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Gryffindor Graduate
Gryffindor Graduate
Fred Weasley II
26 : Alumnus
NoneWeasley's Wizard Wheezes
HalfbloodHuman
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Kiera

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High Noon

on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:46 pm
“I think she’s a spy.”

Lys switched off the TV. Pale yellow pooled in the hollows of his cheeks, courtesy the flames of the artificial fireplace – the sun had set half hour ago, but they hadn’t gotten around to turning on the lights yet. The wooden floorboards of their living room shone dimly in the dark, ceiling-to-floor windows opaque in the gloam.

“That took…” His best friend paused as if for the right word, and damn if that wasn’t a jangling warning bell all on its own. “…both longer and shorter than I expected.”

His jaw was working outside his conscious will – Fred stilled it with the slightest sliver of annoyance. His tone was short, a rarity he didn’t have the patience to acknowledge. “You expected longer than seven months?”

“It took six years the last time.” Lys pulled his ankles off the floor, swinging them onto the couch to cross them under his thighs. Turned around, ever so slightly, to face Fred – if not head on, then at least a decent side eye. “And three days the time before that. You either explode or go dormant, Freddie – there’s barely an in between.”

Fred settled his ass further into the recesses of his proudly exorbitant couch, gaze still pointedly affixed on the TV screen ahead. It stared back at him, black and infuriatingly blank.  

“I don’t usually have to spoon feed your epiphanies to you.” Unless you’re acting like a stubborn toddler who won’t open his mouth. Probably said something, that they’d gotten so proficient at this routine that Lys didn’t even have to say half his irksome speeches out loud. Fred blinked at the TV, lips flattening into an unreadable line even as the next, quieter words made their way into his ears. “Seven months ago, I walked into your place at London.”

“You weren’t up to your eyeballs in parchment and self-inking quills, puzzle boxes revolving around your head. Or whacking at a self-enchanted Bludger in your gym, or even practicing with swords and scythes and whatever other deranged weaponry you own.” The words trickled to a stop, punctuated by an exhale that sounded almost amused. “The emotionally disturbed male turning to violence so as to vent, like any other self-respecting cliché.”

“But unlike the rest of the world’s population, you only do those things when you’re in a good mood.” The smallest touch of fondness feathering over the syllables – but it evened out soon enough, tone quiet and serious. “And when I walked in, you were sitting on the couch and staring off into space, doing nothing.”

Fred’s head jerked up and to the side despite himself, eyes flicking over to settle on Lys, curl of his lips generous enough to season the words just the right amount. “After which you told me about your new gig as a street art curator in Melbourne – just the kind of career opportunity a New York broom designer is looking for. Truly.”

Lys stared back at him serenely. “You moved here with me.”

“I took a sabbatical here with you.” Fred huffed a little, languidly sarcastic expression temporarily forgotten.
“People get to kick sharks while surfing in Australia – why wouldn’t I live here?”

Lys crooked an eyebrow. Presumably he’d attended the same class that every Slytherin in their year had, Fred having been denied entry because his eyebrows were too expressive to be constrained to one axis of motion only. “So you do live here?”

“You came with me when I moved to America!” Letting exclamation marks into your speech was usually the first sign of losing an argument, but damn if Fred didn’t give a ferret’s arse at the moment. “We’re manly men who’re freakishly codependent, why is this becoming an issue now?”

“Mostly because when I leave for work every day, I go to the Royal Botanic Gardens and spend the daylight hours designing broom grips.” Lys sighed, more put on than repenting. “Which you obviously know about because you are definitely a goddamned spy and I forfeited my right to privacy the moment I befriended you.”

“We were seven.”

“You had an Extendable Ear by the time you were three.” Another sigh, a fraction more genuine this time round. “Bishop’s a spy?”

The name pricked at the back of his mind – a reflexive reaction that was absolutely infuriating.  “Not sure if you were aware of this recent grammatical development, but the pronoun ‘she’ can be applicable to anyone of the feminine persuas–”

Lys’ lips curved up, faint and kind. “Not when you say it that way it can’t.”

Fred exhaled through his teeth, slow and controlled. The words that followed were more faux light than anything,
“You know, I’m beginning to reconsider this whole freakish codependence thing.”

“Did you confront her?”

Something twitched in Fred’s jaw – probably that infinite reserve of patience finally giving out. “No.”

“Do you have any proo–”

“Planning on grabbing some, right from the dragon’s mouth.” Fred rolled his shoulders back slightly, neck popping with the motion. “Got a Portkey in seventy two hours.”

“You’re…going back.” There was an incriminating pause right there, as if to say I thought I’d have to talk you into that.

“Told you.” Fred smiled, smooth and humourless. “This was just a sabbatical.”

“Dragon’s mouth.” Lys repeated, slow and articulated. “So you are going to confront her?”

“Confrontation is…probably too straightforward of a word.” Fred uncurled from the couch, knees twinging as they unfolded and stood straight. The room looked dimmer still from this vantage, object outlines blurry and indistinct with shadow. “Someone that invested in long term deception, you’ve gotta think she’s got a whole slew of excuses piled up for if anyone ever tries to ask her head on.”

“Fred.” There weren’t any words forthcoming after that, which probably meant that that was the entire sentence, point encapsulated.

But then. “What are you planning?”

