For people who have read my other fics (if you have, thank you so much!) and have noticed that Lottie's age seems to be jumping around, I have an explanation for this. This one shot is in no way related to the other two. I'm still working out roughly how old she would look. It's my head canon that everything about a civilization affects how old the personified nation looks so when Rome taught things like building and religion to England, Iggy grew faster. I've decided that Lottie grew slowly until Hogwarts was built and in business then she shot up. Once the muggles raced ahead in technology, she slowed down. I haven't figured out what age she would be during the Harry Potter books and more modern times so I'm kinda just testing the waters with various ideas. Thank you for reading this and I hope it clears anything up (probably no confusion in the first place but oh well XD)
A shivering cloaked figure was curled up in a ball in a small closet whispering into a phone against her ear.
"U-uncle... please help. P-papa has gone insane!" She whispered in pure fear.
"Woah there kiddo you're going to have to speak up I can't hear you." Came brighter American accent from the phone.
"I can't!" She whispered back in a panic "H-he'll find me!" She heard footsteps coming from the floor above and a sickly sweet voice calling out for her.
"Lottie~ come out and play with your father~ It's very rude to ignore your elders~"
The tiny pre-teen looking girl curled up a little tighter in her hide away.
"I-I'm scared uncle. I-I went to get something to eat and Papa was in the kitchen cooking something. I thought h-he'd been getting lessons because it smelled really good but then he added s-something called hydrochloric acid. W-when I looked it up, t-the book said it was deadly if ingested a-and he was just grinning in this crazy way the whole time! T-then he saw me a-and he didn't look right. H-his hair and eyes had changed colour and h-he was wearing pink and blue. P-papa doesn't like those colours a-and there was this pink swirl in his eyes. H-he held a big knife towards me uncle! A-and asked if I wanted to eat some cupcakes... H-he's been chasing me ever since!" The hood of the cloak slipped down to reveal a mess of blood red hair and watery green eyes that all the Celtic nations had. The fact that Arthur, her father, had returned so quickly from getting some groceries with blue eyes and wearing clothes different to the ones he'd left in had set off alarm bells in her head.
"Lo~ttie~" Called that sickly sweet and frightening voice again "Do I have to teach you your manners again? You were such a good girl; maybe the other nations have been a bad influence." This imposter's voice changed. It became gruffer and more possessive at the thought of other nations being a bad influence on Lottie.
Back in her hiding place, Lottie was listening to America as he tried to calm her down.
"Ok kiddo I want you listen very closely and follow each instruction to the letter. Can you do that for me?"
"I... I think so." She sniffed and wiped away some tears that had started to fall.
"I want you to go to your Dad's basement. Lock the door, lock the windows and don't come out for anyone."
"B-but Papa can get in! H-He'll kill me with his food or his knife!"
"Sssshhhh kiddo I know what I'm doing. Just trust me on this. The man in the house right now is not England. He knows a lot about your Dad but he's not so good with magic and doesn't know about the basement. In fact, he can't see it. You'll be safe in there, ok?"
Lottie sniffled again and wiped away more tears "O-ok... S-should I put up some protection spells too?"
"That would be a good idea. Now get to it kiddo I'll ask your Dad to get you out of there. I'll deal with the stranger."
"T-thank you uncle." She ended the call and crept to the door to peak through the keyhole and listened out for any sounds that could be the stranger that looked very similar to her father.
My citizens; witches and wizards of Britain, muggle-borns, half bloods, pure bloods, squibs, everyone please... lend me your courage.
She took a deep breath and opened the door.
On the floor above, the England imposter heard the creak of a door from somewhere. Why oh why did his alternate self have such a large house? Large houses were all well and good but there was a lack of acids and knives... he didn't like that. He did like the little girl his alternate self had taken in. Lottie her name was. She sounded like the creepy ominous voice that seemed to follow him around at his own mansion only this one was a lot more innocent... she would make such a cute pet~
Lottie already had an advantage by choosing to hide a couple of floors below the kitchen so managed to sneak down another flight without too much trouble. But she made the mistake of dropping her guard and suddenly, the imposter was just a corridor away
"There you are~" He giggled childishly "Don't you want to try some cupcakes? That game of hide and seek must have worked up your appetite~"
She heard him sharpening a knife and in a panic, she made a run for it. She ran like she had never run before streaking past old paintings and horrible wallpaper all the time being only a little ahead of that insane childish giggle, deadly cupcakes and fatally sharp hunting knife. She was glad she was a little bit ahead because it meant that he just missed her disappearing into (what he would think was) a bare stretch of grey stone wall.
Inside the basement was the British Isles' stock of magical equipment. Being surrounded by spell books and cauldrons and herbs and potions helped Lottie to relax and take her mind off of the mad man currently in the house. She found the strongest padlock in the room and placed it on the door with a combination lock just to be on the safe side. She then pulled out one of her father's spell books and flicked to a chapter on protection spells. These would be the strongest since this book was given to England by Merlin himself the very first wizard. Oh where was that one that Merlin's human apprentice had created? A few more pages and... There! Vivienne's Circle! It was perfect for this situation. She grabbed some chalk and drew a large circle that included as much of the room as possible then stood in the centre with the book open at her feet and her arms out stretched.
"Gladde and Jaypes at East and West,
Their protection is the best." Gladde and Jaypes were old fairy friends of the family so she could easily imagine their seals glowing at the right places on the circle. She also imagined them standing there providing part of a large protective bubble.
"Larfor, Pranxtor, South and North,
In the circle I have called
I am safe from one and all!" Again she imagined the other two of the four fairies taking their place on the circle by their glowing seals and completing the spell.
