Sunday, 31 July 2011

Stories must be told... )
Only for now, though. Soon the story would begin to eat at them. It needed to be told. And stories were not known to take ‘no’ for an answer.

 In which Peeves is truly frustrating.

“Hey Gin, hows the shop going?” Charlie walked into the living room and slumped into his father’s favourite arm chair.

“Dead standstill,” She murmured without looking up. “Can’t seem to find a reason for the hero to come in and purchase any books.” she closed her laptop with a soft ‘click’. Ginny was a writer, and her Uni classes were forever the bane of her creative existence; or so she said. She took a glance at Charlie.

“Oh. What did Peeves do now? Bloody prick…” she mumbled the last bit.

Everyone knew that Charlie was in a perpetually tormented relationship with a man called Jared Peeves. He was forever putting the breaks on or starting endless arguments over nothing, disappearing for weeks at a time, only to come back guilting and cajoling Charlie into accepting him again

Unfortunately it was painfully obvious that the man was silly in love with her brother, or Ginny would have had a few choice words with him a year or so back. But no one dared tell Charlie. Peeves was a dangerous specimen. Still,it was tempting at times like this.

“Nothing, he’s just holed up in the studio again. Has been for a week. I’ve nothing to do.”

Ginny hid her amusement. If only Charlie knew what Peeves was up to in there…

A Note: This was written purely for amusement purposes, and thus far has five and a half chapters.

In which Terry turns the tables

“But there are just too many of them…” Terry was going on for the third time.

“Tough. Deal with it.” Said a frustrated and amused Hannah.

“But… Seventeen! And all of them married. And my mother there, hovering about, introducing me to all of her single friends. Who ‘just happen’ to be my age. Last year she even included single men!” he looked comically distressed.

“So don’t go. Not my funeral. But didn’t you say that all of the Boots have terrible tempers? Something about shoe jokes…” Hannah couldn’t help giggling.

Terry’s mother had called with a spur of the moment invitation to a family party, to celebrate his eldest sister’s engagement. She’d invited the whole family, and what sounded like half the city.

The trouble with it was that Terry was the only member of his immediate family who was not married or seriously involved with someone.

He groaned loudly. “Not funny, Abbott. Horrendously unfunny. Grievously sinful toward the very nature of funny.”

“Oh, it is. You have no idea how much. Just go, Terry, it won’t be as bad as all that!”

When she looked up from her tea, Terry was grinning at her deviously.

‘Oh no.’ her brain cried, but she calmly ate toast and waited to shoot his argument down.


Well, this was odd. Hannah narrowed her eyes. “Fine?”

“Yes. Fine.” he paused to let her have a moment of victory before… “But if I’m going, you’re coming with me, Abbott. Come on, up, go get dressed. There will be plenty of food there.”

Hannah sat there with toast already in her mouth and stared as he left the room.

“But…” she paused to swallow. “I don’t wan-“

“Tough. Deal with it.” Terry cut her off, calling out from his bedroom.

 In which Draco is over-dramatically frustrated.

“Library books.” he murmured, looking at the stacks.

Pansy nodded.

“Library books?” he stared at her. “Really?”

Pansy fidgeted a little under his gaze. “I have them from every city I’ve ever lived in. I’ve been doing it since I was ten.”

Draco glanced at the books again, then back to her. “You never get to call me insane again.”

Pansy fidgeted some more. “Done.”

Draco walked out of the room mumbling “She steals library books?” under his breath.

Pansy watched him for a moment, then picked up The Rivers of Zadaa and set up camp in an overstuffed chair.

“Oh, not this again!” Said a voice from the door.

“Do shush, Draco.” said Theo from the couch.

“Must you insist upon watching this rubbish at least once a week? Really?” demanded Draco.

“Must you consistantly complain about it? It’s not as if I tie you to the couch and force you to watch it with me.” Theo shot back.

“Yes. The Constant Gardener does not qualify as quality entertainment, Theo. Tessa and Justin be damned, you don’t need to cry like a little schoolgirl every single weekend,” proclaimed Draco loudly.

