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Abigail Goodfellow

Beauty school dropout

26 posts in this topic

Abigail was not the kind of girl to sit back and ignore a problem when it came to face her. It was something she'd slowly learned about herself over the summer, with all the new information about the non-wizarding world she'd missed while she was at Hogwarts coming in. Not all of it was pleasant, obviously.

 

So it was safe to say, she'd taken it upon herself to start answering problems that she wasn't being asked to, but someone had to address them and Abby was nothing if not a helpful soul. That and she'd always loved trying new things.

 

Like giving people haircuts.

 

"Your hair's getting long. You want a haircut?" she asked Grover casually on one of the many days that the boy had managed to make his way into the Goodfellow home. Ever since the first time he'd been around, it had become almost like a tradition for him to show up without a warning, which was fine with Abby. The boy didn't have a cell phone, after all, so it wasn't like she expected him to shoot her a text. Maybe she should talk to Da about getting Grover a cell phone. And because without Finch on the same timezone, Abby needed someone else to text stupid memes to.

 

"So, haircut? Yay or nay? Because I'm pretty handy with scissors," Abby said, gesturing at the crop top she'd cut herself. Because it was cute and she was #hipstertrash.


Edited by Abigail Goodfellow

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By comparison, Grover was very much the kind of person to sit back and ignore a problem for as long as humanly possible. His entire life could be surmised as a series of events that lead to him running, jumping, and hurdling over, around and passed all of the hardships life threw at him.

 

He called it being adaptable.

 

Other people might call it the grievous sin of sloth.

 

More still might call it cowardice.

 

Neither were points Grover would argue against.

 

And so it was that Grover’s hair had come to do what it inevitably did every year he returned to Hogwarts; grow, grow, grow, and then flop into his face. There were pros and cons to this trustworthy pattern. For example, the fall of his long hair did much to block out the irritating glare of the sun. However, the flaxen curls also did much to obscure his vision, which was something of a hazard in his line of work.

 

His mother was normally the first to yank him aside and sort out the mess that was his hair, but Grover had been… avoiding home, which left him with few alternatives. Now his hair was not only overlong, but bordering on unkempt; unusual, even for someone as rumpled as Grover.

 

Abby, who seemed to possess a similar intolerance for bad hair to his mother, was quick to volunteer her services to Grover’s unresolved case of beauty miss-management. Grover considered. “Don’t suppose you’ve got a shaver too, do you?” the question was somewhat redundant. He’d riffled through the Goodfellow’s cupboards enough times to know what they did and did not have. “I think most of this is going to have to go,” for the good of humanity, “those scissors might not be enough.” A weed-wacker, on the other hand…


Edited by Grover Penn

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Honestly, it was a surprise that Abby and Grover managed to get along as well as they did. Although, that probably had something to do with the fact that anytime she had an idea she wanted to drag Grover along with, he was almost always happy to oblige.

 

Okay, yeah, that was probably the basis of their friendship. That and Abby never stopped Grover when he went to pick her pockets or rummage around her stuff for whatever he was looking for.

 

If that isn't true friendship, then what was, right?

 

"Scissors will do fine, I'm sure, but we've got the Muggle equivalent," she said, jumping out of her seat. Abby grabbed the hair kit her mum kept under the bathroom sink before grabbing Grover's collar. "Outside we go, c'mon then." Because it was easier to not have to clean up hair because it was outside. Plus it was lovely out there.

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Grover, who had paused in his rummaging just long enough to glance his appearance in the bathroom mirror, quickly winked at his reflection before shooting himself finger guns; an action he likely only knew how to perform due to the Goodfellows’ influence, because what were guns, really? This self-indulgent deed was quickly aborted when Abby hooked a claw under the collar of his shirt and proceeded to yank him out of her house like a leased dog.

 

Outside it was sunny and warm; picturesque even, with a small cluster of clouds in the sky. Absently and while struggling to remain lucid as Abby unwittingly strangled him to death Grover couldn’t help wondering what it was like to live in the middle of… well, suburbia.

