Author Topic:  August (Ricky)  (Read 499 times)

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Offline Ricky Cortes

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Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2020, 10:42:41 PM »
Ricky might as well have been eating cardboard. He was lifting the food to his lips, chewing and swallowing, but tasting nothing. If he was blindfolded right now, he would be completely clueless about what he was eating. The only upside was that at least he hadn't drunk any firewhisky, so his tastebuds would at least function again at some point in the future. Probably after the meal was finished, he suspected. So he managed a grin and even a small chuckle when Gideon said the food was as good as ever; because he couldn't remember it being flavourless and sticking in his throat like dry oatmeal.

"Yeah." he took another drink of butterbeer, which at least tasted of something, and then ate one of the fries, holding it between thumb and forefinger. Somehow, in Ricky's head, the fries had taken on the form of a peace offering. If they shared the same side dish, everything was going to be okay. He resumed his cardboard meal, forcing himself to swallow mouthfuls of whatever it was he'd ordered. But at least they were eating, and the crisis was over...

..it wasn't over, and if Ricky didn't lie to other people, he certainly wasn't going to lie to himself. But the initial shock was over, so perhaps it wasn't going to get any worse than this. He put the knife and fork down and wiped his hands on the paper napkin as he started to relax a little once again. The next bite had the faint and familiar tinge of caribbean spices, and Ricky smiled involuntarily. His earlier thoughts of how the trio could resume their former friendship seemed childish now, and he realised the sharpness of the conversation had settled into a pit of dread in his chest. If Gideon could barely even hear Dottie's name, how could they hope to work together?

Maybe he should have just told her it was a bad idea, that she wasn't cut out to be a professor, and he would look out for Addie in her place. Knowing what he knew now, it might have been the logical thing to do and yet...he genuinely thought she was going to do a good job, and Ricky selfishly wanted to have another of his friends on the Ilvermorny staff. Even if it did man he would have to talk with each of them separately and... No. That wasn't going to happen. He wasn't going to start spending his life sneaking around and trying to remember what he could and couldn't say to each of them.

"Yeah, it would have been enough of a shock even if you'd been talking, I guess" he offered "I was kinda surprised when she said she was going for the job..." was it okay to talk about it now, or should he just keep his mouth shut and change the subject? And with that thought, he remembered what he'd brought with him, tucked into an inside pocket that was charmed to hold rather more than a regular pants pocket. It was wrapped in plain midnight blue paper, book-sized and shaped because that was exactly what it was. A first edition of "Have Yourself a Fiesta in a Bottle!" that he had located in a secondhand bookstore inSweetwater, Texas several weeks earlier. He'd meant to give it to Gideon earlier, but the right moment hadn't presented itself. Obviously.

"Happy Birthday" he said with a wry smile as he laid it on the table betwen them. 


Offline Gideon Salinger

Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2020, 08:41:46 PM »
He'd see Dottie again. While Gideon was still mad and disappointed, hurt and confused, he began to wonder more and more how she was doing and if she was in a relationship these days. He also asked himself who that father of her child was. Probably someone very unlike himself. Given that Addie was starting school this year, Gideon assumed that she must be the child of a guy Dottie had used to get over their breakup. He couldn't blame her for that. He had no right to have any negative feelings because of that as they had been separated then.

Still, the realisation that Dottie had so soon found a new man after their split felt strange. Maybe it was a one night stand. Maybe the guy was someone she had already known far longer. Maybe she had even betrayed him with that man before their break up. Maybe… he was speculating far too much now and felt silly for having thoughts like that. They hadn't seen each other for a decade, for Merlin's sake!

It was straining to talk to Ricky now. He was his best friend and usually talking came easy with the two of them. They could chat about random things as well as serious life matters. Only this entirely fucked up situation brought them to their limits. Gideon didn't like it at all but he couldn't get over his messed up feelings so quickly. Ricky had his part in this, if voluntary or not, and he felt he had the right to blame him for it but he also knew it would lead them nowhere.

“Indeed,” he admitted quietly. “It would have been a shock either way but as it is… I really don't know what to think about it. It feels wrong on so many accounts but,” he paused and sighed, “it's her life, her decision,” he finished bitterly, assuming that the decision had been a spontaneous one that she might regret later.

