Darcy Redmount

It's much harder when it's all your call

3 posts in this topic

She hadn't dared to believe the first articles in the Prophet. Flamel wouldn't leave; she was a fixture at Hogwarts, watching over her domain with ice in her eyes and in her heart. But the articles kept coming, though they differed on whether she had chosen to leave or whether she had been fired, and she had started to hope. Then they had filed into the Great Hall, taking their seats in the thunder of voices and footsteps while the never-ending line of first years trekked towards the Hat, and still she was nowhere to be seen.

 

Then Professor - or, apparently, Headmaster - Gawkrodger had stood up in her place. That had been unexpected. Darcy didn't actually remember much of his by all accounts stumbling speech - she had been too busy hugging Finch and trying to catch Luke and Abby's eyes. Flamel was gone. She was gone, and unexpected freedom tasted so sweet.

 

It wasn't until the following day, when an owl (clearly reluctantly) interrupted her breakfast date with Luke by way of a letter to her porridge, that Darcy began to wonder what came next. She was used to her heart racing as she climbed the stairs, to nervous sweating and a racing mind as she tried to work out what infractions she might have committed or what rules she might have broken. But this was Professor Gawkrodger, and suddenly her learned fear seemed out of place. Perhaps she should have been more afraid of the man that put them in close proximity to racing hippos, he was also the one that had given them access to both credit cards and the internet. It was just... confusing.

 

She knocked at the door hesitantly. "Um, Professor? I mean, Headmaster? You - you wanted to see me?"

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"Hm?" Gawkrodger looked up to see Darcy's face peering through the doorway and he shuffled around in the paperwork on his desk to find where he'd put the piece of parchment with 'DARCY' scrawled at the top. "Right, um, come in. Sit down."
 
He found the parchment. It contained a series of scribbled dot-points, illegible to anyone else and each punctuated with a question mark. "So, ah." Gawkrodger stared at the dot points as though they might speak to him. "Now, um, obviously you're aware there was a very serious... incident which inspired the way the full moon was handled previously, and I don't want you to get too excited because it just isn't realistic, while you're a student under the school's care, for us to let you be completely in charge of your own Wolfsbane Potion or let you go off and do your own thing during the full moon."
 
He put down the parchment and smoothed it out on the desk in case that helped. "But, um, I'm sure we can come up with something better than, uh..." He decidedly did not look in the direction of the room where Darcy had been locked up during previous full moons. Gawkrodger hadn't contributed to the protections on it and hadn't even looked inside it since Flamel had first explained its function and purpose to the staff existing at the time of her hiring. It made him uncomfortable to think a witch or wizard would lock a fellow magical person in there against their will, especially a child.
 
"Well. I'm sure we can just do better." He folded his hands over one another and looked at Darcy directly. "I have some ideas of what might be appropriate and those might be what you end up needing to do, regardless of what we talk about today, but I'm sure you have opinions on the topic and I'd like to hear them first. It would be nice if, at least for this year, we could have a way to keep everyone feeling safe without making you feel, uh..."
 
Not 'like a prisoner', although she surely had felt that. All boarding school students were prisoners, really. He didn't quite know the words, but Gawkrodger felt that further to imprisonment Darcy hadn't generally been treated as a person. Instead of saying that he just shrugged and finished with "I don't know."

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Darcy tiptoed inside at Gawkrodger's instruction, perching uncomfortably on the chair's edge and watching him with eyes huge and unblinking. Belatedly, she wished that she had Luke to come with her. The room had changed somewhat since the last time she had been in here, but there was one change she was interested in more than all of the others, and that was the face of the figure sitting behind the desk. Everything else was immaterial. 

 

"Um - yes." Aware was one way to put it. Having it dog her relentlessly throughout the entirety of her time at Hogwarts was another. "I remember." She remembered every time she passed that stair on that staircase, every time there was a new article about Galen or some other werewolf - sometimes herself - in the Daily Prophet. She had remembered every single time she trailed into this very room with her tail between her legs and faced another cold-eyed stare of recrimination for a crime that she had not committed.

 

She hadn't expected that she would be free altogether, but she couldn't help feeling a little disappointed when Gawkrodger confirmed that that wouldn't be the case. She nodded anyway. "Okay." She determinedly did not follow his gaze to the room that had been her prison; she had spent enough time here to know exactly what he looked at. If she was understanding properly, Gawkrodger was offering her more freedom than Hogwarts had ever let her experience, and a feeling dangerously close to hope fluttered in her chest. But she had never expected to actually have input, and she found herself tongue tied - well, more tongue tied than she normally was. 

 

"Um. If - if it has to be inside, could - is there any way it could be somewhere... bigger?"

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