“By all means, I should expel both of you.” Headmaster Augustine deemed to the both of us. I was nervous like always, but Xallia was calm and collected. Professor Morgan sat in an armchair behind us while he tapped his fingers on the nearby end table. He found us not long after we landed and sent us straight to the Headmaster’s office. The dim room was starting to become a second home to us. To me at least. Xallia must have already thought that. She learned the password each year since we started attending. She even made a habit of dropping in on Headmaster Augustine to say hello.
“Go easy on them, Leon.” Morgan requested. They always referred to one another by their first names when it was only us and no one else. “It’s not like they got hurt. Even if they did, you and I both know Xallia would whip something up to fix it.”
“She wouldn’t be so okay with getting injured if you weren’t so lenient on her. She shouldn’t be using dungeons to brew potions for her own use.” Augustine retorted back. Morgan gave him a look that showed how little he cared. “What if they died Vince? Do you understand the implementations that would have on us and this school?”
“If it helps our case, I dragged Anya along against her will,” Xallia stated. She was always trying to get me out of the trouble she caused. The part that involved school at least. The life-threatening parts were still fair game.
“Well, then I guess Anya can go.” Morgan declared. Morgan stood up and paced across the room. He was looking for something, but I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. Professor Morgan was always like that though. The strangest thing about him was that he never looked with his eyes. Instead, he walked around and touched everything. It was as if he could learn everything about it by simply making contact with it.
“No, she can’t,” Augustine interjected. He was very adamant about making a punishment for both of us. “Stop trying to do favors for your own house, Vincent.” Morgan was always doing that. He was the head of the Slytherin house. Whenever there was a student in trouble he would try to weasel them out of it somehow. That was only if he thought they didn’t deserve it though. Headmaster Augustine never approved of it. He was also much better with words. So much better than it was hard to ignore him or not heed his advice.
“You want to not order me around? I hate it when you do that.” Morgan whined while he continued to pursue through the Head Master’s stuff. I wondered what he was looking for.
“Yes. My apologies. Carry on with whatever you are doing.” Augustine said. “Anyways. Back to the matter at hand. You two are going to get yourselves killed if you keep this up. It seems as if whenever there is something dangerous going on you two are right in the center of it. Since the head of the Slytherin house is here, I will let him decide what to do with you, Anya.”
“Send her out the airlock!” Morgan boomed with sarcasm. I looked over in his direction and saw he found a bottle of wine and was already halfway through it. How did this man make it to the esteemed position he held?
“Vincent. This century.” Augustine commanded. Did I miss something? What cryptic pattern of speech were they using?
“Right. Send her to the gallows!” He demanded.
“Too far back. Try again.”
“Minus ten points from Gryffindor!” he stuttered out while he gulped down the bottle.
“Minus one thousand points from Ravenclaw.” He tried again.
“Hey!” Xallia cried. “That’s my house. Not hers.”
“That one’s actually going to stay.” Augustine laughed. “Also, both of you have detention for a month.”
“But Headmaster.” Both Xallia and I cried.
“No buts! Starting Monday the two of you will meet up with Professor Morgan in the dungeons. Every morning, one hour before your first class.” Augustine decreed. The idea of spending an extra hour in the dungeons sounded awful to me. It was different for Xallia though. I could feel the heat radiate from her excitement. Potions were one of her favorite classes. The idea of being able to spend more time down there was something she actually liked. Not to mention she had a huge crush on Professor Morgan. She didn’t care about the age gap either. He must have been like twenty years older than him at least.
“Ah! Found it!” Morgan cheered as he pulled out a small wooden board. Was that all he was looking for? Morgan swiftly crossed the room and put the board on a coffee table. Then he went and bought two small bowls and set them next to the board. I examined the strange set up the professor had going. The board was a wooden square with numerous intersecting lines. Each bowl was filled with flat back and white stones. One bowl for each color.
“Put it away Vince,” Augustine commanded. Morgan beamed at him like he wanted to start a fight, but instead, he picked up the board and put it away.
“It’s probably for the best anyways.” Morgan sighed in dismay. “I don’t think she even knows how to play yet.”
What did he mean by yet?
“Vincent. Watch what you say.”
Xallia cleared her throat to remind them that we were still in the room.
“Right. Well, you know what to do.” Augustine said. “You two are dismissed. Enjoy your weekend.”
“See you Monday,” Morgan added in as he plopped himself in the armchair.
Xallia and I walked down the spiral staircase out of Headmaster Augustine’s office. I always hated that walk. Not because it was often preceded by a stern talking to, but because I was afraid I would trip and roll all the way down. Xallia knew this and always walked in front of me so she could catch me the day I finally fell. Although, she may end up rolling down with me. We walked down the hall together until we reached the school grounds. Xallia didn’t say anything to me about what happened. Instead, she took me by the hand and lead me forward. I didn’t know where we were going, but it was fine. We ended up down by the lake. We posted up against on the shore and watched as the sun began to go down over the horizon. I laughed to myself at a memory we shared down by this lake.
“What’s so funny?” Xallia asked as she leaned into me.
“Do you remember our trip to the lake during our third year?” I asked her.
“How could I forget? You went on about it for weeks. Are you still embarrassed about it?”
“No, I’m over it now.”
During our third year at Hogwarts, we found out that there were mermaids at the bottom of the lake. Xallia didn’t believe it at first so she took it upon herself to investigate. Of course, that meant I had to come along. I didn’t have to, but if I didn’t her chance of survival greatly decreased. That wasn’t the embarrassing part though. When we got to the lake, we both realized that neither of us had anything to swim in. Xallia was bold enough to strip naked right on the beach and dive in. While I did enjoy the treat, it meant I would have to do the same to follow her. We did end up finding the mermaids, but that’s an adventure to tell another time. After we got out of the water we found out someone had scooped up our clothes. We were lucky in the sense that no one saw our faces, but several students saw us trying to ninja through the halls. For a while, there was a rumor floating around about the streaker couple. I hated that rumor.
