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Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

It didn't take long for Dean and Sydney to reach Adam out on the grounds, and when they did, Adam was ready to give chase. The only reason he had waited for his brother was because the older boy knew a lot more spells than Adam did. When Dean got close enough to hear Adam, the younger brother called out, "Come on, he went out this way."

Dean gave him a surprised look. "What, you're not going to stop me? Not going to talk about how messed up this is?" Adam shook his head, already walking towards the Great Lake, where it looked like Kaegen had gone off to. "Not this time. He almost shot me -- again. I still don't want to hurt him, but he's not in a good state of mind right now, and we at least need to find him. Come on." The two boys ran off towards the darkening lake, caught up in the newly-restarted chase, leaving Sydney standing alone on the lawn.

"Be careful...." she called, watching the Harringtom boys depart and standing in the evening air. Sydney was used to the erratic actions of her boyfriend by now, even if she didn't fully understand all of them. She figured that it wouldn't be long until the boys would return, hopefully with a third student in tow, but she started to get worried regardless. What would she do if they weren't back before curfew? Would she have to leave them alone? Could she go out and find them? Sydney knew the boys could handle themselves, but sometimes, they needed an extra push. After another moment, she had made up her mind. She was about to follow the two of them towards the lake when she felt a strange sensation. It was almost like...like she was being watched. People had always told Sydney that she was an observant girl, but she never really noticed until moments like these.

Looking behind her, Sydney kept her voice strong and confident, trying to sound authoritative and mature. She might have been making a fool of herself, calling out to nothing, but she didn't think that nothing was exactly what awaited her."Hello? Who's there?"

Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12

Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

Kaegen stepped out into the open. He must have looked pretty pathetic, a 11 year old boy with eyes that seemed to look for the danger in everything, moving smoothly, less like a boy, more like an animal. He had questions, but he had no reason to believe that this girl was any less dangerous than the other two were. In fact, she may be more dangerous. Before he did anything else, he had to make sure he knew what was going on. Make sure he knew which side of the fence she stood on, and most importantly, see if he had to take her out and run for it. That last option would probably be unpleasant.
"Hey, I have questions. Would you mind...???"
His voice was similar to a tiny breeze, blowing through some leaves on a barren tree ready for winter. It came from faraway, and seemed to carry on the wind, blowing across to the older girl. She looked nice enough, but looks never meant anything. Well, it meant something, even though Kaegen didn't know why. A few of the girls looked cute, but he didn't think that about any of the boys. Why even was that? Maybe boys were naturally uglier. Was he naturally uglier? He would find a mirror later.
If she pulled out her wand, he would shoot her with his slingshot as he ran.

flectere si nequeo superos, Achaeronta movebo

Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

Sydney smiled down at the boy, relaxing and internally scolding herself for getting all worked up about nothing. It was just a first-year, a Ravenclaw, and he wanted help. Well, if there was anything that Sydney could do, it was help someone. "Of course," she answered, taking a step closer to the boy. Had he come out from the bushes? She couldn't tell, but she thought that he might have. That was an odd place to be standing, especially on a night as cold as this. Was the boy okay?

"Anything specific you wanted to know about?" Sydney continued, trying not to scare the kid off with all of the questions going through her mind. "The castle can be a confusing place, even to sixth-years like me." Sydney was a bit ashamed of all of the times she had gotten lost in Hogwarts, even after nearly six years at the school. She'd had to call Dean to come find her many times this year alone, and she'd do all she could to save this boy the embarrassment of doing the same.

Of course, that was assuming that he was lost in the first place. Sydney was beginning to have her doubts. The odd look in his eyes, the place he'd emerged from, the odd way he was holding his hands, like he was trying to conceal something -- this wasn't just a first-year with a question. A slight smile turning up the corners of her mouth, Sydney looked him up and down. "Hold on a minute. You're that boy that Dean's been chasing around all night, aren't you?"

Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12

Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

This girl was weak. It was the first thing the boy noticed about her. His mind was feeling trapped, the little part of it that was devoted to nice and happy things of the hearth and home was being suppressed by the larger part that was screaming for survival. The survival part of his brain was being suppressed by his curiosity. It wasn't the healthiest mindset to have but the boy didn't know any better, didn't even think to try and fix it. The slight breeze was cutting through the cloth of his clothes, but he didn't really pay attention to it, his eyes moving with an eerie speed, focusing on a object quickly before moving on to something else. He had already examined the girl in front of him from head to toe, every inch of her scrutinized quickly and effectively. He wasn't entirely sure why he got the impression she was weak, but he did. She was kind and nice and most importantly not dangerous. That meant he could go ahead and ask her the question that he was currently curious about, and he would answer some of hers.
The castle wasn't confusing, really. It was a death trap of hard floors and horrible stair cases. He didn't like much of anything in the place, save his bed. He let that question slide by, ignoring it and dismissing it as unimportant. A shiver threatened to move through his spine but he suppressed it. The fens were colder than this, he wouldn't shiver, wouldn't move. He guessed that Bean was that boy that had been chasing him a bit ago. No one else had been after him, right?
"Bean is that crazed older boy?"
It wasn't exactly a answer to her question, but it was as good as one. The older boy really was crazed, attacking for no reason. Bean couldn't even eat Kaegen, why attack?
"What were you and Bean doing earlier, in the window?"
The girl was smiling, happy about something that Kaegen couldn't know about, something locked away in the recesses of her mind. The adrenaline started to fade from his systems and just for a moment he lost control. After a large rush of adrenaline there is always those few seconds of weakness, a few seconds where you feel shaky and weak and all over the place. In those few seconds, the bright eyes looked sad, tired. The shiver made it through his spine, and his limbs. He was only 11, and his little mind could only keep up the constant assault for so long. So far his stay in Hogwarts had been one massive battle. One massive rejection orchestrated by every student that had any common sense. They weren't being mean or cruel, Kaegen just didn't fit. His very core and mindset were at direct opposition to everything most of the other children believed in. And everyone that did spend the time to talk with him did it out of pity. He would make it through, he would make it through anything life threw at him. He was strong enough, he was fast enough. But he was young. In the long run, he was weak. All he could do is hide and run from the millions of things his slingshot couldn't fell. The mists that nurtured him back home didn't reach the castle, and for those few seconds he felt horribly miserable, like he was going to cry and crawl in a ball on the ground forever. But the seconds were short, and before long his eyes were back, his composure had returned. He could keep himself together a while longer, it was too dangerous to be weak right now. And besides, he was still curious.

flectere si nequeo superos, Achaeronta movebo

Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

Sydney's smile faltered, a result of the confusion that had began to overtake her when the younger boy had opened his mouth. Sydney had always thought of herself as a fairly well-spoken girl, but the questions that this first-year was asking threw her for a bit of a loop. It wasn't the questions themselves, she supposed, but just the randomness with which he asked them. She wasn't sure where to start, so she just nodded and tried to think on her feet. This wasn't at all how she'd pictured this night happening.

"Yes, Dean is the crazed one," she laughed. Sydney had learned to deal with her boyfriend's hyperactive personality when they'd first started dating each other, and she sometimes forgot that others weren't as used to it as she was. He might have been a crazy teenage boy, but he was her crazy teenage boy, and she loved him regardless of his wildness. God, listen to me. I sound like I belong in a rom-com.

Then, he asked his second question. Sydney felt herself blush, and tried to keep an embarrassed expression from creeping over his face. "Um...what? What were we doing in the window? I don't really...I don't really know what you're talking about..." Sydney had always been taught to be modest, to be mild, to not draw attention to herself. The idea that this eleven-year-old had watched her and her boyfriend kiss in the window ashamed her a little bit, and she tried desperately to change the subject.

Luckily for Sydney, the boy started to shiver as she answered. Sydney hadn't realized how cold it was getting outside, and she realized that the poor first-year must be freezing. His robes were dirtied and on the brink of tearing, and he looked pretty worn-out from the chase. Smiling warmly at him, Sydney slid her scarf off of her neck and slowly offered it forward, hoping he'd accept. "You look a little cold...are you sure you don't want to go inside?" she asked, hoping that he'd changed his mind. Above all, Sydney wanted this boy to be safe. "I'm Sydney, by the way. What's your name?"

