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Ranny by loopyluna

Format: Novel
Chapters: 22
Word Count: 79,206
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: General, Romance, Angst
Characters: Scorpius, Albus, Rose, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 10/07/2010
Last Chapter: 10/27/2011
Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Summary:
A story of knights, damsels and growing up. 
Bannerwolfy_and_co@tda





At the age of eleven, Ranny realised that the wizards and witches in this world are not like those in books. Through the good and the bad, she’s clung to her fairy tales as if they were her sustenance. But there are something’s that not even the merry men can elucidate.


Chapter 1: Robin Hood
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Beautiful Chapter Image by ladycobra @ tda. 
Albus Potter




 

I am quiet. I look down to examine my worn, slender hands as I realise, I always have been.



I grew up in a world made by my father, a world where my navy and golden bound book of fairy tales was as real as could be. I would wake up a princess and sleep as Peter Pan. In my dreams, I would fly with Wendy, during the day I would fight Captain Hook. I had a pair of green tights and a matching hat to be Robin Hood when I pleased. They were my saviour, my masks. When I put on glass slippers, I became a Cinderella of riches, not a chimney sweeper or a servant girl to my sisters. After all, I had none.

 

My father would plait my light brown hair before I played, so when we would fight with the fire logs as swords it would not disturb my performance. For years it was just me and him - the two of us in a little cottage just off of the town. The neighbours knew our smiles and the muggle shopkeepers knew our weekly orders of bread, milk and chewey refresher sweets.

 

At the age of seven, I grew too big for my boots. As only King Arthur could, I levitated a log from a stone. But I was not Arthur, I grew to be Merlin.

 

My father is a muggle and until I was eleven, the only magic we knew was the myths we read in books. It was easy to overlook the signs, seeing a child levitate a tea cup isn’t something that a person will willingly admit that they saw. It’s easier to pretend that it never happened, that it was a trick of light.

 

Yet when a large Professor with long brown hair arrived with a letter scrawled in black in and stamped with a red wax seal – I couldn’t refuse to offer to live with real magic. Father encouraged me more than I would have ever imagined.

 

So here I stand, in a school full of witches and wizards, each in a world of their own, six years after I left my muggle life behind. I am equipped with a wand, wit, and a childlike demeanour. But these magical folk aren’t like the ones in my story books. 

 




 
 

“Ranny, come on, give me a smile.” Albus taunted cheerfully. “You know that I didn’t mean to hit the Giant Squid.”

 

I pursed my red lips. “You were throwing rocks across the lake, and aiming for the tentacles.”

 

“I was not!”

 

“I saw you judge the distance!” I replied hotly. “Don’t like to me Ally.”

 

Albus pouted adorably and widened his large green eyes. “I’m not lying, Ran, you’ve got to believe me!”

 

The sad thing was, I always did. I knew this time would be no different.

 

At the age of eleven I was socially awkward, but wasn’t everyone? It felt odd leaving behind my best friend and the thought of sleeping anywhere but my crumpled bed in the cottage urked me a tad. But I was going to a place of magic. In this world, there was no maths, no Science. In this world, PE was considered flying, Physics was Transfiguration and Languages was Runes. You would work out the velocity of a plane or you could fly next to one on a broom that used to be a table.

 

The choice sounded easy enough. But to me, it was difficult. Yet I had to choose, and I chose wonder. 

 

As I said goodbye to my father, I shed only one tear. He wiped it away and stored a little green cap in to my bag; it was fit with a feather. I could always save the day. I only worried that if I were Robin Hood, who was the Sherriff?

 

I quickly met him. Or her, as I should say.

 

Rose Weasley was supposed to be lovely. With her red locks of hair and her pretty blue eyes, she looked angelic. She was the child of the Wizarding Worlds saviours. But she wasn’t nice. The Gryffindor was intelligent, quaint and had the ability to read people like a book. It didn’t help that she had the face of an angel. She could murder a child and get away simply with the look of innocence.

 

Yet little Rose Weasley had a downside, his name was Malfoy. While she strutted around like a queen, Scorpius Malfoy loved nothing more than to undermine the little authority that she actually obtained. Her life was a game to him. His high cheekbones only illuminated his grey eyes, framing his handsome face. He was a pureblood, and he knew it, much to Rose’s dismay.

 

To them, life was a game of ‘King of the Castle’, in this case, literally. Whoever could stand tall and pummel the other in to the ground won. It was ghastly. But Scorpius was only in it for the fun, he didn’t care if she won; he only wanted to see the red-head squirm.

 

I had written to my father almost instantly, telling him of the captivating aura of the castle. There were simply no words to explain it, no way of letting him know the beauty that was my school. Even a photograph would do it no justice. It was a perfect playing ground, the best fort that I had ever seen – and I would have no one to play with.

 

But I did meet my right hand man. We’ve been stuck together ever since.

 

His name is Albus Potter. He pushed me in to the lake as we took the boat ride towards the school as first years. We never looked back. I watched him now as he let out a breathy yawn and stretched out his arms behind his back in wait for my answer. I didn’t look him in the eye; I merely stared at the grass.

 

“I believe you Albus.” I said slowly. “But only a little.”

 

He smirked and punched me on my upper arm. “That’s good enough for me.” A student laughed in the distance as I examined my bare feet, mud graced them as if they were old friends. “Do you want to get some tea? We could go to the kitchens?”

 

I nodded eagerly and he pulled me from our spot by the old oak tree.

 

I hadn’t realised how the roles had switched. I knew that I was no longer Robin, that Scorpius could never be the Sherrif, no matter how much his father begged him. I knew that the Potter that I considered my other half, who wore the red embalmed robes, deserved to wear the green hat. And so he did.

 

I was a first year when Albus stole my little green garment. He placed it upon his head, covering the disarray of hair that he graced, and headed out towards the forest. I followed in annoyance. He took it. He knew not to take it. It was mine.

 

Within the hour, nameless students were fighting the right to give to the poor. The rich wore crowns made of leaves and had only tree bark as currency. The peasants were muddy, and fighting for the rights of who they considered their people. The odd teacher looked on the group worriedly.

 

Al jumped in later, having stood on a rock for most of the play-war, he was eager to join in. I sat up high, my soles of my feet stuck to the stone beneath me. From the rock he jumped, landing on the ground below with a thud. He charged in to battle, wearing the little green cap, and sent a Ravenclaw to the Hospital Wing by mistake.

 

That was the last time we were allowed to play Robin Hood.

 

The teachers banned our games, not just the one, them all. Peter Pan managed to interrupt our learning and the girls form my dorm tried to catch fairies – for their dust. My fairy tale books soon became Albus’s bible, and soon, we shared the stories with anyone who would listen. Malfoy was quickly intrigued. When Albus adapted to the role of Robin, Scorp quickly became Little John – AL’s right hand man.

 

Rose found our games silly. Automatically she was made the bad figure in our games. She once told me to be Alice so she could push me in to a rabbit hole. She called my two friends the Mad Hatters and trampled on my little kingdom. Father had always told me to watch out for the Sheriffs’.

But Albus never really forgave her. He would smile if she passed, but I like to think he chose me.

 

As the years went by, my books stayed with me. It mattered not to me that I grew out of playing the games. The books were still my kingdom and Father would still root around carboot sales to find me copies of ones I have not read. It was becoming harder to him.

 

I realised with age that the emotions they felt in the books wasn’t real. The love that Snow White felt for the Prince was only a story. The excitement Peter felt when Wendy told her stories was just that, excitement – but in a story. We felt that joy ourselves, but only for a moment.

 

As Al became Robin Hood, I realised that I had fallen to Maid Marion. I fit the part more than I would like to admit.

 

Albus kissed me that day, in the moment of our victory against the rich in our first year. Muddy, bloody and full of excitement, the meek eleven year old took hold of my shoulders and pressed his lips against mine.

 

Now six years later, nothing of the sort has happened since. But I have hung on, like a lost boy stuck in Neverland.


Now his Maid Marion went by the appearance of tall, blonde and leggy. She eats bunnies for breakfast, consorts with the Queen of Hearts and works for the Sherrif. He is dating the female descendant of Captain Hook. 



But he will always be my Robin.

 





 

AN: I hope that you enjoyed this. It was a little something that I whipped up one evening after school as a one-shot. I have always loved the ideas of fairy tales and I simply couldn’t let the idea by.

I have been working on this for a while, turning this one-shot in to a Novel and finally, after a few months, I think that I have managed it. I will update soon with the next chapter!

How did you find Ranny – the main character? And Albus?

Don’t’ forget to review. 


Chapter 2: Little John
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Little John
Scorpius Malfoy


 






 

 I slipped quietly in to my place in the stone archway. This spot had become accumulated to me over the years. I was sure that I have left a groove in the stone where my weight had dented. I hugged my school bag to my chest and sighed as I looked out over the grounds of Hogwarts School.



 

The day began to turn to night, switching between what was an attempt at twilight as the sky’s flickered dimming colour. Faint stars lined the sky, fighting for their right to shine. It would be a bright night for those that do. The clouds secluded them in to their wake.

 

It was a cold January evening as I watched this transformation; my thick green jumper highlighted my hair, bringing out the faint red tones in the strands. The colour was such a dark shade; it was almost difficult to see it was in fact a green. It was an item of mine that Scorpius adored; after all, he bought it for me. It hung open at the front, no buttons for it to close; only loose arm holes, and so I held it tightly closed.

 

I pushed my thick knotted hair from my face, allowing my eyes to see. But the puddle below the arch showed no signs of anything but ordinary. Big eyes, blue, framed with thin lashes. My skin was rough, uncared for, but lightly freckled all the same. And my lips cracked and shamed. I could see why he liked Captain Hook and not me.

 

I was startled by the sudden movement when a figure tapped my feet. I moved them.

 

“Ranny,” Scorpius began as he sat. “You’re going to catch a cold.”

 

I shrugged. “It’s winter, colds are expected.”

 

“What, on unsuspecting little girls?”

 

“I said that they are expected,” I repeated. “And I’m not little!” I waited for a moment and he scratched his chin, a movement that has always meant thought for him. “I’m not going to get a cold,” I assured.

 

“Not if I can help it!” he promised, grabbing hold of my calves through my jeans and pulling hard.

 

I lifted my head up, careful not to hit it against the stone as I was dragged forward. The blonde proceeded to pick me up from the arch; my bag hung over my shoulder, and tickles me until I squeal. The few students on their way back from dinner stare at Little John as he makes his way down the corridor, me thrown over his shoulder. But to them, it’s nothing new. They are used to seeing Scorpius Malfoy baby Ranny Baker.

 

I kicked my feet up in to the air and laughed against my will. My hair flipped over the back of my head and my legs crossed in the air as I tried to flip myself off of his shoulder. He held me upside down.

 

But his plan had worked, on this late Saturday afternoon; he had managed to get me away from the archway. And the direct cold.

 

He kept me in this squirming position as I wriggled. My light protesting tones were replaced with his deep chuckle.

 

“Ranny stop squirming.”

 

I made a low noise in the back of my throat. “I can feel all the blood rushing to my head!”

 

“Well it’s a good thing that it’s got a lot of room in there to flow to.”

 

I failed at an attempt to kick him in the shoulder. He still held me.

 

Scorpius laughed once more. “Calm it Baker, there is no need to go so red.”

 

“That’s the blood, John.”

 

“I’m ever so sorry, Tuck, how can I repay you?” he replied sarcastically. He wasn’t a fan of the names I gave.

 

I shrugged, now holding my bag tightly to my chest again to stop it from scraping along the floor. “You could put me down – or maybe even let me stay in your dorm tonight.”

 

“Ran, love, you have to go back to your own dorm sometimes.” He rounded. He knew this was a pressing matter to me. “The girls will leave you alone this time, I promise.”

 

“You can’t promise that,” I replied. “You’re not there. They’re awfully mean.”

 

“You’re a Hufflepuff, as are your housemates; it’s against your nature to be mean.”

 

I held my bag tighter. “It doesn’t mean they’re not.”

 

I was used to the teasing by second year. The girls are picky in who their friends are, they wear yellow and parade around like bees when really they are sadistic, their giggles are really the sound of their prey being stung by their stings. They are in no way alike bumble bees, they are wasps. The colour of our robes sets healthy analogies.

 

They began their taunting shortly in to my first year, realising that I have a different view on things. Where they saw hate, I saw opportunity. Where they wore dresses, I stuck to trousers. Where they read textbooks, I read fairy tales. And that was where it began.

 

Before I began sleeping with my leather bound book under my pillow, I found find it in the strangest of places – upon beams in the school hallways, in the grounds. I once had it returned to me by Hagrid who found it in the Hippogriff pen. The girls were mean.

 

Later they replaced their function of my book with other items of mine, my shoes, my clothes, my bed covers. I lost count of the times I have slept with no covering. This carried on until third year, when the two boys began to grow in to their own. My roommates suddenly wanted to be my friend while in public; they wanted to be friends with Scorpius and Al.

 

I wasn’t too interested. Albus wouldn’t let me. He told me I was too forgiving. He was always there when they took my covers, waiting with one of his own. If they hid my things, he would help me look. He was always my protector, Albus, I hoped that he always would be.

 

But then he went over the enemy lines only to return with ‘Captain ‘Nina Clark’ Hook’. It was hard for me to accumulate a negative emotion, but oh, how I despised her. Albus seemed blind to my distain, and resumed his wooing of the Captain. All this while, only Scorpius recognised my desperation to cut off her long blonde locks and replace them with snakes.

 

“Ran, I would love to have you in our dorm, you know that I would. But Nina doesn’t like it.” He said. “You know that she is a bit iffy about you and Al.”

 

It’s understandable why a girlfriend would be unhappy about my presence in their dorm, yet it wasn’t as if we shared a bed. I usually took the floor and wrapped myself up in a duvet, or I slept, knees curled to my chest in their desk chair. That was the compromise.

 

I pouted.

 

“And stop pouting.”

 

“You can’t see my face!” I protested.

 

I heard a snort. “Yes, but I don’t need to, to be able to see your adorable expression. You’re pouting, possibly with large sad eyes and your chubby little cheeks will be pinchable.”

 

“Sorry Grandma Malfoy, I didn’t realise that you were here.” I moaned. “When Scorpius is done fixing your zimmer, please tell him to come back.”

 

“Grandma Malfoy?” he echoed.

 

“Yes. Please refrain from spitting on a tissue and wiping it on my cheek.”

 

I could sense the frustration on his handsome face, the knitting of his brows. “I should drop you on your head.”

 

“But my head is precious, it will break.”

 

“Your head is empty.” He stated as he began to turn me back upright.

 

I held on tightly to his shoulder, steadying myself as the blood rushed back down.

 

I closed my eyes. “This was a mean move.”

 

“But a cute one,” he laughed. “Could you imagine the photography opportunities of that? I mean, if you fixed the focus on the camera and set it so the motion wouldn’t blur, the colouring was just right, especially for your faded dark blue jeans, it goes with the stone-“

 

I pressed a finger to his lips. “That’s enough. You don’t want to embarrass yourself. Where is your camera anyway?”

 

Scorpius Malfoy loved photography. There was just something about it that intrigued him. And for some odd reason, he loved me in his pictures. He said it was my ‘baby face’. I used my ‘baby face’ to head butt him. Al always said that Scorpius ‘pained face’ at that moment would have been a great picture.

 

At the age of fifteen, Al and I saved up and bought Scorpius a camera for his birthday; he had always talked about getting one. His parents would never allow it, a muggle camera, how absurd? At least get one charmed by wizadry. But Little John would hear nothing of it. He wanted to try and capture the movement without anything actually moving. And he has the audacity to call me crazy.

 

“I leant it to Al,” he told me.

 

“Why? Albus doesn’t like photography.”

 

That was the only downer. Scorpius and I appreciated beauty, just about as much as Al was blind to it. If you showed him a painting, he would see paint and canvas, not a sea of colour hiding trapped emotion. He was the blindest person alive, and it bugged the heck out of me.

 

I quickly realised that there was only one person of whom Albus knew and trusted that liked art. Nina.

 

“You didn’t,” I probed. “Please tell me that you didn’t.”

 

“He asked!” Scorpius retaliated. “I couldn’t exactly say no could I?”

 

“It’s easy, say it with me-“

 

“No-“

 

“See, easy-“

 

“Ranny, this is childish,” he finished. “And I didn’t mean it in that context.” He took my hand and led me towards the Slytherin Common Room. “What was I supposed to say? Do you think that I want that tart handling my camera? What was supposed to be my reasoning? When I lied and said that you wanted to borrow it he told me that you could borrow it anytime.”

 

I looked down to the floor, shamefaced. “You could have snatched it back.”

 

“Ranny, love, this isn’t the playground.” He replied. “I can’t just snatch things back.” He squeezed my hand. “I will tell you what, me and you will take the camera out tomorrow, just me and you, we can have a day out.”

 

“We seem to be doing that increasingly a lot lately,” I pointed out.

 

He grinned. “I guess I just love your company.”

 

He spoke with such ease, accompanied with a smile. But I knew the real reason. I may be vulnerable, constantly living in a child’s mind, but I wasn’t stupid. I wasn’t good at social interaction; most people didn’t know what to say when I linked them in to a story, most stayed away. I never had a problem with it. I always had Little John and Robin.

 

But then came third and fourth years. The boys began to grow up; they began getting interested in girls. Girls became a game. I never liked them, girls are mean, and girls are bitchy. But that feisty side seemed to appeal to the boys. They began to hang around us more, the girls I mean, turning in a ‘fans’ of whatever the boys could achieve. But somehow, we remained a three.

 

Now that Albus had a serious girlfriend, it was knocked down to Scorpius and me for the most part.

 

Scorpius was popular, as was Al. I, on the other hand, would simply always be the friend of the wonderful two. I could go and sit with others, I would be made feel welcome, but they wouldn’t be my boys, and Scorpius knew that. He always made special time to be with me. He had no idea just quite how much I appreciate it.

 

“I’d like that.”

 






 

I played with the tassels on Scorpius’ pillow, accidentally knocking my elbow on the wood of his four poster bed. I squealed in surprise before rubbing it better with an ‘ouchy’ face. I sniffed.

 

“Ranny, are you alright?” his voice came from the bathroom.

 

I nodded.

 

“Speak!” He ordered.

 

“I’m fine,” I replied with a nod. “I just knocked my elbow.”

 

“You’re a card, you are.”

 

Albus had still not returned to the dorm. He was probably still with Nina. That thought hurt a little more than I would have liked it to.

 

He was always back after dinner, he always returned to the common room. I never ate at the Hufflepuff table, I never felt welcome. Yet, at the Slytherins’, I felt home. That concept was always hard to grasp, with them being the most unwelcoming house in the school. Yet, that was always the case.

 

I sat on Scorpius’ bed, having made myself comfortable; I kicked off my shoes and let them fall to the floor with a thud. The laces lay open and scattered in four strands.

 

I looked to my left, a pile of dirty clothes in the corner. This was a usual occurrence for this particular dorm. The boys would walk in and take off an item of clothing of which they had worn for the day and needed washing. Most shed their shirts, but there was the odd occasion where a pair of jeans was found in the corner. I had been around these lads long enough to not bat an eyelid towards them, but still something pulled in my chest at the sight of Albus approaching the door.

 

I wrapped my feet in to Scorpius’ thick duvet cover. “Can we get the House Elves to bring up some tea, please?”

 

I heard a low laugh come from behind the bathroom door. “This is what you get when you skip dinner, hungry.”

 

“I’m not hungry,” I argued. “Just a little thirsty.”

 

“And you want some tea?”

 

“Yes please.”

 

The simple fact was this. I didn’t want to see them. I didn’t want to see them together and I didn’t want to see her when they were apart. Me and Albus were friends long before she ever laid eyes on him, she should consider that when she tells him that she doesn’t approve of our friendship.

 

I still struggle to believe that she had the audacity to mention it. I admit, there are something’s that could seem suspicious. For one, I didn’t like sleeping in my own dorm. Secondly, Albus and I were beyond the description of close. Three, he likes to tease me. Four, it could be perceived as flirting. It’s not. But it can look bad.

 

“Don’t make yourself too comfortable, Ranny.” Scorpius shouted through the thick wooden door. “You’re not sleeping here! The other lads will be back soon.”

 

“But you said yourself that they didn’t mind!”

 

I heard him sigh. “That’s beside the point. I don’t like the way that they look at you Ran. They’re Slytherin Seventh Years, and you’re an innocent Hufflepuff.”

 

Scorpius came out from the bathroom. He shut the door behind him and sat on the end of his bed, stretching his legs out. I smiled as I pulled more of the duvet towards me. He was wearing only pyjama trousers from a muggle designer called Jack Wills, Scorpius didn’t always have a thing for the muggle world. He was Peter Pan, obsessed with the stories of a young rambling girl – me, being the muggle.

 

I rested my head back against his bed and he called the name of several House Elves. If in luck, one of the few called will turn up.

 

It turned out to be our day.

 

A small creature popped in to the room, wearing nothing more than a pillow case. “How can Puck be of service to Mr Malfoy and Miss Baker?”

 

I smiled. Puck always was the kind one. “Please could we have some tea?” I asked. “I really fancy it.”

 

“Of course, Madame. Puck will have some tea for the both of you shortly.”

 

“Wait!” Scorpius demanded, and so he did. “Can I have mine with lemon please? My mum did that over Christmas once, it was really nice.”

 

Puck gave a nod, and clicked his fingers, disappearing.

 

I looked up to Scorpius. “Lemon tea?” I asked. “My Gran has that in the afternoon with a custard cream.”

 

“I fancied it alright? Lay off.”

 

I agreed without speaking. If he wished to drink it, who am I to judge? I smiled at him and covered his bare feet with the duvet.

 

Scorpius always was a boy of great self-pride. He was a Malfoy, after all. His features were certainly one of stories, since the age of eleven he looked as if he were carved out of marble. If he poses right, he could appear to be taken out of a museum from the Ancient Greek sculptures. He is tall, taller than most, but not enough to tower over people. With age, he also gained a broader set of shoulders, a similar pair to his fathers. His back was straight, years of sitting straight and manners had served him well.

 

His hair was his pride and joy. It’s a sad day when Scorpius’ hair doesn’t do as he wishes. Most will feel his wrath. It’s short with a slight curl, inherited from his mother. But it’s the colour that makes him a Malfoy. His cheekbones are high and his eyes a startling grey. But to me, they were filled with nothing but warmth.

 

“Scorpius?” I asked quietly. He looked up to me in recognition. “Albus isn’t coming back tonight is he?”

 

He shook his head. “No, Ranny, I don’t think he is.”

 

I was allowed to sleep in their dorm for the night.

 







 

AN; Thank you for reading! I hope that you’re all enjoying it so far!

Please don’t judge Albus too quickly, although admittedly I’m sure I know what a lot of your judgements would be. Please don’t forget to review! You could comment on anything, Scorpius, Ranny?

I realise not a lot went on in this chapter, however more will come soon, the next chapter is the introduction of some others of the main characters, there are quite a few in total, and they tend to change in who is the main at a certain part of the story – I have never written like that, so I’m hoping it will be alright.

Thank you again! I will update soon!


Chapter 3: Captain Hook
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer; I own nothing, unfortunately; apart from my baby OC’s and the plot, the rest goes to JK. 
Enjoy!




 

Captain Hook
Nina Clark


 




 

I felt my calf muscles tense as I pressed them harder against the oak tree. It simply reminded me that I had managed to squirm my way in to a position that wasn’t one of the most comfortable. I shifted a little and played with the lens cover on the Nikon camera. The strap was hung around my neck for safe keeping.

 

Leaning back against the tree trunk, I swung around, moving so that my feet dangled off of the branch and I sat comfortably. I couldn’t touch the floor; I was too high up for that. I had climbed a little high than first thought.

 

“Look at them,” Scorpius grumbled towards the couple taking a leisurely stroll around the lake. Ten Galleons to whoever can guess the identities of Mr and Mrs Prince Charming. “They should be locked away from our innocent eyes so we don’t have to see their public displays of affection.”

 

I would have pointed out that Albus and Nina were simply holding hands as they strolled around the lake, but I wanted Scorpius on my side when it came to their relationship. He disliked Nina, he thought she was ‘trashy’, I believe was the way he put it.

 

Turning the zoom on the camera, I looked through the tiny se-through rectangle and snapped a picture of the lovely couple in question.

 

Scorpius’ gaze averted to me, looking up, I was sat so that my waist met with his shoulders. He was stood stern, with his arms folded.

 

“Did you just take a picture of them?” he asked.

 

I bit down on my lip. “Yes. It will make a good dart bored.”

 

“If you hit my best friend with a dart, I will make sure that you’re next.”

 

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” I added. “I’ll just aim for his girlfriend massive head, it shouldn’t be too hard.” I took another picture. “For luck.”

 

Scorpius turned and clicked his fingers in thought, another action he is used to doing. “What is it you call her? The one from Peter Pan – we used to make Albus play him when we were low on people.”

 

“Captain Hook.”

 

“That’s right,” he said. “Do you think if we sawed off her hand and replaced it with a hook it would catch on?”

 

I furrowed my brow. “I don’t think that you realise just quite how disturbing that is.”

 

“Oh I realise.” He assured. “I just don’t care.”

 

I noticed in the far distance, a group of three giggling girls. They were stood across the lake, looking over at Scorpius and I. Years ago I would have been affected by their whispers, but now I did nothing more than find them amusing. They were the gossipers, the mice in Cinderella, but they didn’t work for good.

 

The girls love Scorpius, now that Albus is unavailable, they have eyes for only him – there are a few still left pining for the emerald eyed boy though. And I want to shoot them all down with my bow and arrow. Unfortunately, they are as entitled to life as you or I.

 

I saw the tallest of the group, flip her hair over her shoulder and discretely gesture to her friends to do the same. They did. But Scorpius didn’t notice. He has become immune to their attempts. He pulled out a book from his back pocket and unrolled it. Another frequent habit of this boy’s, he rarely went anywhere without a muggle classic.

 

They looked a little put out as he sat down and leant against the tree trunk. But they hurried off no less. Scorpius’ character is a surprise to those that meet him; he is a quiet one, a caring boy. But he is a Malfoy and has fallen in to the role of one. It’s not a fight against Scorpius unless it’s three against one.

 

Pulling my messed plait over my shoulder I took another photo, of Scorpius as he read. The bird’s eye view captured nothing, but I knew that he would appreciate it. He appreciated everything.

 

It was nearing lunch, a time of day that I appreciated more than most. I love the light, yet today it seemed dimmer.

 

Already today I had been posed, prodded and moved around by Scorpius as he played around with his camera. I didn’t like being in the shot, but I knew it pleased him. He, alike me, would rather be the taker than the taken.

 

“Ranny, love, can you drop down the camera?” he questioned. I did as he asked.

 

“What are you going to-“ click. “That’s not very nice.”

 

He smiled. “You were unsuspecting, a nice expression.”

 

“Oh Scorpius!” a high pitched call carries through the air. “I didn’t think that I would find you here, by … nature.”

 

Both the voice and the face caught my attention. Marilyn Chase, one of the three girls from across the lake. She liked to style herself after Marilyn Monroe – down to the mole and all. Her two friends followed her down, one catching her heel in the mud.

 

I jumped down from the tree and landed gracefully with a thud.

 

Marilyn seemed startled at my appearance. “Baker, I didn’t think that you would be with him.”

 

“She’s my best friend,” Scorpius deadpanned. “It’s very likely that on a Sunday, we are going to be together.”

 

“With your camera,” she added. “How quaint.”

 

It’s a known fact that she is dying to get on it. Marilyn, alike her name sake, would do almost anything to be on the roll of film Scorpius would produce.

 

She prodded at her curls.

 

I wished for a moment that I could prod at mine, rather than just gently attack the birds’ nest I create on my head through careful planning. It’s a look, I assure you. It really is.

 

“If you don’t mind,” I began. “We were just leaving.”

 

Marilyn’s eyes narrowed towards me, an expression that Scorpius missed. It wasn’t unusual to me that he misses these. He wasn’t the most observant of people, and the blonde was sneaky. She liked Scorpius and I posed a threat to the minimal amount of time that he is willing to provide her with.

 

Scorpius sighed. “Come on Ran, let’s go to the kitchens.”

 

Marilyn squealed. “The kitchens sound nice, don’t they girls?”

 

Her two friends nodded their heads like obedient dogs.

 

I held on to the hem of my jumper tightly and looked down at it nervously. I poked Scorpius in the back discretely. I didn’t want to go with them.

 

By the expression on his face, neither did he.

 

“Actually, ladies, I was just talking to Ranny.” He apologised. “But another time, eh?”

 

They looked a little disappointed, although, who wouldn’t. Yet I could see behind it. Marilyn was fuming, she may have been a spoilt Princess, but she always got what she wanted. If she slept on one thousand mattresses, she wouldn’t feel the pea.

 

I sent an apologetic smile but I knew that it wouldn’t suffice.

 

Scorpius’ hand found its way in to my back pocket as he pulled me closer. He handed me his camera with his free hand. I held it as if it were a diamond; to me it was. I delicately turned the focus, turning my head with interest as we walked. He led me back towards the castle, away from the lake and guided me through the arch; he knew as well as Albus that it was a rare occasion when I looked where I was going.

 

I brushed a thick lock behind my ear.

 

“Scorpius,” I asked. He looked to me. “Why do you tolerate those girls?”

 

“Why do you?” he rounded.

 

I offered a shrug. “They scare me. She and her cronies are my roommates, they hide my things.”

 

If anything, I could see him hide a smile. “You should have no reason to be scared.” He reassured. “They’re not going to hurt you, not really. They are only being petty teenagers, they will get over themselves eventually. But you, Little Ranny, are good company. I would rather spend a lifetime with you than an hour with those girls.”

 

“Then why do you?”

 

“Spend time with them?” he questioned again. I nodded. “It’s difficult to explain. They’re good company too,” he said. I felt my face fall a little. “But just in other ways.”

 

I was quick to catch him meaning. “I still refuse to believe that you let them do, well, that, with you. They’re evil step-sisters.”

 

“Like those in Cinderella?” he questioned. “Now this is why you’re better general company, you’re entertaining.”

 

Pretending that I didn’t see the smirk he wore on his features, I bowed my head back to the camera as he tugged on my pocket for direction. I gave in easily and allowed him to pull me around. I was careful not to trip on my own feet, my small brown leather boots reaching no higher than my ankle. I brushed a thick sleeve against my forehead, itching pathetically.

 

Scorpius lived in a very realistic world. He knew the expectations of which his father expected him to uphold, and so he fulfilled them. He knew the rules of which he had to abide by. He was a Prince, captured and held in a tower. A damsel in distress of sorts – but telling him that would result in my death. And so I keep it to myself. I keep many things to myself.

 

But I don’t need to voice everything; something’s’ my friends can just tell.

 

For example, emotions. Scorpius has a talent for reading them, just as I have an ability to match a situation to something I wish that it could be. Some would call that a downfall. I don’t. But it’s Albus that surprises me. He can be so blind to the feelings of others, yet he had always oozed a kindness that makes him approachable. He can calm down the most raging of beings.

 

I was always one for peace. I never want an argument to occur, or a fight – not in any form. The boys respected that, yet I knew what they did when I wasn’t around; the rumours of Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter are infamous. I would hear the girls’ gossip, the two didn’t get their ‘bad boy’ reputation by sitting around reading stories.

 

“Here’ a question for you,” Scorpius began. “Seeing as you’re so intrigued to ask about me.”

 

“Go on.”

 

He scratched his chin. “Why don’t you try to make friends with them?”

 

“The girls?” I questioned. He gave a nod. “Because they’re mean. I thought we had covered this – many times.”

 

“I just mean that maybe you should try to fit in with them,” he sighed.

 

“What, and beat up a first year, no thank you.”

 

Scopius ran his free hand through his hair. “That’s not what I mean, Ranny. I meant talk about shoes and clothes, you have a lovely taste in fashion, you always get the latest, a lot of the time before they do – I know for a fact that Marilyn wants the green jumper you’re wearing right now.”

 

“That’s because you bought it for me,” I rectified. “She would wear a dead carcass if you bought it for her.”

 

He screwed up his pretty face and sent a look of estranged despair towards me. “Please, for the sake of Circe, can you make an effort with the girls in your dorm? I know they have been evil to you, that’s no excuse, but its bugging Al.”

 

“What is?”

 

“The arguments with Nina,” he stated. “I personally have no problem with you staying with us, or being with us, I actually like it. But it ticks off Nina, another factor of which I adore, but it’s not a nice thing when Albus gets angry.”

 

“But he’s never angry at me,” I said.

 

“Of course not,” Scorpius pinched my cheek. “One look at your baby face and he would forget what he was angry about. It happens more frequently than you would realise. That’s why he gets annoyed at me. If you made an effort to make some friends that are not boys then Nina will back off.”

 

“That doesn’t even make sense.” I argued.

 

He shrugged. “Think about it, you prefer boys, we don’t bitch; we simply get to the point. However, when a pretty little thing such as you comes along and makes friends with these said boys other girls begin to get jealous. In the eyes on Nina, you and Albus are closer than close, you spend so much time with the boys you know more than she knows about us. And if you had a female influence about you …”

 

I listened as he trailed off and I looked to the floor. “I don’t want you guys to argue.”

 

“We’re not,” He said. “Al is merely moaning.”

 

I chewed upon the inside of my cheek. My decision was simple with an obvious answer. “So I will make an effort to talk to the Hufflepuffs, but do I have to communicate with Captain Hook?”

 

“Woah!” He exclaimed, startled. He stopped in his tracks and held his hands up in a warning position. “I’m simply asking you to befriend some ladies, not a beast. ‘Hookie’ can fend for herself – never may you be pleasant towards her.”

 

“Why do you dislike her so much?” I questioned.

 

Scorpius shrugged. “I have my reasons – ones which are none of your business, so wipe that cheeky grin off of your face Maid Marion.”

 




 

I swirled my spoon in my tea as I watched Albus eat in the Great Hall. I sat opposite him and smiled as he looked up. I had no interest in eating; I wasn’t hungry. Albus however, seemed to be quite the opposite.

 

Taking a sip of the warm liquid, blinking as is scolded my throat, I swallowed and smiled once more at Albus.

 

“Okay,” he said as he dropped his fork on to the table. “What’s up?”

 

I furrowed my brows together. “Nothing, go back to shovelling food in to your mouth.”

 

“I can’t with you staring at me!” he rounded, placing two balled fists on to the table. “Ranny, come on, what’s wrong?”

 

I shook my head. “There’s nothing wrong. Honestly.”

 

Albus looked back to his plate in front of him. It’s an inherited family trait to inhale food, James, his brother, had it before him – managing to scare the population of Hogwarts with his eating habits, it was no shock when Albus arrived with the same ability. Their younger sister Lily is no better.

 

It’s long accepted by the family that none are the perfect child. James was the best flier that the school has possibly ever seen. He was accepted to play seeker for Gryffindor  in his first year, yet was moved to play the position of Keeper in his fifth. He was a brilliant player and an amazing Captain. But his academic ability was lacking.

 

Lily is the complete opposite. She shocked both her mother and father when asked to take the classes of the year above her own within three months of starting the school. She is the brightest Witch of her age, exceeding her own Aunt Hermione with flying colours – tutored by her, herself. Yet if you hand her a broom, she squeals with fear at the mere sight.

 

The middle child is as expected, mediocre. His Quidditch ability surpassed the requirements needed to be accepted on to the team, yet not good enough to make Captain. His grades were above average, enough to get him noticed, but not the slightest bit near his sister’s achievements. With such a competitive family, it was expected of Albus to work to beat them both – with the potential to do so. Yet he shocked the world when he didn’t do anything of the sort. He did quite the opposite.

 

Albus had long accepted that he will never be as good a flier as his brother, nor as intelligent as his sister. He is Albus. He was sorted in to Slytherin by the sorting hat, enough to be classed as his downfall when it came to his name. The emerald eyed boy had knowingly inherited his father’s temper. He could brood for England – and win. But being in Slytherin, the house of the sly, this worked in his favour. It’s known that you don’t cross an angered Albus Potter, especially not when a wand is in his possession.

 

But to me, he is the most special of the Potters.

 

“I know you,” he said quietly, leaning over the table. “You don’t watch me eat unless you’re thinking about something, and you don’t drink tea that fast unless you’re upset – combined, it could be lethal.”

 

I resisted the urge to laugh. “It’s fine Ally, really. I’m just thinking.”

 

“That’s never good,” he teased. “Just don’t hurt yourself, eh, love?”

 

I resisted the new urge to slap him but simply smiled instead. “I’ll have you know my brain is incredibly adequate for thinking, more so than yours.”

 

“Ooh, feisty today are we?”

 

“Drop it Robin.” I threatened. “I spent the day with Scorpius and had to deal with Marilyn.”

 

“And the evil step sisters?” he asked.

 

I nodded. “And them too.” Albus looked a little revolted. “I still don’t understand how Scorpius can talk to them.”

 

“Because talking isn’t what he uses them for.”

 

“I know that,” I admitted sharply. “Scorp admits that on a regular basis.”

 

“Then is that’s what bothering you?” he pressed. “Scorpius is hanging out with those girls and you’re upset with him?”

 

“A little,” I admitted. “I’m going to try and talk with them, about shoes and make up and be frilly and girly.”

 

Albus held in a laugh by pressing his fist to his mouth. He disguised it as a cough. Badly. “Come on Ranny, that’s not going to happen; you think they’re evil.”

 

“But I’m going to,” I practically promised. “I am going to get a female influence in my life. I was raised by a man; my two best friends are boys and anyone else that I would consider talking to are of the male gender too.”

 

“That’s because you find girls boring.”

 

“I know,” I admitted. “But I’m going to try and be friends with them.”

 

Albus shook his head. “They have tormented you for years.”

 

I shrugged.

 

Scorpius’ point had only begun to make sense to me later on that day. Albus and I were close, we knew everything about each other – but I knew there were things that he kept from me. I didn’t press them. To Nina, I could be a threat in how close she is with Albus. He would tell me things that he didn’t feel comfortable discussing with her and that isn’t what she was looking for when it came to a relationship.

 

“But it will make things easier for you,” I said.

 

He rolled his eyes and let his head tip sideways in to his palm. “Is this because of Nina? Ranny, you know not to worry about that. She doesn’t like our friendship, so what? She can’t do anything about it. Me and you are going to be friends long after me and Nina are over, she’s going to have to accept it.”

 

“When you’re over?” I echoed. “Are you thinking of break up with her?”

 

His eyes widened a little. “What? No, not at all. I just mean that when I look in to the future, it’s not her I see myself sitting in a living room with, married and in love, surrounded by kids and money. But I do see you in my future, you and Scorpius.”

 

I didn’t know whether to be excited at the fact he expected us to be friends for that long, or disappointed at the fact that I wasn’t in the married section of his outlook.

 

Pulling my hair over my shoulder, I sighed. “Ally, it’s not healthy in a relationship to doubt it. When you’re in one, a good one, you can see them in your future.”

 

“But that’s not what I want from Nina,” he said quietly so no one else could hear. “Don’t get me wrong, she’s lovely, she’s kind, but she just isn’t the girl that I want to take home to meet my family.”

 

“Oh yes,” I challenged. “And Marilyn Chase is?”

 

“I have never considered bringing her home!”

 

I smirked at his sudden draw back and outburst. His fringe stuck up a little on his forehead.

 

Scorpius had never shown up for dinner, neither had Marilyn. I decided to overlook that fact and simply pretend that he was doing homework and that Marilyn ceased to exist. Albus and I were enjoying the small amount of time that we had together.

 

But just as the fates had promised, it didn’t last long.

 

Nina walked over from the Gryffindor table, Rose not far behind her and kissed Albus on the cheek. She pulled her long hair over her shoulder and smiled smuttily. Albus’ lips met hers with a smile. I continued to swirl my tea.

 

The hands of a Quidditch player from the Hufflepuff team found their way to the Sherriff’s waist and she smiled. Rose Weasley always was a little promiscuous. I swirled my tea faster, the liquid threatening to spill over the edges.

 

They left for a midnight stroll – at dinner time. I found the raised eyebrow of a Slytherin roommate of the boys meet mine. He smiled sadly and moved to sit next to me. Thomas Gates always was the nice one in their group. He made good company for me when the boys were busy or otherwise detained. He used to play the axe man in Red Riding Hood or one of the lost boys in Peter Pan. He was always in our games.

 

“Are you in with us tonight, Ran?” he asked kindly.

 

I shook my head. “I’m not wanted. But thank you. I will brave the harpies tonight,”

 

“Good luck,” Tom smirked. “But Ranny, you’re always wanted; don’t get it in to your head that you’re not.”

 

Biting down on my index finger tip a little, I smiled. “Thank you Thomas. But I have to go and see whether the girls will give me back my duvet, I saw it hanging from a portrait in the Common Room yesterday.”

 

As I turned to leave, as terribly high pitched feminine giggle tore through the air. “Oh Al – you are the sweetest.”

 

I didn’t need a magic wand to tell who that was.

 







An; Horary for a quick update; the staff are brilliant, the queue is only hours long!

This chapter shows a little more of Albus, but not quite enough for his personality to shine through like the brooding boy that he is! Don’t forget to leave me a review - and to tell me what you think of it so far – be it the characters, or the plot. :D

Thank you for reading; I hope you’re enjoying it so far! If you have a spare moment, please drop by my MTA page and ask me some questions!

The next chapter is called Tinkerbell, it’s all about Ranny and Albus – well, their relationship. I hope that you enjoy! If you’d like to make predictions about what comes next, I won’t fault them :D


Chapter 4: Tinkerbell
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Tinkerbell
Ranny Baker





 I slid in to the chair opposite Albus and raised a brow, resting my chin in to my palm. He was never a perceptive boy. And so I was forced to reach forward and place my hand in to his book. He snapped it shut, taking my hand with it.

 

“Al,” I whinnied. “Give me my hand back!”

 

He obliged. “I had you for a moment there.”

 

“In a book,” I added informatively. I glanced at the cover. “A Runes book to be exact - but you didn’t take runes.”

 

“No I didn’t,” he admitted. “But Nina did and she wants me to read up on it.”

 

“And so you’re revising for a subject that you didn’t take, in the library.”

 

He nodded. I resisted the urge to ask about brain damage. Instead I brushed a hand through my hair and bit down on the corner of my lip.

 

He looked back up from the book. “Oh Circe, sorry Ranny, did you want something?”

 

I shook my head. “Just some company.”

 

“Cool,” he said. But he looked back to his book.

 

I watched as his eyes flitted over the page, line by line they delved a little deeper. Al was always self-conscious about his vision, another gene inherited from his father, without his glasses, he saw very little clearly. Yet he refused to wear them, wearing the wizarding equivalent of contact lenses. But they hurt his eyes if he read in large doses.

 

His eyes were a startling emerald, the colour that caused oh so many of the older teachers to prompt the line ‘You look so much like your grandmother’. It drove Al mad. He was like the Mad Hatter sometimes, throwing tea parties when he was little but only taking the squealing to a male equivalent at an older age.

 

He pulled his hair out of his eyes and stood up from the table. He didn’t look at me once as he walked over to the book stands and pulled out another. He sat back down.

 

I began to twiddle my thumbs. “I’ll see you later.” I eventually announced.

 

“What?” he asked. “Don’t go. I’m sorry, I’m naff company.”

 

“No you’re not.” I reassured. “Today yes you are, but not usually. You’re just studding at the moment. And I am interrupting. I’ll see you later.” I repeated firmly at the end.

 

Albus didn’t seem to hear it. “Ranny, please. I feel like I haven’t seen you properly in weeks.”

 

“That’s not my fault!” I said.

 

“I know, I know it’s not. Its mine.” He took. “But I have Nina, I can’t spend as much time as I used to with you and Scorpius. She’s the first serious girlfriend that I have ever had.”

 

“Only yesterday you were talking about breaking up with her!”

 

His hand shot to clamp my mouth closed. “Keep your voice down woman! There are people in this library who would very much like to see me upset.” He nodded his head over towards a table of Ravenclaws. They did look like Pirates. “No one can know about that conversation. That was just between you and me. You haven’t told anyone have you? Not even Scorp?”

 

I shook my head. “No.”

 

“Good. Ranny listen to me. I love you, you are my best friend. But Nina is my girlfriend. She’s Maid Marion, you’re Friar Tuck.”

 

That comment stung more than he could ever realise.

 

I bit back hard on my lip, knowing the tears that wanted to bawl over in a childlike manner. Instead I stood up from the table.

 

“Friar Tuck was a balding man who wore a rope around his waist and fought with a stick!”

 

“You never had a problem with it when we were kids.” He said, a little defensive of his comment. I pushed my chair in to the table a little harder than I had intended to. “Circe, Ran.”

 

I shook my head. “I guess I’m not a kid anymore.”

 

“What is wrong with you? You’re awfully snappy today.”

 

“Excuse me?”

 

Albus shook his head. “Forget it, Ranny.”

 

I didn’t know how to react. And so I left.

 











“It was odd, horrible in fact.” I complained as I threw a little more of the tree branch in to the forest.

 

Scorpius snorted from beside me. “This is the first time that you have ever taken something Albus said personally.” He said. “It’s going to be difficult for you.”

 

I pulled off another leaf from the branch no bigger than my forearm. “It wasn’t even a mean thing to say. It was just the fact that he called her his Maid Marion that made me want to run him through with the wooden stick I apparently fight with.”

 

“Just take a deep breath Ran,” he reassured, placing a caring hand on to my shoulder. “Albus didn’t mean to upset you. I know that he didn’t. I doubt he even knows what he said.”

 

I had sat alone for a while before Scorpius had found me. It was usual, that when I was sad or conflicted I would come to this spot. When the archway was occupied, or students were going from class to class, I would have to find another place to be alone in. This spot worked just fine.

 

It was on the brink of the forest, but not quite. Down by Hagrid’s Hut there was a little dip in the greenery that surrounded his wooden home. It was where he grew the pumpkins at Halloween, and seeing as it was that season, they made good coverage to sit behind.

 

I looked in to the forest opening and found myself confused at the marvel that was the place. How could a place that was so beautiful be so dangerous?

 

I had missed the last two classes of the day; I had not felt like attended Double Potions in a room filled with fumes, Slytherins and one green eyes boy. Scorpius had left after the first period and found me. He said that upon asking Albus where I was, he had simply shrugged and said that I had thrown a hissy fit and snapped at him.

 

Seemingly Scorpius knew me better than that. He told Albus to look after his stuff, and he left.

 

“Ranny,” he resumed. “You’re like a fairy, you’re Tinkerbell in fact. To this day, Albus has been Peter to you, more than Peter. He and Tink have always got along. But then Peter returned back with Wendy. Now, Wendy isn’t like she is written in the books, she has no brothers, she doesn’t like adventure and she certainly isn’t nice. But she has Peter fooled. Tinkerbell is protective, as expected; she doesn’t want her best friend being hurt. The two of you were bound to clash heads at some point.”

 

I sighed and moved my thumbs around each other. “You really think that?”

 

He nodded. “You’re not angry at Albus, you’re just hurt that he didn’t want you to be Wendy. But Ran, you’ve got to accept that maybe that is all you will ever be to him. Tinkerbell.”