 

Grover’s own living quarters were cramped; a rickety complex of stone homes squashed together. There was no room for a backyard, let alone a white picket fence and grass lawn. It was a little disconcerting; he was surprised no one had been swallowed up by the wide-open space.

 

“My one request is that you don’t make me look like a cue ball.” Grover asked before sitting himself cross-legged on the lawn. “Additionally, if you could also ensure that all of my appendages remain intact I’d very much appreciate it.”

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Abby's favorite was watching Grover indulge in ridiculously Muggle antics while having no real idea what was going on. So she only laughed at his finger guns, because they had more important things to deal with. Like Grover's hair.

 

And maybe later Abby's hair, because she had boxes of hair dye under the sink that were waiting for the perfect opportunity.

 

Abby was grateful that Da had finally given up and let them keep an extension cord always outside, because it allowed Abby to keep speakers out there for music. And it would make cutting Grover's hair easier. Priorities, obviously. "You're so dramatic. I won't cut your arms or other important appendages off, dummy," she said, giggling as she scrolled through Finch's summer playlist -- because he had a decent one, despite being all the way in New York -- and picked a song to start them off.

 

"Do you want it, like, kinda long? Or can I go pretty short? Like ... wait, I can find something," she said, grabbing her phone again. Abby flopped down on her back beside Grover, finally finding a picture of a hairstyle she liked and showing it to him. "Wanna do that?"

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"You're so dramatic. I won't cut your arms or other important appendages off, dummy,"

 

Grover did not at all trust these words. Oh, Abby was a fine witch to be sure, but she’d also transfigured his favorite pair of boots onto a bear last year. She was the best friend he’d ever had, and he was more than willing to forgive her catastrophic enthusiasm for transfiguration, especially considering she hadn’t thought twice about buying him a newer, flashier pair to stomp around in, but he’d had those boots for four years.

 

He’d never forget.

 

Sitting cross-legged on the grass, he gave his toes an experimental wiggle. The sturdy black leather was perhaps a bit much for the summer heat, but Grover was used to the discomfort, having never owned more than one pair of shoes to begin with. He was equally accustomed to layers of threadbare clothing and holey socks.

 

Abigail began flipping through her phone, a muggle device that quite frankly still overwhelmed Grover to this day. It wasn’t like any ‘phone’ Grover had ever seen before; clunky devices that clung to walls by a cord. He was pretty sure the Goodfellows’ had called them dated and ugly. Handheld ‘cellphones’ were the way of the future, and were as useful as they were stylish, able to perform a variety of functions beyond communication.

 

Abby thrust her phone under Grover’s nose, showing him a picture. “That’s a lot of beard.” He replied helpfully. “But the hair is fwippy. I like it. Make it so!” He paused as Abby readied her scissors. “You should do something different too. I mean, you’re not exactly ‘sticking it to the man’ with those blonde locks, yah know."

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So maybe Grover had every right not to trust Abby, but she would also very kindly remind him that that was Abby learning magic and she'd been using scissors since she was, like, three. So there.

 

Abby hummed along to the playlist as she waited for Grover to decide on the haircut or not. "Well, yeah, but you probably won't grow that til, like, graduation," she said, poking his jaw. "But good!" Abby sat up cheerfully, running the brush through Grover's hair as she placed her phone in her frocket. As Grover spoke, Abby snipped, a grin on her face. "I was actually thinking. I've got some hair dye under my sink. You wanna help me stick it to the man?" she asked, because Finch was normally her go to for fashion things -- not that Grover's style didn't fit with the hipster trash of the Goodfellows', it's just that he rarely cared about it as much as Finch and Abby did -- but he wasn't there, so Grover would have to be her hair color helper.

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“If you don’t already know that I’m all about criminal mischief by this point, I don’t know what to tell you.” Grover replied, a small grin curling at the corners of his lips. “All things considered, helping you break the school dress code is actually kind of a step down for me.”

