Chapter 1: Prologue
Sometimes Melody couldn't help but wonder how her life turned out this way. Living in an orphanage, bullied and abused. Melody is eight and has no idea about who her parents are. She isn't even sure if she wants to know. She didn't understand the people who wanted to get to know the parents that gave them up. They didn't deserve to be forgiven or have a relationship with their children. She couldn't help but feel a little guilty at the thought. She knew that she didn't think like that she just didn't want to be reminded. She was left at 'Miss Hart's home for girls' when she was only two hours old. She didn't want to but she couldn't help but wonder why the left her. Another part of her understood. Who would want a fat, suicidal freak for a daughter anyway. Melody had long red curly hair, reaching just past her shoulders and big green eyes with long dark eyelashes. She is really short for her age and studies Swedish and Spanish in school. She is left-handed and right-footed. She has full red lips and a perfectly shaped nose that fit her face perfectly. When Melody looked into the mirror she couldn't see any of this. Her entire life she had been treated like a homeless dog. She had been blinded by other peoples hatred to be able to see her real beauty.
Chapter 2: First day of school, Wednesday Sept 9th, part one, Miss Romanoff
Melody smiled slightly as she noticed the blood flowing down her right wrist to later drop to the floor. She loved to just sit there and watch. It made her feel something, it showed her that she was alive. Melody wanted to feel alive more than anything. The blade she was holding in her left hand had been her lifeline for a while. It was the one thing that made her feel something. It had helped her through so many things, both good and bad. What she felt when she dragged the blade across her wrist or her thigh made her feel better than she ever had during her short eight years. Years that felt like an eternity. It protected her from all the harsh words that escaped peoples lips. She bit her lip as she looked at the clock. She knew that she soon would face the wrath of school and Ms. Hart. It was the first day of school and she had no idea if it was a good thing or a bad thing. The good thing was that she escaped Ms. Hart for a couple of hours. The bad thing was that she would face all of her bullies once again. The teachers never did anything to help her. If Melody knew one thing it was that she would never admit defeat no matter what happened.
"School!", Melody jumped at Ms. Hart's loud voice. If only she could disappear. The world would be so much better with the eight year old girl. She stood up on shaky legs and walked towards the sink and washed off all of the blood. She quickly dried her arm and hopped that the cuts wouldn't open up while she was in school. She didn't need anything coming out. She shuddered at the thought. If people found out on the first day of school she would have to live with it for a long time. She quickly put her blade in her pocket, grabbed her bag and rushed down the stairs. Wanting to get out of the orphanage as soon as possible. No matter what she would face the next couple of hours.
Melody didn't take the bus as everyone else. She didn't want to spend more time then necessary with the other children. She appreciated the time she got to spend alone. It was also a great way to lose all of that weight she carried around. No matter how hard she tried she never felt satisfied with her weight. Maybe it was because of the people around her and what they screamed after her. Everyone said the same thing. She was fat and ugly. Melody knew that it must be true otherwise someone would disagree. Not that Melody minded, she wanted to know what people thought about her so that she could change for the better. It never seemed to be enough though. She couldn't help but sigh slightly. She wanted nothing else but skip school. She knew that she couldn't do it. Mostly because she knew what Ms. Hart would do to her if she ever got a call. She took a deep breath before she started running. She needed to hurry if she didn't want to be late. She stopped for a while as she noticed the school in front of her. The school itself didn't look bad, no one who walked past it would think any different of it. No one would ever know what was going on inside of the red brick house, behind that brown door. She took a shaky breath before she calmly walked through the gates.
"I don't wanna do this.", Tony whined making Natasha groan. She really didn't want him whining in her ear during the entire mission.
"Stark, I swear, if I hear another whine coming from you I'm gonna make you wish you were never born.", Natasha growled at him making him grow quiet. If it was one thing everyone knew it was to never make the assassin angry. She could kill you with just a snap.
"I still don't understand why we have to be teachers, can't we be clowns?", she heard a small chuckle coming from Clint who was walking beside her. She quickly glared at him before bringing her attention back to Tony.
"Listen, we don't wanna teach any eight year olds just as much as you do, so please, shut up!", they all looked up as they saw Fury walk into the room.
"Um, Fury don't you think you're gonna scare the kids with that eyepatch of yours?", Natasha looked at Steve with a small smirk on her lips. He could be so cute sometimes. She couldn't help but pale slightly. Natasha didn't do cute. She had really grown soft these past few years.
