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Lancashire Mansion

Mia laughed and looked at Scott's mixture of chocolate and beans on the floor. Never the squeamish one, Mia just laughed.

"Precaution. Right. I guess you were made for Gryffindor. Foolishly brave. Foolhardy."

Mia rolled her eyes and smiled at her new word. Foolhardy she quite liked it. Her eyes focused on the mess before her and she whipped out her embroidered handkerchief. She let out a pearly white smile, and gestured toward the mess, waving her handkerchief wildly before handing it to Scott in a rather sarcastic manner.

"Mop that up, wont you."

Mia snorted and pulled a piece of a dark brown Chocoball. She bit into it and chewed, turning her head so that she could survey the room. It was black and clean, and Mia liked it. The smell of old books permeated it, and Mia...well Mia liked it. She swallowed and crossed her legs, debating what to say. She decided to brag, just a little.

"You know, I'm a writer now. For the Fanged Post, the Slytherin Newspaper."

Mia smiled and stared up at the high ceiling.

"I've made something of myself...I've succeeded. Grandmum will be proud once I write to her."

Mia turned her head to look at him.

"Have you written to her? Grandmum?"

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//

Lancashire Mansion

"Mop that up, won't you?"

Scott made a face at being called something he didn't understand, but took the handkerchief from her anyway. He was sure there was a spell that would do the job for him, his dad used it all the time, but there was no use trying to remember it now.

"You know, I'm a writer now. For the Fanged Post, the Slytherin Newspaper."

Scott smiled, although she probably didn't see that because his face was turned to the floorboards between which saliva made its way.

"I've made something of myself...I've succeeded. Grandmum will be proud once I write to her."

Made something of myself.. Foolhardy.. Scott grinned to himself. She talked like an adult, he always found that funny. He hoped she wrote that way in this newspaper of hers, that's almost something he would read.

"Have you written to her? Grandmum?"

Though this had him turn around. He sort of threw the handkerchief to the side, and wrinkled his nose-as if actually trying to remember wether he had or not.

"No-o.." He said eventually. "I haven't. I always forget. I write a lot of letters to mum and dad but I've hardly sent half of them! That, and it smells so bad there. In the owlery, I mean."

He thought for a moment of what it would be like to do write to his grandmother.. though he'd only ever done so when he was little, because it was considered adorable when small children who could barely hold a pen wrote the family's Christmas card. Merry Krismas. He could hardly write that now.

"I don't think I'd know what to write." He admitted. "What have I made of myself?"
The question didn't sound as rhetorical as he'd imagined, and embarrassed he added: "I'm foolhardy!"

The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'

Lancashire Mansion

Mia laughed at his use of the word foolhardy. Obviously he had no idea what she meant. Mia tilted back and stared up at the ceiling, trying not to laugh. He could be so...silly at times. A wiry nervous boy, trying not to offend everyone.

"Recklessly bold, or rash. Irresponsible, impulsive, hotheaded, impetuous, bullheaded, daredevil, devil-may-care, madcap, harebrained, precipitate, hasty."

She stared down at him on the floor.

"Thats what it means."

Mia pivoted herself and looked down at the sandy-haired boy on the floor. She cracked a small smile.

"And you have made something of yourself. You made friends. Close ones. Bonds. That's more I have done."

Mia turned away and smiled sadly, knowing that he couldn't see her face. That he didn't know what she was going through. Maybe he did know. Maybe he sensed it in his weird Scott way. She was lonely. She didn't make friends easily, like he did. She made acquaintances easily.

"Tell her that. Tell her that you made friends. And that you are making excellent marks. And tell her that you're in Gryffindor. She loves you. She's not going to send you a Howler for doing something wrong. She's not a monster."

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//

Lancashire Mansion

"Of course not! I know that." He said to her. "And you know I might.. About the marks, anyway, because they're better than I'd first expected and I know she cares about that sort of thing. Would be nice to tell her, I think."

Then he took a little longer look at her and could see she was sad. She was smiling, but that's something people do, Scott's noticed, when they're secretly sad. It's a very terrible sort of sad because it makes it harder for people like him to know what's wrong, or what to say. All he could really know was that he didn't like her face as it was now and that he wanted her to smile.

"Though when it comes to my friends, I think I should get their names all sorted out in my head before I even begin to try and to spell them!" He said. "Arabella and Mardella. Would you believe? Might not be hard for you but to me that's.. well, difficult. Very! Although I might not be trying my hardest. I'd say I'm saving it up, you never know."

He looked at her and smiled as best he could. He didn't know why she was sad.

