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by: Destiny
Gemma found herself smiling at the idea of the challenge: she liked such tests of knowledge, since her strong suits were more spell-based. Even the mention that they could get hurt wasn't something that bothered her: it only made things a better test of their abilities.

When Urania said that they might choose their partners, however, Gemma's eyes darted over to Orion, knowing right away who she was going to try and choose. When Urania dismissed them to choose, Gemma darted through the group -- she and Orion had gotten a little separated by the press of people, especially since most of the boys had all been, consciously or unconsciously, trying to walk beside her -- and grabbed Orion's hand, only to let it go a second later, not sure if he would appreciate the gesture in public like this.

"Ri?" she whispered, staring up at her fiance, "Will you... would you like to pair with me?" She grinned suddenly, trying not to laugh. "In this class?" she added, a mischievous look appearing in her dark eyes.
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by: Destiny
Nikki listened quietly to the others interesting facts and some of them brought smiles to her face and others, like Orion's, made her scowl in her seat. How rude. Not every single person was terrible thank you very much and he seemed to like Gemma well enough. She was a person right? Ugh, Slytherins. She was so lucky she didn't have to endure being placed in a pathetic and egotistical house such as theirs.

Oh wait they were leaving? Apparently she was too lost in her thoughts to have actually realized the professor said they were. Her clue was the fact the others were all standing up. Quickly shuffling out of her chair and pushing it pack in she glanced around for a moment before seeing someone pull their wand out of their bag. Oh yeah, wand... Shuffling her things around in her tote bag she grabbed her wand and slid it in her back pocket before filing out after the others.

Where were they going though, that was the major question bothering the Gryffindor. As they stepped outside and started across the lawn though she had a feeling. They were walking straight to the Forbidden Forest. Oh glorious. She had terrible aim, surely the professor heard her talking before. She was going to be murdered before she could throw two spells or something dreadful like that. Oh goodness. Nerves were starting to get to Nikki as she walked. Rubbing at her arms she let her eyes wonder over the lawn of Hogwarts she had come to know and love since her first year. Goodbye beautiful clean cut grass.

When their group stopped the raven haired teen glanced over at the professor. Instruction time? So the might not completely die... Oh wait no she would only there was a partner to witness it now.... That she had to pick? Time to decide she mused. Let's see.... Gemma was making a be-line toward Orion and after her 'interesting fact' she could only assume he was the lucky fiance... Poor girl...

Sofia and DC were dating and likely to pair up maybe she could convince the girl that girl power was better? If she didn't then she'd likely want to choose Justin. Addison wasn't exactly going to mix well with her if she knew right. A Slytherin and Gryffindor team would be just a peachy experience... Well time to give it a shot. Taking a deep breath Nikki approached Sofia with a hesitant smile. "You wouldn't by chance have a partner... would you?"
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by: Destiny
Sofi had been assuming that she and DC would pair up -- they worked well together, and since they were dating... it was just logical, right? -- but when Nikki approached her, she grinned and patted the girl's shoulder cheerfully.
"Not yet, I don't!" she answered, "Well, I do now, if that's what you're really askin' me. You're Nikki, right? I'm Sofi." She held out her hand for the girl to shake, then remembered DC.

"Ahh... hang on a sec..." She raised her voice to call to her boyfriend. "Oi, Cross! I'm pairin' with Nikki, okay? You can manage without me for a little while, eh?" She gave him a wide smile, then turned back to Nikki. "He's, er.... a good friend, ya know..."

She wasn't sure how people would take the knowledge that she and DC were dating now: most of them would likely think she was nuts, since most people here thought of her as a bit of a straight-laced wet-blanket and him as a wacky troublemaker. Neither of those labels were very accurate, though, since she could be crazy like DC and he could be quite as deep as her. To find out that they were together would shake most people's feelings about them so much that they might not even want anything to do with them anymore, a possibility which Sofi wanted to prevent. However, she wasn't sure how long she would be able to, since Justin had found out the day before and he was sure to tell everyone he came across. Half the school probably already knew, if not the whole thing...
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by: Destiny
Boring things happened, and then they were outside! Yeah, should not have had coffee this morning...that was a bad, bad, bad idea...oooh birds! Yeah, that coffee was a bad idea...

