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Ashkar Gastrell

Invite Things We Lost in the Fire.

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

Sitting in the living room of the house in share with more than three females, if he included the two young cats it came to a total of five females. He sat in the most comfortable of the armchairs, the one that was more than slightly frayed, the one that the two felines had decided was their own personal scratching post, he had one leg bent resting his heel against the base of the seat cushion, his wand hanging limply between the fingers of the hand that attached to the wrist that belonged to the arm he had resting on top of his bent knee.

An untouched glass of whiskey lay too his left, a very much touched bottle of whiskey making sure the glass wasn’t lonely.

Recent events had led Ash, a man who only really drank for pleasure of an evening when he was strumming on his guitar or planning some criminal activity, to take up the hobby of day drinking and not as a way to relax but as a way to push away thoughts that were, in his own opinion, a taboo.

His dark eyes traveled down to his wand and he fully contemplated the repercussions of what he was considering doing. The sad but true fact was that he wouldn’t miss his wand that much, for many wizards is was a vital part of their existence, another limb or a important life sustaining organ such a start. Ash viewed it as something akin to the appendix.

After all, he could do most magic without the damn thing. He could manage most of the more complicated spells without a wand as a conduit. It was only things like the killing curse that needed that extra power boost from a wand to do and there were many more creative ways one could kill someone if they should desired too. Accio, was another spell that really needed a wand to do, but, he also viewed that as a spell for lazy bastards. If you wanted something that badly his opinion had always been get off your own fat ass and go get it.

No, he wouldn’t miss his wand that much.

One of the things he would miss sauntered across his eye line, quickly followed by the other. It was the cats, he’d bought them as kittens four months prior for the girls to have something to coo over. He’d been under the impression that the pirate resembling kitten had been a boy, but, a trip to a vet had squashed that notion. Pirate cat was actually a girl. He watched the two bundles for a moment, before finally turning too his untouched whiskey and knocking it back in one go, then refilling the glass.

He knew Elektra would be back soon from where ever she’d gone too and then he would tell her about the decision he had made.

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

Another therapy session. Or perhaps two, if she counted the physical therapy as well. The attack  months ago that had almost killed her, and instead killed her chances at playing Quidditch ever again, was something that the superiors still wanted her to receive regular sessions for, despite the fact that she told them she was fine. It wasn't the whole truth, but it was true enough for her. She would rather be spending time with her family than talking to someone who kept asking if she was having any repercussions from the attack. The only big problem she had was the knowledge that people still hunted her twin sister.

That, and the fact that Ash has decided that whiskey was his new best friend. As proven by the mostly empty bottle she spied as soon as she got home and stepped into the living room on her way to the kitchen in order to set groceries from the cart she hauled behind her, onto the bench.

Alright, so perhaps she was a little annoyed still that the damage to her shoulder meant she couldn't even carry anything heavy in that arm anymore. She felt like a little old lady when she used the cart for shopping, but there was really little choice unless she wanted to end up in pain. She already refused to take painkillers a lot of the time, because she didn't want to rely on them.

"Another productive day, I see," Came the woman's words as she glanced over at Ash, packing a few things away in the fridge, before she set a hand on her hip, "You know, there comes a point where it's not even a hobby anymore. As much as I don't want to play the whole intervention game, I do wonder if I'm going to have to cut you off from that stuff soon."

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

The door opened on cue as though the mere thought of her returning had turned into a reality. If he was any kind of gentleman he would have put down the whiskey glass, pulled his head out of his own ass and go help her carry the bags she was hauling in. But he’d given up on trying being even a relatively decent human being many years ago. It was a life learnt lesson than nice people tended to get shit on from a great height and Ash, well, he much preferred being the person who did the shitting. That didn’t stop that small voice that occasionally popped up to remind him when he was being a dick from popping up in that moment.

It really was a good job he was a master of ignoring that annoying bastard of a conscious.

He turned his head slightly when the voice of his housemate who also was essentially his jailer and looked her straight in the eye whilst waving his wand allowing magic to fill up his whiskey glass again, then knocking it back before responding.

“It’s a vocation not a hobby, after all I’m British.” With less grace than he would have liked he stood up from the chair, having to use both his hands on the arms of the chair to get him upright “And I am enjoy the last drink I will ever have.” He said going through the whisky glass filling wand movement again before downing that drink in one go “How was therapy?”

