It was starting to get a little annoying, if he was being quite honest. He was getting a little frustrated and knew that he was going to start snapping soon, which he felt would’ve been entirely within his right.
“Come on, then. Give us a look.” Isaac leaned into him heavily, attempting to see over his shoulder as Derek tried valiantly to keep his parchment away from his friend. “Derek, it’s due in ten minutes, just a quick peek!”
“You’re not going to be able to peek during your NEWTs, you might as well start anticipating failure now.”
“That was harsh,” Isaac insisted with a small pout. “After all we’ve been through together.”
“All the detentions you got me, you mean.”
“Half of those were Erica,” Isaac argued, pointing to the girl in question, who was lazily turning pages in her book, head held up in one hand, and her boyfriend Boyd pointedly ignoring them.
Derek just rolled his eyes and kept his parchment hidden away from Isaac. Really, it was his own fault for not having worked on it sooner, he knew how strict McGonagall was. He should’ve known better.
Isaac was still trying to fight him for his homework, Derek managing to keep it to himself mostly, when he heard someone say his name. He turned and saw their Head of House, Professor Sprout, waving him over from the other end of the library.
Wrenching his homework away from Isaac, he rolled it up and gathered his books, telling them he’d see them in class, and then headed for Sprout. She smiled at him as he approached, and then motioned out of the library.
He followed without a word, a part of him wondering if maybe he’d done something wrong, but he knew that couldn’t be right. Isaac often got them both in trouble, but it was never anything that he worried would get him expelled. Whatever Sprout wanted, it was likely nothing.
He followed her outside the library and she asked what his next class was before slowly heading in that direction. He figured she wanted to speak with him while making sure he wasn’t late for class.
“How are your studies going?” She asked kindly while they meandered slowly through the corridors.
“They’re fine, I think. Just trying to focus on the harder courses so I’m ready to take my NEWTs in the spring.”
Sprout looked at him fondly. “I remember your first day here as if it were yesterday. I can’t believe you’re already seventeen, in your final year. You were such a quiet little one, it’s amazing how far you’ve come.”
Derek tried to squash the embarrassed flush creeping up the back of his neck. He had always liked Professor Sprout, and he remembered being extremely pleased when he got sorted into Hufflepuff. He hadn’t ever felt like he suited any of the other houses, and he actually liked being in Hufflepuff a lot, even if he was stuck rooming with Isaac, who literally did everything in his power to get them in trouble.
Derek’s immediate family was actually one of the only ones who’d hit all four houses, none of them having been sorted into the same one.
His mother had been in Ravenclaw when she’d been coming to Hogwarts, and after having married their father—who was a muggle, and extremely patient for being stuck in a house with four magic users—they had had three children.
The eldest, Laura, had been sorted into Gryffindor. When she was in her second year, Derek had arrived and been sorted into Hufflepuff. Two years later, with Derek a third year and Laura a fourth year, their youngest sister Cora had started her first year and been sorted into Slytherin.
One family, four houses. Derek felt like he got the best deal.
“I’ve a favour to ask of you,” Spout said after another bout of silence.
“All right,” Derek said, frowning slightly at his professor.
They stopped at the end of the corridor in one of the open areas. People were talking and milling about, some of them heading for their next class while others headed for the Great Hall or the library.
“I’ve got a student in my Herbology class. Brilliant student, very talented, but it seems he’s expressed concerns with professor Flitwick about his struggles with Transfiguration. He’s concerned he won’t pass his OWLs and get into the classes he needs for sixth year.” She smiled sadly. “He’s a good lad, just easily distracted. Professor Flitwick said the student mentioned speaking to professor McGonagall about her best seventh year student, and she told him that it was you. I was wondering if you might be so kind as to help him with his studies this year. I know you have your exams to consider in the spring, but look at it as additional revision. Everything he needs for his OWLs, you will also likely need to review for your NEWTs.”
