April 22nd, 2098

20:01:18 [Gloriana] It was late afternoon, and the sun was casting a sort of hazy yellow-orange light into the hospital ward. She lay awake, staring at her privacy curtain, unable to sleep since Mop had been there last. He’d put all sorts of stupid thoughts into her head, and she’d busied herself with trying to put them down. An untouched dinner tray sat on a table next to her bed. The nurse was unsettled by Gloriana’s poor eating habits. “Really, Miss Boulstridge. You have to eat or we won’t be able to get you healed properly.“ She glanced at the nurse, blankly, and then returned to staring at her curtain, and then her pillow for a change of scenery. The nurse sighed at Glori’s silence and left her little cubicle. Her threat that she wouldn’t heal quickly wasn’t a threat at all. Good, she thought, I’ll stay here and no one will bother me. I won’t have to worry bout Valen or Mop or any of the others. I’ll just fade away into madness. And that incredibly morbid idea seemed to soothe her somewhere inside.

20:10:05 Huian ◙ “Are you sure you want to visit, Miss?” The voice was from right outside the curtain, cautious and bewildered. There must have been a nod, because there was no answer, just a junior healer pulling back the curtain and letting Huian into the little cubicle. She had her dragon bag slung over a shoulder, her boots were worn and slightly scuffle but with the cropped military style jacket she wore and the star printed tank top…and her smile, tucking a bit of hair behind her ear. “Cheers, Gloriana.” Her way of greeting, looking outside. She didn’t expect to be spoken to, really, but she didn’t just come to visit to visit. Though seeing how the woman was was a first priority. ◙

20:14:34 [Gloriana] She heard a familiar voice, but didn’t turn to greet her. Great, she thought, more visitors. Glori didn’t even bother to shift in her bed, just contentedly stared at her pillow case. Silently, she counted the fibers she could see and imagines what sort of itty bitty beasts were living in the threads. Huian may as well not even exist.

20:26:18 Huian ◙ Gloriana wasn’t talking. Perfectly acceptable. Wasn’t any worse than a surly thirteen year old. And Huian dealt with those often enough. So she waved her hand…and pulled in a chair from somewhere else in the room, plopping down on it, and pulling a notebook out of her bag, a pen as well, opening it up, and scribbling. And said nothing. Nothing. Just the scratch of the pen and distant humming from a song that was unrecognizable. Scribble…scratch…scribble scribble. And then….after a long time of uncomfortable but ignored silence…she spoke. “Did you cry, for real?” He tone was mild, she simply sounded curious. ◙

20:31:32 [Gloriana] Gloriana wasn’t playing any games, she wasn’t trying to make anyone feel like a jerk. She simply wanted to be left alone. Why won’t they just leave me alone? Huian was intent on sticking around. That’s fine, I can pretend you don’t exist. The nurse had left the food tray (on the off-chance that Gloriana might suddenly reclaim her appetite), giving her yet another object to busy herself with one way or another. Silence was the only friend she had left, and she was perfectly content with keeping him by her side.

20:45:33 Huian ◙ She laughed. Well, less of a laugh and more of a soft giggle, like she had smacked into a door she saw coming. “You know, I do work with children. Your silent treatment is nothing, really, and I’m going to stick around and keep talking until you start, so it would be better for you to do so. And to eat, really.” Scritch on the paper, before the quick sounds of a line being scribbled out, and a murmur. “That’s not right. Revise…Tell me, Gloriana, what do you think of this?” And then she rose her voce slightly, reading from the paper. “ If you do it again, you’re working with half of your soul, so you end up sealing a quarter away. Then an eighth, then a sixteenth, and so forth - although this is more of a metaphor. Souls are… difficult to quantify. Your soul is the vital source. Your brain remembers with or without your soul, but without a soul your memories have no meaning. It fills you up: it is your sentience, your passions, your motivation, your personality…” Her pen was tapping on the paper. Tap. Tap. “I think it sounds too complicated, and too vague at the same time.” ◙

20:50:52 [Gloriana] Huian baited her. Only, her target wasn’t so easily caught. Glori blinked slowly and continued to stare. You don’t exist, she told herself, and if you don’t exist, I don’t exist. Metaphysics had never exactly been her forte, but she was perfectly acquainted with it now. Huian had never been Gloriana’s friend, and if Mop couldn’t get her to speak to him, why did Huian think she could? No, something about her experience with Valen had changed her; it had robbed her of everything that made Glori… Glori. Her eyes never focused on the paper Huian held in front of her face, they were still stuck on the tray, or the curtain behind it.

20:56:28 Huian ◙ “Nothing to say? Alright. I’ll give it over to Izzy to look at. Maybe Valen did take something from you. Sacrificing another person’s soul is risky, but if he pulled it off, I don’t see how we’re going to be able to kill him.” A sigh, before she leaned back the chair, rocking it. “He’s not dead. He turned himself in, and they say he died later, but he’s not dead. There’s no way a man would go through that much to simply die. You shouldn’t have cried. That’s when they know they’ve won, when you cry.” A thoughtful noise. “Though I suppose it isn’t your fault. You were always weak of constitution, though it’s not your fault. British witches seem to run that way. I think it’s the schooling.. I mean, look at you now? Refusing to eat simply because some man kidnapped you, caused you pain…Though I don’t think he did anything more than that.” ◙

21:02:00 [Gloriana] Yadda yadda yadda, you’re weak, yadda yadda yadda. She quite agreed with Huian, actually. She was weak, and a fool, and a terrible witch. Oh, she could pile it on all day. There was so much missing, too. You killed Archie, and Charlie, and all the rest of those students who followed you and Mop to the ends of the Earth to reclaim Hogwarts. You’ve run away from everything that could make you happy simply because the guilt was too strong, and now you’ve ruined Mop as well. And here you are, sulking because you can’t handle what’s happened to you. Pathetic. There was more where that came from, and Glori began to list them quietly to herself. She shifted to keep her arm from falling asleep, but she never gave in. She didn’t have to. If all Huian had come to do was make her miserable, she’d have to get in line. That was a quite long queue, as it would seem.

21:15:18 Huian ◙ She was grinning widely. “My cousin says I’m too soft, sometimes. Too nice. You’re…not very nice, I don’t think you ever had been. I’m not sure why, or when you stopped caring about yourself and started to think that you could control everything.” She was writing again. “It’s a silly thing. It starts with self resentment. To try and control anything besides yourself is a folly, and you set yourself up for failure every time. That’s not nice to yourself.” Her pen was drawing a flower now. “And you seemed lost. Angry. Not sure why you’re angry. I don’t know if I care to know why you’re angry. Maybe you’re just realizing that you can’t grasp at everything because every time you do, your hands open and something else falls out.” She looked up. “The again, I don’t know you. I don’t dislike you, but I wouldn’t want to be your friend. I have the patience, but not the ability to be torn down from your harpy like need to destroy everything you found good, and just realize…” Her head shook, and she stood up and headed to leave, looking over her shoulder. “You shouldn’t have cried. It’s not like you have anything to cry about, nor anything to throw this fit over. Start eating. You can’t fix anything if you’re dead.” ◙

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