Deep Sigh, Deeper Drinks

Deep Sigh, Deeper Drinks

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Post by Jack Dyllan on Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:56 am

Clink.

Whoosh. Click.

Sigh.


Jack’s fingers sunk deep into the skin above her eyebrows, rubbing the dull pounding from her temples. Her hand slipped, fingers rolling the skin all the way down to her cheeks, where she held her jaw pinched, her palm falling over her bottom lip. A muzzle. She was muzzling herself, now wasn’t she? She wondered if that was just how it had happened or if there were some sort of subconscious meaning behind the movement. She almost laughed, standing there in her dark hallway, the entire day having slipped from her fingers as the greedy hands of time tore it away from her, shoving those hours into oblivion. Who was Its agents? Who, with this latest tragedy, had Time recruited to create a diversion so well-manufactured, so large, so unthinkably horrible that an entire day had been stolen from hundreds of people?

Her eyes slid closed and she felt like the world was beginning to revolve slowly around her, that she was standing still as everything around her spun. An entire train full of kids. And they were just… gone. Goose would be going to Hogwarts next year. He wasn’t even her kid, and she made no pretensions that he was. He was her ward, some kid she helped survive. And if something like that were to happen to him, what would she do? Guilt would course through her veins for the rest of her life, finally overtaking the cells of oxygen and she would suffocate. It would be slow. It would be painful. And it would be deserved. Because she knew it. The world was not safe.

But what other world was there? Keep him and Sunny locked in the house with Viviana, with only cartoons and imaginary games to fulfil their thirst for adventure? Her parents had been flawed humans, yes, they had been flawed parents. But they had not kept her away from the world, be it out of indifference or avoidance, whatever, she was allowed to go out and live. And when they did try to deny her the claim she had in this world… well, her fury had been so great she had literally created a monster. She would not claim Vito’s creation was faulted to anyone else but her, but she would point to the phenomenon of caging a dog to the emotions that poured out of her. She was alive, and so was Goose, and so were (hopefully) all those kids on the train. All had a right to the bounty the world provided. All who lived had the right to live.

She wanted to go see @Albus S Potter but she knew she wouldn't. She wanted to make sure he knew what happened. She wanted to ask which of his family members were on that train – she knew the Potters had all graduating, but the Weasleys, the Delacours, all of those branches of relatives and cousins, an amount Jack could not even envy because she had been forced to scrape together an immediate family when it became clear that hers had no interest in her. She wanted him to know she was helping, and that a mind like his could be of help.

And part of her… A small part that felt guilty just at the thought, as well-intentioned as it was… She knew the company he kept. Malfoy. Du Hunt. And now, Goyle. She had to know… Were the Death Eaters involved somehow? She suspected so strongly that they were not, but that seed of dissention within her, the reminder that Albus Potter saw more draw to the dark than to the light, it drew a divide that made her mind takes leaps and bounds. As though that one conversation had placed them on two different sides, even though she had cast the same spells, had wrestled the same demons, was just as convinced that if goodness truly existed it was not the stuff she was made up of… but he saw the darkness as freedom, and she recognized it as giving in.

This division was arbitrary. She reminded herself this over and over. Arbitrary. They were friends again. The unfinished letter remained in her pocket, addressed to him, because he was someone who she could trust, who could share a burden. He was someone she could… take down the Ministry with. She almost laughed at the memory, eyes still closed, lips dipping in amusement. But it turned to ash, because behind every joke was a seed of truth. And their system was broken, their world was dangerous, and the need for two upstanding citizens to suddenly break bad and crusade against friends, against family, and for that to be what could bring stability.

It was a scary thought. But these were scary times.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

Jack let out a curse, wand arm flying up and her hand smacked the light switch on. Her father was sitting at the kitchen table, shying against the light, suddenly nervous by the stick pointed at his face, hands sliding up as though surrendering. In one of his hands was a can of soda.

“S-sorry, I helped myself-“

“What the f*ck are you doing alone in the dark?”

He heaved a shrug. “I don’t know… I… I’ve been waiting here for awhile and I guess as it got dark my eyes just… they adjusted so I didn’t even really notice-“

“Why are you here, dad?” Jack said, stepping further into the room.

Her dad looked at her with that new expression of mild confusion, like someone who walked into a room and forget their place there. “Oh, well, the kids are all asleep, so I thought-“

“Not the kitchen, Greg,” Jack said, her words clipped as she turned her head away, too irritated to look at him just then. “Why are you still here? I’ve been gone for… shit, nearly half a day. Why are you here?”

Her words seemed to rattle inside of him, and for once… Jack saw something beyond the shell of a person that was a father. His face went slack, expression moving downward, and he looked so utterly… lost. His gaze dropped and he cleared his throat, and Jack felt a sigh build up in her chest, but she swallowed it down. She shrugged off her jacket and dropped it onto a hook, making her way across the kitchen. She stood in front of the table. “Dad.”

He glanced up. “I’ve, um… Left your mother.”

Jack’s eyes widened, leaning forward. ”What?”

He sighed. “I… Look, we’ve been unhappy for a time…”

Jack shook her head. “I mean, yeah. Duh. She’s been unhappy for like… her entire life.”

Her father froze, staring at her. “Yeah. And, um, I just decided… you know. Life being short and all of that.”

Jack stared for a long moment. Her shoulders sagged and she flicked her wand absent-mindedly. Her father flinched at the sudden rattling in the cupboards, and he stared in fearful amazement as two glasses and a bottle of whiskey settled on the table. Three ice cubes landed in each and the bottle poured a generous helping into each. Jack reached forward and grabbed her glass, taking a generous drink, whilst her father stared. She lowered her glass. “I can drink yours.”

He shook his head. “I feel like the last time I saw you you were… running off to go camping.”

