Amazing Banner by my good friend Poptart!
Miss Gail Heckse,
I would like to inform you that once again I am captain of the Gryffindor team. Now, I’m sure that you’ll try out for chaser, and most likely make it, seeing as you’re a wonderful chaser, so you have no need to worry about that.
This year we will practice harder, work longer, and be better. Maybe that Quidditch cup will have our name on it, seeing as this is my, and your last chance to win.
I’ll see you on the field!
Oliver Wood, Captain
“You have got to be kidding me” I mumbled looking at the letter. I sighed and crumbled it up, tossing it in the waste basket. I shook my head, and laid back down. At three in the morning, I didn’t want to be pecked awake by Oliver Wood’s owl. I had much better things to do, like sleep. Yes, sleep. Maybe later I’d send Oliver a howler telling him the importance of my sleep.
Beep, Beep, Beep
My alarm rang, and I groaned, rolling over in my bed, I looked at the clock that flashed ‘7:00’ I sighed and put a big tee shirt over my tank top and ran down the stairs.
“Morning Gail” My mom said, handing me my orange juice. I smiled and took a drink. “Okay, so in about an hour Grandma Fern will be here” she said, talking about my stepfather’s mom. I nodded, and shook my head, my mom was so nervous. Grandma Fern hated mom, she always thought that her son should marry wealthy, and that way with his fortune, and hers, they’d be perfectly fine. Of course, my father fell for some poor girl that already had a daughter. Grandma Fern hated my father since. She recently decided to be a bit kinder, seeing as Johnny, my half brother was already two.
“Mom, Grandma Fern has been kinder to you, remember that” I said, yawning, thanks to late night baby-sitting because Dad had some business party, and Oliver’s letter, and the early wake up call, I was living on almost no sleep. I sat on the counter, kicking my legs, and Mom ran her fingers through her hair.
“Gail, get off the counter.” She said pulling a roast from the oven, even though Grandma Fern was a witch, she believed if you couldn’t pay for the help, you had to do it on your own, no magic, meaning Mother had to make a home cooked meal without magic, and sadly, my mother can’t cook.
“Mom” I started looking at the burnt crisp roast, “I think you killed it for a second time” I said sighing, my mom pulled the oven mitts off and tossed them on the counter. “Here, um, I can fix this, we got another roast?” I asked, half kidding.
“Gail” she started, sighing, “No. I don’t, I don’t have any meat to cook up” she mumbled.
“Why were you cooking this already? Dinner isn’t until four. Listen, wake Christopher up, and tell him you need another roast, and to hurry” I sighed, “I’ll cook it”
“No, Fern would have a farm, then I’d hear about it.” She sighed, “You can’t cook, you have to take a showers, and do something with your hair, and get dressed” she paused for a second then snapped her fingers, “A dress Gail” I groaned, “I mean it. Not one of those little black dresses you have, your green one would work, or the one she sent you.”
“Mom, the green one goes past my knees!” I whined. “I’ll wear the yellow one”
“Whatever. Go get dressed, and get Johnny ready too” I started up the stairs when she spoke again: “Gail”
she called and I turned around.
“What?” I asked.
“No betting, no gambling. At all” she warned, I chuckled and headed up to my room.
I guess you could call me a gambler, I mean I make bets on anything, and I play some mean games of poker. It basically started when I was three, my aunt taught me how to play Go Fish for candy, so while my mom worked at Three Broomsticks, being a waitress, I would win the candy of all the kids that where getting baby sat where I was. My mom wasn’t pleased.
When I was eight I started betting my cousins for their candy on simple stuff, ‘bet you three chocolate frogs that I can jump from point A to point B.’ I normally won. So, when I went to Hogwarts I started betting money, and other things, like homework, and I won, hell I never did my homework for a month my third year. Then, we Gryffindors had a poker night, well those who wanted to play, and I would win there. Hell, most kids won’t play with me anymore, I simply kick their asses.
Grandma Fern nearly had a heart attack when she caught me playing poker with my beloved aunt at the wedding. She marched straight up to my mom and Chris and asked my mom where she got off letting her fifteen year old daughter play poker, the devil’s game. So, whenever Grandma Fern is in town, I’m not allowed to even think about playing it, or saying the word ‘bet’
I heard noises from the next room, the one that Chris and Mom share, since the wedding me and mom moved out of the one bedroom studio we were staying in, we moved into Chris’s four bedroom house, and I like it, I mean I have my own room, and it is good. I opened my closet, and pulled out the yellow dress. It was cute, for a dress. It had sleeves, and on those sleeves were little stones, they were also around the neck. The dress flowed out until it hit my mid thigh. I slipped on some white shoes, and brushed my golden hair. I pinned it back with a large butterfly clip. Leaving very little in my face, I sprayed some perfume, then headed back down stairs to see Grandma Fern sitting at the table, a cup of tea in her hand.
