Chapter Six

55 9 10

^ The song above is Play from (once again!) Finding Neverland. One day, I'll post a song not from this play! :D

Finley stood straight-backed and proud before us, his blonde hair gleaming in the low light. His hazel eyes darted to Peter and a knowing look passed between the two. With a fleeting look of sadness within those golden orbs, Finley turned his attention back to me.

"You already know me," he said, only a little bit of his former confidence in his voice. "My name is Finley, but I am Fin. I'm twelve. And I'm also Peter's stand-in. His second in command if you will." Then he stepped back into line and his gaze became fastened on his feet. He didn't even glance up when the child next to him knocked into him. 

The next boy stepped up. His glossy black hair fell into his caramel eyes. They were filled with amusement. "I'm Isaac, but it's Zac for short. I'm ten and a good shot." Then, with a wink, he was back in line along with the others.

I was thrilled to see that the next boy up was Josh. He stepped forward and flicked his hair from his eyes shyly. "I'm J-Joshua. I go by Josh and I'm nine." His voice was soft and almost went unheard. Gone was the rowdy boy who I had chased just moments before, and in his place was this shy, stuttering child.

Elijah stepped up and nudged Josh back into his place.

"Elijah," he said shortly, "Just Eli, though. And I'm seven. I'm told I'm straight to the point, whatever that means."

Then the second to last was up. He stepped forward a little shyly, similar to the way Josh had, but not quite as timid. He twiddled his thumbs before raising his voice slightly. "I'm Tobias, but Peter calls me Toby."

The other boys snickered quietly before Zac jeered, "Everyone calls you Toby."

The little boy's face flushed bright red, and he quickly dropped his gray eyes to the floor, an ebony curtain of hair shading them from me. "Oh," he said softly and refused to talk anymore.

Peter turned towards me, his head bending low as he whispered, "He's six."

I nodded my head and mouthed the word, oh, as the last boy bravely stepped up to the plate and took Toby's spotlight.

"I'm Benjamin, but you can call me Ben. I'm five, and I am just as brave as Fin and Zac!" The boy's voice was loud and energetic as he spouted off the sentences. He puffed out his chest and lifted his chin in the air.

He certainly was a proud little boy. And a rather loud one at that.

The slightly taller Toby grabbed his upper arm and pulled him back into the line before he could say anything else.

Peter whistled once, low and soft, and the boys gleefully broke ranks.

When they had dispersed and resumed the conversations that Josh and I had so boldly interrupted, Peter faced me once more.

"Your grandmother used to call me Pan. You're welcome to it as well." His voice was soft, full of a long forgotten melancholy and a deep longing that the years had forgotten to erase.

I started in surprise at the mention of my relative. "How'd you know her?" I asked eagerly. Maybe I could finally figure out their mysterious relationship and the origins of how it came to be.

The man's saddened blue eyes focused on me but yet were lost in a sea of distant memories. The coating of sadness lifted for a small second and a new emotion took its place. Fondness. His fingers fluttered nervously like two startled birds before he stuffed them into his coat pocket. His blue eyes darkened with remembrance.

"We met a long time ago, but it only seems like a few years have gone by. She couldn't have been more than seventeen at the time," He began wearily. "She was brought here unwillingly, similar to the way you were but not quite the same. She refused to believe in the magic of this place. She refused to believe in me. And in the end, she was the one to change us all. To save us all."

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