Imagine: The List
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Story Notes:
I just realized I forgot to put this up.

Notes: I ran across this table of prompts on a site that someone sent me a link to and I have no idea who or what started it, but I'm borrowing it for this series of stories. Using the big table of prompts (fanfic 100 table) you're going to get chapters of the early life of Alex Dumass, Cursebreaker and Whore of the Universe at times. Each prompt will be a separate chapter and with any luck, it'll be stopped by the end of the table.

prompt 1: Beginnings.

The beginning was simple. A birth. A woman screaming in pain and misery, blood flowing out of her along with fluid she didn't want to think about, the baby sliding out with it, a lusty cry that heralded a new wizard being born into the world. Not that she was sure of it then but her whole family was. Her husband's family were all wizards. There was a good chance this one would be too. She panted, looking at the baby. "A son?" she whispered. The nurse helping her nodded, moving to clean him up. She had one of those but her older son made her uneasy for some reason. She had a few daughters as well. "Please let him be the last."

The nurse smiled at her. "That would be between you and your husband, Mrs. Dumass." She finished measuring and weighing the child, then swaddled him and brought him back to his mother's arms. "There, now just a few more pushes to make sure the afterbirth comes," she soothed, moving down to check on her. She frowned at the amount of blood. It wasn't a great bit, but it was worrisome. "Did you see a healer?"

Mrs. Dumass, Emmajean Dumass, looked at her and shook her head. "He's my sixth."

"Does your family have a healer?"

"My Aunt, Abrin."

"I'll have your husband call her, just in case. You're bleeding a bit heavily but nothing to be concerned about yet." She took the baby and walked him out to the waiting family. "She's fine, but I'd like a healer to check her anyway," she told the husband quietly. "She's bleeding a bit, it's not uncommon in late age births." He nodded, handing his oldest daughter his newest son so he could make the call. She smiled at the daughters and son gathered around the baby. "He'll be just fine." The father came back. "Do you have a name for him? He's perfectly healthy as far as I can tell."

"Alexander Mikal."

"Thank you. I'll note that on the birth records." She went back to her patient, checking her over. "He named him Alexander Mikal."

"Which gets his great-however-many's grandsire to quit nagging," Emmajean agreed weakly. "Am I bleeding harder?"

"No, that was the afterbirth slipping out," she assured her. "He's called a healer for you." She nodded. "Try to rest for now. The girls and your son were all out there hovering around the baby together." Someone tapped on the door and an older woman walked in, the matriarch of the family. She bowed low. "Destina, she is fine. I wanted a healer in case."

"I understand." She moved closer. "Alexander is a wizard," she assured her daughter-in-law. She got smiled at and the woman relaxed, nodding at that. "He's also very strong. He touched Emmaurade's wand and it glowed."

"Please, not like her," she pleaded.

Destina shook her head. "No, child. Not like that. He won't turn evil. It glowed strongly in the grey. The last was his great-aunt. My sister made it glow that same way." His mother relaxed and smiled. "Whenever you're ready we'll have to go to the castle to anoint him as the heir of the family." She stroked over her hair. "He will be the son you wanted in Justinius," she said gently.

"Justy could be a good boy."

She shook her head. "Already you can see the evil in him, Emmajean. You know that. You're the one who brought it to my attention." The mother nodded slightly at that. Someone else knocked and walked in, the healer. "Thank you for attending her."

"Not a problem, Destina," Aunt Abrina agreed. She checked her niece over with her wand then smiled at her. "It's not very worrying. It's fairly normal with how stubborn he was to come out." She stroked over her niece's hair. "I stopped to look in on Alexander. He is fine," she assured her. That got a smile. "You should rest. It's hard work pushing out these monstrous wizards you give birth to." That got a small chuckle. "Alexander is very strong. The strongest of yours I've seen so far." She wove a small sleep spell, letting her drift off. "Let her rest and staunch the blood the usual way. We'll get her into bed once you've had her cleaned up a bit. The bleeding has already slowed." She bowed to Destina. "Guard that one well, Des. He's very strong." That got a regal nod and a smile. "He is the heir of your sister I would wager. Allisandra's wand?"

"We've only tested Emmaruade's. We'll test Allisandra's when we take him to have him named in the family's home." She smiled at her. "Of course you're invited, my dear."

"Thank you, Des. I'm at your service if she needs me." She walked out, leaving the door slightly open since Des should follow her.

"Come get us if you need us," Des ordered, walking out and closing the door behind her. She smiled at her son, patting him on the cheek. "She's fine. Just sleeping." She smiled at the children. "We should ready a bottle for Alexander and put him to bed now," she ordered.

The oldest daughter, Maribeth, stuck her tongue out at her. "I'm not putting him down yet. He's comfortable!" She smiled at the baby, rocking it gently. "No, it's not time for bed yet, Alex. We'll cuddle you," she promised. He yawned and blinked at her. "I'm your sister Mari. We'll get on just fine, Alex."

Justinius snorted, being a very proper four-year-old. "His name is Alexander."

Maribeth glared at him. "We all shorten our names, Justy. Shut up."

"Enough," their father ordered patiently. "Justinius, you can call him Alexander if you wish. The same as she can call him Alex." His son glared at him and he stared back. "Son." Justinius backed down. His father's word was law. "Let's get him a bath and into a behind-wrap then we'll sit around until he goes to sleep." Mari smiled and got up, carefully taking her baby brother with her, the other girls following her lead. Justinius glared at their backs. "Justinius, we don't love you any less for having him born," his father said patiently. "Alex will never be the first born son, like you are. You came first." He patted him on the head. "Go get a book and we'll read."

"Yes, father." He went to find one, bringing it back with a plate of food.

"The aunts are cooking already?" He nodded, sitting beside his father so they could share the fresh vegetables and the book. "Very good, son."

"Thank you." He smiled at his father. "Is he more powerful than I am?"

"We'll have to wait to see how you come out of your education, son. No one can know until then." He patted him on the back and opened the book. "Where were we?"

"The rabbit's house," he said quietly, watching his father find their spot, nibbling on a carrot. He liked the rabbit in the story, he seemed like a nice man, even though he was a rabbit.


Prompt 2: Middles.

Alex toddled out to look at the new baby that had come after him. "Baby," he said very seriously. His sisters all smiled at his brilliance. His brother sighed and stomped off as a pissed six-year-old could. This was another brother and he didn't need the competition. Alex watched his brother go, then spit after him. His just older sister Mel tried to slap him but Maribeth swatted her and made her stomp off after Justinius. "Brat," he said.

Maribeth stared at him. "You are not to call her that. Even if our mother does." He climbed up next to her, giving her his best bright smile. She grinned back. "You're going to be such a charmer, Alex." She smoothed down his hair and looked over as their aunt who was a healer came out of the room their mother was in. "I've got him. Is mother all right?"

