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

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Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:20 am
For someone who’d turned her back so firmly and unceremoniously on the Ministry more than two years ago, Ella certainly spent more time there than could honestly be accounted for.

Not out of choice, admittedly. It was hardly the hub of entertainment and she wasn't in that dire a need of a social life. No, even now, her business there was strictly that- business.

Danny business, in fact. Which in her mind was the absolute worst business there could be. And years after the fact it still kept cropping up rather insistently every time she mustered up the courage to venture back into her old flat- which just reminded her all too clearly why she'd left the place in the first place.

But she'd forgotten that, apparently, when she'd decided to make a morning visit that weekend- on account of it being the holidays and all- to check the mailbox and do a little clearing up. And somehow, dusting one of the bookcases, she'd found a stash of old bank statements and tax returns that had not her name on them- no, she wasn't so fortunate- but her dastardly ex. And, as always whenever any of his old possessions cropped up, she'd sighed and folded them neatly into a tote bag to take into the Ministry later that day.

Because this wasn't the first time that had happened, not by a long shot. She was familiar with the routine by now: stumble on old documents he'd squirreled away somewhere, feel that horrible rush of shock and nostalgia, attempt to ignore them, then resign herself to handing them in as she'd been instructed to when they'd first started searching for him. She didn't know why Law Enforcement still needed his things and she didn't know why she hadn't just stopped digging them up not-so-accidentally. But the sorry dance was repeated once every few months and -because she was apparently a glutton for punishment- she always came back to face the music.

Once back in her old training grounds, she'd picked up a coffee on the way past the cafe- evidently doing a fantastic job of avoiding old memories, there- and made her way to the lifts, bag of papers in one hand, coffee in the other. The button was pressed and while she waited, her winter coat shrugged off to keep cool.

Or, well, attempted. She unfortunately hadn't accounted for her scarf, which tangled around her arm, drawing uncomfortably tightly around her neck. Forgetting the full cup in her other hand, Ella wrestled with the length of woolen material caught between her bag and the coat. With a final tug, the coat was free, the scarf loosened, and the coffee- to her wide-eyed, frozen horror- splashing out of its confines and onto the person next her.

“Bollocks!”

Balancing two bags, a bulky woollen coat and a half-full paper cup, Ella turned to the unfortunate witch or wizard beside her. Only then did she feel the liquid seeping through her jumper and looked down to see an identical stain on her own top. And it is a testament to the young woman’s capacity for humour- in all its thoughtless forms- how easily she mustered a lop-sided grin at the sight.

“It’s probably a bit late in the year for wet t-shirt contests, but I’d call this one a draw.”

A quick, mischievous quirk of her brows and the amusement was quickly tempered. It was hardly the time and certainly not the place. Holding out both loaded arms and gesturing uselessly she inclined her head (apologetically, this time) at their soiled shirts.

“I’m so sorry, but uh… you might have to do the honours.”
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:55 am
Her friend Paige's reaction had probably been the most telling of all. Upon sitting down with Paige in a coffee shop and telling her the news, "I have to go to England", Paige had quickly and easily assumed it was to finally visit her brother, and had not given Sloane the chance to explain before she was detailing which of her favorite hole-in-the-wall boutiques and bistros Sloane just had to visit. Sloane supposed, if she wanted to be cynical about it, Paige's assumption was not horribly off the mark. This visit, however, probably wouldn't lend to too many shopping binges.

"Oh my god, Sloane. I'm so sorry."

It had been Derrick who had seemed incapable of even processing the statement. His response had spurred a sardonic reply out of her, jarring him into the horrible reality of what she was about to face. But still, his response, too, now echoed in her mind.

"How?"

How, how, how was the question. Try as she might, freak accident was about all she could get out of the people via letter. Unless she felt comfortable waiting across the sea for the days of communication it took the country's legal departments to contact her, there was no point in arguing over semantics if it all ended in her packing some bags and getting her passport in order.

Her parents had been tearful, and her mother's weight in that last hug was so heavy that Sloane felt certain the embrace would somehow last even once she began this horrible process. But now, here, alone... she couldn't feel even the ghost of that embrace. She had assumed, with this horrible responsibility delegated to her (for whatever reason), that she would feel the weight of her tasks in every moment and movement. But she didn't. To be honest, Sloane didn't feel much of anything.