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

The cold items in the fridge, and Elektra moved to lean against the counter while she watched Ashkar tip back more whiskey, tempted to just accio the bottle to herself and tip the rest down the sink. Her gaze narrowed at him and she huffed out a sigh. He was in a mood. He was often in a mood these days, ever since she'd been injured. He was supposed to be going to therapy as well, but seemed to have decided he didn't need it. Whatever was going on with him, it was really beginning to get tiring.

"It's called alcoholism," Ele rolled her eyes, and then she watched as he struggled slightly to stand up, before raising a brow at his statements, and then narrowing her eyes again. What the hell was he going on about now? And then asking how her therapy was as though to change the subject or something.

"How about we skip the questions for me, and go back to what the hell you were just saying. What's this about last drink you'll ever have and shit?" The woman was glad that the kids weren't home right now, she had a feeling that this was going to be not very pretty at all, and as chance would have it she was kind of rearing for something of a fight. There was build up tension and aggression that was now finding a target, if he was talking about what she thought.

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

“Alcoholism would imply that I couldn’t go a single day without a single drink.” Ash replied to her, raising an eyebrow in her direction “And I can go many days without many drinks.” In that moment he felt that pretty much closed that debate, after all, he could go without drinking it was just that he chose not too at this very moment. Drinking really was the only way he was able to make the decision he had made, since, a sober him would talk himself out of it. A sober Ash would logic his way out of the impending decision and right there and then logic was a much unneeded bed fellow.

“I’m glad therapy is going well, though,” he said walking over to where she was leaning and placing the bottle of whiskey on the counter “you may wish to talk about your anger issues because you seem pretty hostile right now and hostility...” he paused, eyebrows knitting together and he tried to catch the enter of that sentence.

“Is hostile.” Was the conclusion he decided to go with.

Once again he waved his wand to fill up the his glass, then stopped and regarded his wand “Actually, I will miss my wand.” He said out loud before looking back at Elektra and  remembering her question, he sipped his refilled whiskey before answering “This is my last drink because they don’t let you in drink in Azkaban, well, they never used too but since it’s now guarded by Wizards and not Dementors perhaps that rule has changed.”

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

"Uh huh, and when was the last time you went without a drink?" The woman asked, leaning against the counter as she tilted her head at him, watching the whiskey being put away like it was soda. She huffed out a long sigh, it seemed like something was on his mind... maybe. Or maybe he just felt like aggravating her. She didn't respond to his comment about the therapy. He knew that she hated it, and a small frown tugged at her lips as he mentioned her apparent 'anger issues'. "Maybe it just runs in the family, I know Emi had a snap temper," She responded quietly.

"You're drunk," Elektra said easily, before looking from the refilling glass to the man and her frown deepened. "What?" She asked, and then shook her head. It was a rhetorical question, she'd heard him loud and clear, she just didn't know where the hell this decision was coming from. Taking a moment to rub her temple, she then looked over at the man and waved her hand in a gesture to go on.

"And what exactly had led you to the conclusion that you will be going to Azkaban? I mean, I thought you had this whole arrangement and whatnot to help the IWP, what about that?"

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

“The last time I went without a drink was this morning.” he replied without missing a beat. That, he was aware, didn’t really discount the possibility that he was sliding into alcoholism. Ash had to admit out of all the things he could, and probably should, worry about becoming dependent on alcohol was right down the bottom of that list.

“She tended to have reasons for her temper,” he said with a shrug that swiftly turned into another whisky being drunk then continuing “whereas you seem irrationally annoyed for no good reason, well, you have some good reasons.” picking up the bottle this time he poured the remains of the whiskey into his glass.

“Hmm, I need another bottle.” he said more to himself than to Elektra. Then looked back up at her when she spoke again “They don’t let you drink in Azkaban.” he said slowly, before going to move around her too find where he had left the other bottle of whiskey. He was sure he left it somewhere in the kitchen.

Though her question about Azkaban stopped him in his tracks, making him turn towards her slowly considering how exactly he would phrase his announcement and then deciding that the best thing to do would just to be say it and deal with the aftermath.

