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Prometheus Saintcross

the many windswept yellow stickies of my mind

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Prometheus Saintcross

It had been a couple weeks of his first year, now, enough that he felt he had enough happenings to fill a letter with that didn't just consist of his class schedule and what he'd eaten for each meal. The carefully folded parchment in his hand now consisted of which classes he liked, instead of a list of them, the couple of people he had had more than one conversation with, a reassurance that he hadn't been beaten up yet, and of course, an expression of longing, of missing.

 

Not home or his family, of course, but the family house elf.

 

He wasn't even sure if Whimsy could read, now that he thought about it, but he felt it was important to let her know that he hadn't forgotten her and that her absence was palpable in his life. He also included a postscript expressing his hope that his parents weren't being too hard on her, and then a post postcript advising her to burn the letter in case they found it.

 

But if she couldn't read, she wouldn't be able to read the PPS... he frowned, which was making an owl beside him very skittish. "There's probably a safety charm to cause mail to self-destruct," he muttered to himself. "Can't begin to know what that might be, of course, but.." 

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Angelique Slater

Angel nearly skipped to the Owlery, letter sealed and in hand.  She had of course written a chocolate-smeared reply shortly after the care package from her parents, but now as she was developing a routine, and even friends (or at least not avoiding everyone, which was a start) she felt it was time to give the Slaters at home the full run-down of life at Hogwarts.  Jeramie seemed into his dueling practice, and while she liked to follow him to observe, she wasn't into the idea of trying the activity herself.  But she wrote about it and was interested in the mechanics, and so she jotted down specifics, along with mention of the good deeds she'd done, such as saving Prom's plant from certain doom.  And at risk of sounding vain, she was a pretty fair writer, so the story was pretty amusing in print.

 

She felt a small twinge of homesickness as she pictured her dad's face, twisted in a full smile, slapping a knee with laughter at her tale.  Her mum would appreciate it too, but more the fact that she was getting on with her peers and making friends - she knew Maddie worried about such things.  Maddie had been outgoing, social and a Quidditch player, all things Angel was not.  She knew her mum trusted her to make her own way, of course, but she worried.  Hopefully, this would ease some of that.

 

She heard a voice, low and muffled, coming from within the owlery and frowned.  She'd hoped it would be empty.  But when her eyes laid to rest on Prom, huddled over his own letter and considering a way to make it explode after opening, she couldn't help but beam.  Thankfully he wasn't looking.

 

She cleared her throat to warn of her presence, then shrugged her shoulders.  "I'm sure there is one, but it's probably out of our experience level," she chided, making her way over to a small brown owl, who puffed its chest out in confidence.  She grabbed a green string from her robes pocket (a homage to her parents' place in Slytherin) and fiddled with it in her fingers, mostly for a way to occupy her hands.  

 

"Sending a letter home?  Want to destroy the evidence?"

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Prometheus Saintcross

Prom glanced up when a slight cough alerted him to another student's entrance to the Owlery. He straightened up and palmed the letter, instinctively, as though getting caught with it was going to get him in trouble. When he saw Angel, he gave her a sheepish smile and his shoulders relaxed. 

 

"I'm sure there is one, but it's probably out of our experience level,"

 

He trailed her as she approached a little round bird that made itself even rounder with pride when the petite Ravenclaw selected it to be her messenger. Realizing that she wasn't sending the letter yet, he awkwardly spun around and took a quick step away before she could turn around and see him standing so close.

 

"Sending a letter home?  Want to destroy the evidence?"

 

"Kind of," he admitted. "I mean, I think Howlers burn up once they're done, but I don't even know how to send a Howler." He turned the paper over in his hands, imagining it in Whimsy's long, unnatural brown fingers instead. "Plus, I don't want to be shouting at her," he muttered, this last more to himself than to Angel.

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Angelique Slater

She could feel Prom's presence near her, then him placing distance between them, even with her back turned.  Something about this whole thing, this letter and maybe its recipient, was making him uneasy.  She knew very little about Prom, really, but she supposed the fact that she was friends with a boy other than her brother only a few weeks into term was a giant leap in personal development.  But she wasn't sure how Prom's family life was, and based on the fact that he wasn't something to self-destruct when it arrived, she could only venture a guess.  She knew not everyone was as lucky as she and Jeramie were, and was very empathetic to that fact.

 

"I don't know how to send them either," she admitted with a shrug, "Besides, they scare me a little bit." With an awkward laugh, she caught the last bit of his admission and frowned.  "Who?  Your mum?  Sister?" And she paused.  

