Getting closer

Getting closer

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Post by Shylock Ashcroft on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:29 am

Shylock leaned back draped his arm across the back of the bench. On days like today, he was glad of warming charms, since they let him wear whatever he liked without freezing to death. Well, so long as whatever he liked wasn't made of mesh. For some reason, the warming charms wore off those shirts really quickly. It was probably for the best. He'd probably have drawn more attention than even he liked, wearing something like that around in the middle of winter.

But living near the school, Hogsmeade residents must have seen a lot of weird things. Shylock was given barely a glance as he gazed past the the rooftops and treetops to where Hogwarts towered above the village.

He probably ought to have been thinking of the person he was here to see, but instead, his thoughts drifted to Selwyn. Shylock hadn't been up to Hogsmeade without telling him before, and it made him feel just a bit guilty, which was preposterous. It wasn't like he had anything to hide.
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:34 am

It was a strange feeling.

Lily knew she was more than qualified for most jobs that required a knowledge of potions. The girl had relied upon herself from an early age to supply her own wolfsbane, and soon Potions became the subject in which she could hide herself, keep herself busy once she realized she was just never going to get comfortable with all of the attention she received from first, being a Potter, to then being the drop out, the addict, the werewolf, etcetera etcetera. Potions has been a nice retreat from it all. She was more than qualified as a Potioneer.

But she was the most unqualified to teach.

Merlin, she had been a failure as a student. She had gone from the top of her class to a drop out within a matter of a year or so, had barely scraped by upon her return. She wasn't a role model, she wasn't good with people, she hated having to explain her work. And, to top it all off, she was dating a student. Not that anyone knew anymore. Their little display at the Zabini's Christmas Ball had soothed even the doubts of the Headmaster. But with that in mind, the fact that their relationship remained intact was all the worse.

Even if she hadn't been able to speak to him in almost a month now.

She found thoughts of Apollo swirling in her head as she walked down the lane. She had just finished the little gift for him and sent it by owl. She knew it would find him alone, as he spent most of his time, and she knew he would figure out it was from her. Who else would send him such a gift?

She was pulled from her thoughts by the sight of Shylock, and she angled that way, stopping once she reached him. Lily was still not great at the whole smiling thing, but she was trying her hand at light conversation.

"Are you going to ask to borrow my coat?" Good for her, it was almost a joke.
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Post by Shylock Ashcroft on Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:37 am

Lily never smiled. At first, Shylock hadn't noticed this, or if he had, he'd put it down to bad mood. He'd been on some unpleasant meds when they first met and - no, that was a lie. Shylock recalled trying to cheer her up at that first meeting. He must have noticed.

But it had been months since, and he still had yet to see her smile genuinely, or laugh from joy.

Would he borrow that coat? No, it would clash terribly with his outfit. And though Shylock cared less about his looks recently than he had in the last six years, he still had some standards.

Nevertheless, he stood up and circled Lily.

"May I take your coat, Ma'am?" he asked. "And will you be needing any other assistance while you're in Hogsmeade today?"
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:49 pm

This whole trying-out-friendship thing was pretty much a necessity at this point. For awhile, she had almost been friends with Ducky Baker, but sex had compromised that, and it was hard to slip back into friendship with him - if they had ever even been friends. And all of the people who would have been willing to be her friend were currently students and incapable. Of course, Katherine and Shylock were the exceptions. But something had happened to Katherine that had distanced the women, and Lily had no idea how she was to overcome that.

That left Shylock. And from what she was learning about him as they got to know each other, she could be a lot worse off.

His antics tempted one of her eyebrows upward, the opposite corner of her mouth tugging outward in the ghost of a smirk. She kept her head straight and quipped, "Just a guided escort to keep me sane." They could joke about insanity, right? That was sort of their thing, right?
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Post by Shylock Ashcroft on Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:46 am

"Careful," Shylock warned, "that was nearly a smile."

He left her coat on her shoulders and looped his arm through Lily's instead. Who'd have known all those years being shown off at his parents' functions would come in so handy?

"An escort," he said, weighing word with far more innuendo than Lily had done. "What would your family think of a lovely girl like you being escorted anywhere by a notorious person like myself?"

He tilted his head to look down at her.

"Do they even know you talk to me?"

"Probably not," he decided before she could reply. "I haven't had any death threats lately."
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:17 am

"Oh, thanks for the head's up. I'll watch out for that."

