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 1) preheat oven to 375, kala // mari
Hellion Dowling
 Posted: Jul 29 2017, 03:36 PM
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"there's a twig in my shoe."
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7
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Gryffindor
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Undecided
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He was supposed to head back home to work with his abuela in the gardens that summer, and before he did that, Hellion liked to make her a basket of things that she could use for a couple of weeks before he could send more ahead, usually because Raquel was dragging them all across the world at her heels, letting them live the dreams that she had when she was their age. Stationed in Scotland for the summer, that typically meant that two days before he was set to apparate back to England, he was in the kitchens, skirting around the house elves as he worked. There was something cathartic about cooking, and potions subsequently, because of how methodical it was. Following instructions to an end was good for when your head felt like it was full of tangled string, and the number of childhood memories he had that were good centered largely around sitting at the kitchen counter, watching his mother and grandmother dance around the kitchen to the Spanish music playing on their busted up radio.

Laughter, smiles, the smell of saffron and coriander, the way his mother melted at the taste of her childhood comforts on her tongue once more. The taste of arroz con leche so carefully smuggled into the hospital after the head injury that left him blind out of his left eye. The good times were all centered around food, and that was probably why it was his gift.

Carrying a canvas backpack of his supplies for this particular gift basket, he reached up to tickle the peach, a small smile gracing his lips at the way it giggled before a handle appeared. He… was not expecting chaos when he entered the kitchens, though it seemed like most of the elves were missing, leaving a sole girl there. He knew her from their house, her mane of large curls unmistakable. Ion wasn’t going to assume that Kala Faraji was the direct source of the mess, but given she was the only student there, it… might’ve been safer to assume that than not. He was pretty sure some of these ingredients weren’t even edible, or healthy for human consumption, trying to keep the grimace from forming on his face. She seemed frazzled as she mixed whatever concoction was in her bowl, and he cleared his throat lightly to announce his presence.

“Your butter was too soft. Was it liquid before you started to mix it in with everything else?” he asked. He wasn’t sure what she was making, but if it looked like cookie dough, and smelled vaguely enough like it, it might’ve been a cookie, right? His bag giggled as he set it down on a clean section of the counter, the taller Gryffindor closing his eyes in annoyance at what was the unmistakable sound of jars clattering as they toppled over, followed by more jinmenju giggling. “You might need more flour, as well,” the boy added lightly, unzipping the bag and digging in to his shoulder, rifling around to see if anything had actually broken. Undetectable extension charms on canvas grocery bags had to have been the best thing about working the Farmer’s Market.

@Kala Faraji
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Kala Faraji
 Posted: Jul 29 2017, 05:32 PM
Quote
"Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an Hour"
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Gryffindor
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Sixteen
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Sixth
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Gryffindor
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Awards: 13



Baking might have been the worst decision she ever made before having to leave the castle for the summer. Yet Kala had found a restlessness in her bones she had not experienced since before moving to a new country a few years ago. Anxiety was not an emotion she was familiar with and it often left the witch at a loss. Usually suppression was the best way to go, or running to Brydon or Stan for a bit of distraction always seemed to do the trick. The problem with that was that Stan wasn't currently speaking to her and Brydon was nowhere to be found, perhaps tangled up in a broom closet with his latest conquest. The latter didn't bother her in the least, the former made her irritated at the entire situation. Whenever she thought about Athelstan it also conjured up thoughts of Archibald and at those times she felt like she was suffocating.

Instead she found herself in the kitchens, the house elves evacuating as the whirlwind that was Kala Faraji rolled up her sweater sleeves and set to working on the latest mixture. Cookies were supposed to be a good place to start and given how the previous batches had turned out, she was determined to at least make edible circular cookies she could put in little bags tied off with pink ribbon and owl them to her friends at a later date. Perhaps even leave them in their dorms before she left since it was likely she wasn't going to see them again.

Everything started to go wrong when first she set the oven too high and placed the cool bar of butter in a bowl on the counter beside it. The heat radiating from the oven only managed to melt the butter, which she dumped into the mixing bowl because it was the right amount anyway and it was going to go into the oven eventually with the rest of the mixture. Then there were too many eggs, at which point she just added more flour only to have to cut her mixture in half and try to salvage by adding more melted butter. The recipe seemed to be going awry with every second.

Kala was in the middle of mixing her third attempt, furiously trying to get the watery mixture to vaguely resemble cookie dough when the sound of someone clearing their throat forced her to look up. Forest green eyes settled on a pair of friendly brown eyes under a shock of dark curly hair. "What?" His comment had her looking from him to the mixture in momentary confusion, her mind having been entirely focused on her futile attempts. There was a pasty mixture stuck to the lower part of one of her eyes like war paint. She set the bowl down on the counter, hands against the edge and blew curls out of her face.

