(1939-08-29) Love Is a Bloody Mess
Details for Love Is a Bloody Mess
Summary: After an afternoon at the Leaky Cauldron, Graham escorts a very drunk Annie safely home to Rhyeline.
Date: 29 August, 1939
Location: Rhyeline's Flat
Related: Full of Surprises

What started out as a chance meeting at the Leaky Cauldron has turned into a rather wobbly mid-afternoon, with Graham being kind enough to help a very drunken Annie back to Rhyeline's place. As the door swings open, the usually bright and cheerful voice can be heard, except the words aren't as clear as they could be, and Annie has slipped far back into her Camden Town accent. "I 'preciate yer 'elp, Auror Graham, in gettin' safely back…" There's a clatter as the words cut off, something being knocked over in the front hall, followed by a stage whisper that carries dismayingly far. "Shhhhhhhhh. I'll just set this t'rights, and Rhye'll never know."

Rhyeline rests all curled up in her arm chair, her head rested on the cushioned arm. A guardwitch stands in the foyer, keeping an eye on her charge. She is there when Graham and Annie enter the flat and arches a brow when something gets knocked over. At the commotion of their arrival, Rhyeline blinks and lifts her head. Closing the book that she'd been reading, she pushes herself to sit up.

Graham moves towards the familiar house he's got his arm around the witch helping her both stay in a proper straight line and not fall over. The door opens and the item is tipped over along the way. He of course speaks kindly "It's okay Annie. I got it." he says and will bend down and right the item. "I'm sure Rhy will not mind at all. Lets get you seated though and i'll grab you some water and perhaps something to eat." He will take the first steps towards the sitting room.

Annie isn't doing great staying on her own two feet, no. She tilts her head to look up at the guardwitch, then again stage whispers to Graham. "They's allus 'ere, them guards. Never smile. Like palace guards, them lot." She glances to the guardwitch again as they pass, confident that she wasn't overheard. "Tanks, Graham, yer a right gentleman. Food? I'm not over peckish, but cor, I'm still thirsty. Is there any more whiskey?" As they near Annie's attention shifts, and she spies Rhyeline. "Rhye! Darlin' Rhye, what a lovely sight yeh are!"

Rhyeline approaches Annie with a soft smile. "It… it is always, always lovely to see you, dear one," she murmurs, taking the red-haired young woman's hands in hers. She glances up at Graham with a warm, appreciative smile. Taking over for Graham so he can get poor Annie a glass of water, Rhyeline guides her to sit on the sofa.

He shuts the door behind them and will adjust his grip on the intoxicated witch so she cannot fall down. Graham looks into the sitting room and finding his sister he offers her a warm smile in greeting "Hello again sister dear." he will watch her to make sure she has Annie in hand before he'll move to the kitchen to get her some water in a glass, he'll return to the sitting room quickly as possible and set the water down once Annie is seated.

One hand lifts to awkwardly pet Rhyeline's cheek, and as she's handed off her attention wanders again. She looks around the room. "'Zis my 'ouse? Don't look it, am I s'posed ta…" She looks back and stops speaking as she sees that it's Rhyeline now supporting her. Her eyes widen. "What 'appened t'Mister Graham bloke? 'E disappeared." The pair make it to the sofa without a catastrophe, and Annie plops down ungracefully. At least she still has the mind to smooth her skirt down, modest to the very end.

Rhyeline smiles and murmurs, "Hello to you, dear brother." The girl tilts her cheek into Annie's awkward pet and sits down with her on the loveseat. Slipping an arm around her dear friend's side, Rhyeline holds her close to keep her propped up. "Dear one," she murmurs, peeking up at Annie. "Are you alright?" Never has Rhyeline seen her this intoxicated, but then there is much of her friend that she knows she hasn't seen.

"Disappeared to the kitchen only Annie, not abandoned you." Graham says as he re-appears in front of her once she's seated. The auror holding the glass he ponders but will shake his head "I'm going to hold the glass but I want you to take a good drink okay?" he will move to stand in front of Annie the danger-zone as it were and will lean to hold the glass to her prepared to tip it carefully so she can get a drink.