"She's fine, dear. May I check him over?" She carefully handed the baby back. "Thank you, Maribeth. Some year you're going to be a very good healer." She checked the baby over, smiling at him. "He's just fine. Is your father back yet?" Maribeth shook her head. "That's fine. Katya, please get one of the aunts to help you and Maribeth." She nodded and jogged off to get the aunts. She sat down beside her, letting her have the baby back. "You do that very well. When you have your own they're going to be wonderful children."

"Thank you." She smiled at the baby. "Hello, Philippe. Welcome to the family."

"Maribeth!" one of her aunts snapped. "Hand the baby back! You've already spoiled Alex so he'll never be a good boy."

The healer glared at her. "Shut up and go away." The aunt gasped. "Des!" she bellowed. The grande dame of the family joined them. "She claims that Mari has ruined Alex. Do you agree?"

"No. Right now I'm thinking that Alex is a very good boy." She smiled at Alex, then at Mari. Then she glared at the aunt. "I believe I hear your future spouse calling." She stomped off. "Send Anicordina!" she yelled after her. She hurried back, wiping her hands off. "You'll be doing without that one soon," she told the younger sister of her daughter-in-law. She was barely an adult herself but she was good. "Take Philippe to his room with Maribeth's help. Let Emmajean rest for now. Send The Book to my office." That got a nod and she took the baby off with Maribeth's help. She smiled at Alex, who gave her his best shit-eating grin. "I know, trouble follows you, Alex." She patted him on the head, making him beam at her. "It shows you will follow my sister's path. Why don't you help with the milking, dear? Go help with the unicorns." He nodded and toddled off that way, happy to be of help. She looked at the healer. "How is she?"

"Her body is tired. I don't recommend another one."

"She didn't want this one," Des assured her.

"That was wise. Where is her spouse?"

"Somewhere finding some piece of artwork for the family. You know how he is."

"True. He probably flew in and had her, then flew out again," the healer noted dryly. The girls all giggled at that. "Not one word," she warned.

"Most of us are the good ones," Katya reminded her with a grin. "The other one stomped off after Justy."

"Her," Des said, rolling her eyes. "I'm starting to think neither of them were conceived in the family bed. Then again, Alex does make up nicely for his next oldest siblings." The girls all nodded. "Behave, the lot of you. Go do your chores." Maribeth cuddled the baby closer. "I mean it."

"Yes, Grandma Des," she agreed, going to put the baby down and help in the kitchen. She looked outside and sighed. "Alex, quit chasing the poor unicorn foal. You're not old enough to ride her yet," she yelled from the doorway, cracking up the aunts. "That's what he wants to do, he wants to ride her." She washed her hands and came back, casting the checking charm on the baby so they'd all hear when he cried. Then she got to work on the unicorn mash. Des walked in. "Grandma Des, is father coming home soon? There's a boy I've been meaning to invite tea during an outing to meet the family."

Des looked at her oldest grandchild and snorted. "I'll be meeting this one first." She sighed and gave her a look. "I mean it."

"Of course. If you want. He's just up the hollow." Des gave her an evil look. "He's a perfectly nice boy!" she said, stomping her foot. "Not at all like his older brother, the Malfoy heir. You know the non-heirs are always better."

"So?" she asked dryly. "He's also penniless and looking for ways to usurp his older brother and kill his sister. You're not going to be his way." She walked off. "I'll try to find some nicer boys to introduce you to, Meri."

"Yes, Grandma Des," she sighed, mentally charting out the letter she'd have to write him to break up with him.

One of the aunts leaned over. "There's no chance you'll end up in the birthing bed, correct?" she hissed.

Meri gave her an evil look. "Did you not see me playing with the unicorn last night?" She snorted and got back to work. She rolled her eyes. Seriously!

Prompt 3: Ends.

Alex, a handsome little five-year-old boy and the best one in the world according to him, listened as his mother gave him another sister. He knew this one was a sister. He had funny feelings about his brother but he knew this one was a sister because he had felt her. His aunts all gave him funny looks when he announced that fact at dinner one night, but he had. He looked at his second-oldest sister, the other being out with a *boy*. "What's this one's name going to be?"

"I have no idea," she admitted. "The book of names is fairly empty. Auntie Cordy, what's this one's name to be?"

"The last," she said patiently. She peeked in there. "Need help?"

"Could use a healer. I don't think she wants to come out." Aunt Cordy ran to call one.

Alex snuck in, his sisters all talking about making lace and clothes for the new baby sister. He popped up beside the bed and patted his mother's side. "If you don't come out, you'll be stuck there and then mummy can never hug the rest of us. Plus you'll be really bored. If you come out, you can play with the unicorn too," he offered just as the midwife grabbed him to toss him back outside. He bit her and ran back. "Ignore her, she's mean. The rest of us are nice." He, with his baby magic in an unfirm hold, reached out and his mother screamed but the baby came flying out, making him laugh. "Good show, mummy. Do it again!"

"Get out!" Des yelled, pointing. Alex ran for his life. Grandma's word was law! She checked the baby and handed her to her mother. "We've got to start doing something about his powers, Emmajean," she said blandly.

"Really? What gave you that assumption," she complained. "Meri?"

"Out on a date, dear. We haven't been able to reach her yet."

Emmajean sighed. "Katya?" She came trotting in. "Go find Alex, tell him we're not really mad at him. It was probably an accident."

"Only Meri knows where he hides."

"He's out with the unicorns, dear. That's where he always hides," Des said patiently.

The young woman, who was just now reaching womanhood, sighed and nodded, heading out to find her little brother. She smacked both younger siblings between them on the head as she walked past them. "Mum's had the sister. You should go back upstairs."

"Why? What did Alex do?" Justinius asked, looking disgusted. One of his aunts kindly pulled him into the library to tan his hide for daring to sneer at his little brother.

Katya walked outside, looking at the herd, and sighed again. "Which one of you is hiding Alex this time?" she asked, walking out there. She knew she wasn't a proper girl, the unicorn foals all shied away from her for not being pure enough. She found him in an old burrow of another creature that sometimes lived on their farm, pulling him out. "You're not in real trouble. It was an accident. Mummy said she's not mad."

He sniffled, giving her the biggest brown-eyed look ever. "You promise?"

"I do. I do promise. Mummy said she's not mad." She walked him back inside, letting Des look at him. "In the burrow."

"It suits him," Mel said snidely. "He's grubby. Always."

"He's a boy, they do that," Katya shot back, giving her an evil glare. She hated her six-year-old sister. She was a prude and a bitch. Someday she was sure Alex would give her enough hell to straighten her out. After all, that's also what little brothers did.

Prompt 4: Insides

"Mummy, brother's insides are really nasty," five-year-old Alex yelled at the top of his lungs. "Must I look at them for a whole lot longer?"

One of the aunts came running, looking at the injured seven-year-old boy. "What happened!" she demanded.

