My name is Charlotte, and I’m a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. In the last two decades a new potion was discovered that could tell people how they classified in society. Of course, that meant that the wizarding world had to acknowledge that such classifications existed and were normal. You can fall into one of nine categories after taking that potion. That is, if you get correctly classified the first time. Sometimes people get labeled incorrectly the first time, what researchers discovered is if you take it and classify at a younger age either you’re heavily in that classification, or if you got neutral then you’re possibly another classification that just hasn’t emerged yet. In that case by the end of anyone’s seventh year at Hogwarts they will be capable of knowing for sure. It took several tries, but the researchers of the potion realized that every potion past the age of eighteen comes out with the same results for the same person, however before eighteen they may not classify correctly and be labeled as neutral until they do turn eighteen. To avoid much use of the potion beyond two times, the second time done with Gringotts doing everything precisely as possible, everyone gets classified in year six at about age seventeen. That’s where I’m at right now with Professor Longbottom, in potions class.
“Today, we’ll be making and using the classification potion. Once everyone is done making their potion, we’ll go around the class and each of you will take the potion one at a time. I will read you your results and then we’ll go over how long each of you will be remaining at Hogwarts after your classification. The directions are on the board, feel free to ask me if you have any questions,” Professor Longbottom states calmly. “I assume all of you remember the existing classifications. But while you’re making your potions, I’ll give you a refresher, I know what it’s like not to remember something at a crucial time. The classifications are as follows from most common to least: neutral, Dom or Sub, Alpha or Omega, Master or Pet, and Caregiver or Little. Anyone who is classified in those last two are rare and frequently coveted by society. Caregivers who present at your age, during initial testing, are very protective and caring. Frequently they end up in the ministry or running a shop to spend more time with their littles. There are times that they become Aurors however, so they feel like their particular little will be safer in everyday life. Alphas are very protective as well, they feel it’s their duty to protect their Omega and anyone else who they feel is part of their pack, they are most commonly Aurors and occasionally end up in other ministry positions. The Masters and Doms have very prominent personalities and do very well in upscale jobs, they are frequently lawyers or bankers, in the muggle world, and they also thrive as managers and CEO’s of companies. Neutral are the broadest spectrum, they are all of these things and none of them at all. I don’t like to say that they fill the gaps, but they frequently do. The only submissive type classified people who actually leave the house without their Dominant partner much at all are the Subs, and even then, they are frequently their Doms secretary or working under their Dom in some way or another, all to reduce time away from their Dom. The Omegas and Pets are homebodies; they cook and clean and take care of any children, and, depending on which one, they may make nests out of pillows and blankets or be content with whatever resting place is provided by their dominant. The Littles however are treated as children in and of themselves. They frequently are provided babysitters or daycares so their Caregivers can work, and if they don’t have a caregiver yet they go to an adoption center where any Omegas without Alphas will work and care for them until one or both of them find their dominant. Littles provide many people with a sense of calm and happiness, when the Little is happy themselves, which is one of the reasons they are so well coveted by society, without a little in the courtroom sometimes certain criminals can get very violent. Omegas can do this as well in some cases, however a Little also inspires a protective instinct in people just about right after coming into contact. Unclassified Littles can often be looked at as almost leaders in some cases because they inspire such loyalty and protection from those around them. When a Little does take the classification potion their inner Little side becomes more prominent and harder to ignore, this is why newly classified Littles are closely monitored so that if they slip into Little space, they can be safe. Littles are never given jobs, but they can be given special dispensation to stay with their caregiver during the day rather than having a babysitter or going to daycare so long as the caregivers job is safe for the little to be at. And fascinatingly, while Littles are the ones that usually provide a sense of calm, when the Little gets upset in anyway that can change. When a Little gets upset only a Caregiver can cause them to calm down without them calming down on their own, and until the Little does calm down everyone around them will feel tense and honestly a bit worried. This is why a Caregiver is always paired up with a Little, otherwise society would be far too tense far too often. Though chances are low that any of you will classify this way on your first try, this is why anyone classified as neutral today will be visiting Gringotts on or near their graduation to get a finalized classification. Now then, is everyone done with their potions?”
There is a chorus of yes’s and Professor Longbottom starts at the back of the room to classify everyone. I’m at the front and dreading every moment as I wait. I vaguely hear classifications listed off as everyone presents. I hear a round of applause as someone gets classified as a Caregiver, specified as a daddy. Only a row behind me, meaning we’re getting close to me. A couple more minutes and Professor Longbottom is in front of me with a smile. I know what he thinks; I’ll be a Master or a Dom, maybe he thinks I’ll be a Caregiver. In my heart I know I’m not dominant enough for that.
“Well go on Charlotte, I’m sure I’ll get to see the classification of the future Minister of Magic,” the Professor expresses brightly. He had been in school with the current Minister of Magic who had been called the brightest witch of her age, a title I currently hold.
I take a deep breath and take the potion knowing its effects hit me fast. Professor Longbottom stares stunned at first before he manages to say, albeit somewhat squeaky, “Little” the only in my class and likely my year to be classified as Little.
