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United Kingdom Magic can be found everywhere throughout the United Kingdom. Just be mindful of the Muggles who are out and about.

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Old 11-12-2018, 09:15 AM
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Default St. James's Park


Tucked amid London's busy streets and buildings, being a roughly six-minute walk from the Ministry entrances, is St. James's Park. Covering 57 acres and featuring a small lake with two islands, there is plenty to explore. Entering the park from Horse Guards Road to the east, one will find themselves near a park pavilion and quaint cottage. From the Mall to the north is a gate kiosk, drinking fountain, and a tiny coffee shop. Walking far enough west, one will stumble upon the Vitoria Memorial, Buckingham Palace, and the park's playground. The rest of the park provides a number of trails and a bridge that gives access across the lake from the south end of the park to the north.

On a sunny day, the park is a perfect getaway, especially during one's lunch break or after clocking out of work. It is is an excellent place to have a picnic under the shade of a tree, enjoy watching the waterfowl and resident colony of pelicans idly swimming in the lake, or go for a stroll or a run along the trails with a friend before having to venture back into the loud, bustling city.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:19 PM   #51 (permalink)




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The entire reason that Layla Ackerly had decided to join the ministry was the two girls that were stood next to her. Layla never saw herself working in the magical world as she still mostly considered herself a muggle and working for a governmental body almost felt like hitting an ultimate low. Yet here she was with her wife on her arm and her daughter with them and with a ministry title attached to her now. Layla was a free spirit who couldn’t be tamed but now all she wanted to do was to make her family proud. Bambi had changed a lot about Layla since they had got back together. As an eighteen-year-old Layla had seen herself never marrying, never having kids, working in something sporty and muggle.. How that had all changed.

That wasn’t to say that she wasn’t impressed about having to come to this picnic thing. The twenty-eight year old wasn’t the sort to socialise and usually stuck to her own crowd. Her trademark frown was plastered on her face which only faltered when she looked at her wife who was practically beaming from ear to ear. It was infectious and the former Ravenclaw managed to drop her facade for just a moment to smile back at her. “I don’t know how you did it..” The Londoner replied. This arrangement worked for the whole family. It meant the partners worked similar hours and Ariadne could attend the daycare and they’d be home at the same time. It meant they could spend more time together as a family. It clearly meant a lot to Bambi and at the end of the day it was Bambi’s happiness that Layla prioritised over anyone else’s. “You know I’d do anything to see you smile.” If her cousin could see what a sap she had turned into she wouldn’t hear the end of his teasing.

Bambi picked out a blanket and Layla bent down to be at the same level as the adorable little girl who had clearly been dressed by her mother. She still wasn’t keen on kids but this one was definitely the apple of her eye. “Why don’t you pick us out a spot?” she encouraged their daughter. Layla was by no means a perfect mother but she sure did try.


Bambi certainly wasn't one to shy away from compliments, but this one she brushed aside. "You're the best wife a girl could ask for," she replied instantly, removing the praise from her shoulders. Their life is a team effort, all of it. Her next phrased pretty much confirmed it, and Bambi leaned in for a quick, loving peck on the lips before she felt a tiny tug on her dress - a nice light blue one for the occasion, long sleeved and v-necked, appropriate for a work event but far from modest.

She watched as Ari nodded, her little pigtails bouncing as she tore off to find them a spot in the middle of the picnic area. Selecting the blanket that would go best with her dress - sue her, okay, these things were still important to her - Bambi took Layla's hand and went after the little girl, alive and bright and so very very very happy.

Her new boss and Mrs. Emmons-Clarke could wait until they got settled. They were supposed to get food too right?


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Amrita was absolutely ready for another year of work, especially if it meant she'd get out of the house for more than an hour at a time. Also because there weren't many things to punch at home, and much fewer in her mother's home where many things were extremely fragile and several Very Expensive Vases had already been broken. Perks of having a child who'd just learned to walk, probably.

Said child was on her hip, playing happily with her sunglasses (and occasionally poking her in the face with them, what an angel) and gurgled happily when Amrita had to bend to pick up a picnic basket. "Isn't it a nice day for a picnic, Jasmine? Are you excited?" she asked, only to be met by more gurgling as she weaved through the slowly thickening crowd. Now, if she could find someone she recognised, it would be grea--

There was Benzi. She'd been planning to simply stand by him until he noticed, given that she'd always been good with stealth, but turned out that stealth just wasn't a genetic trait. To be given away by one's one-year-old screaming "AAA BEEEEEEE" was truly one of the world's greatest cruelties.

Whoops.


"Emma! Don't-" the Auror sighed, and raised a hand in apology to the random wizard his six year old had just barged into. Luckily, the man seemed unbothered and so Benzi was free to swoop in and grab Emma by the waist, lifting her up on her side. "What did we say about not looking in the direction you're running in?" he asked, but his daughter was far too busy shrieking in delight to worry about anything he had to say, so he mock bit her shoulder, tickled her side, and sent her running off in the direction of Alexa. Who had hopefully brought Emmerson.

Seemed tonight's theme was youngsters running around and babies yelling bloody murder. A good summary of the last six years of his life. Oh, was that Amrita? Benzi grinned and waved at his coworker, walking to her. "Hello, who's this little one?" Yes, they were loud, but Benzi Rider did in fact love children, as was clear when he grinned down at the loud baby in Amrita's arms.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:48 AM   #52 (permalink)






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Mariana had just taken a bite of a delicious looking sandwich she'd discovered in her basket and was wondering whether what she was tasting was avocado-she loved avocado- when the older woman approached. She would have a mouth full of food at a moment like this. Slightly sheepish, she swallowed what was in her mouth and hastily dabbed at her face with a napkin. "Hi, please do. I'd love the company." She gestured to the spot beside her and moved her picnic basket over some, making room.

Giving the woman a moment to get settled, the brunette noticed the arrival of the minister. He seemed friendly, the type of man she'd enjoy working under, and she offered a polite smile in his direction.

"I'm Mariana Medina," She said, turning her attention back to her companion and offering a smile. "I must say, this wasn't what I was expecting when I heard about the ministry having orientation for employees. This is great."
Oh, good, she wasn't expecting anyone. January was hoping that was the case. Not that she wanted the woman to be alone... but she herself was alone tonight and in need of some company. Anyway. The redhead smiled at other woman. "Perfect," she said as she sat herself down on the picnic blanket. As she opened her picnic basket, she saw the Minister walk by and she gave him a smile and a wave. Yes, he was quite the energetic man. Life of the party, for sure.

