Overcoming All I Don't Feel

Overcoming All I Don't Feel

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closed Overcoming All I Don't Feel

Post by Sloane Ahmadi-Berkowitz on Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:36 pm

Sloane could have taken up Mr Potter up on the offer to meet at the station, but decided to finish the rest of the trek from station to doorstep on her own. Had she a network of support in London, she probably would have been persuaded into meeting him at the station, where they would be in public, and she could judge his character and her safety surrounded by a sea of witnesses. But she didn't have that network of support. She had her instincts and, as quiet as they often were, they had spoken up, and she had insisted on making the trip alone.

She supposed it had something to do with wanting to take in the place on her own, without eyes of anticipation following her expression. She wanted to take in this potential living situation and rely on the spiritual intuition her mother often wheeled out as an excuse for her sometimes erratic behavior. Dinah had a scientific mind, relied on her mathematical, rational thought process... and then would suddenly decide the family needed to go on vacation, or she needed to take a hundred dollars down to the homeless man she passed every day. Sloane's father was never able to tempt Dinah into any explanation further than "I don't know, Elias! Call it Spiritual Intuition. I'm doing it, and you're my family, so you're all supporting me in this!"

So call it Spiritual Intuition. She wanted to make the walk on her own. And she didn't have her family around her to scoff and roll their eyes.

The neighborhood seemed nice enough. She knew this Mr Potter was magical, as he had answered her ad out of the Prophet, but she had no idea whether or not his entire neighborhood was magical. Part of her would prefer a muggle community, as she had never really embraced the whole magical immersion that so many of her classmates did. The world was too big to be limited to one community. Maybe one day they could experiment with real integration. Maybe that's what she should look into doing. Lots of maybe's rolling around.

Something that wasn't a maybe was the fact she needed a place. With the strange note from the lawyer on her person, she knew her temporary stay to make quick arrangements would take a little longer. Mr Potter had been very quick to answer her ad. Perhaps it would be best to jump on the ball while it was in motion.

Her walk had provided her with more musings than it had answers. Sloane had never really been able to describe as a person who had any of the answers she felt she needed. She always felt on the fence, waiting for evidence, waiting for that gut feeling to reassure her. It never came. Clarity never came. She had stopped believing in it.

She reached the front garden of the place and took a deep breath, letting the situation fill her body up. Of course, like her father, she still did not get a whiff of that Spiritual Intuition, didn't feel anything beyond the facts. That this was a nice place, in a nice neighborhood. She tried to remind herself not to feel disappointed, that it didn't really mean anything anyway, and crossed to the door, lifting a fist to rap on the door.

@James Potter
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closed Re: Overcoming All I Don't Feel

Post by James Potter on Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:41 pm

While the notion of holiday time was a delicious one, his body had yet to agree with the sentiment his mind so eagerly touted as the answer to all of his problems. That morning, James Sirius Potter woke up on the dot of seven o’clock just as he did every day when work was on the agenda. Even when work wasn’t calling, he seemed to wake up at, what he felt was, the crack of dawn. The sky was still dark outside beyond the curtains he’d drawn in the twilight of the evening before but the sun was beginning to streak its way across the jagged horizon of high-rises. London was beginning to wake herself up into a fury, too. In the distance, James could pick out the bleat of horns and the hum of traffic. As if on cue, there was a rumbling, the water on his bedside table sloshing accordingly as the eight-oh-two service thundered by on its route south. The world was the same as it always was – even if his calendar was conspicuously empty. There was no staving off wakefulness now, though. Whether James Potter liked it – and he certainly did not – he was awake, awake for the duration.

As was Archie, it seemed.

James barely stifled his yawn as he trundled down the steps that led up to his bedroom which was curiously elevated for reasons he had long since given up trying to deduce. The dog was midway through his breakfast, the bag of kibble strewn over the floor evidence of the fact that he did not like to be kept waiting but knew the perils of waking his master up before James was good and ready. His yawn was replaced with a wry chuckle when he caught sight of the tiny, blonde dog. Archie lifted his head and yipped before bowing it once more, resuming his meal over the tiles of the kitchen.

James stepped around his roommate and opened the cereal cupboard, his stomach rumbling for sort of dried meal in a bowl with milk and far too much sugar. Once his breakfast was fixed, James flicked the kettle on and waited for the water to boil, keeping himself busy between mouthfuls to consult that morning’s copy of the Prophet which had been deposited in through the kitchen window that morning by a slightly irate barn owl. James didn’t seem to mind the crumpled pages. He paid them about as much mind as he did his dog eating his way through an entire bag of kibble on the kitchen floor. It all appeared as though it was a normal occurrence for the twenty-something Potter.

