Henry had been perplexed towards Helena’s abrupt rejection. He had a reputation, true, but the girls he saved never seemed to mind. He was always their hero.

He attempted to approach Helena the next day after the Council meeting. He had never seen her at the gatherings, mostly because he tended to not care about the politics of old, stuffy men, but he knew she was proactive. There was always a scandal when she did things in Council. She was one of the first female council members and the first to ever be so involved. As the meeting was concluded and many old men mixed in with young filed out, he easily found her. He strode over to her, a secret weapon concealed behind his back.

“Hello, Miss Ravenclaw,” he approached her.

"Let me guess, flowers?" she responded, not even bothering to look up.

He took the bouquet from behind his back and tossed it to her. She caught it without flinching.

"How'd you guess?" he asked.

She sniffed the flowers he'd brought tentatively. They were freesias. He had no idea which sort she’d like and had just used the type that had worked on Lucy so well. "I've seen you in action," she shrugged.

"So, I'm guessing that that's another no to my offer of a lunch date?"


"No as in you still won't accept my humble request? Or no as in you will not not accept my request?" he asked, amused.

"No, I will not deny you," she finally looked up, meeting his eye.

"Oh!" he said with a smile, perhaps she weren’t so surprising after all, "then shall we proceed to the establishment of my choice?"

She offered him her hand daintily and allowed him to lead her through the crowded streets, making turns that led away from the main avenue. They made their way to a café and took a seat at a table a bit away from the rest of the diners.

Henry had just taken his order and gotten his drink. He looked at her over his goblet of pumpkin juice, assessing Helena, before finally giving in to his own curiosity, "Why'd you come to lunch with me?"

“I need a reason?” she asked. “You are my saviour! My hero! My darling! The apple of my eye!” she professed dramatically, her hands clutching her breast, “if it weren’t for you the heart in my chest would no longer be beating!”

His only response was a smile and the raise of his eyebrow. He stared her down before she finally responded.

"Curiosity," she smiled, at last giving a reply.

"Curiosity of what?"

"As to why all these women are bemoaning the loss of you," she smirked.

"You've injured my ego," he said. He placed his hand over his breast and looked to the sky, copying the tone of her earlier dramatic gesture.

"It's the truth."

Looking back at her, he commented, "You're very blunt, harsh."

"Why, thank you,” she said, taking a sip from her own goblet.

"All those other women, the useless ones, were sly and secretive,” he stated, watching her intently.

"Like cats.”

He laughed at that. "Like cats!" he exclaimed, "I couldn't agree more."

She just continued to stare at him. Her eyes never wavered. They never flickered off to the side, a change from the skitterish glances other women gave him. She did not back down as he returned her stare.

“What is it?” he asked, amused by her steady gaze.

“You seem so disdainful of the women you go off with. Why would you go off with them in the first place?”

The question struck Henry as odd. He had never thought of his habits that way. He did have a tendency to choose women he knew he would eventually tired of, but for some reason, he always picked them.

Taken off guard, Henry felt a new sensation he was not used to; surprise. He responded slowly, “I…I don’t know. When I choose them, I always hope they’ll be different.”

“Different from what?”

“Different from all the previous,” that answer was easier.

“And what are all the previous like?”

“What are all these questions? Hmm?” Henry changed the subject. “I’m feeling like this is an interview instead of a lunch date.”

Helena pressed her lips into a thin line at the word “date,” but did not respond further. Henry could feel her trying to figure him out.

“The previous were all cats,” Henry said, several moments later.

Helena did not look perturbed by the continuation of a conversation that could’ve been left forgotten. She nodded and accepted the answer. He, however, did not feel it enough and continued, “And cats…well they’re simple-minded. As soon as they think they’ve caught the mouse, they stop playing the game. They don’t realize, I’m no mouse.”

“You are definitely no mouse. Perhaps a snake,” Helena commented.

The food was brought to them. “Slippery enough to get out of their little clutches as soon as they loosen their grip? Well, I was in Slytherin after all,” Henry smirked.

