“What’s wrong, Nunnally? You’ve been sitting there with that terribly grave expression all day. Is something the matter? Did Kaguya tease you again?”
“No, it… It wasn’t Kaguya.”
“Then what is it?”
She looked up at her older sister. Her eyes sparkled at her from the near-dark of the common room; it was late at night, and she had just returned from her date at Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop. Apparently her absence from the train compartment had been beneficial as Suzaku had finally mustered up enough wit to ask her out.
The young girl glanced down into the book she hadn’t really been reading for the past two hours. She couldn’t stop thinking back on earlier that day when she had seen her older brother. He hadn’t seen her, luckily, but maybe it would have been better if he had; maybe then he wouldn’t have gone as far to carefully wrap C.C.’s scarf around her neck and take her hand as they headed in the direction of the woods for what she presumed was a autumnal stroll in the wilderness because if he were that careful and deliberate with his actions, it could only mean that the kiss wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing but one with history. Which could only mean that her brother had been hiding the relationship for who-knew-how-long.
It wasn’t that Nunnally was dismayed by it being C.C. In fact, she loved that it was C.C. She just couldn’t wrap her head around why her brother would A.) be so secretive about it, and B.) refrain from telling her. What had he been afraid of? That he would be teased? But why? They all adored C.C. Why they have done anything but congratulate and cheer?
“It, um… Have you noticed anything strange about Brother?”
“Not…particularly. But I must confess, Nunnally, I haven’t been able to spend much time with him this summer. There was just so much to do at the Ministry. But I did run into him from time to time. He didn’t seem any different to me at the time. But why? Have you noticed something?”
“If there’s anything worrying you, you can always come to me. I promise I won’t tell Lelouch.”
She shook her head and smiled. “It’s really nothing. But I promise that I’ll come to you first if there’s anything wrong.”
Her sister nodded, and she rose from her comfortable armchair, mumbling about how tired she was and how she ought to go to bed. Bidding her sister good night, Nunnally rushed to the warmth and comfort of her bed. She felt badly for lying to her sister, but she felt that her brother must have had a good reason for being so secretive, and so held her tongue for the time being.
It wouldn’t do to give away another’s secret so easily, would it?
. . .
“Do you think anyone saw us?”
“What student would be near the Hog’s Head when there’s the Three Broomsticks? Don’t worry so much,” she said softly. She pressed herself against him on the cold, leather sofa. With the common room to themselves, she was safe to do as she pleased and so curled up next to him as close as she had wanted since they had returned to school. He seemed to welcome her rare act of affection as he remained silent instead of offering his usual lecture about personal space.
They sat for some time, huddled together in front of the crackling fire as the lake lapped at the windows of the room. C.C. sleepily blinked at the dancing flames. They had had a busy day today, and rightly so too; they had worked too hard for today to let it go to waste. During his internship at the Ministry over the summer, Lelouch had temporarily moved into the Kururugi residence because things were just easier that way. It had been somewhat daunting to live within the same space as the Minister of Magic – who was a man with a very militaristic personality – but it had been manageable. Though a part of him did think that the only reason he had really made it through in one piece was because of the frequent letters between himself and C.C. as she had been quite excellent at making him snort with laughter at even the most serious and grave of awkward moments.
Anyhow, during that time, he had done his best to persuade Suzaku to finally ask his sister on a proper date instead of the platonic nonsense he’d been hiding behind for the past few years. Of course, that course of action had only been pursued after C.C. had badgered him about speaking to Suzaku to reassure him that yes, a union between Euphemia li Britannia and Suzaku Kururugi would have the blessing of the former’s older brother because – and were you listening, Lelouch? Because she was only going to say this once – if Euphie wasn’t preoccupied with her own boyfriend, how was she to come up with a believable excuse to not go to Hogsmeade with her best friend? Which – and if you had been listening instead of ignoring me to focus on your little chess game – you would have realized by now is the only way you and I are going to be able to go to Hogsmeade alone.