 

Theft, breaking and entering, and racketeering were generally more his speed. Yes, at the tender age of fifteen, he’d already established quite the resume of immoral misdeeds. Most of it was even accomplished at the behest of his own free will. Other parts, well… not so much, but he didn’t like to focus on those parts.

 

“So, what color are you angling for?”

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Abby cackled at Grover's answer, a pleased hum escaping her as she snipped at the longer parts of his hair. "You're right. I should've known better than to ask." It was, after all, normal for them to go around breaking rules. After all, Grover's first visit to the Goodfellow house had been him breaking and entering. The Goodfellows just ... never charged him for anything.

 

"I have the whole rainbow under my sink, actually. So we can pick one. Or do the whole set," she said, shrugging a little. Because rainbow might be difficult since Grover had never dyed hair the muggle way before as far as Abby knew. But if he was up for the challenge, she was up for letting him try. Plus, like, they could do streaks and Abby could just prance around with braids in to show off how cool they were. That would be pretty ace.

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“Rainbow?” Grover repeated questioningly, his curiosity peaked. With two younger sisters, Grover was no stranger to managing ‘girl hair’, but if Abigail thought he was capable of dying her hair to match the grand spectrum of the rainbow, she was probably going to find herself disappointed.

 

Not that that would deter Grover. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, after all. “I like this plan. Let’s do it.” He decided quickly, eyes trailing the path of a clump of hair as it fell blandly to the lawn.

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Abby nodded, despite the fact that Grover couldn't see her face. She figured she'd let him think about it -- though she wasn't sure what he had to think about, considering she was the one who wanted the hair. But she was a generous friend and snipped quietly as he mulled it over.

 

When he agreed, she grinned wide and let out a happy noise. "Perfect. After your haircut, we can use my parents' bathroom. It's bigger, so it'll be better for hair dying," she said, which wasn't a completely false statement. The sink in the master bedroom was just far more conducive than the one she and Finch shared.

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Grover nodded along with Abby’s statement, pretending for a moment that he had any idea about the important role bathtubs played in the hair dying process. The two entered into a silent mode of communication as Abigail wrapped up the haircut. Un-styled as it was, the cut didn’t exactly match the picture she’d tried to follow, but Grover was certain he’d get it to look right on his own time.

 

Really, he was just happy he could see against. His hair could be every bit as terrible as a Blinding Hex when left to its own devices.

 

He climbed to his feet, running his fingers through his hair as he did so, shaking loose locks of hair that had been forced into neatness for the sake of an even cut. His skin immediately grew itchy as remnants of hair trailed down his back.

 

Without thinking, Grover began to strip out of some of his outer layers, intending to shake them free of hair. He didn’t pay a lot of concern to other people and their property, but even he knew enough play-house niceties to know that shaking hair out in someone else’s home was generally frowned upon.


Edited by Grover Penn

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If there was a doubt that Abby and Grover were super close, the silent communication they had while Abby took scissors, and eventually shears, to Grover's hair was probably enough proof. Abby made a mental note to style it with some of Finch's hair wax before Grover left, just so they could see it when properly styled because it was a little.... lacklustre without it.

 

Abby took a step back when Grover stood, reaching out to help him brush hair off of his hoodie, an item of clothing that was really too much for the summer heat. But who was Abby to judge, when she wore miniskirts with leg warmers in the winter?

 

She took another step back when Grover started shedding clothes, waiting til she was sure he wasn't going to elbow her to step closer again. Abby went to brush hair off his shoulders when she noticed something. "What happened to your arms?" she asked curiously, reaching out to poke one of the marks on Grover's arm. She'd never really paid attention before but. Well, Grover did visit Clinic a la Abigail quite a bit when they were home for the holidays.

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He paused. Only years of carefully refined control stopped him from looking startled by the comment. He glanced down, feigning wide-eyed surprise at the colorful array of bruises, scrapes, and cuts, as if he too was noticing them for the very first time. He whistled, impressed in his own way by the display. “What can I say? Hazard of the family business, I suppose.”

