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Victoria Newbury

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 Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (Jazalea)

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Jake Newbury
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PostSubject: Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (Jazalea)   Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:13 pm

Monday the seventeenth of February would be a day that went down in the history books in the Newbury household. Monday the seventeenth of February was a day that had shaken the normality of the Newbury siblings relationship, leaving both of them in an area of unknown that Jake had never thought he would come in to fruition.

But, it had...

***

"Vic! Hey, how are yo-"

"Don't you dare, Jake."

"Victoria..?"

"Don't you dare ask me how I am, or how I am doing, or... anything." Victoria's voice came through the other side of her mobile phone in a tone that Jake had never heard from her before, and in that moment, he rose from his seat in the lounge, where Azalea sat on the floor helping Ivan with one of his complicated puzzles that Adrienne was sticking all the wrong pieces in just because the shapes fit. After closing the lounge door, Jake moved through to the kitchen, looking out across the garden.

"What's wrong, Victoria?" Jake asked softly, not knowing what else to say in that moment.

"What's wrong? You're joking right, Jake?" A laugh escaped the person on the other end of the phone that Jake did not currently recognise. "You've known since the summer that Azalea wasn't dead, and you didn't think I would want to know? How can you pick the phone up each week, text me, call me, email me and not think to mention that one of my friends -- one of my closest friends -- from school was actually alive? What is wrong with you, Jake?"

"I didn't think you'd want to kn-"

"Why? Because you don't want to know? Because you get to decide what I can and cannot do with my life, who I can and cannot see? Jake, I'm not five anymore, I know my own mind, I know what I can and cannot handle. I made a mistake all those years ago, allowing you to tell me not to look out for Azalea, to let her go, leave her be. But you were wrong, Jake, you were very wrong!" Victoria replied, her voice hitting higher pitched before she caught herself a lowered them back down to mad, but not shouting mad.

"I planned to tell you when you came home for Christmas."

"Only because you would have had to, Jake. Azalea's been staying with you the last two months. She's been spending time with my niece and nephew. She's been staying in your home!" Victoria replied hotly. "She was my friend, Jake. My friend. She wasn't just your girlfriend, you don't get to control who knows about her being back. You don't get to tell me I can't know. If you're still mad at me for not coming home for Christmas, that's fine, but you knew for months before, and you didn't once mention it, Jake. What did mom say when you said not to tell me?"

"Mom doesn't... Mom doesn't think it's good-"

"Are you serious? Mom is not like that, Jake! Mom loved Azalea! Dad loved Azalea. You loved Azalea. And yet you can't see that you're keeping her from people who cared about her. You're keeping her... Merlin's beard, Jake, what are you even doing? You shouldn't be doing this on your own!" Victoria insisted, shaking her head.

"I'm not, mom is here. The kids love Azalea."

"But you couldn't tell me."

"You weren't here."

"Oh, yes, that makes it okay, doesn't it, Jake? That makes it all okay. You're unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. I thought we shared everything, Jake? I thought our bond meant we could tell each other everything, no matter how hard it might be for the other. But you've shut me in the dark, Jake. You've hurt me, but you've also hurt Azalea in the process. She deserves to have all of her friends around her, and you've deprived her of not just me, but Jackson, too. I hope you're happy, Jake, because this was one of the most foolish things you've done. Foolish, and disappointing."

The phone line went dead at that point. The tone denoting the other party had just hung up buzzed loudly in Jake's ear in that moment. Victoria had hung up on him with the parting shot she was disappointed in him. The man's eyes prickled with tears as his hand moved from his ear, looking at the screen of his phone in silence.

For a moment.

"FUCK!" The Auror mock shouted, throwing his phone down at the floor where it smashed much too easily with an unsatisfying sound. It was just as stupid a move as keeping Victoria in the dark to start with in reality. But he wasn't thinking straight as he leaned over on the work top, his hands combing through his hair as he tried to make head or tail of what was going on at the moment. Why would things not slow down? Why did he have to please everyone? Why did it always have to be him?

Jake could not answer that question, nor did he want to, he wanted to go back a whole year, where things were simple.

His family was all together.

And the Harringtons were just a distant memory.

Things were easier then... but nobody ever said life was easy.

