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it's illegal to be alone on christmas

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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Ace Longbottom on Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:17 pm

The night went exactly as she had said it would - which would be used for further proof later that Ace Longbottom was always right. The only real difference was how quickly the struggle to choose a movie was ended. Whereas there usually would have been a fight at her obvious attempts to skew the movie vote in her favor, the rest of the Longbottoms were too charmed by Christian's attempt to help to deny him the chance to see the creature that was definitely not The Grouch, though the name was fitting enough. Ace shot him a victorious grin, unaware that he should at all be embarrassed - they had won, after all.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Longbottom movie night without Frank's blatant attempts to bait his sister, and Ace's complete failure to rise above them. Neville, too, made his same jokes along with the film, and Hannah shushed them continually, with the reminder that Christian hadn't seen it and they were being rude. Even Ace could tell from one look at her friend that the silence wouldn't have helped him understand the strange plot unfolding before his eyes.

Pfft. Purebloods.

An entire platter of cookies somehow disappeared during the film, and it was as the credits rolled and Hannah was collecting newly empty mugs that she let out a gasp and abandoned her task with the announcement that it was snowing. Their pajamas were hardly defense against the cold, so as Hannah came around the couch to tug on her children's arms and force them up and out the door, she threw a throw blanket around their shoulders, smiling warmly at Christian as she pulled one maternally around him, unable to fight the impulse even with someone else's child, and her eyes were bright as she told him the understatement of the year. "I love when it snows on Christmas."

And so the five of them stood in the front garden, feet cold even in the slippers they had pulled from the slipper bin (Neville liked slippers), the two Longbottom siblings refusing to shuffle closer to each other or their guest despite the chill. They might have relented, just a little, when Neville had to step past them to wrap his arms around his wife, allowing themselves to be pushed shoulder to shoulder, until finally Ace's complaints and Frank's reminder that exposing them to the elements was a form of abuse prompted the family to go back inside.

And. Like clockwork. "Oh my! Look at the time! We need to get to bed!"

"Santa can't come if we're all awake."

And they trudged up the stairs, and the siblings congratulated Christian on surviving Christmas, throwing it out as more of a joke than anything, not realizing the subtle implication of their words as they said your first Longbottom Christmas.

The next morning, Ace rolled out of bed and blearily fumbled her way to the bathroom, brushing her teeth and realizing there was no time to do anything about the mess of frizz around her face. Eyes still half closed, she padded into the hallway, banging first of Frank's door before toning down the weight of her knock for Christian. She stumbled downstairs in a sleepy daze and found the waffles, popping them into the toaster before walking to the mantle.

As Christian walked in, she turned to him, a yawn transforming into, "You have a stocking. And how do you like your frozen waffles? Soggy or burnt? It's the only way I do them."
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Christian Zabini on Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:30 am

It took longer to fall asleep than Christian had expected, even with everything that the day had brought and caused. But it was almost ironic that he was there, lying awake, when he couldn't wait to see what happened in the morning. If this was what Christmas really meant, then he didn't want it to end, but he wanted it to happen all at the same time.

That, he realized the next morning, was probably the way little kids thought about it. But he didn't care. And he also couldn't remember when he fell asleep, once he tried to think about it. But he remembered trying to understand the weird green drawing man and the cookies and how the snow fell in Ace's hair and Frank teased her about it.

Christian thought it was perfect.

Even though that felt kind of lame. But whatever. He knew he probably wouldn't have another holiday like this one, so when Ace knocked on the door he didn't fight it. Still, he was sleepily rubbing at his eyes when he made it downstairs, unprepared for Ace's questions and information.

He blinked at her a couple times before Frank coughed, rubbing at his hair as he walked in. Frank's hand shot in the air as he walked around with his eyes closed, clearly knowing exactly where everything was. Christian could practically see Ace sticking her foot out to trip him, but Frank started talking.

"Soggy. That burnt stuff is the worst. You tasted it? Ugh."

Christian frowned a little, but shrugged. "I.. actually don't mind the burnt bits. Apollo usually makes me eat whatever's burnt and he keeps the rest. I don't think he realizes I kind of like it."

Frank opened one eye, frowning at their guest. ".. You're disgusting."

Christian just shrugged, watching the Gryffindor as he passed behind Ace. That was when Frank opened his eyes properly, shot Christian a grin and a cheeky wink, and then went back to faking it before Ace could turn around and catch him. Interesting.

