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🌷 Spring 70
To build a home, a new beginning

Started by Gregory King, August 24, 2021, 12:04:35 am

Gregory King

Dear Molly,
Have been having a hard time, so I'll be back in Godric Hallow in a week's time. Please ready the home, mum said I could take my room back at the very least.

- Gregory King

He finished his note and would send it off in the early morning. Teddy began walking around the hotel room, found his precious owl chew and stuck the toy in his mouth. He began gnawing on it as he walked around the room, jumping up and down in excitement. The toddler looked pleased with himself, soon finding his father drinking bourbon on the couch. Greg scooped him up, alcohol on his breath, and plopped him next to him before tickling his child. The giggling seemed to calm the man down and for a moment he forgot his ex-wife wanted nothing to do with him any longer.

A few weeks prior, for Valentine's Day, he'd come home early from work. Greg had brought Jamie flowers and had plans to take her out to a surprise dinner at one of the most extravagant places in town. He'd set up a sitter for Teddy with his grandparents and felt pretty good about himself. He was close to a promotion and felt on top of the world. The dinner did not go as planned. The couple ate in silence, awkwardly, before the dessert came and Jamie finally told him. "I cannot do this anymore, Gregory King. I am leaving in the morning."

He was devastated and hadn't been right since. Jamie left Teddy with Greg that night and he hadn't seen her, except to agree on arrangements for the separation. The days he left Teddy at his parents, he was home drunk. Greg put his two weeks in and closed up his cases at work. There was no point in him staying in the United States and he wanted to go back home.

Why had he done all of this?

Gregory couldn't recognize himself any longer and needed a break so he left everything he had accumulated in the United States to go back home. Soon after Jamie left, Gregory learned Jamie had moved on and was with her boss. That harlot! What did the boss have that he hadn't?

So he gathered a few of his belongings, Teddy's belongings and worked on selling the furniture and belongings in his home. He'd found a realtor that would be contracted with selling the home and the belongings would be split down the middle. He couldn't believe he actually believed Jamie actually liked him.

It had been weeks since he last shaved, since he quit his job, and since he decided he would go back home and start life over with his son. The thought was scary, but he needed to be away from Charlotte and their suffocating mother, Celeste. Taking some initiative he took his son and left the United States. They would be back in Godric Hallow soon.

Molly King

Molly sat on her couch, staring at the fire that was crackling away in the fireplace. Susie laid sprawled on her back, enjoying the warmth radiating from the flames. In her hands, Molly gripped her mug of tea like it was a life line. Today was the day Gregory was arriving, and surrounding that was an air of anxiety Molly wasn't all that fond of. This wasn't like him. She had known her brother to be far too proud to ever consider staying with her, especially considering her humble lifestyle.

His very vague and brief letter had left Molly reeling with questions. How long exactly was he planning to stay? Considering the way in which he had mentioned taking his room back, one could say it was safe to assume he was going to be around for a while. But, what about Jamie and Teddy? Surely if he was going to be gone for a considerable length of time, they'd be traveling along with him. So perhaps he was just in town for work? And would be gone in a couple weeks? Length of stay aside, Molly was incredibly curious about his mention of a hard time. She hadn't dared pry in her return letter, and their older sister Charlotte had been less than helpful in providing any information when Molly had asked.

In the week before his arrival, Molly had cleared out his old bedroom of anything she owned, and scrubbed the entire house from top to bottom. Gregory's lavish tendencies were universes away from Molly's simple way of life, but she had tried her best to ready the home for his arrival. She still couldn't quite wrap her head around why her older brother was willingly choosing to stay with her. Their relationship as children was less than ideal, with him joining forces with Charlotte to constantly torment Molly, and remind her that she'd never be as good as them. Now he wanted to stay with her? It was out of character to say the least. She was fairly certain that his stay would be full of his usual jabs towards her. At least it'd be over soon...right?

The muffled sound of a car door slamming brought Molly back to her senses. That's it. He was here. Time to get this over with. With a flick of the wrist, Molly made her mug vanish from her hand and into the kitchen sink. Making her way towards the door she took one last glimpse of herself in the mirror she had hung in the entryway. Her outfit was much more dressy than she usually cared to be at home. She'd rather be in a cozy sweater and chunky socks. But she knew Gregory, and he'd surely be dressed rather smartly. She'd rather not give him something to immediately degrade her about. Molly could hear footsteps on the walkway and willed herself to relax her shoulders. Surely she could get through this. Sucking in a breath she grabbed the handle and swung open the door and forced a smile onto her face.

"Hey there stranger..." she managed, trailing off as she took in the man that stood before her.

