Nicolette hurried to the dance studio, quite eager to see the cast list of the upcoming spring ballet. It's not like she doubted that she'd get a lead role, she just enjoyed finding out who else would be participating in the production. As she turned the corner and peered into the room, she saw a piece of parchment stuck to one of the mirrored walls. She immediately raced towards it, stopping herself just before she collided with the small crowd that had accumulated around the list. The girl silently read the sheet's content to herself, the excitement in her mind increasing rapidly.
Beauxbatons Academy of Magic Spring Ballet - Swan Lake
Prince Siegfried - Corbence Molliere
Odette/White Swan - Nicolette Beaumont
Benno - Luc Durand
Von Rothbart - Hugo Laurent
Odile/Black Swan - Marie Lefebvre
Queen Mother - Clara LaRoux
Nicolette felt her heart swell with joy as she read the list of lead roles... Although she'd never met the girl who was cast as Odile- Though it didn't matter, all she felt in that moment was pure happiness. In the corner her eye she saw Corbence, who was chatting with some of the other cast members. A wide grin spread on the girl's face as she made her way over to him. "You're going to be an amazing Prince Siegfried," She murmured, smiling as she threw her arms around his shoulders and gave him a kiss on the cheek that landed dangerously close to his mouth.
Corbence had scurried over to the cast list faster than he had leaped across stage. The separated fragments of roles prompted him to squint, but not for long. His name was the first on there, casted for Prince Siegfried, with Nicolette casted as his love interest, Odette. He had to admit, he was kind of proud of himself- who knew someone like him could get another lead role? In those moments, he actually didn't mind socializing, so he turned to the nearest person he recognized, which was luckily one of his friends. "Luc, congratulations! You'll make a magnificent Benno von Sommerstern. I guess it helps you're a friend of mine outside of the play as well," He commented. Before the boy in front of him could respond, Corbence felt a pair of plush-like lips tap him on the cheek and arms embrace him. He immediately knew who it was- how could he not? "Nicolette! Aw, I sure hope so," The boy smiled, his cheeks taking on a faint warmth. "But you're going to be an even better Odette. Really." Corbence said. His lopsided smile widened as he eyed Nicolette, his excitement growing as hers did.
"If you say so, mon partenaire," Nicolette murmured cheerfully before being pulled into a conversation with some of the other female cast members. "And meet me in the garden later, ok?" She called out, then turned to face the girls who had been trying to get her attention. As she happily chatted with the four girls who'd be performing the dance of the cygnets, an unfamiliar figure caught her eye. She was tall and svelte, with porcelain skin and jet black hair that'd been pulled into a perfect bun. "Oh, hello!" Nicolette greeted her, giving a short wave and a smile. "I'm guessing you're Marie?-" She trailed off, realizing she wouldn't be getting a response from the student, who walked past without even acknowledging her. The girl stopped at the cast list, pausing to read off the names. A confident smirk formed on her lips as she saw her part. "Well there's a black swan if I ever saw one," Whispered one of the cygnets, while Nicolette watched intently as Marie spun on her heels and made her way over to where Luc and Corbence were standing. "I don't think I've formally introduced myself, I'm Marie Lefebvre, your black swan," She began, brushing her hand against Corbence's shoulder ever so casually, "Pleased to meet you." Her words were smooth and unapologetic, and her almond eyes practically stared into the depths of the boy's soul. Nicolette stood only a few meters away, watching as the event unfolded. At that moment all she could feel was helplessness and heartache.
Corbence turned back to Luc to continue their conversation before a lithe figure brushed up against him. He flinched in mild alarm, but, upon pivoting on his heel, he realized it was only another cast member. "Oh, hello, Marie! I was wondering if I'd get to see you here," The boy said, leaning towards the girl and giving her two pecks, one on her right cheek and one on her left. A friendly smile formed on his lips as he added onto his greeting. "I think we've been in a couple classes together before. The Care of Magical Creatures, perhaps?" He said, half stating and half asking. With a sudden nervous and almost frenzied aura, Corbence shook his head and disregarded the thought. "Ah, well, no use in pondering. We're here now. It'll be lovely performing with you." The boy's soft smile widened into a grin, his eyes traveling up and down the girl's frame just once.
