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In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

It is 2030 in the Wizarding World

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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:34 am
"No," he confirmed, "it's-- Well. I'm not entirely sure whose it is. We had an absolutely outrageous number of patients come in at the same time and it was a mess. Clearly," Apollo gestured towards the jacket almost sarcastically. The day had been too much for him to really have any other natural reaction.

He frowned a bit at her claim that she was distracted. As far as he understood it, Lily was content with her plans for the summer, as busy or relaxed as they might be. But if something was pulling her away from that, and could make her want to drown herself out with the telly, then Apollo certainly wanted to know what it was. But she moved, and he realized that, inadvertently, he'd managed to worry her himself. Again.

His expression softened and his shoulders relaxed, but he didn't actually say anything at first. Stars above, this woman had ruined him for everybody else, and it seemed she refused to stop making it worse for them.

Apollo leaned down, careful of his balance, and just kissed her. "I love you," he told her as he straightened up again, the emotion evident even behind the rather haunted look his face had taken on. "You're just-- brilliant. And I feel like I say that rather a lot, but it's true."

He glanced at the kitchen almost guiltily. "That said, d'you mind if I grab that out the oven while I explain? You've eaten, haven't you?"

Apollo stood, holding a hand out towards her. If they were both feeling off, then perhaps they could at least steady each other somewhat. "Today was... mental, though. Seriously. This group of elderly witches and wizards had bought this - this black market portkey," he held up his free hand for the necessary air-quotes. "Needless to say, that did not go well. So the lot of them come in at once, and the hospital is uselessly understaffed."

He shook his head, reaching for a potholder as he approached the oven. "But this one woman, she was... Merlin, she knew she was done for. But the Minister? He's able to do this thing... I mean, you may have heard of it. I hadn't. But, he says he's called an Energy Worker. So when he finds this woman, he figures he'd do what he had for the others and sort of, suck the bad energy out and send it down into the earth. Or, something like that," he shrugged, furrowing his brow as he aimed for the cabinet that held the plates.

"But this lady, she grabs him first. And she's got more experience at it. So she just starts, like, throwing the bad stuff at him to the point where he can't reject it or get rid of it quick enough. And he reaches out without thinking, apparently, and manages to grab onto me."

He stopped, his whole body coming to a halt as he tried to work out a halfway decent version of what happened. Enough to explain it to where it makes sense. Apollo left the plates alone, wrapping both arms around her instead and drawing her towards him. He chose to leave out the part where he'd thought the Minister was just using him. The part before he realized Robert had no more control over himself, in that instant, than Apollo had.

"It was, hands down, the worst thing I've ever felt. It was like... the person's worst memories starting here," he brushed his lips against her temple, "and dragging themselves through you until they find a place to escape into the floor. But you can't breathe, or do anything but watch them pass through you, until the person connecting you to that woman finally breaks free. Because there's no way in hell that you'll figure out how to. So you go stumbling back against a wall, and the Minister's just stone cold on the floor." He swallowed roughly, his eyes staring blankly at the wall behind her. "But then people turn round and think you're some -- some hero. Some kid prodigy that just saved the Minister's life when you didn't do a damn thing except wait to see if your stomach was going to turn itself inside out."

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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:59 am
Lily blinked as Apollo leaned towards her and a smile smoothed her expression over and lifted her chin to meet his kiss, eyes fluttering closed briefly. She lifted her hand to run up and down his shoulder as she sighed.  “You keep talking like that and my head’ll get so big I can’t get through the door.” She grinned. “Besides, you didn’t even touch on my best quality – my fantastic taste in men.” She grinned and gave him another peck.

“Please,” she said, in response to his request to move to the kitchen. Her hand slipped into his and she followed him into the kitchen. She had not, in truth, really eaten. She had been distracted but she tended to be a light eater anyway. She listened quietly, taking out silverware for him before reaching into the fridge to withdraw the carton of orange juice, pouring herself a tall glass.

She turned so her back was against the counter and her eyes were on him. Mungo’s had never really been of interest to her, despite how many times she had found herself in need of a healer’s attention. There was an obvious link between her subject and Apollo’s chosen field but she had only found her interest piqued once he had donned the organization’s robes.