 

Scorpius was always too insightful for his own good. Even when we were in the younger years, he was always Merlin. He was the one with the wisdom, the kindness, and only he knew how to use it. He was the advisor. I guess he never grew out of the role. I couldn’t be a lady in waiting forever.

 

I licked my lips. “You know, I thought that would hurt more to hear out loud.”

 

“It’s my soothing voice,” Scorpius teased. He bashed me with his shoulder. “It calms you.”

 

“It does. It shockingly does. But tell me Little John,” I began to question. “What is it about me that makes you compare me to a fairy?”

 

He laughed lightly and stood up, pulling me with him. “Well, the situation was a good choice for starters.” He prodded my nose. “But then came that dainty nose of yours, sprinkled with freckles. Each one a star as my mother would say. She always had a soft spot for you.” He tugged playfully on my ears. “Your little ears.” He tickled my tummy. “Your giggle squeal. Even your cry sounds like a wind chime. Your height,” he pulled me against him and put his hand straight to his chest where my head reached. Below his shoulder blades “But then comes your waist, certainly too small to be human. If it wasn’t a fairy it was an alien.”

 

I pushed him away with a smile. “Alright! Point taken. I am a big child with alien tendencies.”

 

“You’ve grasped it, congrats; you’re usually slow.” He mocked. “Please don’t hit me.”

 

“I would never.”

 

“Not even if I asked you to fly with me?” He knew that I didn’t like heights.

 

I shrugged in an answer. Scorpius was always the one to pick me up when I was down, but it was Albus who gave me the butterflies. It wouldn’t kill me to fly with him for an hour. And so I voiced this.

 

“I don’t know, love.” He replied. “If you fly to high-“

 

“Don’t!” I covered my ears with my hands. He pulled them off. “I’m kidding, you’re never going to fall; you’re a fairy.”

 

“Do you need some of my dust?” I questioned. “Is that why you asked me to come with you?”

 

He smiled cockily. “Well actually I was going to go and get the brooms out of the shed but if you wanted to give it a try…”

 

I punched his arm. “You’re too much of a boy sometimes, Scorp. Go and get the brooms.”

 

“But one more thing, quick.” He said, grasping hold of my knitted top and tugging on it. “I like your jumper.”

 

“You got this one for me too, Little John!”

 








 

The school always was a little colder than usual in the winter months. Scorpius had always put it down to the weather, Albus to the fact that there was no windows’ or heating - sometimes the fires blew out. But I had a different theory. It’s because people feel lost.

 

The winter was breeding ground for ‘that’ lot, they loved winter. While in the summer, they could flaunt their bodies to the point of perfection, tans and bikini’s, but in the winter they could claim to the cold and cuddle up to the people you thought were yours.

 

Their hearts are cold, as it’s their time of year; others can’t feel the warmth flood through like they can in the spring.

 

I saw the hair first; the dark locks bounce up and down in time with her step. Her layers were shorted than the rest of her hair, giving it an inhuman amount of volume. Scorpius had expressed many an occasion his wishes to chop it off. I had always been a little apprehensive when he was holding scissors. After the hair came the lipstick, red, bold red, thirdly came the attire.

 

She was always one for slight extremes. Her top was cut a little low, but her jeans suited her perfectly, I envied that. Her legs were long, her body perfectly proportioned for her height. She was a princess, I was simply a pauper.

 

I wanted to run as she approached me, as she drifted from her group. Rose, her best friend sent her a look that expressed nothing but confusion. But Nina waved it off. I prepared myself.

 

Nina wasn’t mean, in fact she was lovely. She hung out with the Sherriff’s ward but she really wasn’t royalty herself at heart. She was normal. She didn’t think that she was better than anyone else, she didn’t treat people horribly. If someone fell over, she helped them back up; she made you smile if you were sad. And that was possibly why I disliked her more. She was perfect. I couldn’t fault her.

 

“Ranny,” she began, I look and smiled. “I’m so sorry.” She wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tightly. “Albus was so mean. I don’t know what came over him.”

 

I shrugged and returned her smile. “It wasn’t his fault, I was snappy.”

 

“He called your Friar Tuck. If someone called me that I would curl up in to a ball and cry. But he did say something about a childhood joke.”

 

She pulled her hair over her should and gave me an apologetic look. I shrugged and looked to the floor, hugging my story book to my chest. Scorpius and I had returned from the Quidditch Pitch and decided to go through the book that made our childhood once more. As we got older, we began to add our own pictures, placing photos taken with the Nikon camera. That was the magic.

 

I held on to it for dear life. That was my world. Not this one.

 

“He didn’t mean to. It was only intended as a joke. I’m going to apologise to him later.”

 

Nina raised a brow. “You’re a better person than I am that’s all I can say. I wouldn’t do anything of the sort.”

 

“That’s not possible, you’re lovely. Albus only picks the best.”

 

“Thank you,” a small blush crept on to her cheeks. “He is a keeper.”

 

“Nina!” Rose snapped from behind. “When you’re done talking to the freak.”

 

I heard her Nina sigh as she closed her eyes. “I’m sorry. I really am.”

 

And then she left.

 

I couldn’t help but wish that she was alike Rose. That way I really had a reason to say that I didn’t like her, because without it, I felt mean.

 










AN; Thank you for reading! I hope that you enjoyed this chapter! I hope the Tinkerbell description gave a little more information towards their relationship. It’s actually quite sad :( But there always needs to be one character that is suffering from the whole ‘unrequited’ deal – otherwise it’s not that over-dramatized romance that we all love so much.

Oh, and I own nothing; it all goes to JK Rowling, and the Brothers Grimm – or whoever would like to take claim for writing fairy tales.

Don’t forget to leave a review!

The next chapter is called Prince Charming. You finally get to meet Rose Weasley – properly, and full-frontal. I hope that you enjoy it!

 


Chapter 5: Prince Charming
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Prince Charming
Thomas Gates


 







I am Ranny, little Ranny Baker. The girl who has a strange attachment to child’s stories, I am the girl who watched Rose Weasley squirm as she faced a blonde Slytherin, and did only that, watch. It was an odd day that she picked on me while I had one of the boys by my side. In this case, Scorpius.

 

She quite frequently questioned my mental capabilities; she thought that was a little ‘dim’.

 

She had questioned once what I was capable of, saying I was ‘babied’ and ‘childish’. I couldn’t complain; I know that I am. But I’m happy being me, I like who I am; she can’t tell me off for that.

 

Scorpius ran his hands through his thick blonde hair and turned to Rose as she snidely commented on the book I held in my grip. He faced right up to her and told her where she could stick her Gryffindor pride. I had never seen Rose Weasley scared before, but Scorpius Malfoy seemed to acquire a charm that no one else did.

 

I tugged on the back of his black uniformed jumped. “Scorpius, leave it, let’s just go.”

 

“Listen to the fairy Scorpius,” Rose dared. “She apparently has all the answers in that little book of hers.”

 

“Leave the book out of this,” Scorpius demanded. “This is about you wanting to prove that you’re a bitch. Well guess what, congratulations, you’ve done it.”

 

She smirked and twisted the ends of her hair between her fingers. “Looks like I’ve got another candidate in the running, what do you have to say for yourself, Malfoy?”

 

“I don’t need to speak, I can handle myself.” He laced his hand on to my arm, pushing me away a little. “Are you nervous, that I may make a name for myself as the one who beat Rose Weasley in the ‘bitch’ contest?”

 

The smirk fell a little. “I can hold my own.”

 

Scorpius sighed and took the book from my hands; he held it up to show the Sherriff. “This book, this one right here,” he pressed it to her face. “This is a book of tales, tales that should intrigue you, make you wish that you were a part of them. I actually pity you; I pity the fact that when you read these stories, look upon them, the only emotion you can feel is humour. I pity the fact that you feel the need to make fun of Ranny for liking them when in fact; the only reason that you should be making fun of her is because she can do anything that you can, but ten times better. Feel jealous Weasley.”

 

“Right, Malfoy, that’s it.” She mocked. “Your friend is obviously not right in the head; she’s seventeen and she still reads this crap? Ranny is a pathetic little girl who likes child’s stories. She needs to grow up.”

 

I watched as Scorpius’ eyes darkened. He was terrifying. “I like them too Weaslette, what are you going to say to me?”

 

She didn’t speak. But she did step back.

 

“You’re not even worth the air it would take to breathe for those words to come from my mouth.”

 

“I wonder what else has come from your mouth lately,” Scorpius sneered. “I’m guessing it’s a whole lot of shit. I recommend that you take it all back and think about it, maybe then you’ll realise what you’ve lost.”

 

He wasted no time in handing me back the book and pulling me away. His fingers were laced through the knit in the jumper; he made the tiny holes large, ripping between them.

 

I blinked away a tear. “Scorpius, stop. I can’t believe that you did that””

 

“No Ranny!” he snapped. “I can’t believe that you didn’t! Rose is a bitch, she isn’t ‘The Sherriff’, she isn’t going to ‘sentence you to death’, she will just ruin you, make you feel tiny. I don’t want you to feel like that.”

 

“I don’t.” I lied. “I brush it off, I always have.”

 

“You shouldn’t have to.” He ran his finger along the gold spine of the book that I held. “This book is beautiful, it’s special, don’t forget that.”

 

I bit down on to my lip. “What did you mean, ‘realise what you’ve lost’?” I questioned. “Rose hasn’t lost anything.”

 

“Yes she has,” he rounded. “But that’s none of your concern, neither is it mine.”

 

“Then why did you say it?”

 

“Circe, Ranny!” he snapped, turning around to face me. For the first time, we stopped walking. “I had to say something! You don’t stand up for yourself!”

 

I took a shark intake of breath. “I don’t, I can’t-“

 

“You can, Ranny. You stand up to me all of the time, you put Albus in his place without even realising it. Why can’t you do that to Rose?”

 

“Because she is mean,” I practically whispered in a panic. “She’s mean.”

 

“So am I!” he spat. “I am not nice. I’m not kind or gentle, yet that’s all you seem to make of me! That’s what I like about you Ranny, you see the good in people. When I see Rose all I see is a cow, I don’t know what the hell you see but you let her treat you like shit!”

 

“Scorpius!”

 

“Don’t ‘Scorpius’ me Ranny.” He roared. It was loud enough to shock me. Scorpius doesn’t shout, not at me. Ever. I hunched up my shoulders in vulnerability and shut my eyes, I willed for the situation to disappear. “Then next time that Rose treats you like that, you are to shout back, to cry, and to scream. Make her feel guilty for what she did. Do you hear me?”

 

He took hold of my shoulders and shook me. “No. No, Scorpius, I don’t want to.”

 

“Ranny! Merlin, you have to stand up for yourself. All heroes do, you can’t be a hero without being able to speak for yourself.”

 

“I don’t want to be a hero!” I mumbled. “I don’t want to be one.”

 

My speech was slightly slurred, my eyes stinging. My hands had retracted in to the sleeves of my knitted jumper, thrown over my school uniform. I felt my tie tighten as I took bigger breaths.

 

I felt his hands scrap through my knotted hair. “You are not weak Ranny. You’re a Hufflepuff, you are kind and gentle, but you are strong. You are not a push over.”

 

“Scorpius!” The voice wasn’t mine.

 

But I knew it. I recognised it. It was deep, deeper than my two boys, but it was kinder. I looked to my left. I was a little ashamed to realise that my vision had blurred. I felt childish.

 

Tom stood slightly to our left. We had reached the dungeons. His jumper tightened against his chest as he folded his arms. He wasn’t as tall as Scorpius, but he was broader. He stood only a few feet away. His dark brown hair had been cut shorter since I had last seen him; it no longer fell in to his eyes, but rested above. His light irises were filled with concern.

 

“Scorpius, mate.” He tried again. “What are you doing?”

 

I flinched as I felt Scorpius’ hands pull out of my hair. But I didn’t have time to react before he grabbed hold of my shoulders instead. He pulled me tightly in to his chest and wrapped his arms around me. Resting his chin in to my head and began to mutter apologies. But even he knew that it wouldn’t be good enough. He had seen my expression.

 

If there was one thing that Scorpius couldn’t stand, it was to see me cry.

 











I twisted the focus on my telescope and looked up in to the night sky. Each star twinkling brighter than its pre-assessor, trying to be named. It was a bright night. Brighter than most.

 

“Come on Jupiter,” I cooed. “You know you want to be found.”

 

I adjusted the focus a little more, obtaining a reasonable picture after what may have been my thousandth attempt. I pulled my eye back from the glass and took my parchment from the floor of the Astronomy Tower. I didn’t want to place it on the ledge, one gust of wind and my work would have been gone.

 

And I couldn’t fly to get it back, not without a broom.

 

I filled in the last two positions of starts, leaving out the planet in question, I figured that making it up would be an option that sounded reasonable. Albus had taken Astronomy, but he only passed as he copied my notes, without them, we would both fail.

 

I looked back through the looking glass. I had no intention of going back to my dorm room. The girls had admittedly been nicer to me since I invited them to freely use my wardrobe, but the conversation side was lacking. I still didn’t feel right there. Somehow, here on the roof of the school, I felt more at home that I had in weeks. At a point, I had considered camping it out here. Rapunzel lived in a tower, why couldn’t I?

 

But I didn’t have really long hair. And I didn’t have a prince.

 

I flicked a gold knob of the telescope and forced a smile as I back away and looked through the towers dusty windows. Lines quartered them off as curtain, which needed to be drawn, hid the tower from the moon.

 

“Ranny?”

 

The voice startled me. I knocked my hand against the telescope and moved the end, adjusting my alignment to a position that would be classed as wildly unhelpful.

 

I turned to the figure in the door way. Tall. Not as tall as I am used to. But still tall. His eyes were bright, a shade of blue that could be classed as childlike. He wore a jumper over jeans a shade that matched his brown hair perfectly. Tom.

 

I bit down on my lip and smiled. “Yes. Hello.”

 

“Alright?” he asked, his head was cocked to the side, a smirk on his lips that was suitable for the average Slytherin, but his was kinder. “You look a little lost.”

 

My fingers found my mouth and they perched upon my closed lips. “I’m fine thank you.” I said through them.

 

Tom took a step in to the Tower and leant back against the wall. “What are you doing up here?”

 

“Looking at the stars.” My hand was still in front of my mouth.

 

He reached forward and pulled my fingers away from my lips. “One more time?”

 

“Looking at the stars.” I repeated bashfully.

 

“Which ones?” he questioned. “It’s a clear night tonight, but Jupiter seems to have been developing an odd pattern lately.”

 

A little gasp of delight came from my lips. “You are interested in the stars?”

 

“I’m in your Astronomy class, Ran.” He pointed out. “I have been since third year.”

 

“Oh, Circe.” I swore. “I’m sorry. I’m not very observant.”

 

Tom only laughed. “It’s fine Ranny. I see that Potter keeps you company though, the two of you are almost inseparable.”

 

“Not lately,” I muttered under my breath. But it was still loud enough for you to hear.

 

He took the chair by the small table and slouched in it. “How are you coping with that? Al and that Clark girl? She seems … nice?”

 

“You’ve never had a conversation with Nina have you?”

 

“Nope. I can’t say that I have.”

 

I furrowed my brow. “Well she’s lovely.”

 

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

 

“Maybe it is.” I answered stupidly. Tom looked at me expectantly, he wanted me to continue. I turned away from my telescope and joined him at the table. “I’m selfish.” I admitted. “It’s always been me Scorpius and Ally, now that Nina has come along, Albus doesn’t spend much time with us anymore.”

 

“You’re not selfish.”  Tom brushed his hair from his eyes. “But what you’re thinking is understandable.”

 

“Thank you,” I said. “For not saying that I’m jealous.”

 

He smiled. “It’s alright. But for the record. I would be too – jealous, if someone took my friend like that.”

 

“But I’m not jealous, not really.” I lied. “Just protective.”

 

“But you said that Nina’s lovely,” he rounded. “Why would you need to feel protective?”

 

I sighed and played with the hems of my sleeves, looking anywhere but the Slytherin. “Albus is easily hurt. Nina is friends with mean people.”

 

“Mean people?”

 

I was sure that my cheeks flushed pink. “Yes.”

 

“Are they mean to you?”

 

I neither agreed nor disagreed. I simply sat still.

 

Tom’s hands fell to his lap, his elbows moving from resting on his thighs to by his side. His grin faltered. “Your silence is an answer in itself. Is that what Scorpius was shouting at you for today? I have never seen him treat you like that – other’s, all the time, but never you, he has a soft spot for you, Ran.”

 

“Please,” I begged, almost inaudibly. “I don’t want to talk about that.”

 

“Has he apologised to you?” Tom pressed.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Properly?”

 

I nodded. “Of course.”

 

“But you still feel hurt?”

 

“Can we please change the subject?” I asked again. “Scorpius made a mistake, he got in a fight with Rose Weasley; she knows how to push his buttons.”

 

“And so his took it out on you?” The quizzical look on Tom’s face was astonishing.

 

I shrugged. “He’s Scorpius Malfoy; he didn’t mean to.”

 

“Does Al know about this?”

 

“What does that have to do with it?”

 

Tom shook his head. “I just can’t picture the idea of Albus being okay with Scorpius shouting at you.”

 

“He didn’t mean to.” I defended, again. “And besides, I doubt that Al would care at this point anyway. He’s off gallivanting with Captain Hook.”

 

The Slytherin processed this for a moment before he realised who I was talking about. He simply smiled warmly. “I’m sure that Albus does care. It would take a heck of a lot to make him stop.” The next action I couldn’t ignore. Tom’s hand reached out to touch my knee comfortingly. “And if your boys are being naff mates and you need another, you know where to find me.”










 

AN; Sorry for the long wait chaps; I’ve been ill and then also it’s a busy time of year for me at the moment. But I am updating while I can. I hope that you enjoyed this chapter; you get to see a little more of Tom, but also the first meeting of Rose.

What were you opinions on her? I’m sure that I can probably already guess, but I have tried to make her as different as I can from what most people try to make her.

I will update soon! The next chapter is called Rapunzel, and it’s an entire chapter of Albus. Don’t forget to leave a review! :D


Chapter 6: Rapunzel
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Rapunzel
Ranny Baker


 





 

I sat back in my chair, rubbing my tummy through my cashmere jumper, my short nails narrowly missing the material. I sat in Potions, my cauldron boiling in front of me. Most found the fumes unbearable at this time of the morning, but I like them. I like what they do to your head.

 

The feeling of wonderful nausea over took my senses. I understand the oxymoron, but this sickness was nice. It was jumpy, a sweet sick. My head felt lighter and my skin went paler, but my cheeks brightened in colour and my eyes along with them. I rubbed my tummy once more and stretched back, just in time for Albus to karate chop me in the gut, sending me crashing back in to my chair.

 

“Mean!” I exclaimed as I sat back up straight.

 

He smiled. “You smelt the potions fumes again; I just wanted to make sure you were ok.”

 

“By hitting me?”

 

“No,” he contradicted. “By karate chopping you – thus, making it fun for us both.”

 

I attempted to hold in a snort, but failed. “Ok then. Just watch your fingers.”

 

I sat up and swiped his hair out of his eyes as he continued to chop the spindle string for our potion. I commented that he needed a haircut, but he simply elbowed me in response. He cut faster, slicing the ingredient with a perfection that astounded me. He looked back to me when it was done, throwing it piece by piece in to the old cauldron.

 

“Don’t let Professor catch you sitting down,” I said as he did.

 

“You were sat down a moment ago – rubbing your tummy if I dare add.”

 

I bit down on to my lip and let go of his hair. “But I was sneaky about it. I was on watch.”

 

“Of who exactly?” he questioned. “Professor Alderton - the sixty eight year old hypochondriac?”

 

I shook my head. “Not just of him, if he is the King, he has guards. Even King Arthur had guards.”

 

“He didn’t need them,” Albus argued. “He had Merlin.” He waved his knife childishly like a wand and pointed it to me.

 

“But Professor Alderton has a Merlin too,” I said, pointing to the Ravenclaw boy sat at the front of class.

 

Albus put the knife down and raised a brow. “Theo Corner?” he questioned. “He’s Merlin? That boy can’t tie his own shoelaces without assistance.”

 

“But he’s got an aura about him,” I said quietly, leaning over closer to Albus. He mirrored me. “I think he’s sneaker than you believe him to be.”

 

“Funny,” Albus pondered. “That’s what Tom says too.”

 

“Tom?”

 

“Yeah, roommate Tom, how many other Tom’s do I tolerate?” he asked as if it were simple, which, in reality, it was. “He thinks that Corner is always around when we get caught for our pranks, he says that we should be more careful – that he tells on us.”

 

I smiled and Al prodded a dimple of mine. “I think that Tom is smarter than you give him credit for.”

 

“He would be over the moon if I told him that.”

 

I raised a brow and pulled my hair over my shoulder. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

“It means,” he sighed. “That Tom likes you.”

 

“Well he talks to me without being mean.” I acknowledged. “He is a kind boy, so I’m glad to hear it.”

 

“No, Ranny, love.” Albus turned a stool to face him and patted it lightly. I took it. He rested his hands on to my knees, one eye on the potion. “I mean that Thomas liked you more than that, as in he likes you likes you, like I like Nina.”

 

“For a shag?”

 

“Ranny!” he almost gasped. “Wh…who? Who told you that?”

 

“No one,” I said quickly.

 

“Scorpius?”

 

I shook my head. But Albus simply said my name again, warningly. I sighed. “He said that, that is what you liked Nina for. But I don’t think that’s like Tom to say something like that. I’ve known him for a long ti-“

 

“Did Scorpius really say that?” he interrupted.

 

I nodded. “Yes, you know that he doesn’t like Nina.”

 

“Yeah,” Albus shrugged. “He makes is obvious, but I thought that he would trust me enough to think otherwise.”

 

“Ally, you know that he didn’t mean it. He said it ages ago. He was annoyed.” I tried to rectify. But it was too late; I should have simply kept my mouth shut. “He’s changed his mind by now.”

 

“No he hasn’t.” Albus denied. “But thank you for trying to lie – it means a lot.”

 

“Don’t be like that.”

 

“Be like what?” he questioned. “I’m just annoyed that I don’t know this, why would Scorpius tell you something like that? He never talks like that around you.”

 

“He has lately.” I admitted with a shrug. “He has for a while. It was odd at first, but now I’m used to it.”

 

Albus shook his head, his hair falling in to his eyes. “You shouldn’t be. Ranny, why didn’t you tell me that Scorpius shouted at you?”

 

“What?” I questioned. “Did Tom tell you?”

 

“Tom knew?” Albus echoed. “Bastard. No, actually I had to find out through Rose as she spitefully told me about how close you and Scorpius seemed.”

 

“What do you mean? Look, Ally, it happened weeks ago, it doesn’t matter.”

 

“It does to me,” he almost whined as he stirred the potion. “Look, Ranny. Yes, I am annoyed that he shouted at you, yes I am annoyed that you simply took it, but I’m upset at the fact that I didn’t know about it. You used to tell me everything.”

 

I looked to the floor and answered truthfully. “You haven’t been there to tell.”

 








 

Click.

 

The camera flashed in my face as I stood on the inner wall of the Astronomy Tower. “Scorpius!”

 

“Ranny!” he replied, mimicking my whine. “Calm down love, I’m just taking a picture.”

 

“I thought that you wanted to photograph the sky!” I pointed out, jumping off of the wall and on to him. He crashed on to the floor and I landed on his chest. “Not me.”

 

He shoved me off. “Cheeky!” Rolling over so that his bum was firmly digging in to my rip cage, he sat on me. He lifted up the camera to the sky and pointed the lens back towards us. “Say cheese!”

 

I practically squealed with accidental delight as I tried to push him off, he took more and more photographs of my squealing face. Each flash came with a harder laugh.

 

It was late when Scorpius caught my arm in the dungeons. I was walking back to the Hufflepuff dormitories when I felt a force tackle me to the ground, through a tapestry that concealed a hidden passage behind it. Scorpius had used it many a time when he had a ‘conquest’ of sorts. I like to think of them as damsels’ in distress of which he has saved from someone else’s suspecting lips.

 

The blonde held up the camera and explained his plans of seeing the Northern Lights, of which were visible through a telescope from the Tower for this night only. We were that far north, you could see them. They were simply beautiful. Scorpius tried to take pictures through the telescope lens but failed. He settled for the landscape instead.

 

A cough came from the doorway behind us both.

 

Scorpius turned and grinned. “Alright mucker?”

 

“I’m not interrupting anything am I?” Albus asked nervously.

 

Scorpius laughed.

 

Albus and I had not spoken for the remainder of that Potions lesson, the last twenty minutes were spent in silence, stirring and chopping. When he poured the contents of our potion in to a beaker, he didn’t smile like he usually does; Al is a master at potions, when they work out, he smiles – and they always work out. He simply placed it on to the teacher’s desk in silence and walked from the room, collecting his belongings on the way. I hadn’t thought of what he had said, only what I had.

 

“Nope,” I said quietly. “Scorp, I can’t breathe.”

 

“Oh, shit, right.” He exclaimed, jumping up from my chest. I rolled over and stood up, helped by Albus.

 

His brows tightened. “Scorpius, you never swear in front of Ranny.”

 

“Yeah, well,” he shrugged. “Things change, love take the camera will ya’?”

 

I nodded eagerly as he placed it in my grasping hands. I snapped one of his face; confused his expression read. Albus only laughed. Click. Another picture.

 

“So,” I asked quietly. “What brings you to this neck of the woods?”

 

Albus shrugged, his shoulders looked broader in the dark light. “I thought about what you said today, you were right.”

 

“Someone want to fill me in?” Scorpius asked.

 

“Ranny pointed out to me that I hadn’t really been around lately.” Albus said carefully.

 

Scorpius brushed his blonde hair from his eyes in one swift hand movement. “Oh Ranny, only the kindest words come from your lovely gob.”

 

“Oi,” I replied snappily and took a picture of his pointed index finger in my direction. “I only tell the truth.”

 

“Yeah,”Albus added. “It’s called being a Hufflepuff.”

 

“There is nothing wrong with being a Hufflepuff.”

 

“Thank you Scorpius,” I said.

 

His defence seemed kind, until this, “Apart from when you wear your uniform correctly, you look like bees’.”

 

“You’re also all push overs.” Albus said.

 

Turning to Scorpius, they two of them began to act out a scenario that seemed vaguely familiar to me. Albus pretended to be a Hufflepuff, he accidently knocked in to Scorpius’ shoulder. The blonde turned around with a menacing expression, cowering Albus to the floor.

 

“That doesn’t happen.” I told them truthfully, snapping pictures despite it.

 

Scorpius sniggered. “Yeah, but it’s funny.”

 

He helped Albus from the foetal position on the floor.

 

“When you’re a Slytherin, maybe.”I replied.

 

In almost no time at all Scorpius’ fingers reached forward and turned my frown in to a smile. He nudged Al’s arm. “Unfold her cute little arms, she doesn’t suit sulky.”

 

“Somehow, it still turns out cute,” Albus said as he shook his head and pinned my arms to my side.

 

I wrestled out my right arm and batted away Scorpius’ hand. Forcing a smile on to my face I turned to the boys. “Happy now?”

 

“Very,” they agreed together.

 

I took a picture of the grinning lads; the flash seemed to momentarily daze Scorpius, giving enough time for Albus to grab the camera longingly. He took a picture of my face, shoving the lens in to my cheek.

 

I tried to grab it, my fingers grasp narrowly missing the Nikon my millimetres. I groaned in despair, smacking Scorpius with my arm.

 

I tried to hide my grin. “Do something!”

 

“Albus, no, stop.” He deadpanned, his expression not faltering from nonchalant for a split second. “Give the camera back to its rightful owner.”

 

Obediently, the raven haired boy handed the object back to Scorpius. They shared a smirk only liable to Slytherin and fist bumped each other in some form of recognition.

 

Al threw his arms around me and picked me from the floor. After spinning me in circles for a few moments, he grinned cheekily. “What would you say to staying over in our dorm tonight. Scorpius can hit the floor and you can steal his bed. It will be like old times.”

 

“Does the said candidate get a say?” the blonde asked.

 

I shook my head.

 

“Cheeky.” He replied.

 

Albus smiled. “Then it’s settled. I say we sneak back to the dungeons.”

 

“But up here we are on our own, anywhere else there will be others.” I said quietly.

 

Scorpius stopped slapping Albus and turned to me. “It’s called being sociable Ran.”

 

“I’ll tell you what,” Albus proposed. “Me and Scorpius will go to the dungeons, and you can stay here, eventually we shall wait at the bottom of the tower and tell you to let down your long hair.”

 

“Yeah,” Scorpius agreed, ignoring my glare. “But Albus’ weight will break your pretty hair; I shall have to climb up and save you.”

 

“Let’s just go to the dungeons.” I sighed.

 

The blonde grinned. “And if we get caught, it’s Ranny’s fault; she made us go to the Astronomy Tower.”

 

“Yeah!” Albus agreed. “The girl can be pretty persuasive with her wiles when she wants to be.”

 

I smacked them both in the arms. “Just leave me alone.”

 

“Never.”

 







 

AN; I’m so sorry for the long wait; I haven’t been very well lately, and I’ve got a lot going on, but I’m updating when I can!

I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter, despite its pointlessness. I will update soon with the next; it’s called ‘Maid Marion’ and includes more of Nina, faffing around and also Scorpius’ mischievous side. Thank you for reading – and don’t forget to leave me a review, no matter short or long; I appreciate them all! 


Chapter 7: Maid Marion
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BeautifulChaperImage//misfit@tda.
Maid Marion / Nina Clark 


 






 

“Scorpius,” I questioned indecorously “Is this really necessary?”

 

He stopped tying the string knot on the parcel and looked up at me with a raised brow. “Yes.”

 

I ignored the fact that he spoke as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “I just mean, surly doing this makes you as bad as her.”

 

“Probably,” he agreed. “In fact, it probably makes me worse. But I’m not complaining.”

 

“You’re such a tyrant.” I accused. “What would Robin have to say about this?”

 

“Robin is currently banging a maid, he left Little John in charge; Tuck has to listen to John.”

 

I pushed the parcel off of his desk and it hit the floor with a bang. “Tuck has a big stick that he will beat John with if John doesn’t keep his trap shut.”

 

“John senses that Tuck is testy this fine, autumn morning.”

 

“John senses right,” I finished, slumping back in to the second chair.

 

The Slytherin dorms managed to acquire desks in our third year. I didn’t want to ask how, and I still don’t. But the wood is dark, a shade of pine that doesn’t brighten up the dark rooms in the slightest – not even with their desperate attempts. Each lad has one, each with a chair, crammed in to the room. Scorpius was currently sat at his.

 

He raised a brow and folded his arms over his chest. “Does Tuck want to talk about it?”

 

“Nope.”

 

“Does Tuck need a hug?”

 

I shook my head. “Tuck needs John to know that if he sends that trick parcel to Rose Weasley, he will absolutely die.”

 

“John can handle it.” He dismissed airily.

 

But Tuck can’t.

 








 

I pushed my fringe back, resting it over my parting. Today I was content. I sat in my arch way and followed the usual procedure. Feet are tucked underneath me, dark blue jeans tight and green jumper, baggy.

 

Today I had been left alone. Scorpius and I had spent this Satruday morning together. He planned to ruin Rose Weasley and I sang to myself while partially lecturing him why what he was doing is wrong. Lunch was uneventful. I sat with Scorpius once more, quickly joined by Tom and his friend Dominic Tides. Dominic was their fourth roommate, a Slytherin – a rude one at that. But he kept his mouth shut around Tom.

 

Keeping myself busy in the way that I had, had allowed me to successfully keep my mind off of the one thing that would hurt me. Albus. I didn’t want to think about what he was doing with Nina, they had been inseparable today. I had to keep myself occupied. And that is exactly what I had done.

 

Albus left Nina after dinner and spent the time with us, just like old times. His brunette girlfriend sat with the Sherriff. Despite being Captain Hook, she really did look a little lost without him.

 

And now I sit alone. I looked out over the grounds and see the golden leaves, the leafless trees and the muddy pathways. I only wish that I could be as free as they. I pulled a thread on my jumper as my thoughts were interrupted.

 

“Ranny?”

 

I looked up to the blonde. “Nina? Are you alright?”

 

“I’m fine thank you.” She said.

 

The wrap I had around my legs seemed to tighten. “Are you sure? You seem sad.”

 

“I’m fine. I just had a hard day.” She dismissed. I watched as she sat down in the arch, mirroring my position. “I actually came here to ask you something.”

 

“Oh,” I said. “Ok.”

 

She took a deep breath. “It’s very out of order to ask it though.”

 

“Malfoy is my best friend,” I reminded. “Out of order is something that I’m used to.” Yet, somehow my heart seemed to hurt at the anticipation of her question.

 

“I want to know what’s wrong with me.”

 

I raised a brow. “You?”

 

“Yes,” she said. “You and Scorpius seem to avoid me like the plague if you can.”

 

I was a little lost for words.

 

I opened and closed my mouth like a fish, forming myself in to Nemo. My eyes darted from her to the brick work and decided to stay with the cement. My reason for wanting to avoid the Captain was of pure jealousy, I can easily admit that – but only to Scorpius. And I didn’t even need to speak that out loud. But to me Scorpius’ reason was unknown. He stated it was because she was ‘like the others’, but which others?

 

I pulled down on the ends of my hair. “I’m sorry.”

 

“It’s ok,” she reassured, resting a gentle hand on to my knee. “I just want to know. I really like Albus, I really, really do, and I want it to work out. But I know that he feels torn between choosing me and the two of you. I don’t want him to have to make that choice – because I know which one he’ll pick.”

 

Then pull out.

 

“I’m sorry,” I said again. For an odd reason I felt ashamed. “I’m being selfish.”

 

“No you’re not,” she disagreed. “It’s ok to feel how you do. I mean, if someone started dating Rose and was with her at all hours, I would feel possessive too. The three of you are so close. I get how you feel.”

 

I wanted to tell her the truth, to tell her that she is wrong. But I simply couldn’t find the words. How would that have been fair? It wouldn’t.

 

I nodded in response.

 

“That is how you feel though, right?” She questioned. “I haven’t just made a silly assumption. I’m not overlooking things?”

 

I shook my head. “I miss him,” I said quietly. “Albus was always nice to me, Scorpius is a joker. Without the nice, all you get is the wit.”

 

“And Albus makes your trio?”

 

“Yes. But he always was destined for more.”

 

She pursed her lips. “I don’t understand.”

 

“He’s Robin Hood,” I explained. “He saves the poor from the rich, the weak from the strong.” My eyes simply couldn’t meet hers. “Scorpius and I are merely his friends. John and Tuck. One day he will be King; he will beat the Sherriff and take out the Kings guard. I know he will.”

 

“Okay then,” she said sweetly. I know that she didn’t understand. “So who am I? If Albus is Robin, you’re Tuck and Scorpius is John. Who am I? Rose is obviously the Sherriff.”

 

I take it back, maybe she did. “How did you-“

 

“Know?” She finished for me. “You’re a lovely girl, tolerate of everyone. Yet Rose seems to despise you, we’ve never known why. She is the only one that you and Scorpius both share a mutual dislike of. And you’re smarter than Scorpius, a better person too, therefore making you Tuck.”

 

I nodded. “In that case, you’re Marion.”

 

“Maid Marion?” she questioned with a smile. “That’s so lovely. Is it odd that I am excited about being in your story?”

 

I wanted to correct her. Tell her it’s not a story. But she was right, what else could it be?

 

“Not at all,” I rectified. “Albus started it; he took my story book in our first year and gave us all roles.”

 

I wasn’t about to tell her that she took mine, that I was forced to switch at her arrival in to his life. Once again, it wouldn’t have been fair.

 

Her sweet smile cracked to a grin. “That’s our Albus for you eh?”

 

“Yeah,” I agreed half-heartedly.

 

Her hand went from my knee. “I just wanted to talk to you, that’s all. I mean, I want to be friends. Leave Rose out of the equation, she doesn’t deserve to be in it, not the way she treats you. She doesn’t get a say.”

 

“Friends.” I nodded. “I can do that.”

 

“And speak to Scorpius for me?” She asked. “Please?”

 

“Why can’t you do that?”

 

She blushed a light shade of pink. “Let’s just say that Scorpius and I aren’t on speaking terms.”

 

“You used to be friends,” I recalled. “Last year, but then one day he just stopped talking about you, I never bugged him about it.”

 

“He is a very stubborn boy,” she added. “I would talk to him if I could.”

 

I bid her a goodbye and left her in the arch, wanting a quick escape.

 

Speaking to Scorpius would be an activity that is very low on my priority list. I have very little intention. He despises Nina, with a burning passion. It’s odd that he changed his opinion of her so quickly last year; they used to be close. Albus never once showed an interest in her until afterwards.

 

It’s about time that I get to the bottom of this. But I will save it for a rainy day, as for now, I need to befriend my roommates a little more. Albus is happy with Nina, and I should support that. My first step, staying away from the Slytherin Dormitory, and making friends with the girls in my own.

 








 

AN;  I hope that you enjoyed this chapter! Sorry again for the long wait for the update! I hope to update quicker now; considering that it’s summer and all.
Again, a rather pointless chapter, set only for getting to know the characters a little more. However, the next chapter new characters are introduced – I hope that you like them!
What did you all make of Nina? I want to hear all of your thoughts!
I will update soon, a preview of the next chapter, maybe?


 

“Do you know you’re not making any sense?” I asked.

 

Scorpius looked up from staring at the floor. “What?”

 

“You,” I pointed out. “You’re only muttering every other word; all I got from the last sentence was ‘bugger, slut’ and something about a ‘jammy dodger’.”

 

It’s not the best, I know – but anything else would have had to have been taken from where I introduce the new characters, and I didn’t want to give anything away. Any guesses as to who they are? :) They’re OC’s, not cannon, but a relation – honestly, just take a guess! :)


Chapter 8: The Seven Dwarfs
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The Seven Dwarfs
Jack Gates





 

It had appeared that living up to the agreement wasn’t what any of us had bargained for. At the mere mention of me talking to Nina in a civilised manner, Scorpius blew his top.

 

Breaking the news to him gently had made no difference.

 

He plodded around like a baby, bawling his fists and knocking over lamps and pillows in the Slytherin Dormitory. Papers covered the floor as he pushed them, Albus’ letters to his father found themselves being pushed off of the desk and landing in the bin. Scorpius was always one for the dramatics. Within minutes, he had calmed down, yet he was still muttering.

 

“Do you know you’re not making any sense?” I asked.

 

Scorpius looked up from staring at the floor. “What?”

 

“You,” I pointed out. “You’re only muttering every other word; all I got from the last sentence was ‘bugger, slut’ and something about a ‘jammy dodger’.”

 

“Oh, right.” He said in a manner that made him seem a little lost. “Urgh, I said that ‘When I find Albus, I’m going to kill the bugger for ever dating the slut, and then that I really fancy a jammy dodger’.”

 

“I’m sure my Dad could send us some, back from the muggle world.”

 

He shook his head. “Don’t send your Dad to that much trouble, the craving will pass.”

 

I played with the wood on the chair of which I sat in, running my fingers along the smooth oak. “Nina isn’t really all that bad you know, she apologised.”

 

“For what?” he spat. “Being a raging whore? You can’t apologise for that if it’s built in to your nature.”

 

“Scorpius, that’s a little harsh.”

 

“It’s the truth.” He said, sitting down on the edge of his bed.

 

I stood up from the chair, pulling my sleeves down to cover my hands a little more; I walked towards the bed next to his and sat down. “Scorp, what do you have against Nina? She said you’re not on speaking terms.”

 

His upper lip curled in anger as he looked at me. “She told you that? Well, seeing as you’re best buddies now, why don’t you go and ask her?”

 

“Why don’t you tell me?” I offered. “And stop being such a baby.”

 

“You wouldn’t understand.”

 

I rolled my eyes and chewed on the inside of my gum. “Scorp, you and Al always use that as an excuse, it’s always the fact that ‘I would understand’. I’ve never cared about it before, but look around you Scorpius, Albus isn’t here, I’m the only one caring.” I stood up. “I’ll be in the Great Hall for lunch, when you’re done moping and want someone to listen, come and find me.”

 

“Ranny wai-“ But I had already closed the door.

 

He had sent a parcel to Rose Weasley only a week before. She opened it in The Great Hall, consequently turning her hair an unflattering shade of blue. He signed the card with a simple ‘S’. It was enough to let her know it was him.

 

I left the Slytherin Common Room and headed upwards, towards the Great Hall.

 

No one I knew was at the Slytherin Table, no one I liked sat with the Gryffindors, if in doubt, I sat with Lily Potter, a delightful girl only two year below. She was Albus’ little sister. In the eyes of her brothers, she was a handful, to other students, she was lovely.

 

I walked towards the Hufflpuff table and took a seat. As I poured myself a cup of tea, two boys moved up a few seats, one sitting next to me and the other across. The dark haired one, the one across from me, helped himself to a bread roll and cut in to it.

 

“You’re Ranny, right?” he asked. I nodded. His voice was deep, too deep to match his features. “I’m Jack; we’re in your Charms class.”

 

Nodding I grinned. “Yes, you sit behind me. You’re Perry – right?”

 

The boy on my right nodded as I did. He had cut his hair, where it used to tease the tops of his eyebrows, it now is barely long enough to run your hands through. He was known for his silence, Perry James never spoke.

 

“Perry and I thought that we’d join you.” Jack began. “We’d never seen you sit here before.”

 

I shrugged and swirled my spoon around in my tea. “I usually sit with the Slytherins, but they’re not there.”

 

Jack turned to look at the table. “There seem plenty of them to me.”

 

“Not the ones that I like.” I said quietly.

 

“It seems odd,” Jack spoke “The fact that you’re on friendly terms with the Slytherins’ – especially Scorpius Malfoy.”

 

“What’s wrong with Scorpius.”

 

I felt Perry nudge me from my right. He may not speak, but he was certainly strong. He was the Keeper on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, his strength showed in his light shoves.

 

Jack let out an uneasy laugh. “He put my shoes in the black lake every day for a year.”

 

My mouth fell agape. “He…he, he what?”

 

“Third year was really shit for me,” he said sadly. “But that’s all in the past now. I’m a new man.”

 

“But that’s horrible,” I said. “What he did to yo-“

 

“It doesn’t matter,” Jack dismissed. “He’s grown up, I’ve grown up. We’ve all grown up.”

 

I struggled to find words, instead I settled for letting Jack speak, he was a boy that turned out to be unusually chatty. I phased in and out of his speeches and listened to the chatter around me as a background theme.

 

Scorpius was mean. Not to me, but to others – there was no denying it. But Jack was harmless; I’ve never spoken to him, but seen him around, yes. He is the seeker for the Hufflepuff team. He was the boy with freckled cheeks and eyes that were just a little too large for his head.

 

“-won five, four,” he continued. I realised we were supposedly half way through a conversation. “I mean, of course I never stood a chance; Perry was on the other team. But that’s what happens when you have a split practise. But of course, our Captain never sees reason; she’s a beast - which is a little contradictory considering her size.”

 

Perry sent me a look of apology. He knew his friend well; Jack spoke for the both of them. The brunette wasn’t dumb; he knew that I was tuning out his friend unintentionally. He also probably knew that I would have no idea what he was talking about even if I was listening.

 

“-not tall, and I know that I’m not. But I’m still at least a head taller than her. Thinking about it Ranny, you’re rather short aren’t you.”

 

“Why are we over here today, then?” A deep voice, matching Jack to a similar tone, cut in to the latter’s speech.

 

I looked up to Tom’s curious face. The forth roommate, and Tom’s closest friend, Dominic wasn’t too far behind. Dom slid in beside Jack and smiled a hello to me while Tom took the seat to my left.

 

Dom helped himself to Jack’s roll and began to put butter on it. “Sorry lads, we didn’t mean to interrupt. Carry on-“

 

“Lads?” Tom interrupted, waving a spoon towards his friend. “I believe there is one lady sitting at the table at this moment.”

 

“Thomas,” Dom warned. “Jack doesn’t mean to be; that’s just the way he is.”

 

“Oh! Bugger off the both of you!” Jack exclaimed, yanking the spoon from Tom’s grip and giving it to me. It took me a moment to realise that it was the same spoon I had been using to stir my tea.

 

No one spoke to a Slytherin like that, let alone a Seventh Year. A first year, maybe, but only if you were older. But Thomas Gates wasn’t just any Slytherin, he was kind, yes, but he was still from the house of green. And when he had his back up…

 

But Tom merely smirked and playfully slapped Jack on the shoulder across the table. “We’re only playing, Jay, lighten up.”

 

“Do you two know each other?” I asked nosily, looking between Tom and Jack.

 

Dom laughed. “Ranny, they’re brothers.”

 

I furrowed a brow. “How? You look nothing alike … and you’re both in the same year.”

 

“What can I say?” Tom began. “I was born in September, and I guess that Mum and Dad just loved me so much they wanted another, that or they just couldn’t wait. Nine months later, little Jack over there popped out.”

 

I took a sip from my tea. “That means I missed your birthday, Thomas.”

 

“Don’t worry about it,” he dismissed with a supportive wink. “You can make it up to me through being my servant.”

 

“That’s not funny,” I said, allowing the warm liquid to soothe my throat.

 

He looked at me through wide eyes, eyes I realised he shared with his brother – yet, they seemed to be the right size for Tom. “Oh, I’m not joking, Ranny I expect you to work for me; I’m talking about making me tea, doing my homework, fetching me items I have left places, shining my shoes.”

 

“Sexual favours,” Dom suggested, only to earn a kick from his friend.

 

“Ranny, he’s joking.” Jack said lightly. “I’m not sure if Dom is though.” His accusation was backed up by glare to his brother’s friend.

 

“Oh, I don’t kid.” Dom said.

 

Thomas shook his head in disbelief. “Don’t be creepy.”

 

Jack watched as his brother helped himself to a sip from my tea before putting it back down in front of me. “I didn’t realise that you and Ranny are so close, Tommy.”

 

“Oh yeah,” he replied casually. “She’s like my other half, aren’t you Ran?”

 

“Look at her scared expression,” Dom teased through a mouthful of bread. “That just sums it all up.”

 

I listened to the round of laugher, finding comfort in the fact that Perry didn’t join in. He looked at me kindly and offered a smile, yet I wasn’t sure if it was for my benefit, or to join in with the others.

 

“Yeah anyway,” Tom rounded. “Jack and I are in different everything, classes, houses-“

 

“States of mind,” his brother interrupted.

 

Ignoring him, Tom carried on. “It’s probably why you don’t really see us together, I mean, I was born with the looks-“

 

“While I got all the brains.”

 

“I have the charm and the smile.”

 

Jack snorted. “Yes, while I sit over here looking like a Goblin.”

 

His brother turned to him obliviously. “Did you say something, Jack?”

 

“Apparently you’re an invisible Goblin.”

 

“Yes, thank you for that Dominic.”

 

Dom sent a bready grin to his brother’s friend, and continued to chew with his mouth open. Tom shook his head towards his friend and opened his mouth to speak. Yet the arrival of Albus silenced him.