She returned her attention to her new companion and smiled when she introduced herself. "Mariana," she repeated with a smile. "I'm January." And she probably wasn't the only one surprised by the, err.. venue. January laughed a little as she pulled a sandwich from her basket. "They vary year to year. This one is quite fun. Nice to be able to bring the family, too." Some of the ones in the past had been quite... stiff and formal. Which she did like on occasion, because she got to wear a fancy dress...

"What department are you in?" Was she new? Or did January now need to feel bad for not knowing who this woman was?
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:03 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Boring? Griffin looked around, "I guess, but did you come with someone? " He didn't think it was all that boring and there was fun to be had if you had people with you, but what if he was alone and that was why it was no fun. "I mean you could join my husband and I if you need some company. Not sure if we'd make it anymore fun, but it's a start."

Picking up one of the baskets he looked around to see what else was going on. "Are you a new employee or returning? It's so big sometimes that it's hard to know everyone. I'm Griffin by the way."


Caleb nodded "I did come alone. My younger sisters at Hogwarts and mum and dad couldn't make it," Caleb shrugged.
He then noddrd. "Yeah, I am new. Haven't even started yet.
He took a bite of one of his sandwiches finishing it off.
"Sure, that would be nice, thank you."
Caleb took his basket of food and went to sit by Griffen and his husband.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:18 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Megan grinned mischievously at Laurel. “Thanks, doll. Actually, I hadn’t thought of that but I’ll see if I can grab the wife afterwards to see if she’s free. She’s stuck doing some work for a fashion show.’’ Perhaps next time Yuna would accompany her to another of these events. “It was great. Happy to be back though. I missed this place even though we had that adventure a few months ago with the brains.’’

Hello!

There was someone already introducing himself to her. “Hey, sugar. Nice name.’’ The blond beamed at the one calling himself Caleb. “The name’s Megan. I’m from Accidents and Catastrophes.’’ That would have been said with a hint of pride as she was very fond of her Department. “Are you a newbie?’’ There was the Minister whom Megan liked a lot! “Hey, Minister! Looking good!

It was at that moment that Megan looked over in the direction of a guy (Milo). It was just at random but she noticed that he was already looking at her. An eyebrow was arched in question because she did not recognise him. Maybe he was just drawn in by her good looks.

“Hey, Bear! What’s up?’’ Despite the man being away for a while, he had not been forgotten.



“How are you, Vic?’’ Lucas as quietly. He knew there was a lot going on in her life right now. Truthfully? He admired the heck out of her for being so strong and had been more than happy to help her out with the World Cup preparations even if it meant pushing in some extra time. Come to think of it, he still would be clocking a lot of overtime for the next few months. Hearing the Minister’s voice, Lucas smiled and waved an arm in greeting. “Welcome, Nathaniel,’’ Lucas said warmly. “Lucas Hawthrone. Quidditch Division Head.’’ This meant that the two would be working closely. “Hello, Autumn.''
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:54 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Angelo was actually glad to be on duty rather than expected to attend this thing of his own accord. It just... wasn't his cup of tea. He much preferred a black tie event over whatever this was. It didn't make this bodyguard duty easier either. In this kind of environment anything could happen....

So he was seated on a blanket nearby where January Bones had settled herself. Not making any sort of conversation with anyone, though he appeared relaxed enough. It was more... a watchful kind of relaxed. A readiness.

Perhaps he was over-prepared. Perhaps there'd be a whole lot more nothing.

Either way he wasn't likely to enjoy the picnic and he hoped it would be over soon.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:28 PM   #56 (permalink)
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As time went by, the winter sky crept in. Employees and their families would notice that it had gotten darker... gradually if they were paying attention but in the blink of an eye had they been talking. Or eating.

It was almost time to gather around in your groups for a display that will end the event with a bang.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:49 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Caleb nodded at Megan
'Yeah. I'm new. I wish my family could come though but..." He shrugged.
Caleb then looked at the night sky.
"Yo. Something must be happening," he muttered.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:02 PM   #58 (permalink)
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As Amidala made conversation with herself in her mind whilst working on her THIRD slice of sandwich and SECOND cup of coffee the voice of a fellow gentleman caught her attention. Looking up from her cup of coffee she made eye contact with the owner of the voice. "Oh Hello." She greeted in response, setting down her sandwich to swiftly remove her left glove to shake hands with the gentleman. The red head's serious demeanor didn't do her justice whatsoever! Though it wasn't so easy to crack a smile it did not mean she was in any way displeased or mad. "I'm Amidala. Who must you be, sir?" Amidala's voice was light as snow, radiating politeness and professionalism.
Sir...

He had been working at the ministry for almost 3 years now and he was still not used to be called that way. That did not mean that he didn't like being called that though. It gave him a sense of maturity. The twenty five year old took her hand as she held it out to shake it before he placed it back inside of his pockets and looked up at the sky for a couple of seconds. Was it just him or was it getting darker? "Hmm...i hope it's not going to rain"

"Kevin Hirase" he answered as he introduced himself " i don't think i've ever seen you before?" he wasn't a hundred percent sure about this. She could have had a job somewhere in the department of mysteries or something.

"Did you buy those sandwiches or did you make them yourself?" because if she had bought them he would get one himself.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:55 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Smart kid, he (Caleb) was. They’d have a formal introduction eventually. But for now, James was trying to make his escape.

An escape that would have to wait just a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit longer now that he was stuck in the middle of the least requested reunion episode of all time. James gave Yoongi the same look as he had when they were playing the Professor-Student game. One that said ‘you always fall just short of surpassing expectations’. ”Eight years and you’re lucky I even remember you at all.” It was mean, yes. But it was a joke. For the most part. There was some sort of underlying, serious aspect. ”No, how could I ever forget you? Always a pleasure to have in class, offering… unique perspectives.” It was…. a stretch. Unique didn’t mean they were good. But at least the boy showed up. That was more than what he could say for some of his schoolmates.

Why was he surprised? Easy. ”You put down the hair cream long enough to land yourself a job at the ministry,” he wasn’t even being sarcastic or anything. He was genuinely impressed. Again, for the most part. Which was saying something, as this was Big Headedboy they were talking about here! ”Was this always your plan?” James was sure that the self-absorbed child would’ve wanted to try… modeling or something. Perhaps he just didn’t have the face for it. Or maybe he had grown. There were first times for everything!

