We lounged on the couches until it went dark, when mum ordered us all upstairs, raving about ‘not being ready’ and ‘going to be late’ (please note that there were a good few hours left until the party, and we were already at the venue- and you wonder why I’m so dramatic?). She and Nikita took my dress and me into mum’s room, and bustled me into the bathroom, ordering me to shower.
I shut the door and gladly stepped under the hot jet of water, the ice that had frozen me earlier melting away. I used mum’s favourite shower gel; the one that smelled like some exotic fruit (it was gorgeous) and had a name I couldn’t pronounce. Mum handed me all sorts of things to put on my hair- split end treatment, shiny hair conditioner- until Nikita reminded her that she was a witch and of age, so she could do those things by magic. I climbed out of the shower and wrapped a towel around me, air bending myself dry. Mum hurried me into a chair next to her bed, air bending my hair dry immediately, and ordered Nikita to begin all her magic treatments on it, as well as charming those small, annoying little hairs off my legs and underarms and just about everywhere else. She also neatened up my eyebrows for me. As the wind had such a big effect on it, my hair was easily damaged, and Nikita took a full twenty minutes fixing it. When she was done, it felt better then when the hairdresser did it; all light and soft. Oh, I wanted to run my hands through it.
“There’s so much to work with, it would look gorgeous curled” Nikita suggested, lifting my hair gently and experimenting, twisting it this way and that, putting it up and then down. This would take a while. Mum stood in front of me, watching with a thoughtful look on her face. I knew she had a fair few ideas herself, and she had been secretly planning this part of the party all year.
This would definitely take a while.
“Yeah, but we’ll need to pin a few things back so it doesn’t get in the way. We’d be better putting it all up”
“No way! He hair needs to be down and curled”
I groaned quietly, receiving two (rather rude) Shushing noises.
“Mm, I guess showing off how nice her hair is would be better. Alright, you’ve won this one” Mum said. I was surprised she gave up that easily. Normally she’d fight to the death about this sort of thing.
“I’ve got some gold hair accessories with me, thought they might come in handy”
“Nikita you are the best. Here, you start curling her hair, I’ll go and get them” Mum said, and disappeared. Nikita began curling my hair in her hands, heating her fingers enough to act like a curling iron. I loved having curly hair; it was the fact that I didn’t have the skill or motivation to curl it myself that was the problem. I was always up just early enough to brush my hair in the morning, not to actually do anything with it.
“You have such a nice natural colour, not quite blonde, not quite brown” Nikita mused, and I smiled. Oh yeah, and people asked me why I never dyed it. If I did, who would complement me on my nice, natural colour? I barely had the heart to cut my hair (I loved it long), never mind dye it!
“So, can you at least talk me through what you’re doing to me?” I asked. The mirror in Mum’s bedroom had been covered, because of course, I was not allowed to see myself. This wasn’t even tradition; mum just liked to make this rule up so it would be a surprise. Jeez, I wasn’t getting married; let me be narcissistic and look at myself!
“Nope, it’ll be a surprise” Nikita replied easily. I scowled grumpily, and flinched as Nikita’s red-hot hand grazed my ear. Mum returned with something that clinked a lot; probably the box full of Nikita’s hair accessories. The girl had a lot of hair, it made sense to have a box full of things to decorate it with. They got to work, pulling and heating and brushing my hair into shape, curling it carefully and bickering occasionally, and I got annoyed with them commenting and then not telling me what was going on.
“Yeah, that looks much better”
“Oh use that one!”
“So nice, where did you get this?”
“No, don’t do that, you’ll ruin it!”
“Excuse me, who’s the stylish teenager here?”
Ugh, so annoying! They could be talking about anything! Eventually, after what I guessed was almost an hour of sat being pulled and prodded at, my hair was still, and I sighed in relief, bracing myself to get up. Nikita forced me back down by my shoulders, and I let out a startled yelp. Her hands were still rather warm, and on my bare shoulders it was a litle bit of a shock.
“Sit back down, you’ve got your make-up to do yet!” She said, and I groaned overdramatically. Spirits, I’ll be here all night! Everyone will be dancing in the tent and Ii will still be up here getting ready! I want to daaaaance!