She followed his story with concern and interest, dark eyes searching his as she tried to reign in her feelings of protectiveness. She knew the job could be dangerous, but the fact that he had already been thrown into the fire so soon was a surprise – and not exactly a welcome one. But she could see it, in how he talked about it, in the look in his eyes when he read through her Christmas present…

He abandoned his dinner and wrapped his arms around her instead. Her arms lifted to his shoulders and his lips rested against her temple. One of her hands crept up his shoulder, along his neck, and moved to thread into his hair, her other hand squeezing his shoulder comfortingly. “At the risk of abandoning all my standards and sounding horribly cheesy – you’re a bit of a hero to me.” She smiled up at him and rubbed his arm again, before her lips dipped into a sympathetic frown. “You’re being hard on yourself. That’s really rough. If the Minister could hardly handle it, and you’ve just gotten back to your internship.”

She shook her head. "All that negative energy running through you... You must be exhausted."
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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:57 am
Trust me, reader. Apollo would at no point forget she'd said that, though he didn't really plan on bringing it back to haunt her or anything. It would, however, be kept in mind during any rare moment of doubt in her attachment or rivals for her time. He hadn't heard of any blokes aiming to catch her attention, to be fair, but he knew the chance was easily there.

Of course, she didn't help herself by making him laugh despite the roll of his eyes that accompanied it. Lily was right, though. "Yeah, I mean.. I've asked for a couple of days off, so now I've got those and the weekend to sort of.. get past it."

All he wanted, really, was to eat and then settle on the couch or in bed or wherever and continue his read-through of Lily's journal. Some of it he was afraid to get to, provided she reacted to the things he expected she would. And, half the time, he just wanted to watch her face as she read his. Even if that was daunting as well. He had a little tendency to try and read when she wasn't around to witness his guilt and discomfort during the bad entries, but at the moment he just wanted her nearby regardless.

So after he swept a hand up and down her side, he returned to plating up his meal, deciding on a normal tea in hopes that he could forget the taste of that so-called Seers' sort.

"Y'know, now I think about it.. He'd mentioned before that Energy Working was something he thought I'd want to try. That I might be good at it. I'd just -- forgotten, I guess. In the moment. Sure don't know if I want to invest in that like I thought I did." He frowned. "It's supposed to be really difficult, and now I see why."

He nearly sent his plate into the living room before him, but he wasn't convinced it wouldn't spill everywhere with the state he was in. So he gathered his things and made his way over to the end of the couch. His plate and cup were set on the end table, where he'd left her journal. Perhaps he'd hold off on that to check in on her. He hadn't even asked yet, after all. So he fixed that problem as he started nudging his food with the fork she'd provided.

"Other than stopping by, though, how was your day?"

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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:21 pm
After all he had said about the Energy Working, she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of him jumping into it, not with all those risks. But she knew that was the part of her personality that had chosen apathy in the past speaking, the part of her that had gone through so many hard times that she shirked difficulty at any cost. But she had gone an entire year willfully putting herself in a vulnerable state for the sake of contributing to those she cared for.

But that wasn’t the life she wanted to lead now. She didn’t want to run away from obstacles and accept whatever was left for her. She wanted more. And she wanted more for Apollo.

She followed him to the living room, grabbing her drink and a napkin for him, as well. “Certainly something to consider,” she said, as she settled onto the couch, pulling her legs up to sit cross-legged. “Sounds like you had a pretty rough first experience, but it also sounds difficult in general. I’m sure you’ll get more opportunities to see it in action.”

She heaved a shrug at his question. “Mostly just going mad,” she said, a small smile softening the sentiment. “Bad enough that I’m not all excited about my job when I’m doing it, but I’m a bit bored. I’ve gotta pick up a hobby. Like, cliff jumping or something.”
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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:45 am
"True," he conceded, his head drifting from one side to the other. "We'll see."

He took a bite just as Lily spoke, relieved that the food had cooled enough that it didn't burn his tongue. It was her reply, actually, that hurt him. But that was more of a deep, gut feeling. Despite the long hours he hadn't wanted to work in the first place, Apollo put the fork down on his plate and turned towards her.

