Convergence of Circumstance

Convergence of Circumstance

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Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Jack Dyllan on Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:57 am

Jack had promised they would go to the new magical park because, as Sunny kept asserting, it would be helpful for Goose to meet incoming first years and make friends now. Goose was not as assertive in the matter, and the elder redhead suspected Goose was unwillingly to get his hopes up too soon – ten years old and already too practical for his own good. But the work had begun. More vegetables, less macaroni and cheese, and he was running with her now. He was trying to be casual about the whole deal, but she could practically see the internal clock on his forehead.

Even amid all of the demands that they leave now, the scrambling for shoes and sunhats, Jack felt weirdly at peace. A lot had changed since Max left and, for a little bit there, things had looked pretty bleak. But she and Albus had reconciled, and she and Ariel Greyback had found a middle ground that pointed to a potential positive friendship. And her own expressed revelations had left her feeling freer than she had felt in years.

So despite all the craziness, Jack had a patient look on her face, humming in her throat, as she turned back and forth, seemingly incapable of finding her own shoes. She finally hooked her shoes and began to cram her feet in them when suddenly there was a knock.

Assuming that Viviana had forgotten her keys or something, Jack stumbled towards the door and pulled it open, gripping the doorframe as she pulled on her left shoe. “Sorry, Viv, we’re running out. You know where the spare is, there’s some leftover Indian food in the fridge-“ She straightened up and came eye to eye with, not Viv, but someone much more surprising.

“Dad?”

Gregory Dyllan stood almost bashfully on her doorstep. “Jaquellene-“

“It’s Jack, dad.”

“Right. How are you?” Sunny was calling her name and Jack was giving her father a dumbfounded look.  She shook her head and he sighed. “I need to talk to you. I think I need a place to stay.”

Jack’s mouth tipped open. “You’re kidding me.” He gave her an apologetic shrug and she shook her ahead again. “Okay, look, I’m at the mercy of two diabolic children right now, so you can come in and grab a beer, and I’ll be back later and we can talk, or whatever.”

It was with that weirdness looming over her that Jack entered the new park, flanked by Goose and Sunny. She had taken up residence at a bench and was penning a letter addressed to said Potter, quickly adding the strange run in with her father who was now… waiting around in her house… her magical house… apparently?

@Michael Tremaine

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Michael Tremaine on Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:14 pm

Michael was starting to find that not only could his boys be a bit more fun than they were when they were tiny, but he also had to run faster to keep up with them. Robert said they really weren't functioning as 18 month olds. Well, didn't that make sense that their new favorite word to everything was "No!" He had said they were starting their terrible 2's about six months early.  Fabulous.  Robert had attributed it to the very active furniture that loved to interact with the boys--especially Snidely.  Snidely was starting to develop into a somewhat competent helper--when he wasn't training the boys to pickpocket.  For Michael, the scary thing was that the boys were better at pickpocketing than building with blocks or some of the other things that any sane two year old could do. His? They could steal things already.  

Michael had plans to take them out today. He couldn't keep them in the house forever, first. And, second, and more important, he couldn't stay in the house forever either. How hard could an outing to the park be, after all? He had packed a bag for them last night. He had managed to find a diaper bag that looked a lot like the messenger bags Robert favored.  He just couldn't bring himself to carry the foo-foo bags that young women seemed to like. He had several changes of clothes, an enormous supply of diapers, although potty training had indeed begun. He'd added an abundance of snacks.  

They were stubborn little buggars. If it wasn't a finger food or if it wasn't a drink in a sippy cup, they weren't eating it--period.  But, it almost didn't matter what it was if it was something they could pick up. Michael had unknowingly, already given them a wide palate b/c he had such a wide and sophisticated palate of his own.  He simply had gotten tired of all those little jars of mush and had cut his own food into sticks and given it to them. They immediately ditched the mush, and not only were they happier but so was Michael.

So, breakfast for the boys had been french toast sticks that he'd spread with a bit of peanut butter and an ever so small trifling of strawberry jam. he still preferred treacle syrup on his own french toast. There was no way in hell he was giving them treacle syrup yet. That just had disaster written all over it.

The lunch he had packed consisted of some wraps made with cold duck a l orange and some room temperature brie he'd added , a container of fresh berries, some little crunchy fish shaped crackers, and little tiny shortbread crackers he'd actually made.  He'd added some things for himself. A container of some spring rolls, an asian salad, and a container of iced tea.  He'd also added some crisp fresh pears that he could just slice for himself or the boys for a treat.

That sounded all well and good, but the boys had needed washed up and changed after the peanut butter and jam, and he'd given the task to Snidely who was amazingly fast at catching a boy on the run and wiping him off while they were still dashing through the house, and then going after the other one.  He was giving serious thought at taking the hat rack with him. The problem was that the hat rack still had a crush on the mailbox and didn't want to leave home.

How hard could this be, after all? He got out the stroller and loaded the boys into it and shouldered the diaper bag and took it to the park.

