Disclaimer: You know the drill.
AN: Written for the Autumn Exchange on the Island of Minor Characters discord for Herochick007. My assigned characters are Flora Carrow and/or Orla Quirk.
AN2: There is no Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
As far as first dates went, this was not the weirdest one Orla Quirk had ever been on. Sure, she had been swallowed by a mysterious light and trapped in an apparently blank room with three other people, but it wasn't as weird as some of the guys she had dated.
That was probably not a great reflection on her dating life, if she was honest with herself.
She looked around at the people around her. There was her date of course. A redheaded young man a few years older than her of whom she had only known through stories. Then there was another couple, or she assumed that they were a couple at least, judging by the way that the man was helping the woman to her feet. The man was tall and skinny and actually slightly weedy looking in her opinion, with short black hair. He didn't look like he was likely to go completely crazy, but then again, you never could tell with some people. The woman had shoulder-length mousy-brown hair, a face full of freckles and a heavy pregnancy bump in front of her.
"Where are we?" the man demanded in a quiet hiss, his eyes glinting slightly with paranoia, while the woman held her hands protectively over her preganant stomach. "What happened? We were having one last date night out before the baby comes and then there was a flash of light and we were here."
"I...don't know," she said and the man glared at her. She threw her hands up in front of her. "I really don't know! I was coming to Madam Chauncery's new cafe to meet a blind date and then there was a bright flash of light and the next thing I knew, I was in here with you. That's all I know, I swear!"
The man glared at her, clearly not believing what she was saying. The woman put a hand on his arm and his expression lightened slightly.
"Theo dear, I think that she's telling the truth." She looked at Orla. "You're as surprised as we are to be here, aren't you?" She frowned slightly. "Orla Quirk, isn't it? Ravenclaw, a year above me at Hogwarts, right?"
"Yes...I suppose so..." she said with a slight frown and the other woman laughed.
"I have a photographic memory," she said with a slight smile. "It's a trait my sister and I have always shared." She extended her hand to Orla. "I am Flora Nott, nee Carrow."
"Nice to meet you?" Orla asked tenatively and Flora smirked. Suddenly a look of recognition crossed Orla's face.
"Wait...weren't you one of the two Slytherin girls who were related to-"
"Yes." she replied with a hint of annoyance. "Do you know how many people ASK that damn question? Every single time." She pulled herself to her full height with a slightly haughty look on her face. "They're cousins of myself and my twin sister A. Embarrassing cousins." She gave a slightly contemptuous sniff. "They were so...crude and unsophisticated. No subtlety at all, nor the wits to even be any good at their subject."
Orla found herself almost nodding in agreement. She had the same impression of the Carrows as well if she was honest. (Especially Amycus. He was a creep.)
"Ladies, I'm sure you have some fascinating catching up to be doing, but maybe we can try doing it when we're out of...whatever the hell this is?" her date finally said, reminding them of their current predicament.
"Indeed," the other man said coldly as he eyed both Orla and her red-haired blind date suspiciously. "How do we know that you're not behind this George Weasley? It's the kind of thing that you would consider funny after all."
George snorted with amusement.
"Yeah, but I'm not stupid enough to get caught in one of my own bloody pranks, am I? Especially not on a date." He looked over at Orla and smiled. "Especially not a first date. And besides," He paused and pointed at Flora's pregnant stomach. "I wouldn't do something stupid like that to a pregant woman. Mum would kill me! And THEN she'd get creative." He looked slightly contemptuously at Flora's dark green dress, decorated with snakes of every kind. "Not even for an obvious Slytherin like you two. Seriously? You aren't even trying to be subtle about your preferences, are you"
"I just...like the way that it makes me look," she said with a smirk of amusement. "Green is my favourite colour and I like snakes."
Her husband looked thoughtful for a moment, before nodding.
"I suppose that makes sense," he said after a few moments. "I doubt that you would be stupid enough to incur your mother's not inconsiderable wrath. But if you've done something to harm my wife and child..."
"I know, I know. I'd be the same," George said, before looking at Theo. "Theodore Nott, right? You were in Slytherin, a year below me. You helped out during the war as a spy for Dumbledore's Army, right?"
"That's correct," Theo said with what sounded like a hint of pride. "What business is it of yours?"
George shrugged and walked to one of the walls. He poked it with his finger and reached into his pocket. Then he began poking his hands into his pockets with increasing concern. He turned and sheepishly looked at the others.
"Do any of you have any idea how to get out of here?" he asked and Theo raised an eyebrow.
"It looks to me like a kind of pocket magical dimension. A bit like the ones used by magical tent," Theo said with a slight look of distaste on his face.
