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Kay Wickham

Nowhere to go but on a rampage

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Kay Wickham

Christmas break was over. It hadn't snowed today, but there was a layer of frost on the grass seeping into her trousers where she sat supporting a wireless the size of a football upon her knees.

 

It was the first week back, but it felt like it'd been months since they'd been on the train heading home for the holidays. Her dad almost hadn't let her return to school--the public release of her name, ironically, was what had spared her from homeschool. Her penpal Wilder made homeschool sound pretty boring, and Kay wasn't ready to give up on the friends she'd made, or the many more that she wanted to make. Writing that many letters would give her hand cramps, anyway, and she needed her fists solid for punching.

 

She'd been sure that her father's concerns were exaggerated, though, until she'd actually listened to the full broadcast. Having grown up in America, in a no-maj household, she hadn't known what people would think of real werewolves. Kay's perception of them had been based on television and movies, mostly, and she was getting to know that wasn't the case here. Here, wizards had already had experience with real werewolves. Here, they were an actual threat, and now Kay was a threat, too.

 

As much as she'd always wanted to be intimidating, she'd only ever wanted to intimidate bad guys. She didn't want to scare moms. She liked moms.

 

Kay knew that her family and friends were worried about whether the broadcast would bother her. They hadn't wanted her to listen to the things people had said, or were still saying, but she wanted to know. If she didn't know, how could she possibly prove those people wrong?

 

So she was sitting out here in the cold, her breath huffing dragon smoke puffs in the chill air as she listened to the latest rant about why werewolves shouldn't be allowed at school. "Mindless beasts", "uncontrollable monsters", "risk of infection", Kay noted down all their concerns on the palm of her hand in scratches of pen. She wasn't sure where to start, but maybe if she worked hard enough she could show them all that werewolves could be good guys, too.

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Magda Trickett

Magda was tired of feeling trapped in her own school, a place she had always loved. The attack had changed life at Hogwarts: absurd curfews, buddy systems, strange and stilted lessons from shamefaced professors. She escaped the stifling atmosphere as often as she could, even though it was still winter and the cold wind still made her skin sting and her eyes water every time she ventured outside.

 

She didn’t often run into other students on her jaunts around the lake, over the lawn, and occasionally near the forest where the wolves had breached the school’s supposed security. Not that she could blame anyone for sticking to the castle—she could understand the appeal of thick stone walls after a werewolf attack. If nothing else, they provided a sort of placebo—an illusion of safety.

 

To her surprise, she heard a voice outside on one of these occasions, just a few days after everyone had returned from winter break. As she drew closer to the lake, the words carried: Those mindless beasts don’t belong at school with our children!

 

Magda frowned. Something twisted in the pit of her stomach, and she thought of another voice, forming words that were different but still somehow exactly the same.

 

You think we're safe now? No. You know the types they're letting into school? Goblins.

 

The tinny voice kept shrieking through the echoes in Magda’s head. She was close enough, now, to see a figure sitting hunched on the shore. Her dirty trainers crunched over frosted ground as the furious voice continued its persistent ranting.

 

They’re uncontrollable monsters! How do we know there’s no risk of infection?

 

You’re inferior to me. Dirty little goblin.

 

Crunch, crunch, crunch. Magda was at the lakefront, and then a box-shaped object was in her hand, still shrieking. In another second, she had chucked it, as hard as she could, toward the lake. She’d only forgotten that the lake had frozen over.

 

The radio shattered into pieces against the ice. A moment later, the relatively weak ice fringing the shoreline cracked under the pressure and collapsed beneath the weight of the broken radio. The black water below the ice swallowed the radio whole, taking the ranting middle-aged woman’s voice with it.

 

Magda blinked, the realization that she had just destroyed someone’s personal property belatedly dawning. “Oh, flack.”

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Kay Wickham

Kay almost missed the approaching crunch of frosted footsteps, buried as they were under the rasp of radio static and the droning of the woman on the air. When she recognized the sound as something other, as someone headed her way, the girl glanced over her shoulder and grinned. "Hey, MagdAGH!"

