characters: leona, nancy, perceus, atticus, dewitt,
tiddlywinks, percy, katherine, liza, emilise, everett, theo,
the mooncalves, draco, artephius
rp: to build a home | warnings: n/a | word count: 7,191
authors note: this is a christmas present to iris, an
incredibly, amazing, phenomenal, wonderful friend <3 talking with you always gives me the biggest smile and
i wish i could put into words how happy i get whenever discord gives me a notification and it's something from
you. i adore chatting with you about absolutely everything, i truly enjoy it so much, and planning things
for our magnificent darlings is no different, i adore that too. you're so amazingly fun to craft stories with, and i
thank you so much for being in my life <33 you came into my life at a time where i most needed a friend, and
you instantly became that friend. there are no words to describe how much you mean to me, and how much i
enjoy writing with you, and how thankful i am for your friendship and how absolutely amazing you always are. i
know i've told you about mo anam cara already, and that it means soulmate, but it also means soul friend, and if
it's not creepy or anything like that to say i feel like you're my soul friend. i also promise that no matter what
happens between us, or to me, or to you, that i will always be here if you need a friend or a shoulder to cry or
lean on or anything else, no matter what it is. if you ever need to talk about anything at all, i promise I'm here for
that, and for anything else you may want or need. your messages are never, ever a bother, and I love all you send.
i get a huge smile when i wake up to loads of messages from you too. everything about you and talking and writing
with you is just an absolute joy.
i love and value you and your friendship so much, thank you, and i hope we can stay friends for a really long time <3
i really hope you enjoy this little gift and that it gives you a smile <3
i'm also so sorry i finished this three days after Christmas ahHh i'm terrible
xxxIt was early in the morning, just as the season of spring was starting. No one else but herself, and her grandmother, were up and awake. They were sitting together in the old whicker rocking chair in the corner of her grandmother's room, with her nestled atop the older woman's lap, head on her shoulder, as she gently rocked them both. Leona was going to turn seven in a few months, when autumn began, but she didn't care for it much. She never liked the number seven, it felt weird, and uncomfortable in her mouth, and just odd. Her grandmother told her she'd be getting something very special then, something her grandfather, Grandpa Jack, would have wanted her to have. She didn't really remember him, he had died when she was three and still too young to really keep anything inside her brain, but even so, she missed him. She missed the memories with him that she once had. He sounded so fun in all the stories her grandmother told, so energetic and playful, even when he was turning old, and his hair was growing gray. He had been an animagus too, a person who could become an animal and gone through the painstaking process of becoming one, and the animal he became, was a little Jack Russell Terrier, like the sweet Crup that passed away not longer after he had. That was why people called him Jack; his real name was really Perceus, but even before he went through the process to become the little terror, he had been called either Matthew, his middle name, or Jack. There was a picture of him with the Crup on her grandmother's dresser, beside another one with the two of them, and her, as a little baby in a frilly pink dress, hugging her grandfather as he smiled and made a silly face, with the kind dog leaning in to lick her face. Both moved, like most wizard pictures did, and she couldn't help but allow her eyes to be drawn toward them. There was a picture of his human face next to them too, smiling a smile her grandmother always described as radiant. She could see it, why the woman described it at that; it was bright, full of life, light, and happiness, and it extended to his eyes, which appeared to sparkle as the image moved. There really wasn't much else to call it except radiant, and it only made her wish that she had really, truly known him more. If he was alive, he'd have even more stories to tell her, and he could join in with her on listening as her grandmother read magnificent books, and maybe he could have even given her piggyback rides too, or swing her onto his back and pretend to be a swooping airplane that flew threw the clouds, like her father would sometimes do. Him being here would make her grandmother happier too; she saw how she missed him so, how her eyes would grow sad and fill with a melancholy longing whenever she saw his photographs, or someone spoke his name. The two had loved each other endlessly, more than she had ever seen anyone love anyone before- except for her parents, the same went for them-, and her grandmother still loved him, and missed him more and more each day. The necklace her grandmother wore around her neck was proof of that; it was a blood pact, to never stop loving each other, even in what persisted after death, and whatever may find them in that terrible dark. That was what Leona wanted most, for her grandmother to be have everyone she loved by her side again, so her smile could be even bigger, and she'd never not be happy.
