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 An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)

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Julienne Ambrosi
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PostSubject: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 01, 2017 1:26 pm

It was mid afternoon and Julienne had found herself within the owlery. Sometimes the girl wandered to the space when she sought refuge in the vastness of the Castle. The immensity sometimes became too much for her mind to comprehend. Despite the fact that she had now been at Hogwarts for almost three years, the Hufflepuff still managed to get herself lost multiple times a day. One time, she had meant to go to the library in order to find a book for a paper that was due on hippogriffs or something of the likes. One wrong turn had led to another and she landed herself in the astronomy tower, her eyes seeing an exchange between two older students that no-one (or telescope, for that matter) should have to see.

At this moment, however; Julienne was not lost. A small smile formed in her lips because for once she had gone exactly where she'd meant to go. The owls looked so content in their ways, flapping around in their areas. They looked content with their lives, despite their captivity. If she had been an owl, the girl would have flown far from here long ago. How could a bird stay in one place if they were able to swim through the sky and never look back?

She found the tips of her hair turning from brown to a soft green. A sigh of frustration escaped her mouth before she could stifle it, causing a nearby owl to awaken from the serenity of his nap. Lately, she had found that her features, especially her hair, had become susceptible to her mood. Blue for sorrow, red for anger, and so on and so forth. In this moment, the green more than likely represented her envy towards the owls' freedom.

Moments later, one specific owl began to call out to her. The owl flew towards Julienne, attempting a flip in the air but failing on the way. The girl smiled. The owl seemed to have sensed Julienne's displeasure with the world in which she lived. Out of her pocket, the Hufflepuff gathered a few berries from a small pouch in her pocket.

"Thank you, Echo," she smiled to the bird for her efforts. In all Julienne's years, Echo had been one of her only friends. The bird had always known what Julienne was feeling and she could always lighten the mood. Julienne appreciated having her around.

She then heard the sound of shoes tapping against the floor, footsteps approaching the owlery. Julienne's breathing quickened. She hadn't expected to see anyone today. She was not prepared for the world. Quickly, the girl motioned for her owl to follow her to a small corner in the room. She hoped that the stranger would be unable to see her.

As the room grew silent, Echo cried out. The owl's sound rang through the owlery. Julienne shuddered. She was no longer safe from interaction. The owl seemed to smile, mischief glowing in its eyes.

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Kylian Dupont
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Wed May 03, 2017 2:20 pm

Latest letter in one hand and a sketchbook tucked under the other arm, Kylian made his way up to the owlery, hoping not to get lost this time round. The first time he tried to find the owlery, he'd gotten the layout of the castle very, very wrong and ended up in the Ravenclaw's tower. How, he had not been sure. There was a dim recollection of someone asking him a question that he wasn't sure how to answer (Who founded something for some reason; he couldn't recall the name), and so he did what he did best -- he retorted with a dry comment ("Someone with a mother and a father who was alive").

A door had opened and he'd entered, heading towards the stairs, only to stop halfway in a step as he realised he was surrounded by Ravenclaws looking oddly at him. There was a fireplace, and a banner that held the emblem of an eagle, and his eyes went wide.

"Nice common room," he found himself saying. "Thanks for having me." He spun and left before anyone could say anything and hid in his room for the rest of the day, both mortified and amused that he'd managed to get there in the first place. It wasn't until later that he discovered that, apparently, smart-ass answers were accepted by the door from older students who had, by that point, gotten bored of the whole thing.

He'd made a few friends from that incident, Ravenclaws his age who had found it hilarious a transfer Gryffindor had 'broken into' the Ravenclaw tower, and he'd been pardoned for his mistake. One of them had shown him the proper way to the owlery, and Kylian had done his best to memorise it. From then on, though, he always double checked the door before entering.

Stepping out into the open air, he smiled to himself, whistling sharply once. His owl came flying towards him, and he tied the letter neatly onto the animal's leg. "For dad," he told the owl. "Don't bother waiting for a reply. Merlin knows he takes days to pen one, and I'll probably have a letter for mum waiting for you when you return."

The owl hooted and took off, and Kylian moved to one of the benches. He enjoyed the breeze up here, and he wanted to work on a sketch he was doing for his mother -- a compilation of smaller doodles of things she loved, forming a flower. It was for her birthday, and while that wasn't for a few more weeks he wanted to be prepared. She'd forbidden him from buying her anything after what happened the last time (he'd gotten her an adult toy as a joke; she'd laughed and then hexed him) and so it was a drawing it was to be.

A hoot caught his attention and he turned towards it, frowning a little as he saw a shadow that was definitely not from an owl in a corner of the building. Standing, he left his drawing on the seat and headed in its direction. "Hello?" he called out. "Is someone there? Are you okay? Do you need help?"

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Thu May 04, 2017 1:00 pm

Julienne looked at Echo, trying to appear angered but ending up unable to shield the fear from here eyes. She curled up tighter in an effort to stay unnoticed, her heart beating quickly against the knees that she'd brought up to her chest. Through the owlery chaos that her feathered companion had instigated, Julienne heard a male voice calling out.

The girl's face had gone pale, her hair morphing back from green into its normal brown. She wished that this power of hers had come with the ability to camouflage into her surroundings. But of course, her power never managed to make itself practical.

"Is someone there? Are you okay? Do you need help?"

As she listened to the stranger calling out for her, Julienne found herself able to steady her breaths. Her heart reluctantly slowed its pace, causing the panic to subside. But without the panic, her body found itself craving a differing form of torture. Where the fear had once been, a deep pit of guilt crawled its way into her. Like a tick, the guilt was out for blood.

She hated herself for worrying whomever this was. He was wasting his time yelling through an empty room, only to eventually find Julienne hiding in the corner. She knew that he'd be disappointed that he hadn't found someone whom he was able to assist, or at least someone with whom he could converse. Julienne was sure he'd see her and just walk away.

