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Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

Somewhere to the right of the library, nestled between brooding YA fiction and shelves of young thrillers, Piper Sanchez sank a little further into his chair. The ticking of a nearby clock had, in his head, long since faded into nothingness, and time itself had lost all meaning for the young Hufflepuff as he gazed into the pages of a well-worn book.

For a while, he didn't blink or move or give any indication that he was not, in fact, a statue built on-site at the library. His eyes held the only obvious sign of life- some burning intensity, telling of a great passion for the story before him. And then- a flash of movement. Just for a moment. Turning the page as fast as possible to devour the last few vestiges of the novel.

Were there other people around him? Had the sun gone down yet? Had he even been at dinner that day? These were all good questions, and questions which he was far too preoccupied to consider.

He had a problem. This book- this series- was super good. Like, donut good, you know? If someone could translate the sugary wonder and overall delight of a donut into a book, this would be it. But now he was on the last chapter, and things were not looking good. At all.

His eyes grew impossibly wider as they travelled further down the page. Angelina was...

What? No! That didn't make any sense!

Tears, literal actual tears, filled his eyes as Angelina stabbed her best friends, her new family, right in the back. It came out of nowhere, but it also made sense- a terrible, foreboding kind of sense. No. Nope. He could not handle this right now. He leaned down to wipe his eyes on his arm and ended up collapsing in a very small, shuddering heap.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

Nova was, yet again, in the library, lost. She had gone in with her trusty little leather-bound notebook filled with graph paper from her muggle mother. She had only opened it once, very quickly, when she was in the trophy room and found an old picture of I think is Sirius Polaris, her father. She had scribbled down the other names of different Polarises in an effort to try and discover who they were, where they were, anything like that.

Nova slid her trusty fountain pen, also from her muggle mother, from her pocket and loosened the cap off. Opening her notebook, still while standing in a random aisle of the library, she scribbled down a few more notes of future things she wanted to look up.
  1. Sirius Polaris - Vega, Andromeda, Orion, Altair, Denebola
  2. Salazaar Slytherin
  3. Second Wizarding War
  4. Person Wizarding War is about
Nova did not want to write down Voldemort in case someone opened her notebook up, because even if she did not know quite who he was yet, everyone who had ever mentioned him whispered it in a hushed voice, most not even saying his name, just something cryptic like You-Know-Who.

Just then, a few elegantly folded slips of paper fell from the notebook's back. Nova picked them up and placed them back in the notebook, only keeping one in her palm to see what it is. Math problems? Nova looked at them, and sure enough, her mother had stashed slips of paper containing math problems in Nova's notebook. Nova giggled, feeling an urge to show her father so they could make fun of Maryam Hamidi's quirkiness together, then felt homesickness hit. Her parents were her best friends, and not having them around while she's discovering so much about herself hurt like shocks were splitting her heart to little pieces. Nova wiped a half-tear about to trail down her cheek, looking around to make sure no one was watching.

Almost serendipitously, from the aisle behind Nova, she overheard a large, heaping sob. Startled, Nova jumped back from the bookcase. The sobs continued, raising in crescendo slightly. Good grief, what has happened? Nova thought, running down her aisle and into the one the noise was coming from. There, she saw a boy seemingly her age, wrapped up in his own arms, crying on the ground.

Nova approached him slowly, not sure yet what he was crying about. "Um... it's... it's alright... you'll... you'll be okay," Nova tried as she bent down next to him.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

No, no, no. This was all wrong.

Terry was going to be completely lost without Angelina! She was the one who had guided him as he tried to navigate the tricky waters of being both a teenager and the Loch Ness Monster. And she'd also gone up and straight-up stabbed his boyfriend in front of him, which- you know, not good on the whole mental stability thing.

The more his mind spiralled, the worse Piper felt. It was good, some part of his brain supplied, that he didn't have any shame, because he was starting to get awfully loud.

