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Jake Morent

It's Gonna Be a Happy New Year

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Jake Morent

“Muuum stop, everybody’s gonna see,” Jake mumbled, squirming a little as his mum hugged him close before he boarded the train, off for yet another year at Hogwarts. Affection from his parents wasn’t something that Jake had ever minded before, but he was sixteen now. This kind of thing just wasn’t going to be acceptable anymore (at least not while people were watching). But his mum didn’t seem to notice his objections, and after looking around and not seeing any eyes on them, Jake relented. ”Bye mummy, love you,” the boy mumbled, hugging her and his dad tight because he WAS going to miss them of course. Then hastily, he made his way to the train.

 

Despite that minor setback, it was with a newfound swagger that Jake walked the corridors of the Hogwarts Express. Things were really looking up…literally. It had been a long wait, but FINALLY, Jake was growing! Sure, maybe there was still a long way to go…but Jake knew that he was taller. And the biggest proof of it was his brand new robes. It seemed that all of the doctors that had told him to be patient were right, and a triumphant checkup had confirmed it. Finally, after what felt like forever, puberty was coming.

 

It was a much awaited and proud day, and Jake’s couple inches felt like miles. With new robes came new responsibilities. No more getting laughed at, no more getting picked on, and especially no more embarrassing himself. Things were going to be different this year, Jake was going to make sure of it. It was a brand new Jake, and everything was gonna be great. Feeling a new spring in his step, Jake checked the compartments for his friends. 

 

 

Edited by Jake Morent
Cause what? Did I say fifth year I MEANT SIXTH YEAR

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Sullivan Kelly

Sullivan was early to board the Hogwarts Express that morning. He’d traveled by himself from Scotland to the station, hiding his protesting pet rat in his shirt pocket as he used muggle modes of travel to reach King’s Cross. People weren’t exactly keen on spotting a rat on public transit, and Sully didn’t want Beast getting hurt in some stampede of hysterical travelers.

 

He lounged in a compartment, legs stretching out ahead of him. His trousers were too short by a few inches now; he didn’t have enough money to get a new pair yet. His aunt was trying to set aside some money but it wasn’t as though she was able to work. His granddad didn’t even know Sully was going to Hogwarts; the man thought his grandson was attending a prestigious muggle boarding school.

 

Sully glanced out the window. A sneer contorted his mouth when he spotted a familiar face. The Gryffindor boy was hugging what had to be his parents. An ugly tendril of envy curled in Sullivan’s gut. Jake. Of course he had loving parents. They probably still tucked him into bed each night. His hands curled into fists, aching to punch the irritating Gryffindor boy (again). He hadn’t crossed paths with Jake or his little girlfriend Grace for a while now. It took all the fun out of things when Jake's bodyguard, who was more of a man than Jake, was always lurking around.

 

Sully made a scoffing noise and looked away from the window. Who even cared about those losers? Not him. He took Beast out of his pocket, setting the rat on his leg. “I don’t need stupid parents,” he informed the rat. “I bet you don’t even remember yours, eh?” The rat tilted his head slightly, as though listening to Sully. Then he lunged for the tie on Sully’s sweatshirt, chewing on it industriously. Sully rolled his eyes.

 

The door slid open and he saw Jake. Well, Sully hadn’t been looking for trouble but if the idiot was just going to wander into his compartment…

 

“Jakey!” he said brightly. “Been a while. Why don’t you come in, have a seat?” His tone was cheerful but there was an iron set to his jaw and his eyes were cold, hinting that he wasn’t about to take no for an answer. "Something's different about you," he said thoughtfully, realizing the boy had grown a few inches. He still looked like a baby. "The hair?" he smirked.

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Jake Morent

The compartment door opened, and Jake took a look inside. And that's when he realized whose compartment he had just intruded on...His foot took a step back instinctively, but stopped when the Slytherin's eyes rose to meet his. Jake had made a big mistake...it was the last face that he had ever wanted to see. Ever since what had happened in their third year, Jake had done everything in his power to go nowhere near Sullivan Kelly. And as Jake stood looking at him, he became ever more aware of the fact that he was alone.