"Don't you think they'd be more scared if they saw him without it?", the others chuckled slightly as they saw Steve blush at Natasha's response. It was clear to everyone but the two of them that they had feelings for each other. They were both very obvious to what was in front of them. They stopped when they saw Fury's face turn serious.
"You know why we're here right.",
"Too take care of stupid eight year olds.", Tony muttered. He quickly got an elbow in his side from Natasha.
"More like protect them.", Fury said with a glare making Tony sigh loudly. "Whatever here are your schedules.", Fury handed out a different copy to each Avenger. "Let's get this show on the road and Stark...", Tony looked at him confused. "Don't fuck this up!"
Melody looked down on her schedule with a sigh. Her first lesson was with a 'Miss Romanoff'. Melody had never heard about her before. In fact she had never heard about any of the teachers before. They all seemed to be new. Same goes for the principle. A Mr. Fury. She couldn't help but shake her head at his name. She hoped the man wasn't anything like his name. She looked over the schedule again. She couldn't help but smile slightly. By the look of her schedule she would be in the same classroom for most of her classes. That meant she didn't have to leave the room. That was unless they had teachers that would lock the door as soon as class was over. The teachers who didn't want any students in the classroom during recess.
8:15-9:40 - Math, Mr Banner
10:00-11:30 - Technology, Mr Stark
11:30-12:15 - Lunch
12:15-13:30 - Spanish, Miss Romanoff
8:15-9:45 - Swedish, Mr Barton
10:05-12:05 - Dance, Miss Romanoff
12:05-13:00 - Lunch
13:00-14:15 - English, Mr Barton
14:45-16:00 - Art, Mr Rogers
8:15-9:30 - Spanish, Miss Romanoff
10:00-11:00 - Biology, Mr Banner
11:00-11:45 - Lunch
11:45-13:00 - Sport, Mr Rogers
13:30-14:30 - Religion, Mr Odinson
8:15-9:15 - Math, Mr Banner
9:30-10:45 - Swedish, Mr Barton
10:45-11:30 - Lunch
11:30-13:00 - Art, Mr Rogers
13:30-15:00 - Dans, Miss Romanoff
9:30-10:30 - Technology, Mr Stark
10:40-11:40 - History, Mr Odinson
11:40-12:20 - Lunch
12:20-13:20 - English, Mr Barton
Natasha couldn't help but feel nervous as she wrote her name on the board. She had no idea how she was gonna interact with these children. She did great when she spent time with Clint's children, she knew that. This however was different. She had no idea who these kids were. She smiled slightly as she saw a girl slowly walking inside the classroom with her nose buried in her schedule. The girl slowly went towards the back of the classroom, hopping not to be noticed. Natasha hesitated before she put the whiteboard pen down and went over to the tiny redheaded girl. She noticed how the girl quickly realized that she wasn't completely alone and that she had felt her come closer.
"Hi sweetie, why are you sitting in the back? I don't bite you know.", Natasha hopped to bring a little smile on her face but it didn't work. "All right then... Let's introduce ourselves.", the girl only looked at her like she was crazy. She couldn't help but wish that she could break through to the girl. She didn't seem to trust very well. "I'm Natasha Romanoff and I'm your Spanish teacher.", she held out her hand. Natasha smiled slightly as she saw a small smile form on the girl's face.
"Melody.", the girl said and out her tiny hand in hers, shaking it quietly.
"Well Melody, it's nice meeting you.", Natasha took her hand from Melody's and went to remove a hairpiece that fell onto her face but froze when Melody flinched. She quickly had a bad feeling about the whole thing but decided to ignore it for the moment. "It's okay, I'm not gonna hurt you.", she quietly removed a piece of her red hair before standing up as more students started walking through the door.
Melody smiled slightly, so far she liked Miss Romanoff. She is the nicest teacher she has ever had. She couldn't help but feel... probably for the first time in forever, maybe even her entire life, a single ray of hope. That was until she opened her mouth and started speaking Spanish. The young girl might have been studying it since she was about six years old but it never stuck in her head. It came through one ear and out the other. She had it really easy when it came to Swedish and English. It was kind of ironic when you thought about it. Swedish is supposed to be one of the hardest languages in the world and she still found it easier than Spanish. Spanish was like Chinese to her. Melody jumped slightly as Miss Romanoff mentioned her name. She looked at the middle aged woman confused.
"I asked if you would like to introduce yourself.", the only answer Melody gave her was sinking into the chair. It didn't take long before the glass begin to giggle slightly. They all knew that she had problem with Spanish and still they used this against her.
"What's wrong fatso afraid you'll eat her if you open your mouth?", this made the class laugh even harder. Melody could feel some teardrops roll down her face.
