Lumos

Crying Jags

London | January 21, 1986

It’s early in the morning, the winter air still cold, damp and dark. The sun hasn’t entirely started to peek over the horizon yet, but the first light of dawn has started to lighten the sky. And it’s just at this time that Paige apparates outside of her flat. Thanks to old paranoias, apparating into her flat isn’t an option. So because of this the blonde woman is coming in through the front door, trying to be as quiet as possible. She slips her shoes off by the door downstairs, hanging her coat there before tip-toeing up the steps towards the living room with the goal of continuing upwards to her bedroom.

It is indeed early, yet soft music can be heard emanating from the guest bedroom. Inside, it is almost completely dark, save for the soft glow of a few candles. A mound of blankets sits upright in the middle of the bed, across from some sort of muggle instrument. A hand reaches out from the folds and plinks away at a few keys on the contraption. Solemn, synthetic noises fill the room. A few sniffles can be heard deep in the recess of Mt. Blanket.

Paige was almost to the steps up to the next floor where her bedroom is. Almost. So close really when she heard the music. She hesitates and finally turns with a small sigh, creeping towards the door of the guest bedroom and cracking it open. She pokes her head inside. “Max? What’s wrong?”

The soft electronic music continues. Another hand reaches out to harmonize, creating a few chords of a decently popular muggle song. Max hears Paige, yet barely reacts. Instead she lets out a raw and raspy melody. “Once upon a time I was falling in love…but now I’m only falling apart..” Pounding the keys harder- “Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart..”

Paige lifts her eyebrows and slips inside the room with a soft “That’s not good.” She heads towards the bed, climbing on next to Max, sliding right under the blankets with her. “So. Who are we singing about?” She asks, though from her tone she has a guess.

Well, Max is no Bonnie Tyler, that’s for sure. She starts on the piano solo as Paige breaches the blanket fort. A loud CLINK signifies another item hiding from view. With one hand still playing the instrument, she pulls out a long, half empty bottle of firewhiskey and hands it to the other woman. “Turnaround bright eyes…turn around,” she adds, as if Paige understands.

“Ah yes. Ivan then.” Paige reaches to take the the bottle of firewhiskey when it’s offered. She subtly slides it outside of the blankets so it’s out of sight. “Want to tell me what happened?”

“He’s moved on,” Max offers quietly. Her fingers continue to waltz around the keyboard. “I got a letter. He wants to stay friends. But he’s seeing someone.” She pauses suddenly, breath getting more shallow as she holds back the oncoming storm of tears. “It’s fine.”

Paige scoots closer and wraps her arm around Max. “Oh darling. I’m sorry. He just sent a letter?” She’s trying to keep it out of her tone but she looks rather displeased. “You don’t have to say it’s fine. Not to me, hm? It sucks and I’m sorry.” She plants a kiss on the side of her head. “I obviously can’t leave you home alone again,” she teases.

“He has every right to live his life. I kissed someone else the other day, why shouldn’t he?” Max’s tone leans more towards the ‘I did this to myself’ side. She reaches out and adjusts the tone knob on the instrument. “We’re all adults I guess.” Her eyes are heavy lidded from the booze, yet she manages to wink at Paige. “You smell like sex by the way. Was it Darius?”

“That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt,” Paige tells Max gently. “Hmm. Yes. Some more adult than others.” At the wink and comment Paige makes a face at Max. “I do not smell like sex,” she protests. “And yes. But that is besides the point.” She leans her head against Max. “Why don’t we rent some good Muggle movies that will make us cry tonight and we can stay in and watch them? Have a good cry. Drink some good wine. After you’ve sobered up,” she teases.

Max sniffles, then switches off her keytar. “That actually sounds pretty good. Need to purge the rest of these emotions for sure.” She slides the thing back into its protective case and closes the clasps. She gives Paige a sideways glance, “Oh and if you think you’re going to hide behind my sorrow, you’re wrong. You’re going to tell me what happened, later.”

“I’ll get everything we need on my way home from work, kay? And you should sleep some and then go get out of the house a bit later.” Paige gives her another squeeze before starting to extract herself from the blankets. “Oh I totally am,” she replies with a slight grin. “It’s the perfect cover. And now I am going to shower and go to work. Get some sleep,” she repeats with a softer smile.

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