DC tried not to make it too apparent that he was as excited as he was to be outside. That would just be silly, him being seventeen and all. Still, they were outdoors! If he didn't wind up making it as a musician, he hoped to work outdoors at the very least doing something at least moderately enjoyable. Outside was better than an indoor job up to eighty three percent of the time. He was about to twirl his wand but restrained himself. Last time he did that, he nearly set his trousers on fire.

Professor Blackthorne was saying something now...pairing up? Sofi of cou-nope. Talking to the Gryff. She was bloody useless, to borrow a British phrase. Cross could see before she was even done talking to Nikki that he'd need to hit up Justin. So, when his girl turned to him, he merely grabbed the other boy's hand and smiled in a sickly sweet way.

"Justin, darling, would you care to go on a romantic stroll through the Forbidden Forest with me? Pwease?"
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by: Destiny
The Forbidden Forest. A professor was actually leading them towards the Forbidden Forest? Not that Justin had anything against the forest nor did he have anything against watching authority push the limits a bit, but still. It was hard to fathom. Nevertheless, he was all ears as Urania spoke to them. Wow, not only had she lead them towards it but she was also going to allow them to go inside it? Hmm... That sounded kind of dirty, actually. But enough of that. He had an awesome professor this year who was going to let him actually do something. On second thought, he thought as Professor Blackthorne shot him and DC a glare, maybe not. He cast her an angelic smile despite his thoughts. "Sure thing, Prof!" he told her, clasping his hands in front of him. He fought the urge to roll his eyes as she said the school nurse would be present at the end of the test. Smart, but seriously. Did she doubt them that much? He and DC would prove that bi...

Wow. Seemed DC had the same idea, though...his manner of proposing they be partners was a little...over the top, but what else could he expect from his best mate? He grinned at him and took his hand firmly in his and then stepped in front of him, leaning forward and giving him a somewhat lingering peck on the lips. He pulled away just after he squeezed DC's arse and then let his hand go only to offer his arm. "Shall we, princess?" he asked, casting Professor Blackthorne a look and winking before looking at DC "lovingly." "Are you ready, DC, my beau, my love?" He batted his lashes as he prepared to take off skipping towards the forest border.
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by: Destiny
Nikki let out a breath she didn't realize she was holding when Sofia said they could be partners. Oh thank heavens. She didn't want to be the poor sap paired with either the teacher or Addison. She wasn't sure she could handle failing in front of the teacher or worse in front of one of the most popular Slytherin students at the school. Hufflepuff students were nice right?... Nikki hadn't socialized with many of them. "Pleasure to meet you Sofia and yeah, you were right. My name is Nikki, Nikki Allen."

It was then she heard the boys talking and from what they were saying she wasn't so sure she wanted to turn around. Curiosity was biting at her attention span though and her head turned to the two. A smile immediately appeared on her face and a laugh escaped her mouth at the two. They were so funny and good natured, it was astounding. Calling over to the pair with a grin she teased them lightly, "Oh I see. Justin must wear the pants in your relationship huh 'princess'." Referring to DC's 'nickname'.
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by: Destiny
Addison had followed quietly as the professor had lead her and the other students out towards the Forbidden Forest. When she had explained what was going to happen, the Slytherin had listened quietly, her arms crossed loosely and her weight on one foot. There wasn't much to say to that, really. It was just a matter of figuring out just who was worthy of her time and effort to partner up with now. She studied the student bodies before her. Who exactly was worth it? Some random Gryffindor? No... Oh, crap. Said random Gryffindor seemed to be talking to Sofia Steel. Steel would've been worth her effort, but judging by the reaction the Hufflepuff gave the random Gryffindor, Steel was approving the partnership.

