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Charles Hollingberry Era All historical records pertaining to Ministry of Magic RPG under Minister for Magic, Charles Hollingberry [IC March 2097 - present; OOC November 2018 - present]

 
 
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Old 06-21-2022, 05:10 AM
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Default Underwater Gala



After taking an whimsical yellow submarine from the Ministry’s meeting point on the shores of a secluded section of the English coast, you arrive an hour later to the ancient city of Atlantis to the Underwater Gala. As you step off the submarine you are treated to your first breath-taking sight of the magnificent city of Atlantis as you stand in an underwater cavern entrance covered in exquisite shoals of fish and enchanted to sustain all you land lovers while still accommodating for your aquatic companions - meaning you can breathe freely within this air bubble. A beautiful yet elderly and powerful looking merperson, the Chieftess of Atlantis, suddenly appears encased in an orb of water that gracefully floats towards you. While she happens to possess the same greyish skin as those merpeople who dwell in the Hogwarts' lake, her long wild hair is pure white and her eyes do not appear to have that yellow tint in them, and instead are a pale shade of blue. At around six and a half feet in length, she is both breathtaking and intimidating. "Welcome to Atlantis! Please proceed inside!" she announces loudly as she gestured everyone into the gala.

Coming into the festive rooms of the gala you might become mesmerized by the lightning that looks like giant jellyfish with festoons of tentacles spreading light in all the rooms. The main party room that also provides the night’s entertainment from a high stage is bathed in tropical blue hues. You listen to the variety of mermish artists (all of whom are also encased in translucent bubbles of water), take a spin on the dancefloor, or stop by the coral reef bar to get a special pink fantasy drink (there will be both wizard and merpeople drinks on hand, so why not try both?!). You may occasionally find your dance moves interrupted by a school of colorful fish encased in a watery orb of protection swimming from one side of the underwater dome to the other. The dining room is a pink palace of luxury, featuring a wall with constantly flowing confetti. Everyone has an assigned seat around circular clothed tables with a series of natural pearls in varying sizes and colors sparkling overhead. The food you can feast on tonight is a wide variety of mermish and wizard cuisine from entrees to dessert served by mermish waiters.

Remember, you are a guest of this exquisite city and it is a true rarity that merpeople have shown such hospitality. As ambassadors to the land above, be on your BEST behavior!

OOC: please keep any RPing of any merepeople to a minimum as there will be a MEREPEOPLE! account to interact with
Old 06-22-2022, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)

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As Minister for Magic, Charles Hollingberry had arrived at Atlantis several hours before the event was set to begin. It had been a bit discombobulating at first and his almost boyish naivety and been a refreshing delight as well as humbling. To think, at his age, that the experience of going through one of those underwater tunnels at an aquarium would be comparable to being in Atlantis was quite laughable. He understood now why his daughter had laughed so robustly when he had said as much to her. She knew. She had been here during her Hogwarts days on a school excursion, though the circumstances were very different and rather than the merpeople accommodating for the air breathers...it had been the other way around.

Still, welcomed visitors...and Charles would be lying if he said he was not nervous about the evening. The was, truly, a monumental gesture and the word the Department of International Magical Cooperation and Ecological Restoration and Protection was a testament to that. None of this would have been possible without their tireless work in assisting the conversation - he hoped the heads and employees of these two departments knew this. If not, well, that was what Grandpa Hollingberry was for.

Being escorted by one of the mer-royals over to the refreshments, he found himself presented with a very...curious looking beverage that bubbled within its glass much like an underwater volcano...and had a rather unpleasant smell...before being left to his own devices and mingling. Though he had accepted it with a wide smile, the man had been holding on to it now...for nearly half an hour while he search within himself the courage to give it a taste - for diplomacy's sake, of course.

Perhaps he could find someone else to bottoms up with him...


· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·


This was it. A moment she had been working towards for years now was finally coming to fruition. Finally she could tell her avô that no there had not been too much sand in her truck and it had been just the right amount of sand from the get go. Avô was always leaning into traditional idioms whenever he attempted to bestow wisdom upon anyone. Sure, there had been that spell of a couple of weeks where she may have hardly slept a week and bitter expresso had become her companion, but she had made it. Sure, she was only at an entry level position within the Department of International Magical Cooperation now, but she had her rich brown eyes set on sights much higher and was determined to reach those peaks by next year. And she, Joana Veiga, was a very gifted rock climber.

But first...it was essential that she navigate tonight seamlessly. Which, well, perhaps she ought to have reconsidered her choice of companion...though she always did have a weak constitution for anyone's big ol' puppy dog eyes. So it was, after letting it slip over a Smoothie Sunday walk in the park, that she had invited her mentor turned friend to join her. It wasn't so much that his behavior on the submarine over had been embarrassing. Quite the opposite really. She had found it rather entertaining to see him getting all up in the faces of others with every color of question. It had been a mind-numbingly long trip down and at least Eros had kept things lively. She did hope, however, that he could keep some of his opinions to himself or at the very list a muffled whisper. Like...just please do not embarrass her tonight, okay?

Forgoing food and beverage for now, Joana twirled some of the silky strings typing her blouse and paused to watch the current mermish performance. "Now...imagine capturing that on the airways," she said, nodding her head towards the merpeople singing into the mic all while giving him a little jab with her elbow. "Has anyone played any Mer....Merpop? Is that what it would be called? Anyway, has anyone played any Merpop on the WWN? To your knowledge at least."
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No matter the circumstance, Missa wouldn't have missed this event. For once though - it had a lot less to do with being a diligent Junior Auror and more to do with the reality that whatever had happened had happened, and now all she could do was move on. Not to mention, she felt absolutely tired of all the pity her family was constantly showing her these days.

Two weeks away from work had been more than enough. Her health was a lot better too, something she was very keen on making sure everyone knew - because no way did she want anyone to witness any weakness on her part.

Dressed in her best, and black, the former ravenclaw entered the gala with Eiji. Although the submarine ride there, like most days past the incident, had been quiet - the sudden grand visual in front of them triggered a facade of sorts for her and she smiled at him, "don't you think this is the most interesting Ministry event there has been so far?"

"I mean - I don't think you will regret being here tonight"


Eros was absolutely delighted. When he had first heard about the underwater gala, he had not assumed it would be so easy to slip his way in. Although Joana had not been easy to convince --- but once he fixated on something, it was rare of him to just let go.

Determined to not let a moment go to waste, he was effortlessly making conversation with whoever came his way. Sure, he had to make sure Joana didn't revoke her plus one privileges if he went too far - but he was still somehow able to soak in a lot of information -- or at least enough to make his editor happy.

