Lumos

Red-Handed

Hogwarts | February 1-15

It had been a long afternoon, but ultimately, a productive one for Alyana Ainsworth. The Library had closed a half hour ago for curfew, but it was the first time in ages that the blonde-haired Slytherin felt that she was making progress in her Herbology studies, so she loitered around the corner in an unused classroom, not wanting to lose any of her momentum. Now, relief is written on her features as she trudges back, heading down the empty hallways to the Slytherin common room with a smile on her face, having completely forgotten that she was violating curfew.(edited)

Tegan tugged at her tie as she patrolled the quiet corridors. It was her night to take this section of the castle on her prefect curfew rounds, and already she was ready for it to be over. Normally she liked the night strolls. It gave her time to think and clear her head without the bustling student body around. Dolling out punishment for those she caught in violation was not her favorite part of it, but rules were rules. Tonight though she could feel a headache coming on. As she rounded a corner, she walked straight into a billow of robes and blonde hair. "Ouch! Ainsworth? Ugh, what are you doing out here?"

Alyana falls back onto her rear, graceful as always. "Owww! Watch where you're…oh, hey, Wellesley." Her voice pivots from a whine to her usual upbeat cantor relatively quickly. She pushes herself back to her feet, letting out a huff of air as she heaves her heavy knapsack onto her back again. "Uhm, nothing really, I guess? Walking, maybe? Why, what about you?" She is absolutely oblivious to the rule she seems to be violating.(edited)

The disgruntled Ravenclaw rolled her eyes. Was this girl messing with her? Tegan crossed her ams, an unamused scowl on her lips. "Oh I don't know, I guess I'm just out here in the middle of the night for the atmosphere." Why were people caught breaking the rules always trying to act coy. "Saturday detention for breaking curfew and 5 points from Slytherin. Now get back to your common room."

"What!?" Alyana's voice is shrill, surprise painted on the Slytherin's face. "Breaking – I didn't – curfew?" There was a pause as the ball seemingly dropped, understanding reflecting on her features. "Oh – I didn't know, I swear it! I was studying at the library." Even to her own ears, the story sounded flimsy and unbelievable, considering Alyana wasn't necessarily known for being particularly studious. She was, however, known for sneaking out with boys… "No – I mean, I was like, actually, literally studying this time, look!" She reached into her backpack and grabbed a fist full of parchment notes she had written up.

Tegan's stance didn't flinch at the flurry of parchment waved in her face. It wasn't her fault curfew was at this time. Privately, she also wouldn't mind a few extra hours allowed in the library, but these were the rules. And they had been set as such for centuries. If she caved now to Aly's excuse, however sympathetic she felt towards the reasoning, then everyone would try use the same excuse for justification. The entire curfew system would be undermined. "You should know by now as a 6th year when to be in your dorm. It's good you're studying, but curfew is curfew" She motioned with her wand for Aly to stand up and get moving.

Alyana looks hurt – no, betrayed. The one time she was putting effort into being a proper student. The one time she was trying, honestly and legitimately, and this is what was happening. It was injustice. "Seriously? It's like, what, ten minutes after?" Incredulity aside, it was very much happening, and Alyana didn't fancy the prospect of spending saturday in detention. She made her way to her feet, clasping her hands together in a begging motion. "Oh, c'mon, Wellesley, I don't give you trouble much, can't I, dunno, get off with a warning? I'm heading right to the Commons, I swear it!"

Tegan scowled. She was unamused Ainsworth was still pushing back instead of just taking her licks and moving on. "You're lucky it was me that ran into you instead of Filch." It was surprising he hadn't turned up now. He always had a knack for appearing when there was the smell of delinquency in the air. She made another sharp motion with her wand for Aly to move. "Go, or I'll add another detention. And I'll schedule it with Professor Sprout."

Alyana took a step back, as though physically struck by the other girl, her hand over her heart daintily. "Wow. A low blow, Wellesley. A low blow." She pouts, throwing the Prefect a particularly doleful look, before walking past the Ravenclaw. "I see someone's still sore about the shellacking they received on the Quidditch Pitch…" Before Tegan can add on to her punishment, she jogs away into the night. — The next day, Alyana feels a foreboding sense of deja-vu. It had been another day spent cooped up with notes and books, but this time less successfully so. She had fallen asleep in the classroom, snoring on her notes, and by the time she stirred away, it was dark enough for her to assume curfew was up. So she moves in the shadows, hastilly trying to make it back to the Slytherin Common Room, deliberately taking a different course than she did the night before – determined not to get caught again.

