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 Valentine's For Two [Sever]

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PostSubject: Valentine's For Two [Sever]   Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:15 am

There were many things in life that Serenity did not understand. She had a mental list of questions she'd asked but never received an answer to or was chuckled at for, and thus learnt that it was not a question people could answer and therefore made them uncomfortable. It was interesting to note how not understanding made people weird; there were so many things out there that couldn't be explained, so why avoid saying "I don't know"? There were many things she didn't know, after all.

One of those was why bad things happened. Why people, good and kind and helpful people, got hurt. Why they got robbed and killed and cheated. She'd seen it enough times that she knew the world wasn't roses and sunshine.

Another question was the opposite: why did good things happen? Not just to nice people, but to bad people, and in general. She'd seen incredible things in her lifetime, things that made her want to cry with happiness; but she couldn't understand them. What made someone happy? What was the cause of joy? Of satisfaction? Of peace?

Nobody had any answers for her.

But the current question, the one that plagued her the most, was not any of these. It was a simple one, and a profound one: when was Oliver going to leave?

He'd stuck around far longer than she first expected, during their first meeting. He then continued to stick around far longer than anybody in her life had ever done by choice. She'd often switched teacher in the Ministry, bounced from person to person. They got busy, or they had other work, or whatever excuse was given that she sometimes bought and sometimes questioned. In any case, she'd never truly been wanted, except perhaps, by Aunt Sally. And even then she hardly ever saw the older witch.

Oliver was... A surprise. A nice one, but a surprise nevertheless, and Serenity wasn't quite sure what she thought of it. He stayed when she had her first vision about him, he stayed when she started prophesying about something that sounded so scary she couldn't sleep for days after she read what she said, and he stayed when she refused to move from her room after having a dream so vivid she woke up screaming.

And that begged the question: what was his breaking point? When would he decide that enough was enough and walk away from her?

Not tonight, she thought -- hoped -- as she stepped out of her common room with a deep breath. She was wearing a dress she'd picked out, having gotten permission to go shopping with Tammie. It was the first one she'd tried on that didn't restrict her breathing (what was it with tight dresses, anyway?) and had both sleeves and a hem long enough to cover... well, to cover her scars. She was still learning concealment charms, and those didn't always fully work.

Making her way up to the Room of Requirement, Tammie beside her, Serenity focused on her breathing as she walked. Oliver had, naturally, asked to meet her outside her common room, but she declined. Gave some excuse she no longer recalled, and said she would meet him outside the room of requirement.

When his invitation to the Valentine's Day Ball had first come, she couldn't help but laugh, shaking her head. But he'd continued to explain, and she found herself lost for words. He wanted to hold her a private one, for the two of them? Why would anyone care enough about her to make sure she wasn't missing out on something as trivial as a ball? She'd never attended anything of that sort in her life, so it wasn't like she was missing out. But she had somehow found herself accepting Oliver's request -- and all that led her here, right now, smiling at him as she approached him, in front of a blank wall.

"Oliver," she said, softly, eyes downcast as always. "You... You didn't have to do this, you know," she added.
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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's For Two [Sever]   Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:56 pm

When the news of the Valentine's Ball had arrived, Oliver had been really excited. Not because he had someone he wanted to ask out, or someone that he wanted to woo. But because he could take Serenity to a Ball. Oliver knew, from their months of talking and growing closer, that Serenity had not experienced many things like he had. He found it quite unrealistic that she could have been kept from so much, but he'd made it his personal goal to show his best friend... everything.

Though, the one thing that Oliver knew he would never be able to do was convince Serenity that coming to the actual Ball would be okay. Which was precisely why when Serenity had laughed at him for bringing the idea up and shook her head, he was persistent, making sure she understood that this was not going to be the Ball, but their Ball.

Which is how Oliver had ended up obtaining the help of a number of House Elves to make sure tonight would be perfect. The room would sort itself out, and Oliver would have the food brought up to them by a couple of House Elves. Otherwise, they would be alone, and Oliver could show Serenity what a Ball was like, and how other people celebrated Valentine's Day.

Dressing up as the main invite had asked them to for the occassion, Oliver had made his hair neat before picking up the single red rose that he'd gotten for the evening. He wasn't sure if Serenity would think this a little too much, but... well, he didn't think so.

Oliver had even taken the time to push the thorns off of the rose to make sure Serenity couldn't hurt herself when he handed it to her. This night had to be perfect, even if it was just so that Serenity would have the best first experience of a Ball.

As seven o'clock neared, Oliver stepped out of the room, checking himself over once more, and fussing with his tie. At the sound of footsteps in the hall, Oliver's eyes moved to the source and upon seeing Serenity dressed up so beautifully, his eyes widened momentarily. His best friend had always been pretty, but uniform could never do one that much justice. She was beautiful...

Thankfully, Serenity's eyes were downcast, giving him just long enough to compose himself before she spoke up. "Mmm, I know, but how could I go to the real Ball without my best friend? Knowing my best friend was sat on her own in the common room? I couldn't have done that, Seren." Oliver told her softly, holding out the red rose to her with a small smile playing on his lips.

"I got this for you, too. There are more inside, but, I wanted to give you one I'd picked personally." He explained, though he was only trying to make it more special, not flirt with her. "Shall we?" He prompted, and the door to the Room of Requirement appeared behind him only a few moments later, Oliver stepped to the side, holding the door open so that Serenity could take in the room at large. It was theirs to explore, so all Oliver could hope was that it wasn't too much for the Ravenclaw witch.

