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Wicked Children by VampireKisses
Chapter 1: Foreword: The Spark
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Author’s Note: I hope you enjoy this story because a lot of time and effort went into this. And lots of credit goes to Elivania, for giving me loads of information on the Scottish witch-hunts. Without her, I don’t think Wicked Children would ever have been good enough for me to publish it, so thank you! Please be aware that this story is RATED MATURE for mostly strong language and especially for STRONG VIOLENCE. I just want to warn you guys because this time period wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Do not say that I didn’t warn you. On a happier note, let’s get on with the show! Also, the foreword below is based off of real events.
I would also like to point out that this story was first written before the publication of JK Rowling's Deathly Hallows, and it doesn't take canon from the sixth book. So technically, this is AU now, but please don't be deterred by it. My story is only set in the 1990s for so many chapters overall. The majority of it will take place in 1595. Thanks!
Everything you know is property of Ms. Rowling. Everything you don't know is either a creation of mine or taken directly from history.
It was a very chilly evening in the small village. Rain had started to pour, drowning the muddy streets with its dark, cold, waters, and washing away the cheery white snow almost as quickly as the snow had come. The wind howled into the night, making the bare trees creak like a rocking chair as it oscillates. When most of the little village of Hawick was asleep, dreaming of sweet things, there was one man who lay awake being tormented by a nightmare he couldn’t escape.
The room was dark and dank and had a strong odor of various foul smells, mostly the scent of his excrement. Four chilly stone walls and a floor made up the barriers of the room, and the elderly man lay on the ground, curled up with his insomnia only hoping this hell of his would end. His eyes itched with sleepiness, but he couldn’t sleep for the watchman outside the prison was always looking at him, making sure the pain the man felt still held a strong grasp. Anyway he knew better not to sleep, because he would get flogged if that happened...or worse killed. The man could hear the soft scuttle of rats crawling around the room, their squeaks cries for a little food in their starving bellies. As a doctor, he was used to being around the sick and dying, used to the stench of bitter death. He never dreamed he would be playing the role of the wan patient, hanging on to life only on a thread, and shivering on the grimy stone floor all alone where he thought even God had forsaken him.
The dungeon door slammed open, letting out a raging roar as it banged against the wall. Loud footsteps marched into the room, ricocheting off the walls and ringing in the doctor’s ears.
“Bring him,” a man’s voice ordered, his tone silky with cruelty. And then two pairs of hands grabbed hold of the prisoner, thrusting him on his feet and dragged him, as if he was a little child’s plaything away from his prison.
They hauled the man into another room, one which looked identical to his other only there was a small table with a chair tucked into it, and plenty of instruments that decorated the walls alongside a fireplace, whose embers were glowing rosy red as a man toyed with the fire stick. The prisoner realized, through the dim of his mind, that he was in an interrogation room.
The brawny men holding him upright shoved him into the wooden chair, and he could feel the agony rattling his bones, and he rasped out a cry of pain.
The man who was poking at the fire embers turned to face him. His face reminded the doctor of a hawk, a hawk that was hunting for prey. He had a sharp nose and pale skin that almost made him look like he had suffered from an illness of sorts. The man had thick ebony hair and brows, with matching eyes. The doctor thought the man would have been handsome for his age if it weren’t for that spark of darkness in his gloomy eyes. That spark gave the prisoner a chill that ran down his spine.
“Good evenin’ Dr. Fian,” the man addressed the other in the chair, sitting helplessly. “Or should I say Dr. Cunningham?” he asked, in a cool, pleasant way. It sounded like the man was talking to an old friend; one he hadn’t seen in years and no longer had any similar interests.
“Me name is Caleb MacFallon. Now I’m going to ask you a few questions and you will answer them with honesty, and I promise you, you will be forgiven of your sins. If you do not, well I’ll just have to force it out and we don’t want that do we?” he asked once again in that disturbing tone. This time however, Dr. Fian sensed the malice behind that cover of Mr. MacFallon’s. Dr. Fian shook his head in answer to the man’s question, for he knew that was what the interrogator wanted to see.
“Good. I’m glad we understand each other,” Caleb said quietly, returning to his normal tone of silky cruelness. “Are you or are you not a witch?” Caleb questioned, with a spice of hostility, dropping all manner of friendliness.