Oh, lord, he thought, as he started though the park. What was it about a man with a stroller that brings every old biddy out to coo and make ridiculous noises at the babies and then batt her eyes at him?  If he'd wanted a date with the granny brigade, this apparently was the place to do it, and he had the perfect bait. The boys were, they said, adorable. He had thought so but he also was very biased.  Their blond hair and sapphire blue eyes was a draw, but the fact that it was impossible to tell one from the other was also a magnet. He had a far better understanding now of what Molly and Arthur had gone through with Fred and George. He seriously had debated on renewing his friendship with them. He had no doubt Molly and Arthur would relish the idea of seeing the boys.

Hey, wait....who was that? He was distracted out of his own thoughts by seeing a friendly face. Jack. Lord, wasn't she a port in the storm? If he could take up part of her park bench, perhaps the old ladies with their chihuahuas would leave him alone.

"Hey," he called to her, "mind if we cut in and join you? I need some shelter from the granny brigade."

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Jack Dyllan on Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:31 pm

Jack, always aware of her surroundings, could feel the approach of someone before they entered her bubble, and she looked up, spotting the very familiar Michael Tremaine... with the very unfamiliar company of two toddling little boys. Jack blinked - was this the day of the older men in her life giving her surprises? Was it some sort of eccentric, obscure holiday that she had somehow missed? Damn, she needed to check her calendar. Damn, she needed to invest in a calendar.

"Michael," she said by way of greeting. She really was happy to see him; the little interactions they had at work were far and few between, as Unspeakables were a pretty independent crew. But she had never seen him with kids, never heard anything about it. "Who are these guys?"

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Michael Tremaine on Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:55 pm

"Remember the marriage law and all the trouble it made? Well, these are my two little troublemakers that came out of it. Its a long story, but I'm apparently going to spend my golden years being a single dad. Trust me, this was never in my plans for a nanosecond. This is Scott," he gesture to one, "And this is Craig. Or vice versa. Wait." He looked at a tiny tattoo on the inside of the wrist of one of them. "Ah ha. Yes. This is Scott. That one is Craig. Robert was kind enough to give them each a tiny magical rune tat so we could tell who was who. They're actually 18 months, but they think they're 2."

He went to sit down on the bench, and Scott and Craig immediately began to fuss and get cranky, already bored because the stroller was no longer in motion. Michael sighed.

He got up and got a large brightly colored, handmade bohemian print activity quilt out of the bag and spread it out on the ground. It had lots of pockets and things tucked into each pocket.

"Courtesy of Solstice Cane," Michael explained. "I rather like her, but she spoils the boys every time I go to her shop. They like to pick her apron pockets, so she thought they needed something to keep them busy. It certainly does that. " He got the boys out of the stroller and put them out on the blanket. They immediately started filching whatever was in the pockets out of the pockets with sharp focus and excitement. With every pocket picked, they'd gleefully chant, "Mine!"

"I honestly did not teach them to do that," Michael said. "I was hoping they'd go straight, but its not looking so good for either of them. I didn't realize your household had gotten so busy either. Who is that you've got with you?"

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Jack Dyllan on Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:36 pm

Jack forgot that some people actually fully submitted to that law, having applied her own tendency to refuse to be obedient to the general populace. However, Jack supposed Michael would go along with it if only to see the effects from the inside. But bringing kids into the picture under an obviously corrupt law seemed insane to her.

Still, she was catching up to this new reality and being introduced to the side effects of the law - she could see Michael in the boys already.

Goose and Sunny had noticed Jack's company, and it was Sunny who first began to wander over, stopping to insist Goose join her, if only to be polite. He rolled his eyes but agreed, and Jack saw their approach.

Right.

They arrived as Michael smoothed out the quilt and Jack grinned - just what Michael needed, two more instigators in his home.

Right. Her own instigators.

"Oh, this is-"

"Sunny Dyllan," Sunny announced, pushing a hand out. "Jack's my aunt, and my legal guardian, as well as Goose's. Oh, yes, this is Goose."

"I'm Goose," the boy said, obviously used to this routine.

Jack turned to Michael. "Yeah, things have been crazy."

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Michael Tremaine on Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:17 pm

"I'm Michael. Nice to meet you both," Michael said to them. "Jack and I have known each other..." he couldn't remember how long now, "well, a long time anyway, and we work together at the Ministry. Those two are my sons, Scott and Craig. You'll have to have Jack bring you around to my house. I'm literally just a few steps to Honeydukes. That is, if you think you're brave enough to deal with my enchanted furniture...."

Michael saw something move from under the stroller. he looked down to see that he had had a stowaway. Hiss was slithering out from under the stroller. The rope rose up briefly as if it were looking at Jack and the kids. Then it slithered off towards the babies. Michael saw that one of them had decided to leave the blanket and head off into the grass.

Michael sighed. Hiss apparently had it under control, though. Hiss simply took the red plastic key from the little boy's hand and took it back to the blanket and shoved it in one of the pockets. The tot giggled and dashed back to the blanket.

"My stowaway there is Hiss," Michael said. "He plays a mean game of hide and seek if you're ever interested."

