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Term 50: September - December 2018 Term Fifty: Austere Academy (Sept 2096 - June 2097)

 
 
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Old 12-31-2016, 03:33 AM
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Default The Bistro



Fancy a bit of French cuisine or just looking for something sweet to eat? Either way, we've got you covered! In this new addition to the charms classroom, Professor Marchand offers you a taste of his homeland... with a modern flair.

A wrought iron chandelier hangs from the ceiling of a small room lined with tables and chairs enough to seat about fifteen people. On one of the walls hangs a patchwork quilt made by Professor Marchand's students during the 2093-94 school term. All dishes are charmed to be self-cleaning, and two trash bins sit on either side of the door. Please remember to pick up after yourselves!

The Menu

- Eclairs
- Macarons (meringue-based cookies)
- French apple pie
- Cherry clafouti (baked custard with cherries)
- Opera cake (almond sponge cake with a coffee-chocolate icing)
- Raspberry Charlotte
- Chocolate mousse
- Madeleines (butter cookies)
- Pears Belle Helene (poached pears with chocolate sauce)
- Orangettes (candied orange peels dipped in chocolate)

- Coffee
- Tea
- Hot cocoa
- Butterbeer
- French soda (flavors: cherry, strawberry, lemon, orange, raspberry, chocolate, vanilla)

Enjoy these treats ready-made or try your hand at making them yourself! At the back of the room is a small kitchen where students can learn to prepare some of the items on the menu using only a few simple spells or create a dish all their own. There is a long counter, a sink, and a refrigerator and cabinets stocked with ingredients for you to use. On the wall is a sign with a few helpful kitchen charms to remember:

Text Cut: Kitchen Charms

Accio (wand movement: U-shape) – Summoning Charm; useful for gathering ingredients

Aguamenti (wand movement: sideways reverse S-shape) – Water-making Spell

Calefacio (wand movement: flame-shape) – Heating Charm

Decortico (wand movement: twirl wand in spiral motion around target) – Peeling Charm

Diffindo (wand movement: V-shape with a curl at the end) – Severing Charm; useful in chopping foods

Extractum (wand movement: circular motion around object) – Fruit Coring Charm

Formo (wand movement: trace wand in the shape you wish to create) – Sculpting Charm; useful for fine details such as shaping cookies or making a frosting rose to add to a cake

Frigidus (wand movement: M-shape) – Cooling Charm; used to chill foods/make hot dishes cool more quickly

Locomotor + (object name) (wand movement: raise wand) – Locomotion Charm; can be used for stirring/pouring

Scourgify (wand movement: S-shape) – Scouring Charm; useful in cleaning equipment

Sternuntur (wand movement: pass wand over surface) – Dough Rolling charm


So why not grab a recipe card and get started?
In light of Headmaster Scrimgeour's rules regarding food outside the kitchen or great hall, the bistro is now closed to students. The glass cases that once housed delicious fresh French pastries are empty, and the coffee maker and soda fountain lie still and silent. The chairs are stacked neatly on top of the tables and the dishes locked away in the cabinets. Outside the door hangs a sign that says CLOSED, but just in case the sign isn't enough to deter trespassers, the room is equipped with a series of complicated locking charms invented by Professor Marchand (no, alohomora won't work!), as well as several other security charms. Best not touch the door,
lest you set off an alarm!
Old 10-13-2018, 05:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A tiny sliver of light illuminated the hallway as Gaston approached the bistro. He quickly and quietly extinguished the light emitting from the top of his wand and set about removing the security charms on the door. The door gave an eerie creak as he pushed it open and peered inside. No one had been in here since the no food rule went into effect, and a pang of sadness gripped the Frenchman's heart as he looked around at what his beloved bistro had become... empty pastry cases, chairs stacked on tables, cobwebs hanging from the chandelier, a thin layer of dust covering everything. Without the light of the wrought iron chandelier, an ominous darkness settled over the room
It was a ghost of its former self, just like the man who created it!

As soon as Gaston heard what Katrina had in mind for tonight, he offered the venue without a moment's hesitation. What better place than a direct casualty of Scrimgeour's reign? Anger flared up inside him at just the thought of that metal-armed monster. This had to end! Flames roared to life in the chandelier before Gaston has the chance room ever draw his wand, leaping higher and higher with his rising anger until... a quick flick of his wand brought them down to size, just in time to avoid destroying the candles.