Both hands reached out, settling on the leg closest to him. "Hey," he lifted his eyebrows a little at he searched her gaze. "It's okay if you don't know what you want to do, yet. I'm sure it's obvious that I wouldn't be bothered by you leaving Hogwarts. I mean," the corner of his mouth lifted slightly, "I'd be disappointed that I couldn't see you every day, but in all honesty, it might make both of our lives easier."

Apollo sought out her fingers, threading them between his own. "I guess it might feel like taking a step back, but there's nothing wrong with seeking out an apprenticeship. I mean, if nothing else, I bet the Headmaster would know somebody. Or Professor Thorfinn. They're bound to have connections. I- I'd ask the Minister but, after today.." He shook his head, but then had to withdraw one hand to push his hair back.

"I know that you know money isn't an issue. Not while you're staying here. But I also understand very well what it's like to feel useless. I doubt it's really possible, but if I can somehow help you get something you want, Lil, I do hope you'll ask me."

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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:45 am
She offered him a small smile at his concern. He was so quick to take up worry, so quick to allow his vision to narrow onto her alone. It was exhilarating, that show of devotion. Her face did not quite have the talents his did. She wasn't sure she could look at him and in a glance soak him in and eat him up, even if it was how she felt. She could only show him through her choices, her way of life, and her speed in how quickly she would return to his side every time they were pried apart.

"Eat," she said, her face relenting in the hope he would concern himself with his own well being. Her face softened. "If I could find something else to occupy my time, I may follow that advice. In the meantime, I'll keep doing... whatever I'm doing."  She allowed for a small grin. "I'll do my looking and my asking - best to keep it discreet before Hayes tries to give me a pay raise to stay on. Not that I deserve one, but they don't exactly have a queue of professors if they hired me."

She paused, leaning back a little and tilting her chin to look up at the ceiling. Absently, her hand drifted over towards Apollo's knee, where she rubbed small, circles with her thumb and index finger. "I think I have other matters I need to look into first." She paused, turning back towards him. "I know I can come to you. But you worry about graduating."
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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:25 am
Though slightly reluctant, Apollo did pick up his plate again, pulling his legs up onto the couch so he could face her completely while he tucked in. She made a perfectly valid point: this was something that she, as an adult, could and probably should do on her own. So he lifted his shoulder to concede that she knew best. But when she mentioned other matters, his brow furrowed.

"Like what?" He asked between bites. Frankly, it probably wasn't any of his business, but he had gotten a lot better about being open with everything, so the words just sort of fell out.

It took him a minute to even register her comment about graduation. Apollo glanced down at his plate, fully accepting the fact that he only had a year left. A year that would feel like ages, but would still be a shrinking distance to a horizon that promised freedom. If only it wasn't still so far away. He still wondered if Lily would decide to keep teaching, but decided he didn't want to bring it up yet. And he had no intention of talking about it with Christian, because it would all get back to Ace. Honestly, the fact that Charlotte didn't know everything that was happening, too, was a minor miracle. Christian was a rubbish liar as far as Apollo knew. But then, he hadn't been invited to the Longbottom Christmas, had he?

"I kind of wish I was already done," he admitted. "There's loads I don't know, yet, so it isn't reasonable. But it would make things a hell of a lot easier."

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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:40 am
Lily's eyes remained on her finger tracing patterns onto Apollo's knee, his question ringing in her ears hollowly, wriggling into the uncomfortable pit inside her where all the unpleasant things lived. The memories of her year out of society, the ever-pulsating desire of her addiction never fully conquered, and of course her family. They might have been what dug the pit in the first place, first with loss and then with fragmentation, solidified with neglect when she needed a family most. The question reached deep into that pit, grasped for an answer, tried to bring it up.

She smiled. "Should probably get myself a proper place so I'll have somewhere to go if your Mum and Dad ever pay you a visit. Invest my paychecks properly. Open up a line of credit. You know, adult things." Her lips relented into a more amused smile and she leaned over to rest her cheek against his shoulder, looking across the room.

She wasn't sure why she lied. If she were to tell anyone, it would be Apollo, she knew. As if that would make it better. But she didn't want to tell him her plan before she had it, didn't want to gratify herself with the mere idea of making amends and never following through. He had risked so much with his own family and she had not risked anything. Eventually, the problem would rear its head and it only seemed fair that she try to be ahead of that eventuality.