 

The radio was out of her lap and fracturing into bits upon the ice in a single instant, like knocking a glass off the table with an errant elbow. Except this hadn’t been her elbow—or her at all. She'd been determined to hear it all out, despite how she could feel a string tightening with frustration inside her like the dragon heart in the core of her wand. Every word had wound it tighter and tuned it into a chord of anger ready to be plucked.

 

The ice broke.

 

Kay felt the pull, the note, and barked like a trained dog. “Whaddid ya do that for?!” She turned on the smaller girl with teeth bared and fingers curled (and nose red and eyes watery). It took only a second thought for the rage to chill, as she caught sight of hands poised to form fists—or claws—and remembered again what Trudy had said after her call to the station:

 

“It will only take one single slip up for them to be put in immediate danger.”

 

She took a quick gulp of frozen air and lowered her arms, turning back towards the hole in the ice. The black waters had swallowed her radio, they might as well take her anger with it, down deep to where it couldn’t hurt anyone. Frowning, Kay tugged her knit cap off and scrunched it up thoughtfully. “I just wanted to know what they were saying about us,” she muttered, then glanced aside at Magda. “Uh, not us, I mean... well...”

 

‘Well’, it dawned on her that the half-goblin might understand better than anyone what people might be saying. The words hung in the air and stung on her palm, until she stretched out her legs and added, “I’m gunna prove them wrong, though.” She held out her hand with the ink list smudging on it. “About all of it.”

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Magda Trickett

Seriously, flack. Why had she done that? Magda started toward the lake with a mind to jump in after the shattered radio, even though the crack wasn’t big enough for a human body to slip through, and the water was probably far too cold, and the radio probably far beyond repair, maybe even the magical kind of repair…

 

Kay’s shout stopped her in her tracks. She looked back and saw a spark of anger in the other girl’s red-rimmed eyes, in her tightly-curled fists. She knew that anger just as well as she’d known the shrieking woman’s voice carrying over the radio, even though she’d never heard it or seen Kay angry before. How many times had she bared her own teeth, flicked out a knife, hissed curses in another language at something or someone she perceived to be a threat? She recognized that anger.

 

“I’m sorry,” she said, even though she didn’t feel very sorry. “I just…wanted to shut her up, or something, I guess. You shouldn’t have to listen to that rubbish.”

 

She watched, one eyebrow quirked quizzically, as the Gryffindor took a deep breath and composed herself. She watched as the fury ebbed out of Kay’s tensed shoulders and clenched hands.

 

Magda didn’t recognize that.

 

“It’s okay to be angry, you know. She was angry,” she said, jabbing her finger at the splintered ice. “When I heard what she was saying, I got angry. You can be angry too.”

 

She didn’t dispute Kay’s slip in words. They were different, but weren’t they also the same in so many ways? Especially in that way that witches and wizards like the furious woman on the radio liked to slot part-humans into tidy categories to set them apart. Both Kay and Magda could fit neatly into categories like “Other,” “Not Human,” and “Threat.”

 

She found herself bending down and reaching out to grip Kay’s smudged hand between both of her own, tugging the girl's palm up to eye level with more force than was necessary. The list made that anger rise again in her chest, tasting sour and acrid. Kay had written all their toxic words on her own skin, deliberately letting the ink sink in and leave its mark. Magda was not an expert on morality, but something about the list seemed very wrong to her.

 

“Why? Why do you care what they—what anybody thinks?”

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Kay Wickham

“It's okay to be angry, you know.”

 

Kay wasn't so sure about that. Something felt wrong about those red hot spikes of rage stabbing out from her like spines—if she wasn't careful they could pierce someone who didn't deserve it. Now more than ever, she had to watch herself, or else.

 

Or else scar someone for life.

 

Or else give them the curse.

 

Or else misrepresent every other werewolf, adding another name to the list proving that they were unsafe. Fenrir Greyback. Galen Ward. Kay Wickham.