“Oh,” Gideon said, surprised and with a hint of a smile on his face. “I… Thank you, I didn't think you'd still give me a present today seeing how our conversation went so far.” He was half serious, half teasing but fully appreciative of the fact that they could talk about something else for a little while. He figured it might help him to clear his mind and that was definitely needed after the news he had just heard.

“Merlin!” he exclaimed as he unwrapped the present. “How did you find one? I know how many times I borrowed an edition of that from the library, always thinking that, one happy day, I'd find Libatius Borage's book as a first edition to exhibit it on my bookshelf. Thanks, mate, that's a great present.”


Offline Ricky Cortes

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Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2020, 12:34:40 PM »
"Don't be daft, you'll always be my best mate" Ricky might have said under other circumstances, but it didn't seem quite appropriate right now. He still felt excited when the other man started unwrapping the gift, as he did whenever he saw someone about to be pleasantly surprised. He loved giving presents, and he'd had a lot of practise with his kids. Little Ricky was of an age where he wanted everything he saw, particularly toys that were advertised on the televisual machine at their mother's house, so Ricky had gotten used to visiting no-maj stores and trying to get the terms right. Pointing at the brightest-coloured box and saying "yes please" when the assistant asked if he wanted 'badderies' had served him well so far. But this was something he'd spotted in a particularly diverse bookstore, and he was sure it would be appreciated.

 At least he hoped so; everything was so strange today it felt as thought anything might happen from now on, and Ricky found himself letting out a breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding. "Mostly luck. I was getting supplies for the new school year and there were a couple of books I needed, and there it was, in a case at the front of the store just waiting for me. Well, for you, I guess. I'm glad you like it..." Relived, and feeling a lot happier now, the professor was pleased to find that his meal now actually tasted of something, but then without thinking, he asked "so how's the preparation for next year going?" and cringed.

Why had he said that? It was a sensitive subject right now and the last thing they should be doing was talking about school. If Ricky could have taken the words back he would have done, but he just had to hope that the worst was over, or rather that the worst of the shock was already absorbed. Gideon didn't need to think about it any more; not for the moment, anyway. Ricky's mind frantically cast around for a suitable change of subject and settled on something they'd touched upon earlier.

"So how was the rest of your trip?" he asked, a little too brightly, a little breathlessly "You can't tell me that you and Ennio spent the whole time working on potions  without at least taking a few evenings off to explore the city and drink wine in a restaurant somewhere?" he almost asked whether there had been any pretty witches to talk to, but decided against it just in time. Anything that could potentially remind his friend of Dottie ought to be avoided right now.


Offline Gideon Salinger

Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2020, 03:58:43 PM »
Gideon held the first edition in his hands, enjoying its weight, its smell and the feel of its surface. It was such a lovely present and it truly reminded him how close he and Ricky were. The other man had found a present that was perfect for him. There was nothing to criticise, nothing he could think of that could have been a better present. Being an emotional mess after the recent news, Gideon had to blink a few times, he did not even want to allow one single tear to give away how emotional he just felt.

What made things even better was that his mate had found the book accidentally when looking for something entirely else. He had thought of him then and bought it as a present. Gideon was grateful and touched. He figured only a really good friend could find a present like this. “I love it,” the man said quietly, smiling a little. “It's perfect. Thank you again.”

Ricky asked about the preparations for the new year and Gideon shrugged, feeling a little tense again but trying not to let it show. “I've been looking for a new textbook to work with,” he said, “I mean, I've been looking for something to replace the one that already my predecessor used for ages.  Over the last years I've given out copies of articles to make up for the book. I mean, it is one of the best books about potions and the ingredients and instructions haven't changed. It's just the optical aspect that does not appeal to students nowadays. Truth be told, I've written to the publishing company, asking if they'd like it if I updated the book but they haven't responded yet. If I'm lucky they'll give me the go to start spicing it up some more.”

He paused briefly, taking a sip of his butterbeer now. “Other than that I've made a list of fun things I could do with the students and potions I could let them try to get a better idea of what potions can do.”

Ricky didn't seem too eager to linger on the topic he himself had suggested a moment earlier and Gideon was happy to change the topic again. While he had tried to let his answer sound relaxed and casual, he still thought that he was not prepared at all for what the new year would bring.

