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North Side From the Leaky Cauldron to Scribbulus Writing Instruments, there are numerous shops to visit and places to socialise.

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Old 09-23-2018, 06:00 PM
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Default Flourish and Blotts


About halfway down the north side of the Alley stands Flourish and Blotts, the shop noticeable by its wide picture windows displaying all sorts of gold-embossed spellbooks, any new releases warranting advertisement and the occasional sleeping cat, as the shopkeeper’s two cats occasionally decide to make the window display their chosen napping place when they aren’t underfoot. Upon entry, all that seems to be visible are bookshelves, stacked to the ceiling and absolutely filled with books of all shapes and sizes. While it may look like chaos, there is a sort of order to the shelves and various stacks of books scattered throughout the main floor in addition to those shelved. A table sits close to the door which regularly holds sets of Hogwarts’ required textbooks every summer for the ease of students who may not want to hunt them down on their own, and a staircase, even more shelves filling the space underneath, leads up to a second floor that contains shelves of the various works of fiction from the Wizarding world and beyond.

Near the center of the shop stands the counter, where the shopkeeper can usually be found and which is also the location for the occasional book-signing or other book-related event. Surrounding the counter are displays of newspapers, magazines, diaries, journals and other small items that might interest the literary-minded customer. In addition, a large, leather-bound book rests on a small stand to the left of the counter: an index of all the books sold in the shop for the use of the customers who are in a hurry or simply don’t want to search through all the shelves on their own.

Toward the back of the shop, a door leading to a storage area and the small office used for paperwork and any other business the shopkeeper needs to take care of in private, a cat-door installed as well as the cats’ food and water while they’re in shop are there. Tucked away in various corners of the shop, half hidden by shelves and very cozy, are small reading nooks containing squashy chairs and small tables for a lamp, and a larger reading area including a fireplace can be found near one of the front windows. Enjoy!

Text Cut: Inventory


Text Cut: reference tome

Children's Stories

The Tales of the Beedle the Bard by Beedle the Bard
The Toadstool Tales by Beatrix Bloxam
The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle

Plays & Poetry

Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré mes Pieds (Alas, I have Transfigured my Feet)
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New Theory of Numerology
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Break with a Banshee by Gilderoy Lockhart
Dreadful Denizens of the Deep
Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit
Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
From Egg to Inferno, A Dragon Keeper's Guide
Fowl or Foul? A Study of Hippogriff Brutality
Gadding With Ghouls by Gilderoy Lockhart
Gilderoy Lockhart's Guide to Household Pets by Gilderoy Lockhart
Hairy Snout, Human Heart
Handbook of Hippogriff Psychology
Holiday with Hags by Gilderoy Lockhart
Men Who Love Dragons Too Much
The Monster Book of Monsters
Travels with Trolls by Gilderoy Lockhart
Why I Didn't Die When the Augurey Cried by Gulliver Pokeby
Year with the Yeti by Gilderoy Lockhart

Biographies

Armando Dippet: Master or Moron? by Rita Skeeter
Blood Brothers: My life Amongst the Vampires By Eldred Worple
Great Wizards of the Twentieth Century
He Flew Like a Madman by Kennilworthy Whisp
The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore by Rita Skeeter
Notable Magical Names of Our Time
Magical Me by Gilderoy Lockhart
Prefects who Gained Power

Charms

Achievements in Charming
An Anthology of Eighteenth Century Charms
Olde and Forgotten Bewitchments and Charms
Quintessence: A Quest

Cookbooks

Charm Your Own Cheese
Enchantment in Baking
One Minute Feasts - It's Magic!

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A Compendium of Common Curses and Their Counter-Actions
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Curses and Counter-curses (Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle Your Enemies with the Latest Revenges: Hair Loss, Jelly-Legs, Tongue-Tying, and Much, Much More) by Professor Vindictus Viridian
Jinxes for the Jinxed

Dark Arts & Defence of

A Compendium of Common Curses and Their Counter-Actions
Confronting the Faceless
Magik Moste Evile
The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts
The Dark Arts Outsmarted
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts

Divination

Broken Balls: When Fortunes turn Foul
Death Omens: What To Do When You Know The Worst Is Coming
The Dream Oracle by Inigo Imago
Predicting the Unpredictable: Insulate Yourself Against Shocks
Unfogging the Future by Cassandra Vablatsky

Genealogy

Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy

Healing

Asiatic Anti-Venoms
Common Magical Ailments and Afflictions
The Healer's Helpmate

Herbology

Encyclopedia of Toadstools
Flesh-Eating Trees of the World
Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean
Goshawk's Guide to Herbology
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore

History

Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century
A Guide to Medieval Sorcery
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Hogwarts: A History
Important Modern Magical Discoveries
Modern Magical History
Sites of Historical Sorcery

Magical Theory

Defensive Magical Theory by Wilbert Slinkhard
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling

Muggle Studies

Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles by Wilhelm Wigworthy
Muggles Who Notice
The Philosophy of the Mundane: Why Muggles Prefer Not to Know by Professor Mordicus Egg


Potions

Advanced Potion-Making by Libatius Borage
Moste Potente Potions
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger

Quidditch

The Beaters' Bible by Brutus Scrimgeour
Beating the Bludgers-- A Study of Defensive Strategies in Quidditch by Kennilworthy Whisp
Flying With the Cannons
Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broom Care
The Noble Sport of Warlocks by Quintius Umfraville
Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland
Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp
The Wonder of the Wigtown Wanderers by Kennilworthy Whisp

Runes

Advanced Rune Translation
Ancient Runes Made Easy
Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms
Rune Dictionary

Spell Books

Madcap Magic for Wacky Warlocks
Powers You Never Knew You Had and What To Do With Them Now You've Wised Up
Saucy Tricks for Tricky Sorts
Standard Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk (series)
Weird Wizarding Dilemmas and Their Solutions
Where There's a Wand, There's a Way

Transfiguration

A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
A Intermediate Transfiguration
Guide to Advance Transfiguration
Theories of Transubstantial Transfiguration

SS canon books
This shop is STAFFED by Elizabeth Chambers (SilverTiger).
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:21 PM   #301 (permalink)
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Though there was an acute stab of disappointment at the news that Fletcher was apparently not coming to the meeting, it was immediately overshadowed (and overcomplicated) by an wave of intense relief. Kaiser did not need his boss to be here, even as a familiar and friendly face, and it was endlessly frustrating that he'd even started veering towards that road. To the department head present, Kaiser nodded in acknowledgement, and then he necked the rest of the coffee.