Stepping inside the gala, Eros slipped a hand inside a pocket of his as he followed Joana. "Sure, if anyone wants to drive their audience away - I mean, the audience not underwater" he responded, his tone light as he looked around to figure out who was who around there.

"But maybe one day --- merpop might end up being the reason we come together as a family" His tone was still light, though hinting unconsciously at a conspiracy theory he had heard regarding the relations between the two communities. BUT - he was going to keep that to himself, since he was sure Joana would not approve.
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:49 PM   #4 (permalink)




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Atlantis. Darej couldn't have imagined a more magical setting for an event to take place. Well, at the moment anyway since this was quite a big deal. Perhaps he could invest more of his time re-acquainting with the aquatic life as he arrived with the others.

Making his way to the coral reef bar... as adventurous as Darej was he was going to stick with the wizarding drinks for now. He had a feeling his wife wouldn't be as taken with the new smell on his breath if he tried the merpeople drinks. ...Or would she? Nah, best to play it safe.

Now he wondered about the familiar people he associated with on their whereabouts. For now he could take in the sights.

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Old 06-23-2022, 03:21 AM   #5 (permalink)

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One of the great things about having spent most of his career in the courtroom was that Hugo had gotten out of attending a lot of these soirees. If he hadn’t arguing a case, he’d been locked deep in a library looking at case law, interviewing people, or gathering information for his case. It had been one of the reasons he’d hesitated on taking this post. More publicity. More faces to see. More hands to shake. More of, well, everything and less of everything too.

The upside, he decided as he stopped at the bat for a drink, was getting out of his comfort zone. And this certainly was out of his comfort zone. Did he dare mention to anyone that he couldn’t swim? Not a stroke. Not even the doggy paddle. He ordered one of the mermaid drinks. ”In for a penny, in for a pound….” He said to Charles as he raised his glass in a toasting gesture. The Minster, after all, looked despite his best efforts to be a tad uncomfortable. Maybe he too couldn’t swim. Well then, should something happen they could go down together. He tossed back the brimstone smelling concoction in his hand. His eyes watered for a moment and a poof of steam puffed out of his ears.




Conley was stressed. Did he look stressed? Because he was stressed. He was pretty sure his dark brown hair was all silver. It wasn’t, although he certainly was starting to gray in the temples and his beard was certainly a good three shades lighter than it used to be. Merepeople were not the easiest of beings to work with and not many people in his department spoke the language. He’d only learned it out of necessity the summer he’d spent chasing a dark magical object across the Philippines and honestly, it had been quite a while since he’d had to talk to anyone in it.

He started fidgeting with his tie for probably the fifth time since they’d gotten here. ”Are you sure it looks ok? I should have just gone with a bow-tie. Why didn’t you suggest the bow-tie?” he asked his husband, turning to the Indian Ambassador. He’d forgotten that their daughter Radhika had decided to use his last clean bow-tie as a hair bow for Duke earlier in the day. Duke had in turn gone outside in the rain with it on, effectively making wearing a bow-tie not an option for the DIMC head.




It had been a while since Valentin Roux had been in London. Le Ministère des Affaires Magiques de la France, had been keeping him busy elsewhere, but news about Lobalugs migrating out of the North Sea and towards the English Channel where a few Non-magique had found them on the shore had brought him to London. As had the invitation to this gala. It was a little unusual, he had to say. He turned to his husband Elian as they entered the event space. {”You will stay way from the edges, won’t you?”} he asked Elian in French. Elian wasn’t the greatest of swimmers and he did not need to worry about something happening to him tonight. It was going to be hard enough for Elian to be in a space with so many people, amulet or not.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:26 AM   #6 (permalink)

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Peggy Laplace had decided she no longer liked themed events. Today, an underwater gala. What was next, a fundraiser at a zoo? She would (possibly literally) die.

The one redeeming factor of the evening was that Atlantis was beautiful, and the magic involved in pulling tonight off was rather impressive. They were, after all, very deep under the ocean. Breathing air and walking around. And, yes, having conversations with merfolk. Without having to know mermish.

Very well. That was more than one redeeming quality for the event. Maybe themed events were not that terrible after all. Maybe she could reconsider.

Regardless, she smiled broadly at anyone she encountered, wizards and merpeople alike. She was going to try to enjoy herself, and keep an eye out for her employees, while she was at it. Maybe she'd even try one of whatever that was the Minister had in his hand...later.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)

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· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
EIJI RASTING | PLUS ONE OF MISSA RENALDI
CAVERN ENTRANCE


Disgruntled was always the understatement when applied to one Eiji Rasting and his attitude towards any and all Ministry functions. The label of 'Minister's grandson' was not one he was particularly fond of, even if he may have once or twice during his Hogwarts days leaned into it with a bit of a snooty attitude towards something he was not fond of. But this time, when Missa had shown him the invitation, he had put up no fight and simply added the date to his calendar. After all they had been through over the past month or so, he was just glad to see his girlfriend getting out of bed and being active. With the tabloids moving on to other scandals and conspiracy theories as well, it felt like at least some of the weight had been lifted from both their shoulders.

Which was good...because...he had very weak shoulders and even weaker arms. The twig life was one the former Slytherin had learned to embrace and left the muscular strength to his girlfriend. It looked better on her anyway.

Which, speaking of, he had noticed her attire tonight. And not for the reasons one would assume an incredibly whipped boyfriend to be. That was there too, but something else was nagging his thoughts. Something that he would tuck away for another time. For now...he was just relieved to be out of that submarine and moving around more freely. "I don't think I will either," he nodded in agreement while adjusting his bowtie with his free hand. Was she seeing the sorts of materials and ingredients here? So many things that, obviously, could not be found above land and would do well as additions to his collections. Not to mention fetch a pretty galleon on the market. It was just...a matter of collecting things and doing so in a manner that would not cause his law enforcing love of his life any grief. It was a thin red line with which he tread upon. "You hungry?" he inquired with a casual nod in the direction of the buffet. "Maybe we'll find something delicious enough to pocket and take home with us."

It was a joke. Sort of. Not really. He had phials in his pockets.



· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
CHARLES HOLLINGBERRY | MINISTER FOR MAGIC
CORAL REEF BAR


Charles was, still, coaxing himself in the name of diplomacy to take a sip of this beverage and was so honed in on the glass in his hand that he did not noticed he had been joined by an employee from Ecological Regulation and Protection - or else he would have offered a proper greeting and, perhaps, attempt to rope the young man in with a spirit round of cheers. Nor was he aware of the arrival of his grandson and girlfriend. This was...probably for the best. His heart had calmed itself, but he was certain that it would break all over again once he spent time in their company. Inevitable, to be sure, and he would most likely be wrapping Missa up in a grandfatherly hug. Again.