“If you had ever bothered to watch this movie, Malfoy, you would know that The Constant Gardener is not about just the romance. It’s controversial, and for good reason,” Theo explained absently.

“Wouldn’t you rather read something? Wander through the seas in Moby Dick? Become unstuck in time with Billy Pilgrim? SOMETHING intellectual?” Draco cried in desperation.

Theo finally looked up, pushed Draco down into sitting on the couch, turned back to the movie and said, very quietly, “Sit still. Hush. Watch.”

 In which Snape thieves from people.

It was pouring. Of course it was. How could he have expected any different?

He wanted a smoke, though, and he was bloody well going to have one.

Just as he lit the cigarette, he heard the footsteps.

Light, almost silent, but decidedly behind him and walking directly towards him.

Harry sighed and took a drag, forcing himself to relax into it.

“Potter,” said the voice belonging to the footsteps: his boss.

“Professor Snape,” he responded.

“Those things will kill you, you know,” Snape informed him.

“So will alcohol and fast cars. Think anyone stops doing things with those?” Harry returned.

Snape hesitated for just a moment. “Could I bum one from you?” he inquired.

Harry silently held out the pack, then flicked his lighter under the other man’s cigarette.

“Hypocrite,” he accused.

“You saw the freshmen, Potter. And we all have our vices for dealing with the terror of people.” Snape rejoined.

“I’ve been your TA for six months, Snape. They are far more likely to come out of this scarred than you.” Harry said.

“Vices, Potter, are what keep good teachers sane, and good students in fear.” his boss replied.

“And yours is, Professor?”Harry asked.

“Stealing cigarettes off my Teaching Assistant. Now come on, we can’t catch them being late if we aren’t there ourselves.” Snape snapped back.

 In which Seamus may or may not still have a producer.

Ginny was making margaritas when Seamus walked in.

“Oh lord. What happened now?” he said when he saw the tequila.

“Jordan broke rule #13.” was her reply, without looking up.

“Erm. How?” Seamus knew he was going to regret that question.

“They have to call in someone to look at the paperwork,” again, Ginny didn’t take her eyes off the blender.

“How does that… I’m sorry, remind me what Rule #13 entails, again,” Seamus was used to Ginny’s rules by now.

“Rule Number 13: Never, ever, involve lawyers. For any reason,” Ginny said matter-of-factly.

“Lawyers. Oh dear. Is Jordan still living?” Seamus actually was a bit worried about that. Ginny took lawyers very seriously.

“For the moment. His luck may or may not hold. Depends on the lawyers,” she said.

“Please don’t kill him, where on earth will I find another producer?” Seamus was almost pleading, now.

“In Oxford?” Ginny didn’t have any remorse when someone involved lawyers.

Seamus was silent and still. It only took a minute before Ginny gave in.

“Oh fine. How about I make you a margarita? I can make it a virgin!” she offered.

Seamus leaned forward to whisper in Ginny’s ear, “I doubt that.”

Ginny finally looked up as she gasped, “Offensive! Very offensive!”

Seamus just walked away, laughing.

 In which Hermione may or may not have a secret cabinet of tea.

“I just don’t understand why you would make it so complicated!” said Hermione from the corner in her over cushioned  arm chair.

Three heads turned and looked at her.

“Make what so complicated?” said Harry.

“The ending of one Professor Severus Snape, JD.” Hermione returned.

“And how do you suppose I make it less complicated, Hermione,” Harry asked.

“Well it’s simple, isn’t it? You poison his afternoon tea, you tamper with his car, you get him alone and inject an air bubble directly into his heart. Not difficult!” Hermione said matter-of-factly.

Harry, Dean, and Theo looked at her, dumbfounded. 

“What? Really. You want someone dead, you knock on their door, they answer, you shoot them! Easy.” To her credit, Hermione said this with a straight face.

“I don’t want to go to prison for murder, Hermione, I just wish that the man weren’t so infuriating!” Harry exclaimed.

