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In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

It is 2031 in the Wizarding World
It is the 2030 - 2031 School Year
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There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:42 pm
The owl flew directly into the stack of books, attempting to grab the top one but collapsing along with them as they fell to the floor. Keiran Hayes was a busy man - far too busy to deal with partially brain-dead and graceless owls - but he was also too tidy to leave them scattered like that. The spines of those books could hardly take the beating they were already given, so he didn't dare leave them on the floor with pages out of shape and covers opened. When he approached, the owl shook itself and hopped up onto the highest one it could reach, pecking at the professor's hand as Keiran approached.

Yes, he had agreed to return again. Oliver had the store more than well in hand, and as much as he had liked staying home all summer, the world was a darker place than he'd thought it already was.

So he would be going back to teach. If, that is, the school year even began on time, thanks to this whole train thing.

At any rate, he took the Daily Prophet copy from the owl, frowning at her until she flapped and took off, making a none-too-pleased noise as she did so. Keiran shook his head but unrolled the thing anyway, flipping past the news about the train. He already knew that. He didn't find anything at all of interest -- until the fourth page, the start of the Sports section, where an unfortunately familiar face was staring blankly at him through the moving picture's camera lens.

Groaning, he removed the sports section and went down stairs, telling himself not to wad it up before he showed her. He wasn't going to say anything. Millie would probably hex him if he did. Whether or not he had to sleep with one eye open was as yet beyond him, but he wasn't adverse to it.

So he made his way into the kitchen, located Livia at the table, and flattened it out in front of her before turning and walking back upstairs. His footsteps were a bit too loud, but half of it came from the knowledge that, while she always wanted to read the sports news, she would be entirely unamused once she realized why he had given it to her so pointedly.

You see, reader, in the middle of an ocean, under the Ministry's watchful eye and the shadow of dementors, Simon Marek was preparing to rot away in Azkaban -- for good, this time.
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:51 pm
“I think you’re emotionally tied to your eggs,” Livia commented when the plate clicked down onto the table top in front of her.

Millie shot her a wry, incredulous look and returned to the stove, already picking up the spatula to scrape at the pan. Both women knew that the blonde could have used magic. In a blink it would have been done and she could have sat down to her bacon and toast and the mug of coffee that, in Liv’s mind, looked more like a bucket. She had come to enjoy cooking, though, and was clearly content to let her breakfast fall by the wayside while she cleaned, although Liv did suspect that a warming charm had settled over her mother-in-all-but-blood’s plate.

“I have a theory,” the Scottish witch went on, reaching for the brown sauce that was sat next to the other condiments that had been sent from the fridge to the table with a buzz of cajoling magic.

She flicked the top off and squeezed a healthy amount onto her plate, next to the sausages that Millie had gone out of her way to get for the young witch who had turned up early that morning with her work cocked under one arm. The blonde had cycled into the village and caught the butcher just as he was opening for something fresh that would satisfy the younger girl – although, much to Liv’s dismay, there wasn't a slice of black pudding in sight. She had her sausages though. What more did she need?

“Go on,” Millie coaxed, dropping the pan into the frothy, foamy water in the sink.

She wiped her hands on the tea towel that was bundled on the sideboard and, after hanging it up, went over to the table and sank down into her chair. Darcie followed, being lifted up onto her mother’s lap after toddling in from the living room where the children were playing, Bean dutifully watching over them. After getting a kiss and a squeeze from her mum, Darcie’s large eyes fell to the plate of food and she glanced up expectantly at her mother, bringing a smirk to the surface of her mouth.

“Well, when Keiran was gone,” Liv began, cutting into her breakfast, “your scrambled eggs were absolutely dreadful. They’re amazing now he’s home.”

She brought a fork-full of them between her lips as if to underline her point and Millie laughed, bringing her coffee to her own. She took a long and grateful sip and the three women pottered on in relative silence as they ate greedily. Five or ten minutes must have elapsed before footsteps sounded on the stairs. Millie perked up, whispering in Darcie’s ear that her father was coming down.