“Want to go for a swim?” Xallia asked me.
“I think I’m good,” I answered.
“How’s about a shower?” She continued. As much as I wanted to, I knew that was something that would have to wait. Being in separate houses made something like that a slight bit complicated.
“I’ll have to take a rain check on that one.”
“I hate you.” I joked.
“I love you.” she said with a serious tone.
“I,” I stuttered out. “I love you too.”
“Good,” she said with a quick peck on the lips. “Anyways. Let’s start heading back. Curfew is soon and I wanted to talk to Captain Morgan.”
“Captain Morgan?” I questioned. “Since when did you start calling him Captain Morgan?”
“I don’t know actually.” She said.
“Whatever. Let’s go.”
We walked together up to the castle as slow as possible. I felt like I was in a haze. As if none of what was going on was supposed to happen. A few students eyed us down as he went through the hallways on our way to the dungeon. Slytherin’s house dorms were in the dungeons. That meant it was going to have to be the point where we split up.
“Alright. I’ll see you tomorrow.” she declared. Xallia leaned forward and kissed me on the lips and then skipped down the hall and back up out of the dungeons. I was alone in the long corridor into the house commons. Before I recited the password to get in though, I remembered I had a question about the potions homework. Professor Morgan assigned something complicated this weekend. I wanted to know if we could use the restricted section in the library. I thought it was possible he’d be in his classroom so I walked down a few hallways until I was at the door to the potions room. Before I could knock I heard a voice come from the other side. It was Professor Morgan and Head Master Augustine. I guess they decided to relocate to the dungeons for some reason.
“Damn it, Vince. What were you thinking pulling out that board?” Augustine asked.
“I was thinking it was time to start the process.” He retorted back.
“It’s too early. Anya is still not close enough to her. You know what happens if we make our move to early.”
“Anya is close enough to her for us to introduce the board.”
“You are rushing things once again. What’s next? Do you start to move in on her?”
“If I need to I will.”
“And then what?”
“Well, then I tell her the truth.”
“You’d think after all these years you would have learned a little patience.”
“I’ve done my waiting. Twelve years of it.”
“I couldn’t resist.”
“Look. We can’t tell her. Not yet. If we tell her now then the very fabric of this universe may begin to unravel.”
“Yeah yeah. I know.”
“Then why do you insist on rushing this.”
“Because she’s a god, Leon. Just like you. Just like me. She deserves to know.”
“No, I forbid it.”
“Fine,” Morgan said after a stretched out silence. “You’re probably right anyway. I’m going to bed. Get out.”
I heard footsteps getting closer to the door. Without thinking as to why I ran down the hallway back to the dorms. What happened just now? Xallia, a god? A god of what and how? There was something going on behind these castle walls. Something that directly involved Xallia and I, but what was it? Why did I have to get close to her? Not that I minded. What was this board Professor Morgan talked about? What happened if things went too fast? I had to talk to Xallia. I needed to let her know what was going on.
Later that night I sneaked out of the dorms. I knew there was no way I could slip through the castle unnoticed. I took to the air with my broom and weaved my way through the shadows until I was outside of the Ravenclaw tower. As expected, there she was. Lying in her bed sound asleep. She looked so ungraceful when she slept, but I couldn’t help but love it. I tapped on the window loud enough to where she’d hear me. A few other students noticed me, but none of them did anything about it. They must have been used to me floating outside their room. Xallia woke up and rolled over. She smiled and then unlatched to window and pushed it open.
“It’s like Rapunzel isn’t it?” She yawned. “Me with my long blonde hair and you outside a tower.” The story was similar to our situation, but not enough to where I would relate the two.
“Xallia, we need to talk.” I shot off as I hovered through the window and landed on the floor. “I overheard Morgan and Augustine talking in the dungeons and-” I spat out, but I couldn’t finish. I fire erupted in my head. My eyes locked forward on the most intense vision I ever had. There was fire everywhere around the castle. Screams erupted from all corners. Blood reflected off the walls. At the center of all of it was Xallia. The vision stopped. I found myself on the floor. I had a profuse nosebleed, but other than that I was okay. Physically at least. Mentally I was freaking out. What kind of vision was that? I looked up and saw Xallia with a worried look on her face.
“Anya are you okay?” she asked me with a worried expression. How long was I out for?
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I struggled to get out as I cleaned up. “I think I”m fine at least.”
“Did you have a vision?”
“Yeah. A really crazy one too.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
I thought about it for a second.
“No,” I said realizing that the thought of talking to her is what may have triggered it in the first place. “I think I just need some rest and I’ll be better.”
“If you say so. I’m not letting you fly back down though.”
“You want to take me instead?”
“I mean I could, but that would risk getting in more trouble.”
“Then what do you propose exactly.”
“Well, stay here with me. We don’t have school tomorrow so you might as well. It’s safer and well-” she trailed off the last part of her sentence. “It would be more fun that way.”
“Get a room you two!” someone jeered from the other side of the room. It was obvious she must have announced our relationship to the rest of her roommates. I didn’t mind. No sense in trying to hide it now.
“Sure. I’ll stay.” I agreed with little resistance to her.
I had never slept with someone before. The idea of it was new and otherworldly to me. I didn’t know how to lay next to her. Do I cuddle up with her? Do I leave her alone and sleep with my back to her? What was it supposed to wear? All I had was my casual clothes.
The next morning, I realized it didn’t matter what I did. I think no matter what, the results would have been the same. Despite whatever choice I may have made, I still would’ve woken up in the same manner.
In my underwear, spooned by Xallia, and with her hair in my face.