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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

....of aces and spades.

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

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Atlas Wyrmwort

There comes a point in every man's life where you're just expected to lure an unsuspected man into a bathroom stall with you and ask them to stay quiet. This was that day for Atlas. Obviously, he was ready to take on the extra responsibility since he was a real man now. The Man Squad made that official.

 

The first year had bought Clayton at an auction and made sure to drag him around so he could get the most out of it. Today was finally operation Atzsu. So he stood there with an arm pointed out towards the bathroom stall. "You sit on the top end of the toilet. Nobody can see your feet through the door." He demanded, expecting the fourth year to listen to his ridiculous request. After giving Clayton his command, Atlas slowly began to walk towards the very stall Clayton had been told to enter. As though he expected the both of them to fit in there together.

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Clayton Stagg

Why was he playing along with this all again? Clayton easily could have bought himself ten times over in that human slave auction. Money was no object for people like him.

 

"You want me to sit on that toilet?" His arms slowly snaked between one another as he crossed his arms. His sharp pointed eyes glared in Atlas's direction as he pictured all the terrible things he wanted to do to the kid. If Grayden hadn't told Clayton he spent their last duel thinking terrible things about him, he might just have.

 

Clayton gracefully walked forward springing himself upwards as he stepped on the seat of the toilet, turning round to glare down at the first year. He withdrew his wand pointing it in Atlas's direction. "Go ahead. Continue on with your little prank. Let's see how just far you can get."

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Juan Garcia

He’d received a very… wordy letter. Anything was wordy in Juan’s eyes, though, if he was honest. Being a kid that hated reading tended to have that effect on even a stupid greeting card with a pun. So when he’d been unable to understand like four words of the letter, he’d been about to throw it into the trash until he realised it was from his unofficial official boy-toy.

 

Context clues basically made it so Juan was able to understand the very mysterious letter and he’d wondered if he should run it by Sofie or Sky to verify that, yes, he was being asked to meet in a bathroom. Of all the romantic places Juan had been, the bathroom was not… ranked highly. It ranked lower than a broom closet, for crying out loud.

 

Also, having been unable to understand what the phrase Clayton had signed off with, he’d been forced to assume it meant “With all the love in the world.” Seriously, Juan was screwed.

 

Rose-tinted metaphorical glasses on, he wandered into the bathroom, parchment in his hand, “Yo? We gonn’ snog in here?”

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

Zsu was completely trusting Atlas and a small part of her wondered if that was err on her part, but she dismissed it. She had made sure to keep herself hidden away, having caught sight of Atlas and Clayton as they went into the bathroom together, internally promising herself that no, the older Slytherin would not actually harm her year mate regardless of any shenanigans Atlas could cook up. As time began to slip by, however, she began to get a bit antsy –what if Juan didn’t show up? What if by the time he did show up, Atlas had been magic’d into some sort of creature or inanimate object?

 

Groaning internally, she had been about to make her way into the bathroom to check in when Juan the Don strolled right up and into the bathroom. Soundlessly, she stepped from her hiding place and followed after him, exhaling quietly as she slipped in behind him. It was a bit ironic that she now had a trio of Slytherins in one place. A badger in the presence of snakes –we all knew how that went.

 

“Hello Juan, ” She started, straightening up as she tilted her head and looked up at him, “what a treat to see you here.”

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Atlas Wyrmwort

Oh snap. People.

 

Atlas didn't have time to explain a damn thing to Clayton. Instead, he was thrusting himself forward and slamming the stall door shut when he heard people coming. He slammed his finger against his own lips giving Clayton a silent SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH as not-loudly but loudly as he could pretend.

 

“Yo? We gonn’ snog in here?”

 

JGI#JI@JIOG%#.

 

IT WAS JUAN. JUAN WAS IN THE BUILDING. Atlas hopped onto the toilet, throwing his arm out to grab some support against the stall. With his free hand, he dropped it over Clayton's mouth just to double-check the older Slytherin wouldn't start yapping back to his mentor.

