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  3. Lola had never learned how to Apparate, specifically because of this: the knock-kneed, putty-stomached feeling that came with being forcibly sucked through a silly-straw of space. She would rather walk from country to country and swim the oceans than Apparate—but, in this case, it couldn't well be helped. They Apparated to deceptive peace. Lola dropped Maya's hand as though it had personally forced her to feel like a squeezed-out tube of toothpaste and crouched low to the ground to find her breath again. Maya had brought them to the edge of the island, away from the cottages and the bulk of what Lola had to assume was complete destruction—even out here, spells had gouged the earth and errant tufts of hair and fur clung to the tree branches. Even out here, Lola could smell magic and blood. The island was quieter than she'd been expecting, considering that barely twenty-four hours ago they'd been under siege. Silence stretched beneath crashing waves and had Lola struggling to catch her breath under the weight of it. Was Roseclaw still there? Had the attacking wizards taken him? Had they taken the others? Or had they simply—destroyed? For the first time, Lola let herself consider that they may be walking into nothing. A trap, she could handle; it wouldn't be the first time, not even the first time in the last day, that she'd had to deal with something like that. But: nothing? Nothing meant no Wylan, no Olive, no reserve left to dismantle beneath Roseclaw's feet. Nothing terrified her. Lola rose, cocked her head toward where their little civilization should be, and listened. More of nothing. (They were too far away, she tried to reason, to hear either safety or distress. They were too far away to know. It was not an indicator that all had fallen, it was not.) She turned to Maya after a terse moment of silence. “Where would Wylan have taken her?” A better person might show concern for the man who'd raced, undaunted, into the fray to try to save her niece in the first place. Lola was not a better person. She did not, frankly, care much about anything other than Olive's safety. Too much was riding on the assumption that he had succeeded and that Roseclaw and/or the other wizards had not; there was no room for caring for anything else.
  4. Sir Forrest of Orange III

    Good tidings for Christmas

    There was something covering his face. Shifted partway over the narrow slats in his helmet there was a bit of coloured paper that was obstructing his view into the armor gallery. How was he ever going to keep proper watch... Ah really, what ever happened that was interesting in the armor gallery? The old suit hated when his duties took him here for precisely this reason because it was boring and lonely and hardly any of the young knights and maidens of the castle came to provide him with entertainment. Gathering up what air inside of his hollow suit that he could, the rack of metal swirled it around and directed it through the slats in his helmet with a rushed whoosh and lifted the paper right off the top of his head. He caught sight of it as it floated towards the ground and wondered. 'Who would put a hat on top of a hat?"
  5. Fenella Campbell

    Good tidings for Christmas

    This thread is open to First Years The back corner of the armour gallery had been transformed. Suits of armour wore paper hats on top of their helmets, there was handmade paper bunting that read ‘Merry Christmas’ hanging along the edge of the only table in the room, and draped here, there and everywhere was metres of coloured paper chains. On the table was some favourite Christmas snacks like fruit mince pies and Scottish shortbread, and then some other fun things like chocolate frogs, cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice. The centerpiece was a gingerbread house covered in muggle sweets. At least a week of planning had gone in to this. Secret planning. Not for any other reason than Fenella was fine with her own company but it gave her the opportunity to do some of the things she loved doing in her pre-magic life; cooking, crafting, planning (though that was a lot harder without the use of a spreadsheet). It had been a pretty eventful start to their first year at Hogwarts - the magic had been a massive shock to her, the lack of technology was hard to get used to, and well, we all know about what happened a couple of weeks ago during flying class. It was for this reason that she felt the party would be a good idea. Not to forget and push aside all that had happened, but to regroup and be thankful that they were all still here – the kind of things most people celebrated at this time of year. Owls were sent two days ago to her fellow classmates with the following message: Fenella had skipped the last flying lesson to set everything up. She’d stayed in the library and then slipped out when everyone else was in class so as not to arouse suspicion. Thankfully she hadn’t been caught and hopefully no one else would be either. Now she just hoped that her classmates would turn up.
  6. Weird was probably among the most mild things that Lyceus Falls had ever called him. That was unimportant, but it was something he noticed in the moment, and would have laughed at if he hadn't been holding his life together like it was comprised of wet tissue paper. He was barely managing it, too. It all felt like a poorly stacked card castle and one breath in the wrong direction would send all of it toppling down. Jack would only be the first casualty among many and Atwell, for all that it was worth, was determined not to let him be a complete casualty. He couldn't believe that there was no light at the end of this tunnel, no breath of air after the drowning, no sutures for the wound.... If he believed that—that it was all really over the way that the literature seemed to suggest it could really be over, the way that his own upbringing suggested it could really be over—then he had to admit that Jack, too, was over. Or at least, the version of him that he had known up to the moment he'd put him on the train at the beginning of that school year, was over. He hadn't seen him after the bite and could base his opinions only on what Odette told him—the terror, the realization, the raw panic—that couldn't be all that was left. Life could not be one endless slog toward an unworthy finish line peppered only with blatant prejudice and discrimination...but he'd already seen the signs of it. They existed in the hush that blanketed the Ministry, the headlines on the papers, the travel bulletin, and in the fear that shadowed Odette's face whenever Alister visited to put the wards into place. A dedicated and talented cursebreaker, his cousin had come through for them with the Runes. He only had to pray they never needed either set of them—the ones that would keep Jack in and the ones that would keep the world out. "I don't know how many there were," he admitted after a minute. "But the papers are reporting 'more than one' and my only in at the Auror office—" He pursed his lips at the thought of @Julian Trice. "We're not speaking. For clear and obvious reasons." Mainly that he'd used an Unforgivable Curse in the presence of children. Not just any children, either, but Atwell's own children, and that he—with his Werewolf Capture Unit—had failed to capture the werewolves before they could brutally maul half the bloody student population. Anxiety clawed at his chest, digging nails into his lungs and using his ribs as ladders to reach his throat where it seemed to constrict, limiting his ability to speak while Lyceus talked about his brief time at the Ministry. He cringed when the other man talked about how terrible it was to be locked up, citing his presence here, in the Forest of Dean, as all the proof that the Hit Wizard needed to verify that the locks were, in fact, the very worst of it. To Atwell, it felt abusive—to lock a child in a room and justify it by saying it was 'for his own good.' That seemed like something that ought to have earned him a visit from the wizarding equivalent of family services, at a minimum. Jail time, if he was being honest with what it looked like. It felt like kenneling a mad dog. Kenneling. The comparison was sickening and he had to swallow hard to keep from vomiting. "Everything," he finally told him, arms still crossed. He took a moment to put his gloves back on before he resumed that position. "I want to know everything. I read the books, but they're tragically lacking any real input, as if nobody trusts any of you to give first hand accounts." Which, truthfully, they probably didn't. "I know that it hurts. I want to know how bad. I know the wolfsbane is awful. I want to know how awful. I know his future looks like a sodding train wreck, but I want to—I need to be able to do everything I can to help him. I can't just let him loose in a forest, Lyceus. He's a child. It sounds contrived and cliche to say that he needs to be locked up for his own good, but at this point, it really is for his own good. You should have heard what people said at the Minister's conference and my daughter wrote me a letter about the Aurors using Unforgivable Curses on the..." He couldn't call them beasts, though he truly believed them to be little more than that. Anyone that attacked a child deserved that wretched moniker, but it wasn't quite that simple anymore. They weren't just beasts. They, like Jack, were people. "On the people that attacked the school. One of them is dead and I can't...I can't promise him that won't be him one day. Can I? I'm supposed to be able to promise that!" He scraped his fingers through his hair and then down over his face. "Is there any normal after this? Can he ever be...him again? Were you?"
  7. Katherine Braelin-VonHaus