Gregory King

He pushed open the truck of the car, and pulled out three suitcases before slamming the trunk shut. The sound echoed, alarming the small bae in the backseat of the car. Cries were heard and the man cursed under his breath, "Shit," before he scrambled to open the back door and pull out the two year old from his car seat. The bae's eyes welled, before he pulled on his dad's beard. Greg made a face at his son, and his son laughed for a moment. It took a moment before he began fussing and crying again. It was past Teddy's bedtime.

Greg made it to the front door and hit the door with his foot. The toddler settled into his chest and he used a wandless spell to bring the bags to the front door of the home. The door swung open and he looked down at his sister. "Molly." He nodded his head. His hair was unkept, eyes swollen and he smelled of cheap cigarettes. "I'm going to put Teddy down in my bedroom. Bring the bags in. The alcohol hasn't been touched since we'd left, right?" He asked a rhetorical question, expecting her to answer quickly as he moved past her into the home.

It took him only a moment to decide he was barely satisfied with the living arrangements. With some effort he'd rocked his son back into slumber and laid him on the bed before tucking him in. The crying came to a halt and silence enveloped the hall.

He came out from the bedroom and closed the door quietly before meeting Molly back in the family room. "What's left in the cabinet?" He asked Molly. The man looked disheveled, he wore a casual slack with a light cashmere sweater that was stained, perhaps of vomit. One would have to guess how long he'd last shaved. He did not look like Gregory King, but managed to command his little sister with little effort. "I'll grab some cups from the kitchen, drink with me," he stated pointedly.

Instead of using magic, Gregory slumped away towards the familiar kitchen to grab a few glasses. He'd hope his sister had not thrown out the alcohol collection that his parents could not bring to the United States. What he really desired was a nice cup of wine, or maybe some whiskey. He wouldn't say no to cheap vodka either.

Molly King

"I...uh...." Molly stood speechless as her big brother brushed passed her, holding her nephew in his arms. As he disappeared up stairs to tuck in Teddy, she stood frozen in place by the door. That man couldn't possibly be her brother! Not the Gregory she knew! Not the clean shaven, well dressed, always perfect Gregory she had waved goodbye to as they left for America. No. This was a side of her brother she had never seen before, and a rather smelly side at that. Molly glanced out the door before closing it. No Jamie. Also, why was Teddy with him? Had she known her nephew would be joining them, she would have most certainly made more adequate arrangements to meet the needs of a toddler.

Snapping her fingers at the luggage sat on her lawn they poofed out of sight and reappeared, neatly arranged outside of Gregory's door upstairs. As the crying subsided, Molly stood at the bottom of the stairs, her mind swimming with questions. Based off his appearance, and the fact that they had been traveling all day, Molly figured it'd be best not to bombard him with all her inquires immediately....but maybe just a few. As Gregory made his way downstairs, Molly stood up straighter and attempted to meet his gaze as he passed by.

"Gregory is everyth...." she was cut off by his questions regarding the liquor cabinet. "What?..uh...some of the wine is gone. Everything else should still be there." she said. "What is goi..." again she was cut off by his demand for her to drink with him. The idea didn't sit well with her. With her nephew asleep upstairs, and her brother looking worse than anyone she had ever seen...it seemed like the smart thing to do would be to stay sober. She waited for him to fix himself a drink before grabbing her mug out of the sink. It still had some tea left in it. With her back to him, she mimed the act of pouring some liquor into her mug, and sat down at the table. The silence made her ears ring. Despite all the teasing and torment he had dished out in their childhood, the obviously broken man sitting in front of her was still her brother. Molly would always care about her family, no matter how harsh the past had been. Molly took a long sip of her "drink" before mustering up the courage to ask.

"Gregory I swear I'll leave it alone after this, but you need to tell me what is going on! Are you and Teddy ok?" Molly paused, not sure she wanted the answer to her next question. "Where is Jamie?"

Gregory King

August 24, 2021, 06:07:40 am #4 Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 06:45:55 am by Gregory King
Gregory rummaged through the liquor cabinet before deciding on his posion for the night. He picked out their father's favorite aged scotch, and went to the fridge to grab a few ice cubes to throw in the glass cup. After pouring the scotch, he swirled the ice in the cup before taking a deep breath in through his nose. He slowly walked to the kitchen table and took a seat, watching his younger sister make her own drink.  Then he proceeded to take a sip. It was rich and smokey, the burn was smooth. "What are you nursing tonight?" He inquired before taking a second larger gulp of his own drink. There was no way he was enjoying the complex flavor.

"Not yet! Let me drink." He almost shouted at his sister, recoiling at the bitterness of his words. She just asked an innocent question, it was reasonable.