“Maybe you should be more careful what you wish for, Harry,” Hermione responded.

Theo stared at Hermione and hesitated for just a moment before saying, “Hermione, sometimes I really forget to make notes not to anger you.”

Hermione scoffed, “As if I am at all dangerous., Theo!”

Theo just shook his head and wandered into the kitchen.

I: And this is the time of night...

“When you don’t plan it, the most absurd impulses you act on can be the best ones. The ones that end up creating the best times you will ever have.

Tonight was one of those times. I can’t explain the whole turn of events yet, because I really do not understand how it happened, but I had the time of my life in a moving vehicle from eleven pm on. I’ve just returned, and it is the absurd hour of six am.” -From Brenna’s Journal

That was this morning. She hasn’t yet been to bed. Not even remotely close to tired. The facts are harder to understand than you might think, sometimes. Even when it’s just happened, even when you have it all very clearly in your head.

You know those moments in your life that change everything, or at least make it seem like they change everything? It’s an instant, a split second decision. Like a phone call you make, on a whim, without thinking that it could possibly end in anything other than a ride home.

Then you realise you don’t want to go home, not really. So you ask a tentative question, and the answer surprises you. Then someone later on makes a few comments that set the wheels turning. The conversation makes a slight detour, just enough to allow for the occasional little quip. You both laugh at the person who made the comments to begin with, but now the idea is there, in the background. Tempting both sides towards discussing it.

There’s no rush, really. Neither party wants to make a decision without a signal from the other, but things change subtly. A few tentative remarks are exchanged, and while everyone involved knows exactly what the situation is, there is just this period of feeling one another out.

First nights are always the most intriguing, the most fun, the easiest to manage. After the first night, doubts start to creep in, within hours. Confidence falls away, and both parties start to consider changing their minds, thinking that the other has already backed out.

It’s a very dangerous, and somewhat thrilling game. As soon as someone raises the stakes, it becomes a challenge. It becomes a few parts of an entertainment, and the pieces of the story cannot wait to play themselves out.

II: When the moonlight shines down...

It was like a trip down the rabbit hole. Whereas on first nights, things are always tentative, and very little actually physically happens, second nights are always intensive on everything. Second nights take everything from first nights, and put it under a microscope.

If the circumstances, the people, and the timing are right, then everything becomes a new level of intense. All the questions are loaded. Every glance, every touch, every word, becomes something of importance, worthy of being pondered and analysed.

This can go on for hours, if you aren’t alone. Hours of every look being a communication, fingers poking back and forth, jokes that no one else but the two involved understand… The music on the radio becomes a source of hilarity, because somehow the disc jockies know, and they know that we know that they know.

By the time it all calms down and you get a moment to breathe, just between the two of you, it’s already three in the morning. There is an obvious, blatantly defiant tension in the room. But you blow it off, because the more you let it build, the more likely things turn out on the right side of interesting.

Both of you said something about this. One said that they wouldn’t make the first move, while the other said that they have no self-confidence whatever in their abilities. You had reached a stalemate. It was almost pleasant.

But now, alone in this dark room, after the last nine hours of pure running, something has changed. The way they look at you, the way you look at them… Those looks are still charged, but this time there seems to be an intent behind one set of eyes.

The games have been intense this far, and the level of tension between the two of you could be cut with a knife, but the moment one person makes a decision, and that look begins to show signs of intent… You are already lost, it is merely a matter of how long it takes to give in.

A kiss is a kiss is a kiss. Yet somehow, they feel so different between one person and the next. Once you begin, though, it becomes near impossible to stop. It’s far easier to tumble onto the nearest flat surface.

But duty calls, and you must stop, so you pull away, and run for the door to the car before they can change your mind. It’s this. This little fact that the phone can ring at any second and interrupt you that makes it that much more fun. And then it does, and you curse it, because that was the last time that night you would be alone.

Until the next time the sun sets, and darkness takes over for a few hours. It promises to be very, very interesting.

This will end poorly.

III: And we can reveal who we truly are...

