his chair. The front legs lifted up off the ground. “Ah dae whit Ah need tae dae. Sometimes schuil and that meet. Sometimes they dinnae. Ah’d raither spend time being wi ye than daein tasks.” He dropped his seat back so all four legs were on the floor. “Ye mean tae tell me ye’d raither wirk on homewirk than… Ah dinnaeken… onything ense wi me?”
“You know… There are things other than kissing.”
“Och, Ah ken!” he laughed. “But schuil is juist ane of thaim, Colette,” he told her, holding up a finger to her lips. “Ah dinnae wanna juist snog ye fer oors. Weel, Ah dae, but tha’s no the anely thing we shoud dae. Ah want tae spend time wi ye, be wi ye.” He leaned over her hand placed a kiss where his finger had touched her. “Dinnae ye?”
“Of course I do.” She put her palm in the middle of his chest, little if any barrier between them. “But I don’t see how studying and being together are mutually exclusive.” Leaning in, putting her lips right next to his ear, she whispered. “What cursed fire takes the shape of animals if left burning long enough?”
His head turned slightly. Their cheeks rubbed. “Tha wad be fiendfyre. And it disnae need tae birn lang afore ye hae a big birny monster on yuir haunds.”
“Perfect.” She moved her head to the other side of his, her breath tickling his ear. “What are the three Unforgivable curses?”
His head lowered, eyes turning but only finding her snowy white cheeks that he brushed with his lashes.”Whit dae Ah git gif Ah ken?”
She played at thinking for a moment. “Hmn… What do you think the answer deserves?”
“Och,” his hand found her knee, “Ah wadna presume tae tell the teacher whit’s fair…”
Her fingers traveled up the front of his sweatshirt, closing around the strings hanging from either side of the hood. She tugged them gently. “Then you’ll just have to answer the question and find out.”
He held up one finger. “Imperio.” A second. “Crucio.” And a third. “Avadakadavra,” which he whispered.
Leaning out of her chair, she pressed her lips to his once again. Nipping his lower lip playfully, she grinned against his mouth. He pursed his lips as the feel of her lingered there. “Why Miss Ainscough, Ah dae believe Ah coud git used tae yuir teaching. Ah houp this isna hou ye teach Tommy tho,” he bent closer, squeezing her knee, “Ah ken hou ye pure bluids can be.”
Pulling herself out of her chair and putting her knee on the chair next to him, she leaned down from above him. “Why? Do you think it’d work?”
“Hen, Ah think itd wirk wi ony lad,” he replied with a wink and a smirk.
“Mmmn.” She was so close he could feel her heart beating beneath her button down shirt. “Maybe I should start then.”
“Oh, Ah dinnaeken,” his hands slipped around her waist and tugged her closer. His chin craned up to her,”Ah think ye need some practice fuirst…”
One of her hands grasped the back of his chair to keep her standing, the other closing around a fist full of hair at the back of his head. “I’ll need a study buddy.”
“Ah think Ah micht be able tae oblidge ye thare.” He closed the distance and placed a kiss on her lips.”Ah’d be happy tae take whitiver time ye need.”
Her lips moved against his. “What does confringo do?”
“It maks things splode.”
“You were right.” She pulled back, almost standing again. “You don’t need a tutor.”
She began to pull her knee from beside his hip, but Foozle’s hold at the pleats of her skirt wouldn’t let her go too far. “Nae?”
“Non.” Grinning, she resettled her weight on her knee. “But you knew that already.”
“Mebbes,” he slid closer to the edge of his seat, “mebbes ye shoud tell me something Ah dinnaken…”
Her thoughts swam, confusing her some. He always affected her like that when they were this close. “La seule différence entre un jinx et une charm est attentive.” She barely murmured, forgetting for a moment that he couldn’t understand her.
“Och,” Foozle’s eyes lit up as the foreign words dripped off her tongue. The grip of his fingers tightened, and he pressed closer, pushing his lips to hers. He didn’t understand a word of it, but just the sound of her voice was downright intoxicating. “Ah dinna ken whit ye sain,” he told her, teeth tugging at her lower lip.
She shook her head just enough to clear some of the fog. “Jinxes… charms… intent.” She swallowed, trying to ease the tightness in her chest. “Sorry. I’ll try to stick to English.”
“Och nae ye winna,” he told her, pushing the locks of hair off her shoulders. He leaned close to her face, feeling her breath on his. “It wis deleecious…”
She went on, enjoying his reaction. “Bureaux, chaises, d’autres mots de Français…”
“Mmmm…” His eyes closed as he listened to the sound of her voice. Again it drew another steamy kiss as the boy cupped his hands to her cheeks. He couldn’t explain the almost magical effect it had, but he couldn’t deny it either. “Cara mia…” he whispered, the echoes of an old memory that surfaced from time he spent watching muggle television in his grandparent’s pub. “Fantastic…”
She laughed, her shoulders shaking with it. “Euh, since when do you speek italian?” Her accent stuck to her words.
The boy’s brow knit together. “Ah dinna.”
