Floo Network

Summer of 69
Just like the flowers, I'm growing wild

Started by Grace Pemberton, March 06, 2021, 05:21:12 pm

Grace Pemberton

March 06, 2021, 05:21:12 pm Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 05:22:19 pm by Arantor
Grace had been surprised when her mum had started to pack for a trip to Godric's Hollow. They had fought on the subject of this all summer long. Grace had been desperate to go to see her friends as well as Mrs Addington, while her mother had been preoccupied with work stuff at Hogwarts. Every week it was another excuse. The books in the library needed to be sorted. There was an assignment from Dumbledore that urgently needed completion. They couldn't impose on Mrs Addington.

As far as Grace was concerned, all of these reasons were nonsense. Mrs Addington was eager to see them both. She'd said as much in her last letter, and yet her mum was holding them back for some reason. It was all rather unfair.

Suddenly, something shifted. Grace was pretty sure it had something to do with Professor Prendergast coming over to their place for dinner, but of course her mother refused to give any details. It just seemed too big of a coincidence that right after her mother having a falling out with the Professor they were suddenly leaving. It was suspicious, but Grace wasn't one to question her good luck.

They left early the next morning with family dog Easton in tow. Even her mom putting her into a scratchy, light blue cardigan didn't dampen her excitement. She skipped along the path as they walked towards Hogsmeade to catch the portkey. Really, the only downside to all of this was that there hadn't been enough time to send an owl to Ollie to tell him that she was coming. Hopefully, he didn't have plans for the weekend of Grace would be devastated. Out of everybody, it was easily Ollie whom she missed the most. Who else would go on adventures with her?

She clutched her mum's hand as the portkey whirled them from Hogsmeade to Godrics Hollow. It was shockingly cold to travel this way and her lips were blue by the time they arrived. Possibly, her mum had been right about wearing a cardigan with her yellow sundress, but Grace was stubbornly determined not to admit to anything. When she thought her mom wasn't looking, she rubbed her arms and shoulders to warm up a little.

Her mum headed down the road towards Mrs Addington's house, expecting Grace to follow.

"Is it okay if I check if Ollie is home?" Grace asked, already poised to set off in the opposite direction.

"Okay," her mom agreed. "But you need to be back for lunch at 12."

Grace nodded.

"Thanks, mum. You're the best."

And with that she was off, running off into the opposite direction towards Ollie's house.

Oliver Jayne

The sun shone through the window of Ollie's bedroom, a promise of summery warmth. Perched on his bed, Ollie shifted, turning his back to it. He rearranged himself back into a cross-legged position, head bowed over hem of what would soon become a skirt. The periwinkle linen would complement his younger sister Kate's pale complexion and blond hair. Of that he was sure.

What he didn't quite know was its proper length.

Normally, Ollie would have Kate try on the skirt and begin hemming while she wore it. But Kate was out with her friends, savouring the final days of summer, just like Ollie probably should've been. Except Grace had left for Hogwarts and then the neighbourhood boys had begun taking jabs at Ollie's sewing hobby as though it were a new sport. Now, Ollie preferred to stay indoors.

He squinted at the skirt. Kate's absence meant there was no way to properly tell if the hem was the right length.

Unless ...

Ollie paused, needle and thread hovering over the unstitched portion of the hem. He was about a head taller than Kate. If he tried it on and used a tape measure to account for their height difference, he could probably get a fair idea of where it would fall on Kate.

Any other time before this summer, Ollie wouldn't have hesitated to pull it on over his shorts. Now, he looked at the skirt again. Wondered if he should forge ahead and hope for the best once Kate got back.

He blew air between his lips, frustrated by his own indecision. If robes were acceptable for a boy to wear, why not this? It was the same general shape, after all. It didn't make sense.

Neither did mentally waffling when no one was around to tease him, for that matter.

He slid off his bed, then padded to the bathroom, skirt in hand. The linen felt heavy, crisp. He slipped it on over his shorts, then studied himself in the tall mirror affixed to the back of the bathroom door. The few centimeters of skirt he'd already hemmed swayed mid-shin while the unaltered portion brushed against the back of his ankles.

Ollie was just about to start his measurements when he heard the sudden chime of the doorbell. He jumped nearly out of his skin, cheeks flushed like he'd been caught nicking one of his mum's fresh-baked cookies before dinner.

"Ollie!" His mum's voice traveled up the stairs. "You have a visitor."

A ... what? Ollie's thoughts stumbled, then tripped over one another. Since Grace had left for Hogwarts, he'd kept mostly to himself. Their other friends were still around, but Grace had always been the one to invite Ollie out on adventures with them. Ollie couldn't remember the last time he'd been asked to play without Grace present.

"Coming," he called.

He slipped out of the skirt and quickly deposited it back in his room before rushing down the stairs. The moment he spotted Grace, Ollie ground to a halt. He blinked rapidly, not quite believing what he was seeing.

