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Messages - Adam Hoying

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1
Freestyle Roleplaying / Re: homecoming queen | closed
« on: 12/06/2020 at 22:42 »
December 31, 1960
Adam Hoying’s flat

“It’s not much.” Adam set the last of the snacks on the living room table, then glanced around the flat. He peered critically at the conjured banner on the wall, then muttered a transfiguration under his breath, changing it from black and white to black and gold. Their lives were more bright these days; why not show it?

Martina and Bea reassured him it was great, that they’d never seen a greater New Years’ Eve celebration in their lives, and he couldn’t help but laugh. This was nothing.  All he had were a few snacks and some decorations he conjured. The only thing he had to mark the time was a clock on the wall, so they would have to pay close attention to even know that the time had changed. He had not bothered to celebrate the new year since the last time he did with Martina; his parents had never made it to the year they promised he could stay up until midnight, and even when his aunt did, he never saw much point in it. There was a minute’s difference between one long year and the next, and the world did not drastically alter in that minute. It was not as if there was suddenly more hope in the world simply because it was January 1 and not December 31. It was not as if the next year was going to be any better. It was just time, ever progressing forward, never slowing down for any mortal soul.

But now, he had something to celebrate. There was hope that next year could be better.

But as they passed the hours until midnight talking, snacking, and doing their best to complete a jigsaw puzzle (Adam was the only one doing any real work), he didn’t think it could get better than this.


January 1, 1961


He didn’t think it could get any better, but as he said happy new year and genuinely meant it, he wondered. As he hugged both of his girls back, he reconsidered.

When his aunt leaned against him on the sofa and told him there was nowhere she would rather be than here, he decided he had been wrong.

2
Freestyle Roleplaying / homecoming queen | closed
« on: 12/06/2020 at 22:41 »
December 27, 1960
A small bookstore in Residential Wizarding London
continued from here

It wasn't easy, but they made it work.

Adam pulled together enough money for a Christmas dinner for Martina, Bea, and himself, and it was the best meal he had eaten in a long time. He slept on the sofa and gave his aunt the bed, as he had promised to himself he would. It was no great tragedy; he'd spent plenty of nights, some more sleepless than others, on sofas and armchairs in the Ravenclaw common room. And it was worth it for the days with the three of them together, talking and smiling and laughing. It wasn’t something he did much back in his school days, but things were better now. It got better.

Martina Wells was not the same woman she was before the summer of 1953. He had not expected her to be. He could not expect every memory to be perfect, everything to be perfectly intact, and not so long ago, he could never dream that anything close was even a possibility. No, she couldn’t tell the stories of her travels in perfect detail as she always had to attempt to send him into a peaceful sleep. No, she didn’t remember all of Louise Hoying’s tidbits of wisdom or the exact way her apple pie tasted. No, she didn’t remember John Hoying’s booming laugh or the sound of his drumming in the early mornings when she came to New York to visit.

But then again, neither did he, not as much as he once did. Time was a strange thing, corrupting the minds and memories of all who fell victim to it. The universe could put one in the wrong place at the wrong time...but it could also allow one to recover from those unfortunate circumstances. It wasn’t to the same degree, but then again, what could ever be? Adam Hoying had learned that change was inevitable and undeniable in any circumstance. As much as he wished he could avoid or escape change, it came for everyone in the end. For most of his life, he feared it; change for Adam usually meant things got worse.

But he was learning now that it could get better. Martina Wells laughed and spoke like she used to. She moved her limbs restlessly as she spoke, always eager to wander even when it might not be in her cards, and her eyes lit up when he told her about something he loved. It was not the same, but it was good.

And so, at twenty-two years old, Adam John Hoying learned to accept change.

“And this is the children’s aisle, and the fantasy books are over there.” Showing two of his favorite people the little bookstore he worked at (he had a job, like a proper functioning adult!) was certainly a change - one he quite liked. Bea quickly found a book and retreated to the reading nook in the corner once he finished his tour (not much of one - it was small but cozy, which was why he liked it so much), but his aunt stayed by his side. She had barely left it in the past couple days - perhaps still getting used to the fact that they were truly together again.

He smiled directly at her; she used to be taller than him, but now, even with his shorter stature, he could look her in the eye. “Do you want help finding a book to read, Aunt Martina? I have to work the register soon, but they won’t mind if you hang out here.” That meant he had to talk to whatever customers came in; he was always nervous about it at first, but most typically only wanted someone to run the transaction or help them find a book, and those were things he could do. He was always good with books, though he still liked the idea of writing them even more than talking about them. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going overly well for him, but in the past few weeks, that had barely been a thought on his mind. His life was no longer about him and his own loneliness; it was about the people he loved, and that was a nice change, too.