Gregory looked up from his cup, and into his little sister eyes. Mustering courage, and with a playful smirk, he swiftly cast a wandless accio to pull her mug from her hand and drank the remaining tea. He desperately wanted to change the subject, he was too sober to admit his wife left him. "Make yourself a kettle, Molly. You've never been good at lying." He replied flatly. He knew she wasn't fond of drinking much and it annoyed him how responsible she could be.

A silent exchange occurred, and he could tell his sister was getting nervous. He began pouring himself a second cup, and a nice buzz began to set in. Gregory pulled off his sweater, unceremoniously, and put it on the back of the chair. With Molly's back to Gregory, he finally shared, filling the silence, "Jamie left me." A thick whisper, he was seething as the words jumbled together to form a sloshed sentence. He admitted his truth like a coward.

He eyed the back of his sister and began regretting telling her. She would probably start buzzing about and try to appease him. Or tell him how fucking sorry she was that he'd been left like a used rag. Then she might look at him in the eyes with tears and he just dreaded the sympathy.

Nervously, he scratched his hair and looked down at the cup in hopes he would miss the pools of empathy. It was a mystery how compassionate the witch was, when he'd been forever a royal git.

Molly King

Molly felt her body tense as Gregory barked at her for not waiting until he had finished his drink to ask questions. Was this how his stay was going to be? Walking on egg shells around him, hoping to not be snapped at? She hated the possibility. She was an adult for goodness sake, she shouldn't be made to feel like a child in her own home. Molly wanted to say something, wanted to stand up for herself, but before she could her mug was shooting out of her hands and into his.

"Wait! That's..." she began to protest, but it was too late, he had already guzzled her tea and called her bluff. For a moment they exchanged looks in silence. She couldn't read his expression. Part of her was still processing the grimy state her brother was in. The entire situation was un-nerving, and his alcohol soaked emotions weren't helping things. Molly's shoulders fell as she let out a sigh. Rising from her seat and grabbed the empty mug off the table and walked over to the stove to put on the kettle. She could hear him making himself another drink from behind her. This was a road they had never gone down together, and she wasn't sure how to navigate around her seemingly hostile brother. Trying to hide her nerves, she gripped the edge of the counter and fixed her eyes on the kettle. The odor that wafted in her direction when Gregory tossed his sweater aside was foul and made her wrinkle her nose, thankful to be facing away from him.

As the truth was revealed, she could feel her brother's eyes boring into the back of her head. Jamie had left? Why? They had seemed happy! What happened? Molly was fighting back the urge to grill him. Again she realized that tonight was probably not the ideal time to have a heart to heart. Her brother certainly wasn't a touchy feely kind of drunk. He had, however, answered one question for sure. He probably wasn't going anywhere any time soon.

"Oh I'm gonna need more tea than this." She mumbled to herself trying to settle with the fact that she'd now be sharing a home with her brother for the foreseeable future. Molly quietly fixed herself a new mug of tea, trying to think of the next step. She wanted to be there for her brother...she also didn't want to be his verbal punching bag. Taking a second to build her courage, Molly leaned her weight against the counter and let her head hang down. Letting out a sharp sigh, she finally turned to look at her brother.

"Well....I better go clean out my old room then. Teddy should have his own space." she said, "I can go to the store tomorrow to get him some bedding and toys he'd like...unless you'd rather pick that out." Molly made her way across the kitchen, pausing at her brother's side. Carefully she glanced up at him. "You should really shower....you smell like a dead animal..." and with that she began climbing the stairs toward her old room. Might as well get a head start.

Gregory King

He watched her escape the room with her tea and she made a jab about his state. "Molly, I'll have you know..." the words lingered and surprisingly he took to her command without much complaint and went to the familiar bathroom to take quick shower and freshen himself up. He noticed the choice of strawberries or vanilla and took the latter. It only took him a moment in his buzzed state to recognize hed forgotten to grab any clean clothes.

Gulping down his friend, he put a towel on and summoned his baggage before realizing he'd mostly not washed much. Experimentally he went through and sniffed at the clothes in the hall before finding some stuff that didn't smell too bad. A pair of underwear and shorts would have to do for now.

Approaching his sister as she worked, he peered his head into the room. "Molly, you can stop." Some kindness colored the words coming out of his mouth. "Its getting late. He can stay with me." He watched his sister intently. She'd acknowledged he needed space and he welcomed their time apart. "I'm going to put on the kettle and try to sober up a bit before bed." He wasn't sure he was sober enough to execute flawlessly, but he had magic to aid him. Prior to heading to the kitchen, he checked on his son. He was still sleeping soundly.

