Generation Two: Pello: Chapter Three

SLUGHORN LEGACY
Generation 2: Pello Slughorn
Chapter Three: We’re an American Band

Midori is the best friend anyone could ask for.  As summer break approached Dr. Fantrain began to get more boarders and needed me to start coming in after school for a couple of hours and to work a few extra hours on the weekends.   I knew the money would be nice and it would get me that much closer to getting my drum set, but I wasn’t sure I could let my family fend for themselves.  Midori, who was at my house most of the time anyway and who had become a natural cook, stepped up and said that every day after school he would go to my house to do his homework and make the Slughorn’s dinner.

I protested at first but he insisted and told me that he wanted to help out.  I knew that the biggest reason was to try and get close to Parley again, but I still felt bad that he wanted to take that on.  After several discussions about it I told Dr. Fantrain that I would start putting in the extra hours.

The last couple weeks before summer break went by in a whirlwind.  The days went along like this:  Get up, have breakfast, go to school, go to Fantrain Farm and work for two to three hours, home to have dinner, hang out with Midori for a while, do homework and then to bed.  The weekends were much of the same except for no school.

This may seem like my life was without fun, but that isn’t true.  I was becoming really good on the drum and practiced everyday during my study hour.  Midori, who was becoming quite popular in school, also had the same study hour and would come to the music room with me.  We were also joined by Milly Lee, a stunning gal who had the biggest crush on Midori.  She would come and listen to me play and flirt with Midori who had befriended her but tried to tell her he wasn’t interested in being more then friends.  The girl, was relentless, and continued to do everything in her power to make Midori fall for her.  Spending that much time with a beautiful, smart, friendly, and fun young lady I found myself crushing on her.  I would try to show that I was interested but she never noticed and only treated me like a friend.

Screenshot-25

It was three days before the summer break and the three of us were hanging out in the music room.  I had been experimenting with some drum beats when I decided to move forward and I started the down beat of “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds.  Half way through the song Midori began to sing the lyrics and what came out of his mouth was gold.  I had known the kid for all these years and never knew he could sing.

“Oh my Simish.”  Milly squawked.  “I didn’t know you could sing.”

“I didn’t either.”  I laid my drumsticks in my lap.

“I learned to sing when Parley was practicing for your mom’s funeral.”  He lowered his head finding the floor really fascinating.  The topic of my mom’s death or the funeral was always a touchy subject in the Slughorn household and Midori had learned to treat it with kid gloves.

Milly never liked it when Midori brought Parley up and she quickly changed the subject.  “You two should form a band.  I bet you could get some gigs around town.  It would give you some extra spending money.”  Her smile filled her face.

“Milly, I don’t have a drum set and I’m sure two people doesn’t make a band.”  I said being the Donald Downer.

“Oh psssh, I’m sure my dad could loan you the rest of the money with a promise to pay him back after your first gig or two so that isn’t a problem.  Midori you really do have a lovely voice you two should do this.”  Milly’s voice turned into a whine and her face scrunched up making her normally beautiful face something truly horrific.  Milly, although super generous and kind, came from the most wealthy family in Appaloosa Plains and she rarely took no for an answer.

“Eh…I’m not sure I really…..”  Midori started, but I cut him off.

“I could really use the money.”  I gave my best friend a look.

By the end of the period Midori had given in and agreed to be part of a band with me as long as it was something we did for fun to pick up a little extra money.  Nothing more.  Milly was in seventh heaven and as we walked out of the classroom she was already making plans in her head.

Screenshot-339

Just before school ended Milly had made good on her word.  She got her dad to loan me the rest of the money for my drum set, she recruited Marquis Creech and Abram Hand to join our band as piano player and guitarist, and that is how the Southern Llamas became.  She had also arranged our first gig which would be three weeks after summer started, so we had time to practice together as a band.

~~

The summer started out with a bang when one of the animals on Fantrain Farm got attacked by a wild dog that wandered into on the property, late in the night, and the two of them got into a scuffle.  Dr. Fantrain was able to catch the dog, which he put in quarantine in hopes that the dog could be tamed, and called me in to help out with the injury.  After that night he decided that he wanted me to learn from him, before I went off to school, the trade of being a veterinarian.

Screenshot-283 (2)

In addition to my normal responsibilities on the farm Dr. Fantrain would have me attend his exams.  I was very grateful and I learned a lot from him.  He took the time to explain what he was doing and why as well as the proper way to handle the animal that was being examined.  It made me feel as if I was ahead of the learning curve.

With every new patient and lesson I knew that becoming a veterinarian was my life’s calling.  I enjoyed the time with Dr. Fantrain as well as enjoyed the hands on learning.  I was also becoming attached to the critters who lived on the farm and each held their own special place in my heart.