Blue eyes flicked toward the door. He was giving his colleagues all.of fifteen minutes to show up before replacing the security charms. Hopefully they wouldn't encounter any intruders in the meantime, but just as a precaution, Gasron disillusioned himself and retreated to the darkest corner of the room.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:48 PM   #3 (permalink)


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Originally Posted by MadMadamMalfoy View Post
A tiny sliver of light illuminated the hallway as Gaston approached the bistro. He quickly and quietly extinguished the light emitting from the top of his wand and set about removing the security charms on the door. The door gave an eerie creak as he pushed it open and peered inside. No one had been in here since the no food rule went into effect, and a pang of sadness gripped the Frenchman's heart as he looked around at what his beloved bistro had become... empty pastry cases, chairs stacked on tables, cobwebs hanging from the chandelier, a thin layer of dust covering everything. Without the light of the wrought iron chandelier, an ominous darkness settled over the room
It was a ghost of its former self, just like the man who created it!

As soon as Gaston heard what Katrina had in mind for tonight, he offered the venue without a moment's hesitation. What better place than a direct casualty of Scrimgeour's reign? Anger flared up inside him at just the thought of that metal-armed monster. This had to end! Flames roared to life in the chandelier before Gaston has the chance room ever draw his wand, leaping higher and higher with his rising anger until... a quick flick of his wand brought them down to size, just in time to avoid destroying the candles.

Blue eyes flicked toward the door. He was giving his colleagues all.of fifteen minutes to show up before replacing the security charms. Hopefully they wouldn't encounter any intruders in the meantime, but just as a precaution, Gasron disillusioned himself and retreated to the darkest corner of the room.
Maybe it was the fact that Gaston was head of her former house or that he had been a Hogwarts Professor for years and seemed to be flying under the radar. Katrina wasn't exactly sure but there was something about the Deputy that had her seeking him out to defy this new reign. Stealth was the name of the game here and lucky for the Runes Professor, she was a big fan of adventures and sneaking around.

She didn't have an invisibility cloak, but she did have a wand and the ability to disillusion herself before she left her office. Last thing she needed was Scrimgeour or his goons suspecting anything. Hogwarts needed her. Maeve needed her.

Pushing open the door to the designated room, her brown eyes scrutinized a moment before landing on the dark figure that could only be Gaston. Or at least she hoped so and that in seeking him out he hadn't turned around and set her up. But there was something genuine about him and Katrina just had to hope for the best. "Gaston?" She whispered, almost hesitantly.
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Maybe it was the fact that Gaston was head of her former house or that he had been a Hogwarts Professor for years and seemed to be flying under the radar. Katrina wasn't exactly sure but there was something about the Deputy that had her seeking him out to defy this new reign. Stealth was the name of the game here and lucky for the Runes Professor, she was a big fan of adventures and sneaking around.

She didn't have an invisibility cloak, but she did have a wand and the ability to disillusion herself before she left her office. Last thing she needed was Scrimgeour or his goons suspecting anything. Hogwarts needed her. Maeve needed her.

Pushing open the door to the designated room, her brown eyes scrutinized a moment before landing on the dark figure that could only be Gaston. Or at least she hoped so and that in seeking him out he hadn't turned around and set her up. But there was something genuine about him and Katrina just had to hope for the best. "Gaston?" She whispered, almost hesitantly.
Before the year had started Joshua had imagined how his first year of teaching would be like. How it was now was definitley not how he had pictured it. It was though and so sad to see all the frightened students who got detentions left and right for just acting like normal kids. When whisperes had reached him about a secret meeting under the radar held by Katrina and Gaston it didnít take many seconds before Joshua decided to attend. He wanted Scrimegour and his goons sacked and Kay most of all to come back. He wanted to keep teasing and talking to her and now he couldnít because she wasnít here.

Disillusioning himself and making sure his feet were soundless Joshua quickly walked from the greenhouses into the school, trying to keep as silent as a muggle mouse. The students needed them to act. He headed up the staircases and had to wait many stressing seconds for Peeves to get out of the way before he could enter the Charmís area. Spotting the door to the designated room Joshua took a breath before he pushed down the door handle and slipped inside the room. He carefully closed the door behind him before he squinted to have his eyes adjust to the dark. Seing two other adult looking figures already in the room he whispered quietly into the silence. "Gaston? Katrina?"
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The first half of the year had been more than enough for him to be fed up with the conditions at Hogwarts. No student, or professor, should have to deal with such ridiculous rules and regulations. Fear was no way to help young minds grow and no professor could properly teach while constantly in fear of being fired.

