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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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Seventh Year Slytherin
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Pavo Hitchens
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if crazy equals genius

on Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:36 pm
“Well, it’s hardly a strength of yours, is it? Subtlety.”

The wry assessment held not a hint of apology, distracted as its supplier was by the task at hand. From her post at the table, Lula’s voice cut through the wafting smoke to settle much more solidly on the subject of her judgement.

Pavo rolled his eyes.

“Subtlety is a feeble substitute for strength. As I’ve told you on more than one occasion.” The reprimand painted itself in an eyebrow raise, the disaffection in a head tilt. After sufficient expression, both pushed forth a sigh. “But worry not, we won’t make any moves without taking the necessary… precautions. Those Gryffindors will be none the wiser.”

“Hufflepuffs.”

She dropped the word blandly, but his disgusted turn of the head couldn’t mask the sourness that entered his expression.

“Not worth the mention, either way. All they’ve got to their name are opinions, and no one worth remembering ever let those get in the way. Nuisance, really.”

“Pathetic,” his sister murmured her agreement.

“Well, I’ll make sure they don’t. It’s more work for us elite, having to overcome the damage done by their delusions. But that's all that sort ever do, really- whinge and gripe about all sorts of nonsense. You know those Potter disciples can’t do much else- they’re afraid of their own power, you see, and… look, can’t you speed this up a little? We’re running on a deadline.”

His sister didn’t reply immediately, stilling to sniff the dusky air above the cauldron and flicking her ponytail off her shoulder to hunch over, squinting in concentration. With a satisfied click of her tongue, she straightened up again. She didn’t look at Pavo as she dipped her wand in for a final turn about the silver pot.

“I’ve never been particularly interested in Potions, Pav. You know that,” she bit out. “I prefer disciplines that are much less…” she paused, lifting her wand and flicking off the excess liquid with- not quite a flourish, but a modest degree of satisfaction, “…hands on.”

“No one ever took over the world theoretically, Lula.”

The reprimand came from his seat on the other side of the table, where her brother had managed a sprawl across two stools, radiating superiority and satisfaction as he watched her toil.

The younger Hitchens pursed her lips, dousing the flame with her wand. An anticipatory silence shrouded the table, she concentrating on the cooling concoction, Pavo watching her face for any change in expression. They didn't notice the rhythmic echo drawing closer until it suddenly became discernible footsteps, and both looked to the door as it swung open.

Lula’s brow raise said it all. Speak of the devil.

Alternatively, thus he spake:

"Is it supposed to reek of blood traitor?"

Affected sniff.

Cold sneer.

(...and Action)
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Re: if crazy equals genius

on Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:10 pm
She didn't have any more right than anyone else to be out past curfew, but she sensed that, if her suspicions were correct, she wouldn't get into too much trouble. And if she did, so what? She could deal with a detention or two if it meant putting a stop to whatever strange scheme she sensed bubbling right beneath her nose. They had been plotting something, she wasn't sure what, but she sat out with the Marauder's Map and sure enough... the Hitchens Creeps were alone in the dungeon, doing something that had to be nefarious. She demanded a first year run up into the boy's dorms and wake Christian, but the boy came back looking worried as he delivered the news.

"He said you should go to bed. It can wait."

Defiance was too kind a word for what filled her up, and the kid looked truly regretful for having stayed up this late to get caught in the crossfires. She swore him to secrecy and stole off into the night (she just walked out of the common room and kind of creeped her way towards the Potions dungeons but there's no theater in that).

As she neared, she wiped the map and tucked it away, absolutely uninterested in letting it fall into the wrong hands. She hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary. Most students were tucked away, with a few roaming about, Molly Weasley being one of that unsurprising number. But Ace had eyes only for a set of siblings that she was more than pleased to send to bed.

She stepped into the room and cleared her throat, wand dangling loosely at her side. "I think that smell is of plans being ruined."

She should have spent her time thinking of something better to say.

