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 Temptations come in the swiftest ways, Erik <3
JR Zerner
 Posted: Feb 23 2017, 07:35 PM
Quote
Kenz
7th YEAR
Gryffindor
17 YEARS
434 posts
Offline
Always Runnin'

Rep: 6 pts [ + | - ]
JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
Awards: 10



    There were times when JR skipped dinner because he wanted to fit in that last trip around the lake before the sun slipped away. It was true that JR was often found running in the moonlight, but something about running when the sun was around also made he feel whole and alive. Since that was one of the reasons that the young man ran to begin with, to feel whole, he took the opportunity when he felt he needed it. Instead of dinner, he had decided to run around the lake a couple times. Nice, easy jogging strides, one foot after another, until all the thoughts about Finlay's proposal of joining his Quidditch team had slipped away into the back corners of the lion's mind. There wasn't any reason that this other boy would really want JR on his team; JR hadn't even been on a broom since probably third or fourth year. It was not a sport that his father knew much about, having had been a muggle and any sporting experience that JR had he had always shared with his father.

    There wasn't any reason to join this team. He wasn't interested in the attention it would put on him, he wasn't interested in people shouting things, good or bad, his way. The lion wasn't interested in having to bond with team members, having to deal with people in a general sense at all, really. That was why JR ran; it was a solitary sport, something to do along, get his mind off of things. Then why was the last owl message of Finn's sitting on the counter next to him as JR sat there, sitting on the stool and eating a slice of apple pie? Why did it look like it had been read a hundred times, crinkled up and then smoothed back out?

    So how do you feel about carrying a bat and destroying worlds? The words ate at the lion, resting in a place deep within him. His fork shoved through the next part of the apple pie, slipping it into his mouth as his eyes rested on the damn message for the hundredth time that day. He blew out a soft breath. He knew exactly why it was eating at him. The words gave him some sense of excitement that it could feel like how it had with a baseball bat. JR missed having a baseball bat in his hands very much. Even though he had been just a kid the last time he had played any real baseball; little league in America, to be exact, the lion missed the feel of the bat in his hands, standing at the plate and swinging. Of course he knew that it wouldn't be exactly the same as that, but a piece of his heart could hear his father's voice yelling from the stands still, could feel the wind in his hair, feel the adrenaline rush as he stared the pitcher in the eye and waited for the right pitch to smash out of the infield.

    The kitchens were quiet at this time of day, the house elves that usually were busy in the kitchen during the day seemed to have settled down for the evening. JR took yet another bite of the pie in front of him, his muscles tense and his thoughts still lingered on a childhood that had been snatched away from him in the matter of a few hours. He sat on the stood, bent over the counter, his forearms resting on it as he ate. The lion had long since discarded his sweat soaked shirt on his way back in the castle from the run, it was now laying on the stool next to his. His skin on his back was smooth at the moment, glamoured to any eyes that might see his bare skin; hiding the scars that had been lashed onto him in the last few years. But for the first time in a long time, that wasn't what troubled the Gryffindor. What troubled the Gryffindor was how much he wanted that baseball bat - or rather a beater's bat -in his hands and yet, he didn't want to admit it to this boy named Finlay Storm who had just happened to see him running and working out, apparently.
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Erik Dwight
 Posted: Feb 24 2017, 03:53 AM
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Tine
6th YEAR
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Ravenclaw
16 YEARS
3555 posts
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I'll be your breath if you can be mine.

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Erik had missed dinner. And he had also reached a point where he no longer cared about these small things in life, the way missed opportunities scattered his path like breadcrumbs. He had missed dinner because he had been sleeping instead, curled together in his bed beside his kitten. Only when both of them were asleep there was a certain peace between cat and owner, as their interactions while being awake often ended in bleeding scratches across Erik’s arm and him yelling Swedish profanities after a tiny but fat cat. Åska was still sleepy - much like his owner - and it was most likely the only reason why he allowed Erik to carry him around like a very vivid stuffed animal more than a cat, the tiny kitten cradled in his arms as he shuffled down the stairs towards the kitchens to get something to eat. Most of his days were passed by eating enough sweets to keep that hunger under control, but now his stomach was angrily protesting about the dinner denial - and it was stupid, given that Erik really liked eating. He just forgot to do it regularly, replacing meals with cigarettes. The only silver lining was that he had at least stopped replacing meals with alcohol instead.

The castle was silent, with students either still leaving the Great Hall or entertaining themselves in the dorms and common rooms, and the boy toddled through the corridors, taking the usual few wrong turns before remembering he had a wand and could use it. One hand was clasping the kitten against his chest, the other was wrapped around the pale, rune-covered wood of the wand while casting the point me charm that was meant to lead him towards the kitchens. Chocolate pudding was a legitimate dinner food, wasn’t it? His grandmother would disagree, always complaining how thin he was when he came home again, while he also remembered his mother’s constant protest towards ordering pizza when he had wanted to back in Scarborough. Pizza would be even nicer than chocolate pudding - but he doubted the house elves even knew what pizza was.

Small eternities seemed to pass until he finally reached the portrait of the fruit basket, tickling the pea and entering only to be greeted by the exposed back of a familiar figure - would there ever be a meeting with JR Zerner without the taller - very well-built - young man having abandoned his shirt? It was a very random thought that crossed the Swede’s mind before he walked in, feeling the itch of awkwardness returning to his body. Their last two meetings had been borderline disastrous - at the first, he had been drunk and barely able to walk, and at the second he had been about to get drunk before kissing tears from Quincy Elkins’ cheeks. Either way he was sure the lion did not have the best impression of him, and yet he walked towards the table, dropping his body onto the stool across from JR’s and offering the boy a small, tentative smile. “Hey!”

Åska wiggled in Erik’s arm, and he let go off the small kitten who was now seated on the wooden kitchen table, quietly licking his paws while ignoring both boys. The eagle’s dull, green gaze wandered down towards the letter on the table, then towards the apple pie. If he wouldn’t feel so terribly awkward around JR - topless JR, could he not? - he would’ve long since reached out and stolen a bite of it. Instead, he focused on the letter, squinting a little before tapping his knuckles against the surface of the table. “Why’s Finlay Storm bothering you?” he asked casually, recognising the handwriting. They were friends, in a way - Finlay and him - but the badger was also his cousin’s cousin without being related to Erik himself and it was kind of complicated to explain.

