Floo Network

❄ Winter 69/70
[Meridian] You get what you need

Started by Odhrán Ó Dálaigh, July 14, 2021, 08:46:19 pm

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

July 19, 2021, 08:54:42 pm #30 Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 09:07:03 pm by Royal_Poet
"But Talia, that would have rather defeated the point," he interjected cheekily. "You know I only ever said those things to wind you up, right? You have the most adorable pout." Probably not the wisest admission he could be making, but it was entirely true. Teasing her was just too much fun.

"And don't you even think about going blonde. Have I ever said I have a soft spot for long, dark hair? You're absolutely gorgeous, stunning..." His blue eyes we're focusing on her, looking at her with his usual charged intensity.

Odhrán paused when he thought he'd heard a noise coming from downstairs. Was that Cachou? No, he could hear talking too. Sounded French so probably Séverin and was that a woman? Oh, probably his mother. "Merlin help us all," he whispered. "Let's hope they go away quickly. I was looking forward to getting some rest."

He leaned closer to Talia. "Let me have a couple of minutes with them to put them at ease, but then I want you back."

--

Being examined by Séverin with his mother still in the room could only be described as uncomfortable. Odhrán didn't like being poked and prodded at the best of times, but this was weirdly humiliating. He wasn't a little boy anymore. He couldn't even remember when his mother had last seen him without a shirt on.

"Sév, I'm fine." Odhrán insisted firmly. "I just need some peace and quiet to sleep it off."

His friend disagreed. Pressing his fingers against a spot on Odhrán's ribcage, he gave a challenging look to his patient. Odhrán winced at the sudden pain. "Fine, fine, fine. Do whatever, just get it over and done with."

Odhrán grudgingly accepted two potions, vile juice and disgusting slime which he downed dutifully in the hopes that his privacy would be restored soon. His mother seemed to watch him like a hawk, as if she was expecting him to spit the liquid back out into a cup. Maybe, he shouldn't have done that as a child.

"I need to check your arcane function too," Séverin explained.

"Does that mean I get my wand back."

"No."

"Then why would I go along with this?"

"Because if you don't, there will be lots of long and painful medical tests in your future."

"Fine," Odhrán snapped.

--

It felt like getting rid of Séverin had been an endless task, but worse than that his mother didn't seem to want to shift either. She'd cleaned up a little in his room, called poor Cachou four times and was now fussing with the blankets on his bed. He didn't know why she bothered. He was about to lie back down anyway and rest.

"Could you at least help me with the buttons on this?" Odhrán sighed, holding out a black pyjama top in front of him. Everything felt sore again after Séverin had cast a couple of spells on him. He'd not appreciated the news, but apparently his body was still battling with some infection and worse than that there was still an issue with his magic. Apparently, he had discharged some of it into his body, leading to blockages. He knew the condition well enough, having only recently treated a patient suffering from it.

Knowing his luck, he was sharing his findings with Talia in the kitchen so she could be dogged and annoying about it for the rest of the day.

"Odhrán, you've got to tell me, is it serious?"

He snapped his attention back to his mother. What was she talking about? He'd clearly missed the beginning of this conversation while he was thinking about Talia down in the kitchen.

"You're not going to answer that? Odhrán, I raised you better than this," his mother fumed. "Are you serious with that girl downstairs?"

"I am."

"And is she from a good family?"

"Like you need me to answer that, mother. I would have thought you've done her research on her by now."

"A HALFBLOOD. Odhrán, she's a halfblood."

"I'm aware."

"And no family money."

"I'm aware."

"And you're still going ahead with this?"

"Sure am."

"You haven't even introduced her."

"I will. Just give us some time. It's still very new."

Katharina Uì Dálaigh huffed and grumbled in frustration. "You know this is not what your father and I had in mind for you."

"Leave him out of it, please. Look, I don't want to argue. That decision is made."

"You know fine your father and I always saw eye to eye on such matters. He'd want you ..."

"He'd want me to be happy. And I am. No pureblood politics while I'm recovering. Concern is noted, but she's non-negotiable."

--

It felt like hours had passed when finally he was alone in the lavender room again. Having family around sure was exhausting, but looking at the clock it seemed like only half an hour had passed. At least being with Séverin and his mother had afforded him with a small victory. He'd managed to get his necklace back. He tried to reach around his neck to fasten it into place, but it seemed that his ribcage didn't approve of the idea. Also, why was his left arm still so stiff.

"Talia?" He called softly. "Still here?"

Talia Bryce

Busying herself downstairs, Talia waited for Odhrán's checkup. Things started to feel less tense in some ways the more she was around everyone else, feeling comfortable in giving an opinion here or there. Occasionally bits of conversation trickled down the stairs and Talia found herself grinning as she heard him grumbling.

Eventually Séverin came downstairs and Talia asked how things had been progressing. Knowing Odhrán would gloss over details she appreciated him giving her a thorough run through. They talked for a bit about potions and a few treatments. At one point she inquired if it would be better for him to move closer to Paris to be looked after without him traveling back and forth.

