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Welcome to Tallygarunga, an original roleplay set in the Harry Potter universe. Set in present-day Australia, tensions are high between the Ministry of Magic and the only Ministry-run wizarding school in the country. Become like the other snooty private schools? Not a chance.

Originally established in August 2006, Tallygarunga prides itself on an inclusive and active community. Once part of the Tally family, always part of the Tally family. Whether you're here for the first time, the thousandth time, or returning after a long time---welcome home.
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Tallygarunga
a non-canon au potterverse roleplay
October, 2019 :: Spring


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Spencer ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Guitarist/Vocalist - Local School Hero!✩ Kaitore
20 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ HE/HIM

There mere touch of Caitlin's hand to restrain him caused a hiss, mixed of pain and contempt. Held from being able to lay his first gaze onto the elder woman, being the closest he'd ever been to feeling 'unbroken' in a matter of speaking. To some how let her physically see that the hard work, the years that she'd invested in a dead husk hadn't been irrelevant, that the effort to do it had made results even in the slimmest of margins. 

Inside of himself he could hear the echo's of a shatter, the sound of a firm glass breaking and splintering into various pieces violently. What had originally been an overwhelming physical pain ended up pure anguish of loss. Unlike anything he'd known, even the loss of the man who legitimately raised him and nurtured him in the most darkest of times in childhood didn't compare to the weight inside that seemed to carve a near empty hole. The wave that had been waved within himself had intensified that wound of despair, briefly, he'd only been briefly connected to her and it had been snatched away or rather... Transferred. 

His breathing had grown shallow once more but not due to weakening, it was a self-induced meditation. Mind so accustomed to staring at the in between within himself in such a dire moment and feeling. That piece of Caleb that had entered into himself shimmered in a green essence, even in grief Alexander had drawn the conclusion and understanding immediately as it started to shape and become a bit more solid, connected. She'd given up her life that Caleb maybe live, not simply as a mortal life but as the Elder woman's Heir.  A weak smile formed to himself with a choked in weep. 

It was in this moment he needed to be stronger than he'd ever been before and it wasn't for himself. A gentle warmth radiated from Alexander towards Caleb, through the bond that had been establishing itself that marked the two of them as being closer than their own mutual love for music itself. He would refuse to let the heavy sacrifice offered up by Bethianna to be in vain, she'd given up so much for a family that hadn't been her own. The feeling he offered towards the young boy had been almost a message, that things would turn out alright, that he could take his breaths easily and calmly. 

Still been a refusal to open his eyes - if the first time he gazed upon the woman had needed to be when his heart would shatter in pieces that could never be mended then so be it. His breathing had returned, contained, shaky from the blinding ache and numbness that started to set in from the tips of his fingers and toes towards every other extremity. It had almost felt like he'd run a marathon or that muscles that had never been able to be used towards their full capacity finally made it known that they were at a point where they'd never been before, willing to grow and expand without the weight of two bloodlines ripping at him from the inside out. 

Mourning. . . Deep and internal that he chose to bind up inside of a box within himself. He gained a Brother but at the cost of losing a Mother, a Sister - the only person who placed any true hope in him. The second person in his life to risk everything of themselves and somehow. . . Somehow his situation ended up causing another moment that led to the cost of someone's life. 

 

 

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Narragyambie ☆ Animal Carer★ Sadrienne
26 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Fully awake now, Caleb sat up a little---and stared in confusion at Bethianna lying still on the floor. He couldn't quite comprehend what had just happened, only knew that now he felt---different. Everyone felt different around him, Alex moreso. Alex had always been an exception in Caleb's broad dislike of anyone who was not Adele, and he had always been very attached to his uncle from the moment they met. This was something else entirely. And to Cass and Caitlin he felt a similar, but still different, draw. 

Sensing she could now move, Adele bolted across the room, wrapping Caleb in a deathly tight hug and mouthing her thanks to Cass. When no one else had been able to do anything, Cass had been there to comfort her boy--and that was something Adele appreciated with her whole heart. Adele also didn't give a damn that her boy was now a sorceror, that his eyes had changed colour, or anything outside of the fact that he was alive. Bethianna's sacrifice had shocked her, but she had no tears for the woman yet. Adele was just relieved that Caleb, too, had not been a casualty of the day.

Améa let her own hands drop, realising that if the hold was removed, Alex was likely strong enough to exist on his own. Her gaze was fixed on Bethianna, and her heart was filled with pain. Glad that Caleb was still with them, but like Alex her connection to Bethianna was something more than just her grandmother's rival. Bethianna had taught Améa almost everything she knew, when neither her mother nor her grandmother cared to acknowledge her existence. 

"Why is... she would do this?" came Améa's mournful cry, before turning a furious gaze toward Millea. "And why is you let none help? Just more some energy, all she need! Us all here, some could help, you make stop!"

Millea's expression remained calm even as Améa snapped at her. 

"Because this was her wish." Millea's simple answer did nothing to soothe Améa, who felt it a poor excuse. How could Millea possibly have known what Bethianna's wish was? Lillian, who was just as upset by her twin's actions, though more quietly so, scoffed in disbelief.

"Lian, you know as well as I, and certainly as well as Thia, that a living sorceress can bequeath herself entire to another if she so chooses. Or if she is forced to," Millea added. That had been a dark time in their history. "If this circle failed, if the Violet failed, Thia demanded my word that I would break this chain and allow Alexander that last chance. She knew the cost, and she came here prepared to pay it. All that changed was the vessel to which she bequeathed herself."

"We could have help!" Améa insisted. Millea shook her head.

"And bequeathed yourself in the process, you ought to know than any other here. Did you not almost bequeath yourself to a mortal husband?" Millea's raised eyebrow was enough for Améa to back down, and it seemed that the woman had been keeping a far closer eye on the family than anyone would have guessed. Crossing the room, Millea took a knee beside the empty shell of Bethianna. She closed her eyes, holding a hand above the woman's blank face, and the body shimmered in the air before flickering out, leaving just a pale crystal in its place. 

