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WELCOME BACK, ALUMNI! Potter’s Army is a roleplaying site that's been up and running since 2007. We have just revamped the site for an AU version of our previous PA adventures, with our old writing buddies.

The current IC year 2022.



Jam and Joy

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Post by Dory Le on Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:11 am

Dory was the picture of contentment.

Sitting with her feet out in front of her, chowing on scones stored away from breakfast, a small jar of jam open so she could dip the pastry inside. Her thick hair had been pulled up into a long ponytail, her head cocked as her eyes devoured the pages of her book. Jane Eyre, a favorite. She always told herself it was time to take one of the neglected books from her shelf, but almost out of instinct, it was the tragic tale of Jane and Rochester that captivated her heart.

Even now, knowing full well what was coming, her fingers fluttered to her chest, trying to still her beating heart. Her eyes were soft, her lips rolling inward to keep out the emotion... until lifting the jam covered scone to her mouth and taking a bite, taking too much as her cheeks puffed out.

Oh, Merlin. Love like this.
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Post by Juliet Thruston on Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:29 am

In the quest for solitude, not many places in the castle proved accommodating. Jet wasn't really expecting to be successful, but at the very least, the tower provided a view to make up for the inevitable company. Sometimes she got lucky and the company didn't need compensating.

The familiar ponytail and slight frame were identifiable enough, even without the book and the expression- one that spoke of a different sort of magic, a simpler sort of spell. Jet kept quiet so as not to disturb Dory's reading with her approach, setting her bag down as she sat and leaning forward to break off a piece of scone and peer at the book cover.

"Mad wife in the attic?" She asked, allowing amusement to seep into her tone and lift an eyebrow. Of the two of them, Dory was the bigger fiction fan and probably for this reason. Jet couldn't be sure, but she suspected that total rapture was only seen on her own face when engrossed in a gripping account of a risky excavation or a challenging translation of runic tomb inscriptions. Thwarted love and tragic backstories just didn't hold the same appeal. "That's what you've been up to all summer?"
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Post by Dory Le on Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:21 am

She knew what was coming. Jane was going to leave, because it was what she had to do, what was right. She'd walk away from Rochester, a man that meant love, meant money, meant freedom... because it'd compromise her salvation. It broke her heart every time and she couldn't help but put herself in the story, always imagining herself a friend to Jane. She'd hold her, let her cry, tell her she was proud of her, promise she'd always have a friend in her and that where Jane went, she would follow. Jane would miss Rochester but maybe, just maybe, Dory could fill the void, at least a little.

She flinched violently at the noise, having been so engrossed she completely missed Jet's approach, her eyes widening. "Oh, Merlin, how did you sneak up on me?!" she exclaimed, though they both knew how lost Dory could get in her little worlds. Jet sounded disapproving, but Dory knew she didn't mean it. She pushed the open book to her chest, dropping her chin to rest on top of the cover. "It's just so saaaad it gets me every time. All of it, y'know? No one gets their happy ending without a whole lot of sad first." She let out a sigh, closing her eyes wistfully.

They opened, though, and she closed the book, setting it in her lap. "I'm so glad to see you, though! I missed you, a lot. Missed everyone actually, you, Cosmo and Cosi, the whole gang! What did I miss? What adventures did you get into?" Her eyes brightly scanned Jet's face, as though she could find evidence of their excursions there.

((Cosi is Cosmo's sister!))
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Post by Juliet Thruston on Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:28 am

Her first instinct was an eyeroll, a head shake, a “no one gets a happy ending”, something that felt right to her, a truth settled in her bones. But some people did. Thai and Viola did. Dory probably would. As she often did with the younger girl, she compromised instead with what was, to her, a rhetorical question, just a nicer way of delivering the harsher statement. "But is the happy ending ever really worth the sad?”

She didn’t immediately respond to the next question, taking the time to chew on her scone and weigh out a diplomatic response that wouldn’t dampen Dory’s enthusiasm but wouldn’t match it, either. “Newt prep, mostly. You’ll have to ask Cosi and Cosmo about their summer if you want excitement. Orsino had a falling out with Heathcote, so they’ll be avoiding each other for another few months. Probably for the best." Delivered in a neutral tone, with a casual shrug, you'd be forgiven for thinking her impartial. But she'd long accepted that facts were facts- things happened and they were reported. Sometimes it was that simple.
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Post by Dory Le on Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:01 am

Dory's eyelids slid closed and her head fell back, a sigh falling out of her lips. "Always," she said, a small smile unfurling on her face. Jet always had the best questions, one's Dory had never gotten in the habit of asking. And Dory (bless her) never saw the darkness behind Jet's questions, only the curiosity, seeing only the best in her friend, as she did in Jane, as she did in Rochester, as she did with everyone. It was a curse she happily and without complaint bore.

