(1939-01-10) Skinned Knees
Details for Skinned Knees
Summary: Adorabella loses track of her three-legged toad in the Labyrinth, and is found by Ulysses.
Date: January 10, 1939
Location: Labyrinthine Maze
Related: —.

The last time Dora had seen her brother it had been at lunch; though there's the gift of being at seperate tables. Thus was lunch spent in the company of Alexander Smith. Muggle-born. Animal lover. Fifteen. And the pair had passed time, heads bent in quiet conversation while Alex had been requesting tips and care techniques for dealing with the new toad that he'd gotten for Christmas from his parents.
From lunch, she'd scurried away to NEWT level potions, down into the dankness of the labyrinthine hall and one particularly stressing class later, Dora's schedule granted her a respite. Instead of spending it getting to relax, however, she was stuck wandering the dimly lit rather dank halls of the labyrinth, following the sound of a familiar croak that seemed…to echo from around each and every corner.
"Mister Bubbles," Dora implored, a hint of a plea in her tone. "Would you please cease this game before I cry. It's cold down here and you know I don't like the dark!"

Ulysses had seen the shared company, and he'd not liked it. He never did. This was yet another boy he'd have to research, track down, talk to… all such an inane chore that would be so much easier if the girl would just do the most expedient thing and always sit between her brothers. So it was that he'd followed the young man later in the day, gathering intel.
That was, until he heard the croaking of a toad, and Dora's voice calling out for it. Far too tempting, then, to not investigate and see what she had gotten herself into this time.
Moving quietly, he quickly followed the sounds. Now it became a game… would he find the toad first, or would she?

"Mister BuuuuuuBBBBBllllllesssss.~" Dora's voice sing-songed, as the sound of her slippers scuffing lightly against the floor. The satchel thumped softly against her hip as well, whilst she made to navigate a stretch of hall, and then slowly turned round a corner. Darkness loomed ahead making it impossible to see, from where she stood, whether the hall came to a dead end or not. It did.

They'd followed the same basic path, each from their own direction… but focused as she was on finding the toad, who wasn't at the dead end, but rather right behind her — his croaks rebounding off of walls. Ulysses saw this, just as she passed him unawares, and waited until she was past him to scoop the blasted thing up, hand careful to be neither right under the frog's bladder, nor to let it even remotely close to any part of his outfit.
Instead, sneaking silently behind her as she slowly approached the darkened dead end, he sets the toad back down behind her, leans up against the wall, and waits for her. The toad he prevents from escaping with just a shifting of his feet.

Dora was focused, she knows her penchant for owies. But being focused on the dark was still dark. It's a thing that never changes. And her hearing wasn't the best in the world. The dark comes with fears and a rising heartbeat. With the things that go bump beneath the bed that don't happen to be weasels or anything else.
So the thing that helps Dora realize that she's reached a dead end isn't the sound of Mister Bubbles attempting to ruin Ulysses' suit -or- the quiet steps the boy's taken. It's not the fact that, at the end now she can ear the blasted frog behind her. It's the rubble. And her feet. And the sudden startled gasp of a girl who's falling and the wounded whimper that came right after the debris disturbing thump of her landing.

"Blast it all," comes that voice, the one of authority that is just as much a monster under the bed as the real and imagined ones. Because with that little fall, simple or not, the fun was taken out of trying to scare her. Granted, his voice would likely do it anyhow… but it wasn't how he'd wanted it. Instead, the steadily leaking toad is grabbed again as Ulysses moves forward, seeking in the dark for where she fell.

"Ohmygoshwhoisthere?!" Dora squeaked, half simpering half in panic as she reached out blindly for one of the fall rocks beside her. "I have a rock and I'm not afraid to use it!" Because…of course she had a wand too, but for some reason that hadn't been the first thought to flitter through her mind. Wait. That voice sounded…familiar. "Uly?" His sister's tone implored, a little whimper in its depths. "Uly is that you? If it isn't whoever you are I'm going to scream."

"Really, Doe? A rock?" At least the tone is bemused rather than angry. He walks closer, enough so that she can see him, and the frog with nothing left in his bladder to attack with. A hand reaches down to her, and offering of sorts, "You could have at least let me finish sneaking up on you before deciding to prostrate yourself." No tears at least, so likely nothing broken. This time.
Ulysses and Dora are actually much deeper in the Labyrinthine halls than normal, down an oft-untravelled corridor so old it actually ends in rubble. Dora happens to be on the floor amidst said rubble, and Ulysses above her, three-legged toad in hand.
Penseverus Bubbles the Third is croaking away his displeasure at being held in such a manner that he cannot further soil the older of the two.