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Azalea Murray
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PostSubject: Re: Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (Jazalea)   Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:58 am

"Ad-ri-enne," Ivan tried, his patient clearly stretching thin after the fifth warning to his little sister who just couldn't understand what she was doing wrong. "That piece doesn't go there."

"But it fiiiiiits," the child trilled happily, picking up a chunk of the puzzle she had put together and showing it off proudly. "Doesn't it Zay-Lea?"

"It sure does,' the adult witch confirmed with a warm smile before hastily looking to Ivan to reassure him she had not betrayed him for the common good. "But it doesn't look like it should on the box, does it?" To prove her point, the witch gestured to the box, drawing the little girl's eye to the picture displayed in bright colors.

"Oh," Adrienne's little face fell. "So I did it wrong?" Azalea could see the disappointment begin to creep on her face, and the slight panic on her brother's. Because no matter how annoyed he was personally with the current standing of the pieces, he would never want to make his sister feel bad about it.

"No, I think the box got it wrong," Azalea spoke up and instantly, the disappointment vanished only to be replace with a giggle.

"Box wrong, Adrienne right!" The little girl squealed even as Ivan eyed her silently. To the boy, placating his sister and achieving a perfect puzzle were now at odds, two things that could not be achieved at the same time. Luckily for him, Azalea had been in such a situation before. As a memory revealed itself of a child curdling to her while she studied for her exams, Azalea grinned.

"You know what, anyone can make a correct puzzle, even I can. Let's try something more fun and make it the wrong way like on the box."

This idea appeased both children, Ivan for finally getting to make the puzzle properly and Adrienne for trying something new. Promptly, the child destroyed the mismatched chunk she had pieced together earlier and began anew, this time taking care to ensure the picture lined up to the one on he box in addition to the pieces fitting together.

It took almost an hour for them to finish, but the hour was spent laughing, giggling and making funny faces (the last mostly on Adrienne's part). When the puzzle was finally done, even Ivan had a huge grin on his face. It was as both the children were attacking Azalea in a hug pile next to the completed puzzle that Alexis Newbury walked into the room.

"Nanny," Adrienne squealed, rushing to her grandmother while Ivan hung back, clearly old enough to see the expression on her face before reacting. Eventually, he too went to hug his grandmother but the boy was astute enough to know something was wrong.

And as much as Azalea adored the boy, she did not want to be the one to tell him. This was a Newbury matter and regardless of how close she had grown to the children, the adults had reminded her repeatedly that she was not a Newbury.

Though Alexis greeted her grandchildren warmly enough before sending them off to wash up for tea, her only words to Azalea were "Where's Jake?"

"I'm not sure," the young woman replied before getting to her feet. "I'll go look for him." She was out the door and into the hallway in the next moment. Not wanting to be in the older witch's company any more than Alexis wanted the same, Azalea exited the room without a game plan. Jake had left somewhere in the middle of their puzzle solving and she hadn't thought to ask where he was going. She didn't even remember how long ago that was but the witch figured she would find him eventually.

The first room she reached barely used. Unsure if she should even be here, the American brunette pushed the door open softly. The pink curtain and bedding made it pretty obvious who was the recurring guest here. Azalea closed the door softly and started walking once more. A hall closet and two more doors later, she came to a flight of stairs that presumably led to the basement. The smell of chlorine assaulted her nose as soon as she took a few steps down, alerting her to the presence of a swimming area of some kind. Trying to hear any odd splashes or signs of Jake being down there, the witch came up blank and abandoned that line of inquiry.

Returning to the immaculately decorated hallway, Azalea walked passed multiple statement pieces that could have been here courtesy of Alexis or the children's mother. It was hard to say really, the only looked unused now.

Feeling as though she was intruding, the witch kept her footfalls as silent as she could - learning in the process that she could actually be very quiet when she needed to be. Was this a skill she had always had? Or just something that emerged when necessity dictated? pushing the thought aside, the brunette approached what was unmistakably the master bedroom.

Approaching the heavy wooden door cautiously, the young woman reached out an arm to push it open before she stopped herself, her long pale fingers an inch from the wood. If Jake was in there, it would be best not to walk in on him unannounced. Changing track, the witch knocked softly on the door instead.

