Harry Potter AU
Followed by Wizards (Part 2)
- A small huddle of witches and wizards circle around an appalling scene, attention locked on the center. Two wands skitter out of the ring. At the onlookers’ feet, Francis bites the other student's cheek. Both boys are injured already- it had happened so fast, the Ravenclaw hadn't had time to defend himself at all. The blue robed wizard howls and pounds fiercely into Francis' throat, sending the small Slytherin sprawling away in a fit of coughing. A few students prepare counter curses and incapacitating spells, but as the two roll around, they hesitate, anxious that they'll simply make all this worse. Of course, some simply make wagers. "YOU TAKE IT BACK, YA FILT'Y MUDBLOOD POOF," the Slytherin screams hoarsely as he launches at the older boy.
- Sometimes, Sweet wishes he was a normal student. Then, he could simply ignore any fighting going on and just hang out with his friends. Or even join in the crowd watching. But as it was, he has to break himself off from the small group of fellow Hufflepuffs he was lounging under a tree with and see what all the fuss is about. He picks up the two wands and- oh fuck, the fighting sounds are getting pretty rough, they're fighting dirty. With renewed urgency, he starts to shoulder his way through the crowd, taking his own wand from behind his ear. Someone turns around and notices him with a look of alarm- whispers of 'head boy' make their way through the crowd, and it is dispersed in seconds, the grounds suddenly filled with people pretending to look busy. He arrives at the scene just to see the blond Slytherin boy launch himself at the Ravenclaw, shouting something- his face darkens. "ENOUGH," he shouts, loud enough to get the attention, and waves his wand in one swoop. Both boys are suddenly lifted into the air by the back of their robes, left to throw punches at nothing.
He puts his hands at his sides and eyes both boys menacingly. He has to try and stay unbiased in this, but what he just heard... "Alright, wot's goin' on 'ere, then? Perking, mate," he addresses the Ravenclaw boy. He takes NEWT-level potions with him. "Don't punch someone in the throat. And you," he turns to the Slytherin and glowers darkly at him, knowing full well his reputation, that pretty much everyone in the school knows about both the Mudblood and Poof status of the Head Boy. "That's dangerous talk what you're spoutin' there." He looks him up and down slowly, trying to recall his name. Francis Valentine, someone in the crowd earlier had yelled. He'd been in trouble before. "Valentine, right? Care to repeat that to my face?"
- Francis screams in fury when he's torn from his enemy. His hands desperately search for his wand- he snarls when he sees the skinny Hufflepuff clasping it in his hands. Francis' struggles intensify as he tries in vain to reach the thieving bastard. Perking rolls his eyes- well, the non-blackened one at least. "I was defendin' myself, Sullivan. He just went insane! We weren't even talking to him, and he just came at me-" "LIES" the Slytherin's shriek interrupts, though his tirade is cut short when Francis catches Simon's accusing look. He stares back piercingly, eyes like a mad dog's. The Ravenclaw student hangs calmly, wiping his hand across his bleeding nose. "Look, Sullivan. You can see for yourself he's crazy. Fancies himself a death eater or somethin-" "Y' FULLA SHITE!! I'LL RIP OUT YER LYIN' T'ROAT!!!" Francis thrashes like an animal. "YOU FECKIN'- DAMN YA TO HELL, LEMME DOWN!!" Murmurs rise from the students who are only coincidentally nearby and clearly not still watching the head boy and his captives.
- Sweet is a bit taken aback when he sees the mad look of pure fury in the Slytherin's eyes. Yeesh. Although Perking's being a twat as well- He turns and opens his mouth to say something just as Francis starts screaming and thrashing- he starts, and takes a few steps away from the younger boy. Still, he turns and looks admonishingly at the Ravenclaw. "Don't make it worse, Perking. Throwing accusations like that around's 'bout as bad as the shite 'e's spoutin'. Yer scrubbin cauldrons t'night." Perking looks intensely wronged- "Aw!"- but knows not to go against his word. With a flick of his wand, the boy drops down to the ground. He glares at Valentine, and says: "'E's a fucking maniac, him." Simon claps him on the shoulder and gives him his wand back, but he just glares at him instead, dusts off his uniform, and takes off, to the infirmary no doubt.
Simon sighs as he watches him go- giving detentions to stupid second-years is easy, but one of his classmates... He turns back to Valentine, trying to look as approachable as he can, hands raised to show he doesn't mean harm. "I'll let you down if you promise not to start attackin' things, Valentine."
- Francis watches enraged as the other student leave with a light chiding and fucking... cleaning duties. Though really, he hadn't expected the Hufflepuff to punish the other boy at all. Was that even allowed? He'd thought... that the bastards would stick together, of course... he's startled by the Hufflepuff's cautious approach. Like he's a goddamned animal or something. Patronizing him. "Give me m' wand back, ya tosser," he croaks defiantly in response the diplomacy... He hadn't realized how much bigger the Hufflepuff was when he was focused on Perking. Francis swallows his nerves and a mouthful of blood as he prepares to attack before the older boy can get a hit in. Trapped in place, he realizes his odds aren't looking good.
- Raising an eyebrow, Sweet smirks in disbelief. "Yyyyeaaahh. I'm not gonna do that. Look, are you gonna calm down? I mean, I'd
love to get a reason to give you more detention, I haven't forgotten what you said, but I got stuff to do and- oh, shit-" he takes stock of the younger boy's injuries. "You're hurt. Fuuuuck, that looks painful. Wait- stay still, there's a lad- Episkey!" A bit clumsily, he pokes Valentine with his wand, but it does the trick. He nods, giving himself a mental shoulder-pat. "There."
- Francis hisses- he needs his wand back- if that monster doesn't give it back, or... breaks it... Francis' eyes turn desperate. "I din't say nothin ta you jus'- feck! It ain't yers!!" It slowly bores through his red haze of anger and fear that a student who can give detention is likely a prefect. But to other houses? The head boy- Francis' epiphany is cut short but the surge of panic as the Hufflepuff raises his want to him. He tries to lash at the boy before he's cursed, further humiliated, but he's in no position for it. He freezes as the spell trickle through his body. Instead of burning or biting or any number of hexes he'd been bracing himself for, the sharp pains throughout his body fade into coolness. Francis stares incredulously at the head boy.
