The Problem With Green Goo

The Problem With Green Goo

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The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Robert Lupin on Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:57 am

Robert was doing his best to act controlled. The night staff at the emergency room appeared to be buying it, as far as he could tell.  He was sitting, propped up on pillows, on one of the gurneys in the emergency room, quietly filling out his own admission paperwork. Badly sleep deprived, he'd brought a paper cup of Earl Grey with him, purchased at an all night tea shop on the way here and had tossed another dose of energy potion into it. He had too much to do to sleep yet.  He'd gone through the motions of making himself look like he was all together, all business, in front of Ministry staff causing him to be stalled from getting here quite awhile before he probably should have done.

He had taken his black handkerchief, enlarged it, and had fashioned it into a sloppy half-assed ascot that, in the dark of the alleys, had alerted no one to the large bloody wound underneath. If the drunken young fool had been able to launch his intended sectumsempra, Robert knew he wouldn't be here now. Still, the thing was far more open and bleeding than he'd first believed it was. Frankly, even as significant as it was, he'd almost forgotten about it because there was a bigger issue at hand.

The odorless green goo that had eaten a hole in the top of his shoe and had caused the black leather to melt and fuse against his skin. The sock beneath had just disintegrated. It burned like hellfire. It preoccupied his attention almost completely. Unrelenting hot burning pain was a fierce distraction. He figured the sticky sensation was most likely either green goo or blood or both, but it wasn't going to be pleasant. However, he wasn't ready to lose his foot either. He was usually stoic and fairly good at not needing pain potion either, but he was about ready to cave, and they hadn't even done anything with it yet.

He had the bottle of green slimy goo potion in his pocket. He had worked hard to try to find bottles of junk like this, and although he was glad he'd taken the brunt of it than anyone else, it riled him that anyone had the audacity to try to imitate his own potions. This one took a very delicate balance to make it properly, and they'd missed it by a trifle. It was that tiny differential that had caused this to burn through just about anything but the lead crystal bottle it was housed in. He'd managed to come across this in Knockturn a few hours before.

A nurse came in with all intentions of removing his shoe, and he stopped her, still able to disguise things by being fairly cool and collected.

"Let's not muck with that, shall we, my dear?" he asked.  

"Sir, the healer will want to see..." she began. He cleared his throat to get her to actually look at him. She paused, looked at him, realized who he was and stood frozen.

"I'll talk to the healer myself when he or she arrives," he smiled, taking a sip of his tea.  "Thank you." He handed her the clipboard and the pen. "You'll find this is complete, I believe."

"Um...yes, sir," she said, a bit confused, backing out of the room.


Last edited by Robert Lupin on Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:09 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Michael Corner on Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:00 am

Michael hesitated by the nurses' station to get a look at Robert without the other man knowing about it. He looked like he'd been in a potions accident, with the main injury to his foot.

"He wouldn't let me remove his shoe," the girl in front of him said, startling Michael out of his thoughts. He hadn't thought he'd been so obvious.

"It's fine," he said over his shoulder as he entered the room Robert was waiting in.

Close up, he could see the other healer was much less relaxed than he appeared from outside, although Michael would need to know more before he ventured a diagnosis.

"Okay," he sighed, "do you want me to patch you up, or are you going to tell me the whole story?"

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Robert Lupin on Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:33 am

"Every potions maker has some little quirky bit about making potions that becomes sort of a tell," he told Corner, dedicating part of his attention to the tea for the energy potion in it, "or almost a personal signature to them, whether we try to or not. They become rather stylized.  Some git has been imitating my style and has been using it to create dangerously tainted potions. Some of them are in the illegals market already, but I'm trying to find whoever this is and stop them. I'd like to toss them in with the dementors for a century or three for this business. I'm by far not the only injury in this. Its still small scale, but its spreading.