Dr. Fian widened his eyes, petrified. “No! I swear to you on me mother’s grave I’m a good person!”
“If I were you I would say a prayer because I know you are lyin’,” he said threatening, as if he had God’s power.
Still, the poor man was protesting. “I swear I’m pure! I go to church frequently, I’m a good Catholic! Ask anyone!” he begged, his Adam’s apple quivering with weeps.
Caleb MacFallon loved these parts. He loved the smell of desperation when they knew they were in a corner. His favourite part however was toying with their minds, like putty and making them believe things that would never happen in their lifetimes. He thought himself a holy man, even though he wasn’t a priest, but he figured he performed the same work as any other man in priesthood, which was to rid all evil in every form it took. And at the moment evil took the form of those who could perform magicks, and Caleb would use all his power to vanquish those Impure of God’s eyes.
He grabbed the closest instrument to him, a pair of Pilliwinkes and glided over to Dr. Fian. The Pilliwinkes was a device used by plenty of nobles so their daughter’s fingers would be elegant, but that wasn’t how they were used in this place. They were used to crush the fingers and toes of one, in order to pry out an answer. Caleb loved using these for it brought out the demon in those who have committed unholy deeds.
Dr. Fian screamed out in anguish as a new wave of torture crushed and pulled at his fingers out of their sockets. What had I done wrong to deserve this? He thought through the blinding pain.
“Are you ready to tell the truth before God?” Caleb growled, preparing to crush the last one of the scum’s fingers.
“Y-yes!” Dr. Fian rasped out through his tears. Maybe if I tell this man a name, he’ll leave me be, Dr. Fian thought hopefully, the pain taking a toll on his body and health. “I’m—I’m a w-witch,” he stuttered the lie. At this Caleb released his hold on the Pilliwinkes. He knew the truth would come out sooner than later; pain never did go well with those tainted by the Devil. “I-I got na-ames,” the man whispered hollowly. This caught Caleb’s attention. More cretins to abolish, how delicious.
“Pray do tell,” Caleb, ordered, curiosity overpowering him.
“The Earl of Bothwell,” Dr. Fian panted with a fool’s optimism. “He was the leader of me coven.”
“The Earl, you say?” Caleb pressed. The doctor nodded fervently for a man who had just undergone torture in one of its worst forms.
This was disappointing, as the Earl couldn’t be put to the death, his status his saving grace. But Caleb thirsted for more information like a dying man hanging onto life with all his strength.
The doctor shook his head.
Caleb looked into the blushing flames of the fire. They danced on the walls and they spit sparks as they crackled in the pit. A small smile spread across his pale lips. Just because he couldn’t get the Earl, he would enjoy watching the doctor scream and burn.
He walked silently to the wooden door. “Prepare the pyres, by mornin’s light there’ll be a burnin’,” Caleb ordered one of the burley men standing guard outside. Dr. Fian heard this, and horror had begun to start choking his thought, and new cold, numb tears started sliding down his withered cheeks, the pain intensifying.
“You said I’d be forgiven!” he screamed, rage and horror dousing his soul.
Caleb was relishing the moment. “Only God can save your immortal soul now,” he finished darkly. He opened the heavy, wooden door and walked outside, leaving the elderly sick man alone in the darkness, begging for mercy.
Author’s Note: Updates shall be served as soon as this is validated :D
Chapter 2: I
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Time is a very fickle thing. It cannot be controlled, for it is the most elusive power the world can possess. Nothing can be certain because Time changes its course second by second, leaving you lost in its maze, and where guess work becomes the key to decipher both the past and the future. To muggles, Time is just an excuse for withering away with age. To those who practiced magic knew better. They knew Time could be twisted, like taffy in a child’s hand, its secrets about to be revealed. But even those who thought they were acquainted with Time’s tricks were oblivious to the fact that Time was very devious; and it had clandestine ways that were so shrouded in mystery, that the magic folk would never understand its true powers.
It was a gorgeous summer day. The blazing sun was shining brightly down on London’s streets and the birds were singing their earthy lullabies, under the azure, cloudless sky, whilst the trees swayed to the music carried on the wind’s back. And as Hermione Granger looked out the window of her father’s 1994 Mercury station wagon, she could tell that the upcoming year would be promising with good fortune.