- Simon's grin fades into a stern look and he advances slowly, Head Boy badge glimmering in the sun. "Then you'll have to forgive me my confusion, Valentine. You see, when I hear the words 'filthy mudblood poof', I always feel
personally spoken to..." he says softly, menacingly. That sort of language, in these times- honestly, he's surprised nobody else attacked the lad. "Poof", he might've gotten away with, sadly, but the M-word... It would never stop being too soon.
"Look, I'll give ya yer wand back when I'm certain yer not gonna curse me, and since I don't see that happenin' for a while yet, why'nt ya tell me what went on, yeah? What'd Perking say, anyway?"
- Francis' eye's drop to the glint at Simon's chest. A new dread fills him. He's going to be expelled. All these years were a waste, he won't have anything without his magic. He's imagined an entire miserable lifetime of evading the ministry when the boy speaks. "Wasn' talkin ta you," he insists without apology. But the boy -Sullivan. A confirmed flit, he recalls- is offering his wand back despite his nasty tone. "Who said I would'a cursed ya?? No one said not'in aboud'it." He swallows and looks at his bloodied hand, and the skin underneath that is whole again. "You done me'a solid. I ain' dishon'rable's that," the Slytherin growls defensively. "'N I ain'a snitch neither. Jus' gimme detention'n lemme down. Ain' yer business," he continues in a hiss. Some students crane into hear. Many in the crowd clearly expect another explosion at any moment.
- Simon sighs, and slowly lets the boy down against his better knowledge. He feels for the boy, somewhat. There was loads of kids, mostly Slytherin, whose parents weren't on the right side of the war. Angry children. He has no way of knowing if this is the case with Valentine, but he can guess. He racks his mind for a fitting sort of detention- something tells him that putting him on cauldron duty with Perking isn't the best idea- ah, yes. Could be harsher, but it’s the shittiest of jobs.
- "I'll tell Professor Longbottom I've found someone to move his Mandrakes to new pots, then," he says with a smirk, and some people who are definitely not watching groan in sympathy for the Slytherin. He reaches to clap Valentine amicably on the shoulder, but thinks the better of it halfway through. "Right. Move along, then." He turns around to address the crowd. "The lot'a ye!"
- Francis falls to his knees, still ready to defend himself. But even through his hypervigilance, he feels the worst of it's over, and that it wasn't as bad as he'd deserved. Of course, there was still detention to contend with... Francis watches the head boy suspiciously. "...Mandrakes?" he repeats with stunned surprise. God he hated herbology. Since his first year. Well, he'll just steel himself for being blamed for the carefully cultivated plant's deaths. Not like he's not used to that. Francis ignores the sympathetic noises around him and nods silently. He's appeared to have settled down completely until Simon reaches for him. Francis skirts back, his hand going to his missing wand- there's laughter from the non-audience. The Slytherin's ears redden and his eyes glitter angrily up to Sullivan. "My wand?"
- "Ah, right, sorry- " With fumbling fingers, Simon hands the wand back to its rightful owner. "There you go." He turns back to the crowd and catches the eye of one of his friends at the back, who's grinning at him and subtly making the universal signal for gillyweed, mate. Oh yes. "Don't you lot have anything better to do?" he asks the crowd, and it disperses immediately. He hesitates before jogging towards his friend, and turns back to the Slytherin lad. "Try and keep out of trouble. Ta." And he's gone.
- Francis takes back his wand with poorly disguised desperation. He inspects it for damage, polishes it on his threadbare robe, before tucking it safe and out of sight. When he returns to the moment, Simon's looking at something over his head. Looking... happy. Distracted. Francis hates him for it, though he can't explain why.. isn't it obvious? Cause he's a massive self-important asshole, the boy dismisses the sudden renewed anger. He turns away to slink off to the showers when the head boy turns back to him. He readies himself for the long delayed attack- Francis' brows furrow. "Yessir, thank'ya sir," he mutters with an eye roll.
As he slouches off in the opposite direction, favoring his injured leg, he only grows more irate when he realizes that Sullivan had healed that too.
Later that week...
- Simon thunks his head on Professor Longbottom's desk and groans. The teacher hadn't told him exactly what the pressing matter was that he had to attend to that evening that he absolutely couldn't supervise a detention, but in his mind the man was off on a bender with Harry bleeding Potter and all the other fucking war heroes. Arse. He'd had a date tonight. Well, not really a date, but he'd been planning to seduce that handsome little sixth year Gryffindor minx and not spend his evening with a screaming Mandrake and an ignorant, mentally unstable Slytherin twat, who was late. Not late enough to warrant anger or further punishment, but he wanted all this over with as soon as possible. "Hurry up," he grunts into the wood. Sighing, he pulls up a half-finished essay on the correct use of Mimbulus Mimbeltonia sap in potions that's due in two days. He hates Potions. He hates Longbottom. He hates Mandrakes. He likes handsome sixth years, though, but he isn't getting any of those tonight unless Valentine decides to replace that gigantic conservative stick up his arse with something more fun. He has a fleeting, shameless sexual fantasy about the boy just to procrastinate until he arrives, and to revel in the knowledge that Valentine would probably be infuriated if he knew.
- Francis stands outside the greenhouse door. He'd been staring at it since half an hour before his detention was to start. It was bad enough, coming here once a week, with all these living things just waiting to die at his incompetent hands, but mandrakes looked like babies. Of course, they weren't, but... Even in potions class, where everything made sense and you couldn't kill anything except by extreme idiocy, he hated cutting up the little green roots. Of all the punishments the fuck had to pick... it's like it was specifically designed to make Francis miserable. And Longbottom. Judging him, behind that simple smile, Francis always knew. As if him and the rest of the 'good' wizards didn't recognize his surname.... He is about to turn around, hide in the library and accept the consequences... But what if he just gets more of the same?
Francis steps cautiously through the garden, trying to avoid touching the delicate greenery. He peers around from two blackened eyes for a trace of anyone- His hearts jumps into his mouth when he spots Sullivan. He backs away to a safer distance. "Where's Longbottom," he mutters with fearful suspicion.