Nicolette stood, watching with glassy blue eyes as Corbence greet Marie. The first peck on the cheek tore her heart in two, being held together by a single thread, which the second kiss cut in half. Deep down, she knew that it shouldn't mean anything, but seeing the almost smug look on Marie's face after being kissed on the cheek was torture. "I don't feel so hot," She mumbled to her friends before grabbing her bag, slinging it over her shoulder, and hurrying out the door. She rushed down the corridor and out through one of the entrances to the school's garden, thankful that it was a relatively short walk from the ballet studio. A deep sigh escaped the girl's throat as she made her way to her favorite marble bench and dropped her bag before sitting down. Although the cold stone rose goosebumps on her skin, Nicolette could feel her head and neck flush with heat and embarrassment. I've already made a fool of myself and we haven't even started to learn the routines, She thought to herself, burying her face in her hands.
The four cygnets stood behind Nicolette, watching the situation like a sporting event. They felt her pain and winced as well when Corbence gave the two friendly kisses to Marie, then watched their swan queen flee. Seeing as the male lead didn't seem to notice his girlfriend run away, clearly upset, they had to take action- It's what friends do. "Hey, maybe instead of checking out Marie, whether you mean to or not, how about you go find Nicolette? She fled to the garden, she seemed pretty upset," One of them whispered to him, before adding a quieter "Bitch" at the end and walking off.
The faint light in Corbence's eyes seemed to dim as he heard that Nicolette was upset. "Oh dear, I'm terribly sorry," He called after the cygnet that had informed him. The word 'bitch' didn't really stick to him, and although he was a fragile boy, he was much more concerned for Nicolette than himself. "My apologies, Marie, but I've got to go," Corbence said, brushing the girl off of him to pick up his bag and sling it over his shoulder. He hastily scurried to the garden, not stopping for a single soul as he spotted his swan on a sleek marble bench. "Nicolette, I'm so sorry," The boy said, coming to a stop before her. The bag slung lazily on his shoulder toppled off and onto the ground as he sat on the bench. He scooted a teensy bit closer to Nicolette and put an arm around her, then rested his cheek ever so gently on her shoulder. "I really am."
Nicolette took a deep breath, trying to find the right thing to say. She brought a hand to her baby blue eyes, drying them, even though she wasn't really crying. Just upset enough to fog her vision. "I didn't want to make a scene," The girl mumbled, feeling incredibly embarrassed about leaving the room so abruptly. "It's just," She began, fumbling with her words, "It just hurt to see her suck up to you, and watching you kiss her- even in a friendly way- didn't help, y'know? I know you didn't mean to make me feel bad, I don't know why it mattered so much-" She paused for a moment, taking in another breath, "I guess it's because I love you."
Corbence paused for just a moment, double-checking that he wasn't dreaming and that she had really just told him that she loved him- in fact, he pinched himself for clarification. Then, without hesitation, he replied. "I love you too," The boy murmured softly. "A lot. And I'm really sorry that all the stuff back there happened." His words hovered in the air for a moment, conducting an unfinished pause, before he continued. "But.. She's probably not going to stop sucking up to me, y'know? So there's probably much more to come. But I promise something like that won't happen again. Alright? Promise."
Nicolette nodded, scooting a bit closer to her benchmate. In silence, she gently took his hand and laced their fingers together, before resting her head on his shoulder. She stared up at the evening sky, where the first stars were beginning to softly glow. Lost in thought, her gaze shifted from Corbence, then to the moon, then to the stars, then to the many bushes and trees that stood bare in the winter. Although some of the garden's more prized flowers had been enchanted to stay alive during the colder months, most of the basic plants were left to face the harsh climate without any magical assistance. A faint blush warmed her pale cheeks as she reflected back on her actions from a few minutes ago, quite glad her "I love you" had gotten a positive response. Almost soundlessly, she repeated those three words in a whisper, giving the boy's hand a gentle squeeze.
Corbence could've sat there forever, holding Nicolette's hand under the twinkling stars, dreaming up a future and reflecting on the past. Truly, the night wasn't perfect- it was chilly, chilly enough to surely cause a string of goosebumps and perhaps numb some of the body, and a few clouds hung low in the sky, who obstructed the full panorama of the night sky. But he swore the moment was perfect. It was cold, cold enough to snuggle, and he could imagine portions of the dark sky, glittering in all their glory. He traced lines on her thumb with his gently, feeling more tranquil than the moon and the stars and the sky combined.