A beat later, Ollie practically launched himself at her, pulling Grace into a tight hug.

"Why are--I mean, how did you..."

It suddenly occurred to him that this also perhaps wasn't proper boy behaviour. Ollie took a step back, cheeks burning again.

"Hi, sorry," he started over." I just wasn't expecting to see you. Not until I got to Hogwarts, rather. I missed you."

Maybe that last part wasn't manly to admit, but for once Ollie found he didn't care. All that mattered was Grace had returned, that they were reunited for the first time in what felt the longest summer apart ever.

Grace Pemberton

Phew. Ollie was home. Grace would have been very disappointed if he and his family had been out for the day. It had been too long since they'd last seen each other. Thankfully, they'd soon see each other every day. Starting first year together was going to be amazing. Grace was already looking forward to it. 

She gladly hugged Ollie back, delighted to see him. Could it be that he was a little taller than when she'd last seen him? Grace was positive that their height difference hadn't been as pronounced before.

"Good surprise?" She asked, knowing full well what his answer would be.

"Mum kept saying that she was too busy with work, but changed her mind only yesterday. I'd have owled otherwise. We're staying with Mrs Addington for the weekend."

There were some thing she was keeping to herself for the time being. She absolutely wanted to discuss the strange behaviour of her mum, but maybe not while Ollie's mother was still within earshot. Adults could never be trusted to keep secrets and usually made things more complicated than they needed to be.

"I need to pop back round to Mrs Addington's for lunch, but other than that we've got all day. What do you want to do?"

She had a few ideas herself. One was asserting itself rather loudly in her mind.

"Have you got all your school supplies yet? And did you get a wand? I wanna see which wand has chosen you as it's wizard. Have you cast a spell yet?"

She was positively excited about all of this. Finally being reading to learn magic was something Grace had been looking forward to for a long time. 

Tristan Moor

March 11, 2021, 04:55:25 pm #3 Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 05:11:48 pm by Tristan Moor
Tristan hummed happily to himself as he strode through the cobblestone pathways that connected the buildings of Godric's Hallow, the sun shining down as a rare but pleasant sight.

He had just met Ms. Pemberton out in front of that house with the pretty garden. Quite the surprise since as far as he knew, she worked at Hogwarts year-round, but apparently, she was visiting for the weekend. Which of course, meant... Grace! Finally, he thought, someone else interesting around here! Most of the neighborhood kids were either far too young to play with, or they were all talk and didn't want to get in trouble with their caretakers again.

He kissed his teeth in frustration, looking around. If the directions were right, Grace should have been somewhere around here, visiting that one boy she hung out with so often.

"How have I never seen this house before?" he muttered as he located the building at last. Knocking on the door, he examined the flowerbeds out front as he waited awkwardly for it to open. He narrowed his eyes at the muffled conversation he could make out from behind the door. They must have been so bored without him, he'd have to fix that right away.

"Good morning," he chirped as the door finally swung open, creaking as it did so. Two faces turned to look at him, one vaguely familiar and another face that made him grin widely, showing off his teeth as he rushed forward to playfully tug at Grace's hair.

"Why you little- What's the deal, huh? Were you trying to avoid me?" he teased, snickering. He turned to the other boy, trying to place the face for a bit before giving up and offering a friendly nod before stepping back a bit. The name might have been Oliver... It was something along those lines.

"So," he rubbed his hands together, expectant. "Who wants to stage an expedition to capture cool creatures in the woods with me?"

The time to leave for Hogwarts was coming soon, and he was slowly starting to realize he'd know basically no one but Grace and Oliver (Ollie? It had been a while). He'd have to fix that, fast, or he just knew he'd be miserable.

Oliver Jayne

Ollie savoured Grace's hug. It felt like being wrapped up in his favourite blanket, a welcome comfort after the summer's enduring loneliness.

"The very best surprise," he agreed with a slight nod as Grace pulled away from him.

He let Grace continue, explaining her unexpected presence in Godric's Hollow, and Ollie felt calmer by the second. This was what he'd missed since Grace had been gone. Grace would jump from topic to topic, her voice rising and falling with varied levels of excitement. She'd always loved to talk.

And Ollie loved to listen.

He enjoyed having to be the one to decide what to do far less, so it was a relief when Grace barely took a breath before launching into her next set of questions. He waited with growing amusement, until he was sure she was done. Finally, when Grace finally fell quiet, Ollie took a breath. His turn.

"We went and got my school supplies last weekend," he said. "The whole family made the trip. And my wand is brilliant. It's--"

A knock sounded before he could finish. Ollie blinked and glanced towards the front door. He felt Grace looking at him, but all he could do was shrug. As far as he knew, no one in his family was expecting any visitors today. He hadn't even been expecting Grace.

He moved towards the door and swung it open to reveal a boy with tousled blond hair. Tristan something-or-another. A friend of Grace's who Ollie vaguely knew but had not spent much meaningful time with. 

