Ah, remember when I created that tumblr event for Valentines day? Good times, huh?
Well here I am, the creator of the event, finally posting…aaand it's almost July.
Dear elegantkittycat/LaraF needless to say I'm SOOOO sorry I took SOOOO long to finish this. I am ultimately super glad I participated, as this was a great fic and experience for me, but I really should have realized, with all the stuff going on in my life during March I wouldn't have much time, and that I should have just manned the event, not participated. Ah well, live and learn I guess.
To that end, (I messaged you about this many months ago), there came a point where it was already super long, I had no idea how to continue/finish, a lot to edit, and finishing the entire fic was not worth tearing my life apart for, so I decided to find a place to stop (hehe…I apologize that the place I found is cliffhanger-y), and get to editing (…I really don't know why it took me THAT long to edit…My apologies, once again). This means that the fic is, unfortunately, not complete. I would, of course, love to finish at some point, but I've come to recognize I'm not very good at finishing WIPs, so I'm not going to promise anything. Even so, I hope you still enjoy what I was able to write, and it isn't too big of a letdown that it is currently incomplete! Like any writer, the more I hear that people liked it, and want to hear how it ends, the more chance there is I will get motivated to finish it!
As far as the subject matter itself, I know most of your prompts were romantic, so I apologize that this fic almost ended being anti-romantic XD But the reason that I decided what I decided to write for you is because you were also the only person who said they thoroughly enjoyed crossovers and gave the most crossover prompts. I absolutely love writing crossovers and, seeing how we also had a ton of fandoms in common in general, I thought we might be a good match. And, as you can see, that Black Butler/Harry Potter idea definitely sparked my creativity! (Plus I was just re-reading Chamber of Secrets!)
I actually usually write fusion-style crossovers (where you put the characters of one fandom into the universe of another) so it ended up being super fun to write a normal crossover! I'm starting to wonder why I don't do it more often, the different characters interacting provided some great comedic opportunities! And these two fandoms worked surprisingly well together—(I mean, I think I've even heard the Weston arc of Black Butler was inspired by Harry Potter, so it makes sense)
I've also been trying to learn how to write comedy, so, even though it made things more challenging for me, I was glad to have a comedic prompt to work with! (That is also why this took extra long). I've also never written a crack fic before—(I don't know that this is a full-on crack fic, but I think there are some elements there)—so please go easy on me! There may be some cringe/chessy-ness. But you said the crazier the better, so I hope this is wacky enough! XD Thanks for the wonderful prompts and ideas!
A couple of notes about the fic itself:
1. I've seen people using lots of different pronouns for Grell, I decided to go with "he" because the fic is in Ciel's perspective and that's what Ciel calls Grell.
2. I know in the dub Grell calls Sebastian "Bassy." However, in the Japanese, the play of "Sebastian" to "Sebas-chan" is one of my favorite things in the series, and is just about the most genius use of the -chan honorific I've ever heard, and there was no way I wasn't using it, even if everything else is English-ified XD.
(For anyone who doesn't know the -chan honorific is kind of a cutsey, affectionate, familiar way of referring to someone in japanese, usually a girl).
3. I couldn't decide what Hogwarts house to put Ciel in, so I left it ambiguous—I know the obvious choice is Slytherin, but he also has some Ravenclaw tendencies (and if the Weston houses are indeed inspired by the Hogwarts houses, the one Ciel's in sounds like Ravenclaw).
I hope you enjoy it! It's been a long time coming!
The great hall, quite frankly, looked like Valentine's day threw up on it. Those lurid pink flowers from lunch still lined the walls, but now bright streamers glided across the ceiling, big, shiny hearts fluttered in the air, reflecting mood lighting, and bubble hearts popped out of bouquets of roses, (each flower cut into hearts). The ceiling itself not only continued to drop confetti, but was blighted by puffy clouds that read the same banalities you could find in every Sweethearts box; Be Mine, and True Love, and XOXO. (The clouds may have actually read that outside too, but Ciel didn't want to check.) The burly cupids from earlier in the week lumbered about the room, continuing to pelt people with off-key music, and cards that only the most hopeless and idiotic of romantics would provide, filled with the same empty statements the clouds read—(every once and a while a howler burst forth, and the actual band would come to a shrieking halt at "YOU'RE REALLY CUTE").
Lockhart had insisted a Valentine's day ball was in order—(a lurid end to a lurid day)—and remarked with a toss of his his perfect hair and a blinding smile that it would be 'just the thing' to brighten everyone's moods.
The fact that Lizzie had been the first (of many, mind you) to offer her decorative expertise and assistance may or may not have contributed to the overall… valentines-day-puked- and-so-will-I vibe of the room.
Currently, said mission to lift the general spirit was failing; aside from the few school lovebirds, (who were already widely despised and avoided, without school-sanctioned and overly sugary displays of affection) most people took this as the perfect opportunity for your daily dose of sulking at the sidelines, and contemplating if magic was quite worth this amount of suffering. Not least of all Ciel, who was currently propped against the wall behind the food table. (Lizzie had pried him away from his brooding earlier to dance, but now he happily returned to the indent he'd made in the wall). He had made many attempts throughout the evening to sneak a piece of chocolate cake, but Sebastian always magically appeared to slap his hands away whenever he got too close.
Most people would have stayed in their dorms, given the chance. Lockhart, however, had sent everyone cards with his kissy face on them, telling them flirtatiously not to dawdle, and his commands got more sugary, and insistent, (not to mention awkward) the longer they stayed indoors, and floated over their heads until they dragged their butts to the ball. This was particularly affective at making sure everyone was there, because the girls melted for his voice, and the boys wanted to shut him up as soon as possible.
"Isn't this wonderful, Ciel!" A certain Indian prince put his arm around the earl's neck and noogied him.
"Wha—No!" Ciel struggled like a fish out of water. Upon release he wiped his hands on his dress robes (the robes Sebastian had thrown together for the event—his 'thrown together,' of course, looked like others 'spent-months-laboring-over-this')—as if he didn't want to catch Soma's contagious happiness. "And I'd thank you to not touch me so casually!"
"I'm sorry Ciel, it's just seeing all this love in the air makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside!" he spun around, "Doesn't it do the same for you?"
"That's called acid reflux."
"Ciieel!" Lizzie's hug was a torpedo. She snared his hands and spun him around, "Come dance with me!"
"Ack…I just danced with you ten minutes ago! How many times do I have to dance with you before you're satisfied?!"
"Don't you want your fiancé to be happy?" Her green eyes, (which were already big), became the puppy dog eyes of a little girl who wants an expensive toy.
"Don't you?" he grumbled.
"I'll dance with you, Elizabeth!" Soma came to the rescue. "It would be an honor to dance with such a lovely young lady!"
She blushed—"Oh please! It would be more than an honor to dance with a Prince!"—and curtsied, shooting Ciel an icy look, before joining the dance.
The young earl folded his arms over his chest and rolled his eyes.
As if that wasn't enough sappiness for a lifetime, cloying words floated to his ears:
"Oh Professor Michaelis~!"
Ciel's brow twitched.
"Come now Lavender, that wouldn't be fair, would it?"
"Ahh, he's so noble!" came a not-so-whispered consensus.
Ciel jerked his head to see the group of girls crowding around his butler, like birds to sunflower seeds in the park.
Rather than sharing his annoyance, and refusing their advances, Sebastian shimmered with flattery and flirtation. A few of them offered him boxes of chocolates and other sweets, which he took with flowery compliments, but surely had no intention of eating—it didn't take a love expert to know they were all laced with love potions. (Or maybe he could eat them anyways; the jury was still out if love potions had any affect on the demon…some magical methods worked on him and others didn't).
