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Tinsel and Traitors

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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Apollo Zabini on Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:18 pm

While Keiran and Kenna - who he would realize later had not asked any sort of question despite Jack using his nickname instead - disappeared, Christian was shrugging a bit. Her family sounded wonderful, but nothing at all like his own. For a moment, it almost made him uncomfortable - as though he would make a great fool of himself in trying to interact with a normal family. But that was undoubtedly ridiculous.

And besides, Ace said they had an extra room. He could always go and hide in there until they found somewhere else for him to go. Which, as family rules and his confusion about Ace demanded, he would of course feel he had to do.

So he nodded slowly offering a fairly embarrassed "thank you" as he shifted enough to glance over her shoulder at the note she was writing to Frank. Once she sent it off, he supposed he would indeed turn on the telly. If nothing else, they wouldn't have to listen to Apollo's shouting if he kept at it.

But Apollo was through shouting. Particularly given he'd have to do so directly into her ear. Not very nice, that.

His cheek pressed against her hair as Lily clung to him and buried her face in the crook of his neck. When she spoke, the combination of her words and the way he felt them pass over his skin sent a shiver up his spine and set his hair on end. Tilting his chin, he kissed her temple first, coaxing his way down to kiss her properly - thoroughly and more affectionately than most people would expect he was able.

He was broken, and he was working on healing, but every piece of his heart belonged to her. Apollo just didn't know how to tell her. So when he tried, it came out a bit unclearly despite his best efforts. Breaking off the kiss, he ran one hand up her arm, seeking out her fingers. Those he twined with his own before drawing both hands down to his chest, pressing her palm over his heart.

"It's yours, Lily. All of it -- yours."

His hand gave hers a gentle squeeze. As if to tell her through the action what he had almost been tempted to say. If you'll have it, if you want it. But he wasn't even thinking it - hardly registered that he had at all - by the time his hand relaxed again. He didn't need to.

Apollo had no doubt that she knew what lingered in his heart. And he liked to think he understood hers in return. What he'd seen of it so far, certainly. And he could not give that up.

With the floor beneath him feeling so uneven and his own thoughts becoming so uncertain, he couldn't maintain eye contact for very long at all after he spoke. The hand along her back curled a little into the fabric of her dress - the one that he'd immediately known spoke just to him. A muscle in his cheek jumped as he swallowed once, hard.

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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:33 am

Poor boy
Why don't you try getting water?
Poor boy
Why don't you try getting sleep?
I think if one of us is going to suffer
Why shouldn't it be me?


Ace could hardly imagine how her parents would actually react. They had long accepted her big stories to be exaggerations, but here she would be returning with a witness to one of her battles, a survivor who needed shelter. She had drank up their stories, and now she had their own. Ace would not be capable of understanding the fear and worry in her parents' eyes, two people who had suffered great tragedy in the hopes their children would not. She was too focused on it being her turn to save the world to recognize the feeling flickering in her parents' hearts.

Failure.

And so she wrote the letter, carefully addressing it in her best handwriting to "Dweeb".

Lily could briefly remember a moment in time when Albus had to scoop her out of the snow, breaking a multi-yearlong streak of not touching. She could remember reaching out for Henry Yewbeam's hand in a Ministry holding cell. And reaching out for Christian Zabini, helpless but determined to travel from one hospital bed to another. Each touch from someone she knew fostered some affection for her, an undeniable care, but all so, so misguided, each in his own way.

And maybe Apollo was misguided in his own way too. She'd always be convinced that she was more trouble than she was worth. She couldn't be sure if it was selfishness that kept her from saving him from herself, or if maybe she knew she was being too hard on herself. She just didn't know.

She did know that she had never felt the way she felt when she was this close to him. She knew that the electricity she had felt from their first touch still travelled through her body when he looked at her, when her brushed her hair from her eyes, when his lips formed her name. She knew that she had gone through phases before in her life but he was still every bit as present in her mind as he was the day they exchanged their promises. And she knew tonight, when she told him she loved him, she meant it. She had for a long time.

She lifted her chin, her lips ready once his found them. Her fingers wrapped into his and she watched his gesture, her heart filling. She had felt so empty for so long, she was absolutely certain her heart couldn't contain this much, that it was breaking under the load.

