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Behold, A Spider!
#1
Private 
September 2, 1889 — 5th Year Slytherin Boys Dorm
@Clue Leverett
Narcissus had not shared a dorm with these boys since first year but he was more or less used to them by now. It had been at least two years since he had been relegated to sharing a dorm with the lot thanks to the cursed half-breed ban. The first day of classes had come to an end and Narci was finishing up with settling back into the dorm room by unpacking some of his things back into his designated wardrobe and putting his usual picture of his parents on his nightstand.

As he went about his business, he came across something peculiar in the corner of his wardrobe. A spider had apparently made it its home - and had a mass of offspring. Luckily, Narci was not adverse to spiders. "Would these little critters happen to be yours?" He inquired of the one dormmate that he knew to sometimes keep spiders - Clue Leverett. He pushed a hand through his hair, unsure what to do now. He didn't want to disturb the tiny things, they looked so fragile.


#2
Clad in his tatty trousers and shirt, Clue sat cross-legged on the dormitory floor with an open Potions textbook in his lap. He placed it aside with a curious blink as Narcissus Laurent opened the wardrobe to discover Sable the Spider had become a mother.

Clue hadn’t said a word to Narcissus since their return to school, because he could not help but notice that Narcissus had done what some boys did over the summer — he’d grown taller, deeper voiced, and kind of rockier. Clue — who was very small and fey and always would be — was not jealous, but it did make him feel quieter. He was not sure why.

He padded over to the wardrobe and held up a piece of parchment next to Sable and her brood, encouraging them to scuttle forth.
#3
Narcissus wasn't sure if he had done something to offend Clue or not but the boy hadn't spoken to him since they had all arrived at school. The boy could sometimes be a little odd - something people surely thought of Narcissus - but Narci had never had cause to think that there should be trouble between them.

Narcissus was not quite sure how to address it. He watched as Clue padded over, mentally noting the stark difference in their heights with faint amusement. "Are you saving the sound of your voice for anything in particular?" He then asked, mildly teasing. He had seen the boy talking to others so he didn't know what was happening with Clue but Narci was the sort to tackle something straight on instead of letting it drag out.


#4
Clue did not look at Narcissus as he tended to the spiders, but a faint frown line appeared between his eyes. For he resented the fact that nobody looked at him the way he occasionally looked at others. Were Clue a girl, people would absolutely find his angelic delicacy attractive — but he was a boy, quite content with his own peculiar brand of masculinity, and so people thought him merely strange instead. He didn't want to meet the eyes of yet another person who thought him either strange or nothing at all.

And so he took his time with his quietness, using the parchment to carry most of the spiders to the open trunk at the foot of his bed. He watched them scuttle into the darkness in their own time, then finally turned his grey eyes to his classmate and explained; "you've changed. A little."
#5
Narcissus kept his eyes on his dormmate as Clue carried the spiders to the open trunk. He got his own bit of parchment and followed Clue's example on getting them onto it and carried the rest of the infant spiders over to Clue. He raised an eyebrow as Clue finally spoke. "I have?" Clue asked, as he deposited the rest of the spiders into the other boys trunk.

"In what way?" He asked, eyes watching the other boy curiously. He didn't think he had aside from a growth spurt and his voice shifting. Even the half-veela had been made to suffer through the cracking voice phase of being a teenager. "Or perhaps it is you who have changed." Though appearance-wise, Clue was still the delicate, almost ethereal, pretty boy that Narci had personally always thought him to be.


#6
Clue wasn't the type to regret what he said, and what he said was oft more than a little odd. He was unashamedly himself, and of that most were scared. But to be fair... Narcissus had never been scared of him. Perhaps he was just used to him; evident all the more by the fearlessness with which he helped Clue transfer the spiders from the wardrobe to the trunk.

"I haven't changed in the least", Clue objected airily, looking at the spiders. Then once again he looked at the older boy with a hint of something timid, and observed; "whereas you, Narcissus, are starting to look like..." a statuesque young man like something out of a Greek novel? "A gentleman."
#7
Narcissus did not know what to make of the look Clue was currently giving him. Nor did he really know why it was only making him all the more curious to find out the reasons for it. Then Clue spoke once more and Narcissus could only blink in surprise for a moment, a faint blush coloring his cheeks. Not that he wasn't used to compliments, being what he was he tended to get them a lot.

And he was a vain enough creature that he agreed with most peoples positive assessment of his appearance. So why should Clue's observation of his maturing form cause such a different response from him? This was a question he chose to ponder at a later time. "And what was I before - a duck? But I suppose I did hit a bit of a growth spurt over the summer."


#8
Such was the nature of their society, boys generally went from being children to gentlemen with no transition. He supposed Narcissus had been a gentleman (shy of being a duck) before, but Clue hadn't thought of him that way. They were all just schoolboys. Until some of them weren't.

