The White Flag of a Saturday Night

The White Flag of a Saturday Night

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closed The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Avery Bishop on Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:22 am

It was that Saturday, Avery realized when she woke up. That wasn't to say that she hadn't been thinking about it every day since Jack's letter. Though it did raise the small, careful question about Teddy's schedule. He wasn't free until a Tuesday in February, but he could meet them on a weekend straight away? She didn't know what that meant. And she probably shouldn't have even noticed it, but of course she did. She wouldn't be Avery Bishop if she hadn't.

But, obviously, that would never be mentioned if she could help it.

She went to her office first, looking for the file of everything she knew about Fergus from the time Robin basically adopted him. It struck her far, far too late that this was Jack Dyllan. Of Robin's quidditch team. The one she'd seen when attending games and acting like she loved the sport more than she really had. Not that she didn't love watching him and his friends compete. But it had never caught her attention until there was Robin.

Now, she had a chance to take care of another thing that he'd loved, besides Sophie. So it was down to Fergus's pen that she went, still bemused that the Ministry even had room for these things. Perhaps in the rebuild they'd done after that attack, they had decided to make room for more creatures. Avery, unsurprisingly, had not been paying much attention at that point.

Frankly, she wasn't even convinced that she was qualified for this job anymore. How had she gotten worse at this over the years? Goodness.

Taking the lift despite her distaste for it, Avery stepped out and made her way down to the door that would lead them to him. Somehow, she didn't think that checking in on him before Jack and Teddy showed up would help anything, so she just began vaguely flipping through the pages in his file and attempting to look halfway busy rather than incredibly anxious. And impatient. There was also that. Her eyes scanned the pages, but she was paying more attention to what she could see out of the corner of her eye - in other words, the end of the hallway - than she would ever admit to.

She was looking forward to seeing him, obviously, but none of this was normal. So what now?


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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:21 pm

Teddy was slightly terrified of seeing Jack. Avery, he was looking forward to seeing. He had changed in and out of several coats, feeling one was too formal and the other too thoughtless, before finally settling on the cardigan he typically kept in his classroom, trying to remind himself that he had been a mess the first time she had properly met him – it wasn’t his looks that had caught her attention, clearly. Besides, there was no matching her anyway…

Um, right. Yes. The point was that while there were certainly nerves involved in his feelings towards Avery, he was mostly just looking forward to seeing her. Jack had promised the exercise would take no longer than an hour, and he knew he could at least spare that. But he still had this horrible feeling that an hour was more than enough time for Jack to do something to embarrass him – whether it was something as subtle as telling an embarrassing story from Hogwarts she learned from Albus, or less subtle like… beating him up.

He was really worried about the latter. Or, at the least, her hitting him. She did that. She thought it was funny and light. It wasn’t. He didn’t need to wince in front of Avery.

When he arrived at the Ministry, he was told that Jack was caught up in her department and would head up to Avery’s office as soon as she could. He found himself once again in the compromising position of being early. Only, this time, he wasn’t really. He would keep Avery waiting if he didn’t go up now. But he also would hardly be of help to her.

The idea of keeping her waiting was immediately distasteful to him, so he stepped into the lift, trying to making himself as small as possible as he somehow ended up between an angry looking witch and what had to be a half-giant man smelling distinctly of black licorice and white wine – why that combination, he could hardly tell.

Finally, he reached the floor in question and stumbled towards the secretary, who quickly redirected him to the pens. He thanked her, feeling a little weak somehow, and walked down the corridor, eyes fixed on the door that he had been pointed towards. He wanted to fix his hair, certain it looked messy, but he knew he would only make it worse, but he could see her and she was pouring over notes and he knew she'd look up just in time to see his hair all messed up but he had to say something.

"Hi, Avery!"

Merlin.
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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Avery Bishop on Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:52 pm

Oh, help.

She looked up, curls bouncing as her chin turned. At least it was Teddy first, instead of Jack. It had only been two weeks but it felt like forever and now Teddy was here and she was self-conscious again. They still had a month and a half to go before whatever he suggested if he remembered to do so. A month and a half until her birthday. And he didn't even know.

"Hi," she offered in return, her face holding onto the surprise and shyness longer than it should have. But then the smile appeared and she stood up straighter, closing the file.

"Seems like you found it alright. Um- Where's Jack?" She asked, glancing around him and down the hall. "We're still on for working with Fergus, right?"

