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Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Safiya Jordan on Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:58 am

[ooc: Dom hit 100 posts!]

Declan watched as she lifted his hand to her lips, allowing a chuckle to escape from his own. He looked back over just as she let her eyes fall shut, so he just gazed over at her for a moment before figuring out some sort of response. "As much as I would love that, my disappearance would probably not make a brilliant first impression. Hmm?"

He wiggled his fingers a bit, sitting forward and waiting for her to decide whether or not she was going to come with him. "C'mon," he requested, poking her side teasingly.

--

That morning, Erik had woken with a bit of a weight on his shoulders. He wasn't sure exactly how it had happened, but he and Victoire had... started seeing each other legitimately. He could admit to still being extremely confused, but he wanted her in Abraham's life if she was supposed to be there. Until they found out they were wrong, he wanted to know why she had loved him well enough to have a child with him.

Still, he found it astounding that she had never ended up with someone else. Perhaps the things she had forgotten had changed how she thought about relationships. He, certainly, had never worried about it after his son. But perhaps he had said the right things, had explained himself the right way. Because he was on his way to her house to meet up with Victoire and her cousin.

He greeted James with a friendly handshake, turning a brilliant smile on his girl. Erik was still confused as to why she had chosen to bring him along, when they didn't have a very good explanation as to what was going on. She was happier lately, it seemed, and in truth, Erik was glad to see it. He wanted to think that he had helped her get to that point, in some way or another, but he wasn't exactly going to ask. If she wanted him to know something, she would tell him. Approaching, he pressed a kiss to her cheek, wrapping an arm around her waist.

The talk was about how he had expected it to be. Regarding who he was, what he did. Erik could admit that his job was not steady. None of them were. But he had Elliot to watch Abraham when he was out with his girlfriend or whatever he was doing that day. He had people. And he cared more about people than money. He couldn't care less that Victoire made a great deal more than he did, considering he had his son and his friends and the blonde to his left, and that was plenty. How other guys could feel emasculated by not being the bread-winner was truly beyond him.

When they got to her parents' home, the nerves hit. He hadn't been afraid to meet James, but her father? Merlin, what if they didn't like him? Surely, surely, someone here would have known about it if Victoire had had a son. Surely they would remember him? Someone had to.

But nothing registered in the eyes of anyone he ran into. He felt himself starting to deflate like a flan in a cupboard, but her father did like him alright it seemed. So he steeled himself, offering a smile and giving Victoire a pleased smile in return. Erik watched as James went off with Vic's father, wondering if the man had noticed the change in his daughter that Erik had seen. He also wondered what the family would think of James's new romantic interest if he decided to bring them up.

He looked up when she spoke, laughing. "I'm sure it'll be great," he returned, saying it for her just as much for himself. He had something he needed to find out, and he only hoped she wouldn't blame him for trying. Erik had a feeling she might actually appreciate it, too, if he sorted things out for them a bit.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:09 am

Dom let out a long sigh. "I don't... want to," she groaned, kicking her feet like a petulant child, pushing out her bottom lip and gazing up at him with widened eyes. The small smile that was upturning her lips, however, revealed that she knew he was right, knew she could not hold onto this childhood escape for much longer. He sat up and she leaned forward, resting her cheek on his shoulder, blue eyes skimming over the churning waves.

It was a strange realization that she would never look at this sea as a child again.

"Let's go," she murmured into his shoulder, following him to stand. She suddenly wanted to see her father, almost urgently, and she chalked it up to the nostalgia of coming home. She laced her fingers with Declan, taking her time cross the beach, though the very fact that she had not stopped and complained revealed her willingness to return.

As they crested the height of the hill, where she should have released his hand, she squeezed tighter. Holding it until they had crossed the hill and entered back into the party. Passed the still empty catering tables.

Only then did she release, and it wasn't without a reassuring squeeze first.

She took a big breath. "Right, so-"

She turned, meaning to take a gander around her and figure out where her father had gone off too, but her gaze suddenly locked with a gaze that was all too familiar. She felt a smile tug onto her lips because of course she was happy to see her sister, but there was certainly a flurry inside her.

