Arthur wrinkled his nose. “You shouldn’t be smoking that in here.”
“And on the subject of the obvious, the fifth-year dormitory was two floors up last I checked.” Francis took a drag on his cigarette and blew lavender smoke in Arthur’s face. It smelled of clove and some herb Arthur could not name, spicy and sweet, he could almost taste it in the back of his throat.
Arthur waved the smoke away and perched on the edge of the four-poster. “You should’ve been a Hufflepuff, clearly, your love of herbology is unmatched.”
“Never look down on those who can procure flavorful new things to smoke and palatable things to drink.” Francis held out a fluted glass filled with dark blue liquid. His lips were already stained from drinking it, like a bruise blossoming at his mouth. Arthur remembered when they had thrown down their wands and he’d punched Francis in the jaw, remembered the bruise and the wince when he touched it.
Francis shook the glass, making the liquid swirl and catch the light. “Are you going to try it, or is butterbeer as much as you can handle?”
Athur glared and snatched the glass from Francis’ outstretched fingers, drained it in one inelegant gulp. It was at once similar to and entirely unlike red wine, hot and cold on his tongue and tasting faintly of blueberries. Arthur tossed the glass to the floor and watched it shatter, blue droplets clinging to the fragments.
Francis sighed. “Reparo,” he muttered, and then, “Just because we’re wizards doesn’t mean you can be rough with my things.”
Arthur pressed Francis onto the bed. “How on earth did you end up here?” he asked, peering down at him. “There are tales of a mirror that shows one’s most feverish desires, and you would see only three things: something to eat, something to drink, and someone to fuck.”
“Perhaps. I have theories on what you might see, too. Aside from a pair of eyebrow tweezers, of course.” At this, Arthur knit his brows together and opened his mouth to shout; Francis took the opportunity to wrestle him onto the bed, pinning him down by the shoulders. “Three words, isn’t it? Three words, that’s all. You don’t belong here, either.”
Arthur clutched at the heavy green duvet. He could feel heat rising in his cheeks, was it from the drink, he wanted it to be from the drink, suspected it was from the warm breath at his ear.
“‘Easy-going and charming on the outside,'” Francis muttered, “‘but a wolf in sheep’s clothing, ruthless ambition waiting to strike.’ That’s what it told me when it put me here. I think you’re quite the opposite, what’s your excuse?”
Arthur’s hand crept to the back of Francis’ neck. He remembered sitting perched on a stool at the front of the Great Hall, blue eyes piercing through him from across the room, and the words on his own lips, barely a breath, “Slytherin.”