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Lillian Wayland

We never are what we intend or invent

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Lillian mightn’t be considered the smartest person at Hogwarts, but at least she had friends willing to deal with her regardless. Friends like Ryan Fowler, who she had truly run the gamut with throughout their years at Hogwarts. They’d gone from besties, to enemies, to romantic partners, to some awkward ex phase… and now they were here again, back at the beginning, practically.

She liked it better this way, as friends. It was truly their best phase, and one she hoped they stayed in forever.

The brunette looked across from her at Ryan, her latest edition of Witch Weekly propped up in front of her as she leaned back in one of the unused desks, pointing out fashion trends she liked. There were some snacks between them too that the Wizarding Wellbeing Programme definitely wouldn’t approve of, but it didn’t stop Lil from picking up her third cookie and shoving a bite into her mouth.

“Is this not terrible?” Lil queried as she turned the page, pointing to a fashion spread that was claiming animal print went with gingham. Not in her book! Mixing prints was a delicate art, one you couldn’t just do willy-nilly. Ryan wasn’t nearly as into fashion as he used to be (or at least… not on the surface), but he at least humored her and made comments regardless.

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The advanced potions book laid unopened on the desk in front of Ryan as a pleasant grin rested on his face. He shouldn’t have bothered to bring it with him. Studying or reading textbooks never were never actually going to happen when he spent time with Lillian. The two Gryffindors always, well ever since they made up, fell into such easy and exciting conversations, happily chattering away. The prefect was so relieved that he and his ex-girlfriend had finally managed to make up.

It only took them two years after a failed romantic relationship to get back to their amazing friendship. Some exes went years, lifetimes even, without that happened. Ryan was just happy they were able to do it before they graduated Hogwarts.

Sitting cross legged on top of another desk, a half-eaten donut positioned precisely on his knee, Ryan stopped tapping the i-Wiz with his wand. “Don’t you just love this song?” Witchy Gaga’s newest album was exactly what he wanted to listen to and he was confident Lillian would enjoy it just as much as he did. “What now?” Ryan smiled as he leaned over slightly to see what Lillian was pointing out.

A pained expression crossed his face and Ryan blurted out, unable to hold his opinion on such a crime to himself. “That’s a sin against both fashion and common sense. Is this writer blind?” When they first reconciled, he tried to tone down his… quirks but it was becoming less and less of a concern with his ex-girlfriend.

He was becoming so comfortable that Ryan’s eyes lingered on the shirtless male model on the other page, his bottom lip bit mindlessly in interest for the barest of seconds. Catching himself, Ryan coughed and added “We should seriously complain about this writer to the editor."

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She took a moment to listen to the tune streaming out of Ryan’s iWiz before grinning and nodding. “Witchy Gaga is a superstar. Almost as iconic as Whitney Spells, but not quite,” She commented. Whitney Spells would always be number one in Lil’s book. She idolized the woman, despite her wildest days when she’d shaved her head and gone a little off the deep end. Everyone had their crazy moments.

“Must be,” Lillian commented absent-mindedly. After so many years of knowing Ryan, talking about fashion always seemed to be their go-to way of communicating. The brunette knew that Ryan was no longer the boy she used to be able to give makeovers to or dress up like a girl, but sometimes she wondered… was that side of him still in there somewhere? Buried down deep?

The Gryffindor contemplated this, and also considered their breakup. At the time, Ryan had told her that he liked someone else, but as far as she knew, he hadn’t dated anyone directly after they broke up. Was it possible that was some sort of cover-up? Lil remembered well the conversation she’d had with Kelly the year afterward, when her friend had told her that she still liked to dress Ryan up like a girl. Out of respect for Ryan, she hadn’t broached the subject. But she wondered… had enough time passed now to talk about it without it being weird?

She looked over to Ryan, catching the way he seemed engrossed in her magazine… and not in the I am horrified by this pattern combination way. She glanced back at the magazine, spying the shirtless male on the other page, and she raised her brows… but before she could look at Ryan again, he had cleared his expression. “We should,” She concurred, and, before she could overthink what she was saying, pointed at the shirtless male and asked, “Hot, huh?”

