Disclaimer: I do not own Labyrinth, or any other thing mentioned in this fanfiction. I make no money from writing it, however several people have become Labyrinth fans due to this story. Therefore suing me seems counterproductive.

Love's Alchemy


Chapter Nine

"Sawah!" Ludo lumbered up to her amazingly quickly for a beast his size. "Sawah friend!" She laughed as she found herself being surrounded by a wall of soft fur. She wrapped her arms around the beast as best as she could and squeezed him soundly. "Ludo miss Sawah."

"I missed you too Ludo." She felt her eyes beginning to mist at the warm reception that she was being greeted with despite the fact that it had been many years since she'd seen her friends. And the reminder that she'd just had from Jareth, of the fact that she'd left those that had helped her behind without the slightest thought to their welfare only served to add to her chagrin.

"Fair lady, it does mine eyes good to encounter you again at last." This friend was more easily embraced and Sarah gathered him up in her arms, hugged him close to her heart, and placed a kiss on his whiskered cheek, causing the brave knight to blush. "Verily it is fine to see you again my lady, you were heartily missed."

Looking to the right of Ludo she saw the first friend that she'd made in the Labyrinth, scuffing his shoe and twisting his hat in his hands. She crouched down beside him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Hoggle, it's so good to see you. I'd kiss you, but we'd be likely to end up in the bog again." The grim dwarfs face twist into a slight smile, a feat that very few had ever been able to accomplish.

"S'good to see you too Sarah, but what are you doing back here with that rat Jareth? You was supposed to be free of this place you was."

"Life happened, and I really had no other choice. And this isn't so bad, at least I'm back among friends."

The three nodded, and Hoggle kicked at the dirt before continuing. "Sarah, we found you a house."

"A house?"

"You can't be staying with the king Sarah, people'll…"

Didamus started to growl deep in his throat as Hoggle trailed off leading Sarah to believe that what ever people might do wasn't something good. "People will what Hoggle?"

"People will think you're his doxy Sarah."

It took Sarah a moment to process the old fashioned term and realize what exactly that people would assume. The moment she did her face flushed, and she stammered. "Well we can't have that now can we?"

"We'll have to hurry. We won't be able to stop the tongues from wagging if you aren't in your own place soon. We only managed last time on account of the fact that you were so young."

"What do you mean?"

"He means that I'm not known for being a pedophile Sarah. You were only 15, and while that technically could be considered of age at court, it is still highly frowned upon and considered highly distasteful. Especially with mortals, as you're quite susceptible enough to our charms without adding in the disadvantage of youth."

He took her by the elbow and led her slightly away from her friends, though not out of their sight. "Your friends are right Sarah. Now that you've recovered it is improper for you to stay her with me unchaperoned, unless you plan on taking me up on my earlier offer."

"Hoggle said that they'd found me a house?"

"I'll take that as a no then?" He assessed her face and the downward quirk of her lips. "What a pity, very well then. We shall get you settled into this house Hoggle speaks of posthaste."

With that he turned and began to walk back towards the castle. He stopped however when he felt Sarah's hand come to rest on his shoulder. He turned to face her and his eyebrow raised. "Was there something else that you needed Sarah?"

"I'd always thought, well if you didn't want me as a-" She paused for a moment before finally settling on the right word. "A companion, then what exactly did you plan on doing with me if you had won?"

His lips stretched into a full smile. "Oh a great many things crossed my mind, chief among them locking you in an oubliette until you had-" He took a summary glance over her changed figure before continuing. "Matured. However perhaps I considered saying taste be damned. Of course as what's done is done, I guess we'll never know now."

"No." She said meeting his eyes trying to suss out the truth behind his words. Had he really planned on ravishing her as a 15 year old? Had he actually intended to send her back to an oubliette? "No, I guess not." However one thing was certain, she felt a chill run down her spine that had precious little to do with fear as his hot gaze met her own. I need to get out of here now.

Jareth walked back over to the assembled group. "Sarah tells me that you've found her a house Hogbrain. Might I gather that you don't trust my intentions towards the girl?"

The little dwarf looked at him with thinly veiled disgust. "No your majesty, it's not that." Hoggle paused uncomfortably, before continuing under Jareth's unrelenting stare. "It's just that folks'll talk."

"That they will, and we don't want Sarah being a part of that nasty business. So why don't you three escort her to her new home. When you've finished the repairs, have Sarah call for me and I'll see if it's fit for her to live in."

The little dwarf bit back a curse at that thinly veiled insult, before swallowing thickly and nodding. "Yes your majesty."

"Excellent." Hoggle turned to leave. "Remember, Haggis. You're not the only one who wants the girl protected from the sharp tongues of the fey court. I've plans for dear Sarah, and I'll not have them interfered with."

And as Hoggle turned away, he suppressed a shiver. He desperately wanted to protect Sarah, but what could he do against a king?

AN: Now what could our dear Goblin King have in mind for Sarah? I hope everyone enjoyed reading. And before anyone asks, I will not be writing about teen Sarah in the Oubliette or Jareth succumbing to a lack of good taste, I make no promises now that she's all grown up however ;).