Sideways glance

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill...

Pansy wasn’t above imposing herself on people. In fact, her relationship with Tristan was a constant imposition of herself and her bad temperament on his person at her whim, day or night. It was not a large leap to impose herself on him and his pet houseguest. Especially since said pet houseguest had a plant that was very likely more bloodthirsty than her roses, which piqued her interest to no end.

Plus, she wanted to meet the little birdie Tristan had temporarily adopted. She knew he had the instinct, but was not a man who did a lot of collecting. Anything out of his normal habit was of great interest to her.

Instead of apparating into his home as was her wont (if only to move things around to irritate him), Pansy appeared with a ‘pop’ just outside the entrance to his workshop just as the sun was about to set. She might have delayed her coming as she was in the process of transplanting some of her roses and preparing some of the beds in the gardens for spring, but most people slept at night, and if she intended to meet the woman, it had to be during normal waking hours.

She stepped into the shop, dark eyes darting around at what was new before coming to rest on Tristan. “I’m unnaturally cheerful today. I think I’m ill,” she said by way of greeting. “You?”

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Brave little lion man ...

[This is a bit in the making but hey, it's here :) ]

Lavender’s head fell back against the pillow with a sigh. She knew her hair was a mess, sticking up in odd places, and she knew for a fact that her face was most likely flushed with pink, but she could not care less. A content smile tugged at her lips as she tried to catch her breath.

“For someone who went years without doing this, you sure picked it back up quickly.” She turned onto her side, grinning cheekily at Percy. “It’s like riding a broom, I suppose. A tandem broom. Though I thought you didn’t really enjoy brooms. You’re much more partial to cauldrons.”

Percy chuckled, running his hand down Lavender’s side to swat at her bum. Cheeky witch. He pulled her back on top of him, and nipped her full upper lip before kissing her fully.

“I’ll have you know I have a fondness for all sorts of bottoms, especially yours,” he replied, finally. “I hope that’s not a complaint?”

“No, no,” she assured him, fingers sliding through the hair near his ear. She pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Just marveling at how if someone were to question your prowess after all this time, they would be sorely mistaken if they thought your years of forced celibacy had dampened your abilities.”

“I’m a Weasley, love, we have a certain reputation to maintain. Have to think about the family honor, and all.” He breathed deeply with contentment, with Lavender’s skin pressed against his, the smell of her on his sheets.

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Pretty hair

Take a hand, take a leap, and do what most won’t underštand

The early signs of spring were beginning to show, fresh green shoots coming up from the ground and slowly filling out the trees. It was a hopeful time of year with new life all around, which seemed fitting as Cassie made her way across the grounds to the moor. She was feeling hopeful, too.

It was not her habit to overthink things, or to weigh her decisions beyond ‘Is this safe? Is it what I want?’ Most of the time, she was a woman who lived according to her whims, but the thing she’d been contemplating since the New Year began was not as simple as most of her choices. Nate was not just a man she wanted to shag. He was someone she loved; someone who knew her virtues and her flaws. He was part of her family. Making the choice whether to pursue him or not was probably the biggest decision she’d made in her life. Cassie had weighed the pros and cons thoroughly, and had stayed away from her cousin so she wouldn’t be tempted to give into her impulsive nature. Now she knew what she wanted, and she missed him. It was time stop avoiding each other and have a real discussion about their feelings.

Looking up toward the falconry, Cassie saw Nate heading back her direction on the path. Apparently he was finished with the birds for the day. Just as well, she’d intended to pull him from his task anyway. Though they were still quite a way apart, she could tell when he spied her. They were aware of each other now in a way they hadn’t been before New Year’s Eve. The remaining steps it took to reach him were fraught with an anxious anticipation, but all too soon they were standing face to face.

“I’ve missed you,” she said as soon as they were close enough to speak in normal tones. “There were things I needed to think about, but I’m done now. I’m not going to avoid you anymore.”
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I Like You

We are best friends. Always remember that after you fall, I will pick you up ...

