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Veronica Kennedy

Nothing to do, nothing to lose

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Veronica Kennedy

She had a book in her hand, the other preoccupied with an empty spoon hovering over half-filled bowl. Her brown eyes registered the physical structure of each letter imprinted on the pages, working diligently across its width yet the same words remained foreign as she scanned them time and again. There were people around her, all seated way too close to the next on cramped benches and she shuffled further down the edge of the line. By the fifteenth minute, she had been well acquainted with her lunch neighbor's love life and the blueprint of their school’s broom closet, something that had been immensely more interesting than her neglected novel. 

 

Still, being on the same page for the elongated period must have looked suspicious. She thumbed for the next and dipped her spoon for another mouthful. 

 

It took only the third swing of her feet to realize she had new company. The soft thuds of her shoe against the solid construction of another’s shin had her head snapping up in surprise, an apology at the tip of her tongue before recognition kicked in. 

 

“Oh it’s you.” Ronnie said, almost letting slip the tinge of relief she most definitely did not feel. “If you’re looking to acquire some souls, I’m afraid I’m all out of stock today.”

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Emmett Blaze

It'd been a week since the incident in which Emmett had been drugged with a sleeping drought and his unconscious body dragged into the forbidden forest, stripped of his shoes, socks, and wand, woken up to realize the betrayal. He was feeling a constant stir, a buzz under the surface of his skin, as if someone sparked him, as if one wrong movement would cause him to snap. The flame on his skin caused him to act more brooding and subdued than usual. He didn't want to deal with people, no bloody humans, so he wouldn't, for the first few days anyway.

 

He was getting bored.

 

Emmett's gaze ping-ponged around the Great Hall, intentionally avoiding certain faces and sneering at others until they set on someone.. tolerable? He wouldn't say that, but she was oddly better than most everyone else right now. He didn't even want to deal with Atlas, because although the boy was not involved, he didn't want to see the look on Atlas's face when he told him he got shown up by Isobel Blake.

 

He didn't feel the same crackle of hatred toward Ronnie, though, to his surprise. He almost dwelt on this feeling for a moment.. comfort? She was disassociated in a way.

 

Emmett had the odd, unfamiliar urge to be nice.

 

He paused, forcing himself to crack a smile at her question. "No, not today." He was still thinking. Without pause, he sidled into the small patch of space at her side so he was positioned next to her at the table, and he leaned on his fist, looking at her seriously.

 

"Veronica," Emmett enunciated. "Maybe next time." He picked up a clean fork and twirled it in his fingers. "I'm bored. Entertain me."

Edited by Emmett Blaze

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Veronica Kennedy

In the strangest of circumstances, Emmett had a certain charm to him that her attention seemed to gravitate towards, a paradoxical element to their briefly established dynamics she would much prefer to feign ignorance about—and in all candor, perhaps it was this inclination for oblivion that fueled the little hop of excitement when he appeared in all his broody glory while she readied herself for another round of banter.

 

Apparently, that was not on their agenda today.

 

With his attempt at a smile, Ronnie tilted her head in confusion. “You don’t have to smile if you don’t want to.” She started. “You scoffing at me like I’m the dumbest person you’ve ever met bring balance to the world.” She did not usually smile, not beyond polite exchanges anyway; Ronnie had been the perfect portrait of melancholy, her lips slightly down-turned with an ever-present crease between her brows. Yet, as she spoke those words, Ronnie let a faintly amused grin escape.

 

“Entertain you?” As abruptly as he asked, she mirrored with incredulity. “Emmett.” Mimicking all seriousness projected in his voice, the girl sighed dramatically. Her body shifted so she could face him. “I didn’t mean for you to find out this way but... I may look like the most popular kid in school—” Her soup spoon hand gestured at all the empty chairs all around them. “But I’m possibly the most boring person you’ll ever meet in your life.”

 

Still, it wasn’t like she was going to brush him off just because he had approached the wrong person to douse his boredom. Snapping her novel shut she leaned an elbow on the table, rested her chin atop it and gave the request a serious consideration.

 

“Want to make a potion that turn people into frogs?”

Edited by Veronica Kennedy

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Emmett Blaze

Emmett had levels on the scale in which he critiqued others that ranged from pure, unbridled hatred to tolerance/mild irritation. There were very few people who he could tolerate, but Ronnie was someone he read as intelligent and even-keeled in a way that made him privately enjoy their quipping in speed friending and, with recent circumstances, her presence became more appealing, although this wasn't something he ever planned to admit to her.

