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SUMMER 2021

It's time for a little rest and recuperation. After a tumultuous schoolyear culminating in coordinated attacks upon both Hogwarts and London, magical citizens could certainly use a break. Summer is upon us, and while the immediate danger has passed, not every creature is taking the summer off.

JUNE 19TH - AUGUST 31 NOW OPEN

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» 16 JULY 2021 || I AM SHADOWS, I AM DUST, TAG: Killian
Levi Lightner
 Posted: Jun 20 2018, 12:09 PM
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


The attack in late June had changed everything. It would have been naive to expect otherwise, because Hogwarts had not experienced something on that scale since the days of the Second Wizarding War, and yet nonetheless Levi had not thought he would be so personally affected by it. It was not just the tragedy itself, although that weighed heavy on his mind: the children dying, the dead rising in their hundreds and thousands from the black depths, those massive tentacles wreaking havoc among their enemies. It was unforgettable, all of it, but underneath all that was a thread of something completely different. He had not been himself, in the days following the attack, and even now he struggled to remember what being himself entailed. Whatever the answer, he had not found it in time to prevent Nicolette from noticing. A whirlwind of misunderstandings had followed, one after the other as both she and Levi held to their own and persisted in tragic misinterpretation, until finally here they were, each observing a wary truce.

Truces were temporary: either war or peace would follow, and now was the time for Levi to reflect upon how he could ensure the establishment of the latter over the former. He no longer understood her as well as he’d thought, or perhaps he’d never understood her at all, but understanding was ultimately unnecessary so long as he made the right decisions and had the will to see them through. If he could not rely on intuition, he would turn to logic; he would deduce what it was she expected from him, what she valued and what she hated. And then, if he thought himself capable, he would endeavour to meet those expectations. If not, at the very least he would explain. This period of reflection, however, was to be the longest part.

It was for this purpose that he’d wandered down to the Lake that morning, under a pale grey sky intermittently drizzling with thin rain. Most people might not have thought these the best conditions for a walk, perhaps, but Levi loved it: it was cool, so he would not tire as easily as if the sun were out, and a bit of a drizzle was nothing to be afraid of. Certainly not when you could waterproof your entire body with little more than a murmured incantation. He’d chosen not to, because there was a certain romance in feeling the rain trickle down the back of one’s neck, but if it worsened the option remained available.

Logic was all well and good, but where was he supposed to start? He paused by the water’s edge, frowning moodily out at the vast expanse, its surface gently rippled by a brisk, dancing breeze. The stars were easier than this; they did not have personalities and generally failed to argue with him. And yet, she was so much more enchanting than anything he’d seen through a telescope, in all his long years of looking. Certainly, she was worth this reflection. Shoving his hands decisively into his pockets, he turned and walked on.

@Adam

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Killian Lynch
 Posted: Jun 24 2018, 06:07 PM
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48
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38 years old

unemployed

London
Wizarding World


Killian did not need to think twice about his response to Levi's letter. Life had been quiet for him so far this summer -- he'd spent a little time travelling, mostly to take his mind off the ease with which he was prepared to give his heart away, but also because he'd been itching to move around again. He had never been the sort to stay in one place for too long, not since his youth anyway, and London could be stifling in the summer heat. Boredom encroached on him like a shroud, and he didn't much care for it. A trip abroad had left him refreshed and more centered than he'd been when he left.

He was thinking lately about how he should find himself a job. All this time, since coming to England, he had been resting on a modest inheritance, along with the savings he'd had from his travel writing days. There was still plenty to go around in that respect, but perhaps gainful employment would help combat the boredom he felt when his hands were idle for too long. Levi's letter had been a welcome interruption from that particular stressor, though, and as soon as he'd been able to, Killian had Apparated to Hogsmeade.

It was only after he'd arrived that he'd realized that, despite Levi's letter stating that he didn't necessarily need a response, it might have been worthwhile to send one just to arrange a time and place anyway. Too late for that now, he supposed. In any case, the castle must be quiet this time of year, with all the students gone home for the summer, so how hard could it be to find one man among those who were left behind?

Killian checked the village first, just to be safe, mostly because he did not want to approach the castle outright, for fear that he might be mistaken for a threat. Admittedly, there were no students here to protect at the moment, but he wouldn't blame the school for having an abundance of caution after the term they'd just had. Finding no sign of Levi, Killian wandered on toward the lake as Levi had mentioned in his letter, breathing in the clear air with gusto. London could be so smoggy sometimes.