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Juan Garcia

Oh. That little Hufflepuff that needed to help others spell her name. Susana. Susanna? He was sure there was a ‘Z’ in there somewhere. Suzanna? He really should’ve listened when she was explaining this whole thing in the Great Hall. Oh crap. Wait. WAIT! He was in the girl’s bathroom. SHE WAS LITERALLY JUST HERE TO PEE AND HE WAS INVADING THE SANCTITY OF THE WOMEN’S BATHROOM!

 

Juan’s face immediately turned red, and he shoved the parchment into his butt pocket, “Yeah you know… sometimes you just can’t hold it in and you gotta forget gender norms and just rush into whatever toilet is available.”

 

He felt the warmth of embarrassment wash over him and he was 3827592% sure that his life and what little reputation he had was over if someone started spreading rumours he’d been meeting up in the girls’ loo for a snog session with his unofficial official boyfriend. Wait… Why did Juan care?

 

“So uh… yeah. I guess it’s… a treat to see you,” he said, inching closer to the stalls to try and sell his story, “Um… your cut… is healed nicely yeah?”

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

If not for the simple fact that the Slytherin was a scoundrel, Zsu would’ve let him know he looked absolutely adorable with his flushed faced. But he was a scoundrel and a plethora of other unkind words that she wouldn’t bother getting into so no, no he did not look adorable. “Oh?” She tilted her head, a small smile slipping onto her face, “I suppose that is true. It must be very hard being a boy.”

 

She watched him like a hawk though she laughed just slightly at the mention of her cut. “Well had you been trying to maim, I suppose the answer would’ve been no, but it had been healing well enough. I’ve had worse.” She crossed her arms, her face sudden colouring with a bit of curiosity. “Actually Juan, I think you owe me a few explanations. I still have no idea why you felt the need to call me a…’dirty boyfriend stealer’, especially considering  I hadn’t a clue that you had a boyfriend let alone that it was Clayton. Or even why I’d feel the need to steal anything from you.”

 

The Hufflepuff took a few steps forward then, brows rising as she wondered just what stall Atlas and Clayton were in. Oi. “And what did you mean..about ruining Emmett’s life? That I..,” she cleared her throat, “knocked him out? What did you mean Juan? I’m not a Ravenclaw as you mentioned, so please help me understand.” You inexcusably trifling thing.  

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Juan Garcia

Hard being a boy? Juan hesitated, considering her wording and then decided to ignore whatever teenage urge he had to make a joke. After all, he was supposed to be far more aware of his surroundings. And seeing Suzanna here in the loo, eyeing him with a smile on his face, made him realise she was probably gonna tell everyone in school that he’d run into the girls’ bathroom. But… she was… a Hufflepuff. Weren’t they like ridiculously nice? He thought about MARG. Okay, weren’t MOST of them ridiculously nice?

 

He nodded slowly, inching towards the stalls, “Yeah. Trust. If I’d been trying to hurt you, you would’ve been hurt. I’m pretty amazing with spells. And potions.” He decided to zip his lip before he managed to say something terrible and incriminating. And then Suzanna kept going… Oh.

 

“Easy actually. There was a bid to have a person as like a servant. I wanted Clayton because… okay, I really fancy him, right? And like we went on ONE date but I kinda wanted to ‘buy’ him and use it as an excuse to take him on another date. But you and Atlas took him and then I just… I got angry.”

 

He sighed. Geez, this apologising stuff was too emotionally draining. No wonder he never did it. “Sorry if I… hurt your feelings or whatever.”

 

Oh. OH. Crap. Crap. Crap. ABORT! ABORT!!!!

 

He was NOT supposed to let her know about that. Crap. CRAP! “Uuuuh I don’t know what you mean. I never said anything about anything I just need to pee. I’m gonna piss myself HOLD ON!” And he tried scurrying towards a stall.

 

At this point, he didn’t even know whether he was lying or not.

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Clayton Stagg

It all happened quick. The first year posted up near Clayton's leg moving uncomfortably close to Clayton. He didn't want to be forced up in that stall trying to glance through the cracks as Zsu just so happened to wander in after Juan. It was taking Clayton a while, but he was quickly realizing the two were attempting to get something. A prank. He just didn't know where the punch line was hiding.

 

"I wanted Clayton because… okay, I really fancy him, right?"