What did draw his attention, however, was the arrival of Hugo over to the coral reef bar...who also took one of the beverages Charles had in hand. "...and in for a galleon," he mused while lifting his own glass up to reciprocate the cheers. Trying not to breath, Charles tipped the glass back to his lips and poured the entirety of the beverage into his mouth - though little bits of seafoam and brine attached themselves to his scruffy beard. It was...like nothing he had ever tasted before. Like an entire sashimi bar in liquid form but with the aftertaste of Tabasco soaked kiwi. One would be enough of these, thank you.

Clearing his throat, eyes watering and smoke swirling out from his ears and nostrils, he lifted the glass to the newest member of the department head team and set it down on the table.


· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
JOANA VEIGA | DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL MAGICAL COOPERATION EMPLOYEE
DANCE FLOOR ADJACENT


Sometimes, and only sometimes, Joana elected to indulge in the crazy conceptualizations Eros found himself consumed by. Other times she did not, there was a point at which she could not entirely suspend reality and join him on his soapbox. Other times, like now, she took stabs at her own playful theories...and not always was he picking up what she was putting down. Of course, because of course, now of all times he had to be more practical regarding how Mermish would not likely translate in a studio above sea level...but he could have humored her a little more!

Instead he seemed to be diving into his own thoughts and she found her twirling of one of her strings ceased entirely as she arched a brow at him. "I think the plan is more peaceful co-existence, Eros," she reminded him. Though not entirely privy to all the ins and outs of these diplomatic meetings, she had been keeping her ears and eyes open during her internship the previous year and a half for clues. "But, I mean, maaaaaaybe we can find someone down here for you to settle down with if you insist." she teased, looping her arm through his and offering a bit of an exaggerated grin. "Maybe the Chieftess has offspring. You could be a Prince of Atlantis."


· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
AIREY FLAMSTEED | DEPARTMENT OF MYSTERIES DEPARTMENT HEAD
ER...A WALL SOMEWHERE AROUND THE DOME


Typically Airey Flamsteed was always keen for any event that permitted him to venture into the more elegant and luxurious part of his closet. Tonight had not brought about the same enthusiasm as it once had despite the certain fondness he carried for the deep burgundy suit he donned this evening. Stationed on one of the last submarines to leave port, the department head could not help but hold out hope that something had changed. That the nightmare conversation had not occurred. Emotionally compromised, he had spent the majority of the journey to Atlantis in silence. Silence and with his nephew (whose arrival had been the final confirmation of the lack of change) constantly pulling him away from the windows or top latch since he had this incessant need to open it. It felt like such a waste to not swim to their location and instead be trapped within these wonders of metal charming and enchantment.

Finally arriving, Airey found himself drawn to the magical barriers surrounding them. Palms pressed against it, an unpleasant and almost rubbery texture to the touch, he gazed out into the depths of the sea with the forlorn look of a cruppy deprived of belly scratch or favorite bit of kibble. An octopus began to swim by, and he found himself humming under his breath a certain tune while leaning forward and pressing his nose against the barrier.

"I'd like to be...under the sea...in an octopus' garden..."

All that water...such beautiful water...

His throat grew rather scratchy and he soon was reaching up to loosen his tie. And then, like Atlas and Aries seeing condensation on the window for the first time, he licked the barrier. How many licks would it take to get to the other side? Maybe he would find out...he was terribly thirsty and the vast expanse of ocean before him distracting him from any and all logic.

Or noticing that his colleague, Peggy, was just over his left shoulder and a few long strides away.


· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
BECKY RASTING | DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGICAL REGULATION & PROTECTION EMPLOYEE
EN ROUTE TO THE DINING ROOM


Arm looped around Sam's, Becky Rasting had a very different outlook on the evening than her brother. Though that was hardly something uncommon and she had, in fact, helped him with his outfit for the evening. Eiji Rasting in a suit with a print? It was an achievement for the ages. Her own dress, one she had made herself by deconstructing several old kimono she had purchased in a flea market during her vacation with Sam to Uncle Ryu's home in the mountains of Hakone, was as bold and colorful as the bounce with which she walked.

"Isn't this amazing?" she squealed while hugging her boyfriend's arm. "The only place I can imagine being more magical than this would be a gala among the clouds." Literally dancing on air. She knew Sam was not one for these sorts of functions, but at least a Ministry gala provided a bit more sophistication than university parties did. Not that she ever really attended those to begin with. "I have a new department head this year," she informed him, doing her usual information dump so he did not feel so overwhelmed in the sea of unfamiliar faces. "She is very compassionate, beautiful both inside and out. I'm always nervous with a transition of power, so it's been a relief." Which meant Becky was still very much happy with her role in the level four greenhouse. "Should we go see where we are seated? Or...have a quick chat with Ms Laplace? She seems a bit ---" Becky suddenly began bouncing even more enthuastically on her feet, her heels gently clanking against the dark pearly floor. "Sam! Sam look! It's a school of fish!" Swimming RIGHT through the area in a colorful swirl. "They look like flower petals blowing in the wind."
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Old 06-23-2022, 02:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It was strange to be in London, to hear English, if Vale hadn't been here as often, then Elian had been here even less. He had lived here, worked here, but that felt like a different lifetime, even a different person's lifetime. And perhaps that was true, Elian was a very different man than he had been the night he'd happened upon Vale in that pub, and if anyone had asked him, he would have told him that his most real life had started that same night.

Figuring out what to wear had been a challenge in and of itself. Unlike most of the events he attended with his husband, the gala wasn't black tie. Vale had also insisted he not wear any variation of blue or green (which was 90% of Elian's dress clothes), even vetoing a a dark purple suit that he insisted had too much blue in it. As he stepped into the event space, he suddenly understood why. Had Elian dressed in any of those colors, he would have blended right into the background. In the end, they'd gone with a monochromatic look of a lighter silvery suit with a darker grey shirt and matching tie that blended into his shirt. Underneath it all was the amulet he wore anytime he was around more than a handful of people. The coordinating pin had been reformed and incorporated into Vale's wedding ring so he would always have it.