Annie looks at Rhyeline, blinking owlishly to try and get the number of Rhyelines down to one. Unsuccessfully. Then she shakes her head the least bit it can be moved and still called a motion and says simply, "No." She brightens immediately when Graham returns, "Yer 'ere! An' with drink, if yeh aren't a brilliant little bugger then I don't know 'oo is!" She leans forward, complying with Graham's instruction that he'll hold the glass, and she takes several long swallows before she pulls back. There's confusion and betrayal on her face. "Tha's not whiskey!"

"Thank you, brother," murmurs Rhyeline appreciatively as Graham takes such good care of her oldest friend. Tucking Annie's hair behind her ear, Rhyeline adds, "Dear one, you will make yourself so sick if you drink more whiskey… Already you have taken too much." She glances to Graham. "Did something happen?"

Graham smiles friendly to Annie "Here I am, but hardly brilliant. My apologies, but Rhyeline is correct." The young man says kindly he'll lower the glass setting it behind him on a table. He looks to Rhyeline at her question though running through events. "Maybe so." he will lean forward speaking right near her ear so that only she can hear his words.

"I couldn't feel any worse," Annie says, sighing sadly and leaning sideways against Rhyeline. She seems to go off on a ramble for a minute, saying, "'E was there, then 'e wasn't, like a ghost 'auntin' me. An' the whiskey bird came, cor she was a nice one, wan't she Graham, all smiles an' poppers an' streamers, an' there's jus' not enough whiskey in th'world, no there's not." The last is said decisively, and broaches no room for argument. In her way she answered Rhyeline's question as well, if her friend can decipher it.

Rhyeline understands at once. She nods to Graham before wrapping her arms around Annie, the little one squeezes her friend tight. "It will be alright, dear one. I… I have some- some dark chocolates… we could have them with- with warm milk… We can curl up, warm and cozy… safe and warm… That might help a bit."

The man ponders as he looks back to the intoxicated witch a moment. She seems to be echoing his thoughts on what happened in the pub which helps him know he's right at least. Graham looks to Rhyeline now though as she also seems to have understood more than he did "Um, do you have any potion ingredients? I can probably brew a headache cure and perhaps something for her stomach." he asks curiously.

For a few moments, Annie just looks profoundly morose, staring at her hands. Then she twists and leans over more, until she just topples over sideways, landing her head in Rhyeline's lap. "Chokkies won't 'elp. Nothin'll 'elp. It's all gone buggered up sideways an' there's nothin' t'do about it." This is a far cry from the cheerful Annie that she shows to the world, and in the morning she'll likely be mortified, not that Rhyeline saw this, but that Graham did.

Rhyeline shakes her head to Graham as she helps ease Annie gently into her lap. She adjusts her friend's head so she can lie more comfortably. Slow and gentle, she strokes her fingertips through Annie's hair. "It will be alright, dear one. You are surrounded by those who love you. Who care about you. There are sweet things in life as well."

"I'll brew them at home when I get back since I have everything there, and return or send my owl once I have completed them." Graham isn't leaving immediately just that he will brew the potions and make sure they are here for her once she wakes up. "Of course Rhyeline is correct without the downs. The up's wouldn't seem as lovely as they are." he says in agreement with his sisters words since they are quite true.

All the animation goes out of Annie, another soft sigh comes, and there's a spark of clarity amidst the fog of whiskey. "I 'ad a sweet thing once," she says, her voice almost a whisper, devoid of inflection. "'E'd 'ave done anyfing for me, an' I ran away from 'im. 'E gave me 'is love an' 'is secrets, an' I ran, an' 'is life 'as gone on." Suddenly her ability to move comes back, and Annie sits back up, looking from Rhyeline to Graham. There's no big display, but there are tear tracks on her face. "I did it, an' I 'ave t'live with it." She sounds resigned. And still pissed.

Rhyeline pulls Annie into a tight hug and nuzzles the poor girl gently. "I… I know it hurts… But… the pain will pass. It- it might come back from time to time… but it will always pass again. And… remember why you left. You had to. You needed to. Is regret truly what you should feel? Would you have made a different choice?" Rhyeline peeks up at her.

The auror looks at the two he'll take the glass and move to the kitchen to get it refilled. Graham steps back in this is in case that she needs more water which is very likely. He can still hear the words and will kneel now in front of the couch. "Annie, I know we're just re-meeting and getting to know you as my friend, but believe me i've been hurt by someone I love." yes he speaks in the present tense here. "She is back in town and i've seen her more and more often lately. It was hard the first few times.. really hard it hurt, but I promise that as time goes on and I see her it hurts less each time, I can enjoy her company once more. I don't know who it was who walked by, but i'm guessing someone from your past. I'm quite certain of this, that they wouldn't want you to hurt as you are."

