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In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

It is 2030 in the Wizarding World

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Phaedra Rosier
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There's Something Lonesome About You

on Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:13 pm
[OOC: I got creative with the excuse and it ran away with me. Hope it works!]


The whole situation was hardly legal, Phaedra knew that much.

A Polyjuice experiment gone dangerously wrong was what she'd gathered from the shrouded figure who’d left more details bare than filled in. It was all she could do to pry an outline of- what she was sure were heavily censored- events. A firm assurance of discretion (and a sharp reminder of their lack of options) eventually won her a scale and a hair sample, the latter from their human form, the former from the creature they'd failed to turn into.

A Chimaera-human hybrid. She had no desire to know what sort of experiment had birthed the abomination. Even less interest in what had brought them to her doorstep, rather than the less auspicious premises of Mulpepper’s, or one of the many unreliable but legally slipshod potioneers operating in Knockturn’s crannies. St. Mungo's, of course, was out of the question- in her few weeks as a professional potioneer, she'd seen her share of the many mishaps that went under the radar of the establishment, and thus the law.

But she had a job to do and a potion to make. The mysterious customer had left with a promise to return the next day and since then, her mind had been whirring, tables and lists and diagrams jostling for space as she assessed the options.

Create a cure using an uncommon antidote base. Brew an experimental batch, test it out on... the client? Too risky.

Reverse the process. Use the scale to brew fresh Polyjuice, react samples with a cure... something to cancel out the Chimaera blood, something human-

Use the hair to brew fresh Polyjuice. Blend with a potent anti-scarring solution, forget-me-not, ginger root, Ever-Lasting Elixir, react with scales... Yes. Yes, that could work.


Polyjuice always sold quick, but the lacewing flies had only two more days to stew, and the fluxweed-

Gone. Sold to the cranky warlock with the chin wart and nose hairs just this morning for a disproportionately exploitative price.

The next full moon…


She flipped through the calendar on the wall, tracing a finger down the columns and across the row, skimming over the days... halted on the engraved circle, disappointment exhaling to pool in its grooves.

July 15th. Two weeks away. And if instead she tried to track down one of this month's batches- and was lucky enough to find any remaining- at the very least a few days for the new shipment to arrive.

Unless... there surely was an alternative, if she could just remember it. But despite spending two years learning from an accomplished potions master, she couldn’t recall any shortcuts for Polyjuice. Transfigurative potions had been far down her list of priorities- though her knowledge would be deemed highly comprehensive for the average witch or wizard, it was at times like this that the rare gap became glaringly apparent. A nagging shortcoming that couldn't be overlooked.

But she knew enough to be certain that a potion that old and challenging undoubtedly had alternatives, even if her own texts and scrolls came up short.

She shrugged off her apron, hooking it onto the peg with quick, deft movements. Paused only to cast a quick Glamour to take care of any creases or stains, freeing golden waves from their high ponytail to fall around her shoulders. She slipped down the stairs and across the empty shop floor, flipping the open sign and locking the door with a neat flick of her wand.

It was late, though the sun persevered in its lackluster efforts to wash the cobbles with a feeble glow. Golden Hour. Ensconced in the dim confines of the potions lab, she hadn’t kept track of the time. It was only now, emerging into the faded daylight and the sparse evening crowds, streets unusually still, that she realized just how long she’d spent tucked away with tomes and jars. The final swell of shoppers was ambling down the road, popping in for last minute purchases before closing time.

Quickening her steps, she was momentarily surprised at the proximity of the poky little buildings that led her to the door she sought sooner than she'd hoped. She ducked into the bookshop, not quite out of breath but bearing a definite sense of urgency. Purpose.

If ever the word unceremonious could be attached to the young Ms. Rosier’s actions, now would perhaps be the time. There was far less of the stifling air of formality of her previous entrances. But as it was, despite the casual appearance and the odd nick adorning otherwise smooth hands, she managed to maintain an air of dignity even in her uncharacteristic animation.

She almost heaved a sigh of relief at the sight of the familiar face, instead starting to speak before she even reached the counter. (You must take my word for it, Reader, that her tone was far less demanding than her words might suggest.)

“I’m in need of a book on transfigurative potions and their antidotes, preferably with a focus on classified beasts.”

