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Magical Soul 11-28-2013 11:44 PM

Kiwi Adventures - Sa13+
Disclaimer: Some of the characters indirectly mentioned in this story belong to fellow members of SS.
The magical world in which this story is set in belongs to J.K. Rowling.

Chapters Index:
Chapter 01(England) -
Scene 01 --
Scene 02 --
Chapter 02 (New Zealand) -
Scene 01 --
Chapter 03 (New Zealand) -
Scene 01 --
Scene 02 --
Scene 03 --
Chapter 04 (New Zealand) -
Scene 01 --
Scene 02 --
Chapter 05 (New Zealand) -
Scene 01 --
Scene 02 --

Magical Soul 12-08-2013 07:51 PM

Chapter 01
England, London
04:30 am
Even though she was on holidays, Louisa found herself waking up at the crack of dawn. It was a habit she picked from her roommate back in Wellington - Mackenzie woke up the second sunlight drifted through the windows into his room. It was one of those mysteries about him she was determined to unravel before he graduated or they changed roommates.

Now, she woke up in her brother's bedroom, he was snoring next to her in bed. They removed his breathing tube a few days ago and he hadn't had an attack ever since, though the snoring was annoying. It made him sound like a cute little piglet. She propped herself on her elbow and watched him sleep for a while. Jonathan had her mother's eyes and hair color, but he was definitely his father's son. Same jaw, same chin, though a very different spirit. Jonathan was nine, however, Louisa couldn't decide whether the spirit and attitude changed drastically for everyone or just for the wretched people.
Jonathan sneezed and rolled to his side away from her. She smiled to herself before gingerly getting out of bed to the shower.

Even though this house had always been her home, Louisa lost that feeling of intimacy and safety you usually get in a place you call home, ever since her mother and stepfather found out she was a witch like her biological father. Due to the fact that her mum had never spoken of the Wizarding world to her muggle husband, Jason, he was uneasy having a witch in his home with his two young boys.

After the family found out about magic and wizarding world, and during the summer prior to Louisa's first year in Hogwarts, Louisa heard her mum and Jason argue heatedly about it; Sometimes it was about the mere fact of her being a witch, sometimes it was about how her mum hid the truth about her ex from him, sometimes it was about ignoring the letters and just continue sending her to Elementary school in the neighborhood. Her mum seemed pretty insistent on keeping her daughter in touch with her true nature, though.

Louisa never paid attention to the words, she was plotting her own plans. Her eleven years old self wanted to go to a school where owls delivered letters, and where students were allowed to take rats as pets. The argument between her parents led to Louisa living with her step aunt for four years until she was sixteen when childless Mrs. Brown passed away and left her house for Louisa.

Ever since her twelfth birthday, this house had never felt like a home, and Louisa never missed it. She had a home of her own now, being on her own did her good so far. Or so she thought.

After the shower, Louisa tiptoed down to the kitchen, grabbed a bagel and then off to the library where her step father kept a huge collection of books. He owned a publishing company, and ironically his love for books fed Louisa ever since she was a child and helped her to become a bookworm, just like him. Though now she made a point not to touch the books in this house whenever she visited. Not in front of him, anyway, instead she tiptoed at dawn, bumped her toes in all the chairs on her way down before finally reaching the study room and snatching a random book off the shelf.

The light turned on instantly, and she froze for a second before letting out a defeated sigh. "Fine. You caught me. I was about to steal-" Louisa turned around slowly expecting to see her other brother, Daniel, with a smug smirk on his face. But it was Jason, her step father, in his sleeping robe and his hands in his pockets.
Louisa forgot how ridiculous the robe looked on him.
"You'll get bagel crusts on the carpet." He said, looking into her eyes like he always does and the way he knows that gets on her nerves.
She huffed and shoved the bagel into her mouth, "I'll vacuum."
"You'll get bagel crusts on my book."
"This isn't your book, this is..." she looked at the author's name. "...Charles Dickens' book."
"I bought it."
"He wrote it."
"I published the new edition."
"He never gave you permission."
"How do you know?"
"He's dead." Louisa shoved the rest of the bagel in her mouth and moved towards the doorway where Jason stood so firmly. She didn't want to stand here and talk back and forth with him all morning. She had better things to do.
He followed her into the living room and bent down in front of the fireplace. She tucked her feet under her and turned on the lamp on the stand next to her.
"That's one of my favorite books." Jason spoke after a short while, the fire was creaking in the fireplace and it lit the side of his face with a reddish hue.
Louisa looked at the cover again, Great Expectations. She ignored his comment and continued reading.

