a/n This will be a collection of at least thirty-three NextGen pairings for the NextGen Armada on the NGF, which involves writing every nextgen het pairing thta can be created from the canon characters, along with some OCs for the Weasley-Potter boys. I'll probably add some (fem)slash or cousincest p[airings here or there, but these will be warned for and won't count towards the actual Armada.
A few notes:
- I'll update every Sunday, though if I'm really inspired I'll update twice a week, probably on Sundays & Thursdays.
- My Roxanne identifies as a lesbian. Yes, these are het pairings. No, they won't all be one-sided.
- I'll be trying a lot of different styles, though I'll probably never write in first person, because I'm rubbish at it.
- Some chapters may contain content that makes people uncomfortable or may be triggery - these chapters will have separate warnings for each.
- I do take requests! If you want to request, feel free to just put a pairing in my PMs or in a review (though I'm more likely to write it if it's in a review). Prompts and/or genres are optional, and I reserve the right to use a prompt for a different pairing if it inspires me more. AU scenarios and crossovers are definitely allowed, though if I've already done the pairing you ask for I may make it separate to this collection. If accepted, your pairing/idea chapter will be dedicated to you, so fun times all around! :)
title: There's A Place For Us
summary: Their tree-house holds memories they can't forget. Or, Rose and Lorcan, and five moments that shaped who they came to be.
warnings: a couple of swear words.
For the Dark Side Competition ("There's a place that I know.") and the Favourite Era Bootcamp (sunset).
"Come on, come on!" Rose says, tugging at Lorcan's hand as they race through the backyard, leaves being crushed under their feet as they run. The cold autumn air hits them anew each time they duck out from behind a tree, causing them to shiver and run ever faster.
"Race you up the ladder," she grins mischievously, her left hand already reaching for the lowest rung of the rope ladder that dangles down the side of the sturdy tree. Her hair, a strange coppery colour that is not quite brown but not quite red, remind him of the leaves that fall off the trees around them, and he gets kind of lost in comparing her hair to the sunlight.
"Hurry up!" she yells, breaking his concentration, and he follows the sound to discover her already in the tree-house, waving down at him enthusiastically. "Stop dreaming and get up here, Lorcan!" she adds, a teasing impatience in her voice that six years of being forced together at Ottery St. Catchpole get togethers has taught him to abide - a bored Rose will inevitably end in disaster. His favourite stuffed Thestral has never quite recovered from when she discovered magic and set it on fire, and he's not sure whether it will still guard him after death if it's halfway there itself.
He scrambles to climb up to the tree-house, though he is a little slower and more sedate than the girl who dashed up before him, mindful of a recent growth spurt which left him with gangly limbs that move awkwardly if he tries to do something too fast.
"What're we doing today?" he asks, a little bit of a catch in his voice as he rubs at his stinging ankle. He must have caught it on something on his way up, though he's kind of used to it. Playing with Rose isn't exactly conducive to staying inside and away from anything even slightly dangerous, and he's the clumsier of the two.
"Welcome aboard the HMS Buttercup, First Mate Lorcan," she greets him, pulling a long tube of Styrofoam out of a pile of toys and sliding it into her belt. It's far too big for her, being almost as tall as she is, but as she stands there with her hands on her hips he could imagine her running a pirate ship in another life, skull and crossbones flag waving proudly in the wind, and giving at least half their riches to an anti-animal cruelty group. She loves lizards, for whatever reason, and has certainly valued their safety over Lorcan's at one point or another.
"Thanks for having me, Captain," he replies with a smile and a ruffle of his hair, and for a while they can lose themselves in fantasies of long ago days and past lives they might have lived, because they're only children and they don't have to worry about silly things like ethics.
(Looking back, he thinks that's when she started becoming the centre of his world, and even after everything he still isn't sure whether he would take back moments like these.)
"You're my best friend, you know," she tells him definitively, almost daring him to disagree. He won't, because he's never had a best friend other than Lysander before, and he thinks it might be kind of cool.
He opens his mouth to reply, but she gets in first, because she's the more talkative of the two and he knows she almost doesn't expect him to answer her.
"Are you coming?" she asks, placing her hands on the fourth rung of the rope ladder and beginning to climb, brown-red hair escaping its ponytail as she moves. Trying to figure out exactly what he should say the next time he gets the opportunity, she's more than halfway up the ladder before he decides to just keep it simple, and tries to get her attention.
