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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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Slytherin Graduate
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Keiran Hayes
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"Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:49 am
Letter in hand, Keiran apparated into Hogsmeade to meet his ex-wife's brother. An hour later, he'd disapparated, completely forgetting to return to Avery's mother's house to pick up Sophie. He was too angry for that. Breaking picture frames he'd thrown across the room by hand, rather than wand, angry. It couldn't happen. He wouldn't let it. Avery arrived out front, sending a patronus message to ask him to come let her onto the grounds, but he just ended up apparating her back without warning or a word of explanation. His quarters were thoroughly destroyed, though Avery immediately began cleaning things up as she asked where her daughter was. Because of course she would worry with a sight like this. And something had been on before that, Keiran knew. But he ended up leaning against his desk, hand in his hair, starting out calm but ending up shouting out what was wrong. Until Avery slowed to a stop, staring at him and then sending a message to her mother about keeping Sophie overnight as Keiran had intended to. And of course the girl's grandmother agreed to do it.

So although Avery stayed a few minutes, trying to coax him off of the ledge, Keiran would hear none of it, sending her home. "I just need time to.. to fume," he told her, suddenly incapable of controlling himself. His own kids, who Avery belatedly thought to ask about, were with Bridget. He couldn't ask her to watch all four of them without warning. And besides. He needed them in a place with wards, and Bridget's home had new ones that neither Melissa nor Elliot could pass through.

"Okay, Keiran, but you send me a message if you need anything, you understand? I'm around, always."

And he'd nodded, hugged her (sort of) and sent her on her way. And maybe he should have finished cleaning up. He definitely didn't. Instead, he rifled recklessly through his desk, moving like a man possessed. And he kind of was. But he found the parchment and quill, writing a quick note to Kenna despite knowing full well she would be busy:

They're trying to take my kids away. I need help.
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Kenna McBain
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Re: "Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:00 am
The Ugly Pigeon was bustling. She had expected it, of course, so in tune with the patterns the patrons had set, but a promotion down the street at their rival bar had left them down a bit. To fill the vacuum left, the remaining patrons were particularly rowdy, and even with extra staff, Kenna was feeling rather worn down trying to keep trouble at bay. But this was what she did, and what she was good at. Low on sleep, low on patience, she smiled and laughed as she brought around pints of beer, making jokes and taking bets, quietly coordinating with her staff so the customer never truly saw how the magic happened.

And then an owl came fluttering it. She stuffed the letter into her apron in one smooth motion as she came around the bar for a refill at a table, hurrying back so she could duck into the kitchen, concerned as she rarely received post, let alone so late.

He didn't mince words, and she didn't waste time.

"Rory."

"Not now-"

"Yes, now. Something's come up."

In the end, it was Kip taking her place behind the bar, Rory begrudgingly alongside since Kenna had converted his conversation partner into the manager for the evening. She whipped off her apron and tightened her ponytail and stepped into the Floo.

She stepped out, coughing as she had not exactly stepped into the Floo with care. One look around and memories of Rory's way of handling situations was enough to tell her where Keiran was at.

She looked at him. "Where are they? What can I do?"
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Re: "Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:23 am
Keiran was halfway through pouring a highly inappropriate amount of alcohol into a crystal glass when the floo came to life, scaring him half to death. But it wasn't Melissa. It was Kenna, and he simply couldn't believe how suddenly everything caught up to him. His shoulders deflated as she set the bottle down, and although he heard her, his attention fell across the space between the pair of them. The place was wrecked and although he remembered doing it, Keiran didn't feel like he was the one who'd actually done it. Surely someone else had made the mess; he was far too in control for that.

Not.

He lifted his glass, considering gulping down as much as he could. But he needed her help immediately, before someone else figured it out. For all he knew, they were ahead of the game completely and already had lawyers or at the least a plan. Surely he wouldn't have been approached otherwise. So he stopped, glass dangling precariously from his fingers as his eyes found hers again, haunted though his were.

"They're at my mum's," he replied, his voice weirdly empty considering his usual authority and willingness to assert everything he said and felt. In fact, his mouth hardly moved, the words just sort of sneaking out. "I need a plan. To- to prove that..."

He faltered, realizing how terrible he would sound if he said 'to prove that their mother has no right to them.' Because that wasn't what he meant. Not really. Instead, he put his glass down, tried to smooth out his hair, and started obsessively cleaning. That, thankfully, was entirely in character for the headmaster, whether or not Kenna had noticed it yet or not. She'd seen him with the kids, of course, but perhaps not realized how badly he needed to keep things tidy. As he worked, he let himself just ramble off an explanation.

"I got a letter from her brother. They want to take the kids and bring them to Millie because they think being around them will help her get over her addictions. Which, why would I let them just take the children and let them be around someone like that? I knew she'd had problems before, but-- I said I didn't like it and they said she could just sober up and, and take them legally. Because I work all the time. I don't..." He shook his head, arms falling to his side as he turned to stare at Kenna, completely lost. "I never wanted to keep them from her. She just... she never came back. She still hasn't. Her brother did. And I don't--" He lifted his hands uselessly, out of words and things to clean.
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Re: "Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:27 am
Kenna hardly knew what was going on, but she knew it was bad. And she couldn't imagine the devastation that was settling into his breast, the anxiety of a future unknown and unwelcome. She wanted to help and she had no idea where to start. The mess could wait, the liquor remain where it was, but where were the kids that she was already gearing to place herself in front of to create just one more road block to help her friend get what he deserved.

Because it wasn't this.

