Lonely Boy | Reg & Gladys
“That doesn’t sound very okay at all,” Gladys said softly. “You’re very nice, and people should know you, Reg,” she added, conjuring her best smile as she looked at the friend she hoped to get to know better. “Thank you, I know. I’m being silly, worrying so much. I just don’t want to let my family down with poor marks or anything.” When he laughed, she matched the sound, an easy smile finding her face as she wrinkled her nose in thought. “It does, doesn’t it? At least the name itself prepares you for the test. No one goes into their NEWTs expecting it to be a nap, now do they?” A sigh escaped her lips at his vague reference to the unsettling conditions of their world, frowning slightly. “It has been a difficult summer, you’re right. I don’t blame you for wanting to sit back. Anyway, that’s perfectly true. I can’t imagine many places hiring for such a short amount of time.” She shrugged, sipping her butterbeer during a silence that sat between them. She observed the boy before her, curious. She realized that while they had been in the same house for years, she hardly knew him at all. Gladys still felt residual embarrassment upon her earlier mix-up, thinking she was in class with him. “Seventh year, then. That’s exciting! Do you have any idea what you’d like to do once you graduate?”
It was a sentence that filled him with warmth. Reg couldn’t help but let a goofy smile emerge at the sound of her words (and her smile of course). “Well, er, thanks Gladys. And I’m sure you’re doing just fine when it comes to the academics, we’re Hufflepuffs! unafraid of toil!” he laughed, half joking. “I suppose it is a fair warning, naming them ‘nastily exhausting’. It screams: ‘this is not a joke, better study for it, you lazy bastards!’” Ahhh, seventh year. That and the raging war seemed to be the only topic of all conversations nowadays. What do you want to do after graduating? Did you hear about the five muggles who died mysteriously? What happened to talking about ice cream flavours and the weird new trends in the robes at Madam Malkin’s? “Well, I’m not sure what I want to do after Hogwarts, but I’m thinking of doing something involving charms. I’m quite good at charms, but not much else. How about you?” Reg wanted so badly to be the person who could cheer people up in life; he wasn’t particularly funny or smart, but he tried his best. “D’you want to get out of here, and go to Florence Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour?”
Lonely Boy | Reg & Gladys
She smiled softly, nodding. “You’re very right. I’m being critical, of course. Sibling vision or something - it makes everything a little different in perspective. He’s certainly a very good person.” At his correction, Gladys’s eyes widened, a hand jumping to cover her gaping mouth. “Oh gosh, Reg! I’m sorry! I don’t know why I thought you were in my year. I just thought I remembered seeing you in my classes,” she said with a frown, thoughtfully. “You have a very familiar face. Maybe I just feel like I’ve seen you more than I have!” she added, forcing a smile to her face and trying to brush off her embarrassment at her mistake. “Um, yes. I will be. I’m a bit excited, but more stressed than anything I think. It’s odd, because I can’t wait to be back at school despite being nervous about it,” Gladys trilled, tilting her head to the side as she observed him over her drink. “Nothing too thrilling, to be honest. I sort of wished I found a job for the summer. At least then I’d have had something to do - although I’ve been with friends plenty, so I suppose I can’t complain. What about you, Reg? Any wild adventures planned for your final summer before you graduate?” she asked, leaning on the table slightly, her elbows resting on the tabletop.
“Oh, it’s okay, not very many people know who I am,” Reg replied, waving his hand in dismissal. It wasn’t anything new to him, and it was true when he told her not many people knew who he was. “And, it’s very possible, I mean we are in the same house and everything. You probably see me in the common room all the time.” Not knowing if he should feel embarrassed or not, he happily moved the conversation along. “Nervous?” he asked before leaning back further against the chair and grinning across the table at Gladys. “Oh, don’t be nervous for sixth year, if you got through your OWLs, you’ll get through your NEWTs.” Laughing, he continued. “I wonder who named the NEWTS… Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests? Sounds like something Dumbledore would come up with. Anyway, I was thinking about getting a job this summer, but with everything, well, going on,” he said, touching on the subject of war as subtly as he possibly could, he went on, “and half of summer being over, there’s really no point now. I mean, no place is going to hire me for only one month.”
Lonely Boy | Reg & Gladys
Gladys sat down across from him, gratefully taking a sip of her drink. The coolness was refreshing, especially in the mid-afternoon heat of summer in the city. She brushed her hair from her face and smiled brightly. “I’ve been all right, thank you for asking. A lot of running about here and there.” She shrugged, leaning forward as Reg’s voice shrank to hushed tones. Biting down on her lower lip, she frowned. “It’s terrible, isn’t it? All the stuff that’s happening. Did you know anyone who was hurt or effected by all that ministry business?” she asked, eyebrows furrowed in concern. “It does make sense that people are staying inside more, though,” Gladys agreed. She sat back in her chair as Reg moved on, a small laugh escaping her lips as he brought up Davey. In all honesty, she hadn’t allowed herself to think much on the subject. She was just trying to get through the summer. She took another sip of her drink before saying, “Oh, I’m not too sure,” she admitted. “It’ll be nice knowing he’s there – because sometimes it’s good to have family around. But I’m worried he’s going to be more overbearing than usual, now that I’m getting older. It’ll be all right, though,” she said with a sigh. She paused, tilting her head to the side to observe the boy across the table and realized she hadn’t ever had a proper conversation with him. “Are you excited for sixth year, Reg?”