"Rose!" he calls, craning his neck to get an actual view of her besides her arse, because it would be kind of awkward to conduct this conversation with her bottom, and he's half afraid that one of her cousins will pop out of a nearby tree and try to nail him with a paintball gun for so much as looking at it.
"Yeah?" she responds somewhat impatiently, twisting her lithe body to hold onto the rungs with one hand in order to peer down at him.
"You're my best friend too," he says, and the smile that lights up her face makes the cuts and bruises it took to get here worth it. She runs her tongue of her lip unconsciously before turning back to the trunk of the tree, and he kind of wants to kiss her. No, more than kind of - he wants to kiss her.
(Logically, he knows he's not supposed to think about people like that yet, but Rose is all kinds of pretty and several shades of self-absorbed, and for whatever reason, he more than kind of likes it.)
"Can I paint you?" he asks her one summer as they clamber up into their tree-house, which he has long regarded as their private space - a place that is only theirs. He hears stories from his father about Rose's family's exploits in their tree-house, ones that burn his ears red and force him to avoid Audrey's gaze for days, though he chooses to believe that upon their first visit to the tree-house, all those memories were wiped clean.
"Get on with it, then," she says, already taking up a pose against the cleanest wall and grinning at him like she knows a secret. He wonders how long this will last, her complying with his requests, because she can't stay still for long and she abhors being bored. He retrieves his paints and easel from the corner and sets them up, fingers itching to capture the girlish innocence contained within her. However naive she may seem at times, there are dark thoughts that haunt the edges of her image that both fascinate and worry him, because he loves her and he wants to learn all of her layers, but he thinks that playing with the darkness may shatter her.
"You have to stay still, you know," he points out as she contorts her body into ever sillier poses, her arms thrown back and her lips pouted adorably.
"That's boring, though, and I refuse to be bored," she says adamantly, one hand rising unconsciously to her hip as he sketches as quickly as possible, his hand fly
"You know, I-" he starts, and maybe it's a punishment for thinking about kissing her without asking beforehand, or for imagining the myriad different ways he could ask her to go out with him, but the door opens and Albus stalks inside.
"Why is Adrian Davies asking to see you, Rose?" Albus asks without preamble, ignoring Lorcan's presence as if he is not even worth the precious seconds it would take to acknowledge him. He's used to it, though - being Rose's best friend is never going to lead to a pathway lit with solo spotlights, and being Lysander's twin brother will never get him attention, except for those few older girls who giggle in corridors and wonder what it would be like to sleep with both twins at once.
"Oh, good, he's here!" Rose exclaims, using her fingers as a make-shift brush in a hurried attempt to straighten herself out. He thinks she looks beautiful as she is, all wild messy hair and too many freckles and a t-shirt she stole off him once and never gave back, though it's a little too small for her now.
"See you later, Lor," she adds, kissing him swiftly on the cheek and climbing quickly down the rope ladder with the wind at her heels, and for a while he pretends that he can't hear her laughter bubbling out of the garden below as she flirts with Davies.
(All his paintings after that feature red - red like her newly dyed hair, like blood and like love, like a million words that hurt him not to say.)
He's eighteen and moody and dreamy and in love with the world, having long decided that he will love his best friend forever. Some days, he's okay with never actually being with her in the way he would like, because her friendship is enough and she's just broken up with the guy she's been dating since they were all fifteen. Some days, he doesn't know where his muse has gone - long ago are the days when they sailed the seas and painted beaches in faraway lands that they would never get to see. Her hair is red now, a fake kind of cherry red that he hates to see on her, but she does as she likes and he would never deny her anything.
She's on edge now, something he always expected would happen eventually. Rose has always been in love with the rise and fall, crashing from extreme highs to lower than low, because she wants everything and is too romantic and breaks a little too easily. It's why she's become who she has; why she's in their tree-house, biting her lip and looking like a feather could knock her down.
"Kiss me," she demands, leaning back against the wall and pushing out her breasts, her hands trailing over her upper thigh and tugging at the ends of her sweater. She's the picture of desperation and destruction, all bitten lips and smudged makeup and fiery curls that seem to bleed in the setting sun, deep orange tinged by scarlet that sets her face aglow. "Kiss me," she says, and the whole world is tied up in this moment. In this moment, he thinks he could ask her to love him, and she would, because she wants so badly to believe that she is alright.
"No," he replies, his voice quiet but determined as he always is to do as he likes, no matter what people expect of him. His hands remain perfectly still as she draws her head up to face him, her dark brown eyes boring into him like she can read his heart and know that he hesitated for a moment for a moment before replying.