Mum was cracking open the ‘sunset orange’ nail varnish whilst Nikita pulled out her make-up kit, standing in front of me and applying the…whatever you call it to my face. You know, the whatsit. Yeah, I'm a little lost. I had no idea what she was doing- I mean, I knew about foundation and mascara, but this was a whole other board game. I giggled at the look of concentration on Nikita’s face, and she glared at me. I shut up sharpish.
“Vida, why do you bite your nails? It’s a terrible habit” Mum scolded lightly, carefully painting my nails with an unshaking hand. Whenever I painted my nails, the left hand looked okay and the right hand looked like a cat had done it. You know, since they didn’t have opposable thumbs and would drop the brush and everything. Yeah, I was that bad.
“Can’t help it” I shrugged. I didn’t even know I was doing it half the time, it was that bad. It was a nervous habit I had. She tutted.
“Well you better help it. Its not good to bite your nails”
“Got it mum, I’ll work on that after Christmas”
She tutted and carried on, and Nikita was ordering me to close my eyes, turn one way, open my mouth; just so she could get her make-up just right. I felt like a weird doll, and I wondered why so much fuss was being made over me. Mum finished my nails and began applying her own make-up, using those anti aging creams that she just didn’t need. I didn’t see why my mum had to cover up the smile wrinkles she had whilst my dad didn’t. They showed that she was kind (even though she could be terrifying at times, like when my room was messy).
“If you don’t want to get a fire bending job, you could always pain people’s faces for a living” I told Nikita, and she smiled a little.
“I’ll keep that in mind” She said quietly, dabbing something onto my eyelids.
“Hey Vida um, how do you tie this? I have no idea how it goes” A voice said, and both mum and Nikita stood, standing in front of me and hiding me from view. I opened my eyes, and I knew that Al was probably at the door, holding the sash with an adorably confused expression on his face. He scrunched his nose when he was confused, like a butterfly kangaroo. It was really cute. Wow, is it hot in here?
“Al! Boys aren’t meant to see us before the party starts!” Nikita scolded.
“Oh crap, sorry! I just didn’t know how to-"
“Come here, I’ll help” Mum said. He was talking about the orange air bending sash that tied over his shoulder and around his hips, a symbol of us reaching out to him. We brought him into our bending family, as he didn’t have one of his own. He would be seen as an air bender for this party. Mum ushered him away bossily and returned to me, rolling her eyes.
“Right, we’re going to get ready. Vida, sit still, and don’t you dare look in the mirror” Nikita ordered, and she left, whilst mum went into the bathroom. I got up and adjusted my towel, feeling very much like a porcelain doll as I walked over to my dress, lying innocently on mum and dad’s large double bed. I never wore this much make-up, ever, I wasn’t used to it, so it seemed like a ton even thought it probably wasn't as muc as I thought. How do people wear this stuff every day? Already, my eyes itched, and I wanted to rub them, but I knew I couldn’t. My cheeks felt like I had to wipe them, like when you had food on them and had to get it off. it was very annoying.
I ran a hand over my dress curiously, liking the floaty material it was made out of. I would wear this and the guests would know that I was now of age; I was now an adult in the bending world. It was almost scary. I pushed those thoughts aside, thinking about how much fun the next three days could be. The party was always fantastic, but this year I had my best friend here; it would be ten times better now.
Mum came out of the bathroom fifteen minutes later looking stunning; her dress was midnight blue and came down to her knees, the hem quite tight like a pencil skirt. She wore a black shall over her shoulders (it was snowing outside, it would be freezing without one), and black high heels that made her tower over me. Her shorter brown hair was in an elegant knot, and she looked much younger than before.
“Mum, you look beautiful” I told her, and she smiled, patting her light hair down self-conciously.
“Thanks Vida. Now, lets get these tattoos painted on you” She said, producing blue skin paint from who-knows-where. I wrapped my towel more securely around me and mum opened the tub.
“Your dress will hide your legs, so we won’t need to be too careful there, we can rush a bit. However it is almost backless, so we’ll have to paint your back. Turn around” Mum said and I did so, and she painted the arrow up my spine, right up to my hair, and then turned me around again and dabbed at my forehead; if I didn’t have hair, the arrow would be conected. I however, did not want to lose my hair, so we were drawing around it. I don't know how I'll cope if I become a master and they shave my head. I'll probably cry like a baby.