 

Getting out of a bad situation by the skin of your teeth, with scraped palms and shaking knees, was simply the norm for a Penn. His parents had taught him how to run before walking, before lying. It’d been a lot easier when he was younger and expectations were low; when the most his parents’ had ever expected from him was to play a role in whatever con they’d had going at the time.

 

The situation had since changed, and getting older meant getting more involved; a fact he could no longer ignore, thanks to his parents' meddling. There wasn’t a lot he’d go all in for, but his sisters were his responsibility. He needed to start acting like he cared about something, for their sakes.

 

“Anyway, s’nothing a cold butterbeer can’t fix, right?” he added dismissively, heading towards the house. He opted to keep his hoodie off; throwing it on now would stink of guilt, and Grover regretted nothing, least of all his actions over the summer.

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Abby furrowed her brows together at his answer, nodding slowly. She wasn't sure she totally believed him, but well, what could she do? "Okay. Well. Our first aid kit's always here for you if you need it. And a bunk," she said in way of reply because that was important to her, that Grover knew he was always welcome in the Goodfellow home.

 

She snorted at his reply, shaking her head. "How about a cold pop instead?" Once she finished cleaning up the hair kit, she gestured for him to follow her inside. "Then we can look up how to dye hair so you can see it," she said cheerfully, already tapping the words into the search bar.

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Grover paused, not for the first time taken aback by Abby’s words. He’d always appreciated her respect, her kindness, her easy acceptance of his private nature. One could say it was the foundation upon which their friendship had been build. The realization that so little had changed in five years caused something to clench in his chest; an unfamiliar feeling that his brain raced to identify.

 

It wasn’t guilt, but it was perhaps a tiny bit of shame. Not of his carefully picked words, but of the situation that had made such caution necessary to begin with. He let out a sigh as Abby passed him in the hallway, no doubt unaware of Grover’s quiet personal struggle as she headed for the bathroom thinking only of rainbow colored dyes, glorious hair, and the heel of her boot in the back of the establishment.

 

He’d never liked the feeling of being leashed; not by anyone or anything. The fact that his parents had finally managed to tether him down was a mark of shame on his pride, and it burned.

 

A finger poked him in the cheek, and Grover’s wandering mind fixated on Abigail’s expectant face. “Right. Yeah, sure.” He said at last, pretending ineffectively that he’d caught every word she’d said. Abby for her part seemed to accept this as readily as she accepted anything, and the two spent the next few moments crouched over her phone on the bathroom floor looking up hair-dying tutorials.

 

Grover immediately felt overwhelmed. “It’s too bad Finch isn’t around. He’d be a lot better at this.” he admitted with a frown. “Where is he, anyway? I feel like it’s been forever since I last saw him.”

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The thing about Abigail was that her father had grown up as a squib in the magical world, so when it came to raising his kids, it was almost a given he'd teach them to never judge and respect how much people wanted to talk about stuff. Sure, sometimes she was curious and would ask, especially if she got the vibe that the other person wanted to talk (which she was very good at knowing, she liked to think). You just had to ask the right questions, and Abby was pretty decent at that too. Abby was familiar with Grover's avoidance tactics, though, and his ability to deflect any serious inquiries, so she would wait.

 

So she took to talking idly about her hair dye, how maybe if a rainbow was too complicated, they could do three or four colors, just to make it look different. When it looked like she'd lost Grover, she poked his cheek, a small smile on her face when he responded as if he'd been listening. Right. Anyways. "Shall we?" she said, pulling up the first tutorial -- a basics on what was cool and what not to do when dying hair -- and making sure Grover was listening along too.

 

She hummed in agreement at his statement, shrugging. Abby was set to assure Grover she had faith in him when his question made her pause. And then giggle. "Because it has been forever, Grove. He's been in New York for the past, like, year," she said, between giggles. "You've just now noticed?" she asked playfully, nudging him lightly with her shoulder.

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What?” was Grover’ bewildered reply as he glanced up from the phone. He briefly contemplated being cross with Finch for declining to inform him of this sudden and random life choice, but considering Grover’s own head was a nest of elaborate secrets and lies, his disappointment was the very definition of hypocritical in this circumstance. “I mean, yes, of course. New York. How could I forget.” he added a moment later in a poor attempt to cover up his own ignorance. “He’s over there, across the pond, doing… what exactly?”

