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To Infinite and Beyond

Lily Evans snickered into her book and gave me a look. I’m not very good at deciphering looks so I ignored her and continued reading my extremely boring Transfiguration book. Okay, so I wasn’t reading it, more or less looking for dirty words and giggling like a fool. Yes, I can be very, very immature. I couldn’t be like this with Severus. It was all work, work, and work with him while with Lily it was boys, school and boys.

“What’s so funny?” I demanded after her second bout of contained laughter. I snapped my book shut and glared at her.

“Amos Diggory is looking at you.” She whispered and giggled into her hand. An irritated Madame Pince, or the “Pincer” as I kindly call her, glared at us through her spectacles. I shuddered and looked away.

“Merlin, Lily, if you want me to feel bad all you have to do is call me fat.” I told her irritated.

“What are you talking about? He’s right there, still staring at you.” Lily said pointing behind me. I dare not turn around but instead skimmed once again for dirty words but after several frugal attempts in which, the only word worth mentioning was intercourse, I gave up and looked up at Lily.

“Lily will you please refrain from staring at him. He’s probably staring at you. If that’s the case go and frolic with him. ” I shook my head at her naivety. Of course, she would think Amos Diggory was looking at me and not her. I mean look at her, gorgeous and long flowing red hair, brilliant emerald green eyes, small nose and tall. How could he look at me when she was around?

“He’s still looking at you.” Lily stated, holding back her mirth.

To humor her I turned around and lo and behold the sight that caused Lily uncontrollable laughter, Amos Diggory, one of the most handsome boys in the school. His hair shone and he sort of glowed. But I was not wooed by this sight. I raised an eyebrow at him and glared. What? I motioned with my arms. I didn’t wait for a reaction but turned around rudely and glared at Lily Evans.

“Shut up, Lily.” I bit out furiously.

“He’s coming over here.” Lily nearly squealed.

“Right and Albus Dumbledore wears pink shorts.” I whispered threateningly.

She shook with laughter, “He’s coming.”

“Oh for the love of Merlin,” I start and turn around to prove how Amos Diggory was, not, I repeat not coming over here. “Diggory!” I exclaim surprised. Holy hippogriff!

He looked down at me, his too long golden brown hair grazing his nose and he wrinkled it. His nose I mean, he wrinkled his nose. Dear God.

“Dumbledore wears shorts?” Amos asked amused.

“I dunno he might have gone commando.” I rolled my eyes trying to ignore his good looks. The Hufflepuff Prince, lovely. I don’t know what exactly is wrong with me, normal girls would have welcomed His Majesties presence, but me I just sort of talk about old men’s loin cloths.

Amos laughed aloud and I being right next to his crotch sort of discreetly moved away. It took a few moments for Amos to compose himself while I waited impatiently.

“Did you want something Diggory?” I asked out of politeness, this was tiring and this also proved Lily was right, as usual. He was staring; he was coming and heck he was talking to me! I glanced at Lily who smirked devilishly. The smirk was worthy of a Slytherin. The sneak.

“ Actually, if I may so bold, you have something on your back.” He gently turned me around so my back was facing him and gently muttered an incantation, his wand pointed at my robe.

“What the hell?” I demanded as I tried craning my neck over my shoulder to see what exactly was on my back that compelled Diggory to come over here.

“This.” He replied and turned me in my seat so I was facing him again. He held up a soft white cloth with the words imprinted, “Hex me!”

I looked at it disdainfully. Typical. I snatched it from his grasp and stuffed it into my robe pocket.

“Thanks.” I muttered refusing to look at him. I was very aware of how red my face was turning. I pushed some hair in front of my face and turned back toward Lily who had a look of pity on her beautiful face. I instantly regretted looking at her. That pity, that face. How I hated it. I didn’t need it. I didn’t want it.

“Lucin-” Lily started.

“Look, it happens all the time. It’s fine. It’s normal.” I looked directly into her eyes.

“It’s normal?” I hear Diggory say incredulously. I’ve forgotten he’s standing right above me.

“Would you like a definition?” I asked haughtily. “You know what, forget it. You’ve guys gotten your point across I am a complete idiot. Isn’t it better that way?”

With that I push all my textbooks and parchment, dramatically I might add, into my rather beat up book bag. I sling the bag over shoulder and prepare myself for a rather drama queen exit. I begin to stand up but the top of my head hits forcefully against the chin of one freaked out, surprised Hufflepuff, too bad he was too sodding good-looking, Prince.

