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Xenia Lupu-Haidei

I'll teach you how to be bad

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After all the sorting night chaos, Xenia had managed to tear herself away from the other Ravenclaws and through the halls of Hogwarts in order to get to her cats. She didn't know the layout of Hogwarts' grounds, nor did she understand the various tricks the castle held up its sleeve, but that thought didn't bother her insofar as she hadn't been entirely focused on it. No, not even that, per se. More so Xe hadn't been expecting for Hogwarts to hold any wandering staircases or armory that could move. She'd been entirely focused on getting her hands on her babies as soon as possible.

 

"You," she hissed into the dank and dark corridor, punctuating it by poking the boy in question in the back of the neck when she'd seen him walking around. "You're gonna help me do something and you're gonna keep your mouth shut about it, do you understand? Follow me."

 

This was a lesson in secrecy Robin had never asked for, but he was getting anyway. It was time to separate the boys from the men.

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Mapping Hogwarts was not going to happen overnight - mapping even a small part of it wasn't going to happen in 24 hours. Robin knew this, expected it, but the fact had become all the more pushed in and tattooed once he'd seen Hogwarts. The thing with dorming up in a tower was that he'd had to walk though the guts of the school to get from bed, to breakfast to class, et cetera.

 

Still, the day after Sorting, Robin had valiantly struck out on his own with a piece of paper in hopes of bringing something workable to Kay and Francis later on in the evening. He was most certainly not trying to think about that fact that he'd woken up not at The Bakery, but in a dorm full of almost-strangers. New smells (mostly), new sensations, food and timetable; Hogwarts, as prepared as Robin had attempted to be, was going to take some getting used to.

 

However, he was stuck here for the next 3-and-a-half months and he did not want to send Frederick back to his dads with a letter to pick him up. Lindy had tested the waters for longer and he had his two best friends with him - socially, Robin could not complain. No, that was never the issue and he would never let it be one,

 

Weapons of mass distraction it was.

 

Only, he didn't get too far with his cartography (perhaps the library had resources on how to plot out magical schools?) when someone, who materialized into the Girl-Whose-Hair-He'd-Set-on-Fire-Very-Accidentally Xenia as a cold finger on the back of his neck, demanded his help.

 

Robin understood the pointlessness of arguing, not because he was bad at it (he was, in actuality, fearsomely stubborn), but because he was curious about the gravity of Xenia's mission. Besides, she didn't ask him to sat anything or do much more than follow after her. Why the heck not?

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In her haste, Xenia had forgotten that much earlier, when she'd gotten on the train, she'd divided out her cats between she, Rad, and Ryszard, and the other two boys currently claimed possession of Luna and Blackout respectively. Which meant that until she was able to meet up with them both she only currently had Midnight in her ownership, and that knowledge alone was enough to fill her head with all sorts of end-of-days, worst case scenarios.

 

What if they were currently being sacrificed in a Slytherin sacrificial ceremony???

 

What if they were being turned into couch cushions for the amusement of the first years???

 

Xe couldn't breathe. She didn't want to stress herself out, however, so she forced herself to remember that she knew who had her babies, so if anything bad were to happen to them---if even one patch of fur was displaced---she'd just murder Radueriel and Ryszard. Simple as.

 

"I brought my three cats here with me. Yes, I know the rule says we're only allowed to bring one pet, so don't waste my time telling me that I'm breaking the rules. I'm gonna sneak them up to Ravenclaw Tower later and you're gonna help." And, before he could even open his mouth to protest, she took him by wrist and pulled him into a random room to go over their plans. Midnight, who was sitting obediently and quietly in the armor gallery where Xenia had dropped him off once she'd gotten him, meowed upon seeing his human again. "This is Midnight," she told Robin, holding up the cutest ball of black fur this side of the English Channel. "You may pet him, but you have to ask if you want to hold him. And you're only allowed to hold him for as long as I say so."

 

Midnight meowed again, then started purring, and Xe could have sworn she melted in that moment. "He misses his sisters," She said in Robin's direction, then held Midnight closer to her face and stared cooing at him. "It's okay, baby," she told the feline, rubbing him behind his ears. "We'll get your sisters back and then you'll all be rolling in catnip together."