He soundlessly made his way down the corridor, staying in the shadows as much as possible. Even with the disillusioning charm firmly in place, he was overly cautious to not be seen or heard. The meeting was one he had hoped would happen for months, but had been hesitant to suggest. As soon as Katrina and Gaston had suggested it, he was all in.

Once he reached the door to the Bistro, he removed the charm and silently stepped inside. "Hello?" he whispered into the darkness as he brushed what felt like a cobweb away from his face and hoped they were there.
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Gaston remained motionless, his eyes glued to the door. He hadn't been waiting long when the door opened again. He took a sharp breath, half-expecting it to be Scrimgeour or one of his minions come to spy. Then he heart Katrina's voice, and relief washed over him. He silently removed the disillusionment charm on himself, but before he could answer her, Joshua arrived... with Foster not far behind. Blink, blink. Were these all the people who would be joining them tonight? Such a low turnout... surely the other remaining staff couldn't condone this madness! Well, maybe others would show up.

Gaston cast a quiet, "Muffliato" on the room as he moved into the dim candlelight of the chandelier. He was even thinner and paler than before the holidays and his hair longer and grayer than ever. His eyes were still sad and rimmed in dark shadows, but there was a determined fire in them that had been absent the first half of the term. He was done suffering in silence! He already knew he was unlikely to survive the term, though whether that meant he was fired or that the strain of hiding his true self to comply with the ever-changing rules slowly killed him from the inside remained to be seen. Either way, if he had to go down, he was using every bit of his remaining strength to take Julian Scrimgeour down with him!

"Are we expecting anyone else?" he asked, eyes darting toward the door. He waited a couple of moments for stragglers; then he took a deep breath and said, "Thank you for coming. Sorry about the state of the room; normally I'd offer you some refreshments, but apparently hospitality is not allowed..." His voice dripped with contempt as he said the words. Clearing his throat, he went on, "You all understand that once we go down this path, there's no turning back. If you're not comfortable with putting yourself on the line, back out now."

He paused to allow anyone who might be having second thoughts time to leave before things got underway. Once he was sure the remaining people were staying, he replaced the complicated locking charms on the door. A couple more quick waves of his wand cast a caterwauling charm and made the door imperturbable. "There, now if anyone else joins us, we shall know..." he said with a knowing glint in his eye. "We all know why we're here. In all my years teaching, Julian Scrimgeour is the worst evil Hogwarts has ever faced..." Yes, that included the Inferi and the monster in the portal. At least in those cases, he knew the creatures were going to try to kill him by any means necessary, so he could fight back. With Scrimgeour, it was anyone's guess what they were up against next! "He must be stopped!"

Gaston's eyes darted expectantly from one face to the next. "I have more thoughts on the subject, but I'm interested in hearing what all of you have to say first..." He looked at katrina, half-expecting her to take the floor next. After all, this meeting had been her idea!
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As his eyes adjusted, he realized he was standing near Joshua, then his eyes landed on Gaston as the older man stepped into the candle light. Thank goodness, he thought with great relief. The last figure to come into focus was Katrina. The sight of her made him smile as he grew more confident with their numbers. There were four of them on the same side. Four talented witches and wizards that still knew right from wrong and were willing to do something about the horrible situation they were in.

Foster glanced to the door to see if anyone else would be joining them. He hoped Professor Noble would attend, but it appeared the gentleman would not. ďI wouldnít have come if I wasnít all in. I wholeheartedly agree that Julian Scrimgeour is completely out of control and must be stopped.Ē The entire reign of terror had gone on far longer than should have ever been tolerated. If only they would have done something sooner. Now they were going to have to deal with Scrimgeour and all of his new hires. His heart ached at the loss of so many wonderful professors over the past few months. Most of all, it ached for Kay. He longed to see her bright smile. To hear her sweet voice and once again have long discussions over far too many cups of tea.

He worked to shake off the feeling of loss while Gaston secured the room and waited for what the others had to say. He hoped they all felt the same and a tiny prickle of fear ran down his spine at the thought that if even one in the room squealed, the rest of them would surely be fired.
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Text Cut: Gaston & Foster
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMadamMalfoy View Post

"Are we expecting anyone else?" he asked, eyes darting toward the door. He waited a couple of moments for stragglers; then he took a deep breath and said, "Thank you for coming. Sorry about the state of the room; normally I'd offer you some refreshments, but apparently hospitality is not allowed..." His voice dripped with contempt as he said the words. Clearing his throat, he went on, "You all understand that once we go down this path, there's no turning back. If you're not comfortable with putting yourself on the line, back out now."

