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There's no way I'm qualified for this

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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Kenna McBain on Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:24 am

Kenna had been given very clear, and very contradictory, directions from Jack and Kip. One of them wanted a quiet, subtle audit that barely scratched the surface so she could write up a generalized overview of transportation back. The other (guess which one) wanted Kenna to ask him questions he certainly had no answers to, as a way to reveal how little had been done on the Ministry's part to investigate the matter. Kenna had finally snapped at them both and demanded they come to a compromise before involving her, in the hopes of derailing them completely. They were both, however, too stubborn to be out-stubborned. And so off she went with her forms.

She wrote quickly, following along with him with the practiced ease of a woman used to having fifteen separate orders in her head at a time. As she finished off the last note, her fingers danced across another form, pulling it towards her. She lifted her quill and tilted her chin, reading quickly before pausing. Merlin. "So, um..." She lifted her gaze. "There's no consensus, then, on what happened to the train? Or whether or not it can be used again?"
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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Keiran Hayes on Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:45 pm

"Oh, no," he said quickly, waving a hand in a contradictory gesture. "We know who took the train. It's not a matter of stopping it happening again, now, but rather about parents and students believing it's safe. I'm avoiding the conflict this year," Keiran admitted, figuring it made sense. "But if we wait too long, no one will trust it later and we'll have to keep on with this mess of options and routes."

Sighing, he dropped one arm over the desk and leaned into the back of his chair. He knew that overthinking was one of his flaws, but in this case he felt it might actually be a positive. Go figure.

"I'd like to bring back the train next fall, without having to include these other options. But to do so, time needs to have passed in which we can have experts making it as safe as possible. I've asked a few people to look into it already, but nobody will think it's safe enough until a whole panel have. So that's what my summer looks like, at this point."

He shook his head at that. Hardly the most exciting or fun summer plans he'd ever had - kids included or otherwise. But he was in the position he'd always wanted, and he didn't think he could stomach another stain on his resume. Not as Headmaster, at the least.

Keiran brought his gaze back to Kenna, wondering if she would know what to keep off the record and what not to worry about. He paused longer than he should have, though, so perhaps she would understand. But, then again, it wasn't like he had many rights in this instance. So what did it matter? A bit of embarrassing concern could only really help his case, he figured.

"I've never wanted to be anything but this. The Headmaster of Hogwarts: the greatest Wizarding school in the world - at least, until I got here anyway. I'm not sure what people believe about it anymore. And I may not improve it but I don't wish to tarnish it. So I have no problem spending my vacation on something like this."

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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Kenna McBain on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:32 am

Kenna pursed her lips. Jack hadn't acted like she was in the know about a perpetrator. Perhaps that was on purpose - Kenna had seen just how angry Jack was, and she doubted there would be much of a trial for the fellow's punishment if she got her hands on a name. Her mind flicked to Kip and she was once again reminded of how very much of an iceberg her close friend was. So many times she would look at him and be shaken to see what looked like a stranger gazing out the window. There was a lot more to Kip Parsons than he would ever let on, no matter how hard she or Jack or anyone worked to uncover it. And that worried her.

And annoyed her. Had she been sent for information he already had? Was she here just to shut up a particularly outspoken redhead?

"I know Ilvermorny was somehow involved, but who exactly is behind it? Did they take credit, or has there been a consensus, or..."

She didn't even know how to ask. Merlin, this was such a big deal and she was just a barmaid.

But she had been asked for a reason, so she pushed her glasses back up her nose and adjusted her quill.

Keiran paused and suddenly broke from the line of questioning, and the honesty made Kenna relax - so unlike Kip in this way, it seemed. It was a frankness and an openness that she was constantly pleading for with her friends to no avail, and here Keiran offered it when she was (for once) asking for the facts and facts alone. It endeared her even more to the tired man for whom she had attached a fondness to, and made her feel much more at ease and supported.

"I don't think anyone could claim you're tarnishing anything," she said. And for good measure, "And if anyone tries, you send them my way. I may be a fake lawyer but even I could defend your case, no problem." She grinned, before her lips drooped a bit with friendly concern. "And while proving them all wrong is noble and all, don't forget to give yourself a bit of a vacation. Even if it's just a few nights catching a drink with mates, or listening to the game with a free round over at mine, make sure you keep your brain from getting so tightly wound you snap. Right?" Her eyebrow quirked, demanding agreement to her terms.
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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Keiran Hayes on Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:21 pm

Keiran frowned slightly at her question. He'd expected it, of course, but giving the answer made him uncomfortable. It wasn't Kenna's fault. They'd managed to keep it from the public after the school year started and distractions pulled people from their questioning and paranoia. If the information went public, then his friends at the Ministry could be in more trouble than they deserved.