It had taken a great deal of patience and negotiation, but Lelouch had eventually succeeded and, much to his pleasure, walked into the Hog’s Head to sit down for a drink with his girlfriend. The location had been a little less romantic than he’d have liked – not that Madam Puddifoot’s was to his taste, but the inn was quite filthy – but he had been content to see her and spend some time with her without having to wave away any siblings or friends or classmates. All in all – though he would never admit it – it had been nice to be in love without being constantly pestered.
They had gone for a walk afterwards to breathe in the crisp, fall air and kick around some of the fallen leaves. She had pushed him into a pile at one point, which would have normally made him angry except she jumped in right after and gave him a peck on the cheek. He had avoided looking at her because he had been so embarrassed, which had only made her laugh, which in turn had only made him flush an even darker shade of red. He of course avenged himself by transfiguring a tree branch into a white lily later on, but in the moment, it had been seriously mortifying to realize the effect she had on him.
But otherwise it had been quite a beautiful afternoon until they had had to stop holding hands so that they could rejoin their respective best friends at around dinnertime.
Though of course sitting down for dinner with others didn’t stop C.C. from teasing him. He could still remember the strange looks on his sister and her boyfriend’s faces as he choked on his pumpkin juice from the proximity of her foot to his… Well… We both know just where her foot was.
She hadn’t really apologized for dinner, but she’d also broken her chocolate bar in two to help warm him during the short trek back to school, so maybe they were even. Kind of.
“We should go to bed,” he murmured. “It’s getting late.”
“And don’t you have try-outs tomorrow?”
“In the afternoon.”
“So you agree with me then that we should go to bed?”
“To your bed, yes.”
When she saw the look of horror flash across his face, she rolled her eyes. Sitting up – he tried not to feel too badly about her pulling away but failed miserably. He rather liked her warmth – she peered at him reproachfully.
“It’s not as if it would be the first time. We’ve slept in the same bed before.”
He gaped. Oh. She’d… Oh. Okay. Well. Er, well, this was going to be somewhat awkward to explain.
“…Did you think that I meant-”
“No, of course not.” He tried to scoff but only succeeded in making a sound similar to the coughing fit from dinner after she had gotten especially close. “Why would I- I’m not stupid.”
She smirked. “Oh, really? Because I’m pretty sure that that is what you thought I was saying.”
“Like I was saying,” he grouched, “that’s not what I was thinking. You’re wrong. You’ve misunderstood.”
“Well misunderstanding or no misunderstanding, unfortunately for you, I’m not sleeping with you. Or anyone for the matter, so you can just forget about it. Unless, of course, you want the Giant Squid to officiate our wedding.”
“I’d rather not have our wedding in a dungeon half-submerged in the Black Lake, thank you very much,” he muttered. But he had spoken too softly for C.C. to hear, which was just fine by him; no need for her to know yet of his future plans.
She studied him for some time – as much as she loved him, there were times when he was just so strange. For instance: that habit of his where he’d talk to himself under his breath; what was with that? – but decided not to press any further. Though she hated to admit it, he had been right when he had said that it was getting late. She could feel fatigue seeping into her bones; if she didn’t move to her bed soon, she’d fall asleep in the common room, which was never a good idea. It could become incredibly chilly even with the impressive fireplace. She’d be significantly more comfortable in her own bed.
So she let him walk her to the corridor leading to the girls’ dorms, right where the barrier was that prevented the boys from sneaking in.
“Right. So what are your plans for tomorrow?” he whispered.
“I may or may not have a chess game tomorrow at the Three Broomsticks.”
“Well, Euphie invited me to go watch the try-outs for the Gryffindor quidditch team, which I thought was an excellent excuse to do some reconnaissance.”
He glanced down at the stone floor, disappointed. It would have been nice to have her there. Remind her of how clever he was and all.
“Will you bring me something back?”
She shrugged. “Something I’d like.”
He sighed. Honestly, sometimes she was just so…
But then she smiled to show that she had just been teasing, and he relaxed enough to kiss her on the cheek.
“Don’t forget to bring me back something.”
He only shook his head. What a woman. But later as Lelouch lay in bed that night, just before drifting off to sleep, he thought to himself: Maybe I’ll drop by Honeydukes afterwards. She’d been talking about how she wanted a sugar quill for potions.
And you know what? Maybe he just would.