“Ahem, we’ll now discuss how long each classification stays at Hogwarts. The Neutral students will be here through their seventh year and so will the Subs. The Alpha students will stay an extra month or two, depending on their planned profession, past the seventh year. The Master and Dom students will remain seven years and a semester. Caregiver students remain at Hogwarts for a full eight years. Omega and Pet students will remain through this year.” The Professor swallows thickly. “The Little students will leave today.” Gasps at that sounded throughout the room. “Littles are deemed too important and precious to remain in school learning dangerous spells and being put at risk in an uncontrolled environment without their Caregiver. If the Little has a Caregiver who works or attends Hogwarts, they may remain, however they will not be participating and will be under the purview of the Caregiver they live with.” I could feel the eyes of my entire class on me as the Professor explained this. He wasn’t trying to be cruel, he was processing for himself what this meant. I would not be permitted to participate in any dangerous classes from now on, perhaps regular classes but there would be no point as this will be labeled as my graduation date and no one hires Littles. “Uhm, Charlotte and Xander please stay after class. Now, let’s go into more detail of the other classifications and why they stay at Hogwarts the amount of time that they do.”
Professor Longbottom continues his lecture. I barely processed any of it. I understood a bit. All dominant people need to know all that Hogwarts would generally teach and possibly some protective spells or some training depending on the classification and the future profession of the dominant. The submissive people don’t really need to stay and learn much longer because very few of them will be getting jobs or careers after school, only the regular Subs will have that possibility. Neutrals may get sent back if it’s deemed necessary for their reclassification at the end of seventh year, but that’s only the case if they turn out somewhat dominant which is far rarer than turning out submissive after seventh year. Most dominants personalities are strong enough to present before turning eighteen but occasionally they aren’t. Generally, the neutrals who present dominant in the end turn up as Caregivers because many Caregivers don’t touch the gentle side of themselves much before eighteen. The bell did eventually ring, and I just sat there for a minute before calmly packing up, knowing I’d be heading to pack up my dorm after I’m done talking to the Professor. I could hear Professor Longbottom quietly talking up front and I sigh, now they’re trying to avoid startling me.
“I haven’t slipped into Little space yet or anything, so you don’t have to be so gentle,” I don’t look up until I’ve finished zipping up my bag and I happen to see Xander look at the Professor and nod before going and sitting calmly nearby.
“Charlotte, I know this is a bit of a shock. If you want to talk about it before we go talk to McGonagall, we can,” the Professor puts a gentle hand on my shoulder and I gently shrug it off as I stand up.
“Professor, I feel as though this is more of a shock to you and my classmates than it is to me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t necessarily expect a Little classification, but I didn’t expect anything dominant either,” I smile a measured smile at my teacher to try and reassure him. I may internally be starting to freak out a bit, but I haven’t been presenting long so my emotions shouldn’t be affecting the energy I give off too much yet. “I’ll be fine, let’s just go see the Headmistress and let Xander go off to class, he still has a future to maintain here.”
“You need to stop putting up the strong and confident airs. You’ve been doing that since we started at Hogwarts. We may be in different houses, but I did notice that much about the school golden girl,” I turn ready to give Xander my patented ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ smile and deny everything he just said but I hadn’t realized he had gotten up and gotten so close. Damn I am seriously freaking over this, I normally notice such things. “It’s okay to let your emotions out Charlotte, especially now that you’ve been classified as a Little.” His hand lands on my shoulder to convey his empathy and support. But all it succeeded in doing is sparking my inner Little some and such things are foreign to me.
“DON’T TOUCH ME!” I shout and wrench myself out of his reach. One moment I’m maintaining a veil of calm and reasonability and the next all I want is to crawl into this man’s lap and let him do all the worrying for me, something I have never felt or done before in my life. I’ve always had some semblance of control in my life, what I ultimately do and say, where I go. I had options of where to go to school and chose Hogwarts over all the others. I had told the hat how much I wanted Ravenclaw and he listened to me. And now, all of a sudden all I want is to let Xander do all of that decision making and hard thinking. It’s so foreign and…and…and it’s terrifying.
“Woah, hey. Okay,” Xander throws his hands up in the universal sign of not meaning any harm. “You’re okay. We won’t do anything that you don’t want, alright? If you don’t want me to touch you, I won’t. But I do think you need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Why not us. I didn’t really expect to be a Caregiver either, but here we are. If anything, talking about what you’re feeling right now might let you understand it in the end. You like logic, right? So, let’s be logical and work through these emotions rationally. What do you say?”
He was so calm, I could feel his calm concern flow over me. It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like these emotions and when he touched me it became so prominent. I couldn’t push them to the back of my mind behind a wall for later anymore. I couldn’t push off my break downs anymore and I began to cry. I was crying out of fear, out of need, out of desire, out of sadness, out of shock. I was crying because I have so many confusing emotions overflowing right now, and I just didn’t understand it. “No, I…I don’t know.” I manage to get out, my arms wrapped tightly around my waist in a guarded stance as I shake my head, tears flowing freely. “I don’t understand.”
“That’s okay. You don’t have to understand,” Xander smiles just enough to be reassuring. “We can work through that and try to understand together.”
“How about you come back over here and sit down, and we can talk,” Professor Longbottom finally speaks up. His extreme concern is written all over his face. Concern over what? An emotional teenaged girl, how’s he been a teacher for so long. The Professor is gesturing to a chair right in-between where they were standing and I shake my head again, backing up.
“No offense Professor, but shut it,” Xander nearly growls at the Professor, which would have been comical had I been in my right mind. “Charlotte, you don’t have to come close, but it’ll be easier to talk if you do.” Xander puts his hands up farther to emphasize that he isn’t going to do anything I don’t want him to and takes a step forward. “We just want to talk to you. We want to help you. Will you please let us? Choose a seat, any seat, and let’s talk. Let us get a bit closer so we can talk easier okay?” He holds out a single hand to me. “Or you could take my hand and let us help you. I’ll carry all of your things on the way to see McGonagall, and I’ll be right by your side. She might be even more help with understanding…okay? Chair or my hand, I want you to pick.”
