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Siobhan Arden

I don't want to wait anymore, I'm tired of looking for answers

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Siobhan Arden

Nerves rolled around in Siobhan’s stomach as she walked down the streets of Diagon Alley, and she fidgeted nervously, picking at her nailbeds mindlessly. Thoughts about the day ahead of her unraveled in her brain, and she couldn’t truly remember a time she’d been so nervous. Sure, it wasn’t like it was the first time that she and Morty would be spending time together since they’d established there was something to pursue, but this felt distinctly date-like.

 

The other times they had hung out hadn’t been as blatantly like a date. They’d met by chance in the corridors; or decided to hang out after classes, or chanced across each other in the greenhouses while Shiver was pruning shrivelfigs… but it had always been subtle, nothing explicitly planned. Until now.

 

And the pressure the plan put on Shiver was absurd. She told herself she was being silly, and that this would be like any other time she and Morty had spent time together. Regardless, there was always nerves when Morty was involved. Exploring the romantic world had been interesting and not free from internal conflict, but Shiver was trying to embrace it.

 

She’d had a talk with her mother after arriving home from the summer about liking (and potentially dating) a girl, and Ivy had taken it better than Shiver had expected her mother would. With her mother’s constant talk of how boy crazy she’d been at Hogwarts, Shiver had expected her mother to view her as “unnatural”; or as a disappointment. Ever afraid of dissatisfying her parents, it was important for her to have her mother’s approval, and while she was still full of doubts about how genuine the approval had been, Shiver was trying not to look back. Trying not to doubt. It had never been her forte.

 

She shook her head, finding herself in the appointed meeting place – the storefront of the Magical Menagerie, and Shiver immediately found herself at ease. Looking at the cats in the windows, some sleeping and others rubbing against their scratching posts was easeful, and Shiver found herself relaxing, a small smile laced naturally onto her features as she watched the animals, her hands finally falling slack by her sides as she did.  

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Morty Gabor

It was plain to see what had been on Morty’s mind over the summer, just by looking at a sheet of her doodles. Sunshine, badgers, and plants. Plants of all sorts. Trees and tulips, rows of daffodils, vines wandering in serpentine curves along her scrap paper. Even when her mind was wandering, the vines always seemed to make the letter S sooner or later.

 

Such was Morty’s Shiver fixation that she didn’t even invite any of the Bootle youth to the footbridge this summer, as she had last year. The motions just weren’t the same without the fuzzy, head-swimmy feelings attached. She wanted Shiver.

 

Being somewhat accustomed to instant gratification, Morty had been having a difficult time of it.

 

Their day in London couldn’t come soon enough. Morty popped out of the fireplace still jabbering in excitement, before Mum had even arrived behind her. It took all the girl’s best persuasive skills and a little bit of undignified begging to convince Mum to agree to stay in the Leaky Cauldron and let the girls roam Diagon Alley unsupervised. This dispute ate up six perfectly good minutes of Shiver time.

 

“Knew I should’ve brought Faye,” grumbled Morty to herself as she wove deftly through pedestrians like Silas dodging bludgers. When she caught sight of that head of dark hair—of course she’d be watching the animals instead of the people, dear Hufflepuff—Morty immediately got that snitch-wings feeling in her stomach and broke into a grin. With Shiver fixated on...hmm, cats?...Morty managed to close into speaking distance more or less unnoticed.

 

“Which one do you like?” she asked by way of greeting, and quested out to lace her fingers into Shiver’s. The reach for contact was spontaneous, effortless, natural.

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Siobhan Arden

The voice was what distracted her, and a little thrill went through Siobhan when she recognized it, a smile naturally coming to her features. The brunette eagerly laced her fingers through Morty’s as the girl reached out to touch her hand. Shiver was relieved that her nerves weren’t quite as bad as they’d once been when Morty touched her, but regardless, she still felt the proverbial butterflies take flight in her stomach.

 

“All of them,” Shiver admitted honestly, giggling softly as she turned back momentarily to look at the cats on display. "Honestly... I like looking at the rats a lot, because I have one, and the cats are all so pretty..." Trailing off, Shiver gave a helpless shrug. She always had trouble choosing favorites when it came to animals. They were all equal in her brain, much like every human she met. Though, if asked, she might now say she favored the girl next to her just a bit more than any others.

 

Shiver turned to face Morty, her eyes drinking in the sight of the girl, from her curls to her athletic build (much more muscular than Shiver’s own), and back up to meet her eyes, her eyes shining with eagerness. “I’m excited to spend the day with you,” Shiver told Morty earnestly, swinging their linked hands lightly as if to express this sentiment. “Do you have anywhere in particular you want to go?” She inquired. She could easily look at the animals all day, but she didn’t expect everyone else to have the same enthusiasm towards animals as she did.

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Morty Gabor

Shiver’s acceptance of her hand meant more to Morty than either girl could’ve known. Morty certainly didn’t shy away from taking risks, not even in public, and arguably asking another girl to hold your hand on a crowded street shouldn’t have seemed a risk at all. But taking Morty’s hand in front of the whole alley had been something Shiver chose to do, something she wanted. That reassurance was enough to turn Morty’s smile into a full-fledged grin. She gave Shiver’s hand a quick contented squeeze, and looked into the display window.

