Tom and Oliver are laying in Tom's bed, as they had done every year prior. The emerald green curtains are drawn, there's faint noises coming from the large window, barely-there, green tinged moonlight streaming in from under the waters of the Black Lake. Their dorms are quiet, only the faint sounds other boys getting settled in for the night disturbs the silence. Both of them have recently finished bathing and getting their nightclothes on: the full shirt and trousers for Tom, and only trousers for Oliver.
The two of them are settled in bed, Tom on his back, hands tucked under his head, gazing at the dark velvet cover draped over the four posters. The bed shook slightly as Oliver shivered, Tom looked over.
Oliver had been on his stomach, arms tucked under his pillow, thick, soft comforter pulled up, over his shoulders. Oliver scoots himself over, closer to Tom before turning himself and slotting his body beside Tom's perfectly, tucking his head under Tom's chin. Tom laid there, still, and allowed Oliver to fit himself however he pleased. Tonight, it was Oliver curling into his side, casting one leg over one of Tom's and tucking his ankle under Tom's shin, his arm splayed over Tom's chest, fingers gently beating a tempo over Tom's chest, other arm, curled and tucked neatly into Tom's side. Together, they shuffled around a bit, getting more comfortable. Eventually, Oliver slipped his hand under Tom's shirt and rested his hand on Tom's warm, soft belly.
"You do realize," Tom starts quietly. "That you would be so much warmer if you actually put clothes on."
"Oh, hush, Tom. I feel like my shirt is trying to suffocate me at night." Oliver started drawing little inconsistent shapes on Tom's belly.
Tom sighed contentedly, almost happily. He wound one arm under Oliver, his hand coming up, across his shoulder blades, to rest on his shoulder. Feeling how soft Oliver's skin was, he started gently stroking and rubbing his shoulder gently. "What do you do to make your skin so soft?" Tom asked quietly.
"Hmm?" Oliver mumbled, nearly asleep. He peeked his eyes open and looked up at Tom, a question in his gaze.
"I said, what do you do to make your skin so soft?" Tom repeated gently.
"Oh." Oliver yawned. "Bubble bath, there's this combination with the soaps that makes your skin and hair soft. Myrtle told me about it. I think she wants to be friends with me."
"Myrtle?" Tom was confused. There was no one in Slytherin house with that name.
"Ravenclaw girl, our year. I don't think she has many friends, and she's a bit annoying, but I like her. I think I'll give her a few days, see if we're compatible friends." Oliver paused. "What do you think, Tom?"
Tom sighed. "You know I don't like anyone from a different house. You'd be fraternizing with the enemy."
"Oh please, Tom." Oliver patted Tom's belly. "Ravenclaw House is almost exactly like us. Give them enough time, and they can be just as cunning."
"Well, I suppose it could be worse." Tom thought for a moment. "It could be Gryffindor." He smiled.
Oliver scoffed and shuddered hard. "I would never even be seen near them. It kills me to even be seated next them at a quidditch match."
Tom sighed and chuckled quietly. "There there, my dear friend. I won't let any of those lions touch you." He pulled Oliver closer to him, if that was at all possible.
Oliver giggled happily, high and bright and beautiful, slightly pushing away from Tom; there wasn't much space to be pulled into, and he didn't want to squash Tom.
They fell into a silence, Oliver's eyes falling closed after a few minutes. He shifted his head further into Tom's neck and drifted off.
Tom was staring at the velvet drape above his head, smiling slightly when he felt his friend relax against him in sleep. He brought his hand up to Oliver's hair and stroked it lightly, tangled his fingers in and clenched, knotting them together. He adored his friends blond curls, always free and falling in his face at every moment.
He enjoyed making his dear friend laugh and smile, and whenever he was sad, Tom would always try and cheer him up. Sometimes, however, he didn't quite know how to, and just started reading aloud out of a textbook, giving his sarcastic comments when something should be obvious ("Don't stick your fingers into a venomous tentacula's mouth.". "Oh, don't do it. Well, it would appear I've been doing it wrong.")