He glanced towards the tree, then back at Ace. "Um. So -- stockings?" He asked, gesturing towards her feet.
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Ace Longbottom on Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:04 am

An exasperated look sunk onto Ace's face as her gaze slid over to Frank, unimpressed by his insertion into the question. She obviously knew how he wanted his waffles - she had only been doing this for twelve years now, and she had known her brother, let's see, her entire life. That's why she shouldn't have been surprised. He always had something to say, some way to wedge himself into the situation. Her eyes flicked back to Christian, who looked almost shy again. Why did he keep doing that? It was just her. And Frank. And, y'know, her parents.

She wasn't sure why, but the image of a peaceful ritual between the Zabini brothers was soothing to her soul, especially considering the few peeks into their relationship that she had. She knew something about disagreeing with a brother, but there was some actual toxicity between the twins that she couldn't identify with. She and Frank had sent each other to Mungo's with stitches and bruises from pranks gone wrong, but nothing had even been born of malice, and neither had ever felt true indifference towards each other. The Zabini's wrestled between negativity and complacency in a way that unnerved Ace.

But the little reminder that they were brothers that had shared a lifetime together, and that there were moments of goodness and quiet camaraderie between them. They needed it.

And Frank needed to learn to shut up.

"I'm burning your waffles, and all your socks," Ace said, shooting a glare at Frank, the small smile that had been on the verge of forming giving way to her scowl, before she turned her attention to the task at hand, popping the waffles into the toaster and cranking the heat up to get started on their guest's snack first.

She turned to look at him, hands falling to her hips - as though that would offset the look of her with her frizzy, messy hair and the goofy pajamas. Her eyebrows twitched together and she looked down, before an amused grin stole her confusion, lifting her gaze and fighting to keep the amusement at bay. She cleared her throat, swallowing the smile and shook her head. "No. Not... Not these... C'mon."

She bounced between the living room and the kitchen, taking out the waffles as they came, handing Christian his burnt ones, Frank his soggy ones, and taking one of each for herself before making some for her parents. She took the ground out of habit, sitting with her legs crossed as she emptied her stocking to sort through. All three of them pretty much had the same assortment of magical candies, games of exploding snap, a new quill each.

Neville and Hannah joined them when they had almost reached the bottom, Hannah repeated the yearly, "Have you already started on stockings?" Both of them were far more awake than they let on, having only slept in to be able to catch their children acting as such - both sides humoring the other because that was what family did. The got their coffee and settled on the couch, Ace hopping up to bring them each their stockings.

"Would you like us to apparate you to see your parents sometime today, Christian?" Neville asked, glancing up as he withdrew a new inkwell from his stocking. "We have the time. We could do that whenever."
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Christian Zabini on Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:19 am

Christian was curious enough about the stockings that he hardly even registered which waffles Ace had given him - though some taste bud or other did imply that she'd done as he asked. And Frank wasn't complaining, weirdly, so he took the silence as a good sign. Of course, why anyone would've come up with the tradition of giant socks filled with things, Christian couldn't say. It seemed all quite odd, but he rather liked it. But it did strike him as odd that there was enough for all three of them.

Frank had implied, the night before, that he hadn't told their parents. Why else would Christian have agreed to talk to Frank after everyone else had gone to sleep?

He looked up from his perch on the base of the hearth when her parents walked in, waving his second waffle in greeting before realizing how stupid that was. He had investigated more slowly than the other two. Frank had just dumped the lot on the floor before picking through it lazily. Christian doubted he was really disinterested, though, considering he immediately unwrapped some strawberry laces and began tying them into odd shapes and bows before eating them.

Maybe, Christian mused, the kids at school needed to see Frank for themselves so they could understand why Ace was the serious one.

He was running a finger across the quill's feather when Neville spoke, making the Hufflepuff freeze. Christian's gaze darted up to the Longbottom patriarch. It took a moment or two, but he managed to make himself relax. Honesty, this time.

"Um- I don't think.." He cleared his throat awkwardly. "I wrote to them but they didn't answer."

And that was it. He just looked back down at the quill like it didn't kill him a bit that he'd written home to his father and heard nothing. Imagine his frustration when he found out that Blaise had written to Apollo instead. For the time being, though, he had to believe that they were okay but it wasn't safe for them to write him.