But despite this, she couldn't bear the idea of leaving this stranger to wander the owlery, waiting to find someone who did not want to be found. Julienne took a few deep breaths, counting 4-7-8 alongside each exhalement.

Slowly, the girl forced herself to lift from her seated position. Echo looked to her with pride, as if this had been the owl's plan all along. Julienne's entire person quaked, legs feeling as though they had morphed into some form of gelatin (which, even though it was possible, did not actually happen).

She exited her corner of safety, the owls hooting as though they were cheering her on. She walked with her eyes focused on the floor, looking for another pair of feet instead of a face. The thought of maintaining eye contact seemed an unreachable goal. It would be better this way. Eventually, she saw a pair of sandals standing before her. Her lips began to curl themselves into a smile; he hadn't left yet.

'I'm alright,' The Hufflepuff wanted to say. She wanted to walk up to the boy and tell him that she was grateful for his efforts, that she appreciated the fact that he could care for a shadow that he'd never met. She wanted him to know that she appreciated the chivalry.

But instead, she offered him a shaky, "hello," never looking up from the ground. In that moment, she hated herself. There were a million things she could have said to the boy who cared enough to stand in a room and yell to her, but that was all her voice could manage to release.

Her eyes continuously focused on the floor, Julienne stifled a tear from her eyes. She was an idiot.


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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Thu May 04, 2017 1:44 pm

Kylian was quite certain someone was there. The silence was almost uncomfortable, and he shifted from one foot to another as he looked around, wondering if he hadn't been heard -- if he should call out again -- or if he was simply being ignored, for whatever reason. Silence had simply never been something Kylian had ever grown used to; if there wasn't people around him, talking, he was listening to music on his phone.

The only reason he'd gotten one in the first place, really, was to keep in touch with muggleborn friends (or other halfbloods that had one). And then he discovered video games and music (Muggle artists weren't all bad) and now his phone and headphones were found wherever he was.

So no, silence wasn't a word in his vocabulary, but some deep instinct (probably obtained from his mother) told him to wait, to not make any sudden movements. It was new, this inner voice instructing him, but he'd heard enough stories from his mother and her colleagues to know that, if it ever popped up, to pay it full attention; more than likely, it was right. And as such, Kylian stood there in the awkwardness, waiting for something -- what, he wasn't quite sure.

But then, from the shadows, almost like a phoenix from the ashes, movement caught his attention and he turned, slightly, to see a female standing there. He didn't recognise her -- although that wasn't something out of the ordinary; he did just move to Hogwarts, after all -- but there was something about her that was familiar.

It wasn't so much her face (even if he couldn't see it, he knew it wasn't going to be familiar) or her clothes, or her hair, or anything physical. Rather, it was the posture, the way she refused to look up, keeping her gaze on the floor. It was the way she had taken so long to emerge. It was the way the 'hello' came out, shaky and uncertain and soft, as though afraid of her own voice.

Where had he seen it before? Kylian couldn’t place it. All he knew was that something was wrong -- very wrong -- with the female before him, and he didn’t mean that like some would say it, demeaning and harsh, words meant to hurt. Something had happened to make her like this, either experiences or brain chemicals (he had a friend with ADHD back in France, and he’d explained the technicalities of neurotransmitters to Kylian, who tried his best to understand but didn’t -- not fully). Either way, it wasn’t her fault, although he knew some people liked to blame those who had it; that wasn’t fair, and Kylian already found himself wanting to protect the person standing before him.

He also wanted to pull her into a hug and promise her things would be okay, but he wasn’t stupid -- firstly, he didn’t know her, and physical touch was always a personal preference. Secondly, and more importantly, sometimes things didn’t turn out okay, and he would never lie to someone in need.

But instead of doing either, all Kylian did was smile gently, although she couldn’t see it, and say, “What’s wrong?”

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Fri May 05, 2017 1:27 pm

Of all of the abilities that Julienne had found herself capable of, the most useful had always proved to be the ones that took no magic whatsoever. As a young girl, even before her magic had begun to develop, Julienne had found that the best way to occupy her time was to walk around whichever world she was in and watch the different people who passed by her view.

Over the Summer months, Julienne often found herself exploring the expressions that would present on different faces. Her eyes danced across the language that flowed from each body. She noticed the emotions that were signaled by the twitch of an eye or the pauses between laughter.

By the time that she'd begun her time at Hogwarts, Julienne had gotten very good at reading people; not just by face or body language, but by the way with which each person presented emotion through their speech patterns. A lull between conversation usually meant that the two instigators had grown uncomfortable within the conversation. A softness within what was usually a strong voice meant a mixture of sincerity and unsureness.

And despite her opening assumptions, the voice before her did not come across as one of anger. There was no cruelty in his words, as there would be if he felt that Julienne was wasting his time. As he asked her what was wrong, Julienne knew in her heart that he was sincere. Her mind; however, told her otherwise.

'Some people are able to disguise their intentions within their vocal chords,' she told herself. You don't really believe that he is here for you, do you? That he cares? He doesn't know you, Julienne, and when he does he'll wish that he didn't'

She attempted to open her mouth, to let him know that she'd heard his sincerity and that she was willing to confide in him. But her mind morphed itself into a needle, stretchy its negative thoughts into thread and sewing her lips so that no sound could escape.

"I-" she tried to say. "I-"

'I-I- I what? What do you have to say, Julienne? What do you want him to know? Would you like to inform him that you're different? That your parents are so afraid of you changing that they are unwilling to even look at you for more than a few minutes at a time? Or would you like him to know that his being here is torturing you, even though I am sure his intention was definitely to help a stranger whom he as never met? Would you like to tell him that, Julienne? Because I'm sure he'd love to hear it'

Her mind pierced her heart as if each thought was a sharp piece of metal that mistook the organ for a pin cushion. She stood there, unable to elaborate in her words. She knew that if she spoke, the stranger before her would listen. But she'd lost all hope that she would be able to speak because she was incapable of even the smallest amount of conversation.