A list of things would have to be accomplished in the next week. He wanted to get absolutely hammered, but knew he was a bit of an angry drunk so he'd need to stop. As much as he wanted to say this was his parents place, Molly's decore choices made it apparent it was no longer theirs. It made him feel bad for scaring her. Tomorrow he'd tackle his laundry.

Molly King

August 24, 2021, 06:20:51 pm #7 Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 06:24:36 pm by EmBug
Molly had nodded along when Gregory asked her to stop cleaning, however once he disappeared downstairs to make himself tea, she stubbornly continued on cleaning up her old bedroom. Teddy and Gregory would fair just fine sharing a bed tonight, but if down the road Greg changed his mind about sharing a bed with a toddler, Molly wanted him to have options. Once she had finished Molly paused at the top of the stairs, wrestling with the idea of going downstairs and attempting to make small talk with her brother. The soft clinking of him making tea echoed from the kitchen below. Perhaps tomorrow would be a better day. They had both made it through the evening relatively unscathed, it was probably best to end it on a good note. Rather than face her brother, Molly padded down the hall to her room, changed into pajamas, and climbed into bed for a restless nights sleep.

As the morning sun peaked through the blinds, Molly was woken by the sound of whimpering coming from beside her. Opening one eye she saw Teddy standing next to the bed sniffling and clutching his stuffed animal. Molly quickly got out of bed to comfort her nephew.

"Hey there Teddy. Whatcha doin in here? Where's your daddy?" she asked giving him a big hug and brushing a little tear off his cheek. The little boy shrugged his shoulders. Molly offered him a comforting smile. "Well we'll just have to go find him then huh?" she said tousling his hair a bit before taking his hand and leading him out of the bedroom. Molly checked the upstairs bathroom, and all of the other bedrooms. No sign of Greg. Molly smiled down at her nephew who was clinging to her side while sucking his thumb. Surely Gregory hadn't abandoned him....right? Molly kicked herself for not getting a better feel for his mental state last night. If her brother ghosted them she was going to hunt him down and feed him to a dragon.

As the two worked their way downstairs, a soft snoring could be heard from the living room. Molly let out a sigh of relief when she saw her brother sound asleep on the couch, empty mug in his hand, and Susie the cat curled up on his lap. Teddy pulled away to go to Gregory, but Molly caught him by the hand and stopped him.

"You know what my darling? How about we let Daddy sleep a bit more...ok?" she whispered, stooping down to Teddy's level. "How about you and I go fix ourselves some breakfast?" she asked enthusiastically, scooping him up and carrying him into the kitchen.

Forty-five minutes later and the kitchen was buzzing with life. Molly had set to work making enough pancakes for all three of them, while Teddy was sat on the floor beside her, happily playing with some old toys she had found in the attic. It was a mixed pile of her old stuffed animals, a few toy soldiers that had been Greg's, and a couple toy horses that had been Charlotte's.

"Watch closely Teddy." she said, not actually expecting him to pay attention, but wanting to engage him as much as she could. "No matter what anyone else tells you, the only way to flip a pancake is by hand. Magic just isn't the same." she explained, casually flipping the pancakes she had on the griddle. Once they were done Molly placed all the pancakes in the oven to keep them warm, then slid over to the fridge and grabbed a carton of strawberries. Carefully she cut them into thin slices and put them on a plate.

"Now...there's some debate about what the best topping is for pancakes." Molly joined her nephew on the floor and offered him a few slices of berry. "Last I checked your dad likes them with just syrup, and your Auntie Lottie likes chocolate chips." she told the boy, "But I still say the best way is with strawberries." carefully using her thumb, Molly wiped away the strawberry mess on Teddy's mouth.

"One day you'll have to tell me what you like best on your pancakes" she said, smiling through a mouthful of strawberry.

Gregory King

August 25, 2021, 02:00:02 am #8 Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 03:50:53 am by Gregory King
He managed to make himself a cup of herbal tea that Molly had left on the countertop. It smelled like flowers, perhaps a loose leaf Camomile. The whistle of the kettle indicated it was time to pour the water. He pulled his wand out and used a simple charm to prepare his drink. The mug rested in his hands and he walked towards the couch before sitting silently to watch the blaze of the fire trickle to small sparks. It was mesmerizing.

Thoughts swirled in his mind, into a large jumbled mess. He could barely see the end of the string. He pounded the soft fabric of the couch with his loose fist in frustration of his situation. Soon sleep lured him and he fell asleep with the half empty cup in his hands. It was a miracle he didn't spill overnight.

Morning came, and he woke up abruptly. He couldn't remember falling asleep, and fear seeped into his soul as he realized Teddy was not around. In his surprise he threw up the cup in his hands and spilled the remaining cold tea on himself and some on the couch. He looked around the familiar space, grasping for his wand when he felt compelled to pause for a moment as he heard laughing in the kitchen. A familiar giggle calmed him down.

