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[Title] Best Friends
[Fandom] Azumanga Daioh
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Chiyo-chan's never been scared of Mr Tadakichi.

“I thought you'd have a little dog, 'cause you're so small,” people said to Chiyo when they saw Mr Tadakichi. Or, “He's taller than you, aren't you terrified of him?” Or “But what if he suddenly attacked? Surely you'd prefer one of those dogs you can put in your purse. Oh, that would be so cute...”

Chiyo understood that some people would be scared of a dog as big as Mr Tadakichi, but a lot of people just thought that she should be. They didn't understand that she can remember holding onto handfuls of his fur to stop herself toppling over, or leaning against him while she reads as if he's a big breathy sofa, or how she used to put hats on him or climb on him or try and make dolls or teddy bears balance on his back. And he never snapped or even growled. He yelped the few times she actually hurt him, or he snorted a little or shook himself the time she put a sunhat over his eyes, but the rest of the time he let her play around him and his bigness wasn't scary, it was comforting, like how favourite grown-ups were. Now she's older, of course, she knows a lot more about how to be nice to dogs and she doesn't try to dress him up or use him as a prop. But he's still large and fluffy and she leans against him or gives him a hug every day and it feels as if he hasn't changed at all.

[Title] Marauding
[Fandom] Harry Potter / Battle Royale
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] James Potter is not scared. Not at all. (The use of Devil's Snare in this is something I saw in another HP/BR crossover ages ago. I can't remember anything about it except this one thing which has always been my headcanon, so I have borrowed it without credit. If you come across the fic, let me know ^^)

James is definitely not scared.

Okay, he has to work really hard not to run down the spiral staircase, and then when he gets to the bottom it takes a good few seconds before he can nerve himself up to step out into the chilly darkness. But then when he does there’s silence apart from the wind in the trees and his own breathing, so it’s not like anyone saw him being twitchy, and he’s only being cautious, they are, after all, in a fight to the death…

He thinks that and then his heart gives a massive jolt as he realises it afresh and then he thinks that what if some of those rustles are actually footsteps, and then he just – he just runs so fast his legs ache. Eventually he skids to a halt in the middle of a forest – a slope ahead of him that feels like it’s made entirely of tree roots – his heart’s pounding so he sits down, back against a large tree trunk, and gulps air, and there’s nothing but shadow here, no one can see him, he’s fine

Okay, maybe he is a bit scared. But once again, no one needs to know. And, actually, if anyone did know, he’d point out that he’s on his own in a dark forest with a spelled collar of Devil’s Snare round his neck, a wand that will only fire Alohomora, and some kind of charm on the air stopping him from doing any other kind of magic, not that he really could anyway, and… it’s not good, is the point he’s making.

Right. It’s not good. So, how are we going to make it better?

Answer so easy it almost doesn’t need to be said. Find the other three. Come up with a plan. Get out of here and… all right, there’s likely no one left they can tell, so they can go on the run instead. Once they aren’t basically Squibbed they’ll be fine.

Find the other three.

He’d wondered if Wormtail might be waiting at the bottom of the tower, or nearby, but only because they were next to each other in class order. Now he thinks about it, if he was spooked enough to run away, then Wormtail wouldn’t have stuck around for more than a second. James hoped that’s true, anyway. If Wormtail was there and saw James fleeing like a kid afraid of the dark…

Okay. No. Wormtail will be hiding somewhere and trying not to cry and telling himself James and the others will save him. So James had better get started on that.

And god knows where Moony and Padfoot will be by now. Sirius was, what, third out? Fourth? If James had had more time (and less panic) he’d have tried to check out the view as you came out of the tower, see if there was an obvious landmark the other two might have headed for. But then, maybe they wouldn’t have headed for something obvious. You don’t want to end up in the same hiding place as everyone else.

Everyone else.

He scrabbles for the wand in the satchel they gave him. Even in the dark he can feel it isn’t his, like it’s held with the wrong hand. He tries a few other spells – Stupefy and Expelliarmus – but nothing, like the words have never meant anything. The label round the wand, crabbed handwriting, said Alohomora, and that’s all he’s got.

It’d be really, really great if his mind wasn’t thinking of all the spells people could have and what they could do with them.

Also, it’s stupid. No one’s actually going to just join in with this like it’s a Quidditch match. It’s He Who Must Not Be Named telling them to fight each other. Even Death-Eaters-in-training like Snivellus aren’t going to just… listen to the Dark Lord like that’s something that you do.

You sure about that? He said if no one dies in twenty-four hours then the Devil’s Snare chokes everyone.

Like, if it was you and Snivellus right here and now, and it was hit him with an Avada Kedavra or – All right, he is not panicking but he's wondering if the Devil's Snare isn't tightening round his throat already and it's not, of course it's not, but – come on, you know you'd do it, if it was that or hit him with a rock you'd probably do it –

What if it was you and Wormtail – or Moony – or Padfoot or, or Evans even –

No. He can't keep thinking like this or he'll make himself go crazy. It'll only happen, anyway, if they're still here in twenty-four hours time and no one's died. And that's not going to happen because he's going to find the others and they're going to escape like he said and why does it suddenly feel like that's a kid's story he's making up and nothing more?

Find the others. Find the others. Some people are going to be panicking and when people panic they do stupid things and so it's best if James keeps a low profile. But once he finds his friends, it will all be fine. When they do stupid things, it's the good kind of stupid. Sirius would be cracking up at how much of a wimp he's being right now. Moony would already be suggesting a bunch of ideas to escape. Wormtail would be telling them how he knows they're going to get them out of this. And, hey, you never know, maybe James will get to save Evans from a crazed Snivellus and get a thank-you kiss before they all blow this stupid game apart. Yup. The Marauders have got this one covered. So James isn't scared, not at all.


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