Status: Completely Rewritten!

All the Marks

Dexter Cardoff

Emily and Neville strolled down the cobblestone streets of Hogsmeade, peeking into the shop windows as they walked.

“I still can’t believe my best friend is leaving me to have a butter beer.”

Emily gripped his arm tightly, pulling at him as he dragged her alongside him. She pouted, a large frown on her face, “I’m really sorry, Nev. I’ll only be gone for a little while and we can visit the shops together afterwards.”

“You don’t even like butter beer!” Neville laughed, throwing his free hand in the air.

“So I’ll get pumpkin juice instead,” Emily let go of Neville’s arm, placing her hands in her pockets, “Besides, I’m just giving you this time so you catch up with Luna.”

Emily nudged his side with her elbow, teasing him about the blonde he had been crushing on.

“Oh, I don’t think so. She wouldn’t want to talk to me.”

Emily smiled at him, “Of course she would, Nev. Just trust me on this one. You’ll finally have someone who understands your strange fascination with plants.”

“It’s not strange,” Neville blushed and moved his hand up to play with his hair.”

The two approached The Three Broomsticks just as Luna was leaving.

“Here’s your chance,” Emily smiled, “I’ll meet you outside here in an hour.”

Neville smiled at her, and Emily entered the Three Broomsticks. A young woman carrying empty mugs of butter beer called to her, “Seat yourself, love. There’s some open tables towards the back.”

Emily looked around the room for Ron before pulling off her jacket and heading to an empty table in the far corner. She sat down in the seat facing the door and tousled her hair in her fingers, repairing the damage done by the wind.

The woman approached Emily smiling, “Anything I can get ya?”

“Oh, not yet. I’m waiting for someone.”

“Let me know when he gets here, hmm?” The woman winked, leaving to serve a few gentlemen exclaiming very loudly that their drinks were empty.

Emily sat, fiddling with her shirt and flattening down her hair. She looked up at the antique clock above the door, showing it was already quarter past 6 and Ron was late.

Across the room, the door flew open and Ron walked in, the wind blowing in behind him. He locked eyes with Emily almost immediately and walked over to the table, pulling off his jacket along the way.

“It’s freezing out there,” Ron said, sitting across from Emily and placing his jacket on the empty seat next to him, “Maybe we should’ve had some hot cocoa instead of butter beer.”

“Oh, that would’ve been perfect. I hate butter beer,” Emily smiled, placing her hands on the table.

“What? Are you mad?” Ron said, slamming his hands against the wooden surface.

Emily laughed, leaning forward in her chair, “Not at all! It tastes awful.”

“Merlin Emily, if you thought that, why’d you agree to have one with me?”

Emily paused, placing her hair behind her ears, “I guess I thought I’d just push through it. I mean, it’s just one butter beer and I’m sure I could have gotten away with only taking a few sips without you noticing.”

“Oh please, I wouldn’t make you do that. How about we just go for a walk instead? It’s fairly cold but I can promise you there isn’t any butter beer out there.”

Ron sat up, grabbing his jacket and pulling it over him. He reached over the table, grabbing Emily’s hand, and pulled her off her seat and out of the pub.

A few snowflakes fell from the sky but it looked as though the snow may have eased up for the night. The wind was strong, but Emily didn’t pay it much mind. She pulled her arms close to her body and looked over at Ron, who was rubbing his hands together.

“Somehow, every time I go outside, I always underestimate how cold it’s going to be,” Ron smiled.

Emily laughed, “The cold doesn’t bother me as much as the wind. It makes my hair a mad mess.”

Ron turned towards Emily and stood in front of her, reaching in his pocket and pulling out a wool hat. He placed it on her head, pulling it over her soft hair, “My mum made this for me. I’m sure it’ll do a fine job of covering your mad mess, and it even matches your eyes.”

Emily looked up at Ron, her cheeks and nose red from the cold, “Thank you, Ron. It’s perfect.”

Ron smiled and tugged at the ends of the fluffy wool hat, pulling Emily closer to him. His hands moved from the hat, to her hands. He moved their fingers together, wrapping his around hers. His face moved slowly towards hers, and she shut her eyes quickly, as she felt his breath against her lips. When his lips touched her own, she felt a warmth take over her body. The wind blew against her face, but it felt soft and warm, like an ocean breeze.