Meme: Step 1: Write down the names of 10 characters. Step 2: Write a fic of [at least] twenty five words for every prompt, using the characters determined by the numbers. DO NOT read the prompts before you do step 1.
( Characters )( Prompts )
( 1. First Time (James Potter and Darcy Lewis) )
( 2. Angst (Natasha Romanov) )
( 3. AU (Clio Harper and Miles Matheson) )
( 4. Threesome (Sirius Black, Darcy Lewis and Damon Salvatore) (warnings for language and implied impending smut... but not NC-17) )
( 5. Hurt/Comfort (Michael Scofield and Stella Gardner) (no knowledge regarding Stella required, but knowing Prison Break would help... also didn't really end up H/C) )
6. Crack - Clio Harper (What do you mean I willfully misinterpreted the prompt? There are totally cracks involved!)
She stares down at the ring resting in her palm and it stares back, the crack in its stone making it feel eerily alive, a kneezle’s eye flooded with light. Clio can’t break it’s gaze. Can’t breathe. Can’t even think straight.
The ring is an ugly thing, heavy and poorly made, but the stone so sloppily faceted to the amateurish work... the stone. It doesn’t take a magical jeweler to recognize that stone. Any pureblood would know it on sight, she thinks. It is the stuff of legends, of childhood bedtime stories that even she was told. But it’s more than that. It’s a cautionary tale wrapped in carefully woven juvenile narrative, a lesson about what happens to those who can’t let go of their past.
And she has so much past that’s been hard to let go of.
She can’t look up at her old headmaster. It’s not just the stone in her hand but the water in her eyes holding her back. She will not be weak. Not in front of anyone, but especially not in front of him.
Her ire toward him is ill-founded and she knows it. But he seemed like Merlin once to her childish eyes, omnipotent and omniscient. He’s just a wizard, she knows now. A man like any other. Powerful, yes, but not all powerful.
Still, it’s easier to place blame at his feet than shoulder some of it herself.
He’s here asking her for something. For her help. For her expertise. And he’s not come empty-handed. No, not by a long shot. He’s brought this. He’s brought a twisted sort of hope and the answers to some of her eternal “if only”s. Justified or not, she hates him a little more for it.
The “what ifs” of her life play out their questions again, jarring with their sharp edges and truncated lives.
What if Marlene had survived? What if Abby hadn’t killed herself? What if her own mother had been caught sooner? What if Peter - sad, jealous little Peter - had been a little more transparent? What if Tia and Regulus had made it work? What if Stella hadn’t been tortured beyond the edge of sanity? What if James and Lily hadn’t changed their secret keeper? What if Sirius...
She can’t finish that question. It has too many endings to contemplate. But the ones that follow are possibly worse, haunting like the spectres of her long-dead friends.
What if she hadn’t left England at all? What if she’d been brave?
But the stone... for all its supposed power, the stone can’t undo the last fifteen years. Life has been lived - and lost - and she has mourned. Still mourns. But her life has gone on and she cannot live it as a shade. Not even for them.
“I can’t help you,” she says finally, her voice splintered and hard.
She dares to look up at the professor. His whole frame sags at her words and the sorrow that lives in his eyes feels horribly familiar. He’s never seemed so weak, so mortal, to her as he does in that moment. Something in her breaks a little at the sight and a feeling that almost seems like compassion settles painfully in her gut.
She traces the crack in the stone with the pad of her thumb, slow and reverent, before extending her hand and placing the jewelry back in his palm.
“There’s no help to be had here, professor,” she tells him solemnly. “For either of us”
7. Horror - Stella Gardner (Again, no knowledge regarding this character is necessary to understand this fic. She’s an OC from the Harry Potter universe: an artist, a halfblood and a cousin to the Lestrange family. It’s set in about 1980. Also? This was originally written years ago... but it wasn’t posted anywhere really and it fits, soooo...)
It smelled like dusk in autumn, like bonfire smoke and childhood and the rich scent of early dew collecting heavily on fall crops, already weighed down with the fruits of their season. The aroma burned at her throat in the short lunges of breath she managed to gasp, the earthy notes twisting the air into something eerily recognizable.
It would strike her as funny, if she were still capable of having such thoughts, that it was her sense of smell that was the most overwhelming now. It hadn’t been like this at the beginning. When that first Crucio slipped past Bellatrix’s lips like a delighted whisper of twisted ecstasy, Stella hadn’t smelled anything at all. It had been all pain, like acid poured on raw skin burning her from the inside out. The very air itself chafed against her body like sandpaper, the stone flooring cutting at her back like shards of glass as her farce of a cousin-in-law lorded over her, manipulating each nerve ending with the hand of a masterful artist at work, each arc of her wand, each letter intoned with precision and care for her craft.
Sound had piqued soon after Stella had grown accustomed to the pain, her own voice surging in agony, sounding primal and foreign to her ears. Bellatrix’s words dulled to an indistinct hum in the background, white noise, their meaning lost even as the older woman droned on with questions she no longer expected an answer to. But then, it all faded further into the distance as the throbbing whorl of blood echoed in her ears.
It had been taste that came next, the sick coppery flavour of her blood flooding her senses as she bit through her own tongue in an effort not to scream. Bile, acrid and sour seared against her raw throat - was she still screaming? – choking her off with something that tasted a lot like death. And so she was almost grateful when her vision went white, an imprint of the overhead lighting behind her eyelids forming a colour-changing dot that bled like spilled ink to overwhelm the blank canvass.
