lean on me

by renegadekarma

“Should I go?” she asked after a moment, a bit awkward in the silence.

A sniffle followed. And then, “I just really need to have you here right now.”


 

Her first Yule Ball could have been worse, she reasoned. After all, her feet weren’t totally aching, she’d gotten to eat loads of brownies, and she’d only revenge-snogged one guy, so that was practically a success. Mostly.

Nathaniel had already walked Tatiana back to her Common Room, but she’d discovered that she’d dropped her corsage on her way back, so she’d slipped back down the hallways in the direction of the ball, hazel eyes carefully taking in the stairs that she passed until she saw it.

Bending down to retrieve the small arrangement of white flowers, she was about to turn and leave again when a muffled sob caught her attention and she glanced around. The area seemed empty on first glance in the dim light – it was late, after all, and most of the students were staggering back to their common rooms, a combination of giggly or upset or exhausted.

Her eyes adjusted and she spotted a broom cupboard with its door slightly ajar. Tentatively, the brunette crept forward and peeked inside, only to make out a familiar head of red hair bent down low over folded knees, shoulders shaking.

“Emrys?”

The sobs paused and he hastily wiped at his cheeks. “Hey, Tatty,” he greeted her weakly, but his cheeks were still tear-stained as he glanced up at her, catching the dim light.

She slipped into the cupboard behind him, bending down beside him. “You okay?” she asked cautiously.

His nod wasn’t reassuring at all.

Tatiana sighed. “Emrys, it’s fine. You don’t have to lie to me.”

The Gryffindor’s lower lip quivered. “I can’t believe I did that. Did you see what happened?”

The brunette briefly decided against telling him that the whole school had seen it. She slid down beside him, catching a mop before it fell over onto them. As she settled it back on the wall, Tatiana pursed her lips. “Yes, I saw,” she admitted at last.

His response was a sigh and then another hasty swipe at his eyes. “That was so stupid. I can’t believe I cheated on Lee like that.”

“Neither could I, to be honest,” she replied before staying silent for a moment. “I thought you really liked him.”

“I did – I do, I mean. I still do. But we broke up.”

Hazel eyes turned to the side, not really in shock but still faintly surprised. “Are you going to try to get him back?”

“I already apologized, I don’t know what else I can do.” He heaved a sigh and then frowned, pouting a bit. “I really screwed it up, Tatty.”

“Yeah, you did, Emmie.”

For a few moments, the two sat there in silence. On her list of friends, Tatiana considered Lee and Emrys’s place to be equal; it was why she’d thought them to be such a good match. Now that they’d broken up, though, she didn’t want to take sides at all. She pitied Lee more for being cheated on and felt he was the victim, but she still was sympathetic upon seeing Emrys’s tears.

“Should I go?” she asked after a moment, a bit awkward in the silence.

A sniffle followed. And then, “I just really need to have you here right now.”

And Tatiana had never denied a friend, not in their time of need, not even when she disagreed with them. She moved closer to Emrys and wrapped an arm around him as he continued crying, not minding the tear stains on her coral dress at all.

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