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JR Zerner
 Posted: Feb 24 2017, 05:04 AM
Quote
Kenz
7th YEAR
Gryffindor
17 YEARS
434 posts
Offline
Always Runnin'

Rep: 6 pts [ + | - ]
JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
Awards: 10



    It wasn't that JR tried to run around the castle shirtless, to show off his rather toned upper body,or to attract attention to himself. No, the lion didn't exactly like the itchiness of the cotton on his upper body - especially after it was sweat soaked, liked after a run - so it was an inevitable cycle that after a run, the young man would strip off the shirt, often having it around his neck on his way back in from the grounds. One might question why he didn't just take the shirt off until after the run, but it was not really something that he had thought of. After all, where exactly would he put the shirt as he ran if he took it off before the run? At least this way he was covered up for the duration of the physical activity rather than just foregoing the piece of cotton all together. People could say all they wanted to about the young man, but he wasn't doing it to attract attention, have anyone notice, or be a show off. JR couldn't remember a time since he was a little kid that he really liked shirts, whether t-shirts or dress shirts, though the latter was definitely much worse.

    JR's green eyes rose as the kitchen door swung open and since he was sitting facing the entrance, the first thing that he noticed was the kitten in the arms of another person. A rather adorable little creature and immediately the young man had to suppress a small grin as Kiska's voice rang out in his head about the small animal, adoring it. His eyes rose to the face of Erik Dwight and this time he did give a small smile, returning Erik's enthusiastic greeting with it. "How are you?" Asking Erik how he was seemed a little bit deeper than JR might go on a regular basis - the other boy had been drunk or very near drunk their last few greetings. It would be good to know the younger boy without the alcohol coursing through his veins because unless he was very mistaken, Erik was not under the influence this time around, something a rather surprising large piece of JR was glad for.

    The kitten jumped from the eagle's arms and JR smirked, watching it. He ws distracted by the small thing and he wasn't exactly sure why. Was it because it brought out Kiss's voice in his head as he watched it? That was quite possibly the reason, for whenever JR heard her voice, even in his head, his mood improved slightly. She always had that draw from him, ever since they had become friends first year.

    His attention turned back to Erik as he spoke once more, his eyes falling to the letter that was still laying on the table. It didn't exactly bother the lion that the eagle had read at least parts of it - at the very least, noticed the signature at the bottom for if he had read it, Erik wouldn't have had the question to be gin with. Resisting the urge to reach out and crumple the parchment in his fingers for the hundredth time that day. Instead, his gaze flickered to the smaller boy and to the pie that was between them. Gently pushing the pie towards Erik, JR stood to retrieve a fork and plate for him. Returning to his stool, the lion's gaze flickered over to the letter as he slid the items across the table to Erik. "Nothing much, really. For me to play a beater position on his Quidditch team because he saw me running or something. Never mind that I haven't been on a broom since like third year. Why, you know him?" It had crossed the lion's mind that the letter from Finlay was a joke more than once and now, sitting across from Erik, he wondered if the long haired boy had information about the Hufflepuff that would lead to just those sentiments.
@Erik Dwight

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Erik Dwight
 Posted: Feb 24 2017, 05:48 AM
Quote
Tine
6th YEAR
Pureblood
Ravenclaw
16 YEARS
3555 posts
Online
neutral
I'll be your breath if you can be mine.

Rep: 33 pts [ + | - ]
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Awards: 52



How are you? It was such a common question, a greeting even in British customs that should not be answered with anything other than I’m fine, how about you? Erik hated it, hated lying about it and yet he had been taught to do the same, had witnessed his own family going to the whole process again and again for the sake of making conversations when meeting other pureblood families. The topics seemed to be the same every time: how was business going, what about the children and oh, did you hear that Magaret married? His life often resembled scenes in books he had read more than he wanted to - not those moments filled with romance, with passionate kisses and utter love and devotion, but the times when parents were showing off their children like cattle on a market, and when they sat gossiping at the edge of a dancefloor, moving their fans to the beat of the music while coloured lips twisted to expressions of utter disgust. How are you? The question should not throw him off as much as it actually did, and so he offered a very small smile. “I’m okay, how about you? Apart from being mentally stuck in a heatwave, I guess?”

The smaller boy’s gaze traced those muscles that were so obviously on display, just as distracting as tempting as the apple pie - yet less tempting to eat, of course. Erik enjoyed looking, but he also had to admit that boys like JR were not quite his type. The disgruntled, small ones were more his type of boys, while he fell for commanding girls - queens without empires, it seemed. His brow got raised as the pie was shoved towards him, and even more so as the lion also provided a plate and a fork for him. “Not enough you almost carried me, now I get fed too? I think I’m keeping you,” the Swede said in a half joking tone before helping himself to a piece of the pie. It wasn’t the chocolate pudding he had been thinking of, but it was good enough for now. With a flick of his fingers, he shoved the kitten away from his plate. Bad enough Åska had been eating dried lilies of the valley not too long ago, fuck knows what would happen when he ate cake next.

Nej, Åska,” the boy muttered, and the kitten meowed angrily at him before waddling closer to JR instead - the typical stubborn feline reaction whenever Erik dared trying to enforcing something like rules. He shoved a forkful of pie in his mouth and chewed carefully before his eyes settled onto the lion’s face again, tilting his head a little. Once he was sure not to spit cake crumbs over the table, he propped his chin on his hand and shrugged. “He’s my cousin Elsa’s cousin and we hung out a few times. But hey, you totally look like a beater, so why not try? Quidditch’s utter shit, but you’d give the people something nice to look at at least,” he commented carelessly with a smirk on his lips. It was not like most Quidditch players weren’t already poster boy material - his ex-boyfriend’s brother included, unfortunately - but why not add to it.