Like exhibiting genuine kindness. Something which James didn’t often find himself leaning into. Children were different though, the young ones at least, he had a soft spot for those. They somehow managed to find a way to melt his otherwise stone-cold heart. Yes, yes. He had one. Sometimes. ”Hello Evie, you’re very well behaved. I’m sure your mother loves that,” he gave her foot another wiggle before looking up at Olly.

And…. Olly’s wife (Schuyler). Oh. This was good to know. Best to avoid any awkward interactions with loved ones, you know? This was a face James would make an extra effort to remember. ”Pleasure to meet you,” he smiled before reaching his hand out. Merlin, this was far too much socialization. How much longer until he could… LEAVE?

”How long have you been married?” he asked the couple. If he had to take a guess, he’d say no more than four years. They were still happy. No one was that happy in a marriage.

Speaking of LEAVING, the day was slowly shifting into evening and with the sun starting to set… leaving inconspicuously was becoming a real option here. James wasn’t about to prolong it any more than he had to. Taking his opportunity, he graciously excused himself and began making his way—

Bumping straight into a stranger (Ariadne) on his way out.

”My apologies…” he trailed off. She wasn’t a stranger. He knew this face.

This very attractive face, he may add. ”… I know you from somewhere…”
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:56 AM   #60 (permalink)


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Sir...

He had been working at the ministry for almost 3 years now and he was still not used to be called that way. That did not mean that he didn't like being called that though. It gave him a sense of maturity. The twenty five year old took her hand as she held it out to shake it before he placed it back inside of his pockets and looked up at the sky for a couple of seconds. Was it just him or was it getting darker? "Hmm...i hope it's not going to rain"

"Kevin Hirase" he answered as he introduced himself " i don't think i've ever seen you before?" he wasn't a hundred percent sure about this. She could have had a job somewhere in the department of mysteries or something.

"Did you buy those sandwiches or did you make them yourself?" because if she had bought them he would get one himself.
Amidala slipped her glove back on also noticing the atmospheric shift, with a furrow of her reddish brown eyebrows she squinted looking up at the sky. Rain? No, just please no rain! "I sure hope it doesn't." She replied, ready to drop mother nature herself!

"Ah. Pleasure to meet you Mr. Hirase." Ami nodded with such formality and class. "That is correct." She was the "new kid on the block" as some would say...at least where she was from they would. "I'm new to the department of law enforcement." Not to mention being new to all of the UK. "What department are you in, if you don't mind me asking?" Ami asked, keeping eye contact with Kevin then shifting her attention to the holy sandwiches. "I made them, would like a slice?" There wasn't a clause regarding bringing your own food to the event right? Full disclosure, the coffee was purchased on her way to the event. "How long have you been in the Ministry, Mr. Hirase?" In her opinion Kevin seemed a little young, but nowadays even one-hundred year olds looked not a day over fiftyfive.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:26 AM   #61 (permalink)
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"That's actually not a bad idea." She admitted freely. Fox not putting on a suit when she had more time to appreciate him not being in a suit. She looked around as her employees began pouring in--weird, huh? There was suddenly a whole department she was left in charge of and a lot more people she had to be keeping alive than when she'd only been Head Auror. All these adjustments, it would for sure take time.

"You'll have to come see the chocolate fountain when we leave here." She'd had it installed earlier today and it was heavenly. "Still the best idea you've ever had, until you come up with a better one." But a chocolate fountain at her disposal whenever she was stuck in office was honestly hard to beat.

She watched with some level of amusement as Emm rattled on about her "secret". Fox asking her to whisper was laughable. When excited, the little girl didn't know the meaning of the word but it was nice all the same. Went without saying, she adored seeing the little girl in such a good mood.

"How's it going, Minister?" It was a double edged question now that the Minister had stopped to greet her. She was genuinely inquiring about how things were going for him, but she was ALSO asking how things were going. Was he gonna need a bit more security? Anything he needed her looking at?

And wasn't that Rider over there wrangling his own 6 year old? She understood the struggle, most definitely and didn't at all mind the little girl sprinting toward them. Emm certainly wouldn't mind either. She adored Emma. "I'll keep an eye on her." She called to Benzi who'd stopped by Amrita. She'd check in with the young woman later, see how motherhood was treating her. No need in the moment.

Emmerson was practically bouncing in her mother's lap from all the excitement of the SECRET she knew. The little girl giggled at Fox's theatrical use of her nickname. She leaned over just enough to get to his ear without entirely getting off her mother's lap then whispered....rather loudly. "THERE'S GONNA BE FIREWORKS!!!"

It was a secret too amazing for the little girl to keep to herself. He just haaaaddd to know.

Oh oh! "Grandpa Charles!" This time, the little girl did hop up from her mother's lap and eagerly went to give him a big hug. He was nice. Did he have candy? "Do you like my dress?? It's my faaavourite."

Hold on, wasn't that?? IT WAS IT WAS!!! Releasing the Minister, Emmerson began bouncing up and down while she waved her hands toward her approaching friend. "Emma! Emma! Emma!" Did she like her dress?
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:10 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Megan grinned mischievously at Laurel. “Thanks, doll. Actually, I hadn’t thought of that but I’ll see if I can grab the wife afterwards to see if she’s free. She’s stuck doing some work for a fashion show.’’ Perhaps next time Yuna would accompany her to another of these events. “It was great. Happy to be back though. I missed this place even though we had that adventure a few months ago with the brains.’’

Hello!

There was someone already introducing himself to her. “Hey, sugar. Nice name.’’ The blond beamed at the one calling himself Caleb. “The name’s Megan. I’m from Accidents and Catastrophes.’’ That would have been said with a hint of pride as she was very fond of her Department. “Are you a newbie?’’ There was the Minister whom Megan liked a lot! “Hey, Minister! Looking good!

It was at that moment that Megan looked over in the direction of a guy (Milo). It was just at random but she noticed that he was already looking at her. An eyebrow was arched in question because she did not recognise him. Maybe he was just drawn in by her good looks.

“Hey, Bear! What’s up?’’ Despite the man being away for a while, he had not been forgotten.



“How are you, Vic?’’ Lucas as quietly. He knew there was a lot going on in her life right now. Truthfully? He admired the heck out of her for being so strong and had been more than happy to help her out with the World Cup preparations even if it meant pushing in some extra time. Come to think of it, he still would be clocking a lot of overtime for the next few months. Hearing the Minister’s voice, Lucas smiled and waved an arm in greeting. “Welcome, Nathaniel,’’ Lucas said warmly. “Lucas Hawthrone. Quidditch Division Head.’’ This meant that the two would be working closely. “Hello, Autumn.''
"Oh," Bear said, a bit surprised that someone had started talking to him. It broke him out of his thoughts. "Hey, Megan. How's it going?" They worked in the same department, he knew, but he certainly wouldn't say he knew her well. Or... Really at all. Except her name. That he did know for sure.

