The Worst Year to Have a 50th

The Worst Year to Have a 50th

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Post by Hermione Granger on Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:33 am

Hermione peered out the window, cringing slightly at the sight before her. It was far too much, September 19th or not. Even for her fiftieth, it didn't feel appropriate. She didn't need floating candles in the backyard, nor did she particularly desire the covered tables with flowers and an astounding number of plates. There really were so many relatives on Ron's side. She was looking forward, however, to seeing the family members who weren't around very often anymore. Rose and Hugo would undoubtedly arrive at some point. Ron's siblings - those that were left. Dom would perhaps bring that man Rose had mentioned, though Hermione hoped that most would keep to family unless they had asked her ahead of time.

After all, their yard was lovely but it wasn't big enough for the entire progeny that was the Weasley and Potter clans.

The Longbottoms had been invited, of course, as they were basically family anyway, which was why she was watching Frank help Ron levitate plates around and set them on the tablecloths.

It wasn't that she didn't feel appreciative, or that birthdays weren't a brilliant excuse to see the people she loved the most. It was that the year was 2029. Twenty years ago, Harry had vanished, and now she was meant to spend one of her biggest birthdays without one of her first friends at Hogwarts. One of her first friends in the Wizarding World. In truth, Harry had been nicer to her than anyone else at the start, even if he was rather quiet about it. Her lie had solidified her friendship, and she had never regretted telling Minerva something that was utterly untrue.

The door opened, making her jump and turn to see who had come in, finding Frank standing there. He always looked so bored with everything, didn't he?

"I think some of the others are arriving," he said, gesturing towards the pathway that led through the back garden and around to the front of the house. They had asked people to go ahead and come round, so she nodded and offered a firm smile, afraid mainly that it might be a Potter that walked through. That she wouldn't be able to hide the disappointment she felt despite the grandeur of the day's events and planning.

So she followed Frank outside, looking around for Ace as she made it to Ron's side, passing a hand over his hair to guide it into place. He frowned slightly but didn't comment, either from years of dealing with her habits or as a silly gift to her on her birthday. Either way, she turned towards the path and leaned a little to see who was coming in.

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Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:43 pm

Teddy Lupin was beginning to grateful for many things.

After being set straight by Maddie, he had found himself able to let go of so many of his fears and failures. Then, with the lives of so many of his loved ones in the air, he had thrown himself into the ring alongside his colleagues in an attempt to help figure out what could be done. Looking back, he realized his contributions were small in comparison, but he had worked hard on the home front, keeping uncles and aunts from losing heart.

And they were all back, and were all safe. Molly had suffered some minor nicotine drawbacks, and Charlie had insisted on rushing a protesting Casey to Mungo's, after her months and months of living off of vermin. She had suffered a bit from a few parasites, and had a few old wounds retreated, but the girl kept insisting she was fine. And from what Dom told him, her fella (let's face it, they all knew he was her boyfriend) had even recovered from his tangle with the school.

A year ago, Teddy would have faced this situation with anxiety and distress. The thought of all these worn out families, the thought of Lily, the heaviness he was sure their family matriarch was feeling to have such an event with so many people gone.. but he could not help but think this event could have been much more somber had they not recovered the kids.

He was one of the first to arrive, though he had not beat the Longbottoms. He supposed it was Neville's unerring admiration for Hermione, a trait that had obviously been handed down, that made it so these two were typically quick to Hermione's side. Ace nowhere to be seen, but he could see Frank and Hermione coming out to join Ron.

"Teddy!"

Teddy turned around and spotted Sawyer Weasley, Casey slouched alongside. A bit behind him were Charlie and Melissa, who were notorious for leaving a mere hour into parties, so it was no surprise their children didn't find it necessary to arrive as a family unit. Teddy turned and pulled Sawyer into a friendly hug, the two's friendship still strong despite recent awkwardness.

"Hi, Casey, how you feeling?"

Casey squinted at Teddy like he was an idiot so he clapped an arm around Sawyer's shoulder and led him inside, letting Casey fall into step alongside them. "Best great the lady of the hour, huh?"