She offered some tea and they conversed lightly about some other topics on healing, his work in Paris. At one point she excused herself to use the bathroom and overheard a bit of the conversation upstairs. Part of her tried to urge herself to continue on task but a curiosity prickled along her thoughts.

Halfblood? She swallowed and felt a sense of worry. Were they talking about her? Talia wasn't sure she wanted to hear what was being said. Understandably she must be worried about her son. Granted she had hoped she was proving her worth in at least some capacity. She flinched catching the tail end of hearing something that sounded like it wasn't what his parents had in mind for him. Better to not eavesdrop.

 

The visit from Séverin and Odhrán's mother had been brisk and ended with plenty of reminders on what he needed, rest, potions, any side effect, the list went on. Assuring them both she would keep them informed if anything came up and that she would see them soon, Talia locked the door behind them.

Tucking her wand back into her purse, she let out a yawn and stretched her arms over her head, back arching in an attempt to loosen the knot in her lower back. Tidying up the cups and saucers from earlier, vanishing some of the crumbs from biscuits, she rubbed away the heavy feeling settling itself on her eyelids.

Climbing the stairs, a hand trailing on the wall to be sure she didn't topple backwards, she heard her voice drift from Odhrán's room. "Still here!" She repeated and made her way into the room. Ah so he managed to aquire his necklace.

"In need of a hand, or two?" She nodded at his attempt to work with the chain and get it on properly. "Let me." Carefully she took it from his hands and stood behind him, fixing the clasp and letting it rest against his neck, her fingers lingering possibly a little too long against his skin before taking a step back.

"Oh," Stepping back in front of him she held out her hand. "While everyone was fussing I asked Cachou to get these. She's very sweet!" His rings sat nestled in her palm as she held them out to him. "I thought you might like these back if you asked about your necklace."

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

"Yes, please."

He held his breath as her hands touched his neck. There was something electric about her touch and he kept perfectly still, letting her linger for as long as she wanted. He'd missed being close with her. It was nice to reconnect after not having seen each other for a little while.

A moment later she was in front of him, returning his rings to him. Odhrán broke into a smile. "Oh, thank you. It seems you know me better than my own family." He took the rings from her and carefully placed them down on the bedside table. "This one here my grandmother gifted to me for graduation," he said indicating towards a plan white gold band. "That one with the onyx is an Ó Dálaigh family ring. It used to have our family crest on it, but it's worn off over the years. This one with the knot-work pattern is a friendship one. My cousin has the other one in the set."

Having taken the last ring, he put his hands on her waist and drew her close to him. "Do you think we'll finally be able to get some sleep now? I can barely keep my eyes open. Which side to you want? The left one or the right one?" He gave her a nervous little smile and untucked her blouse from her skirt. "You can borrow my shirt if you like. The black one's quite comfortable. Might just be a touch big on you though. It's big on me."

He tucked at the blankets trying to get them to come loose. "Two seems plenty to me. Unless you're prone to freezing." He chucked out the giant green one Helene had left for him. "This one is too warm. Actually, do you mind the right side. My left side is killing me. We better be careful with that. He continued talking about little nothings while making himself comfortable.

"If I fall asleep before you... I'm just tired. Sorry."

Talia Bryce

July 20, 2021, 01:28:55 am #33 Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 02:44:37 pm by Talia Bryce
All the time she had known him for, between Mungos and now anyway, she had been curious what each ring was for. Originally when she first saw him and the way he was dressed she had chalked it up to flashy pureblood taste. Now, she was learning it was more than vanity with each possession.

"I uh-um" Words failed her, cheeks turning pink as his hands moved to slip the hem of her shirt from the waistband of her skirt. Starring up at him, eyes carefully locked on his, she considered her options. Sleeping in several layers of clothes didn't necessarily seem ideal... though as scandalous and improper as she assumed it to be he sounded content enough with sharing his shirt. Her brain far too fuzzy to really rationalize or make any sober decisions, she nodded.

Holding the black shirt in her hands, she starred down at it then looked at Odhrán. Even if he had seen her in a swimsuit, having to change with him in the room made butterflies swarm her stomach and tickle at her throat. Though having to walk through his clinic in just his shirt, locked door or not, seemed a little frightening as well. "Just, turn.. turn around." Gently she placed a hand on his back to be sure to spin him around so he couldn't face her. She wasn't sure she trusted that he wouldn't peek if she sent him to sit down while she changed across the room.

"Close your eyes." She muttered for good measure in case he felt like being cheeky. Her palm against his back to keep him from deciding to turn and catch her mid change of clothes, she used her free hand to wrestle her blouse off, getting caught for a moment and giggling but making sure to keep him firmly facing away. Finally free, she tossed it haphazardly onto the chair and removed her hand to pull on his shirt and button it up. "Right, the worst of it is over." She half teased with a smirk and tentatively moved to her skirt. She paused for a moment, her fingers fumbling over the material but thankful that the shirt had been quite big, enough length to fall at least halfway down her thighs though shorter than most of the skirts she wore in public. Though some of the fashion she was starting to see other women wear it probably was a fashionable length? Talia fussed with the edge of the shirt as she folded her skirt in her hands.


