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[OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Thu May 18, 2017 6:21 pm
First of all, it wasn't Lucien's fault. Nothing in the world would convince him otherwise. In fact, he would've argued that it was his parents' fault. And the Gaddison's. And whoever raised the nightmare of a woman standing in front of him. She was tall, intimidating and threatening as she glared at him and directed her wand his way. The thing that wasn't his fault, though, was that she had managed to break in. Closing up and checking the tills was boring, but he hadn't been unaware of his surroundings.

The problem, actually, was that he had never learned to defend himself. Lucien didn't trust others, that much was obvious to just about everyone. But most people didn't realize how little he trusted himself.

His palms felt so clammy that he wasn't sure he could even keep a hold on his wand, much less lift it to cast any spells against whoever she was. Not to mention he didn't even know that many spells to begin with. Although he wanted to groan or perhaps even mutter under his breath about everyone who had wronged him, Lucien wanted to live even more. So he kept his mouth shut. He knew, though, that if the place was robbed like he expected it would be, he would be beyond fired.

What he wouldn't give for some help.

She said something about staying out of her way to ensure he wouldn't get hurt. Lucien couldn't focus on her words, though. Suddenly, items flew off the walls around him, shocking him so much that he stumbled back against the counter. She was levitating them into her bag, but he could do nothing but stare.
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Fri May 19, 2017 11:04 pm
Defiance had never been a more comfortable characteristic in anyone Ducky knew, and he frequently bounced between hedonistic teenagers and self-serving criminals. And yet, with all of her five feet and three inches, his sister Lydia's defiant nature dwarfed them all. Her resting countenance was a special mix of challenging and immovable, yet somehow not smug nor superior. It was as though some god had pulled her aside at a young age and drew back a curtain on humanity, letting her peek into the unmasked ugly vacuum of human selfishness. She'd never been able to look at anyone with any sort of trust or respect since. Ducky wasn't the sort to enjoy negative people, but Lydia wasn't exactly negative either. If someone got to know her, they might even describe her as an idealist gone too far. She wanted far better for the world than was possible, and the continual failure of her peers to just be decent had robbed her of a certain happiness.

Besides, she had always been the only one to stand up for Ducky at home. It wasn't much, and anyone looking in on the situation might say she was just slightly less annoyed by Ducky than by the rest of her family. But Ducky suspected, deep down, she loved him. And he loved her too. And that was why he had offered to sneak her out late so they could wander Diagon like they used to during their summers.

It was also why he was so mad at her.

"Liddy, even I didn't get expelled," he practically moaned as they walked down the lane.

Lydia flicked her eyes skyward. "You know, you don't have a monopoly in delinquency. Besides, Professor Donner overreacted."

"You spray painted 'Nazi' on his office door!"

Lydia was obviously upset, because she didn't bother to remind Ducky that the paint was also charmed to stay there. "The man doesn't believe the Holocaust happened. So, according to him, the worst I called him was a fascist. I'd do it again. He 'resigned', y'know. Conveniently before they looked through his curriculum, too."

Ducky chewed on this. "So... are you going to Hogwarts then?"

Ducky dudn't want to sound hopeful, because if anything would turn her off of going to the school, it'd be any sort of encouragement or approval. The rest of the family had been agonizing over their youngest's uncertain future, Henry even going so far as to offer to move to France so she could go to Beauxbatons, though he claimed his interest in studying French wandmaking had nothing to do with the oh so generous offer. But Ducky knew better. He knew that the loudest and the most repetitive of voices would go ignored.

"I dunno," Lydia finally revealed. "Maybe. Or maybe I'm done with school."

Every alarm bell in his head went off and he wanted to shake his sister and scream at her how lucky she was to have a quick wit and a sense of purpose, that she was the only in their family with the potential to do real good in the world. He'd kill to have her potential, and she was going to walk away from it.

But if he said any of that, she'd suddenly decide she was going to become a drifter or something worse... like a telemarketer.

So, teeth pinning down his tongue, he just nodded. "Well, you know I'll support you no matter what."

She glanced at him and, for a moment, seemed like she had something she wanted to say. But she only tilted her head in an unspoken show of gratitude.

Suddenly, her eyes flashed towards a storefront. Her arm reached out and grabbed Ducky's arm.

Ducky hurried forward and tried to open the door, but it had been relocked. He threw his shoulder into it and stumbled through, lifting his wand. "What's going on in here?"
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Sat May 20, 2017 7:48 am
It was late enough that most people had gone home. Lucien knew that. He understood that he was totally going to be fired the next morning for watching the robbery happen but doing nothing to stop it. Weirdly, he was trying to memorize the woman's face and figure out who she might be.

As if that's helpful, he chided himself.

There was a thud behind her, followed by a crack as the door was flung open. She turned, everything in the air simply coming to a halt. They probably would've screeched like Justin Gaddison's car when he tried to avoid the neighbor's cat on the way to work. The man was a bastard to young men like Lucien, but somehow hitting a cat was too much. That piece of sh-

Focus.