Again. Still very much scalding hot. Still very much a stupid idea. Still seared the pipes on the way down. Kaiser let out a small, half-restrained cough, and returned the cup to the table, feeling that it was a better idea to have his hands completely free, given the entire ambience of this meeting and no small amount of personal paranoia. Instead, he folded his arms across his chest - better than sticking his hands in his pockets - and paid close attention as the meeting commenced.

Guilt. There it always was. About Mr Hollingberry, and now about having missed several other things too. Goldwasser. Although... maybe because of joining the wizarding world a little later than he should have, a skewed perception of danger, a lack of hearing even muggle horror stories in that vein as a kid, or simply a case of being too far removed from such a being (presumably) to think much about them until now, but Kaiser had never really been all that concerned by the concept of vampires. He was far, far more troubled by the theory about this blood status stuff. For... three reasons, especially.

In one of those fortunately/unfortunately moments, the unexpected noise just outside the storage room catapulted Kaiser out of his thoughts, and he found himself suddenly ready to... something. Just ready. Ready to ready. Prepared for-... oh. That was Fletcher's voice, with a distinctly parental tone to it, and Kaiser could only half relax as the man and his son entered in such a formation. He turned his attention quickly back to the Law Enforcement guy in time to hear about this... Genealogical Squad.

.................. Deciding that for the moment it was best to focus on the information he himself could provide, Kaiser did that bracing inhale like he was preparing to speak next. Only... he didn't. He stopped, glanced at Fletcher's kid, then the boss himself, then back to Singh-Phora, and... deflated with abandoned speech. Did he... should... was Kaiser right to be uncomfortable about this? Little Fletcher was... what, six? Seven? Kaiser was all but clueless about kids, let him live. Aside from an intense and personal discomfort that always came with being around children, the subject matter of this meeting was not only potentially frightening stuff, but little kids could have big mouths. What Kaiser had been considering sharing was not only unnerving - at least to him - but almost entirely based on conjecture, and he wasn't sure what was more risky, a kid hearing the truth or a kid hearing wildly inaccurate guesses about serious stuff.

But he wasn't about to say anything about it, knowing how it might come across, what might be inferred from any kind of comment. Actually, Kaiser wasn't going to say anything at all just yet; it felt like a better idea to wait and see. See what the others said, see if it gave any support to his own thoughts, see if anyone else felt any reluctance to speak, or if he was being especially ridiculous today. Kaiser now kept his eyes direct determinedly away from Fletcher and son, and looked instead between the other occupants of the room. But his thoughts strayed, as they so often had been recently, to picking apart every moment in every clear memory he had of Charles Hollingberry.
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Old 02-13-2021, 10:26 PM   #302 (permalink)




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There had been the question as to if another person was planning on attending the meeting, and Elizabeth’s light green eyes had looked over (and up) to Conley as he had responded. The curse of being petite, but it didn’t mean she wasn’t strong. Both physically and emotionally, although as he had continued speaking, a flicker of concern had passed through her gaze. She’d accepted that her eldest daughter couldn’t discuss work, what with being an Unspeakable and all, but it certainly seemed like things were far from good at the Ministry. Not only that, but she knew her history. She had guessed it from the moment shed been contacted about joining the Order, but it really did seem like war was on the cusp of breaking out. If it hadn’t done so already, and her mind’s choice of singing Les Mis made a lot of sense now.

Especially when the one younger man had both mentioned the MLE head being suspected of being a vampire, and, even more concerning, the inception of a squad investigating blood status. She had never lied about being a halfblood. She was proud of her Muggle army official father. She had written about it, even. However, she was infinitely more concerned about her kids and grandkids. She just had to hope that Albert would somehow protect Ari and the twins, even as she had to admit to herself of being unsure of the Morgenstern blood status. At the very least, they had more money than she and Robert did, so it was a hope. A hope that also was bolstered by her own determination to protect her family and friends with everything she had.

The sounds coming from outside the hidden entrance at first hadn’t startled her, knowing the cats were out in the shop somewhere. Even as she’d realized it was likely more than just cat mischief, the moment of alarm was tempered by the arrival of, presumably, their missing attendee. And a young child who looked about nine or ten, but either way her mum senses had kicked in. She wasn’t certain they ought to continue with young ears around to hear.
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Old 02-14-2021, 03:51 AM   #303 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Krel Ansell View Post
[b]
"The point of this meeting is," Conley plowed on. "To collect data. Has anything unusually been happening that you have noticed? Have you any concerns? Now is the time to speak up. The room has been swept and warded. I assure you it safe to do so." He glanced around the room, eyes landing on Jane as he remembered her concerns about Flamsteed.
Jane caught Conley's eye and knew he was waiting for her to comment on what she'd noticed about Airey Flamsteed. She cleared her throat softly as she took a step forward. "Jane Howard, Dept. of Mysteries," she began, giving a brief pause and a nod to the room. "I am new to the Ministry, but in my first year here, I have noticed some unusual happenings which seem to involve my department head, Mr. Flamsteed.

When I had just started my work here, there was an incident in the Hall of Prophecy--you may have heard rumors of it. A rock golem got loose in the Hall and destroyed a number of the prophecy orbs before it could be brought under control. Despite there being a group of people there, it was Airey Flamsteed who arrived and destroyed the golem, seemingly with ease. Before he left, he also repaired one of the damaged orbs, something I'd not thought possible. He seemed more concerned with his feat than with the damage done to the orbs or the well-being of the wizards there. His attitude was brusque, abrasive, dismissive, almost arrogant."
She paused a minute before going on.