Ciel's hands clenched into fists at his sides, "Don't you have better things to do?!" he shouted over the throng.
Sebastian chuckled. "Mr. Phantomhive, don't you know it's rude to question a teacher?"
"These lovely ladies took time out of their day to offer me gifts," the butler's calm voice carried across the room. "It would be rude to refuse them."
There was a syrupy sigh from the group.
"Ugh," Ciel gave the opposite kind of sigh, and turned away before he gave into the urge to murder.
A familiar laugh at his side made him turn.
"What's so funny?" he asked the Undertaker.
"Oh nothing much," Undertaker forwent his usual dog biscuits for a piece of cake, "I just find your sour mood rather humorous."
"You know me, I'm always in a sour mood."
"Can't argue with that," he said, his mouth full of cake, "but," he swallowed, "it seems the atmosphere of love and joy has put you in a particularly foul state of mind," he pointed a black nail at him.
"I just don't find romance being thrown in my face to make for a very fun evening, that's all. One of Lizzie's cutsey rampages is enough for me…but this?" he shuddered.
"Well, some would say it's sweet. That it makes them feel happy and romantic."
"When I rise to power, those people will be sterilized."*
He laughed. "Always the life of the party, you are."
"What? Are you one of those people?"
"I wouldn't say so. But seeing you in such a state is worth all the romance any day."
"Glad I could be of service," he grunted.
Undertaker set down his plate and twirled in front of him, then leaned forward and spoke behind his hand, "What do you say we make this party…a party?" he reached into one of his drapey sleeves and pulled out a vial, teasing it in front of his face.
A quizzical look from Ciel made Undertaker whistle in the direction of the nearby punchbowl.
Ciel sighed and rubbed his temple. "Spiking the punch…really? Isn't that a little too cliché, even for you?"
"I prefer the term 'failsafes.' Even you have to admit, the atmosphere could use a little..." he glanced around the room, "spiking. Besides," he leaned in close and whispered, "this isn't alcohol, if that's what you're thinking."
"…What is it then?" Ciel moaned, eyeing the ex-reaper.
He stood back up to his full height. "I'm not one to spoil the punchline before I tell the joke."
The young earl sighed, "You really think we should deprive people of their misery? I'm not one to interrupt some good, old-fashioned sulking."
"The general idea is that those who are miserable would like to…not be."
"They also say that misery loves company. Misery and I, for instance, have quite the close relationship."
As if called by them saying 'misery' too many times, Lockhart's pretty face showed up.
Ciel coughed to cover his distaste.
"Ah Undertaker! Good to see you here! Everyone's loving the party aren't they?"—He gestured to the glowering room—"It's so wonderful to see all these young people in love!" he gave a throaty chuckle.
"Well, I wouldn't say everyone." Undertaker had a way with honesty.
"What makes you say that? Did someone tell you they weren't enjoying it? We can't have that!"
"It's not so much anyone specific, but—"
"…What's that you have?" his eyes fell on the vial that Undertaker had barely tried to conceal. Despite Ciel's theory that Lockhart was dumber than a bag of rocks (even if the rocks were magic), it didn't take long for the truth to dawn on him, "Spiking the punch are we?" He held up an accusatory finger, "Naughty naughty. I would have expected this from one of the students, but shouldn't a man of your stature know better?"
"What stature?" Ciel snorted.
"What's that, Dear Boy?" Lockhart leaned forward.
Undertaker put his hand on Ciel's head, covering his vision with his sleeve. "The young Er—student was just about to say that a man of my stature is not one to shy away from a little fun." he put his other hand on Ciel's shoulder, his grip a little too tight.
"I hardly think it's 'a little fun.' We don't want any students getting hurt, nor do we the party ruined, now do we? All it takes is one slip of the foot and someone ends up in the hospital." He held out his hand, expecting him to hand over the vial.
"On second thought, do it," Ciel whispered out of the corner of his mouth. "I'll be the kid who winds up in the hospital. Anything to get me out of this hellish party."
"What are we up to?" Dumbledore joined the conversation. It appeared as though Lizzie had got to even the headmaster, as he had bows in his beard and hair, though he didn't seem to mind much.
"I regret to inform you that our dear Undertaker has intents to spike the punch." Lockhart said like he was a student tattling.
"Ah," the headmaster said casually, popping a heart candy in his mouth and burping out a heart, "(Pardon me). Well you can't blame him for trying to bring a little…sprucing up, to the room, can you?" he lifted his hands and smiled genially.
"Are you saying that my party is not of the highest caliber?"
"Oh we aren't denying that you have an air for the grandiose, Gilderoy," he began cutting the cake with his wand; "Mr. Phantomhive, would you like some cake?"
Ciel glanced at Sebastian, who was currently preoccupied, and tried not to smirk. "I'd love some, thanks."
Dumbledore cut him a huge slice, handing it to him gracefully, as if he were dropping a tiny lemon sherbet into his palm instead of a mountain of chocolate. Ciel inclined his head in gratitude, (and made sure to eat a big bite when Sebastian was looking, and the incense on his face was worth it—he, of course, couldn't do anything butler-like with the headmaster and another teacher standing there).
"Don't beat around the bush Albus!" Lockhart cut back in, "What is it you're trying to say?"
"No one denies your party-throwing skills, dear Professor Lockhart." He stood, placing his hands behind his back, "But your em…" he cleared his throat, "other skills can sometimes be rather lacking…"
"I'm shocked, and hurt, Dumbledore." He put his hand over his heart. "Shocked and hurt. I'll have you know that I won 'best party-thrower' in three"—he held up three shaky fingers—"countries! I think that should more than make up for any spoiled brats who can't see fun even if it's standing in front of their face!"
"Was he talking about me?" Ciel murmured to Undertaker, without a hint of hurt in his voice, "I feel like he was talking about me."
"And what countries were those?"
As they argued, Dumbledore inclined his head towards the punch bowl.
It was Ciel's turn to be shocked. Everyone knew their headmaster was rather eccentric, but he didn't take him to be so reckless. He'd expect this from Undertaker… but Dumbledore? He thought he had at least a little 'responsible-grown-up' in him (even though Undertaker was definitely a lost cause).
Ciel turned to stop the ex-reaper, but now a dotted outline remained where Undertaker previously had been, and a second later he saw a long-nailed hand appear above the punch bowl.
Any desire he had to drink said punch, as well as be at this party at all, had gone into the negatives.
But, eh, at least he had cake now. So maybe it wasn't all bad.
"Young Master!" Sebastian snatched the plate from his hand, "How many times have I told you—!"
"Oh, so now you can walk away from the girls?" Ciel spun to his butler, whose arms were full of assorted treats. (Ciel, of course, knew he'd probably have walked away sooner if it weren't for Lockhart and Dumbledore).
He tapped his foot on the ground (which somehow didn't imbalance the tower of sweets), "I won't allow it. You'll get a tummyache."
"I'm not a child!"
Sebastian raised an eyebrow at his whining. "That may be…but regardless, you have a delicate composition." He leaned over and set Ciel's unfinished plate in the 'dirty' pile. "Sweets of this size will certainly impair your gastrointestinal health."
Ciel looked from side to side, hoping no one was listening, feeling his face grow hot. "Delicate!"
"Would you prefer a different term? Fragile? Frail?"
"I'm not a vase!"
"I'm not a steak!"
Sebastian looked over his professor-glasses at him as if to say Do you think you're talking to someone else?
Ciel groaned, giving his butler the victory.
Sebastian set his armful of gifts in a pile along the wall. Clapping his hands clean and wiping his brow.
