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Sven Hargreeves

number three

0 · 239 views · located in The City of West Anne

a character in “The Umbrella Academy: On Stranger Tides”, as played by ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

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svenhargreeves_
26xxnonbinary (they, pref/she, tolerated)xxdutchxxnetherlandsxxrewindxxevent negation
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Sven, unlike their siblings, wasn't bought by the head of the Hargreeves household. They were thrust very firmly into Reginald's grasp by a teenage girl under the cover of night. Their mother was all of sixteen years old and far too famous to handle such a scandal. He gladly took the baby from her and arrived home with the eight others in tow. They were far harder to place than the other children because their power's nature was nebulous. Was it healing? A forcefield? If Reginald wasn't Reginald, then nobody might have ever figured it out.

He began tossing Number Three into impossibly dangerous situations, and order their siblings to attack them with intent to kill. It became clear that their powers were, reversion or rather, negation. "Event Negation, the ability to revert an event or action into its previous state." For all intents and purposes, Sven ought to have been Number One but he felt that their power was too one dimensional to be useful and his favor for One was already locked in. At the time, they didn't mind being relegated to healer. They told themselves that they were still on the upper end of the totem pole and if they truly wanted to, they could surpass Number One.

As one of the "middle children" in the family, Sven cultivated an independent, cold personality that emphasized logic over emotion. Though they try not to let their feelings dictate their actions, they will speak out when they believe that their ideas are better than those of others. They've never been one to pull punches or lie to others, even when their words might be hurtful. And they knew that they could be good at anything if they wanted to.

They weren't sure when it started, perhaps when Reginald denied Sven's gender or perhaps, when Sven's weakness revealed itself. They felt compelled to prove themselves to everyone else, Reginald included. Niceties be damned, they knew the potential that their power held and though they understood that Number One was the leader when they were younger, it never factored into Sven's decisions. It wasn't so much that they wanted their father's validation as it was that Sven wanted an admission of error. Reginald being Reginald however, kept dangling that carrot, always jerking it out of reach the moment they were too insolent. Everything came to head a few months after everyone's sixteenth birthday.

During dinner time Number Three proposed the idea of resurrection, specifically negating the death of somebody within their vicinity. It was a concept they'd been talking to with Number Nine before his death, but nothing that they'd tested on the field. Reginald wouldn't have any of that, citing that there were too many unknown factors and more importantly, that those who died needed to stay dead. They had an intense shouting match that culminated in Sven storming out to Ben's grave and attempting to dig up his body. Naturally, they were thrown out before anything could be done.

Since then, Sven has moved from city to city never staying anywhere for too long, but always arriving back at West Anne. They're still the independent, outspoken soul that left Anchor Academy their defiance simmered into stoicism and gained empathy for those more sensitive than themself.


Ability
Attack: ██████████ Defense: ██████████ Strength: ██████████
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Intellect: ██████████ Agility:██████████ Power:██████████


Event Negation: Sven can take any event that has happened and revert it back to the state that it was previously in, as if the event never happened, thus effectively negating the event's occurrence. This could range from something as simple as someone shooting a bullet to potentially rejecting death itself. In order for them to utilize their power however, they must be within a fifty meter radius of her target and in their line of sight. Unfortunately, each usage comes at a cost. For every minute of an event they reverse, they age backwards for an equal amount of time after they finish using their power. They have largely learned to play around their weakness, never reverting events for too long of a time. It's suspected that so long as they continue using their power, they may be nigh immortal. In a rare case, they were able to temporarily trap people in a temporal loop, though it left them in a catatonic state.

/FC/xTHEME 1/xTHEME 2/xCS
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So begins...

Sven Hargreeves's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Uma Hargreeves Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Nathan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Savannah Hargreeves Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves
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November 4, 2019

To my dear students:

If you are receiving this letter that means I’ve passed away due to natural causes. As I’m sure you are aware, I’ve made Pogo the executor of my will as well as the one to arrange the funerary services no later than a week after my death. It is my last wish that you attend my burial.

Attached below is the passcode to the drawbridge.

#19890110

Sir Reginald Hargreeves



You piece of shit.

Even in his posthumous letters, he managed to be an emotionless ghoul. Sven crumpled the letter and threw it across the room...shortly before retracting it into their hands.