 

The warmth of a pair of hands smushing hers between them startled her out of her downward spiral, and she glanced up as Magda yanked her palm up to eye level. Kay watched the other girl's eyes dart over the smeared ink, watched her heavy brow grow even heavier as the little scowl formed on her face. Her question was one that Kay should have anticipated, but it threw her all the same.

 

“I don't care,” she denied, “not really. Not about me, really.” She curled the hand still clasped between Magda's, folding her fingers over the words and holding them secret inside. “If it were just me it'd be okay, but they talk about us like we're all the same... so maybe if I can prove I'm not bad, they'll know that none of us are bad.” The broken ice and the dark water lurked in her peripheral like an inkblot, and somewhere down there everyone was still saying all those awful things.

 

Her free hand clenched in her bright orange cap, pressing it against the ache in her belly. Less of her usual hunger, more of that same tightness rewinding itself in her guts again. “I don't know how to make this better. I wanna help. I just don't wanna make things worse for everybody.” The admission was strained by the pinch in her throat, the catch in her breath.

 

If anyone would know what to do with the tangle of truths that complicated her feelings on this, it was Magda. Magda had been different since the day she was born, and must have figured out the best way of living it by now. Knowing this, Kay gave her one more truth. “Maybe I care a little bit,” she muttered, shoulders hunched up to her ears. “I don't want to be the bad guy, but I'm scared they're gunna make me.”

 

She'd never been afraid of anything—not even the wolf, until it was on the inside.

 

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Majesty

Food had been scarce since the start of winter, then again, this was a forest, most of its creatures hibernated the second you could smell the air change from autumn breezes to the fridge cold.  The castle had sometimes been a good way to get food, sure, some children of the castle were nice enough to even pay attention to Majesty, but others were quite rude and pretended he didn’t exist. 

 

Either way, the Thestral always managed to get his food one way or another as it seemed in this one instance that standing in front of the lake while staring at it for hours was not a good hunting method.

 

Lowering his long neck and taking a few gulps of water, Majesty unfolded his large, compact wings and took to the air, leaving behind a ‘WOOSH’ which would be his only known source of existence to most.

 

————-

Hello Bbs!  You resident Thestral here offer a bit of ambiance, this is a one time post, but if you’d like for me to delete this, do not hesitate to PM me!  

 

As a reminder, if your character has witnessed death so far in his/her life, you can see Majesty!  If not, you can still feel, hear, and smell him!  Happy Rp-ing!

 

❤️ Maj

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Magda Trickett

Magda’s brows drew together. “You really think you can prove that? To people like them? They believe whatever they want to believe about us; whatever makes them feel good, you know, superior.

 

She knew from her mother’s history lessons that goblins had been trying for centuries to make bigoted wizards change their minds. They’d done it with logic and debate, and they’d done it with bloody violence, but nothing ever seemed to make a difference. And in that lack of progress, they’d become embattled and embittered.

 

Kay wasn’t bitter yet, though. It was all too new for bitterness.

 

“I don’t know what it’s like to be a werewolf, but I know how it feels to hurt someone without meaning to.” She thought of blood splatters on a white carpet, slotted between moonlight and shadows. “I don’t think you have to worry about that at all. Unlike me, you’re actually a good person. I don’t know you that well, but I can tell that much.”

 

She realized belatedly that she was still clutching Kay’s hand (like a creep), and she let go, but not without a swell of affection for the Gryffindor girl. It wasn’t often that she encountered someone who was truly good, and brave, for reasons other than self-preservation. Her family wasn’t like that at all, and most of her friends had already hardened against the world or learned to twist it to their own purposes.

 

She could see that Kay was different. She wanted to fix things, not bend them until they were warped enough to suit her needs and desires. Maybe it was a naïve outlook, but Magda couldn’t help admiring the girl’s bravery. Selfishness was always the safer option.

 

A thestral took off near them, and Magda’s eyes tracked its progress, a dark silhouette against the gray winter sky, as she thought about how to reassure Kay.

 

“If you take your wolfsbane, if you don’t hurt anyone on purpose, then you’re not bad. That doesn’t mean you don’t get to be angry when you want, or rude, or frustrated. I mean, you’re only human. Right?”