"How did you know?" It was rare for anyone to catch her off-guard and it took sliding that careful mask back into place by hiding behind the curiosity of his giggling satchel to orient her. The kitchen was complete and utter chaos, mostly because Kala had the tendency to improvise with things like eye of newt, or a toad's tongue when she didn't have the proper ingredients. Salt and pepper should definitely be kept away whenever she was in the mood to cook. "You know, smuggling magical creatures is illegal" she said casually, looking pointedly at his arm.

@Hellion Dowling

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Hellion Dowling
 Posted: Jul 29 2017, 10:26 PM
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"there's a twig in my shoe."
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Gryffindor
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Undecided
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His hand slid over smooth glass, the soft, almost peach-like skin of the giggling fruit, then catching on a thorn , causing him to hiss slightly in discomfort as he continued rifling. “Smuggling magical creatures is illegal, but importing permitted fruits is not,” Hellion replied with a small smile over his shoulder at the girl. As if to illustrate his point, he pulled one of the shriveled head-shaped fruit from the bag, glad at how silent it had become at his touch. “They laugh themselves off of trees, and continue giggling until you cut or cook them.”

It was safe to say that the boy was a bit spoiled, having had the opportunity to travel the world and get his hands on ingredients that some chefs never saw until they were well and seasoned in their professions.

The fruit went back into the bag with its companions, Hellion deciding to wait to see if he would end up having to help her before taking a smaller section of the counter to get some work done on. “It’s mostly the consistency. It looks a bit soupy, at least from what I can see without… taking your work and fixing it for you, I guess?” His shrug was an easy thing, along with the light grin that followed.

Pulling his hair back, he slipped the elastic from his wrist, tying everything into a bun to keep it out of his way. Plus, it was slightly more sanitary to bake without a mess of curls potentially dipping or shedding into whatever it was you were making. The longer you were in a kitchen, as evidenced by the coagulated goop stuck to Kala’s face like a stripe of war paint, the harder it got to cope with the heat of ovens, fires, and simply dashing around to make sure that everything was going according to plan. “Did you…” he gestured to her concoction and the mess on the side of the counters that she occupied. “I could try to salvage it, if you wanted. Or help you start a new batch, even?”

He was extending the offer, but if she said no, he would respect her boundaries and get to work on his own projects. He had oils to construct, as well as salts and sugars to mix with herbs and flowers, and then the neat little labels that he’d gotten from Hensley needed to be appropriately affixed to things. His task list for the day was relatively packed, all things considered.

@Kala Faraji
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Kala Faraji
 Posted: Jul 29 2017, 11:02 PM
Quote
"Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an Hour"
Mari
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172 Posts
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Gryffindor
Age
Sixteen
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5'6
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Year
Sixth
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Gryffindor
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Awards: 13



Truthfully, accusing him of smuggling magical creatures had been an on the spot accusation with no actual merit in order to help bring a little bit of that control back into her court after he had managed to startle and sneak up on her. His response did manage to make the corner of her lips to twitch but the smile never really manifested. Instead she watched him as he pulled out the fruit - or rather the shrunken head looking thing he was trying to pass off as a fruit. "That's a little bit creepy..." she mumbled then added a little more loudly, curiosity getting the best of her. "Do they laugh if you tickle them?"

This was asked as he put the fruit back into his bag, disappointment making itself known but she wasn't going to press him to let the giggling fruit sit on the table just so she could poke and prod at it. In fact it hadn't occurred to her that he was here perhaps to cook until the topic went back to her failure of baking batter. She pressed her lips together and looked back down at the batter, picking up the mixing spoon and letting the mixture goop in a steady stream back down into the bowl. "First it was too lumpy and thick. I'm not sure what went wrong."

Seeing Hellion pull an elastic from his wrist only prompted Kala to mentally chide herself. In all of the time she had been in the kitchens causing chaos and trying to cook it had never crossed the girl's mind to tame the wild curls and get them out of her face. Instead she had suffered through having to wipe her face with herr hands from the heat, vent her neck a couple of times and even pause to leave the kitchen for a few minutes. It wasn't that she hadn't really thought about it but rather that it was a way to rebel against Sabra's constant need for perfection. If Kala allowed her curls to live freely then it was just one more thing she could do for herself, a small triumph in the grand scheme of things.

She wanted to snort but instead arched a brow at his offer before laughing a little. "I don't think you could salvage it even if you were a master chef." He'd obviously wanted to use the kitchen and she'd taken up most of the counter space. In the end Kala didn't want to end up intruding but somehow it felt extremely important that she make these cookies for Athelstan and Brydon. Thinking about the two boys and the last time they had been here in the kitchen together only made her heart squeeze and while she'd settled on letting Hellion have his turn; she didn't want to leave and be alone. Not that she'd left any of that show.

