"Oh, right… Yeah, you already know I’m no good with this muggle stuff," Zane muttered, almost ashamed that he knew absolutely nothing. At least with the… Internet, they would have been able to find out everything about anything. It hadn’t exactly been a solid plan to try to reach Nolan, and he pulled his shoulders up in a shrug. "Yeah… Trying to reach him would only put him in danger… Hopefully he’ll try to reach out to us soon though, maybe he knows something." It was scary, not knowing where their best friend was or if he was doing okay. "Tinky… Actually works here at Hogwarts now. I, eeh- I released her from my family when my father told me I was disowned. So we wouldn’t have to stay there anymore. We could ask her though, she would do anything that I asked her to do."
The prospect of leaving Nolan out in the unknown where anything could have already happened to him - and they’d never know - made Keller’s blood run cold, but he tried to hide his fear from Zane as best he could. “I think he will soon, considering the Minister elections are coming up and the furor around the riot in London is dying down,” Keller said, talking to keep himself distracted. “When he does, though, asking about Lowell will be number one after asking how he is. He really wasn’t in the best shape when we left, but-… he’s strong - he survived falling off his broom, he can survive this.” Surprised to hear that Zane had released Tinky, Keller’s eyebrows rose. “She might be more able to blend in than we could,” he said, thinking for a moment. “Maybe you could ask her to mingle with some house elves that work in the cafeteria at the Ministry? See if they’ve heard anything?” he suggested, not sure if it would lead anywhere, but doing something was better than nothing.
"Oh… oh… no… I don’t….That’s not…." Michael wanted to die, right then and there. He let out a breath when Keller promised he was just teasing, but he could feel his blush creeping in over his cheeks, down his neck, and up to the tips of his ears at just the insinuation. "Well… ah… thanks, I guess… sorry you… had to hear that. And I’m sure your singing is… is lovely too…." A pause, then it dawned on him: "Wait, if… if the Heads have their own bathroom… what… what are you… doing here?"
Keller could tell that the boy was flustered and he kept moving, not wanting to put pressure on him to do or say anything that made him uncomfortable. “Well I can’t go to the Head’s bathroom every time I need to use the bathroom - if a class is on a certain floor, I’ll just whichever is closest,” he said with a shrug, realising that his bathroom habits weren’t that interesting. “And I just came from Transfiguration and-… well, here we are,” he said with a smile. “I’ll go and let you finish up,” he said, “or I can wait outside til you’re dressed and we can walk back to the Tower together, if you’d like?”
THE DRAUGHT OF PEACE is a potion which relieves anxiety and agitation. Its ingredients are powdered moonstone, syrup of hellebore, powdered porcupine quills, and powdered unicorn horn. It should be a turquoise blue when finished and simmered before being drunk.
No, you’re not… no, Keller, not like that. I mean… the ah… the bathrooms are usually empty this time of day, except for Myrtle and… [He closes his eyes in embarrassment - one of his worst nightmares coming true] You, uh… you didn’t d-disturb me. I mean… I just… I don’t usually sing, especially not for other people, and that’s… that’s not… it’s not that great,
"So you-… you were expecting Myrtle, then?" he asked with a grin, only teasing, "do you two have a standing arrangement of some sort where she can come in and watch you shower, or..?" He smiled and shok his head. "Only teasing you, Michael - but your singing was great, don’t feel embarrassed at all; I’m actually rather thankful that the Heads have their own bathroom, otherwise everyone would hear my singing, and then we’d have a problem."
Of course it applies to you, you can’t always be special Keller. Well for starters you’re head boy, seems like that opens up a whole other side of bad week. My life is fine in general, I can tell you plenty of interesting things that are going on around Hogwarts but none of them are happening to me. So my life is uneventful and fine. Someone who gossips about a person’s sexuality has too much time on their hands. I may be a gossip but I have standards, you shouldn’t criticize someone for something like that. Arrogance though, that’s fair game but it’s not as though it wasn’t undue arrogance. Thanks Kell. Yeah, it is lonely not having her around. I don’t really have anyone I’m all that close to at school. I mean…you and Lee but besides that…Oh does that mean I actually have to kiss a muggleborn to catch their cooties? I’ll get right on that.
Hm, well maybe I don’t want to be special — I like blending in, but with my title comes-… the limelight. I’ve never been good with any of it, but you’re right, when you’re Head Boy, you get double the bad week. Ooh! Yes, tell me something that’s happening around Hogwarts that I don’t already know — though I am glad none of it is happening to you; your life deserves to be fine, and uneventful isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I absolutely agree — people who judge others for their sexuality are disgusting, and-… to be honest-… I won’t tolerate it. Bullying is bad, ignorance and intolerance is worse. Nolan really was a role model in that regard, though — he showed people that you don’t have to be ashamed of who you are, and I respected that a lot. Did you know he tried to get a queer club going? A kind of safe place for kids identifying on the LGBTQIA* spectrum-… I should look into it, maybe establish it in his honor. I’m sure you’ll make friends - even if it’s only when in your final year, you’ll break down someone’s boundaries and they’ll break down yours, and you’ll find yourself up friend creek without a paddle. Hm, any muggleborns you know of catch your eye?
Shit! I-I thought… [He blushes] You scared me, I thought you were Moaning Myrtle or something.
Oh! No — sorry, just uh-… just me. Am I really that pale that you’d think I was Moaning Myrtle? But you have a rather-… unique voice, Michael, please, don’t let me disturb you.