Once she did reach it, however, it occurred to her that she hadn’t even offered an apology or a greeting after so many months. If he mistook her zeal for discourtesy, she dreaded having to repeat the song and dance of their earlier encounters. So she added on- courteously but not quite apologetically-

“I know it’s late, but… it’s a matter of urgency.”
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Keiran Hayes
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Re: There's Something Lonesome About You

on Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:32 am
Keiran Hayes was starting to wonder. He always did a great deal of overthinking, that's of course quite true. But the thing that was actually bothering him was his research. Writing the textbook wasn't a problem insofar as Keiran knew well how to describe Transfigurative topics in a way that students could actually understand them - he'd had years of practice, now. On and off. But the real trouble was conducting the research that would allow him to steadily base his writing on fact rather than speculation.

The main issue, of course, was that it was incredibly immoral to test his curiosity on real people. So he'd been looking for cases that were close enough to his aim, and with only one person looking it seemed to be coming up short. Keiran wasn't sure why they hadn't taken on Muggle technology in the literary realm, as they had for things like the telly. Surely that would have made his search much more time efficient.

At any rate, he'd just said his goodbyes to Barnaby for the day when he picked up yet another book and slid into the chair behind Flourish and Blotts' counter.

To clarify, he was starting to wonder whether or not he was qualified to take on an apprentice. He was only thirty, after all, and no one was really a master of anything until they were much older than that. Although he sort of hated the fact that he was already thirty when his children were only little, it was indeed exciting for him to look back on everything he had done. Everything he had somehow accomplished in his short time since graduation.

Even so, Keiran knew one thing for certain: He may have been one of the more recognized Transfiguration nuts of their time, but most of that was likely due to his position and the unfortunate run of Prophet articles that had involved him in the past. The only people who came to him for help were those who already knew him, or somehow heard of him through a friend. Perhaps being relatively on the up-and-up made him harder to approach. He wasn't sure. But perhaps he was close enough to a true scholar of the subject that someone would let him show them what he knew.

Deciding that he would indeed look into it, Keiran let the chair lean back a bit, crossing an ankle over his knew as he returned to his work, taking notes on occasion in one of those Muggle journal things Barnaby had gotten him as a thanks for his new job. Why the lad had applied was yet beyond Hayes, but he supposed it didn't matter very much when Fontaine hadn't caused any problems to date.

Well. Not for Keiran, anyway.

Besides, Keiran liked hearing stories about the man's life and his grandfather and the museum where he'd been working. That career, of course, was far more prestigious than any shopkeep position, but perhaps the fascination with the Wizarding World would not last long and Barnaby would return to his life, as happy as he once had been.

Keiran had not told him so, but Barnaby was never allowed in the shop alone, without someone with magic to protect him. That, of course, was why Frank lounged about like a sorry sod most days, or the other employees darted in and out during the blond's shifts. Today was no exception, and so here Keiran was. Reading until close because it had been a relatively quiet day and there was no point in keeping Barnaby from his dinner anymore.

Sometimes, the Headmaster wondered who his employee ate with and spent time with outside of work, but supposed it was just Frank and whoever Frank spent his time with, and sort of left it at that.

When the door opened, Keiran realized he'd not been paying attention for a good while. No wonder he wasn't getting his research done very quickly, hmm?

Anyway, he glanced up and couldn't resist the way shock worked itself onto his face. It was, needless to say, beyond unusual for Phaedra to step into Keiran's shop. Since the heist of sorts they'd pulled off, he hadn't really seen her, and actually, he couldn't recall the last time they'd spoken.

So it wasn't exactly his fault that he was hesitant. After all, she seemed as though she were in a rush, so he supposed that it was not a desire to see him but rather a desire to get what she wanted. Not that he would ever be surprised by that sort of action, coming from her.

His foot dropped to the ground and Keiran tucked a quill pen between the pages of his book as a place marker.

It was good to know that, much like he had believed when it came to Kenna, this person he'd initially thought could be a friend was apparently not one. Let's just say he was no longer surprised at this point.

What was interesting, however, was her interest in beasts as far as Transfiguration was concerned. She obviously didn't know where his research was focused, but the coincidence was baffling, and enough to distract him from his mild desire to be petty.

"It's no problem," he told her instead, all but ignoring her attempt at being polite. "We have a number of texts on that subject, actually. It's been a matter of interest for me as of late, so perhaps something I've brought in will do well for you."

Standing, he led her over to the Transfiguration section. Keiran probably could have made small talk, but frankly, he didn't think it was his responsibility after all he and his mates had done for her. So he kept it professional to see how long it took her.
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Phaedra Rosier
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Re: There's Something Lonesome About You

on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:05 am
Shock, pointedness, unenthusiasm- all these things flew easily and impressively over Phaedra’s admittedly rather preoccupied head. In another situation, spurred by a less engrossing conundrum, social hat firmly on, she might have picked up on the coolness- or at least lukewarm-ness- emanating from Aiden’s son as he actually quite politely ignored her own attempt at politeness.

