Merlin's Academy for Excellence
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     A Well Needed Break (Parker)

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    Devin Brennham
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    PostSubject: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:21 pm

    It was late one Saturday morning and Devin was bored out of his mind. Essays had been done ages ago - they were all mostly easy ones - and any other homework had also been completed. This was one of the few rare days where he was actually thankful for that brain of his, because it meant he could explore the village nearby instead of being cooped up indoors like the rest of the others.

    Slipping on his coat, he left his house and made his way down the short road towards the village he had grown to love. There were always new things that he was discovering, different paths and shortcuts, unique locations only accessible by certain routes... He never got tired of just walking around and having the freedom to just forget.

    Today, however, he was tired. Not physically, no - mentally and emotionally. He was already in his second year of studies, his second year of doing something he hated because he couldn't bring himself to tell his parents otherwise. Not only that, but he had recently gotten an owl from his mother telling him that the time to get engaged was nearing, and that they couldn't put it off any longer, not even for his studies. They were in the process of sorting through applicants and wanted to know if Devin had changed his mind about them choosing, and if he would perhaps like to see the narrowed-down list. He had, of course, said no at once, and there was yet to be a response to that.

    There was truly only one thing that ever made him smile when he was feeling like this, but it was also the one thing that made Devin ache for more: Quidditch. His broomstick had been the latest model until about a week ago, when a new version had been released and since then, he had been longing to get his hands onto it. Luckily he had just enough money on his persons to purchase it without having to ask his parents to send him more, and would therefore avoid any awkward conversations as to why he needed the cash. They, of course, did not know that Devin still flew at every opportunity, for he kept it a secret from everyone and anyone he knew.

    Stepping into Spintwitches, he looked around, deciding that a short detour towards the 'Broomstick Care' section wouldn't be too bad - he did, after all, have the entire day to waste. Moving towards it, he smiled a little, already feeling just a tad bit better.
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    Parker Emery
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:30 pm

    With a heavy sigh, Parker dragged himself out of bed - once again awake much later than he would have liked. Even after a fairly solid twelve hours of sleep, his weariness had not at all been relieved... if anything, he felt even more tired. God, he hated this.

    After brushing his teeth and slowly changing clothes, he sat at the foot of his unmade bed for about fifteen minutes, resting his face in his hands as he tried to gain composure. He couldn’t remember the contents of his dreams with any clarity, but the feelings they left behind made him feel sick. And pathetic. There wasn’t even any reason for him to be feeling so horrible. Why was it so hard for him to get out of bed, feed himself, talk to people, go to work, simply do anything? He hadn’t felt so bad since the summer after fifth year, when he almost -- no, no Parker. Don’t go there. Just don’t.

    He roughly tugged both hands through his shaggy, tangled hair with a groan. And then grabbed his hoodie off the floor and pulled it on over his plain white t-shirt. He needed to get out, go somewhere. Didn’t matter where - just some place new.

    Walking through Avalon, Parker couldn’t shake the heavy, unfulfilled feeling that weighed him down. Each step felt like it required so much more energy than normal. All the people passing him by made him feel more and more outside of himself - alienated from the ease at which they seemed to go through life. Maybe going into town was a bad idea?

    He found himself stopping in front of Spintwitches, gazing up at the newest broom model with unfocused eyes. How odd was it that he had such an interest in the sport when even the thought of him flying was frightening? How could he expect himself to be an on-field medic? Why did he even think he’d be able to handle the heavy burden of healer work when he barely had a grasp on himself?

    Parker found his way into the shop, taking his time to stroll through every aisle and look at all the products they sold - even though there would never be any reason for him to buy anything Quidditch-gear related. He picked up or ran his hands over whatever caught his eye - tactile sensation keeping him grounded and out of his darkened thoughts. He stood in the middle of the Broomstick care section, reading the labels on various wood polishes for some reason, not paying attention to his surroundings at all.
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:03 am

    Entering the isle, Devin was moving straight towards the section where he knew his favourite brand of wood polishing was - he wanted to check to see if it was suitable for the wood used for the latest broom - when he noticed another wizard was standing right in front of it. Stopping next to him, Devin cleared his throat once, waited for a moment, and then politely said, "Excuse me, please," just as he was taught to.