"Two is fine by me!" She was still fussing and tugging at one side when she thought of the door. How awful that would be for someone to burst in, especially his mother. A turn of her hand, fingers swirling in the air she directed some magic at the door to close it, lock clicking into place. Fingertips sliding along the cuffs, Talia admired the material. It was softer than it looked. Padding over to one side of the bed, she tried to help with the blankets but found herself fighting back a laugh. "Either side." Grinning, she switched to the other side of the bed. It was nice to be back in some type of rhythm with him. The casual manner in how he talked about things like which blankets to use, side to sleep, one pillow or two, was endearing and made her feel like it was a natural thing. No big deal, just a typical day getting ready to go to sleep together, she rather liked that. Except a slight twinge of panic that kept splitting her thoughts. She had never shared a bed, maybe with the twins during family trips but the thought of laying next to someone and more over him was thrilling... and scary, mostly exciting she decided ultimately.

Pulling at the covers, she wondered how close was too close. This felt very different from the last time they were together and that had been in public which him scolding her about appropriate behavior. "Don't worry, I think after everything you're allowed that." Rubbing her feet against one another, she shifted to one side and brushed a bit of hair from his forehead. "As long as you get some sleep I won't be forced to knock you out myself." Crinkling her nose up at him, she leaned forward and tucked some of the blanket under her feet, odd habit but always made her feel far more safe in bed.

Adjusting to lay on her back, she tangled her hands into one another and rested them on her stomach. As tired as she had been earlier somehow this closeness had only heightened her senses and made her feel wide awake. Carefully she gathered her hair under her neck and turned to lay on her side, her eyes trailing over his face. Was he asleep yet? Her lids were starting to struggle to stay open but she wanted to be sure he was actually going to rest. Holding her breath she strained to listen to his breathing. Steady breaths in a soft rhythm, sounded like he was asleep... Shifting her head against the pillow and leaning closer to his face, she found herself satisfied he must be. A smile slid across her lips and she let out a sigh, finally! After everything from the past two days his body had to be utterly starved for sleep. How had he managed to keep going for so long? Brown eyes wandering over the lines on his face, she lightly pressed her mouth against his shoulder and whispered, "I love you too."

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

July 20, 2021, 08:57:30 pm #34 Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 09:03:00 pm by Royal_Poet
Odhrán was rather amused that she was somewhat shy to shed her layers in front of him. After all that had happened between them and the last twenty-four hours in particular, he thought there couldn't be many boundaries left between them. She'd certainly seen him in ways he hadn't imagined she'd be seeing him for a good long time. Still, he humoured her and rolled over to his side even if it was rather uncomfortable. He could handle it for a few minutes and if it put Talia at ease, he had no objection at all. She placed his hand on his side to keep him in place and he couldn't help but be amused by her exaggerated caution.

"You know," he teased playfully, "I'm pretty sure you won't spontaneously vanish if I catch a glimpse of you. But I'll be good." Odhrán even closed his eyes just as she'd requested. He'd been tempted to add 'I've seen you in a swimsuit' but on second thought it occurred to him that such a statement might make her more self-conscious rather than less so. Women could be strange and fickle creatures when it came to their bodies. Having an insight into his sister's mind had taught him a lot about how insecure even the prettiest of women could be.

As she was getting ready, he found himself drifting off already. Odhrán was barely awake when she made herself comfortable next to him and only moments later completely out. He was utterly oblivious to Talia watching over him, observing his breathing, or leaning into him to kiss his shoulder. He'd finally drifted off into sleep, feeling safe and comfortable for the first time in a little while.

It was hours later when a tingling sensation on his right shin woke him from his slumber. And just why was his left side so cold? Running his hand along his body he noted the curious absence of duvet and blankets. What the? He experimentally twisted his right leg, noting that it was being weighed down by something. Oh, just what was that woman next to him like! He awkwardly tried to extract his leg from entrapment only to be met by a protesting grumble. Kinda cute, actually.

"Tá brón orm, a ghrá," he whispered to her lovingly before making another attempt to break free. Task successfully completed he could now address the duvet and blanket situation. Just how - how - had she managed to hog all of the covers? "Sin deich." He struggled to see anything in the dim light filtering into the room for outside, but did she think she was in a baking competition? This was an excellent Swiss roll if ever he'd seen one. He tucked on the duvet with some determination unravelling a rather grumpy-sounding Talia. Shifting onto his right side, he wrapped an arm around her and cuddled into her after spreading the covers over the both of them. He figured she might have had an objection to this had she been awake. Sometimes, one just had to take advantage when an opportunity presented itself.

Talia Bryce

Something was forcefully tugging at her but also restraining her movements. Another something was trying to slip away making her hold fast. Grumbling and groaning in protest, her eyes squeezed tighter. What was this...? Far too fuzzy to open her eyes or fully come to, she tried to fend off whatever it was. Couldn't her mother give her five more minutes? It was the weekend after all... she could fold clothes and check on the twins later. A little groan escaped her in complaint as she was moved around in bed. In her head she had given a stern, 'it can wait' but it came out more as a soft 'mm.'