 

 

“Jakey!”  Sullivan said brightly. “Been a while. Why don’t you come in, have a seat?” 
 

A million compartments on the train, so why had Jake had to pick THAT one? His good year was starting out with horrible luck. Jake had never been good at hiding his feelings, and as he looked at Sullivan he couldn't hide the flicker of fear that ran across his face. 

 

Sully was the first to notice something different about him...Jake rubbed a hand over his hair self-consciously as Sullivan smirked. Though the other boy was waiting, Jake kept his eyes on the ground, and didn't answer his taunts. This was supposed to be a new year, a new Jake...He could tell that Sully was not going to stop until he did what he said. But it wasn't the question about his hair that Jake finally answered.

 

"N-no..." Jake mumbled, looking down at the ground, his heart beating faster. But empowered by his own words, he raised his eyes. "No, I don't think I'm gonna, thanks," the boy said defiantly, only the slightest tremble in his voice betraying him. He wanted to turn and walk down the hallway, but he couldn't. Not with the Slytherin's icy eyes meeting his. His feet didn't want to move...Why did his feet never want to move? 

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Sullivan Kelly

The great thing about people raised with good manners was that their manners often prevented them from blatant rudeness, even at the risk of personal harm. They would stay there, clinging to their politeness, even when it meant they could have run ages ago and been perfectly safe and sound.

 

Sullivan set Beast in his carrier, ignoring the rat’s squeaking protests, and walked over to Jake. The boy was frozen in place. Whether it was fear of being impolite or fear of Sully in general, Sully could sense fear in the other boy. A lazy grin spread across his mouth. “Come on, Jakey. You don’t want to hurt my feelings now, do you?” he asked, throwing an arm around the smaller boy’s shoulder and steering him into the compartment. He closed the door behind them and let go of the other boy.

 

“Go on,” he said, gesturing to the opposite seat, “Sit down. We’ve got loads of catching up to do. I want to hear every little detail about your summer!” His eyes glittered with malice.

 

“My summer was grand,” he said jovially. “I went to Paris and Rome, saw the sights, blah blah blah….” He rolled his eyes. As if anyone cared about each others’ summers and how they went. Kids just wanted to brag about their own summer when they asked that question, trying to one-up the other.

 

Sullivan was like a cat toying with a mouse and Jake’s bodyguard wasn’t about to ruin his fun this time.

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Jake Morent

Jake hated the way he felt when Sullivan Kelly was around...

 

Jake had done a lot last year, and the year before too. He'd won a dueling tournament - and a trophy. He'd competed in a tournament of champions, and braved dangers just like everybody else had. Maybe he hadn't won...but he'd made it to the end. HE had done that. He'd proved himself, and what he could do. He proved that he could be brave sometimes. That he could be strong sometimes. 

 

And yet somehow when Sullivan Kelly came along, Jake always felt like a stupid little kid. 

 

Sully put his arm around him and brought him deeper inside, closing the door behind them. Sully let go, and there was nothing stopping Jake anymore...nothing stopping him from running away. But there was a menace in the bigger boy's voice. A gleam in his eyes. The promise that he could hurt Jake if he wanted to....and Jake knew that he could. He knew because he'd done it  before. 

 

Sometimes when people picked on you the easiest thing was to just do what they wanted...and hope that it would be over soon. 

 

Jake found himself sinking down slowly into a seat. The boy felt his stomach twist, but he tried not to show it. He couldn't let Sully see...He eyed the door, hoping to see a Professor walking by. Anybody he could call over to let him out. But he didn't know if anybody would be there, or if they'd even notice. Sully was good about waiting until nobody was looking.  

 

"Why do you even wanna know...?" Jake mumbled, eyes going down towards the floor. But even as Jake was unable to meet Sully's gaze, the hints of a defiant scowl remained on his face. He knew that Sully didn't REALLY care what he did that summer. Sully just wanted to find an excuse to be a jerk. Whatever Jake said it didn't matter, because Sully was gonna make fun of him anyways...