Dom couldn't believe they had actually helped. It blew her mind to think that stepping onto a boat would be such a helpful action. She heard rumors that Jack was in trouble for their involvement, which she thought was a damn shame considering that the kids had all been recovered. She had seen Oliver's hope grow after the success they had had. And Dom had personally loved being personally apart of the mission that restored her family.

But for a scary moment there, she almost thought she was going to lose Declan. That moment had been the worst thing she had ever seen, and she was not eager to relive anything close to that sort of fear. Since that had happened, she had found it more than a little difficult to leave his side. Hermione had understood Dom's desire to bring him along, more than understood, and even if Dom might have preferred some time to unwind and lounge about, she found herself oddly looking forward to the party.

Of course, she was as happy as anyone to celebrate Aunt Hermione. Not feeling a deep-rooted love and admiration for Hermione was basically illegal and she was certainly at the center of their family tree, holding everyone together. Besides that, Dom was excited to see all the individual family units restored. So no amount of uncertainty, or fear of her sister, could keep her from getting more and more excited as the day approached.

She approached the gate, dressed in a floral dress with tights, caught between the seasons, her fingers caught between Declan's. Another few steps and she couldn't help collide into Declan's side, leaning affectionately against him and exaggerating her steps to a slow speed to get just few more moments with him. She glanced up, to assure him she was trying to be cute rather than annoying. The expression softened and she said, "If you start feeling unwell, or my crazy family gets too much again, we can leave, alright?"
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Post by Declan Arryn on Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:51 am

One had only to look if they wanted to see just how in love with her he was. Ron, that is. After thirty-nine years of knowing Hermione, how could he not? Everyone seemed to love her. Except the people who she ruined during her years as a lawyer, or those that had been negatively affected by her activism.

And Merlin was Declan impatient to meet her. He hadn't even registered that it was going to happen until the moment Dom had brought up the birthday party, and now there they were. As they turned along the path, he very nearly leaned to the side, but Declan was far too cool, calm and collected to do that. Obviously. He wasn't tense as anything right then, of course. That would be... dramatic.

Dom's so-called stumble drew his attention, though, and he reluctantly turned his chin to look at her - probably the only time that had ever happened since the huge Fight of '27-'28.

He gave her a squeeze, wanting to firmly deny that anything still went wrong with him. But she probably knew better. It had taken a toll, leading mostly to nightmares more than anything else, accompanied by bouts of sleepwalking that he had no recollection of afterwards. The other thing was the memory problems. Sometimes he couldn't piece the words together, sometimes he would forget he had agreed to do something or forget where he left his keys. Declan was convinced that the people at the Leaky had started to catch on, but after weeks of nothing improving, he was ready to go see about finding help. Not that he really knew where to start, but he was planning on at least stopping by St. Mungo's to give it a try.

"If I remember right," he began - not because he'd forgotten, but rather to make a point, "I sort of initiated that argument after Vic and Erik said what they did. So you ought to be telling me to behave, don't you think?"

He smiled a sort of lopsided, embarrassed one, nudging her back. But he tempered it with a bit of seriousness, reaching his free hand up to her cheek. "I'm feeling fine, though, love. I promise. And you'll obviously be the first to know if that changes. Should we go say hello?"

He waited for her to agree before leaning forward to give her a brief kiss, then tried not to clamp even more tightly onto Dom's hand. The Hermione Granger was in the next piece of the yard. Just around a corner. And Ron Weasley was obviously an added bonus, but if there was one human alive that Declan had thought was magnificent and a role model and someone worth meeting, it was her.

Of course, it was a damn shame that he wasn't half the person she was. He just hoped she could forgive him for being so useless as a Gryffindor, for just working at the Leaky and letting the world go by around him.

