As far as Magdalone was concerned the world revolved around her. She knew this because her dad told her, repeatedly, everyday. "Pumpkin, you are the most precious thing in the universe. You know that, don't you?"
"I will work as hard as I can so that you can have anything you want. Do you understand me?"
Of course she did. She may not talk a lot, but she understood more than, probably even her dad, gave her credit for.
She remembered one incident when she was about...6? 7 maybe. A Krum child had something that she liked the look of. It was a stick, with bristoles on it and it was dipped in coulor. The child was running one of the sticks along a tree and it created a red line.
Magdolone loved it. It was so pretty. She wanted it. She remembered tugging on her daddy's coat and looking up at him with her best 'wide-eyed, innocent' look. "Daddy?"
"Mine." She pointed at the child.
He frowned. "...You can't play with her." He told her. "She's a Krum."
No! Pumpkin stomped her foot and pointed again this time more insistently. "Mine!"
Her dad frowned as he peared at the child, clearly trying to figure out what exactly what attracting his daughters intrest so much. "...The paints?" He asked.
Paints, so that's what they were called. She nodded up at him and said. "Mine."
"I'll send for some as soon as we get back." Her dad told her. "I'll send the boatman for some from the mainland."
Pumpkin didn't understand any of those words. All she knew was that she wasn't getting the paints. Her lips quivered and tears sprung to her eyes.
"Oh no, Pumpkin, don't cry-"
She burst into tears, great heaving wrecking sobs that spasmed through her whole body.
"Pumpkin-" Her dads tone was pleading.
She roared and threw herself on the floor. "Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine-" She wailed.
Then a flash of couler came in front of her eyes. Slowly she stopped crying and looked up, transfixed. "Mine?" She hiccuped.
Her dads eyes shined with love as he held the paint out towards her and said. "Yours."
The coulor was so pretty. It kept her occupied for days. She drew on a fence, randem shapes that made no sense, but she liked them.
Most of the other children kept away from her. Actually, all of the other children kept away from her. But she didn't mind that. She preferred it and expressed this via growling at the other children any time they came near her. She didn't even like other Ellingboes much, though she tolerated them for her fathers sake. She didn't bite them at least, and surely that was all anyone could ask for?
The first time she realised things could be different was when a boy joined her at the fence. He to had paints. And black hair. He was a Krum.
She growled at him. His first warning.
Her growled back. Her first warning.
She scowled at him and he scowled back at her. He stuck his tongue out at her then, before she could retaliate, lifted his paint and drew a line on the fence. A green line.
Well, if that was how he wanted it. She lifted her brush and drew a circle on the fence. A red one.
He frowned and drew a star.
She drew a square.
He drew a squiggle.
She drew a squiggle.
Soon the fence was alive with couler and the two children were giggling and their respective paints danced across the wood.
Just then. "Magdalone!"
"Olaf!" Their respective parents grabbed them and pulled them apart.
"You NEVER socialise with a Krum!" Her dad bellowed while the boy's mother screamed the same about their clan at him.
"What were you thinking!?" Her dad said, in angruish as he dragged her back home. "A Krum!? For goodness sake!"
"Want." She muttered, under her breath.
"What!?" Her dad caught her shoulders. "NO, Magdalone, NO. You can't have the Krum. Do you understand that? You can have any of OUR clan that your want, but NOT a krum. Tell me you understand, tell me!"
She pouted and her and her dad had a silent staring competition before she nodded.
He patted her shoulder, then gave her a big hug and said. "Okey. Let's go home. I'll make some pumpkin pie, okey? Your favourite."
She nodded and they put it behind them.
Despite the feud between the two clans they were sort of friends. Sort of. Her and Olaf [she had discovered his name] enjoyed their fights. It helped they were around the same height [she was a little taller] and Olaf was the only one who gave her a run for her money. She didn't particularly like fighting, but if she was GOING to fight she would rather it be with someone she could actually...you know. Punch in the face. She was even taller than her father, for goodness sake. Though he still treated her like his little girl, which she kinda liked.
Olaf was treated like a prince by his mother. She didn't quite pander to his every whim like her own dad did, but she made sure that every krum treated him with respect [read: fear] and did her best to make sure that Olaf knew how to treat other people. I.E. the rest of HIS clam were helped, baked for and talked to. and HER clan were pushed over, stole from and ignored, except when the bell rang.
The bell. Pumpkin hated it when it rang, but she went out there and represented the Ellingboes to the best of her ability. She kicked ass basically.
She mainly fought Olaf - because she wasn't a monster - and there were subtle signs that he quite liked her. Like the time he accidently managed to punch her on the mouth and she fell back into the snow, blood spilling from her mouth, turning the snow red.
Feeling slightly dizzy she looked up to see him looking at her in...concern?
"Okey?" He said, again and she realised with a jolt he was actually asking if she was alright.
"Wa-" She began, then realised that wasn't an appropriate answer and switched it to. "Yes."
He looked relieved and held out a hand to her.
She took it and he pulled her to her feet. She smiled at him. He smiled at her.
"OLAF!" The two of them turned to see Mrs Krum striding towards them furiously, casually kicking a child out the way. She was so wound up she didn't even realise the child was from her own clan. "Get away from her." She hissed.
Olaf frowned and said. "Blood."