Eventually, he sighed heavily, allowing himself to relax once he knew, for certain, that all of his dorm mates were asleep. He rested his cheek against soft blond curls and closed his eyes. Then, sleep took him.
The next morning, Tom woke up alone. He was on his back, one arm on his stomach and the other spread out on the bed. When he felt the space where Oliver had been and found it to still be moderately warm.
It wasn't often Tom woke up late, but when it happened, Oliver was never far behind with an ambush. Of what, well, the ambush depended on the day and his mood.
Tom sat up and stretched, listening to his joints pop and crack ugly. He heard the telltale rustling of students getting dressed, and both groggy and decently awake morning greetings. He didn't hear Oliver, with his happy good morning chirp, however, and wondered for half a second where he might be before he shrugged slightly and pulled the curtains open.
Daylight filtered in, in a hazy green from the window, lighting up the dorm unobtrusively. Tom looked around, noting that all six of his dorm mates were awake, their curtains pulled aside and beds made halfheartedly. Tom stood, walked around to the other side of his bed and drew that set of curtains apart as well, as Oliver had left them closed that morning. He then set about making his bed with military precision, his years at the orphanage instilled this basic habit.
He then went to his trunk that sat at the foot of his shared bed and pulled out a set of clean robes, a perfectly folded tie, and something to wear underneath the robe-something spiffy, maybe; Oliver loved it when Tom was in spiffy clothes-and checked the small chest of drawers beside his bed to locate his Prefect badge. He set his clothes on his bed before returning to his trunk and grabbing his muggle toothbrush and a comb, heading to the washrooms and getting ready. Hair perfectly styled and mouth smelling and tasting of mint, he left the washroom and returned to his bed.
He suited himself rightly; buttoned his shirt to the top, tied his tie easily and perfectly without a mirror, and then buttoned his Slytherin vest and black dress trousers (shirt tails tucked neatly), looped his belt through the appropriate loops, socks and shoes; slipped his wand into his pocket; and picked up his badge, running his thumb over it idly to sweep off any invisible dust that may have accumulated over the night. Usually he ran his thumb over familiar raised letters, but today, something felt slightly off about them. He looked at the shiny silver in his hand, noting that, while it looked exactly the same at first glance, the letters were different. Instead of it saying "Prefect", it now spelled out "Ponce".
Tom shook his head fondly, a small smile slipping over his lips, knowing full well who the culprit is. Vaguely, he considered tapping his wand on it to correct the spelling, but decided against it. He'd just have to take a few points away when he next saw Oliver, and then give them right back for "astounding spell work, nearly perfect, Oliver." He snapped the badge in place, adjusted it slightly so it was level, deemed himself dressed, and left his dorm.
Entering the common room, his eyes started scanning the morning crowd for a mop of blond curls. The common room was nicely lit by the green sunlight coming from the windows. A great shadow passed over one of them; the giant squid was awake and moving about slowly and languidly, probably rising to the surface to sunbathe. Students were gathered here and there, chatting amongst each other in hushed morning tones, passing papers between themselves, scouring through textbooks and writing down a few words. Dozens of quills scratching against parchment filled the air noisily. There was an occasional cry of triumph when someone found the answer to their work in their books, and students from all different groups mingled together to find out what the answer was. Slytherin always tended to help with particularly difficult homework questions, and when the answer was glaringly obvious, only a galleon or so was charged.
Tom let his gaze drift over all of them, eyes searching for only one person. As soon as he located his blond mop, sitting in an emerald clothed, black wood Victorian couch in front of a window facing the abyss of the Black Lake, he walked over calmly, taking in the fact that Oliver was sitting with three of his friends. A female friend was seated next to him on the couch, a male in an arm chair close by, and the last, another female, on the stone floor, legs splayed out in front of her. They were kind enough people, Tom supposed, who seemed to enjoy Oliver's company as much as he enjoyed theirs.