"A new batch will be the fastest way to evict me from the kitchens and if you help me I'll even let you have some," she teased, falling back into her usual personality smoothly. "They'll be the best cookies you've ever had. You can even tell your friends." Kala promptly picked up the bowl, smiling at Hellion and moving to dump the contents into the kitchen sink. This was technically the first time they'd held a conversation and it wasn't remotely embarrassing for her to have him see just how chaotic things could get when she was in the kitchens. Anyone who knew anything about Kala Faraji knew one thing for certain. She was not a good cook and she'd once given Brydon food poisoning. Okay, so that was two things.

@Hellion Dowling

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Hellion Dowling
 Posted: Jul 29 2017, 11:47 PM
Quote
"there's a twig in my shoe."
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7
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Gryffindor
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Undecided
Awards: 1



Ion grimaced a little at the way the mixture dribbled into the bowl, remembering how his first few batches of cookies had turned out when he finally had the gall to start baking without help from the women in his life. “Sometimes it’s just the order that you mix things in,” he told her, trying to be helpful as she took the failed attempt to the sink. He hummed softly, pulling his wand from the front pocket of his shirt and aiming it at the sink. If the dishes washed themselves, they would get this done faster, and it was hard to start fresh when everything was still a mess.

“I’m not really concerned with you taking up space,” he told her, the easy grin finding itself comfortable on his face once more. “I grew up in a big family, little pockets of culture. We were always running around. Someone’s in the way, someone’s eating the chocolate chips, Japanese to one side, French to another, Spanish down the middle… someone swears and everyone scatters to dodge a sandal…. Typical family stuff. Expecting an empty kitchen is a pipedream.” He was pretty sure that La Chancla might be lost on her, as it was lost on most of his classmates just why he flinched when one of his cousins reached for a shoe. Neither here nor there.

Redirecting his wand to the flour left on the counter, a soft spell his mother had created left his lips, the enchantment a Spanish one. The flour disappeared as if siphoned away, which was much easier than if he were to wipe the counter down by hand with a dry cloth.

“Chocolate chip or sugar cookie?” he asked her. Those were among the countless recipes that he had memorized, but he had brought his notebook with him, and so he also had them written down for her to follow. “Were you following a recipe, or sort of just… coasting along? I’ve got a couple you could try, make those best cookies I’ve ever had and all that?” Suggestions still, but she probably would have an easier time if she was following something instead of just trying to figure it out as she went along. “Plus, if I get you started, I can work on some of the simpler stuff I’m doing for my grandmother. Multitasking and stuff.”

@Kala Faraji
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Kala Faraji
 Posted: Jul 30 2017, 12:16 AM
Quote
"Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an Hour"
Mari
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172 Posts
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Gryffindor
Age
Sixteen
Height
5'6
Status
Pureblood
Year
Sixth
House
Gryffindor
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Awards: 13



Kala didn't protest when the dishes started to wash themselves, she'd just wanted the mixing bowl right away but let the spell do its work while sneaking her hands in quickly to wash the residual flour and other miscellaneous and questionable ingredients from her hands. The grimace on his face didn't escape her notice, it was not something she saw from Professor Riordan but sometimes she could catch little inklings of it on Brydon's face.

She returned to the counter and stood beside him, glancing at the bag only once before turning her attention to him as he continued to speak. The wand in the back pocket of her jeans had gone ignored because unless it got incredibly late, Kala was ready to spend her time after baking on cleaning the kitchen. Doing menial household chores actually brought her a great degree of pleasure as it was something she could excel at without supervision or help. His volunteering of information made her smile. "Your family sounds exciting. Pretty sure I'd be eating the chocolate chips too."

The part about the sandal being tossed wasn't as far-fetched or unrecognizable as he might think. Sabra Faraji enjoyed throwing shoes just as much as the women in Hellion's family did, the only difference was that Sabra's shoes usually had heels and sometimes it wasn't just shoes. Usually it was whatever her mother could get a hold of. "So you have... " she counted the languages he had mentioned and decided to go with that guess. "Three siblings?" As an only child she had no idea what it was like to have someone curse and then been on the receiving end of punishment when being completely innocent.

His comment about her baking the best cookies made her nose wrinkle a little but the tone of his voice told her that he wasn't trying to be offensive or condescending. "I was following a recipe until I... dropped it in the batter. I just improvised from there. " A small shrug of the shoulders, "I've never tried sugar cookies, my chocolate chip aren't that great either." Perhaps if she followed the recipe and wasn't left to her own devices - checking with Hellion every once in a while - she could get the cookies made right this time. "Are you using the giggling shrunken heads?" Knowing he was going to be making something right alongside her actually made her want to watch him instead.

