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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:14 pm 

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Harry genuinely believed Malfoy would have cursed him, had the doors not swung open; Harry himself jumped at the sound, the context making him expect the snap of a spell rather than the hammering on wood.
Out of the corner of his eye, Harry had seen the tension build in Malfoy's shoulders and jaw, yet eventually amounting to nothing. In that moment, his brain already starting to cloud with adrenaline, all Harry could think about was whether or not Malfoy sat feeling unresolved; as if he had held in a sneeze.
With his heart in his throat, Harry finally straightened his posture, resting his forearms against the edge of the table. Getting Malfoy out of his immediate line of sight did help to eliminate one source of nauseating anxiety. Now, with his view of the Great Hall having improved, he found that the source of his nausea was his inability to meet Hagrid's eye.
Hagrid, who Harry had kept in touch with and had remained, for decades, Harry's first friend, beamed at the sight of Harry at the high table. Harry himself felt like death, unable to even direct his eyes towards the man, let alone the parade of children than followed him. Awkwardly, Harry's eyes instead dipped to his plate.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:14 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco did not at all feel done with the conversation, but he felt that it was probably for the better that he didn’t get to say more. After all, he didn’t really have anything to say to Potter, not anything either of them could do anything about at least, so there really was no reason for him to blow up in his face. Still, Draco also knew that it was going to be difficult for him to hold his tongue, especially if the two of them were going to be spending a lot of time together, thus he really hoped that they would be able to avoid one another as much as possible.
Instead, he kept his gaze locked stiffly ahead, watching as a long stream of young kids entered the great hall, every single one of them clearly intimidated by what was about to happen. It served as a nice change of focus for Draco and he was pleased that he had something to look at that wasn’t Potter.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:14 am 

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Harry shifted minutely but restlessly. He found it hard to steady his gaze on something to ease his nausea, finding it too uncomfortable to actually look at the children. As they, inevitably, started gathering at the base of the high table, Harry finally succumbed to the mindless instinct of covering his face.
Harry's right arm bent at the elbow, thumb supporting his head by the chin, knuckles brushing against his lips as he leaned his weight forward, effectively turning his head slightly towards the left and the center of the table. The gesture wasn't out of the ordinary - if anything, it was so mundane for the gravitas of the sorting, that made him feel disinterested.
Though his gaze was vaguely directed at Malfoy, Harry's eyes only properly regained focus when McGonagall stood up to address the students.
This intuitively made Harry straighten his posture, meaning his face momentarily lifting an inch away his hand. A decade after last having seen McGonagall as acting headmistress, Harry was still taken aback by the commanding nature of her presence. Just as seamlessly as she had made the room go quiet, she had effortlessly cussed Harry out. As quietly as possible, Harry once again let his hand fall to the table.
"Welcome -" she smiled "- to Hogwarts. Welcome to our first years, and to all returning - welcome back."
The way her voice carried across the Great Hall made the hairs on Harry's neck stand. Harry's nerves were on his sleeves, and as McGonagall went on with her reception, Harry wasn't sure he was cut out for this position. Harry felt little sense of familiarity towards the castle, finding that they had grown to be strangers after the Battle; Harry didn't feel like he was included in either of the two groups, McGonagall had welcomed.
"- to which, I urge you to direct your attention to Professor Hagrid," McGonagall was concluding, once Harry yet again regained his hearing. Hagrid, who had replaced McGonagall in the task of sorting the new student body, was beaming. In one hand, he held the sorting hat, a scroll listing the students' names in his other.
"Professor, if you will," McGonagall urged once she had resettled in her seat.
Clearing his throat, Hagrid spoke, clearly despite the heaviness of his accent. "Alderton, Harry!"
Hearing his own name being called out, Harry was struck by such a severe sense of vertigo, he felt like his heart might give out. It had completely knocked the air out of him, as he, in one nauseating heartbeat realized which generation he was facing. Peering up at him were children born in the immediate wake of the war, though most of them were born before it even culminated. As if he had been faced with too-familiar ghost of children he had never met, Harry's vision went foggy. This time, however, Harry found himself unable to look away from the boy being sorted.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:36 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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It was impossible for Draco to not notice Potter shifting in his seat, something clearly making him uncomfortable in the scenario, yet Draco had no idea what that was actually all about. After all, it was just a sorting ceremony, one the both of them had witnessed several times in their life, though Draco a lot more than Potter, so there really was no reason for Potter to be one edge the way that he was.
However, a potential source of discomfort appeared to Draco as the newest student approached the sorting hat. He wasn’t the first Harry who had appeared after the war, but Draco did also realise that it was probably going to be a lot worse from now on. The generation that had survived the war, having had their lives saved by Potter, had gotten children and those children were starting to become old enough to be at Hogwarts. It made Draco’s stomach turn as well, unsure how he himself felt about it in the first place.
It was such a strange thing to know that people were going to name their children after people he knew, people who were still alive, yet people they had elevated to some kind of hero status, just for doing what they had been forced to do.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:13 pm 