“Hey,” Millie greeted him when she caught sight of her husband. “I didn’t think you’d be coming down yet. There’s late breakfast in the—”

The words died on her tongue when she saw the stormy look on his face and she frowned a bit, trying to catch his eye to see what the matter was. Liv raised a smile for Keiran but hers, too, slipped off of her face. She blinked down at the paper and the fork clattered out of hand. Darcie jumped in her mother’s arms and her face screwed up, her lower lip trembling with the threat of tears. Millie’s arms tightened around her little one immediately and her voice was in the brunette’s ear, assuring her that it was alright.

“Liv—”

“Keiran!”

Her chair scraped back over the tiles and she shot up after him. Millie cringed into her youngest daughter and reached out, drawing the scrap of the Prophet closer to her. Her heart sank and she rested her chin against Darcie’s head. She let her eyes close and wished with every ounce of herself that it wouldn’t end in another argument.

“Please, Keiran!” Liv reached the landing, breathless. “Please, please help me help him. He can’t just stay there. He’s innocent. He was stupid but he’s innocent. I can’t just leave him there.”
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:28 pm
Keiran kept walking, never hesitating, until she said the word can't. "No," he bellowed, spinning around at the top of the stairs and leaning forward to tower over her. "You can, Livia. And you should. Did you even read it? Do you even realize what he's done?"

Keiran lifted his wand from his pants pocket, calling the prophet over and frowning even more deeply as he heard the shock break from between Darcie's lips as it flew past her. Liam and Kelly, who had just turned two a few days earlier, came toddling out of their room, eyes wide. Merlin, not helpful. Keiran cleared his throat and lowered his voice, spreading out the pages of the Prophet to show it to her again.

"He assaulted the Minister of Magic because he was drunk, Liv. I don't care how much you think he likes you; if he doesn't respect the man who can condemn him to prison easier than anyone else in this world, there is absolutely no proof that he will respect you. Even if you get him out, what happens when he does something to you? He'll apologize, say he didn't mean it, say he won't do it again. He'll tell you that he cares for you until you take him back. The cycle will continue. And I can't let that happen."

His temper collapsed, and Keiran's face fell until he was just staring at her almost desperately. "He isn't good for you, Liv. He isn't good for anybody. Not even himself."

He closed the pages, hiding Simon's dead-eyed stare, and took a step forward, hoping that she wouldn't run away again. Suddenly, a very, very dangerous thought came to him. It lit a fire within him that he felt he might come to regret if it ended up burning everything down, but it couldn't be ignored. If he went to see Marek, he could set the man off. If Liv was there, she could see the truth.

"Liv," he began quickly, not quite changing his tone but rather upping the urgency in his voice. "I'll take you to see him. But I won't be helping him get out until something proves me wrong. You understand? We can go right now. But I make no promises at all."
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:39 pm
At the sight of the elder two children, brandishing curious and concerned looks on their cherubim faces, Melissa Hayes got to her feet. Her voice was soft and gentle, fluttering to their ears in a mix of English and Irish. With Darcie on her hip, she used her other hand to guide her twins back towards the living room, taking a brief moment before doing so to cast a muffling charm in the direction of her brunettes. As the magic settled around them, Millie moved away from the situation, urging the children away from the argument so that the image of those clever people could always be one of harmony in their minds rather than one of conflict and strife. They didn’t need to hear the conversation. They could wait to have their own when they were older and decided that they wanted to be with ex-convict murderers.

As Millie sat down on the rug again with the children and her eyes fell to her eldest daughter, she felt her stomach roil unpleasantly within her. That easy smile, those bright, keen eyes. Her father’s eyes. The elder blonde blinked and she reached out, her fingers touching to her daughter’s cheek. That wasn’t going to happen. That wasn’t ever going to happen again. This was verging on a living nightmare for them and a significant part of the witch wished that their girl would give up on the wizard for whom she was so ill-suited. But then, she and Keiran weren’t the Ministry. They couldn’t decide who was right for her and shoe-horn them into her life or get rid of them if they were no good. Indeed, Millie doubted that she and Keiran could come up with a decent person for Liv even if they tried.

