A/N: I love complications, and sub plots so here's Mary's minor complication. Again, all disclaimers apply. The world is JKR's, the ideas came from a hundred others, and the only thing that is mine is the plot tying it all together.
Mary Evans was sitting in the living room of the house she had shared with Robert for nearly 18 years. She smiled softly, thinking of those years, easily the best years she'd ever known. She dragged her mind out of the past and considered what she was going to say to the children tonight. It had been three days since they found out she had been born Marilyn Elizabeth Pendragon, and while they had not questioned her yet, Mary knew that it was only a matter of time. Her thoughts drifted back again, this time to a time before Robert.
"Marilyn! What do you think you're doing?" The smile was quickly wiped from the face of the five-year-old girl jumping through the rain puddles. She stopped, stepping out of the puddle and looking at her soaked hems. "I was playing Mother." She said. "Marilyn, How many times do I have to tell you? We do not play like this. If you want to play, go inside and play with your dolls like a normal girl." Marilyn looked up at her mother, and there was a spark of rebellion in her eyes. "I saw other girls doing this Mother, so it must be normal too." Victoria Pendragon looked at her daughter sharply. "Marilyn, those were lesser wizards, without the family name to uphold that you have. You must always remember that you are a Pendragon, and never do anything to disgrace your name. Go inside now and change out of those things so you don't drip on the floors."
Thirty years later, Mary remembered that as the day she decided that the Pendragon name was more important to her mother than anything else. Family, love, happiness, all of it was secondary to the name.
"Marilyn! Where have you been? The party starts in an hour, and you're not even dressed yet." Seventeen-year-old Marilyn looked at her mother. Her face was calm, and composed, but the over the last twelve years the spark of rebellion had become a raging fire, and she no longer attempted to hide it. "I'm not going to the party mother, I'm going to be busy moving out"
With that conversation stopper, Marilyn stepped around her mother and was half way up the stairs before her mother found her wits and voice. "Marilyn! You come back here this instant!" Marilyn continued up the stairs, and into her room, giving no sign that she'd heard her mother, or cared what she said. In her room she looked around, even as she opened her trunk and began packing the items she had decided to take. Mary, as she now thought of herself, had been thinking about leaving as soon as she was of age for a long time now. In fact, she had been thinking of it since she was 13, and she had her plans laid already. The announcement her father had made at dinner last night about the purpose of tonight's party had merely given her a deadline to work under. This morning she had slipped out of the house early and done three things. First, she'd opened a Gringotts account under her new name, and taken everything out of her old vault, including the Pendragon spellbooks. She had rented a small apartment in Tribune on a side street above a bakery, paying for it as Mary Drake. She had also gone around Tribune, and found a job, working as a tailor's assistant to an old tailor, who was reputed to be among the best in America at sewing magically made robes. She had told him her name was Mary Drake as well, but a slowly raised eyebrow and a sharp glance told her that he knew her real name.
Mary sighed, knowing the hardest part of the next few weeks would not be the family, but the reporters. The smaller papers thrived on scandals, and when Marilyn Pendragon, the heir to the Pendragon Clan fortune disappeared, after tonight's party had already been announced and planned for, they would be hunting her up and down every street and alley. She had long been accustomed to being hounded everywhere she went, and she was looking forward to being nobody for a while, or even the rest of her life. As she finished packing those few things she had chosen to take, the door of her room burst open and slammed against the wall, hard enough to knock several pictures off the walls, and make Mary's mirror scream in fright. Knowing whom it was, Mary steeled herself and turned to face her father.
"Marilyn, your mother says you're not coming to your party." Mary felt the hairs on her neck prickle. Twice before she had seen her father in this state of anger, where he seemed quite calm, and both times, the unfortunate victim had been paid off with large sums of money. Mary thought quickly, and then very calmly set out to raise the anger level in the room. She wanted him more than angry; she needed him to be blindly furious. "That's right." She said, waving one hand in a dismissal. Her father ground his teeth hard enough that Mary heard it across the room. "What are you talking about? This is after all, your betrothal party." Mary turned and looked at her father, fighting her own rising anger to keep the look of boredom on her face. "No, I am not getting married this year, and certainly not to a man two years older than you Father, that would just be tacky" Veins were popping out on her father's forehead until she thought he might have a stroke. "The arraignments have been made Marilyn, you will be marrying the Merlin in 63 days. That is an order from the Patriarch of this Clan, and your Father." " All I can say Daddy, is that had you asked me about any of this, or even talked to me before the rest of the family knew, you might have gotten somewhere. But, you chose the high road, where everyone is a chess piece to you, and I am not your pawn." " Bah! Why am I even worried? You have no skills, no job and no place to live. You'll be begging to come back in a week."