Elian touched the spot where the amulet laid against his chest, cool metal against his skin, a nervous tick that had developed since they'd had it made years ago. He turned toward his husband now, though, and gave him a bright smile, his eyes somehow even bluer in the underwater cavern. {"I promise,"} he assured him in his now fluent French. They'd agreed to only speak French at home for Caspian's sake, wanting it to be his first language, and speaking English would just confuse him. When he wasn't nearby, though, or they had guests, Elian usually slipped back to English. {"My swimming has improved but I doubt I could make it to the surface from the bottom of the ocean."}

He gave Vale a short kiss and then let Vale led the way in further, his hand pressing against the small of Elian's back, guiding him gently.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:36 PM   #9 (permalink)

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There were many, many benefits to having a designer sister that Sookie took full advantage of. But her favorite? Having specifically tailored for her dresses. Generally, she was entirely fine being a fashion guinea pig, but when it came to events such as this Sook had a lot more to say regarding how she would like to appear for the evening. Neutrals were nice, anything brown adjacent reminded her of the dirt of the earth which made her feel quite at ease. And pockets? An absolute must.

She stood near the Cavern Entrance now, her hands resting in her pockets while she watched the entering participants. Having been a newer addition to the team, this impressive event was not something she'd been involved in from the beginning - but she knew her department had and they'd done wonders with making this what it was under their previous Head. She wanted to make sure they knew that she appreciated that, so she was here to make the effort to catch them on their way in to do so. Sookie knew herself well enough to know that once she made her way around the room to locate a mer-person and survey the bubbles of underwater creatures around, she'd be lost for the rest evening to her fascination and curiousity.

Glancing around the room at those already entered, she noticed one of the employees of level Four, Rebecca Rasting, and offered a smile and a nod in her direction. Had her eyesight been any better, she might have noticed the others floating about the room as well. She focused her attention again towards the entrance, though she was waning as a bubbled Grindylow passed rather closely.


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


Simple was not something Rosemary Scardino did. She liked loud, sparkly, statement pieces. And yet.. the Games and Sports employee decided to shake it up this evening, settling on something more elegant and understated in a black dress with her hair neatly pulled into a bun on top of her head. She was regretting her hair choice, never going out with it styled so tightly, but the amount of hair product in it now kept her from just letting her tresses fall free.

It was only one evening, right? She could survive.

After a small jaunt around the room, she noticed her boss and headed towards her, not having spotted anyone else familiar as of yet. Rose paused at the bar to get a couple drinks - preferring to start with the familiar kind and work her way up to mermish - and headed towards Peggy and offered her a glass. "This is a lot less fish bowl like than I had anticipated."
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Conley was stressed. Did he look stressed? Because he was stressed. He was pretty sure his dark brown hair was all silver. It wasn’t, although he certainly was starting to gray in the temples and his beard was certainly a good three shades lighter than it used to be. Merepeople were not the easiest of beings to work with and not many people in his department spoke the language. He’d only learned it out of necessity the summer he’d spent chasing a dark magical object across the Philippines and honestly, it had been quite a while since he’d had to talk to anyone in it.

He started fidgeting with his tie for probably the fifth time since they’d gotten here. ”Are you sure it looks ok? I should have just gone with a bow-tie. Why didn’t you suggest the bow-tie?” he asked his husband, turning to the Indian Ambassador. He’d forgotten that their daughter Radhika had decided to use his last clean bow-tie as a hair bow for Duke earlier in the day. Duke had in turn gone outside in the rain with it on, effectively making wearing a bow-tie not an option for the DIMC head.


Sachin was far from okay even if he was doing his best not to let that show. He and Conley had been married for close to eight years and one would have thought that Sachin would have gotten used to Conley being stressed. Wrong. It did him no good to see Conley that way; in fact, it gave him some anxiety. The Indian Ambassador was silent at the moment. In truth, he was annoyed with his husband and when he got this way, his method of coping happened to be silence. When was there a time Conley had been stress-free? Don’t get him wrong, Sachin liked that Conley was a hard worker but the other man went way overboard a lot of the time and neglected himself. Along with that gray hair and beard, Sachin was certain Conley would be seeing a lot more wrinkles on that face of his.

Why didn’t he suggest a bow tie? Really? Was that what this overworked man was worried about right now? Still Sachin didn’t say a word. If it slipped Conley’s mind of their daughter’s earlier antics with their dog then Sachin wasn’t going to remind him.

The younger man reached out to take his husband’s elbow to steer him towards the bar. Perhaps a drink would help Conley relax.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:31 PM   #11 (permalink)


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Once it had been announced where they were going, Ronan rolled his eyes. When he saw how they meant to get to this mythical city, blue eyes were indeed rolled again. When someone on the submarine started singing 'We all live in a yellow submarine' badly and at the top of their lungs, he made a cutting remark about someone liking the Beatles a bit too much. Now, standing in the cavern entrance, waiting for his turn to enter and peeking at what he could see from here, he couldn't help but think how tacky everything looked.

What's eating him, you ask? Only the fact that everyone with even a toe outside of the wizarding world knew that Atlantis was ol' Plato's allegory for the evils of aggressive imperialism. And to have the merpeople capitalize on the sheer ignorance most wizards had about the ancient Greek philosophers in the name of......what even was the merpeople's goal, anyway? Basically, the whole thing reeked of ulterior motives and the auror didn't like it. Also, outside of that, other dreamers had rendered the fictional place much better than the merpeople had.

Once he was able to make his way past the entrance, he quickly made his way to the dining room and found his seat. Thankfully, it seemed like they had assigned the seats according to department so he didn't have to make small talk with someone he didn't know or try to hide the fact that this whole thing felt fishy to him.

And yes, tonight he was only avoiding the merpeople dishes. Didn't want to create an interspecies incident before he was sure of the motives at play here.
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:16 AM   #12 (permalink)

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Still not quite at ease, Peggy's smile had begun to falter when Rosemary Scardino approached. "Oh, thank you," she said graciously, taking the glass and looking down at its contents a moment. Just a moment, though, because then she had to give Rosemary a smile and look around again, comparing Atlantis' decor to a fish bowl in her mind. "I'm not sure what I anticipated, to be quite honest," she said softly. As her gaze passed over Airey Flamsteed not far away, she frowned. Was he licking the wall?

That...that couldn't be normal, even for him, right? She wondered if she should say something. It was probably harmless, though. She'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

The folks who worked in Mysteries were pretty eccentric anyway, in her opinion.


***


Gabriel was on high alert and his best behavior. Not that he wasn't usually, lately, but Missa was here...somewhere, and Brody was here, and the new department head was here. So he was on extra good behavior. Nothing could go wrong.

And it was a fancy party, so of course he'd dressed up. For Brody's sake, of course. He didn't particularly care if he wore a suit or dress robes or jeans, but he had to make Brody look good.

Left eyebrow raised slightly, he kept his head on a slow swivel as he exited the submarine ahead of Brody into a cavern, taking in...everything. Everyone's fancy clothes, the fish and merpeople in their bubbles, this music. It was...honestly amazing. His mother would be SO jealous if she knew he was here. Honestly, the rest of his family probably would, too. It was a far cry from the rainforest, but something about the enclosed space, the vibrant colors, and the dim lighting felt like home. His shoulders lowered a bit as he relaxed, taking a deep breath and smiling at his boyfriend.