Their lunch proceeded with a companionable silence they both accepted. The occasional observation of passing strollers was accompanied with a laugh.

“Look at that woman passing by. The peacock feathers on her attire are exquisite,” Henry might say about a colorfully decorated woman.

Helena would shrug, “They’re extravagant. They’re ridiculous. She looks as if she’s going to a ball in the early afternoon.”

“But she looks good.”

“She’s just using a costume to cover up her flaws.”

Henry would smile at that and by the time he’d recover from the delight of such frank words said, the subject of their conversation would’ve disappeared. The lunch ended much too quickly.

“I must be getting back to the headquarters,” Helena said, getting up as soon as Henry had paid, leaving a sizeable tip. “I have a load of paperwork to be catching up on.”

“I’ll walk with you,” Henry got up as well.

He offered her his arm, but she refused it with a curt, “No, thank you.”

As they walked along the cobble-stone road, they talked of politics and motions active in the Council. There was a particular motion to create a new section of law enforcement that was quite controversial, its members would be required to take extra training. It was inevitably going to be passed, whether it be sooner or later, Henry remarked this and Helena gave him a look. Henry was glad that he stayed informed despite his lack of attention during meetings. As they continued their walk, Helena slowly became quiet. Lost in thought, she started to quit all conversation, and instead took to examining the road under her.

They reached the Council’s headquarters at last.

"Why, thank you for a pleasant lunch," Henry said, bowing his head.

“I lied,” Helena said abruptly.

“About what?” he asked, trying to hide his confusion. She was surprising him a second time in a day, this woman was on a roll!

“I don’t have paperwork to do,” she looked up at him. “Forgive me for my treachery.”

Henry laughed, “You keep catching me off guard. You must be joking.”

“I don’t jest,” she said seriously, “I retain a serious attitude to every day life. I was brought up that way.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes, I was also brought up to…to,” she blushed a crimson color, “to not let mere infatuation get in the way of things.” She tilted her head and allowed her hair to cover the majority of her features.

“Oh, really?” Henry repeated.

“Yes,” her voice came from behind the curtain of hair.

“And what is the point of telling me that?” Henry asked, tempted to brush away the wavy locks.

“I…I don’t know. I just feel like I must be saying that, to let you know,” Helena stumbled over her words.

Curiously, Henry brushed a section of hair away from her face, revealing her eyes. Her face was even redder than it had been previously.

“To let me know that you’re a very important person who mustn’t fall in love with me?”

“Yes.” Her eyes widened suddenly and she shrunk away from his touch. “No! I mean, no. That’s not what I meant by telling you that! I just…said it.”

Henry chuckled. “Alright, then. So what’s to happen now? Would you like to accompany me around Diagon Alley? There are some very nice places we could stop into.”

Helena narrowed her eyes, “No. Just because I’ll admit to lying to you, doesn’t change the fact that I’m not one of your silly girls. In fact, despite having gone to lunch with you, I still have no idea why they were after you.”

“Then, why don’t you continue searching for a reason?” Henry suggested, he was still curious to see what another day with this woman would bring him, “Lunch tomorrow?”

Helena threw her hair back in disdain. Her face was calming down from its red color and she managed to pull off a dignified look. “No.”

“We’ll see about that,” Henry said slyly, “Now, I must be off. I, for one, do have a load of paperwork to catch up on. Good day, Helena,” he nodded his head in farewell.

“Good day, Mr. Brennan.”

“It’s Lord Henry Brennan, you know?”

“Yes. But I refuse to call you by such a grandiose title that you are completely unfit for,” and with that, Helena strode off into the busy street.

Henry just chuckled once more. Under his breath, he murmured, “Welcome to the game, darling.”

He smiled knowingly as he entered the old building. He knew something Helena didn’t. The only women to not address him with a “Lord” before his name were always the women he enjoyed to ensnare the most.

Authors Note: I hope I didn’t rush the events….Please review!


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