She squeezed his hands back before raising a hand to brush his hair back. It landed again on his cheek, and she stared into his eyes (and there was no other way to describe it, Reader, they just wasn't) with all the love her little heart could muster.

"You should sleep," she said. "I don't want to get us in trouble if your parents show up."
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Frank Longbottom on Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:12 am

Frank was home for the weekend. It was the holiday season, after all, and the holidays meant family, food, and gifts. But mostly food. Mum was up to something in the kitchen, which was perfect, and he and dad were talking about Frank's non-existant interviews that he had lined up starting in the new year. One of these days, he probably needed to at least pretend to hold down a steady job. If his parents hadn't been graying of their own right, he was certainly helping. For now, though, it was better to let them think that he was trying, even if he was bad at it.

He knew, though it frustrated him to think about it, that one of these days he would be out of time. And then he would either have to tell them, or.. He didn't want to think about the other option. He wouldn't give up his talents and his part in the M Squared just for a normal day job. That wasn't enough - it would never be good enough, after what his parents and their friends had lived through.

And he knew they would hate the truth.

He tried not to visibly sigh into his cuppa, but Dad was watching him closely.

"Frank? What is it?"

By the time he lowered the tea, Frank was smiling - practically smirking - confidently. "Just a lot to do, pop." There. Not technically a lie. He even felt himself relax by the time Mum called out from the kitchen. A letter that was quite obviously from Ace. For him.

Curious.

Frank set down the cup, making his way into the kitchen to retrieve it. He didn't even register any offense he should've taken to the nickname, but Mum was right. Definitely from Ace. In fact, he almost smirked. They were more alike than she would probably ever know.

Back at Apollo's flat, the owner in question knew better than to read into what Lily suggested. But he also was unable to refrain when the urge to smirk came upon him.

"Well, that's the interesting thing about this flat, Lil. You and I are the only ones who've ever been here. I bought this place myself, rather than renting it out. So." He inclined his head. "That won't be a problem."

Frank looked up from the letter. Mum was making some sort of breakfast-for-dinner thing, since they'd eaten late that afternoon. "Sausage sound alright, love?"

He looked at the package in her hand, then tilted his head. "Muggles have pre-wrapped sausages but they don't make pre-wrapped bacon," he observed with distaste. Mum didn't seem to see the problem, which figured.

Dad, from the living room, cut in with: "Well, can you blame 'em?"

"Well-I.. Yeah."

Mum laughed and shook her head, but Frank continued. "You may want to make a bit extra tonight."

"Why's that?"

"Because Ace is bringing a friend to stay with us."

A knock at the door to Apollo's room made him jump, glare at it, and sigh. "Hey," Christian called through the door. "You two done fighting?"

"Yeah, yeah," Apollo returned, rolling his eyes. He kissed Lily on the cheek as he side-stepped, moving to open the door. "What is it?"

"Ace's brother's coming to get us. Can you open the wards or something?"

Apollo nodded, his irritation leaving him as the minutes ticked past. "I'll open the floo."

"Floo? It's a flat."

"Um, we have magic?"

When Frank attempted to apparate to the address Ace's friend had apparently given her, it didn't work. So it was back to their living room that he went, he decided to try the floo. Really, she should've been more specific. So whoever this Apollo person was, Frank hoped he would fix things. Otherwise, Ace could bloody well forget it. But as he declared his destination of choice, the floo lit up and he found himself landing in a surprisingly nice flat.

Looking around before he even took in the people in the room, Frank nodded, his bottom lip pushing up a little to show how impressed he was. Someone Ace's age had a place like this? Damn. Good for them.

Finally, he turned his head and looked at the four other people in the flat. Two of them looked remarkably similar, which raised the obvious question: This bloke couldn't stay with his brother? Whatever. Both boys looked shocked, but one had his arm around the waist of someone who was definitely not Ace.

Probably not the right one, then.

Frank also understood quite suddenly why the brother was not staying. Or he assumed as much, which was basically the same thing as far as he was concerned.

