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Hot and Cold

on Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:34 am
Kip was known this was coming, but he had tried to be positive about it. He knew Jack would one day find out that, through his own access to top tier information, he had been privy to more of the details regarding the train heist. He had been trying to be more positive lately, though, and he had hoped some tragedy would befall to render him dead before she ever found out. As the conversation had turned towards Kenna’s task, it had made more sense to explain in person, before she found out in an official meeting and made an official scene.

He had expected yelling and anger. He hadn’t expected the stony silence.

Having a half sibling was already strange enough, especially when there was such a great difference of opinion on the shared parent. Especially seeing as they had made it through their entire childhoods without any involvement with each other, seemingly missing the boat on all of the proper sibling bonding. The relationship that formed was more of an unwitting loyalty, an appreciation of a personality neither would have found or enjoyed had there not been a circumstance that forced them to try. And that brotherhood between the two (for it was closer to the silent respect of brotherhood than it was to the personal confidentiality of sisterhood, if Jack knew anything of typical sibling relationships) was, despite the weirdness at times, an important dynamic to both drastically different Dyllan children.

But there were times that the divide was felt. So rarely was it Kip that felt that divide, but now he found himself strangely wishing that the loyalty between the two siblings was stronger, strong enough to overcome the frustrations of government clearances and informational privacy. He could feel a sense of anger radiating from the redhead but he was perceptive enough to know that it was a thin veil for an even worse feeling – betrayal.

Despite this, Kip didn’t bother to say anything. They were a mere block from The Ugly Pigeon and what could he say in that time that would calm her down. He knew she’d reach the conclusion that he had done as he had saw fit – she could probably recognize that even through her irritation now – and everything would be okay. Okay for them. Okay for the mess their world was in.

But when the doors opened and his eyes first fell on Keiran Hayes, Kip felt as though he had signed his own death warrant. There was no getting around an explosion now, not with the two men Jack had trusted and been lied to by in the same room.

His eyes slid sideways to look at Jack, trying to be subtle, but all pretense was dropped upon the realization that Jack wasn’t looking angry. She wasn’t even looking at Keiran. Her eyes had fallen on a certain Potter.

Kenna was the one that spotted her first. She had been across from Keiran, on the opposite side of the bar, animatedly telling some story that had brought out the Scottish in her tongue. Mid laugh her eyes lifted and she straightened up a bit, lifting a hand in greeting.

"Potter."

Kip looked back at Jack, who's face was almost stern as it stared at the eldest Potter brother. Kip had never been wrong so many days in his life.

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Re: Hot and Cold

on Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:15 am
[*cracks knuckles* Alright. Let's see how this goes, then. I postulate a bit towards the end, so just poke me if I need to edit. I'll sort it all out eventually.]



After their incidentally shared friend, Paul, had invited both Keiran and James for a round to celebrate his endeavor to re-open Ollivander's, there was a strange sort of almost-friendship happening between the two men. Keiran had gone in with the expectation that James would be no different than before, and thus he hadn't been disappointed. And James? He was just shocked to see that Hayes, Mister Headmaster and father and whatever else, could actually cut loose and have a laugh. If that's what you could call their evening out with Paul.

So when James wandered into Keiran's shop, entirely unwitting of its newest owner, they were surprised enough to call it a coincidence. And James had joked that the beers had been some kind of sign that they were supposed to reconcile. Keiran had been none too pleased with that wording, though he conceded that James had a point. The Slytherin had never understood or liked his younger Gryffindor Quidditch rival. And he hadn't been inclined to change that fact, either.

But Keiran found himself mentioning this little pub he enjoyed, which was owned by this woman or other that he knew. James nearly squinted at that, suspecting that he was being purposefully denied some important facts. As per usual, though, he let that worry drift to the back of his mind.

So within the hour, Keiran had closed shop, James had finished his errands and they had arrived at the lovely Kenna's pub for another round. Another attempt at getting along for once. James wasn't sure if it was working, though, because the more Potter spoke, the more annoyed Keiran's face seemed to become. Not that the younger man understood what the problem was. Sure, Kenna was Hayes' friend, but she wasn't James'. So what was the harm in chatting her up when she'd probably just dismiss him in favor of the bloke she actually knew, right?

Apparently, James was dead wrong about that.

