Dedicated to Gubby (GubraithianFire). Thanks for the help and enjoy!
Deus Ex Priscilla
Now, on the Leaky Cauldron at night, a fair many things could be said.
It was at best, a dingy establishment in the darkness. In the morning, the tables were crowded with a diverse crowd: witches gossiping about the latest Witch Weekly addition, old warlocks bellowing to each other and brandishing canes, a small group of house elves drinking Butterbeer, and occasionally, the entire Chudley Cannons team, flying in after games to drown their sorrows in drink. But by night, after the kindly landlady, a Mrs. Longbottom, had grown tired of trying to shutter the crowd and let them to their rancorous behavior, there was a good amount of cursing, yelling, and throwing.
But, to the black-haired girl sitting alone on a table dimly lit by a flickering light, it was now too late even for the drunken fools that hobbled through. Within an hour, dawn would be breaking over the horizon. June Bernard surveyed the emptiness of the parlor of the Leaky Cauldron with some relief; the silence, after the stresses of the past two days, was a welcome sight. She was still sipping the remnants of a flagon of Butterbeer, which had gone cold several hours ago.
They would be here soon.
Those outside the Leaky Cauldron at four in the morning would have heard a faint pop in the darkness, a sudden weight on the Cobblestone, followed by two similar noises, and the hissing of, “Watch it, will you? You stepped on my foot!”
There was a mumbled apology, and the three figures set off for the door. The red-haired girl in the middle was the most crisply dressed of the bunch, followed by a tall blonde on her right who was wearing loose trousers and an oversized Tutshill Tornadoes robe, appearing as though she had been woken from slumber, and a brunette, whose messy hair and thick traveling cloak suggested that she had undergone a long journey recently. All three were wearing identically weary expressions, testaments to the long night.
“Is she in there?” asked Lucy Weasley, peering past the grime of the door. “I hope she’s alright, oh, it’s so late…”
Priscilla Fawcett tugged on the door unsuccessfully thrice, before confronting it with the only solution she knew: cursing. “Damn it!”
“Let me,” said Trista St. Clair, yanking the door firmly, leaving Priscilla red-faced and muttering.
“June!” Lucy swept past, running towards June’s angled figure. “How are you? We’ve been so worried and you really haven’t – ” At the sight of June’s face, she looked taken aback. “You haven’t been sleeping?”
“I can’t,” said June, as the others seated themselves. “Every time I try, I only sleep for a while…it’s the shaking…it’s not worth it. I’d rather stay awake.”
“How’s the Leaky Cauldron been?” asked Trista. “Did I reserve the right room?”
“It’s alright…” said June, after a pause.
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“It’s my dad.”
“Is he not holding out?” asked Priscilla.
“He just doesn’t fit in with all the magic here. He doesn’t like it, I can tell.”
“But your mum was – ”
“I know, it used to scare him a lot then too, which was why she barely did any around him. I think it scared the life out of him when the letter came.” She was still staring at her drink in a deadpan stare. “We were eating dinner downstairs today and some wizards were arguing over there. They started arguing about something – I couldn’t hear what – and they started throwing jinxes at each other. One of them missed and hit Dad in the face.”
“His face got all swollen and puffy. It was huge and horrible. He was so scared – he wouldn’t let me fix it at first and when I finally did, I made it worse! It got enormous! Hannah had to step in before he fell down from the weight!” She had lost count to how many times she had sounded near tears in the past two evenings. “I’m so useless! I’m pathetic! I’m good at absolutely nothing! I’m of no help at all – even in the earthquake and everything and I can’t even do a simple countercurse and – ”
There was silence at this. Lucy and Trista both patted her hand. Even Priscilla looked sorry enough to remain quiet.
Finally, it was Lucy who spoke first. “What happened after the jinx, June?”
June mopped her eyes with a dirty sleeve. “I got him upstairs after the whole bar was done laughing at the two of us and he was shaking and everything. I think the mirror telling him to straighten up was really the last bit of it he could take. He won’t come downstairs now. I had to take dinner up for him. We can’t stay here much longer. We’re going to have to find a new place to live. Another flat.”
“Can you afford it?” asked Lucy, “Because I thought – ”
“No,” said June baldly. “We can’t afford a thing. We’ve only got this room here because Priscilla paid for half of it. I have no idea what we’re going to do after this.”