No one would ever be good enough for her but Simon couldn’t even be good for her. Millie wanted their girl to be happy and she understood that some of the best people came in slightly broken packaging. She was sure that her husband would attest that she had hardly landed into his life whole and alright. Simon and Liv weren’t either, in either lives. She had her own hang-ups and he had his spectres. But the violence that purveyed him was a danger to her and the relentless foolishness made him someone who she could not expect to be able to build a life with. Because that was what it was – foolishness. Those who had been affected by the nastier aspects of life were often hardened with a sort of cynicism that made them second guess and tricky to fool twice. But he was foolish. Foolish for getting caught up with those men if he hadn’t lied to Liv, foolish for allowing this to happen when he must have known the Ministry would look for any excuse to haul him back to Azkaban, and foolish for wiggling his way into Liv’s heart when he knew he couldn’t stay there.

“There has to be a reason!” Livia’s voice was relayed back to Millie’s ears by the same magic that hid their words from the children. “Drunk or not, no one is that silly! He must have made a mistake or something!” She blanched at Keiran’s words and took a step back as that little seed of doubt he’d sown poked through the soil of her mind and produced a little leaf, tiny and fragile, so easily dashed, but it was the lush verdant of doubt, nonetheless.

“He wouldn’t!” She shrieked, horror contorting her features as fear lanced through her at the suggestion. “He wouldn’t … he …” She looked down and screwed her hands together miserably. Her eyes watered a little and she brought one of her fists up to scrub away the treacherous tears that were splintering past her eyelids. She shook her head, not sure if she wanted to go to Azkaban, not sure if she could face it. Not sure if she could look at Simon and acknowledge that Keiran was right.

“We will all go,” Millie’s voice pierced through the cloud of sorrow that had settled around the witch. She looked up and scruffed the tears away as she settled her eyes on the blonde. “Georgia’s arrived,” Millie added for Keiran’s benefit, her expression showing that she’d forgotten that their busy-body neighbour had offered her daughter up to look after the twins while they were in the village getting groceries that morning. “I don’t think either of you could cast a decent Patronus at the moment. We’re all going to go, alright? Together.”
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:09 am
He'd nearly forgotten about Georgia's offer, but he didn't mind as much as Millie did when it came to the girl's family. Mrs. Hayes still seemed a bit wary of small town life. But her offer was an intelligent one, so he nodded and waited for the redhead to gather up the twins and Darcie, securely seating herself in the living room. He couldn't imagine how Muggles let someone else come into their home to watch their children. Didn't they worry about being stolen from? He was just glad that wouldn't be a problem on their end, as Millie had undoubted sent out pieces of magic to keep an eye on everything. They were just lucky the twins probably wouldn't show real signs of magic for another four or five years. Otherwise, Georgia would be out of a summer job.

At any rate, they left the kids in her potentially capable hands, knowing full well that the girl would be in a hell of a mess if she let something happen to them while their parents were away. But there were big things to worry about other places as well, and he wanted to get it over with.

Even before they were out the door, though, Keiran was sure that he didn't want Millie to come with them. Her being there would ensure that he felt the need to behave more rationally, and that wasn't actually what he wanted at all. He apparently didn't have a choice, though, as he assumed Liv would prefer that Millie were there, so he didn't say anything or pull her aside.

Instead, they made it to the entrance to Azkaban prison, and immediately the warmth lingering from the inside of his house was snatched away from him. There was a man at the entry this time, his eyebrows lifting to see the trio land in front of him without warning. Keiran wasted no time.

"Where is Simon Marek being held?"

The man's shock turned into a glare.

"Don't you worry. I've no intention of letting him out. We need to ask him some questions."

"I cannot let you through. He's being held in the maximum security partition, so unless you have some sort of access, I can't-"

"I'm assuming the name Hayes means nothing to you."

He no longer worked at the Ministry, so it was unlikely. And, indeed, the man shook his head seriously, standing in front of the door without so much as a shift of his weight.

"Fine," Keiran decided, steadying himself against the cold, shivery feeling around him. "I'll get someone who has access."

Turning away, he blocked out anything that the other two might try to say, and took a moment to prepare himself before sending out two messages, asking for assistance. If there were any two people he trusted to be there, and trusted to find their way in, it was that pair. Besides, if he agreed to help them, then this would be a favor they could do him in advance. And Keiran Hayes was not above using favors and bribes to get what he wanted.



