Go Your Own Way | Arnold Siblings

Henry heard her well before he saw her.

He recognized the voice, of course. Even in his most hung over state (which he may’ve been nursing at that very moment), he’d have been able to pick the girl out of a crowd. Spending sixteen years with a sister will do that to you, he supposed. Heaving a sigh and downing the lukewarm dregs of his coffee, the dark-haired boy stood up and turned to face his pint-sized sister. For having not seen her in months, Carson looked just as he remembered. Maybe her hair was a little bit longer or she thinned out in her face – but he didn’t notice those things. She was still short and slim and as ginger as ever. It was odd to realize she was growing up. Sometimes, usually somewhere between drunk and plastered, Henry recalled a time when he got on with his sisters. A time when he felt like he was someone worth being around them, someone they ought to have as a role model. Now, though. His mouth twitched into a quick frown, fleeting, as he considered his un-showered state, hung over, smelling still of ale and stale cigarettes. A winning disappointment.

“Hey,” he said, staccato and short but not entirely unpleasant. Awkward would have been an appropriate adjective for how he felt. Family time and Henry did not get along, not in years. Is that what growing up was all about? he wondered. “I didn’t come here for you,” he clarified quickly, running his hand over his chin and raising his eyebrows as he appraised her quickly. Admittedly, it was only half a lie. Her owls had him rattled, but Henry was not one to disclose such information. He didn’t do well with that. Life was much better spent covering up any real emotion. That’s what wit was for, and words? Words helped wonderfully. Words were powerful, he knew that better than anyone. “Spent the night drinking at The Three Broomsticks. Too drunk to apparate home, and anyway there was a girl,” he divulged flippantly, shrugging. He spoke briskly, as he tended to do. Everything about Henry was quick, sped-up. His entire lifestyle was like a fast-paced race. The only problem was, he himself wasn’t certain what the ribbon at the end meant. “Did ya come here looking for me?” he asked, eyebrows raised.