For Ela (HollywoodNights) - here's your very belated (sorry about that) birthday present. Hope you like it!
Major thanks and kudos to Kimani (paperdisasters) for Beta-reading this and for all her help, especially with the ending.
Title taken from Taylor Swift's "Mary Song (Oh My My My)".
Please let me know what you all think. :)
He's just turned ten, and he knows he's supposed to be older and wiser, but Lorcan doesn't feel very old or very wise as he watches Lysander walk away from him. All he feels is frustrated and worried and miserable – and jealous, too, when Lily finally stops swivelling her head back and forth between the two of them and runs after Lysander, shooting Lorcan an apologetic look over her shoulder. Although he's not surprised she picked Lysander. Who'd pick unwise and not-very-old-behaving Lorcan Scamander over his twin?
He stares after them, blinking away his tears because he's ten years old now, and while it's perfectly alright for ten-year-old girls to cry, ten-year-old boys are made of tougher stuff; and although Lorcan's never been much like other ten-year-old boys his age, including (especially) his twin brother, it's his birthday party and he's supposed to be happy, not crying like a nine-year-old boy, or, Merlin forbid, a ten-year-old girl.
"You look like an owl."
He blinks – in surprise, this time – and turns around to see Lucy Weasley, her brown hair glinting red underneath the fairy lights his mum's strung up around the garden. Lorcan's never paid much attention to her before, really, but he's grateful for the distraction, even if it does come in the form of a ten-year-old girl.
(Although he's never seen her cry, so maybe she isn't so bad.)
"Why are you and Lysander fighting, anyway?" Lucy asks later, as they play chess in a corner of the living room.
Lorcan pretends not to hear and moves his knight forward (which he regrets the instant he does it. He was winning before then; and the result wasn't worth the indignity of losing to a ten-year-old girl – Lucy was distracted for all of five seconds. Even within thirty minutes of their friendship, he already knows that she's far too clever not to see through any kind of act he might put up and too stubborn to pretend otherwise.)
She snorts and sends her pawn to take out his knight. Trying to delay answering her question for as long as possible, he watches the tussle with an intensity that's usually reserved for reading Shakespeare and looking for the fairies that he's never seen that his mother insists reside in their front yard. She clears her throat pointedly.
"Our parents asked Lysander what he wanted for our birthday," he says before she can ask again, picking up the fallen knight and twirling it around his hands, ignoring its protests. "He said he wanted us to go with them on their next trip. They said no."
"What's that got to do with you?" she asks, her brows almost meeting in the middle in a sort of cute way as her lips purse.
"I didn't back him up when he started arguing with them," he says.
"Is that it?" she asks, looking across the room to the group of kids playing Exploding Snap and giving Lysander an appraising glance. "That's awfully petty of him."
He shrugs, making no reply, and stares at the chess board guiltily. He can feel her sharp – far too sharp for her own good, really – grey eyes on him.
"You know," she begins, in a manner that's clearly meant to be casual but one that he can see right through – she is a ten-year-old girl, after all – "I've always wondered why you and Lysander don't go with your parents when they go exploring. It's not as if you two go to Muggle primary like Hugo and Lily do. Seems to me that –"
"It's my fault," he says miserably, cutting her off. "I'm the reason they don't take us on trips."
She says nothing, and he chances a look at her face. She's looking at him expectantly, and he realizes that there's no way he's going to get out of this. He decides that, although ten-year-old blokes don't go round talking about their feelings, being a disgrace to his sex is nothing compared to being on the receiving end of Lucy Weasley's most piercing glare, and resigns himself to the inevitable.
He tells her about the first – and only – time his parents took him and Lysander on one of their adventures for their seventh birthday. He tells her about his mother's insisting on "roughing it" and consequently sleeping in Muggle tents and trying to build a fire without magic. He tells her about the Amazon, with its mosquitoes and mud and heavy rain and all sorts of wild animals. He tells her about staying up until three in the morning because he could hear something moving outside, and falling into the river, and breaking down their second night there because he was dirty and exhausted and miserable and just wanted to go home. He tells her about his father finding him by the river, crying his eyes out. He tells her about them cutting their trip short, and about Lysander's disappointment and anger. He tells her about the two of them staying at their grandmother's house now every time their parents go abroad.
He tells her, and she listens. He's surprised, because she doesn't say anything at all while he's talking and he's never known any Weasley to be quiet for more than five minutes at a time; and maybe just a little scared that she's never going to talk to him again because she's found out just how much of a baby he is. But he continues on with his story, telling her everything, and oh Merlin, he's talking about his feelings now, telling her about his guilt and how it's never been the same between him and Lysander ever since; and it's a lot easier than it should be, baring his entire heart to a girl he's barely spoken to before tonight.
Lucy is quiet when he finishes, and his chest feels like a dozen Bludgers are flying around inside it and his palms are sweaty and he's having trouble breathing because he's never said so much to anyone in his life and he doesn't know how she's going to react. He watches her with a mix of suspense and apprehension and relief. She cocks her head to the side and says, in a tone that he will come to realize is the one she uses when she's cutting straight through to the heart of the matter, "But that was ages ago! You were seven. You should be able to handle something like that better now. Don't you want to go on an adventure with your family?"
He shakes his head, glad for the lack of pity or false sympathy or understanding or comments on his complete un-boyishness. He's never really liked it when people aren't very comforting when their friends have problems, but he decides that maybe he'll make an exception for her. "I'd be able to do it without breaking down now," he says, even though he's not sure he can, at all, "But I'd really rather not. I'm not one for adventure. My parents know that."
Lucy gapes at him. "Not one for adventure? Where's your Gryffindor spirit?"
"I'm not going to be in Gryffindor," he says, with so much certainty that it surprises even him. He supposes being scared by a girl into telling her his deepest, darkest secret very well confirms that he's too much of a pansy to be put into the House known for its courage.
She wrinkles her nose. "What are you going to be in, then? Hufflepuff?"
"Ravenclaw, I s'pose."
"Molly's in Ravenclaw," she says. "She's boring. All she does is study and read books."
"I like reading books," he says, hoping that this doesn't make him boring as well. But he really does like reading books.
She frowns, as if liking books is some sort of awful sin, and stands up. He looks down at the chess board, dejected. He'll never admit it – it's too sentimental-definitely-not-tough-talks-about-his-feelings-openly-nine-year-old-bloke behaviour, even for him; and it makes him sound pathetic (which he is, but that's not really something you go round proclaiming to the rest of the world), but, after only half an hour, Lucy Weasley's close to being the best friend he's ever had; and, really, she's not so bad – for a ten-year-old girl.
"Come on," she says, and he looks up in surprise to see her holding her hand out expectantly, with a sort of contradicting gentle fieriness, eyes blazing almost mischievously. "You've got to have some fun before you get into Ravenclaw and become boring."
She grabs the other kids – she must be related to almost all of them – and as they play a game of hide-and-seek in the nearby woods, he realizes that he still isn't one for adventure, and probably never will be. But maybe being shy, cowardly Lorcan Scamander isn't such a bad thing – not with bold, outgoing Lucy Weasley by his side.