Would he be here until school started again? He didn't mind the folks he was spending the time with, but it didn't alleviate as much of the anxiety as he'd hoped they would.
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Ace Longbottom on Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:04 am

Ace glanced up at her parents as Christian spoke, hoping beyond all hope that they didn't push it and make things weird. It was only then that it hit her - her parents knew Christian's parents. They had all gone to school together. It wasn't new information, not really, but it only now registered that they all had opinions on each other, had known each other years before she ever accosted Christian and accidentally annoyed her way into being his friend. And as oblivious as Ace could be, she knew her parents well enough and could gather enough from the little she had seen of the Zabinis to know that there probably wasn't much love or respect towards her parents. She knew her father had been more or less bullied in school, and she immediately forced from her mind the picture of his once faceless tormentors taking the shape of Christian's father.

It was this image that caused a pang of love in her heart for her father. She couldn't be sure, obviously, that any of this was the case, but his willingness to visit the Zabinis of Christmas for the sake of her friend was that brand of greatness that only a daughter could see in her father.

But Neville just nodded, keeping his kind expression placid as his wife effortlessly swooped in. "Speaking of visits, though-"

Ace groaned, a mostly sincere gesture but also to help smooth over what could have been an awkward moment for Christian. "Mum, you made the sweater. You should be the one to give it to her."

Hannah hummed knowingly, shaking her head. "No, no. You three can do it. You can open one present each first. Ace, that yellow one. Frank, the one with the snowflake pattern. And Christian, yours is the one with the wreaths, love."

Once they all opened the gifts, Ace found her sneaking suspicions confirmed. Yep - each had a matching knit cap and scarf, which Hannah had them all don before she kicked them out into the cold.

Mrs Hanfield was a hard of hearing widow who had not yet decided if she was a cranky old bat or a grandmotherly sort, oscillating between the personalities with a surprising dexterity she otherwise lacked. She started their conversation by eyeing Christian warily while Frank loudly wished her a Merry Christmas and Ace tried to get her to take the parcel, but by the end she was telling Christian he looked like a boy she knew in her school years and wouldn't the three of them like to come in for some brandy and eggnog?

Frank maneuvered their way out and they made their way back home, greeted by the smells of a real breakfast, orchestrated by Hannah and Neville. Hannah immediately peeled away from the cooking team to begin commanding the three which present was to be opened next as Neville handed out plates of eggs, bacon and toast around, the no-eating-in-the-living-room rule suspended as it was annually.

Ace had no idea how her parents had figured out Christian would be here, if they had started prepping the day he had come home with her, or if they had somehow been tipped off. Because for every book or new pair of robes she opened, there was a joke wizards chess set and sweater for Christian. The family had slowed down on the amount of gifts given over the years, but each member still had a small pile at their feet, all culminating in the gifts their parents seemed most excited for - Hufflepuff cardigans for Ace and Christian, a Gryffindor one for Frank, all in the style they had been in for Hannah and Neville's first year.

"It's vintage," Hannah tittered, before sighing and looking towards her husband. "Neville, we're vintage now."

"We're like fine wine," he assured his wife, smiling. He grinned at the younger three, saying, "Wasn't much, but you were pushing being on the nice list as it was."

Ace stood, pulling the cardigan over her pajamas and looking down at it, trying to hide the glow she felt churning inside. Few things could touch her, but this small connection to the past, a past in which Boys Who Lived and Marauders and student armies made a difference... that was something she could appreciate.

"Thanks, Mum. Thanks, Dad." Her eyes flickered to each of them, and she hoped they knew she wasn't just thanking them for her gifts.
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Christian Zabini on Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:21 am

Christian had never been one for hats, but he couldn't say no to something like this. In fact, two and a half months later, he would walk into Hogsmeade at Charlotte's side with this very scarf and hat combination. Not to make a point, but because things would be weird between them and he wouldn't like it and it would make him feel a bit better, oddly, to have even a subtle memory of this day.

By the time they came back, he was almost settled in, really. He hoped that the pajamas and the hat/scarf duo were the whole of his gifts but apparently they were not. As he opened each of them, his eyes flicked towards Frank, feeling much less certain of himself now. But the Gryffindor didn't seem concerned, so Christian just waited.

