Match Madness

Match Madness

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Match Madness

Post by Maddie McKillon on Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:06 pm

[OOC: Apologies for this monster of a post- wanted to get all the angst neatly out of the way so the fun can begin Razz Backdating it a few months bc Ilvermorny. (If Maude doesn’t want to meet them at the refreshment stand, I can amend it.)]


Maddie had felt the ghost of Robin following her around all day.

Not the real ghost, of course. That would be ridiculous- her ex-husband wasn’t the type to linger much longer than necessary, as she knew too well. The presence she sensed was entirely of her own making, the barest whisper of a shadow that flitted across her thoughts as she attempted to go about her day. An all too familiar heaviness that dogged her footsteps as it hadn’t in months.

It was stupid, she knew. And yet she couldn’t seem to shake the sensation of… regret? Nostalgia? Familiarity?

Neither of those, but something more closely approaching sorrow. For someone not particularly inclined to fits of sentimentality, moving past the past on this particular day was proving exceedingly difficult.

It had all started with that ridiculous jumper.

Despite her marriage to a quidditch star of considerable renown, Maddie hadn’t been to many quidditch matches in her life. She could count the number of those occasions outside Hogwarts on one hand, never seeing the allure of the sport, at first cringing at the danger to the players, later at the risk of a stray bludger battering one of her children. But her offspring were irreverent of such concerns. Even Charlie- quiet, easily shaken- did not share her ambivalence about the sport that had given and taken so much from her.

Robin had never brought this issue up with her. Like too many things, it was something they’d never discussed, and yet another question that would remain unanswered. Another ghost to tag along behind her. If he’d asked her to go to his matches and watch from the box, as so many of his team-mates’ spouses did, she supposed it might have been different. Perhaps she would have shared the love of this sport that tied the rest of her little family together so closely and left her bemused and isolated. Perhaps they would have shared their interests, rather than tenuously co-existing in the intersection of two starkly different spheres of magic. Perhaps their story might have ended differently. A thousand perhaps, and a thousand ghosts whispering their regrets into every cranny of her mind whenever that pandora’s box was opened.

In any case, she would not have been rooting around in his wardrobe in search of something vaguely appropriate to wear to a quidditch match. According to all three of her children, it was unacceptable to observe a game without making a show of visible support for either team. Kathryn in particular had been emphatic that the only acceptable dress-code was to be as wholly bedecked as a muggle Christmas tree- not owning any pertinent hats, scarves, articles of clothing was not an adequate excuse.

And then Charlie had suggested borrowing something of Robin’s, since they hadn’t gone through all his possessions yet, and Maddie had found herself leaning halfway into the dusty wardrobe, battling with the mountains of shirts and jeans and robes she’d never got round to giving away. Of course, he hadn’t played for the Harpies, but hadn’t he been to a few of their matches? Casper had long ago laid claim to his father’s old Hogwarts captain hoodie, but surely there must be somethin-

Then suddenly her hand had closed around a familiar piece of material and without even thinking she’d tugged it out and everything seemed to come crashing around her.

It wasn’t a particularly ugly or beautiful jumper. It was old and soft and worn, with the old Fitchburg Finches logo on it, the one before they’d rebranded and its owner had shot to stardom. She’d never imagined that such an innocuous piece of clothing could have such a monumental effect on her, and yet there she stood, struggling to breathe, holding it away from her as though it might sting or petrify her with the merest glance. She held it out as she did the first time he’d got the uniform and brought it to show her, when she’d beamed with pride and excitement, and looked at it the way she had when he’d sat across the table from her that fateful spring morning, the last time they’d ever faced each other across a breakfast table and hurt each other with words neither enjoyed using.

It was the same jumper he’d worn the first time he’d held Charlie, the first time she’d seen his picture in the papers, the first time she’d felt like a stranger had stolen her husband’s clothes and their future.