Mum carefully began drawing the arrow heads on the backs of my hands, doing each one and filling them in before she carried them on up my arms. It took a long time as they had to be coloured in, and when she was finally done she wasted no time and started on my legs. I helped, using the small paintbrush she’d used to draw the outlines to draw on my legs whilst she filled them in. It was a long process and mum added a few swirling patterns in a darker blue, which were beautiful and reminded me of henna, which looked complicated but were in fact almost the same pattern repeated. It tickled, too, and mum had to stop quite a few times because I'd jumped violently, reacting to the brush on my skin. I found it funny, but after the third time she didn't. Ooops.
When I was deemed done I dressed; mum helped me pull my dress on without smudging the paint, not really having time to let it fully dry. She slid beautiful gold arm bracelets up to my biceps, made sure the strap that tied around my neck was secure and put a necklace on me, with the air bending symbol as the pendant. I’m glad I had the arm bracelets; since the dress tied at my neck my arms felt very exposed, and I didn’t get a shall like mum did.
“Beautiful. Now I’m getting emotional; I’m ruining my make-up!” Mum cried, and I sighed, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue for her, wiping the forming tears away before they carried her mascara down her face.
“Its okay mum, don’t cry” I told her.
“But my only baby is all grown up! It seemed like just yesterday you were learning to walk!” She wailed. I chuckled and thought of all the times I'd stumbled into something just in the past week.
“Trust me mum, I’m still learning to walk. I’ll always be your little air bender, don’t you worry. I’ll be childish for the rest of my life” I promised, and she sniffed a little. I threw the tissue in the bin and looked around for my shoes; red high heels with ribbon that wrapped around my calf and tied like ballet slippers. They were lurking under the bed and I pulled them on, praying that my practice in walking in mum’s heels would work; these were bigger than I thought. Broken ankle and a night in A+E, here I come.
“Okay. Spirits, I’m being silly. Right, I’ll stop now. I’ll call in the girls, tell the boys to wait downstairs- the guests will be here soon! Have you learned your dances?” Mum rushed, and I giggled.
“Mum everything is sorted. Stop worrying like a silly lemur and go and get my cousins” I told her, and she left.
My mum got very panicky right before the party started; thinking she’d missed something, feeling there wasn’t any time- she’d got it spot on every year as usual, and still she rushed around like me on sugar. Trust me, me on sugar was a sight to behold. It didn’t take mum any time at all to grab my cousins and almost shove them into the room with me.
“You three wait in here, the guests are coming through soon, I’ll call you when its time!” Mum called, shepherding Emma and Nikita into the room. They looked beautiful; Emma was in a blue dress that was knee-length at the front and floor length at the back, and had wide shoulder straps. Her hair looked like waves down to her shoulders, weaved with strands of silver. Nikita was in a red dress that glittered with gold, high heels that had her standing taller than Emma (she certainly didn’t usually) and there were gold hints to her on her face an arms; she was like a roaring flame, just stunning.
“You two look incredible” I said honestly, and they smiled and showed varying degrees of blushing.
“Vida you should see yourself” Emma said, and I nodded.
“I should, shouldn’t I? I haven’t gotten to yet” I said, and Nikita gaped. I could almost hear her yelling the word 'TRAVESTY' in her head. I couldn't just not see all the hard work she did on me!
“I’m not having that, you need to see yourself, now”
She passed me and approached the mirror that sat innocently by the wall, and pulled off the cover that hid it away. She then ushered me in front of it, and I gasped. My hair was effortlessly curled, pinned back away from my face, which didn’t have a blemish on it. The arrow on my forehead stood out boldly against my pale skin but instead of looking strange it seemed to belong there. My eyes seemed a brighter blue, lashes much longer and thicker. My lips were red and plump, and in my dress I had a regal look, like an air bending princess or something. I looked like I was glowing.
“Oh my Aang” I said softly, in almost disbelief, as I examined the girl in the mirror. Was that really me? Nikita and Emma appeared at either side of me and the three of us stared for a moment at our reflection. Three smiling faces, all done up and lovely, pretty in three different ways. I loved the reflection I was seeing. I glanced out of the window, seeing an unfamiliar bison landing in the garden.
Here come the guests.
“Oh, I’m so excited!” I squealed, and they laughed.