Outside, the insane England tapped the wall. He didn't have his pathetic other self's sight but he knew where the magic stuff was kept. He couldn't use the more fun stuff but he could use the odd weak combination of herbs if he felt like it but most of the time he didn't. Acids and poisons were much more fun~! That flippin' door was around here somewhere and he knew he could find it if he tapped the right part of the wall. Tap... tap... tap... hollow tap... tap... wait. He went back a little and... hollow tap... hollow tap. He grinned evilly so that's where it was. He started to hit the wall with the blunt end of the nice and his free hand.
Inside the room, the spell hadn't reacted properly. The chalk line had lit up and glowed but the seals of the four fairies involved hadn't appeared so the bubble hadn't formed and now she was panicking because she could hear the insane stranger had somehow found the door and was rattling it. She had to try again, it was the only thing that would keep her safe if the insane man managed to get in.
"Gladde and Jaypes at East and West,
Their protection is the best.
Larfor, Pranxtor, South and North,
Their Protection sallies fouth.
In the circle I have called
I am safe from one and all!"
Oh God, why wasn't it working!
He continued to to rattle the door. The stone was fading away to reveal parts of a steel door with large handles. That insane grin was back on his face, he was making some excellent progress. If he kept this up, he would get to the girl before that silly spell of hers would be complete. He really wanted to take this girl for his own. It would be so easy to get this new pet~ It sounded like she was having trouble with the spell she was trying to cast.
"Lottie~ let me in~ You shouldn't ignore your elders. It's bad manners!" The last sentence was punctuated by the knife slipping through a gap in the doors. Perfect.
Lottie was getting desperate now. Why wasn't the spell working? She'd done everything right! She just wanted to be safe from this madman claiming to be her father! She suddenly spotted something at the bottom of the page... Oh good grief, she'd missed the Latin incantation she was supposed to say at the end of the spell! Well, third time's a charm... I hope
"Gladde and Jaypes at East and West,
Their protection is the best!" More of the knife was poking through the door.
"I thought we'd finished our game of hide and seek~"
Lottie was crying in fear again but she carried on with incantation and tried to ignore the mad man outside the door.
"Larfor, Pranxtor, South and North,
Their protection sallies forth." The madman's face poked round the door.
"Hello pet~" The insane grin, the odd pink swirl in his eyes that seemed to be spinning, the knife glinting in the light of the spell that was starting to react once again... how had he gotten in? She started to rush the incantation.
"In the circle I have called,
I am safe from one and all:"
He was giggling again "No you're not~" The knife was starting to slice through the chain lock.
"ATHEMALKA! ATHEVINA! ATHEHOKMA! LAYORLAM!" She yelled and almost cried in relief as the seals of the four fairy guardians glowed at the right points in the circle and a large transparent bubble filled the room with her at the centre. As it grew, it helped to block the door and the knife just bounced off when it's owner tried to slash and hack at it. He was snarling at her now, those sinister blue eyes with the sinister pink swirl turning animalistic as he realised he wasn't going to get his new pet.
"Hurry! I told her to hide downstairs!" Said an American voice from the front door.
"Excellent thinking Alfred." A British voice replied. At first glance, you would have thought that it was the insane man that was currently slashing at a bubble downstairs in the basement however, it was in fact the real England. Or... the not insane one anyway. There was a distinct lack of blue and pink with the man preferring more neutral and earthy colours like green and beige. Instead of strawberry blond hair, it was a messy darker blond with Celtic green eyes glinting angrily with ancient magic.
"Where do these guys come from anyway?" Alfred asked. His ex-mentor sighed.
"There are times when a nation will split whether it be political ideas, arguing royal families or ignorance. Most times, the original can deal with and handle the memories and guilt and other emotions that come with being a nation. The newer version often won't it sends them insane, barmy, absolutely round the bloody bend. For some reason, mine has a thing for killing and torturing with various acids and knives." Both men shuddered as they made their way to the basement. When they got there, they saw the insane England attempting to slash at a large transparent bubble with an emotional Lottie sitting in the centre of the basement looking like she just wanted this all to be a bad dream. Young, scared green eyes locked with an older and masculine counter part.
"Papa!" She screamed.
"I'm here sweetheart. I'll just rid of this nuisance and then we'll go get some hot chocolate." He turned to his insane counter part. "I don't care how you got out Artie, I'm afraid you're going back and I might have to be a bloody prick about it since you seem to have given my daughter a bit of a fright."
"Oh don't do that York~" The insane one giggled "I was only coming for a visit and then I found this cute little pet and I wanted it~"
Arthur glared "I wasn't aware we were back to using our old names Lancaster." He spat out as he took a book from inside his military jacket. Artie's eyes widened.
"I do believe I said I would."
He didn't even have to flick to a page, the book levitated in the moss green light coming from the real England's palm and opened itself to the right page. England glanced down at the passage before turning his eyes back to the insane imposter in front of him and allowed his voice to take on the deeper tone he used for magic.
"Ancient evil get thee hence
Only good can recupence
For the misdeeds you have done
Demon return from whence you've come!"
A vortex flew from the book and encircled Artie, Lancaster, insane England, whatever the imposter's name was and soon, he was no more. England went to the door of the basement and bowed his head to the four guardians that were keeping the protective bubble up.
"Thank you old friends. I can assure you that Lottie is safe now." And with that he rubbed out part of the chalk line and everything disappeared. Lottie immediately ran into her father's arms and sobbed from relief that the insane stranger was gone and the fear that he had caused. England just wrapped his arms around her and whispered comforting things to her.
"You're getting better with your magic dear, did you manage to cast Vivienne's Circle all by yourself?"
"I-it took three times... I'd missed the Latin words at the end.." She hid her face in embarrassment. England just chuckled.
"Now then, I think I owe you some hot chocolate, don't I?"