The children stared at her expectantly as she came down the stairs, eagerly awaiting the sight of their academic mother’s concession to athleticism. As her empty hands became clear Charlie had looked reproachful, Kathryn acutely disappointed, preparing to let loose a cry of reprimand before Casper hushed her, concern etched on his features. Her eldest, the one with a sense for sorrow, who never failed to pick up on her heavy steps and difficult days. And even after Kathryn had draped a spare green scarf around her neck and Casper had pinned a Finches badge to her shirt, the scent of that old top and its ghosts lingered and Maddie hated herself for it.

They’d set out early, her indomitable brood and her, stopping by the Leaky Cauldron for butterbeers and pumpkin juice, huddled around a table as Casper and Kathryn argued over the season’s rankings. She’d had time to think through the events of the morning and recover her sensibilities, her good temper, her joy at the kids’ happiness and the meeting of an old friend. Like always, warmth banished the phantoms of the past and her steps and laugh were light once again.

Now, she stood outside the stadium by the refreshment stand where Maude had promised to meet them, watching contentedly as her children buzzed around, electric with excitement as she hadn’t seen them in months. Even Charlie was smiling, and now Kathryn was ambling back from her quest for nourishment, grinning from ear to ear above confectionary-laden arms.

“I come bearing gifts of bliss and cavities. Mum, the guy at the refreshment stand said my jumper’s cool. He asked how Gryffindor were doing this year.”

“You don’t even play quidditch, Kath,” Casper shot out, laughter in his voice.

“I could if I wanted to.”

“You should probably pass that compliment on to the true owner, Kit-kat,” Maddie admonished lightly, though she wore a smile on her face that belied her words. Kathryn stuck her tongue out at both of them, flipping her hair back smugly.

“Yes, Annika’s wardrobe is flattered- as is Dad’s dresser, Casper.”

The last remark was thrown carelessly over her shoulder as she turned to hand Charlie his box of jellybeans. The mention of Robin didn’t leave Maddie shaken or saddened, laughter chasing out the ghosts that threatened to resurface. She watched as Kathryn’s back turned and Casper dived forward to grab his sister in a headlock, ruffling her hair affectionately and messing up the waves she’d taken such care to tame that morning.

“Get her! Charlie, grab the Chocolate Frogs! They’re ours now, you charlatan. Besmirching the noble game of quidditch with your lies-“

“Charlie, no! Not the Frogs! MUM!”

Kathryn’s cries were lost beneath the pile formed by her brothers, each wrestling a food item out of her hands even as her laughter mingled with theirs. There was a different magic in the air as joy and mirth transformed her children into the best versions of themselves: Kathryn, easy-going and pliable; Casper, uncommonly energetic; Charlie, precocious as she’d never seen him. Somewhat belatedly, Maddie found that she couldn’t stop smiling.

Perhaps quidditch was something she’d learn to share with them, too.

Someday, the ghosts of the past would have to be faced and exorcised, but today was not that day.


@Maude Prichard
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Lucien Holt on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:59 pm

"No, Henry, you can't-"

"Of course I can. I'm the one that got them in here."

"But they don't know you. Why couldn't you wait there and let us talk? Or - or at least let me introduce you since you're already down here. Did you know you're a git?"

Henry Tross let out a loud, entertained laugh, but nodded fervently. "Of course I am. That's why I'm in the position I am. That's why I'm in charge."

Maude frowned deeply, but it was really more of a pout. He was ruining her fun completely by forcing his presence on her day with Maddie's and the kids. Sure, she saw them during summers, but that wasn't at all the same. And as nice as it was of him to give up his tradition with his best friend, Declan, she had hoped for a day without him there to embarrass her. Now they were walking around the Quidditch grounds at the home of her loyalty, and she had no idea how to explain his being there or staying to watch the game with them. But he was insistent.

It irked her, mainly because - as friendly as Maude had always been - she was very good at being very nice to very many people, but not at making genuine, deep friendships. Maddie's time was so highly valued by the commentator that Maude was afraid of ruining something. Luckily, she had always been rather great with children, and it had granted her a chance to find a lovely, true friend.

"If you aren't on your best behavior, I swear to Merlin I'll quit."

