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     Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)

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    Rhian Kael

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    Dragon Trainer In Training

    Occupation : Bartender at Hookfang

    PostSubject: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Mon Jun 04 2018, 01:15

    May || Avendale Cathedral

    The sky was overcast. Perfectly so, Rhian thought to herself. It just wouldn't do for the world to be celebrating today. Even as she'd left her flat, walking down to the pub to check with Phyllis that her shift had indeed been covered for the day, she had been surprised to see everyone else going about their day like it was any other. It made Rhian's stomach sink further. Even as the other woman tried to compliment her return to darker locks, Rhian waved a gentle acknowledgement and turned away.

    Once out the door, she Disapparated. Lavender had chosen the small church that she and Atticus had gotten married in. A picture of the pair on their wedding day was framed near the front, alongside the beautifully polished wooden casket.

    As she entered the sanctuary, Rhian felt like she was walking through water. She fell in line with the many people gathering to pay respects to the body. Dread was rising within her with every step forward. She'd never been to a funeral, and she was very aware of how alone she was in this moment. No matter, she told herself, gritting her teeth and taking another step in the line. It wasn't like she'd ever even considered not attending.

    That wasn't an option.

    She'd loved Atticus as if he'd been her real father, even if he was more of a grandfather. It had all been a bit muddled, with Connor around and their age difference from most parents. They could have treated her like many Halfbloods did who took in wards: with cold acceptance and a sense of obligation. But they hadn't. Instead, they welcomed her with open arms and hearts, never once letting her feel less than loved.

    When the last pair of visitors stepped away from the coffin, leaving the empty space before her, Rhian barely registered what happened next. It wasn't Atticus laying there. It was someone else. Some statue made up in his brown dress robes, his golden pocket watch resting just so at his side. Even the peaceful look on his face lacked the brightness that was usually there. The life.

    Before she knew it, Rhian was walking away, letting someone else come up. She numbly walked over to the end of the first pew. It was reserved for the family, but she made sure to give the others space. She knew Lavender still loved her and wanted her there, but didn't want to be a bother to the others. This wasn't about her.

    How long she sat staring ahead into the empty space before the first person began speaking, she didn't know.
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    Connor Bailey

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    Dragon Trainer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Mon Jun 04 2018, 01:39




    When he had been given the news, he hadn't known what to do with himself. The first thing he had done was go to his mother; she was broken incredibly so. Her father was dead, his grandfather was dead; and he hadn't been able to control anything. It was awful to feel absolutely helpless.

    Once his mother had gathered her senses, they had gone to his grandmother's home who had been absolutely empty. For a woman full of life, it seemed that the moment her husband had passed, he had taken it with him. That night there was not a dry eye as they went over their memories before properly preparing for the funeral. His father had been surprisingly helpful; with his analytical and somewhat cold personality, he was able to get everything organized as they comforted his grandmother.


    This Saturday, the funeral started. He stared ahead during the whole time as people came over to visit the body and pay their respects. He hadn't even had the bravery to go and properly see him...it. Closing his eyes tightly he sat alone as others went on about organizing.

    He had missed his grandfather; the man was a good person, incredibly giving and gentle, something that his own father failed to teach him. He knew that he would miss his sense of humor more than anything, and his incredible encouragement. Biting back tears, he instead sat stiffly as the proceedings began.

    It was at this moment that he realized that Rhian sat but a chair away from him. He didn't bother greeting her. At this moment, all he cared about was having this end so he could wallow in his own pain.


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    Rhian Kael

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    Dragon Trainer In Training

    Occupation : Bartender at Hookfang

    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Sat Jun 09 2018, 00:06

    It was amazing, hearing about someone else's life after they've gone. The small group of speakers who came up to the front of the church were both full of love and sadness. The "is" and "was" changed moment to moment, as everyone seemed to grapple with the concept that someone they cared for would not be there at their next weekly luncheon, or stop in for tea and biscuits after the market.

    Rhian would have to look back and remember most of this in bits and pieces, unfortunately. The kind words and farewells mostly went in one ear and out the other. While Lavender and Atticus had loved her unconditionally from the first day, she knew that among other witches and wizard they knew she was received with varying enthusiasm. Because of this, she tried to make herself small as possible, remembering her own times with the man who had opened his home and heart to her.

    Before they knew it, a man who seemed to be in charge of the proceedings was bringing this portion to a close. People were filing out to the cemetery, Rhian hung back, giving everyone their space.

    Her thoughts drifted to Tess, wishing she'd been free. They'd spoken a few times in the last few days, with the other girl being as supportive as Rhian could have hoped for. But something big was happening for the Holmes' and she couldn't get away.

