Open Lost and Lovely Lunar Years

Celia Vuong

boldness be my friend
 
Messages
1,011
OOC First Name
Ana
Blood Status
Half Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 11.5'' Sturdy Elm Wand with Meteorite Dust Core
Age
15
When the parcel crashed onto the table in front of Celia, nearly knocking over her breakfast, she barely blinked. Yesterday had been her birthday, and today was the Lunar New Year. She had been getting owls every morning for days now, each carrying cards and presents from assorted relatives. Celia barely knew most of the people sending her gifts, but she wasn't about to complain if her mom's family wanted to shower her in beauty products and red envelopes.

There was one person she hadn't heard from yet, though, and Celia tried not to think about this as she carefully ran a fingernail under the tape and undid the wrapping. Inside was a package of candied coconut ribbons, the kind that popped up in storefronts all over Hanoi right before the new year. Disappointment washed over Celia. It was just another gift from one of her mom's many cousins. She almost didn't bother opening the accompanying card — no doubt it contained some kind of new year's greeting she could barely understand — but then changed her mind in case this particular relative had also decided to send her money.

The card did not contain a red envelope, but it did have her dad's handwriting. For a second, Celia couldn't breathe. She read the note once. Then twice. Then three times. And then she tore it in half. The disappointment curdled into anger, and she continued to shred the card, not stopping until she had a small pile of paper wisps. It wasn't what the note said — a perfunctory note wishing her a happy new year — that bothered Celia, but what it didn't say. Nowhere in the card had he mentioned her birthday.

Because he'd forgotten. He had somehow remembered that it was the Lunar New Year — a holiday they hadn't even celebrated back home — but he'd forgotten her birthday. Celia felt hysterical as she looked at the candies, only noticing now that the packaging was in English. No doubt this whole thing was her dad's attempt to reassure himself that he was a good father despite effectively abandoning his only daughter. Celia didn't think twice before dumping the shredded paper into an empty glass. "Incendio." The paper caught fire, flames dancing in the glass. Now she just had to get rid of the candy. She turned to a person sitting nearby, not caring who it was. The important thing was that she got rid of this now. "Want this? It's candy." Not waiting for an answer, she shoved the package towards them. "Here, all yours."
 

Caleb Thorne

baby brother | reckless
 
Messages
274
OOC First Name
Kadi
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 14 Inch Swishy Applewood Wand with Kelpie Hair Core
Age
06/2042 (15)
Caleb had been noticing the sheer volume of packages Celia had been getting the past few days and it had been increasingly difficult for him not to get jealous. He did his best to ignore it but today the only seat open at breakfast was across from her. And while he had done his best she didn’t make it easy. “Merlin’s beard!” Caleb nearly yelled as he moved his plate away from the small fire Celia started in the middle of the table. It was contained in the small glass but it still startled him. “What’s got you in such a foul mood?” he asked dryly. “Besides the obvious.” he said and gestured to all of her. “Why?” he asked and eyed the sweets warily. “Are you too good for...what ever these are?” Caleb mocked and picked up the package. It still seemed sealed and the coconut looked quite tasty if he was being honest. But he didn't want to settle for taking Celia's hand outs.
 

Celia Vuong

boldness be my friend
 
Messages
1,011
OOC First Name
Ana
Blood Status
Half Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 11.5'' Sturdy Elm Wand with Meteorite Dust Core
Age
15
Something about watching the paper curl into ash was oddly calming, and Celia took a deep breath before looking up, catching the way Caleb clutched at his plate. She shot him a contemptuous look. "Don't be so dramatic." It wasn't like she'd set the table on fire. Celia frowned at the question, biting back the urge to say something about his presence being the reason for her bad mood. It wasn't a very clever retort, and even she could recognize that insulting Caleb wasn't a good idea, not if she wanted him to take the package off her hands.

"I don't like coconut," Celia said. Her voice sounded whiny even to her, and she felt like a stubborn toddler on the verge of a temper tantrum. It wasn't fair. It was her birthday. It was a holiday. She should've been happy, and it wasn't fair that she was not. It wasn't fair that she had a father who couldn't remember simple things like her dislike of coconut or the date of her birth.

