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Legacy  Finished 

Flash held the letter in his hands firmly, creasing the edges where his thumb dug in too tightly. It came by earlier in the day by owl post, being dropped unceremoniously onto the table in front of him during breakfast. He hadn’t been expecting mail until he remembered what day it was-- my birthday. The envelope was addressed in a very muggle fashion, despite the fact that most of the family was magical. It must have been left up to his squib sister to send it out on time. After all, she was the most likely to do things promptly and efficiently. She probably threw it in the outgoing mail at the Holmwood & Carson Bloodstock Ltd. offices.

It was his first year away from home, finally out on his own to make a name for himself. That name wasn’t Demetrius-- hidiously scrawled on the envelope as though his protests to be called otherwise had fallen on deaf ears. It made him angry. He didn’t want to open it and see some impersonal message that acknowledged his birth, he knew he wouldn’t handle it well. He wanted to throw it away instead, right into a fire, but he couldn’t bring himself to do that either.

He just carried it around with him all day, unable to decide what to do with it. As long as it remained closed, he could imagine it had some kind of heartfelt message-- Flash, we miss you at home, we’re proud of you. He didn’t want that illusion to break, even though he knew it was childish. He knew he hadn’t done anything worth praising yet, he hadn’t even written home once. During the winter break he had the opportunity to go back, but elected to stay in Hogwarts instead. He wasn’t sure how he would feel when the school year was really over, and his return would be inevitable. Would he have something to show for himself by then?

The letter came with a gift, which he had opened. It was a comfortable black cloak for winter, one that was tailored to his size with soft, insulating wool on the inside. It was nice for what it was, but only went to further prove his alienation from his family. He hated the color black. So dull and dreary, and around the halls of Hogwarts, so very pedestrian. It would have been nice to have something that popped, something bright that his fellow students might inquire about, or feel compelled to watch him as he walked by. With such a plain black cloak, he blended into the crowd.

He tapped the letter on the table, making a nearly imperceptible pat as it collided. At least it wasn’t the worst birthday of his life so far-- that had been the year before. This was a considerable improvement. Flash sighed and put the letter away, returning to his book.
Last edited by Flash Holmwood on 3rd March 2020, 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

»Du mußt nur die Laufrichtung ändern«, sagte die Katze und fraß sie.
Sta: 7 ★ Eva: 5 ★ Str: 6 ★ Wis: 8 ★ AP: 3 ★ Acc: 6

Legacy  Finished 

Opeila had woken up this morning and skipped breakfast. Instead she had gone to the study room, somehow feeling like nothing could darken this day. Somehow, like all her worries were very distant. The Slytherin felt good.

So she spent hours in the study room, finished an essay for History of Magic, then for Charms. Only Defense Against the Dark Arts was troubling her like always. The first year put down her quill and stretched her fingers. Maybe she should leave it with this. The essay wasn't good anyway. Maybe she should think about writing to her father instead. Or to Lady Margary. Her grandmother had been excited for Opeila from the beginning, while her father had just tried to convince his daughter to stay. Not to take the chance she was given.
But what should she tell them? She couldn't mention any of the dangerous things that had happened. Even if she put Lady Margary's name on it, if he father recognized her writing, he would be the one to read it first, that was for sure. And then he'd probably try to sew the school somehow. No, she couldn't write to them. Very bad idea.

Opeila hadn't looked around a lot, but now that she did, she saw Flash Holmwood just a few meters away. She smiled in his direction until she noticed, that her housemate didn't look very happy. He held a letter in his hands. Bad news? Opeila got up from her table and went over to his. "Hey.", she said quietly. "Are you alright? Would you mind me joining you?"

@Flash Holmwood

"It is not the people with the best intentions, that get you hurt. It is the cowards with the best intentions." -Opeila Seilun, in a moment of despair and disappointment
Stats: Stamina 5|Evasion 4|Strength 4|Wisdom 7|Arcane Power 5|Accuracy 5

Legacy  Finished 

”Hey.” The sound of a young girl’s voice roused Flash from his daze. She continued, ”Are you alright? Would you mind me joining you?”