 

No. Clayton felt his gut tangle as he suddenly realized just how small the stall was. How it seemed to cave in the longer they sent there spying on this poor third year. Mention about Emmett came shortly after, the most hated boy the in school it seemed. Clayton wasn't too focused on it as he reached out and grabbed onto Atlas's arm, latching on and squeezing tightly in a threatening gesture that suggested: If either of you so much as touch a head on Juan's head I will be sure you don't leave this bathroom unharmed.

 

It felt wrong hiding there listening in on the conversation like some dishonest liar. Clayton should have left the stall immediately when Juan came in chatting about snogging. He should have kissed the boy on the cheek and told him it was too soon for any snogging. He should have offered to hold hands and asked Juan on the second date he wanted. Instead Clayton was paired with a mere first year who caused him mounds of trouble in astronomy. Why was Clayton playing along with this little slave-game they were dangling in his face? Everything about this was terrible and Clayton didn't like it.

 

Zsu and Atlas were quickly moving in on territory they wouldn't be able to come back from.

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

Zsu gave a noncommittal hum, Juan’s words affirming that he most certainly was the culprit as far as the potion went. It wouldn’t have mattered regardless; he was part of the scheme and therefore deserved retribution. “Well I’m glad you weren’t trying to hurt me then, I’d be no match for you considering your expertise!” She wrinkled her nose playfully then, “Maybe you’d be willing to teach me a few things? Please? I promise I’m an apt pupil!”

 

At the Slytherin’s revelation, her mouth formed into a small bow and she nodded her head. “Well why not just ask him on another date instead? I just wanted his freedom as I fancy him as well.” She put her palms out, eyes waggling her brows, “You couldn’t possibly see me as a threat, though perhaps you were correct. Perhaps I am also trying to vie for his attention. Who knows?” She laughed quietly, briefly turning away from him so that she could settle down.

 

“Don’t worry about it Juan, you’re not the first and you certainly won’t be the last. Besides, I’m not particularly sensitive.” As soon as the lie slipped out of his lips, however, Zsu’s focus snapped to. Really now? “What? Hey!” She hurried after him, reaching forward to grab his shirt, “You told me to back off Juan, that you would tell Emmett I was involved with ruining his life! What did that mean? That I knocked..-” She froze, the Ravenclaw’s face flashing in her head when he came to her, and her breath shuttered. Focus Zsuzsa, focus.

 

“Juan,” her voice was quiet, as tiny as she was really, “don’t lie to me again. What are you talking about? Are you saying something happened, that I’m missing something? What did you do to Emmett?

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Juan Garcia

A pupil? “I’ve never managed to be a duelling mentor. I probably wouldn’t do you much good,” he confessed, finally allowing a hint of his true self-esteem, not the inflated and exaggerated presentation of his ego. Apt? He didn’t even know what that meant. It sounded like the abbreviation for apartment. And it was no use trying to use context clues when he couldn’t actually SEE the sentence in front of him. How was it a first year had better words than he did?

 

Ask Clayton on another date? “Because… I already asked him on the first one. I kinda want him to ask me on the next one. It’s like double texting. It’s just something you shouldn’t do because then you come off as desperate and even though I really… really like Clayton, I don’t want him to think I’m desperate,” he said, his hand reaching up to his neck until he managed to understand what Suzanna was implying.

 

“Umm… I’m like 63% sure you’re too young for him,” he chuckled, still inching towards a toilet. If he’d ACTUALLY had to pee, he wouldn’t already pissed himself.

 

As the Hufflepuff grabbed his shirt, instinct told him to reach down to his wand, hand moving quickly to his wand holster and aiming it straight between her eyes. He wasn’t good at confrontations. He always punched his way out.

 

“I’m… Look, you tell not a SOUL,” he said, using his free hand to rip her grip from his shirt, and still aiming his wand at her. Worse came to worse, he could just say she was spreading rumours. Why the hell would he be involved in any first year drama after all? He was almost fourteen, for crying out loud.

 

“You tell NO ONE that I told you. Or better, you tell no one that you know. Once I tell you obviously. Swear it,” he threatened, wand never moving from her, “Or for my next four years, I promise you’ll come to hate me far more than anyone hates Emmett Blaze.”

