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 A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake]

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Lucia Henley

Lucia Henley

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PostSubject: A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake]   A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake] EmptyTue Apr 15, 2014 12:07 pm

Lucia had been walking around for a long time. She was feeling queasy and her mind was reeling. She had been thinking a lot about what she was about to do, and nothing could stop her now. But still, it was a rather unfamiliar feeling, being this anxious and nervous at the same time. What if he didn't want to leave? She once again reminded herself that it was only for the summer. For now. Lucia had never been the type to see herself in the future as a mother. She didn't know how that would even work. But something about this kid made her feel so protective. He deserved better than this.

She finally reached the place in Winchester after having apparated, she frowned at the look of the orphanage. Sure, it wasn't the worst building she'd ever seen, but it was dark and moody. The building seemed like a rather depressive place to live. Lucia was dependent on light and nice colors to make her feel good and happy. This place obviously didn't know the first thing about psychology. Keeping kids in this dark and crude place. That was more than Lucia could comprehend. Idiots...

Lucia suddenly realized that she had - unknowingly - quickened her pace. Her mind quickly made the conclusion that the reason for this was because she wanted to get him out of there instantly. She reached the door and opened it, not alerting anyone of her presence before she reached a sort of reception. A man was standing behind the desk. He looked at her and narrowed his eyes. He asked her what she wanted and Lucia's eye twitched in annoyance at his sour voice. "I'm here to pick someone up," she said, her voice straining to keep a gentle and formal tone.

The man's demeanor changed instantly from sour to overly kind. "Adoption, madam? Well, we have many fine candidates," he started saying and wouldn't let Lucia interrupt before he had taken out quite a few photographs. He started listing them up and Lucia let him, curious to see what pictures they had. She noticed that quite a few of them looked rather sullen, with a mere ghost of a smile on their lips, but most of them was smiling in an exaggerated way, probably talked into smiling, otherwise they'd never get a family. As he finished the photos, Lucia tilted her head to the side. "Is that all of them?" she asked the man. He nodded. "Yes, they are quite a fascinating specimen, all of them. Deep personalities and joyous kids. We didn't know you'd be here, madam, if we did, we'd have let you see them all in person!" he said, and Lucia noticed that he looked slightly troubled, even stressed. She raised an eyebrow.

"I don't doubt you'd have them all lined up, that's my mistake for coming without telling. But I'm looking for a specific person, who was not in the photographs," Lucia said calmly, and the man's eyes drifted from her face to some other random place and back, obviously under a lot of pressure now. "I-I don't know what you're talking about," he stuttered, "The person you're looking for m-must have been adopted already." He made a great effort in keeping his voice steady. Lucia sighed and straightened up, her hand going into her pocket to find the handle of her wand.

"I am looking for a boy called Blake Ralston. Now, please take me to him," she said, her voice still formal, but not half as gentle. The man took a deep breath. "I would, madam, it's just that … he … we can't … he's a very special case, madam," the man said. "And so am I," Lucia said, her voice leaving behind the formality and going quite a deal chillier. The man made a weird movement, and Lucia sighed again, going back to the nice person she was. "Look, mister, I am just going to give him a home for the summer. I am not adopting him. Let me take him." The man seemed to be thinking. So much so that his face turned a nasty shade of purple, before he finally settled on something. "I can't," he said firmly. Lucia closed her eyes in resignation and when she opened them, her wand was forth, sending a thought to the man's brain. Her wand was out of sight when his eyes finished glazing over.

"Of course, madam, I will take you to him," he said and Lucia smiled gratefully to him. "Thank you so much, sir," she said happily and let herself be escorted up a set of stairs and through a few hallways. One thing this place was, was big, but the walls were dark and the lighting was dim. People couldn't be happy here…

And then she was standing outside a door. The man nodded and Lucia smiled. "I can take it from here," she said lowly, and he walked away. Lucia turned to the door and inhaled. She then knocked on the door and waited patiently for whatever came next.

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Blake Ralston
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Blake Ralston

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PostSubject: Re: A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake]   A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake] EmptyTue Apr 15, 2014 10:14 pm

Blake lay on his bed, staring at the grey ceiling, but his thoughts were far away. He sighed when he remembered his summer memories with fondness. Summer memories, it sounded like it wasn’t even summer anymore. But nope, since Blake had returned from his outing to The Netherlands and the great esteemed Vanderberg’s adobe time had seemed to slow down immensely to Blake. And he didn't count this as fond summer memories, or even memories just a time that he had to suffer through. It appeared like Blake had been stuck in this hell for eternity. He released some of his frustration by punching his pillow, not that it did much good. His pillow had been getting bawdier and bawdier in the past few days.