xxxCarefully, Leona reached up a hand to lightly touch the necklace, the tip of her finger trailing along one spiral of the triskelion shape. Her grandmother loved that symbol, and she loved it too. It meant beautiful things. Her grandmother smiled down softly at her, and raised a hand to stroke lightly through her hair. Leona closed her eyes for the briefest of moments again, before they opened, and she shifted to sit more upright, more attentively. Her grandmother turned to her, an eyebrow raised questioningly, curiosity creeping into her gaze.
xxx"Grandmama, how did you meet Grandpa?" Leona asked quietly, looking up at her grandmother expectantly. The older woman smiled, and straightened in her chair, positioning herself to get ready to tell a tale. Her eyes filled with the memories of a time Leona didn't recognize or know, and then she began to speak, a wider smile pulling up her cheeks.
xxx"Well, it was the first day of my first year at Ilvermorny, and I had just turned eleven." Her grandmother began, holding her close with one hand, and extending the other, brushing it in a smooth rising stroke against the air, painting a picture with her hand and the tips of her fingers as she spoke. Leona watched the movements intently, her finger still absentmindedly tracing the curls of the necklace. "I was just entering the school with everyone else, and then this frazzled boy just ran straight into me. He was chasing after a friend's frog that had gotten away from them, and as he looked up to apologize, he caught my eyes, and the proceeded to fumble all over his words. I think even then I knew he was the one."
xxxThe sun was shining brightly high up in its place in the endless sky, it's warm rays falling to the earth and warming the castle's ancient stones, making them sparkle in the light where the shadow's of passing students didn't dare creep, in fear of disturbing the light of a thing that could banish every shadow to ever exist. Children chattered excitedly all around her, and students who had been attending for awhile paused to talk with their friends, ready to catch up on the summer they had been apart. She covered feet pattered on the stone leading to the school, and the sound of the faintest breeze rippled through the trees, sending the changing leaves a flutter, joining them in the air. It was going to be her first year at Ilvermorny, and so far, she felt alone, but very excited, and eager to start her first day, and see the totems that would play apart in deciding what house she would be in. If only one reacted to her when she stepped into their resting place, then the choice would be made for her, but if more than one displayed their interest in her and expressed a desire for her to be in their house, then she'd get to make a choice. She so hoped that that would be the case. She liked the sound of Thunderbird, a house of adventure and soul, the house her family was known to be in, and she adored it's mascot, but something within her called to that of Pukwudgie, a house of heart, and healing. She would much rather heal others, and bring them smiles, than have fun. She didn't have much interest in travel or games either; she wanted to stay near the ones she loved most, her family, not explore or be brave. Being brave was important, but to her, caring for others was more important than showing courage.
xxxAfter a moment of consideration, she paused, and turned to look back at the way she had come, with a sigh. How far away was she from home? A thousand miles? A million? New York was over a state away, and her family's little shop in a small space near Manhattan, was likely even farther. She bit her lip, a tinge of homesickness dropping into her excitement. Turning around had probably been a mistake. Now she'd be thinking of home, and her family. That had probably been a mistake for another reason too, as she discovered a moment later, or perhaps it had been exactly what she had been meant to do, because if she hadn't she would have never met him.
xxx"Augustus, get back here! Thomas is going to really miss you if you don't!"
Suddenly, a figure ran into her from behind, and she nearly toppled over. She would have fallen right onto her face if she hadn't caught her balance just in time, and then turned around to face the culprit. He had fallen on the floor, right on his butt, and his face was, very, very red. He looked a bit out of breath too, so either the blush on his cheeks was from running, or embarrassment. There was something special about him, but she didn't know what it was yet.
xxxHe began to speak, rushed and hurried, and then stopped. "I'm so so sorry-" He had looked up at her, and met her eyes, and froze. She tilted her head. Slowly he began to stand, his eyes wide, and never leaving her own. He nearly fell over, but caught himself as he finally broke his gaze before she could reach a hand out to help him up. "S-sorry, I-I was c-chasing after my f-friend's frog, he, he got away you see and-"
xxx"Will I know when I meet my forever?" Leona interrupted, piping up with a question, and breaking the picture of the story for the briefest of seconds. She would have felt terrible for interrupting; her mother always told her it was rude and that she would wait her turn, but her grandmother grinned, and she knew she didn't mind.