She had seen him look rough before but this was an entirely new level of horror for him. He looked like he hadn't slept in ages but would maybe never sleep ever again either, entire body taught with an energy that promised explosive potential, and worse-

He just looked so sad and scared.

He owed her no explanation, and she didn't need one, but he gave it anyway, obviously losing hope and steam as he pressed onward. Her breath caught in her throat, fighting an urge she had felt before, an urge to do what she wasn't sure he would find welcome-

Screw it.

His hand was flailing but she reached out and caught it, a look of mingling concern and determination on her face. "Hey," she said, her voice as bracing as her expression. "Not gonna happen," she said, her words clipped, resounding. And she bent to her other urge and stepped forward, wrapping her slender arms against his so-solid body, hands splayed against his shoulders to provide as much comfort as possible. "It'll be okay."
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Re: "Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:57 pm
She took his hand and Keiran felt himself come to a stop, looking down at her with an odd sort of stillness. He hadn't thought through his decision to write that note to Kenna rather than someone up at the Ministry. It just seemed like the right solution. At least she cared, where those legal types wouldn't really have. And she proved him right when she reassured him, stepping forward to brace him. No. Not brace him -- hug him.

He wasn't sure what to do at first, just nodding a little as she wrapped herself around him. But Keiran had actually been avoiding physical contact of this sort, apart from that with his children. It felt strange, but of course quite comforting. So although it took a moment, he let his own arms curl and hold her to him, his jaw lining up with Kenna's temple. His breathing even tried to line up with hers as he worked to back off from his furious, frightened state.

"...I never wanted kids. But I would be -- lost without them now."
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Re: "Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:57 am
He didn't push her away, despite being someone who so often denied help and remained a pillar unto himself. He didn't stay stiff, despite being someone who did not show his vulnerabilities if he could help. He accepted the comfort so she earnestly offered as the first step in their process to overturning the horrible wrong that had been committed. It would be okay, and she would be here to make sure he was okay too.

He spoke and she nodded, fighting the urge to suddenly cry on his behalf, and maybe a bit on her own. Her parents had not been people made to raise children. She wondered if hearts could break from heaven, and if they felt just as lost as she had felt-

She stepped away from Keiran, not wanting to turn this into anything it wasn't supposed to be. This wasn't about her issues. This had nothing to do with her. She released him because he needed her working, and they needed to start now, and maybe because she knew it was time she guarded herself a little more. Because being there for him, so close, felt good and right and she worried about her ability to ever let go. Now was not the time to turn this into what might have been blossoming feelings for the intelligent, handsome, thoughtful Headmaster. Now was the time to save his family.

"It's not going to happen," she said, now that she could see him. "Do you have paper? I'll write to Kip right now. He'll hold more weight, he'll know exactly who to contact and what steps to take. If you have any letters or any other physical proof that shed any doubt onto her-" (because saying ex-wife caused a strange twinge in her chest and Millie was even worse) "-ability to take care of the kids, we'll need that. The little you said about that letter, using the kids to 'get over addictions' will be helpful."

Work now, feel later. It was the McBain way.
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Keiran Hayes
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Re: "Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:40 am
As she backed up, he just stood there, reluctant to let go but not quite aware enough to fight her on it either. It was just... maybe if he hadn't been so horrified about the children, the reason would have occurred to him. But it didn't, of course, because he wasn't quite capable of registering anything important at the moment. It sort of felt like when he got too drunk and his hearing sort of went wonky, like he was under water. But for everything, not just sound.

Immediately, Kenna was kicking into gear, which he had expected. For that, he was grateful. What she said made sense, though, and it sort of woke him up. "Oh. Kip, right." He shook his head a little, wondering why he hadn't even thought of their friend. Perhaps it was to do with the last time he'd seen Parsons. Or perhaps it was just to do with Kenna. "Sorry, I -- I guess I should've written him to start with. You were working, weren't you?"

Still, he moved around his desk, pulling out a few leaves of parchment to drop them on the desk in front of her. Then he pulled out the armchair for her, settling atop one end of the desk so he could face her. But his hand reached out for her before she could sit. "Thank you. Seriously." He nearly tacked on some variant of no matter what happens, but that seemed defeatist and scary, and he just couldn't do it.
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Re: "Not my [children], you B*tch!"

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:23 am
She was glad he hadn't called Kip. Not just because (Merlin bless him) Kip probably wouldn't have responded with the urgency she had, but because there was something to the fact that he had called her, something she would later marvel at and read into until it hurt her head and she had to throw herself into another meaningless conversation about Greece's floundering economy and how that affected the wand trade or whatever. Because with time and opportunity, she'd look far deeper than was necessary or appropriate.

He called her because they were friends. And that was enough.

"It's okay," she said. "As busy as I am, Kip's even worse. If we both bug him, he'll have no choice though. And he owes me about ten thousand galleons in free bourbon." She paused. "I'm glad you called. I want to help."

He pulled out the parchment and she sucked in a breath. "Right. Letter." She moved to sit but he suddenly caught her and her eyes travelled from the point of contact up to his eyes, still sad, still concerned, but full of earnest thanks.

(And she felt her heart break a little. And she wasn't sure she was ready to know why.)

She nodded, almost dumb for a moment, before she patted his hand. "Of course," she said, her voice a little hoarser than usual. "It's what friends do."

She smiled and sat down, squinting a bit as she began to pen out a letter to Kip, her glasses abandoned at the pub. "Is there anything you... don't want Kip to know that I know? Or can I tell him everything you told me?"
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