The Grangers were on their way toward King’s Cross, the train station, for it was that time of year where schools opened up and their daughter’s school year was just at its beginning. It would be Hermione’s seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and it made her glum to think that once June came around, she would not be able to pour over the many books that adorned the mahogany shelves of the school library; those same ones that were her friends from the start of this epic journey. But, she told herself, that wouldn’t happen for many months to come and there were plenty of good things that would keep her occupied until then. It was only a fortnight before when she received her annual supply list, and to her pleasure instead of a newly reinstated prefect’s badge was a letter from the Deputy Headmistress, Professor McGonagall, which had a small package wrapped in paper, attached to it. Hermione had read and reread the letter until edges of the parchment had begun to fray, and after it had sunk in she let out a yelp of excitement.
To Miss Granger,
We are pleased to inform you that you are qualified for the position of Head Girl. As you may or may not know, this position is a most honorable one. With this title, come specific obligations. You, along with the Head Boy, will be in charge of organizing events such as Hogsmeade trips and prefect meetings. In addition to these matters, you as Head Girl will receive certain privileges. On September 1st please be prepared for a meeting that will detail your duties in much more depth, prior to the Prefects’ Conference, in the Heads Compartment.
Needless to say when she tore the package, a badge had fallen into her lap, only it wasn’t a badge Hermione was accustomed to seeing. It was large and shiny with fresh ebony color too, ornate with the Hogwarts crest smack in the center. Above the emblem were two words etched in cursive silver letters “Head Girl”. The feeling of triumph mixed with superiority had filled every fiber of her being as she held the glassy looking badge in the palm of her hand.
Even as she sat in the back seat of Thomas Granger’s car, gazing out the window as trees and roads and cars zoomed past, she would smile to herself on her latest accomplishment and then look at her trunk beside her, knowing the badge was safely tucked away from harm’s grasp.
Often she would wonder whom the Head Boy would be during those blistering hot summer afternoons, where her mind would drift to happy thoughts of her school. Neither her best friends, Harry Potter or Ron Weasley had been in touch with her for weeks to tell if one of them made Head Boy. Harry, who lived with his dreadful aunt and uncle, was imprisoned in his own room, according to his last letter in the mid August. Ron on the other hand was vacationing with his family to visit his elder brother, Charlie in Romania. Hermione only hoped that her partner wasn’t Draco Malfoy. Why, he didn’t even deserve to wear a prefect’s badge! He had a passion for sabotaging his authority as a prefect. If a timid first year boy got lost looking for the Charms classroom, he would mislead him towards the girls’ locker room as some sick joke to entertain his minions, Crabbe and Goyle. He most definitely did not deserve the title of Head Boy, thought Hermione grimly.
“So honey, why don’t you tell your mum and I what this “Head Girl” business is about?” Thomas Granger asked his daughter with a hint of excitement, his eyes still on the road. Hermione loved her father, for he was the one who was always interested in the wizarding world, and he found Hogwarts simply fascinating. Hermione thought she took after her father mostly, with only getting her mother’s brown eyes and smugness. Thomas Granger was muscular for his age of forty-five years. Even though Hermione had inherited the unnaturally bushy brunette hair from her father, a stranger would not be able to tell because Thomas had his brown hair buzzed short. He had bright blue eyes that were always luminous with happiness, a reflection of his youthfulness. Thomas Granger was an easy man to get along with; everyone had to agree because he was one of those rare people who would accept anyone.
“Being Head Girl is about the same as being Head Girl in the average secondary school except at Hogwarts, the responsibilities are greater and it looks better on an application,” Hermione explained to her eager father in words he would understand. “I’m going to learn more about it when I’m on the Express.”
“We’re very proud of you Hermione,” he said thoughtfully to his little girl. By “we’re” Mr. Granger had meant himself and his wife, Roselyn Granger. “Aren’t we proud of her Rose?” he asked his wife, sitting beside him in the passenger seat. She hadn’t uttered a word since she first got in the vehicle.
“Oh yes,” Mrs. Granger breathed to her husband. She looked over her shoulder at her daughter, a toothy smile spread across her face. “We are very pleased with you sweetie.” And then she turned around and went back to her muteness.