It was exceedingly strange for her to feel so comfortable with such casual conversation, having grown quite used to keeping her lips locked unless her life depended on it. She wasn't nearly as bad as her cousin Molly, and she was certainly getting more practice, now that she had more company around her.

He slipped his arm into hers and she angled them towards the heart of the village.

His mention of her family was enough for the traces of her almost-smile to become compromised, as she attempted to strain it into existence for a moment, before allowing it to slip. Before she could make any sort of comment, he had a follow up questions, and she drew in a breath for a sigh - that breath was immediately expelled, and there it was. The upturn of her lips, the twist of her mouth.

But a moment passed and a reply was necessary - or, at least, polite. She tilted her head, her dark eyes still fixed upon the horizon. "No, my family doesn't think of me enough to have an opinion on what I do." She angled her chin towards him, quirking an eyebrow. "I'm sure yours know all about me though. People have been exploiting the Potter name for personal benefit for years. Wholly unoriginal, frankly Shylock, I expected more of you."
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Post by Shylock Ashcroft on Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:17 am

"'Course they do, Petal," Shylock replied. "They might not say anything to you, but that'll be because they don't know what to say."

"You should be glad. It means they're normal. My family would just tell me to hurry up and get over it."

His brow creased when she challenged him. Was that supposed to be a joke? If so, it wasn't funny, but then, it wasn't as though Lily could know that.

He cleared his throat.

"Monroe probably has copies of all your files, if that's what you mean," he said. "It's the kind of thing he'd do. Not just yours, everyone in our therapy group."

It was probably illegal, but everyone in Shylock's family agreed that rules were very important to provide stability for the ordinary people, but were at best guidelines for people like themselves.

"As for trying to exploit people," he turned his eyes back to the path, "I had to teach myself not to do that. I'm not sure the others know how to function any other way."
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:00 am

Lily wouldn't argue how her brothers thought of her, or whether or not they did. She had spent most of her life hearing what her family was up to, and these days she hardly knew what they were up to. His guess was as good as hers.

(Probably better. She had a bit of a negative bias.)

"Maybe," she hummed.

He spoke about his family and she frowned, not sure what to say. She rarely handled personal information well, so she chalked it up to him trying to make her feel better and let it fall.

She hadn't expected an affirmation of her joke, and her lips pursed, the corner of her mouth twisting thoughtfully. She supposed, with her fairly public record, that there wasn't much in those files that Shylock couldn't hear by asking anyone who had been at Hogwarts in the past few years.

"I thought the meetings were supposed to be anonymous," she mused, careful not to sound accusational. She raised her arm to pat his arm, saying, "I know you're not exploiting me." In case that needed to be cleared up.
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Post by Shylock Ashcroft on Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:29 am

"Nothing's really anonymous," Shylock replied. "I mean, even if Corner wasn't taking names, lots of other staff knew who was in that room."

He walked in silence for a moment, internally debating what to say next.

"Roe's very Machiavellian," he said. "He'll do whatever it takes to get what he wants, and a lot of what he wants is to keep the rest of us safe.

"It's like, he wants to be a good brother, but he's also an emotionless freak so he's really terrible at it. Anyway, if you're around me, he probably knows everything about you."

"He doesn't interfere very often," he added, in an attempt to reassure her. "Even when I was basically living off cigarettes and drugs and alcohol, he stayed out of it until he thought it might kill me."

To be fair, the first time that had happened was after Shylock had moved out, and Monroe hadn't known where he lived, but Lily didn't need to know that.
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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:36 am

She knew he was right. She knew the second she went into that meeting that there was no keeping anything secret. It was one of the reasons she had been so unwilling to speak. That, and the fact that she really hadn't embraced the idea of getting better. It had taken getting better to realize just how much she had hated herself back then. She had earnestly felt she deserved to suffer and get worse. She hadn't wanted help.

She briefly wondered what it would be like to give it a real go now. Maybe not with group therapy though. She really only felt like she could be open with Shylock - and even that was new and hesitant. †

Lily wondered what it would be like to have the complaint of an overprotective brother. She had moreorless been left to her own devices. Now that she had her head on straight, she was glad to have the freedom to do as she pleased.

It'd be strange to have Monroe intervene. As quick as Shylock was to assure her otherwise, it was still a funny thought. She doubted she'd give him much to go with.

"I can identify with that, at least," she said, in regards to his final statement. "Sometimes it's easy to think 'maybe they just don't notice' but family notices. Just don't know what to do with it, I guess."
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