"Ready to get back to it?" A bit mundane to talk about work maybe, but it was the only thing he knew for sure they had in common...

Looking around, he suddenly became a little self-conscious at his lack of a family. He was single and had no kids, so here he was alone. Should he have, like, hired a fake family or something? (Just kidding. Sort of.)
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:23 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Airey Flamsteed was doing his best NOT to look towards you, James Draper. Not to worry. Though that was proving to be a bit difficult considering he was not also doing his best to not make eye contact with his nephew's ex-girlfriend. Who he had driven on their first proper date. And played children's music in the care, full volume, to remind them both that they were just babies still. But neither of them were babies now.

Merlin how was his daughter starting Hogwarts next term already.

"I am sure it is nothing you cannot handle. I often heard praise about your combat abilities," he nodded. Conversation which was awkward seeing as he was now looking at Ronan again though not yet speaking TO him.


-------------------


Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps he should have headed Ryunosuke's warning about James Draper. Or at least taken it a bit more seriously? No matter seeing at the man was walking off elsewhere - oh, to speak with Olivia. Lovely! OH OH OH! EVEN MORE LOOOOOOOOOOVELY THAT OLIVIA WAS HERE WITH A BABY!

Well then, he might just have to go over that was and introduce himself. Another child to spoil and treat as his own grandchild since his daughter said she was done bearing children after the triplets and his sons continued to disappoint him on that front. "OLIIIVA! And Olivia's wife," he boomed with his arms stretched out to either side in celebration. "Just WHO is this darling little daffodil in your arms? I don't believe we have met."

Yes, hello James. We were still here.

His eyes easily settled on Victoria and greeted her with an easy grin. "Charles will do just fine," he insisted upon. Not that Charles was one to dismiss formalities, he rather liked them when appropriate. But it hardly felt so under these circumstances. "It has, hasn't it. I am pleasantly surprised by the turnout."

He chuckled at Megan's enthusiasm, pleased to see that she was fine and handling all that had happened to her last year in stride.

Meanwhile, was Alexa talking to him? Charles hardly noticed since now he had the precious pea and a half that was Emmerson in his arms, all scooped up and handing her a lollipop...and some yogurt covered raisins. He would insist that she take a liking to those, they were divine. "You look pretty as a peacock," he chuckled, giving her a small swing before putting her down.

AND...speaking of fireworks...

Charles gave a look at the sky and, yes, he ought to get to it then. Nothing too long and nothing to get on a soapbox about this evening, just celebrations and one formal announcement of sorts.

"WELCOME WELCOME EVERYONE!" his voice boomed upon casting Sonorus on himself for the time being. Though, really, given Charles' nature the aid of such a spell was not always necessary. "Today, we celebrate the coming of another work year at the Ministry and it is to be an eventful one at that! One that will require each and every one of you and all departments to function as a cohesive unit. THIS SUMMER, the United Kingdom will play HOST to the Quidditch World Cup! With the world's eyes on us, history's eyes on us, let us come together and make this a year to remember!" And then he lifted his bubbly beverage into the air! "TO THE MINISTRY!"

...and that would be THE cue.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:23 PM   #64 (permalink)




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"BYE DADDY!" Emma Rider waved her dad goodbye and tore down the picnic area towards her WORK FRIEND, EMMERSON. She's a work friend because Daddy works with her Mummy and Emma likes telling all her other friends that she has a work friend ALREADY. She's just super awesome like that, super awesome Emmamonster!

Wearing a lilac dress herself, the delighted six year old beamed at her friend and went in for a hug. "Emmerson!" BOUNCE BOUNCE. "This picnic is soooo fun, the Ministry should have one every year!!" Did they hear that, ministry people?? Emma demanded a picnic each year WITH children, thank you very VERY much.

"Hi Ms. Cambridge," Emma also greeted Emmerson's mother with a wave, and grinned toothily at all the adults present. Whoa, okay, until one adult started speaking REAL LOUD and Emma figured he must be real important because everyone seemed to pay attention. She looked around at everyone when he talked, and caught sight of Daddy looking in her direction, so she stuck out her tongue at him. GIGGLE!SNORT.

Oh, he'd finished!! FINALLY! "TO THE MINISTRY!!!" Emma fist pumped the air, because this is like cheers right? You gotta lift up your hand or glass if you had one! Daddy taught her lots of things you see, so she knew exactly what needed to be done. TO THE MINISTRYYYYYY.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:18 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Cued to the second, the main event began on the final word from the Minister for Magic. As glasses (and fists! we see you little one) rose in the air, the sky sounded with a loud bang and the firework display sprang into action. The first image to burst into the sky was the Ministry logo before that burst and sparked into a line of logos, one for each department to signify the cohesive unit that Minister Hollingberry had mentioned in his speech.

Baskets of handheld sparklers appeared around the area for attendees to collect and join in themselves. In a beautiful display, the fireworks went through a variety of colour palettes in a ten minute firework show, segueing seamlessly into one another in the sky and also through the crowd there. In what seemed like a grand finale, firework broomsticks and players danced over the heads of those in attendance, before shooting upwards into the sky and raining down in bright red sparks. This was the year of the Quidditch World Cup!

The red sparks did not make it to the floor as with a whoosh they drew back and exploded into one another over and over until they resembled the face of a dragon. Much like the quidditch players, the dragon circled the crowd gathered and blew out orange sparks that lit the sparklers people were holding before honing in on the area that January Bones, the Senior Undersecretary, was in.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:17 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Like exhibiting genuine kindness. Something which James didn’t often find himself leaning into. Children were different though, the young ones at least, he had a soft spot for those. They somehow managed to find a way to melt his otherwise stone-cold heart. Yes, yes. He had one. Sometimes. ”Hello Evie, you’re very well behaved. I’m sure your mother loves that,” he gave her foot another wiggle before looking up at Olly.

And…. Olly’s wife (Schuyler). Oh. This was good to know. Best to avoid any awkward interactions with loved ones, you know? This was a face James would make an extra effort to remember. ”Pleasure to meet you,” he smiled before reaching his hand out. Merlin, this was far too much socialization. How much longer until he could… LEAVE?