Henry looked over at her with a lifted eyebrow and a disbelieving half-smile. Although his lips didn't part, she could practically see the way his tongue slipped across the gap between his upper and lower teeth, telling himself to keep quiet. Color rose in her cheeks so she turned away, looking for Maddie or the children.

They came around the corner, aiming for the refreshment stand, when Henry finally turned his chin forward again - but too late. He walked directly into one of the kids darting across the pathway, scaring both him and Maude. Using their long-since honed Quidditch reflexes, they both reached out - Henry for the child in question and Maude for him. They were both too late to stop the collision, but hoped they could keep any pain or damage away.

Maude released him as he crouched down, passing a worried, caring gaze over the child's face. "Are you alright?"

[ooc: I didn't want to assume anything so if you don't want it to be one of Maddie's kids or something that's fine! Interpret this however you'd like!]
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Maddie McKillon on Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:53 pm

Charlie had finally succeeded in wrenching one of the Frogs from Kathryn as Casper released her from the head-lock, reaching out to high five his brother. Charlie, however, was unable to regain his balance, pushed on by the excess momentum. He darted precariously across the path just as Casper stopped mid-cheer and Kathryn mid-scowl to reach out for him.

Maddie saw the collision coming first and called out a warning, stepping forward a second too late.

Charlie looked up at the unfamiliar face of the man he'd bumped into before he spotted the all too familiar woman standing behind him.

"Maude!" he cried, getting up and running forward to throw his arms around her. Physical affection was not something Charlie often displayed to any but his mother and siblings, but his fondness for the young woman was one they all shared, given their long friendship and longer acquaintance.

Maddie, Casper, and Kathryn had caught up to the scene, smiles and grins at the ready, having already ascertained the identity of at least one of the duo.

"Hi, Maude!" Kathryn exclaimed, beaming, as Casper offered a wave and a slow grin. Maddie too smiled, but hers was apologetic and directed at the other half of the collision.

"Sorry about that. The kids are a little excited. You must be Henry?"

At her words, Charlie released Maude and turned, looking guilty. Kathryn also stepped forward, an intrigued gleam in her eyes.

"He's absolutely fine," she offered, smiling a little too sweetly. Meanwhile Casper looked up, having taken it upon himself to thoroughly inspect his younger brother for bumps or bruises and found none.

"Yep, all good. No worries man."

"Sorry," Charlie added in a small voice.
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Henry Tross on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:54 pm

Henry felt Maude crouch down beside him, but he leaned away when the boy called out her name and moved to hug her. Well, he couldn't have been that injured, then, Henry determined. He pushed himself up to standing as other children started calling out their hellos for Maude, figuring that these must be the kids that they were spending the day with. So that meant that their mother had to be around here somewhere-

Right. He nodded and started to extend a hand, but then the kids turned towards him and pulled his attention for a moment. He hadn't really spent a lot of time around kids, but in the department he ran, working with children in an outreach sort of way was something that seriously mattered. So he had learned a bit, and was trying his best not to be sarcastic or crude.

Really, Maude should be thanking him.

"Not to worry," he assured them, his Welsh accent heavy enough to be noticeable, but of course not enough to be difficult to understand. "I've had much worse," he teased, shooting a wink Maude's way.

She tilted her head but merely looked at him, clearly unimpressed. "Yes," she said, picking up where Maddie had left off. "This is Henry. He's in charge of the Regulation of Magical Games and Sports department at the Ministry, and was nice enough," she said pointedly, crossing her arms and leaning towards him, "to let us use his box to watch the match."

He did hold his hand out that time, offering a closed-lipped smile as he caught Maude's quiet disapproval. Was he not supposed to be friendly and fun? Kids loved that!

"Henry, this is Maddie and her kids," Maude added, gesturing to each one. "Charlie, Casper and Kathryn."

Henry smiled at each of them, properly that time, before giving a firm nod. "You all set with your snacks for the match? I can show you around if you want?"

