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 To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)

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Elouise Kalhoun

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PostSubject: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:04 am

First week of September || First Year

They were crawling all over her, things with cold and sticky feet, with hard hairy legs that smelled. They were in her hair, in her ears, everywhere. She could not scream because if she opened her mouth, they’d get in. She could not brush them off because her hands and feet were tied. She was terrified and all she could do was fear.

Evil laughter sounded in the distance and an image of Duncan appeared, a malicious glint in his eyes as both his hands stretched out towards her. “I’m coming to get you!” She could smell the fullness of his breath, a mix of alcohol and smoke and terror struck her heart, gripping what was left of it in its unyielding hold.


Elouise woke up with a start, a tiny scream escaping her lips. She didn't realise she was crying until something wet dripped onto her hand. But tears were her last concern. She had to get rid of the crawling things on her body. Sense told her that there was nothing on her, that it had been a dream, that there weren't cockroaches and lizards swarming on her. But it was too real. Her skin still tingled and though she knew she was in her bed at Hogwarts, memory transported her to that pitch black cupboard where she’d been stuffed.

Jumping out of bed, Elouise began scratching and beating at her skin in an attempt to get rid of the feeling. Her room became too claustrophobic. She needed to get out. Leaving her room, she made her way down the hall and winded through the corridors, going at a near sprint; so desperate was she to run from her terror.

On her first day, she’d discovered the astronomy tower and it became one of her favourite places in the castle. She only did not like the narrow staircase that led to it. She fled up the steps as if the very devil were on her heels. Even after she reached the room, she did not stop until she was out on the parapet, the chilly breeze playing with her hair and the hem of her nightdress.

Here at the tallest point of the castle, she could finally breathe easier. The last vestiges of the nightmare lurked in her mind, but she took deep even breaths, sitting down on the cool stone floor and leaning her head against the only thing that stood as a barrier between her and falling off the highest point of the castle. With her arms wrapped around her torso and her eyes raised to the stars in the heavens, she began rocking herself slowly like how Desire used to with her, absentmindedly scratching at her skin. The gentle breeze dried up the trail of tears on her cheeks as Elouise fought a battle in her mind against the ghosts that threatened to keep ahold of her.

“I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay,” she whispered to herself over and over, hoping that at some point she could convince herself to believe the words that she said.


Last edited by Elouise Kalhoun on Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Brooke Walker

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:45 am

Her phone told her that it was three in the morning, and Brooke let out a sigh. She'd been tossing and turning for the better part of the night, whatever small amounts of sleep she'd gotten interrupted when she jolted awake, heart pounding and nerves a wreck. Sometimes, she remembered her nightmares; sometimes, like tonight, the only evidence of them were the feelings of dread and terror they left behind.

Taking a few deep breaths to calm herself, just as Cassie taught her, Brooke threw the blankets off and slipped her feet into the slippers she kept by the side of her bed. 2 more months and her dog would get her certificate, and she'd be allowed to join the Gryffindor in school. But until Balto was certified as her Emotional Support Animal, Brooke was on her own.

During the day, if she had a panic attack, the Gryffindor Tower presented warmth and comfort, a place she could run to and feel secure. But at night, when the walls surrounding her only reminded her of the days she would lay awake in a stranger's house, terrified of what they would do to her, it was a prison. If she could not sleep, which was often, she would leave rather than be reminded. Once or twice she'd been caught outside of her dorm, and house points had been deducted by the Professor -- until Cassie had written a note and an explanation. After that, if any Professor caught her outside, all that was offered was a mug of warm cocoa or a sad smile.

Deduction of house points was, to Brooke, a thousandfold better than pity.

Listening intently to ensure nobody was walking her direction, Brooke hurried down the hall and over to the entrance of the Astronomy tower. Stars were balls of fire millions of light years away, and yet there was something... comforting about them, even though a part of her knew she was looking at something that could very well be dead.