”How long have you been married?” he asked the couple. If he had to take a guess, he’d say no more than four years. They were still happy. No one was that happy in a marriage.
Olly watched James interact with Evie, an easy smile on her lips. This was a good start into their working relationship, wasn't it? It also indicated that he wouldn't have a problem with her bringing her daughter to work occasionally. That was very good to know. She had no interest in getting into an argument with him about something like that after all. Plus, she REALLY wanted to show Evie their new café on their level.

Which was about the only positive thing she could think of for that place.

In total Schuyler was spending a whole lot more time with Evie which was why Olly was kind of hogging her this afternoon. Now James had met her entire family. Had he come with anyone, too? Not that she cared but she felt like it was convenient to know these things just in case his partner ever showed up on their level. As for her and Schuyler's wedding. "Three and a half y-"


Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpinkpixie View Post
Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps he should have headed Ryunosuke's warning about James Draper. Or at least taken it a bit more seriously? No matter seeing at the man was walking off elsewhere - oh, to speak with Olivia. Lovely! OH OH OH! EVEN MORE LOOOOOOOOOOVELY THAT OLIVIA WAS HERE WITH A BABY!

Well then, he might just have to go over that was and introduce himself. Another child to spoil and treat as his own grandchild since his daughter said she was done bearing children after the triplets and his sons continued to disappoint him on that front. "OLIIIVA! And Olivia's wife," he boomed with his arms stretched out to either side in celebration. "Just WHO is this darling little daffodil in your arms? I don't believe we have met."

Yes, hello James. We were still here.
"-ears."

Oh no.

Olly almost handed off Evie to Schuyler and apparated home when she noticed Charles making his way over to them, looking VERY EXCITED. Seeing as she was an adult and also a rather capable and responsible department head, oh, and also a PARENT, she didn't run away from the situation but simply put on a smile really quickly when the Minister stopped in front of them.

"Minister." What a pleasure to see him. Not really. She respected him, though, and he was doing a very good job so far so obviously she didn't say anything. Also it was the MINISTER, you know. "This is Evie." Olly said instead, giving him a polite smile as she leaned in a little so he could get a better look at their daughter.

Somehow Evie was a bit of a shield, wasn't she?

------------------------

.......and then there was Charles' speech.

Which, based on the time of day, could only mean one thing. Nodding for Schuyler to sit down on their picnic blanket again, she listened to the Minister talk. They weren't expected to stand up right? They had a CHILD with them after all. One who was actually quiet during the short speech. Well done, Evie. She used her daughter's hand to "cheer" for the upcoming World Cup, seeing as she was probably expected to react in some way. She also WAS genuinely excited for the Quidditch World Cup.

Olly, that is. Evie probably couldn't care less.

"Look!" Olly said to both Schuyler and Evie when the fireworks started going off, a big smile on her lips. It had been a pretty decent afternoon, hadn't it? She was glad that they'd decided to start the event earlier so they wouldn't be out too late. That way they could ALL be here, all three of them.

And yes, she was completely unaware of the fact that the "dragon" appeared to be heading for someone in particular.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:21 PM   #67 (permalink)


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Bambi certainly wasn't one to shy away from compliments, but this one she brushed aside. "You're the best wife a girl could ask for," she replied instantly, removing the praise from her shoulders. Their life is a team effort, all of it. Her next phrased pretty much confirmed it, and Bambi leaned in for a quick, loving peck on the lips before she felt a tiny tug on her dress - a nice light blue one for the occasion, long sleeved and v-necked, appropriate for a work event but far from modest.

She watched as Ari nodded, her little pigtails bouncing as she tore off to find them a spot in the middle of the picnic area. Selecting the blanket that would go best with her dress - sue her, okay, these things were still important to her - Bambi took Layla's hand and went after the little girl, alive and bright and so very very very happy.

Her new boss and Mrs. Emmons-Clarke could wait until they got settled. They were supposed to get food too right?



The whole purpose of this Ministry orientation thing was to be sociable, Layla understood that but there was no way that she was going to interact with anyone except her wife and her daughter. Layla didn’t do socialisation, Layla didn’t do awkward introductions and making friends. She surrounded herself with a tiny social circle of people she liked and that understood her for who she was - quiet and liked to keep herself to herself.

Still she was here and she offered somewhat of a smile to anyone who gave her one or acknowledged her presence. She recognised some faces, the Minister mostly but she did her best to avoid anyone else and it seemed to be working. She was grateful that Bambi wasn’t speaking to anyone else too.

Her lips touched Bambi’s softly as her wife leaned in to kiss her and the blonde couldn’t help but let out a small smile in return. As for being the best wife? “I’d hardly say that. You could have much better” That was honestly what Layla thought. Ari skipped off to find a spot to sit and Layla followed hand in hand with her girl.

They settled down for their picnic and before long the daylight slipped away and was replaced by the darkness of the evening. The minister made his speech and Layla raised her glass and murmured a ‘too the Ministry’ in response, politeness and all. Before long the fireworks were set off and Layla pointed up to the sky grinning down at her daughter. “Wow! Look at the dragon”. Despite having the worlds girliest mother, Ariadne would find Dragons cool too, wouldn’t she?


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Old 02-24-2019, 03:12 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Lyra was peering up at the sky, contemplating getting up and going to find someone to talk to. His hands were shaking a little less, but he was just so nervous. This new job was his first out of school and it was exactly what he wanted.

Seeing someone come towards him, he turned around. She looked concerned. Was the shaking that noticeable? "Oh! I'm fine, just a little nervous. This is my first job out of university." What if she asked about his department? He didn't know of he was supposed to use his cover or his actual department with people inside the ministry. "I don't really have any family to bring with me, so it's kind of hard."
Hmm. He did look awfully young, now that he said that. Kendra tilted her head just slightly as she looked at him. Not much older than her daughter, she'd suppose. They did hire them young sometimes; in fact, some of them didn't even go to university first.

"Well, I'm sure everything will be just fine," she said with a reassuring smile. "You aren't at work yet, this is a party." No real need to be nervous, right? "And bringing family isn't a requirement. It's even fine to just come alone. I'm sure you're not the only one here who did." Technically that did not include her, even if she simply came with her brother who also worked in the Ministry.