"I know you might need the extra credit in Potions, but why don't we wrap this up for the night?"
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Re: if crazy equals genius

on Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:04 am
While on the surface it might have seemed that the Hitchens siblings had deigned to display a small decency in ignoring Ace’s comeback, on closer inspection this was not the case. Pavo’s narrowed eyes were accompanied by a mocking brow raise, while Lula’s unimpressed stare said as much.

Theoretically, her snide little remark held more offence for the female Hitchens than the male, the former being the professed student of wit and learning and all their companions. And indeed, that wasn’t the part of the statement that started slowly reeling out Pavo’s ire.

As for Lula- she stiffened, yes. She’d been toiling too long at a challenging potion that held more interest for her brother than her, for once, to completely disregard any related taunting. But she quickly recalled the Hufflepuff’s- the Hufflepuff’s- utter irrelevance and relaxed, taking her customary duck’s back approach to petty assertions of superiority.

She turned her attention back to the cauldron.

Pavo did not.

“Care to repeat that?"

He allowed the innocuous request to linger for a few seconds, long enough for her to bite or not, his expression carefully impassive.

A beat. Then, any faux blankness was chased away by the shadow that constituted both threat and sign of danger.

“It’s just… it sounded suspiciously like you were telling us what to do.” The Again was an unspoken accusation, hovering between both parties like a rotten smell. Offence was not as offensive a scent as defeat (because he had defeated her, fair and square), but it rankled Pavo all the same. Once again, she’d taken it upon herself to get involved in his business.

Only this time, it wasn’t the no man’s land between house tables.

The dungeons were Slytherin territory. Unfair and unsquare.
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Re: if crazy equals genius

on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:57 pm
Ace didn't mind that the institution of prefects and Head Boys and Girls had been done away with. Had it still been around she was confident she would have been Head Girl, and the proof was in the pudding in that everyone seemed to regard her as an Honorary Prefect. But not having that system meant she could break rules without the guilt of marring her own integrity. Even now, rules were broken only for the most noble of reasons, but had she been sworn to uphold the castle rules, she would have had a much more difficult time.

It was only times like now where some actual authority might have been helpful that she considered bringing the issue up with the Headmaster.

He threw a question at her and she found her distaste for the boy bringing out a nastiness in her she didn't knew she possessed. "Do you need me to repeat it? I didn't know an inflated ego hindered auditory processing."

She took a step closer and with it brought a better view of what was happening on his face, and it was not a pleasant sight. She felt adrenaline beginning to course through her body, silent preparations for something, and her fingers tightened on her wand.

But her voice was steady, even through a throat tightening with anger and indignation. "So you can hear. Good. Now leave."
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Re: if crazy equals genius

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:29 am
Pavo wasn’t often clever in the way his sister was- that subtle, slow-sinking, ambiguous sort of speech that put others in their place simply by not allowing them to occupy the same realm of understanding she’d decided to frequent. Insubstantial words that twisted and dissolved on further inspection. He didn’t do subtle and he didn’t do ambiguous.

If Lula was smoke, Pavo was a forest fire, a drill. A sudden spark in dry heat, whipped into an inferno to lay waste to all surrounding life. He didn’t prevaricate. He burrowed. He liked a place in people’s heads.

If it were up to him, he’d leave all their minds riddled.

“No.”

He leaned forward, the word dropping between them with cold finality. Cut short as he returned to his relaxed position- and changed tack, struck by the opportunity to gratify himself further, taking care with the slow, mocking enunciation of his next words.

"Now, why don't you run to your student-shagging cousin and tell her all about us disrupting your rendezvous with the second born. Although- the Astronomy tower's only a few minutes away. Would you like a batch of amortentia to speed you along?”

He didn’t act, either. But for faux surprise, undercut with sick glee, he’d make an exception.

“Oh, no, that’s right- Zabini’s found himself another blood traitor to moon over. Run along, perhaps they’ll make space in the broom closet if you barge in as assertively as you have here.”

He made no attempt to suppress the smirk that curled cruel lips, deliberately keeping his eyes on hers to reap the full rewards of his second-hand foray into her pathetic life. Know thy enemy. Pavo never remembered the first part of the statement, but for that unlikely nugget he had- impossibly enough- his grandfather to thank. Satisfaction hummed in his chest, twisted pleasure at his own subtle genius allowed to leak into his features. He'd never begrudged himself a bit of deserved gloating.