Looking up confirmed what he could already tell from the voice, a very familiar sight at this point, in no short part to them both being Slytherins. Flash gestured to the seat in front of him.

”Good morning Miss Opeila, or… is it afternoon already?” Flash took a quick glance at his watch. How much time had he spent fretting over nothing-- it was already 2PM. He groaned reflexively to see the time falling through his fingers.

Months had passed since he started school at Hogwarts, and at the start he had been so sure of his plan going forward. He had accomplished much of what he wanted-- he knew the castle’s layout well, he kept to his routines, and maintained a clean reputation. It was never enough, however, and it was taxing trying to be involved in everything all the time. Even something small like daydreaming instead of doing his study was putting him behind his schedule. It was good that Opeila had snapped him out of it.

”It doesn’t matter, it’s good to see you. It seems no matter how much I look at this book, my brain refuses to read it.” It wasn’t the only thing he was refusing to read. He knew Opeila was someone who was easy to talk to, so he figured he might ask for her advice, ”Tell me, do you ever feel like there are things that you’re better off not knowing? Such as… what people think of you?”

Flash felt embarrassed after he said it out loud. ”...You don’t have to answer that.”

@Opeila Seilun

»Du mußt nur die Laufrichtung ändern«, sagte die Katze und fraß sie.
Sta: 7 ★ Eva: 5 ★ Str: 6 ★ Wis: 8 ★ AP: 3 ★ Acc: 6

Legacy  Finished 

Opeila smiled when the boy asked about the time. "It's afternoon. And you don't need to call me Miss, I'm fine with just Opeila." She took the seat in front of him. "Are you okay? You don't look very happy.", she said. That he first thought that it was morning, only made her think that she was right. Something was bothering her housemate and she intended to find out, what that was.
Flash told her, that his brain seemed to refuse to read the book in front of him. "Oh, I know that feeling. I get it all the time, when I try ro catch up on schoolwork. But when I am not in a lesson- No chance."
She listened, when he asked her if she ever felt like she was better of not knowing what people thought of her. Opeila had to think about that for a while. "I think that isn't about the knowledge itself really. It depends on the people that tell you about their opinion. And it definitely depends on you self-confidence. How much do other people's opinions matter to you? But I know what you mean. Sometimes I do feel insecure about that. But whatever you are scared of reading, the letter is written." She looked at the letter in his hands. "Not reading it won't make it undone. It's only in your head. And if people don't accept you the way you are, they don't deserve your attention. That's what I tell myself, when I am scared of other people's words."

Reducio
@Flash Holmwood

"It is not the people with the best intentions, that get you hurt. It is the cowards with the best intentions." -Opeila Seilun, in a moment of despair and disappointment
Stats: Stamina 5|Evasion 4|Strength 4|Wisdom 7|Arcane Power 5|Accuracy 5

Legacy  Finished 

Flash’s heart dropped. She was talking about the letter. He had placed it in the book like a bookmark, but was still fidgeting with it subconsciously. At this point it the day it looked worse for the wear, it had so many creases from being held and put away that the outline of the note inside started to become apparent on the envelope. It was almost like it was trying to escape.

She asked him how important other people’s opinions of him were-- More important than anything... There was a word she used: self-confidence. Surely Flash had plenty of that, he acted confident all the time. Surely.

"Not reading it won't make it undone. It's only in your head. And if people don't accept you the way you are, they don't deserve your attention. That's what I tell myself, when I am scared of other people's words." She said lastly, her words both insightful and reassuring.

Scared? Am I... Flash tried to shake off the feeling. It was strange, her words tugged at something in his throat that got caught-- like he wanted to cry. He had to stop it, he couldn’t start being sentimental in the middle of the study room. Flash cleared his throat, assuming his usual, cheerful smile.