Mary knew that he was ready for her final push, over the line and she gave it. "You are remarkably stupid you know that father? If you had been paying attention to something besides your society games, and kissing up the Merlin, you might have noticed that I have been taking acting lessons for several years, and that I have carefully saved every penny for over a year. That money will keep me going until I get a part or two acting at the Floating Platform." As her father absorbed the idea of his oldest child working at what was basically an adult nightclub in Tribune, he went from red into a purple so dark it was nearly black. When he spoke again, the first part was an unintelligible sound that could have easily passed for a real dragon's roar. When she could finally make out what he was saying, she waited for a pause, and made the small tilted head gesture that had always set him off even when he was not angry. She even made sure he caught the rolling of her eyes. His voice cut off as if with a knife.
When he spoke again, there was power roiling behind his words, power enough to break small glass bottles on her dresser, as he started to lose control. "Marilyn Elizabeth Pendragon, you have 10 seconds to start getting ready for this party, or you will pay the consequences of your actions." "I said no." She started to turn away, as if she was done talking, but she kept an eye on her father, in case she pushed him too far. "I said now girl!" The roar from his mouth nearly made her jump, but she controlled the urge, and turned her head to look over her shoulder at him, as if he was not worth facing, She saw his awareness of the insult, and used it. "Why? What are you going to do? Spank me? Lock me in my room? Throw me out of the Clan?"
The last suggestion was made in the same flippant tone as the others, but as she had hoped, he fastened on it. "I will do exactly that, if you will not obey." Up until now, Mary had been polite. She dropped that pose, and let 17 years of anger, frustration and despairs out. "You haven't got the balls old man. You're so tied up in your society position and looking good to the world that I could murder people and you would cover it up, just like you did those men you attacked." Mary's voice cut like a knife, with an edge forged of insolence, anger and hatred, and her father managed to turn an entirely new shade of purple as she spoke. He did what she had been hoping for, and dreading. Pulling his wand, he spoke a spell known only to the senior member of the Clan, and followed it with a short phrase. "You are no longer my daughter."
As he finished the sentence, Mary felt two things. One was purely physical, as the Pendragon ring on her finger, the bespelled item that allowed her anywhere in the Pendragon holdings disappeared. The other was a mingled pain and relief deep in her heart. She could no longer live with the man before her, but he was her father and she loved him. Turning to her trunk, she shrank it, and put it in her pocket before the house wards ported her outside. Her last view of her father was of him turning away from where she had been standing.
The house wards set Mary down outside the main gate leading to the house she had grown up in, and Mary took one last look, knowing that unless her father allowed it, she would never again pass that gate. With tears rolling down her face, Mary took out the port key to her new home, and activated it. Mary Looked around the small apartment that was all she had been able to afford and sank into her only furniture at the moment, an old but still decent looking black leather chair that a previous tenant had left behind. Curling up, she cried softly. She had not had a choice about the way she left. Only the Clan Patriarch could remove the ring, and had she left with it still on her finger, the Pendragons, and most reporters could find her in minutes. With it gone, they would have to rely on other less reliable methods, and she already had plans for those.
Drying her face, she went into the bathroom and quickly used a number of muggle things on her hair. Knowing that every one looking for her would be expecting her to use magic to hide, she was going the other way, and not using any magic at all. When she finished, she looked in the mirror. Two hours ago, Marilyn Pendragon had been a brown haired young woman with dark brown eyes that caught the eye, and the pretty features of a rich wizard with every beauty spell at her fingertips.
Now, thanks to a muggle named Clairol, Mary Drake had short blonde curls, that framed a face in which blue eyes shone clearly. Blessing the avid curiosity that had led her to study muggles, she smiled at her new reflection. She watched it for several minutes, until she thought a sudden glimpse of her reflection in public would not cause her to jump, and possibly give herself away. Starting to get hungry, she went out, and down stairs to the bakery, hoping to find something to eat. As she entered the bakery, two things struck her. First, judging by the smells, if she made eating here a habit, she'd soon be the size of a dragon. The second thing came with her first look at the baker. She was not sure what he was, but human was only part of it.
