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His laugh, a tint of happiness, felt lighter than the shroud that had been laid over her ever since her parents' demise. It wasn't forced like her new guardian's, wasn't tinged with an almost apologetic sympathy like the social workers', it wasn't forced like her family's had been when they'd bid their last farewells and had squeezed her shoulder in an attempt to offer up comfort. But then his laugh, genuine, lighting up his appearance and evicting any awkward tension from the room.

As if it had always been as simple as someone just laughing. Actually laughing.

Her smile grew into a toothy grin, beamed right back at him, swelling a bit with pride for making him laugh at her, this stranger in this even stranger land who spoke in tongues she wasn't too well versed in yet. Her attempt had been decent, at least.

"I like Russell." She interjected, complimenting his name like he did hers, "It's like the dog– the Jack Russell Terrier."

And she liked dogs. Maybe, she would like him, too.

As he started to peel at the napkin around his sandwich, her gaze dropped to the one she held low in her lap and not quite making a move to start eating it.

“You’re not from Britain, are you.”

"Oh," Her gaze remained pointedly at the sandwich, now slightly tilted back as if she was further inspecting it, "No."

A shake of her head, brown hair shaken loose from where it had been tucked behind her ears. Glancing up to him again, she pushed herself: "The Netherlands."

'The Netherlands' sounded so much stranger and so much more distant than 'Nederland' had ever felt.

"You're from around here though, right?"
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Freestyle Roleplaying / Re: bonfire hearts — rivery au
« Last post by Russell Mallory on 06/16/2021 at 23:58 »
It was the unexpected lightness that the conversation had been injected with more so than the humor—although that too he appreciated—that drew the exhale, a laugh, from him. His shoulders trembled and his smile shed the last vestiges of insecurity at the tilt of her head.

And then she said her name.

Accent aside, the odd combination of letters tickled an interest that wouldn’t have shown its head if she had said her name was something undeniably English and boring, something like Elizabeth or Margaret or Susan or Gertrude. But Ignis Fides Rivers was neither of those things, or, well, the name was neither of those things, least of all the latter.

The girl was yet to be seen.

“Fee-des,” he tried, testing the sharp vowels for himself and then sliding his hand into hers. “That’s loads better than Russell Beef Mallory, I'd say.”

He gave her one good shake, and retreated to peel back the napkin from the sliced edge of his sandwich.

“You’re not from Britain, are you.”

It wasn’t a question, that which he had already deduced, and so he tried to state it as evenly as he could; where, then, if not from here.
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Freestyle Roleplaying / Re: bonfire hearts — rivery au
« Last post by Ignis Fides Rivers on 06/08/2021 at 09:58 »
"Oh." Her mouth snapped shut as her gaze flit from the Mallory-boy to the vial in her hand she wasn't sure where to put before taking half of it tonight. She was still holding it up to eye level, her hand still caught midair where she had first accepted it from the Head Nurse. It took her brain a moment to register the odd position before she hurriedly decided on lowering her hand and haphazardly stuff the vial into one of the blue lined robes' pockets.

Now more aware then before of her position, she pushed herself up slightly more upright from where she had been seated on the bed, the pillows fluffed up behind her to form a backseat whilst her legs lay stretched out in front of her. It was only now that she realized, too, she still wore her shoes. It seemed too late now to take them off.

Her gaze flickered to him again, caught by the motion of him stepping around the end of her bed and take the one next to her. As he sat down on the edge of it, she followed suit to mirror her position by finally slinging her legs over the edge of the bed and come face him.

A slight smile, almost apologetic, flit briefly over her features as if she suddenly remembered that it was only decent to do so.

“My real name’s Russ—Russell.”

Her smile gained a little more confidence.

Instinctively, she reached for the half of the sandwich he offered her, turning it slightly in her hand to inspect the toppings of the sandwich at the cutting edge. And though he had told her that 'beef' was one of the ingredients, the suggestion had followed too quickly on his introduction that she couldn't help herself –

"Your name is Russell 'Beef' Mallory?" It came in jest, paired with a slight tilt of her head to gauge his response to the poor joke made.

"Fides." She recomposed herself shortly after, sticking out her free hand in offering to shake his, "Ignis Fides Rivers."
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Freestyle Roleplaying / Re: bonfire hearts — rivery au
« Last post by Russell Mallory on 06/08/2021 at 03:14 »
She wasn’t British.