Fred smiled, the rapier-sharpness of it obscured by the lack of light; dobbed a quick two-fingered salute as he made his way to the doorway. “None of your damn business.”
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Durmstrang Graduate
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Claire Bishop
24 : Alumnus
NoneHead Magical Law Enforcement
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Re: High Noon

on Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:06 am
As one reached thirty, those early ages of adulthood seemed more and more like childhood. When she had risen through the ranks of the American government, she had felt so mature and certain in her adulthood. To look back now, however, she seemed so... young.

She had tried to bury herself in work and shroud herself in clipped professionalism to escape the vulnerable embarrassment of finding herself in too deep, much too young. She nearly blushed when she considered that had she been a little less brave, a little less callous, she might have been Claire Ivanov, forever tied to a boy who had grown up to be a criminal. It was with distaste that she recognized this fact may have subconsciously steered her towards Law Enforcement. She didn't like to talk about Robin but her entire lifestyle seemed to scream 'I swear that is not who I am anymore.'

Not that anyone bothered to notice.

A twenty something blonde woman was certainly a novelty in government, but it hardly warranted warmth or recognition at first. Her superiors seemed to like her, maybe even enjoy her, but they were so busy that the bulk of their interactions were only telling her what else needed to be done, or could she also take on this special project. Her peers didn't seem to trust her, and her subordinates, once they respected her, weren't made easy in her presence. It was a lonely life. Elsie taking a job in the building had helped, and she on occasion saw Elsie's rich friends who, of course, had gotten into politics as well. But it was rare to enjoy a conversation with her colleagues. She wasn't warm or inviting, and was much too cautious to fall off the line she was so careful to toe. Besides, she prided herself on her cool, effective professionalism.

P.P.S You're so right. You clever, clever man. Take me now.

But this was different.

She didn't know who this F.W. was, and it had to be one of the most risky things she had done with her own career. How easy it would be for him to hand that along to her superiors - and he didn't strike her as someone who would blush at having his own memo's aired out in public. In any other circumstance, these memos were insulting, offensive, crude, a waste of time.

But as she added a last post script, she hummed along, her lips oddly relaxed. Almost like she was having fun. Almost like it was the most natural thing in the world. Almost like she could breathe easy...


A very tired looking Claire Bishop, years older, thanked the Swedish diplomat and wished him well on his trip back to the embassy. She had slept well the night before. The exhaustion she had now was not a physical one, but an age she didn't particularly think she wore well. She had fallen into routine, despite all of her knowledge that routine was the attractor of danger. Routine was what allowed enemies to study and ambush, it was what wore senses down and guaranteed false safety. But she could not draw herself from it. She worked out, she went to work, she picked up Sophie, she fed herself and Elsie, and then the next day was already halfway over without her taking a chance to look around.

It used to be that the interruption to her schedule found her. Jack Dyllan would storm upstairs about some case she thought the Aurors weren't paying enough attention too - but Jack had bigger issues now. Elsie would declare the nights a girl's night and they would end up having to apparate from some horrid miscommunication with a drunken man in a strange bar at two in the morning - but Elsie was aloof and attached. And Fred - well Fred had run away again, hadn't he?

She had no other explanation for it. She couldn't remember who she had heard say it. Her receptionist, with whom Fred was always sickeningly complimentary, or maybe Dyllan herself, or perhaps it was just one of those rumors that turned into fact without ever actually be stated. But Fred Weasley had flounced off to Australia without a word and despite what he had said last time, she couldn't help but take it a little personally. Round one - she had dared him to marry her and off he ran to the states. Round two - the mirrors and that mess, and then he was gone. He had been so firm in telling her it had nothing to do with her the first time, but surely he would be the first to say that only an idiot could believe a coincidence would repeat itself, or something to that effect.

She didn't mind him leaving, she guessed. It wasn't as if they were exactly supportive of each other.

But a goodbye would have been nice. She firmly believed she owed him absolutely nothing, but she knew this much - she would have said goodbye to him.

But he had not. Part of her had thought to write him, thought to seek out Lysander. But he had not said good bye which meant he did not think she was someone who had a place in his life to know where he was. He had drawn the line and for once she was going to respect it and not cross over. It seemed fair enough, considering the last time she had seen him.

But life did feel lonelier. And she couldn't just chalk that up to Elsie's distance, for old friends had reinvested and her relationship with her family was the healthiest it had been in years. But they couldn't quite do what she needed.

She had made it up to her floor automatically, and it was with a start that she received the paperwork Cathy was handing her. Cathy smiled, "Didn't meant to scare you there. You were far off just now."

Claire blinked and then her face smoothed over. "Right. Yes." She looked at the paperwork but the words seemed to be running together-

Her eyes snapped up to Cathy's. "Cathy. I'm taking a half day. I'm so sorry, I just remembered I need to pick up my niece."

Cathy reeled back, evidently shocked by this once-in-a-life circumstance of Claire Bishop leaving work early. She mouthed like a trout for a moment before saying, "Of course. I'll... I'll have this on your desk and take messages."

Claire gave her a brief, relenting smile and went to her office to grab her bag and change her blouse from one with a pressed collar to something a little more relaxed. Once she was out of the building she sent a quick text to Sophie's day sitter and to Avery, and then went on the walk she so liked to take. It was often that she walked there instead of apparated, as it was one of the only excuses she had to actually get outside. She took a deep breath of the clear air and held it in her lungs for as long as possible, before it all slipped out.
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