As he approached, one of his friends gasped dramatically and snatched something out of Oliver's hands before pointing behind him. She was a darkly skinned, pure-blooded female with a buxom bosom held in by a blouse a size or two too small and had to he unbuttoned by four buttons to not be overly tight across her chest, shapely hips that held up a skirt too short to be regulation, and a tie that might have hidden something at some point but didn't now, smiled fakely in his direction.
Tom did the same to her.
Oliver looked over his shoulder, hair falling in his eyes in waves. He pushed his hair out of his eyes and beamed so brightly at Tom that he might have been lighting the common room up on his own. He turned to his dark friend and made a gesture to her that Tom couldn't decipher from his distance before returning to normal.
Tom snagged a candlestick from its place on a shelf, removed his wand swiftly and transfigured the candlestick into a silver ribbon. He passed it over once he stood behind Oliver, who took it and tied his hair up messily.
Tom sighed, pulled the ribbon from his friends hair and arranged it to perfection, even going so far as to tie the bow perfectly. Oliver's friends were watching the interaction with mild interest.
"Thank you, Tom!" Oliver said brightly.
"Of course, Oliver. Whatever would you do without me?" Tom joked.
"Personally, I think he'd be better off." Oliver's dark skinned friend commented. Tom, for the life of him, couldn't remember her name-not that he ever bothered to learn it in the first place.
Oliver gasped and gaped at her. "Andrea!" He smacked her thigh, the clap near deafening in the quiet common room. "You behave!"
Andrea (apparently) shrugged in a nonchalant manner.
Another of Oliver's friends, a tall, lanky mudblood boy with mousy brown, straw-like hair, and sickly-pale skin covered in freckles, stood up quickly. "I'll see you later, Oliver, Andrea, Guenevere. I've got some... things, I have to do... In the library."
Tom didn't like this one much; aside from his mudblood status, he was much too meek to ever make something of himself in Slytherin.
"Oh, I'll go with you, Robert. There's a book I'd like to look something up in, I've got a strange suspicion that it'll be there," Guenevere stood from her seat on the floor. She was a pretty, pure-blooded blonde who preferred trousers to skirts, was in the Slug Club with Tom, and was deviously smart; Tom believed she was the embodiment of true Ravenclaw and Slytherin spirit in every aspect-she would definitely go far in life.
Andrea passed her something, but it wasn't Tom's place to ask about it.
"O-okay." Robert said quietly.
"Alright, Robert, Guenevere. I'll see you at breakfast, yeah?" Oliver asked curiously.
"I-I... I don't know." Robert mumbled and hurried off through the entrance.
Guenevere smiled and waved before leaving herself.
Oliver turned to Tom. "Why do you always make my friends run away?"
"It's not my fault Robert's spineless. Blame his jellyfish parents." Tom shrugged.
Oliver smiled in exasperated amusement. He scooted over in his seat a bit to make barely any room for Tom to sit.
Tom remained standing.
Andrea rolled her eyes loudly at the display. "If you two are going to continue this way, I'm leaving before you do something dramatic," she stood and straightened out her skirt and tie.
Tom flicked his wand at her, and her skirt lengthened, her shirt enlarged and buttoned properly, and her tie re-tied itself into a perfect full-Windsor. "Please keep your uniform within regulation, or you'll force me to give you a demerit."
"Why not give me a detention?" Andrea asked, pouting her pretty, full lips at him.
"Because, dear friend of Oliver's, I don't have that kind of power. You see," he leaned toward her, "I'm not a professor. Not yet, at least."
"Oh, Merlin's pants!" Andrea shrieked. "I shudder at the mere thought of you becoming a professor! What will those poor, unfortunate students of tomorrow do!"
"Andrea!" Oliver shouted. He stood quickly, and Tom took notice of the fact that his shirt tails were still poking out of the back of his trousers... And that he forgot his robe. Oliver certainly was useless without him. "Please, be nice to my friends! You have a problem with Tom, and I acknowledge that. Now please acknowledge that I happen to like Tom; he keeps me warm and fixes my hair all nice and pretty-"
"And I fold your ties." Tom interjected softly. He took Oliver's seat on the couch, only knowing that Oliver would curl into him later.