"I'd rather watch you make your things first than attempt to set the kitchen on fire and call it baking."


@Hellion Dowling

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Hellion Dowling
 Posted: Jul 30 2017, 01:16 AM
Quote
"there's a twig in my shoe."
Lyx
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7
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Gryffindor
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Undecided
Awards: 1



Her confirmation that she, too, would be the one eating the chocolate chips made him laugh lightly, a sound that it seemed like he was almost created to make at regular intervals. He laughed again when she guessed that he had three siblings. “I have a sister, she’s a couple years younger than me,” the Gryffindor clarified. “But there are seven other kids besides us, and there were always at least six of us at my grandparents’ home.”

That had been Hellion’s life between his father abandoning them and Raquel actively traveling the world more often than not. Even before then, if he was honest. He had been in the treehouse with Hadleigh and Halcyon when he had fallen from it. He napped on the living room floor with his blanket tucked between him and Hayley, wrapped around tiny fists. Save for Harlow, who Ronald had wanted kept away from everyone for his own selfish reasons, the majority of the Dowling Ennead could probably spout off some memory or another with one of the other eight, twins excepted. “Four cousins had a French mum, two have a Japanese-American mum, and our grandmother made sure we all spoke Spanish. It's the primary language we speak at home.”

She had questions. He liked questions. He liked having conversations with people who seemed like they were just outside of his general stratosphere. Kala was no exception to this by any means.

“Oh, the jinmenju?”

Hellion glanced at his bag, which sat indiscriminately next to them on the now-clean countertop. As if aware that they had attention, the fruit began giggling again, the sound somewhere between eerie and hysterical, muffled as it was. “Yeah. I have a list of things? So if you watch me instead of setting the kitchen on fire, you might never get those cookies made.”

The boy’s tone was definitely teasing then, though he didn't take more than a gentle dig at her. No, his attention turned back to the bag. From the front pocket he removed a black binder than almost seemed like someone had dropped it from Ravenclaw tower and then spellotaped it back together. The seams were bursting, half the pages were crumpled and unprotected, half of them were in plastic sleeves, some types but most scrawled out in his careful handwriting. When you experimented as much as he did with food, you had to keep notes somehow.

The bigger pocket found him digging in up to his shoulder again. Empty jars and vials came out first, lined carefully along the counter. The various herbs and florals he planned on using came out next, laid out on the countertop with the bags of salt and sugar and bottles of oil he had brought with him. The bottle of garlic wine came after, followed by fragrant red roses, still attached to their long stems.

With all those removed, he scooped the canvas backpack up from the countertop, carefully upending it to empty out the sheer baffling number of fruits that he had bought. When everything boiled down, it was typically less than he anticipated, so he went with more to be careful. True to form, one of the jinmenju giggled so hard that it nearly rolled itself from the countertop. Luckily, on his right side, the boy lunged and caught it, the fruit making a ripe sound as it hit his palm. Smiling again, he offered the shriveled head to the Gryffindor girl. “Looks kind of like someone's granddad, don't you think?” He asked.

@Kala Faraji
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Kala Faraji
 Posted: Jul 30 2017, 02:13 AM
Quote
"Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an Hour"
Mari
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172 Posts
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Gryffindor
Age
Sixteen
Height
5'6
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Pureblood
Year
Sixth
House
Gryffindor
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Awards: 13



Kala had heard of large families in passing but she'd never actually taken the time to get to know someone who had such a multitude of cultures in their home and none that actually lived with them. Her left eyebrow rose a little and then higher, soon to be joined by her right eyebrow. "How does one even keep track of the languages pertaining to which child? It must have been confusing at first." Fortunately it seemed that they only congregated at the home of the grandparents which was still boggling. "Are you fluent in all three languages?"

Hellion had never really registered with Kala, he was just another boy in the Gryffindor tower who had been sorted there and nothing more. She'd never paid attention to his habits, speech, or dress; now she was regretting that small oversight because this boy seemed as interesting and perhaps complex as both Athelstan and Brydon. He didn't give off any form of melancholy or show signs of being neglected or like he was hiding secrets, which made it that much more intriguing. What sort of upbringing could a child like this - who shared a home with eight other children have had?