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Originally Posted by FearlessLeader19 View Post
[COLOR="Black"]It was at that moment that Megan looked over in the direction of a guy (Milo). It was just at random but she noticed that he was already looking at her. An eyebrow was arched in question because she did not recognise him. Maybe he was just drawn in by her good looks.
Whoops, was he staring? Milo didn't mean to be rude, but he couldn't help but notice that the strange lady he met several months ago was acting nothing like she had before. Here she was friendly and outgoing and vivacious....and not up in anyone's face demanding to put her fingers in cups of tea, even when it was too hot. Weird.

But then she caught him looking. She didn't say anything, just gave him a quizzical look. Milo gave her an acknowledging nod but then averted his eyes. He wasn't some creep to just stare at women and she was engaged in conversation with those around her. Where was his sister anyway?
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:14 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Caleb grinned.
"Wooow," he said as he watched the grand display, the food obviously is forgotten. It was so pretty!
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:01 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Hmm. He did look awfully young, now that he said that. Kendra tilted her head just slightly as she looked at him. Not much older than her daughter, she'd suppose. They did hire them young sometimes; in fact, some of them didn't even go to university first.

"Well, I'm sure everything will be just fine," she said with a reassuring smile. "You aren't at work yet, this is a party." No real need to be nervous, right? "And bringing family isn't a requirement. It's even fine to just come alone. I'm sure you're not the only one here who did." Technically that did not include her, even if she simply came with her brother who also worked in the Ministry.
Lyra felt himself drifting off in hunger as he sat there. He felt much less nervous in the presence of this person. Opening up the picnic basket, he responded "Yeah, I guess this job is just important to me." And then he started eating.
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:40 PM   #71 (permalink)



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SPOILER!!: Ronan, Airey, Start of the Fireworks!
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Had he startled her? Well, he had been doing well in his stealth and tracking training. In fact, his trainer had said that he reminded him of someone....

He returned Emilia's smile with one of his own, taking her offered hand for a quick handshake. "Yeah, I know that feeling." he replied, letting go of her hand. "I'm Ronan." Before he could say anything else, though, one Airey Flamsteed appeared. He still wasn't sure how he felt about the man after the events with the whole Encephelon incident, but he could still be polite. "Mr. Flamsteed," he returned the greeting with a nod.

Was it just him, or was there a lot of awkwardness in the air right now? Though, instead of throwing him off, it simply made him curious as to the source. Call it an Auror thing.
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Originally Posted by sweetpinkpixie View Post
[FONT="Georgia"]Airey Flamsteed was doing his best NOT to look towards you, James Draper. Not to worry. Though that was proving to be a bit difficult considering he was not also doing his best to not make eye contact with his nephew's ex-girlfriend. Who he had driven on their first proper date. And played children's music in the care, full volume, to remind them both that they were just babies still. But neither of them were babies now.

Merlin how was his daughter starting Hogwarts next term already.

"I am sure it is nothing you cannot handle. I often heard praise about your combat abilities," he nodded. Conversation which was awkward seeing as he was now looking at Ronan again though not yet speaking TO him.


Emilia tried very hard not to fidget, hands gripping her sleeves to keep them still, calm. She'd been able to mask emotions on her face well enough since she was small, but nervous hands tended to give her away.

"That's-It's kind of you to say, thank you. Combat has always been the one area I felt confident in, so I'm looking forward to showing what I can do." She smiled briefly, knowing who that praise must have come from. In truth, it just made her heart hurt.

Looking between the two men, the brunette tried to think of something more to say. Honestly, she wanted to excuse herself, but couldn't think of a good enough reason. Luckily the minister's speech saved her the trouble. Her gaze shifted from him to the sky as the fireworks started and she couldn't help but exhale an 'oh.' They really were impressive.

"They're beautiful." The whole scene was. That dragon firework, though... "Is that normal?"


SPOILER!!: January & mention of the dragon firework
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Originally Posted by sarahlooo View Post
Oh, good, she wasn't expecting anyone. January was hoping that was the case. Not that she wanted the woman to be alone... but she herself was alone tonight and in need of some company. Anyway. The redhead smiled at other woman. "Perfect," she said as she sat herself down on the picnic blanket. As she opened her picnic basket, she saw the Minister walk by and she gave him a smile and a wave. Yes, he was quite the energetic man. Life of the party, for sure.

She returned her attention to her new companion and smiled when she introduced herself. "Mariana," she repeated with a smile. "I'm January." And she probably wasn't the only one surprised by the, err.. venue. January laughed a little as she pulled a sandwich from her basket. "They vary year to year. This one is quite fun. Nice to be able to bring the family, too." Some of the ones in the past had been quite... stiff and formal. Which she did like on occasion, because she got to wear a fancy dress...

"What department are you in?" Was she new? Or did January now need to feel bad for not knowing who this woman was?


"I was thinking the same thing. I wish I could've had my sister come. She would've enjoyed this." The atmosphere, the people. It was a nice escape from the cold, work filled day-to-day.

"Oh! I'm working in the Department of Environmental Regulation and Protection. I'll be joining the team of botanists and I'm really, dorkishly excited about it," She admitted with a smile. She'd always loved herbology, so getting to work closely with others who felt the same was a dream come true. "And you?"

Soon the minister stole her attention again and Mariana found herself grinning, the man's excitement contagious. She was fairly sure she'd even heard a child mimic the man's toast, which earned a girlish giggle from the twenty-six year old. Her gaze shifted to the woman who was sharing her picnic blanket and she offered a grin. "To a productive year at the ministry." Cheers.

The fireworks display was lovely, making Mariana feel very much like a kid again. It was the dragon, though, that stole the show. Was it...actually heading towards them? "January...?" Did she see it, too?
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:17 AM   #72 (permalink)






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Angelo was actually glad to be on duty rather than expected to attend this thing of his own accord. It just... wasn't his cup of tea. He much preferred a black tie event over whatever this was. It didn't make this bodyguard duty easier either. In this kind of environment anything could happen....

So he was seated on a blanket nearby where January Bones had settled herself. Not making any sort of conversation with anyone, though he appeared relaxed enough. It was more... a watchful kind of relaxed. A readiness.

Perhaps he was over-prepared. Perhaps there'd be a whole lot more nothing.

Either way he wasn't likely to enjoy the picnic and he hoped it would be over soon.
Evangeline thought the picnic was quite nice. She too liked an excuse to dress up and be the most stunning figure at the party, but something casual every once in a while was good. It was cute, honestly. And she kind of liked the whole vibe that the Minister gave off. It was fun.