They already saw the obituary in the newspaper, the black and white photographs on the Internet accompanied by shallow anecdotes, and the thinkpiece articles regarding his life as an inventor, Olympic athlete, and father to nine superheroes. Everything reeked of opportunism. It was a race to garner clicks with none of the depth. Nobody explored the experience of being an Anchor Academy student nor the ethical violations that came with weaponizing your own children.

Save for Savannah and Lucien (who they didn’t care about), the rest of their siblings left an online footprint. Everyone moved on from the academy in some form. Lucky splashed her lavish life all over Instagram. Nathan joined a rock band. Uma performed fortune readings and made sketches. Similar to Nathan, Ronan joined their own band as well. Vya...Honestly Sven didn't know what he did other than drink and hang out with Lucky's exes. After their father's death however, only Ronan and Vya claimed Reginald as their own. Everyone else either didn’t bother to post about it or did so in subtle ways.

Not that Sven would ever admit to cyberstalking their siblings.

They moved beyond the need for siblings and Anchor Academy clout. They were at peace with their nomadic lifestyle and Shisa kept them company on the days that they missed having a family. Friends were easy to come by and despite Sven's emotional emptiness, warm bodies were even easier. People sought connections regardless of what they were based on even if it meant being ghosted two weeks later.

All that mattered was that they were living their best life.

That begged the question of why they couldn't destroy that damn letter. It had been six days since it ended up in their P.O. box and they tried every method of destruction possible yet they couldn't stop themselves from restoring it each time. Whether it was ripped, burned, marked "return to sender", or ditched at someone's apartment, they reversed their decision. His words rewound in Sven’s head, mocking each failure to keep the letter shredded.

Maybe it’s worth going...for confirmation.

Reginald Hargreeves was an asshole, but he was rarely dishonest. He didn’t need to fake his death to gather everyone.

That was perhaps the reason why Sven booked a ticket to West Anne three hours after arriving home.

---


The trip itself did not present any trouble and strangely, that train ride was the best nap Sven had in a long time. Granted, it wasn’t saying much given their inconsistent sleep schedule but any rest was good rest. Even the long walk (Sven hated driving) didn’t faze them. Despite being gone for nearly a decade nearly everything remained the same. From the sea breeze to the chimes of ice cream carts, West Anne beckoned for its tourists to stay an extra day or week to soak the sunlight if not retire there altogether.

Anchor Academy was the only outlier. Its drawbridge proved imposing as ever and the creaking showed how long it had been since somebody crossed. Had everyone left that long ago? Or did their father decide to bunker down? Not that either options were mutually exclusive.

"You've your brother's grave and disobeyed my orders. Leave!"

Why am I here?

Sven bit their bottom lip. It wasn't too late to renege their decision. They could rewind their trek and draw the bridge back up. They could toss the letter into the ocean and go home. They could do just about anything to avoid traumatizing themself again.

Oh, but they didn't. They continued across the bridge, taking a deep breath as they set foot on the flagstone pavement.

"Good to see you again Mi-Sven. It has been far too long." Pogo emerged from Anchor Academy's center door in his red suit.

"Yeah..." Sven pressed their lips together, holding back a twinge of annoyance.

The person that stood before them was no longer the spry simian that taught them world history or strategy during Reginal's busy days. Pogo's hairs grayed at the ends and the bags under his eyes formed full wrinkles. His face drooped and even his back seemed the slightest bit hunched. Despite all that happened they didn't hate him. They just wished he had done more for them.

"Has anyone else come yet?" Sven asked, jostling their backpack back onto their shoulder.

"Ah, you are the first to arrive actually-" Pogo paused for a second-"but I believe that your mother has prepped tea and cookies if you wish to wait in the living room."

"You didn't need to do any of this you know."

Pogo shook his head.

"I'm fulfilling his last request just like you."

