Who: Wayne Hopkins, Louisa Macnair
Where: Wayne’s bed (scandal!)
When: 11 August 2001, early morning
When Wayne woke up, the first thing he was aware of was that it wasn’t morning just yet — the light was just barely starting to filter in through his drapes. And the second thing he was aware of was that a girl was in his bed.
When this second realization hit him, he suddenly felt jolted fully awake. He opened his eyes wide and looked her over — Louisa, on her side, curled up sweetly, and facing away from him. And fully dressed. He smiled as it came back to him — they’d been exhausted after a day of hiking in the sun, and they’d decided to have a bit of a rest and a cuddle before dinner, which had accidentally turned into a nap, which had accidentally turned into, apparently, sleeping through the night.
And then his smile disappeared, when he suddenly got a very vivid mental image of how Louisa’s brother might react.
“Hey,” he said softly, reaching out to touch her arm. “Wake up. It’s morning.”
It always took a few minutes for Louisa to come round in the morning, and the fact it wasn’t properly light didn’t help matters.
“Hmph?” she mumbled, turning over to face the voice and rubbing her eyes so that she might be able to see who it was. The bed wasn’t hers, she could tell that much. It didn’t feel right. Come to think of it, the fact that there was somebody else in it could have told her that, too. Blearily she opened her eyes and looked at Wayne, then smiled and closed them again.
“Hey,” she replied.
Her smile gave him another jolt, but a happy one. He took it as an invitation to scoot a bit closer. If she wasn’t concerned, maybe he should just let her sleep? He wasn’t exactly in a hurry to rush her out of his bed, personally. He nestled his head near hers, and closed his eyes.
But now he was too keyed up to fall back asleep. There was a very pretty girl in his bed, and there was her protective, intense brother just one floor below, possibly pacing the floor right now, wondering where his sister was. In Wayne’s bed. Wayne turned over, and then back again, trying to get comfortable. Louisa’s hair tickled his face, and he pushed it away, jouncing her pillow in the process. “Sorry,” he whispered, not sure if she was still awake.
Lousia turned and stretched. She wasn’t exactly awake, but she wasn’t exactly asleep either. The previous evening was coming back to her, although she thought of it as the current evening, unaware of how much time had passed. It was ‘still’ just about light, after all.
“It’s alright,” she said, settling on her back and yawning, bringing up a hand to cover her mouth. “What time is it?”
Wayne squinted at his clock, but couldn’t quite make it out in the dim light. He scrabbled instead for his watch, on the bedside table. “Little after six. OK, definitely too early to get up.” He was officially deciding that if she wasn’t nervous about her brother’s reaction, he was going to forget about it too. After all, Ben was going to have to get used to the idea at some point or another… right? He tossed the watch aside and slid his arm under Louisa’s shoulders, thinking it would be nice if they just curled up and went back to sleep. There were worse ways he could think to spend a morning.
Six o’clock? Louisa wrinkled her nose. Wasn’t it already after six when they had laid down? Then she realised that her bra strap was digging into her, the way it did when it had been on too long. The realisation came upon her suddenly: it was six in the morning. She sat bolt upright.
“Six?!” she exclaimed. “Oh Merlin Merlin Merlin. I should go. I should really go. Where did I put my shoes? And my bag. And can I borrow a brush or something?”
Wayne’s sleepy contentedness evaporated instantly. He sat up too, but reluctantly. Even though he’d been the one who was concerned before, now that he saw Louisa panicking to leave he felt disappointed and resentful. This could have been a very nice morning — he would have made French Toast — if it wasn’t for Ben.
“Do you have to?” he asked, even as he slowly stood up to get her a comb. He found it on his dresser and handed it to her without a smile.
Louisa rushed around the room getting her things together. She stopped to take the comb from Wayne and caught sight of his expression. Her face softened.
“Yeah,” she said. “I’m sorry. I don’t think it’s the right time to be having that kind of conversation with him. Anyway, he’ll be worried.” Louisa took the comb and made a few strokes through her hair, then paused. “I tell you what, why don’t we set up an actual sleepover? Set a date, hang out, go to bed, have breakfast, all planned. I mean, not… you know, just sleeping.”
Wayne’s eyebrows almost shot off his face. Louisa was always surprising him, which was one of the things he liked about her. “Erm, yeah,” he said quickly, but trying to sound casual. “If you’re sure your brother wouldn’t—” nervous laughter “—murder me after.” He didn’t really understand why she thought later would be any better than now, so far as her brother went, but he wasn’t going to ask. The last thing he wanted to do was give her any reasons to change her mind. He found her bag and handed it to her, this time with a grin—and leaned in to give her a kiss as well.
Louisa took her bag and kissed him back.
“Well, I don’t have to tell him who the sleepover’s with, do I? He’ll assume Fliss or one of my other female friends. He’s delightfully innocent like that.”
She finished combing her hair and turned back to Wayne.
“Do I look presentable?”
“Oh, right,” Wayne said, grinning sheepishly. Why hadn’t that obvious solution occurred to him? His sister maybe had a point about Hufflepuffs needing plotting lessons…
“You look great,” he said, kissing her again and deliberately mussing her hair as he did so. But then he helped her smooth it back down and asked, more seriously, “D’you want me to walk you downstairs?”
Louisa smoothed her hair back down with an exasperated yet amused look at Wayne.
“Noooo,” she said quickly, when he offered to walk downstairs with her. She knew he wasn’t intending on coming into the flat with her but all the same, she’d rather he stay far out of the way. Ben wasn’t actually going to hurt Wayne, she was sure, but she’d still rather not expose him to the glares. Benjamin had more of their father in him than he’d like to admit. “I mean, no thank you, I’m fine.” She gave him another kiss, feeling reluctant to go, even as she felt compelled to.
Wayne kind of figured she’d say that. “OK.” He entwined his fingers with hers, wanting her to linger. “Well…. Until next time then, I guess.” He smiled crookedly and added, “And just so you know, I make really good French Toast, so, ah… look forward to that.” He blushed, undermining his attempts to be smooth, and reluctantly released her hand so she could leave.
She smiled back at him, kind of loving the blushing. “I will,” she said. “I can’t wait.”
Well this was it. She really had to go. With a sigh she squeezed his fingers and let go. “See you later,” she said. Then Louisa made her way out of the door, ready for her walk of shame. Oh Rowena, how she hoped Benjamin was asleep.