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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
December, 2019 :: Summer


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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

There had been a feeling of impatience in the air lately when it came to one Lisa Knotley, and the longer time went on, the thicker that aura felt, almost as if one could cut it with a knife. The break was approaching and the blonde waited for classes with bated breath, needing some sort of task or activity to keep herself from going insane after a few weeks of sitting on the sidelines. Although, despite her workaholic tendencies, not all was bad. Throughout the break, her schedule did find itself quite busy - that had been Aspen Clarke's full responsibility, and something the Sturt was quite grateful for. They had spent nearly every day of the break together, for hours on end; and, on occasion, multiple times in the same day. There had even been a day where she had gone to visit Lisa at night on her request, and the Sturt figured they could pull a second round of it all to bid goodbye at their little vacations.

Just like the last time, it had been quite the simple affair to sneak the girl in; unlike that time, however, the blonde had ideas unbecoming of teenagers like them - she took to alcohol to make the seconds more tolerable. It had taken a bit of convincing, but she eventually got Aspen to agree to that little activity (much to Lisa's surprise). The conversation flew back and forth easily during the first few swigs they shared from one of the few bottles she had found over the past year laying around the school premises. However, as time went on and a potent buzz solidified in each of the girls, things turned south and the room grew distinctly quiet, devoid of laughter and amusing conversations.

They sat against the headrest of Lisa's bed, dressed as if ready to go to sleep, leaning against each other in the somewhat uncomfortable silence. Not because of one another's presence or proximity, but because of what was going through their minds. At some point, the Sturt had handed the beverage to Aspen; to occupy her now idle hand, she pulled her friend's leg up to a bent position gently, if a bit clumsily, and found herself resting that hand on the top of her thigh, with a thumb running back and forth within its range. Despite her eyes being cast down towards the active finger, her gaze was anything but focused as the thoughts in her mind threatened to suffocate her at the drop of a hat.

"...This is the part where I tell you to stay away, I think..." She muttered, breaking the silence, gaze stuck to the perpetually moving finger. Despite her words, no part of her body made a move to get away and escape the personal bubble of the friend she had grown so fond of. "I've come to really care about you, so... I don't want to end up screwing you over too at some point." It was remarkable how easily Aspen had broken through every barrier Lisa had so carefully built for a little over two years; and in a way she had betrayed the Bourke already by her very inaction at nipping the friendship in the bud the moment she noticed it was blossoming. She had wanted to feel close to someone again, she realized, but ultimately she knew she had been setting both up for failure and dooming the Bourke to the pain Lisa always seemed to inevitably cause.

"That stuff you heard about me... From the Dueling Club. That's barely scratching the surface..." Her phrases dragged on as the alcohol took effect. She was conscious of the fact she was talking too much, but lacked the concern over what her words could end up doing to herself; the care for her friend dominated. "You already know I'm a lousy friend. I'm also, let's see... Lousy daughter, lousy sister, lousy girlfriend... S'just pick your poison at this point, really." She let out a deep exhalation. If only she knew how to stop herself. "I guess... I just don't want you to be next on the list." As her speech slowed to a halt, she decided to reach over with her free hand to take the bottle out of Aspen's hands, her head inadvertently pressing harder against the Bourke's with the leaning before she managed to return to her previous position; she then took a rather large swig in a vain attempt to forget her plights.

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

 Aspen and Lisa had grown closer, as teammates they were as close as they could get and obviously hanging out only made them closer. Aspen considered Lisa a good friend, even after all the rumors she had heard about Lisa, it didn’t quite matter, they were in the past, people grow, people change and Aspen was sure that whatever Lisa had done she probably regrets it, or if she doesn’t, she might have learned something from it. She took the bottle from Lisa and took a sip from it, Aspen wasn’t drunk, but she was heading that way, she had started thinking about Vivian and all the things she could have done but didn’t.

“And what if I don’t listen and want to stay? I’m already screwed and broken, there’s not much to do there.” Whatever it was that Lisa was talking about, Aspen was willing to take a chance, she would rather fail than to never have tried. MJ had been the only one capable of lowering Aspen’s anger levels, but Aspen found out that being around Lisa it helped as well, even if not as much as MJ did.

The Bourke gave Lisa back the bottle. “Don’t be an idiot, you had a moment of weakness, you’re not a lousy friend, I can’t talk as a sister, daughter or girlfriend, but as a friend? You’re a pretty good one.” Whatever had happened in the Sturts life didn’t seem to be forgotten and she seemed to carry the weight of it on her shoulders, which meant that she actively regretted everything. “The past is the past, you gotta learn from it. I say this but I still baby MJ and Justice.” She let out a laugh. “I’m the one who’s a lousy sister … I rely on MJ for a lot of things, I can’t do anything right …”

“Just one more mess after another … I don’t seem to get anything right.”

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Screwed and broken? Whatever little warmth started bubbling up in Lisa's heart with the prospect of Aspen not wanting to leave anyway after that serious warning was greatly dwarfed by the confusion those two words brought about. Those two adjectives had never been ones to cross her mind as a descriptor for the girl; were they alike in the sense they had things to atone for? Were they living with the weight of their mistakes on their shoulders and having to put up a front to shield themselves from equivalent situations? Lisa hadn't expected to come to relate even further to Aspen that night, yet there they were. Mildly buzzed, morose and comforting each other. Perhaps it was one of the things that drew her so much to this girl.

She handed the older teen the bottle again for another sip, as she looked like she needed it. "Maybe it's out of not knowing you all that well, but... Honestly, all three of you come across as a really tight unit." Family dynamics wasn't something Lisa could relate to. With both her parents gone and her brother pretty much estranged, if it weren't for her economic ties to the man she could say she was all alone in the world. "And there's nothing wrong with relying on others, you know?"

Her eyes widened ever so slightly as she realized the hypocrisy of her own statement the moment it left her lips. She released the frustration with a deep exhalation, and her arm wrapped around the leg it had been previously caressing, pulling it close to them both. "...What I mean is, I haven't really seen you fail. Maybe I don't know much about it, but... From the little I've seen, those kids look like they look up to you. That's not what being a lousy sister is, as far as I'm concerned..."

