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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 Hufflepuff
Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Ace Longbottom
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In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:13 pm
She couldn't believe he had done it. But he had.

Their footsteps faded because they really were leaving her like this. She claimed to believe in evil, knew it existed, and yet she was still surprised as it left its devastation without conscious.

She lifted shaking hands because - how was there this much blood?

She managed to her feet and she walked, shaking, shaking, shaking.

But she kept walking. Because this wasn't how a chapter ended, and she wasn't the sort to succumb. She kept walking. And slipping. And blood kept falling.

And then she fell.
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Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:17 pm
Insomnia was a new companion to her, and had not proven to be very helpful before that Saturday night. It spurred her from bed, where she mostly lied stock still wishing for a cigarette despite her latest attempts to cut back, where she would slip beyond the towers, through hallways, past kitchens. A few detentions had come of it, but she'd rather risk the detention than remain trapped in a room where the rise and fall of her dormmates seemed to creep into her own chest and fill her with breath that wasn't hers, removing her from the equation entirely, sending her spiraling towards a nonexistence she had always craved but now, so close, shied from-

She needed sleep.

She had considered talking to Apollo. She knew he had late hours granted to him by none other than the Minister of Magic himself and she could always break curfew to ensure a private request for a potion that would bring her the respite she needed. But despite their quiet camaraderie, it wasn't a part of life she was willing to share with him, with anyone. She had tried openness, and it turned out that some thoughts were best left to stew deep inside. They didn't wither against the light of day, they drew the light into the darkness.

She missed him.

Not Apollo.

When I was seventeen
My mother said to me
"Don't stop imagining. The day that you do is the day that you die."


“Care for some company?”

Her eyes slid open and those dark eyes were staring at her. Eyes she had met in the car, that were so warm she felt her own icy gaze swim as ice bent to heat but that stupid. It was just cold out.

She shrugged and wished she had a cigarette to lift to her lips, to occupy the space between them so her tongue and teeth could continue their rest, could stay unmoved and words remain unformed. But she had left the cigarettes back in the tent. Because she had wanted to see the moon, and not through a screen of smoke.

He settled next to her and it was only now that his body radiated warmth towards her did her skin dance as a reminder that she had been cold. She wondered if he had not joined her if she would not have noticed, if she could have slowly turned to ice and not known because there was no point of reference. She would have accepted each degree of frostbite as the new normal, as what it meant to be alive in that moment, until she tried to get up and realized she was frozen to the dock, and her life as anything beyond a flannel-covered popsicle was over.

“It’s beautiful.”

She nodded, because he was right. The moon was full and the lake was mostly still. The buzzing of insects and the hooting of owls and the rustle of leaves – it was all real and tangible and also not happening to anyone else in the world. It was alive but unverified but by her – and now by him.

She supposed this is what Ace had wanted them to see, for this to be the peak of their fun. For this view to be their high, not the vodka and the weed. Molly rolled her lips inward.

“Ace is mad.”

Casper nodded, shifting his leg so he could rest his chin on his knee. “Yeah.”

“She’s mad and I didn’t tell Margo no anyway.”

Casper shrugged. “Just because someone feels something bad doesn’t mean you have to take it away.”

She wanted a cigarette. She wanted to lift it to her lips and lay back and rest her back against the slats of the dock and just look up at the sky and wait until it was too cold and then bid him goodnight. Ace would be deep in sleep and Molly would try to mask the smell of cigarette because it made the blonde’s nose wrinkle in the least subtle way, and she would wake the next morning to see Ace doling out rations of rabbit jerky or whatever ridiculous survival food she thought best for breakfast.

But she looked down at her feet, skating above the water. She turned them in alternating patterns and tried to deflect the questions coming to her head. But if you could spare someone pain, shouldn’t you? If people can’t see what’s best for them but you can, shouldn’t you show them? What’s the point of good feelings if not to try to take over the bad? How else do we take care of each other? Just let each other be miserable?

“I think she would have found something to be mad about,” Casper said, and the lightness in his tone didn’t detract at all from the truth of the statement, only painted a picture in which this wasn’t necessarily a flaw of the Longbottom girl. “She doesn’t seem like the personality you’d expect here.”

Molly’s lips twitched. “If her friend had been here, she’d be happier.”

“I thought you were her friend.”

Molly glanced his way. Nothing probing, just honesty. Wasn’t all that honesty uncomfortable, heavy, cumbersome? She parted her lips, and found for once that she wasn’t deciding not to say an answer she absolutely knew, but struggling to articulate something she didn’t know. So she shrugged, looking forward and focusing on the sheen around the moon.

“If it helps… you seem to care.”

