Hogwarts, A Future

Sixteen Years After the War has Ended, Two Wizarding Schools Exist. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Salem Academy
 
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 Valentine's Day (Joe)

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PostSubject: Valentine's Day (Joe)   Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:45 am

Her hair had been changed back to the dark green she had come to love, reminding her of when she first met Joe. Lessons had taken up most of her time, and although she really wanted to spend it with him, she knew that it was her O.W.Ls year and that studies had to be done. Her priorities, of course, had always been the Hufflepuff she fell in love with, and she was satisfied with knowing that he had been deemed healthy enough to leave the hospital ward.

It was only after all classes had been finished that she was finally done for the day, and she slowly made her way back to her common room, tired. When she opened the door to her dorm, she couldn't help but wonder at the girls inside, who were whispering and giggling to themselves. She never could understand the fuss or the big deal over Valentine's Day, although every year without fail the other girls would swap stories and compare who had received the most romantic gesture from their significant other. It wasn't because she never received anything before, it was simply because it didn't really matter to her.

Yet, as she walked towards her bed, the whispering seemed to get louder, and she could feel pairs of eyes following her movement. And then, arriving at her bed, she realized the reason. For the first time in eighteen Valentine's Days, there was something waiting for her: a single red rose atop an envelope.

She froze, unsure how to react. Was this really for her? Could it have been placed there by mistake? It couldn't be, she decided, as the girls moved towards her, surrounding her bed and looking expectantly at her, simply because her name was on the front of the envelope.

Letting her bag fall to the floor, she sat down on the corner of the bed, gently picking up the white envelope and tearing it open carefully, so as to do as little damage as possible. Sliding out the letter, she unfolded the piece of paper, taking in the neat handwriting inside before beginning to read it.

Everything around her froze by the time she reached the end of the first sentence. She couldn't feel her heart beating beneath her clothes, she couldn't hear anyone moving, and was it just her, or did it seem impossible to breathe?

It wasn't hard to guess who had sent it - in fact, there was only one option; only one person could ever make her feel that way, make her lose control of her own emotions. At least, in the safety of her dorm, the metamorphamagus changes could be altered before she left to the library, and so she sat, waiting for the surge of emotions to calm.

Around her, the faces of the curious bystanders seemed to disappear as only one came to her: that of Joe Astrid. Picking up the rose, she moved on autopilot, summoning a small vase, filling it with some water and sticking the rose inside. Then, keeping the letter safely in her moleskin purse - much to the groans of protest from the other girls - she stood up.

Focusing with all her will, she forced her hair from brown back to green before quite literally pushing her way out of the crowd and going to the exit. New energy suddenly filled her, and she quickly headed towards the library, needing to see him.

It wasn't hard to spot him, at a table, bent over some books, and the already huge smile grew bigger. "Hey Joe," she said softly, sliding into the seat next to him.
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Joe Astrid
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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's Day (Joe)   Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:50 pm

His heart was racing. His skin was crawling. His face was burning, his hands were sweating, his leg was bouncing beneath the wooden table and his breaths hadn't been even in over twenty minutes. It didn't matter how long Joe sat staring at the words written inside the book about Occlumency on the desk before him, he couldn't take in a single one. On more than one occasion, he had stood up, trying to find something to amuse himself with while he waited in what felt like agony to see Brooke's face again, but every time he found himself slumping back into the same seat with a heavy sigh as he looked up through dark lashes at the door.

Calm down he told himself, resting an elbow on the wood and placing his hand on the back of his neck. He had never been so purely anxious, not even about his OWLs. But now, it was something completely different. With his exams, he was woried about failing, but with Brooke, he was worried about everything. Not being good enough, not being there for her, not knowing what the hell he was doing, hurting her, everything.

Brooke Walters had managed to wiggle her way into his heart, from the get-go, past all of the defensive walls that he'd had put up since Morgan's death. Joe wasn't sure when he'd let the barriers down, but he was damn glad that he had, because it felt like there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for the Gryffindor girl.

He ran through the letter in his head, mentally slapping himself for most parts of it, including the ending. What moron writes "forever yours if that's what you want anyway"? he asked himself, letting out a soft groan at his own stupidity. It wasn't long, though, until the light in the door of the library was cut off for a few moments, and he didn't have time to dwell on the thoughts because she was there.

Twenty five erratic heartbeats later and she was at his side, her soft voice reaching his ears and her kind smile the only thing he could see. He looked at her with shy liking and returned her smile, not daring to look at her eyes because he thought he might actually pass out, which wasn't something on his agenda.

"Hi," he croaked, voice dry from lack of use. He closed his eyes and coughed the weird throaty feeling away, mentally kicking himself. You should've thought about that one he thought with an internal groan, turning back to face her with his voice now in working order. "H-... how are you?"