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“Well, duh.” Of course. Whitney Spells wasn’t just an icon; she was a pop goddess. Ryan knew that Lillian grew up on the witches’ tunes just as he did. “No one will ever top Whitney. She was my favorite star growing up. I used to steal my sister’s Wireless just so I could listen to her.” He’d still rock out to her classic tunes like Oops I Stirred the Potion Again or (That Charm Is) Toxic but fortunately he had his own devices to listen to music now.

 

“Mmhmm. Disgusting.” How some people were paid to write about fashion, Ryan didn’t know. He shared a small smile with Lillian though. It was nice to have the girl back in his life again. Eppy’s style had improved since first year but dissecting fashion articles and latest trends were still not her preferred past time. Herbology, yuck.

 

The seventeen year old couldn’t remember a time he was so relaxed or happy to be around Lillian. It was obviously before their break up but he was just glad this felt so natural. Ryan missed the friendship he had with Lillian and ever so slowly, his doubts and fears about it were disappearing. The brunette never mentioned their break up and that suited Ryan just fine. It was a conversation he never wanted to bring up or talk about. The prefect knew Lillian was hurt after his out of the blue break up but it seemed like she was willing to let that die in their past.

 

So as much as Ryan tended to be superconscious about not giving anything away regarding his orientation or identity, he was extremely comfortable with his companion… almost as if he was sitting with Eppy and not his ex-girlfriend. The seventh year was caught unaware with Lillian’s question. His eyes followed the girl’s fingers and naturally, he replied “Yeah he is.”

 

But then it hit him. Before he could even lift his gaze to Lillian, Ryan’s cheeks were a familiar shade of furious red. The seventeen year old suddenly felt like his shy and bumbling eleven year old past self. “Bu-but he isn’t exactly your type, no?"


Edited by Ryan Fowler

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“Agreed,” Lillian beamed at Ryan’s remembrance of Whitney Spells, identifying well with it. She hadn’t had to steal anyone’s wireless to listen to her, she had her own for that, but she still had absolutely adored Whitney when growing up. No one could ever top her as a fashion, beauty, and music icon. There would only ever be one, no matter how many more Witchy Gagas came around.

Articles like this awful one in Witch Weekly were the reason Lillian one day dreamed of being a writer or editor for the magazine. It was clear that sometimes they struggled and were just trying to throw things together that would never happen, and Lil hoped to rectify that so its reputation couldn’t go further down the toilet. This was a dream she kept close to her chest, though, always afraid she wouldn’t be good enough or smart enough or enough.

Plus, she was Lillian Wayland. She had good hair, great nails, fantastic makeup, and even better clothes. She wasn’t supposed to have dreams and aspirations! Right? Who needed ‘em with hair this good?

Shallow thoughts aside, Lil watched Ryan carefully as she tested him, awaiting his response to her remark about the guy. And there it was. She didn’t know what she was expecting, but the easy admittance that fell out of Ryan’s lips was not exactly it. She’d expected him to brush it off or something… like that. The next words out of his mouth were definitely more what she had been expecting, but the red in his cheeks belied his words.

Feeling emboldened by this realization, Lillian kept pushing. Trying to catch Ryan’s gaze, she challenged brazenly and unapologetically, “No, he’s not really my type, but is he yours?” For a long time she had thought that there might be something different about Ryan’s sexual identity, but she’d never figured it out. Finding him in the witch’s clothing store, him admitting that he thought the guy in the magazine was hot, and the mysterious reasoning he’d given for breaking up with her… all the puzzle pieces were there, and she’d be damned if she was going to let this chance at putting them all together slide by.

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The words left a nasty taste in his mouth. He didn’t feel dirty thinking those thoughts about the shirtless man. No, he was more frustrated and disappointed with himself that he screwed up. Ryan was hopeful Lillian wouldn’t think anything of it because no offense to the girl, but as far as he knew, she never thought there was anything different about his thinking growing up when it came to clothes, make up, beauty routine, pop star concerts, etc. He was thinking it was possible that he managed to hold onto his guarded secret… but then he made the mistake of looking into her eyes.

