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Addison Toft

We couldn't help but have a little fun, sometimes it feels so good to be bad

17 posts in this topic

"Hellooooooooo-elloooo-elloo-ellooo-ellooo?" Addison had her hands cupped around her mouth, stood on her toes and yelled down the massive corridor that cut through the middle of Briar's giant house. She still couldn't believe it actually had an echo to it - why did anybody feel the need to live in a house that echoed? Addison wondered if anybody ever got lost inside its maze of hallways and rooms, simply disappeared for a few days before re-surfacing starved and deranged. "I bet you could sleep in a different room every night for a month."

 

Settling back down onto her heels, Addison tossed a chocoball into her mouth and chewed. The summer holiday was already getting off on the right foot; while there were still many questions and uncertainties the Wards held about magic, they didn't want to cut Addison off from what was clearly a large part of her life. Not only did they let her keep her magical belongings in her new bedroom, they encouraged her to stay in touch with her school friends and actually suggested she see them. It took the Becketts (specifically Elizabeth) nearly two years to be okay with Addison visiting her friends during the holidays, and even then it was only for limited amounts of structured time.

 

She cleared her throat of chocolate and vanilla cream filling. "Anyway, you never really told me how you and Dingus, you know, started. Did Kae introduce you two or did you sneak behind her back to get to know him? Does she know about you guys?" Addison grinned. They had all afternoon, evening and night to themselves, but she figured they might as well get the juicy stuff over with first.

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At age fourteen, Briar was smarter than she’d been last summer. Her brain had literally expanded twice its size (she’d had frequent headaches throughout her third year and refused to accept that her headbands were the real cause). Being smarter came with consequences, however. She knew too much. E=mc^2 because Excellence=MoreClassesOneDevilHorn2, as in schools promoted excellence in support of the devil to use its horns against not only Death Eaters, but Aurors too, because their administrators wanted to fight the system.

 

Briar pressed a cloth-covered ice pack over her forehead. That was too much thinking for her growing brain; she’d just cracked the world’s most complicated equation. She had other things to worry about (again, as a result of being too smart, too perceptive. For example, Briar had noticed her mother’s spending had increased tenfold (as in her shopping bags were so heavy they’d made ten times the regular creases). She’d also noticed their house’s interior decoration had shifted from its previous ivory and silver theme to cream and silver. It was complete madness.

 

She’d also realised something unsettling, far more disturbing than the change in furniture colour if that were even possible: Chester had a woman friend. Kind of. She’d been pictured as his sidekick, the councillor’s assistant, but Briar was the queen of love (even though she’d never experienced love herself) and she could spot the signs.

 

As a result, her newfound intelligence was more burdensome than not. Briar was sad. All the mathematical equations, scientific theories, historical analyses, and ugly stepdads with young assistants really wrecked havoc on her brain to the point where she heard voices in her head. Hellooooo-elloo-ellooo… Briar shivered. The ghosts of Chester’s terrible life had finally reached their home, thirsty for revenge.

 

Fortunately (or unfortunately since Chester really deserved to be punted in the stomach?), the “ghosts” were just echoes of Addison’s voice. Briar slipped off her bed and waddled outside her room into their corridor to spot a tiny blonde figure at the end of it. Addison’s hair was now lighter and more golden than hers. It was a tragedy.

 

“Oh hi Addie (dee-dee-dee…),” Briar greeted her as she dragged her feet down the hallway. She was an emo tween. “How’d you get in? And oh, Dingus – er, Linus – well, um, you know, yeah… where’d you get that chocolate ball? I want one. No I don’t. I’m fat. No I’m not. I’m sad. I’m like, really in pain with all this new knowledge. I know what you just did this morning. You ate food and took a shower I presume because you don’t smell like rotten cardboard. Did you even hear me just speak? I said presume. My god, this is such a burden. I know too much. I think Chester is cheating on Mumsies. I might get an O in school now even though I don’t go to classes because I’m so smart. Chocolate is made of sugar and brown food colouring. Did you know our wands are actually made of wood?”