"He was trying to pull me away from the unicorn momma by the hair again," Alex said honestly. He pointed at the hair that was laying beside his brother, and then his scalp. "It hurts. Where's mummy?"

"She's feeding your sister. Get into the kitchen." She swatted him.

"Not my fault!" he yelled, stomping that way. "Mummy!" His grandmother glared at him. "Not my fault!" he shouted again. "He yanked out my hair, the unicorn kicked him because he's an evil bastard! You even said so!" he said, glaring at one aunt who was laughing. Justinius burst out crying at that.

"Both of you, go sit in the parlor," Grandma Des ordered.

"No! I want mummy!" Alex shouted.

"She's busy," his favorite aunt said firmly. "You're not that hurt."

"He did it! Not me! I was being nice and brushing one and he pulled my hair out!" He sat down and threw an awesome fit, wailing loud enough that one of the neighbors heard and sent someone over to see if they needed help. One of the aunts assured him it was a temperamental child and they went home. They got Justinius up to his room, calling a healer to deal with his fractured ribs and pelvis, while Alex finally got his mother, who came down to see what all the noise was.

"What is going on?" she demanded calmly, looking at her mother-in-law.

"Apparently Alex was with the unicorns and Justinius pulled him out by his hair, ripping some out. The unicorns defended your younger son by kicking your older one all to hell and back."

"I see. My older son is...."

"In his room," Aunt Cordy offered. "The healer's been called. Alex's fit brought the neighbors again as well."

"He is a bit loud." She picked him up and soothed him. "Really, I know most of you are childless, but how hard is it to cuddle a child!" she demanded, stomping off to see to her other son. Alex wiggled until he got down, he wasn't going in there. "You can come in."


"Why not?"

"I was being good and he decided to torture me. The unicorn kicked him for a reason," he said firmly, glaring at her. He stomped off, going to find something to make his head quit hurting one way or another. Since no one seemed to give a damn anyway.

She sighed. "Alex, go to your room so the healer can look at your head."

"No! You don't care!" He stomped into the study, finding his father actually home. His father tried to grab him but he swatted and kicked at him until he gave up, then he grabbed the bottle of alcohol. Not rubbing alcohol, but whiskey alcohol, but then again he was five and there wasn't much of a difference in his world, except this one stunk worse. He wiggled out of his shirt and poured it on his shirt, putting it on his head before stomping outside.

"Why is my son bruised that way!" his father yelled. "And what is going on?"

"Really, son, if you came out of your study, you'd know," Des chided. "Justinius pulled Alex away from a unicorn by his hair. He ripped some of the little one's hair out. The unicorn kicked your other son." He sighed and went to check on Justinius. It was the worse injury he was sure. Des went to find the younger boy. She found him back in the stables that the unicorns used, inside one of the stalls, and two mares nuzzling him. "He's fine." They glared at her. "I know he's fine and we'll be bringing him back now." One of them lowered her horn and she wisely backed up. "We're getting someone in to treat him."

"No, not want you. You're just as evil as he is," Alex assured her firmly. "You're mean to me for no reason." He snuggled up to the newborn foal, petting it gently. "I'm here and we're safe. The mummies have us and we're okay." The foal licked him and the mother neighed a gentle note, nosing him off the foal's side. Alex gave her a hurt look, but the other one came in to let him snuggle up to her while the newborn nursed.

"Fine, you stay here until the healer gets here," Des decided, heading in to start making a poultice. Because that stable needed to be cleaned and that injury would surely infect. The healer came down the stairs. "How is Justy?"

"Injured," he said dryly. "As he should be. We all know that the unicorns protect Alex and Katya beyond all reason. You've said so before. Why was he trying to pull Alex out of there?"

"I have no idea," Des admitted. "He was outside being quiet and good. I wasn't going to interrupt that."

The healer sighed. "Destina, I know you're getting on in years," he said gently, "but have you seen the boy's back?" She shook her head. "His father did. Who's been whipping him?"

"None of us," one of the aunts said firmly. "He's usually a good enough child with only the occasional swat."

"Well, then someone should probably explain why he's got switch marks on his back," he said firmly.

Aunt Cordy, who was in charge of the unicorns because she could still touch them, ran out to get the young child. "Move!" she ordered one of the stallions watching. "Leave the foal alone while you're at it. Alex?" He glared at her and she took a step back. "There's no reason for that."

"You're an evil bitch," he said firmly. He put his head back down. He winced as the whiskey-soaked cloth was put back onto the scrape by the mare. "Thank you."

She groaned and came in but one of the mares moved into her way. "I'm taking him to get it fixed. He'll not be near Justinius or Melantha." They stayed in her path. "Damn it! Move!"

Des came out, more calmly now. "Remember the first rule, calmness gets more results with animals." She looked at the herd gathered around her grandson. "We're taking him to get the scrape treated by a healer. He needs to be in contact with him. You can have him back tomorrow, or possibly later tonight." Alex glared at her. "Do not do that," she said firmly.

Katya jogged out. "Oh, honestly!" she said, pushing the aunts aside. "How hopeless are you?" She got down there with him. "Alex, love, who's been hitting you?"

"Mel. She said I'm evil and I know she is."

"Hmm. Can I see?" He shook his head. "Why not?"

"Because you're a girl and you abandoned me."

"I did not. It's not like I can't not go to school." He shrugged and winced as the cloth was moved. "Let me see, Alex."


One of the mares nuzzled her. "I adore you too, but the things with hands need him now." She picked him up, weathering the struggles. "Quit before you hurt someone." He stopped, hanging limply in her hands. "Now, let's let the healer check you over while we talk about these new marks on you." He shook his head. "Why not?"

"Why would he care?"

"Because we sent for him," Destina said. "Give him here." The stallion moved to block her. She glared at him. "What are you doing?"

"Protecting him. As they've been trying to do all along," Katya said sharply, walking him back into the kitchen. The healer sat down and took him, tending the cut on his scalp. "What did you put on your shirt?"

"Alcohol," he said with a pouty voice.

"Hmm, it's not that sort that you use on scrapes, Alex. You use the clear stuff on scrapes."

"Either worked well in this case," the healer assured her. Alex's mother came down the stairs. "Now, let's talk about these new scars on you, shall we?"

"Who whipped him?" his mother demanded. "You know we don't stand for that and you've all went on about how good he is recently." The aunts all looked away. "Who!" she demanded.

"Mel," Katya told her, giving her a look. "That darling brat that you gave birth to after the evil little bastard." Her mother swatted her. "Sorry, mum, but it is the truth." She picked her brother up, letting him cuddle up to her. "Come on, let's go work on your reading."

"Don't want to. Want to go back to the stables."

"Not until the scabs are completely gone later tonight. I've started a healing spell on them," the healer offered as he gathered his things back up. "I was wondering why he had switch marks on his back." She snatched her son and stripped him there to look him over. He sighed. "Alex, were you spanked today?"