A third something had weight against her side, eyelids fluttering. Was that Maisie? Ugh, of course she had snuck into her room again. Wait... Her eyes flinched as her brain tried to process the feeling. A.. hand? Arm.. yes hand? Hand-arm had snaked its way around her and the covers felt like they were returning to their original state. She wriggled back against whatever it was, a hand slipping lazily up from the covers and rubbing at her eyes. Blinking, her vision was too blurry to pull the room into focus entirely. Light purple-y colored walls... Hmm had she accidentally fallen asleep in the twin's room? Strange, she didn't remember reading to them last night. Well, if it was still dark then no need to get up just yet. Plus, this was cozy.

Her brain felt like it was sloshing against the walls of her skull, small waves lapping against her eardrums as she turned her head to press deeper into the pillow, another soft noise slipping out. A small yawn and hand covering her mouth, Lia rotated in bed. Whatever this something was, it was warm.. and cozier than the blanket. Re-adjusting this arm-thing, definitely had to be an arm, back around her waist she snuggled in closer to the bigger something. Folding one arm into her chest, the other pushed its way around in an attempt to try and feel out whatever this way in front of her, eh-why question it. Maisie was probably on the other side of whatever teddy bear barricade this had to be--though..it suspiciously felt more solid. Her leg moved forward, knee settling between something. Okay, maybe not so solid?

Nuzzling into the form, Talia let out another small yawn. Really, what exactly was this?

"May, Prince Tedward better not be starring at me again." Muttering in a sleepy tone.

Wrapping her arm around the form, she gave a small squeeze. Hmm.. okay.. yes, more..solid. Her brain was starting to wake up. A hand trailed up along one side of the figure. A..shoulder? Her eyes blinked open and pupils took some time to focus. Oh-this was not.. Prince Tedward. Though she had to admit, a far better thing to see. A sly smile played across her lips as she snuggled into his chest and closed her eyes, breathing him in. This had to be some sort of dream. Accepting it as such, her mental faculties still only at half battery, Talia wiggled closer. If she was going to wake up alone in her bed might as well take advantage of whatever dream her mind had spun up from lack of sleep the past two days.

Last two days... wait. Wait wait. Wait- Reaching full charge, her eyes opened and she pulled back to look up at dream Odhrán. Nope, he certainly felt real. Oh-OH! Had she-oh she had. Blinking up at him, she froze unable to think of what to say. He looked like he might be sleeping still. Carefully, she lowered her head back onto the pillow and relaxed her muscles not wanting to disturb him. Uncurling her fingers from the hand tucked up against his chest, she held her breath and touched at his jaw gently. Yep, he was certainly real! A giddy spark of electricity ran along her spine. Oh, her mother would have such a fit. The thought triggered a sneaky smirk to rest on her features as she peeked up at him.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

Just as he had settled back down and gotten comfortable, Talia seemed to be waking up as well. Had he jostled her too much? She turned over and snuggled into him, mumbling something about a 'Prince Tedward' in her half-awake state. This was priceless. He broke into a brief smile, but then decided to ignore her, intent on spending some more time catching up with his sleep deficit. It was still dark outside, meaning they probably had a couple of hours before friends and family would feel the need to check in and pay another visit.

Talia, apparently, had different plans for him. He could feel her pull back and stare at him. He still had his eyes closed and yet he knew exactly what she was doing. It was as if her eyes were heating up his skin and the sensation made him rather self-conscious. Then she moved her hand to stroke over his jawline. He lazily opened just one eye trying to give her a challenging look, though it probably just read as sleepy. Then, her leg was moving again. Oh, just what was she doing?

"Quit fidgeting already," Odhrán chastised her. "His Royal Highness, Prince Odhrán of Árainn Mhór commands it." He reached out to capture her wrist in his hand, gently putting it and arm back onto her side. He closed his eyes again, intend on falling asleep again immediately, but suddenly he felt rather side awake. There was something quite exciting about having her this close. It always felt way too comfortable, like they had done it a million times before and would continue to do so tomorrow.

Ah, reality was rearing his ugly head. Of course, he knew that sharing a bad had to be an exception between them, but there was a part of him utterly unwilling to give up with his of intimacy now that he had found it with somebody. He'd been considering her as a potential partner in life for a little while. This only heightened his desire to make things official in some capacity. Maybe, when he felt a little better, they'd have another serious conversation.

He mulled the thought over for a while. Their relationship came with all sorts of layers of complexity attached. Though he wasn't the best of purebloods, he was actually not all that familiar with how the rest of wizarding society handled relationships. All he knew was that it probably didn't involve him having a discussion with Talia's parents about financial concerns. Only purebloods were insane enough to do that. Well, he'd figure it out.

He shifted a little and stopped himself just shy of running his hands through Talia's hair. The movement had come instinctually, but now that he thought about consciously, he also noticed that she had been unnaturally sill for a last little while. "You're awake, aren't you," he asked in a faint whisper. "Do you know what time it is?" Then, deciding to take a little risk he buried his hand in her hair anyway, stroking through the tresses.

"Is it bad I have no regrets about this? And would do it again in a heartbeat? Every night."