"I tell you this because I recently had a private meeting with Mr. Flamsteed and he seemed...he seemed completely different, his body language and his attitude. He was often stiff in his movements and at times got a rather vacant look in his eyes, and it was difficult to keep him on topic. It was almost like...it was almost like I was looking at a different person from the man I met in the Hall of Prophecy. And..." Here she paused again, because the next thing was something she probably really shouldn't have done and she hesitated to reveal it before these people, many of whom she didn't really know. But if they were ever going to get to the bottom of things, it was necessary to take a chance.

"I happened to pick up a small shard of glass in the Hall of Prophecy, from one of the shattered orbs. I've been running experiments on it in my lab and the results...were interesting. The shard has residues of great power, but also of darkness." There was more, about her concerns about Hogwarts, but that was enough for now, so she stepped back and waited to see if anyone else had information.
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Old 02-14-2021, 02:42 PM   #304 (permalink)
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Not to ruin the vibe with too much levity, but Fletcher was once again in a situation of his own creation, only it was a rather literal one this time due to his progeny's proclivity for playing hide and go snitchseekering, or whatever this game of his was. And Fletch was NOT the Hufflejock he'd once been, so even when he thought he was two steps ahead of Dunk, like when he'd made sure the doors to their secret meeting location were unlocked (and they were; he hadn't needed to check, but still).... in reality, he was two steps waaaaay way behind.

Puffing and panting and ewww, sweating under his peacoat as he entered the store, Fletcher looked around first for his DEFINITELY GROUNDED son. There he was. Already in the back toward the storeroom and ABOUT TO TOPPLE INTO A SHELF OF BOOKS??! OR WORSE?!?!! Not today. NOT today, SON! Fletcher reacted with the reflexes of a cursebreaker, flicking his wand into his hand and sending a spell to slow Dunk down and stick him in place all in one smooth movement. The kid seemed to freeze in midair and all potential book collisions were thus... avoided.

With his right ring finger, he nervously tapped the lapel pin on his blazer thrice, clearing his throat and then advancing WITH MEANING toward his son, his wand still out. "I am disappointed in you, Duncan. Running off after I warned you SEVEN TIMES to stay at home? You KNOW I can't have you here. This is NOT a game, do you understand? This is----"

It was then that he realized he was about to walk into the actual storeroom where Conley's meeting was taking place. Oh. So that was what was behind Dunk's bookcase. Uh, crap. They might have heard all that. He should... he should just join them as promised, shouldn't he?? Hopefully no one had seen that....parenting fiasco... and that he'd just used magic on his own kid? Yeah no? He swallowed his moment of embarrassment and grabbed Dunk by the collar, tugging him into the meeting he SO DESPERATELY wanted to join. Fletcher nodded to Conley, then Kaiser and Scottie, Jane... was it? (Conley's recruit, not his.) And Elizabeth, the shopkeeper. Of course. She was part of the Order now too, wasn't she?

"Sorry I'm late." Bit of an understatement but.... he was here now and that's what mattered.
Dunk knew he was grounded the minute he stepped out of the house behind his father, so this was no news to him. But today was shaping to be a GREAT day because 1) his father unwillingly played with him 2) he was giving him the attention Dunk was used to, and 3) Dunk was hovering midair for a few seconds!! It was like pausing time, you were about to get your face mushed but then BAM everything froze. It felt amazing! Dunk was grinning from ear to ear as he was placed on the floor.

Ignoring his father's scary yelling, the nine-year-old's eyes scanned the huddled group. All looked old, all looked important omgomgomgomgomg. Was this where the grown-ups came to take decisions?? Dunk was about to pee faint from all the excitement and blood rushing to his face. Partially because he was still catching his breath from the long chase. Should he apologize for being late, too? It was only polite to do so. "Ye--"...... oh. Someone started talking again, so he gave up on the apology immediately.

Dunk's grin just wouldn't go away as he listened to gibberish talk (he didn't care it was gibberish, he was part of it now and they couldn't take this away from him!!). Very slowly, the boy moved and plopped down on the floor right next to what he assumed would be his dad's seating. It was obvious he was very determined to be here until the end! WITH HIS DAD. The hero. His father was the absolute hero in his eyes, and he wanted to see how that came to be because Dunk should be just as much of a hero as his dad. Gah, this was so exciting.

He completely missed the cautious and disapproving looks he received from a couple of the old and important people around, he assumed this was how those huddles went. So SERIOUS and stuff.

... did they have candy or sumthn' here, tho?
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:52 PM   #305 (permalink)
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Joseph had always had a soft spot for Flourish and Blotts. He had a soft spot for bookshops in general, but Flourish and Blotts just had a certain something about it. He must have spent hours on end amongst the bookshelves, especially in his childhood. Today, he was sitting in a corner of the shop, with a copy of Armando Dippet: Master or Moron? by Rita Skeeter in his hand. He was reading it to pick up tips on how to avoid being a bad journalist. So far, he had mainly picked up that he shouldn't bend the facts or even make up his own stories. Those were obvious, but they were the only things he could pick out from the biography. The facts had been so bent that it was almost certainly not a biography, but borderline fiction.

This was boring. Joseph put the biography/fiction book back on the shelf and decided to read The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle instead. He must have read it a gazillion times already, but he found it interesting no matter however many times he had flipped the pages of the old book.
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:24 PM   #306 (permalink)
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A lot happened in the course of the few minutes between Conley's speech and his fellow meeting mates contribution. His wand was out with surprising speed as noise filled the front half of the shop; Conley had, in a different life, lived more on the edge as an undercover operator on the Dark Market. But that was long before he lost his wife and his lust for adventure had died with her. "Fletcher," he said, lowering his wand and eying the young boy being levitated in mid-air. Something told him he might have to ask Fletcher to teach him that spell once Radhika started moving. "Nice of you to--erm...join us?" He raised an eyebrow at youngling he assumed was the other man's son. Clearly it was a little late to ask Fletcher if his son should really be here. Still, Conley wondered if he should cast a Muffliato Charm on the lad. No - that would be overstepping. He'd let Fletcher deal with his son.