xxx"I'm sure you will my little Ona." She replied, looking down at her fondly. She paused to give her a loving hug and a gentle squeeze, before continuing on, returning to where she had left off. Leona went back to listening intently, leaning into her embrace, and watching as her hand painted perfect, invisible strokes in the air, recreating the story she told. "Now, where was I? Ah yes, he had run into me and started spluttering like a fool."
xxx"H-hi. I'm Perceus, but I go by M-Matthew." Nancy had to suppress a laugh as he stopped himself mid explanation to say hello. It was cute, in a weird way. He was definitely different, and kind of odd, but in a way, that made him feel even more special than he had before. He had an accent too, from someplace far away. She liked it. Had his family recently moved from Scotland? She thought that was where the accent was from, but she wasn't entirely sure. Europe seemed to have a gigantic plethora of accents, and she had only ever heard a very select few.
xxxShe stuck out her hand for him to shake. At first, he seemed surprised at it, but after a moment, he shyly accepted, shaking her hand very gently, as if she were made of glass, or a porcelain china doll. She smiled. "Hi. I'm Nancy Aubelle, but if you want, you can call me Elizabeth. It's my middle name." No one had ever called her Elizabeth before, well, except for her mother when she was cross with her and used her full name, but she didn't mind at all if he did. It would make the name more special, and meaningful, especially with him presumably going by his middle name too. He beamed brightly at her.
xxx"Are you okay?" She asked, her eyes searching his features with concern. He still hadn't let go of her hand. She was glad he hadn't, she liked the warmth of his hand on her own.
xxx"Y-yeah, I'm fine." He flushed, and gave a nod, before he took a pause, and then quickly followed up with her, making sure that she was alright. "Are you?" His voice came out hurried, and worried.
She nodded. "I am. Want to walk in together?" She questioned, biting her lip once she was done, and hoping that he'd accept the answer. A huge grin spread across his face, which she mirrored with a grin of her own.
xxx"Yeah, I'd like that, very much." Her heart gave a little flutter at his acceptance, a feeling she had never felt before. Had his done the same when she asked?
xxxIt seemed that both of them had already forgotten the frog he had been frantically scrabbling after. The two of them turned and started to walk to the school together, their hands still entwined. That was the start of a brilliant friendship, and a love that was everlasting.
xxx"Leona, how did you get that cut on your cheek?"
xxxInstinctively, her hand flew up to hide the scratch, covering up the entirety of her left cheek.
xxxHe watched her patiently, with concern in his eyes, and no judgment contained within. His voice echoed that when he spoke again. "Did you get it in a fight with someone?"
xxx"No!" Leona's voice was raised, and worried, and quick to dismiss the question, bit it was sincere, and truthful. She caught his eyes before she looked away; warm, and kind, and concerned, but not the kind of concern that she was some problem child, that the other teachers gave. His was honest, without judgement, and sincere. She bit her lip, and looked down at the ground, her cheeks turning pink, though one side was hidden by her hand. "I just went looking for a Horned Serpent in the forest by the school, like in the story, and I didn't notice a branch had thorns." Leona told him sheepishly, preparing to be told she was wrong, and that it was dangerous, and she should not have done that last night, when she most definitely wasn't allowed to.
xxx"Oh Leona." Atticus placed his hand on her shoulder, and came to sit by her side on the trunk she was sitting on in his classroom. Where was the reprimand? The comment that that was against the rules? Her hand slipped from her face, down to run along the soft fur along Winks' tail as he rubbed against her feet with a purr, and she tensed, bracing herself for the scolding she was sure would come, and for the disappointment she was certain would be laced with his voice.
xxxShe was only eleven, and spending time with her future Care of Magical Creatures professor, because she helped him with his creatures whenever she had a free moment, and they had grown close, as friends. Leona didn't have his class yet; she wasn't old enough, but Professor Atticus had become her friend, and a very close, good friend at that. No one else at the school liked creatures as much as they did, and he was beyond happy to have someone help him out with all of his wondrous animals. His creatures liked her too, which he was more than a little pleased with, and Tiddlywinks liked them and the professor as well, which was really good. He had scratched the Headmistress twice already, when Leona had to meet with her a couple times after getting in trouble, which definitely hadn't helped, even if she found it quite satisfying. She didn't really like the older woman; and the feeling seemed to be mutual. It was like that with a lot of her teachers too, even the ones she did like, like her potions teacher, but it wasn't like that with him. He had told her multiple times that she was his favorite student when they were alone, after adding that he probably shouldn't have said it, and that it was a secret for just them to keep. He was good teacher, and his eyes usually seemed to sparkle with fun. Now though, they watched her intently, searching her features, but then the sparkle appeared, and a smile spread across his lips. What?