Edited by Xenia Lupu-Haidei

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Robin had never had reason to be superstitious (unless it just made common sense not to do something) before, but he discovered that he had a Thing about black cats upon he seeing one - aptly named 'Midnight' - sitting in the middle of the room. A few paces into the Armour Gallery and Robin stopped, keeping the door well within escape distance, until Xenia picked Midnight up and brought the mini-panther over.

 

Up close, Midnight was adorable - Robin had no problem with cats as a species, but had few personal interactions with them on account of his dad's allergy, and for as long as he recalled had never done more than observe a black cat. The feline's black fur appeared to Robin to swallow all light that hit it from the torches and candles bouncing off the suits of armour around them, making the green eyes and the pearly, tiny dagger teeth when Midnight meowed all the more pronounced and vivid. Robin imagined that holding him would be like holding a warm little shadow.

 

He was a beautiful animal; Robin felt a strong need to hold him - and by that virtue, keep him from crossing paths he himself would need to walk. "Is that why you need my help?" he asked quietly, eyes on Midnight soaking up all the attention Xenia lavished upon him. Cautiously, Robin held out his hand for Midnight to smell, waiting as long as he possible could before whispering, "Can I hold him, please?"

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The first week was always full of shenanigans and for the most part Sir Forrest enjoyed it all.  

 

It was exciting and uplifting and reminded the old pile of tin about his life before... 

 

Before he'd been relegated to guarding largely nothing exciting for a day or so and waiting until dark fell over a sleeping castle before finding a new station to take watch over another day of nothing.  The young wards of the building always seemed to have the biggest taste for adventure in that first week and he liked seeing just how far they would go.  

 

Most importantly, when it came to the youngest, they never quite expected the scenery to bite back and as he stood near the entry to the armor gallery he watched two of what looked to be like the newest and shiniest students creep their way in, one more nervous than the other and he waited and watched through the narrow slits in his helmet for the opportune moment.  

 

He would make his presence known but not until he  could make it count.  Three months in a dusty castle was a long time to go without a laugh.  


Edited by Sir Forrest of Orange III

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Midnight was such a thing of beauty and Xenia couldn't fathom the thought of anyone not liking her baby. The cat was so likeable that Ezmeralda had tried to steal him (and had fully regretted that decision) and many of the neighborhood kids in Brighton wanted to pet him and his sisters any time Xe went out with them. So she hadn't picked up on Robin's 'mistrusting of black cats' vibes. "Yes, this is why I need help," she confirmed, petting the creature even more and allowing his purrs to ring out. "Well, one of them. There are two others. Their names are Luna and Blackout and they're currently being kept in the Slytherin common room by my..."

 

Mates?

 

Acquaintances??

 

Partners-in-crime????

 

"...by Ryszard and Radueriel." She carefully placed Midnight in Robin's waiting hands, but not before eyeing him suspiciously and making it obvious that if he dropped Midnight she would kick his arse right then and there. "I need help sneaking Luna and Blackout into Ravenclaw Tower without any of the prefects knowing. I don't want them to tell me to take them back home. They're my babies and Midnight's sisters."

 

Almost like he knew exactly what his human was talking about, Midnight meowed loudly once more in agreement.

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Midnight was even fluffier to the touch than he had looked and something in Robin melted when the black cat was placed in his arms. Curled into a ball of silky darkness, Midnight was softer than any stuffed toy, and Robin happily zoned out into kitty-happy heaven for a few moments, pushing aside the old superstitions. No question about it, Robin adored his owl, Frederick - but he would have loved to have a cat of his own. He liked how soundless they were, and balanced, and acrobatic; how you had win their affection...

 

Back to the task at hand.

 

Xenia's friends in Slytherin were under the guise of cat owners for two of her other cats - clever, and while Robin could pretend as the owner for one of the cats, that still left the third to be snuck in from the dungeons and all the way up to Ravenclaw Tower. No easy task - but a perfect one for the Just Us League. This was exactly the sort of problem he imagined Kay, Francis and himself could solve.

 

However, he did not have either of his friends with him, nor did he have his red hoodie.

 

He did have a messenger bag, though...

 

"I'll help," he nodded curtly and hefted Midnight so that he could hand him back to his true mistress.

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