Maude sidled up to Maddie, trying to hide her exasperation with Henry, and just shook her head. "I thought he was going to let us  watch the match on our own, but he's decided to stay. Hopefully he isn't too obnoxious, today."
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Maddie McKillon on Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:15 pm

Although it was Kathryn who watched Henry more closely, it was Casper that picked up on the wink he shot Maude, eyes trained on the older man in quiet observance. Of their small boisterous family, he alone offered a smile rather than joining the chorus as Kathryn and Charlie chirped out their thanks. Maddie merely looked amused, before reaching out to shake the offered hand.

"Nice to meet you, Henry. Thanks for the outing. We've heard so much about you."

Well, maybe Casper wasn't alone in his observation. Neither had any inkling of the relationship between Maude and her boss, but that didn't prevent Maddie's mischievous comment, nor Casper's intrigued perusal of the mysterious Henry.

They waved in turn as they were introduced, but his next offer had a curious effect. Charlie's brows furrowed as he looked between Casper and his mother, uncertainty in his eyes.

"But we already know our way ar-"

"Yes! Please. Give us the grand tour." Kathryn interrupted with all of her usual subtlety, nudging her younger brother silent as she answered for them.

Neither Maddie nor Casper made any indication of having noticed beyond Maddie reaching a hand out to absent-mindedly ruffle Charlie's hair in reassurance.

They both knew what he'd meant to say- that they'd been to the stadium plenty with their father before his death, that they'd even sat in a box like the one they were going to today, and that they all knew quidditch pitches like the back of their hand. Maddie, of course, didn't share in this knowledge. But she knew her children well enough to read their thoughts, and she recognised Kathryn's eagerness to enjoy the game with no baggage, and Charlie's need for reassurance that this did not have to be tied to Robin in any way.

Maddie gave them both this comfort, sending Charlie a bright smile and nodding at Kathryn's words.

"A tour would be lovely."

She watched the kids walk ahead, an amused grin lighting across her face at Maude's apprehension, causing her to redirect her reassurance to the younger woman.

"Don't worry about it. The more the merrier!" She lowered her voice here, the mischievous glint returning as she added, "Between you and me, the kids could do with some new blood. It's him we should worry about."

Meanwhile, Casper and Kathryn had taken it upon themselves to throroughly quiz Henry on his loyalties, the former asking seriously-

"So, are you a Harpies fan?"
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Lucien Holt on Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:14 am

Maude caught what Charlie started to say, but Henry apparently did not. Or, if he did, he was a very good actor. Perhaps she should suggest he consider being on the telly as she was. But then again, that would require that Maude gave the overly-confident git an ego boost he so clearly did not need. Still, his smile at Kathryn's interruption was something she felt guilty about almost ruining by speaking up.

Plus, Maddie's reassurance was one she didn't feel comfortable arguing with. How terribly rude would she look if she said something about it, besides? Regardless of if she thought Henry was a bit of donut most of the time.

She perked up at the Harpies question, though, a smile pulling at her cheeks. That died, though, when Henry spoke.

"Oh, absolutely not. Prichard certainly is, though. Can't say I know why."

He glanced over his shoulder as he led the way towards the entrance to the stands, smirking back at her as she fumed. Maude lifted an unimpressed eyebrow at him but he just grinned. "No, it's all about the Welsh National. And if not that lot, Caerphilly Catapults better win."

"The Harpies are a Welsh team as well, you know," Maude pointed out petulantly, her temper apparently deciding to show itself.

"Over here's the old photos and trophies," Henry pointed out, stepping aside and catching Maude's elbow to hold her back. "Welsh, yes," he conceded. "But not the right one."

Maude stopped beside him but only reluctantly, glaring at him. "Do you have any idea how sexist that is? Besides, your team hasn't won anything since fifty-six!"

Henry frowned, apparently offended by the fact that she had pointed out the truth. Maude tilted her head to the side, shaking it slightly, daring him to challenge her. In the end, he just said, "I never said I had a problem with who played for them. Everyone has their own favorite team for their own reasons."

