change will come, it's on it's way.

change will come, it's on it's way.

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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:37 pm

In a roundabout way, she was following Clytemnestra's advice, despite how quickly she had denied its usefulness. She knew how word spread through Hogwarts and was almost certain the other Slytherin had heard of it and was probably feeling pretty proud of herself. Lily wasn't happy that it had come to this. Not one bit.

But days had passed and the burn she had spotted on Apollo's hand had still not gotten any better. It was the last straw. She had seen him withdrawing, had heard stories that he was being short with his classmates, had Lux tattling on him, had seen younger Slytherin students draping themselves over him... Something was going on and despite the fact that she was supposed to trust him to come back to her all in one piece at the end of the year... she just didn't. Not now that he had been injured somehow and had done nothing about it.

She knew she could speak with him alone, and if he got a detention on his own, rumors would fly. But there was only two (maybe three) people in Hogwarts who could be 'present' while she spoke with him. And unfortunately for Ace, Christian had been pairing up with Waldorf more and more in classes, leaving Ace to bounce between Molly and Apollo. Today it was Apollo. And, in all honesty, who would suspect anything with Hogwarts' watchdog present.

The opportunity presented itself when Ace started berating Apollo for something - deviating from the instructions even though his route made for a more potent draught - and he was either flustered or angry or his burn was much worse because he dropped the paring knife and nearly sliced Ace's index finger off. He snatched up the knife, knocking into his cauldron, which began to tip.

"Zabini! Longbottom! Detention!"

Christian gave her a wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights look and she had to wave him off. Ace was swelling in indignation, having been no more obnoxious than her usual level, and she was pretty sure Apollo wasn't exactly pleased either. She only felt bad for Ace. Apollo should have seen it coming. It was long overdue.

She had chosen a time when the rest of the castle would probably still be at dinner and waited at her desk for the knock. She called for them to come in and was glad to see they had come together. She asked they close the door and glanced at Ace, who had crossed her arms and was looking as though the world was out to get her. She chewed on her bottom lip as Lily cleared her throat. "Ace, why don't you... read chapter seven in Advanced Potion Making? Apollo, I have something in my office I need help with."

A cloud passed over Ace's face. Oh. This was why she was being given a detention. Because she had offered to help. Right. Yes. This seemed fair.

Lily turned and walked to her office, holding the door open for Apollo so he could in. She closed the door behind them.

On the desk was a bowl with essence of dittany. She didn't think she'd have to tell Mr. Soon-To-Be Totally-Knew-Better-Than-To-Leave-A-Burn-Untreated Healer. She looked at him pointedly, before sliding the bowl towards him.

#ReadApollily #EvenWhenItHurts
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closed Re: change will come, it's on it's way.

Post by Apollo Zabini on Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:32 pm

Fury was just about the only word that could accurately describe the look on Apollo's face as she assigned him and his partner an undeserved detention. What was she thinking?

Seriously expecting her to send them off to Hayes or maybe even Thorfinn - please, not Aldon or Lupin - he lingered with Ace after class, glaring at Christian as the younger brother left, trepidation pulling at his kind features. Apollo didn't doubt that the worry was for the Hufflepuff more than it was for him, but whatever. So he just sat there, watching his classmates leave, not even bothering to be careful when he started packing up his things. And then the real reason for Lily's outrage was made clear, and he slammed his potions textbook shut, stuffing it into his bag as he stormed out.

He wanted to see her, but this was how she thought she could do it? With the nosy badger and public embarrassment? Brilliant. Like he needed more of either.

When he made it down to the classroom, he didn't even bother trying to apologize or sympathize with Ace. In fact, he didn't say anything. He even waited for her to knock, figuring she wouldn't want to get in further trouble for being late. He didn't know what he'd expected, but this wasn't it.

So he glanced at Ace, striding into Lily's office with an air of disinterest. And this time, he didn't even have to fake it. He did not have the patience to be chided for whatever he'd done. Not in private. If she'd wanted to see him for something positive, Apollo had to believe it wouldn't have been done like this.

Jaw set, he stared at her as she walked past him and over to the desk. He didn't even drop his bag. In fact, he looked away instead, his teeth clenching as his chin raised a bit. But he couldn't keep it up.

"Why are you doing this, Lily?" He asked, his gaze dropping to the floor as he crossed his arm, holding his burned hand more closely to his side. "You could've just given it to me, or made us do something with it in class."

