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A weak man has doubts before a decision,
a strong man has them afterward.
~ Karl Kraus

Friday, May 25th ~ Morning

Almost a week had gone by since Remus had informed Harry of Neville Longbottom's fate and who was the prime suspect in Remus' own problem. He'd spent the days remembering his old classmate and how brave Neville had been in spite of - or maybe because of - his own fears. He wondered briefly if Neville's parents were still alive, but knew he'd never check as he would have so many years ago.

Even if I did check, they wouldn't know or care who I was, he reasoned with the tiny bit of conscience that refused to stay quiet. It fell silent at last and he rose from the desk in his office to glance at the time. A few pieces of parchment were in one hand as he went downstairs to stop by Doris' office.

"Doris," he said as he laid them in her tray. "I'm leaving now and I won't be back until Monday."
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
~ George Bernard Shaw
Friday, April 27th ~ Morning

It was Friday. A mixed blessing in Doris' opinion. It wasn't as good as a Monday, but wasn't as bad as a Wednesday. By Friday, the instructors and students were looking forward to their weekends and there were any number of things Doris always managed to pull out of her bag of tricks to delay them as long as possible. New forms crinkled as she laid them out on her desk. Picking a student one up to read, she smiled.

I think I managed to get more trivial questions on this one than on all the others combined. Pity I can't make the teachers fill one out.

Or can I?

Doris' eyes narrowed in thought while her quill tapped against the side of the empty, sad looking in box on her desk.
Every time I close the door on reality,
it comes in through the windows.

Tuesday, March 27th ~ Morning

As Harry sat looking across his desk at Doris - who was droning on and on about things that supposedly needed his immediate attention - he was having a pleasant little daydream about being at home, in bed with his wife. Until his elbow - which had been used to support his head - fell asleep and threatened to collapse. He blinked his eyes, straightened up and shook his arm awake off to the side.


Another piece of paper was laid on top of the stack she'd already placed on the desk top and her mouth kept moving.


And yet another one joined it and the words were flowing faster than he could keep up with.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Tuesday, March 13th ~ Late Afternoon

When the package arrived, Severus almost didn't bother opening it. There was work to be done at the shoppe, and he needed to get back. The letter that had been attached slid to the floor when he tossed the entire thing onto one of the kitchen cabinets, and it was only as he bet over to pick it up and saw the return address from a solicitor in London.

The letter was an apology for not sending the package last week. The package revealed a journal which only made his confusion grow.

That confusion quickly turned into horror as Severus read the last entry.

Event of my death - therefore - I'm dead... That couldn't be possible, he'd just seen Potter a few hours ago and these idiot solicitors were claiming they were supposed to have sent the journal a week ago... Unless they had managed to screw up even more and sent the thing early?

What if Potter was planning to do the deed that very night?

He rushed to the fireplace and tossed in a handful of powder, calling out for Mrs. Crockford at the Phoenix.

"I need to speak with Potter!"

At times I'd like to break you and drive you to your knees
At times I'd like to break through and hold you endlessly
At times I understand you and I know how hard you've tried
I've watch while love commands you
and I've watched love pass you by
At times I think we're drifters, still searching for a friend
A brother or a sister, but then the passion flares again

Thursday, March 1st ~ Afternoon

After Harry's order to cancel the rest of his classes for the day, Doris tried to recover from the sheer terror respect his glare had inspired in her feet. They refused to move until Draco's voice motivated her to assist them - quietly for once - in gathering the students. While she was occupied shooing the reluctant ones into the auditorium, her thoughts tumbled around which students she needed to get out of his remaining classes. Shooting Severus and Draco an occasional glance, she decided they'd get the ass-grabbers this time around.

At least they'll live to grab another one someday.
Romance and all its strategy leaves me battling with my pride
But through the insecurity some tenderness survives
I'm just another writer, still trapped within my truths
A hesitant prize fighter still trapped within my youth

Thursday, March 1st ~ Late Afternoon

"I want... I need, more than what we have. I want to get married. I want a family. With you, ideally."

No amount of alcohol, physical exercise or reckless rides on the motorcycle seemed to wash Daphne's words out of Harry's mind. The expression on her face when he told her he couldn't give them to her haunted him as well. Nightmares had returned with a vengeance cloaked in more pleasurable beginnings.

Sunny afternoonsCollapse )
And sometimes when we touch
the honesty's too much and I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you till I die
till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

Monday, February 26th ~ Morning

Monday mornings to Doris were like Friday nights to most other people. She lived for Mondays with the complicated little tangles that could result from the enthusiastic pursuits of those less levelheaded than she was over their weekends. Plus she always had the Phoenix to herself if she went in early to prepare those nice homey little touches she prided herself on.

And she always did.
A word, if I may?
Monday, November 20th ~ Afternoon

Bill edged his way past a group of children in Hogwarts uniforms, all carrying cameras - The hell? - and silently slid into one of the practice dueling rooms at the Phoenix. Maybe now wasn't such a good time, but this had been bothering him for awhile now and needed to get it off his chest.

Harry was just finishing up some sort of talk or something and that Creevey guy from Harry's Halloween party started to herd the kids out.

"Oi, Harry, do you have a sec? I need to talk to you."
Experience is a dear teacher,
but fools will learn at no other.
~ Benjamin Franklin
Tuesday, August 29th ~ Evening

The Great Hall has once again been temporarily revamped. The long student tables have been removed and round ones accompanied by comfortable dining chairs have taken their place. They dot the floor under the enchanted ceiling, the soft ivory tone of the linen covering the table tops invite you to sit and enjoy yourself.