 

America had their own school of witchcraft and wizardry, but Grover was sure Abby would have mentioned something about Finch studying abroad if he’d transferred schools for a year or two… or forever. Additionally, considering how close the twins were, she was taking the separation considerably well; another sign that whatever Finch was doing, he wouldn’t be doing it for very long.

 

Her explanation for Finch’s disappearance was both surprising and… not. “Huh.” Grover responded after a brief pause, leaning back on his haunches to contemplate the reality of Finch studying ballet abroad on a scholarship. “How the flack did he manage to pull that one off? I hope lies, deceit, and bribery were somehow involved.” He’d be disappointed if they weren’t. “I mean, either way, good on him. He’s going to have some killer leg muscles when he gets back. When does he get back?”

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Abby watched Grover's reaction, an amused look on her face as he tried to cover up his fumble. He seemed thoroughly confused at Finch being gone and in another country, and Abby could only fight back the giggles so much. She'd thought she'd mentioned it to Grover before, but apparently not.

 

"Dance scholarship, actually. So there was probably some deceit," she said jokingly, ruffling Grover's newly cut hair. "I'm not sure, actually. Mum and Da can't decide or something. He'll be back for the new term, though," she continued, finally settling on a rainbow hair dye tutorial before kicking at Grover's thigh. "Move so I can get the hair dye." Once he complied, she piled all the boxes of hair colors on the counter, a pleased smile on her face when she finished.

 

"Ready?"

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Grover had no idea what he was doing. He glanced at the dye in his gloved hands to Abby's trusting smile and quietly whispered, "I'm so sorry," before ruining her hair.

 

Okay, not really, but the fear was real.

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The appropriate answer to Abby's question was probably "no" but Abby could help. At least a little. So she sat in the chair, faced the mirror, and left her hair at Grover's mercy. Well, Grover and some hopefully helpful instructions and a decently detailed tutorial.

 

This could totally go well or badly. But Abby had faith in Grover and it would probably end well. Or at least in a still fixable state. "Maybe we should skip the green hair dye. It tends to look awful on blondes." Because those were the important things in life.


Edited by Abigail Goodfellow

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It took a moment for Grover to get over his fear of ruining Abigail’s luscious locks, but once he had, he found the process of dying hair considerably less intimidating. It helped that Abby was taking immense pity on his overwhelmed soul by cutting green out of the equation.

 

She said it was because the color looked terrible in blonde hair. Grover was 99% certain that this was a lie and that the more experienced beautician was showing him mercy in the face of overwhelming adversity.

 

With a focused (though obviously relieved), “Okay,” Grover pushed the dye aside.

 

A moment of quiet hung in the air, with Abigail blissfully unaware of the complex thoughts frying Grover’s brain. He chewed on his lower lip, contemplating the meaning of trust and how it applied to his friendship with Abigail, because they were friends. This truth had been proven time and time again.

 

Perhaps it was about time he showed a bit of faith as well.

 

“… So,” he started, breaking the silence. “I quit my summer job. Well, was forced to quit, more like.” He elaborated, trying to remain casual, like he was discussing a particularly mundane article in the Daily Prophet. “The first thing I did when I got home from school for the summer was check up on my savings. Turns out my dad found it first.” In retrospect, he should have known better than to hide it all under a loose floorboard in his room. It was the oldest trick in the book, and one of the first venues his parents would have explored if they were hard up for cash. “Jerk didn’t leave so much as a knut behind. Bad enough my own parents robbed me, but then they had the audacity to act affronted. ‘Said I was ‘holding out’ on them.”

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Abby waited, patient as ever, as Grover settled into the rhythm of dying her hair, her eyes rarely leaving the figure of the blond from the mirror.

