She sighs, leaning against the rail, tired, pressing her eyes closed, and feeling the hot tears spill between her lids. “Does it even matter? Will I care tomorrow?” she murmurs.
“What’s wrong, Princess?”
She screams, stumbling away from Chat, who seems to have just landed, silently, on her rail. “You scared me! What… what are you doing here?” she takes a moment before remembering that, no, she’s not Ladybug right now, she’s Marinette, a civilian, and a supposed ‘fangirl’ of Chat. “I mean, I’m sure an incredible hero like you has better things to do than talk to teenage girls who didn’t get an invite to prom…”
“Is that what you’re upset about?” he tilts his head. “But I thought Nathanael invited you…?”
“I don’t want to go with Nathanael,” she explains, brushing her tears away. “There’s… there’s this other guy, who I really, really wanted to ask, but when I tried… I choked. And now, I’m alone on Junior Prom Night. Yay.”
The Lotus Flower Tiata it’s a delicate diamond tiara of fanned motifs crowned by floating diamond arches and studded with two pearls at the base and a central top pearl.
It was made by Garrard from one of The Queen Mother’s wedding gifts, a necklace of a Greek key pattern with pendant diamonds and pearls given by her husband, the future George VI.
Summary: Being rescued by a kind woman has loads of benefits. She cleans your wounds, cares for you and you get a glimpse in her life. Is this the beginning of that fleeting feeling called ‘love’?
Disclaimer: I don’t own the FBAWTFT, JKR does. If I did, my boi Credence would have the mushiest happiest ending ever. GIF Credits to the owners. That cute face though!! 😍
Warnings: Mentions of blood, abuse, loads of fluff
It was normally a short walk from the sushi shop till Y/N’s apartment. The upside was the confectionery on the corner. Having a sweet tooth, she was wise enough to keep her candy stash refiller close. Its windows were usually pristine and the door was always open. Through these, wafted the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread or melting chocolate, which the baker used in abundance in a variety of goods. That evening she was walking back home, just about to turn the corner of a road filled with closed shops. They looked like dark, empty husks left by their occupants for the day, she thought, especially the eerie mannequins wearing the flapper dresses. Y/N was wondering whether one would look good on her when she heard the sounds of a scuffle.
“What ya boys say we beat some sense inta him?” It was probably the drunkards that frequented the playground she thought. They were usually up to no good. Not wanting to get involved but curious nonetheless, Y/N crept up the pavement and cocked her head to the side, hiding behind the barely there, crumbling excuse of a wall surrounding the derelict playground. The scene made her draw in a sharp intake of breath. Whimpering in the clutches of one of the drunk hooligans was none other Credence. Putting her Auror reflexes to use, she gave out a shrill siren-like whistle and a quick Sonorus charm did the trick. “Shit. Why’s the police here?” one of them muttered before they shoved poor Credence to the ground and made a run for it.
Making sure that the hoodlums were completely out of sight, Y/N approached the shivering boy lying on the ground. She muttered Quietus, stopped whistling and waved her wand once, charming the area to make it seem empty so that no one accidentally stumbled upon them. She stowed her wand in its holster and approached the quivering boy. “Are you alright?” She asked in the gentlest voice she could manage, trying to pull his writhing form upright. But scared to his wits end the boy seemed to have gone into a panic attack. No amount of coaxing and cajoling was making it through to him. Taking his face in her hands, Y/N stared into his chocolate brown eyes for a few seconds making sure that she had his undivided attention. “It’s okay love, they are gone. You are safe now. Nothing will harm you…I won’t let anything harm you!” on hearing this, awareness dawned in his eyes.