 

“Are we joining the Puff’s today?” he asked, shoving himself between Tom and me. He flicked his hand towards his roommate; he moved up reluctantly to make space for his friend. “Good afternoon, Ranny.”

 

“Hello,” I replied.

 

“Have you seen Scorp; I can’t find him anywhere?” the question was directed to everyone at the table.

 

I nodded and put my chin in to my palm, resting my elbow on to the table. As Albus helped himself to my tea, I realised all hope of me drinking it myself was lost. “He is currently sitting on your bed, sulking.”

 

Albus put my tea back on to the table. “What did you do?”

 

“Me?” I questioned. “I didn’t do anything. He decided to be mean and so I left him on his own.”

 

“Again?” Tom asked, leaning forward a little.

 

“Yeah, again?” Albus said airily, turning around to Tom he showed me his back. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that actually, Gates.”

 

I sighed. “Oh Ally, leave it.”

 

“How come you knew about Ran’s argument with Scorpius before I did, and if you knew about it why didn’t you tell me?”

 

“Are you really asking me that?” Tom replied. “It’s a bit petty, Potter?”

 

“And I’m a petty person,” he stated for an answer. “So why didn’t you tell me?”

 

Jack sent me a smile from across the table. “Are they always like this?”

 

I nodded. “Frequently. Their dorm is like a war zone, its Dom and Tom against Scorp and Al – always.”

 

“Oi!” Dom butted in. “Not always. Not when you’re there. We cool it for you, my little flower.”

 

Neither Jack nor I moved for a moment afterwards. I simply decided to forget the pet name and carry on with the conversation. “Actually, he’s partially right. When Albus isn’t there, Scorpius tends to get along with them. I think that Al is just a difficult person really.”

 

“Yeah, I’m not going to hold you to that.”  Jack said pointedly. “But Ranny, can I just say – I hate your dorm mates, the girls I mean, the Hufflepuffs.”

 

A girl’s voice answered Jack’s statement. “Oi, Baby Gates, those girls are my friends.”

 

“Yes, Nina, with the standards that you made by picking your other friends I can’t say that I’m surprised.”

 

“Jack,” Tom warned, with a kick under the table.

 

His brother ducked down to rub his leg better. “You’re such a wanker sometimes you know that Tom.”

 

Nina took a seat on the other side of Dominic and smiled at her boyfriend.

 

For that lunch, we sat at the Hufflepuff table, for the first time as a group. Tom argued with Jack, bickering only as brothers could. Dominic turned their arguments in to playful banter and picked at the food that surrounded him. Perry said nothing, but seemed to join in with the conversation all the same.

 

We were one big happy family. But I didn’t sit with Albus; he moved to sit with her.








 


An; there was the next chapter. I hope that you’re all enjoying this so far! And thank you for all of the reviews for this story! I’m so glad that you’re finding this as interesting as you are!
Speaking of reviews, I would be incredibly grateful if you’d leave one.
Maybe even just a single term, ‘Robin’ if you liked it, and ‘Hook’ if you didn’t. (Thumbs up for my pathetic attempt at fairy tale irony). But then some more characters after it because I think that it has to be a minimum of ten :D


What did you think of the new characters, I hope that it’s not too many to introduce, I know at some points I’ve read stories and been completely confused over the amount of characters! But now Ranny has Seven ‘Dwarfs’ to chat with!

The next chapter is called, ‘King John’, here is a little preview;


 

Albus snorted and hired his voice several octaves. “Oh Jack, lovely Jack. Marry me Jack!”

 

“I do not sound like that!” I whined.

 

“Point proven.” He teased as he threw his arm over my shoulders. “You do too sound like that, and besides, what do you see in Jack – he’s tiny, he is a small little man with eyes that are too big for his head.”

 

Good old Al and his blatant displays of over-protectiveness and slight jealousy. The next chapter is twenty two pages of writing, twelve more than this one, so I hope that you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading!


Chapter 9: King John
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King John
Albus Potter



 








 

Albus bumped my knee with his. I pulled my thighs up to my chest and tried to kick forward, only catching him in the foot.

 

He seemed to only get agitated as the first years passed and stared as we sat in the archway. He was Albus Potter, the famous second son. His brother, James, had always learned to block out the stares, but Albus – well, he had never really made the effort, thus ended up uncomfortable.

 

“Could they be any more obvious?” he muttered.

 

I sent another kick and this time he flinched a little. “Give them some credit; everyone wants to stare at the best looking boy in school.”

 

He sensed my teasing. “Marilyn is here?”

 

“Harsh much?”

 

“True much?” was his rebuttal. “If she was any manlier with her ways then she might as well officially switch gender.”

 

I didn’t point out that she was actually incredibly feminine, or that she was beautiful. “Well, Scorpius seems to like her.”

 

“He what?” Albus exclaimed, startling a few passing students. “He is ‘friends’ with Marilyn.”

 

“It’s okay Ally, I know they’re not just friends. I’m not a child.”

 

He looked up and nudged me with his foot. “You’ll always be to me. You’ll always be that first year that introduced me to fairytales.”

 

“I still can’t believe that before me, you hadn’t heard of them.” I said. “I thought your Dad was raised by two muggles.”

 

“He was.” Al said shortly. “But it wasn’t exactly a loving upbringing. Back to Scorpius-“

 

“What about me?”

 

I looked up to my left to see the boy in question. His hair wasn’t slick usual, the style that he spent hours trying to do, to straighten and prevent kinks. His eyes were sleepless.

 

I moved up, making space in the archway for him. He didn’t sit down.

 

Albus cleared his throat. “Ran was just talking about your relationship with Marilyn.”

 

“What relationship,” Scorpius asked. “She’s horrid; I wouldn’t touch the girl with a bargepole.”

 

A part of me smiled. “Good.”

 

He still didn’t take the offered seat, but instead stepped a little closer to me in the emptying corridor. “Ranny, I’m sorry.”

 

“It’s okay,” I passed with an airy wave. “I know that you didn’t mean it.”

 

“But it’s still not okay for me to have done it.”

 

I simply looked to the stone around me. Scorpius wasn’t one to apologise. He only did on the odd occasion; if he thought the problem was life or status threatening, or possible if he thought he was going to lose the person on the other end.

 

Apologising wasn’t a willing thing when it came from a Malfoy. But he was kind inside.

 

I smiled warmly. “Forgive and forget?”

 

Scorpius pondered for a moment and chewed on the inside of his cheek. “Deal,” he took the seat that I offered and slapped his hand down on to my thigh before diving in to a story about the upcoming Quidditch Match against Hufflepuff.

 






 

“Please tell me you are wearing green!” Albus begged shaking me thoroughly.

 

I laughed lightly. “I can’t! Yellow is my house colour!”

 

“But it’s a Quidditch Match!” he replied. “You always support Slytherin!”

 

“Unless it’s against my own house!” I said pointedly. “And besides, Jack gave me his old scarf especially.”

 

Albus snorted and hired his voice several octaves. “Oh Jack, lovely Jack. Marry me Jack!”

 

“I do not sound like that!” I whined.

 

“Point proven.” He teased as he threw his arm over my shoulders. “You do too sound like that, and besides, what do you see in Jack – he’s tiny, he is a small little man with eyes that are too big for his head.”

 

“He is also chatty, kind and thoughtful,” I rounded. “But I don’t fancy him Ally.”

 

He raised a brow. “Yeah, I don’t believe you. Imagine what this must be doing to Tom, he has to watch you and his little brother get married and have kids, all the while he is in love with you. Oh, the horror!”

 

“Stop being so dramatic!” I ordered with a smack around the back of his head. “Tom doesn’t fancy me, I am not going to get married and I do not fancy Jack!”

 

“I’m teasing, Ran.” He reassured. “Calm down. Besides I would rather you went for Jack anyway if it was my choice for you. He’s the Gates brother that I can control. Jack is scared of me; Tom has a bloody mouth on him.”

 

I took a deep breath and tried to hide my smirk. “You want me to go out with Jack because you can scare him, but not Tom because he’s stronger than you.”

 

“Tom is not stronger than me – physically bigger, maybe, but not stronger. I am the strongest man in the world.” He said, tensing his arms around me for a demonstration. “And if it was actually my choice, I would chain you up in the astronomy tower away from all male specimens. I don’t want you to date anyone.”

 

“Sorry Dad, I’ll turn off my wiles.”

 

Albus stopped walking with a gobsmacked expression. “Sarcasm does not suit you, love.”

 

I only smiled.

 

“I have to go,” he said quietly. “I said that I would meet Nina by the lake, I’m already ten minutes late.” He gave me a kiss on the head. “Bye Ran.”

 

He walked down the corridor and I watched as he left. Albus leaving was a reoccurring thing now. He would make a date with Nina, forget about it for a little while, remember and then leave in a mad dash to make it up to her.

 

Scorpius said that it was a boy’s thing, that it happened to every male, but I knew that it did. Albus never forgot a day out with Scorpius or me. He was never late to helping his sister or his parents. He was always on time – sometimes even early – in my opinion; it was something he saved for Nina.

 

It was only moments before I felt a pair of strong hands come down on to my shoulders. “You are wearing green, right?”

 

“Tom?!” I questioned. “We’re you ears dropping?”

 

“Not at all,” he dismissed. “Well, maybe a little. But you’re wearing green.”

 

I laughed a little too high. “Says who?”

 

“Say’s me.” He replied strongly as he guided me down the corridor and towards the Great Hall. “And if you’re only wearing yellow because my little brother gave you a scarf, Ranny I plenty of green items, I’m sure that Dom will be more than willing to lend you his green jumpsuit.”

 

I refrained from asking why Dom had a jump suit, or why he brought it to Hogwarts. “I’m good thank you. I’m going to support my own house.”

 

Tom sucked in a deep breath and mimicked fainting. He didn’t quite make the floor before standing up straight once more. “You’ve always supported Slytherin, maybe you’re the lucky charm.”

 

“Well I guess, we’ll just have to find out, wont we?”

 








 

I stood with my arms folded. My jaw jittered in the cold as I rubbed my forearms roughly. The weather had descended in to madness as thunder rumbled in the air. This factor was yet to put a damper on the atmosphere. Many students put up an umbrella, only for it to pop inside out.

 

“Malfoy passes to Gates, and Gates heads towards the hoops,” Lee Jordan Jr announced theatrically. His voice was commanding and caught the attention of the stadium. “Good save by Perry James!”

 

The cries of the crowd got louder as a grunt of outrage replaced the commentary coming from the teacher’s box. One of the Hufflepuff beaters keeled back over their broom after being hit in the fact with a bludger, sent by Tom. His expression was screwed, his eyes turned to slits. He repositioned the bat within his grip and flew towards the offending bludger.

 

Lee’s voice laughed. “Johnson’s out for blood – I’d watch it if I were you Gates.”

 

A calming voice laughed from beside me. “I miss what Lee used to be.”

 

“Me too,” I agreed.

 

Louis Weasley was a charming young lad. Although only a year younger, his genes – courtesy of his mother – turned him in to a gentleman. He had no interest in playing Quidditch, watching it he could deal with, but he portrayed no more interest than that.

 

He pushed his blonde hair back and threw his arm around my shoulder. “You’re like a little ice box,” he acknowledged. “It’s not even that cold, you wuss!”

 

I tugged on his red Gryffindor scarf and whipped him in the face with the end of it. “Respect your elders Weasley.”

 

“You make it out like your old enough to be my Gran,” he said. “And trust me; Nanna Weasley was never as pretty as you.”

 

My eyes narrowed. “Stop it.”

 

It was no secret that he used his vela charm to it’ full potential when he could. He had girls trailing at his heels. But he never acted upon it; after all, he was a gentleman.

 

“I swear, Potter is losing it!” Lee’s voice cried angrily. “Do something Al! Punch the Hufflepuf bastard!”

 

“Jordan!”

 

“Sorry Professor,” he apologised quickly. “Its 40-60 to Hufflepuff and Malfoy dodges an opposing bludger.”

 

His voice turned to a drone. There was a time in his life that Lee Jordan Jr was the most renowned commentator the school had ever seen; he surpassed his father with flying colours. But then he got older. His curse words got worse, and he made enemies in certain Quidditch players. His comments were deemed no longer suitable by Professor Flitwick and he was put under watch. He used to say the funniest things, but now he wasn’t allowed to.

 

He refused to lose his position; he loved it too much. But he was a little careless, sometimes his biased opinions came out – he was a Gryffindor after all.

 

Louis’ arm retracted from around my shoulder and turned to a seventh year Ravenclaw. We stood by the side of the Hufflepuff stands ‘the perfect place’ as Lou liked to refer to it.

 

I had learnt to turn a blind eye to Louis’ antics; Father had raised me on the opinion that betting was bad. Louis accepted a payment of galleons, slipped them in to his bulging pockets and took down details in a small black book. I had watched his transaction enough times to know it off by heart.

 

“Six on Hufflepuff,” a fifth year said eagerly.

 

Louis laughed lowly and placed his hands on to his hips. “Aren’t you a little young to be betting?”

 

“You were in my year when you started taking them,” the fifth year right said.

 

I acknowledged as Louis turned to me for some sort of recognition. I simply grinned and wrapped my fingers in the small holes of my close-knit itchy jumper. “He’s got a point Lou.”

 

He huffed and took the bet. “If you tell anyone-“

 

“I won’t.” The child responded. “I promise!”

 

The pair of us watched as he returned back to the Ravenclaw stands and stood proudly with his friends. “He’s a smart kid,” I said with a smile. “He managed to charm Louis Weasley.”

 

“Actually, for a Ravenclaw, he’s pretty dumb,” Louis chuckled. Noticing my confused expression, he carried on. “He should have done his research; the Gates brothers got in to a fight. It’s seeker against beater – Tom gets really angry when he argues, he gets really passionate, Jack gets upset and weepy. Tom is on top form.”

 

“And you think that because the Slytherin beater is crazy, they’re going to win?”

 

Louis nodded. “Yep.”

 

I sighed and turned back to the game momentarily. Scorpius dived for the Quaffle and threw it to Albus. 50-60 to Hufflepuff. “You’ll eat your words Weasley,” I teased. “Hufflepuff will win.”

 

He shrugged and took another bet.

 

The odd student waved a banner in the stands, others chanted for their favourite team. The Slytherin corner was obvious, emerald green sparks shot from someone’s wand, shooting snakes in to the sky. The silver sparks followed and spiralled in to fireworks. School spirit was easy to find, but Quidditch Matches managed to shod any work previously done for house unity.

 

A threatening chant erupted from the Gryffindors as they cheered for the Hufflepuffs, the upper east area of the stands dancing in red and gold. It matched the contrasting boos and hisses from their opponents.  The octave of which they sang at began to increase as Hufflepuff scored again. The doors of the stadium rumbled with the thunder.

 

The nearby Professors cast a charm, pulling shelters over the top of the stadium, protecting the stands from rain and wind. Their positions were odd; they were always stationed between the divides of each house, ready to split up the fights – two of which had already occurred. It got harder for them to control when different houses began to mix where they stood.

 

Louis nudged me in the shoulder and pointed to a whining prefect. He was being assisted out of the back doors of the stadium by two Professors, each with a sour look upon their faces. The burn marks on the prefects faces was enough to alert us both to the six Professors that stood between a group of Slytherin and Hufflepuff students.

 

“He’s seen it!” Lee called joyfully. “Gates has seen the snitch! He dives for it! The Slytherin seeker is on this tail! Hit him Jack!” His shouts became more frantic with each word. “Elbow him where it hurts; knock him off of his broom. Do something – what are you chatting about? That’s not inappropriate Professor and you know it.”

 

“Mr Longbottom,” Mr Flitwicks high voice chimed though the mic, his tone being picked up. “Do something!”

 

Quietly Neville Longbottoms voice replied in a sarcastic drone. “Lee. Stop. Please.”

 

“Neville,” Flitwick whinnied.

 

“There is no stopping the Gates’!” Lee said, his grip on the mic making the static louder. “Little-Gates goes for the snitch while Big-Gates fires those two bludgers like he is a gun with bullets. Just give up Slytherin; you’re never going to win at this rate! Get in there Dom and help your friend or fall and hurt yourself, I personally would prefer the latter- of leave it Professor F, they can’t hurt me up here!”

 

The glare in Dominic’s gaze suggested that they could. Yet he flew opposite his brother beater and shot back the rogue bludger so it was chasing after Jack.

 

Lee’s voice rang out again, forming a gasp as its first syllable. “Perry James is down. Stupid Slytherin tosser, aiming bludgers like that, I wish I’d seen who done it, I really did.”

 

His voice seemed animated once again as Scorpius scored another ten points for Slytherin.

 

An undisputed cry called from the Hufflepuff stands as Jack’s fist clenched around the snitch. Its wings retracted back in to its golden casing and snapped shut. His arm punched in to the air as the Slytherin seeker hit the floor in a temper tantrum. Scorpius would go mental, as would Al.

 

Chaos ensued throughout the stands, the line between the Hufflepuffs and Slytherins merged instantly, taunts flying from both sides. A banner was wrapped around a small child as he was thrown on to the pitch by the Slytherins. Students began to batter one another while others ran towards the pitch to congratulate their favoured house.

 

Prefects ran through the stands in an attempt to control the students. It didn’t work.

 

Louis grabbed hold of my arm and led me towards the top of the stands. The bench beneath my feet seemed to shake as students began to pour from the stands. But Louis didn’t let go, he simply lead me higher and higher.

 

It was a battle ground, the survival of the fittest. When Robin Hood fought, he fought for honour and pride, the Slytherins fought now for jealousy and reason. The Hufflepuffs were being shamed.

 

The Quidditch Team shed their armour on the pitch and bathed in the attention. I closed my eyes and felt my sight flutter as I took a seat next to Louis, who had come to a halt about half way up.

 

“This should do,” he admitted with a shrug. He opened back up his little black leather book and began to take down notes. “The crowd are nutters at this thing. The ends always terrify me.”

 

I nodded in agreement. I didn’t like fighting, and this pointless war was on going, always re-ignited every term. I enjoy the game, but not the aftermath.

 

My hands retracted back in to the sleeves of my thick jumper. The cold bit them painfully. I blinked and wiped the water that fell from my eye as the wind attacked my sight. Today I hadn’t made an effort. I wore patterned black leggings, with black flowering patterns and my big red itchy jumper.  It was the companion to my green one.

 

Louis smirked and put his book down, brushing loose hair that stuck to my face back. My hair was dry, it always was, and it was big and puff like a birds nest. I used a handful of pins and tamed it to my head. I made no attempt to look particularly nice.

 

“Is that where you keep your pets?” Louis asked teasingly. It was a comment that received a small slap.

 

He smudged the yellow paint that was streaked lightly across my cheeks and merged it with the black line underneath. It was only a small amount, but enough to prove house pride. The girls in my dorm were doing it before I left. Nina had insisted that I partake in their antics.

 

The flash of shocking blond hair caught my eye. A sweating Scorpius ran up the benches in a practised motion towards me.

 

Lou shook his head as he began to count out his money. The stands by this time were empty. “What is that bloke doing?”

 

“I think he’s trying to get to us.” I said.

 

I stood up and climbed down two benches by the time Scorpius had made about seven. He caught me by the arms.

 

“Good game,” Louis chuckled. “Did you loose on purpose?”

 

Scorpius visibly bit the inside of his cheek. “Don’t push me Weasley.” His took hold of the front of my jumper and pulled me down another step. “Ranny, Al’s in the Pansy Wing, he was hit with a bludger in the second half.”

 

My eyes widened. “Is he okay?”

 

“He’s lost the feeling in his right arm,” Scorpius replied. “Nothing that Madame Lore can’t fix.”

 

“I can’t believe that you missed that Ranny,” Louis said only half listening to the conversation. His quill was still lightly scribbling on to his page. “Your eyes are usually glued to Albus during a match.”

 

I shook my head in disbelief. “I can’t believe I missed it either.” I stepped down another bench on to the same as Scorpius’, “Can we see him?”

 

“Come on, I’ll take you.” He offered. “Are you going to be alright here Lou?”

 

Louis nodded. “I’ll just finish up here, I’ll give you your money later Malfoy.”

 

I smacked Scorpius’ fingers away as he tried to pull me faster down the benches. I made it down in my own time, but caught up running across the field. I stepped over the abandoned equipment and brooms – left to pick up later. The odd student stood in our way, still exiting the match at a similar pace to a snail.

 

Albus was never careless, he never got hurt. He always dodged the hit. But this time he didn’t.

 

It wasn’t until we reached he top of the first staircase that I realised my naivety. “Scorpius,” I began. “If Louis owes you money, doesn’t that mean that you bet against Slytherin.”

 

He sighed. “I was hoping that you wouldn’t figure that out.” He didn’t stop jogging but double backed to grab my arm and pull me along. “Its simple statics, Tom and Jack were in a fight, yes Tom gets angry and Jack gets mopey, but that doesn’t make Tom stronger, it makes him careless.”

 

“Louis said that too,” I remembered. “But not the second part.”

 

Scorpius nodded and turned a sharp corner. “Without Tom, Dom – bless his heart – isn’t much of a beater, but with Gates, they are an unbeatable pair. If Tom isn’t on good form, then neither is Dom. Plus Albus wasn’t in a good mood, his ability was shoddy today. So, I decided to gain 40 galleons. But let’s keep this our little secret, yeah?”

 

I nodded in agreement and pushed my hair from my eyes. “Why was Al in a bad mood?”

 

“He had an argument with Nina – watch it!” He added to a passing first year.

 

“He did?” I questioned. “Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

 

Scorpius shrugged. “I thought that you would enjoy it too much. I guess Al just didn’t see you today to tell you.”

 

I kept to myself that I had spent the morning with him; we sat in the Library and read through our Potions text for next lesson on Monday.

 

We pushed through the stream of desperate students, each wanting to see the team members in their worst moments, some wanting to see if they’re okay. I watched as Scorpius used his elbows to get through and followed on closely behind.

 

He pulled open the left door and shoved me through, closing it behind him. I watched as people shouted through the gap, asking after certain players, some in for their friends and team mates, others in for injuries. I ignored the names called.

 

Folding my arms across my stomach, I let Scorpius guide me to Albus’ cot. I wanted to butterflies in my tummy to stop. The wing was light and airy, especially considering the dark weather and skies above. The howls of the creatures could be heard from the forest not a mile away, in reply to the calls of thunder.

 

In the window to my left, birds flew past, birds with colours on their wings of bright orange and green, yellow and blue. A red phoenix flew - a resident animal that lives forever in the office of the Headmaster.

 

I looked down the rows of cots, each made neatly in to a welcoming and inviting bed - only a few taken, and mostly closer to the doors. I spotted Albus immediately. He sat on his cot, his green uniform lost, down to his tight under-trousers and black undershirt. His right arm was in a white sling.

 

Tearing away from Scorpius I ran towards Albus and slammed in to the end of his bed, my hands meeting with the cold bar. Al’s head snapped towards me and his scowl turned to a grin.

 

“Ranny!” he greeted. “You got here quickly.”

 

I climbed over the end of his bed and wrapped my arms around his neck. He laughed quietly and put his left arm around my shoulders as I sat beside him.

 

Scorpius reached us, his mucky face not yet cleaned. “Don’t you scare us like that again.”

 

Albus laughed, wiping a dirty hand over his sweaty head. “I’ll give it a go, but I’m not promising anything.”

 

I nipped at his arm, yet he didn’t flinch. “What’s the verdict?”

 

“Lore said that he couldn’t move it for a day or two, but once he gets the feeling back, he can take the sling off.” Tom’s said from my left.

 

It was the first time that I had realised they were there. Dominic had stripped off to the same point as Albus and sat carelessly in the cot beside him, his shoes kicked off revealing a pair of over-sized grey socks. Tom sat in a small white chair, a little too small for a lad of his size, leaning by the head of the bed.

 

Scorpius nodded, brushing his light hair from his eyes. “So he can’t feel his arm?”

 

Tom demonstrated by hitting it. “Nope.”

 

“Are you going to keep doing that?” Albus snapped, obviously irritated.

 

The dark haired boy shrugged. “Until you get the feeling back.”

 

“Ranny!” Albus whined in a high voice. “Ranny! Tell him off!”

 

Yet I couldn’t seem to find the words; my eyes were glued to another patient.

 

Jack sat in another chair, facing the opposing bed, along with the other members of the Hufflepuff Team. His elbows were rested on his knees and his head hung low. There was only one person that he would do that for.

 

Perry lay soundly in the bed. A blackening bruise covered his left eye, along with a trail of small cuts patterned upon the right side of his face. His wrist was wrapped tightly in a bandage, his fingers poking from the end. He was a keeper; they usually took the worse of the damage.

 

I looked back to Albus, who had noticed my gaze. “Yeah, it’s bad what happened to James.”

 

“He seems to end up like that a lot more than we do.” Scorpius added. “He always throws himself too much in to the game.”

 

Tom snorted. “If only he could dodge a little quicker.”

 

“That was a brilliant shot, mate.” Dom replied, leaning out of the bed to a dangerous point so he could high five his roommate. “I’ve never hit someone so hard they got knocked out.”

 

“You knocked him out?” I echoed in disbelief.

 

Sensing my tone, Tom shook his head. “No, no I didn’t.”

 

“Yes you did,” Albus replied. “You aimed for his wrist so that Scorpius could shoot easier.”

 

“But then the bastard used his other wrist.” Dom said angrily, sitting up a little took theatrically.

 

“But hitting him in the head was an accident,” Tom said, reaching over and placing a hand on to my knee. “Ranny you have to believe me; I didn’t mean to hurt him. He got hit, the beaters from the Hufflepuff side where supposed to be there to stop it, but they weren’t.”

 

“He didn’t fall straight away either.” Albus said admiringly. “He shook it off and finished the game before blacking out.”

 

Dominic laughed. “Hard-headed bastard. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and find our seeker, and deprive him of the ability to walk.”

 

I watched as he left the Hospital Wing, grabbing his boots from the floor. But my gaze went back to Perry.

 

“Lighten up Ran,” Albus said teasingly. “James ends up like that after most games, their beaters are really bad, the rest of the team have to be good dodgers. Lore will fix him up in no time.”

 

“But he’s still bleeding.” I said stupidly. “Doesn’t she usually stop that?”

 

“Not internal bleeding,” Scorpius explained. “She can’t stop that straight away.”

 

Albus turned instantly and sent Scorpius a glare of disbelief. “Now why would you tell her that?” he snapped.

 

Scorpius shrugged. “She’s not five.”

 

I turned back to Tom and blinked. “Has that ever happened to you?”

 

He nodded and snorted. “Frequently. In my second year I was in here for a week.”

 

“Getting hit with bludgers hurts more than it looks.” Albus explained, pointing to his slinged arm. “James just wasn’t quick enough. He’ll have nothing left if he keeps getting hit.”

 

“Maybe that’s why he doesn’t talk,” Tom offered. “I asked Jack once, but he just went really, really quiet.”

 

Albus smirked. “He’s been hit so many times he doesn’t have the brain cells left to muster it.”

 

I couldn’t help but feel offended for him as I heard the spite in Albus’ voice. Pulling away from his hug I stood up from the bed, pulling my damp hair away from my pale skin. “I can’t believe that you just said that.”

 

“What?” he questioned innocently and ran his working arm through his hair. “Ranny, it was a joke.”

 

“Well it wasn’t funny.” I folded my arms across my chest, unable to comprehend where I was going with this.

 

Al put an arm behind him on the bed and shifted forward an inch. “Ran, what’s gotten in to you? Last year you would have found that hilarious.”

 

I couldn’t reply because I knew that he was right. Last year I would have laughed, simply because it was Albus that had spoken. He could have said anything, and I would have smiled because I knew it was him that had spoken. But something ad changed.

 

“That was last year,” I said sadly. “But it’s just not funny anymore. You saying mean things, I’m not smiling at it.”

 

“Ranny?”

 

“Don’t Scorpius,” Albus interrupted. “If she’s got something to say, let her say it.”

 

I looked straight in front of me, to where his tie usually hung. But it wasn’t there. “You can be really, really nasty sometimes. And it’s horrible, especially to be on the receiving end.”

 

“I knew that you hadn’t forgiven me,” he deadpanned. “I knew it.”

 

“How would you know?” I asked. “You’ve never apologised, not properly.”

 

He sighed. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I was a git. Is that good enough for you?”

 

My lips curved further down, if that’s even possible. “You just don’t get it do you?”

 

“Get what?” he snapped, his emerald eyes dark.

 

Scorpius laughed quietly and menacingly. “You are so blind sometimes mate, it actually hurts.”

 

“Get what?” he tried again.

 

With a shake of my head I curled my arms tighter around me, pulling my jumper up a little more than I would have liked. “You told me that we were best friends, that we would share everything.”

 

“We are,” he said. “We do.”

 

“Then why didn’t you tell me about your argument with Nina?”

 

He said nothing.

 

And for me that was enough.

 

Tom stood up. “Maybe you two should take a deep breath and just –“

 

“You want to know what we were fighting about?” Albus questioned angrily, a step down from shouting.

 

Scorpius pulled him back down to the cot. “No, Al, she doesn’t need to know.”

 

“You’re the one who said that she isn’t five.” He snapped.

 

“And people say I’m the one with the temper,” Scorp muttered, mainly to himself. “Albus, please, don’t tell her.”

 

“Scorpius,” I breathed. I felt betrayed. But he simply shook his head.

 

“Nina didn’t like my techniques,” Albus sneered. “She thought that I was too rough. In the bedroom department – if you know what I mean.”

 

Scorpius dragged his hands down his face and turned away from his friends. “Fucking hell.” He groaned in to his closed hands.

 

Tom laughed. “Nice one. Scared off your girlfriend.”

 

But I didn’t laugh. I didn’t move. I didn’t breath. For a single moment, I felt my insides shut down. An echo of ache shot through my heart. I tried to take a deep breath in my heavy chest. He wasn’t my Albus anymore; he hasn’t been for a long time.

 

I settled for a single sentence. “What’s gotten in to you?”

 

“I think that more appropriate question is, what have I gotten in to?”

 

I waited for the scream, for the scratching of my organs to bleed as they tried to run from me. But nothing came. Instead Tom took a step forward and put a caring hand on to my shoulder. But I shrugged it off.

 

Tom waited for a moment before taking a deep breath. “Maybe you guys should forget this, resolve it later when you’ve both had time to think.”

 

“Stay out of this Tom,” Scorpius warned. He knew the both of us all too well.

 

“There is nothing to resolve.” I said sadly. Taking a step back from Albus I scoffed sadly. “I hope you and Nina are happy together – because she’s the only girl in your life that you have left.”

 

I walked towards Jack and Perry, before hearing him say my name.

 

“Will you stop?”

 

I did and turned back. “I want my hat back.”

 

“What?”

 

“My hat,” I spat. “I want my Robin Hood hat back, you don’t deserve it anymore.”

 

“But I’m Robin Hood,” he said with a tone of disbelief. “I’ve always been Robin Hood.”

 

I shook my head. Robin Hood was a good man. He didn’t make people feel bad about themselves, he helped them and made them see the light. Albus had given himself a similar aura as King John.

 

“You’re no hero.” I breathed. But I know he heard it.

 

Jack didn’t batter an eyelid as I pushed through the crowd of the Hufflepuff team and sat on the arm of his chair, leaving behind me a silent Albus and two shocked dorm mates.

 

The tallest member of the team spoke first and got up from the end of Perry’s bed. The argument wasn’t  a quiet expression of feeling. It was one that Madame Lore had chosen to ignore, usually she threw you out – but she had a soft spot for Albus, as did everyone.

 

I ignored the heaving that I wanted to do, the little feeling inside me that wanted to explode and instead sat in silence.

 

“You must be Ranny,” the tall one said kindly. “Our Jack has said nice things about you.”

 

Smiling I nodded, but I felt nothing. “It’s nice to meet you.”

 

He put out his hand and I shook it. “I’m Dean, I’m in the year below-“ he went around the circle and introduced each player one by one. I listened, but I didn’t hear.

 

I placed a small hand on to Jack’s shoulder when Dean was done and brushed my thumb over his uniform comfortingly. “Well done for catching the snitch,” I congratulated, but my voice sounded weak, more vulnerable than I ever remember it being, empty. “It was brilliant!”

 

“Thank you,” he said quietly. I hadn’t spoken to him much, but that was the least that I had ever heard him say.

 

“Jack, mate, cheer up.” Dean said with enthusiasm. “This happens to Perry all the time. He’s got a hard skull that one.”

 

“Madame Lore said that it was cracked,” Jack muttered, I felt his breath hitch. “She said that he was going to be alright, that she had fixed it but … “

 

“You still feel the worry?” I finished. “You’ll always feel it Jack. You just need to learn how to deal with it. Perry will be fine – if he is as strong as your friends say.”

 

“Yeah, Baker’s right.” Another member chimed – one of their Chasers. “Perry will be fine.”

 

Jack nodded. But his plastered smile disagreed.

 












AN; Okay, so please, please, please, please, please, don’t hate Al – give him time. If you’d like to leave a review that consists mostly of Albus bashing, I won’t say anything against it, because he kind of deserves it. Get it out of your system and all ;)

 

So, Perry is hurt, Jack is hurting over it and everyone’s been thrown in to an awkward situation. What to do? What to do?
If anyone has a prediction of what may happen next, go for it.
And seeing as this is a fairy tale based story, how would you see this end - your own fairy tale. I will probably ask this again later, and see how your opinions have changed, because I’m cool like that :D


 

The next chapter should be up soon, it’s called ‘King Arthur’, I can see there is a pattern happening here with ‘Kings’ in this story :L Here is a little snippet.

 

“Don’t apologise,” Nina dismissed. “Ranny, I am so sorry, that was awful. I can’t believe they did that to you.”

 

“I can,” I said shortly. “They’ve been doing it to me almost every day for over six years now. It’s doesn’t affect me.”

 

Yes, it’s the return of some of the original characters; Marilyn, Rose and Nina ;) I’m bringing back the mean girls. I will update soon! Don’t forget to leave a review, pretty please - again, simply ‘ROBIN’ if you liked it, or ‘HOOK’ if you didn’t :). Thank you for reading!


Chapter 10: King Arthur
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King Arthur
Perry James



 

It was only moment after that the Hufflepuff Team left, one by one, the crowd began to deplete. Jack and I sat alone with Perry.

 

“He’s going to be alright you know.” I reassured. “He always is.”

 

“You don’t know him like I do,” Jack replied quietly. “Perry has taken so many hits to the head, each time he gets a little quieter.”

 

I didn’t reply. It was exactly what the Slytherins had been teasing each other about earlier. I stood up from the arm of his chair and prepared to take another on the other side, yet someone else caught my eye.

 

On the bed where Albus once sat, was another.

 

Scorpius ran a hand through his blonde hair and jumped up, walking over to Jack and me. His uniform was sweaty and dirty, his robe ripped and his sleeve rolled up on only one arm. Yet I found comfort in knowing he was there when his arms wrapped around my body.

 

He stroked my hair and laid a cheek on the top of my head.

 

The others had left; there was not one other in the room apart from us four. Madame Lore had spent the past half hour or so pottering around the room, before leaving through a back door in to a cupboard and not returning. The crowd from outside seemed to have either quietened through suspense or left through boredom.

 

I tried to move my features to save him from the expression that would hurt him so. When we pulled apart he still kept his hand on the small of my back.

 

“It’s about time that I took your side in an argument.”

 

I scoffed and look down to the cobbled floor. “Don’t be here because you feel obliged to be.”

 

He shook his head and waited for a moment. “I’m not.”

 

I swallowed a gulp of much needed air and let my arms fall limp, finally letting my lungs power in to overdrive.

 

“Come here,” he ordered, pulling me in again. “Ranny, he didn’t mean it. He never does.”

 

My breath steadied a pace, but my eyes did nothing, not one tear fell, nor threatened to. No colour came to my cheeks, only my lips still pouted a little.

 

“He’s not Albus anymore,” I said. “He doesn’t care.”

 

“Oh Ran,” Scorpius mused, despite the situation he seemed to find slight amusement in it all. “He may be being a complete and utter twat at the moment, but not for one single moment, will he stop caring about you. There isn’t much that, that boy wouldn’t do for you. You have to believe me.”

 

I couldn’t say that I did. I would never stop caring about him. He would always be Robin Hood, good or evil.

 

“Why am I Friar Tuck when you’re the voice of reason?”

 

Scorpius simply chuckled. “Hey, sometimes John has the answers too.” He rubbed my back and steered me back towards Perry’s messy, wrinkled cot, on which he lay upon without his robes replaced with a gown, on top of the covers. “It broke him, you know, when you asked for the hat back.”

 

I blinked. “I didn’t realise that he could feel.”

 

“Oh, don’t be like that,” he said, throwing words back in my face, words that I had hurt him so with only days before. “You know he can feel, you know that you can, anyone can. I swear that he was actually tearing up.”

 

“That would be the cherry on the cake.” Jack said glumly. “For Albus Potter to cry; he broke Perry’s wrist.”

 

“I thought that Tom did that?”

 

Scorpius shook his head. “Woman, you have to start actually watching these games. Albus aimed the Quaffle, but I think it was an accident.”

 

“Then why did Tom-“

 

“Take the blame?” Scorpius finished. “Well it was Tom that knocked him out, that’s what you hinted at over there – Al did the wrist, unintentionally, I reiterate. Besides Tom knew that if you thought Albus had done it, you would have gone loco and so he just took the general blame.”

 

“And lord knows that dearest Thomas doesn’t want Ranny to be upset.” Jack deadpanned. “Ranny honestly, my brother thinks that you’re ‘the shit’, just please, for the love of Circe, just tell him that you don’t want to be the barer of his children.”

 

I furrowed a brow. “I’m not saying that.”

 

“Well maybe not that exactly,” Scorpius reasoned “But something similar.” He took the seat opposite Jack. “How is he?”

 

“Madame Lore said that he will be awake in a few days,” Jack answered, taken back by Scorpius’ friendly tone. “But his head was hit pretty hard. It’s nothing that he can’t handle.”

 

“He’s like King Arthur.” I said quietly.

 

Even Jack’s unmoving form stirred at my words. “I’m not sure that I understand.”

 

“King Arthur did anything that his Kingdom required him to do; he battled through every hell for the sake of his people.” I explained. “The Quidditch Team is Perrys Kingdom, and you – his team – are his people.”

 

“I’d never thought of it like that before,” Jack reasoned, his eyes widening a little. “The idea of Perry as a King is a little ludicrous. I’ve always pictured him more as the type of person to be writing novels, or working in a pub.”

 

“Aiming for the skies there Jack,” Scorpius said with a cheeky grin.

 

He laughed. “Well, if he keeps getting hit on the head he’s not going to be able to do much else – his career might be terminal St Mungo’s patient.”

 

I took a seat on the arm of Scorpius’ chair. “You’re not being positive,” I snapped. “You’ve got to think of the bright side of every situation.”

 

“The bright side of this situation is that he may regain half of the working functions in his body by tonight,” Scorpius replied wittily. “It’s time we’d be going, love. I don’t want you to be here when James wet’s himself.”

 

Jack rolled his eyes. “Tactful, Malfoy.”

 

“I’m the poster boy for tact,” he said smugly. “Ran, I’m headed back to the Slytherins, but I’m guessing you don’t want to be there.”

 

I shook my head. “Can I just walk back with Jack later?” I asked. “I won’t go by myself, I promise.”

 

Scorpius pondered for a moment, before kissing my cheek goodbye and standing up. “Okay, but you’re sticking with Gates.”

 

“I’ll take good care of her,” Jack said happily, his tone getting a little cheerier. It had dampened at Scorpius’ arrival.

 

I watched the blonde leave and stole his chair. Popping my feet up on to the metal frame of Perry’s bed, I sat back and grinned at Jack.

 

But his smile wasn’t as friendly as mine. “Why do you let him do that to you?”

 

“Do what?”

 

“Boss you around?” Jack continued, the dimming light in the Hospital Wing, aided by the silence around us only intensified the bitterness in his tone. “You basically asked his permission to stay here.”

 

Nodding I scratched my dry hair. “Yeah, and?” I tried. “Scorpius is only protective because it’s in my best interest.”

 

“Your best interests?” Jack echoed “Of what, the bogey monster? I heard he’s around a lot at Hogwarts.”

 

“Jack,” I begged. “When Scorpius is around, people aren’t mean to me.”

 

He leaned forward in his chair. “People aren’t mean to you if he’s not. I get that your roommates are a bunch of cows – Circe, I would love to strangle the lot of them, but no one else is – well, with the exception of the Gryffindors, and the – well, I take it back.”

 

“And I would rather not face them.” I admitted. “My roommates are always there, they take my stuff, and call me names, and break my belongings. I dislike them a lot.”

 

“I would have to agree with you on that.” He said. “And so, they like Scorpius, so they are nice to you if he’s by your side,” I nodded at his assumption. “That’s warped logic.”

 

“It’s strange alright, but it works.” I muttered with a shrug of my right shoulder. “It used to work with Albus but then –“

 

“He got mean?” Jack offered.

 

I shook my head. “He got a girlfriend.”

 

My gaze switched to Perry as he lay still in the cot. He team uniform had been stripped down or undone around his neck to loosen the pressure. His long robe had been pulled off and left to fall on to the floor. I stood up and took the black and yellow robe from the concrete and hung it on the end of his bed, folding it nicely.

 

Jack’s eyes followed me the entire time. “You didn’t deny it,” he said.

 

“Deny what?”

 

“That Albus got mean.”

 

I heaved a sigh and walked around to the other side of the bed. “Maybe he did Jack, I don’t know what’s gone on with him for the past few months, but he’s not my Al anymore. He’s always been a bit of a git, but-”

 

“Maybe it’s a good thing,” Jack interrupted. “Maybe it’s time for a change of heart, or a change of your heart.”

 

I furrowed my brows and let my warm palm grasp hold of the cold, white metal of the bed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

Jack refused to make eye contact; instead he chose to gaze at the cracks in the wall. “My brother really isn’t a bad guy, Ranny. He deserves a bit of a slap at times, but he’s always lovely to you. He really does like you.”

 

I felt the pounding in my chest before I heard it, or felt the rush of blood – the consequence. I didn’t like it. I wanted the aching back, the longing for something more. I didn’t like the backrush of emotions flowing through like a river breaking through the walls of a damn and flooding its surrounding areas, in this case, my body.

 

My lungs felt supressed since I walked away from Albus. The moment I asked for the hat back, since the words left my lips, I regretted them. But I couldn’t take them back; I could never take them back. He may be hurt, but I hurt more.

 

Tom is sweet. He is kind. He is gentle. He would never hurt me. And yet, somehow the idea of him didn’t suffice in my head. In blunt terminology, he didn’t make the cut. Kind, gentle and warm – it was how I used to think of Albus. His quick descent left me wondering if Tom was capable of doing the same.

 

I liked who he was when it was just the two of us, before I saw how he was with his younger brother. Jack is a darling, he is lovely and sweet. He is the guy that you could sit with for hours and keep up a constant conversation. It was difficult to shut the boy up – yet a bludger to his friends head seemed to quieten him a tad.

 

Pushing the previous, horrible and heartless thought from my head I turned back to Jack. I realised that I hadn’t replied to him. I had nothing to say, nothing that he wanted to hear. I stood up and nodded.

 

“I’m going to go to bed.”

 

“In Hufflepuff?” Jack asked quickly.

 

I nodded. “Yes.”

 

“I’ll come.”

 

“No, it’s okay. You can stay here with Perry.” I rounded.

 

“But I promised Malfoy that I would come with you.”

 

“What Scorpius doesn’t know can’t hurt him.” I said bluntly. “I would really like to be alone if that’s okay.” Because my heart hurts.

 

Jack nodded slowly. “I understand. I’ll meet you in the Common Room though, yeah?”

 

“Yeah.”                                                                                                                      

 









The journey back wasn’t as lonely as I had hoped. The halls were still filled with students, returning to their Common Rooms after the evening dinner. It was madness.

 

People seemed to be walking faster than I had expected them to, my surroundings blurring as they did. It was only as I reached the lower levels of the castle that I realised that my eyes were blurring and I was looking through teared vision. But I did not cry.

 

I reached the Hufflepuff Portrait and walked through, entering an inviting room of yellow and black. The walls with a  golden hue made everything seem better, a little brighter. Assisted by the magic windows, that gave you a realistic outdoors scene, despite being underground.

 

I veered left, towards the girls dorms and hoped for a peaceful night, hoped being the operative word.

 

The four girls of my dorm sat in a huddle on the bed closest to mine. I checked routinely through my belongings. My trunk was untouched and my bed was intact. Not one picture frame was out of place. There was a point on my forth year when I simply didn’t unpack.

 

It was then I noticed the lovely shade of golden hair. “Nina?” I questioned. I felt my lungs close up once more.

 

She smiled politely and waved from the circle of her friends. “Ranny, how are you? Were you in the Hospital Wing with Albus?”

 

I couldn’t help but notice the way her voice skipped over his name. Their argument must have been worse than I had first thought.

 

“He’s fine,” I said quietly. I knew where it was headed and decided to skip the conversation between. “Perry isn’t as good though.”

 

Her eyes widened. “Oh gosh, Perry is lovely. He helped me through Potions last year, doesn’t say much though does he?”

 

“James is a hottie,” Marilyn said sharply. “That’s all I need to know.”

 

I took my own advice and tried to see the bright side of the situation; at least Nina wasn’t heartless. Her natural lipstick was faded and her blush smudged a touch. She looked … almost human. She wasn’t Captain Hook to me anymore, she wasn’t dating a Prince. She was just another person, lost in a fairy tale, searching for her own story to write.

 

Marilyn spoke again, her words formed snottily through her ruby red lips. “Hey, freak, pick a country.”

 

The brunette sat next to her sniggered. I figured that I had no way out of this and might as well play along. My eyes felt heavy, I could meet Jack later. I wanted my bed – I needed my bed. Walking away wasn’t an option in my tired and dramatic brain.

 

“Norway,” I sighed. Daddy and I spoke about going there when I was older, to see the Northern Lights. Scorpius had always expressed an interest in coming along too. He could take his camera.

 

My thoughts were interrupted by the witches cackling. Marilyn pulled her wand from under her pillow. “Good choice,” she sneered before pointing her possession towards my bed and muttering a single word. Before I had time to blink, my bed disappeared in to thin air. “Because that’s where your beds gone.”

 

I heard them howl, crying with laughter. Marilyn’s cackle could be heard above the rest. She was Maleficent; the evil witch who cursed sleeping beauty. But this was a reverse, she didn’t want the kingdom to sleep – she wanted them to stay awake.

 

“I should have picked somewhere more tropical,” I said, mostly to myself. When my bed returned, it would be cold, covered in snow and possibly inhabited by a reindeer.

 

Sighing I turned around; I could find a temporary chair in the Common Room to rest my eyes. I didn’t dare meet Nina’s gaze, I knew what it would be, surprise, or worse – pity. I wasn’t in the mood for either.

 

I heard the door close behind me as I walked back through the tunnels and towards the large, open Common Room. Being claustrophobic and a Hufflepuff wasn’t a good combination; despite being airy and light, in the back of your mind, you always knew that your room was underground.

