O-Okay - Page 5

O-Okay

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Re: O-Okay

Post by Keiran Hayes on Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:23 am

When the door opened again, Keiran walked into a scene he could not have expected. Sure, the table was set and everything, but that wasn't what surprised him. No, he was shocked because Avery was leaning one hip against the windowsill as she tied a letter to the leg of Keiran's owl, chatting to Teddy the whole time. One hand waved in a vague gesture as she told him about Bridget's writing and general personality. Sophie, who had pretended not to take up when Teddy came in to check on her, had soon after wandered out into the living area, and was seated on the floor in front of the couch where Teddy sat.

As though this whole thing was simply normal. Simply typical.

Her eyes were bright, as though she had somehow been lit from within and was just... happy. It even took a few moments for her to realize Keiran was standing there, just inside the portrait entrance.

"There you are!" She grinned at him. "I've just sent a letter to your mum about Sophie, just in case." Looking at his empty hands, she tilted her head. "What's the plan?"

Keiran looked towards the table, and then snapped his fingers once. Must like the feasts in the great hall, food served itself. "What?" He asked when she blinked in surprise. "You thought I'd carry all this upstairs on my own? Not happening."

He pointed out, as he strode over to check the tea they had kept warm, that the kitchens were in the basement, and now they were up in one of the towers. No, indeed. He could apparate but did not trust himself to keep track of everything. And besides, asking for help from people who could not apparate within the castle would not have been a bonus.

Shrugging, she moved over to crouch in front of Sophie, offering a hand to help the little blonde up off the floor. "Alright, honey. Dinner time!" Giving Sophie a little pat on the head, she pointed towards Keiran and waited for her baby to make her way over.

As she stood, Avery passed Teddy an easy smile. "C'mon," she added, "you can sit by me. Keiran seems like he's in a mood."

Of course, as soon as she'd said as much, Sophie gave a thrilled clap and Keiran laughed, agreeing that yes, mashed potatoes were indeed the best. Avery just shook her head with a little laugh of her own, and led the way over. So while Sophie was helped into the seat next to her Uncle of sorts, her mother sat next to Keiran, leaving one open for the Curative Magic professor.

"She doing better, then?" Keiran asked, as though he hadn't practically interrogated Teddy just under an hour before.

Avery nodded, beaming at Sophie and Teddy in turn, and lingering on the latter until her pleased smile turned into a grateful one. As Keiran turned his head to help Sophie reach for her glass, Avery extended a hand, giving her new friend's arm a little squeeze before she took it back. A bit of redness colored her cheeks as she realized it might not be wholly appropriate, and as she began to poke at what was on her plate. But she glanced his way again, too curious about his reaction to resist.

Keiran pretended not to notice.

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Re: O-Okay

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:45 pm

They fell into a rhythm that was as natural and it was comfortable. Sophie had been fine, of course, and he had quickly re-explained Roseola and what they should expect and look out for and managed to slip in there that it looked the be incredibly recent and caught very quickly. It was just an illness babies picked up sometimes. There was no preventing it, no catching it any quicker than they had. He hoped he wasn’t too obvious in his attempts to further assure Avery.

And so she had insisted he relax on the couch, and they chatted about work and the school, and soon Sophie joined them and was mostly amusing herself. But, every once and awhile, she turned her head towards him, inquisitive eyes still trying to figure him out. And he’d lean forward and pull a goofy face, causing a smirk here and there before she whipped around, intent on giving her toys and books the attention they so rightly deserved.

It was Avery’s voice that alerted him to Keiran’s interest and he turned in his seat, wondering how the Headmaster would take his decision. He stood up, brushing his hands off before slipping them into his pockets, hoping to look confident. Remarkably, he did look much more at ease, and he felt it too. Today had been… well, it had been a long, unexpected day. But it was good. It wasn’t often that life offered pleasant surprises. But each surprise thus far had done much more good than it had done harm.

Avery collected Sophie and then addressed him. He wasn’t sure how much she assumed about his conversation with Keiran, if she knew he was protective enough to give him the shake down, but her words did reassure him. It was clear she was aware of how much Teddy didn’t want to displease anyone, and her translation of the Headmaster’s mood was more than appreciated. At least he knew what he was dealing with.