"What, are you tired?" he mocked, knowing full well the demon couldn't get tired. "Is having a bunch of high-school-girls fawn over you exhausting?"
"Well, now that you mention it…" Sebastian joked back, feigning thought.
He rolled his eyes. "Come on, let's get out of—"
A mischievous idea curled itself around his brain.
"You must be thirsty," he said in a mockingly-concerned voice, trying to lean sideways on the table by the punch (but he almost fell over, and had to catch himself).
Sebastian raised an eyebrow. "Well, I don't really require hydration like you humans do."
Ciel gave him a look as if to say No, go ahead, I won't mind. You really do look exhausted.
"But I suppose it couldn't hurt….If you insist."
"Oh I do." He smirked as he watched Sebastian pour himself a cup.
More likely than not it wouldn't have any affect on the demon, but, presented with the potential, he wasn't going to deny himself a few hours to imagine what it might be like if it did.
"Why are you looking at me like that, Young Master?" he asked before raising the cup to his lips.
"Oh…I'm just enjoying the party."
That didn't clear things up. Sebastian's brow furrowed, but, after taking a sip, he didn't have time to ask because—
"The party has arri-ved~!" a certain familiar voice sang.
Ciel was starting to wonder if this was God finally deciding to punish him. Both master and butler felt like they were going to be violently ill, and simultaneously had a thought something akin to that's my cue to leave! Before they could even make the first step, however—
They winced, turning slowly to see Grell waving a princess wave at the butler over the crowd, while Ronald followed suit, nodding and blowing kisses towards the girls.
"All this love in the air," Grell materialized beside them (they jumped a little), and crossed his hands over his heart, staring blinkily into the ceiling, "Kinda gets you thinking, doesn't it." He sidled up beside the demon.
"If you mean thinking about ending your life, indeed, it does." Sebastian showed him no mercy.
"Playing hard to get, are we? Ah! How saucy!" he slapped his shoulder playfully,
Sebastian sighed, folding his arms over his chest, trying to ignore the nagging presence.
"Ciel! Ciel! Are you going to introduce me to your friends?!" Lizzie and Soma arrived at his side, as if hopeless romantics were coming out of the woodwork.
"They're most certainly not my friends." He cleared his throat.
"What's that supposed to mean, Old Chap?" Ronald asked, "We may not be close, but I thought all those times we tried to kill each other meant something."
Lizzie stared at Ronald, inching slowly away.
"Oh that's just…a joke we have," Ciel defended weakly.
"Oh…" Lizzie looked away, then recovered quickly, "Well, anyhow, you didn't tell me Prince Soma was such a lovely dancer!"
"How was I supposed to know?" he grunted, "I've never danced with him!"
"Don't be so rude, Ciel!" Soma defended her, "Please, you were like a—what are those dancers called? That's right, a ballerina! —You were like ballerina, Miss Lizzie."
"Don't be so modest! Ciel, should take a page out of your book!"
"What page?" Ciel demanded, "The one on being a spoiled brat?"
"Sounds like someone's already read that one," She punched his shoulder. Her attitude changed in a second again, "I'm so thirsty!" She reached for the punch ladle.
"Wait—NO!" Ciel grabbed her wrist.
She blinked. "What are you doing?"
"I—uh" his face was a thermometer slowly going into the red, "I just umm…You don't want to drink that."
"No…yeah…it uh, tastes like uhh… cat pee," he started to pull her away.
"How would you know what cat pee tastes like?" Ronald's butted in.
"Maybe a cat peed in my mouth one time, you don't know my life!"
"I'm having a hard time believing a nobleman such as yourself—"
"I just don't think she should drink it, that's all! Is that so inconceivable?!"
"Sorry! Sorry! Sheesh," he shook his head, "you Nobles are pieces of work!"
Ciel rolled his eyes, turning back to Lizzie. "Why don't you go back to your dorm?"
"But… I don't want to go back to my dorm." Lizzie pouted, "I'm having fun! …Or at least I was," she murmured.
"…Look I'm sorry. I'll-I'll dance another number with you, okay?"
As they walked out onto the floor, he watched the other students drink the unassuming punch over his shoulder.
At the risk of sounding even more cliché; the day started like any other. Ciel got up before the other boys in his dorm to a chilly February morning, and started his routine—an aspect of which was speaking to Sebastian about today's mission and objectives before classes began. Chamber of Secrets, and the heir, figuring out who they were, and how to dispose of, or join them, accordingly, with little to no leads. With his day robes on, and homework and books in hand, he slipped out into the hall.
He'd soon wish he stayed in bed.
Once the common room door closed, his day-from-hell would begin.
For a magic school, not much happened day-to-day. Well, that wasn't true, Harry Potter added some…pizzazz. But it was still a school, and once you get used to the magic…normal-school-things happen.
Today was one of those days which reminded him that this was not a normal school.
Sure it was the day after Valentines Day, but did those Huffpuffs have to kiss in the hallways?
And guess what? You there, standing in the hall, blocking everyone's way? Yeah, you. There is a perfectly nice wall behind you, just waiting to be leaned against (ignore the judgmental painting in the background).
And why did anyone who wasn't in the throws of *shudders* youthful passion have this glazed look in their eyes, like they'd eaten pot brownies for breakfast?
Most of the time, the few students who were awake at this hour chatted and giggled, inflicting the general populace with the daily gossip, at which, sure, he would still roll his eyes and groan, but it was at least better than kissing and clogging up the hallway (as well as each other's mouths).
He was relieved to finally reach Sebastian in the The Defense Against the Dark arts classroom.
This was one thing that was no surprise, as he shared the teaching position of the class with Lockhart—(no easy task, as they were both divas who didn't enjoy sharing spotlight, and one was totally incompetent, and the other was as overqualified a professional chef at a kids easy-bake bake off. But their even-keeled headmaster had to give them each equal time teaching. At the beginning of the year, after it was decided which classes would get which teacher, some students begged the heads of houses to reconsider putting them in Sebastian's class. Sebastian, amicable and excessive as ever, decided to host extra classes after school to satisfy the disappointed students).
"Alright, shall we pick up where we left off?" Ciel marched towards Sebastian, throwing his books on the nearest desk.
However, unlike his usual, attentive I-solved-all-our-problems-overnight-here's-the-solution self, the butler stared out the window…he didn't even pay his master immediate attention.
Said master tapped his foot impatiently on the ground and snapped, "Oy, Sebastian!"
"Mm?" the demon faced him, slowly.
Again, there was that glazed look. Like he had been in a donut factory.
"Young Master, I… didn't hear you come in." His eyes darted around the room.
"You bloody well didn't," he continued to tap his foot, muttering, "Demon hearing my ass."
When Sebastian didn't use said demon hearing to reprimand him for swearing, he knew something was wrong. He stopped being aggravated for a second and looked a little closer.
There was a smudge on his glasses. His hair was sticking up in front of his forehead, and there was some cat hair on his robes (probably from a clowder he kept in his room).
He was…imperfect. His appearance, while still practically impeccable by human standards was sloppy by Sebastian's. His attention, divided.
And that was reason to worry.
Ciel leaned over the desk and snapped in his face. "You can ogle photos on your own time!"
Sebastian looked at him, but every time he focused on him, as if magnetized, his eyes reeled back to a photograph on the desk.
"Do you think…do you think he could like me?" Sebastian said in a strangely uncertain voice that didn't sound at all like him.
He had never known Sebastian to be uncertain of, or fascinated by, anything, nor to pry his concentrations from the missions, especially not for something so trivial and/or emotional as photos.
Ciel walked around the desk to get a good look at it. He thought it might be Lockhart, as the room was crawling with his glimmering face. Instead, in a shattered case—(Ciel thought he might hurl)—the demon fixated on a picture of Grell.