 

There was no way that I could make friends with them. No way. Not even if I wanted to.

 

Ignoring the calling of my name, I carried on to the Common Room. My mind quickly processed the situation. I greatly disliked my roommates; they were nasty girls, every single one of them. Girls tended to overthink a situation and make a deal out of something that wasn’t a problem. Boys were simpler. If they had a problem, they didn’t sugar coat it, they didn’t bitch and they were mostly upfront – not that my roommates weren’t upfront enough.

 

I am by no means masculine, and by no means wanted to be. In fact, Daddy always told me that I am incredibly feminine. My short height makes more of the little curves that I obtain. My eyes are large and my lips seem to be a shade of red that I have seen girls try to create themselves. But my skin is worn, and my hair is dry, and my mental abilities to uphold a conversation are somewhat lacking. I am nowhere near becoming the Princess that I want to be.

 

Dealing with girls like Rose and Marilyn is something I have had to deal with my entire life. I was blessed to being born in to the world with two older cousins, each female, and each a little more vain that the other. When they bored of their clothes, they handed them off to me. My overflowing wardrobe is full of clothes that I cannot name, but other’s seem to want.  And yet I chose to ignore the intended digs and insensitivity of their actions and see only the kindness that I hope was intended.

 

I brushed past a group of bickering fifth years and came to a halt in the main room. All of the chairs were taken.

 

“Ranny!” Nina called again, placing a hand on to my shoulder. “I’ve been calling after you since you left, didn’t you hear me?”

 

I shook my head. “Sorry.”

 

“Don’t apologise,” she dismissed. “Ranny, I am so sorry, that was awful. I can’t believe they did that to you.”

 

“I can,” I said shortly. “They’ve been doing it to me almost every day for over six years now. It’s doesn’t affect me.”

 

Nina brushed her hand over mine in an attempt to take it. I granted her that and let her place my small hand in her soft palm. “It should. It would affect me. And Rose is awful to you too – why?”

 

“I don’t think that I have an answer to that, to be honest.” I admitted. “I think it’s because I don’t fight back. I always figured that they would get bored, but they never do.”

 

I led her to the newly freed sofa in the middle of the room, the ‘L’ curve being the centre piece, beside the bookcase that lined the side wall. She said down quietly next to me, my hand still in hers. Her golden hair seemed to glow, while I sat like a lemon, next to the Princess.

 

“I don’t know if it makes you feel any better, but your beds there now.” Nina said. Marilyn’s magic never lasted for long, my things always came back. “I made Marilyn promise not to do it again. She said that she wouldn’t.”

 

And I believed that Marilyn would keep that promise – until the moment Nina turned her back. I somehow came to the conclusion that she would take that moment to make all of my belongings disappear.

 

Nina took my silence as an answer that she wanted to some sort of unspoken question. “You could tell on her, Ranny. I’m sure that your Head of House would listen.”

 

I raised a brow. I wasn’t a tattle tale, if there was anything that I learnt from being around the Slytherins, it was to keep your mouth shut. “I only have a few months left here, at Hogwarts.” I said quietly. “Then I will never see them again.”

 

“But those few months are supposed to be the best of your life,” Nina said. “Please come back with me to Gryffindor tonight, Ranny, you can share with me.”

 

Chewing down on the inside of my cheek, I shook my head. “Why now?”

 

She furrowed her perfect brows. “What do you mean?”

 

“I mean, what makes tonight any different?” I asked. “You have been stood beside Rose almost every time she makes a snide comment, I know that you’ve seen Marilyn do this to me before, why, in my last year, do you choose to help me? I don’t want your sympathy, and I most certainly do not want your pity.”

 

“No, not at all,” she spluttered back, letting go of my hand as if it were on fire. “Ranny, it’s just that … it’s hard – no, that doesn’t make sense. It’s … different, this year. I had never spoken to you before I had met Albus. This is going to come out completely wrong, but it’s the truth so please listen. He encouraged me to speak to you, I listened to Rose, I don’t know quite what she has against you, but there is something there that she doesn’t like and she would make you seem so mean.”

 

“And so you believed her?”

 

Nina nodded. “I did. But Al made me see otherwise, he made me see how kind and gentle you are. I can’t see one reason how anyone could dislike a single bone in your body, Ranny. You’re beautiful, inside and out. I want to help you stand up to Marilyn; I want to be your friend, if you’ll let me.”

 

“I’ve never really had a girlfriend before,” I admitted with a shrug of one shoulder. “I have always found boys easier to get along with.”

 

Laughing, she hunched up her shoulders. “I can try to be masculine if you’d like, but I’m not sure how well it would turn out.”

 

I cracked a smile, for the first time in hours, I felt a real smile form its way on to my lips, instead of one I plastered on, or felt like I should picture. Nina dropped her shoulders as Jack came through the entrance.

 

He walked over to the sofas and collapsed in to the cushion next to me. “I see you got back safely, Ran. Hi, I’m Jack Gates,” he introduced. “You’re Nina right, I’m sorry, I don’t know your second name, but I know that you’re Albus’ girlfriend and that you’re in my Herbology class. The baby mandrake roots always try to grab on to your hai-“

 

I cut him off with my hand to his mouth. “He speaks a lot,” I explained.

 

She smiled. “It’s nice to meet you Jack. I’m Nina Clark.”

 

“Nina Clark,” he repeated through my fingers. “I’ll remember that now.”

 

I pulled my hand back as he lightly bit down on my index finger. “How is Perry?” I asked. “Any different?”

 

“Not really,” Jack admitted with sad eyes. “But then again, he’s only been out for a few hours; his record is just over two weeks. Madame Lore had to feed him through a tube.”

 

My mouth gaped open and I pulled my floral leggined legs to my chest.

 

“Perry James?” Nina questioned. Jack nodded and she resumed. “He’s lovely, I can’t believe he’s out again; I was telling Ranny earlier that he is the only reason that I passed potions last year. He can take quite a battering, can’t he? I remember this one injury during your team practise, where he was hit with the beaters bat.” She gestured to her right eye.

 

Jack let out a cheerful burst of laughter. “That was Donnahugh – our beater at that time,” he added for my benefit. “He was swinging the bat around and smacked Perry in the face. Perry was only a small lad in his third year, and Donnahugh was massive!”

 

“I remember him!” Nina replied with light laughter lacing through her voice. “He was a bear. He used to trudge around like a troll!”

 

“He certainly was a special boy,” Jack teased. “But that left Perry was a cracked skull and a black eye. Madame Lore has a soft spot for him though; Perry isn’t exactly a breakable lad, but he always seems to be hurt in some way.”

 

“How come?” I asked.

 

Jack nipped my arm playfully. “He can’t justify why Ranny, he just is. He’s King Arthur remember, he lives for making others his servants – aka, us.”

 

The three of us sat together for a long while, taking and joking about Perry’s previous accidents and tumbles. Nina recalled when he fought with a Ravenclaw between classes in his fifth year and the pair of them tumbled down a moving staircase and fell three flights only to be caught by Professor Longbottom with a cushioning charm.

 

Perry James had never struck me as the violent type, he was strong and silent, yes, but not violent. His aura portrayed that he lived for peace. But I couldn’t help but think that maybe his words spoke differently.

 

The conversation was light hearted and teasing, all until the moment Nina went to return to her Common Room and once again, offered a sleepover in her dorm. I politely declined and she left still with an apologetic smile.

 

It took no more than a second after the entrance way to the Common Room to close for Jack to pounce on me.

 

“If they’re being mean you can always stay in Perry’s bed,” he pressed for the third time that evening. “It’s not like he’s going to be using it any time soon.”

 

“Jack!” I exclaimed. “I’m not going to say it again, I don’t need to be anywhere but my own dorm.”

 

He raised a critical brow. “Ranny, your eyes are basically closing; you’re falling asleep where you sit. If you had no problem with your dorm arrangements, you wouldn’t be sitting here with me now.”

 

“I thought that I would be polite and spend time with you; if you want me to be rude I can just go.” I argued in a small voice. But Jack saw right through me.

 

I watched as he shook his head slowly. “Ranny, we could go back to the Hospital Wing if you wanted to, sneak back in after hours and spend the night there with Perry.”

 

“Is that what you want to do?” I asked.

 

He scoffed and shook his head. “I’ve got a nice warm bed waiting for me; I don’t need a Hospital Wing cot.”

 

“I’ve got a bed waiting too,” I pathetically argued.

 

Jack ran his fingers over a pillow that he squished in to his lap. “Come and stay in Perry’s bed, I don’t feel right leaving you with your harpy dorm mates.”

 

I shook my head. “It’s not like I haven’t slept there before, in fact I’ve been doing it a lot more this year. Besides I don’t know your roommates, Jack. How would they feel about it?”

 

“I don’t think they’d mind to be too honest. You’re a very pretty girl.” He pinched my cheek and gave it a little tug, I slapped his hand away. “And let’s face it, you know as well as I that you wouldn’t be the first girl to spend the night in that dorm room – although you may be the first one to actually stay there and sleep.”

 

“Jack!” I exclaimed again, smacking his arm in the process. Taking a deep breath, I spoke again. “Thank you for the lovely offer, but I am going to go to my own bed.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“I’m going to go to my own bed now!” I corrected, standing up automatically and trying to make a break for the girls’ dorms.

 

He caught my arm. “Ran, you don’t need to be embarrassed, not in front of me of all people; I know what it’s like to have other people make you feel like shit.”

 

Somehow my cheeks had flushed a light shade of pink, a shade that Jack had rightfully placed as embarrassment. In an odd way, it felt better to know that he knew how I was feeling.

 

Instead, I chewed down on the inside of my cheek again, gnawing away at the gum. “I’m not embarrassed, Jack. I’m mortified. It makes me feel so pathetic to feel nervous about sleeping in my own bed. I feel like a child all the time! And the worst part is, others don’t mind helping me because they feel sorry for me.”

 

“If it’s any consolation, I don’t offer my help because I feel pity or because I feel obliged to, or even because I feel like I can relate.” He grinned. “I offer it because you’re my friend.”

 

And somehow, that comment made me feel stronger, even when I climbed in to my own bed and pulled the sheets up over my head. Even if I woke up in Norway, at least I knew that someone else knew what it felt like.

 






 

AN; thank you for all of the lovely reviews on this story so far! I’m grateful for everyone and am trying to reply to them as quickly as I can. I’m having a bit of trouble when it comes to free-time at the moment, meaning I don’t have as much of it as I would like ;)

I tried to update quickly on this chapter, so I hope that you like it.
It seemed that all of the lovely people who reviewed on the last chapter were happy about Ranny finally standing up for herself, and it was addressed a little in this chapter by Jack (who I absolutely adore to write!).


 

I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter – I think that I’ve said that before, but anyway :P – if you did, again, a little review would be lovely, or even if you didn’t. The same words apply if you’d like to use them, ROBIN! If you liked it or HOOK if you didn’t!

The next chapter is called Guinevere, and it brings a whole lot of realisation to Ranny. Here’s a preview, if you wish:


 

“I just worry about Little Jack, you know. If he sees the girls’ anatomy he may faint from shock.”

 

“Yes because I hear that you’re so acquainted with it.” I teased, unsure myself whether it was sarcasm or not. Tom was respectable, he always was. But with the constant stream of girls coming in and out of that dorm room, I couldn’t be so sure.

 

Tom sucked in his cheeks. “Ranny, I could hit you with these books of yours, I really could.”

 

Finally, some alone time with Tom and Ranny – who seems to be a couple that some of you are routing for, which I find quite funny; I hadn’t planned for them to be together at all ;) but I hope that you enjoy it all the same. :)
I will update when the queue re-opens, and if you go to see the film, I hope that you enjoy it – I know for a fact that I will be blubbering like a baby, simply because it’s the last one :D
Thank you again!



Chapter 11: Guinevere
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

Guinevere
Ranny Baker




 

“So, if I punched him in the head, he’d feel it?” Scorpius asked Tom as we walked from Potions to Charms.

 

Tom shook his head and dodged a running second year. Putting a comforting hand on to his shoulder he stopped him and laughed. “Slow down kiddo, you’re going to hurt yourself if you keep up that pace.” The second year scowled and left at a leisurely speed. “Yes Scorpius, if you punched him in the head, he’d feel it.”

 

“But not the arm?”

 

“No,” Tom said firmly. “He can’t feel his right arm.”

 

I brushed my fingers through my tangled fringe and settled for blowing it from my eyes. “Don’t be getting any ideas, Scorp.”

 

The blonde winked and threw his arm around my shoulders. “You know that you’d love to hit him as much as I would.”

 

“Yes,” I agreed. “But I’m not as violent as you, I can control myself.”

 

He jabbed me in the side and I accidentally squealed, smacking him repeatedly with my books as a result.

 

“Circe, Tuck. I’m sorry!” he begged, taking my books off of me and adding them to his own pile.

 

Tom laughed. “Remind me never to piss you off, Ran.”

 

I bit down on to my bottom lip and grinned cheekily. He poked my light freckles until I swatted away his hands. “What is your obsession with poking me, and prodding me – the both of you.”

 

“You’re fun to poke.” Tom answered quickly. “You make funny sounds.”

 

Scorpius ran his index finger down the spine of my fairy tale book as he spoke. “I always worry that when I prod you, I won’t get my finger back. It will delve in to your rolls of fat and get stuck. I’ll either be attached to you forever or known as Scorpius-nine-fingers for the rest of my life.”

 

With a slight gasp I kicked him in the shin. He grunted and bent down to rub it better, dropping the books on to the floor in its pile.

 

I left him to moan and collected our books. Tom insisted that he take them instead, pulling them from my grasp before I got a proper say. We left Scorpius groaning about that bloody girl who is trying to kill me, and how much she is going to be the death of me.

 

“Have you heard from Jack?” Tom asked as we rounded a corner.

 

I nodded. It had been a week since the Quidditch Match, a week for Jack without Perry. “We played cards in the Common Room last night. He’s really sneaky; he always wins at poker.”

 

“What do you bet?” Tom asked curiously.

 

With a sly grin I chuckled. “Well, generally it’s left over sweets from the last Hogsmeade trip, but of course then there is the clothes when we play strip-poker – well, strip Monopoly if you count that night that we couldn’t find his cards – he always seems to win that game too.”

 

Tom took my tone of absolute seriousness and wonder as the truth and seemed to choke on his own spit. “And why aren’t I invited to these games?”

 

For a moment I wondered if it was wrong lying, but Tom seemed to buy the tale. “Because I didn’t take you as the type of person who would like to see his brother removing his clothing – I am assuming you’re talking about the strip version, because you’re more than welcome to come to the normal games.”

 

“Thanks, love.” He said sincerely. “I just worry about Little Jack, you know. If he sees the girls anatomy he may faint from shock.”

 

“Yes because I hear that you’re so acquainted with it.” I teased, unsure myself whether it was sarcasm or not. Tom was respectable, he always was. But with the constant stream of girls coming in and out of that dorm room, I couldn’t be so sure.

 

He sucked in his cheeks. “Ranny, I could hit you with these books of yours, I really could.”

 

“Then do it, and forever be called a woman beater.” I said. “There is a consequence to everything.”

 

“Everything?”

 

“Everything,” I repeated, expressing it a little more this time but putting more power behind the word. “Some consequences are just better than others.”

 

He thought for a moment and laughed nervously. “So, say if I was to be incredibly forward and kiss you right now-“

 

“I would break your arm.”

 

“-It would have a bad consequence,” he concluded with a nod.

 

I wished for nothing more than Scorpius to have sucked it up and walked with us. Tom meant nothing more to me than a friend, but I had been seeing Jack’s points as time passed. Jack told me to let him down gently, but I knew that it was going to take more. He would never try anything, Tom; I just knew that he wouldn’t.

 

It was a brave move, one that I couldn’t’ have done myself. Especially considering that Tom knows how I feel about Al. He knows that I’m broken goods.

 

Reaching forward I took my books back. I brushed his arm with my hand and gave it a squeeze. I felt like a monster. He walked beside me and saw me the way that I saw Albus. But I knew how he felt, and that made the situation worse. I was Captain Hook. I wasn’t Tuck, or Marion. I was Hook.

 

He opened the door for me and ushered me through first. I smiled warmly and scoped the room. There were a few seats free. Two desks in the back, one in the middle and one seat next to Albus.

 

Tom sighed. “I better go and join Al.”

 

“Thank you,” I said gratefully. “I want to smack him one, but I don’t want him to be alone.”

 

“I know,” Tom acknowledged. I knew that a part of him agreed. “And that’s what makes you Maid Marion.”

 

I closed my eyes in hope that another world would appear. I didn’t like this one anymore; I didn’t want to be in it. It was too hard.

 

When I opened them Tom had gone. He sat down next to Albus and dropped his books on to the desk, alerting the raven haired boy to his presence. Al snapped up, sitting up straight and greeted a hello. He caught me staring as I took the desk at the back.

 

His green eyes captured my warm ones and I tried to blink them away. This wasn’t a fairy tale. Fairy tales don’t hurt like this. Albus is in no way my knight, he doesn’t own a white horse. He is rude and arrogant at times. But my heart couldn’t help but skip a beat when he spoke. I knew that he was no good for me, but that only made me want him more.

 

He stood up from his desk and said something quickly to Thomas. As I pulled my quill and ink from my bag I noticed that he was making his way over to me. I tried to occupy myself and took Scorpius’ books from the joint pile and set them out in to the seat next to me.

 

I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know whether I wanted to speak to him at all. I took a slow breath to calm myself. I knew that I wanted to cry, to throw my arms around his shoulder and beg him to just forget everything that has happened. But it wasn’t my turn to apologise, it never was. And besides, my tear ducts are empty. Only a certain amount is allowed per boy, and I used up my lot on Albus a long time ago.

 

I couldn’t tell what he was thinking as he approached. His eyes were narrow, but that was a usual feature when he didn’t get his way. But the stiff line of his mouth was too set to be normal.

 

He placed his hands on to the wooden of the desk and took a quick breath. “Ran-“

 

“My seat!” Scorpius called, skidding in to the classroom and in to the unoccupied stool. Albus glared as he fell forward on to the desk. “What?”

 

I wanted to grin at the blunt tone Scorpius spoke with, but it was simply the inheritance he got from his father. His deep voice could be very cutting when he wanted it to.

 

Albus walked away leaving the pair of us to talk between ourselves. I knew that he and Scorpius were still on alright terms; Albus understood that Scorp was with me for only moral support. But I also knew that Albus was hurting. He and Nina were still fighting, over reasons that I found too disgusting to think about, and now his two best friends weren’t speaking properly with him.

 

I am Captian Hook.

 

Simply the thought disgusted me.

 

Scorpius waited until Al had walked away before snorting and running his hand over the front of his Charms book. “You’re lucky I got the feeling back in my shins when I did, aren’t you, love?”

 

I could only nod.

 










I sat in my archway, a place I felt oddly detached to lately. I hadn’t found the time to sit on the stone for a long time. I ran my finger down the old concrete and mortar between the slabs of rock and smiled as dust came off with it. It wouldn’t be Hogwarts without it.

 

Scorpius gave me his camera; it needed a good old run. With all of the drama lately, the time to take photo’s had been increasingly limited. I ran my fingers over the lens of the Nikon, wiping it clean, and then rubbed it with my sleeve.

 

I played with the flash, changing the settings back to automatic. I increased the brightness, the darkness of the hallway and the impending evening would require it. As I pressed the flash, testing the shot on one of the wall, it blinded a figure, walking past the arch.

 

It was way too bright. I threw the strap around my neck and practically fell out of the archway, tumbling to the floor and running to the aid of the camera-flash-victim.

 

“Perry?” I gasped in shock.

 

He rubbed his eyes with his fingers and sent me a crooked smile.

 

I clamped my fingers over my mouth. “Ohmygosh! I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to, I didn’t know there was anyone there! You shouldn’t lurk around the castle so quietly, you should stomp or something! Stomp from now on! You’re walking, not stomping!” I added as he approached me.

 

A low laugh came from him as he closed his eyes in disbelief. I sent him a light smack but greeted him in a hug all the same.

 

I let him lead me back to the archway I was sat at. He took the right side while I took the left. I leaned back, pulling my feet in to the arch and leaning on the stone. He did the opposite, facing forward and resting his elbows upon his knees.

 

I noticed that Perry wasn’t completely paying attention when I spoke of how worried Jack has been about him and so I trailed off absentmindedly and sat in silence with my fellow Hufflepuff. As he stared at the wall in front of him, his head raised a tad, his jaw locked. It was then that I noticed how strong he looked.

 

His jaw was clenched, an involuntary sign of silence. It was only as the wind howled in the distance, and an accompanying sound echoed from the forest, that I noticed Perry’s chiselled jaw. I saw his high cheekbones and his dark eyes.

 

Lifting the camera from my lap I turned off the flash and changed the settings to black and white.  I held it and took a picture of Perry silently as he sat stock still. Flicking back through the memory, I found the captured image. The shot was raw looking, an essence of artistic power allured from the capture, almost posed looking. The way his shoulders arched forward as he leant upon his forearms. I took another as he dragged his hands down his face.

 

His eye was a shade of black and purple, yellow blending throughout the right side. The darkness of the shots made him look dangerous, yet despairing. But in person, he seemed to only emit positive feelings before the Quidditch Game, now it seemed the opposite.

 

Reaching forward, I stroked my thumb across the corner of his eye. He flinched, but didn’t pull away. He simply watched me watching him.

 

“Your eye is like a rainbow,” I said quietly. “A funny looking rainbow.”

 

He pulled my hand away. I sat back and placed the camera in my lap, pulling my knees a little closer to me. “How long have you been out of the Hospital Wing?”

 

Perry held up two fingers, showing me the inside of his palm was he did, it was scratched and rough - the consequence of Quidditch.

 

“Two hours?” I asked. He nodded. “Not too long then, enough to go to your last lesson.”

 

He turned and raised a brow. “Or not,” I tried again. “Jack missed last lesson too, I’m guessing he came to drag you out from the evil grasp of Madame Lore.”

 

The brunette cracked a smile.

 

“You spend a lot of time in that Wing,” I acknowledged. “Any other person would think that you like it in there.”

 

His dark eyes widened. “I do not love the Hospital Wing.”

 

My initial reaction was silence from my behalf. I didn’t notice the humour in his tone at first, nor the deep and calm voice that he spoke with. At first, I only noticed that he had spoken. I tried to keep my mouth from dropping open, yet I couldn’t. I clamped it shut and instead spoke with the quick movement of my eyes.

 

“Don’t look so shocked,” he said teasingly. “It’s not like I can’t speak. Did you think that I couldn’t?”

 

“A little,” I admitted bashfully. I was sure that my cheeks had flushed red. I bit down nervously on to my lip. For some reason it made me feel uneasy to hear him speak. I knew him as the silent one. It seemed odd.

 

I felt mostly confused at the fact that I expected his voice to sound hoarse from the little use it got. Yet it didn’t.

 

I took a quick breath. “So, back to the main point – you’re not a fan of the clutches of Madame Lore?”

 

He shook his head.

 

“Don’t go quiet on me again James,” I ordered, pushing his shoulder with my foot. “I’ve heard you speak now, and I want to every time I see you!”

 

He turned to me with wide eyes. “Gosh, you’re a demanding one aren’t you? You never seemed like it before.”

 

“Before what?”

 

Perry paused for a moment and smiled. It was a genuine smile, with a small dimple forming in his cheek. “Before we sat with you in the Great Hall.” He stopped but I prodded him hard in the back. I suddenly saw why Scorpius and Tom saw this as an effective method. “Jack was always so intrigued with you, your outlook on life, the way you love fairy tales. He said that you were a rarity to find in a human being. I didn’t believe him. I thought that you were just quiet.”

 

I sat forward. “And then what?”

 

“Then I saw the way that you bossed around Albus and I immediately liked you.”

 

Laughing I ran my fingers over the tops of my fur boots and pulled on the red laces lightly. “He was always easy to boss around.”

 

He nodded and raised a brow. “Was?”

 

“We had a fight,” I admitted quietly. “It will sort itself out over time.” I couldn’t help but let my eyes linger back to his blackened eye. I didn’t like it. “What’s it like?” I asked.

 

He rolled his hands in lazy circles, telling me to expand.

 

“Being comatose,” I said bluntly. “Forgive me for being rude.”

 

Perry smirked and licked his lips and shrugged. It wasn’t until he caught my expression that he knew I wouldn’t give up. “It’s boring. You get hurt. You go to sleep, and then you wake up a while later aching, hungry and wanting a shower, not knowing what’s gone on for a while.”

 

“You make it sound like an average thing for you,” I said “Like it happens a lot.”

 

“Mum wants me to give up Quidditch,” he said quietly. “She doesn’t think it’s good for me.”

 

I hugged my legs. “Maybe it isn’t.”

 

His gaze found the floor. I wanted to apologise. He loved Quidditch like I did fairy tales and myths. I couldn’t give them up if my life depended on it. They were everything to me. I thought of the book, the little leather bound book, safely stored in Scorpius’ trunk, between his charms book and last week’s Daily Prophet. That book contained my childhood.

 

“Why now?” I asked in a voice that sounded strangely childlike, strangely vulnerable. “Why choose now to speak? Why haven’t I heard you speak before?”

 

Perry shrugged. “I’ve never had anything to say.”

 

“You’ve never asked me how my day was,” I said teasingly. “Isn’t that a good thing to say to someone?”

 

“They always ask me first.” He replied. “I nod and then point at them.”

 

“You’re a real firecracker, you are.” I deadpanned. “Tomorrow, I want you to ask me how my day was.”

 

He shook his head in disbelief. I knew it was petty, he did too. But I wanted to hear him speak. He was an expressive boy. He threw his emotion in to Quidditch, maybe if he spoke more, he wouldn’t get hurt as much. I knew that it would lay Jacks’ mind to rest too.

 

He turned slowly and looked quickly at the camera before staring at me. “Jack said that you called me King Arthur.” He resumed at my colouring cheeks, knowing the answer to his unasked question. “Why?”

 

I didn’t have an answer. If he couldn’t say himself it was because of his stupid amount of bravery and foolishness on behalf of others, then he really was brave King Arthur. I smiled.

 

“A smile isn’t an answer.”

 

I grinned again. “Annoying, isn’t it?”

 

His brows rose. “So not only are we bossy and demanding, we’re also cheeky.”

 

I couldn’t’ fight the smile. I got up from the archway and walked back down the corridor, my leather, short ankle boots clunking on the floor. I heard him sigh loudly and get up too.

 

“Ranny,” he called. “Tell me.”

 

His voice got quieter and he stopped calling. It wasn’t like him to speak. His expression appeared a little shocked with himself. He wasn’t one to shout, or call or beckon in the slightest. I grinned again and bit down on to my lip, pulling down on my red, knit jumper, I walked away.

 

As I rounded the corner, towards the Hufflepuff Common Room, I realised that was the first time that he sad said my name. In over six years, that was the first time that I had heard him say it. And somehow, it made my lungs breathe once again. The crushing pushed against my heart weakened.

 








 

AN; I hope that you enjoyed this chapter! I hope that it lived up to your expectations!
Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed so far, you’re all lovely :)


What is your opinion on this chapter? Again, the usually rules apply, ROBIN for ‘I liked it’, or HOOK for ‘this is awful’.
How do you like Perry James? It’s the first time he’s ever really been a main feature; he’s usually the strong, silent one who sits a little away from everyone else :P
Or how about Ranny’s rejection of Tom? Or how she reacted to Al?
Honestly, a review with your thoughts would be highly appreciated.

I will update soon with the next chapter, which is called ‘The Sherrif’ – which basically makes it obvious that it’s mostly about Rose, but still I don’t want to give too much away. But if you liked Ranny speaking her mind in the past few chapters, you’re going to love this next one.
Thank you for reading!



Chapter 12: The Sheriff
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

The Sheriff
Rose Weasley




 

I rolled my fingers over the parchment in front of me and attempted to catch the moving doodle. Jack had managed to charm my stick man to run over my History notes; unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to stop.

 

In front of me, the blonde chewed on a forkful of mash potatoes and sausage. I looked at the full hall and wondered why it was louder than usual.

 

“Just charm it to stop!” Tom begged, jabbing my page with his wand.

 

Dom ran a hand through his tick black hair and punched his friend in the arm. “Leave it alone, it’s not your problem.”

 

“She’s bugging me!” he exclaimed; “she won’t talk to us, she just keeps prodding her parchment.”

 

I poked the small man again as he speared his stick through the word ‘Goblin’, spinning the ‘o’ around on the wooden end. “That’s clever and kind of awesome.” Dom concluded. “You’re teaching me that Little Gates.”

 

Jack rolled his eyes. “No I’m not, I made it myself and it took ages, I’m not giving it out.”

 

“He also won’t give out the counter charm,” I added airily. I jabbed it again.

 

Leaning forward, Jack drew his wand and tapped my page; he speared himself and fell three paragraphs to a bloody death.

 

I looked at my friend in a horrified state. “They’re charmed to die,” he said pointedly. “That is one of the more gruesome ones though; usually they just run in to a ‘T’ or a ‘K’ or something.”

 

I rolled up my parchment quickly and shoved it back in to my bag. “Lovely Jack, simply wonderful.”

 

“You’re upset?”

 

“No.” I replied.

 

Tom snorted. “Just a bit traumatised.”

 

I shook my head. “No. Just surprised. It didn’t seem like a charm that Jack would create.”

 

“What can I say?” he said. “I was annoyed when I created it.”

 

“I would hate to be the person at the end of your fury.” Tom said regretfully, gesturing to the parchment in my bag.

 

Jack laughed bitterly. “You usually cause it.”

 

I took this moment to stir my usual tea with a desert spoon. Dom had used all of the tea spoons to stick to his face, to see how many he could. Upon reaching five, they all fell off and landed in the gravy. I was left with the large spoons to stir.

 

Taking a sip of the hot liquid, I held the white mug to my cheek. It warmed up almost instantly. It was then that I noticed the approaching Hufflepuff. He took the free seat next to me and rolled up the sleeves on his black sweater vest for his uniform.

 

Jack leaned forward and put his fork down. “Perry, mate, are you alright?”

 

Perry nodded and pointed towards the Gryffindor table lazily, bitterness pouring from his expression.

 

Jack nodded knowingly. “Gregory Jacobs got an early admission offer to join the Tornadoes.” He explained. “It was an offer that would have gone to Perry here, but he missed the audition due to being – well, out of it. We tried to reschedule, but they wouldn’t hear of i-”

 

“We get it,” Tom interrupted Jack, pushing the palm of his large hand to his brother’s face. “Perry, I am so sorry.”

 

“Shit,” Dom breathed. “Hard luck mate.”

 

I put my china mug down and sent a small smile. Apologising wouldn’t make the situation any better; it wasn’t my fault. Perry knew that our friends meant well, but their words meant nothing to him.

 

He nodded and glared back over towards the Gryffindors.

 

“-nowhere near as good as you,” Jack continued. “He wouldn’t have got it if you had gone. Stupid accident. It’s fate, Perry, I tell you, its fate. Something better will come along. I promise!”

 

“Don’t promise what you can’t control, Jack.” Tom said quietly, and only to his brother. “You don’t know that.”

 

Jack’s voice raised a little. “But I do! Something better will come along, won’t it Ranny?”

 

I looked back to the table. “Please don’t include me in this.”

 

“She’s just shy,” he brushed off. “Don’t be a prick, Tom. You know that-“

 

Taking another sip, I tuned out their arguing. It seemed to become a regular occurrence. Tom didn’t like the things that Jack said, and he seemed to understand every word of his babble. Others – with the politest of intentions – tended to tune out for a moment or two, and catch the main point of the conversation towards the end.

 

I couldn’t believe how quickly Dom seemed to have grown up. Until today he continuously made a jest about Perry’s blackened eye. A quip or a quirk about he and Tom’s beatering quality. Tom felt guilty; I had lost count of the amount of time he had apologised. Perry took it all in good nature.

 

The Slytherin table resided next to the Hufflepuffs. I caught the colour of Albus’ hair, in amongst the shade of brown and blonde. He sat next to a girl with golden hair. Nina sent a small wave from her seat, one that I returned. Albus didn’t look from his plate. It had appeared they had made up.

 

I brushed my hands through my tangled hair. Today it was down, twisting to my chest with chopped cuts throughout. Dominic had taken to pulling down on the loose hairs that fell if I pinned it up. I didn’t like it. But now I would take it, anything to take the pain crushing my chest as it made its return.

 

I felt a strong hand place itself on to the small of my beck. My breath hitched as I felt Perry’s breath on my skin. “How was your day?”

 

His voice was quiet, barely a whisper. ‘A smile isn’t an answer’, he had said. But I knew that he took mine as one.













“It doesn’t matter,” Scorpius brushed off shortly when I asked him about his whereabouts at dinner.

 

I shrugged and stole another from his box of Bertie Botts, Ever Flavour Beans. When I realised it was earwax, I considered spitting it back in to the box but instead settled on swallowing it whole. I coughed back a choke.

 

Scorpius laughed loudly. “Earwax or bogey?”

 

“The first,” I coughed hoarsely.

 

The blonde looked at me through tired eyes. His grey irises looked worn, and his pale skin looked ghostly white against his bottle green jumper. He caught my gaze and linked his arm through mine, pulling me down the corridor.

 

I knew that he didn’t like the situation he was in, having to split his time between me and Al. I had told him time and time again that I didn’t want him to make that decision, but he as adamant that he wanted to.

 

“Are you going to tell me where we’re going yet?” I asked, looping my thumb through the unused belt loop I my jeans.

 

He shook his head dramatically. “Nope. You’ll guess soon enough.”

 

I pondered for a moment. “To the kitchens? You’re going to make me dinner?”

 

“You’ve already had dinner, you greedy pig.” Scorpius tormented, flicking me in the back of my head. He held the camera up from the strap around his neck, “Clue number one.”

 

My eyes widened. “We’re going to take pictures?” I enquired, ignoring the pig comment. He nodded. “I’m going to take pictures of you as you make me dinner in the kitchens?”

 

His laugh boomed again and echoed throughout the quiet halls. I wondered why we hadn’t been caught yet, being out after curfew and as loud as we were.

 

“Will you drop the dinner idea?” he pleaded. “You’ve already had dinner, I’m not hungry. We have even passed the portrait that leads you to the kitchens.”

 

“Okay, okay,” I rounded. “A girl can only hope…”

 

“One day, I will take you dinner and let you take pictures of me doing it. I will wear an embarrassing apron and all.”

 

I agreed and he promised. He pointed towards the Potter’s invisibility cloak and called it ‘clue number two’.

 

He guided me around a corner on the seventh floor and stopped at the bottom of a moving stair case that lead to a tall tower – a place I had never been. 

 

My eyes widened. “We’re exploring.”

 

This time his laugh was a little quiet. “No, love. Up there is the Gryffindor Tower. Do you know what happened with a certain person in their house today?”

 

“Yeah, their Quidditch Captain got offered early admission to the Tornadoes.”

 

“Nail on the head,” he replied, gesturing for me to take a seat on the floor. He did it first, leaning his head back on to the wall. We could see straight to the tower’s top. “But he turned it down. He wanted to take Gryffindor to victory in the house cup or something – which they’re never going to do because Slytherin is going to kick their pathetic, lion-like arses.”

 

“And?”

 

He held up a finger, asking me for patience. He covered the two of us in the cloak and tucked in our feet. “They’re celebrating.”

 

As if to back up his point, a rowdy teen stumbled down the stairs, one or two of the concrete labs to each step. They threw out the ‘one foot at a time’ theory out of the window.  He lifted his camera and slyly snapped a shot; the flash was dim, not enough to be noticed by the incapacitated blonde.

 

“You’re taking pictures of the fleeing party members?” I asked quietly, a little put down.

 

“You sound disappointed.”

 

I bit down on to my lip and replied in a hushed whisper. “Not really, just surprised. What will you do with them anyway?”

 

Scorpius thought for a moment. “I was thinking of adding them to my portfolio, if I get any good ones, then I can hand them in to the Daily Prophet and they will hire me as a photographer for taking such brilliant shots of real life – that or blackmail.”

 

“Ahh, I knew there was a dark reason.”

 

With a grin he nodded. “Are you annoyed?”

 

“Nope, not at all actually.” He knew me too well to know that I wouldn’t stop him, simply sit by him as he performed morally wrong deeds. “Do you think we’ll see Nina come down these stairs?” I asked nonchalantly, pushing back my cuticles.

 

“Can I ask you something?” He questioned, as a boy chased after a girl down the stairs, hanging on the banister to stop him from tripping. I nodded. “When did you and Clark become so chummy?”

 

I felt my fingers begin to shake as I pushed on my nails. But he held them still. Scorpius didn’t like her one bit. He found her repulsive and arrogant. He hated every little thing, every movement, every blink and every breath. He commented with negative views.

 

I had always listened to what he had, had to say. Scorpius was always right. His opinions on Nina I used to share, yet she seemingly wasn’t any of the things he had accused her to be. But I held my tongue. If Scorpius wanted to bitch, I would let him, and I would listen.

 

Treading carefully, I simply stated. “We’re not.”

 

“Don’t play the fool, Ranny. I know you are.” He said. “Don’t worry, love. I’m not angry; I don’t think two tosses about it. I thought the two of you may get along; you’re rather similar when it comes to naïve views of others.”

 

My eyes widened, my pupils growing. “But you hate her.”

 

“No, I don’t,” he admitted quietly. He dropped the camera in to his lap and let go of my fingers. “I was wrong, to speak badly of her. I was angry and upset.”

 

His face seemed to find some sort of colour, the pink hitting his cheeks as he spoke. His eyes narrowed as he thought of her. Scorpius wasn’t good at hiding his emotions when there was bad blood involved.

 

I turned sideways, accidentally pulling the cloak off of my legs before fixing it again. “What happened?”

 

“Ranny, maybe now isn’t the time to-“

 

“Why not?” I asked. “Scorpius, it’s only us in a corridor, no one can see us.”

 

I didn’t allow my eyes to linger on him for more than a moment, and instead chose the dismal staircase and brick.

 

He crossed his arms over his chest. “You can’t tell Albus.”

 

“Yes, because I’m likely to get up and wander off to tell him this second,” I said matter-of-factly. “Scorpius I won’t breathe a word. I promise.”

 

“I know that you won’t,” he agreed. “I just had to make sure.”

 

He held on to the camera tightly, not letting the lens move and twist between the grips of his fingers a he flicked the zoom back and forth. I wanted to tell him to stop stalling, to simply tell me, but I knew that it wouldn’t do any good.

 

He ran his strong hands down his face, his fingers catching in the corners of his mouth as he did. He growled a low sound before blinking.

 

“Nina and I had a thing,” he admitted quickly. “It was long before she had ever thought of Albus in the way she does now. It was before you ever liked Al.”

 

I sucked in a deep breath, taking the cloak in with the shape of my mouth as it hugged my face. It wasn’t the response he was expecting, nor was it mine. Yet, I couldn’t seem to master anything else. So I continued to hold the cloak to my face with the power of suction.

 

He pulled it away with a slight temper and I flinched. “Alright.”

 

For a moment I sat and processed the large amount of information he had given me, despite its compact size. I blinked for the seventh time in a minute, I counted every time. I bit my lip four times and scratched my hand five.

 

I wasn’t sure what he wanted me to think of this information. It explained a lot. Trust Scorpius to get himself in a situation that involved a romance scandal. Why didn’t he tell me? It wasn’t because he couldn’t trust me, because he was telling me this now. It wasn’t because he thought I would be nasty to her. He didn’t tell me because he knew that I wouldn’t approve. She was the best friend of Rose Weasley –the bane of my existence.

 

Albus, I knew was usually sensible. Yes, he didn’t always make the right decisions but he knew when to call it quits. Scorpius was the opposite. He was a daredevil, he lived in the moment. He went along with any idea and had no limits when it came to breaking the rules or living life in the fast lane. Scorpius’ white horse was a black bull that he ran alongside with horns of his own. He didn’t need armour, because in our fantasies he was always invincible. Nothing could hurt Scorpius Malfoy.

 

Yet, here I sat, next to the boy with the same grey eyes and the same blonde hair, but the solid expression had been replaced with one of sorrow. I placed my hand lightly upon his and rubbed my tired eyes with my sleeve.

 

“Do you still fancy her?”

 

He scoffed. “No, not at all.”

 

Internally, I tried to count up the amount of times he must have thought about this moment, how he would tell one of the two of us, me or Al, how he would break the news to us about his relationship with Nina.

 

“But you don’t like her with Albus.” It wasn’t a question.

 

Scorpius groaned and made an exasperated sound to follow. “No, I don’t. We didn’t tell anyone about us being together because we couldn’t think of one person that would approve. But she ended it before we even had a chance and ran off with the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain.”

 

I waited until his obvious rage had soothed. He grasped the camera a little tighter and looked around the silent hallway. No other student had stumbled from the tower top and into the cool hallway.

 

“She came back to me at the beginning of this year,” he said sourly. “I thought that she might want to try again. I told her no. I had –and still have- no feelings towards her. Yet she still stuck by my side. She liked Albus; I saw it in her from the moment that she began talking to him.”

 

My mind fused the two together. “She used you to get to Al.”

 

Laughing bitterly he ran a hand through his hair. “I couldn’t’ quite believe it at first, no one uses me, I’m not the type of person to get used. But I let her do it; I was too shocked to stop her. I don’t want her anywhere near Al, he won’t see what she’s doing.”

 

“Which is?”

 

“Which is?” he echoed. “Ranny, come on, please make the connection – he’s a Potter, she’s fame hungry. She wants the attention of the big boys. When she realised that I wasn’t going to let anyone find out about the two of us, she ended it, she moved on to the Captain of that time, who failed out and now works in a book store, she’s moved on to Al – how can he fail?”

 

I blinked again and spluttered out incoherent words.

 

“Don’t sound so shocked,” he practically spat. “She should get an Oscar.”

 

He pulled his hand out from under mine and placed it on top, balling it in to a fist with mine inside. He kept his eyes on me, I saw them close for a moment, and his forehead furrowed.

 

“Should we tell Albus?”

 

Scorpius’ eyes were still fixated on the stone wall. “He already knows.”

 

I looked to him. “Did you tell him?”

 

“Yes.” He sighed, unclenching his fist and placing my hand on to my leg. “I told him when he first mentioned about liking her. He doesn’t believe me. He’s fed up of people trying to befriend him for his name. You know Al; he always wants to see the good in people – even when it’s not there. Just like you.”

 

“That’s why I need you around, Scop.” I admitted. “You remind me that I can’t trust everyone.”

 

“But I never thought that I would be telling you that you can’t trust Al, I never thought…”

 

But he stopped. His voice trailed off at a crack. Scorpius Malfoy wasn’t going to cry. He never cried. He had never once come close. He didn’t shed a single tear when his Grandfather passed away, not when he lost his first Quidditch Match, not even when he broken both of his arms in third year. Scorpius Malfoy didn’t cry.

 

He let out a despairing sound, not short of a quiet grunt. “Pathetic, isn’t it? I can’t even bring myself to tell him what I really think of his girlfriend.”

 

“You’re not alone there.”

 

“What are you chatting about, love?” he teased, a fake lightness to his tone. “You like her.”

 

I shook my head. “Not if you don’t.”

 

“You have to decide for yourself, Ran. I can’t decide for you.”

 

I looked at him, really looked at him. The dim lantern only a few feet away lit up the dark side of his face, no shadow of our bodies showed on the wall behind us – we were invisible. The dark gleam in his eyes was only enhanced by the light. He gave me a look.

 

It was the look that I was used to receiving. It was the caring Scorpuis that I used to know. I had never seen this glare on him before. The look wasn’t tender, it wasn’t sweet. It was desperate and daring. It stopped me thought my train of thoughts and allowed me to think of nothing else. It made me forget how to think. It made me feel guilty.

 

I shook my head and tore my gaze away, knowing that his eyes were still on me. “I think that she deserves and Oscar. How could I believe that someone as nice as that could be friends with people like Rose and Marilyn.”

 

“Eh, Marilyn’s not that bad.” Scorpius said with a shrug. “She’s annoying and obsessive yes, but she makes a good cup of tea.”

 

I watched him crack a smile before I smacked his arm. “You’re so English sometimes it hurts.”

 

“I do what I can.” He said soundly. But his eyes still said something else. A light flickered in the distance, from the top of the tower. “What do you think then, of everything that I’ve told you? Can you handle all that information going in to your noggin at once?”

 

“Yes, I’m not a numpty,” I replied, brushing my right thumb over the left. “It took me a moment at first; I thought you may have been joking. I mean, you told me this TARDIS amount of information-“

 

“TARDIS?”

 

I made a small exasperated sound, mimicking his earlier one. “Muggle TV reference, you’re coming over at Christmas. I’ve got the boxset. I can’t believe I’ve never explained Doctor Who to you. I’m getting off track – long story short, I’m okay with it.”

 

“I knew you would be,” he said gratefully. “Thank you Ranny Baker.”

 

“For what?”

 

He shook his head in a dismissive way and shrugged. “For being there, for listening … for offering me your Doctor Whatsits face boxset. You’r-“

 

“-Dumping me, he can’t end it with ME!”

 

The pair of us instantly turned our attention to the figure stumbling aimlessly down the stairs. Rose Weasley pulled her long red hair over her shoulder and hiccupped as she slipped down on to her bottom. She went down the first two steps like that, before muttering something incoherent to herself about her boyfriend - or ex, as it now appears.

 

“Oh Circe,” I swore. “Scorpius, this is just what you wanted, take a picture!”

 

But he didn’t move. Instead his gaze travelled over her tearing eyes. “No.”

 

My eyes narrowed. “What do you mean no? Look at her Scorpius, you wanted blackmail. This is exactly what you wanted. Rose is evil – she’s The Sherrif, she makes people feel awful about themselves.”

 

“This isn’t you Ranny,” he said in an astounded tone. “You always tell me to stop, you don’t encourage me.”

 

“Scorpius. I walked in to my dorm the day of the Quidditch Match and Marilyn made my bed disappear to Norway; Rose sat on her bed and laughed.” I recalled. “She has spent years calling me names. This is Rose Weasley at her downfall. Even if we didn’t show her the picture, we would always have it to remind ourselves that the Wicked Witch of the West is breakable.”

 

“Exactly,” Scorpius sneered, pulling the cloak off us both, I tried to pull it back but he stood up and folded it in to four. “She’s broken Ranny, look at her. She doesn’t’ deserve what we were going to do to her.”

 

“What you were going to do to her.” I rectified.

 

He shook his head and laughed sourly. “I didn’t exactly see you throwing yourself in front of the camera trying to save her.”

 

“What makes her so different from the first girl, the one that walked by when we first got here?”

 

I wanted him to side with me, to stand by me. But I knew that I was in the wrong. She was no different than the first girl. And had I tried to encourage that? No. I hadn’t. I was just prejudiced.

 

Scorpius ignored my question and slowly wandered over to the stairs. I stood my ground at the other end of the corridor. His walked away had ran every alarm bell in my head, every church bell rang by Friar Tuck in my head rang as he pulled down on that rope. Had Scorpius momentarily made a decision?