Clearing his throat, Frank gestured towards Ace. "Right, then." He glanced towards the second brother, who was inching towards Frank's sister like he wasn't sure what to do with himself. "Ready to get out of here?"
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Ace Longbottom on Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:29 am

Lily had been prepared to cut their night short, putting a premature end to the swelling feelings stirred so easily by a nice change of clothes and an admission of love. Life had never been very fair to either her or Apollo, and so it seemed natural that when they could use each other's comfort, when they were about to be denied each other's presence for a long time, well of course their night would come to an abrupt end.

It wasn't often that life allowed for a pleasant surprise. But their privacy secured for the night? It was like Christmas. Her smile grew, a knowing quality behind her lips as she tilted her head. "Finally. Some good news."

Ace realized, belatedly, that Frank was going to see her in this stupid dress. So would her parents. She had been wearing jeans when she left for the Lovegood girl's home to find a dress worthy of the occasion. She wasn't sure exactly what he'd think, but she was certain of what he'd say, and she knew it was going to be something to antagonize her. He always found a way. He had a talent for it.

She also felt like she should have warned Christian. That Frank would probably try to show off and be a prat, and he was to be ignored, and that her parents were likely to overcompensate as hosts, and to ignore them. But she couldn't quite find the words as he went off to warn his brother, and she couldn't quite figure out why he needed to be warned anyway. What other choice did he have, really? This was the most practical option.

Frank was there before anyone could get into another argument (which didn't take long with this lot) and a strange silence overtook the unlikely band of heroes. Ace could feel Christian moving closer towards her and she shot him a weird look - always comforting. It was Lily who reminded them all of their tongues, saying, "Hi, Frank."

Ace looked back at her brother. "Right. Let's go. C'mon, Christian," she said, nodding towards Frank as she walked over to him. "Oi, grab the list."

Lily cleared her throat again. "Thanks, Frank."

Ace still hadn't explained to her brother what had happened, what they had faced that night. She suspected he'd have an earful about that as well. She'd wait to have her parents around before she told their tale, with Christian to back her up. Then maybe they'd all believe her - evil was afoot.
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Christian Zabini on Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:32 am

Christian turned, picking up the list in time to look up and catch the weird expression on Frank's face. The Hufflepuff would never really understand it, but his reaction was probably blatant enough for his sister. See, Frank could not believe that someone just.. did whatever Ace told him to. Apollo, at Lily's side, just watched with extreme confusion as the two young men stared at each other. Lily spoke just as they both started lifting their eyebrows, and the elder brother couldn't have been more grateful. What in the hell was that?

Frank looked over at Lily, smirking as though nothing had happened. His eyes dropped again to the boy's hand at her waist, and he gave a little shrug and a tilt of his chin. "Of course, Potter." His eyes returned to hers knowingly. "Anything for you."

When he turned back to Ace and the other one, Apollo glanced Lily's way, unsure what he was meant to think of Ace's brother. He kind of found the older man amusing, but there was something a bit too aware about Frank, and that made him uncomfortable. He shifted his weight as Christian finally stepped over to stand next to Ace.

He held the list out to her, and Frank finally reached the point where he simply could no longer stand it. "Oh, for f*cks sake. Let's just go."

Christian looked positively affronted, but Apollo tried - and failed - to stifle his laughter as Frank looked over at him.

"The wards should let you leave without problem," the elder brother informed him before he had to ask.

Frank nodded, reaching out to take both of the Hufflepuffs by the arm, and didn't give them time to really prepare before disapparating.

They landed in the living room, right in front of Neville Longbottom himself, and Christian actually blanched. After he stopped stumbling, of course, but still. Because he'd known, but he had actually never expected to meet her parents in person.

As for Apollo, he just shook his head and stepped forward to shut down the floo again. It struck him once more that Frank had presumed that they were intending to revisit what they'd started earlier, but Apollo was not - believe it or not - one to presume about something like that. In fact, he was even reluctant to assume that she intended on staying for too long despite his reassurances. He hoped, but.. There was truly no telling when it came to the pair of them.

Instead of leaving room for them to be awkward, he turned around and gestured towards the kitchen.