He gestured for Sven to head inside, glancing at the clouds looming in the distance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves
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Ronan Hargreeves
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Number Five | Outfitx|xhex: #800000
xxxI guess I'm always gonna be the bad child
xxxI guess I'm always gonna be the mad child
xxx'Cause you will never understand my weird mind
xxxAnd to every single person here that doubts me
xxxTellin' me that they could live without me
xxx'Cause they will never understand my weird mind


If Ronan was being honest with themselves, they didn't know why they were here. They didn't know why they came back to the place that brought them nothing but torment and misery for nine-teen years of their life. Why they found themselves stood, along the curb of that old street outside of the gate that stood opposite of the drawbridge that lead to the pathway to the Academy. Ronan silently ruffled through their jacket's pocket as they retrieved a small packet of Cloves. Taking one out of the box, placing it in between their teeth as they retrieved the lighter and set it alight, taking in the mix of chemicals from within the cigarette, holding their breath as they felt it fill their lungs before exhaling. The smoke quickly whaffting away in the sea-breeze. The smell of salt and sand found its way passed their senses, taking another deep breath as they closed their eyes. They could have just left, go back to their rented out apartment in the next town over, have a few drinks before going back to The Netherlands. The only place they've been able to call home in recent years. Being back here, well...It brought nothing but anxiety. Whether it was owing it to theirself, or even their siblings, Ronan wasn't sure. But there was that constant voice in the back of their head that told them to just go. Go to the Academy. At least talk to the others, talk with Pogo, anyone. Just, don't walk away. "Don't be a damn coward!" that damned voice wracked in their brain once more, grimacing slightly. A small shiver found its way going down their spine before Ronan took another hit from the cigarette before tossing it to the ground, licking their lips. The sweet taste of the cigarette danced across their tongue as they focused on it, something familiar. Something to keep them grounded for just a moment. Anything to keep them from focusing on his voice, even with him gone...Being here alone was enough to cause memories flooding back to Ronan. But as they focused on the ocean, the crashing of soft waves, the seagulls overhead. The cars that passed by. It helped them not focus on why they were actually here.

Ronan opened their eyes once more, dark green hazel eyes scanning the foreground before them. Their hands shook for just a moment, before they formed into momentary fists. "C'mon, Ro...Just fucking get it over with. Go in, say hi. Then just leave. You don't owe them anything more..." they muttered under their breath. They were here to ensure that their bastard of a father was truly gone, that was it. Sure, there were some siblings they wanted to see. Hell, one they hadn't seen in over a decade now. Hell, what did Sven even look like now? Ronan changed a lot, so why wouldn't they have? Fuck, Sven was one of the ones they had wanted to see for the longest time, to make things right. Even if there wasn't much they had to apologize. Just...Simply showing they weren't angry with them should have been enough, right? Reaching into their back pocket as they rested against their Speedbike, Ronan took out that damned letter. Why they brought it with them, it was anyone's guess. Their eyes scanned it over once more, a small tinge of bitterness and anger slowly found itself tying their stomach in knots as they read it. A feeling of regret and guilt always found its way in when they were here, all because of him. Ronan simply crumbled it up in their fist, before tossing it into the ocean. Ronan grabbed their helmet, tucking it under the crook of their arm, they made their way across the street and over to the gate. Pausing for just another moment, Ronan took yet again another deep breath. Their hand shook slightly, before they punched in the damn code before it opened, creaking as it did so. It really had been this long, huh? Ronan pushed open the gate and began to slowly make their way across the old path, the ocean air scraping across their skin as they walked up to the old academy.

Ronan looked up slowly at the old building, their tongue glid across their teeth for a moment as they contimplated things. Shaking their head, "Just fucking do it..." they muttered, before they began walking once more. Stepping up onto the old, whethered steps as they walked up to the door. They took a moment, and knocked a couple of times against the old door, shoving their hands into their pockets as they waited patiently. For what felt like forever they waited, and waited. And waited. Until the door finally creaked open for a moment. Ronan instinctively looked through the door, before looking down as what could only be seen in a flash of fur and darkened skin closed the door for just a moment. Before opening it back up again, "Master Ronan?" came an all too familiar voice, however aged it may have been. A small smile spread across their face as Ronan looked down at the simian. He was aged, and slightly hunched over, but it was for certain the same one. The one Ronan knew all too well. "Hello, Pogo. It's been a while." they said with a smile. The aged simian smiled as he opened the door fully, ushering Ronan inside.