He paused to allow anyone who might be having second thoughts time to leave before things got underway. Once he was sure the remaining people were staying, he replaced the complicated locking charms on the door. A couple more quick waves of his wand cast a caterwauling charm and made the door imperturbable. "There, now if anyone else joins us, we shall know..." he said with a knowing glint in his eye. "We all know why we're here. In all my years teaching, Julian Scrimgeour is the worst evil Hogwarts has ever faced..." Yes, that included the Inferi and the monster in the portal. At least in those cases, he knew the creatures were going to try to kill him by any means necessary, so he could fight back. With Scrimgeour, it was anyone's guess what they were up against next! "He must be stopped!"

Gaston's eyes darted expectantly from one face to the next. "I have more thoughts on the subject, but I'm interested in hearing what all of you have to say first..." He looked at katrina, half-expecting her to take the floor next. After all, this meeting had been her idea!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birchwoodmom View Post
As his eyes adjusted, he realized he was standing near Joshua, then his eyes landed on Gaston as the older man stepped into the candle light. Thank goodness, he thought with great relief. The last figure to come into focus was Katrina. The sight of her made him smile as he grew more confident with their numbers. There were four of them on the same side. Four talented witches and wizards that still knew right from wrong and were willing to do something about the horrible situation they were in.

Foster glanced to the door to see if anyone else would be joining them. He hoped Professor Noble would attend, but it appeared the gentleman would not. ďI wouldnít have come if I wasnít all in. I wholeheartedly agree that Julian Scrimgeour is completely out of control and must be stopped.Ē The entire reign of terror had gone on far longer than should have ever been tolerated. If only they would have done something sooner. Now they were going to have to deal with Scrimgeour and all of his new hires. His heart ached at the loss of so many wonderful professors over the past few months. Most of all, it ached for Kay. He longed to see her bright smile. To hear her sweet voice and once again have long discussions over far too many cups of tea.

He worked to shake off the feeling of loss while Gaston secured the room and waited for what the others had to say. He hoped they all felt the same and a tiny prickle of fear ran down his spine at the thought that if even one in the room squealed, the rest of them would surely be fired.


Upon entering the room Joshua had negated the disillusion charm that he had cast on himself. Shortly after him Foster stepped into the room. 4 adults. Where were Alice, Haraldur and Noble? As Gaston stepped into the light of the chandelier Joshua moved forward to join him. At the elder manís question he shrugged his shoulders in response. "I donít know if anyone else is coming, but I hope they are just running a little late." The contempt he heard in Gastonís voice as he spoke about the missing refreshments and general state of the room they were in made Joshua fidget a little as he cast a silent look around. Scrimegour and his rules had gone far.

Gaston then got their little secret meeting started asking if they were in it wholeheartedly to stop Scrimegour and his goons terror of the school and itís students. Thinking about his herbology lessons and his sacked colleagues like Kalen and Tristan and especially Kay Joshua didnít think it was a hard choice to make. They had to do everything in their power to put a stop of Scrimegourís reign of terror and to get him and his goons gone from the school and Regina reinstated.

Before Joshua could open his mouth to answer Foster spoke for him too. When Foster had gone quiet again Joshua said firmly. "I'm in it wholeheartedly. No matter if it costs us our jobs. We have to do anything and everything we can to put a stop to Scrimegour and his goons terror of the students and the school. I can't stand another day of lessons with students coming to my classes being afraid to speak up or even sit down or to get detention just because they wear a new necklace or has embroidered something on their uniform that is uniquely them. Even the laughter and pranks in the corridors are gone and that isnít how it should be in a school." He may not have as much teaching experience as his colleagues but this terror he wasnít going to put up with.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Gaston nodded as Joshua mentioned more people possibly arriving late. While they could use all the help they could get, a part of him hoped there wouldn't be any stragglers. Somehow he doubted there would be. He knew Alice wouldn't be here; she'd started cozying up to Scrimgeour practically since the moment he arrived. Such a shame... He could see Haraldur or Celestia possibly showing up, but Ignatius could go either way. He couldn't help but feel a little disappointed that he potions master wasn't here. Noble may be strict, but he was a decent person; he should know this was wrong! He could only hope the man would come around and join their cause later on... "Well, if they are, I'm afraid they'll have a hard time getting inside," he replied with a sheepish shrug. They'd find themselves faced with a locked door and a caterwauling charm. "If anyone sets off the alarm, disillusion yourselves and don't say anything until we figure out who's on the other side of that door." He hated all the security measures, but if the other staff could get in, so could the fiendish five - and he was not taking chances!