“Weren’t those writers from The Prophet here a few days ago?” said Trista. “Maybe they’ll put up something and it’ll attract some attention and – ”
“They were here,” said June quietly. She had been pestered a few times by several writers on her way to the Leaky Cauldron days ago, but little had come of it. “They just asked me how it was, how it felt, and what I planned to do from here. They seemed sorry to hear about it, but honestly, I doubt they’ll care much. It’ll probably be a little piece mentioning the quake somewhere in the corner.”
There was a moment of tense silence, before Priscilla cleared her throat. “Don’t worry. I won’t let you be homeless or anything, if that’s what you’re afraid of. You can move in with us.”
“Oh, wouldn’t that be lovely, June – ” began Lucy.
“I can’t,” said June, who had already spent several days considering the possibility. “You live in France and my dad really can’t leave behind his restaurant.”
“You could sell it…” began Trista.
“You know he would never do that,” said June. “I think he’d rather try living in that horrible place than sell it. He’d never sell it because of my mum…” June looked sideways at Trista and Lucy.
She really couldn’t imagine Lucy’s family giving her dad more than a few days to stay. Her mum was alright, but her dad probably wouldn’t make the stay too hospitable. And there was always some kind of drama with the Weasleys these days and it wouldn’t do much for her dad to stay there of all places.
And Trista -
Trista caught on immediately and gave her a sad smile. “I’m so sorry, June. I really wish I could help you more.” Mrs. St. Clair was a muggle who had six children of her own to worry about and attempt to house. Two more visitors really wouldn’t be a welcome sight.
June squeezed her hands together nervously. Priscilla, in an uncharacteristic moment of sensitivity, put a hand on her shoulder. “Everything will be alright, June. We’ll figure this out.”
“My dad can be a handful sometimes,” said June, taking a sip of the cold Butterbeer. She shuddered at the dry taste. When June wasn’t looking, Lucy gingerly took away the flagon, walked over the counter and dumped it with some dirty glasses.
“Well, I certainly know what you mean,” said Lucy, sighing. “My mum and dad argue all the time and sometimes I think that he can be a bit unfair to her. He’s usually so busy and I think that bothers her. I wish he was around more.”
“Not me,” said Priscilla. “My dad’s more fun when he’s not got my mum around to worry him.” The misadventures of Mrs. Fawcett were now infamous. Priscilla was the byproduct of an extravagant and beautiful young woman’s union with a much older, much richer man, who had the position in life and the disposition to spare Mrs. Marchelle Fawcett large sums of Galleons and an even larger sum of patience, both of which were usually deposited in big manors and exorbitant parties.
“At least you’ve got your dad with you,” said Trista very quietly. “And he’s not around with some horrendous woman and their – ”
“Still not doing well on the stepmum front?” asked Priscilla warily. “It’s a shame, really. I get along with my dad’s first wife pretty well.”
“No,” said Trista waspishly. “And she’s so irritating now that she’s pregnant! And you should see him around her, like he’s all eager to serve her. It’s disgusting. And he absolutely insisted on visiting us for the holidays and only God knows why because it’s clear that he really doesn’t care about us at all – “
She broke off in an angry huff. “Sorry. I shouldn’t get started on her again or I’ll never end.”
June, who had been rather glad to hear that somebody else had an equally horribly Christmas (it was a horrid, but comforting thought) gave a feeble smile.
“Well, at least school’ll be starting soon,” said Lucy, staring at the ceiling. “And then we can leave this whole mess behind us.”
“Not me,” said June, “as soon as I get back, everyone’ll be on about that letter I tried giving to Albus.”
“Not that this isn’t all your fault, of course, but if it’s of any comfort at all, I can’t wait to see what kind of raving that idiot Henry will get up to after this,” said Priscilla dismissively.
“Oh no, I hadn’t thought about Henry at all!” said June, horrified. “Oh, he’s going to be so angry, I’m sure of it!”
The thought of Henry Bates itself put a chill in her bones; the subsequent wrath that she would surely incur was tantamount to any fit or tantrum that the short life of June Bernard had ever been acquainted with. Both Lucy and Trista were giving her sympathetic smiles; Trista, because she had been in June’s position two years ago (it had been so much more humorous then, June reflected sadly), and Lucy, because such was her disposition. Priscilla was muffling laughter.