For a single moment, she forced strength into her muscles. Julienne forced her focus from the floor to his eyes. His eyes. One could get lost simply by trying to decipher the colour of this boy's eyes. They were brown but they were grey or perhaps they were somewhere in between and they were beautiful. Julienne did not deserve to be looked at by these eyes.

"I-" she tried to tell him once more, making sure to speak directly into his eyes. All she managed to say was, "I'm sorry." And she was. She was sorry for so many things. Sorry to her parents for being someone whom they were afraid to love. Sorry to herself for her inability to make connections. Sorry to this boy for wasting his time, even if he did not know that that was what he was doing.

All the girl ever did was tell people that she was sorry, because she would never not be.



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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Sat May 06, 2017 4:43 am

He waited, the silence taunting him. He wasn't usually one who ever questioned his motives; he knew what he wanted, and if he deemed it right he did it without second guessing himself. But seeing her standing there before him, Kylian began to doubt if he'd done the right thing. She seemed so small, so fragile, so precious, almost like a butterfly with broken wings -- full of life and colour and beauty, if only one took time to admire it. But many people, he knew, would take advantage of it, doing their best to stomp the life out of her, either for their satisfaction or because they didn't know any better.

Kylian waited, said nothing as she stuttered. She would speak, in time, and if that was what she needed then that was what he was willing to give. There was something about her that called to him, whispering things into his heart and mind in a language he did not yet understand; but they were beautiful things, things that made him want to cry -- and he was not a crier.

You what? he prompted, although only mentally. You're beautiful? he added, a moment later, although he knew this was not going to be what she said. Oh, but she was. There was a beauty about her that he couldn't begin to fathom, a quality that seemed to take hold of his senses and turn them inside out, leaving him uncharacteristically nervous. He sucked in a breath of air, but it felt damp and heavy, like he was breathing in her presense. He let out the breath. What was happening? He couldn't figure it out.

And then she looked up.

Suddenly everything made sense again. Her eyes were hazel. No, he decided a moment later. They're green. Like the ocean. But as she continued to gaze at him, he felt himself changing his mind yet again, and he eventually settled on the colour of a forest in autumn. Life, but life dying, but also a promise of more. Of better. Of hope. Of love.

He shook the thoughts from his mind. Her eyes were haunting, beautifully so, and he found himself wanting to know the story they held -- the girl hiding behind them.

Her apology caught him off guard, and Kylian forced himself to breathe. To act normal. But internally, he was screaming. He was telling her that she had nothing to apologise for, that anyone who made her feel that she owed an apology for looking at him deserved to be hexed into oblivion, that she was worth so much more than constant apologies. He said none of this.

Instead, gently, softly, Kylian asked, "For what?"

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 08, 2017 1:26 pm

Julienne had not expected for her apology to be followed by an apology. She was used to conversations that began with "I'm sorry" and ended with "Goodbye," every word following directly after the other like the members of a marching band.

No-one wanted to hear her sob story, even though her physicality assured them that she would not have the strength to tell it. But this boy, the one looking to her with the brown-grey kaleidoscope eyes, this boy wanted to know the meaning behind the few words she'd been able to tell him.

'For nothing, she thought.
'For everything, she thought.

The Hufflepuff breathed slowly, grasping each breath and struggling to maintain the strength of her lungs. Just for once, she wanted the ability to control at least one function of her body. She yearned to be able to breathe steadily without having to make it the sole focus of her mind. She wanted to style her hair in the morning with assurence that it would look the same at the end of the day. She wanted for her knees to not feel like jelly and for her lips to release the words that hid beneath her mind.

Most of all, Julienne wanted to run into this stranger's arms. If the warmth radiating from his person was any indication, the girl knew that there would be safety in his embrace. She knew that he would protect her from the world. Protect her from herself.But she stood there, lost in her thoughts and his eyes and this moment. Because she knew that those dreams would never bring themselves into the reality in which she lived. Julienne knew that love was not something that she could have.

She imagined laying alongside the warmth of a partner, kissing them goodnight and drifting off to dreamland. She imagined the next morning, in which her hair had chosen another texture and the pigmentation of her eyes had shifted. It would be impossible to hope that someone could love a girl like that.

No-one would want to live a life where they did not know if the girl they loved one day would be the girl that they loved the next. Minds were to frail to comprehend the idea that non-continuity could be beautiful, and that inibility to comprehend was why Julienne knew that she'd never have goodnight kisses and sleepy eyed good mornings. It was in her DNA.

Pulling herself away from the labrynth that was her mind, Julienne told herself that the boy standing in front of her deserved a response with more depth than a two-worded apology.

"You thought that someone was in trouble," She spoke slowly, each word a knife that pierced its way through her anxiety and into her heart.

"But all you found was me."

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 08, 2017 2:21 pm

Kylian continued to wait, watching her eyes, her face, taking her in. There was a sort of hidden beauty about her, and something else that screamed of innocence -- but not the kind that came with immaturity or a lack of education. No, it was pure, fresh, and he had no metaphors for it; it was unlike anything he'd seen, or read, or watched, or heard.

His mind kept taking him back to a single image, though, from his summer holidays. He'd been in the park when he saw a butterfly cross his path, and, following it with his eyes, he noted the next time it landed that it had a torn wing; a part of it was missing. But in the air, when flying, he hadn't noticed it -- only when it landed. Broken and torn, but still beautiful -- still capable of flight -- and, perhaps, even more beautiful for that fact.

That, he found himself thinking, was exactly what the girl before him was -- a butterfly with a broken wing.

The idea, though, was forgotten as she began to speak, and he held back a frown. None of what she was saying was right. Not one word.