    The morning after the first of many

    Kate stood at the door nervously, wondering if she was overstepping her bounds at the moment. Maybe Julian would resent her for being there in the first place. Maybe he would hate her for being normal when he no longer was. She swallowed thickly, and shifted from one foot to the next as she waited. When the door opened, she looked up at him, feeling sad. "I don't mean to be a bother...?" she offered up. She could go if he wanted, but he was inviting her in now, so in she stepped. "It's..." The room was barren. Stone walls, and nothing else except for a bed. "It could use some artwork," she said honestly, and cracked a smile at him. She closed the door behind her and held up the thermos. "I brought hot chocolate," she said, hoping to make him feel at least marginally better. "I wasn't sure if you'd be coming to classes today... or breakfast for that matter, so I also brought..." Kate spent a minute digging into her satchel for the toast and bacon she had smuggled from the kitchens, wrapped up neatly in a napkin. Those house elves were so accommodating. However, it didn't quite dawn on her that the Hospital Wing staff would eventually be feeding Julian. It wasn't like they were going to let him starve or anything. Now she was awkwardly juggling several items and they all threatened to fall out of her hands if she attempted to add anything else. She sat down on the bed, stupidly holding onto all the items. "I just don't want you to be alone?" she said. "But I can totally leave if you want me to."
  8. Lyceus looked at Atwell for a moment, knowing that his head was still just too foggy to be any sort of rational. He had a throbbing headache, as he always did in the morning after, and he was bound to say things that he never meant to say--or say things that he really shouldn’t say, no matter how much he wanted to. He stepped back from Atwell, and reached into the split tree to pull out his t-shirt and cloak. As the younger wizard shared his mindset, he pulled his shirt on over his head and shook his head disbelievingly. Eight bloody years they had spent in this forest together, and he felt bonded to the dog that had kept him company for most of the full moons over those years. The half-hearted hunts they went on, sharing stream water--it was like he had found the companionship that he lacked outside his family life. And now, it felt like the rug had been yanked out from under him and he was floundering, trying to grasp just what the hell he was losing because Atwell decided to reveal himself. He pulled on his shoes and wrapped his heavy cloak around him. It was more frayed these days, and the Slytherin patch was faded and nearly colorless from years of use. His favorite cloak had been with him through thick and thin of his condition. “You’re kind of weird, you know that?” he said, half-heartedly, and actually smirked, even as he lowered himself to the ground. “I’ve been wanting to tell you that for 8 years.” A small chuckle. “I don’t want to fight you. I sort of like you... when you’re a dog. Sitting, he leaned heavily against the tree and fought the need for sleep. The smirk turned into a yawn, and he looked up at Atwell, slowly registering what Atwell had said. “I’m sorry, Atwell,” he replied with a small nod of his head in sympathy, “about your kid.” The pieces were put together. Atwell was the proud father of a werewolf. Some might call this karma, but despite how much he disliked the man before him, he didn’t deserve this. “None of those kids deserve this life.” They were so young, and their futures had never looked brighter once they started attending Hogwarts--and then this happened. Their lives had changed, and not for the better. He let out a sigh and gestured for him to take a seat. “Promises of physical violence aside, if I can help, I will,” he said sincerely. He was already pen-pals with one student at the castle, and it wouldn’t hurt to add another unfortunate soul to the list. “I could write to him or her, if you want? The worst thing about my… condition… back when we were at Hogwarts was… I had no one to talk to about it, and it was on me to keep it hidden from everyone else so that I could have something of a normal life. That is a terrible weight to put on a thirteen year old, but it was necessary. Before Eleora found out about me, I learned she hated werewolves.” Lyceus let out a small laugh as the memory came back to him. “I stole her homework for Defense Against the Dark Arts, an essay on werewolves. She--like most--thought werewolves needed to be eradicated. Her word, not mine. I suppose, because of me, she changed her mind, but had she not met me, she would have gone on thinking that. I suppose your kid has plenty of people to talk to at the castle now…” How many had been bitten that day? Too many to count, he felt. “What do you want me to tell you?” he asked. “That I lost my job at the Ministry because I was cornered in the loo by three wizards who were anti-werewolf? And because I barely defended myself, and one of them got a little scratch from me, I was the one who was let go? I don’t know what you want me to tell you, mate,” he murmured. “Being locked up is the worst part of it, Atwell. Why do you think I am out here in this forest?”
  9. The Golden Snitch

