Summers were unequivocally the worst. Whereas he spent roughly nine months out of the year at Hogwarts, that left only three months more to split time between his parents. Christmases were spent either with Mum or Dad, and once in the last four years, with both of them, though that had not only proved their boundless pettiness but also their sheer incapability of self-control for just one damn night. Over the summer, the agreement was that he would spend every two weeks with the other parent. That was well enough on good days, but by July Yann was exhausted. He had convinced his Dad to allow him to go to Diagon Alley for school supplies and now, sitting in the Leaky Cauldron waiting for Kevin with his head on his arms, Yann was contemplating running away altogether.. By his legs was a bird cage with Henrietta. She hated to be enclosed as much as Yann did, and was currently biting the bars and screeching beneath a donated silencing charm. He had gotten as far as
Run away and join the circus
Become a house-elf and join the Hogwarts kitchens; get paid to cook and eat
Become a quidditch team roadie.
Join a dragon reserve as a trainee keeper.
Join a band
when he heard a noise that make him look up, though he didn't lift his head from his arms.
Last Edit: May 13, 2017 10:52:02 GMT -6 by Deleted
Yann had told Kevin when and where to go. Kevin, more excited than he could logically explain, had been prepared to beg his grandparents to make the visit happen, but they readily agreed, happy to stretch their own legs outside the house while giving their grandchild time to spend with his friend. When the day came, they were running late, much to a frustrated Kevin's chagrin; Grandmother O'Flannagain, whose last name wasn't O'Flannagain, had started a cake one hour later than she intended, and Grandfather O'Flannagain, whose last name wasn't O'Flannagain, had gotten distracted in the morning paper after enjoying his breakfast and so was late getting ready himself.
They weren't too late, as it was, because Kevin's grandparents knew that Yann was on a schedule, so they abandoned whatever tasks they had (provided they wouldn't lead to a ruined cake or a burned down house) and made sure to get to the Leaky Cauldron tout de suite. The Hufflepuff ran ahead of them, threw open the door and looked for his best friend, all the while the older O'Flannagains (who weren't O'Flannagains) laughed to themselves and waited just long enough to make sure Kevin found his way before deciding to go on a walk together.
Kevin spotted Yann and practically pounced at him. "Yann!" he chirped, disturbing a small group who had been quietly enjoying pipes and mead. "How are you?" When he filled the space between them, narrowly avoiding a server carrying empty plates and glasses, he looked for the least awkward angle and decided to approach from behind before throwing his arms around Yann's chest and giving him a tight squeeze.
Arms came around him from behind just as Yann registered the chirp of his name. He felt the cage bump into his leg as Henrietta fussed, and the frown broke as Yann sat up to grab onto his friend in an answering hug. He couldn't not smile around the badger, whether because he might badger him or because he was the manifestation of joy and resilience, ti seemd to him. He was pure good in Yann's life, even if he tried to keep as much as the bitterness of his own life from his friend. A smile brightened his dower expression. "Oy, good to see you mate." He stood up and reached down to lift Henrietta's cage from the ground. The hawk, still muted by the silencing charm, turned her head to stare at him with a beady eye. Yann sat her cage on the bench where he had been sitting. "Do you want to stay here or dou you wanna walk? I brought Henrietta with me today. I can't trust my step-siblings enough to leave her behind. "
Last Edit: May 13, 2017 11:23:25 GMT -6 by Deleted
Kevin squeezed Yann again when he got up to hug him. There was something overwhelmingly happy about being with his best friend, who he knew sometimes struggled with the goodness. Kevin wasn't sure how, but he managed to stay on top of the bad things in his life; maybe it was because his grandparents were loving and careful as much as they let him explore himself, so his parents' absence in his life wasn't so terrible, even if he wished he knew them.
"Good to see you!" he repeated, giving Yann a pat on the back as they broke the hug. The badger looked over at Yann's bird and stuck out a finger, wanting to stroke its head. It probably wasn't smart to stick his finger into a birdcage, but Kevin had never fancied himself the smartest. "Let's walk. You don't want to stay in this dusty old place, do you?" He grinned at Yann and waited for him to gather his things or lead the way or both.