"Life can't be too easy," she teased, hoping the change of subject would stick. "Successful business, gifted mentor, attractive girlfriend, you're pushing your luck as it is."
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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:49 am
"Fair enough," he mused, shrugging a little. He was obviously uninterested in nudging her away, but it was just such a relief to be home where he could relax and move without fear of doing the wrong thing. "I mean, if it's easier you could always just pop off to the store. Christian wouldn't mind."

Of course, as he said that, something became incredibly stark and clear in his mind. Christian was over her, Lily had chosen Apollo, and Apollo had never really been concerned about his brother interfering. He probably should have felt weird about suggesting she go stay with Christian if their parents came around, given their twisted history as a trio. But he simply wasn't. And if that didn't say anything about how hard he was working to be better for her, Apollo didn't know what would.

He decided that he couldn't stomach much more, even with how hungry he should have been. The day he'd just experienced was hellish on so many levels, so perhaps he would come back for more later, but at the moment he couldn't do it. After all, he had no schedule to keep for the next five days, so what did it matter if he stayed up late or slept in? Setting aside his plate once more, he turned his complete focus on Lily.

Pleased, he settled his arm behind her, fingers seeking out the column of her neck beneath her hair. "You're clearly dead on about all of that," he confirmed, amusement blatant across his face. "I'm going to properly turn over the business to Christian at graduation, though. I've no use for it, since I'll be going for a position at St. Mungo's. But he needs ownership of it if he's to run it without me involved. And he'll do well with it, I think." It wasn't that he wanted to be out of his brother's life - not as seriously as he had the previous summer, at least. But Christian needed his freedom as well, if they were going to prove their determination to their parents. And maybe Christian didn't want to, and he'd play along. Maybe they'd pass the title of 'heir' onto the younger twin and pretend it was their truth. But Apollo didn't want any part of it.

Instead, he leaned forward, his face settling comfortably against her collarbone. For a moment, he just lingered there, trusting Lily to understand what he was after. But then he decided he also trusted her with his fears, as well.

"I don't know how I'm gonna sleep tonight."

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Re: Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

on Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:40 am
She knew there was more reasons to wanting her own place. The worry that maybe Apollo might need his space on occasion, even if he wouldn't know it or know how to ask for it. She wasn't sure she would, she would be the one with little to do over the summer, but he might need times to be alone. She had learned enough about herself to know she needed time away from everyone, but she worried Apollo wouldn't know that and it would strain their relationship. Because at the rate things were going, and with their previous history, he would graduate, and she would finish the school year, and without ever talking about it, they would just be living together.

And the part of her that was learning to trust and hope and dream and make things rosy and idealistic because life could be kind... that part of her wanted to look forward to it. But she wouldn't be a Potter without the dark worry in her that things were never just as easy or good as they should be, even when it came to Apollo, who only became a brighter and brighter life in her life. But maybe going the route of an entire apartment that she never used just in case Apollo needed a night to himself was a little overboard.

Maybe it was time to call Aunt Hermione and ask for her help, as her aunt was always insisting she did.

"So you're turning it over to Ace," Lily joked, sure that Apollo had noticed how suddenly the schedule was written in Ace's handwriting over the summer, despite the blonde not being anywhere near on the payroll. "I think he'll appreciate that," she said. "It may be good to let him know you're still around to help if he ever needs it. I doubt he'll ask, he knows you'll be busy. But just as a gesture."

She still felt weird giving any sort of advice when it came to the brothers, because of the complicated place they had once been in, and because her own history as a sibling was not exactly a shining example. But she almost felt qualified because of these things. She knew what she had wanted from her brothers and not gotten, and she had seen where the breakdown between the Zabinis had happened firsthand. She briefly wondered if Christian would appreciate or resent her intervention, small as it was.

He leaned forward, and she pressed her cheek against the top of his head, arm curling around him. His lips tickled her skin and his words chilled her blood, wanting to rear up and take down any force that had hurt or worried him. But she couldn't fight it, she could only comfort him. So her arm wrapped around him as her other hand reached up to brush his hair from his face so she could press her lips to his temple. "You don't have to. We have a few days to do whatever we want. Sleep. Not sleep.." She grinned at him, before becoming more serious. "And if you do end up sleeping, you'll sleep next to me. That's how you'll sleep."
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