A therapist would have probably called it denial. She would have called it confusion.

Already it didn't make sense, but she was by no means denying it. The truth had hit her hard, as though some part of her had known it, and the realization that her brother was gone forever had sunk deep into her, settling quickly as though desperate to find ways to make this new reality more familiar. The denial in her parents had held up strong, and she suspected that, at least for her mother's part, the secret hope was Sloane's trip would lead to the realization that the Ministry of Magic had somehow gotten it wrong.

Since the news had broken, her brow had been furrowed by lack of understanding, and now it deepened with the conflicting reports. She was supposed to be speaking to a lawyer, but also the patrolman and his supervisor that had discovered the body... but there was absolutely no distinction on who or what first, or where to even find them. A quick deliberation with the security wizard, who also seemed doubtful considering her American accent (she constantly reminded herself that she had the accent, not the lack of one) and she was sent off to try and understand the lifts on her own. She ended up in a lift with someone else, someone who also seemed headed to the floor with all the legalese, as the other woman selected the floor. Sloane envied the woman's warm coffee, having underestimated the cold considerably.

She didn't have to envy it long. The woman shared.

A gasp escaped her lips, naturally, at the sudden introduction of coffee to her shirt and jacket, and she drew back, freezing as coffee dropped from her hands and fingertips. The woman had been utterly British in her response and Sloane flicked her hands to clear the coffee away.

Life didn't want to make this trip easy, did it?

She finally tuned into what the woman was saying and shook her head, realizing the difficulty. "Oh, yeah. Um, hang on a sec." She pulled her wand from her pocket and waved it, clearing the coffee from both of their garments with the maneuver. It was then that the woman's previous comment registered and Sloane found herself endeared to the situation and the woman. A few light mishaps in her life weren't so unwelcome, considering. She exhaled a quick "huh" and rearranged her jacket. "Is it one of those days for you too?"
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:16 pm
Ella winced at the surprised intake of breath from the woman she'd pretty much doused in scalding liquid. Stray splatters of caffeine goodness joined the rivulets running down her top as her victim shook her hand before seeming to gain her wits and pulling her wand out to dry them both off. Just like that, the hot mess was sucked into thin, cool air. Ella heaved a sigh of relief.

"Oh, brill, thank you. Remind me to pass you the cup with it, next time." She quipped, glad that her fellow lift occupant had been so surprisingly obliging. In all honesty she'd been expecting a curse or two, especially with her impudent show of humour. Instead she got calm camaraderie, of which she was really quite undeserving. Which made it all the more welcome, of course.

At the question, she rolled her eyes, letting out an exaggerated half-groan half-sigh.

"Ugh, you have no idea. One of those weeks, more like. That was probably the least excruciating part of my morning so far, if you can believe it- which I guess you can, eh?”

It was an invitation for further conversation if the other woman wanted it. There was no better bonding method than a good whinge. And the stranger herself looked uncertain, was curiously under-dressed for the English cold, and of course, Ella noticed the American accent. It was conspicuous enough that she'd been able to pick up on it immediately, and pronounced enough that it obviously hadn't been tempered by a long stay. She gauged that the woman was probably a recent arrival. But despite her willingness to converse with a stranger, Ella was still far too British (oh, she could practically feel her maternal family bristling at the label) to comment on it so soon in the interaction.

Given long enough, though, there was no doubt that she would.

"You headed up to Law Enforcement too?"
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:24 pm
Sloane grinned, adjusting her scarf which had been blown askew by the show of magic, saying, "Yeah, I should be apologizing that I didn't continue to wear it, with coffee prices the way they are now."

Sloane had a wryness to her. She wasn't particularly warm, not because she was particularly cold per se, but she certainly did not make people feel as though they could open up to her. She suspected it had something to do with the scientific nature of her parents' minds. They had opened her up to experiences and had loved her, but it had all been very distant somehow. She had rarely ever been asked how she felt, more often asked what she thought.

Even in this, she had been trapped in her own head. Something urged her to turn from this intellectual examination of the problem and allow herself to feel. But her complicated feelings towards her brother, and her own uncertainty about mortality in general, kept putting up roadblocks the moment she decided to indulge herself in feeling anything.