 

"I didn't do anything," Jake muttered. "I just hung out with my mum and dad. And went to Longleat...not that you care. Why can't you just leave me alone...?" 

 

Jake's trunk remained on the ground, but he had a bag on his back with some of his personal items. Inside it was his two-way mirror. If he needed it, Grace was a phone call away, and Professor Foster too. 

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Sullivan Kelly

Sully raised his eyebrows. “Why wouldn’t I want to know how my mate’s summer was?” he asked, stretching out on the other seat. He smirked, feeling victorious that Jake had answered his query with a real answer. The best thing about Jake was that he never seemed to be able to sense a trap as he was about to fall into it. His sense of self-preservation hadn’t improved in the years since he had first encountered Sully. The other boy was making a face though, like he’d sat on something sharp. Sully tilted his head slightly, considering this interesting new development.

 

“Hung out with Mummy and Daddy, did you?” Sully chortled. He didn’t mention that he hadn’t the faintest idea what Longleat was. “Sounds like a thrilling vacation,” he said, his tone dripping with sarcasm. Something shifted in his eyes as he considered the fact that this whiny little nobody had parents who loved him (Merlin only knew why) and Sully didn’t have anyone except for a slightly batty aunt and a granddad who hated magic. There was always Agnes the goat, he supposed. She was a true friend. She hated everybody just as much as Sully did.

 

At the Gryffindor’s question, Sully straightened. That Grace was a bad influence on Jake. He was actually, in his own cowardly little way, trying to stand up for himself. The very thought made Sully snicker. “Leave you alone?” he repeated. “I don’t know what you mean. We’re just chatting. Now, let’s see what sort of snacks Mummy’s packed for our trip,” he said, reaching for Jake’s trunk.
 

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Jake Morent

Jake scowled at Sully’s baby talk, which made him feel stupid instantly. His cheeks went a familiar shade of red and his head lowered, glaring at the floor. It made him so MAD. His couple inches no longer felt like anything at all. It wasn't like it mattered...it had felt like a lot in his own home - but not here. Not when everybody else was bigger anyways. And not when Sully used that voice. No matter how much Jake grew he’d hear it. Maybe he’d hear it forever.

 

But he was tired of it. He was tired of feeling stupid…he was tired of feeling scared. He was tired of feeling small. He was tired---

 

“H-hey, that’s mine!” Jake blurted out suddenly, holding out a panicked hand as Sully reached for his trunk. But Jake’s fingers closed uselessly in the air. It was too late. The boy’s hand retracted. He tried to regain his composure, but his eyes had betrayed him.

 

For if Sully were to open his trunk, he would indeed find some pretzels and carrot sticks that Mum had packed for the trip. But it wasn’t that that Jake was worried about. Inside his trunk, there were the normal clothes, books, and new chew toys for Lawrence…but packed delicately in amongst them was a certain stuffed lion that hadn’t left Jake’s side at night…his constant bedtime companion since he was twelve, ever since that fateful day.

 

Unable to sit still anymore, Jake squirmed in his seat, eyes on his trunk. Sully couldn’t open it. He HAD to stop him. But he couldn’t…The trunk could be back in his arms if he could just grab it…wrench it from Sully’s hands…refuse to let him take it. But Jake was unable to forget about the feel of Sully’s fist shattering his nose, long ago as it had been. And so he remained in his seat.

 

In his desperation, Jake didn’t have time to think. “"Th-that's my stuff," Jake said firmly. "Give it back," he scowled. "I don’t wanna chat. And if you don't leave me alone, I'm gonna call Grace...!" the smaller boy threatened shakily, realizing right as he said it just what a mistake it was.

 

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Sullivan Kelly

“Obviously it’s yours,” Sully said, rolling his eyes. “Care to point out anything else that’s stupidly obvious while you’re at it?” He ignored Jake’s feeble protests, of course, and took hold of the handle of the trunk. He snorted as Jake tried belatedly to reach for it. What would Jake have done, if he’d been able to grab it? Nothing, Sully was willing to bet. But it was very interesting that he’d tried, and he looked more than a little worried as Sully grabbed the trunk. 

