Chapter 1 : When the Boys Come Home
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I was never one for running and yet, that is exactly what I find myself doing. The mist of the morning has cleared off. The spring sun beats upon my sweaty back with each bounding step. I am so thirsty. The desire to leap into the lake and drink pounds in my blood. It is not to be, running, running, running is to be. My breathing is heavy, labored, painful. I realize that I must press on. Just one more lap around the lake, just one.
There, on the small stretch of beach, sits someone. Whoever they are, the shadow of the castle sends them into total darkness. I am running toward them now. The wind is in my face, but I’m more than just a face. That someone - I now see that someone is Lorcan Scamander.
“What are you doing here, Lorcan?”
I wonder why he thinks. It’s a known fact that he is the lesser of the two Scamander twins. He is a Hufflepuff of average intelligence, height, looks. He is average. Quite rude of me, yes, but true. I stare at him through blond eyelashes; they cloud my vision.
I do not appreciate the silence. I prefer talking, it fills the spaces in the atmosphere. “Easter holiday is pretty lonely this year.”
“You finish that homework for Flitwick yet? I’m totally stuck on the affects willow wands have on the Hover charm.”
“There’s a book in the library I used. Wands and Charms.”
“Thanks, man. You get an owl for Easter?”
I stop there. What is with all the ‘yeahs’? I want to have a conversation, not talk to a wall. I am fully aware that walls cannot talk. This conversation is going nowhere and I’m beginning to grow restless. The running, it is calming, a relaxant that awakens the senses. I am about to leave. My impatience is a fault of mine, I admit. Despite human nature, I can readily admit my faults, however few there may be. Lorcan is just a Hufflepuff, while I am a Gryffindor. I stay strong, I face my faults head-on with my sword of invincibility. I decide that I will not vacate. I will stay.
I smile at Lorcan and chirp, “Anything new?”
“Actually, yeah. I figured something out today.”
“Merlin, tell me it was the riddle to the Ravenclaw tower. Fred will be thrilled.” I laugh at my own wit. It is a twisted wit. Not quite funny, but hilarious in the middle of History of Magic.
Lorcan speaks, “I love her.”
Lorcan looks at me and bites his lip. It’s a wonder that his lip doesn’t burst, really.
“I love her.”
“Whoa, hold on there, buddy.” That’s where I had to stop him. Sometimes he pisses me off. Really bad, in fact, I have a mind to give his head a good, sound smack. I restrain myself. Outbursts do not become me. I give Lorcan a hard glare and plant myself in his line of vision.
“Lorcan, you are sixteen. You don’t know what love is.”
“Thanks for that. I appreciate your support,” Lorcan snarls.
“How can I support you in something so ridiculous?”
Lorcan sighs and rolls his eyes. I move to stand over him, the lake to my left. He is so different from me and it befuddles me. Dark features and quiet personality, he keeps to himself. I feel a bead of sweat roll down my nose. I watch as it drops into his hair and he fails to notice.
I plop down on the sand beside Lorcan. My mind wanders like a homeless man in search of shelter. Do we fail to notice such little things? How could I have not noticed his obsession with Lily? Which is what it is. This ‘love’ business he speaks of makes me grind my teeth. Love is subjective, love is kind. Love is not for sixteen-year-old boys like Lorcan. Love whispers your name in the middle of the night. It begins as a word, a smile, a blink of the eye. It matures, strengthens and takes the form of love. Love begins and sometimes ends. But love, Lorcan does not know love. Love rushes in the blood, pumping the heart, moving it forward. He, this boy, cannot fathom love in its simplest form. I can only sit here and observe this boy. I seek out his movements, cataloging them in my vast brain. He wiggles to get comfortable, I assume. His eyes follow the gentle waves of the lake.
“Have you ever been in love?” Lorcan asks, interrupting my observations.
I will not answer him. Whether the answer is yes or no, I will not answer. I know of one thing and it is that humans are judgmental. Whatever event or person falls in our path, a human will judge. I am guilty, just like everyone else on the Earth. Actions speak louder than words, but words judge actions.
I begin to pull off my sweat-soaked sneakers. The faded socks come after and I set the things aside. I rise to my feet and wade in the icy water of the lake. The waves caress my toes, showing them care and attention. I turn my face to sky and see that the shadow of the castle upon Lorcan and me has moved. He on the beach and I in the water are without cover of the sun.
I twist about and say to Lorcan, “C’mere.”
I watch him approach and prop my arm on his shoulder.
He says, “Yeah?”
I push him forward and stick out my bare foot. Tripping him, I smile as he falls into the water, arms splayed out to catch himself. Lorcan splutters and spits. I step on his back to shove him back into the shallow water. I position myself on his back and use all of my strength to keep his head beneath the water. He tries to wrench his head to the side. He succeeds for just a moment and screams, “LYSANDER!”
Lorcan Scamander is average. I shove his face back into the water. I push harder and harder, the muscles in my arms straining. I know his face is submerged into the rocky sand now, probably filling his mouth. Lorcan is beginning to weaken for his struggles are subsiding. I am still propped up on his back, waiting for him to succumb. I rock back and forth, smiling to myself. Such a terrific morning for a run. I decide to take up running as a soothing pastime.
My dear, dear brother finally stops wiggling. I rise and stare down at him. Before I walk away from the lake and resume my running, I say to my beloved brother, “No, Lorcan, I love Lily Potter.”
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