"You want anything?"
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Lily Luna Potter on Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:40 am

Oh, screw Frank and his smirky little face. When his eyes flicked back to her, so smug for having privately conveyed his thoughts, her eyes brightened in intensity and she rolled her lips back slightly, her own  little threat.

Couldn't he just take a break from being, y'know, Frank?

Lily was far too experienced in the way of the world to miss the undertone to Frank's words and looks. She pulled the slightest of a disapproving frown, but an eyebrow quirked, almost challenging. As though to remind him that there were surely one or two unsavory testimonies out in the world that could be said of him. She felt Apollo looking her way and turned to look at him, his face uncertain - he hadn't picked up Frank's meaning, had he? Lily's lips rolled into a small smile and she reached up to rub a hand lovingly over his chest, a reassurance not to might the Longbottom man.

Ace didn't understand what they were still doing. So, of course she was in sync with her brother when she let out an impatient groan, which only irked her more.

That was a coincidence.

No family resemblance here.

Still, she muttered a frustrated and somehow vindicate, "Thank you!" before she was swept off.

Of course they landed in front of their dad. Neville had the worst luck. If there was someone in the world being spooked over nothing at any given time, there was a good chance that said person was Neville Longbottom. The poor man had been headed towards his chair, with the Prophet firmly in hand, and the flinch caused from the sudden appearance of his children and their plus one was enough to crumple the paper in his fist. "Blimey, what the- Frank! You nearly- oh, Merlin..."

Ace shrugged Frank off, keen to get out of his grip before he could cause her more trouble. "Hey dad. This is my friend Christian. We were at-"

"Is that them, Neville?"

"Yeah, mum, it's us. So we were at his-"

"Do you want tea? I'm making some for your father-"

"I'm telling a story, mum!"

Neville had collected himself, however, and had set the newspaper down and was now looking curiously at the boy that he had guessed to be a loose friend of his daughter's, at best. She hadn't been so great with socializing since... well, ever. When he started hearing a name repeated in her stories, he had to assume that she had finally just attached a friendship to a classmate. But he didn't know they actually went out and did things.

Oh... But... surely not...

"Why are you wearing a dress?" he said suddenly, voice mostly confusion but a tone of accusation was there if anyone bothered to pay attention.

Ace looked like she could scream. "That's what I'm trying to tell you," she explained. "We were at Christian's party-"

And that's when Hannah bustled in with the tea, announcing as much with a disgruntled, "I made you tea anyway."

"Oh, Merlin!" Ace said, rolling her eyes. "There was some sort of attack tonight! A bunch of people showed up and started cursing everyone and they ruined Christian's house so he needs a place to stay tonight."

There wasn't often a quiet moment in the Longbottom house, at least not an idle one. If Ace wasn't ranting, or Neville educating, or Frank scoffing, or Hannah chiding, then they were all quietly at work on their own interests. But, every once in awhile, they were all caught unawares.

Such as a sudden announcement that two sixteen year olds had just survived a random and violent attack from unknown aggressors.

But Ace could be smooth sometimes. "And this is my friend Christian Zabini. Christian, my mum and dad." Now was not one of those times.

Lily was glad to see the flat empty of the extra bodies, and she couldn't help but wonder how changed the Longbottom home was from mere hours ago, when Ace was yelling out to her parents that she was going out ("Just out!" being the extended explanation as to where she was going out to) and Hannah was folding laundry. She didn't know much about the inner dynamics of the Longbottom family but if Ace and Frank were any indicator, Christian had quite an interesting night ahead of him.

Speaking of interesting nights.

Apollo almost immediately snapped into action, his question innocent and unassuming, ready to move on. Lily didn't let him get far to the kitchen, reaching out to grab his hand, which had floated casually in the direction he intended to take them. She simultaneously stepped forward and pulled him towards her, her eyes dark and her voice low as she responded.

"Yes."

And her hands were on his face and in his hair as she pulled his lips to hers, kissing him with hopeless abandon.
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Apollo Zabini on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:20 am

He started to ask what she was doing, or what she wanted, or something. The thought didn't fully develop beyond a vague, "Wha-?"

Very, very smooth. Charming as well. This, of course, was the sort of reaction that led people to believe he had been with a number of people. Definitely makes sense.