He grinned a little as Ricky mentioned that he didn't believe that Ennio and Gideon had only worked on potions. “Truth be told, Ennio has his own little wine cellar in his house… we really just worked on potions and mostly stayed at Ennio's place. His garden is so beautiful. When we didn't just brew a potion we were outside sitting below the olive trees, drinking wine and discussing our ideas further.” It really had been a good time and Gideon visually relaxed as he talked about it. Ennio was an old and brilliant potioneer but he was also quite a humorous person who was always up for some mischief.

“So how has your summer been? I take it you had the kids most of the time? Is Selena eager to come to school? How's little Ricky taking it that his older sister is going to be at Ilvermorny soon?” He tried to leave all that has happened earlier out now but speaking of Ilvermorny immediately brought back the mixed feelings he had because of the news Ricky had told him and he had to force himself to make his voice sound normal and not as strained again.


Offline Ricky Cortes

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Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2020, 08:46:00 PM »
Okay. It was still okay to talk about going back to school. Ricky relaxed a little more and was content to listen, and eat. He was hungry after all, he realised and it would be a shame not to enjoy the food while it was still (fairly) hot. "They'd be mad not to reply" he said, thinking of the rather dry textbook that was the mainstay of the alchemy syllabus. He was sure that not only could Gideon rewrite it to be more interesting for a modern audience, but that it would improve on the original text as well, for there had been a lot of advances in that field in the past 20 years. "Think how great it would be to teach students from a textbook that has your name on the cover."

Ricky got to thinking of his own plans for the next year, or at least the first few weeks of term. That was the time he liked to capture the attention of the new students, get them thinking that a subject they often assumed was easy and was just a glorified version of keeping house was actually so much more than that. "I told you I'm starting with cleaning charms this year?" he asked, genuinely not remembering whether he'd mentioned it before Gideon had gone off to Italy "Kids always assume it's going to be the dullest thing imagineable, right up until they realise what I'm actually expecting them to do, and then it turns into a competition as they try to be the best...and before they know it, they've learned at least three different charms..." he was grinning happily, thinking that their teaching methods really weren't so different. Both liked to get the students involved and interested by doing things in a slightly unconventional manner.

He still wanted to hear about the Italian trip though, and it was no surprise to hear about the wine cellar. Nonetheless, Ricky swallowed hard at the thought and looked down at the table for a moment as a memory he knew he would never be able to forget resurfaced. He would never be able to think about wine without remembering the truly awful aftermath he'd suffered a dozen years ago at the vineyard they were working at. But within a second or two he'd recovered his equilibrium.

"You know, it really doesn't surprise me to hear that? After all, I guess making wine is just another form of potion brewing..." Okay, so Ricky couldn't stand the stuff (and he really hoped limoncello didn't just turn out to be lemon-flavoured wine) but he could see that Gideon was enjoying this turn of the discussion. "And let le guess, you just happened to bring a few samples back with you?" he asked with another grin.

Ricky's summer, by comparison, had been...quiet. Well no, it had been anything but quiet, but he hadn't strayed far from home, and indeed he'd had the kids all the time, apart from a single weekend when they'd stayed with their mother when her parents were visiting. "Yeah, they arrived the day after I got home from Livermorny and I've only gotten three and a half hours of sleep since then" he said, sounding nonetheless thoroughly delighted about being a full-time parent "and...that's a bit of a sore subject right now. Little Ricky is insisting that if we get a big enough trunk for Selena, he can climb inside and come along. Apparently he'll hide in the kitchens and make peoples' beds and nobody will know he's there..." Ricky regretted telling the kids what he knew about other magical schools after Little Ricky's reaction. The little boy loved the idea of house elves and decided that he could be one if that meant he could come to school early.

"Actually, I'm a bit worried how he'll be when he's at home with his mother...you know, if he has any accidental magical incidents and Selena's not there to talk to. I've asked Daniel to make sure he calls round every week to make sure everything's okay but even so..." Ricky knew his own no-maj uncle would take strange events in his stride, having seen two nephews and a niece grow up with wands in their hands, but it wasn't the same as being able to be there for his little son. 


Offline Gideon Salinger

Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2020, 07:53:53 PM »
“Well, yeah,” Gideon agreed, “I actually only offered a rewrite, an update to the book as it is undoubtedly the best one out there even if it is outdated. I suppose that would mean my name would not necessarily show on the cover but even so, I'd be happy to work on it.” He paused, taking another sip of the butterbeer. “As it is I feel guilty letting my students buy that book as it is really no fun at all. Hard to convince them that it's still the best one there is.”