Breaking another piece of the pie away - and wincing as the fork scratched over the plate - the Swede still wondered why exactly JR was running all the time. Was he trying to escape or to reach a destination? They simply did not know each other well enough, and yet the older boy already knew more about Erik Dwight than was good for him, obviously. “You’d clearly get all the girls - and boys - with it.” Really, Erik did not care about Quidditch unless it came to the Quidditch Quarterly, but that wasn’t the problem here. The problem was that for once he needed to nudge JR instead of the other way around - and he kind of liked it.

@JR Zerner

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JR Zerner
 Posted: Feb 24 2017, 04:08 PM
Quote
Kenz
7th YEAR
Gryffindor
17 YEARS
434 posts
Offline
Always Runnin'

Rep: 6 pts [ + | - ]
JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
Awards: 10



    It was easy to say that JR didn't go very deep into conversation with very many people. Especially not in the last few years. The lion was not one to get close to many people at all, but for whatever reason, Erik seemed safe. Maybe it was the fact that the Gryffindor had seen the younger boy in some very vulnerable situations so he didn't think that he would turn around and share any information with others. He had even sort of protected JR from his own boyfriend, telling Quincy that he didn't mean any harm, that he was even kind of trying to help the eagle. Of course the other lion had turned it around and fired it back at JR, but from what JR had heard on the steps to the boys' dormitory before he had fully left the couple, Quincy meant well even if he wouldn't show that to JR.

    Either way, JR felt himself wanting to question the younger boy, wanted to know how he was beyond the general, I'm okay standpoint. But the lion didn't really deserve anything beyond that from Erik, did he? In fact, the lion had probably made life slightly more difficult for the younger student, having to explain to his boyfriend about the reason why JR had come to talk to them in the first place, that night in Gryffindor tower. Still, Erik seemed to be friendly enough and even added onto asking about him. "Can't complain," he replied. "And oh, I just got done with a run. Sorry." The apology came as quick as the furrowed brow had for why Erik was mentioning a heatwave in February. His brow line relaxed as he watched the eagle. Did it bother him that JR was shirtless? It had certainly bothered the blonde boy's boyfriend in the common room when the three of them had crossed paths. "I can throw it back on, if it bothers you."

    JR grinned at Erik's comment, referring them back to the night that they had met, the night that JR had helped the smaller boy into the Room of Requirement. It had been a night that the lion had helped the eagle through, getting him to take medicine to feel better, covering the younger boy up and basically tucking him into bed. It had been an interesting night to say the least, but JR didn't really regret the way that the two had met. In fact, he was glad he had been there for Erik, helping him at a time that nobody else had been there to literally hold him. "I am pretty good at helping people." He winked, tossing back the teasing tone to the eagle seated across from him. If there was one thing that the Gryffindor did to prove that he belonged to the house he was in, it was definitely protecting others - even when they might not want it.

    JR nudged away his now empty plate, beckoning the little fur-ball to him as she sauntered across the table to him. He laughed softly, only briefly wondering what Erik had said in an unknown language. JR was pretty clueless about any language other than his native tongue, but it intrigued him further to know the smaller boy might be from somewhere else. His eyebrows shot up in surprise as his green eyes stayed on the kitten that was now cuddled up in his arms, scooped up by the lion and purring softly as she rested her head on JR's forearm, which was still laying on the table. He hadn't exactly expected that Erik might be attracted to him - even if the other boy was gay or bisexual or whatever it was that Erik identified himself as. "Like I said, I haven't been on a broom since like, third or fourth year. Besides, I'd look awful on a school broom. For the moment, JR chose to ignore the compliment from the eagle, but he found it hadn't bothered him in the slightest.

    Briefly JR wondered about playing Quidditch once more, his free hand reaching out to the letter on the table, tilting it to reread it once more. "Uniforms always have been my thing," the lion found the retort, smirking back at Erik as his eyes lifted to the eagle's face again. "At least it was as a little kid, playing baseball." The lion tossed out the information without really thinking about it - adding it in the joke and the teasing before it was too late to snatch back, the words were already said and the first personal thing was reveled about JR to the eagle - he grew up with enough understanding about muggles to have played their sports.

    Crumpling the parchment in his fingers as he realized what exactly he had done, JR tossed the crunched thing towards the trash bin and made it. "Nah, maybe another time," he backtracked, trying to cover up what he had done as his fingers moved to pet the kitten's sleek fur. "What's her name? What did you say to her exactly?" Spinning the conversation on to Erik was the perfect reflection, the perfect defense to having the spotlight on him. If he could get Erik talking himself, then the younger boy would forget about the personal stuff the lion had mentioned. Right?
@Erik Dwight


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Erik Dwight
 Posted: Feb 25 2017, 01:22 PM
Quote
Tine
6th YEAR
Pureblood
Ravenclaw
16 YEARS
3555 posts
Online
neutral
I'll be your breath if you can be mine.

Rep: 33 pts [ + | - ]
Erik DwightAdministrator
Awards: 52



It seemed that whenever Erik was not quite prepared to socialise with anyone - just like right now, as he had just woken up from an impromptu nap and probably looked still a little sleepy - he ran into people who would not mind talking to him. If JR had been anyone else, he might have just turned around and left again, as he liked abandoning all of his manners when he was at Hogwarts - unlike when he was at home and showed best behaviour whenever someone was watching him. Yet it almost felt like he owed the older boy some of his time, even if he might not have anything useful to add to their conversation. The Swede could not tell what JR saw in him, as he had only seen bad things of the younger boy for now. Maybe he really had a hero complex, as Quincy called it - even though Erik had still not figured what exactly the issue the two lions had was. He also did not feel like getting in between the two of them, as it had already looked like it could get truly ugly.

Erik was not a coward, but if he could avoid conflict, he would gladly do so. But back in the here and now, he just frowned a little at the boy across the table, wondering what exactly he was apologizing for - wasn’t it Erik’s turn to apologise for constantly turning the other boy’s life into a small mess without wanting to? Then he snorted at the suggestion of putting the shirt back on, grinning a little. “Please, I do enjoy the view if I dare say so. Did I leave the impression I’m a prude? ‘Cause you’d be the worst to think so, you know.” He tapped his fingernails against the table for a moment, genuinely wondering what made JR think he wouldn’t be able to deal with a topless boy. Something told him he had most likely seen more naked people than the lion, and that was a random thought that made him both smirk and feel ashamed.