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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:47 am
An odd feeling settled over Millie’s shoulders when their feet slopped against the black rock of the island Azkaban was perched so precariously on. All around them, the raging, grey waters of the North Sea thrashed about and the wind howled mournfully by, pinching at their cheeks and drawing the cold in amongst their robes as they trudged up the crumbling path to the mouth of the fortress where a pale, exhausted looking young man was sat in the guard post, a cup of tea nursed in his hands as he took a breather, the screaming of the elements much easier to suffer, Millie expected, than the shouts of the inmates whose faint, high-pitched croons she was sure she was just beginning to hear. She felt a touch of sorrow for rousing him from where he was shivering in his thick, woollen cloak. It was Ministry grade, by the look of it, just enough to give them the illusion that the government valued the jobs they were doing but not enough to actually keep the chill off. The wands the normal, run-of-the-mill guards kept only allowed for certain spells to be cast. Warming charms were not included.

The momentary lapse in formality was smoothed over by professional incredulity, the lift of a stoic eyebrow, and the determined set of a jaw not yet entirely that of a man. The sprinkling of scruff across it gave him an older hue to his form but there was little that convinced the Divination professor that he belonged in the profession he had chosen for himself. One eye drifted back towards his cup. There was tea, or coffee, or some sort of soup inside. In the half-light of the almost-room they had bustled into, it was tricky to tell and for the life of her, she wasn’t sure why she was so concerned. Her concerns lay beyond the immediate, somewhere within the narrow corridors of the High Security wing where the mad beat against their shackles and the guilty marked off their days in white chalk, awaiting the spectre of death to lay his hand on their shoulders. Then there were the falsely accused. Of which there were always few notables, the sort of people that the Deputy Minister would call political collateral, those who it was easier to keep inside than to admit the judicial failure of. Millie felt sorrow for each and every one of them. This was no place to wait to die.

Mutely, Millie was impressed with their little guard. He was certainly intent on getting some sort of reward at some juncture for being earnest and steadfast in what the profession required of him. They were strangers. They had no produced any sort of identification papers and they had asked to see the newest inmate of those devilish halls, the man caught in the Ministry snare once more, to be kept there until they figured out just what they wanted to do with him. Part of Millie had wanted to swan into the Ministry, sit on the end of Robert’s desk and ask him just what had gone on. She wondered to herself whether or not this was the right way to go about it. Displaying him to their daughter in the yellowed light of his failures, stark and clear against the brick of the prison he’d been condemned to, was hardly the most sensitive way to break her heart against him. There was nothing sweet in this decision, and Millie was sure that her misgivings now were much more to do with the proximity of the Dementors than with any genuine disquiet about what they were doing. She sat well enough in her hypocrisy, even if her conscience was now beginning to snag.

Expecto Patronum,” she whispered.

“No, Mrs Hayes, you can’t—”

Livia’s keen eyes darted to Millie’s face, curiosity shining in her irises. She had cringed closer and closer to Millie from the moment they had arrived. Her hands had laced around the blonde’s arm and she had bundled herself close to the tall woman’s figure. Millie’s cloak had wrapped easily enough around her and she was glad for the fingers rubbing faint circles into her side, soothing her against the torrent of emotions that were being whipped up inside of her. Unlike the elder woman, Livia had yet to cotton on to what was going on behind the walls. Clever witch though she was, her magic had not been stretched and honed as much as Millie’s had. Channelled through foresight, she was forever sensing little changes in the magic around her. It took every bit of concentration to focus on that and the spell she wanted to cast instead of the images that were flinging themselves against her mind, glimpses of the future ahead for the brunette that were sizzling into her consciousness through their connected skin. Then of course there were the Dementors, flirting ever closer to the front of the prison, as though they could sense the happiness within them, that they were so desperate to taste.

Delight replaced the confusion in the younger witch’s face almost immediately once the spell was cast. The lioness spilled out of the end of the wand. It was an ash wand, appropriated from her brother’s person. She had had the misfortune of misplacing the sycamore wand that she had been given as an eleven-year-old during a skirmish some months ago, while Keiran had been away. Elliot had cautioned her before giving up his wand. He had wanted to know what she was doing but her tongue did not turn to the truth. In the end, he relinquished it easily enough, glad, in a way, to be getting a new one. He had long suspected its disloyalty. Her magic felt much stronger channelled through the ash. Perhaps they had gotten the wrong wands, after all. Her Patronus landed on large, furry paws and gave a long yawn before casting its eyes around, taking in its surroundings. Livia laughed as the big cat immediately turned to wind through her legs before bounding over to rub affectionately up against Keiran’s.