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

Zsu would have laughed at Juan’s words had she not felt that she may have to explain just why she was laughing. Isobel and Behati had both apparently thrived under his tutelage. She should be applauding him, honestly, but at the end of the day he’d only been an easy, foolish pull for this equally as foolish scheme. Well, it had been more than just foolish; it had been devious, immoral, and cruel.

 

 So she remained silent as she listened to him go on, keeping her face open and nodding along with every word the Slytherin dropped. She hadn’t a clue about this concept of double texting, but she assumed it had something to do with a mobile phone and she’d never owned one or become familiar with one in her life. But Juan cleared it all up, apparently the repetition equated to desperation, but she thought the whole idea of texting someone when you could simply call them was silly in the first place.

 

“Is that..a social taboo?” The Hufflepuff cleared her throat, honestly curious but also knowing it would be odd for her not to contribute. “Having to wait? There are guidelines? And what of my age?” She tilted her head, “There aren’t age requirements for liking someone, and you can be friends with anyone you’d like.”

 

When Juan whirled on her, she smothered down her own instincts, she had a purpose and she would not mess it up under any circumstances. So she remained still, quickly unraveling her fists and letting her hands go slack as she raised her chin. Zsu did not bother staring at the wand, her eyes instead trained on the Slytherin’s. “You’re pointing a wand at me, have threatened me twice now, and you think that I would swear anything to you?” Her eyes flashed, and she stepped forward, closing the distance between the tip of his wand and her glabella. “I am not afraid of you or your wand, Juan. You will not bully me into submission. I don’t hate anyone, and there isn’t anything in the world you could do to me in your next four years that would eliminate that.”

 

Her voice softened then, “I am asking you politely to tell me what’s going on. I don’t hate Emmett Blaze, and you’re insinuating that I aided in ruining his life. What did you do Juan? I’m asking you because you know something so please tell me. I’ll get onto my knees and beg if I must.” And she did just that, tucking her robes beneath her and craning her neck up to watch him.

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Juan Garcia

Social taboo? Maybe? He wasn’t aware of anything that expressly forbade double texting, but he thought it might be hard to explain to a witch when the closest things to IMs in this place were owls that took a while to reach… But she did make a point. Didn’t need to be a certain age to like someone, unless of course you wanted it to be reciprocated. Although, from the way Suzanna was speaking, she probably didn’t care.

 

He did not expect this tiny Hufflepuff to step closer to his wand. The urge to just… pepper breath hex her grew in the back of his mind. What would a knockback jinx to the face do? Or a snowball jinx? Had he threatened her? He wasn’t really making threats so much as promises, the way he thought about it. And since she wasn’t swearing to never tell a soul, he didn’t really wanna say anything else regarding Emmett Blaze.

 

Submission… Submit? Like when you’re turning in an assignment? What did that even mean? Juan retracted his wand, scratching at the back of his head with its tip and shrugged, “Suit yourself. You ain’t promising me anything, so I have no need to tell you jack.”

 

She was asking politely. Sure. He rolled his eyes, “I personally did nothing except follow instructions. Like folding paper. That’s… origami, right? But yeah I did nothing. Get off your knees. Who knows how often they clean the floors here, to be honest.”

 

Juan re-holstered his wand and eyed the Hufflepuff, “I suggest you ask Emmett what happened to him and he might be able to give you a clearer picture. I’m like seven percent sure he’s avoiding you now. I wouldn’t know though. Haven’t heard from the kid since then. He’s been avoiding trouble I think. Now if you’ll EXCUSE ME, I still need to piss.”

 

He sighed, turning towards the stalls. Well, that was relatively anti-climactic, wasn’t it?

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

If Zsu could have gotten away with sighing, she would have, but as it was she’d simply have to do it internally. This was not as simple as she had hoped, and for all Juan’s guts and glory from the previous times, this time he seemed to be playing it cool. “Yes, that is a form of it.” She’d responded without actually thinking about it, instead trying to come to grips with having to actually agree to his earlier demand. She supposed she’d just have to take a different tactic now wouldn’t she?