Talia Bryce

Oops! He was awake! Talia tried to hide her smirk but too late he had caught her. Prince? Oh gosh had she said that out loud..? It felt more like a dream than her actually having said it. A heat rose in her face as he removed her hand. Quickly she tangled her fingers in his and slid her chin along her pillow to crinkle her nose up at him in defiance.

"Forgive me sire, you must still need your beauty rest." She murmured teasing him.

Holding his hand, she rotated her wrist still to peek down at his arm. How was that wound from before? He had started to scratch at it again earlier. She wondered if it had been reawakened by recent events. Setting his hand on her hip, she shifted the blanket to inspect the spot on his forearm. Dark veins were lacing together under his skin again making her grimace. That was concerning. She'd have to give that a proper look at later.

She probably should've gone home earlier and laying here in his shirt she could hear her mother's voice in her head. But it wasn't as if he was just some man she happened to be seeing, not in her eyes. Even for him despite the back and forth she saw something more there in the way he looked at her. He could snap at her about how short a time they had together in a serious capacity and make remarks about her not being his wife but there was something deeper there.

A more calm and rested frame of mind allowed her to reconsile with their last argument. She understood now, or hoped. Most of what he had said must've been out of fear, the same as she had felt. Not just fear of losing something or someone but what this sudden relationship meant after closing yourself off for so long to that possibility. She knew that well even if he didn't think she could at her age.  Now, with how quickly and intense this thing was between them it had been scary. Though not enough to frighten her away.


"Kind of." She admit with a small nod before snuggling closer into his chest. But if she checked the time that would make the outside world more real and she wasn't sure she wanted that just yet. It was nice to simply be the two of them together in this moment. Quiet room, shadows on the wall, whispers between them and possibly the comfiest pillow she had ever experienced. His fingers in her hair only solidified her choice to not want to check the time.

"I don't know-five more minutes." Murmuring into his chest she slid her arm under his and rested a hand on his back. "Patient needs his rest and who am I to object to that." Yes, that sounded like a perfectly reasonable way to rationalize laying in bed with him longer.

Lazily she shook her head and smiled. Every night sounded just fine to her. "Maybe I can write it into your treatment plan." Rolling her head back on the pillow she nuzzled again his chin with her nose. "I'll admit I'm liking the sound of that myself."  A sliver of light was starting to trickle into the room. Burying her face into his neck she yawned and careful not to press against him assuming his muscles were still rather sore, she rolled over to check her watch on the table.

"It looks like..." Reaching to flip the dials to face her she blinked away the last traces of sleep. "Just about 5am it seems." Ugh, she wished she hadn't looked.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

Odhrán was quite content to let her snuggle for a little while longer. However, reality seemed to keep reasserting itself in a silent but merciless way. It seemed that feeling a little better prompted all of his worries and associated insecurities to make a return. He was still overwhelmed by the feelings their new relationship sparked in him and he found himself at odds with his own inappropriate behaviour. Really what had he been thinking jumping into bed with her like that? Sure enough, nothing too scandalous had happened, but the mere implication of anybody finding them like this was making him a little bit uncomfortable. Not because he was ashamed, never that, but because things just weren't quite proper. Almost against his better judgement, he pulled her closer for a moment, just to enjoy the way she felt in his arms. As much as he had just said he wanted this every day, it was far more likely they wouldn't be doing this again any time soon and he would just have to content himself with the memory of how nice their shared moment of intimacy had been.

Five o'clock in the morning? Well, that probably meant they had another hour before his mother, sister, Helene or all of them burst through the door. He sighed. "I don't want this to end, but I fear once I let you go, we might not be able to repeat this for quite some time. Shall we just enjoy the next half hour resting here together? I don't really enjoy the prospect of having to pretend this didn't happen." he told Talia honestly. Odhrán let out a long sigh and tried to think of the right words to attempt a rather difficult conversation with.

"We should talk about my family, Talia," he started rather uncomfortably. "It seems that you've met my mother, aunt and sister and it's fairly likely you'll meet more of them yet. I suspect my mother will have been polite to you so far, but that was probably born of this emergency situation rather than anything else. Don't be surprised if her tone changes. I think I've said my family are very traditional, and that's a euphemism for regressive. I was hoping I could avoid you meeting them for quite some time, but now you have met them..." He struggled to come up with a socially acceptable way of phrasing things. "I'm the oldest son of an ancient pureblooded line. I am fairly sure there can be little doubt in their mind at this point that we are involved. There will be utterly invasive, personal, and inappropriate questions asked about you, your parents, your grandparents, your sisters, your parents' marriage, muggle ancestors on your family tree, possibly your virginity, track record with men, past relationships and Merlin knows what else. You can also expect to be asked about finances and your parents finances, possessions..."

He let himself pause for a moment. "Normally, in the circles my family moves in, us getting to know each other would never be allowed to happen. The way it works is that the parents decide whom their children will marry at a young age, and the relationships are about politics, influence, money, and accumulating power. Personal affection is not viewed as particularly important. Just to give you an idea, my grandmother knew my grandfather for all of eight hours before they got married. So, I guess what I am saying is that in the absolute best-case scenario you might get asked when we're getting married, but perhaps more likely is that they might assume you're a mistress - which you're not just so we're absolutely clear on that... and I am sorry about this but I need to put you on your guard now before they start digging into you."