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Aspen took the bottle, took another gulp at the liquid inside and that’s when she realized no one knew about Vivian, the thing that has been eating her alive for years, the fact that she had one job, and one job only and she failed. She shouldn’t have left muggle school if she hadn’t Vivian would still be with them.

“I suppose we’re tight enough . . .” Aspen said with a sarcastic chuckle. “They should be relying on me, not me on them . . . “ Aspen put the bottle down and looked at the ceiling. “My mother died when we were young . . . I was the one that should help dad take care of my siblings, but instead, when I joined Tally my sister Vivian went missing, I shouldn’t have  left muggle school.” Aspen confessed. No one knew about Vivian’s disappearance, except for family, and not even MJ knew how Aspen felt about their sister’s disappearance. “We don’t know what happened, if I had stayed with them like I always had I would have been able to do something, but I fail . . . I had one job and it’s like Vivian slipped through my fingers.” She took the bottle again only to take another gulp.

“I failed Vivian, I don’t want to fail Mary or Justice . . .” she put the bottle down again. She had to do everything to make sure everyone else was fine, that they were safe and alright, she wasn’t sure if she even wanted to go Pro anymore, just to watch over her siblings.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Lisa's words had the unintended effect of making Aspen double down on her claim; but instead of the normal reaction of such a thing becoming a source of annoyance, it only served to deepen the concern in the younger teenager. What she could have never expected, however, was how far down the rabbit hole of the Bourke's self hatred could go. It had been a complete misjudgement on Lisa's part, and seeing the girl's agony so up close and personal, in such a raw display, made her feel physically ill.

Her first instinct was to take the alcoholic beverage from Aspen's hands. No amount of liquor could erase, or even dull, what she was feeling. She leaned over the girl to place the bottle away from them, bringing it to rest on the nightstand beside the bed. With the momentum she had of readjusting her seat immediately afterwards, she enabled her second instinct as well by embracing the fellow Chaser with a tight hug, despite her clumsiness to initially administer it.

"You didn't fail anyone..." She spoke, tightening up the hold. Lisa knew for in advance she wasn't going to let go for the rest of the night. She didn't want to. She wasn't the best at comforting, but she wasn't going to abandon the one that clearly needed her right that second. She refused to. She needed to stop running. "You were just a kid..." One that had seemingly grown to become a broken woman; one that was speaking to a very primal urge in Lisa's being, that of protecting. It was rare when such an appeal to that side of her could be made, but when it was successful, she knew that meant the person was part of her pack. She could number those people with a hand in her short life, and Aspen had just become one of them, hell or high water.

"It wasn't your responsibility. Don't deny yourself of your life over something you had no control over..."

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

There was nothing else that could be said, Aspen had put everything out in the open, she wasn’t sure if she could even remember the event in the following day, she could only hope to remember, at least if Lisa stops talking to her Aspen will know and will understand why. Aspen didn’t struggle with anything, whatever Lisa did or tried to do Aspen was just numb, all the emotions were coming to the surface and most of them not even MJ knew, Aspen wouldn’t want to bother her little sister with such problems, they weren’t going to help anyone, it was better if Aspen kept them to herself.

She didn’t fail? It was her job, to take care of her siblings, she should have been there for them, but she wasn’t, she was getting excited about magic and quidditch when she should have been there for her siblings. Lisa’s embrace was somewhat calming Aspen down, it didn’t stop the tears from running down her cheeks as she continued to wonder what would have happened if she had stayed behind, if she hadn’t gone into Tally, or maybe, if she had told her father about the other school sooner, nothing like that would have happened.

“It was, it was my responsibility…” Aspen held onto Lisa, speaking was getting harder to do. Spilling everything out like that wasn’t what Aspen had in mind, she wasn’t thinking about telling all that to anyone, perhaps it was the alcohol that was clouding her judgment, but in a way, it felt good spitting it out, speaking about it freely, without worrying that it would worry MJ. “I can’t let MJ deal with everything on her own…” her sister was still her major concern, what if it was to happen again? What then? What would Aspen do? She could only blame herself.

As feelings and emotions began to settle, Aspen took a deep breath. “I can’t let it happen again.”

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Cheeks stained with tears and a face etched with pure agony wasn't a sight Lisa was particularly fond of when it came to the Bourke she was presently cradling in her arms. However, she realized that it was not something she should demand for to stop. The older girl had every right to work through what gnawed at her core, and in Lisa's perspective, the very need to do so. Crying it out was a part of the process. All she could do was to be there for Aspen the whole way - something she hadn't done for anyone in well over a year.

Within the embrace, the Sturt adjusted Aspen's posture to make it so her head was resting upon Lisa's shoulder, and the latter's arm wrapped gently around her frame, bending and curling up so to reach for the side of her head and hold her safely. On occasion, as Aspen spoke, her fingers gently ran through her hair. She didn't know how to lessen the pain, opting to act on her own protective instincts instead. They screamed at her to hold onto Aspen for dear life for the rest of the night.

"Just because you're moving on in your life... It doesn't mean she has to be alone, you know?" There was no point in tackling the fact Aspen wasn't to blame anymore. They were both inebriated; rationalization wouldn't be either girl's forte, even if Lisa could grasp at her own critical thinking to an extent. "You can still visit, and help... And since you don't wanna get rid of me despite my warnings, I can help too." That was something she could do - alleviate a portion of the burden Aspen carried. It was odd to have the notion in her head that it was something she'd be more than happy to do, but nevertheless she welcomed it.

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Aspen continued to feel Lisa’s embrace and as much as she didn’t want to feel comfortable in that situation, she found that the younger girl’s touch and embrace were enough to relax her, or at least relax her enough that she was no longer crying uncontrollably but was instead calmer than she was before. Aspen tried several times to remain calm and to keep it under control, but she wasn’t so sure if everything was working as it should, especially with Lisa holding her like that. She apparently didn’t know Lisa as well as she thought she did, she never considered the younger blonde to feel so overly protective, but it did feel nice.