So he cleared his throat, shifting in an almost uncharacteristic show of awkwardness. "The Headmistress and Deputy Headmaster of Ilvermorny... Well, they had certain priorities beyond teaching their students. Gwen, the Headmistress," he said, hesitating slightly, "is related to Robert Lupin. And it would be safe to say she holds a grudge against him. So she used the exchange program initiated by the former Headmaster here to hold the students and learn about Hogwarts. As far as I understand it from talking to those who were there, that is."

An uncomfortable shiver ran along his spine. "And she figured that the train would be a particularly effective portkey. Unfortunately, she was right. I'd like to ward it, of course, but also keep the train in different, unusual locations. Depending on how difficult it is, I've also considered transfiguring it into something much smaller and keeping it locked away completely in order to avoid anyone getting their hands on it. But I'm not sure that it can be pulled off."

Keiran wasn't entirely sure, but he thought he saw Kenna's shoulders relax as he half changed the subject. Maybe he just wanted to see it, so he did. Either way, he realized belatedly that it sounded as though he wanted to be corrected. And, if that had been his goal, he wouldn't have been disappointed.

An eyebrow lifted, but curiously as opposed to sardonically. Plus, she might have caught a hint of the surprised, even minutely visible hope behind his eyes that she might be right. It certainly didn't feel that way.

Still, her claims brought a reluctant, sort of sideways smile to his face. But he ran his tongue along a couple of his top teeth as he reeled it back in. It sounded, at least to the ears of a recently disappointed man, like she was countering his earlier assumption. Because it sounded like that was supposed to be an invitation as opposed to a suggestion. And that was unexpected.

Keiran studied her for a moment, bemusement dropping his chin until he was looking at the arm he'd dropped across the desk towards her. "Right," he agreed gently, before nodding and looking up again. But things were now too weirdly intimate for the circumstances, and he wanted to move on. Given his discomfort, though, he may not have gone about it the right way.

"You needn't worry about me, love. I've made it through far worse than a busy or stressful summer."

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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Kenna McBain on Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:09 am

Kenna felt strange writing out his answer, certain that her more reluctant patron knew the answer whilst the other was certain to be blind sighted. The revelation that she had been kept in the dark was certain to rock Jack’s world, and Kenna wasn’t sure she wanted to be in the place of messenger; no, she knew she didn’t want to be the messenger. This was already horrible enough, and that was with Keiran trying to be graceful. Grace was far from Jack’s strong suit.

She, of course, would later ponder the information she had heard and form an opinion. It was what she did. While Rory and Remy argued loudly, she stayed back. It was why she felt such a kindship with the more quiet Kip and Yuri, but even they could be tempted into the arguments and discussion. She never felt like she had enough to say, and could hardly say it half as eloquently as any of them. Later, realizations would hit her, counterarguments that would have surely shut down the fight, but it was always too late, and it never seemed quite so important.

Unlike Rory and Remy, Keiran’s horde of information had a few practically solutions, and he already seemed to have thought them out. Kenna knew what it was like to feel responsible over people, even when they were out of sight. Every patron who walked out her doors with alcohol in their system was a worried thought in her head, worried they might make a choice that was irreversible. But these were adults, who had to own the consequences of their actions for themselves. She couldn’t imagine feeling responsible for an entire society’s children.

He almost smiled, and he almost held her gaze, but at least he agreed – in a roundabout way. Considering her station in life (something she didn’t let define her, yet somehow always struck her) she had no right to make any demands of him, no matter how well intentioned. But the Headmaster took her advice. And she’d be sure to watch.

“Can’t tell me what to do,” she said, in an offhand, sing-songy voice as she dropped her gaze to look through the papers. She glanced up with a smirk before sliding over the forms she had filled out. “Want to read those over? If you initial at the bottom, it means I didn’t write anything out of context. It’s not something to hold you to it, but to make sure I didn’t doctor these or misrepresent you. Once you sign, I can’t write anything else on it.”
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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Keiran Hayes on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:43 am

Her quip was something of the sort that Melissa would've once done - and it would've riled him up royally because it would've felt mocking. He'd never gotten over her affair or the way she'd told him. He'd been toyed with quite harshly, and then every jest had seemed like a cruel reminder. It was yet another reason why they had failed miserably. Although he'd wanted to move on, it was the manner and the lack of reasoning that set him off so badly.