And all along, with deceptive nonchalance, the wand in his hand twisted idly, serpentine flumes of corrupted green yawning into the air with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Re: if crazy equals genius

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:40 am
People thought true nobility meant taking nothing personally, putting the cause before a sense of self. Being selfless was synonymous with being disengaged, and some might have even seen that in her.

Ace Longbottom took it all personally. Death Eaters had ruined her grandparents. They had tortured and attacked her parents. They had killed her parents friends', had murdered family. They had attacked her school, where her friends and family attended. They targeted those who had no control over their heritage, targeted those they percieved to be weak by a set of standards that were just as much false as they were disgusting. They were racist, classist, and they put qualifiers on the value of human life. They robbed, stole, disrupted, murdered.

Anyone who didn't take it personally could tattoo their arm as far as she was concerned.

That was why she hated Pavo Hitchens. He was a direct threat to people she personally cared about. Not just family, not just friend. (Yeah singular was probably the most accurate.) But she cared about the people in Hogwarts who didn't know the threat was real and lurking, just as she cared for the people in the world beyond that fit the bill of a Death Eater's prime 'victim', people who were victims only from one truly reprehensible perspective but were just regular people otherwise.

This hate was personal, and it was noble. And if anyone challenged her on that then screw it. She wasn't noble then. And she didn't care.

He wanted her to rise to the attacks, and maybe a tinge of redness on her neck may have betrayed the anger at having pinpointed things she didn't know would bother her. Anyone talking poorly against Christian would hurt, context or not - because what was that supposed to even mean? It wasn't like-

Of course not. Pavo was hateful, which made him an idiot. He didn't know anything.

Her own wand vibrated and sparked. "It wasn't a suggestion. Move or be moved."
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Re: if crazy equals genius

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:18 pm
The orders were tedious now, no longer the prime cause of his displeasure. It was worse that she hadn’t reacted to his jab. He’d taken a shot he’d assumed would- but, oh, look, she'd gone blotchy.

Not enough.

It wouldn’t be accurate to say his blood was boiling. It was thrumming, anticipation and irritation washing over him in a tight wave. Pavo let it bleed out into the tips of his fingers, sharp and focused, in perfect stillness.

All a forest fire needs is one little spark-

Everte Statum.

He uncoiled and struck in one sudden smooth movement, feet planting flat on the floor, spine snapping straight. It was an easy strike- swift, steady- and he’d learnt from his previous folly, the spell was silent and well-aimed, wand pointed squarely at her too-close chest. He wouldn’t miss, couldn’t miss-

Next to him, Lula started.

And he was on the move, heels springy and steps light. Deftly putting distance between himself and the table- putting tables between himself and the Hufflepuff, forced to turn if she wanted to follow, silencing charm dancing off his wand to shroud the door.

“I wonder,” he drawled, rounding on her from the side, wand rolling between restless fingers, “when you’re going to learn to keep a respectful distance.”


Spoiler:
HP wiki: throws the victim backward, similarly to if they'd been thrown
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Re: if crazy equals genius

on Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:50 am
She knew better. She wasn't stupid, though she was sure her recklessness had earned her the reputation - she supposed that was fair, despite the active effort she put into work. She knew he wasn't going to accept any of that.That was fine.

But she was still unprepared.

She flew back and in that brief moment when a mistake had been made and reality paused to allow one to feel the full force of their mistake and truly understand their idiocy, it struck Ace that she should have expected him to throw her across the room. But that pause in time only existed to allow her to process this mistake, allotting no time to do anything to stop or reverse it. And she just prayed she didn't hit her head, air rushing from her lungs as she landed flat against the wall, bracing her head to keep it from banging against it.

She fell, but her hands shot up and scrabbled for a surface, using a tabletop to haul herself up. He was drawling and she followed him, clenching her wand at her side, hoping the desk obscured her. She felt a scowl toy at her lips at his words.

"Maybe when you stop being so boring and predictable. Petrificus totalus!"
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