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Ancient Books, Silver Feathers  PV Colin   Closed 

Start of September

Ackerley has been back to Hogwarts for at least two weeks now. He had returned earlier than most of the professors to speak directly to the Headmaster about his new condition. This new kind of life has been difficult for him to adapt to and he still had troubles to accept it. Life was so... grey, now. Just as if everything magical has been long gone. At first, the young professor has been reluctant to take back his old post. Why would he? Would he even be able to enjoy teaching spells if he was not able to feel the magic inside of himself? He could not see any spell's colors anymore. Everything was grey, his eyes were also hurting most of the time. It was hard for him to only stay under the light of the sun. It was one of the reasons why he had retired for two years and went to work for the Ministry of Magic. He had run away from his problems. Somehow, it has been easier, but Ackerley knew that he would not be able to stay away from what was making him happy.  He had grown up around researchers for the Ministry. He had worked there for a while. It was his passion after all.

It was now the start of September. The young professor of Charms had waited for this moment with fear crawling inside of him. He would have to confront his biggest fear. The young man was terrified of the idea of teaching the charms class again. What if he was not good enough for it anymore? It was true that he always has been some sort of prodigy in the matter, but being unable to see a shade of color has made it terribly hard for him to find the correct way to launch his spells. In the past, Ackerley has often relied on his vision for it. Watching the intensity of a magical effect. He was doing so by exploring the shade of a spell. Each sparkle, each small effect of a different type. A curse, a charm, they all had proprieties of their own. He loved to study them. While traveling in his thought, the young man felt something cling to his leg. His eyes slowing went down to the floor. It was his Tarantula. Of course, the smart little one had followed him through the castle. Even if the man wanted to be alone, the young spider was always at his side. Scary, most would say, but Ackerley found some comfort behind it. He slows leaned down and laid his hand on the floor. Denise directly went into his hand. She knew him well. They had been together for almost three years after all. He had received her as a gift from an old rival. It was his small treasure. The small orange design on her back gleamed when the sun's rays of light gently laid down on her small frame. She was mysterious and beautiful at the same time. A paradox he loved to experiment. Unfortunately, his condition made it impossible for him to enjoy it. All the different shades of colors that were coming from this beautiful creature were off limit now... Once he settled her down on his small shoulder, Ackerley returned his attention to his destination. He was slowly walking down the dark corridor of the school to get to the library.

Finally finding his destination, he opened the large wooden door and entered the calm location. A smell of old books and the familiar sense of the atmosphere came back toward him. He loved this place. It was his secret haven, his home inside of the Scottish castle. Hogwarts was an animated school and he preferred the serenity and the quiescence of books. It was his escape location. After looking around the library and notes that nothing really changed since his departure, the man walked toward a small and dark side of the Atheneum. A small wooden table with a few chairs made of the same material was disposed around a window. Ackerley gently closed his eyes, they were hurting him from being so close to a source of light, but it was tolerable. He sat down and gently posed Denise on the table. She started walking around and looking everywhere. She was curious. It has been so long since both of them has been in this specific place. She might not remember it. The man slowly smiled and turned his eyes to his books. He had brought one with him while waiting for his original reason to be in this place.

Indeed, the professor of Charms was here for a specific reason. The professor of Muggle Studies, Colin Anderson had asked him to meet him in the library to talk about some of his travels. The man needed some pieces of information about a certain location in the world for his class. Ackerley had accepted. For many reasons. First, he had traveled around the world many times because of his family and he knew a lot about the Muggles. It would be a great time to share his knowledge on the matter. Secondly, Colin has been a professor at Hogwarts for a long time. The two men had met a few years ago. It would be a singular appointment just like they used to do in the past. Ackerley might love tranquility, but he also loved being in the company of a special individual. Colin was one of them. He had developed some sort of friendship with the professor of Muggle Studies and was looking forward to this meeting. However, during his time away from Hogwarts, Ackerley had not been in contact with his colleagues. He has isolated himself from most of them and had not sent any reply to their letters. That statement made him wonder how the older man would react once he sees him again. 