“I am going to back out of the deal with the IWP and opt to go back to Azkaban or whichever prison they decide to send me too. I might even get time off for good behavior, which is a bonus.” once he had finished this explanation Ash turned and started his hunt for the missing whiskey.

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

"Last day you went without a drink?" Elektra corrected herself, lips pursing into a deeper frown at the man's smartarse response when she was trying to be serious. Clearly something was bugging him, for Ash to not only be drinking heavily - so heavily that he was actually drunk and talking about missing his wand - but to be talking about going to Azkaban. She ignored his comments about her being annoyed for no reason, she was pretty certain she had some damn good reasons for being annoyed right now, mostly revolving around him. At the mention of another bottle, Elektra went to the kitchen cupboard where she knew it was kept and grabbed the bottle, before uncapping it and tipping the rest down the sink.

"You don't need any more of this. You need to start talking," The woman said as she set the now empty bottle beside the sink and crossed her arms as she glared at him. "What in the hells has made you decide that you're going to back out from the deal and go to Azkaban? Are you being sulky about something stupid? Is this because of that damn attack on me? You've been mopey ever since it happened, but I'm fine." Well, she was alive, anyway. And not completely crippled. So her Quidditch career was ruined for good, she had other responsibilities now anyway.

"Besides, you also promised Em that you'd help take care of her family. How are you supposed to do that from Azkaban? Or are you pussing out because it's too much for you?"

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

“Talking, okay,” Ash replied after watching Elektra tip a very expensive whiskey down the sink, a whisky that he bought on business trip to, well, somewhere one can purchase expensive whiskey. He was too drunk and had been too many places too really remember where and when he had obtained the now empty bottle “Firstly, that was a very rare and expensive whiskey. It is worth more than you could dream of earning in your lifetime. So, there is not many bottles of that brand left.”

He sighed heavily as she continued talking. Yes, her attack has been the catalyst that prompted the evaluation that had after much thinking, planning and scheming led to the ultimate decision to just disengage from life. Alcohol was a great way to numb emotions and the way his mind worked. The problem came was explaining his internal logic to the woman in front of him. She wouldn’t be able to follow his reasoning and even if she did, something told him she’d break it down and make him feel stupid.

“Secondly, the attack on you was a result of someone coming after your sister. The people involved are no longer a problem, I’ve seen to that. That is not what is the ultimately bothering me.” a sigh followed, it didn’t help that she reminded him of his promise to Em. Em who was most likely dead.

“Your sister is dead, well, its highly likely she is.” he looked away from her for a moment, a hand running through his hair as he thought about a way to explain his decision “I want something from life that I have never wanted before, something that I would never have even thought possible to want. But...I can’t and shouldn’t have it. The best way to avoid temptation, the best way to not give in and act on these desires is too go away.”

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

"Uh, have you forgotten that I was a star Quidditch player? I've already earned a lot of money for my age," Elektra felt like she needed to just point that out quietly. She wasn't some girl who was struggling to make ends meet. The girls had everything they needed and more, partially due to both of them. She didn't ask about Ashkar's side jobs, but she knew about them. "Anyway, you don't need the whiskey, and shouldn't be spending that much on alcohol, it's stupid and does the same as any other whiskey," She huffed, not seeing the point of spending so much on something that was only going to be consumed anyway. That was an aside though, she was getting off track and quickly got back to what was the bigger issue here.

"I know what the attack was about, doesn't mean you haven't been mopey as fuck since it happened still," The blonde's eyes rolled, before then snapping sharply toward the man at his words about her sister being dead. Yes, she knew that was very likely a high possibility, but he didn't need to say it. The mixture of pain and anger in her gaze bore into him for a few moments, before she then snorted at his apparent reasoning.

"So you're being a pussy. Go figure," The woman shook her head at him, "So what? You're scared of wanting something that's probably actually somewhat 'normal'? Going to run away, because you can't handle it? So much for big tough guy. 'Oh no, it's something that I really want, but I'm scared of! I'm going to lock myself away where it can't get to me!' Boohoo. So that means you're just going to abandon us, me and the girls, huh? Some fuckin' man you are." Ele snorted, before moving to the fridge to get herself a glass of juice, annoyance preventing her from biting her tongue. Why did it even bug her so much that he wanted to leave? That thought only seemed to annoy her more, and the more she thought about him wanting to leave, the more angry she felt.