<Simon>(I love this rp so much sob I get to rp Simon being an adolescent dick)
<Frankie> Yes babues are really fun times /w\ I never really got to rp tiny teen Frankie so omg thank you Hipple <3 <3 <3
- Simon gives a long-suffering sigh as he is rudely pulled out a rather nice fantasy, he thinks, and looks sideways at Valentine. "Professor Longbottom is busy tonight. He trusted me to supervise," he says, adding "the tit" after it in a hardly-concealed mutter. "There's the pots," he points out, "There's the ugly little buggers," he points at the mandrake roots, nearly suffocating in their undersized containers, "And 'ere's yer earmuffs." Bright pink, as was tradition. His own were around his neck, ready for wearing, and he holds out Francis' for him to take. "I don't think you need to be reminded as you're not a second year, but," he points to a sticker on the earmuffs reading "DON'T TIT ABOUT WITH MANDRAKES" and sighs again, thinking of all the more enjoyable things he could be doing. "Do be quick, so we can both get out of here soon as possible. Should you need me and I'm not paying attention, just give us a poke, eh?"
- Francis considers booking it. The only reason he'd even been able to get himself to the greenhouse door was cause he knew the professor would be watching to make sure he didn't fuck up too badly... He misses Sullivan's instructions in his panic, and stares blankly as the pink earmuffs are proffered. After a moment, he rushes forward to pluck it out of the head boy's hands. "Second year..?" he tries to rewind the Hufflepuff's words- was this boy mocking him? Had he known all along about Francis' second year herbology fiasco?? That must be it. Bastards stuck together. Longbottom probably hadn't even been informed about this detention. Perking had been a setup. This was all a setup- Francis jumps at the sudden silence. Sullivan looks at him expectantly. He tries to dismiss the image of withered, dead mandrakes from his mind and he silently puts the muffs on. Before he turns away, he gives the head boy a look. It says to the Hufflepuff that Francis knows what you are doing here, and he will hate you forever for it.
<Simon>(oh my god paranoid Frankie, precious babbu ;A;.
- Sweet raises a confused eyebrow- he has no idea what warranted that particular look of hatred after the other boy's nervous fidgeting. He was expecting some glares, but this seems a bit much. He blinks at the Slytherin, but decides not to dwell on it and puts on his own earmuffs, throwing him a thumbs up when he can't hear anything before trying to focus on his essay. Alas, the effort is wasted. As soon as Valentine's back is turned, he's staring glassily at him, sucking thoughtfully at the end of his everlasting sugar quill (the best birthday present ever). Sure, the boy was handsome... for a twat. Give him a few years, he'd probably have devastating good looks. Now, with his youth, big blue eyes and heartbreakingly blonde hair, he was mostly pretty. A bit gorgeous, even though his face looked like he was constipated most of the time and his robes had been repaired to their limit. Anyone could see his family probably wasn't very well off. Oh well. He realizes that he's staring, and definitely starts working on his essay now, without wondering what's underneath those tatty old robes.
<Frankie>Oh no I figured out what's happened to Frankie's parents... The other death eaters were not particularly pleased with Mr. Valentine when they found out about Mrs. Valentine...
<Simon>(HAHAHAH EXAM STRESS CAN'T FUCKING SLEEP ALSO oh NOOO Frankie’s parents noooo)
- Francis turns around haughtily- his gaze gets snagged by Simon’s paper- but potion knowledge was of no use here, he thinks miserably. And he can't give Sullivan the satisfaction of seeing his fear. If he kills something, he'll pretend he meant to. But he won't kill anything, he prays as he pulls a set of worn gloves on.
In dead silence, Francis starts. The mandrake he chooses, largest of the pile, refuses to come out of its pot. The Slytherin sweats nervously as he wrestles with it- the added stress of being observed is no help at all- at last, it comes free, except... Francis looks at his handful of detached mandrake leaves in stunned horror as the thing wails.
- Simon glares at the parchment under him- seriously, how boring can a fucking plant be? The silence is deafening, he can't concentrate like this. He glances up and- "oh, shit-" He can't even hear himself shout, but he all but vaults over the desk over to Valentine, who is cocking it up marvelously. "Merlin's dick, you imbecile, you learn this in second year," he rambles to no one who can hear. In a few long strides, he's behind Francis and reaches his arms around him and plunges one into the pot, not even bothering with gloves, while covering the Slytherin's hand with the other before every single one of the leaves come off. "Gently, gently," he says uselessly. He unearths his hand to grab one of the boy's, and guides it into the pot, under the mandrake. Gently but firmly, he guides Frankie's hands to lift it slowly, one hand under the root and one hand holding the leaves. The thing wails and screams soundlessly, and fuck, is it ugly. He hates mandrakes. They disgust him. Still, they're incredibly valuable and are needed alive. Finally, it touches the earth in the new pot and burrows its way in, still looking a bit angry but alive. He lets out a breath of relief and suddenly realizes that his breath is hitting Valentine's neck. He falls still. Oh, fuck, their close. Their hands are even touching, still. He's a year above the other boy, true, but he's got an inkling sensation that he wouldn't have a chance against him in a fight. It's not his style. At the same time, he's fully aware of how soft and appealing that small patch of skin on the younger boy's neck is, and his little fantasy of earlier was still bouncing around in his head. So his completely arse survival instincts make him do the absolute last thing he really wants to. He freezes.
Frankie> Ah, Frankie's a fifth year, but there's something very perfect about Sweet thinking he's older.... <3
- Francis' heart pounds in his throat, choking as he tries not to cry. He can't cry, it's exactly what Sullivan wanted and he can't- he just can't make the baby stop screaming-! Francis gasps out a sob, lost to the silence. It's very fortunate he can't hear Sullivan chastise him. As it is, he's completely paralyzed save for one hand that is mechanically trying to put the leaves back on. His shocked mind hardly registers the older boy's body as it twines around his own, and he simply watches dazedly while the gentle, clever hands take up the little wailing thing and miraculously make everything better. The mandrake even burrows on it's own, instead of lying lifelessly in the pot as he'd imagined it would. He tries to catch his breath and slow his terrified thoughts, He very slowly realizes someone is essentially hugging him, in more non-violent physical contact than he's had in five years. Francis trembles, unable to remove himself from the feeling... But the sensation of warm breath against his neck is too alien. A deep flush blooms across his bruised cheeks. Francis pushes the body off, darting away in a panic.. He brings his black eyes up to... Sullivan?! Francis backs up further, eyes accusatory and full of bottomless distrust. He brings his wand up. "W-what did... What was that??? What are ya doin'?!?!" he cries weakly, but his voice is lost.
- Simon backs away as far as he can, until his back hits a table, hands raised in a sign of peace. The boy's eyes seem to change to threatening black, from the bright blue they were before, a sight he much preferred. Now, he reminded him of the way he looked when he was lost in attacking Perking, and there was nobody else here but them and he's never been in a fight... He's somewhat afraid. Oh dear.