Hope in death, Cassie had told her. There was something deeper underlying those three words, but Brooke hadn't yet discovered it; Cassie had offered no explanation other than 'one day, you will'.

So lost in her thoughts was Brooke that she missed her footing at the last step, stumbling forward with a muffled cry of surprise. Luckily, she managed to stop herself from falling, and she paused for a moment, hoping that her noise hadn't attracted anyone. But if it had, nobody called out or responded, and Brooke let out a sigh of relief and pushed open the door, heading out into the cool air.

She caught sight of the figure at once.

There was no denying exactly what that position meant, the arms wrapped around her own body, the head leant against a wall... Brooke was moving before she'd quite known what she wanted to do, slowly and gently sitting a distance away from the girl. She knew, from personal experience, that although it was tempting to reach out and hug someone in an anxiety or panic attack, physical touch could be a trigger. So, she simply sat, far enough away that there would be no threat, but near enough that her intentions were clear.

"Don't forget to breathe," she murmured, softly, using a tone of voice similar to what Cassie used with her. "One in. Two out. Three in. Four out. Five in. Six out... You're safe here, among friends. I'm here. Seven in. Eight out... It's over. You're not in any danger. Nine in..." She went on, counting the breaths as people did for her, adding comments in between, repetitions of the same things -- that the girl was safe, that whatever she was seeing in her head had passed and gone, and that she wasn't alone and Brooke was there.
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Elouise Kalhoun

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:05 pm

"I'm okay. I'm okay."

The whispered words did little to comfort her, but Elouise kept her gaze on the stars above. There they twinkled, as if telling her that in darkness there could be light, that even in the vast emptiness of the night sky, they could still shine and be happy. If stars could find a reason to shine and give light in the darkness, so could she.

She wished that Desire was with her. Although she was grateful that the strange man had rescued her from Duncan and taken her to this new life, she missed her sole friend, missed the comfort she'd found in her arms and in her presence. More than once, since coming to Hogwarts, Elouise had wondered how Desire was doing. Was she still dancing? Was Duncan still mistreating her? Would they ever see each other again?

She was so lonely here, not knowing how to make friends. Her first week here had been almost as bad as being back with Duncan. There she faced terror. Here, she faced loneliness. She'd found out very soon that normal eleven year old girls were nothing like what she was. They laughed, they smiled, they chatted happily. She on the other hand, flinched at every touch, accidental or intentional. She could not relate to anybody here, not understanding what they were talking about.

Loneliness, she'd found, was just as bad as terror, perhaps even worse. In terror, she had Desire and the other ladies to comfort her. No matter how long the punishment lasted, she knew that at the end of it, Desire would be there to make it more bearable. In loneliness she had nobody but herself and in trying to pick up the broken shards of her soul, she hurt herself instead.

The only person she knew in the school was the strange man who had taken her from Duncan. She'd gone to him on her first night at the castle, asking for that potion he'd given her before that took away the nightmares and helped her sleep. He was kind but she could not call him a friend. He was a man; he would not understand. Although the potion helped a lot, Elouise was beginning to feel guilty and ashamed of waking him up in the middle of the night to ask for it.

A sound coming from the stairs jolted her out of her thoughts, and Elouise turned frightened eyes to the door. Was he here? Was he here to take her back? Would she have to dance for men again? Would she have to go back to being tied up with ropes when she didn't obey?

Her heartbeat quickened as her breaths came faster and shorter. No. She was lonely here, but she was protected. She had no friends here, but she had good food. She could not go back. She couldn't. But it wasn't Duncan, just an older girl.

Elouise averted her eyes as the girl sat down. So far, nobody had seen her after her nightmares. Students knew not to touch her too unexpectedly although they didn't know why. Nobody but that professor knew that she couldn't sleep at night. She did not want anybody to know, because if they did, they would judge her. She'd danced for men, shown her body to men. It was something to be ashamed of and Elouise didn't want to compound that shame.

