The Problem With Green Goo - Page 2

The Problem With Green Goo

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Terry Boot-Corner on Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:43 am

Terry apparated almost on top of Michael.

"What is it?"

The question was hushed but urgent and he was already pulling Mike up against the wall. An inadequate shelter was better than no shelter at all.

"Oh Merlin," he never recalled Michael's initial response. It was the hand on his cheek that pulled him back.

"Terry, we're fine. Everything's fine."

He stared at Michael. Everything was fine. He finally paused to look around and yes, it did seem to be business as usual at St Mungos. Considering it was the emergency department.

"You almost burnt my finger off," he accused with a raised eyebrow.
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Michael Corner on Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:11 am

Michael sighed, trying to think of a way to explain that wouldn't get him in more trouble.

"Lupin's burnt a hole in his foot. Something about a copy-cat potion. I can't leave until we take care of it and we can't take care of it until we replicate the copy," he said. The rest was obvious.

"I guess I can't say no to that, can I?" Terry said.

Michael rolled his eyes. They both knew Terry had no intention of refusing. It was one of the hazards of falling in love with someone you'd been at school with, an ability to read them so well.

Michael still could not tell whether Terry's perfectionism was a product of his upbringing or so many years being overshadowed by "the brightest witch of her age." He'd always thought Hermione ought to be insulted at having the bar set so low simply because of her gender. He was always insulted when people assumed he couldn't understand polysyllabic words just because he'd won the genetic lottery.

"Come in then," he led the way back to the room. "He has a sample for you."
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Robert Lupin on Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:40 am

Merlin, this hurt! The benefit, at least for the moment, was that sleep was going elude him while it hurt like this or at least it looked that way for the moment.  However, while he could still get one brain cell to rub up against another to produce a thought, he had to work. There was no choice, as he saw it. He wasn't sure how long that would last without more energy potion, and his tea cup wasn't going to last forever.

He thought of his bag. He had a small zippered case that he sometimes carried in his coat pocket. It carried ten tiny test tube vials with one time doses of the most common potions.  A substitute for a first aid kit. He knew what was in there. Buggar. Nothing helpful for their cause tonight, he knew. No energy potion either. That vial was empty. He'd given it out to someone else and had neglected to refill it.

He thought of the cabinets in the his room, hoping that the original potion this junk was supposed to be might be there. There were a few potions here, but sometimes the standards ended up with a couple of non-traditionals amongst them.  He used wandless magic to open the doors for the three upper cabinets to peer into the cabinets from where he was. Granted, the view was limited.  Well, that was a waste of magic, wasn't it?

He frowned, disappointed. Oh, hey, as long as he was looking, was there an energy potion in there? He knew the bottles from a distance by their shapes and their stoppers. Yeah, scoreless again. It figured.  But why not? Why was it not here? It was one of the ones that was supposed to be here. Things not up to snuff bugged him far more than the fact that he wasn't going to get what he wanted. Not getting what he wanted was just a daily occurrence, just life. He sighed. Someone had probably simply pilfered potions that were supposed to be here, and he knew that it most likely had been his own staff. That was the disappointing part.

Before Robert had had a chance to close any of the cabinet doors, the room door opened, and Michael came back with a man with him. Terry, Robert presumed.

"Terry, I presume," Robert nodded. "Pleased to meet you. Michael says you're good with potions. Have a look at this. Just be careful though. Its very aggressive." He picked up the bottle and doubled checked the stopper--just old kneejerk habit for a man who had eight grandchildren--all under 6. Then he realized what he'd done. "Sorry. Habit," he said. He put it on the over bed table so that Terry could have it. "The authentic isn't quite such a vibrant neon green color. The difference is slight, but enough for me to notice. The original is one of the newer alternatives for dragon pox for those allergic to the plants in the standard potion."

He didn't figure he needed to tell Terry that deconstructing the phony potion was one thing, and then formulating an antidote for it was another. This might well take time, and that was also time for the stuff to keep eating his foot. The water bubble was slowing it down, and the cold was helping to reduce the pain. Even so, it was still ridiculously painful.

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Terry Boot-Corner on Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:34 am

Terry blinked. He was started to be addressed so familiarly by this stranger. Of course, Robert Lupin was no normal stranger. He was the Minister for Magic and Terry knew him perfectly well by sight. That only made it more surreal.

He sincerely doubted that Lupin was pleased to meet him; people rarely were. Terry didn't believe anyone actively disliked him, but he did know he wasn't charming enough for others to care about either way.

He didn't bother trying to put Lupin at ease while he inspected the tiny vial of potion.

"I'd have thought after the Green Itch you'd prefer vaccination," he said offhandedly.
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Robert Lupin on Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:14 pm

"Excellent question," Robert said to Terry. "We do have an oral vaccine. Wizards aren't keen on needles, so we don't use them. Despite how much we push and encourage vaccination, we still do see cases of it, so we still need to have the cure potions on hand."

"As to this business here," he said, "I can help, if you like, to a certain extent. When we reach the point where I'm more of a pain in the arse than a help, I certainly will step out, if I haven't before then, and let you work it out yourself. Whatever suits you best.

"I was hoping there would be a bottle of the original in the cabinets in here, but no such luck. If you want to see that for comparison, Michael has the key for the potions lab downstairs. The potions books are there too, but I have a pocket version that I can use for some of the calculations from here, if that's of any use. So," he looked at the younger potions maker, "where would you like to start?"