"Sorry, sorry," he says, but the earmuffs eat the sounds and he grunts in frustration and takes them off, signals for Valentine to take his off, too. Aren't any unearthed mandrakes around now. "Sorry, okay? But- you were killin' the Mandrake. They are like babies, you know, ya can't just pull'em up by their hair! I had to intervene or it would've died, yeah? Wozn't tryin' ter, I'unno, infect you with my gay'r summat."
- Francis' eyes dart from the Hufflepuff, to the mandrake. He's too confused to attack, he doesn't understand what that was-! Francis tenses when the boy moves, his wand raising to protect himself from anymore of Sullivan's madness- why had the boy touched him like that??? He locks on to Sweet's eyes, as if trying to read his mind, so focused that he doesn't realize he's obeyed the head boy's instructions until the sound comes rushing back. "I know t'ey- I didn't mean ta!!!" The boy knew. It was a setup. "It's yer ow' damn fault fer given me'a job like t'is!!!" But Sullivan's last words cut him off. He stares with stunned disbelief. "Ca'... Can'yeh do that..?" He looks at his gloved hands in icy terror. Infected...?
<Simon>LOL OH MY GOD FRANCIS
<Frankie>He needs to talk to more people about these things =c=;
- Simon stares incredulously with wide eyes and open mouth- holy shit, is this guy from the dark ages? "Whuh- No!" he shrieks. He can't bloody believe this. He slaps his palm to his forehead and lets it slide across his face. "Of course I bloody can't, are you an imbecile?? Merlin- Look, it's not your fault and it's not mine, just, now you know how to do it properly, so just fucking do it so we can both get out of here!" he snaps. He regrets it instantly- he's not an angry person, but he doesn't like being yelled at, and homophobia is never something he enjoys. The other boy just riles him the hell up- his twitchiness and paranoia stresses the usually mellow Sweet out. He runs a hand through his hair. "Sorry. I shouldn't have yelled."
- Francis bolts away from Sullivan when he shrieks, mind tumbling through his list of curses- But he's infected- oh god. Is he??? He feels the same as before. How do you know if you're a fairy?? Francis stares fearfully at the other boy, who's yelling and insulting him and oh god is Francis like him now?? Does it mean he'll find the head boy attractive now?? Francis gasps with the realization the unholy thoughts are already starting. "I- I can't, I gotta go to the infirmary-" The insults catch up with him. "An you shut yer filt'y mouth!! I know what t'is is!! You and 'at Ravenclaw prick, jus' waitin fer this, weren' ya?!?! You canna jus-" His panicked eyes swivel to the re-potted mandrake- he feels the hot tears threaten to fall, and takes another step back, closer now to the door than Sullivan. "Jus- stop! STOP- apologizin!!! I know what t'is is, ok?! I ain't an... an imbecile," he hisses, raising his wand in preparation to show the Hufflepuff what happened to those who thought it fun to humiliate Francis Valentine.SUWEETO-SENPAI YOU DID INFECT ME YOU DICK, YOU MADE MY KOKORO GO DOKI DOKI
- Sweet is painfully confused, and would give anything to see what Valentine's thinking right now because honestly, it's a mystery. The kid's panicking and yelling something about a Ravenclaw but neither of them are even in Ravenclaw and- "What the fuck are you talking about?" Merlin's dick, he thought Perking was exaggerating when he said the boy was crazy. There's some severe damage, here.
"Oh, fuck-" there's a wand pointed at him and he raises his hands again, both as a sign of peace and as a way to have faster access to his own wand, firmly tucked behind his ear. "Seriously, mate, d'you really want to hex me? The head boy? Look, you don't wanna be in any more trouble and I don't want to give you any so just, uh, put yer wand away, yeah? You-" He sees tears glistening in the boy's eyes, and damn, how fucked up is this kid? His heart clenches. "Honestly, there's nothing behind this, yeah? It's just detention. Look, I'll even help you with the bloody mandrakes," he starts moving towards the pots.
- Francis doesn't want to listen to any more of this bastard's horrible words- "SHUT UP!!!" he cries when Sullivan asks what's going on, but... the boy seems to be backing down, showing his empty hands- Francis chokes when Sullivan reminds him of the consequences of what he's doing. "But- you-" He doesn't want to give Francis more trouble? No, of course he does. Just not while his wand's out. Francis backs away, startling himself when he runs up against the door. But he is the head boy. Expulsion would be worse than hurting the mandrakes. The Slytherin slowly lowers his wand. As he watches the other student approach the plants with confidence, he has the sudden, wild urge to explain his seemingly cursed herbology abilities- but the boy already knows, doesn't he. That's why he chose this punishment.. And Francis can't fight, not with this one... But perhaps.. Francis wipes his eyes with a glove, leaving a wide streak of dirt. "L-look," he calls from across the room in a weak but surprisingly composed voice, "I seen yer paper. What say I fill the rest'a that out fer ya, you work yer magic with the rest of the wee babe- plants. Mandrakes." he corrects himself, shivering.
- Simon stands still. Hm. Slowly, making sure not to make any sudden movements because God know the other boy might try something stupid if he does, he turns to face him, face inquisitive. "That's NEWT-level potions. You know about Mimbulus Mimbletonia?" It does sound mightily appealing. He despises Mandrakes, but Longbottom's going to pitch a fit if they're not repotted. Not as big a fit than if they're all dead, though, and he honestly doesn't trust the Slytherin with any plants ever anymore. Furthermore, he's had it up to here with that bloody essay and he really isn't above cheating. Setting an example for younger students, his arse. He has grades to keep up. Slowly, a smirk appears on his face. "Then you've got yerself a deal, luv," he says brightly, the endearment inconspicuous but obviously just thrown in to bother the younger student. "You must really hate herbology."
- Francis nods silently, too eager to trust himself to speak. Whatever the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw's plan was, Francis must have gotten lucky that they'd decided to go through with them when the head boy had that particular class's essay. "They... they make'a cooin' sound..." That trait had sent the Mimbletonia to the top of his list of favorite magical plants, until his first real encounter with the thing had left the starry eyed Francis covered in sap and smelling foul for days. His robe still carried the faintest unpleasant musk.... The next contender, mandrakes, had also gone down several thousand rungs after his second year experience. Today had not helped, and the prospect of avoiding more... He looks across at Sullivan with the start of what may be... gratitude? Is that allowed? After all, it was the boy who'd put him in this position. Francis debates this as he steps cautiously towards the Hufflepuff. 'Thank you' is on the tip of his tongue when the boy calls him- "What." What. He tries to rearrange the sounds to not mean what they mean. As his brain enjoys the impossible little puzzle, a deep red color spreads from under the dirt, from his cheeks to his ears. His eyes quiver briefly as he involuntarily checks out the head boy. That breaks the spell on his brain, and Francis' wand comes back out as he silently flees behind the safety of the desk.