At some point he went to the kitchen and came back with two steaming mugs, he placed one of them by her next to the lamp and went to sit on the other couch. He, too, had a book in his hands.
The similarity of their situations didn't hit Louisa until much later, when the sunlight came through the big windows behind them and illuminated the room. It bugged her, and she couldn't keep her mouth closed about it.
"Why are you copying me?"
Jason didn't respond at once, he waited until he finished the page before lifting his head and his eyebrows at her. "Sorry?"
"This." She gestured to them both reading and drinking coffee very early in the morning. "Do you always wake up at dawn and catch the person sneaking into your study room?"
"I don't have to catch anyone. My study is always open. If I wanted to catch a thief, I'd put a booty trap." His tone was so casual and logical it bugged her even more.
"Well then. Why are you up reading whatever and making me hot beverage?"
He gazed into her eyes again, as if he couldn't figure her out. Louisa sighed pushed her hair away from her face and looked back at the book.
There was another long period of silence where they both read.
"Did you tell him you're leaving tonight?" Jason's voice came quiet and calm.
Louisa knew who he was talking about, she'd been avoiding the subject, hoping Jonathan would know she was leaving on his own and wouldn't make a fuss about it. "No."
"When are you planning on telling him?"
"After breakfast."
"You said that yesterday."
"We didn't talk yesterday."
"To your mum."
"My mum tells you what I say?" A hint of annoyance was heard in her voice, even she could detect it.
He pursed his lips then sighed. "I don't know why you're always so... defensive."
Louisa pulled the book closer to her refusing to make eye contact.
Jason continued, "He gets attached easily, he's so happy with you around. You should tell him yourself."
Her eyes digged holes in the page in front of her but she made no effort of reading the words.
"He's better now, getting emotionally stressed could make him sick again." She felt Jason's worry shaking her guarded attitude. He showed so much emotion for his own son, she wondered if he'd ever show this much worry for her if she was sick or unwell too.
"Okay..." her weak reply was an attempt to end this conversation.
"Thank you."
"I'm not doing it for you. I'm doing it for my brother."
"Doing what?" Obviously he didn't mind conversing. Huh. She found that weird, unusual.
"Everything. My coming here, staying for Christmas, keeping things smooth. Everything."
"It's good enough for me."
"Why do you care? You're out most of the time."
"I didn't want to provoke you."
He said it so spontaneously Louisa was surprised and speechless for a moment, and this time she did look up at him. "Why?" All she ever wanted during her stay here was to feel those family fuzzy emotions, her mother was never the one to hold them back from her daughter, it was Jason who never made a step with Louisa. He never acted like she was his daughter, though he'd always taken care of her before he found out she was a witch, ever since she was two years old.

"Because of this." He gestured at them both. "You keep those walls up all the time, mirrored walls, that if I say anything, there's always something coming back from you, something sarcastic and defensive. You're not seeing the efforts everyone do to get you back and convince you that you have a place here, in this house. You're trapped in that moment from nine years ago." He was back to looking hard into her eyes, she didn't notice that he'd closed his book and leaned forward in his seat but she noticed how his voice turned from calm to slightly agitated. "When did you get so defensive and detached?" He asked again, it sounded a little like a plea.

Louisa swallowed, refused to look away but was terrified to blink, in case the wetness in her eyes turned to a tear. "I've always been like this."
"No. No, you haven't. You're my daughter." The last word was just over a whisper but it reached her as if it was shouted out through a Sonorous spell. "I know you."
She swallowed again and blinked. Luckily, there were no tears. "Everyone changes. I change. You change. It's normal."
"Change is inevitable, yes, specially when it's gradual. Natural. You changed on purpose."
"How do you know?" Her patience was running out. She closed her book and leaned forward too. "You don't know what I've been doing in the past few years, how do you know anything?"
Jason opened his mouth to say something but quickly closed it, thinking better of it. "So, tell me."
"Because I'm interested."
Louisa expected him to say something cliched, like, he was going to help her, or offer some sort of late parental advice, she never expected that answer. "You don't want to change me back?"
"I'm not sure yet."
"Of liking the new me?"
"Of wanting you to be more vulnerable when you live on your own far away from us."
Another unexpected answer. He got Louisa's attention. This was a very new, very odd dialogue with someone she never talked to. It brought back memories, memories of when she was just a muggle daughter to a muggle step father. She wasn't sure what to make of this nostalgic feeling, she quickly shoved it deep down.
"I'm doing alright as I am." Her answer was light, but at least it wasn't sarcastic.
"That's not what I asked."
She furrowed her brow and just stared at him.
"Tell me anything, anything at all." He asked again.
"I study Diplomacy and Wizarding Relations in university."
"What is Wizarding Relations?"
"Same as international relations but it's concerned with the Wizarding world."
"Can you make peace treaties with the Ogres then?"
"When I graduate maybe."
"What about Mermaids?"
"We don't have mermaids. We have merepeople."
"Aren't they the same?"
"Not if you were thinking princesses and unimaginable beauty."
He smiled. She smiled back.
"I have nothing interesting to tell you." He spoke again before she picked up the book.
"Try me."
"I haven't bought a new robe in ten years."
Louisa laughed and pulled the book back into her lap, "Yeah. Not interesting at all."
"Why New Zealand?" He asked, the smile had faded away.
Her laugh died but a small smile was stuck on her face. "The wizarding university offers the best courses there, for my major."
He stared at her for a moment longer.
She swallowed and added, "I needed a break, too." Her voice came out small and she hated it.
"A break from what?"
"From everything. Everyone." Her eyes were welling up dangerously fast, so she forced a laugh again and started toying with her book. "It's not important. Just some old woes of a teenager."
He got up and moved to sit on the other end of her couch. "The woes of a teenager is all today's authors are interested in."
She laughed, "You'd know that, huh?" Then shrugged, "My woes don't have a happy ending. The book would suck."
"The book would be real."
"Well, it's nothing special. It's just that life gives you a taste of happiness for a while only to snatch it away when you get used to it."
He stayed silent for a moment then a hint of a smile appeared on his face, "Your woes turned to a philosophy."
She mirrored his small smile, "Only because it's been so long ago. We're bound to cope and start over."
"Whoever did this, I should thank them."
Louisa arched an eyebrow, "Thank him? Why?"
Jason narrowed his eyes, "It's a he? A boyfriend?"
"An ex."
"What happened?"
"Nothing. It just didn't work out. He was in love with someone else."
"Your boyfriend was in love with someone else?"
Jason remained silent again, then smiled, "You should thank him. This experience made you a philosopher."
Louisa snorted and rolled her eyes, "Yeah, right. No thanks."
"Are you okay?" There was no humor in his question.
"You're three years late."
He winced slightly, the good-natured smile fading from his face and Louisa was afraid this conversation was over. She didn't know how to take back what she said without giving away that she was enjoying this conversation too much to end it. However, she didn't have to because Jason broke the tensed silence calmly, "Did your friend help you then?"
"My friend?"
"The one who came over before Christmas."
"Oh, yeah, sure. He's been there for me when I needed him - or, well when I let him."
"You're like this with everyone then."
"Like what?"
Louisa didn't answer this one, she didn't know the answer and wasn't aware that she seemed guarded to people.
Jason didn't wait for an answer, "Your mum said he seemed like a good friend."
"I have another good friend like him. We're a trio."
"Another boy?"
"Most of my good friends are boys."
"Is it a problem?"
"It's noteworthy."
The corner of her mouth pulled up in a half smile, "Boys don't expect me to sugarcoat my words. They understand my sarcasm and don't hold it against me."
"That's not a general rule."
"That's right. It's why I also have good girl friends."
"They're sarcastic girl friends?"
"No, but they get it."
"Get what?"
"How I work."
He paused then chuckled, shaking his head.
"One of them is the girl my ex is in love with." The words were out of Louisa's mouth before she could control them. She didn't even know why she said that.
"Yes. She was his best friend, she had a crush on him but never showed signs. Not to me. Then it grew unbearable and she had to tell him."
Jason nodded along slowly, but didn't say anything.
"She sought my forgiveness ever since."
"Forgiveness for what?"
"For destroying my relationship."
"You mean for having feelings for a boy?"
Louisa paused, sensing a trick question. A rhetorical one. She nodded slowly. "If you look at it this way."
"I don't see why anyone should ask forgiveness for how they feel."
"It's just... it's not like that. It's how things were and how they turned out to be."
"Did you forgive her then?"
"And him?"
They stared into each other's faces for a moment before Louisa answered, "Yes."
Jason smiled.
"I just wanted him to love me back."
"He probably did. You said he was your boyfriend."
She shook her head slowly, "Not enough to forget the other girls."
"Enough to stay with you for a while."
"That's not love. That's a crush."
"You were a teenager, that's the closest thing you get to being in love."
Louisa blinked and wiped her eyes. "Maybe."
"Did you think you were in love with him?"
She swallowed and looked down at the book. "I don't know."
"Does the answer interest you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Does it matter to you now whether you were in love with him back then or not?"
She had to ponder this, so she tilted her head and tried to find the answer to that.
But when nothing came, Jason spoke again, "Was that the last time you've been emotionally involved with someone?"
"From three years ago?"
"You have your answer, then." He gave her a single nod.
She laughed and wiped her eyes again, "You talk like a Healer."
"You mean like a father." His smile was more relaxed this time.
Louisa leaned her head on the couch's back and hugged her knees. "Maybe."
"How will we know?"
"Know what?"
"Whether I sound like a shrink or a father."
"Mum could tell us."
"She'd be a sobbing mess."
"Yeah. Bawling over how touching this father-daughter bonding session."
"Is this what this is called?"
"No idea. I heard it in movies."
"You still go to movies?"
"My roommate's a muggle."
"You watch movies with her?"
"Not really. He cranks the volume up so high to annoy me, and leaves me with no choice but to comprehend the things he watch."
"You live with a boy?" One of Jason's eyebrows were lifted slightly.
"Is that a problem?"
"It depends."
"A lot of things."
Louisa waited for him to clarify, to elaborate or ask more questions. When he didn't add anything, she pushed, "Well?"
"Well what?"
"Aren't you going to ask me all those questions about why I'm living with a boy, in a far away place?"
"Aren't you worried?" She was ready to be annoyed, hurt even. But he laughed. And in a very bold move, he draped his arm over his daughter's shoulders and pulled her into a one-armed-hug, "Oh, Louisa, I'm worried about so many things. You handling a boy isn't one of them." She felt him put a kiss on her forehead.