Every year or so, Henry Bates, a fellow Hufflepuff seventh year proclaimed a new love of his life. And, for several months, he unfailingly followed the poor girl in question. To be sure, there were embarrassing proclamations of life-long devotion, poems which failed to rhyme, and dozens of boxes of chocolate of questionable taste. Last year, he had followed around Jelena Jorkin unflinchingly; the year before that, Trista had faced a real obstacle in dodging him, as he had accompanied her to every Quidditch practice of the year.
And now, unfathomably, there was June.
After several more minutes of griping at length on the state of their respective families and ruminating on the possibility that Iris Bosworth would, in fact, hex Desdemona Hughes the day they returned to Hogwarts, the foursome tired of conversation and began to titter.
Finally, it was Lucy, who in a flash of sensibility, suggested they retire. “Not that there’s much of a night left, but we should go home and try and sleep.”
With much yawning and socially mandated apologies for a hasty goodbye, one by one, Lucy, Trista, and Priscilla made their way out the door. June, still reeling from the night and the coming of the day, trudged up the winding staircase and down three doors.
There was a musty, early morning feel from the pale yellow sky. From the other side of the door, she could hear her father snoring. She tentatively pushed it open. It gave way to an archaic wooden room littered with the few undamaged possessions they had managed to scavenge and repair in the aftermath of the quake: a large trunk containing her clothes (she thanked Merlin that she hadn’t had the sense to unpack upon arriving at the new flat), a smaller trunk stuffed with her fathers’, and a wooden box of her stray fabric swatches.
The slightly rumpled picture of her family from several years ago was still intact, resting carefully against the side of her trunk.
June gave it all one irritable stare. The entire room made her feel sorry for her own existence. Normally, she was inclined to say that she was hardly ungrateful; her entire life had been about watching everyone outshine her in every conceivable manner, but it had been alright all the same. She was mediocre, and there was very little to be said about being mediocre, really…it wasn’t so bad…after all, life was filled with a vast amount of mediocre people. There were those who acknowledged they were mediocre and spent their lives understanding it as a valuable lesson, and those who spent their lives trying to convince themselves they were not.
But what was any of it worth, she wondered as she collapsed onto the sofa. Gratefulness and working hard and convincing people. What was any of it worth when it all always seemed to end up in one horrible mess?
Someone was pushing her.
Her arms and legs were aching ferociously and even the lumps of the sofa seemed vastly more appealing than the dreadful prospect of awakening to discover just how uncomfortably she’d slept.
“June…wake up, dear...”
“Oh my. I don’t know what to do. Should I feed you? Oh, but there’s nothing here to give to owls…”
Her eyes snapped open. She could see the hazy form of her father stooped over a small bird on the table. She rose, rubbing her eyes.
“What’s going on?”
“Good, you’re awake!” Mr. Bernard’s familiar form swam into view. He pointed to a tawny owl that was surveying him impatiently. “This just flew in through the window, dear. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do – he won’t seem to leave – I’ve tried everything I could – ”
The owl blinked and Mr. Bernard winced and moved backwards.
June sighed. “Maybe it’s from the Ministry. Or Hogwarts.”
She said it without hope; Priscilla had already informed her that the Ministry did not offer housing options and that the earthquake, which had broken down three flats in the radius, had been a natural occurrence and did not fall under the Obliviation Squad’s jurisdiction. There would be no way to repair the flat with magic.
And Hogwarts supplied money only for students to purchase books and materials strictly necessary for schooling. Whatever options were at hand were all useless.
The seal on the letter was an unfamiliar one. Frowning, June ripped it open.
I’m unsure of whether or not you remember me; it’s been a while since we met, I’m afraid. I’m one of your mum’s old friends from Hogwarts. I’ve read of your recent condition from your interview with the Prophet –
June took a deep breath, steadying herself. Would it be too much to hope?
- and would be happy to provide you and your father a place to stay for as long as you need. My husband and I live in London –
It wasn’t so far away from her father’s restaurant! June’s breath was hitching still further. He might actually agree to this arrangement!
- along with our two children. Please write back letting me know if this will work for you.
June set the letter down and sank into a chair, feeling close to tears. Her father, who had been preoccupied with the owl the entire time, gave her a worried look.
“What is it? What happened?”
Wordlessly, she handed him the letter. He skimmed it, holding the letter gingerly. “Oh yes, I do think I remember this woman…hmm, she was certainly at our wedding…Look, there’s a small photograph she attached.”