"This is magnificent," he commented softly, as though the other man had had anything to do with it. Oh- was that fellow Auror Ronan sitting at a table? He waved. Maybe he and Brody should go over there.
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:19 AM   #13 (permalink)


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Indigo was actually pretty excited. An underwater gala sounded cool as heck. You know, if you ignored the nagging anxieties about their protective bubble of air breaking and flooding the place with water, drowning them all. But that was unlikely. Probably. Like definitely less than 50% chance. Anyway, he wasn't thinking about that. He was thinking that it was cool to be where few humans could say they had been. And about the free food, of course.

Indigo had stuck pretty much to himself on the ride down to the party. He only had so much social battery and he wasn't going to waste it on what was essentially a taxi ride when he had a whole party ahead of him. Indigo being Indigo was by definition socially anxious, and was never going to be completely at ease in an environment with a lot of people. He hung around the edges when they first arrived, getting his bearings and trying to mentally hype himself up before he attempted to join the crowd. But as he did, he happened to catch a snippet of a conversation from a couple of people near him. He didn't even hear what they were saying as much as he noticed they were speaking in French. That was the second essential part of the definition of Indigo. Socially anxious and loved people who spoke French. He took a few steps closer to them.

"Bonjour," he greeted with a small smile. "Sorry, I don't mean to eavesdrop, but I happened to hear you speak French and, well, I can never resist saying hello to anyone in England who speaks French."
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:50 AM   #14 (permalink)

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· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
CHARLES HOLLINGBERRY | MINISTER FOR MAGIC
CORAL REEF BAR


Charles was, still, coaxing himself in the name of diplomacy to take a sip of this beverage and was so honed in on the glass in his hand that he did not noticed he had been joined by an employee from Ecological Regulation and Protection - or else he would have offered a proper greeting and, perhaps, attempt to rope the young man in with a spirit round of cheers. Nor was he aware of the arrival of his grandson and girlfriend. This was...probably for the best. His heart had calmed itself, but he was certain that it would break all over again once he spent time in their company. Inevitable, to be sure, and he would most likely be wrapping Missa up in a grandfatherly hug. Again.

What did draw his attention, however, was the arrival of Hugo over to the coral reef bar...who also took one of the beverages Charles had in hand. "...and in for a galleon," he mused while lifting his own glass up to reciprocate the cheers. Trying not to breath, Charles tipped the glass back to his lips and poured the entirety of the beverage into his mouth - though little bits of seafoam and brine attached themselves to his scruffy beard. It was...like nothing he had ever tasted before. Like an entire sashimi bar in liquid form but with the aftertaste of Tabasco soaked kiwi. One would be enough of these, thank you.

Clearing his throat, eyes watering and smoke swirling out from his ears and nostrils, he lifted the glass to the newest member of the department head team and set it down on the table.
Vivi would have slapped that drink out of Charles' hand if she got to his side even a moment earlier. As it was, she glared at him, glared at Hugo beside him, glared at a passing school of fish... "If you die, I'm going to leave your body here to rot under the ocean. Your family will never be able to visit your grave. So reconsider eating or drinking things I haven't tested? Please?"

Like they hadn't gone over safety protocols a dozen times before making the trip, and twice in the sub (which she'd delayed to check for booby traps). Vivi fidgeted with the cuff of her blouse and stared down a merman waiter bearing a tray. "Hands where I can see them, mister."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky
· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
BECKY RASTING | DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGICAL REGULATION & PROTECTION EMPLOYEE
EN ROUTE TO THE DINING ROOM


Arm looped around Sam's, Becky Rasting had a very different outlook on the evening than her brother. Though that was hardly something uncommon and she had, in fact, helped him with his outfit for the evening. Eiji Rasting in a suit with a print? It was an achievement for the ages. Her own dress, one she had made herself by deconstructing several old kimono she had purchased in a flea market during her vacation with Sam to Uncle Ryu's home in the mountains of Hakone, was as bold and colorful as the bounce with which she walked.

"Isn't this amazing?" she squealed while hugging her boyfriend's arm. "The only place I can imagine being more magical than this would be a gala among the clouds." Literally dancing on air. She knew Sam was not one for these sorts of functions, but at least a Ministry gala provided a bit more sophistication than university parties did. Not that she ever really attended those to begin with. "I have a new department head this year," she informed him, doing her usual information dump so he did not feel so overwhelmed in the sea of unfamiliar faces. "She is very compassionate, beautiful both inside and out. I'm always nervous with a transition of power, so it's been a relief." Which meant Becky was still very much happy with her role in the level four greenhouse. "Should we go see where we are seated? Or...have a quick chat with Ms Laplace? She seems a bit ---" Becky suddenly began bouncing even more enthuastically on her feet, her heels gently clanking against the dark pearly floor. "Sam! Sam look! It's a school of fish!" Swimming RIGHT through the area in a colorful swirl. "They look like flower petals blowing in the wind."
[/COLOR]
Sam's tie was already undone and stuffed in his coat pocket, but at least he was wearing a suit. Matching trousers and jacket. Bought by HIM, thank you (chosen by his mother, but he BOUGHT it, so there). He kept fluffing up his overly fancy hair distractedly as he tried to take in all the sights. Take in the sights, and take in Becky's dress, and her bouncing, and all the words she was saying.

He was missing most of the words, honestly, because there were, like... fish. Blew his mind.

"Petals? What?" He paused and caught Becky with one arm, pulling her snugly against his side so he could look down at her bright little face. "Whatever you want, just do it. I'll go where you go. Whatever. Can we eat some of those little... rolled up things? And then we'll go wherever you want." And maybe a drink, because they were FIZZING, and he had to tell his pop about the crazy 'do the Ministry was putting on. Needed all the details to get it right.
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Old 06-24-2022, 03:11 AM   #15 (permalink)





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If Chloe had her way, she would have shown up to the gala wearing fins, but alas she was informed that even though it was underwater, that did not mean they would literally be getting wet. Thank Merlin, because she didn't want to think what the water would do to her hair. No fins, the redhead ministry veteran still managed to find what she hoped would be suitable attire, gazing wide-eyed around the room.

She overheard Missa Renaldi saying something about it being one of the more interesting events and was inclined to agree. In her over a decade at the ministry, she wasn't sure she'd seen anything like this. And it was strange too considering what she'd read in the prophet recently. Which made her wonder too if the planning of all this had maybe unsettled the tribes?