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As per usual when it came to dealing with the craziest soon-to-be fourth year Gryffindor, Briar's speech came out more as a stream of conscious thought, skipping from topic to topic faster than the human brain could keep up with. Linus, chocolate, fat, not fat, smart, O's, presume, wands... Addison's face set like stone when her brain finally registered one line that had been spoken. "Wait wait wait, go back to... that thing you said." Forget the greetings, forget explaining how she'd gotten in (the Naaktgeboren's butler opened the front door), forget the 'juicy stuff' - was Briar serious?

 

"About your mum and Chester." Her bags hit the polished floor with a flump, the chocolate half-chewed in her mouth. "Are you... you're joking about that, right? Like I know Chester can be kind of a jerk but that's... what makes you think that?" Only now did Addison think to check their surroundings and make sure the sleazy politician wasn't lurking around a corner. As welcoming and kind as he was to her, Addison couldn't shake the feeling that he was a bit of a scumbag; the way he treated his own stepdaughter made it obvious.

 

Addison smiled furtively. "You're probably just imagining things. I told you before, you read too many dumb romance books and it's getting to your head." Walking up to Briar and giving her a friendly shake on her shoulders, she nodded. "Come on, let's go do something else that'll take your mind off all that other... stuff. Like, um... oh!" She pulled her hair out onto her shoulder. "You can help me re-dye it. The blonde's growing out, see?"

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"Chocolate is made of sugar and brown food colouring?" Briar repeated herself and, without giving Addison time to correct her, added: "I know, but what do you expect? Someone tried to tell me they're made of cocoa beans, but seriously, you expect me to believe chocolate grows on trees? Do they think I'm stupid? I'm basically Einstalin, don't they know that?"

 

Briar actually knew what Addison meant before she clarified her question. Of course she did (she was Einstalin). But she'd hoped that, by somehow sneaking that statement in her incessant rambling, she'd manage to avoid a long tirade about how much she hated her stepfather, how stupid her mother was, how her life was soooo terrible as a little rich fourteen year old girl. "Ummm... define joke." It wasn't a joke. She also knew what ‘joke’ meant (she was Einstalin). But she didn’t want to explain her suspicions to anyone. After all, everyone including her best friend thought her head, stuffed with useless romance novels, was somewhere in the clouds. How wrong they all were! Her head was very much attached to her neck.

 

“Your hair looks good, I don’t see any roots,” Briar lied through her teeth. Addison’s roots looked terrible, as if someone had poured coffee only on the top of her head – cold coffee, of course (no one wanted to burn a child’s head) – but Briar didn’t want to help Addison bleach her hair. Addison was reaching Level Pretty at a faster rate than Briar was. Life was unfair. Briar made a mental note to add a splash of dark brown dye into Addison’s bottle the next time she helped. She was such a good friend.

 

“Let’s dye Chester’s car. Dye as in colour it but dye as in also die it as in make it dead as in destroy it. For fun.”

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"You know, a joke. Like you're not serious, you're trying to be funny, that sort of thing. I'm sure your brain's playing tricks on you; no way Chester would actually cheat." She said this with feigned certainty; Addison hardly knew the man beyond the fact that he was a politician and that he didn't appear overly fond of his stepdaughter, which she didn't understand. Briar was a bit eccentric at times but was a good person at heart - shouldn't a man who was holding the role of her father be able to see that? But even if he didn't like the curly blonde, the whole reason he was a part of the Naaktgeboren's lives was the fact he loved Matilda. If he didn't love Matilda and was interested in another woman, why stick around?

 

Just another random firing of Briar's imaginative eccentricity, Addison concluded.

 

"Are you sure?" she frowned, pulling on her hair more to get a better look at it. The sandy brown was clear to her in the mirror every morning and there shouldn't have been any problem for Briar to see it too... she hopped back to her duffel and dug around one of the exterior pockets to find her two-way mirror, but was halted by Briar's suggestion. "Wait - you want to wreck his car?"