But none of that mattered once she properly reached him. With Lily, everything was so comfortable, so easy. And it wasn't that this didn't feel the same way, but this was also very different. A complete contradiction even though it was true. This was more-- Much more because it was Lily and because she had initiated it and because he loved her. He wouldn't have wanted this with anyone else, regardless of what everyone thought.

Just the way she spoke was enough to take him back to what happened earlier that night. Lily loved him. She loved him.

His fingers bunched in the fabric of her dress on one side, while the other swept up her back to settle between her shoulder blades.

You want anything?
Yes.


He was the implied 'you.' He was the answer to the question. And that was baffling as much as it was addictive. He knew that immediately. He felt a bit mad to be focusing on that instead of this, but could you really blame him, Reader? This was a young man who had been endlessly misunderstood, only to finally discover that someone felt he held worth beyond his name or the time of day he was born. It was enough to turn his world entirely upside down, just as he felt it justified the way he reacted so venemously to those who mistreated him or those he loved.

It just couldn't be helped.

Apollo released her dress, curing that arm around her waist and lifting her off the floor. He was not going to consider where this could go in the middle of a kitchen. No. That was not good enough for her. So he was careful to avoid the couch, swinging her a little to one side as they passed by. He did break their kiss to chuckle under his breath, but he just ended up trailing kisses down her neck instead, doing his best to get them safely to his target.

-

Christian couldn't have gotten a word in even if he'd wanted to. And it was the strangest thing he had ever seen. Their house had always been silent and cold and forbidding. But this house was what he had always imagined he'd want when he had his own family. If he had his own family. Busy, loud, interactive.

But he immediately felt like he didn't belong. Like he was intruding. So he kept quiet until he had no other choice. And, even then, he probably said the wrong thing. He would lie awake that night wondering if he had offended them, but really he just wanted to be polite, and as little of a hassle as possible.

"Hi," he began a bit awkwardly. He picked up after that, though. "Thanks for letting me stay with you. I- I'll try and find another place tomorrow, so I won't be in the way. I just.. I don't think I should go home until they figure out what happened to the wards."

Frank was still frowning about Ace's announcement. Jack would undoubtedly know about this soon, if she didn't already, and that meant a meeting. Good. He wanted to know about what had really happened, and doubted Ace knew the whole truth. Not because she couldn't figure it out. But because Jack and the Merry Men would undoubtedly be infinitely better at finding the smaller aspects. It just couldn't be helped.

So he took in Christian's attempted niceness, and lazily smiled. "I wouldn't worry about that, mate. If you need a place, we won't throw you out."

And Christian could only swallow and nod.

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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Ace Longbottom on Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:58 am

Hannah was the one who discovered the power of speech first, staring open-mouthed at her youngest. "Attacked?!"

"Love..."

Neville reached out to rub his wife's back but his eyes were still screwed up in confusion. Christian spoke, rousing the pair back to the boy before them. As much as they wanted answers, they were also too sensitive to ignore their displaced guest, who was certainly have a worse night than either of them. Frank was quick to jump onto the boy's uncertainty and Ace rolled her eyes. "Kidding, they'll probably give Frank the boot and ask to keep you instead."

(Yes, friends, that may have been the first time Ace admitted there was something charming about the Zabini boy. A slight for Frank, sure, but certainly a compliment for Christian.)

Neville shook his head and reached out to shake the Zabini's boy hand, struck by the familiarity of the name. "Right, sorry. It's nice to meet you. We've heard a lot about-"

"Dad."

"You," he finished, frowning at his daughter as he released the boy. "I'm sorry to hear about your home. You can, of course, stay here as long as you need and use either of our owls to let your parents know where you are. And if there's anything we can do-"

"We really don't mind," Hannah assured him. "Your good manners might rub off on someone and then you'll have paid your rent tenfold." Ace nudged Frank accusatorily but Hannah tilted her head. "I meant both of you."

"What about an attack now?" Neville said, concern once again gripping his features.

