Author’s note: A huge shoutout to @heather-lynn for helping me with some ideas for this story, she’s seriously the best at that. And to @theycallmebecca for being a phenomenal beta! I don’t know what I would do without either of you two!
After setting the last tub in the classroom, Sammie let out a heavy sigh. Bringing the bins back to the school had been the easy part, now she just had countless bins of everything she needed to decorate her classroom with. She had recently been promoted to department chair, which meant she had to move classrooms this summer. She hadn’t been excited about moving rooms, at first, mostly because her old room had been her first classroom as a teacher. .The the reason was that it meant she had to take down all of her decorations, the student projects she displayed and pack up her supplies and all the odds and ends she had collected over the years.
Switching back to Maka, because as much fun as writing in Black*Star’s voice is, is, it cannot be fully appreciated unless it’s taken in doses.
Mildly nsfw towards the end. I kept any frisky play mostly out of it, but y'know, always safe to warn people!
It wasn’t until she turned seventeen that her brother finally hopped off his high horse and really accessed the situation. She suffered through half of a year of blind dates orchestrated by Black Star, of all people. She spent the same half of a year being rescued from said dates by a stony-faced Soul, followed up by ice cream “dates” (secretive, because according to their brother, they weren’t allowed to be alone together) where he’d steal her cherry and she’d eat all the whipped cream.
It was a frustrating six months.
Black Star had awful taste in men. If she had to sit down and suffer through another sexist, offensive monologue about how attractive she’d be if she let her hair down and maybe bought a push up bra, she might’ve snapped. Her glares had sobered them down, but it was only Soul lumbering over and grunting out some decidedly not PG threats that shut them up.
She’d scolded him, of course. She didn’t need a man to protect her. She didn’t need anyone to scare her bullies away – she took martial arts. She was the MVP of the lacrosse team.
Soul was protective, though, and had insisted that men were jackasses and clearly didn’t respect her enough to take “no” as an answer.
Her only warning is the sound of a chair scraping against wooden floor before,
“Go away, Potter. I’m trying to study.” Lily doesn’t even bother looking up from her book. She doesn’t need to. She knows it’s him, so used to the way her surname sounds coming from him.
“C'mon, Evans, it’s Christmas,” James says, the teasingly arrogant grin he often dons clear in his voice.
“We still have a Transfiguration exam tomorrow. Then it’s Christmas hols.”
“Right, I forgot about that… Say, need help with revision? I’m ace at Transfiguration.”
“I don’t need help from you,” Lily snaps, turning the page with more force than is strictly necessary. And she doesn’t. Even if he isthe best in their year at Transfiguration, even if he did receive top marks in his OWL.
“Hey, I was just offering,” James replies, and the softer—almost apologetic—tone in his voice surprises her.
Lily takes a deep breath, steeling herself to make an apology of her own. But, when she finally looks up, James is gone. A brief—and furtive—glance around her does not reveal his whereabouts. But sitting across the library table, in front of the now-empty chair, is a bright red mug, topped with whipped cream and flecks of chocolate. Cautiously, Lily reaches for the mug. When a quick charm reveals—surprisingly enough—that the beverage is benign, Lily brings the mug to her lips and takes a sip.
As the velvety smooth texture and rich taste of dark chocolate—and, is that ginger?—fill her senses, Lily wonders if maybe, just maybe, Potter isn’t that bad, after all.
Although he is probably best remembered for his beautiful full-color illustrations like the ones seen in Undine and Wagner’s Rheingold, Arthur Rackham also frequently worked with silhouette illustration. The two most common examples of his work in this style are his 1920 Sleeping Beauty and this 1919 Cinderella. Both were written by C. S. Evans.