 

“What’ve you got hiding in here, then?” he asked with a grin. 

 

The Gryffindor starting whining, but then he demanded that Sully give the trunk back. “Listen, Jakey, since we’re friends and all I’ll pretend like you didn’t just tell me what to do and then insult me by saying you don’t want to chat. That’s now how friends treat each other, is it?” His casual grin faded and he narrowed his eyes at the other boy. Was the other boy really using Grace as a threat? “Jake, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but isn’t it a bit pathetic that you’re a sixth year now and you still have to hide behind a girl? If I were Grace I’d hate you a little bit. I mean, always having to rescue some whiny little coward? Must get exhausting.”

 

He popped open Jake’s trunk. “Nope,” he said, throwing the carrots and pretzels he found across the compartment. “Anything better?” he asked, just as he found something loads better. A stuffed animal. “Ugh, what is this mangy thing?” he asked, holding it aloft by one leg.
 

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Jake Morent

 

“What’ve you got hiding in here, then?”

 

Jake steeled himself, as Sully's wolfish grin met his eyes. The Slytherin was like a shark who could smell blood, and Jake knew that it was feeding time.

 

Because they weren't friends. They'd never be friends. No matter how many times Sullivan pretended. 

 

Jake's desperate threat left no impression on Sully, whose unexpected response cut deep. "N-no...I...I'm not hiding behind her...I..." Jake protested quietly, but he didn't know what else to say. He had said too much already. Tensely, Jake watched Sully rifle through his belongings, the snacks his mum had lovingly packed tossed to the floor like trash.

 

It wasn't like he NEEDED Grace's help...Not anymore...But...well he hadn't really been thinking, had he? He'd just said it. Because he'd felt scared. Because he'd needed Sully to stop. Because here with Sullivan, Jake was alone, and the shameful thought was that he didn't want to be. And once again he'd let Sully see what was inside.

 

He was sixteen now...The time was long past when it was ok to be saved by a girl. But it sure showed what Sully knew...because Grace DIDN'T hate him. She had maybe said some things once...a long time ago...but that was over. They were friends. Sometimes he needed her. Sometimes she needed him too. Maybe he needed her a little more than she needed him. But she didn't think he was whiny...

 

Did she...?

 

No...no. Jake remembered the time they'd gone to the trophy room together...when she'd blindfolded him and showed him his name etched in history. Cowards didn't have trophies. Jake wasn't a coward. He was a champion. A double champion. Grace knew it...and if she was here that's probably what she would have said. Then she'd probably grab the trunk back and tell Sully to go shove a wand up his bum. 

 

Jake raised his eyes and opened his mouth, but stopped in his tracks. Sullivan had Godric in his clutches. Jake's body stiffened. 

 

“Ugh, what is this mangy thing?”

 

"He...He's nothing," Jake said finally, trying to make his face emotionless. Stone. He forced his shoulders to shrug. "Just some dumb toy."

 

The words were blasphemous, but Jake had no choice. If Sully knew how important it was...if he knew what he held... Jake felt his heart-rate quickening as the lion hung lazily from Sully's grasp, the last person who should ever be allowed to hold him. Jake's hand trembled, ever so slightly.

 

But though his voice remained flat, the Gryffindor boy's eyes showed fear.

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Sullivan Kelly

Sully rolled his eyes. “Of course you are. Can’t even have a simple chat without bringing her up as a threat, can you? We graduate next year, Jake. What’s going to happen when she moves on to bigger and better things and you’re left in the dust? I can’t imagine you being good at much, you know, career-wise.” He shrugged apologetically as if to say, “Sorry mate, but it’s true.”

 

The Slytherin examined the stuffed animal for a moment, then looked back at the other boy. Something in Jake’s eyes reminded Sully of something. His grandad had a couple of barn cats. Huge, near-feral cats that stalked pests around the farm. They’d almost gotten Beast once, too. Sully had seen the tomcat corner a mouse, once. Something in Jake’s eyes made Sully think of that mouse.