Ace inhaled and said, "Christian's parents threw this party for their pureblood friends and I went because we had to settle... a thing. And while we were there, a bunch of people showed up and started shooting curses at everyone, so Lily apparated me and Christian out, and then she told us that the people just left." She was avoiding eye contact with Frank because she was certain that he had seen the holes in her story much more clearly than her parents had.

"Where's Lily now?" Neville said, frown deepening.

Ace was in a corner. She had to keep it simple. "She's fine."

Don't look at Frank.

Ace wasn't lying.

It amused Lily to no end, that look of surprise on his face. He really had intended on making some cocoa and maybe snacking on some toast or something, but that was just like him, wasn't it? It had taken getting closer to him for her to see that streak of selflessness in him, that desire to do good to the people around him. He was far less imposing than his reputation claimed, and little facts began to add up. His joint business venture with his brother, his intended career path, the fact that he went looking for her back when she hardly meant anything to him. It all culminated into the revelation that Apollo Zabini had a deep capacity to be thoughtful. It was one of his best kept secrets.

Of course he could be selfless. He hadn't exactly been encouraged to grow his own sense of self.

She happened to like the parts of him that were all-Apollo, not heir, not twin, not Zabini. Just Apollo.

Surprised as he was, he latched onto her plans for the night pretty quickly, returning the embrace with equal enthusiasm. Suddenly, she was in his arms, and this wasn't like the night he picked her up out of the club, or carried her up the stairs in Quality Quidditch Supplies. This wasn't an instance in which she needed him to save her from herself, it wasn't a broken moment. This was a moment of strength for them, finally free to go after what they wanted.

What they wanted.

Because he wanted her. And she sure as hell wanted him.

She grinned and laughed when he had to use some footwork to get them around the couch. But her chest filled with air and some other indefinable quality and she brought her lips back to his, deepening the kiss as her hands slipped down his back, fingers trailing over his his shoulders and spine.

"Don't stop holding me."
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Apollo Zabini on Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:58 pm

At the mention of his parents and their pureblood friends, Christian lifted a hand to the back of his neck. He had never been given too many excuses to be embarrassed about his family, if only because people never seemed to fully associate him with Apollo and his parents. No one expected him to turn up one day with the Dark Mark and an allegiance to the Death Eaters. But his parents? Well. Christian knew who Neville was -- of course he did. And his curiosity had led him to information he should not have been privy to.

And now all he could really feel was the way his stomach turned over with shame. He just could not believe that he'd made Ace Longbottom of all people show up to a pureblood ball after what had happened to her grandparents. He couldn't. Just like he couldn't look at her, even when he probably should've stepped right up to help.

Frank found it easy enough, of course. Because he could perhaps convince Ace, later, that she owed him. "She's with a friend. I think she wanted to make sure they were uninjured."

He could've smirked at that, but miraculously refrained. The thought, looking back later on, would certainly make him do so. Because he could not - would not - imagine Lily up to such things with some broody pureblood. At least the one Ace picked out was a bit more.. nice.

Christian finally spoke up again, dropping his hand. He could be like Ace, he decided, when she needed him to. "She's quite close to the youngest of the Averys. Katherine has been sick for years, so Lily probably felt she needed to check in. But they're somewhere safe."

"Loooots of wards," Frank added by way of explanation, his eyes widening almost comically. He stepped just far enough away that Ace probably couldn't reach him without moving. "They nearly got left there because they forgot to ask Lily's friend to open them."

Christian didn't even want to begin trying to play whatever game Frank was starting. He still felt disgusting on the inside. Not only had he gotten mad at Ace for not playing along at the party he had stupidly made her go to, but now he had lied straight out the gate to her parents.

Not his finest work.

Apollo, of course, was more than fine with the direction the evening had taken. Her request brought on all the more fervent kisses and a murmured, "promise," before the back of his knees found the bed. Sinking into the blankets at the foot of it, he let his arms relax enough to bring Lily with him, setting her down atop his legs. But he certainly didn't let his hold slip away.

Instead, his hands drifted down to her waist, trying to memorize not only the sort of shape of her, but also the feel of this dress. He wouldn't be anywhere near this close to her after this. How long could she reasonably stay? Probably not very, and definitely not as long as he'd like. And then after that, he would have to wait until a risky night in February when he made up for her gift-giving. But then it was certainly until summer or even longer still that he would be kept from her.

