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Honorine Nott

I'll forget what I've done, I will be redefined

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Honorine Nott

Hyde Park. Not exactly her favorite place to be, considering all of the muggles and tourists and muggle tourists. But it was nice out, and it was the weekend, and her parents had been considerably more lenient about her city-slicking adventures since she'd started going back and forth to school on her own. She had to take advantage until Reginald and Adele came to their senses and brought all the freedom to an end. She tucked herself into a corner under a tree, out of the way enough but still visible from the pathways, and stuck the sign she'd had Legolas made in the dirt. It was shaped like an arrow and it said, in slick black paint:

 

FREE POEMS THIS WAY!

 

She threw her jacket on the grass, folding herself on top of it, surrounding herself with a bunch of 50-pence books she'd picked up off a merchant on the side of the road, and set to work, ripping pages and pulling apart words, gluing them the old-fashioned way onto her spare pieces of parchment, watching the story unfold under her crafty fingers and wondering if today would produce her very first customer.

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Finn Holly

The grass had given way to a dry mud floor, roots curling and winding, poking up from the ground. The rocks frowned upon him; even the flowers had almost vanished by reason of their furled petals. He looked up at the sky at the black masses of cloud scudding across it in the distance. And now again that wild-beast growl, nearer, and more threatening. And yet the sun prevailed, for now.

 

FREE POEMS THIS WAY!

 

Why not? Hands buried in his pockets, Finn traced the sign to a dark head of hair bent diligently over a collection of ripped paper, glue bottles, and stray pages cycling wildly at the wind's mercy. It was with a despondent sigh he claimed familiarity to the culprit. "Gee, Hen, what did paper ever do to you?" His hands grabbed hold of a few littering runaways and dropped down beside her, arms crossed at the wrist over his knees. The alphabet soup caught his eye, but he ignored it. Anyone else he would probably feign concern, but this was Hen. With due interest and a smug smile tugging at his lips he flipped through the pages, careful to keep them out of short-armed Hen's reach. Hardly an issue. "Are you planning to kill someone?"

Edited by Finn Holly

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Honorine Nott

Her eyes looked up through her fringe at the familiar voice, her face not giving anything away despite the surprise she felt at being approached by someone she actually knew, rather than some overly cheery muggle adults who felt it was their duty to help out lost causes like her. After acknowledging Finn with the slightest of nods, she looked back down at her work, rearranging some bold-faced type until it was just slightly off center. "Why's it gotta have done anything to me?"

 

People didn't understand that some of the most beautiful pieces of art were born from destruction. That was their own fault, though. Museums in this city were free, you know. She didn't bother making eye contact with him when he sat down, but took the sheets of paper out of his hand to scrutinize them for any appropriate gerunds for her sorry excuse at mad libs.

 

"Are you volunteering?" she asked in her most syrupy sarcasm (her genetics were purely Reginald, but her learned traits, oh, how they reeked of her mother) as she deposited a half-finished poem in his lap—a gesture of good-ish faith, inviting his opinion without actually asking for it.

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Finn Holly

Destruction was a perverse art form. Difficult to appreciate, and tougher to understand. So far from the blissfully conventional any mainstream critic would dismiss it as noise. Scratchy, snarling noise. It was with undue irony the Hollys showed an aptitude for seeing the smogged forest past its dreariest trees.
 
Finn held back a reluctant smile at her sarcasm, curling lengthy fingers around her wordy creation when his stomach rumbled. “Hey, after, want to drop by the bakery?” He could already taste the savory, blushing raspberry tart on his tongue. 
 
Deep blue eyes squinted in over the sprinkled collection of letters and well, presumably those clots of dirt and glue were also “letters”. “Oh yeah, this is… great work.” He held the paper closer, sacrificing an irreplaceable 20 seconds of his prepubescent life scanning the—he assumed—dark and angsty poem. 
 
“Hen...” he started out, dragging her name like a lifeless body against the floor. His eyes fixed innocently on hers, paper touching his chin. With reluctance and some regard for his own safety he asked, “is this in English?”
 
 

 

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Honorine Nott

"After what?" she asked, forever one to simply go along with derailed conversations, at long last looking over at the boy as she tore more pages out of the abused books. The mention of a bakery, however, set her stomach to rumbling, an act that somehow didn't cause her much embarrassment at all. She could go for a scone or three right about now. "Only if you handle all the muggle money. I'm useless with it." There was a wizarding bakery nearby, but she didn't see the point in bringing it up; muggles do as muggles will, and if she recalled correctly, Finn was of the very persuasion.

 

Hen wasn't offended by his question, snatching the sheet back from him and scrutinizing it herself, realizing that some of her chose words were, in fact, Elvish cognates. This wasn't something she elected to explain to the boy beside her, seeing as it would take up more breath than it was worth. Instead she folded it into quarters, disappearing it into a pocket and proceeding to gather her things back into the satchel she'd brought with her. "It's whatever you want it to be, I suppose," was all she said. Again, it wasn't her job to inform people how art work; it was just her job to make it.