A typewriter dropped from the sky to land at their feet and Orla let out a slight shriek of surprise. Flora cackled slightly and Theo looked down at the device. He prodded it curiously with his finger and a sheet of paper popped out. He leaned over and picked it up, his eyes scanning the words on the page. He handed it to Flora, who read it with her eyes widening slightly in surprise. Wordlessly, she handed the sheet to Orla and George.
Dear sirs and ladies,
You will no doubt be wondering why you're here. And indeed where here is. Well worry not. The means to escape your unfortunate predicament lies at your very feet.
You will probably be no doubt aware that none of you have your wands with you. This is strictly intentional and necessary for what happens next, but do not be alarmed. You will not be needing them in the slightest. Just know that this is entirely for your benefit.
By now you will all know who you are. George Weasley and Orla Quirk, this is your very first date. Theodore Nott and Flora Carrow, you're married and expecting your first child. Two very different couples at entirely different stages in your love life, but it's very important that you understand how important and connected your two families are going to be. Trust me. I know that it's hard to trust me. I wouldn't trust me either in your shoes, but fortunately you don't actually have much of a choice in the matter.
I know that your first instinct is going to be to shout, to hit walls and shout and demand to be let out. Don't bother, I can't anyway. It's already too late for me to change anything and I really don't think that you want to be there when Flora starts to give birth. It's really the sort of thing that you would want to do in St Mungo's after all. Especially if there are unexpected complications.
Like I said, the means to escape your current predicament lies at your feet. All it really takes is for you to decide to take the first step.
Oh and there's one more detail to think about. You will ONLY be able to escape if you WORK TOGETHER. It's one of the conditions of the spell. You will need to make a decision as to who goes first, but remember this. You will ALL need to go.
This letter has gone on long enough and I'm sure that you're all eager to get on with your escape. It's very easy. The typewriter in front of you is the key to getting out. All you have to do is sit down and type. For every person, you will type out a single word.
No, that doesn't sound right. How do I put this...
One person sits down to type. The other people around her say the first word that comes to mind when they think of that person and the person typing types in the words that the people around her are saying. So, if person A was typing, they would type out the word said by person B, person C and then person D. Then when person A has finished, person B sits down to type and the other three people say the first word that comes to mind when they think of that person. Person B then types in the word said by Person A, Person C and Person D. Then Person C takes over and does exactly the same thing. You get the idea. It's really very straightforward.
Once you've finished, you'll have reached the next stage of this exercise! Have fun!
"This is not my idea of fun," Theo said with a sneer and Flora winced slightly as she placed a hand over her stomach. She leaned against the wall, wincing slightly in pain.
"Can't do much about that," George said with a shrug. He kicked the typewriter and his foot passed right through it. Another piece of paper dropped down to them and he snatched it out of the air. He quickly ran his eyes over it and snarled, a look of anger crossing his face. He threw the paper aside, but fortunately Orla was able to catch it. She skimmed her eyes over the sheet.
I forgot to mention. YOU can't harm the typewriter. The only thing that you can do is type away at it.
With a sigh of annoyance, she handed the paper to George, who cursed loudly. He passed it to Theo, who passed it to Flora, who scowled.
"This is fucking ridiculous!" she hissed angrily as she threw the paper away and Theo looked at her with surprise. "I'm pregnant, going to give birth any time now and I'm trapped in a room with no way out. I think that I'm justified in swearing!" She sat down by the typewriter and glared at them all. She pointed a finger at George, who was looking at her with admiration. "You! Word!" she barked.
"Wow..." George said, clearly impressed by Flora's fury. Frowning with concentration, she began typing, her eyes focusing on the clearly unfamiliar action of typing. "Wait, I wasn't, I didn't-"
"It says the first word," Theo said smirking. He looked at his wife. "Love."
She continued to type, frowning as she concentrated on the task, before giving him a tender smile. Then she turned her attention to Orla.
"And what do you think? What word comes to your mind?" she demanded and Orla swallowed nervously.
"Time," Orla said after several moments of thought.
As Flora finished typing, the whole floor suddenly shifted and moved upwards.
"Help me up," she said, pushing herself away from the typewriter and Theo helped her to his feet.
George was the next one to sit down in an exagerrated motion, brushing his arms and twirling an imaginary mustache, before throwing his arms out wide and settling his fingers into position. Despite the situation, Orla couldn't help but giggle slightly, drawing irate looks from Flora and Theo.
"Giggle is your word," he said with a grin, pointing at Orla and he quickly typed away. Unlike Flora however, he was clearly much more proficient with the device. Orla began to grin, her eyes dancing with amusement, before beginning to laugh out loud. Flora shot her a haughty, annoyed look, before looking at George.