Part of me knew he was guiding me towards a result he wanted, which was either one of his options, but the rest of me could only focus on how calm and soothing his voice is being and on how he keeps saying he just wants to help me understand. I really did want to understand. My mind was all fuzzy from all the emotions. I needed help with clearing that fog. So, I took a step forward, and then another and another until I was within an arm’s length from his hand. I looked at his hand, held out towards me, palm up and unthreatening. His stance screamed calm and collected. His shoulders were back but relaxed, he kept his eyes on me and kept his face mostly blank other than the small reassuring smile he’d shoot my way whenever I hesitated again. I raised my hand to reach for his, and pulled back a little, looking down unsure. Xander moved his head so that my gaze might raise to his a bit, scrunching his neck and looking right at my eyes. He flashed a smile again, it seemed proud of me for coming this far, and hopeful that I’ll finish the last step and put my hand in his.
I finally place my hand in his gingerly, ready to snatch it back at a moments notice. His smile broadens and he gives my hand a gentle squeeze. I look up at him and the tears pool once more as my emotions swirl again. “Please help me,” I plead quietly and begin to fold in on myself while still holding his hand. I’m pulled into his arms and Xander soothes me.
“Shh, it’s okay, you’re going to be okay,” Xander holds me gently for a minute before carefully taking my bag from me and slinging it over his arm and picking me up bridal style. “Okay Professor. I think she’s ready to go see Headmistress McGonagall.”
“Thank you for all your help Xander. This would have been much harder without you,” Professor Longbottom says gently and rubs a hand on my back as I continue to cry into Xander’s shirt while in his arms.
“It was no bother Professor. If I’m honest with myself, I’ve been keeping my eyes on her from day one. She’s always been too strong, it concerned me. So, if I can help her finally drop that mask, I’m more than happy to,” Xander says quietly while he instinctively swayed with me in his arms.
“Well, I don’t see her letting go of you anytime soon, so if you would please join us to the Headmistresses office,” Professor Longbottom nods towards the door. With my head now fully buried in the crook of Xander’s neck, all I could tell was that we were moving forward. We stopped after what seemed like an eternity but was more like a few minutes. “Unfortunately, I do have another class to teach, so I suppose I’ll be parting ways here. But I will let you up. Orange Sherbet.” I hear stone scrape against stone after he says those two words and feel us moving upwards. I suppose that means that Professor Longbottom went off to his next class.
“Mr. Blackwell, what have you done…now,” Professor McGonagall pauses when she notices me in his arms. “Is that Ms. Rosen? Oh my, what happened? And why did you bring her here?”
“Headmistress I was sent by Professor Longbottom. We were doing classification Potions today and, well neither of us got quite what the class expected but Charlotte had the biggest surprise between the two of us,” Xander was trying to tread lightly since he just calmed me down.
“Out with it, Blackwell. What happened?” McGonagall questions, growing impatient with Xander’s tiptoeing.
“She presented as a Little, ma’am. And I believe she’s finding it harder to control her emotions. I just got her to calm down before we began walking here,” Xander explains, still standing just inside the office with me in his arms.
“Oh, come here, set her down on this couch,” Professor McGonagall tells Xander. “Thank you for bringing her here Mr. Blackwell, I’ll take care of everything from here.”
“That may be a problem. She’s a bit…attached to me,” Xander says carefully as he walks to sit down on the couch McGonagall had told him to lay me on.
“Give me a moment,” McGonagall walks to the fireplace, giving me a wink when she notices me watching and throws floo powder into the fireplace and spoke Professor Longbottoms name. “Neville Longbottom.”
“Yes, Professor. Er, I mean Headmistress,” Professor Longbottom answers. “Did you need something? I’m in the middle of class.”
“Yes, Professor. I was wondering the results of Ms. Rosen and Mr. Blackwell’s Classification tests. Seeing as you sent no documentation and only the students themselves,” McGonagall speaks simply into the fireplace.
“Sorry ma’am, I must’ve forgot. It was an ordeal to get her in a place to be moved. I’ll send their results right away,” Professor Longbottom assures. “Will that be all?”
“Yes, thank you,” McGonagall ends the call in the floo and waits a moment for the paperwork to arrive by Owl. McGonagall takes a look at the paperwork before looking up at Xander. “You are a Caregiver?”
“Like I said, we were both shocked with our classifications,” Xander rubs small circles into my back using his thumb as he speaks. “I think the biggest shock for her was her lack of control over her emotions.”
“Yes, well that would be even harder after first contact with a Caregiver. That’s probably why she’s progressed so fast. On the other hand, a Little physically needs to let themselves give over to their Little side and many fight it at first which is not easy on either the mind or the body. It’s lucky we had you there, boy. She would have fought like the devil to maintain her control on herself. Well, I’ll have to contact the Ministry about her, and you. It’s very rare for students to classify the way you both did before graduation. And she needs immediate placement. You should head back to class and I’ll watch after Ms. Rosen for the time being,” McGonagall tries to gently remove me from Xander’s arms so he might go to class but things don’t go as she thought.
“NO!!” I shouted and buried myself into Xander’s neck again. Clutching to him tighter and not willing to let go.