Still, if Keiran didn't like it, he did nothing to stop the Gryffindor from encroaching on his territory or whatever he wanted to call it. Friend, Merlin's backside. No way.

Not cool, he decided, that Hayes had not told him.

Even less cool was the fact that Keiran had started to all but ignore him as Kenna went off on her story about whatever it was. James was only half listening now that his attempted friendship had been evidently rejected. But then Kenna stopped, looking at someone behind them, and both men paused to look over their shoulders.

Keiran frowned deeply, setting down his drink as though he were prepared to fight. Or leave. James - quite clearly, he'd noticed - had no idea what was going on in the elder man's head. He held onto his mug, though, and swung around until his back was using the bar to support him.

"Dyllan," he returned easily, prepared to brush off whatever he had apparently done to irk her this time. James bothered so many people so easily that he was used to it now. But it had been quite some time, he knew. Too long, for old Quidditch mates. Teammates, for that matter.

He'd heard about Grimmauld Place, of course. The Order wasn't something he'd been able to stick to after everything. He'd found a profession he enjoyed and which brought people some help - some good, like his parents would have wanted. And he'd drifted away from the people that mattered to him. Including, predictably, even more of his family members. Merlin, just the other day he'd run into Frank and Rose and been all but shunned by the one failure of the family who had the audacity to comment on it. Screw Frank.

"I wouldn't wager you've come here expecting to find me," he commented wryly, glancing at Keiran and Kenna in turn. "Or have I done something at the Ministry that's considered a no-no? I mean, replacing those note cards with Exploding Snap sets can't get me in so much trouble that you two come looking. Some flunky, maybe. But still. It was pure genius, you have to admit."

Keiran shot James a disapproving look, but it didn't last very long. No, Hayes was evidently too pissed off at Jack and the Chief Warlock to pay James very much mind at all.
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Re: Hot and Cold

on Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:26 pm
Jack's relationship with the Potter family had been so easy back at Hogwarts. Here was a muggleborn with aspirations to help, to see positive change - of course the Potters and Weasleys had become sources of inspiration. She knew their names, she knew their deeds, but she had been out of the wizarding world for her entire life. She had met James on the pitch, had watched him race and borrowed a broom to try out some of the moves she had seen him execute. It was only until later, when he was being publicly rebuked for some prank or other that she realized that the older student who had told her to choke up on the broom had been the son of the heroes she had read so much about.

But from there on out, it was a friendly, casual connection. James on her team, Albus on their rival's. Not exactly friends but certainly not enemies nor strangers.

And then nothing for so long.

James had found her when she was falling out of love with her Ministry job. He had arranged the meeting with the coach of the Falcons. And now she was the captain and he was in the Ministry. And if she wasn't mistaken, she had had more contact with either of his siblings than he had in the past few years. And perhaps her loyalty to them (Albus, really) meant she should have abandoned any sense of loyalty to him.

But her face cracked a smile and she stepped forward to clap a hand on his shoulder and grab his hand for one of her finger-crushing handshakes. "Mate, it's been too long. I heard the notes bit - I'm very upset I didn't get to see it firsthand. What are you doing with Kevin, here?"

Kenna had spotted the look on Keiran's face and she had inched away from the interaction between James and Jack, hand creeping across the bar to touch his elbow and shoot him a look of concern. But Kip had noticed and had given Keiran a meaningful look.

He crossed to the group in time for Jack to turn. "James, have you met my half-brother Kip? Kip, this is James-"

"Potter," Kip finished, extending a hand. "I caught that." He offered a mild smile and then cleared his throat. "Keiran, could we have a word? Give these two chance to burn down the bar."

Kenna cleared her throat and quirked an eyebrow. There would be no such thing.

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Re: Hot and Cold

on Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:10 pm
Sly smile and amused eyes aside, James was glad to see that he was wrong; he wasn't in trouble at all, aside from the time it had been since their last meeting. Fair enough. But Keiran, on the other hand, was apparently in a great deal of trouble, considering Kip wanted to speak with him. So while James offered a hand in greeting, he saw Keiran move out of the corner of his eye.

Hayes looked at Kenna in time for Kip to try and get his attention again. But Keiran could only pass the redhead an almost tired look before forcing himself up to lead Kip over to a table a ways off. And, unfortunately for Kip, he wasted no time in voicing his disapproval.