Tutor? Derek wasn’t exactly the best person to be tutoring someone else. He was grumpy and quiet and impatient. He hated slackers, despised skivers, and mostly liked to just stick to his own group of friends.
If he agreed to this, then he would be missing out on a lot of time with Isaac, Erica and Boyd.
Well, maybe not Isaac, since they roomed together.
But at the same time, everyone knew he wanted to go into teaching. Some of the professors at Hogwarts were going to retire in the next few years, and Derek was interested in seeing if he could get one of the teaching positions. Dumbledore wouldn’t even consider him if he didn’t show he could do this. Tutoring would be a good stepping stone to teaching.
And Sprout was right, tutoring someone else would help him study at the same time, so it wasn’t a terrible idea.
“Sure,” he finally said. “I can try for a bit.” He figured if the guy didn’t work hard enough or sassed Derek, he could always just drop him.
“Great. He’s a Ravenclaw fifth year named Mieczyslaw Stilinski, but everyone calls him Stiles.”
Derek almost groaned but managed to refrain. He knew the name, mostly from Cora. They were close friends, but the Hale siblings all did their own thing in school, so he didn’t really know Stiles, he just knew of Stiles.
He also remembered the first time he’d met him. It had been on the Hogwarts Express, when Derek and his friends had chosen a compartment on the train and had gotten settled. Halfway through the trip, the wall between Derek and Erica’s heads exploded, a hole forming connecting their compartment with the neighbouring one. When Derek had angrily put his face into the opening to tell off the moron who’d done it, he was greeted by a howling Cora, a terrified dark-haired first year, an annoyed redhead and a grinning Stiles holding a wand.
He’d angrily snapped for him to watch what he was doing before he took someone’s head off, and then had been forced to listen to the idiotic conversations from the next compartment over for the remainder of the trip, since the giant hole in the cabin wall made it impossible for them to keep their two compartments separate conversation-wise.
Of course, he should’ve figured Cora would stay friends with him. Despite her being sorted into Slytherin, and Stiles being sorted into Ravenclaw, they were like two peas in a pod and it drove Derek crazy because all he ever heard when they went home was Stiles this, Stiles that, Stiles is so amazing. Laura had teased her for a few years about them being together, and Cora insisted it wasn’t like that. It hadn’t been until this past summer, when Laura had been particularly nasty in her teasing, that Cora had shouted, “Fuck off, Laura, Stiles is fucking gay!”
He knew she hadn’t meant to blurt it out, because she looked horrified with herself for having done so, but it didn’t end up being a problem since Stiles had basically announced it earlier that year. Cora had probably come clean and Stiles had figured it would be best to say so himself before it spread on its own.
Which was ridiculous because who was Derek going to tell? Literally no one. He’d have to care enough about Stiles to talk about him to other people.
He focussed back on Sprout, who was staring at him with concern, and cleared his throat.
“Sorry, yes professor. I’ll touch base with him in the morning and do what I can.”
“Excellent.” Sprout grinned. “I’ll inform professor Flitwick. He can let Stiles know to expect you in the morning.”
Derek nodded, bid the woman farewell, and headed off to class where he knew Boyd, Erica and Isaac would be meeting him.
He could do this for a little while. If Stiles ended up being as idiotic at his tutoring as he was in general, Derek would just drop him and tell him to figure his own shit out.
No big deal.
“What do you know about Stiles?” Derek asked Boyd while they headed for breakfast the next morning. Isaac and Derek had left the Hufflepuff dormitory early and headed in the direction of the Great Hall, but Derek had wanted to meet up with Boyd first because once Erica showed up, it’d be impossible for them to speak.
Namely because the Slytherin would attach her face to Boyd’s and try and suck the oxygen right out of his lungs. Derek still didn’t know how a Slytherin and Ravenclaw had gotten together, but he didn’t dwell on it. Erica was great, even if she was annoying.
“He’s smart,” Boyd said in his low, deep voice. “Good kid. Causes a lot of trouble, which loses us house points, but he also almost always earns double back for us.”
