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     Two of Us (Ben)

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    Connor Bailey

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    Dragon Trainer In Training


    PostSubject: Two of Us (Ben)   Tue Mar 06 2018, 00:17


    September || 2040


    Mistwick was always humming with things going around. From a largely urban area, there was always something from a jazz performance in the corner of some bar, to an old crazy lady complaining about the price of eggs. Connor had no idea why Baker Street of all places was the location that Ben was determined to get the flat. Connor hadn't asked too many questions (he had learned early on that asking too many questions led to arguments).

    So, he had gotten a weird message through their two-way mirror where Ben had called quickly requesting for toast, eggs and some milk. Connor never understood how he had yet to see his friend eat or drink yet the milk was always out! So, as a dutiful flatmate he went to the store to get the necessary items: Milks, eggs, bread, some jelly and other items that soon found themselves in his basket. Once he paid in galleons he found himself wincing at how his appetite affected his shopping decisions.

    Getting out, he shuffled through a bunch of people before finding a safe location to apparate. Immediately he found himself at the flat; and he began the journey up two flights of stairs. As he huffed out he took out his key and began to shuffle with his things.

    Figuring that from the lack of help that Ben wasn't home, he trudged through and dropped the items on the counter. As he began to put things away, he turned to the sitting room and he found Ben casually sitting there, staring intently at the wall. Was he there the whole time?

    "Are you that much of a prat that you heard me struggle and never helped?"

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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Tue Mar 06 2018, 00:38

    The day was passing like any other in Ben's life. Menial tasks that needed to be completed: go to class, appear to pay enough attention while his professor droned on and his classmates demonstrated their ineptitude, finally return home to focus on his own work. If he could, he would simply make his own way with his experiments, independent of the Academy. But it was a Watson tradition, generations having attended the school, and in this one instance he did not argue against his parents' wishes.

    It didn't mean he had to enjoy it. At least this year, the second half of his time in the castle, was beginning to become slightly interesting. What with how much he'd read before and during Hogwarts, and general knowledge picked up around his family, the first two years he'd barely needed to attend classes to understand the material. Half way through his second year, he'd been placed on probation for attendance. That was not a pleasant thing to admit to Bailey, who'd taken it harder than Ben had imagined he would. For him....he would try this year.

    And try he did. Not one class had he missed. The down side was that he didn't get enough time for his own experiments and study. And when he remembered to actually tend to his bodily needs, it was at the last possible moment, relying on Bailey to do the tidying up and shopping.

    The sound of heavy, slow footsteps came up the stairs to their first floor flat. He'd know that sound for the rest of his life. But it barely registered as his elbows rested on the arms of his chair, his fingers steepled gently under his chin. Focusing on about ten different things, his attention drifted away from the sound, not taking the time to note its intention.

    A few minutes later and there was a distant buzzing. Someone is talking, a soft voice nudged his mind in a new direction. As if coming out of a trance, his eyes flicked up, over to the kitchen, landing on his flatmate. What was he there for? The details clicked into place: no kettle on, shopping bags on the table, general disgruntled disposition.

    He went to the market.

    "Did you grab the milk?" Ben didn't bother standing, his mind drifting back into the fray of thought.
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    Connor Bailey

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    Dragon Trainer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Tue Mar 06 2018, 00:48



    Connor Bailey wondered if he had ever hurt someone in his past life that he had to deal with such an insufferable man before him. When he had first met Ben, he figured that his antisocial and grumpy behavior was just an act and once he made a proper friend they could get along great. Yet year after year he found himself realizing that no, that was not the case, rather, being a prat was part of his personality.

    If anyone asked him (and they had), as to why he allowed himself to be bullied into doing more domestic things for him, he would simply shrug. Perhaps it was because he was so used to taking care of others? Maybe because he was naturally motherly? No, if he was perfectly honest, he stifled Ben sometimes into doing things because he knew of the neglect his pureblooded friend dealt with at his own home.

    So as the taller boy stupidly asked about the milk, Connor lifted the jug signaling him to grab some if he wanted as he set the kettle on and began to cook.

    "You haven't eaten have you" he tsked as he moved on and one about the kitchen. "Did you even clean up after yourself like I asked?"

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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Tue Mar 06 2018, 01:04

    "Brilliant," Ben murmured, sweeping from his seat and into the kitchen, he barely stopped in his motion to grab the jug and move over to his desk by the window of the living room. While their first few months in the flat consisted of Connor trying to limit Ben's work to his own room, it was only a manner of time before every flat surface was covered with some ingredient or phial. 