"So, let me see if I understand this," he started, his shoulders drawn back and his chin lifted dangerously even as he sat. "You thought - instead of sending a Ministry official, you'd send one of my friends to interrogate me?"

He, of course, left out the part where he'd felt tricked. Where he'd wondered if she hadn't tried to be his friend just to poke around and find out about him for such moments as that one. Or, rather, for such uses.

As Keiran's dark eyes inspected Kip's reaction, James gestured for Jack to take the headmaster's seat and turned towards Kenna. "Whatever she wants, it's on me. Looks like I have an absence to make up for."
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Re: Hot and Cold

on Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:42 pm
Kenna watched as Keiran’s place was taken by Jack, and a small, regretful look followed him. But her eyes flicked back to Jack and she offered a quick smile. “A whiskey coke then?”

“Just one, thanks, Ken.”

Kip settled across from Keiran and steepled his finger before resting his hands on the bar. His face was open, his shoulders relaxed. He didn’t flinch – he had suspected Keiran wouldn’t be happy. It was why he had suggested they put the brakes on the entire thing. Kip cleared his throat. “I was under pressure to get the answers as quickly as possible. The other Ministry lawyers and paralegals have case loads so heavy they wouldn’t have been able to approach you until after the summer holidays began.” He paused. “I was… reluctant… to send Kenna. Not only because her lack of official experience, but because I knew you knew her. I didn’t know you two were more than acquaintance, though, or I would have insisted otherwise. And I’m sorry to hear you didn’t get my owl. You weren’t supposed to be blind sighted the way you were.”

Jack’s conversation was going a bit more smoothly. While Kenna made her drink, trying not to glance over at the two men, Jack grinned as James offered to cover her drink. “It’s a start,” she said, feigning a serious tone. “Right – so, what black hole did you fall into, and when did it spit you out? It’s been… forever.”
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Re: Hot and Cold

on Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:55 pm
[ooc: @Pavo E. Hitchens might find this post intriguing. Just an idea.]


Pressure? Keiran shook his head, turning it away as Kip tried to explain. It was a valid enough excuse, but still. They were mates. It shouldn't have been that difficult to come out and warn him in person. But that, he knew well enough, went against protocol. But, sure, let's ask Kenna instead.

Speaking of Kenna. Keiran realized several seconds too late that, when he'd turned his chin, it had pointed his gaze directly at her. Merlin's beard. He blinked, jerking his attention back to Parsons.

"I've recently changed the wards again," he admitted reluctantly. "One of our students received some.. questionable items from their family. At least, we think it was their family. Dark magic. So we've been wary of owls lately." He was probably supposed to have made a note of that with somebody, but with the year ending and whatnot, he'd just presumed that it wouldn't matter. He would be more careful next time.

Another interesting thing: everyone just assumed that he and Kenna didn't know each other. Not well at all. Brilliant.

Keiran didn't know why that bothered him as much as it did. Perhaps because, while he was friends with Jack, (maybe) Kip, and the other poker folks, he so rarely saw them that he liked the idea of expanding that circle. Especially now that Oliver was... wherever he was. Jack had promised his safety, so that was alright enough. But, whatever it was about Kenna that he couldn't quite put his finger on, he liked her. And he hadn't really gotten along with people just on accident. Not in a long time.

His eyes flicked towards her again but he stopped them, looking down at his fingers as they tapped on the top of the table. What could he really say to that? Kip hadn't given him a question or anything that he could really do besides reconcile that it was fine even though he was still irked. Less so at Kip, now, than the Ministry and their inevitable lack of time management. Much like St. Mungo's and their lack of employees. What was going on with the world? Merlin.

So, really, his only choice was to forgive and move past it, even though he felt justified in his anger. It shouldn't have, and it didn't make sense, but it felt good to be righteously pissed off about something. It was like he hadn't really felt anything since the start of the term, outside of the on and off pride he felt for his students and their accomplishments.

"It's fine," he claimed, tone entirely cool. "You didn't know the owl wouldn't make it."

His eyes lifted to Kip once more, silently making his point. The owl bit was forgiven, but he wasn't sure about the rest yet.