Color flew through Dora's cheeks in embarrassment. "I was not scared!" The girl proclaimed, before reaching up to take his hand. Rubble shifts beneath her feet. It'd taken no quick walk for them to end up there in the first place. It was almost as far from people as one could get. "I wasn't." But she was using his help to stand up anyway. "You just caught me off guard is all and so did the rocks." Huffpuff. Sigh.
"Oh but you found Mister Bubbles!" And with that, one hand snatched at her gurgling bubble blowing friend and the other arm wrapped in securely around Uly's neck. "Thank you!" Squeeze. "Ow!" Blink blink. "I…I think I hurt my knee."

Ulysses grunts, as always, and is even kind enough to allow the hug, "Yes, I found him… why would you let him go exploring down here anyhow? You know full well he's apt to lose another leg if you do." Grunt. And of course… she hurt herself to boot. She would trip on air, given the opportunity. But… duty and all, so an arm goes around her waist to support her, "Not even a week back, and already I'm asking myself if I'm going to have to take you to the healer."

"I didn't! He hopped off during Potions and I wasn't about to interrupt Professor Slughorn to see if I could go and chase him down at the risk of losing points so I just…," Adorabella shrugs, slipping Bubbles into the front pocket of her robe. "Waited until it was over so that I could come and fetch him. What're you doing down here anyway?" Inquired; for all that she let a measure of her weight lean in on him. "And can you do the glow-light spell please, so I can find the books I just dropped and the potion I'd just finished." Ah, full hands. The reason that she'd not done the spell herself.

Ulysses rolls his eyes, "You shouldn't have taken him to class in the first place… he's hard enough to keep track of at home…" And of course. Full hands… because. She was Dora. His free hand pulls out his wand, and he mutters, "If I get caught and lose house points for this… Lumos." And the tip of his wand suddenly glows brightly. The question about his presence here goes unanswered for now.

"Why would you lose house points for helping your sister find her things?" Dora asked in a tone that was as absolutely baffled as her eyes were, when there was suddenly light. Ah, but now she could see her books; which she dipped to collect and the little vial of potion that came from class and her wand…blessed be Merlin that it wasn't broken.
"I took him, because I wanted too and he gets lonely sitting in the dormitory all the time. That's a silly question, Uly." Though, it was possible to see her knee now too and the right one was freshly skint and bleeding.

"Because this is a hallway, not the dorms, or a classroom?" And, technically, if you get the wrong prefect… Ulysses simply watches her now, frowning at the cut. "You /are/ bleeding. Merlin's beard, Doe…" There's that familiar tinge on annoyance, the familiar growl. He opens his own, nearly empty book bag, and offers the open end in her direction.
There was fun, but when she was injured, it simply took all the pleasure out of it. Although there was still something he could at least needle her about, "So. Saw you with your new boyfriend at lunch today." Dangerous words those. She'd heard them before. Typically only a few days before certain boys suddenly developed an acute case of Dora-Phobia.

"But you're an adult and it's in self defense and you're being weird, Uly. You're fine. I promise." Why did he need the reassurance? She was the one with the poor pitiful wounded knee. A wounded Dora is like a kicked puppy; all sad eyes and heartfelt soulful expressions. They got worse, when he pointed out that she was bleeding and as his bag opened, she obediently upended the books that were too much for her own to carry, full as it already was, into his.
"Well I didn't tell the rock to bite me, Uly. I'm sure it didn't mean too." But it was a lot easier to see down here now that he'd finally put a little light onto the subject. Although, when he made that next statement, Dora wished it was still dark. "He's not my boyfriend. He got a toad for Christmas and he knew I already had one. He was just asking for advice is all. Promise."

And, frankly, a wounded Dora is also his Achilles heel. Sure, Ulysses can get angry and take it out on her, blame her, whatever… but call it a paternal side to him, this just disarms him. And so he takes extra care when supporting her, and walking her back, "We could stop by the potions room, see if Slug's still there. He might have something for it." He shakes his head, and then snaps a finger. Going back to his bag, he checks a few pockets, and of all things pulls out a long strip of cloth, rolled up. A bandage.
"I don't remember meeting the boy," is offered as he rummages for more in the bag, pulling out a clean handkerchief. Another quick spell later, in for a penny and all that, and the kerchief is wet and handed over to her, "Clean yourself off, and we'll get it bandaged up. And you'll tell me who this boy is to you, then."