Avery didn't think that she would be too upset if they didn't take a step back from training since it worried her so much. But what did that mean for his appearance and it being just them? Avery had not prepared herself for more time alone with him, though she would be thrilled for it at the same time.

Taking a step towards him, her fingers held the file down in front of her. "I'm glad you decided to come along as well," she told him. It meant that she had to push away her confusion about his schedule again, but that felt better than worrying about it. "It's good to see you."
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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:06 am

And then he remembered why all these nerves were worth it.

He had no idea why he could be so easily captured by a smile so quickly, and wasn’t sure if it was more a testament to his own desire to finally connect with someone, or if Avery really just did have an unforgettable smile. Regardless, the unsteady drumming in his chest was evidence enough of the effect the blonde’s smile had on him, and despite the wonderful feeling, he couldn’t help but hope that one day it would relax so he could talk to her without having heart palpitations.

He almost came back with another “hi” but he clamped down on his tongue, realizing just how idiotic a third hi would sound. She gave him something to talk about and he tilted his head, gesturing a bit helplessly. “Jack said she had something she was finishing up. Said I should just… find you. We’re not abandoning Fergus.” Or you his smile seemed to say.

He wanted to apologize for not being more helpful, for not having practical knowledge on the subject to get them started, at the least. But she stopped him, once again, from putting his foot in his mouth, and his face froze in a surprised expression, before it began to give way, the corners of her mouth raising, eyes flicking to hers as his chest filled with a deep, filling breath-

“OI.”

Teddy spun around to see Jack stalking through the door, glancing over her shoulder with a slight scowl on her face. Teddy swallowed. “Jack! You-“

“There’s this bloke out there claiming that we can curb werewolf attacks if we open up a shelter for werewolves,” Jack said, turning her gaze on Teddy and Avery, as though they were on his side. “He does realize that they’re normal people 353 days out of the year, right?”

Teddy’s hand flew up to the back of his neck. “Yeah, I don’t know anything about that. We’re here for-“

“Dragons,” she said, nodding. Her eyes flicked over to Avery. “Tell me everything.”
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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Avery Bishop on Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:57 am

Avery definitely remembered Jack Dyllan. It struck her then that, outside of Fergus and Sophie, nothing and no one had reminded her so much of Robin since his passing. Not even Keiran. Avery hadn't seen the two together very much in the year before he went missing, but she had definitely seen him around Jack. Around his team - his friends, his family, his allies. Her voice caught in the back of her throat when she tried to greet the redhead, and her sudden inability to come up with anything set her cheeks practically aflame with embarrassment.

She had to swallow and shift her weight a bit before she could manage anything. So much for hellos and niceties. Onto business. That didn't mean her voice didn't come off as incredibly timid, though.

"Um.. Well, since Robin left, he's been.. angry, maybe? Or - or sad, I guess. I mean, I work in the department but.. I've never been involved with the training side of things. Just.. the paperwork."

And why was that suddenly so shameful? There was this hollow, gnawing feeling in her chest that told Avery how distraught she felt about it, and she couldn't look at Teddy. As though he would somehow find what he already knew to be disappointing. But it felt like absolutely nothing compared to this strong, spearheaded woman in front of her. It made her feel small, which was odd in some ways. She had chosen a path that made sense for her. That provided some kind of good.

But she couldn't protect one of the beings that relied upon her now that Robin was gone.

Drawing herself up a bit, Avery forced her voice to sound more sturdy when she continued. "I just want to know how to help him."
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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Jack Dyllan on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:35 am

It might come as a surprise, but very few people asked Jack for normal favors. Her usual requests either had the stipulation of "but I can't tell you what/when/why" and it was practically a given that the task would border on that thin line between legal and illegal. To be asked to help with something as tame as dragons (or at least as familiar) and in a controlled environment such as the Ministry of Magic... by someone as mild-mannered as Teddy Lupin...

It was almost heart-warming.

But Jack had an hour or two, at most, to help. Any second she could be called away by Jet in the Department of Mysteries once he research yielded the results she had been hoping for. Which was probably a good thing. Prolonged exposure to a Dyllan was not for the faint of heart.

Teddy looked exactly that, eyes nervously flitting between herself and the blonde. Avery began speaking and there was a dull thudding within her, a drop in her gut at the reminder that an ally, an almost-friend, had been lost. And she had been powerless to help.