Tristan greeted them, then entered Ollie's house without waiting to be welcomed in. Ollie watched his interactions with Grace with a sense of growing dismay as it quickly became clear this outing was no longer going to involve just the two of them.

It wasn't that Ollie didn't like Tristan. That wasn't it. More that Tristan reminded him of the other neighbourhood boys. The ones who teased him and seemed so keen to categorise activities as being for girls versus boys. Tristan, Ollie imagined, never got teased in such a way. Not when he could count capturing creatures among his interests.

At Tristan's question, Ollie shrugged again, deferring to Grace. He would go along with whatever Grace wanted. That's what friends did, after all, wasn't it?

Grace Pemberton

Grace was surprised when the door rang again. Were the Jaynes expecting somebody? Neither Ollie nor his mother had said anything when she'd come in. She was even more surprised when a moment later it was revealed that Tristan was waiting outside the door. She just looked astonished, trying to wrap her head around the situation. She hesitated for a moment while Tristan stepped forward to tug on her hair.

"Hey," she complained loudly putting her hands on her hips. "Don't be a brute!"

Oh dear. This was awkward. Grace hadn't even thought of going to see Tristan today and it seemed he had stopped by to see her, rather than Ollie. The way he inserted himself was a little rude and Grace knew that if she had behaved in such a manner, her mum would have scolded her for it. She looked at Ollie and have him a helpless shrug. How was she supposed to resolve this situation now? It wasn't that she disliked Tristan, not by any stretch of the imagination but she wasn't sure that if combining her two friends would be successful. She'd always intuited that some people didn't mix as well as others.

"I was going to stop by tomorrow," Grace told Tristan with a smile, "However did you know I'm here?" This part really was the most baffling. Grace hadn't written to Tristan and she didn't think he stopped by Ollie's place regularly to check if she was visiting per chance.

An expedition in the woods? That immediately had Grace's attention. She loved playing outside and the idea of an expedition seemed less fraught than going up to Ollie's room together and playing a game together. She just had the feeling that it would probably be very awkward.

"We could pick some flowers for our mum's" Grace suggested in an attempt to find a good compromise between all of their interests. "My mum has been sad a lot lately. I think she would really like that." She'd been meaning to discuss this bit with Ollie. Ever since that dinner with the new Arithmancy professor her mom had been behaving very strangely.

"And maybe we can find some ingredients for potions class. I think I remember there being aconite and dittany on the list of ingredients we're supposed to bring. If we find out own that's bound to be better than the store-bought stuff from the apothecary."

This latter statement she wasn't all that sure on, but she thought that was what Professor Slughorn had said to her mom when they had been discussing things in the library over a cup of tea. Something about fresh herbs being so much better from potions that anything that could be grown in a greenhouse. She didn't know about the boys, but Grace had grand plans to be one of the best students the school had ever seen.

Tristan Moor

He snickered, delighted at the loud reaction. "Your mum told me," he explained. "Said you would be around here and that you were visiting for a bit." Grace looked quite surprised to see him. He straightened up, happy with himself.

Tristan wasn't really keen on picking flowers, the air in flower gardens was cloyingly sweet, it stuck to his nose and the pollen always made his nose itch. "I can't think why you would suggest such a thing when we have to leave Godric's Hollow for school soon," he said. "Wouldn't you much rather do something challenging?" There was bound to be flowers at Hogwarts. He had heard from his mum that there was a whole greenhouse, made of glass and everything.

"Potions' ingredients sounds fun," he allowed, playing along but still unsure where she was going with this. He frowned lightly, puzzling it out in his mind. "I haven't a clue what dittany looks like but I think I saw some labeled plants down by the plant nursery. We could use those for reference?" he shrugged, only half-interested in the topic. His eyes landed on Ollie, curious. If he didn't know better he would say the boy was... scared? Nervous, maybe? He grinned at Ollie, trying to get him to lighten up a bit.

"I'm Tristan. You're Oliver, right?" he offered a handshake, eager to make another friend. He didn't like the sense of unease he felt. "Maybe we can explore the woods some other time, or even at Hogwarts!" he reassured the other. Tristan made a mental note to share some fun memories with the boy. He looked a bit quiet but- any friend of Grace's couldn't be bad, surely.

"Do you want to be best in potions or something, Grace?" he teased, amused. It seemed a very Grace-like thing to want, as determined a person as she was. "No argument here, just don't expect me to be good at it," he half-joked, more excited at the thought of Creature Care and performing magic with his wand than anything else. He raised his hands in a sign of compliance, not willing to challenge her intentions. Tristan may have teased her often but he respected the girl.

"...can we at least go near the treeline? There's bound to be some nice plants near there anyway," he tried one last time, not really expecting a positive answer. Tristan would honestly miss the familiar broad leaves in the small patch of wood. "Mum says the forest at Hogwarts is off-limits, it might be our last time to be under the trees in a long while."