"First the best cookies and all that and now jokes about fires? I never would have pegged you for a tease." she said, her lips curving slightly at the corners into that signature amused devilish smirk. Thought the kitchens did have a tendency to lower Kala's defenses and provide a safe haven for the Faraji girl; she knew there was no true safe place so long as she was a Faraji. Yet had they been anywhere else but here there would have been a battle of wit taking place, each word and gesture calculated to her advantage. She'd make use of his offer and take advantage of his open nature to garner useful information that would ultimately have nothing to do with cookies or baking. The trademark smirk appeared naturally and languidly, crinkling the corner of one eye in a look that might look out of place on anyone else but worked on Kala Faraji's face. She pulled up a stool and settled down, "if you insist on running around and putting out the fires I create, then by all means. I would never deny someone's desire to serve."

Not going through with baking the cookies was perhaps for the best, chances were she wouldn't have a chance to get them to her two friends anyway. Kala watched as he started to pull items from his bag, reaching out and tugging the black binder held together by what could only be magic, and opening it. Moments later her attention was pulled away from the careful writing and recipes towards the jars and vials that came out. His hands were steady and methodical as he lined the vials up, a steady rhythm taking hold of his movements. He was practiced in this exercise and comfortable in its execution as much as she was practiced in dance or playing the cello. Watching a maestro at work was something Kala could appreciate.

Every other ingredient he had pulled out of the bag made sense up until the roses came out. They were at their prime if their fragrance was anything to go by, and she was curious to see how he was going to use these in his recipes. The giggling fruit came tumbling out with other copious amounts of fruits, it rolled across the counter and towards its edge but swift reflexes stopped its tumble. It sounded like a demented little goblin even as Hellion held it up and out towards her. She pushed the binder aside and took the offered fruit with a smile, turning it this way and that. The texture was smooth against her fingers, slightly fuzzy and vibrating with the continuous giggling.

Chuckling at his comment, Kala held the jinmenju aloft and examined its "features". "It looks like me when I've been out in the sun too long." On impulse - something she rarely gave into- Kala put the fruit next to her face and sucked in her cheeks so that they would look slightly sunken in. Realizing what she was doing quickly sobered the lioness and her face slowly eased back into its usual mask of slight, aloof interest as she set the fruit down. It was easy to get lost and let true pieces of herself shine through when the company was so easy going and not expectant of her. But as she was told by her mother, someone always wanted something from her. Whether it be the prestige of being associated with her, the hidden desire to have a chance to touch her because of her beauty or even hindering the Faraji family; there was never sincerity in those she associated with. Hellion wouldn't be any different even if she had thought for a moment that he was and she would do well to remember that.

Kala's chin pointed in the direction of the roses even as she reached to caress one of their petals. "Are you sure you're not brewing some form of Amortentia for someone? I wouldn't mention it if you were, sometimes love needs a little push." The comment was more because of the memory of the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students making moon-eyes at each other and giggling while looking away during Healing class. Perhaps she should offer to break the arm of Hellion's intended so that he may swoop in and heal him or her like a valiant white knight. Just like in healing class, she was certain it would turn out to be quite the spectacle. They'd talk about it for years to come, reminisce about how it was meant to be and how destiny had set them on that course. She tried not to roll her eyes.

@Hellion Dowling

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Hellion Dowling
 Posted: Aug 4 2017, 08:45 AM
Quote
"there's a twig in my shoe."
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Gryffindor
Age
18
Height
5'8"
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Year
7
House
Gryffindor
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Undecided
Awards: 1



“Fluent in all three, and English. Conversational in...” he hissed out a soft sound, tossing his head slightly to the left and right as he calculated mentally just how many languages he could passably speak. “It's close to seven?” He was so not going to bring up that he could speak Klingon or Huttese, as well as some basic Dothraki and Elvish. He wasn't even sure that someone like Kala would even know what any of those languages were, and if she did, he was definitely exposing just how much of a nerd he was by saying so. “We traveled a lot when I was really small, so I picked up languages the way one might pick up toys, or a bad cold.”

Her slight snip about his jokes made him form a devilish grin of his own. “Can’t really judge someone that you’ve only just met.” They’d crossed paths, sure, as they did live in the same tower but they ran in different circles, so… she was judging a book she’d never read by its cover. “Wouldn’t be the first time I’d put out a fire I didn’t start, though,” he remarked, offhanded and a little sassy. If she was going to accuse him of being a tease, he was going to be one.

Sidestepping a little bit so that he wouldn’t run into her as he really started to move around and work, Hellion found that despite not being able to see her in his periphery, he could feel her eyes on him as he worked to organize ingredients. On one hand was kind of unnerving, and on the other was kind of cool. Unnerving because typically he managed to find time to be alone in the kitchens, cool because he was usually alone in the kitchens, and so to have the company of another human being and not just the house elves trying to get him to sit so that they could feed him.