Ricky now told him about his plans and Gideon nodded. “Yeah, you mentioned that.” Not only kids assumed that cleaning charms were rather dull, Gideon found them definitely useful but he could think of more entertaining things than cleaning charms anyway. Given their previous struggles though, the man rather not wanted to voice this thought. Besides the way Ricky intended to teach them did sound fun. So maybe, in the end, they'd actually like the cleaning charms, after all.

“Yeah, that's probably true,” Gideon agreed on the wine and potion comparison. “A few samples of wine or potions or both?” he teased. “In fact, if you chose the latter you're right. Ennio really has his source for fabulous wine and he just knows which ones I like most. He gave me a few selected bottles and, naturally, samples of the potions we developed together.”

It was no surprise that Ricky talked about his kids in response to the question about his summer. Gideon almost regretted having asked this at all. Now he was back to feeling awkward and left out. He had been in Italy with an old potioneer, working and drinking. It did not feel like it was adequate thing to do when he heard his friend talk about his kids.

The talk about Selena's start at Ilvermorny did not help either and yet Gideon knew that it had been solely his doing that this topic was up again. He couldn't help but think about Dottie's kid and consequently Dottie again. He lifted the glass of butterbeer to his lips again and emptied it, wishing it was rather wine or whisky. However, he was determined not to let Ricky see how strange he felt.

“Yeah,” he said distractedly. “Little Ricky might cause some trouble.” He forced himself to focus again and say something more helpful. “Just see it that way – now she only has to deal with one magical child and not two like she had to take care of over the past years.” Another thought occurred to him now. “How does Mariana feel about Selena becoming a proper part of the magical world now anyway? I suppose it might feel a little like losing her.” While Gideon himself could not relate to that, not having a child (or at least not knowing he had one) and certainly not having to give a child away to live a life that he himself could not witness, he thought that it must be tough challenge for a parent.


Offline Ricky Cortes

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Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2020, 07:40:44 PM »
Even though his friend probably right, Ricky didn't necessarily care about facts at that moment. "No way, they'll want your name on the cover for sure" he insisted, even as he realised that it would probably say 'edited by' or 'revisions by' in much smaller letters. It would still be on the cover though, and that would look great. Something to be proud of. He hoped he could encourage this line of chat, because the more stuff like this Gideon remembered later on the less likely he would be to reach for one of those bottles as he considered that Dottie would be working with them in just a few weeks' time.

"Both, of course" he said with a look that managed to be resigned and amused at the same time. Even if he lived to be a hundred years old Ricky doubted the day would come when he would willingly drink a glass of wine. What would have amused him even more would be if they could have known each others thoughts at that moment. Ricky was amazed that Gideon, with his fascinating life that took him to the other side of the world to study the things he loved most, still wanted to spend time with him. Married and kids in his early 20s, failed marriage and now rarely going further than a couple of states across, while he wouldn't change his life, he imagined it was pretty dull from the outside. Certainly nothing that anyone else might aspire to.

The fact that Gideon now drained his butterbeer didn't escape Ricky's notice. It was a warm day, but not so much that they needed the extra liquid. "Another?" he asked, pointing to the glass and then drinking most of his own so he could order two glasses if his friend said yes. If they filled up on butterbeer it was less likely he would want wine later. At least that was the theory.

"Yeah, you're right, but..." It was a difficult situation. His ex-wife finally accepted that magic existed and wasn't an elaborate hoax, but she struggled with the fact that her children were part of a world she would never understand. Years ago she had asked, quite rationally, if the children couldn't just try to not have magic and really, couldn't he just try it too? They might find they preferred life that way. Ricky had had no answer for such an obviously crazy suggestion and it had actually made him feel cold inside to imagine his kids being forced to live that way. "I don't know...it's not really something I can ask" was what he said instead. "I'm afraid it'll be harder having one kid to look after...all the focus will be on him now, you know?"

He'd be fine. Magbob kids grew up without even knowing what was happening to them until they were old enough for school, so really, Little Ricky just had a had start on them, right? Realising his food was rapidly cooling Ricky decided to finish his meal now rather than add anything else to what was another difficult topic of conversation.


