Deep in the lush countryside is Penn Hall. Owned by the Pendragon family for generations, it was emptied during the war and fell into decrepitude until Igraine Pendragon took it upon herself to restore it and turn it into a school for girls of all ages and walks of life.
Elena has been going to Penn Hall since she was a little girl. She likes it well enough. It has been more of a home to her than her father’s house. She knows all its secrets, all its nooks and crannies, the sound the wind makes against the stone walls, the smell of the tapestries in winter—everything. People come and go every year—teachers, staff, students—but Elena stays. Nothing surprises her here. Her grades are decent, she doesn’t play sports more than she has to, preferring to burrow herself in her books and colours. It’s simple and predictable and safe.
Then Mithian, new English teacher and all-around perfect human being, comes into Elena’s life and everything—absolutely everything—changes. Mithian’s smart and beautiful and loves the pre-Raphaelites. She recites Christina Rossetti and smiles when Elena mouths along with her. She looks at Elena’s drawings like she sees something in them Elena hoped was hidden. They laugh over silly cartoons in the papers, and Mithian never tells on Elena when she finds her in the kitchen late at night, unable to sleep. Elena shows her where it’s safe to sneak out for a smoke, and Mithian doesn’t let go of her hand when they get caught in a storm. There’s a secret in Mithian’s eyes, an ache that shadows her smile sometimes, and Elena wants to figure it out.
It’s soft and lovely. It’s forbidden and absolutely, completely overwhelming. Elena’s not sure she can bring herself to care, though, not when Mithian is with her, not when she makes life at Penn Hall—Elena’s life—so unpredictable and wonderful.
Light as the down of the thistle,
Free as the winds that blow,
We roved there the beautiful summers,
The summer of long, long ago;
Merlin AU - Scholarly Pursuits
a university student/teacher AU for Caitlin
There are a few things Merlin knows for certain: he’s clever, he learns fast, he has an unhealthy caffeine habit and a slightly overzealous passion for old dusty stories, his handwriting is messy, he’ll never understand the rules of football, and his research supervisor is completely, unfairly fit. And off-limits.
But even knowing all that Merlin can’t help the skip in his heart when Pendragon praises him or his work. Or the warmth that pools in his stomach when he realizes they’ve been discussing Merlin’s thesis, and Pendragon’s—Arthur’s—work for hours without either of them getting tired. Or the shiver down his spine when Arthur leans over a book with him—tracing the words with his fingers, speaking low and close to his ear—and Merlin has to resist the urge to lean against Arthur, into the solidity of his body.
And so there are a few things Merlin knows he wants and doesn’t want. He wants to finish his thesis with honours, and to publish at least one paper before the end of the year. He wants to work with Arthur, but he also wants Arthur, but he doesn’t want to get expelled, or for Arthur to lose his job, or to change program or school, or to stop coming into Arthur’s office with a coffee at the end of the day, and for Arthur to look up from the papers he’s grading, hair messy and tie loosened, and for his face to split into a grin at the sight of Merlin.
It’s a bit of a mess really, but Merlin’s up to the challenge. After all, he’s clever and fast and he might not know how to play football, but there are other games he’s willing to bet he can learn how to play.
Tell me your secrets, and ask me your questions
Oh let’s go back to the start;
“Sweet prince, if through this wicked witch’s trick
a poison your lips should drink,
a ray of hope there still may be in this, the gift I give thee
The fateful prophecy you will keep
not in death, just in sleep
And from this slumber you shall wake
when the lionheart’s love the spell shall break”
Based off of this Sleeping Beauty edit