He kind of despised the whole PA thing sometimes. Or, really, all of the time. But that wasn't important.

It was like his hands didn't quite know what to do with themselves. Fun fact, actually: they didn't. He had no clue what he ought to do next. Had no way to judge what would or would not be okay with her. It was there, in a dimly-lit room on an equally dim night, that he truly came to understand what had happened to her.

People had -- forced this on her. Before her actions in the other room he might have wondered, if the realization had properly hit him before now, whether or not she even wanted to be wanted in that way. It seemed like she had found a way to move past that part of her life, but of course he had never even started his.

His hands caressed her sides as his kisses slowed and he started to lean back, to look at her as best as he could with the lighting shining in from behind her. In doing so, he registered quite suddenly that he could never be like them. That she could not possibly see him as one of them and still be here.

Slowly, carefully, one hand drifted down her leg, to the knee and back up across her skirt. He wanted to draw out their time just as he wanted to give her what she was apparently after, so he reached to kiss along the collar of her dress as one hand retraced its path over her thigh and the other snuck upwards to try and locate the zip of her dress. Against her skin, he declared his love for her once more.

_________________

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Apollo Zabini
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

Post by Lily Luna Potter on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:17 pm

Frank wasn't often helpful, at least not where she was concerned, and she had a feeling she would owe him later. What she had that he couldn't get for himself, she didn't know, which made it all the more likely that she was going to regret having reached out to her brother for help. But there alternatives hadn't been great. The Knight Bus wouldn't have been safe at that time of night, and she could hardly imagine how awkward it would be if her dad had come to collect them instead.

Suddenly, Christian was helping Frank and her eyes flicked towards him, surprised (and a little impressed) at the effortless lie. Sometimes, though, she wondered if running Potter's Army was good or bad for the Zabini. It was a new thought, as she would have never considered it before, but nights like tonight where they were thrown into danger made her question her own responsibility in dragging him back into this mess. If something were to happen because of his involvement in Potter's Army, it'd be hard to get around the facts : it would be her fault.

But it was one lie. No big deal. He was just following her cue.

Of course, Frank was back to needling them, and Ace let out a forced, pointed yawn, her eyes glowering as they rolled towards Frank. "Anyway. I know I'm pretty tired. Can I go up and change? And show Christian to the guest room?"

Hannah nodded. "In the wardrobe, there's a box with some of Frank's old clothes he left behind. There's probably some pajamas in there-"

"What if he catches whatever Frank's got?" Ace quipped quickly, shooting Frank a triumphant look.

"Ace, come now, your brother might think you don't love him," Neville said a bit absently as he settled into his chair, reaching up to run away the migraine his children were always baiting.

Ace turned towards Christian and nodded her head. "C'mon," she said, before leading the way off towards the stairs.

They had reached the bed and Lily's skin prickled at his repeated promises, one of her hands tangled into his hair as the other one traced the curve of his shoulder blade, the knots of youthful muscle. This was so unlike every other time. She had her period of exploration, and there was of course a period in which Roxanne's way of life had ensured that Lily was more than experienced. But this was someone who could have initiated this before... and had not. This wasn't just a body or a distraction. This was Apollo. It started and ended there. This was the person she loved. And this was just for them.

He withdrew slowly and her eyes lifted to meet his.  She blinked and realized she was holding her breath, waiting for the next moment when his lips were on her. Her arms were resting on his shoulders and she was once again struck with just how dignified he looked. The suit helped, certainly, but there was a deeper nobility in him that had nothing to do with name or title.

When she had first returned, there had been an unspoken agreement. The word 'good' didn't seem to fit them. They weren't. The implication was 'bad'.

And yet every moment since then had gone to show Lily just how good of a person Apollo Zabini really was.

He leaned forward, and with their contact she could breathe again. His whispered assurance of love was repeated from her lips and her hands reached out to push his suit jacket from his shoulders. A hand slipped down his shoulder, followed his arm, and led his hand to the zipper on her dress as she leaned forward to trail kisses along his jawline.
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Lily Luna Potter
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Re: Tinsel and Traitors

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