A young man was in the doorway, looking concerned enough that Lucien thought he might want to intervene. For a breath, he considered telling this stranger that nothing was actually wrong. It would save them the trouble of getting into a fight with someone powerful enough to move so many things at once. It was like the Minister all over again.

He swallowed. His eyes flicked between the two strangers. She sneered. His will decided to snap into place. Stupidly, he lifted his wand in her direction, calling out the truth.

"She's trying to steal from my employer."

And she just laughed. "Trying?"

Okay, that made him a bit angry. His eyes narrowed, first at her and then at the stranger. Was this a set-up? Merlin's sake. This was a nightmare.

Items flew more quickly off of the shelves, racing past his head quick enough to make Lucien gasp incoherently and duck down.
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Sat May 20, 2017 10:09 pm
It felt weird to be on this side of things. Especially considering how often he was on the side of the person causing chaos, it felt weird to take up the mantle of authority that aligned with the law. Merlin, would anyone even believe him? Even with Lydia and the storekeeper as witnesses, his record might put him more at odds with the circumstances anyway.

He looked at the witch and, keeping a loose grip on his wand, said, "C'mon, mate. You've done enough. Just get out of here."

But objects were flying around again. Ducky wasn't the sort to fight, having always preferred to charm his way out of trouble, and this wasn't even his fight to fight. But Lydia was hovering in the doorway and if he could make anyone believe he was a good person, he would hope that person was Lydia. So he trained his wand on the thief and cast a disarming spell.

Lydia took the chance to dart behind Ducky's back and reach the shopkeeper. "If she hasn't gotten into the till," Lydia said, just beneath the commotion of the spells being whirred by the other two, "now would be the time to hide it all."
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Fri May 26, 2017 1:35 am
Lucien's eyes jumped back to the other man, squinting in confusion. Did they know each other or not? And if they did, what did that mean for his odds of survival?

Somehow, he felt like that would make it go downhill rather quickly.

But while the bloke went in on the threatening woman and Lucien decided that they must not - thankfully - be friends. A younger lady appeared at his side, making Lucien jolt and straighten his spine. Where had she come from? Merlin's sake, he couldn't protect the pair of them if he couldn't handle himself! And she seemed fine enough with the situation at hand, but who knew what would happen?

Irrationally or not, guilt made itself known even before it mattered. Although he nodded at her, Lucien also gestured around the counter towards where they hid everything. Touching her seemed oddly out of the question, so he stepped around but gave her the space to follow if she wanted to put some distance between herself and the fighting.

From there, he did as she suggested and gathered up the items of monetary value before carrying them back to the storage room of, hopefully, safety.
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Fri May 26, 2017 5:51 am
Ducky had absolutely no place being in this situation. He wasn't heroic, he wasn't lawful, hell, he probably wasn't even good, if one took the time to weigh his merits against his vices - but who had the time to count up all of his petty crimes and moral trespasses?

The annoying thing about Ducky was that underneath his circumstances was a genuine heart and a helpful mind. He wanted to be of service, a good service, to the world but he had so little too offer.

But standing between a wand and an innocent? He supposed even he had the capabilities to do that.

He wasn't all that smart, but he knew how to fight. He was probably better with his hands, but some part of him (probably a sexist part, as Nora would point out) couldn't allow himself to hit a strange woman, no matter how much she might deserve it. Besides, she was wielding a wand, so it was only right he try to match her.

It was clumsy at first. A stinging spell got him pretty good on the hip but then a push-back spell managed to get past her deflections and, suddenly, they were on an almost even ground. But Ducky had no idea how one stopped a duel. He couldn't leave Lydia, and the woman didn't seem keen on leaving either. He certainly didn't like the idea of taking her out.

There was an uncanny calmness to Lydia's face, a brutal indifference as though she couldn't summon an opinion on the situation if she tried. But adrenaline was flowing through her body, her pupils had dilated, and everything sharpened with clarity. It must have been part of the blood she shared with Ducky - that fight impulse kicking in, making decisions, turning every instinct of fear into an action of purpose.

Or maybe she was just level-headed. She couldn't be bothered to consider it now.

She followed the other boy quietly, moving inconspicuously as she helped him gather things into his arms, keeping her eyes trained on Ducky in case he needed any help, because, in that case, laws be damned, she would intervene. There was also the chance that she might need to throw herself, and this stranger, to the ground in case of a rebounding spell and-

-called it.

"LOOK OUT," came Ducky's voice.

The boy had returned and Lydia shoved him down, dropping to the ground herself painfully as the shelf that had just been behind them exploded.
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Sat May 27, 2017 6:32 am
Lucien was starting to wish that the girl had just come with him. Then they could have stayed away from the trouble, and none of what happened next would've happened.

Glass shards from the vials behind them flew, slicing into him as he landed, turning to force her onto the tile between his body and the counter. It likely wouldn't save her in full, but it helped in other ways. She wasn't touching him anymore, his back was to the immediate danger and would likely mean less damage. It wasn't like he didn't have his fair share of scars and marks already, but he could of course do without more of them.

But he felt better about being disconnected from the girl than about protecting his face or chest or arms. And that made him feel very small. Awkward, unusual and wrong.

Useless.