The third night is much like the first. The doubts have finished creeping in, and people have changed their initial decisions. The songs that trigger a good time play early on in the evening, before it is even half dark out in the world. This turns out to be a fairly bad sign.

There is a bit of a tug of war going on between what is really there and what isn’t. It becomes a choice of what is right, and what is easy. But the lines are thin here. The black and white blur together and then everything is in shades of grey. Both parties have made a radical switch in positions

That bothersome self-confidence issue presents itself in rare form on the third night. The other party has made some choices that frustrate you, and by extension, you begin to play the aggressor. There is still kissing, still touching, but… the other one, their heart just isn’t really in it.

A challenge has presented itself. So in the morning, you bathe and get yourself into the correct mindset. You cut your hair, and wear something from another time period. You begin to get ready for the following forty-eight hours, and the event that will make you so tense that if you happened to be a bow-string, you would snap.

But above all, you put a blanket ban out on the following day. You will not answer who, what, when, where, why, or how questions for the next forty-eight hours. On this day, you feel no need. There is truly absolutely no desire to account for one’s self, or justify one’s actions.

A taste of freedom

IV: And I may be bad...

This is the void. The world is quiet here, as if it were asking for permission. The feelings of people are almost not in existence at all. Someone has turned the volume dial down to a mere whisper, as these preparations are made.

She chose the clothing carefully. She had already made her plans and the deals associated with them for the night. She wanted to tame her hair into gentle curls, set her mind in the right place for the evening, and just act.

There was no emotion here at all. Nor was there really a plan. She had openly told everyone involved not to call her, because she wouldn’t pick up. She had made sure that no one would tell her ‘no’ on this day. She had ensured that all things would be within one plan, but she refused to plan the rest of the evening at all. She would merely act on what she felt, and pay no mind to any sort of justifications. It had already been stated that she was a whole different creature today.

On this evening, she would not answer how or why questions.

She would dress, put on makeup, slip out silently, and fall away into a void of music, laughter, intensity, and cigarettes until the next morning.

This night was her own.

Though, this would likely end poorly

VWithin the darkest, most depraved, of joys...

When the tension finally breaks, it is more a matter of being an inevitable occurrence than a moment of maddening passion. By this time, both sides have been teasing one another for so long that it becomes anticlimactic. It is more a game than it is anything else, and whomever gives in first loses the round.

The repeated request from one to the other that they just stop thinking and act on what they really want becomes incredibly irritating after about the fourth repetition. At this moment, it is merely a matter of who gives in and starts it first.

Then afterwards, it becomes a blur of several things happening very quickly, there are a few games of blackjack, several cigarettes, and the obligatory questions that must be asked, facts established. The answers are surprising, but welcome. One side does have the grace to inform the other that their impressions of themselves are wildly wrong, and they should start believing it.

It could be dangerous, this believing someone about themself. It could be dangerous to believe that it stops when they want it to, and not otherwise. It could be dangerous to play these games to begin with, in all real honesty.

But both are only human, and following rules aside from their own is not something that humans do very well.

VI: But I'm perfectly good at it...

“But what happens? What happens when you stop knowing where you were and when you were there, or even how you got there to begin with? What happens when you aren’t sure what was real and what your mind just made up as it went along? What happens when you’ve been blacking out for two weeks, losing four or five hours at a time? What happens when you don’t even remember how the whole evening ended, several days in a row? What then?” - from Brenna’s Journal

VII: Sticks and stones may break my bones...

There are of course those moments when you can’t remember what’s happened. Those must also be addressed. That split second when you realise, ‘oh… Oh I see, so that’s what’s causing all the trouble?”

Too much contact is a bad thing. That’s why there are rules. Rules about never during the week. Rules about secrecy, about hoops and casual arrangements. Rules that were mutually agreed upon.

They never go looking for trouble. That is the trouble. Trouble usually finds them. Because… well, we’ll save that for later.
VIII: So if you're afraid to say...

Because the whole world must stand still and turn around them. Something it is not necessarily agreeable to.