But the girl didn't ask why she was here. Instead she began to count, began to reassure her, like Desire had done and Elouise found herself following the count, following the breaths. In. Out. In. Out. Her own words had not brought much comfort, but someone else saying the words had and just the very presence of the other girl made it better. She wasn't alone.

When terror finally loosed its grip on her and retreated, for now, Elouise lifted her gaze to the other girl. "Who are you?" she whispered, not knowing if she'd said it loud enough for her to hear.


Last edited by Elouise Kalhoun on Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:39 pm

Brooke didn't really know what she was doing, if she had to be honest. She only knew what people did for her and what worked when she was having an attack, and she was doing her best to replicate it. And, whether her words or not, she could see the girl follow her breathing instructions, count by count. She made sure to keep her count slow, not missing either a beat or going too fast lest she hyperventilate. Slow and steady, as Cassie always reminded her. One in. Two out. Calming words in between. Waiting patiently for the signs that it was ending.

And, eventually, it did and Brooke stopped her words as she waited for the girl to return to reality. What had caused it? Brooke was equal parts curious and equal parts horrified -- the girl was young, and now that Broome was actually focusing on not calming her but looking at her, she barely recognised her as one of the first years. What could have happened to such a young girl?

The question wasn't one that Brooke couldn't answer; she knew the horrors of the human world, what people could do to others given the chance. She had scars and memories that were proof of this. For just an instance, Brooke understood what it must've been like for others watching her as an overwhelming sense of anger clouded her. How could anyone do anything to someone so young to cause such violent reactions?

She pushed it aside for now as a question came her way. "Brooke," she said, automatically, pausing for a moment. There was so much more she wanted to say and explain. She wanted to recount her years of abuse, show the girl she wasn't alone, but would that help? Probably not. She wanted to hold the girl, tell her everything was going to be okay. But she wouldn't, because that was the least helpful thing to say in these situations. She wanted to find the people that did this to her, but that wasn't practical. Not yet, anyway. One day she would become an auror and then she could.

But for now, all she could do was offer a smile and say, "You're safe here. The people in your memory... they can't hurt you here. They're far, far away." It probably wouldn't do anything, but that was what she told herself whenever she felt the start of a panic attack. PTSD was not easy to live with, but that was the card she was dealt and she would master it if it was the last thing she did. The same, she knew, couldn't be said for others and people often crumbled under its weight. She could only hope the girl before her wasn't one of those.

"What's your name?" she added. Sometimes, conversation helped. Sometimes it didn't. Brooke would just have to try every method she knew until she found something that helped the girl.



[[OOC: I'm sorry this is so clunky and awkward. I wrote it on my phone and muse was ... sporadic, to say the least, here for a few seconds and gone for the next few. (Seriously, it was actually for mere seconds.)]]

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Harry Potter: Hufflepuff || Adopted || Sixteen
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Elouise Kalhoun

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:47 pm

The compulsion to scratch and brush off the imaginary insects slowly left but Elouise still kept her arms around her. It was the only position in which she felt safe. She wasn't threatened by the girl who had come up the steps. In fact, this girl didn't seem like any of the other girls. Elouise was certain that had it been anybody else, they would have probably left her alone or asked her what was wrong. She didn't mind the former, but if they did inquire, they would only be met with silence.

But this girl seemed to know what to day and what to do. She didn't ask questions that Elouise did not know how to answer. Neither did she back away and leave as if Elouise was an alien that people didn't know what to think of. Even she didn't know what to think of herself.

Brooke. The name suited her. A brook was a small river of water - beautiful, refreshing, calm. It gave life to the animals that lived in it and those that came to drink from it. It gave life to the greenery that surrounded it. Brooke seemed like that kind of girl.

Brooke once again reassured her but Elouise found it hard to believe the words. Ducan couldn't be far away enough. He would come after her and drag her back to that place. To Elouise, Duncan was a powerful man. Nobody could stop him from doing what he wanted. She'd learned that Hogwarts was protected magically, that nobody but the wizarding people knew about it or could enter it. Still, that didn't keep Elouise from thinking that Duncan would find a way to get her back.