”You’re smart, Opeila. It’s best to believe in yourself, instead of dwelling on what other people want from you.” This much, at least, was something Flash had confidence in. His family didn’t want anything from him, that was the problem. He wanted to prove he was someone worth having expectations of… he didn’t know how that worked, wasn’t he still beholden to their opinion in that scenario? It was more confusing than Flash first gave it credit for. ”Forgive me, I don’t mean to take advantage of your time. You’re very kind to worry about me, but I’m only just a bit distracted. Talking to you has cleared my head a little, so, thank you.”

He flicked at the edge of the letter still. Perhaps it was pointless to delude himself, perhaps he should just get it over with quickly.
Last edited by Flash Holmwood on 22nd February 2020, 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

»Du mußt nur die Laufrichtung ändern«, sagte die Katze und fraß sie.
Sta: 7 ★ Eva: 5 ★ Str: 6 ★ Wis: 8 ★ AP: 3 ★ Acc: 6

Legacy  Finished 

Opeila could see, that he was listening. That he was thinking about her words. And then she could see the facade drop for a splitsecond. For a moment, the first year thought, that her housemate was going to cry.
But then he caught himself, the crack in the facade was gone.
Instead he smiled at her. He called her smart and seemed to agree with her words. Somehow- was it because of the second that she thought, that she saw some real emotion on Flash's face?- her chest tightened when he said that. "Am I?", she asked. "I feel like I give a whole lot of smart sounding speeches and then screw up anyway. No matter what I do or say." She looked at her hands. What had she done besides screwing up? She had let down her parents, she had... Now that she thought about it, she couldn't think of many things. But the things she did screw up, were enough for a long time. She had definitely screwed up with Jack Burnett.
And the Gryffindor she had given the laced candy.
God, how badly could one screw up? Could she screw up?
How much more of a disappointment could she get?
The smile was completely gone, Opeila's hands were tightly holding on to each other. "Damn...", she wispered. "I intended to be somehow encouraging, sorry." She would still look at her hands.

@Flash Holmwood

"It is not the people with the best intentions, that get you hurt. It is the cowards with the best intentions." -Opeila Seilun, in a moment of despair and disappointment
Stats: Stamina 5|Evasion 4|Strength 4|Wisdom 7|Arcane Power 5|Accuracy 5

Legacy  Finished 

Things deteriorated quickly. Once he had complimented her, she started to question whether what he said was true, and whether she was nothing but a screw up. Her face became haggard, much too scrunched up and worried for a child her age, as though some heavy burden suddenly reapplied its pressure on her.

”Opeila?” When her focus started drifting, Flash called out to her. They were both being quiet, but a few of the other students looked over questioningly.

"Damn...I intended to be somehow encouraging, sorry." She spoke softly, as if her voice could break at any moment.

”Don’t fret, I’ve told you I feel better…” Flash struggled to be believable as he looked around, hoping he wasn’t about to look like he was making a girl cry. ”You know… before you interrupted me just then, I…”

He didn’t want to say it, but it seemed like a small price to pay. It wasn’t as if he was going to make some kind of placating lie on the spot. Empty, impersonal placation had always brought him nothing but further pain. He didn't want to see Opeila in pain.

”It’s, uh, actually my birthday today. I spent most of it just fretting about this silly letter, feeling sorry for myself. But when you started talking to me, I, well… it woke me up a bit, like I had been sleeping all day.” Flash was not used to stumbling over his words. While not everything he said was strictly rehearsed, most polite conversation followed very predictable patterns. ”If it weren't for you, I may have continued that way all day. I’m grateful.”

@Opeila Seilun

»Du mußt nur die Laufrichtung ändern«, sagte die Katze und fraß sie.
Sta: 7 ★ Eva: 5 ★ Str: 6 ★ Wis: 8 ★ AP: 3 ★ Acc: 6

