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     Losses and Gains (Braelynn)

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    Brooke Astrid
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    PostSubject: Losses and Gains (Braelynn)   Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:13 am

    It was a lazy Saturday, something Brooke was looking forward to. She had a new book - Joe's idea of a surprise present, really - a flask of hot tea, and nothing planned. Joe was off for some class outing thing (she had woken up to a text and a note on her pillow) and wouldn't be back till night time.

    It was now almost noon, and she was curled up on the couch, her head filled with faraway islands and people that only existed in words and the minds of people who read, when her phone buzzed. Picking it up, she smiled to herself at what Joe had to say, typed a quick reply, and was just about to get back to the book when her stomach growled.

    Debating between reading and lunch, she decided on a compromise; she finished up that chapter, and then went about making herself lunch. Or, rather, considering it was her first meal of the day, breakfast.

    I'm having a bacon and egg sandwich and fries for lunch - minus the bread and the egg... You know, my mum was so smart to get us that air fryer. PS: That book you bought is AMAZING she texted her husband, although she knew he wouldn't get it till later; he had to turn off his phone, since his visit was in the Hospital. He'd see it when he was done.

    Doing just that and tossing in a handful of frozen fries and some strips of bacon into their latest present from her mother, Brooke took that chance to get changed from her pyjamas into something more afternoon decent. A ding told her that the food was ready, and she dumped it into a bowl before, with a wave of her wand, set the dishes to wash. Combining magic and muggle technology made for some amazing things, and she loved doing that.

    Just as she finished her breakfast-that-was-really-lunch and was about to go back to her book, the doorbell interrupted her, and Brooke frowned a little. She wasn't expecting anyone. Moving to the door at once, she didn't hesitate in opening it.

    "Hi! May I help you?" she greeted the person at the door, not wanting to be rude but not knowing why anyone would be there in the first place.

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    Braelynn Reid


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    PostSubject: Re: Losses and Gains (Braelynn)   Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:44 am

    Braelynn was nervous; more nervous than her first time performing in front of people. It wasn't something she could quite explain no matter how much logic she tried to put to it. Maybe it was because she would be visiting someone she didn't know and maybe it was because that someone had just miscarried and it wasn't usual social convention for strangers to pop up on someone's doorstep.

    She knew, though not first hand, the pain a mother went through after a miscarriage. Her own mother had miscarried twice before giving birth to her youngest brother. Though she was just five years old at that time, she still remembered the tears her mother shed and the slight depression that set in. She had to visit Brooke. No one should go through this alone and though they didn't know each other, Braelynn wanted to be there for someone who was hurting.

    Braelynn exhaled slowly and examined herself in the mirror. She'd dressed casually in jeans and a blouse paired with sneakers. Before she left, she dug through her purse and found the piece of paper with Brooke's address on it.

    "Come on, Harmony," Braelynn called to her African grey parrot. She whistled and the bird hopped onto her shoulders. "You behave yourself, now. You understand?"

    "Squawk! Behave! Squawk!" Harmony responded. Braelynn doubted the bird understood the meaning of the word and was just mimicking her but she took it. If anything, Harmony could provide relief if things became awkward.

    She remembered to grab the basket of fruit and chocolate before apparating to the west complex of Avalon's housing community. It took her a while to find the place but once she was sure, she took a deep breath, put her finger on the doorbell and waited in anticipation.

    "Hi! May I help you?"

    "Hi!" Braelynn returned with a smile. "I'm Braelynn. You must be Brooke." She extended a hand to the girl, sure that she was the person she was looking for judging by the colour of her hair. Not many students were redheads.

    "Hello!" Harmony squawked, cocking her head a little.

    "And this is Harmony," Braelynn added with a grin. "I came to bring you this." She held up the small basket. Unsure if she should mention the miscarriage, Braelynn decided to remain silent on the topic unless Brooke brought it up.


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    Brooke Astrid
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    PostSubject: Re: Losses and Gains (Braelynn)   Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:45 am

    Taking in the witch - and the bird - before her, Brooke couldn't help but feel more than just a little confused. Who was she? What was she doing there? The introduction didn't really do much - it was a name, yes, but it wasn't who the witch was. It helped a little, for now Brooke had something to call the face, but it didn't answer any of her other questions.