xxx"Did you find anything?" What?
xxx"You're not mad? You're not going to send me to the Headmistress?" Leona was so confused, beyond it even, baffled.
xxx"I should, but I know you had good intent. You wanted to learn and make a friend, how can I punish my favorite student for that?" He grinned at her, and she felt herself smile a little too, her form relaxing. He really was a good teacher, and her favorite one too. "And besides, I'm sure you were safe. You had Winks to protect you, did you not? And if you were in danger, I know my creatures would have come to your aid. I'm starting to think they like you more than they like me."
xxx"Really?" Leona looked very interested at that, her eyes lighting up, any unpleasant feelings she had promptly melting away. She felt a lot better hearing that.
xxx"Oh yes. The Mooncalves won't even pay me any mind anymore when I'm not teaching a class, and they definitely don't great me the way they greet you. Even ol' Artephius has taken a shine to you, and he doesn't like just anyone." She beamed at that, the smile reaching her eyes. She loved all of his creatures with all of her heart, and she was overjoyed to hear that they liked her too.
xxx"I like Artephius and the Mooncalves too, and all your other creatures." Leona told them, turning to look at them. The bright Fwooper gave a happy flutter of his wings, and she let out a little laugh.
xxxLaughter filled the living room as she and her friend's burst into giggles over Liza's very amusing imitation of a not so pleasant Headmistress, and the time someone interrupted one of her speeches, or well, lectures more accurately, with a very unflattering magical gadget that startled her and caused the woman to fall backward into a fountain. The dark haired girl fell dramatically backward onto the couch she was sitting on, a hand to her forehead, mimicking the spluttering mess the Headmistress had been. Leona covered her mouth to suppress a snort. That had been one of the best moments of her entire school career, and it still never once failed to make her laugh whenever it crossed her mind, it had just been too incredible. She had been worried about her two friends not getting along too, her no-maj neighbor that had been her best friend since they were small, and her newer friend from school, a kind girl that also happened to be in Horned Serpent like herself, but clearly, that worry had been completely unreasonable; the two girls had been laughing together for the entire night, and were quickly becoming fast friends as the sleepover went on. It was really wonderful to see, and it made her smile.
xxxIt was near the end of the summer, and she had wanted to do something special with her friends before she had to go away to Ilvermorny again, so she had asked her mother if they could have a slumber party, and she had said yes. Katherine often spent the night during the summer months, and by now, she knew everything that Leona knew about magic and the wizarding world, and she had kept all of it a secret, like the amazing friend she was. The chatty blonde still had the Puffskein her grandmother had given her when she was six, and she had successfully kept it a secret from them for years now, when they were fifteen. The little creature was thriving with her friend, and currently contentedly taking a nap near the fireplace on Winks' kitty bed, much to the orange cat's increasing distaste. Winks gave the pink thing a disgusted sniff, and then returned to Leona's side as she struggled to hold back her laughter, curling up by her thigh with a scowl, his eyes never leaving the creature, and his ears twitching at each one of it's minuscule snores. His tail thrashed the air, and hit her sides, but she didn't notice, she was still too distracted by the jokes of her great friends.
xxx"Oh my god, I can't believe that happened! That's absolutely incredible." Kat struggled to regain her breath after her fit of laughing, and Liza smiled.
xxx"It was better than that, it was so amazing. I think it was the best day of my life."
xxx"I'm so jealous, you two are so lucky. You get to see that, and then go to a school filled with magic and come home to it for the rest of your life. I'm sure the Ilvermorny boys are super cute too, much better than the non magic ones, and the things they could do with magic, oh I was I was you." She leaned back with a dreamy sigh, and Leona watched with her mouth open, astounded.
xxx"What? I'm right aren't I? Tell me I'm right, Liza." Kat sat back up, and turned to the other girl, who was nodding, with a mischievous grin.
