An Abandoned Arrangement

An Abandoned Arrangement

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An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Simon Marek on Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:31 pm

The atmosphere was about as he had been told it would be. The deal he was making was entirely underground, and was only happening because of the shoddy semblance of a job that he had been forced to take up in the last year. He paid the entrance fee as was expected of him, and made his way inside, aiming directly for the bar. If he was going to get in trouble, it wouldn't be because he broke the rules of the nightclub itself. He doubted, in truth, that he would get out of the night without a few scrapes, but perhaps it would work out otherwise.

And, actually, it was looking like he was correct.

His contact didn't show up. His boss was not going to be pleased in the morning, when Simon had to show up without any product, without any promise that their supplier wouldn't talk. For all he knew, he was about to get got.

But if he left, and the person showed up, things would be much worse for him.

So he stayed, standing near the bar and slowly sipping his drink. If they showed up, fine. He would get the job done. But if not, he was already there and may as well get some use out of the bar. It wasn't the sort of place he imagined Livia wanting to frequent, but he didn't mind it himself, so he told himself that - while he would remain on the lookout for the man in question - there was no reason why he couldn't relax a little, too. Life had been complicated as of late, and Simon felt that he was entirely due for a night out. Not that it helped him feel any more positive about things. Plus, he got bored, and when he felt bored, the negative memories and ponderings were hard to ignore.

His first drink went down quickly, as thoughts of Tobias and Kosta and Liv filtered in, frightening him and making him feel sick to his stomach. She didn't deserve his drama, he knew he should have done more at the time, and he had the distinct feeling that he was headed for trouble all over again.

After about an hour, he was sure that his contact wasn't going to show up. His fingers wrapped themselves around another drink, and Simon couldn't actually remember how many he had gone through by that point. But then the man showed up, holding a bag of items that he took Simon through, lifting each one out and trying to shield it from the eyes of others. Ingredients. A couple of vials which the man said Simon's boss wanted even more than the illegal parts of whatever illegal potion he was working on that week. So Simon didn't question him. He made the trade, passing money to the other man in exchange for the pouch that held more than it seemed to, and downed the rest of his drink before turning to leave the club. Suddenly, the man stuck out another vial, declaring that he had nearly forgotten, and did not want Simon's boss coming after him if he forgot that one. So Simon clutched it as he made his way through the crowd, towards the exit.

He was more far-gone than he cared to admit, but felt quite certain that he had made the tradeoff as he was meant to. So at least he could go in the next morning - after he did something about the hangover he would inevitably have - and make sure that his employer didn't hate him or fire him or whatever else. Despite working for a couple of people - just two, actually - this was the one that truly paid the bills, despite the underhanded nature of it all. Simon imagined that he could feel the alcohol coursing through his veins, and it made him feel quite unwell, actually. He didn't like it one bit.

Glancing down, he narrowed his eyes at the vial, trying to determine what it was. Lifting it up in front of his face, Simon squinted at it, wondering if it was meant to help people. Surely something this important would do something good? If he hadn't been so drunk, perhaps he would have been smart enough to realize he was being naive. Then again, he was a particularly naive young man to begin with, so it most definitely did not help that he was off his face from the hard liquor he had downed.

He didn't want to get into trouble with his employer. But he hated the job anyway, so maybe he would just quit. And he wanted to feel better. His steps slowed and he lowered the vial, tempted horribly. His self restraint lasted long enough for him to reach the door, but as he nudged it open with his hip, he gave in, lifting it and pulling the stopper out.
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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Robert Lupin on Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:52 am

This whole potionsmaker identity theft business riled Robert immensely--especially since it was his own identity being stolen. Imitating another potions maker's magical signature, their "tell", was a difficult process, nothing an amateur could do. Besides that, it went against the unwritten code between potions makers that stealing another signature just wasn't done. Robert had heard old stories of a few times when it had apparently been done and then the thief had ended up very, very dead.

Robert wasn't interested in resurrecting that old sentence, but he did want the crime stopped. Besides that, his magical signature was being duplicated on bottles of tainted potions that were causing serious damage to all sorts of witches and wizards who took the potions, and that had to stop immediately.

He had some agents working on it, but that didn't mean he wasn't going to do some digging himself. He intended to prowl Knockturn. After all, there was that old illegals lab in the catacombs below Knockturn, but so far as he understood from rumors, Lorcan D'Eath had that now. D'Eath was a man he wasn't worried about in this. No, this wasn't his style. Robert needed to go deeper.