"That's what I was doing tonight--trying to track down a lead I had that took me to Knockturn. I ran across a bloke who'd had too much firewhiskey and who also had apparently been trying to traffic one of these bottles for someone. I know my potions, though. The color on this one was off. I knew this one was a knockoff. Even the original tends to be acidic, but when this kid tried to drink this potion, I didn't think I had a choice. If he'd have succeeded, he'd have ended up changed into a little green puddle of ooze in a jar on a shelf in my lab until someone could find a way to change him back--if ever." He found himself restlessly shifting his foot, hoping to find a more comfortable position, but he doubted there was one.

"Long story short," he said, "some of the goo splashed on my shoe and is melting it and, apparently, my foot--which I'd really like to keep. I've got that bottle of slime with me, if you're interested in it. But, do be careful. The only thing I've found this crap doesn't dissolve is lead crystal. It might be tricky business.

"Oh, and by the way, before I leave, would you please fix his really lousy attempt at a sectumsempra? I don't know what he was aiming at, but he took a slash across my throat. Its fairly messy. I'd rather not face my wife with that and scare the bejeezus out of her if I can help it."

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Michael Corner on Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:12 am

Michael wasn't shocked by Robert's antics. He already thought the man took too much on, so this just cemented his opinion. He was a little surprised Robert had been so readily forthcoming about it, though.

He didn't reply immediately, just reached behind himself to ensure the door was properly closed and then folded his arms.

"It's true what they say, healers are the worst patients," he said. "We both know I'm not going to discharge you until tomorrow. I'll have someone send a message to Kate."

"I'm not one to pry, but it seems to me that the Minister for Magic has all sorts of people at his disposal for hunting down illegal potions traffickers. Aurors, hitwizards, probably even some people whose jobs are very secret indeed. And yet, I'm treating you instead of them."

"Is there a reason we can't at least ice your foot? I can see you sweating from here."
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Robert Lupin on Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:23 am

Even as badly as he hurt, Corner's remark made him smile. Kate had told him at least a million times how she never understood how he could be a decent healer and such a lousy patient. And, had the tables been turned, he'd have made exactly the same call as Corner was making by deciding to keep him. Uncharacteristically, Robert didn't have it in him at the moment to challenge Corner on it for a moment, despite all the things that were still on his list of things that all seemed to be a priority. He was glad Corner would send word to Kate. Kate would put, immediately, all the other emergency Ministry notifications and such were concerned. Kate was actually at her best in a crisis. This wouldn't throw her, he was sure. Not unless it got worse.

If Corner could even stop the pain for a bit, Robert believed he'd have had more resolve to object to admission, but Robert didn't intend to ask for pain potion. Some of them could cause drowsiness, and it wasn't something Robert could afford. Besides, it was, logically, not the first priority at hand. If the ice took even one degree of heat out of the fiery sensation in it, Robert knew it would be huge relief.

"You're right," he said. "I do have others, and they are on it. However, there is a young man who is alive tonight because he wasn't given the chance to confuse this with his whiskey. I don't regret that. Icing it is definitely a good choice."

Corner's suggestion of icing it, though, brought Robert back to a more immediate task--how could the goo be neutralized before it burned off his foot completely? He would have to somehow design an antidote for it.

"I have to unwind it, you know," he said quietly, after a moment of deep thought. "It'll just keep eating away unless we can find an antidote to neutralize it. How are you at potions? I should be able to figure out an educated guess as to how the original has been buggared. If we can reproduce it fairly closely, then we can work out the antidote. If I can work out the formulas, can you produce them? Its not like we don't have the equipment and ingredients here in the lab. I'm game if you are."