She compared him to a half giant that had worked as groundskeeper for a while, and decided that was not it. The man was apparently used to the odd looks he got, as he waited patiently for her to realize she was staring. When she did, she looked away, and then back at his eyes. "I am so sorry." She apologized. "Well," He said with a short smile, "if you buy something, I'll forgive you" Mary grinned, even though the rasping growl to his voice had raised the hairs on her neck. "That work very well? Trying to blackmail people into buying?" It was the baker's turn to grin, an action that showed a great many more teeth than anyone should have. Mary was not certain, but she thought some of them might have been pointed. "Mostly. But once they do buy, they come back because the food is good." There was no boasting about the statement, it was merely a fact to his mind, and as the smells in the bakery worked on her empty stomach, Mary agreed, and bent over the display, choosing several tasty looking snacks to take back upstairs.
As he packed her order, Mary grinned again. "Living over your shop will have one great advantage, it's always going to smell nice." As she mentioned that, his head came up, and a wary look was in his eyes. "You're the new tenant upstairs?" He queried. Mary blinked at his changed tone. "Yes, I am. Why?" " Constance told me she'd rented the place to a brown haired, brown eyed young lady with class." He smiled, although his eyes were still hard. "The class is there, but you have neither brown hair or eyes, and I don't feel the magic of beauty spells." Mary frowned, not having expected this. She had been hoping for privacy, and if the landlord was going to be talking to everyone, this would not work. The being watched her and spoke again. "Constance told me about you because I keep an eye on her tenants, for her sake and yours. She's not in the habit of blabbing to just anyone." Mary quirked an eyebrow at his uncannily accurate reading of her thoughts. She decided to trust him, at least a little. "I've had an argument with my family. I moved out, and I would rather they did not find me. I am not into any thing wrong or dark, but I do like my privacy." " I can respect that. My name's Kevil." He held out his hand, and his arm was long enough to reach the nearly three and a half feet between them without him straining. "And I'm Mary Drake." Kevil looked at her again. "You are, but you're not. Very curious."
Mary stared at him, shocked at his accurate reading. Mary was a short form of Marilyn, and Drake was a term for a male dragon so she was not actually lying about her name. She shook her head and told him as much as she ever would. "You're a sharp man Kevil, and over the next two weeks or so, you'll figure it out. I just hope you keep it to yourself." She smiled at him and paid for her food. As she left with a somber good-bye, Kevil regarded the door thoughtfully. From her scent, that was a woman with problems, and Kevil decided to sleep in the shop until he knew that they would not come to roost while she was here. He liked the young lady and her forthright ways, and it appeared that she would be a good customer, and possibly, a friend.
Mary's next few weeks were a blur. She had grown up in the richest family in the wizard world, with one exception, and she had known the Merlins. In fact, with the exceptions of people that worked on the estate, everyone she had ever known had been upper class society people. Meeting normal people was a bit of a shock to her, as was the money problems. Mary had never had to worry about buying anything, and having to account for every Knut now was causing her no end of problems. She was paid once a week, and twice in that first month, she had to ask Kevil to float her for a day or two.
Kevil had figured out who she was in the first week, and his only response was to start calling her Penny. They never said anything else about it, but he helped write her first budget, and showed her how to cook simple meals, as she did not make enough to eat all her meals at his shop. Kevil never did tell her that she could have eaten there for free, as he was certain that her pride would have taken that as an insult, and after a drunken young man had accosted her as she sat in front of the bakery, he was very certain he did not want that woman mad at him. Kevil would always treasure the memory of the way the giant worm had wandered down the street, trying to get somebody to lift the curse from him. Kevil's only action had been a mild request to pick a different form next time, as the worm slime had taken some time to clean up. Mary had agreed, and the gleam in her eye did not bode well for the next fool to bother her.
Mary had joined a few other customers that spent hours in front of the Bakery, drinking chocolate and discussing everything under the sun, and could be found there whenever she was not working, or acting in amateur theater. Mary had a positive gift for playing almost any part, but her comedic upper class parts were as funny as anything Kevil had ever heard. Having lived that life, Mary knew exactly how to skewer it with a barbed wit, and she enjoyed being on stage. She had been offered a couple of positions with larger troupes, but she turned them down.