James, on the other hand, was having a grand time now that Keiran had gone. The Headmaster was alright, but he was outrageously serious, and therefore, just plain boring. But Jack? Jack was entertaining.

He chuckled easily, lifting a hand in a sort of shrug-like gesture. "Blimey, I dunno. But I sure regret getting lost in there. You're a hell of a lot more fun than the sods at the Ministry. Or that bloke," he added, gesturing towards Keiran. "So dull, that one. You two're mates, then?"
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Re: Hot and Cold

on Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:53 pm
Kip could see the heaviness in Keiran which, in fairness, was always present, but he had never contributed to it so directly. Keiran's gaze had wandered and Kip followed in time to see a small bracing smile take up Kenna's face, though it wasn't directed from him. He dropped his gaze and adjusted his spine, straightening up a bit. He had known Keiran was going to be happy, that sending a friendly face was going to seem more like a manipulative tactic than a merciful kindness, but he had seemed to have misjudged the acquaintance between his two friends. When he wasn't looking, they had become friends of their own right.

And, to be honest, he was glad for it. He couldn't think of two people more in need of good people in their life.

Keiran was excusing part of it, and it only steeped Kip more in frustration. He wanted to be a politician, and had already stepped forward in his career. He didn't believe in favoritism or nepotism, in sparing one's friends or giving out favors. He had tried to find a middle ground and it had made it even worse. And he knew who was to blame.

His gaze was grim on the redhead as she laughed, and he couldn't help but think it was partly her influence that had pushed him. He knew it was certainly her fault the inquiry had even been made, but he was not a man for excuses. As his eyes travelled back to Keiran, however, he had the vague thought that the Headmaster might put two and two together. A poorly-thought out rushed plan with a failed attempt at gentility for the sake of the 'greater good'... now who did that sound like?

"Next time, I'll deal with it personally," Kip said, tone smooth but firm. "It was more than a misstep. I hope you know that I'll be able to present parts of this inquiry in such a way to officially endorse the safety of the school. I'm hoping that'll help you."

Jack smirked as her eyes flicked over towards the man James had referred to. He looked serious, once more, and she felt a flicker of worry - she'd have to come back to that. She turned to James, instead, and said, "He's serious but he's brilliant. Somewhere in Kev-o is a jokester, I'm sure. It's been my mission in life to tease it out - slow but steady is the key." Kenna slid her the whiskey and Jack raised the glass in appreciation before drinking it. "Ministry lot have always been dreadful, though. My best company down below is your cousin Fred - sad state of affairs when he's the ray of sun. Work's alright, otherwise?"

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Re: Hot and Cold

on Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:50 am
"Fred? He's a clever little boy," James said, feeling like it was an admission despite the fact that it was half insult even as it was also part compliment. After all, Fred had mastered the snarky comebacks better than James had, though he would never tell the git as much. But James was undoubtedly more fun, wasn't he? So whatever. He'd go down swinging if someone told him Fred was better in any other way.

Obviously. Because that's what family meant.

But he knocked back another swallow of his drink before nodding. The nod had a bit of a tilt to it, though, implying his uncertainty on that front. "It's been a bit mental lately. Considering how many Muggles saw that fire around Grimmauld... I mean." He shook his head, steadying a pointed look in Jack's direction.

As for Keiran, he was feeling slightly less put off after realizing that Kenna had caught his look and responded warmly. But Kip's reply was telling enough. Ah. His eyes slid to Jack for a moment. Oddly, he couldn't really be mad at her about it. He'd known, really, that she was that type to do something like that. And he was relatively cool with it, but only because it was something he genuinely would have worked out if he'd really thought about it long enough. That's just how Jack was. He knew that. If nothing else, at least she was acting predictably.

He'd just thought that Kip was too good to do something like this. Maybe the reasoning was there, even if Keiran couldn't figure it out, but... Merlin, still. How disappointing, and from such a man of high status as well. Maybe Keiran had just forgotten how people worked if they weren't seventeen and younger.

"Well," he said with finality, standing back up, "sometimes hoping is all a person can do."

With a tight jaw and a nod, Keiran took another drink as he turned back towards the bar. He didn't move to sit next to Jack, though, as was probably expected. Instead, he slid between two chairs and dropped one elbow on the countertop as he leaned across it towards Kenna.