A small smile spread across Gaston's face as Foster and Joshua both reaffirmed their commitment. "Of course, I don't doubt your conviction," he said, beaming at each of them in turn. "I just had to ask. It would be wrong to expect you to take part without knowing the costs."

Gaston listened intently to Joshua's thoughts, nodding along in places.
"Exactly!" he said when the younger man finished speaking. "I supported Scrimgeour's new rules when they made sense and weren't harming anyone, but this - the owl post inspections, the ever-growing list of contraband, the refusal to make even the slightest accommodations for students who need them, the extreme punishments over nothing - don't you see what he's doing? He's slowly robbing them of their individuality until they have no choice but to become heartless shells of human beings, just like him, to survive. Teachers are supposed to nurture their students, not stifle them! No one should have to be afraid to be their true self..."

Gaston swallowed hard to clear the lump rising in his throat as his voice trailed off. A sad, haunted look grew in his eyes; he bowed his head to try to hide it. He wasn't just talking about the students anymore... "What I can't figure out is if Scrimgeour gets some sick enjoyment from intimidating children or if he honestly believes his own dragon dung about 'building character'," he said darkly, sarcasm creeping into his voice as he air quoted the last words. "Well, it doesn't! I've seen just how damaging it is firsthand..." Was he ranting? Probably, but now that he started, there was no stopping!

His hands balled into fists, and he was suddenly trembling. Overhead, the candle flames in the chandelier flickered and flared ominously. "B-before I got accepted to Beauxbatons, my parents sent me to a strict muggle private school," he went on, angry fire blazing in his eyes. "All the teachers there were just like him - just as cold, just as demanding, just as brutal. Their abuse had me too scared to speak or think or even exist!" He shuddered, squeezing his eyes shut at the memories of being berated and shouted at, of standing in the corner with the whole class laughing at him, of being smacked with a ruler as punishment... He flinched, drawing his hand back. Over thirty years later, and he could still feel the sting. "It got so bad, I almost became an ob-" He stopped just short of revealing his darkest secret. "- something dark and dangerous."

The dark-haired Frenchman let out a cold, mirthless laugh. "And now, thanks to Scrimgeour, I'm right back where I started... I've had to hide everything that makes me who I am just to keep my job! You see what this room's become, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I had to remodel half my classroom to comply with his stupid food restrictions! I've barely had any contact with my wife and daughter because I know he'll find something 'questionable' about my letters, even if he has to invent a reason. I've had to get rid of my books, my classic car models, even my music..."

Gaston took several deep breaths to calm himself down. As his anger ebbed, the candle flames steadied and he stopped trembling. He stood frozen in shock, unable to believe the string of words that had just come out of his mouth. "I-I'm sorry," he stammered, looking apologetically from one person to the next. "That was building up for a long time, and this just...hits a little too close to home." He nervously ran a hand through his hair. "We can't let these kids be broken like I was! So, what are we going to do about Scrimgeour?"
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He decided to keep his wand out and ready, just in case. It was not the time for him to let his guard down and the risk of being discovered was far too great. Scrimgeour and his crew were likely to be out patrolling the castle. "Understood. I appreciate your concern and wishing us to be completely informed of what we are signing up for." He always liked how Gaston was upfront and honest. A true gentleman. Foster almost forgot their situation and chuckled at Joshua's goons comment. It was far too accurate.

"It's very damaging to the students. Far more damaging than that man could ever imagine. Or, if he does realize, he's even more of a monster than I originally thought." Gaston's words felt has if they were coming straight from his own heart. The damage the new rules and regulations were causing were becoming more and more evident as the year went on. The happy faces of those first weeks had been replaced by worry and sadness.

Once Gaston was speaking of his past, the man looked like he might collapse. He was shaking and his level of upset worried Foster. He quickly glanced around the room and spotted a chair on top of one of the tables, which he brought over with a nonverbal spell. He wanted it nearby if Gaston needed to take a seat. Foster wasn't about to interrupt Gaston's story, but he watched him closely for further signs of distress.