"Jake," seh called out, almost in a whisper before realizing he probably wouldn't hear her at this octave. Clearing her throat, she spoke a little louder. "Jake, it's... Azalea. Your mom's here..." Whether Jake heard her, herd part of her sentences or was even behind the door was yet to be known but Azalea stood quietly . If nothing else, standing alone in an empty hallway would be far preferably to the awkwardness about to ensure upstairs. Jake may not be behind door number three either but at least there wouldn't be anyone else here either.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (Jazalea)   Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:06 am

The smashed phone had remained exactly where Jake had thrown it when he'd been filled with the surge of anger, momentarily forgetting all responsibility of being a parent and leaving broken items around. Victoria's words were ringing in his head, they wouldn't stop ringing in his head. Why couldn't Victoria understand that this situation was the furthest thing from what they all needed right now? Why did Victoria think that she needed to know everything going on in a stranger's life?

But even as Jake asked that question of himself, his feet pounding against the hard earth of the garden to get away from the house for a moment, he knew she was right. He did not want to admit that much, though, because in admitting Victoria was right, it meant admitting he was wrong. Nobody in the world liked to do that, and he'd spent way too much time in the last nine months trawling over everything he had done wrong in the past in the hope he could make it better.

Make it right.

Even that though denoted that he'd done something wrong. A thought that Jake was not comfortable with. Not that he didn't make mistakes, everyone did, but how could you be wrong when you were protecting those you loved from things that would hurt them? Wasn't that his job to do that?

It took Jake over an hour to cool off enough to head back inside, only to find his mom had arrived at the house. The kids had been sent off to wash he was informed almost the moment he'd walked in, sliding off his trainers at the door as his mom held up the broken mess that had been his phone.

"I don't have to know what made you do that, but what I do need to know is what makes you think it's okay to act in that manner and leave it for the children to stumble upon? Adrienne could really hurt herself on the cracked screen, you know she's impulsive. A child, Jake."

"Sorry, mom." Jake had muttered softly, not meeting her eye because it was like being a child again. "Victoria found out about my guest. She's not happy." He added in lieu of explanation.

"None of us are, but that doesn't mean you can smash your phone, Jake." Alexis insisted, placing the wreck of the phone upon the shelve in the kitchen. "You'd better go and find Azalea, I sent her looking for you." Alexis added, motioning for Jake to head on and find her. "Oh, and tell the children to hurry, I'm thinking potato volcanoes tonight." Alexis added, the warmth returning to her tone as she turned to the kitchen to make a start on their dinner.

Jake had paused for a moment, about to head upstairs, before he stopped and moved to stand against one of the counters. "Do you think I was wrong not to tell Victoria, mom?"

"I think you did what you thought was best for everyone." Alexis replied, busy getting the ingredients down from the cupboards.

"That's not what I asked, mom."

"I don't know, Jake." Alexis replied, the uncertainty clear in her voice as she glanced to her eldest child. "Victoria is making a good life for herself in America -- despite having not come home since Thanksgiving -- and I don't know what she would have done if she'd known. Azalea played a big role in making Victoria better, would Victoria have dropped everything in America to return the favour, I don't know. But this thing with Azalea... it's only temporary. And the sooner things are back to how they were, the better it will be for everyone."

That was all Alexis Newbury was going to say on the matter, and Jake didn't feel any better for it. His mom hadn't helped in the slightest with her reply, only serving to solidify Jake's personal belief he hadn't been wrong to bring Victoria in to this.

"I'll go find Azalea." Jake replied, turning back to head off upstairs. Perhaps the witch had retreated to her room. That was what Jake expected, anyway. As he came to the top of the stairs, he found the witch not by her room, or the childrens', but his own. "Mom said you were looking for me, I was in the garden, thought I'd better come call of the search party." Jake explained, the small, 'friendly' smile he was trying to put on for the witch showing that he was not in a good frame of mind in that moment. It was much too forced, but it wasn't Azalea's fault.

Not really.

This whole mess had been his making.

And it had started over a decade ago.

