Upon realizing that King Athamas of Boeotia had been given a false prophecy by his wife Ino that he sacrifice his children to ward off famine, their true mother, the nymph Nephele, sent a winged ram with a golden fleece to save her children – twins Phrixus and Helle. The twins climbed upon the creature and were carried toward Colchis upon the shore of the Black Sea.
Tragically Helle fell and drowned, but upon his safe arrival, Phrixus sacrificed the ram and offered its golden fleece to King Aeetus of Colchis, who welcomed him. In honor of its actions to save the twins, the ram was cast into the skies, becoming the constellation Aries.
Just Another Day
Sam frowned as she looked over The Daily Prophet, reading the headlines. They had gotten increasingly worse since the end of the Triwizard Tournament nearly a year before and she knew Oliver would take it hard. While he wasn't incredibly close to Harry now that they were out of school, she knew he held a soft spot for his former seeker.
Not to mention, her parents had mentioned they heard from her cousin that Hogwarts was insufferable this year with the addition of Umbridge. Her father had nothing kind to say about the woman and mentioned that he in large part stayed as far from her as he could when she was at the ministry.
In short, Sam felt for Potter.
"That the paper?" Oliver asked, walking out from the bedroom, freshly showered. She quickly turned the page and smiled up at him.
"Yea, though just a bunch of the same," she said breezily before looking back down at it.
"Same gossip, is it?" he asked, walking up and kissing the top of her head as he looked over her shoulder. Sam tried to turn the page again, but Oliver stopped her, frowning as he looked at the page.
"Still after Harry, it seems," he asked. Sam looked up at him, concerned. "Load of bollocks. If he said he's back, then he's back."
"I know, Oliver. But… none of us want to truly believe that he's back," Sam said, looking back down at the paper while Oliver moved to make himself a cup of tea before sitting down for breakfast.
"Just don't see why they have to make Harry and Dumbledore out to be the village idiots," he said, returning to the table and sitting down where Sam already had a plate made up for him. "Should be doing stories on how to protect ourselves and looking into death eaters."
"I know," Sam said with a sigh. "Dad sent another owl this morning."
"More tips and precautions?" Oliver asked. Sam nodded.
"He's getting rather frustrated with the minister and The Prophet," she said. "Though he said few other aurors seem to care. Unfortunately, a good lot of them believe the minister."
"I don't blame him," Oliver said. "He found anything yet?" Sam shook her head, glancing back down at the paper.
"Can't seem to find anything to pin on Flint," she said. "And he wants to come check the wards again this weekend."
"That makes the second time this month," Oliver replied.
"It's better than him trying to talk me into moving back home," Sam said. She looked up, meeting Oliver's eyes.
"It's going to be fine, Sam. You're perfectly safe. We're perfectly safe," he said. Sam smiled slightly.
"I know," she said, taking a bite of eggs. "Looking forward to the match this weekend."
"As am I. Still fine with having the lads and such over afterwards?" Oliver asked, starting to smile.
"Of course. Already gotten everything planned," she said, standing from the table. She walked back to their bedroom, pulling on a fleece pullover and grabbing her bag. She then walked back out and kissed Oliver as she passed by the table. "See you at dinner? I've got to get some conditioning in after rehearsal but should be back by 6."
"Yea. Practice shouldn't go too late," he said.
"See you then," she said, waving as she walked out of the flat and down the stairs. She paused as she stepped out on the sidewalk and pulled her pullover down a bit before continuing to walk. Even though it was spring, the mornings could still be chilly. Despite it being rather early, the Alley was already starting to come alive. Sam nodded a greeting to the shopkeepers she passed every day on her way to Watsworths, starting to hum a soft tune as she weaved her way through the small streets.
Even with the shadow of impending danger hanging over all their lives, Sam had to admit that life had been good to her.
Nearing the end of her second season at the company, she was on the cusp of being named an official soloist. She had won a supporting role in an upcoming original production directed by the company's hottest new choreographer. It was a rather experimental piece and part of the company's new initiative to broaden their productions from just ballet. Granted, it was in the smaller theater at Watsworths, but still, Sam was thrilled to be part of it.