He heard it in the hesitation that split h—ey into two syllables; he heard it in the rounder-than-normal o of Mallory; he saw it in the way she refused to let herself sink into the pressed linens of the infirmary bed, every inch of her coiled and taut and wary.

She wasn’t British, she was something else entirely, something foreign and frightened, and she looked about his age. Nurse Ennes offered no explanation—no name, no age, no explicit ailment—perhaps believing he had caught the important parts from the doorway, or perhaps believing him sharp enough to figure it out for himself. He usually was sharp enough for that, but something about the scene he had walked in on had thrown him.

A tentative smile flickered, “That’s actually my last name.”

He rounded the end of her bed and claimed the empty one to her left.

“Nurse Mallory’s what they call me in here. My real name’s Russ—Russell.”

He seemed to remember the sandwich he held in his hands then. Instinctively, he extended one half to her in a wordless offering.

“Beef.”
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Freestyle Roleplaying / Re: bonfire hearts — rivery au
« Last post by Ignis Fides Rivers on 06/07/2021 at 11:49 »
Sleep itched at the corners of her mind, settling in like a thick blanket that attempted to mute the countless thoughts that wouldn't quiet down. But even sleep hadn't managed to quiet the nagging thoughts – of her parents, of the ocean, of everything that was different and unwelcomely new.

She had gone few days like this, in a state of being inbetween, residing on the periphery of the life that she was supposed to call her own but didn't want to partake in yet. Until someone had mentioned that she'd better go to the Infirmary as she grew more gaunt and still refused any snacks offered to her, to see whether they could help her. At first, she hadn't wanted to go, for surely she was failing if she had to ask for help, but they had insisted until she had dragged her heavy feet towards another still strange part of this even stranger place.

The bed she had instantly been assigned had merely served as an affirmation that she wasn't doing her best, and that it showed.

Quiet save for the few questions that had been asked, her gaze avoiding to meet the Head Nurse's, she accepted the vial that was handed to her. Suspicious of the liquid within, she had doubtfully glanced in the Head Nurse's direction as if to ask her whether she was sure, but had decided against asking it. Instead, she had just compliantly nodded as her gaze fixed on the strange potion again.

“Ah! And Nurse Mallory here can keep you company until you’re ready to go up to dinner.”

Eyes widening in shock to tell the Head Nurse that she didn't need someone else – she still wasn't sure whether she still needed the Head Nurse – a boy shuffled into sight, keeping his safe distance.

“Hi.”

Interchanging her gaze between the Head Nurse and the strange boy, it was after a beat that her gaze finally settled on him.

"H –" 'hoi' died on her lips, and was instantly replaced with a slightly fumbled, "Hey."

The Head Nurse, apparently deciding that her job was done here, rose from where she had been seated on the edge of her bed and left the two twelve year olds to themselves.

"Hey, Mallory." She tried again, assuming she'd used his first name.
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Freestyle Roleplaying / bonfire hearts — rivery au
« Last post by Russell Mallory on 06/07/2021 at 02:20 »
4 SEPTEMBER 1973
Hospital Wing
At the start of dinner


The door to the hospital wing cre-e-eaked open. A mess of light brown hair slipped through the gap without looking up, too focused on balancing two napkin-bound halves of a roast beef sandwich in one hand.

The gentle lilt of Nurse Ennes’s voice stopped him in his tracks.

“Drink half of this tonight. It’ll make you feel drowsy...”

He looked up—but the privacy screen between the first two beds partially obscured the patient on bed three. All he caught were the tops of two pale knees, black knee-high socks, and Nurse Ennes sitting at the foot of the bed beside a pair of Mary Jane’s, half-way through an explanation of a melatonin potion.

At the end of it, the Head Nurse turned suddenly, right as he thought to look away.

“Ah! And Nurse Mallory here can keep you company until you’re ready to go up to dinner.”

A hand beckoned him closer, urging him past the anonymity of the barrier to face his first assignment that term. Russell shuffled forward, beef sandwich in-hand.

Blue met hazel.

“Hi.”
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Freestyle Roleplaying / Re: let me down slowly [Vagary AU]
« Last post by Vega Nettlebed on 06/06/2021 at 16:40 »
Clarity of thought, of action, of intent. Clarity of feeling, of words, of everything and anything, because none of it made sense when it was framed in the silhouette of Avery Elliot.

She did not understand him. She would not pretend to understand him. And for all the promises he made on behalf of his crystals, she wasn’t sure that they would do the job at all.

