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Cora Ives

Just hold my hand

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Cora Ives

Cora could confidently say that she was a good person.

 

She brushed her teeth twice a day, she helped little old ladies cross the street, she smiled at stray animals, she gave so much love and support to those around her that it was borderline exhausting; so, yeah, her karmic debt was likely so far into the positive that she'd become queen of the solar system one day. One small, tiny little transgression wouldn't mess all of that up.

 

She just...felt things. Obviously, Cora Ives was no stranger to feeling things, but there were some new things she was feeling and she wasn't sure it was normal or average but, honestly, it was probably just because she was getting older and able to understand how wonderful people truly were and nothing other than that. It was just that she was old enough now to appreciate how much Just Sam had done for her over the years and it made her a little sweaty around the palms when she spoke to him sometimes but it wasn't a big deal or anything.

 

It wasn't.

 

Sam was a very good friend and Cora appreciated his friendship and her taking him out on a small not-picnic (picnics had firmly been off the table for three years) was just another reflection of that appreciation and her stuttering around her words was just because it was terribly cold and she should have brought another sweater. "I, er, I know you're probably going with someone else," someone else, Cora's friend, Sam's Woman Friend, someone Cora was definitely not trying to impede on or hurt, "but, uh, I'm not and if you wanted to, just in case, you know? Just in case maybe you'd like to go with me to that dance thing?" 

 

Maybe an extra sweater might have been too warm for how hot Cora's face suddenly felt. "But, you know. If you wanted, is all."

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Samuel Han

Sam liked spending time with Cora. For a long time after their traumatic incident in his third year he had avoided his Ravenclaw friend, mostly out of shame and guilt, and now he realized how much he’d regretted it. He should have known that Cora would never blame him for any of what happened that day, but there had always been a part of Sam that felt like he should’ve done more, should’ve been better that day. And although he was older now and knew that it wasn’t his fault, that criticizing voice in the back of his head would never quite leave him alone.

 

In truth he was better now. Better at constant vigilance and better at magic. He had specifically focused himself on learning defensive magic after the Death Eater invasion those few years ago, so accepting Cora’s invites for definitely not picnics on the lawn didn’t make him quite so uneasy anymore. He always had his wand at the ready and he still couldn’t fully relax, but at least they were living a mostly normal life again.

 

Despite the past, the thing making Sam uneasy today wasn’t potential Death Eater attacks, but Cora’s question. It came unexpectedly - the one thing the Hufflepuff hadn’t been prepared for today.

 

“You mean to the Yule Ball?” Mostly Sam was surprised that Cora was asking him. She was a sweet girl, kind, and definitely cute. Surely someone else had asked her already? He considered the offer for a moment. Would Delia mind? He hadn’t spent as much time with the other Hufflepuff lately, and Sam wasn’t sure what they even were anymore, if anything at all. For all he knew maybe one of the good-looking foreign boys had asked Delia to the ball. Sam realized that that idea didn’t really upset him as much as it probably should.

 

It was only a dance, anyway. It sounded like Cora wanted to go, and since Sam had no plans he figured it couldn’t hurt to accept. “Sure,” he finally answered with a smile. “We can go to the Yule Ball if you want to. I mean, if you don’t want to go with anyone else. You sure you want to go with me, though? I’ll probably have to patrol around for most it.”

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Cora Ives

There was a very large part of Cora's mind that was telling her to dive directly into the lake, which was weird because a: she couldn't swim, and b: it was already incredibly cold and why would she subject herself to that? But, there she was, chewing on her bottom lip and staring at the lake over Just Sam's shoulder like it might save her from the weird niggling feeling in her chest. Was this what papa meant when he talked about Growing Up and all of the New Experiences she should be watching out for? An excessive amount of dread?

 

Trembling knees?

 

Determining how long it would take to dart from that very spot into the icy waters beyond?

 

And, oh, Sam was talking and Cora was too far into her existential crisis to really process it in real time and she was still staring at the lake when he finished. Then she was staring at him. Oh boy, when did Just Sam get so tall and get hair so nice and when did his smile start making her want to throw herself under her bed to hide from it (but also take a billion pictures of it just because) and--

 

"Wait, really?" His words caught up with her mind after an uncomfortably long silence. It was followed by another uncomfortably long silence in which Cora's jaw dropped and her cheeks turned incredibly pink and she tangled her hands together so tightly that she wasn't certain she'd be able to straighten them out later.

 

"Do you really mean it?" Of course she'd be able to get them straightened out to grab onto Sam's, though, and she did, latching onto his wrists because that seemed easier than trying to hold his hands properly like she might usually do. "Oh, Sam, of course I want to go with you! Other boys are very scary, you know, except maybe Richie but he's probably going with Connie and maybe Ethan but I would not want to dance with him, you know? All of those new foreign boys are sososo scary and you are not at all scary, Sam. You are lovely and wonderful and--" a deep breath "--and such a good person and even if I can only stand by you while you patrol it would be so special and good."

 

She was rambling and she knew it but it was hard to contain the excitement.

 

"Do you really mean it?" Just to check, to double check, to triple check. Cora might actually die if he changed his mind, but she would never want him to do anything he didn't want to, even if she very much wanted this.

Edited by Cora Ives

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Samuel Han

”Are you all right?” Sam questioned after he noticed Cora’s unusual behavior. Sometimes he wished that his prefect’s badge had come with special powers like being able to know what other people were thinking. The Ravenclaw’s expression was different from her normal worried look, and it took her a moment to respond to his acceptance of her invitation.

 

“Yes, really,” said Sam with a reassuring smile at his friend. “Did you think I’d say ‘no’?”

 

He was glad she’d finally snapped out of whatever trance she’d been in and wasn’t permanently catatonic. Honestly, he wouldn’t have put it past Cora to have fallen victim to some spiked pumpkin juice or something of the sort. She was a sweet girl, but she wasn’t always the most aware, and sometimes she too easily put her faith in people.

 

He felt Cora’s hand lock around his wrist, which was also an unusual move from her, but then again she was somewhat of an unusual girl in general. Her earlier quiet was suddenly offset by her spewed gratitude now. Sam almost had to interrupt Cora to remind her to breathe, but thankfully she caught herself and did that on her own. The Hufflepuff felt a little embarrassed by how excited Cora seemed at the idea of going to the Yule Ball together, especially when he knew they were less likely to be dancing and more likely to be prowling around catching couples who were getting a little too handsy with each other.

 

Once again Cora was speaking so rapidly that Sam could hardly get a word in edgewise, but he did interject to try and ease the Ravenclaw’s fears. “I’m sure not all of the foreign boys are scary,” Sam countered with another reassuring look. Though now he thought about it, he had seen some great bear of a boy in Durmstrang who’d been rather loud and raucous ever since he’d arrived. Sam would just have to keep Cora away from that one. “They just do things a little differently, is all. But they’re all still kids like us, remember? Nothing to be scared of.” He was at least 70% sure the foreign students were harmless.

 

Cora asked him again if he really wanted to go and Sam couldn’t help but laugh a little. “Of course I do. Do you really mean it?”

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