They would find out very soon, of course. Tonight, in fact. April, the twenty-third, 1995.

Or is this how the whole ordeal ends for the both of them? With adultery and whispers, secrecy, hoops to leap through, the whisper of the truth?

This will end poorly.


 This is a little something that I wrote for a plot bunny challenge that I had forgotten. I hope you like this first chapter!

It was strange for a Gryffindor to have such a dark, green coloured scheme in a place of their own, but then Oliver was never a fan of sticking to traditions. It was darker still in this little flat, for he had only decided to light it with candles and oil lamps for the evening.

After all, the mentor that everyone had looked up to was gone. Dumbledore had fallen to the one man he had trusted with everyone’s safety, and even his own life. McGonagall had called to question whether or not Hogwarts would remain open for the next year. Those in open resistance to Voldemort’s tyranny were now targets, even in their deep grieving for their unofficial leader. Darkness was to be called for, after all of that. It was appropriate.

The knock on the door was not at all a surprise, Oliver knew exactly who was at his door at this late hour. The funeral had been… draining and motivating at once. He had wanted to sit down and drink himself into a stupor, smoke through a pack of cigarettes and try to block it out for a time, but he had also wanted to do what Dumbledore would have wanted them all to do. Dumbledore would have wanted them to put aside old prejudices and to bond together in his absence, just as he wished they would have in his life. So in effort to give tribute to his old mentor, Oliver had invited the half-shunned Percy Weasley over for a drink at his flat, for later that night.

When Oliver opened the door, he found a very awkward Percy leaning against his door frame, wrapped tightly in a deeply red cloak and looking for all the world as if he’d had the wind kicked out of him.  He also seemed to be very wet.

“Hullo there, Percy… You’re a bit more watered down that I expected our drinks to be tonight,” Oliver greeted his guest.

“Hullo Wood. It’s raining. Pouring, really. It’s an absolutely torrential downpour. Appropriate, don’t you think, given the occasion?” Percy returned.

“Quite. Come in,” Oliver said, opening the door a bit wider. “Put your cloak over on the warmer, there really isn’t any hurry, is there?” he asked.

“I think I can safely say that tonight, I will neither be interrupted by work, nor suddenly inclined to rush away from an old friend and a few bottles of stiff liquor.” Percy responded.

The two exchanged the smallest of wry smiles, as it was well known that Percy was not only antisocial, but that it was not helped at all by constant owls from the Ministry because his bosses needed something from him.

Oliver gestured towards the table, on which rested two glasses, a small ice dispenser and one of several bottles of Ogden’s Finest Firewhiskey.  They were both sorely in need of a very stiff drink and the sight of the bottle and glasses hurried them towards their seats.

For a few moments both just sipped at their drinks and became very interested in the crackling fire, without saying a word to one another.

“Do you remember what he said at the Feast at the beginning of term, your brother and Potter’s first year?” Oliver said, smiling fondly a little, at the memory.

“Everyone thought he was a few wands short of a store that night. The expressions on the first year’s faces were priceless. But I’d only just made prefect, and I couldn’t afford to be seen as anything other than a leader figure! Or so I thought.” Percy recalled, smiling as well.

“Eh. You were certainly a bit of a pompous arse those last few years, but I think I managed to keep clear of the brunt of it. You were always scribbling on something though. Not your notes, or homework or anything of that sort, it looked like you were writing an endless amount of letters, but never sending them. Either way, it kept you distracted enough for me to scrape by.” Oliver smirked at his companion.

“It was something like that. I had a little book that I wrote letters to people in that said exactly what I wanted to say to them. Things I couldn’t say, in my position. Dumbledore actually saw it once or twice during Head’s meetings. I always wondered why he didn’t take away my place.” Percy said.

“Dumbledore liked people to have a bit of rebel in them, else I would have been kicked out years ago, Percy. Merlin…” Oliver trailed off without finishing.

“Merlin what, Wood?” Percy asked.

“It’s just something I’ve been thinking since I heard the news last night… About him being gone… about Snape…” Oliver said.