    VH39 Slytherin House Stands

    [[VH36]] Rising above the grass of the Quidditch Pitch were several towers of bleachers for supporters of the House Quidditch Teams. One stood tall and strikingly bold in colors of green and silver with snakes slithering across the banners that proudly waved from its rafters. Each game, the seats were filled with the witty, cunning and aggressive of Hogwarts' population. They waved their scarves, banners and assorted supportive goods. It was the Slytherin stands.Game Two posts start here || Game Three posts start here
  10. The Golden Snitch

    VH39 Hufflepuff House Stands

    [[VH36]] Rising above the grass of the Quidditch Pitch were several towers of bleachers for supporters of the House Quidditch Teams.One stood tall and shockingly bright in colors of yellow and black with badgers prowling across the banners that proudly waved from its rafters. Each game, the seats were filled with the just, loyal and determined of Hogwarts' population. They waved their scarves, banners and assorted supportive goods.It was the Hufflepuff stands.Game Two posts start here || Game Three posts start here
  11. The Golden Snitch

    VH39 Gryffindor House Stands

    [[VH36]] Rising above the grass of the Quidditch Pitch were several towers of bleachers for supporters of the House Quidditch Teams.One stood tall and glaringly bright in colors of red and gold with lions prancing across the banners that proudly waved from its rafters. Each game, the seats were filled with the brave, loud and adventuresome of Hogwarts' population. They waved their scarves, banners and assorted supportive goods.It was the Gryffindor stands.Game Two posts start here || Game Three posts start here
  12. The Golden Snitch

    VH39 Ravenclaw House Stands

    [[VH36]] Rising above the grass of the Quidditch Pitch were several towers of bleachers for supporters of the House Quidditch Teams.One stood tall and assertively bold in colors of blue and bronze with ravens soaring across the banners that proudly waved from its rafters. Each game, the seats were filled with the brilliant, charming and knowledgeable of Hogwarts' population. They waved their scarves, banners and assorted supportive goods.It was the Ravenclaw stands.Game Two posts start here || Game Three posts start here
  13. Josie Potter

    It's as easy as fold tab a into slot b and glue to part f

    Josie made her way over to Kate. She knew her older sister played professionally, just like Josie's grandmother had, but she also had seen that Kate somehow knew what she was doing at practices as opposed to herself who had no clue. Even now, the terms and details were rambling around in her head in a great big ball of wibbly wobbly quidditch stuff. "Uhm," Josie hesitated, as Kate asked if she was getting in a little bit of practice before the rest of their team showed up. "Uhm. . ." she paused again, a bit of red coloring her cheeks at her embarrassment and then Kate said the thing that everyone else seemed to think about her being a Potter, never mind the Weasley talent that was supposed to be in her bloodline. "Uhmmm, KatehelpmeIhavenocluewhatI'mgoing!" Josie finally got out in a rush. "I have no idea what to do and how to do it. The terms are just another language to me and I need help!"
  14. Harmony Granger-Weasley