“You’ve been here before,” Livia murmured mildly as the cat bobbed back over to take a seat by her mistress’ legs. Millie’s eyes slid to the left to look at her and a smirk tugged at the side of her mouth as she slid her wand into the holster around her left forearm once more. “Haven’t you?” Livia urged as Keiran sent out the messages. Neither of them thought to intervene. Millie stood genially, observing her husband while Livia, tucked under her cloak, tried to pierce her mind with her eyes and spill the secrets that she was keeping about Azkaban. The guard knew her by name and though it was an easy enough deduction to make based on the rings the elder pair wore and the fact that Keiran had identified himself … they were not unknown to the wizarding public, after all. They were conspicuous and worth looking at for the morbidly curious types. The Prophet had their names strewn across its pages often enough. It would have been easy to say that he’d just assumed but assumption was not something Livia always liked to give into.

“You can’t cast that here,” the guard sighed, rocking forward on the balls of his feet, the urge to move and take her wand burning in in his belly. “You shouldn’t cast any spells here,” he added, glancing at Keiran hesitantly, as though he was unsure if he wanted to try the elder man’s temper.

“A little Patronus charm does everyone some good,” Millie replied easily, her words tumbling through the air in an almost idle fashion as the cat got up again, stretching her legs. “Drink your drink. We’re all content to wait.”

The guard looked tempted but made no move to do so. He was not content to wait, it seemed. He wanted them gone. Permanently. She couldn’t say she blamed him. They presented a problem that had the potential to snowball and end with the Ministry losing its prize. However, Millie knew that this was highly dependent on her and Keiran’s inclination in the moment. That was the selfish madness of it all. She looked down at Liv who was still snuggled against her, hiding from the hateful wind. Millie pressed her lips to the girl’s forehead, conceding in her heart that it wouldn’t be their inclination that would rule the succession of events. If Liv wanted it, they would have him out.
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:50 pm
Jack never spoke of her time in Azkaban. It had not been long, considering, and she had fared rather well, according to Lestrange, her friend and counselor who had been assigned to check into her mental state, seeing as it was bull she had been sent there in the first place. Right out of Hogwarts, the death of Thaor Elldir tied to her name, and Grindelwald had come into power. Of course the leader of Potter's Army, the instigator of the great Second Battle of Hogwarts, of course she would find her way into the cell full of dementors. There had been no end in sight - luckily, she had friends in high places.

It seemed the tradition continued. Kip had come over, first checking that Gregory Dyllan was out with the kids. It had been weeks since it became official that the Dyllan patriarch had no intentions on leaving the wacky oasis that was Layabout Lane, and still, Kip had not faced his father. As he explained it, it was not fear or resentment that kept him away. He wasn't sure what value could be gained from throwing a wrench into Gregory's already slipping reality. Kip didn't a father and Gregory didn't need another mind-blowing surprise. Jack wasn't sure she agreed, but she also understand the desire to keep things simple, even the desire just to try. So she wasn't going to push.

Kip was over to discuss thoughts on the magic of the portal that had transported the train, as research on the portkey-theory was continuing to hit dead end after dead end. When the patronuses arrived, Jack knew there was little reason to speak. She began to pull on her jacket as Kip tucked in his shirt, hooking out an arm for her half-brother. They turned on their heels.

A silvery falcon perched on Kip's shoulder as they walked up the path, fuelled by memories of a blue-eyed artist, her presence missed but still tangible in his life. Jack led the way, her jaw set as though ready to fend off an attack, though the fighting would have to be left up to the keen silver eyes of her brother's patronus. As the entrance loomed into view, Jack saw not just the back of dearest Kevin, but of two other women. Jack exchanged a look at Kip. Were they about to be acquainted with the infamous Millie?

They reached the group and stopped. There was the briefest moment of silence before Jack said, "Right. What's going on?"

