|Beth H (bethbethbeth) wrote in hp_beholder,|
@ 2009-04-24 11:59:00
|Entry tags:||beholder 2009, fic, filius flitwick, het, irma pince|
FIC: "Secret Admirer" for hayseed
Recipient: hayseed / hayseed_42
Title: Secret Admirer
Pairings: Irma Pince/Filius Flitwick
Word Count: 2,218
Warnings: Cuteness ahoy!
Summary: Irma Pince wishes to be a different person - older, prettier, more confident. Her secret admirer likes her just the way she is.
Author's Notes: I hope you enjoy! (...Thanks to L, my patient beta for her help)
Irma Pince scrunched her shoulders as she sighed over her books.
Helen, her usual study partner and fellow Ravenclaw, glanced up from scribbling frantically away at her Transfiguration essay. "What's wrong?"
Irma watched one of the older Hufflepuff girls walk by, a stack of books in her arm. She was greeted by a handsome seventh year who pulled out her chair for her.
"Oh, nothing." Irma turned the page of her Arithmancy text.
"That nothing sounds like something," Helen said, finishing her sentence and then setting her quill down.
"It's just- I'll never be like her," she said, gesturing to the girl and her boyfriend, heads together as whispers passed between them. "Here I am, nearly at the end of fifth year, and I haven't so much as held a boy's hand. I'll die alone surrounded by stacks of books and cats."
Helen scoffed and started writing again. "I don't see the point in having some inane boy validate your existence. We're Ravenclaws, Irma. We're beyond that."
"I don't need someone to validate my existence," she said with a sniff. "I'd just like someone nice to go to Hogsmeade with."
"Like I'm chopped liver?"
"No. You know what I mean, Helen. You go to Madam Puddifoot's with Nigel every chance you can get - when you're speaking to him, that is - so don't get like that with me. I don't want a boy to complete me. I just feel lonely sometimes, and I'd like someone to argue with and kiss and dance with and dream about - someone who notices I'm alive, that is."
"Oh, Irma, it's going to happen. I know it is. You just have to be patient. Boys aren't really worth the fuss, anyway."
Irma rolled her eyes and settled back in her chair, gazing at the other students in the library. There were paired couples sequestered all about the library with books and quills and secret smiles for each other. She frowned as giggles resounded from one pair, and she smiled when she heard the gratifying shush from the librarian.
She sighed again. Irma knew she was smart. She loved books, but she felt much more comfortable dreaming through their worlds than living in hers. When she looked in the mirror, she saw only mousy, lifeless hair, an underwhelming figure, spots the size of Puffskeins, and boring brown eyes, all bound within a tiny frame that was always too short to get a good look at anything in a crowd.
"I just wish I were like the older girls. Pretty, confident, athletic. I bet they receive love letters by the dozen. It would be lovely. I've read about it in some of the stories Mother sends me."
"Self-pity does not become you, you know," said Helen sharply, not looking up, "and your OWLS are not going to revise themselves on their own."
"I know, I know," Irma said, and she picked up her book again in earnest.
If only she'd known that someone was watching her from the shadows, and that someone thought she was the most beautiful, wonderful girl in the entire world.
The next morning, when the owls descended on the Great Hall, an unfamiliar one fluttered down in front of Irma. A roll of parchment was tied to its foot. Irma frowned, wondering who might have sent it. Her family owls usually made all her deliveries, and her parents had sent their weekly letter the day before.
"Thanks," she said, untying her post and handing the owl a bite of bacon.
She unrolled the parchment and read.
My dearest Irma,
I think you are the finest girl at Hogwarts. I like you a great deal, and my only hope is that one day, you will like me.
Your Secret Admirer
Irma stared at the parchment. She read the words again, and then once more. Her face pale, she nudged Helen.
"Did you write this?" She shoved the parchment in front of her.
Helen read it. "No, of course I didn't. Looks like you've got what you wanted. Someone fancies you."
"What if- what if it's a joke? Someone having me on? To- to make fun of me?"
"Irma, you are the biggest worry wart in the history of worry warts. I have to get to the greenhouse early, but please try not to let a love note spoil your day."
As her friend walked away, Irma read the words again. Tears stung her eyes, and she shut them tight to keep from crying. If only it was from someone who truly admired her... It was probably a Slytherin having a good laugh. She was glad her back was to their table.
"Irma? Are you alright?"
She started at the soft voice and shoved the parchment under her stack of books. Filius Flitwick stood on the bench beside her. "Oh, hullo, Filius," she said, sniffling again, but managing to pull herself together enough to put on a brave smile. "I'm fine. Just- having a bad day, I suppose."
Filius frowned, and Irma thought she saw his eyes flicker to her books and then back to her face. `But of course he saw me shove it away,' she thought. `I'm not subtle, am I?'
"I hate that you're having a bad day. Surely I can remedy this. Why don't you and I work on charms this afternoon? I came up with a new translation charm for that mysterious book of yours."
Now Irma's smile wasn't forced. She and Filius often worked on charms studies together. He was gifted, and while she knew her way around her wand, he showed her new ways to get results every time. She never laughed as much as she did when she was with Filius. They always had a very good time together.
"I'd like that. I can't wait to see what you've found. I've been dying to figure it out since I found it at the bazaar in Cairo."
"Then I'll find you in the common room this afternoon."
