the princess of squalor and the prince of opportunity

the princess of squalor and the prince of opportunity

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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Mon May 30, 2016 11:41 pm

The rustle of fabric was soft, but in the stillness of the late, late afternoon in her little lair of an apartment, the noise was the only thing to break the silence. Lily Potter was lying on her stomach, her arm trailing off the mattress, finger tracing the lip of an empty glass. The smell of Firewhiskey mingled among the smells of stale food and sweat. Lily had become complacent, but she didn’t like the smells either. Without looking, she flicked her wand and her incense began to burn.

“Dunno how you do that. It’s f*cking… graceful, it is,” came the voice. Lily dipped her finger into the glass and swiped up a droplet of liquor, lifting it to her lips and sucking it off of her fingertip. The sound of a belt snaking around a waist, metal clicking as it was buckled. “Sorry, I know the deal, I just… What is the smell, anyway? You always use it.”

“Cedarwood,” Lily murmured. He was not leaving so she expelled a sigh and turned over, sitting up in bed, a man’s long button up shirt hiding her as she slipped her bra on underneath it’s screen. The boy had stopped dressing, his undershirt in hand, shows in the other, pants zipped and buckled up. His hair was messed up, but what was new. And on his feet, duck-patterned socks.

“Cedarwood,” Baker repeated. “I like it. Smells good. Makes me think of you. And here.” He offered a smile. Lily stopped, hands on the clasp of her bra, a look of warning on her features. He grimaced and bowed his head. “Right. Yeah. Um, I can make you tea before I go. Or heat up the pizza-“

“I’m capable,” she reminded, her tone sharp, despite her soft, underused voice. Ducky rubbed the back of his neck and nodded. He hunched over and slipped his shoes on, pulling the shirt on as he strode across the room. He paused in the doorway and looked back. His mouth opened to say something, something that was surely against the rules or he would have already said it. But Lily gave him another look, another check. “Bye.”

He rapped his knuckles on the doorway and headed out. For a few moments, Lily stared after him. And then she finished clasping her bra and reached over, plunging her hand into the debris of laundry and discarded paper plates and takeout boxes. Her hand found a pair of shorts and she slid them up her knobby legs.

She surveyed her little room. The apartment was pretty…  bleak. Her bedroom was small and old, musty from the smell of the disuse before she had arrived, and saved only from worse flavors by the incense. In the corner was a small closet where no clothes hung – inside was her cauldron and her supply, where she did all the brewing she needed. The front door led right into the main room, which was a small living room where the disarray continued, the smell of liquor and drugs just hidden under the scent of cedarwood, a pull out sofa daily losing its stuffing. The kitchen was hardly a kitchen, just a small tiled area with an old fridge, a leaky sink, a gas burner stove, a counter and a tall pantry. A small door led to a bathroom and… that was it. This was the Potter legacy at work.

Lily forced herself to stand from the mattress that had been placed on the floor, sheets tangled all around. She stretched her hands straight into the air, standing up on her toes as each joint popped and clipped. She had put up a small wash basin in the corner of her room and she walked over to it now, summoning sudsy water with the smallest flick of her wand. She delved her hands into the water and wrung them through the soap and the water, watching the dirty sweat melt from her skin. She reached up and rubbed the water across her face, clearing it of the dark makeup that had smudged her eyes and lips. And, within moments, her skin felt free of the evidence of any other person.

She hadn’t put up a mirror, because she hated any reminders nowadays of who she was. She turned slowly, eyes travelling at a crawl across the features of the wallpapered walls, before landing on the one window in the entire apartment. She slowly crossed to it, admiring its length. From outside, she could be seen from the thigh up, but she also had such a view of the street that she almost felt like some… alien, viewing humanity from a perch no one else had. There was still light in the sky, but the streetlights blinked on in preparation. The street was nearly empty save for a few figures thrown in shadow.

Lily reached up and pulled her wild hair up into a messy bun, and then turned away. She crossed into the living room and began putting the kettle on. She hadn’t eaten all day and yet her appetite still had not come. Her feet registered the cold of the tile, the exhaustion within her, but her focus lingered on her tea. Her world had expanded to allow one duck in it for half an afternoon, but now it had shrunk back to just her and her tea.

It was better this way.
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closed Re: the princess of squalor and the prince of opportunity

Post by Dax Landvik on Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:33 am

If there was one thing Mesut knew, it was how highly his little sister thought of Lily Potter. Katherine had spoken of little else whilst feeling well enough to do anything, asking if he might be able to find out Lily lived so she could stop by and say hello. It wasn't necessarily the most intelligent way of going about it. Mes figured that it would've made a lot more sense to Katherine to just write Lily a letter, but she had explained that, actually, she had no idea what to say. Kit had never been required to actually write letters, as silly as that sounded, so he had reluctantly agreed to do what he could.

