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Chapter 6 : The Salem Witch Trials
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Chapter Image by AccioHedwig
Jason tormented Athena just as much as he did me.
At the age of fifteen, Athena hitchhiked to my place and asked if she could live with me. Jason was in love. It was weird seeing the child of the devil himself so polite and nice for a change, but he had fallen pretty hard.
One day he decided to profess his love to Athena.
Of course, considering the fact that Athena is five years older than him she turned him down (nicely) but still, she turned him down.
And from then on, whenever she came home with a date, he would make that date’s night a living hell. Athena’s love life was cursed for as long as we were stuck there. Then of course we left and got our own place and now Athena has Alexander.
And I have nobody because everyone in our town thought I had plastic boobs at the age of fifteen.
“I’m out” said Athena getting a horrified look on her face. “Where is the damn suitcase?”
“You can’t leave me” I pleaded. “I don’t want to be left alone with Jason.”
“Watch me” said Athena looking in the hall cupboard.
“What about friendship?” I asked, trying to use the guilt treatment and failing epically.
“Friendship shemship” said Athena. “I am not going through that hell again.”
“Please Athena” I said. “And anyway where will you go?”
“Alexander’s, a hotel, the street. I can’t take it.”
“Please,” I said using the face that Einstein uses when he wants something other than kibble. Immature? Yes. Effective? Always.
“Don’t give me that face,” said Athena. “Don’t you dare.” I magnified it. “Fine. I can’t
find the stupid suitcase anyway.”
“Thank you” I said. “Thank you, thank you.”
“But, I am going somewhere tonight before work.”
“Hold that thought” I said when there was a knock on the door. I opened the door and tacked to the door was an envelope from the ministry. Great.
Dear Ms. Clearwater,
We have realized
that you are performing illegal apparitions so we will be revoking your
license. You may renew your license next year, but until then you are hereby
prohibited from apparating.
Sincerely, Head of Magical Transportation Department,
“This is insane!” I shrieked after reading the paper.
“Actually it’s perfectly valid said,” Athena reading it with a giant Cheshire Cat grin. Athena failed twice before she got her apparition license and I really rubbed it in.
“Is that really considered necessary?” I asked. “I mean that was a long time ago we were immature.”
“It’s necessary.” said Athena. “Someone is going to have to learn how terrible the underground is.”
“What are you doing here?” Asked Alexander when he opened the door.
“I need help” I said (this was my last resort). So, yes, maybe I might have possibly gone over to my best friend’s boyfriend’s flat later that night seeking help in the deepest pit of desperation.
“And you’re asking me?” Alexander was completely confused at that point. He squinted. “You’re Pen Clearwater right?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, Alex, I’m Pen Clearwater—look can you sit with me tonight?”
“Look Pen” said Alexander. “I have a girlfriend your best friend if you—”
“That’s not what I meant,” I said, shuddering. “Remember my brother?”
“The devil child? Worshipper of Satan?”
“He doesn’t do that,” I said. Well not anymore he doesn’t. I don’t think so at least.
I told dad he wasn’t just going through a phase. No normal child goes through a devil-worshipping phase. But no one would pay for a shrink. And what happened? We have Jason.
“He’s going to be staying for the week” I said.
“Wow,” said Alexander with an amused smirk on his face. “What have you done that has brought so many wraths upon you?”
“Save the speech Alex. Athena jumped ship claiming she has an interview, and Audrey said she was busy.”
“So Audrey’s on a date,” said Alexander.
“Yeah” I said. “So you’re my last resort—”
“Wonderful to know I’m wanted,” said Alexander sarcastically.
“And I need you please I’ll do anything” I said. “I just don’t want to be alone with the kid there are so many ways he could torture me.”
“Fine. I’ll go and help you babysit.” It’s more of evil-sit but I wasn’t about to tell him that. “But,” he said, interrupting the celebration currently beginning in my head. “I do need a favor.”
“Anything,” I said.
“I need you to help me pick up something,” he said.
“What is it?” I asked. Dear god I hope it’s not in Africa.
“I need you to help me pick out a ring… for—you know—Athena”.
Oh Holy house elf.
“You’re going to propose to her?”I asked.
“Yeah,” said Alexander. “I figured four years is a pretty long time, and I even got this apartment for when we get married and all that shit.”
“Awww. I’m so happy for you tow!” I said, totally excited. “I am speechless I am without speech.”
“So,” said Alex. “Will you give me a hand picking out something?”
“Of course” I said. “Now come on, my brother should be here soon.”
“Hi dad,” I said when my dad and demonic little brother cam over. “Hi, Jason.” I more growled
than said the latter.
“Hi honey,” said my dad giving me a hug. He looked at Alexander who was sitting on the couch listening to a lecture in law.
“Who’s that?” He asked, eyebrows raised.
“That’s Alex,” I said. “He’s Athena’s boyfriend.”
