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ernie_dt_mac in augury_rpg

Special Delivery

Who: Ernie and Open to Hufflepuffs and other interested persons
What: A dinnertime brings in some lovely packages
Where: The Great Hall
When: Sunday, 16 November - dinnertime
Status: Incomplete


Ernie had been in the middle of a delicious helping of bangers and mash when he was interrupted by the clearing of a throat behind him.

"Pardon me, Master Macmillan, but these packages were delivered for you this afternoon."

Ernie turned to see a house elf behind him carrying two boxes. He smiled at the creature and accepted them, placing them on the table beside him. "Thank you," he said, and watched as the elf scurried off.

The first package was labeled as coming from Honeyduke's, and immediately brought a smile to his face. He didn't open it, wanting to save it and its delicious contents for later in the privacy of his room. He then turned to the second package which was topped by an envelope upon which Ernie's name was written in the familiar scrawl of his mother. A slip of the finger and the envelope was open, and he pulled out the letter to read.

Dearest Ernie,

I'm happy to hear you're doing better. If you ever need to talk, just let me know and I'll speak to the Headmaster for permission to come visit you. You aren't alone, and I will always love you, no matter what. Though I'm more than certain Hannah is doing her part to keep you sane - listen to her, let her help you when she tries.

In the package is a little gift to help cheer you up. Feel free to share them with your friends. Business hasn't been good at all of late, what with the current atmosphere in our world. I can't blame any of them, as when one's life is in turmoil, the last thing one wishes to do is buy a bouquet of flowers. I thought you might enjoy them instead.

All my love, forever and always,
Mum


Ernie opened the package, and the moment the flaps lifted, the sweet scent of flowers wafted up from its depths. There were all kinds, some magical and some not, and though he continued to smile, he felt almost teary-eyed. He had always associated his mother with her beloved flowers, and having them right there... it made him feel as if she were right there with him.

He grabbed a white carnation and tossed it across the table, where Justin was playing with his food. "Here mate, catch!"

Comments

Megan, who was several spots down from her usual position at the Hufflepuff table, glanced up from her dinner when the two packages arrived for Ernie. Immediately, her curiosity was peaked. Chocolates? Flowers? What was this rubbish? For a girl who wasn't fond of romantic gestures, she was amazingly quick to become annoyed when they happened to her ex boyfriend.

But she said nothing and returned her attention to her meal.
As Ernie traced his finger along some of the flowers, he mentally categorized them not only by their physical and herbological natures, but also by his mother's thoughts in including them in the package. She had long ago taught him the language of flowers, lessons he had taken to heart.

For example, there was a zinnia. Its meaning was rememberance of an absent friend - no doubt his Mum was thinking of Harry, Ron and Hermione. The Azalea requested that Ernie take care of himself for her. The sunflower was evidently an allusion to his pride, and the white tulip...

His hand pulled back from it and he instinctively looked up and down the dinner table at a face he had avoided for the last few days. The white tulip was meant for him to give another when the time was right, when he was ready. Because the white tulip meant forgiveness. There was still so much thinking to do, processing of not just the end but also of other issues he was only now beginning to realise. Such as the night before when he had wondered why she had never seemed to respond positively to his efforts to make them work, had only fought him so hard instead.

He wasn't ready yet, but... someday soon, he hoped. She might not understand the meaning, would probably think something else, but... eventually, it would be hers.
Hannah seemed to be mostly chatting up Justin and Wayne, who she sat between. After their fight, Hannah was largely giving Ernie his space. She did her best to mask her irritation, but more than that her guilt. She'd meant well, but Ernie had snapped at her. And maybe quite rightly. She knew it was wrong to say it the moment it left her lips. Somehow she expected Ernie to be bigger and less melodramatic about her mistake, though. He usually was.

Part of Hannah wondered if she struck a tender note, but she wasn't about to tell Ernie that. She looked on over the flowers and returned to chatting with Justin- who seemed to be actually bragging about one of his latest issues. Hannah was taking it with good nature, while in the back of her mind putting yet another check next to Justin Finch-Fletchley being the biggest serial masturbator on the planet.

Only once did she look at Ernie, flash him a brief smile and then looked away.
Ernie spotted a pair of matching flower-necklaces lying beneath a few of the individual ones. It was sort of ironic, his mother had always felt, that his and Hannah's favourite flowers were so similar, aside from their colouring. He pulled up the necklace of daisies, then looked up across the table at his best mate.

