Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

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Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:48 pm

Fleur had lost her mind.

Teddy knew that Fleur was a little different. She had been the woman, after all, that he had at one time regarded as his potential future mother-in-law. Perhaps it was this perception that made him look at Fleur with a bit of fear, or perhaps it had something to do with her fierce French attitude, or perhaps it had more to do with the fact that she was currently wielding a large cutting knife as she spoke to him, waving it around.

"-and now, we are using some random caterer zat Roxanne suggested, and I just 'ope no one zinks I did not plan-"

"Fleur, everything looks spectacular-"

"Because thirty year eez not something you wave a 'and at-"

"Fleur, I was going to go give this camera to-"

"And eet's already bad enough zat I am aging myself-"

"You look great Fleur. I'm going to take this camera to Molly."

He dodged out, heaving a big sigh the second he exited the kitchen. He hurried out of the cottage, nodding and smiling at the select women that were brave enough to venture in to help the French woman in her crusade. He slipped outside and once again marveled at just what Fleur had pulled off. The sand had been charmed into a grassy knoll, picnic blankets and beach chairs placed strategically. Some white wicker chairs and table sets had been gathered under a small gazebo, and a long table that the caterer would soon be filling with food blocked off the party space from the rest of the beach.

"Hi Teddy."

Teddy turned to see Alice Longbottom smiling serenely at him. "Oh, hi Alice. Glad to see you here."

"Mum insisted," she said. "Thought it would be a nice gesture, even though Dad is scared of Fleur."

Teddy chuckled. "Where is Neville? I could hide with him."

"Talking to Sawyer. What's with the camera?"

She pointed to the camera in his hands. He glanced down and sighed. "I'm looking for Molly."



Molly Weasley was sitting on a rock a bit away, where she could not be seen from the party. Clementine wasn't there to ease her agitation, but was frolicking at a huge floral convention in Bristol. Her family had slipped into the crowd and had not seemed to notice she was gone - if they had, they were too used to her solitary behavior to mind too much.

Her cigarettes had eased the solitude. The little sticks had been her companions for as long as she could remember, and it family events usually ended with her sneaking off for a cigarettes. She doubted it was an actual secret, but she supposed it was respectful to slink off to get her kicks. She was rarely stumbled upon unless it was...

Someone sat next to her. She continued to look out at the ocean, bringing the cigarette o her lips and exhaling. Her new companion reached out and Molly passed the cigarette.

Lily brought the stick to her lips and pulled the toxins into her body, before pulling the cigarette away and handing it back to Molly. Not a word passed, just the way Lily preferred. Lily had felt a bit indebted to Molly ever since the summer incidents, but they never really talked about it. Still, Lily found herself treating the girl like a beacon, someone she was drawn to to find shelter. Molly had not disappointed her.

Molly looked over at the figure next to her, who had long closed her eyes. "Come on," Molly murmured, standing. "Food will do us good."

Lily nodded and stood, spindly legs unfurling beneath her. She reached out for a last drag of the cigarette, and Molly finished it off.

"Molly! Hey, so Fleur needs-"

The words died in Teddy Lupin's throat as Molly slowly turned to look at him. His eyes had fallen on Lily, who was absently looking past him, trying to avoid... whatever talk he wanted to have with her. He had finally stopped showing up at her place to try to tempt her into accepting his help, and had resolved to just send her care packages. But they hadn’t seen each other, face to face, in months.

Molly dropped the cigarette and toed it into her rock. “What’s Fleur need?”

Teddy’s eyes darted back to her and he cleared his throat. “Um, she wants pictures? She found this old digital- she knows you like taking pictures-“

“I have my own camera,” she said, patting her side bag, where one of her polaroid cameras waited.

“Lily-” Teddy began.

“Will help me,” Molly finished, pulling the camera out. “Let’s get started.”

Lily followed Molly, eyes glazing over Teddy’s face. The Lupin man’s body clenched and he stared out at the sea, the view the girls had been taking in. He wondered if they had appreciated it.