He was careful not to let their hands touch as she took the fruit from him, unable to help but laugh aloud at her impression of the fruit. “You seem like you’d like the sun,” he remarked as she set the fruit down. Kala seemed… cool as she did so, but he didn’t question it. Perhaps she had thought that her comment was annoying? She wouldn’t be the first gil to be hilarious and then promptly pretend she hadn’t, acting like she was a pristine lady and not just a girl, having a conversation with a boy.

“Mmn,” he shrugged, grabbing a bowl and starting to strip the lavender buds from their stems. “The jinmenju would probably be a good addition to it, given what the fruit actually does to people, but no. I don’t need Amortentia, nor do I want someone to fawn over me the way people do when drugged with the stuff.” Besides, slipping Amortentia to someone was a lot like giving them GHB or roofies, and was high on the list of things that people did that made Ion’s skin crawl. “If my love life needed a push, I think I’d ask my sister, since she’s so concerned about me ending up alone. They’re going to be made into sugar and jam.” He smiled at her. “The more fragrant the rose, the more you can get from it. You could take the petals off if you wanted to help?”

@Kala Faraji
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Kala Faraji
 Posted: Aug 4 2017, 10:17 AM
Quote
"Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an Hour"
Mari
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Gryffindor
Age
Sixteen
Height
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Status
Pureblood
Year
Sixth
House
Gryffindor
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Awards: 13



There was something charming about Hellion when he tossed his head left and then right in contemplation that had Kala fighting the urge to smile at the action and the following modesty. The witch had the feeling he was hiding something more but it was his prerogative and a little mystery never hurt anyone. She should be grateful that he was answering her questions as honestly as he was. Although if he had been lying there really was no way of telling, he could have told her anything and she would have had to take him on his word. “Still, seven is an impressive number. You must have traveled at a time easiest for children to adapt.”

Moving around as much as he claimed to have done must have been both adventurous and lonely. People in general were not meant to move from place to place like nomads all the time, eventually they too wanted to settle down and dig their roots deep into the earth in order to become a part of something. It was their nature to seek out communities and safety, yet she did not touch on that private part of Hellion’s life. For as much as he was willing to answer her inquiries, there were some parts that were too private for first meetings or any that might follow. Sometimes even after you knew someone there was the possibility that they would still keep secrets, and Kala was alright with this part of people as she had many secrets of her own.

Had her face not been practiced when taken by surprise her mouth might have dropped open at his quip, instead her smirk only managed to stretch out into an answering smile. “Touché, Mr. Dowling.” It felt good to have someone other than Brydon or Athelstan to trade barbs with. Sometimes her sense about people was off but she felt that she might get along and come to enjoy Hellion’s company. Of course he didn’t stop at her judgment, he had to take it a step further and straight into the fires. Kala chuckled and gave a small shake of her head. “Oh, this fire isn’t anywhere close to being put out;” she challenged, easing into the routine like she’d been doing this her whole life.

Seven hells this boy was making it difficult to keep her composure. Kala wished that Athelstan would drift in through the door so she could cling to him like a drowning woman to a live saver. If she had Stan there she’d probably have no problem just being Kala, used to her element and making use of the props and space around her. Hellion gave off a different sensation even as he moved because he was aware of his surroundings and the people in his space. A pot was just a pot, and when he grabbed vegetables or fruits they were just vegetables and fruits in his hands. She didn’t see the calculating glint that usually resided in the gaze of someone who had other things in mind than what their words or bodies were saying. It was refreshing and unnerving.

Making someone laugh was always an accomplishment and whether it was Felix, Brydon or now Hellion it didn’t matter as long as she triumphed. That she did in this instance made her a little proud of herself, just another thing not many knew about her. Laughter was such a rarity in her household that when she had the pleasure of being its source it was difficult not to feel triumphant and a little smug. Throughout the years Kala had carefully tucked away the rich laughter of all her friends, categorized their little habits so she could rebuild their memories in her head and not feel quite as lonely when they were apart. “There’s not much sun here to enjoy,” was all she said to his comment.

The desire for genuine affection was not something uncommon among many purebloods and it perhaps wasn’t uncommon among any of her peers or the world, but hearing that someone wanted genuine emotions straight from a person’s mouth was confusing. This was not something she fully understood yet. Truthfully speaking, Kala would have been content with watching him work; but being asked to help actually felt a lot better than just sitting here, watching him do everything. She wouldn't learn just by watching. “Sugar and jam most certainly sound like the safer options,” she smiled both at being asked to help and at the comment about his sister as she pulled the roses towards her. “A sibling set on making sure you don’t end up alone seems the more potent of the two. At least the end result will give you genuine affection that way.”

