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Fiona Weaver

We Drank a Toast to Innocence...

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Fiona Weaver

 

Fiona couldn’t believe she’d come to a point in her life where she’d rather study in a crowded coffee shop than in her own living room. Well, maybe that was an exaggeration, but it was a relief to be out of the house. She’d been stubbornly persisting all year, telling herself the strange sense of displacement she felt among her own family was temporary. Everyone would readjust, like they did over summers, but even more comfortably. She would be a part of her family again, a real permanent part, with a bedroom of her own and a hook on the coat rack. Healer-in-Training Weaver at school, Fio at home, her family and her boyfriend both near at hand, a life of her own, a dream she’d kept close for years now.

 

She’d known right away that the dream would take a little adjusting. Luke sometimes behaved with outright dislike towards her. Nathan barely knew her, Fiona only recognized him in glimpses of the younger child he’d been over each of her summers. Mum and Dad did their best, but it was plain that the Weavers had developed a routine—a comfortable, functional one—that Fiona’s return home had disrupted. By her birthday, it was clear. Time couldn’t fix this. She didn’t belong here anymore.

 

Guilty over the changes she’d caused, the occasional unwelcomeness of her presence, Fiona started spending less time at home. She visited Vladimir and his family far more than she’d ever expected to. She studied at school, or right here at this corner cafe table. A few sickles a week were budgeted for the tea she’d nurse while she did, so that she had an excuse to stay for hours.

 

Today though, when Fiona’s pocketwatch rolled over to 11:00, she began reforming her sprawled study materials into a neat stack and watching the door. Nico’s entrance into a room had become an occasion. That was the worst part of graduating—the way you found out how many peoples’ constant companionship you’d taken for granted.

 

Nico, Evangeline, here!” she called when she door chime signaled the arrival of her best friend and his girlfriend. When they turned to her voice, Fiona broke into a grin. She wound her way clumsily around table and chairs to embrace Nico tightly.

 

Merlin, I’ve missed you,” she breathed, then backed up to trade a warm hand clasp with Evangeline. She wasn’t a hugger. “Hi, was the travel okay?"

Edited by Fiona Weaver

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Nicodemus Knight

Nico walked down the street, arm in arm with Evangeline.  He could hardly believe that it had only been a few months since he’d been home.  A non-stop diet of training, matches, and more training had made the days fly by, especially when combined with all of the time he now got to spend with his girlfriend.  They’d done the best they could during their final year in school, but it had been excruciating. The one saving grace about it all, was that he hadn’t known just exactly how head over heels for Evangeline he actually was… he now knew that that year could have been so much worse.  

 

For all that he loved living in Canada, he had to admit that it was kind of nice to be back in England, nice to see his family.  He also didn’t mind the fact that he spoke the language here. Next stop on the holiday tour was Evangeline’s grandparents in France, and Nico’s French was pretty much limited to terms of endearment and cursewords.  And most of the swearing was Quebecois in origin, making them even less appropriate. Fun times.

 

Still, he was looking forward to the trip, Evangeline’s grandparents were extremely nice and were very forgiving of the fact that their granddaughter was involved with someone who couldn’t even speak French.  Plus, dear Gretzky, the food.

 

He didn’t mind the light drizzle, and even though he was only wearing a light jacket, this was practically balmy compared to the weather they’d been enduring just days before.  “Here we are, love. Thanks for coming with.” Nico pulled the door open, holding it so Evangeline could get in out of the weather first.

 

He heard Fiona’s voice and was instantly grinning from ear to ear.  He hugged her back equally hard, but refrained from lifting his best friend off the ground.  After months of training as a professional beater, it would’ve been pretty easy. “Missed you, too, Fio.”  He released her so she could greet Evangeline, then he tugged his jacket off and tossed it onto an open chair at Fio’s table.  “Eh, it was travel. Faster than planes, but way less pleasant. Portkeys… yeah.” He looked over to his girlfriend. “I’ll grab drinks.  Hot chocolate?”

