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Galen Ward

This is all we know

2 posts in this topic

November, 2035


He left for work at the muggle café on a chilly, Wednesday afternoon. He scrubbed dishes late into the evening, burning his hands on the scalding plates as they came out of the dryer. This time he only broke three (his record was twelve), and by the time he left, it was too late to apparate home.


As he stalked down the sidewalk, with his shoulders hunched with his hood pulled up to hide his face, he ran into Isabella Carter outside a pub. She seemed happy to see him - an unusual response - and they exchanged the typical pleasantries. Their conversation, as far as he could remember, went something like this:


"How have you been?"


"I've been managing." By 'managing' he meant 'struggling'.


"Come in, have a drink!"


"I really shouldn't."


"It will be fun, we can catch up."


"No, I mean that I can't. I'm not... you know what, why not?"


There were many reasons why not, but most predominantly, drinking violated his probation. Instead, he shared a drink with her, and then another, and then another. How many more drinks he had after that, he couldn't recall. The following days were hazy in his mind.


It wasn't until late on Friday night, or very early Saturday morning, that Galen staggered into the Edinburgh apartment that he shared with Hedwig and Elodie. He put his hand on the wall to steady himself as he tore off his boots, which landed with a thunk on the floor. He stumbled on his way to the bathroom, cursing when he bumped into the corner of the sofa.


There was a light still on in the kitchen, but he didn't notice.

Edited by Galen Ward

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On Thursday, Elodie’s phone rang. She eyed it with distaste and mild distrust before picking it up (still uncomfortable with muggle technology, even after all these years) from the wooden bench where she had discarded it earlier that morning.


“What?” she barked into the phone, too loud.


The voice at the other end told her that Galen was two hours late for his shift at work, that he wasn’t answering his phone. Elodie asked, somewhat belligerently, what that had to do with her. He listed you as his emergency contact, they said. She told them that he was sick, ended the call, and returned to brewing a batch of wolfsbane for the wolves of Helvellyn.


When he didn’t return home that night, Elodie was furious. When he didn’t return the next morning, worry began to crowd out the anger. She spent the day at the flat, waiting and stewing in a particularly unhealthy state of agitation that was punctuated only once, by a surprise visit from her sister. By Friday evening, she was desperate enough to call Hedwig, who was staying with Dictys, and rattle off a half of a list of locations to search for Galen. Elodie took the other half of the list for herself: the alley behind the muggle café where Galen worked, the Meadows, several nearby pubs.


She finally gave up and apparated home just past midnight. Inside the flat, shivering from the chill air of the impending winter, she put a kettle on the stove and uncorked a vial of pepper-up potion, swearing softly.


Not long after, she heard the front door open, the thud of an object being discarded on the floor, and a litany of quiet curses that matched her own. Elodie knew the voice, and she immediately moved out of the kitchen to intercept him. She flicked her wand at Galen's retreating back with a growled “levicorpus,” then, once he was dangling by the ankle midair, stepped into his line of sight.


In the kitchen, the kettle boiled to a scream. Steam poured out of Elodie’s ears, a side-effect of the pepper-up-potion. She waved her wand impatiently in the direction of the kettle to quiet it, then stared at Galen, letting the abrupt silence gather (which felt ominous and unsettling even to Elodie, who had initiated it) for a long moment.


Then: “Where the HELL have you been?”


Edited by Elodie Aldridge

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