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Mason Fluke

Hiding from the war outside

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Despite being in the care of an Auror, Fluke had still be terrified through the entire trek through the castle corridors. Of course, he still had no idea what an Auror was, but given the fact that she had a badge, that must’ve meant she was one of the good guys. At any rate, he was going to be safer with an adult than out in the corridors on his own.


Eventually, he was dumped off in the Great Hall with all of the other students. Apparently, they would be safe here, but he felt no safer than he had before. He looked around, noting that some students were in fact injured. He moved carefully through the house tables, through all of the students who were just as trapped as he was. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, either. It made him feel claustrophobic.


Of course, he was worried. He’d yet to see his one and only friend. Was she out there with those dark people? Was she hurt? Apparently, there was no shortage of hurt students around the castle. Then, to his surprise, and relief, he found her. No one could miss that red mane.


He rushed, as fast as his feet would take him. Fluke knelt down before her. Did he touch her? Should he leave her be? WHAT WAS HE SUPPOSED TO DO?

“Allie?”

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Regardless of the many ‘reassurances’ she’d received over the last several minutes, not a single one of them managed to crack through Alayna. She might not have been the owner of the wand that broke Ethan’s legs. She might not have personally cast that particular spell or even been of sound mind at the time, but none of that mattered. What mattered was the fact that it was because of her that they’d even been in that corridor to begin with. She’d brought him there, convinced him to come along despite him not even wanting to, and thus everything that’d happened afterward was directly connected to her and her actions. She was responsible for it. It was her fault.

Curled up against the wall the auror had dropped her at, Alayna did everything she could to make herself as small as possible. She tried to focus on the sounds of her breathing so that the crying and worried voices of others in the room would be drowned out and each time someone came to check on her, offered her something, she just shook her head and hugged her knees closer to her chest. Her eyes felt heavy and she almost wanted to sleep, but the fear that more could be out there… more people could be hurting, made it impossible to do.

So she just stayed where she was, trapped in a state between succumbing to a mental breakdown and sleep, until the voice of one of the few people capable of shattering the wall met her ears. “…Fluke?” Alayna whispered, head slowly rising to check and see if her mind was deceiving her. But it wasn’t. He was really there. And he was okay.

Before she could stop herself, the girl practically flung herself forward to wrap her arms around him. “I’m so glad you’re okay” she cried into his shoulder.


Edited by Alayna Weasley

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Fluke wondered if he was supposed to leave Alayna alone at a time like this. He didn't want to startle her, or impose his presence upon her, either, but he couldn't just walk away. Not when he knew she was hurting. She was his only friend in the whole castle, and it was shocking to see her so broken, even if she physically looked to be okay.

 

Suddenly, she launched herself at him, and they were a tangle of limbs as he fell backwards onto his arse with her wrapped around him. "I'm okay," he assured her, holding her close. "You're okay. You're alright." He was trying to convince himself of that, he knew.

 

She somehow ended up in his lap, and that was okay. He was blinded by her red mane of hair, and that was okay, too.

 

"Are you okay?" he asked after a moment. Did he keep hugging her? Was he supposed to let her go? His heart was racing in his chest, completely overwhelmed by the girl wrapped around him. "What happened?"


Edited by Mason Fluke

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The action was automatic and Alayna found herself so overwhelmed by emotion that she barely noticed when her friend lost his footing and fell backward. Her arms stayed clasped around him like an iron vice as he fell, taking her with him until they both crashed to the floor. And even then she couldn’t bring herself to let him go. Perhaps she was stupid for it, but he was her best friend and he was alive and she was scared and there was a horrible, horrible person outside. In that instant, every word which came out of Fluke’s mouth was like a piece of spello-tape, holding her together before she lost her wits entirely.

 

She was okay… for now. But not everyone was. How many more people were out there? How many more people were going to get hurt? The redhead could feel her body tense at the thought and then she whispered “There's a bad man in the castle. He.. he hurt...”, but couldn’t bring herself to say more than that. The silence would have to fill in the blanks.

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While what was happening out there was terrifying, it was more terrifying to have Allie wrapped around him, this shivering jumbling mess. He understood her fear. If that officer hadn't found him, who knew what could have happened to him in the corridor. He found himself shaking just as much as she was. Truth be told, she was holding him together. 

 

"One of those bad people you told me about," he ventured, now knowing that the stories she had told him were, in fact, true. He would never doubt a single word that came from her mouth again -- at least when it came to wizardly things. Non-magical things, well, he might second guess her.

 

"Shhh," he said, immediately sorry he had asked her to revisit what had just happened. She needed a distraction, and he had no idea what to do... until something squirmed in his pocket. Surely, Alayna must've felt it, too. His cheeks flushed. "Uh... sorry. This furball of yours... y'know..."

 

He reached a hand into his pocket and pulled out the pink piece of fluff and handed it over to her. Maybe the pygmy would give comfort to Alayna in a way that he couldn't.

 

Fluke had seen it many times in movies, how a kiss on the cheek was one of the ultimate comforts. He justed hoped it would make her feel better. And so, he leaned in.

