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Margarleon Turpentine

I know my place, it's nowhere you should roam

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Margarleon Turpentine

              SEPTEMBER 2041              

 

Leon did not have much to occupy his time on a daily basis when he was not able to go to Diagon Alley or the Ottaline Gambol Centre. As much as he despised that daycare-trying-to-be-a-school, he had to admit it was good for entertainment. The entire supply closet there was stuffed full of things to occupy your time that he otherwise had never had access to.

 

Though he’d been nicking things here and there from said closet, Leon was still stuck with his deck of cards as his main source of entertainment when he got bored of terrorizing Darby. The cards were worn, the corners almost soft with use, fraying in places. They still were functional, though, and Leon shuffled them one last time before dealing out a spread for Solitaire across the foot of his bed.

 

The air was crisp as it blew in through his window, autumn slowly creeping into the late September days. He fully expected not to be able to finish a game of Solitaire, though, despite this moment of serenity he’d managed to capture. It always had to be ruined. And sure enough, even after he was putting the ace of hearts at the top, having unearthed it from one of the piles, his mother’s voice rang out, shrill and indignant. “LEON! Did you drink the last of the milk AGAIN?”

 

Leon paused in his game before unremorsefully calling out, “That was Darby!” And then Darby’s aggrieved screaming was thrown into the mix. So much for serenity.

Edited by Margarleon Turpentine

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Margarleon Turpentine

              OCTOBER (HALLOWEEN) 2041              

 

“I’ll trade you this aero bar for a bag of maltesers,” Leon negotiated with @Darby Turpentine after they returned from their trick-or-treating excursion in a more well-to-do area than they actually lived in. It was their Halloween tradition, though finding areas that actually participated in the typically American tradition had started off shoddy at best. But how were they supposed to deny the opportunity to get free candy? Especially when they had some clothes that could easily pass for costumes in the eyes of muggles.

 

After finally concluding his trades with his sister, he scurried like a large rat into his room with his hoard, excitement on his features. He loved maltesers, they were his absolute favorite, and he’d gotten a fair share of those in his bag. He’d also gotten one Lion bar that he was hoping Darby hadn’t caught a look at, since he was certain she hadn’t gotten one for herself. He ferreted most of the candy away in his hiding spot for later, knowing he’d need to make this last rather than gorging on it all at once.

 

He only wished that Halloween came more than once a year. It was better than Christmas.

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Margarleon Turpentine

              NOVEMBER 2041              

 

The weather was awful, but Leon refused to go back home. The day had started off with a light frost coating the streets, but that had since melted. The cold remained, and sunk deeply into his heart. Leon kicked at a rock along the cracked sidewalks, a glare set upon his features. He hated it when his Not-Father reminded him that he was not his son. As if Leon could ever forget that he wasn’t the man’s biological son, with the way he seemed to slide it into conversations.

 

It had happened again this morning over the meager breakfast his mother had prepared, and Leon had stormed off in a tantrum of sorts, and hadn’t come back since. Why he was so much different than Darby in his Not-Father’s eyes was beyond him. It wasn’t like his Not-Father hadn’t raised him since day one too, just like he had Darby. He knew what it came down to was resentment for his mother’s affair, but Leon would never point such a fact out to the man.

 

It wouldn’t do him any good, anyway. It wasn’t like he would magically change how the man felt, and in the end, Leon wasn’t really sure he wanted to. The man was swine, as far as Leon was concerned. He didn’t need him for a father. Didn't want him for one, either. So why was he allowing himself to get all upset about it?

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Margarleon Turpentine

              DECEMBER (CHRISTMAS MORNING) 2041              

 

Christmastime was not the most wonderful time of the year, as the songs so joyously proclaimed it to be. It was a horrid time of year. A time when Leon was reminded of just how poor his family was. The lack of presents wasn’t a choice. On a good year he and Darby would maybe get a couple new outfits. On a bad year, which seemed to be more and more frequent, they were lucky to get a new pair of socks.

 

The socks he had on now were threadbare and had a hole where his big toe protruded from. They were one of his only pairs left, and even his shoes were starting to get worn. Plus, with the way he’d been growing recently, he’d soon be lucky to fit into anything at all that was in his closet. But was he going to rely on receiving an entirely new wardrobe that year?

 

No. Not a chance. He’d be lucky just to be able to replace the socks.

 

There was no merriment in the boy as he woke up on Christmas morning. No sense of excitement in his veins for what the day would hold. It was just another day. With a chance of a new pair of socks.

Edited by Margarleon Turpentine

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Margarleon Turpentine

              JANUARY (NEW YEAR'S DAY) 2042              

 

Leon may only be 11 years of age, but already he was jaded about the whole New Year, Fresh Start most idiots seemed to buy into. New Year’s Resolutions did not appeal to him, as he knew it all was for naught. The boy wasn’t daft. Resolutions were for the desperate, the ones unable to accept that a New Year was only another day in your life. Breaking bad habits wasn’t any easier because it was a New Year.

 

He didn’t know why people bothered. It was all the same. Pretend to form good habits for two weeks, tops, and then inevitably fall right back into what you were doing before.

 

The idea of self-improvement was also one that didn’t appeal to Leon; he thought he was just fine as-is. Ill-mannered and temperamental, but that was what had gotten him so far growing up the way he had, where he lived. If he changed, he’d become soft. And he needed his scaly exterior if he was to keep living in this hovel he and Darby called a home. He had learned long ago life didn’t change just because it was the New Year, and he knew this year was no different.