 

Not wanting the hurt to show on my face, I simply pouted a little and stepped forward, walking to stand next to him. “Is she alright?”

 

“I don’t think so,” he replied darkly. “She’s crying, she looks so broken.”

 

I pulled on the end of his shirt lightly and tried to drag him back. “Why do you care? Isn’t this what you’ve been trying to achieve for all these years? To see Rose Weasley in tears?”

 

He didn’t look me directly in the eye when he turned to me. “Even you have to admit that you never wanted it to go this far.”

 

I wanted to laugh. “I’ve been there! I’ve been sat in her position, wondering what was so wrong about me that she felt that I was that vile, that she felt like she had to treat me with such hatred.”

 

“And does leaving her here make you any better than her?” He grabbed hold of my arm and made me face her. “Look at her, Ranny. That may have been you at a point – and I know that it was. It breaks my heart to remember it, but are you any better than her if you leave her here?”

 

“Honestly, yes. Because I didn’t cause that,” I said pointedly, shoving my index finger in the direction of The Sherrif. “She’s getting what she deserves.”

 

He let go and folded his arms across his chest. “Now there are words I never thought that I would hear from you.”

 

In slow motion, my hand dropped from his arm and fell to my side. I knew that he was right. But if I apologised, would I be saying sorry to her, or to him? I refused to apologise to her. I tried to move backwards, but my feet wouldn’t take me.

 

“Why now?” I asked quietly, barely louder than a whisper. “Yes, I was in the wrong then, and I know that. But last year you would have kicked her while she was down.”

 

Scorpius moved up the stairs to help her up. She had fallen asleep, barely conscious and was resting her head against a sewn tapestry. The characters inside complained loudly as she snored.

 

He tucked his arm under her and lifted her from the floor, bridal style. She was hardly an angel in white. “Times change, Ran.”

 

I stared at his face, but my mind refused to take it in. “You like Rose.” Once again, it wasn’t a question.

 

His silence was enough of an answer as he stopped his descent of the staircase.

 

I laughed bitterly, for the first time in my life and ignored his pleading looks. I couldn’t look him in the eye, because I knew that I would cave, that I would hear reason.

 

“Ranny please, I didn’t mean for it to happen. I just, we were fighting one day and I-“

 

The red head stirred in her sleep, coming around with a loud groan. She rubbed her eyes with the back of her head, smudging her worn mascara around her eyelid. Her red cheeks puffed up with her swollen lips and she hiccupped once more.

 

Her brows knitted together. “Malfoy? What are you doing?”

 

“Helping you,” he said quietly. “Don’t fight it; you know that you need it. You should be thankful I’m not making you beg for it.”

 

I felt the crushing come back to my chest and I wrapped my arms around my stomach, hoping to hold up the foundations to my bones, where two large holes had been shot through my chest -one for Al and one for Scorpius. I couldn’t say who was next, I sincerely doubt my father was planning to leave me, and I knew no one else that held that much of my heart.

 

I didn’t know that I had made a whimper like sound until Rose’s head snapped in my direction. Scorpius had stood her upright, but still had a hand on her shoulder.

 

“Oh look,” Rose began. “What happened, did Peter Pan get shot? You look a little pale. Oh fuck, don’t be sick, please, in the name of Merlin, do not vomit in front of me. The mere sight of you on a daily basis makes me was to be sick myself, you actually throwing up may start a chain reaction.”

 

I bit down on to the inside of my cheek and refused to let a tear fall from my burning eyes. “Even while she’s intoxicated, she still lets me know my place.”

 

“Ranny please,” Scorpius begged. “Ran I can’t help it-“

 

“You don’t have to explain it to me Scorpius,” I said, a slight gravel to my voice as I held back the tears. “I know exactly what it’s like to like someone that you shouldn’t.”

 

Somehow, as I left him holding her in the corridor, he became her white knight. He always had it in him. I knew that he did. Just never for her.

 








 

AN; Thank you for all of the lovely reviews that this story has received so far, I’m so, utterly grateful! I will update soon with the next chapter, I hope that you all enjoy it! It’s called Damsel; the entire chapter is all Ranny and Albus, finally they speak again!

I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter! I will be very grateful if you’d leave me a little review and tell me about it! I always try my best to reply! So any questions will be welcome too!
What do you think of Rose? Rose and Scorpius? Rose
or Scorpius? :)

What about their antics with the camera, taking pictures of poor defenceless people for their own amusement. Also what of Scorpius and Nina’s past? I think that it answers a lot of the questions that some of you had!



Chapter 13: Damsel
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Damsel
Albus Potter and Ranny Baker



 

I caught a glimpse of my refection in a passing dusty window. I could pretend that it looked hideous because of the broken slits in to the glass, or the dusty, fractured wooden frame that held it loosely in place, but that would be a lie. Despite the broken appearance and distorted reflection, my chewed up lips and tear stained cheeks were clearly visible.



I pulled down my thick sleeve roughly and rubbed it against my cheeks and eyes, brushing away the excess. The salty tears had caressed my cheeks with too much of a force, leaving behind a rough mess underneath its waterfall.

 

No Professors had walked the halls tonight, if they did, it wasn’t near by the Hufflepuff Common Room, besides it wasn’t the Hufflepuffs that were the problem. The antics – possibly dangerous and life threatening – were near the Gryffindor Tower. If anyone was up, they were there.

 

I hadn’t considered the cold. I could hear the wind howling outside, a little to my right, but my mind didn’t contemplate it. I wanted to be away, hidden – somewhere no one could see me like this. I was pathetic, I couldn’t hold in my troubles any longer. As I reached the archway and pulled my legs up in to it, I had let the tears fall. But why?

 

Looking down to my warm attire, I thanked the voice of reason in my head. As I wiped my nose on to my sleeve, I missed the sound of approaching footsteps.

 

I hadn’t realised there was another being in the corridor before they practically dived in to the archway and threw their arms around my neck. The raven haired boy let out a sigh of relief as he brushed his hands through my tangled hair.

 

“Oh, love. Why do you do things like this?” he asked with a sweet laugh in his tone.

 

No more tears fell, I had wiped them a while ago, yet I spoke no words. It appeared that Robin Hood had decided to keep his hat. He didn’t wear it now, but the idea was still there. As Albus sat next to me, his legs curled under the two of us, he held on to me tight.

 

He brushed my cheek with his thumb and simply rocked me back and forth. “Ranny, sweetheart, apologizing to you would be an insult, but it’s the only thing I have. I’m so sorry; I didn’t mean anything that I had said. I was pissed off that we had lost the game and I just wanted to make sure that the lads knew that. But I went by it all wrong. And Scorpius – he doesn’t mean what he does, he doesn’t think…”

 

I listened to him as he trailed off, his movements coming to a standstill, left only the gentle brushing of my hair. His other hand rested gently on to my leg as we sat in a tangled mess.

 

“I’m guessing that we haven’t made it easy for you lately have we?” He tried quietly. “Scorpius was right to stick by you, but I wasn’t right to let it get to that point in the first place. Ranny, please, please forgive me. This is me begging. I, Albus Potter, am begging for your forgiveness.”

 

Biting down on to my lip, I said nothing.

 

He sighed. “I can get down on to the floor if you want. I will get on one knee and mutter absolute shit for as long as you want. But you won’t understand me because my pride will be too hurt to form proper sentences-“

 

I let out a small laugh. It was quiet and short, but he heard it.

 

Upon realising that this was the first time he had ever sworn in front of me, I noticed simply how much we had all changed.

 

“In case you haven’t noticed-” Al tried again. “-when you’re not there, beside me, I tend to be a bit of an arsehole. I need you there Ran. I shouldn’t even have to say that out loud; you should know it.”

 

I dislike being the one who needs help, the one who needs the attention, but in that moment, I realised that I always will be. Albus can tell me that he needs me, and that will always make me feel somewhat elated, but I know that I will always need him more than he needs me. I can’t handle myself, I don’t like being alone. I don’t deal well with being alone. Always, I have had either Scorpius or Albus to stand by my side and draw their swords at the first sign of trouble. This was the first time in years that I have had to deal without them, and I failed miserably.

 

Al took hold of my shoulders and steered me to face him. “Ranny, are you alright?”

 

I nodded slowly, an action too small to be considered normal. But he knew me. He saw right through me.

 

“Scorpius came for me, you know. He told me that I needed to find you and that it was his entire fault. But he’s wrong; it was mine as well. Whatever he did Ranny, he’s sorry. He feels so guilty.”

 

I wrinkled my nose and sniffed. Scorpius has nothing to feel guilty about.

 

“He likes Rose,” I said quietly. “He’s her white knight. He found her in a corridor, she was upset. He helped her.”

 

“But he left you,” Albus finished for me. “That would really hurt me, if I was in your position Ran, don’t feel ashamed of it.”

 

As he brushed it hand once again back through my hair, I realised that somehow, in this twisted mess of our seventh year, we had managed to slip back in to the roles we began with; Albus picking me up when I’m down, and Scorpius always three steps ahead of us both. Little John is a beautiful substitute for Al, but he’s no King – good or bad. 

 

Albus can easily surpass in my eyes to being my everything. When he touched me, my skin burned in a feverish way that I wasn’t able to experience through anything else in the world. His hands brushed through my hair and it felt like home; I was back in my book; my fairytale was back on track.

 

I must have looked pathetic, as I groped for an answer to his question.  “I can’t help it. I don’t like Rose, and I don’t want Scorpius to like her.”

 

“I love the jealousy bug,” Albus chuckled. The rise and fall of his chest rumbled underneath my head. “I don’t like the way that you sometimes spend more time with Scorpius than me, I don’t like the way that you’re friends with the Gates brothers now. I’m jealous of the way that Scorp always gets the girl – no matter what. It all gets tiring after a while, but you can’t let it get you down.”

 

Sitting up straight, I could see his surprised expression; he looked tired, haunted and sad. “Albus, I’m sorry.” I said. “I really am. I don’t want to fight anymore. I want to talk again. I want the crushing in my chest to go away.”

 

“You have that too?” he asked, grabbing my waist and hugging me once more. “I don’t know why you’re apologising to me though. Ran, if I’m ever being a knob again, hit me, slap me I don’t care, just don’t let me upset you.”

 

“I could never do that,” I said truthfully.

 

Albus stood up from the arch, perching on the end lightly, crossing one leg over the other as he sat straight. “Nina didn’t have any trouble.”

 

My brows knitted together. “She hit you?”

 

“Slapped me,” he corrected. “She said that I deserved it, that I was – well just insert an array of colourful words in there and you’ve pretty much got the idea.”

 

“You don’t deserve that.”

 

He cracked a grin. “Yes I do, look at the way I treated you.” I couldn’t help but notice the way his hand was still on my leg.

 

I wanted to tell him, to say that I knew about Scorpius and Nina, but I knew that it wouldn’t help the situation. It would simply remind Al that he had her first; that he did indeed always get the girl and then possibly that Scorpius was right.

 

Little John was wise. He was Robin’s right hand man; he always looked out for Robin. It was Tuck that listened to the problems; Tuck was a walking confession box. We fit our roles well, Scorpius always pushed the boundaries, but he would have done anything for Albus, just as Al for him.

 

But it was the stereotype of Maid Marion that irked me. In some folklore, she was the one to kill Robin. She poisoned his drink and left him in the care of helpful nuns that Tuck had befriended years before. Robin didn’t know these nuns to well, he wanted to be with his friends, but they were long gone.

 

But that’s not the fairytale that I own. The one, scribbled in to the pages of my leather bound book, is a happy story, where Marion stands next to Robin and holds his hand as he takes back England.

 

Consider it logically; England may have been a hypothetical meaning for Robin’s life, as he took back the reins he had a woman to stand by his side. Nina was definitely not filling that position.

 

“She left me,” he said sourly. His eyes flickered to the worry that enveloped my features but looked away instantly. “She is at the Gryffindor party right now, probably grinding the bloody boy of the hour.”

 

My head reeled at the thought. “Al, I don’t know what to say.”

 

“There’s nothing to say,” he admitted sadly. His shoulder sagged as he spoke of the situation.

 

I pulled my leg back from his under his gentle grip. I couldn’t think straight, the fire where his hand once sat still burned through my skin. It always would.

 

“Al, you’ll find her, you know, Maid Marion.” I reassured. “So she wasn’t your queen, not everyone is going to be perfect. But you’re Robin Hood.”

 

“You’re not getting it!” He snapped, his head whipping around to face me. “I thought that after everything, you might get it – but you haven’t!”

 

I took deep breaths. “Albus, you’re shouting.”

 

“Yes, I am shouting. Ranny, you’re so blind! You say I am, and I might be, but you need to live in reality!” His eyes darkened as he turned to face me. He stood upright and towered over my small figure, sat in the comfort of the arch. “There is no Prince, there are no Princesses. Peter Pan, Robin Hood, King Arthur – they’re not real. No man is going to ride in on a white horse and save you; we are all you’ve got. Accept it Ranny.”

 

“You…you don’t mean that.” I said doubtfully. His tone had turned so quickly. “You’re just saying that because you’re angry. Nina hurt you, you’re upset. It’s understandable.”

 

“I’m not angry,” he rounded, his hands griped in to his hair. “It’s time that you grew up Ranny. I don’t believe in that shit anymore, that book contains only stories, not parts of our lives; it was our childhood, not our future. I don’t believe in them anymore.”

 

“Then why won’t you give me my hat back?” I breathed.

 

His jaw shifted, setting in a stony position to match his other features.

 

I didn’t contemplate what he really meant, I only sat up straight and tried to leave the arch, but my feet wouldn’t take me. “If you don’t want to believe them fine, but I do. They are real – they’re real to me. And really, that’s all that should matter.”

 

Albus’ expression fell, the anger subsided. He closed his eyes and realised just quite how far he had gone from being who he used to be. “Ranny I-“

 

“Don’t apologise,” I whispered sadly, blurry vision seeming natural to me now. “You’ve said you’re sorry too much to me. It doesn’t mean anything anymore.”

 

“Don’t say that, an apology to you is all I have now, don’t say that.”

 

“Is that where I was supposed to slap you?” I asked. “To stop you from hurting me?”

 

His eyes flicked open and his emerald iris’s caught me like a deer in headlights. “Ranny, I didn’t mean to hurt you, I was telling you the truth.”

 

“You’re contradicting yourself now, Albus.” I pointed out. “You won’t even here reason. I’ve just told you that you hurt my feelings and yet you carry on.”

 

Albus’ arm fell limp to his side. “I didn’t mean to.”

 

He had far to go to being a Prince. He wasn’t perfect, Scorpius had told me this many a time. He was rude, blunt and a little conceited, the qualities that prince charming would never possess. But he was always the perfect Prince Charming for me, and that was all that mattered.

 

The two of us left it at that, knowing that neither had anything else to verbalise, yet so much to say. He couldn’t help himself, and neither could I. I needed my fairy tales, and he needed to be right, he needed reality. He watched as I walked away, stumbling over my own feet.  

 

I know they aren’t true, to this day, what has come of them? Nothing. My white knight is nothing but a fraud. My protector has run off with the enemy. Scorpius was Peter Pan; he was always able to see magic where no one else could. He could make you fly, he could make you feel elated – yet right now, he was the reason for my having fallen. He was the boy who would never grow up.

 

The excitement Peter felt when Wendy told her stories was just that, excitement – but in a story. Living in reality was too hard to bear.

 

Thus, I ended up where I stand now, stood between the openings of trees, four or so feet from the border of the forest. In the early morning sky, I wished for the darkness to consume me. Scorpius needed the opportunity to grow, to not have to keep one eye on me at all times. Albus needed to leave it all behind him. I needed to make it stop.

 

The fairy tales were my life, my entire world. The tales of Peter Pan and Cinderella played in my dreams. I scrubbed the fires in a grand mansion and waited on my evil sisters. I was an empty page, a colouring book ready to be filled in with chalk and pastels. I was easy to read. I was the book. And I couldn’t be. I was a human being; I should have more depth than what those pages held.

 

My mouth released a sob, a whimper of pain. I bit down on to my lip, drawing and tasting a shock of blood that leaked from the every growing cut and let my tears fall down to the forest floor.

 

Inside the leather bind was pictures, doodles, sketches, each with meaning. The book was provided for us all, all to enjoy and to thrive from. Yet it was us that had put in the magic. They were just stories, we made them come alive. But it was time for them to go back in to the book.

 

I threw the leather bindings down on to the floor of the forest, followed by a small green hat. The red feather caught the eye of a passing bird – but still it flew on. I wasn’t even worth the bird’s momentary attention.

 

My chest heaved; empty air ran back up my windpipe, choking me on nothing. I clawed at my throat and tried to get a grip on whatever I could find. Scorpius would rather have Rose; Albus wanted nothing to do with my interests.

 

I had run back through the Common Room to collect these belongings, no one had batted an eyelid. No one noticed I was there. I wasn’t worth their attention either.

 

Reality is something I have never lived in; it was about time that I started. I needed the book to leave, so I wouldn’t be forced by temptation.

 

I placed upon the book a small wooden sword, a golden ring and a waistband made from a curtain tie from the fourth floor. I took a golden coin from my pocket; always used as treasure and threw it next to the book.

 

My sobs have become dry, my nose running freely. I swallowed as I cried, a constant stream of salty tears gracing my cheeks as I squeezed my eyes closed. Albus couldn’t love me, he could never love me. He could do better. Scorpius had already moved on to find another friend. I was no one special. I wasn’t a Princess trapped in a castle; no Prince would come to rescue me. No one would ever come to rescue me.

 

I pulled my wand from my boot and aimed it at the pile of belongings. “Incendio,” I announced clearly.

 

And I watched as the pile burned.
 

 







 

AN; thank you for reading! I hope that you enjoyed this chapter! If you’d like to leave a review, (hint hint) then the usual thing applies; ROBIN, to say that you like it, and HOOK if you don’t!

What did you all think of this chapter, it’s all Ranny and Al; and Al’s attempt to apologise, heavy on the ‘attempt’. I will update soon, the next chapter is called ‘Neverland’, it’s a Scorpius, Al and Ranny chapter, in which all will be resolved.
Has anyone got a prediction; the chapter is written, but it would be nice to hear what you think happens.
What about Ranny burning the book and the props? Has she officially broken down?

Keep in mind, that from the last chapter the only opinion that was given of Nina was from Scorpius’ point of view, who really, really doesn’t like her. There will be a little bit more of her during the rest of the story, so I hope that you form your own opinion.
Also, when it comes to Albus; he is the opposite of a ‘prince charming’, which is how he is supposed to be, it’s an ironic thing, so that he has time to grow as a character. This is the last chapter in which he upsets Ranny, after this the old Al shines through :)

Thank you again for reading this far. I hope that you like the rest! I own nothing; it all goes to JK, and the mentioned fairytales respective owners! 


Chapter 14: Neverland
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Neverland
Scorpius Malfoy and Ranny Baker


 






 

 I felt entranced by the flames, the orange glow pulling me in as it burnt through the paper of the books.



The flames sizzled, shooting sparks towards me. One caught a piece of bark and ignited it. I stomped it out with my foot and took a step or two back. I didn’t want to cause a big fire, just enough to burn what I could from the make believe. I would change my mind if I didn’t. I need to grow up and get out of Neverland.

 

I listened to the crackles, the sound of birdcalls. A howl came from the distance and sent a flock of small, black birds shooting from the tops of the trees. If I were a bird, I wouldn’t stay here; I would fly as far away as possible. But I’m not a bird; I’m stuck here, with my feet firmly on the ground.

 

Closing my eyes, I listened harder. There was too much sound to pick out the little things - centaurs, Thestrals, huffing and howling, footsteps, frequent calls, louder footsteps, tweeting, cracking, sizzling, louder footsteps and finally my name. I didn’t react to it at first, not until I was pulled to the ground by a body bigger than mine.

 

“Ranny!” Albus’ voice yelled. “Are you stupid?”

 

A softer tone was humming the sound of a music box, the blonde’s arms around me tightly as he sat me in the gap between his legs. “Are you alright, love?”

 

Scorpius’ voice brought me back; I opened my eyes with a snap.

 

It was the urgency of each of their tones. They had been running, panting, searching. They were the footsteps that echoed throughout the woodland.

 

The fire was out. Albus had shrugged off his robes and dived on to the flames, putting it out and was sorting through the things. He tossed his robes aside to Scorpius, who caught them with one hand and set them down on the forest floor. Still his arms held me tight, pinning me partially to the ground.

 

Albus was shouting, his voice increasing as he did. It got louder and louder, enough to silence the crickets. His words didn’t make sense; they went in one ear and out of the other. I didn’t comprehend a single word. It was Scorpius that I could hear.

 

He brushed his fingers through the tips of my hair. “Ranny, what happened? Love, why did you start a fire?”

 

“I think the better question is what did she burn?” Albus interrupted, tossing the leather bound book towards Scorpius.

 

The blonde caught it as if it were a god-sent gift and held it to his chest after the rough toss towards him. The corners were charred, but as he opened up the burnt cover and turned the pages, we both realised they were mostly unharmed.

 

The writing was fine, the photographs untouched. He shook the book and watched as inserts fell on to the wet floor. He took the one closest to him, a picture of Albus and I from our first year. It was taken with the small throw-away camera that Scorpius owned at the time, we would have had to conserve the film that we had back then.

 

I watched his expression flicker between two emotions, each that I did not recognise.

 

Albus picked up the golden coin and put it in to his pocket, it was untouched by the fire and not too hot, due to his actions. He sat down opposite the two of us.

 

Shaking his head he drew his mouth open, and then to a close once more.

 

“Say something,” I breathed.

 

“Like what?” Scorpius asked with a snap to his voice. “Ranny, this wasn’t just your stuff to burn. It belongs to us all.”

 

My gaze moved to the floor and I caught sight of my oversized eyelashes. “I’m sorry.”

 

With one hand still around me, his other turned the pages in the book. “You could have seriously hurt yourself, you fool! Albus do you remember when I told you that she takes the things you say to heart, and then you said ‘No, she doesn’t’?” His voice raised several octaves as her performed a horrible impression of our friend. “Well, this is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.”

 

“Ranny, I can’t believe that I said what I did, you should ignore me. You should never listen to me.” Albus rounded, leaning forward eagerly and taking the book from Scorpius. “We’re lucky it didn’t get the book. The damp ground must have stopped the fire from spreading.”

 

Scorpius only let out a low laugh. “Forget that, it seems that King Arthur’s sword saved the lot!”

 

He leant forward and reached for the remains of the sword, the long stick having burnt briefly down, but not quite enough to get the rest of the pile of which it stuck out from. Scorpius grabbed it, but released it instantly with an array of colourful language.

 

“What’s wrong?” I asked quietly.

 

“Bloody heat,” Scorpius swore. “Fucking hot that sword is.”

 

Albus stood from the ground. “Well its wood you numpty,” he said “It going be hot.”

 

He took a step towards the pile of make believe and drew the sword from the lot. He didn’t flinch for a millisecond nor seem to ever consider it. The heat didn’t faze him. Scorpius and I watched as he turned and took a bow.

 

“In only the manner a true King can manage, just like King Arthur” Scorpius teased. “What about the ring?”

 

“The gold one? The wedding one? The one we used for Cinderella and the Prince?” Albus asked, spotting it at the bottom and pulling it out. “I remember this, nicked it from Nanna Weasley’s jewellery box over the Christmas Holidays in our first year.”

 

I turned to him. “You never told me that.”

 

“That’s because you wouldn’t approve,” he mocked, shaking his head and admiring the gold. “Expensive piece this one. Imagine what a great piece of art would have possibly been lost if we hadn’t found you, Miss Arson.”

 

“I didn’t try to commit Arson,” I defended. “I just, wanted it all to go away.”

 

“Wanted?” Scorpius echoed. “As in past tense?”

 

I shrugged and took a deep breath, pulling away from his a little – but still he didn’t let up. “I just…I know that Al is right. It’s not real, none of it is.”

 

Scorpius cleared his throat a little too loudly. “Not real? What do you call our heroic little venture there?”

 

“Reality?”

 

“No, Baker,” Scorpius scolded. “We’re your white knights, aren’t we Al?”

 

Albus looked up at the two of us through his large, captivating eyes. The book was open in his hands and the sword was tucked under his arm where he sat. He ‘dog eared’ the open page and shut the book.

 

Nodding, he agreed. “Yeah, love. We’re your white knights. I was telling the truth when I said that we’re all each other’s got.”

 









It was the late hours of the morning before we realised the time.

 

Scorpius still sat where he had begun, his arms stretched behind him and his knees bent casually in front. I sat between them, my thighs pulled up to my chest. I hugged my calves with my arms. The bitter cold whipped against my cheeks, but I took no notice. The temperature did nothing to me.

 

It had not rained, but the ground was still wet. Albus thought that the damp leaves and soil was part of the reason that the fire didn’t spread. I wasn’t stupid, yet my actions preceded the theory. I could have hurt myself, or I could have hurt the school. But in my mind, it still didn’t seem to matter.

 

“You could have at least tried to burn them in your cauldron,” Albus suggested as he lay down in front of me. He lay to our right, his back sinking in to the wet ground.

 

I nodded. “I should have really.”

 

“You shouldn’t have done it at all.” Scorpius interrupted. “We both know that Albus is a toss-pot, you shouldn’t listen to what he says, especially when he is angry.”

 

“He’s right,” Albus added, sitting up to look me in the eyes. “I am so sorry, love. I didn’t mean to upset you. I just wanted to convince myself.”

 

My fingers got tangled in the ends of my hair, but I still refused to look at him. “So you do believe in them?”

 

The sound paused for a moment, only the breaks of twigs in the distance were picked up by my ears. I felt Scorpius’ arm move from behind him and take hold of the ends of my fingers in a supportive grip. He knew what I wanted to hear – heck, maybe he wanted to hear the same thing, but we both knew the answer.

 

Albus took the golden coin from his pocket and flipped it. Checking the heads or tails as if it were a private joke, he nodded. “I drew the sword didn’t I? I still have your hat, I guess I do still believe.”

 

“Thank you.” 

 

The raven haired boy seemed to grin at my words. “For what?”

 

“For lying,” I said softly. “We all know that you don’t, but thank you for saying that you do. It means a lot.”

 

“I wasn’t lying,” Albus defended. “I don’t think that I could give you the hat back, not even if you begged for it. I’m not sure whether that’s for the sentimental value or-“

 

Scorpius chuckled. “Or because you still want to believe.”

 

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I just … I think to myself, this time next year, I’ll be in training in The Department of Magical Law Enforcement, I’ll be nineteen. I can’t go home and pretend that I’m a King, I can’t call myself Robin.”

 

“Says who?” Scorpius asked.

 

He kept a hold of my fingers, but I held back tighter. “Albus, your job will be a fairy tale. To someone you will be a white knight – if not, you’ll always be one to me – when you save a life, or give someone back their stolen belongings, in that moment, you’ll be a King.”

 

“I’ve never thought of it like that before,” he pondered.

 

Scorpius and I shared a knowing look. His hair was in disarray, his jumper dirty and his sleeves rolled up past his arms. Yet, he didn’t care.

 

“Ranny,” he began. “If you can say that to Al, if you will always believe – why did you feel the need to burn the book?”

 

I bit down on to my bottom lip and resisted the urge to lightly squirm. “I didn’t want to be alone. You two are so geared on wanting to grow up. I don’t want to be left behind.”

 

“It’s like Peter bloody Pan,” Albus laughed. “Ran, why did you feel that you had to get rid of the book, and the sword?”

 

“Because I’d keep going back to them,” I admitted quietly. “If they weren’t there, I would have nothing to go back to.”

 

Scorpius leant his cheek on to the back of my head and laughed. “Oh, Ran. You shouldn’t feel like that. You’re not the only one. I don’t want to grow up either. I tried it and I didn’t like it.”

 

“If that was our attempt at growing up, it was shit.” Albus announced.

 

“It didn’t last long,” I added.

 

“I dated a crew member of the Jolly Roger, Tuck went against religion and Little John fell for the Sherriff.” He summarised. “We’re naff at being adults.”

 

A soft laugh turned to a breath in my ear. “Then maybe we shouldn’t try.”

 

“What do you mean?” Albus asked.

 

I smiled softly. “We should just let it come naturally,” I ran my fingers through the dirt beneath my feet. “We’ll know when we’re ready.”

 

“So don’t hang up your hat just yet, Ally.” Scorpius added. “There may be another adventure left in you.”

 

Albus laughed lowly and watched my fingers as they dug in to the dirt. “Another adventure you say, old chap?” he chimed.

 

Scorpius and I watched as he leapt to his feet and threw aside the battered and burnt wood that was left of the sword. He reached for a stick from the floor and broke another from the branch of a tree. Throwing the stick towards Scorpius and holding the other loosely in his hand, he waited gestured towards the stick, waiting for Scorpius to pick it up.

 

He stirred behind me. “You can’t be serious?”

 

“Sirius is nothing but a star and a name,” Albus joked. “My older brothers to be exact - now pick up your sword and fight. I will not duel an enemy unhanded.”

 

“We haven’t done this in years,” Scorpius reasoned. “The last time we fought like this was third year, I’m-“

 

“Scared?” I asked.

 

“Worried I’ll break something,” he rectified pointedly.

 

Albus snorted. “Yes, because in your old age and all, it’s very likely that you’ll put out a hip.”

 

“It’s nothing that the magical healers couldn’t fix,” I added with a posh tone to my voice. “Mr Malfoy, I believe that you’ll be fine.”

 

“Listen to the Damsel, Sir Knight – I Albus, King of The Forest am trying to duel you for her hand.”

 

“She’s wishes,” Scorpius snorted. I elbowed him low in his gut. He grunted but nevertheless proceeds to stand up and take the stick from the ground.

 

I laughed at their wet bottoms, the mud that had managed to stick to Albus’ back, his robes still thrown down by the fire. The tiredness that caused their eyes to close didn’t’ affect them in the slightest as Scorpius made the first jab.

 

He placed one arm behind his back, the other gracing the sword. “Harrate.”

 

Albus responded almost immediately. He returned the push with a strike of his own, forcing Scorpius to jump back with a speed known only to Chasers. He twisted his body and dodged another blow, turned away from Albus and confusing his opponent.

 

Within a minute, both had taken hits from the other, Scorpius reacting to a smack to the head and Albus a jab to the gut.

 

The woodland around the two of them seemed to enjoy reliving the idea of our childhood. It missed the days when the year group would be out in the forest, each with a prop picked up from the floor. A hat for a crown or a sock for a golden glove was a substitute that seemed fitting – no one questioned expense.

 

A light wind blew as the strikes became less frequent. Leaves fell from the trees and a herd of Centarus passed in the distance. They used to enjoy our games, sometimes joining in for our pleasure and thrill. Our magical world was real.

 

As I watched the boys duel, having shifted myself away from the gap in the trees where they fought and in between two bushes. I laughed with glee. I caught a falling leaf – a rare and lucky occurrence and folded it, placing it inside the book. If only Scorpius had brought his camera.

 

Albus pinned Scorpius to the ground, holding the stick near to his throat. “And I can now claim the Princes as my own.”

 

Scorpius kicked Albus’ feet out from underneath him and jumped up. “I wouldn’t be so sure.”

 

Tired, the raven haired boy placed his head back in defeat. Scorpius let out a triumphant call and ran to pull me up from the ground. Throwing down his mighty weapon he span me around in a circle before falling to the ground, laughing.

 

“But what about the Sherriff?” I questioned, sitting on to the floor next to him. “If you want to be with her, I will make no objections. It’s none of my business and it was wrong of me to judge.”

 

“Thanks love,” he said with a chuckle. He sat up a little, propping himself up on to his elbows. “But it was over before it even began.”

 

Albus had crawled over, sitting next to Scorpius. “What do you mean?”

 

“When I had carried her back to the Gryffindors, she wouldn’t let me in with her. All she did was moan about people and say mean things about Ranny. She really was the Sherriff. I’m not going to consider someone who can’t get over themselves. I want a damsel not a whinge.”

 

“I’m sorry,” I offered.

 

He laughed and echoed my earlier words. “No you’re not, but thank you for lying.”

 

The squawks from the birds and the calls from the creatures were drowned out by our laugher. The sun was about to rise, the castle on the verge of awakening. I had lost track of the days, unsure of the time of the week, only of my place in time at this particular moment.

 

The knit of my jumper was surly ruined, and the tips of my fingers burnt from the fire. But it didn’t matter. As we walked back up to the school, the morning air bit at our skin.

 

I held the book close to my chest as Albus threw his robe around his shoulders. “We can do it, can’t we?”

 

“Do what?” Scorpius questioned as he helped me climb the steps from the forest.

 

“Be both,” Albus said. “It wasn’t until after I kicked your arse I realised that I missed it.”

 

I took the last step and waited for them to catch up. “We can go between them, we can spend time here and then spend the weekends in Neverland – there’s a balance.”

 

“You’re right, Ranny,” Scorpius agreed lazily with a yawn, placing his hand on to the small of my back. “We still have a few months before we need to grow up. If you’re set on not wanting to keep the book yourself, you can keep it on the bookshelf in our dorm.”

 

“I tell you what,” Albus began, pushing us apart and standing in the middle with a tired grin upon his face. “You two are spending the Christmas Holidays with me; we can teach my little niece how to be heroes.”

 

“Gabrielle isn’t your niece,” Scorpius replied. “She’s Teddy’s kid, and besides she is the girliest girl that I have ever met.”

 

I placed my hand upon Scorpius’ mouth, silencing him. “I think that would be lovely.”

 

And for the first time in a long time, we walked back to our own Common Rooms, after having read from the book as just us three.

 









AN; thank you for reading, and all of the reviews so far! I hope that you enjoyed this chapter! As usual, if you’d like to leave a review, ROBIN if you liked it and HOOK if you didn’t :)
What are your opinions on this chapter; I would love to hear them.
I own nothing; JK owns it all, and then the respective stories mentioned within go to their respective creators.
The next chapter is called ‘Jester’, hopefully you like it!



Chapter 15: Jester
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Jester
Dominic Brown






 

  “Share,” Dom practically begged. He spewed chewed toast from his full mouth as he spoke. “It’s not nice to keep secrets.”

 

I swallowed another mouthful of tea. “It’s none of your business.”

 

“But I want to know!”

 

“I’m going to ignore your whining,” I said aloofly. “Dominic, it’s nothing to do with you.”

 

Jack’s laughed made me want to smile. He sat across from me, cutting his toast in to four triangular slices and eating them in small bites. He winked before taking another bite from the crust. I don’t know how much he knew about what happened last week, but it was very rare that he wasn’t by my side.

 

Neither Scorpius nor Al had left me alone for longer than a minute or two during the day if they could help it. Worried that I would make another attempt at arson, they stuck by me at all times. Ally asked about the book, talking once again about how we could replace the burnt sword, make another over Christmas. It was nice.

 

Unfortunately, Dominic’s prodding didn’t die down. Tom stopped asking after seeing the expression on Al’s face when he asked the first time what had happened. But Dom didn’t stop. Jack got up the next morning and noticed that something was different but he didn’t press the matter.

 

I sat in the Great Hall, at the Hufflepuff table with Perry by my side. He hadn’t spoken since that day, but still winked as I sat down. He was the only one at this table who didn’t try to steal my tea.

 

Tom smacked his brother across the face and pointed his finger towards him. “Don’t wink at my woman.”

 

“It wasn’t sexual!” Jack replied in a shocked manner, rubbing his cheek better after making a girly yelp of surprise. “It was supportive!”

 

I turned to Tom with a miffed expression. “There was no need to smack him.”

 

“There is every reason to slap Jack, love.” Tom replied. “He needs to be reminded of his place every now and again.”

 

“What, of the best seeker in the school and the one who brought Hufflepuff to victory in the match against Slytherin?” Jack asked. “Oh yes, please do remind me of that. Please remind me of that every day!”

 

Perry shook his head to my right but I saw the feint line of a smile twitching at his lips.

 

“Go on.” I pushed. I prodded him in his side when he didn’t look at me. “Smile, Perry.”

 

“He won’t smile,” Dom interrupted, inhaling another mouthful of toast. “He won’t react, will you lad? The day Perry James talks will be the day the world ends.”

 

Jack scoffed. “Perry isn’t mute, Dominic,” he defended. “He does speak, don’t you Perry.” Jack waited for a reaction, but Perry merely glared with raised eyebrows. “Well anyway, he does. He just doesn’t talk to you.”

 

“Who doesn’t want to talk to me?” Dominic asked. “I’m a very fetching young lad.”

 

“Very,” Jack agreed. “But you’re not approachable. Perry feels like he doesn’t want to talk to you, you’re fetching yes, but you can be a mean person.”

 

“Oi, spokes-man for Perry,” I interrupted, pointing at Jack with my spoon. “He’s sitting right here.”

 

“You’re just feeling awkward because he talks to you,” Jack rounded. “If he didn’t speak to you then you would be on their side.”

 

Dom stared with open mouthed jealousy while Tom simply looked intrigued.

 

“That’s bull!” Dom settled for. “What is more appealing about Ranny to you then me? I’m much nicer than Baker!”

 

Jack laughed as I narrowed my eyes and jutted out my bottom lip. He caught my cheek. “You look adorable when you do that.”

 

“She always looks adorable,” Tom said quietly.

 

His roommate sighed. “Tom, mate, we’ve spoken about this. You can’t be a creep at the dinner table. Make your move in private.”

 

Tom didn’t blush as I would have, but merely shrugged. I wasn’t going to be the one to point out that he already had, and I refused his advances. Tom is lovely; he would make a lovely Prince, but just not mine. I held out my hopes for a certain hero, one who doesn’t seem to be looking twice at me in the manner I want him to.

 

“Besides,” Dom resumed, ignoring the look of slight irritation that took over Perry’s features. “If you talk to Ranny, can you please get out of her what happened last week?”

 

“Dom!” Tom exclaimed, throwing his toast back down on to his plate. “Let it go! It’s obvious none of them want to talk about it!”

 

“Are you not curious?”

 

“Of course I am,” Tom replied desperately. “I would love to know everything, I would love to be able to ask her what happened without her getting sad, I would love to ask her how why Albus is treating her like a Princess again suddenly, I would love to ask why she returned with the tips of her fingers burnt and bleeding. But I’m not bloody going to am I?”

 

Jack sniffed. “I think, in a weird way, you kinda just did.”

 

I didn’t take my gaze off of my tea mug as I swirled the hot liquid around in the cup. I didn’t want to look any of them in the eye. But I didn’t need to look up to notice their stares. It was Perry’s that hit me first; he looked directly at my fingers. They were covered up under my sleeves, as they have been for the past week. But he seemed to stare right through them.

 

The burns had faded quickly, but little scars were left, one that I had covered up with colourful plasters until they were officially gone. But still, I didn’t like the tattered sight.

 

Perry’s hand rested on my knee, a supportive hand that reminded me of my father’s grasp. When in times of trouble, he would hold on to my knee and tell me nice things. But Perry didn’t speak.

 

“I’m not telling,” I said quietly.

 

I wished that Dom would stop, but he wouldn’t be him if he did. “Come on, not even a little bit. You don’t have to say the big bit, just the smaller thing that happened before. I mean, Albus came running in to the Common Room at, like, midnight, and started blurting out shit to an already-pissed-of-Malfoy who shouted back like it was his life goal – and I think that he’s shagging one of Albus’ cousins’. Then they went out of the Common Room and weren’t seen until morning. Not one of the three of you got out of bed the next day.”

 

“That’s enough Dom,” Tom reasoned. “We don’t need to re-live this.”

 

“Not even for a minute or two?” Dom asked.

 

“It’s been over a minute since you started asking,” I said. “It’s been almost a week. You’re like a bloody Jester. Please just stop.”

 

Dominic ran his hands through his dark hair and looked up. “Scorpius said that Albus was a traitor, and ‘How could you do this to her?’ What did he sa-“

 

“She asked you to stop.” Perry interrupted from my right, his voice cut over my head and bit towards Dom.

 

It shut him up instantly. I had heard Perry speak before; I knew his voice was deep and intriguing. But I hadn’t heard the harsh tone it could adapt to.

 

But Dom doesn’t hear undertones. “He spoke!”

 

“You’ve so just missed the point,” Jack muttered.

 









 

 I leant over the barrier of the Astronomy Tower, breathing in the cold air deeply and clutching my telescope tightly in my grip. My green jumper was draped loosely from my shoulders, the wind kissing my soft skin of my shoulders.

 

Kicking up my leg I leant over the barrier a little further. The thick rail was enough to hold a bear, let alone a small girl of my size. I looked over to the forest, holding the telescope to my right eye and turning the focus.

 

As I found the right setting, a flock of birds sped from the top of the trees in the direction that I was looking, escaping the howl of a creature bigger than them. They were Peter, flying from the forest and straight towards the Jolly Roger – for adventure.

 

“Ranny!” A voice called, pinning me to the balcony rail. “I believe the sky is upwards.”

 

I elbowed Albus as he stole my telescope, looking up to the sky and holding it well out of my reach above his head.

 

“It’s such a beautiful night,” he resumed, holding me at an arm’s length. “There aren’t too many stars though, more … fog.”

 

Laughing I ran forward and jumped on to his side. “Give me back my telescope.”

 

He pushed me away a little. “What telescope, I don’t what of what implement you are speaking of.”

 

“It’s little and golden!” I recalled. “And it’s being held about an inch out of my arm’s reach!”

 

“Well that’s unfair,” he replied, still looking out over the balcony. “You’ll have to find someone tall to get it for you.”

 

“Al!”

 

I wondered how he would take it if I tickled him in the gut, knowing that was his sensitive spot. He doesn’t take that form of affection too well. Instead he waited for another moment before laying down my telescope down on to the small brown table inside.

 

His playful expression turned suddenly serious, no trace of a smile played upon his lips. “Tom spoke to me earlier,” he said. “I’m sorry about Dom.”

 

“It’s okay.” I brushed off lightly. “I just don’t want people to think that I’ve lost it.”

 

Albus laughed. “You lost it years ago, Ran, as did I.”

 

He gestured inside, out of the old. As usual, I followed him. His black laced boots were undone, his jeans roughly tucked in to them. He folded his arms, the sip undone on his jacket. He stood in the middle of the room after shutting the doors; the domed ceiling shone the moon light through the glass.

 

I looked up and hugged my arms to my chest. It took only a moment or two of me staring at the lights, before Albus wrapped his arms around me, his hands meeting mine on my chest.

 

“You know,” I began. “They say that the first laughter of a baby breaks in to one thousand pieces. If one of those pieces floats to Neverland, then it becomes a fairy.”

 

He didn’t say a word, but I could feel his grin as he watched the sky too. “I remember that.”

 

“I didn’t know if you would,” I admitted.

 

“I also remember that if a child is lost in Kingston Gardens and isn’t claimed after seven days-“

 

“-they become a lost boy,” I finished. “I always wanted to be a lost boy.”

 

Albus lifted me off of the ground for a moment and listened to be laugh. “You would have made a wonderful lost boy.”

 

“Because of my keen sense of adventure?” I asked

 

“No,” he dismissed. “Because of your masculine tendencies.”

 

With a gasp, I span around and whacked him in the chest. I was about to defend myself and remind him of my femininity and womanly wiles, but the words stopped before I could say them. His fingers brushed against my cheek as I stood still. His touch was as light as bee wings against my skin.

 

He didn’t move away as I bit down on to the inside of my cheek. His warm chest seemed to burn under my cold hands as I placed my palms on to his stomach. Through his shirt, I could feel him tense.

 

I lifted one of my hands towards his collarbone. He sighed. “Do you ever think about…this?”

 

“This?” I echoed faintly. “Standing in the Astronomy Tower?”

 

He snorted, attractively, I may add. His eyes bore through me, but it didn’t make me shiver as it used to. He brought a smile to my face, he always did.

 

“No, you numpty,” he breathed. “This-“

 

Our lips met in a moment. His hands went from fabric to skin, travelling up my back, under the fabric of my shirt with a warm touch. My hand slid up his chest and towards his hair. His lips kissed mine, the slightest touch tickling against my skin.

 

Until this moment, I had no idea what I had been missing. Every scenario I had imagined hadn’t compared to this. I had thought of it all, the way the heat would expand through my body and tease me from the inside out. The passion would be unknown to me.

 

I would fall deeper and deeper in to his hold until there was nothing left to me. I would be his, and only his. We would smile as we kissed and explore one another as if we had all the time in the world. His hands would tangle in my hair and get stuck in the knots, but he wouldn’t care, because finally I was his.

 

He would grasp me roughly by the shoulders as I tried to leave from worry and nerves, he would tell me it’s all okay, that I’m the only thing he’s ever wanted. I imagined the way I would pull away, the way our lips would be swollen and our minds transfixed.

 

But that didn’t happen. None of it did.

 

I took a sharp breath and grinned as his lips caressed mine. He pulled me closer to him and wore a grin that matched mine. I kissed him once more, taking his bottom lip between mine. And I laughed.

 

He snorted and realised that the grin I wore was a smirk. The smile he wore wasn’t much different either. He licked his lips and pulled his hands out from under the fabric.

 

Running my hand through my hair I giggled quietly. “No.”

 

“That didn’t work,”Albus announced with a feint pink gracing his cheeks. “Not that you weren’t-“

 

“No, no,” I dismissed. “You were … lovely, too.”

 

“Let’s just not do it … again,” He agreed.

 

I nodded. “Ever.”

 

Ally grabbed my telescope from the table, still a smirk upon his face. “I always thought that the first time I kissed you it would be perfect.”

 

To hear that only ten minutes ago, it would have made my heart soar. But now, it seemed to only make me smile. “Me too. But in case you’ve forgotten Mr Potter, that wasn’t the first time you kissed me.”

 

He laughed. “First year,” he recalled. “That was a good day.” His gaze dropped to the floor and he shook his head. “I’ve always thought of you differently,” he said. “I’ve never thought of you in the way that Scorpius does – you’ve always meant more to me.”

 

“Ditto.”

 

“Well, I guess you don’t know until you try,” he summarised.

 

I chewed on my gum lining my cheek. “What an anti-climax.”

 

“What exactly were you expecting, Miss Baker?”

 

My cheeks flushed a shade of red. “Let’s just go to bed.”

 

“Who’s?” he asked, with a waggle to his eyebrow.

 

“Al!”

 

“I’m sorry,” he apologised, holding the door open for me. “But I am going to be making this as awkward as possible for a while.”

 

I scrunched up my nose. “How long is ‘a while’?”

 

“Until I get bored.” He admitted with a shrug. “I’m thinking … Scorpius is thinking of going to Hogsmeade to meet his mother and father in that new pub – The Red Beard or something, the posh one – me and you could stay at school, you know, think about our children, staring a family.”

 

“Why am I friends with you?”

 

He smirked. “Because I am a great kisser.”

 

“Says who?” I questioned. “If you’re relying on the telling’s of Nina and her cronies’ then-“

 

“Ranny,” he interrupted. “Please don’t ruin this, tell me the truth – don’t lie to me.”

 

I simply sighed and headed down the first flight of stairs from the Astronomy Tower. “I would never lie to you, Robin Hood.”

 

“Good Marion.” He replied. “As my future wife and mother to my children I would expect you to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as stated in our vows.”