Moving on with her life felt like leaving everyone else behind, everyone to fend for themselves and that thought was bothering Aspen, it had been bothering her for a while. She understood she had to live her own life, no one was going to live it for her, she also couldn’t leave everyone without a helping hand. MJ can take care of herself, she’s smart and resourceful, but how could Aspen live her behind? She didn’t want MJ’s studies to suffer because of her leaving.

She had stopped crying, she was calm and there was no point in tackling what Lisa had previously mentioned. Visiting wasn’t much help, unless it was financially, once Aspen starts earning her own money, she’s going to make sure everyone in that house got what they need, her father wouldn’t need to work the graveyard shift every day and MJ wouldn’t need to worry about money so much. “I can’t ask you to help … while … while it means more than I can possibly describe, I can’t ask you to.” Aspen looked at Lisa with a soft smile. No matter what others have said about Lisa, that moment proved Aspen that she was right about her, Lisa wasn’t a bad apple.

“I’m sorry for all this …” Aspen was being a burden to Lisa, just like she was one to MJ whenever she couldn’t control her anger. Instead of moving, Aspen simply grew comfortable in the position she found herself in. “Thank you.”

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

"You're not asking, I'm offering." Lisa corrected the Bourke in her arms in an attempt to calm her down further. Whatever she had been doing, it seemed to be successful thus far - Aspen had all but melted into the embrace, and she wasn't crying anymore. Hell, she was smiling. Lisa had a hard time not mirroring it on reflex despite having no reason to, given the heaviness of the situation. Perhaps it was merely a side effect of the beverage that they had been consuming, although she hoped for the smile to be genuine at least.

She shook her head as Aspen apologized, tightening the hold she had on the older teenager subconsciously. As her fingers danced down the blonde's locks over and over, her gaze seemed distracted - she was looking at the girl, but she wasn't. Instead, she was deep in thought. Aspen had been horrified of Lisa leaving her over such insecurities, when she had never been at fault of such things to begin with; someone acted without Aspen's input and there was nothing anyone could have done to help the situation. Lisa's situation, however, was different. She was starting to feel a knot in the pit of her stomach.

"...I guess it's only fair if I elaborate on who you're dealing with." She finally spoke up after a deep breath, pressing her head back against the end of the headrest and closing her eyes. She had always been considered to be of the brave sort, but talking about her past was a wound too deep to tackle most of the time. Nevertheless, she owed it to Aspen to be forthcoming. Everything she was worried about, everything that stained her as a person, had actually been her own fault. And that was what caused the deeply uncomfortable feeling in her stomach. The fact that Aspen would be entirely justified in walking out, unlike herself.

"Let's start off easy, I suppose..." Like she herself said. Lousy daughter, lousy sister, lousy friend, lousy girlfriend. She fully intended on taking things on in such order - in her mind, it felt like it was framed from most to least forgivable of all her atrocious acts. "I've... never visited my parents' graves since they passed. Just... Never." She gave a light shrug of her shoulders, although it was mild enough not to disturb Aspen's resting position. "I don't know why. I feel like I have no reason to..."

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Offering? Lisa was offering to help? Aspen was grateful that the blonde was willing to go out of her way to offer her some help, but Aspen couldn’t say she felt comfortable with it. She trusted Lisa, even with a few people warning her. Aspen was slowly getting calmer, it wasn’t an easy task, luckily it wasn’t something that could potentially lead to something more violent and Lisa seemed to be able to keep Aspen under control.

Aspen was calm and she remained calm, her eyes still red from all the crying, but at least she wasn’t shedding any more tears. Aspen didn’t move, she was comfortable in the position that she was, that was until Lisa began talking. The older blonde straightened herself and looked at Lisa as the younger blonde talked. What Lisa was saying was indeed odd, there had to be a reason to why Lisa never visited her parents, there had to be one.

“Maybe you have a reason and don’t want to admit it to them?” Aspen asked Lisa with a smile. It was a stretch to tell the younger blonde to visit her parents’ graves, whatever the reason behind not going was, Aspen thought it wasn’t the right time to talk about it. “There’s a lot of people that don’t visit their loved ones’ graves. I can go with you one day. Ya know, my dad kinda works at the graveyard.” She tried to play it as a joke.

“It’s never too late to make amends you know?”

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Lisa shifted uncomfortably as she spoke - not because of her words, but because part of the warmth provided by the fellow Quidditch Captain left her as the girl changed her position. Even though she didn't want to admit it out loud, Lisa felt herself longing for that simple comfort, but ultimately she credited such a necessity to the liquid they both had been consuming through the early evening. Her hand finally left Aspen's locks, as well as her shoulders, and settled down around the girl's waist instead in a rather loose hold. At least not all was lost, or so she thought.

"You'd think that was the case." The younger one responded with a light nod. "But... Sometimes, I question myself on whether I've ever actually loved them or not, for as grim as that sounds. For example, take my mother. I've never met her... Well, actually no, I did, I was just too young to remember. She died of Dragon Pox when I was just a toddler, I don't really remember her face. Let alone how she was like." Lisa shrugged to herself. "I can't really miss what I technically never had, is how I feel about it. I just don't feel the need to visit."

Silence followed, along with a sigh. The Sturt ran her free hand through her hair as she tried to gather her thoughts - quite the feat, given their state of inebriation. "As for my father... He was never really present. A bit of a workaholic. Kinda like me, huh?" Despite the heaviness of the topic, the blonde chuckled at the realization that she was more alike her progenitor than she had previously realized. "There was no relationship there either. I saw him once per break if I was lucky."

Perhaps it was for the best, ultimately, or so she believed. If she had a track record of breaking everyone she came close to, it was a good thing that she never got the opportunity to cause pain to her father. "I suppose I don't visit him because... In a way, I'm mad. When he died I was forced to leave Penrose and come here, so... Leaving everything behind and having to start anew was pretty rough." In her mind, it was the catalyst. She wasn't blaming him in the least; rather, she didn't think she'd be aware of how horrible a person she had the potential to be if the man was still alive.