He was so wrapped up in his emotions that he didn't even jump when someone spoke up next to him.
"Um... it's... it's alright... you'll... you'll be okay,"
A lesser person may have wasted time wondering where this girl had come from or, indeed, who she was. Not Piper.

"Sure," he wailed, "I'll be okay. But what about Roxanne? What about- what about-"

Gosh, he couldn't even say it. He let a few more- mercifully quieter- sobs out, then turned to look at his new friend.

Something was wrong.

He blinked rapidly, banishing the blurriness from his vision in order to study her face. There was a crease in her brow, perhaps the result of some residual sadness, and her eyes looked a little wet.

"Hey, you look upset. What's wrong?"

He noticed the notebook she was clutching. Some mathematical thing was peeking our from the cover.

"Maths got you down? It's a bummer, for sure. You need some help?" He blinked at her, trying to forget about the small innocent family he'd just seen torn viciously apart and oh nope never mind the emotions are coming back come on get it together, Sanchez.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"Sure," he wailed, "I'll be okay. But what about Roxanne? What about- what about-"
Nova looked at him quizzically, wondering if these are names she's supposed to know. She racks her brain but then glances at the floor next to him and sees a book cast away, seemingly recently. Is-is he crying because of a book? Nova wondered, slightly puzzled. She could not contain a smile--really, trying to hold back a laugh--because she, who rarely ever cries in public, thought it was silly and sweet that a boy like him would be loudly sobbing on the ground, in public, about a book.
"Hey, you look upset. What's wrong?" the boy asked.
Nova refocused her attention to him, then shrugged.

"Me? No, nothing, I'm totally fine! What about you though? Or-or Roxanne?" She asked, realizing that thinking of him wailing because of a fictional story was silly enough to make her completely forget that she herself was almost about to cry a few moments ago.

Nova bent over to pick up the book, analyzing the title. She flipped a little bit through it, not reading it seriously but trying to deduce what the plot was about, and what could have been so upsetting.
"Maths got you down? It's a bummer, for sure. You need some help?" He asked, looking at her notebook.
Nova quickly shoved her mother's math problems back into the notebook and put it under her arm. She shook her head.

"Psh, no of course not, it's nothing," she said, hoping he wouldn't notice the slight fake tone she was putting on, trying to completely shrug it off. "I'd much rather learn what this book is about--if that is what was making you so upset," she said with a warm, slightly teasing smile.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"Me? No, nothing, I'm totally fine! What about you though? Or-or Roxanne?"
Ah dang, had he just accidentally pointed out someone's Resting Sad Face? Piper felt a little bad, though the girl- Slytherin, he noticed- didn't seem particularly perturbed by his words. He was convinced she hadn't looked nearly as happy as she should have in a library, but he wasn't going to push it. His throat closed up a little when she mentioned Roxanne. He did his best to ignore it.

"Nah, I'll be okay. Soon. There's just- it's kind of a lot to take in all at once, you know?

She actually picked up the cursed book, eyes flicking across the title ("Lochs and Keys", easily one of the weaker titles of the series) before she started to flip through a book skipping over crucial scenes in a series she hadn't even read the preceding works to.

He fought the urge to snatch the book back like a cat clawing at a string, instead managing to take it from her calmly and carefully.
"Psh, no of course not, it's nothing," she said, hoping he wouldn't notice the slight fake tone she was putting on, trying to completely shrug it off. "I'd much rather learn what this book is about--if that is what was making you so upset," she said with a warm, slightly teasing smile.
"Huh. Sure it is," he said, still sniffling slightly. Seemed like an overreaction, but he didn't want to ruin the conversation by pressing the girl to reveal all her secrets. Plus, then she started talking about the book, and, well. That was some good conversation material right there.

Piper's face lit up in a huge grin. "I hope you're serious about that, because I'm about to learn you four books' worth of drama, plot twists and romance spirals-turned-sword fights."

He sat cross-legged on a nearby desk and motioned for her to take a seat too. Just as he was about to launch into full lecture-mode, he faltered. "Oh, uh, what's your name, by the way? I'm Piper."

