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Asher Leighton

Sleight of hand and twist of fate, on a bed of nails she makes

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Asher Leighton

The redhead boy pulled a card out of his deck, twirling it around his fingers idly as everyone in the classroom packed up their items to get ready to leave for the day. Asher wasn't particularly in any sort of rush to get back to the frustrating and depressing air of the Leighton household. At least his sister was home from school, so he could annoy her a bit instead of listening to his father's depressive rhetoric as he moped around the house.

 

His satchel, now full with his parchment and books, was a hand me down from his sister and he couldn't wait to get to Hogwarts so he could use some magic to remove the flower appliques she'd charmed to stay on, despite his best attempts with a pocket knife. He's decided to take a "devil may care" attitude about the overly girly item. At least it worked for it's intended purpose. 

 

As the majority of the tittering ten year olds filed out of the front door, Asher looked over his shoulder to see movement in the corner. Near the door to the supply closet, a raven haired girl was milling about and caught his attention. Curious, the boy turned around completely and headed in the direction of the closet. He pushed his copper-red hair out of his face as he reached the door, learning on the frame in a futile attempt to look cool. "Oy, whatcha lookin' for in there?" He continued twirling the spare card around his fingers, watching the small girl with furrowed brows. 

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Honorine Nott

When Honorine had discovered the box of old newspapers in the arts and crafts closet at school, she'd almost smiled for the first time in half a decade. It was the sort of material she couldn't just ask her parents to conjure up for her; it was rare, authentic, and perfectly serendipitous. The newspapers would be perfect for her latest poetry experiment, and she'd been slyly taking the sheets from the closet one at a time as everyone else bounded out the door to head back home. She'd considered herself quite stealthy for the past six days, but naturally on the seventh day Merlin said: Let there be intrusion. She peeked over her shoulder, hoping to see a gnome. Alas, this was not the case.

 

Great. The ugly redhead. She'd been trying to avoid that one.

 

It wasn't that she was intentionally malicious, or bore any ill-will on the tragic creature. She just felt about him the way she felt about red corvettes on the highway; you avoided driving too close to them so that you wouldn't end up complicit. Or dead. She already had enough attention drawn to her by the literal sunshine that radiated off of Covey every time she gave someone a condescending grin; she was doing her best to minimize any other relations that might associate her with recklessness or sociability.

 

"Nothing," was her immediate clever reply. She let the newspaper flutter to the ground conspicuously behind her. "Am I in your way?" She glanced down at the card in his hand. Oh no. The muggle magic tricks. She'd been warned about this. She gestured to the card in his hand. "Beware of paper cuts."

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Asher Leighton

Asher narrowed his eyes as he regarded the brunette and the sudden shift in her attitude. Moments before, he could have almost sworn he'd seen actual emotion on her face, but the moment he spoke to her the door slammed and her face was back to the mask of impassivity that he'd noticed in class. "Nothin', eh?" The redhead stood on his top-toes to look past her into the supply closet, seeing papers fluttering to the ground. Newspaper? "Somethin' in tha news you're looking to read 'bout?" 

 

The boy looked down at his hands. They were covered in scars and marks, but not from the simple act of playing with cards. That was probably the least-violent thing he'd been interested in. Climbing trees, playing in the valleys, picking strange items up off the dirty streets of Cardiff. Did it make him seem cooler if he had cut himself playing with his deck of cards? Must have, because he decided that was what he was going with. 

 

"Yeah, cards are very dangerous, 'ya know. One almost caugh' me in tha throat once." So cool. So swuave. See how uncaring he was about a little peril? "Would you like t' see a magic trick?"  

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Honorine Nott

They were mirror images of each other, the eleven-year-old narrowing her eyes right back, almost mocking him. Her gaze flickered to the black and white pages now crowding around her feet before tipping her head back up to bolding look at him, her tone bored. "It's not news anymore if it's from 1956." As though he were supposed to just intuit the year the newspapers had been published.

 

Well? They were magical, weren't they?

 

Hen blinked at him. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind recognizing that this was probably supposed to be a joke, and not just something really stupid to say. She didn't laugh though, instead looking at the boy's throat for evidence of the alleged perils of...what, exactly?

 

"Not really," she said, always unapologetically honest. She was aware, however, that the only thing standing between her and her father's looming presence outside of the school, was this red-head and his lethal stack of playing cards, and that being too mean would probably not get her anywhere. "But if you're any good, you'll change my mind. Let me see." She folded her arms over her chest, knocking the heels of her boots together as she waited to see what tragically underwhelming thing was about to be presented to her.

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Asher Leighton

Asher furrowed his brow and looked down at the papers scattering the floor. "But why would ya want t' read news that isn't news anymore?" he asked, curiously. He picked one of the papers up, seeing some moving photos that were fading and barely there, a few dark ink words, and not much of anything he'd consider interesting reading. He set the paper down on the desk nearby and turned back to the brunette expectantly. 

 

Of course, her response to his offer to show her some magic was met with the response he'd come to expect from the magical students he'd met so far. At his old muggle primary school in Cardiff, his classmates begged to see some of his magic tricks, even if that was the only thing they ever found interesting about him. Of course, his sister and da' had told him later that he may have been accidentally using real magic all along, but he could hardly ever tell except for the slight vibrating in his fingers when cards would disappear for real and then refuse to reappear. He'd ruined a lot of decks of cards that way, not having all of the cards in the suit because he wasn't sure where cards when when you disappeared them and they didn't return. 

 

He shook off the rejection though, playing with the cards clumsily in one hand and managing to cut them only once before they threatened to splatter to the floor. He shuffled them on the desk, feeling the impatience from the girl with every second. Then, he fanned out the cards in front of her as dramatically as he could muster and with the flourish he'd seen from magicians on the telly, gave her the first instruction with a half smile. 

 

"Pick a card." 

 

 

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Honorine Nott

"I wasn't going to read them," she said, in an exasperated tone that gave away how completely and totally done with this line of questioning she was. The whole point of sneaking into the art supply closet in the first place was so that she wouldn't have to explain herself—and yet here she was. Her eyes rolled in her head, a habit she had picked up since starting at primary school and one that would undoubtedly persist for the rest of her life.

 

Arms still crossed, she watched as the boy fumbled with a deck of playing cards, and for a moment she wondered if the magic trick would consist of some divination of sorts; her mother had told her once that, in times of crisis, any deck will due for predicting the future if you knew which cards matched which in a deck of tarot. She quickly threw that hypothesis out the window as the boy attempted what she imagined was supposed to be a trick before giving up and shuffling them against a flat surface like a normal person. Her impatience did not give itself away on her face, though she didn't realize until too late that her foot had begun to tap. If this poor boy kept up with all his flourishes and fanfare for much longer, he'd have Reginald Nott to answer to, and that was a fate she'd try to protect anyone from.

 

At long last the shuffling came to an end, and he gave her a command. Her head tilted slightly to the side. "Why?" She waited for his response, finding it not quite as satisfying as her curious mind would have liked before shrugging her shoulders and digging her fingers into the pile. "Am I supposed to show it to you, or keep it to myself?"

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