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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:01 am

He was angry with her in a way she had not seen in months. Since before they knew what they were to each other, for each other. That was back when her name was a dirty word and his eyes refused to soften for her. When suspicion and distrust had been their language, and she couldn't help but wonder if he was better off without her.

She wondered now. She hadn't wondered that since the night he dared to suggest she loved him. Everything after that had been a happy dream, a break from reality as they enjoyed an alternate reality in which they could be together like normal people - an alternate universe she hoped to stumble upon in the next few years. And even when they had gone their separate ways, she had kept up a feeling of certainty. The only thing she had was her intentions to make her way back to him. How could she question whether or not she should?

She pushed this from her mind. She wasn't the person she used to be, and it was circumstance keeping them apart, it was their desire to do good things for the good people in their lives. A little more selfish and Lily would have never taken the Potions job and they'd be free to do as they pleased, no lies, no ruses. She was not the girl who ran away anymore. She wasn't going to fall to pieces. Not while she had Apollo waiting for her. He would be better off with her because she was going to be a person that helped him be better off.

And even though he had every right, it still hurt to hear the venom in his voice.

"There was no stopping you from getting it treated. I figured you must have gone out of your way to keep it injured, and I didn't need a scene when you refused to take it," she said, nodding towards the dittany. "And it's not just that, Apollo. I think we need to talk. But please fix that first."
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Post by Apollo Zabini on Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:56 am

His eyes jumped to hers, piercing even as he let his curiosity shine through. She thought they needed to talk. About what? Him? Or them? Because he didn't think that either of those options actually sounded positive. In fact, his eyebrows pulled together questioningly, even as she continued to push her desire for him to fix his hand.

"It isn't like I did this on purpose," he said finally, extending his hand just long enough for her to get a real look at it before retracting it again. "I left it, yes, but it'll heal anyway. This isn't me trying to get you to go out of your way," he clarified, shifting his weight. He almost wished he really had thought of that. It would've made him feel less idiotic.

"It's not a big deal, seriously. What did you want to talk about?"

And how had they gotten to this point? After Christmas, he had clung to her, drawing her back to bed multiple times before finally caving and letting her leave. Now he felt like he couldn't even approach her without Lily getting mad at him or just dumping the Dittany over his head. Not that he would blame her, really. After the past few weeks, he had earned this. But she had no way of knowing all of it. He hadn't written in the journal - up until a couple days ago - since Christian got together with Charlotte. Nearly two weeks.

Apollo felt his pulse thudding through his chest, up along the column of his neck. If this- if she had changed her-.. He couldn't say he'd be surprised, but the very idea of it had been torturing him for weeks. He couldn't fathom what he'd do or think if it really happened.

So he launched into another question before he'd given her the time to answer his first one.

"Is this a talk about us or about something else? I didn't think I'd managed to upset you -- not like this." And he didn't even want to start with the other question he could have asked. Something? Or Someone? †

Yeah right. Nobody got her like he did. Apollo knew few things for certain, but that one of them. So what in the hell was going on?

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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:30 am

And finally he was starting to look at her with less reproach, a little more reminiscent of the Apollo she had all to herself, when no one else was looking. This was as private as they could get, with a very sullen Ace on the other side of the door, having assumed her duty as bodyguard, and Lily didn't want to waste any of it not trusting each other. She realized now that she had been a little cryptic, and of course the circumstances that brought him here weren't exactly reassuring. They needed to relax. They needed to remember whose side they were on.

He extended his hand and she wanted to reach out and take it, wanted to take care of it since he was being so stubborn. But she was afraid he would rip his hand away and make things even worse. He had a special talent for making things worse for himself.

She knew she needed to relieve his suspense but it was such a head rush that he was here. After the months of forcing their eyes away and swallowing their words, his closeness was almost overwhelming. She felt like Kieran would burst in all of a sudden, or she'd rip from this reality to find she had somehow conjured him in her dreams.

But he was speaking again and she knew he was impatient for an answer. She stepped forward, reaching out for his healthy hand, drawing him towards her as she stepped towards him, reaching up spread her fingers along his jawline. She needed to ask him the question she was certain no one else had bothered one.

"Are you okay?"
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Post by Apollo Zabini on Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:28 am

She didn't really answer his question, but she broke that invisible wall between them. And her concern was evident enough that Apollo immediately dropped his anxiety about the way she had phrased things .His shoulders relaxed and his fingers curled around hers. But he didn't know how to answer.

