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by: Casey Winslow
How was his day? Casey snorted lightly at the question and shrugged. "Alright, considering," he replied. They had more or less touched on that with his lack of progress. "I'm alive. I'm breathing. The sun keeps shining, the trees keep growing, and the earth keeps spinning. Just wish each spin would bring me closer to finding him." Perhaps it was silly to wish for such a thing. He should probably accept that Julian was gone and would be with Trevor or whomever Trevor had left him with until his dying day, but as a father, he couldn't. As a father, he had to hope against all hope. It was his nature. It was his responsibility.

Casey was quiet for a few moments, reflecting. "Let's talk about something silly," he said. "At least I won't sound like a broken record that way. Tell me about a favorite memory from Hogwarts?" It was about as impulsive as Casey got, this, yet he hoped Kara would appreciate the change in thought as well. They both sounded like broken records, repeating the same sentiments, avoiding the same topics. It was time to find something to discuss that they enjoyed, something that took both their minds away from their current situations.
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by: Kara Viridian
"Me too."

Yeah, it was bad to keep bringing up old things, wrapping around to thoughts they'd already expressed. He just told Kara he'd had a dry day in the search for Julian, so why was she bringing it up again when it seemed to make him upset? Well, she was flustered, for one. His visit, while calming, caught her somewhat off guard and she needed a moment to reconfigure. It was still a fresh one, their relationship; though it wasn't new by any means it was just that it was finally being explored. Kara knew she had to get used to him being around since she quite enjoyed his company.

When he steered the conversation elsewhere, she did feel relieved, although the question was quite surprising. "Hogwarts? A favorite memory," She breathed out, facing forward for a second before chuckling. "Umm...okay. I was always with Elana. My best mate throughout. Inseparable, really. We'd always have lunch at the little spot by the waterfront on campus together, talk about how disgusting boys were..." Kara gave his hand a squeeze as she laughed. "Not much changed when we got older either, lunch turned into wine or vodka at the pub and we still chatted about boys too." Most of her favorite memories were with her best friend, the late Elana Lenor. She missed her so much.

"Other than that, I think the time one of our classmates, oh what was his name...nearly blew up the classroom with his potion, he'd messed up so terribly. Oh the professor was so angry." She broke out in a fit of laughter just recalling it.

Those were the the good old days.

"What about you?" She asked. Lighter conversation meant smiles and laughter as they reminisced. This was quite nice.
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by: Casey Winslow
Casey smiled lightly and chuckled as Kara said things hadn't changed much between her and Elana following their Hogwarts school days. Wasn't that how it was? The way you related to someone often stayed the same, just the circumstances changed? A nice butterbeer or hot chocolate graduated to adult beverages, the way the opposite gender had been discussed changed to more favorable discussions, and the topics graduated some as well. He'd married young, become part of a war effort young. He hadn't lived as some had, yet he knew that. They'd done everything they could to hold onto their youth despite all that was going on, yet war hardened you. War grew you in ways you didn't expect as well as those you did.

Still, he should have liked to have met Kara during her Hogwarts days even if she had been a bit younger than he and his group of friends. It would have been nice to have seen each other more carefree, happier, carrying less baggage. But life had a reason for bringing people together when it did. Would she have been so much a light in his life when they'd met if they'd known each other before? He thought not.

"What about you?"

Casey supposed he should have anticipated that question and prepared something. There were so many good memories once he actually got his nose far enough away from the books or his attention away from the Quidditch pitch long enough to actually have some friends and experiences. "Well, I could recite a Quidditch win or that time I had all Os despite having a girlfriend and planning a wedding, but I suppose those are kind of boring when you think about it. I'd have to say this train ride in sixth year when I met Evie. And not because I met her. I'd dated Amie a bit before that, but I'd always been a bookworm so that didn't quite work out. But no. We met some interesting people that ride. Some transfer student from another school who carried about an animagus guardian for Merlin-only-knows what reason. He was a bit of an oddity. Jamie got in some cat fight running about in her animagus form, and Amie had to go after her. It was pretty much chaos. Evie and I ended up sneaking away to find the Weasley twins when the transfer kid started singing. But I think that's my favorite moment because it's when I started living, having some good friends."
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by: Kara Viridian
That right there, was quite possibly the most Casey had ever revealed about himself. That had nothing to do with politics, government drama, resistance, death, or anything unsavory. It was a pleasant memory, one that gave his handsome face this sort of angelic glow that was admirable and rather intriguing to Kara. After all this time, she hadn't seen him look quite like that, and there was no complaints about it, not one whatsoever. With a soft, contented sigh, Kara turned and made herself comfortable in the nook of his arm, resting her head on his shoulder if he let her, relaxed by the reminiscence and the happier thoughts of the past that further shaped them to who they were now.

He'd even mentioned Evie and it didn't upset her. Maybe because she was already enthralled with the fact that he'd revealed something about himself in great detail. "Not boring, of course, especially if it made you happy." She responded, in regards to his initial statement about Quidditch and weddings and whatnot. "I mean, sneaking out to go flying or...showing off my grades with my mum. That's all normal stuff kids don't talk about--those moments are pretty dear to me, too." It'd only been over a decade or so since she'd attended the famous Wizarding school, but thinking on how fast those years went by, it felt like it was just last week. "Although it was funny," She giggled, "One time, oh--I forgot his name--Roger, maybe? He put the wrong amount of something into his potion mixture and it blew up in his face, and made his hairs stand straight up! He had to walk around the school like that for a couple of days. Poor old sod. Elana even went as far as trying to design a proper hat for him, he'd been so embarrassed!" There tended to be that one kid in each class, who just didn't get the hang of anything.