“Is he a nice boy?” My dad thinks that Athena is sort of an adopted daughter and treats her like he treats me. So basically, my dad wants to know everything about her boyfriends (cars, previous relationships, education, etc, etc). And then, because my dad was a cop and a detective he will do a background check and make sure everything is true.
You could say that he’s a mite bit extreme.
“I think he’s a pain,” I said. “But he likes Athena and Athena likes him back.”
“So what kind of guy are we talking about here?”
“Oxford student, studying law, no family members with political ties, acts like a clown, and a decent income.”
“Interesting” hummed my dad, “and what’s his name?”
“Oh, hello Mr. Clearwater,” said Alexander finally noticing the fact that they were there. “Great to meet you.”
“Same to you Goldstein,” said my dad shaking his hand.
“Interesting place you have here,” said Jason walking around. “A mite bit dusty but, very homey like.” And so the devil speaks!
“So we’ll leave you two alone,” said my dad. “Have fun.”
“Oh we will,” said Jason giving me an evil grin. “Believe me, we will.”
“So,” said Jason when my dad left. “Where am I staying?”
“Couch” I said. “And by the way, Athena has a new dog.
“Yeah,” I said going into Athena’s bedroom and letting Einstein out. “He’s a little bit hyper just fair warning.”
“So,” said Jason turning Alex. “What do you do?”
“I’m a law student at Oxford,” said Alex.
“Damn it,” muttered Jason. “What are your hobbies?” Apparently Jason was trying to find an edge he could use to break up Alex and Athena.
“I enjoy video games, reading, and comedy shows,” said Alexander.
“Shit,” muttered Jason. “What is your religion?”
“That’s sort of a personal question, isn’t it? But I’m Jewish.”
“So he doesn’t sacrifice small animals” muttered Jason. “But we’ll get him somewhere.” I almost expected him to add the words “my preciousss” while rubbing his hands together.
“So I see you don’t have a TV,” said Jason. “What shall I do to entertain myself while I am here?”He may talk like he’s a genius but I’ve beaten that kid in every test and every exam.
“You’re a big kid now,” I said in the voice I use when talking to five year olds. “I’m not always going to be around to entertain you.”
“Aw come on,” said Jason. “Whisk your wand do something fun.”
“Fine, Accio Alexander’s cake.” I was making a guess when I accioed his cake. I had no clue he had cake, but sure enough a cheesecake came in through the window.
“Now that” said Jason. “Is much better.”
“That’s MY CAKE!” Said Alexander. I shot him a death glare that was meant to tell him to shut up.
“Get Jason a spoon,” I whispered to Alex when he got up to get us some forks. “I don’t want my eyeballs stabbed.”
“You have such a lovely imagination” said Alex. However, he took me seriously because he got Jason a spoon.
“So,” said Jason still interrogating Alex. “Do you have any annoying allergies or are you allergic to anything?”
“Weird question, but no.”
“What kind of person were you in Hogwarts?” Asked Jason.
“I didn’t go,” said Alexander with a full mouth of cake.
“AH HA!” Said Jason standing up. You’re a muggle who’s using her magic powers to get yourself stuff.”
To Alex’s credit, he didn’t even blink.
“Nope,” said Alexander. “I was raised in an all magic family I just didn’t get the powers—I’m a squib.”
“Damn it to heaven,” said Jason. Jason still believes hell is the place to be.
“I played football and was captain,” said Alexander thoroughly enjoying watching my brother’s antics. “And I was also the leader of the chess club we won three years in a row with me as the leader for both chess and football.”
I was very happy that Jason was holding a spoon and not a fork because I was not in the mood for Alexander to go blind in my flat. Blood stains would look terrible on my couch.
Again good to know my priorities are in the right place.
“It is too early for this,” I grumbled as Alexander dragged me from store to store looking for a ring the next morning.
“We have to do it before she comes home from work” said Alexander. “Which is nine and you have to go to work at nine thirty.”
“Yeah, but it’s seven” I said whined. “Right now I want a cup of coffee.”
“There’s a coffee thing over there,” said Alexander. “Now come on, you promised.”
“I’m cold, I’m wet, and I want to go home,” I complained.
I had also left Jason back at the house tied to a chair (no shit he was actually tied to the chair with duct tape. I did it this morning when he was asleep) and I wanted to get back before he had a chance to destroy the house.
Don’t look at me like that he deserves it!
It was raining, and unfortunately, neither of us had thought to bring an umbrella so now we were soaked and I was wondering if I could sue Alexander if I got sick.
It’s nice to walk around in the rain and get soaked for about ten minutes but then those ten minutes turn into an hour and you want to kill the schumk that was stupid enough not to bring an umbrella.
“So what do girls like?” asked Alexander.
“You didn’t even ask her what her kind of jewelry she likes?” I said with disbelief.
“No,” said Alexander simply. “Ergo that’s why you’re here.”