Honesty. They had promised honesty. But if he told her the truth, she would worry. And he knew Lily was good at wearing her masks, but what if she lost focus? What if somebody figured it out? Did he even care? Lily probably did, and he knew Christian and Ace would care.

"I-..." Apollo faltered, shaking his head a bit - though not enough to scare her fingers away. This girl was the magic that made up his days, and he would not lie to her. He couldn't. "No. No, I don't think I am."

He looked down, carefully lifting his injured hand out of the way as he stepped even closer towards her. This woman had run the gauntlet of his messed up life and had somehow come out on the other end smiling, and he had the audacity to be upset about a few months apart. She deserved so much better.

"Lil, I'm not trying to make your life harder. Really, I'm not. But now I know what I'm missing. And I don't think I've ever felt this- .. I don't know, lost, before. Even in the year before you came back." He signed, leaning forward to press his forehead against hers. "I know we have the journals and the charms and everything but.. I just- I need somebody and I would've expected that person to be you and now it can't be. And I have a couple people I spend my time with but they don't know. They can't know.

"I- I love you. But something's gotta change, 'cause I know I'm not doing this right."

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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:21 am

Her pulse began to steady as she felt his fingers wrap around her wrist, something relaxing in his face. This. This was what they needed. Another one of their private moments where fingers reached for the other and they hooked onto each other, no matter how weakly. She wanted to sink into him, or draw him into her. She wanted to wrap herself around him and clothe him in her love and affection, hang it around him like an invisible cloak that rested on his shoulders and kept him warm when the world turned cold.

But this was probably risky enough as it was. If Keiran were to drop in...

Her eyes waited patiently on his as he admitted what she already knew, and she tightened her grip on him, accepting him closer. Her heart was in a freefall, seizing with a guilty sense of helplessness to see Apollo, her person, so in need. His head touched hers and she ran a loving thumb across his jawbone, wishing she had eight more arms, to wrap around him, to rub his back, to snake into his hair, to feel his heartbeat. She'd never have enough of him.

"Apollo," she breathed, sad and scared and hopeful and bracing all in three short syllables. She withdrew and brought his arm in front of him, reaching out carefully to guide his other wrist. She stepped back, bringing him with her, and guided his injured hand to the dittany, sinking it in.

First thing's first after all.

The other hand was tightly held in her own as she searched his gaze. "If things need to change, absolutely must... we can find someone else. I mean it, Apollo. Christian and Ace are more on top of things than they seem, and it's not like I'm jumping for joy as a professor. I don't want you to feel trapped because you feel like you have to do something. There is always an alternative." She'd do it, too. She'd march up to Keiran's office and give him notice now, if that's the way it worked.

"And if not," she continued, "Let me see if I can help you at all now. I know I'm in no place to be anyone's life coach, but it's surprising what being on the outside of student life does for one's perspective."
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Post by Apollo Zabini on Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:49 am

It was strange. It felt like it had been much longer than it really had been since she'd said his name. Perhaps that was why he didn't bother fighting when she tugged his hand towards the dittany. Apollo winced, sucking in a breath through his teeth when it met his skin, but he immediately felt it working. He looked up just in time to catch her offer.

Weirdly, his chest constricted. Christian.

He just wished things were different. He hadn't learned the truth about wishes, though. Wishing could only wound the heart, and so many were so useless. Continuing to want change from the people around him would prove fruitless and painful, and while he knew as much, that week or two at Christmas was a taste of rebellion and freedom. That time was all he had ever wanted, aside from a career as a healer.

"..What would you think if I said I wanted that? Because I wish I could." But Apollo knew that he just would not let himself go through with it, regardless of his own problems.

Looking down, he lifted his hand from the dittany, almost frowning at the fact that it was back to normal. Lily was so giving, so readily giving up her life for Christian and Ace - at Apollo's request. And yet he couldn't pretend, at the least, to be happy with things? Zabinis weren't meant to feel much of anything besides pride and icy disapproval. With an heir like this, and a younger brother practically acting like a blood traitor, Apollo couldn't even imagine what their father was going to say.

Blood traitors, the pair of them. If he couldn't handle this, he was fated to fail Lily time and time again when the hard times came around. He needed to be better.