She rolled her lips inward, and her heart quickened at the realization that the cold air was stinging her eyes.

Because it certainly did seem that way didn’t it.

Now I pull a wanton carriage
Instead of the horses, grazing the lawn


The next morning was much like Molly suspected, with Ace rousing them all early to eat some jerky she had brought along, stating that they should get going if they wanted to do the hike she had mapped out. Margo and Kathryn were deep in talk, seemingly of the assumption that Ace was once again alone in this idea, but Molly tied her jacket around her waist and grabbed a canteen.

“This way?”

Ace blinked and nodded, picking up a tall walking stick she had probably spent too long finding, and headed out. Molly’s eyes met Casper’s as they took off after her and he grinned at her, and she found herself smiling back.

I was having fun.

Even with Kathryn and Margo making jokes, even with the absolutely uncrossable part of the river, even when Margo slipped down a rock face and made a huge stink until they all couldn’t stop laughing. The view Ace led them too was lush and green and Molly could practically imagine the spot in thousands of years when no trace of her or Ace or Margo or the Jericho’s existed. It would still be there, just as it always had.

And Ace had a certain spring in her step as they returned to camp, and Casper was giving her a smile that made her feel like that good friend she seemed to be.

We were all having fun


“Ace.”

Ace Longbottom shouldn’t look like this. But she did. Molly could see her trail and, even in her shock, couldn't help but find herself unsurprised that Ace still had started in the right direction to the hospital wing. But the fact that anyone had bested her, that blood seeped from an unforgiving wound on her arm, that she was alone -

"Help."

It came out as a croak that only proved fruitful as she lifted Ace and hurried towards the hospital wing, shouting louder, an unused voice rising to the occasion. And it wasn't until the only professor who could have been in the dungeons heard the call, Professor Potter herself, investigated that they managed to burst into the hospital wing, an unconscious and bleeding Ace Longbottom held limply between them.
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Seventh Year Slytherin
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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:23 pm
Apollo was starting to get used to late nights. Studying bled into his hours working in the hospital wing to make up for not going to St. Mungo's anymore. He had to keep up the practice and keep logging hours if he wanted to start up a real job there in January. So he was tired, but in a good way. In a way that felt strangely fulfilling considering everything he was 'meant' to be doing. And it distracted him from drama with the other students, distracted him from missing her. From worrying about the fact that Christian wasn't talking to Ace like he used to. Ace talked. But the younger brother just sat there, most times. He looked... guilt-ridden. Like he felt he'd missed something or done something wrong and was still making up for it by giving Ace whatever she wanted.

But when he looked up as the doors flew open one night, Christian was nowhere to be found.

"What the hell?" He all but shouted, bolting from his chair to meet them both in body and with a bed that he'd called over between himself and the three young women. His eyes found Lily's questioning and desperate for a hint of her involvement in this. But an instant later, Apollo was helping Ace onto the bed and rolling it alongside him as he walked back over to where it belonged. First things first, the wound needed to be closed. So he started that carefully, calling to him a vial of dittany just in case. But to Lily and Molly, he spoke again.

"Clean up. If you stay you'll forget to," he pointed out, turning his chin enough to glance at Lily and relive the night he came home covered and scared her half to death. "Somebody go get Christian. Curfew or not, he needs to be here. We can come up with an excuse for it later."

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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:39 am
Lily felt like she had given her last breath. The whole reason she was even here was to protect Ace and Christian, and somehow she had failed, and so horribly. Lily knew potions, not the conditions that required them, and she wasn't sure she had ever seen so much blood on someone, so determinedly leaving someone when it was supposed to stay inside. Apollo had to help. She couldn't live with herself if Ace didn't- Couldn't ever look at Christian. At Neville and Hannah-

"I don't know," she said, her vibrating with anxiety.

"I found her like this," Molly said, her voice distant and almost a whisper as she helped lift the limp blonde.

Lily nodded numbly at Apollo's command, waving her wand to banish the bloodstains from her robes. She looked towards Molly who was staring at Ace's pale face, face so strangely open-

"Molly," Lily said. The brunette turned and Lily wiped her robes clean, but Molly was just looking back at Ace.

"I'll go," Lily said firmly. "If Molly goes and a professor tries to send her back- I'll be quicker."

She gave Apollo a lingering look, one Molly was too focused on Ace to notice, and turned on her heel.

That was when Molly spoke. "How can I help?"

* * *

"P-professor Potter?"

"Lewis, go run up and get Christian Zabini."

"Wha-"

"Or it'll be ten points from Hufflepuff."