But her eyes flew open at this revelation, and she sat up, looking at Jet with concern. "They did? Is it serious? I mean, they've been friends for so long, I can't imagine there's something they can't work through... right?" If Jet wasn't dragged along to the same parties as Dory, when would she ever see her friend. Because Jet was cool. Effortlessly, stunningly, cool, with nothing to prove, no one to impress, and nowhere to be. Dory was not. Dory always had something she was trying to do, something she was reaching for.

She might have been an optimist but she wasn't a fool. Their friendship wouldn't last if Jet didn't have a reason to talk to her every summer.
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Post by Juliet Thruston on Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:48 pm

She did shake her head at Dory’s satisfied smile, the faint frown unobserved by the Hufflepuff. How to condense years and reams of history into a short, sanitised explanation that kept things neat and sweet? She didn’t know, so she didn’t try.

“Right,” she agreed. “Nothing new.” Facts were facts.

It was a guessing game, this unspoken consensus to protect Dory. She never knew what Thai had or hadn’t told her, what she did or didn’t know- and of that, what she did or didn’t understand. It baffled her, sometimes, how trusting her thinking was, unmarred by uglier truths. There was a commitment to hope and happiness that Jet couldn’t remember ever having, weary from the womb. She’d been confused by it as a child, certain Dory was pulling her leg or at least wilfully naive, determined to overlook anything she didn’t like. But then she’d met Cosmo and become acutely aware of the distinction between innocence and ignorance, optimism and self-delusion.

To see life as an unfurled road, rising and falling softly, rather than a treacherous pass ensnaring the unlucky traveller. Jet envied her innocence but not its eventual rupture. Losing rose-coloured glasses hurt more than never owning them.

“But that was their summer. How was yours? Thai's kid keep you busy?"
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Post by Dory Le on Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:33 am

Jet didn’t share Dory’s concerns, but of course she didn’t. Dory and Jet didn’t share many concerns, their brains moving on different paths - which was why Jet’s friendship was precious. Without their parents, without the shared isolation of being kids at parties meant for the adults that brought them, it wasn’t likely they would have ever become friends. But how didn’t matter, not so long as The Who stretched into a further When.

She let out a breath, trying to let it escape her lips unnoticed as she coaxed her eyebrows into relaxing out of their attention stance. She decided her book could wait, she had been deprived of Jet all summer and she was going to soak her in. She didn’t know that she would get her next summer. (Oh no, that made her sad.) She pushed the thought aside and crossed her legs, turning so she was facing Jet straight on, her face brightening at the thought of an afternoon spent with one of her two favorite Slytherins.

Oh, but that question.

She wasn’t a great liar. Never had been. Why lie when the truth was much kinder, and often much more beautiful. And it a truth wasn’t kind or beautiful, she searched to re-evaluate, find the beauty. She had done so for this summer, though for once she could not fully convince herself. She couldn’t help but feel forgotten, and she knew there memories she could now never recover. It hurt. So she tried not to think about it.

But Jet has asked. And Dory was powerless to deny Jet anything.

“I actually didn’t get to see her very much,” she said, glancing down. “Thai and Viola were really busy. I saw her once but they didn’t - I didn’t get to stay with them. Which was why I wasn’t at any of the summer get together. I don’t think Thai went - or if he did, he only went to one. So everyone could meet her, y’know. But yeah...” her eyes traveled down, landing on her book, which she lifted, adding a small smile. “This really was all I did all summer.” She laughed.

There, some truth after all.
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Post by Juliet Thruston on Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:38 pm

Being the centre of attention was not something Jet sought or particularly enjoyed. It wasn't that she was uncomfortable, exactly. Few things made her uncomfortable and they certainly weren't found at Hogwarts. Other peoples' opinions and scrutiny had never been the problem; it was water off a duck's back, the unimaginative curiosity always directed by the masses at classmates or colleagues, rarely at ideas and never at themselves. For the girl who'd quietly worn other people's conclusions (both figurative and literal) and the child born under the shadow of other people's stories, no number of looks was going to cause a dent in her composure, and no level of attention was going to draw out secret truths.