 

Briar did remember Addison had moved back with the Wards, didn't she? And that Celeste was a police constable? They could get in a lot of trouble and even though they were still considered minors by the law, there were such things as youth prisons...

 

"I mean, first off, you already did that remember? You drove his car into a wall. Secondly... I don't really fancy going to jail."

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"Uh huh," Briar responded without feeling, trying her best to focus on the painting next to Addison's head. It was a typical and rather boring painting of sheep on a bed of flowers -- Matilda had purchased the painting from an art gallery shortly after Isaac's birth because the "sheep totally reminded her of her adorable son!" but not her super cute daughter. Although Matilda irritated Briar to her every nerves, Briar still liked her mother. She was her mother, after all, and her only blood relative (except Isaac who didn't count because he was half-Chester and her estranged uncle and weird son Brian) still living. Whoever her dad was, he was dead in Briar's mind; anyone who didn't bother reaching out didn't deserve a place in her heart.

 

And because she liked her mother, Briar had kept her eyes on Chester. And she knew -- she knew Chester didn't like Matilda as much as Briar liked her mother (let's note that that is a serious offense because Briar liked her mother about as much as she liked scarves -- they're great to have around but her heart wouldn't ache all too much if every scarf began to unravel and drop into a fire pit), and she definitely knew that Chester would've rather taken Addison, or any other girl, as his stepdaughter. The only tying bond was the small toddler with horrible orange hair, who was really only a product of "image upkeep" -- a happy family!

 

But Briar was good at finding any bit of emotion in her heart and crushing it into a powdery mess (unless it came to Mercutio, apparently); how else would she be so perky and chipper? She thought Addison would've understood, given what a difficult family life she's also had, but with her new(ish) perfect foster parents, she was no longer a trusted ally in the Battle of the Parents.

 

"Yeah, let's do it!" Briar's mood instantly flipped: no longer detached, she was pretty enthusiastic by the idea of puncturing Chester's tyres with a butcher knife. "I didn't really get in trouble last time. I mean I got grounded but I still got all my Christmas presents so it's okay. Besides, haven't you heard? They have good dental care in jails; I hear you get free cavity exams. Knowing you, you'll probably need some free dental exams... besides, isn't your new mum in the police force? Can't she just erase everything off our records? C'mon Addie! Pleeeease? Chester won't care, he has more cars than there are strands of hair on his head."

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Addison continued in her hesitation as Briar bobbed up and down, clearly pumped to get on with the dirty work. It was a bit frightening how much the girl knew about prison life... but by now, Addison knew not to put anything past Briar Naaktgeboren. The girl struggled with her spelling but could still recite the most inane facts - like the composition of chocolate, for example. "That's not really how it'll work. Celeste being a constable means she'll only yell at me more at home, after getting us out of jail. And then we'll still have to do community service or something. Do you want to pick up trash on the side of the roads while wearing those bright orange jumpsuits? Because that's what's going to happen if and when we get caught."

 

And they were going to get caught - of this, Addison had no doubt. Not because Chester would catch them in the act, but because she fully expected Briar to key their entire names (with Addison's misspelled of course) along with gory death threats into the side of his car, making it plain as the nose on her face who had done it.

 

"I mean... we can do something tame I guess? Like let the air out of his tyres and make him think he's got a leak." Was this what Silas felt like? Addison went through a moment of self-awareness, suddenly realising she was acting as Briar's sense of reason just as Silas acted as hers. She then felt a rush of pity for the Ravenclaw and resolved to try to behave more appropriately. "How does that sound? We can throw some eggs at his windshield too. It'll still send the message but will wash off easily so he won't be too mad, right?"

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When would Addison know better? It was summertime -- the time of bright colours and patterns on dresses, playsuits, and jumpsuits. Had she no idea how insanely fashionable and appealing bright orange jumpsuits seemed in Briar's twisted and maybe damaged brain? "Does picking up trash mean picking up really cute troubled boys because I mean, sure why not?" Briar asked genuinely, already picking the shoes to match in her mind. "And I doubt your new mum yelling at you could be that bad. We all get yelled at. I get yelled at everyday!" Did her best friend or think Briar worth a few weeks of grounding and some scolding?

