If You Must Arrive

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Agatha

The flight here was murder.

And honestly? I'm regretting my decision to come back to England. Penny is chatting my ear off about Magickal Politics (something I couldn't care less about), I don't even know if I want to see Simon and Baz (apparently the whole 'friend' thing stuck) again, and Mum and Dad will probably just try and guilt trip me into staying, just like they always do.

Before I can work up the steam to yell at Penelope to shut up, her phone rings.

"Hey Baz, what's up?" Penny asks into the receiver. Icy fingers inch their way up my back at his name, and I feel myself stiffen. I don't care what Penny says- I don't trust Baz. I didn't trust him when I was dating Simon, I didn't trust him when I had a petty crush on him, and I certainly don't trust him now. He's just got this gleam in his eye when he looks at Simon- like he's considering Simon as his next meal. And as awkward as it is (honestly, as it's always been) between Simon and I, I don't want him to be a vampire's supper.

"Wait... What?" Penny asks into the mobile, her brow creasing. I feel the faint urge to plug my ears, so I don't get accidentally pulled into their drama again. But I'm also just a little bit curious.

"No. No, I get it, Basil, just... Simon. Tomorrow morning. Yes. If you need any help, just call me. No, don't even look at Simon bloody Snow. I mean it. Goodbye."

Panic snakes its way through my gut. What is Baz doing to Simon? Oh my God, what if my arrival, like... triggered something in Baz, and he kidnapped Simon? Jesus Christ, I can't get involved with this sort of shit anymore!

Penelope turns to me with a nervous, 'I'm hiding something' smile on her face. She always was a crap liar. Butterflies churn nervously in my stomach.

"Sorry about that, Agatha," she chirps in a falsely cheery voice. I feel my eyes go wide- and suddenly I wish very much that I had listened to my Normal boyfriend and just stayed in California.

"Erm..." I clear my throat, trying not to panic, "Wh-what did Basil want?" Penelope grins freakishly at me, showing too many teeth.

"Oh, nothing. He's not home right now- neither is Simon- but Simon will be back tomorrow morning, not to worry!"

Yeah, sure Penelope. I'll believe that Simon is safe and sound with a fucking vampire. Sure, why not?

I have to bite my tongue to keep from retorting in a stinging way.

"Oh, erm... good," I fib instead. "So... is everything, like, good with Baz? Like, are you all still... friends?"

Penny nods slowly, her brow creased like she doesn't trust me (me, of all people!). Or like she's choosing her answer very carefully.

"Yes. He and Simon, especially," comes her disturbingly succinct reply. I feel my own brows knit.

"Penny, are you sure that's smart? Letting Simon and Baz be friends? Baz is a vampire. He tried to kill Simon. Like, multiple times."

Penny stiffens, looking almost pissed off. Letting off a deep sigh, she gathers her composure and glances sideways at me.

"Look, Agatha... a lot has changed since you've been gone. Baz is... different. I trust him."

Well forgive me if your word isn't good enough, Penny, but you've trusted the wrong people before. Think of the Mage, dumbass. Think of that weird girl in Second Year you befriended whose father tried to murder Simon. Think of your entire time at Watford, dammit!

It's my turn to sigh. I wish... I don't know anymore. I wish it was worth my time to speak my mind. I wish I never came back here. Sometimes I wish I had never gone to Watford at all. Never met Simon bloody Snow. Penelope. Baz.

Crowley, I was smitten with Baz in Eighth Year. He was such a bad boy, and everything he did was shrouded in so much mystery I could practically taste it. He was just so different from Simon (not to mention my being with him would've pissed my parents off to no end). I couldn't resist him.

But I never trusted him. And I can't fathom why Penelope does.

"Whatever you say, Penelope," I reply. Unconvincingly.

Uncomfortable silence fills the car. Penny's fingers fidget on the steering wheel, a bracelet that can only be from Micah glinting on her wrist. She looks pale and wan and worried-- three things I'm unaccustomed to seeing on her face.

Would it be rude if I put headphones in? Maybe it would be rude. Maybe I don't care...

Penelope clears her throat before I can decide.

"Erm... Listen, Agatha... I--" She glances over at me, then looses another deep, dramatic sigh (I wish she would cut the sighing, it's grating on my fraying nerves). "You look tired," she continues, obviously switching topics from what she was originally going to say, "Why don't you try to get some sleep?"

I don't need to be asked twice, no matter how full of bullshit the suggestion is. Quickly, I grab my mobile and headphones from my bag, plugging them in. I turn my music up as loud as I can without Penny being able to hear it.

Drowning out the flood of unpleasantness that is England.

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