He pulled out a yellowed photo from the envelope and passed it to June. There was a picture of three girls, still in their Hogwarts uniforms, grinning beside the Black Lake. At the sight of June, they all waved.
“That one’s your mother,” said Mr. Bernard unnecessarily, pointing at a fresh-faced girl with brown hair and a nostalgic smile. Next to her, there was a red-haired girl with steely eyes. She looked…familiar somehow…The blonde on her mother’s left, however, June found completely unrecognizable.
The caption simply read: Victoria, Heather, Ginny, 1994.
“Who are these two girls?” asked June.
“Heather Fay. That’s the girl on her left – she was your mother’s Maid of Honor at our wedding.”
“Maid of Honor? What happened to her? Where is she now?”
“I’m not sure,” said Mr. Bernard, still watching June’s mother in the photograph with a grim expression.
“Then why is she writing us after so long? Not that I don’t want to go or anything – ” Any offer besides the cramped room in the Leaky Cauldron was enough to entice her. “ – but it’s rude that she hasn’t spoken to us for so many years…”
“Heather? Heather didn’t write this letter, dear,” said Mr. Bernard. “The other girl did. Didn’t you finish reading it?”
He handed the now crinkled letter back to June. She scanned the columns, until it led down to a loopy signature.
I hope to meet you as soon as possible. Write back letting me know a time and your availability.
“Ginny Potter?” asked Priscilla the next afternoon, her eyes positively bulging, “it can’t be!”
The now famed letter had been passed between them nearly a dozen times as its authenticity had been scrutinized to the highest possible degree a group of teenage girls could inflict upon it during an afternoon lunch at the Leaky Cauldron. After a long morning of sleeping in, the three girls that sat at the largely abandoned downstairs of the Cauldron were squabbling over a letter that had rapturously held their devotion for the last few minutes.
Priscilla had wondered at length if June was the victim of a rude joke. “No doubt it’s from one of those fangirls of Albus Potter’s. Those hideous underlings - they must think it’s some kind of horrible joke to send this to you. You’ll be all hopeful about it. Remember when they sent that horned toad to Iris Bosworth after she confessed?”
“That wasn’t from any girl,” said Trista dismissively, “that was from her brother, don’t you remember?” But even Trista had found the offer too suspiciously convenient. “A long lost friend? Isn’t that kind of …improbable?”
Not that June had really cared. By now, it hardly mattered that where Ginny Potter lived or how big her home was. Junecould possibly perhaps somehow inhabit the same house as Albus Potter (while still getting a house for her dad). But Albus Potter!
It had been enough for her to jump to the air in immature glee.
Whatever promises she’d made to Priscilla that she’d “forget his pompous arse”, to Trista that she’d be more reasonable, to Lucy that she would take care of herself more had flown out the window in the past twenty minutes.
“If she’s good enough to offer you a place to live, why didn’t she ever bother contacting you in the last few years?” asked Trista.
June shrugged, her head still floating. “Does it matter? She’s here now.”
But soon after, Lucy had arrived, flushed from the rushed Apparition. After apologies for her tardiness, a short story involving Molly and spilling juice that nobody really listened to, Lucy took one look at June’s letter and broke out into a relieved smile.
“Yes, that’s definitely Aunt Ginny’s handwriting. And the seal she uses. Thank Merlin, June, I’ve been so worried about you and this’ll be just perfect – you can visit me during the holidays if you’d like. Aunt Ginny doesn’t live too far away and she’s really lovely, you’ll just adore her – ”
“Excuse me,” said Priscilla in a monotone voice, “am I the only one who’s noticing the problem with this?”
“What?” asked Lucy.
“Has absolutely everyone forgotten that pompous, holier-than-thou, stick-up-his-arse, I’m-bloody-Leo-Tolstoy-in-my-spare-time fool? She’ll have to live with him! Live! Live!”
Lucy flushed, obviously having forgotten Albus altogether. “Yes…well…it’s the best that we can do at the moment, Priscilla. And June won’t have to worry about him – it’s just temporary and during the holidays anyway…and Aunt Ginny will take care of her. We don’t really have the luxury to complain.”
“Right, we’ll just have to be happy with what she’s offered,” said June, privately thrilled.