Blake had got some greeting and he laughed mirthlessly as he recalled being locked up as soon as he returned. He always knew the caretakers thought he was some evil spawn of the devil, but locking him up and refusing him any daylight was some sort of plan blown way out of proportion. Blake thought it was a joke, but day three and he was still stuck in the colourless box room. There was no escaping with his adventures to London, never mind any chance of enjoying the last of the sunshine. It seemed he was destined to be miserable. Blake attempted to sit up, but then he was greeted with the contents of his room. The unused bed, as he wasn't allowed a roommate, not that he wanted one. His dusty lamp which emitted a very faint light, his blank colourless walls and a room void of any personal belongings, bar one. That was all that greeted him and each item appeared just as he felt, drained of all life.

Blake looked around trying to find something of interest in the room, and his eyes fell on the one item that decorated the room and that Blake had bothered to unpack. It was a photo-frame, containing a still-life of himself and his friend, Hunter, only taken that summer. Blake laughed humorously to himself as he remembered the trip with fondness once more, he would even trade having to spend the entire time in Aoife's company if he got to get out of here.

Blake was drifting in and out of unconsciousness, too bored and depressed to do anything else, when a loud knock disturbed him from his light slumber. “WHO IS IT?” He called, annoyance lacing his voice. He presumed it was the little annoying twins, Billy and Anna, back to poke more fun at him some more. Most children had learned to leave him alone at this stage, but Blake actually liked having some company. If that's what you could call their annoying and snide remarks. Blake still lay on his bed, unmoving, he hadn’t even been eating much since his return and all energy seemed to desert him for the time being. But then the thought occurred to him that the twins wouldn’t knock, they’d just announce their presence loudly, very loudly. And the guys that ran the hell hole, or whatever they called it, never bothered to check on him anymore so Blake really was at a lost as to whom it was. Curiosity getting the better of him Blake managed to muster up enough motivation to roll himself off the bed and slinked across the room, cursing to himself in the process as he tried to not trip over the randomly skewed objects which had fallen out of his open suitcase.

Blake greeted his visitor with surprise and then disdain, wondering why he was being visited. Oh God, had he failed potions and was getting thrown out of Hogwarts as a result? Blake’s face drained of colour at this thought, he almost slammed the door in the woman’s face refusing to hear the ill news. But then he restrained himself once he remembered whom he was dealing with. “Professor?” Blake said in greeting. “Uhm, how did you find me?” Blake dumbly questioned, afterwards thinking of all the other things he could have asked.  

“Oh right, sorry.” Blake said, moving away from the doorway, wondering if she wanted to come in. Blake didn't know what else to do or say. Asking straight out what had possessed her to come to this excuse of a home in the middle of nowhere seemed a bit rude, so he bit back his retort and remained standing as there was only one chair in the room.

He returned to his bed, opting to sit this time. As he waited for Professor Lucia to proceed Blake was quickly reminded of the time he was offered a place into Hogwarts and how someone had visited him in the same room. He wondered if now that he was getting a second visitor if he was going to be kicked out, how ironic he thought. Looking around the room he realised how its appearance hadn't changed over the years, but that he really had. He felt like he was building a life for himself, centering around forging friendships and enjoying himself. As he eyed anywhere, but the woman who's appearance looked out of place in his room, he began noticing how bare his room seemed now. His picture on the nightstand beside his bed really did stand out as the only colour in the room and personal belonging. The worry and anticipation was starting to mount for him as he wondered if he’d ever have the chance to return to the school that provided his only release from the depression that seemed to be mounting.

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Lucia Henley

Lucia Henley

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PostSubject: Re: A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake]   A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake] EmptyFri Apr 18, 2014 12:24 am

Lucia was rather surprised at the annoyed answer at her knocking on the door, but she a moment later, she quickly made the conclusion that this wasn't so weird after all. He probably disliked everyone in this place. She would've. Of course he might have a friend or two here, but considering how displeased he had looked when she had brought it up in her office, it didn't seem like he had anyone.

She contemplated saying who it was, but she figured he might think it was a trick. Not that anyone probably knew her name, but still, a twelve-year-old didn't think everything through. So she stayed silent until she heard rustling on the other side of the door and smiled softly as the door opened. What she had expected his reaction to be was not this. Blake seemed ready to slam the door in her face after he realized who it was. Lucia suddenly thought she oughtn't have come here, but quickly thought otherwise. He would be better off somewhere else. Anywhere else.

