Who: Sebastian Stebbins, Amelia Higgs
Where: Ceridwen’s Grove, Helga’s Hill
When: 23 March 2002, evening
“A sweet treat for the sweetest witch I see?” Stebbins asked with a grin, offering a toffee apple to Amelia with a flourish. He had never been to a wedding quite like this, but the food was top notch. So was the drink, come to think of it, and he’d needed a bit of a drink before giving his speech. In his opinion, it was gone swimmingly. A few laughs from the guests and neither the bride nor the bridesmaids had made any sort of attempt on his life. That chapter, he hoped, was well and truly over.
Now for something new. Perhaps that would be the delightful Amelia Higgs. If the toffee apple didn’t work, perhaps he could tempt her with something else.
Amelia raised an eyebrow. Both at the empty calories and at Stebbins’ compliment. She couldn’t remember the last time that anyone had called her sweet. Amy was many things, the majority of them complicated, but sweet was rarely among their number.
“No, thank you,” she said dryly. “But as my escort has been remiss, you could get me another glass of wine.”
Bloody Roger. He was really beginning to annoy her. Of course, he’d annoyed her when they’d dated in school as well. That was why she’d broken up with him. Plus, if she was honest, she’d reunited with him recently almost entirely because it annoyed her mother.
Stebbins smirked, amused by her bluntness. If she scowled, he was sure he would see a real family resemblance between Ter and his sister. “Can’t imagine why anyone would want to neglect you. He’s obviously an idiot.”
He passed the toffee apple to a passing small child, caring not for the consequences of any future sugar highs. “Wine I can do. Red, white, or the first thing that come to hand?”
Amelia shrugged and smiled a Mona Lisa smile. She had no intention of confirming nor denying Roger’s supposed idiocy. Those were her cards and she had no reason as of yet to put them on the table. Besides, Roger had his uses. And he was terribly pretty to boot.
“White, please,” she said, inclining her head in thanks and holding out her empty glass.
“As you wish,” Stebbins intoned solemnly, plucking the empty wineglass from her fingers and giving a slight bow. “One glass of white wine coming right up.”
It was about time he got another glass of whiskey, he decided as he weaved through the crowd to the bar. Stebbins only cast one sneaky glance behind him at her, for which he was rather proud. He could have looked at her for a long time if that hadn’t also been an extremely creepy idea. Perhaps another glass of wine might lighten her mood enough for him to be able to garner a dance from her. Though he had lost hope of getting a snog from anyone at this wedding, he could at least aim for a dance.
He returned swiftly, though another small child did nearly trip him on the way back. “I hope this is to your taste, m’lady,” he said with a lazy smile, presenting the wine to her.
“It is,” Amelia said, nodding her head in thanks. “And not simply because I made sure my brother chose this particular vintage.”
Terence was ridiculously susceptible to the power of persuasion (or, in this case, a well-placed shiny advertisement). He was too curious for his own good. Which was why he had been a member of every single club at Hogwarts despite having real interest in none of them.
She studied Stebbins of a moment, head tilted to the side. “Is it odd? Being the best man at the wedding of a woman you dated?”
Stebbins gently agitated the liquid in his glass, taking a moment to savour the bouquet before taking a sip of whiskey.
“Yes,” he decided. “But also no. It was a long time ago for both of us. It’s complicated. But made simpler with an open bar.” He grinned. “Honestly, I’m really happy for them both. That kind of outweighs everything else.”
“An open bar is the cure for many ills,” Amelia said dryly. Merlin knew that it was true. An open bar helped her deal with her parents’ constant expectations, and her boyfriend who was completely wrong for her, and the fact that her dreams were back so she wasn’t sleeping again.
Being in this town set her on edge. There was too much negative energy flying around the place. There was too much possibility of destruction. The last thing she wanted was to feel responsible for another death that she’d somehow failed to prevent by not understanding her Sight. She’d carried the guilt about Cedric Diggory around for too long already as it was.
All Amy wanted was to continue being able to pretend that this gift, or whatever it was, didn’t exist.
“Cheers to that,” Stebbins said, raising his glass in salute to the glory of open bars. It didn’t hurt that the Blishen distillery was the supplier of the firewhiskey at this event, either. Getting the custom has even earnt him a little praise from mother dearest.
“So, is your fellow going to mind if I ask you to dance? And will you say yes if I ask?”
“He might,” Amelia said, a lazy smirk gracing her face. She didn’t much care about annoying Roger. He spent an inordinate amount of time annoying her, after all. “And I might. No way to tell until you try.”
And why did she suspect that Sebastian Stebbins didn’t mind living life a bit on the edge?
So Amelia’s man might be bothered by him asking her to dance. Stebbins, however, thought it would be worth the risk. Amelia was too intriguing for him to turn down the challenge.
“How very true. Well, then, Miss Higgs, would you care to dance?” He smirked. “As long as you promise not to step on my toes, of course.”