She answered, and then he was talking at the speed of light, rambling on about the Cursed Swimming Goggles this and Jerome's soaring character arch that and backtracking because oh darn if he doesn't include that one scene with the goats there is literally no point in even trying to understand this series.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

Piper's face lit up in a huge grin. "I hope you're serious about that, because I'm about to learn you four books' worth of drama, plot twists and romance spirals-turned-sword fights."
Nova saw him motioning to take a seat, and she eagerly did with a huge grin on her face. She placed the book delicately on the desk, seeing him look at her incredulously for flipping through it so quickly, and wanted to be respectful.

The only thing Nova loves more than her parents are stories. Any type of story. For Nova, it isn't just the story itself, though that is a big part of it too, because Nova loves the drama and intrigue of hearing how someone else's tale unfolds. But it's mostly the light in the storyteller's eyes, the way their voice moves throughout the tale. She loves to observe how a person speaks about something they are so passionate about, and feels like she is getting a glimpse inside of who they are, no matter what kind of story they tell.
"Oh, uh, what's your name, by the way? I'm Piper," the boy asked.
Copying him, she sat cross-legged next to him and introduced herself. "I'm Nova," she said with an easy smile.

And so Nova watched him talk. His eyes lit up and seemed to make the entire room brighter, his voice racing so fast she felt as if her ears were running just to keep up with him. And halfway through his rambles, she realized she had actually read a few books in this series--a long time ago, and not the one he had just put down. But she didn't dare interrupt him to mention this, instead acting as if this was completely new to her, grinning at the level of detail in which he described even the most minor scenes, describing how important each individual line contributed to the greater theme of the story. She was impressed, even growing slightly jealous over how great his memory must be to capture such incredible detail, and smiled over how affected he was by this tale.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

Piper was delighted to have found someone who seemed to appreciate the intricacies of a good story as much as he did. She laughed and smiled and gasped at all the right moments in the story. He felt his own sadness melting away as he got lost in the twists and turns of the narrative, reliving the happiest moments of these characters' lives, reminding himself that despite their failures. despite their tragedies and losses, they'd also had some good times.

"-and then," he finished, slightly out of breath, "the very last scene is just this roughly narrated snatch of dialogue, and the only character described in it is a woman with blue eyes conspiring against the Stone Eagle- who, of course, we now know is Dylan." He lets his voice get low and conspiratorial at that last bit, emphasising the drama of the scene.

He patted the book next to him. "And that brings you up to this book. Which you should definitely read. Although, uh, I couldn't actually bring myself to finish the last chapter, so maybe bring it back when you're done, yeah?"

The ticking of the clock suddenly snagged on his mind. He turned to look at it, brows lifting in surprise. "Oh, dang. It's gotten late." He tilted his head, thinking for a moment. "Hey, besides listening to my incredible narration, what were you doing in the library so late anyway?"


Reducio
Feel free to add to the ridiculous lore of this series if you want. Anything dumb is great. So far I've got that:
-Angelina is important to the main characters but also betrays them oh no
-Roxanne... has reason to be upset???
-Terry is (part time) the Loch Ness monster and has a boyfriend called Dylan (who he met in this latest book) who just got stabbed and is also The Stone Eagle
-Jerome had a long path to accepting his destiny and becoming Keeper of the Goats

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"-so maybe bring it back when you're done, yeah?" he finished.
Nova nodded quickly with an easy laugh. She wasn't so sure if she wanted to read this crazy story--well, she did, but she enjoyed Piper's narration of the series so much she doubt the actual book could live up to his own point of view.
"Hey, besides listening to my incredible narration, what were you doing in the library so late anyway?" Piper asked.
Nova's eyes widened, quickly looking at the clock down the aisle. God, it was late. I didn't even realize how fast the time flew by, Nova thought. Piper's that good of a narrator!
She shrugged, gathering her hair onto one side in a large twirl.

"Would you believe me if I said, studying?" Nova arched her brow coyly. She laughed to herself.