Soft music played in the background, and little love hearts floated around them when they entered. The lights gave off a soft lighting, and there was a table for them to sit at. A dance floor beyond the table, and to the side a table with food and drink for them to get through at their own leisure.

They didn't have the garden up here, but it was enough, Oliver hoped.
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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's For Two [Sever]   Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:17 am

As he spoke, she smiled, softly, gently. Nobody had ever said those things to her before. To be wanted, loved, desired... It was a dream she'd never dared hoped could be real and yet here she was at a ball organised just for her because someone could not bear the idea of going without her. All of this, for her? It didn't make sense, and she couldn't quite understand it.

Why would anyone enjoy her company so much? Why would anyone go through so much trouble? They could have spent the time watching a movie or reading, or anything of that sort, and it would still have been spending time together. It meant, therefore, Oliver wanted her to experience things she'd never experienced before; it meant he cared not just about what she could give him (which wasn't much, if anything) but about her as a person. Because why give someone something if they couldn't give anything in return unless you really did care?

As much as she tried to process it, she couldn't figure it out. And so, instead of allowing her thoughts to take over, she looked up.

Her eyes took in Oliver, allowing herself the liberty of looking up at him properly and fully. It was something she didn't always allow herself to do, if at all. There were so many things that could happen if she looked at someone in the eyes or took them in. Invading privacy was never something she liked doing, and she never knew how someone would react to their deepest secrets being shown or revealed to her.

But Oliver... Oliver was someone who not only knew what she could do and what she was capable of, but someone who didn't seem to mind it. She could look at him -- fully and properly, without needing to avert her gaze after a while -- and not fear what would happen if she Saw anything.

And Oliver, right now, looked more handsome than she'd ever seen him. The smile grew wider. "But you enjoy people," she said, softly. "You like being with others. I... I can't offer you that, because it's just us." She wasn't arguing, exactly; she was trying to figure it out.

Still she accepted the rose, inhaling its scent deeply. Then, deliberately, she stick it into the waistband of her dress. Later, she'd take it to her room and put it in a vase. Aunt Sally knew a few spells that kept them fresh for longer, and Serenity would write to ask at once what it was.

She smiled. "Thank you." She paused. "It's the first time anyone has gotten me a flower. It's beautiful." Following his lead, she stepped inside, stopping short to take everything in. It was exactly as the downstairs hall would be, she knew, and for a moment she held her breath as she felt Oliver step up beside her and she heard the door close. They were alone, together, in their own private ball.

Gently, she reached out, towards one of the hearts, allowing the tip of her finger to graze it as though touching a butterfly; she smiled, lowered her arm again, and turned to Oliver, suddenly overcome by emotions she never knew she could feel. Wanted. Loved. Appreciated.

Without quite knowing what she was doing, she threw her arms around the Hufflepuff, pulling him into a hug. "Thank you."
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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's For Two [Sever]   Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:33 pm

The smile on Serenity's lips was more than enough for Oliver. He knew he'd done the right thing in that moment. Knew that it was worth it, and so much more, if only to make her smile. Serenity, after all, was so very different from everyone else in this school. In a good way, but she had a lot of weight on her shoulders. A smile, therefore, made any effort more than worth it.

But, what surprised Oliver the most was that she looked up from the ground. To look at him. A sheepish smile touched his features as she did so, and he waited, wondering whether she would See something from taking that step.

He didn't care, he held no secrets from the witch, whatever she might See, past, present or future, was not something she could control. It had happened, it would happen again, and nothing between them would change. Oliver was proud of her, though, for daring to do that when he knew how much she disliked the Sight she had.

The widening smile made his own lips twitch up in to a warmer, more settled smile. But her words made him chuckle softly. Not at her, no, that would be rude, but the words. "I do enjoy people. You are a person, Serenity." He told her, in a mock whisper as if it was a secret. "But, just because I enjoy people doesn't mean I need them all the time. I wanted this to be just us, so that you could enjoy yourself." He told her, because this was more about Serenity than it was him.

The acceptance of the flower, and then the admission that it was the first made Oliver's features turn to a frown momentarily before he shrugged. "Another first, then. That one wasn't planned, though." He said, taking note of this fact and deciding that he really was going to have to open his mind further to the list of things Serenity hadn't experienced.

Stepping in to the room behind Serenity, Oliver simply waited, wondering what she would think. It was a good replica of downstairs -- Oliver had checked the hall before he came up -- the House Elves had been great for that much. Serenity was amused with the heart shapes that had been charmed, and Oliver couldn't blame her. They were quite magical, magic still fascinated the boy, despite having lived with it for four years.

As Serenity turned back to him, Oliver was about to ask if she was hungry when she threw her arms around him, hugging him in a manner that caught him off guard for a moment. But, he quickly put his arms around her, giving her a small squeeze. The thank you he waved away.

"There's no need to thank me, just... enjoy it." Oliver insisted. "Are you hungry? The House Elves gave us a selection of the buffet from downstairs. Oh, and there is some punch -- non-alcoholic, don't worry. Or, we can eat later, and just relax. Or, well, I can put the music on a little louder, and we can dance. That's normal at a Ball. But, we have all evening, so we don't need to rush anything." Oliver explained, wondering what Serenity would want to do first.
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