Louis would kill you if you weren’t ready for him. You’d be caught, surprised, under the knife of his antics.
It never ceased to surprise me when he sprung out of nowhere with something that could make me laugh, or even shock me with silliness. I would be like dead under his spell. He could make me do anything.
Not the least of which was lend him half of my life-savings to open up a yoghurt shop. Not that I had, you know, worked particularly hard to inherit half of Aunt Josephine’s manor. But a half of a half of Aunt Josephine’s belongings is a pretty steep sum, and I gave it to him, all because Louis could make me smile.
Louis is unaware of his power to bewitch with the slightest glance, the shortest story, the singular statement. He is unaware that normally, people are unable to wield the world around them like a knife; or their humour; he is unaware that people do not go putting people underneath them so entirely effortlessly. He is perhaps, more importantly, unaware that he is, in fact, on top, so utterly superior in almost every manner of speaking.
Not everyone would agree with me, because they see the way that he has with charming, and with coming onto people in his unwitting way, the way that he makes them vulnerable to his wiles. That isn’t the superior kind of makeup, they say. And perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps Louis has me so utterly enchanted, so bewitched, that I’m incapable of thinking any less of him. Perhaps our relationship is unhealthy by the fact that in a second, a half of a second, in the time it takes to think about a second—I would supplicate myself before his sheer power.
But I don’t think so. The first day I met him I bowed to the ground and placed my head under his feet. He helped me out of the sand, and taught me how to build a proper sand castle. Not much has changed.
Louis Weasley is the best thing that ever happened to me.
I look up from my notebook at the sound of my voice.
“Annie? Are you studying?” He voices the word with such exaggerated disgust that I can’t help but get into a bit of a cheeky mood.
“You wouldn’t believe how much it improves your grades,” I chirp from my seat across the small, clean setting. It’s unbelievably bright in the small shop; the white walls set off the differently-coloured yoghurt taps, as well as the neon table sets. Even the perpetually dismal weather of Hogsmeade can’t pull the brightness of Louis’s aura into grey.
“I’m sure I wouldn’t,” he replies. Tame, for Louis. “Come over here,” he demands suddenly. I set my notebook down and walk through the small shop, stopping at the counter, where he stands, leaning forward on his elbows.
“Yes?” I ask, meeting his clear blue eyes.
He’s quiet for a moment, and a panic, though mingled with considerable excitement, rises in my midsection. I always wait for him to say just a couple words of something that can tell me everything I feel is worth it.
“Have you ever wondered what it would be like to mix all of the flavours?”
I laugh, surprised. “No, I haven’t given much thought to that.”
He hops up onto the counter and swings his legs over the edge, dangling. I have told him before that his rear isn’t the most sanitary item to be placing there, but this is his spot. There’s something about the weightlessness underneath his feet, he says, that tells him this is his spot and nobody else’s. I ask him how he knows that no one else would feel the same weightlessness, and he varies his answers. To some this might be a sign that he doesn’t really know, but he says it’s because there are so many reasons that one doesn’t explain it well enough. The first one he gave me will be my favorite: “Well, no one else has an arse shaped just the same as mine, so their weightlessness couldn’t be just the same.”
He smiles brightly at me, unaware of the strength that even one-eighth of a Veela’s blood has. He is shockingly innocent for a boy of sixteen; I would have thought that he would have been more aware of his ancestry, and his delectable luck. But Louis is always doing that—surprising me.
“Well, allow me to give you something that no one else can,” he says, pirouetting a bit clumsily, making his way over to the table where the cups are and grabbing two of the large ones. He sets them down on a table, whips out his wand from his back pocket, and with another smile in my direction, waves it with a flourish, melding the two cups together.
“Observe,” he demands, coming over to wave the cup in front of my eyes. “I dub thee Supercup.”
I smile, ready to laugh.
“See, Annie, no one else has ever given you a supercup,” he says softly, gazing at me for an extra moment before glimmering off towards the first tap.