    There were a few glass jars atop the wooden table, surrounding his abuse-worn cauldron. He could afford a better one, many times over. But he was particularly fond of this one, for reasons he would not examine. 

    Pouring a few of the ingredients into the cauldron, he watched closely as they started to bubble and overflow. Quickly, he opened the jug of milk and proceeded to dump the whole thing in. There was more than enough room, in theory, but as the last of it poured out, there was a loud bang.

    Sickly yellow sludge covered much of the living room, and some of the kitchen floor. The sound hadn't been deafening, but Ben stood there in stunned silence, the events processing quickly. That wasn't supposed to happen! The text talked of a base counteracting the acid in.... his eyes scanned the disaster as the wheels turned.

    A sound from the kitchen drew his attention once more. "Food would be appreciated, yes." Ben's eyes slid over to the other boy and everything stopped at the look on his face.

    Not. Good.
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    Connor Bailey

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    Dragon Trainer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Tue Mar 06 2018, 01:16



    His mother taught him everything he knew when it came to being in the kitchen. Some of Connor's best memories were of his mother singing and dancing in the kitchen as both of them were covered in flour. And while his mother was always so shy with anyone around them, he knew that when it was just the two of them, there was just an opportunity to breathe and he loved that more than anything. She might have never considered herself intelligent or worthy of marrying his father, but to him she was more talented than she gave herself credit for.

    So as he began to cook dinner for the pair he began to season everything as his mother taught him. He didn't want to do something too complicated and he knew that pasta was the best way to simply fill the stomach and leave lots of opportunity for leftovers for the pair. Ben rarely ate, but if he was in the mood he could eat a lot more than anyone expected. So as the water began to boil, Connor began to shuffle through the kitchen adding the pasta and then beginning the sauce.

    He leaned forward to get a proper taste of the sauce when it happened.
    The large explosion from the living room caused a lot to happen.
    The booming noise made him jump and in turn throw the pot of sauce on himself; it was a miracle that so far it had only been cold tomato puree and some pepper. Next was the ick that hit the floor of the kitchen, making him stumble down. The only blessing was that the pot of boiling water had not fallen over.

    Slippery as it was, he managed to get up. It had been a long day for him; two tests and one practical assignment had tired him out but this...he gripped the counter tighter. It was a rare moment when he was tired and this. He let out a slow breath. He could feel Ben looking at him and he tried his best not to curse.

    "What did you just do to our new place?" his tone was low, very low and too even to even sound like it was him.
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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Tue Mar 06 2018, 23:51

    Memories flashed through Ben's mind within the seconds that followed. Explosions in Potions class, first year and many beyond. Frustrations over studying sessions, most of them with Connor struggling to do what Ben deemed trivial busy work. Last year, when they'd both been 'asked' not to return to the dorms due to an unfortunate event that Connor was blamed for as well.

    All in all, the other boy had put up with a lot of Ben's shit over their near-decade together. Most of the time, this face was lost on the ex-Slytherin, as it wasn't a necessary thought to get through his day. But times like this....even he couldn't ignore how quiet Connor had got.

    Very much 'not good'.

    His wand was out without a word, cleaning spells flying here and there. He moved along with it, picking up the wooden chair by his desk, a few things that had flown off their coffee table. This could be done with another spell but he wanted to look like he was doing more.

    It was a good two or more minutes before he noticed Connor was covered in something red. Had he been hurt? Saying to hell with the rest, he cast a few more quick spells to finish the job and moved into the kitchen. Perhaps touching the other boy wasn't the best in his state, but Ben was determined to assess the damage. He turned his flatmate towards him, his eyes scanning over his torso.

    "Are you hurt? Where's the blood coming from?" Not one for physical boundaries, his hands moved gingerly to the mess but he pulled back quickly with how cold it was. Not blood, his shoulders relaxed slightly from relief.
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    Connor Bailey

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    Dragon Trainer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Wed Mar 07 2018, 00:17



    Just how many times had he been told by Rhian that Ben was a bad influence on him? Countless. And to be fair his record was not the best. From losing his eyebrows his second year, to having to shave his head his third year after having ick sticking to the roots, he had gone through a lot.

    The darkest moment of their friendship was but a year ago. It all started innocently enough with Ben experimenting in brewing, and then it had escalated considerably. From brewing then came taking recreational items that caused him to act oddly. It was frightening at how thin that Ben had become in such a short time. From then on, Connor stuck it out, staying awake on those sleepless nights of Ben going cold turkey. He stood up to the most insulting verbal insults, dodged chairs being thrown his directions and even held the teen when he cried over wanting the potion.