Screenshot-286

 Fareed and I were becoming chummy.  He didn’t like people to ride him, but since the first day I started he took a shine to me and it wasn’t long before he let me put a saddle on him and soon we were galloping around the property with Shoshone tagging along.

Screenshot-281 (2)

   The cats Gilbert and Ms. Jezebel stole my heart with all their love and cuteness.

Screenshot-287 (2)

  I enjoyed watching the dogs form their pack.  When Bear was healing from his attack by the wild dog Cherry and Cleo stayed by his side.  He and Cherry had gotten very close, close enough that I think we will have puppies roaming around the farm soon.  Every day when we had to leave Cherry would whine softly for her pack and she was happy as a clam the next day when we would return.  Dr. Fantrain worked with the wild dog, which we called Frostbite, and slowly he started to trust humans and finally we were able to incorporate him in with the others and he fit nicely in our little farm pack.

Screenshot-298

Dr. Fantrain even bought some chickens so we could start selling some fresh eggs to people around town.

~~

The three weeks went by fast and it was the day of our first paying gig. We found ourselves at my house at 10 am for one last rehearsal.  None of us wanted to mess this up and we were all excited of the prospect of this continuing through the rest of the summer.  During the past three weeks we found out that we were actually a decent band and were pumped to get the show on the road.

We were in the barn and had just finished practicing the song we had planned to end the night with when Milly, who attended just about every rehearsal, began gushing over Midori as usual.

“Oh Midori, you have the best voice in the world.  I still think you should do this professionally.”  Her voice laced with sugar.

“I told you Milly, I only am doing this to help out Pello and to get a little bit of extra spending money for school in the fall. ”

“But….”

Screenshot-340

“But Midori you are so flawless and I just have to stroke your ego every chance I get.”  Came Parley’s mocking voice from the doorway.  We all turned our heads in her direction.  “Let’s not forget there are three other guys that make up the band.”  She gave a smug look toward Milly and looked down at her nails.

“Parley….”I started, but Midori cut me off.

“It’s okay Pello.”  He walked over to Parley and took her wrist,  “Can I have a word please?”

As he dragged her away from us we could hear Parley chuckle,  “Sure, It doesn’t appear I have a choice.”

PARLEY’S POV:

 Midori pulled Me away from the rest of the group and spun me around to face him.  “Parley Marie Slughorn your attitude has gotten out of control.  You have no right to be jealous of Milly.  No right at all.

“I…I…I’m not jealous of Blondie.”

“Please you can’t fool me.  You may be able to fool your family, the kids at school and even yourself, but you can’t fool me.  I know you better then you know yourself and it is eating you up that Milly is showing me attention.”

Screenshot-276

I looked at him defiantly and even gave him a smile, “You’re crazy.  I just don’t like her.  She is fake and stupid.  There’s no crime in that.”

Midori grabbed my arms and pulled forward to ensure that I look at him when he said his next words.  “Parley, you made the rules now you have to live by them.  You pushed me away  and told me you didn’t want anything to do with me despite all my attempts and attention.  Milly and I aren’t together, but I have every right to move on, and if I choose to move on with Milly you have nothing to say about that.”

His words were like daggers to my heart.  Tears stung my eyes but I fought them back.  Pulling out of his grasp I stood there starring at him.

Screenshot-276 (4)

It felt like I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t think.  I stood there starring like a loon and then all at once my arm shot forward and I smacked Midori across the face.

Screenshot-276 (3)

I couldn’t believe what I had just done, but I couldn’t let him know I was sorry either.  If I did that it would just show him that he is right and he isn’t right.  He couldn’t be.

Rubbing his cheek he looked up at me.  “Real mature Parley.”  He voice wasn’t full of anger or disgust, but sadness and longing.  I couldn’t handle this I couldn’t handle any of it so I turned on my heel and fled.

PELLO’S POV

  We could hear the slap echo throughout the barn.

“Did she just slap him?”  Milly’s voice was full of concern, we hadn’t been watching the arguing pair, but when we heard the noise we all looked up.  Milly started to walking toward them as Parley fled the room. Midori turned toward us and we could see that his already red cheek was even redder.  Milly lunged at him wrapping her arms around his neck.  “Oh my Sims she did slap you.  Are you okay?”

Screenshot-276 (5)

 I took in a deep breath.  Parley had been out of control these past few years, but hitting someone, hitting my best friend she had pushed the limits too far.  “I have to go talk to her.”

“No, don’t worry about it dude.  We talked, she had no other recourse.  Just let it be.”  Gently pushing Milly away from him he grabbed his mic.  “Let’s practice the opening song one more time.”