“Me too!” Nikita agreed, and we freaked out for a moment. Emma was a little more reserved as always, whilst Nikita and I squealed and grinned like lunatics.
“You two are so easy to please, do neither of you realise that we aren't sleeping for the next three days?” Emma asked, rolling her eyes and blowing on the blue nail varnish that shined under the soft lighting of my mum's room. I shook my head.
“I am; the other year I slept under the buffet table, and the tent flap. I set up a hammock in the big tree over summer ready for this” I replied, grinning at my genius.
“What? Okay, next time, you’ll be doing that for me too” Em said.
“And me!” Nikita added. I raised an eyebrow.
“You? You don’t sleep! You’re up for three days straight and you’re still stood up by the end of it!” I exclaimed.
“Ah, but I’m always stumbling, and I have the biggest hangover ever. I’ll need to sleep it off somewhere; no doubt one of the guests will steal my bed” She grumbled.
“My bedroom door is locked so they can’t” I said. She shrugged.
“We have guest rooms; they don’t lock”
“Yeah, mum doesn’t trust you in her house”
Nikita looked offended, and I giggled. She set a tapestry on fire when we were kids; mum has never trusted her alone again, which is why under no circumstances is she given complete privacy. Since it wouldn’t be fair to leave one guest room unlocked, mum just left the other one too, which means that it was Nikita’s fault that every year a drunken guest took her and Emma's beds. Mum despaired, because somehow they always managed to sneak upstairs without her knowing.
“How long do you think it’ll take for all the guests to get into the tent?” Emma asked.
“Do you know how many make small talks with our Aunt? We’ve got a long wait” Nikita replied. I sighed and sat down, making a breeze blow through the room; it felt rather hot.
“You nervous Vida? Don’t be, I had to do the dances, they aren’t that bad” Nikita said. I sighed.
“Yeah, but your partners were really sweet and lovely, all the boys my age are right prats” I complained. Emma snickered.
“Eh, just hit ‘em then. Its only five dances; then you’re free for three days to dance with whoever takes your fancy” She advised.
“So, you basically mean Al” Nikita said, smirking. I felt my cheeks go hot.
“Shut up” I grumbled. They laughed.
“Oh come on, don’t tell me you’re embarrassed! We’ve known you liked him for ages, even longer than you” Emma told me, and I gaped.
“What?” I asked. Oh no, abort abort ABORT THIS IS DANGEROUS TERRITORY! Code red, air bender cornered, need back-up!
“You’ve been following each other around since first year Vida, I knew where that was going. It was really obvious” Nikita said breezily, feeling her hair to make sure the breeze I was making hadn’t ruined it. I made the breeze a little stronger, getting my revenge as two strands of hair came loose and Nikita wailed, hurrying to the mirror to fix them.
“No its not!” I cried.
“Yes it is!” Emma replied in a sing-song voice.
“You’re reading into it too much”
“Nope, I’m just looking at the obvious”
“No you’re not!”
“Girls, come on!” Mum called, and we stopped our bickering immediately. Nikita and Emma turned, ready to follow.
“Oh spirits” I muttered.
“Vida, come on” Emma said from the door. I was still sat in my seat, having a mild breakdown.
“Oh mother of Aang its happening”
“Holy air bender its starting right now! What if I trip and fall? Or break my ankle or something? What if a bison sits on the tent and we all-
“VIDA. SHUT. UP!” Nikita yelled, and I looked down. Maybe I was more nervous than I thought. I am pretty bad at knowing my emotions. Its becoming a bit of an issue, don't you think? I should work on that. But, as a great procrastinator once said; eh, I'll do it later.
I slowly got up and followed her, wishing that I could just get on a bison and high-tail it out of here because I was a coward. I suddenly felt like the dances needed more work, and the strap tied at my neck was far too tight. My high heels felt unstable, and I stumbled a little as we walked toward the stairs.
“This is terrifying” I whispered.
“Shut up and walk you wuss, don’t be a pygmy puff” Nikita hissed.
Mum, dad and grandpa, as well as my aunts and uncles were waiting at the bottom of the stairs, smiling widely. Nikita and Emma were hugged by their parents and my mum beamed.
“Are you ready?” She asked.
“If I said no would you give me more time?” I replied. Dad chuckled.
