When the residue was fully removed and her hair silky and soft, she turned in the tub with a small splash of water, resting her elbows on the edge. She peered up at him, drinking in his warm and indulgent smile. His eyes were soft and and his cheeks flushed, making the hard planes of his face far less severe than usual. He thumbed through her wet hair a few times, before cupping her cheek.

“You look happy,” she said, feeling her heart flipping over in her chest a little.

It was the wrong thing to say, apparently.

“I…” He broke off; the warmth and softness fading within an instant as his hand dropped from her cheek. The change was sudden, and when he went to lift himself from the stool, she had the thought that at the moment he wanted nothing more than to escape at this very time. “Ah, my apologies, perhaps we should-”

She put her hand on his knee to coax him back  to her. He stopped, though her touch was light enough for him to break with the slightest bit of effort.

“Nothing wrong with being happy,” Ashanna said softly. Her lover carried a lot of pain and she didn’t understand why. It became evident the more time they spent together, because of times like these, where the peace their companionship brought each of them would chase away the distance in his eyes that no one but her seemed to notice.

“Thank you,” he said after a long moment that seemed to stretch forever.

Quickening Hart-beat // Gilderoy & Natalie

The past month had been a nightmare.  Juggling responsibilities between work and war was taking it’s toll on Natalie.  She had bags under her eyes and her hair was less shiny than it had been before the new year.  She felt as if in two months she had aged two years.  Even her professional attire was lacking, her pencil skirt had a button on the side that wouldn’t stay closed, and a blouse that was clearly wrinkled from not putting it in the wash.  She had been yelled at by her superiors for not working fast enough, and she’d been put through the wringer on her last mission with Barty.  But all of her luck was about to change when she bumped into someone in the middle  of the road. 

Her neck snapped up but her apology was lost on her lips.  There, right before her eyes, was her childhood crush, the man who had been featured in all too many of her dreams.  The devilishly handsome piece of perfection that Natalie had pined after for years in school.  The one she thought she was over, and then he came beaming back into her life.  You never could forget your first crush, and for Natalie Dupont, her first crush went by the name of Gilderoy Lockhart.  

“Oh Merlin, I mean – I’m sorry, I – I was looking down and didn’t notice – I mean not that you’re not noticeable I notice you all the time – not that I follow you or anything, I just mean…” Natalie’s voice cracked into nervous laughter, a hand tucking a strand of hair behind her ear as she looked away.  “Sorry.  It’s been a long day.”  She grinned. “I haven’t seen you in quite some time.  Have you been well?”