"Well, it won't happen to me", he countered, and set about gently closing his trunk so Sable and her brood could settle into their new home. "Once a runt, always a runt, that's what they say." He didn't sound bitter or resentful — just coldly matter-of-fact.
#9
A smile quirked on Narci's lips at the matter of fact way that Clue spoke of his own stature. "No one can say that you aren't unique," Narci offered by way of compliment. Narcissus had a great appreciation for beauty and he was not yet at a point where he realized that the beauty of a man should not be something he should be taking notice of. "You're you and I'm me, and we're exactly as destiny intended us to be."


#10
"Unique" was one of those words that adults sometimes used when trying to be nice about Clue's... peculiarities. He had a feeling Narcissus didn't mean it as a passive-aggressive synonym, but he didn't know how it was meant so he didn't respond. Perhaps he'd think on it later. And in the meantime, the older boy had a brief soliloquy on accepting one's self, which was something Clue effortlessly agreed with.

"Destiny... I don't think I've ever heard that word spoken aloud", he remarked. It was the sort of word relegated to fantastical novels, rarely finding a cogent place in the real world. Did Narcissus really believe in such forces?
#11
Narcissus was, by nature and heritage, musical and artistic. Thus, he often gave way to speaking like a poet without meaning to. Most of the time he didn't even notice that he was doing it. "Then you've heard it now," Narci teased with a wink. "Do you not believe in there being something... greater than us?" He asked curiously. "Like - if the ban had not happened, we would not be speaking right now as I would be in a different dorm, I'd be a sixth year. Do you think you would be speaking to me at all if that were to be the case?" It was something that he had not thought about before but was doing so now.

At any rate, he would take being in a year below he should be over being relegated to life without OWLs. And besides, he had never gotten along well with at least two of his former dormmates due to their purist beliefs. His current dorm situation was worlds more relaxing.


#12
A peer had never really... engaged with Clue quite like this — and the likes of Narcissus, as the world kept reminding him, wasn't so much his peer as his superior anyway. This was all very unfamiliar. He'd never been winked at before either. If it were anyone else he would not have liked it, but coming from Narcissus a wink was sort of the equivalent of a step closer. There was something intimate about that. Clue didn't look away.

"No, I don't believe in the like. I've always been told to." That was one of the reasons why he didn't believe. "Mark my words, fate will catch up with you, you ungrateful little whelp..."

But perhaps Mrs Spragg’s concept of destiny was different to Narcissus's.

"I do not think any of this happens because of destiny. It just... happens."
#13
Narcissus tilted his head slightly as Clue professed to having always been told to believe in destiny but did not personally do so. Well, Narci was the last person to get down on someone due to their differing beliefs if it was something so tame as whether or not destiny was real.

"You didn't answer my question, though," Narcissus said as he moved to finish putting his things back in his wardrobe now that Sable and her offspring had been relocated. "Do you think you'd still be speaking to me had the ban not caused me to have to now be in your year and thus your dorm?" Narcissus had never really been able to pinpoint exactly what Clue thought of him since he'd been moved into the dorm after the lifting of the half-breed ban back in January of 1888.


#14
In the most literal sense, Clue didn't know how to answer such a question. It would be easy enough for someone who believed in destiny, because they could just trace their path back and remember when it forked. But Clue didn't think like that, and thus all he'd be able to say was "I don't know", which was the truth.

But Clue had a more interesting answer.

"I did talk to you once." Clue had been in Second Year. It had been pouring with rain one winter breaktime, and many of the younger students were crowded into an empty classroom. Several of them had enchanted paper owls to swoop across the room at each other, but Clue — a tiny gem of a boy still teaching himself to read properly — was in the corner with a nose in his book. A flying piece of paper had swept the quill out of his hand and onto the floor.

He recalled an older boy with piercing hazel eyes, already tall for his age, bending down to retrieve his quill and passing it back to him. Now Clue was sure that had been Narcissus. Had it been...?

"But only a little. I dropped my quill, you passed it back. I said thank you." And Clue didn't say thank you to anyone.
#15
"Oh?" Narcissus intoned when Clue said that he had talked to him once. As Clue went on to describe this past encounter, Narcissus racked his memory. It clicked a little so he figured that the person Clue was talking about truly was him. And passing back someones dropped quill was definitely a him thing to do.

"Oh! I remember - that was back before the ban. When I was in the year above you still." There had already been some unrest because of the continued misbehavior of a female half-veela in Gryffindor. "Day was crappy so some of us just.. hid out in a classroom or something?" He remembered being privately offended at the idea of needing to get his hair wet.


#16
Now sat cross-legged on his bed, fiddling vaguely with the sleeves of his overlong shirt, Clue regarded his roommate and gave a mute nod, searching one eye then the next for some sign of recognition. Had young Clue formed any kind of impression on young Narcissus? Perhaps, like many, Narcissus had mistaken him for a girl; or perhaps, like most, he'd simply thought him an oddball best avoided.

After a pause of mild surprise as Narcissus's use of words, Clue quirked a pale eyebrow and made an observation: "you don't speak how you look." He spoke like a street urchin, and looked like... well...

Clue finally gave the faintest of smiles. "I'll wager the professors don't like that."


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