"On the other hand, me being here now means I get to hang out with you. Maybe it's not so bad." She threw in a joke of her own, accompanied with a small smile and a friendly wink. Despite it, however, she couldn't help but still be scared of how her own reckless actions and track record could impact Aspen in the future.

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

People showed love differently, people weren’t always the same and while Aspen knew that it was hard for her to understand some forms of love, one of them was what Lisa was saying, although, people grieved differently, while Aspen barely had memories of her mother she did, and they might not have spent too much time with the woman but their father didn’t let them forget her, while he worked hard to feed everyone, the man always made sure he had time for all his kids. Aspen just sit there and listened, trying to be mature enough not argue, Lisa simply had a different way to view things, it wasn’t wrong, it was just different than what Aspen is used to. “I’m going to try to be mature here, so, we all look at things differently, it doesn’t make you a lousy daughter just because of that.” Aspen would probably have the same reaction if her father hadn’t told her more about her mother, along with the little that she could remember.

Aspen wasn’t going to go around pointing fingers, she couldn’t understand how someone could not visit, guilt? Anger? There were a lot of feelings that could play into it and cause a person to drift away from happy memories and delve deeper into the bad ones. Aspen had to accept Lisa’s view and actions, while she didn’t quite understand, acceptance was more important. “Why don’t you start by forgiving yourself?” Aspen looked at Lisa and smiled kindly. MJ was the one that was good with this sort of thing, Aspen was so bad at trying to read people and telling them what they should listen, she was so biased about certain things, her opinions were always the best and, in this case, she had to put that aside. “I’m not good at this but … it feels like you feel guilty for being mad at him and I do know one thing, parents usually work too much because either they want to give their kids the best or because memories are too painful.” That wasn’t Aspen’s territory, it was the first time walking on such terrain. What should she say or do? It was all a mystery to her.

She smiled at the joke, while she meant well Aspen thought she was avoiding something. “But … none of that makes you a lousy daughter, just makes you a person. Everyone makes mistakes and I suppose life isn’t one size fits all. As long as you want to get better and make emends, I don’t think you’re a bad daughter.” Aspen wrapped her arms around Lisa in a gentle embrace, the blonde had given her some comfort and while Lisa wasn’t crying like Aspen was, a hug never hurt anyone before.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Lisa had half-expected Aspen to disagree with her, but was taken aback nonetheless. Why was the Bourke so hell bent on giving her a pass regarding her past sins, even if they were barely scratching the surface at that point? Was it because Aspen truly believed people's pasts didn't define them? It felt like a hypocritical belief to hold given the reason she had broken down in front of the Sturt not five minutes prior. What was it then? Was it a bias instilled on her due to the way she looked at Lisa? She hadn't been entirely oblivious to the fact the past couple days, the pieces of the puzzle having started to click in her head - there was no way Aspen would have started to hang out with her so much, so relentlessly, for so long, just because. There was an underlying reason. She could tell the girl was into women exclusively, and a couple glances caught thrown her way served to cement the suspicion. Was she being so understanding because of it?

The confusion was then replaced by bewilderment at the notion of forgiving herself - truth be told, the whole deal with her lineage was the least of her worries. Clashing with what she had just considered in her mind, Lisa couldn't help thinking that perhaps Aspen wasn't prepared for the knowledge that was to come if she was so readily preaching for the Sturt to forgive herself at what she personally deemed 'the lightest of her mistakes'.

"Pot, meet kettle." She couldn't resist pointing out the flaw in that logic, believing Aspen should forgive herself as well - at least, the Bourke had no fault in what had occurred to her sister. Lisa was entirely at fault for every single misstep in her life, in comparison. The saying applied more to the Bourke Captain than anybody else.

The arms she missed soon encircled her again, causing her body to relax involuntarily due to getting what it craved. Lisa returned the embrace in full, resulting in pulling the older girl's body closer to her own. Relishing in the warmth, it didn't look like she'd let go anytime soon. "I don't know which one of those it was. Both, none, either. I'm inclined to think of the second one..." As far as she knew, her father had been entirely absent from Eddie's life as well. It was a rough job, certainly, but she had heard of Aurors whom took pride in their family and went out of their way to be there for those they cared for. If she pursued such a job, which she was seriously considering, she'd likely do it herself - not that she had many people left to protect to begin with, but if Aspen still remained at her side after that night, she would certainly be worth the sacrifice.

"How do you make amends with someone who isn't here anymore? And no, they have no ghosts roaming around." She pressed her forehead to the side of her friend's head and closed her eyes, fairly certain that the (small) alcoholic intake was making her slow down.

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Aspen chuckled at Lisa’s words, the Sturt was right, Lisa was preaching something she couldn’t do herself. Perhaps it was the alcohol or perhaps Aspen was starting to see the irony in all of it. She wished the had the same sensitivity MJ had, her sister always knew what to say or do in every situation, right now, Aspen could only laugh. “I’m so sorry but … You’re right … I should be preaching something I don’t … I don’t do.” Aspen confessed still laughing about the situation, but she blamed herself so much for what happened that she didn’t want others to feel the same, perhaps it was the reason that led her to tell Lisa that in the first place, to tell the girl that she should first forgive herself. When it came to Aspen’s problem, she should probably follow her own advice. She stopped chuckled and gathered her composure.

Her arms remained wrapped around Lisa as the Sturt began to speak. “Maybe it was both, but whatever the reason was, you can’t blame him forever.” The same way that Aspen shouldn’t blame herself, perhaps Lisa shouldn’t blame her father, maybe he was as innocent as Lisa and everyone, just made a mistake thinking he could give them the world.

