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 [ color me blue, lien <3
Claudette Gautier
 Posted: Dec 2 2016, 09:02 AM
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6th YEAR
Taken
Slytherin
16 YEARS
2080 posts
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i belong deeply to myself

Rep: 28 pts [ + | - ]
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Each breath felt forced, hovering just over a satisfactory release as if to tease and tickle her upper lip once it finally passed. Light headed as she laid in bed, Claudette wondered quietly if this was how she would leave this world. Not quite struggling for her life, not quite depressingly suffering alone or tragically here one second, gone the next. Death, instead, seemed rather light, fluttery—blissful, even, to some extent. Her heart beat escalated, her cheeks burned softly, and warmth altogether rippled in waves throughout her body. In some ways, the sixth year wouldn't have minded a death like this lasting centuries. It, in her twisted, romance inflicted mind, was tragically romantic. It had that touch of hopeless romantic that wooed her to no end. And as a bonus, it made her bed feel as if it were her own personal cloud on a dreamlike voyage through rosy skies.

She bit her thumb. Centered herself; or, at least, tried to.

Getting ready for this moment seemed to last both too long and too short. In some way, it even felt as if she'd been preparing for this moment since the first time she met Lien Hong—even if she wasn't consciously aware of it. And yet for as much mental prepping as she thought she completed, nothing else in her life seemed as emotionally stimulating as the moment they walked through her front door, passing by every melancholy shade of gray and brown into her flat, met by her father who almost seemed camouflaged against the boring old decor of their home. Where she lived, there was a distinct lack of life or color. Not so much as a whiff of anything joyous or happy usually lingered, not even with what little light poured from the windows which were all only half-ways open.

It was a rather simplistic design. A love-seat and armchair positioned around a somewhat banged up table, set in front of a TV that had a trace of dust behind it, as if it had just been hastily wiped over before the girls arrived. The whole place, in fact, had that hint of rushed-clean that Claudette could rely on from her father. Yves wasn't much for tidying, and hardly a perfectionist. Still, embarrassing as it was as it hit Claudette that this wasn't a normal sight for her guest, it was a little touching to have seen he tried a little harder to make the place cleaner, knowing the pair would be there. Dishes were presumably cleaned and placed away, the bins emptied with a new, lightly scented bag placed and ready for trash. There was even the presence of a store-bought meat and cheese tray, sitting on their dinner table, underneath a suspiciously new-looking table cloth. There was even a candle lit and sat at the counter, just behind the sink. Granted, it was label-less and a boring white; seemingly scent-less, but still. The old man had tried.

Dismissing the quiet urge to cry—both from embarrassment of her home and from the surprised effort from her father—Claudette stood between the pair, a forced smile curling her lips. "This is Lien, Papa," she said, her heart skipping a beat as she studied his face quickly, searching for approval. She'd yet to outright state that the Chinese witch was her girlfriend, but their last awkward talk had ended with her strongly encouraging him to come to that conclusion. The thing with the Gautiers—the whole two of them left—was that they didn't talk about personal affairs. They didn't talk about feelings or emotions, or hobbies, or friends, or books, or movies, or music, or anything that wasn't current in the present. Really, the only times they spoke at length was about if anyone suspicious had come in contact with the other. Technically, it seemed as if they'd gotten away from trouble, if their quiet life for almost a year was proof enough. But paranoia ran through their veins as if it'd been written in their very DNA, so a long spell of quiet didn't truly set either at ease.

His face seemed... neutral. It took a second for the girl to accept it wasn't necessarily bad he looked as such, because, truthfully, a neutral expression was better than the grim portrait he normally wore around the flat. A second later it even seemed to crack a little, something of a pleased smile breaking through his face, lifting his bushy brows, revealing a bit more color to the blues of his eyes than Claudette normally saw. "Hello Lien," he said, voice firm and gruff. "It's nice to meet you. Eh, finally," he added, as if to give the illusion that he and his daughter spoke often. He reached out for a handshake, large palm steady, all trace of an anxiety-ridden man out of sight. That was what they did, she supposed. They pretended.