    I'm always on your side

    In Ralph's words, Harmony felt comfort. When time healed the wounds, and she was out of the Hospital Wing, life was going to continue on, and she would have at least one good friend remaining. There was a secret hidden fear that if she told Ralph, he would abandon her. She heard stories of people turning their backs on their previous friends, just because they were attacked by a werewolf. It made absolutely no sense to Harmony. How would any decent person reason that they had to stay away from their friend, who really, in most cases, was going to be locked away in a warded room, with their human mind present for just one evening. Their friend, who would go through excruciating pain once a month, or so the representative told her a few days go. Maybe they needed an excuse to stop being friends, and werewolf provided the perfect scapegoat. Perhaps, Harmony thought, some people were just not that pleasant in the world, that was just a fact Harmony would have to get over. Harmony wasn't ready to face the outside world yet. The others in their class would have questions when they saw her injuries. She would return to Quidditch, and she would have to explain to Davis and Alecia that she was attacked. Of course, many students were attacked, so she wasn't alone, but how was she going to explain being away from practice on the full moon every month? Surely then people would get suspicions. They would gossip, like any teenager would. Nothing would be the same as it once was, and she was going to adjust to a new normal. "Thank you, Ralph. I really needed that." Through everything she was about to experience, she knew she had friends she could count on, like Ralph, to keep her secret for her. To be there when she was feeling awful. That's what friends were for. Even though she wished Ralph were in Gryffindor with her, she figured that this was why he was sorted into Hufflepuff. He was a true and loyal friend, and that was what Helga would've wanted in her students. Loyal friends wouldn't desert their friends just because they got bitten by a werewolf. Ralph didn't abandon her. He had a choice, and he choose to stand by her. Instead of recoiling at the mention of the word, he came closer and embraced it all. The future was going to be a wild ride. They cried together that day in the Hospital Wing; a moment Harmony would never forget.
  15. Atwell turned around, exhausted and too achy to really give a damn about whether his wand was in his hand or not. He didn't need a wand to transfigure himself and get the hell out of dodge, nor did he honestly expect Lyceus to Killing Curse his way through one Hit Wizard. For one, Lyceus Falls had been a monumental pain in his arse during his fifth year, but he was not a murderer. Two, if Atwell Sinclair went missing, his harpy of a boss would personally find whoever had done it to make their life as miserable as she had made his for the past thirteen or so years. Three, whoever killed him would also have to deal with his wife and, really, that was definitely the worst of those three aforementioned consequences. So, if Lyceus wanted to risk the wrath of Odette Sinclair (previously Shaw) then he was absolutely welcome to try his hand at surviving the rest of the week. Spoiler Alert: He probably wouldn't. Pants regained (thankfully) he was given the all clear to turn around and his wand was placed back into his palm. It disappeared shortly afterward into the holster he wore strapped to his wrist. Ebony and phoenix feather, it had served him well for twenty-odd years, and he would have been loathe to lose it now, to Lyceus of all people. Atwell supposed he should have been more irritated with the fact that this friend was actually someone he'd loathed as a boy, someone he'd gotten into fist fights with...but he hadn't the energy or the emotion left to care. That had been slowly sapped by the month he'd had. Building a room in the house where you'd raised your kids so that you could padlock one of them inside of it had a way of doing that to a person. It wasn't that he wanted to lock Jack up, either. It wasn't that he even believed it truly necessary, not forever. It was that this was all new to Jack, to them, and he still had children in that house that he'd promised to protect. He'd failed Jaxon, but Maggie, Adam, and the fourth—he hadn't failed them yet. Not completely, and until they were out of the house, until they all got more comfortable with the idea of Jack being...what he was...the locks, the wards, they were necessary. Not only for them, but for Jack, because Atwell had been at that press conference, lingering in the back, unwilling to venture into the crowd that practically vibrated with anger. He'd heard @Isabelle Costantini's words. The world was not safe for Jack, not when he was in that state, and as long as he was inside the warded house, then Atwell could guarantee he survived the night and that nobody came after him like an angry Disney mob. He had only been with Lyceus a few hours that night. Then he'd had to go complete a job for work, which had ended with him at St. Mungo's and then later with him at home, pacing a hole into his floorboards. He couldn't really provide enough of an alibi for a government agency, but that didn't mean that he thought Lyceus was responsible. "I never thought it was you," he answered blandly, arms crossed over his chest. One lifted, his hand rubbing lazily at his eyes. He felt like he could have slept for days, but sleep wouldn't come. Not after he'd just heard all of someone's bones break and snap back together, knowing the entire time that somewhere out in Scotland, his child was going through the same thing. Atwell's eyes narrowed and then rolled. "No, you—" He almost said monumental arsehole but stopped himself short of the insult. "It wasn't a game. I didn't know it was you. I didn't know who it was, but I knew what it was. I could smell the wolfsbane on you the first time and...at first, it was curiosity, but then...I don't know, Lyceus. I showed up at the same tree and I told myself if you stopped showing, I'd stop showing, but you didn't and neither did I, so here we are." He rubbed his face, then his temples, and his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth like he'd swallowed glue. It wasn't his story to tell, to talk about Jack and his status, but if there was anyone in the world that he knew that would keep the secret, anyone that would be willing to help someone like that, it was this monumental arsehole. "Look," he started. "I didn't come here to start a fight. I didn't come here to bring the Werewolf Capture Unit down on your head. I came here because my kids are at that school, Ly, and one of them is waking up in the Hospital Wing right, locked in some room with wolfsbane on his breath and a whole metric ton of new nightmares to deal with. I came here because I need help." Oh, it hurt to say that. His pride bruised immediately and he could taste the bile in the back of his throat that came with the words. "I need to know what life looks like for him now and even if I found another werewolf to talk to, they sure as hell aren't gonna talk to somebody with a badge, but I thought, given all of this—" He gestured to the gray light filtering through the trees around them. "Maybe you would."
  16. Alexander Crow