At least that was what she assumed when he gave a muffled sob and threw himself in her arms. Slightly taken aback by the sudden action, Y/N just whispered soothingly until Credence calmed down. Realizing that the people threatening him were long gone, he sagged in relief, his whole body turning limp in her hands. He sniffled quietly in the crook of her shoulder, his tears leaving a wet patch on her cloak. Credence idly thought that the woman smelled wonderful, like freshly mowed grass, coffee grounds, peppermint and a hint of something flowery. His fingers, which had been clutching tightly to the fabric of her cloak loosened their grip and withdrawing from her embrace, he blushed and gave her a small nod. “Thank you….for saving me and…sorry for….” at this point, he merely pointed to her cloak which was streaked with blood from where his fingers had gripped her.
Y/N’s eyes widened and Credence prepared himself to be admonished for ruining her clothes. But instead, she took his hands in hers and gasped audibly. “I am so sorry. If I had realised that they were harming you, I would have done something faster.” He looked at her with a puzzled gaze and she couldn’t help but think that he looked adorable. Puffy eyes which had turned red from the crying, a tear-stained face streaked with patches of blood when he had wiped his face, a pale face and mussed up hair. If you could ignore the obvious signs of being beaten, he almost looked like he had woken up and couldn’t get a bearing on his surroundings. Pulling him up with the tenderness of a mother with her newborn, Y/N spied the abandoned bag of food that she had left at the side walk when she saw the drunkards about to beat him up. She bent down to pick it up and said, “Let’s get your wounds bandaged.”
This was easier said than done. Credence had been reluctant to go to her house. “It’s getting late. My Ma…she will worry.” Detecting the notes of hesitation in his voice at the mention of his mother and not one to accept such feeble excuses, Y/N had said, “It won’t take long. I live just 5 minutes away. Come on, we need to stop that bleeding.” With this they had found themselves tiptoeing up the staircase and entering the apartment silently like fugitives. All this was a necessary precaution against complaining neighbours, she had said. God knew what kind of a fuss Mr Smith would create if he knew she brought ‘roughened up, good for nothing men’ to her house (his words not her’s). At this point her visitor had opened his mouth probably to turn down her help again but she had silenced him saying, “I’ll get the medical supplies. Just make yourself comfortable, okay?” Settling Credence onto the sofa, she entered the kitchen and retrieved the first aid kit from the nearest cabinet.
She unwrapped the gauze, cotton swabs and bandages, glanced over her shoulder to ensure that he was still in his place and took out her wand. It would do no good to either him or her if it was found out that she was a witch. For her because she would lose her job but majorly for Credence, because he was the eldest son of an anti-witchcraft zealot and it would be ironical if it were found out that he was rescued and helped by a witch. That didn’t stop Y/N from bewitching the medical supplies to heal his wounds faster though. Maybe she could even convince him to take a potion for minor abrations, she had a bottled version ready for times when she was posted on field cases. She filled a bowl with water, took some wash cloths and with the slightly magically modified medi-kit in tow, she entered the room again to find him staring at the photos adorning her wall.
Hearing her enter, Credence whipped his head to look at her and held up his battered hands as if non-verbally praying his innocence. “I am so-sorry. I was just looking. I d-d-didn’t touch anything I s-swear.” She frowned at his sudden frightened demeanour and said, “You don’t need to apologize, I’m not angry. I did say you could be comfortable. You can have a look around if you want.” Approaching him, she set the medi-kit and the bowl on the nearby coffee table and stared at the photograph that he had been staring at before her arrival. He looked at her once again with a confused expression. “If…if you don’t mind me asking, who…who’s that?” he timidly pointed at a picture of a family of three. A pig-tailed girl of no more than 6 years sat on a man’s shoulders, grinning ear to ear with a flower crown atop her head. A woman kissed the man’s cheek and held the girl’s hand while the man, presumably gave a huge belly laugh.
Fondness washed her features as she looked at the photograph. “They are my parents, that beautiful woman is my mom and the man laughing so raucously, looking like a happy lunatic, is my father”, Credence looked at her face but she had said it more out of warmth than with malice. “And that’s me seated on my father’s shoulders, pretending that I was the Queen and they my humble servants. I remember mother saying something on the lines of, “Well, a Queen needs a crown” and made that for me.“ She pointed at the tiny flower tiara and brushed the black and white picture lightly, as if wiping away non-existent dust.