"No?" she asks, and the laugh that escapes her lips is low and mocking. "You won't?"
"No," he repeats, because the more he looks at her the more he realises that he isn't what she needs, especially not now.
"You won't kiss me? Even though you love me? Have loved me for years?" she says, and the words tumbling from her reddened lips are more statements than questions. He can't find it in himself to feel shocked, because he's not exactly subtle, though she is extraordinarily oblivious. He assumes that Albus told her, her cousin with the perception of a hawk, and the morals of a criminal who adheres to his own code and no one else's, and he finds he doesn't really mind. "Adrian said you loved me, made me promise not to leave him for you, and I promised, because I thought it wasn't true. But you love me, don't you?"
Not Albus then, he thinks.
"Yes, I love you," he says, raising his chin to meet her gaze full on, because he's not ashamed that he loves her, not at all.
"You love me."
"Yes," he replies, and wishes that he could predict the future, or at least read minds, because he isn't sure at all where she's going with this. The emotions flickering briefly in her eyes are like myriad ghosts that disappear whenever he tries to get a good look, and he doesn't dare look away from her to check her body language. There's something dangerous humming below the surface of her skin, like she might fall to pieces any moment. He has to be ready to catch her if she does.
"You've never lied to me, have you?" she starts suddenly, a hard edge to her voice that leaves no choice but to agree with her, because it's true
"You've never lied, never, not like- like," she stutters, her eyes blazing and her hair darkening as the sun falls down beyond the horizon. She crumples against the wall like paper, her limbs cracking under the pressure of keeping her devastated body upright and folding, letting her sink to the floor like a bag of bones.
"He fucked her," she whispers with a voice as dry as sandpaper, and a part of him thinks that she must be dehydrated from all the tears she's evidently spilt over Adrian. "Carla. He slept with her, and he lied about it. He lied to me about it, and to my cousins, and then one day she shows up at dinner and tells the whole bloody student body that she's been seeing Adrian for weeks!"
"Rose..." he says softly, sinking to the wall beside her, just far enough away that he isn't invading her space, but close enough that he doesn't feel like he's abandoning her.
"Am I not good enough for him? For anyone? Am I broken, Lorcan?" she pleads with him, curling into herself as if she can shut the whole world out, as if she doesn't have to see it then it is no longer there.
"You're a little bit broken," he tells her honestly, because he has never lied to her and he won't start now. "But not because something's wrong with you - because Adrian's the idiot who decided to mess around with you. Of course you're a little bit broken, anyone would be. But you'll be okay. I'll help you, if you want me."
"I want you," she says, and it's the complete opposite of the way he had always wanted her to say those words, but she's his best friend and he loves her and he always puts her first.
(His dreams of storybook romance end when he takes her hand and whispers that she'll be okay, because her heart is scored with painful memories and he doesn't want to push too hard in case she bruises. But still, he loves her.)
"I can't believe you're moving," she says as they look out over the Burrow's backyard from their tree-house, her legs dangling over the edge of the entryway and tangling in the rope ladder. He smiles, drawing intricate sketches on the polished wooden railing that surrounds the house.
"It was time," he replies, and it's the truth. He doesn't fit here anymore, if he ever did; eternally on the fringes and clinging to Rose because she and his brother were all he had.
"You'll write?" she asks with a slight hesitance to her voice that is rarely there, her left foot winding around a rung until it's pulled so tight the blood might stop flowing. He knows her as well as he knows himself, knows that after Adrian she is never quite sure if someone will just up and leave her, even if they claim to love her. Especially if they claim to love her.
"Of course," he replies, because he's loved her since they were twelve and she told him they were best friends, and even nine years on he wouldn't ever think of abandoning her. He does think that the move to Berlin will be good for him, though, a chance to get a little distance and maybe try to fall out of love with her, because though he tries to restrain his feelings, he can't help but feel jealous whenever she has extensive conversations with other guys.
"I'll miss you. A lot," she adds, unwinding her feet from the ladder and standing up to lean against the rail beside him, and he thinks that even if he's never quite fit in England, not even at Hogwarts, he's always fit here. Here, with Rose in their tree-house as the sun goes down.
(He'll move countries and she'll move towns, and they'll both fall in and out love with other people, but she's his best friend and he is hers, and he knows that there will always be a place for him to stand beside Rose and watch the sun disappear beyond the horizon.)
Please review! :)