Magical Soul 12-16-2013 10:43 PM

Chapter 01
England, London
11:30 pm
Her mum was smiling from ear to ear despite the tears in her eyes. She'd made some food for the way home and allowed Louisa to use her wand for preserving it. It was a twelve hour flight, everything could be ruined. Jonathan had finished his book on time, he'd drawn Louisa's visit in twelve drawings and made her animate them for him. Daniel was leaning against the wall and eyeing his older sister as usual, not showing any emotion, but Louisa knew he was going to miss messing around with her. That one time she turned his head into a pumpkin had been so much fun. To her.
The person she never thought would be there was Jason. When she came to visit them a month ago, she hadn't even dreamed about talking to her step father, let alone getting hugged and allowed to borrow his books.
People talked about a happy comeback home, only now did Louisa understand that phrase, understand how it really felt.
"What if the owl doesn't find an open window?" Jonathan was still worried about not being able to write back to Louisa when everyone gathered in the foyer to say goodbye. Jason insisted on taking her to the airport.
"It'll come down through the fireplace."
"What if there's fire?"
"Jon, don't bother your sister. She's got a long way ahead of her." Pauline, her mother, chided as she fussed over Louisa's scarf. It wasn't wrapped tightly enough or something.
"I'll charm it so it wouldn't burn."
"The owl or the letter?"
"Can't we just email?"
"I don't own a computer."
Jonathan gave a loaded sigh, "We'll write letters then."
Louisa pulled away from her mum and hugged the small frail boy tightly, "I'll send you magical pictures. It's just like I'm here with you."
His short arms wrapped around her scarf and he sniffed. She allowed him to cling for a long moment before pulling away and punching his arm lightly, "Next time I'll be here, I shouldn't have to bend so much." He giggled and nodded.
Daniel refused to make any moves towards Louisa, he remained arm crossed and leaning on the wall. She looked at him expectantly. He stared back.
"Want me to give you a souvenir?"
"I don't want anything."
"Not even a pumpkin?" She grinned.
He hesitated, assessing her words before smirking. "You can't. My dad can ground you."
"Don't be so sure." Jason came from the kitchen with a sandwich in his hand, he playfully tugged on his son's hair as he passed and headed for the door. "I'll wait for you in the car."
Louisa turned to her mum by the door who was pressing her lips together so hard, preventing any crying. Louisa's first rule was no tears.
"Take care and be careful," Pauline hugged her daughter, and breathed in her scent. This was the closest she'd ever gotten to Louisa in a very, very long time. It was like she only got used to her presence to be deprived from it again. "If you need money, you can always write to us. You don't have to work for them." She sniffed, impressed with how strong she could hold her own tears.
"Mum, I'll be fine. I enjoy working and living on a budget. It teaches me responsibility. It's enough you paid for my plane tickets." Louisa pried her mum's arms away from her before she was choked out of life, but she gave her a wide smile. "See you soon." Maybe. But she didn't want to scare her mum by adding that one word so she stepped out the door and waved at them all. The thought of her leaving home finally dawning on her when her little brother's chin started wibbling. Before she started wibbling with him, Louisa raced to Jason's car and slipped inside, the cold had stung her cheeks and made her look flushed.
"They broke the rules and started crying, huh?" He said lazily and started the engine.
"You know your wife's tear ducts are way too generous."
He chuckled and got them out on the main road.
Louisa had plans of going to the airport via a portkey or via a floo station, but Jason insisted to take her himself. It was almost midnight, it wasn't so far away but the notion touched her.
He was acting like a father.
"Are you starting your semester as soon as you arrive?"
The lump that had appeared in her throat faded away, and now she just had to sniff and all tears were held back. "Nah. I've got another month to kill in New Zealand. Looking forward for some sun, and beach time."
She could see him smile in the dark, it made her smile too.