Bristling though she was, Maude registered just how terrible of an example she was making herself out to be. Turning her chin away, she frowned and crossed her arms, effectively yanking her elbow away from him. Henry continued to frown at her, though, and she refused to turn back.

People didn't always grow up properly, apparently. At least, not when around those who knew how to press their buttons.

Raising his voice again, Henry looked over at the others again and suggested they head upstairs so they could go into the commentator's box. Maude turned her head at that, though, surprised.

"You lot ought to see what Maude does when she's not on the telly. It's quite exciting."

Henry turned to lead the way again, his excitement no longer there in a particularly genuine manner. Maude rolled her lips inwards as she tried to decide what his angle was with the day's events. She didn't quite have it in her to believe that he was just trying to be nice. With him, there was always something.
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Maddie McKillon on Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:39 pm

The displays proved a sufficient enough distraction from the discussion, which seemed to have taken on some other significance that none of the family felt quite comfortable interrupting. Kathryn and Charlie darted forward to peruse the photos they were already acquainted with, though their interest apparently didn't suffer for it.

Maddie, also, looked over the photos, finding that few faces were at all recognisable to her and feeling a strange sense of guilt for it. Her roving gaze seemed to be searching for something, but what it was she had not a clue. She paused on a match photo, attention snagged by a face that seemed more familiar than the rest, though she couldn't tell why. The uniform was the same as Robin's, so it must have been a team-mate. When had she ever met any team-mates?

She was quickly brought back to the present by Casper nudging her discreetly and quirking his eyebrows in Henry and Maude's direction. He alone had forgone examining the displays in favour of keeping an observant eye and a faint ear on Maude and Henry, which Maddie now joined him in.

"Look, Mum, it's Stefan Brankovitch! He was on the team with Dad, you know. Dad said you hadn't seen a real beater till you'd seen-"

Kathryn trailed off, only just picking up on her mother's complete lack of attention to her and Charlie's conversation. In fact, Maddie was discreetly observing the interaction unfolding between the other two adults, who were off to the side and whose body language seemed to indicate some sort of disagreement.

Only it wasn't so discreet now that the two youngest Jerichos had turned away from the photos and were also watching Maude and her boss with undisguised curiosity. When Henry looked over, they all attempted to look as nonchalant as possible to varying degrees of success, with Kathryn putting on the most impressive display of finding her Chocolate Frogs intensely interesting. Maddie reddened slightly, sure that their open interest in Maude and Henry's conversation had been picked up and somehow sensing that their role as witnesses wasn't necessarily wanted or particularly wise.

She eyed Maude curiously. She couldn't say why, exactly, she was curious, but something about their stances and expressions seemed to suggest something beyond a simple work disagreement. But then, she had no idea of the usual dynamic between the younger woman and her boss so she didn't feel at all entitled to comment on it. Instead, she simply began walking quietly next to Charlie, mulling over what she could say to help alleviate the tension surrounding Maude.

It was Casper, however, who spoke up with what might have been a rather hollow placatory throwaway comment, were it not for the quiet earnestness with which it was delivered.

"Maude can make anything exciting."

He looked over at her as he said it, flashing the calm smile that the rest of the family were all too familiar with, the one that he often used to try to diffuse tensions between his younger siblings and alleviate his mother's worries. It was an instinct, now, and Maddie suspected he no longer even noticed he was doing it. But something about her eldest son carried an air of serene reassurance, and she knew it was probably better than anything she could attempt to say, subtle or otherwise.

Charlie nodded emphatically in agreement with his brother, and Maddie couldn't help the small smile at the display of possibly unnecessary loyalty from her boys. None of them had any understanding of what had happened beyond Maude's disgruntled stance, but they seemed instinctively to assume she was the one wronged, if anyone had been.

At the mention of the telly, Kathryn had visibly perked up, skipping ahead to keep pace with her older brother, who was already following Henry. Despite his easy response to the situation, Casper could sense a lingering awkwardness in the air and had the sense to look slightly abashed, but Kathryn merely smirked and offered to Henry rather too cheerfully-

"Lovers' tiff?"