Maybe once she understood the situation, she could have an opinion on it.

Sloane had been drawn into her own thoughts again and she glanced up as she realized the tail end of the other woman's words had an upward inflection. A question. She blinked and her lips twitched outward. "Yeah," she conceded. "One of those weeks."

Her next question was the very question Sloane had been poised to ask. "Yeah. I'm not sure that's where I'm supposed to be, to be honest. I'm supposed to meet with a lawyer and an Auror, and have no idea which I'm supposed to meet with first. It's a bit messy."
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:41 am
Ella's mirroring of Sloane's grin was immediate, her opinion instantaneous. With her words, the impression was cemented. She liked her. Quite firmly. The nursery teacher didn't ask for much in other people (so she'd insist), nothing more than a sound sense of humour and a decent level of intelligence. Maybe some manners, in the right place.

This one, she decided, was a Good Egg.

A thoughtful one, too, apparently. Ella was observant enough to recognise the reservation, though not insightful enough to differentiate between shyness and contemplation. But either was easily accepted, quickly moved past with the explanation offered. A small frown creased her brows. Typical.

"Yeah, the organisation's a shambles around this time. All that festive spirit doesn't mesh well with bureaucracy. The suits get confused." To look at her good-natured brow raise and mocking tone, one would never know she'd been one those very suits herself not too long ago. Ella followed the light-hearted attempt at commiseration with a marginally more helpful comment as the lift came to a smooth stop at their floor. "But we're headed to Auror headquarters now, so maybe someone there'll have the wits to point you in the right direction."

The doors slid open, and Ella gestured for the woman to step out. "I'm Ella, by the way," she added briefly, following her into the corridor. The two men in conversation a few metres ahead looked up at the women's footsteps, drawing Ella's attention.

“Alright Ernie, Taj.”

She waved at them, lips slipping into an easy smile for the ageing security guard and her former colleague. Embarrassingly, this was, as previously stated, routine enough that they didn’t bat an eyelash at her appearance, waving her in and returning her greeting with a long-suffering sigh- Ernie- and open friendliness- Taj.

"Ella Woods! What's the craic?"

"Och, it's all going arseways, lad. Don't get me started." She rolled her eyes good-naturedly, the exaggerated- unnatural, but impressive- accent coming out in a mimicry of his own, as it always did.

"Still after that maggot, eh?"

"Aren't I always?" This time the eye-roll was shared, Taj offering a sympathetic head-shake. No more was said; Ella pursed her lips and transferred her attention to Ernie while the young man moved past, sparing an amiable nod for her companion as he ambled pack to the offices.

Ella wouldn't allow herself to say or think as much, but the truly amazing thing about Danny Daniels was the absolute lack of a need for anything to be said whenever he was brought up. A certain gesture or two were expression enough.

Ernie sighed, moving off his perch against the wall.

"The usual, Ella?"

"Yep, got a nice little present for Evidence. Just in time for Christmas." She commented dryly, patting the bag that was now neatly perched on her shoulder.

The greying security guard sighed again.

"Go ahead, then."

Ella hadn't forgotten Sloane, but she now seemed to come to a realisation and recalled the other woman's predicament, inclining her head apologetically in her direction.

"Actually, we could do with some direction. This fine American's been sent on a wild goose chase and isn't sure where she needs to be. She needs help with her-"

Of course, she didn't know what. She stopped short and turned to Sloane, figuring that maybe she should stop talking on her behalf- as much as she even could, being a complete stranger to the woman. It was probably rude, after everything she'd already managed to spill on her (hah). She offered her companion a semi-apologetic lip-quirk and settled into a deferential silence, allowing her to step in.



[Took liberties with the godmod, sorry! But Ernie's all yours. I figured they could maybe run into Claire or even Caleb who could point them in the right direction. Depending on where you want Sloane to go. Ella's happy to play guide. Could segue you into a Mai thread, maybe.]
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:07 am
Sloane felt a sardonic smile twist onto her lips, despite her inherent hesitancy towards amusement as of late. "So it's not just America, then" she said in regards to the slow cogs of the rusting machine of government. Her own had been rather pathetic in regards to handling the news on Skyler. Sloane knew before they did, despite his dual citizenship, and there had seemingly been no options whatsoever for getting the documents and files between governments. Nope. Sloane had to make the trip. In all honesty, the lawyer there had looked relieved to be able to push off a case on the British government. Apparently they were handling a lot of estates.