 

“Juan, please.” Her voice broke as she stared up at the Slytherin’s retreating back, breath a short stutter. She lunged forward, the tile against her knees extraordinarily uncomfortable, but as her arms wrapped around Juan’s leg and she held on for dear life, she figured it would be worth it. “Please, please tell me. He..he is avoiding me and it’s painful.” She pressed her forehead into his thigh, “I promise not to tell a soul, okay? Just please tell me, I need to know.” Briefly she wondered if he’d try to kick her, and wasn’t very surprised when her mind gave a rather firm ‘possibly.’

 

Zsu was not too proud to beg actually, but the fact that she had to for Juan to tell her made it clear that he was about a sympathetic as the Nile crocodile. She needed him to say it out loud, and she would do any and everything in her power to get him to do so. Honey Badgers didn’t give a snickers bar, and if she had to bite this snake to get what she wanted –she’d do it. There was another possible way for this to go in her favor if the pathetic ‘puff scenario didn’t work out, however, but it wouldn’t be in Juan’s best interest.

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Juan Garcia

Sweet, okay, he’d gotten something right. Juan nodded once to himself, quite proud of being able to remember a word he’d heard maybe twice in his life. Maybe paying attention to vocabulary was gonna help him impress Clayton. He’d just have to think of a conversation in which ‘origami’ was even slightly relevant.

 

And then Suzanna’s arms were around his leg and she was begging. “Kid, get up.” But then, he was proven right. Seven percent had really been too low a percentage, now that he thought about it. He really hadn’t seen Emmett’s ugly mug, so the fact that he was avoiding even this girl, when they’d seemed somewhat… okay… made Juan smirk. Maybe the brat had actually learned his lesson.

 

He was about to shove her off his leg when Suzanna promised not to tell a soul. Eyeing her hands to see if she was crossing any fingers, Juan reached down to shove her hands away as best he could. Damn first year would not budge.

 

“Ok. Not a word to another soul. Basically… I brewed a sleeping draught. It was in the drink you gave Emmett when he was magically hexed with a pepper breath hex. Me and a few others took him to the forbidden forest. He uh… might’ve lost his wand and his shoes.”

 

Juan took a deep breath. At least he wasn’t throwing anyone under the bus. How about that for loyalty among thieves?!

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Atlas Wyrmwort

Atlas tried to see through the cracks the more they spoke. What was this? Why were they suddenly talking about Emmett and... Well. He thought this was gonna be some ruse to break the two up but here was Juan and Zsu talking about Emmett. That was his bro. What part did Emmett play in any of this? Emmett never tried to steal his mentor. Atlas glanced over his shoulder back towards Clayton trying to get an idea of how the old fart felt. Clayton looked miserable.

 

Then Juan finally admitted. He LEFT ATLAS'S BRO IN THE FORBIDDEN FOREST. HE LEFT EMMETT WITHOUT A WAND AND SHOES. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY SPLINTERS ARE IN FORESTS? MERLIN EMMETT WAS THE STRONGEST PERSON ATLAS EVER MET. "YOU BLOODY TOSSER." Dramatically, Atlas flung the bathroom stall open and lunged forward. "YOU. BLOODY. TOSSER." Atlas ran forward and threw a little 11-year-old fist at Juan's shoulder. "YOU. BLOODY. TOSSER." He repeated as he threw his head in aiming a nice bite at the guy's forearm.

 

Because honestly Atlas might have watched a million Sam Rockett matches but he didn't pick up much from them in the end.

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Clayton Stagg

Clayton could only watch as Atlas decided to blow both their covers. He weakly reached out attempting to catch the younger Slytherin before he evacuated himself from the bathroom, but he was too slow. Was this first year in on whatever Zsuzsanna had been planning, or was he thrown for a surprise just as much as Clayton was? He watched Atlas dart forward screaming profane accusations at Juan. No. He swept in, a hand quickly reaching for Atlas's wrists as he forced the boy's arm back and jammed his knee against the back of the 11-year-old's back, pulling Atlas back.