I can’t laugh. That wasn’t silly. It was something...surprising.
“Louis,” I call, mostly to distract myself from the ache of my heart, “some of those flavours—”
“Ah, ah, ah!” He cuts me off, a warning in his voice. “Don’t doubt the master of the Gurt.”
I chuckle slightly. It is unusual for someone so young to have such a passion for something and realise it. But Louis likes all kinds of flavour. He likes manipulating the palate, he has told me. He loves even more than that, though he’s too much of a boy to admit it, seeing other people made happy. He dotes on me; though I pay dearly for it, becoming a servant to his wishes. I look when he orders me to look, I come when he bids me come, I laugh when he expects me to. I do not know if he accepts this as payment. Louis is so much of a world that I cannot seem to reach despite my best efforts, that I believe I will never truly know what he is thinking.
He whirls down the row, pulling tap after tap and landing the yoghurt expertly into the supercup. He moves quickly, lithely, his slender body seeming not quite to fit into the air. It’s rather separate, like Louis. I watch him, trying to figure just what about him is a different material; but he slides in and out of my conscious understanding too quickly for me to grasp.
At once he appears in front of me, holding out a rainbow of a cup.
“Do you want me to try it?” I ask, though I feel apprehensive. I know that at least two of those are vegetable. On top of that...I don’t really like yoghurt.
“That depends,” he says, with a twinkle in his eye, “Are you a fan of delicious flavour?”
I hesitate a moment. He always knows the right things to say. “I would say that I am,” I tell him, unable to resist his palpable excitement. He sets my composition alight when he is happy; I thrive off of his easy joy.
“Then of course I want you to try it, but—wait a moment, I’ve thought of something better,” he says quickly, running off and jumping over the counter with the cup held above his head on one hand.
He will never understand his luck.
No one else could do that.
I watch anxiously, with a flutter in my stomach, as he scoops up a bit of each topping and piles it on to the concoction. The supercup looks close to overflowing. It strikes me how much money that cup is worth. Louis doesn’t worry about money, me being the source of it, and it never having had much bearing on his life. With all of the cousins that he’s got, he’s never had to worry about where he was going to get any of his clothes, or books, or notes.
It hits me that it is quite extraordinary that I have become a part of his life at all. I will never understand, other than by way of his oblivious wiles, what pulled me towards him that day at the sea; what caused me to lie down upon my side in the sand and place his feet upon my head. Whatever it was has not abandoned me, and Louis has not left my life. But it seems rather something that is too much luck. It is too much to believe.
“Louis,” I begin, wanting to ask him; wanting to say, I’m so lucky you’re my friend, but he comes over with the supercup full to bursting and hands me a bright yellow spoon.
“You’re going to love this,” he predicts proudly, and I tell myself, Annie, it could be a whole lot worse. He could be feeding you cockroach cluster; or something from his uncle’s store. You can handle essence of turnip, or broccoli, or carrot, or beet, or whatever it really is.
“You’re going to try it too,” I say, attempting to mirror his effortless command, although I don’t really believe that it will work; but he is one step ahead of my thoughts, probably because he’s been scheming all day, waiting until the store closes so that he can force his monstrosity upon me. He pulls out another spoon, but this one orange, and points it towards me.
“We’ll go together, okay?” He smiles, seeming to, for the first time, understand the ridiculousness of our situation. “I’ll count to three.”
“Okay, Louis,” I say, my eyes fluttering down, out of the reach of his gaze, to the giant mound before us.
“Okay, Annie. One, two—”
He pauses right before three.
“Annie,” he whispers, “I forgot you don’t like yoghurt.”
“But I love flavour,” I object, unwilling to fail at my task of pleasing him.
“You do, really,” he says to himself. I am unsure if his task is to reassure himself, or to reassure me. “But I should have remembered.”
“It’s okay, Louis,” I say, trying to command his presence. Trying to bewitch him.