So he followed the makeshift family to the table, saying, “The house elves never disappoint.” He took his seat as Keiran asked after Sophie and Teddy nodded. “Yes, it’s not an uncommon thing in kids her age. She might be a bit off for a few days, but as long as her symptoms don’t get worse, it’ll be no worse than the sniffles.” He glanced  over at Avery, catching her smile as a matching one flickered onto his own face. Her hand came out to squeeze his arm and the smile grew.

And that was when he remembered that Keiran was still there. A flush crawled up his neck, and he dropped his head, hand reaching up to touch his brow nervously. “So Keiran,” he said, his voice failing to hide his nerves, though it was a valiant effort. “How are classes going?”

((Do we want to time jump to after dinner and their good byes?))
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Avery Bishop on Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:59 am

As dinner came to its natural close, a letter came tapping at the window for Keiran. Bridget, he explained, did not believe that the children were unwell. But he was going to visit them anyway, now that he knew what to look for. And - though he could not say it aloud - being around Sophie had made him miss his babies. For, really, they were still only little. So, although it had been less than twelve hours, Keiran made his intentions to visit his childhood home quite clear. Clear enough that Avery gave him just enough of a chiding smile to make him quiet down about it. He had explained it more eloquently than that, of course, but still.

She thought it was rather charming, actually, though she took his point quite easily. Keiran was leaving, so they probably should do so as well. So Avery sent her plates over to the sink to wash themselves before she did the same with Sophie's.

"You sure you don't mind if I head out?" Keiran asked, clearly recognizing the same two things Avery had: First, she needed to collect Sophie's things. And Second, Teddy hadn't left yet.

Avery reached out for his shoulder, giving him a warm smile. "It's fine, Keiran. It isn't like we're going to steal anything," she added in jest, her expression suggesting that she might be lying. But he knew better, of course.

Avery stood after Keiran began putting things away, stepping around Teddy's chair to reach Sophie. "Why don't you go give Uncle Keiran a thank-you hug, baby?" Smiling encouragingly, she helped Sophie down so the littler blonde could toddle over to him. Avery watched from her spot at Teddy's side, laughing as Sophie attached herself to Keiran's leg.

"Well, now," Keiran said, crouching as Avery's hand felt casually to the back of Teddy's chair. "I had lots of fun today, so we'll have to do this again sometime," he told Sophie seriously. Extending a hand, he shook hers firmly before looking back up at Avery.

His smile almost faltered, but he caught himself. He wouldn't forget the image of the pair of them, even though he would try. Avery's happiness came first. Not his guilt or the fact that he missed his friend. He knew full well that she missed Robin, too. But she seemed so comfortable and sturdy that he couldn't argue against a truth he'd been reluctant to recognize from the first: They'd be good for each other, regardless of what happened between them in the long run.

So Keiran stepped out of Sophie's hold, summoned his wand, and bid them farewell before disapparating. Avery realized immediately that he hadn't opened his floo for them. Silence reigned, aside from the self-washing dishes.

Oh... help.

Despite herself, she almost felt tempted to curse - even silently. Did other professors have a floo in their quarters? Was she brave - or foolish - enough to ask if she could use the one in Teddy's room? Probably not.

Her hand left his chair, and she took a step back, keeping her eyes on Sophie instead. As though she were not panicking internally.

What if- ... What if she walked in, just to use the floo, that is, and there were pictures? She hadn't asked. He hadn't implied-. Oh, no.

Their hug earlier had certainly-- no it hadn't. Normal people hugged. She'd even registered, earlier, that she missed hugging Keiran. That was just normal.

Oh, Merlin. And earlier she had positively encouraged him to ask her out, without receiving any sort of response.

Avery very nearly let out a distressed whine at her own oblivious self. Instead, she stepped around his chair again, clearing her throat. She had no choice, really. She had to get home, or wait for Keiran to come back and scare the daylights out of him when he found them still there.

"Um, so- Keiran usually lets me use the floo to get home. But I guess he forgot. Is there- Is there another one somewhere?" She asked, finally looking back at Teddy. Her pulse thudded in her ears. Stupid, stupid.. She just had to keep it together until she got home. Then she could roll her eyes at herself, maybe angrily do laundry or something. She could.. tell Claire, maybe? That'd be weird. Very weird. A betrayal, almost.

