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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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roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:39 pm
Summer.

She had whispered the word during lonely nights, had admonished herself with it when her eyes wandered his way in the Great Hall, had used it as an affirmative phrase to remain optimistic, for once in her life looking forward to her least favorite seasons. It had felt worlds away, an empty promise to never materialize, but thank Merlin it had finally come.

She had spent so long thinking about the summer that she had no idea what to do with it once it had actually arrived. Her mind had worked overtime to conjure complications and obstacles that may appear, but when it came to actually finding ways to enjoy the sunny season, her mind came to a screeching halt. With the looming threat of her return to the school, she felt pressed to fill the time out, but she invariably landed on reruns of cooking shows and curling up in bed. They couldn't exactly go out together without real preparation, so the time Apollo was home was spent making meals together, talking about books, and reminding each other how happy they were that the school year was over.

But Apollo worked, and work was stealing him away more and more often. She couldn't complain, and she probably never would, especially considering how much he had grown already in just a few weeks under the tutelage of his new mentor. Lily worried, because she could see his focus becoming more and more fixed upon his cases, even when he was back home with her, but she also couldn't help but feel excited for him as he chased after his calling.

Unfortunately, nothing was calling her. And as he got stuck at the hospital for longer and longer hours, Lily found herself restless. So she apparated away from the flat and strolled through artistic neighborhoods. She haunted farmer's markets for fresh ingredients that she'd refuse to ruin with her cooking methods. She found a small cinema that played classic French films. She visited art galleries and loitered in libraries. Anything to reduce her sense of idleness and increase her sense of fulfilment.

But there were the nights when she came home and Apollo still wasn't home, and there was a note waiting saying he was staying late, he was sorry, he loved her. So she'd attempt to make dinner before admitting defeat and ordering take out. She'd clean a new corner of the flat, she'd get laundry done. But she ran out of projects and settled into a chair with a book, determined to relax. But something within her would grip her, a ghostly reminder of her mortality or perhaps an unrealized ambition, some sense of More. Book slipping from her hand as dark eyes drifted towards the window, chin caught lightly between her fingertips as her expression began to slip-

And then Apollo would stumble through the door, exhausted and haunted by whichever horrors he had conquered or been conquered by that day. And he was pulling her into his arms or she was slipping herself around him, reminding him to eat while he recounted his day, and she breathed him and enjoyed this part of life, the part she shared with him.

She didn't know why it connected today. Why she remembered who she was, why she felt driven to go back to her old flat, put in her notice to leave, and began to pack it up. She threw out the old mattress, folded up the leftover clothes and sheets, shrunk the books down to fit inside one suitcase.

In the back of her closet was a small chest she had become very protective over years before. Inside, a small bottle of brandy, a collection of Sugar and Spice, a few pill bottles. Her hands felt cold as she turned over one of the bottles, fingers smoothing down the label.

The toilet was old so it took two flushes to make her old temptations disappear.

Melissa Weasley was surprised to see Lily Luna Potter on her doorstep, but Charlie was quick to usher her in, speaking casually and comfortably in a way that made Lily wonder if he hadn't heard anything about her. She was sure that he had to know she was a werewolf now, a former junkie, a current teacher. That she had fallen out with his daughter. But as Melissa went to call Casey down, one wouldn't know it in how easily he commiserated with her on the stuffiness of the weather that day.

She and Casey sat on the old swingset, toes digging into the dirt. Lily watched her cousin out of the side of her eye. The girl had gotten slimmer, having once been a stocky creature. But she was beginning to get some height on her, and her figure was beginning to become more feminine. She had cut her hair back to a chin length, though, and there was a particular hardness in her eyes that she had always been capable of but not been committed to.

An apology would never be enough. And also not quite accurate. Lily couldn't apologize for the passage of time. For the changing of people. But for bungled priorities, for situations she wasn't strong enough to control, and for her own uncertainty, she did apologize. Casey heaved a shrug and assured her that she had long ago stopped needing an apology.

"But still."

They shared a deep breath and their eyes slid over to the old tent that was moreorless always erected in the backyard.

"You still sleep out here during the summer?"

The ghost of a smirk twitched against the corner of Casey's mouth. "Still drives mum bonkers too."

Lily grinned. "Maybe I'll join you one of these weekends then."

Casey shook her head. "You don't have to do that."

"I like camping-"

"No, you don't have to make up lost time or try to go back or whatever. It's okay. I'm fine, and I know you have other things."

Lily stared as Casey tried to work a rock out of the ground with her shoe, before giving her a dry, "okay." She wanted to think that she and Casey could retain their intimacy, could be teammates again and spend hours and hours in each other's company, but she could barely even imagine what that would look like. They had both become very different people, each change she hoped to be for the better, and their lives had extended to other places. It wasn't necessarily a sad thing but she did feel a mournful sensation deep in her chest, even as her younger cousin continued to prove her strength in the level gaze she finally brought back to her.

