The summer of his Fourth Year was, by a fairly large margin, the most interesting one on record. Linus had left Hogwarts feeling rather invigorated, to say the least. Despite and otherwise lackluster season, Gryffindor had ended on a high-note with a win against Ravenclaw. This was especially important since it had also been Dolly's last stint with the team, and she had put so much effort into making sure that Gryffindor Quidditch would be left in capable hands that she forgot what winning felt like. Linus wouldn't have let his good friend and mentor graduate from Hogwarts on such circumstances, and so the win served only to put a huge exclamation point on the year.
Moreover, some antics by the commentator booth towards the end of the game made the usual rounds around the rumor mill. Linus had, rather aggressively, kissed Karen Davies in an attempt to get her to not be such a loudmouth, a strategy that had worked, but had perhaps been too forthright. However, since the year had been winding down, the incident hadn't been allowed to pick up too much momentum, so his reputation remained at a rather neutral state. Still, it had been quite a moment in the spotlight. Linus only really regretted it had come at the cost of estranging Briar just before being let out for the summer hols.
So then why was this the most interesting summer in his mind?
Because despite that, he and Briar had started dating some number of weeks afterwards, and it couldn't have been better for either of their spirits. In case there are any uninitiated reading, the two had been tip-toeing around one another's feelings all year. There had been some moments here and there where things had almost come to a boil, but for the most part they were both extremely skilled at avoiding the topic of how they felt for one another. For his part, Linus was honestly just oblivious. Briar was a close friend of Kaelyn's, which meant he was obligated to keep her at arm's length. But also, he hadn't really started to look at her as more than a friend until they had spent that one day in Hogsmeade together.
Since then, Linus had developed an attachment for the girl. They even spent more and more time together outside of just the Gryffindor Commons and the Great Hall. And slowly, Briar seemed to come out of her shell, which drew Linus to her even more.
Fast forward to today, Saffi had fluttered through his bedside window with a letter from Briar. It was short, but to the point:
"My parents are out of the house. Come over!"
This method had become somewhat of a ritual of theirs. Briar's parents were a little strict, and so, for reasons he still did not quite understand, she was constantly grounded. Unable to leave her house, Linus made the honest attempt of trying to see her as often as he was allowed by sneaking in through her window. He had become so good at scaling the walls of their Victorian home that he could do it even in the dead of night. Or, more accurately, he could traipse back down them at that hour, since he was more often leaving at that point than arriving.
Pushing his head through a clean shirt, he hobbled across the room on one leg as he quickly tried to lift his jeans past his knees. Hurrying down the stairs while simultaneously trying to lace his shoes, he passed both his parents on the way out.
"I'll be back for dinner!" he yelled as they threw him concerned looks.
Using a nearby chimney in Buckinghamshire (since Briar's own chimney had been sealed due to muggles frequenting her family estate), he leapt through and huffed down the street towards her house. His parents were only vaguely aware of his going-abouts, and his sister knew better than to ask questions, so Linus had more freedom than he was accustomed to. This led him to feel like he was a little lighter on his feet, his head clearly in the clouds.
Or maybe that's just how Briar made him feel.
Passing through the side gate with ease, Linus looked up at the white columns that raced up towards Briar's room. Making sure to give a wide birth to the rose bushes just outside her room, he climbed all the way up without losing a breath. The ornate trimmings provided perfect grippage, while the relatively straight walls provided little to block his way, straight to the small window box that served as an ideal perch for when he tapped on her window.
Finding it already open, he slipped in with a quiet, "Briar?"
"Briar, where are youuuuuuuuuu?"