"Fell on my arse when Justy yanked my hair out," he said grimly. "Hurts too."

"We can sit you in a nice bath," Katya promised, giving him a smile. "Then we'll work on your reading." He groaned. "Tough, you've got to learn sometime." She glared at her father when he came in. "I do hope something's done this time."

"You're getting very full of yourself," he warned.

"Am I? Then why is your heir shied away from by all the unicorns? None of them will go near Justinius." She snatched her baby brother and walked him off, going to put him into a bath. It was the best for him and obviously someone in this family had to stick up for him. "Did you taunt him?"

"No, I was brushing one of the babies."

"That's fine, Alex. I believe you." She put him into her tub and got one of the house elves to run water and heat it for her since she wasn't allowed to do magic outside of school until she graduated. Soon a bath was set up and he was installed, cleaned off, and a suitably hard book was found so she could help make him smarter. Because she remembered what the wands said. He was very powerful. He'd need the brains to go with the power. Otherwise he might as well play quidditch for life. Her mother walked in. "I've got it."

"Obviously. You do that very well, Katya, but it is my duty."

She looked at her. "Only if you're there." Her mother gasped. "The same as father's is punishment but if he's not there, then who does it?"

Alex yanked on her sleeve. "Don't remind her, he spanks harder."

She hugged him. "I know. It's the plain truth and I've learned not to be polite when the truth is needed." She pointed at a word. "What's that one?"


"Sound it out," she said patiently.

"Cat..a..comb?" He looked at her and she smiled and nodded. "What's a catacomb?"

"It's a place underground where things are stored. Sometimes it's a library, sometimes it's a burial chamber, but they're always underground."

He beamed at that. "Are they nice places?"

"Some," she offered, smiling at him. "You'll be a great explorer some day and you can tell me then." He nodded, then winced and held his head.

"Let me get him some willow tea," his mother offered. She hurried off and came back with some. "Katya, I'm there."

"You're not. You're off playing with the two youngest, which I fully understand, mother. The aunts however aren't being a good influence on Alex. No one in this family works on his reading or numbers. He still can't write worth anything. He's nearly six." She sighed and nodded. "I think perhaps some time away from the mind-numbing horde of aunts would be good for Alex, plus we do have Meri's wedding coming up. She'll need to go back to the castle and Grandma Des can easily live here for a few weeks to take care of Justy and Mel."

"You're right, they can. We'll arrange it for tonight."

"Unicorns?" Alex asked pitifully. "Mine's being born soon."

"We can't go before tomorrow anyway," Katya reminded him, stroking his undamaged forehead. "Maybe she'll birth tonight." He shook his head. "How long?"

"Few days. Plus the momma's sick. Justy and Mel did something to her food."

"You'll show me when you get out and I'll look her over," Katya promised. He nodded and went back to trying to read. She looked at her mother. "If one's sick, we must take care of it and the foal."

"We shall," she assured her, going to ask Aunt Cordy about that one. "Alex said one of the mares is ill and about to birth?"

"I've been watching her," she assured her gently. "She'll make it through the birth." The mother smiled. "How is Alex?"

"She's got him in the tub and working on his reading."

"About time," Des agreed from her seat at the kitchen table.

Emmajean glared at her. "You could help." She stomped off to talk to her husband, who would lay down the law this time if he ever wanted in her bedchambers again.

Prompt 4: Outsides

Alex looked up at the outside of his castle. He loved this place. It was comfortable and warm to him. He didn't understand why they lived in the other house when they had this one. Surely the unicorns would want to move with them. He ran for the stables, going to pet the horses they had wandering around freely. This was a safe area so no one followed him on his trek to find new playmates. The horses all welcomed his attention and affection, plus his sugar laden pockets, so it was good. Then he went to explore the grounds. He saw the ships in the water and stared for a few minutes before slowly creeping closer.

"NO!" his father yelled. "Stay away from those, Alex!"

"Yes, sir." He watched them, seeing the things in the waters around them. He glanced back at the house but no one was watching. But the minute he stepped closer he was floated back into the girly garden. He huffed but went to find other neat things. There were caves and walkways, hidden paths around and through the grounds. He found one blocked off and stared at it, then at the door. He didn't read very well but he knew most of the words. If only blood could open it, he had blood. He had seen plenty in his scraped knees and hands over the years. He ran a hand over a new scrape he had on his side, then put it on the big carved spot on the door. He frowned when nothing happened. The door felt funny now, kinda stuffy to him. He moved his hand over, putting it on a spot that felt clear instead of stuffy and the door opened!

He peeked around then walked in and looked at the marble boxes lined up in front of him. He walked down the few shallow stairs, going to look at them. It had a name. Someone had named a box? His six-year-old mind processed what he knew and he decided it must be the people in the portraits, the ones Katya said had passed on so they only had their portraits. He found one that looked glowy to him, walking slowly over to it. Why would former family members glow? He touched her marble box and the glow surrounded his hand and a small door opened, letting something spill out. "Oooh." He picked up the sparkly and shiny things. The door hid other sparkly and shiny things, plus one of the hated books. He looked at it last then at the box. "Can I play with them, Auntie?" It was a girl's name so it was probably an aunt of some sort or another.

A ghost formed above the box, smiling at him. "You are very polite, young man. What's your name?"

"Alex. Alexander Mikal Dumass," he said proudly. "Who're you. Auntie?"

"I'm your great-aunt Allisandra, Alex. I found those when I was younger and still living."


"Because they were lost and stolen."

"Oh." He considered that then looked at her. "I saw your wand."

She smiled. "I had hopes that one of you would." She came closer, floating closer. "Now, you can do the same as I did." Alex beamed at that. "But you've got to read that book, and learn a lot about magic stuff, Alex. Are the others here?"

"Meri's getting married to a *boy*," he said with some disgust. "Everyone's here but Grandma Des and Justinius and Mel because they're evil brats."

She laughed. "Even the best families have members like that. Now, gather those up and let's go find you a snack, hmm?" He nodded, taking off his shirt to put the shiny things and the book inside so he could carry them easier. She floated after him, watching him watch the door. "It'll shut soon, Alex. Don't worry about it. First, let's go look at something, all right?" He nodded and headed off with her through a back passage to another cave. He found another stuffy spot and went to look at it. The stuffy places made him feel funny. He pointed at it and she nodded. "Can you feel that?" He nodded. "What does it feel like to you?"

"Stuffy. It makes my head tingle and my belly too," he said. "And lower."

She smiled. "It does to the best of us, Alex," she assured him. "I could never get into that area."

Alex frowned at her, then at the bad wall that was keeping his great-aunt out of it. It shouldn't hold ghosts out. He knew that they could go nearly anywhere they wanted. Except his mummy's mother's house because she had funny cross things on the walls. He looked at it. The stuffy feeling had a line to another stuffy spot but this one was less stuffy feeling. A bit more glowy too. He patted that spot. "It's stuffy here too, Auntie."