He reached rather suddenly for his wand, pointing it beneath their hands and towards the door, locking it himself though she seemed uninterested in doing so. He slapped the wand down on her desk and then tugged her against his chest. Apollo pressed his cheek against her hair as his arms encircled her, and he decided that Ace could bloody well wait and wonder.

He realized, though he had no idea how to say it, that he was willing to live through anything to be with her. He just hadn't realized how quickly the trials would show themselves, or how unprepared he really was. His reliance on the charm and the journal, undoubtedly, would return to normal if not more so. He hadn't used either in weeks and now he deeply regretted it.

"I'm sorry," he said, repeating it once, under his breath. "I can change. Just- give me a couple days to fake my way back. If I showed up tomorrow acting normal nobody would believe it. But, really, love. I won't make anything more difficult."

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Post by Lily Luna Potter on Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:23 am

"I'd think you were finally putting yourself first," came Lily's soft response to his question. She had offered, knowing full well that he was likely to turn her down. She would have offered even if she thought he might take her up on it, and she wanted him to know she considered it an option. Even if he didn't take it now, it was there. They didn't have to suffer. That wasn't what this life was supposed to be about. If they were suffering, it wasn't worth it.

But sacrifice, they could do. They could both sacrifice for the Zabini brother that had moreorless made them possible, the brother who had become more isolated because of their alliance, the brother they both believed to be too good for his own good. And, if Lily were to be completely honest, the sacrifice was also for a wide-eyed proud blonde with nothing to show for her life but one friend and an unfortunate tendency to be right and unrecognized. Ace needed it in a way Christian never could. But Ace needed Christian in a way she wasn't. So Lily did it for both of them.

And because Apollo was a better man than he was given credit for, he would not deny either Hufflepuff the help.

He suddenly locked the door and pulled her into a hug. Surprised, it took her a moment to react. Her ears strained and her heart pounded, fearful as she was for being detected, but she relaxed into his grip and her arms crawled up his back, squeezing around his muscular frame. How many times had she looked across the Great Hall or spotted him in the hallways, face cast in a dark glower or a sigh swelling in his chest, alone and lonely. So many times she had wanted to drop all pretense and stride over to him, take him up, kiss away the pain, wrap her loving protection around him as he had done for her.

She couldn't do that. She had to do it now.

"Apollo," she said, her eyebrows contracting with an almost pained sigh. A hand crept around his back, to his side, up his chest, smoothing against his neck. "I don't want you to change. I want you to find a way to be happy. You deserve it, love."
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Post by Apollo Zabini on Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:25 pm

Didn't she understand how selfish he was? How could she not see it? His tendency to think of his own feelings and desires before anything else had led to so many problems in the last few months, yet she somehow thought he was failing to think of himself. Apollo couldn't fathom it. Surely she knew that he just wouldn't be himself anymore if Christian were gone. Despite their generally shit attempts at being brotherly, he needed the younger twin around - to be the good one, to fix his mistakes, to do for their mother what Apollo never could. Take away one and the other hollows out, splits apart. Merlin help them all if that day ever came.

That was the real reason why. And he thought about explaining. He did. But not only was he unsure how to do so - he also lived, essentially, for her affection, praise, and faith. He needed her to support his goals and decisions, even though she was also good at correcting them. It was a balance he was still trying to form and understand, but he really was getting better. Or he would, now. Apollo was determined, as far as that was concerned.

He deserved it? That was something of a stretch, probably. But he just shrugged, glancing down before catching her gaze again. His fingers drifted back and forth across the fabric of her professors' robes, and he tried to somehow explain the problem with her request. Happy was an elusive concept. It was a Christmas with Lily and not with his parents, as callous as that sounded. It was opening up the book she'd given him to study in his spare time, or noticing that his charm was lit up. Though she likely hadn't intended it, everything seemed to rely on her. Perhaps that was the problem.

"I do need to change, though. Some things. My -- priorities, I guess. I mean, ... I don't know. There are things at this school that just drive me mad, but I've got some folks that I think are actually trying to help me but I haven't let them. Shame they aren't in my year to save me during classes," he sighed a little, but just shook his head. "Oh well. Just-- take good care of that flower, alright, Lil? I'm always with you in this."

Leaning in, he hesitated just look enough to search her expression before kissing her. "You make me happy," he confirmed as he pulled away. "I just need a little time to get back to good."

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