"If I did write about them, maybe Grandmother would invite my friends to Lancashire as she does yours?"

The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'

Lancashire Mansion

Mia didn't know what to respond so she just laughed. That was Scott. Trying to make her feel better by criticizing his own skills. He was...something. She just nodded and looked up at the ceiling. The walls seemed to cave in on her and she shivered. She knew it was just a hallucination, the doctors said low blood pressure combined with gastroesophageal problems, so Mia waited for the world to bend back to its normal shape. She was sick and tired of everything. Grandmother, this room, her life, but she couldn't show it. He would worry. She didn't deserve someone like him. She knew that. But he was there. Through the toxicity, he was there. She blinked and looked back at him, looking him up and down. He must have noticed her absent mindedness by now, but she had to distract him. Pointing over at the cello in the corner of the room, Mia smiled at him.

"Remember how much Mum, or your Aunt Marisa, forced me to play instruments? And how I hated every single second of it, but you'd crack jokes while I'd practice so that it was all ok? And during the recitals you'd make funny faces at me? And when I picked up two more, you.."

Mia smiled and blinked back tears. Her voice trembled and she cleared her throat.

"I wish we could go back to that."

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//

Lancashire Mansion

She mentioned her music playing, and Scott was about to proudly list guitar, piano, flute, cello and violin, because he remembered all of those, but she kept talking and he kept listening happily.

That is, until "I wish we could go back to that." because this made him feel strange. Strange and uneasy.
It reminded him of something Silas had done only recently, the day before he left for Hogwarts.

His oldest brother had come back from Estonia to spend the last few weeks before the school year with the rest of the family in Kensington, and he acted all normal and happy up until Scott's last night.
He'd come in to say goodnight, like he'd done every night spent at home since he realized it wasn't embarrassing, but had stopped in his tracks when the light from the doorframe fell upon the packed bags on the floor.

Then he'd started to cry right where he stood.

Silas began saying all these strange things that Scott didn't understand about everything going fast and changing. Then he'd suddenly left Scott feeling odd and on edge without a good-night, carrying an unfamiliar sad look on his face on his way out. It was the same sort of face Mia was hiding right now,
and this time it almost made him feel worse because at least the next morning, when Silas was kissing him good-bye all over his head- he'd explained how he'd been feeling "a little down lately, missing home and all..", and that "grown ups sometimes get sad and nostalgic" and that Scott shouldn't worry about it.

But here Mia was- killing his brother's reassurance. Not just now, but during their entire conversation this other eleven-year-old had been sorrowful. But ulike Silas, she hadn't suddenly moved to a strange new country, with a strange language, to live with strange people. Scott wasn't mad at her for being sad, of course not! But it scared him to realize maybe it wasn't just grown ups who sometimes felt sad and nostalgic. Because to him, that meant suddenly stopping in ones track and starting to cry before forgetting to say good-night.

Scott touched his temple, which he did in his rare cases of over-thinking. He despised it, didn't want her to see or notice how he'd lost track of what they were really talking about. So when he remembered he spoke with the most convincing happy-voice he could pull off without looking at her.

"It sure was fun! You weren't very good at the start, no.. I remember you weren't. But then you got real good real fast! I was always impressed. And mum and dad were impressed, too, I remember because they heard you play once and wanted me to start playing something and I tried piano but my teacher said I wasn't patient enough. Ben weren't patient enough, either, mum bought classes for all of us. Silas played for two years.."

Scott was getting warm. He'd done it, he thought, and rubbed his temples. There were few moments Scott ever wanted to disappear from a conversation, since he's used to not understanding and having to guess what people mean, but when he fails to understand even himself that's exactly what he wants to do.

The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'

Lancashire Mansion

"It sure was fun! You weren't very good at the start, no.. I remember you weren't. But then you got real good real fast! I was always impressed. And mum and dad were impressed, too, I remember because they heard you play once and wanted me to start playing something and I tried piano but my teacher said I wasn't patient enough. Ben weren't patient enough, either, mum bought classes for all of us. Silas played for two years.."

Scott rubbed his temples like he always did when he was faced with a hard problem. She remembered when she used to tease him about it, saying "You are simply not telekinetic Scott, no matter how hard you try." She would smirk, as well as 6 year old her could, as Scott would respond sweetly or laugh, or blush. It annoyed her how perfect he was, how he had faults that weren't even his. Unlike Mia. She had everything handed to her. Everything. But he succeeded, against all odds. Maybe in the not traditional sense, but still. He had beat her. And Mia was fiercely competitive.

She shook her head, snapping back to attention.