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Alayna couldn’t bring herself to look back toward Fluke. Her face remained pressed against his shoulder, eyes focused on the cloth of his shirt. She did manage a small nod when he spoke however, her voice trailing off into silence just half a second before he hushed her. She sat there and tried to recollect herself. She was being stupid, she knew, because she wasn’t even hurt and yet there still she was, crying like some sort of pathetic brat. The voice in her head urged her to recollect herself, to be stronger than she was, but even so when she tried it just made everything worse. It wasn’t until something was felt moving about beside her that that she was momentarily pulled out of her thoughts to look down.

 

And then Fluke pulled Bertilda from his pocket and the sound of her squeak alone was enough to lighten the girl’s spirits, if only a little. “Bert!” Alayna called thankfully as she scooped the puff up.  The creature squirmed about in her hands and bumped her head against her fingers, clearly unaffected by the horrors going on outside.

 

“Thank you” she quietly said, and she turned her head to look toward her friend. Just as she did though his lips met hers, catching Alayna off-guard. She froze as her tired, fear-riddled brain struggled to catch up with what was happening. There was… he was… what was? She could feel her face going hot, but the ability to actually move wasn’t regained until a few moments later. And when she finally managed it, the girl found herself staring at Fluke through wide, surprised eyes. Had that really just happened? What was she supposed to do now? What was... what could...?

 

“I... I'msorry?”

 

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He was happy that the stupid little fluff ball he had agreed to watch (which, to be fair, did not include stuffing it in his pocket for the day) was just the distraction she needed. Okay, it wasn't a stupid fluff ball. In fact, Fluke was kinda wanting one of his own, but what was he going to do with it in the orphanage when he went back for the summer? He couldn't very well keep it there and risk the whole exposure of the wizarding world, right?

 

Maybe Allie would be so kind as to watch his pygmy... if he were to ever get one. At this rate, it didn't look viable, though.

 

All of that fell away in the split second it took for his mouth to meet her cheek... whoa, wait. Mouth. He was too shocked to move, too afraid that he was about to find her fist in his face, because let's face it... she was a Weasley, and Weasley's don't slap from what he's heard...

 

They finally pulled apart, eyes questioning each others, seeking answers and finding none. "Uh... no... my fault," he corrected her. "I... your cheek... moved. I'm sorry," he muttered. Things seemed to smooth over after that. She focused on Bert in her hands, and it seemed like the awkwardness was going to pass them by.

 

A minute passed, no words exchanged.

 

Uncomfortable.

 

"Unless... did it make you feel better?" he asked her, studying her every move in that moment, willing her to look back at him.

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She didn’t know why her words had come out sounding so much like a question, but that was the least of her worries as the redhead’s brain struggled to comprehend. Fluke looked to be just as shocked as she was, so this had all probably just been some sort of freak accident. An accident that they could both forget had ever happened… maybe, if the voice in her head would shut up for two seconds and let her think about this logically. Presently all it seemed capable of producing were thoughts like ‘ohmerlinohmerlinohmerlin’, ‘he’s gunna think you’re so dumb now, Alayna!’, and ‘maybe you should get out of his lap now… but what if he thinks you don’t like him then? He’s not talking; he probably doesn’t like you, anyway. So it doesn’t matter… does it? Legs, why aren’t you moving!!’

 

This all flashed before her in the time-span of just a couple of seconds and then Fluke said something which added a fresh layer of confusion to the mix. Okay, so he’d just wanted to kiss her on the cheek. That was no big deal- Tarquin had done that before and he was like… her brother or something. But… why was that making her feel sad? Brain, you’re failing right now.

 

Alayna tried desperately to offer Fluke a small smile for comfort, but all it managed to do was make her cheeks burn brighter so she immediately dropped her gaze down to her lap and the small ball of fluff squirming there. She stroked Bertilda’s fur absentmindedly, using the moment to calm herself down.

 

Then Fluke spoke again, leaving a question floating in the air that she had to take a second to mull over. Did she feel better? She didn’t know how she felt. This was weird and she was confused and… why? Drawing her eyes back upward, Alayna looked at him and tried to read the expression on his face. He didn’t appear disgusted… or mad. But then…

 

 Meeting Fluke’s eyes, Alayna did the only thing she could think to do. The only thing she could do. She nodded.  

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The silence was almost palpable between them, and the Ravenclaw didn't like it one bit. He wondered just how much he had screwed up the only thing that made sense in his life, and she was the only one who could help make this world make sense, too. If he were to lose her now, he would be lost in a stormy sea with no hope to find shore, much less a rock to cling to. Maybe he just needed to get up and walk away now before he put his foot any further into his mouth.

 

Except... she was still sitting in his lap, carefully cradling her pet Pygmy.

 

Then, she looked up at him, and he went still, breath lodged in his throat, mouth gone dry. She was about to tell him he was an idiot. She was about to tell him she never wanted to see him again... she was nodding her head. It made her feel better.