Legacy  Finished 

Opeila needed a moment to catch herself again. Where did this sudden disappointment in herself come from?
Flash seemed uncomfortable with her mood swing. She couldn't blame him, she was very aware, that she could make people feel a little helpless, when she was like this. She didn't mean to, she just.... couldn't help it.
The Slytherin looked up again, when Flash told her that it was his Birthday and he spent most of it fretting about the letter. He was grateful that she 'woke him up'. Opeila shook her head in disbelief, her own misery way suddenly almost forgotten. "It is your Birthday? Then why are you sitting here like this? You should do something that you have fun doing!
How can you make your own birthday that miserable?" Then this letter was probably a birthday letter. From his family maybe? If that was the case, she could understand his feelings about it. She would probably hesitate to open a birthday letter from her father as well, since it would surely be filled with words that hid his disappointment. So a very formal letter. Still, she wouldn't give a damn. Not on her birthday, that was her day. And this was Flash's day. "Don't give... whoever wrote this letter the power to spoil your birthday." A little smile appeared on her face. "Now, what sort of housemate would I be, if I just let you stay here all day? We should do something! What do you want to do?"

@Flash Holmwood

"It is not the people with the best intentions, that get you hurt. It is the cowards with the best intentions." -Opeila Seilun, in a moment of despair and disappointment
Stats: Stamina 5|Evasion 4|Strength 4|Wisdom 7|Arcane Power 5|Accuracy 5

Legacy  Finished 

Opeila’s entire countenance changed when she heard the word birthday. It was a flame being lit in her eyes, she was suddenly animated and talkative. Flash had a bit of trouble tracking her, her fervor for birthdays was one he hadn’t seen since grade school. He hadn’t realized people took it so seriously. In essence, it was a celebration of the most effortless thing a person could do-- be born. He could understand celebrating a person who had been influential in life by commending their birth, but it felt a bit condescending to celebrate a life with no accomplishments. Good job breathing, it seemed to say.

”I’m sorry, Opeila, but…” Flash didn’t want to sour the mood, it was impolite. ”No, actually, instead, why don’t you tell me something fun to do on a birthday.”

Flash’s usual smile returned, he didn’t want to make Opeila feel uncomfortable. At the very least he could expect that she had interesting ideas about what that might mean. While sometimes Opeila seemed standoffish and blunt, she had a very innocent enthusiasm for joyful occasions. There must have been something on her shoulders that she still hadn't shown him. There was no need to rush it, she would tell him when she wanted to. Or when he wanted to know, whichever happened first.

@Opeila Seilun

»Du mußt nur die Laufrichtung ändern«, sagte die Katze und fraß sie.
Sta: 7 ★ Eva: 5 ★ Str: 6 ★ Wis: 8 ★ AP: 3 ★ Acc: 6

Legacy  Finished 

Opeila had just always loved birthdays. Sure, it was a celebration of something, that wasn't actually an achievement of the person, but she didn't think of it that way. It was also a day of appreciating the existence of that person and it just made her feel good. Everything else could go to crap, but birthdays were something special for the Slytherin. And she didn't intend to let Flash just waste his day.

Her housemate seemed to be thinking about that for a moment before he apologized and then asked her to tell him something fun to do on a birthday.
Opeila looked at him in disbelief. "That is not, how this works.", she said chuckling. "But alright. Hm. My parents always used to take me somewhere, to the cinema or a funpark... But since our options here in Hogwarts are extremely limited... Ugh, I wish we could go to Hogsmeade! Hm. But we could go to the lake. Or to the courtyard, I think the candyman is still there, we could pull a prank on someone! Although I probably shouldn't..." She also couldn't buy a second one. And the one she bought, she gave to Galton, because he paid her a lot for it. She didn't particularly want to meet the Gryffindor again so soon, she didn't really trust Vladimir's words, that the effect would wear off after a day.
"What is your favourite place in Hogwarts? We could go there!"

@Flash Holmwood

"It is not the people with the best intentions, that get you hurt. It is the cowards with the best intentions." -Opeila Seilun, in a moment of despair and disappointment
Stats: Stamina 5|Evasion 4|Strength 4|Wisdom 7|Arcane Power 5|Accuracy 5

Legacy  Finished 

"...Did I hear the word 'birthday'?"

Yet a third Slytherin slid into the study room to appear behind Flash and Opeila. Jack had been wandering by, discreetly attempting to check how empty said room was, and had been about to leave again when he'd heard a pair of familiar voices.