Accepting Uly's support, Dora makes her way back to the well lit area, frog in tow in her pocket and settles down to sit on a bench outside the potion's room. Putting her satchel down at her side, her stocking's rolled down enough that she can properly see her knee. The wet handkerchief accepted, for all that she winces when she goes about cleaning the dirt away and the little clinging pieces of rubble.
"He's a fifth year is probably why you don't know him, Uly and he's not in your house. He's in mine. And all he was doing was asking about his toad, Hubert." His sister explained, before looking back up to her brother once she had her knee clean enough for him to apply the bandage to.

He watches her clean the wound, a near expert herself at it, and in a flash of memory he sees her as he did when they were younger. After all, this isn't the first time she's had a scraped knee. Why else would her brother carry bandages with him everywhere?
He takes the kerchief back, ruined now without some really good cleaning magic, but sets it aside, looking at her knee. A simple impulse, and he leans forward, kissing right above the cut, caught in a similar memory, before he moves to begin bandaging it. This, too, he's gotten good at.
"Just… you know I worry, Doe. You know how boys can be. I don't want him getting ideas in his head, is all."

In truth, the girl hasn't changed all that much. She's still shorter than most of her peers, not even five feet tall. Still a slip of a thing, with long coltish legs in comparison to her meager height. She smiles too, a soft little thing at his kiss, remembering a time when that kind of 'magic' made all the hurts go away. "Thank you, Uly."
It's sincere in its gratitude. Sweet. The way her eyes are when they focus on his face as she watches him bandage up her hurts.
"The only ideas in his head were of how to keep Hubert's habitat. I promise, Ulysses."

There's a grin, and then a playful growl as Ulysses looks back up at her, "That'd better be the case. Boy's not good enough for my Doe anyhow." Doesn't even know the kid, and already very certain of that. He finishes wrapping her knee, tying off and tucking in the end, a hand running over the cloth to make certain all is secure.
"You need to also promise me that you're not going to go wandering around down here by yourself. I shudder to think what might have happened to you if I wasn't here." He then admonishes, before standing back up.

"You don't think anyone's good enough," Dora teased, before flashing him a smile. "But I love you anyway, Uly. You're the best brother a girl could ask for." A compliment, slender arms reaching out to hug about his neck while he was still down on her level enough to make it possible for her to do so. Though, now that he'd put her back together, she began to pluck up her satchel again.
"I didn't mean to go so far out of the way. I know some of those tunnels are dangerous I just…I had to find Mister Bubbles." Who was currently resting like a lump soaking in warmth in Dora's water-proof robe pocket.

At her playful accusation, Ulysses nods, and in a swift movement actually picks he up off the bench, no matter the fact that she's nearly as tall as him now. Standing fully upright, he holds her there like that for a moment before gently setting her down again, letting her test the leg, "Of course I don't. I won't accept anything but the best for my sister."
"Of course, the blasted frog." Yes, he called the toad a frog. And yes, he knew it would annoy her, thus the grin as he moves to lead her back out of the maze.

Dora squeals, when Ulysses picks her up and immediately, her arms wrap in around his neck, clinging while he holds her and her body settles in against the comfort of his chest. Her legs curling around his arm. She's content too, being held, her weight so very very slight compared to his own. So while he held her, Dora kissed his cheek and murmured again, her thanks for his consideration.
Once she'd her legs in beneath her though, a hand stayed braced against his arm for balance, gentle fingers clinging while she fussed with the hem of her skirt. "Bubbles is a toad, Uly," comes Dora's gentle correction, her arm laced through his as she lets

"Toad, frog," Ulysses offers with a grin, continuing the press the joke. "Like there's a difference. Both slimy, loud, and wet." He moves slowly with her, pausing on occasion when a turn is not quite obvious, but he knows it well enough that they'll be back in the land of normal people soon enough.
"Mister Sniffles is being a pain. Wakes me up every morning kneading the top of my head while cleaning my hair." And should he move during this process? Problem. "He didn't do that before we left for Holiday."

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