Magical Soul 12-16-2013 10:53 PM

Chapter 02
Wellington, New Zealand
02:30 am
The upside of living with a boy was no one would complain about the untidiness of their flat, or the lack of cooked food in their fridge. Louisa could not waste her time tidy things up or brush up on her nonexistent cooking skills. Mack, had a knack of being the weirdest, softest boy Louisa ever met. He complained about her books being everywhere (which usually meant the floor, the coffee table and the kitchen's counter. That's not everywhere), her failed attempts at cooking stinking the house in the process, and her hair clogging up the shower. Louisa admitted that her cooking was bad enough to complain about, but her hair did not clog any showers, it was him and the fact that he changed colors (the muggle way) every other day.
To top it all, she couldn't bring her cats along because he had a small dog. And his dog despised Louisa and kept attacking her whenever she gave him a frown or a gentle kick to move aside. Though when she had the flu, the dog was the only communication she had with the outside world and he seemed quite happy to deliver the notes she tied to his neck in exchange of drinking her soup. So they weren't always on different terms.

After twelve hours in the plane, and another two trying to reach her house, Louisa fell asleep on her bed when Mack and his dog were outside and the only thing that made her jolt wide awake was something wet tickling her leg.
Mack's dog. Mack laughed out loud from the doorway, leaning with his arm crossed and a wide grin on his face. A smug grin.
"Take your dog away from my leg. Such a pervert." She draped her arm over her eyes and stayed lying down on her bed.
"When are you going to admit you like him?"
Louisa suppressed a grin and bumped the dog with her leg, he whimpered and jumped up on her bed. "Gosh, such an annoying pet." Her eyelids cracked open a little and instantly she got licked with a bad breathed and wet tongue. "Ekhh!" The giggles were a sign to the pet that she liked it though she squirmed away, but he went ahead and sat on her belly, his head hanging over her face. "I'm already dizzy from the flying deathly box, I don't want a dog staring down at me."
At some point, Mack had walked in and flopped down on the chair behind her study desk. "How are you still dizzy from planes? You travel back and forth to England a lot."
That was because she sometimes arranges a series of floo and portkeys. But Mack wasn't a wizard as far as she knew so he wasn't allowed to know.
"Eh." Louisa rolled on her side to look at her flatmate, his dog still taking residence on top of her. "How was your summer?" All she knew about Mack's family was that his parents were divorced, he lived with his father and his sister lived with his mother. It wasn't so bad between the parents though, he mentioned something about different interests being the cause of the divorce.
He shrugged at her question, "Normal. Got around to see old friends and catch up. How was yours?"
Louisa told him nothing about her family. She nodded, "Same. Caught up with the family and friends."
He kept his good natured smile on before clapping for his dog, that sprang off of her and out of her room towards his corner outside. "I'll leave you to continue your... nap or something."
"About time." She grinned, and flopped onto her back again.
"Maybe you'll consider changing into your PJs."
"And taking off your shoes."
"And putting some sheets on."
"And dropping your bags off the bed."
"You barely have enough space on your bed to begin with."
He moved inside the room and gave a small sigh, though he smiled at how reckless and stubborn his blonde flatmate was. He got rid of her shoes for her, carefully put down her bags on the floor and threw a sheet over her. It was getting nippy in the evening. There was something poking out from Louisa's side, something wooden. He bent down frowning and gingerly slipped the stick out so that it didn't poke her while she was asleep.
The stick felt warm in his hands, it had some gravings on it. There was a handle carved on one end too. He held the stick from the handle and his breath caught in his throat when he realized what t his was.
A wand.

Magical Soul 03-09-2014 03:31 PM

Chapter 03
Wellington, New Zealand
03:45 pm

Dear Adam,
I think the reception at your ministry level hates me. It might be due to the fact that I showed up there weekly (one time during Christmas holiday) and asking the same questions to the same employee. They told me you were on an "out assignment", which frankly meant nothing to me other than that you were not available. I hate your job, even though I know you need it and you're probably enjoying it. Do I even have to tell you why I hate it? You're probably laughing at my childish logic right now, realizing that some things in life never change no matter how much we grow up. I can't help but want everything from the people I care about. I want to be able to see everyone, and have them want to see me as much as we used to. Sometimes we get too absorbed in our new life, but whenever there's a moment of freedom from all the obligations, we find ourselves missing our old friends and our ridiculous moments together.