"Molly!" Gregory squeeled, shocked at the circumstances he'd found himself in. "You have Teddy in there?" Gregory found his wand and cleaned the couch and himself of the cold liquid. Unfortunately he missed drying his shorts.

Walking into the kitchen, Teddy looked up from the pancake strawberry concoction he'd created on his plate. "Daddy!!" He reached for a strawberry and put it in his mouth before chowing down on the sweet delicious fruit. "Pee-pee time?" He asked, pointing at his dads shorts.

Gregory looked down and turned red. Quickly he changed the subject, "You made pancakes this morning? How was the little booger?" He went down to meet the pair on the floor and planted a kiss on his sons forehead. His hair looked unkept and his eyes were still a bit swollen. He smelled a bit of old alcohol on his breath, but he sounded clear headed for once. "Is there a plate for me or am I eating his?" He asked Molly.

Molly King

Molly held in a laugh as her nephew commented on Gregory's wet shorts and avoided making eye contact with him. He surely wouldn't appreciate her laughing at him.

"Oh there's plenty for everyone." she said, quickly pulling the tray stacked high with pancakes from the oven. "I just wanted to keep them warm. Help yourself." she said, setting another plate on the counter along with some utensils for her brother to use.

"We've been having a wonderful morning so far." she informed him. "Teddy has been playing with our old toys for most of it. He's a great kid."

Molly leaned against the counter and sipped a cup of tea she had made herself earlier. Well....now what? Molly couldn't recall a time she and Greg actually spent time together willingly. He was much closer with their older sister, Charlotte. Sure he was nicer to her than Charlotte ever was, but it didn't mean they were close in any way. The more Molly looked at Greg, the more she realized that beyond pancake topping preferences, and maybe what he favorite toy had been as a kid, she barely knew her brother. Apprehensive about how to approach the situation, she nervously clicked her nails against her cup.

"I uh..." she started cautiously "I noticed you might need to do some laundry... while I was looking for toys for Teddy I saw a box of some of Dad's old clothes in the attic...if you need something to clean to wear in the meantime..."

Well, this was awkward. Part of Molly wished she didn't feel so nervous around her own brother. For a moment she let her mind wander back to Robert. He had made her feel nervous, but in a completely different way, and in this moment she found herself missing his comforting presence. Gregory, on the other hand, felt like standing in a room with a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode and throw insults her way.

"There's some more toys up in the attic. I think I'll go see what kind of shape they are in..." she said, trying to hide the fact that even at his lowest, Gregory still intimidated his baby sister. "Just...holler I suppose...If you need me."

Molly quickly excused herself from the kitchen and made her way upstairs. Before heading to the attic, she paused to change out of her pajamas, and into a soft pair of fitted jeans, and an oversized sweater. At least if her brother decided to make a jab at her looks she could point out that she didn't smell like something died in her closet. Closing the attic door behind her, Molly took a moment to relax and take a deep breath. It was incredible how much stress a person could hold in their shoulders. Molly knelt in front of a box of old toys, mostly more of her stuffed animals. and started sifting through to make sure they were acceptable for Teddy.

Gregory King

"Oh.." he was speechless. Their shared childhood felt like it was years ago, it was hard for him to relate back to that time. As he got up to get himself a plate of pancakes from the oven, he realized he didn't actually know the adult playing with his child, but she seemed to grasp a quick familiarity with Teddy in less then 24 hours. He didn't want to admit he admired how warm she was, and it weirded him out that she'd changed from his memory of her.

Looking down at the floor, he realize he hadn't seen the toy soldiers in at least 20 years. The stuffed animals looked familiar, but he couldn't place them. Perhaps they were Molly's? "These taste better then mum's.." he whispered into his pancakes as he stuffed them into his mouth. It wasn't too much of a comparison though, their father had always been a better cook. He didn't even have time to clean up Teddy from his meal because Molly had kept him relatively kept together during breakfast.

He felt confused by her accommodating him and even more confused that she didn't appear to hold bitterness towards him for encroaching on her home. Her home...? "You didn't go through my dirty laundry did you?" His question was more a realization as he recalled leaving his baggage open when he'd looked for something clean to wear. Oh god, that's also embarrassing! 'Remember you were going to do laundry, today!' He told himself.

"Oh, thanks. Yeah, I probably need something." he grumbled. Gregory nodded at her as she escaped to the attic. While she was gone, he cleaned off his plate and went back to Teddy and got on the floor to play with him.

