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.
“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-“
“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.
“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?”
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!
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