Yes, they'd had tense moments the night before, but they'd been friends far too long for Ernie to hold a grudge against such a thing. It was as he'd told Michael the night before - he loved her and knew she had only the best intentions at heart. It was him who simply needed to learn to tell her to mind her own beeswax from time to time.

"Hey, Han!" he called out to catch her attention, then with a flick of his wrist, he tossed the necklace across so that it landed on her head. Then with a laugh, he pulled out his own necklace - black-eyed susans - and slid it around his neck, the yellow and black flowers matching his uniform almost perfectly.
At the last minute, Hannah moved her head wrong from what would have been a swish for Ernie's aim. Instead, it landed lopsided on her head, a daisy straight over her eye. She 'sphhhhed!' and then broke out into a hearty giggle before shaking her head and dislodging the circlet of daisies. Then in very queen-like fashion she lowered it back onto her head and modeled it for the boys around her.

She turned and looked at Ernie fully after her modeling, and smirked, "Its a fetish, isn't it? You and black and yellow?"
Ernie chuckled as she modeled her 'crown' for the surrounding masses.

"Yeah, Han. I'm not happy unless I'm surrounded by yellow and black in any way, shape or form. You've got me," he teased back.

"Though speaking of which... maybe I can get a hair colouring charm right that could give you some interesting streaks. Yellow and black, maybe a Hufflepuff emblem weaved in the back... what do you think?" he asked with a devilish smirk.
Hannah pointed at Ernie in mock-teasing, her lips pursed, "Don't you even dare. I couldn't change it back fast enough. I tried black hair over 5th year summer. Dreadful. I looked like Pansy Parkinson."

Wayne and Justin both chuckled in unison, "Now I'm even more curious," Justin admitted, which got him a gut slap from Hannah.

"You are half Ravenclaw aren't you love? How about the occasional Blue and Grey, huh? I'd quite fancy seeing you with blue hair." Her smile widened, "Maybe a bit of grey. Nobody said the drapes had to match the carpet, eh?"

Edited at 2008-02-04 01:11 am (UTC)
"Well, I've been told that blue does bring out my eyes," he replied pompously. "Though I have no intention of going grey before my time. And I'll thank you to keep your wand away from my 'carpet', Miss Abbott," he teased back.

"Though with how the lot of you drive me up the wall at times, I'll probably be going grey naturally in no time," he joked with a 'superior' glare at his surrounding friends.
"Party pooper," Hannah said. "Well this is Hufflepuff. Most democratic of the Houses. Who here thinks Ernie should dye his nethers blue or grey, huh?" She grinned, looking at Wayne, Justin and Zacharias in term, "You boys'll be the ones to see, any deciding votes?"

Justin cleared his throat and went wide eyed, "Oh look... a dirty mag." He said, picking up a skin mag, rolling his eyes to it and hiding from Hannah behind its pages.

Michael stood with awkward shock on his face, stifling an embarrassed but amused smirk back. "Is this what you lot always talk about at dinner? Ernie's pubes?" The smirk finally appeared and Michael looked down to gauge Ernie's reaction to all this. "He turns a pretty shade of red. Maybe he's a Gryffindor at heart."
Ernie had in fact turned a terrible shade of red that contrasted badly with his yellow and black flowers. It was his friends who could embarass and humiliate him like nobody else could... he loved them despite it, or maybe even because of it and how it kept him humble.

He did need that from time to time, though he was loathe to admit it.

"Haven't you lot got anything better to talk about?" he replied with a roll of his eyes, only just resisting the urge to stick his tongue out at them. "Here, Michael - what's your favourite flower?"
"Its a slow dinner tonight, Michael," Hannah chuckled, "And Ernie turns such pretty colors. So! Cast a vote. Should Ernie dye his pubes blue or grey? Or stick with the no doubt black and yellow he's got down there now?" She grinned widely and leaned forward eager, sticking her tongue out at Ernie the minute she suspected he might do it himself. "Shaved or unshaved pubes, Michael? Your thoughts?"
"Uhh...." Michael looked at the bounty before him, "White roses are quite nice," he admitted. "Elegant and beautiful." He stated before turning his attention back to Hannah.

Cripes, she's out for his head tonight! He thought, rolling his eyes a bit as his own cheeks pinked, "Ernie's pubes aren't really my business." He said with an unusual shyness. Normally Michael would have jumped right in there in an effort to tease his mate. So something was a bit odd.