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

“I haven’t forgotten, yet the statement still stands.” he replied keeping his voice even. It was amazing how quickly one could sober up when you were on the brink of an argument. Ash wasn’t a fool, he’d known his announcement of deciding to just go and serve his sentence would be met with hostility and venom. She wasn’t wrong about him ‘moping’ since the incident that ruined her career, though she didn’t know the reason behind such surly behavior.

It was a reason he would do his damnedest not to let her know about. That reason would put everything they had both been working towards in peril. The kind of peril he’d spent a lifetime ignoring and dodging around. Emotions were a sticky thing, something he never had much room for in his life, especially the feelings of others. Ash was a selfish creature by choice, not by design or even because that’s what he intrinsically was.

He sighed as she started in on her, what he assumed, was meant to be an offensive or hurtful series of comments mixed together. Calling him a coward mixing in some guilt of abandoning her and the girls, then finishing it with a commonly used comment about him not really being a man, it wasn’t the first time such comments were thrown his way.

“That is exactly correct.” he replied flatly, maybe it was best to end this with her hating him, hating everything he stood for. Though, the comment about him abandoning them stung enough that he could not go unanswered “I will be going to prison, maybe not Azkaban, but I won’t abandon the girls or you. You have access to almost all my funds and that is enough to pay off a mortgage, put the girls through school and you not work. I also have contacts here in Australia who will be there if you need them.”

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

"It's alcohol, get over it," Ele felt her temper rising. She'd always had a snap one as well, and sometimes there had been wondering over whether hers was worse than Em's, only that Em had been the one to choose to act upon it. It hardly mattered now, she supposed. She was well aware that her sister's continued disappearance likely meant only one thing. But until she saw hard proof she was still going to at least hold out some hope. Despite the empty place inside of her that deep down knew that her twin was no longer in the land of the living. His reaction to her accusations only seemed to tip the pot toward boiling even further as she glared.

"You're leaving us for selfish reasons, that is the very definition of abandonment!" The blonde's raised voice snapped at him as she set her cup down onto the counter with a loud thud, juice spilling over the sides. "Money doesn't make up for someone missing. Money doesn't give children a hug, or read them a bedtime story, or annoy the cats with a stupid laser pointer just to get laughs," Ele's teeth clenched before she ground them slightly, her hand forming a fist, before relaxing it with a wince. The tensing of her muscles in her primary arm causing a shot of pain.

"The girls aren't going to give a fuck about having money left to them. They're going to give a fuck about the fact that someone else has left them behind, left us all behind," Shaking her head, she threw her hands up, turning and grabbing her keys as she began a stormy march in the direction of the front door.

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

He knew his lack of reaction to what she had flung at him would cause her temper to flare even more, it did with most people. Angry people needed a reaction to their anger and when it didn’t happen, it somehow always made the anger worse, the validation of that anger was more soothing than a rational conversation. Ash’s go too was always a calm and nonplussed approach. The problem was he knew exactly what he should say or do in this situation to resolve it, too cause as less stress and upset as possible.

But that would be the truth.

A truth he was not overly ready to face or contend with right there and then. He stood and listened passively as she let out all her anger and betrayal. Though it was focused on how the girls would react it was clear from her words that she was also feeling abandoned as well, or at least she would. Then she turned and headed towards the door, walking out in the middle of a one sided argument.

“You’re right.” he said finally, maybe that would stop her in her tracks “It’s why I am drinking because drinking makes this easier, drinking stops my mind in its tracks.” he sighed after saying this, deciding he’d throw some honesty out and hope that would stop her walking out the door “I am a selfish person, I choose to be and it has made my life much easier to not think or even care about how my actions have effected others. Now I’m here, thinking, feeling and I find myself wanting. So, yes, I want to tuck my tail between my legs and run away and I could. I could just go, it would take wizards a long time to find me.” turning he flipped the kettle on “But, I find myself wanting to be a better man and there is only one way I can think of too even attempt to achieve that.”