 

When he started talking, Abby was surprised but waited for him to finish before answering. Because Grover opening up didn't always happen, so she was more than happy to sit quietly when it did. "What a crummy person." Except imagine a more explicit term because Abby was horribly unhappy with Grover's dad at the moment. "I can't believe he did that. You really liked that job too," she mumbled, pouting on her friend's behalf. "If you need to put your savings somewhere he can't find it, I've a house full of hiding spaces." Something she was sure Grover had already figured out, considering his propensity for snooping around a bit. "Would you be able to get the job back?" she asked, eyebrow quirked as she watched Grover in the mirror.


Edited by Abigail Goodfellow

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Grover shrugged in reply; a gesture that was probably lost on Abby, though he knew she wouldn’t take offense to the silence. The subject of Grover’s family was… weighted. He didn’t often think before he spoke. Making things ridiculous was always his default course of action when topics veered too close to home. It came as easily to him as breathing, but he’d already decided to be honest with Abigail, and he wasn’t about to renege on that decision now just because the conversation had gotten difficult.

 

So, thinking it was.

 

“Yes and no,” He replied at last, “Guillaume was adamant that he thought I was making a mistake. He doesn’t get that,” I have sisters who are relying on my? That Epona is one bad decision away from being ousted from the family? That there’s no escaping the family business? “The choice wasn’t mine. Sasha seemed to understand though. He managed to talk him down from getting too involved. They both said I was still free to come around whenever if ever I needed a reprieve. ‘Might take them up on that offer.” Home hadn’t felt quite like home since the boggart.

 

“Epona’s a squib.” Grover had known—suspected, rather—for a while now, but that didn’t make saying the words out loud any easier. Childish as it no doubt sounded, a part of Grover believed he could ignore the truth so long as he remained silent and feigned obliviousness, but he wasn’t oblivious. In fact, Grover had been painstakingly preparing for the inevitable fallout between his parents and sister for two years. “It’s not that I’m ashamed of her,” he wasn’t, “but I know my parents. What they’re like. They don’t keep things that don’t have a use, and Epona’s use right now is keeping me in line, so…”

 

So he’d deal with it.

 

“… I have no idea what I’m doing.” He wasn’t even sure if he was referring to his life or Abby’s hair any more.

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There was a lot of privilege in Abby's life. It was something she hadn't always considered because she was surrounded by people who lived lives like hers. Grover had been an anomaly in her friend group, someone that didn't come from the same background. And that made him interesting, as far as Abby was concerned. She knew some people thought it was weird, and she'd had muggle friends ask about the street urchin that came by the Goodfellow house often, but she didn't care. Grover was a good person and they could all choke on a stick for implying anything less.

 

She furrowed her eyebrows as Grover explained his situaton with his 'employers.' At the very least, he had Sasha on his side for the whole ordeal, which Abby appreciated. She should send him a fruit basket or something. Abby almost said as much when Grover's next statement floored her, her jaw slack as she realized just how big that was, and she honestly didn't have an answer. Nibbling on her bottom lip as Grover kept talking, Abby weighed the whole idea in her head. It was a lot that was for sure, and Grover taking all of it on? That was also a lot.

 

And it made Abby want to hug her friend. Except she couldn't because he had her hands on her hair and she smelled like peroxide.

 

So she settled for reaching up to squeeze his wrist lightly. "S'alright. I'll help take care of it," she said, giving him a smile in the mirror. And Abby, for one, knew she was talking about both her hair and Grover's life. Because Grover had just admitted that his sister was only around to keep him in line, and would be without a home if he wasn't messing about. That was heavy. Abby wanted to help, because Grover was one of her best friends and she couldn't sit by while he carried this burden around.

 

"You should bring her by sometime. Anyone who can keep you in line seems like someone I want to be friends with," she continued, her tone light and joking. Because keeping Grover in line wasn't something Abby really cared to do much, but she also wasn't about to tell Grover explicitly that Epona was welcome to stay at the Goodfellow house if she needed. A lot of their communications happened between the lines, and that was fine, really, so long as the gesture was clear. And Grover had been given the same blanket invitation when he came by the Goodfellow house, and he practically lived there too.

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