He entangled his fingers with hers and squeezed her hand softly. "Please don't let them convince you that you are anything less than wonderful and please also know that they do not get to speak on my behalf. They don't get to make my choices for me." It was awkward that this talk was even necessary, but he reminded himself that it would be even more unkind if he just let her run into an open knife without any warning.

Talia Bryce

Talia knew full well he was right. Unfortunately, this wasn't going to be a normal occurrence. Still, she was happy to hear they had a little more time left to enjoy it. Though his tone sounded pretty somber making her nervous for whatever was going on in his head.

True, the meeting with his mother had happened in an irregular way. She appreciated being warned and had a feeling if things had gone differently that she wouldn't have been met with a more casual and welcoming acceptance to her presence or ties to Odhrán. She simply nodded in understanding.

Again, no surprise there. In all honestly she had some inkling that they never would've been allowed certain things to happen between them. It was a major part of why she had been so shocked at his off handed invitation to dinner, assuming it would be a stiff conversation about work but floored when instead it had felt more like a date. Except she would be lying if she said it wasn't a tad overwhelming to think of what sort of things they could bring up as Odhrán listed off a plethora of examples. She had nothing to hide however, nothing to be ashamed of and more over she felt secure in the knowledge he wasn't going to be swayed by any of their words.

His warning and what appeared to be concern for her was heartwarming. It spoke to her louder than what she assumed she would hear from his family about her or them being together. If he didnt care for her in some way he wouldn't have bothered. He most likely wouldn't have bothered with a lot of things when she really thought about it.

A mistress? That word sat like a rock in her stomach but chipped away to dust at his quick dismissal of even the mere idea of that being what she was to him. Gosh, why had she been so worried before and insecure? Her fears were starting to look so ridiculous now thinking back on their past conversations.

"I won't nor will I let it change my mind about you." Craning her neck, she placed a delicate kiss on the side of his mouth. "I'm grateful to you for warning me all the same." Returning the gentle squeeze of his hand, she snuggled back in.

"Now... tell me all about this great big moose you conjured. I'm a little jealous I didn't get to see it myself."

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

July 22, 2021, 10:57:49 pm #40 Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 01:28:56 pm by Royal_Poet
"The great big moose?" He was confused for a moment as to what she was talking about. "Deitha told you about that? Well, apparently my patronus charm takes the form of an Irish elk. I had no idea, I wasn't even sure I had enough happy memories to successfully cast that spell to begin with..."


It took another two days for Odhrán to get over the worst of his symptoms. He was starting to feel a little steadier on his legs. Earlier in the day, he had gotten up and gone for a little walk inside Meridian. Séverin had insisted that getting some exercise would do him the power of good and Odhrán found that he agreed. Being cooped up in the lavender room was not his idea of fun. Worse than that, he was stuck in there for most of the day without his wand, his harp or anything useful to be doing. Everybody who visited just told him to rest. He thought he'd heard the word so many times that it no longer carried any meaning. Rest. It just sounded irritating.

In positive news, he was starting to feel his strength and magic returning to him. While he'd struggled with even the simplest tasks on his first day of recovery, he could now cast a simple wandless vanishing spell or a charm to fix his hair. Not only had it done wonders for his self-confidence, but his vanity had been restored as well. Taking a shower without help and being able to shave in front of a mirror were small luxuries he now had a newfound appreciation for. It was nice to be able to take care of himself again. Cachou, his house-elf, had even brought him some clothes that he felt actually comfortable in.

Today's ensemble was simple, just an impeccably tailored white linen shirt over a pair of charcoal grey trousers, but he really appreciated the normality of it. No pyjamas during the daytime, no atrocious colours picked by his sister, no old clothes list behind in Meridian years ago and never worn again. Just a simple shirt, the top two buttons left undone, and a plain pair of trousers. Bliss.

Given all those encouraging signs, he felt motivated to dig into the exercises Séverin had assigned him. According to the French healer, he was supposed to reconnect with his magic in natural and instinctive ways. 'Just let it flow' Séverin had said with a little smile, knowing full well that his old friend Odhrán wasn't really a 'just anything' kinda guy. Odhrán was usually composed and tightly controlled. However, even he had to admit that there was some logic to Séverin's reasoning. In the run up to his break down he'd been struggling to find appropriate outlets for his spellcasting. Hours upon hours of analysing memories in the pensieve, mulling over theories and reading academic publications was all well and good, but it was no replacement for actually flexing his magical muscles. There was also that he had taken on a lot of neurological and therapy cases over the last year. Instead of casting spagyric transmutations and complex charms and transfigurations his days had become more about the correct administration of potions and the occasional usage of legillimency, which didn't really tax him magically as much as it did psychologically.

'Just stir the sugar into your tea with magic,' Séverin had said. 'Draw with magic, close the door and window with magic, whatever you can think of." When Odhrán had asked for his wand back though, he just received an enigmatic smile. 'Not yet'. Gee, thanks. That was helpful. All the same, he was willing to try.