xxx"Oh you definitely are. Some of them are so very attractive, especially Ned, oh god, Ned is such a dreamboat. Isn't he Leona? And don't you dare say he's not or that you're too focused on your studies and animals to notice or care, I know you have eyes, I've seen you looking."
xxxLeona watched the two girls stare at her in disbelief. This was a mistake, this was so clearly a mistake. They got along too well, and now they were turning on her. They were insufferable.
xxx"Well, is he Ona? How's he look? Is he as dreamy as she says? Have you talked with him at all? Anything juicy to share?" Kat teased, leaning forward and wiggling her eyebrows. Oh no, she was not going there.
xxx"No, of course not! He's tolerable, mildly tolerable, that's all." Looked away, unable to meet their penetrating gazes, and not wanting them to see in to her very soul.
xxxHer friends stared at her with their eyebrows raised, not believing her for an instant. She let out a sigh.
xxx"Okay, fine, I admit he's kind of cute. Happy now?" Leona relented, crossing her arms and sending them a scowl. Kat let out a squeal and hugged her pillow, leaning back on the couch.
xxx"Eee Leona you finally have a crush!" Kat squeezed the pillow tighter, grinning excitedly from ear to ear.
xxx"I do not!"
xxx"You do! I know you too well, and you do! Tell us about him!" Leona stuck out her tongue as the girl leaned forward, elbows on her knees and her hands supporting her chin, silently demanding she spill the details. Liza mirrored the motion, clearly amused by all of this, and Leona was about to open her mouth and give a retort, but the sound of a cup clattering to the wooden floor by the kitchen along with a sound of disgust drew her attention, and she spotted her little brother standing in the door way, staring with a grossed out look on his face. "Ewwww," Apparently he had gotten away from their mother and Dewitt, who the five year old was supposed to be with while she spent time with her friends, to get a glass of water. Ugh.
xxxHe started to make a move for the stairs on the other side of the living room, racing to head back to their mother to share what he had heard. "Mom, Leona has a boyfriend!" Percy yelled, shouting it up the stairs. Leona leapt to her feet as her friends let out a giggle, running after her brother as he made for the stairs to relay his eavesdropping and get her in trouble.
xxx"Oh my god, Percy! I do not! Get back here you little snitch!" Leona called, growling after him as he made it to the first few steps. "Ah! Mom!" Percy let out a shout. She made it their quickly after him, catching him once he reached the top, and picking him up under his arms, holding him close as he tried to wriggle free from her grip. Her fingers tickled his sides.
xxx"Ahhh! Leona, put me down! You're not invited to my birthday party!" Percy squirmed. She let out a sigh. What sort of threat was that?
xxx"Percy! I'm your sister, I have to go, mom says we can't just uninvite each other." Leona reminded, tightening her grip.
xxx"I don't care! You aren't invited!" Percy let out a loud protest as he began to laugh, the tickling finally getting to him as she took a step toward his room, preparing to deposit him back inside.
xxx"I let you bring Brandon to mine, you have to let me come to yours!" She didn't care about it really, she just wanted to return the favor of being an annoying little pest.
xxx"Fine, then your friends can't come!" Percy let out another little squeal as she pushed open his door, and walked inside.
xxx"You know mom won't allow you to enforce that either, Percy." Her voice was calm, and that only made him wriggle more.
xxx"Okay fine! You can both come! Now put me down, please, it tickles!" Percy cried through his laugher, and she happily complied, dropping him on his bed.
xxx"Your cousin Theo will be staying with us a few days." Emily announced, looking out at her family.
xxxIt was a few days after the slumber party, an admittedly very sleepless night as the three chatted away until the glittering stars faded and gave way to morning and they had to leave, had ended, and she was eating dinner at the dinning table with her family, Winks under the table and laying on her feet, his loud purr reverberating around the room. Dewitt was curiously picking at his fresh fruit salad at his seat on the end of the table, between herself and her annoying sibling, and across from their father. He picked up each piece individually, examining it and giving it a cautious sniff. When she went shopping with her mother earlier, she had found some exotic fruits she hadn't tried before, from other places in the world, and she had gotten them, hoping that Dewitt would enjoy a new taste of star fruit and other things. So far he seemed to like them; he hadn't eaten anything he hadn't known yet, but he was still in the stage of being curious at his unfamiliar meal, and hadn't yet refused, so so far, she'd say it was going well.