Petrified wood—to illuminate that in-between space that they inhabited in so many different forms. She almost asked him then what he looked like in the twilight, caught off guard by her own intrigue. But she brushed the question aside with a twitch of her head; she knew what she looked like in the twilight and at daybreak, too—the same as she always did, because if anything was constant for her, it was the reality of herself.

Flint—she missed the point of this one, with its accumulation of meanings, each less tangible than the last.

Miriam stone—she’d never heard of it, though her fingers suddenly itched to curl themselves around their earthy orbs, to feel them pressed cold against the lines of her palm.

Axinite—the bridge between the physical and the spiritual; Vega suspected that he had a little too much of this one, and that his bridge was severely unbalanced; at risk, even, of shattering completely and leaving him stranded in the skies.

She counted them out with him: petrified wood, flnt, miriam stone, axinite. She didn’t believe in them, because it wasn’t in her nature to believe that which could not be proven—and his crystals, for all the weight of them in her hands, could prove nothing.

But a gift wasn’t meant for the giver; it was meant for the receiver, and the crystals meant something to him, if not to her.

The dioptase in her pocket protested its purpose, its meaning. She silenced it with warning fingers.

“How much?”

Vega tilted her head towards the bowls on the shelves.

“How much for all four?”
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Freestyle Roleplaying / Re: let me down slowly [Vagary AU]
« Last post by Avery Elliot on 05/03/2021 at 13:42 »
“You’ve got it all here already, haven’t you,” she said with a sweep of her arm. It covered perhaps the smallest part of his life, the store nestled between a restaurant and a used furniture store, minuscule when compared to the Hogwarts grounds and the rest of the Magical world. He'd only spend summers and winter holiday here now, fractions of time to listen to the windchimes and refold tarot cloths.

Yet, it was the largest part of his life and the most important. The only magic he'd ever known, folded around him like a shroud. Part of him settled, content, to know she recognized he had 'it all here already', though she didn't really mean that at all.

Amused, Avery's nose wrinkled in a huffed laugh. "If I want to pay for it," he replied. "And we have some," a small half-shrug, "but not all."

“Something to make you less confusing.”

She was already on the right track if she thought in crystalline point to speak of him.

As she spoke of clarity, Avery drifted to the shelves lined with bowls. The crystals sparkled underneath the lights, some of them rough-cut and others polished and gleaming.

"Of thought? Of action? Of intent?" he asked, though expected her to answer nor care for none.

"Petrified wood for grounding, knowledge, truth, connection with the earth. Clarity during dawn and dusk, when we are on the verge of shifting." He touched one with the tip of his finger, striations like tree bark.

"Flint," he continued, past the grey chips. "Decisiveness, growth, wholeness, transformation, insight."

"Miriam Stone." Looked a bit like a plain brown stone with splatters of orange-yellow paint, perfect orbs on display on a plush pillow to keep them from rolling. "Gentle self-expression, expansion, sense of purpose, mastering fear, living in the present."

He stopped at the end of the shelf, nodding to a small pile of rough-cut stones of a dark purple and grey. "Axinite, bridging between the spiritual and physical, balancing polarities, focus, expanded wholeness and awareness."

Turning to face her, Avery tried to gauge if she'd listened at all. To an outsider, he could see how crystals didn't seem simple or clear, but things in life were rarely so straightforward. Hogwarts Magic, Witch and Wizard Magic - confusing, unrealistic. Grounded in fantasy.

But, perhaps that was the answer all along: magic only meant that which could not be easily explained.
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Absences / I forgot about my vacation!
« Last post by Lily McCormick on 04/30/2021 at 03:26 »
I have a little mini vacation / mostly just a long weekend! Not going very far, just visiting my parents and siblings!

I'll also be doing some final editing, so I may be scarce for a few days! I may pop in for little moments, but probably not for very long!

AND I REALIZED TODAY THAT I'LL BE MISSING START OF TERM!!

Boooo!

So to celebrate with you here is a start of term gif:


Here is Lily snacking in the kitchens before the opening feast:


And can someone please play this in Main Chat EXACTLY ONE HOUR, THREE MINUTES AND THIRTY SECONDS BEFORE START OF TERM, THANK YOU!powpow

See you more regularly again on Tuesday the 4th!

xoxo
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Character Plot Creation & Management / Re: wrecking ball | alex
« Last post by Elsbeth Blaine on 04/29/2021 at 21:20 »
Elsbeth Blaine
Muggleborn. Fourteen. Logical.

Still building card towers? Make sure you give yourself plenty of space. And don't knock people's books. See you in Divination?
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