Though he’d neither seen nor heard anything from her in over a month, Tristan didn’t think more than twice about dropping in on Pansy at Beaumaris unannounced. It wasn’t as if she could be up to anything she considered truly engaging, as he’d not had word of her being incarcerated, nor of any buildings or persons having been catastrophically destroyed in recent weeks. The very idea brought a smirk to his lips, and he abandoned his silent, empty sitting room in favor of her sprawling estate.

The entry was deserted, as expected, and he trailed through the chill of several adjoining rooms to check the solar for signs of her presence, given that it was, in his experience, her most likely source of entertainment outside of his endless tale-telling. If it were anyone else, the fact that it was nearly four in the morning would logically dictate that she should be sleeping, and that he should leave, but many wee hours spent alternately riling and soothing his unconventional friend indicated firmly otherwise, and Tristan glanced quickly about the dim room with its vicious foliage before pursuing his final option.

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Green background stare

When I'm standing upon that shore, all the battles I've gone before

Rising early was a long-ingrained habit, and the sun was still low in the sky when Miles first opened his eyes. The presence of Regan’s warm body next to him was a compelling reason not to leave the bed just yet though, and he’d set about rousing his lover with soft kisses and the light brush of his hands over her skin. Curled around her as he was, it only required a slight shift of her leg for him to slip into her heat, and they made love, slowly and thoroughly, as sleep lost its grip and a new day began.

After, he laid with Regan sprawled half on top of him, his fingers sifting through her hair. Miles had missed waking with someone, feeling the slight weight and warmth of a woman beside him. He’d never been one for one night stands, and having someone he cared for to look after and whose company he could enjoy - in bed and out - settled something inside him. He was content for the first time in a long while.

“Good morning, love,” he said, lips twitching. Despite the events of the morning, there was yet to be any real conversation between them. “Did you sleep well?”

“Mm,” Regan mumbled, stretching lazily at the prompt toward further wakefulness. Though they’d fallen asleep rather early and Miles’ method of rousing her a short while ago had been very enjoyable, she was not especially inclined to relinquish the warm doze she’d adopted. Burrowing her face into her lover’s neck, fond of the trace of his cologne there, she managed a soft, “Yes.”

She wondered whether he was always terribly alert as soon as he’d woken; it seemed likely given the need to be at his office quite early, and this gave way to wondering whether he’d grow to mind that she took rather a while and several cups of tea to be the person he’d known thus far. The circle of thought buzzed at her until she finally sighed and voiced hesitantly, “Will it be upsetting to you to know that I’m very slow about waking?”

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Now let's step to a brand new tune,

True to her word, Auror Jones sent word just before Christmas that Dragonwood and the Travers vault had been returned to Lisa’s custody. Lisa knew what the owl’s note said the moment Bas brought it to her, and the mix of emotions stirred by the news kept her to her room for most of the morning. There was much good to be found in the criminal investigation being finished; the most obvious being that she wasn’t to be arrested. She was free of her father’s reach, though Lisa had no doubt he would continue to attempt to exert influence over her. For now her best option was to ignore any correspondence and avoid him in public.

She would be glad to work in her greenhouse again. Calla and Remy were competent elves, and Lisa was sure they’d tended the plants well in her absence, but the little glass building had been her primary source of joy for the last several years. Plants were what she knew and loved, and she was anxious to surround herself with them again. And in truth, Dragonwood was a beautiful estate. Parts of it were tainted by the past, but it was a good home. Hopefully time and a bit of redecorating to make it her own would overcome the bad memories.

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Sideways glance

Fear in her chest...

Perhaps it was the length of time he'd spent motionless while at Waverly, or perhaps only a surfeit of agitation at himself and the abiding inability to rest, but though he'd never been inclined before, Tristan often found himself pacing, of late. Lisa had arranged to meet Romilda at the Ministry to discuss her case, and as he'd agreed to the role of escort, he'd readied himself for the trip, and settled in the study some dozen minutes prior to the time they'd chosen to depart. 'Settled' had lasted only a few of his spare minutes, and he strode slowly to and fro before the fire, attempting to shutter away his restlessness before it could affect Lisa.