It wasn't an unusual thought, though, so it flitted away in the time it took the intruding woman to make more of a mess on her side of the counter. Merlin, he was so fired.

When it seemed like the shelf behind him had done all of its damage, he sat up and peered around the side at the other two. Whoever that man was, he seemed to be holding his own well enough. Where were the, y'know, Aurors when you needed them? Did they not just show up like police did? What in the world.

That lot seemed pretty useless right then as well, unfortunately. But he kept his mouth shut and decided to try and come up with a plan of sorts. It took a moment, but he did know a few spells that he was rather proficient in. Say what you would about the Gaddisons and their weird obsession with keeping even the smallest creatures out of their yard, but he'd gotten quite good at making traps.

If it didn't work, the worst that would happen was the woman getting mad and turning her attention on Lucien instead. And that would be fair enough. But he felt like he was meant to try. So he looked around and managed to find a bit of rope tied around a bag behind the counter. Sending that out, he muttered the charm under his breath to make it curl around her ankles.

And then he just hoped for the best.
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Sun May 28, 2017 6:44 am
Lydia had been in a few fights. The last time she had been suspended she had broken Andy Camwell's nose, though no one proved it, as he refused to speak about the incident for a week, and it wasn't like they could check the last spell Lydia had used to prove it - she had used her fists. She was sturdy. She wasn't slender and small like the other girls, she didn't enjoy feeling small and defenseless. She knew there would be times when she was alone and in need, and she had to know she could survive on her own.

So as she threw herself to the ground, she pushed out all thoughts of pain, even as glass rained down on their backs. She waited for the last sound of falling glass and then turned her head, angling it towards the other boy, who was moving, inching, hands scrambling for some rope.

She felt a click and turned her head again, pushing herself backward, curling her legs under her. as the boy's hands wrapped around the rope, she pushed herself up and raised her wand. "Leave him alone!" she said, and spotted Ducky's face open with concern, even as the woman turned her back on him to face her. Lydia's eyebrows lifted, eyes darting towards Ducky significantly as the woman raised her wand.

The rope shot out and tightly wrapped around the woman's ankles, and Ducky dove forward, shoving the woman to the ground. She writhed midair but fell and with a loud thump, her head bounced against the floorboards and she fell silent.

Lydia met the eyes of her brother and darted around the counter, walking cautiously over to the woman as Ducky stood and trained his wand on her. Lydia slowly crouched and reached down to put her fingers against the woman's throat. "She's fine. You should probably-"

"Yeah," Ducky said, jaw clenching as he turned to concentrate on the patronus he'd need to send. Never his best spell, that one.

Lydia turned around and walked back towards the counter, reaching the other boy with eyebrows pushed together. "Alright?"
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Mon May 29, 2017 4:48 am
Lucien took longer than he should have to stand up, frowning a little as he did so and those glass shards prodded at him anew. By the time he was up and paying attention again, though, the girl was up talking to her companion. And then the man turned, evidently sending off a patronus. Lucien was watching attentively, almost blank with a sense of awe. He'd never understood how people could do that, and just wanted to see how it was done by this apparent hero type.

But the girl spoke to him and Lucien jumped, ripping his eyes away so he could turn towards her. When he realized how close she'd gotten, he took an additional step back before stuttering out a response.

"I- Yeah, it's.. I'm fine."

But then he looked around at the horrific mess they'd created and his stomach flipped. He didn't love his job or anything, but it was the only sort that he'd ever been even half qualified for. And if he got fired for this... Oh, did it matter? He hadn't earned this position, he wasn't even good at it.

He sighed. "Oh, hell."

So despite the way he winced when he lifted his wand arm, Lucien started trying to piece the room back together. But his inadequacy inevitably washed over him until he found his hand drooping back to his side. He couldn't look at them, but he knew he had to say it anyway.

"Sorry," he offered as he pulled back his sleeve to try and carefully draw out the debris embedded in his skin. Healing spells, predictably, were not his strong suit, either. Otherwise he would've asked to help the girl if any had stuck to her as well. "I --.. Sorry."
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

on Tue May 30, 2017 4:50 am
It struck Ducky after his third failure to produce anything other than a wisp of silvery smoke that he was forgetting the one person capable of filling him with happiness. As he fixed on the memory of Nora's last visit, he felt a blossom of affection in his chest, a small dreamy grin tugging at his lips as a hyena burst from his wand. He sent off the message and his eyelids slid closed. The memory faded with the form of his patronus, leaving him feeling oddly alone.

But there were things to do. He took in a steadying breath and turned to look for his sister, worried she might not be okay.

It wasn't her he should have been worried about.

The boy had apologized and Lydia's face crumpled into a weird look of confusion. "Why the hell are you apologizing?" she asked, genuinely not sure why he thought he should apologize. A movement caught her eyes and she glanced at his arm just in time to see him cover up a cut-

And her hand was shooting out as she stepped closer, closing around his wrist gently but firmly. "That needs healing. J- Ducky." Her lips pursed in irritation as she corrected herself on her brother's stupid preference of name. "He can do it. You can't just cover that up, that's not what you do with injuries."
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Re: [OPEN] Don't put your blame on me.

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