Okay, so she wasn't going to tell Claire.

Her hands fidgeted with her skirt before she added on, "I just need to gather her things. It'll just take a minute."
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:15 am

Somehow, Teddy survived.

Actually, to give himself some credit, he did more than survive.

There was no denying that dinner was pleasant. The food itself was delicious, as the school elves knew no other standard than exceptional. Conversation came easy, especially with the backdrop of the school to bring them back to the topic that was easiest for the men to find certain ground. Teddy explained, a bit, to Keiran about why he had taken the job up and reported the mild success he was finding with at least some of his students. They let Keiran talk about the troubles of the Headmaster which, between bureaucratic nonsense and students dead set on expulsion, seemed to be a task and a half. And Teddy was graced with some of the Bishop girls escapades.

Stomach eased and Keiran reassured that he wasn't being rude for leaving, Teddy collected his dishes and took them to the kitchen, letting Avery and Keiran say whatever they needed to say. His coffee meeting with Avery had been extended considerably and their night was finally coming to a close, and Teddy knew this content feeling would follow him all the way to bed and perhaps after he awoke.

And yet he still didn't want to say goodbye.

And an excellent excuse presented itself. He wasn't sure who had taken over Fate's shift for the day, but he certainly preferred this new operator to the one he was used to.

"Of course," he said, tilting his head towards the door. "There's one in the staff lounge, but it might be easier to just use the one in my quarters. It's a little closer, too. I'm sure Sophie's probably getting tired."

Oh, Merlin, did that sound like he was inviting her up to his room?

Oh, Merlin. Was he blushing? He was blushing, wasn't he?
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Avery Bishop on Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:58 am

He offered. Of course he offered. He was too good not to, and she didn't take him to be a particularly messy sort of person, though she obviously had no way of knowing for sure. ...But pictures. And, by the way, the fact that Avery had a child. That aspect was certainly not lost on her when she truly came to accept that quiet wish she felt taking form.

Avery took a bit too long to realize that he looked uncomfortable as well. She didn't realize it in the moment, but she would look back at this moment later, desperately wondering what it meant. Goosebumps rose along her arms, and she nodded, trying to hide the uncertainty she felt with a weak smile.

Sophie reached up to tug on Avery's dress, rescuing her from her apparent inability to breathe.

"I know, love," Avery said soothingly, brushing a hand over Sophie's hair. "We're going. Why don't you help me find your shoes?"

As they moved into the living room, she passed Teddy an almost conspiratorial smile, really meaning it now. Best to keep her moving and get her out of there before things became awkward. Again. Or before she really did fall asleep, like he suggested she might. He had a point, to be sure. Because there went Sophie, a huge yawn pulling at her cheeks.

Avery laughed a little bit to herself before following, and soon after, Sophie was swept up into her mother's arms as they left Keiran's quarters. Letting him lead the way, Avery murmured another soft thank you, as she glanced up at him.

By the time they reached his door - or, rather, portrait - Sophie had stopped tugging on Avery's curls and instead dropped her head on her mum's shoulder to try and sleep. And they were outside Teddy's door, which she couldn't seem to stop feeling uncomfortable about despite the fact that they were already there. So she just hugged Sophie to her and waited for him to open the door.
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:40 pm

When they first began the trek towards his room. Teddy decided to take up a running commentary of the tapestries and portraits, taking on the persona of Hogwarts tour guide as he directed the comments towards the smallest Bishop. Soon, it was evident that sleep was doing its best to take her, and he was probably furthering its cause with his comments on fourteenth century potioneers and lepers who turned out to have nasty cases of dragon pox. The silence didn't last long, as he picked up the thread of information once more, this time for Avery's sake. She had done a remarkable job of keeping the conversation going all day. He wanted to show he could return the favor.

They reached the entrance to his room and he found his heart rate increase, suddenly embarrassed. He typically left his quarters clean, having always been rather tidy, but there was still the worry that something would be out of place, something to send the ever-ready blush sprawling across his face. But they were here, so he tapped the portrait with his wand and it swung open. He gestured to let Avery in first.

He was glad to see he had done dishes before heading home that day. The counters were clean and the door to his bedroom closed, as well as the door that led to the office his students could properly visit him in. He cleared his throat and motioned towards the study, before stepping forward to lead the way.