Glancing around for familiar faces, she smiled and waved, spotting her former head of house humming something, as she found herself humming a different underwater song ...

"Under the sea... under the sea... darling it's better... down where it's wetter"

She glanced around as she hummed the chorus, wondering how her department head was doing... and also if they'd have any new hires




TIAMARIE MANCINI
DEPT OF ECOLOGICAL PROTECTION



Was Tia surprised about the gala location? Not particularly, since as an employee of ecological protection she had been privy to some knowledge. Although it had been making her wish she'd chosen a water friendly animal for her animagus form, as any excuse to use it would be had. Always.

Spotting Darej and Becky (along with her plus one), she couldn't help but smile at the numerous questions and exclamations Becky was on about. Not that Tia was really listening except for the fact that the younger employee just seemed to be an energizer bunny. It was both refreshing, and exhausting at the same time.

Oh and there was her new department head. She'd met her briefly and Tia couldn't deny the simple minimalist elegance about her, making her wonder if her own attire was too much. Too late to worry about that now though, as she made her way towards the dance floor. Even if no one else going to dance, Tia was sure not going to let the colourful fish have ALL the dance moves.
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Old 06-24-2022, 06:37 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Adorned with a headdress of coral and sea stars, a single vibrant pink anemone attached to the side of her head, the Atlantian Chieftess languorously flicked her fins as she reentered the bubbled dome and an orb of water preserved her. She had merely swam away for the briefest of moments to check on a few important matters. She had arrived just in time for the land dweller's leader and companion [sweetpinkpixie & Krel Ansell ] to partake in a favorite beverage of hers. Offering both men a tightlipped smile and courteous bow of the head, she could not help but notice a third of their kind [Charely Potter] seemed disinclined to enrich his taste buds. Even worse was the manner in which the woman of sun bleached hair [Cassirin] spoke to the Minister of the land dwellers. Her eyes narrowed dangerously as her strong tail pushed harshly forward to approach the collected group around the coral bar. Eyes as wild as a storm upon the open sea, she loomed over the woman with contempt echoing clicking of her almost shark-like teeth.

- - - - - -


She fidgeted with her rows of pearl bracelets as she entered the dining hall. Pink like her favorite coral, a series of bubbles escaped her squid ink painted lips as she giggled with delight while swimming forward in her orb of water. Coming to a sudden halt, her eyes fixated on the sight of one of the two legged beings who was more handsome than a manta ray [lazykitty]. Her complexion took on almost more of a golden glow and her eyes sparkled with wonderment. Her heart fluttered like several thousand sea angels dwelled inside her chest and she swam closer to him and spun her pearl bracelets around and around and around while she gazed upon him with wideeyed fascination.

- - - - - -


Running her fingers through her long golden hair as the song came to a close, her final euphonious note hanging in the air, she adjusted her heavy coat made from thick kelp and decorated with starfish and sea urchins while taking a bow. It was an honor to perform at the request of the Alatinan royalty. She simply wished that their waters were warmer and not so frigid.

Swimming away from the microphone constructed from shell and coral so that the merrow could take to the stage next, she blew kisses with her plump pouty lips to a handful of her admirers. As she swam by them in her orb of water, she flipped her bright pale green tail flirtatiously towards the one of the masculine land dwellers with untamed hair like a lion fish [Samia]. Veering away from them, she came upon a feminine land dweller with hair reminiscent of a black soft coral and her dress decorated by flattened colorful anemones [PhoenixRising]. “Your dress is FINtastic,” she complimented with a wavy singsong voice.
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Old 06-24-2022, 11:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Gabriel was on high alert and his best behavior. Not that he wasn't usually, lately, but Missa was here...somewhere, and Brody was here, and the new department head was here. So he was on extra good behavior. Nothing could go wrong.

And it was a fancy party, so of course he'd dressed up. For Brody's sake, of course. He didn't particularly care if he wore a suit or dress robes or jeans, but he had to make Brody look good.

Left eyebrow raised slightly, he kept his head on a slow swivel as he exited the submarine ahead of Brody into a cavern, taking in...everything. Everyone's fancy clothes, the fish and merpeople in their bubbles, this music. It was...honestly amazing. His mother would be SO jealous if she knew he was here. Honestly, the rest of his family probably would, too. It was a far cry from the rainforest, but something about the enclosed space, the vibrant colors, and the dim lighting felt like home. His shoulders lowered a bit as he relaxed, taking a deep breath and smiling at his boyfriend.

"This is magnificent," he commented softly, as though the other man had had anything to do with it. Oh- was that fellow Auror Ronan sitting at a table? He waved. Maybe he and Brody should go over there.


Brody felt like a little boy on Christmas Day. The entire set up of this place was off the hook! He even forgot about the boyfriend - who was looking hubba hubba, by the way - for a bit as he gazed around at everything that had been set up so perfectly. That was why he was slightly behind Gabe to enter the cavern. But he did catch up a short second or two later.

“Agreed but you look even more magnificent,’’ Brody replied just as quietly. Getting so dressed up wasn’t something the Auror did and the Consulate could take this moment to fully appreciate this foine specimen of a man beside him. And naturally there were all the familiar faces around: Conley and Sachin - Brody’s boss looking stressed as usual and Sachin seemingly annoyed which was highly irregular; Brody had spent enough time being tutored in Hindi by Sachin to become very familiar with his mannerisms. Val, Missa, Peggy, Rosemary {the ladies each got a wave from him} and Ronan. There was no sign of his uncle but Brody was certain the Quidditch Division Head was somewhere around.

Catching Gabe’s gaze in Ronan’s direction, he said, “Come on. We should mingle and there’s no one better you should start with than the man who helped keep your boyfriend safe.” Chuckling, Brody started to lead the way to Ronan. He had, of course, been referring to that showdown sometime back between that vampire and Ronan, Damian and himself.
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Old 06-24-2022, 05:09 PM   #18 (permalink)


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A lot has changed for Stella over the last time she was at the last gala. One, she was a proud mama of now two two years olds and now she no longer a Starson, but now Stella Zunther happily married to Oceanus. She couldn't be happier with her life, and now being married to Oceanus was just the icing on the cake. Walking into the place, Stella was in awe of the place it was truly magical and beautiful. "Wow... this is so beautiful."

Walking further into the Cavern Entrance her sky blue eyes looked around for her husband. She told him to go ahead and go seeing how she was still getting ready, surely he has to be here somewhere unless he was dropping the twins off at his parents house. Deciding while she waits for him, she'll mingle with the people around her.
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Old 06-24-2022, 06:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Damian Pendragon would never miss a gala. He would just show up fashionably late, and fashionable he was. A long, red frock coat, with gold accents, reached down to his buccaneer boots. A tricorn hat sat atop his head; the front pushed up slightly so he could better see the marvels before him. So dedicated to the sailor look, he even wore an old, ornate cutlass as an accessory.