 

"Move and I'll break it." He stated calmly towards the kid letting Atlas know his behaviour was inappropriate and would not be tolerated. Then Clayton's eyes landed on Zsuzsanna. "You've some explaining to do." He tightened his grip around the hold he had on Atlas. "You may begin by telling me just why we are here."

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

Zsu stilled, listening despite already knowing just what Juan was to say. Every single piece of the puzzle had already been accounted for, but the confession allowed just that much more colour to-

 

Well, this escalated quickly.

 

Before she really had time to blink, her wand was out and a quick, ‘Hotari’ had slipped out of her mouth, aiming at what she hadn’t quite yet realized was Clayton until she was on her feet. Too fast, Atlas had come running out too fast, and she hadn’t quite accounted for that but now here it was. Keeping her wand raised and her eyes trained on Clayton, her words floated pointedly towards Juan. “If you touch me Juan, I swear to you that I will do everything in my power to make sure that the next four years of your life will be far, far away from this school. I may not be in Ravenclaw, as you so bluntly pointed out, but I am far brighter than you’ve given me credit for and Hufflepuffs have reputable reputations. How would it look when a young Hufflepuff witchling shows up in tears because she fears for her life? That an older Slytherin, who was in the girl’s lavatory, had accosted her and pulled his wand out with threats he certainly would make good on?”

 

Zsu waited to let it sink in, to let him know she meant every single word as her expression neutralized.

 

“I am not a liar, Juan, and everything I have just said has just happened. So your options now are to either stand down, which I would greatly appreciate, or to try my patience as you’ve been.” She didn’t like leaving Juan unattended to, but Clayton had Atlas and if she had to resort to physical violence to get her friend free –she’d do it. Eloquence and magic were not the only things in her arsenal. “Clayton,” I’m sorry your boyfriend is such a terrible thing, “please release Atlas. He’s here because of me and he’s innocent. I asked him to bring you so that you could hear Juan’s confession and not be completely blind sighted. I’d rather you not be drugged or face any other sorts of unsavory things that he may have up his sleeve.”

 iunno how it got so big it's juan's fault

 

 

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Molly Stone

Molly had to use the loo. Typically, she stayed far away from Moaning Myrtle's bathroom as the screaming and moaning was more trouble than she bargained for, but the sensation was so strong on her bladder that day that she had no choice but to make a beeline for the nearest vicinity, which happened to be Moaning Myrtle's loo. God damnit.

 

She expected noise. She expected regret. What she didn't expect, however, was.. whatever the hell this was.

 

"Oi!" Molly shouted, hustling over to Clayton, eyes bulging, trying to ignore the pressure in her bladder. "Let him go! Why've you got Atlas on lock like that?" She glanced around, noticing the figure of Zsu, then Juan. Words had obviously been exchanged, all of which she'd missed. Her gaze settled on Juan. "What is this, man?" She paused. "Don't get me wrong, I completely support the idea of transcending gender, but why are you all in the girl's room? And what's going on?"

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Juan Garcia

loooooooooooooool what is short post

 

What? Juan’s eyes widened as the tiny first year came at him, dramatically and terribly aiming punches at him. See, Juan grew up with two older brothers. Scrawny Atlas’ punches did nothing to him except fill him with dread. Atlas, apparently, was friends with Emmett. That needed to be rectified. He’d need to reconvene with Kieran and tell him that one of their mentees was morally broken, because WHY THE HELL WOULD ANYONE BEFRIEND A BLOOD PURIST?!?!

 

He kept hearing ‘bloody tosser’ far more than he’d expected to hear it ever in a girl’s bathroom, until CLAYTON popped up out of the SAME stall Atlas had come out of… Okay… Not… creepy.

 

A different array of emotions went through him as Clayton came to grab Atlas and stop his little flurry of fists.

 

One: Clayton was saving him, so… swoon.

 

Two: Clayton had been in a stall with Atlas. Alone. Until he’d come into the bathroom. W h y ?

 

Three: He actually kinda needed to piss now. For real.

 

Explaining? Suzanna’s little threats meant nothing to him. Juan had dealt with being disliked before A tiny, first year Hufflepuff wasn’t going to do anything. “Why would I touch the likes of you?” he snapped back, listening to her stupid excuse for a story. “Oh yeah. You’ve got some great witnesses. My mentee, who hates me, and…” Juan’s voice trailed off.