“Shh, it’s just the Headmistress. She didn’t mean to upset you,” Xander brings his left hand up to stroke my hair while I was buried in the right side of his neck and supported by his right arm. “I’m sorry Headmistress McGonagall, but she seems to have become attached to me already. She hasn’t let go of me since she grabbed my offered hand.”
“I see, it wasn’t just while she got used to her surroundings then,” McGonagall hums to herself and then nods. “I suppose you’ll be getting out of classes for the day then. Might as well get comfortable Mr. Blackwell, I’m going to have to get in touch with the Minister of Magic.”
Xander continues to soothe me while McGonagall goes once again over to the floo and throws powder into the fireplace saying a name. “Hermione Granger.”
After a moment a voice filters through. “Well hello Professor, to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?”
“Mrs. Weasley, it’s been far too long. How is Mr. Weasley and Mr. Potter?” McGonagall asks, partly to be polite but mostly because she genuinely wanted to know about her old students.
“They’re doing well Professor. I hate to cut our chat short, but I do have an awful lot of work to do. So, would you mind telling me why you called?” Hermione responds.
“Right, yes of course. I am calling the Minister of Magic after all. Yes, I was calling because I had two students classify today that are here in my office. One classified as a Caregiver, quite a shock with his track record if I’m being honest, and one who classified as a Little. I’m less concerned over the Caregiver as I am over the Little. You see, she was our best and brightest until now. Many of her Professors were thinking she’d be your perfect successor as Minister. I need help with placing the girl though. Seeing as the Minister over sees all Littles in our society,” McGonagall does get a little off track, but that’s because she was enjoying talking to Hermione I suppose.
“Oh, my. That is quite serious. Give me some time and I’ll bring an intake team over to your office. It’s Hogwarts after all, I can’t ignore a call from you,” Hermione answers simply. “I’ll see you in about an hour Minerva. And please make sure the Caregiver is present. He will be needing intake and monitoring as well seeing as he will be taking care of a Little one day.”
“The Caregiver can hear you and can’t leave the Little’s side right now anyways,” Xander huffs while still stroking my hair soothingly.
“Sorry about that Hermione, I forgot to mention that they were within earshot I suppose. But yes, we’ll have no problem having them here together. I’ll see you in an hour,” McGonagall answers and ends the call. “You didn’t have to be rude young man. That was meant to be a private conversation. The only reason you could hear it at all is because you are keeping Ms. Rosen calm right now. I don’t believe she’d do well with being moved as of yet. Now, please rest here while we wait on the Ministry. I’ll have some tea and biscuits brought up from the kitchens.”
After an hour of Xander working hard to convince me to have a biscuit and some tea, the Ministry finally arrives. Hermione, the Minister, led the group and went to hug the Headmistress upon arriving in her office. A man with messy black hair, green eyes and glasses also goes in for the hug with the Minister and the Headmistress.
“Oh, Mr. Potter, what are you doing here?” McGonagall asks as she returns the hug of the green-eyed man.
“I get the esteemed pleasure of working on the Little’s unit. Especially when the Minister herself decides to go to an intake, they want their best protecting both the Little and the Minister,” Mr. Potter, as McGonagall called him, responds before nodding his head in me and Xander’s direction. I had moved so I faced outward but was still in Xander’s lap. Maximum contact and he can still try and coax me into drinking some tea on occasion. “Is that them?”
“Yes. Ms. Rosen and Mr. Blackwell are the Caregiver and Little in question,” McGonagall answers.
“Harry, I know you prefer to do this part. So, go ahead and talk to them while I continue to talk to Minerva,” Hermione gives Mr. Potter, who is apparently Harry Potter, orders to do whatever it is that he does. Harry nods and walks over to me and Xander. Xander stiffens ever so slightly, likely preparing for my reaction.
“Relax kid, I’m not going to hurt either of you,” Harry assures before crouching down to be more at my level. “Hello sweetheart, what’s your name?” Harry asks me.
I sink into Xander but murmur softly, fighting to push myself back to my normal mindset to talk to ‘the boy who lived’. “My name is Charlotte Rosen, Mr. Potter.” Clearly, I’m failing to return to normal.
“You can just call me Harry. Is it all right if I ask you a few questions?” I shrug my response and he smiles. “Why don’t we go to the back of the room together so we can talk? Would that be okay?”
My Little side holds me in a vice grip as I shout “NO!” and move to bury myself into Xander once more. Xander shushes me soothingly and grabs my chin gently.
“Charlotte, you need to talk to Mr. Potter. You can stay with me if you really want to, but you need to answer his questions honestly. Okay?” I nod. “I’m assuming that’s fine.” Xander addresses Harry this time.
“Yes. I’m sorry Charlotte, I didn’t mean to make you upset. Have you been close to Mr. Blackwell here for long?” Harry asks me and I have to think about it. My brain is still so muddled. I shake my head no in response as I remember that we’ve only been like this for about ninety minutes. “I see, but did you feel something for him before today?” I have to think even harder for that one.
“I-I think I did. I saw him around a lot, but we were in different houses and I was trying to focus on my studies,” I manage to say without sounding two years old.
“I see, and you’re not fully in Little space, are you?” Harry asks me with a tone that suggests he knows the answer.
“I don’t want to be in Little Space. I,” I struggle to find the words and find myself scooting off of Xander’s lap to try and think clearly. He let’s go of me without resistance but stays close. “I’m not ready yet. It’s all still so confusing. I don’t quite understand what’s going on.” Tears begin to form again, and I swipe at them angrily. Xander tenses at that.