 

But Addison came up with a compromise, one that Briar could agree to because Addison had to have known by now that Briar did not keep up her end of the agreements. By suggesting they slash his tires and the like, Addison meant they'd find a dead body to stuff in his trunk... no?

 

"Okay you go get the eggs Addie and meet me in the garage. Don't take the front door though, go out to the garden and then loop around so Albert doesn't see you," Briar warned, knowing well enough their butler was Chester's loyal German shepherd. "I'm going to get other supplies... paint and glitter and stuff."

 

She went straight to their tool room -- the room where various tools were thrown in after sad and useless attempts at fixing household appliances without hiring anyone -- to collect her supplies. Oops, no paint and glitter in this room! Briar smiled and shrugged to herself, then paused. She was literally talking to herself in her head and orchestrating a devious plot. Had she gone insane?

 

Of course not! With a hammer, an axe, and a pair of pliers (not entirely sure what use that'd be) gathered in her arm, Briar skipped her way down to the garage. As soon as she opened the door, she dropped the pliers and axe (nearly cutting off her toes) and ran past an uncertain Addison carefully pressing an egg against the rear window. "Ahhhh!" Briar screamed as she headed straight for the headlights and smashed the hammer right in, shattering glass everywhere. "He forgot his auto alarm!" She shouted gleefully. She would've thrown Addison the axe like partners-in-crime sharing weapons did in movies, but Briar didn't particularly want to hurt Addison that day.


Edited by Briar Naaktgeboren

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Like a cat burglar, Addison tip-toed through the Naaktgeboren household, slinking from room to room as if any moment the butler would pop up, sensing what she was up to. It would have been far more entertaining if there was a spy-themed song playing in the halls (like the one she had going in her head as she crept around); alas, the only music chiming out was the Christmas radio station Matilda had on non-stop. At least the noise would cover up any sort of racket they would be making in the garage, if the house wasn't already big enough to separate the garage from the butler's chambers.

 

Poking her head into the kitchen and seeing it empty, the witch padded towards the stainless-steel refrigerator and carefully swung it open, wincing when it emitted a loud creak. But she never could have expected to see what the fridge held: fancy cheeses, bottles of wine (amongst a collection of other spirits), colorful objects Addison could only assume were expensive vegetables, spring water, mineral water, sparkling water, more types of water than she knew even existed! It was a treasure trove of decadence and luxury and more.

 

Even the eggs were fancy.

 

"Organic... free-range... grain-fed..." she whispered, reading the label across the carton aloud. And when she had that tucked under her arm, Addison noticed more eggs - tiny ones! They looked like they'd been laid by a mouse! Picking up one of the splotchy-shelled ovals, Addison marvelled at the sight, then gathered a bunch of them before nudging the fridge door shut with her foot and proceeding to the garage. And if she thought the refrigerator was stocked with riches...

 

She knew Chester had an expensive car but he must have upgraded his ride since the last time she saw it because one was premium. It even had one of those fancy animal ornaments sticking out of the hood. The body was so well polished and well maintained she swore she could see her own pores in her reflection. Even the tires were impeccably clean - which didn't make sense because those were the bits that touched the ground and were supposed to get dirty! And she was supposed to egg this picture of immaculate wealth? Addison sighed and leaned forward to gently press one of the tiny eggs against the rear window...

 

"Geez!" she jumped in shock as Briar appeared from thin air (as she normally did) and shattered one of the lamps. Panic was quick to set in. "Briar, what are you doing?! I thought we agreed we weren't going to break anything! I even got the eggs, look!" Her face was a picture of dismay as the realisation settled in: they were going to go to jail. "Stop, no no no!" Addison dropped the eggs (smashing most of them in the process) and ran forward to hold Briar back - the girl had an axe, for goodness' sake! "Drop - drop it... drop the axe! No axe, no axe!"