She smiled at him. "We found you the first time, didn't we?" she asked rhetorically. She looked at him. He looked skinnier than usual. It didn't seem like they'd stopped giving him food altogether, but he obviously didn't get enough nutrition here. She didn't frown, she didn't want to show him how upset she was with this place.

As he backed away to give her some space, she entered the room and instantly her eyes fell on the one personal artifact there. A picture of him and mr. VanDerberg. And otherwise, only bare walls. She briefly grit her teeth before relaxing again and turning back to him. She gestured to the room, and basically everywhere around here. "Cheerful place," she said, her voice ironic, a ghost of a joking tone in it.

She then took on a more serious face. "You're probably wondering why I'm here," she said softly, "Well, let me ease your mind by saying it's nothing bad." She squinted, trying to find the right way to phrase her next words. "Blake, when you entered my office all those months ago, asking for my help, something about you made me consider a few things I've never even thought of before," she started, holding his gaze, wanting him to understand the seriousness of the situation. "And I wanted to help you. Not out of sympathy, or because I felt sorry for you, but merely human compassion. And now, I'm here, because I want to offer you the chance to stay with me this summer until you return to Hogwarts," she told him, her eyes now so steady, searching for whatever his reaction would be. "You're of course free to stay if you will, that is completely your own decision. And you won't be removed from being my assistant when you return to Hogwarts," she said, a twinkle in her eyes at that statement.

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Blake Ralston
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PostSubject: Re: A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake]   A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake] EmptyFri Apr 25, 2014 10:57 pm

Blake could not find enough surprise in himself to wonder why the Professor was still acting so nice to him after he was being so rude. He was still too preoccupied on wondering why she was here in the first place. Their introduction could have gone way better, but he really was taken by surprise. That was probably obvious since it took him a while to make it back to his bed, his movements feeling controlled and self conscious.

Blake did not have time to answer the woman’s question as he was still gaping at her trying to make sense of the situation when she marched on past him into the room. He could not help noticing the slight look of disdain that was on her face and he wondered if it was because of his room or just the place in general. He would never invite any of his friends over when he was younger, who would want to hang out in an orphanage anyway? So no one he felt close to had ever seen where he lived and now that Professor Henley was standing in the middle of his room he felt vulnerable and suddenly protective and the need to defend his living quarters.

Blake had been here long enough to see the effect that the place had on people, especially children. They came in happy and the longer they stayed the more depressed they appeared. And the same thing seemed to be affecting him and he was only here a few days. Poor kids, at least he knew he was leaving again soon.

But then relief washed over him at Professor Henley's comment and his own chuckle could be heard too, adjacent with her laughs. He was still terse as he sat uncomfortably on the edge of his bed, wondering what punishment was about to be dealt out. He couldn't see anything positive coming from his head of house having to take time out of her holidays to visit him, she probably went to some trouble finding the place too. It was't like there was a friendly brochure for expectant visitors.

Then Professor Henley began talking, trying to put him at ease. That just made Blake even more worried, what else could she be here for? And then she said 'because I want to offer you the chance to stay with me this summer until you return to Hogwarts.' Blake quickly turned his gaze away from the peeling wall and looked his professor straight in her eyes, shocked. He stared at her for a few, short moments, trying to discern if she was telling the truth. He was not anything special, she hoped he was not taking pity on him. He hated nothing more, but then he realised that she had never displayed anything of the sort towards him before. If anything she was courteous and helpful. Yes, helpful was the word.

He bit down on his lip, remembering what he had learnt in Hogwarts; he could trust people and not everyone was out to hurt him. It took Blake a long time to realise it and anything he did up until that point was becoming destructive to his social life. He knew now was a time when he had to put his faith and trust into someone else's hands. And he felt he could do that, Professor Henley was his first ever teacher that had offered him help and made him feel like he wasn't totally useless.

And then it sunk in. He could not believe the opportunity he was receiving.  She was trying to help him.  A smile slowly formed at the edges of Blake’s lips as he realised this thought. And he realised the opportunity he was been given. Blake leaped off his bed, delighted. He was getting out of this place. Days before he expected it. “Yes." he muttered more to himself.