 

"Sorry, I... didn't mean to pry.  Curiosity and all that."  She resumed to her own task and used the thin green string to secure her letter to the owl.  She pulled a small treat from her robes pocket and let the owl take it cautiously from her hand, then patted the winged creature softly on the head before it sailed off into the sky.

 

"I'm writing my parents," she offered after a moment of quiet.  "They were pretty excited we... my brother Jeramie and I," she clarified, "were put in Ravenclaw.  At least my dad was.  They were Slytherins."  She turned to him, blushing scarlet.

 

"Sorry, I'm blabbering."

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Prometheus Saintcross

"Besides, they scare me a little bit."

 

As he found himself doing often already with Angel, Prom chewed back a smile, unable to contain his delight, but not wanting her to think that he was laughing at her. Someone like Angel would probably never receive a Howler in her life, and was probably horrified if she saw someone else subjected to such an embarrassment. 

 

"Who?  Your mum?  Sister? Sorry, I... didn't mean to pry."

 

"You weren't," he said with a resigned sigh. And she really hadn't been--asking where he was sending a letter was well within the course of expressing polite interest and making small talk; he was the one being a shifty weirdo about it.  He watched, as if entranced, as she gently tied her letter to the owl and sent it off with a delicate pat. He wondered if she would want a small, fluffy bird to call her own, so sweet was the image of them together. He found himself wondering how much money he had and if he should buy her one. 

 

She spoke again, shaking him from a fantasy in which she was surrounded by tiny little owls, laughing happily as they made tiny cooing hoots and nuzzled her lovingly.

 

 

"Your parents were both in Slytherin but they were happy you got Ravenclaw?" he asked. "That seems unusual. From what I gather, usually parents want to have legacy children. House pride, and all."

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Angelique Slater

Prom seemed at odds with himself about something, and had Angel known him a little bit better, she might have tried to coax it out of him.  Despite being painfully shy, when she did get to know someone, she had an almost compulsive desire to weave herself into their lives in whatever small way possible, usually with small gestures because more serious ones were more frightening.  It wasn't as if she didn't have self-worth, she just knew that she wasn't always the best companion due to her nature, and figured cleaving to those that were important to her made them more likely to do and feel the same.  But there was a delicate balance to that, one she understood even at 11.  She didn't want to scare him off by being nosy.

 

"Your parents were both in Slytherin but they were happy you got Ravenclaw?"

 

She nodded and continued on, willing her face to return to its normal pale hue. "They aren't really house purists per say," which, as Prom then pointed out, was rare.  Particularly for Slytherin.  She shrugged.  "They never made a big deal about it.  They'd have been happy if we had been placed there too, I imagine.  It's where my sister Abi is, she's a seventh year.  But I get the feeling my dad feels like we're super smart or something," and she laughed, picturing the corners of Everett's eyes crinkling as he waved their letter around in excitement.  A wave of homesickness hit her hard, and she shook her head to clear it.  "They were big into Quidditch and Jeramie and I aren't really, or maybe since they know us they knew we weren't a good fit for Slytherin.  Or maybe I'm just a daddy's girl regardless," and she laughed again, knowing that was true either way.

 

Mustering every last bit of courage, she turned her gaze up to Prom, determined to get to know him, flushed cheeks be damned.

 

"What about you?  Was your family excited?"

Edited by Angelique Slater

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Prometheus Saintcross

"But I get the feeling my dad feels like we're super smart or something,"

 

Prom smiled, imagining a proud and loving father, the man who had produced the precious cinnamon roll in front of him. Even if he had always hoped for Quidditch-playing Slytherin babies, how could anyone ever be disappointed in a child like this? Rather than being bitterly jealous that her family seemed so loving, so much more picturesque than his own, he found himself feeling rather romanced by it. 

 

It was probably for this reason that he mostly had stopped paying attention to what she said, at least long enough to not hear her mention that her brother's name was Jeramie, though he was nodding along anyway until she directly addressed him.

 

"What about you?  Was your family excited?"

 

He hesitated, not because he didn't want to tell her, but because he didn't know how to say it. He didn't want pity, that was for sure. It always made him feel even worse. "Ah... well, I think in an ideal world, they would have wanted me to be tough enough to attend Durmstrang, but that was pretty much out of the question, for multiple reasons. One of which is that my sister is already there, and we don't get along." That was a nice way of saying it.

 

"This letter is actually... for our family house elf."

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Angelique Slater

Angel immediately regretted her question and was about to stumble over another apology as Prom paused.  Some people really didn't enjoy talking about their family or opening up in general, and while there was something about being around Prom that made her want to do those things, she shouldn't assume that was reciprocal.  But before she could retract it, he explained.  She could tell he was choosing his words carefully, maybe glossing over the details, and that was fine.  She nodded in interest, keenly aware of his close proximity.

