(1939-07-29) Visitors to Harper's Warren
Details for Visitors to Harper's Warren
Summary: After witnessing a man burn to death, and hearing the news of her uncle's demise, Elise is sad. Cillian brings pie and good company to cheer her up.
Date: 1939-07-29
Location: Harper's Warren (Harper family home)
Related: http://wandw.wikidot.com/log:1939-07-26-just-another-day-at-the-book-store Just Another Day at the Book Store

Harper's Warren is an absolutely delightful place for any witch or wizard to grow up in. The charming, roomy cottage is located on sprawling grounds that abut a large natural forest. An extensive garden spreads abundantly from the cottage walls outward - a lively and chaotic mix of beautiful flowers and succulent-looking vegetables. There are even a couple of fruit trees - apple and pear! A rooster keeps guard over several hens, a nanny goat and her kid crop the grass in a large enclosure while they keep company with an old cow. Beneath an ancient oak tree there is a simple swing made of rope and a wooden board, and upon this sits a girl.

She's dressed in a knee-length pink skirt and a pristine white blouse, and pink ribbons tie her braids at the ends. But she's not taking in the scenery - not the flowers, nor the vegetables, nor the beautiful weather of a glorious summer morning. Instead, she's carelessly scuffing her shoes in the grass beneath the swing, while an old cat watches her from the branch overhead.

It hasn't been long since Cillian has been in town. His parents have been…besides themselves, in fact there's a slender Irish man with curly brown hair sitting on a trunk in the front of the house as a tall dark haired Romanian looking man with long black hair and dark robes stands beside him with arms crossed not. saying. a. word. But Cillian can be found making his way out yonder to the garden wearing a pair of simple leather breeches, a loose fitting linen tunic under a leather vest, eye patch in place and his long hair left out for the time being as he is carefully holding a large paper box in his arms, his satchel hanging at his side stuffed with stuff as usual. "Ye know…if I 'ave to spend another hour listening to the safety rules from a man who runs a pub and a man who teaches for a livin' m' goin' to be goin' deaf!"

Elise blinks a couple of times and lifts her head, turning it to see Cillian approaching her. "Cillian!" she says, totally shocked that he's actually here. She stands up off the swing, letting it hit the back of her knees gently. Her eyes dart to his fathers speaking to her parents, who have come out to be good hosts. Even now her mother can be seen making come-in-for-tea gestures, trying to get them inside to the parlor. "Hi." Her chin quivers a bit. "I'm so glad to see you," she says, sounding absolutely miserable.

The two men in the parlor would accept tea, and the Irish 'Da' is very friendly, the 'Father' is upper class polite but they don't really move that much. Cillian just flashes a grin and will offer a one armed hug if allowed as he nears Elise, holding the box out of the way. "And I you! I 'eard it was a mess just simply a mess up here and I thought to meself it was probably because I wasn't around."

Elise wraps both of her arms around him and hugs him tightly. "It is," she agrees. "Poor Luci has been crying for two days straight," she says. "I can't even cheer her up. I tried everything I know of - I even cleaned up her room for her, and made her that cake she likes so much - the red velvet with chocolate chips, you know, and the cream chees icing." She shakes her head mournfully. "Poor Uncle Theo. The curse got him. The outhouse of all places…" she finally lets go of him. It's then that the box catches her attention. "What's that?" she asks.

Cillian bites his bottom lip at the news, sighing and shaking his head with a deep sigh. "We'll need her to give us somethin' of his…like a picture or somethin'. We'll have a proper pirate funeral for him if we can be findin' a lake…we can make the boat out of paper and all." Then he clears his throat and eyes the box as he's returning the hug best he can, smiling kindly. "Well, me Da was beside himself with worry about yer health…so he made an Apple Cake." A long pause. "He's not been too 'appy seein' as a lot of 'is family been rough this time too, so he's been bakin' like a stressed washer woman."

"If it's already cut," Elise says, "Let's have a slice." She walks the few steps to the base of the tree and sits, then pats the grass next to her. "I've got a picture you can have," Elise offers sadly. "It's a good one - he's smiling and happy. He looks strong." She sniffles a bit, and takes out her handkerchief to dab at her eyes. "The real funeral is tomorrow," she says. "I'll have to wear nothing but black robes for half a year. Poor Luci will be in mourning black for a full year. You know how much she adores her wardrobe. She'll be upset with the limited color, I can already predict it." She pauses, and gives him a sheepish look. "You know, once she's started to recover from her fathers… death." She smooths her skirt over her legs. "Gosh, Cil, I don't know how I'm supposed to react. One minute I'm sobbing like a baby, the next all I can do is talk about Luci's clothes. I'm —" she waves her arms vaguely. "I'm all over the place."

