Marcus was a gentleboy. He knew the proper term was gentleman, but at thirteen years old, he was certainly not a man yet, his voice too high and his body too small. Despite a discrepancy of terms, he was a gentle-something. He would not have considered himself the most proper of purebloods, but a pureblood he was. He attended balls and events with Mom and Dad, and he generally enjoyed them. He figured that indicated he was doing something right.
Sonora was having a ball, something apparently held every so often. The blond had not been a student yet the last time one occurred, so he could only use his imagination to consider what this ball could entail. Marcus liked events because he liked people, liked seeing how nicely everyone looked in their extravagant gowns and glowing dress robes. The decorations, he predicted, would also be more than worth a sideways glance.
The thing about school dances, though, was that a date was generally a good thing to have, as he understood it. Without a date, one was left to bounce between other singles; while it could be fun too, Marcus wanted one person to whom he could dedicate his evening. For that reason, he set about the mental process of picking a date.
It was not difficult. There were plenty of girls in his class and in the surrounding classes, but he knew exactly who to ask, though he briefly considered his other options. Brielle was on his Quidditch team, but he liked thinking of her as a teammate, so going to a dance with her would be odd and icky. If a team was like a family, Brielle was like a sister. Lucrezia was a viable choice, given that they were friends, but he was fond of their friendship as it was. Asking a date meant being more than just friends. Of course, there was one girl with whom he would have gladly been more than friends.
The Teppenpaw recalled telling Melanie Lennox how pretty she was from what might have been their first conversation, and he had not lied. He found a certain beauty in everyone, but Melanie surpassed that without a second glance. Her amazing beauty had sparked an initial desire to know her, but her kind personality had kept him hooked. Marcus felt nervous when he talked to her, afraid to say something stupid or mess up, yet he could not contain himself and had to say something; a typically go-with-the-flow kind of kid, he had never felt that way before her.
It was easily decided to ask her to the ball. This could be his chance! Plus, surely a wonderful girl like Melanie would have multiple people out to win her affections, so he had to be quick and suave. Aunt Lilac had told him previously that when Uncle Seth had initially asked her out, he had brought a bouquet of flowers. Obviously that had worked, since they were married with two kids now, so Marcus decided to do the same.
He waited in the Common Room on a Saturday morning, making certain to rise especially early so he would not miss her. His nerves wreaked havoc on his empty stomach, teaching it gymnastics, the feeling informed him. He could feel his palms sweating, and he had to sit the bouquet down for fear of his sweat contaminating the flowers somehow. He was prepared to wait as long as it took for his maybe-date to stir.
When she finally came, his eyes lit up with excitement, a crooked smile spreading onto his face. "Hey, Melanie!" he beamed, grabbing the bouquet haphazardly as he bounded towards her. His feet were quick, but moving toward her felt like slow-motion, never fast enough. When he finally stood before her, he stiffly extended his arm, offering her the flowers. "Um, these are for you. I was wondering if, um, you'd like to go to the ball with me?" He could feel his heartbeat in his ears, his brain, his everything. Please say yes, he silently begged.
What with the challenges this year, it was a really good thing that Melanie picked up on her schoolwork so quickly. Her grades were pretty important to her and she tended to be at least two years ahead in theoretical work. Not that she had to do fifth year level work, but all this time the Teppenpaw had had to help Valerie keep up with hers though not quite as much as before. Even though they were actually in the same classes this year.
Not that schoolwork was the only thing on her mind. There was also a ball coming up and she'd heard it was mandatory. Melanie really wanted to go with someone-someone specific actually-but she kind of thought people her age, especially boys, were in that weird stage where some were interested in girls and some were not and probably wouldn't ask a girl. Plus, there were so many more girls than guys at Sonora. Why would someone choose her out of all the girls in school? Melanie didn't have particularly low self-esteem, she realized her own good qualities, but she wasn't so full of herself that she thought herself anything special either.
On the off chance that someone did ask Melanie to the dance, at least she wouldn't feel guilty for having a date when Valerie didn't, because her sister was betrothed to someone who didn't go to Sonora and it would be improper for her to go with someone else in the first place. If nothing else, they could hang out together as Brianna was going with Linus Macaulay. The Teppenpaw didn't know if they would mind her sister being around but it would be awkward for Valerie to be a third wheel.
That did not, however, stop Melanie from hoping she'd be asked anyway. There was someone she sort of liked, but he had other friends. He was a pretty social person who liked everyone and that she couldn't imagine anyone-other than maybe Carrie O'Malley-disliking him. He was such a sweet guy which made him even cuter than he would have been otherwise. Personality was so much more important than looks.
Of course, there was the issue that someone else might ask her. It might be numerically unlikely, but it could happen. Then Melanie wouldn't want to hurt that person's feelings if she said no because she was waiting for the person she wanted to ask to ask her. Then if that person asked her, she'd have to say no to him and feel bad that she might have hurt his feelings. Plus, there would be the disappointment she'd feel about not being able to go with the person she really wanted and the person Melanie did go with might sense she wanted to be there with someone else, and feel bad about that .
This sort of thing could be very complicated, and in a way, the Teppenpaw was sort of glad she would be betrothed and not have to worry about relationship drama. She didn't know how muggleborns and halfbloods could put up with that sort of stress. Melanie could handle stress better than her sister but she'd always been taught that it was a bad thing. Of course, she couldn't deny the fact that she did have a little crush on someone and hope that, as he was a pureblood of her social standing, maybe, just maybe, it would happen for her and him. Melanie would at least be happy about it. Of course, she didn't know if he liked her as anything other than a friend. Although, even from that perspective it would be better to marry a friend than someone you didn't know or didn't like. Maybe it could even grow into more.
She walked down the stairs from the girls' dormitories as she was on her way to the library, a place she often visited. Melanie hadn't signed up as a volunteer this year due to figuring that the challenges were going to take up a lot of time and she just didn't have time for it while trying to maintain her grades. However, she still spent quite a bit of time there because not only were her studies quite important to her, but because Melanie also loved to read for fun.
When she got to the common room, she noticed Marcus standing with a bouquet of flowers. He quickly approached her and handed them out to her. "Sure, I'd love to go to the ball with you!" Melanie replied beaming. This was exactly what she wanted and the fact that he'd brought flowers was so sweet.