When Everything's in Black and White

When Everything's in Black and White

Skyler Thomas
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Skyler Thomas
Advanced Member
Joined: March 29th, 2014, 4:47 am

November 3rd, 2014, 8:38 pm #1

    There was a big difference between knowing the future and seeing it written all over an entire case of books. Knowing things that were only in her head, as well as inside the head of others was a lot less embarrassing than having the world know your own problems. Which, thanks to her mother's lovely book, the entire Wizarding World now knew of problems that she hadn't even completely been aware of herself.

    Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she'd been left out of society's loop for so long that she hadn't quite been aware of her parents divorce or the fact that it was now written all over the papers and magazines but she sort of got the hint that something was amiss after five different people gave her looks of pity and then three others actually came up to her and apologized for her loss. After furiously asking the third person what the hell they were talking about and not quite threatening to break their nose (more like promising) if they didn't tell her, she found out that there was a book out that said everything about her parents now failed marriage.

    Skyler found herself so incredibly overcome with emotions, some of which she hadn't even expected to actually feel. She had to see that book. She had to know for herself what went wrong. But there was a big difference between thinking that it was some story written by some outside party and actually knowing that it was something written by her mother. She felt like she'd been ripped open and then completely shattered.

    For a while she just sat there, cross legged on the floor with the book open in her lap, so completely absorbed in what had gone on in her parents lives, in their marriage that she hadn't even noticed she wasn't alone. Not until she felt a hand on her shoulder. "If you're here to pity me," she scoffed. "Please, just go away. I don't need pity. Not from anyone."

    And then she looked up.

Chelsea, you keep me coming back
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Dean Thomas
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Joined: November 2nd, 2014, 5:49 am

November 4th, 2014, 6:22 am #2

Dean Thomas was in a dark place. His marriage had unravelled, something he blamed entirely on himself. He fell out of love with his wife, and the longer he'd spent with Romilda, the more annoyed and spiteful he'd become in their own home. It only got worse and worse each day, until one day he couldn't take it anymore. He'd lost his head completely and blown up on poor Romilda, who despite her flaws, did not deserve to be treated like he'd treated her. After they'd rowed and both been brought to tears, he had packed his things and left. The next day they'd signed the divorce papers - papers that probably would have been better off signed a year or two ago. Things had not been well between them for a while, but Dean hadn't wanted to be a failure. But now he was. He'd failed as a husband and as a parent. His children were now from a broken home. And to make matters worse, his ex-wife seemed to have completely lost her head, and published a tell-all about their failed relationship. As if the wizarding community didn't already know too much.

If there was one thing Dean hated, it was his private life being made not-so-private. It was one of the many things that had irked him about Romilda - her job as a gossip columnist had never been something he'd agreed with. And now his life was the center of all gossip. He supposed that's what he got for being a Quidditch Referee and ex-Quidditch player - he was somewhat of a wizarding sports celebrity, one who'd married a well-known wizarding columnist. He did not consider himself to be a huge celebrity - he actually hated that word - but now his name was in a book, along with most of his wife. Private and intimate details, his ups and down, his marriage - all out there for anyone to read. It infuriated him. He'd written about a hundred letters by now to Romilda about it, none of them sent because he could never get the words right. He was not much of a writer - that was Romilda's thing. Art was Dean's thing, art and sports. But neither would help express to her what he was feeling, the rage and hurt and betrayal and embarrassment he felt about that book being published.
He couldn't go to her about it, because she'd been the one to put it out there, so he'd done the next best thing.

And now he'd been banned for an indeterminable amount of time from Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley. Apparently the shopkeepers hadn't approved of his charming his ex-wife books invisible. Nor of his hiding them throughout the store so that no one would see or buy or read them. Once he and Seamus had been spotted, they'd been kicked out. The worst part had been the pitying looks on the shopkeeper's face, as if Dean was going crazy and this was just something a crazy person did. Considering his next course of action had been asking Seamus to set fire to the shop - something he hadn't actually done because he was now banned - maybe he was going a little bit crazy. But could he really be blamed for not wanting his fail of a marriage out there for anyone to read?

But if Flourish and Blotts wouldn't let him through their doors, fine. He'd just have to go to Hogsmeade and try to hide their stock of the damned book. He kept his head down as he walked through the door, in case Flourish had owled Tomes and Scrolls warning them of the crazed ex-husband determined to destroy the books half-written about him, and headed straight for the relationships section, where the cursed book would be.
But when he reached the right shelf, he couldn't get to the books, for someone was sitting there, already reading one. And not just anyone - his daughter.
Please be reading something else - anything else, he silently begged as he walked up to her. But no, of course she wasn't reading something else. She was reading the book her mother had written. Dean's heart went out to Skyler. This wasn't the way she was supposed to find out. He'd been waiting for the weekend to tell her, now that she was no longer MIA - one of the last straws in his marriage was Skyler's mysterious disappearance and the tension it had created inside the Thomas household. But it was clear now that he should have told his kids the moment after the split had happened.