Casper shook his head, stifling his amusement rather successfully and pretending to look around for Charlie while Maddie shot her daughter a disapproving look that Kathryn studiously ignored. Nothing new there, then.
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Henry Tross on Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:57 am

Henry knew that Maude had reasons enough to believe that he could be a proper cad, but she didn't seem to realize that almost every single time he made a point to act that way, it was in jest. It irked him, mainly, that she couldn't tell the difference. Clearly she didn't know him well enough, or just didn't care to know. But the day was meant to be for Maude's friends. So once the tour was over, once the game began, he would just politely take his leave.

Once of the boys seemed to think that Maude needed some reassuring, and it apparently worked, because she hesitated only a moment before relaxing and reaching to pass a hand over his hair as she cracked a smile.

"I'm glad you think so," she told him. "Means I may not lose my job any time soon."

Maude sent the boy a good-natured wink, then stood up straighter and lingered next to Maddie while Henry and the others started up the stairs. He didn't bother waiting.

Of course, he probably should have, considering he actually tripped up the stairs when Kathryn spoke. Not to the extent that he fell, but that he ran the toe of his shoe into the next step up, his body jerking to regain balance as he gave the step another try. He glanced back, only to find a wide-eyed Maude Prichard staring right back at him.

He suddenly found himself with the opportunity to twist the conversation in several differing directions. He could insult her thoroughly to assure that the topic was dropped and confirm for himself that she wasn't or wouldn't be interested in him. He could suggest that they were, to rile her up even more. Or, he could be nice, and improve her mood while deprecating and embarrassing himself. Which he imagined she would appreciate in some way, just because it was him.

"Ah, no," the Welshman responded. "Maude's much too good for a git like me."

Her mouth snapped shut, probably audibly as far as Maddie was concerned, but Henry only saw it happen. Days from now, he would hear from Safiya Jordan about the dunce of a man that Maude was more or less seeing. Less being the more realistic way to define the situation. And Merlin, would he tear into that bloke. Because as much as it was true for himself, Henry would be entirely sure that Dylan was way worse. Perhaps because the idiot wouldn't care that Maude was too sweet to see someone without the other person feeling anything. Henry, on the other hand, knew better.

He turned, walking more carefully up the stairs, but Maude hung back. "What in Merlin's name was that?" She asked herself in disbelief, glancing towards Maddie and shaking her head. Her arms had crossed themselves at some point, apparently, because she had to put them back at her sides to look more casual. "..Mental..."
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Maddie McKillon on Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:17 pm

[Having too much fun with this Razz]

Maddie winced when Henry tripped, though she didn't quite move towards him as her instinct commonly directed her to in the event of such accidents. Charlie and Casper, however, made no attempt to hide their amusement, the younger of the two wearing a rather shockingly uncharacteristic look of mischief, all things considered.

Kathryn pursed her lips and let out an audible, deliberate "Hmm" in response to Henry's excuse. Maddie, sensing her daughter was probably itching to be even more obtrusive and would do so given the barest chance, shot Kathryn the look universally employed by mothers everywhere, somewhere between a warning and a reprimand. She didn't doubt Kathryn might even agree vehemently with Henry just to see what would happen. For her part, the younger girl had enough Gryffindor in her to seemingly disregard her mother's warning- but she kept mum nonetheless.

As the others traipsed up the stairs, Maddie caught the tail end of what Maude was saying and gave the younger woman an apologetic look while they brought up the rear.

"Yeah, I'm so sorry about that. You know what Kath's like. No filter, that one. All in good fun!" She cringed a little at her own words- her attempt to alleviate the awkwardness striking even her as rather feeble. But even as she said them something in Maude's tone made her second guess what she'd actually meant by the word, and she eyed her closely, feeling like she was missing something but not having a solid clue what.

"I'm sure she was just trying to be funny. Which of course it wasn't. Obviously, considering he's... your boss?"