From Kenna, it just felt friendly. Kind, even, given the circumstances. She was - whether she knew it or not - giving him the right to be more relaxed and casual.

He was surprised, though, to learn that they were all but finished with the inquiry. Given he'd sent his kids off with Frank for 'a couple hours,' he almost felt bad about not just leaving them to play across the room. Stranger yet, as he looked down at the paperwork, he almost hesitated. Keiran quite liked Kenna, despite their setback of sorts, and he so rarely spent time with people who lived outside of the walls of the school.

In truth, he didn't really want the meeting to be over, because inevitably she would have to take this paperwork back right away. She would leave, and then he would hear from whomever about the matter and be frustrated again.

So although he picked up his quill without more than a moment of thought on the matter, Keiran met her gaze briefly before focusing in on her work. Weirdly, he noticed her handwriting style first, but he felt like she was watching him, even if she might not have been. Lawyers must have used that tactic quite often, he supposed, distracting him yet again. It made him want to read through faster, but she had written it down as close to word-for-word as he could recall, so it didn't take a particularly long time for him to get through it and jot down his initials as was required.

When he looked up again, he wished he'd just signed it without bothering. He trusted her, somehow. He'd known before looking that it would be right, but it was an important matter. He knew full well it wouldn't have looked good if he hadn't read it over. But he leaned forward, passing the signed paperwork back to her.

Now what? His eyebrows inched a little towards each other.

"I suppose you're off to take those back, then," he said, figuring she'd either take it as her escape route or an opportunity to say anything else she needed to. Because really, what could he hope for here? Why was he hoping for anything? Uncertainty coiled tightly around his stomach after he settled back in his chair again. She had no reason to stay, and he had no reason to expect that she might want to.

What in the bloody hell was wrong with him?

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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Kenna McBain on Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:32 am

She tried to look away as he reviewed the papers, tried to busy herself despite the fact that she had nothing to properly distract herself with, besides the Headmaster. It felt pushy, to watch him, so she turned in her seat and lifted her arm to the back of the chair before resting her cheek against her knuckles, eyes slowly travelling across the quarters the Headmaster had taken on as a home away from home. Everywhere she saw a sign of domestic comfort, she saw twice as many workplace reminders to keep him from truly sinking into relaxation. It struck her as her lips quirked at the sight of Tupperware poking out from a cabinet that it might be more intrusive to take advantage of the time by looking at his home than it was to watch him sign the papers. She lifted her head, straightening up, and drew in a breath, blinking as though she had just caught herself nodding off.

She turned back in time for him to slide the form back to her and she gave him a large smile, perhaps a bit too large, recovering from the awkwardness she had felt at inspecting him place. Her hand fell lightly on the paper and tugged it towards her, turning it around so she could confirm he had signed in the proper place. “Perfect. Thank you.” She opened up one of her files and began to collect the papers, carefully tucking them away. She had brought plenty of other paperwork if he had been uncertain of her qualifications, all at the behest of Kip, but Keiran was apparently more compliant than her friend had assumed. Or perhaps he had just underestimated the accord she already had with the Headmaster.

His words drew her to a pause once more, lips pursing in thought as it truly hit her. And without even thinking, she said, “Oh, Merlin, you even found a babysitter. I’m sorry, I had no idea it’d go so quickly. As you might imagine, this isn’t exactly routine for me.” She gestured a bit exasperatedly at her box of files, before dropping her hand heavily onto it, lips turning downward glumly. “It’s a horribly obnoxious inconvenience.” And with that redheaded, Scottish fire flickering within her, she shifted, elbow landing on the desk as she pointed at him. “I’m gonna tell them that, too. You watch.”

Right, pointing. Impolite. She folded her fingers into a fist and slowly lowered it to the desk. “Really, though, I’m sorry. I feel awful that you sent your kids out for the night and everything.” She offered a small smile. “They’re beautiful, by the way.”
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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Keiran Hayes on Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:28 pm

Keiran tilted his head, a bit of a grimace pulling at his features. "I don't know if you'd count Frank as a babysitter. He's really quite a child himself, to be fair. But the kids love him, so he can't be too much of a nightmare, I guess."