Making emends wasn’t easy, especially when the person wasn’t around, and in Lisa’s case, the ghost of her father wasn’t either. “Talk, it’s the only thing I can tell you. Whenever I need something without bothering Mary, I go to my mom’s grave and I talk to her. She might not be around, but it feels as she was.” Aspen smiled lightly at Lisa. It might not be Lisa’s thing, talk to a gravestone, and might not even help the young Sturt but if Lisa doesn’t try, she will never know. Aspen pressed her forehead against Lisa’s like the younger female had done. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a brief moment.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

A small smile spread across Lisa's lips as her Bourke companion laughed, both of them finding humor in the situation. She'd hoped bringing the logical fallacy to light would make Aspen drink her own medicine in that situation, but it was only fair if Lisa were to give her the same courtesy - perhaps she should, indeed, work on her negative feelings towards the man. Even in his absence, he ensured she had been watched over by babysitters; he put her through top of the line education up until his death; and he gave her a Starsweeper XXI in her first school year, something most professional athletes at the time only dreamed of acquiring outside sponsorships. He had opened the doors for her to pursue her dreams for as long as he could, until he met his end.

Did she owe it to him to do what she could to make sure her goals and dreams were all satisfied?

It was a perspective she hadn't thought of gaining until that very conversation. For a second time in such a short time span, Aspen had obliterated her expectations and defenses to mutate her stance on things and broaden her horizons. The power the girl was gaining over her was nostalgic, and it made her quite nervous, as if the very ground she'd stand on wasn't solid. Inadvertently, that also made Aspen the lifeline, making for a vicious cycle that was making her too reliant on the woman for her liking, and yet something visceral in her yearned for even more of it.

She opened her mouth to reply, but felt some movement against her forehead; opening her eyes just as the fellow Captain closed them, Lisa noticed just how close they were. That hadn't been her intention (at least, not consciously), and the girl closed her mouth, swallowing dryly. Her cheeks gained a light tinge of red. She hoped that it could come across as an effect of the alcohol rather than the nostalgic urges ripping through her like lightning, ones that she had some level of difficulty in controlling due to lowered inhibitions. While she managed to keep them at bay, she didn't pull away from Aspen either, which didn't help her case in the least.

"...Maybe I'll go sometime. Alright? I can compromise." She relented in the discussion. She couldn't picture herself talking to a grave in any way, let alone both. She wasn't particularly spiritual and knew her parents wouldn't hear her; but she did recognize the possibility of catharsis in the action. Past making herself look like an idiot in a public location, there wasn't much harm to be done in trying.

"Though... That's just the beginning." She admitted, taking a deep breath and closing her eyes a second time - maybe the lack of visual proximity made for better holding back on certain thoughts swimming in her mind. "I don't know how things will go from here, since this got so serious and we're barely scratching the surface. But, if there's anyone out there who deserves to know these things, it's you."

But, was she the only one? Why hadn't she bothered telling Hailey of any such things, past the fact her parents had passed away? Why did she feel compelled to tell Aspen? Was it to keep her safe? Was it because she could feel vulnerable around her, or was it only liquid encouragement talking? "...The second thing I mentioned was... Lousy sister. We've never been very close, Eddie and I. There's a sizable age gap, and... Well, I went to Penrose, and he went to Greyheme. When dad died... I felt like it's best if I stay away from him. I don't think I've had a single conversation with him since. He doesn't know anything about me besides what the school staff tells him, and I don't know a thing about him, period."

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Aspen was pleased that the Sturt hadn’t pulled away, it felt good being this close to someone. She was close to MJ she loved her sister, but it was good to talk to someone who could have a completely different perspective of everything, someone who wasn’t too close and someone who hadn’t experienced the loss they did, Lisa seemed to be the right person, despite what people said of her, she wasn’t as bad as everyone thought she would be, she was quite gentle and caring. Aspen smiled as Lisa agreed, she didn’t even have to talk she could just sit there, Aspen new it helped her when she had to talk to her mother, no one was listening, but she could just sit there and spend some time, it usually makes everything better.

“You don’t have to tell me, but the fact that you trust me enough to do it means a lot.” Aspen confessed. The fact that the Bourke also liked Lisa in a more romantic way was also one of the reasons, and it wasn’t just physical attraction, Aspen genuinely liked Lisa and the more time they spent together the more Aspen tended to gravitate towards the younger student.

She listened to Lisa, there wasn’t much to talk about that, while Lisa had a good relationship with her family not everyone was obligated to have one with theirs, siblings or not Lisa had all the right to not talk to her brother, even if he seemed to be her legal guardian. “There’s nothing wrong with that.” She pulled away for a moment and looked at Lisa with a smile. Aspen usually didn’t give caring smiles, cheerful? Sure, bit caring smiled? Not really, that was MJ’s department. “You two didn’t grow together, not like me and my siblings, just because you’re the same blood doesn’t mean the relationship exists…I love my family and they are everything to me, but if I had grown apart? I’d probably feel the same way.” Aspen tried to explain, it wasn’t easy, but she hoped that Lisa understood that not calling or not talking wasn’t bad, they spent too much time apart and it wasn’t easy reconnecting.

“You can always reconnect if that’s what you want, but, if you don’t it’s okay too.”

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

A breath that Lisa didn't know she was holding came out once Aspen pulled sufficiently away for her to calm down, the rosiness of her cheeks finally subsiding. She wound up shaking her head at her words - it was so much more difficult than that, and at that point, did she truly deserve her brother's attention?

"There's plenty wrong with that, I think... I feel like I should delve more into it." An uncomfortable exhalation followed - despite her willingness to be vulnerable in front of the Bourke, it didn't mean it was something she actually enjoyed doing. But, ultimately, putting herself through that trial would be for the best. At least when it came to Aspen, anyway.

"I pulled away from him because I didn't want to be a burden to him, and, in a way, I don't really want to be reminded of the mortality of the Knotley family." A callback to her describing her worst fear, dying early with regrets, mentioned in their little truth or dare game. From the looks of it, it was exactly where she was headed, moreso with her potential career choices. She could certainly 'make amends' with those whom had passed, but to do so with living people was a whole different ball game.