“That’s okay. That’s why we’re here, to try and help everyone understand things better,” Harry says, and I stand up hurriedly and swiftly get away from anyone who could touch me.
“No,” I shake my head. The fog is clearing a bit the further I get from Xander and the more I talk to Harry, the man I was raised to think of as a hero. As I stand in the same room as Hermione Granger, a woman I have personally admired for years. Things become clearer and my wall builds up in my mind again. Not just for my emotions but to protect against occlumency as well. “No, you want to assess just how much of a little I am and if Xander Blackwell should be my Caregiver because I took to him so fast. You want to determine if I’m being given a bassinet and Diapers or coloring books and a real bed. You want to determine if I am to end up in a Ministry Little housing situation or remain at Hogwarts with Xander Blackwell being responsible for my well-being. You want to determine where to move my stuff to from Ravenclaw tower and how exactly to treat me. I’m not stupid. And I’m not unreasonable. And if Blackwell hadn’t touched my shoulder in an attempt to get me to open up emotionally rather than deal with things as I always have, then I would have been able to speak to everyone like this from the start. So how about I start with this. I have no idea what my Little age is, though going based off statistics of other Littles who presented at my age I’m going to have to guess young. No, my parents were not abusive, even if somehow many Little’s parents were, and they were not absent. I will be a Little when I am ready and when I have determined the logical course for me to take. I may have a Classification that is associated with being unable to do much of anything, especially control emotions or make rational decisions, however I am not called the brightest witch of her time for nothing and I believe the Minister of all people can respect that. I can’t let you place me in Housing and placing me with a seventeen-year-old would be unfair to him and not very conducive to the learning environment. I suggest placing me with my parents for now, until a proper, of age Caregiver can be located. I understand the Ministry does not like it when Littles take care of themselves as they could slip into Little Space, however I believe the chances are low now that I have gained my control back. Any more questions, boy who lived?”
“You had to ask the one person that everyone in our generation was raised to revere to talk to her…while her idol, the Minister, stood nearby. I finally got her calm. Now, she’ll try to hold everything in which is unhealthy. You couldn’t have sent someone to talk to her that wasn’t famous?” Xander says dryly to Hermione. “And you, you couldn’t have been a bit more careful? That Little space comment drove her further away from Little space, not into it. And here I was thinking you were all trained professionals when it comes to this stuff. I guess even the boy who lived twice isn’t perfect at everything.”
“Mr. Blackwell that is quite enough out of you,” Headmistress McGonagall says sternly. “Now Mr. Potter, I advise you handle that situation before we have to endure another slew of comments from our current mouthy bad boy of the school.”
“Ha, mouthy bad boy. She almost has you pegged, Blackwell,” I respond. Reminding them that I’m not in Little space.
“Charlotte, only you could peg me as well as you did that first day all those years ago,” Xander smirks. “What was it you called me again?”
“A vulnerable bad boy wannabe with a big mouth to compensate for his lack of…confidence,” I reiterate my label of Xander from first year for the whole world to hear. Harry chokes on a laugh. “I couldn’t have been more right if I tried. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’d like to pack up my things properly.” I try to leave only to be blocked by several Aurors.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Xander tries to warn the Aurors not to stop my progress, but I was already frustrated and needed space from that damned Caregiver Xander. So, I pulled my wand and used stupefy on all three of them in a flash before calmly stepping over them to head towards my Dorm. “Welp, I tried to warn you. Headmistress, I’m sure you had no idea of this, but Charlotte has already read ahead of her text books by several years. I saw her with seventh year text books in year four. Meaning she’s already read those spells…and had the time to master them in private. Plus she’s extremely talented in all things magical arts wise.”
“While I appreciate your input Mr. Blackwell, it would behoove you to keep such comments to yourself unless asked in the future,” McGonagall says right before Hermione nearly shouts.
“Then why don’t we go and get the girl before she hurts herself. No new Little is stable at this point, least of all one who won’t go into her Little space. Harry, use Protego if you have to, make sure she stays safe. And Mr. Blackwell, if you could guide her towards Little space in the first place then you can do it again. So, go with my Aurors and help that girl cope with everything before she starts to physically feel pain from not allowing herself to be Little,” Hermione orders around and I finally decide to skedaddle. I stuck around to catch my breath, it was hard casting stupefy that many times that fast while also fighting the pull that Xander had on me. So, I run down the stairs and duck into a room before they can notice me. It’ll take some time for non-Ravenclaws to get to Ravenclaw tower from here, and then even longer to get in. I’ll be safe once I enter my dorm.
I take a short-cut that I discovered in year two and come up to the door with the riddle knocker. I barely even registered what it said before I answered it and walked into my common room. I slipped up the stairs that lead to the women’s dorm and to my room before entering and sigh when I look at all my stuff. I start packing it all up as if I were going home for the year. Tears begin to pool again, being alone I’m more content with breaking down, no one can see my emotions as they come out in an ugly manner. How do those actresses pretty cry, like seriously? After a couple minutes I no longer had the strength to stand and pack, so I just sat on my bed with my knees pulled in and cried. I cried so hard and long that I fell asleep.