He obviously hadn't realized that, of everyone, Hermione Granger would most definitely know that he and Dom had discovered the children, inadvertently or otherwise, and that they had gone off entirely alone like fools in an attempt to do the world some good. Merlin, was he in for a shock.
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Post by Ace Longbottom on Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:11 pm

Molly Weasley inspected herself one last time in front of the full length mirror and then flopped onto Clementine Lovegood’s bed, fiddling with her bag to find her pack of cigarettes. Clem was still searching through her closet, humming a nonsensical tune all the while. Molly appreciated the Lovegood’s trust in their daughter – they often took off for exotic places and if Clem didn’t want to accompany them, they left her home on her own. Molly typically took the opportunity to spend more time with her blonde friend. Clem had that inexplicable quality of being the perfect silent companion and the two could spend days in near silent coexistence.

Clem came out of the closet, smoothing out her dress and holding up two sets of earrings. Molly jerked her head towards the earrings in her right hand and Clem nodded, turning back to the closet. Molly finally put her lit cigarette between her lips and took in a long drag, before letting her hand fall, watching the smoke ascend into the air in tight spirals, her lips pursed to enjoy the effect. She turned her head and stared at the bathroom door with curiosity. She looked back at Clem, who was watching her, and the pair shared a blank look that only they could decode.

Clem rounded the bed and approached the bathroom door, brushing her knuckles against the pink-and-yellow painted wood. “Lily?” she said, her melodious voice managing to inject multiple notes into the simple name.

Lily Potter was staring at herself in the mirror, not unhappy but just… uncertain. She knew she had been strange at the last party, and she knew everyone had gotten to the point of full-fledged concern by now. So how was she supposed to just… go back to normal? She certainly didn’t want to have to explain everything, explain the mind-f*ck of a journey she had gone on, and was still travelling through, but her family was nosy and assertive. Would they let her?

It was why she had asked Molly to join her and Clem at the party. Those two were the most unobtrusive personalities she could think of. And they hadn’t asked her anything at all, for which she was glad. She had retreated into the bathroom after donning her shirt-dress and boots. Now she was staring at her hair, which hung limply around her, and her unadorned face.

Roxi could be there. There was every chance in the world that Roxi could be there. It wasn’t an event that one could miss without a good explanation. Part of her felt like Roxi wasn’t going to reveal herself until she had a new plan, a new tactic. But what if she showed up just to show Lily she could. That nothing had changed. That she was still a threat.

Clem’s light voice caught her attention and she turned, opening the door. The blonde tilted her head and rested her temple against the doorframe.

“I don’t know what to do with my hair,” Lily announced.

Clem grinned and moved inside, picking up a brush.


So the two girls and their budding woman of a cousin (ugh was there a grosser phrase) approached the party, looking oddly at ease for three silent partners. Clem had decided to fill the silence by pointing out the different types of flowers on their walk up the lane. Molly was enjoying her last cigarette that would not be pointed out or frowned upon, pulling out her polaroid camera once to get a picture of an abandoned shoe on a gate post, before Clem pocketed the item.

Because the other two were in their own little worlds, it was Lily who caught sight of the figure under the tree, outside the gate. Ace Longbottom was dressed as though going to church, and her usual confident face had fallen into a bit of misery, though it certainly had that tint of defiance that seemed to follow her like stink on a skunk. She was toeing the dirt, kicking at the clods that her shoes managed to unearth, a hand wrapped around a branch.

When Lily stopped, the other two continued until Lily called out, “Hey, Ace.”

Ace’s head snapped up and she was glad for the shade of the tree to hide the darkening that occurred in her cheeks and her eyes. What a sight. Lily Potter, in all of her tragic glory, stopped in the road and facing her. Clem and Molly, a picturesque duo of aimless youth, stopped and twisted towards her as well, righting themselves to watch the exchange. Ace felt furious at them for now allowing her the privacy she wanted, the chance to unload on Lily for something that wasn’t her fault.

Thanks for messing up Christian, you arse.

“Hi,” was what she said instead, dropping her head as she kicked at the tree root, this time a little more violent, her voice dull to voice her displeasure.