"Pe.." Elouise began then stopped herself. "Elouise. I'm Elouise."

A name was such a funny thing. Her whole life she'd been called 'Petal'. It had been her only name. But since that strange man took he away, she was called Elouise. Elouise was her real name, and yet she still thought of herself as Petal. Who was she? She did not know.
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Brooke Walker

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:00 pm

Elouise. Brooke filed the name away, hoping she would remember it. There were many people she met, many friends made, and names were sometimes hard to recall -- but she would make an effort for this girl. Knowing she wasn't forgotten was important, when one was faced with the uncertainty of life. From the way the girl had come here alone instead of going to someone told Brooke that there weren't many people -- if any -- that she had to turn to. Brooke vowed to be one.

After all, if fellow victims of the horrors of the world didn't step up for each other, then what good would come from any of it?

She wouldn't wish what she'd been through on anyone, not even her worst enemy, but she wasn't going to allow it to consume her. Not anymore. She was going to use what was intended for evil, for good. Cassie had said that phrase once, in passing, and Brooke had made her repeat it until it had been memorized. Now it littered almost every notebook she had. One day, she envisioned getting a tattoo that read "You intended evil; I'm turning it good," although she wasn't sure if she wanted a tattoo at all.

"It's nice to meet you, Elouise," Brooke said, keeping her tone gentle and soft. A sudden raising of her voice or any movement, she knew, could trigger something again. People, with good intentions, often thought that a hug or a hand on the shoulder was comforting -- but if things meant for evil could be turned good, that also meant things meant for good could be turned evil.

Brooke knew that if the trauma faced had been a physical one, like hers had been, any form of contact would worsen the state, her mind believing it was one of the foster parents, her former adoptive parents, or even the man himself, although he was behind bars and logically couldn't be there. None of them could logically be there, of course, or hurt her again, but PTSD wasn't logical.

So instead of moving closer, as most would be tempted to do, Brooke leaned back against the wall, making sure that she kept her gaze on Elouise. "Are you feeling better now?" she asked, moments later.

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:42 pm

No, it wasn't nice to meet her. Nice wasn't the proper word to describe her. People avoided her, and for good reason; she was dirty and shameful. Why would it be nice to meet her? Most of the time, she never knew what to say to people, oftentimes making casual conversation so awkward that she was sure the other person regretted speaking to her at all. “How are you?” they'd ask. She did not know how to answer that. How was she? She was scared, she was confused, she was uncertain. How was she? She was alone, she was missing Desire, she did not understand half the things girls her age talked about. But she did not know how to articulate herself in speech; words always abandoned her when she opened her mouth. “I don’t know,” she had replied. That was the first and last time she answered in that way. She’d made the other person uncomfortable, and the only thing left for her to do was walk away with her head down. Now, every time someone asked her that question, she’d force a smile, nod, and say she was okay.

No, it wasn't nice to meet her at all.

But Brooke had said it was nice to meet her and she sounded like she meant it. Did she? Elouise didn’t know. All she knew was that she wasn't frightened any more and Brooke had made her feel safer. But how did one respond to that question? Elouise had never made a friend before, she’d never been told that it was nice to meet her. What was the normal thing to say? Thinking that it was better not to say anything at all, least she say the wrong thing, Elouise merely nodded.

Then Brooke asked another question, one that Elouise had to think about before answering. She’d learned from that one encounter that telling the truth was not something she was supposed to do. What she knew of social interaction with peers of her own age was what she saw around school and most often that was students chatting happily. They did not talk about bad or sad things.

Was she feeling better? Yes, she was. The terror had gone, the feeling that insects were drowning her was gone, and the panic had gone. Was she feeling better? No, she wasn't. She missed Desire, she didn't know how to express herself in words, she was lost. Truth was complicated and Elouise understood why people did not want to hear the truth. But maybe Brooke would understand. She seemed to know what to do and say.

