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by: Tristan Viridian
He laughed, his eyes sparkling behind his eyelashes as he bashfully looked down. Evidently his reputation as a busybody, someone whose sole focus lie in things like his work wouldn't go unnoticed. Tristan's time at Hogwarts was indeed spent more in the library than out on the grounds, and when he was out and about, he'd still be reading or studying, trying to get the best grades possible. It was his way of proving to his mum that she didn't have to worry about him when he was away at the school, and since he had a great support system through Cora, it made the experience well worth it. "Yeah, the librarians never liked it when we kept trying to sneak food in there, did they?" Tristan chuckled again. It felt good to reminisce, felt amazing to just think about a time when it wasn't all work and stress of impressing his King or making a good impression on the well-to-do folks they had to court. Hogwarts, even though it was a trying time, being the bastard son of the revered Minister Viridian, who later became Minister Darque, meant he would get teased for such.

He cast those somber thoughts aside to concentrate on something far better than the ghosts of his past. Tristan looked up, his aquamarine eyes dazzling under the fireflies, under the stars, and he smiled at her. Her words, though they seemed a bit embellished to cater to his mediocre opinion of himself in the 'dating arena', were accepted gracefully. He never considered himself a great person, just someone who kept his nose as clean as one could, did his part in school, did his part in the military, and then returned the favor of caring for his mother who had raised him all alone when she fell ill. He had a couple of flings here and there, mostly women who were after him for his money, or his body, or a sick combination of the two, and it was never about a future or making something work out for them, no endgame. He hated that, all the trivial bullshit, and he just wanted to find someone who made him happy.

As he observed his companion for the holiday, Tristan was wondering if he'd found that person who'd made him happy. Sure, they were friends, and she said she'd been having trouble with someone--but did she ever say they were together? Did she ever once reveal who it was that stole her heart, or even put her in this predicament? She had her wand on her, surely, and if she didn't want to be around him, she could have apparated the hell away from him at any time if she were uncomfortable. Yet, she remained here... spending a lovely evening dining, laughing, recalling moments where he'd been at his happiest. Because he was with her.

"Cora... I... I'm having a wonderful time with you, and there's just something I wanna say, but... " He paused, his tongue meeting his lips briefly, and he sucked in a breath as if he wanted to speak, but he'd held it back. How could he express just how elated he was to be around her? How much he enjoyed this time with her. Twenty or so years had passed without her, and yet here they were, having a fantastic time together, outside of the politics, the intrigue, the bullshit of London and the magical realm. They were just... together. Merlin, she looked beautiful, and the way her face lit up at each turn, at each surprise, just made him warm and content inside.

He gulped. There would be no words for this. Just action...

Leaning down, Tristan drew his face close to hers, and leaned in to kiss her, if she let him.
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by: Coraline Larson
Cora had settled comfortably against Tristan’s chest after he had pulled her closer while they danced. She shifted back just slightly so she could look up while he reminisced about their school days, though not breaking form or disrupting the dance. “Oh, they did!” she giggled. “I thought Madam Pince would start demanding I empty my bag before coming into the library during sixth year!” The head librarian had the meanest stare of any of the teachers at Hogwarts in Cora’s opinion and trying to smuggle food into her precious library was a surefire way to find oneself on the receiving end of it, but endured it if it meant taking care of her best friend while he was stressed out. “Do you remember the time I tried to bring a cupcake in for your birthday? You refused to come out so I transfigured the damn thing into a quill to sneak it in!” she laughed again as they danced, shaking her head affectionately at the memory.

They continued their dance in companionable silence for a few minutes as they both thought about the old days, Cora just enjoying the innocent simplicity of the reunion with her best friend. She let out a contented sigh as Tristan twirled her out and back into his arms again. Cora was briefly struck again by the sheer serendipity of their reunion, Tristan coming back into her life just as she needed a friend most. It was almost like the universe recognized her efforts and her desire to set her past deeds to rights and had sent her a gift, or so it felt to the raven-haired witch, although she could just have been letting her poetic imagination run a bit wild on that thought.

She smiled up at Tristan’s soft declaration of enjoyment and nodded her agreement. “Aye, this has been just wonderful, mo ridire galanta,” he sighed with a quiet smile. When he trailed off and seemed to hesitate over his words she frowned slightly, pondering what could possibly be troubling him after such a nice day. Her questions were answered quickly however, as Tristan leaned in and pressed a soft kiss against her lips. Cora was too stunned and flustered by the sudden escalation of affection to react immediately, simply stopping in the middle of the dance floor, almost frozen and taken aback. It only took a few moments for her to regain control of her body although it seemed far longer to her racing mind. She quickly pulled back from the kiss and took a step back from Tristan, her pale cheeks bright red in embarrassment.

“Tris… wh-what? I… I’m sorry… I…” she stuttered quietly, still reeling. She took another half-step backwards. “I’m so sorry if… I didn’t know you… you felt that way… I’m with someone,” she finally managed to get out. Her cheeks reddened further when she thought of Matt and how he would feel if he had seen what had transpired between her and Tristan. She shook her head slightly, more to clear it than anything, and began slowly backing toward the doorway from the balcony. “I… I think I should just… go upstairs… I’ll be down in the morning to go to the airport…” she stammered, turning to hurry upstairs to her suite, wishing she could calm down enough to apparate home.

’I knew this was too perfect to be true…’ Cora sniffled quietly as a tear slid down her cheek as she closed the door behind herself.
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by: Tristan Viridian
That was it.
The damage was done.

Because he was a bloody fool, that's why...

Tristan watched as his beloved friend's gown drifted away, carried by the wind behind her and the soft seaside breeze that blew through at that moment. He was stunned himself. What had come over him? Why did he do that? She'd said he was with someone, just having trouble before--and he kissed her?! Though brief the kiss, and their lips had touched, it was unforgettable, only tainted by the embarrassment that followed. His cheeks flushed a deep red as he turned away, reaching up to wipe his mouth in shame. It wasn't to free himself from the memory of how sweet her lips were, but the fact that he was mortified by the grave mistake he'd just committed.

With a deep sigh, he brought himself to the railing and braced himself there, holding onto the cool metal with a tight grasp. He took a few deep breaths as he stared out onto the ocean. Even this gorgeous scenery, the overlook they had of the ocean, was not enough to distract him from the sight of Coraline's face as she stepped away. He truly fucked up this entire holiday, and quite possibly their relationship as he knew it--their friendship, that is since he crossed the one line they held sacred between each other since they were kids.

FUCK! He cursed at himself.

"Scusami, Signore Tr--"

Raising his hand, he silenced them at once. Tristan just wanted to be alone for a moment, to recuperate from the misstep that caused his the serenity in this blissful holiday to come crashing down on his already burdened shoulders. Shaking his head, he waved the musicians away, the cook and the housekeeper too, and he wasn't appeased until he'd been left completely alone, to think about what he'd done. He would resign to his chambers at some point, but right now he needed to keep whatever distance this small villa provided, to give her the space Tristan had inadvertently invaded because of his god damn impulses.

You damn idiot...

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