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 Running out of alibis, a linwood family reunion
Songbird · 15 · 4 · · pureblood · 5'5"/165cm
Slytherin
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May 30 2018, 01:59 PM   Link Quote
Mia-Rose couldn’t help the uneasiness bubbling inside her as she climbed the staircase toward her uncle’s new office. Make that Professor Linwood’s new office. It was strange to hear her own name as that of a professor at Hogwarts, much less that of her mysterious, reticent relative. She barely knew what she was going to ask him--”why are you even here?” seemed a bit rude--but if she turned back, she’d still have to face him another day. Her hands shook slightly, so she curled them in the long sleeves of her robes to steady them. Nobody else was walking this way, so her footsteps echoed off the stone walls of the castle. She shouldn’t have worn such heavy boots; it was too hot anyway and the steps sounded more like clock ticking to her.

Her little sister had confirmed Uncle Richard’s identity to her while leaving the Great Hall after the announcement that a new professor would be joining the ranks this summer. Evie remembered him from the farm, while Mia-Rose couldn’t even remember the last words she’d spoken to him. She’d wondered if perhaps she had imagined the family connection, since surely there must have been more Linwoods in the world somewhere. But no, he looked so much like her father, and the wild red hair was unmistakable. The whisper from her parents had been true: he’d turned up in Scotland somewhere after all.

As a child, she’d learned quickly to know better than to ask questions about Richard, yet here she was, about to ask the man himself. She wondered if he’d think of her as Rosie, her old nickname, or if he knew her as the teen she was now, or if he even remembered her at all. And how did he even learn about Ancient Mythology enough to be a professor? And why here, if he wanted to stay away from the family?

The door was heavy in the wall. The footsteps stopped. She couldn’t hear any noise from inside the room. Perhaps he wouldn’t have heard her, she could turn back… No. She would go in, she would talk to him, she would understand something about these family secrets. Unclenching one hand from where it had remained clutching her sleeve, she straightened her collar and reached for the door handle. It swung open more easily than she had thought it would.

“Hello, Uncle--ah--Professor Linwood. I’m Mia-Rose. I’m here to ask you something.”

Nobody but the two of them were in the room. She looked at Richard close-up for the first time in a long time. Red hair just as wild as hers. She pushed a stray lock of her own red hair back behind her ear.

“Well, I want to sign up for your class, but I also want to know something. Why did you come here? I don’t understand.”

Alright. That wasn’t a great start, but it wasn’t the worst it could be. She just hoped that the man in front of her was enough like her father to be kind to her.

@Richard Linwood
Leo Benjamin · 36 · Potions · · Pureblood · 195 cm (6'4")
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May 31 2018, 01:32 AM   Link Quote
Richard was sitting at his desk, the glove still on to hide the wooden hand. He usually took it off when he was finally alone, but a gut feeling had been pestering him all day that something wouldn't be exactly right. Something, somewhere...

He tried to keep himself from worrying by tending to his busywork. Right now he was scribbling on a piece of parchment with his quill, trying to figure out questions for the 3rd year's final exam of the semester. It was tedious, he was pretty sure most of them didn't even listen and it was a waste of everyone's time, but they needed grades and Richard wasn't one to let them through so easily. He only wished he didn't have to teach them.

Richard Linwood didn't know how to talk to children. Hell, anyone younger than 16 was like a whole another creature to him, one that there were no good books or spells to use on. They were people, but they weren't quite there. It was socially acceptable to shelter them from so many things that Richard often wondered who even allowed them to attend this class. With all the questionable things that mythology consisted of...

And there was another thing that complicated the matter. His brother's kids were in this school. He couldn't recall even one conversation he'd ever had with any of them. Maybe only watching over their youngest while everyone else was away during those 3 years when he'd lived in their basement, but she'd not remember him, or, at the least, couldn't tell the difference between him and his brother.

As soon as the thought had crossed his mind, the door opened and someone walked in. Speak of the devil...

It was Andrew's daughter. The second, if he could recall correctly. A mirror image of her father, and to some extent, even Richard himself, if not for a few small details here or there.

His brows furrowed and his lips turned into a flat line, anticipating what she had to say.