You still haven't visited me in Wellington. You haven't met my roommate and his lovely dog, I bet JB will be all over him. You haven't seen me bungy-jump, swim in a natural spring, or even go sky-diving. I would pay anything to see the look on your face seeing that last one, haha, but no. I haven't gone sky-diving, I'm not crazy.

Generally, I'm doing great in Wellington. I still do stupid mistakes and break people's hearts but my study is going better than I thought. I live with a muggle boy named Mackenzie, he's a sweetheart once you get over his emo lifestyle. My friend in WU is Julie, she's a nerd just like me maybe even worse, but she's a good girl. Mannie is the woman I work with in that diner, she's a struggling tough woman. There's a stalker and obsessive so-called lover called Arapeta whom I plan on punching his face if he ever shows it. Liam is a musician in the university's amatuer band, he's treated me like crap and I intend on turning him into pig's poop soon. Lastly, there's Chinwa my professor, he's professional, brilliant and he sees lots of potential in me.
I want to know everything about your new life, I know about your job and tight living place. I just mean... I want to know how you're holding on. Who are you meeting, did you make new friends? New enemies (I HIGHLY doubt it)? Is there a significant other yet? I'm still annoying the reception center in your level until they agree to give me your direct address.

Louisa xo

Wellington, New Zealand
10:05 pm

Dear Adam,
I feel like I've replaced the word "diary" with your name. I find myself writing every time I'm angry, nervous, or hurt. If only I had the courage to send those letters, but I'm too scared to take a step. I think this is what happens when you take too many steps and you get rejected at every single one of them. The problem is, I regret taking some steps, and I regret not taking other steps. It's so confusing when I try to make sense of the world. I envy you Gryffindors, you guys just act by instinct without calculating the ups and downs and assessing the situation. You just do it, and worry about the consequences later. I wish I was this bold, this spontaneous. I had to be a Ravenclaw and over-think every freaking step I take.

My flatmate got a new girlfriend, it surprised me to no end that he had to pick her so dumb. But then again, boys like dumb girls, they're easy to listen to and usually don't argue (Or maybe that's just an excuse we, the single girls, like to console each other with). Anyway, she came over last night and we were supposed to be meeting for the first time but she seemed to had an already-formed an idea about me, so I acted upon it.

The thing is, I don't care about what she thinks. She's just a dumb, attention seeking girl. What hit me most was how Mack was handling the situation - or well, not handling it. It brought back memories, and eventually I just gave her what she wanted to believe. I acted like a man-stealing tease. She wanted me to be like that? I can be like that, and I can do it with class.

Here I sit in my bedroom, though, wondering why I keep finding myself in that situation. What sucks is that I actually don't know anymore if my charades are turning out to be real, my mock-flirting is turning to actual flirting, my mock-teasing is turning to actual teasing, whether I seriously am boyfriend-stealing kinda girl or not. Then I look to the direction of my friends, the ones who are supposed to stand up for me, and I find them so accepting of those words. Mack isn't the first or the only friend who succumbed to their girlfriend's wishes, but it still surprised me.

Is this what we call 'love', Adam? Blind acceptance to whatever pleases your partner? You know, as long as they're not psychos. Is that how people feel when they're in love? If that is part of being in love, then I can affirmatively say that I've never been in love. Not even mildly. The way I see 'love' is; two people understanding each other's needs and fulfilling them selflessly. I see it as two people accepting each other's minds and opinions before anything else. Love doesn't mean we have to suppress any urge to disagree or say 'no' when our partner is being stupid or unreasonable, right? Because then, how do we live together comfortably and united? If I have to surrender my will to analyze and make decisions in fear of disagreeing with my partner, how will that keep my personality -the one my partner fell in love with- intact?

I know what you'd say about that, though. You always had this ideal view on life, on love. You'd say that it's hard to balance friendships and relationship, especially when you have a lot of mixed friends. You'd say that sometimes it has to come down to choosing between your friend and your sensitive over-jealous girlfriend. And eventually you'll have to choose the one you can't live without. Then I'd tell you that this is all nonsense because if said girlfriend indeed cared about you, she'd see that ruining your friendship would definitely ruin your happiness. And she'd find a way to handle that herself, smart and without making a fuss. If it were me, I'd tell you, I wouldn't put my partner in the position where they need to choose between me and their friends. That's a really complicated situation, believe me I know, because no matter what they'd choose, it's going to break the one left aside.
Probably permanently.

By this point, you'd tell me I was one of the good girls, good smart girls. And that you thought whoever was going to be with me would be a lucky guy. And I'd blush a little then make a joke to ease the intense moment that would pass between us. And you know what, Adam? I think you are the good one, I'm not a good girl. I'm just your average jealous and silly girl, yet you see the good in me. It's buried deep and hidden behind my jokes and sarcasm, yet you manage to see it so clearly and since the beginning. You are the good guy, and any girl would be lucky to be with you.

Anyway, I forgive Mack for not defending me in front of his girlfriend, maybe it's for the best. Maybe this way she'll get off his back and be content that he's on her side, and maybe he's relying on me to understand that this is for the best and that he's still my friend, but his girlfriend doesn't have to see that. It's just getting old to me, Adam, that I need to be the one who should understand and bite the bullet. To be the bigger man, my stepdad would say. It gets boring and draining.