Jack felt a little smirk toy on her lips. “Yeah, well. That was awhile ago.”  

She settled in and let out a breath. “How badly did she char you? I mean, you don’t spurn a dragon without getting the fire-“

He let out a groan, wiping his face. “She is your mother-“

“Dragons can be mothers-“

“Okay, but she did-“

“Dad, I’m a very honest person,” Jack said, her voice stern. “I mean… you know her.” He paused, looking at her. And there it was, something they had been silently agreeing on for her entire life, something he must have seen in her, or at least suspected. But something she had only wondered about. Something that linked father and daughter. Something they could find each other in. He nodded, assuring her she was right. “Yeah,” he said. “Yeah, I knew her.” He dropped his face into his palms and rubbed. One hand flung out and reached for his glass, bringing it to his lips. He took a long draught and sighed.

“So… what’s the plan now?”

Gregory Dyllan froze, his fingers steepled around his nose. “Right. Well… that’s the thing.”

A half hour later, Jack walked out onto her porch, trying not to stomp, trying not to slam the door behind her. If she smoked, this would have been the time for a cigarette. She felt a sigh fill her chest again, but she finally let this one out, eyes closing. She walked over and flopped into one of the patio chairs, bundling her jacket up around her. Inside, Gregory Dyllan was making himself at home in the first floor bedroom. She would deal with the rest of the rearranging tomorrow.

She flicked her wand again and the whiskey bottle appeared. She gave it a quick swig before setting it down, leaning back in her chair and leaning her head over the back of the chair.

This… This was not something she needed.
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Post by Keiran Hayes on Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:11 am

He had waited too long. He was supposed to have talked to her yesterday, he felt. That would have been more appropriate. He couldn't have known that she had gone to Oliver's and then to Hogwarts and whatever else her day consisted of. But after spending the entire evening doing all the work that the others didn't want to do themselves, he just hadn't been in the mood.

The next day had revolved around the children - his ones, not the ones who had gone missing. Although the latter would have been vastly more appropriate. But the twins had a birthday to celebrate anyway, and they didn't need to know that things were going wrong. Not if their father could help it.

So when it was time for them to go to bed, he finally had a minute to himself. And that meant it was finally time for him to go talk to Jack Dyllan. He hadn't missed the look she had given him at the platform, but he also hadn't mentioned it. They both had a fair few people who probably didn't approve of them, but they both had their own skills that could end up being useful. It just meant that they would probably have to go out of their way to find that space, that moment where they could do something important and helpful.

Both of them wanted to, of course. He shouldn't have waited so long.

He didn't give his family a very good explanation, just saying that he had forgotten an errand he needed to run. He'd disapparated before Bridget could ask too many questions, and materialized outside of Jack's house. Perhaps it was lucky he hadn't shown up the night before. It was already getting dark, despite the fact that it was summer and the sun set later, and he probably would have scared her by showing up so suddenly and without warning.

So it was up to her door that he went, knocking and hoping that she would actually be there, rather than off saving the world without him.

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Post by Jack Dyllan on Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:14 am

Dinner was finished and, as they were trying to get into a more normalized schedule considering Gregory Dyllan was now there to provide a sense of normality, both Sunny and Goose had splintered off to their respective rooms. Gregory was still busy moving in and making himself at home, and was adapting almost too well, seemed too happy. Jack had a bad feeling about him being there, even if she was finding it actually sort of... pleasant to have him around. For eleven years and six odd summers, she had been completely bored by 'man of the Dyllan household.' But he had just defied everything she knew of him, and now she couldn't help but see where they might be similar.

But now the house was quiet, and maybe it was this that made her feel so wary about her father. He had been here twenty four hours and his simple addition had turned the zoo into a petting farm at best. It was only in the absence of noise did Jack realize why she had never minded it. Because images of Michael Tremaine storming away, Dom Weasley holding back tears on the platform, Oliver Connolly grimly parting ways... it all waved over her, and just because she had been able to maintain an expression of steely indifference before, didn't mean she felt it now.

She glanced around the kitchen, feeling the familiar call before her eyes even landed on the cabinet. Her habits were nowhere as dangerous as they had been leading up to Eis, but she certainly had not kicked the habit. The part of her that had never cared for rules, and that was quite a chunk of her make up as a person, had no interest in quelling the habit. But the part of her that knew people would discount her mind because of one simple reliance often hesitated...

And then she remembered why she loved Quidditch. It didn't matter your attitude, your perspective, your look, or your size... If you got out their and won the game, you won the game.

She was in the middle of pouring herself a neat whiskey when there was a knock on the door. she knew it could only be someone who had visited before, as Kip had bolstered up the wards again. Still, her wand hung loosely at her side, ready to twirl into action. But a quick peek affirmed a familiar, if surprising, face. And she went to open the door.

Maybe she shouldn't have been surprised. The look she gave him, after all, had implied she wanted to be of help to him, that they could probably do something positive if they put their heads together. But he had vanished, and the day had passed, full of rushed conversations and grating voices, and he had not shown. She reminded herself that he had a wife, had kids, has responsibilities that did not extend on checking on her, which was probably how he had seen it. She was expecting all too much, reading far too much into what the bond of poker-mates must be. He didn't owe her anything, after all, and she didn't want him to think she had.

But here he was, and even for all her lack of social grace, she could see that he was exhausted too, and had been hard at work, just as she had. She felt a small wave of relief that he at least was here, that she did have someone else out there on her team. And so Jack offered a rare Jack smile, wry and understanding, rough but true, and opened the door a little further. "Come on in and sit down. I was just pouring a drink."
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Jack Dyllan
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Number of posts : 10183
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Occupation : Unspeakable | Beater for the Falmouth Falcons | Deed-Holder of Satan's
Year : Grad
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