The grounds of the castle were undeniably beautiful and it was even more pronounced in the Spring and Summer months, it was just a shame that when their surroundings were at their most beautiful it was also the most stressful time for most students.
Drawing closer to the end of the school year meant finals and exams were just around the corner, the older students often finding themselves spending unprecedented amounts of time studying when they would usually be using the time to spend with friends. Some managed to make it work as best they could though, Crystal and her group of friends worked together to help each other cram as much as they could for the exams, although sometimes it devolved into Jackie having to run through entire lessons worth of notes for some of them.
Today was a slightly different set up than usual, with the brighter weather coming in Jan insisted that they study outside instead of in the library or one of the girls common rooms, her reasoning being that ‘they couldn’t just waste away inside the damn castle’. The others, of course, relented to the blonde with none of them able to bring themselves to tell her no and dampen her sunny disposition.
That’s how they found themselves sitting under the shade of a large tree near the black lake with books and parchment covering the grass between them. Jackie was pouring over her Ancient Runes homework with Jan’s head in her lap as the blonde read through her girlfriends notes on Potions, hoping to get at least Exceeds Expectations on their 6th year practice exams for next year's N.E.W.T’s. Jaida was sat across from Heidi, quizzing the soft spoken girl on the everyday uses for uncommon charms as Professor Flitwick had recommended she take some extra time on her reasons for her answers. Crystal however sat with her back against the trunk of the tree casually working on a drawing in her sketchbook whilst the group waited for Gigi and Nicky to arrive, the three witches planning to work on some Transfiguration together.
The two girls had been encouraged to attend an extra potions lesson that Professor Slughorn had offered for his Slytherin students, practically insisting that if they had a free period they should attend as he would love for Slytherin to stay on the top for grades in his class. Neither of the blondes had much to worry about when it came to their grades but still thought it better to show face rather than hear later how sad their head of house was to miss them.
Crystal continued to work away on her artwork, deciding to draw the landscape in front of her. The redhead loved Hogwarts, loved being a witch but if there was one thing she wished it was that there were more options for creative subjects at this wizarding school, she wasn’t the only one either, there were many other students who felt the same way. The interest from a significant number of students ended up making Professor McGonagall create an arts programme that students could opt in for as they wished, Crystal had signed up as soon as she’d heard about it being one of the most enthusiastic in the class.
One of her classmates, a boy named Michael, made his way across the grass towards the group with his own sketchbook in hand, waving to Crystal as he walked. The Hufflepuff smiled and waved back to the boy, she liked Michael, well she liked mostly everyone, trying her best to find the good and positive things in all the people around her. The Ravenclaw boy was quite quiet, mostly keeping to himself and his small group of friends but had taken quite a shine to Crystal, she assumed it was due to being fellow art kids and she was always happy to make a new friend.
When he reached the group he politely greeted everyone, reserving a slightly warmer greeting for Jackie since they were housemates and a much warmer one for Crystal as he grinned at her.
“Hey Mike, what’s up?”
He shuffled his feet nervously, “hey… I was wondering if I could get your opinion on some art?”
“Sure man, what do you want to show me?” she was always excited to check out other people's art.
“Is there any way we could go over there” he asked nervously pointing a short distance away from the other girls “only… I… ummm…”
“Sure, sometimes I get shy showing people new work as well” she nodded sympathetically, the truth is that she didn’t mind showing all of her friends her work no matter how finished it was but she knew Michael was more reserved and their group could seem a little intimidating to him.
Leaving her own work next to the girls she followed the boy a few metres away, smiling as encouragingly as she could to help him not seem so nervous. Coming to a stop he shakily handed Crystal his sketchbook, encouraging her to open the first page, looking down to see a picture of herself staring back.
It was a simple charcoal drawing but he’d managed to capture her features incredibly well as the light source from the classroom window illuminated the left side of her face. She was lost in concentration with a pencil behind her ear and a paintbrush in her hand, she’s actually pretty sure she can remember what she was working on in the picture, It was so clear.
“This is amazing” she gushed as the boys cheeks reddened “like you really have a knack for capturing the light and shade, you shouldn’t be so nervous about showing people Mike, you’ve got serious talent.”
She was impressed, “have you got more?”
“No.. no.. that’s the only one in that book so far.”
“Bring another book to art tomorrow, i’d love to look at some more” she smiled at him before turning to head back to the group, Michael left standing confused.
“What did the shy boy want?” Nicky asked as she and Gigi arrived, setting themselves down next to the rest of the girls at the same time as Crystal.
“He wanted to show me a sketch, I think he was a little self conscious so he didn’t want to ask me about it in front of everyone” she told them, leaning in to place a kiss on Gigi’s cheek.