“Stop panicking Vida, you’ll be fine. You’ll be doing the air bending dance first, and you’re great at that one. It’ll calm you down” He reassured, hugging me lightly. The paint used to give me air bending tattoos was pretty hard wearing and difficult to get off now it had dried, but still my father was careful he didn’t smudge it. Grandpa kissed the top of my head, looking twice as grand as dad in his robes.
“Breathe child, tonight is your night. You’re all grown up” He said, and I nodded.
“I know. Being a kid seems much more appealing now” I admitted.
“Of course. It does to me too, but you can’t be a child forever. I’d walk you in, but that is your father’s job” He said, and dad nodded. He’d want to walk his only daughter to her coming of age celebration.
“Is it too late to have another child?” He asked my mum quietly. I pretended not to hear.
“We’ll talk about that later. We have to go, we’ve left three non-benders in a tent full of benders with no support” She replied. Dad took my arm and everyone else got into some sort of queue. Grandpa went first as the head of our family. Nikita’s parents followed with her behind, and Emma walked with her in front of her parents. Mum kissed my temple and walked ahead of us as we headed to the glass doors, where I could see the huge tent taking up most of our massive garden. I could hear several bisons nearby, belonging to air benders who came to the party, and there was light streaming out of the wide entrance into the tent. There were voices and laughter and music, which warmed me up as I stepped into the freezing, snowy air.
Grandpa led us into the tent, the crowd quieting down when they saw him, and the dance floor was cleared. He greeted the guests, thanking them for coming and they cheered, probably more to the fact that they had spotted Emma. There was no one more famous than the avatar in the bending world. I could see my dance partners waiting on the other side of the dance floor; a bald air bender, who probably grew up in the temples, a tall, strong looking earth bender, a much smaller boy who was nervously eyeing the giant next to him; probably a fire bender, and next to him the water bender. The water bender was one of the boys who’d teased me over the years, looking sour and bored as the procession continued. Stood next to him, trying to see over my aunt and uncle’s head was Al, and I relaxed. At least I would be dancing with him as well as these boys.
“...And may I introduce my youngest granddaughter, who will be celebrating coming of age tonight, and performing the tradition elemental dances for you!” Grandpa announced, and the crowd cheered as dad and I walked to the centre of the dance floor. My dance partners seemed very surprised; I was delighted to see that the water bender looked like someone slapped him in the face with a glider. Al’s eyes were wide and jaw slack, and I smiled at him. He looked really good in his suit and orange sash, hair still messy even thought I could tell that there had been an attempt to flatten it. I almost asked if I could dance with him first. Dad gave me a hug and the air bender stepped forward and bowed, and I echoed his gesture.
There were no words exchanged, the music had started and the dance began, and despite the fact that two minutes ago I couldn’t recall any of the steps, I knew the dance just fine. My partner and I moved together, making a warm breeze blow through the tent as we moved our arms in sync, and when the dance stopped he smiled. The crowd cheered loudly. I returned the smile easily, and his grey eyes met mine evenly, as most air benders did when they spoke.
“It has been a pleasure dancing with you, Vida” He told me. I went a little red, flattered.
“Thank you, you too” I replied, and he left the dance floor, to be replaced with the earth bender. Wow, there is no pause between the transitions, is there? Just one after another after another. He was really tall and broad-shouldered, but when the dance began I learned he was actually very graceful, and gentle. He was very good at making sure I didn’t lean too far one way, and kept me balanced. His large hands never once gripped too tight, which I was very surprised at, as Earth benders always struck me as the forceful type. The dance was less flowing, more sharp movements and heavy- footed landings and clenched hands. It was completely out of my comfort zone, let me tell you.
“You are very good, I know how hard it must be for an air bender to dance the earth bending dance” He said when we’d finished, in a faint sweedish accent, and I smiled.
“Yeah, but you stopped me falling over; you’re a much better partner than my dad” I said, and he chuckled. The water bender stepped up next, and I tried not to scowl with so many eyes in the room on me. It was much harder not to hit him when he sneered.
“See you’ve changed” He hissed. If he wasn't so mean, I would've called him handsome. You know the whole black haired, dark skinned, lean type who looked good on those perfume adverts and such.
“See you haven’t” I spat back.
“Lets get this over with, yeah?”