    Honestly, he couldn't understand people who did things like that: stand in the middle of the isle without bothering to move to one side so people could pass. He also found it particularly irritating when they got so distracted by what they were doing that they didn't give the time of day to whatever happened around them. The male before him seemed to be doing both, but since it was about Quidditch, one of the few things Devin truly loved, he was slightly more forgiving about it.

    Reaching around the man to grab the one he needed, he couldn't help but realize that this other person didn't seem to know what he wanted. Normally, Devin wasn't one to care about things like this when it came to strangers, but there was something about the demeanour of this particular wizard that caught his attention. What it was exactly, he couldn't place, but it was almost as though he (the man) was reading the tins for the sake of reading, and not because he was curious about it.

    It was interesting, and Devin was curious at once - as was his Ravenclaw nature. Still, he didn't exactly want to interrupt whatever the wizard was doing, nor did he want to strike up conversation about random things. So, instead, he let out the breath he didn't know he was holding and started with, "I don't mean to disturb you, but do you need help choosing?" This seemed like more than enough for the moment, but he decided to add one more thing, just so the man knew he wasn't looking for long-winded conversation. "What broomstick is this for?"
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    Parker Emery
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:21 am

    Parker snapped his head up, half startled by the throat-clearing right beside him. It took him a moment too long to force any sort of reaction as he made brief, awkward eye contact with the other wizard. “Ah, sorry about that--” he mumbled, setting the polish back onto the shelf and stepping aside, out of the way. He probably should have just left the aisle since he wasn’t even actually looking for anything, but that would be awkward, right? So shoving one hand into the pocket of his (Ballycastle Bats) hoodie, he randomly picked up another jar of polish, looked it over, set it down and grabbed another to make it look as if he was trying to find something specific.

    From the corner of his eye, Parker noticed the other man grab for what he wanted from the shelf before focusing back on the ugly character that decorated whatever this particular brand of polish was. Parker found himself wondering what model of broom he flew - probably a nice, pricey one, given the way he dressed and held himself. A sigh brought Parker up from his thoughts again and he looked over towards the other wizard again.

    "I don't mean to disturb you, but do you need help choosing? What broomstick is this for?"

    An innocent question, sure, but Parker completely blanked. He didn’t want to just lie and try to fake his way through a well-intentioned conversation, but he also didn’t want to seem weird by saying he was just reading the jars for the hell of it, because he had nothing better he wanted to spend his time doing. “Uhm...” He glanced back down to the jar in his hand, and turned it over before placing it back int the shelf. “I was just, uh, comparing brands...” He inwardly winced, sounding so stupid to his own ears.

    He then glanced back over to the one the other man was holding, and motioned towards it. “What brooms is that one best for?” He asked, trying to divert the conversation.
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    Devin Brennham
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:35 am

    The apology came as expected - for he was quite sure that the man in front of him had not purposely meant to be rude - and Devin smiled a little. "No worries," he said simply, turning his attention back to the can he held and scanning the 'Suitable For:' section and frowning a little when he realized it would not work with the latest broom.

    Wrinkling his nose, he let out a tiny huff of annoyance. Now he had to spend time choosing another brand, and testing. Honestly he didn't really mind the process, it was just that he wasn't in the mood for comparing prices and brand reviews, and he only used the best for his broomstick - or anything flying/Quidditch related, really.

    So, when the man beside him told him that was exactly what he was doing, Devin's smile grew just a little more. There was nothing quite like finding people who thought the same as you, or went about things the same way. While conversation about petty things was never something Devin did, there was always the exception when it came to Quidditch or broomsticks, and so he was already preparing himself for doing just that - making actual conversation. It was one of the rare occasions, and Devin knew that the other wizard would not realize just how a rare situation this was.

    Placing the can back on the shelf, Devin grabbed another one at random as he answered, "That's for the older firebolt. I'm looking for another brand, because that doesn't work with the latest model." Again looking at the types of wood this particular one polished best, he shook his head to himself and put it back. "What are you looking for?" he asked, honestly curious.
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    Parker Emery
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:53 pm

    While Parker’s intention had been to somehow weasel his way out of having a conversation with the wizard, it appeared as if he’d only dug himself deeper judging by the other’s smile. Great, he sighed internally. He was really not up for this, but he did his best to gather his composure and indulge the other man. It wasn’t all bad, was it? After all, they both apparently enjoyed quidditch (though in different ways). And it had felt like ages since he last talked with someone over the sport (or, well, just the equipment in this case so far).