Not to mention, Oliver was in his second season on Puddlemere's reserves and up for a promotion to first string when the current keeper retired at the end of the season, having kept strong stats since he started. He had been filling in on matches all year as it was.
The two had just celebrated their second anniversary and 20th birthdays. Sam nearly couldn't believe that two years had passed since that day Oliver won the House Cup and the two finally got over themselves and confessed their feelings.
"Good morning, Sam!" the guard at the stage door said as she walked in.
"Morning, Alfred," she said with a grin. She walked to the women's locker room and quickly changed into her practice leotard and skirt. She took out a bottle of water and her contemporary shoes, then tossed her bag into her locker. Sam began humming softly as she walked to the smaller practice studio where her first class of the day was to start shortly. Rather than continuing to the next class after that, she had an hour and a half private rehearsal with the director before going to lunch and then joining the rest of the cast for group rehearsals in the afternoon.
"Still coming in early, I see," Finn said as he walked in behind her.
"Of course," Sam replied, rolling her eyes slightly as she began stretching out.
"Hello, Sam, Finn," a tall, elfin woman with long red hair said as she breezed it after him and began stretching.
"Good to see you, Ellie," Finn said, grinning brightly. Sam glanced at him, shaking her head. Puppy love had hit Finn hard the first day they started and he met Ellie.
"How's that hunky keeper of yours?" Ellie asked, sending a wink Sam's way.
"Good, as usual," Sam said.
"Did you get those tickets?" Ellie asked. "Think Moira's still in to go as well, right?"
"Course I am," a dark-haired woman with bright blue eyes said as she walked in. "Even if it is only reserves, I love a good match. Any word on when he's making first string?"
"Next season, hopefully," Sam said.
"Just don't mention it to Robert," Ellie said. "He'll never leave you alone."
"Talking about me again, are you? I know you lovely ladies can't get enough of me," a man with sandy blonde hair said as he walked in.
"Come off it, Robert," Moira said.
"No more chatting. I need you all stretched out and ready for warm-ups," a stern older woman said as she walked in, eyeing the small group there. "Hurry up."
"Amazing! Up and hold! Good! Now, into the turn! Excellent!"
Sam grinned as she moved around the practice room, feeling as though she was flying. The music stopped as she hit a pose, the director clapping.
"I knew that you would be the perfect addition to the company, Sam," the man said, grinning as she walked up to him.
"Thanks, Christopher. Honestly, I thought there was no way I'd get in after that fall," she said, catching her breath.
"And here you are very nearly a soloist already," he said, smiling. "But really, the passion that you exhibited… that was enough for me and it was easy to convince the others. Besides, breaks are easy to heal."
Christopher was relatively new to company - he had only been working with them for a year when Sam auditioned. But already he was making a name for himself as a director and choreographer in the wizarding dance world. He was also relatively young for someone in his position. This was the first full production with Watsworths that he had complete creative control over, though Sam had taken part in a few of his previous showcases. She was eager to work with him one-on-one.
"The piece is brilliant. I've always wanted to do something like this," Sam said, grinning.
"I have to thank you in part for that. Since you've started, you've been quite the muse. Definitely had you in mind for that last showcase and this one. Not to mention, been working on a new production for next year in the big theater that I'd like you to star in. That is, if this one goes over well," he said. Sam blushed slightly.
"That's… are you sure? I'm not even an official soloist yet," she said, momentarily shocked.
"But you will be soon. I wouldn't be surprised if someday you were the youngest principal in Watsworths," Christopher said. Sam's eyes widened.
"But there are so many talented dancers here," she replied.
"Stop being modest, Sam," he said. "Come on. Time for lunch." Sam pulled off her dance shoes and slid into the slippers she wore around the company before the two walked out of the room and joined the throng of people heading towards the cafeteria on the fifth floor.
"How was rehearsal?" Finn asked, catching up to her. Sam smiled and waved at Christopher as he walked off to join a few of the other instructors in their private dining room.
"Amazing," Sam gushed. "Really, I don't know why he doesn't get more productions. It's really phenomenal the things he comes up with."
"Oliver better watch out. Sounds like there's a new love in Sam Abbott's life," Finn joked as he leaned on her shoulder.