She tried to look like her usual, oblivious self as she bounded over, tugging on Declan's elbow so he could follow. "Victor!" she cheered at her approach, tossing her arms around the other blonde and pulling her into a rough hug - always the rough sibling. "Hey, thought you'd be too busy fixing all the ailments of the young ones to pay us little people a visit. Glad to see you out. And this-" she turned to her companion and recognition dawned on her face. "Hang on, we went to school together! Rowle, right? Wait, you're not our cousin are you?" She glanced to Declan and rolled her eyes. "We have so many, it's ridiculous. Made casual hookups during school absolutely terrifying. Never know who was related to who."

Oh boy, her motormouth never yielded good results.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Victoire Weasley on Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:04 am

One thing Victoire was glad about was that Erik had agreed to go with her. James had gone off with Bill, a natural fact of life. If not him, it would have been Ron or George or someone. Even Percy occasionally paid a little bit of attention to him, but that was rare. The point was, Victoire inevitably would have ended up on her own, stood to the side lines, wondering why she had even bothered coming in the first place. But Erik was there. In so many ways, she wasn’t alone.

But unfortunately, she also had her family there, too. In a big way.

Victoire couldn’t repress the cringe at the shout of the less than flattering nickname. An age-old retort rose up within her, one that was technical and had won her no favours as a child, let alone as an adult. She let that one go. For the sake of acquitting herself properly, she let it go. She patted Dominique awkwardly on the back: the epitome of uncomfortable. At the first possible moment she wiggled herself out of the embrace, straying back a pace to the relative safety of her position at Erik’s side. Of course, that couldn’t protect her from Dom’s words.

James passed the elder of the blondes a pointed look – one which screamed ‘you’re an adult, don’t blow up on her.’ Victoire brought her hands behind her back and looped her fingers tightly together for fear that if she didn’t she’d use them to strangle Dom instead and Declan would just have to get a new Weasley to have whatever it was they had going on with. What was a party, after all, without at least a couple of deaths?

She didn’t know what irked her more. Which implication, that is. The one that suggested that their family didn’t matter to her or the idea that Erik was somehow dangerously close to them on the old family tree of pureblood lines. Then there was her nerve to suggest that Victoire didn’t go out much! She and Erik were related, Victoire wanted to snap, by the virtue of their son. But that was a different kind of madness altogether. Part of her sourly wondered whether Dom did it on purpose. Now that idea fully incensed the otherwise mild-mannered witch.

“I got drinks,” James’s bright voice cut through the tension and he returned, indeed bearing flutes of some sort of delightful liquid. He grinned, looking between the two sisters. One who looked a second away from homicide, the other who seemed entirely oblivious to the entire situation. James gave Victoire a pointed look and held out the flute to her briefly before deciding that Dom looked too nice to be covered in whatever it was. “Erik, mate,” he not-so-subtly diverted the drink towards him. “Care for one?”

“Did anyone see the Quidditch the other day?” James tried to steer the conversation, hoping that the Tornadoes would distract anyone and everyone from the situation at hand.

“Actually, Dominique,” Victoire announced tartly, silencing James who sorely wished he could drink some of the stuff in the glass he was holding, “I came to see our parents and to wish them a happy anniversary. A flying visit. Hogwarts does demand quite a bit from its employees, after all. A bit more than some can cope with.”  

“This is Erik, my boyfriend,” Victoire introduced, putting a firm emphasis on his first name. She loathed the childish insistence on surnames. “Erik, this is my sister Dominique and …” she glanced at Declan, knowing full well who he was. She winked at him briefly before looking to the blonde before her, unable to keep from snidely asking. “Have you made sure to compare lineage for this hookup, Dom?”

She’d apologise to Dec later.