"Unshaved," he said, folding his bangs behind his ear, "Did I come over at a bad time or something?" She grinned a little, looking at Ernie. "But enough about the poor bloke's nethers."
"Thank you!" Ernie exclaimed. "Finally, somebody with some sense." He mock glared at Hannah and Justin. "You know you lot are all but confirming the rumour that our House is all insane."

"Well, we're just trying to make you look something close to normal, mate," Justin teased back from his side of the table. "You've been a nutter for ages!"

Ernie tossed his napkin at his best mate. "That's it, no chocoballs for you tonight!"

He finally returned his attention to the flower box and picked out two of them. Both were roses, but while one was the purest white, the other shifted from one colour to the next every few moments. "Here, these are for you," he said, first handing the white one to Michael. "This one, because it's your favourite," he said as the white rose was handed up to his standing friend. "And this one... I bet you've never seen one like it, because Mum breeds them specially for her shop. It's a Macmillan's Ever-changing Rose. It changes colour every five seconds, and not just the usual colours either. It hits them all - blue, green, purple, and all shades thereof." He passed it up to Michael, and as it passed from one hand to another, it changed from yellow to bronze.
Megan couldn't resist the urge to jump in at this point as she levitated a pitcher of pumpkin juice to where she sat. "First of all, Hannah, everyone knows you shouldn't shave your hair down there. If you like the bare look, it's essential to spell it off...or use a potion. Shaving it will just cause some massive itching when it grows in."

Despite her jokes, Megan's eyes were fixed on Ernie as he gave Michael a rose. Merlin, doesn't he know how queer that looks? It's one thing to toss Finchy a carnation, but giving Corner a rose? Might as well bend over the table," she thought, rolling her eyes. And he wonders why people thinks he's a poofer.

Edited at 2008-02-04 02:59 am (UTC)
"Ernie's a nutter. Its part of his charm." Michael commented dismissively to Justin, giving a quick smirk. Michael turned his look then to Ernie, and he reached out to take the flowers, his eyes obviously upon the Macmillan's Ever-Changing Rose. He smirked to the side, "That's brilliant. Your mum must be a bloody talented Herbologist.

He turned the rose in between his fingers, hooing it would shift to blue, "I'd love a blue rose. That'd be wicked-brilliant! Have you ever seen a tried and true black rose?" Michael asked curiously.

Ernie instinctively stiffened when Megan spoke in response to Hannah. He knew they would still be friends, would expect nothing less, but it was still somewhat shocking to hear her voice after so many days of mutual avoidance. He did his best not to think on it, instead concentrating on Michael and the roses.

"She's pants with shrubs and bushes and trees and the like," Ernie admitted, "but with flowers, she's amazing. We've a greenhouse in the backyard where she does all her work, and even as a lad I used to help her nearly every day. Even some of the swankiest wizard families come to her almost exclusively because of her talent, like some of the Boles."

He paused with a slightly haunted look upon his face when Michael asked about the black rose. "There was... one occasion where one of Mum's ever-changing roses turned black for someone, and it stayed that way until the person let it go. It was one of Dad's brothers..."

He remembered overhearing his Mum and Dad talking after Uncle Clyde had been taken in by the Aurors, unable to figure out if the rose had turned black for him because of the darkness in his soul, or the Dark Mark on his arm. He glanced up at Michael and felt such a sense of shame, that a relative of his had been one of those responsible for all the terror in their world and for the hatred against Michael and others like him. A part of him was terrified of Michael ever finding out about his Uncle, of discovering that somewhere in his family was a Death Eater who would not have hesitated to kill his friend. He could never find out, Ernie decided.

"But, I'm sure it'll turn blue eventually, and several shades of it too," he said again, trying to distract from the subject of black roses. "And if you have several of them in one place, they harmonise and all change at the same time. Mum likes to say that while each flower and colour means something, giving someone one of her roses means you give them a bit of everything - the best and the worst, because we need to accept it all in the end." Then, he smirked. "Plus, Mum, Dad and I only give them to our closest friends and family because they're in such high demand."
"Meg? Sickle for your thoughts?" Hannah whispered low, assuring she was mostly out of earshot of Ernie but having to whisper around Wayne's back. She grinned then, "I portion my legs of course. Never tried the bikini, does it really work?"
"Just thinking about how my exboyfriend is handed out roses to blokes," Megan replied, rolling her eyes. "Not that I care or anything. I just mean - well, he's always wondering why people poke fun at him. Frankly I think he asks for it."