 

In "the strangest of circumstances", then, she was also considerate. Who else would note something like that? She recognized the forced nature of his smile and released him from the burden. He felt something.. warm. His expression relaxed into a neutral position, and he nodded -- the extent of thanks she'd receive. He almost let out a genuine chuckle at her next statement. "If you insist, then, I was merely trying.. well, never-mind."

 

Veronica was pleasant to look at, he realized. Her face had a symmetry. What was it about dark hair and eyes that so enticed him?

 

He actually cracked a grin at her next statement.

 

Smart, attractive, sassy -- Ronnie was, it seemed, a triple threat. Emmett did not dwell on this, otherwise he'd have to fight the urge to terminate a potential friendship immediately.

 

"On the contrary, I think you're one of the more interesting people in this school." Not that this was a huge compliment as most people were painfully dull, but it was close. 

 

Emmett made a spasm motion to prevent his eyes from flinging wide open at her suggestion.

 

That was possible? Or was she pulling his leg? His jaw twitched.  Intrigue sparked in his brain, colluding against its walls, as possibilities reeled. He could then turn Isobel into a frog?

 

"Ronnie," he began. "Veronica. You better not be messing with me."

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Veronica Kennedy

Perhaps it was the rarity of the occasion that made Emmett’s grin so much more pleasing to look at, or had it been the contrast against his forced smile that made Ronnie’s widen just a tad? A sense of pride maybe, that she was capable of breaking his wall, even if it hadn’t been anything deeper than a vague crack. Ronnie didn’t mind if he smiled a little more frequently than he allowed himself to, Emmett had a nice smile to him. Strangely warm and genuine, and everything she did not know he could be.

 

Granted, she did not know much about him at all.

 

Granted, she would never tell him any of that.

 

“I am?” She might as well have written the word ‘surprised’ across her forehead with her undisguised gaping. “Uh, thanks?” Her face warmed ever so gradually, reaching from her cheeks to her ears. It had been one thing to bicker with Emmett and another to have civilised conversations—bickering with him challenged her wit and did not require emotional capacity. In fact, the less significance she held to his words, Ronnie figured, the better it would have been for the both of them. “Dude, you’re putting me out of my element.” Aware of her furious blushing, she patted her cheek with the palm of her hand, an analogy for snapping herself out of the state of fluster. “Sorry, I do a lot better trying to out-sass you than accept a compliment.” This is so embarrassing, she added with a mumble.

 

When excitement coated his next words, however, Ronnie noted that Emmett was full of surprises. She had expected him to question the practicality of her suggestion or her less than innovative choice of species to turn people into; she hadn’t expected him to be this on board with her spur-of-the-moment idea. When had she ever heard him be excited about anything? When had she really heard him talk besides that one session even?

 

“Are we on nickname basis now?” She nudged him playfully with her elbow against his own. “Oh. Oh no, have I planted an evil idea in your head?” Leaning closer, she squinted; brown eyes staring straight into Emmett’s, attempting to decode the puzzle that was his mind.

 

“I mean, if Polyjuice allowed the drinker to assume the form of another person temporarily, who was to say that with alterations, turning someone into a frog was farfetched?” She was caught in the web of her own thoughts now, leaning back to her original position with her eyes narrowing in concentration at the possibility, teeth catching her lower lip captive. Everything around her blurred out in the trance of her ponders.

 

“Or at least I suppose it’s not. I’m eleven; I don’t exactly have an extensive knowledge about potions.” A short pause. “That said, we are Ravenclaws for a reason.”

 

“Want to give it a go?”

Edited by Veronica Kennedy

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Emmett Blaze

Emmett was a known liar. Lies were braided in his vocabulary, and much more natural to him than truths. They swelled seamlessly from his lips multiple times a day, but the compliment he'd given Veronica had been genuine. He didn't know much about her other than that she had lots of siblings, but she intrigued him more than most -- more than anyone at Hogwarts, really, as the only two other people who'd managed to come close had coincidentally lost his interest the moment they betrayed him.

 

"That you think you're boring," he spoke carefully. "Is most of why you're not." Most people didn't think they were boring: they thought they were unique and interesting and unlike everyone else, even if they didn't admit it. They thought they deserved special treatment for being them. Veronica was, it seemed, different.

 

He observed the color that spilled across her cheeks with a sense of satisfaction, but he didn't want her to get too confident: one genuine compliment was enough to drain Emmett almost entirely.

 

"Don't get weird about it," he told her quickly, grateful for a change in subject. 

