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Addison Toft

In the sunshine, where you are

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Addison Toft

Back-dated to the train ride at the beginning of VH36

 

By and large, the prefect meeting on the train was a perfunctory affair; Mercutio and Eleanor were more level-headed and even-keeled than Kelly, so most of the meeting was spent chatting about introductions, general goals for the team, and explaining tasks and routines to the new recruits. Addison stayed quiet through most of it, chipping in only when prompted; she did her best to keep her eyes from returning over and over to Silas, wondering what he was thinking when he saw her enter the compartment late.

 

When the meeting ended, she fidgeted in her seat, unsure of whether or not to approach him. Most of the others were already up on their feet and heading back out to begin their patrols, or meet up with friends, but indecision anchored to the chair. What if he didn't want to talk? He probably wanted to hang out with Tobias or Irene, no longer caring what she chose to do... but he had her wand (assuming he didn't toss it in the bin), and she needed it back.

 

She spotted him rise and make his way to the door, and that jolted her into action. Without over-thinking it anymore, Addison jumped up and caught him by the arm, tugging him gently to turn to face her. "Silas, hey. Can we talk?"

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Silas Harding-Clarke

Silas attended the meeting robotically; his body was present, but his attention certainly wasn't. 

 

He supposed both the new Head students were more responsible than the previous two, although he did not share any particular fondness for either one of them, especially after the tournament of champions finale at the end of his fifth year. Silas, however, did not challenge authority, so he nodded mutely whenever it seemed like he was supposed to and, at intervals, glanced at Addison and thought about Irene.

 

She had returned, after all, he thought, with no small measure of relief. But it also caused that sickening flicker of guilt in his stomach. He would have to apologize to her for what had happened. If she'd left Hogwarts he would never have had to face the truth... but those were selfish thoughts, which he was somewhat startled to notice came up unbidden more and more often these days, and he wasn't sure if it was a result of his rushed studies of Legilimency, which turned his mind into a blender, or if it was a lingering side effect from the third task bug venom that had turned him into something unrecognizable.

 

When the meeting ended, Silas slowly stood up from his seat, careful not to bash his head on the overhead cargo shelf. He had gotten taller, perhaps too tall for the train. He glanced at Addison's feet out of his peripheral vision; she wasn't moving, so he made his way to the door, and suddenly, her hand was on his arm.

 

He turned and smiled, if she had embraced him he would have returned the gesture, but because she seemed antsy and unsure, he tried to provide something normal, a safe space. "You came back," he said, stating the obvious. "Why?"

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Addison Toft

Seeing the smile on his face flooded her with relief, and with a happy glow in her chest. Even though he'd been treated after the third task, a part of her still hadn't been able to shake the worry that some of that darkness would linger. But seeing his easy, relaxed grin, she knew he was okay. The Silas she was looking at now was the Silas she'd come to know - and yet, that fact in itself unsettled her. There were no questions, no furrowed lines in his brow, despite her last communique telling him she wasn't going to come back to Hogwarts.

 

No, there was no displeasure or confusion in his expression. There was something else, something she couldn't identify, what with her being her typically bad-at-reading-people self. But she could at least tell he wasn't unhappy with her being there, unless he'd somehow gotten better at being unreadable.

 

Addison snapped her hand back, her fingers cringing away from the feel of his arm. "I... um, yes. I came back. Not for you though," she said, her haughty tone failing to completely cover the bashful tinge in her voice. Addison cleared her throat, and averted her eyes. "I mean, I read your letter, and it was nice." Nice? She kicked herself mentally. "Not 'nice', but you know what I mean. I... I appreciated it. Thank you." Was he always this tall? It felt like he was looming over her, a giant peering down through the clouds. "I talked about things with Celeste - my mum, and I changed my mind because... because... you know. 'S'alright around here."

 

She sniffed proudly, and looked out a window - but gradually, her gaze slid back to Silas. 

 

"And I figured if you became a murderer, it'd ruin your chances of becoming minister for magic one day. You can thank me when you get your new office."

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Silas Harding-Clarke

"I came back. Not for you though,"

 

"That's good," he said agreeably, neither condemning or condoning it, really, simply acknowledging her statement's presence in a neutral way, as though he was talking about the train ride. She went on to admit that perhaps his letter had talked some sense into her... or at least, gotten her to think twice about her decision, which she seemed so sure of in her first correspondence. Silas nodded when she mentioned that she'd talked to her foster--no, adoptive--no, just--mother--about things, and he was happy for this.

 

He and Della had gone to a holiday dinner at the Wards' house and both he and his mother had found Celeste and Daniel to be amiable, but more importantly, intelligent people. Silas was satisfied. Celeste wouldn't allow Addison to make decisions that were harmful to her future or her development as a person.
 
"And I figured if you became a murderer, it'd ruin your chances of becoming minister for magic one day. You can thank me when you get your new office."

 

The Ravenclaw laughed appreciatively, but inside he was shaking his head. Minister for Magic! Imagine. That was much too visible of a position for someone like Silas, who preferred to work privately, who could only read a person (now literally) if they were one-on-one, and did not at all prefer answering to crowds or groups of people, and did not greatly concern himself with public opinion.