 

She wanted to protest the qualifier he used about not being strong enough for Durmstrang, but instead simply managed a meek, "It's too cold there anyway."  Which while true was not the response she would have chosen.  But her eyes grew wide at the mention of a house elf.  Sometimes she forgot that having elves was a thing.  The Slaters had never had one, and it seemed like the sort of thing that happened in refined, upscale... affluent households.  Which despite Prom's mature manner of speech was not the type of home environment she pictured him in.  Maybe that was the problem here?  That was much too delicate a question to ask.

 

That Prom cared enough to send the creature a letter versus his family said enough, really.  "That's such a kind thing, what's she like?"  And she paused.  "I mean if you want to talk about it, if not that's fine too!  But I think it's really nice that you're writing to her, even if she can't read I'm sure she'll be delighted."  She clasped her hands together in front of her to occupy them.

 

"And I'm sure she'll know what to do with the evidence," she continued with a nervous laugh.

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Prometheus Saintcross

"It's too cold there anyway." 

 

Agreed. Prom had absolutely no interest in being a Durmstrang student, and was quite content to be the family misfit at Hogwarts, where his parents' names did not appear on any plaques or trophies and he was free to start his own legacy--or not--the choices he made would be his own.

 

"That's such a kind thing, what's she like?" 

 

Prom opened his mouth but Angel spoke over herself before he got a chance, eager to get out of her own way. He just grinned and shook his head a little. "It's okay. If my sending her a letter is kind, it's because I'm trying to be the type of ..person? Elf? That she is. She's always looked out for me. Done little things to make my life easier, taken me out of the house when she knew I needed space, getting in between me and punishments." Always at her own risk, he thought, but didn't add.

 

"I'm sure she'll know what to do with the evidence."

 

"You're probably right," Prom decided, squaring his shoulders and giving a little huff of decisiveness. "I'll send it. Thanks for not letting me talk myself out of it. But I want to add something just in case she can't read or tell it's from me, for some reason... have you got a quill on you by any chance?"

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Angelique Slater

Angel couldn't help but smile at the thought of Prom and a little elf spending time together.  She supposed that was better than being lonely.  She'd never been without someone to lean on herself, and she was eternally grateful for that.  Her smile faltered as he mentioned punishments, and now maybe realized just how important this elf was.

 

So she was happy she had helped, at least in coaxing Prom into doing what he'd set out to do anyway. It made her feel helpful, which was a pretty rare feeling outside of maybe schoolwork.  It wasn't as if she did a whole lot of deep discussion with many of her peers.  She couldn't quite explain it, but there was something about Prom that made her feel safe, in a way that she wasn't used to.  Eager to be of as much help as she could, she nodded and dug into her rucksack.  "Of course, I have a self-inking quill you can use," she claimed proudly, then presenting the quill to Prom in her outstretched hand.  

 

"What's your house elf's name? She sounds very special.  She's lucky to have you," she finished quickly.

 

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Prometheus Saintcross

Prom gently took the quill out of her tiny hand and unfolded the parchment he'd written the letter on, sinking down to the ground, but just enough to sit on his heels. He didn't want to get owl droppings all over the seat of his pants. Somebody should really look into a self-cleaning floor charm up here, he thought. But instead of pursuing that line of thinking, he spread the parchment over his knee and used his leg as a desk to add an extra signature, of sorts, to the letter.

 

"What's your house elf's name? She sounds very special."

 

"Whimsy," Prom muttered absently out of the corner of his mouth, very fixated on the absolute masterpiece coming together in front of him. 

 

"She's lucky to have you."

 

Deeply involved in what he was doing, to the point where he temporarily forgot who he was talking to (and therefore how he preferred to be gentle and pleasant around her, rather than self-deprecating and pathetic) Prom gave a soft, cynical snort. "That would be the first, and last, time that anyone has had that thought about me." Having completed his doodle, Prom leaned back from it with a critical eye. "I think that should do," he said. "Can you tell it's me?"

 

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Angelique Slater

Angel handed over her quill and peered over Prom's shoulder in interest.  She grinned to herself as he doodled at the bottom, asking questions all the while, unsure if her inquiries stemmed from plain curiosity or a desire to get to know Prom.  Could be both, she mused.  She did, in fact, think that a house elf, who by design usually weren't treated the best by most households, had a friend in Prom, in whatever capacity, and she then frowned at his sudden flip to self-depreciation.  