And then the full weight of her words hit him. "YES, of course!”  The words tumbled out of his mouth and he did not even pause to see if she was finished talking. His thoughts were elsewhere. Like how he would be able to pack his things in the most efficient way to get out of here as quick as possible. He wanted to hug the woman, his saviour. But then he remembered she was a professor. Anyway all he wanted to do was leave the place as soon as possible so he turned his thoughts back to his belongings, which were mainly piled up around his suitcase. "We can leave now, right?" He paused in the middle of chucking in his school robes haphazardly. As he looked up at his professor a permanent smile was now plastered on Blake's face and he couldn't remember the last time he genuinely smiled in the room he was supposed to call home. He was now wondering if she was always this nice, even outside of school when it was not her job.

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Lucia Henley

Lucia Henley

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PostSubject: Re: A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake]   A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake] EmptyTue Apr 29, 2014 9:07 pm

Lucia had a feeling that Blake didn't catch more of her speech than her request for him to stay with her, but never in her life had she given more a damn in anything. His response, though having been a bit silent and seemed to have made time stop, was much more than she had dared to hope for. He must really hate this place… She watched him with a smile as he rushed to start packing. She didn't try to stop him, but when he turned around, she was glad to see a big smile still on his face.

Lucia sighed. "Most certainly," she said softly, and drew her wand, pointing at the things around the suitcase, and with a simple, non-verbal spell she waved her wand and the things packed themselves into the suitcase. She looked around the room and at the picture on the nightstand. "Anything else you'd like to bring with you?" she asked, knowing he'd bring the picture, but she was curious to see if he had anything else hidden away in the room. She doubted it. This wasn't a place where people would care what was stowed away.

She got the chills again, thinking about how long Blake had had to stay at this place. Lucia really wasn't sure how this would all turn out, but she was sure that if no one had taken him in for next summer, she wouldn't be able to sleep at night if she didn't know he was a safe distance from this place. How the government could let places stay like this was beyond her. This was why she really couldn't stand muggle policy. They seemed to only think about money and nothing of the important kind. And that was so gruesome that she felt her fingers tighten around the handle of her wand for a second, before placing it in her back-pocket.

"Ready to go?" she asked joyously, now very sure he'd pretty much storm out of the place to get away. And it was rather reassuring, now knowing he actually wanted to stay with her. Even though it might simply be because her home would be better than this stinky hole.

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PostSubject: Re: A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake]   A Nice Place for the Summer [Blake] EmptyTue Apr 29, 2014 10:15 pm

Blake swiveled his head around the room as he watched the rest of his possessions flying into his suitcase, more efficiently than he would have ever managed. He had to learn that! He was in the middle of closing his case when the professor interrupted him. He looked up at her and followed the direction of her gaze. Oh yeah, how could he forget that! He jumped up quickly, retrieving his only personal possession, the photo frame. She looked expectantly at him, as if she was waiting for him to pack up some more personal belongings, but this was the only one Blake had or cared to have. Before his time at Hogwarts the frame contained the only photo he had of himself with his parents, but the photo of Hunter and himself had replaced that. The photo with his parents lay behind the one of his friend and he couldn't remember the last time he had looked at it. It's not like he wanted to forget them, but he had been disowned and he knew it was time to move on. He had been in the orphanage long enough to realise the bitter fact. "Nope." He said confidently, a smile still remained on his face although it was a little fainter.

But no time to be wasting on that, he thought determinedly. Blake picked up his photo frame and deposited it safely in his case and without a second thought left promptly marched from the room, glad to be free of the shackles it placed on him. He felt a wave of confinement lift off him as he entered the hall and he truly was beaming from ear to ear. It was actually happening, he was leaving the place and didn't have to spend the rest of his holidays miserable. "So, what did you have to do to find me?" Blake questioned now that he was sure he was leaving with the woman he felt he could ask the question the question. As he knew for a fact his caretakers would not have made it an easy task. Although to someone who possessed magic it was probably a pretty simple task.

"What now, Professor?" Blake asked, looking up to the woman once they had reached the threshold of the orphanage and and all he could hear was the rush hour traffic. She hardly took the train here he guessed, but how would they travel now and where did she even live. He had so many questions! "So where do you live?" He tried not to sound too inquisitive and tried to act casual. He wondered what a professor of Hogwarts did for the summer. Did they all band together and go holidaying together? Hardly, he scrunched up his nose at that idea. Blake realised he knew nothing about the professors outside the walls of Hogwarts, if they had family or where they located for the summer. They hardly presided in the castle on a permanent basis. Well he was about to find out what one of them did for the summer months at least.

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