“I told you, Ads, call me Tina.” Her hand was a comforting weight on his shoulder, familiar even after so many years without it.

“And I told you I’m not used to your new nickname yet and...” No one calls me that, he thought, but that was not entirely true. Martina - or Tina now - did; it had just been seven years since then. He was surprised that she remembered.

“Well, get used to it. I’m a whole new woman now, remember?” She chuckled as if this were the funniest thing; it was just like her to already make jokes about remembering.  “I’d like to see your favorites.”

“My favorites?” He frowned thoughtfully. “I...I guess most is fine if it’s written well.” His literary and writing standards were high, but when it came to topics, he simply wanted to learn or feel something.

“What are you reading most right now?”

That was an easier question. He took her to the small section full of books about travel and the world beyond Great Britain, a topic he would have never touched in his school days. Now, with the loss of most of his first-hand source of knowledge on it, he found it intriguing. Such was the irony of life.

For the next few hours, when he wasn’t helping the few customers that wandered in, he watched her read a book about the sights of South America rather than see them firsthand as she once did, and he wondered if she would rather be there than here.

3
era of doubt
it's been quite some time since Adam's aunt lost her memory and he isolated himself for a week...


December 16, 1960


He was staring at a blank page, pen lingering over the paper but not quite touching it, too many thoughts storming through his mind without direction as he cursed the page for its persistent emptiness, when he heard the tapping at his window.

Adam Hoying had been in this position for about a year now, ever since he started writing again. For the first few years after graduation, his life was empty and inspiration was nonexistent; where would he find it in a life of nothing but static? But since those summer days in 1959, he found meaning, purpose, a reason to smile and to create.

And he had. When the Hoying inheritance got low, he worked in little shops and bookstores until he built up the courage to eventually sell his first painting; when he got more for it than he expected, he sold another. It wasn’t easy for a boy who had always been afraid to share himself with anyone, but he got by. He had to - not only for himself, but for those who cared about him. He had people who would miss him if he were gone. It was a wonderful thing to know.

But as he doodled and drew, painted and created, he always returned to his notebooks. Adam had always been a writer; he expressed his emotions and ideas much more vividly and eloquently through the written word rather than the spoken. He didn’t stutter so much anymore, but still, he spoke more clearly through a pen or quill than his mouth, and the pages were destined to be where he told his story.

The idea to do that struck not long ago, during a conversation with Vanessa over lunch at The Yellow Door. She wanted to travel and see the world - just like Martina Wells, though she was still in a long-term mental rehabilitation facility in Scotland. The staff sent him monthly updates, and with their experience in such matters, he learned more than he ever had from St. Mungo’s Magical Psychology ward. Recovering from severe memory loss was a process of careful magic, mental strengthening, and slow, steady persistence. Even with those, plenty of miracles were required for it to be even remotely possible after the brain sustained such damage. He visited her a few months ago and told her about the drawing he gave to Beatrice, the girl who had been family to him for eight years now, during a Hogsmeade weekend. She smiled and laughed and was almost like he remembered from his childhood...but different in a way he couldn’t pinpoint. Maybe because what she loved most in the world - her nephew and the great big beautiful world - had both moved forward without her.

With the thought of her wandering soul trapped by her own mind for so many years lingering with him, he knew he would write about travel. He would see the great big beautiful world she always told him about -  the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Hanging Gardens, the Great Barrier Reef, Machu Picchu, and every other place she loved - through words. He had a character - a boy in search of a lost family relic, but also his true self. He had books - so, so many books about every topic he wanted to write about.

And that December day, when he heard the tapping at his window, he had nine drafts of a first chapter, seven of a second, and three of a third with a fourth in progress. Oliver Wiseman had yet to leave his small Welsh hometown.

The sound was a welcome reprieve from the pen in his hand and the paper that haunted him with its emptiness.

He stood up from his desk, crossed his bedroom to the window that looked over the streets of Residential Wizarding London, and opened it for the determined little owl with a letter clutched in its talons. The poor thing looked like it had been through hell - or perhaps it had just come from Scotland. The snow was getting bad these days, after all, and it was about time for a monthly update. As soon as he let the creature in, it stumbled right into his hands and promptly collapsed. He smiled and carried it to the living room, where he set it beside the cheerfully burning fireplace before sitting down with the letter.


