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Potter’s Army is a roleplaying site that's been up and running since 2007. We pride ourselves on fostering a welcoming and helpful community where all levels of writers are accepted.

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.

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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Christian Zabini
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"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:14 pm
It had been almost a year since he had last set foot in his parents' home. Over the summer, he had seen his mother a few times at various outings or when the boys were expected to meet them for dinner or whatever. Blaise argued, apparently, that they were going to graduate soon anyway, so they needed to learn how to exist on their own. But now Apollo was graduating early and Christian wasn't and Christmas was entirely up in the air. The younger brother doubted very seriously that the older one would show up for the holidays, which left him to Daphne's fussing and Blaise's muttering.

But oh well. You don't pick your family. Not usually. Most people aren't that lucky. And Christian was feeling very unlucky.

At any rate, he was due to meet Apollo down in the entry hall in an hour, but he was hoping to say goodbye to a certain Hufflepuff first, so he dragged his trunk out into the common room. If he didn't find her there, his next guess would be the Room of Requirement, but he hoped he wouldn't have to pull his belongings up a million stairs.
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Ace Longbottom
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:39 pm
Ace rarely spent time in front of the mirror, but today it was unfortunately a necessity. Only a few people had noticed the bandages around her arms, but a dirty look had been enough to deter them. That wasn't going to work with Mum and Dad, and certainly not Frank with all his nosieness. So she took extra care today making sure they were tucked underneath the sleeves of her cardigan and hidden from every angle before leaning down to grab her bags and stumble into the common room.

Christian was there, hesitant as always, and she dropped her bags to readjust the grip, wincing at a phantom pain on her forearm, before giving Christian a proper up-and-down. "Where's your cardigan? I know it's dumb but Mum will probably cry if we show up wearing them. It'll buy us some points so we can get out of something more embarrassing."
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Christian Zabini
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:48 am
It wasn't hard to find Ace when she walked right up to him and did the hard work for him. Christian probably would've smiled if she hadn't taken him by surprise and started talking about her... mum? "Uh-" he started, failing to grasp what she meant until he replayed the whole thing over again in his mind. He just about squinted at her, but then it processed and his eyebrows lifted. How could she still want him to spend the holidays there? It wasn't like he wanted to go home to the manor. Obviously not. How could he go home to her family and pretend that he hadn't personally failed to protect her?

"Um, I didn't... I thought you--" Christian faltered, completely flummoxed. He shook his head a little. "I guess I didn't realize you wanted me to go. I was going to head out with Apollo once he confirms his graduation." He shrugged, glancing at his bags and wondering which one he'd stuffed the cardigan into. Oh, right. Not the trunk, but the more duffle-like bag. "I can't say I'm eager to go home or anything, but..."

He looked back at Ace, lifting his eyebrows in a sort of silent, awkward question.
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Ace Longbottom
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:52 am
He looked surprised. Why did he always look surprised? Was she such a shocking, unpredictable person? She felt like she was a wonderfully consistent person and that if anyone should be able to predict her actions, it was the boy before her.

She remembered the possibility that her Mum and Dad might be out when they arrived and picked up her bag to search for the enchanted key she had always used to enter their home, nose buried deep in her bag as Christian spoke. It took a moment for her to realize what he was saying and she lifted her head quickly, shooting him a look that screamed-

"Are you stupid?"

Oh, so she said that.

"My parents very clearly invited you last year. Insisted, even. And you saw how mad my mum is. She'll take it as a personal slight. She'll spend all of Christmas worrying that you had a bad Christmas last year. Why would you do that to my mum, Christian?"

There was no trace of irony in Ace Longbottom's face. She wasn't nearly funny enough to pull that off.
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Christian Zabini
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:18 am
Christian flinched, frowning at her question. But then he actually got a bit angry with her despite not expecting to. "Ace, you do realize that Christmas is usually spent with your own family? Why would they expect me to be there when my parents may well expect the same? Where did you think Apollo and I were going?"

He shook his head, openly exasperated. "I mean, I don't want to go back home, but you didn't exactly invite me or anything. After what happened, I know we're... better. But I didn't think that--"

Christian looked away, shrugging massively. "I don't know, Alice. Christmas with you all was, y'know, perfect. But you can't just assume for something like this. I'm not family, for you. And I've been... rubbish. I would never have expected you to, well, expect me to go."
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Ace Longbottom
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:58 pm
And now he was upset. At least he was getting all frowny - it was her least favorite of his faces. It meant she had an uphill battle and, as much she liked a good battle, she wasn't a fan of fighting with him.

