Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

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closed Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Frank Longbottom on Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:18 am

[ooc: PUN MASTER STRIKES AGAIN IN THIS POST. YOU'RE WELCOME.]


The knock at the door didn't make any sense. Nobody who knew where Theodore lived would bother with that sort of thing. Or they would have at least said they were on the way, right? With the world as it seemed to be right now, thanks to the disappearing train cars fiasco among everything else, she didn't trust people who came knocking at doors. Was that crazy? It definitely sounded that way.

Still, she had an obligation of sorts to check and see who it was, at the least.

So she stood, ensuring that Esme had her coloring pencils within reach and that Connor was safely in his rocker. It was convenient, she had found, to keep it downstairs as well as having one in their room. Made life much easier. At any rate, she went up to the ground floor, glancing up to the first floor without thinking, as if she would find Theodore walking down the stairs. Not yet. He was too busy with trying to make the world stop falling apart.

When she opened the door, she was blinded for a moment by the sun setting across the street from her. It looked rather like a still-burning coal that had been plucked from the fireplace and stuck onto the sky, and she had to cringe and look away. Her moment of distraction was enough for the person on the other side of the door, and the stranger stepped forward, pushing her back with merely his sudden proximity.

Mai let out a quiet noise of surprise, half thinking it would be Theo just acting strange, but it most definitely was not. Whoever he was, the hood covered most of his face, and she only realized that he was male because of the beard growing across his jaw. Her hand went for her wand but a tilt of his head and a firm tut made her halt. His head turned towards the stairs, as if he knew the kids were down there, and her breath caught. If her heart could have actually stopped, it would have.

"Theo-" she began at a whisper, hoping to use his name to intimidate the other man. The stranger merely waved a hand.

"Rookwood is still at the school," he replied simply, his voice low and dangerous. It was distant somehow, as if the man's emotions weren't correctly attached to his words. All the more confusingly, he had a thick accent she couldn't place, so she had to listen carefully to each word. "I'm not here for him. I'm here to give warning. To you. If I could get into Hogwarts, believe me, he would be well aware of me. Actually," he decided with a tilt of his head, "Rookwood wouldn't be well at all. But you. You will be asked to help with a murder trial for a man named Simon. You won't accept."

"I- Why?" She asked, leaning away and staring at him with wide eyes. Merlin, she wished she were good at wandless magic. She wanted to block the stairs in case Esme came looking for her, but she couldn't. In fact, the thought came to mind because she was quite sure she heard little footsteps from behind her.

The man's head turned. So she was coming up, then. Mai needed him to leave.

"Nevermind. I won't do it. I swear," she went on seriously, her expression grave. "Don't come near us again, and I'll refuse."

He must have been watching her carefully for any sign of a lie, but if he found one, he didn't make it clear. Instead, he disapparated, somehow closing the door in his wake. Mai stepped back until she collapsed against the staircase, mindlessly watching the door. It wasn't until Esme made it up to the top of the other stairs that Mai turned her head, pulled out her wand, and sent a patronus out.

Help.

--

Frank arrived within minutes. Esme, much to her distaste, had not been told what was going on. She just knew, of course, that her new mother figure was still curled up on the bottom stairs with a blank look in her eyes. She had gone down to watch Connor, but peeked upstairs again when she heard the crack of apparition, thinking it was her dad. Of course, it wasn't him yet. Instead, Frank was standing there, glancing around until he caught sight of the redhead and strode across the room to crouch in front of her.

Her eyes finally focused when she realized his own were in front of her, and the roadblock keeping her fear and emotions back fell down, setting the tears loose.

"Mai," he began firmly, no-nonsense as ever. "What happened?"

He turned his chin slowly, catching sight of Esme. His hand went up to stop Mairen as she began to try and explain, standing up again. Mai turned her head as well, then sighed and pushed herself to standing. Frank gestured for her to go first, which she was going to do anyway, so she moved over to the little brunette and held out a hand, waiting for Esme to take hold before leading the way downstairs to be with Connor.

He was still asleep, thankfully, but she didn't know how to explain it to Frank with her quasi-daughter still attentive as ever. And she was incredibly clever, wasn't she? Mai couldn't get away with much.

"I don't know who he was. He came to the door, but he was looking for me. He knew where Theo was," she told him quietly, setting Esme in her lap and holding her close. One hand combed through her hair as Mai continued. "He said something about a man named Simon. I don't know who that is, but... I'm supposed to refuse to help him."