<Simon>FURANCISU-KUN.... I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON BUT UR KAWAII
- Sweet laughs melodiously, winking at the other boy. Homophobia bothered him, sure, but in his experience it was much better to just joke around than get angry about it. People didn't listen if you got angry. And a flustered Valentine is... rather adorable, actually, even though he's still a bit worried the lad's going to hex him. "Don't worry. It really isn't infectious~" He takes off his robe, pulls up his shirt sleeves and puts on a pair of thick gloves. "If I get a bad grade on that paper, you'll find a love potion directed at Longbottom in yer tea, though. Fair warning. Now, earmuffs~" He puts on his fluffy pink monstrosities, and waits for Valentine to do the same before he starts to gently pull an ugly root baby out of its undersized pot.
- Francis feels a new, strange panic rise up in his chest when Sullivan winks at him. His face feels as if it's burning- he hides his head in his arms, away from the crazy Hufflepuff's view. "F it's not contag'ous what the feck's this??" he mumbles with muffled fury. His head shoots up at the threat. "N-no! That- NO!!!" Sullivan hits both his paranoia and inability to understand 'joking' with one fell swoop. His wand raises again, but as the Hufflepuff puts his earmuffs on, he realizes that he's at the head boy's mercy. At least for now. The hatred returns to his expression, though his bright red blush takes some of the fierceness away from the overall effect. Francis jams the pink muffs onto his head, consoling himself by silently listing all the jinxes, hexes, and curses he's ever learned, and imagining himself sending them all at the smug asshole.
- Simon works as quickly and quietly as one possibly can, pulling the demon baby roots out of their pots ever-so gently and trying to put them in the next one without any fuss. It's pretty shit when one of them chomps down just under his thumb and his eyes water with the pain of it, but then the one after that doesn't even wake up when he unearths it and a strong sense of pride in his work overwhelms him. After about an hour, he is finished. He takes off his gear but doesn't put his robe on again, as the exercise has made him rather hot. He loosened his tie a while ago but now he undoes it completely, letting it hang loose around his neck and undoing another button in order to breathe as he walks over to his bag by the door and pulls out two bottles of butterbeer, which he makes pleasantly cool with a tap of his wand. Soundlessly, at least as far as the earmuffed Slytherin working on his essay is concerned, he sets it in front of the other boy and sits himself down at the opposite side of the desk, and waits for the other boy to notice and take off his soundblockers with a small smile on his face, courtesy of a job well-done and a less pleasant job well-avoided.
- It’s certainly not the first time he's done something like this. Francis pulls a scrap of his own parchment and practices Sullivan's handwriting for a few minutes before even touching the paper. At last satisfied, he looks up from his work- and finds himself completely fixated on Sullivan. Each firm, confident movement as he effortlessly works... Francis is horrendously jealous, sitting at the table while the Hufflepuff does what to Francis is impossible... Jealousy, and... something else. He wants something from the older boy, but...? No. Just jealousy... Francis realizes with a jolt at the dwindling pile of mandrakes that he hasn't even started his work yet. The threat of love potion focuses him once more. Mimbletonia. He reads through Sullivan's writing... Is this kid serious?? NEWT level?? Does he even know what a timidity potion is?? Francis looks up once more to glare hatefully... After about three more artful repottings, he rages at himself and drags his attention back to the paper. He's scribbling frantically, when something enters his field of vision. Francis tenses but keeps writing, completely absorbed.
- Simon looks bemusedly at Valentine. The boy's really into this essay- a future in potions, perhaps? He really can't see the appeal, but he needs to get the NEWT to be able to even start his training as a Healer. It's rather a relief, seeing the Slytherin so absorbed in something, completely forgetting his anger for a few precious minutes... He smiles, a bit sadly. As nonchalant as he is, he wouldn't have gotten his Head Boy position if he didn't actually care for every single one of his fellow students. Valentine's far from the only one, but it hurts to see someone he's responsible for so damaged. He might be a twat, but Sweet's a firm believer in the philosophy that there's a solid core of good in every single human being, and so, he feels the tiniest bit protective of Valentine, because when he sees him working like this, concentrated and motivated and yes, more than a bit gorgeous when he doesn't look angry or scared, it shines through.
He realizes he's staring, and snaps himself out of it. Enough of that. With a flick of his wand, a little arrow made of golden light flickers into existence above the paper Valentine's attention is fixed onto, and shoots off once the boy looks at it, embedding itself harmlessly in the brown bottle and dissipating.
- Francis bites his lip as the impending sense of danger interrupts the transfer of his knowledge to Sullivan's page. He's being watched- It's got to be Sullivan, and Sullivan wants this paper, so- Francis curses as his instincts interrupt his thought process. His hand slows- the arrow startles him out of the last of his concentration. Francis looks up. Relaxes a fraction. Of course it was Sullivan. His eyes take in the dirty hands, the look of success about him... as well as the slim body beneath the robe, and... why is his tie off? Was he gardening or undressing?? "...I din't finish yet-" He takes off his earmuffs. "Almost done t'ough... What's this??" he asks suspiciously.
- Simon lifts an eyebrow, as well as a corner of his mouth in a smirk. "Butterbeer, dingus," he says. "Figured you might want some. Don't worry, I didn't like, poison it or anything." He laughs. Valentine's definitely the only student he knows who wouldn't jump at the opportunity of having Butterbeer outside of Hogsmeade trips. He uncaps his own bottle and throws back a gulp of the cold, sweet, delicious drink. "Ahh. Wonderful." He gestures at the paper; "By all means, finish up- just wanted you to know you could take the earmuffs off. I'll be quiet, though, don't worry."
<Simon>This is so fucking kawaii
<Frankie> it really is... something about anger and Simon... just go so well together ;c;
- Francis stares for a moment. Dingus was an insult, but beneath him. And.. that is definitely it, though he'd never seen the bottles up close before. Two sickles. And it's even cold? What a useless, wonderful charm... He is reverently reaching for the drink when Simon makes the joke about poison. Francis' icy stare bores into the head boy before he returns to the paper without a word, and without taking the butterbeer.