Lily offered a small, bracing smile and then gave her a thoughtful look. "Can you still forge your brother's handwriting?"

Casey arched an eyebrow, lifting her chin with curiosity. "Sure. Why?"

Teddy-

Hey mate, I just saw your brother the other day, had a quick chat with him - James, that is. I've been thinking, and I kicked it around with Audrey too to make sure I'm not totally off base, but I think it's time you gave it another shot. I haven't seen Albus around, or much of Lily, but I maybe just start with James. I think you've underestimated how much he and the others may want a reconciliation too. I'd wager they just don't know what to say. That bloody Weasley pride, right?
Anyway, that pride never was a match from a good ol' Teddy-talking-to.

Just a thought.

-Sawyer


She got a letter from Casey not three days later. Found a note back, stole it before Sawyer could see it and ask questions. James is popping round for dinner next Thursday.

Lily kept wanting to tell Apollo, but to do that meant that she would have to explain the lengths she had gone to, all because she didn't know how to tell her brothers she wanted to see them. She didn't know what to say, what words even fit together that might come close to how she felt. She hadn't included Albus because she felt that if she could be brave enough to do it the right way with any of them, it might have been best with the one brother who felt the most outside the rest of the family. But for her biggest brothers, the ones that had big smiles and a little less baggage, she thought it might be best to rip the bandaid right off.

But 'hi can we have dinner and pretend we're all cool' didn't sound right. So she concocted and executed her plan with the help of Casey, and when Thursday came, she prepared to tell Apollo, because it was now or never.

But the Minister needed him to come in early, and she gave him a kiss and told him to go, told him she might be out late for dinner but she'd probably still beat him home. And when he was gone, she took a deep breath.

Teddy approached the door, thinking it was dumb to be nervous to see his brother. His summer had been going well so far, surprisingly well, with more time to spend with a particular blonde that filled his stomach with butterflies and his fragile heart with reassurances. He had not expected an upset to this happy stability, especially in the form of a letter pushing him to reconnect with one of his brothers. But the thought had wriggled its way into his mind and, upon the cautious but optimistic recommendation from Avery Bishop that he trust himself to do the right thing, he reached out to James Potter, asking if he'd like to stop by for a drink and some food.

His original plan had been chicken alfredo and wine - before remembering that this was his brother, not Avery - and he opted instead for some stuffed peppers and beer.

He took a breath. And opened the door.

What was the worst that could happen? How much more fragmented could they all become?
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:23 pm
It was one thing, of course, to get a letter from a family member that he heard from regularly. His aunt Hermione, for example. But it was entirely another to hear from the elder god-brother that James thought had abandoned them. To be fair, the age gap was a problem. That he could forgive, since they had been in school when everything started to go downhill. But everyone else had left them, and yet their own brother had done the same. What was James supposed to do? After all, he coped through humor, and most people didn't get it.

He seriously doubted that Teddy had ever understood it.

And yet the letter came. A dinner was requested, and James wanted to give something a shot. If it went badly, at least he could say they'd tried to mend whatever fences had been torn apart over the years.

So, yes. He would go to see Teddy. However reluctantly, he put on something halfway decent and debated whether or not he was supposed to bring something with him to his own brother's house. Probably not, right?

The dilemma held him up for most of the morning, actually, and in the end he decided that, if there were no lady to bring flowers to, alcohol would have to do. Scotch it was, then.

When he got home from an actually rather dull day at work, he put on something he was certain looked casual. Casual enough for two brothers getting together to eat and catch up. That's what this should have been, after all: normal. So he would try and pretend, for a bit, that it was. But that didn't change the fact, he reminded himself, that acting all average and boring wasn't how he managed to get along in life. Teddy would probably think he was just faking it. And he wouldn't be wrong. So who knew?

At any rate, he arrived at Teddy's door after far, far too much thought about the whole thing. It was a free dinner, right? May as well. So he was there, one hand in his jacket pocket and the other around the neck of the scotch bottle, ready when the door opened. Or, he thought he was ready.

"Uh, hey," James offered lamely. He bit down on his tongue to keep from throwing out what he wanted to. Long time no see would win him no favors. So he held up his hand instead, liquor in tow. "I brought this."

Wow. You don't say, James?
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:26 am
An oak door, a few inches in width, the barrier between in and out, a piece of wood he slipped through day in and day out. And with an almost minute display of effort, that barrier was removed, exposing not just nighttime but an apparition that was welcome but almost uncomforting. However, James Potter had always been a relatable guy. Even at his most cocky and self-assured, James had a way of meeting your gaze and making you feel seen and present. Even with a bottle of scotch dangling almost uselessly from his hands and an awkward phrase hanging between them in the air, Teddy didn't feel put off at all.