Ronan slowly stepped into the entryway of the Academy, their footsteps softly thudding as they entered. "You look well, Ronan." they heard the old monkey speak up once more as the door closed behind the two of them. Ronan turned their head over their shoulder, "Thank you, Pogo...You look...You look good. I'm glad to see you again." they said with a soft smile. Pogo gave them a small nod, brows furrowed slightly. "How is...Everything?" Ronan sighed slightly, looking back around the old foyre. Everything was exactly the same as they left it. Memories slowly came back as they closed their eyes for just a moment. Blinking as they snapped themselves back to reality, "Sorry...uhm...things are...Better, Pogo. Uhm...How is everyone else? Are the others here yet or...?" the old simian gave a curt nod, "That's good to hear, Ronan. Well, you're the second to arrive but uh...I think there is someone you should see first." he said with a kind smile. Ronan tilted their head for a moment, "Where...Where is she?" they asked softly. "In the kitchen, preparing some snacks for everyone's arrival."

Ronan gave him a small nod and smile, "Thank you, Pogo. For...Everything. This and...Well...You know. I'll be back to see you in a little bit...I'm...I'm gonna go say hi real quick." they gave the simian a small nod before parting ways, but not before placing the helmet in one of the empty chairs, before going through the halls and different rooms. Memories and feelings they dug deep down slowly began to resurface. As if a movie was playing out in their head. Flashbacks to Ronan and the others as children, running through the hallways and corridors. Ronan finally found themselves stepping into the small archway that lead into the kitchen. Stopping midway through the arch of the door as they saw a figure of a blonde woman busily pulling out a pan of cookies and placing it onto the table. Ronan took a short, shallow breath before they swallowed the growing lump in their throat, "H...hey mom.." Ronan managed to call out, their voice cracking half way through those two small words. The woman turned around, with a smile on her face, "Oh, Ronan sweetheart!" she chimed as her eyes rested on them. A small smile formed over their face before they found themselves wrapping their arms around the Android in a tight embrace, "I've missed you..." Ronan said softly as they rested their head along the android's shoulder. Grace smiled as she spoke, "Well, you're home now. Just in time for cookies." she said, grabbing one of the plates as she offered some to Ronan, who simply oblidged by taking one. "Oh, and one of your siblings is here. You should probably go say hi, Ronan. I have lots to do before the others arrive." Grace exclaimed as she turned and went back to baking.

"Right...Uhm...I'll see you later, okay?" Ronan turned on their heels, but not before looking at the android one last time, taking a small bite out of the cookie they took from the plethora of them. They'd need to come back for more later. Their foosteps sounded softly as they meandered throughout the rooms, before finally coming to one of the few rooms that made them uneasy. The back foire with the mantle and picture that hung above the fireplace. They hated looking at the portrait that Hargreeves had made. All false pretenses, fake emotions. None of it was genuine. Their thoughts were interrupted as they could feel a presence in the room with them. It was familiar, but faint. One they hadn't felt in a while, which, immediately caused them to recognize it. They took a small, short breath before finally turning to see the figure standing opposite them in the room. Ronan's eyes scanned over the figure, a small smile spread across their face. They looked different but, those eyes and face. Ronan couldn't mistake it for anyone else. "Hey, Sven..." Ronan started, their voice soft and low. They didn't really know what to say. It had been ten years, but, it didn't matter to them. This was one of the few people they genuinely wanted to see again. Even if the conditions were, less than favorable. "You look...You look good. I mean it." a small, genuine smile appeared for a moment, before fading away. "I uh...Trust you've been well." Ronan took another pause as their hands shook, noticing just how fast their heart was beating in their chest. Ronan bit their lip as they looked down for a moment. "God...I don't even know what I'm trying to say..." Ronan muttered, combing their fingers through their hair, "I guess I'm just trying to say...I'm sorry...I just hope you've...Been better off since...Well. I don't need to state the obvious." Ronan nervously fiddled with their fingers, a nervous tick they had picked up when they were a kid. "It's good to see you again....After all this time, Sven. I...I missed you." their tone was genuine, solemn almost. The sound of regret and guilt would have been easy to pick up on by anyone, and Ronan wasn't ashamed of that. They missed most of the others, and Sven especially. They just hoped they could make things not entirely fall apart before this shitshow even started.