He wasn't as gentle as the earth bender; his hands gripped my waist tightly, harshly, and his face told me he'd rather be anywhere but here. He was probably thinking back on when I shoved him out of tha window; I think I'd be a little angry dancing with me too.
It wasn’t as bad as I expected; he was a very good dancer and no matter how much we didn’t like each other, he wasn’t going to sabotage me or make me look bad, though I was sure I had bruises on my waist now. Thanks, water bender. You're a real catch. He didn’t say a word at the end, just walked away, and the fire bender approached. He reminded me of an elf, and I wondered if I should trust him this close to me. He had a face that just made me suspicious.
“Hola, senorita” He said.
Ah, he’s Spanish. A Spanish elf.
“Uh, hola” I replied. He chuckled.
“Don’ worry, I speak the English. If not, we could communicate some other way, no?” He asked, and winked. I giggled. This guy was weird. He had a cute accent, but he was weird. The dance began and he spun me, wiggling his hips like some belly dancer or something, lively and far closer than my mum had danced. When we practiced there was a good gap between us; right now, there was barely an inch.
“Come on chica, loosen up!” He said.
“Move your hands a little higher, and I might” I replied. Yeah, this guy wasn’t weird; he was a creep with no sense of boundaries. His hands were much lower than they should be, and no matter how much I tried to distance myself, he kept coming forward.
Over his shoulder, I could see that Al was glaring at him murderously, and I grimaced on his behalf. Al looked like he was going to punch him; lt me tell you that I don't deal well with harrassment, and I would get there first.
“You’ve gotta relax, there’s nothing wrong with low hands!” He told me, and returned them to where they were before. I almost hit him. Almost. I was moving my arm when I remembered that mum would kill me for it. I hear a few murmurs in the crowd and knew how bad it would be to punch him right now. I'd have to get him later.
“Stop it you creepy Spanish git” I hissed “you’re feeling me up in public”
“Ah, you’re no fun, where’s your fire chica?”
“I’m an air bender, stupid, I don’t have fire” I pointed out. He grinned.
“Ah, there it is! I like a girl who talks back”
“I wish we weren’t talking at all” I grumbled.
“Me too, if you catch my drift” He said with a waggle of his eyebrows. I gaped at him, before breathing a sigh of relief; the dance was over. Al hurried over and pulled the Spanish guy away roughly, almost holding him off the floor before shoving him away forcefully.
“You stay away from her, you got that?” He hissed. Spanish guy chuckled.
“Aw bonita, you could’ve said you had a man, I would’ve backed off a little sooner” He said, and laughed, walking away with his hands in his pockets, leaving me fuming in his wake. Al glared after him.
“Thanks; that guy was creepy” I said. He turned and calmed, and smiled.
“No problem. You look beautiful” He replied, and I went scarlet. Oh no, compliments from Al, what do I do? This is totally different from compliments from anyone else!
“T-thanks, you’re looking pretty good yourself” I told him.
Al looked down at his suit. It was tailored perfectly, hugging him and the top two buttons of his shirt were undone, the top of one of his collarbones just showing. Look away Vida, for what's left of your own sanity. There, that's better.
“Maybe, but I feel very average stood here with you; you look like royalty”
“Ah Al, your compliments are making me blush”
He chuckled and took one of my hands, resting the other on my waist. His hands were warm and soothing after the water bender, smoothing over my dress and he met my eyes. I tried not to hyerventilate. I almost failed.
The song started and we began our first steps, me back and him forward, and I stared at Al, liking the fact that my heels made him not so tall anymore. He suddenly went very red, and I frowned. It was a sudden transition, and it worried me a small amount. Al didn't blush very often, though this past year it has increased. Not sure why, but it has. I'll have to ask him if he's okay.
“What?” I asked curiously.
“I was just remembering- uh, its nothing” He said, spinning me easily and pulling me back in, making me a little dizzy.
“Hey, don’t just go all red and then say its nothing. What did you remember?” I asked, mastering the act of barely moving my mouth whilst I was speaking so that the watching benders wouldn't notice.
“You kissed me the other night” He blurted. I frowned. Whoa, I think I would remember that Al. In fact I'm like 89% sure that if I kissed Al Potter I would remember it as clear as day and never stop thinking about it. Wow, that sounded obsessive.
“What? I don’t remember that” I told him.