And maybe he should feel that way. Four siblings and no one had reunited - all were to blame.

"Good," Teddy said, almost serious. "I'll be honest. My beer... kinda crap."

He cracked a smile and waved a hand, gesturing inside. "Come in. Shoes on or off, I don't care, honestly. Figured we could hang out, get buzzed, catch up-"

He had wandered into the kitchen but stopped short, right in James' path as he did. Because straightening up at one of the chairs at the kitchen table was a patient looking, but ever-scraggly Lily Potter. She leaned back, palms sliding across the table as her dark eyes scanned the features of the two men. "The wards still... let me in."

Silence settled between them.

"I heard something about getting buzzed?"
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:52 am
James was fine with Teddy being casual. With the option to leave his shoes on, even though he hadn't asked yet. But he was not prepared for the suggestion that they get buzzed. Not from straight-laced, serious, and genuine Professor Lupin. He tried to cover his shock, though - as surprising as that probably seems.

Instead, he just agreed with a casual, "Sure." But Teddy stopped short, and James turned his head to look ahead of them.

Interesting. He nearly smirked, but then she said mentioned the drinking, too, and his expression grew serious. After everything that she'd been through, he wanted to say he didn't condone it. Teddy was certainly family, but James was the eldest Potter. He had been fated - destined - to parent when she didn't want him to.

But he got the feeling that tonight was not one of those nights. No, if he wanted this to go well, he had to play nice and let her do what she wanted. At least until she got distracted and he could pull the alcohol out of her reach. That would work fine, right? Oh, who knew.

One thing he did know, however: Lily was a Professor, too. Merlin, their parents would've been proud. He felt certain about that. But if she and Teddy worked together, why did he look so baffled at her appearance?

"Well, little sis. Fancy seeing you here," he greeted a little too lightly. James sank into the chair across from her, leaving Teddy to choose which side he wanted to settle into. Either way, the poor man would be trapped between them.

"So you just... decided to pop in?" He added, eyebrows lifting skeptically.
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:16 am
Teddy was staring at her like she was a poisonous snake and she supposed she couldn't be too offended - she had lied in wait, after all. Very reptilian of her. He stared at her, openly, even while James came around and dropped into the chair across from her. Whether or not he was truly at ease, she couldn't be sure. Of all of them, James had always come off as the most normal in a social sense. Teddy had his quirks and she and Albus were much too withdrawn to come off as warm, so even in the heat of an argument over Quidditch or whatever else, James had been the cool one, in all senses of the word. But she still did not know if this was a construct or if he truly was that unshakable. The side of her that had never truly identified with her eldest brother and that felt slighted by his lack of involvement in her life would like to believe that the attitude came effortlessly to him.

But she had grown considerably. Her new abilities to be patient and restrained, to forget about Spice and live her life in a healthier (albeit less interesting) way was part of the changes that had made her into the type of person who could admit that James Potter probably had a lot more going on beneath the surface.

She tilted her head and smoothed her lips at his comment, tearing her eyes from Teddy and back onto James. "Yep," she said, popping her lips on the p. "Lucky me that you're both here too. Fortuitous."

Teddy's eyes had narrowed now, and he had almost a scoffing look on his face. Lily's eyes drifted towards Teddy, her eyes wide under the scrutiny of his knowing look. She blinked and upturned her lips innocently. "Would you like to sit?" He let out a scoff, before shaking his head. But he did come and sit between them.

Lily sighed and reached out for the beers, opening three up one by one and sliding them to her brothers. She tilted hers. "Cheers, yeah?"
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:41 am
For a moment, James wondered whether Lily had been sorted into the wrong house. But then, cunning and cleverness and guts sometimes all fell on the same spectrum. So perhaps it was a stretch to try to house her with Albus. Those two weren't particularly alike in some ways, though James did think they were both quiet enough that outsiders could easily associate the two. Aside from the name, of course.

"Isn't it?" He returned, one eyebrow lifted. His eyes darted to Teddy as well, half surprised to see him looking so irked. James wasn't sure what that meant, or what the older man was thinking or feeling, but all of this was so strange, he supposed it didn't matter either way.

He caught the sliding drink with ease, letting it sink against his palm as he relaxed further into his chair. It was for show, of course, considering he was still wary and unconvinced that this would go well. "What should we drink to?" James asked, wondering somewhere in the back of his mind whether he was on the verge of developing a problem. Not with drinking, per se, but rather with the people he kept in his circle of companions. All of them, it seemed, went for drinks first and real conversation second, and he wasn't sure at all what that said about him besides the fact that he probably needed to get past his whole surface-level amusement thing.