Screenshot-282

 That night we had our first gig and it was awesome.  After our set the owner of the bar asked us to return on Thursday for ladies night and as long as we were continued to be received well then we would be booked every weekend for the rest of the summer.

We were all ecstatic about this, but Midori was just so far away.

~~

Weeks went by and our bad was becoming very popular.  People around town started to recognize us and a few even asked for our autographs.  Marques, Abram and I were eating up the attention but Midori was just along for the ride reminding me all the time he wasn’t doing this for more than being a friend to me and a few extra bucks.

The end of July arrived and Milly presented us with a gig.  She told us her sister was getting married at the end of August and wanted to book our band, but was having doubts because there was no girl in the band.  Her fiancée and her song was At Last by Etta James and she couldn’t have anyone but a woman sing that song.  Milly had convinced her if The Southern Llamas could find a girl then she would hire us.

The only problem was…where do we find a good sounding girl that could fit in with us in such a short time?

Thank you everyone for reading.  My legacy really, truly means the world to me even though I don’t update as often as I would like, so I appreciate you all stick with me through the long breaks.

A couple of thank yous:

Thank you to Sonny Wells of the Wells Legacy for making Kora for me.

Thank you so much to Logan from Logans Lotz of Lots for making the beautiful Fantrain farm.  It is a home that the Slughorn’s will always find their way back to even if they move away for a bigger life.

and finally

I want to think Pawsitively Adorable Puppies for making Frost Bite.

Advertisements

Generation Two: Pello: Chapter Two

SLUGHORN LEGACY
Generation 2: Pello Slughorn
Chapter Two: A Job and a Face From The Past

Oh good Sim Creator my sister is a teenager.  Dad and I are going to be in a world of trouble now.  Neither of us has the know-how to deal with an adolescent female let alone a back talking, bitter one.

Parley aged up beautifully; although her birthday was quite a sad sight.  Dad and I, after reminding him several times that it was Parley’s birthday, stayed up late the night before decorating the dining room, making her a cake and wrapping her gifts.  The plan was to have a great birthday breakfast and since it was also Saturday we would take  her to the art museum.  I thought she would like it because she liked to draw.  However all my hard planning was a waist when she descended the stairs on her birthday, looked at the decorations, scrunched her noise, grabbed a banana and a orange and went back upstairs and shut herself in her room.  I tried to get her out of her room several times, but she just didn’t want anything to do with us so dad and I went to the art museum and left her at home.  At some point when we were gone she did gather her gifts.  I just hope she liked them.

The weeks following her birthday she had become a scorpion; her attitude was the sting and her words were the venom.  She was disrespectful and rude to dad and I most of the time.  Dad didn’t seem to really notice it, wow what a shock, and I just couldn’t stand to be around her much.  We had been in A.P. long enough for her to make friends, but she was always complaining about how stupid or hick she thought the kids in her class were.  I was sick of her thinking she was better than everyone else and just her whole attitude. She become more isolated from people and family.  I felt bad, but what could I do?  I was her brother not her parent.

I allowed her to exist in her sullen, bleak world and I continued to do what I did and that was school, take care of the household and recently I had started learning how to play the drums in music class.  I was getting pretty good and I had decided I wanted lessons, but when dad and I sat down to look at the budget we figured out that dad’s small catches were keeping the household afloat, but it didn’t allow for extra’s like music lessons and a drum set.

“I’m really sorry.  I know you were keen on these lessons, but we just can’t swing it.”  He was sincere, but he wouldn’t meet my eyes.

I wanted to scream at him that he needed to do more for this family, that he needed to be more responsible, but I kept my mouth shut.  As hard as it was to be the “man” of the house I couldn’t image how I would act if the love of my life died.  Everyone dealt with it differently, I just hopped that someday dad would be more connected again.

“Okay dad.  Thanks for checking.”  I was disappointed and upset and Cherry and I headed to my room.  That night I decided that I would look for a part time job.  If dad couldn’t buy me my drums and lessons I would do it myself.  Until I could I could keep using the set in the music room to practice on during my free hour.

The following Saturday I got earlier then most Saturday’s and as I ate my bowl of cereal I perused the paper to see if there were any advertisements for jobs.  The paper didn’t turn up any jobs, but I didn’t let that discourage me.  As I left the house I saw my dad’s catch set out ready to be taken to the market.  I grabbed the bucket and thought to myself that the market would be the perfect place to start looking for a job.  With a smile on my face I set off for town.

That evening I came home as the sun sank beyond the land.  I was exhausted and jobless.  I had filled out about a dozen applications and everyone of them told me that they would put it on file, but currently they weren’t hiring.  I felt slightly discouraged, but I wasn’t going to give up.  I wanted that drum set very badly.  So I decided that the following weekend I would try again.  I would have tried on Sunday, but I was taking Cherry to the park for a day of Frisbee and fun.