    I Don't Blame You For Being You, But You Can't Blame Me For Hating It

    Alex tried not to scowl. "I don't plan on willfully consuming something I'm allergic to..." He happened to have a sense of self-preservation thank you very much, never mind that he frequently engages in a sport that subjected him to all kinds of harm. Or chose to duel someone who knew every excruciating spell in the book. "... but pomegranate seeds are tiny and can be overlooked, or what if they give it to me in a smoothie or something?" People do not seem to take these things seriously anymore. Like when you order something in a restaurant and indicate an allergy to a specific ingredient and they assume it meant just not liking it until bam! the ambulance gets called. Luckily, Ms Lushia's arrival temporarily halted the bickering. Alex smiled at the nice healer despite himself, but gave Jack a pointed look and mumbled: "Yeah, he did." when the question of whether somebody used a rubber-arm jinx on him arose. Not that it mattered at this point, he was going to get fixed with magic and will be out of here in no time, right? Wrong, apparently. The fact that he was warned about the horrible taste of the medicine he is about to partake didn't bother Alex (though it will after he actually gets to drink the damn thing). When Ms Lushia stated that growing his bones back will take a while, however, a sudden wave of panic washed over his senses. Jack pointing out that it will take all night was the last straw. "NO!" He looked back and forth between the two in disbelief. "But--- but I have homework to do! Can't we uhh cast a spell and fix this?" He already knew the answer to that but he was desperate enough to grasp at anything at this point. Alex then turned to Jack, sea-green eyes widened in terror at the thought of having to deal with this alone. "You can't leave me here Jack! I'm--- I'm scared. Please?" He would have grabbed the slytherin's arm tightly, but he couldn't. "Ms Lushia please let him stay." Alex could feel his lower lip quivering and he attempted to distract himself by thinking, "DONTCRYDONTCRYDONTCRY!" Hopefully, it works.
  17. Lyceus let out several huffs as his heart rate--well, it wasn’t as normal. Always beating just a little faster than the average human, and even now, it was thumping furiously in his chest as his anxiety levels had skyrocketed at that moment. He never imagined that he would be face to face with this idiot again, and if the rumors were true, he had gone on to become a Hit Wizard, taking down the world’s most dangerous criminals that even the Aurors were afraid to go toe-to-toe with. He wasn’t going to take his eyes off Atwell, either, but his arm was tired, and his wand fell inch by inch until his arm was limp at his side. “Eight years…?” Yeah, it had been 8 years, hadn’t it, but it was so weird to think about now that he was face to face with the kid he hated most at Hogwarts. Even if he had been a seventh year when it all went down, to this day, it still stuck with him, because Eleora had betrayed him, too, that day. Of course, he realized his predicament now, after Atwell had thrown down his wand and declared a ceasefire, even though they hadn’t been at war. Not really. “Do you mind?” he growled, reaching for his pants. Atwell turned, probably reluctantly, because he was without a wand, and Lyceus still held his firmly in his hand. Hurriedly, he put his pants on. “Alright,” he said, giving the all clear. Lyceus’ wand was now in its holster, fixed to his loose belt, but he was decent now. He staggered over, feet and chest still bare. Every bone in his body ached, and he wanted to go home and sleep until dinner time where he would crave a medium rare steak, but what hurt the most the morning after was the scars on his body. Claw marks on his torso, and back, and two sets of bite marks on his shoulder and side, stretched and pulled with each transformation, and made them angry beyond words. Lyceus stooped, picking up Atwell’s wand. The wood was so foreign in his hand, like it wouldn’t obey him even if he tried the most basic of spells. He turned it over in his hands, inspecting it, because this magical tool said a lot about the wizard, but Lyceus was hardly a wandlore expert. He could not tell what type of wood it was, or the core that was inside it, but it was powerful, and he doubted that Atwell truly sucked at magic… if his career was any indication. The wand was turned over to its master. “For the record, I owe you a split lip,” he said bitterly, eyeing him squarely. Surely Atwell knew what he was talking about. “And a black eye. “Of course I heard about the school,” he added, that question not forgotten. The morning after his transformation, in which this unknown husky had joined him for a jaunt through the Forest of Dean, Lyceus had gone home to breakfast and his upset wife. She had been reading the daily prophet, and though she automatically knew it had nothing to do with him, they knew they were going to suffer for it. “The whole bloody world knows about what happened at Hogwarts--it wasn’t me,” he said, glaring. Somehow, Lyceus felt the weight of it on his shoulders, a guilt that wasn’t his and yet he shared in. Those poor kids, he felt terrible for them. He knew exactly what they were going through, and he wished he could help them. At the moment, all he could do was write a letter here and there to River Wolfe, who had also been turned recently. He hoped his words filled the boy with confidence, at the very least. This past month, he wondered if he should reach out to the newly infected, but he wondered what good his words would do. “It wasn’t me,” he repeated. He eyed the wand in Atwell’s hand now and took a breath. “But, I guess you know that… since you were with me at the time.” THANK MERLIN. AN ALIBI. “Have you known about me the entire time?!” he asked, the thought dawning on him. “Was this just a game for you or something?” Why the hell was he feeling so betrayed at the moment?
  18. Prince A. Charming