He looked up when Ace moved to pull on her sweater, taking in just how much she appreciated it. And in truth, Christian was a bit baffled. How perfect, considering what they were up to. Did her parents know? Did Frank?

Christian smiled gently down at his own gifts, but then Frank coughed. It was innocent enough that the man's parents seemed not to take anything from it, but the Zabini boy looked up as though he were checking on Frank. But he followed the glance towards the tree and there, behind it, were three more packages.

Frank relaxed against the base of the couch, his legs spreading across the floor, but Christian got up, slipping the cardigan on as well while he stepped around to collect two of the wrapped items. Those he gave to Hannah and Neville, ever part of his stance, expression and movements looking just as anxious as he felt.

Frank, weirdly, had refused to let Christian pay him back for these, but it made the Hufflepuff feel even more uncomfortable as he passed them off. Frank had picked up his own gifts for them, but the seemingly unemployed man had gotten much less worthy gifts. Not that Christian had gone out of his way to flash his family's wealth at them. Particularly given he hadn't paid for them, actually. But he'd done his best with what little he knew and the suggestions Frank made.

Hannah's was the most nerve-wracking, aside from Ace's. Christian didn't know much about either of them, but he did know one thing. And although Frank had looked shocked, if not taken aback, he didn't discourage the idea. Christian just hoped he hadn't been misled.

He bit the inside of his cheek as she opened it, only to fidget restlessly when she saw what it was. A moving portrait of her mother. Frank had provided an old picture, and didn't ask how Christian knew she'd been murdered during Hannah's time at school. Neither mentioned that Death Eaters had done it, or that they couldn't prove Christian wasn't related to them.

Neville watched her, but his eyes flicked up sharply, staring at Christian. The sixth year withered a bit, taken aback, but just waited. Frank was smiling, which made Christian almost angry at the thought that he'd been tricked, but his ears turned red for an entirely different reason when Hannah stood up to hug him.

Christian hoped it wasn't out of obligation but rather appreciation, but over her shoulder he saw the curiosity on Neville's face as he opened his own gift. A book, of course, that was a favorite of Apollo's after his apprenticeship during the summer. Obscure herbal remedies, in essence.

While Neville was flipping through and Hannah sitting back down, Christian turned again to pick up the last package. Then he sat back down on the hearth next to Ace and silently handed it to her. When she opened it, she would find a draw-string pouch and a note, written in Frank's handwriting.

The rest of your gift is inside. Don't take it out yet, but put this note in for now. Open it away from Mum and Dad. Christian will explain later.

So the Hufflepuff rolled his lips together, allowing them to slowly form into a little smile. It probably looked like nothing, compared to what he'd given her parents, and potentially looked bad because he hadn't openly given anything to Frank. But he would make up for it later, when the man least expected it. And the two shared a sort of colluding smile that likely told the others that Frank had helped him procure these things. No offense was meant in the lack of a wrapped gift for Ace's brother.

Weirdly, Christian just knew that his gift would either be declared idiotic, or genius. He couldn't tell which, though.
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Ace Longbottom on Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:59 am

Those... sneaky... sneaks.

She didn't often let unmasked surprise occupy her features, but even she forgot to be the fearsome Ace Longbottom for a moment as Christian reached under the tree for three gifts that she had somehow not seen... embarrassing considering she was supposed to be the present elf. Her open mouthed stare slid over toward Frank, whose smirk was a little more pleased than it usually was, and she clamped her jaw shut, eyes narrowing. They were the sneaky two! They were the ones to formulate the plan to kidnap Christian! And he had... when had he...

How did she end up on the outside?

She found that it wasn't entirely unpleasant, actually. It was nothing like the outside feeling she would feel later on, the true sense of loneliness. Because part of her was warmed to see Christian getting in on the fun, to see evidence that he had at least been comfortable enough during his stay to plan secrets with her brother, even if Frank was the closest thing she had to an arch nemesis. (Oh, how she would later wish that were true.)

She watched, again unable to hide her curiosity, as her mother opened the gift. A gasp, a hand to her heart, and Ace knew what was happening. She tried to shake her head, but there was no dissuading Hannah Longbottom from a hug once she had settled upon one, pulling Christian into a hug as she assured him that he was a sweet boy.