The eager student turned and ran, her words following him. "Tell him it's me. Tell him it has to be now."
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Seventh Year Slytherin
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Apollo Zabini
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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:50 am
Apollo was turning to Lily, terrified and desperate, but then he caught sight of the look she was sending his way. This was what he had signed up for. It could've been Christian. It could've been Lily. Never would he be expected to do this in the real world. It didn't work that way. No one operated on loved ones or friends. But there wasn't time to find somebody else. So he swallowed that fear and replaced it with a more solid look of determination. Nodding at her offer, he redoubled his attention on Ace, looking for any other sources of bleeding.

"In that cabinet," he pointed sharply, all but throwing his arm in its direction, "we have blood-replenishing potion. It's red, as you'd expect. Get-- .. just get all of it, in case." Unstoppering the dittany, he retrieved a dropper and began administering it along the line of the cut. He couldn't tell if it would scar, but he hoped it wouldn't. There was just a chance that they were too late.

In the Hufflepuff dungeons, Christian Zabini was awoken for the second time that night, and he was starting to get angry. Essays were due, Ace was more up in arms than ever about that Pavo kid, and now she wanted him to go out after curfew? Absolutely not. But he rolled over and it wasn't Ace's name that came up. Professor Potter? What in Merlin's name--?

He kicked off the sheets, grabbing shoes and shrugging on his robes as he moved downstairs, only to find Lily standing in the portrait door, looking like she'd seen a ghost. Oh, no. It had to be Apollo. Father would literally murder Christian if this didn't get fixed. His walk turned into a run as he made it to her, stepping out and shutting the door behind them so he could reach out for her arm. "What's happened to him? Where is he?"

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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:49 am
In a few months, when they could talk of the incident with the nonchalance earned by time, Lily would grab Apollo's arm and tell him that was the night she realized he truly was made to be a Healer. The Apollo she so often comforted, one of fear and indecision, melted into a precise, authoritative, strong person and she felt a rush of trust in his direction. Ace would be okay in his care.

She had to be.

She turned and rushed out as Molly nodded and went for the potions. She moved quickly, glad to find no one as she cut corners and slipped down secret hallways, now well accustomed to some of the more convenient shortcuts after all her work avoiding the people she cared most so as to not show her hand. Her mind was eerily blank, not the usual well-oiled mechanism with its plans and quiet certainties. The goal of reaching Christian and helping Ace was the only function remaining.

When context and circumstance would allow, she'd consider Christian's questions as a subtle sort of recognition that she and Apollo belonged together, that where one was involved, the other was as well. She wouldn't go as far as to consider it approval, as she would wonder for years until she was comfortable in her position as one of Christian's close friends and confidantes, but it was a positive step.

But for now, there was no good news.

She wasn't sure why it was so hard for her, after years of straight talk and distance, to put these words together. Her hand came up to grip his arm back, one friend bracing another.

"It's Ace."

And she was pulling him, stuttering out "the hospital wing" and then they were running.
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Christian Zabini
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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:01 am
It wasn't Lily's expression that would haunt him, nor her words. Rather, it would be how long the corridors were as they rushed through them. Endless, seemingly. And the hospital wing was a million steps up and he couldn't breathe enough to make it there, but they did anyway. And Molly was there, Apollo in the way as well, and the sleep-deprived Hufflepuff looked doubly horrible as he skidded to a stop, his hand falling away from Lily. But his brother was still doing something on that side of the bed so he moved again, stepping around and calling a chair to him under his breath.

"What is this?" He asked, scared but surprisingly angry. Never one to fume or be particularly affronted by anything, he could feel the way Apollo was eyeing him warily. "Who did this?"

"I don't know," Apollo replied, holding a hand out to Molly for the potion. He held it over Ace, towards Christian. "She hasn't woken up yet. But I need you to help her get this down while I check for other injuries. Can you do that?"

The younger brother blinked at the red liquid, housed as it was in the clear vial. It seemed so innocuous, but its importance was obvious in the way Apollo handled it with care and watched for Christian's affirmation. So the Hufflepuff reached out, gripping it carefully and removing the stopper. "Okay," he agreed, standing again despite the way his legs felt so shaky. And as Apollo turned to ask Molly if she'd seen anyone else and where she'd found Ace, Christian stepped closer to the headboard of her cot.

She was pale, though Christian didn't know the why or the what, except for noticing the scar Apollo had been tending to. Blood loss, then. Whoever did this... Merlin, why hadn't he just gone downstairs when she wanted him to? Surely Apollo wouldn't let him be here if she was in real danger. Right? If they thought she'd--

Apollo cursed. Oh, great. "Where'd that dittany go?"

