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No Smile Today

October 5th, 2009 (02:06 am)

current location: Gettin' home
current mood: depressed

She might as well've said "Crucio!". 'Least, that's what it feels like.

No, wait. I felt one o' those once. This is worse. Mebbe this is what Avada Kedavra feels like. Only I got left alive. Wishin' right now that somebody'd take care o' that for me.

I didn't see it comin'. Probably shoulda. But I didn't. S'posed I was doin' the right thing, I did, makin' money, takin' care o' the business with Geordie so that in case...you know, just in case...

But it wasn't enough for Astrea. I wasn't enough for her.

Not sure how I got so wrapped up in thinkin' that was what she'd want, too, what I did. Mebbe I was thinkin' more long-term than she was all along. She was young, after all. Not much chance I'll ever find out for sure now.

Speakin' o' now, it's really kinda thick o' me, but I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I've wished her well, which I really mean, mind, and she's left. I want her happy. I do. Even if she's happiest without me.

And now I'm just sittin' here where I kinda slumped, sorta halfway feelin' like a Dementor's sucked my guts out and that I'll never move again, and halfway like I just wanna be anywhere else but here.

Somethin' else I can't have both ways.

My mind's kind of a tangled web of loops, runnin' things over an' over like what I coulda done better, and what I said wrong, and times we had that I thought were great but maybe she didn't, and -

Prongs. Drivin' myself mad. I gotta shake myself loose and if nothin' else, get my arse home before I turn into a blitherin' mess.

So I force my legs to lift me, and my feet to move, and my face to try and hold a look that's anything but stricken. I'm not sure I trust myself to Apparate without adding a good splinch to my list o' woes, so I walk, hopin' to Pads I don't look as weary as I feel.

At least it's not far I have to walk to the shop - well, to the Chez, really. There's no way I'm goin' in the shop like this. Geordie's got the helm anyway, and once I get myself tucked away and locked inside o' home, I'll call down an' tell 'im I'm comin' down with some dreaded disease so I won't be back.

I'll tell him the truth later. He'll guess it anyway iffin I don't, and I know he'll do all he can to make me feel better - and probably be able to do it, some.

But first I gotta get there. I don't walk the Alley much, but usually when I do, it's because it's a gorgeous day outside, and my legs need a stretch, and life is beautiful. I say hello to all the shop owners I know, toss 'em a joke or two, take the mickey outta the ones I can.

Not so today. Just sorta limpin' for home fast as I can get there.

I keep my eyes to the ground and really hope nobody'll notice me.

"Oi, Fred!"

Yeah. Ferdie Russell. Runs the little smoke shop down the block from the Wheezes. Bloke's got a bad case o' claustrophobia, he does. Claims he Apparated himself inside a wall once and couldn't get his wand up to get out. So he spends most of his time outside his shop, in all kinds o' weather, bellowin' at the passersby.

"Merlin's dangly bits!" he says. "Looks like ya lost your best mate, matie!"

I try to shove somethin' lookin' vaguely like a smile through my lips. "Nah," I answer. "George is still there at the shop, Ferdie. Just have a feelin' I'm comin' down with somethin'. Mebbe that owl flu they say's been goin' around."

"Ya need any help there?" he asks cordially. "Getting yerself home?"

"Nah, that's alright, thank ya kindly," I tell him, wishin' he'd just turn to smoke himself and blow off in the wind. Still, I know he's only tryin' to be nice and it's me what's got the attitude problem. "I wouldn't want you to be catchin' it and passin' it on to the missus. 'Sides, I'm just about there. Much obliged, though."

"Alright, well - I'll have Agatha send over some of her special chicken soup later on," he says. "That'll heal ya up right quick! Hope ya feel better soon, Fred!"

"Yeah," I say. "Thanks, Ferdie - and my best to Aggie too, eh?"

I stumble off, fast as I can manage. Shite, that was a struggle, and the last thing I wanna do is to have to talk to anybody except George, so I hurry on, fast as I can.

Minutes later, I'm standin' in front of the door of the Chez, undoin' all the wards and thinkin' Geordie and I gotta find a way to shortcut these bloody things even more than we have already. I finally get the door open and throw myself through, shuttin' it behind me and re-setting all the wards.

Then I slump back against the door and slide to the floor, relieved I can finally lock the world outside.

If only I could shut all this pain out there with it...