Some time later a pair of arms were picking me up from my bed gently. I didn’t know who held me, they were probably taking me to my parents to tell them that I classified as Little, disappointing them no doubt. I was empty now, no longer having the tears to cry over one more thing. The arms seemed feminine, made sense, I did fall asleep in my dorm room after all. No men allowed on the women’s side. They carry me down the stairs and I hear a gasp and rushed footsteps
“Shh, I found her asleep like this on her bed. Most of her stuff was already packed into their trunks. I figured I should bring her down like this rather than wake her,” the woman carrying me whispers. I didn’t have the energy to open my eyes.
“Good call, Kellar. I’ll take her, you make sure her wand isn’t on her. We don’t need her to use a more advanced spell the next time she decides to go off on her own,” Harry rattles off his orders, but a growl answered him.
“What right do you have to touch her or take her wand? She was feeling cornered and likely scared. She was overwhelmed and then you managed to pull her out of being in a semi-Little space with your line of questioning. You’re the reason we’re not in the Headmistresses office right now and had to search for someone from Ravenclaw with the authority to let us in. Your Aurors are the reason she used Stupefy. If you corner an animal they lash out, same thing with kids and people in general. Hand her to me before you wake her up and send her into a new frenzy after scaring her again. And lower your wands,” Xander sounded like he was part wolf he was growling so much.
“You’re only here because you coaxed her into a semblance of Little space in the first place, and you’re still a student. You don’t give the orders here, I do,” Harry responds coolly. “Kellar, hand me the girl and procure her wand.”
“You are such a hypocrite, you were giving orders at my age and I happen to be right. Waking up in the arms of the boy who lived would freak out anyone in our age bracket. Waking up in my arms would be much safer for everyone around. And her wand is one of extreme loyalty, if you don’t think she could get to it no matter what then you’re wrong. So, Kellar, why don’t you hand me Charlotte, and we avoid a whole crisis when she wakes up,” Xander’s voice was a scary calm. It reminded me of the calm before the storm. I was passed over gently and heard an incredulous voice at the same time a warm sense of comfort enveloped me.
“Thank you.” Xander, who clearly got his way, turned and walked out the door to head back to the Headmistresses office. It was de je vu with my eyes closed and Xander carrying me to the office for the second time today.
After a few minutes, Xander was laying me down on the same couch I had been on earlier. I felt his hand move my hair off my face before I drifted back into a blissful sleep. I dreamed of cuddling in someone’s arms and not having a care in the world. Then my dad walked in, angry at me and the person holding me. He began yelling at me, shouting that I was a disgrace to the family name for being classified Little. My mom followed him in with tears streaming down her face, not tears of worry or concern but tears of disappointment. I was ripped out of the safe arms and began to cry out but was told to act my age and bring the family honor by becoming a member of the ministry, that he would have my official classification changed and put me in a different school for the last year. I’d be labeled a Dom and the ministry would happily accept me as a future official. I was thrust out the front door and towards a car, my dads’ car, and put in the backseat like a criminal being pushed into a cop car. The warm presence returned as the door on the other side of the car opened and gently pulled me back into their arms. Warmth enveloped me once again as I heard the person who was holding me tell my parents that they didn’t deserve to have me in their lives and that I’d be going nowhere because this was my home and I was happy here. They carried me back inside and held me to their chest telling me it was okay, they already called people to keep the bad people away. They soothed me to sleep.
“We have to get her placed, either in a Little house, or with a Caregiver. She needs someone to help her accept her Little space and she needs to stay in it for at least three days to really reach her mindset for Little space. And we need to get her to give us her wand to hold onto until she comes out of Little space for real. How would you suggest we accomplish these things if you won’t let us so much as touch her?” I hear Hermione ask as I wake up.
“Tell me, are any of you Caregivers?” Xander asks coldly and receives a chorus of no’s in response. “Right, if none of you classified as a Caregiver then none of you would understand. It’s not something that’s rationally explained, it’s just something instinctual. Would you wake a little kid up from a nap when they were fussing earlier? No. So why would you wake up a Little when they were clearly crying and ended up crying themselves to sleep. Her face is still a bit puffy from her tears. And I swear if I find out she’s waking up right now because you all woke her up with your arguing over this, I just might let her use that wand of hers.”
The room freezes and I open my eyes. I look up and see Xander was propped up on the couches arm rest with his arms crossed on his chest while he glared at everyone else. I moved my gaze to the rest of the people in the room as I sat up and noticed the three Aurors who I spelled earlier tense with their hands by their wands. I cringed seeing them ready to draw their wands on me. Xander moved to sit on the couch by my side and relaxed a bit, seeing me looking calmer than before, but shot a glare at the Aurors waiting to draw their wands.
“Ms. Rosen, how are you feeling?” Hermione asks me and I look to her with a plain expression.
“Like I slept for two hours. But fine,” I respond simply. “I don’t suppose I get to finish properly packing my stuff.”
I knew the answer before they said anything. “Let us worry about that. We’re more concerned about how you’re doing right now though,” Hermione was the one to speak again.
“Well, I suppose you should go ahead and ask your questions. Unless you’ve actually decided where to put me already and have just been trying to convince Xander to let you near me,” my expression doesn’t change as I address the room as a whole.
“You know, you really do remind me a lot of Hermione at your age. She’d address people she wasn’t happy with, with a cold civility unless she was close with the person, then she’d lash out at them,” Harry comments smiling. The minister blushes.
“You and I both know that I was under the influence of a horcrux when I lashed out like that. That’s why you wouldn’t give me my wand after all,” Hermione counters.
I sigh and stand up. The Aurors from earlier seem to tense more if that’s possible, so I sit back down. “Talking about reminding people of the current minister when she was young is not helpful for what needs to get done now is it?” I look up at Harry. “So, unless you have point, I suggest you move on to more relevant things.”