It was true. Gryffindor and Ravenclaw seemed to be neck and neck for the house cup more often than not since Stiles’ arrival, though his friend Lydia helped, too. They were both eager beavers, and both in Ravenclaw.
“Isn’t your sister best friends with him?” Isaac asked. “Why don’t you just ask her?”
“Because it would mean talking to her.”
“You’re a right wanker,” Isaac said with a grin, the three of them heading for the Great Hall. They’d barely reached it when Erica appeared and, as predicted, she latched herself onto Boyd and they snogged in the doorway while he and Isaac just headed inside. They’d have to split for the tables anyway.
“Save me a spot,” Derek said, heading away from Hufflepuff and towards Ravenclaw instead.
It was easy to spot Stiles, because he was the most animated person at the table, and had a group of fangirls around him, sighing wistfully with their chins in their hands, staring at him with practical hearts in their eyes.
Derek didn’t get it. Especially since everyone knew he wasn’t into girls, but he figured they were just hopeful.
He walked right up behind him and interrupted him mid-sentence.
The student in question cut himself off and turned, staring up at Derek and grinning. “Hey Derek! What brings you here?”
“Sprout said she’d tell Flitwick,” he insisted grumpily. “I’m your tutor for Transfiguration.”
“Tutor?” Lydia asked, having been reading beside Stiles while eating her breakfast. “What on earth do you need a tutor in Transfiguration for? Aren’t—”
“Tell the whole school, why don’t you?” Stiles cut off, hissing the words at her while scrambling out of his seat on the bench and motioning for Derek to follow him away from the table. Sighing internally, he followed him to a more secluded area. Stiles crossed his arms defensively, shifting his weight and eying Derek.
“Thanks, I guess. For helping. Um, what time works for you?”
“I’ve got Quidditch practice on Tuesdays after five. Do you have any activities?”
“Nope, I’m cool with only one type of ball flying at my face.” His eyes widened at his own words and he rubbed at his face with both hands. “Ignore I said that.”
“With pleasure,” Derek grit out. “We can set up a schedule for you. How about a few hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Meet in the library after supper and I can help you for a few hours.”
“Sure.” Stiles half-smiled. “Sounds good. So, today too, then?”
“No time like the present.” Derek turned to leave, but Stiles grabbed his sleeve and tugged lightly.
“Derek?” He turned back to him. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
“Just don’t waste my time.”
Derek moved away from him once more and headed for his table. He found Isaac easily enough and took the empty seat beside him, the other chatting away at him the moment he sat down. He ignored him for the most part and went about eating his breakfast.
After they’d all finished eating, they headed off to their various classes. Derek saw Stiles a bit ahead of him, along with Lydia. They met up quickly with Cora, and another boy from Gryffindor, whom Stiles immediately put into a chokehold just for fun.
The kid was an idiot. He was still a child, despite being a fifth year, and apparently failing a class, which was ridiculous. How Boyd could insist he was smart, Derek had no idea. There were much harder courses than Transfiguration.
They reached their first class relatively quickly, and took their various seats. Derek spent a majority of the day trying to plan the study schedule for Stiles. He paid attention to his lessons, and took notes, of course, but there were some parts of the lessons he already knew extremely well and he used that time to try and organize his thoughts.
The day passed quickly, and after he finished with supper, he bid his friends farewell and headed back to the dorm to grab some of his books, then went to the library.
Stiles was already waiting for him, books open in front of him and the Ravenclaw taking notes on a piece of parchment. Derek had to at least give him credit for looking like he was trying.
Wandering over to him, he dropped his own books across from him, Stiles jumping before glancing up. He grinned when he saw Derek, straightening and putting his quill down.
“Let’s get one thing straight,” Derek said while taking a seat. “I’m doing this as a favour to professor Sprout, nothing more. If you slack off, if you don’t show any improvement, and if you waste my time, I’ll drop you and leave you to fail your OWLs, understand? I only have a few months before my own exams, and I won’t waste time on a hopeless cause.”