One of them became high and shrill with excitement, and after listening in for a bit, Jack soon learned why. Flash's birthday...? A wicked smile soon overtook his face. After that, he really couldn't resist making an entrance, but it wasn't for studying as his original plan had been.

"Aw, Flaaaash, why didn't you even tell your own dorm mates?" the boy whined playfully, resting an elbow on the other boy's shoulder as he peered over it. "Is Seilun here just that special to you?"

He smirked as his eyes darted to the brunette. At the same time, his fingers deftly reached out to swiftly pluck the envelope from Flash's book. "Oooh...an unopened letter? To a Demetirus?" Jack cast the other boy a mock look of disapproval. "Stealing other peoples' mail now, are we? Tsk, tsk, tsk...how could you, Flash? I thought better of you than that. And on your birthday no less!"

@Flash Holmwood & @Opeila Seilun

♪♬ "There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities...so we act as though they don't exist!" ♩ ♫

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." — Oscar Wilde

Legacy  Finished 

Just as he was listening to Opeila start her lovely suggestions, he saw her eyes go wide, as though in fear. Before he could turn around to see what the matter was, he felt weight on his shoulder, and the last voice he ever wanted to hear.

Burnett, in the flesh, having his fun at Flash’s expense. He snagged the letter Flash had carelessly left out in the open, pawing over it with his grubby hands. It was like a tidal wave, sudden and catastrophic.

”Drop it, Burnett.” Flash didn’t have time to assess the situation. He already had to start on the defensive, his least favorite position. ”Mail theft is a serious crime, I suppose this Demetrius could report it, if it was indeed taken from him.”

Flash looked over his shoulder to glare at him. Smiling again, to no one’s surprise. Flash realized too late that he acknowledged that he knew Burnett. The effect he had on Flash’s psyche had a knack for blinding him to the big picture.

He had to be more careful and make sure he diminished the opportunity for ridicule as much as possible. The study room wasn’t crowded, but Opeila was an active witness to whatever Burnett decided to try to pull off. Steady. Silent. Breathe.

@Opeila Seilun @Jack Burnett

»Du mußt nur die Laufrichtung ändern«, sagte die Katze und fraß sie.
Sta: 7 ★ Eva: 5 ★ Str: 6 ★ Wis: 8 ★ AP: 3 ★ Acc: 6

Legacy  Finished 

Opeila wasn't sure what just happened. The one second she had been talking to Flash, trying to save his birthday, then Burnett suddenly appeared behind him. Confused she looked at the redhead. Apparently the word 'birthday' had lured him over.
He started to tease Flash, why he didn't tell his dormmates and if Opeila just was that special to him.

Opeila just decided, not to say anything for now, but she looked at Jack, her eyes narrowed. She wouldn't let him ruin Flash's birthday, no matter what happened between them before. Obviously there had been something, but that could wait a day or two, couldn't it?

Now Jack commented on the Flash's birthday letter. Who the hell was Demetrius? And why should Flash steal his letters? Then Opeila figured, that Flash was probably not her housemate's real name. That was not nice at all of Burnett to reveal. Though, she didn't particularly expect him to be nice.

Flash seemed really tense since Burnett started to speak and Opeila got annoyed. "Great timing, Burnett. As far as I can see, it's you stealing someone else's letter here.", she just said.
"Is there something you want, except making other's secrets public knowledge?"
All this she said in a perfectly nice tone. She even smiled at the redhead.

@Flash Holmwood , @Jack Burnett

"It is not the people with the best intentions, that get you hurt. It is the cowards with the best intentions." -Opeila Seilun, in a moment of despair and disappointment
Stats: Stamina 5|Evasion 4|Strength 4|Wisdom 7|Arcane Power 5|Accuracy 5

Legacy  Finished 

At Flash's warning, Jack looked at the letter, then shrugged. "I suppose he could. But then wouldn't you be glad that I have it instead of you? Then you wouldn't get in trouble for being in possession of a stolen letter." He smiled fondly - or was it smugly? Perhaps a bit of both - at the other young man. "I notice you didn't deny my suggestion that Seilun is special to you, by the way."