Millea picked it up, held it to the light. The faintest green tinge ran through the gem. 

"This ought to be yours," she said, handing the gem to Caitlin. "After all, she was your mother."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Sensing herself that Alex was strong enough to sustain himself now, and with the knowledge that she'd done enough to keep his energy from leaking, Caitlin finally released her hold on him and drew back quickly, shuffling away until her back hit the wall, followed by her head as she closed her eyes. She didn't look over toward the faded shell of her mother - she couldn't - nor could she be in contact with any of the other people in the room right now. Even with so much energy having been used, there was still a store left within her that she didn't know what to do with. Not only that, the shock of everything that had happened, that had been revealed, was almost completely overwhelming her sense of reason and it was taking everything she had to not bolt out of there and hide. Not that she was certain where she would go or if she could even walk right now.

"Shit..." Came a whisper from the woman,  Irish accent thick with emotion and confusion. She'd known that there was something different about Alex and his family. And now she could feel it. But she wasn't like he or Adele or her daughters who had a mortal parent, nor exactly like the pure Sorceresses, Lillian and Millea, or like her mother had been, though perhaps closer to being like them. She was something else again, and as she brought her knees up to lean her forearm on them, lifting her other hand to her face, she struggled between what her heart knew but her mind had forgotten. She knew she'd been missing Thia for over a century, but she couldn't remember anything aside from the years growing up in this world. Aside from those tiny snippets that flashed during their connection, she had nothing.

Cassandra offered Adele a small smile and gently rubbed the other woman's back lightly for a moment, before she then crawled over to Alex. The circle was broken, people were upset, relieved, mixed. She'd just lost a grandmother she'd never known she had, Caitlin was in pain, but clearly in need of space. But Alex was in pain, and not just physical. Cass looked over him, before then lying down beside him and pulling her husband into her arms to hug him tightly, offering comfort that she knew he needed right now.

Staring as Bethianna's form shimmered away beneath Lea's hand, Jezebel slowly sank down onto a couch, her own eyes glassy, completely speechless in the light of all that had gone on. Her hand tugged at Lorelei's, to draw her own daughter onto her lap and hold her tightly. This was the potential price for loving a mortal too much... to the point that you would give your life for theirs. It's what Lorelei could have ended up potentially doing, if the curse that had been used had been any stronger. The teenager allowed her mother to take comfort in her, though one hand continued to hold onto Lauren's, a small tug as though to invite her to sit with them as well. Jezebel would gladly hug them both, Lei knew that much.

"It is sad for losing Thia," Lorelei's voice said softly, mournful. "But new beginning also. We have two surviving male Sorcerors and Thia's blood family..." She tried to look at some of the more positive aspects, though she knew it would not help to fill the hole that Bethianna had left with those who were closest to her. She watched as the gem was handed to Caitlin, who stared at it in her hand, next to the other she still held that was pale purple.

"Three," Caitlin responded quietly, her voice hoarse from the pain she was holding in. "My brother..." She whispered, and as she jostled the gems in her hand and they tapped together, another flash or memory ran through her mind. Bethianna holding two infants in her arms, the boy only about a year or so older than the newborn girl, while he played with the bright violet pendant that hung from her neck. Being told the story of how the boy had given her renewed hope, that thanks to him she would be able to have her twin back once she was able to leave.

Caitlin's hand clamped around the gems as she inhaled a shuddered gasp before swallowing thickly. She felt Cassandra's own sudden heartache, as well as mixture of surprise and fear at the mention of the girl's father. All this time they'd believed him to be dead, but Cate knew otherwise now. He couldn't die, not entirely. But he wouldn't be able to bring himself back on his own.

"I have to get him..." The woman croaked quietly. He'd been buried for fifteen years, but she knew that his body would be in pristine condition. All this time, there was so much she hadn't been aware of. She wanted to go right now, but even with her reserves, she knew it would be too much after what she'd already done today. That, and she still needed to get her bearings, try to figure out the rush of information that she was trying not to mentally drown in.

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Spencer ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Guitarist/Vocalist - Local School Hero!✩ Kaitore
20 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ HE/HIM

Alexander felt as if the shackles had finally been levied off of him the moment Caitlin had backed away, a grunt of frustration followed suit as he pressed the palm of his hand on the floor. Bad idea, the surge of pain from traumatized muscles shocked through every nerve and forced him to clutch his teeth and pause - hesitation. But he'd been aware of Bethianna's last position, the final moment where he'd felt the woman and his eyelids slid open. The hues of pure vibrant violet irises that took the first sights on a lifeless husk and it sent a dagger deeper within that pried open the box that he'd buried within. Between the physical pain and the emotional, a competition had been waged on which had been much more harmful for him.

His forehead pressed against the ground unable to even unleash any visible tears from how raw the ducts had felt from the pain alone. Feeling the passage of the air within the home against his finally opened eyes stung, similarly to the feel of a chilled wind. He needed out, feeling suffocated by the things he'd felt, from the loss, and from the sudden revelation. The price that had paid,  it was no ones bill but his own and yet life remained within side of his still frail life, had it all been worth all this effort? Nails clawed at the ground as he tried to crawl himself away - anywhere nearby - thinking of the paint splattered backyard.

Then he felt it, another physical restraint and it made him wince. Not just for the pain that it inflicted on him once more due to sore muscles but It had felt as if he'd been made to suffocate in the presence of everything that seemed just too much to bare, to hold on to his shoulders. It wasn't as if he held the physical capacity to combat against either, to try and break himself free from the grasp itself. The sentiment had been understood and yet. . . He had wanted to not stay in the void of feeling lost. To have a person stripped from you without so much as a proper good bye had been one thing, but to have the one person who inspired a purpose who could have taught that very purpose seemed so much more devastating.