“So, my mum is crazy,” Dom repeated.

She had been briefing Declan for hours now, it felt like, and had changed her outfit three times. Declan had really been brave through it all, so far, but she knew that he would understand the second he met her family. She realized it probably seemed a bit… quick… but she would have taken any good friend to such an event, to save her from her own DNA. She was hoping this was less of a “meet my parents” type deal and more of a “please help me not get bored or embarrass myself” sort of milestone. That was much safer.

Shell Cottage was just down the lane. They walked along the path, her polka dot dress swirling around her knees as her hat flapped gently against the breeze. She knew she looked cute – she didn’t care much what she wore as long as she looked cute enough to keep Declan’s eyes on her. That would distract him from the mess they were surely walking in to.

“I know I’ve said it,” she continued, “but I want you to really understand – she’s kind of crazy. And we always were… I dunno. Weird. My dad’s so cool. You’ll like him. And then there’s all the aunts and uncles – Lily might be here. Don’t bring up you-know-what. We don’t talk about it, and it’s a big secret. Annnnd Ron sometimes drinks a bit… Like, it’s funny. But just… he’ll tell you so many stories. Don’t believe most of them. Am I overwhelming you? I’m overwhelming you. I’ll stop. Just… it’ll be fine.”


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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Declan Arryn on Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:08 am

Was Declan overdressed? He felt underdressed, so perhaps he had already overthought it and gone too far. But Dom had changed so many times that, surely, he couldn't be the only one who felt nervous. And what did she have to be afraid of, really? Unless it was something to do with him. Nervous that he wouldn't fit? Or nervous that he would decide he didn't want to? Or both?

It had nagged at him endlessly, but now there was no turning back. He was there in his suit jacket, wishing he felt more confident in it, and was fidgeting with it to the point where he could no longer focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

Dom spoke up again and he released the fabric suddenly, turning his gaze on her again. It wasn't as though he didn't feel drawn to her. But he wasn't naive enough to think that this afternoon didn't matter. Of course it had to. But he needed to relax, because Dom sure wasn't going to do it, and one of them needed to be level-headed before they both imploded, and Merlin were his thoughts racing through that conclusion quickly.

He drew in a steadying breath and reached out a hand, picking hers up and twining their arms together so her fingers curled around his elbow. His free hand remained atop hers, though, as though they could somehow keep each other grounded.

"Dom, trust me. You're not the one who has anything to worry about, here." A slight frown appeared on his face, creating a V between his eyebrows. "At this point, I'll be damned if I let one more thing get in our way. But your family, on the other hand... They might not want to let it work out that way. And we aren't even... I mean.."

He cut himself off, shaking his head. Declan leaned over as they approached the house, pressing a kiss to her temple before squaring his shoulders and looking down at her. "Ready?"
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:47 am

He spoke with that steady, reassuring voice, that voice that pleasantly reminded her how much more of a responsible adult he was than her. Certainly, there were times when being reminded of that sincerely frightened her, but today was a day where she needed to be with someone that had a depth of emotional intelligence that she could reply on. She knew he must be turning circles in his head, trying to figure this out, figure them out, but she knew that she could rely on him.

And he looked good. She was riding on that being enough for Fleur to not pry too much.

He took her hands and she allowed herself to lean on him, offering a steadying smile, though it wasn't too convincing. She let out a long breath and leaned her head against his shoulder, happy to have his comforting presence so near. They were almost at the house and his words took a turn, reminding her that she was still incapable of satisfying one need of his, that tricky commitment thing. She squeezed his hand, trying to give him some sort of reassurance.

He kissed her temple and she smiled up at him, blue eyes soft. She nodded and looked to the house, also preparing herself. "I say we plunge into the fray... And then reward ourselves with the food and the company of the non-crazies." She looked to the front door, so often unused. It felt weird to be approaching from this way but she really did want her first confrontation to be with her mother before the rest got in the way. So she stepped up to the door, turned, and stepped inside.