Offline Gideon Salinger

Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2020, 03:07:11 PM »
Gideon didn't feel like telling his friend once again that his name would not show on the cover of the book. He didn't need it there either, didn't even want it to show there. While he wasn't opposed to writing about Alchemy and having his name on the cover of a book per se, he felt that it would not necessarily make a good impression on his students if they found his name on a book that, even after the edits he intended to make, was still not the most exciting lecture they could imagine.

He shrugged as Ricky asked if he wanted another butterbeer. He didn't really like the taste of it much. Usually butterbeer wasn't on the list of things Gideon drank. He had just chosen it today because Ricky had ordered it before him. “Actually,” he now said, thinking that one was enough, “I think I'll take a coffee instead.” It was still the middle of the day anyway, he could do with some caffeine. As the waiter approached their table Gideon ordered a black coffee and waited until Ricky placed his order as well.

“Well, I think you should ask,” Gideon responded to Ricky's evasive comment about his ex-wife. “You know you can only work on things if you know about them. Talk to Mariana. You might be surprised. I mean, maybe she is more interested in magic now that she cannot deny it any longer. Her oldest child being sent to Ilvermorny means that she is confronted with the topic.” Gideon would not hesitate to talk to Mariana, to force her to accept magic and would have searched for a way to get her involved. However, he knew that Ricky was not like that and quite possibly he wouldn't have the guts to do so if Mariana was his own ex-wife either. Nonetheless, Gideon was always eager to help others with their issues, especially if it distracted him from the things he felt uncomfortable with in his own life.

“Maybe it'll be good for both of them,” he mused in response to Ricky stating that it might be harder with just one kid at home. “Maybe they'll grow closer that way.” He wasn't sure about that. While he knew both Mariana and Little Ricky, he really had no clue how the two of them would deal with the situation. However, he was a little jealous that they at least had a situation to deal with unlike him they had a family and could face their struggles together.

Gideon had eaten about half of his dish by now and watched how Ricky seemed to intend to finish his. It was cold by now, he assumed. Their drinks were brought to the table now and Gideon took a sip of his coffee. “So do you intend to do some shopping while you're here?” he asked casually, feeling somewhat awkward that he was going back to small talk rather than have a more meaningful conversation with his friend. He felt that he could as well enquire about how the weather had been over the summer.


Offline Ricky Cortes

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Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2020, 10:22:17 PM »
Pleasantly surprised that Gideon had chosen to order a coffee instead of more alcohol, Ricky went ahead and ordered a second butterbeer. Unlike his friend, this was about as strong as he liked his alcohol to be and anyway, he enjoyed the taste. Perhaps in that respect Ricky was still stuck in their young teens even though he was the one who spent his time raising a family.

He had to bite his lip at Gideon's comment, though. Can we all say irony, children? he thought, amazed that his friend couldn't see that his suggestion might be just a tiny bit hypocritical. Sure, because you clearly talked through your relationship issues he thought, but that would have been unkind and besides, the situations were entirely different. Gideon and Dottie had never been more than a youthful fling in his eyes - they were too volatile, their personalities both dynamic in a way that was sure to cause problems in a relationship. Clearly there were still some unresolved issues going on there still, at least on Gideon's side, but it was hardly comparable to a relationship where children were involved.

Ricky wondered if it would do any good to talk with Mariana. he didn't feel comfortable with the idea, but Gideon did have a point. "It's hardly going to be a comfortable conversation, but I think you're right" he said, even though he wasn't sure he did think that "She's bound to be feeling uncomfortable and she probably does feel like she'll be losing her daughter. Maybe if I can reassure her at least a little, things will be easier..." His ex-wife wasn't a bad person, far from it. She was still one of the most caring and interesting women he'd ever met; it was just her horror of anything magical that had driven such a rift between them. He ate another couple of mouthfuls of the rapidly-cooling food as he considered it.

"Yeah. I will talk with her. Maybe it'll be better if we all talk as a family, you know? So Little Ricky know's he's not being left behind, and Mariana knows that her daughter will still be writing to her...at least I can make sure she does write!" he added with a laugh. Suddenly things felt a little brighter and what had seemed as if it would be a difficult few weeks before the start of term now promised to be something else. He could make sure Selena was prepared - properly prepared - for Ilvermorny and at the same time reassure those they were leaving behind. There was still a niggle of doubt in his mind, because he was worried about those accidental displays of magic that no child could help...but he didn't want Gideon to feel his advice hadn't helped. "Maybe you're right" he said, managing to sound reassured.