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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's Day (Joe)   Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:50 pm

((OOC: Sorry for the late reply!))

Her heart did another quick descend into her stomach as he turned to look at her, and she bit back a laugh, not wanting him to think that it was him she was laughing at. He was the last person on earth that she wanted to hurt. Hurt further. She was reminded again by her subconsciousness, not that she ever wanted to forget. It was something she would never forgive herself for doing, because even though Joe insisted that it wasn't her fault, deep down she knew that - at least partially - it was. But none of that really mattered as she smiled at the young man in front of her. She has one of the lucky ones to have found someone like him. Someone so caring and so sweet, who made someone so boring as her feel so special! As cliche as it was, she knew it was the truth.

"I'm good!" she replied earnestly. "How about you? Classes going alright?"

"I... I got your letter," she started, suddenly shyer. Merlin, she never had that problem before! She was usually outgoing, brazen and outspoken - like almost all Gryffindors were. "Well, obviously I did; I'm here, am I not?" She paused, fidgeting with her fingers as she usually did when she was nervous. Normally, she would have just said whatever she was thinking straight out, and normally, she would laughed at the idea of her ever being shy. But it seemed that Joe managed to strike something inside her that made all these traits appear in her. Perhaps it is because he's just so ... so extraordinary, she thought.

Words just would not come, and she found herself incapable to express how she felt about what he'd done for her. "I ... - That was... - It was the first time anyone has... - It was perfect." She shook her head slightly, swallowed and concluded in the only way she knew how, soft and almost inaudibly. "Thank you."

Leaning over she hesitated for a split second before gently kissing him on the cheek. It was weird, because despite the fact that they had already kissed before, she felt nervous every time she thought of doing it, as though he might refuse her if she dared to do it again. She didn't deserve someone like him, never have and never would, and yet, by some miracle, he had chosen her.
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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's Day (Joe)   Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:32 pm

((OOC: don't worry about it, I understand that you're busy at the moment sweetie! It's fine, honestly<3))

"How about you? Classes going alright?"

The attempt at small talk would have been wasted on Joe if it were anyone else talking to him. He didn't usually talk about anything to do with classes; even when his parents asked, all they received was a blunt "fine". But it was different with her, it was completely and utterly on the flip side because he knew that she actually wanted to know, and wasn't just asking for the sake of having asked.

"Better than they used to," he replied truthfully, smiling a little because it wasn't a lie for once. "And better is a good thing, right? And you? How have you been? I'm so sorry I didn't tell you I was out of the hospital wing-... I-... pre-occupied myself." He cut himself off, knowing that he could talk forever if it was to her. Not anyone else. Everyone else usually received rarely broken silences, but the Gryffindor deserved so much more.

Shy was a good look on Brooke. Many people just looked plain awkward, Joe himself being one of the world's worst, but he couldn't deny that she looked positively adorable when she was being shy. Even her lips seemed to move differently; there was something about the way she enunciated when she spoke and the slight change that his eyes could detect in her mouth's movements that made his heart skip more beats than he deemed safe. Except, by now, it had skipped so many that he was growing used to it. "That you are," he teased her, nudging the Gryffindor gently with his elbow. "Honestly, I hope the day's worth of anxiety was worth it. I'm sorry for being dreadful at the roman-... at the emotional stuff." He felt his face burn again, the blush reaching his neck for what felt like the millionth time as he forced himself not to look away from the girl.

It was perfect ...Thank you."

The smile pulling at his lips was too imposing for him to possibly try to bite back. He let out a soft chuckle of relief, but was quickly cut off because, and for the life of him Joe couldn't figure out why, Brooke was kissing him again and despite it not being on the lips like it had been last time, it still sent a warm kind of feeling through his entire being that he couldn't stop. "It-... it honestly wasn't that good," he said breathlessly, trying to make a small joke out of it but not sure what to do with himself.

"B-... but I meant every word. If I could string a sentence together properly, I would have said it to your face but... I don't know." He withheld a sigh at the fact that he hadn't been able to say any of it properly, but he hoped with everything he had that she appreciated it all the same.  If I could even look you in the eyes and not feel like I'm floating, I'd probably have been able to do it too he thought to himself, deciding against voicing it because he knew it wouldn't come out right even if he tried.

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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's Day (Joe)   Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:42 pm

She could have listened to him talk forever. There was something about his voice that captivated her, like music that was being played directly to her soul, for her alone to admire. Why nobody else dropped everything to listen to him was something she didn't understand. It was only a few seconds after he stopped that she realized he had included some questions as he spoke, and she nodded, quickly reminding herself of what they were. "Better is always good," she said, her eyes twinkling as she recalled that she had been the one to tell him that. He had remembered!

"I'm... better, too." With a causal wave of her hand, she added, "Nah. That doesn't really matter. You've told me now, haven't you? All that does matter is that you're out."