    Quick as could be, the casket was lowered, buried, and a small group had Apparated back to the Song homestead. Lily had taken care of the host duties, tea and light snacks. Lavender was sat in the living room, central for all who wanted to pay their respects. Various seating had been arranged around the room, with a small two-seater stuffed into the corner. No one had taken it yet, so Rhian made herself comfortable, trying to lend emotional support to her foster mom in any way possible.
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    Connor Bailey

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    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Sat Jun 09 2018, 00:35



    It seemed silly to think that death would never come to his grandparents. But to him, they were too perfect, too good of people to ever meet an end. And his grandfather...it hurt to think. Throughout the ceremony, he grabbed his grandmother's hand throughout all of it. Every time the tense changed to one of the past, he swore that his grandmother would stop breathing for a moment.

    Once they all moved to the house, the party had thankfully began to get smaller. It seemed all the more intimate and real. His mother found herself holding her husband close and he in turn actually comforted her. Connor knew that there was no one who loved his mother more than his father. He was not the most demonstrative person, and he loved his mother more than the world.

    As drinks and food were served, his grandmother found herself asking for the attention so she could make a speech. He had never seen her be so fragile, so as he helped her stand over everyone, she kissed his cheek and asked him to sit down.

    "I want to first thank everyone for coming here. It is good to see that Atticus was loved by the people that he in turn loves-I mean loved back." a shaky breath was taken before continuing."It hurts me to see you all here. Not because I don't love you all, but the reason that brings you all together hurts me more than I can admit. I love Atticus and I say love because you can never stop anyone even when death arrives. I met Atticus during my third year of Hogwarts" she smiled fondly. "I was a shy Hufflepuff and in turn he was a charming Ravenclaw. I always saw him from afar until one moment that we made eye contact. And in that moment I was absolutely smitten. I knew the moment that his blue eyes met mine, I was done." tears began to fall and she smiled self-consciously. "I never knew a love so innocent and so deep. Our years onwards were one of the most amazing years: from marriage, to children, to grandchildren, we loved what life brought us."

    Taking a step forward, she clasped her hands together before continuing.

    "I want you all to take one thing with you after this. Love is never ending, but is always hassled by time. If I could have just one moment with him, just one" she lifted her index finger as it shook. "I would do anything. And I want you to never waste your time hoping that love can wait. It can't. If you love, love with all you have. Don't let pride or fear stop you for enjoying what life is giving you. Atticus would not want that. For there was never a more living man than my Atti...thank you"


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    Rhian Kael

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    Dragon Trainer In Training

    Occupation : Bartender at Hookfang

    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Sat Jun 09 2018, 01:19

    Silent tears slowly drifted down Rhian's cheeks. Atticus and Lavender had always been open about how much they adored each other, after so long. They would bicker like any other married couple, but there was always a deep love in all of it, which was constant as the sea. Hearing her speak so beautifully wrenched something within Rhian in a way that she had never imagined she could feel.

    Her eyes drifted past Lavender, to really see Connor for the first time that day. While he was trying to be strong for his grandmother, Rhian could see the pain in his eyes. The urge inside of her to go to him, to comfort him, was bone deep. But as she listened to Lavender speak about love, she realized it wasn't out of some need to apologize anymore. Instead, she just wanted to be there for him. To stand by him, with him. Like her foster parents had done for one another.

    It was a humbling realization. After mourning the loss of Connor in her life for so long, that pain seemed to matter very little right now. More important was this moment. This day. As much as she wished she could go to him and be an avenue of comfort, she bit her lip and forced herself to stay seated. She would not force herself on him this time.

    The gathering didn't last much longer than that, farewells being traded with promises to visit soon. Connor's parents saw Lavender up to her floor after Rhian gave her a tight hug. While she would have loved to spend time with her foster mother one-on-one, she knew the woman would need rest after the long day.

    Quiet music drifted through the townhouse with magical enhancement. A gently lyrical ballad, not too dramatic, but soothing. It had been on of Atticus's favorite, and he'd often play it around the flat to give everyone a smile.

    Rhian moved over to the mantle where pictures had been arranged for the gathering. There was a smaller copy of the one from the funeral, of the pair on their wedding day. They looked so happy that she couldn't help but smile softly back at their moving images.
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    Connor Bailey

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    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Sat Jun 09 2018, 01:33



    As his grandmother finished her speech, there was not a dry eye in the room. Many found themselves hugging their spouses, children and loved ones. As his mother hugged him, his eyes subconsciously turned to Rhian.

    He knew that she too was in pain in a different way than he was. He loved his grandparents dearly but she had lost a parent in her own way. And in turn he knew that his love for her had unfortunately not wained. Because as he took her speech in, he knew that he bad wasted time allowing himself to feel pain and just keep her love at bay. Rhian wished to love, and she loved fiercely. And while she had her issues and he had his own, he thought that at the end of the day it didn't matter.