Helene had set up a chessboard in his office and after two games he really had the spell down to move the little figurines on the board without touching them. Was that what Séverin had wanted when asking him to 'let it flow'? Odhrán couldn't quite decide if this was natural or deliberate on his part. Could it be naturally deliberate or deliberately natural?

They made their way back downstairs as Helene began to insist he get some rest. There was that loathsome word again making him feel like he wanted to rebel against it just for rebellion's sake.

And just where was Talia? He'd gotten so used to her frequent visits that being parted from her even for a few hours seemed entirely too long. He knew that she had work to focus on and he really did want her to succeed professionally, but at the same time he just wanted a couple of hours where it was just them. Lately, that had been seemingly impossible. His family had conspired to be with him around the clock. Between his mother, his sister, his aunt, his uncle, his grandparents, and his cousins he was wondering if there were any Ó Dálaighs or Wengers left who hadn't come to Meridian to see him. It was as if someone had put a plan in motion to have him chaperoned.

This evening though it was just him and Helene, who would likely give them space if he asked for it. In short, the ideal time and yet there was no trace of her yet. Maybe, she'd had a rough day at Hogwarts?

Talia Bryce

With the return of students, Hogwarts had been back to a steady rush of activities. Even with the new term barely having started this week, she had been flat out helping students move back into the dorms and settling into class post-holiday break. Everyone still seemed quite keyed up and excited from the last two weeks. As happy as she was to see most of her students smiling, she was desperate for some time to get back to Meridian and visit Odhrán. In fact... Talia lowered the stack of papers in her hand to set them on her desk. What time was it anyway? Twisting her wrist, she swore under her breath. Was it really that late already? Closing up a few drawers that had been left open while she was filing away papers from students, she cast grabbed at her jacket and groaned at the thought of not being able to go home and change first. Oh well... Waving her hand over a few splotches of dirt, she vanished them and decided that half hour changing could be better spent with him. At least the floo was back up and running so she wouldn't have to waste any time getting to his office from hers.


As soon as she stepped from the green flames and into Meridian, she could tell the building felt far less tense. The more Odhrán healed and progressed the less strained the energy was around everyone. Even in her short time back and forth, visiting had become a normal part of her routine and something to look forward to during the day when she wasn't there. Though oddly enough it seemed far more crowded in the room than before. He had warned her of this at least so Talia assumed the better he got the less lenient his mother would become with their shared time together. A heel caught on part of the fireplace and she stumbled forward, catching herself on the back of a chair.

"Merlin's knickers!" Yelping she wobbled against the chair and steadied herself. Hair tousled in her face, she blew a sharp breath of air to try and see properly, her ankle protesting as she stood. Brushing off her skirts, she picked up her bag that had flung to the floor. Well, whoever was here would know she was upstairs now. Drawing in a sharp sliver of air, she rubbed at her ankle before kicking off her shoes. "Gosh.." Groaning, Talia set her shoes down by the fireplace as the green flames crackled out of existence. Setting her bag in the chair behind his desk, she wiggled out a pair of house shoes she had stashed there for the last couple days. Much more comfortable and more so now with her ankle throbbing. She set a hand over the joint and gave a quick cast to at least help with the swelling. That could wait, she was already later than usual.

Padding down the stairs, she turned into the lavender room and gave a nod in greeting seeing both Helene and Odhrán. "Evening! Sorry I'm a tad late. The kids arrived back at school this week so things have been a little hectic. How're you both doing? The patient all up to snuff today?" She teased.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

Helene was on her feet the moment Talia entered the room. "Are you alright?" She asked carefully, having heard the ruckus that had been made upstairs. "It sounded like you may have hurt yourself." She looked Talia over from head to toe, but couldn't find anything obviously amiss. All her arms and legs were still attached and a healthy glow of pink was spreading across her cheeks. Then her dress registered in Helene's brain and the Alchemy Professor gave a soft chuckle. "You look very pretty today," she said in a whisper. "Which means I should probably leave you two alone. I think hell be even more smitten with you now."

Odhrán, sitting at the table by the window, craned his neck, trying to catch what was being said. He was too far away to hear the whispered parts of the conversation.

Helene meanwhile continued talking to Talia. "The patient seems to be on the mend. I treated that mess on his arm earlier and it's looking better. Otherwise Séverin says he should practise his magic and get used to using it again. I've been trying to coax him all day, but he's been very restrained about it. Maybe, you can talk him into loosening up. He's not..." Helene paused finding it suddenly quite uncomfortable to go on. She'd been about to say that he hadn't been speaking at all, but of course the meant that their minds hadn't touched since that night in St Mungo's. it was unusual for the two of them to go so long without contact.

"Anyway, I'll pop back home to Lausanne if you two want some time. Just floo me if there's anything and I'll be right back?" She knew better than wanting to be alone in a room with a loved up couple who only had eyes for each other. It would be awkward and uncomfortable.

Wanting to wait no longer, Odhrán got up from his chair and walked towards the door to greet Talia. A happy little smile settled into his features as he took her in. She looked absolutely breathtaking tonight. He'd not quite seen her like this before. He felt his heart beat a little faster and awkwardly moved to pull her into a light hug. He didn't dare to be any more affectionate while they still had company.

