Hogwarts, A Future

Sixteen Years After the War has Ended, Two Wizarding Schools Exist. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Salem Academy
 
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 Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)

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Joe Astrid
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PostSubject: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Tue May 27, 2014 5:35 pm

Everything hurt. Every breath was painful to take, each step filled his legs with nothing but agony. His eyes, after too long of silently weeping to himself, were burning, the only slight positive being that there were no more tears to spill. Or, at least he hoped that was true. But as was per usual on the mornings of his regular talks with Azalea, Joe forced himself out of bed and stumbled clumsily down to the greenhouses.

He hadn't bothered with a jacket, clad in the jeans he had worn on what was supposed to be his date with Brooke, and a black t-shirt. His arms felt the harsh cold of the light flakes of snow that dusted the ground around him, but the boy didn't care. He was only cold for a matter of moments, and after that it was the numbness that he enjoyed the most. The same kind of numb he had barely managed to drag himself out of.

"How could I have been so stupid...?" the black haired Hufflepuff murmured to himself, chest heaving with each damned breath that he allowed himself to take. "How could I have been so stupid as to think someone could fall for me?" He reached the spot with the flowers and sat down on the ground, his jeans beginning to soak as the snow melted against the fabric. It was nice to be able to feel something, he decided, and made no attempts at stopping the sensation against the skin of his thighs.

The boy looked at the flowers he had planted all those years ago. Just last year, he had been stupid enough to believe that he had grown up with the little Mimosa plants, to believe that he had matured and changed and become that much more of a man. But no, he was back again to the same state as always. Cold inside and out, heart still pumping but his brain begging it would stop.

As he waited for the only woman he could rely on, the boy felt his eyes prick again. "Look into my eyes, it's where my demons hide," Joe mumbled softly, allowing a single tear to escape the ducts behind the orbs of lifeless blue. "I'm hellbound." The droplet seemed to freeze, immortalised almost, on his pale complexion, as if to symbolise the ever-lasting pain he would suffer because... Because of being himself.

For there was no other reason. Joe Astrid had bad things happen to him because he was infact Joe Astrid, and that was how the world worked, so it seemed.

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Azalea Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Wed May 28, 2014 4:53 am

Usually, Azalea made it a point to reach the mimosa bed early, the witch had it down to just before the break of dawn as she watched the horizon for Joe Astrid with his half uncertain smile and semi awkward gait amble up to her. She looked forwards to meeting her favourite student, to watching all his discomfort melt away with the darkness as the sun rose, working with plants and for once looking like a carefree seventeen year old.

Except that a carefree seventeen year old was not what she found as she jogged up to the flowerbed, instead finding the Hufflepuff on the ground and very much in the snow which seemed to be seeping into his clothes.

"Joe, sweetie, you'll catch a cold," the brunette called out, removing her own red moose jaw jacket and draping it around the boy who seemed all but frozen in place.

When the boy didn't respond, Azalea moved beside him, crouching down on the snow as well. Going against every gardening instinct the girl held dear, Azalea conjured a small fire near her prized mimosas, just enough to get Joe's blood flowing once more.

"What's wrong sweetie," she asked, opening up her arms for an automatic hug.

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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Thu May 29, 2014 2:38 am

"Joe, sweetie, you'll catch a cold."

The boy shook his head, forcing himself not to jump at the sudden appearance of his professor. He had known she would arrive, but he hoped he would have been able to sort himself out a little bit before then and look slightly less of a mess. The knuckles of his right hand were bruised from punching the wall behind his bed in his dormitory and his hair was a little more unkempt that usual, something he only now realised as he reached up instinctively to arrange it across his forehead as usual.

For actually having heard the woman, Joe was proud of himself. Everyone else's words seemed to just go completely over his head, muffled as he blocked out the world. The worst part of it all was that the hurt was caused by a crush, of all things to get upset about, a crush. He sighed softly and looked up to Azalea, puffy eyes pleading that she would help.