"I was trying to find out more about my family. I think that my father's surname is Polaris--he changed it to my mother's name Hamidi when he married--and refuses to tell me about his family or his past. And, he told me not to go looking for answers to who his family was or who he used to be. So, obviously I decide to do the opposite of what he asked me to, and am now here," Nova grinned cheekily. Maybe it was the story and Nova relating to Angelina in a strange way--betraying her best friends, but who could resist after finding out that she's part dragonfly? And her mother's ghost comes back to her in the form of spiders to tell her what she has to do to fulfill her fate? What is it about Angelina that I relate to so much? Am I just intrigued by villains?, but Nova was feeling particularly devious.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"Would you believe me if I said, studying?"
Piper laughed, and then he laughed some more. And then he blinked.

"Oh, you're serious?"

Luckily he didn't have to dwell in those particular conversational waters for too long, as Nova continued her explanation. Piper's eyes grew wider with every new detail she threw his way, and by the end he found himself returning her mischievous grin.

He threw a hand on his forehead dramatically. "Ah! Curse me for befriending such a rebel. For real, though- this is an actual mystery, just like the puzzles Jerome had to solve to unlock the secrets of goat-kind! We have to solve this. Like, right now."

He glanced around wildly, checking both to see if they were being tailed by any mysterious people in dark trench coats (they weren't) and if there were any visible clues nearby. Nothing immediately obvious, but then they were in the middle of a library so densely packed with books that if the room were a liquid, it would be like syrup. He started to head slowly towards the right of the library, scanning the shelves intently.

"Right. We don't have long, but I'm going to go ahead and make the assumption that you don't mind me diving into your family's secrets and potentially tragic history and start looking for the Wizard Yellow Pages. Hm. Polaroid. Unusual name." And then, because he couldn't resist the joke: "Oh man, I've solved it already- your dad invented the Polaroid camera, but the pressures of fame grew too much for him so he changed his name and turned to the humble life of a nomadic farmer. Case closed."

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"We have to solve this. Like, right now," he said excitedly.
Nova felt her cheeks begin to hurt from smiling so much, and she began to laugh a bit more freely now. She loved his energy and enthusiasm.
"Hm. Polaroid. Unusual name,"
She was just about to correct him when he continued.
"Oh man, I've solved it already- your dad invented the Polaroid camera, but the pressures of fame grew too much for him so he changed his name and turned to the humble life of a nomadic farmer. Case closed."
Nova laughed heartily now.

"Wow, are you sure you're not a Ravenclaw? Because I've been dwelling on this for the past 11 years, more intensely for the past week. And nothing seemed to make sense! Until you! You cracked the code! You're definitely right, I mean, after inventing the Polaroid, too many people probably took polaroids of him, leaving him self-conscious and desperate for anonymity!" Nova laughed.

But then, she heard her own words. Polaris... isn't that... isn't that the North Star? She didn't know quite what the significance was of this, but did realize that she had to be correct in assuming her father's surname was Polaris. North Star... naming their children all after stars and constellations... Sirius... Nova... that definitely had to be significant.

She hurriedly grabbed Wizarding Families book from the shelf and began to flip through it. Feeling Piper's confused eyes on her, she explained. "But actually, you just gave me an idea. A sort-of idea. Or rather, an affirmation. I mean, my father said that his family always named their children after stars and constellations, you know, like my name, Nova. And Polaris is the name of the North Star! I mean, doesn't that kind of fit?" Nova looked a little crazed, speaking rapidly and eyes wide. She blinked and laughed, shaking her head. She must sound crazy.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"That's so poetic- brought down by the very thing that raised him up." Piper laughed along with Nova. "And yeah, I'm a Ravenclaw so smart I was able to finagle a placement in Hufflepuff, because I knew deep down that Hufflepuff is the best house in the school. Easily."