 

Clayton had been in the stall. He’d heard Juan talk about him. Jesus… This was humiliating.

 

“Spin your story how you want. I’m used to dealing with pests. Like Emmett. Like Dax. Like Potter. Like Towne,” he responded, counting them off on his outstretched hand, bringing a finger down with each name until only one remained, serving to punctuate his words.

 

Atlas was innocent? “He was eavesdropping on girls tinkling, apparently,” Juan regarded the first year Slytherin with disgust before snapping his attention back to Suzanna. Blind sighted? “If you think I’m gonna apologise to that brat, you’ve got it all wrong. I did this school a service. Putting blood purists in their place is something the school should’ve started doing a long time. I’m a defender of the underdog.”

 

And then, BECAUSE THE BATHROOM JUST BECAME THE NEW POPPIN’ CLUB, Molly freaking Stone. Juan would’ve face-palmed had he not been concerned with his face getting too red in front of Clayton Stagg.

 

“Atlas is being gross and hiding in toilet stalls.” With my unofficial official boyfriend. “I received… a letter. To come here,” he hesitated, finally coming to the realisation of what had happened.

 

He’d been set up. That hadn’t been Clayton who sent the letter. He tried not to let his realisation show on his face. But it was hard.

 

“You… were in on this?” he looked over at Clayton, disbelief and heartbreak on his face.

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Clayton Stagg

Clayton took the brunt force of the spell in stride, absorbing it as he went over in his mind a thousand times what he'd been hit with. He did what he had been conditioned to, ignoring the positive feelings that overcame him as he kept his glare steady. Zsu was trying so hard to help in her own twisted and demented way. He wasn't a moron he could see the kid thought she was doing some type of good.

 

Molly Stone came in, both girls now determined to get him to let go of Atlas. Clayton slowly released the boy making sure to keep himself between the first year and Juan. “I received… a letter. To come here,” He saw Juan look towards him for guidance. The same type of letter they'd received at Hogsmeade that Clayton was too embarrassed to admit he hadn't wrote. Not when Juan seemed so flattered by it. “You… were in on this?” Clayton shook his head.

 

"I was foolish." He weakly pointed towards Atlas. "By the time I realized I had fallen into some trap I tried to keep quiet so nobody else had to know. Surely he wasn't done until we were both humiliated." Then his eyes landed on Zsu. It was hard not to look at her and think the same. Clayton reached out and took Juan's hand, his gaze not leaving Zsu.

 

"I fancy Juan." He said without hesitation. Without the slightest bit of regret or uncertainty behind his tone. "If you can't handle that, then I'm done being your friend and we will keep our relationship strictly professional." Clayton said it coldly, already deciding to cut the first year out of his life for Juan's sake if that would be healthy for their relationship. "He's the first thing I've ever had in my life that makes me feel happy. He's the only thing in my life right now that doesn't bring me pain." Clayton needed Juan. It wasn't the other way around. "And if you take him from me, I would travel to every star in the sky until I found him and brought him back with me. No matter what you do  he will always be my other half."

 

And it was then Clayton realized he felt teary eyed and wanted to cry and laugh all at the same time. He blink backed the liquid balling at his lids and almost immediately began to shake Juan's hand out of his own. Crap. Nope. No. Not any of this. With a panicked robotic movement, he shoved his hand down at his side. Seriously Clayton what was that? You'd literally said seconds prior that you wouldn't let the spell overtake your emotions. That you were still in control. Get out. Get the flack out of that bloody bathroom.

 

Clayton immediately tried to brush his way past the pack and sprinted from the bathroom in a fit of panic as he could feel himself dying of embarrassment.

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Atlas Wyrmwort

"ABORT ABORT." Atlas screamed when Clayton grabbed him and was threatening to break his arm. Luckily, his knight in shining armor showed up. Molly. Well also Zsu. Zsu was there to begin with so whatevs. She could be like an honorary knight. Molly was the main knight though.