Mr. Adam Hoying,

An early happy Christmas to you!


(Funny, even with all his preparations for Bea to return home for Christmas break soon, he had forgotten how soon the holiday was.)

We are delighted to inform you that Marina Wells’ request to be released has been filed, reviewed, and approved. With her knowledge of both English and Spanish intact (to a lesser degree than before her accident, but receptive to improvement), as well as her ability to recall a significant amount of her life, we fully believe she is more than capable of performing everyday activities and more. [...]

Once she settles in, you are free to set her up with other lodgings. In the meantime, she has requested to spend a few weeks at minimum with you. With your permission and confirmation that your address remains the same, we can book her travel to send her home to you by Christmas.



Home by Christmas.

He leaned back in his chair and felt everything at once. Too many times as a boy, he was overwhelmed by emotion, unable to process the sheer power of what lay below the surface, but this moment, in his apartment with only the sounds of the crackling fire and his beating heart to break the silence, showed how much had changed since then. Adam John Hoying was no longer a boy; he was a man. He felt much still, but now, he could float rather than drown in the tidal wave. Now, he did not fight back or let it crush him. He allowed himself to feel it, every part of it - the shock, the disbelief, so many others even the writer could not name but, above all, pure and utter joy. Happiness could not begin to describe it.

He thought this day might never come. Over a year ago, when he visited her in her new long-term residence for the first time, the director confided in him that long-term often meant forever. They worked tirelessly to help their patients remember, but some minds no longer functioned well enough to ever retain memory of how to function in society. Adam told him she remembered a lot, did very well in St. Mungo’s...but there was a reason her nurses finally convinced him to send her there. It wasn’t enough.
Miracles happened, the director said, but he didn’t sound like he quite believed it.

But they did. Oh my god, they did.

The world had never been kind to him. He and the universe rarely found themselves on the same wavelength - hadn’t, in fact, until two summers ago. But finally, mercy and kindness and light shone upon him and those he loved. Miracles - a concept he lost belief in at nine years old, when he realized his parents were never coming home - were real.

Miracles happen, he told that man in his mind, and he went to his notebook and wrote faster than he had in weeks. Mere minutes ago, he had been trying to write something he had never experienced, but this, he knew with every fiber of his being. It was a simple thing to write: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

It was a small apartment and Bea would be home soon, but in that moment, it didn’t matter. He would make room, he would sleep on the sofa, he would work extra hours for a Christmas dinner big enough for all of them. He would do whatever it took. Miracles happened, the world smiled upon him, and he could not let it slip by. No longer could Adam sit at his desk and crumble up another piece of paper and let the world pass by with the passive resignation that had always dominated his life.

He had people who cared about him, loved him, would miss him if he was gone. Miracles happened.

He didn’t send the ragged little owl out into the winter night; he thought about it, but it didn’t feel right to make the poor thing suffer anymore. Instead, he pulled on his coat, went out into the darkness, and made it to the local owlery just before closing time. He told them to send the little owl back to Scotland once it recovered, bought a treat for it, and sent a stronger bird with his answer. Everyone deserved a chance to recover, to find themselves again, to find joy and strength when all they had ever known was despair and weakness.

His night was sleepless, but now it was by choice rather than fear. He wrote three and a half versions of a poem for Aunt Martina before he was satisfied with it and finished the fourth draft of the third chapter, and when he couldn’t write anymore, he drew. It wasn’t so long ago that he was stuck in a complete creative block, but now, art flowed from his fingers like wine from the glasses that would sit beside his and his aunt’s places at the dinner table Christmas evening.

Miracles happened.


December 25, 1960


They delivered on their promise; she arrived bright and early that morning, just in time for Christmas.

They greeted her, he and the girl who had become like a little sister to him, and she hugged him for a solid minute. When they finally released each other, tears in both their eyes, she hugged Bea too.

After so many years lost to cruelty and unpredictability, what he had once viewed as the universe’s only traits, she was home - finally home in every sense of the word. The universe was kind, and miracles were real after all.

His girls were home for Christmas, and Adam Hoying could want nothing more.


p.s. this is canon :)

4
"Good luck with that," he scoffed, able to pull off a dismissive and condescending attitude just as well as his half-siblings. Unlike them, though, it was obvious that it was artificially constructed; Adam couldn't patronize anyone if he tried.

