Grantaire crosses the Great Hall and flops down in the seat next to Jehan. A couple of Jehan’s fellow Ravenclaws make mildly disapproving noises and turn pointedly away, but they’re mostly used to Jehan’s motley collection of friends and admirers.
Jehan gives him a searching look. Then his face breaks out in a smile. ‘You’ve been snogging! Who was it?’ Grantaire chokes on his water and glances around. No-one seems to have heard. ‘How do you do that?’
Jehan smirks. Grantaire manages not to throttle him. ‘I knew it. Tell me, you know I’ll figure it out anyway.’ Grantaire shovels curry into his mouth and studiously doesn’t meet Jehan’s eye. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
‘It wasn’t Montparnasse again, was it? I understand the appeal, he’s an excellent kisser, but it’s not worth it.’
‘Eating. Not listening.’
‘Okay, he’s in the maybe pile. Uhm, ooh, I know, that cute Hufflepuff with the adorable nose?’ He peers into Grantaire’s face. ‘No, it’s someone we know, isn’t it?’ He grabs Grantaire’s chin in one hand so that they’re almost nose-to-nose. Then his eyes widen. ‘No way.’
Grantaire wrenches his head free. He can’t possibly know. Not even Jehan is that good. On the bench next to him, Jehan is doing a little dance. Several Ravenclaws edge their plates away. ‘I’m right, aren’t I? I’m so right. Oh, this is great.’
‘I can neither confirm nor deny’, says Grantaire weakly, ‘given that I don’t have a clue what you’re on about.’
‘I am!’ Jehan shrieks, and yep, people are definitely looking. Grantaire resists the urge to drown himself in his own curry.
‘Fine’, he grits out. ‘Fine, yes, you’re right, whatever, just please, shhhh.’
Jehan swivels round in his chair to look at Enjolras, who’s sitting at the Slytherin table. He elbows Grantaire hard in the ribs. ‘Is that a hickey?’
‘What?’ Trust Jehan to be able to spot a hickey at forty feet.
‘There’s a sight I never thought I’d see.’ Jehan tilts his head. ‘Nice placement. Very caveman of you.’
‘I didn’t do it on purpose’, says Grantaire into his hands.
‘Well, anyway, it suits him. With a bit of practice, maybe you’ll be able to spell out ‘Property Of Grantaire’. Though you might need more room.’
‘I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.’ Grantaire casts about for a change of subject. ‘What about you, anyway? I haven’t seen you with anyone since Courfeyrac’s party, and that was months ago.’
Jehan’s smile fades a little. ‘That’s because there’s nothing to tell.’
‘Please. When has there ever been nothing to tell? There’s somebody, isn’t there? And what, they don’t like you back? I refuse to believe that.’ Jehan says nothing. ‘Who is this guy? I’ll beat him up for you.’
‘No, you won’t.’ Jehan’s voice is sharp. Then he sags. Grantaire touches Jehan’s cheek and Jehan leans into the touch, nuzzling his palm. He sighs. ‘It’s Combeferre.’
Grantaire can’t help but be taken aback. ‘Really? I would never have-’
‘I know’, mewls Jehan miserably. ‘And I can’t just, you know, bend over in front of him, or suck a Sugar Quill. I am weaponless, Grantaire. He is immune to my wiles.’
‘Like fuck he is.’ Grantaire refuses to stand for this. No-one is immune to Jehan’s wiles. No-one. Jehan’s List is longer even than Grantaire’s. ‘Have you tried the Sex Jeans?’ Jehan nods. ‘Jesus Christ. Nothing? What is wrong with the man? Does he not know a truly spectacular arse when it’s staring him in the face?’
Jehan preens. ‘It is a nice arse.’ Then he puts his head down on his arms and wails. ‘Why isn’t it working? How can my arse have failed me?’
‘Erm.’ There is a cough from behind Grantaire. He turns to see Enjolras, who is looking distinctly uncomfortable. ‘Am I interrupting something?’
Jehan’s head shoots up. He smiles at Enjolras, a smile almost blindingly innocent yet somehow suggestive. Grantaire is very proud of Enjolras for holding his ground. ‘Not at all.’ He winks at Grantaire and pecks him on the cheek. ‘Have fun.’
Enjolras grabs his hand as they walk towards the great doors of the Hall. Jehan’s eyes flick over their clasped hands and he smiles hugely and mouths Well done! For once in his life, Grantaire feels pretty fucking pleased with himself.