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Azalea Murray
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PostSubject: Re: Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (Jazalea)   Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:05 pm

Another few minutes passed without a response from the other side and unconsciously, the witch released a small relieved sigh, catching herself by surprise in the process. Her wish to be alone and away from the management of the main house had been unconscious until now. But as she stood behind a possibly locked door, all on her own with no silent or inquiring gazes directed her way, the brunette felt relaxed. The only other time she was completely relaxed in this house was when she was alone with the children, and those times were rare enough as Alexis was not fond of leaving her grandchildren in Azalea's sole custody.

As she stood by the door, no longer interested in what was behind it but reflecting on why she was going to linger here as long as she could, the brunette realized it was time to go home. Home wouldn't have Adrienne's cheerful giggles or Ivan's curous looks, it wouldn't have children running to tackle ehr when she entered a room or holding on to her hand before falling asleep. But at least she'd be more welcome there. Azalea had imposed long enough upon this family to realize that whoever she had been before her life changed, she had always taken care to know where she was wanted.

And worried that she wasn't needed anywhere.

The shallow memories that sometimes emerged were congealing in a murky picture of a girl who had always feared the very situation she was now living under.

"Mom said you were looking for me, I was in the garden, thought I'd better come call of the search party."

"Darn it, I just called nine one one," the witch replied with a soft smile, coming out of her reverie as Jake approached. Clearly there was nothing behind the door worth exploring. Belatedly, it occurred to her how American the joke was here. Did she even know the emergency number to call for the United Kingdoms? Probably not. Of all the memories that had resurfaced and the general knowledge she had been able to gleam from the confessions of this house, the witch had not learned the emergency numbers or distress signals. She had still yet to possess a wand.

"Your mom's getting tea ready, you should go join the family," she proceeded after an awkward moment of silence between the two. Conversation without the children around to interject was still difficult and from the way Jake looked, he wasn't in the mood for small talk. Her brown eyes lingered only briefly on his sweat soaked shirt and dirt marked shoes but the mere thought of asking what was wrong was no longer within her jurisdiction. Regular conversation felt intrusive, silences felt too pronounces and everyone looked at ehr like she was the one sore thumb sticking out of an otherwise beautiful arrangement.

An errant thought ran through the witch's mind as she stared a little away from Jake. Had she ever been beautiful? Had she ever looked like she belonged anywhere? The doubts she'd started to nurture when Clara first began insisting she stay here were not as solidified as they would be in a few weeks time but knowing that, Azalea didn't want to wait around and find out.

"And maybe after that, I can call dad? I think I'm ready to go home now." What she didn't say was that she would leave no matter what Kit Harrington said. Because a part of getting better was learning to make ehr own decisions again and Azalea had now decided.

She would go somewhere she was truly wanted.

Actually needed.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (Jazalea)   Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:56 pm

"Darn it, I just called nine one one,"

The joke brought forth the smallest, briefest smile on Jake's lips in that moment. But it was gone almost as quickly as it had appeared, yet another sign that the man was not in the right frame of mind in that moment to even try to pretend things were okay. "Don't think that'll work here." Jake replied softly, though he didn't know. He'd never tried it, and the British had this weird thing were there was more than one number for the emergency services, depending on the height of the emergency. Thankfully, Jake had never had to make a decision on the urgency of an emergency in this country.

As Azalea explained dinner was ready, Jake motioned to his room. "I'm gonna clean up real quick, then I'll be down. Tell mom not to wait for me if it's ready, the kids are probably hungry anyway..." Jake added, a small shrug of his shoulders following as he moved to the door, ready to push the handle when Azalea spoke next. Calling her father. Going home.

It was difficult not to look happy with that idea. It was difficult to keep his features neutral so that Azalea didn't see the relief in his body spreading, but through sheer willpower, Jake managed to contain it. "Sure, if that's what you want to do, I'm sure your dad will be glad to have you back." Jake replied, giving the witch a small smile. "We'll miss you here, but... you'll probably be happier around your family." Jake finalised, though it would probably only be Adrienne who would truly miss having Azalea around the house.

"I'll see you at dinner." Jake said, pushing open the door to his room and disappearing behind it a moment later to head to the shower, to get rid of the evidence of his physical exertion.

To try to scrub the guilt from his skin...

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