Ok :) two with separate or together. "I ain't scared of no ghosts" and "I am the one hiding under your bed" :) thanks xo
(thanks to repmet for the gif!)
“…And then the Ghost of the 2nd Earl JUMPED OUT OF THE CLOSET!”
Marigold gave a screech and buried her little face against her cousin’s shoulder. Sybbie gave an annoyed look to her other cousin as she attempted to soothe poor Marigold. “It’s alright, George is just telling stories.”
“It’s true!” George insisted. “The 2nd Earl haunts Downton!” he grinned wickedly and made a menacing motion with his fingers. “And likes to scare little girls—!”
“Well he’s not scaring me!” Sybbie insisted. “I ain’t scared of no ghosts!”
George rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to say more, but the nursery door opened then, causing all three children to gasp, before sighing with relief at the sight of their mothers.
“Why are you still awake?” Mary asked, her question pointedly at her son.
“It’s All Hallow’s Eve, Mama!” George explained. “Sybbie told us—”
“Another ‘Irish tradition’?” Mary turned to her baby sister who was kissing her daughter’s cheek.
“It’s not as if it’s unique to just Ireland,” Sybil insisted. “Why, the celebration descends from the ancient Celts, so it more than likely began in Britain, up in Scotland—”
“Save me the history lesson,” Mary groaned, kissing her son on the brow and then urging him to get under his blankets and go to sleep.
As for Marigold, she whimpered a bit and clung to Edith, who seemed reluctant to leave her. “I’ll keep her safe, Auntie Edith!” Sybbie promised, noticing her cousin’s distress. Sybil smiled proudly at her daughter, and Edith looked grateful.
“Come along!” Mary urged. “Our husbands are probably wondering what’s keeping us.”
Another shadow illuminated the doorway just then, causing the three children and their mothers to gasp, and then groan as Sybbie squealed, “Daddy!”
“What are you doing up here?” Mary asked. “I thought the three of you would be waiting downstairs—”
“Matthew and Bertie are,” Tom explained, winking at Edith who was blushing still at the reminder that she was now a married woman as well. “But I had to sneak a kiss myself, otherwise I’d be jealous of Sybil the whole night!”
Both Sybil and Sybbie giggled and Sybbie held out her arms for her father, who stepped in and did just that, smothering sloppy Branson kisses on her cheeks, before tucking her into bed. He then turned and gave a rather sloppy kiss to his wife, earning groans of disgust from the children, though Sybbie was used to it.
“Is the party up here now?” came another voice from the door.
“It might as well be,” Mary groaned, before smiling at her husband and new brother-in-law who were now entering the nursery.
Both men went to their respective children, giving each a kiss on the brow before murmuring “goodnight”, and Marigold seemed to brighten considerably after this (she was very fond of Bertie).
“George is telling them ghost stories,” Sybil whispered to Matthew.
“Ah, I see,” Matthew gave his son a stern look. “I hope you’re not trying to frighten your cousins and give them nightmares…”
“No, Papa, it’s just All Hallow’s Eve, and Sybbie said—”
“So this is your fault?” Tom asked his daughter, before giving her a little wink to show he wasn’t serious.
“George says the ghost of the 2nd Earl haunts Downton.”
“George…” Mary groaned before turning to the rest. “Children, there are no such things as ghosts.”
“But there such thing as a dragon, which is what your grandmother will become if we’re late,” Bertie observed to his wife.
“True,” Mary confirmed, agreeing with him. “Alright, all of you get some sleep—good night!”
The children murmured their goodnights once again and watched as their parents exited the nursery. However, before the Bransons left, Tom did whisper into his daughter’s ear, the special blessing her Irish grandmother had taught her to scare away anything that tried to frighten her. With nothing but the soft, orange glow of the fire burning in the fireplace, the children were left alone.
Quiet filled the nursery then…though George swore he heard something making a “thumping” sound. He sat up in bed and looked over at his cousins. “Do you hear…?”
Marigold gave a little squeal and leapt out of bed, before flying into Sybbie’s. “It’s the ghost of the 2nd Earl!” she screeched.
“Don’t be silly,” Sybbie assured her, before turning to George. They heard the sound again, and George swallowed the lump in his throat—it was coming from UNDERNEATH HIS BED!
Sybbie glared at the bed, ignoring the petrified expression on her cousin’s face, and shouted the blessing her father had whispered to her in the language of their homeland, and the thumping suddenly came to a stop.
They all waited, holding their breath…
“It’s gone…” George whispered.
“Can I stay with you?” Marigold whimpered, looking up at Sybbie with large, imploring eyes. Sybbie just smiled and kissed her cousin’s forehead, before pulling the blankets up around them.
“Maybe I should join you?” George offered, trying to sound braver than he felt. “Just to protect you girls.”
Sybbie rolled her eyes, wondering what her mother would make of that if she heard George, but knew all too well that it was his back-handed way of admitting he was scared. “Fine,” she sighed, scooting over and making room. Soon, all three cousins were huddled together in Sybbie’s bed, the blankets pulled up to their chins, and after a moment, they were all soon asleep.
A few hours later, when the party had ended, Robert (or “Donk” as he was now known to all his grandchildren) decided to peek in and see them. Sybil accompanied him, and when they reached the nursery, she gave a groan and a sigh at the sight of them together in bed. “Just as I had feared, I think the ghost stories got to them.”
Robert frowned. “Why are they all in Sybbie’s bed?”
Sybil smiled proudly. “Well she is the oldest, so perhaps she’s also deemed the bravest?” She shut the door then, and proceeded to tell her father about the so-called “ghost of the 2nd Earl”, the story which George had been telling to spook his cousins.
Robert frowned. “There’s no ‘ghost of the 2nd Earl’.”
“If anything haunts that nursery, it would be Pharaoh!”
Sybil frowned. “What?”
“Don’t you remember? Pharaoh was always trying to get into that nursery when you and your sisters were children. He especially liked to get under Mary’s bed and she would complain about the loud sounds his tail made when thumping against the floorboards.”
“I honestly don’t remember, but maybe I was too young?”
“That might be…” he recalled. “Yes, you were barely a year old, when Edith and Mary got into a terrible fight—” Sybil rolled her eyes. “—because Mary tried to spook Edith by telling her there was a monster in the room that lived under her bed, but then Pharaoh got under Mary’s and frightened the both of them—”
“Perhaps Pharaoh’s ghost remains?” Sybil offered. “Thumping his tail under the bed of Mary’s son?”
Robert chuckled at that, though it was clear he didn’t believe it. Sybil, however, wasn’t entirely convinced. After living among the Irish, both in Dublin and now in Boston, she wasn’t as skeptical to tales of the supernatural as she might have been before marriage. Though of all the ghosts that were out there, the ghost of a friendly Labrador hiding under one’s bed was rather sweet.