He laughed as she carried on about some sort of important strategy, allowing himself to be pulled along (what else could he really do in the presence of Marilyn-Rose Wilson?). "Ares kids outstrategize Athena? You do know how unlikely that is?" Marilyn herself might just be able to figure something out, but Adam very much so doubted the likes of Hunter would be as prepared for this game as Adam's constantly-vigilant half-siblings.

"His dad and sweet are pretty much antonyms, but if you say so." Her words did have power, even when she did not specifically try to give it to them. "But we'll find a way, don't you worry."


Later that night
Camp Half-Blood, Long Island, New York
North Woods

Adam slipped through the trees, acting as one of the multiple blue team scouts on the hunt for the red base. Quickly, he made his way in the direction of the creek, but as it came into vision, so did several members of the opposing team, approaching it from the other side. He ducked behind a nearby group of trees planted closely together, hopefully allowing them to run past him into the small battle-ready group following a little ways behind.

5
"I'll leave that to the Apollo kids." He shook his head, but a smile ruined any illusion of seriousness. "I would prefer not to fall out of a tree just because you want to capture me so you can laugh at me later." Because that was exactly what would happen.

"Did that Ares boy share any strategies for tonight with you?" This was a question with many meanings. There was an ironic dimension to it, for Athena rather than Ares ruled over war strategy for a very valid reason. Teasing, too, was involved, for Adam was sure he had seen the boy in question trying to flirt with Mari on more than one occasion. This was fine, of course, as it was a mere observation, but he was most certainly the friend to tease her relentlessly about any romantic prospects. It would be a sneaky approach to figuring out the plans of the opposing team if Mari had as vapid a brain as some of her siblings, but he could never seem to be sly around her. It was definitely not anything else.

6
He chose to scoff in response to her rebuttal instead of responding properly because they both knew she was right, and also because he thought he might die if he took the time to try to speak. Adam was saved from nearly slipping by another command, and he clenched on tighter, squeezing his eyes shut in dread until she scrambled up the wall with her strangely-monkey-like agility to whisper into his ear.

"I'm gonna die," he said in the tone of a teenager resigned to their fate.

He made it to the top of the wall; even his shirt remained in decent condition.



June 7, 2019
Camp Half-Blood, Long Island, New York
The Archery Range

He pulled back his bow, squinting and waiting for the perfect time before letting the arrow fly. A grin of victory appeared when it sank into the target, awfully close to the bullseye. Even the glare of an Apollo camper off their game did not bring down his sense of small accomplishment.

He turned, watching Marilyn-Rose Wilson's arrow soar through the air. "Excited for capture the flag tonight?" he asked after it landed.

7
He scrambled upwards, closer than he'd ever been yet so, so far from the top. If this was how he was going to die, Adam Hoying would be very, very upset.

He held on tighter; a tell-tale hint of mischievousness in Marilyn's tone suggested that she was up to something, and he was not looking forward to it. Sure enough, a sugar-sweet voice of saccharine suggestion slipped into his ears, and he was holding on with only one hand for dear life before he knew it. She was going to be the death of him.

The voice came again, and finally, he was only a little bit farther away from doom. "I hate you, you know that?" he said, without any real venom in his voice (he never could when it came to her), pulling himself up further. His muscles burned worse than his shirt had, and his fists turned white as he clutched to a handhold, trying to remain in one piece in the face of earthquake mode. He was done for.

8
For a precious few seconds, he simply glared at her. The wall seemed to think this was a mistake, as it promptly began shaking violently. "I hope you ruin your nail polish," Adam told her without an ounce of shame.

The wall shook again, and the lava inched closer to him. "I get it, I get it!" He was, of course, speaking to absolutely no one, as the wall clearly couldn't hear him, but Adam didn't give much value to the opinions of bullheaded and headstrong Ares kids. The boy scrambled upwards, barely managing to safely slide his hands and feet into holds as the amount of them decreased. If he were thinking, he would be booking it down to the sweet, beautiful ground right now; scratch that, if he were thinking, he wouldn't have given this a shot at all. But it appeared he'd lost all pretense and thought whatsoever (gods, he hated charmspeak), and so up he went, internally screaming all the while.

9
He absolutely and completely hated that she was right. Staying frozen was only going to get him killed, and Adam didn't want to die at the ripe old age of fifteen. The problem with this was that it was also very possible that movement in this insanity could kill him as well.