She was anxious enough, understandably, without the added stress of his mood, and he carefully strangled each little point of worry as it arose, casting the quieted thoughts aside to be addressed later. There was the matter of warning his guest of his sister's Christmas visit, but that would keep until after her appointment.

Lisa dressed in the nicest outfit out of the few she’d purchased with Bas, creamy white denims and a beige cowlneck jumper, and tried to coax her blonde waves into some semblance of order. At least she could look as though she was pulled together and competent, even if she was feeling anything but on the inside. Casting a quick glance to the clock in the bedroom, she ceased her fidgeting and went to meet Tristan in the study.

Despite her statement that it would be better to go as soon as possible, she’d delayed an extra day, saying she was not feeling up to the trip just yet. It was true enough, though the primary difficulty was not physical. Her injuries were healing fairly well, but anxiety filled her every time she thought of going to the Ministry. What if they arrested her? What if her father was there, too? What if they believed him when he said she was unstable?

These were the fears running rampant in her mind, but Lisa knew she had to go and get it over with. She couldn’t hide away at Whin Terrace forever. Tristan had not adopted her like a stray cat; he only meant to help her through her troubles, and then send her home. It would be wrong to take advantage of his generosity for longer than she truly needed to.

“Have I kept you waiting long?” she asked quietly, tugging nervously at her sleeve as she entered the study.

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Head in hand

And I want to thank you...

It had been a surreal couple of days. She woke several times that first night, each time having to calm herself and remember where she was, that she was safe. When she finally gave up on trying to sleep, Lisa washed herself and cast a cleansing charm on her clothing, but there were things she required which were not likely to be found in a bachelor’s home. It pained her to ask Tristan for anything else, but he didn’t bat an eye when she asked if he would supply funds to pick up the necessary items. Instead, his elf was summoned and a pouch of money furnished, along with the suggestion that she might wish to get a proper coat and a few changes of clothing. Her assurance that she would reimburse him was met with the same look of disapproval as her questions about his decision to help her had earned the previous night.

The trip was not overlong, but it tired her. Lisa bought the bare necessities she would need to get through the next few days and Bas escorted her back to Whin Terrace where she spent the remainder of the day in bed. Her emotions were raw and her body was healing, and she was grateful for the quiet, comfortable space her host had provided while she tried to mend the damage done to both her physical and mental state.

On the second day she owled the auror assigned to her case to say she was recuperating in a safe place, not running from the law, or abducted, or insane, or dead, and she would come into the MLE in a few days when she was feeling stronger. It was the strangest note she’d ever penned, and probably the most frustrating for Auror Jones since Lisa did not share exactly where she’d decided was a safe place to recuperate. She didn’t know how many contacts her father had at the Ministry, and she wasn’t inclined to take chances.

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I might have nowhere left to go, but I know that I cannot go home

It was very late. The hospital was still and quiet, and Lisa knew this was her chance. She had to go now, before her father returned in the morning with some shady healer ready to sign her freedom away for a bag full of galleons. Knowing and doing were not the same thing, though. Her body ached as she tried to climb from the bed; freshly knitted bones and deep purple bruises pulsing with each movement.

Her left eye was still swollen nearly shut, but her right was sufficient to locate the thin wardrobe in her room and she sighed in relief when she found a bag of her clothes inside. Dried blood was caked on the coat she’d been wearing when she returned home to Xavier’s wrath so that was set aside. Even in her hazy state she knew that was too conspicuous, especially as she had no particular destination in mind.

But she’d worry about that once she was out of the hospital.

With painstaking effort, Lisa changed from her hospital gown into her slacks and jumper; the exertion causing her to lean heavily on the wardrobe door as she forced herself to stay erect. She turned to go once she’s slipped into her shoes, only just remembering her wand. It was quickly fished from the inner pocket of her coat and stowed in her back pocket. Heading into the night injured and fuzzy-headed with no coat and no money would be difficult enough. She wouldn’t have a prayer without her wand.

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