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your dreams and your hopeless hair

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The letter comes on a Saturday morning, right after Lindsey gets out of bed.

She shuffles into the kitchen, yawning, scratching her hair, and there's an owl perched on the counter, snowy white with big yellow eyes and staring at her like a creeper. She shouts and shoos at it, but it doesn't really move, just dances around a little and flaps its wings, so Lindsey takes the envelope in its mouth, because she's still kind of sleep-drunk and the owl is blocking the coffee pot and she doesn't know what else to do.

The letter starts out Dear Miss Way, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, blah blah blah, she knows how it goes, she read the fucking books. She looks around the kitchen, but she's alone now, the owl disappeared at some point, she didn't even hear it go, and then she looks back down at the letter, and spends about five minutes just blinking at it, because SRSLY, WTF, HOGWARTS LETTER.

She pretty much lives in a constant state of weird, okay, she's married to Gerard Way. Their house looks like A Beautiful Mind, and Gerard is always covered in ink and charcoal (so is she, but that's not the point), and sometimes he calls Mikey and has Very Serious Discussions about robot clones or superhero sex drives or hermaphrodite fish, or whatever. He ropes her into plenty of strange conversations too, lying in bed late at night, when they're maybe too tired to have sex but not really tired enough to go to sleep, and she's heard just about every odd thing that's ever been in Gerard's head for longer than five minutes, and yeah, sometimes the completely bizarre doesn't sound all that improbable when it's coming out of Gerard's mouth.

But. Things like what if Batman is real? and Ray's hair is pretty heavy, I'm surprised it doesn't give him a headache are not in the same league as waking up to a Hogwarts letter addressed to her daughter, and also AN OWL IN HER KITCHEN, SRSLY, SHE'S NOT ALL THAT FOND OF BIRDS, OKAY, AND THE WIZARDING WORLD MAYBE NEEDS TO RETHINK ITS MAIL DELIVERY SYSTEM.

She's not quite sleep-drunk anymore, but she's not really awake either, not awake enough for this... whatever this is. She kind of wants to blame Frank for this, because he loves a good practical joke, but this isn't really his style; he mostly pours water on your head while you're sleeping or pees on your shoes, and she can't picture him buying an owl and patiently training it to carry a letter in its mouth. She decides to start a pot of coffee, because coffee makes everything better, and she stares at it while she waits, tapping her fingers on the counter as she watches it brew.

Gerard stumbles into the kitchen a few minutes later, right as the coffee has finished brewing of course, and she imagines he just followed the smell, his eyes closed and his arms out like Garfield chasing a pan of lasagna in the comics. He's wearing a pair of girl's flannel pajama pants and an Iron Maiden t-shirt with a huge rip in the armpit and a tiny hole near his nipple, and she kind of loves him like this, all sleepy-soft and yawning and crazy, birdhouse hair, so they make out against the fridge for awhile, just soft mouths and easy hands, not really going anywhere with it, just enjoying each other's company.

Eventually there's a noise from the other room, like maybe Bandit's awake, and that reminds Lindsey about the Hogwarts letter. She can't believe she forgot, but the coffee is ready, its smell warming the whole kitchen, and Gerard's mouth is hot and wet against her throat, and she has to push him away a little just to get her head back on straight. She lets him drink his coffee first -- two cups, seriously, without even really stopping to breathe -- and then she shows him the letter and tells him about the owl.

She expects him to say something, like LOL, our fans are kind of crazy sometimes, or Frank is a fucking genius, I can't believe he trained an owl, but he doesn't say anything for A REALLY LONG TIME, doesn't even move, and then he smiles at her, really wide and bright, and also looks a little wistful, and she's like OMG GEE WHAT WHAT, because he talks all the time, never shuts up unless he's about to say something completely, just completely fucking ridiculous.

He just smiles wider and says he knew Bandit was special, looks so fucking proud, and she says okay, Gerard, this isn't like that time you woke up and thought you were in an issue of Sin City, and he say no, he knows that, everything is fine, just have another cup of coffee, McGonagall will come by later and explain it all.

And now she kind of wants to smack him, because she loves his imagination and his free spirit and his creative nature and his... well, she loves everything about him, really, but she kind of needs him to be serious right now. She sighs and tells him that Hogwarts isn't real, and he just sighs louder and says yes it is, and they have a really juvenile are not/am too back-and-forth for five full minutes, and then suddenly Gerard flops down on one of the kitchen chairs -- with another cup of coffee, Jesus -- and says he knows that Hogwarts is real because he went there.

She sits down across from him -- with another cup of coffee too, because she's obviously going to need it -- and says you did not, you went to regular high school, I've even seen your yearbook photo, in fact the entire internet has seen your yearbook photo. He doesn't say anything for a minute, so she makes her OMGWTFGERARD face -- and she knows what that face looks like, because Mikey makes it all the time -- and then Gerard sighs again and says yes, he did go to regular high school, but he went to Hogwarts for four years first.

And really, the OMGWTFGERARD face is going to stick if she keeps making it, but she can't help it, because he's seriously talking nonsense. But his voice gets kind of quiet, the way it does when he means every word that's coming out of his mouth, and he tells her how he got a Hogwarts letter when he was eleven, and he was super excited, because SRSLY, MAGIC, so he went, even though his mom was kind of nervous about sending him to boarding school in Scotland, and it was pretty fucking awesome, because he went to school in a castle an got to fly on a broom, but he was terrible and Quidditch, just fucking terrible, and also Dumbledore was far more awesome than he came across in the books. And then he tells her how everything stopped being awesome when Mikey turned eleven, because he didn't get a letter, and Gerard didn't like the idea of going to school somewhere that didn't want his brother.

Lindsey just blinks, because wow. She really is used to weird, but this is... she doesn't even know.

Gerard is looking at her kind of funny, and she waits for him to say something, but then she realizes he's not looking at her, just staring off into space, and then the kitchen lights flicker, on and off and on and off, and the coffee pot slides out of the machine with a soft scrape and starts dancing around on the counter. He looks kind of pleased with himself when it's all over, and also a little surprised, like he wasn't sure things were going to work out the way he planned, and all she can do is stare at him, is stuck somewhere between SRSLY, MAGIC and OMGWTFGERARD.

Finally, she says YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME, and he says well, it never came up in conversation <.<, and she says NO NO, THIS EXPLAINS SO MUCH. LIKE THAT ONE THING, AND THAT OTHER THING, AND THAT ONE TIME WHEN THAT STUFF HAPPENED, AND THAT OTHER TIME WHEN FRANK SHOULD HAVE DIED BUT SUDDENLY DIDN'T, and he just smiles crookedly, and she has to kiss him, she just has to.

Bandit wanders into the kitchen a little later, and is all UGH, WHY CAN'T YOU GUYS DO THAT IN YOUR ROOM.

Later that night, Gerard pulls a frayed, moth-eaten Gryffindor scarf out of a box in the attic, smiling at it a little sadly, and Lindsey loves him, she really does, and she almost cries when they show Bandit the letter, because Bandit's eyes get really, really wide, and she looks just like Gerard when she does that, and then Bandit smiles, and she kind of smiles like Gerard too, does it purposely -- Lindsey has caught her practicing her smile in the mirror, using just one side of her mouth, because she thinks her dad's smile is weird and different and really, really cool.

And Lindsey totally cries when Bandit gets on the train, and she's not embarrassed about it at all.