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Eli Benoit

Do you have experience being lost?

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Eli Benoit

Morgan Boyle

c/o SNARLL
Taith Coch Reserve

 

Dear Morgan,

 

I hope this letter doesn't find you. I hope you got to leave the reserve and go back to work at your shop in Diagon Alley. I know your plan was to leave as soon as possible. I checked your storefront when I was shopping for school supplies and it's still burnt out. It didn't look like anyone even started to renovate after the fire, but I hope it's all fixed up now.

 

I'm sorry I didn't write back sooner. My parents wouldn't let me all summer. There's stuff all over the Prophet about werewolves, and nobody agrees about anything, except my parents, who agree than everything is dangerous and I shouldn't have a penpal. I'm back at school now, which is why I can send this. I'm nervous about quidditch tryouts, but I'm really excited to get to take electives for the first time this year even though I already got to start two Creatures projects last year. I think I maybe want to be a healer after I graduate. It might be a good way to fix something.

 

I will write to you more for the rest of the school year.

 

Love and luck,

 

Eli

 

 

Summers were already hard. As soon as 11-year-old Eli got to experience what he'd been missing—magic used freely and fearlessly—it was hard to go without. The summer after first year was bad. The second summer was worse. He could write to TK and Harlow and Rad, but a werewolf penpal was off-limits. And Eli hadn't gotten to warn Morgan before his communication was cut off. It wasn't like he could email a werewolf from the county library. The boy felt guilty on top of stifled, which in turn just made him angry. It was good to be back at school.

 

Eli had been hoping to make a less conspicuous exit from the welcome speech, though. He was hoping to be a nobody third year, not the winner of the Rowena award. It was so unexpected that he hadn't even been worried about being able to sneak off to the owlery until Professor Ripley called his name, but that wasn't going to stop him from sending this letter at the first opportunity he had. He felt hot and a little bit jittery by the time he got to the owlery, and it wasn't because of the stairs.

 

Eli tied the letter to the leg of a school owl and ushered the owl to the window. After it was out of sight, he gave a loud long exhale. He was putting at least one thing right in his world.

Edited by Eli Benoit

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Drew Knight

Drew’s desire to sit around and be friendly at the Ravenclaw welcome party this year was pretty much nil. What he really wanted was to just go to bed, but sorting night usually got kind of rowdy, and the dorms weren’t likely to be much quieter than the common room. Kaleb and Kacie were Gryffindors, Nico and Fiona were freaking gone, Eloise and Vladimir gone too, and he hadn’t even tried working up the guts to approach River. He was...well, the badges made people busy and important anyway. And Howe knew Drew hadn’t had a snowball’s chance at prefect.

 

Meeting people and hanging out with them were two of the extrovert’s favorite things...normally...but Drew hadn’t been feeling all that normal lately. Pushing at the headache gathering in his forehead, Drew swiped a golden drink from the table, sniffed it just in case, then took it outside.

 

His feet chose the west tower more than his brain did—Drew just wanted to get out in the fresh air without leaving the castle. He had this thing about forests now. As he was rounding the final curve of stairs, Drew found that he wasn’t alone.

 

Oh, hey Eli,” he greeted with a smile when he found he recognized the other student. He hadn’t even noticed his friend’s disappearance from the party, oops. “Forget something at home or something?”

 

Drew had definitely sent frantic owls to Mum during the first week of school, asking her to send along forgotten items. Then again, Drew wasn’t exactly up here to mail anything, maybe Eli was escaping from something too.

 

Or I can leave you alone,” he offered, uncharacteristically unsure.

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Eli Benoit

Eli habitually answered questions before really registering who he was talking to, and this was no exception.

 

"Nah, I'm mailing a penpal letter," he said evenly and casually, only half a second after he startled at the sudden discovery that he wasn't alone. It was just Drew, though. Eli knew his voice and had it confirmed when he turned away from the window to greet the older boy. (Had Drew gotten taller?) It was only then in their exchange that Eli really started putting the details together. Drew's tone, his empty-handedness even though he had just arrived in the owlery, and a certain something that Eli couldn't place hit the younger Ravenclaw like another punch in the gut. Drew was unhappy. Drew was unhappy and that was something that was possible? The knowledge piled itself onto the list of Everything Is Terrible, and Eli slumped as though the pile was physical.

 

"You don't hafta leave me alone. I wrote a letter on the train 'cause I couldn't at home, and now I mailed it, and..." He trailed off when he realized he didn't have any plans for what came after that. There was a reason Eli booked himself dawn to dusk with activities, and he was lost that evening without them.

 

He sat right down on the floor of the owlerly, placed his wand on the ground in front of him, and spun it in slow circles with a finger, trying to think. "Point Me," he whispered, and gave the wand a flick. Wherever it ended up pointing, he'd figure out what in the castle was there and maybe have some idea of what to do. Its spin stopped pointing right back at Eli. 'Solve your own problems.'

 

Eli dropped his chin onto his fists and scowled.

Edited by Eli Benoit

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