He picked Teddy up and brought him and a few of the toys out of the kitchen to the living room, and put him on the floor. He'd wait for Molly to come back before he'd slip away to drink. No. No. He needed to stop drinking, but maybe she'd let him take a cigarette break. Except he remembered he didn't have anymore cigarettes left. Leaving Teddy for a moment, he went to the liquor cabinet and opened it, then shut it and walked away. Instead, he rummaged through the pill cabinet and found himself something to help with his mild headache.

Before Molly came down, he went back to attending to his 2 year old and acted as though he wasn't battling a demon within him. If Teddy wasn't here he knew he'd snap at Molly by now. It was a wonder how a child could change one's demeanor.

Molly King

Molly carefully collected a box of toys for her nephew to play with. As she sat in a room full of the past, she couldn't help but feel puzzled by the present she was in. Gregory and her were far from close. So why had he chosen to come here? He had been living in the lap of luxury in America, at least she had thought he was. Why didn't he go to Charlotte? He had always been much closer to their older sister. She had her two children, Erika and Christopher, who could play with Teddy. She had a large house, and a lifestyle much closer to Gregory's than Molly's was. So why leave his perfectly good job, and perfectly wonderful life to live with a sister he had spent their childhood pushing away. Was it because most of the time she'd be at school, and he'd basically have the house to himself? The idea that he could try and take over her home caused a pit to form in her stomach. What if he tried to force her out and take the house from her? What if their mother had given him the green light to take her home away? Molly wasn't sure how to handle the situation. She knew it was ridiculous to be tip toeing around her own home, but her brother's presence had sent a rush of old habits flooding back to her. How was she supposed to stand up to him if she needed to? Trying to ground herself, and keep from spiraling into panic, she clutched an old stuffed animal to her chest. She was going to need answers eventually. Might as well get it out of the way now. Grabbing the box of toys, and some of their father's old clothes, she headed down the stairs.

Molly peaked her head around the corner to see Gregory and Teddy in the living room. Hopefully his son would keep him from lashing out at Molly.

"I brought these down for you.." she said softly, placing the clothes next to Gregory on the couch. Molly turned to Teddy and forced a smile through her anxiety. "Look what else I found Teddy!" she said in a kind voice, sitting down and pulling more toys out for him. Teddy squealed with delight as he grabbed an old firetruck that had been Gregory's, and began pushing it around the room, making little "vroom" sounds as he went along. Molly kneaded her hand in her lap, keeping her eyes on Teddy to avoid making eye contact with her brother. Well....here goes nothing.

"Greg?" she began, trying to keep her voice free of the tension she was holding in her stomach. "Why did you come here? Why didn't you go to Lottie?" Molly glanced in her brother's direction, then quickly returned her gaze to Teddy, who had begun steering the toy truck towards Susie as she slept on the arm chair in the corner. She wasn't sure she was ready for this conversation, but she couldn't keep hiding from it.

Gregory King

"Thanks." He turned and acknowledged her before taking the clothes. "I'll going to change, I'll be back shortly." Going back from where she came, he left the vicinity before she could ask another question and peeked in the different rooms. He noticed she'd changed a lot of the décor, and even started moving things in her old bedroom as though she'd worked on making space for Teddy. Why was she so accommodating? It made him kind of angry that she just bent over backwards, and hadn't even argued about him moving back into the house. He raced back downstairs in their father's clothes. It was an astonishment how much he'd resembled him.

Molly braved and opened her mouth to ask an innocent question. Her question burned his ears, he felt like shoving her for asking. He turned and spat back, "Do you really think Lottie would want me in her house? Huh, Molly?" His tone was restrained, but the bitterness of the words spilled like poison. "You don't think I asked? Why'd she invite her good for nothing brother there to spoil her image." He turned away from her and went back to playing with his son. It wasn't the ideal situation, to move back to Godric Hallow, but he knew that his younger sister would not put him out.

The silence between them was deafening, the only sound from the young boy making "vroom" sounds with the firetruck. In that moment, Teddy raced away from Gregory and jumped into Molly's arms. Greg ventured, and looked up to Molly's face and he could tell she was hurt.

For the first time in his life he realized she was an adult. It weirded him out. When did she stop being that timid 10 year old? Gregory never realized that he'd always assumed she would be meek, and weak, yet here she was demanding answers from him. A few years ago, she would never have bothered with tempting him into anger. Here, she was poking his limits to see what would make him bite. What the fuck?

So he really questioned himself. He needed a moment to think about how to answer. He wasn't heartless, he just never thought she'd amount to anything and to be frank she seemed self-sufficient in her home. Greg wrestled with the idea of showing approval to his little sister. What would that do to their relationship? He was so used to chasing a high, chasing approval that it disturbed him that she was so present.