Their drinks arrived and Ricky realised this was potentially the end of their meeting. If the earlier conversation had gone differently he wouldn't have minded - they'd only ever had time for lunch and a chat today, after all - but he felt slightly concerned about the question. "I've got to visit a couple of shops, but I don't think the kids will forgive me if I don't go and join them first" he said. And then, feeling that it could salvage the whole situation, added "want to walk with me once we've finished up here? We could take the scenic route...we've still got nearly a half hour yet before I said I'd meet them."


Offline Gideon Salinger

Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2020, 07:57:37 PM »
“Maybe not comfortable,” Gideon agreed, “but much needed. You have kids together, magical children. She needs to learn how to cope with that. It would be so sad if she'd estrange from her own children.” If Ricky saw parallels to Gideon's situation with Dottie here, the potioneer saw no similarities in their situation. It was all different when kids were involved, after all. Adults had to make sacrifices for the well-being of their children and couldn't be selfish.

“Perhaps you can make her see that it's going to be better when the kids get a magical education because they learn how to control their outbursts of magic and that makes the life with magbobs easier as well,” Gideon suggested. He figured that Ricky knew all these things himself but he felt he had to say something at least.

“I agree,” he said, nodding to underline his statement. “Talking as a family makes sense. This is about the whole family anyway.” Maybe he was agreeing a little too much now. However, their conversations today had hardly been easy and Gideon wasn't eager to get into another conflict with his best mate.

“It would be good if Selena would write her for sure,” Gideon mused. “However, I hope she doesn't write too much about things that Mariana cannot follow. It would possibly defy the purpose of the letters.”

Their drinks had arrived in the meantime and Gideon carefully sipped from his coffee. It was hot and decided to wait a minute before taking another sip. “Yes, sure, I'd like to see the kids again anyway. Would be a shame to miss out on that opportunity. I mean, of course, I'll see Selena soon but not Little Ricky...” his voice trailed off and he picked up his cup again.


Offline Ricky Cortes

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Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2020, 08:47:10 PM »
"I know..." Ricky groaned and dropped his head into his hands, though it was clear he wasn't annoyed by Gideon's words, just reacting to the situation. His concern wasn't so much that Mariana would stop seeing the children, but rather that she might believe she could prevent them - well, prevent Little Ricky - from actually being a wizard. As if she kept him at home and stopped him from actually being exposed to magic, she would somehow win some unspoken battle that existed only in her head. He wasn't about to voice that thought aloud though. Anyway, it was nothing that Gideon - and indeed Dottie, and a good handful of his other friends - hadn't heard on previous occasions.

But then Gideon mentioned something he actually hadn't considered. "That's actually a really good point" he murmured, lifting his head and reaching for the new glass as he did so, though he didn't drink for the moment "Do you remember learning in Defense against no-maj hysteria about the studies of how they fear things they don't understand? If she can understand that the kids can control their magic...well, she'll be able to see, won't she, when Selena's at Ilvermorny and no longer has magical outbursts once she'd home..."  he went suddenly quiet, having realised something he hadn't considered before.

"A family..." his smile was bitter, and he shook his head. "I just realised...I always have the kids on holidays, but now it's going to be the other way around...or at least we'll have to share responsibilities when Selena and I are home..." For the first time Ricky considered the possibility of a Christmas day alone, where the kids were with their mother...it wouldn't be the first time he'd spent the day alone with a reheated turkey roast he'd brought home from the restaurant, but it was a bleak thought. He shook his head and forced a smile "I'll remind her. I think they're still told the usual stuff we were - you know, don't mention specific spels to no-maj parents, don't write something in a letter you know they won't understand, that sort of thing..." Really, Ricky though that as long as Selena was sending regular letters, it would go a long way towards helping her mother relax.

Now, having toyed with the glass, he lifted it to his lips and drank almost half in one go. His plate was mostly empty and besides, the remaining food had cooled past the point of being appetising. He lifted one of the last fries between thumb and forefinger and devoured it (they were still good cold). "Okay. I'm due to meet with them anyway, we can walk down there together once we finish up here.Besides, I already told them they might get to see their favourite uncle today..."