    That had sort of shaken him only because of how much his grandmother's narrative reminded him of them two. He remembered the moment that he had seen Rhian in the new light had made him immediately fall for her. Shaking his head, be instead took care of everything. His Nanna needed to rest so as she greeted everyone, she headed upstairs to rest. His mother also needed rest and so his father took her. He had promised to visit once he finished cleaning around the house.

    He then shuffled through the room cleaning everything up, and it was as he moved to the sitting room that he caught Rhian staring intently at the pictures on the mantel. Part of him wanted the space, another part of him wanted to try. If only for a moment.

    "Hey...how are you holding up?" his voice was soft unsure and vulnerable. Something he had not allowed himself to be in a long time.



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    Rhian Kael

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    Dragon Trainer In Training

    Occupation : Bartender at Hookfang

    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Sat Jun 09 2018, 02:05

    Connor's voice wasn't a shock really, as she'd heard him moving around in the other room. But even so, the tone made her want to cry. Not in a bad way....or a good way. It just sounded so....

    Home. He sounded like a warm blanket on a rainy day. A good book, or a soothing cup of tea after a long day. The edge wasn't there anymore, and Rhian let her eyes close to relish that moment, in case this went south fast. She could hold onto that feeling one more time.

    When she turned towards him, her eyes meeting his, she realized she probably looked a right mess. Rhian wasn't one for black, as most of her wardrobe was jewel toned. But there'd been a basic black dress in the back of her closet that she'd gotten when Tess was forcing her out on dates. It wasn't anything fancy, but it worked well enough for today. With her hair back to its natural dark, she was sure her eyes were teary and her light makeup a bit messed up.

    But it didn't matter. None of it mattered. Her lips twitched into a small upturn, more in acknowledgement of their situation than actual joy.

    "I'm okay right now, I think." She was drawn back to the picture, a bit scared now that they were actually talking without anger. "They look really happy. Don't they?" Rhian couldn't help but wonder if she'd ever get there. What it would be like to spend the rest of her life with someone who loved her.
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    Connor Bailey

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    Dragon Trainer In Training


    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Sat Jun 09 2018, 02:23



    Connor was tentative at a certain point when he reached out to her, but she looked back to the girl that he loved and that honestly made him feel comfortable. It was as if time had not happened, as if they were okay and nothing had shifted their relationship. His eyes softened taking her in.

    As he walked closer, he noticed that she didn't look at him at first. He at first thought that she was lost in thought, but as she did, her big eyes made him fall all the more in love with her. She looked vulnerable too and shaken by it all. Both turning to face the picture, he took the young couple in. Her grandmother loved everyone deeply, but no one more than his grandfather.

    . "They look really happy. Don't they?"

    He didn't know what compelled him to do this, but his hand immediately reached out to hold her hand. He squeezed her hand softly and stayed staring at the picture.

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    Rhian Kael

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    Dragon Trainer In Training

    Occupation : Bartender at Hookfang

    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Sat Jun 09 2018, 02:57

    Rhian was sure she would have gasped, had she actually been capable of breathing in that moment. Feeling his hand in hers, after all this time, was like pure electricity. Completely new and unexpected, shocking. She could feel the calluses that had formed from years atop a broom, and probably working in that shed. On the bike he'd built for her. She'd taken it out a few times in the last month, trying to enjoy the warmer weather. Wishing he was there.

    Finally, she was able to breathe again, and Rhian let her own had hold his gently in return. They'd done so plenty of times in their lives. During games or casually when necessary. But never like this. Or at least....it never felt like this. With everything that had happened in the last year, she couldn't pretend they were just friends again. The lump in the back of her throat and the butterflies in her stomach wouldn't let her.

    She tried to think of something to say. Anything was better than voicing the fears running through her mind. "I remember the last time I was here, a couple weekends ago." She'd had an unexpected day off and was able to drop in for a few hours. Lavender had made a big fuss over her, as expected, wanting to hear all about the end of term.

    "Lav was putting the finishing touches on a roast. You know how she does it, the potatoes and carrots and everything," it was a staple from their childhood. "Atticus was trailing behind her, taking little snippets of food here and there just to annoy her." Rhian smiled, recalling how Lavender had playfully slapped at his hands every time. "She had to eventually run him out of the kitchen until everything was done, both of them laughing the whole time."