"I used to jam with the merfolk in my younger days. Took me three months of saving up every coin I had to buy an aquacaster guitar that could play properly underwater. But, let me tell you, I had dolphins dancing and whales doing the waltz." Damian said exuberantly to whoever might be listening as he grabbed one of those bubbling drinks.

"And there was the time I recorded a song with some sirens.."
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Old 06-25-2022, 01:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Kendra might not have been the one to have originally suggested Atlantis as the location of their next black tie affair, but once it had been established as means of diplomacy between wizardkind and the merpeople, she latched onto the idea as if it were her very own. What a glorious and perfect idea! Why hadn't they thought of this before? The Accident and Catastrophes department head felt so drawn to Atlantis as if something in her very soul was calling to her.

The submarine ride seemed to take forever - she was just so anxious to get there! But even though she longed to be submerged in all that water (for real, not just in this dry vessel), one good thing about the ride is that the beautiful melody that had become such an earworm over the past few months seemed to grow louder and more clear. How lovely it was! She did not know the words or if there actually were any, but, not exactly humming, she vocalized along with the tune the entire ride, unaware of any looks that might be directed her way.

She was in awe as they entered the cavern. It was so beautiful and they were surrounded by so much water.... which somehow made it even more desperate that she get to it. She was suddenly so thirsty. Kendra veered off towards the coral reef bar. If she noticed Charles and Hugo there, she did not acknowledge them. She was far more focused on the arrangement of refreshments being offered... and that song! It wasn't the same song she'd been hearing for months, but it was so similar! So beautiful!

Kendra grabbed one of the mer-drinks without even looking to see what it was and downed it quickly before turning her attention to the mermish singer as she hummed along. She was still parched, but the song held her rapt attention. And then she applauded enthusiastically when the song ended. "Brava! Brilliant!" She just had to find out the name of that song and see if she could get her sister to put it into regular rotation on WWN. But first another drink... er, make that two.

A drink in each hand, she made her way over to the merperson who had just finished her number. One of her employees, Chloe, happened to be there as well, though Kendra did not immediately notice her. Instead she greedily drank from one of the glasses before addressing the merperson. "That was simply wonderful! I must know the name of that song." And... this orb of water was so interesting. It looked so refreshing. Kendra reached out to touch its barrier. "How can I get one of these?" She just needed to be a part of the water.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Gunnar could not be more excited to be in Atlantis, even if he very much kept that on the inside and presented a cool and collected exterior. But he had never had the chance to visit the underwater city before and found this to be an amazing opportunity. Sure, he worked with plenty of aquatic creatures and plantlife in his studies and within his career, but Atlantis was a first.

He likely bored his husband to tears on the submarine ride as he told him all he knew about merpeople customs and the kind of aquatic plants that they'd probably come across and pointed out different types of fish they could see through the portholes, but he truly could not help himself. And when he walked into the cavern with Alessandro on his arm, his face might have actually lit up a little.

This was pretty incredible. Gunnar really did want to just look at everything and explore the area a little, but he was able to restrain himself and act professional. He did have to rub a few elbows after all. "I have a new department head I should say hello to," he mentioned to his husband as he glanced around, not spotting her immediately, though he did catch sight of Joana, his cousin's roommate near the dance floor. He gave her a casual wave, not recognizing the man she was with. "But we can get a drink first if you'd like?" he suggested as he turned back to Alessandro. He'd spotted his coworker, Darej, over by the drinks too, so perhaps they could say hello while indulging in one of the mermish drinks. He was eager to see what they had as long as there was no fish in it.
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Old 06-25-2022, 09:51 PM   #21 (permalink)


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Arriving on one of the last submarines, Jane walked into the gala area after the party was well underway. Trying to make more of an effort with her clothes than she usually did, she was wearing a full length gown in a deep sea-blue, with a filmy full skirt that was covered with a design of fishes. Jane had even charmed them so that if you looked closely, it seemed as thought the fishes were slowly swimming around the skirt. She stopped briefly at the bar and randomly picked up a cocktail glass full of a deep green liquid--she wasn't even sure if it was a wizarding or a merpeople drink. Moving on, she passed by her colleague in the Death Chamber (Damian) as though she didn't really see him and drifted over to one of the magical barriers to gaze out at the ocean.

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Finally arriving, Airey found himself drawn to the magical barriers surrounding them. Palms pressed against it, an unpleasant and almost rubbery texture to the touch, he gazed out into the depths of the sea with the forlorn look of a cruppy deprived of belly scratch or favorite bit of kibble. An octopus began to swim by, and he found himself humming under his breath a certain tune while leaning forward and pressing his nose against the barrier.

"I'd like to be...under the sea...in an octopus' garden..."

All that water...such beautiful water...

His throat grew rather scratchy and he soon was reaching up to loosen his tie. And then, like Atlas and Aries seeing condensation on the window for the first time, he licked the barrier. How many licks would it take to get to the other side? Maybe he would find out...he was terribly thirsty and the vast expanse of ocean before him distracting him from any and all logic.
"We would shout and swim about the coral that lies beneath the waves..." Jane found herself joining in the old song her boss was singing; funny, she couldn't remember where she had ever heard it. And now that was where they were--underneath the sea...

Now and then she sipped at her drink without interest, even though it had a pleasantly cool taste. She had very much wanted a glass of ice-cold water, but ironically that was one drink she hadn't found at the refreshment table. Oh, Merlin, and she was so very thirsty for water, she thought. Closing her eyes, she leaned forward and rested her forehead against the cool, cool barrier...
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Old 06-25-2022, 10:56 PM   #22 (permalink)


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Joseph was starting to wonder if the suede was a good idea as he was whisked away in a submarine that he hoped was more reinforced than it felt. Merlin knew if his tuxedo got ruined they'd make him pay for it for sure. He was excited for this event though considering most people would probably not know him and he could relax in a manner he hadn't in awhile. There was something about living in both worlds that was both challenging but also a relief. In the wizarding world he was just Noah's significant other and a former Ravenclaw and that was a-okay in his book.

Joseph looked at Noah and smiled softly before emerging from the tin can that he was sure they may have died in. A deep breath his eyes widened to a size that was surely almost comical. He'd never seen anything like this and that was saying something. His feet moved as the people moved around him more out of habit then actually wanting to go anywhere, everything was just so pretty and he was kind of at a loss for words. A rarity indeed.
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:51 AM   #23 (permalink)




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It certainly didn't take long for Darej to recognize his colleagues from the Department of Ecological Regulation. It was all fitting that they would be here as well. Smiling kindly at those nearest him at the bar, and thanking the Mer-tender as he took a sip of his own drink whilst listening to Becky talk about their new department head, Sookie. He remembered Sookie, having gone to the same school as her back in the eighties when he was in Russia. It was quite amusing that how his former classmate was now his boss.