"But?" he repeated, stressing the word. "But?" It was all he could think, mouth working at the same time as his brain. Over-analysing things had never been something he'd done, and right now he couldn't so much as think straight. "You're not a 'but'. You're..." He paused. He hadn't thought that far ahead, and he found himself lacking words -- not because he didn't know what he wanted to say, but because he didn't know how to say it.

Beautiful? Stunning? Amazing?

"You're worth it." He didn't know what he was saying. The words were presenting themselves, and as his braight caught up he wondered what he meant; it had sounded right. Deciding it was best to take a back seat and let his mind do what it did best before actually trying to think about it, Kylian went on. "You're not a 'but'. You are. Doesn't matter if you're in trouble or not. It's you I found -- not as an alternative to what I was hoping, but better. I found you, and that's not something to apologise for. Not now. Not ever."

He paused to offer her a tentative smile. "You are you. Never be sorry for that -- ever."

Stopping, Kylian let out a slow breath. "Can-" He faltered, knowing the question he wanted to ask but suddenly realising it might not have been the best one. Still, he'd already started, and it was too late to back out now. Swallowing and lowering his tone, he finished, "Can I give you a hug?"

That was a first. He'd never really been huge on the whole physical touch thing. Sure, his friends and him often put their arms around each other or poked, tickled, or linked arms. But that had always been something done absentmindedly, a casual throwaway action that didn't really mean much. This time? This time he'd been intentional and careful, and he wasn't quite sure where this was coming from.

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 08, 2017 5:40 pm

Julienne watched as the boy began to speak, slow at first but seeming to build momentum with every thought. His words left the warmth of his lips and surrounded the girl’s ears as if he were a siren and she a ship wavering from the harbour; Led astray from the course but enjoying the idea of a different path. It was like a scene out of a movie.

She was the distressed damsel, unwilling to even speak without requiring assistance from her knight in shining armour. But this boy did not stand as a knight would. His presence was warmer than that of a warrior, more willing to use words to heal than a sword to destruct.

His words were kind and constructive, but not like the other words that had come into her life. No punchline followed his monologue. No laughter or sorrowful glance. His words were a bottle of glue attempting to piece back together the portions of a broken girl. She wondered if he saw her as broken.

Did he look into her eyes and see the porcelain doll that had fallen off of its shelf and lost shards of herself on the way to the ground? Did her lips tell him of the worlds for which she yearned, the sand she had never felt beneath her toes and the sky that she had never felt beneath her wings? Did her hands show him that they had never been held? Did he see how abandoned her pieces were? Because she hoped that he didn’t.

She wondered if she was a girl to him. She needed to know that he saw the thing before as a human being, as something worth talking to and laughing with. But she could not read the revelation in his smile.  Humanity was not an emotion that Julienne had seen before, so how would she be able to sense it within the only person she’d ever imagined could possibly possess it?

For a moment, she told herself that she was not worth the kindness that was being given to her.
A moment later, he assured her that she was.

She noticed as his breathing slowed, as if he was unsure as to whether or not his next thoughts would have the reception he hoped for. She was sure that these words would be knives, ripping apart everything that had been said. He would realise that he’d made a mistake and leave her here among the owls, never to speak to her again.

But his next words were not a rejection. They were a reception. She looked into his eyes as he offered her refuge within his arms, and she smiled. It was not a meek smile, but something resembling a purity that she’d not experienced. She nodded.

Moments later, Julienne could feel heat emerging from her cheeks. She felt warmth within the idea of what he was proposing, though there was still unease within the idea that she’d never had a genuine hug before.

Within the heat, she asked herself if this was what it felt like to blush, and her self responded almost instantaneously. The emotions that she had discovered were not content with simply being felt. Starting at the bottom and slinking its way upwards, the ebony of her hair began to shift into a light pink colour.

A piece dangling within the range of her eyesight, Julienne’s heart began to race.
’Not here,’ she thought. ’Not now.’ Everything that this boy had said, every compliment and word of wisdom that had escaped the genuity of his lips. She was certain that every syllable would fall into the void as he witnessed the thing that had driven everyone else away.

“I-I,” she spoke, unsure of how to explain what he’d just witnessed. “I’m sorry.”

She knew that he had instructed her against using the phrase, but in this situation they seemed to be the only two words that made sense. They were the only two words that she’d ever known to say to those who witnessed her curse. He had liked the girl who existed moments ago, and now she was gone. And there was nothing that she could do except for appologise.

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Tue May 09, 2017 12:20 pm

Her smile told him that what he'd said was right, and proper. It made him smile, too, filling him with a warmth that felt like he'd drunk a hot chocolate on a cold winters day. And then she nodded and his smile grew. He'd hoped, deep down, that she would agree; somehow, he knew he had to hug her. Had to tell her without words that she was safe, and more than safe, she was going to be okay. A hug, he knew, did all those things.

But then something caught his attention and his mind faltered. Her hair...

He watched, a confused expression lingering on his features as he noted the change beginning to happen. From black to... was that pink? If it had been one or two strands, he might have told himself it was a trick of the light or his imagination. But it wasn't. A few moments later, the entire thing was the same shade of pink, and as it registered she'd changed it, it also registered what she was; he'd heard about them, when he was younger. His mother had a colleague that was one, and his mother often joked about how easy it was for him to go undercover.

Some of his favourite bedtime stories involved said guy, tales of amusing changes and practical jokes played on newcomers. This guy was, after his mother, Kylian's personal hero.

"You're a metamorphmagus?" Kylian asked, eyes wide in awe, a grin on his lips. "That," he added, a moment later, "is what makes you the coolest person I've met so far. What on earth are you apologising for? It's beautiful. You're beautiful."