The young earl vaguely remembered Grell giving it to him—mentioning passionately something about it being a way for him to be with him at all times, with hearts in his eyes. At the time, Sebastian had rolled his eyes, said, 'is there a version of this when I can see you at no times?' and tossed it into the drawer with enough disregard that the glass had shattered, and (now this is just speculation) hoped to never look at it again.
For what unholy (or holy, by demon standards…no, it definitely wasn't holy) reason would Sebastian return to it now? And what's worse, how could a picture of Grell possibly distract him from the task his master had placed before him?
Was it possible that all those pictures, cards, the cheesy lines, and sappy gestures, all the maudlin advances, had finally made it through to Sebastian?
Hell no. He'd watch the world burn before that happened.
Hang on a minute, let's check.
Nope, still snow on the ground.
Okay, more plausibly, did he lose his mind?
Let's tone it down a little; Maybe this was a—albeit not funny—joke?
"What are you on about?"
The demon picked up the picture. "Grell." He rushed towards Ciel, putting the picture in front of his eyes—"Get that out of my face!"—"Do you think he'd ever want to be with someone like me?"
The earl began to laugh, a fake, loud laugh, then abruptly stopped.
"Very funny, Sebastian, you like Grell. Can we get back to work now?"
Sebastian grabbed a book off his table and Ciel had to duck to keep it from hitting his head.
"What are you on?!"
"I may be cleverly witty when the situation calls for it, but I am not joking, Young Master! And I'd thank you to treat my beloved one with respect!"
Ciel blanched, his eyes glued open, swallowing the bile that rose in his throat. "You mean this," he pointed to the situation at hand, the words soft and enunciated, a nervous laugh behind them, "This isn't a joke?"
"No!" he cradled the picture, "I think Grell's the most lovely person I ever met."
He waited for the butler to burst into laughter.
…and he kept waiting.
He knew more than anyone, neither master nor butler pulled stunts of this caliber.
Ciel grabbed one of the scrolls on the wall and wacked his butler over the head with it.
"Quit playing around! We don't have time for children's games!"
"I don't understand, Young Master," he rubbed his head (as if that could possibly hurt the demon). "You aren't insulting Master Grell, are you?"
"No, I'm insulting you, you twat!"
He swiped the picture from him (hurt flared in the butler's eyes). "You see how the glass is shattered here?"
He placed his hand over his heart. "Who would do a thing like that to such a perfect face?"
"You, you bloody idiot! Don't you remember?" he smacked his head with the paper again, making it crease, "When Grell gave you that you tossed it into the drawer and said you 'wanted to see him at no times.'"
"Me?" he snatched the picture back, holding it tight to his chest. "No, I would never!" he said like Grell was the purest little ray of sunshine, and Ciel said he'd kicked a puppy yesterday.
"No, what you would never, is return said…" he cleared his throat and didn't finish the sentence.
"I don't understand, Young Master. Here I am, bearing my heart. Why must you squash it?"
His eye twitched. "To remind you you don't have a heart!"
"Shut up! Just shut up!" he slammed his hands on the desk, "There's no way this can be real!" he slumped onto the desk and ran his hand through his hair, looking more deranged than the one who was actually delirious, "Why, in all that is—How—Why would you ever—?!"
"Be careful, Young Master, don't let that anger fester; it's bad for your health."
And it dawned on him.
He slammed his palm into his forehead.
The punch at the party—it was so obvious. Undertaker had even told him it didn't contain alcohol.
"Young Master, are you saying our love is not real? Are you insulting master Grell?" his voice became a sickening tone.
Ciel now fully understood the situation: Sebastian, having been given a love-potion—(turns out they did work on him…or, even if they didn't, maybe Undertaker made some extra-potent, mutant variety)—and Grell being the first person he saw (or heard) after taking it, fully believed Grell to be his one-true-love.
And as he watched a shadow (much bigger and…than the demon's human shape) spread across the floor, he realized he believed it enough to attack anyone who stood against said love. Even his master.
The young earl knocked into desks as he scrambled way, his outward attitude towards the situation performing a 180:
"Uh, no no! No, no, no! I believe you!" he grabbed his bag, "There's nothing weird or horrifying about you being in love with Grell at all. I just was a little…mmmm surprised!" his voice went up an octave. He shoved a desk into the space between them, "That's all?! I'll…I'll just be going, now! You uh…you go back to…what you were doing!" he gave him a thumbs up (something he'd never done in his life) as dashed out the door.
After getting some ways down the hall, he doubled over, breath sharp and fast, piercing his side, his thoughts whirring around.
He'd wanted to mess with Sebastian, but he, first of all, hadn't thought it would work, and second of all, hadn't meant to mess with him this much—especially not in a way that affected him. This wasn't fun or funny, this was just…gross. And now he had to fix it, when, had he left the situation alone and not given Sebastian the punch in the first place, he'd have his demon butler to help him, and the predicament would probably be solved in less than a day.
Now when he saw the students making out, or walking around dazed, he understood the full ramifications of Undertaker's little stunt.
Speaking of which…
He heightened his pace until he was rushing through the halls, speeding past dreamy eyes, and cuddly couples.
Everyone, everyone had been at that party. Not only had the whole school been at that party, the punch was one of the few things available for the sweaty and thirsty dancers to drink. Now instead of one night of suffering in a lovebird's playground, the whole school could be set to pop music. And, like the villain in a fairy tale, it was his job to break apart the happy couples.
And his first order of business was to find the mastermind who put them together.
Undertaker performed many of the odd jobs around, and often made it a job to make things odd (but Ciel of course knew that his primary function was probably to make dead bodies disappear discreetly). He and Peeves were overly chummy, and their pranks could sometimes be unbearable…but neither had ever attempted something of this magnitude before.
He was close to Filch's corridor—
When the bell rang.
In the pandemonium he had forgotten today was still a normal school day.
"Sebast—" he began, hoping for an easy way not to be late, but remembered that his butler was …otherwise occupied. He grit his teeth, clenched his fists, and hurtled towards the transfiguration classroom.
"Mister Phantomhive!" snapped a clipped voice as he swung open the door, gasping for breath. "I thank you not to be late! And while you're at it, not to disrupt my class while in session!"
"Sorry—" he clutched at his side, "Professor— McGonagall."
"Usually," she ran her fingers along her wand, stretching out the word, "I would give you detention. However, as it seems you are not the only one…out of sorts this morning" she drummed her fingers on the podium, giving Ciel a moment to look around the room—There were always a few latecomers, especially during first period, but the number of empty chairs rivaled the number of students present—"I will let you off with a warning."
"Thank you," he coughed—"Professor."—And slumped at his desk like an old sock.
Thankfully not everyone had been affected by the spiked punch. Certain kids in class had that far-off look in their eyes, and a few even kissed in class (they were definitely sent to detention, though, of course, nothing much mattered to them but their newfound love). There were also teachers who had starry looks, and instead of giving them genuine lessons, muttered trite words about love, like a broken radio that only plays emo songs. There were, however, others who acted just as confused, annoyed and shell-shocked as Ciel at the current predicament. Clearly they had either found something else to drink at the party, simply not drank anything, or escaped the festivities somehow.
McGonagall was clearly among the unaffected, and while he was grateful for a little normalcy, he might have traded her for someone a little more lenient, and liked to see how her disposition changed while under the affects of love.
