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Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:52 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

"We could look at some property deeds," Cambria mused. "But maybe there's a way that's simpler than that. What if we asked at the Leaky Cauldron? They pretty much know everybody there. I could say... that I wandered by their house and thought their garden was really beautiful, and wanted to ask for some tips from whoever lives there?"

As it turned out, Cambria didn't even need her cover story - as soon as she inquired about the address, the bartender seemed surprised she didn't already know that it was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Madison, an important and well-connected couple with plenty of money to spare.

When Cambria reported back, Eve said, "I know them. Knew. Reginald and Dorinda. Dorinda was pregnant at the same time I was. Her daughter is a few months older than Liam. Arminda, I think her name was."

"Were they Death Eaters?" Cambria asked curiously.

Eve shook her head. "Not as such. They didn't work for... you know. No Dark Marks on arms in that household. But they were the same social circle. Friends with all the same people. Probably believed all the same things, even if they never joined."

Cambria nodded, not surprised. Apparently the parents' racial politics hadn't changed, and had passed on to another generation.

"So it's probably Arminda and her friends," Cambria said thoughtfully. "Granrod said his attackers were young, so it's probably her, not the parents. Maybe Lucie could follow her? We could definitely use some more proof. I wish there was some way inside that house..."

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2024 5:07 pm
by Quaxo9
Rosemary Bain and Lucie the Jackdaw

"Well, she could follow her and have a poke around, say, Arminda's bedroom?"

Rosemary ran her fingers over a small talisman and Lucie soon dropped out of the darkness to alight on the fence post in front of the three women.

"Lucie, would you be interested in having a poke about up in that house there?" She gestured upward at the mansion. "Try the upper floor - we're hoping you might find a girl's bedroom?"

She didn't need to tell the jackdaw what to look for. It wasn't the bird's first b&e. Besides, if anyone was to have a window open - it was usually their bedroom window. Hopefully there might be some clues lying about for a bird to notice.

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 6:02 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Inside the Madison House

Arminda Madison's quarters were the fairly ordinary dwellings of a young adult witch from a very well-to-do London family. She had a well-appointed bedroom, as well as a sitting room of her own. All were impeccably clean, although this was more likely the work of the house elves who toiled tirelessly for the family, rather than of the young lady herself.

There was no obvious evidence of dark magic, or hidden crimes, or a secret double life - Arminda was just a bored socialite with too much money and too little to do, it seemed.

Well, perhaps not quite so bored as all that, Lucie would discover upon examining her desk, which appeared to be the only part of the room that had been touched since the house elves had cleaned.

First, a single, seemingly innocuous Chocolate Frog card featuring the black haired and purple-eyed wizard Yardley Platt. The picture gazed up at Lucie with cool, cynical eyes.

Beneath, a book - a slim, blue-jacketed volume with the bookmark indicating it was half-read: Goblin Rebellions: Why Are They Doomed to Failure?

And then, poking out just beneath, a parchment with a magical illustration - a particularly unflattering caricature of a wizard's imaginings of stereotypical goblin features. The picture was of course enchanted, and its subject leered at the reader with a scowling, greedy mien. The paper was folded, obscuring most of the text, but the bold headline proclaimed, Would You Allow This Creature A Wand?

There was ample evidence, it seemed, of Arminda's current interests.

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2024 2:34 pm
by Quaxo9
Rosemary Bain and Lucie the Jackdaw

Lucie's eyes immediately spotted the brightly coloured card and the bird sat on the edge of the desk, turning her head this way and that, analyzing the picture. She reached for it when something under the book moved and she jumped back out of an abundance of caution. When nothing happened, she moved closer to inspect the movement - nothing more than a picture. The jackdaw tugged it out from under the book and piled it on top of the card. She paused, then pulled the bookmark out of the book. Whether that was to be contrary or just because she was a bird, she probably didn't know herself. The bookmark landed on the pile. Beak full, she fluttered to the window, paused on the ledge to look for cats, then swooped down into the shadows where Rosemary and her friends waited.

The little pile of papers landed in her hand and Rosemary petted the bird's breast and cooed her praise for her cleverness and bravery. Lucie cawed and bobbed her head in reply. Rosemary passed Cambria and Eve each a piece of the evidence Lucie had returned with. Herself, she held what looked to be an ordinary bookmark. She turned it over, looking for a signature in case it had been gifted. It would do to know as much about Arminda as they could gather.

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2024 5:09 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Cambria Morehouse and Eve Travers

"Yardley Platt," Cambria said, turning the card over in her hand. "Lovely."

That alone, of course, was not damning. Many young people collected Chocolate Frog cards, and those depicting criminals were subjects of great interest to curious youth. Still, taken in conjunction with everything else, a card depicting a serial killer of goblins was particularly distasteful.

Eve, meanwhile, frowned at the flyer. She opened it and skimmed it, trying to determine if anything was of use, but shook her head.