A smile spread across her face, however, when Hannah mentioned grooming techniques. "I've potioned my binkini a few times. Not the whole thing mind you. If you get rid of all the hair I imagine it would very....underage if you know what I mean. But yeah...the rest?" Megan nodded. "Totally worth it. Not that I had much time to test it."
Hannah turned her head to see exactly what Megan meant- and she was right. Ernie and Michael were talking with such pride and... attentiveness. It was sort of odd to see. "M'sure it's nothing." Hannah said with a smirk, turning to look at Megan again.

She eyed Wayne, who was looking a little confused. Hannah jerked her head, "Go look at Justin's mag, ya goob." Hannah leaned in closer, "Well, Ern's Ern. Doubt anything's happening... but I kinda noticed myself before."
"I'm just impressed by the flowers," Michael chuckled, turning the color-changing rose in front of him so he could admire it. "About the only thing I can grow without trying is mold." Michael's eyes turned to look at Ernie as he explained that he had a greenhouse. "My Mum grows bonsai in the kitchen window. That's about as close as we get back home. And even then, they grow too fast. She doesn't discipline them properly."

Michael took in the somberness of Ernie's answer about the black rose, tucking away an intention to talk to him about it later. Now wasn't the time and somehow he felt like embarrassing Ernie or putting him on the spot was sort of... bad. "Well cheers mate, thanks for it." Michael blushed. "Guess I qualify... brilliant". Michael grinned and tapped Ernie with the rose, bitting his lip before taking them safely to his chest. "When my family likes you, they send you the worst apple crumpets known to man. And lemon squares." Michael crinkled his nose and cringed. "Ugh, those are like eating solid cleanser. No wonder I get sick when I smell lemons."

Michael shrugged, looking down at the flowers- which probably 'gayed' up the image even more. "So whats your favorite?" He asked Ernie.
"Trust me, Michael, I've seen you in Herbology," Ernie chuckled. "Yet another area where I come out on top." He lifted his head and puffed out his chest in jest.

He was relieved when Michael didn't press any further on the subject of the black rose and his uncle. He had a feeling his friend would bring it up again one day - he was a Ravenclaw, and thus was always looking to solve a mystery - but at least Ernie would now have sufficient time to think up something to tell him that wasn't the truth. He chuckled at the mention of terrible apple crumpets and lemon squares. "Well, I suppose its the thought that counts and all that."

At the question, Ernie used a finger to lift the chain of black-eyed susans around his neck. "These. Apparently even my flower preference is House-influenced," he joked. "But I liked them even before I came to school. We didn't know if I'd end up in Hufflepuff like Mum or Ravenclaw like Dad - Mum says the moment she saw me fawning over the black-eyed susans, she knew I was a badger through and through."
Michael chuckled. He raised a single raven-colored eyebrow which disappeared under his hair. "You mean the only area you come out on top." Michael teased back, his glance narrowing in challenge. "I could out-charm, out-potion and out-transfigure you anyday."

"God Ern, you're messing up my whole pre-established paradigm for why you're the way you are. You're a Hufflepuff because of flowers." Michael grinned impishly, "I thought you were either into badgers or had a honeybee fetish."

Michael chucked Ernie on the shoulder then. "So is that what brought on the whole dying hair thing? Not that we should go full circle. Your nethers remain your business."
"Only area? I think not," Ernie scoffed. "You seem to be forgetting Arithmancy and Ancient Runes, two areas in which I excel. And I can match you in Transfiguration any day."

He chuckled. "That's a good thing - it wouldn't do for you to think you know me too well. A bloke's gotta have a little mystery, you know."

He rolled his eyes. "I threatened Hannah to find a charm to turn her hair yellow and black and even weave a Hufflepuff crest into there, then she says since I'm Ravenclaw on Dad's side I should go blue or grey. Then there was a comment about drapes and carpet not matching... and it all pretty much went downhill from there."

A tiny crick in his neck reminded him that Michael was still standing over the table. "Claudius, why don't you move over a bit," he motioned to the first year. "There, have a seat, Michael - you're making my neck hurt looking up at you. Don't worry, we'll give you temporary amnesty to sit at the Hufflepuff table," he teased.
Michael chuckled, leaning down to stare at Ernie in the eyes for a prolonged stare, "You know its true. I'd prove it right now and transfigure that ham into a carousel, but Snape would probably hang me by my nethers, and I like them where they are no uh-thank you very much."