Celia watched as Caleb poked at the package, raising her eyebrows. She'd expected him to take it without question. After all, it was free candy. But he was displaying a surprising amount of hesitancy, especially for someone who likely believed in the five second rule. "Don't tell me you're too good for it." Maybe his issue was that it was foreign. "I've literally seen you pull unwrapped food out of your pockets." And she was pretty sure he carried around his disease-ridden rat in those same pockets.
 

Caleb Thorne

baby brother | reckless
 
Messages
274
OOC First Name
Kadi
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 14 Inch Swishy Applewood Wand with Kelpie Hair Core
Age
06/2042 (15)
Caleb sighed. “You’re the one setting fires at the table. I think we can both claim that title.” he said sarcastically. But he wasn’t about to turn away the prospect of something free and sweet so he took the package tentatively. “Sure.” he said slowly and skeptically. Celia could be telling the truth but it didn’t feel like the whole truth, and despite not wanting to go out of his way to talk to her most days he had to admit he was curious about what had put her in this kind of mood. Since it surely couldn't have been just his presence.

But he groaned when she mentioned the one time he had pulled a marshmallow out of his pocket. “That again?” he said with a roll of his eyes. “You really need to get something new to be annoyed about. It’s getting boring.” Caleb said dryly before turning his attention back to the coconut. “So who's this from anyways? I’ve seen you getting packages all week.” he asked and started to look if there was an additional card on it she might have missed.
 
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Celia Vuong

boldness be my friend
 
Messages
1,011
OOC First Name
Ana
Blood Status
Half Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 11.5'' Sturdy Elm Wand with Meteorite Dust Core
Age
15
Celia rolled her eyes. "Think of it as a big candle," she said dryly. While she did revel in other people's drama, she did not enjoy being called dramatic herself. Caleb still seemed pretty suspicious, but at least he took the package. Celia didn't understand what the big deal was. It was clearly wrapped. There were much easier and more subtle ways of poisoning him if that's what he was worried about. "I'm not annoyed," she scoffed. "I don't care if you want to make yourself sick. That's your choice."

Now that she'd successfully gotten rid of the candy, Celia turned her attention back to her breakfast, fully expecting this conversation to be over. But of course Caleb had additional questions. He was the nosiest person she knew, which said a lot considering she was friends with Jenna. "No one," Celia said, stabbing her fork into a piece of cantaloupe a little more violently than she'd intended. It wasn't a lie. Her dad had become a nobody to her the day he'd refused to let her live with him. At the mention of the other packages, she raised an eyebrow. "I didn't realize you were stalking me." Celia was perfectly content to leave it at that, but she had unfortunately had enough conversations with Caleb to know he wouldn't let up until she answered him. "It was my birthday yesterday," she said before realizing that wouldn't explain why she'd been sent candied coconut. "And today's the Lunar New Year." Her grip on her fork automatically tightened as she braced herself for whatever Caleb had to say.
 
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Caleb Thorne

baby brother | reckless
 
Messages
274
OOC First Name
Kadi
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 14 Inch Swishy Applewood Wand with Kelpie Hair Core
Age
06/2042 (15)
Caleb just rolled his eyes at Celia candle comparison but didn’t bother wasting his breath. But if a professor came by to scold them he wouldn’t hesitate to blame her. Childish? Maybe but he didn’t really care. He didn’t believe her when she said she wasn’t annoyed and he shrugged. “Sorry I misspoke. You need something else to be annoying about.” he clarified. She obviously felt something if she remembered something that happened literally years ago.

He watched her closely when he asked about who the gift was from. “Clearly.” Caleb said and gestured to the fruit she had impaled on her plate. “Because you obviously feel very normal about whoever it is.” he pointed out. It wasn’t like the cantaloupe had called her ugly or something. Then he had a thought. “A boyfriend?” he asked with mock excitement and was momentarily horrified by the kind of person that might actually be able to tolerate her.

Caleb gave her an unamused look when Celia accused him of stalking. “Hardly.” he said dryly. If he could forget about her he would. But for some reason he was surprised when she admitted it was her birthday. Like even that small piece of information felt like it was too personal for him to know. “Oh.” he said simply. He wasn’t sure whey he hadn’t thought it was her birthday, maybe it was because he was convinced Celia wasn’t born but simply emerged fully formed ready to make him miserable specifically.
 