"Don't get me wrong, now. The beer's fine. But with this lot," he gestured towards the other three, purposefully (or not? He wasn't sure.) leaving her out, "I fear I'm going to need the strongest thing you've got. Just, uh- Don't let me get too far gone, yeah? Jack'll never let me live it down."
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Re: Hot and Cold

on Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:11 am
Jack gave James a warning look, shaking her head as she glanced around nervously, leaning forward. “Never say that out loud again,” she hissed, the corner of her mouth twitching. Fred knew, of course, that he was clever. Anyone who tried to go against him knew he was clever, in the most infuriatingly idiotic ways. But he didn’t need to have that reaffirmed, especially from friends, especially of their own free will. That would be disastrous for everyone.

The conversation couldn’t stay fun, of course. Not considering who they were, what their world was like, where they both had come from. The humor slowly slipped from her face as she glanced down at her drink, swirling it to see the shades of amber and brown as the light struck the liquid. “And considering how many of them ‘disappeared’ that night,” she added grimly.

She hadn’t been able to investigate. She had been in Mungo’s, tied up with a close-to-death Connolly who had needed her – and she had needed the help too. Her arm still twinged, the skin was still tight, raw from use as a Beater. By the time she had gotten Oliver to safety, by the time she had made arrangements from her family, the evidence had been collected and the witnesses neutralized. It had slipped through her fingers. And before she could latch on, life had barreled onward.

Kip gave Keiran a grimace of agreement and followed him towards the bar, indicating to Kenna that he wanted a drink before excusing himself to check in on Rory upstairs. Kenna looked up, and she wasn’t the only one to note Keiran’s choice of seat, Jack’s eyes darting over, an eyebrow quirking. Kenna leaned forward as Jack turned back to James. She gave Keiran a sympathetic look and said, “No milkshake today, then?”
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Re: Hot and Cold

on Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:12 am
James' laugh was off-putting for the Headmaster, who glanced towards them in surprise. At least somebody was having fun, eh? Keiran certainly wasn't. But Kenna was, as usual, making things a bit easier. Bizarrely, it made him feel guilty for always being the negative one. The grouch who needed cheering up. The first time it had happened, that was probably more understandable. He'd been... what, tricked? by his friends but now he was sulking and her response made him feel foolish.

Perhaps that's what he'd been from the start. Foolish to think he and Millie would work out. Foolish to think that bringing children into something like that was a good, fair idea. It absolutely wasn't, and yet he'd still managed to rough them up all the more by being a terrible father. Plus, there was the matter of Darcie. One he'd never actually considered until it was much too late and frankly ridiculous to worry about. If that little girl didn't look so like him, he would've wondered more seriously. Because they certainly hadn't been in a good place before finding out about her.

But he'd been quite bad, around Kenna, at doing the one thing he'd always been good for. In most every other situation, he could hide precisely what he was feeling under the mask of the situation at hand. He'd looked fine in front of his students, had he not? He had appeared calm and nonchalant upon finding out about Millie's... encounters after their divorce. He hadn't complained about the fact that she'd all but disappeared from the children's lives despite initially claiming she wanted to be better and enough for them.

But that was bloody well fine. He could manage.

It was the bit with Kenna that interested him, now. He would ponder, perhaps later that evening or in the morning while feeding the kids, why it was so easy to forget about wanting to cover up the truth. When he was around her, that is.

So as James started to sober up, Keiran decided he ought to lighten up, if only to make up for all of the griping he'd done around her.

"As much as I'd honestly be up for it, the present company - aside from you, obviously - would likely take offense. Although," he considered, thinking back to their first meeting, "I'd wager they'd give an alcoholic one a go one of these days." But he did have to reconsider. So while James leaned around Jack, peering at the Headmaster and the Pubmistress (as he would obviously call her for the rest of time) as they both leaned across the bar towards each other, Keiran let his shoulders relax as a proper smile returned to his face.

"One day we'll convince them of the benefits of milkshakes. But for now, perhaps I'll tone it down to a scotch."

And James? He was curious about this Chief Warlock bloke. And how much said Chief Warlock bloke knew about Grimmauld. So he waited until Kip disappeared before he continued. "Have they found anything else, then? I'm not exactly.. involved, anymore. Unfortunately, my nostalgic side half wishes I were just so I'd know what happened to the place."
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