    Nevertheless, it was an opportunity to make friends, and she readily shook the hand. "I am. It's nice to meet you, Braelynn. That's an interesting name," she commented, meaning each word she said. Her eye returned to the parrot on the shoulder of the witch. Is it real? she was just about to ask when the bird answered her question for her. She let out a little gasp. "Oooo it is! I mean, he.. or she.. is real. That is so cool," she said, paused a little, then added, "May I touch her or him?"

    "Hello Harmony," she echoed, not for a moment thinking it odd to be talking to a bird. Parrots were, apparently, the smartest of their kind, able of communication and understanding basic human words. It was fascinating, and already at the back of her mind the idea was forming to ask Joe if it was a possibility to get a parrot at some point. But first, she'd have to do some research and make sure that parrots and dogs didn't fight. And then, of course, there was that issue with her snake. A bird and a snake might not make such good companions... But of course, nothing was impossible.

    She blinked, hid a blush at having spaced out, and then realised a basket was being handed to her. "Oh. Uhm, thanks," she blurted, then face-palmed mentally at having just done that. Think before you speak, Brooke! she chided herself. "I mean, really, thank you," she corrected, taking it to show she meant the words, then added, "But why? We.. we haven't met before, have we? Because I'm really sorry I don't recognise you." She paused, an idea forming. "Or did someone put you up to this? Like Joe or Cassie or..." Running out of names, she shrugged. "Or someone else? Or.. I'm sorry, I mean, just why?"

    Rubbing the back of her neck sheepishly, she bit her lower lip to stop herself from talking. Too much too soon; she should have waited a few moments to gather her thoughts before letting them out from her mouth, but it was too late to take them back and now all she could do was wait for an answer. Smiling in a friendly manner, she tried to show the witch she didn't mean harm by her rant, and that she was honestly just curious.

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    Braelynn Reid


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    PostSubject: Re: Losses and Gains (Braelynn)   Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:59 am

    Braelynn chuckled. "Yes, it is. Most people call me Brae or Lynn, though," she replied. Her grandmother on her father's side was named Lynn and dad wanted to keep that name going in the family. Mum insisted she be called a variation of that name to keep the confusion at bay. She almost became 'Maylynn' until Mabel, their donkey, brayed and her eldest brother suggested 'Brae'. It was quite a history for her name but she didn't really mind.

    She grinned at Brooke's excitement over Harmony, glad to see that she was happy. "Harmony's a she and of course you may touch her." Braelynn held her forearm to the bird's feet and Harmony hopped on before she brought her hand closer to Brooke. "Don't worry. She doesn't peck unless she's in a bad mood," she said. Harmony got restless and agitated when she didn't get enough freedom to fly but other than that, she was a relatively well tempered bird.

    "Hello!" Harmony repeated, responding to Brooke's cue and staring up at the new face with intelligent eyes.

    "She'll keep saying 'hello' if you say it again," Braelynn explained. She'd train the bird to always say 'hello' whenever that word was said by someone else. It was so annoying whenever that new Adele song played on her phone and it became such a pain that Braelynn had to delete that song from her playlist.

    "You're welcome," she replied warmly. She was a little taken aback at the barrage of questions though she understood where they were coming from. If a stranger were to appear on her doorstep and hand her a basket of food, she'd question them too. But her inquiry presented Braelynn with a different problem. Was now a good time to bring up the miscarriage? It didn't seem so but what other reason could she give for her presence?

    "No, we haven't met before and no, no one put me up to this," Braelynn answered slowly. "I,well, I heard about what happened and I thought I'd drop by to see how you are doing." She paused for a moment then added, "I hope I don't come across as nosy or anything like that. I really wanted to, what's the word for it... I'm concerned."

    She wished she'd thought this through more thoroughly. Back home, when her mother went through the miscarriage, there were some meddlesome old ladies whose only purpose for visiting was to gain information and tell the entire town what her mother was going through. She didn't want Brooke thinking she was anything like that. She sincerely wanted to know how the witch was doing and perhaps see if there was anything she could do for her.