Taking a step away from his pair of housemates, the redhead held the letter up to the light as if to try to examine the contents through the envelope. "Come to think of it...I suppose this could be a letter from you to this Demetrius fellow. A love letter, perhaps? Seilun, do you know a Demetirus?" But without waiting for an answer, he glanced back at Flash out the corner of his eye and continued. "I think I might...sounds kind of familiar."

With a sudden snap of his fingers, he cried, "That's it! I know what this is! It's a challenge for a duel to the death in order to win Seilun's hand! That's why you're celebrating your birthday with her! Because it's very possible that it could be your last."

As he gave Flash's shoulder a few consoling pats, his head hung in feigned sorrow, Opeila's words caught his ear and he looked up once more. He rose a brow in confusion and then narrowed them in resentment.

"'Public knowledge'...? What on Earth are you talking about? Knowledge is power. Why would I ever want to share hard-earned power with the public if there was nothing in it for me?"

Just then, something else caught Jack's attention. He squinted at the cloak that lay on the edge of the table before them, then his eyes widened in alarm and he whipped out his wand from the pocket of his robes.

"Immobulus!" he yelled, making the associated gesture for the spell. A blue light shot from the tip of his wand and hit the black cloak Flash had received as a present, enveloping the thing for a second before disappearing. Jack waited for a moment, then sighed in relief.

Turning to the other Slytherins, he asked in a horrified almost-whisper, "Do neither of you know how to recognize a Lethifold when you see one?"

@Flash Holmwood & @Opeila Seilun

♪♬ "There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities...so we act as though they don't exist!" ♩ ♫

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." — Oscar Wilde

Legacy  Finished 

Flash felt grateful that Opeila had defended him, feeling strengthened in the conviction that his act was going well. It was those moments that he had been striving for, and was glad that Burnett got a chance to see a preview of what would no doubt be a flock of supporters in his future.

Still, Burnett seemed completely unfazed and continued on his tirade of baseless teasing. Waving the letter around in the air, Flash wondered how much he thought he knew about his family. There was plenty he could easily infer-- he wore a relatively expensive watch his brother Valerius had given him, and he spoke with a larger vocabulary than most people his age. It wasn’t much of a logical leap to assume he came from a well-to-do family that could afford private tutoring.

What else does he know… Well, he knew he liked old comic books, but that didn't signify anything in particular. He knew that Flash wanted people to think highly of him, but that wasn’t useful information besides helping him know which buttons to press. He’s fishing for details.

Flash kept quiet, letting Jack run the gamut of deciding what the letter was. Flash felt at least somewhat secure in the thought that he wouldn’t have the audacity to open it. Flash felt centered, and even managed to smile himself.

”Very funny, Burnett. You know as well as anyone that it’s a birthday card for me. Stop kidding around.”

Instead, Jack cast a spell on his birthday present, which had been sitting idly on the back of his seat as long as he had been there. He… immobilized it. His explination thereafter was… a stretch.

Flash knew what Lethifolds were. His whole childhood took place during his brother Darius’ obsession with studying Defense Against the Dark Arts. Any of the most gruesome or terrifying monsters became vivid stories whenever he returned home. Lethifolds stood out as one of the most terrifying of them all-- a silent killer that left no trace. What on earth is his angle…

Even though he didn’t want to reveal anything he didn’t have to, he didn’t want Burnett’s stupid trick to frighten Opeila.

”Certainly. As I recall, they’re extremely rare… and most often found in tropical climates.” Flash gaze narrowed, challenging him. He hadn’t given anything away, had he?

@Opeila Seilun @Jack Burnett

»Du mußt nur die Laufrichtung ändern«, sagte die Katze und fraß sie.
Sta: 7 ★ Eva: 5 ★ Str: 6 ★ Wis: 8 ★ AP: 3 ★ Acc: 6