I could feel the flames flickering on my face from the fireplace. The raging warmth of it was enough to force me to slide back along the woolen rug, grab my mug of lip-burning hot chocolate and take a deep breath. It was a relaxing sensation. With my fingers wrapped around the mug, and my palm heated by the radiating drink, I slowly lifted my arms to my mouth and sipped. Without any warning, besides perhaps the scolding hotness of it on my hands as it approached, the liquid scorched my tongue and caused me to bolt my head backwards. Some of the drink spilled over as my arms shook, but it managed to miss my legs. Placing the mug down on the carpet beside me, I used my hands to flatten the small patch of hot chocolate and smoothen it out, in order to spread it and hide it a little. It worked. Then, as I went back for my hot chocolate, I heard small footsteps heading towards me, before a small hand grabbed one of my two braids and the other cupped my round shoulders. "It's okay," she tells me, as tears begin to roll down my cheek. I can feel my skin becoming moist as I smudge the tears with my sleeves, and I turn my head to face my eight year old stepsister, Beatrix, who looks at me longingly, armed with a cheery grin. I don't know what to say. But I let her hold one of my hands in hers. And she moves closer to me and cuddles me as I sob.