"Very good, Alex." She looked at the lock mechanism. "I think that's an opening charm lock." She pulled her ghostly wand but he shook his head and pushed on the spot really hard. The stuffy feeling increased until it snapped and the wall opened. "That's an excellent job, Alex," she praised, floating after him into the new cavern. "Say Ignio, young man. The spell works for any family member anywhere on the castle's grounds."

"Ignio!" he shouted. The lights around the cavern lit up, showing that there was an track of oil around the walls. There was also a lot of stuff, mostly in crates. He saw that part wasn't it so he found a torch and headed back that way. "What's this, Auntie?"

"This was put here because the anti-muggle defenses on the walls around the valley drain magic. I'm guessing whoever put these here decided it would do the same. Which is has all but one thing." She looked at it. "You stay in here and look, Alex. I know most of these are books. Let me get a house elf to help you move them."

He looked at her then around. "Pepper!" he called plaintively. A house elf popped in with some water for him, getting a grin. "Auntie said we're moving these." He pointed at his auntie's ghost.

"Lady Allisandra," the house elf said, bowing many times. "Lady wants Pepper to move things?"

"Most of them, but I need a goblin from the cursebreakers portion of Gringott's, Pepper. Can you do that? Then we'll move all this stuff into the library." Pepper bowed a few more times before leaving. "She's a very good house elf, Alex." He beamed and sipped his water. "Come away from those so we can look at the other things." He nodded, walking back with her. The torch got put int a stand with a hole that usually held lances and swords but it fit so he was fine with it. "Can you open that box?" He looked then shook his head. "Hmm. Guess we'll have to go through them once they're inside.

Alex's father stormed in. "What are you doing, Alex!" he demanded. "This is not for you!"

"Shut up, nephew," she ordered firmly. "I could never open this chamber and Alex did it for me." The father stared at her and she stared back. "This is my heir."

"Daddy, I know Justinius gets first pick of the houses, but can I have this one?" Alex begged. "I love this house."

He looked at his son. "We'll see, son," he said calmly. "I can't fault you for helping a family member do something that's keeping her here."

"No, he woke me," she assured him. "Figured out how to open the blood key on the vault door. Found my hidden stash inside my sarcophagus. He's a brilliant little boy, nephew." That got a slow nod and a grimace. "Nurture this one. He is *my* heir."

"He's my second son," he offered.

"Even better. Your heir can do your things."

"What you used to do is dangerous," he complained.

"So is living."

"Point." He looked over as a goblin walked in and stared at the ghost. "My son Alex helped her open this chamber."

"Very well then," the goblin said, walking forward. "Where are the artifacts?"

"What's an artifact?" Alex asked.

"Something you find, love," Allisandra told him. "Lead him back to the things without the lights, Alex." He nodded, grabbing the torch and leading the way. She looked at her nephew. "He is every bit mine and my sister Des's heir, Tolomy." He bowed his head and nodded, looking a bit sad. "Nurture him and he'll live longer than the rest of us. His power shines from him."

He looked up. "He has a good affinity for the unicorns."

She laughed. "Only until he discovers girls and their other uses." He walked off shaking his head. "I would have the rest of this moved," she called after him. "Plus my nieces can have the jewelry he found in my sarcophagus."

"Thank you. He does have two sisters he favors and one's getting married soon."

"I'll be there," she assured him.

He nodded and headed off to tell the rest of the family that. His wife burst out crying at the fate her son was going to have. "Being a cursebreaker isn't that horrible," he soothed. "Allisandra herself is helping him. She said Alex broke into a chamber she hadn't been able to. He's a brilliant little boy."

Katya looked at him. "Of course he is, but he still needs someone to tutor him in his studies. He loathes books at the moment." Alex came running in and pounced her. "Hi, Alex."

"Hi, sissy." He beamed. "Auntie said that books are very special things to find and I should love them more than I do my sisters because then I can find more stuffy and glowy spots." He ran off again, heading back to help.

"Well," she said, smiling a bit. "That should take care of that problem. Especially since he just apparated without knowing how." Their mother went back to crying while their father got some house elves to help and closely watch Alex. She went back to her embroidery. "Meri!" she bellowed. "Alex is going to follow Auntie Allisandra! He woke her up!"

She came down the stairs. "Really?" Their father nodded, grimacing some. "Well, we knew he was brilliant. He's already figured out how to get away from Mel and Justy." She came into the sitting room. "Where is he now?"

"In a chamber Allisandra couldn't open," their mother sniffled. She looked at her daughter. "She's said he's to be her heir."

"Then he'll have a very exciting and full life," she said happily. "I need to see the wedding crown so I can finish my veil, mother." She nodded, getting up to get it for her firstborn daughter. They ran into the goblin preparing to remove things and nodded politely at him. "Things our aunt gathered?"

"Her father. He taught her," he said gruffly. "Don't get too close, it's all cursed and damned things." He made a circle and moved things with him back to the bank.

"Well," Meri said happily. "Better to have it gone then." She got the crown and glanced into the cavern she could hear Alex giggling in. "What's all this?"

Alex pelted over and drug her back to where he had dropped his shirt. "Auntie Alli said you and Katya could have these pretties," he said proudly, letting her see.

She smiled at the ghost. "Thank you, Auntie. They're beautiful. For a wedding set?"

"Child, what do I care if you keep them?" she countered. "Break them up with Katya for protecting this one for me. All natural cursebreakers have trouble following them. It's how the great ones are found."

"Then he'll surely be one the most mythical," she agreed dryly, kissing Alex on the head. "I'll take these and split them with Katya." He took the book to hold, making her smile. "Good boy, Alex. Later on we'll read that together." He nodded and went back to helping the house elf look in the crates. "Auntie, are you coming to my wedding?"

"I would be delighted, niece." That got a smile and she took the jewels off with her mother's help. The crown went onto her bed. She wasn't allowed to wear it until her wedding day but the veil would need to be fitted to it. Then she came down and plopped beside Katya. "Did you know the greatest of great cursebreakers had trouble following them?"

"Then Alex is going to be nearly a God of them," Katya said dryly.

"Apparently. Aunt Allisandra said we can split this among us for watching out for Alex."

"These are darling but fairly older," she admitted, holding up one. It was a waist chain of stones with a long line down from part of it. "You should wear this over your dress, Meri. I have nowhere fancy to wear it." That got a nod and she looked at it. The others were broken up. Meri took another necklace and some earrings while Katya took the other two necklaces and bracelet.

"Those are good choices, girls," their mother agreed. "Now, you cannot tell the other girls." They nodded and went to hide them in their things. She sighed when she saw the boxes the house elves were carting in. "Magic them," she ordered. She looked at him. "We might need to expand the library if most of those are books."