"Nah, what fun would it be if it was already cut?" Cillian has a seat beside Elise on the ground, unslinging his satchel and setting the box in front of them as he pulls a couple of forks from said satchel and offers one to Elise before pushing the cake closer to her, listening and shaking his head. "Dun be wearing black for half a year unless its all ye 'ave. Maybe a black ribbon or a piece of black, but for Luci's sake, ye both keep enjoying yer colors." Then he sighs softly. "Cry when ye need to, gab when ye want, its all feelings and they all matter."

Elise leans to one side and briefly rests her head on his shoulder. "You're the best," she sighs. Then she sits up straight again and accepts the fork. She has a bite of the pie. "You know what?" she asks him. "That's not even all I'm upset about." The now-clean fork is held closely to her face and she inspects it minutely. "I saw…" she trails off and twirls the fork around a couple of times. "I saw the — the smoke, you know. That attack? And there was this man in front of the shop." Her voice drops into a choked whisper, and the fork drops onto her skirt. Her fingers rest on her cheeks, her shoulders draw in close to each other. "He was running, Cillian. I saw him. And then he — he just " great big tears well up in her eyes. " burned." She buries her face in her hands. "Horrible," she whispers.

Cillian just blinks owlishly for a few moments, shifting to rub Elise's back and sit closer as he forks a bit of cake into this mouth and just blinks some more and he takes a deep breath, shaking his head. "Aye. It does indeed sound like a memory that'll haunt ye." A long pause. "But it won't rule ye. So get yer tears out now and then we'll figure out how we're going to be helpin'."

Elise spends a couple more minutes crying and leaning against Cillian. But she's been crying a lot recently, and there's only so much one can do before one becomes sick. Finally, she sits up and dries her eyes and blows her nose. "Mum said she can take me to a Healer, and they can take out the memory of that man burning," she says, her voice a bit hoarse. She clears her throat and tries again. "She said it's up to me. I think I'm going to go ahead and do that. They'll give me the memory in a little bottle, and I'll know what's in it, but I won't remember what's in it." She sniffles. "I think I'm going to go ahead and do that. It's just too much," she tells him. She tucks her hair behind her ears and looks over at him. "Well, anyway. How's your summer been?"

Cillian just stares at Elise for a moment and he takes a deep breath. "Every…night I see people dying and hurtin' and cryin' and tings I really dun even really know what I'm seeing." He admits. "I use the memories to make me even more determined to be doin' good tings for people because of all the bad tings that are in the world." He shrugs his shoulders. "I'm just sad that ye had to get a peek at how awful tings can really be." He hesitates before replying. "Very…odd so far, lots of studyin' and workin' in the pub."
Cillian gives you a cookie.

"Oh, Cil," Elise says softly, compassion welling up inside of her like water from a spring. "I'm sorry," she tells him. She'll hug him, if he allows. "Are you going to sleep over?" she asks. "We've got a nice spare bedroom. It used to be my brother's room, but he's married now and everything. Mum and Dad said weeks ago you can stay over if your parents don't mind. We… can go hiking in the woods, too. See all the baby animals, maybe. The little badgers are so cute, and the foxes and squirrels."

Cillian's head tilts to the side as he points to the cake. "More…if ye get skinny on me there will be nothin' to hug!" He does allow the hug with a soft chuckle and a small nod of his head. "I will be stayin' I tink for a bit. But ummm…." He takes a deep breath. "I tink me Da and Father will want to be stayin' as well, probably negociating it as we speak…they brought their own tent and everyting, it has arm chairs in it and I tink a bar."

"Well, we have plenty of space," Elise says, gesturing at the pastoral grounds of her home. It really is picturesque. "My sister's room is empty, too - they could stay there, probably. I bet my parents offer it up." She reluctantly has another bite of the treat - just a small one. "I can give you a tour, if you like."

"Splendid! Right after we finish our tea…speakin' of which we probably should 'ave tea or milk with this…." He trails off. "Anyways, we'll 'ave a tour and then maybe we can play some chess or braid each other's 'air or do somethin' like that." Cillian winks and flahses a grin.

For the first time in days, a little smile cracks Elise's face. It's brief, but genuine. "I'd like to see you in braids, she teases." And then she'll stand up and lead him into the cottage for tea.

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