"And he folds my ties!" Oliver finished. "Please, Andrea. Just be nice to him while I'm around, yeah?"
She was quiet for a while before finally nodding. "Yeah. I suppose. I'll see you both at breakfast, yeah?"
Oliver smiled another bright smile. "Yeah, of course! You know how much I love the bacon and jazzberry jam!"
And then Andrea left as well, leaving Tom and Oliver alone. Tom shifted slightly on the sofa, leaning his back against the rest and spreading his leg over the seat padding. "You would have been a great Hufflepuff, Oliver."
Oliver turned back to him, still smiling his famous smile, and sat in Tom's lap awkwardly, grabbed Tom's hand, and laced their fingers together. "I know, thank you. I tried to convince the sorting hat to put me there, but, as you know, he put me here instead."
Tom chuckled. "Probably because you'd put all the rest of the Hufflepuffs to shame."
Oliver giggled, all bubbly and happy and warm.
"How was your sleep?" Oliver asked curiously.
"It was average. You didn't wake me all night, nor this morning. Which brings me to my next point."
Oliver smiled too sweetly. "Yes?"
"My prefect badge. It seems to be saying an entirely different word these days. I wonder what could have possibly happened?" Tom watched as Oliver's eyes trailed down to Tom's badge, and continued to watch as Oliver smiled wider. "You wouldn't have any idea what happened, do you, my sweet Oliver?" Tom leaned in close and cupped Oliver's cheek, tilted his head a smidge and smiled deceptively sweet.
"Of course not, Tom." Oliver said quietly, words spoken like honey.
"Alright then." Tom shrugged and fell back in his seat, letting Oliver flounder and flail and nearly fall over.
They spoke and laughed for a bit longer, Tom asked what "jazzberries" are (juniper and raspberry, of course! Tom blanched, "pine and raspberry? No thanks."), before Oliver's stomach rumbled loudly.
"It would seem like you're hungry." Tom commented, gaze on Oliver's stomach.
Oliver covered his belly, embarrassed with the loud noise. "Yeah, I guess. Time for bacon and jazzberry jam," he giggled.
They stood, one after the other. Just as Oliver was starting his voyage to the Great Hall, Tom stopped him.
"What's wrong, Tom?" Oliver asked.
"Your shirt tails are poking out in the back, and you forgot your robe."
"Oh." Oliver paused, then smiled again. "Fix them for me?"
Tom scoffed gently, retrieved his wand, and flicked it at Oliver's shirt, which immediately fixed itself. "There, all fixed. You're welcome."
"I wanted you to fix it by hand." Oliver pouted.
"And touch your butt? Ew, no." Tom smiled.
"It's a nice butt. Any normal person would want to touch it."
"I guess I'm not normal, then." Tom stated proudly.
"Yeah, I guess you're right." Oliver tilted his head slightly, looking thoughtful. "You do, after all, fold your ties. And my ties." Tom laughed sarcastically. "I wouldn't be surprised if you suddenly folded everyone's ties!"
"Oh, ha ha ha. You're so funny, I just can't believe how funny you are. I only aspire to your greatness, my Humor King."
Oliver laughed prettily, kissed Tom's cheek (Tom rolled his eyes dramatically, but didn't wipe it away) and bounced his way to the dorms, coming out with his robes quickly before heading toward the common rooms entrance.
Time for breakfast, then.
Classes were long, but finally over, that day, Slytherin had been awarded the most points he entire day, 57, and since it was Thursday, that meant that Professor Slughorn was holding his weekly Slug Club meeting.
Oliver never liked it when Tom had a meeting as he wasn't allowed to come, but today he had seemed oddly pleased with it during supper and hastily tried to hide his giddiness.