“Yes,” she finally said, her voice still in a whisper that the slight breeze carried away. Could Desire hear her? Did she know how much Elouise missed her? Was she even supposed to call her “Desire”? She knew that her real name was Joy, but Duncan always got mad whenever anyone called her Joy and so Elouise always called her Desire. Destiny had made the mistake of calling her Joy one time. Elouise did not know what Duncan did to her, but there was a lot of screaming from her room. Destiny came out much later, the left side of her face swollen and bruises around her neck. Duncan wasn't around to punish her anymore, but it was weird calling her Joy. Names were such funny things.

“No,” she added, a heartbeat later.

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:25 am

[[TW: Suicide, cutting, depression, PTSD]]

The yes brought a small ounce of relief to Brooke. At the very least, it told her that the attack was over, and that Elouise was stable -- or as stable as someone suffering from PTSD could be. Was it PTSD? Brooke wasn't sure, but it sure looked like it. Whatever it was, though, it had passed for now.

The no didn't catch her off guard. While she hadn't technically been expecting it, she wasn't surprised when it came. Somehow -- although perhaps not too shockingly -- Brooke understood. It was entirely possible to be both okay and not okay, to be well and unwell, at the same time. Hardly anyone else did; how could you be two things at the same time? Sometimes, Brooke herself didn't understand. The panic attack had passed and the feelings of utter confusion and fear were gone, so of course she was okay, right?

And yet, it had been during an 'okay' moment of her life that she'd tried to take it. She'd been perfectly fine, emotionally speaking. There had been no panic attacks for a few days, and no nightmares, either. So why had she slit her wrists? Why had she decided she wasn't ever going to be truly okay?

Because, she had realised much later, she'd never really been okay in the first place. The shadows, the demons, in her mind had always been there, whether she actively realised it or not, always whispering and murmuring to her, telling her things that were part truth, part lies, and entirely dangerous. Until she learnt to live with them -- because they would never truly go away; they were a part of her, now -- she would never be fully 'okay'.

She was better, and getting better, but she would never be whole. She had never been whole in the first place, and that was okay. It was a case of riding out each storm as they came. And that had been her question -- if Elouise had fully ridden out this particular storm. Brooke wasn't going to lie and tell her it was going to be okay; it was, but not for a while. There would always be storms.

"The shadows in your memories?" she asked, instead, her tone showing neither curiosity or pity. She wasn't curious; she was concerned. And while there was pity in her, she knew that emotion did nothing to help. All she could do was be what others had been -- and were being -- for here: there. "I know what those are like," she added. "If you want to talk about it, I'm here."

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:01 pm

As the word left her lips, Elouise began to worry. What if Brooke was like one of the other girls who could not accept any other answer accept that one was okay? Would she, yet again, fail at making a friend? Perhaps she should have just said that everything was okay. But Elouise didn't want to make a friend through lying. If she did, she'd always have to lie.

But Brooke raised another question to her, one that made her shift her gaze from the stars to Brooke's eyes. Desire had said that you could always read the intent of a person in their eyes. She'd never understood how that worked. Weren't eyes just things that let you see? How did you read them when there were no words? She only knew what Desire had meant after the man attacked her. All through the night, there had been something about him that Elouise didn't know how to place, a sort of look or manner about him that put her guard up.

The dimness of the night did not allow her to see Brooke very well, but through whatever light the stars and moon offered, Elouise saw no malice in the other girl's eyes.

She dropped her gaze, bringing her knees to her chest and wrapping her arms around them, shifting into the familiar position with ease. It was strange how the position she related to all of Duncan's torture was also the one in which she found the most comfort. Perhaps because if she made herself as small as possible, nothing could touch her.

