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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 2031 in the Wizarding World

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Avery Bishop
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“I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:31 am
Mum was really sad. Too sad. They would still read together before bed, and when Mum got home from work they would play that game where Sophie told about her day and Mum asked questions that just got more and more silly. But Mum was extra sad because she knew Sophie was sad, too. It was a really disappointing circle from one of them to the other, and Sophie didn’t know how to stop it except to bring Teddy back. Sure, she missed her daddy, but she had started to understand what ‘gone’ meant when Mum said it.

The word ‘dead’ had been mentioned a few times and after a bit of attempts at reading and asking the right questions, she’d figured out what that meant too. So she got it. Not that she was happy, or anything, but she understood. He wasn’t coming back. But Teddy was ‘busy’ or ‘far away.’ He wasn’t ‘gone.’ So that was made her head ache. Was he dead, too?

It all was just so confusing. And when Mum cried, Sophie couldn’t stop herself from doing it too. But that day Sophie was going to Aunt Claire’s to see her and Elsie. And she was happy to be out of the house and not at the Ministry’s daycare thing, but she was really upset to also be away from her Nan and Uncle Keiran for so long, too. Why everybody had gone was completely beyond her poor little blonde head, but she didn’t really ask questions after she saw how bad Mum had been lately.

Mum dropped her off on that Saturday morning, going to the Ministry for something with the Minister or somebody. Sophie hadn’t really asked. She had sort of stopped asking questions a couple days before. But Mum knocked, her hand drifting over Sophie’s hair like it always did, and that gave the littlest Bishop a bit of reassurance while they waited for Aunt Claire to come out to get her.
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Claire Bishop
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:46 am
It was strange how she had quickly stepped into the role of loving, doting aunt. She wasn't sure she did "loving" or "doting" in quite the traditional way, but it had brought out a version of herself she hardly recognized. Even Elsie, as odd as she had been of late, had noticed the change in Claire, even once venturing to call her "almost maternal" which had almost set Claire against ever babysitting again. But Sophie seemed to understand and appreciate that Aunt Claire wasn't particularly cuddly, and sat on the rug across from her as Claire poured over spreadsheets, Sophie scribbling crayon over copies Claire had made of her and the two played "work."

Which was weirdly, and not so weirdly, fun for Claire.

Elsie was out, a weird excuse as usual. Claire had noticed Elsie leaving more and frequently for what she could only assume were dates with her strange French boyfriend, though her silence on the matter made her wonder if there was something more insidious to Elsie's plans. But she hadn't long to consider it.

"Hello," she said, opening the door. She looked down at Sophie. "Ms. Bishop, there are bagels and muffins in the breakroom, and I better have that report on my desk by the end of the day." She looked up at her sister and gave her a half-amused shrug.
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:03 am
Sophie couldn't tell if Auntie Claire knew about Teddy going away. It didn't seem like it. Mum was not good at acting happy when it was just the two of them, but maybe she was doing good today. Sophie looked up at her mother, squinting a little as Avery smiled a little. Or tried to. But still, Sophie stepped forward, moving around her aunt's legs and into the flat, leaving the sisters behind. She completely missed whatever version of 'goodbye' her mum offered (a sorry attempt at a pleasant, up-beat one, for reference) and instead set up shop on the floor like always. It was the same here as it had been at Uncle Keiran's. Floor coloring, maybe stories. Food, of course. But this time she wasn't very excited for those things like she usually was.

At least she wasn't stuck at home anymore. Pressing the bottoms of her feet together as she sat, Sophie wiggled her toes a little in their shoes as she waited for Claire to come inside. Elsie wasn't there, which was only sort of weird since lots of times it was just her and her aunt. But Sophie didn't know what to do. She wanted to ask about Teddy but she had no idea how. So she just kept quiet as she eyed the older blonde openly, waiting for her chance.
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:40 pm
There was something strange to Avery, but that wasn't exactly a new character trait, now was it? There was something faded to the woman, Claire supposed, a quality she had not seen in her since Robin - but that made sense, right? Even with other things going on in her life, Avery surely felt the anniversary looming, just as Claire did. And that certainly wasn't a subject Claire could comfort her sister on, no matter how far they had come. Claire was too involved, too late, and too distant to know how to help her sister grieve for a man they had both loved.

So she offered her an attempt at a bracing goodbye and a reminder to have a good day, and closed the door, turning to follow in the toddler's steps.