Frank frowned. "He claimed he would-?"

"Yes. Obviously."

"I think you need to get Theo back here," he told her. "He needs to know. Unless you intend on moving out -- moving in at mine -- I can't keep an eye on you by myself."

"Last time something like this happened, it was at a D.E. meeting," she told him, eyebrows lifting at the initials, to ensure he knew what she meant. A disapproving scowl pulled at his face. "I know. It was ridiculous. He doesn't need this right now. They already think he should be sacked or something if I understand it right. He-- I can't-"

"Mai, if you don't tell him, I will." Frank said frankly. "This is your family now. Official or not." She looked away, focusing on Connor and resting her chin on Esme's head. "I may be determined as hell, but I can't fix this without his help."

Of course, even Mairen didn't know the truth. It would be dangerous for her if she did, and despite all of her big talk about being brave and chatty and Gryffindor, she couldn't necessarily handle it in the way she would need to. So regardless of the fact that he would be taking action without telling her, he had very, very little to go off of. It wasn't worth getting her hopes up and then ensuring that she would have to live with the burden of his secret.

"I'll look into everything. I swear it," he added. "Call him. Now."

Mai looked hesitant still, but she nudged Esme gently until the little girl shifted onto the seat beside her so that she could draw her wand out again. The same patronus message was sent to Theodore, knowing full well that it was over-dramatic. But it would get the job done, certainly. Frank got up and moved to the seat on the other side of Mai, drawing her against his shoulder. Her fingers reached out for Esme, too, though, and she couldn't really allow herself to settle. Mai seriously doubted that she would find a way to settle until everything was fixed. Until the world stopped spinning and it was just her and her family and her best friend.

She didn't even contemplate the fact that Theodore had never seen Frank before, or that the whole thing would be pretty panic-inducing. No, instead she just closed her eyes and pressed her forehead into Frank's jaw.
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Theodore Rookwood on Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:40 pm

“Don’t you have anywhere else to be, Uncle Theo?”

“You know I’m not really your uncle, kid, don’t you?”

“Well, how are we related?”

“I’m your dad’s second cousin, technically speaking, I think.”

“Oh. So you are sort of my uncle then.”

“In an almost-not-really kind of way.”

A small smile played at the lips of the Rookwood man as he looked down at the little man sat beside him on the garden wall at the back of the Hogs Head. The courtyard, that had originally been full of vines and weeds and horrible gnomes, had been converted into a garden by Peter when the rest of the pub had been refurbished. Now, there was grass that was long and lush. A football was hanging in a small goal that was pushed up against the fence and there were some quaint wooden chairs around a table that had a yellow and orange parasol in it, fluttering lightly in the faint breeze that was dancing down the hill from Hogwarts and wriggling into the corners and alleys of Hogsmeade, making it seem as though autumn was really drawing in near.

Theodore had left Hogwarts on the spur of the moment, sick of looking at the same four walls of his office. He had had the company of Athena in the morning. She had taken the day off at the bookshop to re-lay the wards around the Hogwarts grounds. Theodore had hunted out all of the weak spots and he had her there to plug the gaps. In truth, he was grateful for the company and after having lunch with the House Elves, he left the castle. It was natural, really, that he should veer towards family. He’d found Finley playing in the back garden and they got to talking quite quickly, ending up sat on the wall that they found themselves on now.

“So, the train…” Finley hedged after a little bit of silence.

Theo’s jaw set a little bit. “What about it?”

“Are you going to find it?” Finley asked, his body twisting round so that he could look at Theodore directly.

“I’m going to try, lad,” Theo chuckled uneasily. “Well, I’m trying. I am trying.” He sighed, drawing his fingers through the front of his hair.

“My dad said that it’s tricky,” Finley went on, looking down at his hands.

“It is tricky,” Theo conceded. “I don’t quite know what I'm doing yet.”

“It’ll be alright,” Finley reached out, laying his hand on Theo’s arm. “It’ll be alright in the end, once the trickiness is over.”

Theo’s lips twitched up into a smile. “I hope you’re right, kid.”

“I am,” he declared happily, swinging his legs. “Wait, Theo—what’s that?”

