Chapter 24 : Connie
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Comet Rae ran her hands over her face, she sat up slowly and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. She let her toes hit the hard wood floor and immediately flexed to seek relief from the cold. It was still warm august but the AC was on and there was a chill in the house. She hated to be sweaty unless working out so she was alright with it. She put her feet completely on the floor and stood up.
She yarned as she crossed the hard wood floor into the bathroom.
She flicked on the light and blinked a few times to get use the harsh change. The light revealed a beautiful marble and dark wood space. After she handled her business she went over to the, his and her sinks. The counter top clutter with Kiehls, Guerlain, Bobbi Brown, and Le Mer products. She washed her hands and splashed some water on her face.
She grabbed a hair tie out of the glass jar that sat on the self that hung by the sink. She tied her curls to the top of her head as she headed to the back of the bathroom. Pass the large shower and the antique footed bathtub. There were double doors and she opened them and proceeded into the walk in closet.
The large room had hanging space on three walls, with drawers beneath and entire wall of shoes. There was an island in the middle of the room, it had draws and beautiful bowls on top holding different accessories.
The room was immaculately kept, half women’s wear half men’s. She went over to the drawers in the center of the room. She pulled out a t-shirt and workout leggings. She quickly changed and grabbed her trainers from the shoe rack and exited through the door opposite the one she entered.
She went down the hall and down the stairs, one floor down to another door lined corridor, another floor down opened into a living space, and one more floor down into the basement.
The basement had been converted into an entertainment room. Half the room was filled with gym equipment and the other half had one of those Fischer Price plastic jungle gyms. Comet picked up the toys scattered across the floor and put them in the toy chest.
She went to the other side of the room and got unto her elliptical machine, she used the remote to turn on the T.V.
“Wake up Britain will be right back after a word from our sponsors,” the guy who was hosting the morning show on the BBC said.
Comet began to work out as she let her mind wander as some car commercial came on. She was Comet Rae starting seeker of the Holyhead Harpies, the wunderkind. At least to the wizarding world, on the other side she was Constance. Constance Rae Whiner to be exact well Constance Rae Whiner Thorn. She’s been married for eight years. But everyone just called her…
Chapter Twenty Four
After the sweaty matches and the promotional events, Comet slipped out of the wizarding world and joined the muggles. Constance was a half blood, born to a wizard and a muggle. She was the best of both worlds, in theory. She was apprehensive about going off to Hogwarts twenty two years ago, leaving all her friends. She grew up with muggles, lived among them, and went to school with them.
She determined early on that Hogwarts wasn’t the place for her but her parents wanted her to stick with it. The only thing she got out of it was Quidditch, she loved to fly and found out she had a knack for the game. Well more than a knack because summer before her seventh year she was signed to the Holyhead Harpies. She spent most of her final year away from school… she loved it.
She rejoined the world when she began university. It turned out it was a much needed escape. She was Comet Rae, she on the cover of almost everything in the wizarding world, people followed her down the street, and children were wearing t-shirts with her face on it. Going where absolutely no one knew her was great.
But now things were going terribly, she has always been on top. But Ginny… that Weasley was messing things up. The girl wasn’t up to par, that was the plain and simple of it. But she was popular. Sure Comet could tip off the press anytime she went somewhere and act in an uncivilized manner. Lord knows that Ginny’s antic’s last week at the women in sports luncheon landed her in the papers. It also landed her another fine and the pure hatred of Wilford.
The only glory Comet wanted was on the field. She didn’t want to put her personal life in the spotlight. She loved coming home and putting Comet behind her and just being Connie.
Now that she was suspended this was pretty much her only world. Except when Darren had her parading around town pretending to be pals with Ginny. Normally at this time she was at practice but now she just woke up and worked out at home. Just because she wasn’t playing didn’t mean she was going to get out of shape.
Forty minutes later Connie was off the elliptical and onto twenty minutes of weight training and then her workout was complete. She then wandered back upstairs to her bedroom and got into the shower.
“Good morning,” a man with dirty blonde hair that was sticking up in every direction entered the bathroom. He went over to the towel clad Connie and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind and hugged her. He kissed her on the neck.
“Good morning darling.”
“Remember we have the Victoria and Albert Museum benefit tonight.”
“I remember, I’m going to go pick up the dry cleaning today so if you have anything you need me to drop off bring it down stairs.” She said before leaving him alone in the bathroom and going to get dressed.
After Connie slipped into her jeans and blouse she wander down to the next floor, the one lined with doors and went through the first door on the left. She turned on the light in the blue space, she crossed the room and opened the curtains. The soft sun light through the London gray sky added a light glow into the room.
The brightly colored room had abstract art on the walls, books and toys scattered about, and a full sized dark wood four poster bed.