"Savannah, principles office now. I will not tolerate that kind of behavior.", Savannah was about to protest. "No buts, why don't you tell your friends about what you think of principle Fury later.", Savannah stood up and walked out of the classroom with her head down. It was clear that she wasn't used to being in trouble. "I'm very disappointed in all of you. I wish I could send you all to the principle's office.", she looked at the class with serious eyes. "But I can't.", she was quiet for a while. "How would you feel if you were Melody?",
"Well, we aren't the freak now are we.", she looked down on her lap slightly. The girl wasn't shocked about the answer.
"Aron, you too. Principle's office.", Melody was shocked to say the least. No one in this class has ever been sent to the principles office for being mean to her. Ms. Romanoff didn't seem to follow the same rules as the other teachers had. The teachers never sent their students to the principle for one simple reason. They didn't want to get on his bad side. She had a feeling this new principle might be better and actually try to do something about what was going on. All of the things that Ms. Romanoff was doing for her, seemed to come so natural. She couldn't help but admire the woman. She looked up as she heard a sigh. "I can't stand to listen to you kids right now. Class dismissed.", the students quickly grabbed all of their things and rushed out of the classroom. Melody had a feeling that it had something to do with their new teacher. "Mel, can I talk to you for a sec.", it took a while before Melody realized that the woman was referring to her. She was so used to being called Melody and a bunch of rude names to realize that she could have a nickname. She looked at the teacher and nodded with tears in her eyes.
Natasha looked at Melody sadly as she saw the tears running down her sad little face. What happened next took them both by surprise. Natasha pulled the eight year old into a hug. Natasha's eyes were wide. She never pulled people into hugs, she had no idea what has gotten into her. She hated when people touched her. Of course she made a small exception for Steve. She hadn't even realized that until now. She shook her head slightly. There was no time to think about Steve at the moment.
"How long has this been going on?", Melody only clung onto her tighter. Natasha slowly stood up with Melody clinging onto her before she sat down with the girl in her lap. "Are you gonna tell me?", the only response she got was a shrug. "Alright, why didn't you introduce yourself then?", this time Natasha got a whisper. "What?",
"I don't know Spanish..", the girl said quietly.
"But you've been studying it since you were six.", Natasha was a little confused.
"I know...", it was so quiet Natasha barley heard what she said. "It's weird, I have really easy for Swedish but this.. I just don't understand.", Natasha thought slightly before she smiled. While she was here she was going to make sure to check on the girl and make her smile at least once a day.
"Let's do it like this. I give you a list with stuff you can study.", Melody looked at her a little confused. "While the others work on different project you work with what's written on your list.", Melody looked at her a little before she nodded. "Good.. I gotta go now it looks like Mr Banner is gonna take over now.", Natasha flicked the younger girl's nose slightly before she put Melody down, grabbed her things and left the classroom looking back at the girl one last time.
Natasha quickly walked towards the principle's office hopping to see Fury. She hopped those kids got what they deserved. No child should ever be treated like the way all these kids treated Melody. She wished that she would have been able to send all of the kids to the office. No one did anything, they just laughed at what was escaping the other students lips. But she knew that the office was only so big and Fury would be pissed if an entire class showed up on the first day. She quickly opened the door and walked inside making Fury look up.
"Two kids 25 minutes after class starts, must be a new record.", he smirked slightly at the assassin standing in front of him. Natasha only rolled her eyes at the man.
"What, they were making fun of one of the students. I would have sent them all.", at this the man raised his eyebrow. "You wouldn't have enough room for all of them.", Natasha saw how Fury thought slightly. "What was this student's name?", he picked up a pen and grabbed a piece of paper.
"Melody.", she said with a small smile on her face. She quickly wiped it off her face but she knew that Fury had seen it.
"I'll notify the rest of the team so they can keep an eye on it okay.", Natasha nodded with a small smile on her face. She could always count on Fury. "Anything else Romanoff?", a sigh followed his words.
"Yes.. did they think you were scary?", the only thing she got in response was a loud chuckle.
Chapter 3: First day of school, Wednesday Sept 9th, part two, Mr Banner/lunch
Bruce frowned as he saw Natasha sitting with a young girl on her knee. He shook his head slightly. This didn't seem like Natasha at all. She wasn't someone who would get close to people. In fact, she was probably the one who had been dreading this mission the most. He had no idea that she would be able to handle it this good. He guessed that the woman always came with new surprises.