Certainly, it was more normal than most of the things that had happened to him in his relatively short existence thus far.

Coffee readied, James just happened to glance at the calendar on the fridge door as he replaced the milk back inside. Circled in red pen was that day’s date and written in the rushed hand of a man who owed a report in the day he’d noted it down was the fact that his roommate (err, other roommate) was coming that day. Well, prospective roommate really – but James wasn’t about to get pernickety at that time of morning.

After wolfing down his breakfast and tidying up the mess that had been created by Alfie, James hurried himself out of his pyjamas and into the shower, determined to make himself look at least somewhat respectable for the arrival of the lady. He had gotten his hair cut the week prior, he remembered as he massaged shampoo into his scalp. It certainly didn’t feel like it. It was like a mop atop his head again – well, a short mop but you understand the disarrayed image I am trying to convey here, don’t you reader? – and sticking up at odd angles in direct contravention of any sort of brushing he did. This morning was no different. After drying his hair and pulling on a jumper, he did try to make it look alright but it seemed as though Potter 24/hr-bedhead was a curse he would always have to bear.

A knock on his front door broke all considerations of his appearance. James left his bedroom again and went through the ritual of unlocking everything before opening the door. There, on the doorstep, with a cup of tea in hand, was his landlady who lived below him. She smiled toothlessly and turned, indicating at the staircase which swept down to the front door of the building. James raised an eyebrow, unsure about what she was indicating. He stepped out, Alfie appearing from between his legs to bound ahead, and spotted a shadow of a person in the window.

“Expecting someone are we, Mr Potter?” She asked primly after taking a sip of her tea.

“Yes,” James blinked, suddenly feeling rather unsure – and certainly on the wrong foot. Alfie was already bounced up at the door, his tail wagging excitedly.

“Well, go and find out who it is, dear! I’ll put the kettle on!” She pushed past him with strength that belied her tiny frame and James shook his head before stepping further out into the hall in his polka-dot socks.

He half slipped down the stairs but made it to the door without injuring himself permanently. Rubbing his arm sourly where had connected with the wall on his way down, James unlocked this door too and then, finally, opened it out to the London day bleating by beyond the walls of the little house in Belgravia that he inhabited.

Alfie took it as an opportunity to make a daring escape, slipped from between James’s legs again and bounded out into the street, barking excitedly at the crisp, January air.

Clucking his tongue disapprovingly against his teeth, James inhaled and exhaled, telling himself that he didn’t need to worry about the mad creature he had living with him – that he needed to be more worried about the mad(der) old woman rifling through his cupboards in search of tea.

“Hello,” he said finally, offering a smile despite the weights on his mind. “Can I help you?”
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closed Re: Overcoming All I Don't Feel

Post by Sloane Ahmadi-Berkowitz on Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:38 am

Sloane tugged at her sleeves, trying to garner as much warmth from her coat as she could, still adjusting to the chill of the country. She had spent too much time in Portland, had come to enjoy a slightly more temperate winter, though New York had certainly prepared her for more biting colds. Still, she somehow suspected it wasn't the weather that had creeped into her bones and kept her shivering, but rather a lonely sense of uncertainty being so far from home.As independent as she was, her mission for being in England was not exactly an empowering one.

She was trying to keep her head level and her body calm. So quickly she could slip into anxiety, especially considering the fear-mongering that had surrounded her in her childhood. She had heard her entire life that women that travelled alone ended up dead, or worse, and despite her own successful experiences, this one somehow felt more nefarious. She kept reminding herself it was because of the dreary task at hand, that her mind was filling gaps. Taking care of Skyler's affairs did not affect her level of safety.

And yet, her eyes still widened and spine tightened as the door scuffled and suddenly opened, revealing a young, rather attractive, man in the doorway. She stared for a moment, suddenly frustrated with herself for somehow assuming this Mr Potter was going to be an older gentleman. It was a surprise (a pleasant one) that she had not prepared for.