"I'm here to ask you something."

He didn't know how to talk to children. And he didn't know how to tal to his brother's children even more. He and Andrew didn't see eye to eye as it was, but his brother had shown faith in him. In return, Richard had decided to keep an eye on his kids. He knew that it would involve talking to them at some point, but this was far too soon.

"Why did you come here? I don't understand."

He exhaled sharply, frustrated.

What's it to you? It's none of your business why or how I'm here, I'm your professor and-- he thought to himself, irritation spilling over in how the knuckles of his left hand began to turn white.

Steady, Richard. Steady. She's a child. Children are nosy. Andrew won't be happy with you if you flip out at them.

He relaxed. Straightened his back. Got up from his chair and walked behind her to close the door. He stood there for a moment, lingering. It was strange. He was a foot taller than her, but just as uncomfortable and timid about the situation.

"Sit." he said, before realizing that there was only one chair in the room and that was his own. "On the bed is fine."

"What is it that you don't understand?" the man asked, looking out the window rather than at his niece. The gears in his head were turning, trying to figure the easiest way to satisfy her curiosity without actually revealing anything. The gears were working overtime.

@Mia-Rose Linwood

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Songbird · 15 · 4 · · pureblood · 5'5"/165cm
Slytherin
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Jun 1 2018, 05:36 AM   Link Quote
Green eyes scanned Richard’s tense posture, from his distant gaze to his rigid back and stiff movements. If only she could know what he was thinking right now! Mia-Rose certainly hadn’t expected him to welcome her with a smile and a hug, but it would have been nice to have some acknowledgement that he even knew her. Well, all was not lost, he had invited her in.

The bed by the side of the room was plain, with just a pillow and blanket folded neatly. Her boots echoed less in this room, but it was still too loud for comfort in the quiet of the office. It seemed like Richard’s whole life had been packed into this one office, and it still seemed empty. He had only one chair, one desk, one map, he didn’t even have an extra room to sleep. The bed creaked alarmingly when she sat on it, even with her light weight--she wasn’t sure how Richard slept like this.

The sun from the window cast soft light on her uncle’s face, revealing lines that made him seem older than her father, even though she knew he was younger. She hoped he wouldn’t notice the flaws on her own face that made her seem so young, marking her as someone still growing, not to be taken seriously in the world. Clasping her hands together on her knees, she took a breath before beginning.

“I like to understand things, you see, and when I was little I never got to meet you or know about you. But you’re family, and I just--I want to know what we’ve done, that you don’t want to come around home, but you’ll come here.”

She looked down at where her hands twisted nervously together, and pulled them apart, hoping to seem more composed. One hand smoothed down the green silk of her tie. She turned her gaze back to her uncle. What he thought of her, she didn’t know yet, but she had to make him soften to her.

“And we’re both Slytherins, and we’re both second children, and I even have the same bedroom at home as you used to, so I’ve always thought that maybe we have a connection, something that brings us together. Maybe even something magical. But I just never knew you before now, and this is my chance to find out.”

@Richard Linwood
Leo Benjamin · 36 · Potions · · Pureblood · 195 cm (6'4")
Professor
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Jun 6 2018, 12:29 PM   Link Quote
He watched the sun outside, eyes squinting from it's brightness. Naive child. Young and naive. he thought, listening to her words. Something magical to connect us. an amused snort escaped him, making the corners of his lips twist in a sardonic smile. She was quickly proving to be a waste of time. At least for now.

"Didn't your father ever teach you to not stick your nose in other's business?" He asked, looking at Mia-Rose, the mocking smile still on his face. The answer to his question should have been clear. She hadn't heard anything about Richard from her parents, and keeping to himself did sound a lot like Andrew. But she was still persistent on knowing. And there was another thing...

Her parents were both Gryffindors. Sure, a Slytherin child wasn't that out of the ordinary, people with strong enough personalities, if you somehow became one at 11, could influence the Sorting hat. But the thing was... Richard was the son of two Gryffindors. Hell, everyone in their family tree for the last few hundred years was a Slytherin. There was no foul play possible in the relationships of her parents, or his. Perhaps she was right, and there was something about the two of them. Perhaps. Or maybe he was quickly becoming a conspiracy theorist. Either way, he decided to indulge her a bit more.