He made a muffled inhuman noise as he pulled himself up farther. The children of Athena definitely didn't have the weakest genes, but one could say that Adam still had trouble with athleticism. It was something he needed to work on, especially when it came to sword fighting and wall climbing (especially when those swords were held by rampaging monsters and those climbing walls featured a whole lot of lava).

"What I want is for you to save your flirting for later and come get a taste of your own medicine! You made me do this, you can afford to chip a nail!" Marilyn was really the only one he was so blunt around. Most of the campers viewed him as the quieter type; they weren't there for Adam and Mari's many ridiculous activities.

10
"Cacti," he corrected automatically. Though he supposed cacti and cactuses both made sense, cacti just sounded better. "You're talking to spiky plants now? I'd think you would write me a letter or something over that. You can't think I'm that useless." Adam raised his eyebrows, giving the other blonde a half grin.

"I don't-" Halfway through denying her request to help on grounds that he could do it himself (he couldn't), he switched gears. "Actually, yeah, sure, if you really want to."

If Adam could manage to make an apple pie even close to the level his stepmom's were at, she would definitely be impressed. If he needed Marilyn's help for that, so be it; as much as he refused to admit it, he found Mari's help useful quite often.


June 3, 2019
Camp Half-Blood, Long Island, New York
The Climbing Wall

"No no no no no-"

The heat was closing in. Adam scrambled for another handhold, barely managing to catch hold of it in time to prevent his shirt from getting singed by the lava (which was insanely close for a summer camp, even if it was for half-bloods). How had Mari even convinced him to do this?

"Get up here or...or else!" he yelled down at the daughter of Aphrodite, who for some reason could take her time to make Adam to do this but not bother with trying herself.

11
"If you're the prettiest girl in the world, you can't be that bored," he teased playfully, "Just go seduce some poor southern mortal guy." Adam felt a little bad for giving this 'advice'; if she decided to take it to heart for some strange reason, some mortal down in Texas would not know what had hit him.

"That's so much work, Mari," he said, sarcasm (courtesy of his dad) most definitely slipping in. "And all I had to do was work at my stepmom's bakery. Apparently, I'm the worst at making pie."

A slice of pie that had appeared on his plate went sliding into the fire. It did look really good, but Adam was a little sick of pie after a whole summer selling Louise's well-known ones and attempting (and drastically failing) to imitate her recipes. Hopefully, Athena wouldn't mind his reasoning for sacrificing this dessert in particular.

12
"Wouldn't that be a surprising way for a half-blood to go," he remarked, "What heroic death did Marilyn-Rose Wilson die? None, she just died of boredom." A good-natured grin. It was all in good fun; in the summers they had been at camp together, they had developed quite the rapport. "What are you modeling for now?"

Just then, the nymphs appeared to deliver the rest of their dinner apart from the appetizers Mari had been snacking on, and the air was soon filled with the general noise of campers choosing drinks, then hurrying over to the fire. "Iced tea," Adam told his glass after a moment of thought, and it was quickly filled with the liquid in question. With a quiet, resigned sigh, he stood to make his way over to the fire. Athena apparently liked the smell of his food burning, but that didn't mean she would deign to show up to say hello to her son every once in a while, so Adam wasn't quite sure what the point was.

13
"I heard the son of Pasiphae was masquerading as a bull on a cattle farm in Texas..." Adam countered, making sure to exclude the real name of the monster just in case (names had power, after all). There was a brief pause before he acknowledged the rest. "...a couple years ago." He had never been to Texas, but that was just about all he'd ever heard about all the place, so perhaps Marilyn had a point.

"I always forget how far you come to get here." While Mari had to cross somewhere around two thousand miles to get to Long Island every summer, Adam could just take a simple road trip. "You think nothing ever happens down there, though? Try living in a tiny town in upstate New York." A town with a population of barely over one thousand people was pretty much the definition of uneventful - but it was also rather peaceful. Camp Half-Blood was the stark opposite of both of those.

14
Immediately after she spoke, he moved almost involuntarily. A second later, he let out a groan. "Unfair, Mari. Chiron will make you move, you know." That was if he even noticed. The centaur was currently engaged in an apparently very intense conversation with a group of satyrs.

"What's so bad about the Aphrodite kids anyway?" But it seemed she was determined to change the subject. This was not a surprise, really; the girl always had to have things her way. Figuring he probably wouldn't get a straight answer to his question, he resigned himself to the topic change. "Same. My science teacher acted a bit odd around me, but he wasn't a monster." Adam's eyebrows furrowed. "At least, I don't think he was."

15
Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood.