She’d also have to apologise to James, probably, who just died internally from the strain.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Safiya Jordan on Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:45 pm

Erik wasn't at all sure what to do when Dom came over, particularly after he felt how tense and irritated Victoire was at his side. His hand lifted to the small of her back again when she introduced him properly, his lips pressing together almost shyly. Erik gave the others a nod, wondering if he was supposed to desire their approval or not. Victoire certainly didn't seem too concerned about it.

Declan, on the other hand, looked sufficiently unimpressed. He had nearly stepped forward at the and this, assuming that Dom was going to introduce him to these new people. Of course, he knew Victoire from work at Hogwarts, but the other one, and the man who came over afterwards? He couldn't recall. Dom dropped a cheeky comment that he perhaps would have been amused about were it not for his general nervousness about the whole day.

Although he caught the look Victoire sent him, proving that she was teasing, it wasn't until Erik spoke that he felt the glower take over his features.

"Casual hookups? Had a lot of those, have you?"

Then Erik slowly turned his gaze on Declan, having completely failed to see Victoire's joke for what it was. There was obvious disdain there, as though the Hufflepuff could never have done something so outrageous. If Erik only knew what had happened between the two people in front of him..

Declan couldn't help but feel that he was too old for this shit. The blond looked like he couldn't have been more than a few years past graduation, and despite his initially friendly demeanor, that protective side that Declan could relate to apparently meant that he didn't mind throwing insults as needed. Brilliant.

"We're friends," Declan informed them stonily, quoting her explanation from earlier. He hated saying it, to be sure, but perhaps it would save whatever argument was clearly brewing.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:40 pm

Dom truly struggled when it came to people. On one hand, she was no natural, having absolutely no fear or reservation when it came to people. She could joke and laugh and not be worried about the way people viewed her because she had long given up the idea that she would ever make an easy impression on anyone, that she was an easy pill to swallow. She was too big, too loud, too rough, too much. But that was okay. So her lack of pretension, her vivacity because of it, her obstinate and her dedication to the fun option... it helped.

But she struggled to be real with anything that wasn't that rough impression. She couldn't put a good foot forward, couldn't be sweet without being tart, couldn't be fun without being overwhelming. And her family, as reserved as they were, just didn't seem to understand. Bill always had - he had been raised with Fred and George and Ron after all, who couldn't be anything but at their charmingly worst. He had always been patient, seen through all of the junk to the sincere core.

Vic was patient, but now when it came to her sister.

James intervened and the pleasure tore her face into a wide smile. "James!" she practically cooed, always excited to see her cousin. She had always felt they got on well. She didn't know how true that was, but she hadn't felt as judged as she had by the rest of the family.

Dom opened her mouth to talk to James about the Harpies/Falcons match, when Vic cut in. Her eyes went back to her sister, smiling a wry smile at how formal her sister spoke, even now, how easy it was for the blonde to keep a distance. "Boyfriend! Oh, that's great-" Victoire persisted. "I actually go by Dom-" And Victoire persisted.

Dom blinked at Victoire, the surprise evident in her face. The poor girl had not realized the trap she had laid for herself, nor the reasons she had earned them. Her eyebrows knit together as she stared at Victoire, her throat a little hollow.

"Vic..."

"Casual hookups? Had a lot of those, have you?"

Dom turned to look at Erik, now really surprised. "Hang on," she said, closing her eyes and shaking her head. "She's my sister- she's got a right-"

Declan clarified their status and Dom stared around at the lot of them, her heart pounding. What nightmare was this? What was going on?

Bill had just caught her eye and smiled. She felt a twist in her lips, trying to smile but not capable it seemed. She gave the trio a dark look, before turning her sad eyes onto Declan. She nodded her head and walked away, feeling hollow and shaken. If she stuck around, she'd punch her sister square in her perfect face.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Declan Arryn on Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:41 pm

[Amy gave me the go-ahead to post out of turn.]

Erik had no idea what Dom was getting at, considering he had been chiding her and yet she started talking about her sister. He kept his mouth shut after she walked away, though. It wasn't really in his nature to judge people - at least not vocally. That was not something he ever did. Perhaps he was actually looking at himself at the same time, wondering why he had found a way to jump in when they hadn't found a single answer, but Dom couldn't go for someone like this other guy.