“What was the drawing of” the Slytherin asked conversationally, trying to pull her transfiguration textbook from her bag.
“Oh, it was me sitting in our art class” Crystal spoke, taking the bag from her girlfriend to help her out.
“Yeah, it was really good, he didn’t have any other sketches with him though so I’m hoping he’ll bring some to class tomorrow.”
“Hold on” Nicky piped up, her French accent becoming more pronounced as she held in laughter, “he dragged you away from everyone to show you a drawing he did of you?”
“Did he say anything?” Gigi asked, feeling the green eyed monster seeping into the edges of her mind.
“Not really” the redhead shrugged “I told him how impressed I was with the techniques he showed in the sketch and came back over here, why?”
“Because he’s still standing over there looking this way” Nicky giggled.
Crystal turned her head to catch Michael staring over at them, averting his gaze when he realized he’d been caught, “I wonder why he hasn’t gone yet” she mused, shrugging it off and going back to the book.
“We’ll find out in a second” Nicky snickered, seeing him make his way over from the side of her eye.
Gigi, not liking the way he looked at Crystal, looped her arm around her girlfriend's waist, the shorter girl oblivious to her intentions, curled closer into her side at the contact just loving the feeling of being close to her. Gigi smiled to herself before turning her gaze to stare down the boy approaching them.
“Yeah Mike?” she smiled encouragingly.
He shuffled, stumbling on his words as he tried to force them out before he panicked too much, “Do you… maybe… want to do some revision together sometime?”
Gigi tightened her hold, she really didn’t like this boy and was finding it incredibly difficult to hold her tongue but she did for Crystal, it wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t tell when someone was flirting with her. I mean it took years for them to get together partially because Crystal was hopeless at realizing someone had a crush on her and found her attractive and Gigi, at her own admission, was just kind of hopeless.
“You can come study with us if you want” Nicky couldn’t contain herself at her friend's response, hearing a muffled “child” from where Jaida sat.
“I actually meant just the two of us… like alone” his eyes flickered to meet Gigi’s intense gaze.
“If you want a study partner you’d be much better off asking Jackie” she grinned.
“N.. No.. what I mean-”
“Oh my fucking god” Jaida screamed from the other end of the group, “he’s trying to ask you on a date Crystal, why you gotta be so damn oblivious, and you” she pointed straight at the Ravenclaw boy “Mr dumbass, can’t you see that she’s gay and head over heels in love with the girl literally wrapped around her.”
Everyone turned to stare at her “what?” she replied indignantly as Nicky sprawled on the grass gasping for breath from laughing so hard, “bitch, someone had to step in.”
The boy stood frozen to the spot, his face beet red with embarrassment, he hadn’t intended to be called out in front of the group of girls, in fact he’d been hoping that Crystal would accept his offer to hang out alone before he even mentioned the word ‘date’. Yet here he was, frozen to the spot with seven pairs of eyes on him.
“Listen Michael, Jaida’s right, I’m gay, I have a girlfriend who I love and you know that I do” she was disappointed in her friend, she’d told him about Gigi on several occasions, often gushing about how lucky she was to call the blonde hers.
He looked like he was going to throw up, “well I thought…”
Nicky stood up, forcing herself to get over her laughing fit for the moment, “you thought that because they are two girls that you could come in and sweep Crystal off her feet and be her Mr right, knight in shining armour but that’s bullshit.”
Gigi was sure there was visible steam coming out of her ears, this guy knew that Crystal was taken and went after her anyway, she subconsciously tightened her grip even more earning a soft kiss on the cheek from Crystal letting her know that she was there.
“I think you should probably leave now Michael” Jackie's voice sounded from where she sat observing with Jan.
He looked like he wanted to argue but with a pointed look from his housemate he thought better of it and made his way back to the castle leaving the girls to talk about what just happened, most of the discussion being Jaida talking over the rest of them.
Gigi was quiet though, keeping her grip on Crystal as the girl turned in her arms to look her in the eyes directly.
“You okay baby?” The Hufflepuff whispered, not wanting to bring too much attention to them from their rowdy friends.
Looking into those eyes she loved so much she couldn’t help but nod, of course she was okay, Crystal was here in her arms, how could she not be? The redhead grinned up at her leaning in to place a gentle kiss on the Slytherin’s lips, not that she’d ever admit it, well at least not when they weren’t alone, but Crystal thought it was cute when Gigi got jealous.
When they separated the kiss Crystal decided to make it painfully obvious to anyone looking that she was taken so that they couldn’t make the mistake of thinking she wasn’t completely in love with Gigi Goode. The redhead climbed into her girlfriend’s lap, retrieving the Transfiguration textbook from the ground so they could actually get started on what they were supposed to be doing today, with no plans of moving for the rest of the afternoon.