For a moment, his attention was dragged to the pie again that had the slightest hint of cinnamon in it - not quite enough, yet it made Erik happy nonetheless as he simply loved cinnamon and the way every woman in his family used it generously while baking cakes, cookies and - of course kanelbullar. Then he gazed up, smiling softly. “Oh, I can only confirm that. Guys like you usually work in the Hospital Wing or something. You know, the ones you go to when you feel shitty and they casually give you a hug and tell you things gonna be fine again?” He was not sure if it was a thing everyone had gone through, but when they had released him from St. Mungo’s, he had been told to go see a healer at Hogwarts whenever he felt like repeating the motions of drinking himself to eternal sleep - an offer he had only taken once.

The sight of Åska being so comfortable in JR’s arm did not faze Erik any more, as he knew his kitten was a bitch for attention just like him and preferred most people over his own owner, anyway. Instead, he focused on the Quidditch talk, trying to pull out his vague knowledge he had thanks to interviewing both players and spectators - as well as from being friends with one of the players himself, although Severin was mainly known for making other people bleed on the pitch and taking bludgers to the head in between actually scoring. “You wouldn’t have to use a school broom - and with a bit of training I’m sure you’d do a good job,” he added, rather convinced about his own words, given JR obviously had the body for playing - the skill wouldn’t be that much of a problem. “Baseball?” Erik echoed, raising a brow. He really sucked at both muggle and magical sports, it seemed.

The long-haired boy chuckled as JR asked for his kitten, shaking his head a little. “She is a he, and he’s called Åska. It means thunder - I didn’t mean for him to get so fat,” Erik added almost apologising, knowing the name was ridiculous given how the small cat looked like. “I just told him no, he’s always eating stuff he shouldn’t and it’s fucking annoying. Do you...do you have a pet?” It was such a random question, but after JR had seen him at his worst, it was only fair to ask for semi-personal information in return.

@JR Zerner

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JR Zerner
 Posted: Feb 25 2017, 02:03 PM
Quote
Kenz
7th YEAR
Gryffindor
17 YEARS
434 posts
Offline
Always Runnin'

Rep: 6 pts [ + | - ]
JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
Awards: 10



    Confusion settled over him as he noticed Erik's small frown at him. Hadn't the younger boy's boyfriend just yelled at him the other day to put a shirt on, and that nobody wanted to see JR uncovered. The lion had thought - apparently incorrectly - that the eagle would feel the same way. This did not seem to be the case as Erik openly admitted to liking what he saw on JR's upper torso. This would not be the case if the smaller boy saw what was hidden beneath the glamour charms on his torso, JR felt confident in saying, but that was not an issue at the moment since the lion had put the twelve hour charms on right before his run that day. "Quincy seemed to mind quite a bit," he responded, lifting his eyes to the blonde across from him, mentioning Erik's boyfriend for the first time that day.

    JR, work in the hospital wing? Fat chance. He didn't like people enough to enjoy that job. Too many people complaining. "Too many people complaining," he offered up, the confusion fading into a feeling of pleasantness, giving the other boy a smile. That was not something that Erik had done that night that JR had helped the eagle - the younger boy had done no complaining about the pain that he put himself in, had only accepted the condition and relied on JR's help to make him better. It was something that JR admired, since it was what he did himself when he was in pain - there was no need to complain about pain when people already knew you were hurting, especially if your predicament was caused by yourself.

    JR was content stroking the small kitten in his arms, looking down to it as Erik talked more about Quidditch. "Wait - why won't I have to use a school broom if I play?" His eyes darted back to the green ones across the table from him, confusion once more settling over him. Of course he would have to use a school broom, he had just mentioned not having one.

    As Erik questioned about baseball, it was then that the lion realized that the younger boy was probably not muggleborn nor had he grown up not knowing about magic as JR had. "It's a muggle sport where you get thrown a ball by the other team, hit the ball and run to four bases in a diamond, depending on how well you hit the ball or your teammates hit the ball. Just a game that I grew up playing." It was a game that he and his father had spent many hours practicing together, watching, and playing together from the time the young man had been very small. Swallowing a lump that came with the memories that were threatening his mind, JR looked back down sharply at the kitten and banished the memories as he nudged the kitten, playing with it as he scratched behind her - his - ears.

    As the conversation moved on to filter around the kitten, JR felt himself relaxing, the memories of the days with his father fading. He smiled, watching the kitten scratch at his fingers as Erik spoke. "You're pretty adorable, Åska, but I'm positive you already know that." JR continued to play with the kitten as the words came again, the question that was requesting JR to share a bit more of himself. He shifted on the stool and shook his head, not looking up to the eagle. "No pets." He did not offer up that at one point, he had had the most amazing golden retriever that had fetched his hit baseballs as far as they would go and return them to his father that was pitching to him. It was better to leave that lay quiet.
@Erik Dwight

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Erik Dwight
 Posted: Feb 26 2017, 05:59 AM
Quote
Tine
6th YEAR
Pureblood
Ravenclaw
16 YEARS
3555 posts
Online
neutral
I'll be your breath if you can be mine.

Rep: 33 pts [ + | - ]
Erik DwightAdministrator
Awards: 52



JR’s reply confused Erik, as he did not quite understand why something that bothered Quincy should bother him as well. He had never quite believed in couples becoming one and sharing all opinions, as he was far too opinionated the keep his mouth shut all the time. “I’m not Quincy. Also I’m from Sweden - we don’t have problems with nudity,” the boy added with a wink. He did not play with stereotypes a lot, but sometimes they were playing in his hands - and one should always exploit the sauna culture of Sweden when it became a rather convenient thing to do. It was almost the perfect opportunity to ask what exactly had happened between the two lions, but Erik also got the slightest vibes that JR would not be too willing to share these information - maybe even to make sure that the eagle was not accidentally getting in between the warzones that seemed to exist between him and Quincy. One day, he would have to thank him though for shoving both of them in the right direction to finally open up to each other.