Lily knew Ace was upset because of the twins, but wasn’t precisely sure what her involvement had done to upset the balance in Ace’s life. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but feel a little bad to once again turn an innocent bystander into a victim of her instability. So she crossed to lean against the tree. Ace shot her a furtive glance, and looked back to the Ravenclaws, who were now both smoking. Ace scoffed.

“Family’s tough.”

Ace looked over at Lily, who was gazing across the horizon. Ace made a noncommittal noise and leaned her weight against the tree branch.

“’Specially siblings.”

Ace’s eyes snapped up. “Alright, look-“

“So sometimes you just gotta pull up your bootstraps and deal with it, huh?”

Ace narrowed her eyes. Was this a threat? A warning? As much as it could have been, though, the placid and almost mournful look on Lily’s face told her otherwise. Maybe Lily wasn’t actually talking to her.

Ace cleared her throat and released the branch. “Better now than never then.”

She didn’t know how Lily did it. As she fell into step a bit in front of the other three girls, preferring to look like she was leading if she was being dragged along, she couldn’t help but marvel at how quickly her distaste for the Potter girl had melted into trust, into a comradery. How did she get everyone on her side? She had Apollo in her grips, had Christian thinking she was some sort of savior…

It didn’t take long for her distrust to return, though it was certainly confused.

As soon as they entered, her eyes landed on Dom. She had been meaning to talk to her about what she had seen at Ilvermorny – part of her desperately needed the affirmation that she had been right all along to treat it as such a big deal.

She hurried over, abandoning the other three, grabbing the blonde’s arm as she swung around her to face her. “Hey, Dom! I wanted to ask you about- you?!”

Somehow, in all of her reading, in all of her commitment, she had failed to put it together. She had never heard the rumors about the pair of them at school – access to rumors was given through friends, a resource she had always lacked – but now she was making the realization.

This was the guy that had yelled at her.

“Hello again.”
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Post by Declan Arryn on Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:23 am

Hermione lifted her lips into a smile for Dom and the man she was bringing with her, but rather expectedly, they were stopped by Ace Longbottom on their way across. Declan hardly even noticed, himself, until the sharp tone of the brunette's voice caught his attention. He certainly recognized that one.

Pulling himself up short, Declan looked down at the Hufflepuff he'd had the vague displeasure of dealing with earlier that summer. Didn't that just figure? He did what he could to cover his disdain, but he did have to accept after a moment that she had done something rather similar, actually, to what he and Dom had done. Except Alice had actually been more efficient.

"I trust you're well, Alice," he offered casually, rolling his shoulders back to dismiss some of the tension he felt. It only half worked, because at that moment, one Hermione Granger deemed it time to cross the yard to greet them. Declan squeezed Dom's fingers tighter against his better judgment, standing up a bit straighter.

"Dom," Hermione began, reaching out to brush her hand over Ace's hair. "Who've you got here?"

Declan immediately stuck a hand out, offering his name. He wasn't sure what else he was supposed to say, since he and Dom hadn't settled on an explanation or definition for their relationship. But Hermione looked between the two of them rather knowingly.

"I believe I've heard that name before," she said with a small smile. "Diagon Alley, no?"

"Exactly," he nodded, a surprised grin lighting his features. "I run the Leaky, now."

Hermione glanced towards Ace, slight surprise working her way onto her face as the coincidence settled in. When she turned back to Declan, she looked quite pleased with the whole thing. "Well," she said, glancing down at how Dom's hand was settled in his, "anyone Dom has invited is welcome as far as I'm concerned."

True, she had asked that the ordeal be kept to family. But from the way Declan softened when he looked over at Dom, who knew what was going on there? Hermione had a few guesses, though she decided to wait and see what happened. A hand at Hermione's shoulder made her turn slightly to look at Ron. He looked ready to say something else, but his attention focused on Declan and he changed direction.

"Who's this?"

"Dom's boyfriend," Hermione replied simply. "What did you need, Ron?"