Declan, for what it's worth, didn't like the words that had left his mouth. He hated them, actually, after they made her leave. Sighing, he looked upwards before letting himself shake his head at Victoire. "Brilliant. Helpful, Vic. Thanks."

Erik looked over to Victoire, eyebrows raised, but Declan didn't stay to elaborate or discuss.

With that, he turned and went after Dom, despite his gut telling him that perhaps she needed space. They couldn't leave things like this, or he would have to leave the party without her. He couldn't stay and pretend he fit in if Dom didn't even want to be there. His strides were longer than hers, thanks to his height, so he reached out, managing to brush her arm as he caught up to her.

"Dom," he attempted. "Dom, don't be angry with me. I didn't know what to say, and-"

"Declan. Arryn."

He froze, then jerked away from the hand that reached for his wrist, lifting if over onto the shoulders of yet another blonde standing in the Weasleys' backyard. She held firm, though, draping his arm around her. Her voice had been amused, but also held the tone that made her smirk all the more obvious.

Declan's expression, on the other hand, was one of incredulity and rage. He opened his mouth to chide her and tried to pull away, but then she said exactly the right thing.

"Don't make a scene, Dec. Not in front of your... friend's family."

His eyes narrowed sharply but he said nothing for a moment. Her free arm curled around his middle and he winced, looking towards Dom, a sort of frustrated helplessness behind his eyes. "Dom, love," he began, emphasizing the endearment much to the other woman's distaste, "this is Danica."

Suddenly, he realized how foolish he was being.

"What are you-? Why are you here?" He asked, stumbling over the questions. His hand, where it was supposed to relax over Danica's shoulder, curled itself into a fist.

"My company was hired to cater, and I wanted to make sure everything goes as it's meant to," she returned cryptically. "Some woman hired me. I assume you know her, considering she's with the family."

"...Who?" he asked, biting off the word.

"Um, a Roxanne, I believe?"

Declan did yank away from her at that, stepping out of her hold and moving between her and Dom. "Why are you doing this?" he demanded, keeping his voice low enough that they hopefully wouldn't draw any attention. He didn't catch the way Erik was watching them, though.

"You know why."
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:07 pm

Dom didn't understand why she was so horrible at everything. Apparently, she didn't know how to speak to her family without horribly offending someone. She just didn't have any sort of real-world, common-sense perspective, it seemed. She mucked up everything with even the best of intentions. Vic was mad at her. Erik thought she was scum - as if he had right. And Declan... Well she couldn't seem to make anything up to him. This was just another instance in a long line screw ups that would eventually make him realize she was a lost cause and not worth the work.

She heard his voice but she couldn't bring herself to turn around. She would tell him she had mucked everything up, that she just needed to go home and be alone for a little - then she would call up Hugo, or Louis, or someone who understood that the family was crazy and would drink tequila shots with her and she would to have to worry about acting responsible. Declan would be upset but she hopes they could just pretend today didn't happen, and she would show up on his doorstep tomorrow with plans to go to the zoo, or to the beach, or somewhere fun.

But before he could reach her and she could give him an out, another voice reached them. A voice that definitely did not belong to sibling, aunt, or cousin.

Dom could be slow. But the way the woman wrapped herself around Declan, around Dom's.... friend. It didn't take that much of a leap to figure out that this was Danica.

Dom looked between the two of them, and then studied the woman with an unimpressed look, keeping the feelings of inadequacy as far from the surface as possible. The woman had model good looks, an intelligent face, a mature posture, an impressive voice. Dressed for her job, she looked so authoritative and adult.

Dom must have looked like a petulant teenager next to grace such as that.

But grace such as that was being very overt in her advances, despite Dom's clear look of "mine." And then she said the magic word.

"Roxi?"

Of course. Dom had been stupid to allow herself to slip into such a comfortable false sense of security. She knew better than to think Roxi could give up.