Well, so that meant a number of unstated conditions that he figured Corner knew were just necessary. More tea, more energy potion for as long as Robert needed it to remain lucid and focused. Paper--lots of paper, and a pen. Quick quotes quills perhaps if it got difficult. Robert's concessions were fairly simple. He'd promise to try not to act like a prat even if the pain got worse. He'd actually try to abide by Corner's directions if they allowed him to work towards the antidote. And, lastly, he would try to give Corner any additional information he might need, such as the increasing woozy sensation he was starting to notice. He guessed it was either his lack of sleep or due to whatever sort of a mess was under his completely ineptly tied ascot. Meh...that last item wasn't exactly on Robert's list of imperatives, though. Maybe he'd rethink that last concession item.

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Michael Corner on Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:09 am

There was something a little off about Robert tonight.  More off than usual, that is.  How was Michael at potions?  You didn't become a healer without passing an exam.

"I'm competent," he replied hesitantly.

The hesitation wasn't lack of confidence, it was the thought that had just come to him.  Terry had replicated Snape's potions for at least a year and it had always nagged at the back of Michael's mind that perhaps it had gone on for longer than that.  Perhaps he'd just missed the signs.

At that moment, a nurse entered with a tub of water.  Michael thanked him before trying to shoo him out as politely as possible.  Hopefully, he'd just put it down to Robert's dislike of fuss.

"Terry could do it," he said, suddenly brisk.

He levitated the water from the tub and let it form a bubble around Robert's foot, then cast a cooling charm on it just to be safe.  

"He's not going to sleep while I'm not there so he may as well make himself useful."
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Robert Lupin on Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:11 am

"Well, if you're good with it and Terry's good with it, so am I," Robert said. "Can we send someone up to my office? I've got a pocket sized potions journal there, and I'm sure it will suffice for our purposes. I'm sure my original potion formula is in there. It's a semi-regular concoction. Its just a pain in the butt because it has to be so bloody meticulous. Oh, and I'll need paper and a pen, too. You'll need my key to the potions lab downstairs. I changed the lock yesterday as a precaution, and the copies of the key aren't here yet."

He felt some relief immediately with the bubble of cool water around his foot. He was able to relax just a bit, and he was grateful for it.

"That does help," he said. "Thank you." He reached in his pocket and drew out a key ring. He took off 2 bronze colored keys and handed it to Corner. "One goes to the lab, and the other goes to my office. Oh, and thank you for letting me at least appear to be low maintenance, by the way. Staff isn't used to seeing me needing help to do things, and it does throw them when these sorts of things happen. I can understand that because I'm not used to it either. I will try to not make this difficult. I won't promise success at it, though. That remains to be seen," he said with a slight smile.

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Katherine Lupin on Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:38 pm

(kate would be willing to take some of the busy work off your hands if you like. i'm presuming staff would have sent word to Kate by now.)

Kate was used to these sorts of things in the wee hours. Robert never seemed to manage to get wounded in a sensible hour.  He was usually doing something he shouldn't have. There was no point in panicking. Calm and logical, she'd sent an owl to Eli, one to Michael, and another to Robert's secretary, Liz.  She had dressed quickly in trim jeans, a white crochetted pullover summer sweater and white canvas flats. She grabbed Robert's go bag, slung the strap on her shoulder and used the portkey to get her from the well protected Lupin home to St. Mungos.

The halls seemed relatively quiet at this hour, even in the emergency wing. She went to the desk and inquired about her husband. They pointed her to the room but told her the doctor was still with him.  Rather than interrupting, Kate went over and leaned back against the hall wall near the room door, well acquainted with hurrying up and then having to wait.
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Michael Corner on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:23 am

Michael was not exactly good with it, but he wouldn't have offered if he hadn't made his decision. What worried him more was that Terry would most likely agree simply because it was Michael's boss (although, technically, it was Terry's boss as well).

He nodded as Robert rattled off a list of the things he would require, but he was paying little attention.  He'd already decided the easiest way to get Robert to cooperate was by bribing him, so the only way the other man would get access to any of those things was by being good.

Smiling at that thought, Michael turned away and twisted his wedding ring off his finger to activate the protean charm on the engraving.