Why had the road he walked seemed as if he'd been the opening for death itself to always occupy someone? It had been a maddening thought and stole away the trademark optimism that he often placed as a form of front. His eyes stared at Cassandra for only a brief moment, the change. . . So much had changed in people, whether good or bad it caused a ripple inside. His gaze shifted away from her and stared towards the floor as if it could offer every answer he needed, with writing that could be discerned with proper step-by-step instructions to no avail.

"Too... Much... Need out... Need to breathe..." Each word burned his throat, lungs labored to keep up with the demands of the lips and mind. It felt as if he'd been ruminating in stale air and the atmosphere felt no lighter than when he'd first started out on the floor.

Grateful, was he, that Caleb had survived and knew he wouldn't have been able to handle the weight of that loss on top of the Elder Woman's whom had left his life. Lorelei's words of trying to shift the scale as much more positive felt like a numbing point to himself. This very scene, the series of events of sacrifice that stemmed from his own situation had been the nightmare he'd lived for years. One that he had hoped would never escalate more than it already had only to be proven wrong with the culmination of everything.  

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"Your mother?" it was Adele who asked the question, staring at Caitlin in wild disbelief. Millea simply nodded, ignoring the dark looks she was getting from Lillian. Lillian did not like being left outside of information, and it seemed there was a lot here that she didn't know. Nor did she like how her twin had apparently watched them all, while refusing to make direct contact. 

"Before her twin could truly expire, Thia took what remained of him and sealed it into the gem you saw today. From that moment, her most important task was to seek a way that she might heal the wound he was born with, that he might again have enough strength to maintain a physical form. She carried him throughout her life, but believed that the best chance of success was not in this realm---but in our own. If he could be returned to the source of our existence, perhaps there she would find the answers she desired. And so she sought the Fae, for their knowledge of realms beyond this one. What transpired there, I have no knowledge of---only that we found her some time after, with no memory of the time since my last conversation with her," Millea frowned.

"And so Lian took her to the island to recover, where she became Bethianna as you know her." More than that, Millea really didn't know. So much of it had been hidden behind a block that she couldn't break, no matter how many times Bethianna asked. Bethianna had always been certain there was something she had known, had discovered, that she needed to remember. But no amount of effort had uncovered the secret to bringing her brother back, or their way home. It remained locked away, behind a door that laughed at their every attempt.

Was this what the woman had forgotten? A family? A daughter, and a son too by the sound of it. Millea wondered what had possessed Bethianna to do that, it was so out of character for her. All of her daughters were disinherited from the moment it was safe to put them through acceptance, and her sons as soon as she knew they could not be healed. Why leave this girl in a state of limbo? It didn't seem right.

"And somehow, it just so happens that Alex got involved with Cass, and they both have our blood..." Adele shook her head. It sounded like something out of a bizarre soap opera.

"Blood calls to blood," Millea answered. "As it called you all together, so it called them here."

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Narragyambie ☆ Junior Dance Instructor, Co-Creator of VEGE Productions★ LilyCat
19 year old Pureblood Fairy ☆ She/Her

Cassandra barely paid much attention to the conversation that had began around them. To do so would only cause the mixture of emotions and confusion within her to take hold, and she couldn't do that. Rather, she concentrated on Alex, her hold loosening slightly as soon as he winced, and an apologetic expression on her features when he looked at her. She wanted to help, but wasn't sure how exactly... or if she even could, which scared her. She saw the Violet, and there was a brief moment of panic that perhaps he had changed so much that he didn't feel very connected to her anymore, but she had to force that down. She listened to him, and then nodded, shifting under his arm and wrapping one around his back in order to try and help him to his feet.

The young woman then helped him to get to the back door, and opened it so that they could step outside, before helping him to a chair and then crouching down in front of him, her hands on her own knees in case he didn't want her touching him.

"I'm sorry..." Cass' voice came out as a dry whisper. What else could she say? There was nothing that she knew that could ease any of the pain he was feeling. She wasn't willing to explore whatever was going on within herself right now, because it was all too mixed and muddled. It was too much for her to go near, so she had to keep her focus on Alex. Truth be told, she needed the air as much as him. She knew that anything that was spoken about inside was going to draw more questions and confusion from her. Still, she felt like she was floundering right now, until she felt a thought that wasn't her own and her hand went to her belly.

Without a word, Cass then stood and reached for one of Alex's hands, before bringing it to her abdomen.

"They want to say hello, since you can hear them now too," The woman said quietly. From within her he would be able to sense the love that the twins held for him, and their happiness that he had survived so they could all be together. It wouldn't fill the hole that had been created, but it would show him what he still had right now and to look forward to.

 

Inside, Caitlin's eyes opened to watch Millea as the woman spoke, her mind still running full time to try and breathe under the torrent of everything that had occurred and had opened up. She held onto the two gems in her hand almost like a lifeline, as though she may be able to glean more from them. There were brief flashes, but it was jumbled and unordered and she knew that it was going to take some time before she could get answers, though she already had some formulated as she considered what little she knew and what had been told.

"She learned how to heal the wound from... someone... an Elder fae..." The woman struggled as she tried to make out more, but there was too much fog between the brief insights that she'd received. "She'd done it on my brother, successfully... I've started the process on Alex, and Caleb seems mostly stable as well from what I can sense," It was strange to be able to sense the boy so strongly, to have that connection with him, and feel so protective of him despite this being a first proper meeting between them.

"I... I don't know what happened. I know she loved us. And then she was gone. I think we were stuck for a long time without her... and, must have been hidden by a spell or curse... considering how strong it was, it must have happened in one of the Fairy Mounds... one of their Realms. I can't recall anything but flashes from there, and then my life on the outside, under the belief I was mortal," The woman was mostly speaking in order to try and sort it out in her head, but the information would probably be helpful for those around as well. Though at the mention of how they came to all be here, and the teenagers found one another, she tilted her head a little and then nodded at Millea's words, "I wanted to find somewhere we would find security, while I could look for answers to things that had haunted me for a long time... and, for some reason, I was just drawn to Australia, to here." It made sense.