He frowned when the smile dripped off Nova's face and she kind of stared off into the distance, real intense. She looked exactly how he imagined it would look if someone was having the recipe for Oreos telepathically inscribed into their brain. He followed her gaze, trying to spot... hm, maybe the guardian angel or ancient nemesis that had drawn her attention. Nothing. He turned around to see her diving towards a shelf and wrenching out a book in the blink of an eye.

Before he could even ask, she was making deductions fast as the wind, a kind of logical fire blazing in her eyes that he had to admire. She laughed afterwards, apparently not taking herself seriously, but Piper had read too many thrillers to know a clue when he heard one.

"Huh. I don't know how you just know the name of the North Star like that, but it makes a lot of sense. I mean, a naming tradition like that has gotta have a reason for existing in the first place, you know?"

Piper realised then and there that his new friend was basically a walking mystery novel. He was pumped.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"-because I knew deep down that Hufflepuff is the best house in the school. Easily."
Nova scoffed, feigning how incredulous she was at his affirmation, then gave a devilish grin.

"I think you mean, Slytherins are the best house. By far the most powerful, and who doesn't want to be cunning or ambitious," Nova smiled teasingly, flipping her hair confidently behind her shoulder to add dramatic effect.
"Huh. I don't know how you just know the name of the North Star like that, but it makes a lot of sense. I mean, a naming tradition like that has gotta have a reason for existing in the first place, you know?"
She laughed, not really knowing how she knew the name of the North Star either. Her father long, long ago would sit with her outside on summer nights and point out different constellations. She was young, maybe two or three, and insisted on finding a supernova in the night sky. And so her father would pretend to go along with finding a supernova with her at night, instead pointing out the different names of everything they saw. She remembered thinking, but never asked if those names were names of his cousins or siblings. Maybe I should've been paying more attention, Nova thought, then shook it off. She was three or four years old, not like she could remember every star name her father told her about.

Still, her memory worked in interesting ways, deciding to remember the name "Polaris" out of the blue, almost just as she needed it. Her throat tightened a little bit; she really enjoyed the company of Piper and their easy banter, but she had a sinking feeling that her family may indeed have a "potentially tragic history," like he said. After all, her father wouldn't have kept it a secret if his family were perfect saints, right?

Nova bit her lip then decided to spit it out and tell Piper, "Seriously though, you're really awesome. And I want to be your friend, just I'm really not sure if my family is, you know, good. Since, why would my father keep it a secret if they were easy-going, nice people, you know? So, just, I don't want you to like, think differently of me when we find out. Since, we are finding out together. And I'm not evil--yet," Nova winked, trying to lighten the mood a little and dodge any anxieties she was feeling by humor.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

Nova did a hair flip. Nova "I'm a scary cunning Slytherin" Hamidi did a literal hair flip to dramatically emphasise her point. That settled it. They were going to be friends forever.

In response, Piper simply nodded, making it as sarcastic as he could. "Uh-huh. Totally."

He watched as she seemed to get lost in thought after he spoke- again. Man, he really needed to stop being so thought-provoking. At this rate, they were going to solve the whole mystery in, like, a week, and then what wacky hijinks would they be able to go on for the rest of the year?
"Seriously though, you're really awesome. And I want to be your friend, just I'm really not sure if my family is, you know, good. Since, why would my father keep it a secret if they were easy-going, nice people, you know? So, just, I don't want you to like, think differently of me when we find out. Since, we are finding out together. And I'm not evil--yet,"
Oh.

Piper was caught off guard for a split second. He was used to having friends, of course, but normally it took a little longer for people not to find him "exhausting" or "good in small doses". It took a second for him to realise he was smiling. For once, he actually took a moment to consider what to say.

"You know," he said, giving Nova a friendly nudge, "you're pretty cool yourself, kid. And, I mean, even if worst comes to worst, you're not your family, you know? Wait. Are you? Is someone their own family? Am I- am I related to myself? Doesn't matter. For now. Though I will be thinking about that for the next month. Point is- I'm not gonna judge you if your family has some bad apples. Pretty sure you'll find something rotten if you go back far enough in anyone's family tree- yours might just happen to be a little closer than other peoples'. Did that make sense? I'm going to act like that made sense."

