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.