"And they both wanted someone they could connect with, who'd understand them..." And the teenagers had found it. Suddenly, it made some sense how easily they'd fallen in love and committed to one another.

"Thia's... Mother's... learning, her knowledge, isn't gone though... the gift from my fae heritage is Echo. During the time we were connected, it was passed on... I just have to try to make sense and sort it all out, which could take a while," Caitlin rubbed her head, swallowing before inhaling deeply. She'd been searching for Thia without even realising it. And the moment she'd found her, she'd had to say goodbye. It felt like some cruel design of the world.

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Spencer ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Guitarist/Vocalist - Local School Hero!✩ Kaitore
20 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ HE/HIM

The words spoken had been hard to hear and concentrate on, the importance of it all slide away from his mind like sleet. It felt unbelievable even in this moment and his mind had only flashed the image of Bethianna's energy-less body and then being shaped into a crystal. It had been short lived images that sought to haunt his waking conscious as his mind took notice of the lessened grip, eyelids shut gently as he tried to steady his own breathing. "Thank. . . You. . ." He stated gratefully. Alexander had changed but not in the way he'd had estimated, perhaps not even in the fashion that Cassandra had perceived when the conversation had come up before. 

When his body had been shifted to hang along her shoulders for the support of balance a groan of discomfort echoed as his body sent the senses of it being stressed from the aches. Both of his feet pressed against the ground and he took in a deep well of air to steady his nerves and will against the messages being sent by his body. Fresh air rushed against his still heated and damp skin, the breeze felt chilled and cool against his hair even when it had been primarily heated. His bank pressed against the chair he sat in effortlessly with a somewhat blank expression trying to let the events of the day work out through his mind. 

At what point had it gone wrong? He hadn't been lucid enough that he could even concretely point out the when, where, and how. "You. . . Don't need to apologize. Any apology that needs to be done is laid at my feet." Maybe if he'd been more against finding out about himself, just let things be as they were until the time came for him. Then Caleb wouldn't have had to place himself in a position where he couldn't stand anymore and there wouldn't have had been a need of someone giving their life. A deep sniff into the air took place as he could feel the wavering presence of his emotions trying to push him aside.  

Though the feelings had started to bubble it had stalled as his hand had been grabbed without warning and guided right towards Cassandra's belly. Their children. . . A warmth radiated from them through this new and eerie connection that had been crisp and clear to him. "I'm happy to see you too, all of you." He raised his hand up to caress the side of the young literal red-head's cheek. There hadn't been only solemn feelings that resided inside of him, there had been a sense of relief and happiness that he had managed to get to the other side of the ordeal. "You. . . You probably should go check on your Aunt and. . . The rest of everyone.

He wasn't sure how to face anything or anyone himself, the weight of feeling responsible hung on him like a mantle of lion's skin. At least if he'd been most people in that room he wouldn't want to see himself too much given the turn things had taken. "At least now you can go learn more of yourself like you've wanted. Probably good not to waste that opportunity." The still unanswered questions that he hadn't been certain of, the questions that could never truly be answered now. It offered some manner of comfort to those that had been more confused.

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Millea seemed... disappointed? by the little that Caitlin knew. Still holding out for a way home, no doubt, and her reaction gained a frown from Lillian. Like Lillian and Bethianna, it seemed that Millea too moved to a design of her own making. One perhaps even less fathomable than that of the other elders. Her job here was done, though, and there was nothing else she could add to this event. Looking once more about the room, Millea made her way out without so much as a farewell. Typical. 

Adele was very glad to hear that Caleb was "stable". He struggled in her arms now, trying to break free--even though she could feel that he was sore and exhausted from the experience. She tried to hold on to him, not wanting to let go. Ever. Caleb whined, stating that he wanted to go see Alex, but Adele just kept him there. 

"In a bit," she promised. "Just stay here a minute. I thought I was going to lose you, Caley." With a groan, Caleb allowed it. 

Améa, clearly devastated by what had happened, looked to Lillian with a teary frown.

"Nothing you could done and not left Tahearn'anna to die?" she asked, almost accusing Lillian of letting it happen. But at this, Lillian looked perplexed.

"Die?" she repeated the word, before catching on. "Ah, I suppose that is the best analogy. If... incorrect." Lillian shrugged a shoulder.

-----

Outside, Rheldor was arriving through the side gate. He saw Alex, and his expression broke into a giant grin. Where he had been was anyone's guess, but he was covered head to toe in flour and splashes of oil, eggshells, sugar and smears of colour on his hands and face. He carried a white box in both hands, stained where his fingers had rubbed the colouring off onto the cardboard.

"My boy!" he bellowed, oblivious to the quiet and intense moment that was happening. "You survived! I knew you would." Rheldor made his way in closer, a swagger in his step as he gazed proudly on his son. What had happened inside the house, he knew nothing of. Only that one of the better outcomes had been achieved, and he was grateful for that. And not only because Alexander would see Christmas, but also because it was going to make this next bit more relevant... and way less awkward.

"I baked ye a little something," he said, shoving the box toward Alex. 

Inside was what could only be described as a cake fail too terrible even for a series like "Nailed It". Burned in some places, still runny in others---the icing had melted and dripped all over the inside of the box, but he had tried, bless him. What remained of the attempt at decorating was just barely readable, and said: "GLAD YOR NOT DED"

"Would have put an exclamation mark on it, but a bald man chased me out of the kitchen," Rheldor said with a shrug. "Strange, strange angry man."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Whatever Millea had expected of Caitlin, the other woman clearly wasn't able to provide. She glanced up at the golden eyed woman with her own deep turquoise, the colour as unnatural and unique as any other Sorceress, and then brows raised briefly as Millea simply left. Feeling as though she may have got her bearings somewhere, Cate pushed herself to stand once again, watching Adele with her son and feeling something like... deja vu? A frown touched her lips briefly, because while she'd thought for a moment of when she'd found Cassandra alive after the attack on her brother's family, the girl that flashed within her mind wasn't her niece.