"Please," Sam said, rolling her eyes as she shoved him off.
"Oi! Freshlings! Get your food and get over here!" Ellie shouted out, waving at the two. "We've saved you spots!"
"They did get two more new dancers this year," Sam said as the two walked up and started filling their trays. "Don't understand why she insists on calling us freshlings still."
"Think of it as a term of endearment," Finn said, pushing her shoulder. Sam chuckled and started towards the table where Ellie and Moira were sitting with two other dancers, Logan and Ethan.
"Ready for group rehearsal?" Logan asked as the two sat.
"Of course," Sam replied instantly before biting into a celery stick.
"Says the soloist," Ellie replied with a smile.
"Please, you're the bloody lead," Sam said with a laugh. Ellie just shrugged.
"Perhaps I'm starting to feel a bit threatened," she said lightly, causing the group to chuckle. Ellie didn't have a jealous bone in her body. And she was by far one of the most talented dancers in the company.
"At least you all got picked," Ethan said. "I'm still stuck doing doing ballet."
"There's nothing wrong with ballet," Sam countered.
"You hated ballet in school," Finn replied.
"No, I hated what Madam Bernard had us doing," Sam said.
"I do not miss studying with her," Ellie said. "Though Ms. Mitchell isn't much better…"
"At least you got to study with her," Moira said. "Some of us had to work our way up from the gutters."
"Madam Renard is most certainly not the gutter," Ellie countered. "She's one of the top three dance instructors in the country."
"How are my favorite dancers today?" Robert said as he sat down at the table, grinning. Moira rolled her eyes.
"Better before you sat down," she muttered. He turned his eyes to Sam, ignoring Moira's comment.
"So… have a good rehearsal, Sam?" he asked, flashing a smile at her.
"Good as usual," she said, glancing at him.
"I'm rather looking forward to working with you again this afternoon," he said, smiling. "By the way, few of us are going out for drinks tonight. Thought you could join, seeing as we've been spending more time together of late."
"Sorry, Oliver is expecting me for dinner," she said casually.
"Right… the quidditch player," Robert said. Finn scowled at him. "You ever take a night away from him?"
"Went out with Ellie and Moira just the other day. And still spend a lot of time with my best friend Alicia," Sam said. "Finn and I still go out fairly regularly as well."
"It's just you she can't stand," Moira replied, smiling sweetly. Robert frowned at her.
"Now, now, we're all co-workers here," Logan said calmly, hoping to stave off another round of bickering. The two could barely stand to be around each other, though Robert never helped the situation. While Moira was usually sarcastic with a dry sense of humor, around the overconfident man, she would become downright vicious.
"Well, suppose I know when it's my cue to leave… unlike some of us. See you lot later," he said, standing and walking to another table.
"Swears he lives to aggravate," Moira said. "And it was one bloody time I missed my cue!"
"Annoys the daylights out of me as well," Sam replied. "Always fishing for a date."
"He always goes after the new ones. Sure he'll finally lose interest by the end of summer," Logan said with a sigh.
"You said that last year," Sam replied.
"Doesn't help that he thinks he's Merlin's bloody gift to women," Ellie said, before looking over at Moira. "Though there was a time when you didn't hate him so much…"
"Shut it, Ellie," Moira said, glaring at her. The redhead just chuckled.
"This is why I always say to never date coworkers," she sang. Moira just rolled her eyes.
"Well, hurry up. We don't have much time before group rehearsal starts," Logan said.
"Aye, aye, captain."
Oliver wiped the sweat from his brow as he landed and walked towards the coach who was waving him over as the rest of the team headed to the locker room and showers.
"Another good practice," Rufus Campbell said, grinning at him. "The head coach was over watching most of it. Just left. Had a lot of good things to say about you."
"Thank you, sir," Oliver said.
"Keep it up and we'll definitely be transferring you over for the next season," Campbell replied. "Would hate to lose you on reserves, but you belong on first string."
"Read the other day they might be considering Reynolds from the Falcons," Oliver said. Campbell laughed.
"Should know by now not to trust everything you see in the press," he replied. "Why do you think we gave you such a good deal for reserves? Rogers signed you knowing we'd have you on first string as soon as Michaels was ready to retire." Oliver nodded, barely containing his grin.