Throughout the day, he told the few students who were still awake and alive to the world that someone had spiked the punch with a love potion the previous night. This seemed to give them relief that they weren't going crazy, still, none of them had any idea what to do about it. Love potions weren't exactly considered an important course in potions class, especially not with a teacher like Snape—(in fact, a certain Ravenclaw had asked how to make a love potion in class on Valentine's Day, and later Ciel saw that Ravenclaw mysteriously lost ten points). Some worried for their friends, while others eyes lit with an impish glint at the realization that—as long as they didn't insult their 'true love'— they could do anything to mess with their friends.
He had to give Undertaker at least a little credit: that day was one of the most memorable in his entire time at Hogwarts:
During transfiguration, on multiple separate occasions, students, instead of transfiguring their hamsters into dominoes, transfigured them into rings, and flowers used to profess their love, or even propose to Professor McGonagall herself. She only looked down her nose, and demanded where this talent had been the entire semester, and wracked up a body count of detention-bound students.
In Herbology, while it was not nearly as exciting as others, Professor Sprout went on and on about how amazing Neville was—(whenever he passed him in the hallway that day) Neville looked like the red plants they were currently tending to. (He probably hadn't had anyone else to talk to at the party).
If Divination wasn't enough already, Trelawney made them look into their futures and see their potential for romance (…it was hard to tell if she was under the spell or not), and it was both worth noting, and a source of personal pride that she looked into Ciel's and saw lots and lots of hate.
And best of all, during potions, which was his last class of the day, Snape looked like he was ready to kill someone…and got close when Lockhart burst in and proclaimed that he simply couldn't take it anymore, that they were made for each other. (Out of all the the crazy, embarrassing things that happened that day, this was the one Ciel guessed would be the most difficult for either of them to live down).
Hilarious confessions aside, Ciel was relieved to find that the potions master was at least trying to counteract the curse himself, by having them make antidotes and anti-love potions, and drink them (allegedly, lots of students refused to drink them in earlier classes, so he had to forgo their Latin name and call them "Happy Sunshine Potions," which was quite possibly the best string of words he'd ever heard Snape say, and the unaffected students looked like chipmunks holding in their laughter in when hearing it). Although this was another teacher Ciel would have liked to see under the affects, he was guessing the net worth of breaking the curse would be far greater.
However, as far as he could tell, currently, Snape's attempts to douse the proverbial fire were ineffective. (Yet another reason to think Undertaker's love potion was some mutant version).
At each break he had, Ciel attempted to find Undertaker—(Except at lunch, when everyone was screaming that Draco was running around, and in increasingly boisterous and/or risqué methods, trying to declare his love for Ron Weasley. While Harry and Ron were also running around, either avoiding him at all costs, or messing with him. It was, first of all, difficult to get around the crowd, and, second of all, not something to miss.)—But Undertaker had an ongoing disappearing act that had nothing to do with magic. The one thing Ciel knew, was that the old coot couldn't have left; he'd want to see every glorious minute of the chaos he wrought, so Ciel wasn't giving up on finding him.
After school, hungry, tired, and desperate (especially after a run-in with Peeves, through which he earned the ex-reaper's location, but also a cluster of lipstick marks on his face) he finally found Undertaker back in the Divination Classroom (of course he just had to pick one of the tallest, most tiring towers to climb). The room was cold, and Trelawney was nowhere in sight.
The pretty, setting sky over the frosty roof outside didn't provide an iota of solace.
Ciel rolled up his sleeves, his anger a newfound immunity to the cold, and, with fingers curled into fists, marched up to him.
The Undertaker, resting against the windowsill, turned to the seething boy, grinned, and spoke as if this was no more than an ordinary meeting.
"My, Young Earl, looks like you've been getting busy."
"Wh—?!" he remembered the marks on his face and rubbed them off on his sleeve as Undertaker cackled.
"You seem awfully upset about something," Undertaker continued, "Don't want to let it fester—as your butler would say."
"You spiked the punch with a love potion." The boy growled.
"Did I?" he put a finger on his chin as if thinking, "I can't seem to recall."
Ciel's brow twitched. "You bloody well know you did, I watched you. Now tell me how to undo it."
"How do undo it, you say? And why would we want to do a thing like that?"
"I am in no mood for your games."
Undertaker shrugged. "'Fraid I can't help you then. You know the rules; no payment, no information."
"The whole school is a joke! That's your payment!"
He contemplated it. "Sure you wouldn't like to give an old man a good chuckle?"
He sighed. "I suppose you got me there. To tell you the truth, I hadn't quite got to the whole undoing it part." He twirled his hand in the air like the ringmaster in this show.
Ciel blinked, emotion flickering as he spluttered, "How can…? But you—? I—? What?!"
He laughed, and the Undertaker's nonchalance and disregard made anger jumpstart his tongue.
"You made it, didn't you?" he kept his voice low, and his hand on the wand in his pocket, marching forward, "You can at least tell me how you made it. Then maybe I can unmake it."
Undertaker tapped his chin, as if knocking around the marbles in his skull, "Don't much feel like it."
"You don't feel like it?! Listen here—!"
He no sooner pulled out his wand than it was in Undertaker's hand. He hadn't even noticed Undertaker draw his own wand.
Undertaker ruffled his hair as he walked by, dropping the boy's wand back into his pocket, "Part of the fun is figuring it out for yourself, Young Earl. Didn't anyone ever teach you that?"
He headed down the stairs, leaving Ciel standing alone, angry breaths steaming up the chilly classroom.
When Ciel trudged back to his dorm, all the energy he had used to run around that day had given up the ghost. He barely noticed the smooching and starstruck kids in the hallways anymore, and didn't have the energy to send even a derisive snort their way.
Sebastian was supposed to be the one running around trying to find answers. These menial tasks were beneath him. Hard work, and running around, looking for answers, was no suit for a fourteen-year-old boy to wear. Oh, Ciel would devise a particularly difficult and useless task for his butler to accomplish once he—or someone—finally broke the curse.
Caught up in thoughts of needless revenge, he ran into someone in the hallway, sending both their books to the floor.
"Sorry!" The boy called.
As they both crouched down to pick up their fallen items, Ciel looked up to see unruly black hair, crooked glasses, and lightning-struck forehead.
"Sorry, I don't believe we've formally met. I'm Ciel Phantomhive." He held out his hand.
"Nice to meet you," Harry smiled, taking his hand.
They both returned to their task.
"It looks like you haven't been…love-ified," Harry noted.
"You seem to have your wits about you as well."
"Lucky us…Draco wasn't so lucky though," he laughed. "I heard someone spiked the punch at Lockhart's Valentine's day ball."
"I heard that too."
"A perfect end to Lockhart's ball huh?"
Ciel turned to the next book, about to hand it to Harry.
Here's the thing, about dark magic.
It has this sort of…pull. The more you use it, the more sway it has on you.
A pure soul looks at a dark object and feels uneasy, but doesn't know why.
Someone who has participated in the dark before, let it creep in and corrode the soul, is attuned to the darkness. Like a resonant frequency, a humming in the back of their mind, putting them on the same wavelength, (and if they listen too long, they might shatter). They may not always know what it is or does, and sometimes they wont recognize why something has this aura, but they will know that an object is not just that, in as much as darkness is not just the absence of the light.
Ciel Phantomhive was no ordinary student. While he may have learned from the teachers at Hogwarts, the reason he was here was at the request of the Queen, not for learning, and his most informative teacher, was Sebastian. Before they arrived at Hogwarts, Sebastian, going above and beyond as always, made sure he knew more spells than half the students in his year. More importantly, however, fear of the dark had long left them both. Knowing dark magic, they surmised, would put them ahead of their enemies (not to mention their friends), and could be a powerful trump card were the situation to call for it.