"Clown," she said, her words dripping with a degree of contempt. George simply grinned and quickly typed out the word clown.
"Joker," Theo said and George dutifully typed out his word as well.
As before, the floor abruptly jerked upwards and they were higher still. Suddenly Orla noticed something above them, something barely noticeable, but it was there.
Hidden above them and almost impossible to see, was a door of some kind. A slightly darker outline in the shadows. What lay beyond the door was a mystery, but it was probably the way out. At least, that's what Orla suspected. She pointed towards the shape.
"Look, up there!" she said, and the others looked up to where she was pointing.
"Hmm," said Flora with a slight frown. "That looks like a trap."
"No, if it was a trap, then they wouldn't have bothered with this ridiculous charade of just bringing us here," Theo said with a slight frown. "But the darkness is probably hiding something. Something that I don't think we're going to like when we get there."
"Well what exactly do you propose we do? Just ignore it and hope for the best?" George asked and Theo shook his head.
"Normally I would suggest using a little light, but as we don't have our wands..." He left the rest of his sentence unfinished, before looking pointedly at George. "But perhaps we should let the more capable members lead the way. Just in case of any unexpected problems, you understand. You are the biggest one of us and the one who's fought in a war before. You're probably the only one here with the skills..." He paused and frowned slightly. "The best qualified to deal with anything unexpected or potentially dangerous. You've spent time on the run from You-Know-Who and the Death Eaters and you were a member of the original Dumbledore's Army." He smirked. "I'm hoping that it will have sharpened your instincts if nothing else."
"It has done that," George said with a slightly dubious look on his face. "But what about you, master spy? Surely you've developed a talent for seeing things that are easily overlooked? You spent your entire school career dancing through Slytherin house politics. Not to mention being a spy. You would think that would be excellent training for something like this."
Theo chuckled with amusement. He looked at George and smiled.
"Surely you would not ask a man who's about to become a father to go first? That doesn't sound very brave or chivalrous of you," he asked with a smirk, before gesturing to Orla. "And as for first impressions...would you really want to disappoint your date? It is your first one after all."
"How about we BOTH take the lead then?" George asked and Theo raised an eyebrow. After all, a Slytherin and a Gryffindor together? What could stand in our way? And your dear wife would be a good reason for you to be extra careful."
Theo smirked and nodded.
"Together it is," he said, before sitting down. Flora rolled her eyes.
"Now that you two are done with your stupid little macho bullshit, perhaps you could get a move on?" she asked with a sniff of contempt. Theo smiled and nodded at his wife.
What word do you want to think of?" he asked and Flora gave a haughty sniff.
"Childish," she said and Theo smirked as he typed out the word. Then he looked at Orla and nodded. Orla frowned and chewed her bottom lip. There wasn't much that came to mind with Theo. Finally she spoke.
"Mysterious," she said and he raised an eyebrow.
"Is that something I need to worry about?" Flora asked jokingly and Orla looked up sharply to see a small, controlled smile on Flora's face. She gave her a small smile in return and George gave her a slightly surprised look.
"I didn't think high pureblood ladies joked like that?" he said and Flora nodded, before staggering slightly and placing her hand against the wall. In an instant, Orla had instinctively rushed to her side, followed in short order by Theo and finally George.
"Are you okay? Is there something wrong? Is it the baby?" Theo asked, a worried expression on his face and Flora waved them away.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," she said as she steadied herself. "It's nothing. I was just...a little light headed for a moment there. It's nothing."
"Perhaps you should sit down," Orla suggested with a look of concern. "I'm a healer. Let me examine you and see if I can see anything wrong."
"If I sit, I'll never be able to get up again," Flora grumbled. "Examine me standing up."
"Our best hope lies in getting out of here as quickly as possible," she snapped angrily. "And we can't do that if you're having to haul me to my feet every single time. I'll stand."
Orla rolled her eyes and looked at George, then at Flora.
"Then at least let George support your body weight while I examine you," she said and Flora grudgingly nodded.
"Fine!" she said and George put Flora's arm over his shoulders and allowed her to lean on him. Orla turned and gave Flora a quick examination, before frowning slightly.
"I think...that it's possible that your waters are going to break soon," she said and a look of horror crossed Flora's face.
"No!" she protested. I am not giving birth in this...whatever the hell this is." She looked at George. "Word! NOW!" she shouted, before her first contraction began. Orla nervously swallowed and switched her attention to Flora giving birth. She had trained for this. She knew what she was doing...in theory.
Everything stopped as everyone turned their attention to the woman giving birth in front of them.
AN: Okay, I'm only SEVEN words short of the word limit, excluding notes etc, so I'll have to finish here for now. Readers on AO3 will get another part to this fic. Readers on will get another chapter.