Shadows in my memories? she thought to herself. No, they weren't in her memories; they were in her reality. She lived them each day and night. They let her go long enough to glimpse the light but never long enough to give her hope that one day, she might come out of the shadows into the light. And so Elouise nodded in response

She doubted that Brooke truly understood what it was like. Sure, she had known what to say to calm her down, but who could fully understand what life was like for her? How could any one know what it was like to be lost and clueless about the world because they'd never stepped out of one building their whole life? How could anyone understand what it was like to have never talked to anyone their own age before coming to Hogwarts?

Talk about it? She didn't know how. Where did she start? What should she say? The only way she knew how to express herself was through dance. She could tell her whole story through dance alone, even without the music, but the desire to dance had left her. He'd completely ruined it, destroyed her love for it, stolen her passion for it. But did she even want Brooke to know? What would the other girl think if she found out that Elouise had danced for the pleasure of men, that she'd been photographed dressed up so scantily to the point that she was ashamed of her body, that the photographs had been circulated and men had enjoyed looking at them.

And so Elouise just shook her head.

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:33 pm

"That's alright," she said, smiling at the girl. "You don't have to." And that was true; Brooke wasn't going to force someone to talk, to share private things that they'd hidden for years. She was a stranger. Someone who understood monsters, but a stranger nevertheless.

Brooke was different. She'd long since made peace with what had happened. She didn't accept it or think it was an alright thing to have happened, but she knew it was a part of her life and knew that she couldn't change it. So, she was open about it; she didn't try to hide it. If people asked, she told. Truthfully, sometimes she did so only to see them fumble and stutter. Many times adults -- either in ignorance or out of sheer idiocy -- had told her to 'get over' her attacks, strangers in the street that seemed to think that she had no reason to suffer from them. To these people, after she'd calmed down, she'd merely shrug and say "Tell that to the man who raped me."

Or, when adults asked why she hated being touched, or make a statement like 'it's just a hug', she had permission from both her parents to reply honestly and bluntly, even if to their friends. "It reminds me of the man who raped me," she'd say. "Or the people who beat me and whipped me." That shut them up pretty quickly.

But other than that, she never shared details with them. She didn't want to recall the amount of beatings she got, or how he'd done it. The basics were alright to share; the specifics were for her and a small handful she trusted to know. Cassie had been an exception, but as her personal therapist, there had been the understanding there before Brooke had grown to know and trust her. For a moment, Brooke wondered if Elouise had someone to talk to as well, then put it aside as a second thought came to her.

Ceyal had been an exception, too. It had been the first time he entered her mind since she'd been up on the tower; her concern had left no room for thinking of her boyfriend. But now, as things had calmed down, her mind automatically went to the person she loved. And then it hit her.

Elouise.

Ceyal.

Elouise.

"You're Elouise," she said, almost dumbfoundedly, a catch in her tone that was still soft and gentle. "Oh Merlin. We weren't at the sorting ceremony. We..." She paused, shook her head. "We weren't there." Her mouth had fallen open a little as she sat there, staring a little at the girl. And then, before she knew what was happening, she found herself blinking past tears. "We... We've been looking for you," she said, softly, barely a whisper. "Your brother and I. We've been looking all these years... I'm sorry we didn't find you earlier. I'm-we're sorry."

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:47 pm

Elouise was glad that Brooke didn't push further, assuring her instead that she didn't have to share her story. Elouise didn't think that she'd ever be able to. It was tough enough trying to move on; she didn't need people judging her and talking about her behind her back.

"Thank you," she whispered, expressing her gratefulness that Brooke hadn't inquired further. Perhaps one day, in the far far future, she'd be able to talk about it. Brooke seemed to be the kind of person not to judge, the kind of person who would listen.

It helped that Brooke didn't try to hug her or touch her. There had been a few times when people did that and she'd jumped and flinched away so hard that it had startled the other person. She understood that they only did that thinking that it would make her feel better. It did, but if she wasn't expecting the touch, it caused more harm than good.

They were silent for a while and Elouise had begun to think that maybe Brooke had regretted speaking to her. She understood if she did; she knew that she wasn't very much worth speaking to and she expected the older girl to leave any time soon.