 

"I'M NOT PEEPING CLAYTON KIDNAPPED ME IN THERE. HE WANTED ME TO KISS HIM. I NEEDED AN ADULT." Atlas began shrilling loudly but it was all cut short when things seemed to get serious. Clayton telling Zsu that this was serious and him and Juan were there to say. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh this was BAD. None of this was supposed to be happening.

 

Atlas glanced up at Clayton catching just enough to see him leaving the bathroom quick as a rat. Because he was a rat. A gross rat. Atlas turned his head towards the pack and nodded his head approvingly. "Okay good work squad. I think we made a lot of progress here. Zsu, we now know Clayton isn't friend material. Juan. You now know you should break up with Clayton and we can go back to our mentoring man group. Do you want ice cream? I think I'm feeling ice cream tonight." He bit down on his lip knowing that he had destroyed the mood. I mean... Surely Juan saw through that stupid weird speech, right? Clayton was clearly out his bloody mind.

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Zsuzsanna E. Maverick

“You do know that there is a plethora of ways for someone to actually see what happened from my memories, right?” Of course Juan didn’t, his name was Juan and his struggle was perhaps the realest the Huff had ever really come across, “I do not need to spin anything, though I suppose that is why you were not sorted into Ravenclaw.”

 

She inhaled and exhaled when he mentioned doing the school a service, reminding herself that hexing and/or cursing him was unkind, and the slugs that she would most certainly make sure he threw up until he was well into his fifties did not deserve such a foul fate. And why in the world would he think she’d want him anywhere near Emmett after what he did. “You’re an arrogant prima donna, nothing more than a low-class mongrel of a bully. Atlas is here because he thought the world of you for some strange reason and Emmett is not some Blood Purist.” She rolled her eyes, keeping her temper in check, “And even if he was, what makes you any different? I’m very sure if I were to check I’d find the same thing you did to him done to Muggleborns. I might as well just call you one in the same as your ideas are strikingly similar. Intolerant. Bias. Stupid.

 

Molly’s entrance was completely unexpected, and if not for the fact that locking the bathroom door would’ve been more suspicious, she would have done it. Clearly someone walking in on them all was far worse. Well, perhaps it could’ve worked out had Juan just been silent for once in his life and not started speaking. Or breathing. Or existing. Especially the latter.

 

And then Atlas was Atlas and pierced through the thickness of the air with ease, almost erecting a small smile she would’ve tried to hide if Clayton had not taken the reigns.

 

Where Juan’s words failed, Clayton’s didn’t, and she suddenly could not tell if she was drowning or if she was too stunned to remember to breathe. If it was his intent to maim, then bravo, please give the gentleman an Oscar. Leonardo DiCaprio’s to be more precise.  As much as she wanted to look away, she couldn’t, and the weight burdened her until she swore it was almost unbearable.

 

Zsu swallowed down the hurt, tamed the flashes of emotion flittering out into the open expanse of her eyes, her face. So Juan made him happy, was the only person that didn’t bring him pain? Clayton would travel to-

 

Something cracked, and she hoped to goodness it wasn’t her wand, though the sharp throb that was against her palm made her think otherwise. She relaxed her hand and allowed her arm to drop to her side. It had all blown up exponentially in her face, and now she’d been left with more wreckage that she’d have to sweep beneath the rug until she could properly deal with it. He chose Juan, despite hearing what he’d done. He chose Juan. They weren’t friends anymore and he chose Juan.

 

“Fine.” Not that Clayton was still around to hear it, not that it was some real response to a question he didn’t ask. Her eyes did not shift to Atlas, although she could hear him. They were trained on where Clayton had been for a moment before they shifted to Juan. “I swear on everything you are and aren’t, Juan Garcia, if you do anything to hurt him you will regret it.” Her voice seemed harder than what she wished, and it was a mistake really, but it didn’t really matter now did it?

 

The Huff turned on her heel, her thoughts empty to protect herself and keep her composure. “Be careful Atlas,” she tossed casually over her shoulder, “if you’re having ice cream with Juan, it may end up being more than just milk, cream, and sugar.” She gave her friend a pointed stare before quietly walking out.

 

//Zsu out 

 

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