He realised the words had left his lips a second later, and he felt his insides twist in a way they'd never done before. Who was he to say something like that to a stranger? It wasn't proper or right, and yet the words had felt nothing but those things; they were, after all, the truth, and he'd never seen a problem with speaking the truth.

"You're beautiful," he repeated, as if trying to familiarise himself with the words. The only people he ever really said that to was his mother or when his step-sister asked him how she looked in a new dress. He'd never really said it before to any of his friends -- you look beautiful, sure, but not you're beautiful -- and to find it came so naturally, without needing to think about what he was saying, came as a surprise. It was true, but it was a surprise nevertheless.

He took a few steps forward to meet her, only then remembering he'd received an answer to the question he'd asked without thinking, and, despite how awkward and clunky it felt, pulled her into a hug. It felt natural, the way her body filled the space around him, as if she was made to be there and he was made to fit her between his arms.

There was a faint scent of something sweet, almost flowery, like a rose, and he took in the smell with each breath. He held her in his arms, gently, softly, protectively, for no more than a few seconds, although he wanted it to be more, and then let go and stepped back, establishing the distance once more.

Tilting his head, making sure to look her in the eyes, Kylian softly asked once more, "What's wrong?"

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Wed May 10, 2017 2:59 am

Once again, Julienne found herself at a loss for words. It was a feeling that she knew all too well and not nearly enough. This speechless was not the kind that made her heart want to escape her chest. It was not the kind that turned her lungs to concrete or her feet to stone. This kind of speechless was one that she had never known before. Her heart felt as a butterfly would in the beginning of spring, warmth entering each flutter of its wings. Her lungs were breathless and her feet elevated from the ground. In this moment she felt as though she may be able to fly, and that was all that she’d ever asked for.

For one second, not two or three, but one second, she turned attention the the owls that surrounded the two figures in the room. This was their home, and yet Julienne had forgotten that they were here. She wanted to walk up to one of the creatures, preferably but not necessarily Echo, and she wanted to ask them if this was the way that they felt every moment of their lives. Or was flight something routine for the owls? Perhaps the sensation of weightlessness was something to which they had grown accustomed. Deep down, she hoped that this was not the case. How tragic it would be to feel as subliminal as this for a single moment and then lose it in the next.

Bringing her focus back into this confrontation, Julienne focused on his face as he witnessed her hair’s metamorphosis. She’d expected outrage from the boy who stood before her; her mind had assured her that he would experience her worst quality and turn away in disgust. She would not have blamed if if he run away, but he he hadn’t. He remained exactly where he’d been this entire time.

And he smiled.

Confusion spread through her bones. In all of her years not a single person had referred to her, or to the ability with which she’d been cursed, as anything other than repulsive or frightening. She’d never been told that the inconsistencies in her appearance were cool. Or that they were beautiful. Or that she was beautiful.

For a reason unknown, this brought Julienne’s mind back to the day that her parents had decided to separate from one-another. She remembered every detail of this day as though it were a painting forever stained into the corners of her mind. She could see the raspberry curtains of the parlour room; could feel the velvet of her favourite couch. She could smell the cinnamon perfume that her mother had once worn before she’d decided that the world was unworthy of her efforts to smell as desirable as a freshly baked pastry. She remembered everything, but above all she remembered her eyes.

Since birth, her eyes had been the one object of her physicality that she’d been able to keep in tact. Her hair would turn from brown to red, her skin from pale to tanned. But her eyes would remain a shade of hazel, because she knew that her parents would never be able to love her if they could not recognise the girl whom they were supposed to love.

She remembered the sound that the door made when her mother swung it open, yelling to the world that she could not live like this anymore. Julienne remembered asking herself what had been meant by this. Their lives were comfortable. They were not of high wealth, but they lived well. She then heard the words, “I cannot live with the uncertainty of not knowing who my daughter is.” The words had thrown Julienne’s soul against the wall, urging her to crumble into nothingness within the floorboards.

Her father mumbled something about their daughter being the same girl whom she had always been, despite the quirk that she’d been born with. He explained that it did not change who she was. But the woman did not listen. Instead, she threw her hands into her hair as if she was going to burst through the ceiling and she needed something to hold onto. “I know that,” she said softly. “But I am afraid that that may not be enough.”

Hearing this, Julienne’s eyes shifted from green to blue.

That night, her mother left for Paris. It was not until a few years afterwards that she’d gathered up the strength to take custody of her daughter for half of the summer. But even then, she could still hardly look her daughter in the eyes.

Julienne was pulled out of her memories when the boy pulled her close to him, wrapping his arms around her into the most genuine form of contact that she’d ever received. Despite his being a stranger whom she had met under an hour ago, she found safety within his arms. He smelt subtly of bark, which seemed to compliment the rose perfume she’d chosen perfectly. She’d decided that she was a flower, trying to blossom but too afraid to do so. And he was the base of her evolution, holding her steady within his roots as she began to find comfort in what had haunted her for the entirety of her life. He was safety.

As he released her from his arms, Julienne looked into the eyes that were still unattached to a name. How could she know so much about someone yet still know so little? Was it the same for him?

The boy looked back into her eyes as well, the kaleidoscope mystifying her once more.

For the second time, he asked her what was wrong. I am, she wanted to say, but she was unsure if he would allow that to be her response. Currently, she was unsure if she would allow that to be her response.

Instead, she simply said, “Family,” as if he would know exactly what the word meant in this regard. She was sure that he wouldn’t, as there was no way that he could understand the feeling of having to raise yourself alone despite a parent always being in the next room over. She was sure that he had never felt what it was like to be so lonely in a world full of so many people.

She wanted to cry in his arms and demand that he hold her again, because that was the only thing she could think of that would avoid her explanation of everything that had gone wrong in her life. But she did not cry and she did not ask for him to take her back into his safety.

The girl smiled softly and whispered, “My name is Julienne.”