Yann, though he didn't active return Kevin's hug, leaned into him. Anjoulie Trudeau was a seldom hugger, while Audric Frage was affectionate if mostly preoccupied with his new family. Yann would warm up again. Kevin tended to have that effect on him. "Good to see you too, mate." Yann nodded in assent and picked up Henrietta's cage to follow Kevin out to the narrow alley. "Careful though. I can introduce you to her but she's being a bit nippy today." He grinned at Kevin's fascination with the bird, so much like his own the first time that his grandfather had introduced Yann to his own bird.
Outside the sun filtered between rooftops and eaves and canopies. Yann paused to let the sun warm his face. Henrietta screeched and Yann felt the tension melting from his neck and shoulders. Free. Even his bird knew it.
Yann looked to Kevin, momentarily struck by how he seemed to glow under the sun. He shook his head and laughed for near the first time since school had ended. "You don't know how good it is to see you. It's been good in the while, I suppose." He rarely spoke directly to the trouble of alterating between homes. Rsrely, except when Kevin prodded, or looked at him with those patient eyes. He felt safe then, and his own, excess self-criticism - be grateful they even care enough to want you to altrnate between them, Yann -faded. "Playing drums in an empty lot around my Mum''s place, and being in-house babysitter for my step siblings when i'm at my Dad's. 'Camp Yan,' Louisa calls it and she''s alright." Yann glanced at Kevin. "Did you come here with your grandparents? How's yours been?" @kevinoflannagain,
Kevin didn't mind Henrietta being nippy. A bird bite was the least of his worries, especially now that he was with his friend. The outside felt nice, as always. Better than being inside the dusty tavern! Being outside, stretching his legs with the sun on his face along with an eager smile, he was sure the day would turn out to be fantastic. Henrietta lunged at his finger, but he withdrew quickly with a giggle.
He finally looked back up at his best friend and threw an arm around his shoulders. "It's really great to see you too," he agreed with a giggle. He listened thoughtfully as Yann explained his summer, house-hopping and looking after step-siblings. Kevin didn't know the first thing about either; he was lucky, maybe, not to have so much responsibility, but he did sometimes wish he had brothers and sisters to play with. He was also often curious at the range of emotions Yann could display in such a short period of time. He often stared, thinking, despite not being able to think about other topics, like school.
"I'm glad you got to play the drums! Yeah, my grandparents are great. They're taking a walk, I think. They seemed happy to be out of the house. I don't think they realize I'm also happy to be out of the house whenever they want." Kevin laughed. "It's great to see you! I wish you could just stay with me the whole summer. Then I'd get my grandparents and you." The summers would feel a lot less lonely then, right?
"Where are we going first, or are we just walking till our legs give way?"
@kevinoflannagain listened. It wasn't an empty silence, but a warm one. Yann felt alive in his presence in a way that his usual lonesome rambles around London didn't affect. The seventy-five - twenty-five princple: seventy five percent of his day was spent entertaining himself, alone, and twenty five-percent was the narrow time when either of his parents came home from work, except when Audric or Anjoulie had dinner meetings, or late night case calls, or tight deadlines. So around his friend, words spilled from him like a thawing winter waterfall. Gone was the cold varnish of introversion, because around Kevin, he felt absolutely comfortable. This was their friendship after four years; Yann felt he could tell Kevin anything - or almost anything.
"How about we head toward Sugarplums" The sweet shop stocked all manor of delights. Coming into the magical world, the experience of magical treats were on par with learning to fly. With wide-ranging enhanced effects from super-sized bubbles to levitation, Yann rather felt that they were the ultimate delight.
Last Edit: May 20, 2017 15:28:23 GMT -6 by Deleted
Kevin beamed and nodded. "Sugarplums sounds great!" he agreed. Sweets were welcome at any hour of the day, except when he was full, but even then it would only take an hour before he was ready for a little cake or a licorice straw. "Gonna buy the shop today, I think. Grandmother made a cake, but we didn't get to eat any yet."