When Ciel looked at this diary everything slowed. Like in a movie, when you can hear your heartbeat, and the camera zooms in. From the moment he saw it he knew it would be both silly and dangerous to think it was merely a diary. One may pour their soul into the words dear diary, but the Something that lurked beneath it's pages was far more than the heartfelt and trivial adages of teenage boys and girls. There was something living in those pages.
He knew it was alive. Unlike other dark artifacts, which gave off a hint, a whisper of more-than-I-seem, this was more than a whiff of untapped potential, or forbidden mystery; the resonant darkness, rather than a faint, inanimate hum, was a Horror singing old-fashioned lullabies to himself in the darkest corners of the pages.
Ciel was tired. Tired of running around, tired of searching for a cure, tired of doing all the work himself. He wanted an easy way out. That's how he'd always been. People who like to take the long way 'round don't make contracts with demons.
So, in a moment of weakness…
…or a moment of strength
He slipped the diary into his own bag.
That night, despite being interested enough in the book to steal it, he hadn't had any energy to begin figuring out what that darkness was, meant, or could do. Nor did he have any energy to spend on figuring out the antidote to the plague himself. In fact, he had had so little regard for either, that he ignored the dumb looks of his roommates, slipped the diary into the chest at the foot of his bed, flopped facedown on top of his covers (screaming into his pillows for good measure), and went to sleep.
The next morning wasn't much better. He woke up with a splitting headache, the love-zombies were still up to their shenanigans—(he half hoped it would end in the morning)—and when he tentatively checked on Sebastian, the demon had traveled further down the Grell-obsessed rabbit hole than before.
When Ciel entered the teacher's lounge (it had taken a moment to find him) the smell of flowers smacked him full in the face. Unlike some of the teachers present, Ciel was unimpressed, and quite honestly queasy, to see that he had moved on from admiring the picture of his affection, to creating his own; or rather than a picture, a bust made of flowers of none other than his…erm lady-love, Grell.
Just like Sebastian, he was attentive to detail; only the freshest of flowers for his beloved, and each component of Grell's complexion was a different flower: the coat was made of red Amaryllis', the vest, brown orchids, the shirt, white hydrangeas, the face was pale dahlias, the eyes were green carnations, and the hair was, of course, roses. He wondered if Sebastian went far to find all of them, though knowing him he probably ran to the finest flower shop in Paris at 1:00AM that morning for them and was back before anyone could wonder where he'd gone.
Yes, quite far gone. But not far enough to forget the 'offense' Ciel had caused to his new master the day before.
Or perhaps Ciel had caused him new offense by blurting out "What the devil is this?!" upon seeing his labor-of-love.
If it was good idea in general for the public not to talk to the young earl, today, it was an inescapable rule: if people didn't give him a wide berth, they learned quickly he was not in the mood for human (or reaper, or demon) interaction.
Wasting his time before class on pointless attempts to slap the delusion out of his butler was idiotic. So he headed to the library to actually try and make some progress, and picked up a book on love potions—(Madam Pince was too busy writing love poems to scold kids like him for going into the restricted section. Knowing this was a rare opportunity, he grabbed several more books he'd had his eyes on while he was there.)—with the intent to read up on counter curses every spare minute he got, not excluding during certain classes overtaken by horny teachers.
More students were missing from classes today, and those who weren't were either more randy than before, or losing patience and brain cells every second they were around those afflicted. The teachers who were still in possession of their faculties—namely McGonagall, Snape, Vector, and Flitwick, (Madam Pomfrey was too, but she wasn't present)—made an announcement at lunch, in front of their dreamy-eyed headmaster, that they were trying their best to find a solution to the problem presently.
While it was comforting to hear they weren't sitting on their asses, and it would save him a hell of a lot of trouble if they did solve it, he didn't expect they'd figure it out anytime soon. If Snape couldn't figure it out on his own, he wasn't sure they would have much luck, even together. Even if he had had faith in them, he wouldn't have stopped his own research. He and Sebastian always did it their way, this was personality, not practice—(he'd learned from a young age he couldn't rely on anyone else)—and a setback, even one that kept his butler from his work, wasn't going to stop him.
It was during a disappointing lunch that he saw a flash of red in the doorway to the great hall. At first he thought nothing of it—it was probably a banner some kid made to impress their one-true-love, or a bunch of heart-shaped balloons, or a leftover decoration—it didn't matter, he was going to try his best to eat, and read, in peace.
Until the 'banner' came inside to steal his food.
When he finally realized who it was, he practically screamed;
"That's my name darling, don't to wear it out," he blew a kiss, sitting up on the table.
"Love potions, huh?" in his horror, Ciel hadn't even noticed Ronald had stolen the book (as well as a sandwich).
"Ooh!" Grell called, leaning in closer, raising his eyebrows. "Is somebody looking to trick some poor soul into loving him?"
"No! No, in fact I'm trying to un-romance someone, thank you very much." He stood.
"That shouldn't be too hard…for you."
Ciel rolled his eyes.
"So, not that crushing the dreams of others isn't in your repertoire, why do you want to do that?"
"It may be difficulty for you to understand, but some of us don't look for romance in every guy they meet," he stole the book back from Ronald (who was starting to to look too interested for the young earl's comfort.)
"Now that's just rude," Grell folded his arms over his chest and put his chin in his hand. "But, I'll choose to ignore your impotence," he turned, becoming more animated, "because you're in charge of my Sebas-chan. Speaking of love," he said the word like it was fine caramel, "where is my precious Sebas-chan?" he looked around, casting his eyes towards the blank spaces at staff table.
Before the sentence could fall on his tongue, the words snagged on the mental image of Grell and Sebastian canoodling like schoolboys.
That caught their attention.
"I mean uh—" he coughed, "No…He's uhh…I…"
He could barely think with these images making him sick to his stomach. He set down what was left of the lunch he was no longer hungry for, trying to shove his brain into the mode where it could formulate a cunning plan.
"Well? Spit it out, boy! We haven't got all day! Some of us have plans. I, for one, have a hair appointment this afternoon," he fluffed his crimson locks.
"You know what?" Ciel chose a more confrontational approach. "I don't have to tell you where Sebastian is."
"You don't have to, darling, you should want to."
"No. You know what? I don't want to. And you know why I don't want to?"
"I have a feeling you're going to tell me."
He had to think of something fast. Something clever. A good excuse.
"Why don't you ever want to spend time with me?" he slammed the book on the table.
So much for that.
"Huh?" Grell, Ronald—(and Ciel's own brain)—responded upon hearing the words.
"Yeah. You heard me." It wasn't the best plan—hell, it wasn't even a good plan—but Ciel was committed at this point, and came up with a plot fiercely in his mind, "That's right. It's always 'Sebastian this', 'Sebastian that', but what about me?!"
"What about you, brat? You've never shown any interest in me. What happened to 'we're definitely not friends?'" he mocked his voice.
"….That's what I say to my true friends." They definitely weren't convinced, so he added, "I'm only nice to my fake friends." (Ronald lifted his head like a dog being told he was a good boy all along).
"Regardless if you're telling the truth—which, I don't believe you are—what makes you think I'll give you the key to my heart now, after you threw away your chances? That's no way to treat a lady!"
"I…I never had the chance to," he looked away and hugged himself, trying to look pitiful, "what with you fawning over Sebas…chan,"—it made him sick to speak the nickname, but not as sick as he would feel if they found each other— "you never even pay me any mind."
"What's there to pay mind to?"
Ciel bit his tongue, and tried not to let that get to him, reminding himself everything could and would be far worse.
"Hey, hey!" Ronald stepped in the middle, noticing the rising tension of the scene, "There's a simple solution after all; why don't you and Mr. Sutcliff go for a walk today? That's not too much to ask, right?" he turned to Grell, "You'll still have time to see Sebas-chan before your appointment."
