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Squid Finds A New Love

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The squid was hurt. Not angry, no... but hurt.

Hogwarts had rejected him. The joining had been exquisite, but Squid knew, even as he reached his squishy calamari climax, that it meant nothing to Hogwarts. Less than nothing. Hogwarts was beautiful, and Squid was... just a squid.

Squid slunk off into the distance, nursing his three broken hearts. Someday, somehow, Squid knew he would find a tower to love.

A great tower.

A really big tower.

Much bigger than any of Hogwarts's towers.

Squid knew, now, that Floo powder was never to be used by invertebrates. Or perhaps just not by things with tentacles. Hagrid had tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen. He was too faint with misery, too weak with depression to care. He had begged Hagrid, using his tentacles to draw shapes in the air, charades-style, to let him use the Floo powder to go home. Home... to the ocean, to the deep sea, where he could nurse his wounds and learn to love again.

It had been a grievous error.

Squid stared out at the doorway with the runes. He didn't recognize the writing. Then again, he'd never learned to read in the first place.

A small pebble struck Squid in the head. Squid recoiled, wondering what he had done to deserve that. As he pondered, another small pebble struck him in the head, and then a third in his tentacle.

Squid was heartbroken, travel-weary, and not in any mood to be struck with pebbles.

He lashed out.

The screaming was exquisite, and he was beginning to wonder exactly what he might be able to do with all those tentacles when phwooosh--he felt a sharp tearing pain. Tentacle after tentacle was sheared off, and then he felt the small piercing pains in his head...

This was too much.

He dropped back into the water, leaving his tiny-but-theoretically-delicious prey, and swam away.

There would be revenge.

Squid had nearly recovered from his battle wounds. He had swum for days, perhaps weeks. Squid had never been very good at telling time. Rivers, oceans, perhaps an underground pool or two -- he had finally found a place to hide, one large enough to contain his not-inconsiderable volume. He was bitter, yes; heartbroken, struck by pebbles, hacked at with swords and pierced by arrows--surely that would make any invertebrate bitter. He was, however, a hopeful squid; an optimistic squid. He knew that given time, he could--nay, would--love again.

His watery realm shifted suddenly, and Squid was rushed out into the open in a torrent of water too fast and harsh to contemplate. Not again, he thought despairingly.

But then he saw it.

Oh, it was beautiful.

So tall! So black! And those ridges!

Squid's hearts were truly lost.

Squid launched itself at the tower, mindful not to knock over any of the giant ambulatory trees surrounding it. He wrapped tentacles around the tower, asking without words if the tower might possibly like squid.

The tower didn't say no.

Squid could only hope that this tower would be kinder to him than Hogwarts.

The tower, for its part, was touched (in more ways than one). Since the white wizard's ascent to power, everyone had looked upon it with distrust. It was not really an evil tower. It wasn't its fault that the white wizard was using it for his own nefarious schemes. It had even tried to help rescue the grey wizard from captivity, though the grey wizard would no doubt credit the moth and eagle for the eventual rescue. It wanted to be a good tower, a kindly tower, and it knew that someday it could be again. If only someone would believe in it...

...and the squid believed.

Love had been built on less.