Epilogue: "Nineteen Years Later..."

Epilogue: "Nineteen Years Later..."

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closed Epilogue: "Nineteen Years Later..."

Post by Apollo Zabini on Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:19 am

A lot of things changed in nearly two decades. Obviously, age and experience and just the fact of time - those things could alter a person's goals, preferences, wishes. Everything. A few things, however, did not change. Apollo's unruly hair, for example, had never found itself tamed. And why bother, when it was yet another sign of defiance against a culture of preening, self-appreciative purebloods? He wasn't part of that circle anymore, and good riddance. Sure, he sometimes wished that his mother could've changed her mind. He sometimes woke to nightmares about Christian because of the people he betrayed - even if Christian refused to accept that it wasn't entirely the Hufflepuff's fault. Well, former Hufflepuff, that is.

But, for the most part, he was free of it. In particular, he was glad to be out from under his father's thumb. The escape had started long ago - well before he graduated from Hogwarts. But there was no part of him that missed it or wanted to look back.

Still, some things were yet unchanged. Aside from the hair, obviously. (And, let's be honest here. He partly left it because he knew Lily liked it.) Apollo would never, it seemed, consider himself worthy of what he had. Whether that was talent, or his position at St. Mungo's, or his-

"Dad!"

-family.

He turned, swooping up his little girl as she flew through the door, Naomi swift on her heels. If anyone had changed, it was the littler Mulciber. She'd been through a literal nightmare, before becoming a walking one herself. But time and circumstances had changed her as well, and he managed to still call her a friend. Lately, though, she'd been a bit much. Today, it seemed, would be no different.

As soon as he finished greeting his daughter, she was at it again.

"I just don't see why you wouldn't consider it, mate."

"Can we not do this today?" He asked, everything about him looking exhausted as he gestured towards Emiko, the charmer settled in his arms. She didn't need to see this. "Or, you know, at all?"

Naomi huffed, crossing her arms and sinking against the doorframe. "Don't you think he would want it for you? After everything, Robert would be proud."

"No one would really pick me. You know that." He shook his head, frowning at her.

"You've changed," she argued firmly. "People see it, even if you don't. I'm serious, Apollo. Am I gonna have to talk to Lily about this? I know you don't want me to, but I will if it comes to that."

He scowled deeply at that, and a little hand reached up to his chin. "Don't be mad, papa." That, of course, was more than enough to turn his lips upwards again. He assured her that he wasn't. Certainly not with her. So she went back to playing with the ribbon she had begun twining between her fingers. Thank Merlin she was still too young to know what they were arguing about.

Aha. Another reason to refuse: he didn't want his family wrapped up in any of it. No way.

"Think about the good you could do," Naomi went on after a moment or two. "You could help the werewolf population, for Lily. Because of Lily. You could promote Muggle safety and protection - and if anybody's word would mean something in that case, it's yours! Look at where you came from, what you were supposed to be. And you could work on the foster and adoption systems. You know full well how rubbish they are."

There was a definite strain in his gut as she listed off her reasoning. She made some valid points, and of course hit on everything he would want if granted the opportunity. He did want to do all of those things. He really did. Not only could he show their daughter what a person could accomplish for others, but he could genuinely make things better for those 'others' in question.

His chin ducked towards his chest, and Apollo leaned his head against Emi's. He could hear Naomi's sigh, which felt much louder than it probably was.

"Just... Will you at least discuss it with Lupin? Seriously. I don't trust any of the other people who're talking about running. At least consider it and air out the whys and why nots. I'm sure he'll sort everything out for you - even if it means you stand your ground and say no."

She was being rational about it, which was almost unusual. No, it was extremely unusual. So he knew that she was being completely serious. They eyed each other - her pointedly and him warily - for a long time. Until Emi started to squirm and grow impatient with him.

"Fine," he muttered, shocking Naomi into raised eyebrows and an actual smile. "I'll go. I'll do it right now if it'll make you shut up. Just- Take Emi to her mum, alright?"

She nodded, so he crouched down, setting Emiko on her feet. He brushed her hair out of her eyes and smiled warmly. "Alright, darling. Tell your mum I love her. And that I'm gonna be late, so you two go ahead and eat whenever you want."

Off the ladies went, and Apollo started off as well, leaving the St. Mungo's potions lab in search of Robert. Despite the ideals and dreams that Naomi had just stuffed into his head, he was frustrated about it. So he knew, of course, that he looked none too pleased when he arrived and knocked on Lupin's open door before pressing his shoulder into the doorframe.

"Don't take this the wrong way or anything, Robert, but.. My friend is pushing me to go for the Minister position and... I really don't think I want it."

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closed Re: Epilogue: "Nineteen Years Later..."

Post by Robert Lupin on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:26 am

Robert had been working, off and on, for months now on a new potion that just never seemed to work. It was maddening, and here he was again, on the umpteenth batch. He had stacks of notebooks of notes and miles upon miles of scribbles in his own version of a potions making shorthand.

The potions lab was still one of his favorite places in the world. Life, lately, had been kind, and he was grateful because it had made the years of struggle seem worthwhile, even though few had ever taken the time to get to know him below the surface.

Khaat and Brian were living peaceful lives. They were still working, and the estate was still as noisy as ever. His grandchildren had steady partners, and Abbey and her husband were living in one of the cabins on the estate grounds, with their two toddlers. Dakota was in Paris, training to become part of the operations there. Julia had taken over running Kate's share of Madam Malkins' and was trying her hand at designing clothes and jewelry. Grandsons Robert and Benjamin were on a trip to Romania because they believed they needed to learn to be dragon whisperers or some such nonsense. And Benjamin and Michael were in young careers as aurors. Gryffindors all, of course they were. Some things didn't change. He could not have written a better script.

He heard the heavy creaky door open and heard someone enter. He continued working, but when he heard Zabini's voice, it drew his attention. He motioned Zabini to come over and sit beside him at the workbench, a place that seemed now to be one of the natural states of being for him. There were few here at St Mungos that were closer to him than Zabini, and Robert treasured him.

"It's about time," Robert replied to Zabini, looking closely into the cauldron. "Someone responsible needs to take it sooner or later. I won't live forever, you know." He looked over at Apollo. "Why shouldn't you have it? It's a job like any other, and you're certainly qualified. Besides, as a healer, you make the best judgment you have with the information you know at the moment. It's all you have. Hell, its all any of us have."

He thought deeply for a moment, and then changed his mind, and picked up a little bundle of dried leaves. He tossed them into the mortar and crushed them to a fine powder.

"Working on a potion for Blood Malediction. I understand how it works now, and I understand what, theoretically, ought to stop and repel the growth of all those abnormal cells. But--the ingredients are proving to be ridiculously rare." He chucked the powder into the cauldron and was greeted promptly with a ball of flame exploding from the cauldron. He leaned back to avoid being hit with it.

"Buggar," he sighed. "And then there is that little business." He looked over at Zabini. "Not on fire, are you?" He debated on putting out the fire, and watched it simply die out in a matter of seconds. "The problem is the binder. The active ingredients won't accept the binder, and every time I get to this stage, the bloody thing spits. I'm making progress, though. 'Fireballs are getting smaller."

He moved the cauldron off the burner and picked up another cauldron from beside him on the floor, placing it on the burner to start again.

"So, talk to me. What's your reluctance?" he asked.



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