Declan pulled away, placing himself between the two of them but Dom took a deep breath. Perhaps as the least involved in this complicated situation, her voice could provide some reason. "Danica? Hi, I'm Dom. Look, Roxi was trying to cause problems. Perhaps we can keep this strictly business?" She smiled brightly, forcing out the Dom charm.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Declan Arryn on Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:53 pm

When he heard Dom speak, Declan moved to the side a bit. It wasn't lost on him that he had sort of stepped in and assumed that he would have to handle things himself. But Dom was there and she was speaking up and being far more rational about this than he felt.

When had she learned to balance him out if he failed? Or did she even realize she was doing it?

His fingers curled into his palm, aching to reach for her. It wasn't until Danica's sculpted eyebrow lifted that he realized that - actually - he could, if he wanted to. Especially in front of this woman. So that's exactly what he did.

"Danica, you don't belong here," he informed her, tone almost stoic. With that, he stepped over beside Dom, wrapping his arms around her waist. "Either do your job, or leave it be. This isn't the place for whatever game you think you're pulling."

The almost serene expression that had been on Danica's face while she stood alongside him had been replaced quite completely by a disdainful glare. She folded her arms in front of her, shifting her weight to one leg.

"Perhaps," Danica began cooly, "Roxi was trying to fix things, this time. She's my friend. She just wants to help me."

Declan's eyebrows came together as he tried to work out if Roxanne would really be the sort to have friends at all, much less want to help them. And surely Roxi would know that helping Danica would complicate things for everyone? The fingers of his right hand curled slightly into the fabric of Dom's dress, but he didn't think it was really his place to rag on Roxanne in front of so many of her family members. It was just lucky that the troublemaker in question had not shown up yet.
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Dom Weasley on Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:44 am

Dom wanted to speak harshly to this woman, but she was somehow reaching into some mature place within her and realizing that it would only do herself a disservice if she attacked this woman without cause. Sure, she sounded horrid, with all she had done to Declan, but if Dec had taught her anything, there was always another perspective. And she didn't want to get all in Declan's business either. She had not invited him to solve her problems for her, and she wanted him to see that she was consistent in that belief.

Though that didn't mean she'd be a silent doormat either.

"Roxi is no one's friend," Dom explained, enjoying the comfort of Declan against her side. "She... she has no say here. Please - this is an important event. Could you leave us be?"
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Re: Shell Shock at Shell Cottage

Post by Declan Arryn on Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:17 pm

Declan half expected the woman standing across from them to do something stupid and dramatic. It was definitely part of her aesthetic at this point, after all. So he waited after Dom spoke, narrowing his eyes and telling himself not to step closer to Dom again.

Danica's fingers twitched and he tensed. "Don't," Declan warned,  his voice vastly more threatening than he expected it to be when he rushed to speak.

His hand came up to brush over Dom's arm before he released her, walking over to Danica and pulling her away by the wrist. She tossed an amused glance Dom's way, but they reached the fence of the Weasley's garden and Declan turned his back to Dom and the others, blocking his expression from their view as he faced Danica.

Maybe thirty seconds later, she stormed off, glaring at Dom as she did so. But Declan's chin fell forward and he sighed before turning back around to search for Dom again. His lips were turned down in a a disappointed frown, and he couldn't help but think that he had already somehow managed to ruin their family's event without meaning to.

Glancing around, he saw that Erik was still watching him with curiosity even as he tried to listen to whatever conversation Victoire and her - cousin, was it? - were having. Squaring his shoulders suddenly, Declan stood up straighter and looked back to Dom. He wasn't sure that he had anything he could say, really. He'd convinced Danica to back off, but he wasn't sure what to do with himself now. Perhaps he ought to explain.

Crossing the yard, he stopped a couple feet away from her, half expecting her to be angry. "So," he attempted, "basically... she said that she would leave it for today, but she apparently has no intention of dropping this. Said she'd make my life hell, actually, if I didn't break things off with you." Declan rolled his lips together, sort of nodding a bit. "...So I told her to shove it."
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