Sometimes I wish there was someone who'd stand up for me, someone who wouldn't be afraid to lose the entire world just to make me happy.
Wellington, New Zealand
07:00 am

Dear Adam,
I should start sending those letters, or maybe burning them. They're becoming too out-of-date, and I just read the first letter, when I first moved in with Mack. I was hilariously naive back then, I'm so glad you didn't read that.
Anyway. The thing is, Adam, every time I want to go to someone and dump my woes on, your face materilize in my head (besides Paulie's face, of course) and all I can remember is how you'd nod confidently and wait for me to just spill everything out. I remember the two months when we had our little... row, I remember how torturous they felt when I couldn't go to you for a little talk. It feels this way now sometimes, and I hate life for setting us so far apart. Maybe all three of us should take some time-off soon and gather in one big house just for old time's sake. Everyone with their partners or kids or whatever. It'll be like a big great party, maybe it'll be as fun and spontaneous as the one I threw in my aunt's house, and this time I promise not to ruin everything by acting too crazy.

I'm writing today not because I'm sad or hurt, I'm writing because I finally know what I want and how I'm going to get it. It took me a lot of... thinking and maybe a little heartbreaking, but I finally know that I'm not after a relationship. I don't want to be attached or emotionally involved with anyone at this stage of my life. I can already see you shake your head at me, but listen to me and you might agree with me on this.

I've had little experience in this field back in school, you're well aware of this, and you understand how it feels like to have your attention taken from you and your heart to be stomped on. It takes so much time, so much effort to make something work between two people, especially when they're over the chemistry attraction and that euphoria of 'love'. After that comes the real things, the serious things, the things that make a relationship work and flourish.

I'm in this country because I want to be the best in my class, I want to be the best in this business, I want to be an ambassador one day and I want to have a real effect on the wizardy world, I can't even afford to have my attention split between personal life and study - not when one of the biggest professors in my university asked me to be his personal assistant! (isn't that great?!) I might get more than one degree, work and study, work and study and eventually I will have this little empire in here. And, oh Adam, if only you knew what I'd do with an empire of my own. First thing I'd do is establish an institute for the wizards and witches from muggle backgrounds. You know how easy their lives would be if they found somewhere to go to during the summer, someone who could tell them about magic? There is no Hogwarts here, and even though I'm sure the institutes do the same as Hogwarts to muggleborns, I'm not so sure the unfortunate parentless kids are given enough attention.

I want to build a school for Squibs, too, because coming from a magical family and having to go to a muggle school is too hard and challenging. Maybe studying a little muggle and a little magic would do them more good than just turning them instantly to a muggle school.

I want to be a part of the decision-maker group in this country, and I want to represent England in here.

I want to do so many things, and I don't want to die without the world to know that I lived, and that I will be missed.

Maybe I'm dreaming too big, too soon, but like I said in the beginning, Adam, I'm not worried about the way my words are going to be interpreted because you get me, you understand me.

And I'm probably too much of a coward to send this letter as well, so it doesn't matter anyway. I hope all is well, I wish you the best with your assignment and work.

Louisa xo

Magical Soul 07-12-2014 06:44 PM

Chapter 04
Wellington, New Zealand
02:30 pm

The line of leaving students extended all the way from the top of the stadium to the bottom where the big double doors were open. Louisa was packing her papers where she stood on the side of the dais, her hands moving in a jerky way. It had been an intense debate, for sure, everybody seemed to enjoy themselves in this seminar as she--once again-- was assigned to face that jerk from the other group, Bernard, in a heated discussion. They had those extra activities where two students would discuss a controversial issue in the wizarding world. And she could swear the professor assigned her with Burn-ow (as he's known in their year) together on purpose. The guy was annoying, arrogant, delivered his opinions with a sassy grin that simply got on her nerves and made her eye twitch.

Today was the seminar before last, and he'd gained the sympathy of the audience and tugged them towards his side. Basically, he won this battle, but Louisa was might determined to win the war come their next and last seminar.
A few papers slipped to the floor as she was descending the few steps, she bent down to get them but the jerk was there first with his dumb grin. "There you go, lady."
Louisa snatched them with a superior look on her face. "Don't pull this lady thing with me, it's offputting." She proceeded to walk towards the doors.
"I don't believe I could do anything offputting." He picked up the pace to walk next to her.
She snorted. "Don't flatter yourself. Your face is offputting."
"Is it the charm? Do I need to tone it down with how charming I am?"
"It's the personality, I think." She made sure to keep her amusement at bay, it was not acceptable to have fun with your opponent.
"Aw come on, look at me, give me one reason why you don't like me. Is it because I constantly beat you?" He blocked her way and started walking backwards. And Louisa was reluctant to admit to herself that he was hilarious trying to get her to be a HAPPY loser by being gross and cute and playing with his hair like that.
Yeah. NO.
"I don't dislike you, Bur-- Bernard." She started to say, noticing a subtle frown on his brow when she began to say his nickname. "I'm just not particularly in talking to you when there's no catch. Feels like a waste of my valubale time." Okay, so, maybe she was a sore loser.
"Let me take you to the party this weekend, and--"
Louisa laughed, cutting him off. "Yeah, no. I'm off dating until I graduate."
"We can pretend it's a--"
"Bye Bernard." She laughed again, passing him and moving further away from him.
"You will like me, Louisa Carter, you just wait and see!" He called after her.
Wellington, New Zealand
02:30 pm

"... and with over sixty percent of the audience's votes, our infamous and opinionated vice president, Louisa Carter, owns the floor of this debate." Applaud erupted as the former Ravenclaw stood tall on the dais, and was handed a certificate of honor.

Bernard was standing close by on the dais, clapping half-heartedly. Lousia was not looking his way, though, she was too busy trying not to laugh at the group of fools sitting in the front seats making silly faces at her. How did she always end up with the goofiest friends?

