False Hope of Redemption

False Hope of Redemption

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False Hope of Redemption

Post by Simon Marek on Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:25 pm

Anger is fire. Anger is an opponent. Anger is an oppressor and a destructive force. And Anger does funny things to men like Simon Marek.

It doesn't wake the reactionary monster within him; it forces him to close himself off and back away. Despite how typically outgoing and smooth he usually was, he knew how to shut that down. After so many years of hatred turned upon him - both by Simon himself as well as by others - he just wasn't sure if he had that fight left in him anymore. He isn't sure that his monster is anything more than a sad hamster that could do with a bit of a jog on that stupid wheel but has, really, just grown tired of the thing.

He's always liked animals, you see. They usually have issues with him because he's so naturally abrasive and they can likely sense the frustration that clings to his clothes and his skin. That falls off of him like a stray hair or raindrops or dirt when he's brushed it away. Distancing himself? That hasn't been hard for him - not since he was released seven months ago. Even before then, really, he was learning to master it. He was becoming an artist of evasion, painting a reason why each individual should avoid him, even if they didn't know the truth, because it was easier to convince himself that they didn't like him than that they would forgive him later on when they found out.

People who did were an anomaly. They were probably lying, too.

That's why Simon kept to surface-level relationships. Why he quite liked flirting and putting on a friendly face, only to turn around and offend someone just enough. Just to the point where it sounded like a joke, looked like a joke, and thus - as the saying goes - must have been a joke. Except something in his eyes or his tone or his stance or his smirk proved them wrong.

Of course, people knew him from one of two headlines. Or, perhaps, both. The first, a great deal more pleasant than the second, reading: NEW UNITED SEEKER REACHES GREAT HEIGHTS. He was, understandably, quite proud of that one. The second one, not so much. MAREK INCARCERATED, UNITED SEEKING REPLACEMENT.  It was good that playing professional Quidditch did not required all that much speaking from him. A few interviews after matches, a couple fan events perhaps. But it was difficult to recognize his accent, particularly after the attempts he had made to rid himself of it. That had failed, unfortunately, but it was much better than it used to be. He could say words that had previously made him stumble, or had come out in strange mockeries of the actual ones.

Photogenic, for example. The emphasis had always been wrong, when he said it. And he had always loved that word, because it applied directly to him. Regardless of how much of a cad he clearly was, he was nothing if not good-looking. Charming, if you will. Most of the women he spoke to would agree, so really, he was just being honest.

There was one woman in particular, however, that he wasn't sure about. He didn't know if she would agree, though obviously it would be in her best interest to do so. If she wanted to be honest, that is, as he so often tried to be. Tried, being the key word.

People had started to forget his face, which was helpful. If they didn't like United, especially, it was simple for them to just walk on past. But those who did recognize him? Simon actually allowed a shudder to roll through his shoulders and down his spine as he walked, but he dispelled it, thinking instead about his goal for the day.

Step one: Spot the lady.
Step two: Run directly into the lady. Scatter anything she's holding, if applicable.
Step three: Profit.

So it was down towards Flourish and Blotts that Marek went, having caught her eye in the area a few times. Perhaps she was really into books. He could work with that. Why she interested him, however, wasn't a question, really, so much as a liability. He was breaking his number one rule: Never get attached. Doing so only led to betrayal or abandonment, and neither of those were good things. Obviously.

But she hadn't recognized him. He was pretty sure she had smiled at him at least twice over the past couple of weeks. Or had he told himself she had? It didn't matter. He wanted to actually meet her, if only because he was about to go mad from doing nothing and sitting in his flat by himself. She seemed nice enough, and perhaps friendly enough. Hopefully not naive, as he had been a few years back, though. Those girls had never appealed to him, much. No, a challenge was much more fun, and so far speaking to her had been quite a challenge in itself.

So, clearly, they were already on the right track.

And, Merlin, was she pretty. In a sort of waify, endearing kind of manner. She was blonde, which wasn't necessarily a type of his, but her hair suited her, so he appreciated it nonetheless. He only hoped she was as clever as he imagined she would be.

As he approached the storefront, he didn't really intend to go in. It would be much easier to make a mess of things without getting in trouble if they were outside. He just had to hope that he had picked the right time, the right day, the right-

He had done. She was there, inside, browsing the shelves. He hesitated in his movement across the cobbled path, but decided to pass by and reroute. He could come back as she was leaving. But then she looked up. He caught her eye and lifted the left side of his mouth in a half-smile that he knew was rather friendly but also pretty attractive. Or so he'd been told. Simon lifted a hand, intending to wave at her - or something - but he never got the chance.