Shrugging, she lightly kissed his lower lip. “Il n’importe pas.”
“Mmmhmm,” he kissed her back, “Ahm shuir Ah coudna agree mair.”
Delicate chimes rang through the little room making the girl’s smile falter. “It seems like our half hour is up.” Plain disappointment replaced the alluring accent in her words. “It is time for us to go to Potions.”
Orlando MacFoozle sighed as the two disengaged somewhat begrudgingly from their embrace. “Hauf an oor…” He slumped back in his chair and ran his fingers through his unkempt coiffure. “Mebbes Ah dae need mair tutoring. Ah mean, gif hauf an oor is aw Ah git tae see ye wi oot smooking aboot…”
“If you really think you need more tutoring…” Her response was coy. “Then I am sure your other teachers wouldn’t mind me taking up your whole study period.” She picked up the abandoned lesson plan.”For educational purposes of course.”
“Hae we met?” chuckled Lando. “Thay’d be happy juist tae hae me oot o the halls and oot o mischeif.” He slipped his hands into hers and stood up too. The Hufflepuff’s eyebrows wagged up and down. “Hou wee thay ken…”
“And what other classes should I write lesson plans for?” Taking a step back, she looked at him seriously.”Just don’t say muggle studies…”
“Hmmm,” he rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Ahm no shuir whit ither classes thare are.”
“You’ve got to be joking.” She understood that not everyone shared her love of learning but not even knowing what classes you were in… “You’re exaggerating.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Care o Magical Creatures is oot, Ah suspect.”
“Yeah, that would be even more suspicious than tutoring you in Defense Against the Dark Arts.” She glanced towards the frosted window beside them to the ground many floors below. “Plus, I couldn’t exactly tutor you about animals in a locked room indoors.”
“Aye, thares tha tae.” Lando’s finger tapped at his lip. “We’ve gat a class wi Snape. Tha’s a bad idea; Ah dinnae need ony mair attention frae tha grease creesh puggie.” He slid up to sit on the edge of the table.”Dinnae we hae a class wi a ghostie?”
“Yes… History.” She laughed. “Remember, the class I had to drag you out of because you were dying?”She conveniently left out mention of what made him ill.
“Richt,” Foozle snapped his fingers, “History.”
Slowly, she closed her fingers around the front of his sweatshirt. “I swear, you are such a slacker.” At her last word she tugged, pulling him back across the gap between them. “I tutor Tommy in History, you know.”
“Och, tha’s richt…” He put his hands around her, locking his fingers at the small of her back. “Dae ye need a chaperone?”
She cosied up between his arms. “Well, my new tutoring method sure seems to work on you.”
He brushed his nose against hers. “Ah guess Ah wadna want tae git in the way thare. Tommy’s eddication is faur tae important, richt?”
Her lips parted, drawing breath in slowly. “After dinner then? Thursdays?”
“Wild quintapeds coundae keep me awa, hen.” The space between them disappeared, and Foozle kissed her.
The girl closed her eyes and melted against him. Their agreement just promised her an hour with him but it was three whole days away. She hated not knowing when the next time they could steal a few minutes away together. Even more, she hated seeing him in class or between and ignoring his entire existence. Knowing Potions was creeping ever closer, she tore herself from him. Her eyes remained closed a moment more. “I can’t be late…”
“Aye,” he said. They pulled apart until only their hands held them together, “Ah ken.” He squeezed her hands and let go. He looked over to the door, magically sealed by her charm. “Ye gae oot first. Naebody will think onything gif Ahm late.”
Nicolette nodded and opened her eyes. She picked her wand up off the table and, much more reluctantly than it was locked, cast “Alohomora.” to open the door. “I’ll see you in class, mon loup.” With another flick of her wand, she summoned the pile of hair pins that lay on the desk next to her and whirled it around her head. Her hair weaved up and piled itself, the pins darting in where needed until it was confined atop her head as usual.
Foozle picked up his bag and slung it back over his shoulder. “Ah’ll be thare,” the boy winked,”eventually.”
Sticking the lesson plan she planned on forging later into her bag, Nicolette sighed and collected her own things. “I’ll be waiting.” She turned, her back to him and stared at the door, wondering when her feet would take their first step.
She squeaked, feeling the sharp pinch on bottom as he goosed her. “Gif yuir late, fowk micht be suspicious.” He chuckled. “As much as Ah’d much raither keep ye here wi me…”
“And I’d rather stay” Nicolette admitting she would rather skip class was as unusual as Orlando coming to a lesson early. “I won’t be late.” She weaved back a bit before pushing off, moving forward without turning to look at him. She couldn’t. If she did, she wouldn’t be able to leave.
“Ah ken,” he replied, leaning back on the table as she left. He smiled, but of course his feeling was a little bittersweet, not knowing if and when they’d be able to sneak another moment alone. “Ah’ll see ye, hen.”
Stopping at the door, her hand outstretched for the handle. “Yeah, you will.” The door sounded with a click, the voices of students hurrying to class filtering through the room. “Bye…” And she walked out the door, the wood barrier that had protected them now standing between them.