 

“Cats are nice,” she allowed, “Just be careful around the black ones.” She gave a covert bit of side-eye to a black cat sitting near the back. The good mood was indomitable, though, and Morty drank in the sight of Shiver’s eager, earnest excitement. “I’ve been looking forward to it for ages,” she replied quickly, “I’ve missed you.”

 

So much so, in fact, that it really didn’t make much difference to Morty what she was doing, as long as Shiver was with her. “Well...quidditch, at some point,” she admitted, her eyes pulled down the alley to the temptation of the Quality Quidditch Supplies shopfront, “But it can wait, if you’d rather go in and pet animals.” Morty patted her pocket with her free hand, and there was a small but recognizable jingling noise. “Or go for sweets. Mostly I’ve got a powerful urge to dote on you.”

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Siobhan Arden

Shiver gave Morty a curious look, at first thinking that the girl was joking about black cats, but it became clear by the look she was giving one of the black cats that she wasn’t. “What’d black cats do to make you so suspicious of them?” The brunette asked teasingly, giving Morty’s hand a little swing as they stood looking in at the display. Shiver could love pretty much any animal – even so-called pests and dark creatures – but was curious as to why black cats had earned a note of warning from Morty.

 

“I’ll do whatever,” Shiver stated honestly, but giggled when she realized that neither of them had made a decision. She was ever-afraid of making decisions, but she supposed this one was benign enough. Therefore, she admitted, “If we go in there, you’d have to pull me out before I could buy something, or possibly many somethings…” A bashful look crossed her features for a moment before she instead gestured down the road towards Quality Quidditch Supplies.

 

“So, how about we go look at quidditch stuff… and then get some ice cream?” Shiver proposed, all but biting her tongue off to keep from tacking on, But I’ll do whatever you want to do! True though it would have been, she was trying to learn to not doubt herself so much, and Morty was helping her in that endeavor. The girl she was linking hands with was to thank for the small measure of confidence Shiver had in herself now, and she didn’t want it to crumble.

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Morty Gabor

Either Shiver hadn’t noticed Morty’s boggart that day in Defense, or else she didn’t realize that a panther was really just a bigger, scarier form of black cat. Morty allowed herself a self-mocking chuckle in response to Shiver’s taunt, but decided to err on honesty. Strange, she'd never worried whether her black cat problem was embarrassing before. 

 

“Nothing specifically. It’s because they’re bad luck,” Morty explained, with a gravity of tone belying how true that statement was to her. “I’ve had to get used to black cats since Hogwarts, but I used to be downright afraid of them.” Lest the moment bring down the mood, Morty skated quickly into a funny anecdote. Keep it light, keep Shiver smiling.

 

“You know how your magic goes all funny when you’re little? Before you can control it? When I was nine, my sibling Felix brought home a black cat as a pet. My magic freaked out and then the cat freaked out, and next thing we all knew, the poor thing was completely bald.”

 

Morty accepted Shiver’s proposal by a nod and a turn towards Quality Quidditch Supplies. As they strolled hand in hand towards the shop, Morty had a distinct bounce in her step. So she couldn’t buy Shiver a herd of kittens, c’est la vie, but the promise of ice cream was enough. Gallantly, Morty would step in and pay for them both. No no, allow me. And Shiver would smile...Morty could compose symphonies around that smile...

 

“I’ll be good. New gloves, minimal browsing,” she promised Shiver as they reached the door to the shop. Again possessed by an overwhelming urge to be chivalrous, Morty awkwardly fumbled the door as she attempted to hold it open for Shiver while simultaneously not letting go of her hand.

 

“Ahh...”

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Siobhan Arden

No, Shiver had not really been paying much attention in the boggart lesson, so ashamed because she hadn’t been able to thwart the boggart that had taken the form of her mother, looking very disapproving, as if Shiver had disappointed her in someway. The rest of the lesson had been ruined for her after that, so Morty’s black panther boggart had been missed.

 

“Bald cats are still cute,” Shiver declared, thinking more about Morty’s fear of black cats and the supposed bad luck they carried. “I should’ve guessed you’d be the superstitious type, with your tarot cards and all,” Shiver finally declared, a smile on her features as she came to the realization.

 

Of course it made sense for Morty to buy into things like that, when she seemed to believe in a lot of such things. Shiv wasn’t a firm believer herself, but she didn’t find it outside the realm of possibility. “Not that it’s a bad thing… I think it’s kind of… intriguing. You’ll have to tell me what other things you believe are bad luck, so I can steer clear. Though, you’ll have to forgive me for not staying away from black cats entirely… I love all animals, bad luck or no,” Shiver explained, rambling on and finally shutting her mouth when they reached the door to Quality Quidditch Supplies.

 

Shiver wasn’t used to being treated like a lady, or really at all romantically, so she hurriedly rushed to help Morty with the door, keeping their hands firmly linked as she moved her foot into the door opening. “Team work,” Shiver commented, helping push it open using leverage from her leg and then gesturing for Morty to lead the way. “I’m sure you know your way around better than I do… have to say, this shop is really more for my parents than for me,” The Hufflepuff admitted sheepishly. She didn’t know if Morty was aware of her fear of heights (flying in particular), but she had a feeling that the curly haired girl she was linking hands with was going to find out soon.

 

Knowing how much Morty loved flying and quidditch, Shiver hoped that her fear wouldn't be an issue. Being with Morty made Shiver want to be brave, but brooms still left her envisioning St. Mungo's and head bandages.

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