He tried to conjure up an apology, but his voice cracked and he turned away. "Yesterday, I think you mentioned something about that room for Teddy? What'd you say again?" He changed the subject. What a fucking coward.

Molly King

August 27, 2021, 02:29:24 pm #13 Last Edit: August 27, 2021, 02:33:08 pm by EmBug
"I'm sorry" Molly muttered "I thought you two were still close..." she explained, a little surprised Charlotte had been so quick to push her brother aside. She knew how that felt. She had lived with it her entire life.

Gregory's words stung like a bitter cold wind on a frigid winter day. His tone held the insults he and Charlotte had hurled her way as children. Stupid Molly, foolish Molly, you'll never be like us. Their past words echoed in her head as a fresh reminder of their feelings towards her. Molly stared down at her hands. Despite her brother's hurtful words she knew he was in a difficult place. Still, she wasn't sure how much longer she'd be open to dealing with his usual abuse. She had made the effort to make them comfortable, and he couldn't provide so much as a genuine "thank you"? Why was she putting up with it all? The answer to her question leaped into her lap. Teddy. He was such a sweet little boy, she couldn't leave them to live in a hotel for who knows how long. Sitting back in her lap, Teddy put his little hands on either side of Molly's face, and looked at her intently.

"Auntie Mo sad?" he asked. Molly forced a smile.

"No my darling." she said, glancing over at Greg before turning her attention back to Teddy. "Auntie Mo just can't believe how much you've grown since I saw you last." it was a lame excuse, but Teddy seemed to accept it, and further settled into her lap while inspecting the ribbon around a stuffed dog's neck. When Gregory asked about the spare room, instead of answering him directly, she spoke to Teddy.

"Well, I think there is a very grown up boy who'd like his own room while you stay, right?" she asked the little boy, who jumped out of her lap and squealed in a agreement. "Well we better go take a look at it then." she said, trying to match the child's excitement. Teddy raced to Gregory's side and yanked eagerly at his arm, trying to pull him towards the stairs.

"Go see! Go see!" Teddy yelled, and with that the group climbed the stairs to officially sort out the sleeping arrangements.

The next week creeped by for Molly at a painfully slow pace. Instead of staying at the castle after work, Molly often took the floo network home after her classes. Something in her gut told her it was the right thing to do. Most days Teddy was Gregory and Molly's main focus. The child kept spirits light for Molly, and kept Gregory's temper in check around his little sister. However, it hadn't taken long for Molly to realize her brother wasn't on the road to rebuilding his life like he had claimed the one time she dared ask. Most evenings, after Teddy was tucked in and asleep, Greg was no where to be found. One night, while Molly graded some papers in the living room, she heard Teddy's bedroom door close, and before she could even put her work aside, her brother was breezing past her and out the front door, only to return in the wee hours of the following morning. The one night Molly had stayed at Hogwarts, in an attempt to get a little respite from her brother and his issues, she had noticed the liquor cabinet was looking a bit spars the next day when she came home. Her concern was building.

Things came to a head late that Friday night. Per usual Greg had disappeared immediately after Teddy had gone to bed. Molly had given up trying to stop him, and didn't waste time going to sleep herself. Around three in the morning, there was the sound of sniffling coming from beside her bed. Molly knew even before she opened her eyes that it was Teddy. He had gotten out of bed a few times over the course of the week, but all it had taken in the past was a few hugs, a second bedtime story, and some reassurance to get the child to go back to sleep in his own room. Immediately upon laying eyes on the child, she knew this time was different. Teddy shoulders trembled as soft sobs escaped from him, tears soaking his cheeks. Molly went to him, and wrapped him in her arms.

"Oh goodness Teddy. What happened? Are you alright?" she asked. Her nephew melted into her arms, releasing a flood gate of sobs and tears.

"I miss Mummy." he whimpered into Molly's shoulder. "Where is Mummy?" Molly's heart dropped into her stomach. She was not the person who should be having this conversation with Teddy. Greg should be. Scooping up the crying child, Molly tip toed through the house, hoping her brother was home. Anger and frustration rose in her as she came to the realization that he was still not home. How could he be so careless? Teddy needed him! He should be here for this! He had spent any moment he had to himself sulking about like a child, and as a result was failing to be there for Teddy during an incredibly vulnerable moment. Back in her room Molly set Teddy down on the edge of the bed and swiped the tears from his eyes.

"Oh sweetie, I know you miss Mummy right now. It will be ok. I promise!" she said, trying her best to reassure him. Teddy reached out and wrapped his arms tightly around Molly's neck.

"Promise?" he asked, his breath shaking from all the crying. Molly sighed, and cuddles him tight.