The next morning after breakfast I packed my backpack a clicked the leash onto Cherry’s collar and we set off to the park.  It was one of my free days where I wasn’t taking care of others needs and I wanted it to last so Cherry and I took a new route to the park.  It was such a good choice the walk was beautiful and the sun felt great.

We came upon a farmhouse and I noticed a sign at the end of the driveway that said “Hiring”.  I looked at Cherry and thought what the heck it wouldn’t hurt to see what kind of work is needing to be done.  We started up the driveway and when I saw an elderly made working in a very plush apple orchard I told Cherry to sit and stay and started to approach the man.

The older man heard me and turned from his chore.  “No no…bring your dog with you young man.”  He called to me.

I patted my leg and Cherry ran to my side and the man met us half way.  Bending down he allowed Cherry to smell his hand before he ran his thin fingers through the fur of her head.  “Beautiful dog you have.”  He stood up smiling.

“Thank you. ”  I puffed my chest out with pride.

“So how can I help you today son?”  He pushed his glasses up his nose.

“Um…I saw your sign and thought I would ask what kind of work you have available.”  I’m normally not a nervous person, but there was something about him that made me want to impress him and I felt as if I was doing anything but impressing him.

“Ah…good good.  Well my name is Dr. Wilmont Fantrain and I’m a veterinarian.  I own the clinic down town, but here I run an animal boarding house and rescue.  I also live here.  I’m looking for a trustworthy person to help me out around here cleaning horse stalls, feeding and walking the dogs, grooming and caring for the cats as well as the other animals we have here.  I have one assistant here, her name is Kora, but we find ourselves obtaining more and more animals so I need more help. “

I raked my hands through my messy hair.  “What are the hours?”

Dr. Fantrain stroked his chin as he thought about it.  “Most weekends for sure, but I may need you at times during the week.  Are you interested?”

I looked over at Cherry worried about leaving her every weekend.  The weekends were normally our time and we both treasured that time.

“Does your dog get along with other animals?”  Dr. Fantrain asked.

“For the most party she does.”  There was one time, soon after I got her, that she got into a little scrap with a stray dog who tried to sleep in her doghouse.

Crossing his arms over his chest he gave me another smile.  His smile was comforting and made you feel at ease.  “What is your dog’s name?”

“Cherry Tree, but I call her Cherry.”

“Well Ms. Cherry would be welcome to come with you on the weekends.  It would be nice for the other animals to be exposed to other animals.  This is if you are interested in the job.”

I was interested.  I loved animals and this sounded like the perfect job for me.  Granted cleaning up horse doo-doo and dog doo-doo wasn’t on my top ten things to do, but this could lead into bigger opportunities and would be a chance to learn from Dr. Fantrain.  Ever since I got Cherry I had thought about become a veterinarian and now I was talking to one about a job.  It seems like luck was turning my way.

“Do I need to fill out an application or something?”

“Nah, we are very informal here.  So can you start next Saturday?”

“Um…yes but can I ask what I will get paid?”

Dr. Fantrain told me what he paid and that payday was every Friday.  We shook hands and I left with a promise to see him the following weekend.  With a sense of accomplishment Cherry and I finished our walk to the park.

The park was great and the whole day I felt like I was on cloud nine.

~~

All week I had been looking forward to Saturday and getting one step closer to my dreams.  I made sure all my homework was done on Friday night and went to bed early.  Nothing was going to stop me from doing a good job.

The day was full of hard work and it was long, but also a lot of fun.  I learned that Dr. Fantrain was a widower.  His wife had died five years prior in a car accident.  Ever since he had surrounded himself with the things he loved to remind him that life is happy, but short.  He opened up his property as a boarding center for animals about a year after his wife’s death, and the residences of A.P. took well to it leaving their pets in his care when they went out of town for holiday’s or long weekends.  However, when people started to report strays and abandoned pets around town he began to take them in and care for them.  The place ran on donations and his money from the clinic.

The weekend I started there weren’t any borders so I spent the time working and getting to know the residents of Fantrain Farm.  I cared for Fareed the horse as Kora brushed Shoshone the unicorn.

I played with Gilbert cat while Ms. Jezebel rolled around in her bed; all the while Cherry made sure she was always close by.

Bear and Cleo were happy to meet Cherry and I.

That weekend I had the best time I had had since moving to A.P. and I looked forward to working for Dr. Fantrain as long as I could.

~~

Life returned to a routine.  During the week I was in school working hard and then home to take care of my family and spend time with Cherry and most days Skype or email with Midori, and on the weekends I was found on the Fantrain farm working hard and having the time of my life.