    So he returned a polite smile, watching as the other man grabbed another jar at random and read it over as he spoke. “That's for the older firebolt. I'm looking for another brand, because that doesn't work with the latest model."

    Parker gave a curt nod to indicate he was listening. Latest model just like he thought, though his expression looked rather impressed as he glanced back towards the direction of the door. “The latest - you mean the one they’ve got a model of in the display case out front?” Parker could never really bother keeping up with all the ‘latest models’ that seemed to come out almost every other week. Besides wanting to hold a conversation with broom-enthusiasts, why would he ever bother to?

    "What are you looking for?"

    “Erm, well...” Parker faltered, realizing there really wasn’t a point in trying to cover up any more. “To be honest, I don’t - I don’t actually own a broom.” He hesitantly admitted with an uncomfortable shrug.
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:00 am

    Smiling slightly as the man indicated towards the front of the shop, Devin nodded. He was one to always keep up with anything and everything Quidditch and flying related, but he understood that not everyone did, and still respected them for it - as long as they didn't diss the sport altogether, they were alright by him. "The Firebolt Extreme Mark Two - or FEM Two," he said, shrugging lightly. "I have Mark One at the moment." The potioneer-in-training honestly wasn't bragging or trying to show off. For him, he was merely stating facts as he saw them, never once with the smallest ounce of anything other than that.

    Frowning slightly, he added, "Excuse me for a moment," before raising his hand to get the attention of a passing shopkeeper. "What brands are the best for the FEM Two?" he asked, curtly, tone polite but firm, showing that he knew exactly what he wanted and didn't need anything else. After being told of three brands, Devin thanked the man and set about finding them, turning most of his attention back to the other wizard.

    At the sort-of confession, Devin raised an eyebrow just a tad bit higher. Who looks at wood polishes without a broom? was the first thought in his mind, but not in a cynical or sarcastic manner; he was honestly and truly curious. Obviously it's not something he's proud of, so maybe he can't afford one. If that's the case... He stopped himself before he began to overanalyse things (he found he was guilty of doing did that at times, which he hated because they never got anywhere actually productive) and instead focused on facts. Then, a few seconds after he thought it, Devin asked, "Are you looking to get one?" It was the only logical reason he could surmise at this point of time, and he was more than willing to help someone pick out a broom if need be, especially since it was one of his most favourite topic of discussion - that, and Quidditch, of course.

    In all honestly it didn't bother him at all that the man didn't have a broom. Some of his friends back at the Uni played on borrowed ones while they saved up to get one of their own, and others simply did not ride often enough to validate owning a broomstick. As long as they respected the game and the broom, Devin didn't much care either way. And so far, the wizard with whom he was speaking did not seem to be the disrespectful kind, and Devin was in the rare position of actually beginning to like him. No other reason could have explained why the ex-Ravenclaw was still standing there making conversation of all things, when he already had all the information he needed about the wood polishers.
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:26 pm

    He nodded along as the other man named off broom models that Parker had no idea about. He used to get really jealous whenever people talked about the luxury items they could afford, but came to learn over the years that that way of thinking only did himself harm. Getting upset about it wouldn’t change his situation or suddenly get him any of the things he only seemed to want when other people had them.

    Parker didn’t mind when the other wizard (that he had yet to learn the name of) turned his attention away to seek out what he’d actually come to the store to get. When the shopkeep listed off the three brands for the particular model of interest, Parker automatically started scanning for them as well. He felt his face burn with embarrassment, though he tried his best to appear unbothered. He must seem so foolish. After all, who looked at wood polishes without a broom? Parker didn’t even know why it bothered him so much besides the fact that no matter where he went and no matter where his interests were, he never seemed to fit in or belong.

    Continuing to scan the shelves, Parker tried to ignore the feeling that he was being judged, or analyzed, or whichever. If there was one thing he was still trying to get used to about being surrounded by such intelligent and hard working people, it was how every action and expression seemed to be looked at so closely - they all seemed to be so perceptive too.

    “Are you looking to get one?"