True to form, he had stuck to the plan. Except the lady in question was a brunette, with dark brown eyes to match, and Simon was crashing into her even as the blonde one watched, her mouth falling open.

Yeah, Marek. Real bloody charming.
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Livia McCallum on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:04 pm

Curling her fingers around the to-go cup, Livia twisted the cap off of the top and inhaled the sweet smell of the caramel latte she had ordered from Calla Coffees, the new café that had opened up down by the Magical Menagerie. The owner, Adam Wentworth, was new to London, his accent marking him out immediately as an outsider. Livia enthusiastically made a new friend that day and went further to invite him to Hogsmeade for drinks that weekend. Grateful for having made a buddy who wasn’t helping him set up his shop, Adam popped a little shortbread biscuit on the top of her cup and wished Livia a good day before waving her goodbye.

As she bounced back up the road towards Flourish and Blotts, Livia crunched on the biscuit between sips of her latte, humming delightedly as the sweet taste spread over her tongue. She wanted to spending the morning bouncing about libraries and bookshop, working on research for Keiran. She was determined to present a portfolio of interesting points and avenues to take their project down. She was also, on the quiet, exploring the lore surrounding animagi. This year, she was determined to get it sorted. She wanted it more than anything. She just needed to sort it out.

The bell over the door rang out when Livia pushed it open and Athena looked up from the order she was boxing up at the desk and offered the former-Hufflepuff a smile. Livia returned it with a megawatt one of her own and crossed over to the counter, looking interestedly at the book covers that were rapidly disappearing beneath cardboard.

“An order for Mr Pierson,” Athena informed her, sealing the cardboard with a press of her wand before reaching for some burgundy coloured ribbon.

“Which one?” Livia quipped with a grin, setting down her cup.

“The Scottish one,” Athena replied, her long, pianist’s fingers tying a near-perfect bow. The witch would certainly argue it was and, between you and me, reader, she was probably correct in her estimation.

“How long are you in today, then?” Liv asked, bringing the cup to her lips.

“Not too-too long,” Athena exhaled out her words, a wry smile curling her rouge tinged mouth upwards. “I need to pick the girls up from school.”

“When’s your big night out?”

Athena’s face contorted in distaste. “Also this evening,” she revealed with a grumpy edge to her voice. “The Leaky Cauldron first, then Satan’s.” She sighed and shook her head.

“What?” Livia blinked, concern lighting up her face.

“Well, I’m hardly club-ready anymore,” Athena snorted, shaking her head again as flash of embarrassment cut scarlet across her pale cheeks.

“Oh shut up,” Liv laughed. “You look great, Thea. You deserve some time out to kick back and relax.”

“It’s hardly my idea of relaxing!” She spluttered, curling a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “I’d rather …”

“Read a book by the fire?” Livia deduced with a smirk. Athena nodded, a reluctant smile brightening her lips prettily. “Predictable!” Liv teased, drawing out the word playfully. “Go out, c’mon. You might meet someone!”

“Mmhmm,” Athena conceded noncommittally, adding acerbically, “and then when they realise I’m that Goyle, the one that murdered her step-mother and served an Azkaban sentence, they’ll run quicker than they would if the a bloody …”

At that moment, a customer came over and Liv moved away, wriggling her eyes suggestively at her friend before gliding off towards the Transfiguration section. It was expanding daily, it seemed. It was partly her fault. With every order Keiran placed, she was sneakily going in, putting in for more volumes to be added. To her delight, they were also being sold, too, and when she arrived there were a number of wizards perusing the shelves.

Taking a new book off of the shelf that was written by one of her favourite authors, Liv stuck it under her arm and started back off in the direction of the front of the shop. After paying for it, one of the new cashiers looking at her a little oddly for doing so, Liv made her way out of the shop, intent on wandering up to the Magical Menagerie for some treats for Buttons.

She wasn’t looking where she was going, admittedly, but she’d attest that neither was the person she bumped into. What most upset her was that in the collision, she dropped her coffee.

“Oh, fudge!” She exclaimed, looking down sorrowfully as the coffee began to reach out across the cobbles. She looked up at the … quite handsome stranger and smiled ruefully. “You alright?” She asked, letting her eyes dance across him. "Didn't get any on you, did I?"
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Simon Marek on Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:03 pm

Merlin, he was good. Crash into a lady? Check. Destroy whatever she had in hand? Check. Right on schedule. It was just a shame that he had pegged the wrong one.