"I look forward to it," she said with a grin. She was in a much better mood as they walked together to Herbology.
What with classes and charms practice with Filius, Irma quite forgot about the letter from her admirer until much later that night when she pulled it out again. If it wasn't a joke or a mean prank, who could have written it? Did a boy actually like her? If he did, whatever could she do to find out who it was? Did she even want to know?
The next day in History of Magic, Professor Binns lectured on the Goblin Wars. Irma was the only pupil she knew who looked forward to History of Magic. Professor Binns was dry, but he knew so very much about history. Unlike her classmates, she didn't pass notes, whisper to others, or read throughout the period. Even Filius and Helen paid little attention, but Irma didn't care. She took her notes, and made further notes to explore certain topics on her own, when Binns did not go into detail.
So engrossed was she that she didn't hear a rustle at her elbow. It was a few minutes later, when she stopped to flip to a page in her textbook, that she saw the envelope on her desk. Normally nothing would keep her from focusing in class, but this was a special circumstance. She opened it.
My dearest Irma,
Delivering these notes takes all my courage. Writing them, however, is easy. Believe me when I say this - I think of you all the time. You are smart and lovely, and there is no one here who means more to me.
With great fondness,
Your Secret Admirer
Irma completely lost the thread of Professor Binns' lecture after that.
In the hallway after class, Helen took the letter from Irma's shaking hands. "Huh," she said after reading it. "It has to be a Ravenclaw. No one else writes as nicely, and see? Can't be a Gryffindor, because he'd have delivered it with no hint of hesitation. Someone is sweet on you, Irma, and it's someone in our house."
"Someone's sweet on who?" Filius asked as he caught up to the girls. He always waited a moment or two for the room to clear before leaving; there was much less jostling that way.
Irma's cheeks went pink. "Maybe me. I'm getting letters from a secret admirer."
"Oho," he said, and he watched her closely. "They're nice letters?"
Irma shook her head yes. "I just hope they're not a joke to make me look stupid."
Filius stammered, "Oh, well, how could- I mean to say, it's not as if people do that kind of thing, do they?"
Irma shrugged. "Maybe they would to me."
"Now that's the silliest thing I've ever heard."
"It would be nice if it wasn't a joke," Irma said, her cheeks going even pinker.
"You deserve all the nice you can get, Irma, truly."
Helen watched them both with a raised eyebrow, but said nothing.
Irma received a new letter every day the rest of the week. Each one filled her with more delight and excitement, but the letter that came Friday filled her with dread.
My dearest Irma,
It is time for me to face my fears and reveal myself. Won't you please come with me to Madam Puddifoot's tomorrow? If you don't like the tea room, we can go anywhere in Hogsmeade. I don't care where we go, so long as I am with you. I'll meet you by the main gate, and I'll wear a flower in my lapel, so you will know me.
With such fondness,
Your Not Secret for Much Longer Admirer
Back in their rooms, Irma was a fluttering mess. "Helen, I can't. I'm too scared. What if it's a joke? What if it's Herbert, that third year with the greasy hair? What if-?"
Helen placed her hands on Irma's shoulders, refraining from shaking sense into her. "Irma. Listen to yourself. Someone fancies you a great deal. I predict that he is a fine fellow. His letters have sent you over the moon all week long. Don't be a coward and miss out on this."
If her friend didn't get on with it, Helen was going to frogmarch her to the gates herself.
"But- but- what if"
"No more what ifs. The only thing you need to worry about is what you're going to wear tomorrow." Helen headed for Irma's wardrobe and the girls spent the rest of the evening giggling and debating the perfect outfit.
Saturday morning, however, found Irma even more terrified than before. She left the castle with Helen (and Nigel, of course) on her way to meet her admirer, but she doubled back to the dormitories, claiming she'd forgotten something, before they'd made it to the gates.
"I can't do it," she said, breathing hard as she sat in her favorite armchair in the common room. "I just- it's too scary."
"What's too scary? Irma, are you- Please say you're alright."
Irma glanced up to see Filius, watching her with a worried expression.
"I was- there've been those letters, you know, and I was supposed to meet him, but I'm too scared to-"
Irma broke off. There was a white carnation in Filius' lapel. Her eyes widened.
"You? You're my- my secret admirer?"
Filius looked down at the floor, his cheeks mottled with red. He finally shook his head yes. "I don't blame you for not wanting to go. I didn't- it was a- I know I'm nothing much. Literally."
Because he was looking down, he didn't see the smile on Irma's face. When she took his hand in hers, though, he ventured a glance.
"You really meant what you wrote?" Irma's heart beat faster. Filius was no handsome seventh year, but what did she need with a handsome seventh year? Filius was dear to her already. She quite liked the idea that he could be dear to her in a different way.
"Every word," he said.
"Why didn't you just tell me?"
He hesitated before answering. "I was afraid you'd laugh at me. I'm not- like the rest of the fellows here."
"I would never laugh at you, and- I'm glad you're not like the rest of the fellows here. I like you as you are." Irma beamed and leaned forward to kiss his cheek. "And I'd like to go with you to Madam Puddifoot's. I think we'll have a lovely time."
Filius said nothing. He was smiling too hugely.
Hand in hand, they left the castle and walked to Hogsmeade together. It was the finest trip any two students ever had the fortune to take.
That's what they always told their grandchildren, anyway.