"What's wrong sweetie," she asked, opening up her arms for an automatic hug.

It was in that moment that Joe lost ever ounce of composure he held in himself. He fell into the woman's arms and innocently rested his forehead on her chest, concentrating on breathing deep and slow for a few seconds before he muttered the four words that hadn't left his mind since he'd turned around and seen Joshua Murray's lips on hers.

"What's wrong with me...?"

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Azalea Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Fri May 30, 2014 5:51 am

As Joe moved to hug her, Azalea enveloped the young Hufflepuff in her arms, letting him know that he was safe. The witch had no idea why he was in this state and at that moment, it wasn't important. All that mattered right now was Joe knowing he wasn't alone.

"What's wrong with me...?"

The question broke her heart in so many ways as she rocked Joe back and forth softly, her blouse absorbing his tears and despair. Azalea knew exactly the kind of thought process that led to such question and no matter how much she wished that growing up would be easier for her kids than it had been for her, the young woman knew it wasn't going to happen.

"Absolutely nothing," Azalea replied, soft but firm as she held the boy close. "Nothing is wrong with you, you are one of the very best people in this world," she confirmed with a nod.

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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Sat May 31, 2014 7:44 am

"Absolutely nothing."

For no sound reason, Joe Astrid broke down at those words. Completely. His tears fell harder into Azalea's shirt, and he couldn't help but hate himself all the more for being so weak to the only person who made him feel strong enough to wake up every day. "I'm so sorry," he murmured over and over again, extremely softly, still not moving his head away because he needed someone to tell him that everything was real.

"If that was true," the Hufflepuff started, breaths shuddering between every word. "I wouldn't be crying on you..." The joke was feeble, he knew that, but hiding behind pathetic humour was his way of coping with events such as these. This wasn't Joe's first time having Josh Murray play with him, of course not, but he still felt every muscle in his heart threaten to give up as it pounded against his thin shirt. He hugged the jumper to himself, the warmth a soothing addition to Azalea's embrace.

"Nothing is wrong with you, you are one of the very best people in this world."

"Then-... then wh-wh... why does this always happen?" He didn't want to ruin the witch's perception of anyone. It wasn't Brooke's fault, heck it wasn't even Murray's fault. It was all his own, completely caused by himself because, and he realised this now, he would never be good enough for anyone.

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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:15 pm

"If that was true," the Hufflepuff started, breaths shuddering between every word. "I wouldn't be crying on you..."

The witch hugged Joe tighter as the boy broke down, shattering completely in her arms. Azalea wished she knew how to fix this, fix the boy crying on her blouse. She wished that life wasn't so cruel to people who least deserved it but when had that ever happened? So instead she merely held the Hufflepuff to her, rubbing her arms up an down his back reassuringly.

"That's not true, sweetie," she managed through his tears. "Lots of people break down and need help, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them," she consoled gently.

"Then-... then wh-wh... why does this always happen?"

Because that's life, the witch thought bitterly as she left Joe's question unanswered, instead making small comforting noises to soothe him. "You want to talk about it?" she asked cautiously, not letting go of the young wizard. Physical contact was a comfort everyone could appreciate and at the moment, all Azalea wanted was to let Joe know there was was absolutely nothing wrong with him.

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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:18 am

"That's not true, sweetie."

A murmur of thanks left the boy's lips, his heart aching more than ever because he couldn't believe Azalea's words for the life of him. She was so kind, so gentle, and Joe knew that she wouldn't ever lie to him, but for some reason his mind was refusing to let what she had said ring true. He couldn't even bring himself to look at her, to peel himself away from the affection she was showing because he knew that missing it would make him break again.

"You want to talk about it?"