“I don’t know, you kinda look like someone who’s patient as fuck,” the boy commented with another shrug. It had been patience the lion had shown during their first meeting, sitting with him through the whole night while Erik had not done a lot apart from sleeping - or falling into those seconds of unconsciousness that were so hard to differentiate from actual sleep. But talking about the Hospital Wing was always a dangerous topic, and he was glad that the conversation moved onto easier themes. The whole atmosphere in the kitchens always invited students to stay, although they were not exactly encouraged to come here. It was simply too cosy to be a forbidden place, and the house elves were always so welcoming, making sure everyone who entered left with a plate of food or a warm cup of their favourite beverage.

Erik leaned back, for a moment forgetting they were sitting on stools and almost falling over if he had not caught himself in the last second again. Then he gazed at JR and smiled. “Well, if you really wanted to play I could borrow you my broom. You know, I don’t fly and it’s one of those high class models - not the latest any more but I’m sure there’s only one model after this one. Actually, I never used it so it’s brand new.” What he did not say was that it had been a present from his ex-boyfriend, meant to mock and yet far too expensive to be meant mockingly in the end. “There’s even a broom repair kit for it, so if you ever need a broom you can just hit me up.” He really did not mind giving it to JR, as Severin was already always complaining about such a good broom model rotting away under Erik’s bed instead of being used.

Continuing to eat the pie and filling the void in his stomach that was often only calmed with cigarettes instead, Erik tried to imagine how baseball was supposed to work out, but sports had always confused him and he just grinned. “Sounds like a whole lot of useless running if you ask me, I’m not that much into physical activities.” Unless it came to the horizontal ones, obviously, but he was not going to mention to the poor lion who had already seen enough bad sides of Erik Dwight for a whole lifetime. “Oh man, don’t stroke his ego so much, he’s already way too arrogant for his size,” he joked a little as JR was complimenting his kitten, but he didn’t mind, of course. Most other people were able to take better care of Åska. He let the reply settle in, eating in silence for a few moments before looking up again. “Hey, I just wanted to...thank you again for that night you picked me up. And for that night in your common room. Guess you didn’t wanna get involved but you actually helped a lot... “ Nervously, he tapped his fork against the plate, blushing a little as he knew things were getting just a little more personal now.

@JR Zerner

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JR Zerner
 Posted: Feb 26 2017, 07:01 AM
Quote
Kenz
7th YEAR
Gryffindor
17 YEARS
434 posts
Offline
Always Runnin'

Rep: 6 pts [ + | - ]
JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
Awards: 10



    It was easy to say that JR didn't know much about relationships. It was hard for him to keep a friendship going, just ask Liam Andrews or Kiska Ferdenova, let alone be open enough for a messed up thing such as a relationship. Then again, hadn't he been the one that had kind of told Erik's boyfriend that the eagle really shouldn't be drinking from the bottle of alcohol that the two had been sharing that night in the Gryffindor tower? It had led to Quincy mocking and shunning him; but from what the lion had heard from the staircase was that his roommate did care about the younger boy, so at least that was good, right? Either way, the young man had no idea about the fundamentals of a relationship and decided to quietly nod at Erik, who made clear that his opinion of JR was not the same as his boyfriends. For this, JR felt a little bit of happiness - the two boys in the kitchen certainly seemed to be making a connection of their own.

    Patience was one of the better qualities of JR Zerner, but it wasn't very many people that saw him as patient. Most saw his patience as meddling and awful, but it seemed that the eagle across from him actually saw him for something he wanted to be seen, which was kind of nice. Instead of seeing him as moody or awful, the Ravenclaw was picking out the better qualities in JR and it made him feel warm - not a feeling he experienced very often at all. "Only for you," he joked, giving the other boy another grin. He remembered saying the words that night in the Room of Requirement and somehow, they fit here just as well as they had then.

    Shifting to stand, gently nudging the kitten away from him - and missing Erik's near fall - the lion gathered his dishes and the pie, busying himself with moving about the kitchens to put the dishes in the sink and the pie back into the the refrigerator. He considered Erik's words, finally feeling himself agree to the idea of playing the sport that was so popular in the Wizarding world. "Okay, alright. I'll try it out and take you up on the broom offer. But why exactly do you have an extra broom laying around, especially a high end one?" It was possible that JR had just crossed a line, but he wasn't sure. The blonde boy seemed to be okay answering personal questions even if he still hesitating.

    Returning to his seat, JR had to suppress another grin. He supposed many people thought that he was crazy, running as much as he did. But it numbed the ache that he felt in his heart and it made life easier to cope with when things seemed to be spinning out of control. Baseball, on the other hand was just a pastime that had been fantastic and fun to share with his late father. "You know me," he replied back, winking again. "Always running."

    As JR began to play with the small animal on the counter once more, Erik's words touched him. He had been hopeful that the couple he had found in the Gryffindor common room had turned out okay, but he had no way of knowing. Now he had proof that he had done the right thing even if it had made his roommate pissed. He looked up to the younger boy and a sincere expression came over the lion as he responded. "I had hoped that it would help. I'm sorry it made Quincy mad, but.... I care about what happens to you. I know we just met, I know it sounds pretty fuckin' crazy, but I kind of felt like we bonded that night in the tower, if only for a moment. To see you drinking so soon after that... I just want the best for you, okay? And I meant it in the tower. I'll be here to help you. Always. As long as you want me to." His words were full of promises, but JR meant every single one of them. He wanted to be there for the younger boy, wanted to be able to protect him in whatever way he could, even if it sounded slightly ridiculous.
@Erik Dwight

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Erik Dwight
 Posted: Feb 26 2017, 11:28 AM
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Tine
6th YEAR
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16 YEARS
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Bonding was a weird process and often one that Erik deliberately skipped when making friends. It did not help that many of his friendships had started in between the sheets rather than anywhere else - and not in abandoned corridors where he had chosen to die for a while. With JR, things seemed to fall in place without him doing much for it. There were small pieces of private information delivered, without any of them prying too much into the other’s life. They were taking baby steps in the right direction, and the Swede just felt comfortable around the older boy, without any kind of attraction playing into it. In a way, it was just like having a big brother - someone who was there when he needed them, and someone who caught his fall when he stumbled over the mess he often created himself again. Softly, Erik laughed at the comment, shaking his head. “Oh no, stop it - you are making me blush. You seem to be making way too many exceptions for me, you know?”