He pulled his black cloak up further, not an unusual sight in Knockturn, summer or not. He walked the streets, his wand drawn but not at the ready. He was never surprised at the drunks and the riff raff that seemed to ooze out from between the old brick, but it made him want to go home and shower.

And suddenly there was another one. A young upstart that had had way more firewhiskey than his system could hold. He looked far closer to being smashed than anything else, and he still had the stupid whiskey in his hand.

Or did he? As the young man seemed to pause in the dim street light, the light passed through the bottle. It was a cloudy green. Whiskey wasn't green. Only a potion would do that. And no safe potion took on the cloudy darkness that this vial had. This young fool was about to poison himself.

Robert took a couple of quick strides and wrapped his hand around the bottle, and without saying a word, he gave it a hard yank. He was hoping to get the bottle without breaking it. He wanted it as evidence, for analysis, but if he needed to break it, apparently there were certainly more of the tainted bottles where this one had come from.






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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Simon Marek on Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:04 pm

Simon lifted the vial in front of his face again, peering at it. He had no idea what it was, but that was probably alright. He didn't want to be this drunk ever again if he could help it, because he felt horrible. He was so deeply drenched in alcohol that he didn't notice the other man until fingers curled around his own, yanking the bottle.

"Oi," he burst out, scowling at the hand before lifting his gaze to see who was trying to ruin his night all the more. When he saw part of a face, though the rest was hidden in shadow, Simon balked. Kosta.

Of course there was a catch. And Simon didn't like catching things.

Simon's stare turned into a burning glower and he pulled on the bottle as well, sloshing some of its contents to the ground. If it sizzled or sparked when it met the pavement, Simon didn't even register it. He was too busy trying to work through the sludge that slowed his mind, trying to figure out why the man who had ruined his life was back and messing with him.

Instinctively, his hand drifted to the inner pocket of his robes, where he knew his wand would be though he couldn't remember putting it there. But he was able to breathe a sigh of semi-relief, because his fingers closed around it and as he stepped back, releasing the bottle, he whipped the wand out, pointing it at Kosta's throat.

"What do you want?" He challenged, his words slurring like the edges of his vision. "Why couldn' you just leave me alone?"

His accent felt thicker between his lips, like he had to work in order to speak anything in English. But he had to find out what the other Polish man was after.

It had been four years since he had last seen Kosta, four years since Tobias' daughter was killed and Simon was tried and Azkaban welcomed him in that horrible awful way that only Azkaban could. And now, despite the good thing he had found and the fact that he had somehow convinced her that he was good even though it wasn't true, he still couldn't relax. Kosta was here, probably to take Livia away from him, and Simon refused to swallow that until the very last moment, when she backed away or turned away or cried and disapparated. She knew the truth but had somehow given him a chance with the belief that he was mostly innocent. Why she believed him was beyond Simon, but he appreciated it. Except There was one thing:

Kosta had convinced one of Simon's best friends to speak against him without any proof. So why couldn't he do the same with Liv?

"Leave me the hell alone," Simon warned more loudly, solidifying his grip on the weapon pointed at Kosta. He wasn't playing around and he wasn't actually able to resist. His gaze narrowed in on the vial in Kosta's hand, deciding that he wanted it back. Without warning, he let out a slicing hex, aiming for those fingers curling around the bottle.
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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Robert Lupin on Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:58 pm

Why were drunks always acting like gits? He sighed. †Fabulous. †And now he was sloshing the precious potion, the evidence he so needed, all over the street. Robert looked down to see a puddle of the green goo was eating a hole in his shoe. †It would be chewing on his foot next. That would be painful, and it would most likely tax his patience with this young idiot.

And then suddenly the man drew on him, pointing the wand at his throat, but also letting go of the potion. †If he was lucky, he'd be able to find the bloody stopper for the bottle. He didn't exactly go around carrying bottle stoppers in his pocket, after all. †Robert whipped his wand suddenly to counter. he wasn't about to be offed by a drunk. If he wanted a duel, Robert was sure he could bring it. The man cut a slash across Robert's throat, but it felt rather superficial. Of course it was. He hadn't used a sectumsempra. †

"Expelliarmus!" Robert bellowed fiercely, aiming for the young man's wand. †He wanted to simply disarm him, but as he fired, he was also aware that he had put more energy into the firing of it than he intended. †Oops.