Edited by Margarleon Turpentine

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              FEBRUARY 2042              

 

The pub was crowded, which made it all the easier to sneak in. Leon was still short for his age, and even shorter than most of the inhabitants. Made it easier to duck under tables as needed as he scrounged like a rat for what he needed: a good seat. This was always where he came for all the Liverpool games. Seedy though it was, it had one large-screen television, always tuned to the football game on game days, and today was one of the most important games of all, for Liverpool was playing Manchester United.

 

The boy finally found it, a high stool far in the back which he promptly claimed for his own, eyes immediately glued to the television, watching the football players run back and forth across the screen. The pub was noisy, but it was a familiar noise; comfortable.

 

He sunk back into his corner, for once not inciting fights and happy to just sit back, more comfortable here than he was even at home. He’d learned if he kept to himself here, he didn’t get kicked out, even if the barkeep’s eyes passed disapprovingly over him from time to time. He just wanted to watch the game, and the barkeep did seem to at least understand that.

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Margarleon Turpentine

              MARCH 2042              

 

Leon laid flat on the cold, wet ground on the streets outside of his flat, squinting into the dark space beneath a dumpster. He was on the prowl for more money; it was one of his favorite pastimes. The amount of coins that people dropped on the streets was a marvel to him (how did they not care if they left the money behind?), and he was not below grubbing around in the dirt in order to collect it.

 

Such was the case that day. It had rained earlier, and was threatening to start again, which only made Leon more determined. He was close to being able to afford another meal of fish and chips at the nearby pub, and the call of a fresh, hot meal (compared to the cold gruel his parents typically fed himself and Darby) was enough to make him salivate just thinking about it.

 

And he just needed another pound or two in order to have enough, and as he reached under the dumpster after spying the gleam of silver and gold, it was victory that coursed through his veins. He pocketed it and stood back up, not mindful of the fact that he looked a right mess as he carried on, eyes combing the streets for more coinage.

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              APRIL 2042              

 

Drip. Leon blinked and looked up from his place on the dilapidated stack of cushions they called a sofa to a place across the room, above the miniscule alcove they called a kitchen. Drip. His eyes flicked to the ceiling, where a clearly water-damaged, ill-repaired tile was sinking inward. Drip. The water fell from the divet down, down, until it landed with a drop into the bucket that had been placed there.

 

Leon wondered if there would come a point when the ceiling would fall in entirely. Drip. It had been raining almost constantly for almost three days straight now, and while he’d dared venture into the damp for the first day, coming home with soaked, muddy clothes had been quite enough the first time. Drip. This morning the rain had started off as a drizzle, but had slowly increased to a steady pitter-patter, and now… the rain that was falling onto the roof of their shack they called a home was too much for it to hold.

 

Drip drip. Not long now, Leon thought, until the ceiling tile gave up the ghost and collapsed entirely. Merlin knew it was soggy enough. Drip.

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Margarleon Turpentine

              MAY 2042              

 

His wardrobe was deceptively full. He didn’t own much past the necessities (a handful of shirts, usually ill-fitting with a hole or two), a couple pairs of jeans (both ripped at the knee and patched in other places), and one thin jacket he’d acquired from someone leaving it behind at the pub this past spring. It was too big, but that was better than too small.

 

And yet, given his lack of apparel, you wouldn’t guess it looking into his wardrobe. Truth was, he kept too many things, hoarding things like a pack rat. Things that no longer fit well. Toys and games he wanted to try to hide from Darby. His change bag was somewhere far in the back, out of sight and frittered away for a rainy day.

 

The boy opened said wardrobe that day, and wasn’t really surprised when several old wardrobe pieces came tumbling out. He shrugged before cramming them back in and emerging with a ratty t-shirt (beginning to get too small for him), and one of his pairs of jeans. Ready for the day… just as soon as he put on the shoes he’d gotten from @Pine Tree.

Edited by Margarleon Turpentine

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              JUNE 2042              

 

“What is it?” Leon asked their neighbor Trevor, who had often repaired things Leon brought him (and even Leon himself after he got into fights) while growing up. Today, he’d found a small, rectangular contraption in a dumpster outside a muggle shopping center, and he wanted to know if it was worth anything. Of course, if he wound up selling it, Trevor would take some of the cut, but that was part of the deal.

 

“Muggle gaming system of a sort… portable. This one’s old… probably close to being antique. You migh’ get a good amount for it,” Trevor informed after looking at it for only a moment, using his grimy finger to wipe off some of the built up dirt on the thing to reveal GameBoy Color. He turned it over in his hands, then looked at Leon with a shrewd gaze.

 

“Y’know the deal. I get it workin’ and you sell it, you give me half,” Trevor reminded, and Leon nodded eagerly. Even half of it would be enough to buy himself another nice hot lunch at the Leaky Cauldron, anyway.

 

“Deal.” As if Trevor ever expected him to answer otherwise...

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              JULY 2042              

 

Time crept by slowly. Boredom had sept into the very structure of Leon’s bones that day, as he had nothing to do. Darby was off… who knew where… and Leon was avoiding his mother, who was out in the kitchen, crashing pans around as if she was actually going to try to cook (he doubted it’d actually amount to anything).

 

The walls were thin, so although his door was closed, he could hear everything. He lay on his small bed in his too-small room staring at the ceiling, reminding himself that soon, he’d be free of this hovel, with lots of space to roam at Hogwarts. He just needed to get through another month and a half, and then… then, he’d be free.

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