Characters Present

Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves
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songxx outfitxx bedroom xxdialogue hex #CE7B97

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Lucky picked at the hardened scab, enjoying the sensation as she tore it revealing shiny new pink skin. She’d grown fond of scars into her adulthood. For so long it felt like everything was erased like it never happened, Sven turning back the clock to restore them to their former selves. It felt like her body wasn’t ever really wholly hers, just pieces of her. A firm hand gripped her thigh, pulling her closer. She wrapped her arm around them, throwing back her head to arch her back into them; not because she enjoyed it, but because she knew they did.

“What are you thinking about?” They mumbled into her ear, burrowing themselves in her dark tresses.

She smiled softly, pushing aside her hair to see them clearly. The sunlight was still figuring it’s way into their room, not quite at the angle to reach the bed yet. Her fingers ran along their jawline, her touch soothing them back to sleep.

“I’ll tell you about it later, go back to sleep.”

They drifted back into their dreams, Lucky watching for a moment – envious of that peace. Even her sleep was restless, dark circles forever shading beneath her eyes. She slid out from the bed wrapping herself in a silken robe.

Rose was an intoxicating scent, one she always favored. The aroma filled the room as she filled the tub, pouring the rose extract generously where the spout poured into the frothing water. When she closed her eyes it was all she could sense, that heavy floral musk. Her impulse was to retract as she lowered herself into the bath, she could feel her skin reddening from the heat. That’s what the rose extract was for. She bit her bottom lip, plunging herself into the water all at once her gasp twisting into a wince. Her body tensed, holding itself in place as it acclimated.

When she was here it felt like she could forget everything for a moment – in that time as her body felt like it might be on fire battling the elements struggling to adjust so could finally have that moment of peace. Ghosts were always lurking in the corners of her psyche reminding her of what lurked in the shadows. She closed her eyes, tilting her head back and submerging herself holding herself under until she ran out of breath.

“Hey,” Their voice surprised her, a scratchy whisper. She looked over, spitting bubbles in response. “You okay? You’ve been quiet last couple days….”

Lucky nodded slowly, closing her eyes again and sinking further into the water. She waited until she heard the door close behind her latest paramour before opening her eyes again reaching for the battered bound novel that sat on a table beside the tub. Most of the book had water damage, warping the pages so that they wouldn’t lay flat swelling it in size.

She started to flip through the pages, the book opening to where she’d shoved a folded a piece of paper into the spine. Careful to unfold it so that it stayed pressed against the book and hidden should her paramour walk back in unannounced. The note was beginning to tear at the folds from the repeated motion, caught in the cycle of reading it until she felt too sick to look at it anymore, folding it furiously and hiding it away. Out of sight, out of mind – right?

To my dear students,

How could he be so cold and yet so uncharacteristically warm in the same sentence?

A closet full of pretty things with a high price tag. Each piece made her think of someone she wish she was, anyone but herself really. Maybe one day she’d put on the perfect outfit to finally become someone else. Every morning she put together who she wanted to be that day, at least for pretend. She stood there, dripping wet and naked – every thing around her tailor made yet none of it fit her anymore.

“I’ve got to go home,” She hollered from the bedroom, recognizing the sound of someone shifting in the next room followed by footsteps.

“Home?” They asked, coming into the closet. “The States you mean?”

“L.A., just outside the city.” She lied; they didn’t even know her real name. Why start being honest now?

“Did something happen?” They asked, grabbing a towel that had been strewn aside from a previous day of dress up and wrapping around Lucky. A shiver ran down her spine, prompting them to rub her arms quickly to help her warm up.

“No – not really. I guess they’re selling the house and need our help going through the things to see what they can throw out.” She didn’t even know what she was saying until the words left her mouth, the story spinning itself.

“Do you want me to come with?”

“No! – no, trust me that’ll just make it take longer. Plus you’ll end up becoming best friends with my brother which will immediately doom our relationship, so trust me it’s for the best.”

They furrowed their brow in mild suspicion before kissing atop her head gently, her hair dripping across their chest. They pushed her hair back, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her in. “Any way I can help?”

She smiled, kissing them deeply before asking sweetly – “Will you take me shopping?”

________________________________________________________________________________


“You look nice.” Whispered the fox, following Lucky from a distance as she trudged through the Shadow Realm.