Leave him alone? Hey, now. This idiot drew on him first. All Robert had wanted was to keep him from dissolving himself from the inside out. Not only was that bloody painful, but it was incredibly hard for Robert to repair that sort of crap. It wasn't easy to turn a little puddle of goo back into someone's esophagus. †And contrary to public opinion, wizards did magic. They did not do miracles.

"Maybe I should just go ahead and let you turn yourself into green slime! But if I do, I'm not bringing you back, you little git!" Robert said, irked.

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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Simon Marek on Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:13 pm

The first time the other man spoke, Simon didn't really hear him. Mostly, he felt the jolt that sent him staggering backwards into the door. Bizarrely, he didn't drop his wand, instead gripping it tighter as the spell blasted into him. Probably not what Kosta had wanted him to do, but Simon felt strangely proud of himself for it. Mainly because it would probably piss Kosta off.

His own spell was a waste, missing by a good foot and a half, and Simon probably would have rolled his eyes at himself if the other man hadn't spoken again, this time just in English and sounding very, very not Polish. That wasn't right. Kosta had never been good at picking up languages or accents, unlike his framed counterpart. Simon could mimic as well as the best of them, but his friend had always been something of a failure at that, so his eyes narrowed and although he didn't release his wand he wasn't moving to attack again.

Instead, he called up a Lumos charm, trying to see better. It didn't help that things were blurry, still, unfortunately for Simon. Perhaps if he had been more aware and less likely to sway like a leaf in the wind, he would have would have realized who, exactly, he had just tried to attack.

"I'd rather you didn't let that happen," Simon decided, more hearing himself speak the words than actually making an active decision to say them.

Shaking his head, he lifted a hand to his face, rubbing at his eyes as he tried to focus on the man's face. "Kosta? Is that you?"
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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Robert Lupin on Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:18 am

Robert was about to answer him. He was about to tell the young man that he wasn't wanting anyone to turn into green mush. Lord, it was hard to reverse things when they were part puddle. And if he'd gotten to be entirely a puddle, the young man might have spent the rest of eternity in a jar on a lab shelf. Certainly wasn't the ideal way to exist, Robert was certain.

He didn't get a chance to say much of anything because suddenly he heard running footsteps and raised voices. Buggar. That, he figured, was the sound of his plans being dashed. He knew the sound too well--the sound of his aurors. Evidently, they'd been out patrolling the streets, heard the wand fire and come running.

"I'm not Kosta, whoever that is, " Robert said to the young man. "Should I have been?"

"Drop your wands!" some young upstart auror's voice shouted more out of fear than of moxy, or at least that's what it sounded like to Robert. Robert made a mental note to drill the young auror until he sounded more like an auror and less like a schoolboy.

Robert lowered his wand, lowered the hood on his cloak, not taking his eyes off the young man who'd fired on him. At the moment, he was starting to feel sorry for the lad. This was probably not going to go well for him.

"Oh, crap. We are so screwed," one of the other aurors said suddenly, realizing that they'd just secured the Minister of Magic in the process. "Our apologies, Minister. Are you hurt?"

"No," Robert said as the other aurors rushed forward to secure the young man that had fired on him. "No harm done."

"You're bleeding," an auror told Robert.

"Its superficial," Robert replied.

"Perhaps not so superficial. Its evidently more than you know," he replied. He turned on the young man. "I'm placing you under arrest for assault with a deadly weapon upon the Minister of Magic."

"He's just had too much to drink," Robert waved it away. He was more concerned for the green slime that was starting to burn a hole in the top of his foot. It was starting to hurt.

"What was he firing upon you for?"

"I took this potion from him," Robert said. "Its a deadly poison. He was about to drink it. He'd have been dissolved into a little pool of green goo in a few agonizing moments."

"Like that?" the auror pointed on the ground beside Robert's shoe.

"Pretty much," Robert said. "My fault. I should have identified myself."

"What were you looking for?" the auror asked him, frowning, not expecting to find the Minister here, of all places, at this hour.

"This," he said, holding the potion. He looked back at the young man who had fired on him. "Any chance you still have the stopper, Lad?"

"He tried to kill you, and you're worried about a cork?" the younger auror scowled at Robert disapprovingly. Robert ignored his impertinence--this time, his focus on the man that was most likely going to be handcuffed. "Tell me where the stopper is, Son, and we'll clear up the rest of the details as soon as we can."