Turning his head, following the eyesight of the boy. His heart stalled in his chest at the sight of his redhead’s Patronus. Theo hopped off of the wall and lifted Finley off after him. Setting the lad down on the grass, he indicated that he should go back inside and find his father. Finley took off towards the back door of the Hog’s Head and Theodore knelt down to receive the Patronus message. It was barely through the first handful of syllables before he disappeared with an almighty crack, that inside the pub made Peter peek out through the window, concern riddled across his features.

Theodore landed with a slam against his front door. He caught hold of the door handle to stop himself from falling over and he took a handful of breaths before unlocking the front door with his wand. He bustled in, Mai’s name emanating from his mouth before he was even properly through the door. He slammed the door behind himself and sought her out, falling through the house until he found her, Esme with her, Connor sleeping through it all. Safe. They were safe. He didn’t so much as look at Frank until his arms were wrapped around his girls, his lips feverishly working, asking if Mai was alright. Then, when he finally spotted the other man, his eyebrows furrowed and he found himself feeling almost out of place in the moment. He reaffirmed his grip around his redhead, half fearing that if he let go, something awful would happen.

“What’s happened?” He asked, not sure his heart could take the answer.
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Mai S. Tierney on Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:31 am

As terrified as she was, Mai felt exhausted. It was probably only the expectation that Theo would arrive and the need to keep an eye on the kids that kept her from falling asleep on Frank's shoulder. And that was probably for the best, since Theo appeared even more quickly than she expected him to, lifting her off of Frank's side and pulling her forward into his arms.

Her eyes flew open, blinking at him as she tried to regain her wits. Esme too, which was good because Mai didn't doubt that the little one was still confused.

"Frank," she said first, turning her head away from Theo as she looked for him again. "Can you watch the kids for a second? I don't want to leave them on their own, but-"

"Go," he cut in seriously, lifting his chin towards the stairs.

She turned to Esme then, her hand reaching for the brunette's cheek as she promised that they wouldn't be long and that Frank was lovely and safe. And she didn't really wait to hear if it was okay, because Frank was already reaching out a hand and introducing himself as though she were much older and wiser than she realistically could be yet. And then he asked about coloring and Mai wondered how he knew that until she saw the abandoned coloring pencils on the floor.

Pushing off of her seat, she reached for Theo's arms, tugging him up the stairs to their room. When the door shut behind them, she all but flung herself into his arms, her own curling around his middle. Pressing her cheek against his chest, she took a shuddering breath before trying to explain.

"Some man showed up at the door and I couldn't see their face but they knew who I was and they just... they forced their way in, sort of. And they said they'd hurt you and Esme and Connor and- I don't know." Mai paused the take a breath but it was released at something akin to a whimper. "They said someone named Simon might need my help. I don't know anyone named Simon," she clarified, lifting her chin to pout at him expressively.

"Theo, how did they know where we live? I just... I can't figure out who it was, and now you and the kids aren't safe, and.. I- I don't think I should stay here. Not until we figure out what this is. Who they are."

She deflated, her eyes brimming with tears as she tipped her chin forward and her head fell against his chest again. "Or maybe that would make it worse. I don't know." She shrugged almost ridiculously, trying to make the motion clear despite how she clung to him. "It's the worst timing ever, I know. I'm sorry."
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Theodore Rookwood on Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:12 pm

The warmth of the house seemed to bely the chill about the air. As they picked their way upstairs and entered the refuge of their bedroom, Theodore felt as though all of the aspects of their life there somehow mocked the situation that was unfolding. The scene was benign. The bed was made, strewn with pillows and extra blankets because Theo always liked being impossibly warm. The wardrobe door was just slightly ajar and shoes were strewn around in a fashion that would have amused him on any given day. Connor’s Moses basket was on the floor on Mai’s side of the bed, the blankets awry where he’d been scooped out of it that morning by his father, anxious to let their redhead get just a little bit longer in bed before he had to dart off to Hogwarts for the day. Pictures of them all were framed on the walls as well as some odd bits of landscape art that Theo had thought charming when he’d first refurbished that room. This was their life. This was their home. In that moment, it all felt so fragile. She felt fragile. And he felt ready to fall apart.