    Turning towards Connor more, she looked up into his eyes, refamiliarizing herself with the deep green of them. "They made loving someone look so easy."
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    Connor Bailey

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    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Mon Jul 09 2018, 23:45



    As he grabbed her hand, he couldn't help but think it had been a while since he had properly took her in. He thought that her hand was so small and delicate compared to his large and rough hand. Despite the way that she worked on the bar, her hands barely shown the damage of the dingy place. In fact, looking at her tiny fingers, he felt awful realizing just how fragile she was.

    'And you had no problem hurting her' and it was true, he did not. In fact he took pleasure in seeing her broken. Just who was he? He felt himself delicately trace her fingers with his own as he took in her story.

    Connor smiled softly at her story, vividly imagining the scene painted to him. It was so much like them; he was lucky to have grown up to see true love.

    "They really made it seem like a fairytale" he murmured softly not looking at her eyes. "Do you think we could ever be like that?"

    He had meant to say 'Do you think that we could find someone like that?' but in reality, his heart took the lead and somehow it was all about the two of them. He felt himself blush at the Freudian slip but did not dare correct himself.

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    Rhian Kael

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    Occupation : Bartender at Hookfang

    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Tue Jul 10 2018, 01:13

    The subtle movement of his fingers against her hand made Rhian's chest compress in sweet agony. This wasn't like the pain of missing him throughout these long months. Instead, he was right here, she was able to touch him, if even in the smallest degree. But that small measure made her imagine the ocean. Beautiful, breath-taking...deadly.

    Focus. She had to stay present. Losing herself in dark thoughts was what ruined her last encounter with Connor. 'Now' is all that matters.

    Nodding softly at his added comment, she couldn't look away from his face, even if his eyes avoided hers. It felt like lifetimes since she'd been free to see him like this, and she took in every detail, every change. He needed a haircut, as Lavender would say. Though Rhian rather liked it a bit more ruffled like it was now. There were circles under his eyes, not deep but obvious to her. Was it just because of Atticus?

    Time stood still as his last words sunk in. If she hadn't been looking at him, she would have thought her mind had warped them, but no. She'd heard correctly. The blush on Connor's cheeks, rare as it was, confirmed it more. He still wanted....

    Rhian swallowed around the lump in her throat. Turning more to face him directly she never let go of his one hand, actually holding a bit more securely. Her other one moved slowly to Connor's cheek, her fingertips barely brushing his jaw as she hoped he'd look at her so she could read him better.

    "We will never know unless we try." It seemed simple enough. Too simple. He deserved more. "If I've learned anything from...well, the last year," she didn't want to talk about Lavender and Atticus. Not in this moment, "It's that you need to risk things for..." It was her turn to drop her gaze, to where her hand had dropped to rest on his chest.

    "For those you love."
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    Connor Bailey

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    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Tue Jul 10 2018, 01:26



    He closed his eyes tightly allowing his own insecurities to swallow him whole. Was he not tired of constant embarrassment when it came to this small witch? No matter what words had been exchanged over time, it was still frightening to allow himself to possibly open that deep wound.

    "We will never know unless we try."

    And it was only the beginning of her small speech that he found himself turning over and taking her in. Her eyes were somehow hard to meet, but the moment that they made eye contact he knew that his bitterness and his pain was now forgotten if for a moment. Instead he took the vulnerability in her eyes, the wavering in her tone to know that she was being genuine.

    Slowly his hands moved from her own up towards her arms and slowly pulling her into an embrace. He didn't dare kiss her, it was not the right time as his grandfather had just died. But he found himself kissing the top of her head and holding her close.

    He closed his eyes tightly once her scent embraced him. It was like coming home, no matter how they fought, no matter how they hurt one another, it was hard staying away.

    "I never stopped loving you" he murmured softly. "I want to try"

    And he did. He wanted to get an opportunity to properly love her without the fears and insecurities. And he hoped she would be willing to try. Perhaps it was the right time.

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    Rhian Kael

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    Occupation : Bartender at Hookfang

    PostSubject: Re: Torn Apart; Brought Together (Connor)   Thu Jul 12 2018, 23:27

    Rhian felt as if she could finally breathe, the first time in what felt like forever. When Connor's gaze met hers, she could finally see the man she'd grown to care for all these years. Her Connor. A smile split her face at the sight.

    Her moment of joy was thrown sideways when she felt his hands pull her in closer. Panic fluttered through her chest. Was he going to kiss her? Is that what one did in this....situation?

    Do I want him to?

    She had absolutely no idea. Before Rhian could decide if she was ready for something like that, Connor engulfed her in a hug. It was so familiar she almost cried. When she closed her eyes, nothing mattered outside of his arms around her. No harsh words, nor pain.

    It wasn't all erased, of course. They would have to work together to heal their battle scars. But with his words, she hugged him back tighter. They would get through this.

    Together.
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