He hadn't expected, of course, to come across exactly what he needed. Lunch in the Leaky had been brilliantly helpful, though he had certainly come across his information by particularly Slytherin means. It was one thing to chat to the bartender or owner of a pub, but another entirely to listen in once someone named Lily was mentioned by the bartender and a blonde who Mes suspected the man was close to.

Declan, unwitting and unaware that anyone would want to listen to him talk to Dom, had asked after the address so he could meet her after she stopped at Lily's. Recklessly, he had hoped. He had gone over to the address he had heard, only to see that, indeed, it was Lily's home. He felt excessively creepy for it, but what he saw was upsetting to him. He couldn't bring Kit to a place like this. Health wise, she wasn't up to any good sort of standard, and it seemed like Lily wasn't, either. He couldn't let his sister see her like that.

She thought far too highly of Lily, and seeing something like this would not benefit anyone.

So he made a promise to himself that he would try and help. Katherine needed him, but maybe Lily needed someone, too. He decided to apparate to a spot nearby, and when he turned the corner, he saw a young man, perhaps somewhere near his age, leave her place. Mes frowned but took his time to walk down the street, intending on making sure the other person was out of sight before heading to her door.

Once that was settled, Mes drew in a breath, collecting his wits and reminding himself that, no matter what state she was in, he couldn't get too far into her business until she invited him to do so. So he just walked up to her door, leaning one hand against the doorframe and reaching out with the other to knock twice. He expected that Lily would think that other person had come back for something, and that he would be a shock, so he put on a casual and at least politely friendly expression, hoping she wouldn't react negatively.
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closed Re: the princess of squalor and the prince of opportunity

Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:16 am

A knock at the door could mean any manner of things. It could mean Teddy was back to demand she let him in and let him take care of her. It could finally be one of her brothers, highly doubtful of course, also trying to push Teddy's agenda to get her normalized. It could be Molly, too, or one of her clients, or maybe her dealer. It could have been anyone, could have been Roxi, but Lily was passed living in fear or in suspense. She turned the heat down on the tea and turned crossing towards the door, wiping her hands on the edge of her shirt.

A tap of her wand, a slide on the dead bolt, a turn of the lock. She opened the door, an expression of numb boredom settled deep into the crevices of her young face.

And then it cracked away, transforming into a look of surprise.

She literally could not think of anything to say to him. What could she say? Not wearing pants, without makeup, looking tired and faded. At least, in the hospital, she had a reason to look like a ghost of a person. As a grown up, graduated adult... she should have at least looked showered.

"I..."

What did you say in this situation?

"Um..."

Seriously, why couldn't she form words?

"Is... Um... Hi."
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Post by Dax Landvik on Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:04 am

Mes tried to cover his surprise at her appearance, but he had a feeling she knew he was shocked and worried. His eyes were pretty expressive, so if she cared to look closely, it would be that much more obvious. If his body language wasn't enough, that is. His arm, which had been braced against the frame, relaxed upon seeing her. She looked worse off than he had expected, and that didn't sit well with him, because it would just set Katherine off if she knew.

That's what actively registered in his mind, but he knew that there was something to be said for feeling concern just on the level of: this is another human being and that person should be taken care of.

Little did he know, really.

Her reaction was fair, he felt. He hadn't seen her since... her graduation, was it? Mes had gone so that Katherine could attend before heading home with him and Luke, though Luke had well and truly buggered off as of late. And the bracelet. He certainly hadn't expected her to be wearing it, but he glanced down regardless before flicking his gaze back up to meet hers again.

He wasn't actually sure what the best way to approach his intentions would be, now that he was standing there. Mes had assumed it would just come to him. Apparently not. It was time to wing it, and hope that his plan took to the air rather than skidding back onto the tarmac. He felt bizarrely like a second or third year who was trying to approach an elder student he had interest in. But that wasn't at all what this was. This was more important. His sister was vastly more important.

Mes lifted the hand hanging at his side, rubbing at his jaw and passing his fingers over his lips and he tried to find a way to begin. Finally, he let his hand hang at his side once more, and he glanced to the side as he spoke, only looking away from he next door down when he finished.

"Katherine wants to see you," he said. His eyes settled on her again, more casual then, rather than concerned. That worry had been pushed beneath the surface, luckily. "But I don't know if her doing so would be a beneficial decision for her."

Mes pushed off of the doorframe, standing upright and tilting his head slightly as he regarded her. "I doubt you'd like me to say so, but you're not quite the same as the last time we met."

Perhaps he was being too blunt. Perhaps that came along with his habit of feeling quite confident in his ability to handle other people. Something told him that he might not being going about this exchange the right way at all, but it was far too late to change it now.