He smiled. "That would be fine, Emmajean. Alex asked for this house, even though he knows Justinius gets first choice."

"He doesn't like it here. The only reason he'd choose here is to take it from Alex."

"I know." He patted her hand then gave it a squeeze. "It'll all be arranged before the wedding." She nodded, settling in to work on her daughter's embroidery project for her. It would calm her down. Her oldest daughter's wedding would go off without a hitch, Alex and the new ghost or not.

Prompt 6: Hours.

Alex looked around the cave he was in. He had been here hours already. He had walked in and the door had shut on him. Anything he did made the stuffy headed feeling come back and even the stuff he should be able to do he couldn't. The only good thing was the pretty things he had found down here. He walked back to the door and looked at it, patting a section. It felt the most stuffy to him. He found a spot that reeked and stank too. He looked at it then grimaced. "Do I have to put my hand in there? There's probably bugs and Mummy would get mad." He found his torch and used it to look in the hole.

Then he got the bright idea to put the torch in the hole. Fire burned bugs, Justy did it all the time at home. All the stinky stuff went up in smoke and he smiled, finding a pull lever. He pulled it and something ground and moved, but not the door. He looked at the floor and a new door had opened. He walked that way, finding another hidden area. This one had another door and it was clear. He checked it first, just in case. He had walked into a closet recently and nearly had to swim out. He would have to get that fixed when the castle was his. This time the door led to a ballroom. Their ballroom. He beamed and walked back to the first cavern to get the pretty things he had found and drag them to that room. Then the other stuff in the other room. His mother came in and gave him an evil look. "They're mine, I found them," he said. "They were hidden and it's all okay."

"Why do you look like a skeleton, Alex?"

He looked at himself then at her. "Do not!" he said firmly, stamping a foot.

"You've been spending too much time with girls, son." She sighed and shook her head. "Go back through the doorway, Alex, come out the other side."

"Can't. It's locked." His Aunt Alli faded in and he beamed. "Hi, Auntie."

"Hello, Alex." She smiled at him. "Come on, I'll show you how to get out." She waved a hand at they all appeared back in the right room when the shield around that doorway snapped them back. "That thing keeping you from going farther was a shield. We'll work on those when you're older." Alex beamed and let her lead him back to the door. Which wasn't the one he thought it was. "It changed?"

"No, this one leads to somewhere else and you can sneak up to your room to clean up easier." She got him into the vault under the study and watched him look awed at the floating platform of stone on top of the salt water from the bay. "Come on."

"But..." He pointed at something and whimpered. "Shinies!"

"Not this time, Alex. That has to be given to you by your father." He shook his head. She nodded. "It does." He walked over to look. "Not the trunk, nephew."

"No, this shiny!" he said, holding it up.

She looked at it then at him. "I doubt your sister would appreciate such a gift today, dear. She doesn't need the cursed diamond at her wedding." He pouted. "She can have it later if she wants it." He nodded, tossing it back down so he could follow her up the stairs. Though he did take some of the gold from the pile on the stairs. She gave him a look. "Fine, you can have it as an allowance." She got him out of the vault and into the study, horrifying his father. "We're going to go clean up."

"Please do." He stared at his son. "What were you doing down there?"

"She said so."

"He was stuck in that dratted chamber off the ballroom. By the way, the shield's still up. It made him look like a skeleton." She walked him off, taking him up to his room. The girls all gave him horrified looks. "He was playing nicely, ladies."

"He's filthy!" Mel complained.

"He's a boy, they do that," Allisandra said dryly. "As did my father and brothers." She walked Alex into his room, helping the house elf get him cleaned up. He got into the suit he was to wear to the wedding and she smiled at him. "Now, what are we going to be today?"

"Polite. Even to the mean ones," he repeated. That had been drilled into him for days by his mother. "Can I look at their jewelry?"

"If you ask nicely," Allisandra said, smiling and floating down with him. They were wizards so a family ghost attending a family wedding wasn't anything too unusual. She got a few looks but she was used to it. She had never been a simpering, polite society girl in her life. "Alex, this is Mrs. Malfoy."

Alex smiled and kissed her hand. "Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Malfoy. Are those diamonds or quartz?"

She touched her necklace. "Diamonds, Alex. Malfoys only wear the best."

He smiled. "It's very pretty on you. Did you know it had a something on it?" She looked at the ghost. "She's teaching me."

"He's a future cursebreaker," Allisandra admitted. "My heir." She looked then nodded. "There's a disease curse on it, Mrs. Malfoy."

Alex climbed into her lap to look closer too. "Is that why it has that slimy looking magic stuffiness?"

"It is. Please talk quieter, Alex," she ordered.

"Yes, Auntie." He grinned at Mrs. Malfoy, kissing her on the cheek. "It's very old. The silver under the stones looks like what Meri's wearing today and that was ancient when Auntie got it."

Mrs. Malfoy smiled at the boy. "That's a very good observation, Alex."

He beamed. "Thank you." He kissed her on the cheek. "You know, it doesn't really match the silver on your sleeves," he whispered. "And you're much too pretty to wear something with such slimy magic stuffiness on it."

"If I take it off?" she asked the ghost.

"It'd probably be better if you did, dear. That way it can't be activated."

She took it off and put it into her pocket. "Thank you for finding that for me, Alex."

"You're welcome." He wiggled down and walked off, going to greet the other guests. A few felt slimy to him so he stayed away from them but one other lady was being ignored. He didn't know why. She was a bit fat and she was very pretty. He walked over to sit next to her, taking her hand to pat like his father did his mother's. "I don't know why they're so silly and not talking to you. You're one of the most beautiful women in here," he told her, making her smile at him. "You are and I know pretty things because I play with unicorns." He got up and went to talk to someone else because she looked happy again. His mother caught him flirting with the next woman and took him back. "Mummy." He smiled and kissed her on the cheek. "I've been very good. Auntie said so."

"I'm sure you have been, Alex." She walked him back to their seats. "Come on, it's time to sit down, the wedding's about to start." Alex smiled at the woman he had flirted with earlier. "Who is she?"

"I don't know but they weren't talking to her so I did. She's very pretty and I don't understand why others wouldn't." He smiled at her. "I talked to Mrs. Malfoy and Mrs. Greengrass and Mrs. Livery too."

"Thank you for greeting them for us, son." She patted him on the back and the groom was brought in. "Now, hush, the wedding's started." Everyone else sat down and waited, then the bride came in. She sniffled. Her baby looked so beautiful! Alex tugged on her hand but she only gave him a hug. Her husband had the others in the row behind them. Meribeth took her vows quietly but loudly enough for everyone to hear. Then Alex got free and ran up to grab the rings. "Alex!" she shouted.

"There's slimy magic on them." He looked at his sister then at her groom. "There is."

"It's to make sure she stays mine, Alex," he said gently. His wife would beat him to death if he upset her favorite brother. "It'll go away once she's wearing it."