 

"I don't have a nickname," Emmett informed her, tilting his head. "Do you not go by Ronnie?" He furrowed his brows in a moment of conflict. "I thought I heard someone call you it before, although I know it's not the only nickname for your name," he acknowledged. 

 

"An evil idea? Please." Emmett scoffed sarcastically. "I am the epitome of benevolence." Like usual, Emmett liked how intelligent he sounded when he used big words.

 

Emmett didn't know much about the Polyjuice Potion, but he wasn't about to tell her that, so he simply listened as she spoke, trying to make sense of it. "Eleven?" Emmett echoed, his tone suspiciously close to light teasing. "Well, I'm twelve, so I've got way more knowledge in the matter." He did agree that they were Ravenclaws for a reason. Emmett didn't dwell on it because so many of his year-mates were complete fools, but he knew that there had to be a reason why the hat put him in a house that valued intelligence -- especially because Emmett had the positive qualities inherent to every house, and none of the negative ones!

 

"Yeah. Perhaps we go to the library first, though, if you don't know much. Or," he smirked. "We could just wing it." He stood up, made toward the exit of the Great Hall, and then paused. "After you."

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Veronica Kennedy

Among characteristics that built each of their fundamental behavior, there was a crucial difference that made their interaction ever a mystery; where effortless lies escaped Emmett’s lips, guilt choked her through her attempts and she watched, ashamed, while they backfired. In that, they were as different as the poles on a magnet and Ronnie had never been one to believe opposites attract. The lies he had begun remained unbeknownst to her and so their story continued writing: Little Pinocchio and the girl who wore her heart on her sleeve.

 

“I do, but Veronica had always been your default,” There was a flash of a smile so sheepish, it almost seemed uncharacteristic. Ronnie emphasized her next syllable, careful and distinct. “Em.” A tone of conclusiveness, as though they had just solved the greatest secret Earth has ever known. As though she would not be swayed into changing his nickname should he oppose (she would).

 

When he scoffed, she punched both arms into the air. Her grin was so wide and happy then, like there wasn’t a thing that could bring her down after this. “There’s that scoff!” She exclaimed. “Now I can sleep in peace forevermore knowing the balance of Earth has been restored. World peace and termination of all that is dark and evil.” Dramatically, Ronnie wept a fake tear from the corner of her eyes and laid another upon her chest. “All that is dark and evil except you, of course. Your evil brings me great enjoyment.”

 

“I’m insulted that you think I’m not nerd enough to already have books on them.” She scoffed. Ronnie never scoffs. Emmett was rubbing off on her. “What’s life without risking death for a frog potion right? Let’s wing it.”

 

Standing up at his cue, Ronnie cooed. Sarcastically, of course. How else would the two converse? “What a gentleman. You’re stealing my heart.”

Edited by Veronica Kennedy

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Emmett Blaze

Emmett also did not subscribe to the idea that opposites attracted, however, when did he ever subscribe to any ideas or cliches? Cliches were built on the ground of normalcy, of the average human, and Emmett was far from normal. He liked to consider himself someone who lived outside of the box. 

 

It also made him feel important.

 

"I suppose," he shrugged noncommittally. "It's not a difficult name to say." Not like Zsuzsanna, he thought with a pang, and then he reminded himself not to be an idiot who dwelt on Zsu's betrayal. He rolled his dark blue eyes with a jerk when she tried to call him Em, but let it be. He went by Emmett, but that nickname in particular didn't bother him much. 

 

Sometimes Emmett wasn't sure how to react when he wasn't jeering. He was, it seemed, out of territory. The smile sprang to her lips and dripped across her features. He didn't return the act, but oddly, he didn't mind it either.

 

"Well," Emmett half-drawled. "I'd hate to disappoint." He quirked a brow. "A girl willing to risk death for such good cause as a frog potion? A true rarity. Color me impressed." 

 

Typically, Emmett was not a person who built friendships with those he considered 'nerdy.' Margaret, for example, was someone he interacted with as a sort of running joke, a ploy to irritate Juan. That being said, Emmett was not the type to build friendships with anyone without a specific purpose. Veronica -- Ronnie -- was turning out to be a rare exception to every rule.

 

Or maybe she'd just caught him while he was soft.

 

"What a gentleman. You're stealing my heart."

 

There was a tug on the corner of his lips that followed her sarcasm, but he passed it off as a twitch and nodded stiffly, lathering on his usual aura of arrogance. Usually he meant it, but sometimes he used it to irritate others or to hide behind like a mask, as it was so natural to him, like breathing (perhaps because he indeed exuded it). 

 

"Oh, I know."

 

to be continued.

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