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Terry Boot-Corner on Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:34 am

It hadn't been a question. Terry understood now why Michael found it difficult to work with Lupin. The man was genial, perfectly nice, yet there was a constant condescending undertone to everything that came out of his mouth. Futhermore, Terry felt sure it wasn't intentional. Were you allowed to be irritated by that?

As Lupin mentioned a copy of the original potion in the cupboards, Michael turned from shutting them, looking sceptical. Terry had no idea what that was about, keeping a copy of such an important potion in each room seemed like a sensible idea to him.

"I think I'd like to have a look a the original first," he said.

That would get him out of this room, hopefully never to return. He was not looking forward to reading Lupin in on everything he was doing.
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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

Post by Robert Lupin on Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:41 pm

Robert did see Corner shutting the cabinets. He didn't think much about it. He cast a slightly amused look at Corner as if to say What? Surely you didn't expect different, did you?

Robert was honestly trying to act as he hoped his patients would act--or somewhere thereabouts. What interfered was that he had this crap on his brain that vexed him, things he needed to solve. First on his list was the damned goo eating his foot. Second was getting up and getting back to work. As long as these potions were out and about, people's lives were at stake.

He knew his own work better than anyone. He expected himself to, but it frustrated him that someone else was studying him closely enough to see even the most minute details of his potion making. That was unnerving.

He wasn't afraid for himself, but it did make him wonder if someone were perhaps aiming to strike out at him through others, whether it was just the public in general or whether they would strike out at his loved ones. He wasn't about to do nothing. Corner's earlier suggestions of being reasonable about it aligned with Kate's feelings. Robert honestly didn't know how to live with himself if he did that.

Corner didn't need to know where that came from for Robert, but the wound ran deep and long, and it was in the very foundation of what had formed the making of the somewhat enigmatic man he'd become.

He'd pushed the memory away repeatedly, deeply, since he'd been a small boy. Remus had been just four. Robert had been only five. They'd shared the same bedroom. Robert had been awakened by the sound of someone coming in through the window. Terrified, he'd scrambled under the bed and he'd hid back against the wall.

In the moonlight, he watched the horrid creature come through the window, make a sweeping scan of the room and then land his sights on Robert's bed. He'd thrown back the covers and hadn't found him. He'd spun around and saw Remus still asleep and unaware. Frozen in utter terror, Robert saw the monster open its jaws, saw its huge claws reach for Remus. At that instant Remus had awakened and had started screaming.

The hideous screams of his brother's horror and anguish had brought Dad, but not before the creature had bitten Remus, changing everything forever. Robert remembered his father driving off Greyback, remembered his mother racing in and panicking over the life altering wounds on her youngest son. So preoccupied with Remus were they that neither of his parents had given thought to where their other small boy even was.

Robert didn't actually know how much time had passed, but he remembered it had gone from night to just before sunrise when his father found him under his bed. He'd pulled Robert out, chiding him harshly for frightening his parents so by disappearing for so long. They'd never asked him if he was alright. They'd never hugged him and reassured him. What they had done was to tell him, sharply, to 'sit on that bed and think about what [he'd] done.' The boy had thought that what he'd done, not making the monster go away, was the mistake. Robert's mistake was never spoken of again.

As a father and a grandfather, Robert could now understand that fear that caused a parent to react in anger at that sort of fear. The boy he'd been didn't understand it. The boy grieved at the loss of who his brother had been before because the wound so changed him and grieved at the distance he had now with his parents, largely on his own part because of the weight of the new responsibility he had, with no clue how to carry it out. The boy had never ever let go of the feeling that he'd failed, that he'd been responsible to do something to protect his brother, that all the suffering his whole family were destined to go through would always be something they would blame him for.

He'd never talked about it, not ever. He'd had decided somewhere while Remus was still recovering from the bite wound, that he would never let that happen to anyone he loved again. By the time he'd entered Hogwarts, Robert was a closed boy, afraid of little, quiet, blunt, sarcastic, outwardly logical and analytical. His father had expected him fully to be a Ravenclaw because he was always learning something. He was interested in anything that, for him, connected with life--plants, biology, healing, etc. "That bloody dumb hat," he'd thought, had buggared it and made him a Gryffindor, and his parents hadn't understood why either.

And so, here he was, decades older, the boy long gone, so far as he knew. Corner was right, of course, that there were others that could and should be doing the hunt for tainted potions, and in fact, there were a few. It didn't negate Robert's own drive to resolve it for himself. He was fully prepared for Corner to not understand him, and he was equally prepared for whoever decided not to like him to go ahead and do so. It complicated his life less when someone distanced themselves.

What he didn't deal with well was anyone getting too close except for those to whom he'd give that right, which were few and far between. If Corner decided he were put off by Robert's choices, then, well, that would work out well for Robert, wouldn't it? No prying would be involved.

Actually, all Robert had to do was weather this out because, in reality, Robert didn't have a regular healer of his own. He hadn't had a regular healer for himself since he'd boarded the train for Hogwarts. He normally attempted to either deal with it himself, get a friend to help him, or settle for whoever was on duty at St Mungos at the time. It made for cursory relationships, and he was fine with that. He didn't expect this time to be any different. He didn't expect that Corner would want to be involved any more than anyone else had. Even Terry appeared to be getting into that uncomfortable mood that was remedied by a bit of distancing.

"I'll leave you to it, then," Robert said to Terry, wanting to let him off the hook as soon as possible. "Its the second door on the left in the sub basement. You'll need the password too, in addition to the key. Today's password is Fluxweed. Good luck."

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Re: The Problem With Green Goo

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