"She's doing better, you know. And she thinks quite a lot of you. I don't mean to be rude or abrasive, Lily, but if you need help, you should ask for it. Even if that means asking me. Kit..." he shook his head, glancing downwards, "she doesn't have very many people at all anymore. She could use you. But... I can't let her see you like this. If you'd rather I back off, that's fine, but you better give me something to tell her when I get home."
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:29 pm

If she had been more of an expressive person at this point in her life, they might have worn matching expressions. She would have bet he had thought he should try to be polite and not anything register, until he had seen her and the surprise had melted all those manners away. She wasn't sure why she always assumed the Averys were these high class people - she knew little of the family, really. Perhaps it was just the high pedestal on which she had placed Kit.

She felt his eyes travel downwards to her wrists and she felt herself self-consciously grip it. Oh right. The bracelet. She had marveled at it for a long time. She had let it dangle off her wrist while she lied in bed, staring at he paw print, trying to imagine it only as a cute little charm, not the symbol for a disease that had more or less ruined her life.

She had stopped wearing it right before Roxi tracked her down - which was fortunate, she supposed. It meant it didn't get ruined. She was sure it was lost in this mess now. She didn't have much though - it would be a hard find if she actually tried.

Which probably made it worse.

She briefly wondered if it was more polite to not ask someone in when one's place was this uninhabitable.

He spoke without preface, seemingly to get out of here as soon as possible. However, the name of her friend and her desires were enough to soften Lily's hardened features, to allow real surprise to register across her face. She felt her lips part, wanting to return the sentiment towards her absent friend - when his words forced her mouth shut.

That was harsh. Not many people were harsh with her nowadays - which of course frustrated her. But still, it was a bit of a jolt to be suddenly told so brusquely that she was an unworthy specimen for someone else. True as it was, it didn't seem like something one said to a practical stranger.

Besides, she might look bad but her brain was functioning. She would never ask Kit here, never talk about things like Spice or Baker...

"You didn't know me the last time we met," she said curtly, wit there as always. She would accept that her way of living wasn't something to aspire to, sure, but she could function in society if she chose to - she just freaking hated society. But if he thought she would just waltz in... She was top of her class before all of this mess. She wasn't an idiot.

She felt something in her heart warm at the news that Kit was improving. She had always worried, always been fearful of long stretches of not hearing from her. Now she had the opportunity to see her, to catch up, but Mesut seemed keen on barring her way, not giving her the chance. She wanted to argue, knowing she had the rhetoric within her to out-logic most people, but she had a bad feeling she would dig herself into a hole with this guy - protective beat logic every time.

"Let me see her," she said gently. "I'll meet her somewhere else. No trace of this, any of this, on me. I think highly of her and I wouldn't do anything to change her thinking."
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Post by Dax Landvik on Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:47 pm

"Perhaps not," Mes conceded. "That's true enough, Lily, but I knew that you were Kit's friend. and Katherine, she- ... It's like she thinks you're her sister, you know? And I don't know if you..." He shook his head. "I'm not asking you to be that, really. But she does need someone and I'm not enough anymore."

He didn't always like how entirely blunt he could be. For someone who so often came off as cocky, that trait didn't even exist when it came to his sister. Not as far as Mes was concerned. Frustration drew out a disappointed huff and he looked away again, scowling at the ground. It wasn't impossible for him to admit that a bubble of jealousy was growing inside of him, and perhaps that was why he was being more harsh on Lily than he had a right to be. But he did hate to let someone catch on, and he feared that he had just done that very thing.

She seemed determined, which he knew was a good sign. There was some sort of seriousness within her, Mes felt, and though he wasn't tempted to push and find out why that was the case, perhaps it would do them all some good.

"She's moving in at mine next week if you think you'll be ready by Monday or whenever. You can send an owl whenever you like," he told her, stepping back and nodding. "And I meant it when I said you could ask me if you need anything."
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:37 pm

She didn't know what gave him the right to try and hold her to such a standard when, in reality, they barely knew each other. She still didn't know why he had gotten her the bracelet, let alone why he was here now. Surely, an owl might have sufficed. There was something about him that seemed intent on stripping away the layers she had worked her whole life to cultivate and she was not sure she was all that comfortable or okay with it. But it did sort of feel nice to be challenged by someone who wasn't Teddy, who always seemed to be a moment away from crying every time he talked at her. Anger felt more comfortable than pity.