"I promise." she said. "Come on now my love. Come snuggle in with me tonight." she said, tucking them both in under her covers. Teddy clung to her in his sleep, but Molly was wide awake. How could her brother leave him in this situation?! Livid didn't even begin to describe how she was feeling. She knew she couldn't hide from her brother anymore and would have to face him. Molly heard the front door click shut around five in the morning along with stumbling footsteps around the living room downstairs. Molly carefully pealed Teddy off of her and crept downstairs. She felt disgusted when she walked in to find her brother drunkenly passed out on the couch. He reeked of alcohol and cigarettes, and looked at though he had rolled around in a dumpster for a few hours. This was not her brother. Not the Greg she had grown up with, always on his game, always working to be the best, the parodical son of the family. This was not who Teddy needed in the morning. Molly knew that if she hadn't been home, Greg would have been in no condition to comfort his own child in his drunken stupor. Enough was enough.

When Teddy woke up a few hours later, Molly distracted him with some toys in her bedroom, he didn't need to see his father in such a state. Quickly she arranged for Talia and Rose to entertain Teddy for the day outside of the house. This conversation was bound to get loud, and Teddy didn't need to bare witness to such an argument. It was the first time since they were teenagers that Molly was alone in the house with Greg. It didn't feel good. She knew she'd want to run from his temper, but it was in his best interest that she stand her ground. In her head she kept reminding herself that this was all for the good of Teddy. Molly took it upon herself to throw out any alcohol that remained in the house, and even snooped through her brother's room to make sure he didn't have any hiding spots. Nervously she paced through the kitchen as she waited, every time Greg shifted in his sleep causing her heart to pound hard and fast in her chest. She had never confronted her brother before. Guess there's a first time for everything.

Gregory King

August 28, 2021, 04:04:09 am #14 Last Edit: August 28, 2021, 04:19:48 am by Gregory King
It was Friday night, and Gregory left Molly's residence and apparated to the Leaky Cauldron. He met with an old classmate, Lawrence Eaton, and they started a long night of drinking together. The hours blurred together as he took shot after shot. Cups accumulated between them and the pub's staff asked him to leave. He was sloshed and managed to find a young lady friend who invited him over to her place. They went up to her flat, but she soon kicked him out because he was simply too drunk for anything besides a sloppy make out.

So he waited outside her home for 30 minutes before the Knight Bus appeared outside her flat, and he took it back to Molly's home. He laid on a bed and the bus abruptly stopped, throwing him up and out of the bed. He successfully left the Knight Bus, but puked outside of the bus and on himself. It took him 15 minutes of struggled to coordinate himself well enough to open the door and he fell flat on his face on the couch with his vomit stained sweater on. Light was peering through the windows as he rolled and settled on the couch.

He didn't notice or wake up when Teddy and Molly left the home in the early morning. His sister brought his son to Hogwarts where he'd stay for the morning with her friends. Teddy seemed to take to both women.

It was around noon when he shifted and woke up. He rubbed his eyes, and walked towards the kitchen where he spotted Molly, but Teddy was not heard or seen. He went to the sink and filled up a glass of water, chugging it down. Then it dawned on him his son was not in the vicinity. "Where the hell is he?" He shot at his sister. He went to the liquor cabinet to pour himself a small drink to calm down and noticed she'd tossed that, too. "I don't have a problem. I don't have a problem!" He shouted into the empty liquor cabinet. His face turned red, he was still a bit buzzed from the prior night's escapade, but sober enough to be conscious of the actions and words coming out of his mouth.

"Why are you doing this to me?" He hadn't turned from the cabinet. "I just needed a break," he tried to calm down, but his voice cracked. Blood pumped, filling him with adrenaline. He was scared, he was angry, he felt hopeless and depressed. Anger was easier. Anger meant he didn't have to see how pathetic he'd become. Everything fell apart and now his son was taken away from him. Jamie must have taken him. That's right. She must have come in the night and snatched away his son. Fuck that slimey c*nt. "You let Jamie take him, didn't you. I thought I could trust you Molls!"

Panic swelled in his chest and he started breathing heavily. He wanted to hide, to disappear. He wanted to leave and maybe die if he couldn't see his little boy. Why would his own sister betray him in such a way. Why would Molly take away the only thing that made his life worth living. Couldn't she see that he was depressed. Couldn't she see that everything about his perfect life was stolen from him? Couldn't she see that he deserved nothing? Couldn't she see that he was an awful human being? Couldn't she...

His voice hitched and he tried to grasp for air. He thought that his wife leaving was terrible, but taking away his son...gutted him. Why would she? Why would she? Why would she? Why would she? Why would she? Why would she? Why would she? Why would she?