Celia Vuong

boldness be my friend
 
Messages
1,011
OOC First Name
Ana
Blood Status
Half Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 11.5'' Sturdy Elm Wand with Meteorite Dust Core
Age
15
Celia snorted. "That's rich coming from you." Caleb was by far the most annoying person in their year. And it wasn't because of his habit of keeping food in his pockets — that was disgusting, not annoying — but rather his incessant need to stick his nose in other people's business. Case in point: his current line of questioning. Celia glanced down at the piece of fruit and forced herself to relax her grip. "I don't know what you're talking about," she said as calmly as she could before taking a bite, trying to exude serenity. All pretense of calm flew out the window at Caleb's next question, however, and she glared at him. "No. Not everything's about a boy." What was next? Was he going to accuse her of PMSing?

Caleb denied stalking her, but Celia wasn't convinced. "And yet you've been keeping track of my mail," she shot back. Why couldn't he just accept the candy, say thank you, and shut up? This was what she got for trying to do something nice for once. Celia did relax a little when he let out a simple "Oh." She wasn't sure what that was in response to, but at least he hadn't said anything offensive. "Going to wish me a happy birthday?" she asked sarcastically.
 

Caleb Thorne

baby brother | reckless
 
Messages
274
OOC First Name
Kadi
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 14 Inch Swishy Applewood Wand with Kelpie Hair Core
Age
06/2042 (15)
"You just bring out the best in me." Caleb said sarcastically and he watched as Celia forced herself to relax. He could almost feel the force of her effort from across the table and he wanted to laugh. "Right." he said slowly, letting his skepticism be read loud and clear. He felt a small grin stretch across his face as she snapped at him. Apparently not a boyfriend then. He felt somewhat relieved knowing that if he was single so was she. Misery and company or something. "Sorry I asked." he said faking an innocent expression as he held his hands up defensively.

Caleb decided he might as well open the package of sweets now and enjoy them while he could if he was going to endure this conversation much longer. He took his sweet time digging around to find a piece and popping it in his mouth. "I'm observant." he said, his mouth still slightly full. The last thing he would waste his time one was stalking her. "Why? you haven't received enough already?" he asked gesturing to her other packages she had gotten this morning alone.
 

Celia Vuong

boldness be my friend
 
Messages
1,011
OOC First Name
Ana
Blood Status
Half Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 11.5'' Sturdy Elm Wand with Meteorite Dust Core
Age
15
Celia knew her performance wasn't very convincing, and it was clear Caleb didn't believe her. But at least he didn't know the truth. She had always been careful not to reveal anything about her life outside of Hogwarts. As far as her classmates were concerned, she came from a very normal magical family. Still, the sight of Caleb's stupid grin made Celia wish she could hex it off of him. It was a shame they were in the middle of the Great Hall and surrounded by potential witnesses.

"Ugh, can you not?" Celia asked, wrinkling her nose in disgust as Caleb spoke with his mouth full. "Didn't your parents teach you any table manners?" Aleena might have been a perfectly nice person, but she clearly was not a very good mother. Celia glanced down as Caleb gestured at all the packages before looking back at him, completely expressionless. "Clearly not," she deadpanned. She knew it was an excessive number for one person, and once upon a time, she would have worried about her classmates thinking her spoiled. But people who were spoiled were loved, and she'd much rather everyone think her loved than unloved.
 

Caleb Thorne

baby brother | reckless
 
Messages
274
OOC First Name
Kadi
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Single
Wand
Curly 14 Inch Swishy Applewood Wand with Kelpie Hair Core
Age
06/2042 (15)
Caleb grinned smugly before shoving even more of the sweets into his mouth, “Not what?” he asked dumbly. She really needed to loosen up, he couldn’t believe he thought she might have been cool at some point. Celia hardly seemed like the kind of girl to go rogue on a field trip. She was more likely to turn him in for walking around the castle after curfew than she was to do literally anything fun. “No, I was raised by wolves.” he answered dryly and made a snarling face to annoy her. And what he said was almost true, if instead of wolves he said “an ever revolving staff of nannies”. But that was back when they were in London. After the move he was mostly on his own, especially after Lila went off to school.
 

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