Stiles seemed a little startled at his words, but he just nodded emphatically, saluting Derek.
“Yes sir, Derek sir! Understood. Shall we begin?”
Derek grunted and asked Stiles what chapters he was struggling with. The first night of tutoring had mostly just been Derek trying to figure out what Stiles needed help with, and taking notes on his various errors and grades—the ones Stiles remembered, anyway. Derek suggested they try some practice wand movements, but Stiles had immediately dismissed that and reminded Derek of the hole in the compartment wall.
Derek didn’t want to lose his eyebrows, so he agreed perhaps the practice could come later and to focus on the academic side first.
All in all, it had been a good lesson. Stiles had been attentive, though he fidgeted a lot, playing with his quill, tapping his fingers, jerking his legs up and down. It was clear sitting still wasn’t his forte, but he’d listened to everything Derek had said, and when the Hufflepuff told him he was assigning homework he expected done for the following day, Stiles had just nodded and agreed without complaint.
After three and a half hours, he decided it had been long enough and they began packing away their things.
“Thank Derek,” Stiles said with a huge grin. “I appreciate your help.”
“Sure,” Derek replied, watching Stiles walk away with a bounce in his step. He just rolled his eyes and gathered his own things, getting to his feet. He turned and almost walked right into Cora, who was standing right behind him, glaring with her arms crossed.
“What are you doing?”
“What does that mean?” Derek demanded, side-stepping her and beginning to head for the exit. She kept up right behind him, poking him insistently in the back.
“I mean what are you doing? Why were you hanging out with Stiles?”
“I wasn’t ‘hanging out’ with your friend,” Derek snapped, turning to glare over his shoulder. Was she worried that Stiles would drop her for him or something? “I was tutoring him.”
“Tutoring him? You?”
“Something wrong with that?” he demanded while they exited the library, Cora moving so they were walking side by side now.
“Why on earth would you be tutoring Stiles? In what class?”
“Transfiguration?” Cora echoed. “You?”
“Is there an echo in here? Yes, Cora, I’m tutoring him in Transfiguration. Sprout came to me saying he needed help, and I’ve got the best grades in my year for McGonagall’s class, so I was asked to help him out so he didn’t fail his OWLs.”
Cora frowned at him, looking thoughtful. “Huh.”
She turned down another corridor without explanation and Derek just chalked it up to her being worried he was stealing her friend. Cora didn’t have very many, mostly just the same group Stiles hung out with. Stiles himself seemed to be fairly popular, so he always had people around, but he seemed to prefer the company of Cora, Lydia and his Gryffindor friend. If Cora thought Derek was encroaching on her territory, she would be a pain in his ass to deal with.
Derek didn’t hear from Cora again, and when he saw her with Stiles the next day before breakfast, they seemed perfectly normal. The only change was that it looked like Cora was teasing him a lot more than usual, and his face would go pink before he batted away at her. Derek didn’t pay them any mind after that, going back to Isaac’s inane chatter and eventually leaving the Great Hall for class.
When he went back to tutoring Stiles that evening, he found he’d done his homework, as requested, and was somewhat surprised at some of his answers. He hadn’t done horribly, but he hadn’t done great, either. Derek spent a majority of the evening explaining the part where he’d gone wrong and Stiles took meticulous notes, nodding along and listening attentively. They parted around nine, Stiles grinning broadly and thanking him before gathering his things and exiting the library.
This continued on for close to a month, and Derek found Stiles was improving little by little, which was really rewarding for him, because he was obviously making a difference. He still got frustrated at some of the insane errors Stiles made, but he fought for patience and just explained them to him again.
By the second month, Stiles was improving further, but had also gotten a bit chattier. When Derek set him up with some worksheets to do, which would allow Derek to still tutor him while also doing some of his own homework, Stiles had started speaking to him.