Y/N seemed to be reliving that day of so many years past and he couldn’t help but feel the nostalgia colouring the room with something akin to love. “They look like nice people”, he said softly, breaking Y/N from her reverie. “They were.” She replied, looking back at him with a smile crinkling her features. But the smile seemed just a touch distant, hinting more of sadness than joy. He noted the past tense but didn’t pry further, it wasn’t his place. “Alright. We have to get your hands healed, take a seat.” Doing as he was told, Credence sat at the edge of the sofa. Y/N opened up the medi-kit and set out a roll of bandages, a bottle of some clear liquid and an ointment, before taking a seat beside him. She took his hands in her’s again and said, “I’m going to clean the dried up blood from your wounds. I’ll try to be careful but it might hurt just a smidge."
He was thankful that she was being so careful and gentle with him. She drenched the wash cloth in the bowl and painstakingly cleaned his hands. Sitting stock still so as not to impede her, Credence didn’t dare utter a word of discomfort. He was used to beatings much worse than this. Being treated so kindly was what he was unused to. He took in her form, gently tending to him, oblivious to his staring or the effect that she had on him. Her lashes, long as they were, brushed her cheeks everytime she blinked. Her touch was cool and gentle, holding his hands delicately, as if made from the softest of feathers. She absentmindedly brushed back a lock of hair that had fallen out of its place in her braid and he noticed for the first time how shiny her hair was. Being in such close quarters with her made Credence hyper aware of her ethereal beauty.
He couldn’t help but feel the tightness in his chest return, but this restricting feeling was different from the one he felt while in the playground. While that had felt as if he was about to explode like a pressurized cannon, this felt as if a mass of frothy bubbles had filled up his insides and where bursting to be released. "This might sting a bit”, she said again as she took a fresh cloth and dipped some of the liquid in the bottle onto it. It did cause him a bit of discomfort but he remained silent through it. It was the least he could do for her. “I think the wounds are cleaned up, all that remains is…” She trailed off, looking at his hands first and then fixing her sharp gaze on him. Credence looked down at what she had seen and shifted restlessly. The dried up blood had given his hands the illusion of being scar-free. And lost in his observation of her, for a moment, he had felt scarless too, both physically and emotionally.
Brought back to earth and it’s harsh realities, he said, “It’s okay. You ….have done so much… for me. I could bandage them…later.” He looked anywhere and everywhere but her, as if the mere sight of her would break this seemingly dreamlike state that he found himself in. If he met her eyes, she would know. She would know the truth. The truth about him, his Ma, his beatings, his tainted blood and all the things that were wrong with him. She would be repulsed at the mere sight of him and look at him with disgust just like Ma was. And then, she would have nothing to do with him. But Y/N surprised him once again. She took his hands and rubbing some of the cooling ointment on his hands, bandaged them carefully. She seemed angry but at what Credence didn’t understand. Had he said something to upset her?
“You don’t need to hide it. I can see what she has done, I’m assuming it is her by the way you react to her…” she whispered, but her voice carried to him in the stillness of the air. She brushed her hands on his palms, feeling the puckered skin which was marked in shades of red. A dull white in places where the old ones had healed and scarred, a raw red at the places where the fall had torn the skin again. Brownish bruises covered his fingers. Her flawless hands seemed almost otherworldly next to his and Credence was overcome by the urge to withdraw his hands and run away from this unreal sanctuary. “Don’t…don’t feel ashamed!” Her voice quivered and Credence looked at her again. Y/N’s face was flushed from the anger which quaked her voice and he felt touched. Nobody had ever cared for him so much. Not enough to heal him the way she did, not even to get angry over something like old scars and half healed palms.