 

"Remind me to send a fruit basket," he said instead, and then raised a finger in realization. "Ah, you're here for your wand, aren't you?" he'd splintered the box that it came in, by hurling it against a wall, and since he wasn't sure that Addison would return, he hadn't fixed it. But he was sure it could be mended. But first...

 

"I wish I'd known you were coming back," he said, feigning distress. "I thought you weren't going to need it again.."

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Addison Toft

She grimaced. "Fruit? Gross. Send me one of those baskets with cookies and chocolate instead, would you? I've heard there are even baskets with cheese and meats."

 

A basket with her wand in it would be swell, too. She already had her hands extended forth, cupped to receive the comforting touch of crooked, pale yew. Unfortunately, what she received was not her wand, but instead a cryptic admission that he might not have brought it. Or worse. The grimace turned into a genuine expression of dismay. Addison blanched, and stammered, "W-wait, are you being serious? I... but I need... wait!" 

 

She spun around and pressed herself against a window - Platform 93/4 was long, long gone, and there was no way she was going to get her wand back (assuming he hadn't destroyed it). Her cheek was squished up on the pane, and it squealed noisily as she slumped downwards. No wand. No wand meant no magic. No magic meant this whole decision to come back to Hogwarts was a waste because she was going to get kicked out for failing every class. Would Ollivanders' let her buy a new wand, or was it a 'one time only' deal? Because even if Silas hadn't destroyed it, the fact that he didn't have it now meant that it'd been left in the care of Della Harding-Clarke, the woman who reviled Addison's guts. Della had probably tossed it into a fireplace by now.

 

Glumly, she turned back to Silas. 

 

"I guess I deserved that."

 

Post 5,300 ♥ ♥ ♥

Edited by Addison Toft

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Silas Harding-Clarke

He actually felt bad when her face crumpled and she rushed to the window to see if it might be okay to barrel roll out of the compartment and onto the platform, but they were long since departed from the station. He shook his head as she asked if he was serious, then turned around and looked back at him, crestfallen.
 
"I guess I deserved that."

 

"I'm just kidding," he said, jostling her with his elbow. "Not only would I never throw away someone else's possessions, but wands are expensive and one of a kind. That would be like throwing away a gold bar," he said companionably, opening the compartment door and gesturing for her to walk through it. "You should know me better by now." He had already stowed his things in another compartment before heading to the prefect meeting, and he led her there now.

 

"I wasn't even sure if I should bring it to school, since, you know, what am I going to do with it," he went on. "I guess maybe I thought I could try to use it as a back-up if something disastrous happened to my own wand, or..." he had thought about doing some reading about how to locate people using their possessions, but that was very close to Divination and he hadn't taken it for a reason--being that he thought it was nonsense.

 

They stopped in front of a door, which Silas pulled open. There were other bags strewn about, but the compartment was currently empty, its inhabitants gone to visit friends or chase the snack cart. "Hang on, I'll get it."

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Addison Toft

Like throwing away a gold bar. That might have been comforting if someone who wasn't Silas said it. She'd seen his house. Mansion. Palace. The Harding-Clarkes were not concerned with finances. They were the one family Addison knew of (besides the Morgans) who could afford to throw away gold. But, as Silas said, she should have known him better - the main reason for entrusting him with the wand, and not anybody else, was due to the fact she felt comfortable in the knowledge that Silas would take care of it, and so long as his mum didn't get her hands on it, the wand would be safe.

 

Following him quietly out of the compartment, she wrung her hands behind her back; she could only assume he was leading her to wherever he'd stored his things, which was also where her wand was - which meant her wand was currently unattended. What if someone dug through his belongings and found it? Addison heard his younger sister had a friend who particularly enjoyed antagonising him, and if she had a chance to rifle through his bags unhindered...

 

"Hold on," she said abruptly, as he entered another compartment. "What do you mean 'if something disastrous happened'? Were you planning on doing something dangerous?" Her eyes ignited with concern, as she flashed back to the scene of his body, draped on the floor, with Kaelyn crying about how she hadn't meant to hurt him. Ignoring his implied order to wait outside while he retrieved her wand, Addison checked the corridor around them, and then slipped inside, softly sliding the door shut behind her and locking it. 

 

"Are you and Kaelyn still doing... whatever it is you're doing?"

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Silas Harding-Clarke

"Hold on. What do you mean 'if something disastrous happened'?"

 

"Hmm?" Silas paused in his rifling, though he was mostly making a show of it, because everything in his bag was meticulously organized. There was her slightly cracked wand box, carefully rolled up in an extra sweater. He had parted the folds to ensure that it was still there. It was. Right where he left it.

 

"Were you planning on doing something dangerous?"

 

Silas turned around and lifted an eyebrow at her. "I rarely plan to do anything dangerous," he reminded Addison. "I find it's usually more.. thrust upon me." His attempts at making light of her concern were not appreciated, so he turned back to his possessions and removed the wand box, only faintly aware of the click of the compartment door behind them.