Meanwhile, still at the bar, "You don't say?" Darej replied to [Damian] who seemed to be quite familiar with the aquatic life more so than a number of his own colleagues. "Do you happen to have a copy of the recording?" He was quite curious on this track. Assuming it wasn't so rare and exclusive that there wouldn't be legal copy.

Hmm... He now wondered where his plus one, Becca, was. Perhaps she was still searching for the ladies room to freshen up or find her way back from there. "Quite an event, isn't it?" He casually commented to the nearest individual [Gunnar]. He would remain here at the bar until his plus arrived while watching the dance floor.


Kingston may have been a wee bit tardy, making arrangements for his son to be watched over had taken a bit of time. Plus, the party usually got started after enough time had passed. Hands interlaced with his plus-one Ambassador, he was beaming. "My, my, my, what a sight. Maria would love to see this." He couldn't help the excited giggles escaping as they crossed the dance floor taking in the sights.

"What do you think, should we get a drink or..." His eyes had already been set on the bar before his eyelids squinted over an individual. Suddenly, he lost his thirst. "Nevermind.."


How did Jerald pair with such an enthusiastic man, he wondered at times. Not out of condescending nature, but one of appreciation and wonderment. He at times needed a bit of positivity and reassurance to get through the new environment, especially with being away from their darling son.

"Drinks or..?" Looking to see where his partner stopped mid-sentence, "Oh," Then again, there were also the few moments he needed to take the lead. His other hand moved to Kingston's upper back, "Never mind them, we don't have to be next to them," How long the grudge was going to last, he didn't know but he was all for keeping the peace until then. Now dragging him along, they happened to run into the direction of another couple [Sachin + Conley], "Oh, pardon us. Were you getting a seat as well?" The Ambassador's thick german accent came out at once. He definitely needed a drink for the nerves now after running into his boss.
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Old 06-26-2022, 09:45 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Meanwhile, still at the bar, "You don't say?" Darej replied to [Damian] who seemed to be quite familiar with the aquatic life more so than a number of his own colleagues. "Do you happen to have a copy of the recording?" He was quite curious on this track. Assuming it wasn't so rare and exclusive that there wouldn't be legal copy.

Oh! Someone was listening. Darej seemed like a nice enough fellow. "The Ministry of Magic ordered all the copies to be destroyed. Said it was potentially dangerous. Said I should have gotten permits." Damian worked for the ministry, an unspeakable even, but he still sounded indignant about an incident that happened nearly fifteen years ago. "Swore I'd never work for them after that." The war had eventually changed his stance on this.

Damian laughed, and gave Darej a pat on the back. "If you're asking as a ministry employee; I must say that I have complied with their command, and would not be in the possession of any unauthorized magical recordings. But...If you're asking as someone who wants to be enchanted by some of the sweetest sounds to ever grace your ears. I may have something for you." His eyes practically twinkled with the memories of his rebellious youth.

Goodie,
Jane was here. She'd make sure his mouth didn't get him in too much trouble. "Jane! Can I be prosecuted back in England for things I say here? I call diplomatic immunity." For an unspeakable, he spoke...a lot.
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Old 06-26-2022, 04:59 PM   #25 (permalink)

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”What did I do?” he straight out asked Vivi both hands out as he shrugged. He might have glanced at Charles quickly as if the Mister might have the answer to his question too. The action caused a second round of steam to puff from Hugo’s ears. It wasn’t like he had to worry about someone trying to take him out and quite frankly, his team had done more than one or two passes around the place to make sure things were on the up-and-up. Furthermore, assuming that their hosts might try and poison anyone was rather poor diplomatic form. Clearly the MereQueen who had swam over to welcome them agreed. Where was Singh-Phora when he was needed? He didn’t speak a word of Meremish, but Singh-Phora did. ”Madam,” Hugo said, scooping up two more of the drinks that had steamed his ears. He held one out to her while simultaneously holding a second drink out so the MermQueen could see it. ”Cheers!” He put on his most charming smile.


The mere fact that Sachin was quiet informed Conley that he had done something or said something or was acting in a manner that his husband was not happy with. One didn’t survive eightish years of marriage without learning a thing or two about their partners. Instead of fighting him, Conley let Sachin direct him to the bar. Perhaps his husband was right. A drink would help. It hadn’t been easy to set up this diplomatic outing with the merepeoples of the world and merepeoples weren’t the most understanding of air-breathers.

As was evidenced by the reaction of the Cheiftess’s reaction to whatever was going at the other side of the bar. Conley leaned back, trying to see if he was needed but then Hugo stepped up and Ambassador Despret and his - guest? - approached. ”Ah Herr Despret,” Conley took a moment to drink a good third of whatever it was that Sachin had placed in his hand. He promptly hiccuped and a big bubble appeared in front of his face. He blinked, turned a little red and then waved the bubble away. ”I’m not – Sachin, are you hungry?” Was he trying to make amends to his husband? Yes and food always seemed to be the way to do it. Or Chia, but there wasn’t any of that around it seemed. ”You two have met, yes?” He waved between Jerald and Sachin and then just in case, ”Ambassador Despret, my husband Ambassador Singh-Phora.” Did he sound a little proud of Sachin? Because he was. Had he noticed Jerald’s nerves? Nope.



Knowing Elian would enjoy the view he had started making his way to the wall so they could look out for a moment before perhaps hitting the dance floor. There was very little that Valentin liked more than dancing with Elian. Listening to him sing and spending a quiet evening in front of the fire reading with Cassian asleep on his chest were two things that he liked more, but neither of those were going to happen tonight. Cassian was at home with Valentin’s father and Elian hadn’t sung at a big government event in years.

However, he stopped, having heard someone else speaking French. He turned looking and found Indigo greeting them with a very big happy smile. ”Bonjour,” he replied with his most charming smile. A few years ago, the interruption might have made Valentin cranky, although he wouldn’t have shown it. But years of having Elian around had tamed a little of his ornery nature. ”Well, you 'ave found pairhaps la deux peoplé een zis space zat do.” He offered a hand to shake. And then, making the assumption that the man also spoke French, he continued in his native tongue. {“Valentin Roux,”} he said placing a hand over his heart. He waved the hand then in Elian’s direction. {“And my husband, Elian. And who do we have the pleasure of meeting?”}
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