It's been a year since the re-dedication ceremony and six years since the Dark Lord was finally defeated. This is an evening for reflection, celebration and if Minerva will allow it, more than a few glasses of good wine with friends, both old and new.
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
Friday, July 7th ~ Afternoon

The grounds of Hogwarts had never looked better. Pomona Sprout was in heaven.

The hedges had been trimmed and were bristling with pride, the songflowers were trilling softly in the breeze, the creeping vines had twined up onto the tables and were gently offering passersby cups of punch or tiny trays of appetizers.

She had never once in her life doubted that Hogwarts was fit to receive royalty, but to have it confirmed ... Oh! She nearly glowed.

The guest list had grown a bit in the planning. It was a once in a lifetime event, after all, to see the faerie-people and of course to see the castle grounds in the summer. Luckily, Minerva hadn't seemed to mind.

Everything, thought Madame Sprout as she looked around the mingling crowd, was simply perfect.
“False friends are like our shadow,
keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine
but leaving us when we cross into the shade.”
~Christian Nevell Bovee

Sunday, June 25th ~ Afternoon

Ginny squared her shoulders before releasing her owl into the air with his newest delivery. She'd hesitated for the briefest of moments, doubting her decision, but then his words came back to her.

"Maybe you should have considered what reactions you'd get when people found out just whose bed you'd been crawling into....I hope you slither through life together quite happily. It'll save the rest of us from having to deal with either one of you."

She watched, jaw clenched, as Picasso flew towards The Phoenix with her letter.Collapse )
Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language.
-- Henry James

Friday, June 16th ~ Afternoon

"Thank you, Ezekiel.

"This is Anastasia Witherpool, live at Hogsmeade Station where the Hogwarts Express has just left, carrying many a thrilled boy and girl. To them school is out and summer has officially begun. Many a student mentioned plans for a celebration tonight.

"Here at home, things shall undoubtedly be quieter. Back to you Ezekiel."

...I said I'm on the air Rita, come back later.

"What was that?"

Someone cleared their throat and the anchorman's voice filled the airwaves. "Thank you, Anastasia, for that brief, yet informative update.

"As always ladies and gentlemen WWN is interested in the comments and concerns of our listeners. If you have one, please contact us by owl or floo. We appreciate the interest shown and will respond as soon as possible. The Wizarding Wireless Network now returns you to our regularly scheduled programing."
Draco Birthday Invite
There's blood in my mouth
'cause I've been biting my tongue all week

Sunday, May 7 * Midday

The unmistakable sounds of a Quidditch game in full swing drifted over the lawn of The Phoenix.

House elves were busy cleaning up the remains of a barbecue lunch. Rather impressive, for something thrown together "quick and easy and on the fly" — hamburgers, sausages, salads ... not to mention junk food of rather dubious quality.

With the warming charms in place, Vera felt was safe enough to slip out of her sandals before she settled on the blanket next to the other women.

"I've lived my entire life up to now not knowing they even made Potent Purple Pepper crisps."

"I think I would have been happier continuing in ignorance."
I don't have any solution,
but I certainly admire the problem.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant ~
Friday, April 14th ~ Late Afternoon

The last class of the day was over. Harry had refused to set up any classes for the instructors on Friday evenings and he was doubly glad now. Closing the door of his office behind him, he headed for his desk intent on getting the few things taken care of he needed to before heading out to the Broomsticks for a much needed drink.

He had learned a few things the hard way the first day of classes. First and foremost on the list - never, ever look at a note that a student handed you in front of the other ones. They were stuffed in his pocket to look at later.

I wonder what kind of notes the other ones are getting? he wondered idly as he pulled them out and then sat down hard in his chair.

Good, Gods. Is that even possible?

I gotta show this to Ron,
he decided while leaving the rest of the notes and moving toward the door. Failing to find him in his office, Harry decided to see if Doris knew where he was and quickly went down the stairs to her office. Knocking briefly, he stuck his head in the door.

"Doris, have you seen Ron?"
Man needs difficulties;
They are necessary for health.
~ Carl G. Jung ~
Wednesday, April 12th ~ Early Afternoon

There were adjustments to schedules, people dropping some classes and other people wanting to sign up even though they would be missing a few. They vowed they could catch up and although she was skeptical, Doris obliged when she could. Between juggling those requests, making sure that the work on the dormitories was moving along properly, keeping the supplies filled for the instructors - which included their tea breaks - And why no one told me that would be part of my duties I don't know, she had been kept very busy. Too busy to notice that Mr. Potter wasn't in the best of moods. She had observed that he wasn't smiling nearly as much as he did before classes started.

When he walked into her office, her eyebrows rose slightly. Thunderous was the term that came to mind when she looked at his face.

"I'm almost afraid to ask," Doris advised as she tilted her head. "Someone take the last chocolate biscuit you wanted?"
Experience Is A Hard Teacher.
She Gives The Test First And The Lessons Afterwards.
~ Anonymous ~
Monday, April 3rd ~ Early Afternoon

Stacking parchment on one side of her desk, Doris looked over the list one last time before heading toward the stairs that would take her up to Harry's office. She didn't know how he would handle it, but she was having a problem fitting all the students into the allotted slots.

Knocking briefly on his door, she breezed in and coughed lightly. She stifled a laugh when he jumped and turned away from the window to face her.

"Harry? Wool gathering? What would your students think?"