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Wed May 10, 2017 3:10 pm

The one word answer told him everything in that moment, more than a hundred words could have. Family was a dangerous word. There were many of them, of course -- love, hate, trust, and the list went on -- but family was, to him, possibly the most dangerous one of them all.

See, family was meant to be a place of safety, of refuge. The place someone ran to when they were in trouble or in need. A place free of judgement, where one could receive love and care. Family should have been a safe word, one that brought comfort. But that wasn't always the case.

Family, Kylian knew, could be messed up. He was lucky; he had his mother. If he hadn't been lucky, he would've ended up with his dad. Oh, sure, Kylian had come to terms with all that happened and it didn't bother him majority of the time, but there had been a few times...

The first was when he'd his friend Mark, back in Italy, for the first time. They had been working on homework when said friend's father had walked into the room with a tub of ice cream for the pair to share, and Mark had jokingly complained about something. His dad had picked up the eleven year old and jokingly threatened to throw him into the pool. Kylian, for the first time, felt a stab of jealousy.

From then onwards, Kylian started looking out for what he realised was supposed to be normal 'dad' behaviour and soon discovered he had a father, but not a dad. And, every so often, when he saw a particularly good dad, he would get that pang of jealousy and wish, for just a moment, that he knew what it was like.

After all, it had been his mum who taught him to shave, and his mum who helped explain what crushes were when he came home confused because he had seen a classmate and found himself suddenly incapable of proper speech (he'd gotten over it in a week when he discovered she talked about others behind their backs), and his mother (ironically) who showed him how to be a man.

It was from her that Kylian received all his morals, and if he was less of a man for having been taught it by a woman, it certainly never showed.

The divorce had come and gone. There had been no real difference in Kylian's mind; the relationships had stayed the same, with his mum being his role model (and dad), and his father being... Well, his father. He'd moved to the UK with his mother, of course, which was probably the only significant thing.

And then his father remarried and Blaze entered his life. His younger sister got the dad he'd always wanted, and (while he never admitted to it) it had hurt more than anything else. What did Blaze have that he didn't? Why did his father care more for his step-daughter than he did his own flesh and blood? He didn't have answers for those questions and so he never asked them again -- didn't allow himself to -- and pushed it all down, locking it away.

But the single word spoken by the girl before him unlocked it all, and Kylian understood in that moment more than he could say. So, instead, he smiled at her -- a sad, gentle smile that said he could relate -- and softly asked, "Wanna talk about it? We can sit down somewhere..."

The name felt familiar. It wasn't that he knew another Julienne -- he didn't -- nor was it because he'd heard the name before -- he hadn't. A name, he knew, was interwoven with identity; a William from Italy and a William from here held two different meanings in his head, even if the spelling and name itself were the same.

Julienne -- the one standing before him -- felt familiar, like he knew her. It was almost like those dreams one had, where you know the person you were talking to, even if, once awake, you realise it was a stranger. And Julienne, techincally, was just that; they'd never met before this. So why did Kylian feel like he'd met her before? Like he knew her, and knew her intimately and deeply, like he knew his best friend?

"I'm Kylian," he said, in return, still trying to process the feeling. "We..." He started, then shook his head in amusement. It was a stupid question, but even as he told himself he wouldn't ask it, something deep inside him insisted he finish. So, taking a breath, he continued. "We've never met, right?" He paused for a second, searching her eyes. "Because I keep thinking like we know each other. Like you're someone I've met before." It sounded stupid, aloud, and yet so right, and it only confused him further.


[[OOC: You may GM them walking/sitting if you want Smile]]

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Thu May 11, 2017 3:49 am

The next words that the boy in front of her painted with his silver tongue were somehow the most beautiful and yet the most devastating that she’d ever heard. Julienne had never been asked such a question before; a string of words that had been delivered with such care, asking her firsthand for a story that she’d never thought she’d be asked to tell. There was something beautiful about this inquiry that danced in serenity throughout her senses. A part of her wanted to take him up on his offer, to sit beside him and pour every emotion that she’d felt in the past fourteen years out from her heart and into the safety of his presence. A part of her wanted him to know her, despite the fact that she barely knew herself.

But another part of her wanted to retreat, to freeze him out and pretend that she’d never known what it was like to feel such safety in a single moment. She wanted to save him from the pain that came with knowing her. She wanted to warn him that if she began to tell him her story, to unravel parts of herself that had gone untouched for so long, she may never be able to piece herself back together. She felt as though her world was Pandora’s box, and opening it would unleash something that could benefit no-one.

These parts of her consciousness could not agree on which course of action they wanted to take, causing the Hufflepuff girl’s heartbeat to return to what it had been prior to her meeting this stranger who seemed to care so much more than any stranger should. The beating of her most vital organ pressed against her chest in a sensation much similar to what she imagined it would feel like to have a being within oneself that was yearning to escape. Her heart was telling her that it wanted to break itself out from the bonds of her mind and into novels that she would write with the movement of her lips. It wanted her to smile and breathe lightly. It wanted her to know that she had someone in the world on whom she could depend.

But her mind brought a gun into the knife fight that the heart had created. Her anxiety became a basilisk who turned her yearnings to stone, leaving no thoughts except for the negatives. She knew this knight in shining armour would run as far away as possible as soon as he realised that the monster meant to be slain in order to rescue the damsel was not simply a monster, but that it was the damsel herself. Why would he want to save someone who could hardly save herself?

The boy informed her that his name was Kylian. She allowed the letters to infiltrate her thought patterns, processing the uniqueness of such a name. She’d never met someone named Kylian before. The name belonged to only him. It felt familiar to her, but not in a way that most things were familiar. It did not spark the portion of her memory that held the recipe for crepes or the number of ceiling tiles in her bedroom (She’d counted this once out of curiosity. And then once again just to be sure that her first estimation had been accurate).