The study was easily his favorite room. His desk was covered in assignments and files, a leftover mug from the night before desperate to be refilled and reheated. Two sturdy bookshelves rested against one of the walls, filled with books both pertaining to his subject and books extended into genres that didn't fall under the umbrella of his professional interest. There was a comfortable sofa  placed before the fireplace, and an armchair next to the window.

He crossed towards the hearth, reaching out for one of the items on the mantle. A picture of his parents on their wedding day smiled up at him, as did an old Christmas card courtesy of the Potters, shortly after Lily was born. A few birthday cards,  a picture of him being dragged to take a picture by Sawyer and Bernice, Audrey and Valerie laughing in the background.

His eyes were trained on the little velvet bag that he picked up, turning to look at Avery as he hefted it in his hand. "Here's the... Here's the floo powder."

He tried for a smile. "I didn't intent to steal your whole day from you," he said, reaching up to nervously scratch his cheek. He dropped his hand and felt a shy smile stretched across his features, "Though I can't say I minded."

His heart was pounding, trying to gather the adrenaline he needed to get through the request that now floated back into his mind. "Avery," he said, looking down as he cleared his throat. "D'you think we could maybe... do this again? Obviously, not the whole Sophie getting sick part, but the... but the others. Maybe sans Keiran? Though, I'll admit, he's charming company."

Sans Keiran. Charming company. Merlin, he was a mess. This is what you got, folks, when Teddy Lupin tried to ask you out on a date.
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Avery Bishop on Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:23 am

Teddy waited for her to go first, so Avery took careful steps into his space, turning a bit to watch him walk in as well and show her where to go. Worrying that her hair might tickle at Sophie's face, Avery reached up with one hand to push it out of the way as they headed into an office of sorts. Although they moved in an almost comfortable silence, she could still hear his voice rumbling in her ears, telling her the history of the hallways. She carefully bit her lip, releasing it when he actually did speak up again.

Avery stepped forward when he held the powder out a bit, but hesitated a few steps away when he continued on again. It was almost hard to find her voice after listening for him the whole way back. "Me neither," she assured him. A pleased smile warmed her face and she glanced to the side just before he looked away as well, only able to blink at him when she turned back.

She sort of wished she wasn't carrying Sophie, because she wanted to fidget even as she wanted to hug him again. She just couldn't believe he looked so shy, so concerned -- as if she wasn't going to agree. How could someone like Teddy be that self-conscious?

The thing was, it sounded like he was suggesting a date. It Did. But she didn't even know if he was single! She really needed to say something - do something. Anything. The worst thing would be to let him think she was hesitating or not really interested. Because she was, truly. And Teddy was utterly wonderful.

He hadn't run because of her past or upon learning about Sophia. He was just good. And she couldn't help herself. She liked him.

Finally taking that last step, Avery reached out - past the floo powder and straight to his arm. Giving him a little squeeze, she smiled encouragingly. "I would love that. With all of the qualifications." Or even with none of them. "But only if you actually write me this time," she added cheekily, her smile widening into a full-fledged grin.

She wanted to come up with another clever comment, or something so charming that he'd write her the minute she left. But the chances were low, so she slowed herself down. Still, her hand slipped down just enough to settle above his elbow, her thumb passing over the fabric of his sleeve.

"Genuinely, Teddy. I'd really love to."
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:16 am

She had no reason to agree. The best he should hope for was a vague and polite agreement to some unspecified time, with the reiteration that it would be nice to get to know him better as a friend. And he would laugh and agree, and his words would have been just vague enough for them to pretend that as a friend was what he had meant in the first place, and he would limp to his room and try to do something productive, but he would be unable to move beyond a crippling feeling of embarrassment and shame and he would try to forget how great it was to make her smile, how at ease she made him feel... Because he was a disaster, and their day probably had been a disaster too.

But that was the thing. Despite the crisis with Sophie, and Keiran cornering him and beating his self esteem to a pulp, and their constant, unending nervous natures... he had enjoyed every moment of their day spent together. He felt happy. He felt proud. He felt like he could do the day over and over and never get tired of it.

So he couldn't feel bad about wanting to see her again, and if she didn't want that, he could deal with it. But he would not be embarrassed for liking Avery Bishop. He would just have to take it like a man and move on-

She was touching his arm.