Offline Gideon Salinger

Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2020, 09:41:00 AM »
"Yeah," Gideon said thoughtfully. "I think the challenge is to balance the information. No-majs who live with witches or wizards need to understand a bit about our world but shouldn't get information that might scare them. It's quite a task to handle. If you think I can help you with anything there do let me know." Gideon liked solving other people's problems more than facing his own. He felt that he could relate pretty well to everyone even if he still couldn't figure out his own feelings.

"I do certainly believe that it'll help Mariana to know that Selena will be able to control her magic once she went through a proper magical education. In theory she could choose to live without magic after school. Maybe that's something you could tell her too. I am one hundred percent sure though that Selena would not make that decision. Nobody probably would, at least not long term. Anyway, it might be a thought that helps Mariana now?" He shrugged and sipped from his coffee. It tasted well and strong, just like he liked it.

Gideon could tell that his friend was not happy about his most recent realisation that he would probably not have the kids all the time during the holidays. However, that was clearly something he could not help him with. It was something Ricky and Mariana had to figure out among themselves. It could go either way depending on how much acceptance of the magical world Mariana would show. Sometimes Gideon hoped that the woman would come around and that she'd warm up to Ricky again. They had been a lovely couple and somehow the potioneer felt that maybe things between them could get better again. It did not seem likely right now but their lives were bound to change now that their oldest child would go to Ilvermorny.

"I suppose Selena will be properly informed what she can write and what she has to leave out of her letters but it won't do any harm if you tell her too. She's still a child and might get over excited with everything at Ilvermorny and feel like sharing details with her mother." Gideon thought that, given the situation with Mariana, it made sense to be extra careful with the no-maj woman.

"Sounds like a plan," Gideon said, sounding and looking cheerful now. "Looking forward to seeing them again." He lifted his cup of coffee to his lips and emptied it. Then he called the waiter and rummaged through his pockets to find some coins to pay which he then laid out on the table. "Thanks, food and service were great as always," he said, realising that it made him sound as though he was here quite frequently when his regular visits had really been in his student days.

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Offline Ricky Cortes

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Re: August (Ricky)
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2020, 04:16:06 PM »
"Thanks, I might take you up on that. I'll let you know how it goes, anyway" he said. Ricky didn't feel any more comfortable about talking with his ex-wife, but at least now he could see a way the conversation might have a positive outcome. Mariana wasn't bad or prejudiced, not really. She was just scared of things she didn't understand. "That's a really good point. I remember reading an article about a British singer...I can't remember her name now...who lived like a no-maj for several years after a traumatic experience, so its not unheard of" he said thoughtfully "I'll tell her about that...well, not the traumatic experience part, obviously. Better to make it sound like some people just decide not to use magic in their lives..." Besides, once the kids grew up the point would be moot anyway, they wouldn't even need to use their wands in front of their mother.

But that was a long way off, and it made Ricky feel sad to think of them growing up so quickly.  It didn't feel like more than a couple of years since Little Ricky was a baby and Selena was still learning to walk and talk, and now... he shook his head, idly adjusting the cutlery on his plate into a tidier position. Suddenly he didn't want the meal to end, because then the next part of the day would end as well, and he wanted to freeze everything in time so his children would remain children for always. He didn't feel old enough to have a child starting at Ilvermorny...didn't want to feel old enough, anyway.

Still, Gideon wasn't upset with him any more, and that was worth just about anything. Even if they were skipping dessert - actually that was fine too, he wasn't hungry any more anyway. He subconsciously mirrored his friend's gestures... finishing his own drink, reaching for a handful of coins... there was a knocking sound on the cafe window which immediately distracted him. Turning his head, Ricky laughed out loud.

"What was that we were saying about - No! I've told you before - looking forward to meet this terrible pair?" he asked, stopping in the mid-sentence to chastise Little Ricky who had suddenly appeared, along with his Aunt and sister, and was placing his mouth on the window and blowing air through his cheeks, a new habit he'd picked up from one of his no-maj friends. "I guess taking the scenic route to meet them isn't something we'll need to do after all!" Ricky thanked the waiter and turned to leave the restaurant.

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