That wasn't helpful right now.

"Dragons are clever," Jack said. "They have a psychology as complicated as our own, but it's not something we can completely understand, either. It could be a few things."

"But-" Teddy began, eyes glancing towards Avery, who seemed intent not to look at him.

"But I can take a look," Jack said, nodding. "Avery, why don't you introduce us? He knows you, so it'll do more to reinforce the fact that you're the most familiar presence he knows. Just take me in, show me how you two interact. Then I'll step in."

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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Avery Bishop on Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:45 am

Avery nodded gently as Jack started to explain, but she wasn't at all sure what to do with that information. It seemed like Teddy wasn't either. And then, of course, the attention was put back on the blonde. While Avery had kind of expected it, she wasn't particularly thrilled, if she were being honest.

Her gaze flicked towards Teddy, finally, her nerves getting the better of her. This was not going to go well. But okay. Holding the file out for Jack to take, Avery turned to the door, pulling it open for them before lifting her hair into a ponytail.

Inside, Fergus was curled up, but he couldn't have been asleep considering he blinked at her as she walked in. The space was big enough for him to fly around as he wished, but he had still managed to pile himself up in a corner, making her cross the room to approach him. Which was fair enough, really.

Avery slowed as she neared him, trying to draw in a steadying breath. Her fingers curled into her palms but she forced them to relax as she glanced over her shoulder. Fergus wouldn't hurt her. And even if something went horribly wrong and he tried, Jack was there. Teddy was there. Avery didn't know how much he actually cared about learning about dragons, but a part of her was hopeful enough to think that he was here for her, at least in part.

Turning her attention forward again, she slowed to a stop, offering a quiet greeting. He didn't seem particularly motivated to pay her any attention. Avery's shoulders sunk. She took another step forward and he snapped to attention, turning to look at her. Her heart clenched.

"Okay, too close. Got it," she assured him gently, backing away again. Her lips thinned into a line, but she supposed it was as good of a time as any to fulfill the other part of Jack's request. "Fergus, I brought you a friend," she told him, feeling stupid for talking to a dragon like he knew what she meant. "Jack wants to help."

And Avery just hoped Jack really could. All she felt when she looked at Fergus was guilt and sorrow, which wasn't fair. Avery knew that. But she didn't know how to fix it when she couldn't even get close enough to feel like he wanted to have her around. Would it not be easier to just leave him be or set him out in some grassy place with other dragons? They weren't meant to be domesticated lapdogs, these creatures. Robin had been brilliant with him, though.

She tried to reconcile that with the fact that their personalities were incredibly different. If Jack hadn't known that before, she probably did now. Biting down on her lip, Avery looked back at them. "And that's Teddy," she told Fergus, lowering her voice just enough. "He's really lovely. I think you'll like him, too."

As if the dragon cared. Avery shook her head, gaze falling to the ground as she stepped back again. "Jack?" She called. "You want to come say hello?"
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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:16 pm

All Teddy knew for sure was that the very worst scenario this could yield was the three of them burnt to a crisp, so his usually feelings of anxiety were, understably, amplified. If the dragon wasn't dangerous enough, the inclusion of Jack Dyllan was certainly a risky endeavor. Avery had agreed to a date - a condition of their relationship Teddy had not even considered explaining to Dyllan - but enough things could go wrong that she could cancel. It would have probably been safer to stay at home and let Dyllan handle it all; it wasn't like he was going to be of any help.

But he had wanted to see her.

She glanced at him once, just once, before opening the door and he tried to offer her a private smile, something to convey how truly glad he was to be there. But Jack was asking if he was coming and he stumbled after them, eyes forward.

Jack didn't seem to react at all to the curled up dragon, but Teddy felt a nervous ticking within him, a show of respect, an understanding of which creature held the power.

Avery approached and Jack leaned towards him. "If you are going to hold your wand, keep it in your pocket, and your grip loose." He wasn't sure if she was just used to people wanting their wands in the presence of dragons, of if she had somehow noticed the tension in his arm as he squeezed the handle of his wand, waiting in the deep pocket of his cardigan. He nodded numbly and relaxed his grip, even against his instincts.

He watched as Avery approached the dragon and felt wrong for letting her put herself between them and the creature, desperately wanting Jack to intervene. But the redhead was watching the scene with little to show for her mood, a tilt of her chin every now and then, eyes flicking over the body of the dragon.