He never said anything interesting, mostly just asked him questions about his plans for the future, what courses he was taking, what life was like living with Cora, things like that. He asked him about weekend plans a lot, and Derek assumed it was because he wanted to study some during the weekend, but Derek needed time to study and do homework, too, so he always responded as such.
It was weird listening to Stiles speak sometimes though, and despite his better judgement one day, Stiles said something that reminded Derek of Erica and Cora, and he said,
“You really sound like you should’ve been in Slytherin.”
Stiles looked pleased to have Derek engaging in conversation and had leapt on it, quickly saying, “You know, the Sorting Hat actually wanted to put me in Slytherin. It really, really did, but my best friend from back home, Scott, well he ended up in Gryffindor. He got sorted before me, so that was a done deal.” Stiles drummed his fingers against the table while he spoke. “It’s a known fact that people sorted between Slytherin and Gryffindor, even if they arrive as friends, they always leave as enemies.” Stiles shrugged. “I didn’t want to leave Hogwarts having lost my best friend, so I kept telling the Hat 'nope, nope, not going to Slytherin, you can put me anywhere but there, I don’t care, you can even put me in fucking Hufflepuff if you want'.”
Derek glared at him for that comment but Stiles just grinned, clearly teasing, and continued.
“It eventually gave up and put me in Ravenclaw.”
Now that Derek thought about it, he actually did remember Stiles taking a while to be sorted. It was probably because the Hat had been adamant that he’d do well in Slytherin but Stiles kept insisting he didn’t want that.
“Do you really think you and your friend would’ve ended your friendship just because of the houses you’re in?”
“You should see Cora and Scott go at it,” Stiles insisted, eyebrows shooting up. “If Lydia and I weren’t there to mediate, I’m pretty sure they’d have killed each other by now. It makes me sad, but as long as I get to keep them both as friends, that’s what really matters to me.” He shrugged again, then grinned. “But don’t tell anyone about the Hat’s accuracy, okay?”
Derek snorted. “Oh yeah. You definitely should’ve been in Slytherin.”
“Why do you think Cora and I get along so well?” Stiles winked at him and Derek snorted, then they went back to what they were doing.
He found as time passed that he didn’t mind Stiles so much. He was a little loud and rambunctious at times, but still funny and very kind. He’d started bringing by various Quidditch related items once a week when he’d found out who Derek’s favourite team was. His mother apparently used to work for the Ministry of Magic in the Department of Magical Games and Sports, so he had connections with most of the teams in the league. He often brought by either things from Derek’s favourite team, or various good luck charms for when games were around the corner.
Derek thought it was extremely kind of him, and when his mother had sent over some home-made sweets, he’d brought them to the tutoring session and offered some to Stiles.
“Aw, yes!” Stiles had instantly grabbed a handful of treats, shoving them into his mouth. “Dude, your mother makes the best cookies!”
It hadn’t occurred to Derek that Stiles would’ve already been exposed to his mother’s baking, but he was friends with Cora, so he should’ve figured.
Halfway through the second month of sessions, Derek was in the process of correcting Stiles’ worksheet while the other drummed absently on the table, looking around. He was doing better, but still not as good as Derek had been hoping.
“So,” Stiles said while Derek’s quill scratched away, “I was wondering, are you doing anything this weekend?”
“No,” Derek said, pleased when he saw Stiles answer one of the sections he’d previously been struggling with correctly. “Studying, probably.”
“Oh, cool. Cool.” Stiles’ hands drummed a little louder, causing the librarian to shush him. He mouthed an apology, Derek letting out a small laugh. Stiles was silent for a moment, then continued. “So. Uh, it’s a Hogsmeade weekend. I was uh, I was thinking—”
“Is it?” Derek asked, interrupting him without entirely meaning to, his mind half on what he was correcting and half on the conversation. “I wouldn’t know, I don’t go to Hogsmeade.”