 

“Please,” Evangeline replied with a grateful smile. She had just finished shaking hands with Fiona, and now added her own hat and jacket to the pile forming on the fourth chair.

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Fiona Weaver

Fiona smiled, noting but not minding a suspicion that Nico could’ve hugged the stuffing out of her if he seriously tried. Indeed, when her best friend took off his jacket, Fiona could see immediately how his months playing quidditch had changed him physically. He looked good, but Fiona wasn’t sure if she was allowed to say this in front of Nico’s girlfriend without it sounding weird, so she just nodded at his answer and returned to her seat while Nico left for drinks.

 

I don’t know what he sees in airplanes,” admitted Evangeline quietly as she took her own seat.

 

Fiona shrugged, at a loss. “I wouldn’t know,” she chuckled. Muggleborn though she was, she’d never been in an airplane. She’d always imagined it to be something like riding in a flying bus. This had been a funny image, until she became a wizard. Wizards could use the word ‘flying’ before all sorts of nouns and not sound like they were joking.

 

Evangeline smiled back, and Fiona had just enough time to think that Evangeline looked both older and happier than she had two years ago before Nico got back with drinks.

 

How’s Drew? Fiona’s brain wanted her mouth to blurt more or less immediately. Even a month later, part of Fiona’s heart was always with so many others—starting with those loved ones she’d left behind in the castle and spreading out in a web. Their friends, their professors, their parents, their brothers. It was wearying sometimes, trying to honor the hurt she felt for so many people all at once, for so long. But of course, what right had she to complain? There was a shortage of real action, real ways to help. Feeling for them was usually the best Fiona could do.

 

Not yet. It would come, Fiona was sure, but this was happy. Nico was smiling, Evangeline was smiling, Fiona had missed her friend so much.

 

So tell me everything!” she said instead, laughing at the absurdity of her own request. Her hands gathered her study materials into her satchel and used the whole thing to crown the stuff pile on the fourth chair.

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Nicodemus Knight

Nico made his way back to the table carefully, trying to keep from spilling the two mugs of hot chocolate and the one of butterbeer that he was carrying.  Finally arriving safely, he set them down, and slid Evangeline’s over to her. 

 

He wondered whether or not he should broach the elephant in the room, ask about Kacie, ask how her parents handled the news, ask how she was doing because of it… But Fiona saved him from having to make the decision, asking him to tell her “everything.”

 

“Stuff’s pretty good, honestly.  Training with the team, non-stop.  Uncle Steve and Aunt Monica have a cottage that they normally use over the summers, but when I got the gig, they said we could have it until we were able to find a more permanent solution.  It’s got… quirks…,” he shot a knowing look to Evangeline, “…but it’s really a great set-up for us.  We’ve got a small owlery set-up in the back, I… I think that’s pretty much it.”  He glanced over towards Evangeline to see if he’d missed anything, and she nodded back with a smile. 

 

“How about you?  How’s healer school?”  He took a sip of the hot chocolate, but it was still a little too hot, so he switched to the butterbeer.

 

 

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Fiona Weaver

Fiona was surprised to find herself envying Nico and Evangeline their living situation, quirks and all. Moving in with Vladimir wasn’t financially tenable for her, not without having to rely on him way more than Fiona was comfortable with. That hadn’t been so difficult to accept, at first. Now Fiona imagined it—the privacy, the constant and unscheduled togetherness, the lack of siblings demanding the bathroom or jumping on furniture—and felt a little pang of longing. She considered factual questions she might ask about owl breeding to forge her way through, but Nico bailed her out without knowing it.

 

“School’s great!” she replied quickly, brightly, sincerely. “I mean, it’s still school of course, and it’s definitely very hard school, but I’m finding my way. I’m where I’m meant to be.”