The reasonable thing to do was to wait till he got home to enjoy the cake, but Kevin was hardly a reasonable boy.
"I wish we'd brought you some, but it was still cooling before we left. Wouldn't want to ruin anything. Maybe you could come grab some with us later." Even if Yann's parents would be against such an idea, Kevin was happy to propose it.
@kevinoflannagain's grandparents were the best. Golden people. If people were sweets - by far Yann's favourite sweets aside from licorice allsorts - then they would be marshmallows. Marshmallow people, pure goodness and giving, and squishy like his best friend. Neither Yann's mother nor his father were huggers. They meshed together like the glossy figures in the magazines his mother kept. Shiny and alluring, but empty. Nothing beyond the background of sea-foam, or the skyline of a city. They had fallen apart in any other setting, and shined in front of others. "Your grandmother baking sounds like the best thing in the world," Yann commented with a small smile. "I bet as good as all the sweets are, they don't taste as good as anything she makes. Well, except for the allsorts and the licorice. Course I'd like to come." It didn't quite matter in his mind what his Mother would say because she was working on some grand case and Yann wanted to delay returning to the echoey loft as long as he could. The cellphone in his pocket wouldn't work until he was outside Diagon Alley anyway, even if she tried to call him.
Kevin brightened and said, "Brilliant. They'll be so happy for you to come over. They make the best everything." Kevin liked people--there was no secret about that--but he thought about some more than others, and cared more about them than others. At the end of the day, he fancied himself the type to save a drowning person even if they were a total stranger, and he might even try to befriend them, but he put in a special effort for people like Yann.
When they made it to Sugarplums, he danced through the entrance and held the door open for the other boy. He hoped there weren't any drowning people today. "After you, my liege," Kevin teased theatrically before flashing his teeth.
Kevin bowed before him as he swung open the door and Yann meandered into the store. He had not yet met the O'Flannagains, but if Kevin was anything to go by - and really, he was all that Yann had to imagine what grandparents were like - then they were sunny-faced go-getters who had treats stashed in pockets, one hand in the flour container, and another in a book. The idea of a frown on their mythical faces seemed as out of place as a rainbow in the Great Hall. "Do you ever get in trouble wit them?" He asked over his shoulder as he turned into one of the aisles in search of the licorice.
Notes; so ready to have this back. i lost track. my bad. @kevinoflannagain,
Kevin shook his head no. "Not really. They're such nice people, and it's not like I'm a troublemaker." He winked at Yann, who might get a laugh out of the comment. Kevin wasn't really a troublemaker, but that didn't mean he was a stranger to trouble. "If anything, it's just a slap on the wrist."
He didn't feel like he deserved such great grandparents, but they were part of the reason he was so happy, and Kevin was grateful to spread his cheer to others, especially to his best friend.
Inside the shop, he looked around at the various items up for grabs. "I know you'd like them, and they'd love you. They've heard so much about you."
Yann hid a smile as he surveyed the candy. He was excited as he imagined might be if they were his own grandparents and he were going to visit them for the first time since he could form and retain memories. "Alright, I'll meet them after. Candy first." He ambled down the aisle, looking for the licorice and all-sorts. The idea struck him then that someone had to make all the candy, and a mage at that. Why did he need to bother with transfiguration and charms when he could simply make candy for a living?
He reached the end of the aisle and found a box of licorice that he shoved under his arm, his other hand slipping into the pocket of his robes to palm at the coins there. "Are you excited to get back to school?"
With an eager nod, Kevin grabbed some jellybeans and some other fruity, sugary sweet (there was plenty of chocolate at home!) and joined Yann to pay for his own items. "Yes! I mean, I think so.... I always miss my grandparents, but I like spending more time with you and getting to use my wand." Magical grandparents or not, he was still not allowed to use magic as an underaged wizard, which was quite sad.