- Simon frowns when Frankie reaches for the bottle, but ends up not taking it- he doesn't understand. Was it the poison joke? Really the other boy needs to stop taking everything so seriously. He rolls his eyes, takes another swig and reaches back into his bag to pull out an orange. While he waits, he might as well do something productive. Carefully, he peels a bit of the skin off. In your NEWT year, the school gets you in contact with people in the profession you want to pursue, so they'd give you tips. The Healer he'd been in contact with had told him to try this as an exercise in magically stitching skin back together- it's nowhere near the same, but close enough. He puts the skin back on the orange, puzzling it back together as well as he can, traces the tip of his wand along the edges and tries doing it wordlessly- he's ace at nonverbal spellwork something which had always baffled his teachers, as he normally couldn't concentrate worth shit - but as it turns out, he still has to mutter parts of the incantation under his breath. The result is a bit sloppy, but passable. Definitely an improvement on the last time he tried. He rewards himself with a goodly swig of butterbeer, pretending not to check if Valentine has drunk any of his yet.
- Francis' stomach growls loudly at the smell of the orange being peeled. He wants to move the butterbeer out of his line of sight, but that would require touching it... Francis hunches and speeds through the last of the properties of a shyness potion. He's proofreading when the older boy says something. When Francis looks up, he's put immediately on guard by the wand... ? His mouth falls open in shock. "That's..." They'd used it to save his mum. "But that's fer ministry wizards," he says weakly. "I mean... the best..." Francis has many opinions about politics, but he'd always regard ministry healers as tiny mortal gods... Francis gapes at Sullivan's handy work.
- "Hahaha, what? Ehehe, no, don't- it's just an exercise, y'know? Y'gotta know how to do this if yer wanna be a healer." Simon laughs a bit awkwardly, running a hand through his hair. He wasn't unused to praise, but Valentine's tone was nearing awe. Gosh. Unwillingly he flushes a little, but he can't help but smile. "Still, not too shabby, right? Still can't do it without leaving a nasty scar, but still..." He holds up the orange and shows a puckered, pale orange line where the tear used to be before throwing it over to Valentine. "Here, you can have it." He hadn't missed the growl of the boy's stomach earlier. He takes another sip, and tries to get a better look at his supposed essay, even though he can't read it upside down. "Damn, ya've got my handwritin' pat on. Neat." He smiles encouragingly at Valentine. "So y'like potions, then?"
- Francis watches the boy flush. Again with that strange feeling of not quite jealousy... Ah, who's he fooling. It's jealousy. What else would it be?? "I.. I didn't t'ink students could do nothin' like'at," he says sullenly, but takes the gift without protest. He runs his fingers along the raised, potentially life-saving lines. Francis quietly puts the little treasure in his pocket, unsure what it means. He's about to get up, silently leave and be done with Sullivan forever when the small, unexpected compliment hits him full in the chest. He pushes his chair back, away from the Hufflepuff boy, looking anywhere but in front of him. Sadly, this only serves to make his crimson ears more prominent. "They're nice," he mumbles, at a loss of how to escape, or really how to do much of anything.
- Simon snorts a little, and pulls the essay towards himself. "Pft, says you. I'm absolutely arse at potions." He looks over the page, and decides he is pleased. "Ta, mate, yer a real lifesaver." He looks back at the younger boy, and oh fuck that's adorable. More than a bit gorgeous, indeed. He's wondering how far down that blush goes, but then he realizes he's staring again, and with a stupid grin on his face on top of that. He clears his throat and pulls himself together, or at least tries to. "Look, I'm... sorry for earlier. I was a bit on edge." He does feel guilty, and looks the part. He smiles his very best heart-melting smile and pushes the butterbeer towards Valentine. "Please, just have a drink with me. It'll make us both feel better."
<Frankie> Oh god... idk... If Francis has the same tolerance of Frankie, prior to his flirtations with severe alcoholism.... <Simon> hahahaa I don't think butterbeer has a lot of alcohol in it though... maybe his inhibitions lower a little but I don't think he'd get smashed
<Frankie>No definitely not smashed /w\ No house elf blood here >u<
- Lifesaver?? Coming from a guy who can pull off that spell??? Francis looks up to see the cruel mockery in the other boy's eyes, but instead meets with... Francis bites his trembling lip at the sight of that warm, alluring smile. That same strange, undefinable jealousy wells up in him. It's becoming constant. "I..." The slender boy shivers, gripping his wand for comfort. "I didn't mean to hurt it," he confesses, nearly inaudible. How could he not, to that smile?? He couldn't have Sullivan thinking the worst of him, when it wasn't true... His hand hesitantly reaches to the bottle. After an absurdly long wait, he snatches it back, as if the head boy was going to change his mind and swat at him instead. He looks up once for permission before opening it, then savors the smell. All his? A tiny sip. Pure joy. Even if it's poison.
- Sweet's heart sinks a little when he sees Francis reaching hesitantly for the bottle, as if it's going to be taken away for no other reason than cruelty. As if that's what he's used to. He's suddenly deeply, intensely grateful for the existence of the sanctuary Hogwarts, because he shudders to think what Francis has to go home to. "I know you didn't mean to," he says softly. "You can't be good at everything. God knows the amount of cauldrons I've blown up in my time." Slowly, he takes a drink. There's something in the way Francis is looking at him... although it could just be shyness. He pays no heed to it. The way he's drinking from the bottle, though, as if it's nothing he's ever tasted... wait. "Have you never had butterbeer?"
- Despite his initial reaction, Francis tries not to gulp down the heavenly coolness, ‘cause he knows manners, and suddenly they seem important to use on this smiling boy. Who believes him about the mandrakes. His eyes well up again but a quick mouthful stops him from making a fool out of himself in front of Sullivan. He nearly gags at the question though. His usual evasive response to why he didn't partake, 'I don't like them', is not appropriate in this situation. So he'll flat out lie. "Had'm loads'a times. T'ey have'm at Hogsmead, don't they?" Francis doubles his efforts to not appear to savor the sweetness as much as he is.