"To sever the connection, I have to be self sufficient... Hence... All of this, really." She shrugged to herself. "Captainship, grades... I just need my scholarships, no matter the cost. That's also why I did what I did to Hailey, so, I suppose you could say one thing led to the other." The Sturt had cut her off, ironically, changing rooms. She hadn't spoken to Lisa since, and it was well deserved, as far as she was concerned. "That was the second worst thing I've ever done actually. Only the second..." A bitter chuckle escaped her. It paled in comparison to her worst deed.

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

The way Lisa was talking Aspen was starting to see how deep everything went, and how deep it affected the younger student. It seemed that Lisa was living like there was no other way, no other solution except to walk that path alone and try to shove everyone away. While Aspen’s situation wasn’t like Lisa’s, one thing the older blonde knew was that if things had turned out different, she would probably end up in the same path as Lisa, which seemed to be a lonely path, and one that could potentially lead to her demise. Was Lisa even a burden to her brother? Or was that just something that she firmly believed in? It was indeed a difficult and touchy subject, where there was no correct answer, some were better than others, but it didn’t mean one was wrong and the other was right.

“There’s nothing wrong is … asking for help and this sounds hypocritical of me but if I didn’t have MJ to turn to, things wouldn’t be like this.” Aspen finally admitted that MJ was her rock, her pillar, while the younger Clarke had problems of her own, Aspen could always count of her. “What you did to Hailey was perhaps a moment of weakness, I don’t usually listen to gossip, or at least believe in it. I once learnt that there’s three sides to every story, your side, her side and the truth.” Aspen couldn’t claim credit for it, it was something she had heard a while back and that after thinking about it, it was true, every story had three version and the third version was clearly the hardest one to know, as people were usually incapable of being impartial.

“Good things, bad things, we all do them, sometimes out of despair, others for pure pleasure, others because we think we have no other choice.” Aspen shrugged, unsure if her words were going to reach the younger student, it was just a matter of waiting and watching how Lisa would react. Aspen wasn’t planning on leaving her just because of what happened in the past, as far as Aspen was concerned Lisa had done nothing to her, nor to MJ. Lisa had been, above all, a good friend, and that was something that Aspen couldn’t overlook. She might have done some terrible things, some bad things, but Aspen couldn’t just judge Lisa on that.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

"We all make mistakes, but we don't all take upwards to half a year to realize it." Lisa countered. "I didn't actually feel bad at the time, Aspen. I just kept on going. I needed a long, long time to see that I actually made a mistake, and from my track record, I might end up doing something to you at some point. I really don't want to."

While it was a fairly simple admission to make, her voice cracked halfway through her phrase, and she shook her head to regain her composure. She was getting emotional, and they hadn't even arrived at the main event. Rationally, she knew why she was telling Aspen every single thing pertaining her past; but there was a voice in the back of her head, repeatedly asking the same thing - why? Why was she really telling her such things? Why was she making herself so vulnerable to the girl before her? The last time she had let someone in so close felt like a lifetime ago, in a different school. What was it about Aspen that lured her in, and why was she biting that hook so willingly?

The sense of nostalgia was interfering with her mildly impaired judgment, she realized. The feeling of butterflies in one's stomach, the need to connect to someone who understood her after so long, the need to let loose and tear off her own mask to the world every once in a while. The Bourke was enabling all of that the further she went on with the rhetoric that maybe, just maybe, Lisa wasn't a bad person - maybe, just maybe, she was worth the older girl's time with all her faults. That in itself made her heart beat a bit faster than she'd like to admit.

"Even now..." She muttered, but closed her eyes and shook her head a second time to gather her thoughts. Even then she treaded the fine line between being a 'good friend' and making a careless mistake that could cost them everything. Not two minutes before she had considered closing the gap between them, when she shouldn't lead Aspen on; she was afraid that she wouldn't be able to hold that thought back if she was put on the spot again due to her reckless nature.

A sigh of defeat was released as she opened her eyes again. "...Sorry. I'm a bit of a mess right now." There came the bittersweet chuckle. When wasn't she a mess?

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Aspen shook her head before looking at Lisa. “You took half a year, there’s people that take years to even admit to a mistake.” Aspen couldn’t understand the need to pull others down and be the best alone, but she could understand that in some situations it was the only way to achieve one’s goals, while Aspen didn’t try harder because she was already one of the best and she was perfectly happy like that. Lisa was just someone who didn’t know there were other ways.  “You were in a tight spot Lisa, I don’t agree but I can see why. And, you won’t do it to me, because … you learnt from your past, and you know how it makes you feel.” Aspens arms wrapped tighter around the younger student in a loving manner. Aspen had faith that Lisa had learnt from the past, from her previous mistakes, and if anything, working out with Lisa had helped Aspen improve her performance in general.

It was something irrelevant in the past that Aspen didn’t care much for it, the rumors were true but they didn’t spill the whole truth. The truth behind what led Lisa to do what she did, it wasn’t pure evil, it had a reason, and while it might not have been a valid one it was still one to be considered, Lisa was between two hard places, or at least it was what Aspen kept telling herself.

 “You don’t need to apologize.” Aspen spoke softly, trying to calm Lisa down, she seemed already calm but Aspen was trying to do what MJ did to her, trying to make her feel secure. “Look, yes, what you did was a horrible thing, but you know you were wrong to do so. You blame yourself for it and above all you seem to have learnt from it.” Aspen wasn’t about to go around pointing fingers and blaming Lisa, always throwing that to her face, it wasn’t necessary, it would only drown Lisa more into whatever hole she was already into, Aspen wanted to get her out of that hole.

“I can’t point a finger at you, what you’ve done in the past is something I can’t accuse you of or judge you or anything. As far as I know, you’ve been a very good friend.”

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Lisa shook her head when Aspen claimed the Sturt had learned from the past - how could she? How could one prevent mistakes that they weren't aware of as mistakes to begin with? All she could do was look out for the same things she had done in the past, but that didn't mean she'd be aware of new forms her mind weaseled into so to sabotage her various relationships. Granted, she had caught herself miraculously just a few minutes before; but given the ample time the alcohol was being given to take effect, she was unsure if she could pull that stunt off a second time.

