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Lionel and Amelia Layne
A catch-up in the Gardens (challenge tag: Joella).
Wed Nov 30, 2016 18:51

Lionel wasn’t on the Pecari Quidditch team and never had been, considered himself fairly mild-mannered for a Pecari in general, but he still felt a bit like he was walking into enemy territory as he approached the Aladren table. For one thing, he was not smart enough to be here and he knew it. For another thing, he was not sure the Aladrens saw him straight and all knew that he wasn’t dating Joella despite the Ball thing last year. Somehow, he could kind of picture John Umland announcing that he had deduced that the logical thing to do was to break Lionel’s kneecaps to reduce Joella’s performance in a game….

This was, however, irrational, and unfair to John, who had never done a single thing to Lionel that he could recall except one time looked at him, informed him a tapestry John had been staring aimlessly at was American propaganda and that it hadn’t really happened that way, and then wandered off. Still, when he found his sister, he was relieved to see that Mimi seemed to be finishing her breakfast.

“Hey, Mimi,” he said, smiling at her.

“Lionel!” she beamed up at him. “What’s up?”

“Want to go for a walk?” he asked.

She agreed and they left the Cascade Hall together, Lionel carefully not taking long steps so his much shorter sister could keep up with him. He was like their mutual mom and Grandmother, tall and gangly and long-legged, but he thought Amelia took more after the Layne side of the family. Aunt Helena, in her pictures at least, looked tiny, and Uncle Geoff and Aunt Emily and Granddad were sturdy and not tall. He led her out into the Labyrinth Gardens, wondering if he wished she was in his House or not. She seemed happy in Aladren, anyway, so that was good.

“How’re things going?” he asked his sister, turning back to what was instead of what could have been, for good or bad.

“Great!” said Amelia. She was often over-enthusiastic, he thought, smiling, but he was relieved to think she didn’t sound like she was really exaggerating outrageously or anything. “All the girls in my year, we had lunch together, and we talked about wearing kimonos – “

Lionel was not sure why they would discuss kimonos at lunch or why Amelia, who to the best of his knowledge had never been near one, would be so happy about the discussion, but he let it go. “And your classes?”

His sister gave him a look. “What do you think?” she asked, pointing to the House mark on her green school robes.

“That there are smart people in all Houses and that not all Aladrens are that good at magic,” he said promptly.

“I was kidding,” said Amelia.

“Yeah, yeah. So how are they going, not-kidding?”

Amelia shrugged. “Good, I guess. I get tired writing so much! We never, ever wrote this much at school at home.”

Lionel laughed. “Yeah, it takes some getting used to,” he said.

“Everything does,” said Amelia. “But I like it. You can stop being such a big brother now,” she added, and Lionel laughed again.

“Not on your life,” he said, ruffling her hair as she shrieked in protest.

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