There was a look there that Ryan never saw in his friend before. He couldn’t put his finger on what it was. Confidence? No, he’s seen that. Cruelty? Lillian didn’t have a cruel bone in her body… at least not directed to him although there was that incident with Freddie and the Gazette in their second year. Slowly, it came to him. It was resolve. A strong resolve, unrelenting.

He knew there would be no getting around this unpleasant conversation and Lillian’s next question sealed his fate. Ryan's stomach felt like it was plummeting into an abyss that he’d never be able to climb out of. Memories of Lillian’s article for Gazette hit him like a truck. Her love for gossip, a love he shared with her to be fair, made her a dangerous person to find out. The prefect could practically see some of her friends looking at him with disgust, or pity, or confusion.

It was all too much for the Gryffindor. He built a life for himself here at Hogwarts. A life built on lies, both of omission and distraction, but a safe life nonetheless. He wanted to run out of the room but at the same time knew it would do no good. There was nothing he could do. Too many seconds had gone by as he struggled to find a solution internally.

So instead, his shoulders sagged and he stood up from his perch on the desk. Ryan miserably looked at Lillian and his face yelling with the tell tale signs he was close to breaking down in sobs, he offered his ex-girlfriend the only thing he could, two years too late. “I’m sorry. I— I’m…. different.”

The word different said with such disdain and anguish, he needed to turn away, his head hung low.

The only thing Ryan hated more than being different was the disappointment it was bound to cause the people he cared most about. First his father, then surely his brothers, and now, even his ex-girlfriend.

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Gossip was something Lillian had gotten less absorbed in over the past couple years, but of course, she still had the curiosity of someone who used to write a gossip column. On top of that, she was still able to read people well, and able to sense when there was more to the story than what people said aloud. Which was perhaps partly why she was pushing Ryan so hard now, but the driving motivator was not, as some might think, to obtain her next scoop.

It was the culmination of something that had been brewing in her mind for years now. It had started with the breakup, which still had never quite made sense for her (if he liked someone else, why, when she had been so obsessed with gossip, had she never heard anything else about it?). Then, what Kelly had said, about still dressing Ryan in girls’ clothes the year they had been dating (a fabrication, but Lil didn’t know that…). Finally, seeing Ryan in the woman’s clothing shop with his “sister” who had never appeared throughout their lengthy conversation.

It was all clicking together, so much so that she barely needed to hear what Ryan said. But she wanted to hear it. Not so she could use it against him, but so she could finally understand something she only half-understood up until this point. She waited, watching the emotions flit across Ryan’s face. It pained her, in a way, to see him struggle (did he really not trust her still?), but she was patient for once, and waited.

She didn’t expect such a reaction from Ryan, though. When it finally came, the shoulders sagging and him turning away from her… and an apology? Lillian frowned, her heart hurting for him. Why did he feel ashamed of who he was, as if he had anything to apologize for? The brunette immediately stood, not allowing him to escape from her so easily.

She went around to him, determination etched onto her features as she reached her hands up towards his face, stroking his cheeks gently. “No, you’re beautiful,” She told him fiercely, hating to see him so miserable. “And I love you, no matter what,” Lil added, trying to get Ryan to meet her eyes so he could see that she meant it. Not in the way that she used to think she meant it, but in a platonic, I am here for you, way. Then, feeling brave, she asked gently, “Do… do you want to tell me about it?”

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Ryan stood there, head hanging low and warm tears dancing on the edge of his eyelashes, for what seemed like hours. Although he was worried what Lillian, his only ’serious' ex-girlfriend would think, Ryan was more frightened by what the whole school's reaction. It was bad enough being made fun of by other eleven year olds when he was a first year… but to be hated and insulted by his peers at seventeen? The Gryffindor didn’t think he could take it.

His father’s reaction gave him little hope. If the one man who was supposed to love and accept him unconditionally couldn’t, what hope did he have for the bullies of his past or the close minded peers of the present? None. The guarded seventeen year old wanted to keep his secrets to himself until well after he graduated, if he ever decided to be open about it.

 

But that was potentially all ruined now and it was a terrifying feeling and the idea haunting his dreams quite frequently. At the same time, Ryan worried that his identity and preference would hurt Lillian even more than he already had with their break up.