The professors' committee gave some more announcements about the final examinations and summer school's schedule, then the seminar was over and people were leaving the hall. Louisa waved at her friends letting them know she was joining them in the cafeteria in a moment, she started collecting her papers when Bernard stood in front of her and gave her a smile.
She hugged her paper file to her chest and waited for him to talk.
"I want to say congratulations. I know this is a great deal to you."
"It is. And I worked hard."
"You did. You'll get full credit for this club, I just knew it."
She raised an eyebrow, "You certainly didn't make it easy for me, though."
"Are you disappointed?"
"Well, no, I guess."
"Congratulations again." He extended his arm for a handshake. Louisa accepted it immediately with a smile of her own. "Still off-putting?"
She laughed, "It's wearing off."
"Is it? Or are you just a big sore loser?" He grinned that cheesy grin again, which made her roll her eyes and heading towards the double doors once again. "It's childish, you know. How you get so physically upset when you don't get something you want. That's usually the case with only children."
"I'm not childish, I'm just really.. y'know, determined."
"Eh." He twisted his face, not agreeing with her but also preferring not to push her buttons. "I've never had such challenging partner before, it's been fun. I'm going to miss it."
Louisa realized that she was going to miss the exhausting preparation she had to endure-- weeks and weeks of research and questionnaires before any debate, the nerve-racking minutes she spent on the dais listening to her opponent making holes in her perfect logic. She was going to miss it, too. "Me too."
They made their way in the campus towards the cafeteria building, silent for a few moments.
"You know..." He started. "I'm going back to the states after graduation."
"Your father already prepared a position for you in the Congress?" Louisa knew Bernard's father was some big diplomat in the US.
"Ha ha ha. Not really. Are you going back to London? I heard Chinwa asked you to come work in the university officially once you're done here."
"Yeah, I'm not sure, though." She kept postponing this decision lately. It was keeping her up at night.
Ben nodded, "We have to focus on the finals, first." He scoffed. "Can't believe I'm repeating what Nelly told us." Louisa laughed, agreeing with him. Nelly was their course consultant and she kept emphasizing on their finals; Don't party too hard you have finals next semester, don't have fun too much you have finals to concentrate on next month, don't eat too much your body and mind should be light for finals this year, dont breathe too much it'll burn away your brain cells and ruin your chances of passing the finals next week. Heh.
"Well, good luck to you, Louisa." He leaned in quickly and stole a kiss from her cheek.
"Hey!" She protested half-heartedly, forcing a frown despite the smirk on her mouth. He gave her a wink and retreated with a skip to his walk.
"What's up with him?" Julie's voice came from behind Louisa.
"He's just another dork in my life."

Magical Soul 07-13-2014 01:11 PM

Chapter 05
Wellington, New Zealand
11:15 am

"Oh for Merlin's sake, I don't want your cooties all over my furniture." Louisa snapped, flicking Sergo's arm as she passed him and Julie sharing a kiss on a half-packed box. With Mack gone and her graduation looming, the owner of the flat demanded she got out this week so he could rent it to other students before next semester started. Julie and her boyfriend Sergo offered to help her pack everything up. So far, they had packed two and a half boxes while Louisa packed about six.
"You'll be lucky to catch our cooties." Julie spoke with a giggle, which was barely noteworthy after three years of hanging out with her.
"Oh come on, Lou, you cannot possibly be annoyed at two love birds—" Sergo started but was cut off with a look from his girlfriend. "You know, what, you're right. We apologize. We'll continue with the labor." He rubbed his hands exaggeratedly and turned to the kitchen cabinet behind him.
"That's all I'm asking." Louisa replied with a grin. "And, don't call me Lou. You can't be that thick, Ser, I told you I don't like nicknames." She was wrapping the utensils with old parchments and neatly packing them in a box.
"Why's that, by the way?" Julie chimed in, curiously. She was perched up on the counter handing Sergo what they were packing in the box.
"I just don't."
"You can't tell us that. You're going back to London soon, who knows when we'll see each other again, the least thing you could do is divulge some secrets to us." Just like Louisa, Julie was good with words. But the Kiwi local was way nicer, and had a knack of sugar-coating the cruel words with less overwhelming ones.
"Yeah, tell us some of your dark secrets. You seem to have a world of secrets inside that head of yours."
Louisa couldn't help but chuckle and raise her eyebrows at both of them. "I don't have secrets, actually. I just don't see the point in spilling every detail whenever a situation arises."
Sergo scoffed. "You don't have secrets my behind! You had tons of visitors, friends from home, and we never met any of them. It's like we're your little dirty secret, and I'm sorry but it did hurt my feelings." He gave her a mock pout and placed his hands over his heart dramatically.
While Julie giggled and gave him a kiss, Louisa rolled her eyes and turned away."I didn't do it on purpose." She said, a little sheepishly, "But fine. Lou is how my younger brother said my name for the first time. I don't like anyone else saying it like that."
"Oh." He seemed deflated, almost disappointed with the secret. That caused Louisa to laugh heartily.
"That's not even a proper secret. Tell us about why you keep turning down those poor guys who swoon over you, then." Julie nudged her boyfriend to support her.
"Yeah, yeah! Good one, love. Do tell, miss Carter."
"I don't turn them down on purpose, they're just boring." And it was the truth. "Besides, you say this as if I have a line of adoring fans waiting for my signal."
"Bernard's on the line. He's not boring." Julie let out a dreamy sigh, earning a squinty look from Sergo.
"He's not, but he's not my type." Louisa gestured for them to keep working.
"What's your type? There was poor Arapeta, sensitive and gentleman and has a big lakehouse and that fancy car. But he got the boot when he simply showed up at your place to check up on you."
"He was stalking me!"
"You went back to London without telling anyone, we thought you were dead!"
"Oh for Merlin's sake, he thought I was his girlfriend just because we went out on a few dates. Very mature." She used her wand to seal the box and moved to get another one.
"Okay, what about that other guy? Your friend from London. What was his name?" Julie called after her. "You said he'd had a crush on you since you were fifteen, how come that didn't work out?"
Louisa came back with an empty box, and settled in the living room, across the hall from where they were in the kitchen. "The thing we had in school ended when we left school. We wouldn't have figured that out if we didn't take a chance and go out for a few times."
"Well, to me, it sounds like you're making up excuses." Julie said with a frown.
"To me…" Sergo looked thoughtful. "… you sound like you're waiting for someone. Or something."
The big pile of magazines in Louisa's hand slipped and fell to the floor with an audible thud. She fell to her knees to pick them up. "I am. I am waiting to settle down, start my career and figure out what to do with my life. I don't want to start something and then have it die or fade away because of distance, or busy schedules or not enough chemistry."
"You don't have to get into something so serious." Julie suggested feebly.
Louisa gave her a puzzled look. "What do you mean?"
"She means Bernard's leaving for the states right after graduating ceremony, he's not looking to settle down with someone, he's practically leading the same life as you do. Why not have something fun with him until you're both back to your home?" Sergo explained.
It took the former Ravenclaw a moment to digest what they were suggesting. She shrugged, "I don't think I know how to do that."
They chuckled, but they didn't seem like they were surprised she said that. "We figured. Listen, it's okay, you don't have to do anything you're not ready for. Just don't hold yourself back from the good things you currently have in hope of better things that just may not come in the future."
It was as if Sergo grew a new brain, because what he just said made perfect sense.
Wellington, New Zealand
10:30 pm