It was only scent then. And whatever part of her mind remained clung to that sense, knowing somehow that if she lost that last tenuous grip, she would never regain a handhold.
It should have smelled of turpentine and oils, or at the very least of blood and sick, but it didn’t. It smelled of home in October, of campfires with her dad and fall harvest with her mum and stargazing with her sisters. She might have laughed then, an aimless, mindless sound born of irreverent humour and hysteria, but she would not have known it if she did. She could neither feel the shake of her own shoulders nor hear the mad rumble of laughter bubble past her lips. Instead she clung (and clung and clung) to that smell even as it choked her. Memories lost coherence, imprints of moments only flittering past her mind’s eye in a slideshow of unrelated events strung together in senseless fashion.
She forgot then what had happened and when, who these people were that watched the stars or toasted a marshmallow beside her; Indeed she forgot even who she was, but she held on anyhow. And it was only when the smell changed, when her nostrils no longer burned with smoke and earth but instead with antiseptic and fresh linens that she let herself let go and drift into unconsciousness.
8. Baby fic - Michael Scofield and Damon Salvatore (OMG WTF prompt! Set just before Michael robbed the bank in Prison Break (pre-series) and approximately current time in Vampire Diaries)
“Enough with the whining,” Damon protests impatiently, rolling his eyes at the new guy as his patience evaporates. “Dying sucks. I know. Been there, done that, have the 19th century equivalent of a t-shirt to prove it. Luckily you only have to do it twice. Well... unless you’re mini-Gilbert... then you get more death scenes than the residents of Elm Street.”
“I’m not whining,” the new guy protests tensely, wincing as he licks a bit of blood off his lip. “I’m just... not good with things going against plan.”
“Plans,” Damon pshaws. “When do those ever work out? Cheer up, Michael! It’s the afterlife. We should celebrate. Want a drink? Scotch? Bourbon? More o-negative?”
“No, I... don’t have time,” he replies, shrugging on his coat.
“Did you miss the part where you’re immortal? You’ve got nothing but time,” Damon counters, receiving no response. “Did dying kill your personality too or have you always been this... sober?”
“Why did he...” Michael hesitates, ignoring the other vampire’s questions entirely and looking slightly vulnerable as he speaks. “Why me?”
“Do I really have to give you the vampire birds and the bees speech?” Damon asks dryly.
“Sometimes, when a vampire is very hungry and there’s a human with nice juicy carotid artery nearby, they get together and...”
“Not that. I understand... the hunger,” Michael acknowledges, scrubbing his hand against his scalp in frustration.
“You’re a newborn vampire. Of course you understand the hunger. It should be the only thing you can think about around now,” Damon informs him shrewdly, noticing - maybe for the first time - how atypical the other man is acting for a brand new vampire.
“I’m good at self-control,” Michael replies flatly, by way of explanation.
“Huh...” Damon replies, cocking his head to the side like he can’t quite understand what that means.
“Anyhow,” Damon continues, physically shaking off the words he can’t make sense of. “What is it you don’t understand?”
“Why he made me one of you,” Michael replies lowly.
“Ah, well,” Damon says, getting to his feet and grabbing some of the aforementioned bourbon. “That’d probably have something to do with the body art you’re sporting.”
Michael’s eyebrows knit tightly at this and his whole face tenses, whole body goes taut.
“Why?” he asks, voice low and mildly threatening.
“Easy there, killer,” Damon mocks, smirking back at the other man. “It’s got nothing to do with you. Call it a case of mistaken identity.”
“Meaning?” he asks, looking only a tiny bit placated by Damon’s scant explanation.
“There’s this whole thing with hunters and this curse if you kill one. Klaus was out looking for a bite, thought you looked tasty - something I feel certain his sister will agree with by the way - took a big old gulp, spotted the tattoo, decided he didn’t want to spend the next couple of decades more insane than he already is and tried to use his blood to save you,” Damon shrugs. “Didn’t work, obviously. You still died. Just less permanently.”
“So I’m... an accident?” Michael asks, staring piercingly at Damon with eyes that will totally be fantastic for compulsion some day.
“Doesn’t mean daddy doesn’t love you anyhow,” Damon patronizes.
“I have to get out of here,” Michael says, seemingly to himself. “I have to get to my brother.”
“Woah, hey, self-control guy,” Damon says, vampire-zooming in front of the other man to block his way. “See, I don’t so much care who you eat and who you don’t, but that girl who came downstairs earlier? Elena? She does and apparently that means I have to, too. She’s empathizing or projecting or something. So, no running off after loved-ones with heartbeats until we’ve got a pretty good idea that you can resist making them an appetizer.”
“If I don’t get to my brother soon, he won’t have a heartbeat for you to worry about,” Michael near growls, holding Damon’s stare. “I need to save my brother.”
“...Please tell me Elena didn’t hear that,” Damon replies futilely, her steps already echoing on the stairs heading down toward them.
“This is not the Salvatore Boarding House anymore,” Damon shouts loudly, knowing full well that Elena and Stefan and probably Rebekah will hear him. “And even if it was, I wouldn’t be taking in wayward vampires with sob stories and sibling issues. We’ve already exceeded our quota on those. Could everyone just please stop procreating?”