"Glad you're here. I missed you. How was school?"

Talia Bryce

The reaction from Helene caught Talia somewhat off guard. "I'm alright, really!" She appreciated the concern and gave a turn so Helene could inspect her. "Th-thank you!" She muttered feeling a little self conscious, wondering what the older woman meant by the second half of her compliment. How could she possibly appear to be decent at all in work clothes? Her cheeks flushed a deeper shade of red as she averted her gaze across the room to Odhrán.

"Oh, good." A sigh escaped her at the mention of his arm. That had been such a nasty wound. Nodding thoughtfully at what Séverin had given as the next task, she shook her head and gave Helene a look. Of course he was giving her a hard time with that. So stubborn... There seemed to be more on her mind but Talia couldn't really tell what and wasn't prepared to push her to say. Though she would by lying if she said it didn't trigger a small flicker of worry. Hopefully it wasn't related to anything too dire. "I'll see what I can do." She flashed Helene a reassuring smile. He really should be expending some of his energy instead of letting it get wound up again.

Oh!? Was she actually giving them some unsupervised time together? Bless her... "Please," Although a shred of that was out of selfishness, she knew Odhrán might be more willing to be open about how he was feeling and not as tense if they weren't being supervised. Maybe she could get him to do some casting. "I will! Thank you again. Be sure to get some rest yourself." The promise of some alone time was making her feel a lot less exhausted from the day. Gearing up to say goodbye to Helene, she heard Odhrán moving and felt a flutter in her chest as he drew closer. He looked much more like himself, bright eyed with that smile of his.

Heart hammering against her chest and ears, she returned the slight hug and reluctantly took a step back. Brown eyes nervously flicked from Odhrán to Helene and back. It was strange, she almost felt like a teenager being chaperoned while a boy came to visit. That had only happened all of once and it had been the most awkward day at her parent's home in Orton. The poor boy had only come over at the request of his mother while she helped Talia's mother with some sort of project. The two of them had been given strict instructions to stay within earshot and eyesight which led to the boy being too nervous to even look at in direction much less speak to her the entire afternoon.

"School was alright, students are all settled finally." She gave a tired, half smile. "A few of the first years were already quite teary over having to return and leave their family behind. Mostly all Muggleborns that seemed to be having a hard time still transitioning." Lia felt for them honestly. It had to be hard not only learning that you were so very different from your own family but then being sent away for most of the year, tossed into a world with their peers who knew much more than they did. How frustrating and scary that had to be. A piece of her admired that about them though, so many Muggleborns were really resilient, far more than she felt the wizarding community gave them credit for.

"What sort of torture was everyone putting you through today?" She teased, having to keep herself from wanting to reach out and take his hand in hers. Not yet, not until it was just the two of them. Even if it was much harder than she anticipated having to hold herself back.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

"Everybody has been very kind," Odhrán responded with a small sigh. "Too kind almost. I've spent some time with Aoibheann in the morning. My mother was here with my uncle. Mostly awkward and stilted, but I like uncle Dorveny, though I suppose it's not all bad. Helene's been here with me the last two hours playing chess. She's beaten me twice. No big surprise though. She is very clever."

Helene laughed at that and gave Odhrán a stern look. "He let me win," she corrected in an irritated manner. "I don't know what he thinks he will get out of sucking up to me like that. I won't let you have your wand before Séverin says you are ready, and you know what you need to do."

"Maybe that's not what I am after," Odhrán deflected with a charming smile. Damn, he'd been caught before he'd even made a play. He supposed Helene might have been skimming his thoughts. How rude.  Normally, they didn't hide from each other when connecting their minds. "Anyway, thank you for stopping by. I promise we'll call you if needed, but you enjoy some quiet time with your husband. I'm sure he must be missing you."

Helene chuckled at Odhrán's thinly veiled attempt to get rid of her but humoured his request. Far be it from her to interfere with young love. She summoned her bag to her and slid out of the room, giving Talia and Odhrán a brief wave before closing the door behind her.

Odhrán stood frozen and listened to the sound of Helene's heels as she walked along the hallway and back up the stairs and into his office. He could hear the floo connection clicking into place. "One..." he whispered to Talia, carefully taking another step forward towards her. "Two..." Another little step and he gently captured her right wrist in his left hand. "Three." Capturing the other wrist as well he gave her an impish little smile. "Got you." 

He allowed himself a moment to just admire her. She looked rather cute in her puffy sleeved blouse and elegantly fitted, darkly striped waistcoat. Odhrán couldn't recall having seen her like this before. Usually, she seemed to favour soft, flowy, brightly coloured and every feminine clothes, but this... well, it was stunning. Momentarily speechless he struggled to come up with anything he could say to her. He tightened his grip ever so slightly, running his thumbs over the inside of her wrist. A moment ago, he'd had the intention of teasing her and messing with her head, but now he was just starting at her instead. "You look even more beautiful than usual tonight," he told her softly. "I hope you weren't planning on me taking you out. I don't know if I feel quite up to that just yet."