And he was taking it all... wrong. Everything he said made sense if it weren't coming from her. She squirmed a bit, a nervous, uncomfortable tick that betrayed that they were crossing into territory that made her feel vulnerable. She just... wanted him to see through her demand and her refusal to see any other option for what it was. That she wanted him to come. That she thought he had wanted to as well. That she didn't know how to ask. That she hoped he would just know.

"Christian, I..." she struggled for words that didn't sound stupid. She was becoming ever more aware that her way of communicating, understood or not, didn't always work for other people. It put the burden of effort on them, and got her off the hook for a lot. She shrugged. "I mean, I thought you might want to spend time with your family. And that's fine if you do. I just thought you might want to spend part of it with us. You said so last year. You didn't say anything so I didn't think the plan had changed or whatever."

It didn't seem like enough. Looking at him, she felt like it maybe wasn't enough. What had he said? He wouldn't have expected her to expect him?

"You should always expect me to expect you to be where I am," she finally said, heaving a shrug. "It's where I like you best."
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Christian Zabini
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:46 am
Christian was opening his mouth to say that she presumed too much considering they had never made a plan, much less changed one. But then she added something on that really struck him. There had always been something that kept the two of them running along in life side by side, despite the fighting. And he had originally stuck that reasoning under the 'PA' label. But on the other hand, he'd known all along that it wasn't just that. At least... not for him.

Was it the same for Alice?

Somehow, he doubted it could be, because even Christian himself wasn't exactly sure what he meant. Maybe he hadn't known all along. He had been so distracted by his brother and by Lily and his family, and Ace had given him a way out of that. Sure, they had only brought on a few new members over the past couple years, but that was better than nothing considering where they started. And considering people like Pavo, who he could admit was a problem. So he wasn't sure how he felt about Apollo graduating. He didn't want to worry about that over the holidays, though. Didn't want to listen to their father praise the son that he still thought would cave. Merlin, if they knew.

He blinked at Ace, thoroughly confused by the, well, confusion that made him delay his original response. No. Not delay. Change it. When he swallowed, glanced away, and looked back at her, whatever surprise he'd felt was replaced with a mild amusement and acceptance. "Well. I figure Apollo would rather go back to his flat than to the manor. So.. let me tell him, and then we can go. I'll write to them later."
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Ace Longbottom
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:46 pm
One day, she would be forced to learn how to properly communicate. She was such a steam roller, making up plans and schemes in her head and assuming that everyone was on board and that there was no other or better options. She noticed this but it was usually far too late, once everyone had given up and just gone along with whatever she had decided. And some day it was going to make everyone who tolerated her give up and go their separate ways.

He looked away and she was certain that he had made this decision, that he would look back at her with the resolve to go do their own things, dismiss her for being far too much trouble. She felt an argument bubble to her throat, some sort of retort to at least put her in the right, buy her some time to figure out how to get him to give her yet another chance but-

She deflated. But he seemed happy with the decision, and it took her a second to really catch up. And because of that, she blurted out possibly the worst idea she had ever had.

"I... If you want to visit your family, you should. I could go with you, if it wouldn't make it horrible."
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Seventh Year Hufflepuff
Christian Zabini
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:47 am
Christian glanced away awkwardly at her offer. "I don't know. You're not the one that would make it bad, obviously. But honestly," he reached a hand back to rub at the back of his neck, "I don't know if they'll remember you. For your sake, we might want to keep it to a first-name basis."

Of course, as soon as he said it, he felt guilty. She had every right to be proud of her family, and every right to be furious with him for trying to make her hide who she was. But it wasn't Ace he was ashamed of. His parents were backwards people, even with the end of the war and time moving forward -- even after that stupid law the Ministry had passed. So he looked to the floor, embarrassment working over his features.

"Maybe it's best if I just tell them I'll come by for Christmas morning and then skip out whenever Apollo does."
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Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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Ace Longbottom
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

on Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:54 pm
It was evident from her expression that she was utterly relieved by his deflection. Hopefully, the whole thing would be forgotten. She had been at that bloody (oh dear, a pun) ball and had seen just how warm the reception of a lady friend was. Not that she was- the circumstance with Lily was very obviously different- the whole thing was- she was a blood traitor, that was the end of that.  

"Let's go tell Apollo, then," Ace said with a curt nod, hoping that would be the end of it.
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Re: "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly."

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