 

“Really?” The embrace and the words were the last things Ryan expected. He had had no choice but to look into Lillian’s eyes and saw nothing but genuine love and concern shining in them. Ryan knew there wasn’t anything romantic behind those words but they left him feeling shocked and warm with her care and his own relief. A few tears formed from terror fell from his eyes, the relief he felt now too much to handle. The only words he could form for a few seconds were a sincere and soft spoken “Thank you.”

 

'Do… do you want to tell me about it?’ As long as he knew Lillian, he knew her to be an honest and sincere person. Of course, she fibbed but Ryan realized for the first time that he wanted, no, needed, to tell her everything and just how huge a burden keeping this sort of thing from her was. “I was worried that you’d hate me for it… but I really really do.” He sent her a small smile before emitting a nervous sigh. “I think I’ve always known but I really realized it when we were getting more serious… I like both girls and boys.” It felt strange but wonderful to say out loud to Lillian.

 

“There’s more though.” He added quickly before Lillian could get a word in, afraid that otherwise he’d lose his nerve. “This isn’t right.” Ryan gestured to his body to prove his point. He pulled at his short hair, picked at his boring uniform pants, and even glanced down at his flat chest. “Well, a lot of the times it is. I guess its like I feel that I’m more than just male? Like, somedays I feel like I should be more female… And then there are days I don’t feel like I’m either.” His face scrunched up in confusion and frustrated, he grumbled. "I don’t know if that makes sense. It’s still confusing even to me.”

 

Ryan paused and as if her answer meant everything, which at the moment he did, his voice trembled as he asked “Do you still want to be my friend knowing all this?”


Edited by Ryan Fowler

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Lillian nodded emphatically at Ryan’s Really?, wondering what made him so convinced that she wouldn’t accept him. She wasn’t even sure what all he was going to reveal to her (if he revealed anything), but there was nothing that he could say that would make her dislike him. Had he had such poor reactions from other people he’d told? Had he even told anyone else? She couldn’t really imagine him not telling Eppy or Harbor, but he seemed so ashamed… her heart ached for him feeling this way; as if he couldn’t be who he was.

She gave him time, waiting for his response to her question as patiently as she could. Afraid to move, in case it might influence his decision in some way, Lillian stayed frozen in place, and finally, his answer came. Lil wanted to say so many things in answer to his first sentence. Assure him that despite all they’d been through, she could never hate him. She’d never hated him, even after he broke her heart. She wanted to point out that she had only grown closer to Emory when he admitted to her that he liked boys, but all this she held back, sensing that Ryan did not want to be interrupted.

Lil nodded as he admitted he liked both boys and girls. That made sense, actually, for him to be bisexual. It seemed to make sense now, all the strange things she’d noticed since their breakup, but his next admission made even more pieces fall into place. It was still a lot to wrap her head around, but for Ryan… it just fit. She had to accept it as who he was, because it explained so much that she already knew about him.

The brunette waited for him to finish, and the question he posed to her was a no-brainer. “Of course I still want to be your friend, Ryan,” Lillian asserted. “You can’t get rid of me that easily, especially since… do you know what this means?” The brunette asked, eager to turn the seriousness of the conversation back around into something more positive, something that would help Ryan feel more at ease, since he clearly did not at the moment.

“It means we get to play dress up again!” She told him, a wide smile coming to her features. “You should’ve told me sooner, we’ve been missing so much time,” The brunette added teasingly. Feeling she couldn’t make it all light-hearted, though, she sobered once more.

“You know I could never hate you, though, right? And you know I’m here for you if you ever need to talk about any of this, right? I can’t guarantee I’ll have any useful advice, but I’m here for you, okay?” She told him. “For whatever you need. Though, admittedly… I don’t know how many of my clothes will fit you anymore,” She said regretfully. She had remained short and in the exact definition of petite, and Ryan was definitely not that.

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Although Ryan was carefully watching Lillian for signs of how she was taking everything, his emotions inside after telling her did not escape him. It felt like an overwhelming weight was graciously removed from his shoulders and Ryan found himself surprised at how relieved abd lighter he felt. The fact that she looked calm and accepting eased any remaining nerves and if anything, just made him want to to tell her more, everything that he had been hiding from her for years. 