Another thing she didn't think she would ever get over was the sensations that would completely override her whenever there was physical contact between them. It was as though electricity was flowing through her body, invading the cells and organs, leaving not pain, but a buzzing, tingling feeling inside.

"... at the emotional stuff."

A small giggle escaped her, lasting not longer than a split second. "What are you talking about? If you can make the girls in my dorm jealous, I'm pretty sure that's a pass." She winked playfully.

"It-... It honestly wasn't that good."

Disbelief took hold of her features for a brief moment before she mentally shook it off. "It was the first time anyone has ever..." She paused, trailing off. She didn't know how to let him know exactly how much it meant to her. "Joe, trust me, it was perfect," she finally said, repeating the only word that seemed to fit how she felt about it all.

His next words made the butterflies start up once more, like a mini hurricane had formed in her stomach. Blushing, she offered him another wobbly smile. "Y-you could always try," she suggested cheekily, but somehow understanding what he meant. "Or, if not," she paused, looking around the desk to locate and slide over a blank piece of paper. "You seem to be able to write pretty well." The teasing tone in her voice was evident, and she added a casual shrug for more effect, trying the whole time to keep a straight face and not dissolve into laughter.
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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's Day (Joe)   Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:51 am

The slight hesitation before the word 'better' met his ears had him worried for a moment. He worried to much for his own good, really, but that was just Joe. He figured that she just didn't know how to phrase it, or that she was trying to find the words, but god forbid that she was actually nervous around him. That couldn't have been it, because it just didn't happen. Ever...

Jealous? the boy wondered, trying to imagine why anyone would be jealous because of something to do with him. Brooke alone was to be envied; for her beauty, for her mind, for her laugh and her smile and her intelligence and her everything. It was all so strangely new to him.

"Y-you could always try ... You seem to be able to write pretty well."

Even though it evidently wasn't, the slide of the paper towards him and the teasing tones with which she spoke felt like a challenge, almost. Not a harsh one, no. It didn't even come across like she didn't believe he could, but more like she wanted him to say the words for the first time. It wasn't like he didn't know what to say; he had thought about it a lot, actually. On the nights where thoughts of her had kept him awake, he would mouth the words that came to mind until he could slowly drift off.

"In your smile, I see something incomparable to anything I have seen in my life. Your eyes, when they sparkle, light up a room like a million fireflies could only ever dream of. I'd put up a ten foot high wall around myself, not to keep you out but to keep me in. The thought of maybe having hurt you was something I could never live with- but you didn't care. You found cracks in that wall and you chipped away until you found me and gods, I'm glad you did-..." he took her hand in both of his, finding her eyes with his own, falling in love with her all over again.

"I'm glad you did because I've never felt this way about anyone. I don't care how long I've known you for, or how many times we've even seen each other, because... Because Brooke Walters, I am absolutely and catastrophically in love with you, and I wouldn't change that for the world."

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PostSubject: Re: Valentine's Day (Joe)   Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:52 pm

((OOC: You can close with your next post, if you want? Or we can just end it here? Idk, it's a pretty short thread, but it seems almost finished to me. Smile ))

She had not expected a serious reply, and in all honesty, did not even think that he would respond to her teasing solemnly. Her mind had started wandering to thoughts of going down to the kitchens and grabbing a snack together when she heard him, and then her brain just completely stopped. Everything around her ceased to exist, and nothing else was processed except the figure of, and the words being spoken by, Joe Astrid.

Time itself stopped functioning as she clung onto each and every syllable, absorbing the words like a sponge. For once, she found herself completely unable to respond, mesmerized by what he was saying. It wasn't the typical 'you're special to me' speech that she had read in books or seen on television, no. It was so much more real, so personal.

Her hands were suddenly being moved, and the warmth that enveloped them told her what had happened. She couldn't look down to confirm it, simply because those big, welcoming eyes she had often dreamed of were staring into hers, and there was no way she would ever look away. It was only then that she realized she had been holding her breath, and she slowly, cautiously let it out, as though any quick movements or the slightest noise from her would ruin the moment.

In and out, she reminded herself, knowing that it was becoming a reality that she might actually forget to breathe. How was it that, out of all the girls available, he had actually picked her? It was something that perplexed her completely, for she knew she was nothing too special. Many girls would kill for her abilities, and yet she took it so lightly, never flaunting looks that would attract boys; it simply wasn't in her nature to want that kind of attention. Yet, despite it all, someone as unbelievable as Joe had chosen her.

"Because, Brooke Walters, I am absolutely and catastrophically in love with you, and I wouldn't change that for the world."

Before her mind could dictate what she supposed to do, before the butterflies had time to start their whirlwind of fluttering, before she could even swallow, she knew what she wanted to say. They slid out with such ease that there was no denying it was the truth. "I love you, too, Joe Astrid. And we'll make it together, no matter what."
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