It had been a full seven days since Nick had felt the burning lick of flames spreading up his robes, the callous wind rushing past him as he was all but engulfed by fiendfyre and the sickening snap of broken bones. Grimacing at the memory the Ravenclaw kept close to the blonde escorting him to his lesson, his first in weeks. It had taken hours for Jeff to convince him to attend the numbers class and he was damn well sure he would be in attendance, and arrive unscathed. It had taken another five minutes to get the smaller boy to detach himself and enter the classroom, skittish and clutching his books so close to his chest he was sure he could almost feel his long since healed ribs throbbing once more.
The cuts were nearly healed now, faint fading bruises, red marks and tiny scars littering his face and arms, the brace to support his once shattered wrist now a thick set of bandages to keep the final pieces of bone in place, but it was the limp that was still most prominent as he took a seat near the back, hoping to avoid interaction. It had since come to light that it wasn’t a single bite mark causing so much grief, but the unruly decision to throw the nasty creature back with a spell meant it left with more than a taste of him, and took a sizeable chunk instead as it toppled back. Covering his mouth to stop the gagging sensation rising up on him again Nick tried to avoid the gazes of his class mates and take delicate notes in silence, or tried to, until partners were coming together with huge grins at the proposition of team work.
Perfect. The brunette groaned inwardly and shrunk back in his seat, cursing Jeff for making him come to this specific lesson. Carefully picking up his books and bag he scanned the class to see only one other without a partner. Shakily making his way over to the Gryffindor he gingerly tapped her on the shoulder, consciously making the effort to try and stamp down the dread building up in his stomach and trying to make his voice as confident as he could, for the last time he had even been in the vicinity of the girl in front of him had been the last D.A meeting, and that hadn’t exactly been a friendly atmosphere for either of them to be surrounded in. “R-Rachel… do you want to work together?”
Rachel had been on edge ever since her encounter with Quinn; it would be imprudent to disregard Jeff’s remark completely, but she trusted Quinn nevertheless. Her uneasiness has been showing itself through her schoolwork, and this particular Arithmancy lesson wasn’t showing signs of being any different. It took her a moment to notice that Nick was was even talking to her. She jumped, startled, and turned around abruptly to look up at the boy standing before her.
"Nick. You startled me," Rachel muttered. She glanced around to check whether there was anyone else lacking a partner, as she wasn’t sure whether Nick knew about Quinn’s situation with Jeff, and she didn’t want to have to work through any tension. She was out of luck, though; everyone else was already paired up. "I wouldn’t mind working together. Take a seat," she said, returning her gaze to Nick.