Tegan walked slowly through the hallways, twirling her wand idly between her fingers. She only vaguely paid attention to her surroundings, half her mind trying to refine the thesis statement for her history assignment. She desperately wanted to argue a connection between the burning of the muggle Library of Alexandria with the stagnation of magical philosophy in the 3rd Century. Her eye flitted to a peculiar movement out in front of her. Someone was creeping from tapestry to tapestry, the hunched over stance and school robes giving away a student out of bed. Tegan stopped twirling her wand, annoyed she had to give a student punishment for curfew a second night in a row. She walked quietly up behind the student so they wouldn't run before she reached them. She felt her temper rise when she got close enough to recognize the familiar blonde hairstyle. "Really Ainsworth??"

Alyana froze when she heard the clipped echoing thud of footsteps on stone. Perhaps if she didn't move, she couldn't be seen. But Tegan's words cut through the silence of the night, dispelling all doubt, and prompting the Slytherin to groan lightly. How was she everywhere? "Ehehe…Ainsworth? Ainsworth who?" She called out, making sure to face away from the Prefect. "I'm not Ainsworth – although I'm flattered, I'm not nearly pretty or clever enough to be her – I'm just an innocent third year named…Mc…McMorgan. And…I'll be going now now! Bye!" Aly clutched her books to her chest, powerwalking ahead under some delusion of being able to outwalk the incoming punishment that was undoubtedly coming her way.(edited)

Unbelievable. This girl had some nerve. Tegan pulled out her wand, swishing her wrist through the air. "Glacius!" A small patch of ice appeared underneath the fleeing "Third Year's" feet. That should stop any attempt to get away before she could assign another detention.(edited)

To Alyana's credit, she handled walking on the ice with grace for all of five seconds – immediately recognizing and reacting to the ice once a particularly perilous step revealed the lack of friction beneath her feet. But her luck didn't last long – and she dared not pull out her wand and perform magic, in fear of aggravating an already unfortunate situation. So there was little else for her to do than to face-plant, catching herself with her arms painfully. "Boy, you sure like getting me horizontal, don't you," The Slytherin muttered with annoyance, the stinging of her palms eating away at her usual good humor. "Was that really necessary?!"

Tegan lowered her wand as she approached the fallen Slytherin. She had to use force to stop her from running, but she wasn't looking to start a duel out here in the corridor. Not that she couldn't finish one if Ainsworth wanted to pick a fight. Words seemed to be the other girl's choice of weapon, as usual. "You sure you don't like ending up on your back?" She fired back in a huffy reply. It was bad enough this girl interrupted her thought process. She tried not to be prejudice against any of the Houses, but this girl was really living up to some bad Slytherin reputation. "Was your little charade necessary? That's 10 points from Slytherin. Five of them for Ainsworth and five for McMorgan. Also another detention, and this time with your favorite teacher Professor Sprout. What do you have to say for yourself?" Tegan crossed her arms, waiting expectantly for a reply.(edited)

Alyana prided herself on her ability to get along well with virtually everyone. But the Slytherin's grey eyes narrowed into slits as they peered back at the Ravenclaw at her comment in an uncharacteristic show of open distaste. "Whatever positions I do or do not enjoy are none of your business, thank you very much. It's weird enough knowing that you're stalking my every move, apparently." She pushed herself to her feet again, squaring her shoulders back and meeting the other girl's gaze with open defiance. "You can take away my points, you can take away my freedom, but you can never take from me the gift of learning. Enjoy your false power while you can, facist slave." With a theatric harrumph, the Slytherin moved to storm away yet again.

"I'm not stalking you, I think you want my attention. Why else would you keep staying out after hours? I don't buy 'studying' as an excuse with you." As a Prefect, Tegan heard a lot of bullshit over the past two years. Every excuse in the book and sometimes threats if she didn't look the other way. She never rose to the bait. But she rose now. This girl was truly insufferable. Not only did she refuse to take responsibility for her actions, but now she was casting pejorative remarks about the Ravenclaw. She was shaking with anger. "THAT'S ANOTHER DETENTION AINSWORTH. SUCK ON THAT FALSE POWER" Tegan turned on her heel, her wand ready to catch anyone else who dared to be out after hours.

One Week Later Alyana's hard work was paying off. Despite the numerous…setbacks…that came with the previous week's nightly exploits, the Slytherin's latest Herbology mark showed marked improvement from her average. She had towed the line for a bit, feeling as though she had been caught one too many times toeing the line in too short a time-frame, but after a solid week of frankly saintly behavior, she reckoned she deserved a treat. And as luck would have it, the Prefect's bathroom hadn't been changed from what it was the last time. The tub was filled with a soft lavender foam that almost swallowed Alyana whole – she was but a tuft of blonde hair swirled into an updo to keep out of the waters.