 

“Dumb toy, huh?” Sully said thoughtfully, tossing the stuffed lion in the air and neatly catching it. “Looks a bit run down. Maybe you ought to put it out of its misery. It’s the humane thing to do.” Of course Jake would have some stupid stuffed animal in his trunk. He was so childish and naïve and gullible. Sully shook his head, real disgust showing past his amiable mask. Just like the mouse that had been captured by the cat, Jake was nothing more than prey to Sully. He was a reminder that undeserving people had it better, and they would never realize how lucky they were.

 

Sully’s older brother Scott would have told him to cut it out. Sometimes Sully thought he heard Scottie’s voice, usually when he was doing something wrong. “C’mon, Sull,” Scott would say, “You’re better than that. But he wasn’t.

 

Sullivan grinned at Jake, then gave the lion’s leg a savage yank.

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Jake Morent

(So sorry this post is a whole VH year late!)

 

Although Sully continued to taunt, his words fell upon deaf ears. Jake hadn't moved an inch. The Gryffindor's eyes merely followed his stuffed lion, as Godric was tossed into the air and caught roughly once more in Sully's clutches. It took everything Jake had, but his face remained stoic. He knew the game they were playing...Sully wanted a sign - any sign - and Jake couldn't give it to him. All it would take was wrong one move...

 

But then their eyes met, and Jake saw the mutual understanding. Like a dose of icy water he realized that Sully knew. As Sully's face broke into a grin, Jake could keep it up no longer, and his face lost its passiveness. 

 

"Sully, wait...!" Jake begged, "NO!"

 

Time seemed to slow as Sully closed his fist tightly on Godric's leg. Jake watched the Slytherin give it a yank, and a haunting tearing sound rattled through Jake's head as he reached out in vain. He heard himself cry out in shock, and as the lion's leg ripped from its body the boy's heart broke.

 

"Godric...!" Jake whispered breathlessly. For a moment there was nothing. He couldn't feel. His wide eyes swam with tears as he stared at the tattered animal and the stuffing where his leg had once been. His heart beat got faster and faster. His chest tightened as the world closed in. 

 

Jake lowered his head towards the ground...but all he could see was Sully's grin. "You......" Jake's fists clenched. His face trembled. His nails dug into his palms. His head rose, eyes glaring forward like daggers. His breaths were rapid, shooting out his nose. His face distorted. His blood rushed to his ears. Something inside of him filled and burst and exploded and then there was no more thought. "I HATE YOU!!" Jake screamed - his voice erupting with shaking fury. And then he charged, diving onto the larger boy.

 

No longer aware of his small size, Jake's arms swung through the air. He felt his fist connect with Sullivan's stupid face with a satisfying smack. Jake's vision was a blur but his arms flailed wildly, no goal but to hurt. Like a distant roar he heard his own yell.

Edited by Jake Morent

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Sullivan Kelly

Ha, Jake was crying! What a loser! Sully grinned. “Don’t be such a los-” Sully started, but then Jake looked up and glared at Sully with more fury than he’d ever seen in the Gryffindor boy. He raised an eyebrow. Had Jake finally snapped? Sully waited, his grin becoming gleeful. Now, this should be interesting. What would a ticked-off Jake do? Drown the compartment in tears?

 

Jake screeched at him and then sprang into action while Sullivan was still smugly considering his victory. He never saw it coming, and despite his stocky build and the fact Jake was about as substantial as a piece of lettuce, Sully was bowled over.

 

Sullivan grunted in surprise. Then Jake punched him, the blow glancing across his cheekbone with a jarring impact. Jake was flinging his arms chaotically and Sully was still too stunned to block the hits. He’d been caught off guard; he was so confident the other boy would never lift a finger to defend himself, let alone go on the offensive, that he was unable to react.

 

Something clicked in Sully’s brain and he finally brought his hands up to the other boy’s chest and shoved. “Get off me, you idiot!”

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