xxxLeona looked up from her plate at her mother's announcement, her brows knitting together as her hand halted in twirling the fork in her spaghetti.
xxx"Where's he going to stay? He can't stay in my room, he's a boy." Leona asked, raising the fork to her mouth and taking a bite after she was done. They didn't have any spare bedrooms; her grandmother's room was off limits to guests, and she knew Theodore would not agree to sleeping on a couch, he was far above that. Percy's room was too small for a spare bed with all his things inside, which her brother would not allow anyone to remove, and Theo definitely wouldn't stay in her parents' room, so that just left her own, and she was not going to let that happen. Both Dewitt and Winks were he's, but they were different. While she thought of them as no different to humans, they just weren't. They weren't boys, or her adult cousin that had a habit of flirting with every girl his age. He had taken her for icecream once, and he had spent the entire time trying to chat up the girl who served it to them. He had been successful, as he always seemed to be, unfortunately.
xxx"Ned is a boy!" Percy piped up, fixing her with a devilish grin. She just barely avoided choking on the pasta she had just swallowed. The little-
xxx"Ned? Who's Ned?" Their mother asked, her gaze flicking between her children as the face of her daughter noticeably paled before turning a bright red.
xxx"He's just someone from school mom." Leona answered quickly, returning to her food unnaturally quick, hoping to seem normal and nonchalant, so her mother wouldn't think anything of her annoying pest's comment and attempt at payback.
xxx"No, he's a boy you like. I heard you saying you liked him at your sleep over. L I K E D, liked." Percy sat up straighter in his chair, looking proud as her cheeks grew even redder.
xxx"Percy!" Her hand tightened around the silver fork.
xxx"You like him!" Percy taunted gleefully.
xxx"No I do not!" Leona's blue gray eyes darkened with a glare as she protested his accusations. She did not like Ned and his dumb perfect hair.
xxx"I said he was tolerable, that's all." Leona shifted, and turned her attention back to her dinner, hoping if she didn't encourage him anymore that he'd stop. It didn't work.
xxx"Ha! That means you like him! I'm sure he'd be more than welcome to stay in your room." Percy teased, grinning wildly as she slowly looked back up, her features contorted into a frown, and her eyes dangerously glaring.
xxx"Percy I'm warning you-"
xxx"Ooo do you love him?" The fork fell onto her plate with a quiet clink.
xxx"Oh that's it! Come here you little pest!" The only sound was a chair scraping against he floor as she bolted from her seat, and lunged at her brother, who nearly fell out of his chair in an attempt to scramble away as she started the chase.
xxx"Dad, help!" Percy ran around the table after freeing himself from his chair, hugging it's edge, too quick for her to keep up unless she wanted to crash into it with her longer legs, and paused behind their father's chair.
xxx"Sorry Perce, you're on your own. I'm a pacifist." Their father only turned the page of the book in his hand as he put a forkful of salad into his mouth, pretending to ignore the chaos around him, though Leona didn't miss the tiny smile of amusement on his lips. Percy let out a squeak at his reply when the man made no move to stop his sister as she lunged at him again, and he nearly ran into their mother as he struggled to get away. The woman let out a sigh, shaking her head playfully before raising a hand.
xxx"Percy, Leona, please! You can chase each other around as much as you like, just finish your dinner first." Her voice was playful and she wore a smile, so she wasn't mad, clearly, but Leona still felt a twinge of guilt for starting a chase during their meal, and she reluctantly sat back down in her seat after a slow walk around the table to get back to it."Sorry mama."
xxxPercy reluctantly returned to his seat a moment after her, plopping down heavily onto his chair with folded arms and a huff. "Sorry mom."
xxxSeventeen. She was seventeen, and it was nearly the start of her final year, and then she'd be eighteen, and an adult, and ready to go her own way, out on her own, as soon as the school was done. She wasn't sure if she was ready, and her mind filled with nerves every time it crossed her mind.
xxx"So Leona, it's going to be your final year of school in a few days, have you been preparing for anything other than creatures?"