She sat on the edge of the bed and leaned over the lump. She shook it gently, as she pulled the covers back. A small boy with blonde curly hair, was fast asleep, “wake up love.”
“I don’t want to”
“I know,” she sighed, “five more minutes.”
“I’ll be back in five minutes,” she said standing.
She went through the door on the right wall. It was a bathroom that had another connecting door which went into the room of another child. She opened the curtains to let in the light and a blonde curly haired boy pulled his blanket over his face.
“I saw that,” Comet smiled.
“Yes I did,” Comet went over and tickled the little boy.
He laughed, “Mummy stop!”
“Come on get up,” she took the covers off him. He climbed out of bed, “we’re going to get washed up and ready for school,” she said following him into the bathroom.
Connie stood in the large kitchen of her four floor townhouse making Quaker Quick Oats and scrambled eggs for her twin boys.
“So the car will be here at seven,” Marshall Thorn entered the kitchen, his hair was nicely combed and his navy blue suit was hand tailored for him. He looked so handsome.
“Great the sitter supposed to be here by 6:30,” she said removing the frying pan from the stove. Usually her husband would wake up the boys, do breakfast, and take them to school. She would pick them up after school and take them to their activities and do dinner. But since she was home she took over.
“Cool,” he said as he poured himself a cup of coffee. “Where are the boys,” he and his cup wandered out into the hall. “Ian, Ethan,” he shouted up the stair, “let’s go!”
The Thorn family sat around the breakfast table. With oatmeal, eggs, and fresh fruit. This was the life of Constance Thorn. She was the wife of a man ten years her senior, Sir Marshall Thorn a highly sought after architect. He worked all around the world. She was the mother of two five year boys. Ian and Ethan Thorn, she loved them so.
Very few people knew of her life. Her father was a retired postal worker who married a muggle. Marshall’s father worked as a coal miner and his mother was a secretary. They both came from working class families and were lucky enough to build their lives together… in a multimillion pound nineteenth century town house.
The light color façade of the three story townhouse had black shutters on every perfectly polished window. Under every window there was a black window box, spilling over with plush greens and white peonies. There was a black iron gate surrounding the property. Stairs leading up to, two double black doors.
The front door opened and the Thorn twins exited and merrily hopped down the stairs. “Careful,” Comet called as she awkwardly closed the door, her bag, her dry cleaning, and the boys backpacks in hand.
“Good morning Mrs. Thorn,” Maria the house keeper on Monday’s, Thursday’s and special occasions said as she approached the gate. “Good morning boys.”
“Morning Ms. Chavez,” they chirped.
“Good morning Maria,” Connie smiled. “Ian, Ethan stay out of the street!” She shouted as her boys went outside of the gate. “Would you mind organizing the products in the master bath today…”
Connie followed the boys out, “Oh and um… if you could dust the Calder in Ian’s room.”
“Yes of course.”
“Thanks,” she used the button to unlock the doors to her Mercedes suv that was parked in front of the house. “Oh!” She declared once again. Maria turned to her as Connie opened the back door of the car and the boy’s climbed in. “The grocery delivery should be here about noon…”
“I’ll open the door and sort it.”
“Great,” she exclaimed as she dumped the clothes for the cleaners in the trunk. She then went around to the back passenger door lean in and strapped the boys into their chairs and closed the door.
“Why do you always get red,” Mary Ryan had met Connie for a mani pedi. Their feet were currently in the spa whirlpool.
“It’s classic and vibrant,” Connie answered inspecting her nails. “Plus I like the way it pops on my pale skin.”
“That it does… so how are you holding up?”
“Um… I’m anxious and a little bored,” Connie sighed, “you know at first, this suspension was a bit relaxing. You know how you never realize how tired you are until you sit down.”
“I understand… at least you weren’t involved in that Cornelia Wilford incident last week,” laughed Mary. “It wasn’t even me and I was mortified.”
Connie rolled her eyes, “Ginny needs to get her shit together… although I’m one to talk. I’ve got into a few fist fights with that child.”
“That’s amusing you call her a child.”
“In comparison to me… what is she nineteen.” Connie rolled her eyes as the manicurist took one of her feet out of the whirl pool.
Mary shrugged, “young and fresh faced.”
“So what do you think you’ll do if you were never to get unsuspended?”
“I’ve actually been thinking about that…,” Connie sighed deeply. “I could use my degree. I went to university you know.”
“Really, for what?”
“Media and communications. After practice and all that I would spend my evenings in class,” she chuckled, “I did a summer internship at British Vogue… that’s how I met Marshall.”
“He worked at Vogue?” Mary had flipped through it in the waiting area of the nail place countless times. Connie was her source of all things muggle.