- Simon raises an eyebrow, catching the quite obvious lie but not mentioning it. "Yah, they do. Good, innit?" He smiles softly, and lets there be silence for a while before asking a question he was still wondering about. "Perking... What'd he say to you to start off the fight? Neither of you's gonna get in trouble again, I just... want to know." He sighs, wishing he could have a cigarette right now. But he's stuck in the greenhouse, and Longbottom would know. The plants'd probably tell him, the treacherous bastards. He runs a hand through his hair and takes a sip of his near-empty bottle instead. "I don't like seeing people fight. I don't like hearing... you know, those things you and Perking said to each other. Wrong, hurtful things. It's not right, and I'd like to prevent it, but you need to tell me how. Helping you is kind of my job, but I also just honestly want to, y'know?" He looks a bit pleadingly at Francis, hoping he'll understand.
<Frankie> And then Francis' cold shriveled heart went doki that day. Omg Simon omg. You Casanova you >u<
- Francis nods enthusiastically, blonde hair flying. Another smile from this boy... had anyone smiled at him this much... ever?? But then Sullivan asks another question and he's dropped hard out of the soft floating feeling the delicious drink was giving him. Francis scowls. "M' not'a snitch." But the older boy looks tired, world weary suddenly. Francis wants more of that smile, he thinks to himself with certainty as the older boy runs his hands through his dark hair. "I- I didn't say none'a them to you.." Wrong. Hurtful... Sullivan understood after all. His initial misgivings and suspicions were wrong. This boy was really here to help him.. Only cause he's obligated, a nasty thought interrupts. "It wasn' nothin, Like I said..." he stares into those big, dark, understanding eyes. The flush creeps back and Francis looks down at his bottle. He's surprised to find it empty. His first bottle of butterbeer... The Slytherin looks back up through long lashes at those soft brown eyes... He feels suddenly tongue tied. But he wants the boy to know he's not bad. He's not what Perking said he was... "M' not'a deatheater. I know everyone said I was, and, and it's not m' fault who my da was, and it was feckin- wasn't fair dat,, dat... mudblood, sayin what he did in front'a everyone!! Like he know's what it's like?!" Francis has stood up before he’s even realized it, shrieking in Sullivan's face.
- Simon stares at the boy unflinchingly, but softly, through his tirade. He shows his discomfort at the word "mudblood" though... He remains seated, looking up at Francis and remaining calm so he doesn't feel attacked. He'd thought that Francis' father was probably on the wrong side of the war, but a death eater? Oh, poor child... Once the Slytherin's finished, he starts talking softly, but firmly. "You have to understand that, as much as it hurts you to hear the words "death eater"... It hurts so much more people to hear the word m-mudblood," he says, stumbling over the last word, uncomfortable using it. His family had been hurt in the war, too. "People associate that kind of talk with death eaters, and you can't exactly blame them. They're still scared. Everyone is. Hell, I'm still scared. You need to understand that. And I don't know your father, but you aren't. Him. I'm so..." He has to pause, to swallow. There's a prickling behind his eyes, which are becoming a bit wet. He wipes his hand across them, collecting himself. "I don't know what you've been through, or what you're still going through. But I'm so fucking sorry that you have to. But, look," he stands up now, going around the desk until he's opposite Francis, smiling down at him. He takes the other boy's left hand and gently pushes up the sleeve of his robe to his elbow. He turns his hand until his forearm's facing up, notably lacking in tattoos. He lightly strokes the place where the mark would have been. "Nothing there," he says. "You're good, Francis."
- Francis listens sullenly- quite a positive reaction, relatively. "Why's it worse?? it's true fer them! Where's I ain't... that! I couldn' help what he did, but fuck me, I ain't followin after 'I'm!!! An' everyone says mudblood!! I ain't the only one!!" Just cause he was too poor and mean tempered to be accepted by his Slytherin peers didn't mean he couldn't hear them. He's verging on tears again with the injustice of it. "But oooh, Francis gets to be the bad one cause his god damned bastard of'a fat'er couldn'a have the decency ta die quietly!!!" Francis snarls, ready to argue this point physically... He simply bursts into tears when Sullivan acknowledges that no, he's not his pa. The apology just makes it that much more impossible to stop before it really gets going- Still, he flinches when the smiling boy takes his arm into those gentle hands. He holds his breath while the Hufflepuff looks him over, as if fearing the boy will see something horrible... A frightening, electrifying tingle crawls along his spine when Sullivan strokes his arm- and then the head boy says he's good... Francis's filled with foreign, indescribable emotions, and helpless neediness that he doesn't know how to begin to fulfill. He would look away, run away, but Sullivan looks as if he's gonna cry too...
- Simon's posture visibly tightens the more Francis says. He starts trembling, finding it hard to keep up his sympathy for the boy, when such... ignorance spouts from his horrid mouth. His grip on the other boy's forearm tightens and he has to force himself not to draw his hand back and slap the boy, something pretty much anyone descend apart from him would do, but that's not what Frankie needs right now. "Francis," he takes a deep breath to calm himself. "You are good. I truly believe that. But you need to shut the fuck up right now." He doesn't, can't let go of the boy's forearm, face a mixture of deep, old hurt and righteous anger. "You weren't born during the war. You don't have any people in your year with... stories, I think. But when I was two my aunt snapped her neck when she had to jump with me out of a window of a building, that was set fire to by people what said mudblood. There was a Ravenclaw girl, graduated now, what had only one leg because Greyback et it. When she was three. Countless-" his voice trembles- "Countless orphans, or people whose families've been tortured into madness. All because of people that called us mudblood. Even now, there's still attacks every now and again. When someone is called a death eater, it's vicious, yes. Nasty. But when you start calling someone dirty or impure because of what they are, while their magic is no different from yours, it brings all of that back, to everyone who hears. All that death, and pain, and... and... evil." He sniffs, a couple of tears falling but he refuses to be weak by trying to hide his grief. "So don't you fucking dare, Valentine. You're good. Don't you dare poison yourself with such thoughts and talk, because the world is done with people like that."