While wondering about this fact, which made him feel some anxiety, the young man heard footsteps approaching his location. It was too late to be feeling regrets. The man of his disquietude was now there. Ackerley slowly placed his book on the table, careful to not hurt Denise, who was looking at him in a strange way and looked up to meet Colin's eyes. He smiled, the man felt like home.

- Hello Colin, it has been a while. Please sit down, we have a lot to catch up on and a lot of research to do.

Ancient Books, Silver Feathers  PV Colin   Closed 

It has been ten minutes since Colin looked out the window. The uncertainty was reading on his face as he counted the seconds thanks to the noises of a big clock, installed next to his desk. Returning this morning to Hogwarts, the day before the start of the school year, he had learned that one of his colleagues: Ackerley Blackburn: was back at Hogwarts... The news had left him in shock. He was happy, of course, but also undecided. A few years ago, Professor Blackburn had a terrible accident that had changed him. He had left Hogwarts, judging that he was no longer able to teach the charms class to his students... He had traveled... During this time, Colin had sent him owls, at least once a week during the first year. But Ackerley had never answered. The poor teacher had therefore continued his classes, trying not to think about it. But it was not possible, Ackerley was a friend, one of the few people he preferred to books...

And today, he came back ... Why after two years? Colin did not know anything about it... He was still hesitating: on the one hand, he was burning to see him again but on the other, he was afraid of being disappointed... Deceived by what his friend would have become. Ackerley had always had that joy of living that characterized him, it was in any case like Colin saw him.

He hesitated a little longer, then got up from the chair he was sitting on and grabbed a quill on his desk. In truth, the letter he was about to write was only a pretext, a pretext for seeing that friend he missed again. The feather trembled in his hand and began to write a few words:

Dear Ackerley,

I'm glad that you are back. Could you join me at the library? I know you've traveled a lot and I guess you met a lot of muggles on your travels... I'd appreciate you talking to me a little so I could improve my class.

I'm waiting for your answer,

This letter seemed cold to him, very cold. But since he was not sure if his addressee would agree to join him, or even read the letter, he preferred not to bother to do it again. He hung it on the claws of his owl, which flew away to deliver the message of his owner. Then he prepared a tea, which he drank while waiting for the bird to come back. When he came back, fetching food from the teacher's hand, Colin climbed two floors to the library.

Arrived at the door of the meeting place, he stopped, hesitating to open it. He could have bet, 10 galleons that Ackerley would not be there. He was about to turn back when he remembered a proverb that said: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. He opened the door.

He then looked around the room and found his colleague sitting on a wooden chair next to a window. He hesitated, it was weird to see him again when so much time had passed. He advanced, however. When he arrived near Ackerley, he stopped, getting ready to speak but the professor of charms was quicker:

" Hello Colin, it has been a while. Please sit down, we have a lot to catch up on and a lot of research to do. "

Colin was surprised by his friend's words. He spoke as if nothing had happened. As if they had never stopped talking to each other. As if all was well, as before. He tried to answer him, in the most indifferent tone he could:

" Hello Ackerley, I'm ready to work. "

He added nothing, not a word more. He wanted to make him understand how much silence could hurt.

Ancient Books, Silver Feathers  PV Colin   Closed 

Anxiety was everywhere in his systems. After the professor of Muggle Studies has sat down and told him he was ready to work, Ackerley has found it hard to look at him in the eyes. He had, indeed, left him, one of his close friend and colleague, without any words of himself for two years. This accident has been sudden. Nothing could have predicted it. It had created a hole in his life that nothing has yet to close it. Time was making it better, but the consequences of this event were still affecting him every day. In a matter of proper sense, the professor of charms decided to look at his spider. The small one was trying to grab the other man hands. A sigh of recognition. Ackerley has received her one year before his unfortunate accident. Since then, Denise has been a full member of his everyday circle.

The young man sighed, the letter he had received earlier from Colin has been... Cold. What was he trying to show him? That he has been rude for not answering his letter? Ackerley was glad to spend time this man, but he also felt confused and unsure. Was he supposed to apologize? If so, is there a good way to make a conversation about this? This sensation was new for him. He had never felt like that. Before this accident, everything was easier. He was jovial. It was rare that the brown haired man was not wandering around the castle, talking with his colleague about their classes or just about students. It has been a peaceful time. Unfortunately, those kinds of situations were not meant to stay forever in the lapse of times. 