“Sorry. It’s just that I didn’t know how right McGonagall had been when she had told us about how much you reminded her of Hermione, but I just got to see it. Who knew Mione would have done so well in Ravenclaw,” Harry smirks. I give him my best no nonsense glare.
“She wouldn’t have. Despite what many of my Professors, despite what you say, I share very few traits with the Minister. Hermione Granger-Weasley was not only book smart and spell smart but she was relatively street smart as well, and while that sounds like Ravenclaw, her lack of creativity and her inner strength are the reason she went into Gryffindor instead of Ravenclaw. To put it bluntly it was her straight-laced nature and her ease at punching a jerk in the face and breaking his nose that made it impossible for her to be Ravenclaw. She’d almost fit into Slytherin but she had too much of an internal hero complex for her ambition to be strong enough for that. Hence, she was the smartest Gryffindor to ever live. I believe the Minister and her husband both would agree with that assessment. Am I right Minister?”
“Um, well, yes. I likely would have been angry when those in the ‘smartest house’ were avoiding studying when they had a test or something coming up,” Hermione answers me. “Though I do loathe the creativity statement. Many of my creative solutions helped save the day back during that war.”
“Correction, many of your strategic and extremely thought out plans saved the day. The really creative ones can be attributed to Luna Lovegood if I recall correctly. She did come up with riding horses that only people who have witnessed death can see, did she not,” I shoot back my retort and then look at Harry. “Very few of your plans were even truly your own if you look at Dumbledore’s history. You did exactly what he wanted as if you were a piece on a wizard’s chess board and he were the wizard playing. Forgive me if I’m being rude, but I was somewhat put out by your entire attitude earlier. I may not have been close with Xander throughout my time here at school, but we’ve been classmates long enough for me to know that he is not only a good student, but also far more caring and fitting of his Classification than he would lead you to believe. He has stopped more instances of bullying than I’d care to count. And has stopped it before it started in the past. So, when you pulled all that crap about you being the one giving the orders and not Xander because he’s just a ‘kid’…I’ll admit it rubbed me the wrong way. You may be the one man that we are all taught from birth to revere, the savior of the Wizarding World, but you’ve been a bit of a prick towards Xander most of the day. Now, care to tell me what you plan to do with me or are you going to ask me more questions and waste everyone’s time?” The shocked stares aimed my way were comical and gave me some of my confidence back, so I turned towards the Aurors who had been blasted by my Stupefy earlier and give one of my confident smirks. I’ve been told that it looks sympathetic but like I still believe that I’m better than the person it’s aimed at. I keep my eyes innocent looking as I speak to them. “And I’m so sorry for startling you chaps. I have no intention of fighting my way out of here this time so long as everything remains as it is now. I’ve got my head about me now.”
“You always have been one scary person. I pity the fool who gets on your bad side,” Xander smirks at me. His cocky playboy smirk that he uses when he’s actually happy. A defense mechanism to avoid getting too close to anyone.
“Yes, well um. I think it would be best if we leave the two of you alone in a room for a while so you might get into your Little space. I know you said you don’t want to be in Little space yet, but if you don’t then things will start to get a lot scarier for everyone involved. I’ve seen obstinate Little’s resist their Little space before and it wasn’t pretty. I think having Xander help you will be for the best,” Hermione finally answers my proposed question.
“No,” I instantly respond.
“Would you prefer to talk to me alone for a bit first then,” Harry asks. Genuinely wondering what it is that I would prefer.
“I’d prefer you get your questions over with and have this day over with quickly. If that means we talk in private, then fine. But I will not be forced into Little space,” I respond, my voice like steel.
“Come this way then,” Harry gestures for me to follow him and Xander gets up to object at the same time I move to follow Harry.
“Charlotte, you said yourself that you’re not a big fan of him right now. I don’t think you should be alone in a room with him right now. An explosion is more likely to happen than a civil conversation,” Xander tries to reason with someone, anyone, me.
“Good point, Charlotte, if you could please leave your wand here. To avoid any complications from emotional moments if you have them,” Harry says, and I glare right at him.
“My wand is spelled. I put a spell on it at the end of my third year. If I leave it somewhere, it’ll appear in my hand should I desire it. Such a spell only works when a wand and wizard are very closely bonded. Ollivander helped me with it, though he did think it was hypothetical but none the less you can ask him about it. And if you don’t actively try to piss me off, we’ll have no problems. I can be forgiving of ignorant fools if they truly didn’t know what they were doing. And Xander, I know that they keep telling you that there will be adverse side effects of me keeping my adult mind about me, but I don’t need you to help me get into Little space. Not before I’m ready,” I address every issue I could at once. “So, let’s get on with this questioning now.”
I follow Harry and he takes me straight to the room of requirement and gestures for me to enter. He closes the door and it’s just the two of us in the room with two nice chairs. Harry gestures that I should sit, and I do. I sit straight and slow, and I sit with a certain air about me. An air that many have speculated means I’m wizarding royalty or something.
“I suppose I should get started then. What’s your relationship with Xander Blackwell?” Harry dives right in.
“He’s a classmate. We’ve mostly only talked when we had a group project or he managed to piss me off with some off handed comment,” I respond.
“Did you ever want some kind of relationship with him?”
“Yes, I have had a…crush for lack of a better term, on him for a few years now. Though I’m not the only one in this school who does.”
