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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,” 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!

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