    He was his sober buddy. And so a year after being kicked out, they had made a packed to live together. Ben was his best friend and he knew that they were the family they always wanted, but moments like these were hard. There was something...not normal about him. Something off and Connor never questioned it, except now.

    Now he stopped himself from shaking. He wanted to beat him to a pulp and he knew that while he was stronger, Ben was surprisingly heavy. Taking deep breaths, he refused to let go of the tight grip of the granite counter. It seemed that for once Ben properly read the room and found himself cleaning.

    Connor said nothing instead allowed him to clean. Once he was done and he moved closer to check the kitchen, Connor himself realized how much ick he was covered in.

    "Are you hurt? Where's the blood coming from?"

    He sighed.

    "No...I have dinner on me" he rubbed his temples. "I'll go get changed and get us some pizza from Angelo's....again. Honestly Ben, at least don't make things explode in communal areas."

    He kept his anger in check as he began to wipe his face with a towel that was miraculously not stained by the explosion.

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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Wed Mar 07 2018, 00:44

    Sighing is good, Ben reminded himself. Constantly reminded how terrible he was with 'people', he had gathered that people were less likely to yell if they were sighing. Although, the two were not always mutually exclusive. Humans are strange, he'd decided.

    He nodded at Connor's comment, stepping away to give him space to move around. While their flat was big enough for the pair of them, it was by no means leisurely in space. Trying to remain useful, he picked up the overturned sauce pot, turned off the burner with the boiling water, and moved both to the sink. It was not often that he used the sink for actual cookware, but he was aware of the process of cleaning.

    Apologizing with action, he let another spell clean up the spilled sauce as he took care of the pots. "I will...try."

    Even at a young age, Ben had done what he wanted. Good parents - maybe even just mediocre ones - would have tried to coach him through his lack of consideration. Or at least given him consequences. But his were more focused on their first child: their business. Over the years, the boy had learned to make his own way, usually alone. And yet when he got older, they were somehow surprised when he did not conform to their familial expectations of duty and such.

    But Connor was different. For him, Ben would try. His expression grew dark with unbidden memories. He deserves that much. It wasn't often that he felt gratitude towards others. It was uncomfortable, to say the least. He didn't quite know what to do with it, so did nothing, focusing on his task.
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    Connor Bailey

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    Dragon Trainer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Wed Mar 07 2018, 01:01



    To anyone else, this was unacceptable. The fact that Ben never apologized was not a surprise; this was not something he did. Just admitting he did wrong was a big step for him. So Connor did what he always did...he let it go.

    "At least this time around I didn't end up shaving my head" he muttered as he exited the kitchen and went off to change.

    It was in the midst of taking off the tomato smelling clothes that he knew that there would be no use. He couldn't go to Angelo's and smell like tomatoes. So he quickly jumped into the shower washing off the tomatoes, the oil, basil and some yellow slop that had fallen on him.

    Moments like these he allowed himself to really berate himself for what he allowed to happen. Ben was always like this, so him being upset at his actions was like knowing that a wild animal couldn't be tamed.

    'It's progress that he knew he did something bad and he cleaned!' His conscious jumped to defend Ben.

    'Of course, else you'd kick his arse' another part of him thought.

    Both sides were right, but if he allowed a fight to break out for every fuck up then they could never get allowed. Slipping on a new jumper and some jeans, he grabbed a few galleons and rushed off to get the pizza.

    This was nice, to simply get some fresh air and let himself cool off. Once the large pizza was given he went up to his flat, hoping that it was livable again.

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    Benjamin Watson

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    Potioneer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Two of Us (Ben)   Wed Mar 07 2018, 22:48

    Ben tried to stay busy as Connor went about getting himself together. It wasn't that he was actually scared of the other boy - not that Connor couldn't knock him into next Tuesday. It was just so seldom that something Ben did - and it was always something he did - actually enraged him so. Unlike the icy cold disappointment that his parents would shoot at him on his very infrequent visits to their manor, Connor's temper would burn red hot.

    It was baffling to watch when loose. Very akin to the explosions that usually caused it. Curious, Ben pondered.

    In the process of carrying a few phials and ingredients into his bedroom, Ben didn't see his roommate when he left to get the food. Between then and when Connor returned home, the ex-Slytherin made sure to spell every available surface free of the aftermath. And if a few spells accidentally cleaned other messes in the process, well...he wasn't going to be bothered by it.

    Hearing the other man return, Ben took one final glance at their shared living space. It was by no means 'clean', clutter filling many nooks and crannies. Mostly books, or the odd bauble here and there. Collections from their years separate and together. It had a 'lived in' feel, almost homey.

    Ben rather enjoyed it that way.
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