The door slid open and Sloane immediately began bracing herself. This was why she had come here, after all. The girl startled her from this preparation, and it was almost in a voice that betrayed some sense of being thrown off guard that Sloane managed to state her own name. She followed the syllable with a smile, however, feeling a seed of warmth for the woman had at least offered some amount of commiseration.

And, once again, she was subjected to something that was so utterly British (or wait, no, was that Scottish? She was going to have some trouble with that) that she found herself forced into the role of observer, a role she had placed herself in most of her life. Again, she blamed her parents. Her mother, she supposed, could take charge of a situation, but her father was a quintessential scientific type, always quietly observing and analyzing. He was often the smartest man in the room and yet found no reason to contribute. Sloane didn't even have the comfort of being the smartest person in the room to make up for her sense of being incapable of meaningful contribution.

But the woman, Ella, was quick to bring her back into the fold and she felt both pairs of eyes turn on her, both warm and welcoming and she realized - oh no. She was going to have to ruin their spirits, at least for the moment. No matter how little someone cared, how faint the connection, it never did much for a conversation for the whole My-Brother-Was-Murdered bit to ruin the conversation.

So maybe... She didn't have to.

"Uhhh- yeah. I need to talk to a lawyer, or an Auror. I don't know. At all, really. I have some legal papers about my brother."

"If you're not sure, you might want to just check in with the Head's secretary. She's got a run down of it all. Her desk is right in the center of the floor, beyond that maze of Auror cubicles. You'll just take a left, follow that down, take the second right-"

Sloane squinted. This wasn't going well.

((We'll see where it goes! I sort of have a minor idea that might extend their interaction at least but we'll see how it pans out!))
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:33 am
[Sounds good! She's not a Caleb fan, apparently. Also psst, Sloane- they're Oirish Razz]

"Alright, Ernie, thanks! I've got it." Ella cut in when Sloane's expression began to look a little lost, taking hold of her arm to lead her along. The security guard was spared an eye-roll but not the subtle side-eye as they moved past, Ella suppressing the sarcastic remark that threatened to burst forth. Ernie was one of those great bastions of incompetence that just about managed to keep the machinery of the place moderately oiled and little else. It wasn't that he took pleasure in being unhelpful, but since he exasperated her, he was easily labelled as such.

For his part he remained unconcerned, unrolling the paper under his arm and leaning back against the wall to continue thumbing through it as the women moved down the hall and round the corner.

"Like I said- confused," Ella muttered beneath under her breath, raising her eyebrows at Sloane in a long-suffering manner. But she quickly slipped back into the friendly, obliging manner she'd settled into since meeting the other woman, her favourable opinion and the lingering sensation of wet coffee seeping into her skin rooting her to good behaviour.

"Esther'll know where to point you. She's a gem. Secretaries are always a great port of call- it's an international truth probably."

Unless it's Sue
, she added silently. If Claire was in between secretaries, one of the general secretaries would be filling in. Usually that meant Crabby Sue- who definitely should have been fired already. But she didn't want to worry Sloane, so she just took a sip of her coffee and swallowed the remark, gesturing as they entered the area full of Auror cubicles- somewhat emptier than it would have been on a weekday.

"One of this lucky lot's has been assigned to your case. They're a decent bunch so you'll be fine once you know where to go." She sent Sloane a reassuring smile, taking care not to talk loudly enough to be deemed disruptive by the room's occupants. "Let's just hope it's not Flint," she tacked on almost as an afterthought, forehead creasing in disdain. So much for not alarming the poor American.

But all this was to bury the curiosity she was starting to feel at what exactly it was that had brought her companion all the way across the Atlantic in pursuit of both an Auror and a Lawyer. Her Law Enforcement experience told her it must have been a crime, but that was such a broad umbrella it was barely any help. And Sloane didn't look like a criminal.

Not that Ella was at all capable of telling, apparently.

Shaking the unwelcome snarky voice- that sounded alarmingly like her grandmother- off, she instead turned to Sloane, tempering her curiosity to a light conversational tone.