Theo tightened his grip on Mai, leaning his cheek down against the top of her head. He closed his eyes, blocking out the world around them, instead focusing on the way her body felt against his, on the way the heat of her skin fizzled against his. He listened to the sound of her breathing, inhaled the sweetness of her hair. Each thing about her that he loved in that moment he committed to memory … just in case. And then he listened, his heart clenching tighter with every word. When she lifted her head, Theo brought one hand up from her waist to draw his fingers over her cheek. He cradled the base her head gently in his palm, his eyes moving reverently over her face, taking in the pretty, pink pout, the glistening of her eyes, and the fairness of her features. She was so very beautiful, he realised in that way that people do when they’re in love. It’s not just aesthetics. It’s the very being of the person they’re in love with – a twinkling star in an otherwise dark and desolate universe. And the idea that someone could take that away … take all of it away …

Theodore leaned down and pressed his lips against her forehead before reaffirming his grip around her. He let his cheek rest against her hair again and he sighed with every inch of himself. His mind swam, woefully out of its depth, desperate to make sense of what she had told him. There was only one Simon he knew of, though Theodore had yet to be caught up with the entire tale regarding his McCallum’s new … whatever he was. That also had yet to be established. Keiran, really, was probably the last of Simon’s worries because as much as the Hayes man could make his life impossible, the Rookwood one was more likely to end it. He couldn’t imagine that Livia would be so foolish as to invite into her life someone who could bring this sort of nonsense with him. Could she? He blanched at the thought, deciding to put it down to something else. Someone else. Which, in many ways, made it even scarier.

“Don’t apologise to me,” he squeezed her body to his before loosening his arms again. “Not for something that’s not your fault. I should have been here. I should’ve—” Theodore stopped himself, already hearing reason in the back of his head telling him that blaming himself, equally, was pointless. It wasn’t what he hadn’t done. It was all about what he would do next. Mai was right. They couldn’t stay there. No matter how contented they were, they weren’t safe. He knew in his heart of heart’s where they’d have to go, too. There was only one place in the world that was safer than their own home. It wasn’t Hogwarts, now, either. As much sense as it would have made for him to pack them off and hide there, to mobilise the school against any intrusion whether friend or foe … he knew it was foolish. It was too exposed. No, there was only really one place left.

Theodore took his wand out of his back pocket and lifted his head, flicking his wrist, he uttered the spell and a silvery bird shot out of the end of the wand, mid-flight. It did one lap round the room and Theodore smiled a little, the magic of the Patronus soothing some of the fraught feelings within him. It gave a cry and then dived straight of the window into the waning sounds of the city. It wouldn’t take long. Sligo, in the end, wasn’t too far away. And Eamon wouldn’t be long. If there was one thing his uncle was, it was timely.

“My childhood … home,” the word felt odd on his tongue, as though it was a lie to call it such. “It has housed … countless generations of our family and it’s … it’s safe. I think … there, we’ll be alright. I sent my Patronus to my uncle. We should pack, sweetheart. Pack and go.” He reached up and smoothed her hair back from her face. “Mai … I’m not going to let anyone hurt you, alright? Not ever. Not you, not the children. Whoever it is can’t get us. I will do everything in my power to stop them, Mai, I swear to you.”
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Mai S. Tierney on Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:53 pm

Most of the time, being around Theodore felt like walking outside on a summer day just to feel that tingle across her skin as it warmed her. Currently, she just felt guilty. For him, but mostly for the kids, if she were being honest. Their job as parents was took help ensure that when they came of age, the world was safe and they were prepared to handle the parts that refused to be. The world wasn't hers and Theo's - it was theirs. But how could they let their little ones inherit a world so terrible? It wasn't fair. Theirs had been made safe by people Mai had never met, and yet she had reaped the benefits until things got bad again on a level that affected her, personally.

It wasn't supposed to just be about her. Or about her own loved ones. Somewhere in the awful family life and personality that didn't fit in anywhere, she had lost sight of that. Someone was stupid enough to love her, and they both were naive enough to think that love meant happiness.

Happiness was their son's smile and Esme's pride when she pointed at them and called them Mum and Dad. It was the knowledge that the kids felt safe and comfortable in themselves.

It wasn't about her anymore, even if she had thought so before. Was she a Gryffindor or wasn't she?

So it didn't matter if she was afraid of Theo's family. Of meeting them and being informed officially that they didn't like her, didn't approve. If Theo took their opinions seriously, they wouldn't make it. But they had created warmth in the hearts of two children living in a dangerous and scary world. So as much as she would cry and feel like a failure all over again, they at least did something good before losing themselves.