Only a second must have happened because a furry creature suddenly darted from behind him and passed her, before she could do anything. She twirled back towards he man with wide eyes, worried she was somehow to blame, but he didn't seem too worried, instead addressing her. She willed her shoulders to relax, though she seemed caught in a tableau of surprise, as she said. "Hi. My name is Sloane. I'm here to look at the room?"
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closed Re: Overcoming All I Don't Feel

Post by James Potter on Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:33 pm

James Potter’s jaw fell slack. Something in the back of his mind, a muscle memory if you will, conjured the voice of his mother, urging him not to gawp like his Uncle Ron. James felt his stomach twist uncomfortably inside of him as the association with his mother drummed up the usual images – ones that had taken months to regain, ones that he wished he hadn’t bothered to try so hard to retrieve. He snapped his jaw shut and bit the inside of his cheek, urging himself to gain some semblance of composure. Semblance being the accurate term, of course, because total composure would never be something James Potter could attain.

“Sloane,” he repeated dumbly, somehow enjoying the way her name rolled around his mouth, smoothing over his tongue before breaking the pink barrier of his lips and condensing on the crisp air.

A face to the name helped, in a way. In truth, James had not been sure who he was expecting to move into his spare room. He’d known a woman and he’d supposed young because it was rare for women verging into their late twenties and thirties to be rootless, regardless of whether they were tourists or not. There was a slight … well, there was something in their gait that suggested assuredness, assuredness which did not mean they necessarily needed to rush anywhere, or even rush at all. So young, he’d had pegged. That didn’t mean he was necessarily prepared for the woman on his doorstep, though.

“I was meant to pick you up at the station,” he lifted his right arm, which had fallen slack by his side, and squinted through his glasses at the time. She was early. Moreover, she was here.

James couldn’t prevent a flush of embarrassment reaching the surface of his cheeks. He stepped back from the door and opened it wider, urging her to come inside with a cock of his head and a bright smile.

“I am sorry. I promise I’ll be a little bit more eloquent in a second. I fear you’ve caught me rather by surprise. A good surprise but, um … entirely unexpected. Oh, ah! Here comes Alfie!”

Sure enough, the dog was returning with a rather large stick between his teeth. James brought his lips together, a disapproving look turning them down at the sides, and he could only watch as Alfie deposited the stick with the others that were piled on the front grass – part of a strange collection that the dog was creating. He then wound himself past James and Sloane, sniffing briefly at the latter, and padded back upstairs, leaving small, muddy paw prints in his wake.

“And that’s Alfie.” James shut the door behind her. “He’s … one of a kind.” James chuckled, shaking his head.

“Would you like to come up?” He gestured to the staircase. “It’s tidier than it usually is, I fear. It’s all a mirage.” He laughed again despite himself and hopped up onto the first step.

The living room was, as promised, much tidier than it normally was. It was a long, rectangular room that was personalised in a way that showed the Potter man to be much more sentimental than he liked to paint himself. Photographs harking back to a happier past were littered across the mantelpiece, the fire crackling pleasantly within the hearth. The colours and furniture were also reminiscent of home. Home-home. Although this was a fact that James had yet to truly recognise. He had the usual modern accompaniments, a television, etc., although his bookshelves were dominated by magical books and there was a perch by the large, bay window that his owl would have been on had she not been out, sending a letter to Teddy that inquired after his health.

Through an archway was the kitchen and dining room, done up in a similar fashion. There was a cookbook open on the countertop, that page and many others stickied in order for James to remember to cook something from within. The washing up, regrettably, needed to be done but was waiting in an orderly pile next to the sink. James also noted with a wry smile that there were two cups waiting for them, filled up to the top with tea. He took his, casting out a hand for Sloane to take hers if she so wished, adding in a soft tone that the landlady-cum-housekeeper who lived below him was very good at doing a disappearing job despite not being a witch herself. Or, well, James didn’t think she was, anyway, but who knew?

In the dining room, a door led off to what would be Sloane’s room if she so wished and that was where James led her, opening it up so that she could see for herself.

And blessedly, that room was pristine. The window was open, letting in a faint breeze that ruffled the beige curtains. A bed dominated the room, covered in a pale yellow bedspread that James had been assured was tasteful. There was a chest of drawers, a wardrobe, and a desk complete with a chair and a lamp. There was everything she needed, really – or James hoped so, at least. He’d tried to make the room functional and homey and had even found some art depicting the seaside to go on the cream coloured walls.

“I don’t think interior decorating is my bag,” he admitted bashfully, reaching up to rub the back of his head, only serving to muss it up even more than it already was. “I wanted to make it nice, though. Hopefully it’s, um… done the trick. How… how are you liking London so far?”