 

“This is going to be a long night,” I settled for. I grinned and bit down on to my bottom lip, Albus knew I was teasing. He was in fact a lovely boy, and his reputation precedes him. But still the fact that he referred to me as Marion made me feel at one with the world again.

 

We ran back to the Slytherin Common Room and sat with the lads. Scorpius watched the two of us through weary eyes, his knowledge of the two of us was too much to know that nothing had happened, but he didn’t ask, nor press any matter raised.

 

Albus joked about children; he proposed on our way up the stairs and pushed me down on to the ‘marital bed’. All the while he hid from the glares of Tom and the questioning gaze of Scorpius and Dom.

 

For the first time in almost two months, I stayed in the Slytherin Dormitory. I curled up in a ball in the other end of Albus’ bed, his socked foot kicking me in the back of the head every time he rolled over. It was the perfect amount of romantic.  

 









 

AN; there it was! The next chapter, and possibly the one that many of you have been waiting for ... in different ways! I hope that you enjoyed it!

I have honestly been sat here for ages, trying to think of the perfect thing to say in this AN, but still I’m unsure how to phrase it in a manner that doesn’t give anything away. All I am going to say is this;
please don’t change your ships! Keep the ones that you like :) because honestly, anything could happen from here.
I’ve supported the same pairing since the beginning and couldn’t change it when it came down to it. There are 22 chapters in this story, including the epilogue, and the answer to the final pairing will always be the same. I hope that you enjoy the rest!
Don’t forget to leave a review; usual rules apply. But also keep them 12+ please  - so no swearing! XD
That’s all. Thank you for reading!



Chapter 16: Maleficent
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Maleficent
Marilyn Chase



 

 “You’re such a traitor!”



“Oh yeah, that’s what you’re mad about here!”

 

“For fuck’s sake, both of you just calm down!”

 

“It’s his fault!” Jack whined and spluttered. “Tom, get off of me!”

 

Tom narrowed his eyes, almost foaming at the mouth. “Don’t act innocent you little shit!”

 

“Get off of me!”

 

“Fucking hell!” Dom cursed, before wrenching apart the two brothers. “Tom let Jack go; this isn’t getting either of you anywhere!”

 

The minute hand had just chimed six when Tom strode down the hallway with a faring glint of anger in his usually kind eyes. He strode over to Jack and I as we spoke about class and wrenched his brother from a standing position. A few had gasped at the outburst, including me.

 

Overpowering his brother quickly, Tom held Jack in a headlock, his bare, muscled arm gripped tightly around his little brother, his bicep choking him menacingly. Dominic followed quickly, chasing after him. He shouted meaningless words towards his roommate and told Jack to run. But the youngest Gates brother did nothing of the sort.

 

Albus arrived shortly after, he and Scorpius walking from their Defence lesson. They came across the commotion, battled through the growing crowd and stood across from me. Scorpius made no effort to step in – as he usually did to a fight – but instead watched as his roommate choked my friend.

 

Dom eventually pulled the two apart, sending Tom falling backwards on to a group of cheering Ravenclaw boys, and Jack gasping to the floor.

 

I jerked forward and laid a hand on to Jack’s back.  “Jack, Jack can you breathe?”

 

“Alright,” Scorpius’ voice bellowed. “Nothing to see here, fight’s over – unfortunately.”

 

The sound of a sighing groan sounded from areas of the crowd, utter disappointment radiating from the monsters. “Oi!” Albus called. “What are you looking at, fuck off.”

 

I was torn between glaring at my best friend and still staring in to the eyes of a spluttering Jack. I rubbed his arm and tried to help him up from the floor.

 

“What on earth was that?” Scorpius questioned, assisting me in my aid of Jack.

 

Dom still held Tom by the shoulder, pushing him back roughly with every other syllable as he spoke angrily towards him. The eldest brother didn’t look towards his roommate but towards his brother. He was fuming, yet, he didn’t seem to understand quite what he had done.

 

Jack coughed. “Bloody hell.”

 

My arms seemed to instinctively wrap around him and he swayed unsteadily. “Jack! You’re okay!”

 

“He wasn’t going to die,” Albus replied, pulling Jack to a straight stand and throwing one of his arms around my shoulders. “It was just brotherly fighting. I used to do it with James all the time.”

 

Scorpius scoffed. “Yeah, but when James used to make you cry, he never did it with hatred in his eyes.”

 

“He didn’t beat me.” Albus rectified.

 

“So all that crying was victory sobs was it?” I asked snappily. “Albus be considerate.”

 

Jack laughed quietly and hoarsely. “I don’t need sympathy. I just want to know why the bastard choked me.”

 

I wanted to defend Tom; this was widely out of character for him, yet Scorpius and Al didn’t seem all that surprised. Dom seemed to know how to handle the situation with authority.

 

When I tugged on Al’s fingers he turned his face towards mine. “What?”

 

“Does Tom do this a lot?”

 

“Define a lot?” Jack mumbled.

 

Scorpius sent Albus a warning look and headed over to Tom and Dominic, who were still stood at the other end of the busy corridor. Neither seemed too pleased as he arrived.

 

Albus pulled his arm from around my shoulders and guided me down the corridor. “Come on, let’s go for a walk. You coming Jack?”

 

“Yeah,” he agreed, running his hand over his neck, needing out sore spots. “I could use a stroll.”

 

No one spoke until Albus had guided the two of us down the end of the corridor and up a flight of stairs, towards the Great Hall.

 

I tugged on Albus’ jumper. “So does he?” I asked again. “Fight a lot I mean, does Tom get angry a lot?”

 

He sighed, “Not unless something really ticks him off. But I guess that you should really ask Jack.”

 

Jack saw my expectant stare and smirked, still rubbing at the back of his neck. “It’s not that he is a violent person, he really doesn’t like fighting. It’s just that he is angered easily. He’s been spending so much time with you and Dom lately, separately I mean, that he’s had no reason to get angry. He inherited it from Dad; they’re so alike it’s scary.”

 

“I’m sorry, Jack.” Albus apologised. “It’s my fault; I was winding him up this morning. I saw how annoyed he was getting, but I just couldn’t stop.”

 

“It’s all good; I’m used to it all now, if I’m honest.” Jack admitted. “He’s not a bad person; in fact my brother is lovely. He would never hurt someone intentionally. Mum thinks that he has anger issues.”

 

I furrowed a brow. “But you’re scarily protective,” I said to Al. “You don’t let anyone near me that you don’t trust, if you knew that Tom was-“

 

“I trust Tom,” he interrupted. “He would never, ever, get angry towards you. He likes you too much.”

 

“But Jack’s his brother.” I said, shaking my head firmly. “They have the same blood, and he still hurt him.”

 

“That’s exactly the reason why, Ran. He went for me because he knew that he could, and I wouldn’t hold it against him.” Jack explained. “Being an only child, you can’t realise the bond between siblings – you can practically get away with anything, you will want to murder each other at times, but you’ll always find it in your heart to love them.”

 

“Even if it’s in a really small place,” Ally added, smiling at me caringly. “You’ve seen Lily right, the way that she pushes James’ buttons.”

 

I nodded, “Like last year, when she snogged his roommate?”

 

Albus chuckled quietly. “Yeah, like that. James wanted to kill his roommate for doing that to his sister, even when he knew that it was Lily that insinuated the kiss. Being a sibling makes you see the other person for how you want to see them – at their best. You will always see the light in your brother or sister.”

 

“And you’ll always forgive them,” I said softly “Like you seem to have already forgiven Thomas, even though he put you in a head lock.”

 

“Yes,” Jack agreed. “Although I don’t quite see how you get away with calling him Thomas.”

 

I grinned. “Well I don’t to his face.”

 

“I wouldn’t,” Albus said. “But you could probably call him Twinkle-fairy and he wouldn’t bat an eyelid.”

 

“Please don’t make this conversation uncomfortable,” I pleaded, turning to face both the boys. “But can I just ask, what was it all about? Albus, if you upset him, why did Tom go after Jack.”

 

The two lads shared a look, one that seemed to match the other, a similar on to which Scorpius gave Al before leaving to see their roommates. I merely batted my eyelashes and backed off.

 

“It’s all good,” I rectified. “I can see it’s a boy’s thing, I won’t press it anymore.”

 

“And that’s why I love you, wifey.” Albus said as he tugged on a strand of my messy hair.

 

I whinnied as he pulled lightly, moving a grip from its place. I pushed it back and turned around, carrying on to the Great Hall. I was looking forward to dinner, I wanted some tea. I wanted to be able to stir it and watch as it swirled.

 

Jack walked through first. I didn’t see him stop, and instead walked in to his back. Albus caught me and shoved me back upright.

 

Laughing he peered over Jacks shoulder. “Oh, good one Perry.”

 

At the mention of his name, my eyes automatically shot over to the Hufflepuff table. Perry sat towards the end, close to the door. His dark hair looked a little shorter than when I last saw him yesterday, as if he had cut it between the two times. He put his head in to his hands and rubbed his eyes with his palms. But it wasn’t because he was tired.

 

Next to him sat Marilyn. Her blonde hair was extra curly and her shirt was extra tight. A little part of me wanted to smile that he took absolutely no notice. She pouted her lips and played with her hair. Her fingers brushed over his bicep. But still he only smiled politely and nodded at her persistent talking.

 

“Again?!” Jack said in disbelief. “She’s been all over him for about a week now – every time I turn around she is trying to throw herself at him.”

 

I grinned. “Lucky him.”

 

“She hasn’t been around Scorpius much lately, actually,” Albus recalled. “Maybe she’s moved on.”

 

“And on to Perry James,” I finished for him.

 

Albus shook his head and smacked Jack’s shoulder in a friendly way. “You’ve got a very lucky friend there, she’s hot, yes, but she does happen to be a little forward.”

 

“And carry every sexually passed disease known to man.”

 

I noticed that both the boys turned to me at my informative words. Albus’ expression was one of slight discomfort and a little bit of disbelief. He wasn’t used to me after spending so much time with Scorpius and Dom. Yet Jack simply laughed. His chuckle is contagious, it’s light-hearted and warming – no matter what the situation.

 

“On that very-true note, are we sitting with the Slytherins today, or are we saving your mate?” Ally asked with a hint of humour to his tone.

 

Jack thought for a moment. “The question is, can I deal with an angry Perry later?”

 

“I would assume that he still doesn’t talk.” Albus said, stepping past Jack. “So I’d think that you’re not going to get shouted at.”

 

“You’d be surprised.” Jack murmured.

 

I placed my hand on the small of his back. “Don’t make Perry mad at you.”

 

Al leaned forward and hooked his fingers in to the pockets of my school pinafore. He pulled me towards him and flicked me in the centre of my forehead. “So, to the ‘Puff’s?”

 

We followed Jack as he sat down across from Perry. I didn’t look at Marilyn as I took the seat across from Perry but I could feel her glare. Albus slipped in beside me, before leaning over to grab the bowl of mash potatoes.

 

Jack grinned at his friend and then towards Maleficent and watched as she continued to speak to Perry in a hushed tone.

 

Albus placed a small amount of potatoes on to my plate before handing it over to Jack. He helped himself to sausages before digging in to the mound he had created and inhaling it like a fool. I picked up my fork. I didn’t feel hungry, I rarely did. But I ate anyway.

 

Marilyn laughed. “Oh, Perry, you’re so funny.”

 

My fingers were tangled in the ends of my hair, but I still looked up. It appeared that the others did the same.

 

“He didn’t say anything,” Albus slurred through a full mouth. I closed it shut for him in a mildly disgusted manner.

 

“Well, maybe he doesn’t talk to you,” Marilyn sneered. “But he certainly talks to-“

 

“No he doesn’t,” Jack piped up. “I’m sitting next to the two of you, and don’t talk about him like he’s not here.”

 

I raised my eyebrow in Jack’s direction; he had stolen my words to him from a while ago. It seemed he had listened to me. Perry retained his straight face, arms folded and slightly tired demeanour. His school robes and jumper had been removed and he sat in only his shirt and tie. The black and yellow striped material hung from his neck loosely, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Even I – the most oblivious girl in the world – noticed his Keeper’s posture.

 

Albus and Jack dug back in to their meals, talking animatedly between bites. I didn’t keep up with their conversation; they were speaking too fast, and with too many Quidditch terminologies. Jack said something cheeky, and through his constant chatter, Al leant towards him with a gravy covered knife. I turned my face away and looked towards my empty tea cup – they weren’t serving tea tonight.

 

I put my fork down, feeling as if I had lost my appetite. It felt odd, eating without Tom’s comments. He was always there, sitting nearby, ready to jump in with a witty remark that made the others shut up. His words were followed by Dom’s, and they were all silenced by Scorpius, only for Jack to re-start the conversation. It was different, missing three of the usual crowd.

 

My plate seemed oddly empty, only little bits of potato left upon the plate, and the odd bit of gravy that I had poured on top. I looked up, to find Perry’s gaze upon me. I gave him a small smile and in return he winked. It was a gesture that didn’t go unnoticed by Marilyn.

 

She quickly looked away from Perry, and towards the two chatting boys. Jack wrenched the knife from Albus’ grasp and set it down on to his own plate. Al began to chop up a green bean with the side of his fork.

 

Marilyn looked and me and forced a smile. “Ranny, I haven’t seen much of you lately. I didn’t hear you come in last night.”

 

“I was there,” I said truthfully. “I was just in the Common Room until late.”

 

“Really?” she flouted. “I could have sworn you would have been in the Slytherin Dorms – I mean, since you went totally crazy a while ago and all that shit, you and Albus have been rather close. More so than usual.”

 

I let out a long breath. Already eating with Maleficent, I could see was going to be a long meal. “Not really. I haven’t stayed in there for a while.”

 

“Well maybe you should go back,” she pushed cheerily. “I don’t mean that in a bitchy way, who am I kidding; I’m always bitchy, I just mean that we used to use your bed for sleepovers and stuff with the girls.”

 

“When it’s not in Norway, you mean?” I asked quietly.

 

She blinked and dared look anywhere but at me. “Yes, when it’s not in Norway. Norway is a code word we have,” she said to Perry with a smile too big for her mouth. “Oh, Ranny, you do make me laugh. Are you alright, by the way; you’re not saying much.”

 

I looked up at Maleficent with a shrug and imagined her melting if I threw my glass of water over her head. She could be the Wicked Witch of the West. She would melt when the rain came.

 

Instead I pushed my dry, layered hair off of my face. “I’m just being careful.” I admitted. “I’m worried that if I say a country the table between us will magically go there. Wouldn’t that be funny?”

 

Her laugh was hollow, loud and fake. She tossed her short hair out of her eyes and held her hand out as if she were explaining an entertaining story. Jack and Albus seemed to have finished their own conversation and were listening in on ours, rather obviously at that.

 

“Oh Ranny, you always have been able to make me laugh.” She cooed.

 

Al leant towards me a little more and whispered in my ear, “is she on something?” his breath tickled my neck and I laughed quietly.

 

“I’m not sure,” I replied in a whisper. “I think she’s trying to impress Perry.”

 

“That’s obvious, she likes her lads big and strong,” he said pointedly, cheekily gesturing to himself, before taking a sip from my water.

 

“Do you two want to share your conversation?” Jack asked teasingly, jabbing Albus in the arm. “It’s not nice to whisper at the table.”

 

I bit down on to my bottom lip. “It’s not a conversation for sharing.”

 

“We’re naming our children, aren’t we Tuck?” Albus said with a grin. He saw my glare yet he chose to overlook it. “We’re going to get married in a chapel and have one hundred babies.”

 

“One hundred?” Jack asked with wide eyes. “That’s a lot, you better get started now.”

 

I put my head in to my folded arms upon the table, having pushed my plate forward. But I didn’t miss the quizzical look on Perry’s face as he looked back and forth between Al and me. I made a low, painful sound as Jack prattled on about names.

 

After ‘Ken’ and ‘Olga’ had been mentioned he stopped. “Wait, ring, you need a ring.”

 

“Why?” Albus questioned.

 

“For marriage,” Jack answered, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “You can’t make babies until you’re married – it’s not right.”

 

“For Circe’s sake,” Marilyn swore. “This is childish.”

 

I wasn’t about to admit that for once I agreed with her.

 

I have no problem with it when Albus speaks of this in the Common Room, when he teases me in class, when he calls me pet names in front of Scorpius. I couldn’t understand why I was so embarrassed by it now. Telepathically, I was begging them both to stop.

 

“Does anyone have a ring?” Albus asked excitedly. “Oi, Perry pass yours over will you?”

 

“Oh no, he’s not going to,” Jack answered for him. His answer seemed to simply back up the glare that Perry gave Al at this moment. It went unnoticed by the raven haired boy though. “That’s his father’s ring, he never takes it off.”

 

Albus thought for a moment. “I’ve got a ring in my dorm room, I think it used to be Lily’s, it might fit your abnormally small fingers. Come on Ran, let’s go.”

 

I took this moment to stay as still as a statue. I kept my face covered by my arms and only pulled back as Albus tugged lightly on my arms.

 

“I think she might be asleep.” Jack offered kindly.

 

Marilyn snorted. “Or dead. Perry would you like to go for a walk with me?”

 

“I’m afraid that he can’t, Lynnie.” Albus interrupted. “For you see, James here promised that he would help me with my Thoski Jolt for Quidditch.” I ponded for a moment; I was sure he had just made the move up.

 

“But you’re on separate teams.” She questioned.

 

Albus feigned shock towards Marilyn as I looked up from the table top. “There is nothing like a little bit of House Unity – you of all people should know that, especially considering your evil army of skanks are from other houses.”

 

Her mouth dropped instantly and her eyes narrowed. I bit down on my bottom lip to stop myself from laughing. It was easy to see, by the look on Albus’ face, he had been waiting to say something to her for the entire meal. Her nostrils flared as she jumped up from the table and stormed over towards the Gryffindor benches.

 

Jack spoke next. “Well, now that’s settled. Who’s up for some desert?”

 








 

AN; Hello! I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter!
The response I got to the last chapter wasn’t quite what I had expected; I thought that people would either be really, really happy or really, really sad – but that wasn’t really what turned out, more … mutual acceptance. :D
As I usually say, I have always wanted the same pairing to be together, and I so desperately want to just write the final pairing here, but I can’t. So please, I beg of you, please don’t stop reading just because you’re not sure if you’re going to like the person she ends with (that’s to say she even ends up with someone). Please give it the chance, although I know that most of you will; you’re all lovely. :)


So, more of Maleficent in this chapter… good old Marilyn. What are your opinions on her; she’s lovely (note the sarcasm). And for Perry, do you think he will put up with her advances?

Don’t forget to leave a review, ROBIN if you enjoyed it, or HOOK if you didn’t?
And, any guesses as to which fairy tale the next chapter is named after?
Thank you for reading!



Chapter 17: Sleeping Beauty
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Sleeping Beauty
Ranny and Marilyn



 

Snow covered the ground on the first of December. I hardly remembered the time that had passed. I had spent almost a day in bed, simply lying there and reading through notes and stories. I needed the day to rest. It was as if I had slept for a century and woken up out of the loop.

 

Having actually brushed my hair for once, and pulling on my uniform pinafore, I felt refreshed. I washed my face and swiped a tad of Vaseline over my bottom lip – to stop it from cracking. I caught my reflection in the mirror, my bright eyes no longer looked tired, my cheeks filled with colour. A smile was light upon my face.

 

I grabbed my books for Runes and hoped that Scorpius brought his ink pot. I would skip breakfast; I wasn’t hungry, and I didn’t have time.

 

Maleficent’s curled hair caught my eye as she waited in the doorway. She re-applied a line of red to her top lip before rubbing it against the bottom one and prying them apart with a light ‘pop’. She put her lipstick back in to the pocket of her school blazer.

 

“Good morning,” I greeted. I suddenly wasn’t thankful for the emptiness of the dorm room.

 

“Morning,” she replied. “You look nice.” I simply raised a brow at her words and put the toes of my shoes together. “Not buying it, huh? Wise, you are.”

 

I perched on the end of my bed, knowing this wasn’t a period of time that Marilyn was here to chit-chat. “Can I help you?”

 

“Help?” she echoed. “You could do anything but. I’m here to talk to you about that little crowd that you follow like a lost puppy.”

 

“Crowd?”

 

“Yes, you know, Ally, Scorp, Dommie, the Gates brothers, and most importantly, my darling Perry.” She cooed, taking a step closer. “Well, he would be my darling Perry; however you seem to have put your foot in the door before I ever got the chance.”

 

I knitted my brothers together. “I’m not sure what you’re getting at.”

 

“My Circe, you really are dim aren’t you.” She replied. “There’s no wonder those lads like you so much, they all get to be heroes around you.” Maleficent shook her pretty head. “Listen to me, Baker; I will not play the fool around them to get their attention. I am a strong, independent woman and you’re standing in my way.”

 

“But I’m over here,” I said slowly.

 

She rolled her dark eyes and sighed. “It’s like talking to a plank of wood. I’ll black and white it for you – I want Perry, you want Perry. You won’t get him, so back off now, and I won’t have to use my claws.”

 

“I don’t want Perry,” I laughed quietly. “He’s my friend, that’s like telling me that I want to date Scorpius.”

 

“Who wouldn’t?” she asked a little haughtily. “And don’t try to deny it, I saw the way you looked at him, and I refuse to believe that he winked at you – so in my mind it didn’t happen. The bottom line is that I will be able to call Perry my own; it’s only a matter of time. He’s generous, and sweet, and oh my Merlin, do not get me started on those arms of his, and best of all, he’s a great listener.”

 

I blinked. “You really like him don’t you?”

 

Maleficent nodded. “Yes. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if his feelings are returned, it actually hurts to admit this so I’m only going to say it the once, but,” she swallowed. “I think that he has a soft spot for you, Circe, only knows why. Look at you, you look like you rolled out of bed and fell in to the high street vintage store.”

 

“I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” I said honestly, considering I shopped there frequently.

 

She assessed the situation for a moment. “It is when you wear all the stock at once.”

 

I imagined leaping the four or five steps between us in one and taking her out with my textbook, but instead, I simply sighed. “Good bye Marilyn.”

 

“You had better hope to Merlin that he chooses me,” she huffed as I passed her in the doorway.

 

“Well he’s not exactly going to choose me is he?” I snapped.

 

Her eyebrows rose at my tone but she simply walked back in to our dorm room and shut the door behind her, but not before shouting ‘Game on’. I took a moment to stare at the wall that kept me from Maleficent. I screwed up my eyes and nose. She was confusing and mean. I had learnt a long time ago to not take what she says to heart.

 

Minutes later I walked in to the empty runes classroom and sat down at our usual desk in the back. It was in between stacks of books, away from the teacher’s desk. Leaning back on my chair I looked up to the domed ceiling.

 

This room is a wonderland. Each book has a story to tell, and each runes inscription was from part of a prophecy. Professor Long liked to keep things interesting and so made the final translation worth wile.

 

I leaned forward on the desk and smiled as Scorpius threw his bag on to the table. He sat down with a happy sigh and handed me a white mug filled with tea.

 

My eyes widened. “You brought me tea?”

 

“In a mug,” he added. “Snatched it from the Great Hall at breakfast, you weren’t there, I figured you’d overslept and thought I would compensate with tea.”

 

“I love you.”

 

He grinned. “I know.”  Scorpius took a moment to collect an ink pot, a quill and a copy of an Agatha Christie novel from his satchel before adding, “You can pay be back later through slavery.”

 

I locked my jaw to stop myself from smiling. There would be no point contradicting him.

 

“Actually,” he rectified. “I believe that I promised that I would take you to dinner in the kitchens once night.”

 

“Oh yeah,” I recalled. “And then you said that you would cook me dinner wearing an apron.”

 

“Well how about we just call that off?”

 

I hope that he hadn’t noticed the visual disappointment that fell upon my face. I had been quietly looking forward to it since he apologised to me about wanting to court The Sherriff.

 

“Okay,” I said quietly. “I didn’t think that you had an apron anyway.”

 

“Oh, I have an apron.”

 

My nose crinkled at the thought. I didn’t want to ask him why, or how, or any other particular question that came to my mind, neither did I want to question why he brought it to Hogwarts with him.

 

I brushed my hair from my eyes and pulled it up on to a mess on the top of my head. I secured it with a grip and turned back to Scorpius. Professor Long wrote an assignment on the blackboard and placed two copies of a line of runes upon our desk.

 

“This is a very difficult translation,” she explained to the class. “Take care with it as it can be easily confused.”

 

Scorpius took the sheets and handed one to me, and placed the other in front of him. “Can I share your book?”

 

“Only if you let me use your quill and ink.”

 

“We’re a good pair,” he realised. “Go on; tell me why you weren’t at breakfast.”

 

I took a sip of my tea and smiled gratefully as the warm substance flowed down my dry throat. I was nothing without my tea. “You’ve put peppermint in it.”

 

“Nothing but the best for my girl,” he said. “Now stop changing the subject. I haven’t seen you in almost a day.”

 

“I just slept in.”

 

“But you didn’t get out of bed yesterday,” he recalled.

 

I took another sip. “You’re right, I didn’t. But I just took advantage of the morning - although, I did meet Maleficent on my way out of the dorm.”

 

He put down the text book and turned to me. “Carry on.”

 

“She told me that she has claws,, that I’m a plank of wood, that I have my foot stuck inside a door and that I rolled in to a vintage shop.”

 

“Are you sure that you heard right?” he questioned.

 

I nodded enthusiastically. “And then she spoke about Perry … a lot.”

 

“She does seem to like James lately doesn’t she?”

 

The tea soothed my throat as I took another sip. I held the warm mixture in my hands, wondering why the Professor hadn’t thought to say anything, nor why anyone had thought to bring Scorpius up on the mug as he had walked from the hall.

 

“She told me that I liked Perry.”

 

He laughed. “She told you?”

 

“Yes,” I replied in disbelief, taking his laughter a little too personally. “I don’t understand what’s funny. I mean, it’s Perry.”

 

“He is very brooding isn’t he? He needs a light hearted girl by his side,” Scorpius replied. “Hey, maybe you should listen to her; you’d be a good pair.”

 

“I’ve never really thought about it.”

 

He flicked to the index of my textbook. “And only ever about Albus?”

 

“Truthfully, yes.” I admitted. He seemed a little shocked at my openness; I had always dodged the topic before now. But he tried not to show it. “But I don’t think that’s going to be a problem anymore. I don’t get butterflies now.”

 

The butterflies had gone, but there was something else in their place, but I don’t recognise what.

 

“You mean to tell me,” Scorpius began. “That you and Ally are not going to have babies?”

 

I shook my head. “Nope.”

 

Scorpius seemed lost for words; he placed his quill down on to the table. “But … bu- but, he’s been joking around about it for a while, I thought that he felt the same way.”

 

“No, he’s just being embarrassing.” I said. “He’s been teasing me like that since we made up.”

 

“Any particular reason why?”

 

I shook my head and looked at the sheet I had taken, sipping a bit more tea. He knew that I knew why, but he also knew that I wasn’t going to tell him; he didn’t press it.

 

“Do you think that the first symbol means life?” I asked.

 

Scorpius raised a brow in question. “That would be too simple; it’s from the centaurs’ old language, when they used to have the towns people write for them. Life and death were the same symbol.” He explained. “But don’t try to change the original subject because I haven’t forgotten it, missy. What did Maleficent mean when she said that you had your foot in a door?”

 

“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “I don’t think she meant literally.”

 

“Did she mean the saying?” he asked. “Because I’m thinking that would be a little more realistic. It would mean that you had the upper hand.”

 

“Like when Peter fights Hook?” I asked, and Scorpius nodded, taking another look thought the index of the text book. “She could have meant that I had the upper hand when it came to her wanting to date Perry. That she thinks I could get in her way.”

 

Scorpius snorted. “Being honest here, love; I don’t think that ‘dating’ was what she had in mind.”

 

“Oh shut it, you.” I ordered. “She said ‘Game on’.”

 

“What?!”

 

I placed down the paper at felt taken back by his expression of alarm. “She said ‘game on’ as she shut the door in my face. I think that she thinks I want to compete for his affections or something.”

 

“Ranny, do you know what she’s going to do to you?” he asked. “It’s Marilyn; she always gets what she wants.”

 

“Well, isn’t that Perry’s decision?”

 

He bit down on the inside of his cheek. “It should be. But if Perry likes you in the way that she thinks he does, then it will be your fault when he doesn’t let her walk all over him.”

 

“Like you did you mean?” I asked, my stomach churning a little at the thought.

 

Oi, my past has nothing to do with this conversation,” he snapped. “I just don’t want you getting hurt.”

 

I humoured wearily, not wanting to admit that, at this point, I couldn’t have cared less at what Marilyn thought of me. “What do you think?” I asked. “Do you think that Marilyn is right?”

 

Scorpius sighed weakly and turned his quill between his fingers. “I think that Marilyn see’s what she wants to. If Perry has given her any reason to think that he likes you, then she will see that to its full potential. However, Perry gives about as much away as a brick does. He could fancy Albus more than you for all I know.”

 

“You think he fancies Albus?”

 

“Not at all,” he answered. “However I do think that Perry has a soft spot for you, according to Jack, he’s always the first to jump to your defence if someone questions something about you.”

 

I smiled a little, but not enough to show teeth. “Really?”

 

“Yeah,” his hands traced the papers in front of us. “The other night, Dom was asking about your burns again. He is really desperate to know about them. He asked if you were ‘alright in the head’ and such, and if you ‘did them to yourself’. Perry was the first to let him know that you wouldn’t do anything of the sort, although, I personally do question your sanity sometimes.”

 

He took my slap a little too dramatically.

 

“I’m just saying,” he resumed, rubbing his arm with a feminine pout. “That maybe there’s a little more between the two of you than you think. I mean, the other night, Albus told me you got really embarrassed by the jokes that he made over dinner – the night that Tom and Jack got in to that fight. I haven’t seen you embarrassed by them before.”

 

My shoulders seemed to instinctively shrug. “I just, I guess that I just felt out of place at that table.”

 

“That’s not a proper excuse,” he replied. “Would you have been embarrassed if Perry wasn’t sitting there? Think about it truthfully, you don’t have to tell me.”

 

I couldn’t answer even if I’d wanted to. Sitting at that table were three of my closest friends, and then a bully. Of course being embarrassed in front of Maleficent was humiliating in itself, yet that shouldn’t have affected me in the way that it did. Jack was used to Albus teasing me, heck, he did it himself sometimes. And Al was just being Al.

 

But never before, has Perry’s presence made me feel uneasy. I couldn’t deny that knowing his eyes were on me the whole time made me blush a little harder – however, I wouldn’t want anyone staring at me, it wasn’t just because the glare came from Perry’s eyes.

 

I picked up Scorpius’ quill from the desk and began to write down possibilities. We spoke only about the work until the end, but his knowing eye teased me throughout.

 






 

“Well hello, Sleeping Beauty!” Jack greeted cheerfully, later that evening.

 

I stepped in to the Common Room only minutes before final curfew and almost blushed at the name. It had been days since I had properly seen or spoken to Jack – I ordered meals from Scorpius’ favourite house elf and got up only to use the bathroom. It was honestly a much needed weekend.

 

He sat casually in the arm chair, resting his feet up on the opposite sofa. His hands rested in his lap, the golden snitch between his fingers. Perry sat opposite, slouching on the sofa with his arms folded. His head was tilted back and his arms closed. They both wore their Quidditch Uniform.

 

I rubbed my eye with the sleeve of my jumper and approached the pair. I noticed as I stepped through the group of gathering third years that they weren’t alone.

 

Darren, one of the Hufflepuff chasers, was sat next to Perry. “I hear you had a lazy weekend?” he questioned.

 

Nodding slightly I sat on the arm of the chair. Jack sat up a little straighter. “And I didn’t see you at dinner either, were you with the Slytherins? They are actually a lot nicer that I thought they would ever be – I mean, I usually don’t like the people that Tom hangs out with, but Dom’s actually alright, you know, deep down-“

 

“I was in the library,” I said truthfully, interrupting Jack. I had quickly learnt that once he had got going, he couldn’t stop with the whole talking thing. “Scorpius and I had a lot of Runes work that we needed to finish.”

 

“I heard that your class is translating old tribal texts,” Darren mused. “That must be so interesting.”

 

Struggling to keep the smile from my face, I bit down on the inside of my cheek. “That would be, but we’re just doing Goblin and Centaur’s financing at the moment.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Apparently, our Professor thinks that we might all go into banking.” I shrugged.

 

Jack laughed and caught the snitch that he threw repeatedly up and down. “It’s good money.”

 

“I can’t see it.” Perry said quietly, sitting up a little straighter. His eyes opened slowly as he grinned. “I couldn’t see you behind a desk.”

 

“I couldn’t see you doing anything with money,” Jack added. “You can’t count higher than ten – I mean, you run out of fingers.”

 

Oi!” I whinnied, knocking the snitch from his hand. Darren leaned forward to catch it.

 

The two other team mates sat with them suddenly stopped conversing between themselves and stared at the snitch, their eyes wide. Darren was grinning, his head bobbing up and down with pride. It took me a moment to realise that Jack’s mouth was wide open.

 

He turned his gobsmacked expression to me. “If that had hit the ground, you’d be catching it when it flew away.”

 

“Mate,” Darren consoled. “That would have been the least of your problems; little Baker here managed to take the snitch right out of your hands.”

 

“Well, bat it out was more like it,” I said simply. Jack caught hold of my arm and held me still.

 

“Never, ever, take my baby from me again.” He warned leaning forward. “Are we clear?”

 

His eyes seemed smaller as he spoke, his pupils smaller in the dimmed light – the opposite of what it should be. It seemed odd to me that he sat in the way he did. It was more forceful that his usual. The witty tone that he kept to his voice was replaced with a deeper one it didn’t seem like a typical ‘Jack’ thing to do. I realised why it irked me so.

 

I pulled my arm from his grip. “You look like Tom when you do that.”

 

His grip suddenly loosened. With a quick denial of ‘No I don’t’, he sat back in a huff. I had absolutely no intention of upsetting him, or comparing him to his older brother, yet that is exactly what I seem to have achieved.

 

It wasn’t long before the Common Room began to empty. It was Monday evening; most couldn’t make it past nine before conking out. I listened and laughed as Jack laughed off the awkward situation I had created and delved in to a story about a conversation at dinner – one I had missed. Darren announced that he was going to bed and was shortly followed by the other two. I stole his seat on the couch and sat next to Perry.

 

“Did you come from Quidditch Practise?” I asked quietly after Jack had finished his story.

 

He shook his head and leaned forward in the arm chair. “Nah, we all just thought that we would wear our uniforms for a laugh.”

 

My eyebrows furrowed. “I don’t like it when you’re sarcastic. That’s his job,” I added, jabbing a thumb in to Perry’s direction.

 

I ignored Perry’s expression as he grinned slightly. He closed his eyes again and leant his head back.

 

“-in twenty five seconds!” Jack finished. I had to start listening more carefully. “I’ve never caught it that quickly before. It’s always minutes – at least. But twenty five seconds. Come on Ran, even you’ve got to admit that, that is brilliant!”

 

“It’s brilliant,” I agreed as I pulled my legs up to my chest, tucking my toes around the ends of the sofa cushions.

 

“I still can’t believe it.” Jack recalled, shaking his head. I hadn’t seen his eyes this big in a long time. He just seemed to glow. “I mean, I am sitting here in my uniform, and I should probably have a wash, but I just can’t; I’ll wash off the glory.”

 

“And hopefully your ego,” Perry muttered.

 

Jack countered with a defence, one of too many words for my brain to comprehend. I pulled the cushion out from behind me and shoved it in to the gap between Perry’s head and the couch. He opened his eyes a touch and winked before closing them again.

 

“-but it doesn’t even matter anymore.” Jack finished. I nodded and grinned in response. It seemed to be the right reaction. “I mean, I don’t know how you could have taken off your outer robes, Perry. It’s freezing out there. It’s bloody snowing. You and Darren are always doing it. You were practising in a shirt, I was wrapped up like a fucking baby and I was still cold.”

 

“It’s because he and Darren are manly men,” I said cheekily.

 

“Shut it you,” he ordered. “You spent the past few days in bed because you wanted to, you can say nothing on this matter. Maybe if you had stayed a bit warmer you wouldn’t have got hit in the head again.”

 

I span my head around to face him. “You got hit?”

 

His shoulder shrugged a little before he took a deep breath.

 

“Don’t act like your snoring mate,” Jack chuckled. “I’ve dobbed you in it now; you’ve got nurse Ranny wanting to dote on your every need.”

 

“Lucky me,” he murmured.

 

I jabbed him in the arm with my index finger. “Should you be going to sleep? If you’ve got concussion it could be dangerous. Have you been to see the nurse?”

 

“He refuses to,” Jack said for him. “He doesn’t want to spend more time in that wing than he has to. He always leaves earlier than he should.”

 

“Perry!” I scolded. “That’s dangerous; you should stay in there for as long as she tells you to.”

 

“He won’t,” Jack laughed lightly. “Even I have to admit, that woman doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

 

Pulling down on the ends of my hair I twisted my body so I sat crossed legged on the couch. “Madame Lore is perfectly qualified to work in this school!”

 

As if by magic, both the boys wore similar expressions, their noses crinkling up as they shared a look.

 

“Maybe,” Jack compensated. “But I would trust Darren’s eight year old sister to heal me more than her.”

 

“You let her fix Perry up all the time.”

 

“That’s because it’s Perry,” he replied. “Nothing can break him.”

 

I saw the said boy stick his finger up to his friend, without opening his eyes. He simply waited for the reaction. But it never came.

 

Jack just shook his head. “That wasn’t supposed to sound like it was a challenge. It was a bludger, pretty funny actually – if you don’t count the whole pain side of it.”

 

As Perry turned to finally make a movement towards his friend, a playful and boisterous punch to the stomach, a little more than a simple rude finger gestures, I noticed the shading on his face. The darkness in the room shadowed out most of the lighting. The side of his face which had been hit was darkened, and not just by the light.

 

“Perry!” I almost cried, grabbing hold of his cottoned bottoms and pulling him back to the sofa. He landed with a ‘thump’. “You’re bruised!”

 

He looked a little confused and gave a little nod.

 

My eyebrows knitted together for possibly the hundredth time in a matter of hours. “Can’t you try to not get hurt for about a month? Your other bruises have just gone!”

 

“It’s not swollen or anything yet though,” Jack added. “That won’t happen for another hour or so.”

 

“That doesn’t make it any better!” I exclaimed quietly. I pushed on Perry’s cheek so his face would turn towards mine. His straight nose shadowed his other cheek; he blinked as my breath tickled his eyelashes. I resisted the urge to prod the growing bruise and settled for smacking his other cheek instead.

 

Jack laughed. “I think that’s her way of telling you she doesn’t like it. Which I think is odd; don’t most girls like scars and battle wounds on their men?”

 

“That isn’t a battle wound,” I said pointedly. “That’s an ‘I’m an idiot’ wound. And you’re right, I don’t like it.”

 

“She doesn’t like it.” Jack pouted.

 

Perry shook his head and wore a similar expression to his friend. “I don’t think that she does.”

 

“I don’t think that you should get injured on the Quidditch Pitch anymore,” Jack said.

 

“Never,” Perry agreed. “I shall play wearing protective gear, including padding myself up with pillows.”

 

I stood up from the sofa, almost kicking Perry as I went. “You two are impossible!”

 

And with that, I went back to my bed.









 

AN; Yes, Yes, I know that the last chapter was Sleeping Beauty as well, but I just love it so much; and this chapter seemed to fit it too :) Plus, I know that it’s a few of your favourites ;)

I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter, and that you liked the rest of the story; you’re all so lovely. I always get such lovely reviews and I’m so grateful for that! Thank you!
Speaking of reviews (shameless hinting there) ROBIN if you liked it, or HOOK if you didn’t!


Seeing the amount of people that were upset at the lack of Scorpius in the last chapter, I hope that this makes up for it; back when I was writing this, I must have missed him too!

The next chapter is called Mother Hulda, and I’m really, really excited to post it because it introduces a new character! Any guesses as to who? :O
They’re not cannon; they’re an OC, but they play a very important part in the futures of one of the characters!

Thank you for reading!



Chapter 18: Mother Hulda
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Mother Hulda
Olivia Peckham





 

Upon waking up the next morning, a flowery scent wafted around me. I yawned and began to sit up, fighting against the urge to close my eyes tight. A colourful bouquet of flowers was placed on the bedside table between mine and Marilyn’s bed. A tiny card was attached to a red gerbera.

 

I kicked back the duvet and snuck a peak. The other girls would have already left; the light was shining through the open curtains on the Saturday mid-morning. My bare feet padded against the stone as I stood up.

 

With a stretch in the air, I felt my mid-riff uncover for a moment. I relaxed and snuck a peek at the card.

 

To, my beauty.

I hope your morning is sweet.

All my Love.

 

My nose involuntarily scrunched as I pulled on my dark denim shorts. I didn’t find it difficult to think of a person who admired Marilyn with romantic intentions, she was a very beautiful girl – it was the reason why she kept the flowers that confused me; she gets them frequently and she never keeps them.

 

I pushed my thumbs in to the ripped pockets of my shorts. I threw on my green jumper – a gift from Scorpius – and grabbed my ash fur boots in the door way. Pulling the door open, I hopped down the hallway, tugging the boots on to my feet.

 

As I entered the Common Room I fell in to the seat next to Jack and pulled my feet on to the cushion.

 

“I can see we made an effort today,” Jack mocked as I slouched forward, rubbing my eye with the back of my sleeve. “Stop pouting, with the addition of the birds nest on the top of your head, you look like a big baby.”

 

I picked up the pillow I was leaning on and whacked him in the face. “Perry,” I sighed. “Do you think I look like a big baby?”

 

But Perry just blinked, folding his arms over his chest he grinned a little. I had decided that if he became any more secretive I would have to do something about it, possibly setting the Prince’s Guard on to the boy. I could borrow them from Albus.

 

It took me a moment to notice that Jack was patting my head.

 

“What are you doing?” I asked as I narrowed my eyes.

 

His hands retracted almost immediately. “Sorry, it’s just usually it’s not as big as it is today, I was just … giving it a poke.”

 

I blinked. “Yeah, why not?” I settled with quietly. Taking a hair band off of my wrist and tying my hair in to a knot at the back of my head and pushed my fringe from my eyes. “What are we doing today?”

 

“We?” Jack questioned quietly. “What make you think we’re doing anything with you today? Me and Perry may be grabbing the guys and spending the day doing Quidditch Practise.”

 

“You did that last night,” I pointed out. “You never practise the morning after, and besides, you’re wearing your favourite jumper – you don’t train in that.”

 

He raised a brow. “How do you know what I train in?”

 

“I don’t watch you if that’s what you’re trying to imply!” I replied grouchily. “I just meant that you don’t want to get it muddy!”

 

“Alright!” He surrendered. “Calm down, Miss Grumpy Pants.”

 

I folded my arms across my chest and allowed Perry to pull me up from the couch. “Come on,” he said quietly. “You can play with the Bludgers while we get changed.”

 

“You’re really doing Quidditch Practise?!” I whined.

 

He nodded. “Our temporary Captain’s a knob.”

 

“Oi, I resent that!” Jack cried, jumping up from the couch. “I book it like this because none of the other teams do – bloody Gryffindors had the evening slot, it was the only one left. It’s not like you mind Perry, you just like practising, it doesn’t matter to you when! “

 

Perry and I shared a knowing look. He guided me towards the main door of the Common Room and down the corridor. Their original Captian had taken a fall almost a month ago, and had been in the hospital wing ever since. She had appointed Jack as the temporary Captain until she’s better – and he’s milking it for all it’s worth.

 

I listened carefully to Jack’s enraged rant towards his friend as we left the Hufflepuff’s area of the castle.

 

“It has never mattered to you! And since when do you let small little girls play with Bludgers-“

 

I had come to the conclusion that Jack was having a bad day when we reached the Changing Rooms. He continued ranting as he went through the doors, leaving me and Perry stood in the corridor. The door shut behind him, but his muffled voice didn’t stop.

 

I stifled a laugh. “I’ll be in the stands.”

 

“Not too far up,” he said hoarsely. “That way when I try to run from Jack, I won’t have far to go to safety.”

 

He winked as I blushed. Biting the inside of my cheek I resumed down the corridor towards the pitch as he went through the door to the male changing rooms. Each member of the team has a locked area where they keep their clean uniforms and equipment. Al and Scorpius used to train in the middle of the night when in their fourth year; their old captain was a villain. I would sometimes go with them, and hide out in the changing rooms when it got too cold.

 

The Quidditch Pitch was almost empty, the dark winter morning made it an odd temperature for the boys to practise in, but I doubt it would faze any of them for a moment. The odd student sat in the stands, pairs and threes dotted around in the oddest of areas. It was as if they were waiting for the king, preparing for a joust. It was the perfect arena.

 

I walked across at a normal pace, my boots sinking in to the damp earth a little as I went. The pitch always seemed so big, so ominous when you stood in the middle. Albus always spoke of how it could make the biggest of people feel so small – it was what kept his ego in check.

 

I climbed the first four benches, sitting back and pulling my legs up to my chest. The cold air bit against my skin, pinching my thighs – the ripped edges of my shorts brushing against my skin in the wind. I gave up trying to tame my hair by the time the lads ran out of the changing rooms.

 

Darren was first, followed by two of his roommates. They had obviously been there a while. The carried out the equipment box and pulled open the lid, brooms in their hands they each reached for their belongings.

 

For a while they threw the Quaffle between them, not dropping nor flinching as the wind speed picked up. I screwed up my small hands in to bawled fists and tried to bury them in a mass of material around my stomach. I wish that Jack had told me of the temperature. The snow had melted, having only had a brief visit from Jack Frost this year – yet the bitter cold was still lingering. I had not been outside in days. I only had myself to blame.

 

The rest of the team ran out shortly, Jack locking the doors as he left. I watched as he tucked the keys in to his pocket and jogged out to meet his team members. There was another from their year, a boy who I had seen speaking with Perry’s multiple times, yet I couldn’t place a name to the face.

 

Jack made them do drills, running up and down the stairs to the stands multiple times before running around the pitch. None of them stopped to catch a breath, not for a second. The Slytherins complained, constantly, each one of them finding faults in every detail of the practise – the Puffies just got on with it.

 

“Bloody hell,” I muttered, biting down on to my lip and trying to ignore the reddening that I knew was colouring my cheeks.

 

Perry dropped a few feet from the air before regaining balance and flying back up to the hoops. I watched, intrigued, as Jack flew towards him and pointed to the ground. They bickered. Perry shouting for what was possibly the first time in his life. But he gave up in the end and flew to the grass.

 

He threw his broom down on to the ground with a force and marched through the mud. After grabbing his jumper from the bottom stand he ran up the rest of them, pulling it over his head. Behind him, the team re-formed, practising plays without the Keeper. It appeared to be a speed drill.

 

I didn’t move as Perry sat down on the bench below, leaning his head back on to the wood beneath me. My legs were pulled up to my chest as I hugged them tightly, my feet partially crossed over the other. He sighed loudly.