Her eyes followed his patronus too, wondering what memory he'd chosen and forgetting her own. Despite everything, she'd never had a moment when she couldn't think of something optimistic enough. That would change if something happened to her babies. She had cared deeply for Scorpius. Could've married him and lived happily. And she would survive if Theo left, too, because even if she hated herself for thinking it, she had at least one tie to him through Connor. Even if Esme decided she wanted space, too. Pride and Love weren't strong enough words to express what she felt for all of them. She didn't care, she decided then, if they didn't want her around someday. She'd do everything she could think of to make the world right for them.

"I know," she told him quietly, the tears building in her eyes now ones of frustration with her narrow window out into the world. "Whatever you think is best. I trust you. I can't help the fact that I'm scared. Not anymore. Whatever it takes to keep them safe," she agreed, taking herself out of it completely, almost without realizing she had done it.

So she just nodded firmly and turned away, wiping her cheeks as she moved to the closet. Connor's things were in the dresser, and she made herself a very serious mental note not to be stupid enough to forget anything. Her wand called their bags to her side, where they settled at her feet.

Suddenly, she turned around, though. Frank. She'd forgotten he was there for a minute, and looked towards the door, then back at Theo, and then sighed. She would need to get the kids and convince Frank that they had it handled. So maybe calling him for help hadn't been the best idea ever.

It took some convincing, but he did swear that he wasn't going to do anything, and Mai didn't believe him for a minute. But it was alright in the end, she knew, because nobody even knew who the man was. So what could he really do about it, anyway?

She picked up Connor, cradling him carefully as she gestured with her chin towards the stairs to encourage Esme to head up and see her daddy as well. Connor was settled back into his trundle so that Mai could continue putting together some things that they couldn't just transfigure up when they needed it. She dropped one bag on the bed, sure to leave room for Godric the lion, and was reaching for Theo when his uncle arrived, making her jump and turn around to stare at them.
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Theodore Rookwood on Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:52 pm

The wards rippled and Theodore turned his head towards the bedroom door, his ears twitching a little at the sound of the crack of apparition and the soft thump of Italian shoes landing on the floorboards. Theodore’s eyes drifted to Mairen and he smiled a bit for the first time since he’d gotten home. He moved to her side and drew a hand across the small of her back, leaning down to press a kiss to the top of her head. It was a gesture that tried to communicate the sentiment ‘it will be alright’ and Theodore wasn’t sure whether he was getting it right. His cousin, by comparison, had always seemed to know just how to do it. Theodore had never been sure if he had the same effect.

“Rookwood!” A floated up the stairs and a chuckle bubbled past Theo’s lips. He moved, his fingers trailing from Mai last, and stepped across the threshold of the bedroom. He trod over to the stair rail, his hands curling around the wood, and he leaned over to see his uncle at the bottom of the stairs in the hallway, a grin on the features that were so like Theodore’s. Rookwood traits rain deeply, although many had suspected that there was something else behind how much Theodore and his uncle looked alike. As tempestuous as Thaddeus was, he had not been foolhardy enough to broach it with his wife, however. His own father’s ruling on the matter had been firm. Regardless of who had fathered Theodore, the fact that he was a Rookwood was as plain as day so the matter needed to be forgotten. It hadn’t been, of course, and it was a blessing that Theodore had never caught wind of the matter.

“Uncle – so good of you to come,” Theodore waxed, the smirk on his face now insatiable. He couldn’t help it. Now that Eamon was there, he felt as though he could stand by his word to protect his family. Between them and Hogwarts, he was beginning to wonder whether he could. He felt small, fragile – almost like a child again. With Eamon there, the proverbial adult, or at least one with more wisdom and years behind him, Theodore felt as though they’d be alright. Somehow, it would all work out alright in the end. By Merlin, he almost felt safe.

“Well, nephew of mine, I couldn’t not come, could I?” Eamon teased coolly, taking two steps at a time up the stairs to meet Theodore on the landing. “What trouble have you gotten yourself into this time, I wonder, lad?”