Just another thing to add to the list of how he was a failure.

Dean placed his hand on his daughter's shoulder to get her attention, then knelt down to her level as she looked up. He smiled sadly at her and took the book from her hands. "Trust me, I understand about the pity," he said, closing the book and placing it back on the shelf. He wanted to burn it, to set it on fire and throw it through the window. But he didn't. "Please don't read that," he pleaded. "I'm sorry--" His voice caught in his throat and he took a moment to collect himself, closing his eyes. He swallowed the lump in his throat - he didn't want to cry in front of his daughter. He was her father - he was supposed to be strong. For himself, for her. For everyone. His brows knitted together with pain, but when he opened his eyes again, his face was relaxed. "I'm sorry you had to find out this way. Or..." He tapped lightly on her head. "However it was you found out." That was one thing about having a Seer for a daughter - there wasn't much you could hide from her, and most things she knew of before they even happened. He wondered how much she'd known before even he had. He hoped nothing, because that was something a daughter shouldn't have to see.

Dean pulled his daughter into a hug, right there sitting on the floor of the bookshop, and kissed her head. He didn't care that she was practically an adult and people might see. She was still his daughter, his little girl, and she always would be, just like Ryder would always be his little boy. "Skyler, where have you been?" he asked quietly, still holding her in his arms. He was pretty sure she was crying, but he wasn't going to call her out on it. She was allowed to cry. "Your mother and I... You haven't been answering letters. No one from the school had seen you in several days. It's not like you to just disappear like that." He was so grateful she was back, but he still feared something was wrong. Had she Seen the divorce happen, and hidden away for a few days, unable to handle it? Or was something worse going on? He'd had Order members on the lookout for her, but no one had found her. She'd just reappeared, looking perfectly fine. So what the hell had happened?

Dean's graphics by AuRevoir of SP
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Skyler Thomas
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Skyler Thomas
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Joined: March 29th, 2014, 4:47 am

November 4th, 2014, 5:07 pm #3

Skyler hadn't expected that her mother's words would ever be so raw. She'd always thought of her mother as upright and devoid of emotions. But this, this side of her mother was one she'd never seen before. And suddenly the woman who'd been more of an enigma than a parent for most of her life was now someone relatable. The fairy tale was over and so were all the lies. And what was left wasn't pretty but a big part of Skyler knew that this was the truth. This little book and everything written within its pages was her mother's true story.

Which was why she couldn't fathom the idea of her mother actually publishing it. No, something was horribly, horribly wrong with this picture. Her mother wasn't this type of woman. And Skyler knew that she might never be. Her mother was all about showing only a shadow of herself at all times. And this, this was the real deal. None of it made sense at all. Nothing but the feelings. And as her eyes scanned the pages in front of her, page after page of heartfelt and almost poetic words she knew she would buy this book. She almost felt as if she had to.

Because how else would she get to know her mother?

She'd been about to turn the page to the next chapter when they'd touched her. Annoyance and frustration rushed through her at the idea that someone had found her in such a state. Did they not know how vulnerable she was currently feeling? Could they not sense how badly she would make almost anyone who interrupted her pay? But then her eyes drifted up and she knew that there would be no retribution. Because the hand on her shoulder belonged to her father.

She hadn't seen him in so long that she felt as if she'd been ripped open just a little bit more. Rubbed raw until there wasn't much left. Her eyes felt heavy as he reached out and took the book in his hands before closing it and placing it back on the shelf. She wanted to object. To reach out and take the book and explain to him how important it was to her. But she didn't.

Instead she just sit there, staring at his hands and wishing that she could be a child again, just for a few moments, so she could crawl into his lap again like she'd done when she was a child and just hide from the world for a while. "I already got halfway through anyway," she muttered, her protest not very protesting at all.

She glanced back up at his face and sighed. "I knew some things. That there was some fighting going on and that something horrible had happened." She closed her mouth trying to get the image of her mother in that muggle abortion clinic out of her head. She really did not need to imagine that now. Nor did she honestly think her father needed to know. Mostly because it just wasn't her story to tell. No, what happened there had been between her parents. She opened her mouth again and huffed. "I didn't see divorce coming though," she admitted. Although she most certainly wished that she had.

Her eyes drifted back towards the book and she smiled sheepishly. "I'm sort of glad I found out this way though. It gave me an insight that I'd never had before. And for once, I was left actually knowing how she felt." She gave a rather sarcastic laugh before saying the next thing on her mind. "I was left actually knowing that she felt. And it was nice... Sort of." She'd always thought of her mother as this unfeeling creature, beautiful like a veela but more like a blank canvas than anything. "I used to wonder if she was a real person or just something weird that my brain manifested. But now...She's finally human to me."

And then suddenly, she was a child again. Pulled into her daddy's lap so he could hug her pain away. And as he kissed her head she smiled, a soft sad smile. Resting her head against his chest she sighed at his questions. "I've been places." She knew it was a rather halfassed answer and definitely not the one he was looking for. But she didn't exactly think she could tell him the truth. Not when he was already so broken.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you I was leaving," she muttered. "It won't happen again. Promise."