 

“You do that a lot you know,” I pointed out. “Lean your head back and close your eyes. I would imagine that it calms you.”

 

Perry didn’t open one eye and smile as he used to. He simply stayed still. His arms were crossed over his chest, his bruised eye tarnished with the healing colour of yellow.

 

Another gust of wind blew my hair in to further knots. “Your eye looks better Perry.”

 

But still he said nothing.

 

It was no secret amongst the Hufflepuff Team that Jack turned in to a demon while acting the role of Captain. It didn’t matter whether you were a friend or a stranger, if you didn’t do it his way, it became the highway. He wasn’t one of the seven dwarfs anymore, he was simply THE dwarf. Jack became the captain of his own ship of which he led to victory. It didn’t matter if you were in the way.

 

“I’m sure that Jack had a good reason for sending you off.” I said quietly. “I know he can be rash, but he usually has a reason behind it.”

 

“He thinks I’m losing it,” Perry replied in a deep tone. It was hard to hear over the wind; I leaned forward. “He thinks that I’m losing my touch. I can’t be.”

 

I rested my head on to my knees. Perry wasn’t one to open up to a person and so I stayed quiet in vain and twisted hope that he would make an exception.

 

His dark hair was cut short, the ends being tossed around by the wind. “Even when I was little I was ruthless. It didn’t matter if I broke an arm or a leg, as long as I played well in the match. I would play with my brothers.”

 

“You have brothers?”

 

“Three of them,” he replied, casting his soft gaze towards me. His expression didn’t change from disbelief. But I knew that it wasn’t aimed towards me, even when his eyes turned hard once more. “I’m the youngest. They’re all loud; you can never get them to stop talking, even if you try. I learnt quickly to just … listen. You find out more about people sometimes than asking them a direct question.”

 

He pulled his hood up over his head in a hope to warm up his ears. “Each of my older brothers was a little different, one wanted to go in to wizard radio, the next politics and the last literature and history. But Quidditch was always my thing.”

 

Silence parted the two of us, teasing as the wind burst through the stands, howling louder than the spitting rain.

 

“It still is.” I countered. “It always will be.”

 

Slowly he shook his head. “I need to stop getting hurt. It’s throwing me off of my game. The pathetic thing is that I don’t know if I can. It’s the only way that I’ve ever known how to play.”

 

Jack’s call could be heard from the sky as he raced against what I thought was Darren. He pushed the team faster and faster, forcing them to dive in unnatural ways.

 

“He’s good, Jack,” Perry acknowledged. “He knows what he’s doing, and he’d never intentionally hurt the team. But I can’t handle it when he threatens taking me off of it.”

 

“He what?!”

 

“Jack doesn’t mean it, I don’t think he’d ever go through with it,” Perry admitted pointedly, his cheeks reddening from the callous whip of the wind. “But he says it when I do something that gets me hurt, or I do something stupid.”

 

My brows furrowed. “Stupid, like what? I saw it then, when you sort of dropped in the sky. What was that?”

 

“Captain Dearest thinks it’s a reaction from being hit in the face with a bludger, but I’m just tired. I stayed up last night, just sat around. I went for a walk around the castle too. I just couldn’t sleep. But Jack won’t hear that, and even if he did…”

 

He trailed off. I let him. More calls from the Captain echoed around the stadium, certain crowd members leaving due to the dropping temperature, but new ones arriving.

 

“Maybe if I spoke to him,” I began.

 

But Perry shook his head. “No thank you. I couldn’t ask you to do that.”

 

He stood up and turned around to face me.

 

I followed him with my gaze as he watched me quizzically. “What are you doing?” I asked.

 

“I thought I may as well pick up my broom, beg for forgiveness.” He tried in his deep , soft tone.

 

“Wait!” I pleaded momentarily, reaching out and grasping hold of the waistband of his bottoms.

 

He turned mechanically and raised a brow.

 

“Can I ask you something?”

 

“Sure.” I knew the next bit, the bit he wouldn’t say. I’m not guaranteeing an answer.

 

For a moment I tugged on the ends of my shorts and rubbed my cold fingers against my bare reddening legs. “That fight, a while ago, between Jack and Tom, when Thomas had his brother in a headloack and such, what was it about.”

 

If anything Perry smirked, for a moment he stood still, looking back to the Quidditch Pitch, I knew that he had considered running away from the situation. “Just, girls and stuff. Albus and Jack were teasing Tom and he took it to heart.”

 

“Why?” I asked. “Tom doesn’t usually get like that.”

 

“Not with you,” he said solemnly. “With the lads, or people that he doesn’t like, he’s a little more abrasive. With Jack he’s just, the average brother; they fight all the time. You just caught them at a bad moment, Ran. I’m sure that you could figure it out if you thought about it hard enough. ”

 

I watched as he twisted the ring on his little finger. I recalled that it belonged to his father, the silver band was a symbolism of the relationship they had, either a close one, or none at all. I waited for him to elaborate; he didn’t.

 

“Are you going to go back and practise?” I asked, a little hopeful that he would stay and keep me company instead.

 

He nodded a little. “You look cold.”

 

“I would imagine that’s because I am. I wish I’d put proper trousers on.”

 

His laugh was quiet and short, but I caught it. “I don’t think that Darren would be enjoying practise today as much, if you did. Besides, it’s warmer if you keep moving.”

 

“Just one more reason for wanting to fly once more.”

 

“You read me like a book,” he teased. Perry pulled off his jumper, pulling the arms inside out before rectifying the mistake. The grey lining was darker than the outer colour, the emblem dancing on the chest, supporting a well-known wizarding sports shop. He held it out to me. “It’s no pair of trousers, but it’s yours if you want it.”

 

I grabbed it without a second thought, pulling it down over my head and tightening the hood around my face.

 

Perry didn’t wait for my thank you, merely jogging back down the stands after saying. “Don’t wait for me after practise, and tell Jack not to either; I’ve got something to do.”

 

He stood half way but only for a moment, before racing back for his broom.

 

It wasn’t until a while later that I realised why. Sat in the eastern stands was Marilyn. Her friends cheered on the practise, Nina and Rose sat either side of her, watching as the players made their way to the ground and traded in their brooms for the workout of press ups and jogging.

But her eyes were fixed on me. And it wasn’t a friendly glare.

 








 

I clenched my hands in my pockets and smiled gently as a group of younger students made their way in to the Three Broomsticks. It had been three hours and Scorpius was yet to wink at a passing girl. We walked carefully down the slope towards the shrieking shack.

 

“Even from 60 feet away I can still see the holes in the curtains,” Scorpius grumbled. “Mother would have an absolute fit.”

 

Nodding I grinned. “I could see that. But it’s practically a historical monument, I’m sure that the Ministry wouldn’t allow your mother to waltz in with new curtains and redecorate the place.”

 

“You’ve met the woman; she can be pretty persuasive.” He replied haughtily. “She got father to marry her after all.”

 

“That’s just harsh.”

 

“And the truth,” he tried.

 

Scorpius twisted his wand through his fingers as we trekked. The snow had fallen, resting once more on the cold, cobbled ground.

 

Together, with Albus, we hadn’t had much time to spend together as a three, instead we relied on meeting up today, the day if the Hogsmeade trip. Albus had found himself a date, a pretty girl in the year below. She was sweet, with big round eyes the size of snitches. Her name is Olivia and her voice is endearingly kind.

 

Astonishingly, I was alright with it. When Albus told me the other morning, I thought that it would hurt, but it didn’t. I felt fine, happy for him, even.

 

I had spent the first few hours of the trip in Zonko’s, picking up supplies from a list that Al had given me, along with a few objects that Jack had asked me to pick up. Scorpius had gone to lunch with his parents and then to the film shop in the lanes of the town. It was run by an old squib who develops both magical and muggle film – depending on what you asked for. He and Scorpius were on a first name basis.

 

He held the film carefully in his grip, folded within a parchment package, wrapped and tied with a bow of string.

 

“Are you going to show me the photographs or am I going to have to wrestle them from you?” I questioned cheekily as we climbed up a few feet and took a seat on the top of the wooden fence.

 

Scorpius handed me the package. “They’re nice shots, some of them. There is one of you and Albus, I’m not sure when it was taken, but it’s pretty cool.”

 

“Nice,” I nodded. “How did the shots we took by the lake turn out?”

 

“They’re not so good, I thought that the lighting was a little too dark when we were taking them; it turns out I was right.” He sussed, pushing a little mound of snow from the top of the wood. “There is one thing that I’m not too sure of though … I was wondering if you could answer my queries for me.”

 

I pouted a little in thought. “I will if I can.”

 

“When you borrowed the camera back in October time, I would think, when Perry got out of the Pansy Wing, did you happen to have any night time escapades with King Arthur?”

 

“Yeah,” I said with a nod. “He was let out of the Hospital Wing late in the evening, we sat and talked. It was the first time he spoke to me. How come?”

 

A teasing smile twitched at his lips. He took the package back, undone the string and pulled at the paper. After flipping through the photo’s for a moment, he handed me a picture.

 

It was dark, almost black and white, a wash of colour lightly staining the skin tone of his face. It was the picture I took on that night. The first I found was a mistake, the picture of the approaching figure; the flash had blinded him momentarily.

 

Putting that one to the back, I realised why Scorpius had asked such an odd question. The black and white photograph was muggle, it was an image as still as stone, yet spoke so much more than any moving portrait could explain.

 

Perry’s chiselled jaw was clenched, his dark eyes looking forward as I took the photo from an angle closer to behind him. It was raw looking, an essence of artistic power allured from the capture, almost posed looking, the way his shoulders arched forward as he leant upon his forearms.

 

The next image was similar; another I had forced him to succumb to as he dragged his hands down his face. He was tired that night, aching having only woken up hours before from being knocked out for weeks. His eye was a shade of black and purple, yellow blending throughout the right side, I remembered. In the black and white of the shot, it seemed so much more. The darkness of the shots made him look dangerous.

 

Grinning I handed the photo’s back to Scorpius. “Can I look at the rest later please?”

 

“Only if you tell me what you were doing with the poor bloke.” Scorpius replied. “He looks in pain; I never thought that I would see a lad as tough as Perry James in such agony.”

 

“He wasn’t in pain,” I defended, feeling a little deflated. “It was the day he had woken up from having been hit in the match against you. He was really tired. I didn’t do anything to him.”

 

“I bet you spoke,” he grumbled. “If you talk enough it’s enough to put anyone through pain.”

 

Reaching over I shoved him from the fence. He fell the few feet to the snow covered floor as I jumped down after him. I simply picked up the photos’ from the ground and walked away. It took him only moments to catch up.

 

He brushed snow from his shoulder, the white substance drifting off his jacket with a similar consistency to playground sand. “I’m teasing Ran. The shots you took are fucking brilliant. They are once in a life time pictures those ones.”

 

“Perry was angry,” I recalled. “His mother had told him she doesn’t want him playing Quidditch anymore, he was frustrated.”

 

Scorpius hitched one leg over the small fence, reaching back to help me over the step. I jumped and landed lightly, hanging on to the slate wall for support. I clenched my fists in my gloves and waited for him to make over. He laughed to himself for a moment.

 

“At least we know that, if he’s forced to give up Quidditch, he can always be a model.”

 

I couldn’t hide my snort in time; instead it erupted from within me and turned in to a light hearted laugh of disbelief. “Oh yes, Perry seems like the model type.”

 

“I’m just saying, Circe.” Scorpius rounded pulling me in to a hug. “Speak of the devil.”

 

I span around in his arms and followed the point of his finger as his arm rested on my shoulder. Through the falling snow, pushed in any direction the howling wind suddenly wanted to take it, Perry was still easily visible.

 

He towered over the girl he was with, as he did with most. His hair was dishevelled and covered with a black beanie. The fading bruise was hardly noticeable over the distance. But this wasn’t what I noticed first. It was his lips that caught my attention; they were attached to hers.

 

My eyes widened and I felt the need to ask. “Is that Perry?”

 

“It appears so,” Scorpius replied wrapping his arm around my front. He noticed my reluctance to move. “Ran?”

 

“But its Perry,” I noted in dismay. “He doesn’t do things like this; he’s kind.”

 

“He’s dark, Ran. He’s a bad seed underneath the layers of generosity.” Scorpius told me, lifting me under his arm and marching down the snow covered street. “Coming from me, that’s saying something.”

 

I fought against him and pushed myself away. “It takes a ‘bad seed’ to know one.”

 

“Don’t be like that, love.” He simply dismissed. “I was simply stating a fact. I know how close you and Perry are, I just don’t want you getting hurt.”

 

“You don’t want me getting hurt.” I echoed. “Scorpius most of the upset I have gone through this year is down to you and Al.”

 

“But not recently,” he snapped. “We’re trying our best Ran, we’re boys. Me and Albus both adore you. You’re the closest thing either of us is ever going to get to love. You have to bear with us sometimes.” He twisted his wand through his fingers. “I don’t know what’s been going on between you and Al lately, but you act like you’re over him. Perry isn’t as careful as Al was around you. I admit that he didn’t try as hard as he could. But Perry James could really hurt you.”

 

I shook my head. “Perry wouldn’t do that.”

 

“What if he didn’t know he was doing it?” he questioned. “Look at the situation; he stood right in front of us snogging the senses out of Marilyn Chace!”

 

My hands seemed to clam up, heat rising though my body; closing my throat as it rushed to my head. I let out an ironic laugh. It was short, a spit, a sneer. “No. No, he wouldn’t do that, not with Maleficent. He finds her repulsive.”

 

“Ran, did you not see?”

 

“Of course I saw! It’s bloody obvious! They’re practically mating by the fountain!” I squealed, stamping my feet as I made a sound almost inaudible to the human ear.

 

It was then that I saw Al. He took hold of my arms and pulled me in to a big hug. I may no longer suffer from butterflies, but his hugs still made me feel warm. His ability to express adoration for those he cares for is astounding. He could cover up the betrayal I felt in a moment by smothering it with love.

 

He held my shoulders to stop me from jittering. “What’s wrong, love?”

 

“Perry.” I mumbled.

 

Al’s eyebrows knitted together. “What’s the bastard done?”

 

“You like Perry,” I deadpanned. “Don’t change sides because I’m on the opposite one.”

 

“I’m not picking sides. You’re getting yourself worked up over Perry James.” He pondered for a moment before looking over to Scorpius. “Why couldn’t she just date Jack – I can scare the crap out of that kid.” Al made eye contact with me and whined, “Why do you insist on fancying people stronger than me?”

 

Scorpius made an interruptive cough. “Ranny, could you please become a lesbian? It would quite honestly take a load off of my mind.”

 

“No.”

 

“I’m not really following, I’m sorry.” A kind voice interrupted.  

 

A tall blonde girl stood awkwardly to Al’s right, her hair curled in to perfect corkscrews. Her eyes were big and blue, her teeth a shining white. I realised this must be Olivia.

 

Albus turned and dragged her forward in to our tiff. “Our Ranny here wants to make babies with Perry James, but he’s – hang on what exactly has he done?”

 

“Babies?!” I echoed.

 

“It’s more of a question of who has he done,” Scorpius rounded knowingly, ignoring me, before introducing himself to Olivia. She simply smiled and gave her name. She didn’t seem flustered in the slightest; an unusual feat for a girl of her age meeting the heir to the Malfoy fortune.

 

“She goes by the name of Marilyn but unfortunately has the personality of a dementor.” I grumbled. When Perry said he had something to do after practise, I didn’t think he meant literally ‘do’.

 

Scorpius laughed. “She just sucks the life out of her victims with her kiss!” he chimed, before attempted to make a ridiculous impression of his words. But it made me smile and I think that was his aim.

 

Olivia nodded slightly, her mouth falling open in recognition. “Marilyn Chace? The Hufflepuff? Oh Circe, she’s evil.” Her coral lips turned to a slight grin. “I could … casually shove her in to the fountain over there if you want me to. I could make it look like an accident.”

 

“Or not?” Albus offered with a somewhat temperamental look. “Or, while she does that, I could hit James with one or two unforgivable curses.”

 

I tried to hide my smile. I honestly did; the humour of the situation was more overbearing than my self-control. I settled for pushing my hair up out of my face and letting the twisted ends knot together in their self-sacrificing dryness.

 

“As lovely as those offers are, I think I’m going to have to pass on them.” I said politely, my voice returning to its normal pitch and tone. “Hi, I’m Ranny. I don’t know you too well, but already I really, really like you.”

 

I saw Scorpius from the corner shaking his head. "You might be coming on a little too strong there, Ran."
 

Olivia shook her head and took my friendly hug, returning it happily. We walked away from the two boys a little. “Can I just completely ruin the moment and congratulate you on your choice of men?”

 

I barely heard her quiet voice through the muffling of my scarf. “Al and Scorp are two rather lovable guys,” I agreed.

 

“And James, and the Gates brothers … and Dom.” She listed lightly. “They’re all lovely, in their own ways.”

 

“They all have their downsides too.” I replied. After waiting for a moment for the boys to delve in to conversation until I knew they would be deaf to anything we said, I turned back to Olivia. “How did you know that I am friends with them?”

 

A light blush took over her cheeks. “Oh, I have liked Albus for a while now. He sits with you in the Great Hall and that’s your group. Circe, please don’t tell him that; I don’t want to be the creepy girlfriend.”

 

“It will be our little secret,” I assured, wrapped my pinky around hers. “But I will let you know that compared to some of the things that they do, that’s nothing. Dominic fancied this girl about a month ago; he made Tom and Scorpius hide behind tapestries with him for a week watching her so he could ‘figure her out’.”

 

“That’s a little weird.”

 

I nodded in agreement. “He’s harmless really. Tom can be a little violent, but his heart’s a good as gold.”

 

“Is it true that Jack Gates can talk for England?”

 

“Oh yes,” I sighed, leading her back towards the main town. The two boys followed on behind. “He has the biggest mouth I have ever seen.” I kept to myself how I felt about the size of his eyes.

 

She smiled softly. “You’re lucky you know. My roommates always talk about you; never in a bad light either.”

 

My mouth retracted any words it was about to say, instead sounding out the letters of a word. “But I’m a loser.”

 

“What?” she breathed. “Ranny, people admire you. You walk around with Scorpius Malfoy and get away with calling him names from fairy tales, do you know how many people would kill to be in your position?”

 

“Why?” I questioned, “Because he’s handsome, because he has money? There is more to Scorpius than that.”

 

“I didn’t mean it negatively,” she rectified quickly. “I just meant that … well; he’s not exactly the most approachable of people, or inviting to a stranger. But when he’s with you he seems different, more … human, if that makes sense. You see the good in people; your patience is that of a saint. People are mean to you because they feel threatened by you; you see things in them that they don’t know about.”

 

I let out a small laugh. “I’m not exactly a deep person, Olivia. I just like stories.”

 

“And that’s what makes you, you.” She said kindly. “I was actually wondering if I could ask you a favour. Albus said that you like fairy tales. My mother used to read me and my sisters a story before we went to sleep. One was a fairy tale called ‘Mother Hulda’, at least I think that was its name. She would read it to teach me and my sister not to be lazy.”

 

“Mother Hulda,” I tried to recall. “Is it where the girl pricks her finger and drops the spindle down the well?”

 

Olivia nodded eagerly. “Yes! Yes that’s the one. I would love to learn it off by heart. But we don’t have the book any more that he used to read it from, I was wondering-“

 

“I think I have it,” I interrupted. “It’s from the Brothers Grimm though, the more gruesome of the fairy tales, the originals. I have a copy, but I think that Scorpius has it; he prefers the bloodier stories – shock I know. I will get it back for you.”

 

“You, Ranny Baker, are a Princess!” she thanked. “Now, point me in the direction of Marilyn I think that if I run by fast enough she won’t see my face as I give her a shove.”

 

Albus’ sigh was loud enough for us to hear. “Livvy, when I wanted you to meet my friends I thought it would be them who would be hard to control.”

 








 

AN; there it was, the next chapter! Sorry for the slightly longer update than normal, life has decided to become hectic!
What did you all think about Olivia? She is honestly one of my personal favourites, but don’t let that affect your decisions! :)
And Perry? What about his actions?!
There are four chapters left of this story! Any predictions of what may happen? I can’t wait to post them!


The next chapter is called ‘Lancelot’, who do you think is the said knight? :) Thank you for reading!
Oh, and as ususal, if you’d be a kind enough as to leave me a little review, ROBIN for ‘yes, I quite enjoyed this’,  or HOOK for ‘just give up, seriously, go home’. 



Chapter 19: Lancelot
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Lancelot
Albus Potter



 

Albus was a man on a mission. It would have been a little more realistic if he were dressed in black attire with a mask over his face, hiding his expression from the view of the innocent student body. It was around six on that same evening when he dashed from his Common Room and down the corridor towards Hufflepuff’s domain.



He paid a heavy resemblance to his father when he was fighting for what he wanted. He was sneakier than I could ever aspire to be. Scorpius said he would expect Al to hide behind tapestries and quietly manoeuvre himself through sticky situations and stone corridors until he reached his goal.

 

Yet, it seemed that Harry Potter neglected passing on his abilities of personal space, patience and a kind demeanour on to his youngest son; Al charged down the corridor as the Common Room came in to sight.

 

“Albus for Circe’s sake!” I hissed, trying to pull him back, using his collar as a rein. “You’re just embarrassing yourself.”

 

It appeared that my almighty power for being the Lady of the Lake had tarnished; I was left with no ability to be the peace keeper, merely the stirrer. I had become Guinevere. My hair was pulled messily in to a bun at the back of my head, in what I was sure looked like a nest. I almost tripped up on my shoelace as Al turned around to face me.

 

He gripped his wand. “Ran, he was snogging Maleficent. I hate that bitch!”

 

Perhaps I should have foreseen this fiasco, yet I appeared to be blinded. Marilyn had run in to Scorpius in the lower corridors of the school. In what he assumed, at the time, was a feat to make him jealous, she told him the lengths that she had gone to with Perry on this fine day. Apparently, it pursued past the closed doors of the Hufflepuff Common Room.

 

“Scorpius passed on what he had been told by the Evil Witch,” I tried to reason. “We don’t know if what she had said was true. It could just be to get a rise out of me … or in this case, you.”

 

“Well its bloody well worked hasn’t it?!” He exclaimed.  He turned on his heel and made once more in the direction of my Common Room. “She’s evil Ranny, we know that, but she doesn’t usually lie, twist it a bit, yeah. She likes Perry, and I was sure that Perry liked you.”

 

I sighed. “Show’s how much you know.” I caught hold of his arm and jogged to keep up with his long strides. “Ally, listen to me, please.”

 

He stopped only when I pulled down hard on to his arm and used my foot to trip him. Regaining balance quickly, he turned back to me with a slightly betrayed expression.

 

“What?!”

 

“Listen to me,” I begged. “I don’t want you to do anything. If Maleficent goes down it’s because of something that I will do, not you. I’ve accepted that Perry likes her, not me. It wasn’t even serious, the way I thought of Perry, it’s just a rebound. Why is it harder for you to get your head around that? She’s horrid, I know that she’s mean to me, but you can’t exactly hex her now, can you?”

 

I wasn’t going to clean up his mess when he caused bloody murder. Albus had been stressed through work and pressure from his brother. I was sure that he was just looking for an expressive outlet to release the tension. For the first time, I was wishing he would take a page from Scorpius’ book and make love, not war.

 

Al laughed haughtily, “Perry doesn’t like her. Can’t you see that? I know that he likes you; I know that for a fact. James doesn’t talk to people, yet for you he makes an exception. Marilyn is good for one thing, something that I know the lads in the seventh year Hufflepuff dorm enjoy thoroughly.”

 

“But you can’t hex a girl.”

 

“Fine, then I’ll hex him. He’s hurt you Ran, I’m not having that!”

 

“Al!” I shoved him in the chest. “Don’t think that I don’t appreciate this, I honestly do. But you can’t cause trouble on my behalf. I will sort this out with Perry myself, and then – and only then – if that doesn’t work out, you can hex him.”

 

His expression seemed to soften for a moment. “Really?”

 

“Yeah,” I agreed with a small nodding motion of my head. “I don’t think that your father would be too happy with you if you committed murder at seventeen.”

 

Albus laughed at this as I reached forward and sorted out his collar. He hadn’t got changed since the trip to Hogsmeade; he was still in his clothes from his date. I straightened out the last crease and itched my nose.

 

“You looked adorable when you do that.”

 

I flicked his cheek and pouted. “Back off. And put your wand away Ally, you’re not hexing anyone tonight.”

 

He did as I asked and closed his eyes for a moment. His expression was heavy, his lips not curled in to his usual smile. His grin had always spoken leaps and bounds without ever uttering a single syllable. He was always a King, a saviour; he saved me so many times, without even trying. Just by being there, he was always my hero.

 

He was there one moment, and then he wasn’t. I needed someone consistent, and I wasn’t sure if Albus could fulfil that.

 

For that moment, he wasn’t Albus. His eyes snapped open, and his green iris’ appeared pained. My breath hitched as he nodded his head and looked the other way. It wasn’t an agreeable nod, more one of conformation.

 

“I’m losing it.” He muttered to himself.

 

I wondered momentarily if he was. My lack of agile abilities should have made it incredibly difficult for me to catch up with the boy, never mind me finding it easy. He is a seeker; he should be fast and sneaky with a keen sense for grasping what he wanted. Yet lately he seemed to be hesitating.

 

My brows knitted together. “Walk me back?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“How was Olivia?” I asked casually, taking the small staircase up to the floor above. “She seemed absolutely lovely. A real Princess.”

 

Albus replied with a half-hearted shrug. “She was nice. But I’m not too sure if she’s the girl for me.”

 

“You only went out on one date.” I teased with a grin, glad that he was no longer a victim or roaring rage. Yet this defeated demeanour that he wore so suddenly confused me. “Maybe if you gave her another chance – it might be true love.”

 

His lips pierced together and he made a humming sound. “Yeah, maybe.”

 

We chatted aimlessly for a while, walking slower and slower until the pace we moved at could be only determined as a slow shuffle. I hadn’t noticed straight away when Albus’ fist clenched, I saw the tensing of his arms before the swinging of his arms and he smacked his fists together two or three times. It was a reaction movement.

 

I blew stray hair from my eye line and hugged my jumper tightly. My laces were undone, I pondered momentarily tying them up, to stop me from tripping. But I didn’t want to band down. I felt inferior to Albus when he switched his mood to one of stone, I didn’t need to take it to a literal feeling and affect the difference in height.

 

“Why do you like Perry?” Albus asked suddenly, stopping fully in the corridor.

 

I laughed a little. “Why do I like Perry?”

 

“Yeah,” he amended. “Why do you like him? He doesn’t talk much, he’s way too tall for you and well, he’s on the Quidditch Team.”

 

“You’re on the Quidditch Team.”

 

Albus crossed his arms over his chest, “No, I know that.” He thought for a moment bobbing his head side to side in a slight manner. “I mean, you can’t trust people who play Quidditch, stereotypically, they’re just bound to end up hurting you.”

 

“What, because you haven’t?” I asked shallowly.

 

He peered over my shoulder down the empty corridor. “I’m the perfect example. You trusted me more than anyone else and I hurt you the most.”

 

I furrowed a brow. “But Perry’s not you.”

 

“Oh yes,” he exclaimed, his voice heavily dripping with sarcasm. “And that’s why you like him so much is it?”

 

“Believe it or not, Perry is just a friend.” I felt a private satisfaction that for some reason the odd relationship I had with the quiet boy affected so many people.

 

Albus scraped his hands through his hair. “Ranny, please don’t lie to me. Even Scorpius thinks that there is a thing going on between the two of you. Scorpius is a bloody guru; he knows all.”

 

“So I had an estranged crush. It’s Perry. He’s with Marilyn. I am already over it,” I replied. “Circe knows that I have a lot personal experience in dealing with situations like this.”

 

“Please don’t make me feel bad.”

 

My cheeks rosined slightly. “I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. I just … we tried it, this. We’ve tried it before, and it didn’t work.”

 

“One kiss, Ran, we tried one kiss!”

 

I snorted, despite trying to hold it back. “And it was awful. It was so weird.”

 

“Maybe because we haven’t practised it, we didn’t really give it a go.”

 

If anything, I tried to ignore the colouring in his cheeks, the slight hurt that lingered a moment too long upon his handsome features. His strong jaw was locked, his cheekbones a little too hard. It was always Scorpius that resembled a piece of Greek Architecture, yet at this moment, it was Albus that wore the expression of stone.

 

My teeth grazed the front of my lip. “Albus, I’m not sure if you’ve thought this through.”

 

“You have no idea, just quite how much I’ve thought this through Ranny. You have no idea how wrong you are.” His fingers played with the hem of my jumper as he spoke. I couldn’t bring myself to move away. He used his tongue to wet his lips. “I thought our kiss was weird, it felt like I was snogging my best friend or my sister. But when I see you with Perry, how natural and giddy you look – I don’t like it. And today when I was out with Olivia, she is lovely and kind and funny, everything I’ve ever want in a girlfriend, but it just didn’t feel right. Nothing seems to unless I’m with you. I can’t stop thinking about-“

 

“Stop.”

 

My voice was quiet, barely a whisper. But he heard it. It was hard for him to speak about this; he wasn’t a man of emotion. He never spoke his feelings. For me to tell him to stop was enough to let him know he’d crossed a line.

 

“Please,” I tried again. “Let’s just, not do this.”

 

I felt the heavy weight that seemed to take residence in my stomach before I realised what my mind was telling me to say. My head told me to set him straight, to walk away and to return to my Common Room; act like I knew nothing – a feat I knew best. But the instrument that beat in my chest didn’t seem so useless. It seemed impossible to recover from a crush of that degree so quickly; it appeared that due to its current pace, I never had.

 

It wasn’t like before.

 

There was no staring, no shared gaze in to the others eyes, no heavy air between the two of us. The proximity of our bodies seemed simply normal for the two of us, closer than most, yet not so much we were a couple. Yet, Albus seemed to take no notice.

 

This is wasn’t careful; it was a touch, a tickle, a brush. His lips hit mine with a force, a rushed movement as if he were fighting for air. His hands gripped to the fabric of my jumper, pulling me closer by pushing on my lower back.

 

Before I had expected a fairy tale kiss. Every scenario I had imagined hadn’t compared to this. I had thought of it all, the way the heat would expand through my body and tease me from the inside out. The passion would be unknown to me.

 

I would fall deeper and deeper in to his hold until there was nothing left to me. I would be his, and only his. We would smile as we kissed and explore one another as if we had all the time in the world. His hands would tangle in my hair and get stuck in the knots, but he wouldn’t care, because finally I was his.

 

He would grasp me roughly by the shoulders as I tried to leave from worry and nerves, he would tell me it’s all okay, that I’m the only thing he’s ever wanted. I imagined the way I would pull away, the way our lips would be swollen and our minds transfixed.

 

But that didn’t happen. None of it did.

 

Yet, this time he wasn’t Robin. He wasn’t careful of what might become from this. This was the all or nothing kiss, the surprise that had been brewing in a cauldron just waiting for the right time to explode. I took a sharp break as his teeth grazed against my bottom lip.

 

What had begun as a shock seemed to become an action that I didn’t realise I retained. I pulled on the ends of his hair as his hands traced the skin under the hem of my jumper.  His kiss was smooth, experienced. I didn’t waste a moment counting the girls he had kissed before me. I simply melted in to him like butter. The world stopped spinning, instead, stood still upon its.

 

I had waited for so long for the moment to feel this, a moment of ecstasy and power to flourish in my small body. I had never thought it to ever happen, especially not like this, an accident, something we would surely brush off as a mistake.

 

A mistake. That is all this would ever be. To Albus, I will only ever be Ranny. But to me, he will always be Robin Hood. He will always be more to me, than I ever will be him to him.

 

My hands found his chest and I pushed him hard. The kiss broke suddenly, my hands pushing him back to a distance I still considered dangerous. I could push him away to New Zealand and still he wouldn’t be far enough.

 

He made me dizzy, he made me sick. The simple taste of him would never be enough. In a single moment my heart and flipped and my stomach had turned. I lifted my wrist and examined the delicate muggle watch that hung from there, anywhere but his face, I knew that it wore a curious expression, I just didn’t want to see the others. Were they smug, angry?

 

As I took a moment to regain my sanity, I waited for the ounce of regret, but it didn’t come.

 

I heard Al’s sigh before his movement. “Fuck,” he breathed. “Tom, wait!”

 

My eyes clenched tighter. Albus held on to my wrist, giving it a supporting squeeze before letting go. He brushed past, leaving me to stand in the whole I had just dug myself in to.

 

“You really have a knack for making people fight.” Scorpius lectured in a frustrated manner. “I’m guessing that’s not the first time that’s happened.”

 

He didn’t’ wait for an answer as he took hold of my upper arm. He walked me the rest of the way to the Common Room. The argument between Thomas and Al seemed to ring through the halls, Dominic attempted to play peace keeper, his voice louder than his two friends.

 

Scorpius pulled open the tapestry and crossed the boundary. He always found it astounding that the Hufflepuff entrance required no password; our house simply relied on trust. Yet, at this moment he didn’t stop to admire the work of Helga Hufflepuff, he merely waited for me to climb through the hole in the stone before escorting me to the couches in the main room.

 

With a simply glare the occupied sofa was empty, the two fourth years that occupied it stood up and left. I pulled my legs to my chest and hugged my shaded flowers leggings. I knew that I looked a state; it was a rare occasion when I didn’t.

 

I waited for the accusing words, the cross replies Scorpius would give to my excuses. But they didn’t come. When I mustered the courage to look up through the mass of hair that covered my blushing face I noticed that his expression wasn’t one of anger, but of pity.

 

“Don’t look at me like that,” I pleased quietly.

 

“Then how?” he asked.

 

I brushed my hair from my face and shrugged. “Shout. I want you to be angry, to tell me off.”

 

He leaned forward. “Now why would you ever want me to do that?”

 

“I’ve ruined everything, all because I was selfish.” I found comfort in playing with the ends of the throw pillows. “If I had only kept my thoughts to myself.”

 

I could almost hear him laughing. “Ranny, you and Al are my best friends. I know the two of you, and by that I mean, you’re not the guilty one. You’re the kind one. You wouldn’t press for something like that to happen; that’s an Al thing to do.”

 

“But Tom-“

 

“Will get over it,” he assured. “Ranny, you’ve liked Albus for as long as I can remember. I would always see it in your eye when we would play the games, even more when you were Maid Marion. He would always assign himself as Robin Hood for a reason, love.”

 

Huffing in agreement, I couldn’t help but smile. “You’re lying.”

 

“Actually, I’m being rather blunt.” He countered. “You can think what you like Ran, but I’m telling you the truth. Albus has always had a soft spot for you. I’ve always been in the middle, unbeknownst to the two of you. What you did out there, it wasn’t wrong. It wasn’t against nature or illegal. Bad timing, maybe … but if it felt right to you. Then in no way was it a bad thing to do.”

 

“But I can’t help it,” I replied hopelessly. “I told Albus no but he didn’t listen. Our actions hurt Thomas; that was something that I never wanted to do.”

 

Scorpius shifted on the sofa. “I’m sure that Gates knows that, and to reassure you, I will pass on the message. Admittedly, Perry James seemed like a good candidate for a while, but he would have never been permanent in your affections. But Ran, if you and Al want to be together, what’s stopping you? Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted?”

 

My gaze shifted to the entrance of the boy’s dormitories unintentionally. It was the smallest of motions, yet still he caught it. Scorpius Malfoy was renowned for his ability to notice the little things. Before he could fall in to a lecture the tapestry to the Common Room was pulled aside and the youngest Gates brother came through.

 

He immediately scanned the Common Room and marched over to our position, locking eyes with me from across the room.

 

“Jack, before you say anything,” Scorpius began.

 

But Jack took no notice. He lifted up a hand to silence the blonde and turned towards me fully, leaning forwards over the back of the sofa. “What the fuck?”

 

“Jack-!”

 

“This doesn’t concern you,” Jack snapped, shoving Scorpius back down on to the sofa.

 

Scorpius sat right back up and went for Jack, his fists were clenched as he reached for his wand. Neither seemed to understand just quite what they were doing. I leant forward between the two of them, an awkward position to be sat in and put my hand on top of Scrorpius’, stopping him from reaching his want.

 

I shook my head. “Please don’t. And Jack, please don’t be rude.”

 

“Me?” he questioned. “I’m rude? You have some nerve Ranny Baker!”

 

Taking a deep breath, I tried to clench my eyes closed to stop them from watering. “You have every right to think that, I’m a hypocrite. What your brother is going through is horrib-“

 

“Tom?” he questioned through kitted brows. “Oh right, he would be upset wouldn’t he? He’s causing a bloody fuss in the corridor I’ll give him that! He always did, even as a child. When we were six he used to-“

 

“Jack!” Scorpius spat. “Get to the point!”

 

“Right, point,” he acknowledged. “How could you do this to Perry?! We were coming back from the Great Hall when we ran in to your evening escapades with Potter. How long, Ranny? Eh? How long have you lead my best friend on-“

 

“Oh Circe,” I sighed to myself, ignoring the dangerous look that Jack wore upon his expressions.

 

It unnerved me a little how much of a resemblance he paid to Thomas in moments like these. It was rare for Jack to become cross, but when he did, he was exceptionally difficult to calm down. His large eyes were narrower, darker and his cheeks were reddening with rage.

 

“You’re such a little-“

 

“Stop!” Scorpius’ face, usually nonchalant, brooding at a push, finally had flared in rage. “Don’t you dare finish that sentence?”

 

I clicked my tongue, easily heard over the silence of the now-empty common room. “Perry likes me?”

 

“Yes,” Jack said pointedly. “He’s always liked you, he talks to you doesn’t he?”

 

“Oh, he talks to her,” Scorpius taunted. “Well, that’s everything a girl is looking for in a man.”

 

The image of Marilyn, wrapping herself around Perry, and it disgusted me. It confused me that it upset me, more so, than when she was draped around Scorpius at every opportunity. And that bothered me.

 

I noticed the gleam in Jack’s eyes, the sudden rush of colour. I quickly jumped up from the cough, wrinkling my leggings and not bothering about the shoe that was falling off of my foot.

 

Standing in in front of Scorpius I turned to face Jack. “You mean a lot to me, Jack, you really do. But this isn’t your fight. If Perry is as upset as you’re making out, he can come and talk to me. Besides, I know he doesn’t care.”

 

Jack blinked. “Of course he cares.”

 

“Then why was he with Marilyn Chase?” Scorpius questioned. “I admit, I’ve treated girls badly in the past, but I wouldn’t do that to them.”

 

Jack scoffed lightly. “Marilyn Chase? What are you talking about?

 

“He was with Maleficent today,” I recalled. “They were stood by the fountain; they were all over each other. I liked him; I can admit that now, because I don’t anymore. I thought that I would feel this, sinking, in my chest when I saw him with her – like I used to feel with Nina and Al, and it was a shock yeah, but it didn’t ache.”

 

The blonde behind me stirred, I felt him try to move away. Scorpius took hold of my arm and tried to sit back down on to the sofa. I stayed stood up, keeping him with me. He still had his camera; it hung loosely around his neck. A badge or two on the strap that bore the names of muggle bands. It appeared his obsession had expanded.

 

Jack shook his head. “Don’t be too rash, Ranny. Perry would never touch filth like her.”

 

“Well it looks like you’re wrong about that, aren’t you?”

 

“Stay out of this, Malfoy!” Jack snapped.  I knew that he didn’t want to be his brother in any shape or form, but the likeness was uncanny.

 

I took a grip hold of the cuff of Scorpius’ jumper. “I just want it all to go away. I don’t want to be noticed.” I said to him quietly.

 

His arms wrapped around my frame, hugging tightly around my shoulders. “Oh Ran, you certainly do know how to get yourself in to a big mess don’t you?”

 

Across from us, Jack’s eyes ran over the two of us. He assessed the situation. “Perry will be back in a minute, he was chatting to the rest of them.”

 

“And you left him?” Scorpius asked.

 

“He’s perfectly capable of fighting his own battles,” Jack replied. “Have you seen the size of him?”

 

My breath hitched. “That’s beside the point Jack, your brother has anger issues and Albus turns psychotic when he’s cross with something. And for fuck’s sake … Dom’s alone with them, Dom can’t his own shoelaces.”

 

“Language, Ran. Couldn’t you just get the affections of a couple of choir boys, maybe a library lad?” Scorpius asked in disbelief, looking directly in to my wide eyes. “Next one, I’m choosing! Someone I can bloody scare!”

 

Jack looked at her softly, his harsh gaze fading and mumbled, “Maybe we should just call it a night. It’s past curfew anyway.”

 

“When has that ever stopped us?” Scorpius said lamely. “Get to bed, love. We will sort everything out in the morning.”

 

Yet, still as I ignored Marilyn’s constant stream of bickering chat and pulled the duvet up over my head, I couldn’t help but disagree with Scorpius; I didn’t think mess could be sorted out at all.

 










AN; Yay! I’ve been waiting since the beginning to post this chapter! :) I hope that you all enjoyed it!
So, there are three chapters left, and that’s including the epilogue, hopefully the amount of drama makes up for the lack of it in the next couple. Honestly, I think this is enough for an entire story on it’s own.

So I just wanted to say, thank you so much to everyone who’s stuck with me this far, and even gone as far to leave reviews – all of which have been lovely. You’re all too kind. And you all liked Olivia! I'm so happy! :)
Thank you!


The next chapter is called ‘Wendy’, so we’re back to the ideals of Peter Pan. These stories tend to be going in circles, don’t they? Oh, the next chapter shows the return of an old character!

I would be honoured if you left a review! Even a short one!

Oh, and a disclaimer – I own NOTHING; everything goes to their respective owners!


I’m sorry about the time it’s been taking me to reply, again, I’ve been ill, but I’m on the mend, and am working on new stories, it’s got to the point now where about five ideas have been written to about nine chapters and then left for a new thing, I’m really going to have to make my mind up.
I hope that you enjoy the next chapter! Thank you for reading!



Chapter 20: Wendy
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Wendy
Nina Clark



 

 

 I jumped unsteadily back in to my bed, pulling back the duvet that I had earlier kicked aside. My thick socks were in need of a wash, the holes needing to be sewed. I had stayed quiet this morning, lying silently as the other girls stepped out of their pyjamas and in to their school uniforms.

 

Marilyn sniggered as she took sight of the closed curtains around my bed, laughing with her friends about my absolutely pathetic abilities when it came to social tendencies. I closed my eyes and held the book close to my chest.

 

No one had returned to the dormitories today, not one. I had double potions today, two sessions with Albus, then double Charms, sat between Jack and Perry. I finished with Runes, an hour with Scorpius. I knew I would be lectured. I took the cowards way out and failed to even open my curtains until past lunch.

 

Opening my eyes I sat back up groggily. I wasn’t tired, but I had absolutely no intentions of going anywhere. As I leaned forward I caught sight of myself in the small wall mirror. A pale figure stared back, red blotches upon her face from where she had buried it in to her pillow. Her light eyes seemed lifeless, colourless in the dim light of the room. Fake rain pelted the underground windows.

 

I turned away and fell back on to my bed.

 

Upon looking back to the door way only moments later, I was no longer alone.

 

“Oh,” Nina exclaimed lightly, a startled expression shot on to her face. “I’m sorry; I didn’t think anyone was in here.”

 

My arms crossed childishly and I lay back, straight. “It’s okay.”

 

She took another step in to the room, her high heeled walk seemingly louder than I remember. “I just need to grab my cardi, Marilyn borrowed it last night and didn’t give it back.”

 

“Go ahead,” I said, gesturing to the chair, where her cardigan lay.

 

Nina walked quickly, grabbing the folded garment and returned quickly to the open doorway. I waited for her to leave, to just walk and not come back. Yet she didn’t. Still with her back facing the room, she waited for a moment, her head low.

 

After moments of silence and a sigh, she turned back to me. “I didn’t want you to get mixed up in it all Ranny,” she said quietly. “Albus and I were fighting a lot, but I meant what I said, when I told you that I wanted to be friends. You’re kind and generous-“

 

“Please don’t.”

 

“I’m sorry.” She finished with. She turned around to leave but stopped once again at the wooden door. Her slender fingers ran down the panelling. “The only friends I ever made at this school were the likes of Rose and Marilyn, the girls who like to cause others misery. I thought that, that is all there was. But then I met you. I thought Al was joking when he told me that you weren’t exaggerating your love of all things mythical.”

 

I rubbed my left eye with the back of my hand. “So I love fairy tales and legends. You can borrow a book if that what you’re after.”

 

“No, Ranny, no, that’s not what I’m trying to say.” She sighed again and walked towards my bed, perching on the end. I pulled my feet up to my chest and crossed them. “I just … that night, in the Common Room, with Jack, we spent hours just talking, there was no bitching, no name calling, no plotting, we just sat and talked, mostly about Perry and his bat-crazy antics.”

 

My chest seized up at the mention of his name. I had hurt him; Jack had told me that I had upset him. It appeared that I had made quite a few people angry.

 

Nina laughed nervously. “It’s just, when I didn’t see you anymore, I realised that I … missed you. I missed the way that you turned everything in to a fairy tale; it made a shit life seem grand. You always have a knack for making other’s feel better Ranny. I understand if you don’t forgive me, but I would love to have a second chance.”

 

I brushed my hair away from my forehead and ignored the internal nudging that my heart was providing me with.

 

She wasn’t Hook at all; she was, and always had been Wendy. Nina didn’t want the wreck the life of Peter, she wanted to help; she wanted a friend. Whether or not she wanted to grow up, she knew that she had to, and right now she was rising above what other’s thought of her and her decisions, to apologise.

 

“Of course,” I said quietly. “Everyone makes mistakes. I didn’t realise until recently just quite how easy it is to hurt someone. But Scorpius thinks you’re a liar … if I found out that he’s right then I don’t know what I’d do; I don’t know if I can take much more social attack.”

 

“I’m not a liar.” She buried her hands in to the material of her jumper. “Thank you, Ranny. But, as your one and only girlfriend, do I get the honour of knowing why you’re ditching today?”

 

“Nope,” I popped the ‘p’. “I don’t even really know myself to be honest.”

 

“You’re just, taking a break?” she substituted. I nodded and she seemed satisfied with the answer. As Nina stood up from the bed and walked back towards the door. “Thank you Ranny, really, thank you. And I am here if you need some girly advice. I won’t pass it on to the Sherrif, I promise.”

 

It wasn’t until the door had clicked shut that I realised that it wasn’t a façade. She honestly was sorry. Nina had a knack for lying; she was a brilliant actress, but she remembered the name I had for Rose. Another of her qualities was her memory; she had the brain of a sieve. For her to remember something as touching as a name – it made the punching in my chest seem less than it was.

 

The door swung open a second time.

 

“Did I just see Nina Clark?” Scorpius asked rudely. “Bloody bint, she is.”

 

He walked straight forward, not for a second stopping to see if I were in a state of undress, and pulled the duvet from my grip. He took the book from my pillow and placed it in to my trunk at the foot of my bed.

 

I nodded and pouted slightly at the new found cold.

 

He sighed and picked at a strand of my dry hair. “Oh Ran, when Jack said that we’d deal with this in the morning, I think that he actually expected you to get up.”