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Harry found that, once having allowed himself to look, it was hard to look away from the sorting. Despite his growing discomfort, Harry kept meticulous track of the familiar names appearing on Hagrid's list, by tapping a finger onto the tabletop. By the time the last student had been sorted, Harry's eyes were glassy and he had tapped a total of 11 times.
5 students starting Hogwarts this year had been named Harry and two girls by the name of Hermione had both been sorted to Ravenclaw. Alongside them, Harry had watched Neville, Ginny and Albus cross the floor to be sorted. Too nauseous to stomach it, Harry hadn't tapped whenever the name Ronald had been called, though he knew in his heart three boys named Ron had enrolled this year.
The final tap was a boy named Cedric, and beyond that, Harry had lost count.
His finger had stopped mid motion, hovering an inch above the tabletop and Harry finally felt his heart break. Above all, Harry was touched, overcome with a sense of gratitude as his eyes welled up with tears. Every other familiar name felt crude, too on the nose and up close. He was, however, happy to witness that name being honored.
His eyes followed the boy as he seated himself by Slytherin house, and Harry found himself deaf to the remaining 10 sortings.
Having quickly grown tired of the task, as it only seemed to upset him, Harry shifted his posture, finally managing to look away from the child being sorted. Aimlessly turning, Harry glanced at Malfoy, barely seeming to remember where he was, awkwardly trying to regain a moment of clarity.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:21 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Throughout the sorting, Draco noticed that Potter occasionally would tap the table in front of him. It took him to the first Hermione that year to realise what exactly it was the he was keeping tabs on and the realising made Draco’s stomach turn. He knew that it was bound to happen sooner rather than later, but it really was Potter’s tapping that made him realise just how many Harry’s there haha already been this year and how it was probably only going to get worse in the years to come.
It was something that Draco hadn’t even given a thought, mostly because he knew that it was highly unlikely that his name, nor the name of any of his friends from his time at Hogwarts, was going too appear. To him, it was just all a nauseating reminder of what he had done in the past and how much he still had to make up for.
He could never undo the things that he had done during the war, but darnit if he couldn’t try to make things better in the future.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:29 pm 