"You're over the mark, Minister," the young auror decided evidently to test his mettle against Robert. Robert turned to the auror, his patience about to run out with him.

"And you're about to be sent home in an envelope," Robert replied calmly.


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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Simon Marek on Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:21 am

Other voices filtered in from somewhere, and Simon turned his chin towards them even as he stared at this other man. It had to be Kosta. Didn't it? Who else would just assault him on the street without warning? They wouldn't have any reason to. His gaze drifted to the bottle again. But then the man denied being his former friend, and Simon frowned, his wand lowering as he counted his own luminous spell.

"I sure wouldn't appreciate it," Simon replied simply, half surprising himself when he spoke the words rather than just thinking them.

Simon jumped at the shout that came seemingly from nowhere. But then he saw the auror who had spoken, and he knew that he had inadvertently barked up the wrong proverbial tree. He didn't drop his wand, though. He didn't even lower it until the man he was still eyeing cautiously brought down the hood of his cloak.

Shit.

He knew that face. And it definitely was not Kosta. Bizarrely, the one thought that struck him in any sort of clear way was this: Theodore is going to murder me. Although he assumed Keiran would want to, Rookwood might actually do it, and that was definitely not a good thing for Simon. Regardless of everything else, and even with his life potentially on the line in front of the Minister of Magic and his men, that frightened him the most.

The declaration that he had been arrested set his pulse thundering where before he had known his fate was grim. This was something he had been waiting for. Those words informed him that another three years or more might be waiting for him, along with those Dementors. If he felt anything in that moment, it wasn't even that he felt tipsy. He really only felt the panic set in.

If he could have backed up further, he would have. But he was up against that door, properly cornered, and he gripped his wand tighter as he tried to hide his desperation. A poison, though? He doubted he would have been stupid enough to drink something poisonous.

Well. He was pretty drunk. So maybe the Minister knew what he was talking about. Maybe.

Lupin and the auror were arguing and although Simon knew that at least one or two of those things were directed at him, he was staring off to the side. He couldn't remember turning his head, but there he was, thinking about those Azkaban numbers where they were tattooed on his skin, wondering if they were more of a curse than a dark mark. It might have been easier on his future if he had just helped Kosta in the first place.

It would have been even more murderous for his conscience, though. Or at least as terrible, he figured. He was happier to know he hadn't done anything himself, but the guilt? The likelihood that he could have stopped it but hadn't? God, he wished-

He couldn't even think it. Guilty or no, it wasn't his place to wish himself dead or imprisoned or anything else. It wasn't his place to wish that he had done differently when it was too late. All he had left was his future, and he wasn't about to waste it trying to argue his innocence when he knew he would fail.

His arm twitched. He couldn't apparate. He'd just end up splinching himself or worse.

Simon wasn't great at magic. He wasn't great at anything, actually. Unless you counted Quidditch. Which Simon wasn't sure he was supposed to, but he did anyway. And that meant that, even after three years, he hadn't given up his athletic nature. Running calmed him, let him think, and everything else.

So he chose to put his faith in the one thing he knew, and ran.
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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Robert Lupin on Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:11 am

Buggar. The aurors overreacted, and now we've got a runner, Robert thought. Now they couldn't overlook it. †The drunken lad had just made a bad situation worse.

One of the young aurors fired a petrificus totalus towards the lad, and Robert saw it strike a rat in the alley. The rat fell flat like a stone.

"Bloody brilliant, but I don't need a stinking rat!" Robert shouted, annoyed. "Go find a barn, aim and it, and see if you can it it broadside, would you? Lord!"

He apparated in a calculated move to the far end of the alley and decided to just wait for the boy. There really weren't that many other places to go. He'd be along in a moment, Robert figured, unless the lad became clearer thinking than he looked to be right now. Robert lowered his wand and stood motionless to avoid looking any more like a threat than necessary. He wasn't about to fire unless the boy made this whole thing cataclysmically bad. He didn't want this young man who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to end up deep in the hellish bowels of Azkaban for something stupid. Besides that, Robert still needed the bloody stopper for the potions bottle, and he hoped the little idiot still had it.

Frankly, Robert wanted this chain of foul ups ended, and it was more than apparent this two young recruits needed more training. He'd have Bishop's hide for this, he made a mental note. She should have known better than to send two greenhorns out partnered with each other. They were liable to kill each other out of clumsiness. If this were going to end with their suspect still alive, Robert was going to have to help, mostly to protect the young man they were trying to secure. †Besides that, the green goo was now burning his foot and it was starting to bleed. And it hurt like fire.