Finally, after a week of school work, quidditch practices, and nightly patrols, it was Tegan's night off. It felt like all the teachers were piling 10 page papers on the students, all due at the same time. Normally this would be a treat for Tegan, but even she was feeling the burn out. Thankfully, she'd completed most of her work already, and she was off curfew duty for the next few days. She made her way to the Prefects bathroom, thankful for her status and the prospect of a nice warm bath in the giant tub. She whispered the password and opened the door, spotting another girl already using the facility. Darn, would have liked a nice soak by myself Tegan shut the door behind her loudly, but stayed near the entrance. She cleared her through to announce herself. "Are you going to be done soon?" She did not yet recognize the blonde ponytail for the bane in her side of the last few nights.

The sound of running faucets managed to drown out the opening of the door, but Tegan's presence alone was enough to send a chill down Alyana's spine. Or, perhaps it was the temperature difference between the hot, steamed bathroom and the cool, uninviting hallways beyond them. As the Ravenclaw's familiar voice cut through the air yet again, Alyana sank into the water so that only her hair was above it, privately weighing the merits of just drowning herself here and now. Grey eyes flickered to the far edge of the tub, where her clothing – and more importantly, her wand – sat waiting. Somehow, she doubted she was going to be able to get out of this one without yet another blow to record – or her ego. Considering how well Tegan had reacted to the last little white lie she told in hopes of being humorous, Alyana simply sighed. "I'm…just on my way out, actually." She said, sounding deflated, not bothering to hide her identity. "And let me save you the trouble, ten points from Slytherin and detention with Sprout, right?" She started moving towards her things, keeping beneath the water slowly but modestly when suddenly, an idea sparked up. It was ludicrous, but…well, the situation literally couldn't get any worse, could it? And, if she remembered correctly, there was a rumor about Tegan some time ago… She moved to the edge of the tub, climbing out of the waters and baring her body confidently to the world, as though she knew no shame. Deliberately, intentionally revealing herself to Tegan, testing the other girl's commitment to modesty as she continued in what seemed to be a genuine tone. "I'm not trying to fight. I'm sorry for inconveniencing you. I swear, despite current appearances, it was never my intention to take the mickey out of you."(edited)

Tegan's stomach clenched when she heard Aly's voice. Why, why?? She really must be out to annoy me. She stood rooted in her spot by the door, her arms crossed tightly against her chest as she scowled in disapproval. She looked away politely as she saw Alyana getting out of the tub, assuming she'd take a minute to get her clothes on. Instead of the usual flowery tales to get out of trouble, Ainsworth spoke with a resolute candor that didn't seem to fit. Tegan's eyes flitted back in curiosity, nearly bugging out of her head when she saw Alyana stark naked. "I uh.." she stammered, a blush creeping across her cheeks. She stared at the ceiling, hoping that Ainsworth would stop standing there spouting sincere apologies and just put on some damn clothes. The girl was beautiful but also a real pain in the ass. Tegan normally wouldn't have been bothered by some nudity, but she had been caught so off guard she didn't know how to react. She just wanted this girl to go away. "Where are your clothes? Just get dressed already."

Alyana's lips curled into a smirk as she noted Tegan's reaction, but she was able to shoo the instinctual reaction away in favor of keeping her remorseful, sober act up. The Slytherin was born for a stage. "Oh, sorry about that!" She demurred, in no apparent hurry as she grabbed a towel and casually dried herself. "I didn't mean to offend." Eventually though, she tossed on the remainder of her clothing, and head towards the exit, but coming to a stop right in front of Tegan, her hands clasped together over her front in a show of angelic innocence. "It's safe for you to look now, Wellesley. I really am so sorry – I'm just so embarrassed that it turned out this way! I don't believe I forgot that I wasn't wearing any clothes – I can just be so absent-minded sometimes, you know! Again – so, so, sorry…to think, exposing you to…well…me. Oh, I'm mortified!" She paused for a moment, trying to gauge Tegan's reaction to her words. "I'd really…like to start over between us. I don't like all this tension and negativity – do you think that's a possibility? Like, maybe not now, because…but like, sometime, maybe? I'm trying to be a better student, I swear."(edited)

Just when she thought Alyana was actually being sincere, the theatrics started. An unending string of words spilled out over and over in sugary, sweet garbage that Tegan just wanted to stop. She held up her hand to try and signal the other girl to cease talking. "Okay first off, you're not as cute as you think you are. Second, don't insult my intelligence by saying you just 'forgot' you weren't wearing clothes. Third…ugh…I don't even care just get the hell out of here." Tegan moved away from the door, not even having the energy to deduct more points from Slytherin.

Score! Alyana beamed at Tegan, her grin a mix of mischief and relief. "Will do! Have a nice soak, Wellesley! See you tomorrow!" And before the Ravenclaw could change her mind about not deducting points, the blonde Slytherin was out of there.

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