Christian's pulse was thundering now, and the potion in his hand seemed infinitely more important than it already had. One hand settled against her cheek, his thumb gently encouraging her mouth to open. The other brought the vial up, though he made sure to keep his arm out of his brother's way. Slowly but surely, he tipped the potion over, careful not to give her too much all at once.
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Lily Potter
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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:08 am
It was all it took. Silently they moved through the castle, not as competitor's for Apollo's attention, not as professor and student, but as friends united in crisis. It was strange that Lily would not have been in this position to save this family friend if it hadn't been for Christian, for his early friendship, for the guilt she felt, for the debt she owed, for the sake of his brother. It took the youngest Zabini for her to heed the advice of her mother and aunt to watch out for the odd Longbottom girl.

Molly, meanwhile, carefully cleaned the blood that had splattered over the blonde, avoiding the wounds so she didn't exacerbate any of them, though her eyes couldn't help but trail them, noting how red darkened to near black-

Molly passed the potion along as the doors slammed open, and she found herself completely incapable of looking at Christian. She didn't know what emotions she would find on the younger twin's face... but she knew she didn't want to see them. She conjured a bowl and began to fill it with water - wasn't there always a rag with cool water?

Lily looked towards Apollo, wanting something to do but feeling out of sorts. She followed him to the cabinet and gave him a serious look. Under her breath she said, "You tell me the word and I'll send a patronus to Neville and Hannah."

Molly turned with her water and saw that Christian was alone with Ace. Before she was forced to interrupt something she had little interest in interrupting, Apollo addressed her. She turned to look at him and wet her lips. "I was out. I heard something-"

A small groan slipped from Ace Longbottom's lips as something almost like conscious flittered across her eyelids, before a deeply pained look took over.

((still don't know how much Molly saw soooo))
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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:06 pm
Apollo continued digging until he found the right bottle, then turned to Lily, his expression miraculously calm despite the chaos. "I don't think we'll need to but... they have a right to know. If she doesn't come to by the morning, it could be worse than I thought. I didn't find anything magical aside from the cuts, but..." He shrugged, one hand reaching for her side for a moment out of habit before he realized what he'd done. His brow furrowed for a moment, but he turned to Molly and got back on track.

As it turns out, he didn't have to wonder much longer about whether or not Ace would wake up. At her sound of complaint, though, Christian was somehow even more distraught. "Alice," he blurted, startled into drawing the vial away from her mouth. His fingers drifted further into her hair as he stood up straight to address his brother. "Apollo -- dittany?" Because making full sentences was hard.

Lifting a placating hand, the elder brother reached out first to Lily and then to Molly, leading them back over to the cot alongside him. "Christian," he started slowly, bracing for the reply he knew would come, "I think you need to step out."

"Excuse me?"

"Lily, can you take hi-?"

Christian waved an angry hand, cutting Apollo off. "No, explain. Now."

"... You're already freaking out, mate. And this, uh--" Apollo shook his head a little, uncertain how to phrase it. "This other injury is going to be bad. And it's .."

"Where?"

Apollo pointed awkwardly, his expression a deep frown. Christian's ears turned a bit red as he pulled his hand away from her head, but his jaw worked as he tried to come up with an argument. But the Slytherin's hand reached for Lily again, nudging her towards his brother in the hopes that she'd do something about him. Then he went for the dropper again, asking Molly to move the neck of Ace's robes so he could help her. This first, pain potion later.

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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

on Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:10 am
The noise drew them all back to her, unifying these very different people who had struggled to coexist in a way that Ace would have been irritated and yet quietly content to see. The day that Christian marveled at their unity would incite a cranky frown in the blonde tempered by a softness in her eyes that only the Zabini boy (then man) could really recognize and appreciate.

Lily's eyes stayed trained on Ace, watching the troubled rise and fall of her chest, not wanting to look at the boys. Molly watched Christian with what felt like a morbid curiosity that turned her stomach even as she refused to look away. She didn't envy Christian his position, noting the relief she felt at being permitted to stay close. She stepped forward at Apollo's request, hooking a finger in the Hufflepuff's robes and working to free her of the constraints.

Lily looked to Christian, a person completely different from the friend she had once had back when his twin brother caused a speck of irritating in her. Ever since she and Apollo had found each other, properly, Christian had seemed to different and foreign to her, and she didn't know how to reach him. But now she saw on his face the troubles and sadness he had projected into anger for them and it seemed so easy.

She reached out an arm and stretched it along his shoulders, pulling her friend next to her as she carefully led him towards the door. "Some air," she said. "We need to go and take a big breath."
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Re: In the dark, when you sound the alarm, we'll find each other's arms

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