    Picking up and handing over one of the jars for comparison, Parker hesitated “Erm, well…” and gave a small shrug. “Not particularly. They’re… pricy. And to be completely honest, I don’t even remember the last time I flew.” He stuffed his hands back into the pocket of his team-sweater and sighed. “I love watching Quidditch and all that, but flying - I… uh… could never really get it.”
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:49 am

    Catching sight of one of the brands mentioned, Devin picked it off the shelf, turning it around to look at the price. "Merlin's bloody pants," he muttered, noting that it was at least twice the amount his old one had cost, then caught himself and had the grace to be slightly embarrassed. "I apologize," he said at once, as taught by many a lecture he had received about foul language from his nannies. He never once bothered to tell them he picked them up from his father whenever the older Brennham was in a real mood. "It was an honest slip of the tongue; the price is insane. Nobody would buy this for such an amount," he explained, placing the can back with an almost disgusted look on his face.

    It was the one thing that the Brennhams were famous - or infamous, however you wanted to look at it - for: being stingy with their money. Well, perhaps 'stingy' is too strong a word, or perhaps it does them justice. Whichever the case, they saed whenever and wherever they could, despite the fact they could very easily buy over the entire shop thrice over of they wanted to, with leftovers for a happy-ever-after life. It was a habit he grew up with and it never once occurred to him that being so thrifty (and maybe this is the better choice for Devin, who, unlike his parents, was slightly more open to giving) was a bad thing when done in excess - and he always did it in excess, whether or not he realized.

    Taking the can from the man with a word of thanks, he flipped it around and smiled a little. Still a galleon more than the previous brand he used, but well within his price range. Not bothering to look for the third - which he knew from broom talk with a couple of his mates was more than this current one - Devin put it in the basket.

    Nodding at what the other wizard had said, Devin didn't find it overly odd; after all, he knew not everyone was as loaded as he was. Despite (or was it due to?) his thrifty nature, Devin considered something for a few moments, then pushed it aside for the time being. They had been conversing for a good 15 minutes or so, and the Potioneer-in-training decided it was about time to introduce himself properly. It wasn't as though it had escaped him to do so before, it was simply because Devin like the entire notion of giving names before being friends. What was the use of people you didn't know your name? That was his reasoning, at least, and it was only when and if he decided someone was worth getting to know that proper introductions were given.

    So, turning to face the other wizard, Devin held out his hand. "I'm Devin, by the way," he said casually, because for him, this was perfectly normal.

    Then and only then did he focus on the information previous given. It was obvious now that the man in front of him was poor, and while enjoyed flying, didn't have much chance to learn. In Devin's eyes, this was an injustice. With a light shrug, as though this was nothing (it wasn't to him) he said, "Do you want my old one? I'm planning on purchasing the FEM Two today, and I'll only throw the other one away. Might as well give it a good home."
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    PostSubject: Re: A Well Needed Break (Parker)   Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:10 pm

    Parker shrugged when the other man started to apologize for his language. Personally, he still didn't understand most wizard-swearing, so it never really registered to him as swearing. And anyways, Muggle swearing was something that he was used to hearing and using himself, so he was never really offend on that front. "No worries, I feel like worse would come out of my mouth if I was actually going to be buying any of this stuff." He stated very matter-of-factly. "Plus, they always jack up the prices just before spring since more people fly and play Quidditch then."

    The other's expression of concern over prices made Parker think that the other wizard probably wasn't as well off as he would have automatically assumed. Quidditch being an obvious passion of his, maybe he just splurged when it came to gear?

    "I'm Devin, by the way."

    He supplied back simply with a nod,"Parker." He hadn't realized up to that point that they hadn't exchanged names - why should they have, they were just strangers that had come across each other at the store. But this guy seemed nice enough and they were actually holding a decent conversation.

    "Do you want my old one? I'm planning on purchasing the FEM Two today, and I'll only throw the other one away. Might as well give it a good home."

    Parker was completely taken aback by this, the fact that a stranger would so easily offer up an expensive broom for free?? As if it was nothing. "I-- what?! Are you serious??" Well, it was also because he couldn't fly for crap and didn't exactly plan on getting any better, which made him hesitant to take the tempting offer. There was also the guilt seeping in from the back of his head... the reminder that Tess had done a similar act of selflessness at the beginning of the year at the robes shop. Parker hated feeling like a charity case - he didn't want to be one. But he'd honestly be stupid for not taking it. If it came down to it, he could always sell it for a nice sum. Cue: more guilt. "I'd feel bad, but, I mean, if you're sure you wouldn't want to just sell it yourself..."


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