xxx"Oh, yeah, mhm, of course mom." Leona replied absentmindedly, only barely hearing the question to begin with as she leaned her head on her hand, her elbow upon the white lacy tablecloth, and pushed around her breakfast with the fork in her other hand.
xxx"Oh yeah, she definitely has. she's been reading romance books again!" Percy told them, punctuating it with a sip of his milk. Her eyes flickered to her brother at full attention, a glare taking hold of her expression.
xxx"Again?" Their father queried, raising brow questioningly her way as he lowered the Sunday paper.
xxxThe boy nodded enthusiastically. He was seven, and no less annoying and irritating than he had been at four and five when he began to really talk, and it was breakfast, weren't kids supposed to be sleepy and tired this early in the morning?
xxx"Percy you're such a little pest!" Leona glared, gently giving his foot a kick from under the table. He stuck his tongue out at her in response, grinning triumphantly.
xxx"Leona! Apologize to your brother!" Her mother scolded, sending her a warning look as her eyebrows turned into a frown.
xxx"No, I won't! He went into my room, and went through my stuff!" Leona shook her head and set her fork down on the table, pushing her seat back.
xxxNot the full name, please not the full name- "Leona Nanc-"
xxx"Okay, fine! Percy I'm sorry." She folded her arms and looked his way, the words hurrying out of her lips before her mother could finish her name.
xxx"No you're not!" Percy frowned.
xxxShe opened her mouth to retort and protest, but her father saw, and interjected, stopping her before she could make things worse and turn it into a situation he couldn't so easily diffuse.
xxx"Come on you two, let's not fight. Leona we'll talk more later." He turned to her pointedly, and her mouth remained open, hurt crossing her features.
xxx"But they're innocent!" Leona assured, staring at her father in disbelief. What? Did he not trust her? This was so unfair, and all her brother's fault! If he kept his nose where it belonged, out of her room, or just kept his mouth shut, she wouldn't be in trouble for reading things she'd never even read. She wasn't that kind of vile person, she would never read that.
xxx"I'm sure they are, but we just want to see." So, he didn't trust her then. He didn't trust her. He trusted a seven year old little brother over his older daughter, who had always been far more responsible than the mischievous rascal Percy was. That hurt.
xxx"Ugh. For fu-" She made a move to get up from the table, and leave, before her brother interrupted her, and she had to send him a glare.
xxx"Swear jar!" Percy always had to call that out. Always.
xxxShe was in the book bag that opened up into her creatures' world, with her old teacher, Atticus. She was feeding the Mooncalves, a heavy metal pail in her hands filled to the brim with special brown food pellets, that seemed to hang suspended in the air when she dipped her hand in and tossed them out to the adorable creatures, all eager for their breakfast. Her teacher was was helping her out with them, and cleaning up their area, or at least, he was trying to, as a few of the mooncalves, the ones that had been gifts from him, found him more interesting than their first meal of the day, and they were happily bounding around him and getting under his feet, happy to see an old friend once again, and the man who had raised them. It was such a wonderful sight to see, and it brought a smile to her lips as she watched them encircle her former teacher, and him try not to topple to the ground right into the mess he was meant to be cleaning. There were few things she loved more than seeing her animal friends so positively happy, and overjoyed. If only that feeling could last forever, and it didn't have to end, when reality tore it's way back in only a moment later when he finally spoke, breaking the pleasant silence they had been wrapped in.
xxx"So Leona, how are things between you and Draco? Are the two of you together yet, or are you both going to need a little more pushing?" His voice was light, teasing, but it only sunk a hole into her heart, and made it fall from her chest, along with the smile upon her face. It was suddenly difficult to keep the pail from slipping from her fingers. All of a sudden it felt all too heavy.
xxx"We've kissed, and shared... moments, but he's engaged. We couldn't, I can't- we can't, we-" She cut herself off, a few tears beginning to spring to her eyes, and a lump rose from her heart and began choking her throat.