Eamon stopped in front of Theodore and appraised him gently with his warm, sienna gaze. He sighed, realising that it had not been against his better judgement to leave the bed of his mistress to come to the aid of his nephew. Theodore needed him and the hug that Eamon found himself swept up into confirmed as much. He embraced Theodore tightly and not for the first time the younger man found himself wishing that Eamon had been his father when he had been small, that Rosalie had been his mother and that the perfect nucleus of the family that Eamon had created would open up a space for him, too. It hadn’t worked out that way, though, of course. Yet Eamon had always been there for him and he would always, always be grateful for that. Without having it asked of him, Eamon had always been more of a father to Theodore than Thaddeus ever had.

“I need you to help us get into the manor,” Theodore murmured as he pulled away.

“You’re not serious,” Eamon blinked, leaning back to look at him, finding that Theodore was, in fact, deadly serious. “You’ve forgotten you were …” Eamon frowned and then said, “Introduce me to your wife, Theodore, for heaven’s sake.”

“She’s um …” Theodore blinked before raising a smile at the thought. It wasn’t true, yet, but it was something he would need to remedy sooner or later. He knew he was guilty of being content with the way things were but if he meant to keep Mai forever, as he intended, then he really did have to propose. Soon, he promised himself.

Gesturing with two fingers for Eamon to follow him, Theodore returned to the bedroom to find Mai. His eyes warmed at the sight of her and he drew an arm around her waist, his lips finding her temple briefly before he opened out his spare arm in introduction.

“Mai, love, this is my Uncle Eamon. Eamon, this is Mai. She’s …” Theodore looked down at her, an honest smile playing at his lips. “She’s everything to me.” The smile slid off of his face all too soon, though, as his gaze returned to his uncle. “We’re in danger, though. There’s only one place my family can’t be hurt and you know it.”

Eamon couldn’t look more incredulous if he tried. He righted his tie and stepped forward.

“Hi.”

Eamon stopped in his tracks and he looked down, an amused look twinkling in his eyes as he took in the little girl who had stepped into his path. She stared up at him inquisitively and Eamon glanced up at Theodore before shooting an amused look at both parents.

“Who are you?”

Eamon squatted down so that he was eye level with her and he chuckled a little as she rose up as high as she could – to intimidate him, he didn’t doubt.

“I am your great-uncle, I suppose,” he said with some consideration, lifting his eyes aloft as though he was mentally checking that it was so before dropping them back down the girl. “And who are you?”

“Esme.”

“Well, it’s very nice to meet you, little Miss Rookwood,” Eamon smiled before rising to his feet again, scooping Esme up with him. She gave a shrill cry of delight and burst into giggles once she was set on his hip. “You can call me Uncle or whatever nickname your dizziest daydreams can conjure. How does that sound?” He teased, tickling her under her chin. She nodded eagerly.

“Don’t steal her from me, Eamon,” Theodore warned playfully.

“What can I say?” Eamon laughed, stepping towards Mai. “I have an affinity for all of the women in Theodore’s life. It is a true pleasure to meet you. I am sorry that we have not met sooner. My nephew, you see, he’s quite errant about this sort of thing. A dreadful sport when it comes to everyone meeting each other. Hates an awkward dinner.”

“Look, Uncle – can you get us into the Manor or not?”

Eamon handed Esme over to her father and frowned, his lips pressing into a thin line.

“Have you thought this through? Hiding your family in a nest of vipers with poisoned bites might not be the best idea, Teddy. Is there nowhere else? What about Hogwarts?”

Theodore levelled him with a plaintive look as he cuddled Esme close to his chest. “It’s exposed. If I thought that the school was safe, don’t you think we’d have been half way to Hogsmeade by now?”

Eamon held up his hands. “Alright, alright. He’s not very patient, is he?” He addressed Mai with a smirk. He brought his hands down to lightly grasp her upper arms and he leaned in to press a kiss to her cheek. “I’ll get you into the manor,” he told them both. “Your father won’t appreciate it but I am sure my father will appreciate you home. Welcome to the family, my dear,” he returned his eyes to the redhead. “If you should ever find yourself in need of an ally in that dungeon, do knock on my door first. Pick your friends carefully in there, too. I fear the rarest of Rookwoods are those born with kindness. You won’t find another Theodore there, I assure you.”

“I’m sure Adriana took the liberty of scaring her with stories about the family,” Theodore sneered, flicking his wand, urging their things to start packing themselves. “Are you sure you can get us in?”

“The wards haven’t changed too much,” Eamon shrugged a shoulder. “I’ll install you in my wing – keep you out from under Thaddeus’ nose. It’s nearer to your grandfather, also, my wing.”