The music was blaring inside the stadium; the blinking lights reminded Louisa of one those shock tests they did to your head in St. Mungo's. It was the Saturday before her graduation ceremony, she came back a week earlier on the request of her friends here. When they said everyone was gathering up in the university's stadium, she had no idea they meant literally everyone. She could see Seniors, Juniors, even the freshmen were mingling with adorable puppy looks on their faces.
"Adorable, aren't they?" Someone shouted over the music in her ear. Louisa turned and found Bernard's face inches from hers. "Just like pups."
She nodded and pointed towards the dance floor. "Is that Sergo?" She shouted.
"Yes. He thought wearing the Quidditch team's mascot to a party is liberating."
Louisa couldn't help the fit of laughter that came over her, Sergo's Phoenix's costume looked like a giant chicken.
"I would've worn it if I knew it'd make you laugh this much." Ben gave her a smirk and a wink.
"When will you ever stop trying?" She laughed.
"Never. Isn't that what we learned? The minute you stop negotiating is the minute you lose everything."
She pulled her mouth to the side in a crooked smile, impressed a little. "Want to harass Sergo on the dance floor?"
"I thought you'd never ask." He handed his drink to a random person and took her hand.

She wasn't a great dancer. Louisa knew how to waltz thanks to the few dance lessons they took in school but other than that, she never showed interest in developing her dancing skills. Even when she went out with her friends to a dance party or to a club, she was rarely on the dance floor.
Tonight, though, Louisa let those inhibitions down.
She jumped on Sergo, the mascot, causing him to lose his balance a little. He flailed his arms and reached behind him to grab at her leg. Ben was there, though, he searched for the costume's zipper while Louisa distracted Sergo. It took a moment or two to find that tricky plastic thing, and when Ben pulled it down, Louisa was dancing wildly with the mascot and making sure he never felt anything.
One moment Sergo was in a big costume the second he was standing there with a chicken's head and his underwear. The erupt of laughter wasn’t heard over the music but Louisa saw people doubling over and pointing at him, Julie was one of them even. It took the poor guy a minute to get rid of the giant head and when he did, he had a bright red face, looking around frantically searching for her probably.

Ben grabbed her hand again and they fled the dance floor towards the stairs between the seats, she kept looking back at Sergo who had thrown his costume to the side and settled with dancing in his underwear and hairy legs. A fit of laughter hit her at that sight and by the time they reached the top bench, she could feel her heart racing and her eyes watering.
“Best view of Hairy Bary.” Ben shouted in her ear, his voice shaking with laughter too.
Louisa sat on the bench next to him and propped her legs up on the bench in front of them. “I could sit here and watch all night!”
“Well, good things I prepared some—“ he fished out two cans of soda. “—refreshments.” With a grin, Louisa took hers and was about to snap it open when Ben held her hand and flashed his white teeth in a smirk. “Let’s make it a little more challenging.” And he started shaking them.
“Hey!” Louisa laughed, wrestling her can from his hands.
“Okay, on three. Ready? Set, go!” Both cans exploded into streams of foam gushing up and soaking their arms and laps. Louisa leaned forwards with her mouth wide open trying to drink the river of exploding soda. They did not stop here, though, one minute they were trying to drink the next Ben was shaking his soda towards her which was what started the chasing. Louisa followed him, jumping over the benches and synching her movements with the loud music as the rush was her main drive. They chased, they splashed each other with soda, they fell down few steps, they danced, and when the clock struck midnight the paint started shooting down on the crowd hitting Louisa hard in the back, in the side, and on the head but she could feel nothing but excitement and the laughter bubbling in her chest.

The crowd went crazy with the colorful waterfall of paint, the dancing rhythms sped up and the crowd started singing the wellington’s WU slogan. Louisa was jumping and singing her heart out feeling like she was a part of a bigger body, an extension of a unison, something she created for herself here in New Zealand, something she was proud of. At some point, Ben found her in the midst of all the paint and the dancing crowd, with a big grin on his painted face he caught her chin with his fingers and leaned in to touch his lips to hers.
-- The End --

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