He was betting that the young man really had some brains about him when he was sober, but clearly he couldn't think enough to remember that apparating was faster than running. And Robert had even given him a head start. Robert was hoping to put just enough of a fright into him to get him to go straight and not make this into a lifelong residency with the dementors. He didn't think the lad would believe that Robert honestly was trying to help him, but maybe in the morning he'd be able to have a conversation with him. †He could keep the dementors from him tonight by making sure he was just put in a holding cell in Azkaban but not deep enough for the dementors to get access to him--for tonight, anyway.

He sighed heavily and just waited.

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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Simon Marek on Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:03 pm

Oh, bad. Really, really bad.

Simon was running, yes, but it was with something of a limp as the world blurred and spun around him. He heard the spell fire off, ducking ridiculously and nearly toppling forward. He heard it land somewhere, knocking into something that wasn't him, and looked over his shoulder as he turned a corner, only just missing the sharp point that the two walls made when they met.

When he turned around to look forward again, Simon had to skid to a stop, sliding across what was probably spilt alcohol as he gripped his wand in one hand and... whatever that thing was in his other. He didn't remember. The Minister was there again, and Simon really, really didn't want to get deported. He had someone he actually cared about now, and the timing just wasn't ideal in his opinion. Worse yet, he didn't want to have to sit there while someone asked him all those questions again. Interrogations weren't his scene, so to speak.

Although he managed to keep from falling on his backside or his face, Simon felt like he had done so anyway. This was actually the worst thing that had happened to him since he'd gotten out of Azkaban. Which, granted, to most wouldn't sound that surprising. But he worked for dangerous men, did stupidly risky jobs, and it was just a shock that nothing like this had happened before.

Maybe that apparition thing would be worth another attempt.

Simon was pretty sure he was going to throw up, and that in itself was distracting. So that seemed like a bad idea.

He lifted his wand anyway, though, trying to think of any way out. Actually, he wanted to send a message to Liv. She knew so many people. Maybe Millie would help? Probably not. It would have been totally helpful, of course, if he could actually produce a patronus. So there went that, too.

His hand didn't fall back to his side until he heard the footsteps behind him again, and he knew how incriminating it would look. Yeah. He was in for it.

They didn't even have to tell him. Simon's hands opened, dropping the wand and the stopper at once, and they clattered to the ground just before his gaze did.
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Re: An Abandoned Arrangement

Post by Robert Lupin on Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:36 pm

He saw that young man stop in front of him. Good choice. All he saw in the young face was anxiety--high anxiety, and he couldn't blame him. He had a right to be scared.

He heard the aurors dash down the alley towards them. They were shouting and threatening and causing far more of a fuss and more of a noise than Robert believed was in any way necessary. They came upon them and saw Robert stopped and their suspect stopped. And yet, the shouting and the threats continued. Robert looked at them and then at the young man and rolled his eyes, annoyed.

"Oh, shut it," Robert said, exasperated. "He's unarmed, and he's stopped." They stopped shouting but left their wands leveled at him. "Put those away, would you? If I'd wanted anyone to fire at him, I'd have already done that myself."

Robert went over and picked up the wand and when he went to pick up the stopper, he saw it was broken in about three pieces. Using wandless magic, he stretched out his hand over the pieces and fired a simple reparo spell to repair the stopper. He picked it up and put it in the bottle.

"We have to take him in for questioning, Minister," one of the aurors said.

"Indeed," Robert said. "But do wait til he sobers up before you do that. And be certain he has a chance to notify the contact of his choice prior to questioning. Let's be civil about this, shall we?"

"Right," one of them replied. "They can visit him in Azkaban."

"One moment," Robert said with a firm tone. "You will put him in a holding cell only. He does not need to be taken deeper into it than that. This is too minor an incident to just throw him to the dementors. Understood?"

"We'll find him the first available cell, Minister," one of them said. Robert caught the glint of eagerness in the auror's eye.

"I expect to find him unharmed later today. Buggar this up, and you won't get a license for a dustcloth," Robert said. "You understand me?"

"Yes, Minister," they sighed like schoolboys at him, drawing out their handcuffs.

"I'll see you later today," he told the young suspect. "When we're both feeling a bit more like ourselves."

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