The saddened look on her face made him uncomfortable, though he wasn't entirely sure why. She wasn't wrong. He just didn't know how he could change that expression. Or how to stop his own disgruntled sigh of agreement. But a smirk flickered at her solution for it. It may well have been said in jest, but he appreciated her ability to turn it into something worth joking about.

So he lifted a hand in a sort of dismissive gesture. But she went on and an almost embarrassed, albeit proud, smile broke out on his face. "They're probably happier that way, anyway. When they're on the grounds, they're pretty restricted to these rooms. It's not that I don't appreciate my staff or anything, but I'm not prepared to leave my children with them when they have so many other students to look after at a moment's notice. At least for me, only the dire situations are brought up to interrupt my time with them."

Realizing he'd inadvertently included her in that, he leapt for a slight change of topic. "The, uh- the twins look more like their mum, aside from the eyes." Why in the hell was he on about Millie? Stop. "The youngest, Darcie? She's the one with the darker hair."

Alright, fine. Don't stop, then. His hand reached up unconsciously, threading through his similarly-toned hair. "The older two are called Liam and Kelly." The left side of his mouth pulled up a bit more. And then he found himself letting out a surprise chuckle, which he of course had to then explain. "They- well. Just, maybe, an hour or so before you showed up, those two were acting completely mental. The pets we used to have, they would curl up in the dead center of the couch to nap. No bloody clue what they were up to. Maybe they were playing some kind of game, but they were both just laying there, balled up and outright refusing to move.

"Well," he clarified, twisting his palm upwards in a sort of shrug, "until I decided that Darcie and I were going to grab a snack. That woke them up quite fast."

He shook his head, brushing the story off as his smile softened. "Anyway, they're probably having a grand time. I know I made a fuss before but.. Well, I've just been busy with exam season. I miss them more than they do, I'm sure, since they get to spend so much time with their godmother and nan. And Frank," he added reluctantly, rolling his eyes.

But his gaze flicked back to hers, and a gentle, good-natured shrug pushed away his earlier anger at the circumstances. He wasn't lying for her sake; they were certainly fine. He'd just missed them. And he positively hated how quickly they were growing up.

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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Kenna McBain on Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:52 am

Kenna was certain that motherhood would have meant her death. When she thought of her brother and her grandparents, even of Kip, a feeling unlike another rattled through her body and wriggled into her heart and grew and grew, testing the flexibility of her ribcage. A child would surely shatter that frame, her spine splintering beneath the weight of holding up all of that love, and there she would cease to be.

But written on the face of Keiran Hayes was all the benefit of such a daily destruction. Torn apart each day with the heaviness of that love and responsibility, and revived with the mere thought of an amusing change of seat, a preference that tickled the soul, an observation only a parent could make. It was like watching a disease, a madness, and finding oneself envious of the symptoms.

"I'm sure they'll appreciate having such a close relationship to the castle once they attend," she said. "Besides, summer's coming. I'm sure the castle can function a bit without you for the few months between."
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Re: There's no way I'm qualified for this

Post by Keiran Hayes on Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:56 am

"Probably," he conceded. "If they aren't fussed by their father running the place. Perhaps by then I won't be a full-time professor as well," Keiran mused, visibly affronted by the very idea. Shaking his head, he just shrugged. "I'm fairly certain I have their houses figured, but we'll see. People certainly change as they grow up.."

But Kenna did have a point. Not much at all went on during the summer. At Hogwarts, anyway. But he had things to attend to, and perhaps some.. work to do, with Jack and Frank and the others. So, really,

"I don't want to make them any promises they'll remember and hold onto." Keiran's mouth thinned into a line. "With the way the world is, it's easy for someone in my position to.. want to do right but be unable to. And, I hold firm the belief that even failing, as opposed to breaking, a promise deteriorates whatever level of trust someone has in me. And I haven't done particularly well with them. Not the elder two, anyway."

Keiran ran his fingers over his mouth, pulling at the skin there. "I don't know why I'm so fussed about it. I'm not the one whose kids went missing. I care about every student here, but it isn't the same." He sat forward, elbows settling on the desk as he sort of stared off at nothing. "Those parents are.. scared. My wife - at the time, obviously - was on that train. Her car was the only one that made it. The staff one. I can't even imagine..."

He paused, wetting his lips before he blinked, his gaze swiveling back to Kenna. Merlin, he needed to watch what he said around her. Best to wrap that up and bring it back to something less intense.

"Let's just say that the train car isn't the end of worries for parents sending their students here. So, while I'll try to take your advice, my time doesn't really belong to me. Not completely."

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