Simon's eyes glanced back towards the window of the shop, just before the other woman spoke, and he found himself quite surprised to still be on his feet. He had been sure that he was falling; apparently not. He figured it was probably for the better, ignoring the piece of him that craved a bit of the dramatic whenever available.

Then again, a coffee spill was quite dramatic, wasn't it? He hod certainly heard of people having moments just like this one, and here he was. Great. Mark that one off the list.

She was saying something, though. Ah, she was one of those. Seemingly afraid to curse - perhaps her father wouldn't approve. It made his nose wrinkle up a bit; he had never been afraid to say anything he liked, and look where that had gotten him? At least the girl was cute. He thought she was, anyway, from the glance he had been granted just before the crash. One might go so far as to call her adorable, Simon wagered, but he never used that word genuinely. It was too, well.... cute. Nearly failing to stop his own frown at that thought, Simon looked down. The bottom of his left trouser leg and its matching shoe were stained, quite helpfully.

"Actually," he began, lifting his chin to look at her.

He paused, meeting her gaze. "I'm afraid you have," Simon finished, his voice not as scolding as he expected it to be. In fact, it was downright smooth, as though he were complimenting her instead of reprimanding. Mostly, he was astounded at his luck. Whoever the blonde inside was, he supposed he may never know her. Perhaps this was a sign that he should give it up. Perhaps this was a call to something else.

Hah. That was a silly thought. Marek most definitely did not believe in fate. He believed that people were either decent or dreadful, and would do whatever they pleased.

Some people had trouble standing without their hands somewhere specific or their arms crossed, but Simon was not one of those people. Standing casually felt comfortable to him, and he was fairly convinced that he looked more confident that way than visibly protecting his body. So he straightened up but allowed himself to stay relaxed.

His gaze dropped to the book she held, and he lifted an eyebrow. Perhaps he'd gotten the right one, after all. "You didn't get your book wet, did you?"

After asking it, he realized that it hardly mattered. Both his clothes and her book could easily be fixed with magic. Deciding that he should probably at least apologize, he did the best that he could.

"It would seem that I owe you a coffee," he began. "If you'd like a replacement, that is."
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Livia McCallum on Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:57 pm

Livia’s mouth opened and she shut it immediately, not sure whether she was going to give voice to a weak defence or an apology. She didn’t want to chance the former so it was better to keep quiet. Instead, she smiled. Her shoulders scrunched up embarrassedly around her ears and she pulled her bag off of one shoulder to fetch her wand from inside. Those particular dungarees did not have the pockets to accommodate her wand so Liv had to make do with keeping it in her bag.

Pointing it at the soiled trouser leg and shoe, Livia cast a cleaning charm and smiled with satisfaction when the stain disappeared. Poking the wand back into her bag, she slid it back onto her back and, at his question, looked down at her book. It was alright, she supposed. Nothing a bit more magic couldn’t cure. She rubbed a bit of coffee off of the front and frowned a little before looking back up at him, finding another smile.

“I think I owe you one too, really, considering I spilt mine on you.” She laughed. “I quite like this new coffee shop that’s opened up, if you’d like to try it?”

“I’m Livia, by the way,” she offered as they fell into step with one another. “You’re um. Sorry. I know it sounds funny coming from a Scot but … you’re not from around here, are you?”

“This is the one,” she said once they reached the end of Diagon Alley. She grinned and hopped up the short steps to the door.

Opening it up, Livia reabsorbed herself back into the café, oddly glad for it. Perhaps there was some good in dropping it after all. She pulled her bag off of one shoulder again and wandered up to join the queue, looking absently over her shoulder at Simon.

“Would you like something to eat, too?” She asked, taking out her cookie-shaped purse. Unfortunately inedible. “I fancy a tiffin or two.”
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Simon Marek on Sun May 01, 2016 3:38 pm

Well, that was... easy.

Simon's eyebrows would have lifted were she not looking directly at him. She'd cleaned up the mess, which was helpful, and now she was practically leading him off to get a drink when he had been attempting to chat her up. Simon wasn't quite sure how he felt about that. Part of him was irked, but the other was curious and he couldn't exactly bring himself to turn her down now that he had started it.

Simon glanced back towards the window, finding that the blonde woman was watching, bemused. She turned away when he met her gaze, though, looking through the shelves again. He frowned slightly but he turned back to the brunette in order to look at her curiously. She was shockingly bubbly, though Simon wasn't sure that he minded, really. He just wasn't expecting the reaction he got.