The last part came out more like a question though she hadn't intended it to be, and far more hesitantly than it should have. Maddie was confused. Like earlier, she had no clue why. She was sure a penny should have dropped, somewhere, but there was no ringing out of realisation. So, she simply acted instinctively and smiled brightly at Maude, deciding that the awkwardness of the situation and the unexpectedness of Kathryn's question had simply befuddled everyone.

Out of her mother's earshot, Kathryn was proving Maddie's premonition about her intentions correct, unable to contain her curiosity as she sidled up to Henry and with the same bright tone posed yet another far too probing question.

"A git, huh?"

Casper rolled his eyes, seeing fit to intervene this time. He reached out to tug on the end of Kathryn's scarf, stalling her progress up the stairs and catching her attention. Enough, he hoped, to save Henry the embarrassment of having to deal with his sister's unabashed nosiness.

"Yeah, Kath, it means he's a prick."

"Alright, but how?"

"It's just something you say. He's not actually a git." His gaze flickered rather apologetically to Henry, "We don't actually think you're a git."

"I know that, but wh-"

"It's a polite way of answering a rude question."

"Yeah, but a polite way of saying uhh no thanks or uhh I wish?"

Casper's belated realisation that Henry was still close enough to hear his sister's last sentence prompted a sudden urge to bury his face in his hands. He didn't know if Kathryn had forgotten or just didn't care, but with her apparent immunity to embarrassment and inability to be fazed he suspected it was the latter. Perhaps it was better if he just left her to it and hoped Henry had enough patience to last the match. It wasn't any of their business at all, but evidently that meant little to the middle Jericho.

"Maude doesn't think he's a git."

Both Casper and Kathryn turned to stare rather incredulously at Charlie, who delivered the words with his usual quietness but with a whole lot more confidence than they were accustomed to from him. His older brother raised an eyebrow in question and Kathryn suddenly looked deep in thought. She knew why Henry had said it, but not why he'd thought it. Or maybe... maybe... Maude thought it?

A gleam appeared in her eyes, and with the look she suddenly shared with Casper they both knew what she was going to do. This time, he didn't make any move to prevent her. All three Jericho children came to a stop at the top of the stairs. Kathryn leaned across to peer over Charlie's head at the two women bringing up the back of their small group. Maddie caught the purposeful gleam in her daughter's eyes just before the question came out, but Kathryn's attention was rather intently focused on Maude. The boys' curious faces framed hers. Maddie had no idea what was happening.

"Do you think Henry's a git?"

Oh dear.
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Re: Match Madness

Post by Lucien Holt on Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:54 pm

"Oh, Merlin, no. I didn't mean her. I meant... him.."

Maude frowned, completely lost but unwilling to let her friend think that she had just insulted Kathryn. "I mean... He's just always, always like this. It's absolutely impossible to tell when he's serious, and half the time when he seems it, he's saying something that makes him sound like a complete and utter cad. But... sometimes he isn't entirely dreadful and when he isn't, it's almost... pleasant. There's no one way with him, you know? It never stays the same long enough for me to figure him out."

She shook her head just as Henry turned to stare at the children as they discussed, well, him. His eyebrow started to lift until Maude's name came into it again, and really he didn't know what to say or do, so he just watched as they bolted back to look for Maude or their mother or something. But then he heard the question.

It was a miracle that Maude couldn't see him, because she felt assured that she wouldn't have gotten a single word out. Still, she tried to keep her voice low enough that he might not hear her.

"...No, I don't. Not all the time. But anyone can be a git part of the time."

Her fingers reached up to her hair, pushing a section of it behind her ear even though she knew it would bother her in a moment or two. The feeling of it tucked there was distracting somehow, but it felt better to do something with her hands.

Just then, Henry came up to the top of the stairs to look down at them all questioningly. "Did... you not want to head up? I can just show you which box is mine if you'd rather."

Maude's hand reached across her stomach, knowing full well that either he knew what they were talking about - him - but he was just pretending otherwise, or he had heard it and was trying to change the subject. Either way, she didn't have an answer for him, instead looking to Maddie and the kids for a reply or preference.
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Lucien Holt

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Re: Match Madness

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