About three weeks after I started working I got home a little early on a Sunday afternoon and decided to make something special for dinner.  Normally it was something quick and easy because I was so tired after work.  I was cutting up the vegetables when I heard the doorbell ring.  I knew Parley was in the living room watching some dark cartoon so I yelled out at her, “Parley, get the door.”

I heard her drag her feet to the door and open it.  I could hear low murmurs and a moment later she yelled back,  “Pello!”

Laying the knife down and exited the kitchen and as I walked past my sister I said, “Could you have been more rude?”

“Oh probably.” Was her reply before she ran up the stairs to her room.  I heard her door slam as I got to the front door.

“I’m sorry about my sis….” I stopped cold as I saw who it was.

“Midori, man what are you doing here?”

“Nice greeting Dude.  Are you going to invite me in?”  Midori laughed.

I leaned forward and gave my best friend a half hug and ushered him into the house.

“You weren’t kidding about Parley were you?”  He scratched the back of his neck and gave me a concerned look.

“No Man, I wasn’t.”  I lead him into the kitchen so I could continue dinner.  “So what are you doing here and why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”

He leaned up against the counter and grabbed a carrot.  “My dad put in for a transfer at work two months ago and on Friday we moved here after his request was finally accepted.”

“Old man sour requested to move here?  Why?”  I was dumbfounded Mr. Sour wasn’t the friendliness guy around and he seemed pretty content in Riverview.

“Believe it or not my dad has changed some.  I asked if his job had a location in or around Appaloosa Plains.  When I found out that there was a location here I begged and pleaded for him to put in for a transfer, and finally I wore him out and he did.  I didn’t tell you because I wanted it to be a surprise.”  He popped another carrot in his mouth.

“Well it is great to have you here buddy.   Are you staying for dinner?”

Midori nodded his head.  “So Pello, what are we going to do about Parley?”

Generation Two: Pello: Chapter One

SLUGHORN LEGACY
Generation 2: Pello Slughorn
Chapter One: Letters From Home

“She drove erratically that day and she never made it home………..”

I snapped the book shut and pitched it across my room, causing the book to ricochet off the door and fall face open on the floor.  How dare they write this stuff about my mother? What gave them the right?  Oh I forgot it has the word unauthorized in the title so that gives them the right. I didn’t need to finish it, I had lived it.

I heard one crisp, clear knock on the door as Parley burst through,  “What was that noise?”

I looked at my once sweet and kind sister with a look of annoyance.  “Get out Parley!”

She noticed the book on the floor and swooped it up.  “The Unauthorized Story of Octavia Slughorn.”  She read the spine of the book and then tossed it onto my nearby desk.  An unnatural laugh escaped her lips and she cocked her hip and looked back in my direction.  “You finally decide to read that nonsense?”   It came out more like an accusation then a question, but that is what my sister had become; a cold, sarcastic young woman who would soon be a teenager.

“Parley, I’m not in the mood for you today.  Get the hell out of my room!”  I rose to my knees and pointed to the door.  Since our mother died I had always tried to be the encouraging older brother, but there were times she pushed my nerves to the core and today was one of them.

She stood her ground with her hands crossed over her chest and I sank back down on my bed.  Just then Cherry Tree, Cherry for short, my dog bound into the room making sure she brushed Parley’s leg before jumping onto the bed next to me.

Parley let out a disgusted cry, “Stay away from me you mangy mongrel.”  My whole room shook as she slammed the door behind her.

I looked over at Cherry and saw in her eyes that she wanted something from me, but unlike my father’s request, her’s was doable and reasonable.  I reached over and began running my fingers though the soft fur on top of her head.  Her stare eased, signaling me that she had forgiven me for shutting her out of my room; since I found her she had been by my side and that is where she is happiest.  She laid her head on my knee and I pulled both my hands behind my head and laid back into my pillow.  I had a big decision to make and I had to make is soon.

I just recently turned sixteen and with that, as the old saying goes, comes great responsibility.  After all my party guests left my father, in one of his lucid moments, sat me down and asked me to take on a great task.  He began by explaining to me that Octavia had set out to create a legacy out of the Slughorn name; one where people would hear the name and admire it and be able to take life lessons from.  He went on to tell me that she had decided that she had wanted me to carry on this legacy, and my dad wanted to know if I would take on that challenge.

I didn’t know what to say and I could see it in my dad’s eyes that he didn’t expect an answer right away.  “Can I let you know by Parley’s birthday?”

He nodded his head and patted my knee and as he stood up he said to me, “Nobody would be upset if you don’t want to do this.”

Those words rang in my ears as I lay on my bed trying to decided what to do. As I lay there memories of the past flooded my thoughts.