"What?" Mrs Krum looked briefly confused, then looked at Pumpkin's mouth and said, dismissively. "Oh, very good. Now come with me. I need your help with dinner."
As Mrs Krum turned on her heel and stormed off, Olaf shot Pumpkin a briefly apologetic look before following his mother.
The main thing Pumpkin remembered from that encounter was thinking 'Oh good, he can cook.' She could cook but not very well. On one famous occasion she had managed to burn soup.
Two years after that that infernal teacher had turned up. Full of optimism she had tried to get the children from both sides in the same class room.
The SAME classroom.
You can imagine how well that went down. Axes were flung. Knives were thrown into globes. Rude pictures showing what the clans would do to each other were drawn on the platform.
Eventually the teacher was reduced to offering one-to-one sessions for the children. That worked for a short while - her dad even sent her a couple of times - until the Ellingboes realised the Krum's were attending as well. That was thanks to her, actually.
She'd been coming out the classroom when she saw Olaf waiting, clutching a book uncertainly. Their eyes met and Olaf nodded at her slowly and held up the book. "Book." He said. "Read."
She looked back at him and nodded slowly. "Name?" She asked, meaning, 'had you learned to write it yet?'
He nodded and mimed signing.
She nodded. "Me to."
They looked at each other and smiled.
"Pumpkin, Pumpkin, are you alright? I was waiting-" Her dad came into the room, then stopped dead. "A Krum!"
"Olaf." Pumpkin said.
"OLA-" Her dad sputtered. "Right, come with me." Hr grabbed her arm and tried to march her out.
She stood solidly and looked down at him. After a bit of pushing and pulling her dad stopped and looked up at her. "Can you move, please darling?" He asked.
She rolled her eyes, but walked. As she left she gave Olaf a quick wave. He nodded and waved back at her.
Her dad lectured her the whole way home, but Magdalone tuned him out. She was to busy planning a wedding.
The teacher didn't teach for long. Pumpkin wasn't sure what exactly happened but if she had to bet on something it would be that Mrs Krum got involved.
Silly old witch.
So the school rotted in a corner somewhere and the clans continued hating each other. Her and Olaf still occasionally smiled or waved at each other but they didn't hang around or make an effort to seek each other out. There was no point, their parents would never tolerate each other. Ever.
And then the postman came. And everything changed. Light came to the town, their was laughter. Smiles were more forthcoming and - more importantly - their parents put their feud aside.
Suddenly they were being encouraged to work with each other. They were both made stamp-lickers. They went round each others houses while their parents schemed. Okey, her and her dad went round the Krum's house while Mrs Krum schemed. But the point was she got to see Olaf.
Mrs Krum was so wrapped up in her planning she didn't even notice when her son took her sworn enemies daughter's hand in his and squeezed it.
Her dad noticed, but [amazingly] didn't say anything.
Later on he just said. "You know I always want you to be happy, don't you sweetheart?"
"You're the most precious thing in my universe." He said, somewhat awquadly.
She looked at him and he looked at her. Then her dad sighed. "Just as long as you know."
In all the time she had dreamed about Olaf [and there were many] she had never pictured him saving her from falling over the edge of a cliff.
He smiled at her. She smiled at him. He pulled her up onto the ground and looked at her with the same concerned look she remembered from the punching incident. "Alright?" He asked.
She nodded slowly. "Alright." She said.
There was a pause, then he said. "Love."
Her heart almost stopped. "Love?" She said, slowly.
He nodded and looked anxiously at her. "Love?"
"Love..." She smiled shyly at him and he grinned dopily back at her and took her hand in his.
An anxious feeling came over her and she said, nervously. "Parents?"
Olaf scruched his face up. "Uh."
"Hate us." Pumpkin curled up and rocked herself back and forth a little.
He took her hand again and squeezed it. "Love." He said. "Love us."
Yes, he was right. If their parents loved them they'd give there blessing.
About a month after announcing their engagement Mrs Krum appeared on their doorstep. "If you must marry my son." She said, as her opening gambit. "Then at least let me help you with the dress." Seeing Pumpkin's confused face, she added, exasperatly. "I take it you HAD considered the dress?"
Pumpkin hadn't actually. "Dress..." She murmured.
Mrs Krum sighed loudly. "Yes, a dress. A wedding dress to be exact. Would you like my assistance? I happen to be quite an accomplished seamstress. A sewer." She added, seeing Pumpkin's face.
Mrs Klaus spent a solid two weeks making that dress. It was gorgeous. Even in her wildest fantasies Pumpkin had never imagine anything quite like this.
Her dad teared up when he saw her in the dress, hugged her tightly and told her her mum would be so proud of her. They both cried a lot that night.
And now it was her wedding day and Mrs Klaus was helping her into her outfit.
"I must admit." She said, as she buttoned Pumpkin in. "Out of all of the prospective Ellingboes for my son to marry you are the best fit I think."
Which, Pumpkin knew, was as close to a blessing as she was likely to get.
And the next thing she knew the wedding march was starting and her dad was there to take her down the aisle. "You look gorgeous." He told her.
She smiled back and squeezed his hands before looking out at the other end of the aisle where her beloved Olaf was waiting for her.
He looked at her, smiled adoringly, and nodded.
She smiled back and took the next steps towards the rest of her life.