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Some people were impulsive but also felt guilty. Most people had common sense to drop their tools, reflect on what they'd just done, fret about, maybe shed a few tears about how their lives were out of control, then try to find ways to remedy the situation. Briar, on the other hand, was very impulsive and hardly felt guilty about anything. It took her many months to acknowledge her mistake in upsetting Addison and treating her terribly. Briar still didn't feel guilty about attempting to drive Chester's car and crashing it into the garage door. Naturally, there was no reason for her to feel guilty about the current situation.

 

"Let -- me -- go!" She shouted, kicking her legs and flailing her arms in an attempt to free herself from Addison's grasp, all the while dangerously waving her weapon of choice around her friend's head. Briar kicked her feet in the air against the front bumper, adrenaline working its magic and leaving her feeling numb and invincible. "I hate -- I. Hate. Chester!" Briar screamed as loudly as she could right into Addison's ear, hoping the girl would drop her out of shock.

 

And then she suddenly went limp, letting herself loosely drape around Addison's arm. Had she fainted out of anger and stress? Had life been so difficult for poor Briar that she'd lost all will to persevere? Had the last bit of life and energy been sucked from her small frame, leaving her a useless and broken collection of bones and skin and hair?

 

Of course not! Briar was just crazy. Her eyes fluttered as she feigned unconsciousness, hoping Addison would let go of her. She still had so much work to do on the car, like wax it with tar, buff it with sandpaper, dry it with a flamethrower... (not that she had those tools on hand, but she'd hoped Addison would play along and the two of them would find a makeshift flamethrower -- a lighter with a gallon of petrol, perhaps? If only magic were allowed outside of school!)

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She winced as Briar's banshee-level scream pierced her eardrums and made them howl in pain, but she clung on gamely. The two girls continued to scrabble and struggle against each other, Addison keenly aware of the axe flailing around wildly. "I know you hate him, I know!" she yelled back, hoping with all her heart that the Christmas music was still playing in the house loud enough for Albert to remain oblivious to what was happening in the garage. "But this isn't... this is only going to make it worse!" Utterly destroying Chester's car would only serve to make him hate his step-daughter more than he already did, which was a considerable amount.

 

And then a miracle happened: reason got through to Briar's brain. The fight left her body as she fell limp, with only Addison's meager strength to support her weight. Had Addison not been so relieved to ease up, she might have been suspicious of Briar tricking her - but alas, she gave her friend a light shake. "Come on, it'll be okay. Let's just talk about this alright?" She made a brave attempt at dragging them both to sit on the front bumper of the car, with Addison intentionally positioning herself to best block the hood ornament with her body, just in case another flood of vengeance overcame Briar.

 

"Seriously, I know you can get worked up about stuff but this is... this is a crime. You could get charged for something like this - vandalism or something. You could get a record." She shrugged; Addison wasn't concrete on the details of how the justice system worked; there were bits and pieces she picked up from Celeste but the minutiae often escaped her understanding. "I dunno if that translates over to Hogwarts and the ministry but..." she gave Briar a playful bump with her shoulder, "I can't call myself a good friend if I don't try stopping you from letting that happen."

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How much longer could she pretend to be dead? 5... 4... 3... -- she couldn't wait any longer. Briar opened her eyes and sat up abruptly, grabbing Addison by the shoulder and shaking her lightly. "But don't you get it, Addie? I'm breaking the law because I'm trying to stop the rest of the world from having to deal with Chester! I'm helping people! I'm like Robin Hood, except not really because I'm really rich and I don't need to steal from the rich, but I'm just trying to help people out by breaking the rules!"

 

She considered picking the hammer back up from the ground, knocking Addison in the knees to disable her, and then smashing out the taillights, but decided that was a very poor decision. She liked Addison, after all. "I just don't know what to do, Addie," Briar slumped back down dramatically, cradling her face with her hands. "I hate Chester so much. My mum is so stupid, Chester is a total criminal, and I hate my stupid fake brother! He has orange hair and he's totally fake and all he does is cry and eat food and I hate him so much! Everyone thinks he's soooo cute, Mumsies always takes him out places and she never has time for me anymore! My life sucks!"