Clearly Angelo didn't agree, and Evangeline found it mildly amusing. "You could at least pretend you're having fun," she said with a teasing smile on her face as she sat next to Angelo with two fresh bites of dessert. He knew she loved her desserts. They were her downfall. She handed one to him just as the Minister began his speech. And it was short and sweet, just how she liked it.

The auror slipped her hand into her fiance's and watched the firework show. She was having a good time, but she still knew there was a risk having such a party outside in the open. It made their job a little harder, but they had stationed themselves rather close to the Senior Undersecretary. And for good reason... because was it just her or was that firework dragon heading right for her.

Evangeline's senses sparked and her wand was suddenly in her hand. "Wands ready," she muttered to her partner, ready to jump at any moment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TakemetotheBurrow View Post
"I was thinking the same thing. I wish I could've had my sister come. She would've enjoyed this." The atmosphere, the people. It was a nice escape from the cold, work filled day-to-day.

"Oh! I'm working in the Department of Environmental Regulation and Protection. I'll be joining the team of botanists and I'm really, dorkishly excited about it," She admitted with a smile. She'd always loved herbology, so getting to work closely with others who felt the same was a dream come true. "And you?"

Soon the minister stole her attention again and Mariana found herself grinning, the man's excitement contagious. She was fairly sure she'd even heard a child mimic the man's toast, which earned a girlish giggle from the twenty-six year old. Her gaze shifted to the woman who was sharing her picnic blanket and she offered a grin. "To a productive year at the ministry." Cheers.

The fireworks display was lovely, making Mariana feel very much like a kid again. It was the dragon, though, that stole the show. Was it...actually heading towards them? "January...?" Did she see it, too?
The atmosphere was nice, yes. It was relaxing. January herself was guilty of being a little to stiff at times, so a casual picnic in the park had been a good idea and a reminder to just relax a little.

January couldn't help but s mile when the woman talked about her new job. She was clearly passionate about it, and that made her happy. "That's wonderful," she said, genuinely, with a smile. "I used to work in that level, but on the Creatures side. Now I'm the Senior Undersecretary." It had been quite a jump - one that she wasn't entirely sure she had been qualified for, but now that she had been doing for a few years... well, she wouldn't change anything. It was perfect.

When Charles started his speech, January set down her sandwich and looked up, smiling proudly at him from her spot on the blanket. He really was wonderful. A great Minister. January lifted her glass. "To the ministry," she said, quietly, but proudly. Then her eyes lifted to the darkened sky as the fireworks show started. Her daughter would have loved this. She would have to tell her about it when she got home. Especially that dragon. It looked quite amazing.

She could see a lot of the detail in the dragon... and she started to realize it was because the dragon was getting closer to the crowd. Closer to her... Just as a small amount of panic set in and January wondered if she was overreacting or not, she heard her picnic-mate say her name in a way that justified her panic. "Get back," January replied, brandishing her wand, just in case.
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:52 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shanners View Post
Eliora exchanged a few stern words with her ten year old son who had started to run around and act like a fool. She'd let him know exactly what she thought about his behaviour and let him return to sulk under a nearby tree. He'd been given the option to stay at home with Briar, but chose to come. So she expected his best behaviour and he was already testing her patience. Eliora expected that this was the behaviour he was encouraged to perform when with his father in New York and yet she was left picking up the pieces of it for the rest of the year. Discouraging.

Her bad mood flickered when she was presented with coffee and Guilia got some sort of a smile. "Smart choice." She said, gesturing to the basket of food on her blanket. "Help yourself, Barsi. I'm not hungry anymore." Nerves, as it were. She could feel her stomach turning over on itself. These events had always been something she could show up to for ten minutes and then head home because of a childcare emergency, but.. what with her new role.. that wasn't exactly encouraged.

Promotions, hey?

Grinning at the compliment, the Italian carefully arranged herself on the blanket; she had worn a mid-calf length dress for this very reason. She knew she would be on the floor, well - unless she chose to stand all day, which wasn’t very likely. Even if she would be making sure that nothing disastrous went wrong - Eliora couldn’t have anything bad go wrong. No! Not at all. Everything had to be perfect today, before work started up again. The other new starts needed to be excited about starting - after all, they had a lot of work to catch up on after the holiday break.

Sipping on her coffee, Giulia turned slightly to look through the picnic basket that Levi had apparently opened up - although looking inside nothing seemed to be touched so she gave him a look before handing him a sandwich. Eat up, Levi. Lots of money was spent on the food. Joining him, she took a second sandwich from the basket, before eating some chicken and crisps. Nothing seemed as fresh as when it came straight from the local farmers that morning, but it was still delicious. With the added bonus of it allowing her to people watch without having to make small talk.

Win win.

Making sure that Levi ate enough food that he would have one thing less to complain about later, Giulia made sure to put some snacks out for Eliora. Y’know. Just to the side of her. Just in case. Within reach if she wanted. Yup. Just making sure she had something to go with her coffee.



SPOILER!!: Charles’ announcement & Fireworks
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Originally Posted by sweetpinkpixie View Post
"WELCOME WELCOME EVERYONE!" his voice boomed upon casting Sonorus on himself for the time being. Though, really, given Charles' nature the aid of such a spell was not always necessary. "Today, we celebrate the coming of another work year at the Ministry and it is to be an eventful one at that! One that will require each and every one of you and all departments to function as a cohesive unit. THIS SUMMER, the United Kingdom will play HOST to the Quidditch World Cup! With the world's eyes on us, history's eyes on us, let us come together and make this a year to remember!" And then he lifted his bubbly beverage into the air! "TO THE MINISTRY!"

...and that would be THE cue.[/FONT]
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Originally Posted by The Announcer View Post
Cued to the second, the main event began on the final word from the Minister for Magic. As glasses (and fists! we see you little one) rose in the air, the sky sounded with a loud bang and the firework display sprang into action. The first image to burst into the sky was the Ministry logo before that burst and sparked into a line of logos, one for each department to signify the cohesive unit that Minister Hollingberry had mentioned in his speech.

Baskets of handheld sparklers appeared around the area for attendees to collect and join in themselves. In a beautiful display, the fireworks went through a variety of colour palettes in a ten minute firework show, segueing seamlessly into one another in the sky and also through the crowd there. In what seemed like a grand finale, firework broomsticks and players danced over the heads of those in attendance, before shooting upwards into the sky and raining down in bright red sparks. This was the year of the Quidditch World Cup!