Gladys’ brother Davey was one of his favourite graduates, and seeing Gladys reminded Reg that he wanted to hang out with him sometime this summer. Personally, Reg was very glad Davey was going to be around Hogwarts next year. He took another sip of his butterbeer before responding. “Overbearing? Hmm. I think he’s just looking out for you, Gladys. He’s a really great guy. And I’m gonna be in seventh year next year,” he said with a laugh. “I still look like I’m fourteen don’t I?” Gladys was yet another person in his house he barely knew or ever talked to. Still trying to laugh off her mistake, he asked, “You’re going to be in sixth year, right? Excited?” He hoped his voice didn’t give away the fact that he was slightly disappointed that Gladys didn’t know what year he was in. Reg decided he really needed to get to know the people at his school better, much less, his house. “Anyways, do you have any holiday plans for the rest of the summer?”
Lonely Boy | Reg & Gladys
Despite her family’s attempt to keep her from wandering about so much, Gladys found herself happily nearing Diagon Alley for the third time that week. She knew everyone – Davey, mum, dad, Doc – had her best interests in mind, worrying for her safety, but as of late she was struck with a very strong desire to be moving at all times. It was like sitting in her room or listening to the wireless were no longer acceptable ways to pass her days – and so wandering about would have to do. She supposed today she might look into a job, keeping an eye open for any hiring signs. Of course, she was just barely sixteen and the summer was already well underway so obtaining a job might prove difficult. Either way, it couldn’t help to look for something. Growing tired of walking and becoming overtaken by a sudden thirst, Gladys popped into the nearest café she could find. It was small and cozy, with only a handful of customers at this time of day during a weekday. Reaching the counter, she ordered an icy butterbeer and a scone. Sliding her money across the counter and smiling her thanks to the cashier, she pivoted and scanned the room for the best location to sit. Her eyes came across a familiar shaggy-haired boy with a kind face. She approached his table with a smile. “Hullo, Reg!” she beamed. “I didn’t think I’d run into anyone here. How are you? Oh – mind if I sit with you?”
Just as he found himself wishing for company, a pretty girl he recognized as Davey Gudgeon’s little sister walked into the café. Watching as she ordered and paid for her drink, Reg wondered how long it would be until she noticed his table, if she would sit with him, or if she would even sit down at all. He even pondered if there was a chance she would see him, not recognize him, and just sit elsewhere. But just as that thought formed, he brushed it off- ridiculous.Soon enough, Gladys spotted him, and he smiled up at her as she made her way over to his table. “Oh, hey Gladys! What a nice surprise! Have a seat. How have you been?” His smile faded as he continued, “To be honest, the summer has been kind of dull,” he left out the bit about how most of his summers were usually dull anyway, and went on, lowering his voice, “but I mean, with the attacks, and well, murders everywhere, I don’t blame people for wanting to keep to themselves.” There was a short pause before he decided on a lighter subject. “So how do you feel about Davey hanging around Hogwarts next year?”
Lonely Boy | Reg & Gladys
Get up, help mum with a few chores, walk the streets of London, go home, have supper, read, sleep. For the last couple days, this had been the routine. It’d been two weeks since Reg had seen anyone from school, and summer had become very boring, very quickly. He thought he might just go crazy if he had to be cooped up in his house with just his family for the rest of the summer. Although he wasn’t someone who was constantly socialising, he missed the consistent buzz that was Hogwarts. There, if he got lonely, he could always sit in the common room, and talk to his fellow Hufflepuffs, or wander the castle. At home, it was hopeless. The ‘solution’ for the past few days was just to wander the streets of muggle London. For the most part, he steered clear of the Wizarding World as there had been reports of attacks and killings left and right. However, at the present moment, he was enjoying a butterbeer in a little café, just off of Diagon Alley, waiting for no one in particular; half-wishing someone from school would stumble in to the coffee shop.
I like yellow; it’s happy, and Hufflepuff.
Go out? You mean, like, parties? I don’t, uh, drink a lot… I mean well it’s easier to talk to people, but then I start saying really stupid things, and it’s just- well…
Well, think about it, what’s less drastic? A haircut, or cutting off both your hands?
Huh. Good point. Wait, why do I need to cut off both my hands and hair, again?
I dunno, what with them being younger we tend not to spend that much time together at school… but I love them. Loads. Loads and loads.
Oh okay, well that’s good. Very good. Do they go to Hogwarts?
Okay then… I’ll put this here… Just going to take a moment to look at it before drinking.
Uhmm, okay then. But I’m telling you, it’s infinitely easier.