 

The pure volume of information was staggering, and her most effective study methods from Hogwarts didn’t work on it. The difficulty level surpassed even Fiona’s very informed expectations. But the people around her were supportive, she believed in her purpose, and the vision she’d held since she was twelve was going to be worth all of this.

 

Really, being back home is the weirdest part of the whole equation,” she admitted, turning her teacup in her hands. “I’m looking forward to having Kacie back for holidays, turns out she’s the one I know better than anybody, now.”

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Nicodemus Knight

Nico smiled as Fiona lit up about healer school.  He’d known all along that it was, as she said, where she was meant to be.  She was caring, hardworking, and tougher than anyone gave her credit for.  If he ever needed a healer, he hoped that he’d be able to get to Fiona.

 

“That sounds amazing, Fio!  And I’m sure you’re up to the challenge.  At the very least, I doubt that there are petulant residents blowing the roof off of the hospital.”  He would never forget that particular trip on the Hogwarts Express.  “You still managing to stick to tea?  Or have you had to give in and start downing Brown Morning Potion?”  He had to admit, while quid matches could leave you exhausted or stretch into the night, there were definite perks to most days not even starting until after ten a.m.  He was positive that Fiona’s schedule was not so forgiving.

 

He nodded in response to her observation about being at home.  “Yeah, I can’t imagine trying to live back at home.  And for Gretzky’s sake, most of the time it would have just been me and Mum, since Dad would be at work so much and Drew would be at Hogwarts.  But your family?  With the boys at home all the time?”  Nico shook his head.  “That… that would be rough.”  He looked over at Evangeline and gave her a soft smile, thankful that they were able to have their own space all the time. 

 

“Speaking of Kacie…”  Nico frowned down at his mug.  “How’s… how’s she doing?”

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Fiona Weaver

A burst of laughter escaped Fiona at Nico’s roof joke. A year and a half later, there was nothing to do about that day except laugh. She glanced over at Evangeline, trying to gauge whether one of them should explain, but from her smile it seemed that Evangeline might understand at least the gist of it.

 

I dunno,” chuckled Fiona, “You haven’t met many residents, they can get plenty petulant.”

 

She took a sip of tea, which gave her enough time to silently appreciate the irony of knocking residency before she tried it.

 

They swear I’ll fall off the wagon eventually,” shrugged Fiona, hefting her tea mug towards Nico by way of an answer, “But I haven’t yet. Honestly, ‘draught of peace plus decaf’ is the option that tempts me more.”

 

Fiona’s vehement opposition to mind-altering magic was well-known to far more casual friends than Nico. Usually, she relegated potions to the same side of that ethical line, but that stance was getting harder to hold. Either decision—to compromise the principle or to cling to it—would make a pretty definitive statement about who Fiona was. As it turned out, eighteen years wasn’t enough to figure all that out.

 

As for her brothers, Fiona pursed her lips and gave that topic a wide, wide, gaping, wide berth. That was easier to accomplish when Nico asked about Kacie. Fiona clutched at her teacup, suddenly greedy for the warmth in her hands.

 

Well...she was in the Great Hall,” she began, considering her answer even as she spoke it, “She only got superficial stuff, in the crush of everybody trying to get out. I don’t know how much Drew has told you...”

 

Fiona was tempted to extend this pause, aware that Nico would seize onto the unfinished sentence and take over talking for her, but she technically hadn’t answered his question yet.

 

...but I guess there were a lot of dueling spells flying around, in addition to everybody running. She’s lucky and she knows it, so I think she’s letting that lead the way towards being okay.”

 

Did Fiona believe that her sister truly was okay? Or was this the dreaded ‘other people had it worse, so what happened to me doesn’t matter’ trap? Fiona caught herself trying to communicate with Nico in a series of subtle expressions, then remembered Evangeline and retraced her steps.

 

She’s worried about...err...Drew.”

 

In naming his brother, Fiona properly passed the talking stick to Nico. The question mark was implied.

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