Her eyes were focused on her task as she said this, the words having stuck and stuttered to a halt several times before she could properly articulate them. The isolation made itself known at that moment, the weight of her circumstances settling against her shoulders once more. Rose petals fell in lazy twirls after putting up a moment’s fight. They settled into the glass bowl, covering the bottom inch by inch as they drifted in.

@Hellion Dowling

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Hellion Dowling
 Posted: Aug 11 2017, 02:02 PM
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"there's a twig in my shoe."
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Hellion nodded slightly at the assumption that he traveled more when it was easier for children to adapt.. “I was born in New Zealand. My earliest memories are wixen Maori and Antipodean Opaleyes,” he trailed off slightly. It had been the first place that his mother had studied wandmaking, as far away from anything she knew as she could possibly go. From what she had told him, and it wasn’t a lot, the tribesmen there made their wands a lot differently than any Western groups, and that was what had fascinated her. Throw in the fact that she had friends doing dragon husbandry fellowships with the Opaleyes, and it had been the perfect choice for her. Not so much for Sebastian. Her pregnancy had been a way to keep her close and keep her home, and it hadn’t served its purpose beyond tying her to him as the mother of his children.

From there, there were other places. Japan, Spain, Central America. Long as he could remember, the world was his oyster, and his mother had made sure of that for both him, and his sister. There had been so many peopl and so many places, a lot of which he longed to return to the way someone having a long day just wanted to go right back to bed. It had felt good as a child to just constantly be on the move. There was always something new, always something he had never seen before, until the day that there wasn’t, the day that dreary London became the base camp that they stayed at for a long time, but longer than he’d ever really been settled. “I definitely get that. Everything is so grey here. It makes me miss Mexico… Brazil, Morocco. The rain here settles into your bones.”

“There was a family tragedy when I was about seven, and so we came home, put down roots finally,” he added. “But up to that point, my sister and I got to see a lot more of the world. Then we got to be home for a while, instead of just in bursts of three days to four weeks at a time.” He didn’t go into the details, his hands still deftly removing the lavender from their stems. Hellion’s memory of that period of his childhood was a mess between losing sight in one eye, losing his home, and nearly losing Hensley. Even still, despite her health rapidly improving after her treatment in St. Mungo’s, all the older Dowling could do sometimes was glance at the scarring she carried and feel helpless as he did then. Sitting in the kitchens with Kala was neither the place nor the time to bring up all those memories. Maybe he would tell her, if they were ever to become closer than acquaintances.

Her comment about Helen's desire to make sure that he didn't end up alone instead of relying on love potions to do the work for him made him laugh again as he made quick work of the sprigs of dried lavender. “I'd like to think that I'm charming enough not to need love potions or my kid sister's help, though I'm sure the whole family would be involved with my lack of relationships if they had their way.” On second thought, he should probably go back to Dorian and see if he could pick some more jinmenju, just in case Helen had another bad breakup impending, which she would. The euphoria inducing fruit might actually help manage her heartache between infatuations. “It'll work out however it's meant, I think? I'm not obligated to be in a relationship, and I don't think I'm looking, particularly. When it's meant to happen, the universe will guide me where I need to be.”

Finishing with the lavender buds, he set them aside for the time being, leaning against the counter to watch Kala. “Do you just wanna keep helping?” he asked her after a moments' thought. “Having an extra set of hands would be a benefit. Plus, you're good conversation, and you'll learn a thing or two in the process. Get it done faster and help you make those cookies sooner. Maybe start a fire or two along the way, just for the laugh?”

While the grin he gave her was a charming one, Hellion wasn't expecting her to say yes, nor was he expecting her continued help after she stripped the roses. Really, he would settle for her sitting and watching him, so long as they kept the conversation going. That certainly wasn't an exaggeration. Having a girl from his house there in the kitchen with him was wildly different than sitting in the kitchen and prepping ingredients for his abuela, ducking around his mother, and occasionally shooing one of the others out of the way because there simply was not enough room for everyone to be there at once. This was... calming, in a way. Refreshing might've been a better word for it, comparable to taking a bite of a perfectly crisp grape or two. More importantly, it was fun, and he hoped that she was enjoying it as well. “If you don't want to help, I could also walk you through chocolate chip cookies while finishing off all of this.”

She had been trying to make cookies for her friends, right? While waiting for her answer, he grabbed another clean bowl and the sugar that he’d brought with him, measuring out enough for the lavender.

