Written by Winglore, cousin to the T-family, based on a true story
Twirly opened the front door to let her student, a young spotted Kacheek named Sophia, out.
"Great work this week, Sophia!" Twirly called after Sophia. "Make sure you practice your scales this week."
Sophia yelled over her shoulder that she would. Twirly sighed as Sophia disappeared around the bend. Most of her piano students didn't practice their scales, despite their frequent promises. But overall she was happy with Sophia's quick progress.
As Twirly turned to go back inside, she caught a glimpse of her neighbors watching her from their front porch. Her neighbors on the right side of her neohome were a couple of Elderly sisters. One was an Acara and the other an Ogrin. Neither were very friendly to her or her siblings, despite multiple efforts to befriend them. Twirly raised her Peophin hoof in a wave. The two sisters scowled and began to knit faster than ever, whispering with grim looks on their faces.
Twirly couldn't help but roll her eyes and go back inside. Her next student, a young shadow Gelert named Jack, should have been there by now. Perhaps she should go neomail him to make sure he was on his way to his weekly lesson.
Tricky, Twirly, Tangy, and Tween sat down for dinner around their Mosaic Dining Table. Tricky, a Woodland Draik and the eldest of the sisters, had cooked Berry and Marrow Casserole for dinner with an assortment of Food Roller Cheese fondue for desert.
"Wow, looks great!" Tangy, the petite Christmas Kacheek, said enthusiastically. "I'm starving. Today, at my acting classes we were studying how to realistically portray other Neopet types. I chose to do Grundo because I miss Telestro so much! And it was fun trying out a different accent."
Tween nodded, her striped Blumaroo mouth full of casserole. She swallowed quickly and said "I know, right? It's so hard to understand silly Telestro sometimes when he's talking." She tried out the Kreludan accent, saying, "Can you understand me now?"
Her accent was atrocious and the sisters all burst out laughing.
"Hmmm, you should've come to class with me." Tangy laughed loudest of them all. "You'd have gotten an A+ for sure."
"A for effort maybe," Twirly teased.
Tricky smiled thoughtfully. "When did Telestro say he would be back?"
"Next Friday!" Tween burst out in another horridly done accent.
"Good!" said Tricky after the laughter had died down. "I'll be happy when the whole family is back together again. We aren't quite complete without our baby brother."
"Or quite as loud without him either!" Tangy declared.
Twirly snorted, "I think we're loud enough without him..."
The girls again giggled loudly. Then came a loud knock at the front door. The giggling stopped instantly.
"I wonder who that could be at this hour..." Tricky trailed off as she rose to answer the door.
The other three sisters glanced at each other, then simultaneously got up to follow. They crowded into the foyer and saw a blue Grundo in a Defenders of Neopia uniform.
"What can we do for you, Sir?" Tricky asked with extreme politeness.
The short, male Grundo looked at the four female neopets, straightened his shoulders and began in a thick Kreludan accent, "Well, you see, ladies, there has been a complaint about this neohome."
Tween tried unsuccessfully to suppress a giggle. Twirly shot her a warning look and Tween clapped a hand over her mouth.
"What kind of complaint?" Tangy asked forcefully. "And by whom?"
The Grundo glanced nervously towards the house on the right. "I'm not at liberty to say."
"Well, what then is the complaint about?" Tricky asked.
"It has been reported that you are using your home as a day care center, which, as you know, is not a legal business to run from your neohome. All business of the Day Care Center type must follow many different Neopian codes, not the least..." The Grundo was interrupted by Tangy.
"But we aren't running a Day Care here!" Tangy's tone was indignant. "And I bet I know who reported us! Our ridiculous Elderly neighbors who have never liked us in the first place and..."
Twirly quickly interrupted. "Sir Grundo, I'm afraid there has been a mistake. You see, I teach piano lessons here from our neohome, but this is not at all against Neopian codes."
The Grundo looked embarrassed. "I'm sorry, but I can't just take your word. I'm going to need to search your neohome."
Tween looked abashed. "You... won't be going in my room, will you? It's a total wreck right now!"
The sisters all giggled. The Grundo looked uncomfortable. "I don't need to do a thorough search of your personal belongings." He cleared his throat. "I just need to see every room in your neohome."
"Are you joking?" Tangy started to rant but stopped short when she caught the look on Tricky's face. She threw her Kacheek arms in the air. "I'm going for a walk."
Tangy stalked past the Grundo as he walked into the house. Tricky and Twirly shared a look.
"We'll start here in the dining room." Tricky led the way.
Twenty minutes later, the neohome search was complete. The group gathered back at the front door.
"I apologize for the inconvenience," the Grundo began, "and I wish you well in your future piano lessons, Twirly."
"Thank you." Twirly smiled. The Grundo turned to leave. "Before you go," Twirly said quickly, "I'd like to know - are you from Kreludor?"
The Grundo turned around, a smile on his face. "In fact, I am! How did you know? Most people assume I come from Virtupets Station."
Twirly smiled. "Our brother is also from Kreludor and you both have the same accent."
"Where is your brother now?"
"Back on Kreludor," Tricky replied, "visiting his old mining crew mates."
"No kidding?" The Grundo seemed excited. "What was his crew number? I used to be a miner too!"
Tween laughed loudly. "729!"
The Grundo burst out laughing. "No kidding? I was in crew 773, but we heard about 729. Those guys are legends back on Kreludor. They were the biggest AC fans and were constantly pulling pranks on anybody who didn't support Kreludor for the Cup!"
The girls rolled their eyes. "Nothing has changed," Tween said with a smile. "Telestro still roots for Kreludor and despises anyone who doesn't. This year, he..."
Tricky interrupted. "Why don't you stay for dinner, Sir....?"
"Moonstrato," the Grundo said quickly. "And I'd love to."
Twirly smiled to herself as she watched the family and Moonstrato sitting around the living room playing Godori. Telestro had returned the previous Friday and was thrilled when the girls introduced him to Moonstrato. The gang shared plenty of jokes and laughter that night around the dinner table and continued to enjoy their friendship playing games.
The only thing that could've made the evening sweeter was to have figured out a way to make her Elderly neighbors not hate their family anymore. Perhaps she should bake a pie of some kind and take it to them...
"Twirly! It's your turn to play. Telestro beat me again!" Tween pouted in jest, then laughed.
"I'm shocked!" Twirly winked. "Telestro - are you ready to lose?"
"Ha! In your dreams," the purple Grundo retorted playfully.
Ah - family.