a pair of lovestruck hearts
her gravity make me feel light-headed
small-talk turns to dust in my mouth- Absolute Gravity, Snow Patrol
Because you're a boy and for your species it always seems to be these two girls.
You're not the first one to make this choice, although you do take a slightly different approach to the other guys because your choice makes itself.
Because there's Lily – darling, eloquent, blazing Lily with her hair like fire and her whole being a revolution, an entire rebellion contained in the slim form of this beauty girl. She was always out of your league, but you pretended that you didn't know that.
You went for the friend angle – and it wasn't angle at all, because you two were really and truly great friends. You teased laughs out of her when nobody else could and you dried her tears when it was him that was causing them and you loved her, oh how you loved her, all that time.
You had detention together more times than you can count because her natural instinct to fight against the rules combines happily and naturally with your total lack of ability to listen to authority.
So you two grew together and learned together and you were quite possibly the best friends ever.
But for her, it was always Teddy – alwaysalwaysalways – even when he broke her heart and knocked her down; and sometimes you wonder if you did the right thing picking her up over and over again. Because, the truth is, every time she fell it got a little harder to pick her up because your frustration mounted – he didn't love her, couldn't she see that? – and all you wanted to do was lie next to her fallen form and take her in your arms and show her what love, real love, could be.
But then naturally she champions, wins the day, gets her man and rides off happily into the sunset with him. She still loves you in her own little Lily way, don't get me wrong – but you can't love her the same way, not any more. Not when she's crushed all your hopes without even realising she's done it.
You hate her, some days.
But then you run out of energy for that and you revert to loving her from afar, miserably and agonisingly and raggedly.
But that other girl… oh, she's as painfully jagged around the edges as you are. She's all soothing silk to Lily's fire, kindness to her barbs, sophistication to her urchin-like ways.
(And, yeah, she's totally too old for you – but you're Lysander, and these are just details.)
So you find her sitting at a bar all alone, and that's only surprising because this is Victoire and the minute she walks into a room she has at least three men fighting to buy her a drink.
You know that she battles her Veela side down – you've been friends with Dominique for years now, after all, and you've become almost immune to her particular brand of brilliance. But with Victoire – dull, lost-looking Victoire – there's no subtle glow, no sheen of radiance, no electric magnetism pulling you in.
So you go over and hop up onto the stool next to her and order a drink for you both.
"Where's Lily?" she asks after a short (awkward) silence, fingers tracing pictures in spilt salt on the wooden bar top. "Aren't you two like, joined at the hip or something?"
You snort once with little humour, face down and one foot tapping absently against the floor.
"Not any more," you reply, lips twisting sideways. "She's all Teddy's."
"Yes," Victoire breathes, accepting the drink when it comes delicately. "The happy couple. So freaking perfect."
You both sit and drink in silence for a while, and then suddenly she's turning to you and her polished veneer is slipping and there's true wildness in her eyes, her hair a golden nimbus around her lovely face as one hand clutches onto your shirt sleeve like she'll drown without you anchoring her there.
"You know what's the worst thing?" she demands of you, eyes wide and – to your horror – filling rapidly with tears. "I can't hate him! I've tried and tried and tried and I just can't."
"Tell me about it," you reply, and somehow your hand is around hers, and okay she's quite a few years above you but in that moment there are no barriers, no leagues. Just you and the girl and your drinks, lost and lonely and seeking something you don't understand the nature of yet.
"You're in love with her too?" Victoire inquires sadly, turning back to her drink, and you squeeze her fingers tightly and hold her gaze clearly when she turns back to face you again.
"Less and less so by the second."
She smiles slightly, almost hesitantly, and you beam back immediately and unreservedly.
When you kiss her a few hours later, her skin pale and smooth against your rough, tanned hands, this doesn't feel like guilt as you had been so convinced it would.
Instead it feels like… like coming home, or something. (You've never had much of a way with words, anyhow.)