It was her Aunt Melissa she say first, mother to Sawyer and Casey. She was busy going about some business that consisted of collecting doilies. She managed to spare Dom a glance, a smile, and the words "She's panicking" before she swept towards the kitchen.

Dom looked to Declan. "Maybe we could just curl up with a film-"

"Dominique eez here?"

Dom's eyes closed. No. Not her full name.

And there Fleur was, sweeping into the living room, looking absolutely pristine, looking twenty years younger than her actual age, with that crazy gleam that only family seemed to recognize as pure danger.

"Hi, mum," Dom said, trying to sound chipper. "I-"

"I 'ave not seen you in so long!" she enfolded her into a hug, wrenching her out of Declan's grasp. She pulled away, locking Dom at arm's length as she gave her a critical once over. "You 'ave been getting too much sun. You are pink. And when was ze last time you cut your 'air? I can see the dead ends from 'ere."

"Thanks, mum, you know how to flatter a lady," Dom quipped, trying not to look miserable.

Fleur frowned. "Do not be 'sassy' with me, Dominique."

"Dom," Dom moaned under her breath.

"Funny, I remember signing your name as Dominique," Fleur warned. Her eyes glanced over to Declan but returned to Dom. "Who is zis?"

Dom tried not to straighten up too much, reaching out and slowly removing her mother's hands from her. "This is Declan Arryn. We met at Hogwarts - he was a professor. He's a good friend of mine."

Fleur squinted at him, but made no further move to greet. Dom tried not to run.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Declan Arryn on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:27 am

It was wise of him to keep from continuing about whatever their relationship was not. It was likely better for her family to see him as just someone she had brought along first, before they realized his intentions towards her. Sure, they were pure, those intentions, but why wouldn't they be protective?

Declan had nearly opened his mouth to suggest that they just head back to his flat and go for that movie idea, but then a woman who could only be Dom's mother came through, silencing them both. Although he had effectively worked out her full name, it was bizarre to hear it said aloud. Dom didn't look pleased, to say the least.

He could feel the muscles in his shoulders tense when Dom was pulled away and effectively insulted by the woman who was supposed to love her, flaws and all, and who was meant to be encouraging rather than demeaning. He wanted to step in, but he refused to ruin their day. After all, the day was for Dom's parents, wasn't it? No, he wasn't going to make a scene.

The one thing he hadn't thought to ask, though, suddenly made him incredibly nervous. Maybe he was over-thinking it, again. But then the older blonde turned on him, inquiring who he was, and the panic arose, coursing up his spine and into those already-tense shoulders. What did he say when people asked who he was, how he knew her? Work, apparently, was the answer. The hand that had previously held onto her went into his pocket, as though it had never touched her at all, and his spare rested at his side, far from Dom. She didn't seem interested in shaking hands, this woman.

Clearing his throat, he stepped forward enough to make it clear that he could handle himself. "It's a pleasure to meet you," he offered. "I can see where Dom gets her good looks." Declan lifted his lips into a smile, trying to make it seem like a mix of a compliment and a joke in one. But it was something of a jab at Dom that he hadn't intended to make until it fell from his lips. He glanced towards the younger blonde before looking back and continuing. "I own the Leaky, and am focusing on that, now. But I worked at Hogwarts last year."
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:58 am

This was the interaction Dom had been nervous about. The only person Fleur had ever been warm to as a potential suitor for any of her daughters had been Teddy - and that was in part because she had been trying to arrange their marriage from their first year in Hogwarts. Fleur had made it clear, however, that she expected the best for her children - and if their suitor could be French, she'd be over the moon. Summers as teenagers had consisted of going to family outings in France where the girls were introduced to well-to-do French boys from good families. Dom had almost always been found running around and rough housing with the gardener's son.