“I’d heard something about an Unbreakable Vow he made. But really, he should have died rather than betray Dumbledore,” Percy responded.

“That’s just it, though. I don’t think… Albus Dumbledore was not a stupid wizard, Perc. He wasn’t weak or mad or witless or even impulsive. And he was always the best judge of character of any of us. I just don’t think he would have fallen for an act. Do you think that maybe…” Oliver trailed off again, looking at Percy.

“That maybe Snape isn’t evil? Dumbledore wasn’t wrong? Even the most careful men are fallible, Oliver. How could he not be wrong?” Percy asked.

“I dunno… but did you catch a glimpse of Dumbledore this year? His hand was black and shrivelled a bit and he seemed… weaker. As if he didn’t have much time left as it were,” Oliver said.

“You think that maybe he had asked Snape to finish him off? That’s next to impossible.” Percy said.

“Maybe,” Oliver returned.

Percy and Oliver both lapsed back into silence for a while, finishing their third, forth and fifth drinks each. Percy went to reach for the bottle to pour himself another and realised they had finished the whole draught.

“Oh.” Oliver said, and he went to rise.

Both men had headed for the bottles on the island at the same moment and proceeded to crash into one another with much flailing of limbs and tripping and landing awkwardly atop one another’s legs.

Oliver looked at Percy, only to find shocked eyes looking back at him, and then he fell back against his carpet laughing hopelessly. A moment later, Percy began to chuckle as well, surveying the disaster of their tangled limbs.

After a moment of this, Oliver finally managed to untangle his limbs and  none too gracefully climb to his feet. Upright again, he offered his hand to Percy, who accepted it, still chuckling to himself.

“I think I’ll grab two bottles, just so we don’t fall all over ourselves again, eh?” Oliver smirked at Percy as he placed the Firewhiskey on the coffee table, instead of his breakfast table as before. Percy was still smiling as Oliver went back to the table and grabbed their glasses and ice, placing them on the coffee table in the next room as well.

When Percy had recovered himself, finally, and joined Oliver in the common area of the flat, Oliver was seated in one corner of an overstuffed couch, and well into his sixth drink when his old friend sat down and poured his own.

“Maybe Snape was just fulfilling a promise to Dumbledore. It isn’t like he’d be the first person to make an ill-decided promise to the Headmaster,” Percy said.

Oliver nodded and sipped his drink. Then, after a moment, he asked, “Where does Penny think you are tonight, Perc?”

Percy hesitated for a moment before he answered, “She won’t be missing me. After all the owls from the Ministry and my general lack of time for her, she decided she needed to find someone who was more available to her. We haven’t been seeing each other since about the middle of November.” He gulped the rest of his drink down, and poured himself another upon finishing the statement.

“Is she really something to rush fine whiskey over, Weasley?” Oliver inquired.

Percy glanced up from his glass to say, “If it were over her, I would say no. There are other people in the world. However… most will want the same as she did: more of my time, more of my attention. The things I can’t give are the things I need to.”

Oliver paused to consider this for a moment, “I see what you mean. My life is much the same. Or rather, it was.”

Percy glanced sharply at Oliver over the last sentence.

“There doesn’t seem to be much point in playing Quidditch every day that I’m not home when there’s a war on, does there? I’ve decided to resign, at least for a time, and put my talents to better use elsewhere for a while,” Oliver said.

“Someone said something to me a long time ago that I completely ignored, Wood, and now I regret it. ‘Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and you’ll find what you need,’ she said. I didn’t listen. Now I wish I had,” Percy told him.

Oliver suddenly became very interested in his firewhiskey. Finally, he broke the silence by admitting, “My childish enthusiasm is just directed towards different things now, Perc. I’ve lost interest in the sport, and while I do want to pursue something else, I also think I should be less than useless before I do it. Or even while I do it.”

Percy nodded in understanding, and both drank in silence for some time after.

“Say, Oliver?” Percy said.

“Yes, Perc?” Oliver returned.

Percy was hesitating to say something for several minutes.



September 2011

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