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Soon, the last student had seated themselves by the Hufflepuff longtable. For a moment, it was allowed the House to celebrate their newest student before the teaching staff and, subsequently the remaining student body, welcomed the first years with applause.
Harry welcomed the change of pace. His attention once again was turned ahead, when he met Neville's glance across Malfoy's profile, flustered by his reaction to the sorting. Instead of facing his friend teary-eyed, Harry vaguely directed his gaze to their empty plates as he joined in on the cheer.
With some relief, he felt like each time he clapped the lingering itch in his fingertips seemed to dissipate, at least a little. Harry should have expected it. Rationally, he understood the intent behind the gesture; he had just been struck by the realization of how much time had passed, seeing it in the age of the first years.
Somewhere to his left, McGonagall once again stirred, and calm once again settled over the Hall. In contrary to her entrance speech, students were still engaged in hushed conversations and exchanging welcoming words. That, to Harry, felt like the most familiar memory of the first evening at Hogwarts. His eyes had lingered on a group of students from Gryffindor, but his eyes were quick to return to the now speaking McGonagall, when one of the students had glanced over his shoulders.
McGonagall had extended her welcome, once again, to the first years. She had welcomed them not only to Hogwarts but, on the behalf of the Heads, to their new Houses.
"Those with a keen eye will have noticed a change in our teaching staff," McGonagall continued, "I would like to thank professor Livingstone for her 8 years of service, and for all to congratulate professor Malfoy in his ascension to Head of House Slytherin."
Once again the faculty responded to her words with applause, the student body quick to join.
A few seats over, Harry noticed how Neville turned to better face Malfoy, hand resting at the armrest of Malfoy's chair and, no doubt, saying his own private congratulations.
Harry hadn't turned to look, though his attention had naturally been directed at McGonagall. It made his stomach turn, not sure about how to interpret the evident comradery between Neville and Malfoy - and much less so, if he could ever find a way of fitting into that dynamic.
Regardless, Harry, too, offered Malfoy a quiet, "Congratulations, Malfoy."


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:26 pm 

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Neville had settled for the evening, folded in on himself on the sofa with the last fictional read of the summer, when the stirring of the wards alerted him of movements outside his quarters. He had dropped the book to his thighs by the time the door opened with a click, giving away who had entered.
"Hey," he exhaled with pleased surprise, a smile already at his lip.
He shifted in his seat, head tipping back against the plush backrest of the sofa, a crimson ode to Gryffindor.
"I would have thought you’d gone to bed," he said when Draco stepped into view. First day of term was always a headache, and today felt like it would be best forgotten. No matter how small Harry had tried to make himself when McGonagall had announced his presence, it was inevitable that Draco’s ascension had been overshadowed. It had made Neville’s stomach turn, unsettled.
Softening the well-meaning tease of his words, Neville welcomed Draco, aimlessly reaching a hand out for him across the backrest. "Is it the new décor, Head of House Slytherin? Too much green?"


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 1:46 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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“Almost did,” Draco stated as he slumped down on the couch next to Neville, leaning against him in a dejected, but intimately familiar, manner. Whenever his years here at Hogwarts had felt especially tumultuous, Neville had always been there for him and by now he couldn’t even imagine a single day going by without talking to him.
“And no, I lived in green for the first 17 years of my life, I think I can handle it,” he said with a weak smile. It felt childish to be so upset about his ascension to head of Slytherin house being overshadowed by Potter’s arrival at Hogwarts, but that didn’t meant that that wasn’t what he actually felt.
He had worked so hard for so many years to get where he was, and now it felt like nothing, just because the saviour of the wizarding world was back to teach a couple of classes. It was deeply upsetting and in a way it just reminded him of the ways that he had had to go.

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it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free: pouring river water in your socks


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 4:54 pm 

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Neville huffed under the unexpected weight of the embrace, turning his shoulders far enough to allow the book to slip from his fingers and onto the floor. Then, he slumped back against the armrest, hands finding Draco’s frame. As if wanting to smooth over the tension so clearly knotting up his shoulders, Neville brushed both palms along Draco’s spine, as far as he could reach.
The closeness of the embrace wasn’t uncommon, and though it had been a while since Draco so openly fell into his arms, Neville couldn’t say he was surprised that today had done him in.
"How're you faring?" he asked after a moment of consideration, having decided he ultimately would want to know exactly what was on Draco’s mind rather than play pacifist.
Neville withdrew his hands, only to repeat the motion, this time starting at the nape of Draco’s neck.
Harry had barely been at Hogwarts for two days, and Neville already felt himself caught in the middle, heartbroken at the prospect of Harry and Draco winding each other up for an entire term.


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