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Kelly Ashcroft

Didn't have a dime, but I always had a vision

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Kelly Ashcroft

Kelly worried her connection to Hogwarts was fleeting, like a tether so thin it may disappear. Sure, she kept in touch with her friends from school here and there, but really, it was just she and Puck most nights, at home or at work (Puck, at her tattoo parlor, and Kelly, at the clothing shop she worked for temporarily.. always planning bigger things). 

 

They had fun. Kelly was happy to have her own place and almost completely eliminate contact with her mother. Sometimes she owled her father, but she thankfully didn't have to rely on him financially. She and Puck didn't have much money, but they had enough. The twenty-one year old, sometimes, felt happy and hopeful, which was the best Kelly could ask for.

 

A blanket of snow painted the world around her a stark white, and the air shimmered with Christmas even though it was the beginning of January. Towering trees blinked in silver, gold, and rainbow lights. Holly and mistletoe twined from buildings and singing filled the air.. the festive cheer Kelly loved. Still, she couldn't help the pang of nostalgia she felt when she remembered this was typically her school break, and then she thought of all the people who were still at Hogwarts who she knew.. a lot of them her enemies, but some not, like Casper and..

 

Petey. Her cousin. An idea struck Kelly quick and sharp like a whip, and immediately, she scrambled to send the boy an owl with a letter. In the letter, she scrawled the address to her home, in London on the outskirts of Diagon, and a request that he visit the next day at 2 P.M., for tea.

 

(Tea was, apparently, something adults made). 

 

She'd catch up with him. She'd find out if anything new was going on at Hogwarts, and finally feel connected, again.

 

The next day arrived, and Kelly woke up about 15 minutes before 2. Puck had left for work already. It was Sunday, but her girlfriend had erratic hours. She groggily pulled on her pink bathrobe and blotted on make-up then stumbled into the kitchen,sitting at the table by the crackling fireplace with a mug of coffee (the better version of tea), waiting, assuming he'd travel by floo. 

Edited by Kelly Ashcroft

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Petey Levi

Petey was sitting quietly at the Great Hall table, waiting to return back home for winter break when he received an owl. He planned on ignoring it until he realized it wasn't the usual owl his parents sent him. Marissa had one very specific old, noisy owl that was used to send her letters. She was certain this owl was the safest and would never tamper with any confidential information she may send. He always just thought the thing was ugly and dreaded the times it would show up at Hogwarts. 

 

But this wasn't the noisy owl, just a normal one that any witch or wizard would send without the fear of mail fraud. He took the letter and read it immediately instead of stuffing it in his pocket like he had planned to. 

 

It was a letter from his cousin Kelly, who he had thought he'd never hear from again once she left the walls of Hogwarts. Sure, they had had the occasional run-ins when they both attended the school, but for the most part Petey always got the impression the then seventh year tried to keep her distance. Once she moved onto the adult world, Petey was sure she'd have no time for her little cousin. 

 

Surpisingly now, she wanted to have tea, of all things. Petey didn't even like tea. He only drank coffee, black, like his heart. Or so he told himself. But he was returning back to the gloom of his mother's house in a few hours and any excuse to escape her rants on why Hogwarts was dangerous meant less of a risk of him not returning for the next term. The Ravenclaw boy decided he would rather choke down ear-wax Bertie Botts beans than run that risk. He could handle some tea with his cousin. 

 

The conversation to go on his own through floo powder went as he expected, but eventually after his father Clark weighed in, he had permission to go, since Kelly was family and all. 

 

With the floo-powder in his hand, Petey was trying to hide his nerves of floo-travel since he had done it so rarely. He threw the ashy powder to the ground and hoped to Merlin he ended up at Kelly's. Instantly, he felt his body being banged against the floo-network and hoped the travel period would be over soon. 

 

He felt his feet hit the hard surface first with a hard thump that threw off his balance. He fell to his knees and used his arms to break the fall from going to his head. The ashes from the fire-place were not stuck in his lungs that put him into an extreme coughing fit. Petey really hoped he wasn't at some stranger's mercy while he sat on all fours in a terrible, dramatic coughing fit. 

 

In that moment, Petey instantly wished he got out more. 

