No material used is mine. Purely fan-made Harold/Marian stuff. Hope you enjoy.
Marian Paroo was sorting through her books in the library. That Professor, as he so calls it, came into her library yesterday and professed his love for her. Marian was a little more than just irritated.
Idiot, who does he think he is, proclaiming his love for me? No guy would proclaim his love to me of all people! Not that I've quite recommended myself, anyway. I already go through enough trouble as it is without him.
Marian started thinking of his first day in River City, when she first saw him. He had been trying to convince the townspeople that the new pool table would cause trouble.
'Trouble, with a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for Pool' Marian thought to herself. She heard a lot of chattering coming from the doorway just then and looking, saw that Mayor Shinn's fan club was chattering in. She also noticed that, apart from them, she was completely alone.
"Hello, Miss Paroo." said one of the girls idly.
"Quiet, please; this is a library, not a chicken coop."
"Oh, we know quite well it's a library, idiot woman, that Mr. Madison fellow gave it to you."
"Look," said Marian heatedly, "despite what you may believe, I've never done anything to question my virtue. Now, if you're not going to take out anything, would you please spend your time somewhere else?"
"Don't order us around, Marian. You may be used to talking like that to Mr. Madison, doing whatever blasphemous things you did at his house—" the lady who was talking took a deep breath to steady herself, "—but you won't get away with that anymore."
"Are you threatening me?" Marian asked, astounded.
"You have absolutely no right to talk to Mrs. Shinn like you do nowadays; you and those dirty books are nothing but trouble."
'With a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for Pool' Marian thought, with a hint of a smirk.
"What a brazen woman you are!" exclaimed one of the ladies who had noticed her smirk.
"We'll show you never to mess with us again!" exclaimed another, as they crowded around Marian.
Marian limped home. Bitches, she thought. They had sprained her ankle and gave her some bruises on her arms, some on her neck, though those weren't that noticeable, so she was sure they'd be easy enough to hide. She couldn't believe her luck. As if I don't get bothered enough around here. And I thought that phony professor was bad…
When she got home, her mother inquired about her day. She responded normally and went about her business as normal as possible, talking to Winthrop and teaching piano to Amaryllis. She retired a little early tonight, saying that she was tired, which, in truth, she was. This day was exhausting! She climbed stiffly into bed and fell asleep.
The library was closed today, so she helped her mother around the house. Her mother was outside doing laundry and being a bit louder than usual. I think she's talking to someone. Marian listened intently from her dusting position in the living room. Oh no! thought Marian, with growing dread. Him again! For it was indeed Pr. Harold Hill trying to sell something to her mamma. Now he's talking about Gary, Indiana. Will he ever shut up about it? There must be something she could use to rat out this phony for what he truly was….
Suddenly she heard a yelp. She quickly dashed out, forgetting her injuries. Her mamma was sitting in the wheelbarrow and Mr. Hill looked shocked.
"Mamma!" she called, when she opened the porch door.
Mr. Hill turned around, surprised, yet pleased.
"Well, how do you do, Miss Paroo?"
Geez, this guy's acting so eager to see me and he just rhymed.
"How do you do, Mr. Hill?" Marian replied stiffly and reluctantly.
Mr. Hill appeared unperturbed by her tone, in fact, he appeared to have a revelation.
"Of course, Paroo! I thought the name sounded familiar!"
Her mother told her he wanted to put Winthrop in the band. Marian couldn't believe what she was hearing. This guy dances into town and now he wants to con my depressed brother and she's buying this? Her mother clearly didn't want to argue with her anymore and decided she wanted to do some errands in town. She gave a meaningful look towards her daughter with a nod towards Mr. Hill. She kindly thanked him for her time, and, if they would excuse her, she'd really best be going.
"Not at all, Mrs. Paroo! It was a pleasure talking with you!" Mr. Hill tipped his hat towards her.
Her mother chuckled and was off.
Marian addressed Mr. Hill now.
"My brother's father is dead, he's a depressed child, and now you want to sell him into this band idea, only for him to become more depressed when he finds out it's all a lie?"
"Now, Miss Marian, where did you get the idea that I was a fake?"
"I've told you before: I'm not impressed by your credentials, which I have not seen, nor your manners, which I have!"
"Do my manners appear to be rude to you? I'm being perfectly polite to you. It's you who's always yelling at me, isn't it?"
Marian couldn't believe this guy.
"You're impossible!" she exclaimed as she made to storm back in the house.
"What? Impossible?" exclaimed Mr. Hill. He walked up the porch steps and grabbed her arm as she was leaving. Marian winced, flinched, and stiffened, all at once.
"What's wrong?" inquired Mr. Hill, his tone incredibly different now, sounding concerned.
"Nothing, let me go," said Marian, trying to yank her arm out of his grasp, wincing a bit as she did so.
Mr. Hill slowly loosened his grip on her arm to examine where she had been touching it. A bruise that was just healing was forming there. He looked up her arm. There were two more bruises there too. He took her by the shoulders and looked at them and her neck. Bruises, here and there, some even looked like fingerprints. He looked into her eyes. She was carefully avoiding his own, but he could still see it. A black eye, starting to heal.
"Who did this to you?" Mr. Hill said quietly, yet firmly.
"Nobody did, I—I tripped," Marian replied, feebly.
"You…tripped." Mr. Hill repeated slowly. Did she think he was an idiot?
"Ye—yeah…" she responded quietly, avoiding his skeptical gaze.
"Did you perhaps trip on a gang of wildabeasts, or some sailors, maybe? Who would hate you so much as to beat you up?" Then, realization hit him.
"Did Mrs. Shinn's friends do this to you?"
Marian looked up, shocked. Perhaps this guy isn't as dense as I thought he was.
She looked fearful, suddenly, she didn't want him to know; who knows what could happen? She denied fervently that this was not so.
"I'm not an idiot, Marian. I know cruelty when I see it and this is cruelty."
"Please, don't tell anyone," Marian begged, "I don't want anyone to know. Please"
"Marian, you have to let someone know this happened."
"No, that would only make it worse. They already don't like me as it is because I'm a stuck-up old librarian. They'll only think I'm making it up."
"How could you make this," he gestured at her body, "up?"
"I don't know, just please, don't tell anybody. Please."
"And what would you give me in return, Madame Librarian?" he said playfully
She looked up, feeling betrayed and hurt.
"Bastard" she said and tried to go inside, but he held her back.
"Hey, I'm sorry, I was only kidding. Miss Paroo, I swear, as long as I'm in town, you will not be hurt again."
"And how could you possibly manage that?"
"I'll come into the library and sit down for a while on my free time to watch things."
"You'd be awfully bored."
"How boring could it possibly be?"
Marian snorted and gave a little smile.
"Now, there's a smile." Mr. Hill said, with a smile of his own.
"Seriously, though," added Mr. Hill, "you can always come to me if you ever need anything. I may be dishonest in your eyes, but injury is one thing you can't condone."
"Thanks…Professor." Marian said with a smile and a little laugh.
Prof. Hill laughed a little too.
"Anything for you, Madame Librarian. Are you impressed with my manners now?"
"Yes, very much," laughed Marian.
"See, I learned something useful in Gary, Indiana, gold medal class of Aut. 5."
"You most certainly have, Professor." Marian conceded.
Prof. Hill looked into her eyes and kissed her passionately. Marian responded after the initial shock wore off. He broke the kiss, patted her cheek, tipped his hat, and raced down the steps.
He ran off, yelling, "Call me Harold!" to her.
Marian laughed. 'Trouble, with a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for Pool'