Ace sat up on her heels, straining to see the picture while Hannah had a hold on Christian. She recognized the face of her grandmother and sat back down, eyes flicking curiously to the back of her friend's head, almost glad now for her mother's show of affection. It was deserved. How did he even-

Neville had a grin on his face, letting out a good natured laugh as he announced that the book was exactly what his library had been lacking, a look of true interest taking over his features as he began to flip through. Ace felt a lopsided grin twist onto her lips, even as her eyes rolled - right, her dad needed more excuses to spend his life in the garden.

And then Christian was coming back to her and the smile vanished, realizing - right, one of those gifts was for her. The thought of her own gift waiting upstairs, basically unwrapped because she was useless at it anyway, suddenly made her more nervous. Because hers was just... a thing. She didn't want him to even worry about getting her anything. His gift was just... letting them steal him. Bringing him home.

To their home, rather. Right.

It wasn't Christian's handwriting, causing an even further squint, but she could feel her parents watching her, wanting to understand the gift, so she announced, in what was supposed to be a more convincing tone, "This is just what I wanted." Her parents didn't push, instead getting up to go wash the dishes, and she shot Christian a glance to assure him she understood. Secret gift exchange later - right on.

There wasn't much left to do. They cleaned up the wrapping and Frank lost the fight to go clear the snow from the front steps, though Ace noted that he seemed to put up less of a fight than usual.

Ace and Christian gathered their gifts the best they could and hauled them upstairs, splitting off so they could deposit their things. Ace paused in her room, staring between her bedside table and the pouch in her hand.

She was being stupid. It was just stupid gifts.

She knocked on Christian's door this time, but still edged her way in before she got a response, holding up the pouch. "So, am I supposed to open this in front of you?"
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Christian Zabini on Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:53 am

Christian had no idea what to make of Ace's expression when she looked at his gift, which was just about what he had expected. Not only had no explanation been given to her, but instead a request for secrecy had been made, so the squint was entirely valid. But when they made it upstairs, he didn't feel so certain anymore. Frank had sounded impressed, when Christian suggested the gift in question, but that didn't mean his sister would feel the same way.

"Well," he returned, leaning back against the headboard, "that would be ideal if you want an explanation, yeah."

He set aside the chess set he'd been looking at curiously, very careful to put it somewhere safe even though it was a joke set. He didn't know how to say it - particularly to Ace - but he treasured each of the gifts already, and likely would be careful with all of them for ages.

"That one," he explained, pointing at the bag, "is a mokeskin pouch. Because you're the owner of it, only you can open that draw-string. But before it was given to you, a couple things should've been stuck inside. I'm assuming Frank did so, since he added the note."

He waited for curiosity to get the better of her, and as she pulled the reflective circles out of the bag, a small smile pulled at his lips. "Two way mirrors. I figured you might find them useful if things pick up with the PA. You can give one two whoever you want, so long as they know the word it takes to make a call, so to speak."

It made more sense to him to give her both of them, rather than keeping one, on the assumption that he would not typically be the one leading any sort of group. As if he would leave her side, even on a mission. He wasn't a leader in that sense, though Ace had tried to make him into one for recruitment. But he had no doubt that she would find someone else, eventually, to lead the charge should anything really occur.

But he didn't really mind so much. Ace was the clever one, as he'd always said. Ace was the planner, the instigator. She was the one people would look to if things went sour, if things fell apart. It was all Ace. He was just there to make sure she kept her head on and didn't turn anybody off because of her intensity. While Christian appreciated it, they knew not everybody would or could. So he had to stack the odds in their favor, and had to ensure that she was confident in herself, if not in him.

"Kind of odd, I guess, but hopefully helpful at some point. At least nobody will know you have them, since they can't get in there. Even I can't, after all. So keep it safe."
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Ace Longbottom on Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:00 am

Even as literal and obtuse as she could be, the irony was not lost on Ace Longbottom. Because that was it - she was literal. Practical. Straightforward. It would make much more sense if she was the one to give the helpful gift, the gift that could immediately be put to use and could prove to be a necessity in a tight spot.Christian was supposed to be the useless one that brought all the feelings to the table.

Their gifts seemed to be the exact sort of thing the other would think up. How did that happen?