"Thanks, Coach," he said.
"Get to the showers," Campbell said. Oliver nodded and started trotting towards the locker rooms.
"Get another pep talk from Coach?" Mick Walters, one of the chasers shouted as Oliver walked in and moved to his locker.
"A bit," Oliver said, glancing over at him with a grin. "Says I'm definitely top of the list."
"Knew those reports on Reynolds were a load of shite," Walters said. He looked over at Adrian. "What's this about you moving up, Pucey?" Adrian froze slightly, his uniform half off.
"Nothing set in stone," he said quickly. "Larkin hasn't made a decision on whether he's going to re-sign or transfer. Wasn't going to say anything until it was more official." Oliver paused and looked over at him.
"How long this been going on?" he asked. The two had gone out for drinks just a couple nights ago and Adrian hadn't mentioned anything.
"Just came up yesterday," Adrian said, now focused on getting out of his dirty practice kit rather quickly. "And they just mentioned it was a possibility - wasn't an official offer." Before anyone could say anything else, he was off to the showers.
"You didn't know about this?" one of the beaters - Caleb Withers - asked. "Thought you two were rather close." Oliver just shrugged and threw the rest of his dirty uniform into his locker, then grabbed a towel.
"News to me," he said.
"Pucey, wait up!" Oliver called out as everyone was leaving for the day. Adrian stopped and turned around, waiting on him.
"Look, I just found out. I don't know how Walters knew," Adrian said. Oliver chuckled.
"I'm not angry. Just curious, is all," he said as the two started walking out together. "Suppose a congratulations is in order."
"It's nothing yet," Adrian said. "They just asked how I'd be feel about it."
"Hope you said yes," Oliver said. Adrian chuckled.
"Mate, if they are going to offer me left chase on first string, I'm not turning that down," he said.
"How about coming over for dinner? Celebrate a bit?" Oliver said. Adrian glanced at him.
"I just told you that it's not set in stone!" Adrian nearly shouted, still laughing.
"Might as well be," Oliver said.
"I don't know if it's a Gryffindor thing or if Sam's rubbed off on you too much, but I swear the optimism runs through you lot," Adrian replied.
"Come on. If they are already talking to you, think it's likely they already have the contract in the works," Oliver replied. "And it's definitely a Sam thing." Adrian laughed and shook his head.
"Well, Warrington's working late and my cooking is shite. Might as well come over," he said, looking over at Oliver.
"I'm home!" Oliver called out as he and Adrian walked into the flat. Sam sat up from the sofa, putting her book down on the coffee table. "And brought company."
"Good to see you, Adrian," Sam said, standing up and walking over to hug him.
"You too, Sam," he said. In the nearly two years since the three had graduated, they had become rather close. Not only had Adrian cut off ties with his family when he walked out, but most of his old classmates from Slytherin had stopped speaking to him as well outside Warrington - his roommate - and Marcus Flint, though he spent most of his days lately working overtime at the International Magical Office of Law.
Truth be told, he was a bit surprised at how things had turned out. After they had graduated, Sam and Oliver's families seemed to have taken him under their wings. While Roger Abbott was still a bit cold to him, everyone else had opened up to him. It was as if he had finally found the family he had always wanted, largely in thanks to Sam and Oliver.
"To what do we owe this pleasure?" she asked, stepping back.
"Well, Adrian's had a bit of good news," Oliver said. "Thought we could celebrate a bit."
"Sounds good. By the way, it's your turn to cook," she said, walking over to the fridge.
"Is it now?" Oliver asked, dropping his bag on the floor.
"Yep!" she called out, her head buried in the fridge. "I did the shopping this week, you do the cooking." She then stepped back and walked over to the two, two bottles of beer in her hands. "Don't worry, we'll keep you company."
Oliver chuckled and kissed her as she handed one of the bottles to Adrian.
"Very well," he said, walking into the kitchen. Sam and Adrian moved to sit at the table.
"How was practice?" Sam asked, looking from Adrian to Oliver, who was already at work in the kitchen gathering various ingredients. "And what are we celebrating?"