She walked into the living room, where the television was already playing educational children's programs at a low volume, and she angled towards the kitchen. "What should we have then? Brussell sprouts? Liver and onions?" Another one of their little games, Claire rattling off obvious no's as though they were second nature - almost as if she had a sense of humor deep down in her.
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:47 am
Sophie's little nose scrunched up with distaste as her aunt spoke, and she shook her head. Nope. Those were icky, and Claire knew that. But it was tradition. It was the game. But she wanted something familiar. Something normal, since nothing else was. It just so happened that normal also included the sort of thing that would have involved a certain person. That was easier than trying to figure out how to explain to Aunt Claire that she missed him.

"Teddy liked pizza," she said plainly, before dropping her gaze back to her shoes and tapping the heels together. "I do, too. But mac cheese's yummy."

Sophie shrugged, her lips thinning into a line. That was definitely a look she'd gotten from Keiran, though she hadn't done it on purpose. And she hadn't noticed, either, so she didn't stop to wonder what she'd gotten from Teddy besides a love of certain foods and a weird affinity for giraffes. The zoo, of course, was the cause of that one. But there was also the slightly awkward way she'd scratch at her head when she was confused. That bit was quite definitely Teddy.
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:40 pm
She headed for her cupboard, eyes passing over jars of peanut butter and jelly, boxes of brownies, all of the junk food she should have felt more guilty about, but aunt duty was an excellent excuse to keep a stockpile of foods with a calorie count far above what was acceptable.

Claire lifted an eyebrow as she reached for the macaroni and cheese. "Liked pizza? What's wrong with pizza now? What does he like now?"

Claire asked because they were all committed to keeping the once silent toddler talking, no matter the cost. And having to hear about the sickeningly sweet saga of Avery and her new professor was certainly a sacrifice.
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:25 am
Sophie frowned at her aunt as though everything should be very obvious and Claire just wasn't getting it for some reason. "Pizza is fine," she began, crossing her arms a little petulantly. Why did she have to explain this when she was the one wanting answers? That wasn't fair. But her frustration quickly turned to sadness as she watched Claire pull out the pasta instead of... Well, actually, Sophie didn't know what she wanted. Teddy, maybe? But that didn't count.

"Teddy is gone," she said finally, her frown changing into a pout. "I think... I think maybe gone like what happened to daddy... But, I dunno. Mum says he can't come to my birthday anymore. It's just us, again," she added, trying to lift her voice to the same pitch as her mumma's.

And it wasn't like him at all to not care about her. So that obviously included birthdays. And he'd promised. Especially considering how hard that day was -- especially for Mum. No way would he leave Mum to deal with that by herself. Or, well, without him. Plus, Uncle Keiran was too busy so he probably wasn't coming to see them either. So Mum was right, really. Just the two of them, as it had been before. And that was just devastating.

Her little chin wobbled, so she reached up and ran her hand over her mouth to stop it, turning away in search of her coloring.
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:07 am
Claire hesitated, the box of macaroni shifting as she set it on the counter, Sophie looking uncharacteristically pleased. The little girl, stubborn in ways unique to herself, typically went along with whatever plan was concocted. Claire frowned, releasing the box and reaching for the mobile in her pocket, certain she had more than a few pizza delivery takeout menus in her drawer.

But his was something more than pizza, something more than what they were having for dinner. Claire was thankful no one was around as she let out a sigh and squatted, right there in the middle of the kitchen, to reach the gaze of her niece.

"There's different versions of gone," Claire said, speaking slowly, reminding herself to stay calm and work slowly, worried her own emotion at the level of gone-ness of one of the men might inspire. "I don't think Teddy is gone the way Daddy is. I don't know what's going on, but I know that much." She paused. "Is mommy okay?"
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:19 pm
Hmm. That was interesting, at least. It turned over in Sophie's head in a way that was confusing until it sort of wasn't. The 'death' concept was the hard bit, but once she got past that and determined that Aunt Claire had to be right about it, she realized that she was supposed to answer a question. And it wasn't one she liked very much.

Sophie shook her head, expression grave. "She got new work. But her stories aren't good now. At bedtime." Her mouth twisted a little in confusion. "She cries lots 'cause he d-doesn'-" he faltered, tripping over the contraction before giving up on it, "want us anymore. But that's mean, and Teddy is nice. So it.. it's not right."
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

on Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:14 pm
This was territory Claire was wholly uncomfortable in. She would have rather tabled this conversation and promised to take on another one - she would volunteer for the birds and bees talk if it meant getting out of this one. Give her a deadline and a spy she needed to turn, and Claire Bishop was happy. But even she had boogeymen, and an emotionally complex conversation with her toddler niece about her sister was the worst nightmare she could congur.

She kept her gaze level as she reached out to put a hand on Sophie's little shoulder, rubbing it. "It sounds like Mommy's been sad, but maybe hasn't done a good job of explaining why."
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Re: “I used to think maybe you loved me”

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