“Fine,” I said. “We’re trying this store it’s the only one open at this time.”
“Can I help you?” Asked the sales lady as soon as we walked in.
“No we’re good,” I said before Alexander could open his mouth.
“Well if you see anything you like, just say so,” said the sales lady.
“We’ll do that,” I said, steering Alexander towards the rings.
“I like this,” I said pointing to a simple diamond with a sliver band. “It’s simple yet very fancy.”
“I guess so” said Alexander. “But will Athena like it?”
“She’ll love it,” I said with absolute conviction.
“Would you like me to take it out so you see it closer?” asked the sales lady coming out of nowhere.
“Ah!” Said Alexander jumping and almost falling over. What a baby.
“Yeah actually we’d love that” I said. “Don’t mind my friend he had too much sugar.”
The sales lady put it in a black box and gave the ring to me. I was sold hook line and sinker. Alexander was now standing upright and looking at me.
“It’s a very nice cut,” said the sales lady apparently trying to convince Alexander that it was worth it. “It’s two carats set in a lovely sliver band, very easy to clean.”
“How much is it?” Asked Alexander, who being a boy wasn’t taken in by the normal sale tactics.
“Well it really is a deal considering how nice it is,” said the sales lady. “It’s only 6,000 pounds.”
“Holy crap,” said Alexander.
“It’s perfect,” I said.
“Are you kidding me? That’s little more than three of your paychecks,” said Alexander. “When you work full time!”
“Don’t freak out Alex,” I said.
“I’m freaking out,” said Alexander. “I AM FREAKING OUT!”
“Look,” I said. “Do you want it to be nice, or do you want it to be cheap?”
“Both. I mean come on, it’s just a ring.”
“It’s not just a ring!” I said, scandalized. “It’s a symbol of your marriage will you be a spinster cheesecake who will only give his wife what is cheap or a loving husband who will love Athena for forever and will do anything for her?” I am such a weirdo, as stated with the weird look
Alex gave me.
“Cheesecake?” Asked Alexander.
“I meant cheapskate” I said.
“We have a very nice payment plan,” said the sales lady looking back and forth from me to Alexander.
“Yeah let’s hear it,” said Alexander looking tired. “Before Pen goes haywire.”
“I am not the one that yelled’ I’M FREAKING OUT,’ Alexander.” I said. I cannot believe he’s going to ask my best friend to marryhim.
“Well how much do you have now?”Asked the sales lady
“Two thousand,” said Alexander. “In my bank.”
“You were expecting to get a decent ring for two thousand pounds?” I asked in disbelief.
“I’m a bloke” said Alexander shoving his hands in air in exasperation. “I know stock market numbers and football scores, not ring prices. Again, that’s why I brought you!”
This is hopeless.
“You can put a down payment for two thousand and two hundred dollars,” said the sales lady. “And then pay us around a thousand or more a month.”
“For four months?” squeaked Alexander. “Geez that’s a hell of a bill.”
“He’ll do it” I said.
“Pen, I don’t know if you’ve realized, but I’m a couple hundred short.”
“Here, take this,” I handed him what was supposed to be my software money.
“Where did you get that money?” said Alexander, looking at me in a confused way. “What did you do rob a bank or something?”
“Software fund,” I said ignoring his comment. “Just withdrew it this morning.”
“I love you,” said Alexander looking at me then realized what he said and quickly added. “As a sister and a very good friend nothing more.”
“Yeah I get it,” I said. “Now write out the check and we’ll want the ring in a black box with white lining.” I swear that sales lady is humming to herself.
Alexander was a nervous wreck all the way back to my place he kept his hands in his pockets and more than once freaked out when someone came close to him (in case anyone tried to steal the ring).
“Alexander can you stop jumping around like a hyper rabbit?” I said. “People are staring.”
“I’m nervous,” said Alexander jumping a mile when some guy with a briefcase came two feet too close then Alex would have liked.
“I’m sorry,” I said as the guy gave us a weird look. “My friend has a schizophrenic disorder.”
“You mean like you do whenever Jason gets to be about five feet close to you?” asked Alex.
“You are talking to the person who gave up new writing software so she could make you and her friend happy.” I said.
“Only because you promised God you would help pay for the ring if you survived Jason for the first night,” said Alexander. That boy can read minds I swear.
“Alright” I said. “I’m going to get myself some coffee and take the bus home have fun rabbit.”
“I will” said Alexander walking down the street, whistling.
Since I can no longer apparate, (thank you Percy) I ordered myself a coffee, got a newspaper, and waited at the coffee shop for the metro to come.
“Hey watch where you’re going” I said as someone bumped into me, causing most of my coffee to slosh out of its cup and down the front of my coat. Great.
“Sorry,” said the guy. “You ok?”
“Yeah I’m fine—Wood?” Just what I need, looking like this.
“What are you doing here?” We both asked at the same time.
This ought to be interesting.
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