 

Still, Ryan couldn’t help but shake the worry that she would respond with a big fat no. No, she did not want to be his friend… No, she would not keep this to her self. But yes, she would tell the whole school and he could expect the repercussions to be mighty…

 

“Oh thank Merlin.” The very last of his fear finally left him and Ryan smiled brightly at Lillian, the shine of gratitude replacing that of worried tears in his large eyes. He never had wanted to get rid of the pretty brunette from his life and he was relieved to hear that it was unlikely to happen. Laughing softly from relief and her excitement, the seventeen year old tipped his head and asked “What?” to her question. 

 

Lillian’s own answer made Ryan smile all the wider and his laughs become more genuine and hearty. He was still having trouble wrapping his mind around at how well his ex-girlfriend was taking this. “I can’t wait. It’s been way too long. Eppy and Harbor are great… but their sense of style never matched mine quite as well as yours.” Five minutes ago, such a joke or conversation  would have sent him down into a spiral of self-doubt and paranoia but now, Ryan couldn’t wait for the girl’s expertise and help. He couldn’t help but wonder if she had that same large pink sparkly cosmetic bag from their second year and first of many makeovers. 

 

“Maybe? It’s not every day a girl learns all this from her ex-boyfriend. I mean, did you ever expect in your life you’d be sad your clothes wouldn’t fit one of your exes? Don’t worry, I have my own stash of clothes and I might even be able to teach you a thing or two about makeup now.” He gave her a lopsided grin, happy to be talking so freely about this all but his recent experiences still shaking him up. It was going so well though and he hadn’t felt so close to Lillian since before their break up.

 

“I guess I was so scared of how you’d react because-“ Ryan paused a second to collect himself, unable to look at Lillian once more before continuing “my dad found out this summer when he came home early. You remember what he’s like.” What more needed to be said? Lillian met Richard Fowler plenty of times. “It didn’t go well. I’ve been staying with Eppy ever since."


Edited by Ryan Fowler

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Despite always being curious what the true reason was for Ryan breaking up with her, Lillian was glad that she hadn’t found out until now, when they had reached a level of comfort in their friendship once again. Had she found out sooner, she might have reacted poorly, because the hurt would’ve been too fresh for her to see the big picture and how Ryan must feel about his identity. Now, though, she was able to put aside any selfish thoughts, and instead focus on only Ryan.

 

Even though she had been in charge of the gossip column when the Gryffindor Gazette had been alive and well, Lillian didn’t truly have a malicious side. She liked finding things out about people, but she had never liked the part of it where people got hurt. Thus, she didn’t treat this revelation of Ryan’s sexual identity as gossip, as something to be passed around and whispered about. It was something she accepted as who he was, and something she knew she should not spread to others.

 

“I’m glad you think so,” Lillian grinned when Ryan admitted he didn’t think Eppy and Harbor’s fashion sense matched up to hers – she would’ve been horrified if he thought otherwise. The brunette was already trying to visualize Ryan dressed up as a girl again. It was hard to do now, in a way. His once skinny figure had now bulked with muscle, and he was tall… but beneath all that, she still saw the high cheekbones, his plushy lips. Yes, she could see it, despite how much he changed, and she knew just the type of clothes that would look good on him.

 

Lillian laughed at his next words and shook her head. “Admittedly, I didn’t think this would ever be something I’d be talking about,” She concurred. “I look forward to our first dress-up session,” Lil told him honestly. It would be strange to play dress-up with Ryan again, like they had done in their second year. In a way, though, she loved the idea of it. It was like their relationship had come full circle, only now, she was mature enough to accept him as he was, rather than make a mockery of him in a gossip column.

 

The subject sobered as Ryan admitted what happened between himself and his father, and she frowned deeply, feeling unsettled. Despite her differences with her own father, she still knew at the end of the day he loved her unconditionally. The idea that Ryan’s father could so easily cast him aside was heartbreaking. “It’s his loss,” Lil told Ryan gently, though she knew it would likely be of little solace. Not being accepted by a peer or even a friend was a bit easier to stomach than having your own family reject you. Lil couldn’t imagine the pain Ryan felt because of his father’s rejection.