"Nothing," she said. "It just goes on and on like that. Maybe if we could figure out who printed it, but it's not signed - that's a needle in haystack."

The bookmark, though, proved of more interest. It was not personalized or signed, but it did bear the mark of the place of purchase; in fancy gold script, it read, 'H, H, & H, Ltd.'

Rosemary might recognize this as the insignia of Haversham, Haversham, and Haversham Limited, a small boutique shop that advertised themselves as purveyors of 'specialty' books - though exactly what that specialty might be was unclear. Eve had never heard of them, because their moment of scandal had occurred while she was in Azkaban, but the other two might recall a kerfuffle with the Ministry over some books for sale that were said to promote violence against Muggles. The shopkeepers had denied this, and said they provided books for informational purposes only without censorship. An agreement had ultimately been reached where the worst of the offending volumes were removed from the shelves and the Ministry tacitly agreed not to look too closely at the rest of the inventory, but a cloud of suspicion remained.

"Should we do some book shopping while we're out and about?" Cambria suggested.

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2024 9:10 pm
by Quaxo9
Rosemary Bain

"I thought you'd never ask."

Rosemary had been to H, H, & H in her youth, of course. Every young wizard did - not only did they have an exceptional selection of second-hand textbooks, but the students competed to find the worst book in the store. Something that would make their parents furious to know they'd even seen the cover of. Young Rosemary preferred to stick to certain sections of books, herself. Magical creatures. Stories of people searching for magical creatures. And every creepy folk tale about petrification. Pretty mild stuff by comparison.

Now that she was older, she knew all too well just how wild the stacks could be. If nothing else, she had learned that some books were only fit to be destroyed, not read. She had a feeling they'd find a few more of those today.

At least they wouldn't have to disguise what they were doing. They were all witches, after all. And they were looking for books. But finding what they were looking for in this massive place was going to take longer than an evening. Perhaps the process could be...expedited. Rosemary wasn't going to feign an interest in anti-goblin politics to gain access, but perhaps she could sneak a look at the sales records and see if Arminda Madison's book was listed with its section. It was a bit of a long shot, but one she'd be willing to take should the desk clerk leave their post.

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2024 6:22 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Haversham, Haversham, and Haversham, Limited

It was, truly, a boutique bookshop - and that meant that their customers expected a certain level of service. That their needs would be not just met, but anticipated.

Since these witches were new clientele, anticipating wasn't possible... but that could be made up for in attention. As soon as they entered, a wizened old wizard - presumably one of the titular Havershams - approached and gave them an old-fashioned, courtly bow with surprising agility for one of his age and apparent frailty.

"Good evening, ladies," probably-a-Haversham said warmly. "I am at your service. Is there anything I can assist you to locate today? You have made, if I may say so, a most excellent choice of shop. Are you perhaps looking for something... special?"

If the lateness of the hour was of any concern to him - or he'd had any thoughts of closing the shop in the near future - he gave no sign of it. His demeanor indicated he had all the time in the world.

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2024 6:53 pm
by Quaxo9
Rosemary Bain

She knew an in when she heard one. Rosemary stepped forward with a smile.

"Actually, I am. I suppose my interest in fossils and stone is no secret," she gestured at her pendant, "but truth be told, my interest in the, ah...process, has been difficult to sate. I was hoping that the esteemed Haversham, Haversham and Haversham Limited might be able to provide me with some relief."

Rosemary was certain that her genuine interest in petrification would get her into a more restricted area of the shop. It might not be the exactly correct area, but it would be a start. If nothing else - the other two would have the run of the place while she was being served.

Re: A Visit to London

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2024 5:15 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

"Ah," probably-a-Haversham said, tapping his nose conspiratorially. "I believe I have exactly what you seek. And your friends...?"

Apparently they weren't getting off that easily. Had they made him suspicious somehow?

"Erm, we really just wanted to browse," Cambria ventured. "We tagged along to see your selection."

Probably-a-Haversham gave another of his surprisingly agile bows. "As you wish, ladies," he replied.

Eve and Cambria relaxed; apparently the old man's concern was not suspicion of their motives, but mere habit of customer service. It probably wouldn't do to appear overly interested in one subject, now that they had said they were browsing, so it was time to browse.

It seemed likely that the most restricted materials - illegal anti-goblin instigation and petrification both - would be in the same section, so they trailed along behind Rosemary and the proprietor.

How were they going to find what they were looking for, in this massive collection of books? It seemed a needle in a haystack...?

Well, until probably-a-Haversham drew aside a curtain to a discreet back room. With the curtain in place, it would have appeared to be a back room for employees only, but once it was drawn back, it revealed a small annex to the sales floor.

Cambria drew in her breath. They weren't just looking for a few books about goblins. As it turned out, there was an entire shelf with the subject neatly labeled.

Tacked below it, a card read: For historical research purposes only.

"Yeah, sure," Cambria whispered to Eve.