Declan surely reminded Fleur of that type, the hard working type. The French woman had an amazing eye for it and could always distinguish class. Still, the fact that she had not immediately withdrawn, was not drawing up to a taller size to look down upon Declan meant... something. She had looked at Nico, presented as merely a friend, as though looking upon a criminal. Dom knew it wasn't a conscious class superiority thing. Fleur was a mother who wanted the moon for her children.

It was just soooo embarrassing...

His joke almost made Dom choke, though she managed to keep breathing, still unable to hide the look of exasperation on her face. He could have said anything but that...

Fleur immediately lifted a shoulder, a coy smile plying at the ends of her lips. "Stop eet. I am old and faded, please." Her words said stop, but her tone said otherwise.

She was still so conflicted though, Dom could tell. He owned a pub... Used to be a professor was good. Owning a pub was not, even one as prestigious and historic as the Leaky. Dom turned around to look at her mother and smiled wide. "We're going to go find Dad. Happy anniversary, Mum!"

She reached behind her and snagged Declan's hand, yanking him with her as she hurried out the house and out the back door.

That was where everyone was. And she meant everyone. It seemed every Potter, Weasley, Delacour and associated family had tumbled across her childhood backyard. She took in a deep breath. "Ready?"

She took a step, but was suddenly blocked by a scrawny, dark twig of a thing holding up an anachronism of a camera. There was a click, a flash, and a horribly candid picture was beginning to develop. Molly Weasley slowly lowered the camera while Dom blinked the spots out her eyes, taking the picture out of the camera and waving it. "That'll be a good one. You look scared. It's honest."

"Hi, Molly," Dom said, stilling blinking violently. "You know-"

"Professor Arryn, yep." She had a wry look on her face, smirking at Declan. "This is weird," she said, indicating the two of them. "I like it." Molly peeled away, and Dom found her eyes falling on the figure that had almost imperceptibly followed Molly. Between the flash and Molly's strange words, Dom had not noticed that Lily had been right there.

Lily's dark eyes fell on Dom's face and the two stared at each other, a bit... lost. They hadn't said much in the past few months. Dom had tried to hard to be there, at first, before Lily gently advised the blonde woman get her affairs in order while she dealt with hers. Lily glanced to Declan, who Dom had mentioned that night, who Dom had expressed so much concern for. Lily nodded to them both, not saying a word.

And then she was gone. Dom shook her head, her mouth gaping a bit, looking a little lost. "I... I don't even know what to say about my family," she said, sounding hopeless.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Declan Arryn on Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:23 am

A small smile came forth for Dom's mother, and though it was genuine, he was not feeling like his usual self. Declan had never been one to feel like he couldn't charm his way into the heart of a mother he needed to impress. But he just didn't feel confident in this house, standing at Dom's side. He couldn't have felt that way, with the uncertainty that lingered in the air like breath that floated on a freezing day.

Dom grabbed his hand and Declan's eyebrows lifted in surprise, but he held onto his wits long enough to offer a "Congratulations" over his shoulder to Fleur. But they were off and they came out the back door before he could so much as answer Dom's question.

He glanced down at her, concern leaving a visible ache on his features long after the flash went off. It would remain, in fact, until whatever photo Molly had captured had been destroyed and lost to time. He drew in a long breath through his nose, though, turning to look at Molly, only vaguely surprised to see her. Of course he would. That was a stupid thing to be surprised by. His nod was firm though formal, hopefully looking as a professor would have.

"Just Declan," he corrected her gently. "No need for a title anymore."

Merlin, that was surprisingly disappointing to hear, even if he had said it himself. Her comment, too, was accurate. It was definitely weird. The whole day was weird. He caught sight of Lily when the girl looked their way, but as nothing was said, perhaps it was better to keep quiet as well. Molly, however, had said that strange thing. That tidbit of approval that he didn't fully understand.

Something felt... wrong about his being there. How could he fit in with their day if he didn't fit with Dom? His stomach turned over of its own accord, and he had to look away, across the yard, swallowing roughly. Dom was saying something. He turned his chin back towards her, lifting a shoulder and forcing his expression into something a bit better than neutral.