Of course he was not blushing - that was reserved solemnly for people he had a crush on - and he did not mind the special treatment, just like he had never felt babied by people who were offering protection. Erik was not stupid, he knew he lacked the physical capacities to defend himself if he had to - and he also knew that sometimes, he needed protection from himself because he was like chaos caught in a glass cage; everyone could see the loose nerve ends and the broken mirrors, yet no one could control the mayhem within. With his elbow propped on the table and his chin on his hand, he watched JR taking up the house elves’ job of putting the dishes away again, quietly assuming that this boy was not from a magical family either - much like his own boyfriend, obviously. The question after the broom made him wince a little, and for a moment he just bit his lip, trying to think of a sorry excuse that did not scream Lie! immediately.

Eventually, the truth would have to do - and it meant a lot that he trusted JR with it. “My ex-boyfriend gave me that broom for Christmas when we were dating, because he thought it was funny I didn’t like Quidditch and couldn’t really fly either. It’s been more of a joke, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away? So yeah, that’s why it’s still around. You can use it any time, I don’t mind. It’s a waste to let it rot with me, I guess.” Carelessly, he shrugged, realising that it was getting increasingly easier to talk about these things - not like having a mental breakdown over a broken flower crown. Shaking the thoughts off, he laughed, remembering Quincy’s words and accusations when he had been talking to JR. “Must be exhausting to run that much,” he simply commented, without a hint of judgement.

Was there not a song that started like the lion’s little speech? Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy… It was another thought Erik kept to himself, those random and unrelated thoughts that always seemed to flood his mind nothing but distractions from the real issues he so obviously had. The smile that brightened the younger boy’s face was sincere, a beam almost as he looked at JR. And then, instead of replying, he just pushed his stool back and walked towards the tall boy, wrapping his arms around him and hugging him - without a single explanation or another word.

@JR Zerner

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JR Zerner
 Posted: Feb 27 2017, 04:42 AM
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Kenz
7th YEAR
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17 YEARS
434 posts
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Always Runnin'

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JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
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    The lion did seem to be making exceptions for the younger boy. JR wasn't sure exactly what it was about Erik that had caused him to do so. Was it the hero complexion that Quincy had so often liked to point out to him in the last few weeks? Sure, the other lion had meant it mockingly and as an insult, but for the briefest of moment, JR wondered if it was true he liked to be that person for other people. It was certainly true that he enjoyed making others feel happy - Idys on the staircase sometime ago had begged him to make a slide and just to see her smile, the way that Kiss had when they were younger; he had. The giant spider in the forest - well it was just assumed that anyone would protect the people around them, especially if the person had once been a close friend, right? Kiss didn't exactly like spiders to begin with, a fact that the lion knew very well. It was the right thing to do to try and protect her from it, right?

    But then there was Erik. The blonde had been laying in the middle of the corridor - he hadn't been looking for JR to give him a smile or had something creepy ready to attack him, the eagle in a way, had needed protection from himself and JR had stepped in. Twice now, the Gryffindor had stepped in and made Erik's business his own and there wasn't a true reason for it. He owed nothing to the Ravenclaw - nor did the smaller boy owe anything to him - but here they were. All that JR could say was that, like the night in the Room of Requirement, he felt like he was growing attached to the smaller boy, in a way that he would have imagined to be like a siblings. The lion had no siblings himself, but there was a time in his life that there had been a different Ravenclaw that he had bonded with in this way.

    "Exceptions seem to work between us," he finally responded, hoping that Erik heard the sincerity behind his words. "For not just you, but me as well." There was a raw honesty in the words that the lion doubted Erik would have any idea what they meant, but it was a step that was larger for the Gryffindor and he recognized it. He was relaxing his carefully crafted walls around Erik slightly, if only because it felt like the younger boy had already put his cards out on the table and had shown vulnerable sides to JR already.

    So lost in his thoughts about the exceptions that he had been making for Erik, the lion hadn't noticed the lapse in conversation as Åska nudged at his hand again to be played with once more. He looked down at the kitten, his eyes drawn to the small thing as his fingers teased it, letting it chase and bat at them a bit. Once more, he was touched by Erik's offer and found that instead of feeling like running like he usually did when things were getting more and more personal, the lion wanted to stay with the eagle, to know exactly what kind of boyfriend thought it was funny to get a present you hated. Lifting his eyes to the younger boy, his voice was softer, "I don't think that's a very funny thing to do for a Christmas present, but I think it's a very nice gesture between us. Thank you." He hoped that the words conveyed the fact that he was very grateful for the gift that the Ravenclaw was offering him.

    His eyebrows shot up as Erik got up suddenly after his small speech - now was when the younger boy would be leaving, he had messed everything up - but no, the eagle was moving around the table between them, not turning and leaving. JR's heart rushed into a small frenzy as he felt the smaller boy's arms around him. The lion felt the panic settle within his limbs as his mind screamed at him to run, for that was exactly what the young man did best. He swallowed hard. Other than Kiss a short time ago, he had had no positive human contact with anyone since the end of fourth year.

    He swallowed hard, his eyes closing for a brief second, fighting the urge to shove Erik off of him and flee from the kitchens. This was Erik - they had come so far in this interaction - almost being honest with each other. Or at least Erik had been, JR thought as he recognized that he had even withheld information about a pet from his childhood. The Gryffindor sat in the younger boy's embrace, tense and fighting himself - and then it happened.

    A memory of his father hugging him filtered through his mind, and the tense body of the lion slowly started to relax. While Erik certainly wasn't anything like Joe Zerner, the memory calmed him in a way. The eagle meant no harm to him, was trying express the same warm and fuzzy feelings that Joe Zerner had to his son as they hugged when he was younger - that he was cared for. Even if Kilsha had torn JR away from his father, as Kiss had shown him a few weeks before, as Erik was showing him now, there could still be people in this world that wanted to care for him.