 

Whatever anyone said, it was all they really were.

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Kay Wickham

'They believe whatever they want to believe about us,' Magda said, and despite those dire words an unexpected warmth flared in Kay's ribcage at how quick the goblin girl was to align the two of them under the same banner. Their circumstances were different, she knew—being a werewolf was something that she could hide if she chose to conceal it, and she wouldn't take that for granted. Still, it was nice to hear that her sense of their camaraderie was shared.

 

Her hand was free, suddenly, and the chill in the air made her skin feel even colder where the heat of the other girl's palms had held it. She lowered it back to her lap, rubbing her thumb against the words she'd written between the creases.

 

Magda said she was good.

 

The winter wind made her eyes prickle, dry or damp with tears, she couldn't tell. She sniffed and scrubbed her red nose with the back of her sleeve, sitting in silence until the beating of wings drew her eyes to a thestral taking flight nearby.

 

Kay remembered the first time she'd seen one of those dark creatures across the lawn of the castle. It had been like a trick of the light, or of shadow, something seen only from the corner of her eyes, but now she knew its shape so clearly. She absently checked her pockets for some half-eaten meat bars, wishing she'd taken notice sooner so she could've shared a snack. Strange and scary things needed to look out for each other.

 

Magda said she wasn't bad.

 

“That doesn’t mean you don’t get to be angry when you want, or rude, or frustrated.”

 

“I guess...” she started, then swallowed. The thought of raging, of screaming and cussing and punching the people who wanted her gone was as tempting as it was disgusting. “But if I started getting mad, I dunno if I'd be able to stop.” Her sigh was another cloud of steam billowing from between her lips, until they pressed together in thought. “It'd be real easy to hurt somebody. Really real easy.”

 

And somehow Magda understood, had gone through the fear and self-loathing and pain and come out the other side. It reminded her of something she'd read once, or maybe Robin or Fran had read it and told her a story that stuck.

 

“You're like goblin silver, Magda,” she said, earnest to a degree that might have embarrassed someone else. “Like the Sword of Gryffindor—'it only takes in what makes it stronger'. You don't let what they think or say get inside you, cuz you know it doesn't belong. You know what you're made of—it's goblin silver. Only they can make metal like that.”

 

Kay stopped, squirmed, and pulled her knit cap down further over her ears. “I mean... it's kinda cool,” she finished lamely.

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Magda Trickett

Magda watched Kay solemnly as the other girl struggled to express her worries, her fear of her own anger. She’d never thought of werewolves as particularly dangerous in their human skin, but Kay would know better than she did. And Magda understood that dismissing someone’s fears as unfounded usually did very little to assuage them. If Kay felt like her anger was some volcanic, unstable thing brewing away underneath her surface, then it was, because that was her reality.

 

“If you ever start feeling like that, just let me know,” she said, adopting her most self-assured, brazen tone in an attempt to comfort Kay. “I’ve never heard of a goblin werewolf before, so I’m pretty sure I’m immune. Plus, have you seen me duel? My bat bogies would put you out of commission like that. No problem.”

 

She snapped her fingers for emphasis and attempted a smile.

 

For some reason, what Kay said next made Magda feel oddly warm and shriveled at the same time, like she’d sat too long in the sun and needed to climb back into her shell to hide from the light. She couldn’t remember anyone ever talking about her like that—with honest admiration and praise—except maybe Bitsy. She had always felt more comfortable imparting compliments and adoration than receiving it.

 

It was even rarer, she realized, to hear someone say something positive in connection with her goblin heritage.

 

“Thank you,” she said finally. Her face was hot and she was feeling a bit squirmy, too. “I just…I’ve never thought about it like that before. It comes more naturally to me, I guess. The self-preservation. It’s the only way to be that’s ever made sense to me.”

 

Magda looked at Kay more closely, considering everything the other girl had said. They were different, a Slytherin and a Gryffindor, but that didn’t mean either of them were wrong.