“Are you in a romantic relationship with anyone right now?”
“No, and before you ask, I never have in the past either. Though some have tried.”
“Do you have any close friends here at Hogwarts?”
“Define close friends.”
“Friends who you would do anything for and who would do anything for you.”
“No, I have people in my life that say they would do anything for me, but I’ve never believed them and don’t feel that way towards anyone. Especially not here at Hogwarts.”
“Would you rather have a Mommy or Daddy as a Little?”
“Considering I am straight I’m going to have to say Daddy.”
“What are your parents like?”
“They are strict but reasonable. They truly care for me and only want what’s best for me.” That line was a rehearsed response, I just hope he doesn’t notice.
“Do like going home on breaks from Hogwarts?”
“Yes, I love my parents and couldn’t be happier to go home during breaks.” Another rehearsed answer.
“Do you know why you’re a little? Or do you think it just happened?”
“I knew I wasn’t very dominant and, if I’m honest, thought I would be a regular Sub. So, I’d have to say it just happened.”
“And how are you feeling right now?”
“Like I have complete control.”
“I meant emotion wise.”
“I’m not feeling anything emotion wise right now.”
“What about earlier?”
“I felt many things but ultimately took care of them and now I feel better. In control.”
“I see. Well. I suppose that’s all I have to ask for now.” Harry stands up and I move to follow. “Oh, please stay seated. I’m grabbing the other investigator. We have to have two people ask you questions. It’s policy.” I sit back down and wait. “She’s all yours. Good luck. I’ll go give my report, keep an eye on the entire space around this room. The door can open anywhere the inhabitants want.”
I turn at that and see Xander walking in. I stand up abruptly, but before I can do anything the door closes. “I just want to talk.” He holds up his hands. Defensive.
“Funny, cause the last time you just wanted to talk I ended up in a partial Little space,” I bite back at him while he comes over to the chairs and sits down.
“Correction, the last time I just wanted to talk, you were already slipping into a partial Little space and spiraling into a frenzy of emotions. I’ll give you the fact that you didn’t really start slipping until my first concerned touch, but I haven’t touched you since you woke up so,” Xander shrugs. “Can you please talk to me? I just need to know you’re okay. I can leave you alone once I know that for sure.”
“No, you can’t,” I retort. “I’m a Little and you’re a Caregiver, you’ll always be concerned. Especially since I’m the first Little you’ve come into contact with. Most Caregivers end up paired with their first Little because they can’t stop worrying about them when they aren’t directly involved in their life all the time.”
Xander huffs, it almost sounded like he laughed but he was clearly exasperated. “Fine but I started worrying about you long before this morning. I started to worry about you back in first year, when you were trying to hide a bruise on the first day. You succeeded, for the most part. But I could see the bruising on your wrist, you were pulling your sleeve down over it when I noticed. I also started worrying about you when I saw you after the sorting ceremony, wiping tears from your cheeks on your way back to the Great Hall. Your parents had ideas of what your life would be like didn’t they? And they didn’t match yours. So, don’t act like I just started noticing or caring today, cause I started a long time ago.”
I sat there, stunned, for a good minute before I responded. “You, you saw that?” I looked to my lap. “You saw those things?”
“Yes. And I saw the fresh bruise every time we came back from break, the dullness in your eyes you’d have for a week after getting back. I remember, one year, I believe it was third year, you decided not to go home for Winter Break. I also remember your make up was heavier at the start of fourth year and your sleeves were kept down even longer than usual. Your eyes didn’t regain their light for almost a month after that, and you never missed going home over any break ever again. You told Potter your normal line, didn’t you? ‘They’re strict but reasonable. They really care. I love them. I couldn’t be happier to go home over break.’ You’ve been saying that since we started here at Hogwarts. I didn’t once believe it. After we got back for Fourth year, I decided I truly hated your parents. You never let yourself get close to anyone, and that’s because of them isn’t it.”
“H-how. How’d you, you noticed?” I was stunned. I mean I always noticed him when he was around, and yes, I always knew when he walked into the room. And sure, I knew his dad was cruel and likely a drunk. But I thought I had been better at hiding what was happening with me. I don’t think that’s the reason that I’m a Little, but my parents could be harsh sometimes. “I was so careful.”
“Yeah, and those mental walls that you build, especially around emotions are so discreet it would take a genius to notice from across the room,” Xander responds sarcastically. “You may have been discreet, but anyone who has been abused in the past, can recognize a fellow victim of abuse. I’m sure the prick who lived is reporting his observations and theories on abuse in your home as we speak.”
I jump up at that. “What?!” I yell. Fear entering into my voice.
“It’s a good thing. You can’t return to them. Especially not with your Classification. You’ll be even more sensitive to those things now,” Xander responds. Confused at my reaction.
“Ellie!” I yell and run for the door. I draw my wand, prepared for a battle. I’ll apparate if I have to, I just have to get out of the wards around the school.
“Charlotte!” Xander starts to run after me. The fear in my voice is mirrored in his, difference is he was fearful for me and I was fearful for Ellie. “Charlotte, wait!”
I pull open the door and see a random Auror on patrol around the block that the Room of Requirement fills. I instantly point my wand at the Auror and scream, “IMPEDIMENTA!” temporarily paralyzing the man. I then proceed to point at the window across the way, tears of fear starting to stream down my face. “Finestra!” I break the glass. “Accio broom!” I summon my broom and jump out the window as the broom manifests in my hand. I begin flying towards the edge of the wards.