"Um," Declan attempted to cut in. Hermione glanced his direction though she remained rather focused on her husband. "I'm not- that is..." He faltered, trailing off. They'd have to correct it later, probably, but Ron was saying something about the meal and Hermione was laughing, because of course he was concerned about the food, so it didn't seem the right time.

She shot them a departing smile as she turned, calling out to Teddy and Frank and the others to help them move everything outside.
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Post by Percy Weasley on Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:52 am

Parties had always made Percy nervous. As a child, the twins always had some trick to disrupt the celebration, and more often than not, he was the butt of the joke. Now, Percy yearned for one of Fred and George's pranks. And that brought a pang as well, didn't it?

Recent family gatherings were a hotbed of tension and drama. He was never part of it; he'd had enough drama for one lifetime, thank you. But it wasn't something you could miss. Ignoring a thing implied there was something worth ignoring... When Percy's mind wandered off on these tangents he could see how Molly had ended up a Ravenclaw.

There were already a few people moving around the garden. One of the things Percy loved most about Audrey was her poise. She knew how to arrive at a social gathering not too early (which he most certainly would have done, had he been alone) but not so late as to cause comment.

They passed Dominique and Declan in the garden, just as he was stuttering out a denial of the obvious. Percy paused to let Hermione and Ron walk away with Audrey quickly catching them up to say hello. No, of course she wouldn't have an ulterior motive.

He cleared his throat.

"Best just leave it," he advised. "Everyone will know before the table's set anyway, and it'll make them happy to think our Dom has finally snagged herself a man."
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Post by Dom Weasley on Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:36 pm

Ace had opened her mouth to curtly correct Declan on her name, but then Hermione was there. Ace never compromised who she was for anyone, but she was willing to tone it down a few notches with Aunt Hermione around. This was the woman who had taken her pre-Hogwarts education to heart, after all, who had helped Ace determine that she was clever and brave and that being a know-it-all when you were young didn't mean you were useless. Hermione had gone through her time of being underappreciated and underestimated and had proved them all wrong. There really was no better hero for Alice.

She even tried to keep the smug look off of her face when Hermione gave her an affectionate touch, though her eyes did flash in Declan's direction.

Dom beamed as Declan introduced himself, and clung to his hand. She imagined he expected her to back pedal, to release his hand and try to ensure there was no reason for further interpretation. Honestly, she didn't see the point anymore.

Ace nodded curtly at Hermione's glance, no doubt glad to be consulted even in so simple a way. Then Ron was there, and the Word was said. The word that had pounded in Dom's words after the Yule Ball, too loud and too real for comfort. The word that had been best avoided, really, because it brought too many expectations and commitments that she was certainly going to ruin, one way or another. And Declan, who had championed for the word, was now trying to get it stricken from the record, all because he knew her feelings on the subject.

Or, well, how she had felt.

"Shh," she whispered at the stuttering man, squeezing his hands with a grin. She couldn't continue, though, because Ron was speaking, and Hermione was walking away, with Ace assuring the elder woman that she could (and was going to) help the men get the party all set up. And as she turned towards Declan, anyway, Percy was there, offering his two cents on the matter.

Dom looked up at Declan with a grin and a shrug, her blue eyes looking into his own, so quick to furrow with confusion of frustration in all matters Dom. "We sort of have a rule in our family. Aunt Hermione is never wrong."

The trio had finally crossed into the main area of the yard. Cigarettes had been abandoned and Clem was now humming contentedly as she looked around at the little community in which she had been absorbed.

"There's your dad," Lily said to Molly, having spotted Percy Weasley. Molly seemed unmoved by this observation and Lily already felt hesitation already forming within her. These two girls were great, great friends, great people. They were rotten social crutches.
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Post by Hermione Granger on Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:29 am

[ooc: Jack, I'm basing most of this off o f the fact that it's in mid-September and school started on the first, technically. But I can change stuff out if you want!]