"No need to apologize. I'm so sorry for what you had to endure and I will do everything I can to make sure no other students have to go through what you did. This will stop." He was starting to become angry and closed his eyes to quiet his mind and body. Calm, rational minds would make the best plans.

What were they going to do? He had several ideas flowing around in his head, but most of them would result in a trip to Azkaban. Violence was not the answer. "I had the pleasure of visiting Professor Stewart over the winter break. After seeing her, I'm even more convinced that none of the fired professors should have ever been dismissed from Hogwarts. Everything in me feels that if we can somehow put up an attack from both sides, we can make a way to get this guy, and his goons, out of here. We need to find a way to get the fired professors on our side and working with us." He rubbed his temples. "I'm not sure how it could be done, but we need numbers. Joshua? Katrina? What are you two thinking?
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:29 PM   #11 (permalink)


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Joshua lowered his right hand so that he could swiftly use his wand if neccessary. Gaston might be a bit over the top with the security measures but he honestly appreciated them. They couldnít be too careful when Scrimegour was patrolling the castle with his goons in tow. Joshua chimed in to basically say the same as Foster as his eyes turned to Gaston."I understand, and I also appreciate that you wish to be upfront and honest about what we are commiting oursleves to do Gaston. It is for both our and the students wellfare." You couldnít teach or learn if you were too scared to say anything because it might get you a detention.

Gastonís next words made Joshua steal a look at Foster and also at Katrina that was being awfully quiet. Was it just him or did it seam like Gaston was speaking straight from the heart? It surely felt like he meant every word he said to them. Shaking his head Joshua responded quietly. "I doubt Scrimegour likes individuality and uniqueness he seems more interested in creating his idea of a perfect student with the use of the rules and routines we now follow everyday from dawn to dusk." All the rules and routines that the students had to endure were slowly zapping out all their happiness and turning them into hollow versions of themselves. It was heart-wrenching to see.

When Gaston began sharing bits about his own background with them Joshua stood silent and listened. He didnít want to interrupt when it was clear that Gaston was really upset and even shaking. When Gaston however had quieted down Joshua murmured after Foster had spoken. "There is no apology needed Gaston. Iím sorry you had a though childhood. Together we will find a way to put an end to this monster and his goons so that everyone can be happy and free again to just be themselves."

Joshua nodded in agreement to what Foster was voicing. "Yes, we need to find a way to get in contact with the fired professors and Headmistress Hawthorne too. But how can we do that with the owl inspections? Should we use fire-message?" As the thought came to him he asked with a look first at Katrina then at the others. "Canít we use runes or something to send a coded message out to the fired professors like an S.O.S for help?"
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Gaston nodded in reply to Foster and Joshua. Between Scrimgeour's rules limiting his contact with Rose and Desiree and his friends being wrongfully fired one by one, he'd felt so alone for so long! Although he still didn't know the newcomers well, just knowing they were on the same side comforted him. "Good, I'm glad you're on our side," he said with a small smile, casting a quick glance at Katrina to say his words applied to her as well.

Blue eyes shifted apprehensively toward the door. He half-expected the alarm to go off at any moment, though he didn't dare draw his wand. If he did, he feared all the anger he'd been bottling up for months would burst out through his magic... which it almost did as he started talking about his past. Thankfully, he calmed down before the lights went out or glass started shattering. Heart still racing, he all but collapsed into the chair Foster summoned, staring in a daze. He still couldn't believe what he'd just done! Talking about his past helped somewhat; at least his anger was no longer trapped inside, slowly eating away at him. But how would everyone react now that they knew? They could easily use that information against him if they wanted. "As you just saw, I have some traits in common with... that thing I almost became," he said sadly, pleading eyes darting from one face to the next. "You won't tell anyone, will you? You're the only ones here who know..."'

Gaston blinked dumbly at the younger men's words, genuinely shocked at the outpouring of understanding.
He bit his lip, listening as they talked. He was too lost in the tragic memories of his childhood that had constantly haunted him since the start of the term to add anything at the moment. Besides, he'd been unintentionally dominating the conversation so far; it was time to give someone else a chance. He nodded in agreement with Foster. managing a small smile at the mention of Kaysha. He'd known her the longest of all the professors here; he missed seeing her around the castle!

Foster was right... about the firings being unjustified and about their numbers. There were five replacements, counting Scrimgeour, and only four of them - and it was still a very real possibility that someone else could be fired at any moment. They needed backup, but suddenly Gaston just thought of something. "Do you think the fired staff would want to help?" he asked. Merlin knows if he was fired, he would never set foot in this school again! Even if they got rid of Scrimgeour, the Board of Governors wasn't going anywhere, and it would only be a matter of time before they scapegoated the staff for something else. As far as Gaston was concerned, they were equally guilty! None of this would've happened if they hadn't sent that tyrant here...