Quiet as her girlfriend and father exchanged greetings, Claudette held her hands over her waist. She was reminded briefly of meeting Lien's mother, recalling the slight awkwardness, and the effort to pull off a great first impression. Yves wasn't inquisitive or warm like Mrs. Hong. He wouldn't ask how they were, wouldn't make any such small talk. He just wasn't a man of conversation, least not with young girls. Knowing this, Claudette cleared her throat lightly, their usual signal that they wanted to say something. "Thank you for the snacks, Papa. And for letting Lien come over."

"You're welcome. Ah, please make yourself at home, Lien. There's some drinks in the fridge if you want," he said, hands resting at his hips as he took a step back. "I'll actually be out for a bit. Claudette, I left a number by the phone? You can reach me there, if you need anything, or...," he paused, drawing out the sound as if to think. "Eh, if something comes up." He stated simply, giving his daughter a peculiar glance that wasn't unfamiliar to her.

Of course. He'd be gone. Part of the sixteen year old knew she should've expected her father to have found a way to escape most interaction with them. It wasn't all his fault, she supposed. He really wasn't much for conversation—least not with anyone who wasn't a bar-going, scruff-having, man's man. Like-attracted-like in her father's case. To have expected things to be any other way would've been asking for a miracle.

Simply nodding with a smile, Claudette reached for Lien, hoping to find warmth and comfort where it had always been absent in her Father. "Thank you again, Papa. I will call if anything comes up," she said behind her, not quite wanting to look back and see him out on his way. It wouldn't be the first time she'd see his back to her, and certainly, it wouldn't be the last. Claudette much preferred pushing past the living room and kitchen, through the dark hallway that led to her room. There wasn't much to see on the way, so she didn't feel as if it was necessary to linger. There were no frames or pictures in the living room or hallways—not even of scenery. The walls themselves had minimal texture, and were nothing special, just a bland creamish color that her father had once said seemed a bit too bright for his tastes. The only thing that could be dubbed a decoration was the clock hanging in the kitchen, just above the small window behind the sink. Even that, though, was as standard as it could get, with nothing but a black border to contrast its white face.

In her room, Claudette had little more going for it. The walls were as bare as where they'd come, with nothing hung up and that same cream coloring the walls. Her window was open, curtains tied to the side, blinds folded up, but other than it being perhaps the brightest room in the flat, it was rather unimaginative.

Her furniture reflected as much, being a pure white—bed, desk, dresser, vanity and all. The only thing that brought color and sparks were the things lain over her desk and vanity, both of which were otherwise very tidy. On her desk were books in French; some short stories, but most were old textbooks from Beauxbatons. She had a fashion magazine she'd left by accident out since the last time she visited, which, she supposed, added a touch more color, even if by accident. On her vanity her perfume bottles and makeup brushes were all that added that touch of femininity to prove that such a bland room did indeed house a teenage girl. But within her closet hung all her clothes—dresses, scarves, shoes, jeans and pants—there were so many styles and so many patterns, it was like a jungle, filled with color and gleamed with all that the flat itself lacked so severely in. Walking through her closet—which had been magically enhanced to be bigger on the inside by her father since the muggle version could barely fit just her shoes—was very much like walking into another world. One filled with pastels and vivid neons; old, floral patterns and bold stripes and zig-zags. Every color on the plant seemed to find its way into her closet.

Underneath her clothes were a couple of bins of fabric; old things that she had bought secondhand that she planned to make anew when she had time. Ribbons and beads and thread, yarn and scraps of fabric all could be found in another bin, just waiting for her hands to work them into something fabulous for her to wear. The only oddity within her closet was a trunk with a lock. The lock alone meant it's contents were private, though Claudette of course knew her secrets.