"Pshh," Michael balked, "I'm on par with you on Ancient Runes. And Arithmancy.... well... its Arithmancy. Quick! State Bonisagus Theory of Chaotic Numerology, Mr. Smart Arse." Michael grinned, and pointed, "Including all fifty-six known commentaries." Then Michael waggled his eyebrows at the boy.

Michael grinned warmly and tilted his head, "Well there you win and beat me. You're definitely a mystery to me." He admitted, snickering. "I think you get off on it, myself."

Michael took the seat offered him, the temptation to jab back at the amnesty remark too tempting to ignore, "You make me sound like some latchkey Ravenclaw." Sort of feel like one of late...
Ernie shook his head. "Yeah, first Podmore, then Snape - your luck with the professors is just getting worse and worse of late, mate."

At Michael's challenge, Ernie opened his mouth to respond but stopped when he caught a glare coming at him from across the table. The look in Justin's eyes seemed to say 'Go ahead, and I will be forced to kill you.' "We both know I can name them, I just don't want to bore the rest of the table. There are better things to talk about anyway," he grinned and shrugged.

"Well there we go, the great Michael Corner finally admitting that I beat him at something," Ernie teased. "You're right, mate. I stay up late at night in the dark just thinking up ways to be more mysterious. Though I have no choice - nobody would worship me if they knew all my little secrets," he concluded with a pompous air.

"Latchkey? Maybe, I don't know. I was just thinking that I know how at times it can be a little uncomfortable at one's own table," he explained with a quick glance over to where Megan was sitting. "It's nice to have friends elsewhere we can sit with when things get a little too awkward, you know? Though we've all got to face the music in the end, whether we like it or not. Especially when we share the same room as the tune in question."
Michael grinned in challenge despite Justin. "See, here is why you're in the wrong House. Thats not boring, you silly Hufflepuff." Michael's eyes twinkled in heady amusement, "Its knowledge for knowledge sake, delivered to spark discussion and dissertation. Is there anything better?"

Michael's smile continued while he shrugged. Itching his nose, he looked away, "Yeah you beat me at something. And I beat you right back." Michael turned into a knowing smirk, "I'm just as confusing to you." And then Michael outwardly gaffawed, "Can I borrow someone's fork, then?" He teased at Ernie, threatening to burst his bubble of pompousness.

Once Michael sat, he immediately felt the need to avoid the new topic- which was not as delicious as knowledge for knowledge sake. It was painful and real emotion, which was harder to intellectualize. "One shining moment of Ravenclawness, and you go and Hufflepuff it back up with... ick... pragmatism." Michael teased, hiding his hurt behind sarcasm. "Anthony doesn't want to talk to me. He's avoiding me. So fine. Let him." Michael looked down and sighed, "Course I miss him like mad. But I guess he's made his bed and I'm not in it."
"What, you, confuse me?" Ernie teased with an incredulous look. "I figured you out long ago, Corner. Though it took me a little longer than it did Justin - he's the easiest in the world. Mind's only on one thing, you know." He waggled his eyes across at his best mate, knowing Justin would know he was just teasing.

He reached over to fetch a few pieces of cheese from a plate in the center of the table. He slipped one into his mouth before wrapping the others in a napkin and hiding it away in his pocket, intending on giving them to Bert once he was back in his room.

"What can I say, mate? I'm a Hufflepuff through and through. We rule, didn't you know," he added with a look that almost dared Michael to say otherwise while sitting at their table.

He didn't like what he heard about Michael's friendship with Anthony, however, and placed a hand on his friend's shoulder when he sighed. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, I don't really think he's your type. Anyway, if you were in his bed, I'd have to kick his arse for cheating on Han," he said, trying for the joke before turning more serious. "But I really thought he'd talk to you by now, especially after how I went after him this morning-"

He immediately shut his mouth. He hadn't exactly planned on letting Michael know about his little 'conversation' with Anthony earlier in the day.
Michael returned the incredulous look, and the flared his eyebrows up in an 'oh really now' sort of way. "Is that so? Well, since you have me all but figured out at this point, I'll just let you read my mind and maybe you can answer the questions in my head." Michael shrugged, smirked and helped himself to a slice of cheese as well, which he sort of crammed into his mouth instead of pocketing most of it.

Michael chuckled at Ernie, looking at Justin, "Even Ravenclaw knows about your porn there, mate. You'd better try harder hiding it. Maybe design a fractal encryption rune so no one can break into it."