"Whatever you'd like," he replied, holding a hand out for her to show him the way to the shop she was referring to.

Livia. Good name, Simon mused as they walked. And she was observant, which is more than some could say, he supposed. The question, then, was how much he felt he could - or should - tell her. She was either curious, which he couldn't blame her for, or simply friendly. So he let a chuckle rise from his chest and he decided to be mostly honest.

"Simon. And you're right," he returned, his words vastly more forward in his mouth than Livia's were in hers. He wasn't sure if that's what she had caught onto, but the difference was quite obvious next to her Scottish accent. He couldn't pick out her specific dialect, but that wasn't exactly surprising. "I'm from Poland. But I've been around British accents throughout my life, with my mum. Moved to London several years ago, and I've been around the UK ever since."

There. Mostly honest. He didn't feel very guilty about that, though, given he didn't even know this woman. Besides, she had already gotten more out of him than most, and Simon wasn't sure how he felt about that. In truth, he was still fairly befuddled by Livia's personality, and not in a bad way.

She was quite bouncy, wasn't she? His eyebrows lifted a bit when she jumped up the steps to the shop, but when she turned to walk in, an amused smile pulled at his lips. His hand reached down absently to check for his wallet, which was right where it was meant to be, and he followed her inside and into the line.

His eyes followed her movements, and Simon did his best to cover his confusion at the bag she had with her. "I'm alright, thanks. But I hope my running into you hasn't ruined your plans for the day or anything."
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Livia McCallum on Mon May 02, 2016 11:45 am

“Nice to meet you, Simon,” she chirruped, a lopsided smile claiming her lips. “I’ve been to Poland a few times, actually. My mum was – is – an archaeologist. She was on the trail of the Vandals. Roman archaeologist, my mum. Hence, well, hence Livia.”

She laughed, a clear sound that was easy on the ears, indicative of true mirth rather than the sense that it was the correct time to insert such a chortle. Shaking her head, she zipped up her bag again and clicked open her purse, curiously peering inside at the mishmash of gold, receipts, and assorted muggle currency.

The long and short of the inspection was she had plenty for coffee – and her prized tiffins. Never forget them. She also found a small packet of fruit pastilles inside. That particular discovery – better than any ruin or bit of pottery – lit a triumphant grin on the witch’s face. She hooked them out and pocketed them, knowing that they would come in handy later once she sat down to read her book.

The line moved along as a pair of girls, uni students by the looks of them, tore off with their coffees and cakes in hand to have a natter at one of the corner tables. Livia smiled at Simon and hopped along, claiming a new space of floor for herself. She looked up at him in between absently clicking her purse open and closed and shook her head.

“My grand plan was to go home, get back in my pyjamas and read for the rest of the day. It was hardly eventful. Well, I have to pick up my, uh, nephew from school and that would have been while wearing blue ducky pyjamas and still stands to be. The mums of the other children don’t like me much,” her grin was impish.

The children of the other disapproving adults adored Livia and, according to Peter, always asked after her when he had the time to spare to pick up Fin from school. The mums, however, preferred the barkeep. For a start, he’d reformed the Hog’s Head’s shady reputation. To continue, he was a young, good-looking chap who was very much available. To finish, his son was as cute as anything and bright as a button. The addition of the kooky brunette ruined the image somewhat. Fantasies of leaving their husbands for Peter went straight out the window.

“It’s much more fun to make a friend, anyway,” she decided, hopping along as the queue shifted once more. “Are you sure I can’t tempt you to a tiffin?” She grinned, reaching out to grab his arm and pull him along beside her. “We’ve got to get ready!”

The people ahead of them moved and Liv bounced up to the counter, setting her purse down. Adam turned away from the coffee machine and started a bit at the sight of her back so soon. He chuckled and picked up two cups from underneath the counter, handing them over to his barista buddy who was waiting for the next order.

“Is my coffee that good, Liv?” He asked teasingly, already tapping her order into the till.

“It is!” She enthused brightly. “But I spilt it,” her smile curled down into a small frown.

“You klutz,” he admonished playfully, earning a laugh. “What would you like, mate?”

Once Simon gave his order, Liv asked politely if she could have her tiffins and Adam chuckled before grabbing a plate and going to get her some. The drinks were brewed in record time and sat down on a tray that was immediately joined by her sweets. Liv thanked Adam profusely before asking how much she owed him.

“On the house,” he waved her coins away.