Lucky pursed her lips, avoiding eye contact forcing herself to remember the details of the door to her room in the Academy. She had been offered a first class flight instead but she didn’t want them hovering over her shoulder as she bought the ticket asking why she was booking a flight to New York City instead of L.A. Besides, she hated connecting flights from international to domestic. Even with first class and TSA pre-check it was still a pain to transfer.

“Too good to talk to me now? You rarely come visit anymore….I’ve grown lonely.”

“Maybe if you didn’t stalk me like prey every time I came in here, I’d be more inclined to keep you company.” Lucky spat, rolling her eyes. The Shadow Fox was always lurking whenever she passed through. She stopped being afraid of it a long time ago. In here she was the one in charge of the world around them.

“Well what’s a fox to do? Not much else here to keep my attention.”

“Maybe whatever you did before I got here?”


“Sleep,” It let out a cold laugh, Lucky twitching with discomfort at it’s pitch. “If only it were that simple. You don’t help much, passing in and out of here without a care in the world.”

“Sounds like a personal problem. Now go away, you’re breaking my focus.” She shooed the fox away, the shadowed creature shrinking in size to dodge her and circle around.

“Excuses, you should be able to do this in your sleep by now.”

“Jesus Christ – forgive me if I’m a little distracted. Will you just shut up please? I’ll be on my merry way and you can go back to sleep.”

“I think we’ve known each other long enough that you know that isn’t what I want.” Its tone sent a chill down her spine, looking at her with still beady eyes.

Lucky snarled,“And that’s why you’ll always be lonely.”

“I just want you to stay where your safe – isn’t that exactly what you wanted for your family?”

Lucien’s face flashed in her mind; he’d been only a voice for so long she wondered if they’d even recognize each other. She shook her head, the fox infecting her thoughts. It was an endless power struggle between them, yet they were somehow the one being who was a constant in her life. Locked away in its cage it didn’t seem so scary, though it was harder to distinguish that when it slipped into her dreams.

The door, she had to remember the door. The trim was covered in polaroid’s, her favorite pictures of her siblings and their mother. She would spend hours looking at the pictures in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep, trying to recreate her memories to feign the idea of a childhood. The door was oversized and took her full strength to move with an ornate brass knob from the original design of the house. The light always gleaned off of the warm browns of the varnish, reflecting the room in it’s surface. She could feel the hardwood beneath her feet, opening her eyes to see the door conjured within the Shadow Realm.

“Looks like that’s my cue, nice catching up.” Lucky flicked off the Shadow Fox one last time, opening the door and stepping through.

The first time she teleported through the Shadow Realm it felt like she was being spat back out into the light. She had been unconscious for over a day afterward, her body exhausted from over-exerting her power. She didn’t travel through the Shadow Realm as often as she could have, when the alternative was private jets and first class it wasn’t a downgrade in any way. If it meant some extra time lapping in luxury, why would she waste her energy on something as taxing as the Shadow Fox.

Though eventually, as always, the time would come where she’d burn some bridge or get herself in some situation that led her to the same place. She’d learned how to manifest portals in and out of the Shadow Realm with relative ease unless the Shadow Fox was especially a nuisance that day. At least stepping through the portals had become less volatile.

She stepped from the shadows into her bedroom, blinking rapidly as her eyes adjusted to the light.

There were white linens pulled over the furniture, but the plants were as lush as ever. Lucky smiled, ‘Mom’. Lucky had been to the Academy since she left, though usually just stealing an hour with mom in the kitchen or maybe rifling through her dad’s study for notes regarding his research into her powers (usually a result of a coke-fueled night leading to a spiral of resentment). She hadn’t been in her room since she left. She could tell their mom had continued to clean it, not a single speck of desk settled on any surface in the room.

She began pulling the linen from the furniture, folding each one neatly and setting it on the end of her bed. Seeking the shadows of the house, she could read Pogo lingering in the parlor watching the door and their mother in the kitchen. The other’s had yet to arrive, she wondered if any of them would even show. As if her thoughts had manifested them, the sound of the drawbridge broke her inner dialogue.