The dragon lifted its head and he tensed, though Jack was once again unperturbed. He glanced over at the redhead while Avery prefaced the introduction (or whatever, he wasn't quite sure what was happening) and then she was turning towards them and Jack nodded, walking towards Avery as though there was nothing to it. Teddy remained where he was, waiting to be called on.

Jack approached the blonde and reached out a hand, hoping Avery would just go with it. She grasped Avery's hand in a firm handshake and tilted her head towards the dragon as she did so - he was watching carefully, breaths measured as he did so. Jack released Avery and turned squarely towards the dragon, who lifted his head once more to watch her shrewdly.

Teddy realized his heart was racing and the suspense was creating a tension in his limbs, and excited anticipation as they were about to see an expert at work....

"Right-o, chap, what's going on?"

Fergus watched her evenly and Jack extended her arms towards him. He drew back, lips twitching, but she was running her fingers down the lengths of her arms, tugging her sweater back to reveal her skin. Her fists dropped to her waist and she tilted her head to match the dragon. He pulled his head back as though offended and Jack mimicked it, a grin tugging on her lips.

The dragon flexed his front legs, the claws protruding from his toes as though to show her what he had to defend himself. Jack suddenly dropped so she was squatting, causing Fergus to pull his head back even further as Jack said, "Those are nice, Fergus. Sheep have no chance against you." She glanced up at him, and she could tell his curiosity was beginning to beat out his uncertainty. To help explain, she reached out her arm, curling her own fingers into a claw-like gesture. "Nothing like mine."

His nostrils flared and suddenly he was pushing himself up. Teddy's fingers were curling even as Jack took another step forward because Fergus was just righting himself so he could sit up. "Now we're talking," Jack said, approaching him. "Could I check you out, pal? Make sure you're all tip top?" She moved to his side and he watched her as she reached out a hand, hovering over his stomach. He let out a throaty noise, but it wasn't a displeased huff or a warning growl, so her hand connected to his stomach and she drew near, turning so her ear was near his stomach. She let her hand guide him to where she was going next, listening to his heartbeat, to any noises his stomach might be making.

She glanced over at Avery as she worked. "So, a lot of it is about dragon personality. Welsh greens are one of the tamer species, but no dragon likes the idea of being disrespected. They can kill us at any time, and there's no point in hiding that. But we keep them from getting hunted, and they know they're better off on our side - not always happy about that, though. It's important to let them make decisions with you."

Teddy was sort of gaping over Avery's shoulder as Jack's hand travelled carefully up Fergus throat, rubbing his esophagus, feeling him swallow as he did. "They like this actually," Jack mentioned, grinning wryly as she rubbed a little more vigorously, making Fergus' eyelids lower. "Ask any questions, by the way. Hearing your voice is good. And don't forget, he's in the room. No reason to treat him like he's not apart of the conversation."
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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Avery Bishop on Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:07 am

Some part of Avery realized that she was glad not to have worn long sleeves that day. Feeling silly for focusing on that rather than on how Jack behaved, she narrowed her attention again, only to step back when Fergus sat up. He was clearly trying to size up Jack, but the redhead was so certain of things that it actually looked like she was just having fun. Like this was her break from work rather than a potential disaster waiting to happen.

Avery looked to Teddy again, wondering if he regretted coming along. He looked uncomfortable, which she completely understood, but it did make her worry. What if he regretted it?

Her chin whipped back towards Jack as the woman's focus was turned back on Avery. Best to at least pay attention, was it not? Goodness. Jack was amused, though, despite the fact that Avery probably looked and was acting like someone Sophie's age rather than her own. The blonde did tilt her head at the bit about him hearing her voice. Wetting her lips, she took a few slow steps forward, making up her lost ground and then some.

"You're saying I should just... chat to him?" She asked, slightly surprised. Imagine her red-tinged cheeks a week later when she had to explain to Keiran that she'd sat on the floor in here for an hour, just telling him stories. Keiran wouldn't get it, of course, but Avery would note how cathartic it felt, and the fact that he'd just sort of watched her for a while before falling asleep. But, for the time being, it sounded just as foolish as Keiran would assume it were.