"Good... I gotta go now, it looks like Mr Banner is gonna take over now.", he heard her say before she stood up and placed the girl back on the chair. Bruce decided to ignore what just happened before he walked in and quickly wrote his name on the board. He really hopped non of the kids would make him to angry, he didn't want to Hulk out and end up hurting them. He had no idea what Fury had been thinking giving them this mission. He should know better than anyone that putting the Avengers on missions that would last for a while would end up being the death of them. They were all like a family, but you could only spend so much time together before you exploded. Now they didn't only see each other at home, but now also on this mission. He sighed slightly as he heard the bell ring. It didn't take long before he could hear footsteps coming towards the classroom. They were chatting quite loudly and if it was one thing Bruce didn't like much it was yelling. It didn't take long before he noticed a man with an eyepatch walk into to room. Fury.
"Banner can I talk to you quickly.", he said quietly as Bruce nodded, following him out of the classroom.
"You see that redheaded girl.", Bruce nodded slowly. "According to Natasha the others are making fun of her, if you could keep an eye on her it would be good.", Bruce quickly realized that was the reason the woman had been talking to the tiny girl. No matter what she had done in the past, everyone knew that she had a soft spot for children. Even if she didn't want to admit it herself.
"I'll do that.", Bruce turned around and headed back into the classroom, Fury following him. "Hello, my name is Bruce Banner and I'm gonna be your history and math teacher this year", he turned to look at the man standing beside him. "And this is your principle Nick Fury.", he saw how all the kids looked at him with their jaws on the floor. He almost wanted to laugh, or at least take a picture.
"Nice to meet you.", he began. "As said, I'm your new principle and I see everything.", with that he turned around and left the classroom leaving it quiet. Bruce smiled slightly at the kids shocked faces. He found a way to get them quiet. The only thing he needed was to go and get Fury.
Melody almost wanted to laugh at the others faces. They looked so scared, Isaac even looked like he wanted to pee his pants. Melody could tell that the new principle was nice, nicer than the last one. Melody didn't know how long ago she had felt this happy. It had been a long time. She smiled as Mr. Banner started teaching about the second world war. She already knew all about this subject. She loves history and she loves to read so she did a lot of research and borrowed books from jews who had survived the camps. She played slightly with her pen. She had no idea what to do so she decided to take notes just in case. She knew that she wouldn't need them but she had nothing better to do.
"Were gonna start with a project.", Melody bit her lip slightly. She hoped that she could work alone. As if the man had read her mind he opened his mouth again. "You can chose if you want to work together or alone. I will give each group a subject on the second world war and that is what you will be doing for the next two weeks.", Melody took a sigh of relief she had a feeling this year would be better than she had hoped. The kids quickly chose who they wanted to work with while Melody sat quiet. "Everyone decided?", the class nodded in return. "Good.", he smiled warmly at the class. "Let's see here... Mark?",
"Um.. I'm with Michael.", Mr Banner quickly wrote their names on the whiteboard.
"Hannah?", it continued like that for the next couple of minutes until everyone was paired up. "Melody, are you going to work alone?", she nodded quietly before Mr Banner put her name on the board.
"Of course she's gonna work alone, no one wants to work with fugly anyways.", Melody ignored her and looked out of the window watching as a bird flew by.
"Savannah, office!", Melody stifled a giggle, it's the second time today. Savannah usually never gets into trouble, she wondered what the new principle were thinking. First day and one of the students had already been there twice. After the girl left Bruce quickly handed out their assignments before the bell rang.
Melody groaned as she felt another punch in her stomach. This was what a normal day look like for her. She should have never believed that this year would be better. It was continuing like it usually did, except for those new teachers who sent two from her class to the principle. This time she didn't feel a punch in her stomach. This time it was a kick. The young girl tried to catch her breath. She was relieved that she didn't eat anything, she would have thrown up all over the floor. She soon found herself on the floor getting kicked in various places. The only thing she could hope for was that this nightmare would end. Suddenly some footsteps could be heard. It was clear that it wasn't any of the students.
"What the hell is going on here.", Melody recognized the voice as principle Fury's. "Everyone, my office now!", he growled before he turned towards new steps. "Rogers, take the girl to Hill.", Melody looked up slightly and saw a blond man with baby blue eyes watching her worriedly.
Melody flinched as the nurse cleaned up the blood from her face. The only thing Melody wanted to do was sleep. She wanted to escape all this pain.
"There we go, I can't do anything about the bruises but I suggest you skip sports. Is that okay with you Rogers?", he nodded quietly as Melody jumped down from the bed. "Take her to Natasha, she doesn't have a lesson, she has lunch right now.", Melody slowly followed Mr Rogers out of the room and towards Miss Romanoff.