He looked at him. "You'd better not hurt my sister or not even a house elf will like you when I'm done with you," he said very fiercely.

"I won't." He took the ring back and put it on his sister's finger under his watch. "See, no more magic."

He looked at his sister, who smiled at him. "Fine." He went back to his seat, pouting at the new family. His mother was muttering something and he didn't understand about breeches of contract and things like that. Then the ceremony was done and it was time for lunch. Katya grabbed him before he could move. "I can't eat?" he asked, looking pitiful. "I wasn't that bad today."

"No, you can, but you're eating beside me, Alex." He beamed. "Good boy. What was on the ring?" she asked quietly.

"A faithfulness spell that would turn into a curse if she broke it," Allisandra told her. Katya gaped. "He was right to protest, though not very polite, Alex." He nodded, sighing a bit.

"He's only barely six," Katya reminded her. "We were all heathen brats then." A few nearby mothers laughed and nodded at that sentiment. "Come on, let's go eat, Alex." He took her hand and walked her into the dining hall, letting her sit him on her left. There was a boy on her other side. "Kenneth, this is Alex, my little brother. He's between Mel and Philippe."

"Nice to meet you," Alex said, shaking his hand. He stared at him. "Why do you have the funny magic floating around your head?"

"It's to keep my hair down," he said with a smile.

"Oh. Will I need that?"

"No, dear, we tend towards straight hair," Katya told him. He beamed at that. "Would you mind if I started to date Kenneth?" He nodded. "Why?"

"Because then I'm stuck with the aunts and Mel."

"It'll be a while before we marry," Kenneth told him.

"Better be. I'm not big enough to beat Mel yet." They both smiled at him for that. "I'm not." His father came over. "Katya said I could eat with her and her boyfriend," he said just loudly enough that his mother heard too.

"Of course you can, son. I'm making sure you're going to be good," his father said.

"Yes, Father."

"Thank you, Alex." He smiled at Kenneth. "I'm sure we'll be seeing you again sometime soon, young man." He walked back to his seat at the head table, letting his wife plot things. He checked his other children. Justinius had Mel firmly in hand. Philippe and Tara had their nanny close by. It was nice, they were all behaving. Even if Alex was telling a story that made his sister giggle and then swear and swat him for it. "He was in the vault under the study earlier," he told his wife quietly.

"That's how Allisandra got him out of the other chamber," she agreed. "We should take him home soon."

"He'll miss the unicorns," he agreed. Little did he know it wasn't going to work. Alex wasn't going to leave his auntie that taught him neat things or this house until they finally found where he was hiding at night and drugged him three months later.

Prompt 7: Days.

Alex wandered around the manor house. He was grounded to the house. He wasn't allowed to go help with the unicorns. He was very bored. He was staring out a window and that's how he saw his older brother and sister head out there. He went to get his aunts. "Aunt Cordy!" She came out of the wash room. "I was watching the unicorns and Justy and Mel headed that way," he said. He may be eight but he knew they weren't allowed. They tried to hurt the unicorns. "Someone should check on them before he dies this time."

"I'm sure they'll leave them alone, Alex. They know the unicorns don't like them." They both heard a scream and Alex was the first one out the door. "Alex, get back here!" she shouted.

"Get a healer! One's bleeding!" He slid down next to the pregnant unicorn, glaring at Justinius. "You're evil," he sneered, using his shirt to hold on the bleeding spot. That's what you did when something was bleeding a lot. "Auntie, she won't quit bleeding!"

"The healer's coming," she said, coming out to help. "Go to your rooms!" she shouted. They ran for the house, leaving the sword there. "I'll deal with that one later." She looked under the shirt and winced. "That doesn't look good. DES!" She came running from the house. "Get the others. Justinius just stabbed her with that sword." She nodded, picking up the sword to take inside with her. The healer came running out with the other aunts. "She's pregnant too," she told the healer. "Due to foal in a few weeks."

"That's fine. Alex, can I have your spot?" He got out of his way, moving up to coo and hold the unicorn's head in his lap, making her focus on him. He tried a healing spell. "It's not working," he said.

Alex looked at him. "The sword had magic on it." Des stared at him in horror. "You know Auntie taught me how to see magic! It had magic on it!"

Des went to look, coming back with it. It got tossed off into a bush and she came over. "It had demonic magic on it. He was using her as a sacrifice," he said quietly.

"She'll not go," Alex said firmly, staring down at her. "I said so. You can't go. You guarded me many too many times."

"Alex, she'll eventually die, even if it's not today," Des said gently, for her.

Alex looked at her. "Doesn't mean she has to go today, does it?" He did what Allisandra had taught him, touching the magic around him, then he looked at the healer. "Here." He got up and got something he could see and feel, handing it to him. "You need that so the spell's stronger."

He took the invisible to him cord and winced. "That's pure magic."

"I know that. Auntie Alli taught me."

He used it to heal the wound, and the foal so it'd be okay too. Then he decided to take the foal now. "Here, Alex. Take care of this one for me, love." He let him have the foal and Alex moved by her head to clean it off with his shirt while cooing and talking to it. The momma was healed but she ignored the foal. "I had to," he told Cordy.

"I understand and she's not the first we've bottle raised." She helped the healer up, looking at the momma unicorn. "Are you all right enough to go into the stable? We'll take care of the baby if you don't want to." The mother nudged her with her nose and headed off slowly into the stable with a few of the other aunts, who prepared a good stall for her.

Alex looked up. "She could use a bottle," he said quietly.

"I'll get one," Cordy promised, heading to do that. She ran into Emmajean in the kitchen. "We will be talking, sister. Your oldest son stabbed a unicorn near foaling on purpose." She finished making the bottle and brought it out to Alex. "Here you go." Alex settled in to coo over the foal and feed him. "Remember to get her up soon, Alex."

"I will. She can sleep on my bed."

"No unicorns in the house," Des ordered. "We'll arrange it for nighttime feedings." He nodded, going back to helping his new baby sister. He had helped with Tara too. He knew how to use a bottle. "By the way, you don't burp baby unicorns. I know you did Tara a few times." He smiled and nodded, letting her go talk to the furious mother. She pulled her outside to look at the sword. "That's demonic magic," she said bluntly.


"Mel was with him," Cordy said, walking up behind them. "He had the sword but she had been watching."

"I'm going to separate those two immediately," she promised.

"Then we're going to talk about Justy's future," Cordy said firmly. "He can't stay near the 'corns if he's playing with demons."

"He starts school next year," she said. "Until then we'll figure something out. Call my husband." She went up with Des to talk to Mel first. They had to know what she knew and had done already before they could punish her.


Alex came in from a late night feeding, the unicorn sneaking in behind him. He heard shouting and took him up the back stairs, going up to his room. They'd be safe up there. He shut the door and used his blanket to make his new baby sister a bed for the night, getting a nuzzle of appreciation. The unicorn laid down and Alex went back out to listen from the top of the stairs. His father was screaming at Justy.