Eventually, he spotted his friend, looking pensive as always. It made him smile to think about -- Levi was always such a broody sort, and some things never seemed to change. He waved, hoping to catch Levi's eye, and made his way over to his friend as quickly as he could. "Levi," he said, when he'd finally closed the distance. "It's good to see you." He made to pull Levi into a hug, but hesitated a little, just in case the other man didn't want to return the gesture. Killian was an affectionate sort. "How have you been? Are you staying up here for the summer?"

@Drakky
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Levi Lightner
 Posted: Jun 26 2018, 03:04 PM
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Drakky is Offline
183
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Even before Killian spoke, Levi had sensed a presence close by - it was that particular quality of a school empty of children, perhaps, a tranquility all too easily broken by the step or breath of another living being on the approach. He’d kept his head down, assuming it was someone from the village come up here for a walk and unwilling to entertain any form of humanity in endless inane discourse, but Killian’s voice was like an electric shock and he started and glanced up, a wide grin bursting across his expression before he could stop it. Here, after all, was the one person in all the world who’d always seemed to understand him, even when Levi could not understand himself.

Ah, so you came.” he said, stepping a little closer to accept Killian’s hug, even if only briefly. As a rule, Levi did not engage in this sort of physical intimacy - it made him exceedingly uncomfortable and all too aware of all the awkwardness he carried in every muscle. A few people were different, however - Killian, for example, or Nicolette - so that he could be this close to them without undue distress. Regardless, he always appreciated that Killian did not take such gestures for granted. There were days when Levi could not hug, nor kiss, nor look, nor even talk, and then Killian’s consideration made him one of the few people he could be around.

I am still alive,” he answered as he pulled away, grin fading to something a little wry and lopsided. He’d almost forgotten that he’d invited Killian to come up whenever he pleased; in hindsight it might have been a bit wiser to organise a date and time, or to at least let his friend know where he could be found during the day, but it seemed that the oversight had not done much harm. “Yes, I always stay here. Why would I go elsewhere? There is nowhere like the Astronomy Tower for stargazing, and summer nights up here are cool and clear.” He would not have been able to abide London, with all its smog, and the countryside would not do unless he could build his own tower, tall and imposing.

With a wave of his arm, he gestured for Killian to accompany him on his slow circumnavigation of the lake. “And you? You are still living in London? What have you been up to, this summer?” He very carefully avoided mention of one of their more recent meetings, and the ghost that had reared up to haunt them from their mutual past. Rania was a subject best relegated to venomous whispers in dark, gloomy corners; he would not sully the crystalline beauty of the Lake with talk of her and her various dealings. Besides, he knew Killian probably did not agree with him on this point, and did not wish to risk their understanding when it felt like the only thing he could trust in without question.

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Killian Lynch
 Posted: Jul 8 2018, 11:37 PM
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Adam is Offline
48
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38 years old

unemployed

London
Wizarding World


It warmed his heart that Levi was willing to accept his embrace. Killian knew it was special, but he also knew he'd be devastated if Levi hadn't wanted to return the gesture. He would have kept that bottled up, of course, so as not to make things awkward, but still. There were so few people he trusted and cherished as much as he trusted and cherished Levi, and Killian thrived off physical contact. He savored the embrace, but did not make it last any longer than it needed to, a tiny unspoken gratitude that he'd even been allowed to do that much in the first place. Few people knew this side of Levi. "Yes of course, silly, I wouldn't miss an invitation for the world," he said, beaming brightly.

There was hardly an answer to his question in Levi's words, a detail which did not escape Killian's notice. Alive was a rather perfunctory description of his current state of well-being, and already Killian could sense that there was something on his friend's mind. It was a good thing he'd always been a good listener -- perhaps that skill was why Levi had invited him here at all. Killian would not rush it, though, because step one of being good at listening was to not do it on your own agenda. They would come to the meat of things in time; no sense in pushing for it.

"I would have thought you'd take the chance to travel, but I suppose this makes sense, too. You did always like being high up, you bat," he said with a laugh. "Does it even get dark up here this time of year? We're so far north... I wonder how different it is to Port Elizabeth in the summer. It's nothing like Uagadou, I imagine -- Uganda being on the Equator and all. I didn't think much about the nights in winter. They must be beautiful from your tower." He was babbling a bit, and he knew it, but he didn't care. He loved talking about the stars, and Levi was one of the few people who shared that particular knowledge base with him. He would take every advantage of it he could.

He walked alongside Levi, eyes watching his feet as they walked along the lake. Killian always enjoyed taking some time to watch the ground as he stepped; it was always so interesting to him to reflect on how far he'd travelled, only to stand on ground that looked no different from where he'd been. It was a difficult feeling to put into words, but it didn't matter. He liked looking down as much as he liked looking up. "Oh, I've been boring, as usual. Still in London, looking a bit more for work, though I wouldn't be opposed to getting out of the city. Perhaps Hogsmeade might have some postings I could look into... regardless, I can't rest on my laurels for too long. It's about time I got back into the world."