"Over time I can completely seal up the leak in Caleb and Alex for good, but the process does hurt... that was something Thia hadn't worked out how to prevent," Maybe one day someone would be able to work out how to properly prevent the wound that males were born with, or even how to treat it or assist them through Acceptance without causing them so much pain, but right now there was at least the promise that they could be treated so that they wouldn't fade.

Cate straightened her shoulders slightly. Although her mind was still trying to organise and process a great deal, she could at least try to keep herself together for now. She didn't know most of the people in the room, and those she did she only barely knew. She did look over at Améa as the woman spoke though, before her hand tightened around the crystals again.

"She's not dead... beings of pure magic can't die, they-..." Caitlin's words cut off as her head tilted, a frown on her lips as she suddenly thought how strange it was that the woman's 'end' had been so very similar to that of Cassandra's mother. She recalled the woman having been completely drained, faded. "... fade." She mused. She then opened her hand to look at the crystals again, "Her power was expended, passed on to another, so the nature of her existence changed." And in this case, that took the form of a natural crystal, which she could feel the faintest hint of her Mother within. "She's content with the outcome," She then added quietly, to at least try to offer some kind of comfort.

---

"Hey," Cass frowned as Alex said that he should apologise, and her fingers clasped at his chin to make him look directly at her, "You shouldn't be apologising for anything here. And I know what you're thinking... that you're the cause of so many deaths and so on, but that is in no way true. Do you think she came here today without some idea the likely outcome? You can't apologise for being born, for what you inherited. Everyone made choices... and..." She paused and a flash of inner pain caused her to wince, "If anything, it was my fault for not having restrained Caleb better, or not taken him out when it was looking bad... Caitlin's arrival kept Anna from having to sacrifice herself for you, but then he slipped from my hands..." The redhead sighed and shook her head.

"I'm going to smack you if I suspect you blaming yourself," Cass said, her gaze narrowing at Alex. However, the contact with the twins at least seemed to remind him that there was still something good in this outcome. He would be here to watch them grow up, to chase the boys away from them and all, though she sighed as he suggested she go check on her aunt and that she could learn more now. Cassandra rolled her eyes as she gave Alex a 'really?' look, and then plopped herself carefully on his lap.

"I've got my entire existence to learn more about myself, and Cate... is throwing out some serious 'give me space to sort things out' vibes right now. I'm right where I want to be," The woman assured him, before noticing the movement at the side gate and the man who suddenly appeared. Just Rheldor's appearance alone gave away what his possible project must be and she couldn't help but grin at his enthusiasm and pride as he guessed exactly right on Alex's survival and made his way over. Even if he was oblivious of the current mood, he was a presence that seemed to be uplifting in just his mere vicinity. She would wait for Alex to open the box, and then duck her head with a grin and silent chuckle at the sight of the cake, before burying her face at the side of Alex's neck to hide her chuckling for a moment until she could speak without laughing.

"You should have told me what you planned, you could have helped me and Caleb with the one we were making, Pops," Cass said lightly with a small grin to the man, "You can help us decorate it though, we got distracted from that." She then nudged Alex, "Want me to get a knife? You have to take the first piece, you know."

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Spencer ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Guitarist/Vocalist - Local School Hero!✩ Kaitore
20 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ HE/HIM

Eyebrows raised up towards Cassandra's words and his head shook. He wanted to contest the thought it hadn't been his fault, it hadn't been just the choices or existence alone. Knowing how the Elder woman had typically planned for contingencies made it sting even more than he'd realized. Instead of arguing the point with her he just let it drop understanding that the view of that belief would always lead them at opposite roads entirely. Instead he would decide to approach the thought of the blame being shifted towards her. "That wasn't anyone's fault at all. One of the risks I expected, I figured someone would have gotten extremely scared and worried." He wanted to limit that chance but it had been far out of his hands to stop that collateral damage. Such strong personalities all in one area. 

If he would have known that Bethianna would have went to the extent of sacrificing herself for him, he probably would have told her just let nature itself take the course without the infusion of the Violet. "She must have known. . . That I would have turned her final resort plan down if she'd told me. . ." He wasn't selfish enough for life to sacrifice a person for his own breath. How would he be any better than the two men whom had hounded Adele and the others if it sit well for him in that manner? 

The look that had been flashed towards him pulled out a responsive 'What?' expression with a shrug of his shoulders. It wasn't a reasonable idea? A gentle grunt expelled from him from the soreness of his lap as he slightly shifted himself to endure the pulse of pain better. "Yea, I know how she feels. . ." At this rate he wouldn't be able to sort much himself until things had finally quieted down for his mind to process it all. To come to terms that so much will be different now, from whom he'd experience in his life to the very path he had once wanted to walk. Had there been any further purpose for him to continue on as a Healer? "You want to be here? Hehe, You sure you didn't knock your head or something? No body wants to be in the sulking corner."

Before the thought could force him into deep retrospection it had been pulled away by the sound of a loud voice. "Hey-" Upon seeing the older man's baking ingredients splattered form, a genuine smile grew. "That must have been some battle of your own. Looks like the Battle of Humpty Dumpty and the Four Flour-Doughs." He wondered how Rheldor could always have such an upbeat personality in what seemed to be almost any situation. "That made one of us! For a second I thought I was going to kick a couple of buckets and raise a couple of daisies here and there." It had started to look really dicey at certain parts that he wasn't sure if he had the capability to withstand much more of the pain that had thrusted through his entire system. 

"For me? Really?!" This must have what it been like to be a child receiving a gift from a parent, not that his adopted father never gifted things. But it felt so much more different for some reason. His hands slide along the sides of the box and gently opened it up and blinked a few times and folded both of his lips inwards to stifle the laughter, It had been a happy one in honesty. But the presentation. . . It left much to be desired in taste most likely. But the effort put into it had been much more obvious and touching, even in the blunt wording that spread across the surface of it. "Obviously he'd been jealous by your decorative talent.