    Healer Station #9

    Sam wasn’t there. It was an emotional blow but Atticus tried not to show it. He knew that he was overly attached to the few magical friends he had but he really needed at least one of them at the moment. He hadn’t seen Harmony for sometime and was worried about her but he knew that Sammy was unhurt. He tried to move his head to look for him but it was difficult and painful. He was getting panicked when someone told him that Sam was being looked after. That was reassuring, at least, even if he wanted his best friend to be there with him instead of somewhere else. He looked up at Eppy and noticed how kind she looked. She had a soothing voice and an angelic face. He wasn’t entire sure what she meant by “looked after” but he didn’t ask any questions. He assumed she meant she had been the one to bandage him up. He nodded at his name and wondered how much she knew about what had happened. He blinked a few times as the images flashed through his mind, thinking that the action might get them to go away. It didn’t work. They were seared in his brain forever. The woman held out a cup to him and he reached for it, the movement making his entire body hurt. “Am I supposed to drink it?” he asked, trying to avoid her question. But he had to answer it. He looked down, seeing the bandages covering nearly his entire body, and then back up to her eyes. He nodded again, unable to find the words. Asking about the cup had been one thing but talking about how he’d nearly been pulled apart by two wolves was another. What had they been? Why had they been there? Why him? There were so many questions he wanted to ask but he was scared about the answers.
  19. Aurora Andrews

    to put it in words, I hate to put it in words

    Aurora expected him to retreat and not look back, because while she thought fondly of Julian and considered him one of her favourite people, she did not expect him to linger after she spoke. But at the same time, his presence wasn't unwelcomed, and if you had asked her before she would never have thought of Julian as someone who would know what to say to improve her mood. He was clever, above all but the kind of things that involved feelings and emotions had never seemed to be his forte. So when he started on about a fact about cats, the redhead couldn't hold down the slight smile that came across her face recognizing Julian's style of conversation. Her wonderful friend who would always spout out facts about different subjects, she'd never realized the source of comfort it had become. She licked her lips as she continued to let her fingers brush strokes agaisnt Augustus' fur, it was impossible not to grin when he pushed his head against her head. It was then she decided to relent to the boy in front of her, it wouldn't do her any good to turn away a friend. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I'm not fine," She let out a deep sigh as her thoughts wandered, "perhaps you understand better than I thought being on the other side too. But I wouldn't want to trouble you with the emotional mess that is inside my mind. "I am pleased that you and Hazel seem to be alright, it's nice that not everything had to be ruined in the aftermath." Aurora had to resist the urge to spring forward and squeeze Julian's hand as she would with any of her other friends. The last thing she wanted to do was either send him packing or worse change the nature of their friendship to something negative. So instead she sent him a genuine smile as she scratched one of the other kitties behind the ears. "Thanks for checking in on me. I appreciate the fact about cats." The future was uncertain when it came to life without Simon at her side but things seemed a little brighter with someone like Julian at her side.
  20. Prince A. Charming

    Calm before the storm.

    He knew that he didn’t always look friendly. Atticus didn’t mean for that but it was so hard to keep his emotions off his face. He didn’t want to be in the magical world. He wanted to be at muggle school, learning maths and science. He wanted to play football with his friends and his competitive teams. He wanted to live at home with his father and sister. He wanted to be able to visit his mother’s grave. He didn’t think any of that was too much to ask but apparently it was. He had been unsuccessful at convincing his father to let him stay home from Hogwarts. He didn’t like the school and he had few friends. The boy was scared of magic. Honorine arrived and he nodded at her. He didn’t want to ask about the “girl stuff” so he pretended not to have heard that and shook his head when she asked about the assignment. “I have not. I bookmarked the pages we need but that’s it.” He didn’t really know what they were supposed to be doing anyway. He paid attention in classes and did his best since he knew his father cared about his marks but he didn’t like it. And he didn’t retain a lot of what he was supposed to learn. He grabbed the books and opened to the pages he had bookmarked. “Where do you think we should start?”
  21. Richard Stafford

    There are cracks in the mirror as we stare broken and abused

    Dale hadn’t been conscious for it, but when Ringo’s eyes landed on the sight of his body, pale and practically pouring blood, the Ravenclaw boy had immediately retched so hard it felt like his stomach would cave in on itself. Even after they’d all reached the safety (could that even truthfully be said anymore?) of the castle, even after Ringo’d gotten patched up and been cleared to leave, and even after he’d slid into his bed that night—the absence of his roommates adding insult to very real injury—with the lights left on, he still saw Dale’s body. Jack had assumed that Dale had been dead—he should’ve been dead a voice told Ringo; no way someone could lose that much blood and still be alive to stand before him—and Ringo’d been inclined to agree with his roommate. In fact, Ringo had secretly wished Dale had died, only because a life cut short would’ve been more of a mercy than what the Slytherin boy had to endure now. When Ringo had first approached the girls’ loo, he’d been too far away to notice the sheen of tears making their way down Dale’s face. He was able to sneak a momentary glance once he’d stepped closer to the other boy, before Dale had wiped at his face to wipe away the tears. Ringo’s ma had always told him that it was wrong to stare at the injured and deformed—it made them feel like circus freaks on display, she said; and it was never nice to make someone feel like they were in a cage being poked at to perform a trick. Ringo usually disregarded her words when he openly gawked at Professor Hambledon and his half-goblin stature, but now he decided to heed his mum’s warning and not stare so openly at Dale. His face looked like a car crash scene that sucked you in and made you unable to disengage, but Ringo had to practice self-control in this instance. His eyes flicked nervously around the washroom before they found a spot on the floor to settle on. He remembered that he still had his wand gripped in his hand and tucked it away for later, same with his Transfiguration notes. “Dale...” He started off slowly before stopping. He’d never been in this situation before. A bully-turned-friend (were they even friends now?) needed to be comforted and all he could do was shuffle awkwardly. “It’s not pity. I mean... it’s not intended to be pity.” God, why wasn’t there a handbook for these sorts of conversations? “I’m sorry about what happened to you because you didn’t deserve it. None of us did. And, also, I’m sorry about...” Dale was going to hate him for admitting this, but he had to get it off his chest. It’d been eating him alive since the attacks. “I’m sorry about thinking that you deserved what happened to you. At first, I mean. I was just so angry with you because you were a bully to me earlier. You gave me a bloody wedgie, Dale! So when I saw you get attacked, at first I thought you deserved it, ya know? That it was your karma, or whatever.” Ringo paused to allow Dale to digest everything he’d just been told, and also to give himself the chance to really think about his next words. “But then I saw you get attacked again and again and I... I-I just...” His bottom lip quivered and his voice shook slightly. “I’m so sorry, Dale. You didn’t deserve that.”
  22. Prince A. Charming