 

They were at different places in their lives, now. Just a year ago, Addison was having a difficult time with her family life, stuck with adults who didn't understand her. Now she was living with her favourite foster parents and actually enjoying time away from Hogwarts. A year ago, Briar was swimming in presents and feeling quite alright that her mum left her alone. Now all she wanted was some parental attention but was instead bombarded with wet diapers to throw in the trash.

 

"You have better life than I do." Briar mumbled quietly through her hands, embarrassed to admit that her cardboard-wearing cardboard-eating cardboard-living best friend was having a better summer than she was.

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Addison didn't know what to do other than awkwardly pat Briar's back in a lame attempt to provide comfort. This wasn't something she was good or confident at; shouldn't Albert be here with a box of tissues or a Wand Direction poster to cheer Briar up? Her face fell the more Briar shared - being an only child (as well as estranged from her biological parents) meant she didn't have go through these problems, so she couldn't imagine what it must feel like to slowly be replaced.

 

"It's not so bad," she said quietly. "You have a great home to live in, and you always have the best stuff." Even as she was saying it, the witch knew her words weren't really helping. Briar wasn't talking about a material life right now. "It'll... it'll go back to normal, you just have to wait a bit. Babies need people to take care of them but once they grow up..." Addison repressed a snort at her own self. It seemed like everything she wanted to say was only going to make the situation worse. Things like 'building' and 'repairing' and 'healing' had never been her forté.

 

'Destroying', on the other hand... she was good at that.

 

Without saying anything else, Addison hopped off the bumper and bent down to retrieve the discarded axe. Circling around to the driver's side, she made sure Briar was out of the way before swinging the bladed metal head and slamming it into the polished car door, burying the edge deep with the horrible grating of crumpling metal. She couldn't share Briar's pain when it came to her mum, but she could understand how crummy of a stepdad Chester was. Wrenching the axe free, Addison flipped it around and extended the handle towards her friend.

 

"Come on. Let's do this."


Edited by Addison Toft

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"You know I was once Mumsies' favourite child?" Briar sniffled sadly, neglecting to note that she'd been Matilda's only child up until Isaac's birth. "I like our house and I like having a lot of food and lots of clothes to pick from and having Albert take me places and getting my nails painted but it's just not fun when you're really lonely."

 

Though she lied frequently, the words that came out of her mouth were honest and even painful. Some children had only a few friends but a large loving family, and some children had terrible lives at home but many friends to rely on. Briar didn't really fit into either of the two spheres (admittedly there is a middle, but mentioning that makes things less dramatic). She had a mother with attention issues, a useless sack of fat and odors for a brother, and the devil incarnate for a stepfather, and instead of many friends to negate said terrible family, Briar only had one friend.

 

True, her one friend was possibly the greatest person to exist -- the only one who could tolerate her and actually love her, but she was one person stretched thin amongst everyone else at school who adored her. Addison had more friends than Briar had nail polishes, and she had the entire Beauty and the Beast collection.

 

Just as a dramatic tear threatened to roll down her cheek, Addison, embodying every definition of a Gryffindor (brave, reckless, loyal), destroyed Chester's door with one swift swing. Easily brightened and instantly joyed by her friend's foolish actions, Briar took the axe from her friend and swung it hard on the rooftop. Every swing felt like she was destroying a part of Chester from her life and freeing herself from the sick group of people she considered her family.

 

* * * * *

 

"What an exhilarating evening! Just marvelous!" Matilda kicked off her shoes and leaned her seat back as far as possible in Chester's "work" car, smiling brightly at the first star she spotted. Her life was already a dream -- a rich and well-known husband, an adorable toddler barfing everywhere, and a cute teenage daughter. Her only mistake was having said cute daughter with some random person, but wasn't that what alcohol was for!