Chelsea, you keep me coming back
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Dean Thomas
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Joined: November 2nd, 2014, 5:49 am

December 5th, 2014, 10:57 pm #4

A father's job was to love and protect his children no matter what. So what did that mean when Dean couldn't protect them from things like this? What did that mean when his own actions was what was hurting them? Did it mean that he failed as a father? Because that's what Dean felt like. Like he was failing as a father, like everything was going downhill because he wasn't protecting his children like he was supposed to.
He could not even protect his children from a book.

When Skyler looked up at him, he saw the ferocity in her eyes fade into sadness and vulnerability, and he felt himself fade with her. She was so strong, and so smart, but so broken. And it was his fault. Sure, Romilda was the one who published the book, but he doubted it was the book itself that was hurting her. Her parents were split. They weren't even talking to each other. And she'd found out in the worst way. She didn't find out from her parents' mouths, like she at least deserved to have. And that was his fault, and that was something he hoped to rectify somehow, if he could. Dean just hoped Skyler - and Ryder - didn't hate him for this. He also hoped they didn't hate Romilda. They were still a family, just a broken one that he didn't see getting fixed.

He sighed when she told him she was halfway through the book. He himself hadn't read it, because right now he couldn't bring himself to. He didn't want to find out his ex-wife's deepest throughts through a book. And he didn't want to read about what he'd already lived through. He listened as Skyler admitted what she'd already known, and looked at her regretfully. "You should have found out from me." Perhaps he couldn't have prevented her discovering certain things, because of her abilities, but he could have at least stepped up and done the brave thing, and told his children. If they hated him, it was his own fault.
"It shouldn't take a book to find out how she felt or feels," he said, and he wasn't sure in that moment who he was talking to more - himself or Skyler.
"She was always human, Skye," he said, but that was an issue between Skyler and her mother. Romilda was no longer a part of Dean the way she used to be. And right now he wasn't even sure he was the best person to speak for Romilda. No one but Romilda could ever speak for Romilda. But where he could once defend her, he no longer could now. Not because he didn't want to - he didn't hate her - but because he no longer had the right. Not after the things he'd said to her or about her to Seamus.

Holding Skyler in his arms never felt different, even now that she was older and no longer a small child. She was still his daughter and always would be, and she still felt the same in his arms. He stroked her hair as she rested her head on his chest, and listened as she explained her absence. It wasn't the greatest explanation full of the detail he'd prefer, but she was safe. And he couldn't exactly ask of her to explain more when he himself had neglected to do the same.
"Well I'm glad you're back from those places," he said. She was an adult now, he realised. Even if she would always be his child, she was grown up. She would be graduating Hogwarts in a year. Dean hadn't even spent his final year at Hogwarts at the school. Instead he'd spent it in hiding. He remembered how he'd felt at that age, alone but not, old but not, and knew he had no right to treat his daughter as if she were younger than she was. It was her choice to disclose with him what she did. He only hoped she would disclose as much as possible, that she knew she could tell him anything, and that he would never judge her because he would always love her no matter what. If he'd done his job as her father well enough until now, she would know all of that and more.
Still, he decided to remind her. "It's okay, Skyler. I'm just glad you are here and you are safe. But if that ever does happen again, or if anything else ever happens again, I hope you know you can come to me. You can always come to me, Skyler. I'm your father, and I'm always here for you. For anything." And he meant it.

Dean's graphics by AuRevoir of SP
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Skyler Thomas
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Skyler Thomas
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Joined: March 29th, 2014, 4:47 am

December 18th, 2014, 3:59 am #5

Skyler couldn't seem to put her feelings into words that would be able to fully describe just how she was feeling at that particular moment. There was just too much chaos going on inside her head, between what she had seen and what she'd read and what all of those things mixed together were making her feel. And if you added in all the other things that were constantly swirling around her head, and well it was honestly surprising she hadn't gone crazy by now.

But she knew that she had to hold herself together for her parents sake, or at least for her father's. He was falling apart at the seams and she knew that he could only take so much. So she simply listened to what her father had to say, shaking her head when he said something she didn't quite agree with.

"Dad, I'm sorry to say this but I really don't think how I found out is the problem at all. The problem is that you and mum felt that you needed to try being together for us." She smiled at him sadly. "Ryder and I are practically grown ups now and we can take pretty much anything that the world decides to throw at us. And... Well as for mum being an enigma, I really don't think there's anyone at fault for that other than her. And hey, maybe she never really figured out all those amazing bits of conversation. Some people just don't know how to talk to other people."

She got out of his lap and brushed herself off. "I love you dad and if I end up needing any help with anything I'll be sure to let you know. But right now I've got a mother to get to know." She kissed him on the cheek and smiled brightly. "Thanks for being a great dad." And with that she walked off, in search of her possibly great mom.

Chelsea, you keep me coming back
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