"Melody right?", she nodded slowly. "Are you gonna tell me what happened.", Melody bit her lip, deciding not to answer the mans question. She had a feeling that things would get worse from this moment. "Okay then... here we are.", he slowly opened the door making Miss Romanoff look up. "Knock, knock.", she shook her head slightly.
"It's no idea to say knock,knock if you don't knock Rogers.", Melody felt her look turn towards her instead. "Come on in Melody.", Mr Rogers lightly pushed her inside and followed her to the table. She could feel Ms. Romanoff's eyes on her. "Melody, I told you I don't bite.", she could feel her cheeks turn hot. She actually did say that. She carefully sat down on one of the chairs before she started playing with her hands.
"Bye Melody, see you around Nat.", Melody wrinkled her eyebrows. Nat? Mr. Rogers has a nickname for Ms. Romanoff. Natasha seemed to notice the look of confusion on her face.
"We've known each other for three years.", Melody nodded slightly in response. "You've eaten yet?", she quickly nodded her head before her stomach rumbled slightly. The young girl cursed to herself. Why did her stomach have to betray her like that. "You sure about that?", she nodded again. "Bullshit Mel, come on.", Ms. Romanoff quickly stood up and went to get an extra plate. Melody couldn't help but wiggle in her seat nervously. She didn't need any more calories than necessary. She noticed how the teacher put some food on her plate making her gulp slightly. There was way to much food. "Here you go." Melody looked at the food. She felt like crying. Why did the world hate her? Why did her stomach have to rumble? If her stomach hadn't rumbled her new teacher would be forcing food at her right now. She knew that she couldn't say no to eating, it would be rude to the woman who just gave her some of her food.
Natasha was worried. She could tell that the young girl was hiding something. The girl had told her she wasn't hungry before her stomach rumbled like a war was going on. When she had food in front of her she didn't even touch it. Natasha couldn't help but think of the worst. She really hoped that it wasn't the case, but she just had that feeling inside of her that told her that she was right.
"Are you not going to eat that?", she saw how Melody slowly picked up her fork and with a shaky hand before she put some food in it. It took a while but the food was suddenly in her mouth and the young girl seemed to be chewing like there was no tomorrow. Natasha bit her lip sadly. An eight year old shouldn't feel this way about herself. The girl quickly washed down the food with some water before she repeated the process. She only had about three bites before she put her fork down.
"I'm full.", now Natasha knew that she was right. No wonder that girl was so tiny. She didn't eat anything. She was probably short as it was before this started.
"You only had four bites.", she said carefully, wanting to get some sort of reaction out of the girl. She saw how tears started welling up in Melody's green eyes. She couldn't help but let a small sigh escape her lips before she grabbed the girl's plate, eating the rest of her food. "Tomorrow I'm gonna make you eat more than this okay.", by the look on Melody's face the girl didn't seem to like that idea. Natasha decided to try using the same trick that always used to work on Clint's children while they were younger. "If you want to grow up to be strong you might want to eat this.", she skipped the big part hoping that it would help the young girl. The young girl only looked to the side before she stood up.
"Where's the bathroom.", Natasha sighed. She knew exactly what the young girl was about to do. No one should feel this way about themselves, especially an eight year old girl. She knew that the problem isn't just in the school. It was probably at home too. She could see the signs of child abuse but she couldn't report it until she knew for sure. There was only two things she knew about and that was about the bullying and the eating disorder. She had no idea how, but she needed to help this girl no matter what it takes.
"The door beside Fury's office.", Melody quickly left not knowing that Natasha was following her quietly. She might have tried to be more careful is she knew that the woman was a trained assassin. Someone who had been trained since she was a little girl.
Melody closed and locked the door behind her before she bent down and stuck two fingers down her throat. She hated throwing up but she didn't need those four pieces of chicken Natasha managed to make her eat. She sat on the floor for a while before she stood up on shaky legs, flushed the toilet and washed her hands. Before she left she quickly washed her mouth, wanting to get rid of the horrible taste. She hesitated slightly as she looked herself in the mirror. She carefully lifted her shirt and looked down on her stomach. She could see the small bulge from the chicken she just ate. She took a deep breath before she pulled her shirt back down and unlocked the door. She froze as she noticed who was standing outside with her arms crossed, studying her. It was clear that the older woman had figured out one of her many secrets. Melody felt like crying, but she had done that enough for today. She didn't need Ms. Romanoff to think of her as some little whiny child. She soon found herself being pulled towards the couch. This wasn't a conversation she was going to enjoy.