"You aren't Azkaban's latest, are you?"

So light.
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:11 am
((I don't think Sloane knows the difference, tbh. She's just lumping everything as "woah weird British"))

Sloane was rescued, once again, by the kindness of the vivacious stranger that she had been fortunate enough to run into. Ella exuded a confidence that Sloane was certain had guaranteed the other woman a certain amount of happiness and accomplishment in this world. Sloane lacked that. That outward expression of This-Is-Who-I-Am-And-What-I-Can-Do. Though she could probably utter the word, the sense that she was utterly Average (might as well be a curse word) was a nagging suspicion that threatened to overturn her sense of self on the daily. Ella didn't seem like the person to fear being average. She was probably assured otherwise.

Sloane cracked a smile at Ella's words, though the expression held more relief than it did mirth. "Well, thank you. I was certain to get lost in a sea of cubicles otherwise." She took the chance to peek around the office, trying to compare it to the few glances she had taken of the American government. Greyer. Like the rest of this country, the office was certainly greyer than she was used to, but it wasn't a negative comparison really. They grey had an aesthetic, a realness, a clarity. America was colorful and jumbled and could easily stir a sense of sensory assault.

The last thing she needed was another assault to her senses.

Sloane felt her lips twist at Ella's words, tacking on with, "As old and true as bureaucratic chaos." Her voice had a tendency to oscillate between dead pan and the delivery of a pun, even when she wasn't making one. When she was uncertain of herself, it was the latter, fearful her monotone might give the wrong idea. But something about Ella made her feel reassured in her sense of self, secure to be herself. To be sure, however, she flicked an eye roll in the other woman's direction.

Her eyes danced over the cubicles of the Aurors, doubting she really would have any of them on her case. This seemed to be open and shut. Skyler was dead, and that was all there was to it. She would probably be given a lawyer, maybe someone from the lesser ranks to talk specifics of the scene. She couldn't be sure. The only experience she had was what she had seen on television and if she knew anything about experience gained from television, it was that it was worthless.

Ella's joke held less humor for Sloane this time, but she had no intentions on revealing that to the companion that was working so hard to keep Sloane's mind light and above the darkness her situation warranted. She offered a smile, now approaching what seemed to be the secretary's desk and quirked an eyebrow. "If I told you that, I'd have to kill you."

"Do you have an appointment?" came the sharp question of the secretary seated, not even looking up for the dozen or so tasks she seemed to be bouncing between. Sloane glanced at Ella, raising an eyebrow in solidarity, before turning back. "Um, hi, my name is Sloane-"

"Do you have an appointment?" the secretary repeated, the words punctuated with exasperation.

Sloane cleared her throat. "Well, no, not exactly. But I was contacted by the department. I'm not sure who I'm supposed to meet-"

"What were you contacted about?"

"Mr brother?" Sloane said, doing that peculiar thing people did when they knew the answer to something and yet felt all wrong for saying it.

The secretary sighed and looked up at Sloane finally. "What about your brother?"

Sloane knew there was no getting around it. Her eyes itched like they wanted to glance at Ella, who was probably now picking up on the awkwardness she was sure she was exuding, but the last thing she wanted was to look at the woman, whose bright eyes and light voice would be weighed down and dulled with pity. Sloane didn't want it. But she had no choice.

She cleared her throat. "I'm here to settle his affairs. Skyler Ahmadi-Berkowitz. He died two weeks ago."

The secretary stared at her and then glanced down, shuffling through some files before finding one. She looked back up. "I'll be right back."

She stood and walked down a corridor, leaving Sloane to stare after her and hate that she had brought all of their fun back to reality.
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:06 am
There were few things Ella enjoyed more than witty conversation and friendly company, and she was consistently pleased to find that Sloane didn't disappoint on either count. Her subtle, dry wit was a far cry from the more boisterous, rowdy humour of most of Ella's friends and family, but it was one she could appreciate and, she liked to think, match. In fact, her ("incorrigible", "insensitive", and- Amelia's favourite- "inappropriate") sense of humour was one trait she'd never doubted, and one mechanism that'd never failed her. As Sloane was shortly to see.