Kip nodded at Keiran. "Nice to see you, mate." He turned his perpetually-civil gaze onto the two women, mouth widening into a polite smile as he reached out a hand to clasp theirs. "Hi - Kip Parsons. You must be Millie? And I'm sorry, I don't believe I've had the plea-"

"So what's the deal," Jack said, her eyes on Keiran. "You said you needed in?"
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:15 am
Keiran shot a particularly disapproving frown in Millie's direction when she went against the rules of the prison, but not merely because she was breaking the rules. That was a very Melissa thing to do. No, it was because somehow, in the time between his leaving to find Robin and when he returned, she had become inexplicably good at magic. Better than him, in fact, where before she had been nearly useless at most of the areas worth concerning oneself with. He couldn't say it wasn't suspicious or troubling, as he clearly didn't understand why the Ministry would've chosen someone like his wife to become, essentially, a spy. He would never have thought her suited to it, not half because she was always much more head-in-the-clouds than rational. It set something beneath his skin bristling, as it registered yet again:

Somehow, his previously ridiculous yet oddly charming wife had become more dull and yet still more relevant than himself. Even though he had done all of the work to earn it and she had seemingly done nothing except know someone who favored her.

But that was how the world worked. It was why Elijah had been installed as Deputy Minister, likely the reason Robin had never been arrested, and it was why someone as lacking in self-confidence as Ben was could become the heir to a Fortune 500 Company almost overnight.

It was unfair, and ridiculous, and it infuriated him more than almost anything else he could think of. And, frankly, he was sick of it. So it was pretty lucky that Jack and Kip showed up when they did. It saved Liv and Millie from another outraged exclamation from the professor.

Perhaps worse than his rebellious temper was the fact that, actually, it felt good to care so strongly about something. It had been far too long since he had been fired up about something - even including the train. He had been forced to do all of the work for Elijah and had basically done the same for Theo regarding their statements, if only to let Theo get back to helping and to get Elijah to shut up and go along with it. But that had been tiring rather than the sort of thing that sends shivers through your bones because you care so much.

He had felt that way about Millie once. It had been astoundingly powerful for something he had never wanted with someone he had nothing in common with. Now he didn't know her at all.

Pleasantries were obviously well enough, but in the end he had no choice but to listen. Keiran turned his head, pulled back out of his thoughts by Jack's words.

"Right, we can't get through to the higher priority area. Livia," he said by way of introduction, gesturing towards her, "is apparently seeing a man named Simon, who you may remember, Kip, because he was sentenced to three years in Azkaban for the death of a child." Eying Millie and Liv warily he added, "I'm sure you can see my hesitation."

But still, he had given his word. So he turned back towards Jack, a hand reaching absentmindedly for her shoulder. "However. She's family to me, and I made her a promise. She wants to see him and find out why he attacked Robert. And I need to know if I'll be locked up in here later for murdering him."

Keiran heard a cough and slowly turned, suddenly remembering that the guard there would hardly approve of his words. He held up his hands dramatically, making a face but clearly informing them that he was joking. He shook his head as he turned back to Jack, as if to say, Merlin, there's no humor these days.
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:17 pm
Looking down at her brogues, scuffed and well-loved as they were, Livia couldn’t help but think to when she had first gotten them. It was the first thing she had bought after … well, after … everything, she supposed. Theo had taken her, an easy smile on his face in the late autumnal sunshine. They strode easily through the crowds thronging through London, in search for something to eat when the shoes caught her eye in a window. He hadn’t thought twice. He’d taken the Muggle notes out of his wallet, handed them over and even paid the bag charge. That weekend, she’d worn them for the first time during a Hogsmeade trip. She’d tagged along with Theo and together they met the Hayes’ and the Piersons. And the overwhelming memory she had of the first time she’d been properly introduced to ‘the family’ was of how much they’d laughed, and how happy and content they were. And now? Now, in the grey mire of that day, stood upon that abominable rock, she could see none of that. She could feel none of the love that they were supposed to have for each other. Where had it all gone?

