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Thread: Start of Term

  1. #91
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Rosemary Bain

    Cambria's assessment was not only the most plausible answer, but the most disturbing. This man was able to play the Aurors for fools and had his sights set on Eve's incarceration - if not something more permanent. Leaning back on her chair, she put her elbow on the windowsill and stared out at the Hogwarts grounds, chin in her hand. He had them on thin ice. Somehow he had known where they were last night in order to be there watching them - did he have some sort of scrying spell set on Liam? On Eve? If the latter, he could show up literally anywhere and pull the same stunt, only this time Eve would be going back to Azkaban with the Aurors. It was a terrible feeling.

    "So what if we get him out of the way first." her voice echoed back into the room, and the words surprised herself. They were flat, but not entirely characterless. In fact, what emotion was left was something she'd rather not have known about. Rosemary pushed herself upright and faced the other two women. "But really. He knew we would be at Hogsmeade - he was at the pub before we arrived, I think. The only way he could have done that is if he has an eye on either you or Liam. He has the upper hand right now and I'd rather level the playing field. I think it's high time he experienced Azkaban in person, don't you?"
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  2. #92
    Eve Travers

    At first, Eve thought Rosemary was suggesting that they kill Darren, and she paused as if frozen.

    It wasn't that she objected to him dying. If he had been hit by a bus, say, or accidentally apparated into the center of a volcano, she wouldn't have shed a tear. If anything, she would have been relieved, but the thought of killing him herself...

    The thought of killing anyone...

    It brought back too many memories of that feverish nightmare time when she had brewed potions for the Dark Lord. Eve had never directly killed anyone for him, but she couldn't pretend not to know her concoctions would be used for that end. She didn't want to go back to that. Not even for someone as evil as Darren.

    But then Rosemary clarified that she meant having him imprisoned, and Eve came unstuck.

    "Yes," she said. Her voice sounded a little rusty, a little far away, but her eyes were clear. "I put him behind me a long time ago. I was going to leave him in the past. To try not to think of him again. But I can't let him hurt Liam. I have to protect my son."
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  3. #93
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Rosemary Bain

    If she'd known what route her words caused Eve's mind to take, Rosemary would have been so much quicker to clarify their meaning. As it was, she forged ahead with what seemed to be the next step in the 'plan'.

    "Okay, so first thing we need to figure out how he knows what either you or Liam are up to at any given moment. Second, we need to figure out how to get him off balance and hopefully expose himself to the law. Third, barring the success of the previous, we need to find him and capture him ourselves."

    Of course, the second and third parts of the plan were completely nebulous at the moment. Rosemary was still too worked up to be of any real use in coming up with suitable ideas for Darren's capture. The first, however... Rosemary tapped on the window and Lucie fluttered into the room moments later. They shared a quick conversation with much head bobbing on both sides, then the jackdaw took wing once more. Turning toward Cambria and Eve, Rosemary shrugged lightly, then finally picked up a roll.

    "Lucie met Darren as well. I sent her to see what she could find while we figure out the best way to cut off his information supply."

  4. #94
    Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

    "Darren was always good at tracking people," Eve said. As was generally the case when she spoke about her past, her voice was a little distant, her eyes a little glazed. "He did so for the Dark Lord, and for his own purposes too. He just need a personal belonging of whoever he wanted to follow to make the connection."

    "Could he have gotten something of yours, Eve?" Cambria wondered.

    Eve nodded. "Easily. I don't know what happened to my belongings after I was arrested. Something could have fallen into his hands."

    She had always liked to imagine they gave her things away. Serving a life sentence, she would never need them again - they might as well go to someone who did. The contents of a life being locked in a closet just as the person had been locked away was a depressing thought. She hoped her meager belongings had been needed and used. But she had never asked.

    "Maybe Lucie can figure out what he has," Cambria suggested. "If she spies something out of place wherever he's hiding."

    It was a bit of a long shot - they didn't even know what they were looking for, and not everything Eve had owned would be distinguishable as hers. But it was worth a try.

  5. #95
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Rosemary Bain

    As much as she hated to admit it, they were at an impasse. They couldn't do much when they couldn't find Darren, nevermind keep him from spying on them. However, she was a firm believer in knowledge providing power. And today, they had been provided with a lot of information that they could use to ultimately bring about the end of a Death Dealer's reign. Finally seeming to be at peace, Rosemary poured herself a cup of coffee in spite of her previous concerns.

    "Then we wait. We let Liam know to be careful with his belongings. Darren will make another move - and now that we know his goal - we can get on equal footing."

    The gust of air departing her lungs belied her idealism, but she was sure that was to be expected. Did she have faith that they could overcome his plot? Absolutely. Did she expect that they'd do that by just sitting around? Definitely not. It was high time she thought about some of those defence against the dark arts classes from so long ago - and prepare to put those lessons learned into practice.

