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Phillip Aldermaston

She wanders closer every night

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Phillip Aldermaston

Phillip’s natural skintone was far too dark for him to ever take on the white-as-a-ghost/white-as-a-sheet appearance.  What he could do, though, was go a little paler and lose most of the ‘warm’ tones in his skin and even if he did that, like now, a slightly-pale Phillip was still pretty dark.   It may be subtler but it was his equivalent of a paler person being that white.

 

Yes, he was sick. Not that Phillip had any intention of going for treatment – what would be the point?  They didn’t care about him or they wouldn’t have let his auror wander into the castle – or at least – certainly not all the way up to the head’s  tower.   And…Ground Floor, First Floor, Second Floor and so on all the way up to the seventh floor and even further on up to the towers was….well, it meant that there was only one floor she hadn’t been yet – the basement and therefore the common room.

 

So…Phillip didn’t really care how late it was – he’d opted to disappear from the Hufflepuff Common Room.  And of course, he found the window-seat in the armour gallery – because, that’s where he always went when he didn’t know how to cope with himself.

 

 Phillip was constantly shifting around under the curtains (read: fidgeting) in order to keep his balance.  And of course, since he’d drawn the curtains around him, that just meant the bolt of fabric would shake every now and then.  And since he thought he was alone, he had let himself do the thing that his father referred to as dieseling i.e. sounding like a  child trying to calm down after an upset but getting stuck on the sobbing-stage and not quite able to 'turn off' the crying.  What?  It hurt but Phillip also knew that outright crying would just make it worse.

Yeh, he wasn’t going back.

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Rowan Allard

Something was wrong; Rowan knew that much to be true. The ominous feeling of dread that settled in her stomach, rising up every so often to reminder her it was there, was enough of a warning sign.

 

Her body kept reminding her of the unknown, unconfirmed danger that lurked just out of sight. The short, baby hairs at the nape of her neck bristled, sending shivers down her spine -- it was as though an invisible monster was touching her, running long fingers over her shoulders;.she shivered again.

 

Goosebumps covered her arms as she paced the castle corridors. Blaming the slight breeze when they were pointed out, she rubbed her arms attempting to get them to go away. She didn’t need anymore reminders of the made-up disaster she’d concocted in her mind. They were safe; this was Hogwarts after all.

 

That’s when the aurors arrived.

 

It was a brief sighting; they were busy with whatever mission they’d been assigned to and had no time for chit-chat with children. They were only on the floor briefly, one paused at the top of the stairs to catch their breath and was nearly left behind - that was how intent they were on whatever they were doing.

 

The dread rose again, but this time it didn’t settle back down. Instead of a brief annoyance, it was a full-time aggravation; she could feel it rise to her throat - oh, Merlin, she was going to vomit.

 

While the nausea disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, the dread stayed. It trapeazed through her body; tapping fingers, bouncing legs, tense shoulders. It only grew as thoughts about why the aurors were there flipped through her head.

 

It couldn’t be anything good; the last time there were at Hogwarts was the single worst day of her entire life. That, of course, was due to a multitude of things but mainly the whole ‘almost being murdered by a death eater’ bit was what churned her stomach and gave her nightmares.

 

Being reminded of that day in first year; she’d only been eleven, just a harmless child - well, not so harmless once she was imperio’d. A sharp voice called her name, it echoed in her ears. “It’s just a memory, it can’t hurt you.” her words were clear and strong, yet provided no confidence boost, nor courage or calm.

 

Instead, Rowan found herself in flight mode, running through the corridors as quickly as she could in the exact opposite direction on the aurors. Hiding place. That was what she needed somewhere she would be safe; somewhere she’d felt safe before.

 

It took less than two minutes for her to reach the armor gallery - granted that time only existed because she arrived out of breath and sweating. Hands on her knees, bent over, she took several deep breaths; both an attempt to catch her breath and slow her heart rate.

“At ease, sir,” she huffed to one of the suits of armor nearest to her; she punctuated the sentence with a breathy chuckle. The joke had been one just for her; a means to take her mind off what might be happening.

 

It had worked well enough that she could feel the sense of dread in her stomach slide downward, retreating back to it’s safe spot. Perhaps she’s just been over reacting about everything. Everything was probably just fine; perhaps the aurors were here to attend a surprise party for the headmaster or something. 

Either way, she should probably stay there for an hour or two, just to be safe. 