In all honesty, he didn't know. What would he say? Josh Murray is a git and keeps chasing the girls I like just sounded plain stupid, and yet that was the only way he could phrase his biggest problem. No-one effing likes me and what's the point in being alive just sounded like he was asking for the sympathy vote from the witch. He nodded nonetheless, forcing himself to stop convulsing long enough to sit back properly and look into her eyes.

"I-... I d-don't know wh-... what I'm doing h-here an-an-... anymore," he stammered out, voice waivering on every word. He shrugged a little, mindlessly picking the skin around his thumbs before he continued. "I'm-... I'm n-not good-... good e-enough for th-th-this place..."

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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:30 pm

"I-... I d-don't know wh-... what I'm doing h-here an-an-... anymore,"

Azalea of all people knew what the stuttered sentence meant, how difficult it was to get out because it was laced with the conviction that you didn't matter, that in the grand scheme of things, you were neither important nor wanted. It had taken the witch a very long time to believe that someone actually needed her but she would not let Joe wait that long.

"I'm-... I'm n-not good-... good e-enough for th-th-this place..."

The brunette shook her head firmly, negating the Hufflepuff's statement. "No Joe, you're here because people need you," she reassured him, reaching to take his hand in hers.

"You are so much more than you realize, you make this world a better place to live in, sweetie even if its hard to believe,"

Deciding to trust Joe with her own feelings of inadequacy when she was his age, the Herbologist spoke softly. "I felt like this too a few years back," she revealed. "Like I didn't matter, like absolutely no one in the world needed me to be around."

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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:47 pm

"You are so much more than you realize, you make this world a better place to live in, sweetie even if its hard to believe."

He let Azalea have his hand, for a second believing that she would make everything okay somehow. In some kind of magical way, the way that Azalea always could. Nothing came except a gust of bitter cold wind, though, and once again the boy was reminded of exactly who and where he was and why he didn't belong there. Not anymore, at least...

Joe gave a pathetic sniffle, trying to mask it with a cough but knowing he'd failed. After their four years of companionship, he figured that it was safe to assume that the witch knew him too well to be able to fall for the same old stuff everyone else did. "Hard t-to believe," he murmured, almost drowned out by the sounds of the early morning. "Is the un-un-understatement of the c-century..."

"I felt like this too a few years back."

The second the words met his lips, the boy's frozen cold heart sank a thousand feet in his chest. No, no, no, no, no, no, no he thought, close to tears again at the thought that Azalea had ever felt the way he did. "But-... but you don't deserve to have ever felt like that, Azalea," he said softly, shaking his head but not looking her in the eyes for fear that she would say the same back to him. "Y-... bu-... wh-... N... I..." Lost for words wasn't even how he felt. He had all of the words, they were just jumbled together in a big ball of things that he couldn't comprehend. "What happened?"

Like she'd ever tell you he thought with an internal sneer at himself. Honestly, child. You just don't know where your boundaries are, do you? He sunk again at that thought, an almost silent apology escaping his lips at his intrusion of her privacy. "Y-... I ju-... Sorry..."

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PostSubject: Re: Mimosas, Mark V (Azalea)   Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:11 pm

"But-... but you don't deserve to have ever felt like that, Azalea,"

"And neither do you, Joe," the witch explained patiently, keeping her voice soft. "No one in the world deserves to feel that way, but we do, at some point. That's why we have friends to remind us that we're not alone," she elaborated, letting him know that she was that friend. Joe may have thought himself all alone but the brunette was sure that was far from the truth, an honest, kind and intelligent boy like him should have no shortage of friends.

"What happened?"

"There... was a boy," the witch began hesitantly, deciding in that instant to trust Joe with a bit more of her past. "I was almost your age. I thought I was... important to him. And then I saw what looked very much like proof that I wasn't." Try as she might, Azalea would never be able to put into words how seeing Jake and Renimay in the library had made her feel. But Joe would get the gist.

"It felt like nothing in the world would be right again, but I was wrong. Things did take a turn for the better," she finished, stressing home that when you hit rock bottom, the only way to go was up.

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