Agreed. We need some flowers.
Thu May 16, 2019 13:31

She’d seen her parents bad wolves. In retrospect, admittedly, but she’d seen them. Heinrich wondered if that made her better at this, or just unluckier. It was kind of hard to imagine someone being unluckier in parents than the kinds of bad people that make DADA necessary, but Mom and Dad had seemed like pretty decent parents up until the point they got arrested and tried and found guilty for multiple counts of murder and Dark Magic use. That was bad. But their wolves had never bit him. He’d never had to experience his parents being evil where he could see it.

Retrospectively, of course, there were signs and clues he knew he had missed. But he was reasonably certain they had been like undercover spies around him and his siblings, their true colors masked, a normal facade in place to conceal what and who they really were. Their bad wolves were penned and hidden out of sight, and just their smaller good wolves allowed out to play. They’d been assassins for nearly twenty years. They were literally professionals at hiding what they did for a living.

Logically, Heinrich simply had not had the experience or training necessary to pierce through their well established veil of deception, nor had he really seen any reason even to suspect such a veil existed and needed to be pierced through. It didn’t lessen his gut feeling that he should have noticed something so integral about the lives of his own parents, but logic was on the side that he could not have been expected to see through lies that had been crafted and honed almost a decade before he’d even been born.

“Yes!” Heinrich exclaimed with feeling as she expressed in English words the thing that kept him awake at night the most. The accidental feeding of the bad wolf. “That,” he agreed, calmer. “I worry for that, too.”

“I think I was not bit,” he said slowly, carefully, stealing her past tense of the verb bite and hoping it was the same for first person singular as it was for first person plural. English was usually pretty kind in just have one past tense form for everything. The trouble was in knowing if it had an ‘-ed’ on the end or if it was one of the many special cases where that didn’t work. ‘To bite’ was apparently one of the later. “I was not close enough to see a bad wolf. I think the big bad wolfs knock ideal statues of parents off pedestal and I cut against broken pieces. You see the bad wolf. You might have a bite.”

He looked at her in surprise when she told him he was feeding his good wolf. It took a moment to realize she meant not throwing the rock, and he resolved himself to be careful about not doing that anymore. He nudged the rock a little further out of reach.

He looked up from the rock in shock as she admitted she was the one who turned in her father. He stared a little, mostly out of surprise, but also partly in horror and awe.

He couldn’t imagine how hard it must have been to actually see that ones’ parents’ wolves were bad, and then be the one to report them. He’d been spared that dilemma. Any injuries he’d taken from the wolves were merely incidental, impersonal; traps from which he’d gotten hurt but for which he had never been the intended target.

Mom and Dad, after all, had never intended to get caught.

If that hadn’t happened, he’d be perfectly ignorant, attending the same German wizarding school Mom and Dad had gone to, living like any other German teen, worrying about grades and maybe girls, and not remotely aware of what was happening in his home’s off-limits basement.

That thought left him feeling more than a little bit nauseous.

And what if he had found out? Would the wolves have turned on him? Or worse, would Mom and Dad have tried to bring him into the family business, teach him how to feed his own bad wolf? Would he have agreed to? Depending on how well they set him up for it, he might have. He didn’t know. He’d always been so keen to learn from them, to make them proud of him.

That’s why his distrusted himself so much now. He didn’t know if they’d already started. He’d always been more readily influenced and guided by authority figures than, say, Hilda was. Hilda was stubborn. She made up her own mind and nothing could sway her once she did. Heinrich . . . was not like that. Heinrich could be persuaded with facts and additional information. If they’d given him wrong information, if they’d massaged the facts just so, made a good case for themselves . . .

He didn’t know that he would have turned them in, even if he had known. He’d want so much to believe them, to trust them. He’d been so crushed by the trial because they’d never even gone on the stand, never tried to defend themselves. Even after all the evidence against them, if they’d just perjured themselves, said it was all lies, he’d have stood a good chance of believing them, but they hadn’t.

He distinctly remembered not wanting to believe the evidence. He distinctly recalled his solid belief that it was all a mistake, that Mom and Dad would not - could not - do the things for which they were accused.

That belief was shattered and broken now, but it had been very strong, strong enough that he could have been led the wrong way if things had gone differently.

“Yes,” he agreed without hesitation at her offer to help each other, because clearly, obviously, he was horribly flawed and needed a watcher. And if she thought the same about herself, she’d probably know that better than he did.

He reached out and picked up the pebble he hadn’t thrown, and offered it to her. “My good wolf. Keep him safe. Call him Guterhund. It means good dog.” Then a concerning thought occurred to him and he frowned. “It disappears when we leave MARS. We need different symbol.” He put the rock down again, and went to rifle through his pockets but realized she was still wearing his school robe.

New plan. “Should we go in the Garden, find real rock?”

  • Everything is a smelly mess.Evelyn Stones, Wed May 15 15:44
    Heinrich's grammar seemed to be suffering, either from emotion or from prolonged use, and Evelyn reaffirmed to herself that she would learn German. She was only 13, so by the time she was an adult,... more
    • Agreed. We need some flowers. — Heinrich , Thu May 16 13:31
      • Yes! Big beautiful flowers. Evelyn Stones, Thu May 16 16:36
        Evelyn wasn't crazy. She wasn't crazy. She wasn't crazy. Because she couldn't be crazy if Heinrich was also worried about doing the wrong things and being like his family. He seemed not crazy at all, ... more
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