But beside all that, the girl, once in her room, heaved a sigh. "Well...," she laughed a little, closing her eyes. "This is my home. My room." There was a pause. Then, she opened her eyes to look around, avoiding contact with her girlfriend. Her artsy girlfriend. "Oh, merde. It's awful, isn't it?" She said, her voice a little unsteady as embarrassment tingled her cheeks. "I'm sorry. We just... we don't decorate, I guess. I don't know. He likes things simple." Simple was perhaps an understatement, but she had no other excuse.

----
@Lien Hong

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Lien Hong
 Posted: Feb 17 2017, 06:41 AM
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Kahlen
6th YEAR
Half-blood
Hugglepuff <3
16 YEARS
1046 posts
Offline
AEGIS
painting watercolor streaks across my mind's sky

Rep: 17 pts [ + | - ]
Lien HongHufflepuff Intermediate
Awards: 70




Lien was not the type of girl in the habit of going to friend’s houses. Perhaps it was the fact that she spend most of her time living in a giant castle with all her friends in it like it was one long sleepover already, but she rarely felt the want or need to visit her friends over the holidays. These were the rare few weeks and months she could spend with her mother, after all.

She felt enough like a bad daughter over leaving her all alone in the house for most of the year, so she tried her best to spend the time she did actually sleep in their house, bonding with the woman she’d once held a grudge over for far too long. While those days were long gone, along with most of the feelings of anger and betrayal, in its place, she’d often found stirrings of guilt and shame. Looking back, she could see how immaturely she’d handled the whole ordeal. It could be forgiven, perhaps, considering she actually had been a child during the time, but even so, the guilt could not be banished away so easily.

Her recent bout of experiencing secondhand grief had only added to the weight of the stone in the pit of her stomach. Not only had her mother been forced to bear the force of such grief all alone, but she’d been handed a daughter who’d sent spiteful words and angry silence as well. Lien wasn’t sure anything she did could actually make things better, not now, years too late and the damage done. But she tried anyway. Her relationship with her mother would always be haunted by shadows of the past, the same way it was with Xiang, but she liked to think the brightness of their present interactions could someday banish them all entirely. She hoped, anyway.

Ruminating on her own complex relationship with her family was only natural, perhaps, considering where she stood now. If Lien was not in the habit of going to friend’s houses, then she most certainly had never visited a girlfriend’s house before. Despite her usual stance on such a matter, when Claudette had tentatively offered the suggestion, she could not help but pounce on it.

Though Lien had some idea of Claudette’s homelife already, it was far from enough to sate her curiosity. In all honesty, when it came to the French girl, it often seemed like nothing could ever satisfy that. Whether it was little more than her favorite ice cream flavor or her opinion on the weather, Lien thought she could spend hours upon hours listening to it all. Of course, this glimpse into Claudette outside the castle walls was admittedly more tantalizing than a discussion on the continuingly freezing cold British winter weather.

As they entered the flat shared by the French girl and her father, Lien could not help but take in everything with interested eyes. She hoped she wasn’t being too rude, but she could not help but observe all the little details. It was, at first glance, rather disappointing. The place wasn’t terrible, but neither was it great. Everything was simple and fairly bare, but not in the fancy minimalist way that was currently being popularized across modern homes. Instead, this place had an almost melancholy air, and Lien felt gripped with the urge to splash some colour, some life to the place. Belatedly, the Chinese girl realized the biggest problem was that there seemed to be no signs of anything personalized at all. There were no pictures on the walls or tables, no sign that there lived a father and daughter here. In fact, there were not even any posters or decorations, no attempt at all to give the place a touch that wasn’t clinical and practical.

The part of Lien that was an artist cringed at such a sight, and the part of her that was Claudette’s girlfriend wanted to wrap the other girl up in a fierce hug. Maybe she was looking too deeply into the interior decoration of a house, but she thought that it was so very sad to have to grow up in a place so devoid of colour like this. Still, despite the instinct, Lien held herself back. While her opinion of Yves Gautier took something of a dive considering the state of this place, he was still Claudette’s father, and she wanted to make a good impression. They were still keeping their relationship a secret from their families for now, by mutual agreement, though mostly on Lien’s urging. Someday, however, that might change, and the last thing Lien needed was Yves’ objection on top of her mother’s.