“Oh, right.” He glanced up when he heard Stiles’ voice seem to deflate, but the other propped it back up and grinned at him when he saw Derek looking. “Yeah, of course. You’re a seventh year, you’ve probably been like, a bazillion times.” Stiles laughed and rubbed awkwardly at his arm.
Derek just went back to what he was grading, finishing up and handing it back to Stiles to look over. It was getting late, so he said they could go through everything on Monday when they had their next session and Stiles nodded.
He smiled and thanked Derek like he always did, but he didn’t look as bright and excited as he usually did when he left him. Derek frowned at his retreating back, then shrugged and started packing away his things. Someone slid into the seat across from him, and he looked up to see Erica there, giving him a look.
“You’re an idiot. He was trying to ask you out.”
Derek blinked at her, surprised, and wondered how long she’d been there. He saw books in her hand, and figured she’d been looking for something for one of her classes.
“No, he wasn’t,” he insisted, finishing up with his things but not standing, since Erica was still giving him a look.
“Derek, he was totally asking you out.”
“Trust me, he wasn’t. He asks me about my weekends all the time.”
“Then he’s either clued in to your stupidity, or really bad at taking no for an answer, because I can tell that kid is crazy about you.” Erica flipped some hair over her shoulder, then grabbed her books. “I can ask Cora, if you want.”
“No,” Derek said sharply. “He’s not into me, don’t be stupid.”
“You’re the stupid one, but if you say so.” Erica shrugged and stood. “Boyd and I are going to Hogsmeade, by the way. Isaac has detention. Hope studying is more interesting than a date with Stiles.”
“It wasn’t a date invitation!” Derek insisted after her when she walked away. The librarian shushed him angrily and he winced, turning back to his things and gathering them up before standing to head back to the Hufflepuff dormitory.
Derek slept badly that night because his brain wouldn’t turn off. He couldn’t stop thinking about what Erica had said, but it seemed insane to consider. Stiles was extremely popular, and not only in his own house. Yes, Derek knew he was gay, but he felt certain that if Stiles was interested in him, he would’ve been a lot more direct in asking him out. Stiles had nothing to worry about, he was more coveted than Derek was, and everyone knew Derek didn’t discriminate.
He’d dated a girl in first year, two different guys in third year, and had alternated between both genders for a majority of his time at Hogwarts. He wasn’t as popular as Stiles, but Derek knew he was attractive. He usually got involved with people because they thought he was good looking, and then they got tired of his prickly personality and dropped him. Which he was fine with, really, because if he was going to be with someone, they had to be able to put up with him whether he was in a good mood or not.
Stiles seemed to be pretty good at that, though. No matter what kind of mood Derek was in, Stiles always stuck around. Even nights where Derek knew he was being intolerable and insisted they cut things short so he didn’t say anything he’d regret, Stiles insisted it was fine and stuck it out, despite Derek’s terrible attitude.
“Hey Isaac,” Derek asked while they headed for class the next day. “Do you think Stiles likes me?”
“Probably, nobody can stand to spend that much time with you otherwise.”
Derek gave Isaac an annoyed look, but didn’t say anything. They just sat down in their Transfiguration class and took notes as always. They had a few practice sessions throughout the course of the lesson and Derek realized one of the items they were working on was the same one Stiles had been struggling with a few days ago but now seemed to have improved on.
When class ended, he hadn’t exactly meant to linger, but he found himself packing up more slowly than usual and he waved for Isaac to head out without him. When the class was empty save himself and McGonagall, he headed over to her hesitantly and stopped in front of her desk.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Hale?” she asked, lowering her glasses slightly and looking at him over them.
“I was just—I was wondering if you could tell me how Stiles is doing,” he said cautiously.
“Why, may I ask, would you like to know?”
“Well, I’ve been tutoring him for the past two months, and he’s really improved lately, so I was just curious how he’s been in your classes since we started.”
McGonagall was silent for a while, staring at him, then pulled her glasses off and said, “What are you talking about, Hale? Why would Mr. Stilinski need a tutor for my class, he’s got the highest grade in the entire school in Transfiguration.”