But she didn't. Instead she continued speaking and the words made no sense at all to Elouise. She'd begun by stating the obvious. Hadn't she said her name was Elouise? Why was Brooke saying it again? Was it normal for people to do that? Then she went on about the sorting ceremony and Elouise noticed that she'd use we instead of I. Looking for her? What did that mean? They didn't know each other. Brother? She had no brother. Perhaps Brooke had confused her with another girl? But Brooke was apologising.

Elouise began to feel a little frightened. Things that she did not understand tended to scare her, making her heart pound as she struggled to comprehend what was happening. Where the other children in her year had been excited to learn so many new things, coming to Hogwarts in a train, going through the sorting ceremony and discovering a whole new world, all Elouise had felt was terror. She'd been plucked out of everything she knew and placed in a foreign world. After dinner on her first day, she'd paced and walked through every single room in the castle, needing to know where she was. If she could not be familiar with what was going on around her, she could at least know where she was.

"I don't understand," she whispered, hugging her knees tighter as she looked at Brooke with apprehension in her eyes.

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HARRY POTTER || 11 || RAVENCLAW
Silent tears hold the loudest pain.
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Brooke Walker

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PostSubject: Re: To Repel Ghosts (Brooke)   Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:21 pm

As soon as the words had left her lips, Brooke realised her mistake. Talking about things like that, out of the blue, didn't help. Bringing up things she wasn't even sure Elouise knew about wouldn't help, especially not just after a panic attack. But she'd been so caught up in the moment, so angry at herself for not connecting the dots earlier, so upset she'd missed the sorting ceremony, that she hadn't stopped to think of the consequences of what she'd said.

Brooke forced herself to stop for a moment and take a deep breath, pushing past the hope she felt inside her. It came all at once, instead of a slow build up, threatening to overwhelm her. So many years looking, so much time spent inquiring at orphanage and hospital after orphanage and hospital (because, of course, Brooke wouldn't let Ceyal either give up or do it alone and would constantly try and find new approaches they hadn't yet tried) and she'd come to them. She was found; she was safe; she was alive. Brooke took a steadying breath. In. Out. In. Out, just as she'd counted for Elouise just moments earlier -- only, this time, it wasn't to quell panic; it was to settle pure and utter joy.

"Your name is Elouise Kalhoun," she said, instead, trying her best to keep her tone steady. "You're eleven. You were put on the streets when you were..." She paused, trying to remember what Ceyal had said. "Three months old. It was November sixteen. Your father was named Arnold. Your mother was named Loveen. You have a brother, Ceyal Kalhoun. He's seventeen and he's been looking for you for years. I met him a couple of years ago, and joined the search -- but it was so difficult. We kept trying, but there was so little to go on... We didn't know where to begin. We checked orphanages and hospitals in the area, talked to homeless shelters and police stations and volunteer organisations and churches... Nobody saw you or heard anything... We never gave up, not once, but it was so difficult. We tried, Elouise. We really tried."

Her voice cracked, here, and she took another few breaths, the tears starting to fall. "I will never be okay until I've found my sister. That's what he told me, when we first met..." She wiped at her tears, took another deep breath. "Where have you been all these years? I'm so sorry we couldn't find you sooner. That we couldn't help you... save you..." Brooke's mind was on the panic attack. What had happened to Ceyal's sister throughout the years they'd been searching? What horrors had been done? Brooke was already swearing revenge. She knew policemen, knew people who knew people from her life on the streets... It wouldn't be hard to reach out and give them a tip on an abuser.

She physically shook her head, pulling herself out of her thoughts. Instead, she slipped out her phone and turned it on, tapping on her photo album and the latest pictures. Holding it out towards the girl, she showed Elouise the screen -- a picture of Brooke and Ceyal together, on one of their dates. Elouise didn't need to know that yet. "That's him. Your brother."

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Harry Potter: Hufflepuff || Adopted || Sixteen
Superhero: Emotion Manipulation || Adopted || Fifteen
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