Conlely turned his attention back to the meeting. Fletcher hadn't missed much and he was smart. He could catch himself up. It was more important to get down to brass tacks and get everyone out of here as soon as possible. So he turned his attention to Ferguson and then to Jane as they were the only ones either brave enough to step up and share or perhaps the only ones with information. Conley wasn't really sure. Ferguson quickly confirmed that Goldwasser, was indeed targeting those who did not hold a "pure-blood" status. The vampire information? Well, that just confirmed what Fletcher and Conley had discussed. "I assure you," Conley told the Security Officer-turned-spy. "That nobody in this room will think poorly of you." He was perhaps speaking out of turn as he could really only speak for himself, but he hoped that the rest of the group would agree with his sentiments, now that they knew the truth. "I believe you can do more to help being on that particular ah... squad," Squad was a weird word, he thought. "Then by fighting Goldwasser on it."

He then turned his attention to Jane. She went on to confirm his suspicions regarding Flamsteed. The news about the use of magic was new. And alarming. Flamsteed had always been a capable wizard, but he wasn't that magically competent. He again locked eyes with Fletcher. His understand about the orbs in the prophecy room were that once broken, they were gone forever. How could someone put one back together? And Flamsteed not affected by a mess was not the germaphobic-neat-freak-OCD Flamsteed Conley had come to know over the years. "Thank you Jane, I had planned on attempting to meet with him soon, but he has not been returning my memos. I will make a point of talking to him directly as soon as possible." After all, it wasn't easy to gain access to Level 9 when one wasn't an Unspeakable. "When you say he repaired an orb, do you mean he just fixed the glass sphere or the entire prophecy, sphere and all?"

He glanced at Fletcher as if asking if he had anything to add. In the meantime he reached into his pocket and produced a handful of of badges. "The other purpose of this meeting is to recruit members." He tossed a few badges at Ferguson, handed over a few to Elizabeth, and then deposited the rest into Fletcher's hands to deal with. "We," he indicated Fletcher and himself. "Are asking you each to vouch for and recruit at least 2 other members. If they prove reliable, we request that you ask them to recruit two more people. Those members will report to them, and the ones you recruit to you. And you to us." He made a pyramid motion with his hands to stress the chain of contact. It was a way to make sure that no one person knew everyone who was working with the Order. He took a deep breath and then turned to Fletcher as if asking him if he had anything to add.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:34 PM   #307 (permalink)
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"When you say he repaired an orb, do you mean he just fixed the glass sphere or the entire prophecy, sphere and all?"
Jane frowned slightly for a moment, thinking. "I saw it from a distance, and I'm not at all familiary with prophecies, but...it appeared that he repaired the entire orb, prophecy and all. What he did was not the same as the cleanup operation the rest of us were doing. And he seemed quite pleased with himself after doing it, and soon after strode out of the Hall."

Jane continued listening to the plans for enlarging the group. Hmm, this would be more difficult. She was still new to the Ministry and spent much of her work time alone in the lab or the Death Chamber. She thought she might know of at least one person she trusted at least enough to mention the idea to; whether or not they would agree to get involved was another matter. As to a second choice--well, she'd have to wait and see...


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Old 02-18-2021, 11:55 PM   #308 (permalink)
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From what Kaiser could see, his concern about the interloper was not entirely shared, at least by anyone else who had spoken - though Mr Singh-Phora had briefly looked a little dubious. Kaiser had thought this eventuality might make him feel more comfortable voicing his suspicions in front of the kid, but it turned out he'd been mistaken. Maybe that was good. Maybe that was... strength of character, or something. He'd always tried to defy the idea that he might be a person who was easily influenced, after all. In the short term, though, it was more hindrance than help.

Until he worked out how to proceed, Kaiser listened to the others. The woman - Jane - reporting on Mr Flamsteed... that was unnerving, but what part of this wasn't? All of it was deeply, deeply unsettling. Before he could ruminate on that for too long, Mr Singh-Phora was talking again, and-

Suddenly: a quandary. The meeting was progressing past the sharing stage, and Kaiser had still not, uh... shared anything. Were this not such a serious situation, he might not have bothered, but the way things stood he knew that would be a bad move. He waited for an opportunity, which came when Mr Singh-Phora had finished talking about recruitment.

"Excuse me," Kaiser spoke up, relieved to hear his voice was as clear and firm as he had intended it to be. "I have some information too."

But he didn't launch straight into it, and he didn't point out why he wasn't doing so, but he did send the briefest of glances in the direction of Fletcher and Fletcher Jr. Hopefully it would be obvious, but Kaiser knew he wouldn't be afraid to explain if he had to.

... Well. No. Okay. He'd be, maybe, the slightest bit terrified, but he'd still do it.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:06 AM   #309 (permalink)
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Having adjusted to winters in the United Kingdom, though finding it considerably warmer than what she had grown up in in Bulgaria, Zinnia nonetheless had respectively bundled up for the day in her favorite pine green jumper and glided her way through Diagon Alley towards Flourish and Blotts. She rarely found herself in the area these days at her own leisure, though she would be adamant about it being related to any sort of avoidance. Typically it was a quidditch something or other that had her traveling to London and Diagon Alley, though the pull of friends was occasionally the cause as well. Today it was visiting her cousin and....child.

She truly was happy for Evangeline, but that support came with a bitter aftertaste. Like eating a mouthful of nigauri and being denied water.

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Joseph had always had a soft spot for Flourish and Blotts. He had a soft spot for bookshops in general, but Flourish and Blotts just had a certain something about it. He must have spent hours on end amongst the bookshelves, especially in his childhood. Today, he was sitting in a corner of the shop, with a copy of Armando Dippet: Master or Moron? by Rita Skeeter in his hand. He was reading it to pick up tips on how to avoid being a bad journalist. So far, he had mainly picked up that he shouldn't bend the facts or even make up his own stories. Those were obvious, but they were the only things he could pick out from the biography. The facts had been so bent that it was almost certainly not a biography, but borderline fiction.