Still, there was something about the scrutiny of friends that denied complacency, tried to dig beneath a layer too fixed and compressed to give. Both girls wanted to soak up the world, but where Jet refused to consider its people, Dory had chosen her as one of those people, in what should have been- and was- a privilege.

The thing about other people's conclusions- they said more about them than they did about you. Their judgements, but their good opinions, too.  

"They must've had their hands full," she said, allowing her lips to mirror Dory's in a quirk of camaraderie. "I missed that barbecue, too. Went to the History Museum instead." What she didn't mention was Orsino's joy at meeting the kid, his amplified happiness for Thai that had benefited from some artificial assistance, perhaps, but was rooted in genuine brotherliness. The knock on her doorframe when he'd come back, watching her sort through the photos she'd taken with the usual cocktail of bemusement and regret that was the closest he got to scrutiny. The wistful smile, the "Night, kiddo" and the too-bright eyes that shimmered in the lamplight for just a second before he turned to leave again.

Your own conclusions about other people- which bit was the truer reflection? The parts you recognised, or the parts you didn't?

Jet didn't miss the company but Dory evidently did, and though she hadn't made an effort to provide it (hadn't realised it was lacking, hadn't considered it was needed), she hadn't expected the others wouldn't, no matter her own opinion. "You didn't see Cosmo or Cosi either?"
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Post by Dory Le on Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:50 am

Dory was too worried to look at Jet, scared that her friend would see the hurt that still resided from the perceived rejection of the summer. Dory didn’t want to burden anyone with her feelings, and especially didn’t want Jet to think anything less of Thai and Viola. She was hurt, but she still loved them, still believed they were two of the best people to exist.

But she couldn’t lie, either. With a question about the Barbary’s, there was no option. She fiddled with the hem of her skirt, her eyes locking onto the buckles on her shoes. She didn’t know that Jet would care, or see what the big deal was, but it was still hard to talk about.

She swallowed down the lump in her throat and weakly said, “No. I didn’t see anyone. I saw Thai and Viola once and they… didn’t invite me along. Anywhere. All summer.” She batted her eyes, trying to preemptively beat away the sting in her eyes that came every time she thought about it. She looked up at Jet, smiling hard, cheeks dimpling at the effort. “It’s okay, though. I had a lot of fun just staying home and reading.”
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Post by Juliet Thruston on Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:03 am

Jet watched as Dory looked down, fiddled with her skirt, bored a hole into the smooth curvatures of her school shoes. Her brows came together as she spoke, a tiny line of confusion cleaving them in two. A repetition of the previous answer but with some adjustments, different emphases, more difficulty. It wasn't unlike Dory to be soft-spoken, shy, sometimes. But a relationship stemming back to their respective childhoods meant Jet was familiar with the timbre of repressed tears. Feelings, at least, and strong ones.

It was a study in performance, watching the younger girl blink furiously, stretch her mouth into a painful proximation of a smile, squeezing out the optimism through sheer determination.

The consternation Jet felt wasn't for Dory's distress, which was troubling, yes, because she did like her. It was for her own incomprehension. Occupied with her solitary, self-defined pursuits all summer, she hadn't even considered that Dory might be lacking company, that she might actually want it. Beyond her own aversion to Orsino's functions she hadn't considered Dory at all, except maybe remembering Thai's new arrival and thus their likely preoccupation, or when weighing out pros and cons of accompanying Orsino to another fundraiser, or concert, or friendly gathering. It wasn't that she didn't care, exactly.

...Was it?

It took her a few seconds to blink away the shock and relax her features into something not quite so stunned. When she did she didn't mirror Dory's grimace, unable to muster the dedication to absorbing and reflecting a fake emotion. The most consternating thing? Had she not been so familiar with Dory's inflections, chances were she would've merely frowned slightly, unable (and unwilling) to decipher the odd undertone and contortions, and moved on with a mild comment or a new subject.

"I didn't know," she said instead, honesty coming more easily than any of the glib consolations she probably should have attempted. "I stayed home and read, too." And I hadn't felt lonely, or forgotten, or excluded. So I hadn't imagined anyone else would.

Or she hadn't cared.

"Maybe next time you can come and read with me, instead. If Thai's busy."
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