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Kelly Ashcroft

She frowned at the ash-soaked, coughing, sputtering figure. The smell of smoke filled her lungs, and soot fell onto the spotless floor. Ever since Kelly got her own apartment (and under the influence of Puck), she'd become much tidier person than she used to be. She'd never been extremely messy, but always careless: owning her own space changed things.

 

"Young Petey," Kelly greeted following a deep sip of sugary coffee, half-ignoring his fit. "Have you turned twelve yet?" She teased, then pointed her wand at him lazily. "Scourgify." The ash vanished instantly, and he was good as new - she then cast the same spell at her floor and around the mantel, before sitting back down.

 

It helped that cleaning was so much easier now that she could use magic outside of school.

 

She tucked her wand back into her glittery pink case (feather-light, carried with her at all times), and gestured toward the chair beside her, then pushed a second mug his way.

 

"I don't have tea. I mean, I don't drink it really. Well, Puck makes good tea, but," a yawn rippled through her, "she's at work." She tapped Petey's mug with her wand and it filled to the brim with steaming hot coffee from a pitcher in the back. "Would you like cream or sugar? I've got some in the fridge. Accio," she called, and they zoomed forward then settled smoothly on the wooden table.

 

Yes, she was showing off. Kelly felt like such a grown-up. It was spectacular, but also, in a lot of ways, sad.

 

"How's Aunt Marissa?" She found herself asking a few moments and several sips of coffee later. "Still bat##### crazy?" Kelly pulled her legs up and hugged her arms around her knees, her fluffy slippers now resting on the chair. The apartment had needed a lot of renovation, but together (and by together, she means Puck did everything), they turned it into a magical space. The walls were laced with charmed runes, and mirrors chattered happily - the ceiling was charmed with stars and photographs danced on the walls. 

 

"I was also wondering," she went on, stirring more and more sugar into her coffee. "What's been going on at school? I, um, miss it," she admitted, voice softening with the confession. Then, not wanting to leave herself vulnerable, a smirk lifted on her lips and she hastened to add: "And with you? You've gotta be halfway through by now? Have you got a girlfriend? Or a boyfriend?" She added, wokely

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Petey Levi

Petey's coughing fit ended with Kelly using a spell to clean him up. He wasn't sure on the exact specifics on how clean a spell could get you, but he was grateful for whatever aid of cleanliness his older cousin could provide. Petey couldn't imagine having to sit in Kelly's grown-up apartment covered in soot and ash. Definintly not the way an Ashcroft would present themselves. 

 

Once he became aquatinted with the new sensation of balance, he took a look around her apartment. He had been to very few places in the magical world, so it was interesting to see what an actual magic functioning house looked like. The enchanted ceiling caught his first gaze with stars that dazzled up above. He liked them. It made the apartment feel like an actual wizards game home, not like all the wonky quirks sloppily thrown into his house. 

 

His eyes rolled as Kelly talked to him like he was a child. "Hey Kelly," he said as he reached for the mug his cousin magically filled up. As much as he wanted to be annoyed for the obvious showing off of her magical talents, he did think it was pretty cool. 

 

"Nah, it's okay. I drink my coffee black," Petey said, trying to impress her as he took a sip of the mug. The bitter black liquid touched his lips and he realized he actually didn't like black coffee, just the idea of it. Setting the mug back down and now reaching for the sugar he added, "But I think you make coffee wrong."

 

The boy sat back with his mug resting in his lap, trying to let the tension in his bones out. There was always something about Kelly that made him feel very small. Maybe it was the lavish pink slippers, or for that matter, the pink everything that showed off the self-confidence that Kelly didn't lack. Petey hoped someday he could walk around his own apartment in slippers, performing magic without a worry of what Marissa Levi thought.

 

"Mum's been crazy," he answered, "I've been in and out of Hogwarts for the past three years because she doesn't trust it. The Triwizard Tourney really threw her over the edge, I think."

 

Petey heard her inquire more about Hogwarts' happenings and he just shook his head. He was disappointed in himself for not knowing more about his school to satisfy his cousin's ache for gossip. It would also provide an escape from the conversation she was trying to have about his romantic life. 

 

Why was everybody so concerned about boys and girls? He supposed during his hermit times at home, he had missed the pubescence stage of finding the hormones that made you attracted to another human. Molly had tried talking about it just the other week and heck, now, that she brought it up, he was beginning to think Kelly might be gay too! His mouth gaped at the sudden realization and he couldn't stop himself before he asked the burning question. 