At this, he looked up and smiled softly. He had retreated after his parents had died, without even realizing that was what he was doing. He had tried stepping back into things, sometimes with success, other times not so much. Levi had been a successful reunion; Orsen had flickered out before he even realized what was happening. Such was the story of life, he supposed. Still, it was getting a bit lonely, having not much to do except fuss around the city all day. He needed change. "I thought I might take a trip to visit home, but... well, it's such a long journey, and there's no one there to visit with, so it seemed a bit pointless," he added, a little bit of sadness creeping into his voice. He didn't know if he would ever go home again -- if it even was home anymore.

Still, he made himself smile again, looking over at Levi. "I'm glad to be here, though. You must be enjoying a break from all the people here. You always liked your solitude. Is anyone else staying the summer, or just you?"

@Drakky
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Levi Lightner
 Posted: Jul 13 2018, 12:22 PM
QUOTE     
Drakky is Offline
183
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


If Levi knew nothing else about Killian, he knew precisely how perceptive he could be; this being so, he didn’t hold out much hope that his less than sunny mood would survive their conversation unnoticed, but it would be unfair to his friend if he did not at least make an attempt at disguising it. His moods were oceanic and often tempestuous, far too much to bear for one who was not used to suffering them, and so he had learned long ago not to expose them to others if it could be at all avoided. In the end, perhaps they would find themselves discussing it anyway; if so, he would do his best to remain objective and entirely factual, the better for both of them. And yet...who better than Killian to understand, now that he could not go to her?

But these were thoughts for later, if at all, and so Levi pushed them from his mind to focus on the present. “Have I not travelled enough, in my time?” he queried, and managed to sound mildly amused. Perhaps it did not count as travelling, given that he had remained in Uganda for the entirety of that ten-year period of absence. This suited him just as well. The stars were the same wherever one wandered, and so why reach for distant, unknown places if a mountain or a tower near at hand would serve just as well? Again, over and over, he was reminded of Nicolette, who walked the Earth for the thrill of discovery - he knew he could not be the same. Places had their purposes, in Levi’s mind, and he would go to those of them which suited his.

Almost out of the blue he recalled his most recent venture to the ancient continent, and could not help how his lips quirked in a sardonic smile. “I did go back to Uganda recently,” he said. “Tau...I do not know if you would remember him...he got married. He was a student at Uagadou, briefly, younger than us...I helped him with his final-year project. It seems my thanks was to be coerced into the maelstrom of societal restrictions that is a wedding.” That smile had turned slightly sour, but it did not last long either way. “There was no-one there that I remember. It seems they have all moved on.” In the case of Iskandar, Levi was glad of it - there was no-one on the planet he was less eager to meet again, save perhaps for Rania.

Of course it gets dark.” He threw Killian a more genuine smile, brief though it was. “Otherwise why would I stay here? Darkness is required for starlight. Perhaps you should stay for a couple of nights, and see what it looks like from the Tower. I guarantee you will not want to return to the London smog.” The idea of Killian finding a job in Hogsmeade was a good one, and Levi found himself brightening at the prospect; it would be a relief to have someone he trusted so close by...and although he did not want to admit it, Rania’s proximity to Killian in London had been worrying him for quite some time. She was venomous, that one, and Killian was far too invested in his friendships to exercise any sort of astute judgement.

They settled into silence comfortably, one staring at the ground and the other gazing out across the vast expanse of the Lake. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the quiet as far as Levi was concerned, and it seemed that those closest to him felt the same. Castor, Killian, Nicolette...all of them knew how to enjoy a silence, a quality Levi prized in those he kept close. And eventually, when Killian broke their peace, it was softly and naturally so that it did not feel at all jarring. “It has not been so long since you were home.” Levi reminded him. “Might it not be an escape, to return so soon to what is familiar? If you dislike it here then by all means, go, but if not...wait until you have something to show for having left. Or someone to show home to.” He was careful not to sound severe, as note and tonality betrayed him so frequently these days.

Solitude...Killian was right, he did enjoy it. The company of oneself was an underrated resource, an opportunity to process and reflect on the world unfettered by the opinions of others. “I am unsure.” he admitted. “The Headmistress has a residence nearby, and she stays there. As for the rest...I do not believe anyone has remained.” The summer was an enchanting time, with no-one around to disturb the all-encompassing peace of the night. And yet...in the weeks since June and the Inferius incident, solitude had left him almost painfully numb. The way the world turned now defied his every expectation: he enjoyed being alone, and so why did a solitude without her feel so…lonely?

@Adam

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