Gaston was jerked out of his thoughts by Joshua's suggestions. Just the mention of fire was enough to make him shudder. Images of the fateful night he lost half his sight and very nearly all of his daughter's love replayed in his mind... flames flying in all directions, children crying, rotting hands grabbing and clawing at him. He shook his head, both to reply to the fire message idea and to make the memories die. The herbologist's other suggestion, however, was something they could work with! "A coded message could work," he said, already pulling his pen and little black book out of his jacket pocket.

Then an idea occurred to him. "We could make it look like something it's not, like a shop order form," he went on. "It's not implausible for a professor to run out of supplies like quills or parchment mid-year, so that shouldn't raise any eyebrows, as long as the items aren't contraband..." He glanced around for signs of approval.
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Katrina was simply taking it all in, as Foster and Joshua entered the room after her and then Gaston cast some precautionary charms on the door so they couldn't be eavesdropped on. And Gaston launched into a full on tirade about the situation, making sure they knew what they were getting into. Obviously she did, considering she had sought him out so no need for her response.

Her brown eyes flicked back between the three wizards as each spoke, taking it all in, her mind a whirlwind of the situation at hand, of things she witnessed. Like that Muggle Studies Professor - she didn't know Kay terribly well, but that Rafferty had zero business in her domain and she was irate that she was unable to do anything about it despite her best efforts.

It was at Joshua's suggestion of runes that Katrina shook her head. "Scrimgeour is an ex auror. A runic message wouldn't get past him, but Gaston is right... A shop order."
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Thankful he had summonsed the chair, Foster watched Gaston with concern. The older man's appearance had dramatically deteriorated over the first several months of the school year and he wasn't sure how much more stress the man could handle and still be alive. "Put that out of your mind." He responded to Gaston's request for silence over his past. "What's discussed in this room, stays in this room." He gave a look to Joshua and Katrina, hoping they were on the same page. They had to trust each other completely. It was the only way they were going to have a chance to accomplish their goal.

"I can't speak for her, but in my heart, I believe Professor Stewart would be on our side." Foster paced in short circles. "From my conversations with Tristan, I believe he would as well. Then, if Tristan is on board, I bet Kalen would be as well. The two appear to be inseparable."

His mind was racing through the different ways to contact the former professors when Joshua had a brilliant idea. Before he could respond, both Gaston and Katrina added to it. "A coded message! Yes!" His pacing stopped. "A supply order from wouldn't be something out of the ordinary and I highly doubt it would pull more than a quick glance for inspection."
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Joshua watched Gaston with some concern. The man was under too much stress. At Foster's words about keeping Gaston's past a secret he chimed in. "My lips are sealed. I will not share with anyone what you've told in confidence." Joshua wanted to make lasting friendships with his co-workers and to do that he had to build trust and this was one way.

The topic turned to the fired professors and if they'd willing to help them overthrow the headmaster. Joshua nodded in unison. "I'm with Foster in that. Kay, Tristan and Kalen will be on our side. They will help us." He didn't know Regina very well to know if she'd be on their side too but he hoped so.

Runes were sadly out of the question for the coded message as Katrina pointed out to them that Scrimegour was an ex-auror. Before Joshua could feel down Gaston suggested that it should look like a shop order which made his spirits rise as he chirped. "A coded message disguised as a shop order is a brilliant idea. I also think the shop order should be of something like quills, parchments or fertilizer or something that everyone uses daily in classes like Gaston said. How shall we write it up? Dees anyone have an empty shop form lying around?"
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Gaston nodded at Foster's words, managing a small smile for the younger man. Before he could reply, Joshua echoed Foster's sentiments, and he too got a little smile from the Frenchman. "Thank you," he said with a slight catch in his throat. He appreciated their compassion more than they knew! He'd spent the past several months constantly on guard, just waiting for Scrimgeour and his posse to attack him. It was nice to know there were still some people at Hogwarts who didn't have it out for him!

His expression changed at Foster and Joshua's answers to his question. He thought for a moment. Deep down, he knew they were right; Kay, Tristan, Kalen, and Regina would help. They were better people than he was! As much as he loved these students, he didn't think he'd have it in him to rally around a school that betrayed him. Scrimgeour might have fired them, but he never would've been in a position to do so if the Board of Governors hadn't been so quick to blame the staff for everything. In their typical knee jerk reaction, they caused more damage than that horde of Inferi ever could!