"Went well," Oliver called out. "Pucey's got some news." Sam turned to look at Adrian, eyebrows raised as she waited for him to speak.
"Seems Larkin is in talks to transfer," Adrian said. Sam started smiling.
"Wait, he plays left chaser, right? Are they going to promote you too?" she asked, sitting up.
"Nothing is set. We don't know if he's even going to transfer yet. But the head coach approached me about possibly of taking the spot if he does," Adrian said.
"This is brilliant, Adrian!" Sam squealed. "Finally making to first string. And just after your second season." Adrian just shrugged.
"It's nothing," he said, taking a drink. "Again, not even sure if he's going to leave. He may take whatever new contract Puddlemere offers him."
"Stop being modest, Pucey. You've had an amazing season," Oliver called out from the kitchen.
"Not nearly as good as yours," Adrian said. Sam just rolled her eyes.
"Get a room, you two," she replied. Oliver walked out to the table with a beer in hand, the dinner preparations underway behind him.
"How was rehearsal?" he asked. "Robert hit on you again?" Sam rolled her eyes.
"Asked me out for drinks. Again. It's like he chooses to ignore that I've been in a happy relationship for two years now," she complained. "But I'm going to have to get used to it. Christopher hinted I'd be made soloist soon and they just love handing leading roles to Robert."
"What do you mean?" Adrian asked. Sam smiled.
"I've got a bit of news of my own… Christopher says he's working on a new production for next year. Wants me in the main role. He actually said I inspired it. And the one we're currently working on," she replied.
"That's brilliant, Sammie!" Oliver exclaimed as he walked over and kissed her.
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves. It all depends on how this one goes. If it's a hit, then we can bust out the champagne. If not, well, suppose there will be other chances," she said.
"Regardless, you'll be a soloist soon enough," Oliver said as he walked back into the kitchen to check on dinner.
"I'm just happy to be doing something other than ballet," Sam replied.
"They ever let you in to watch her practice? Remember you did that a lot at school," Adrian asked, looking over at Oliver. Sam snorted.
"Absolutely not. All rehearsals are closed," she said. "Though I sometimes let him in if I'm practicing at night on my own."
"They like me fine at Watsworths," Oliver said, frowning as he looked over at the two.
"The dancers, yea. Because half of them want box tickets to games once you make first string and the other half think you're the fittest man in the League," she replied.
"Once I make first string, I'm using the bonus to get a bigger place so we can build a dance studio and you won't have to stay over late so much," Oliver called out. Sam smiled as she looked over at him.
"I do miss having a studio at home," she said with a sigh. "Would mean I wouldn't have to go in so early or stay so late…"
"Just get married, already," Adrian called out, laughing. Sam chuckled.
"Pretty sure Dad would die," she replied. She then sat up, clearing her throat and mimicking her father's favorite expression - a stern frown. "You're only 20, Samantha. You have your career to think about." Adrian started laughing, though he glanced into the kitchen, catching a panicked Oliver as the color started draining from his face. Adrian started laughing harder.
"How you doing in there, Oliver," he said. Sam looked over as Oliver quickly turned his back to hide his face from Sam.
"Dinner's ready," he called out, sending dishes flying to the table. Sam continued laughing as he walked out and sat next to her.
"It's not like Fred and George haven't been saying it for years," she said. Oliver rolled his eyes.
"And placing bets while they're at it," he grumbled. Sam just shook her head.
"Got a letter from them the other day… seems they've been having fun getting up to no good this year," she said.
"Still complaining about What's Her Name?" Oliver asked before taking a bite. Sam nodded.
"Umbridge… Though hinted that they've got something big planned during O.W.L.s," she said.
"I can only imagine what those two will do," Adrian said.
Sam looked at Adrian and then over at Oliver as both of them dug into the pasta that Oliver had made.
"Well, I for one think we should do a toast," she said, holding her beer out. "To us…" Adrian looked from Oliver to Sam and shrugged, holding his own out as Oliver followed.
Still have a lot more left to write on this one, but I'm up to chapter 14 completed - with several finished chapters towards the end. Just need to work on connecting the beginning and end. But thought I had enough down to start posting a bit. Hope you guys enjoy!