The red sparks did not make it to the floor as with a whoosh they drew back and exploded into one another over and over until they resembled the face of a dragon. Much like the quidditch players, the dragon circled the crowd gathered and blew out orange sparks that lit the sparklers people were holding before honing in on the area that January Bones, the Senior Undersecretary, was in.

After a bit, she had excused herself - going for a walk around the park, exchanging formalities with other Department Heads and PA’s whom she had already met over the past week. She introduced herself to a few new people (especially those in her department and that she heard in passing stating that they were new); before she ended up moving to get a drink. Their coffee didn’t look that appealing anymore, so she picked up a bottle of water wishing that she could change it into coffee.

Coffee was needed if she was going to be much longer.

Just when she was going to give up on the now empty water bottle and attempt a stealth exit to find coffee nearby, she heard Charles Hollingberry’s voice ignite through the air stiffling a sigh, the PA dutifully turned around to give the man her full attention. Welcome back. Another year. Yadada. This Summer. Ya- Quidditch.

Wait.

She blinked and looked towards the man she had been only paying half attention too.

Quidditch was being hosted by the UK - man, she’d chosen a great year to move away from home. Hmm. Half paying attention to the fireworks that now lit up the sky, Giulia pondered this and wondered silently if that meant she could get tickets to see some of the matches. Especially if Italia were playing. Hmmm. Taping the empty water bottle against her palm, she turned her eyes to the sky for the display, her mind whirring.
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:54 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Evangeline thought the picnic was quite nice. She too liked an excuse to dress up and be the most stunning figure at the party, but something casual every once in a while was good. It was cute, honestly. And she kind of liked the whole vibe that the Minister gave off. It was fun.

Clearly Angelo didn't agree, and Evangeline found it mildly amusing. "You could at least pretend you're having fun," she said with a teasing smile on her face as she sat next to Angelo with two fresh bites of dessert. He knew she loved her desserts. They were her downfall. She handed one to him just as the Minister began his speech. And it was short and sweet, just how she liked it.

The auror slipped her hand into her fiance's and watched the firework show. She was having a good time, but she still knew there was a risk having such a party outside in the open. It made their job a little harder, but they had stationed themselves rather close to the Senior Undersecretary. And for good reason... because was it just her or was that firework dragon heading right for her.

Evangeline's senses sparked and her wand was suddenly in her hand. "Wands ready," she muttered to her partner, ready to jump at any moment.




The atmosphere was nice, yes. It was relaxing. January herself was guilty of being a little to stiff at times, so a casual picnic in the park had been a good idea and a reminder to just relax a little.

January couldn't help but s mile when the woman talked about her new job. She was clearly passionate about it, and that made her happy. "That's wonderful," she said, genuinely, with a smile. "I used to work in that level, but on the Creatures side. Now I'm the Senior Undersecretary." It had been quite a jump - one that she wasn't entirely sure she had been qualified for, but now that she had been doing for a few years... well, she wouldn't change anything. It was perfect.

When Charles started his speech, January set down her sandwich and looked up, smiling proudly at him from her spot on the blanket. He really was wonderful. A great Minister. January lifted her glass. "To the ministry," she said, quietly, but proudly. Then her eyes lifted to the darkened sky as the fireworks show started. Her daughter would have loved this. She would have to tell her about it when she got home. Especially that dragon. It looked quite amazing.

She could see a lot of the detail in the dragon... and she started to realize it was because the dragon was getting closer to the crowd. Closer to her... Just as a small amount of panic set in and January wondered if she was overreacting or not, she heard her picnic-mate say her name in a way that justified her panic. "Get back," January replied, brandishing her wand, just in case.
"I can't. I'm working." Angelo pointed out. He couldn't pretend to 'have fun' right now. The whole thing was just inconvenient and not the easiest area to keep safe either. And the darkening sky? That had him on high alert of course. Was it paranoia? Maybe. He did squeeze Evie's hand but then the next thing he knew the fireworks were coming this way.

Not paranoia.

He was on his feet in a moment and right in front of the Senior Undersecretary, but when he brought his wand up he aimed upward, knowing that Evie would be doing her part to shield January Bones directly. A double shielding for the Senior Undersecretary, in essence. The shield Angelo cast was silvery and solid looking, cutting through the air like a blade. It pushed upward and outward hard and fast, forming a protective bubble over the people in the immediate vicinity. He grit his teeth, all his focus on the fireworks.
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:06 AM   #75 (permalink)



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And that was all hope of Benzi's not noticing the squeal gone -- dead as a doornail. Amrita smiled and bounced the child on her hip, and Jasmine in turn waved Amrita's sunglasses haphazardly at the strange man. "This is Jasmine." Her child. Which was as weird to her herself saying now as it was in the beginning, because who'd have thought Amrita woud ever parent a real human? Remember the reason she had to take literally six months off field work, and then spent another three months trying to get back into shape for field work? Oh, the joys of motherhood.

And it really was a joy, most of the time. Like now, when Jasmine was happy and gurgling and enjoying herself. "Where's your little one?" Because Amrita had always loved every time she saw Emma. Truly.

... The Auror looked up when the Minister started speaking, and only then noticed how dark the sky had gotten. How odd. Surely they hadn't been out long enough for night to fall -- or had they? Either way, Jasmine was getting increasingly upset by the loud noises, no longer smiling and waving. And the moment the dragon began to swoop down, she screamed and buried her face into Amrita's shoulder, shaking with little sobs.

"Okay, maybe this was a bad idea,"
Amrita conceded, trying not to visibly panic and adjusting her hold so she could spring her wand from its holster if the need arose. She should have stayed home with Jasmine, avoided the party and just showed up for work the next day. "It's okay, Jasmine. Mama's got you."

Or, at least, so she hoped.


Ariadne had barely been standing long when someone (James Draper) quite literally treaded over her sandaled toes. She restrained a yelp, but her eyes widened as she took a few steps back, blinking the shock away until the face of the toe-treader became unblurred enough to seem familiar.

I know you from somewhere.

The line she had been planning to use on whoever she found who would save her from the prying eyes of her family. She blinked once more and met a pair of extremely familiar eyes, and it was only self-control that helped her from taking several more steps backward. "Yes indeed," she said, still a little stunned.

"It seems unlikely you would have attended Durmstrang, which has me confused as to where I've seen you before."
He was also too old to be one of her students, and too young to be one of her teachers. Had he been on an opposing quidditch team? The possibility of that being the case caused the corner of her mouth to twitch into an amused smile. "Is it likely that I filled your pockets with frogspawn at any point of time?"
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