"I suppose," Grell bit his nails, ruining his manicure—which he quickly realized, and petted them as if to say 'forgive me!' "But I'd better get some quality time with my Sebas-chan!"
"Does that sound alright with you, Mr. Phantomhive?"
The thought of spending any amount of quality time with the reaper was repugnant. But not more repugnant than certain other thoughts and predictions his brain was happy to provide.
"Yes, that sounds just fine."
"Then let's get this overwith," Grell stepped dramatically off the table, twirling his high-heeled shoes in the air.
Ciel's thoughts exactly.
But there was something he had to do first.
"Erm, Ronald, would you mind doing something for me while we're on our walk?"
Grell put his hands on his hips, suspicion and curiosity in his eyes.
"Uhh sure—I mean, that depends on what it is"
He pulled Ronald aside, towards the wall, out of earshot of the red-haired reaper.
"I just need to buy some time," he whispered, "Will you please get Sebastian out of the teacher's lounge for me."
"Um…" he glanced between the two of them. "I suppose I could. May I ask why?"
"No you may not." When Ronald seemed less than happy with this response, he added, "I can pay you back. Money, sandwiches…whatever you want."
"Well, when you put it like that," he grinned.
"Alright, Grell," he cleared his throat, "it appears as though you and I will be going for a nice walk together."
"'Nice' would be pushing it." Grell muttered.
Ciel couldn't agree more.
The scene reminded him too much of a Thomas Kinkade painting; the snow covered trees and grounds, the faint chirping of birds, the pitter of small animals in the snow, the patter of kids playing, as well as more than a few romantic escapades displayed for all the world to see—like everything else in this sugarcoated nightmare, it was so sweet and was sickening. Ciel spent great lengths trying to avoid the mystic hellscape that was 'outside,' and whenever he found himself forced into its grasp, he remembered why.
Well, he supposed it wouldn't have been so bad…if it weren't for the blithering idiot beside him.
"Yeesh… love really is in the air around Valentine's day." Grell commented in the direction of the kids kissing by the frozen river.
"Oh? I thought romance was…your thing."
"When I'm involved! Not these ragamuffins slobbering all over each other," he shuddered.
They spent a while in awkward silence, before Grell spoke, "So, what do I have to do to get you off my back, Brat?"
"Ohh just spend a little quality time with me," Ciel sang, putting his hands behind his back and stepping in front of Grell like a mischievous schoolboy. "That isn't too much to ask, is it?"
Grell looked away. "I better be Carlos' last customer today; my hair's going to be a mess by the end of this."
Ciel laughed fakely.
"So…" Ciel tried to think of something to talk about, "tell me about Carlos. Is he…cute?"
"Oh come on!" Grell stomped in front of him, "You can't possibly mean any of this! You've never shown any amount of interest in me. I may be prone to fantasy, but I'm no fool!" he crossed his arms and looked away, then his green eyes trailed to him suspiciously, "What are you plotting?"
"Plotting?" Ciel laughed again, "Why so sinister?"
"Oh things are always sinister when Sebas-chan is involved," he said 'sinister' like a radio announcer telling you that sinister is what you want, "usually it sends tingles down my spine! But this is just…" he looked down at the earl, his lip curling in distaste, "freaky."
Ciel tried to ignore the fact that they were on the same brainwave today.
But he could see that he wasn't going to fool him for long if he didn't do something.
"Well…" Instead of formulating a suitable answer, he subtly pulled his wand from his robe pocket sliding it behind his back, and cast a little nonverbal spell that sent a snowball hurtling at the back of Grell's head.
"Hey!" Grell spun around to two kids playing on the bank. "Which one of you imbeciles did that?! Haven't I suffered enough?" he held up a split end of his hair.
The kids glanced at each other, confused.
"Now Carlos will have to give me the extra treatment to cover this!" he took a strand of hair and petted it.
Messing with the reaper seemed both more effective, and more enjoyable, than chatting, so whenever a risky topic came up, he had a little extra fun avoiding the subject (goodness knows he needed it)—until enough time had passed that, if Ronald had done his job, Sebastian would be out of the teachers' lounge, and they headed back into the school.
"Sebastian's right around the corner."
"He better be, Brat, after the hell-walk you took me on." Ciel tried not to laugh when he looked at Grell—the sticks in his frazzled hair, the smeared mascara and lipstick, the muddy clothes (he had eventually stopped trying to protect or fix his appearance).
Ciel gave the fake laugh again, opening the door.
Despite requests and expectations, Sebastian was right around the corner.
There the demon remained (apparently he had been there all day) with a finished bust of the reaper sparkling beside him, not to mention a few more, smaller art pieces of the Redhead in different poses of increasing erotica.
Ciel felt all the anger that had been briefly soothed by messing with Grell re-entering his body with ferocity.
Why hadn't Ronald removed him from this place like he asked? All he asked for was one simple thing, and he couldn't even do that. Well, maybe it was his own fault he had put his trust in someone so incompetent as Ronald. Whoever's fault it was, this encounter, and the memory of it, might just stain his brain forever, and someone was surely going to pay for it.
He turned towards Grell (the real one). Both his eyes and mouth were open wide, focused on the statue of himself, leering down at him with a flirtatious grin.
When the butler emerged from behind it, and saw Grell, he too froze, but in the quiet, reverent way the hot dude does when they see their love in romantic movies.
Ciel wanted to grab one, or both, of them and wrench them away from each other—exorcise the romantic spirits out of them (it's an odd day when you want to exorcise a demon out of a demon), and maybe wring their necks—but he knew that would be met with more than a little resistance, (and using the Imperius curse in the teacher's lounge would be more than a little conspicuous), and there was something rather mesmerizing about the scene; like a horror movie you can't bring yourself to look away from.
Sebastian closed his eyes, giving a small smile before rushing to grab a rather large bouquet (likely made of the leftover flowers) and bowed, presenting them to Grell.
"For you, my darling Mr. Sutcliff."
Ciel covered his eyes with his hand.
"For…me?" Grell's words were distant and confused.
Rather than taking them with honors—Ciel saw between his fingers—however, he took a step back.
Sebastian held them higher. "Only you."
Grell glanced between master and butler, and his hands shook as he took them (then his arms sagged with the weight).
Ciel shut his eyes tight, waiting for hell.
Soon the scene would turn into the amorous novel Grell always dreamed of, and that would be it. They'd find love in each other…or what passed for love when it comes to love potions. Should Ciel leave now and spare his mind the eternal horror? Or should he wait and just make absolutely sure that's what would happen? Maybe there was some sick part of him that was even curious what would happen.
His patience, however, was rewarded;
"Get away from me you freak!" Grell threw the flowers across the room, and rushed to hide behind Ciel. "What the hell have you done with my precious Sebas-chan?!"
This time it was Ciel's mouth and eyes that dropped open, staring, dumbstruck, like a bird that had hit a window.
Grell had flirted with Sebastian from the moment he met him (to be fair, he did this with pretty much every attractive guy he came across, still…). There were times when master and butler could use this infatuation to their advantage, but most of the time it was just a gigantic nuisance. Luckily, Sebastian shared Ciel's distaste for the reaper's advances, and never returned them. Since it had seemed impossible, before today, Ciel hadn't had much time to imagine what Grell would do if the butler returned his affection. Not one of the sickening scenarios his mind had provided today had Grell rejecting Sebastian. Grell had always appeared superficial enough that Ciel guessed he wouldn't care how or why Sebastian returned his feelings, just that he did. The fact that he could tell this was not Sebastian's normal self made Ciel think slightly higher of the reaper.
But only slightly.