Declan supposed that Dom and the other man were right. Whoever he was. Something about him was familiar, but the younger man took it as something to do with the Weasley family resemblance, so he stuck his hand out. "Declan," he offered, assuming that Dom's point in the matter was that it wasn't the right time to correct the woman. It was her birthday, after all, and there were obviously bigger things to worry about than how the pair of them had decided to label - or not label - their relationship.

They could just address that later. Besides, if this man was right, perhaps it would be a strangely pleasant addition to the afternoon. Provided, of course, neither of their... enemies, for lack of a better word, decided to show their faces. He wasn't sure he would be able to cope with that, even after everything else they'd had to live through that summer.

"I'll probably forget names, if I'm being honest," Declan warned the other man. It didn't completely cover up his nerves, but he did think that he'd feel better for collecting a few allies along the way. "I wasn't particularly present at the last Weasley gathering I attended, so I'll probably get everyone mixed up. I imagine that happens a fair bit, though, yeah?"

Inside, Hermione was quite effectively organizing everyone despite Frank and Ron both telling her she didn't need to. Neville, the kind man that he was, had offered to help since his children both were, despite having been busy charming the plants in the backyard to ward off gnomes. Hermione had no doubt that Molly would've loved to know that spell back in the day. What trouble it would've saved them during the summers.

The thought brought a nostalgic smile to her face as she picked up a platter and followed their little ant trail back outside. When she looked up, the girls caught her attention and Hermione set down the plate so she could cross the yard and greet them. Although they hadn't really been very talkative after their teen years started, Hermione had lived through the same thing with Rose and the others, so she was actually rather used to it now.

"I'm so glad you're all here," she told them, despite having assisted Oliver and the Order in their initial attempt to help them. She'd known, obviously, for ages about them being home. Still, it felt like only yesterday that they'd gone missing and although Lily hadn't been, it was still just the nicest feeling to have everyone home and safe.

She turned to Lily, then, with a fairly amused smile. "I hear you've taken a spot at Hogwarts for the next term. Don't let this lot," she glanced towards the other girls, "get you into trouble. And you'd best be nice to her," Hermione warned them, more seriously that time. "If I hear anything from Teddy you're all going to get letters from me. You know which kind."

After all, she had learned many, many things from Molly Weasley.
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:46 pm

Dom could see the confusion still present within Declan's features, so she reached out and rubbed his arm before giving him a little squeeze. "C'mon, I'll show you around," she said, angling towards Sawyer Weasley, a cousin she was certain could provide easy company for the time being. Ace was now tailing Teddy Lupin, spouting a list of commands regarding finishing setting the tables, so Dom was confident that they were out of the hairier social situations.

Lily had only just begun to contemplate which excuses would be most successful at relieving her from the party sooner rather than later, when all plans of escape were forced from her mind at the approach of Aunt Hermione. Lily cared for her Aunt Hermione, sure, but she had hurt more than a few people with her distance, and the overprotective aunt was one of them. Lily suspected Hermione did not like being told who she did and did not have a right to worry about, and Lily had more or less done that to everyone in her family.

Regardless, she was greeted with nothing but warmth from the matriarch, and she even made an attempt at a smile, resulting only in a very polite shift in her expression. Molly managed to pull on her talking-to-family expression, a smile so withholding that it did nothing to soothe. Clementine, then, bore the burden of warmth, her easy smile warming her entire face as she moved to hug Aunt Hermione, her melodious voice trickling with gratitude as she said, "Thank you for inviting us. Happy birthday!" . Lily felt strange not following the gesture, but hugging Aunt Hermione would probably feel even more foreign. She instead echoed the birthday sentiment, Molly's voice joining hers.

And then the attention was all on her. Lily blinked and nodded, feeling a bit numb as she said, "Yes-"

Aunt Hermione was quick to chastise the other two for actions not yet committed, and Clem smiled. "Wouldn't dream of it! We'd never do such a thing."

"Us?" Molly said, her eyebrow quirking. "Never."

It definitely sounded much too cryptic out of the Weasley's mouth to be reassuring. Lily quickly tacked on, "I'm not worried in the least about them. I just hope to do my part."
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