"That's alright. Today is about them, about you all. You have nothing to be sorry for." And he wasn't lying, either.

It had nothing to do with him.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:00 am

Dom could sense the dejection on Declan, and her stomach squirmed. If only he could see what her head was like, returning to her old home. It wasn't easy for her, wasn't a place she felt super comfortable in. He was doing just fine, all things considered. She looked at him, his shoulders betraying a slight stoop of uncertainty, his face the picture of it. She looked across the crowd of people she should have gone to greet - but if you could brush off anyone, it was family, certainly.

"Come on," she said, squeezing his hand. She released him to make it look less like they were making an escape and more like a causal walk about. She waved and nodded and greeted family members as she went, managing to look and act much more chipper than she did with her mother. She passed the catering table, which was still empty as the replacement had yet to arrive, and headed for the beach, Declan behind her. They crested the small hill that hid part of the beach from view and she turned, reaching out a hand for Declan, smiling sweetly. She intertwined her fingers with his and said, "I want to show you how I survived here."

She strolled down the beach towards an old dock that extended out from the hill, across the beach, and out to sea. "Vic and Louis would sit on the end of the dock to get away from the craziness," she explained, as she headed for where the wood of the dock met the hill. "But I had my own spot."

She headed under the dock, having to duck eventually as they neared the hill. The slope of the hill had a dug out little cove where someone could curl up and watch the tide come in. She waved and released his hand, turning and plopping down into the dug out seat. She reached out a hand and pulled Declan next to her, lolling her head onto his shoulder.

"I didn't fit in with my family, much," she whispered. "It's always weird coming back here. I like it here though. It was mine. I belonged here."
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Declan Arryn on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:04 pm

Dom knew. He didn't know how she knew, because he thought he was covering it up well enough. He hoped he didn't look like a complete grump on an important day for someone else. But Dom was leading him away before he could try and fix it and chat with her family. He definitely wasn't going to gain ground with them this way. But Declan didn't think he minded, considering it meant he wouldn't have to talk to Dom's mother again for a while.

He almost tucked his hands away again but when she began waving to folks who also acknowledged him, he had to return the gesture, lifting his hand is a polite greeting. Then they were out on the beach and her hand was in his, and it seemed a bit better. A bit more like normal people.

She released him again, leaving Declan to reach up and brush the underside of the dock with his fingers. He settled in beside her when she wanted him to, though, ignoring the fact that they would be covered in sand when they got up again. Her head settled on his shoulder and he reached his arm across his torso to play with her fingers as she spoke.

"Not fitting in," he said quietly, "is not necessarily a bad thing. It means you'll always stand out. And I know it can feel awful sometimes, but," he paused lifting his hand so he could tilt her chin up enough to look at her properly. "It's good, too. It's why I noticed you in the first place. And I'm glad I did."

Declan gave a little nod, as if it would let that sink in a bit more in Dom's head. He brushed his thumb across her chin once before releasing her and turning his chin back towards the sea.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:10 am

He curled up next to her and she reveled in his warmth. Very few people knew of this special place, and she could honestly say she had only ever brought the people round that she hoped would last. She didn't know how to say that though. She was caught in this struggle of wanting to reassure Declan constantly, wanting to tell him how good of a feeling she had about him, how desperate she was for this to work out. But she also thought better of it, because what happened when she messed it all up. Rather let him down easy in that case.

Still, she could enjoy the close proximity.

He spoke such sweet words, such kind words, words she was scared she could not repay in actions. She scooted closer, trying to make up for any distance in that way. He lifted her chin and she felt that flutter, that desire to kiss him. Typically, she didn't restrain herself in this arena. Typically, she didn't see the point.

Man, was this hard.

She sighed again and lifted his hand, gently kissing his knuckles. "Maybe we don't have to go back," she murmured, closing her eyes. "Let them bring the party to us."
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Victoire Weasley on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:32 am

“You’re seeing someone.”