When he turned back, Robert was proffering the keys to the office and lab. As he took them, he returned the smile, though his was not for the same reason as Robert's. It was not exactly that the staff were unaccustomed to seeing him need help. They were just unused to seeing him accept it.

"It's not a problem," he replied.

He left the room and found Kate Lupin in the hall. Michael had hoped to have a little more time than this.

"You can see him now," he told her, probably unnecessarily.
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Katherine Lupin on Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:41 pm

"Thank you," Kate told the healer. She went in to find Robert with his foot in a water bubble.  

"What were you doing this time?" she asked him, putting his bag on the floor near the chair.

"I was going after this," he told her, showing her the potions bottle.

"Another imitation?" she asked.

"Indeed, but quite deadly. Very acidic," he said.  

"And you spilled some on your own foot," she sighed.

"You make it sound like I did it on purpose," he said.

"Did you?" she asked.

"No," he said. "Why would I do that? I am the Minister, after all. I see no logic in doing dumb things."

"You're a Gryffindor. Minister or not, you still do really dumb things--quite a lot, actually. You just work harder than average to cover that up," she told him bluntly.

"You're a Gryffindor too, remember."

"And that's how I know these things."

"This was an accident. I wanted to stop a young drunken idiot from drinking that stuff."

"Lovely," she said sarcastically. She fired a load of sarcasm his direction. "And, of course, you're the only one that can go out and get these potions. Obviously you can certainly find every one of them as fast as they're being produced in the illegals' labs. You've got no one else to work for you, no one else to take this on so your priorities can be on the things that they can't do, right?"

"Its not like that," he sighed. They didn't fight often, but he had learned that, in this relationship, Kate would fight to be heard.

"How is it like, then, precisely?" She drew her wand and tapped the bottle. "Reveal!" The potion in the bottle seemed to swirl and turn dark before turning green again. "Nothing like that, is it?" she was irritated. "You can't seem to manage to train your aurors to do a simple Reveal spell? And when did you start wearing an Ascot. You've never worn one in the 50+ years I've known you. Not once. Besides, that's a ridiculous looking knot."

"Leave it alone, Kate," he said, touchy about it. She had no intention of it. She undid the ascot and found the large wound across his throat.

"Oh, that's pretty," she sighed. She opened a cabinet and found a towel to put across it for now, taking away the ascot and pitching it.

"That was my best black silk handkerchief," he sighed.

"And now its trash," she said. "So--you're going to keep your foot and avoid bleeding to death, yes?"

"Hopefully," he said. She felt so much anger at him in that moment that she wasn't sure she wanted to stay and wait with him. She was thinking perhaps he needed to feel some of that anxiety for himself, by himself. Was he thinking of his family when he'd gone chasing this stuff? Was he thinking of her? Of their grandchildren? Or was it all about himself and his reputation or some other stupid reason? Right now, she was feeling fed up and angry. If he could decide to take these things on alone, without a thought to those he loved, then he could wait alone too--at least for the moment. Besides that, he'd scared her. She didn't want to spend her life without him, and certainly not for something moronic. She was hoping their golden years would flow gracefully--with all their limbs, preferably. She needed him to hear, very clearly, what she wasn't saying.

"You're angry," he said.

She wheeled around to avoid looking at him, trying not to let all the anger fly his direction. She was going to have to just not speak, or her angry words would fly. She knew this wasn't the time or place for it. She said nothing for a few beats before she replied.

"You've got your bag," she said quietly. "I sent owls to Michael, Eli, and Liz. I need to walk. I'll check in on you later." She kissed his forehead softly, not wanting to feel the anger at him that she so wanted to unleash on him. She left his room, but had no intention of leaving the hospital. There were a lot of places she could be right now, and with him was not one of them.  

She decided to go do something constructive. She loved working with birds of prey.  The owlery upstairs was someplace she could go and burn off some of her anger by doing some honest, hard work. If she could be helpful, then she wouldn't be far or difficult to find, either one.
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