Author's Notes: This is actually a fic that I wrote for a friend of mine, in a commission of sorts. She's the Mel to my Chris, and she asked me to write this in exchange for getting a journal back on GJ that she stole from me through sneakiness. It's really nothing in particular--just a little bit of fun sibling stuff between Chris and Melinda Halliwell. Chris is 21 and Mel is about 18 in this one. Oh, yes! I don't own Charmed, unfortunately, or any of these characters. Wish I did, but alas. (And yes, I do know that Farewell to Arms is a book, so it should be underlined, but it looks awkward in dialog. So it's in italics.) Don't forget to review :D
"Mel? Mel! Where are you? Mom wanted me to ask you what you did with her—" Chris paused as he hit the bottom of the stairs. His younger sister, Melinda, was sitting at the dining room table, and he caught her right when she happened to smack her book with her hand and make a frustrated noise.
"Mel?" Chris repeated.
She started some. "C-Chris, oh. Hey. What were you yelling about? Mom wanted what?"
"She wanted me to ask you what you did with her necklace she let you wear on your date the other night. Said you didn't put it back in her jewelry box."
Melinda shook her head. "No…no, I forgot. That was a horrible date, so I just went into my room and put it in my jewelry box. I'll give it to her later. I've got stupid homework I have to finish."
Chris figured that had been what was frustrating her. His sister was a bright girl when it came to some things, particularly mathematics and science, but she struggled with essays and creative writing, which were subjects in which he shined. He approached the dining room table and leaned against it with his hands, eying both his sister and the book. "You…need any help?"
"You're not going to make fun of me for not understanding it like you do when I don't write perfect spells, are you?" Melinda looked wary, and it made Chris snort.
"No, course not. Homework you can afford to make mistakes on."
It didn't look like Melinda really appreciated that comment, but she gestured for her brother to take a seat beside her nonetheless. When he did he scooted the chair somewhat closer so he could see both the book and her paper.
"It's a commentary on what I thought of A Farewell to Arms," she told him. "I know the book, and I know what I think about it—it sucks—but I don't know how to get that onto the paper without it sounding dry. My teachers always say my writing sounds dry." Melinda looked frustrated, and Chris understood.
"Don't worry about it," he said to her in a completely different tone than he had been speaking with before. It was a kinder, gentler one—the one he usually used when he went into what he hadn't realized Melinda called "Helper Brother" mode. "You just need to get a strong thesis and supporting evidence. Teachers usually overlook style if it doesn't make the paper really hard to read. Put down all your ideas on a separate sheet of paper so you don't make a mess on your draft."
"But isn't the whole point of a draft for it to be messy?"
"Yeah. But it makes it easier if you don't have to go back and keep erasing. This way, all your erased stuff stays on the one paper, and you don't have to worry about it getting all over the other one. Just…less work that way."
Melinda smiled some. "Yeah, makes sense. So, good thesis and some supporting evidence. Got that. I just need help making it…not so dry." She laughed, though it was clearly more in irritation than amusement. "I need style."
"You've got it," Chris said encouragingly, "you just need to think about what you would want a paper to read like, not your professor. If it isn't engaging, it's boring as hell and who wants to read that?"
"Yeah…yeah, that's true. Thanks, Chris. I'll write it out and then come get you when I'm done. Okay?"
Chris nodded, and he smiled. "Sure. I'm gonna go watch some TV in the parlor, but just call me when you're done." When he stood and slipped out of the dining room through the conservatory, he didn't notice that Mel was smiling again.