"How dare you summon demons in my house!" he yelled. "You know it's wrong!"

"It's power, father. It brings power to the family!"

"It brings filth to the family and I will not have it!"

Alex snuck further down the stairs.

"What about all the cursed things Alex touches?" Justinius sneered. "Your precious heir touches and plays with cursed things already, Father."

"He follows a fine tradition in the family. You are not," his mother said firmly. She heard something outside the door and shut it. "He's not being tainted by it, he's using it to train himself for his future career as a cursebreaker and Allisandra's heir."

Justinius sneered at her. "I knew it was a mistake when he was born." She slapped him.

His father stared at him. "You'll be leaving this family, Justinius. I will not have this in my family." His son glared at him. "I won't. It's not right. It's not good. I will not have a son who summons demons." He looked at him. "You'll be starting school next year, but until then, consider yourself not longer a Dumass."

"We'll see what happens when all your heirs follow me, Father." He stomped off, shoving Alex when he caught him listening. "Enjoying yourself?"

"No, wondering what's going to happen to the unicorns," he said bluntly. Justinius pulled back a fist and Alex shoved him back, sending him down the stairs. "Don't touch me. You hurt her. Her mother nearly died because of you. Only foul things hurt unicorns and I don't want foul things to touch me." He stood up. "Mummy, her mother decided to wander off to another herd," he said quietly. "So did a few others."

"He'll be punished, son," she said firmly.

"That's fine." He went back upstairs, going to tend to his new friend. He did lock his door since there was no telling what Justinius would be trying.

Emmajean looked at her husband. "Tolomy, I want him to go off with one of the aunts until he starts school. And I do not mean at the castle."

"I agree. It doesn't need this polluting it either. I'll send Des off with him." She nodded, leaving it in his hand. "Go pack, Justinius." He stomped off again. He went to find his mother. "Mother?" She looked up at him. "Justinius is no longer my son. Emmajean wants him out of the house. I don't much blame her. Some of the unicorns are leaving too."

"Agreed. We do have that flat in London for business. We can use it." He nodded. "I'll pack tonight."

"So is he. He and Alex got into it too."

"That's fine. Do you want him at Hogwarts?"

"No, I don't. I doubt they'd take him."

"I'll look at alternative schools as well then." She got up and went to pack. The boy was a problem waiting to happen.


Des felt something off in the magic of the house, it woke her up. She was the one who had woven protections around this house and something was definitely bothering them. She got up to check on things, finding a room open and a stink coming from it. "Alex?" She peeked in then screamed. House elves and the parents came running, the aunts behind them. The herd stallion was in the room and Alex was bleeding. The baby unicorn was dead on the blankets.

Cordy pushed her way past, walking in. "Do not hurt him. He's not the one who hurt the foal or her mother." The stallion looked at her then went back to nudging the boy. She looked. "Whoever did it stabbed him after they stabbed the unicorn, there's blood in the wound."

"I'll get the healer," Emmajean said, rushing to do that.

Des walked in, looking at the stallion across the boy. "We'll protect him better," she promised. The stallion nodded. "I'm sorry the foal was injured." He nodded and left. "Find out which one did it, Cordy. Do so now." She went to do that while Des took bandages to clean the unicorn blood out of Alex's wounds. It wasn't a good thing to have in there. It was dangerous and poisonous to him if it stayed. The healer came rushing in with another one behind him. "Meri!"

"I'm a healer, Grams. I did a lot of study on unicorns thanks to ours," she said firmly. "Move." She got her out of the way. "Stabbed with the same weapon. Looks like a belt knife." She finished wiping it off and started with a potion that ate the blood. "Bury the young one somewhere the herd can't find it, Grams. They'll seek retribution."

"The herd stallion was up here nudging him," Cordy admitted as she came back. "Half the unicorns are gone."

"We'll rebless the land once Justinius is off," Tolomy said. "You take him if you need to." They nodded and bundled the boy up, taking him back to the hospital. "Des?"

She looked at him. "Cordy?"

"Justinius," she agreed.

"We're going now. We'll stop at the Ministry too." She went to gather the boy and drag him off. Their things could be sent by a house elf. She did not want him in this house.

"I'll get someone to rebless it," Cordy said, rushing off to do that then going to tell the other unicorns the tainted one was gone. Then she came back to get the foal and bury her on holy ground, well away from the herd and out of their sight. That way no one would dare touch her corpse. She got finished around dawn, turning to find the herd stallion. "I'm trying to protect the remains." He bowed his head and pawed at the ground then nuzzled her and walked off. "We're having it reblessed. The tainted one is gone." The stallion looked at her then whuffled. The whole herd moved further from the house that night. She went to dig up the area where the first one had been hurt, letting the cleric they found bless everything else again. One mare came up to check then left. Later that night the herd stallion did. They came back up but didn't get that close to the house again.

Prompt 8: Weeks

Alex woke up with a moan and wiggled off his back. "Where'm I?" he asked his sister. She smoothed down his hair. "Meri?"

"You're in the hospital, Alex."


"Justinius came after the foal." He scowled weakly. "We've dealt with him."

"The foal?" he asked weakly. She shook her head and he burst out crying.

"Shh, love. It's not your fault. I promise it's not. They don't blame you. The stallion doesn't either. He's the one who found you."

"He'll hurt others."

"Des has him, Alex. He won't be hurting much of anything while she's got him." He nodded, calming himself down. "Now, that's my good boy." She smoothed over his hair again. "We've had you for a long time and Mummy wants to see you. Think you're up to being hugged?" He nodded, he could use a hug from his mother. "That's my good boy. Mum?" She came rushing in. "I told you he'd wake up today." She got out of the way, letting their mother hug him. "I told him about the foal when he asked."

"I heard." She settled in on the bed to hold him. "Shh, Alex. I'm here, baby. You're loved and they don't blame you. Cordy and the herd stallion made sure of it." He nodded and snuggled in, falling back asleep on her. She looked at her daughter. "Will it hurt him?"

"No. We got it all out. The poison worked itself out of his system. He's been reblessed as well as a precaution. Not that I think it's necessary but when he heard he was going to be a cursebreaker the cleric insisted." She smiled and nodded. "He's a strong boy, Mother. We lost the Malfoy heir a few weeks ago to being pricked with a horn and being poisoned from that."

She nodded. "I know he is. When can he go home?"

"It'd be best if he went to the castle. The pure energy there can only help him. The healer teaching me agreed."

She nodded. "We can do that." She looked down at him then at her. "Does he know about Philippe?" She shook her head, leaving them alone. "My poor boy." She rocked and cuddled him until he woke again then she got him to eat something. It had been six weeks since Justinius had stabbed him. It was well past time for him to get better again.
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