"How are they? Silas and Ben? I haven't seen them for so long..."

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//

Lancashire Mansion

"How are they? Silas and Ben? I haven't seen them for so long."

Scott didn't look up until he was sure his eyes were dry, which they had been all along but you never know. When he looked at her she didn't seem to troubled, and it calmed him.

"Well.." He was being careful, but sat up straight and was happy with the conversation moving on.
"Ben doesn't get too good grades so mum's been a little upset with him for a while. That's stuff's important to her, you know?" He fidgeted with his toes. "But has girlfriends and all that, so he doesn't."
He smirked, and said "Silas left for Estonia again last week, my mum writes. He's not going to play too much internationally yet- they're gonna tell wether he's any good first. He says he's really happy but I think he's really very stressed about everything. More than mum, even. Though he sent me a bag of kohukes that I've finished, so that's good. It's candy, he likes to send candy."

He felt around in his pockets to see if there really weren't any left, and wrinkled his nose when it was confirmed. Though these happier memories of his brother really made him forget more and more of his turbulence.
He looked at Mia, who didn't have any siblings he could ask about. He laid an arm around her shoulders and rested his chin on her head- something that may look brotherly and all when Ben or Silas did it to him, but right now (and with all intention) it was simply a disguised I am taller. I may just have shrunken down a bit and I looked small and afraid but I a taller and don't you forget it.

"And how's your family? Thomas, Marissa I mean?"

The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'

Lancashire Mansion

Scott laid an arm around her shoulders and rested his chin on her head and she flinched, her body not recognizing that it was Scott. He had never done this before, it was brotherly in an outright way, and she didn't like the outright aggressive motion. It was like he was asserting his dominance, saying Look, I'll protect you, I'll be your savior, but you are under me. Uncomfortable, she slipped out of his 'embrace' and just laid her head in the crook of his shoulder. She felt more comfortable in this position, cuddled up next to him. She listened to him talk, and stared around the room.

"And how's your family? Thomas, Marissa I mean?"

Mia looked up at him, and answered in the most dry way possible, trying not to let her feelings about Silas and Ben slip through. It wasn't that she didn't like Silas, he was fine, good even, but Ben? He got on her last nerve. And then he beat her up.

"My Dad is fine. He got a new big client, so he's busy. But I'm gone, so it's only mom who is effected. And Mom is working constantly too. I sometimes think that I'm the person that keeps them from just...working too much. Killing themselves."

Mia flinched and looked away, trying not to seem sad. She wasn't, not really, she was just worried.

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//

Lancashire Mansion

She was acting so weird. Scott felt his head heating and his heart racing in worry, what had he done wrong? He rubbed the arm he'd laid around her, and guessed not everyone liked that. He'd only tried to comfort himself. Maybe even make her laugh in the process because she sometimes laughed when he did things he didn't know were funny. But her voice was so strange and different now.

"My Dad is fine. He got a new big client, so he's busy. But I'm gone, so it's only mom who is effected. And Mom is working constantly too. I sometimes think that I'm the person that keeps them from just...working too much. Killing themselves."

Scott didn't even try to understand this time, scared he would realize it all meant something bad about him. Then his head felt cold, instead of warm, and then warm again. Cold, warm, cold, warm.

He wanted to go away. He wanted to talk to Silas or Ben or mum.. But he also felt he couldn't leave her.
But than again, if she was angry with him then maybe that's what she wanted him to do. Was she mad? She spoke like nothing she said mattered and she actually wanted to say something else, and people are often mad when they sound like that. But he couldn't understand what he'd done. This was terrible.

"That's.. too bad." He almost whispered. She was cuddling up against him again, like before, but this time he felt almost apprehensive. "That you.. or they would feel that. Though I suppose I don't know much about that, my parents never talk about work and I'd never understand anyway."

He wished he had chocolate now. Then she could take it. But somehow he knew that was dumb.

The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'

Lancashire Mansion

"That's.. too bad. That you.. or they would feel that. Though I suppose I don't know much about that, my parents never talk about work and I'd never understand anyway."

He almost whispered this, and looked at her hesitantly. Mia furrowed her brow. Suddenly, as soon as she took his arm off of her, he was acting standoffish. He was usually the easy one, Merlin knew that Mia wasn't, and he showed his emotions so clearly on his face. Mia gazed up at him. He didn't seem to be ticked off, or even frustrated with her. His eyes pointed towards the door, and Mia followed his gaze. He wanted to leave. She wasn't mad about this, oh defiantly not, just...sad. That he didn't want to spend time with her.