“OW!” Amos Diggory winced in pain, holding his chin. “I think I bit my lip.”

“My God, I’m sorry.” I duck my head in-between my hands. “Complete Idiot.” I mutter.

“What in Merlin’s name is going on here? This is a Library for heavens sake, the haven for the books, the haven for anybody who wishes to learn.” Madame Pince is on the verge of hysteria; her nostrils flare in the most unattractive way imaginable and I find, despite this whole charade, myself holding back extreme laughter.

“Sorry madam...” Burst of laughter. “ Oh Muppet, I’ m not…” Peals of laughter.
“ Laughing at you.” Actually I am and this cracks me up even more. My sides are beginning to ache and I am dimly aware of the raucous I am causing. A deep somewhat nervous laugh accompanies my own and I realize with a surprise its Diggory. He can’t laugh properly because his lip hurts so it’s more of a “haha ow, haha ow” type of laugh. I turn up to look at him and I end up in more peals of laughter.

“Haha ow. Hahahaha. Ow.”

I hear Pincer growling at us and before I know it my right ear is being pulled mercilessly upward between cold fingers so I am forced to stand up to reduce the pain. I see Diggory’s ear being pulled downward seeing as how he is quite a few inches taller than her.

“Ow. Ow. Ow.” He exclaims.

We look at each other for the briefest of moments and each of us conjure identical grins.

“Ow.” We both exclaim simultaneously and fall once again into laughter. My stomach is hurting like a mother and so is my ear but strangely enough I feel perfect, like always after a good laugh and for once it wasn’t at my expense. Sorta.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“What exactly did you do that caused you to have two whole weeks worth of detentions?” Severus frowned critically. The firelight bounced off of him giving him an eerie glow.

“I told you already Severus.” I said, looking up from my potion’s book. “Why so curious?”
“You laughed in the library?” Severus raised an eyebrow. “I don’t believe that.”

“Why ever not?” I asked confused. “You’ve seen me laugh.”

“So much as to make that madwoman give you that?” He pointed at my right ear, which was considerably swollen and red, even for my standards. It surprised me that he noticed it and for a few seconds I gaped at him like a complete idiot.

“What? Is it my ‘nice hair’ again?” He asked amused, surprising me yet again with his clear memory and his sudden change of mood.

“You noticed?” I asked, self consciously touching my ear. I was touched, truthfully. A piece of stray hair flopped messily over my eyes.

“Yes well,” He began briskly. “ It is particularly large and is seems to be more rouge than your whole entire face.”

“Oh.” Was all I managed to get out. Oh. The sound thudded in my head like a steady heart beat Oh. What did I think might happen? That he, Severus Snape, could possibly remotely care about somebody as insignificant, as small, and as odd as me? I did, more accurately I wanted. I was used to disappointment but not like this. This was entirely different.

“However,” He nearly whispered, “ I’m beginning to notice everything about you. Your ear just happened to attract my partial attention.”

I gulped but didn’t move an inch as he slowly let his cool fingers brush against the side of my cheek and ever so softly tucked the stray piece of hair that fell over my eyes, behind my right ear. His fingers lingered a fraction of a second longer than necessary but it was enough to make my heart beat erratically, my breath to shorten and my skin to prickle with goose bumps. I savored the memory for I didn’t know when I would experience something as magical, as pure and as sweet again. Bold words seeing as how I am a witch. Magic comes with the package.

“Beginning?” I squeaked and instantly regretted talking at all.

He chuckled and drew closer; I could smell him that wonderful aroma of smoke and books all meshed into one.

“I lied.” He whispered his breath tickling my nose. He looked down at my lips and then stared that bottomless black stare. “I’ve always noticed.”

I expected fireworks, a whoosh, applause, music, something anything fantastic. What I got was way better. I got this overwhelming feeling of hope, this surge that flowed through me as his lips gently, ever so gently, brushed against my own. Ecstasy. His hand held my face in the softest of touches and I moved my hand so it was over his. His lips parted as he gently pulled back and gave me a sad smile.

“ Lucinda Ann Gray, my hope.”

“Forever.” I sighed and fell onto him as he gently rubbed my back. I listened to his steady breathing and the crackling of the fire. I didn’t know what forever meant but I was hoping it meant a long, long time. Forever. To infinite and beyond! I had to hold back a snicker.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

An overwhelming power of exaltation, of redemption.
Severus smiled.
He liked the sound of that.
Forever.

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