"They say ‘celler door’ is one of the most beautiful phrases that can be said a’loud, actually…" Tucker frowned at Keller’s somber demeanour. He’d momentarily forgotten that although he’d been lucky enough to battle his personal demons and come to terms with what had happened not long ago, most hadn’t. In fact, it had been only days—a week, maybe—since Tucker had spoken to the head boy last, and Tucker would admit that he’d been an entirely different person then. Such intense abhorrence for himself and what he’d done and didn’t do that he found it hard to keep living life—something he held a great deal of animosity towards in general. But he’d made it through it, thanks to the one part of himself that he’d hated the most—his Sight. "Ironic." Tucker frowned, touching his lips. "Hah, sorry… internal monologue. Anyway… I think it’s something you should always try tae keep in mind, at least. I mean… believe me, I know what it’s like…" Tucker sighs, fiddling with the cap on his flask. "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, yeah? Be that blackbird and learn tae see—tae understand. It’s not… simple. Or easy, or painless… But it’s worth it."
There were a lot of reasons why Keller didn’t drink on a regular basis — namely because he was Head Boy, and it was unseemly, but also because he either became ecstatic or despondent, and he could never predict which. The trait of alcohol dependence ran through his family — both his father and his uncle had a penchant for it — and as Keller took another sip, he wondered if it was really worth fighting his own inevitable fate. Tucker was talking, and Keller was trying to listen, but he wasn’t sure what Tucker was referring to — there was a lot of inspirational messages being put forth by the Hufflepuff boy that Keller couldn’t digest properly. “What are you referring to, exactly?” Keller asked, looking at Tucker hard. “What am I supposed to see and understand once I magically transform myself into a blackbird? The fact that we’re all sitting ducks here at the school? The fact that even if we were in our homes, we wouldn’t be any safer? The guilt that I almost cost people their lives-… the fact that we might still lose them-…” Keller shook his head. “You can only say that it’s worth it when you have hope — hope that there will be a time when things aren’t shit. And right now, I’m sure I share in that hope, Tucker.”
Pax had to wonder if Keller had only had that “one.” Everyone was scared, now, and he understood that Keller was only human, but if the Head Boy was breaking school rules—
"Alright there, Keller?"
Smiling at Pax, Keller inclined his head. “Quite,” he said, musing for a moment. “Are you? I know that everyone is having a hard time right about now, what with-… the werewolves, and now the Minister, so-… just let me know if you’re aren’t, yeah? I might not be able to help, but I can listen?” It was all he could offer to people these days, but he had to hope it was better than doing nothing at all, he thought, and sometimes just knowing that someone was on your side made all the difference.
Tucker couldn’t help but grin up at Keller at his initial response, no matter his actions immediately after. “Have you got any Irish in you, Keller? Murphy’s surely of Irish origin, so’s just wondering. Heard that they’re one’ve the oldest wizarding families ‘round—they’re not pureblooded, tae, which is… cool. I think that speaks wonders. Your accents pure scouse, though, no doubt about it… Did you know that Keller means ‘cellar’ in German? Probably’ve looked that up at some point, knowing you. My mum was German. I actually used tae speak German, when I was a wee pup, but then she got busy, and… well, died. So. I’m out of practice.” Taking a slow breath, Tucker stared out into space for a moment, balancing his thoughts. He’d been so bottled up recently that once he started talking, he found it hard to stop. It was… weird. “Uh… sorry,” he laughed, rubbing at the side of his neck self-consciously before taking another small drink. “I don’t wonder. Not anymore. Let it be, right?”
The onslaught of information from Tucker made Keller frown, mind groggy as he tried to sort through it. “I-… I don’t know if I’m actually any significant amount Irish, no,” he said, frowning deeper at the mention of the Scouse accent and looking away from Tucker. “Surprisingly, I’ve never looked up the meaning of my name-… though having it mean nothing more than ‘cellar’ doesn’t give me much incentive-… it doesn’t really have much relevance to me, unless you consider my life to be a dark place that people rarely want to go to,” he said with a half grin, self-deprecating. “What does ‘Tucker’ mean, if you know?” he countered with a raised eyebrow. He wasn’t sure where Tucker’s sudden stream of conversationalism had come from, but Keller worked to try to keep up with him. “I’m-… sorry about your mum, but at least you remember some German to honour her, right?” He took a sip from the bottle in his hand before making a non-committal sound in agreement. “Let it be works for a while until your instincts kick in - fight or flight might have been a better slogan,” he said bitterly, taking another sip.
Everyone has a right to complain about their life. Someone else’s suffering in no way diminishes your own. I didn’t know him very well but I obviously heard a lot about him. He certainly seemed to be one of those people that everyone liked to talk about and not in a negative way either and that always impressed me. It’s great that you got to be so close to him, it’s important to have people who really care about you. My best friend is my mother, as I get older I wonder if that says something about my relationship with others. I haven’t been locking lips with any muggleborns…or anyone actually…ever. I was referring to my own muggle blood, seeing as I’m a half blood.
I used to tell people that but I don’t feel like it really applies to me — my life is-… good - I’m Head Boy, what could possibly be wrong? Anyway, how’s your life, Penelope? Ahh Nolan-… he did have his fair share of critics, though - people who didn’t like the fact that he was out and proud with his sexuality, the people who thought he was arrogant about his talent, but-.. Nolan never gave a fuck about them, you know? Why should he? He was happy-… that’s what mattered, and I admired that — that he put his own happiness first before pleasing others. Your best friend is your mother? That’s nothing to be ashamed of either — we don’t get to pick who we connect with, and your mother is a great figure to have as a friend. That must be lonely for you, though, since she’s-… not here all year? Hm, well, being half-blood isn’t nearly as bad as being a muggleborn - you probably have some form of cooties but not full-blown cooties, if you catch my drift.