Faking a yawn, Mia looked down at her gold watch, the only truly Muggle thing she owned. She had bought it at a store in London, and looked after it dearly, polishing it every day. Scott knew how proud she was of her watch, and never made comments about its muggle nature, unlike her mum.

"Well Scott. It's time for me to retire. Would you like to accompany me to my common room?"

Mia smiled up at him. It wasn't nearly the time that she usually went to bed, but she could sense Scott getting sick of her. She hated that, people that she cared about unenthusiastically talking to her, and made every effort to be a good companion. Of course, if she didn't care about the person, she didn't give a horntails behind about their levels of enthusiasm.

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//

Lancashire Mansion

Scott felt a shower of relief. And then he felt guilty, because of that relief. But he could picture them meeting again, anywhere and anytime as soon as possible- and this feeling would be gone. They'd have other things to talk about and happy faces and refilled candy caches. That's what Scott wanted, and when he realized this he felt childish. As soon as a conversation or a relationship grew tense he, while not always wanting to leave, always wants to press a reset button. If that was possible. Because he didn't feel like himself in these sort of conversations and himself was the only thing his mother ever really told him to be, albeit he never truly understood how that was necessary of her.

But however you got to that happy point, Scott knew you couldn't leave it at this sort of note. It was like what his parents said about not going to bed mad at each other or something like that. So he stood up and smiled as he waited for her to do the same.

"Alright." He said, "I will. Though the further down the dungeons we get I swear the Gryffindor in me will leave and you might end up having to hold my hand." He didn't mean this, of course, but tried laughing through his nose again and he felt better. He hoped she did, too.

He wondered if now was a good time to tell his cousin he loved her, just to make sure she still knew.

The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'

Lancashire Mansion

Mia smiled at Scott sweetly. She really was getting tired, even though she had faked it before, and as they started walking, Mia found herself laying her head on her shoulder.

They pushed the door open and stepped out, and were greeted by an almost deserted hallway. Most people were either in their common rooms or sleeping. Mia had a habit of staying in the library late, and she didn't like crowds, so the paintings were used to seeing her rush down these hallways towards the basement, often with a book or two in hand.

She looked up at them curious. She had never taken a few seconds to stare at them, but she knew which ones were friendly, and which ones were not, after much trial and error. She didn't particularly like them yelling at her, and attracting unwanted attention in general. So she kept this information in the back of her brain.

Looking up at Scott, a question suddenly popped into her mind.

"Do you want to leave sooner? I know the Gryffindor common room is on the 7th floor, and you will have to walk much more if you drop me off in the basement."

She placed her hand on his arm, and smiled up at him.

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//

Lancashire Mansion

"Do you want to leave sooner? I know the Gryffindor common room is on the 7th floor, and you will have to walk much more if you drop me off in the basement."

Scott didn't know if this was supposed to be a hint, but she actually looked tired now so it was a possibility. And as much as he'd actually wanted to see the dungeons, he supposed he could do that any other time. He thought of turning around this one corner and walk up the stairs to his common room instead. And he also thought about the portraits he'd seen hanging on the way to the basements, of which he wasn't particularly fond. He didn't think they were very fond of him, either, but he figured they had a right to be bitter because they were paint. Paint gets a pass.

"I don't know," He said. "if you promise you'll show me the dungeons another time." She was holding his arm, and he no longer thought she was mad at him. But if she was tired then that was obviously okay.

"'Cause I've never been, like I said. And you'll have to say hello to someone there from me, anyone really. Because I like to know that someone somewhere I've never met is walking around with my hello."

He smiled back down at her.

The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'

Lancashire Mansion

Mia laughed up at him. He was being as Scott as he could right now, daydreaming and coming up with funny, or just purely creative ideas on the spot. He should have been sorted into Hufflepuff. He was too nice for any other house. Though he was brave and loyal, so Gryffindor suited him fine.

Brushing the hair out of her face, Mia thought about what the best answer to his query would be. She didn't know if he actually wanted her to pass on the hello, or he was just being funny. Deciding that it was not the latter, Mia decided to name one Slytherin that she could pass on the hello to.

"I'll tell Ava Silver, my former roommate, hello for you."

Mia smiled up at him and hugged him. Then, struck with an idea, she pulled a slip of paper out of her robes. It had a time and date on it. August 20

"Meet me at St. Mungo's OK? Ask for Rachel Blevins, room 304."

Mia then turned and walked down the hallway towards the basements. She had never been one for goodbyes, and he knew that. Anyone else would have considered it rude, but not him. He was too accepting for that.

"Chocolate omnia constituit"
//Co-Founder of Gobstones Club//Writer//
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