“It should be alright,” said Trista tentatively, “but only because there’s nothing else you can really do. Just avoid him as often as possible while you’re there and you won’t have to worry about him at school. And the Potters also have two other children.”
“Two others?” echoed June, thinking about the letter. In London with my husband and two children –
“James lives in his own flat,” said Lucy. “Lily…don’t worry too much about Lily.” There was something guilty in Lucy’s tone that June did not catch. “But definitely keep away from Albus. Don’t try doing that thing at school where you’d follow him around or stare at him. He didn’t notice much then, but if you’re to live together, even for only a bit, he’s sure to notice. It’ll irritate him thoroughly.”
“I won’t talk much to him,” said June, in a half-hearted attempt to be solemn.
Priscilla, who had been toying with her food for much of the conversation finally set down her fork, jeering. “There’s a promise that we all know you can’t keep.”
Priscilla ignored this. “Why? Why? Obviously you know why! You think he’s some kind of prince! June, this isn’t a fairytale!” She clasped her hands together in an embarrassingly apt impression of June. “Oh Priscilla, he looked at me today! I think he’s giving me permission to bear his spawn!”
“ I – ”
“I think we’re going to end up repopulating the earth together! Between his huge ego and my big empty head, it’ll be easy! We’ll spend a lifetime looking into the pits of each others’ eyes and seeing nothing but oceans of love! Oceans! Love!”
“Stop that – ”
“And we’ll ride off into the sunset on flying camels and have two thousand and five children when nobody’s looking!”
“Priscilla,” began Trista slowly. “I think you should give June the benefit of the doubt…”
“The benefit of the doubt, ha! When haven’t I given her the benefit of the doubt? I mean, I tell her to study, but she ignores me! I tell her to stop reading that LaFolle garbage, but she ignores me, and it’s another two hours of, ‘And Daniel and I kissed and it was like the fiery fire of passionate, fiery, burning, amorous, flame-like love. Did I mention it was fiery? It was effing on FIRE! It was positively barbecued!”
June had thus far managed to ignore Priscilla and was instead contentedly eating. When Priscilla began, there was really no end to it. “Aren’t we being very positive today?”
“Yes, yes,” said Priscilla dismissively, “I know I’m a black hole of rage and anger and sarcasm and all that. No need to remind me. My mum used to tell me that every night before bed. She even wrote it on all my Christmas cards.”
“Why is this bothering you so much?” asked Lucy, looking obviously unimpressed. “Because it’ll increase your chances of having to see my cousin?”
“It’ll at best be small talk,” said June.
“But just imagine, every time I want to visit June, I’ll have to see his stupid face and pretend to be civil. I’ll be saying, “Happy Christmas, dearest Albus,” while thinking, “Can I stab your heart with spoons?” And they’ll be dirty spoons.” Her voice grew hushed. “Unwashed!”
“Clearly the highest form of revenge ever,” said Trista, her voice dripping sarcasm.
“But obviously, June’ll say, ‘Oh, Albus, let’s have ten thousand children, and name them all Albus after you!”
Lucy let out a reluctant giggle. “Somehow I can imagine June saying that.”
June smiled reluctantly. Even being the center of all of Priscilla’s teasing was not enough to dim the happiness of meeting Ginny Potter within soon. “I probably would, wouldn’t I?”
“Assuming he’d let you,” said Trista.
“Not that that would stop me,” said June.
They burst out laughing.
“And what really bothers me about this,” said Priscilla, taking a deep sip of Butterbeer and looking very much like a crazed addict, “is how cliché it is. God, what’re the chances of this happening? Earthquake reigns down on girl with average competency of most breakfast items. Cosmic power chortles mildly. Prudish girl Lucy Amelia Weasley panics under shaking, openly cries several times, annoys shit of everyone in the radius in the process.”
Lucy had suddenly stopped laughing and was instead reddening. “Would you have some decency?”
“So-called most brilliant Quidditch captain of the last century ends up bleeding all over the place, and doesn’t clean up after herself. Five years of intensive training and nearly meets her end at the hands of the almighty – the crushing heathen that plows fear into the hearts of thousands – nimble as a spear - the illustrious and wildly decorated - ”
“That thing was coming right at me,” muttered Trista. “Stupid sadistic thing, it was.”
“ – and highly pointy coffee table.” Priscilla was now attracting the attention of the few left in the last floor of the Leaky Cauldron as she set down the Butterbeer in a huff. “Some witty remarks are provided free of cost by – ”
“The resident soulless banshee,” said Trista dryly.