 

“I can’t,” I replied. “I can’t face them, not after what I’ve done.”

 

“You haven’t done anything wrong – don’t argue.” His voice was so stern even the portraits in the room stopped moving.

 

Scorpius took a moment to take in my appearance, something he should have done at the start. He grabbed my green knitted cardigan from the end of my bed and threw it at me. I peeled it from my face to see my boots being hurled towards me next.

 

I opened my mouth to speak, but seemed to only retract letters instead.

 

“Get up,” he said sharply. “I promised to make you dinner in the kitchens – I think it’s about time I followed through.”

 

My eyes cast towards the material in his grasp. An apron.

 





 

“I didn’t realise that it got this busy,” I acknowledged as I sipped on my tea.

 

Scorpius laughed and spooned another mound of mashed potato in to his mouth, “its dinner time above us, the elves work like soldiers.”

 

“They’re like clockwork,” I admired as I watched quietly upon the line of elves, working away at a chosen station.

 

The lighting was dim, the windowless room lit only with lanterns and candles. A curtain hung behind where we sat, the cold stone covered. I helped myself to a spoonful of potato and ate it happily. Beside me, Scorpius sat cheerfully, still wearing his apron. He had cooked the meal himself, the house elves more than happy to encourage him as he worked.

Only minutes before ago he had approached the small resting table and placed down two plates filled with sausages, mashed potatoes and an array of vegetables. ‘It’s the only meal I can cook’, he claimed. It’s lovely.

 

Scorpius sighed and tugged at the strings on the apron. “Ranny, do you want to talk about it?”

 

I suddenly felt the urge to simply push the potato around the plate rather than eat it. “Not really.”

 

“Too bad, we’re discussing the fiasco.” He told me, before looking up from his plate. “There’s nothing that I can say to you, that’s going to help you make up your mind; you’re too indecisive.”

 

Gripping the cutlery, I used the end of the fork as a sword to the table. I was indecisive, I’d give Little John that, but I always made the right decision in the end. Always.

 

“Consider it a quest,” he resumed. He had seen my vacant expression, using this to his advantage. Taking hold of the fork I was jabbing against the table, he resumed, “you’re the Princess, no … the Kings Ward, so beautiful it’s been rumoured that you are the reason the stars shine at night. You have been told to marry by the Great King – in this case, the Great King being blonde and short with eyes that are too big for his head.”

 

“Don’t be mean about Jack,” I said through a mouthful of tea.

 

The blonde simply chuckled lowly and began to tap his fingers against the wooden table. “You feel trapped, humiliated, caged in, but you do have options. There’s the protective route, you could marry the Prince who will take care of you, who will nurture and love you. But you’d be his forever, he’s got anger issues, but he’s always had a soft spot for you. He’s the Great Kings brother, so naturally the King is a little unsure about the whole ordeal.”

 

I snorted. “The Great King isn’t unsure, there’s a rift between the kingdoms; he and his brother don’t get along. Besides, Thomas is lovely, but he’s not the one for me.”

 

“Then we ignore that option, another?” he questioned. I nodded and waited patiently as he considered an analogy. “There’s the suitable option, sensible, lovable, what would usually be considered right. He is everything you could want in a Prince, intelligence, bravery and kindness. He cares deeply for you, and of course, the Great King approves; his friendship with this suitor is stronger than any bond blood could form. But he’s promiscuous, and he’s already hurt you once; he gets along a little too well with your enemies.”

 

“Too far, and besides, he’s not just brave, he’s stupidly brave.” I added timidly. “Perry is always hurt; I don’t like to see the people I care about hurt. And then of course, he’s got himself a long chain of admirers. ”

 

“Don’t all of the Princes?”

 

“But one of them is rather a rather nasty, persistent character.” I felt my lungs suddenly become weighted as I considered what the next option was. “Besides, Perry is too calm. I’ve never seen him angry.”

 

I felt Scorpius’s eyes wander over my half eaten dinner. He handed me back my fork and began again. “You’ve always got the prerogative of care.  The last suitor drives you crazy, he makes you cry, he makes you run in to a forest and set fire to your most prized possessions, he is easily angered, and easily jealous. But he’s your best friend.

 

“All the way through the hardship of your struggles, he’s been there. The Great King has never approved, neither have many others, but he’s always been stood beside you, him and a dashing young blonde.” He explained with a wide grin and a wink. “He’s also kind, and generous, and loyal to those of whom he loves, one of which, no matter what option you take, will always be you. He will be with you always, no matter which kingdom you choose.”

 

Neither of us spoke for several minutes, we simply ate in silence. A house elf asked if we needed anything, but quietly Scorpius insisted that we were alright. And I knew that he wasn’t lying, for once, I felt like things were going to be okay. Sitting in the kitchens, away from the others, reality felt so far away.

 

I could burry my face in to my pillows again tomorrow, I could hide away from the choices I had to make, or I could face them head on, like the heroine, which I knew was inside me somewhere, would want me to do.

 

Draining the bottom of my tea mug, and scraping the last of the food from my plate, I sat back with a satisfied sigh.

 

When put in to the analogy that I was presented with, was I honestly looking for Jack’s approval? A part of me knew that I was. I had grown to adore the boy; he had helped me through when the two that I trusted the most weren’t around to. Yet, if I didn’t choose his way, a part of me wondered if he would ever speak to me again.

 

But would I benefit from being with Perry? I would be calm, there would be no arguments, and there wouldn’t be any secrets … from my part. Perry James was known for being mysterious. Unless I dragged the sentence from him, it wouldn’t come. But he would be kind to me.

 

It didn’t feel right, liking more than one person. I felt dirty. I felt like a liar, a cheat.

 

The plates between the two of us disappeared and were replaced with a second pot of tea. I thanked the elf in charge.

 

“Do you want to hear option number four?” Scorpius asked me cautiously. After a brief consideration, I nodded feebly. “Sod it, sod life, and sod everyone in it. Don’t choose, don’t choose any of them. You only have a few months left in this school; you don’t ever have to see any of them again afterwards if you didn’t want to.”

 

My lips twitched as a small smile grew on to my face. “I think it would be rather difficult getting rid of Albus. He’s rather clingy now.”

 

“Seven years of friendship can do that to a bloke.”

 

“Stop it.” I pleaded. “I know I’m a horrible, horrible person, okay? I can’t hurt them; I don’t want to hurt them.”

 

“Then don’t.” he said. “Ignore them all, choose me instead.”

 

If my head hadn’t instantly snapped up to look at him, reeling up from its pitiful gaze down to the floor, and caught his grin – I might have thought he was serious. 

 

I threw my napkin across the table, hitting him square in the face. “That’s not even remotely humorous.”

 

“It was a little,” he retorted, running a strong hand through his thick hair.

 

My thumbs ran over each other; I resisted the urge to pick at the skin. “What do you think I should do?”

 

As if it were I spoke a tabooed word, he recoiled. “Nu-uh, not this time Ran, I’m not telling you what to do.”

 

“I wasn’t asking you to do that,” I backtracked. “I just wanted to know … that if you were in my position-“

 

“No you didn’t.” He interrupted. “Ranny, I love you. You’re the most important girl in my life, you’re up on the pedestal with my mother, and nothing that you could do could knock you off of it. But I’m not telling you what to do with this one.” His voice lowered, his eyes hardening. “You have to choose, King Arthur, or Robin Hood? Which tale do you want to be yours?”

 





 

An; Thank you for reading! I’m honestly so sorry for the long wait for this chapter; I’m better now, and have finally made the tweaks in this chapter so I’m happy with it! :)
I felt that it was time for Scorpius and Ranny to have some time to themselves, everything has been so dramatic lately, they both needed a break.

So, I would just like to throw this out there. This story is based on fairy tales, ledgends and stories and so forth, in which these types which it are based on are all very exaggerated in terms of characterisation and ideals. I realise that the decisions that some people make aren’t at all realistic, but that’s the point – it’s the reasons behind the decisions that are supposed to make you think. :)
For example, growing up, love, hate and jealousy are all there, and they’re what you’re supposed to ponder on. Also, Ranny is very, very naïve and she tries to see only the good in people. I would like to think that I haven’t made characters such as Perry seem like a perfect angel; in fact if you read back, I’m sure there are actually hints towards his behaviour and demeanour – especially what is described in the pictures that Ranny took of him.
I honestly don’t want to rant, and I love to hear everyone’s opinions, but please keep in mind that not everything is going to be realistic – because if it were, it would completely defy the concept of this story.

I hope that you like the next chapter, it’s called ‘Merlin’; there are only two left, including the epilogue. Ranny finally see’s what I would consider ‘sense’ in the next chapte,r having been encouraged by someone that even I was a little shocked at as the writer – what can I say? Sometimes, these stories write themselves.

Thank you again, and don’t forget to leave a review! I hope that you enjoyed this chapter!



Chapter 21: Merlin
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Merlin
Dominic Brown



 

 The blonde in front of me switched between seats, her indecision to choose between three of them confused me to no end; one bowl was not bigger than the other. In school, there would be no bears to punish her. She could have sat where she wished to.


 

“Why are you staring at Marilyn?”

 

Dom’s confused tone startled me from my tea.

 

I pulled my gaze away from her and looked at him instead. “I…I just, she was in front of me and-“

 

“I’m not going to punish you, staring at her is not a federal offence.” He interrupted. “Besides, it’s understandable. She is pretty. And then of course, there is your whole predicament.”

 

“What predicament.” I asked sourly. “I have no predicament.”

 

He grinned. “Denial is not the answer Little Baker. Besides,” he added before taking a bite of his toast. “You’ve got three lads flipping through hoops over you, and the only thing stopping you from having all three as a collection is her, if I were you, I would just slap her around a little bit, and then you could have all three of them to yourself, waiting on your every hand and foot.”

 

If my horrified expression didn’t give me away, my next sentence certainly did. “Oh, Dom,” I sighed. “You honestly have no idea how wrong that all is do you?”

 

It was just the two of us this morning. The table seemed strangely empty without the others, yet, it had been for a while now.

 

Tom had managed to blow up his cauldron in his potions class, and rather than cleaning it up, he poured it over the head of the mouthy boy of whom he sat behind. He is working off the detentions in the morning, rather than the evening – to still allow him to attend his Quidditch training.

 

Jack hadn’t spoken to Tom for almost a week, that I knew of. Although they hadn’t been too close until recently, it seemed odd the distance that was suddenly between them. Perry sat with Marilyn today, as he did most morning’s now. I thought he was better than that, than this. I thought that he wouldn’t degrade himself to succumbing to her alluring ways. Yet Scorpius was right (as usual); I didn’t know him as well as I thought. Jack insists that Perry is simply doing it to rebel, to get a rise from me. But I know that he’s not.

 

I spoke to Perry the day after Scorpius and I had eaten dinner in the kitchens; it went a lot better than I had thought. Perry insisted that he and Marilyn had been an upcoming thing for a while, something that no one – not even Jack – was able to come to terms with. I simply nodded my head and left it at that.

 

It still astounded me that I felt nothing when it came to Perry James. I had thought that there would at least be a little of a spark, yet, I could stand next to him happily and feel only friendship and slight annoyance when he spoke fondly of Marilyn.

 

Scorpius – the all-knowing sidekick – was as shocked as the rest of us at their new found ‘romance’. But he just sent Marilyn a wink and a seductive comment that, only a month ago, would have made her week at the knees. They didn’t even shake.

 

He and Albus were still sleeping. Their upcoming game against Gryffindor had put them all on edge. They needed to win this match, or they were out of the playing for first. Albus had the team up until the late hours of the evening, training until they bled exhaustion. Yet, Dom sat idly by me at the Slytherin’s table with a grin upon his face, as if nothing could faze him in the slightest.

 

“You know there are three types of men in the world, Ranny.” Dom began with a wise tone I had no idea that he possessed. “There are the ones that let you walk over them, the suck-ups, then there are the ones who are all for equal rights, they believe that their partners are there to be their ‘best friends forever’,” I decided to ignore the highering of his tone at that remark. “And then there are the ones that will treat you like a china doll, they are possessive and very jealous beings.”

 

A beat of silence passed before I spoke. “Is there a point to that, or did you just think that you’d give me the heads up.”

 

His eyes narrowed. “I’m trying to be like Scorpius okay, all wise and stuff; he uses his silences effectively. I don’t … apparently. The point is that you seem to have surrounded yourself with many versions of ‘type three’ males.”

 

“I know,” I said pathetically. “I’m like flypaper.”

 

His booming laugh echoed for a moment before he took another bite of his buttered toast. “You should have seen the three of them Ran, the night last week. It was the first time I had ever really heard fecking James speak; they weren’t fighting with your name, they were mainly at each other’s throats about Quidditch abilities or personalities. But anyone who can turn three men in to blabbering idiots in such a short amount of time deserves my respect.”

 

“That doesn’t deserve respect, Dominic.” I replied shamefully. “That deserves a bloody good smack.”

 

“And I’m sure that any three of those lad’s would be willing to help you out with that,” he teased. “Too soon?”

 

I hadn’t realised that I face had accumulated the shape of a scowl. “Just a tad.”

 

He took another savage bite from his toast, practically ripping the bread apart. “So, can I ask you a question?”

 

Ignoring the toast he sprayed as he spoke, I nodded. “Fire away.”

 

“What is actually going on? I mean, I stand on the side lines and watch, like a bystander. But I don’t actually know what the fuck’s going on.”

 

“And you want me to explain it to you?” I asked tiredly. He nodded giddily. After another sip of my tea, I set the mug down and turned to face him a little more. “Prepare yourself for my life story! I only ever had one friend in my early childhood, and that was my Dad. My Mum passed away before I knew her properly, and so my Dad raised me in the best way he knew how to; through fairy tales.

 

“I had never been very good at making friends with people, especially girls. When I was little Dad thought that I might have had some sort of social problem, of course, being a muggle it was a perfectly feasible explanation – now that I’m a witch, I know that it’s simply just me being a bit odd. But still, it was always me and my Dad. I came to Hogwarts, and somehow stumbled across Al and Scorpius.

 

“Scorpius always was obsessed with muggle things, and so he took to the fairy tales I would tell quickly, Albus liked them too. Then we started to act them out.”

 

Dom laughed lightly. “I remember that, we would always use the forest as a base. When I was in second year, I caught this Ravenclaw girl – who was pretending to be a fairy, and kissed her straight on the lips. I got away with it because I told her that you could bring a dying fairy back to life with a kiss.”

 

“You liar,” I gasped. “I’m glad to know that you enjoyed them though; over time, people stopped playing. I couldn’t bring myself to let go of them, I still can’t. There were some people who never played, who thought we were childish right from the start.”

 

“Like Rose Weasley?” he questioned. “I’ve heard you and Scorpius refer to her as ‘The Sherriff’ before.”

 

I let the corners of my mouth twitch in to the ghost of a smile. “We can be mean sometimes, I guess.” I ignored as he snorted, knowing that he had done worse. “But the point was that when it came to the point that more people needed to work on their studies, and less time in a fantasy world, I realised that I didn’t like the real world so much. The main thing being, that I didn’t like the way that Albus didn’t always play the role of my Prince anymore.”

 

“You were jealous?”

 

“Very.” I admitted sceptically. “I’ve always liked him differently to how I’ve liked Scorpius, since we were eleven. I can admit that now; Albus knows.”

 

“And is that why he kissed you?” he asked gently.

 

My nose crinkled a little. “Partly. He’s done it before, a while back, but we both thought it felt funny, and so I switched my feelings off. But he came back to me last week, told me that he cared too much about me while I pretended that I didn’t care at all.”

 

Dom nodded. “And that he wanted you in the way that you’ve always wanted him.”

 

“I hadn’t thought of it like that, as such.” I contemplated airily. “When he started going out with Nina, it was like the real world had slapped me in the face. He treated me like I was a stand in for when he needed a friend. He’s apologised for it all now, though – says he regret’s it all horribly.”

 

“It’s a very ‘Al’ thing to do, isn’t it?” Dominic asked. “Not observe the people around him.”

 

“We’ve always had to tell him when he was being out of order, Scorpius and me. After a while, it became just the two of us. Nina was the first serious girlfriend that he’s ever had, and she ended up treating him like she hated him.

 

“Her kind of characteristics, alongside Marilyn’s, are the reasons that I’ve always made friends with boys; boys tend to get to the point quickly, and they don’t tend to backstab. But, with Albus not there, I met Tom. He treated me the way Albus used to, and he was kind and caring. Where Scorpius and Albus would take the micky out of me, Tom would listen. I had absolutely no intention of making him feel the way he does about me, and for any advance that I may have made, I am sorry. I just needed him as a friend, I think.

 

“Then Perry and Jack came and introduced themselves. Jack is a sweetheart, as you probably know; being close with Tom and all, but Perry was quiet. He was an enigma. I got close to him after Albus and I had agreed that being anything more than friends felt odd – or, at least I thought we had agreed. But all I felt for Perry was a petty crush, something you may have on a rock star or someone you met in passing and thought they looked pretty.”

 

“Pretty much how I feel about every hot female in the school who is willing to be my girlfriend for a night,” he said under his breath.

 

My eyebrows knitted together. “Slightly disturbing there Dominic; we need to get you a serious girlfriend, or boyfriend, who will treat you right.”

 

“Do I even want to try and correct that sentence? I am a ladies man through and through!”

 

“Probably not,” I snorted. “I’ll just correct it back.”

 

He shoved me lightly with his shoulder.

 

I downed the rest of my tea and set the white mug down by my empty plate. “But alas, here I sit pouring my heart out to you, because you’re probably the only one in this mess with a level head. Despite everything, all of the fights that Albus and I have had, after everything, I still can’t get that feeling of adoration out of my head every time I see him.”

 

“Then what are you doing here, talking to me?” he asked pushily.

 

“I just told you.” I said offhandedly. “I needed to vent, you asked, and you’re the only one with a level he-“

 

“I’m not talking about that.” He interrupted pointedly. “Scorpius told me about what happened that night, when you all fought and you came back with burns, he gave in because I wouldn’t let it go. And you know, maybe your Dad is right that there is something different about you; you’re really unstable when it comes to your emotions. But Albus had no right to say what he did.

 

“I’m a seventeen year old bloke,” he pointed to himself in a non-conceited way. “And I can safely say, right now, that I believe in your fairy tale. Cinderella can kiss my arse as far as I’m concerned, because you, Ranny Baker are a fairy tale own.”

 

Moving became something that seemed ludicrous at this point. Dominic ate his last piece of toast with what could be considered a little more force than necessary.

 

He swallowed a large mouthful and rested his elbows on the table. “I’m asking you, why you’re sitting here talking to me, while Albus is sleeping, you could be with him right now. He can think that none of it is real all he likes, because by the sounds of it, you could hold up enough magic in your relationship for the both of you. The way that you look at him, the way you always have, the way that you speak of him, he can do nothing wrong in your eyes! It’s always been him for you Ranny, you can’t kid yourself with anything else.

 

“The way that you feel about him is the type of feeling that people write novels about, it’s the type that the fairy tales are based on! Why are you preventing your own fairy tale; isn’t what you’ve always wanted?”

 

Despite the initial shock that Dominic could think of anything that wonderful, let alone express it wore off quickly, and was replaced with the ultimate feeling of dread. Suddenly the ideals of life kicked in, and for the first time there was no relation to a fairy tale; the prince would rescue the princess, then they would be married, and live happily ever after.

 

The prince had never needed a kick from the princess before for being an ungrateful soul. This would be a new one to write in the book, a new chapter to add to the greats – but I couldn’t write it until I had lived it.

 

“But he’s avoiding me,” I tried to reason. “And I don’t have the guts to do anything along the lines of what you’re suggesting. What if he doesn’t want me anymore? He’s my best friend, Dom.”

 

A small smile grew on to his broad features. “I think that there isn’t much Albus wouldn’t do for you Ranny. If you told him that you wanted him to be yours, and only yours. I think declining you is going to be his last reaction.”

 

For a moment I sat stock still, staring past his shoulder and across the Hall. People sat in groups, chattering away aimlessly about their lives, about their previous days, about anything they could. My eye wasn’t drawn to Marilyn and Perry, of whom she had now found, but to Rose Weasley.

 

Her gaze was set on to the stone floor below her as she sat between a smiling group, she was the only one not joining in with their conversation. Since her night with Scorpius, she was yet to face me in any particular way. Yet, after losing her chance with him, her eyes lost their spark. I would in no way help her win him back, I would put in no good words, nor encourage her to pursue him again. But I would refuse to let that happen to myself.

 

I stood up and climbed out over the bench. Dominic grinned. “Go get him, tiger.”

 

I couldn’t stop the laugh before it came.

 

Recalling what went through my mind as I made my way to the Slytherin Common Room seemed like an impossible task. I remember thinking of my father, thinking of the books that would be piled up next to my bed as a child. I remembered thinking of how he read them to me, each story implying that I would fall in love and quickly marry.

 

What I felt for Albus couldn’t be described as ‘love’ in such a way; I was barely young enough to use my wand, let alone define love. And still, at seventeen, I still cannot give it an explanation. Yet Dom was right, this feeling wasn’t going to go away, at the worst, Albus doesn’t’ return my feelings. And I would eventually get over that.

 

My feel carried me quickly down to the dungeons, along the cobbled corridor and towards the large opening to the Common Room, I passed a pair of Slytherin’s who were leaving. They barely batted an eyelid as I passed them; it wasn’t unusual, to see me around their area.

 

I opened the door quietly, to the seventh year’s boy’s dorms. The creaking handle put up a small fight, only to assist me in the last moments of my temper. I waited for a moment; the light was off and no one was talking.

 

Pushing the door open, I noticed Scorpius sat up in his bed, pulling a jumper over his head. I knocked quietly and he smiled through tired eyes.

 

He scratched his chin. “Morning, love.”

 

“Good morning,” I replied politely. “You know you’re late to breakfast right? It’s the most important meal of the day.”

 

“I’ll be fine,” he reassured me, getting up and grabbing his school trousers from the end of his bed. “Al and I were up until four going over Quidditch strategies. I’m bloody shattered.”

 

My eyebrows rose. “Why not just leave it until morning?”

 

Scorpius laughed quietly and reached for his tie. “You think that Albus is going to let it all wait until morning? He wants to us all to be perfect, and our team will be if he keeps at it at this rate.”

 

“Or you’ll all just fall from the sky from exhaustion.”

 

“Or that.” He replied. “Don’t worry; I didn’t miss the pushy breakfast excuse to get rid of me. I’m on my way.”

 

I gaped like a fish. “That’s wasn’t what I-“

 

“I take no offence.” He said, giving me the brownie guide promise and grabbing his messenger-boy bag from the doorway, pre-packed. “But make sure Al’s awake before you leave, he needs to get up.” He winked before closing the door and leaving the room in darkness.

 

I turned to Albus, my eyes adjusting to the dark and made my way over to the end of his bed.

 

His arm was dangled off the end of the bed, his fingers brushing the wooden floor. Light snored erupted from him as he lay on his front; his mouth moved askew from the pillow so he could breathe soundlessly, he failed.

 

Stifling a laugh I took a step forward and slapped his bare leg until he woke.

 

His eyes snapped open, widening a little more upon realising it was me who stood by him. “Ranny? What time is it?”

 

“Well you’ve almost missed breakfast, if that’s what you’re getting at.”

 

“Oh, well I’ll just have to make up for it at lunch.” He rubbed his eyes with the back of his hands and sat up, pulling the duvet over his bottom half. He slept in a black short sleeved shirt, his hair in absolute disarray. He didn’t move to fix it. “What can I do you for this morning?”

 

“You can give me an explanation.” I said in a vain attempt to sound stronger than I felt. “You’re avoiding me.”

 

He snorted, his head bobbing up a down for a moment. “And you want to know why?” his voice was without humour, without patience.  “I put my heart out on the line for you Ranny, told you what I wanted, and it ended in me getting in an argument with one of my roommates and you and Scorp running off. It wasn’t quite exactly how I had pictured that moment.”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

But even to me the words seemed feeble.

 

Albus shook his head. “Don’t be. It’s not your fault.”

 

The remorse suddenly faded from my body. “Hang on, you didn’t tell me what you wanted. You just kissed me, don’t turn this on me; I am as bloody confused as you are.”

 

“Don’t swear,” he mumbled.  “If you’re confused, what would you like to do about it?”

 

I didn’t take a deep breath; I wasn’t sure if I was capable. I didn’t sit down, merely stood at the end of his bed, leaning on the bed post. “I’m only confused about why you kissed me, instead of simply telling me how you felt.”

 

A shallow laugh erupted from his body, yet it was completely lacking humour. “What was I supposed to say, everything that I was thinking of sounded absolutely shit. Kissing you is the only way that I knew how to let you know that I want to be with you.”

 

The hardness of his tone surprised me, cut through the air like a knife. He picked up his wand from the bedside table, muttered ‘lumos’ and then set it back down again. The dim light provided was enough to see the harshness of his features. He wasn’t smiling.

 

I resented the hidden anger in his voice. I hadn’t expected him to be angry with me, never for a reason such as this. “Albus, at any point in the past six years, I would have taken any advance from you, anything, no matter how lame it sounded.”

 

“What are you saying?”

 

“I’m saying that you mean more to me than you think.” I admitted quietly, almost inaudibly, but I know he heard it. I was glad for the dim light in the room, that way he couldn’t see my cheeks burning. I was lost for words, grasping for them from all corners of my mind.

 

Al sat forward in his bed, pushing the covers back a little. His expression didn’t fall from anything but ‘guarded; as he reached forward and grasped the hem of my jumper in a balled fist – the little bit of me he could reach. With a light tug, he pulled me closer towards him soundlessly; I stumbled forward and stood there, silent.

 

My knee’s touched the wooden frame of his bed as his hand moved, and he gently held on to my hips, his thumbs stroking, slowly, the cotton of my jumper. He placed his forehead on to my stomach and kissed it once, lightly. Even through the fabrics, his touch set a blaze through my skin, rippling whatever was left of my self-control.

 

I laced my hands in to his hair, pulling his head lightly back. He looked up, his eyes tearing holes in to my skin. He licked his lips once, a nervous reaction that I recognised instantly.

 

“To me, Rhiannon Baker, you mean more than I could have ever thought.” He said with an ounce of vulnerability. Albus was never vulnerable. “And I, Albus Potter, am an absolute twat, for not telling you this years ago.”

 

A twitch appeared at the ends of my lips, a twitch that I failed to hold back, despite the effort. I still ran my fingers loosely through his hair, so small it could hardly be called a movement, yet he didn’t move.

 

“I am here to ask you if it’s too late,” I admitted quietly. “Dominic told me that I should tell you, have my own fairy tale.”

 

“Dom?” He whispered, as if curious. Al’s gaze flicked to mine. “Ranny, do you remember months ago when I told you that when I looked in to the future, I saw you and Scorpius. But that was it; I had no idea what else I wanted, just that Nina wasn’t the one that I saw myself married and in love with, with a house and kids, and the full shebang. You know why?”

 

I shook my head like a child, still unable to cooperate with my working mind.

 

“Because I saw you.” He admitted, his gaze fastened on to my face, as if he were unable to look away. “I always saw you in my future, I saw you who I woke up with in the morning, you who I fought with over making tea with and what to have for dinner. And that scared the absolute shit out of me, Ran.”

 

A beat passed. I could feel my heart, beating through my chest, and I wondered for a moment if it were to puncture my skin. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

 

He let out a sharp breath, almost a laugh. “It’s not normal to think those things about your best friend. That night, in the Astronomy tower, when we kissed, it felt funny, not bad, just … odd. But when I thought about it, when I saw the way that Tom looked at you, the way that you and Perry were, I couldn’t supress the feeling that I wanted to gauge out Gates’ eyes and strangle that Hufflepuff bastard. I knew then that it was you that I wanted, it’s always been you. I tried to date other girls, and that failed … epically, and I think that’s because they weren’t what I wanted.”

 

“Albus-“

 

“And now you’re here,” he said airily, “You’re here, standing in front of me, asking if it’s too late, as if over the space of a week, I would change my mind and erase the one constant feeling I’ve had for over six years now. Since the moment I saw you, I have belonged to you entirely. I kissed you, when we were eleven. I wore Robin’s hat, and had my grandmother’s ring on my middle finger,” his grin quickly became a smile, a genuine, happy smile as if he were drunk with delight. “And I knew then. I knew then.”

 

For a moment more I stood motionless. Then something clicked, my mind finally complied me with what I asked it for what seemed like hours ago. I pressed my lips to his, capturing his top lip between mine. His hands took hold of my hips with a hard grip, as if I were to run away if he let go. I was going nowhere any time soon, nowhere.

 

His hands moved to my back as he pulled me down in to his lap, my leg’s either side him, my knees digging in to his hips, through the thick duvet. Still, my fingers that brushed through his hair stayed light. He had poured his heart out, finally. Albus had shown what he considered to be a weakness. And it had only made him stronger.

 

I brushed my fingers along his cheek and took in a sharp intake of breath as his rough hands found their way under my jumper, and to my back. His hands were clammy, a feat that I was thankful for; he wasn’t made of stone, he was just as nervous as I. Yet all sense of fear or apprehension seemed to disappear as my lips moved over his, working in sync.

 

My teeth grazed his bottom lip as he tried to tug my jumper over my head. I sat back and pulled it off, chucking it to the end of his mattress. He captured my lips in another kiss, his tongue pressed against my bottom lip. I smiled, grinning against his kiss. His finger’s nipped at my skin, his calloused hands exploring where they could reach. I felt the tiny hairs on my neck stand on end as a quiet moan erupted from the back of his throat.

 

His lips ran over my jaw, leaving a trail of butterfly kisses behind him. The gentle kiss he left burned a trail of fire in to my skin. The boy I had dreamt about for years was here, holding me, kissing me. He made my heart race, my breathing increase rapidly as his tongue ran circles over my neck, forcing my mind to fall in to a state of pleasure.

 

Pushing myself close to him, he pulled me down with him to the sheets.

 

I felt my arms buckle and he laughed; a breathless, hoarse laugh. I kissed him once and moved to lie next to him. Albus kicked off the duvet from his legs and took hold of the small of my back.

 

My fingers danced against the skin of his neck, his shoulders, his chest. “I had completely pure intentions when I came to see you this morning, Mr Potter.”

 

“I’m sure that you did.” He replied quietly. He kissed my palm as my fingers touched his cheek. “But it worked out well, I think.”

 

The darkness of the room once again worked in my favour. “Come on, we’re going to be late to class.”

 

“Skip it.” He said without hesitation. “Just, stay with me for a while.”

 

It was an offer that I couldn’t decline.

 

I was once told, as a young girl, that every princess got her prince. I had thought that the trip was easy, an adventure of sorts, but it wasn’t; every adventure is a life, someone else’s story. Mine was short, compared to some. But then again, long to the one’s in stories.

 

Albus was right when he said they’re not real, because this is real. This is reality. You couldn’t find this feeling in a story, and then I knew that my fairy tale had begun a new chapter.  







 

AN; here it is! The last chapter - well, there's still the epilogue to come, but still - I hope that you enjoyed it! I'm sorry for the long wait; life has been really busy. 
I will update with the epilogue soon, and I hope that it lives up to your expectations? Does anyone have any predictions? ;) I'm really happy with it, so I hope that you all are too!


If you enjoyed this, don't forget to leave a review with the word ROBIN, if you didn't like it, then HOOK! Thank you for reading!

 


Chapter 22: And They Lived …
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And They Lived ...
Harry and Dominique



 

 I frowned in to a luke-warm cup of tea and put the kettle back on the stove, getting another tea bag from the pot.



Letting my tea cup and spoon clatter against the old kitchen counter top, I parted my hair and looked out of the old panelled window. While the glass was clean, the paint on the wooden frame was chipped, and the window itself rattled whenever the wind picked up.

 

Pulling the kids away was a nightmare in itself, but more so keeping Harry from tormenting Dominique with the horror stories he told to fit the rattling. The kettle began to cry and the water bubbled over.

 

As I moved the kettle from the stove to the counter, a pair of sharp nails dug in to my waist.

 

“Mummy,” Dom whinnied, tugging on my jumper. “Harry won’t share his whizzbees.”

 

She looked mournfully out of the kitchen window, resting her head on to the counter. Her dark hair swept in to her face as wind flew in when the back door opened.

 

Harry stomped on to the doormat, dried mud falling off of his wellies. “Uncle Scorpius brought you a tin of sugared butterfly wings; the whizbees are for me.”

 

His sister looked longingly towards the small sweet that he popped in to his mouth, and her eyes widened to the size of dinner plates as his feet lifted form the ground.

 

“Woah,” Olivia exclaimed, pushing Harry back down on to the floor as she shut the back door behind her. “Don’t eat too many of them; we’ll never get you off of the ceiling.”

 

“That won’t happen,” Dominique folded her arms and narrowed her eyes quizzically towards her Auntie.

 

Olivia copied her nieces pose, one hand still on her nephews shoulder. “Are you sure about that, Dom? My brother ate an entire bag when he was Harry’s age and went splat!”

 

“Are you sure that’s true, that he hit the ceiling?” Dominique tossed her long hair over her shoulder stroppily. “Because I’ve never met your brother.”

 

“That’s because he’s still there,” Olivia told her, gratefully accepting the cup of tea and two sugars I offered.

 

Dominique took a moment to purse her lips together, her eyes looking from her Aunt to her disbelieving brother as he held the sweets in his open palm and expected them with a statement of ‘I don’t want to go splat against the ceiling’.

 

In a manner that I could only describe as similar to her fathers, Dom snatched the half-full bag from his open hand and darted for the living room.

 

Laughing, Olivia took a sip from her tea and leant against the kitchen counter. Her gaze drifted to the window. “Their worse than the children sometimes, honestly.”

 

Albus stood at the bottom of the garden, facing Scorpius as they argued foolishly. A path was trodden in the overgrown grass lead from the backdoor to where they stood, the countless trips from the backdoor of the kitchen to the greenhouse finally taking its toll on the lawn.

 

Grumpily, Scorpius threw his hands up in defeat and gave a final lame gesture towards the plants in the greenhouse. Eight years ago, he was offered a position in Medicine Research at St Mungo’s, rather than typical healing and much to our shock, he took it.  We had always thought he would end up in muggle communications. Yet here he is, using the green house at the bottom of my garden - his London flat doesn’t have one of its own – to grow excess plants that can’t be stored in the lab. He popped round every day to see them, and to have a cup of tea.

 

He grimaced obviously and again gestured inside after look back at me and his wife through the kitchen window for assistance. We turned away and fell in to enjoyable, meaningless conversation. It was a known fact that Albus didn’t like it when Scorpius left the door open to the greenhouse in case the kids got inside; they’re crafty little children. 

 

Despite having been married for nine years themselves, Oliva and Scorpius had no children; they both agreed that ours were a handful enough for them both and that they’d ‘rather be the cool Aunt and Uncle than the parent’s’ themselves.

 

Two years after Albus explained to Olivia Peckham that it wasn’t going to work between them, Livvy accidentally tipped her drinks tray over Scorpius while working as a waitress, and trying to escape the wrath of her somewhat parsimonious ex-boyfriend. Scorpius remembered her, and liked her quick witted attitude and annoyed pout. She’s grown up since he’d last seen her, and he fell for her instantly. He asked her to marry him that same day, and then weekly for over a year before she finally gave in.

 

Most found it difficult to fit in with Scorpius, Al and myself, but even back when Livvy was in her sixth year, she wasn’t intimidated; she plotted with me on how to push a mean girl in to a fountain. Scorpius was always attracted to blunt girls with a hint of vulnerability.

 

Olivia groaned and drained the last of her tea. “Here they come,” she rolled her eyes and led the two of us through to the sitting room.

 

The backdoor was pushed open and Scorpius stormed through, helping himself to hot water from the kettle and pouring it in to one of the mugs I’d set out for the two of them. Still, ten years since we left Hogwarts, they’re arguing like they did when they’re eleven.

 

“Oi, kids,” Livvy snapped, her light hair falling in to her pace. “Pack it in!”

 

Harry, who was holding the packet of whizzbee’s inches out of his little sisters reach, apologised to his Aunt.

 

I opened my arms to an irritable Dominique as she pouted and tried to punch her brother in to giving her the sweets. “She doesn’t mean you, Harry darling.”

 

“She’s right,” Scorpius agreed, taking the whizzbee’s packet for himself. “We’re acting like children.”

 

Albus sank in to the chair next to Olivia and helped himself to my tea. “Speak for yourself, mate. You have to agree with her; she’ll murder you otherwise. I mean, look at the way she’s glaring at me now, it’s like she want to mount my head on your living room wall.”

 

“I was leaning more towards gauging your pretty eyes out with a spoon, but your idea will do.” Livvy was always fiery, but uncommonly kind. Scorpius always adored the idea of me being pushed around by someone of my own sex for a change.

 

Dominique crawled in to my lap and knotted her fingers through the spaces in my knitted jumper. “If Daddy loses his eyes, he won’t be able to see me and JJ at the nativity play next week.”

 

Laughing, I rested my head back in to the sofa arm chair and pulled my slippered feet up underneath the two of us. “Your Daddy wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

 

“He wouldn’t give up the chance to make fun of Jack,” Scorpius grumbled in to his tea, dribbling down his work tie and swearing under his breath as he reached for a tissue.

 

Much to our surprise, Jack met the woman of his dreams at Scorpius’ wedding; Olivia’s Sister, Julie. Yet two years after Jack Junior was born Julie suddenly passed away, leaving Jack to raise his chatty son as a single parent.  But JJ was a bit of a push over, and Dominique’s takes after her father in almost every mannerism; the pair of them get on like a house on fire, and are both in the same class at the local muggle primary school.

 

I know for a fact that Jack misses his best friend; Perry was accepted in to the Tornadoes Quidditch Team almost moments after they saw him play. They adore him, but the public love him more. The brooding, quiet demeanour was something the public went mad for. He and Marilyn lasted months, almost a year if I remember correctly, before she ran off with one of his teammates and took off to America. He pops back for Christmas and important dates when he can; but he’s enjoying his youth to the full.

 

Rose honestly changed a little, as much as I wish I could write she was completely reformed, I can’t. She works for Witch Weekly, and while isn’t the person she was, still spends her time telling gossipy lies about other’s. Albus only sees her at family dinners at the Burrow – a weekly occurrence.

 

An occurrence of which, made his cousin Freddy forever happy. At one dinner, we had brought Nina with us, a girl who had become a close friend of mine after she published my first children’s story book, a twisted take on the tale of Robin Hood – where Marion never got Robin, but in which he falls for his trusted friend instead. Freddy fell for her instantly; they’re happily married and reside in Norfolk with a baby on the way.

 

By the end of the year, she had completely separated herself from Rose and Marilyn, siding herself next to Jack. For a while, we wondered what exactly was going on between the two, but nothing came of it.

 

Dom stirred in my lap, resting her head on my pregnant belly; five months in, my tummy is much larger than it was with either Harrison or Dominique. The latter, named after Albus’ erratic cousin of who insists that she will be my maid of honour when Al and I finally decide to get married.

 

After Hogwarts, I had pursued photography for a while, taking photos for an art collection in London using models. Dominique Weasley, the erratic, acclaimed work-aholic model was one of the first I shot. She says that she fell for me instantly, and in a manner that I recognise to be very similar to her green eyes cousin, mocks me constantly. We meet for tea and cake on a weekly basis if we can.

 

Yet, our similar named friend insists that it is he who influenced our daughter’s name.

 

Harrison, born four years after Albus and I began our relationship, has a tough life ahead of him, having been named ‘Harry Albus Potter’ by his stubborn father.

 

“Did you hear about Dominic, bless his heart?” Olivia asked, setting her tea back on to the top of a pile of books in the form of a make-shift coaster.

 

In some fluke which we are still yet to understand, Dominic Brown, the shockingly wise Slytherin acquired himself a restaurant, of which he now runs as a chain along the west coast of Britain. The first one he bought was the restaurant of which Olivia ran as the catering manager.  In the small world that we live in, they work together every day.

 

At the vacant looked upon all of our faces, Harry laughed and scrambled up on to the arm of the sofa by his uncle who looked expectantly at his wife. “Well, obviously not; care to share, love?”

 

Scorpius loved to pester his wife on her empathetic mannerisms. While he secretly cared about what happened to his friends, Scorpius always acted aloof – even more so with age.

 

“He’s been spending the weekends in France, staying with Tom and his girlfriend.”

 

“But Dom’s with Lucy,” I said, untangling Dominique’s fingers from my jumper and holding them between my own.

 

“I will actually give him money to break up with that winey little girl,” Albus said, pulling a face at his cheeky daughter; she stuck her tongue out towards him.

 

Scorpius laughed. “If I remember correctly, you offered him a rather substantial amount four months ago when you first met her.”

 

“Albus,” I scolded. “That’s horrific.”

 

“I knew that you wouldn’t approve,” he sulked.

 

Dominique stuck a sweet in to her mouth and sucked, her words slurring together as she said. “I approve Daddy.”

 

Al leaned forward and pulled her from my lap, pulling her against his grubby jumper, and cooed “that’s because you’re my favourite child.”

 

Harry huffed, wrist deep in the sugar that had come from the bottom of the wizzbee’s packet. “She’s four; she’s not allowed to approve of anything.”

 

“It’s alright mate,” Scorpius encouraged with a wink. “You’re my favourite. Besides, your mother felt the same way that you do when your Dad proclaimed that I’m his favourite of us adults many years ago.”

 

I rolled my eyes and groaned quietly. I’d forgotten that fateful night down at the Leaky Cauldron where Albus drunkenly exclaimed that he’d rather he father Scorpius’ children than mine. At the time, I was a month pregnant with Harrison and was at the pub visiting a friend of his family who owned the place.

 

Harry looked hopeful and pointed towards my tummy. “When baby Ethel’s is born, who will be the favourite then?”

 

Still, I felt anger towards Albus who had once –once – joked with the kids that we’re calling this baby ‘Ethal’. It stuck, and they’re not forgetting it.

 

“You’ll still be my favourite,” Scorpius told him, one hand firmly on his nephew’s foot, keeping him in some form, tied to the couch.

 

Before I had the chance, Olivia put an end to this conversation and announced bed time for both the kids. With a groan, they listened begrudgingly to their aunt and traipsed towards their bedrooms in the old cottage.

 

It felt right, living in the cottage I grew up in myself. I returned to my father after leaving Hogwarts, and as usual, he welcomed both Albus and Scorpius in to the house as if they were his own children. He was so proud that we’d finished with descent grades … and in one piece, but more so that we had all grown in to fine, gracious, young people.

 

Yet, it made his day when he laid eyes on the book. For months he would read it through to me, as if I were a child once again. It was bliss.

 

But, as we’d suspected, there was a time for everyone to grow up, and we knew when it came. For Scorpius, his father presented him a sum of money and gave him a year to see what he could do with it – an entrepreneur, if you will. Albus was thrown head first in to the Auror training and realised that he was made to work harder because of his name, rather than having it easier.

 

But my time was more prominent. When I was twenty, my father passed away in his sleep, and left his affairs for me to deal with. I got everything, my mother having died when I was a child. The cottage seemed like a lonely place, the heating packed out and the bricks in the back wall needed replacing.

 

Without asking first, Albus announced that I wasn’t allowed to be sad. He fixed the heating and fixed up the old cottage himself, leaving me to wallow while he did. It wasn’t until months later that I had noticed he had cheekily, more or less moved himself in.

 

He said he was doing me a favour, Scorpius said he was taking advantage of me while I was vulnerable. I was simply grateful for the company. We’ve never discussed it since, and we’ve never for a second thought about moving.

 

When the kids were born, they seemed to adore the things I had from my childhood; the wooden builds in the garden, and the props that my father had bought for me. And even though Dominique isn’t in to fairy tales, she likes the idea of knights. Harry on the other hand, tumbled head first in to wanting to be Peter Pan and dressed up the family cat as a lost boy.

 

We always seemed to have money; I didn’t grow much, and never needed or wanted new clothes, and Al’s job paid well. I spent years, happily doing odd jobs and wrote children’s stories when I could. We already had a house, and simply found that to us, a holiday was spending time in Neverland – no money needed.

 

I tucked the children in to bed, and read them a chapter from Cinderella; Dominique had always particularly liked the idea of a pumpkin being turned in to a carriage.

 

As the clock struck nine, we said goodbye to Olivia and Scorpius, of who promised that he would never buy the children sweets again, and retired to the kitchen.

 

With a gentle smile, Albus took off his glasses and blue beanie hat. “And then, there were two.”

 

“Behave,” I said in a rough whisper, the soap suds from washing the dishes sliding off my skin.

 

“Oh, you’re taking charge now?” he chuckled as his fingers ran over the tattered edges of my denim shorts. “That’s cute.”

 

I elbowed him in the gut so he stumbled backwards. But it didn’t seem to faze him. “I’m not being cute, I’ve had a busy day, and I’m really tired.”

 

“And whiney,” I pretended not to hear him as he pushed me aside carefully and finished the washing up quickly and efficiently. He pulled the blind down on the kitchen window and put his hand in to the pocket of my shorts. “If you’re tired, you better get to bed.”

 

“And sleep.”

 

“I better come with you,” he persisted, breathing huskily in to my ear. His body seared next to mine, his fingers brushed over my leg and I felt it burn.

 

Batting his hand away, I asked “to sleep?”

 

He dragged his strong hand down his face and closed his eyes. “You’re making flirting pointless, Ran.” He caught my forlorn smile and matched it with a laugh of his own. “Come on, Miss Baker – to bed!”

 

And while we fought, and bickered like we were seventeen sometimes, he was my perfect Prince Charming; blunt, occasionally insolent and kind, oh so kind. And I adore every inch of him.

 

We may not yet be married and have lived happily ever after, but we have a pretty damn good life, a life we’re still living. Al gets grumpy when he comes home from work, and I upset at the way he expects me to do all of the cleaning. But when he climbs in next to me in our old bed, I can’t help but feel content.  

 

Aside us upon the bookshelf, there is the book. The book that started everything, the book of tales I wish will last forever. Inside holds what I used to dream was my future.

 

Yet I realised that what the pages held can’t be my future, but what I have will be better, because what I have is the perfect reality. We argue, and laugh and love. We’re human. And although I know that we still have our entire lives ahead of us, we will live Normally Ever After.









 

AN; this authors note is always, to me, the most important. This is the note where the author tries to cram in everything that they haven’t managed to get across to the readers so far - in a nutshell, all the weepy thank yous. So, I could sit here and write a ten paged authors note about how grateful I am to everyone who’s ever reviewed, or anyone who’s’ ever given this story a chance – but I think that it’s easy to tell how grateful I am.

I really enjoyed writing this; Ranny is a character that embodies a lot of the childish mannerisms that we as people have, and writing them alongside fairy tales and legends was certainly an experience, but I had a great time doing it. I hope that you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

This epilogue wasn’t how ‘d originally planned it to be, but I think that I like this better! Thank you for reading! Oh, and to those of you who’d guessed that Scorpius was to end up with Olivia – seriously, cudos to you! Until this chapter, I didn’t think about the pair of them, so you knew before I did! ;)

Thank you again!


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