    "Well, another day. Hope your classes go well today - see you both at lunch?" While Rosemary was getting up to leave, it was clear enough that she didn't expect to be the last out the door. "Take your time - I have some materials to prepare for first class - and I need to feed the guppies." A quick wave, and she was gone, making a much slower return to her classroom than she'd left it scant moments before.

  6. #96
    Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

    "Yes, I'll be at lunch. Eating." Eve couldn't remember if the latter part needed to be specified or was implied, but she threw it in for good measure. As she watched Rosemary leave, another though crossed her mind. "I can't go to Hogsmeade with you and Rosemary anymore."

    "Why not?" Cambria asked gently.

    "Because he could do the same thing again. I might not know he's there, and he could report me and send me back to Azkaban. And I can't go back yet. I have things to do first. I have to help Liam and the goblins. And I have to help you break your curse."

    "We won't let you get sent back to Azkaban," Cambria promised. "We'll keep you safe. I promise."

    Eve couldn't quite remember what being safe felt like. Had she ever felt that way? But she almost believed it.


    ***

    Darren let the gold chain slip between his fingers as he stared pensively at the ring that slid along its length. An old wedding ring - too small for Darren's finger. But it hadn't been his, though his matched it. So Eve was playing it safe, staying at Hogwarts. Fine. He could play the long game. She wouldn't be there forever.

    He left the ring on the table as he went to pour a glass of wine.

  7. #97
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    Lucie the Jackdaw

    The bird had turned toward Hogsmeade the moment she'd taken wing. It was the last place she'd seen the man in question, after all, so it seemed a reasonable place to start. Over the lake, through the invisible barrier, and into the forest surrounding the town. It was a path she must have flown a hundred times...

    flash

    Something bright dazzled the bird's eye and brought her about in a circle to land in the canopy, turning her head to attempt to catch the glint once more. Nothing could arrest a jackdaw quite like something shiny - no matter what sort of a mission it was on. Catching the evidence of a shine once more, Lucie dove deeper into the woods and landed on a fence post connecting to a shiny finial of a cottage's front gate. She nearly pecked at it to see if it would come loose, but her curiosity about the cottage itself was piqued. The bird turned her head this way and that, listening. Perhaps one occupant?

    Flitting to the open window, the bird took a cautious look inside. A neat little bungalow to be sure...but better yet was the golden ring on the table. Just sitting there. Even the chain was shiny. Deciding to take her chances, she hopped onto the table and picked up the ring in her beak. It made a satisfying clink against her bill and the chain's movement was melodious. What a find!

  8. #98
    Darren Forness

    Darren returned from the pantry with a wine glass in one hand and a bottle of red in the other. He cursed when he saw the bird on the table.

    "Get out of here, you mangy..."

    His hands were full, so he just gestured wildly at the bird instead of reaching for his wand and putting an end to the miserable beast.

    Only belatedly did he see that the bird had the ring in its beak.

    "Oh no! Come back! Damn you, give that back..."

    The ring itself was not significant to him - though he knew it had been to another, once - but right now the link was too important to lose.

  9. #99
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    Lucie the Jackdaw

    Her beady eyes widened even as her wings flared in alarm as Darren returned to the room. The man. It was him! She turned and made a mad dash for the sky, ignoring the words pouring out of the man and almost forgetting about the ring in her beak. Almost. The chain swung wildly until she levelled out her flight, though Lucie didn't stay far above the canopy. Part of her wanted to stay hidden - the other part knew she needed to get back to Rosemary as quickly as possible.

    Rosemary Bain

    It was near the end of the last class before lunch when her eye caught a small black form falling out of the sky. She didn't have time to straighten up from her position hovering over a pair of students making a nursery food for bowtruckles - her wand seemed to appear in her hand and cast arresto all on its own. The jackdaw came to rest in the folds of Rosemary's robes, panting and stiff. Rosemary could see that the bird had overexerted herself and moved to let her rest in the bower at the corner of the classroom. Belatedly, she noticed the shiny gold ring in the bird's bill. What had she gone and taken now? As silly as the bird could be about her treasures, Rosemary was far more concerned with her welfare. Setting the ring and chain on her desk, she dismissed the class so she could tend to her friend.

  10. #100
    Eve Travers

    Eve had assumed she would be consumed by her worries all day. But somehow, when she stood in front of a bubbling cauldron showing sixth years how to brew a complex potion, it all faded into the background. Eve's love for potions was not an accident or chance. The care, the precision, everything just so - it had always occupied her mind in a way nothing else could. Her childhood had been chaotic. Her adolescence had been turbulent. Family, peers, romance... it had never been straightforward or pure or intuitive. This was. This was reliable, when nothing else was. Brewing potions had always been her escape. Now she needed it again. And it still was.

    If only things could stay the way they were now. Teaching her potions classes. Her friendship with Cambria and Rosemary. The companionship of Basil and Shelby. It was the most perfect and happy her life had ever been. But happiness was fragile. She should savor it while it lasted.

    After classes had finished for the day, she naturally drifted to find Rosemary and Cambria. Spending time with them had become a pleasant habit, and one she had no intention of breaking.

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