Chapter 12- Portfolio

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I was sitting at lunch, alone. I was tapping on my small water bottle, sipping as I looked about the courtyard. Harry appeared, and shockingly, sat down beside me. He didn't say a single word, he just opened his novel and opened his water bottle, taking a sip, his eyes on the pages.

We sat in silence for a long time. I sucked in a breath, wanting to try conversation.  “W-Why don’t you e-eat?”


“You ne-never eat l-lunch.” I pointed to his lap, a water bottle resting there, not food.

“I’m not hungry.”

“Oh,” I nodded the conversation flat lining. He laughed.

“You really can’t make conversation, can you?” I shook my head. “Look, the stuttering doesn’t bother me. If that makes you even more nervous because you’re worrying about what I think, don’t stress over it. It’s not a big deal.” I nodded. “I’m assuming everyone asks you about Antarctica?” I nodded sadly. “Then I won’t do that. How is your end of semester art project coming?”

“T-Terrible,” I sighed. “I’m not a g-good artist. I have no sk-skill at all. I have no idea w-wh-hat to make, it’s d-due b-before break for Christmas.”

“Well,” he sighed, rubbing his neck. “I can help you.”

“Do you have y-your project done?”

“Of course I do,” he stood up. “Come on; let’s go view your portfolio.”

“Portfolio?” I got up too. “You mean my s-series on stick f-figures?” he just smiled and nodded.

“Yeah, that one,”

We went into the art room, there was still a good fifteen minutes left of lunch. He had me take out my incredibly awful projects. I was much calmer after what he said about my stutter. He hit the nail on the head when he said that it made me even more nervous, which only added to the stutter, it was an awful cycle. If we kept talking like this I knew I’d warm up to him, and it’d slowly fade out.

“Well… there is something here to work with.”

“Liar,” I mumbled, sitting at a stool beside him. He studied the pieces.

“You just need to do something you enjoy. Have you tried painting?”

“Lord n-no, I can’t even p-paste things, y-you think I c-can p-paint?”

“Everyone can paint.” He got a canvas, right at home in this room. Mrs. Hollas didn’t even care we were here. It was clear she adored him. “You like Antarctica, paint what you miss, paint what you see.”

“I see s-snow.’ I pushed back the white canvas. “D-Done,”

He smiled and shook his head, picking up a pencil. “Describe your old life”

I shook my head. “D-Don’t make me t-talk m-more than I h-have to.”

“The stutter?” I nodded. “I’ve already told you, don’t be embarrassed. I barely notice. Now, describe it please.”

“It was s-simple. I was waking up these b-beautiful snowy m-mountains, and large ice burgs. I s-saw penguins, helped raised e-endangered ones. I was o-only with my f-family. I was content, i-isolated. I miss that, v-very much.”

He studied me and his large hand moved about the canvas with ease. He hovered over the drawing, his necklace fell out of his shirt, and he quickly tucked it back in. He sketched out an extremely beautiful scene of mountains, isolation. I could almost feel the silence. You could only see a single animal, a little penguin.

“Now, paint it silvers, or blues, any color you really want to.”

“I don’t w-want to, I-I’ll ruin it.” He smiled. “W-where did you l-learn to d-draw?”

“No idea.” He shrugged. “I just do it.”

“I thought y-you don’t’ let p-people see your w-work.”

“I don’t, this is yours.”

“V-Valid point.”

He helped me begin to paint, giving me tips and tricks to it. I painted a bit, but then the bell rang and we walked out.

“Thank y-you for h-helping me.”

‘I’ll come by toward the end of your hour in art, see how you’re doing.”


He strolled away, leaving me with a faint smile. It was nice to speak with him on an easier level, and not worry so much about the mystery.

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