"Oh, and you're totally already evil if you don't admit right now that Hufflepuff is the best house, by the way." He shrugged, grinning. "I don't make the rules."

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

"You know," Piper said, giving Nova a friendly nudge, "you're pretty cool yourself, kid."
Nova nudged him back, letting a sly smile escape her lips. She then laughed at what he said next, relieved that he was not going to grow scared of her based on what they learn of her family. She could trust him with whatever they ended up learning, and so she could trust him in helping her search. She nodded when he finished, implicitly letting him know that his ramble made sense to her.
"Oh, and you're totally already evil if you don't admit right now that Hufflepuff is the best house, by the way," he added.
"Well that settles it then. I'm evil. And I'll just be following in my family's footsteps," she deviously smirked with a slightly raised eyebrow again. "Slytherin will always be the best," she nudged him again.

She then looked at the book she had pulled out and began flipping through the pages.

"So all I know is that my father's first wife and son died in the Second Wizarding War. But what was it about? What are 'death eaters'?" she asked naively, pointing to a few words accompanying wizards listed in the book. Some had it, some didn't, and the only difference that she could truly tell were that no muggle-born wizard had "death eater" listed next to it. Regardless, they did not sound like a band of people she'd want to be associated with; who wants to be associated with "death"?

Reducio
So... not fleshed out, but definitely want her father to have a family of death eaters, like super intense purebloods, and how he didn't really escape it so his first wife is like also pretty evil as well. So then the mystery will continue to what was his change of heart, from being like death-eater to marrying a muggle? And also, potentially trying to write a letter to one of her relatives, so think of like if Bellatrix had any redemption arc, what would it be, that's the angle I'm trynna pull, but also, wicked and weird ;) (she's not related to the Blacks, her family is just the Polarises, another big pureblood family hah.

Dewey Decimating Our Feelings  PV   Closed 

Piper was glad to see Nova smiling at what he said. Even as the words had been coming out of his mouth, he was cringing at them, half-convinced that his good intentions were manifesting as meaningless rambling. But she seemed happy, so he must have said something right.
"Well that settles it then. I'm evil. And I'll just be following in my family's footsteps,"
Piper shook his head in mock sadness. "What can I say? I tried to show you the path towards goodness, honestly I did, but you're blinded. By snake eyes. Now I'm saying it I feel like snake eyes would be a little transparent. So- you're blinded by a snake-tinted lens."
"Slytherin will always be the best," she nudged him again.
"Pfft, the best at being the worst, maybe," he laughed, trying to hide a wince. Nova's elbows were sharp.

It was all going so well. Piper was having a blast, the treachery of certain fictional characters long forgotten. He'd made a great new friend, they was solving a mystery, and the whole thing was happening in a library!

It was all going so well, and then she asked about death eaters. Piper felt his face falling even as he struggled to keep his expression neutral.

"O-kay," he said, drawing out the word as he tried to figure out a way to say this lightly.

He didn't know a lot about death eaters, at that. Sure, they were an infamous aspect of recent history, but he was only eleven. No way were his parents going to poison his little mind with those kind of horror stories. But then he knew the basics. He'd assumed that everyone knew the basics.

"Okay," he said again, and once more for luck, "okay. Right. Death eaters. That's, uh- wow. I mean- okay, I'm not judging at all; I feel like that's important to say and while I'm talking about me I also feel like maybe I'm not the one who should have had been the one to have this particular conversation with you, but, uh- okay. Death eaters were, were kind of the main supporters of You-Know-Who back in the war, if you get what I mean. Kind of- kind of, uh, did a lot of his dirty work. Absolutely not judging. Just to repeat."

It was true, the not judging thing. These days everyone knew at least one kid of dubious parentage, and- well, they were almost always good kids. Piper made an effort to make eye contact, so she'd know that this didn't change anything.
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