“No, um I attended this event with one of the editors because their assistant wasn’t available for whatever reason… he was a junior executive at this architectural firm…” she got quiet for a few minutes. “I love him so much and I love our boys but it’s not enough… I can’t stand just being at home. It’s a life I never understood… no offense.”
Mary smiled, “It’s alright. I understand it’s not for everyone. Since my baby goes off to school every year I spend a lot of time alone. In the mornings I sort out Barry’s career and then at noon I put him aside. I do whatever the hell I want… like meet my girl for some pampering.”
Both she and Connie laughed.
“After this I have to go to the market and get stuff for baking. There’s a party at the boy’s school tomorrow, I have to make 30 cupcakes.”
“Can’t you just buy 30 cupcakes?” Mary Ryan hasn’t cooked in years, she had a staff for a reason.
“Yeah but this way the boys can decorate them and it’s more personal… I wasn’t even thinking about it or I would have added that stuff to my grocery order.”
“Connie you are a better woman than me.”
Connie laughed, “am not… I can’t wait for tonight, we’re going to this fundraiser. I’m wearing vintage Yves Saint Laurent and Bulgari.”
“Is it new?”
“Nope, but I’ve only wore it once when we were entertaining at home. But its Saint Laurent it deserves a night out.”
“You’re going out tonight and you’re baking.”
“Yup and the boys have football after school.”
Comet pulled into the drive way of the humble ivy covered house. She climbed out of the car and went around back. She used her key to unlock the back door. “Mum, Dad,” she called as she began to put away the things she picked up for her parents.
“Hi darling,” Mrs. Whiner entered the kitchen. The curly gray haired woman immediately went over and kissed her daughter on the cheek. “Thank you for getting this stuff for me.”
“You got the almond milk and the vitamins for your father?”
“I’m as healthy as a horse, I don’t need Vitamins,” a bald man in thick rimmed black framed spectacles entered the kitchen. “Hi Connie.”
“Hi daddy,” she hugged him.
“How are the boys?”
“They’re great, at school.”
“Would you like a cup of tea,” Mrs. Whiner asked as she put on the kettle.
“Sure,” she took a seat at the kitchen table.
Her father sat across from her, “so when’s all this Quidditch stuff going to be sorted? My season passes are just getting dusty. There’s no point in going if you’re not playing.”
“I don’t know Daddy,” she sighed. Her father was her biggest fan. He taught her to fly, the value of hard work. She didn’t know how to break it to him that it may not have been worth it. “It’s all a big mess.”
He watched how sullen she looked, “you know Connie sometimes you have to walk away from things…”
“What do you mean?”
“If you always try your best and you put so much effort into something but when that work is not appreciated perhaps it’s time to walk away. Perhaps it’s time to think about the respect you’re not getting from your job and from yourself.”
She had a feeling her father was letting her know that she wasn’t letting him down. She loved her parents.
After Connie went to pick her dry cleaning and leave behind more things to be clean she headed home.
When she arrived home, Maria had finished her work and her groceries were all tucked away in the kitchen. Alone in her lovely home, it was so lovely last year when Marshall was knighted it was photographed for Elle décor.
She washed her hands and got to work baking. In a couple of hours she would pick up the boys and take them to football practice.
“Stop jumping on the bed,” Connie said as she used the mirror in her contour kit to line her eyes.
“But it's fun,” laughed Ian as he and his brother kept jumping.
“I know but I don’t want you to get hurt,” she finished what she was doing and closed her compact and placed it on the desk. “Alright off,” she went over to the bed, she wrapped her arm around Ian and lifted him off the bed. “Jump to mummy please,” Ethan jumped over to her and she lifted him off the bed too.
The doorbell rang, “let’s go get the door.” She followed her boys downstairs. She pulled open the front door, the woman from the babysitting agency was there. “Hello,” Connie smiled politely.
“Hello Mrs. Thorn, lovely to see you again,” said the young woman. “You look wonderful.”
Connie smiled, “thank you, my robe is my finest accessory… so the boys are downstairs playing. They’ve already eaten, there are some cupcakes in the kitchen for them to decorate and they need to be in bed by 8:30.”
“Alright. I’m just going to go down and say hello.”
“May I just say wow,” Marshall beamed when Connie came downstairs.
“Thank you, wow to you too,” she was wearing a white backless tuxedo inspired, vintage Saint Laurent jumpsuit. Vintage Bulgari emeralds, and red Jimmy Choo pumps. Her blonde hair was straight with an old Hollywood curl.
“That wand of yours does some pretty amazing things to your hair.”
She laughed, it’s not as if she could hide it. Twenty minutes ago her hair was still curly. “Yeah just two flicks and a swish.”
“I saw Mary today,” Connie told Marshall as they sat in the back of their chauffeured car.
“How is she,” asked Marshall distracted by something on his mobile phone.
“Is Barry behaving himself?” He chuckled.