Derek stared at her for a long while, and found it somewhat comical that a small part of him had expected this to happen. Ever since Erica’s comment the night before, he’d remembered the way Lydia had reacted when Derek had wandered over to tell him their tutoring schedule. He remembered Cora’s incredulous reaction to the same news, and how she’d wandered away without a word. Even Boyd had said Stiles was smart when he’d asked him about him.
Stiles didn’t need tutoring at all. He was just using that as an excuse to spend time with Derek.
Holy shit, Erica was right! Stiles liked him!
“Forgive me, but can I ask you how Stiles is doing academically overall?” Derek asked.
McGonagall leaned back in her seat, eying him for a few moments, then said, “It’s not appropriate for me to share another student’s grades, but I feel comfortable telling you that Stiles is one of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever seen come through these doors. Every few years we encounter a student with exceptional skills, and Stiles is definitely at the top of the list. He wants to be an Auror, like his father. I dare say he won’t have any problems achieving that goal.”
Derek felt like a fucking idiot.
“Thank you, professor.”
She nodded, put her glasses back on, and went back to whatever she was doing.
Derek left the classroom, feeling stupid and almost angry. Stiles had essentially been wasting his time with this stupid tutoring business. Sure, it was good for Derek, because he was studying a lot while tutoring him, but if Stiles was so fucking smart, surely there were other ways for him to get Derek’s attention?!
He walked right into someone in his anger, and heard a shout. Grabbing at the arm of who he’d almost knocked over, he scowled angrily when he noticed it was Cora. She glared back, peeling Derek’s fingers off her arm and turning to gather her fallen books.
“Walk much?” she demanded.
“How long have you known Stiles likes me?” he blurted out.
Cora froze for a moment, then slowly turned her head to look at him. She eyed him warily, then finished gathering her things and stood, sighing.
“Look, Derek, it might have escaped your notice, but people have known about his crush on you for two years.”
Two years?! What?!
“He’s tried getting your attention in the past. He tried to talk to you a few times on the train, or at Quidditch games, but you always just brushed him off as that moron who’d blown a hole in the compartment wall in his first year. When I found out you were tutoring him, I went to ask him what the hell he was doing, because Stiles is a fucking genius. He just said that, to date, it was the only way he’d gotten you to talk to him.” She shrugged. “He wasn’t trying to be malicious or anything, he just wanted to spend time with you. You wouldn’t give it to him, so he found another way to do it. He told me he was asking around with the professors on who their best student in their classes were for the seventh years, and McGonagall was the first one to say it was you. So he went to Flitwick and said he was having trouble with Transfiguration, and obviously that wasn’t going to work for Flitwick because Stiles is his favourite, so he went to see Sprout to ask about getting you to tutor him since Stiles told him he’d spoken to McGonagall and she’d recommended you.” Cora shrugged. “You have to give him credit, he wanted this bad enough he risked the professors talking to one another and finding out he was full of shit.” She punched him lightly in the arm. “Give him a chance. He’s awesome, and you’d love him if you just stopped seeing him as the idiot who blew a hole in the wall.”
“He invited me to Hogsmeade,” Derek said with a small scowl.
“He told me. You said no. Shocker.”
Derek glared at her and she just rolled her eyes.
“I didn’t know it was supposed to be a date.”
“Well, now you do. And now you know what lengths he went to in order for you to just talk to him.” She shrugged again and started walking backwards. “Just give him a chance, would you? Stiles is amazing, and he’d be good for you. And hey, maybe he can tutor you in your shitty classes.”
Derek threw a book at her but she just ducked and laughed, running away from him before he could do any real damage.
Derek was still mad the entirety of the day, but the more he ranted about it to Erica, Isaac and Boyd, the more he realized that he honestly hadn’t noticed how hard Stiles had been trying to get his attention. His friends remembered, though, and were quick to give him all kinds of examples of things that he hadn’t even remembered happening.