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    Brooke Astrid
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    PostSubject: Re: Losses and Gains (Braelynn)   Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:45 pm

    Nodding at the introduction, she smiled. “But Braelynn is such a nice name! Why wouldn’t I call you that?” she asked. Normally she was one to enjoy nicknames, to give people something that made them personal to her, but in this case the name of the witch was so unique that she couldn’t help but want to call her by her full name.

    Grinning at the permission, Brooke reached forward and very gently ran two fingers down her head. “She’s beautiful! Now you’ve made me want a bird,” she laughed. “But I already have a snake and I want a dog, too, and I’m not sure if my husband would appreciate me starting an entire petting zoo… Minus the goats, that is.” With a giggle to show she was kidding - well, semi-kidding - she gave the parrot another few pets before forcing herself to stop; Merlin knew she could have spent all day touching the soft feathers.

    “Oooo that’s so cool! Did you train her yourself?” Brooke asked, paused, and then with a sly smile added, “Hello again.”

    "I, well, I heard about what happened and I thought I'd drop by to see how you are doing."

    “Wait. What happened?” she blurted, but even as the words came out, it hit her, and her hand automatically raised to her stomach for a passing second. “Ohh. Ohhhh. That! I mean… Ohhh.” She beamed at the witch. “That is so nice of you! Thank you. Don’t worry; I’m fine! I mean, I wasn’t but I am now. Thank you, though. You’re so nice.”

    She paused, unable to keep a wide smile from forming, and then stepped back, a sudden realisation hitting her. “Oh Merlin where are my manners? Come in! Please, come in. I have tea and coffee and loads of snacks and biscuits if you want.” Slipping out her wand, she tried to discreetly give it a flick behind her back, hoping to clear up at least some of the mess of the living room. She could hear the whoosh of blankets folding themselves and hoped that the pillows had also righted, taking their positions on the couch once again instead of being strewn across the floor. “Make yourselves at home,” she added, waiting for them to come in.

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    Braelynn Reid


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    PostSubject: Re: Losses and Gains (Braelynn)   Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:31 pm

    Braelynn shrugged nonchalantly at the question. "Some people are just too lazy to pronounce two syllables," she grinned to show her jest. "But I'm glad you like my name." She smiled. It wasn't often that someone commented on her name and she was glad that Brooke and her got off on the right foot. "Your name is pretty sweet too. Reminds me of a stream."

    She chuckled as Brooke talked. Looks like she made a friend who loved animals. A snake was an unconventional pet to have but she surmised it was because Brooke had a soft spot for that particular reptile. "My family owns a farm so having goats is not unusual for me," Braelynn responded. "And chickens, pigs, cats, horses, dogs and almost any other animal that belongs on a farm are not unfamiliar to me."

    "Yup, I did," she replied. "Took me some time to get the hang of it though.

    "Hello!" the bird squawked, this time opening her beak and looking around.

    Braelynn stuffed her hand into her pocket and produced a few seeds which Harmony happily gobbled up. "She looks for rewards whenever she knows she does something right." She rewarded the bird sparingly though. If she gave treats every time Harmony said something correctly, she would have an obese parrot on her hands.

    Braelynn's brows went up at Brooke's question. She would think that the first thing to come to someone's mind would be the latest biggest thing to happen. But she knew that realisation dawned on the witch when her hand went to her stomach.

    “That is so nice of you! Thank you. Don’t worry; I’m fine! I mean, I wasn’t but I am now. Thank you, though. You’re so nice.”

    Braelynn grinned. "You're welcome. I'm glad you're doing better." She meant it very sincerely. Her own mother took some time to get over the two miscarriages and for almost close to a month, her brothers and father had to pick up her slack. They had burnt bread, runny omelets and undercooked stew until her mother came out of her mild depression.

    Braelynn stepped into the apartment at the invitation and held back a chuckle as she saw the objects righting themselves. "Plain water would do, thanks," Braelynn replied as Brooke extended the offer for food and drink.

    "You have a very nice apartment here," she commented, taking a seat on the sofa.

    "Nice!" Harmony echoed, examining her new environment and settling herself on the armrest.

    "How long have you been married?" she asked casually. Braelynn found it fascinating that someone married so young. Brooke couldn't be that much older than her. But it was understandable, since she found a guy perfect for her and Braelynn knew what that felt like.


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