Her snort of amusement, though, was cut short by the secretary's sharp voice. Ella's brows wrinkled. Not Sue, but still crabby. Figures. Bishop really knows how to pick them.

She mirrored Sloane's brow raise when the American turned to her, the unimpressed expression a show of camaraderie rather than a symptom of any real annoyance. She wasn't the one who had to deal with the secretary, after all.

No- that was Sloane, whose affairs were suddenly a lot more intriguing than they'd been before, when she'd posed the question partly out of interest, but partly out of jest. But the uncertain tone and the rather too curious vagueness of Sloane's answers was starting to make this whole affair a little more interesting and more than a fraction puzzling. Ella watched Sloane quietly, raising the cooling coffee to her lips to take an absent-minded sip.

And then- oh, there it was.

A lucky thing Ella had been holding the cup up, for the surprise tightened her grip rather than slackened it. One positive to this situation, at least, would be the distinct lack of any further spillages on either of them.

But really, coffee and exes suddenly seemed embarrassingly meagre concerns.

Just as quickly as the shock overtook her, it was banished away, the only indication of it being a brief pursing of her lips and a slow lowering of the coffee cup. An emotion of muted strength welled up in her, but it would have been ungenerous to call it pity. The inevitable concern for her new acquaintance was tinged with a sense of empathy that ran deeper than Sloane could have known. Ella couldn't be called especially understanding, but the uncomfortable, awkward shift to the air and the almost sheepish tone of Sloane's words were all-too-familiar to the woman, once girl, who'd quickly grown tired of commiseration and learned to push cautious, insincere sympathy away by any means necessary. Humour, usually. This was no exception.

Ella shifted her coat further up her arm, preventing it from slipping off, and for a quiet moment just watched as Sloane stared after the secretary.

Then, she cleared her throat.

"Well, message received. I'll not be asking for any further evidence to back up that threat, so uh... don't put yourself out on my account."

Insensitive, Amelia's voice rebuked. But beneath that, the echos of a long-lost but achingly familiar chuckle bolstered the attempted joke, and not even Ella's own creeping sense of guilt could dull the twinkle in her eyes.
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

on Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:03 pm
Her parents had always had an odd sense of humor. Actually, neither Elias or Dinah were much for jokes, their scientific minds too full of facts and certainties to allow any room for puns and taunts. No, they were that special breed of people who happened to be accidentally hilarious without ever trying. Sloane remembered rolling her lips back as her parents argued over something completely ridiculous; like the fact that Dinah would get so mad during the summer when flies would get into their apartment that she’d run around, swatting at them with a broom while Elias swore under his breath in Arabic, Dinah yelling at her family in Yiddish to help. Both were incredibly serious, but Sloane would come in and join her mother with a dustpan, playing along while Elias professed his family had gone insane.

Sloane had grown up with this odd sensibility for humor, humor that simply existed rather than humor that was carefully crafted. She couldn’t enjoy the antics of a class clown, but she’d laugh when the same girl would repeat the exact same sentiment, day after day, that “this weather sure caught me by surprise today!”  It was that unexpected humor, the kind that seemed to be borne of the universe rather than by the vessels through which it was expelled, that was the way to crack a smile out of Sloane’s steady gaze.

And she would have never guessed that her admission to a new acquaintance that she was in a new country because of the most tragic moment in her life would be the sort of the thing to tempt the universe into cracking a joke.

She blinked, eyes staring at Ella, and then her lips betrayed her, twitching. It was small, her lips sucking inward, indenting small dimples along the corners of her mouth. Because they really should joke about her murdering her dead brother. Especially not in front of the Head of Magical Law Enforcement’s all seeing secretary.

Speaking of, the secretary didn’t like the joke. Her eyes flicked between them before falling heavily on Sloane, who said, “That was, um, Skyler Ahmadi-Berkowitz.”

“Right,” she said in her clipped tone. “I’ll check with my supervisor.”

She scrawled something down and walked down a hallway, leaving the two young women alone. Sloane wrapped her knuckles on the desk and then turned to look at Ella, feeling the insane urge to apologize for bringing up her brother, but that made no semblance of sense. She settled with, “Thanks. For showing me around. And for not treating me like a little loss orphan or something.”
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Re: Ex's & Oh's [Open]

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