Ackerley returned his attention to his friend. Looking at him was difficult for another reason. Colin has always been a colorful person. Presently, he was nothing but a shade of dark and grey. The man could not stop himself from frowning either it was the light of the sun that was hurting his eyes or perhaps it was because of his lack of color. He had always liked his greenish eyes. He could get lost in those shades of colors. Why did he have to lose something that was precious to him? Would he ever be able to see normally again?  Each of those questions was always running around inside of his head. He was captured in this paradox of darkness until he could finally be free from it. For now, he would not have the choice to try and stay normal. His friend deserved at least that. Therefore, Colin's speaking was as cold as the ice. It was beautiful, but it could also burn. The young man had tried to speak normally to his friend. Of course, something crucial had happened, but was it necessarily meant to be something to separate them? Had they returned on a basic relation? He was wondering if his actions had affected all of his important individuals? Ackerley decided he would try to make it up to him. He had been a horrible friend, but now he was back. The past could not be erased, but the future could be changed.

- S-so... What did you specifically want to work on? Did you have a specific subject you wanted me to talk about for your classes?

Stuttering has not been in his initial plan. Therefore, human nature could not be erased from him. He was anxious, everything around him could tell it. His lack of eye contacts, his constant twitch of finger around the old pages of the book he has brought with him, but also, in the way Denise was responding to him. It was as if the small lass was able to feel and hear each of his thought and feelings. She has been around him when he needed it the most. She had learned somehow, how to respond to him. It was why she slowly came to the professor of charms and lay down on his hand. Ackerley slowly looked at her and a small smile drawn itself on the professor's face. He decided to regain some sort of control of himself. He then looked up at Colin. The light coming from the window was strong, it explained why he frowned his eyes again but he maintained the eye contact. As painful as it was, he was there for a reason or two. He wanted to regain control of his life. To make it better. Even if it meant living in a dark world without any sense of colors.

- Has... Has anything changed while I was, hm, not there? 

It was a lame attempt to creates some conversation. The man knew it, but it might have been his only chances to regain some sort of contact with his friend. 

Ancient Books, Silver Feathers  PV Colin   Closed 

Colin looked straight ahead. Do not be disturbed, especially not to be disturbed. He looked out the window leaving his thoughts in the landscape... then shook his head, it was not the moment, he would look outside to another moment. He glanced at his colleague who seemed deeply lost in his thoughts... Denise, his little spider, began to try to catch the professor's fingers. Colin gently pushed the spider with his hand but it gave a boost of courage to the little beast that finally climbed on the fingers of the man. Colin sighed, he was not good with animals...

Colin felt Ackerley's eyes on him and turned his head in his direction. Why was he looking at him? And why was he frowning at him? Colin felt guilty for a moment, wondering if it was not him who was insensitive to the problem of that he still hesitated to call: friend. The spells teacher pulled him out of his thoughts by speaking:

" S-so... What did you specifically want to work on? Did you have a specific subject you wanted me to talk about for your classes? "

He was stuttering now! This way of behaving was just stupid ... as if Ackerley feared the professor of muggle studies. But the biggest problem of the blond remained the question that the man had asked him ... He had sent him this letter only to see him again, without a precise idea of a subject to study. The brown man turned his head toward him and spoke again.

" Has... Has anything changed while I was, hm, not there? "

Perfect, this question would allow Colin to dodge the previous question and especially, to make it clear to the other man that he had suffered from his silence.

" If you had not escaped, you would know it. If you had taken the trouble to answer my letters too, do you seriously think that I would have abandoned you? "

He paused before resuming:

" During your absence, life has continued to turn, there were parties as usual, minor incidents, the exam period ... And you had fun without us? "

He stared at Ackerley. He wanted to become a friend again with this man, to go back to the relationship they had before this accident and Colin was a patient man... If he had to, he would drive Ackerley to the end... Until he apologize, until he explains himself but mostly, until he becomes as before.