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Phillip Aldermaston

Phillip had had a far more direct experience that had led him to run away from the aurors.  And now...after Foster had done a really dumb thing by writing to someone who they agreed had attacked him and knew where he lived ten months of the year…well, it was clearly her fault that the very same auror had turned up again.

 

And he’d tried telling himself that it was just a memory but … he didn’t really believe himself. And he’d tried telling himself that circumstances were different…but…it didn’t help either – because another part of him figured the auror could just lie about that too – she’d seemed willing enough to lie about the other auror’s death.

 

Yes, she’d lied about the other auror’s death – she’d tried to blame an eleven-year-old for her failure.  And that was one thing that meant Phillip was still angry with her.  Except he wasn’t that angry – he was more scared of her than anything but…he was a teenage boy – he was hardly going to admit that.

 

 

Phillip still thought he was alone so he continued his dieseling because again, he knew that his ears hurt but he was also experienced enough with this nonsense to know that outright crying would just make it worse.

So for a little while, he simply continued to shift on the window seat in order to keep his balance until two things happened at once.  One was another jolt of pain – the other was something (a suit of armour but Phillip was facing the wrong way and feeling too sorry for himself to see or bother very much about what it was) bumping up against the window sill – those two together was enough to finish off whatever shaky shred of balance he was clinging onto and thus, he ended with being tipped off the windowsill. 

 

Urrgh….he felt awful but….well, it didn’t matter now because it was established that adults didn’t care about him being attacked – and Phillip wasn’t smart enough to see that there was a difference between aurors and germs.

 

And then….he saw Rowan and managed a “Rowan?”  He’d meant to whisper but of course, his ears were stuffed up enough that it was more a loud call than anything – but Phillip was unaware of how loud he was speaking.

 

That was all Phillip was going to say right now though and he squeezed his eyes tight shut and tensed up and grimaced.

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Rowan Allard

CLANG. CLASH. CRASH.

 

Rowan froze, shoulders tensed and pulled up to her ears; a grimace coloured her expression, A single, shiny, silver gauntlet bounced across the open space before her. She flinched each time it made contact with the floor - metal on stone was neither harmonious nor pleasant; to her it was practically nails on a chalkboard. 

 

Quickly, the gauntlet lost momentum; the bounces reducing in height until it was simply rolling instead. That was how it ended up at the base of a black suit of armor on the opposite side of the gallery. No one would question a three-handed knight, right? 

 

While Row despised the noise created by her clumsiness - honestly, who tips over an entire suit of armor? - there was one thing that  she hated more: silence

 

Quiet descended on the room. Though it was brief and lasted a second or perhaps two at most, It was enough to bristle the hairs on the back of Rowan's neck and send goosebumps down her arms. Skittish and distressed, her fight or flight mode had been activated - and she would always pick the latter of the two; fighting just wasn't her style.  ( She was only five foot tall after all ! )

 

THUD.

 

It had been a soft noise compared to the cacophony the armor had produced mere moments prior. However, it was still enough to trigger Rowan's 'escape' functionality; she was ready to take off out the entrance and down the hall. Strangely, she was stopped before she'd even gotten a chance to begin. 

 

A stage whispered 'Rowan' had stopped her in her tracks, terminating her want/need to escape the situation. Under normal circumstances, hearing her name wouldn't have been enough to stop her -- hell, sometimes it would make her run faster. This time, however, it had been a familiar voice, a safe voice, that called her name. 

 

"Phillip?" She questioned, looking down towards her disheveled housemate, surprised to see him there. Despite the blind side of finding him there - or more him finding her - the tension in her shoulders dissipated -- Phillip was a safe, comfortable space; he understood her, "What are you doing here?"

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Phillip Aldermaston

((Sorry for the short crappy post.))

 

It wasn’t like Phillip had meant to look up – but that sound was loud enough for him to hear, even at the moment so his head was forced up – which would, of course, allow Rowan to see the pallor…or at least pallor compared to his normal warm-dark-skintone.  To someone who didn’t know him, it probably wasn’t that obvious.  But Rowan was…Rowan.

 

There was his name – he’d caught that but partly because he’d been listening out for it and thus, he looked up a little more in order to make eye contact with Rowan.  The other question was only met with Phillip leaning forward, cupping a hand around an ear and shaking his head slightly.

 

Had he heard her, he would have told her he was avoiding his auror.  But he hadn’t – what was important right now was he had to deal with things being the way they were and he reached out in an attempt to grab something to steady himself with – what he didn’t realise was that the nearest thing to do that with was Rowan.

 

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