 

"I want you to feel better," he expressed, glancing around the Hall to see if anyone was watching. Especially now, when there was chaos going on in the castle that had them equally freaked out. So, he leaned in again, this time with purpose, and simply pressed his mouth against hers. Please feel better, please feel better.

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Her heart was beating fast and she could barely breathe, but who needed to breathe anyway? Certainly not her. She was practically inhuman, able to survive hours on end without taking a single breath… or maybe not really. That was probably a lie (spoiler alert: it was). But she had to hope she could make it at least a little while without passing out, because when Fluke replied and went to look away from her for a second, Alayna managed to only take a single breath more before he turned back to her and… started leaning toward her. The gears of her brain registered what was happening a bit quicker this time and the girl actually managed to get her eyes closed and lean in to the kiss when their lips met- who knew snooping on people’s ‘private’ moments would actually teach her something?!

 

And she stayed like that for one second… then two, before pulling away and dropping her eyes back to her lap, her cheeks flushed even more crimson than they’d been before. Bertilda chirped loudly and nudged her thumb up with the base of her head, clearly trying to regain some of her owner’s attention, but Alayna’s mind was too far gone for her to even notice. She stared at a point at her knee and whispered “you… like me?”

 

 

 

 

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Fluke couldn't believe what he was doing. It was weird, but meant to make Alayna feel better, which he hoped he was. If only for a moment was he making her forget what was happening outside, then he was succeeding. There were students moaning and groaning around them, but it amazingly didn't matter in that moment until Alayna pulled back from him to immediately look away.

 

OKay, maybe it was a little awkward.

 

So, he just sat there with his friend in his lap. He focused on little Bertilda nudging Alayna's thumb. The little pink fluff ball just became a little cuter. She asked quite the loaded question, and she wasn't even looking at him. It somehow made it easier to find the words (though it still took him a moment to collect them).

 

"I do," he answered. "You're my best friend." He wrapped his arms around her, keeping her against him and comforted. Then it occurred to him that he wasn't so sure of how she was asking that question. "Did I... Did I do something wrong?" Maybe he should let her go now... And so, he did, loosening his hold on her so she could move. "I'm sorry," he added automatically.

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…had that really just come out of her mouth? If only the skies were to open and drop an anvil on her head, Alayna would’ve openly welcomed it. Getting crushed alive by a ton of metal would be easier than this, whatever this was. The words of Alecia kept flashing through her head: ‘he likes you, but we’re too young for any of that stuff, so just keep acting normal’. But what was normal? Because she was pretty sure what’d just happened wasn’t it. She tried to make sense of it, but couldn’t no matter how hard she tried. Nothing made sense. And her confusion only continued to grow when Fluke answered her.

 

A flurry of emotions overtook her then. Relief- See, Alayna! Just friends! Confusion- Do friends kiss friends? Disappointment- …just friends? Anger- why does it even matter?! It shouldn’t! They jumbled into a storm of thoughts and feelings she didn’t even know she was capable of having, leaving a blank expression on her face behind until Fluke’s moving jolted her out of her stint. “Oh! No… no, you’re okay” she exclaimed, shifting to move from the boy’s lap and sit on the floor beside him. She turned to offer him a small smile. “I’m just… tired. That’s all.”

 

It wasn’t a lie. The events of the last hour were finally catching up to her, making the girl’s eyes feel heavy despite the buzzing still going on in her head. She risked a glance toward the barriers protecting the hall. “Do you think… think they’re gone yet?”

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Fluke felt for Alayna. For as much as she was confused, he was equally so. Still, he allowed her to scoot off his lap and sit down next to him with her litte ball of fluff still demanding her attention. He looked around, noting the locked doors and sighed to himself. "I hope so. I didn't see anyone else when I was brought in here by the Police Officer."

 

He looked back to his friend, taking in her ragged appearance. She certainly looked tired, and he wondered if there was something he could do about that. Suddenly, he jumped up to his feet, and shrugged out of his robes as he approached the wall and sat down with his back against it. "C'mere. You sleep, and I'll keep watch," he offered, holding open his robes for her to come curl up in.

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 Mentioning the death eaters again prompted a small bubble of anxiety to start rising in her stomach, but Alayna was so far done with the sensation that she refused to fully acknowledge it. Instead, she watched the space ahead of her for just a few seconds more and then turned back to Fluke, the smallest of smiles curving her lips upward. “Aurors” she corrected. “They’re our law enforcement.” She didn’t really expect him to stand up then, so when he did her eyes followed him curiously while he moved to sit against the wall of the space.

 

When he did, he held his robes out to her and she debated for a split second if she should take him up on his offer. Just for a second though- exhaustion easily won her over and then Alayna stood and walked over to him before sitting back down and occupying the space beside him, his robes wrapped around her. “Thank you” she whispered, leaning back against the wall herself and tucking her legs back. She lasted like that for a minute at most before the warmth from the robes pulled her into sleep and her head fell to rest on Fluke’s shoulder.

 

~fin


Edited by Alayna Weasley

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