- Francis whimpers when the soft grip from the kind boy becomes painful, fear resurfacing as anger clearly enters the velvet eyes he'd been losing himself in. Francis pulls away, but he's trapped. His heart flutters in his chest like a terrified bird. But the Slytherin's thrashing slows as Sullivan describes... things his daddy did, wasn't it? And the memory resurfaces- they circled like wolves around her, laughing, calling her trash- not even tainted, not even magical. Just filth. And she's bleeding and dying and they're laughing and he's screaming for her and even for his daddy, who'd had one noble act left in his rotted soul before they'd got him- All the warm, unfamiliar sensations are gone, the timid blush evaporated. Francis is shivering uncontrollably, the dirt and bruises standing out like paint on his bone white skin."I-I'm.. I wanna go now-" he gasps for breath that won’t come, again struggling- "Please, I need ta go, I didn't- I didn't mean'ta hurt t'em- or y-you or-" He's evil. He doesn't need a tattoo to tell him, or Perking, or this boy either. He covers his face, still trying vainly to minimize his shame as he breaks down, sobbing like a child
- Simon stops when the other boy takes a sharp breath inwards- "Valentine?" The boy doesn't respond, eyes clenched shut and every muscle tensed. He recognizes a flashback when he sees one and the sharp tug of guilt in his gut makes him release Francis' arm. "Oh fuck, oh fuck-" Francis comes back to the world of the living and starts hyperventilating, tears streaming down his face and Simon pulls him into an embrace as the boy sobs. "Shhh- shhh, I've got you, I'm sorry, shh," he murmurs softly, and starts rubbing soft, soothing circles into Valentine's back. "It's not you, it wasn't you, shhh, it's okay, I've got you..."
- Francis howls softly as he's cradled, not at all ready for more emotions at the unfamiliar comfort. He weeps hysterically into the head boy's chest, trying to focus, trying to stop being a goddamned pussy -Why is he acting like this?!- but he can't stop envisioning the bodies, dead and dying, burning, evil- imagining the scenes Sullivan had describes- Sullivan. Francis goes limp with shock. He numbly figures it out as the older boy rubs him, pouring out the two-faced, poisonous words. Poison. Alihotsy- weedosor, essence of insanity- even a simple befuddlement potion would explain this sudden vivid waking nightmare, the confusion, this hysteria... But....... why?? He listens through his sobs as the other boy says those sweet words, such a contrast to the livid curses moments ago. Just the right amount of pressure in each direction to break him. Now he understands. Francis hesitantly looks up with an expression of heartbreak. "W-why are you doin this to me?"
- Simon shrugs, slowly, and retreats a little from the hug, but leaves his hands on Francis' shoulders. He has to think on this a little, not a lot of people have asked him this. "Because... It's the right thing to do, I think. You're so unhappy and angry, I just want to help. I hate seeing unhappy people." He sighs, and looks down into Francis' devastatingly blue eyes. People are always so beautiful when they've cried, he reflects as he almost absent-mindedly wipes away a stray tear from the younger boy's cheek. "And... I can't make you find happiness, of course. But you seem to have... given up on ever finding it in the first place. But you're so young, you can still do anything, be anyone you want as long as you just keep trying." He smiles apprehensively. "I believe in you. That's why."
- Francis gasps at Sullivan's first words- the fucking nerve to bluntly state his cold blooded intentions... He shivers with anger and pain, unwilling to listen anymore of the shameless, cruel words- But of course, they still come loud and clear. Francis' lip tremble again, he's unsure if what's welling up in him is a scream of rage, or more tears, or more of that inexplicable jealousy. All of it seems to come out at once in one strangled whimper when the boy touches his cheek. "Jus- jus stop," he cries. None if that's true. He's in Slytherin, just like his daddy was. No friends, no acquaintances aside from those who wanted something from him- He knows where he's headed. He always had. "You can't jus- jus go'n say somet'in like that!!"
- Simon's heart feels like someone pushing a knife in it and twisting it ever so slowly, from the way Francis looks at him. He doesn't let go of his shoulders, but holds onto them lightly so the boy can pull away whenever he wants to. He looks into his eyes intently. "So you're happy, then? You look me in the eyes and tell me you're happy with your life, or where it's going," he says. He's breaking through to the kid, he knows it, he's so close... "You do that, and I'll leave you alone forever." A gamble, but he honestly doesn't think Francis can do it.
- Still ghostly pale, Francis shakes in Sullivan's light grip, ready to flee this confusing nightmare. He just... needs to tear himself away from the dark pools of Sullivan's eyes... No one's ever looked at him this way. No one's ever talked to him this way. Francis' breath stutters at the question. Of course he's not. Is the older boy trying to rub it in? "Wh-what... do you want from me??" he asks wretchedly, before his brain can supply the obvious lie, that of course, Head Boy, he's just dandy and it's swell of you to ask and he'll just be going now, t'ank ya kindly. His mouth does open to smooth over and dismiss this absurdity... if only he'd managed to free himself from those eyes first... "We is what we is," he mutters, tears starting again. "Some people'r wizards. Some people ain't. Some people'r good with plants, 'n some people'r sorted to the house where all t'e dark wizards go, 'n there's no point in whinin' about it, alright??" He shrinks back in surprise at his own speech, fully expecting a smack in the mouth
- The knife digs deeper, and twists again and again. "Don't say that," Simon almost whispers. The boy retreats as if he's expecting violence, and he wants him to know that he should never expect that, not from Simon. "You're not a dark wizard. You've made a few mistakes, but it doesn't matter, okay? Being sorted into a certain house means jack shit about you, anyway. I know plenty Slytherins what are just.. just great people. Including you. And nothing anyone says about you can change that." He sighs, and takes a step back. "Look, Valentine. I can't force you to see things differently in one night, as much as I wish I could. Just... think about it, okay? You can leave, if you want."
- The arguments roll around in his head, about all the greatest evil in the world being from his house- Heroes were from Gryffindor. Hufflepuff. Sometimes even Ravenclaw. Deatheaters, murderers, cowards, oath breakers, that was where the hat had seen Francis belonging. Francis cannot believe the boy is lying to him so blatantly. But when Sullivan calls him a 'great person'... something in him snaps. The tears stop. Aside from a single violent tremor, his shaking stills. The Slytherin takes a hesitant step towards the other boy, less threatening than a mouse. He looks up again, as he had with the butterbeer, asking for permission. Staring into those velvet eyes that noticed him. An electric jolt along his spine startles him into action. Francis wraps his arms around the older boy's middle in an awkward, fierce hug. In the next heartbeat, he’s out the door in a blur of blonde hair, black robes, and crimson flush.
<Frankie> +10 anime
- When Francis stares at him, no longer crying or hurt, asking for permission, he stares back with confusion. Well. That changed quickly- woah wait, was the younger boy gonna kiss him? He was advancing and okay, he wasn't completely opposed to the idea but maybe after so much emotion, it wasn't very wise and- a pair of arms wrap around his waist and oh. Just a hug. Okay, he can deal with this, but he's barely started reciprocating before Francis is gone. He looks at the quickly retreating figure with a confused smile, and a spark of hope for the boy in his chest. Maybe he was going to turn out okay.