 

Isaac, on the other hand, had a terrible night. He didn't have a very good selection of food (there were only so many things you could blend for a baby) and his parents neglected to change his heavily soiled diaper. He felt uncomfortable and hungry, and his bottom was very wet. He began to wail.

 

Just... a few... more... minutes... Chester narrowed his eyes as he tried his best to focus on the road, driving many mph over the limit to get home as soon as possible. He planned on slapping on a sleeping mask the minute he got out of his car, popping in some ear plugs, and taking a good night's sleep. When was Matilda going to realise that Isaac smelled terrible? Good thing they were reaching their driveway...


Edited by Briar Naaktgeboren

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She had Pentagramix's rebellious and rock-roaring hit, Magical Disaster, echoing around her head as she kicked in the side panelling of the car, putting in every resentment she felt on behalf of Briar against her unusually cruel stepfather. Thud! That one was for smoking in the car with the windows rolled up. Thud! That one was for ignoring her. Thud! That one was for not giving her candy. Thud! That one was for making Briar feel crummy. Thud! Thud! Thud! That was for being a terrible, two-faced human being. "Careful you don't get hit by glass," she warned, in case the curly-haired blonde decided to take the axe to a few windows. Addison then began hunting for a new weapon, visually scouring the hammer and other tools that were spread out across the garage floor.

 

None of them had the touch she was looking for.

 

But that one did. Addison picked up the hammer and turned to the wall rack set on the wall. Aiming carefully, she hurled the hammer to knock down a bag of expensive-looking golf clubs. The bag still even had a tag on it - probably so he can use them and still be able to return them like a scumbag, Addison grumped - and it took her several tries to understand everything on it. The clubs were obviously premium, crafted from copper and brass and some other materials she'd never heard of. "Titania? It's made of Titania?" She tilted her head. Wasn't Titania a Ravenclaw? "Ti...ta...ni... um? Titanium?"

 

Addison shrugged. Whatever. She slid the fanciest club out of the bag and dropped the rest. Planting a foot onto the front bumper, she jumped onto the hood of the car and choked up on the shaft of the club to where it felt comfortable and gave it a test swing. The head swooshed through the air effortlessly; as a street urchin, she knew next to nothing about the sport and luxuries of golf but even she could tell this thing was nice. Which made it feel even better when she reared back and whack! Bashed the hood ornament right off the car and towards the garage door. Which opened (with surprising swiftness).

 

Instead of slamming into the back of the garage door and leaving a nice metallic dent, the fixture sailed straight outwards at a terrifying speed, smashing right into the windshield of the incoming car. Chunks of glass flew everywhere as a massive crack spiderwebbed across its surface. Addison stared. She could still make out Chester and Matilda's faces. She looked back at Briar. Then back at Chester and Matilda. Then back at Briar. The club fell from her hand, hitting the car hood (whump!) and denting it. Her heart began to sink, dragged down by the anchor of realisation.

 

They were going to jail.

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Destroying things was definitely more fun with the help of her friends. Briar made a mental note to ask Addison if she wanted to lace Isaac's bottle with rat poi -- to smash his crib. Matilda was trying to transition him to a toddler bed anyway so the crib was pretty useless, other than as an object used to blow off steam.

Using a piece of glass from the cracked side mirror, Briar began to etch a pig's face on the back door before deciding that was too cruel and unfair to all the pigs in the world, and edited her drawing to resemble a part-pig, part-demon, part-fish (she didn't know what else to draw).

"This is fun, Addie!" Briar beamed, both proud of her artwork and her friend. Addison had the right idea with almost everything (not her clothes), and grabbing the golf club was genius! "Nice one!!" She chortled as the shiny circle flew straight out the garage door.

Out the garage door... out the garage door.

It only took a few seconds for Matilda to register the disaster going on in the garage. She began to scream as Isaac's cries intensified.

"What is -- Briar -- you little -- woman, please shut up!" Chester turned to glare at Matilda, who let out a mere whimper. The toddler was still crying in the back. He couldn't take this family anymore -- they weren't just annoying; they were cutting the years off his life. He swung open his door angrily and headed straight for Briar, snatching the piece of mirror from her little hands and cutting himself in the process. A wound to remind him of the brat he was raising.