“Hello Gail” she said, the looked at me, “Young lady, your knees are not made to be shown off, you should be wearing something that goes right above your ankles.” She said, and I sighed.
“Hello Grandma Fern” I said sitting down, crossing my legs, like the lady I really wasn’t.
“Holland, dear” Grandma Fern started, and my mother stopped in her tracks, “It seems that your daughter, as cute as a button, doesn’t know how to dress” I winced; mom was getting in trouble for my yellow dress. “Now, Gail is a cute one, and boys’ jaws must drop when they see her, but she doesn’t have the knees or legs for those dresses” she placed her hand on mine, “Sorry dear, it isn’t your fault, your mother and that man you call a father just had bad leg genes.” She said, as Chris walked into the kitchen, Johnny on his hip.
“Morning Mother” he said, handing me Johnny so he could give his mother a hug.
“Christopher, even though Gail is darling, and beautiful doesn’t that skirt seem, too, I don’t know middle class” Again, my stopped what she was doing and I winced.
“You know what, Grandma Fern you are right” I said handing Johnny back to Chris, “I’m sorry Grandma Fern, and Mother for showing off my legs in a way a lady should never do” I walked to the stairs, “I don’t have the legs for this dress, so I will put a longer one on” I looked at my mom who looked so relieved, and Grandma Fern looked pleased. I smiled and headed up to the stairs, as soon as I got to my room I threw myself on this bed.
“I bet I’m not going to make it through this week without going insane” I said, sadly I knew I was right.
“You look much nicer” Grandma Fern said as I sat back down, my yellow dress was replaced with the blue one she gave me. I smiled and sat back down in the chair and sipped the orange juice mom gave me.
“Orange juice?” Grandma asked, and I sighed, “Holland, serving a two year old orange juice is one thing, even though I don’t agree with it, and I never did it to my little Christopher, I understand that sometimes people well, have no other choice and serve babies orange juice” My mom froze for the third time in the hour Grandma Fern was there.
“Go on” she whispered, I knew that whisper, she did it when she was trying to keep her cool, when in seconds she would explode, she always used that whisper when Grandma Fern was around, or when I was gambling.
“Well, Holland Gail is seventeen now, and a young lady, why when I was seventeen I sipped whiskey in my tea with the Beach Boys.” She said and I snorted.
“Who are they?” I asked, smiling.
“Holland, please teach your daughter some manors, I was telling my story” she said, and mom nodded, and shot me a look. “As I was saying, I didn’t drink orange juice, I never had. My mother could afford to get me some real healthy non-acid turning the skin orange, kind of juice for me. I drank juice from plums, and pumpkins, and other fruits that would leave my skin this color.” Mom sighed and took the cup of juice away from me, in it’s place was hot tea, I could smell the mint from the steam of it. The thing was, I hated tea.
“Thank you mother” I whispered looking at her, and she gave me a small smile, telling me we only had the rest of today and another six days to go with Grandma Fern.
“Hey baby girl” mom said coming in my room later that day, I was laying on my bed, reading a book Grandma Fern gave me because ‘I didn’t have a good enough taste in my books’ I closed it, and looked up at her.
“Can’t we just kick her out now?” I asked like a three year old, I hated to be so mean, but in truth, Grandma Fern pissed me off like no other.
“No, baby we can’t.” she said, pushing my hair from my face. After a while I took the clip out, “Fix your hair before you come back downstairs, she’s still sitting there, talking to Chris about something or another.”
“Yes mom” I said offering her a smile. “Mom, I love Chris and all, and Grandma Fern too, but mom, she makes hell seem nice.”
My mom laughed and patted my head, “That she does, but she is Chris’s mother, and he loves her more then anything in this world, so get the flame resistance suit, and come back down. I know your not really reading that book” she said, and I nodded, I pulled my hair back into the clip, it didn’t look as nice as before, but it still looked nice.
“Hey Gail” she said, and I looked at her, “I’ll bring you some orange juice up later” I grinned and nodded.
“Hey mom” I said and she looked at me, “only twelve hours and six days left” we both snorted and headed back down the stairs.
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