 

If anyone was truly right, it was probably Kay.

 

“I think I sort of get it now…what you’re trying to do. To make things better for other werewolves—it’s brave, really. And I don’t want to talk you out of what feels right to you. I’ll always put myself first, but you’re better than me. Still...”

 

She paused, then reached out for Kay’s hand again, her wand gripped tightly in her other hand. She was still itching to vanish the dark, angry words inked onto the girl’s skin. “You don’t have to make yourself completely miserable to help people. Um…could I…?”

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Kay Wickham

Goblin immunity to lycanthropy was something that they should probably look up before they tried anything too drastic, but the offer was a comfort to Kay all the same. The fact that she already felt like she could rely on her classmate for something like this after a single chilly afternoon together might have surprised her if she were any kind of skeptic.

 

She wasn't, so it seemed as natural to her as learning how to ride a skateboard on one sunny Saturday morning. The lessons of scraped knees, rough on her skin like the words from the radio, and the shared experience of recognizing those scabs on Magda, too.

 

Looking at her now, her cheeks seemed a little flushed, and the Gryffindor was about to suggest they go inside in case she was super cold standing out here with her. The other girl interrupted her thought, thanked her, called her 'better' than her. Asked for her hand and said that she didn't have to punish herself to help.

 

Kay shifted onto her knees, feeling the wind prickle at the snow-damp patches of her trousers. Her lips pressed together, considering what Magda has just said, before she extended her hand to the girl, anticipating the warmth of her smaller hands upon her skin again. She knew that she wanted to remove the ink, and Kay thought she knew what it would mean to let her do it—that she was letting those words go, rejecting them like goblin silver instead of absorbing them in ink.

 

Ink was probably toxic anyway, right?

 

She glanced from their hands up to Magda's face and said, “But I'm not better than you, though.” Her tone was firm, decisive. “You're here aren't you? We just do different kinds of helping... there aren't levels or anything, and you're helping me even though you don't have to, and even though it's cold—uhm--”

 

This point gave her reason to pause, and with a grimace she tugged her hand back, pulled her robe off, and swung it over her new friend's shoulders instead. With a grin that was much more confident in this scenario now that she didn't have to worry about the temperature, Kay returned her hand to its previous position. “Awright, go for it.” Smiling, her free hand fiddling with her shoelaces where she crouched, she added, “And I think you're good, too.”

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Magda Trickett

Kay didn’t think she was better than Magda. She thought Magda was good.

 

But she didn’t know Magda, not really. She didn’t know about the stealing, about the lying and cheating, about what Magda had done last summer. Magda was kind, especially to her friends. But being kind wasn’t the same as being good.

 

She was opening her mouth to argue when Kay abruptly shrugged off her cloak and dropped it over her shoulders.  

 

Magda, being typically more inclined to steal the clothes off someone’s back than to offer up any of her own material possessions, even temporarily, was briefly thrown by the gesture. There was that warm, shriveled feeling, again. She was starting to realize that her new friend had a knack for catching her off guard.

 

She was still tempted to push the argument for Kay’s vastly superior nobility, but she was suddenly uncertain what evidence she’d use to advance her point. It felt nice, Kay thinking that she was good. She didn’t want to prove Kay wrong, after all. She didn’t want the Gryffindor girl to know what she was really like. Not if the truth would kill whatever tenuous friendship was beginning to spring up between them.

 

So she swallowed her protests. “If you say so.”

 

Magda clutched the cloak tighter around her shoulders then ducked her head, still flushed, as she took Kay’s hand again and pointed her wand at the words written on the Gryffindor’s skin.

 

Mindless beasts, Uncontrollable monsters.

 

Her lips curled into a scowl as her eyes traced the letters again. “Scourgify.” With that, the words vanished, leaving no trace, and she let out clouded puff of air that had been trapped in her throat. She rocked back on her heels, reluctantly releasing Kay’s hand.

 

“There. Gone. Don’t even think about ‘em, okay? I’m telling you, it’s not worth it. They’re wrong…and you’ll prove it just by being yourself.”

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