Two years passed this way, with Mary happy with her friends and her life, although during that second year, Kevil sometimes caught Mary watching couples wistfully. She had gotten the hang of supporting herself, and had not asked for credit in over a year, but Kevil enjoyed teasing her about that, until she discovered his immense dislike of diet food. Then she would sneak in the store and ask for things he would never make. Using they many voices she had perfected, she caught him enough times that he started looking at everyone that came in before replying to them.
Kevil knew that this could not go on forever, and he knew instantly when Mary's time there grew short. Mary was sitting outside, chatting with a few regulars when one of the actors Mary worked with came up with a new face. "Hi gang," He said, "I'd like you all to meet Robert Evans. He's going to be with the troupe this summer." Robert Evans was tall, and muscular with neat black hair and vivid green eyes that shone with a good-natured humor at everything he saw. Kevil was refilling the chocolate pot when Robert and Mary were introduced, and he saw the split second hesitation both of them had when their eyes met for the first time. The extraordinary sense of smell that was a gift from his mother's family told him that both of them had suddenly started sweating, and that under the nervousness was a very strong attraction. He looked at Robert, hoping that this was a good man, because as sure as Kevil could bake, Mary was going to lose her heart to this stranger.
Kevil watched the attraction grow over the next 6 months with amusement and regret. The amusement was for the way the romance was going. Mary had never been given a chance to have the crushes and puppy loves of normal kids, and had no idea how to deal with the feelings she was having. Robert was so far gone that except on the stage playing a part, he was lucky to get three words in a row out to Mary without tripping over one. The regret was because he knew full well, that when they did get it all straightened out, he was going to lose a friend, as well as a good customer.
"Kevil, may I speak to you for a minute?" Kevil turned from the pastries he'd been icing at the tone in Mary's voice. "Of course Penny child. You don't need to ask." He looked at her smelling embarrassment, and under that a sharp desire. "You're not short again are you? I'm not sure I can float you this time" he joked in an effort to ease her mood. Mary grinned. "No, nothing like that, I just need a favor." "Ask, and you shall receive. Unless of course you want diet anything." " No, I want a" Mary was mumbling so low that Kevil didn't catch the end of that sentence. "What?" Mary poured it out in a rush. "Iwantatrayfortwotonight." Kevil blinked as he made sense of what she'd said and then smiled. "And what would you like on it?" He asked, as if she asked for two person trays every day. Mary smiled at him, grateful he was not teasing her about this. They spent several minutes deciding on the tray, and Kevil was not surprised that Mary knew everything Robert liked.
After they were done, Kevil hugged Mary for the first time. When he released her, she looked at him. "What was that for?" Kevil smiled sadly. "Because soon enough Penny child, you're going to go off with your man, and I'm going to miss you." Mary flushed a bright red. "Am I that obvious?" Kevil grinned, and tapped the side of his nose, knowing Mary had long since figured out he could smell things other people could not smell. "To me, both of you are." Mary blushed harder, and then absorbed what he had said. "Both of us?" Kevil just grinned and shooed her towards the door. "Go make pretty for your Robert Penny child, I'll keep him here until you're ready." Mary bent down, and kissed him on the cheek. "You're the best friend I ever had Kevil." She said simply, and rushed out the door. Kevil stood there, smiling until a burning smell came from the kitchen. He jumped and rushed back to try to save the pastries that had been in the oven far too long.
Kevil was hard at work, getting the early morning baking done the next day when somebody tapped on the front door. He went and raised one eye at what he saw. Mary stood there, but it was Mary as he had never seen her. The curls were gone, and her hair was back to its original color, and so were her eyes. Kevil thought that she looked different just because of that, until he opened the door. Mary had a new glow about her this morning, and for just a second, he thought she and Robert had, but no, it was something else. "Good morning Kevil, I hate to bother you this early, but could I just grab a few things? Robert and I have a few things to do today and we can't wait for you to open." Kevil raised an eyebrow, staring at her. "Am I to understand that he's still here?" He inquired gently. New Mary grinned at him, where just yesterday she would have blushed. "Yes, We talked for hours last night, and he ended up falling asleep in that black chair." Mary did blush then. Kevil looked at her, and had a sudden hunch. Cocking his head sideways, he politely asked, "And where were you during this?" The blush redoubled itself as Mary looked at the ceiling. "On his lap."
She continued looking at the ceiling as she asked for some goodies to go again. Kevil made her a tray, and she left so fast that for a second he thought she had apparated out. He closed the door again, thinking about what she had said. Kevil went back to his baking, whistling a happy little tune that sounded very much like the wizard marriage tune.