~~

The funeral was a big deal in Riverview everyone who was everyone showed up but only a select few had been allowed to go past the iron gates of the cemetery to say good-bye to Octavia Slughorn as the rest of the crowd waited outside  praising her life and inconsolably crying.

Most of the grief-stricken were family and a few close friends.  Pax and his two girls were there, and despite the rivalry the two women had going most of the time to win Pax’s affection they put that aside to be there for the man they both loved wholeheartedly.

Percy brought along with his steady Margo, and as he stood at the gravesite he could not muster any tears for his departed mother.  His heart was crushed and he felt lost without her, but the tears just would not come.  Margo just rubbed his back and whispered in his ear that everything would be okay.

Firefly still kept her distance from Porter, but was there with the girls to allow them to say good-bye to their grandma.  Porter’s heart was heavier than most at the funeral for he was dealing with a double loss.  He was not allowed to be with the woman he loved and the woman who had raised him when the man who shared his DNA abandoned him was now gone.  The only comfort he could find was in Robin and Ana and he tried to rejoice in the blessing he had in his girls.

Parley struggled and felt lost.  She was the only female of the Slughorn clan and she didn’t know how she would cope without her mother.  Without a woman to guide her through all the things she needed to learn.  All of us tried to be there for her in the days that followed mom’s death but the only one she seemed to respond to was my best friend and the boy she use to find annoying, Midori Sour.  I watched as he held a protective arm around my sister and I just knew she would be okay with him in her life.

Even Danger and Misty Zone were there.  My father was so against them attending, but Danger convinced him he had a right to be there since he and Octavia had three sons together.  Misty acted as if she had lost her best friend.  I didn’t understand her reaction because she and mom hadn’t been friends for years.

I stood with my dad, Kyle Slughorn, and when I wasn’t looking around to make sure my siblings were okay I was looking up at his face and it killed me to see the anguish there.  Truthfully was just avoiding looking at the coffin that held my mom, but I also did want to make sure my family was holding up.

At the end of the service Father Thomas called on Parley.  It had been requested by my father that Parley sing the departing song.  When he had asked her to do it she just shrugged her shoulders and walked out of the room and never brought it up again, but now when it was time to step in front of everyone she froze in her spot.

“I can’t do it.”  I heard her whisper.

I watched as Midori pulled her tight against his chest and wrap his arms protectively around her.  He whispered something in her ear and waited for her reply.  She wiped the tears from her eyes and stepped out of his shield of protection and took her place in front of mom’s coffin.

She cleared her throat and tried to sing, but the only thing that came out was a strange croaking noise.  She bowed her head and wiped more tears from her eyes.  After a few seconds she tried again:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

If there had been a dry eye before she opened her mouth to sing there wasn’t after.  Her voice was soothing and sweet and the song summed everything up.

The house after the funeral was a mad house.  Many of those that weren’t allowed in the cemetery showed up with casseroles, and breads and really what they wanted was a glimpse of the inside.  They wanted something to gossip about, something to criticize and something to be jealous about.  Most got what they wanted especially after the book came out.

Firefly didn’t stay but she dropped the girls off and Porter spent his time finding comfort in them.  He hugged them, played with them and fed them lunch and was thankful that he didn’t have to just sit there in a crowd of people he barely knew thinking about what his family had lost.

The rest of us pretty much found our own thing to do.  Parley and Midori were out back sitting on the swings, Pax, Jade and Bluebell were busy in the kitchen putting away food and serving some as well.  Percy and Margo were held up on the couch talking in low voices amongst themselves and dad was desperately trying to avoid the single women that were now hunting him out.  I found myself in a chair with the family photo album on my lap.  The day seemed to drag on forever.

~~

Two months after we buried Octavia we Slughorn’s had our first birthday.  It wasn’t a very festive day.  There was no cake, no balloons and really no presents.  I felt bad, but when I asked Percy about it he told me he was fine with how it all went down.  Lucky for him he has a great gal in Margo and she took him for a picnic lunch in the park.  Dad asked Percy to stick around for a while to help him take care of the three of us left at home and he agreed.

Dad hadn’t been doing well since mom died.  He was growing distant from us and wasn’t providing for us as he did in the past and a month later when the “The Unauthorized Story of Octavia Slughorn” came out he just about shut down completely.  The whole town turned their backs on our family when that awful book came out.

It didn’t take long for us to be the talk of the town and not in a good way either.  Soon the kids in school started to torment Parley. They would have done the same to me, but I had Midori and I just didn’t care what they thought so when they saw that their teasing didn’t affect me they got bored with it and stopped, but Parley was a different story.  She didn’t really have any friends, well except for Midori who was my age and in a different class, and she was very sensitive and the slightest things would set her emotions off.