As long as Sydney kept treating the younger boy civilly, she thought she might be able to coax him to come out of the cold and calm down for a few minutes. She knew that Dean and Adam could find their way back to the castle before curfew, after all. It was up to her now to make sure this Ravenclaw remained in her care and got back to his Common Room safely.

Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12

Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

No, she wasn't nice. This girl was a predator. A bloodthirsty carnivorous creature. She lied to him, she lied to him just then. There was no other way to put it, no other way to possibly perceive what that girl just said. She didn't really know? If she had said talking that would have been acceptable, but she hadn't. She had said that she wasn't sure what he was talking about. A horrible feeling crept into his gut. She didn't have any reason to lie to him, did she? No reason to try and deceive him. But then again, the creatures of the forest didn't either. She had looked so nice at first, he wasn't sure how he could have been so horribly wrong. By most people's accounts, what sydney had done was fine, it was acceptable that she was embarrassed and wanted to change the topic, but Kaegen was feeling cold and alone right then. He had recently been told that his one friend wasn't really his friend, had decided to protect her anyway. He had just barely managed to escape from bean and was too tired to try and understand her reasoning. Too tired to understand whatever logic was behind her not telling him the truth. His eyes just widened when she said that. He had no reason to believe that she was on his side and every reason to believe that she was against him, but it hurt just the same, and his eyes showed it.
"Oh"
She told him he looked cold, asked if he wanted to go inside. He was cold, and did want to go inside but now he was horribly afraid. The survival part of his mind started to contest the curious part, and it was winning out.
"No"
He wrapped his scarf around his face a few more times as he took a few steps back, farther away. But his back was to the lake, and he wasn't a good enough swimmer to try and make it through the freezing lake. His terrified eyes hardened just a little when she asked for his name. His name was power to him, the symbol of his being made real with a bunch of little sounds.
"I am Kaegen Deathmote Fens-Born Scarf-Wielder. He who was called fat tadpole as a babe, suicidal idjit as a toddler and earned the name Eeh before arriving at hogwarts. My name has authority granted by my grandfather who gave his authority with the authority of the conquerer of the 14th dark place. Can you say the same?"
He already knew the answer she would give. It would be a no, her name held no power. His name was a threat as much as it was a statement. Threatening with power he couldn't wield, challenging her to either get to his level or go away. Was she signalling bean? It was a possibility that only made him more worried, more terrified of what would happen in the next few minutes. He desperately needed a break, a break from all of this.

flectere si nequeo superos, Achaeronta movebo

Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

No? That wasn't the answer that Sydney had been expecting. Eyes narrowing just a little bit, she stared at the mysterious boy as he gave her his name. It seemed unnecessarily long, and after the third title or so, Sydney tuned out a little bit. She didn't want to be dismissive, but all she really cared about was the name itself: Kaegen. Finally, when he asked her about her own name, she raised an eyebrow and tried to think up an answer on her feet. The boy -- Kaegen -- seemed proud of his name, which was good, but she didn't know exactly why he would need it. Just play along, Sydney, she reminded herself. It'll be easier to get him inside if you play along.

"Me? Well...." Sydney tried to think of something she could say, anything about herself. "I am...I am Sydney Shaw, Child-Watcher, Scarf-Weaver." It was technically true -- she'd done a bit of babysitting over the past few summers, and was in the process of learning how to sew. What else could she say? Thinking back to Kaegen's introduction, she scrambled for other things to include. "My name was granted to me under the authority of Andrew Shaw, the Carver, the Woodsman." That part was also true, if a little dramatized. Sydney's dad used to be a lumberjack when he was young, and he still dealt in woodworking today. She knew it was kind of a stretch, but she didn't think that the boy would be able to tell. And if he did, well, that wasn't exactly the point of her conversation, wasn't it?

"Maybe we can help each other out, Mr. Deathmote. I might be able to explain some things about Dean to you, and you could tell me about what happened over on your end of things inside. Does that sound good?" She hoped he said yes. Sydney didn't want to cause any more trouble than had already been created. She just wanted to help this kid get safely indoors. Was that too much to ask?

