a harp

“Magali, can we come in?” He knocks on the door lightly, listening to whatever is inside. We haven’t really met his older sister yet, we’ve seen her when we were here last but there hadn’t been any introduction, I don’t honestly mind. Strangers still are strangers until you meet them and I meet plenty of folks at the library though I wouldn’t consider them anything else than strangers if I were to meet them on the street.

It’s quiet on the other side of the door he’s knocked on, for a few minutes really before there’s some shuffling and the door clicks open to reveal the slightly worn face of Cyrille’s older sister. He blinks at the sight of her and frowns. “Oh crap, Maggy, I didn’t know you were sleeping, I’m sorry.”

“Not sleeping, I was staring off for a while, to be honest. I’ve been trying to read and I just can’t bring my mind to focus. Touring the house with your new friends?” He blushes and I have to hide a grin behind my hand. He doesn’t blush easily but I think it’s a fine colour on him. He looks sheepish and I can’t help but be amused by the sight of it too.

“Still, I didn’t mean to bother you but yes, I was touring the house and I figured that I’d show them your music room since you spend more time here than anywhere else in the house, is that all right?” He’s usually so certain of himself, he usually lets no one really walks on his toes but I’m imagining that the respect he has for his sister is all there for how he acts right now.

“Sure, you can come in. Maybe music might just be able to sooth away whatever keeps me from focusing. I bet you boys will find that absolutely boring but it might just be worth a try, come in.”

Mira is all over the place. His fascination for all things nature and classical is all there as he flutters from one instrument to the next, not daring to reach out and touch though it’s clear he wants to. I let him, Magali seems to be amused by his behavior but I prefer sticking to Cyrille’s side for the time being.

“So we have the piano and the harp, my two favorites. There’s the cello in the other corner along with the viola. I never could learn to play wind instruments but I guess it’s not much of a loss for how well and easily I learn the rest.” She offers the words quietly, watching Mira with amusement. I think the expression others might have used to describe him right now is a kid in a candy store.

“Do you want to give it a try?” She motions to the harp a moment and Mira’s eyes go wide, as if she’d just told him he could take the forbidden fruit. He shakes his head sharply and Cyrille motions to the few chairs along the wall, I settle and he sits next to me. “How about I play a little then, would you like that?”

Mira’s face lights up and he nods, his eyes wide as he backs away a little to give room and he settles on the floor, right there. I laugh softly, I can’t help myself and he doesn’t even look at me to chastise me for it. I guess he really is absolutely enthralled, it’s a new look for him but I think it’s fitting. Maybe if he wants it really bad, I could use some of my saved up money to buy him a harp for our birthday or maybe for Christmas. I think he’d like that, maybe. We’ll have to see, I’ll take to Eoghan about it, he’d know best.

Magali settles on her little stool then and when her fingers find the string I can willingly admit that most every little thought my mind might have known flees at the first few notes. The sound is so beautiful, it’s breathtaking, the instrument itself is a sight to behold but the sound, oh the sound is beautiful and I close my eyes to better appreciate the beauty.

I don’t know how long she plays or what songs she really plays but it is the settling quiet that makes me open my eyes. She looks a little less worn now, maybe the harp has helped. Mira still looks as if this is the most perfect day of his life.

“That was absolutely beautiful as always, Maggy, thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome.” She smiles warmly, as if a mother to her child though there can’t be more than four or five years between them, I’m sure.

Mira eases to his feet, murmurs a thank you and she touches the top of his head with a chuckle before he’s coming back our way. He still looks awed and it’s an adorable look on his face.

Cyrille leads us out of the music room, closing the door as gently as he can behind his sister. “She’s currently undergoing chemotherapy so not all of her days are good and good days are honestly pretty rare lately but she’s doing her best to be so strong. Music seems to sooth her.”

“She plays beautifully.” Mira’s words low but honest as we walk away from that one particular door. I don’t ask to know what chemotherapy is. It sounds bad but if it’s for her good then that’s all I need to know, I might ask Eoghan when we get home tonight.

So far, this whole place really is a maze for us and I’m glad Cyrille is with us because I’m sure we’d be completely lost without him. We’ve seen bedrooms and almost a ballroom and a breakfast nook and a meal room and just so many rooms I don’t know what they do with it all. Our apartment is large but simple, just the rooms we need and that’s mostly that.

“I think all that’s really left to visit is the garden, there’s the attic but we’re never in that place and I’m pretty sure it’s as dusty as it could be so I’ll spare you guys the visit. Still good to go, Mira?”

My brother nods and I have to stop a moment to look at him, I have no idea why he’d ask that kind of question. I mean, we’re both here and we’re both fine and healthy so why would Mira not be good to go? Though I guess he did look a little tired this morning when we got up to come here. I hadn’t really thought about that. Maybe he’s had some nightmares and he didn’t tell me. It could make sense. It’s not like I force him to tell me about how he’s doing and what’s going on in his life.

“All right, let’s head back down and check in on the gardens then. After that I think we’ll head out. To be honest with you guys, I don’t much like to spend time here but with the parents in and out and Maggy often alone, I spend more time here so I can look after her to a point.” I think it’s kind that he wants to look after his sister.

We head down two sets of stairs and we stop at the large glass doors we’d taken earlier to head out to the yard. Ophé is still out there, just settled under the shade of one of the trees. The weather is nice currently so I guess it’s not much of an issue if she stays outside, I’m sure Cy would have brought her back inside if he’d thought it a better idea, after all. It makes sense.

He opens the doors and we step outside, closing the doors once we’re all out in the warmth of the season. I breathe in deeply, filling my lungs with the surrounding air. It smells different here than it does at home but I suppose that’s because we’re alone where we’re at. He has more neighbours than we do, even if they’re a little far away.

“Garden’s this way.” Mira has already moved ahead and I follow along so as to not be left behind.

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