He looked back towards Jack. "The boys will be two this Christmas. Wherever Maddie is, she's certainly missing out. Ah well, I'm a divorced man now and she's got no right to them at all, which is for the best, I suppose. Who'd have ever figured we'd ever be sitting here with broods of our own? Aside from work, is life treating you well? Are you happy?"


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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Jack Dyllan on Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:28 pm

Sunny nodded. "Nice to meet you Michael. Goose."

"You said I was supposed to be meeting people my own age," Goose snarked back. While Sunny's mouth tipped open, not used to insubordinance from her second-in-command Goose turned to Michael. "Good to meet you, Michael, and your sons."

"We can brave enchanted furniture," Sunny piped in. "Mongo the ottoman eats our socks all the time."

"I got Mongo from Michael," Jack said. "He was from a surprise litter."

Sunny and Goose oohhh-ed, a family mysterious suddenly and casually solved, just like that. Sunny had predicted that the happiness of the home had somehow animated the ottoman, whilst Goose assumed it was an experiment gone wrong. But apparently, these things were bred.

"Sorry to hear you're doing it alone," Jack said. "I had some help for awhile but..."

She glanced to Sunny, whose face had suddenly become a little tragic. But the little redhead screwed up a brave smile and said, "but Max will be back someday." She smiled and nodded, glancing at Goose was not meeting her gaze, hiding his doubt. "And if not, that's okay too."

Fortunately, it was at that moment that another child had wandered over and asked if either wanted to play Aurors and Death Eaters, and Sunny decided it was a good distraction, grabbing Goose and pulling him along with her. Jack knew the little girl had a bond with Max that might have even been more profound than her own, and it seemed only right that there be some sort of reunion. She wondered how possible it would be to send Sunny to him for awhile. She couldn't wrap her head around seeing him herself, but she was certain that it would do the little girl some good.

Michael asked how she had been and she blew out a long breath. The thought of the two of them with their own little families was a strange thought in itself, but happiness was an even more elusive concept. On one hand there was the resolutions she had found with Ariel and Albus, but then there was Max and her father, apparently, on the other side, with all of that confusion.

"I..."

Her face suddenly cleared and she sat up straighter.

"I see something."

Yes, drifting over the fence and tearing through the playground was a very distinguishable shape. Two, actually. Silvery white. She stood.

"Patronuses from the Ministry."

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Michael Tremaine on Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:53 pm

Michael was listening to Jack and saw the patronuses at the same time she had.

"That's not good," he said. "We can't take them with us." He hit the red stone on the small tie tack he'd put on his collar. "I've got to ditch mine. You can send yours with mine if you're good with it."

He waited and in a moment, Marcus and Angus ported in, their wands drawn. They looked around, expecting to fight, but saw nothing--except the patronus.

"Take the boys," Michael said. "I've gotta go."

"Pack!" Marcus fired a spell at the diaper bag, and the quilt rolled the babies onto the ground and slipped into the bag, and that slipped into the back pocket of the strolled. Angus was picking up the babies and plopping them unceremoniously into the stroller.

"Secure!" Angus fired a spell at the stroller, and the buckles fastened to secure the boys.

"Jack, if you want, we'll take yours to Khaat's until you can get back," Marcus said hastily. "They'll be safe there."

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Jack Dyllan on Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:12 pm

And, like that, they were in motion. "Sunny. Goose." Her voice was calm, assertive. Loud. They turned to look at her and immediately dropped the sand toys they had turned into makeshift wands, giving their new friend a good bye and scurrying over to her.

Michael immediately had Marcus and Angus with him and they were prepared to take her two as well, which was great. She pulled them to her and quickly explained, "I've got to go, but you guys can go with my friends here-"

"Lise was supposed to come over today," Goose reminded her. "Her brother had an appointment."

"And Viv won't be around tonight!"

Jack cursed and that's when her solution dawned on her. With a long groan, she ripped the bottom of her letter up and quickly scrawled out a few words.

Marcus spoke and with a sigh, Jack handed him the note. "Actually, could you take them home for me? My dad's there."

Well, this day was getting weirder.

"Sunny, Goose, behave. That's my dad, and he's a muggle, and I think his brain is broken. Don't break him more." Goose sighed in agreement, but Sunny nodded affirmatively, having already met her grandfather.

She turned to Michael. "Shall we?"

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Re: Convergence of Circumstance

Post by Michael Tremaine on Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:21 pm

"Of course," Marcus said. "Come on, Guys. I'll take you home." He reached for their hands. Angus clutched tightly to the stroller.

"Thank..." Michael began. He saw a figure in amongst the granny brigade. "What the f...." he began to curse angrily but cut himself off as he watched the figure disappear. "There's no way in hell..." He shook his head, trying to clear away the new alarm bells that rang in his head, as if the patronuses weren't bad enough. This was a new sorta hell, if he'd actually seen it, and he had a sinking feeling the figure and the patronuses had to be connected.

"We'd better go," he told Jack, making a mental note to come back, but already knowing he'd find nothing. He had to warn Robert and Kate if what he'd just seen was true.

(ooc: i presume we're joining the train thread now?)

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