And he wasn't going to stop her from seeing Kit. Lily was in contact with so few people these days, and most of them were relatives, which seemed to sort of detract from their significance. Kit was possibly the only person from Hogwarts that she could have ever called a friend, and the bond was built on more than just tolerance of each other. They had healed together and Lily was worried for the day when Kit stopped healing. She wanted to be there as much as she could - you'd be surprised how much more helpful illegal acquired potions ingredients were to the healing process that the ones Mungo's could give.

"Monday," she said, nodding. "I could come then, if she won't be to stressed from the move. Anytime. I could swing by for tea, or after dinner - let her know I'm free. I'll be there."

She could ask him if he needed anything. If she were more like her eldest brother, she might have snorted and smirked. Instead, she just cleared her throat. "Thanks. I don't need anything. I'll be there Monday."
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closed Re: the princess of squalor and the prince of opportunity

Post by Dax Landvik on Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:23 pm

Katherine had finally sat down and written that letter to Lily, telling her where Mesut's flat was, what time she could have tea and things ready. Really, though, Mes was the one who would be working on getting those things made, getting the apartment organized enough to have someone over. It wasn't that Kit wouldn't try, but he would step in, driving her mad until she huffed off to her room to read.

He knew very well that he was being overprotective, but they didn't know what caused her to feel poorly. She had been pulled out of school early, which was very lucky, because if she had been stuck at Ilvermorny and something had gone bad again, Merlin knew if she would have even made it out. And who would have listened when he tried to convince them to do something for his ill sister? They weren't even doing anything about the students trapped there, yet. It was disgusting, really.

Mesut just hoped that Katherine would be well long enough to enjoy having her friend over. She seemed to tire easily, though less so than she had during school, if her stories were any indication.

She seemed fine, though, by the time Lily was due to come by. Happy. Excited, even. Perhaps this was what she had really needed these past few weeks. He ducked into his room when it was time for Lily to arrive, not wanting to put her off again. He heard Kit leave hers a minute or two later, and just hoped that she would somehow be better after their chat.
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closed Re: the princess of squalor and the prince of opportunity

Post by Lily Luna Potter on Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:42 pm

Lily was risking nothing. It had been a long time since she had worn the little black dress, and she didn't feel right or comfortable until she had pulled on the jacket. Long socks felt too contrived, so combat boots were pulled over those. Still, with her hair loosely braided to one side, hair and body clean, eyes bright from a four day hiatus from any substances, save for the cigarette she smoked the night before. Even Mesut wouldn't be able to find fault in her appearance.

Save for the fact that she was still a good twenty pounds smaller than she was at sixteen, and her eyes still had that distant, sunken quality. Sometimes, she wondered if the latter could even change once it had gotten as bad as it had.

She had told Baker to shove off for the next few days, and the quiet of the house had not done great things for her depression, but she had cleaned up a bit and had even managed to revive the little plants in her her planter box. She decided to walk the bulk of the way to Mesut's property, and enjoyed the briskness of the air, the normality of city sounds.

She reached the door and knocked, quivering a bit with the anticipation of seeing a much-needed friend.
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Post by Katherine "Kit" Avery on Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:37 pm

Katherine wasn't in her pajamas today. She hadn't been wandering through the flat as she tried to decide if she would be trusted enough to go out on her own. If Mes would be angry with her for asking. He had taken on the role of her father when he shouldn't have. When it shouldn't have been asked of him, even by his own conscience.

But Lily was going to visit today, and it felt incredibly important. Was this what people used to feel like when they hosted their friends for tea each afternoon? She couldn't imagine doing it every day, but today was an event, an adventure, and she cared very much. She had even made a point to do something with her hair. She had on the most vibrant dress she owned, pretending it didn't make her look more pale, but had decided to go without shoes. Why bother if she was going to be walking around on her brother's carpet all afternoon?

The knock at the door woke her from her thoughts despite the pages open in front of her. She slapped it closed, wincing and apologizing to it under her breath before standing and crossing to answer it. She knew that Mes would be sort of listening to make sure everything was alright, but Kit hoped that he would leave it after a while, or get distracted by whatever work things their father had forced on him that day. Or, if she were really lucky, his horrible-awful fiancée would bother him and she and Lily would be left to their own devices.

Pulling the door open, she bounced on her toes a little before realizing that she needed to say hello. "Hi," she offered instead, stepping back so Lily could come in.

Was she allowed to say how much she'd missed the graduate? The year had been so boring. But Mesut was right. Just because Kit felt that they were close did not mean that it was true. She wished he hadn't said so, though, because now she was nervous. Maybe he hadn't meant it the way it had sounded. Maybe it was because he didn't think Lily would really show up.

Well, Lily had shown him, hadn't she? Kit was secretly quite pleased about it. Her brother had been in such a mood, unable to trust anyone. Maybe now he could put at least a little bit of faith in the Potter daughter and stop stressing out so much.

"How have you been?"
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