“And all was well.”
“I’m practically homeless!” said June, “How is all well at all?”
“All is well for me,” said Priscilla dismissively, “so it’s the same thing, really. But then your mum or her spirit or whatever has to haunt up Ginny Potter’s chimney and then Red-with-a-Temper has to play Mother Teresa and come screwing with the cosmos! And it’s so cliché – an absolute deus ex machina!”
“Which is what?” asked June.
“It’s Latin for you use it, and I kill you. And Mr. Cosmic Power here could really use a good kick in the arse! He should’ve let you become a rugged, homeless waif that traversed the countryside in the winter, and then you’d be all gritty and learn the meaning of life and all that. Then after that, you’d hurt your leg, limp all the way up to Russia, and become a one-eyed priestess with a cane!”
“Somehow I can’t see June limping all the way to Russia,” chimed in Trista unhelpfully. “That would involve some real work and she’s got no real physical stature. Maybe she’d seduce a pile of snow to help her or something.”
“Either way, a one-eyed, cane-wielding June who’d be jaded and toughened. She’d pace the courtyard angrily and yell at the children, but really have a heart of gold! None of this poorly written, shoddily plotted romantic rubbish! No floaty rubbish full of flowery crap either – no ‘the raindrops fell as soft as doves’ bullshit! Russians and nuns are the way to go!”
There was a silence at this, as the three sitting around her found they had no default reply to a proclamation on one-eyed nuns.
June glanced at the grandfather clock clanging behind Priscilla and felt a wave of panic. “It’s almost two o’clock! I said I’d meet Mrs. Potter at two fifteen at Fortescue’s! I’ve got to go!”
With that, she set down her tea and began slinging her bag over her shoulder.
“Take care, June,” said Lucy, “and don’t worry about Aunt Ginny. She’ll take good care of you, I promise.”
“Don’t be nervous and speak clearly,” said Trista. “Don’t do that stuttering thing you do when you’re nervous. You’re impossible to understand.”
As June made for the door, Priscilla’s voice floated over.
“Get thee to a nunnery!”
After a hasty run down Diagon Alley in which June elicited the self-righteous criticisms of a group of elderly witches she’d nearly knocked over in the process, the unflattering blotches of a run far past her physical capacities had now scattered all over her complexion.
She stood over the entrance of Fortescue’s ice cream parlor, squinting at the crowded outside tables for the red hair she’d known to look for.
June took a few steps towards a witch with short red hair reading the morning newspaper, but within seconds backed away, face flushing. The witch was not much older than her and was visibly pregnant.
Now lost among the colorful tables and the loud throng, she stood helplessly in the midst of it, wringing her hands nervously. She took a few steps backwards, despairing, when she felt her shoulder bump against a hard surface.
“Watch where you’re walking,” came a bored voice.
She wheeled around, apology at hand, but the sight of an unamused Albus Potter was enough to make her freeze. She stood, gawping at him.
“Um – I – um…sorry…”
From behind him emerged a woman with flaming red hair and eyes flashing a lifetime spent in rigid determination. She gave June an enigmatic smile before querying, “Are you June, dear?”
“Yes…” It came out as a terrified squeak. Still mortified, June was swiveling between Albus and Mrs. Potter, unsure of whom to pay attention to.
He spared her a disinterested gaze, before turning back to his mother. “She’s the one you’ve been on about?”
“Do you know each other, then?” asked Mrs. Potter, herding them towards an empty table.
“No,” said Albus abruptly, before June could open her mouth.
The afternoon sunshine was nearly unbearable. As she shuffled into a seat by Mrs. Potter, still blushing horribly, she could still hear Priscilla’s words ringing in her head.
“June, this isn’t a fairytale!”
Author's Note: My apologies for the slow update and the sort of filler-ish chapter! But hopefully, that bit on nuns with one eyes and poking fun at overly dramatic stories (sort of) helped make up for it! The line quoted by Priscilla - 'Get thee to a nunnery' is from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare in Act 3, scene 1, line 121. I obviously own no part of Hamlet.
My gratitude goes to the brilliant Gubby (GubraithianFire) for a neverending stream of support and good ideas for this story.
With that, I distinctly lack any clever things to say, so I ask you for reviews and feedback.
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