Maybe it should have made sense; it was the flirtation; the game, that Grell enjoyed, more than true romance, and heart. He had said so himself—he was just as disgusted by the teen romances in the courtyard as Ciel. (Though, to be fair, most adults generally found teen romance to be gross).
He couldn't help but feel a growing pride and satisfaction that he would not have to witness any romance, or worse. That the roles of disgust had now reversed, and Grell could walk a mile in their shoes. Not that he thought Grell would become a better, less annoying person after this.
"I…don't understand," Sebastian's eyes were full of welling hurt. He stood, staring at the discarded bouquet (which had all but exploded on the wall), "I've done everything for you…" he gestured around the room, "I thought this is what you wanted." He looked at Grell like a puppy who had been thrown from a warm and loving upper-class home, out into the streets of London. He pulled out the picture he had barely stopped staring at since the other day, "Remember?" he held it up, "You said you would always be with me."
Grell seemed torn, almost like Sebastian's puppy-like disappointment drew his pity, but he backed away further, (still holding on to Ciel, almost making him fall backwards).
"What is this?!" he pointed, "Some kind of sick prank?! I want my sexy, coy Sebastian, back! Not this coddling fool!"
Ciel had to bite his lip to keep from grinning. This was too rich.
Sebastian looked at the ground, sadness, anger, rejection flaring in his eyes. Ciel would have liked to stay and enjoy Grell's blubbering a little more, but he could see a demon-sized tantrum coming a mile away.
He didn't make it a practice to touch pests like Grell, but in this case, he didn't have much choice; he grabbed Grell and pulled him out the door, dragging him down the hall.
"What the hell is going on?!" Grell ripped his hand from the boy's grasp and blocked his way, "Who was that idiot?!"
Ciel could barely breathe from laughing.
Grell blinked at him, then anger flared in his eyes again. Before he could catch his breath, Grell grabbed the boy's shoulders and shook him, "What have you done with my Sebas-chan, you little Punk?!"
This made him regain composure quickly. He brushed his hands away and explained, "You remember the Valentine's ball Lockhart threw?"
"Of course. My Sebas-chan was looking particularly dashing that night," he blinked dreamily, then his expression changed as he remembered he had just seen Sebastian, and he was not so dashing today as previously advertised. "What did you do to him?!"
"I didn't do anything!" he half-lied, "Undertaker was the one who spiked the punch with a love potion."
"Undertaker's the cause of this?! He took my Sebas-chan from me?! Oh that sexy bastard hasn't seen the last of me!" he started to march past the earl.
Ciel blocked Grell's way. "I already talked to him. He didn't have the antidote."
"Well maybe he just needs a little roughing up!" he rolled up his sleeves and tried again to go around him.
"You really think a man who takes pleasure in ruining other people's lives will help us fix this?" he said to his back.
Grell stopped, turned around, "Well you would know wouldn't you?!" He looked away, biting his lip. "You put him back then!" he shoved his chest.
"Why do you think I was reading that book about love potions?!"
That quieted his rage slightly.
In that moment, a certain student walked by, though not one of Hogwarts. He was surrounded by a gaggle of girls, and didn't even see them.
"Levicorpus!" Ciel shouted, and the girls' gasped as Ronald was hoisted into the air by his ankle, his clothes hanging off him (showing off his stomach, and a bit of his underwear—the girls' blushed and giggled).
"Whoa, whoa! What's this—?! Oh…" the young reaper blinked upon seeing Ciel, recalling the task the earl had given him, and he rubbed the back of his head giving a mock-sheepish smile, "Hehe."
Ciel tapped his foot impatiently on the floor. "Would you care to offer an explanation?"
Now that he knew Grell had no intentions or returning Sebastian's artificial affection, the fact that Ronald hadn't accomplished the task wasn't nearly as big of a deal, but it could have easily been catastrophic, the anger was still there, and letting those who disobeyed him off the hook was a bad precedent.
"I'm sorry, Earl, but these girls…they just kept coming up to me! There something must be in the air today!" he held out his hands as if to say you really think I was going to turn them away?
Ciel rubbed his temple, muttering, "Nope it was in the punch." He sighed, taking a step forward like a predator. "I'm going to let you off this time, but believe me, I won't be making that mistake again."
"Come on, it was an honest mistake!"
"And an honest—"
"Mister Phantomhive!" a deep voice rang out across the hallway.
His footsteps were a judgment toll.
"Care to release Mister…?" he looked at Ronald quizzically, realizing he didn't recognize him.
"Knox," the reaper offered.
"Yes, Sir." Ciel murmured.
Liberacorpus he cast, nonverbally, and the reaper spun in the air until he was set upright again.
Strictly speaking, they weren't allowed to do magic outside class, and the curse on the school evidently hadn't made the potions master forgo any of the traditional rules.
"I'd like to know who you two are, and what you're doing at Hogwarts." Ciel felt a little smug thinking of the potential trouble they could get into….until Snape turned "As for you, Mr. Phantomhive…"
"Yes, Professor?" he said politely, as if his politeness could suddenly change his heart and get him a less-harsh punishment.
Ciel glanced at Grell, who had crossed his arms and whose look said it's-what-you-deserve.
"Well!" Grell broke the tension. "We can certainly explain who we are and what we are doing here…at a later date. As of now, I have an increasingly important appointment to get to—Good Professor, I'm so sorry you had to see me like this, I promise wont look this bad when when we next meet!" he bowed low, "Come along, Ronald!"
"Yes, Mr. Sutcliff!" He blew a kiss towards the girls.
"This isn't over" Grell whispered in Ciel's ear as he skipped by.
"Nothing ever is with you, is it?" he muttered.
"What's that?" Snape raised an eyebrow.
"Nothing, just excited for my detention!"
Snape raised an eyebrow, perhaps wondering if Ciel was under the spell after all.
Ciel didn't even go to class that afternoon, as it was double Defense Against the Dark Arts. Once again he returned to his dorm, and flopped onto his bed. He had only made it halfway through the day this time, and he was already drained. After some time resting (though his mind raced too much to actually take a nap), he finished skimming through the book on love potions. In the end, the only help it gave was a comprehensive list of the usual ingredients in love potions.
As he was putting the book away a diary fell out of the trunk at the foot of his bed. In the fatigue of the evening, and the tumult of the day, he had forgotten about his run-in with Harry yesterday.
He picked it up; the same simple, dusty, empty notebook as before. When he opened it to the first page he saw the smudged name T. M. Riddle. He hadn't thought it was Harry's in the first place, but was still displeased that the name didn't sound familiar to him. He wondered if he was a student who dabbled in dark magic. Still, the power it held seemed more than what a mere student could conjure…
Ciel had never been one for feelings and the kind of sentimentality a diary implied, but it couldn't hurt to try it out. There wasn't much else to do but write in it. Evidently it wasn't just a diary.
Setting it down on his desk, he flipped it open to the first blank page, got out his quill, dipped it in the ink, and began to write:
"Two days ago, Undertaker spiked the punch at Lockhart's god-awful Valentine's ball with a love potion.
"Now Hogwarts is infested with a swarm of insolent, love-struck zombies, because Undertaker is a—"
As he wrote, the words, instead of staying in place like words should, they were swallowed by the paper. As the earl stared, the ink resurfaced like a serpent beneath water, a reply forming from secondhand ink.
"My, that does sound awful."
The words disappeared as soon as they came, then reappeared…
"Perhaps I could be of assistance."
*Yes this is a Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) quote. I think I had just been watching that episode before writing, and when that came to mind for Ciel's response, I couldn't think of anything better XD I decided to keep it in, but I had to note it didn't come from my own brain!
Once again, sorry for that ending XD