Even this … even though this was meant to be for her… it didn’t feel as though it was, almost. And she didn’t feel grateful yet, either. All she felt was pain. Livia cringed closer to the Patronuses, sorely wishing she could summon some of the happiness within herself to cast her own. She took a heavy breath inwards and tried to convince herself that it was alright, that it would be alright, and that she was only feeling the way she was because of the Dementor-infested island. She reached out to pet Millie’s Patronus but before her fingers even so much as grazed the magic, the cat flickered away into nothing. She looked up but the witch didn’t meet her gaze. She cast another one with a mutter under her breath of the spell and a wave of her wand. The cat spilled back onto four paws again but Livia’s brows furrowed. It wasn’t as clear, not nearly as bright as before but even that … she’d seen a better Patronus from the blonde. The cat nudged up against Livia’s leg in an almost mournful fashion. She sighed softly, drawing her fingers through the magic, feeling the dimming power.

Her chest ached at Keiran’s words, unsure whether it was that was actually upsetting her. Was it his unrelenting disapproval? She knew that he had no reason to approve. He’d not been given one. She knew it was because he cared. Maybe she had picked the wrong person to trust a little bit of her happiness with. He was entitled to believe that but she just wished he’d believe in her, that maybe she was making the right choice even if the situation was wrong, warped, and entirely against her, that maybe fighting for something she believed in, someone she believed in, was more admirable than settling for someone who … someone who they all approved of because of how approvable he was. She didn’t want approvable. She didn’t care for who they thought was right. She cared about Simon. She wanted to entrust him with her happiness, and ask him to entrust her with his.

“I just want to see if he’s alright,” she said, turning away from the Hayes’ to look at Kip and Jack hopefully. “He’s been kind to me. I care about him. That’s all I’m guilty of. I don’t think you can help who you care about.” She wrung her fingers together nervously. “Are you able to help us inside?” She took a step forward, for emphasis as well as to get herself closer to the other Patronus. “I’d be really, really grateful and, um… I just … if you could, that’d be, well, that’d be ... I don’t know. Just … please could you find a way to ask the nice guard man to let us in?”
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

on Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:06 pm
Kip thought ahead to the future, to the next poker game, when Jack would be sitting on the knowledge that she had finally met the side to Keiran that many of them never had, and how he would remind her that she was rather rude to both women, and how she would not be able to see it as such, because Kevin had called, and her business was with Kevin, and she did what they had wanted her to anyway so why would they think her rude, and anyway she didn't care if they thought she was rude, it wasn't her job to go around making people feel like special little bunnies-

Needless to say, he was certain Jack was not going to exhibit any better manners, so he figured it was best if he took the lead, as far as the diplomacy between the trio. There was a chill in the air that he could now wholly attribute to the dementors, so it was best if he didn't let his half-sister make things even harder.

Kip glanced over at Jack, who was rolling her eyes at Kevin in agreement to his sentiment. Livia turned on them, turning a beam of frail hope and well-meaning anxiety onto them, which was surely to make Jack squint. He tried to catch her gaze wholly so Jack's expression couldn't make the girl any more uncertain that she already was. "That's why we came. We actually know Simon. Jack has been trying to help him prove his innocence, and had contacted me. Unfortunately, I was unable to meet with him before they moved him-"

"Yeah, what's up with that anyway?" Jack demanded, to no one in particular. "If he was cleared of the other charge, they only have him on this, and that was getting cleared."

"You have a problem-" the guard began to rumble.

"Maximum security, my left foot," Jack snapped back.

Kip grimaced good-naturedly at Livia. "She's not great as asking-"

"Right," Jack said, crossing to the guard. "You need my clearance card? Here. You'll find if it was any higher, it'd be making pizza rolls and claiming it could smell colors. I'm also this man's legal counsel, of sorts, though he was in the midst of getting proper representation - that strapping lad there. Who also happens to be Chief Warlock. As I understand, that position has a lot of say of who comes in and out of Azkaban. These are our guests. Shall we, then?"

The guard didn't exactly look pleased as he ushered them in, but very few people ever got the nerve up to argue with Jack. Kip politely thanked him and clapped a hand on Keiran's shoulder as a reminder of their camaraderie. Jack began leading the group, glancing back to look at Keiran. "Don't kill him yet. I already promised him I would if he didn't shape up. I hear he's done something else...Well, then, we can team up-"

Kip reached for Livia's elbow. "She's mostly teasing. She's just.. We're both invested in seeing justice served. And that means making sure Simon is given a fair trial and all. We're all going to sort this out."
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Re: There's a Big, Black Sky Over My Town

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