It was ignited the part of her mind that held together her senses. It was the feeling of walking by a patch of roses and immediately knowing how long they had been in bloom. The sensation of being able to taste rosemary in a dish that was crowded with other substances. It was the kind of familiarity that could exist in something that she’d never heard before, such as Kylian.

He asked her if they’d met prior to now, and Julienne realised that he’d had the same thought. She wanted to explain her theory to him, to tell him that they hadn’t met before and yet they somehow had. But the words could not navigate the sea of frustration that her lack of communication was causing her.

The girl readied herself to shake her head, to tell him that she needed to leave. She was prepared to push away from the spark that had just been created. But her heart and her head had decided on a compromise at the last minute.

She smiled softly, gently making an attempt to press her hand into his, and she lead the boy out of the owlery. From the corner of her eye, Julienne could see Echo winking. She wanted to remember to return here at a later date in order to fill the owl in on what happened next, even though she herself was unsure of where this would lead.

Julienne focused on the pattering of her feet against the castle floor whilst she navigated through crowds of laughter and conversation. She’d turned avoidance into a skill, becoming so careful in her movements that not a single student realised that someone had even walked by. Her eyes focused forward as to not crash land into a nearby wall, the Hufflepuff wondered if the stranger was still behind her. Her hand remained warm as though he had yet to let go, but a pit grew in her stomach with each worry that he may have grown bored of this prolonged encounter.

Eventually, Julienne could feel the fresh air surround her as they reached their destination: the Quidditch pitch. It was not quite day, yet it was still too early to begin to label the time as evening. The sky was beginning to shift from a powder blue to a deep sapphire, the tiny glow of the stars wanting to show themselves but unable to overpower the light of the remaining sun. She heard birds flying overhead, singing their songs to one another in a perfect conversation that no human could understand. It was the purest form of incomprehension. She breathed in the world around her, allowing nature to take over her being. Julienne sat atop the grass, her eyes gazing towards Kylian as though to urge him to do the same.

“T-the world behind me doesn’t matter,” she said soft enough that anyone who was not focusing solely on her words would have missed it. She was taken aback by the sentence, as it was the most coherent thing she’d been able to say to any person in a very long time. But it did not make her nervous as she had thought that it might.

“This world is who I am,” She said, motioning towards the birds and the sky and the air and to him. And then she smiled.

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:17 am

Silence stretched into seconds that filled his mind not with uncertainty but with a sense of comfort and growing anticipation. There was something vastly important about what was taking place. Kylian knew this instinctively, the inner part of him that he'd never realised could be this loud all but screaming at him, telling him not to move, not to speak -- not to mess this up. What was going on in the inner working of the girl before him, Kylian did not even try to hazard a guess; females, he knew, were all the same: extremely complicated if you didn't know them. A jigsaw, his mother had once told him, before completion. If one didn't know the picture or the frame in which to put it, everything was a mess and you'd only end up frustrated if you tried.

Spend long enough with someone, though -- deliberately, genuinely, honestly -- and you eventually learn what the picture is, and then the pieces fit much, much easier.

His mind kept going back to the butterfly analogy he had stumbled upon earlier. Right now, it seemed, she was emerging -- coming out of her cacoon -- and that could never be rushed. He'd seen it, once or twice before, in his garden. It had taken hours, and he sat, rather impatiently, watching the first crack in the green cylinder turn into a butterfly that crawled out and sat for long minutes before unfolding its wings and taking off.

It was, to him, the most beautiful thing he'd seen: life created.

And now, before his very eyes, that experience was taking second place. Julienne was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, and much like the butterfly he was witnessing, he somehow knew, something not very many people got to. He was witnessing life, of the girl, and it was as new and as fresh as dew on a mountainside.

The minutes passed, slowly, and he continued to wait and watch. He had never been a patient person; he'd never enjoyed waiting for things to happen. But for some reason, Kylian found himself not minding (and, to some extent, enjoying) the wait. It seemed to be the good kind, like when he waited for his mother to come home so they could watch a show together, or when it was almost his turn at a roller coaster. Sure, the wait in itself was tedious and boring, but the goal, the end results, were more than worth it.

Julienne, he decided, was more than worth it.

And then he felt her hand in his and he felt that unfamiliar part deep inside him leap with joy, although outwardly he kept his expression neutral. Her hand was warm, but not uncomfortably so; in fact, a part of him held the absurd notion that her hand had been made to fit perfectly into his, and his into hers. It was a ridiculous thought, and he tried to shake it off, but the more he tried the more solid it became until he finally just gave in and accepted that the fit was too perfect to be a coincidence.

He let her lead him, not saying anything, not even attemping to speak although he desperately wanted to know if she felt the same and where she was taking him.

They made their way through the halls, Kylian focused on her and her alone. She was no less beautiful from the back, her hair swaying gently as they walked. He never wanted to let go, and subconsciously, he tightened his grip by a little. What was she doing to him? What was this feeling? There was a bubbling inside him, like efferversance in a glass of coke, rising from the bottom to the top in streams. He wanted to laugh, to pull Julienne towards him and hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay, to sit beside her for hours not saying anything and just enjoying the company.

He wanted her, although he did not yet fully realise this.

Eventually, after what could have been minutes or could have been an hour (he did not know; time had become meaningless, so long as her hand was still in his) they reached the quidditch pitch. Her hand slipped out of his and he resisted the urge to reach out and take it back. To hold onto it once more and never let go. It was impractical, and ridiculous, and instead he watched her, took in her breathing, the way she watched the sky, the way the breeze played with the tips of her hair...

He watched her sit, and noted nothing else of the world around him except for the beauty that was Julienne. Her eyes found his, and he nodded once, understanding, somehow, what she was asking; he sat beside her. As he did, he barely caught her words, but heard them he did and he mulled over them once.