Even though my dad had pretty much tuned out when Parley came home from school upset something made him pay attention to that and finally he had, had enough.  It was decided that we would move.  For the first time since mom died he became active in researching the best place for our family and plans were made.  Months past and it was decided we would move to Appaloosa Plains.  The house in Riverview became Percy’s and since Porter had kids he opted to stay with Percy until he was legal to move out on his own, which would be soon after we moved.

Moving day came and all of our belongs were packed tight in a moving van in front of the house.  It was time to say our good-byes and be on our way.  The house was full with family and friends and many hugs, I love you and good lucks were being tossed around, but Parley was nowhere in the mix of things.  She hadn’t liked the torture of the other school kids, but she didn’t want to move.  She didn’t want to leave her brothers, nieces but most importantly she didn’t want to leave Midori.

Midori noticed that she was not there and went out back to look for her.

“There you are.”  She wiped away tears as he took her hand.  “Come on we need to get you back to say your good-bye’s.”  He tried to lead her back but she pulled against him forcing him to stop. She just stared at him.

He moved closer to her and brushed her cheek with his hand.  “It will be okay. There’s skype, email and texting I will always be there for you Par.”

She lowered her chin and gazed at the grass.  “It isn’t the same.”  Her voice was weak and hallow.

“I know but we will make do.”

He leaned forward and sweetly kissed her cheek.  “Now come on your dad will be looking for you.”

“You’re going to forget all about me when I leave.  You are going to find some pretty, normal girl and fall madly in love and I will be but a memory.”  Parley sobbed against Midori’s back.

Midori slowly turned around and looked her in her eyes.  “You’re such a silly girl.  Do you know that?  Did I let the fact that you found me annoying stop me from getting to know you?  No!  I’m not about to let distance stop us from knowing each other.  So stop being silly and get in the house and say good-bye to your family.”

Twenty minutes later the three of us were pulling away from my childhood home heading for a new adventure in Appaloosa Plains, or A.P. as I now call it.

All these memories came flooding back to me as I lay there trying to decide if I should take on the legacy of the Slughorn’s and these memories are what helped me decided and my decision was yes….yes I would take on the task my father asked me to do.  Yes I would move the Slughorn name in the path of goodness…Yes I will be Octavia’s heir.

~~

That was three days ago and as heir I should bring you up to date with what has happened to the Slughorn’s since we moved to A.P. and the best way to do that is by sharing some of the key letters or should I say emails, we have received from home.

LETTERS FROM PAX

Dearest Family,
There has been a lot of change in my life since you three moved to Appaloosa Plains and it is so hard to know where to start. Soon after your move Jade found out she was pregnant. It came as a huge shock to as all for part of our arrangement was to be careful and I mean it when I say we were.

We had a family meeting about it and it was decided that nothing had really changed and we would raise the baby together. Yes the three of us. There are all kinds of families out there so why not create our own unique family. As long as the baby was raised in love what makes the difference, right? 

Other than being pregnant Jade is doing well with her flower shop. She is booking a lot of weddings and other formal events. Bluebell is also doing well with her job. She got a promotion at her office and she is in charge of her own department. Work for me is going about the same as when you left. I’m getting regular articles now, but it is still hard to become something when the town you live in still talks about the past and what they believe to be the truth. 

Until next time family be well. 
Love Pax, Bluebell and Jade

Dearest Family,

Since my last letter my life has been turned upside down. As you know when Antoine was born the four of us lived in harmony for a short time, but I found myself spending more time with Jade and Antoine and deep inside I started to have stronger feelings for her then Bluebell but I never let that on. I couldn’t do that to Bluebell, but she was no dummy and she could see and felt the shift in our family.

One morning I went to her bedroom to spend some time with her and she was gone. All her belongings has been removed and she had left a letter telling me how much she loved me but she couldn’t be a third, or in our case fourth, wheel anymore. She wished me a good life. I had tried to get a hold of her and she wouldn’t take my calls. Finally her family told me she left Riverview. It broke my heart to lose another person I loved, but I knew it was for the best.

As for Jade, Antoine and I we are one happy little family. Jade and I married in a small private wedding as Antoine stood by as witness. Jade’s flower shop is doing wonderful and I finally got my own column. Riverview has pretty much forgotten about Octavia, but from time to time you will hear her mentioned.

Until next time family be happy
Love Pax, Jade and Antoine.

LETTER FROM PERCY

Dear Kyle, Pello and Parley,

You are all really missed here in Riverview and I hope Appaloosa Plains is treating you well. Margo and I are doing well and are very happy together. Many still try to convince us we should get married, but why fix what isn’t broken. She and I are on the same page about marriage and we don’t find it necessary to be happy.