“You think my father will be a problem?” Theodore asked, his grip on Mai tightening a little.

“Not a longstanding one.” Eamon’s eyes sparkled with impishness. “My House Elves dislike him intensely now. One of them clipped him around the head with a frying pan last week. I don't think he’ll make any attempts to visit you. We just need to get through your homecoming meal, that’s all.”

“Are you joking?” Theodore spluttered.

“Mai!” Eamon ignored his nephew. “Tell me about yourself. Oh, and … is there anything I can help you to pack?”
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Mai S. Tierney on Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:10 am

Mai waited a little while before becoming too curious to help it. She'd asked Esme to hop up on the bed and help stick things in bags as she tossed them to her, if only to take up the time and give Theo and his uncle a moment. But she did cave and peek out into the hallway eventually, unable to help it. She hadn't met anyone from his family besides Adriana, and curiosity had gotten the better of her.

She leaned just in time to catch their hug, her fingers curling around the doorframe. She did catch his uncle's surprise, though, and backed away just in time to hear the next sentence. Her eyes widened but she said nothing, going back to what she was doing. Mai had no idea if he'd corrected the title or not, but she had no intention of asking him.

She straightened up in surprise, eyebrows lifting to match, when Theo came up and drew her to his side. Her cheeks colored, though it was nothing compared to the red of her hair, charming cliche saying or otherwise. Still, Mai offered a shy smile and moved to meet him halfway but Esme popped up between them, building her smile into a proper, full curve.

She couldn't decide, even when Esme seemed comfortable and he seemed genuine towards her, if she trusted Eamon. She wanted to, because it seemed clear that Theo trusted him - perhaps more than anyone else if their conversation was to be believed. She didn't care how it made her look; Mai curled into Theo's side at the suggestion that they were in impressive amounts of danger. She knew that. But it sounded really bad when Eamon put it like that. So her cheek pressed into where his shoulder met his chest and she just sort of listened.

As they continued, it registered that, if she wanted to have any hope of making it through what they were about to do, she needed someone to trust outside of herself and Theo. So when he suggested the dinner, she just sighed, feeling resigned.

"Well, we certainly have experience with that," she mumbled before turning to Eamon when he called for her attention. So, being Mai and being in a rather desperate mood, she just said whatever came to mind.

"Well, my parents are pretty rubbish, too. So I get that. Not in a scary sort of way, just mean. But still," she shrugged. "I've been sort of engaged to a pureblood before but his family never came into play. So I imagine this will be sufficiently terrifying, even though Theo and I are just dating, technically." She lifted her arms outwards in an even bigger shrug, more accepting than upset. "But, um, I've sort of unofficially adopted Esme, and you probably ought to meet Connor."

She stepped away, then, trying to determine if she'd terrified him too much already. But really, Connor was important. So Eamon would have to deal with it, really. Gesturing towards his little bed, she stood up straighter, as though she were daring him to say something sarcastic or joking or anything that wasn't a lovely compliment about her boy. Mai wasn't sure if she had gotten that from Esme or the other way around, but she hadn't noticed it until that moment.

"Seven months, nearly," she said more quietly, settling on the edge of the bed. "Ironic that I'm only meeting you all now, isn't it? Things have been so strange these past couple years. It's like the world never actually settles down."
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Theodore Rookwood on Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:03 pm

Eamon’s smile bore a hint of sorrow just around the edges where they threatened to curl down into a frown. He glanced at Theodore and sighed, wishing he could have drawn his arms around them both. He reached out and touched his knuckles against her cheek. He couldn’t help but think that, perhaps, their losses as children would make them better parents themselves but … he hated that both of them had been dealt the hands that they had. Their children, by comparison, would never grow up to realise that their parents had been cruel.

“Remedy that, Theodore,” Eamon raised his eyebrows pointedly at his nephew before smiling and dropping his hand to the side. “I think everyone could use a good wedding. It’s a morale booster.” He winked and turned on his heel before crossing the room towards Connor’s little bed.

Theodore watched his uncle carefully, interested to see how he would approach their infant. Infant, though, was rapidly becoming an inaccurate term as Connor put down more weight and grew more alert and interested in the world around him. He was a character, most definitely, and Theodore wondered whether, given Esme as well, it was something to do with him, these rambunctious, forthright children. She wriggled a little in his arms, as though to illustrate his thought, and Theodore set down his girl, an amused smile playing on his lips as she hurried over to sit on the bed next to Connor so that she could introduce him to Eamon.