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closed Re: Overcoming All I Don't Feel

Post by Sloane Ahmadi-Berkowitz on Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:51 pm

His look of surprise was almost enough for her to assure him that she probably had the wrong house and to continue on her way. This was already starting out on the wrong foot which was, she was guessing, not a great place to start with a potential new roommate. But, finally, he spoke, saying her name and thrusting out an arm. She took his hand and shook it, saying, "Mr Potter," still having not caught his first name. She grimaced a bit, her full-on smile being a rare sight, and her own insecurity just a bit too bold to allow for anything warmer.

His statement, still edged in confusion and surprise, jolted a thought into her mind she had not really considered until now - she had been very unclear in her response that she would make the trek on her own. She glanced down at her watch and found that she had arrived earlier than expected as well, having taken an earlier train and assumed the walk would take longer. Her eyes widened and she mouthed for a second before saying, "Oh. Right. I meant to owl you - I'm so sorry. Things have been..." She shook her head, looking for the word. Rotten. Lonely. Defeating. "Crazy."

He apologized and stepped back, and she waved a hand, saying, "No, don't be sorry. My fault. I hope I haven't put you out." She glanced down at the dog jogging past them and smiled - it, he, certainly seemed at home. That was a good sign.

She nodded at his invitation, smiling a bit at his concession. "So I'm getting a base case scenario look," she supplied pragmatically, though there was a quirk in her eyebrow.

She eyed each room as they passed with curiosity, trying to look as though she knew exactly what she was looking for, a calculating look drawing her brows together. She didn't want to investigate the photographs too keenly, feeling like that was a bit intrusive, instead peering at the furniture and walls - which all seemed in good condition, neat and well kept. He was neat, but no particular hobbies jumped out at her, no real personality quirks evident in his things, though she wondered if her old place could say much about her.

Into the kitchen and through the dining room, some more evidence now of the place being lived in. The tea was unexpected but quickly explained, and she took it with a thank you, glad to get her hands around a warm mug. And she was led to her room, which was as comfortable and practical as she could have hoped for. She glanced over at him, finding he almost looked worried to secure her approval. "It's better than I could have done. Thank you."

The place itself was more than okay, but she still knew so little about her potential roommate. "I like it. It's... busy, which is what I'm used to." She tilted her head. "Have you lived here long?"
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closed Re: Overcoming All I Don't Feel

Post by James Potter on Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:58 pm

If Sloane were to linger beyond the short space of time she had threatened, James imagined he would enjoy getting to know her. He shrugged his shoulder and nodded gently, understanding more than she knew about the complexities that life could get bound up in. It was the only thing he could claim mastery of, really. Drama. And isolation as a result. The world he used to inhabit was one he could only view through the mists of time and half-memory. So much had changed. This space, lodged in the upper story of the townhouse in Belgravia, was his reality now, his world. And it was lonely, yes, but more of his own making than anything else that preceded it.

“You’ve not put me out at all,” James tried to assure her, smiling gently. “Just surprised me, is all.” He chuckled, a wry look casting its dye across his features, bringing colour into his cheeks. He raised his arm and rubbed the back of his head before looking about himself, his critical eye picking out bug-bears with his surroundings which would have gone on ignored if not for company. He realised then how entirely unprepared he was for any sort of roommate that didn’t walk on four paws. He cleared his throat, determined to push past his bout of disquiet and focus on Sloane and her needs. Yes, that was the best way to proceed.

“I tend to bring my work home with me,” James admitted, laughing despite himself as they trudged up the stairs. “If there’s not some sort of potion sprayed up the walls, it’s a miracle. So, really, what you’re witnessing is … well, more than the best case scenario. Whatever the next stage up from that is.”

James’ cheeks reddened again with quiet pride when she passed comment on his home and he breathed a sigh of relief, bringing his tea up to take a grateful sip.

“Ages, actually,” he nodded. “When I, um… well, when I flew the nest I was in West London and then when I … I used to play Quidditch, you see, and um… well, it was lucrative so I took this place and after Quidditch I just sort of stayed. It became home, you know. And the landlady she … Mrs Jenkins. She’s lovely. It’s an easy sort of existence. Park nearby. Local pub. I’m not a drinker but the Sunday lunch is great and the quiz isn’t half bad either. Plus, Archie. I don’t know what I’d do without his company. Bless him. He was caught by a hex when he was a pup so he’ll never get any bigger than he is now. His old owners always had big dogs. They didn’t think he’d keep up. I happened to know them … frequenters of the Cauldron, you see, and, yeah, he came home with me.”

Then, James considered. “I don’t think I’ve actually introduced myself properly. James Potter. Jamie … or Jim. Whatever you like.” He held out his hand to her again. “It’s good to meet you, Sloane.”
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