James blinked, taking a step back off of the doormat, surprise alighting across his face. He opened his mouth and lifted his hand from his pocket to push his glasses more resolutely up the bridge of his nose. He closed his mouth and huffed, narrowing his eyes at her briefly before opening his mouth again. Still, no words. In the end, he sufficed with frowning at her, his lips pursing into a firm pout, and he stepped up over the doorframe and into the snug cottage.

“You’re seeing someone, too,” James pointed out finally, pushing the door shut behind himself.

Victoire smirked and shook her head as she turned, returning to the mirror mounted on the wall above the hall table where she was doing her make-up. Picking up the brush and palette she’d been using, she resumed her stance before James had rung the doorbell, watching absently as he shucked his torso of his jacket and fell to his feet to follow a band of cheeky kittens who had tumbled down the stairs at the sound of his voice. Victoire was beginning to wonder why he didn’t just take a few of them home. Merlin knew the dog wouldn’t mind.

“What’s he like?” She prompted, dropping her things back into her makeup bag before reaching for her lipstick. “Come on, James. Spill!”

“I don’t know,” he complained, scooping up the kitten that looked most like Lucius Malfoy (Hayes) the cat – a rather unfortunate reminder for Narcissa Malfoy (Hayes) the cat that her husband had been unfaithful to her. “I don’t know him that well, yet. But I will.”

Victoire smiled fully at her cousin and plopped her lipstick, having finished with it, back in her bag. She turned and seized James in a tight Molly Weasley style hug. He groaned, feeling a few vertebrae in his back click, and mock glared at the witch who merely smiled at him. It suited her, he decided. He liked his cousin – well, more like sister, really – happy. So, Erik was good for her. He’d hoped it would prove to be so in spite of their baggage.

“Well, I for one am happy for you,” Victoire declared, stepping back. “Merlin knows it’s been a long time coming for you.”

“And you, love,” James chuckled, squeezing her hand as he set the cat back down. “When does your one get here, then?”

Victoire suppressed the blush she felt welling at her cheeks and waved her hand through the air before bidding hasty retreat into the kitchen on the proviso of making James a drink. It didn’t take Erik very long to arrive, though. The three of them had enough time to have a drink each and once Victoire had plopped the mugs in soak in the sink and made sure the cats were well provided for, they set off.

Now, in truth, neither the Weasley nor the Potter were much looking forward to this event. For the former, it was made easier by the date that she was dragging into the literal lion’s den. James was running away with the idea that perhaps next time he could bring his person – although he did concede that there were several issues involved with this not least because he had to make him his person first. It gave the wizard a bit of a headache, in truth.

When they arrived, it was Bill they ran into first. Grinning at her father, Victoire threw her arms around his neck and let the redheaded man sweep her up into a tight hug. She had missed him. More than anyone else. When he pulled away a bit to have a look at her and smooth a stray piece of hair behind her ear, he murmured that she shouldn’t be a stranger anymore. Victoire couldn’t say she disagreed.

“Pleased to meet you, lad,” Bill enthused, shaking Erik’s hand firmly when Victoire swept over to introduce them. “Glad you could make it.”

Victoire’s beam couldn’t have been any brighter. She nudged her shoulder against Erik’s and reached down to touch her fingers against his, her lips coming together, her look growing shy.

Bill’s attention switched to his nephew, who was immediately gathered up into a bear hug. James squeaked a bit, Bill having inherited his mother’s penchant for hugging too tight, as well as his daughter.

“Come on, then,” he declared, looping his arm around James’s neck. “Let’s get some food in you, lad. You’ve gotten too skinny for my tastes. And how’s work?”

The pair trundled off towards the gazebo and Victoire laughed, shaking her head.

“Maybe it won’t be as bad as a I thought it would be, after all,” although, mind you, she hadn’t seen any of her cousins – or her siblings – yet so who on earth knows what it will turn out to be like.
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