The Big Damn Kiss
I'm very probably late here and had to rush the end on my break at work but here we go! May or may not act as a tie in to the muggle soulmate AU I have in the works. Huge huge huge shout out to @theresthesnitch and @mppmaraudergirl for starting this exercise, it is truly helping with my current writers block x I watched every Australian women's hockey game in the Olympics this year and I still know nothing about the game.
It happens on a Wednesday. The last Wednesday in May at 6:23pm, to be precise. The day is quickly losing light as Dorcas Meadowes stands by the university’s single maintained football field (like the long abandoned swimming pool, she’s only heard rumours of the other fields), the boundary fence she’s leaning against presses into the back of her thighs and the chill that comes with the night, that seeps into the metal like water into a sponge, bites at her through the fabric of her jeans. Goosebumps rise on her arms and on the back of her neck, but not from the cold. The blond on the field in front of her, the particular blond that was only a second beforehand just a blur of the purple and black Hogwarts University hockey uniform, tumbles to the ground. Dorcas watches, almost as if in a slow motion replay, the arc of her left foot through the air and the stick of the opponent chasing, following through it’s assault on her ankle. She rolls once, twice, and in a single, fluid motion she’s up again, on her knees as the whistle signals a penalty.
The blond, Marlene, looks up at her now, grinning despite her disheveled state. Her short blond curls are escaping the braids Dorcas had put them in only a few hours before, mud is smeared on her arms, her knees, the loud violet of her socks under her shin guards almost indistinguishable from it, a few stray strands of hair stick to the dried blood above her eyebrow. The goosebumps reappear with a vengeance.
“I told you to bring a jacket,” Lily says from beside her, though she is looking down at her phone, fingers tapping deftly as she updates Remus on the game. If she hadn’t seen her friend’s lips moving, Dorcas could believe she heard her own mother utter the words. She tries not to roll her eyes. She does not feel the cold, that’s not what makes her shoulders tingle.
Nor her stomach feel as if it is about to burst from her throat.
Or that there is a swarm of disgruntled insects bouncing around her diaphragm.
It hadn’t always been like this. Only nine months beforehand, Dorcas had moved half a world away, from the bounds of the small town she had grown up in in the south of Wales, all the way to this- this fortress in the Scottish highlands; she had quickly become close friends with housemate, Lily, and in turn, Lily’s friend Marlene. She had been mesmerised at first, not quite sure what to think of this overwhelming amount of energy and booming laughter packed tightly into the body of a six foot tall Scottish woman, but by christmas she had become enamoured with the wide, toothy grin always directed at her, and the bright blue eyes that almost seem to find her instantly in the most crowded of rooms.
Nearly six months later, Dorcas is pining. At least, that’s what Emmeline has told her, in her typical blunt fashion no less. It's the same way she had introduced herself in their first week of Historical Studies, along with her pronouns and a prompt “And I’m gay. Y’know, just in case you’re a bigot with an issue, we should get that out of the way now”, and the same way she had informed the other girl on New Years Eve that she may, in fact, be queer. If she wants to identify as such, Emmeline had reassured. Dorcas Meadowes had always known who she was, always marched to the beat of her own drum, had been raised to be headstrong and sure of herself. Questioning her identity really is not something she is familiar with.
Now, her eyes are darting up and down the field, not really following the play of the ball so much as the blond girl behind it. There is two minutes left in play and, with a last second pass, HU scores. Marlene grins at her again and the swarm in her stomach hums excitedly. She bites her lip and her heart is beating in time with her hurried claps. Fifty seconds. Figures in violet kits mark their opposition in powder blue. Forty five. Captain Lucinda Talkalot has to jump to avoid the ball hitting her foot. Marlene is in possession. Thirty seconds. She makes it half the field before possession is taken again. Ten seconds. She's chasing. Chasing. Chasing. Five. The keeper dives but she's too late. Two. The ball tangles in the net, a point for Beauxbatons. One. She stops, hands braced on her knees, shoulders shaking with every pant.
Spectators on the other side of the field and a swarm of girls in blue are cheering, screams echoing in the dusk, but Dorcas doesn't notice. She doesn't hear Lily's confused questioning as she pushes off the fence, doesn't see the Hogwarts player she nearly bumps into in her haste. She doesn't hear anything but the pulsing of blood in her ears, feel anything but the airy lurching in her stomach and the thud of her heart in her throat. She doesn't see anything but the blond across the field, face red and slick with sweat as she stares at the mud on her cleats. Dorcas is running but she doesn't realise until blue eyes look up at her, clouded with confusion.
"We lost," Marlene tells her breathlessly as she straightens, hands braced on her hips now. "Why do you look like we won?"
It's a rhetorical question, obviously. Obviously. But Dorcas hears herself answering anyway. "Because I am entirely besotted with you, Marlene McKinnon, and I am going to snog you."
Two pairs of eyes go wide and she stops short only a few inches from the other girl. There is silence in their bubble, but for their panting breaths that mingle in between them. Did she really just say that?
She swallows hard, a breath, and then, "Can- I mean, can I kiss you?"
For a moment she thinks the other girl will say no. The longest moment of her life, Marlene will say no, that she isn't interested, that she was never flirting and only trying to be nice. It's a split second in time. But then Marlene is kissing her, palms flat against Dorcas' back, pulling her forward as they almost dip. It is hard and rushed and heated, and tender and slow and soft all at once. A perfect balance of give and take. She feels the air rush from her lungs, her head swims, the anxiety built in her shoulders over the last six months dissipates and it is only a moment before her brain catches up and she is kissing back. Dorcas doesn't hear the whistles or the cheers, nor Lily's shout of it's about time! She doesn't see anything around them as her eyes flutter closed.