@Kala Faraji
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Kala Faraji
 Posted: Aug 11 2017, 03:41 PM
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Pulling rose petals turned out to be just a little bit harder than she anticipated. The first few had come off rather easily but they were bruised, the sections where her fingers had pressed harder imprinted in their satin texture. From then on Kala was taking more care at pulling the petals off and letting them glide into the bowl, all while listening to Hellion speak. Some of these places she had visited while others were foreign. The tribes didn’t ring any bells of recognition but she nodded assent to what little she did understand or knew of. Hearing about it now, it sounded terribly exciting and perhaps in her current mindset she would have loved the adventure of it all. But really listening to what Hellion was saying made Kala realize that while it was an exciting adventure, it must also have been incredibly lonely to a degree.

Morocco. Kala’s head raised, finger freezing in reaction to the shock that he’d visited her home. “You’ve been to Morocco? Did you ever visit Rabat?” The kitchen faded away as the structures of her beautiful city took their place. Beneath her seat the ground turned to clay-like dirt and sprinkled in thick patches were trees or underbrush. Little patches of greenery bringing a different color to the usual clay red Kala had come to love. She could press her fingers into the loose dust and then paint the buildings with her red handprints or press them against the warm, dark skin of Myeisha like she did when she was a child. It was not the most beautiful or green of places, but something about the culture and its people made her miss it terribly for it was most certainly a place that would leave an impression. “I miss the smell of petrichor. The plumes of red powder-dust as raindrops hit the ground, disturbing the red earth.”

Kala’s hand reached out as if she would rest her fingers on Hellion’s arm but it never quite made it there. The memory of Archibald recoiling from her touch had her hand freezing and drawing back. She had to remind herself that not everyone liked being touched and that while Hellion might be allowing her to share his space, that did not mean he was consenting to her being physically intrusive. Not anymore than he was willing to give, and for now sharing the kitchen was that allowance. “I’m sorry… It must have been difficult for you.” He was giving her so much more than she could have thought to ask. Kala may have asked about meaningless and silly things if given the option, but never something quite like this.

So she gave him a small piece of herself, not something that could be used against her in any way. Not something that could be considered a deep, dark secret. To some her grandmother’s death was not important, but for Kala it was a life changing event. “It’s strange that a family tragedy helped you find roots. When my bibi died mine were ripped out, our traditions aren’t what they used to be.” Kala smiled at the bowl of petals and gave a slight shake of her head, blinking her eyes. “Wow, I can’t believe it’s been six years already.”

Sober green eyes watched Hellion, hands pausing in their work as she listened. She was bursting at the seams with the desire to confide in him about something. Anything. As long as she told him one of the many secrets or desires Kala felt that she might be able to breathe easier. Muscles in her jaw relaxed and they started to pull apart, her lips peeling open at the seams where skin kissed skin. The breath she had taken in, filling her lungs was going to come out carrying her secrets. All of this she could feel as acutely as the petals between her fingers. She should get up and leave, get away from the warmth of the kitchen and this earnest boy; otherwise she’d be exposing herself. The grief she’d felt at not having the freedom of choosing who she wanted to spend the rest of her life with welled up. Yes, the rain indeed settled into her bones and now they were perspiring with the only place to go being up and out of her lips. If there was pain there, she hoped that Hellion would not see it. “I’m sure you’ll find someone who appreciates your charm. Maybe with the help of your entire family. If not, I can vouch for you.”

Swallowing that moment of weakness she smiled, albeit a little shakily and drew in a soft breath; quiet as could be to keep him from hearing how it shuddered. What Kala had really meant to say was it must be nice not to have your love life dictated. To be able to choose. Yet saying something to that effect would prove that there was discord between parents and child, it would signify that Kala Faraji was a disobedient and willful child. And this she could not afford.

“I am a refined, well-mannered and charming young lady myself. I could certainly get away with saying ‘he’s quite the charmer, miss so-and-so; don’t let the innocent face of his fool you’ and be able to get away with it. Perhaps I shall meet your sister and aid her in her quest.” Kala said primly, dropping a petal into the bowl to accent her words, though her voice was teasing and her mannerisms light.

Her eyes flicked up from her task as his arms came into view, brows raising questioningly and the smile tugging at her lips. The last of the petals was plucked from the roses and she let it drop into the bowl, her fingers hanging over the rim. “If it doesn’t bother you, I’d love to continue helping. It's not every day I get engaging conversation and a lesson all in one.” She chuckled then, glancing towards the sugar he had begun to measure out while she decided on her response. Eyes twinkling, Kala pushed the bowl of petals away in order to ready for her next task; leaning forward on her own elbows and saying “I hear sugar’s easy enough to set on fire. How early on do we want that laugh?”

If they had time to make the cookies then Kala would not object to at least giving them a try. They could end up eating a few of them together, the rest she could have sent to Brydon and Athelstan.

@Hellion Dowling

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