It wouldn't feel nearly as foolish as the moment she ended up deciding to bring Sophie to see him. That idea made something turn over in her stomach, and screamed 'bad idea.' But right now Fergus seemed almost like a puppy, just wanting a bit of affection. How Robin had figured this out, Avery didn't know. He was a good man, undoubtedly, but sometimes affection wasn't really his forte. At least not verbally.

Reaching out, palm up, Avery murmured under her breath to Jack. "I wish I'd seen them together. Maybe then this wouldn't be so hard."
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closed Re: The White Flag of a Saturday Night

Post by Jack Dyllan on Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:11 pm

And here Teddy had lost faith in his ability to communicate with people.

None of what Jack was doing made sense until she did it. Between her confident movements and the dragon’s responses, her strange method seemed to work. It inspired a confidence in him that she was doing it correctly, even if each new move brought the certainty that she had just turned a corner and had signed their death warrants. But then the moment passed and all was fine. It just worked. He couldn’t deny that – even if he couldn’t explain it.

Avery’s wide eyed look towards him confirmed that she was just as lost and surprised as he was. He gave her a helpless little shrug, but thought better of it. As ignorant as he was to what was going on, he knew she needed the encouragement. So as Fergus stretched out his neck to provide Jack further access as she rubbed his throat, Teddy offered Avery a little smile. This is going well I think, it seemed to say.

Jack nodded at Avery’s question, shifting so she could approach his wing, though he twisted his neck so should could still rub. “Sure. It’s awkward to be alone in a room with someone who you’re getting to know and no one talks, yeah? Well, if Fergus tried talking, there’s half a chance he’ll scorch you, so it falls on you. Which is fair. They have the burden of an ancient wise mind with no one around to properly appreciate it.” She gave him an extra vigorous rub, grinning up at him. “But if you talk, it’ll relax both of you. And besides, he’ll start to understand you. A border collie has the vocabulary of something like a four year old. And dragons are much smarter than border collies.”

She reached out for the joint of Fergus’ wing, and at her touch, he suddenly whipped his head towards her and huffed, teeth clacking together. She frowned. “Chill out, man. I’m just looking.” He bristled still and Jack relented, reaching forward to rub his neck once more. He dipped his head and her other hand touched his side, sliding across towards the wing. He watched her but she said, “I’m just looking. Have I led you astray yet?” A low rumble sounded from within his throat and she reached out to touch the wing joint, massaging it to get him to extend his wing. Her hand ran the length of the spine on his wing, and her other hand patted him. “Good chap.”

Jack glanced towards Avery again. “It’s finding the balance between ‘I know you can eat me’ and ‘but I haven’t given you a reason to.’ You’ll get comfortable with it. Every dragon has their own personality, so once you get to know Fergus’, and he knows yours, things will get easier.”

Avery approached with her hand extended as Jack released Fergus’ wing. He tucked his wing back in and looked towards Avery’s hand with an unreadable expression. Jack knocked her shoulder against his side and said, “She’s putting the ball in your court, Ferg,” Jack said. “She reaches out-“ she extended her hand in the way Avery had, “and you reach out.” She tapped him and then reached out her hand towards Avery. Her hand dropped to her side and she stepped back. Fergus’ eyes slid from Jack to Avery. Finally, he inched forward slightly, dipped his head, and angled his head away. Jack grinned. “Beneath the top scale, over his ears. He must have a favorite spot. And don’t be gentle – thick hide and all. He can take it.”

Jack hoped the blonde was relaxing. As much as Jack enjoyed the opportunity to jump back into a set of skills she had excelled at, she knew it wouldn’t be a success if Avery couldn’t enter the room without help. Dealing with dragons was no easy business, but Avery’s difficulty suddenly made much more sense with the statement that fell from her lips. Right. Of course. That.

“No good,” Jack said. She wasn’t quite matching Avery’s volume, but her voice had dropped enough to keep it between them. “Would you like someone coming in and pretending to be him?” She kept her eyes on Fergus, reaching out to pat his shoulder a bit sympathetically, since she couldn’t bring herself to do it to another person. Sympathy by proxy of dragon. “He can still miss him and let other people into his life. It gets lonely otherwise.” Merlin, this was beyond her abilities. Give her dragon feelings, these human ones were much too fickle. “So, you already have something in common with him. Don’t stress. Every relationship takes time and failures and successes. And he’ll give you plenty of warning if he’s planning on eating you. So don’t stress and pay attention. You’ll get to know him."

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