She did register it, in some hyper-aware corner of her brain, the part whose cogs were always turning as she weighed up people and situations and words and non-words and what sort of response they did or didn’t merit from her. But the sorry truth was that whatever anomalies were flagged up in Keiran’s reaction were in that moment ignored, secondary to the inventive impulse that had brought her to his doorstep in the first place.

To that end, Keiran’s response was obliging enough- and certainly more professional than the last time she’d come looking for a book- that nothing immediately seemed amiss. It quite suited her, actually, that he had evidently taken in her urgency and was directing her to a possible solution without distractions.

Until she saw the Transfiguration label on the shelf and was faced quite starkly with the evidence of her own incompetence.

Trans-Species Transformation, Cross-Species Switches, human Transfiguration, Untransfiguration...

The truth was, Phaedra’s Transfiguration experience was strangely lacking. Having dedicated all her efforts and almost all her time to her primary passion, Potions, she hadn’t paid much mind to other topics, in that characteristic carelessness that she was even now displaying. Her grandmother had honed a proficiency in dark magic, those curses and jinxes that she supposed were a rite of passage for all pureblood children, she’d later managed to become rather proficient in Charms, and had necessarily familiarised herself with Herbology quite by extension. She was not unaware of the discipline's appeal; in fact, its precision and complexity might have suited her very well, had it not been in competition with other more pressing claims on her attention. Which is to say, while she had an basic understanding of the core tenets of Transfiguration theory, she hadn’t ever expected it to be of much practical use to her. Why would she need to transfigure anything when everything she could need was readily available in its original form?

(It had, admittedly, been a rather short-sighted, presumptuous way of thinking, one that didn’t fly now that she no longer had the world at her fingertips)

So now, faced with shelf upon shelf of esoteric Transfiguration texts she was… alright, maybe just a little bit lost. A little bit out of her depth. Just a mite expectant.

So she would have expected, being as unpracticed and as evidently in need as she was, that the owner of a bookshop, headmaster of a school, knowledgeable Transfiguration professor would be able to offer some direction. More than just thrusting her in the deep end in front of his general area of expertise.

But he wasn’t saying anything. Why wasn’t he saying anything?

Reader, there was a word for the sort of attitude she’d inadvertently adopted when it came to the ever-obliging Keiran Hayes, and while it wasn’t a new way of behaving, it wasn’t exactly intentional. Or something she was really conscious of. A byproduct of a lifetime of privilege and a trained disregard for other people’s concerns, it displayed itself occasionally with no thought to circumstances or better judgement.

It was this queer foible (more limitation than trait) that demanded more of Keiran now than he’d ever owed her. Her gaze flicked from the shelves to their proprietor, bemused. Not wanting to actually ask for help, she settled for a silent Look, an all-but-spoken Well? And waited.

Entitlement.


Spoiler:
[This is all I was given, but if it doesn't work holla and I'll squeeze out some dialogue]
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Re: There's Something Lonesome About You

on Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:04 pm
When they reached the shelf and she started looking over the titles on the books' spines, Keiran leaned against one end of the shelf in question, arms crossed over his chest. It was easy enough for him to recommend a couple of choices when he knew what a person actually wanted - History of the Goblin Wars, for example. Or 1920s America under Grindelwald. Things like that. But without anything to go on, he was merely able to wait and see if she found something that she wanted. Perhaps, if someone else had come in, he would have felt a bit strange about taking their money. That was neither a problem for Phaedra nor something he was fussed about, considering they weren't really friends. Not anymore, probably not ever as far as she was concerned.

But that was fine. He had Avery, Jack, the kids, Kip and Kenna. He had even tried to put up with James for a few hours a while back, and that in and of itself had been bizarre. But he had people with whom he could spend his time if he particularly felt that he needed it. It didn't matter that he was used to a much wider social circle than the one in which he had found himself this past year. Keiran Hayes was not, and had never been, the sort to measure his own value by something like that.

She turned to him, her very expression grating on his nerves. A bored, deadpan sort of look flattened his lips into a line as he stared back. And he waited until he could feel the discomfort surrounding her. Only then did he reach forward and pull out the ones specific to Ministry-classified creatures, as well as beasts like those they would have covered in Care of Magical Creatures. She hadn't been particularly specific, but they were stacked on the shelf in two piles before her, and then Keiran stepped back.

An eyebrow lifted. Ams crossed again, tightening the fabric of his shirt even more as his irritation properly set into his frame. Merlin help him if another customer walked in, expecting the nice Headmaster bloke who recommended them new books each week.
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Re: There's Something Lonesome About You

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