Characters: Anna Murphy, Murphy (referred to as Mom)
Word count: 583
Summary: Anna Murphy knows by what criteria her mom's dates should be judged. (Implied Harry/Murphy.)
Author's notes: A little ficlet written for the 'flower' challenge @ dresdenflashfic.
Anna Murphy didn’t mind her mother dating. Her parents had been divorced for as long as she could really remember, and her father was already remarried. It wasn’t like she was holding out any hope of them getting back together, or anything.
Mom didn’t date a lot, but when she did, Anna was able to tell pretty much from the start whether or not the guy was worth anything. It depended entirely on whether or not he brought flowers.
Flowers, Anna had decided, meant you were trying too hard. Flowers were like when your parents cooked you your favourite dinner when they needed to tell you bad news. They were some sort of trick to make you think everything was fine, when really, it sucked.
Mom didn’t often go on dates when Anna was staying with her, claiming she preferred to spend the time with Anna. There were a handful of occasions when Anna had managed to convince her to go, though, and, once or twice, her dates had brought flowers for both Mom and Anna. Those were the very worst dates. Flowers for Anna meant the guy was trying way too hard.
“Hey Mom,” Anna greeted her. She tossed her backpack into the backseat and climbed into the car.
“Hey cutie,” Mom said. “How was school?”
“Lame,” Anna said. She slumped down in her seat lazily. “We had basketball in gym class and art was cancelled because of the test and Mrs. Reid changed the seating plan and now I’m next to Jimmy Miller.”
“Wow,” Mom said. “That is bad. I had to do paperwork all day, if it makes you feel better.”
Anna thought for a moment, then nodded. “It totally does.” Mom laughed. “Hey, I tried to call you last night and you weren’t home,” Anna said, suspiciously.
“I went out for dinner,” Mom said. She pulled some sort of crazy move with the car so that they managed to bypass the whole line of cars waiting to leave the parking lot. Anna thought that it must be a trick she learned in cop school.
“Like, on a date?” Anna asked, sitting up in her seat with interest.
“No!” Mom said. She said it way too fast to be true. “Well, maybe. Sort of. It was with Harry.”
“Harry?!” Anna squealed. “Awesome!” Anna loved Harry. He was funny and very cool and a wizard and never talked to her like she was a kid. “How did it go? Do you like him? Does he like you? Are you going again?”
“Slow down,” Mom said, with a laugh. “It was fine. It was fun. That’s it.”
Anna smiled, because that totally wasn’t it. She’d been waiting ages for one of them to ask the other out. Of course, there was one thing she had to find out before she could be sure that it was meant to be.
She turned to Mom with a serious expression. “Did he bring you flowers?” she asked.
“No,” Mom said. She frowned. “He brought me a paperweight, actually.”
“Really?” Anna said. “That’s kind of weird.” She wondered if that was better or worse than flowers.
Mom nodded. “Yeah. He broke mine the other day, so it isn’t completely random.”
“Is it a nice paperweight?” Anna asked.
“Yeah, actually,” Mom said. “It’s not bad. I like it.”
“Cool,” Anna said. She decided to go with better. “But there weren’t flowers?”
“No flowers,” Mom confirmed.
Anna smiled and danced in her seat. “Perfect.”