But before he had a chance to reply, she was speaking again, and he following her gesture, glancing around momentarily before bringing his eyes back to her and her alone. Her smile was radiant. It did the impossible; it made her even more beautiful. Kylian found himself speaking before he could fathom what he wanted to say. "I like who you are." He paused, wondering how he could phrase it, and then gave up and let instinct guide him. "I like you as you are. This world. That world. Any world."

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:50 pm

Julienne felt her throat tighten at the words that this boy was saying. Every word he spoke felt like satin against her ears but at the same time they were satin that was rapping its way around her neck and slowing suffocating her senses with false promises of kindness and love. love. Was he promising love? How could she be one to know? Had she ever felt something resembling a sense that could be labeled as such? Mother’s kisses, father’s laughter, family Christmases and birthday parties. Late night “I love you’s.” Those were love. She’d never known love. So how could she expect herself to separate it from obligation?

And yet, the words Kylian spoke felt familiar to her memories. They escaped his lips like the words of a storybook hero who had been introduced to a damsel for the first time. It reminded her of a story that she’d read once; a mythology novel based around an Egyptian demigoddess who’d fallen for someone from another world only to find that he’d lived beside her for an eternity. It was funny, how something could seem so an improbability and yet it had been with you the entire time.

“And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you,” she recited, unaware that her memories had escaped through her mind and into the air and into Kylian’s ears.

“I-I,” Julienne blushed, her breathing growing heavier. She wanted to tell him that she was sorry, that she hadn’t meant to say that aloud. That she’d gone from impossibly serene to impossibly embarrassed in a matter of seconds. She froze.

“It’s from a book,” was all that she’d found herself able to say. Even those words, such simple explanatory syllables, had made barely a whisper. She wanted to appologise again, but she knew that he would find a way to tell her not to. Julienne could not help but feel as though she didn’t deserve the comfort that he’d given her. Perhaps she deserved to suffer in silence.

And who was she to think that his words had been anything more than an obligatory statement to try and mend a broken thing. Not a broken person. Not a broken life. A broken thing. So many people could walk by a broken seashell and see it as nothing but a broken seashell. They’d walk by it and pay no mind to the matter that had escaped the shell. They would know it was broken, but they would not care.

A smaller group of people would admire the shell for what it was; something that was broken physically but not visually. They would know that the shell was a natural work of art that had not been destroyed, but simply reimagined by mother nature. They would know that beauty was not defined by appearance.

An even smaller, miniscule cluster of human beings would stop and stare at the shell. They would see the shell in the same way as the other two groups, something broken and something beautiful. They would know that the broken form was enough for most people, but it would never be enough for them. They were the fixers; the people who found something worth fixing and dedicated their time to mending the broken pieces back to life.

Once it was repaired, however; the fixer would leave on their journey to another project.

Was Kylian a fixer? Was she his project? Would he leave her once she was no longer broken?

She held her hand to his once again.

‘Don’t leave,’ she wanted to say. But instead she simply sat there, unable to verbalise the words in her mind.

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:13 am

This time round, he didn't need to wait as long as before for her to speak, and he tuned himself to her words at once. He'd read it before, somewhere. It was most likely on Facebook, one of those stupid quotes shared by a friend hopelessly addicted to the idea of romance. At the point of time he read it, Kylian recalled rolling his eyes and muttering under his breath about how ridiculous it was.

How could someone choose the same person over and over? Even if alternate realities and reincarnation and all that existed, how was it possible to locate one person among so many and still want them? The idea was flawed and foolish, and Kylian had written it off as Romance Bullshit that sounded nice but held no actual meaning. They were merely words, after all, and he doubted it could be carried out in real life.

But now, hearing the words come from Julienne, they no longer sounded foolish. Instead, they took on a whole new meaning, and for just a moment, Kylian understood. He understood what it meant, he understood what it implied, and he understood, most importantly, that it was true and it was possible. How else could he have known Julienne? How else could he have felt so naturally drawn to her, as though they've met before? No, there was no other explanation.

But the moment soon ended, and he quickly wrote off the idea. It simply couldn't be. There were no other lives. There were no other realities. Still it lingered at the back of his mind, quietly sitting and waiting, and he knew that nothing would be the same again -- not since he met her. (Or is it re-met? he wondered, and then again tried to push it out completely. The thought skirted back somewhere he couldn't access, but still it remained, and he knew it was hopeless; from the moment she recited the quote, it was going to be a thought that haunted him.)

Her explanation brought a smile and a shrug from him. "That's the interesting thing about books," he said, speaking again without thinking, guided by something he didn't know he had and a desire to know her. "They're written about fictional people, but real ones can relate to the words." He left it at that, wanting but unable to explain that he thought she was right, that they'd met before, that, just maybe, they'd been lovers in a previous life. Those didn't exist, after all. Right?

It was a beautiful evening, and normally Kylian would be looking around and taking in the sights -- but sat there, beside Julienne, he had eyes only for her, and he took her in as though he would never see her again, memorising each detail of her face. And her eyes! Oh, her eyes. There was a saying that claimed them to be the window to the soul. Whoever first said it were wrong; they weren't just a window. They captured everything he needed to know about her, told him more than he could have ever dared hope: that she was stunningly beautiful and, more importantly, she could teach him to love.

He was watching her, so he didn't miss her movements. Without thinking -- without even hesitating -- he closed the minute gap and gently took her hand in his, holding it tight enough that there was no mistaking that this was what he wanted, but not so tightly that she couldn't remove it should she choose to. He brought his eyes down to look at what he was doing as it registered, and then he smiled, fully, wholly, happily, and looked back up at her.

"Julienne," he said, simply. There was more he wanted to say, but that was the most important, and he fell silent for a while. Then, after many moments had passed, he said, "I'm glad we met." It wasn't enough, and barely covered what he really meant, but he hoped she would understand.

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