Nearly a year had passed since that first tray for two, and there had been many more since then. A breakfast tray had followed not all of them, but enough had that when they got one, Kevil made up the morning tray before he went to bed. It had been nearly a week since the last one, so when Mary dropped by the store just before closing, Kevil assumed that she wanted another tray. He had started making it before she spoke. "Really Kevil, is that all you think we do?" He grinned at her. "I assume you have to be doing something else, you do leave the house after all." Mary slapped his arm and giggled. Kevil blinked and looked at her again. She was shining with an inner glow he had never seen from her. "If not a tray, what d you want then?"
Mary took a deep breath and spoke firmly. "I want you to stand in my father's spot at my wedding." Kevil gaped at her, his mouth falling open as he tried to wrap his mind around what he had just heard. Mary pressed her case while he was still speechless. "I owled my father, and tried to make amends, and he won't. Since you have taken care of me when I needed it, watched over me, always been there for me, and have basically been a father to me I thought you deserved to be there." Mary looked whimsical for a minute. "I tried to get Robert to stand there, but he said he can't play both parts, and he'd rather be the groom." Kevil snickered. "I wonder why." Mary smiled at him and waited for his answer. "Of course Penny child. I would be honored to stand up with you." Mary lit up and hugged him. "Thank you Kevil."
Mary was on her way out the door when she turned, grinning at Kevil with the gleam that meant she was up to something. "Now that you said yes, and can't back out, there is one little thing." Kevil waited. "Constance is standing in as my Mother." "I have to escort that, that, Arrrggggh!" Mary had left the store already or Kevil would have thrown a pastry at her. Constance was a Healer, and the owner of the building the Bakery was in, and she and Kevil struck sparks every time they spoke. In fact, about 5 years earlier, Kevil's bakery had been next door to her office, and they had argued so much and so fiercely, the merchant's society had finally made them move at least five blocks apart to keep them quiet. Kevil had not known she owned this building at the time, or he would never have moved in here. Kevil shook his massive head, and began to laugh as he pictured Constance's response to being escorted by him.
Mary grinned at thought of the wedding. Kevil and Constance had nearly burst trying to be civil to each other during the ceremony and afterwards. She looked up as Robert and their children came into the living room and found seats.
Mary watched them for a minute, and then began talking. When she was through James grinned at her. "Would you teach me the giant worm spell?" Mary smiled. "I don't think so. You'd use it on the Secretary of Magic or somebody like that." James winced at the memory of their first public prank, which had gone just a little wrong. Rose was next. "You haven't made peace with your father yet have you Mom?" Mary sighed. "No, I haven't. I tried when Robert and I got married, and again when you two were born, but he's a stubborn man." Robert muttered something about pots and kettles, and Mary shook a finger at him. Mary stressed to the children that she did not want this going to anyone but family, because sightings of the missing heir were still being reported by the scandal sheets.
James grinned again. "When can we look at the Pendragon books Mom?" Mary shook her head, picturing all the things James and Rose could do with the Pendragon spellbooks. Every family had its own spellbook, in which they collected all the spells of that family. New spells, modifications, variants and any other types of spells. This also included wards, charms, potions and anything else magical that they could save. As the family grew through the years and decades, the book grew as well. The Pendragons had been collecting spells for nearly 2300 years, and their 'book' was a collection of 13 volumes. In comparison, the Evans family book was a mere four volumes, for two reasons. One, the Evans had never been a large Clan, as they rarely had more than one or two children. In addition, they had only been a clan for about a thousand years.
Robert looked at Mary, and then at the children, and told them another story. When he finished, not even James had any wisecracks to make, and Robert took them to the private vault under the house, and showed them the contents. Returning from there, Mary had hot chocolate and the twin's favorite vice ready. Mary shook her head. Where the twins had gotten this passion for a muggle candy bar known as Snickers was quite beyond her. A very sober group went to bed that night and sleep was long in coming to them all.
A/N: I warned you, I love plot complications, and Robert's is a big one. I was going to include the romance here, but it was getting too big for a short and Mary's first visit to the Final port, and the love story were cut. Don't worry though; those bunnies will not escape for long. As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it, and that it moves you enough to say something about it to me. In other words, Please leave a review. I solemnly swear not to turn anyone into a giant worm. By the way, according to my English to Latin website at Notre Dame, the spell to turn someone into a worm would be Commutabilis vermiculus.