MODERN DEMIGOD/CAMP HALF-BLOOD AU. In which Marilyn-Rose Wilson is a child of Aphrodite with a love for plants who's eager to take on the world and Adam Hoying is a child of Athena with a sassy side who's just trying to get by.

Don't feel bad, I'm usually about to die.




First day of summer, 2019
Camp Half-Blood, Long Island, New York
Mess Hall



"Marilyn."

Adam Hoying let out a sigh - one that would have been utterly exasperated for anyone else, but he just didn't have it in him when it came to Marilyn-Rose Wilson. This was unfortunate, because Marilyn-Rose Wilson was the one who insisted on attempting to sit at the wrong table every single summer.

"How many times are we going to have to tell you to stay at your table this summer?"


16
Freestyle Archives / Re: Blood Bonds || Adam AU
« on: 04/14/2019 at 21:33 »
The doll his little sister bestowed upon him was taken and held with the utmost of care. If Adam were to accidentally drop or mishandle Victoria, their sibling bond would not save him; he was quite sure Bea would find a way to get revenge if any of her dolls were harmed. He, unfortunately, knew this from an experience a year or so ago that he preferred to avoid remembering. His sister wasn't often angry, but she protected her dolls fiercely.

Together, the pair made their way down the corridor, meandering throughout their family's large home before finally reaching their destination. Inside the playroom, the familiar setup was already in place. Between two perfectly-put-together settings of teacups and tiny plates was a teapot and a platter full of Bea's favorite kind of sandwiches. It appeared their governess had assisted Beatrice with this tea party, as it appeared more put together than other times (in which the 'tea' had been water served in plastic cups and the staff had somehow been able to resist the blonde girl's pleads for sandwiches before dinner).

"It looks great, Bea," Adam smiled, "Do you know what kind of tea it is today?" Carefully, he set Victoria down in a sitting position on the floor and sat down cross-legged in front of one of the place settings.

17
"Will do," he said before bidding Mia goodbye and heading up to his flat for the night.

He hadn't really meant it.

(Or maybe, just maybe, he had.)


fin.

18
He hesitantly stepped a bit closer to the steps, leaning himself against the railing before responding. "There are ups and downs," he answered honestly, "Today was an up."

The hint of something rare from Adam Hoying - a little smile.

"I think she might be making some progress."

19
"Well," he said, an answer that somehow both surprised him and made sense all at once. "You?"

20
monday, june 25, 1956
st. mungo's hospital for magical maladies and injuries
magical psychology ward

A day after receiving it, Martina Wells was still very much so fixated on the cinnamon roll.

However many pictures he showed her, they barely triggered even a spark of recognition. She did not know the people in the photos that smiled and waved from the moments they were forever captured within, nor the memories that took place then. But the pastry, from the bakery she should have remembered but did not, kept returning to her mind.

She contributed a few words to his thank-you note - perhaps the most coherent sentences she had spoken in a while.


tuesday, june 26, 1956
st. mungo's hospital for magical maladies and injuries
magical psychology ward

He brought her another pastry from Bryce & Co. Bakery. She thanked him, but he could tell it was not nearly as good; it did not mean nearly as much. He again felt profound gratefulness for one Mia Green.


wednesday, june 27, 1956
st. mungo's hospital for magical maladies and injuries
magical psychology ward

Adam rarely, if ever, talked for a minute straight. Today he talked for hours, telling her of all the places she had once gone and wanted to take him to as well. The Taj Mahal, San Francisco, Rome, Sydney...he had only a second-hand account of all the places Martina Wells had seen before, but the boy tried his best to paint the first-hand experiences she had forgotten with words.

It surprised her, when he said it was she that had given him all of this information that she listened to with rapt attention.


thursday, june 28, 1956
st. mungo's hospital for magical maladies and injuries
magical psychology ward

As the time ticked by, Adam continued to spend his days telling stories. As a boy who liked to write, this was really what he did, though it was typically more difficult out loud. But it was a suggestion of the nurses, and so, despite how hopeless it could feel, he continued on, telling Martina Wells the stories that had slipped away from her, like novels recently read but too easily forgotten.

"That's nice, dear," was her response to a story about the first few weeks they had lived in Wales together.

To anyone else, it might not have seemed like much. But it was the first term of endearment she had directed towards him since the incident, and it meant everything.

He headed back to the flat that evening with a slightly lighter heart and a hope for further progress. There was a long, tough road ahead, but he thought they (for this, he was determined, they would do together) might have taken the first steps.

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