 

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

The woman was halfway to the door when he spoke, and she only barely paused to glance at him, though it seemed his agreement that she was right probably wasn't going to be quite enough to make her stay if that's all he was going to leave her with. She didn't care that it was the reason he was drinking, that  much was pretty obvious considering he didn't tend to make stupid decisions unless he was drunk. As generally happened with most people.

"So you're evolving, so what? What's so scary about changing? Everyone has to do it some time, you can't stay the same way you're entire life. That's what experience is all about, being in new situations, meeting new people, discovering new things, feeling new feelings. It's life," The blonde stared incredulously at him, "Do you think it was easy for me to take on being basically a new mother for a teenager and a child? It scared the hell out of me, still does! But I'm not running away from it. I'm doing my damndest to do what's right, because I can't not. I never wanted kids. They terrify me." She huffed a sigh as she rubbed at her hair, mussing it up.

"But, I'm just... taking it one day at a time. As scared as I am, I do want to be the best person I can be too, and the only way to be a good person is to just do... good things. And make the right decisions and do right by the people who rely on you," Frustration had ingrained itself within her, and Ele knew that she wouldn't be able to sit still. She needed to do something. Go for a jog or a walk or something. She was annoyed. She understood wanting to be better, but she didn't think going to Azkaban was going to change a thing, "You don't need to punish yourself to be a better man, you just need to be a better man."

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Tally Staff ☆ IWP undercover Agent/Professor of Magical TheoryPoppy
2018 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ He/Him

Ash watched her from where he stood, taking in everything she was saying and though acknowledging she had some very valid points to her monologue it didn’t make her right. Comparing their situations was like comparing an apple to a pineapple. They shared something in the same but besides that they were completely different fruit. They grew in different ways, needed different things from life to thrive and faced different challenges in their fight to be the ripest of them all. Well, so he assumed, Ash was never really one to pay much interest in the life and cycles of fruit. He probably should though if he was ever going to use them to make a point.

Whilst she continued her long speech the very drunk Wizard made the decision to get a drink of water. This should have been a simple act, after all it was simply retrieving a glass, putting on the tap and filling the glass. Three smashed glasses later he’d got his water and was drinking it quickly, with one finger held up indicating he wanted Elektra too wait for him to respond before she stormed out. That’s if he could remember what they were arguing about.

Something about fruit?

“I prefer apples,” he said finally, after putting the glass down on the side and looking back at her “they are much healthier and come in different colours which makes them more interesting and diverse.” he looked at the woman waiting for a response, though a nagging voice in the back of his mind told him that fruit might not have caused her to have that particular expression on her face, an expression that caused him to have to bite his fist to stop from laughing and turn away a moment before turning back “I like you even if you do prefer pineapples.”

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Professor Teaching Staff ☆ IWP Undercover Agent, Quidditch & Flying Coach★ LilyCat
32 year old Muggleborn Human ☆ She/Her

The blonde wondered if he was even listening to a word she was saying. It sure didn't feel like it. Certainly, he was nodding along and watching her, but his gaze carried the glassy-eyed blank look that came with being drunk. And drunk people rarely actually listened, or even retained the memory of whatever had gone on the day before. Likelihood that he woke up the next day having forgotten everything was pretty high, considering he'd already dropped a few glasses while just trying to get a drink of water! She didn't even check to see whether he was wearing shoes or not. Probably wasn't the first time he would have stepped on glass.

However, against her own judgement, she waited when he indicated. Maybe he would actually offer something that was drunken rambling. And then he was talking about apples, and her brow furrowed into a frown. Apples and pineapples. What the actual fuck?

"Go to bed," Came the response from Elektra, with a shake of her head and long sigh. She rubbed a hand down her face, this whole thing was tiring and she didn't know why she cared whether he wanted to go to Azkaban or not. Sure, she needed his help with the girls, and yeah she would miss him too. But if he wanted to go punish himself for whatever reason, then that was his prerogative, right? "Fantastic, you like me. One might hope so considering we've been here all year, and I haven't driven you insane enough to kill me yet. Though, I have no idea where you got this apples and pineapples business from, so I really think you could use a good rest."

Deciding to actually be a decent person, the woman wandered back to the kitchen, using her shoe to move glass to the side and out of the way, before grabbing Ashkar's arm in an attempt to begin leading him toward his room.

"Go sleep it off, and then we can talk later about things."

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