Tom didn't question it; Oliver, after all, probably had his ambush to set up. That's probably what that paper this morning said, Guenevere probably went to the library to see if it was feasible, and Robert probably had to stock up on snacks for their moment. It all made sense, and the least Tom could do was let Oliver have his moment.
Tom was reading his Defence Against the Dark Arts text book while he ate bangers and mash (all of it on separate plates, nothing touching), and Oliver had come around, plate loaded with a nauseating amount of food piled on top of it with all of his little friends, and called him a nerd fondly.
"Well excuse me for wanting high marks. What kind of professor would I be if I didn't even read up on my subject of teach?"
"A great one." Oliver replied easily. "You'd be learning with us, "Oh, wow, children!"," Oliver made a voice, probably thinking it sounded like Tom. " "Boggarts change their form to individual fears! I've gotta get one of those..."." Oliver giggled.
Tom was unamused. He showed his contempt with a pout. "If you're going to be like that, I'll just have to go to the Slug Club meeting early." Tom closed his book and feigned putting it away, allowing time for Oliver to stop him.
And, predictably, Oliver did. "Wait, no!"
"What are we supposed to be doing for the Slug Club, Tom?" Guenevere asked gently, putting a sufficient stop to a possible disagreement.
"I have no idea. Probably helping Professor Slughorn make next weeks lesson plan."
"Oh, or helping him plan a dance!" Guenevere sighed. "Wouldn't that be lovely?" She gazed at Tom, blinking her blue eyes at him unflatteringly.
Tom suddenly had the sneaking suspicion that Guenevere liked him. Tom studied her for a bit before deciding. "No, I don't think so." He picked his fork back up and continued eating whatever was on his multitude of plates.
"What, you don't want to take Gorgeous Gwen to a dance?" Andrea asked haughtily.
Tom inhaled as if he were going to be launching into a lecture. "No. Personally, I'd rather be alone before taking Guenevere anywhere. It's not that I don't like her, she seems kind enough, but she's just not..." Tom paused. "Someone, I could see myself with."
Guenevere looked confused, as of she weren't used to rejection. And she probably wasn't.
"Tom just wears sensible shoes, that's all Gwen." Robert comforted.
"No, I don't think that's it either, Oliver's friend." Tom tested. "I just don't see myself with anyone."
"Not even me?" Oliver asked, unshed tears in his ocean blue eyes, bottom lip trembling with probable feigned sadness.
"Yes, even you Oliver." Tom rested his hand on top of Oliver's thigh. "It's not you, my dear. It's me. You deserve so much better than I, and I just couldn't keep you all to myself. How selfish would it be, to deny the world of your beauty?"
"Maybe I want to be locked in your dungeon. Maybe I want to be collared and chained to your bed, with barely enough length to get to the bathroom." Oliver sighed dreamily.
"I can't help you there." Tom shrugged.
"I say this because I love you," Andrea began, leaning over the table to grasp one of Oliver's hands. "You might need treatment, Oliver. Get your head looked at, if you think you want that."
Tom checked his pocket watch. "Well, Guenevere. I believe it's almost time to go." Tom packed his book away in his bag and stood. "If you'll excuse me." And then he left.
Guenevere ate a few more unattractively large bites before also standing. "And now you must excuse me. I love you, my dear Oliver. Andrea, we'll be seeing each other tonight. Robert, eat more. You're getting too thin. And don't any of you even think about trying what's on that paper without me!" And she also left.
Oliver, Andrea, and Robert all huddled closer.
"After Slug Club, we're trying it. In my dorm--be sure to tell Guenevere, Andrea--while Tom is doing his prefect duties. We were given a lot of work tonight, so my dorm mates should be in the common room or the library in study groups, we should have the room empty tonight."
"I'm so excited," Robert gushed. "We've been at this for so long, studying everything we can to get this perfect, and I can't believe we're actually there!"
"What do you all think is going to happen?" Andrea asked. "Immortal life, like I've been hoping? Or something stupid, like permanently changing your hair colour to blue?"
"Probably something stupid," Oliver laughed. "I just can't wait!"