(Ace didn't know, but I can tell you, Reader. As certain as they both had been about their own failings as gift givers, and as much as they would later marvel at how incompatible each gift was to the giver, they had stumbled upon that secret of gift giving, to give the sort of gift the recipient would excitedly give as well as want. People who were successful at this sort of gift giving tended to either be naturals at giving, or happened to understand the person they were buying for. Who could say which this was.)

The pouch itself was something she could definitely make use of, all of her PA evidence tucked nicely into it. And the mirrors - Merlin would know how she would later depend on them.

She lifted her gaze to him and felt a weird twinge inside her, a rush of... ew, affection? She supposed that was hardly to be helped. He was the only person outside of her family that had ever gotten her something - the fact that it was as appropriate as the mirrors and the pouch only made it all the more impossible to resist that strengthening of loyalty she already had for the other Hufflepuff. A loyalty not born because she had no other choice, either. She had been fine on her own before. She had never set out to make a friend on the assumption that she needed one. It had just sort of... happened.

He told her to keep it safe - as though she wouldn't fiercely guard it. Still, she nodded and said, "Okay." She moved to tuck the mirrors away before reaching out to hand him one. "I mean, we can use it to get used to them. And until I need to give it to someone else, you can hang onto it."

The real reason, of course, being who the hell else would I give this to? But that was more of an understanding. Not something to waste breath on.

She shifted, frowning. "Well, my gift isn't half as useful." Which, in Ace-brain, of course meant it was of lesser quality. And the fact that he had given something so much more in her taste made her suddenly feel vulnerable about the type of gift she was giving. So, despite her feelings that it was something of great importance, its quality as a a gift felt compromised.

"Right," she said, withdrawing the envelope she had tucked into her cardigan pocket as she walked over to the bed, sitting down next to him. She tapped the envelope on her thigh as she warned, "It's not, like... helpful. Or practical. Or whatever. And basically, I just took a few of the copies my dad had tucked into one of his books. It's just - I dunno, I thought you might like it, and I didn't exactly plan on being Christmas chums, or whatever- okay, I'll just..."

She reached into the envelope (because this was Ace and she even had to be in charge of unwrapping) and handed him the first photograph. "So, that's- I mean, you can probably figure it out. But that's Dumbledore's Army. See there?" She pointed to each as she described. "Harry Potter, obviously. Hermione Granger. Ron Weasley. Fred, George - or is it... I dunno. Fred died, though. And that kid, Colin - he died at the Battle of Hogwarts. He snuck down to help. Of course, my mum. And my dad - he was a bit of a mess at school."

She knew the feeling.

She withdrew her hand, self consciously rubbing a finger across the envelope. She cleared her throat. "Right. But here's the other."

It only seemed natural that the next was an original picture of the Order of the Phoenix. "Right, so Albus Dumbledore, the Potters- this is dumb. You probably know all of 'em anyway." Her hand retreated to her lap as she heaved a shrug. "I just thought it'd be kind of a nice reminder. †That we have people to look to. That we're not alone. Sorry it's not a proper gift."
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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

Post by Christian Zabini on Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:11 pm

Christian should have smiled overzealously, told her it was perfect. But he was still relatively in shock after she'd handed her the second mirror. Another thing to be protective of, to keep track of - besides the other gifts. Besides Ace herself. He'd still been finding a safe place to put it when she started explaining her gift, sounding underwhelmed by her own choice.

But the more she explained it, the more he realized that the whole smiling Christmas thing just couldn't be done. Not this time.

He thought about it, Reader. He did. Nearly went for it. But instead, he pulled his feet underneath him as he turned towards her on the bed, his hands aiming for her shoulders. What he had to say was important, but he didn't think she would sit through the other idea long enough to let him get the words out.

"Thank you. Seriously. But," he searched her gaze for a moment, his words slowing before he got back to the right tempo. "Ace, we've never been alone. Not in this. I- .. Alice, I would never leave you. As long as you need me there, I'll do it. Okay? I mean it. Doesn't matter what happens - I know I'd never get very far anyway," he added, lips quirking into a little smirk.

Releasing her, he let his amusement settle on his face as he reached for one of the pictures, tilting his head at it. He knew better than to hope to see a family member or family friend. But, despite not having a clue how similar he was in that moment to his brother, Christian couldn't help but be proud that things were changing for the Zabinis. No matter what their parents wanted.
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Christian Zabini
Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Seventh Year Hufflepuff


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closed Re: it's illegal to be alone on christmas

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