She watched as Sven emerged from the car, stunned for a moment having to catch her breath. They were the last person Lucky expected to show, though maybe for that same reason they’d be the first one to want to confirm the guy was really dead. A metallic taste filled her mouth, Lucky realizing she’d been biting her lip so hard it began to bleed. Waiting for Sven to follow Pogo into the house, she opened her window as quietly as possible hanging out as she lit a cigarette.

Sliding into the chair beside the window so that she was hidden from sight but hanging her hand out the window so the smoke wouldn’t travel into the hallway, Lucky sat like that for a while. It was another three cigarettes when she heard the sound of the drawbridge again, peaking above with caution to watch Ronan ride in on a speed bike.

“Well that’s it,” She mumbled to herself, putting out her current cigarette and tossing the butt out the window. If Ronan and Sven were both in attendance, it was free game for anyone to show. How many ghosts would she have to face today? She was already chewing on her lip again, lighting up another cigarette in defeat. Anything to keep her hands busy.

Lucky paused, looking at her phone as if it had become the enemy. If there was ever a time to call Lucien, it’d be now – though admittedly she’d never called him when she was sober. She didn’t know if she’d be able to handle him not picking up today of all days, didn’t want that hanging over her head. Against her better judgement she hit the call button, smoking her cigarette furiously to stop herself from chewing her bottom lip raw.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves Character Portrait: Jaime Courtney
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Vya wasn't one for sadness. It wasn't his shade, didn't fit him. Besides, he wasn't sure sad was what he was even feeling. Shocked, definitely. But 'sad' was pushing it a little. He really hadn't thought Reginald Hargreeves would ever do them the kindness of dying.

He'd crumpled his letter up and tossed it in the trash only to dig it out the next day and read it again, chewing on his fingernails and pacing the length of his apartment. His husky, Koda, had paced with him in a show of solidarity.

Two days later he'd texted Ronan a simple: you going? and gotten an even simpler yeh as a reply. Which had pretty much sealed the deal that Vya was going. For one, he wasn't going to make Ro face it alone, and for two, he couldn't face it without Ro, so there was that.

He wasn't sure if any of the others would. He and Ronan had been the last to leave, and the only ones to really claim Dear Ol' Dad (although he had a feeling they both did it because it made it easier to pull the 'abused kid' card but that was besides the point). ((Or maybe it was just because Ro got outed and Vya couldn't let his sib go down alone.))

Besides, who else was going to go home, confirm the bastards death, deal with the will and estate and anything else? Lucien was too busy being a goddam hermit (Vya had tried calling him - about 15 times if his phone history was to be believed.) Lucky would probably laugh in the face of anyone who suggested she handle it. And Sven- no. It was him, and Ronan. He'd shit his pants if anyone else showed.

He took a shot and threw the damn letter away again.

• ♦ • ♦ •


Vya was drunk before he boarded the plane. He ordered another drink once he got settled, and spent the flight from Cali to NY playing games with a toddler in the seat next to him. His very tired mother looked very appreciative and neither of them acknowledged the fact that she 'accidentally' drank his coffee and baileys before taking a nap.

He fucked around in town for a bit, he hadn't been back to West Anne since he'd left the academy. He sent a few touristy pictures to a contact in his phone labeled '*Bee Emoji* J' and picked up a mug for him in a novelty shop and spelled out 'UNT' next to the handle. He could get the same stupid shit back home but he was traveling which made it special.

When he couldn't ignore what he was there for anymore, Vya found himself crossing that fucking drawbridge. While his PTSD didn't have shit on his siblings, it still wasn't pleasant, and he found himself wishing he could have held Ronan's attention long enough to coordinate their arrivals.

Pogo was waiting for him. Great. Vya took a swing from his flask.

"Master Vya-"

"I know my way around, I'm okay," Vya interrupted, his tone not as harsh as his words. Pogo opened his mouth, perhaps to say more, but for some reason Vya just really, really didn't want to hear it. "I need to take a walk."

He stood there just long enough to see Pogo nod his head and place both hands on a cane that was supporting him in his old age, then he fled. It wasn't about Pogo, not really, their relationship was pleasant if distant. It was about being home. The way the sea salt water smelled different on the West Coast than the East. It was about the way it felt crossing the draw bridge. It was about not being ready to enter the great hall and look into the face of a mother who hadn't aged a day since he was a child.