Margo is content to being an at home mom to our boys Gary and Grant. Once they start school she will go back to her decorating business, and I am doing well in the medical track.

Miss and Love you all
Percy, Margo, Gary and Grant

LETTERS FROM PORTER

Family,

Yes it is me Porter.  This is me all grown up.  Yeah yeah I know I still look like a punk.  LOL 

So after I became an adult I did what everyone expected me to do.  I married the woman of my dreams Firefly Tuesday.  I counted my savings and booked tickets to Simvegas.  I marched right over to her house and the look of shock on her face was priceless.  She didn’t know what to say to my new-found age.  I grabbed her hand and began to drag her to my car, it is a good thing I had made arrangements with her mom to watch the girls.  Our wedding was fast and long overdue, but in our mind it was perfect.  We were able to spend three days there just being with each other. No judgment and no kids and then it was back home to be with our girls and to find a place to live.

When we got back to her house we found all of Oodee’s stuff packed and she handed me the deed to the farmhouse.  She told us this was her wedding gift to us and she wanted us to be happy.  She had already rented a little house on the edge of town and after we spent some time with her I helped her move to her new home.  She has been very happy there since and she comes over all the time and we are always glad to see her.  

So there you go Porter Slughorn, the town screw-up, is a married man. One who is committed to his family and so happy that his life worked out.  

Love Porter, Firefly, Robin and Ana

 

Family,

This is a quick letter to let you all know that we are doing well.

Ana and Robin are so grown up. They are both in ballet, but Ana also takes girl scouts.  They both miss you all greatly and send their love.

The Quads, Jefferson, Theresa, Jamil and Freddy are now toddlers. They keep Firefly and I very busy and we are always tired, but we wouldn’t change our life for anything. Theresa copies her big sisters when they practice their ballet and we know she will have to be enrolled soon. The boys are just rambunctious little boys always getting into things and are curious about everything.

We hope this email finds you all well
Love Porter, Firefly, Ana, Robin, Theresa, Jamil, Jefferson and Freddy

So that pretty much catches us up on my siblings back in Riverview.  As for us in A.P. we made a new life for ourselves.

It was a long trip to A.P. and by the time we arrived Parley had convinced herself that Midori would forget all about her and that he would break her heart more than it was already broken so to protect herself she cut ties with him.  She wouldn’t answer his emails, phone calls and other social media attempts to contact her.  Only through me was he able to keep tabs on her and during our discussions you could tell he wasn’t liking how things were going.  Slowly, without real friends she became distant, sarcastic, and snarky.  She kept to herself most of the time she is held up in her room drawing. Luckily she was maintaining good grades in school so there was a positive.

My dad has still been shut off to us.  He still does his fishing for money, but he forgets to take them to the market and I have to do that for him most of the time so we can maintain our bills and buy food.  I fear I may have to get a part-time job to help supplement the money he isn’t making because lately his catches have been small.  I’m not sure if it is from lack of trying or lack of fish.  He does have good days, but more bad than good.

As for me I spend most of my days caring for my family, making sure I do well in school and hanging out with my best friend, Cherry, who is a dog.  I found Cherry about a year after we moved to A.P.  She was raiding a tipped over garbage can and she was dirty and full of fleas.  There was just something in her sweet eyes and I just couldn’t walk away from her.  After a lot of coaxing she finally allowed me to approach her.  I found a tag on her beat-up collar that had a phone number on it.  I took her home, gave her some food and a bath and brushed her fluffy fur.  She was so grateful that she rested her head on my knee and looked up at me with those eyes of her’s and I was in love.  I almost didn’t call the number because I already couldn’t bear the thought of having to return her to her owner.  I did the right thing and sometimes doing the right thing pays off.  When the person on the other end picked up I was surprised by who the number belonged too.  It was famous Baby Challenge Mom Becks Best.  I told her I had her dog and she was so relieved.  She explained that she was in the process of moving and in between packing, keeping track of her kids and the litter of puppies Cherry Tree must have got out but she was really shocked that she had made it all the way to Appaloosa Plains.  She also explained that she was unable to keep the litter and had to find a new home for Cherry.  When she said that I asked her how much she wanted for her because I just knew in my heart that Cherry belonged with me.  Becks seemed to contemplate it for a moment and said,  “I can hear in your voice that you have taken a fancy to little Miss. Cherry.  She is already in your home and you were kind enough to take her in and care for her and to call me so I would like you to have her.  She is my gift to you Pello Slughorn.”  I was shocked and very grateful.  We ended the call with an agreement that I would give her updates on Cherry’s life.

So that is the life of the Slughorn’s over the past few years.  Tomorrow is Parley’s thirteenth birthday.  This should be oh so interesting.  Let the games begin.