 

"Are you and Kaelyn still doing... whatever it is you're doing?"

 

He turned to face Addison again, holding her wand box in both hands. "No, I promise we aren't. I haven't done anything with Kaelyn since... well, since before she started dating Tobias," he admitted. "After.. well, after what happened in Diagon Alley, we both wanted to be stronger... to feel prepared. To have abilities that an opponent would never predict." Silas handed Addison her belongings. "But I wasn't ready to share that with anyone else, so when they got together, I told her our studies had come to an end. What she has been doing with her own time, I don't know."

 

Forcing a smile, he nodded at the box. "I took care of the wand.. polished it. I'm sorry about the box. We can probably mend it."

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Addison Toft

She didn't realise the breath had been caged inside her chest, as she awaited his answer. The last thing she wanted to see happen was for Silas to suffer another gruesome injury, not only because she didn't have anymore of that phoenix crystal-paste, but because she didn't want to see him hurt, period. His reply came with a wave of relief that surged through her. It wasn't that Addison couldn't trust Kaelyn - it was that that confidence in her fellow prefect would forever be tainted, an indelible stain, the tiniest shadow of doubt. Obviously Kaelyn hadn't meant to injure Silas, and yet it happened, all the same, which meant it could happen again in the future.

 

She took the wand box back, regarding the long crack. Running her finger down the edge, she said softly, "Okay. That's fair. I know how that feels, wanting to get stronger in case they came back - and you know I know, 'cause you've... you've seen me go a bit off the deep end about it. I never told you either that I did a little bit of research of my own, back in fourth year. Different kinds of magic, like animal transformation and mind-reading and all that. I didn't really get anywhere though... it was all super complicated."

 

Lifting open the box lid and taking out her wand, she slowly turned it over and over in her fingers, and then looked up to smile wistfully at him. "I shouldn't be surprised you were doing the same thing. You were always protecting me, taking care of my loose ends." Addison wagged the wand as an prime example. "And don't worry about it. It's just a box. There are more important things to be fixed."

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Silas Harding-Clarke

Silas gave a little smile as she accepted the wand box, and more importantly, the item within it. That had started it all, hadn't it? Addison earning her wand made her truly a witch--made her truly belong to a group of people in a world where she'd never before felt accepted. Being a magical child in a Muggle foster system had ultimately ended in Addison finding the most understanding and brave of adoptive parents--Muggles who were willing to accept a troublesome child not only for what she appeared to be, but to tackle the entirely new world of trials and wonders that she brought with her by being a witch.

 

When she said that she'd done her own research--specifically into mind-reading--Silas tilted his head with interest. "Well, if you ever did want to learn Animagus transformation, I bet Jake could help you," he noted. Once Addison had removed the wand it was like a little glow returned to her. Halves united. He felt pleased that he'd been charged with caring for the half she tried to throw away, as though you could throw away a part of yourself, a part magnetized with the opposite pole that would always spring back. He reached out and took the box, his fingers grazing hers, then reached into his pocket for his blackthorn wand.

 

He easily repaired the crack (reparo) but it was a superficial fix. "The runes may have to be redone," he said apologetically. "And as for mind-reading... I'm not sure how useful it would be against a Death Eater, anyway. It requires a lot of face-time with the target--probably more than you'd ever get considering how hit-and-run their terrorist attacks are."

 

 

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Addison Toft

She blinked, curious about why Silas said she should consult Jake about animal transformation. Was it because Jake had mastered the art? Or because he was more of the more skilled sixth years in transfiguration? Or... because Silas was making a subtle jab by implying he viewed Jake to be little more than an animal? It was hard to parse Silas' wry sense of humor sometimes.

 

The box shuddered and creaked as the parted ends bent back to touch and seal themselves anew. She didn't say anything when he mentioned the runes needed re-doing, because she wasn't sure how sensitive of a topic ancient runes was between them, given that the last brush with runes they shared involved a pensieve and memories she'd rejected. Mind-reading too, was an uncertain minefield, with it being directly related to memories, and the fact that she'd had her own mind wiped not once, but twice: the first time by a death eater, the second time of her own volition.

 

But Silas didn't seem to carry a harsh or bitter tone about the subject, so she met his approach. "It won't matter anymore. I'll be happy if I never see another one in my life." Even if the Daily Prophet hadn't run that article about the death eaters being vanquished once and for all, Addison had finally learned her lesson. Some things were better left alone, or to people more capable in handling them. "You'll be glad to know my days of chasing after them are done." Her voice lowered, and she looked down at her shoes, an uncomfortable heat in her cheeks, ears, and back of her neck. "Unless... unless they took you. Then I wouldn't stop until I got you back."

 

She pursed her lips, falling silent for a beat, before muttering, "Sorry. I... I didn't mean it like..." She'd spent an entire summer trying to distance herself emotionally from Silas, to stop herself from obsessing over him and wrapping her entire life around him, but in mere minutes of conversation, she was coming undone. "I just mean - like in the tournament. I care about you, and I'll always have your back." Addison took a deep breath, and forced herself to re-form her composure.

Edited by Addison Toft

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