    Breakfast paint session

    The girl began to babble on and he didn’t know what to think since it was hard to keep up. He watched as she painted on his arm. He wasn’t sure if it was something he would keep all day but he might as well make her happy since she had been so excited about it. He wasn’t someone to be rude to others if he could help it. There were times when something upset him enough that he didn’t think about what he was saying or doing but, for the most part, he did his best to be kind to everyone because that was what he wanted in return. Although he was starting to get into the territory of “pushover” and he needed to work on that. He could be nice without saying yes to everything. Apparently Aster called her mother by her first name which was baffling to the Gryffindor. He would never call his father by his name. And he had never even thought of that when his mother had been alive. They were mum and dad. He couldn’t think of them in any other sense. But everyone was different and he had to keep reminding himself of that fact now that he was stuck at magic school. He was seeing how different everyone around him was each and every day. He nodded as she continued to talk and said, “I miss my life before school, too,” he said. “But education is important.” It was something his parents had always said so he figured it must be true.
  23. Columbia Newton

    i want to come again and stay

    The way that everyone who had been at Hogwarts during the attacks carried themselves made Columbia hurt inside. She wished she could have taken their place, or at the very least, stood beside them in support. But no, her crazy family had pulled her away. Then those thoughts made her feel guilty, because who was upset when they were safe from such a horrific event? Feelings and emotions were so hard. At least Arwa didn't seem to resent her for having been on what was essentially a vacation in comparison to what her friends had gone through. Col appreciated that, especially the kind smile the other girl gave her. There hadn't been a lot of smiling while she'd been elsewhere. It reminded her of first year, and sitting and passing notes with the Gryffindor in the library with their plants. Of course the other girl wanted to know where she had traveled to. Columbia didn't blame her a bit, but she still found herself biting the inside of her lip while trying to come up with a good enough answer. She was still afraid of her grandmother, to be honest, even though she'd already disowned them. What more could she do? The Ravenclaw thought back to the paper she'd found the summer before her first year, the one proving she had cousins that had been put up for adoption, and wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer. "We were just in Italy, which was beautiful! My father's from there," not that they'd found him, but it wasn't like they'd had a bunch of leads. It was still disappointing, though. She bit her lip again and nodded, looking down at her hands in her lap as the subject turned to the attacks. She felt so guilty that she was untouched, and she felt tears threaten as Arwa mentioned nearly everyone in their year had been hurt. Julian? Simon? Hazel? Were they okay? They had been the ones that Columbia had been closest to, outside of Kate. Her stomach hurt with worry, only slightly subsiding when Arwa mentioned that they were at least alive. "I'm so glad you're all..." What? They weren't okay, were they? The expression on her companion's face said that much, "I'm so sorry, Arwa." She leaned forward, reaching to take one of the other girl's hands in her own without even thinking about it. She couldn't make it all better, but there was this much comfort she could provide.
  24. Dorothy Harness

    Under a falling sky, the terror is real this time

    Arms warmed her as Ryker painstakingly joined Dottie where she had curled up in their cave. While they were never as strong as she remembered following transformation, she sank into the comfort they provided regardless, reveling in the familiarity of his touch and smell. She didn’t need to see him or hear him to know that it was him. He was home for her. Home. Could she ever return home again after that night’s events? Surely there’d be enough negative press regarding the attacks, the escape from Taith Coch, and the fall-out from the events of the night before that before long it would no longer be safe anywhere in England for any of the surviving werewolves. People didn’t tend to side with werewolves on things like public safety during the full moon, even when ample amounts of wolfsbane had flowed in the week leading up to it. She could only imagine that it would all only get worse from that point on. And what of their families? Dottie’s parents, both Muggles, lived on a farm in Cornwall and she could only hope there weren’t Ministry Officials on their doorstep now, at this unfortunate hour of the morning, waking them up with the worst kind of news. While she had written home as soon as she could about what had happened to her and why she’d be living on a random island with Ryker following their attack, she had been purposely vague. It was a wildlife sanctuary, she had written, dedicated to England’s little-known growing wolf population. The irony of those words struck her as she lay with her head in Ryker’s lap. Would her efforts to protect them lead them to harm instead? There were so many questions which needed answers, but there was nobody she could trust to provide them. The media, sensationalist as it was, would put their own spin on the events of the previous night and she and Ryker would have to figure something out. They had to eat to survive and, above all, they had to stay safe while they tried to find shelter. Dottie bolted upright at that thought, her eyes wide as she cringed from the sharp pains in her rib cage. “Ryker, my wand. Where’s my wand. We should ward this place till we can leave.” She felt wildly around her dress, reaching into the special wand sleeve she sewed into the pocket of every dress and skirt she owned. It wasn’t there. Her beloved Cedar and Unicorn Hair wand was missing, dropped as she had attempted to break them out of the confines of the wards guarding Hogwarts against the exact threat she represented. “Ryker, I dropped my wand. We have to go back. I have to get it.”
  25. Ralph Digby Hamilton