“You remember everything about me,” he says suddenly. I look up, surprised. He is unabashed by the honest statement, though I would have quailed at the thought of voicing it aloud if it were something that was true about him.
I am at a loss of what to say, but I don’t want to remain silent under his mesmerizing stare. His blue eyes are looking over my face, trying, perhaps, to decide how I’m feeling. Louis is best at everything besides feeling.
“I...” I can’t say what I want to say because I don’t know what I want to say. But I want to know what I want to say, because his statement was important, and deserves a reply.
“I want to remember everything about you,” Louis says, putting down his spoon and looking at me seriously. The face of someone too innocent and beautiful to be human. Incorruptible, unalterable, a sort of quintessence.
“There isn’t much about me to remember,” I remark after a moment, feeling that truth is the only thing that I know how to say.
“But I remember so much already, and it isn’t even everything.” Louis is a master of creating situations, manipulating facts to fit him. He doesn’t fit into things, he puts things on. He puts the things about me on; and I’m not sure how to feel about that.
“I remember that when we met, I taught you how to build a sandcastle. You kept trying to watch the others; and I remember that I told you that you could put the towers where you wanted, not where they were supposed to go. And I remember that when we were sorted, you were crying because you were happy. And I remember that when I asked you why, you said it was because you could be with me.”
My cheeks burn; I fail to understand the way that words flow out from him. Does it take being apart to say things that are utterly right?
“And I remember how you helped me study for O.W.L.s, staying up late with me because you wanted to make sure that I passed. And I remember that once, when you didn’t know I was watching, you were writing a poem while you sat and looked out of the window. It was snowing. I brought you a blanket, but felt too—intrusive to bring it to you. I remember that you were so separate from the world, not quite fitting into it.”
I lift my eyes to meet his; how does he say the words that occur to me, when he exists on an entirely higher plane?
“You are so much bigger than the world, Annie. How do you exist?” He looks at my face; I can feel his eyes scanning my features, expecting an answer. It is a question that is impossible to answer. But Louis asked me. So something about its impossibleness is less important than the necessity for the answer.
“I breathe, and feel, like you do.”
It is not a good answer. It doesn’t tell him what he wants to know.
But I can’t reach him besides when I put him next to me in a sentence. And I want him to be part of the reason that I am able to exist. So I put him there. Even if he doesn’t fit.
“Would you like to know how I exist?” he says, leaning forward on his elbows until our faces are inches apart. His blue eyes bounce between mine, and I hear myself swallow loudly, embarrassed at existing so entirely while Louis seems to float about his existing, almost being it, but never fully.
“How?” I ask in a whisper, my heart beating loudly, and he leans closer, leaning his forehead against mine.
“Off of yoghurt,” he says, proud of himself, grabbing my hand.
“Very funny,” I commend softly, unable to move.
“Annie,” he says, “the yoghurt is melting.”
“Eat it, then,” I tell him, but he squeezes my hand and pulls me closer to him.
“I don’t want to anymore,” he breathes, his mouth coming close to mine. I can feel his breath on my cheek. “I don’t want anything that you don’t want.”
“But you put so much effort—”
“Dash the effort,” he mumbles against my skin. I have never noticed how solid he feels, or how warm. “Dash it all.” He presses his lips into my cheek, pushing the supercup off of the small table.
“You’re—you’re making a mess,” I squeak, but he reaches around my neck and interrupts me.
“I really like you,” Louis says softly, candid and unabashed as ever. I’m stumped, unable to speak. “I want to be with you. I want to love you.”
He doesn’t need an answer. He must know, have known for some time. I feel him smile against my cheek, before he moves his lips over mine, and pulls me into his arms, suddenly very real, and so much a part of this world.
And perhaps I was wrong. About him being best about everything but feeling.
The supercup lies forgotten on the floor, the mutli-coloured yoghurt spilling across the tiles.
author's note: the lines "that depends, are you a fan of delicious flavor?" are quoted from the t.v. show psych, and are included here for kat1394's challenge :)