The Chinese girl gave what she hoped was a friendly smile, as she spoke, as politely as she could, “Good morning, Mr. Gautier. It’s nice to meet you.” Part of her was internally cheering just at managing to do it without stuttering despite the racing of her heart. As her mother’s frequent scolding proved, being polite, especially towards adults, was not her strong suit. Neither was small talk, and Lien was thankful that the older man proved to be not much of a conversationalist either.

His voice was deep and gruff, and Lien started for a moment at it. Briefly, she wondered what her father’s voice sounded like, if it had been something like this, before she banished the thought with a blink. Not the time, she scolded herself, as she tried to smile a little wider to cover up her tiny slip. Yves Gautier did not have his daughter’s easy, inherent grace, it seemed. His movements and actions held an air of awkwardness to them, and it made Lien wonder about the mother that was no longer in Claudette’s life. What had the older woman been like? For a brief moment, she felt struck by the urge to ask. But, thankfully, her girlfriend chose to speak up then.

Lien noticed the snacks laid out on the table then, eyes taking in a meat-and-cheese tray, store-bought if the brand plastered on one side meant anything. It wasn’t exactly a warm, home-cooked meal (nothing like the kind her mother could make), but it was still something. She liked meats and cheeses, anyway, she thought, and nearly giggled before she caught herself. Remembering her need to be polite as Claudette spoke up, Lien parroted her words, feeling a little foolish for not coming up with something different to say, “Thank you for the snacks as well, Mr. Gautier. And, erm, for letting me come over.”

Fortunately, the older man didn’t seem to take any offense over it. Instead, he revealed he would not even be here for long, it seemed. That was… good? At least Lien wouldn’t have any chances to embarrass herself, but it didn’t give her any opportunity to make much of an impression either. When Claudette reached out for her, Lien turned towards the other girl and took in the strained look on her face. A frown started to form on her lips. It seemed the French girl had not expected this, and wasn’t particularly happy about the development either.

Her opinion of Yves dipped a little lower at this, but she tried to give the man the benefit of the doubt. He didn’t seem like a bad guy, or a bad father, really, but he also wasn’t making much of a case for Father of the Year either, she noted. Still, Lien had enough sense not to blurt any of this out, and even bit her tongue in reminder. Maybe he wasn’t the greatest dad, but he was still her dad, and Lien was supposed to be making a good impression. Telling the man he was not doing a good job was probably not going to do that.

Thankfully, before she could slip up and say any of this out loud, or end up biting her tongue too hard, Claudette was pulling her towards her bedroom. The room turned out to be better than the rest of the house, at least. Though there weren’t any pictures or posters, there were at least various objects laid across the the desk and vanity that added a touch of colour and life to the otherwise similarly simple room. The half-open closet turned out to hide almost a kaleidescope of colours inside it’s bare doors, and Lien could not help smiling at that. Of course the most Claudette part of the room was in the closet.

Turning towards the girl in question, Lien found her smile widening more. The French girl was truly stunning, especially when she laughed. Of course, the sight was a little less pleasing when Claudette’s smile slipped away and turned into an embarrassed frown. Eyes widening in alarm at the quick shift in mood, Lien hurried to reassure her, “Hey, it’s fine! I know that not all houses are like ours.” The Chinese girl shook her head as she added, a little sheepishly, “I mean, our house is always a mess, really, with way too many conflicting styles and jun, and just--simple can be good too!”

“Besides,” Lien spoke slowly, remembering her thoughts on the interior design of the flat, “We could always redecorate? I mean, not that it’s bad now! But we could do a few things, to make it look a little more, erm, bright?” The Hufflepuff hoped she hadn’t terribly insulted her girlfriend or made things worse with her suggestion. With a wince, she made a blatantly transparent attempted to change the subject as she hoped to cross into less dangerous conversational waters, “So, uh, what do you do for fun around here?”

