Title: Found Along the Tear
Character/s: Gwaine, Leon
Summary: Gwaine learns more from Leon's potion class notes than he could have ever imagined.
Warnings: Hogwarts AU
Word Count: 1,527
Prompt: #406 - Donate a Prompt - Mustard, prompted by bunnysworld
Author's Notes: I'm sorry about the length! This is a different getting together story from the Hogwarts AU things I wrote before. No previous reading necessary!
Gwaine flicked open his potions book, shaking Quidditch pitch dirt out from between the pages. He smiled at Leon when he noticed Leon was watching him.
"Accident," he said with a shrug, holding the book upside down, the front and back cover pinched between his fingers.
Leon shook his head. "You should take better care of your things."
"It still has all the pages," Gwaine pointed out.
He righted the book and thumbed through the pages to show Leon that while dirty, the book was, in fact, intact. Leon shook his head again, looking down at the roll of parchment in front of him. Gwaine struggled to read even Leon's neat handwriting while upside down but he caught multiple uses of the words 'electricity' and 'Muggles.'
He didn't struggle to see the small smile tugging at the corner of Leon's mouth.
"Don't get dirt on my notes, please," Leon said.
Gwaine dropped the potions book into his lap, both to read and write on. "I'll try, since you asked so nicely."
Leon hummed in acknowledgement, already deep in thought, their conversation set aside as he progressed with his essay.
Gwaine smiled as he sat back in the grass, reclining slightly with his arms stretched out behind him. He enjoyed studying with Leon for many reasons, most of which revolved more around Leon than studying. He liked listening to Leon explain things that had been taught to him only hours before. He liked distracting Leon from his thoughts with unnecessary questions.
Most of all, he liked watching Leon study, so engrossed in his work that Gwaine was free to admire him up close rather than from afar.
It was spring and thankfully the weather was clear allowing them to work outside by the lake. Leon had brought his jumper but found it too warm to wear, the grey knit sitting folded beside him. The sleeves of his shirt were neatly folded up to his elbows and his house tie was snug against his neck. His hair fell in the gold curls that Gwaine longed to touch, his face set in a look of concentration.
He was picture perfect. If Gwaine knew how to get his hands on one of those moving Wizard photos, he would capture Leon here, in this moment, to carry with him when they were apart.
Gwaine let his arms slide out behind him and fell into the grass. He covered his face with his hand.
When had his crush gotten this bad?
He fished into his pocket for a piece of gum, needing something to do other than moon over his friend. He debated telling Leon, of course, coming clean about the way Leon made his breath catch in his chest like he was a character in one of his mum's romance novels. Not telling Leon always won the debate when Gwaine imagined the gentle rejection that would come. He didn't want to see the soft look Leon reserved for giving bad news to his sister and his Quidditch team members directed at him.
It was easier to live in ignorant bliss.
Gwaine unconsciously snapped his gum, pushing up when he felt something tap his knee.
"You're doing it again," Leon said, wand in hand.
"Sorry," Gwaine apologized as he sat up. He picked up the roll of parchment Leon had given him earlier. "Bad habit."
Leon exchanged his wand for his quill. "I know."
Gwaine leaned forward a little as Leon's focus shifted back to his essay, the small smile from earlier still tugging at his lips.
He brushed any hasty and hopeful thought aside as he unrolled the parchment over his potions book. There were three or four sheets bearing Leon's handwriting, the first two alone covering the history of love potions. Gwaine counted himself lucky for having missed this particular class; if Leon had taken this many notes, the lecture must have gone on forever.
He shuffled to the third sheet, finding its contents more interesting: apparently the effects of a love potion could vary depending on the ingredients, the way it's administered, and, to quote Leon, "the relative attractiveness of the potion administrator to the potion consumer." Gwaine decided to copy that sentence down word for word; he could always ask Leon to explain it later.