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Dean and Adam slowed down when they got about halfway around the shores of the Great Lake. Hands tightened into fists at his side, the older boy turned to his brother and sighed. "I thought you said this was where you saw him go, Adam." Dean was tired of this wild-goose chase, and annoyed at Adam for leading them the wrong way. By this point, he just wanted to get inside and forget about the whole thing -- at least until he ran into Kaegen again.

"Well, I thought he did, Dean!" Adam snapped back, equally frustrated. "I'm not allowed to be wrong?" After a short altercation, the brothers decided that their best course of action would be to turn back and regroup with Sydney. It had been a long enough night, after all. All that was left was to see what awaited them at the castle.

Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12

Older brothers and younger bothers  Finished 

He was so dead. He was worse than dead. He was about to be flayed alive. Forget wearing this scarf, that girl in front of him weaved scarves. She weaved scarves as she watched children. Watched him. He was a child, he qualified as a child. Why was she watching him? Did she stalk little kids as she made scarves and was it possible that she knew what his scarf was made of? It was incredibly light and soft, unlike anything Kaegen had ever seen before. It didn't even rip, seeming incredibly strong. Was she capable of making something that powerful and cuddly?
The take home message from all of this was that she was powerful and skilled enough to make scarves. And she liked watching children. Why would someone want to just watch children? Was she like grandfather? No, not like grandfather. She had lied to him and pretended to be nice. Grandfather never lied, and he was always mean. She had some other reason for watching children. Maybe they just looked better than adults to her? Like looking at flowers or birds? For whatever reason she had that title, in the end it just meant that it would be extremely hard to avoid her. Too hard.
Her authority was granted by some random guy with names? Where did his names get authority? It seemed off that she would forget to include where the person who gave her authority got his authority from, but she very easily could have forgotten.
And then the most surprising thing happened. The girl started talking to someone that had his last name as a first name. It was something that Kaegen could not have expected or foretold and it threw him for about 5 loops before he gathered that the invisible person she was talking to was simply related. It was a strange first name to have, though.
And then his universe stood still. Everything coming to a grinding halt as his eyes stayed rooted in place along with his face that slowly started draining itself of the little color it had left. There was someone else who went by that name. It was the name wielded by his father.
Kaegen had come to terms with his parents death surprisingly quickly. He had come to terms that everything died as soon as grandfather told him what had happened. He remembered every single word.
"Brat. Your parents are dead."
Grandfather had then left him alone and walked away. He had cried that day, cried for half an hour before he stopped, realized it was too late and then kept moving. Kept walking. Stopped caring about his parents completely and treated their memory like you would treat an interesting bone. They hadn't even been that close. They had given him a single good feeling of warmth and joy a year, a hug for his birthday. They took turns giving it. One year father did, the next it was mother. But apparently that had been enough. His eyes stayed shook, staring hard at nothingness. They didn't blink as the tears started to well up and they still didn't blink as the tears started to fall down his cheeks.
He wasn't even sure why. Wasn't sure why he was crying or why nothing was moving or why he didn't know what was going on.
The rest of whatever the girl said was lost to him, he felt utterly alone in a miserable world and didn't know why. He hadn't gotten his birthday hug this year, not really anyway. He had gotten two hugs but they hadn't really felt the same. It probably wasn't even the reason he was this upset, but his little mind was grasping at straws to explain the horrible feeling that came over him when that girl mentioned his father's name. And with the unexplained feelings came horrible fear.
Fear took the place of many of his emotions. If he didn't understand an emotion it was replaced with fear. He felt fear almost every day and it often seemed to hide beneath the surface until moments like now. He looked around once to make sure his father wasn't actually there. Deep down he knew that the man wouldn't be, but he had been given a small glimmer of hope by the girl only to have it dashed. And there was no way out. No possible way out of this.
And then his panicking mind found a window. A way out. As he leaped into the freezing waters of the lake he noticed something different about this fear. This fear wasn't really driving him away from something, it was driving him to something. His small moment of enlightenment was snuffed out as the water hit his face, and he started diving down and away.

Reducio
He's left the thread. Bye-a adam! See you in the next continuation!

flectere si nequeo superos, Achaeronta movebo
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