But that was effort he didn't feel like spending when he never got anything in return, so he brushed it away and instead looked between the two of them with the air of a confidant man who just knew something was going to go horribly wrong, and that he would get an excellent seat when it went down.
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:24 pm
Teddy was upset. Which, in truth, was fair. More than fair. She had access to him for an entire year and had remained distant and unapproachable. Silence had been secured by labor rather than by accident, and she had locked herself up in the dingy dungeons rather than risk a heart to heart with the brother who had always made it easiest to communicate. He had done nothing wrong. When Albus was busy and James was absent, Teddy had still looked for her. When she was found in the cold and the muck, he was the one that pushed and insisted. She probably owed him. And she had ignored him.

So this was a bit unsettling. And definitely not the right way to go about it. But her time was constricted and her bravery had reached her peak. Had she spent anymore time thinking about how to do it, she wouldn't have done it.

She looked over at James, not pleased to have the pressure of coming up with a toast. Couldn't they just skip ahead to the part where things were settled? She looked towards Teddy, and his features softened at the very hint of uncertainty on the youngest Potter's face. With a sigh, he took his glass of drink and shrugged. "To answers."

She bowed her head and lifted her glass, before bring it back to her lips. She drank, maybe a bit hastily. Teddy's eyebrows rose higher and his frown deepened, but concern colored his tone when he asked, "Should you?"

Of course. She had, after all, skipped the whole 'rehab' part of her, well, rehabilitation. She should have been placed under heavier care to make sure she didn't return to her old ways. But drugs had never really been the problem. Not really. So she nodded at him and turned her head towards James. "Right. Answers. Where you been off to?"

Right, yes, perfect. Avoid the obvious. Brilliant.
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:13 am
Lily was acting like this meeting was an entirely un-extraordinary scenario, when it was obviously the exact opposite. And that just wouldn't do. It ruined the point of their meeting, and made it seem like their separation meant nothing to her. James hadn't done much about it, that was true, but he was at least interested in being there. If she'd gone out of her way, then this was all an act, and he was not buying it.

Teddy, of course, made the most important point, and James silently chided himself. Teddy had always been the responsible one, so at least their roles hadn't changed too much since... whenever it was they'd last seen each other. Merlin, what would Albus think if he saw them now?

He drank anyway, of course, pretending he hadn't quite recently been a little past tipsy. Just his friends, as he'd pointed out before. Obviously. And even if that weren't true, he wasn't going to go overboard with Lily there. He had never learned too many specifics about what she had gone through, and part of him didn't want to. Because if he did, Merlin know if he would keep his head or not. He'd never actually been a revenge kind of man, but he didn't doubt that he could be if given the right motivation.

"Work," he said simply. "Spending time with mates." Then he quirked a pointed eyebrow. "You? I know what Teddy's been doing, but you're a whole new mystery these days, sis."
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:25 am
Lily’s fingers remained on the neck of the beer bottle, wishing the drink was wine. She felt like she might look more mature and adult with her hand on the stem of a wine glass, though she supposed the most mature stance might be one without alcohol at all. Her hand slipped away from the drink and slipped into her lap, falling there as her almond-shaped eyes turned from one brother to the other, wishing she had a better excuse for being here… or at least a better transition into the topic.

James was keen to get on with it, but when her lips parted, she felt her throat tighten. She cleared her throat and turned towards Teddy. “I mean, I don’t know what’s going on. Besides, work, obviously. There’s gotta be… something.” She lifted one of her shoulders, eyebrows quirking upwards, expression almost hopeful.

Teddy let out a sigh, sitting back in his seat and lifting his hands helplessly. “I mean… I dunno. I’m sticking with Hogwarts. I’ve liked it. Beyond that, I dunno…” He cleared his throat. “I’ve been… seeing someone.”

Lily straightened up and glanced at James to see if he knew anything about this development. “Yeah?” A smirk touched at her lips.
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Re: roll away your stone I will roll away mine

on Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:39 pm
James had been exaggerating, of course. He had wanted to focus to stay on Lily, but she was evidently clever enough for that trick, as it really just ended up turning around on Teddy. What started as a slightly apologetic glance turned into a baffled double take, completely giving away his lies. Deciding it wasn't worth trying to pretend he'd known all along, James ran a hand over his mouth before responding.

"Wait, what? When did this happen?" He questioned, realizing too late that he probably sounded a bit callous. Or a lot. Not that they should have expected anything else, of course. But he didn't mean it to come off as surprised in a bad way. More like surprised they  hadn't heard. Especially that Lily hadn't heard. So he tried to save the situation, and probably only made matters worse: "When do we get to meet her?"
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