This was boring. Joseph put the biography/fiction book back on the shelf and decided to read The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle instead. He must have read it a gazillion times already, but he found it interesting no matter however many times he had flipped the pages of the old book.
Stepping into the shop and removing her sunglasses, though they did little to help with the incognito aesthetic as several university aged girls had recognized her and made horrendously high pitched noises about the 'quidditch princess' before scampering over and asking for autographs. That nickname really needed to die. It was about 12 years past it's life expectancy at this point. In any case, glad to get away from that situation and into the more intimate setting of the book shop, Zinnia clipped her sunglasses on the collar of her jumper and wove her way through the shelves. She...probably should come with some sort of gift for Evangeline and Angelo's daughter and a picture book seemed fitting. A family gift.

Though it made her chest twist horrible as she thought about a different duo entirely. What books did they like and...were they read to every night before bed?

Promptly pushing the thoughts aside, the Kenmare chaser moved down an aisle occupied by another fellow. "Excuse me," she said, interrupting his perusing of his own picture book. "Can you point me in the direction of children's literature?" Based on his choice of read, surely he would know.
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Old 02-19-2021, 03:08 AM   #310 (permalink)
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Having adjusted to winters in the United Kingdom, though finding it considerably warmer than what she had grown up in in Bulgaria, Zinnia nonetheless had respectively bundled up for the day in her favorite pine green jumper and glided her way through Diagon Alley towards Flourish and Blotts. She rarely found herself in the area these days at her own leisure, though she would be adamant about it being related to any sort of avoidance. Typically it was a quidditch something or other that had her traveling to London and Diagon Alley, though the pull of friends was occasionally the cause as well. Today it was visiting her cousin and....child.

She truly was happy for Evangeline, but that support came with a bitter aftertaste. Like eating a mouthful of nigauri and being denied water.



Stepping into the shop and removing her sunglasses, though they did little to help with the incognito aesthetic as several university aged girls had recognized her and made horrendously high pitched noises about the 'quidditch princess' before scampering over and asking for autographs. That nickname really needed to die. It was about 12 years past it's life expectancy at this point. In any case, glad to get away from that situation and into the more intimate setting of the book shop, Zinnia clipped her sunglasses on the collar of her jumper and wove her way through the shelves. She...probably should come with some sort of gift for Evangeline and Angelo's daughter and a picture book seemed fitting. A family gift.

Though it made her chest twist horrible as she thought about a different duo entirely. What books did they like and...were they read to every night before bed?

Promptly pushing the thoughts aside, the Kenmare chaser moved down an aisle occupied by another fellow. "Excuse me," she said, interrupting his perusing of his own picture book. "Can you point me in the direction of children's literature?" Based on his choice of read, surely he would know.
Joseph was slightly startled as he was disturbed from his book by a woman asking for directions. She looked a bit familiar, but he simply couldn't place it. His head had formed a connection with Quidditch, which would explain why she looked slightly familiar but not too familiar, as Joseph was never really a massive fan of the sport. "It's on the next aisle.", he answered. "Do I know you? It's just that you look a bit familiar.", he inquired. He still couldn't place from where he had seen the woman. He would have to ask his brother. James had an excellent memory of people and was an ardent fan of Quidditch, which was currently the only thing his head could form a connection with. "I'm Joseph, by the way.", he introduced himself and held out a hand for the woman to shake.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:29 AM   #311 (permalink)
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Joseph was slightly startled as he was disturbed from his book by a woman asking for directions. She looked a bit familiar, but he simply couldn't place it. His head had formed a connection with Quidditch, which would explain why she looked slightly familiar but not too familiar, as Joseph was never really a massive fan of the sport. "It's on the next aisle.", he answered. "Do I know you? It's just that you look a bit familiar.", he inquired. He still couldn't place from where he had seen the woman. He would have to ask his brother. James had an excellent memory of people and was an ardent fan of Quidditch, which was currently the only thing his head could form a connection with. "I'm Joseph, by the way.", he introduced himself and held out a hand for the woman to shake.
Peering around him in the direction of his indication did not warrant any sort of confirmation, but that was only to be expected. "Oh, thank you." Though apparently that would not be the end of their conversation. Which was fine, she supposed. Zinnia could be personable when she felt the inclination and conversing with a stranger only helped her procrastinate on the task she had come here to do...which was only a good thing.

She had never been the sort of celebrity that wanted to be recognized. She enjoyed her privacy and it was simply an unfortunate byproduct that professional quidditch came with so much press and merchandise and all other variety of obligation. She was still finding places to donate the absurd amount of plushie capybara she had been sent for the holidays because she had once mentioned in an interview finding them cute. At least it wasn't cinnamon almonds this time, though at least those stored well and were healthy snacks...though she still felt a little nauseous thinking about the number of kilos still in the pantry. So this stranger not recognizing her off the beater's bat was truly welcomed.

"I don't believe so," she shook her head casually, a kind smile painted on her lips as she accepted his hand and returned his handshake with a firm one of her own. "Zinnia."

Joseph. That was easy enough to remember.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:53 PM   #312 (permalink)
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Peering around him in the direction of his indication did not warrant any sort of confirmation, but that was only to be expected. "Oh, thank you." Though apparently that would not be the end of their conversation. Which was fine, she supposed. Zinnia could be personable when she felt the inclination and conversing with a stranger only helped her procrastinate on the task she had come here to do...which was only a good thing.

She had never been the sort of celebrity that wanted to be recognized. She enjoyed her privacy and it was simply an unfortunate byproduct that professional quidditch came with so much press and merchandise and all other variety of obligation. She was still finding places to donate the absurd amount of plushie capybara she had been sent for the holidays because she had once mentioned in an interview finding them cute. At least it wasn't cinnamon almonds this time, though at least those stored well and were healthy snacks...though she still felt a little nauseous thinking about the number of kilos still in the pantry. So this stranger not recognizing her off the beater's bat was truly welcomed.

"I don't believe so," she shook her head casually, a kind smile painted on her lips as she accepted his hand and returned his handshake with a firm one of her own. "Zinnia."