The tightening of the hold made her heart skip a bit - while that in itself didn't make her feel embarrassed or more attracted to the girl in the least, it was a physical reminder that she was falling hook, line and sinker for Aspen's understanding and caring words. It felt as if her own negative feelings and rationale behind her own mistakes was validated, for as wrong as she perceived them to be. It was quite difficult to keep sound judgement under both the influence of alcohol and comfort the likes of which she didn't actively remember the last time she'd received.

"You're making it really hard to make it through this, you know. Though you're also making me think I have to." A small, uncharacteristically nervous smile crept up the Sturt's lips. She had been so focused all that time in doing what was best for Aspen that she lacked self awareness to an extent; as her brain wrapped itself around the situation, she started feeling quite the strange thing: fear of losing the Bourke over her past, despite all the evidence to the contrary. It made her body tremble involuntarily as she faced off with that fear.

But Lisa Knotley had never been one to back down and crumble in the face of adversity, had she?

"...Okay." She took a deep, shaky breath, and forced herself to get through it. As she spoke, she mentally savored what could potentially be the last few seconds of the Bourke's sweet embrace, something she felt herself becoming addicted to. It was nostalgic, yet different. "Time to put the cherry on top, I think. This one was the worst one, but also the first one. Goes to show it got better, huh?"

Despite the verbal jab she took at herself, there wasn't a hint of amusement in her tone or expression. Instead, the blonde hesitated for a few moments before continuing. "This was back in Penrose. You could say it's the reason why I don't really date anybody." Throughout the two years and change, the only 'dates' she had ever bothered with were the ones to school balls, and anything else had been nothing more than superficial flirts with the opposite gender she never cared for personally past being the focus of their attention. As her mind thought of the ball, she reminisced on the little slow dance the pair had shared that night. In hindsight, it felt like foreshadowing her feelings for the older girl.

"...Anyway." She brought herself back to the depressing reality. "I was with someone back then... Since roughly halfway into the first year, until I left." Two years and a half. Only then she had realized she had spent almost as much time apart from Jane that she did with her, and the thought made her uncomfortable. "It was my roommate. Put two people who get alone great in the same dorm room whom happen to be starved for attention, watch the sparks fly, you know the rest."

In her mind, she was minimally aware that her sexual preferences had just been aired out to the world without her caring so much over it for a change; while it was a secret that had been kept under lock and key for so long, it felt like the least of her problems that night given the sheer volume and seriousness of information that she was imparting. "Then my father died, as you know, in the end of the third year. My brother told me I had to leave... So I told her. We fussed over it for the whole month, and..."

Her voice failed her for a moment - while she didn't cry, the sheer agony of reliving the event could easily be perceived through her tone. Closing her eyes, she made an attempt at regaining her composure (in vain, mostly) before finishing her tale off. "...I panicked. I didn't think I'd be able to keep her happy, and I wanted her to be able to enjoy her academic years with somebody else while I wasn't around anymore. I couldn't bring myself to break up with her, and I knew that if I brought it up she'd just talk me into everything but that. So, I... I locked away her memories of the relationship. Plain and simple."

It was out in the open. Her hold of Aspen grew slack, as if she expected the girl to leave; though the realization of what she had just said brought an ironic chuckle out of the Sturt as she closed her eyes and shook her head. "That's the first time I've ever said that out loud..."

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Aspen kept holding Lisa, tight and close, almost like shielding her from something, while the position they were in wasn’t the most comfortable, being able to hold someone dear close enough was enough for Aspen. Lisa seemed to be having second thoughts about telling her everything but somehow seemed to have gathered the courage to do so. It couldn’t be easy spilling out the truth like that, she had to give credit to the younger girl for doing so.

The older student listened carefully, she took in all the information Lisa had to offer, eventually holding the grip a bit tighter than before. Aspen knew Lisa had been a Penrose student, it was hard not to with all the gossip going around school, one of the reasons why Aspen liked to keep things quiet and away from the mouth of others. As Lisa continued to speak a few things were quite interesting, at least for Aspen, while that moment was about Lisa, the older blonde couldn’t help it but to feel a certain relief upon hearing certain things, but, as soon as it started it also ended.

She had no idea Lisa had sealed away someone else’s memories, while it seemed cruel at first Aspen came to the realization that it would be something she would consider, not something that she would do. She would fight and would try to make things work, it could end in something marvellous or something disastrous, only time could tell. But Lisa, she took it too far up to the point of locking someone’s memories, while her intentions seemed noble no one should have their memories locked away. For a moment Aspen was speechless, she wasn’t sure what to think of the situation.

The Bourke girl didn’t let go of Lisa and continued to hold her until she finally let go of the girl and looked her in the eyes. At first words wouldn’t come out, as if they were hesitant, almost like they were scared of hurting someone who had been hurt even further, perhaps beyond repair. “I don’t know what to say…but…you seem to know it was a bad thing, and you seem like you have to live with it. I say who got punished was you not her.” Aspen wasn’t sure where to begin, nor what to continue to say to Lisa after everything, she simply wanted to hold her close and tell her that everything was going to be alright, that she didn’t have anything to fear.

“It was wrong what you did, wrong on so many levels, but you took the easy way out, perhaps saved the girl a lot of bad moments and yourself as well. But you know it was wrong and for what I understood, you were trying to protect her.” Was Aspen just trying to get excuses for Lisa’s poor behaviour? Perhaps, but from everything that happened Lisa was the only one suffering from it all, she was already paying for her mistakes, there was no point in pushing the knife deeper into the wound while rubbing salt on it. “Maybe now that you spoke it’s time for you to heal, you admitted it was wrong, it was a mistake, you accepted it and now you have to heal from it and leave the past behind so you don’t do it again to someone else.” Aspen spoke, moving forward to land an affectionate kiss on Lisa’s forehead.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Why wasn't Aspen letting go of her? Lisa's mind refused to understand how someone would go so far as accepting her after hearing of such an atrocity brought about by her own hand. Even then, the younger of the two hesitated on tightening the hold, personal insecurities dictating the Bourke would be dashing out of the room in disgust any second - as she should, Lisa thought, as that was the point. To shield the girl from future pain and suffering, it was for the best. Yet, Aspen refused.