While he was processing the sudden thought, the smile had vanished from his face. It was more of a blank stare somewhere in the general direction of the girl. Upon reaching the conclusion, the focus returned, blue eyes piercing the green one's across.

"What gives you the impression that you've done something?"he inquired curiously,though a slight harshness lingered in the words."Has your father, or your mother at that, ever implied anything? Or are you just jumping to conclusions before knowing enough?"

"Nevermind that." he sighed, adjusting his back against the door, his gaze wondering to the window again, avoiding the child. "Me and Andrew don't see eye to eye. That's all there is to it."

His heart was getting heavy. He avoided thinking about the cracks in his relationships. With his brother, with his parents, with everyone else... In truth, he was afraid. Ever since he was betrayed, ever since the dragon, the wooden hand...He was afraid of so many things. And the girl sitting on his bed was swinging her pickaxe at the walls that were his last shelter from himself.

@Mia-Rose Linwood

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Songbird · 15 · 4 · · pureblood · 5'5"/165cm
Slytherin
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Jun 25 2018, 06:55 AM   Link Quote
A jolt of nervousness went through her as Richard turned his twisted smile on her. Maybe she was in over her head. All she'd really wanted to know was who this relative was, and if she could find a kindred spirit. She wasn't expecting to get such a stony response. Even if, in many years, her sister's children would somehow decide to talk to her, she didn't think she would be so irritable about it. Maybe he wasn't all there--she'd heard all sorts of stories about soldiers returning from war all disconnected and nervous. She'd never heard of him being at war, but perhaps it was one of those things her parents and grandparents had never told her about.

Richard's mocking smile turned into a distant stare, as if he was refusing to look at her again, and she thought that maybe she might be right. Before she could continue the train of thought, his gaze returned its clarity, and she felt him look at her, really look at her, for the first time. She straightened her back and lifted her chin, hoping to look just a little more sure of herself.

And maybe she was jumping to conclusions, as he said, but she was also right. Slytherin was the house that valued blood, and they were two of the same family. Maybe she wasn't quite so grizzled and tough as her uncle, but she was athletic and scrappy in any sort of fight.

But it was clearly a touchy subject. She needed to steer him back from whatever she had said that brought on this scornful tone and bitter mood. At the same time, she needed to explain herself--if a professor mocked her, everyone else would feel free to do the same!

"I like to think I can figure out things without my parents. I'm not an adult yet, but I've handled boarding schools for most of my life." She paused, hoping he wouldn't interrupt her.

"And I came because I hoped you were someone like me. Someone who's had the same childhood. I know my sisters haven't come to see you--it's only me. If you're really sure that I'm just jumping to conclusions, we can pretend I never asked anything. But if you need someone who will listen to you, even if you don't see eye to eye with my father, I'm here. I may be just a student, but even if not now, someday."

@Richard Linwood
Leo Benjamin · 36 · Potions · · Pureblood · 195 cm (6'4")
Professor
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Jul 12 2018, 09:30 AM   Link Quote
The feelings of fear and heaviness were replaced with annoyance. Good, old, regular annoyance. This child held herself in very high regards, it seemed. Did she really think that he would spare her details of his life? That out of all the people on this planet, this fifteen-year-old would be the one he'd open his heart to? Preposterous. It didn't matter that they were of the same blood, and that they were both Slytherins in a house of Gryffindors, and it didn't matter that they both were the black sheep of their family - there was nothing linking them, and that was it.

"You are right. " he said firmly, "you never asked anything. I will sign you up for potions class. I will not tolerate you being late or slacking off, even if you are my niece. Do not expect any bonuses." He stepped away from the door and it slowly opened behind him. In silence he walked to his desk and pretended to scribble something down on the parchment.

"You are free to go, Mia-Rose. I will see you in class." he continued, not lifting his head up, but listening for distant footsteps and the door shutting.

Somewhere at the back of his mind, a small voice was scolding him for being so hostile against her, telling him that maybe he should have listened, maybe she could have helped, maybe she could have relieved even a part of his pain, but he brushed it away as nonsense. At least for now.

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