"I hope you're right," Gaston said. He had to stifle a laugh as Foster called Tristan and Kalen inseparable. Well, that was certainly one word to describe them... He liked Tristan and Kalen, but he always felt like an outsider around those two. Since he guessed their secret, he felt that even more so. It wasn't that he wasn't happy for them; he was just sadder for himself... It was hard not to feel jealous that they gained something from the attack while he lost everything. He shook his head, willing himself not to give in to the dark thoughts. They were going to need Tristan and Kalen to take back the school! "Anyway, it can't hurt to ask..."

Feeling a little better now, Gaston rose from his chair and crossed the room to one of the tables. He tore a page out of his little black book and gripped his pen, poised to write the message. He couldn't help but beam as the others agreed with his idea, though Joshua's question got a shake of his head in reply. "I'm afraid I don't have one, but we could still make this work. We'll just send a quick note requesting a list of items..."

Katrina's words got a slight eyebrow raise in response. Gaston hadn't thought about that, but she was right. "Good point," he said. "So what kind of code shall we use?" Suddenly an idea struck him. "I know! What if we use a series of spelling and grammar errors? Scrimgeour would be inspecting for content, not proofreading for mistakes. IF anything, he'd just think I'm a lazy writer..." Fueled by a burst of inspiration, he put pen to paper and wrote the following note:


Quote:
Drear Mr. Killingsworth:


Thank you fer processing my last order so promptly! Everything was of fine guality! In the interest of our continued business, i would line to request the fallowing items,


Letterhound journal


Hogwarts themed screpbook


Self-inking quil


2 capes off-white parchment



Unclosed you will find payment for she requested items. It would be greatly apreciated if you could lend packege at your erliest conveniense.


Kind regerds,

Gaston Marchand
When he finished, he set down his pen and turned to the group. "How's this? It's an order for Scrivenshaft's in Hogsmeade. The errors spell: Regina, help us please...." His eyes scanned the room for reaction. "If you don't like it, we can always rewrite it...." Hopefully that wouldn't need to happen. Gaston's good eye darted nervously toward the door. The longer they were in here, the greater the chances they'd be caught. They needed to finish up - and fast!
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Foster began to relax as Gaston's appearance appeared calmer. He was no longer worried the man would explode or faint. With his attention back to the task at hand, he listened to the plans being made and nodded in agreement.

Once Gaston was finished, he took a quick look over the coded order form. "That should work. I can't imagine Scrimegour giving it more than a quick glance. Nothing exciting happening there." He looked to Joshua and Katrina to see if they were in agreement. "We need to get it sent out as soon as possible. I'm not sure how much more the students can take." Or the professors. The mental health of all of them was deteriorating at a far too rapid rate.
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Katrina felt like an awful colleague for not really knowing much about Tristan or Kalen or Kay, but it seemed Joshua and Foster were in agreement about their nature of wanting to help so really it was all the Runes Professor could do but just stand there. And make a mental note that if they returned to Hogwarts to get to know them better. But surely they couldn't fault her for wanting to know her niece these past few months...

Gaston seemed to have hit quite the inspiration and Katrina just watched him quickly pen up the supply order and nodded when her dark eyes glanced over the parchment. "I think that's brilliant. I agree, i don't think it will spare more than a second glance. Although, do you think its wise to show such carelessness with this ... regime?" Katrina bit her lip. Honestly, last thing they needed was their Deputy replaced as well. He seemed far too stressed as it were.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:43 AM   #19 (permalink)


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Joshua had a strong belief in Kay's nature of wanting to help and he imagined if anything that if Tristand and Kalen were hesitant that she could swing the over. She could be persuasive. When the order for Shrivenshaft’s was written up Joshua casted a glance at it after Foster nodding up at the other. "The order looks good. Nothing weird or odd about it so it shouldn’t raise any suspicion from Scrimegour and easily pass inspection. I totally agree too. We need to owl it asap! The students lives are at stake. Who of us should go to the owlery?"

At Katrina’s question that was warranted Joshua gave a pause to ponder before he replied with a look over at the runes professor. "It might not be wise to show carelessness considering how the regime is, but we have to risk it. We have to for our students." They had to take risks but Joshua didn’t want anyone else fired/replaced.
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