Joseph. That was easy enough to remember.
Giving a polite smile as the woman looked around him, Joseph put down the children's book and picked up the Rita Skeeter book again. That's what he came here to do, after all."Why exactly are you looking for children's literature?" It was an intruding question, but then again, Joseph always asked those sorts of questions. He skimmed over the page open in the book in his hand. It was not particularly interesting, but his sister had insisted he had read, as it would "help with his new job". He would much rather be at home in front of a fire, instead of here; it was not freezing as it was outside, but it was still cold.

Pulling his jumper more tightly around him, Joseph nodded as the woman returned his handshake and introduced herself. Zinnia. That was a nice name. Although it didn't aid him in remembering where he had seen her. "I must have mistaken you for someone else." He never had a great memory and mostly remembered things he wanted to. Quidditch of all things was rarely in his mind. He was terrified of flying and never really understood the point of the sport. It was enjoyable to watch nonetheless, but simply hard to understand.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:23 AM   #313 (permalink)
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Oh. Well, this was not particularly the sort of conversation she enjoyed. The sharing about her personal life, though there was a bit of a buffer in place seeing as he did not recognize her. She supposed that meant she could indulge Joseph a little. "My cousin. Her and her husband just had a little boy. They have clothing and other necessities in spades," she explained with a small shrug. Plus, books provided a sort of disconnect to more poignant connections that she still could not handle. She probably needed to make an appointment again to speak with Fern - she had cancelled the last...dozen or so sessions. Quidditch season was busy. Her warm chocolate brown eyes glanced at his next selection of literature.

...curious. And yes she was making snap judgements about his taste level.

"Rita Skeeter. Bit controversial an author, wouldn't you say?" It was a small window she was opening for him to change her mind.

Retracting her hand, which was remarkably smooth and uncalloused for someone in her profession, she simply offered him another tight smile. "Perfectly all right, Joseph," she assured him while asserting that she had committed his name to memory.
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:30 PM   #314 (permalink)


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"Excuse me," Kaiser spoke up, relieved to hear his voice was as clear and firm as he had intended it to be. "I have some information too."

But he didn't launch straight into it, and he didn't point out why he wasn't doing so, but he did send the briefest of glances in the direction of Fletcher and Fletcher Jr. Hopefully it would be obvious, but Kaiser knew he wouldn't be afraid to explain if he had to.

... Well. No. Okay. He'd be, maybe, the slightest bit terrified, but he'd still do it.
Flashing a half-hearted smile to Conley, and leaving a fading one for Scottie and even the Mysteries girl as well, Flethcer shifted his weight from one foot to the other. So their little ragtag team of spies had confirmed several of the things he and Conley had been suspecting all along. He didn't say anything to this effect, yet, careful to play this as neutral as possible. "Yep," was he said to Conley. Fletch kept a firm, fatherly hand on Dunk's shoulder, feeling tempted to just muffliato the whole boy's head (and feeling tempted, also, to just release him back into the store so he could better concentrate on the meeting). But he didn't do those things.

Yet.

He caught the look from Kaiser, first, and then nonverbally cast a muffliato over the boy's head. Kaiser could probably see Fletcher's arm wand moving in a familiar pattern, though Dunk wouldn't know his dad was using magic on him yet again. Anyway. He nodded slowly at Kaier once the spell was complete. Merlin, he'd better have something good...

"Go on," he encouraged the lad from his floor. One of his recruits, actually. Don't disappoint him, Kaiser. Speak up.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:20 AM   #315 (permalink)
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Flashing a half-hearted smile to Conley, and leaving a fading one for Scottie and even the Mysteries girl as well, Flethcer shifted his weight from one foot to the other. So their little ragtag team of spies had confirmed several of the things he and Conley had been suspecting all along. He didn't say anything to this effect, yet, careful to play this as neutral as possible. "Yep," was he said to Conley. Fletch kept a firm, fatherly hand on Dunk's shoulder, feeling tempted to just muffliato the whole boy's head (and feeling tempted, also, to just release him back into the store so he could better concentrate on the meeting). But he didn't do those things.

Yet.

He caught the look from Kaiser, first, and then nonverbally cast a muffliato over the boy's head. Kaiser could probably see Fletcher's arm wand moving in a familiar pattern, though Dunk wouldn't know his dad was using magic on him yet again. Anyway. He nodded slowly at Kaier once the spell was complete. Merlin, he'd better have something good...

"Go on," he encouraged the lad from his floor. One of his recruits, actually. Don't disappoint him, Kaiser. Speak up.
He saw it, the wand movement, but any feeling of reassurance was fleeting, and Kaiser couldn't be sure why. Maybe because it was difficult to feel reassured about anything what with this whole situation, maybe because now the pressure was on regarding the information he had to share, and maybe... maybe something else entirely. He didn't know. Was suddenly compelled to stop trying to figure it out, in fact.

Kaiser nodded back, but then quickly diverted his eyes, settling them instead on a point on the opposite wall, so he didn't have to look at anyone while he spoke about serious things, and personal failures. Old habits.

As he spoke, his conglomerate accent - a mess of Europe with some of Candela's Brazilian influences thrown in now too - became more evident, and more difficult to pin down. "My name is Kaiser, I'm... ah... Mr Hollingberry's personal assistant. The Minister, he has been acting strange." This had been covered, the announcements. Kaiser would never have believed it of him, that he'd circumvent usual Ministry protocol to put those things into place. That he'd want to put them into place at all. "And yet sometimes still the same as ever. He is encouraging, supportive, but sometimes he seems distant, troubled. Somewhere else." Anyone else feel sick? Kaiser felt sick. "He asked me to help him choose flowers for his, ah, for Victoria. He speaks to me like he always did, about the same little things, he still cares. He's still positive, but it seems different sometimes."