    Slowly, finally, JR shifted in his seat. The angle was somewhat odd, since he was sitting and Erik was standing over him, but with some forcefulness to his limbs, the lion moved his arms around the younger boy, returning the embrace, however awkwardly, squeezing him gently before pulling away once more.

    It was a step in the right direction, at least, which was saying something for JR.
@Erik Dwight

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Erik Dwight
 Posted: Feb 27 2017, 02:26 PM
Quote
Tine
6th YEAR
Pureblood
Ravenclaw
16 YEARS
3555 posts
Online
neutral
I'll be your breath if you can be mine.

Rep: 33 pts [ + | - ]
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To put it in Kiljan Leander’s words, Erik was attracting the weirdos. But JR did not seem to be one of those weirdos, not one of the people that usually surrounded the Swede: the fragile, the broken, the ones who had more issues than clothes in their wardrobe. Yes, he was running from something and he had nudist tendencies, but that was not as tragic as it could have been. Yet he was there, and he seemed to be quite persistent about staying - like the kind of quay that was keeping the ocean at bay, a border Erik could not cross, not even when he had wanted to. Maybe he needed this kind of protection, someone who was acting like an older brother without looking down on him the way Severin always did - treating him like a child more than an equal as soon as things were becoming more problematic. If the norns were still pulling the strings of fate, they made sure JR’s and Erik’s paths crossed again and again, in the most twisted ways. Not that the boy was going to complain about it.

The younger boy tilted his head curiously at JR’s words, trying to read between the lines. He was well aware that the lion was slowly - finally - opening up a little, and he rewarded these words with a soft smile. “You should’ve run into me earlier, sounds like it would’ve spared me a whole lot of bullshit. You’re like… what do they call it? A guardian angel, I think.” Erik had not grown up with stories of angels - he had been taught about the Norse Gods that walked among men, the ravens of Odin that brought him news from all over the world, and the tales of mischief from Loki. He remembered the carefully drawn pictures in the book his grandmother had read from to him, remembered how he was seated beside her, Severin to her other side and always insisting to hear the tales about Tyr, while Erik liked all the Gods the same. He had always been too indecisive to pick just one.

Erik noticed the way JR’s voice changed, wondering why this boy was so goddamn considerate all the time. And for once, he was willing to speak, willing to let the memories bubble up in his chest for a second - the anonymously given broom, the reveal on his birthday, a broom repair kit and a flower crown placed on his head. For a second, he smiled. “I think he thought I’d start liking Quidditch more. And to think of the prize of that fucking broom...I like to think that if you mock someone for a small fortune, you probably liked that person well enough….But yes, you can have it. Someone needs to make better use of it than I did.” He shrugged, as if a simple shrug could remove all the emotions again.

When he wrapped his arms around the older, taller boy, JR seemed to tense - and it just was not the same reaction Erik usually received when hugging someone. Hugging Sigurd had been like this sometimes - the hesitation, the moment of resistance before it died down. But this was different. It felt deeply routed, as the lion did not receive hugs as often as he should and was not quite sure how to react. Maybe it was because Erik was a boy - he knew that some guys were like that, too manly to get hugged by another boy. Yet it did not fit the image of JR carelessly sitting around topless.

He did not know how many moments had passed until JR hugged him back, and he had to admit that being hugged by such a tall, well-built guy felt rather great as he rested his head on the boy’s shoulder for a while before muttering: “You don’t get a lot of hugs, now do you?” The smile was almost audible in his voice, although the words were dulled by JR’s shoulder.

@JR Zerner

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JR Zerner
 Posted: Feb 28 2017, 04:42 AM
Quote
Kenz
7th YEAR
Gryffindor
17 YEARS
434 posts
Offline
Always Runnin'

Rep: 6 pts [ + | - ]
JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
Awards: 10



    A guardian angel? The lion squinted at the younger boy for a moment in surprise before his face relaxed once more. There was no way that JR was one. He couldn't even protect himself when the time called for it the most, let alone actually be an angel to some other soul. Erik's words seemed sincere, but at the same time, the lion had to wonder - mostly because of past experience - if the eagle wasn't poking fun at him just a little bit. Was there really a way that Erik saw him as that? Most people that Jr tried to help just saw it as that - help and then moved on their way. "I'm not really an angel. No use putting me that high." There was no reason to look at him like he was above anyone else, because in the end, JR felt as if he had failed Gryffindor house as a whole, being a coward and hiding during the time that he should have been brave or asked for help himself.

    Erik was being honest with him again, telling him things that the lion really had no right to asked for or to know. With the realization came a small flash of guilt, because how much was the young man really giving back to the blonde boy that was sitting here with him in the kitchens? Sure, JR had shared the content of the letter from Finlay, but that was only because the eagle had first noticed it. Other than that, they had sort of done a small dance with the words between them and the only time JR had shared pieces of himself was when mentioning a muggle sport or telling Erik how close he felt to him. Two big steps in JR's world, but normally, most people shared stuff like that all the time, didn't they?

    "I guess I wouldn't really know." JR shifted his stool a little, wishing a bit he was in a chair so that it would be easier to rock back and forth, just for something to do. "Not many people are going to go out and spend small fortunes on me. But hey, it sees that you are." The thought struck him as he spoke that in a way, the Ravenclaw was spending this small fortune on him and for a moment it made JR tense and uncomfortable. "...you know you owe me nothing, right?" He didn't want Erik to be thinking that this was something he needed to do in order to pay the lion back or something. JR wasn't looking for any such thing.

    The lion didn't know how long he had sat stiff in Erik's arms, but as his shields went down slightly and he accepted the hug, he felt a certain amount of relief that the eagle was accepting him for who he was in his own way. Shifting to stand as Erik's arms were still around him, JR returned the hug still, holding the smaller boy against him. He heard the blonde's muffled words - but he wasn't ready to respond just yet. The hug felt like a blessed relief that he could let things out, that Erik would be there for him; that they could grow this relationship and be there for each other. It was a strange feeling for the lion, but a beautiful just the same. The eagle's hug was so much different than what he remembered receiving as a young boy from his father, so different than Kiss' hugs. But the warm reassurance of it was very much the same.