xxx"From where I'm standing, with the way you two look at each other, it looks to me that he'd rather be with you than with the girl he's engaged to." He tilted his head, watching her with concern, and stepping closer, making his way through the herd of Mooncalves that had halted when they saw she was upset. He put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, and she looked up at him, into his familiar, comforting eyes. She bit the inside of her lip, and her face fell as her shoulders seemed to droop, but her old professor didn't miss the flicker of hope that flashed through her eyes at his words. He came a step closer, seeking to comfort, to help, to give advice. "Leona, sometimes people will sneak up on you in life, and suddenly, you don't know, you can't imagine, how you ever lived without them. I had that with someone once, but I chose this life over her. You can choose both Leona, you don't have to forfeit one." She was reminded of all the times before that he had been there, sharing his life, and giving her wisdom when she needed it, and just being there when she needed that. She thought of all the times in school that she had come to him with tears spilling from her eyes, or threatening to fall, which he always seemed to be able to stop, before the dams burst and they turned into raging rivers. Atticus had always been there for her, like this. He had always been a good friend, too good. That only brought more tears to her eyes. At least these tears weren't sad, they were heartfelt, and happier.
xxxArtephius landed on his shoulder, and fluttered his wings as if to say he agreed with the man. "See? Even Artephius agrees, don't you boy?" He leaned into the man's touch as Atticus' hand moved up to stroke his florescent pink feathers. She failed at supressing a small laugh at the sight, her hand not able to cover her lips quick enough. He caught that, and smiled, taking the little victory. He stepped in front of her then, his hand still on her shoulder, and tilted her chin up with a finger, so she'd be able to see the sincerity in his eyes.
xxx"You're like a firefly when it comes to him, you light up whenever he enters the room, and go dark when he leaves. That's not something you're likely to ever find again Leona. That's love. It's beautiful, and rare. Go to him, go tell him how you feel."
xxxIt was slowly becoming love, wasn't it? She really was falling in love with Draco, wasn't she? She was falling in love with the man, she really was, but not in a way she ever had before before. This was different, and new, but she knew that her professor was right. It was love.
xxxShe knew what love felt like; she loved her grandmother, her brother her, parents, but that was a familiar love, and this felt different. She loved her creatures, with every fiber of who she was she loved them, but that was motherly, parental, again platonic, and this was so very different. Her heart raced at the mere sight of him, and she didn't like being far from him, or unable to share things with him. She wanted to be close, and now that he was a part of her life, one so very important, she never wanted him to stop being a consistent piece. Her heart ached even more than it used to when she saw he was hurting or pained, and she so wished she could heal it all for him and give him a smile. There was no other kind of love that it could be, than the true desire of her heart, of her soul. It had to be, when even the sight of him looking happy sent the biggest flutter to her heart, the tiniest quirks of the corners of his lips pulling into the smallest of smiles made her unbelievably happy and caused her heart to race, when just being near him, or thinking of him, and seeing all the little things about him that only she had ever noticed, filled her with unfamiliar feelings that she couldn't place. It was love. It was really love. She was falling in love with Draco. She was falling hard, and she was falling fast.
xxxThe final task was almost here, the final day of the school year was almost upon her, upon them both, and then, they would have to say goodbye. She didn't want to say goodbye to him now that she knew him, now that he held every piece of her heart. He had held her when she needed someone to do that most, he had kept her safe, and showed her sides of himself no one else would ever get to see. How could she say goodbye to him now? How could she ever let him go? She was falling fast in love with Draco Malfoy, and if she didn't say something soon, then he'd be gone, and married, and she'd never see him again. She had to go to him, she had to tell him that he, and only he, held the key to every part of her heart, and that it would always be his, before she risked losing him forever. She would go to him, she would. He had so quickly become the most important being in her life, she couldn't lose him now. Once she was done here, with her professor, whom she had to thank for this, she would find him, and tell him, and from there, all she could do was hope that he shared her feelings, and with ever fiber of her being, she hoped that he did.
xxxShe looked back up to her professor after a moment of glancing away, her eyes clouded with thought and contemplation until they lit up with realization. He held an even larger smile on his lips, clearly already aware of the thoughts that had finally crossed her mind, and the realization that had at last broken through. Good. She wouldn't have to tell him what they were, that she was falling so hard in love for the most special man.
xxx"Thank you, Professor, for everything. Truly." Leona set the pail down- which the Mooncalves eagerly went to the second it hit the green grass-, and flung her arms around the man. He pulled her close, reminding her of her father, and held her tight, her chin resting on his shoulder as her eyes closed.
xxxShe was falling in love with Draco. She was falling in love with Draco Malfoy. She had found her one. She had found her heart, and her heart was Draco Malfoy.