Getting to the point now, Kaiser took a bracing sort of breath. He'd still been considering how or if he should share his next thought, unsure if he'd been seeing something that wasn't really there, once he'd been put more on his guard and had started looking for some sort of sign. Ultimately, however, he'd decided he couldn't hold it back based on that fear. The potential benefits far outweighed the potential costs. "The Minister is very fond of one of the other personal assistants on Level One, Alphonsine Rosier. I have never seen him be upset with her, or disagree with her. He is always thrilled when she's around, gets a kind of gleam in his eye. And he has tea with her every day." Kaiser paused, clenched his fists briefly three or four times to ground himself, then finished his contribution. "She brings him tea. Every day."
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:28 AM   #316 (permalink)


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He saw it, the wand movement, but any feeling of reassurance was fleeting, and Kaiser couldn't be sure why. Maybe because it was difficult to feel reassured about anything what with this whole situation, maybe because now the pressure was on regarding the information he had to share, and maybe... maybe something else entirely. He didn't know. Was suddenly compelled to stop trying to figure it out, in fact.

Kaiser nodded back, but then quickly diverted his eyes, settling them instead on a point on the opposite wall, so he didn't have to look at anyone while he spoke about serious things, and personal failures. Old habits.

As he spoke, his conglomerate accent - a mess of Europe with some of Candela's Brazilian influences thrown in now too - became more evident, and more difficult to pin down. "My name is Kaiser, I'm... ah... Mr Hollingberry's personal assistant. The Minister, he has been acting strange." This had been covered, the announcements. Kaiser would never have believed it of him, that he'd circumvent usual Ministry protocol to put those things into place. That he'd want to put them into place at all. "And yet sometimes still the same as ever. He is encouraging, supportive, but sometimes he seems distant, troubled. Somewhere else." Anyone else feel sick? Kaiser felt sick. "He asked me to help him choose flowers for his, ah, for Victoria. He speaks to me like he always did, about the same little things, he still cares. He's still positive, but it seems different sometimes."

Getting to the point now, Kaiser took a bracing sort of breath. He'd still been considering how or if he should share his next thought, unsure if he'd been seeing something that wasn't really there, once he'd been put more on his guard and had started looking for some sort of sign. Ultimately, however, he'd decided he couldn't hold it back based on that fear. The potential benefits far outweighed the potential costs. "The Minister is very fond of one of the other personal assistants on Level One, Alphonsine Rosier. I have never seen him be upset with her, or disagree with her. He is always thrilled when she's around, gets a kind of gleam in his eye. And he has tea with her every day." Kaiser paused, clenched his fists briefly three or four times to ground himself, then finished his contribution. "She brings him tea. Every day."
Fletcher was now listening intently to Kaiser, who was more or less confirming everything he himself had observed with Charles. But to hear the Minister's personal assistant, whom Fletcher had hired, CONFIRM that his own personal assistant, whom Fletcher had ALSO hired, was behind this all? It was starting to raise his perfectly middle-aged blood pressure and causing his moving tattoo to run up his neck and then disappear back down his shirt again.

He let out a small snort of suppressed anger and glanced again at Conley to see if he was reacting the same way. He just--- he just--- his blood was BOILING. Fletcher ruffled his son's hair to try to remind him of why he was here and what he was doing. He was not in this to make things worse for all of them. He COULDN'T act yet. Not yet. But soon.

"Thank you, Kaiser," Fletcher tried to catch the assistant's eye. "I knew I could count on you." See? No disappoint.

But back to the meeting... now they had to disband, quickly, before things grew worse. "If there's nothing else," Fletcher glanced down at his watch and back up and around at the group. "I think we should focus on gaining more people to our side. Take the lapel pins. Find someone else to give them to, maybe more than one person if they can be trusted. Conley and I will be in touch. You all need to continue to lie low and play things close to the chest for now."

Kaiser though... he'd be needing a word with him one-on-one. Soon. Not now, not with Dunk here, but soon.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:49 AM   #317 (permalink)
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"If there's nothing else," Fletcher glanced down at his watch and back up and around at the group. "I think we should focus on gaining more people to our side. Take the lapel pins. Find someone else to give them to, maybe more than one person if they can be trusted. Conley and I will be in touch. You all need to continue to lie low and play things close to the chest for now."
Jane had also been listening intently to Kaiser's story of how Hollingberry was nearly normal at times, then suddenly different at others. But her eyes darkened when he started talking of the woman who brought him tea every day. There were several potions that could cause such an effect when ingested, none of them good. And if it were true, then the Ministry was being infiltrated at the highest levels and they were in serious trouble.

Still brooding over this, Jane absently took several of the pins, nodded her farewells, and then pulled out several books she had brought with her in her handbag as props, tucked them underneath her arm, and exited the store through the same back door she had entered it.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:15 AM   #318 (permalink)
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Oh. Well, this was not particularly the sort of conversation she enjoyed. The sharing about her personal life, though there was a bit of a buffer in place seeing as he did not recognize her. She supposed that meant she could indulge Joseph a little. "My cousin. Her and her husband just had a little girl. They have clothing and other necessities in spades," she explained with a small shrug. Plus, books provided a sort of disconnect to more poignant connections that she still could not handle. She probably needed to make an appointment again to speak with Fern - she had cancelled the last...dozen or so sessions. Quidditch season was busy. Her warm chocolate brown eyes glanced at his next selection of literature.

...curious. And yes she was making snap judgements about his taste level.

"Rita Skeeter. Bit controversial an author, wouldn't you say?" It was a small window she was opening for him to change her mind.

Retracting her hand, which was remarkably smooth and uncalloused for someone in her profession, she simply offered him another tight smile. "Perfectly all right, Joseph," she assured him while asserting that she had committed his name to memory.
"That's nice. What's the little boy called?" Yet another slightly intruding question came out of Joseph's mouth, but anyone close to him would know that it was something to get used to. His glistening sapphire blue eyes met Zinnia's kind brown ones and followed them to the book open in his lap. "She certainly is. I don't think very highly of her, but my sister does, and she kept nagging me to come down here and read one of Skeeter's so-called 'masterpieces'." He glanced over the book once again. It was boring, but he was sure that there would be an entire quiz from his sister waiting for him in the mail when he got back to his apartment, and if he didn't get full marks on the quiz, his sister would berate him until he came down here and read it again.