    "Twice in like three years, to be exact." His words shook, and he swallowed hard. JR was not going to cry. His arms released Erik and he shifted around, picking up his shirt and slipping it on. What was the saying, It's me, not you? JR shifted from foot to foot, glancing around the kitchen, anywhere but at Erik before he finally released a breath. "I need to go. I-I'm sorry." His voice shook and it was time to go. It was time to go run. Time to let all of the emotion that was building within him in the only way that seemed acceptable in the last few years. It was time to make his exit and run. So why was he still there?

    His limbs ached to run, but it was like he needed some sign from Erik that the younger boy understood, that by fleeing, he wasn't messing up everything that they had just worked so hard for in the last bit of time, here in the kitchens together. JR let out a shaky breath and took a chance, looking to the eagle, waiting for his response before he ditched.
@Erik Dwight

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Erik Dwight
 Posted: Feb 28 2017, 01:02 PM
Quote
Tine
6th YEAR
Pureblood
Ravenclaw
16 YEARS
3555 posts
Online
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I'll be your breath if you can be mine.

Rep: 33 pts [ + | - ]
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Awards: 52



It was an ongoing issue - a clinical one even, if he wanted to be that negative - to put strangers and people in general in places higher than they might think they deserved themselves, while Erik was convinced they needed to be exactly where he was putting them. There was a fine line between adoration and utter disgust when it came to the boy, and he was swinging from one extreme to another - often without even realising what he was doing. It did not make people less worthy, as Erik did not see the issue as such, just shrugging as JR’s retort. He was opinionated, and hard to shove off the way he had chosen once he was on it - while the lion was quite obviously only too humble to admit he was awesome. It was a good character trait, the Swede guessed - to deny every single compliment instead of bathing in them like others did.

Erik was busy scratching the last crumbs of his piece of cake together, not even sure why it was so easy to tell JR all those things he was telling him. Yet he could also imagine that the older boy really didn’t care about ex-boyfriends and the drama that came with it, deciding that it was time to stop both the mental and verbal flood of memories turning into words and whole phrases. He paused, the fork still in his mouth as JR spoke again, frowning at the older boy while he was trying to figure what he meant. It took him several moments and some confused blinking, placing the fork on the plate because he couldn’t exactly keep chewing on in - while in every other context and in other company he might just have kept going, establishing a bad reputation for implying lewd acts on food and cutlery.

“Oh man, you think I do that because you saved me? Seriously?” For a moment, the shadow of disappointment was running over the younger boy’s face, given he did not usually act like this and tried to pay people’s favours in money or goods - the few favours he had returned had always been physical, and did not have anything to do with his family’s name or wealth. “If you don’t want it, it keeps rotting away and Severin keeps whining at me for letting it happen.” He shrugged, making sure that it really did not matter what was happening with this broom - and that it definitely was not payment for any of the things JR had done.

Everything Avalon had said turned out to be true in the end: hugs could soothe and calm, and tears could make one feel lighter and softer than before. JR’s reaction - as slow as it was - only proved all these words true, and it made the smaller boy smile, simply remaining in this exact position. It was almost sad that there was a biological explanation for this effect: oxytocin, released during physical contacts, meant for stress relief and bonding. It was so easy to explain, and it took the magic out of hugs, which was the reason why the Swede pushed these thoughts away again. He caught the tremble in the other’s voice and took a step back as JR let go, watching the boy carefully and shoving his hands in the pockets of his hoodie.

It was the hesitation that surprised him, this moment of waiting for him to approve of JR’s exit that touched him, because why would the older boy care what he thought. “It’s cool. I’ll see you around, yeah?” he said quietly, pushing a few long, pale stray strands out of his face again as he waited for the lion to leave. It was an excuse to go back to bed, now that he had eaten and somehow laced the friendship with JR just a little tighter - and that was more productivity for one day than he usually managed to perform.

@JR Zerner

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JR Zerner
 Posted: Mar 1 2017, 07:30 PM
Quote
Kenz
7th YEAR
Gryffindor
17 YEARS
434 posts
Offline
Always Runnin'

Rep: 6 pts [ + | - ]
JR ZernerGryffindor Prefect
Awards: 10



    JR hadn't meant to hurt the younger boy with his words, but as the lion watched Erik's face fall for a flicker of a moment, the young man knew to his core that the eagle was not just giving him the gift of the broom just to redeem himself in JR's eyes. "I'm just not used to this," the Gryffindor responded, gesturing between the two of them with his hand, his voice a little softer, a mixture of an apology in there was sure to be heard. It was the honest truth - JR didn't have any true idea how friendships even worked any longer. His only friends since before Hogwarts - and he hadn't had many before Hogwarts either - were Kiska and Liam. While the Gryffindor and the Ravenclaw had accepted him, the lion hadn't ever truly opened up to anyone else. When he had cut them off at the beginning of fifth year, there wasn't much hope of having friendships with anyone else. It was too much being personal, and personal was not something that JR did very well any longer.

    He had too many secrets, too many scare - literally - all over to find a friend that wouldn't pity him, that wouldn't mock him for all the times that he had just taken the beatings rather than finding help. Nobody would look at him the same way again. Not even Kiss had when he had finally revealed to her the physical scars that he bore. The lion had seen the unshed tears in her eyes as she had hugged him tight to her - the only other hug that the Gryffindor had experienced since before his father had died in fourth year.

    Erik's hug had brought out emotions that the young man was not ready to deal with. This was why he was itching to leave the kitchens, itching to get out of the suffocating castle and run until he felt numb once more. Yet, his eyes sought the eagle's and the lion made sure that Erik understood, at least a little. JR knew that it meant something. It meant that even though he was fleeing from this moment, this situation, that he was starting to crack a little at the seams around a Ravenclaw named Erik Dwight. He would digest this later after a long run. Gratefully, he nodded to the younger boy and slipped from the kitchens.
@Erik Dwight

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