She was smiling at him.

She was telling him she'd like to see him again.

She was... She was teasing him

His own laugh caught him by surprise, as much as her sudden quip had. The laugh sputtered from his lips as he ducked his chin against his chest, shaking his head and reaching up to scratch his head. "Yes, I will." He lifted his gaze, mouth still pulled into a smile, a twinkle in his eyes, a reminder of life, and how lovely it could be. "I won't make that mistake twice."

She rubbed his arm. She said she'd love to. And it was crazy, but Merlin he wanted to-

No, no, no. They hadn't even had their first date.

Merlin, they were going to have a first date.

He clung to this momentary feeling of confidence. "Right," he said, tilting his head to look up at her. "Now... I hate to rush you, but I have a very important letter to write." He smiled widely, eyes softening. "Thank you for today. I really needed it."
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Avery Bishop on Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:44 am

Her lips parted, the breathy beginnings of a laugh escaping her before she stopped it. The last thing she needed was for Sophie to wake up and interrupt this. Avery was quite convinced that she had never found it so shockingly easy to get along with someone, and given the circumstances, she didn't want anything else to come along and make it harder. It's just, he was lovely and as much as she couldn't believe it, Avery felt almost like he had somehow read her mind. That's what really brought out the laugh that turned into a rather flirtatious grin. Merlin, he was kind of perfect, wasn't he?

How horribly nerve-wracking, in a good way. The fact that he had asked to see her again at all implied that she might deserve someone like him. And that was worth more than a laugh or smile meant just for him could convey, anyway. So she didn't really try to make up for it. Because this, it seemed, was definitely going to be a date. Avery hadn't a lot of experience with it, but she did know enough to recognize his replies as flirting.  

This was a good thing. She knew that. And his gratitude landed just in time. Avery had no excuse anymore to worry that she was somehow bothering him with her presence. And it struck her far too belatedly that she was just.. happy. Her face knew it, but her insides were still catching up, it seemed.

"I did, too. But this one," she gestured towards Sophie as her hand (reluctantly) left his arm, "needs a real place to crash. Besides my shoulder, of course. And, besides. I wouldn't want to keep you from your.. correspondence."

Her smile was almost a smirk, but that sort of expression rarely - if ever - appeared on her face. She didn't quite have the nature for it. But at that point, she was afraid that she'd just try and keep talking instead of leaving, so she took a handful of the floo powder and stepped towards the fireplace.

Spinning around as she stepped in, Avery offered an almost disappointed, "Night." And with a last little smile, she took her baby home.
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Re: O-Okay

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:03 pm

Once Avery left, his study felt less cozy and much smaller. She had been standing before the fireplace and he wished she remained, though he certainly did not want to be the one that kept Sophie up when she so clearly needed to sleep, especially since it was on his orders that she needed more sleep. The little girl had been a surprise, one of many that day, but the little time had managed to spend with her had charmed him. Teddy had always liked kids, had always had a natural way with them, but Sophie, even in her silence, was especially endearing to him.

He supposed he might have been biased.

Merlin, just this morning he had been accosted by his cousin to provide difficult answers to unclear questions. He had supposed that would be the only surprise. Though he found himself getting his hopes up for coffee with Avery, he had continually reminded himself all morning that it was just coffee and that they had only met twice and were still relative strangers. What could he have to hope for, anyway? He had not exactly been on top of his game the times he had met her. It was irresponsible to hope.

But he had. And his hopes had been delivered tenfold.

She was a widow, and she was a single mother. But she was also a friend, and a sister, and a daughter. She worked with dragons, she wanted to do more. She understood that strange way in which people could recognize a sad spirit and yet keep themselves from asking why. She had given him permission to talk about Lily, she had given him advice without a shade of accusation and inspired him to truly consider acting upon it. And Merlin, her smile.

This wasn’t like him. He had spent years romanticizing a friend because she would always be unattainable. He had met women through Sawyer and almost obligatorily dated them until he realized he just didn’t feel enough. But Avery had captured his interest within mere moments, and he had not stopped thinking of her since.

He was still thinking of her.

And with thoughts of her in his head, his home seemed a little less lonely, a little less small, and much more welcoming. With a happy hum, he flicked his wand to put the kettle on before settling at his desk, looking forward to a letter that could only bring good news.
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