He pushed the third sheet to the other side of his open book to give himself room to write, only then noticing that the sheet was torn at the bottom. Gwaine stared at it, wondering, questioning for a moment if the damage was possibly his fault. He quickly concluded that it wasn't, if only because Leon, sitting an arm's length away, would have noticed if he'd ripped the parchment, regardless of how focused he was on his work.
Gwaine touched his fingers to the tear, so uncharacteristic and out of place. He traced up to the line of writing above it.
Amortentia is the most powerful love potion that can currently be brewed. It creates a deep, obsessive infatuation in the potion consumer for the potion administrator. Its smell is unique to every person - it smells of whatever the potion consumer is attracted to.
It smells like
The sentence was unfinished, lost to the other side of the tear.
Gwaine shuffled parchment around on his book, unable to find the rest of the sheet. He picked the sheets up, pinched between his fingers, and shook them. A third of a sheet fell into the pages of his book, the torn slant at its top matching the tear of the unfinished sentence. He dropped the sheets in exchange for the torn piece.
The sentence resumed where the tear had forced it to stop.
the Quidditch pitch, mustard, and cinnamon gum.
Gwaine's cinnamon gum fell out of his gaping mouth.
He held up the torn piece of parchment, staring at seven words written by Leon's hand. Seven words that could possibly, maybe, in his wildest dreams be describing him.
He looked at Leon, still engrossed in his essay, still picture perfect in the late afternoon sun.
Self-preservation argued that the list was too general, too vague; his traitorous, hopeful, romantic heart sung out that the list was detailed and precise, just like Leon.
He stared at Leon, clutching the torn piece of parchment in his hand like it was made of gold.
Gwaine pushed the sheets of parchment off his book and upended his bag in search of a quill. He stretched slowly in Leon's direction, dabbing the tip of the quill in the ink pot at Leon's feet. He looked up for a moment, collecting his thoughts and the fraying ends of his will.
Carefully, because he hated quills, Gwaine wrote a sentence on the torn piece of parchment.
He slid the parchment onto Leon's essay as soon as the ink was dry. He regretted the action when Leon stopped writing, his quill still, his knuckles whitening at the sight of his own handwriting.
Leon didn't look up. "Gwaine-"
"Turn it over."
Leon didn't move. He stared at the parchment, no trace of the small smile on his face. He looked... scared, of all things, and Gwaine was desperate to make that look stop.
"Please?" he asked.
Gwaine worried it was all going wrong but Leon eventually turned the parchment over, his quill falling out of his hand as he read what Gwaine wrote.
I wasn't there but I think it would smell like cherry blossoms, mustard, and peppermint soap.
His breath caught in his chest as Leon looked up at him, eyes wide with what Gwaine would guess was shock, or awe, or maybe both.
"You," Leon started, looking down again, rubbing the torn parchment between his fingers. "Do you... really?"
"Yes," Gwaine answered. He nodded when Leon met his eyes again. "Really. For ages."
There it was.
A small smile touched Leon's face, gently tugging at the corners of his mouth. Gwaine saw it most when they were studying or talking about Quidditch, or anything, or nothing at all. He rarely saw it in class or when they were with the rest of their friends, planting the tiny seed in his mind that perhaps, by chance, just maybe it was a smile only for him.
Leon tilted his head, curls falling over his face. "Ages?"
"A really long time," Gwaine clarified.
Leon's smile grew, still unique, still only for Gwaine, just maybe. He rolled up his essay and put it down, tucking it safely beneath his jumper. Gwaine threw his potions book aside.
"I wish you'd told me," Leon said, making room for Gwaine when he moved to sit next to Leon under the tree.
"I'm telling you now." Gwaine reached out hesitantly, moving slowly in anticipation of the refusal that never came. He brushed Leon's hair from his face, his hand lingering at Leon's cheek. "Ages."
"A really long time," Leon repeated, his smile still growing.
He was still smiling when Gwaine leaned forward to kiss him.
Gwaine kissed Leon, feeling Leon's hands twist in the front of his shirt, his heart singing out at the picture perfect moment that was theirs in the grass, by the lake, under the cherry tree.