He didn't know where he was going at first. Why he bothered to run at all. It made more sense to go seek out Ronan (if they'd arrived yet) and a bottle of finely aged Scotch. But his feet propelled him outwards, until he was stumbling over graveyard dirt. A sad smile crossed his face as he realized where he was, and he pulled his flask from his coat again to take another drink before he climbed onto the statue and pressed his forehead against the cold metal of Ben's, preserved forever at sixteen. He wondered, briefly, if it was creepy now that he was an adult. But really, he didn't care.

"You could probably use a drink today too, huh?" Vya muttered, and let a little whiskey dribble onto the gravestone he was standing on. Find peace in the light. What a bunch of bullshit. "Don't worry, I won't let him be buried anywhere near you."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Uma Hargreeves Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Nathan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Savannah Hargreeves Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves
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The interior of the mansion was just as they remembered it, pretentiousness and all. The mahogany foyer hosted a gold chandelier, marble floor, and a wooden staircase in the center of the room. Along the walls were portraits of varying sizes, with the biggest being one of Sir Reginald Hargreeves staring down at whoever entered Anchor Academy’s doors.

I’m surprised that he didn’t take mines’ down, Sven thought idly as they turned their head towards the left wing of the estate.

The living room dredged up more memories ranging from seething hatred to a phantom pain. The embers of the fireplace had long died and the furniture dusty from lack of use. Nonetheless, Sven sat on one of the couches, ready to drown in baked goods, tea, and their phone. Grabbing one of the cookies, they bit down with a strange crunch.

They were stale and the tea, they realized was equally cold.

How long ago did Mom make these? They pursed their lips, motioning for its reversal.

It took about fifteen minutes, but Sven managed to get the cookies in their original, gooey form and the tea piping hot. They weren't entirely sure how long the food had been left out, but it was at least a few days. Had she been told the wrong date? It wasn't like Mom to make a mistake like that.

Before they could dig deeper however, a familiar voice interrupted their thoughts.

“Ronan…”

It had been ten years since Sven last saw their sibling so it was only natural that their lips would curl inward, their throat would be barely holding back a crack, and every terrible memory would come flooding back at once. There was a time when they blamed Ronan for how their father treated them. They asked themselves why Five continued to listen to father when Sven was the one picking after them. They were always the one healing, repairing the damage that everyone else did, they were Anchor Academy’s “get out of jail free” card. They...needed to calm down. Regurgitating decade-old trauma was not the point of their visit.

Sven pressed the teacup to their lips, meeting their sibling’s gaze as they continued speaking. They remained silent through Ronan’s fragmented speech, unsure whether the point was penitence or validation.

If you were sorry why didn’t you try to find me? The words stopped short of their lips, swallowed along with a long sip of tea.

Apologies weren’t easy. Often they were a means of deferring guilt from the perpetrator to the victim. Sven didn’t doubt Ronan’s sincerity. They couldn’t lie to save their life or rather, Sven didn’t even know if they knew how to lie. Years of social isolation and emotional detachment meant that before Ronan left they’d never interacted with anyone other than the Hargreeves’ family. It wasn't to say that Sven doubted Five's ability to pick up the art of deception so much as that it didn't fit them. They were far too genuine a person.

”It’s fine,” They rasped, setting their cup on the table. ”I’m tired of being angry.”

It wasn't a complete lie. Sven didn't want to resent their siblings anymore. Hatchets were meant to be buried and anger drained them far more than their powers could. That was the whole reason they read those stupid self-help books in the first place. They were being manipulated. It's not their fault. For a brief second there was a flash of hesitation in the dirty blonde's eyes before they steeled themselves once more.

”So I heard you've been traveling," They started, grabbing a cookie from the plate next to the tea set.

---


Outside of the mansion, Pogo stood unperturbed by the swelling clouds. The funeral mattered more to him than a few drops of rain. Only Vya, Sven, Nathan, and Ronan came through the front while the others were missing. He was sure that Uma and Camil-Lucky received their letters, but Lucien and Savannah were much harder to find. Government records showed that Lucien joined the military; however, his address never stayed for too long. Savannah, by nature of her gift, could take on the identity of whoever she wished, making her location an approximation at best.

I don’t suppose any of you could show one last time.