Justin was about to look very confused at the suggestion, but Michael added something further. He stared straight at Ernie, "So Macmillan here can't bum your stash. He does you know."

Michael chuckled and leaned right, nudging Ernie with his elbow, "Your point standings say otherwise, your majesty. Funny that we have a Slytherin Headmaster and suddenly Slytherin is smearing everyone."

Michael wanted to smile at Ernie's jests, but it just never materialized- that was doubly so when Ernie crammed his foot into his mouth. Michael's brow knitted and he looked puzzled, "Wait you what?"

And then Michael did something a little unexpected. He just shrugged. "Thanks for trying but... its a lost cause. When Anthony thinks he's right, he's unshakable. Guilting him just makes him go deeper." Michael half-smiled a little painfully and clapped the back of Ernie's head affectionately. "I guess thanks for trying..."
Ernie smirked. "The answers are no, maybe, yes, chocolate, not yet, and not on your life."

Ernie blushed at Michael's accusation about him breaking into Justin's stash, but instead of being angry, Justin just smiled knowingly. "Who do you think's the one who introduced him to Muggle porn in the first place, Corner? My stash is there to share with all my mates - even the blonde ones who think their 'romance novels' are so much better when they're really just porn for girls," he said in Hannah's direction.

"Remind me why he's my best mate?" Ernie joked as he tried to hide his burning face with his hand.

Ernie's only reaction to the comment on Slytherin and House points was a look over at the Head table where Snape sat along with all of the other professors. His and Michael's feelings on the man's presence at the school were nearly identical and didn't need to be voiced, especially not where it could be overheard and get them into even more trouble.

Ernie had braced himself for some sort of angry outburst... but there was none. Instead, Michael thanked him? Ernie's brows furrowed in confusion. His friend was certainly acting strange. Now that he thought about it, he hadn't taken advantage of some earlier opportunities to really embarass Ernie in front of the others. And now... This wasn't because of the weirdness of the night before, was it? No, because there was no weirdness to speak of.

"Are you all right, mate?" Ernie asked softly, leaning in toward Michael. "You're not mad at me? I mean, I didn't mean to argue with him like I did, only wanted to start by saying I was sorry about his sister, but I remembered how hurt you were by what he'd said and all. You're not upset I stuck my nose in things?"
"You have smoke coming out of your ears," Michael commented without missing a beat, glancing at Ernie after he rattled off a nonsensical string of answers. "But you were right two out of six." Michael added with a chuckle.

"You like porn, I assume," Michael shrugged to Ernie's embarrassment, looking between him and Justin's proud admission. He even ventured a glance at Hannah after Justin's remark, who stared at him and wrinkled her nose in mock-anger.

"Me?" Michael asked, suddenly feeling exposed for some strange reason. Perhaps he understood that Ernie was now suspicious. He shrugged, "I'm fine mate why do you ask?" He evaded, yet his eyes upon Ernie's. He grew a little wide-eyed at Ernie's second question, "Wuh-what? No! I'm not mad at you at all." Michael grinned and blushed, "Well okay, I'm minorly miffed... at most. I know you meant well. And I know your whole... Hufflepuffness took over."
"Two out of six ain't bad," Ernie quipped with a grin.

"Can we please get off the subject of porn?!" Ernie exclaimed. "You lot will be the death of me, I'm sure of it."

Ernie looked away, turning to the table to reach for a braided roll from the center. He tore off a piece to stuff into his mouth, the bread being so good and fresh that it didn't need any butter. "Good, then. You know how protective I am of my mates. Anthony's just being unreasonable right now - give him time, he'll come to his senses. He worries about you, though. He's afraid something will happen to you too, especially after Rachel. He cares, that's why he's being a jerk."
"I know," Michael nodded, looking straight ahead. "And I appreciate it. But Anthony's stubborn. He doesn't budge when he think he's right. He can't help it." Michael looked away, "I have- of late- been stupid with some of my actions. I was way too idealistic with Podmore. I was arrogant enough to think Theodore could become a bridge between us."

Michael sighed, "I'm trying to steer clear of him. And I'm trying to let Theodore do what he pleases. And I'm trying to move on. Find better mates that won't do that." Michael smiled weakly at Ernie. "But its still hard."

Michael sighed, "Well I best get back to my table." Michael unfolded his long body and tapped Ernie on the shoulder with his fist, "Good talking. Thanks for the flowers mate, I love them." Michael smiled and then smiled at Hannah, who smiled back. He flashed Justin an eyerolling smile, "Later, pornboy."