Roselyn Granger was probably one of the loveliest looking people Hermione had ever known, and also the most aloof. Her mother was a very pretty woman, with a porcelain complexion that would rival Snow White’s own. She had shoulder length honey blonde hair, with those same chocolate brown eyes Hermione herself had, only hers always had a small glisten of disapproval, unlike Hermione’s warm, friendly ones.
Ever since Hermione received that fateful letter from Hogwarts when she was just a girl of eleven, her mother distanced herself from her child. Roselyn wanted her daughter to become a dentist, the same profession as herself and her husband’s, and go to school with regular boys and girls, just as she did. She didn’t want her daughter to become something else in a world she couldn’t be a part of; a world she would never understand.
Whenever they would go out into that bizarre magical world, Roselyn always made it a point to show that she was proud her daughter being…different, for she would be ashamed if people found out she was a little disappointed at what her daughter had become.
As they were pulling into the parking lot of King’s Cross, Hermione’s heartbeat quickened. Within the hour she would be on the Hogwarts Express, talking merrily with her best friends, and having a magnificent time because it would be a perfect year after all.
Draco Malfoy lounged idly in the back seat of his 1945 model of a limousine, nodding off to sleep now and then as the posh car made its way to King’s Cross. The night before Pansy Parkinson had come to visit him, they were up for most of the night doing Merlin knew what. She had wanted to come along for the ride but he had insisted they would go on the Hogwarts Express in separate ways. One night with her was enough; he didn’t want to spend every minute of the day with the little wench nor did he think he could handle twenty four hours of her nonsense rambling of a future together.
He had an inadequate summer, compared to others he had experienced. Those other summers weren’t exactly great shakes either, but in those days his father didn’t treat him, or even his mother, like unruly houselves. Draco didn’t receive the Head Boy’s badge, as he was expecting, and only getting the seventh year Slytherin prefect badge in return. He wanted to please his father for just once; no matter what he did it wasn’t perfect enough. The only way to make Lucius Abraxas Malfoy truly proud was to become a servant of the Dark Lord, and serve him well; but unfortunate for Lucius, Draco never felt any desire to follow orders, willingly, from the most evil wizard of all time, from anyone for that matter.
“Signore Malfoy?” a thick, Italian accented voice called Draco hesitantly through the thick fog of the boy’s sleep. Draco’s icy, grey eyes opened to see his driver peering at him through the rear view mirror. The poor Squib was scared to death of the pureblood family.
“Yes, Benedict?” Draco drawled, a blonde eyebrow arched imperially.
“We’re—We’re at the station.”
Draco was starting to get annoyed. “Then why are you still sitting there, you fool! Get my things.” The man didn’t need another command, because if looks could kill, he would have dropped dead with the look Draco had given him.
Author’s Note: I hope you, so far, liked this story! I promise you the next chapter will be more exciting! This was after all, a building chapter. Updates WILL be coming (which story, I have no idea.) Reviews are greatly appreciated!! Thank you Harrys_Patronum for betaing this chapter!
Chapter 3: II
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Author’s Note: I am so dreadfully sorry for the long, long wait! I hope you can find it in your kind hearts to forgive me.
Draco could hear the squeakiness of his chauffeur’s polished boots kissing the tar street as the squib walked to open his door. Merlin, that could give me a migraine, Draco thought as a noxious feeling arose in him to cast a silencing charm on those horrendous things.
He stepped out of the vehicle and onto the sparkling bleached pavement, looking at his surroundings with a deep repulsion. As he observed an old beggar woman pleading for money on the street corner; Draco couldn’t fathom how the muggles could live like that, he did not wish to understand their way of life anytime soon. With his trolley holding chauffer in tow, Draco walked through the doors of King’s Cross.
The train station was humming with the crowds of people that were walking around and talking about the latest and juiciest gossip of the hour. Draco went through the station at a brisk pace, not caring to hear about the silly things the muggles entertained themselves with. Not to mention, he wanted a decent compartment for himself and those he trusted for it would be dreadful of his reputation as a wealthy and highly respected Slytherin to be seen sitting with the lowly and the worthless.