If only there was more whiskey, because that fog is starting to lift around the edges and Annie just really doesn't want it to right now. "I don't know, poppet," she responds to Rhyeline, hugging her back. "I just don't know." She looks to Graham as he comes down to her eye level, her eyes holding his as he offers her help as well. She sniffles, unwrapping Rhyeline with one arm so she can swipe the tears from her cheek. "'E didn't 'urt me, Graham, that's th' thing. I 'urt 'im. For all I know, 'e wants me dead." Again, her eyes flicker between the pair, and the lessening of her inebriation makes her wince. "I'm sorry. I guess I wasn't ready for that. I don't know that I ever will be." She tries to put a light tone on it. "At least that's over."

Rhyeline smiles with such appreciative warmth at Graham as he offers Annie such gentle and wise comfort. Peeking back up at Annie, she bites her lower lip and then frowns at her pain. "Dear one… you should speak with him. You should not torture yourself with fearful imaginations."

Graham will nod "That's what I mean Annie, I was the one who was for lack of a better term, dumped. After over a year it just came to an end." This isn't as easy as he's making it seem but perhaps only Rhyeline given her head is less foggy can see the pain there though he wont show it as it doesn't help the situation. "I have never wanted any harm to come to her, and never will in fact she's probably the only person I can think of i'd protect as fiercely as my beloved sister there."

Rhyeline's suggestion gets a look from Annie that's nothing short of horrified. "Oh no. No no no." She shakes her head emphatically, and groans softly from the motion before pulling it back together. "No," she says one more time, as if it couldn't have been understood before. "I couldn't bear it." She reaches out to put her hand lightly on Graham's shoulder. "Love is a bloody mess."

Rhyeline offers Graham the warmest of smiles before peeking back up at Annie with quiet concern. She simply nods, not wanting to push or pressure Annie any further. Squeezing her gently, she murmurs, "Perhaps it would be best if you tried to sleep? The morning will look brighter." The sun hasn't even set, but still.

The auror doesn't pull away or anything at the hand on his shoulder in fact he'll reach up and pat it lightly if allowed to do so. "It certainly can be, but even knowing what I know now of how things would end up, well at least so far. I would still make the same choices and do it all over again." Graham turns looking over to Rhyeline catching her smile and returning it. "I can help if you'd like to sleep Annie but its your choice."

Annie lets her hand rest under Graham's for a moment before she nods and pulls it away slowly. She turns her head, placing a gentle kiss on Rhyeline's cheek. "Yes. I think I'll go to bed. It's been a very long day." She stands, wobbling only slightly, and turns a plaintive look to Graham. "You'll remember the potions?"

Rhyeline tucks herself against Annie's side, ready to accompany her up the stairs. She smiles softly up at Graham, waiting for Annie to be ready to go rest.

Graham glances between the two he'll recover his hand after she moves hers. He will move to stand back up properly now though his focus goes to Rhyeline first "Do you need my help? Up the stairs and all?" He asks before looking back to Annie he smiles friendly "No of course I wont forget, two potions on the way soon as I can finish them." he promises this which is an easy one he's not really ever bad when it comes to remembering to help people.

There's a soft pet for Rhyeline's cheek and Annie says softly, "You stay, poppet, have some time with Graham. I'll be fine." She sounds sincere, and now more tired than drunk. "I'll go enjoy the spinning bed for a bit. Ta, Graham. For everything." She might not have made it home without him! Who knows where she would have ended up if left to get 'home' by her own devices. Heaven forbid it would have been the Moody house. She turns and starts to move away, then stops. Turning back she takes the glass of water in one hand, tips it toward her friends like a toast, and then moves to shuffle her way upstairs.

Rhyeline rises onto her tiptoes to press a gentle kiss to Graham's cheek. "Thank you, brother… for taking such good care of Annie." But, then she turns and scurries after her friend. Slipping an arm around her, Rhyeline tucks herself under her arm and says, "I am not leaving you, dear one. I will see you safely to bed." And thus, the little mouse follows her up and properly tucked into bed, leaving a glass of water on her bedside table.

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