 

The idea that someone thought so little of their worth, or worse, that there was an actual outward influence that encouraged those thoughts made her... angry, actually.  Again reflecting the family that afforded her the sort of continued support and uplifting atmosphere that many didn't enjoy, she found herself resigned to the fact that she would do what she could, in her own awkward way, to show others, and Prom, specifically, since it was clear he needed the reassurance... that they were worthwhile and important.  Which wasn't to say that everyone was, but she liked to believe the best in people.  They surprised you when you did.

 

Lost in her contemplation, she nearly missed his comment about his drawing.  She forced the smile to return to her face.  "I can," she agreed and she pointed to his head.  "Your hair does that little floopy thing," and she made a little motion with her fingers, then blushed.  "I mean... yeah, she'll be able to tell it's you.  Even if she can't read, I'm sure she'll love it."  She reached into her sack again and pulled out a blue string.

 

"Do you need a string to tie it?"  She eyed the different mail carriers, and pointed to a larger, snowy white owl with a little tuft in the front, kind of like Prom's drawing.  "Maybe that one?"

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Prometheus Saintcross

"Even if she can't read, I'm sure she'll love it."

 

His primary concern having been that she could hide the letter and keep it/herself safe, he nodded. He mostly wanted her to know that he was doing okay. Perhaps he would follow up with drawings of other people, so that she would know he had some friends. He thought it would be easy to draw Jack Dare, with his distinctive hair and glasses. As Angel offered him a long blue thread to tie his own letter to an owl, he looked over her long curls and into her large amber eyes and imagined what he might draw to try to convey the depths of her kindness to Whimsy. 

 

"Maybe that one?"

 

"Huh? Oh, yes. Thanks," The boy said with a slight clearing of his throat, taking the string and then walking over to the owl that Angel had indicated. "This should do," he agreed, struggling slightly with wrapping the string around the parchment AND the bird's talons while keeping his own fingers out of the way. This was incredibly delicate work. Maybe he wouldn't be sending letters as often as he thought; it was too social anxiety-inducing. Was Angel judging him? Was the owl? WHY WAS THIS TAKING SO LONG?

 

Finally Prom managed a clumsy knot that secured the letter to the owl without including his own thumb. "Sorry," he said to the owl, and he could have sworn it was raising an eyebrow at him. He looked back at it. "Oh, you want food? Um.. I didn't bring any, I'm sorry. Please don't drop my letter in a volcano. I can bring one for you when you get back?"

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Angelique Slater

Angel found herself snickering, not at Prom's fumbling but at his turn of phrase.  He had a sort of easy, effortless humor that tended to be a little dramatic, and she found that it actually made her less anxious, when she was around him.  She embarrassed so easily, that when another person took the focus off her, she counted it as a win.  He'd finally managed to secure the note, then tried to coerce the bird into delivering it without a snack.  She found owls to be pretty persnickety that way, and the one in question seemed dissatisfied with his answer.  Angel closed the gap between herself and Prom, and reached into her robes pocket to procure a small cracker.

 

While he was trying to convince the owl, she reached out and tapped his outstretched hand with the treat.  "Here," she offered with a quiet laugh.  "It's better than nothing, probably."  They usually preferred snacks of the meat variety, but would take most edibles over an empty stomach.  She waited for him to send the owl on its way, then rocked back on her heels.  She often struggled with awkward silences, tempted to fill them but unless she was truly comfortable with the person, found it hard to find things to say that didn't feel as though they would come out wrong.  It was a personality quirk she was working on, as she didn't want to be viewed as stuck-up in her silence, and so she fiddled with the strap of her rucksack and cleared her throat.

 

"Have you finished Herbology yet?  I was going to the library to work on it..." she trailed off.

Edited by Angelique Slater

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Prometheus Saintcross

Angel either had magical, bottomless pockets or Prom was just really fortunate that she carried a lot of garbage around with her. Either way, he found her sudden procurement of an owl-treat-sized cracker to be magnificent, saving his correspondence from a molten doom. He looked at her in surprise and gratitude as she tapped him with the cracker and suggested he offer it to the owl.

 

"Polly want a--" he began, and the owl snatched the cracker out of his hand, taking a little nip at his finger as well (on purpose, he suspected), possibly to punish him for daring liken it to a paltry parrot. "Ow, okay," he grumbled, and the owl took flight, fortunately not deigning to poo on him as it departed.

 

"Well, that was a process," he muttered.

 

"Have you finished Herbology yet?  I was going to the library to work on it..." 

 

He turned to look at her. "We have homework?" he asked in alarm. "I mean.. I haven't finished mine either. I guess I'd better join you, then. And make sure what I have is on the right track. We should get a snack first though, I suddenly have a craving for crackers.."  

 

--End

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