Zara had never really gotten very close with Leonor, but she had never found this odd. She couldn’t imagine Bertie hanging out for bro time with Felipe. Siblings were people who you were, by biology, forced to have associations with, but that didn’t mean they were supposed to be in all of your business.
Plus, Leonor was kinda a brat. Or worse.
Zara’s feelings of vague disinterest had only ever been stirred to stronger feelings in the negative senses. After Leonor’s visit to antagonise Felipe when he was at his worst, Zara had avoided her basically for the fear that she wouldn’t be able to resist smacking her head repeatedly into a wall. She had never thought that she would have anything good to say to her, and only held back all the bad because she knew Felipe didn’t want her stirring things up with his sister, however much she deserved it.
Last year had changed that a little. None of that justified what she had said or done. Nothing would ever do that. But it had pushed Zara to curious and confused rather than indifferent or angry. She had seen Leonor care about Felipe, and she had seen the world be pretty crappy in how it cared about Leonor. Although she’d told Felipe in person about seeing them, Zara had signed her name under the memories, figuring that Leonor had a right to know too. And none of it felt like closure.
She had spent a lot of time with Felipe over the summer. She was pretty sure that his family drove him literally crazy, so she had basically extended an open invite to stay at hers. The degree and enthusiasm with which that had been taken up spoke volumes. They had touched on Leonor a little bit, but Felipe wasn’t able to give her any more answers than she’d had from him before; once upon a time, Leonor not been a brat, and that he blamed himself and the pressure put on her by him giving up his title for how she was to him now. Zara had continued to gently but firmly push the fact that that was bull, and that Leonor was damn well accountable for what came out of her mouth.
Now, spotting Leonor at breakfast (alone, because after all, who did she have to sit with?) Zara made her way over.
“Hi,” she stated, sitting down by Leonor, wishing that the fact of doing so didn’t make her skin crawl. “So, in the memories I saw last year, you actually had Felipe’s back. What changed?”
13Zara JacksonLet's sort this out (Tag Leonor)144415
Leonor had never particularly liked Zara Jackson, although she didn't really have a lot of reason. The biggest was just that Zara liked Felipe and Felipe was not the sort of person Leonor could understand anyone really liking that much but there was also the fact that she'd seen the two kissing more times than was strictly pleasant and that Zara seemed like exactly the sort of urban version of the De Matteo legacy Felipe was supposed to have continued - the Muggle-loving, beautiful, well-to-do family that cared more about what was right than what was comfortable was just too much for Leonor to believe was real. Also, Zara wasn't Jessica and Jessica had seemed really perfect.
So when Leonor noticed Zara approaching her at a time and in a place when it was clear she wasn't approaching anyone else, she only barely bothered to stifle a sigh. Zara took a seat and Leonor looked at her with as bored and demanding an expression as she could manage, wanting to get this over with. Leonor hadn't seen much of Zara for a hot minute but Felipe had because he'd gotten to get away, gotten to escape. It didn't seem fair. Nothing was fair.
Leonor blinked, surprised for a moment before she remembered to be disdainful, when Zara started strong. It was pretty in character for the girl but Leonor wasn't used to being on the receiving end of it. Not since she'd basically trashed things with Mara . . . perhaps she should see about repairing that. Pushing those thoughts aside, Leonor narrowed her eyes at another thing that bothered her; it simply wasn't appropriate to bring up the fact that Zara had seen into her head the previous year. So why was she doing it? There was something extremely tempting about the possibility of being honest though . . . about talking it out . . . about saying what was on her mind every stinking moment. Except Zara wasn't a safe person to be honest with, so Leonor crossed her arms over her chest and raised an eyebrow.
"He stopped having mine," she said simply, shrugging a little.
Leonor seemed pissed at her, but that was such a default expression on Leonor’s snooty little ‘woe is me’ princess face that Zara just kind of let it roll off her. She wasn’t naïve enough to think that life in Leonor’s little ivory tower, with all its control and expectations, was a cake walk, but she did get sort of sick of her pouting and glaring at everyone like none of the rest of them had problems – and like she herself hadn’t asked, in part, for the ones she currently had.
“Yeah?” she asked skeptically, when Leonor accused Felipe of being the one to turn the tables. She was very tempted to leave it at that. One of the annoying things she’d found in her sessions with Dr. Greene was that silence was a great way of pressuring the other person into talking, but she also thought Leonor was probably sulky enough to just spit back ‘yeah’ at her if given an excuse to do so. “How so?” she challenged.
The way Felipe told it, he had given up his birth right, Leonor had jumped at it because she’d always wanted to wear the big boots, and then found they didn’t fit her as well as she would have liked and got pissed at him for it. She held back for now on throwing that accusation down on the table though.
Leonor scoffed, not sure where Jackson got off thinking that she had any right to go asking for Leonor's life story. Sure, she'd given a little bit of information, but what, she hadn't already heard the story from her precious snugglywumpus? She wasn't surprised, but it wasn't as if Leonor was one to go waving her personal business around with friends if she'd had any let alone people she didn't even like. She felt a little bad though . . . Felipe had tried being helpful like at least twice in the past year, after finding out everything they'd found out. They'd tried not to annoy each other for a while, but it hadn't stuck. They could be in the same book, on the same page, and still didn't tell the same story, it turned out. Which meant Leonor was alone. Again.
"Is there a reason you care?" she shot back instead. "Other than the fact that some broken magic means you got to spy in our heads," she added bitterly.
She found herself feeling fidgety, but fidgeting wasn't really allowed for someone like her so she put her hands in her lap, giving herself the respite of looking down at them for a moment. Eye contact was important and one must have a good reason to break it. Hating that, she turned her eyes back to Zara. The truth burned in her mouth, forming words she'd never say out loud just as her mind filtered through them to come up with a version she could share. She'd be willing to share. The fact that doing so might mean Felipe got a little piece of his own mistakes back at him in the shape of a possibly upset girlfriend was pretty tempting and made the truth seem at least a little more palatable.
"He used to help me, and then everyone else became more important," she said as flippantly as she could manage. "It stopped mattering to him if I needed him, because everyone else needed him too. Prince Charming cares more about his kingdom than his castle," she added mockingly.
22Leonor De MatteoThat doesn't mean I owe you my life story. 147105