Without even glancing at Addison up on the roof of his car, he ordered her to leave. "Addison, call your parents or get Albert to take you home. Now! And please don't ever return to our house or I will call the authorities on you." His voice was steadier than he felt: the only thing he truly loved in this entire house was destroyed. Hours of waxing and detailing the car -- lost. "Briar, you pick up every piece of garbage off the floor and come straight to --"

"Briar, how could you!?" Matilda screamed, waving her heels about like a mad woman as she exited the car. "You know how much Chester loves that car!"

 

"And you know how much I hate Chester!" Briar screeched suddenly, forgetting that she was the one getting in trouble. She clung to Addison desperately, praying her friend would take her to her foster parents who would then adopt her (before Addison, because Briar was selfish). "You are all the worst parents ever! You are all so lame! Don't leave yet, Addie, I'm packing up and moving in with you. I wish I was born into a different family! I wish I was never born at all!" She didn't actually mean the last sentence because had she not been born, she wouldn't have met Addison, she wouldn't have laid eyes on Mr. Mercutio Bates, she wouldn't have had her first kiss with Linus (which was a secret), she wouldn't have seen the beauty and perfection that was Kaelyn Paddock...

 

"You are grounded, Briar Rose Naaktgeboren!" Matilda shouted at the same pitch as her daughter, possibly shattering all the neighbours' windows.

 

"Everyone shut up!" Pretending to be an authoritative figure -- the "man of the house" (although this house really didn't need a man) -- Chester threw his keys across the garage and stormed out, because in reality, he was a big grown up child, no more mature than Isaac who couldn't even bathe himself and was still crying in the back of the car.


Edited by Briar Naaktgeboren

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The situation went to hell in a handbasket fast. Real fast. Addison scampered down from the car without needing further urging; she expected Chester to whip out his cell phone and call the police right away. Her eyes were screwed shut, fearing the worst. As a runaway, she'd had her fair share of encounters with the police, since they were the ones who brought her back to whichver foster home she was assigned to at that time, but it was one thing to get in a spot of trouble and a completely separate matter of racking up a formal criminal record. Addison was certain 'vandalism' and 'destruction of property' would count against them.

 

But he didn't do it. He didn't take out his phone and yell into it. The only people he yelled at was her and Briar, moreso Briar than anyone else. Addison was in shock. Were they really going to escape this without any permanent repercussions? Her feet back to move on their own accord, shuffling towards the door so she could gather her things and find Albert... but when they had just finished carrying her the steps to the door leading into the house, they stopped, bound by the dictates of her heart.

 

Addison turned. Chester was red in the face, chest heaving with rage. He threw his keys away and left, leaving the three women alone in the garage (and Isaac in the car). Matilda was clearly upset as well, but perhaps, Addison hoped, she could be reasoned with. "It wasn't Briar's fault, Mrs. Naak... Nakttorbgen." Her tongue stumbled over the lengthy and complicated surname as it was wont to do. "It was my idea, I dragged her into it. She didn't want to. It was me." The witch held her tongue in deliberation over what to say next, but then it became clear. "He's a terrible person. He doesn't treat her like a dad should. It's not fair that Briar has to put up with that prat for a dad and... and he's cheating on you!"

 

She skipped back down towards Briar and pulled the girl in for a fierce hug. Addison tucked her head close to Briar's ear and whispered, "We'll talk later. Be brave." She knew Briar didn't want her to go, but this wasn't her place any longer. It was too risky to call Chester out on whether or not he would actually call the police - and Briar needed to work things out with her mum. In the meantime, Addison would have to deal with the inevitable fallout from the Wards too; they would surely ground her and take away her cellphone, but at least they didn't know about the mirrors yet.

 

Letting go of her friend, Addison stared her in the eye and nodded firmly, trying to mentally impart some kind of strength into the curly blonde. And then she left.

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