“It was dark, and you went to kiss my forehead, but you... kinda missed” He explained.
We were quiet for a moment, and I mentally braced myself for a small lift and the terror that would come from this new information catching up to me. Having to stare at Al for so long- well, it was very easy to lose your train of thought. I knew what he was talking about; I knew I didn’t find his forehead, but I didn’t think I missed by that much. I kissed Al. Holy avatar, I kissed him. I am the biggest failure of a human being ever. Al lifted me, spinning, and put me down again, continuing easily.
“Oh spirits, I’m so sorry” I breathed, and he chuckled.
“Hey, its alright, don’t apologise, it wasn’t like it was some terrible thing you did”
“I kissed you!” I pointed out.
“You probably didn’t want me to!” I cried, panicking a little.
“And now I’m the worst person ever because you were probably wondering what the hell I did it for and-
“Vida shut up, we’re still dancing, remember?” Al hissed, chuckling a little.
Ah yes, dancing. My body seemed to have gone into auto mode, so whilst I panicked my feet still moved. Thank spirits for that. Al lowered me into a dip, a warm hand on my back to stop me falling, and brought me back up as the last notes of the song played. The crowd applauded madly, and the dancefloor was invaded. Hundreds of people suddenly appeared around us on the dance floor and I clung to Al as they almost crushed us, several hundred talking at once; I was always well away from the crowds at this point, for this reason. Now, they were all talking at me, saying hello, smiling and laughing at how much I’d grown up, and eyeing my dance partner. Al kept his hand on my back and looked around. A random fire bender shook my hand.
“I think we’re stuck. Think you could air bend us out?” He asked. I nodded.
“Maybe. Hold on”
“I kind of already am”
I nodded. Right. Of course he was. Silly Vida. I let go of his arms and performed a complicated move, which sent us above the crowd and quickly to the edge of it, landing softly.
“Ah, sweet relief, there were too many people in there” I said. Al chuckled. He guided me further from the crowd, a gentle, warm hand on my bare back. I tried not to notice it too much. I failed.
“Vida! Oh that was wonderful!” I heard mum call, and I smiled, looking around to find her approaching with a huge smile on her face, dad following.
“Oi, Potter, hands off my daughter eh? I don’t like you touching her bare back either” Dad called, and Al took a step back. I rolled my eyes.
“Dad, my dress is backless”
“Yeah, and he’ll be handless soon if he doesn’t keep ‘em to himself”
Al went red and eyed his shoes, whilst I scowled at my father.
“Anyway” Mum said forcefully, giving my dad a harsh look “Enough about your dad and his overprotective nature. You did great darling, I’m so proud of you. I know that fire bender was a little bit too into the dance-
“That reminds me, where is the little-?” Dad piped up, not getting to finish before mum cut across him.
“Jack!” She scolded.
“What? He is, and when I find him I’ll rip his-
“Jack I swear if you start trouble you’ll be in the doghouse for weeks” Mum warned. Dad huffed.
“Don’t worry Jack, a random bison like, I don’t know, Lumen, could accidentally take him on a trip to a faraway place” A voice said, and Grandpa appeared next to me, a small smug smile on his face.
“Really?” Dad asked. Grandpa nodded seriously.
“Yes in fact, I think its already happened” He said, and I giggled. Grandpa squeezed my shoulder, and dad looked smugly at mum, who huffed.
“You aren’t the only one looking out for her, son. Now Vida, how about you and Albus go and have some fun? I heard the buffet is open, and you can’t spend the whole party with us adults” he suggested, and I hugged him.
“Thanks Grandpa” I mumbled.
“Quick, take Al and run before your dad decides to follow you” He whispered and I laughed, letting go and grabbing Al’s arm, pulling him away from my parents.
The tent had become very loud; I could feel the music in my chest, despite the fact that I couldn’t hear it over everyone talking and laughing and having fun. People stopped us on the way, complimenting me, congratulating me on finally making it to 16. Many air benders greeted me like an old friend, and the fire benders winked. We had a right job getting the buffet let me tell you, and this little air bender was starving. Once I’d had my food, this party would officially be started.
I couldn’t wait.
So, here we have the beginning of the party. Hoorray! What did you think? Leave a review, make my day, tell me you secrets! (just kidding, you can keep your secrets if you want)
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