She playfully hit him on the arm. “Yes he is. I often wonder what you knew of his antics. You and he going on those boys’ nights.”
He put his phone away, “I swear I didn’t know a thing. He would never tell me because he knows I would tell you and you would tell Mary.”
“Damn right… She was asking me I would do if I wasn’t unsuspended,” she sighed.
“What would you do?” She turned to look out the window and he placed his hand on top of hers. “It’s okay if you don’t know. It’s alright if you do. Whatever you decide you know I’ll be right beside you.”
She grasped his hand, “I know… but I’ve just worked so hard, for so many years for it to all end like this…”
“But who says it’s going to end. This could just be the beginning of something new, something great.”
Comet wished she could believe that but she had this terrible gnawing feeling this was it, the end. She sighed, “You’re right.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. He was right. She didn’t believe him, she was too busy being realistic to look on the bright side. The career she worked so hard for was crumbling before her very eyes and she didn’t know what do. Perhaps she should start a scandal but that wasn’t really her style. She was the pinnacle of sophistication or at least she was until she ended up in fist to fist battles with that little Weasel girl.
Marshall’s beside lamp was on low as he read his book. Connie curled up on her side of the bed snoring as usual. She had drool on her lower lip. He thought it was cute, he liked her this way. She was vulnerable not in control of her actions in her rested state, she was her real self and he loved it. He loved her.
He looked over to the window when he heard a tap. He placed his bookmark back in his book and gently slipped out of bed not to disturb her. He opened the window, he took the envelope from its beak and the bird flew away.
When Connie first told him, she was witch he laughed. He thought she was joking. They had been dating for almost three years and things were pretty serious so he supposed she thought it was time. It took time for him to wrap his head around it, it just seemed so unbelievable like big foot. But that was years ago and owls delivering mail was ordinary, he’s seen her play Quidditch, he’s been flying with her, and occasionally one of their boys will make something levitate.
He recognized the seal, he knew it was from the league. He wondered if he should wake her or let her stay rested. Whatever was in the envelope had the potential to ruin her sleep. He didn’t want that but she may get upset with him for not giving it to her sooner. Quidditch was everything to her.
Marshall climbed back in bed, he leaned over to her and kissed her on the forehead.
“Hmm,” Connie moaned not opening her eyes.
“You got a letter,” Marshall whispered.
“From who,” she rolled onto her back and slowly opened her eyes.
Comet pulled herself into an upright position as she yarned. She took the envelope from Marshall and tore it open. Comet raced over the contents of the letter, “Shit!”
Dean thought his footsteps on the marble floor seemed louder than usual as he made his way to the conference room. Nancy had informed him that both Comet and Ginny had arrived and were waiting in the conference room.
He was beginning to hate his job. It seemed instead of organizing Quidditch junk he spent his time fathering and bearing bad news. He could only hope the two were in a tussle and bad news would seem like the natural thing to do.
He opened the door to the conference room. Ginny and Comet were sitting across from each other at the rectangular table silently. It was just his luck no fight to break up.
He sighed and leaned against the back of the chair at the head of the table. “I want to begin by saying that you two have put the league through a whole lot of crap. But the league is use to that so instead I will say that I am not happy that you put me through a whole lot of crap…”
“Sorry Dean but…”
“Leave it Gin,” he cut her off. “Wilford called a meeting of myself, Darren, and the head of the league Clark Gaines. After the events of the other week Wilford thought that some immediate action needed to take place. I want to make it clear that everyone is furious for different reasons… money, careers hanging in the balance. So after some careful consideration the suspension will be lifted.” Ginny and Comet both got excited. “Hold it…” Here came the hard part. The part he wasn’t paid enough to do. The part he really didn’t want to do. “It is extremely important to keep the peace within the team,” he took a deep breath before he said, “Comet your contract has been sold.”
“WHAT!” Outrage was not enough to describe the anger that was bursting inside of Comet.
“I know this is hard and immoral but…”
“But that didn’t stop Conrad Humphrey from selling me like a bloody piece of property!”
“That’s true,” Dean agreed, “but it had to be you… you’re the trophy sale. He could let one of his jewels go and still come out on top.”
Being called a jewel may have been flattering if she wasn’t up for sale. Comet slammed her fist on the table and stood up. She was to through. “You know what I’m done! I put up with this shit since I was seventeen for the stupidest reason! I love Quidditch…pure and simple! I am sick and tired of working my ass off to be treated like nothing! You tell Conrad Humphrey no sale, I’m retired!”
“Wait you can’t just…”
“Yes I can, read my contract! I’m not as stupid as you think. I know how to protect myself. It’s quite thick but I’ve read it word for word.” Comet kicked her chair out of the way. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to pick my boys up from school.” She stormed from the conference room.
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