 

She rose to her feet. "Go fetch my sign, then, if you're bent on putting me out of business." She didn't say it rudely, waving him up the walkway as she bent over to snatch up her jumper, flapping it in the wind to shake the grass off of it before tying it loosely around her waist. "Which way to the sweets?"

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Finn Holly

His lips tugged at a lukewarm smile his eyes would not resonate. “Sure, I’ll pay.” 
 
While Hen fished for scattered belongings, Finn traipsed along with a leisurely shuffle for the homemade scribble-death-stick ahead. He could feel every crisp, dying leaf crunching under his boots and the melancholy tune of the wind’s thinnest whistle tickled his ears. It never crossed his mind to look up until the wild-beast growl resurfaced from afar, and the smell of rain, like damp tarmac and 
red soil filled his nostrils. The sky had grown pewter gray again; for days had it threatened a heavy bout of precipitation, and Finn supposed this time she might actually follow through. “Sweets this way,” Finn called over his shoulder, using the stabby end of her sign to direct the path. “Pick up your pace or we’ll get pissed on.” 
 
The bakery was just a ten-minute walk away. They walked down Roosevelt Rd, right on Franklin, and jaywalked across Violet Ave. The Corner Bakery Café was the second shop from the corner. An eager brunette sweeping the entrance stalled in her endeavors. “Oi, look ‘ere it’s Finny-boy!” she called into the shop, her hair pulled back into a tight bun. “And ‘e brought a lass, oooh. Pete, that’s the other kid we were talking about! Get in ye runts, anythin’ ye like it’s all on the house.”

 

Other kid poked him like a sewing needle, leaving its forceful mark long after the stimulus faded. “Hey Gael."
 

Edited by Finn Holly

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Honorine Nott

"Cool. I'll trade you some sickles for it." She did as she was told, gathering her things a little quicker, scrambling to keep up with his strides as a dark cloud crossed over the sun and temporarily turned the whole world gray. She looked up at the sky as they crossed in front of all the muggle vehicles, relying on Finn to keep her from getting barreled over by one of the metal death traps. She wouldn't have minded a little drizzle, really.

 

The bakery was rather an assuming, with an uninspiring name that reminded Hen why she stuck to wizarding neighborhoods more often as not—lots more character. Upon entry though, she was pleased to find the the character was in the people, their accents a dead giveaway that native Londoners weren't the ones in charge of this shop, her nose wrinkling as she tried not to smile at the familiar way they all greeted Finn.

 

She wandered over to a display case, politely thanking the woman for her generosity. "Do you have any snickerdoodles?" She didn't have to ask twice before the woman was stumbling towards the back of the shop to fetch her some. She quirked an inquisitive eyebrow at Finn. "Family friends?"

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Finn Holly

Finn shrugged, his scrunched lips forming a lopsided grin. “Family… friends, something like that, yeah.” 

 

He could feel Pete’s occasional stare from the kitchen. Jane’s other children dropped in daily after school let out, but Finn’s very existence in the shop was a curious case. His coloring was lighter and overall he looked more like Jane than any of his half-siblings. Finn would be as handsome as she if only he bothered to dress the part—the oversized hand-me-downs he donned were a distracting sight. 

 

“That’s it?” Finn asked, scratching the back of his neck as if Hen had failed to order anything at all. “A hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, two raspberry tarts—warm please, an orange juice, a chocolate scone… two, four coconut macaroons and… I’ll have a snickerdoodle as well.” 

 

And oh, "Please."

 

Gael’s pace was highly efficient, her generous behind scurrying back and forth behind the counter with the wildest grin while Pete meticulously prepared the hot chocolate in a saucepan like an old-fashioned gentleman. “One for the lady as well?” he offered Hen, giving her no time to respond before there were two hot chocolates on the platter overflowing with whipped cream.

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Honorine Nott

"I didn't want to be rude," she informed him, and then watched as he managed to order practically the whole shop, tilting her head and trying to figure out where in his tiny body he intended to fit every single one of those sugary delights. Family, friends, or otherwise, it was the tallest of orders. Hen was convinced that she'd just befriended a fellow future Slytherin.

 

Or at least a boy with an insatiable sweet tooth.

 

"Thank you!" she hollered again as poor Gael set back to work warming croissants and setting things on plates for the two of them. Not one, but two hot chocolates were placed on their tray, and Hen made sure to grab both while Finn took the rest of the tray, making sure not to spill a drop as they clambered onto a set of bar stools in a corner.

 

Hen took a sip of the hot chocolate, wiping the whipped cream off her face with the back of her hand and nodding her head in approval. "Delicious. Would be great with some cinnamon twists, don't you think?" As though they'd read her mind, Gael came over and set some in front of them. Honorine offered the woman a polite, sheepish smile.

 

A pause, while they munch on their sweets. "Do they know where you go for school every day?" Hen eyed the muggles warily, noticing the way they looked over at Finn, as though he were a puzzle they were trying to solve themselves.

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