It did not take him long to find the gateway to the train—a monstrously tall and very solid looking brick wall between platforms nine and ten. In his entire school career he was never forced to get to Hogwarts in this muggle tainted manner. Usually, his mother would apparate him to the station, and that was that. This was different. The thought of walking through a wall intimidated the poor seventh year. Would I get stuck in that death trap, he thought as anxiety began to trickle over him. Yes, surely I would. The wall would freeze and I would be stuck and I would die a slow and painful death before I can produce handsome heirs. And like hell that’s going to happen with Pansy.
“Is everything all right Signore Malfoy?” his chauffer asked, gazing at the young Malfoy, who in turn was looking at the barrier as if he had just seen a ghost. The chauffer had a hard time trying to conceal his delightful smile.
Draco nimbly masked his fear with his custom supercilious sneer. “Of course I am. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t be?” he drawled. The chauffeur recoiled at the icy, bone-chilling glare in those stormy grey eyes of the young man. The elder chap gulped and shook his head at his response.
“Good. After you then,” Draco gestured at the wall, a perfect guise of good hospitality. The poor fellow, barely hanging on to the young aristocrat’s luggage scrambled through the barrier without another moments hesitation. The last thing he needed was to lose his job. He could not afford to do so, even if a large part of him wanted to just drop the boy’s bags and stride out of the train station with the little dignity he still possessed. Too much was at stake for any silly errors.
On the other side of the post, Draco was determined to get past his newfound childish fear. He knew he couldn’t stand around there for long; the filthy muggles were eyeing him as if he were barmy. He didn’t like their dirty, beady eyes on him. Their gazes alone made him long for a hot shower to clean the stench that would indubitably be tattooed on his skin.
Be a man, Draco! he scolded himself. If his father were there, he would pluck up some gumption and stroll right on through with the eloquent grace a person of his status naturally had in their blood. His thoughts shriveled in shame as he pictured the situation at hand in his father’s presence. Lucius’ eyes, as chilling and as prickly as the rain on the English moors, bore into Draco’s eyelids. Eyes veiled with a misty disdain, like his son was a failure. Draco knew that his father, for all his supposedly sympathetic smiles and his other courteous manners when Draco had problems, was just that. Courteous. Courteous because he was his only child, courteous because if he were to show what he truly felt, the pureblood families would push him out of proper society. Yes, Draco knew his father thought him weak, cowardly, feminine. Not at all like a son of the Malfoys should be. With the anger that lit a warm fire in his stomach, he quickly marched through the wall, as proof to his invisible father that he could do it.
The Hogwarts Express, big and jolly with its burnished scarlet skin, roared in warning to all the schoolchildren. It would be only five more minutes before it would take off into its long journey to Hogwarts. Draco snatched his trolley from Benedict, his owl squawking from the sudden jolt.
“H-have a good school year, Signore Malfoy,” Benedict said, holding out a tentative hand.
Perplexed, Draco gave a stiff nod, clasped his free hand into the more swarthy one and without looking back, he climbed onto the train. As he walked down the aisle in search of an empty compartment, Draco wiped his hand on the side of his trousers, as if it was encrusted with dirt.
“Hermione!” two boys chorused behind her back; Hermione could recognize those voices anywhere. Hermione’s face split into a wide smile, overcome with joy. She whirled around, her bushy mane flying all about, frizzy with excitement.
“Ron! Harry!” she cried, knocking the breath out of both, as she gave them a fierce hug that proved she had strength far greater than her skinny frame seemed to showcase. “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you two,” and she snaked her arms around them once more in her cobra grip.
Ron softly patted her on the back. “It’s nice to see you, Hermione, but we need to breathe too, you know.”
“Oh,” Hermione laughed as she untwined herself from her two friends. “Sorry about that.”
“Eh, it’s okay, Hermione,” Harry said, shrugging his shoulders. He tried not to exclaim in relief at being released; his shoulder throbbed.
It was then that Hermione realized how different Ron and Harry appeared. Harry’s dark hair was as unruly and shaggy as ever; he was in desperate need of a haircut. And how thin he was! Shirts that fit his lean form nicely in June now hung loosely on his body. His jeans had faded and frayed in patches. I have to remember to make him eat a good dinner tonight at the feast, and then fix those jeans for him. Goodness knows what kind of state his other things are in! Motherly rage swelled in her heart against the Dursleys for a brief instant. Now they were the sort that gave Muggles bad names.