“Don’t be silly!” She gaped at him. He raised an eyebrow in response.

“On the house, Liv. Go and enjoy it,” he gestured in the direction of a table by the windows that overlooked the bustling street outside.

“You’re not going to make any money being that generous,” she reproached, her smile insatiable as she reached for the tip jar, popping four galleons inside and a fistful of sickles.

“Neither are you,” he observed, his eyes shining with gratitude.

She shrugged and thanked him again before turning and making her way with Simon over to the table. Bobbing down into her chosen seat, Livia dropped her bag on the floor and set her purse on the table.

“Tiffin, tiffin, tiffin, tiffin,” she grinned, reaching for one as the tray was set down. “Have one,” she encouraged Simon.

“Oh!” Her hand fell down onto the table as the proverbial lightbulb went off in her head. “I’m sorry. I haven’t ruined your day, have I? I’m sorry. I should have asked before!”
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Simon Marek on Mon May 02, 2016 9:18 pm

He wasn't sure if he was allowed to ask what Livia meant by the way she spoke about her mother, but he decided he probably wasn't supposed to. She was bright and bubbly, which he found oddly charming, mainly because she acted like she had know him for ages. She acted like she trusted him. Simon wasn't sure that the should.

As she explained her previous plans for the day, he couldn't help but smile a little. "Perhaps they are jealous of your bedtime style," he suggested lightly, trying to think of something more clever to say. She continued, though, taking him by surprise.

Aces, she really ought to be more careful. She was vastly more trusting than was wise, particularly around a man like Simon. Even if she didn't know the truth of his character or his past. As righteously as he felt the injustice of Kosta's actions, and where they had led him, a very strong and vocal portion of him thought that perhaps it was in his nature to do the wrong thing. To be at the wrong place at the right time, to earn a load of bad karma. It had all led up to the life he led now, hadn't it? Otherwise, why was he here? Why did so much of his life feel painful and useless?

He nearly flinched when she reached over to take his arm, not seeing the movement coming. Her fingers left lines of warmth around his arm, and Simon found himself following her without complaint. Without question or reply.

He considered cutting in to apologize - particularly when he discovered that their drinks were given without charge. But she was laughing, the man behind the counter was laughing, and she offered a tip that was vastly more generous than necessary. He wasn't sure how he felt about the whole thing, but offered a rather embarrassed thank you along with his nod of gratitude.

When they found their way to the table, and she offered him one of the treats, he eyed it curiously. "I always thought a tiffin was just any sort of snack," he admitted, picking one up and turning it one way and then the other before lifting his eyes to hers at her question.

He took a bite of the treat as she finished speaking, glancing at it with approval. "Ruined my day?" He returned, pausing to take a sip of the coffee. "That would be quite a stretch. No, not hardly. You've introduced me to these tiffin things, and I had few plans for the day, anyway."

He shrugged good-naturedly. But then his bright gaze focused in on her and he leaned forward, his left forearm settling on the table between them. "So. You and I are friends, then?" Simon lifted an eyebrow a bit cheekily, and he let his lips lift into his first proper smile for her.
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Livia McCallum on Tue May 03, 2016 7:01 pm

A wicked grin lit up the brunette’s face at his suggestion and she nodded eagerly, deciding that his assessment of the playground politics was probably accurate. Mind you, she wasn’t sure she would take it completely to heart. She did recognise that there was something amiss with turning up in one’s pyjamas to pick up one’s non-nephew-nephew from school. But, so long as the kids enjoyed it and it didn’t embarrass Fin, she’d keep on.

It wasn’t an everyday sort of occurrence, of course – just on days like this one. Although today, it seemed, he’d be getting a properly clothed Miss McCallum on the gate. Perhaps she wouldn’t get as many glares. Unlikely.

“You can stay around,” she told him playfully, breaking up her treat. “That’s the kind of attitude I like.”

Leaning forward, Liv nibbled at her tiffin and smiled brightly at him around it. Her eyes were bright and impish, watching him as he inspected it curiously.

“It’s the best thing in the entire world!” She declared before drawing back thoughtfully. “Well, that’s debatable. Cuddles are probably the best. Ooh, but if it’s food then probably strawberry laces – or shepherd’s pie. I’m not sure, though. Tiffins are probably up there. What’s your favourite thing?”

“Okay good,” she exhaled, smiling breathlessly at him before returning to nibble on her tiffin. She tipped her head happily from side to side before settling it down and reaching for her coffee.