What kind of place did he go into where there'd been an angry Bald Man? He shook his head and started to snicker for a moment a laughter of relief escaped from him. Maybe not everything would change so drastically. "The first piece? M-Me? No. . . I couldn't. This is a good thing for all of us. I mean, I think we all need to slice a piece of this bad boy and munch on it together at the same time. Every person, it can be our first family activity to celebrate it." If he had to eat Mystery Cake X then everyone had to eat MCX. "Huh. . ." Had only occurred to him and a somewhat uncertain smile showed. "Just realized this is one of those weird moments where My sister and our parents will be in the same room. But I think you're the kind of the energy everyone needs right now, Pops."

 

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Lillian nodded, Cate seemed to get it. At least someone here did. 

"There is ever hope she may grow strong enough to maintain her physical form again," she said with a shrug. "If she has such a will to return. She had such hopes for her brother, and even as she passed herself onto Calebrien, she stopped just short of her very last. A seed from which to grow, potentially." It had been done before, but in different times and with different people. Bethianna's struggle to revive her brother had been complicated by the leak, and Lillian had not been able to rouse the Brown or the Grey to their full power again because they did not want to be roused.

Still, the mood in the room remained sombre. A loss was a loss, even if it wasn't a permanent one.

----

Outside, Rheldor continued to beam at Alex and Cass. They liked his cake, they were smiling very hard! It made all of the running from the angry bald man worth it. There was little Rheldor wouldn't do to see his family smile. Today was always going to be hard. What little he knew of the process Alex had just gone through was... awful. He'd chosen to leave the house, knowing he couldn't watch. The cake had been a distraction from all of that, once he'd found a suitable kitchen to work in. 

"You made a cake too?" Rheldor tilted his head at Cass, his impossibly wide grin widening still. "Two cakes! No wonder our Alexander pulled through with two cakes on the other side!" This seemed a logical explanation. Along with the fact that cakes were made to be eaten, today was now a celebration---and that meant it was time to divvy up the dessert! Alex's idea that everyone should have some at the same time had the sort of romantic and theatrical flair that Rheldor enjoyed, and he agreed heartily.

"Splendid idea!" he said, taking the box back with gentle hands. "A proper family activity on this most excellent day! To the kitchen!"

Rheldor marched into the house, a one-man parade of blinding positivity. Sticking his head into the living-room, he once again failed to notice the quiet sadness that filled it. He knew nothing of what had taken place, and saw only reasons to celebrate. Not mourn.

"By request of my boy Alexander, it's time for a family activity!" said Rheldor. "And you're all in for a surprise! I made a cake!"

Beckoning for everyone to follow, he retreated to the kitchen to find a knife and plates. This was going to be fun! 

Meanwhile, Adele still hugged Caleb tight. 

"Oh shit," she sighed, knowing how successful her father's experiments usually were. "He made a cake."

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Narragyambie ☆ Junior Dance Instructor, Co-Creator of VEGE Productions★ LilyCat
19 year old Pureblood Fairy ☆ She/Her

"Maybe, but still could have been prevented if I'd kept a stronger hold on him," Cass pursed her lips a little. The process had almost been completed, and would have done so without any casualties, if not for that single moment. There were in fact a lot of factors which led to how things had turned out, ultimately Bethianna had made her choice over what to do, and that was no one's fault. That was something she had decided consciously. "Of course she would have known," The redhead murmured as a small frown tugged at her own lips, though she didn't speak any further on the subject of what Alex would have chosen. There was a part of her that felt just a tiny stab of pain in knowing that he would willingly choose to leave her, even if the other person wanted him to live. That perhaps Anna was tired of watching males perish, and she loved both he and Caleb so much that she placed their lives above her own.

"Of course I want to be here, I always want to be with you," The young woman said quietly, that small frown still on her lips, and it was thanks to the timely intervention of Alex's birth father that the mood wouldn't potentially fall any further. The reveal of his cake, both the thoughtfulness of it as well as the fail, caused her to grin brightly. There was also the simply atmosphere that the man brought with him, the love and care that he had for this family that he had been able to rediscover and connect with was absolute. She shot Alex a small look as he quickly turned her suggestion of his having the first taste around into a family activity of them all taking the plunge, and she poked her tongue out at him as Rheldor marched inside, before then standing.

"I guess we can talk later," Cass said softly, looking off to the distance for a moment, before reaching down to offer her hand to Alex. She was naturally going to stay and wait to see how much strength he'd started to recover, and help him back inside if necessary.

As far as the people inside, Caitlin was still staring at the crystals in her hand as she thought about what she should do with them. She didn't want to put them down, in fact she knew that she would have to create a new necklace or something for them so that she could have them with her at all times. She wasn't entirely sure why she felt this need, but it seemed important to her, and so she kept them clutched in her hand for now while she listened to Lillian.

"In time, once my brother recovers, we might be able to channel some energy bit by bit now and then," The woman said quietly. Though, she would have to get her brother first, waken him, and then he would have to build his strength back up. Still, it was an option, and helped her heartache just a fraction after having found Thia and lost her within moments.

And then a man entered the room and her gaze flickered toward him in mild confusion, taking a few moments to listen before it clicked that this was Alex and Adele's father... who had apparently been making a cake, and no doubt enjoying himself if the food colouring and flour and other ingredients all over him were something to judge by. She blinked a little as he stepped back out of the room as surely as he had come in and made his announcement, before glancing a little awkwardly around those still there, Adele's words causing her to have just a little concern for what this cake could be like.

"I... uh... maybe I should-..."

"Oh no, don't even think about leaving. You're part of the family too, so you have to suffer with the rest of us," Although it sounded like part threat, Jezebel's lightened tone and half smirk as she looked over at Cate, said that it was meant in good humour. Though it was also clear that the invitation was genuine, and Cate blinked for a moment, before then glancing around, until she then indicated toward Lillian.

