Who: Matilda Vane, Idris Robards
Where: Smith Manor
When: 30 November 2001, during the Blue Moon Ball
Idris walked around, surveying his kingdom. Yes, this would do very nicely, very nicely indeed. Who cared if he didn’t love his girlfriend when he could have all this? He had been in love, well, chemically-assisted love, and it had gotten him nowhere. What a pointless emotion.
Besides, he could love Sepphora eventually. He’d have a whole lifetime to try, after all. What did his mother know, anyway?
He walked out onto the patio and spied a blonde head among the gardens. Obviously Sepphora. Now might be a good time to try. He walked up to her silently and slipped his arms around her from behind.
“Hello, darling.” He pressed a long kiss against her cheek.
Mattie stiffened for a moment. She had thought that the her blonde hair might confuse a few people, sure, but she certainly hadn’t expected this. Her first instinct was to push Idris Robards off of her and possibly onto his self-important, pompous arse. But then she thought about it a bit longer.
Why not have a bit of fun? If anyone deserved a bit of embarrassment, he did.
“Hello,” she said, forcing herself not to giggle as she leaned back against him. “Enjoying your evening?”
“Could be better,” murmured Idris. His lips found her neck. “I do hope it gets better.”
Oh. Well. That felt… surprisingly nice, actually. Mattie tipped her head to the side and sighed happily. Say what you wanted about Idris Robards (and Mattie did, quite regularly), but he was rather skilled with his lips once he stopped talking.
“How are you planning to improve it?” she asked, pointedly ignoring the breathy note that had entered her voice.
Idris spun her around to face him. “Well…” It still took a while to register. Oh, God.
He groaned, looked up at the heavens, then put his hands over his face, rubbing his eyes.
“Why are you blonde!?” he demanded.
“I’m dressed as Helga’s Hufflepuff,” Mattie chirped cheerfully, taking a probably unkind amount of pleasure in his distress (though part of her that she didn’t want to acknowledge was stung that his reaction to finding out he’d been romancing her was quite so dismayed). “If you had a journal of your own you might have known that, actually.”
“Yes, because I’m really keen to know all the inane natterings that you people do,” said Idris, with an eyeroll. “Why are you here?” he said, before remembering that the party was open to everyone. The Hufflepuffs were truly a different species. “Looking to find your soulmate?”
“You don’t have to be after a soulmate to enjoy a good party,” Mattie said, rolling her own eyes and crossing her arms over her chest. What was it about Idris that put her on the defensive so easily? “You, of all people, should know that.”
She crossed her arms, it drew his eyes naturally to the movement. He looked back up. He raked his tongue along his teeth, thinking. “You enjoyed my attention,” he said with a smirk.
“I enjoyed watching you make an idiot of yourself by not even being able to identify your own girlfriend,” Mattie scoffed. There was no way she was going to give this smirking jerk the satisfaction of knowing she thought he had any skills of any kind.
“It’s dark, alright?” said Idris, rolling his eyes dramatically again. “And it was the back of your head. Like you could pick me out of a line-up of similarly dark-haired males, from the back of my head.”
His eyes narrowed. “But you must have known it was me. You should have said something.”
“I would have if you’d gotten inappropriately handsy,” Mattie said lightly. “Or if it had stopped being funny. It’s important to seize amusement everywhere you can, Idris, otherwise life gets terribly dull.”
She couldn’t even begin to imagine how dull it must be to be him.
It was good they had never gotten together. Idris would eyeroll so hard everyday he’d need new eyeball transplants after a while. “The fact you need to ‘seize amusement’ suggests your life is terribly dull. Do you like sitting in shop serving the same small handful of townsfolk day after day. You know most of them don’t even care about your pet cause.”
Mattie scowled at him. “I like the cafe. And, yes, I like my customers. Even if they don’t care about veganism, they’re educated every time they come in and that is something.”
She waved her hands about in annoyance. “And, besides, I don’t do that every single day. I go all over the country and take beautiful pictures. Not that you’d know or care since you’re too wrapped up in image and importance and what people think about you to appreciate anything as commonplace as art.”
“If you don’t care about image why do you bother taking pictures? You’re trying to say something, same as I.” He made a face. “Unless you go around and snap random shit with your eyes closed.”
Mattie threw up her hands in frustration. He was so bloody willfully blind. “I take pictures of things because I find them beautiful, not because anyone else told me they are. I trust myself. I trust my eye. I believe in myself and who I am and what I do. I don’t need anyone else to validate my existence, thank you very much. Your head would explode if you had to go twenty-four hours without someone assuring you of how wonderful you are.”
“No-one has told me I’m wonderful today,” said Idris, “and wow, I’m still here.” He smoothed down the lapels on his robes. “Amazing. Simply astounding.”
Looking him squarely in the eyes, Mattie said, “I pity you. You need color in your life so badly that you can’t even see how much you need it. You care what other people think so much that you can’t even admit it for fear of losing the respect of some pontificating peer of yours or another. Don’t you get tired, Idris?”
“Yes, this conversation is tiring me out,” he drawled.
“That, it seems, is the only thing we have in common,” Mattie said, throwing her hands up. He was so infuriating! He didn’t listen, he was incapable of compromise, and he absolutely could never, ever admit that anyone else might have a point about anything.
Ugh. Idris Robards was the absolute Worst. And all Mattie wanted in that instant was to turn his world upside down even if it was only for one fucking second.
So she grabbed him by one of his perfectly pressed lapels and pulled him down to her for a rather fierce kiss. Mattie had it on good authority that her kissing skills were exemplary and she was going to make damned sure that Idris knew it.
“Enjoy the Blue Moon,” she said when she finally pulled away.
And then she turned on her heel and marched off into the darkness hoping that she’d left him unsure, just this once.
What the hell just happened?
Were they soulmates now?
Of course not.
Idris did not believe in superstitions, especially such dumb, sappy ones.
Better go find his actual girlfriend and kiss her just to on the safe side, though.
He made sure there was no incriminating lipstick on his face before striding briskly back into the house.