“’Course we’re friends!” She exclaimed, poking her tongue out at him before bringing the cup up to take a sip. She closed her eyes happily as the sweet taste warmed her mouth.

“This is the sort of things friends do,” she added, reopening her eyes and setting the cup down, her hands immediately straying after the chocolate. “Coffee and all that. Should make tomorrow-plans to include your new-found friend,” she added with a wink.
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Simon Marek on Thu May 05, 2016 2:12 pm

A bemused smirk pulled at Simon's cheeks as Livia started exclaiming her love for whatever came to her mind. Her expectant gaze turned on him, though, and his expression morphed into one of surprise.

"Oh. Actually, shepherd's pie is quite good. I find that I like dishes here a bit more than back home, but perhaps I'm just getting used to them. It's been ages, now, so I could very easily just be forgetting. I think if I tried to explain traditional food like my parents would have made, you'd find them a little... well, strange."

He let his face scrunch up into a sort of thoughtful look before shaking his head and deciding it was probably for the best that he didn't. She was off again, anyway, clearly thrilled to know that neither of them had anywhere else they were supposed to be just yet.

Simon was quite sure that he had never met anyone quite so vivacious as the woman sitting across from him, and he was actually pretty astounded that he found it refreshing and endearing. Although his expression was one that often appeared neutral, a curious amusement lingered behind his eyes. It was a look which, when done intentionally, had made a fair few ladies blush.

Once he realized he'd been watching her, though, he had to sort of laugh at himself. Somehow, he doubted anything like that would work on this one.

"Right," he agreed, lifting his drink to his lips. As he lowered it, Simon leaned back in his chair and played the nonchalant card. "Well," Simon mused aloud, glancing down before finding her gaze again and smiling. "I will be sure to keep in mind that I have been relegated to the friendzone. But you needn't worry. I'm quite well-behaved," he assured her quickly, lifting a hand in a vague gesture suggesting that everything was fine. "Which is why, miss Livia, I'm interested to know what these tomorrow-plans might involve."
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

Post by Livia McCallum on Tue May 10, 2016 5:00 pm

Nibbling away at her tiffin, Livia McCallum was the happiest cat in Diagon Alley. She had begun to wonder if she had made a bit of a fool of herself, talking as liberally as she had done. When he concurred with her, talking about his native food, her lips quirked up into a smile around the sweet and she hastily settled it down, chewing quickly in order to free up her mouth so she could speak.

“As long as there’s no jam involved, I’m on board,” she enthused brightly. “I’d love to hear about them, if you can remember that is – and if you want to, too. I can tell you all about the haggis my grandparents used to make us when we were kids, if you want, in exchange.” She grinned, reaching out for her coffee again.

She hummed, taking a sip, and bobbed her head from side to side contentedly before reaching back for her sweets. She looked up, cheeks stuffed with chocolate and latte like a chipmunk, and widened her eyes at Simon, colour creeping over her face. She wanted to choke at his words – well, a specific one – and she chewed hastily. She ran her tongue over her teeth quickly before opening her mouth to gape at him in surprise.

“I…I’m not busy,” she forced her lips to make intelligible words. Her day was empty – beyond doing some work for Keiran. Her evening would have started with popcorn on the sofa with Finley and they would have gotten through approximately 2.5 Disney films before falling asleep under the blanket they’d cuddled up under. When Peter got in from the pub, he’d pull the blanket off of them, fold it up carefully, and then proceed to lift Finley up and take him to his room, returning to the living room to do the same for Liv.

“I’m not very good at dating,” she warned, her eyes fixed on the mug, unable to quite look at him. “I have a lot of really terrible traits like … like … I snore! I snore. Um. Not that it’d become apparent, probably, unless we’re napping but I don’t think that we’d be napping and you’re not boring so I wouldn’t fall asleep on you but I snore so … I … you. You probably don’t want to do anything with me, really. I mean, I … but if it’s just a friendly thing … I mean. I … ahhh…”

Livia ducked her head, closing her eyes, wondering if Merlin would summon up a hole for her to fall in in that moment. She was now entirely convinced that, friendly and platonic event or not, he wouldn’t want anything to do with her. She’d been teasing, really, not actually serious. But she did want to, and that scared her more than the fact that he wanted to – although it was a close-running thing.

“I … um. I have to do a few things in the morning, if you still want to,” she ventured, opening her eyes and lifting her head once more. “So I … I could meet you here at eleven or something?”
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Livia McCallum
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Re: False Hope of Redemption

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