 

"Wait, are you gay too?" 

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Kelly Ashcroft

Kelly raised an eyebrow, and giggled when he added the sugar. "That's how everyone makes it. Or, that's the normal way to make it, anyway," she corrected him, and then she drained her own mug. 

 

Her brows shot up at the mention of the Triwizard Tournament. "Woah, they had that? Did you get to see what happened?" She asked eagerly. "Merlin, I've missed so much," the former Slytherin sighed wistfully. "I would've loved to participate in one of those..."

 

Unless it was too dangerous, or the prize wasn't big enough, of course.

 

"Too?" Kelly repeated. "And no." Her expression turned slightly affronted. She relaxed pretty quickly, however, reminding herself that not everyone understood sexuality. It was weird, because ever since she'd fallen into this serious relationship with Puck, it seemed that people just assumed she was gay, which wasn't true - it was eliminating half of her identity, and all the years in which she didn't realize she liked girls, the years in which she was 'boy-crazy'.. they were formative for her, and she didn't want anyone to think it was fake: she didn't want them to think she was pretending to like boys to due to societal norms. She did like boys. Even if she wanted to be with Puck forever, her crush on Ryan had been something she carried with her for years, and it was very real. 

 

Kelly lied enough as it was. She didn't need anyone to think she'd pretended to be something she was not. 

 

"I mean yeah, I like girls, Puck's my girlfriend, but I'm not gay. I like boys too. I'm bisexual," she informed him shortly. "And what's it to you?" Her eyes narrowed and her fingers curled more tightly around her wand - an instinctive, defensive reaction. Ever since her mum cut her off and kicked her out for her sexuality, she didn't know who to trust.

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Petey Levi

"No, my mum pulled me out before anything happened," he answered, and took a long swig of his (lightly) sugared coffee (that Kelly made wrong). He was trying to hide his embarrassment for not knowing anything that went on at his own school. 

 

Petey didn't realize a simple question on dating preference would get Kelly so fired up. Molly seemed to be so calm about it when she was telling him about her love for girls, he expected the same from his from his cousin. But then she started explaining how she still liked boys too and Petey's fragile head started to spin. The socially awkward Ravenclaw boy couldn't imagine liking one gender, while his cousin had a big enough emotional capacity to like both.

 

As he watched her grip her wand tighter, he put his hands up as a defense. "I don't care. I know another gay girl at school and still duel her sometimes." He wasn't ready to admit to Molly being his friend, and certainly didn't want Kelly thinking that. He doubted she even remembered who Molly was at school anyway. The minor details weren't important. What was important was figuring out this new fad of liking other people. 

 

"Your place is a lot cleaner than anything she owns though. Is it because you like.. still sort-of try to impress boys?" Petey asked innocently. He was still trying to figure out if Molly's hygiene levels had anything to do with her sexuality, and now that he had happened upon somebody of the same kind in his very own family, he felt a little more comfortable asking the hard-pressing questions. Even if they were a bit bizarre for a sheltered fourteen year old boy to be asking. 

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Kelly Ashcroft

"Aunt Marissa.. she pulled you out?" Kelly gasped, eyes nearly bulging. "Merlin, even when my mum was awful, she didn't do that." She felt a stab of something that, if she didn't know any better, she may have thought was pity. "For how long?" 

 

Kelly thought about how she'd react if Kathy tried to pull her out. Rebel, certainly, but would it work? She wasn't allowed to use magic outside of school without risking expulsion, so it may be tricky.

 

She wished she didn't relate so much - didn't feel so bad - for Petey. Pity was, in her opinion, a useless emotion.

 

Kelly's first instinct was to argue Petey classifying her as a gay girl (and associating her with another), but she swallowed it back, remembering how important it was for her to pick her battles - a lesson she failed at Hogwarts, but had grown considerably better at since.

 

"That's real nice of you," she replied scathingly. She tapped her wand to her mug and refilled it, but let the steam waft before she sipped. "What?" Kelly said sharply in response to his next question. "No. I don't care about impressing boys. Boys should be impressed by me. I mean, they are, look at me," she said matter-of-factly. "Any decent boy would surely fall to their knees for me." A laugh spun out of her throat. "But, too bad for them, hah, because I love Puck." 

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