 

“If you need a break from Eppy’s, though, my house is always open for you. Seriously. I know we’re graduating and everything so you’ll probably try to get out on your own anyway, but the offer stands,” Lillian told him seriously, waiting a moment before trying to brighten the subject once more, for both of their sakes. “But seriously… when’s our first dress-up sesh?”

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“They’re my best friends but I’m not blind.” Ryan joked putting a hand to his chest acting affronted. He loved the two of them and thought their styles fit them perfectly… but Ryan with Harbor’s dark eye make up and leather jacket? Or Eppy’s endless stash of floral dresses and wand sticking out of a bun? No, that would never be him. Ryan just grinned, too happy to be disbelieving this was a conversation he was having with Lillian.

 

“See? I told you.” The seventeen year old shrugged his shoulders and his smile took on a smug tone. It brightened as Lillian mentioned their next dress up. “I can’t wait either. We haven’t done it since… what, second year?” Ryan had definitely changed since then but the prefect was confident in his ability to look good.

 

Ryan grew a few inches taller but fortunately the height was all in his legs, still shaved smoothed and tan from the summer. He also took great care in never bulking up like most male athletes. Rather, he possessed a runner’s frame with lean muscles. His shoulders never squared out either which he was rather happy with. With the natural length of his eyelashes and pink of his lips, and help with the right make up and yes, a bit of magic he practiced in secret throughout the years, Ryan was sure Lillian would be satisfied with his look.  

 

Speaking about his father drained the joy out of the room. Ryan’s slight shoulders shrugged but he shook his head with a sad smile. “I know. It doesn’t make it hurt any less though." What could he do? He missed his father but the man wanted nothing to do with him right now.

 

At least Ryan had Eppy and Harbor. Two great friends who were more like sisters to him at this point. But in moments like these with people like Lillian, the Gryffindor was learning there more people there for him than he ever realized. That was the most amazing part of sharing and opening up about himself.

 

“Thank you. You’re the best.” The sincerity was as strong in his tone as was the appreciation shining in his eyes. “I’m really glad I finally told you everything.” 

 

The moment of tenderness over, Ryan grinned in response to Lillian’s question. “There’s no time with the present. You have years of material to catch me up on. I’ve loved what you’ve been doing with your eye makeup lately."

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“Second year,” Lillian confirmed, shaking her head in disbelief as she thought back to that time in their lives. It was their seventh year, and looking back on the younger days was making her realize how true the cliché time flies term was. “Time flies, doesn’t it?” She asked, frowning for a moment as she was forced into thinking about where she would be this time next year. Guaranteed it would probably not be in as stress-free or content of an environment as she was now with Ryan, but it was best for her not to dwell on it.

 

Instead, Lil tried to imagine Ryan dressed in some of her favorite types of clothing – a sleeveless sundress, cut just above the knee, styled to be flowy and comfortable. Or a tight-fitting cocktail dress… it was strange to imagine, given his current masculine appearance, but as she thought of it, the more she realized it would still work. And, she was willing to bet that Ryan made a pretty fantastic looking girl.

 

“I know it doesn’t,” She whispered sadly, cupping a hand to Ryan’s face. Her heart truly ached for him, and what he must feel because of his father’s rejection. She knew there was not truly any words that could or would help him, but at least he knew that he had one more supporter in her.

 

“I’m glad you did, too,” Lillian told him honestly. She felt more comfortable around Ryan than she had even moments ago. There had always been some small part of her bothered by the fact that she still didn’t understand the truth behind their breakup, but now that she knew… it just made sense. Despite her notions while they had been dating, it wasn’t like she and Ryan had ever been meant to last forever.

 

“Okay, let’s go then,” Lillian agreed enthusiastically, grabbing onto Ryan’s hands and giving it a tug toward the exit. “Oh, wait, we can’t forget our stuff,” She giggled, gathering up her magazines before making aiming for the exit. “This is going to be just like old times!”

 

The End.

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