    I'm always on your side

    Harmony hesitated before she began to speak, but by the end of the first sentence Ralph's stomach was churning with an unforeseen level of anxiety about where her story would lead. He tried denying it, tried convincing himself that she was fine and everything was fine and none of what he thought he'd seen and learned was true, but it was too late. And so he nodded as he moved in closer, tears rolling silently down his cheeks and splashing onto his robed lap. Bertie Botts spilled to the floor. "I'm a werewolf." Ralph wanted to scream and cry and hit the wall like he would have done when he was his sister's age. He wanted to yell at the professors and Headmistress for allowing this to happen to someone so good, so smart, so amazing like Harmony. Never mind the fourth year boy he didn't even know, the Hufflepuff could feel his heart shattering into a million pieces, but in utter silence and solitude because he, of all people, was the one person outside of her family who would know. While Ralph failed at many things, he would not fail at this. Rather than waste empty words on false statements that would heal nothing, solve NOTHING at all for anybody, the boy carefully wedged Harmony over, then climbed onto her bed with a creak and a groan, and held his friend while she cried. "I'm never going to stop being your friend. Ever."
  26. Once upon a time, a long time ago, Atwell Sinclair made a stupid mistake. Actually, he made many, many stupid mistakes, because he was a stupid teenager. Among those were several break-ups with the woman that would become his wife and several relationships during those break-ups that, looking back, were the sort of things that would make an adult cringe. One of these unfortunate, cringe-worthy events that he preferred to leave permanently in the recesses of his memory happened just minutes after winning the Quidditch House Cup in his fifth year. They'd been gloriously triumphant, excited, celebrating on the grass of the pitch, and he'd kissed one Eleora Chance. Right there. On the pitch. In full view of the entire school, including Lyceus Falls. Yes, that Lyceus Falls. The very same one that was staring him down now. The werewolf. Subsequently, Atwell and Lyceus had never really gotten along. He liked to pretend it was all due to some stupid Slytherin rivalry, but really, if he was really honest with himself, it all boiled down to kissing Lyceus's girlfriend that afternoon on the pitch. That had stirred up problems for Atwell, too, of course, on his own relationship front, but that wasn't important in the moment. The important thing was that it was Lyceus Falls staring back at him. He was twenty years older. He looked exhausted and a little bit sick, but as Atwell had read, that was a side-effect of intentionally poisoning yourself with aconite. This was what Jack had to look forward to. This...bone-snapping noise, corpse-like pallor, the permanent scars both visible and invisible...this was his eldest son's future, standing right there with him in the Forest of Dean, with a wand leveled at his chest and a curse ready in his mouth, both of the cussing variety and of the actual magical variety. Under normal circumstances, Atwell would have pulled his own wand. A nasty exchange of insults and magic would have occurred. Neither of them would have walked away from it feeling too great about anything. These were anything but normal circumstances and, beyond that, they were adults now. It had been twenty years since he'd made the mistake of making a pass at Lyceus's girlfriend who, if the rumor mill was correct, had, at some point, actually married him. They could have a conversation like adults, especially about this. "Been eight years and you're going to point a wand at me, Lyceus?" he asked, arching an eyebrow and fixing the sleeves of his coat. He didn't have it in him for this run around, not now, not when he had an emotionally distraught thirteen-year-old boy to write a letter to when he got home, assuring him that things would be fine. They would always make sure things were fine for him. They were empty promises. He hated that. Hated that he'd never be able to fix this for Jack or erase what Maggie had seen. His job, his entire purpose—it all boiled down to those three kids and the one on the way and he was supposed to protect them. He'd promised he would on countless nights when nightmares plagued their sleep and when it all came down to it, when they needed him the most, he'd been far, far away from them. Atwell cleared his throat. "I take it you heard about what happened at the school," he continued flatly. "I have questions for you." He tugged his wand from his pocket and, against all better judgement, threw it into the dirt between them. "And I'm not here for work. This is personal."
  27. Dale McQueen-Trengrove

    There are cracks in the mirror as we stare broken and abused

    Dale's hands were still gripped tightly around the sink when he heard something. A voice. Crap. The tears were still dripping down his face and he quickly wiped them away with his hand hoping that whoever it was hadn't seen him crying. And then he realized that it was Ringo's voice who he had heard. Ringo who he had not seen since that night. Dale had vague memories of the boy screaming but he had been unconscious and couldn't remember anything very clearly other than the face of the wolf -- the one that had swiped at his face. The rest of the night blurred, most of the memories hazy and on the edges of his mind save for the other moment when he had told them all to leave him. Now though Ringo was coming and telling him that he was sorry. Sorry for what? His face? The tough exterior that had always formed to block out the inner demons quickly snapped into place as he wanted nothing more than to be left alone. He hated the fact that Ringo possibly saw him crying. "Don't be," he snapped completely ignoring the question about how he was. "I don't need your pity." That was the last thing he wanted. For it to be made a bigger deal than it already was. He saw the stares. He knew. His face was wore the mark of the monster that brought them all the nightmares of the full moon.
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