Ron looked the same, but in ways Hermione knew not the answer to, his looks had changed nonetheless. Were his eyes bluer? No. Nor had he grown taller or tanner beneath burning Romanian suns. It puzzled Hermione, but she was sure to come up with the answer in time.
“So, did either of you get Head Boy?” the words bubbled up before Hermione could repress them back. Ron bowed his head, his cheeks reddening.
“No, I got the Prefect badge still.” Hermione could not ignore the small dip of disappointment her heart took.
“Oh,” it came out barely a whisper. “What about you, Harry?”
Harry shook his head. “Sorry, Hermione. I’m kind of glad I didn’t, people would think I only got it because of my name, or that I’m Dumbledore’s favorite.”
“I’m sure you wouldn’t be half so glad if Ferret Face got it,” Ron said darkly. Hermione followed his eyes to where Draco Malfoy stood, shaking hands with his servant. It looked as if he was touching dog shit rather than a grown man’s hand. “Knowing the likes of him, he’d run and cry to Daddy to pay off Hogwarts.”
“Ron, you know that can’t be true. Not only is he so despicable for the responsibility, but would you seriously think Dumbledore would be bribed?”
“You never know with Dumbledore. He’s amazing, one of the greatest wizards of our time – but he does things different.”
“Would Dumbledore be bribed by Lucius Malfoy?” Hermione stared pointedly at Ron. “It has no logic to it.”
“Hermione’s right. What would be the reason for it – house unity? That’s a joke if I ever heard one,” Harry said.
“No, a joke would be if he was trying to ‘stir some hot love in your cauldron’. Why my Dad puts up with Celestina Warbeck so much, I’ll never know, but with Mum playing her every damn minute…she’s enough to make you go pull out a mandrake with no earmuffs.” All three broke into merry peels of laughter.
“We should find our seats,” Harry said, after drinking in gulps of breath.
When they boarded the train, the aisles were alive with the drumming of students’ footsteps, the hum of lively, excitable chatter. The slow pace of finding a compartment did not bode well for Hermione’s nerves. The clock steadily ticked past five minutes to ten minutes, and still she was not in the Heads Compartment. Perhaps she would be early, Hermione thought, but at least it would show that the title of Head Girl was rightfully hers and hers alone. She grabbed a hold of Ron’s arm. The touch of it tingled her fingers by the warmth of his skin, and the firm muscles that twitched beneath it.
“You guys go ahead and find seats, I should make my way to the Heads Compartment,” she stuck a thumb over her shoulder.
“What?” Ron asked loudly.
Two fifth year girls close by were chattering and giggling boisterously about a new make up that could take away zits and blemishes in an instant. They’re shrill, girlish laughs drowned her voice in their cacophony. Hermione repeated her words, and walked in the direction of the Heads Compartment, sliding her way through the sea of bodies.
As the doors to the compartment loomed like a beacon, Hermione noticed that somebody was lurking inside, their shadow cast onto the frosted glass by the shimmering sunlight. Curiosity overwhelmed her at the thought that the mystery of who the Head Boy was would soon be unraveled. The cold handles of the sliding doors sent sparks of excitement coursing through her veins, and with the wild pleasure of a child unwrapping an enticing gift, Hermione tore the doors open. Shock and surprise made her blink, once, then twice. Her mouth slackened in awe.
For sitting on the cushioned seat, a wide exhilarated smile spread across his face, hand pressed lovingly against a Head Boy badge on his chest, was no other than Neville Longbottom.
Author’s Note: FINALLY! After TWO years (probably the longest wait for an update in HPFF history) I finally finished the third chapter to “Wicked Children.” I feel so happy! I’m doing a happy dance! But, yeah, I am SO sorry you had to wait this long. Yes, it’s a little bit of a filler chapter, but I really do think (I hope I don’t sound cocky saying this) that in a future chapter, I will blow your minds with what I have planned. I am so excited ot get to that point! I am just so happy I finally have a THIRD chapter. That’s a first! But okay, on a serious note, please tell me what you think J Thank you guys so much for sticking with me! I don’t know when a new chapter will be posted, but it will DEFINITELY be much less than two years.
Thank you for reviewing!