“You don’t need to worry. It’s alright…I…I deserved this…” He spoke carefully, trying to calm her anger and assuage her worries. She stared up at him defiantly and said, “Never for a moment should you ever think that you deserve this! You deserve kindness and love! Not beatings and pain and…not this… definitely not this….!” she trailed off, setting aside the bandages and looking at his hands again. She was more upset that he had thought and he couldn’t think of a way to comfort her. Credence berated himself mentally. He caused nothing but harm and problems for those who cared for him. It would have just been better if he had not come here.
He felt his hands being warmed by her touch and the pain seemed to abate a bit. Closing his eyes and dislodging the morose thoughts from his mind he said, “It’s okay. It doesn’t hurt…much.” He shrugged as he looked at her again. "It shouldn’t hurt at all.“ She replied firmly, resuming to bandage his hands and tidying up his bruises. After she was done with his hands, Y/N stared up at him and asked. "Are you hurt anywhere else?” Credence shook his head no. He felt an odd lightness in his being. As if he was floating in the air. “I should get going. It’s getting late…” he didn’t want to leave, this place that was the closed thing to an oasis in the desert of his life. “Wait”, she observed his face for a moment and wringed the wash cloth, motioning for him to come closer. He just stared at her, wondering what she meant. “Your face. It has a bit of blood on it. Let me wipe it off.”
If he had been frozen before, Credence became a statue carved out of stone now. There he was, sitting in the close proximity of this goddess of a being, wondering what good deeds he had done in his past life to have received this blessing. He would get beaten up a thousand times if it meant that she would be the one who took care of him like this. Slapping himself mentally for thinking of such impure thoughts, he continued staring at her as she grasped his chin with one hand and rubbed his cheek with the other. A look of intense concentration was on her face, her tongue poking out slightly as she wiped the stains away. Credence couldn’t help the blush that warmed his cheeks and dusted his face. He could feel her breath fanning his face and if he were to die this moment, he would die a peaceful death.
Too soon the contact was over and he felt a mixture of disappointment and elation wash over him. Disappointment at the loss of the close contact and elation that it had happened in the first place. Y/N continued staring at him though and Credence couldn’t look away, trapped by the intensity of her gaze. He felt something shift in him as her eyes held his attention. It was almost as if the very air around them had changed, charged with an unknown energy. In those seconds of staring in the Y/E/C pools of Y/N’s eyes, he thought that something was about to happen. But she blinked and the moment was lost. She asked in a whisper, “You won’t stay if I ask you to, will you?” He shook his head no. “I can’t. Ma ….and my sisters will be waiting.” The implication of his words was clear. If he did not return home soon, his sister’s would suffer in his stead.
Huffing an exasperated sigh she retreated back to the kitchen, to keep the supplies back in their place. “And I also had some nice sushi rolls today…” she knew he would still refuse but it was worth trying. Merlin, what had gotten into her?! He gave another shake of his head and said, “I must go….” He got up from the sofa and stared at her as she reentered the room to see him off. “Alright. Are you sure you can go back safely?” He nodded once in acquiescence. He fumbled a bit, unsure of what to do, as if wanting to say something but couldn’t find the words to do. He looked at her again and drawing confidence said, “Credence.” Y/N blinked once. Twice.
“It’s my name. Thank you for…saving me and helping me patch up”, he gave her a small smile. It was the smile that did it she thought. Just as he was about to leave, she spoke up, “Credence?” He halted immediately, looking at her curiously. “Y/N.” He looked at her for a moment before repeating it, “Y-Y/N.” Her name rolled off his tongue in a weirdly comforting manner. The exchange of names made something surge in Credence’s heart, something fluffy and full of warmth. It was as if the earlier bubbles had burst inside him and filled him with a joy so intense that he could hardly breathe. As he softly closed the door behind him, he couldn’t help but think, maybe this feeling was what they called ‘love’?
A/N: Holy smokes. 3000+ words. It was a race against time to finish this. Fluff is really not something that I’m used to writing. So I have mixed feelings about this one. Let me know how you felt this one was. Hope you like it! Excuse any typos. Also shout out to the fantastic @imaginingcredence whose Credence head cannons helped me survive a writer’s block. They are amazing!! ~mystical reading nerd