“This is my baby brother!” She announced proudly, looking towards her parents after a second for reassurance. Theodore shot her a bright smile and she grinned back toothily before looking expectantly back at Eamon whose own eyes shone with the sort of happiness that didn’t really have a name but the sort that everyone understood. He glanced over at Mai and held his hands out over the bed, an eyebrow lifting in request. Theodore’s heart jolted in his chest reflexively but he relaxed a little when Eamon lifted their son out of the crib. For all of the man’s rumoured wrongs, there was one thing that was universally accepted within the family about Eamon Rookwood: he was a natural parent.

Cuddling Connor in close to his chest, Eamon took a tentative seat on the end of the bed next to Esme, softly asking her questions about her baby brother which she was all too eager to answer. Theodore smiled and brought his arm around Mai again, more out of the need to touch base than anything else. He leaned his head against hers and pressed a kiss to her hair before leaning his lips down towards her ear, whispering to her that they should probably make the unofficial element of her statement official at some point, “if you’d like,” he didn’t forget to add. The other unofficial title that needed remedying was on its way to being sorted out now that he’d been reminded of it. This was his family and this was the woman who he wanted to marry. It had been an unintentional oversight that he’d not done so. Theodore could have rightly been accused of being far too comfortable with the present state of things but he had learned through experience that marriage rarely brought happiness. He, like so many others, had forgotten that, traditionally, there was something of an element of choice in marriage. Or at least, there had been. The wizarding world had gone full-circle and back again. Who knew what was custom anymore?

“He has your interests at heart – which is probably why we’ve not met until now. Either that, or he’s selfish and wants to keep his beautiful family to himself, hm? Am I warm yet, Teddy?”

Theo looked up from the bag he was packing and smiled at his uncle, shaking his head a little.

“What?” Eamon waxed with a chuckle. “What did you look at me like that for?”

“It’s not you that worries me, Uncle.”

“My brother is an interesting piece of work,” Eamon told Mai with a smirk. “I recommend him after a few glasses of wine – doesn’t matter who has had them, you or him. He’s a trial.”

“Try growing up with him,” Theo muttered, laying some of Esme’s things, that he’d called from her room, into her bag.

“One day, the world will settle down,” Eamon murmured, his eyes finding Mai’s. “Perhaps … on my side of the manor, your little family might find a touch of peace, hm?”

“Here’s hoping,” Theodore agreed, zipping up the bags with a slice of magic. “Do we need anything else, love?”
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closed Re: Trying to Fight When You Feel Like Flying

Post by Mai S. Tierney on Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:35 pm

Mai was already crossing the room when Eamon chided Theodore, but her eyes widened exponentially and her mouth opened - but not quite enough to let the choked sound free. She knew it was sitting there, waiting for her to cave or panic too much. Merlin, Theo's uncle was nothing if not blunt, wasn't he? She wouldn't do very well around him if they were both saying too much too pointedly. Maybe she would dial it back, then, just in case.

She reached out to ruffle Esme's hair at the cautious look on their baby's face, offering a smile that only half faltered when Eamon reached out. Still, he seemed careful and caring, and she couldn't fault him until he gave her a better reason to stress other than the fact that he was new to her life and her son's life. Then again, almost everything was new for Connor.

When Theodore's arm curled around her, she relaxed, reaching for the glass of water she'd left on their bedside table earlier that afternoon. The rim met her lips as he spoke and she almost didn't even react. All she actually did was lower the drink and murmur her response as she continued to watch Eamon and Connor.

"If that was your attempt at asking me to marry you, I'm moving out."

Still, she very nearly smiled around the glass as she took another sip and set it back down on the table. He went back to packing and she could only hope he understood the hidden teasing within her tone.

Mai shook her head, though, at Eamon's suggestion. "Oh, no. Wine and I do not go well together," she laughed, glancing over her shoulder at Theo knowingly. His next words did much to ease her mind, but it was just a start, wasn't it? The truth of the matter was that it would depend on how the rest of Theo's family behaved.

Reaching for Esme again, Mai looked at Theodore completely seriously. "Have you packed Godric? I left room for him in my bag." Then, more lightly: "Other than that, I think we're fine."
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