The year before, he’d gotten an incredibly amazing and thoughtful Valentine’s from an anonymous source. He hadn’t asked anyone if they knew who it was from, figuring whoever it was would’ve told him by now, but Boyd admitted that he’d known it was Stiles because he’d seen him working on it in the common room. He hadn’t said anything because Derek had never asked, and he figured it wasn’t his place to give away Stiles’ anonymity.
Erica reminded him of the insane Hufflepuff support their Quidditch games always had from the Ravenclaw stands, even when the games were being played against Ravenclaw house itself.
There were just little things that all of his friends had noticed about Stiles that Derek hadn’t even realized. The more they talked to him, the less angry he became and he realized Stiles truly did just want to talk to him, and Derek had never given him the time of day. Of course he’d had to resort to drastic measures, Derek was in his last year at Hogwarts, and that made this Stiles’ last chance. He probably thought Derek was incredibly dense for not realizing he liked him and, honestly, Derek himself did feel pretty dense.
When he woke up the next morning, he made sure to do so with plenty of time to get breakfast and head to the Entrance Hall. He changed quickly, ignored the snoring Isaac who was definitely late for detention, and went to grab some breakfast. He chatted with some of the other people in his house, and then headed for the doors when the Hogsmeade visits would start.
He was one of the first ones there, and he handed his permission slip to Filch without even looking at him. He headed down the stairs and waited at the bottom, feeling somewhat anxious and shoving his hands in his pockets.
It was getting a littler cooler out, but not enough to need more than a jumper, so he just shifted his weight from foot to foot to keep himself moving and kept an eye on everyone exiting the castle. After almost fifteen minutes, Derek saw Stiles walk out, talking animatedly to his Gryffindor friend Scott. Lydia and Cora were behind them, speaking quietly to one another, the four of them walking down the steps.
Cora saw him first and Derek tensed, expecting some kind of comment, but she just grinned happily and nudged Stiles, motioning Derek. When Stiles turned to look at him, Derek waved awkwardly and only felt better when Stiles turned almost embarrassingly red in the face. He said something to his friends, almost tripped the rest of the way down the stairs, and hurried over to where Derek was.
“Hey,” he said breathlessly, smiling brightly.
“Hi,” Derek replied. Before he could say anything else, Stiles continued.
“I’m sorry,” he blurted out. “About the tutoring thing. But I just didn’t know what else to do, and I figured that tutoring me would also help keep your brain active for your own courses, and it would help with your NEWTs and I mean, those are still so far off, we’re only just about to start our third month of classes, so—”
Derek reached out and covered Stiles’ mouth with one hand, making him stop speaking immediately.
“I was mad at first, but people helped put things into perspective.” He lowered his hand when it became clear Stiles wouldn’t start yammering again. “I’m sorry for how I treated you before. I guess I couldn’t get the image of the first year who blew a hole in the train out of my head.”
Stiles laughed awkwardly, rubbing the back of his head. “Yeah. Dad wasn’t too happy about that. He still brings it up when I try and argue how he’s lucky I’m such a great kid.”
Derek smiled slightly. “Well, I might bring it up, too, but I’m willing to spend a bit more time with you, if that’s what you’d like, though not as a tutor.”
“Yes!” Stiles nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, absolutely!”
“Great.” Derek motioned down the path with his elbow, hands in his pockets again. “Want to go to Hogsmeade?”
Stiles beamed at him and nodded, the two of them walking slowly down the path. Derek had no idea where this relationship was going, but as Stiles spoke animatedly about Quidditch and the ways to improve flight on an older model broom, he realized that he was more than willing to give Stiles a chance.
He may have lied, but he’d had good intentions. And he’d apologized.
Besides, Derek would never admit this aloud, but he’d kind of grown fond of his sister’s idiotic Ravenclaw friend.
By the time they reached Hogsmeade, their hands were linked together, and they both had ridiculous smiles on their faces.
Derek was okay with that.