Instead, she accepted her once more - not only physically, but verbally. How could the intentions justify her actions? The path to hell was paved in good intentions, or so Muggles normally said. Before she could form her thoughts into words, however, the fellow Chaser had pressed her lips to Lisa's forehead, which rendered the Sturt's mind blank.

A strange feeling was bubbling under the surface, one that she hadn't felt in over two years. Relief, contentment, gratitude - she had made herself vulnerable, even if aided by alcohol in such an endeavor, and Aspen had accepted every fiber of her being, both the good and the bad parts. She hadn't judged her, she sought to understand the reasoning behind it all and how it made Lisa feel instead; and wanted to work with her to overcome such issues. But, more importantly, she felt happiness. It was the strongest of the emotional cocktail swirling through her brain. It made her want to devote her time and efforts to the girl, and it made her want to repay in kind by helping her out with her own issues - for all the messes Aspen claimed to make, she was doing a fantastic job at cleaning up the mess that was Lisa's life.

The Sturt took a shaky breath as her mind cleared from the touch. "Is this your long term plan for getting me to fall for you? Being very understanding and just being there for me in general?" She let out a chuckle and leaned back against the wooden headrest of the bed, her hold finally tightening enough to pull the Bourke close once again. "Because it's working." There was no point in beating around the bush anymore. She could tell Aspen had feelings for her, and everything indicated they were reciprocated; she'd be doing the girl a disservice by not being upfront about her own affections at that point.

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Bourke ☆ Seventh Year ☆ Student, Quidditch Chaser, Paper Girl✩ Tecri
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ she/her

Not once Aspen let go of Lisa, maybe had pulled away once or twice to look at the younger teen, or to talk. Aspen wasn’t good at it, she wasn’t good at pep talks, she wasn’t good at being a shoulder to cry on, but what she was good at was listening, and having to grow faster than most, she learnt that things aren’t always bright and perfect, people make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can haunt someone. What Lisa did was terrible, it was an awful thing, but it shouldn’t be something that punishes her forever, people needed a chance to grow and to become better, if they didn’t have that chance then how could they prove to the world that they had learnt from their past and tried to be better.

Nothing that Lisa had done, had been done to Aspen, if that was the case, she could understand why no one else would want to talk to Lisa, but being a variable outside of the equation also made her see things differently, Lisa was trying to change. Aspen couldn’t understand why Lisa went on about her grand speech about being a terrible person, but as a friend Aspen wanted to understand her friend, trying to see past the rumours and see for herself if they were true or just a snowball that started rolling down a hill and lost control of its size and had crashed, which was how rumours begin.

Aspen smiled at Lisa, what could she say? She liked the girl before her, maybe she wasn’t so impartial as she wanted to be, but it also gave her the opportunity to see beyond the wall. “If it’s working means my plan worked.” She tried to joke but it wasn’t something she should be joking about. Yes, she liked Lisa more than just a friend, she liked her tenacity, her jokes and most of all how she cared but tried not to show it, for whatever reason, Lisa wasn’t just the mean girl.

“I guess the cat’s out of the bag.” Aspen continued to look at Lisa, her smile grew bigger and bigger as she continued to look at the younger blonde. Lisa already knew how Aspen’s felt, or maybe she didn’t. At that moment Aspen wasn’t there because she was crushing on Lisa, she had stayed behind because she cared for the girl as a friend, being a good friend was more important, and even if Lisa didn’t reciprocate the feelings it was alright, they were still friends. Aspen would eventually move on, especially since she would be graduating that year, she could be moving to Melbourne or to another location, she didn’t know, but if she had a reason to stay then she would try to stay in Narrie for as long as she could.

“I think I’ve fallen for you a while back, there’s no point in denying it further, but I’m here in the capacity of a friend, not someone looking to score some points.” She wouldn’t be a very good friend if she had stayed only to try and get Lisa to like her back, she would be an awful friend if that had been the reason why she had stayed and tried to support the younger blonde.

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Sturt ☆ Sixth Year ☆ School & Sturt Quidditch Team Captain, Chaser & Dueling Club Captain✩ Kirupachi
17 year old Halfblood Human ☆ She/Her

Lisa didn't know what it was that had such an effect, but she found that a smile was tugging at the corner of her lips the more Aspen grinned herself, as if trying to unconsciously mimic her. The mild buzz she was under made her far more susceptible to let herself drown in the warmth and comfort of the situation, and she made no effort to fight it as she normally would; instead she let the positive emotions that Aspen made her feel fully sink in. While it was certainly nostalgic, it felt different at the same time. Beyond the happiness and gratitude the little encounter was making her feel, there was a hint of exhilaration and excitement over exploring uncharted territory.

"I know. That's why it's working." The Sturt reiterated. However, Aspen's reply was inconclusive as to whether she had understood what the younger girl had meant. Lisa reached to gently cup the fellow blonde's cheek with a hand, only noticing she had done so by the time she felt her skin's warmth against her own palm. Perhaps she should be more forward? It was her trademark, after all - when she made up her mind about something, Lisa was always one to follow it through to the end. Such had been the case with her prior mistakes, but her affections for Aspen felt like anything but.

"And because of that, because you didn't get rid of me despite me trying, now you're stuck with all of me instead. Whether it's a punishment or a reward, it's for you to judge." Taking advantage of the mind numbing closeness between the pair, Lisa made her move - having guessed correctly earlier that she wouldn't be able to hold herself back a second time, she finally closed the gap between the two, gently pressing her lips to Aspen's. Perhaps she should've done so earlier to begin with. 'Hindsight is 20/20.'

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