Okay, so that wasn’t a great attempt either. But Lien was terrible at small talk, after all. Hopefully, Claudette would still like her after this visit was over.
---
@Claudette Gautier

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Claudette Gautier
 Posted: Mar 1 2017, 12:12 PM
Quote
Cat
6th YEAR
Taken
Slytherin
16 YEARS
2080 posts
Offline
Neutral
i belong deeply to myself

Rep: 28 pts [ + | - ]
Awards: 1



The snake kept her gaze down, eyes focused on the fuzz of her carpet as she thought about how terribly typical it was of her to try and make excuses. That was what the Gautiers were great at, it seemed -- making excuses for themselves to justify everything they did. But despite the heaviness in her heart, the girl tried to bite back any threatening tears, countering her embarrassment with the fact that she had her girlfriend in her room. And without the worry this time that they would be barged in on, as, for one, her father wasn't one to intrude in her room---he hardly ever lingered near it, let alone within it, often briskly entering and leaving for only the most important of things---and two, he wasn't even present in the flat. Whatever shame she felt in the state of her home, Claudette had to consider herself lucky. How many of her peers spent time wishing on falling stars for a similar situation? The French girl wanted to think countless, a thought that warmed her and made the blood rush to her cheeks.

Turning rosy eyes toward her girlfriend, Claudette felt herself lingering on every word she spoke, almost missing the context of what she said, lost near entirely on the sweet serenity that came in the very sound of her voice. "That sounds wonderful," she replied, wanting to leap into the witch from how much she loved the idea of having Lien help decorate. Of course, there was a small wrinkle in the plan -- her father wouldn't likely take kindly to the sudden, drastic change in her room. But Claudette rebelliously didn't care, her heart beating soundly---a flame lit in her chest as she knew she wanted this, and would have had no one else help other than the badger.

With a renewed hop in her steps, Claudette scurried into her closet, grunting as she lifted container after container until she reached the bottom and dragged it out. "I have a lot of things here we could use. Old fabric and beads and yarn---oh!" The snake's eyes lit up suddenly, remembering then that she did have a bit of paint somewhere. Rushing back to her closet, Claudette rummaged through various shoe boxes, tossing out heels and sneakers to look underneath as if she expected to have hidden the paint under her shoes. Her memory of where she'd hid the paint had faded, but she found it eventually, tucked away in some scrap newspapers in a shoebox she'd had among the others that actually contained shoes.

"I've got it," she called behind her, carrying it with her as she returned to her girlfriend. She opened it for the badger, lips pressed in mild annoyance as she realized she only had the primary colors---and in small enough bottles that it seemed a joke she would even consider it enough for her artistic girlfriend to work with. "Hmm," she hummed lowly, the light in her eyes dimming as she wondered if it was a lost cause. "Maybe... maybe we use magic?" She winced at her own suggestion, stomach lurching at the thought of getting in trouble for something that could wait.

No. That'd be too foolish. Painting her room wasn't worth the risk of getting in trouble.

Shaking her head, the witch retracted her suggestion, helpless gaze meeting Lien's. "Never mind, it wouldn't do. Maybe we can step out for a second to buy some? I have money, and I think," Claudette paused, frowning as she knew her father wouldn't approve of them leaving the flat alone. He didn't approve of her going out in general, his fear of her being targeted by those who wished to harm them too great to allow her to live as she wanted. Still. Yves wasn't there. And there was a determination fueling the Slytherin that made her shove thoughts of her father away, coldly ignoring all rules the man had set in place for her. "I think there's a shop close enough. Would you mind coming with me?" She recovered, voice chirping with a sweetness that entirely ignored her hesitation from before. Claudette's mind was settled, though.

She wanted to decorate her room.

---
@Lien Hong

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