"I'll have some, if she eats some as well."

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Spencer ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Guitarist/Vocalist - Local School Hero!✩ Kaitore
20 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ HE/HIM

"It's unrealistic to expect someone so young to just standby while they're forced to watch someone they care for go through an unspeakable pain." Something told him even if she'd held him tightly, he'd have found some way to escape even if it meant disorienting the young woman somehow. Not the kind of thing he'd wanted to imagine occurring either but the feeling of anxiety and desperation pushed many to do unpredictable things. "Even for someone older or more experienced it could be a rough sell." Even being the one who had to be watched he'd bene uncertain if anyone else should have been there, if it could have been avoided that they didn't have to witness that kind of thing. It could leave a unique form of scarring on a person without realizing it. 

Alexander offered no excuse for his preference on being unwilling to sacrifice another's life in those kind of moments. "You don't have to use that whole hurt puppy tone you know, it was just a small joke." He gave a soft sigh as he weaved a hand through his hair. The interruption of Rheldor had been a boon if only to give more room for breathing amongst the atmosphere that had been outside. It had been like a crowbar that forced things into a pressed halt which had been more in his own favor, more time to settle things and the massive change in himself mentally. The look that had been shifted towards him by Cass after his altered suggestion hadn't been met as Alexander's eyes looked upwards like a child whose hand had been caught in the cookie jar. 

It was a good thing he could play on the similar traits that he held with his father, the romanticism could always win out when needed. He couldn't even process how fast Rheldor moved into the house with a triumphant and confident walk. "Oh this is going to be good." He'd already been amused by how things would start to unfold with his 'talent' for the recent crafts. His hand reached out towards Cassandra's and grasped it gently while pulling himself up from the chair. His muscles still had the ping of aches but it'd been tolerable enough to walk and ignore it for the time being. "Yeah, I guess we can. You'd probably just stare at me anyways until we did." He hadn't expected her to just leave it at that. 

Once inside, Alex rubbed the back of his neck and gave a weak smile. "Well, you know, Cass tried to make me take the first piece so selfishly. . . I just couldn't do that to the family! So, I figured, Hey - why don't we all just do it together?!" He could be the villain today, it was his entire prerogative if he had anything to say about it. His own words mimicked Jezebel's towards Cate. "Of course, it's only fair you eat some too. I mean, you're here. Hell, consider it like a celebration of a lot of things." It'd been considered as the most fair thing in his mind. Then the proverbial bus had been placed over Lillian which prompted Alexander to draw somewhat of a puppy dog eyes setup towards her. 

"It'd really mean a lot to us, especially me, Mamiere. It'd be like. . . A First Birthday I never got!" Alexander wasn't sure if the woman had any concept of that kind of activity or sentimentality that had spread amongst the more short-lived races. Though he also hadn't been sure if this particular ploy would even work to get the woman to agree or even decide to stay for that matter. 

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Tally Staff ☆ Tallygarunga Librarian★ Sadrienne
40 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Lillian was shaken by all that had occurred. There was no other word for it. Her normally calm, almost mocking manner had slowly vanished entirely into an unsettled wariness that made her seem more human than normal. There were things that even she was upset by, and watching a sorceress of her own calibre fade out on the living room floor was evidently one. Her initial care-free response had been automatic, but she knew this was different too. Theoretically it was possible that Bethianna could be brought back to strength, and yes---it had been done before. Could she guarantee it? No. Nor was watching it all happen something you could just brush off your shoulder.

And Millea's involvement in the scheme just added insult to injury. She nodded to Cate as she talked of bringing her brother back, doing what they could to revive Bethianna. Caleb, aware that he was the cause of all this sadness, had given up on trying to escape Adele's hold and now clung to her. Lauren watched the parent-child affection with a small frown, a deep knife of longing wedged in her heart. She held to Lorelei's hand still, not willing to let go. 

Then there was Rheldor, and the mood changed instantly. From Adele's wry fear of what her father had created, to Améa's surprise at the overly-positive intrusion, even Lillian seemed to brighten a little. Caleb definitely perked up at the mention of cake, looking toward his grandfather with those bright green eyes.

"Oh, sweetheart you probably don't want to risk that," Adele murmured to her son. Caleb whined, not understanding what she meant, he didn't want to miss out on cake

"As Thia's daughter and blood-kin now to Caleb, you are family indeed," said Lillian to Cate, sealing her fate with the connection. A family event of eating the potentially dangerous cake---what could go wrong? Lillian knew she wouldn't be getting out of this either, so it might as well be all of them. Caleb, realising that he was getting cake, ceased his complaining and began to bounce impatiently. Adele just hoped it didn't upset his stomach too much.

"Well, from what they tell me, today was a birth of sorts---for yourself and Caley," said Rheldor with his trademark beaming smile. He handed the knife to Alex, and looked down at his creation with the sort of pride only a creator could have. That pride didn't waver at all as the others filtered into the kitchen, stood about the table and took in the sheer horror that was supposed to be a cake. Even Caleb didn't seem so sure now.

"Alright Alex, you better dish it out," said Adele with a healthy dose of apprehension. "Unless you've had enough pain for today? This could be a whole new level."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Caitlin was still somewhat in shock after the whole thing, even though she'd found her feet and thought that she had something of a grip on the situation. There was still a kind of 'buzzing' in the back of her head that was growing steadily more noticeable as time went on. She did see the cake box, however, though not the cake within. Adele's reaction did not give her a lot of confidence in what would be found inside though, and she wondered if she was going to be paying more for coming to their aid, than what she'd bargained for when Cassandra had called upon her. She watched the family though, studying them, the psychologist in her picking up on any small nuances and tells.