Great, just great. Even if she viewed Steel as a rival in many ways, even Addison had to respect her muster and her ability as a witch. Still, she didn't have to act like she'd seen the little interaction between the random Gryffindor and Steel. Not to mention, just because they were getting along didn't mean the Gryffindor had requested her to be her partner either. They could just be friends. Addison figured she surely didn't know Steel's complete social circle. After all, Cross and McDowell would be rather poor choices for a complete posse. So, she walked over to the girl. "Hey, Steel!" she said, giving an upwards nod to motion her over. "Be my--?"

However, at that moment was when McDowell decided to make a spectacle of himself. Surprise, surprise. Well, so much for that. She'd have to wait now. It seemed most of the class was busy laughing at the newly revealed "lovers." It was pathetic just how easily people were distracted from the task at hand. So what? DC had asked McDowell to be his partner, and McDowell had decided to do something "funny" in return. Personally, Addison could care less. She'd seen flamboyantly gay people before, so this was nothing new. She was pretty sure that the only reason people seemed to be so into this was because DC and McDowell (so far as they all knew) were perfectly straight. Furthermore, they were also well known pranksters who would surely put on a show for the whole class. People were probably wanting to know just what new level they would take their antics to.
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by: Destiny
Orion was a little surprised and hurt when Gemma let go of his hand. After announcing her engagement earlier in class, he was positive that she was going to make their relationship a 'thing' or whatever it was that it was called. As a protest of her bashfulness, he grabbed her hand back and smiled at her startled look before answering her question.

"Of course we can be partners. I would be a fool to turn down the smartest student in the class."

Urania's talk had been interesting and mildly exciting. He was sure that his real-world experience would put him at an advantage in this practical test.

He pulled Gemma away from the rest of the group far enough to send a clear message: We're together, back off.

His quiet moment of solitude before the challenge was ruined by the retarded Hufflepuff Committee of Homosexual Affairs. An eyeroll and disgruntled glare were the most he felt like sparing for the childish and distasteful shennanigans of Hufflepuff's finest examples of what not to be when one grows up. Rather, Orion mused, they illustrated the dangers of not growing up at all.
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by: Destiny
Gemma was a bit surprised when Orion grabbed her hand back, but her slow smile quickly proved that she wasn't upset at the contact... on the contrary.

"Of course we can be partners. I would be a fool to turn down the smartest student in the class."

"Oh, is that all?" Gemma retorted, her smile fading to an intentionally adorable pout before returning, "You want to be with me just because I'm intelligent?" She felt Orion tug her away from the rest of the group and was momentarily confused, then guessed that he might be trying to display their relationship, his claim on her. She frowned slightly and nearly tugged away -- she still wasn't entirely used to the idea of everyone at the school knowing -- before sighing and relaxing, even going so far as to wrap her arms around Orion's waist and rest her forehead on his chest.

DC and another boy from Hufflepuff whose name Gemma thought might be Justin (she thought she remembered from the roll call) suddenly called attention to themselves in a way that Gemma totally hadn't been expecting: they seemed to be attempting to act as though they were a homosexual couple. Gemma couldn't help laughing along with the rest of the class, even though she could see Sofi's face from here: her Hufflepuff friend, who was dating DC, looked extremely confused and a bit hurt.

"Oh dear.... I wish you didn't dislike Cross so much, he really is wonderful, sometimes," Gemma murmured, snuggling closer to Orion; being half-French, the idea of "public displays of affection being improper/rude" was completely foreign to her. "Though not nearly as wonderful as you..." Even though several of the people, particularly boys, were watching them, Gemma obliviously stood on her tiptoes and kissed Orion full on the lips, lingering for as long as she could without breaking for air. At that point, most of the class had turned to look at them, instead, thereby stealing DC and Justin's thunder. Only at that point did Gemma tug away and blush...
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