"You know, our paths had to have crossed at some point over the years but we had no idea. Who we were. Who we'd become. Or that we'd end up here, innit?" Kara snuggled against him, and rest her hand over his chest. "I was a bit shy though, doubt you would have even noticed me--" She joked, poking him in the chest playfully. "But hey, we're here, aren't we?" This was nice. Getting a chance to just stop letting things get awkward or dreary--and just let the moment...be.

Part of her thought: What would teenage Casey have been like? She felt she was a little more withdrawn, though friendly enough to make a good amount of friends and acquaintances as she felt she was now. But back then, she trusted a lot. Perhaps a little too much.
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by: Casey Winslow
As Kara rested in the crook of his arm, Casey brought his arm around her, resting his hand at her waist. It was a welcome reaction, one that put him at ease that he could talk about his past and mention Evie without her naturally becoming upset. He couldn't help that Evie had been such a huge part of his past or that things had played out as it had between them. He couldn't help that his shy former self had made her the center of his universe, the one whose presence had made it easier to talk to others with them. She had helped him grow into who he was. Hell, she had saved him from himself both in a figurative sense and eventually in a literal sense as the events of their dark past had taken their toll on him. She would always be an important part of his past, but Kara was his future. It was something she would have to accept just as he would have to accept she had been married to Liam, had had other boyfriends, had lived her life and acquired her own baggage. These moments, these memories had formed both of them for better or for worse.

As Kara replied, Casey let his head fall back against the couch, closing his eyes as he listened to her melodic voice. He liked how she carried on, letting him listen rather than come up with random responses to things which made little sense for him to interject. Conversation flowed with her. Time flowed with her, and it was nice. It was easy. He liked it. He laughed where appropriate, smiled as she seemed excited, even kissed her head as she concluded her speech. "We are," he agreed. "I was probably oblivious if we did. Wasn't much of a talker, didn't really mingle much outside of my house and even then, it was limited. But I do remember the night we met. There was something about you that I liked. I think the way you made me feel like a normal person, made my issues and baggage go to the back of my mind. You were a breath of fresh air." If he'd been a different man, if Evie had pushed him far enough that year that he had decided to separate? Who knows what might have happened that year? All he knew was her search for her father had been a welcome distraction, the time they'd spent his favorite moments of an otherwise bleak and hopeless time in his life.
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by: Kara Viridian
She leaned up and returned his kiss, the delicate touch of his lips on hers was so lovely. Kara reached up and placed a hand on his cheek to brace herself and she smiled when he pulled away. His eyes were beautiful and she liked letting her own gaze settle there, enjoying the bit of peace they had now.

Then, she chuckled. The night they met? he remembered that too. Like it was just yesterday... Her skin flushed a slight pink as he spoke, complimenting her for being there for him. "You did the same for me. So many times I felt desperate or completely lost, you were there." Despite the fact that they hit a couple of bumps along the way, she and Casey always found their way back to one another. Times early on in their courtship where he was uncertain, times when she felt like she needed a shoulder to cry on, or the times during events that drove them apart with a force they couldn't fight--they still managed to work their way back to one another. Even if those pit-stops of happiness were brief, they were still little lights for her to cherish and appreciate.

"I suppose I could say the same about you, you know? The whole 'normal' thing. With everything about my mum and dad, and the other baggage that I carry around--it was nice to talk to someone who could help me sort it all out, even if that meant sitting with me, having a drink or just...having a laugh, you know?"

She let her thumb gently caress the soft skin of his cheek before pulling her hand down. She curled into his arm and rested her head on his shoulder, bringing her arm across his chest to hold him close. Kara let her mind drift a bit, wondering about their marriages, his son, her father... would this work, with him? A future, that is. She wanted it to, but there was always a sliver of dread in the back of her mind that wondered if there was a time-limit on this. She hated thinking that, wondering if there was an expiration on it all. Was she happy with him? Of course. But was this just another brief light among the flickers of memories she was making with Casey, before that light got snuffed out?
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by: Casey Winslow
Casey brought his arms to rest around her as she snuggled against him, content enough to sit there like that in silence. They had a lot of memories together, some good and others not so happy but for the most part, something about them worked. Regardless of the few breaks they had taken when things had been too tough, they had always managed to make it work. He didn't know why she put up with him sometimes, but then he'd felt that way about Evie at times. Love was a driving force, although a choice made on the daily once that new puppy love feeling had worn off, and you learned to put up with those little ticks in favor of the greater over-arcing happiness at the end of the road following struggles that ideally made a couple stronger. It just happened that the struggles he knew in relationships tended to boil down to forces outside being greater than those within moreso than problems from the inside out though those were there. He knew his own faults. He had a streak of independence that had led to problems in both relationships, times when he'd make major decisions without considering his partner or considering them but not talking with them to make sure they were on the same page.

Casey sighed contently, letting his head fall back against the couch and roll to the side. It wasn't that late, but there was something calming about the moment, their closeness, their little trip down memory lane, statements of appreciation, and frankly, he had no desire to break the silence. There was no place he would rather be.
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