Immediately, it was easy to see the jealousy of the brown-haired girl who she had already been told about, the daughter of the headmaster of Tally, aimed toward the love and attention that Caleb received from Adele. As well as the apparent close connection she held with another new student at the school but someone she had also been informed about. It was odd how the pair seemed to both fit in and be out of place a little at the same time, and she had to wonder for a moment, at least until she noticed their eyes.

Lorelei was aware of the study, but she paid it no attention at the moment. When Lauren's hand squeezed her own, holding tightly, she returned the gesture and then tugged her closer in order to try and get her caught up in Jezebel's hugging too, which would happen if she came within arm's reach of Lorelei's mother. It was just a given, especially with how the events of the day had gone.

"Family, hm..." Cate's voice murmured quietly, before a small huff of air was expelled. It was a strange-feeling word to consider when most of her memories of family revolved around the people who she swore were killed. But then, were those people even her family? Had they ever even existed? Or were they something that had been manufactured as a way of coping with memory loss of whatever her true former life had been? Too many questions. But she followed others to the kitchen all the same, before offering Rheldor a small smile and polite nod, "Hello, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Caitlin, Cassandra's aunt." She introduced herself quietly, before glancing over where Cass and Alex had entered, a concerned frown on her lips as she looked at the girl.

Cass herself seemed to have decided not to debate too much more over what had happened and where the blame should lie. In the end, she supposed it was Anna's to carry, the woman having intended all along to sacrifice herself if anything went awry. It reminded her of her parents all too much, and their willingness to hide her and take what was coming, rather than risking all of them running and being caught. It left a slight sour taste in her mouth, despite knowing that in the situation with her being the parent she would do the same. Alex would do the same. It was just part of caring for someone who was younger, giving them the chance at life. The mention of her caused her to blink though, the redhead lifting her head a little to glance around before shrugging and moving to the seat, to sit down heavily.

"I'm actually not feeling too great, but I guess my husband's going to force me to eat," Cassandra said quietly, a hand on her abdomen. She wasn't lying either, really. After having to watch Alex go through torturous pain, Caleb almost dying... the shock of discovery of her relation to Bethianna, only to watch her fade the same way her own mother had before her eyes. There was a deep nausea in Cass' belly, and a near haunted look in her features now that things appeared to be settling. This was why she hadn't wanted to stop to think, and she wondered if she could get away with excusing herself to lie down.

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Spencer ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Guitarist/Vocalist - Local School Hero!✩ Kaitore
20 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ HE/HIM

The downfall with sacrifices, while admirable and good intentioned they often left a heavy mantle and thickness on the shoulders of those that survived afterwards. A wealth of expectation and projected obligation to reach out towards something better. It wasn't bad to have that kind of newly established drive, the nurture that would come from wanting to avoid the sacrifice bein in vain. A hard decision in every angle, to make it, to bear it and to be expected to be simply fine with it. He hadn't yet been jaded enough in life to take those kinds of hits easily but he knew that spending time on 'What if. . .' scenarios would do justice to no one, least of all giving a proper answer to a better alternative. 

'Family', the word sounded so foreign to his hears coming from Lillian's lips. It halted him enough to a physical stop briefly, was that how she truly viewed things without the occasional misdirection's and dismissive nature? A soft chuckle followed suit finding it amusing due to the turn of events, it was no laughing matter to him and yet the involuntary action couldn't be easily stifled. "Didn't think I'd live to see the day that I'd hear those actual words ever come out. Maybe this is some kind of miracle party." Maybe it had also been a bit too much of a sore spot for the 'Life or Death' relations. 

Alex grinned towards Rheldor as he grasped the knife tightly in his hand. His eyes stared at it as the knife's metallic surface reflected the violet gaze back towards him. It had been the first time he'd seen himself and it looked quite odd. He hadn't recognized himself, almost as if it had been a stranger that stared back at him. "I guess it can be considered a birth of sorts!" His gaze left from the knife and towards the cake, the presence of doom seemed to ring within his chest as if self-preservation had been trying to warn him against the enemy that had been placed at the center of this gathering. 

His gaze narrowed towards Caleb's uncertain look which pulled a light laughter from him. "The gift of multiple cakes are on the horizon." He then snorted lightly at Adele though a fond smile had been presented towards her. "Well, others had the chance to torture me. I think it's only fair I do it on a bit of my own terms now." 'Pain', that was perhaps the broadest way to explain what he went through. He didn't believe there had been an actual word to describe the transition that had occurred and even the way he'd dubbed it as 'Torture' just seemed too mild in comparison. 

Finally, something that he could choose as his own poison. Not something that had been like a baptism of the blood or even the trials that came with such a moment.  Regardless of the condition of the cake that his father had made took, it was the first moment where it could be considered his own decision without any other thing being the controlling factor. Looking towards Cassandra and seeing the expression on her face halted his personal enthusiasm on that particular front. His head shook lightly. "No. I'm not going to force anyone to do anything. You don't have to eat any of it."

The last thing he wanted to offer was the illusion that no one had a choice. He slide the edge of the knife against the cake that had been at the center and had immediately been met with a resistance that well. . . Probably shouldn't have been the case when you consider a cake's intended structure. Eyes narrowed left to right as he expected it to deter some people from even attempting to taste it after that shoddy display. "Ahaha. . . S-Sore muscles. You know. Need to push through it and all!" The vocalized fib more so for himself than anyone else's state of mind. Eventually with a bit of extra time he managed to cut the pieces into reasonable sizes, as thing as possible, partly to be able to make sure there had been enough and also so that those that didn't think they could stomach it wouldn't have to eat too much. 

Sliding the sliced pieces on to various plates he'd then pick one up with a fork for himself and stare down towards it. The closer it got the less appetizing it looked but the confident expression etched on Rheldor's face. . . It made it impossible to not want to eat it just to honor that kind of powerful positive. It was his choice at the end of it all and. . . Damn, did it feel good to know and be aware of that. 

"If you think you're ready for the greatest adventure in your life, take a piece!" He gave a wide smile, trying to swat away his own unease. 

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