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This would have been very disturbing anyway but then Pet's eye popped out and started rolling along the bottom of the boat. Great. Maybe she would be so fortunate as to have a kraken surface nearby and pluck her off the ship with one of its tentacles and kindly drown her. Petra Sleptova in Land, Ho!
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The Under-Sofa
2nd September, 1888 — Slytherin Common Room
A new year. So much noise. So much everywhere. There was never any escape from the Urquart house in summer, but at least there was quiet SAJKSAGHDJKGAJ STUPID CHILD!!! Aubrey snorted through his nose in fear and shrank back underneath the sofa when a pair of FEET appeared in front of it, and he an inch away from being crushed. He froze in the shadows of the Under-Sofa, waiting to see where the feet would go, whether to hold back or make an escape now. Would they sit down?
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   Aldous Crouch, Arabella Wood
For one as well-dressed as Tag tried to be-- especially after this summer meeting Lexington Lupin-- he was quite bad at paying attention to things around him. He was fastidious but clueless. He'd spotted something on the floor a few feet away and when he walked closer, he swore it moved. Maybe he was crazy? He got close to the sofa and then for a moment perched on it while he considered his next move.


Sliding off the edge, Taggart peered down underneath the piece of furniture, and then, he absolutely saw something move. He just knew it. Reaching underneath, he didn't get a firm grasp on whatever it was so rather than shove his arm further under where there might be dust mites and lint, he pushed the couch back as far as he could and low and behold!

There was....
a hedgehog?

Tilting his head sideways, Taggart stared down at the prickly thing before crouching further to get on a face to face level with the little creature. "Hello, chum." he said. "What're you doing here?"
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   Silas Wild
Aubrey knew this one. He knew a lot about the current Slytherins, because apparently people forgot that hedgehogs had ears (small, roundish ones) and often people didn't notice him anyway, curled up somewhere pretending to be asleep.

This boy, then. He wasn't new. Wasn't one of the worst people in the common room, those rotten rich boys - like Mr. Jailkeeper - who could not fathom a world beyond their own farts. Was a good working class lad, so he'd heard. Had a bit of a weird looking face, and a bit of a weird thing for preaching. Still.

Church Boy did not know him, however, as evidenced by the way he couldn't let an exasperated hedgehog lie, and instead saw fit to shove his hand in his face, shift furniture about, and all but coerce Aubrey into a corner. Not nice, dude.

I'm not your chum, arsehole, Aubrey muttered in meaningless hedgehog, as he trained his eyes on Church Boy's and kept perfectly, perfectly still, muscles tensed as he waited for what would happen next. He couldn't escape from here. But if the boy's hand came for him again -
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It was interesting, watching the little thing sit there. It looked exasperated, if a hedgehog could look that way. Maybe he was giving the tiny prickly animal more credit than it was due, but he knew most creatures felt emotions kinda like humans did, so why couldn't the hedgehog? "Don't you wanna come out of there, little buddy?" For a moment he considered backing away and letting him come out on its own, but then Tag shrugged the thought away and decided to just go for it. Porcupines had the quills, hedgehogs were just kinda prickly.

Reaching out, Taggart closed his fingers around the hedgehog, waiting to see if it'd bite him before pulling his hand back and letting the creature go into the rest of the room. Why he couldn't let it come out on its own? He didn't know. He was trying to be nice though. That counted, right?
It was like being in a swordfight. Or a gunfight. A duel at wandpoint. A battle of life and death, this: watching for the barest fraction of movement, eyes locked and hackles up, being ready to go kamikaze at a second's notice.

Perhaps not so honourable, a battle to the death in this state, but Aubrey had faced down death more times than he could count in the last decade, considered himself a decorated veteran of war. He'd seen down buzzards and kestrels and red kites; fought off his share of cats and owls, the smug bastards; had nearly died from choking on peanuts, the occasionally larger-than-average worm, and eating dairy, too much potato, and some slug pellets once by mistake; once he had even slipped and fallen into the sink, and scuffled at the sides for hours trying to climb out.

So he could take a stupid fifth-year who thought he could manhandle a hedgehog. Don't you want to fuck off, BUDDY? Aubrey sniffed, with the most angelic look he could muster, and then, when the boy's hand closed around him - he launched his attack. He stuck up his spines as sharp as they'd go against the boy's palms, and then gnawed down resolutely on the closest finger in reach of his mouth, sinking his teeth into the finger-flesh and scrabbling onto it with his front claws, because Church Boy wasn't going to get away easy.

Yelping as the hedgehog's quills practically shoved themselves into his hand, Tag almost dropped the creature. But as he tightened his grip on the small beast, it sunk its teeth into his finger. Growling at the pain, the fifth year Slytherin pulled his arm out and opened his palm, glaring down at the hedgehog that looked like it was glaring back at him too.

"Look." he said angrily. "I don't see why you did that. I was just getting you out from underneath the dusty couch. You could have been squished. I'm your friend, you little bugger. So no more biting. Who do you belong to, anyways? I think I've seen you around, but that doesn't mean much. There's always pets lounging in here. Are you a pet or are you a rogue hedgehog? One that someone left here ages ago? How long do hedgehogs live anyways?"
Church Boy nearly dropped him. But didn't. Not even when he bit him, though he did open his palm to give Aubrey a little breathing room before he started babbling. The babbling was odd enough: Aubrey never had understood quite how dumb people were with animals, 'til he'd become one. He might be able to understand them (perfectly), but it was asking a lot of actual animals to answer bloody inane questions like how long do hedgehogs live in the midst of a battle scene.

Well, thank you for all your preaching, Church Boy, Aubrey thought manically, as he prepared his exit while the boy had successfully distracted himself. Excellent. Here went nothing.

Should've left me under the couch, sucker! I'm going to live forever! Aubrey yelled, as he barrelled off the boy's hand like he was doing a cannonball off a cliff. Lucky for him, he was pretty adept at cannonballing: he leant forwards in midair, tucking his body up into a hedgehog ball to prepare himself for the landing. Three, two, one - CONTACT! Aubrey hit the stone floor, his shield of prickles absorbing the worst of it, and continued rolling in a frenzy; rolling, rolling, rolling until he was free, and away, right out of the common room door.

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