A Few Goodbyes
This is set before Enola ran away from home and was inspired by a few things from the first 'Enola Holmes Mysteries'.
The whole experience was surreal. Last week her father, Siger, was admonishing her, as he often did, with her mother, Violet, standing in the background betraying nothing in her face. As always Enola said nothing. There was nothing to say, no one would listen to her. Her youth and lack of experience were often used against her in her ability to understand anything.
When her father was done Enola left her parents and went to the library. On her way she began to cry, no sobbing, hiccups, or sniffs, just tears falling out of her eyes and she hated herself for it.
By age five Enola learned not to be emotional, it never benefited her in anyway. Mycroft and Sherlock were not emotional, but they talked too much. Their talking lead to arguments and their arguments lead to yelling.
By age five Enola thought it best not to talk at all and maybe there would be less yelling. This only seemed to frustrate her parents to a greater degree.
So by the age of seven Enola Holmes spoke little if at all, and showed barely any emotion. Both actions lead to much concern of her teachers at school that Siger and Violent had to make special visits to the school to lie through their teeth saying their youngest was shy and had a delay in her speech development.
Sherlock was unexpectantly in the library. He was pouring over notes and pinched police reports of an accidental death he believed to be murder. It was the case that he always went back to when there was nothing else to do, but made little progress on. Enola always remembered him working on it and wonder when Sherlock would let the matter rest. She tried to escape without Sherlock seeing her tears but to was too late. He had seen her, tears and all.
"What's wrong with you?" He asked, not out of concern, but more for the curiosity of why her face was wet.
She said nothing, just went over to Siger's desk and turned over a posed picture of him and Violet. She turned back to Sherlock and did her best to wipe the tears off her face with her hand.
"Father got after you again." Sherlock smirked. Enola hated when he did that. "He wouldn't do it as much if you actually spoke instead of leaving him to guess what you are thinking."
Enola crossed her arms and glared at Sherlock. They had this conversation many times over the past two years. It was getting dull.
"Mycroft and I maybe able to know what's going on in your mind but that doesn't mean Father and Mummy can." Sherlock began to pick up the various papers from the floor. He was not getting anywhere with the murder, no one would listen to him about the missing shoes. "You can't remain silent forever, Enola."
She knelt down to help her brother pick up the papers before Siger walked in on the mess. Siger was very particular of how the house should be kept and having stolen police files all over the library floor would not please him.
"You need to start using that mind of yours more usefully." Sherlock said as Enola handed him the last of the papers. "I find it hard to believe that you can be related to me and not be somewhat capable to think."
Enola looked away from Sherlock. It felt like something grabbed her stomach and squeezed it tightly using sharp knives as fingers. Sherlock was always saying things like that. No matter what she did there was something she did wrong and had to improve upon. Mycroft said things similar, but in a different manner. They always critiqued her in the hopes that she would improve from . . . well whatever she was currently. Sometimes Enola wondered if her brothers forgot she was only seven years old. She quickly went to a bookcase and without seeing the title, grabbed a book and ran out of the library.
Sherlock sighed in mild disappointment when Enola said nothing. She did not display any signs of great intelligence as he and Mycroft did. She was just so . . . ordinary at times. It was becoming very easy to be disappointed in her.
When she left the library she looked at the title. It was something called 'Black Death' and the effect it had on Europe hundreds of years ago. Well, at least she would not be bored that afternoon.
That was last week and this is this week. Siger Holmes passed away in the wee hours of the morning several days after that particular day and it was a bit of a surprise. The house was in the throws of mourning, at least the household went through the motions of mourning.
The funeral and burial were simple affairs, without too much emotions being thrown about. The Holmes family was not known for their outward displays of emotions. They did not say much through the service and on the way home.
Enola was by Sherlock's side as people ushered themselves into their house to pay their respects. He grudgingly held her hand because Mummy told him too, mostly to keep her from wondering off. Enola had to give him credit, even if he did not want to hold her hand he held it tightly. She decided against trying to pry her hand away, it was not worth the pain of a tightening grip.
At seven years old death is a concept that no one can really explain to you clearly. Mostly because no one knows how to put death into words that they think a seven year old would understand. Enola understood that her father was dead, fell asleep in his bed and did not wake up. She maybe young but she was not stupid, despite what her family thought.
The late afternoon and early evening was spent with people in their house talking in low voices, mostly to Violet and Mycroft, giving their condolences, surprise at Siger's sudden death, and speaking in even lower voices about the strangeness of the Holmes children and how Violet would handle them without Siger.
Mycroft seemed to be the most normal of them all, doing extremely well in school with a promising future developing ahead of him. But he still had that look about him that gave the impression that there were a thousand thoughts racing through his head. He almost seem to control the conversation at every turn to the point that he was almost in your head dictating what you would say next.
Sherlock was smart, no one could deny that. But he had the unfortunate need and want for validation for his intelligence. He would say anything and everything concerning what he had observed, there was no stopping him. If you did not want your secrets on display to the world, you did not talk with Sherlock.
Enola was quiet. That was all people could say about the young girl and stay within the bounds of politeness. If they were take a step outside of social niceties they would say unsettling. She had the odd habit of appearing out of nowhere and staring at you taking in every detail about your person. If it was not staring her would be holding something that you needed. Needed to make a quick note, there she was holding a pen and a notepad for you. Polite mourning tears that never seem to fall from your eyes but were present, there she was with a tissue.
It was late by the time everyone had left and Mycroft ushered Sherlock and Enola upstairs. Enola went without complaint, she had enough of the silly people thinking silly things about her and her brothers, but Sherlock was curious. It was obvious to the younger Holmes children that Mycroft wanted to talk with Mummy alone. He has been wanting to do so since he got back from the university, but being busy with the obligatory duties of a mourning son he had little chance.
Sherlock had attempted a few days earlier to find out what it was Mycroft wanted to speak to Mummy about, but had no luck with sneaking around. When he asked his brother point blank there was a finality, boarding on threatening, in Mycroft's voice when he said, "Leave it be."
And he left it, until tonight. As soon as Enola closed the door to her room Sherlock crept back down the stairs and tried to listen at the door. But it soon opened revealing Mycroft in the doorway with a unreadable expression on his face. He was holding a thin folder in his hand that seem to have official papers of some sort inside.
Without saying anything Mycroft closed the library door behind him and took Sherlock's arm leading him back to the foot stairs.
"What was that all about?" Sherlock demanded when Mycroft let go of his arm. His eyes were on the folder.
"I'll explain everything when you are older." Mycroft said looking intently at his brother. He glasped his hands behind his back, hiding the folder, to prove his point. "Not before. Now go to bed."
There was no broaching any argument with Mycroft and Sherlock decided against trying. He glared at Mycroft before making his way up the stairs.
Mycroft waited until he heard the door of his brother's room click shut before allowing himself to relax and let the stress of the day show on his face. He eased himself on the stairs before looking at the documents his mother agreed to sign.
Caring is not an advantage. Siger told him that once when Mycroft mentioned wanting to go into governmental work. Looking at his mother signature so elegantly scrawled along the line at the bottom of the page, he wondered if his late father was right.