Joseph smiled as Zinnia commented on his error. His brain was invoking some sort of memory, and it was still to do with Quidditch. He shuddered slightly at the thought of the sport. He remembered the very first time he flew. It was terrifying. Despite the whirlpool of conclusions, his brain could muster up, he was sure that there was nothing in them.

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Old 02-27-2021, 05:51 PM   #319 (permalink)
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Fletcher was now listening intently to Kaiser, who was more or less confirming everything he himself had observed with Charles. But to hear the Minister's personal assistant, whom Fletcher had hired, CONFIRM that his own personal assistant, whom Fletcher had ALSO hired, was behind this all? It was starting to raise his perfectly middle-aged blood pressure and causing his moving tattoo to run up his neck and then disappear back down his shirt again.

He let out a small snort of suppressed anger and glanced again at Conley to see if he was reacting the same way. He just--- he just--- his blood was BOILING. Fletcher ruffled his son's hair to try to remind him of why he was here and what he was doing. He was not in this to make things worse for all of them. He COULDN'T act yet. Not yet. But soon.

"Thank you, Kaiser," Fletcher tried to catch the assistant's eye. "I knew I could count on you." See? No disappoint.

But back to the meeting... now they had to disband, quickly, before things grew worse. "If there's nothing else," Fletcher glanced down at his watch and back up and around at the group. "I think we should focus on gaining more people to our side. Take the lapel pins. Find someone else to give them to, maybe more than one person if they can be trusted. Conley and I will be in touch. You all need to continue to lie low and play things close to the chest for now."

Kaiser though... he'd be needing a word with him one-on-one. Soon. Not now, not with Dunk here, but soon.
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Originally Posted by MadAlice View Post
Jane had also been listening intently to Kaiser's story of how Hollingberry was nearly normal at times, then suddenly different at others. But her eyes darkened when he started talking of the woman who brought him tea every day. There were several potions that could cause such an effect when ingested, none of them good. And if it were true, then the Ministry was being infiltrated at the highest levels and they were in serious trouble.

Still brooding over this, Jane absently took several of the pins, nodded her farewells, and then pulled out several books she had brought with her in her handbag as props, tucked them underneath her arm, and exited the store through the same back door she had entered it.


Kaiser wasn't sure why he'd thought that finally voicing his observations and thoughts, sharing with others who were of the same goal, would make him feel any better. Once he'd spoken, the words seemed somehow heavier, and he belatedly realised he should have known (from experience) that acknowledging something out loud did not necessarily make it any easier to bear. Only more real, which... well, he supposed that was a good thing in this case, if that was a necessary step in... in whatever they were ultimately going to do about it.

Looking towards Fletcher at his initial reaction, Kaiser automatically and unintentionally observed every little visible change, and tried to maintain his own cool, calm, collected vibe. Not so easy all of a sudden, but more or less doable. He'd had a fair amount of practice.

The rapidly mounting... anxiety? fear? panic? ... whatever-it-was... stalled suddenly when Fletcher spoke directly to him, but Kaiser still only managed to nod wordlessly and quickly look away again. Wasn't the time or place to call out his boss for being wrong, this wasn't about him, and he knew how those conversations tended to go in any case. So, instead, as things quickly began wrapping up, Kaiser focused once more on the less familiar faces here, committing them to memory even if he figured their names might slip away from him. It was important to at least be able to recognise those who were part of this group, and to be able to pick them out of a crowd if he needed to.

It was time to be getting away, though exactly where he'd go, he wasn't sure. Kaiser couldn't decide whether or not he wanted the company of a friend tonight after all, but was instinctively leaning towards 'no'. Once he had a couple of those pins, he pocketed them - keeping one hand clenched protectively around them - and made for the exit, completely forgetting the actual goodbyes. Until he passed Fletcher, anyway. Kaiser found he still couldn't look right at him, but he did suddenly flash a small but friendly and somewhat apologetic smile in the direction of his kid.

Straightening up again from the shrinking slouch he had slipped into so easily, Kaiser exited the storage room shortly after the Unspeakable, strolling along as though he had not a care in the world.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:34 PM   #320 (permalink)
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"That's nice. What's the little boy called?" Yet another slightly intruding question came out of Joseph's mouth, but anyone close to him would know that it was something to get used to. His glistening sapphire blue eyes met Zinnia's kind brown ones and followed them to the book open in his lap. "She certainly is. I don't think very highly of her, but my sister does, and she kept nagging me to come down here and read one of Skeeter's so-called 'masterpieces'." He glanced over the book once again. It was boring, but he was sure that there would be an entire quiz from his sister waiting for him in the mail when he got back to his apartment, and if he didn't get full marks on the quiz, his sister would berate him until he came down here and read it again.

Joseph smiled as Zinnia commented on his error. His brain was invoking some sort of memory, and it was still to do with Quidditch. He shuddered slightly at the thought of the sport. He remembered the very first time he flew. It was terrifying. Despite the whirlpool of conclusions, his brain could muster up, he was sure that there was nothing in them.
She did not find it particularly intrusive and more like a natural progression to a conversation about...children. What was intrusive were some thoughts that she took a deep inhale through her nose to expel softly though her slightly parted lips. "Luka Dmitriy." The Dmitriy she assumed was a family suggestion from Angelo, though she had not bothered to ask and she quite frankly did not really want to know their thought process. Evangeline was likely disappointed, but she trusted her cousin could at least understand why the aloofness. She would hold him...eventually. She had gotten there with Henry's children, she would get to that point with Luka as well.

"Suppose that depends on your taste level when it comes to literature," she mused a bit, though he had redeemed himself a fair bit with his admission to finding the Skeeter woman abhorring. "My late grandmother was a fan as well." Another train of thoughts she did not wish to entertain. "I've met a Skeeter, I presume of that bloodline though she was a very pleasant witch, honest, and gifted healer."

Joseph seemed to be thinking awfully hard about...something. Instead of prying, however, she glanced at the shelves behind her and ran one of her long fingers down the spines of a few books while only half reading over the titles - though the word wandlore stood out in its gold leaf calligraphy.

"Is your sister an aspiring writer then? Or more a connoisseur of hearsay publications?"
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