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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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Robert Lupin
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Beastly Burnout

on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:29 am
Robert was stacked with paperwork this afternoon, and not even the lunch of the Leaky's fish and chips had made the mountain of paperwork seem any smaller. He picked up reached into a dish of ice mice, popped one into his mouth, liking the refreshing pepperminty taste, but when the candy began to squeak in his mouth, he found it annoying. Fine. He'd crunch it and get rid of the little buggar. He made a mental note to have a word with Jonathan Belby the next time he got to Hogsmeade about some sort of silent peppermint.

He flipped open a stack of performance evaluations. They were forwarded to him, department by department. This was the beast division. He did not expect anything out of the ordinary, so he settled back to read them one by one, and he stopped when one surprised him with a noticeable change in marks. He compared the scores and then looked at the name. Avery? What was with that? Avery Bishop was nothing if not professional and dedicated. This was a real departure from her usual high quality work. He sent for her personnel file to review it himself.

When it arrived, he reviewed it and saw nothing truly amiss other than the fact that her performance was declining. She had some time off coming, that was certainly true. Perhaps she needed a bit of a holiday to recharge herself. Avery's work had always been good, so he had no desire to lose her, but, some sort of a change did seem to be in order before the gap in performance could not be made up.

He asked his secretary to send the usual paper bird to her to ask her to report to his office.

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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:30 am
Avery was embarrassed, to say the least. She knew that she had been doing relatively poorly as of late, but she had been hoping to meet with Robert before anything noticeable changed. In truth, she didn't think she'd been doing that badly, but evidently she was wrong, because before she could work on arranging a meeting with him, she was called into his office. After the weekend she'd had, she wasn't feeling confident at all, but that was hardly relevant to work matters. The end of October was approaching and the weather wasn't the only thing hat made her feel cold; she missed Keiran and Teddy and wasn't spending enough time with Sophie for her tastes. On he way up to his office, she came to the conclusion that, whatever happened during their discussion, she undoubtedly deserved it at that point.

Wishing she had completed more of her paperwork that morning, Avery did her best not to hang her head as she made her way to his floor in the lift, and wished for the first time ever that the Minister was not a Lupin. It was just far too stark a reminder of what she had lost. But Robert didn't know Teddy, and though that did still make her sad, she was glad he wouldn't know to ask her about him. Or, equally, that he wouldn't know she'd been passed over for someone else.

Once properly summoned inside his office, Avery couldn't help how nervous and guilty she looked. "Minister," she greeted quietly. "I must admit, I think I know why you've called me here."
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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:29 am
"Come in, Avery," he said warmly, motioning to her as he refilled his own mug from the more polite kettle on the right. "Come sit down. The kettles are still hot, if you'd some tea." He gestured towards the hearth. "The kettle on the left has Earl Grey, and the kettle on the right is a new blend that I'm tinkering with for Sparks. That one is a hot spiced apple cider tea. It's becoming a favorite in my house for all these cold, damp autumn evenings. That pot has my umpteenth attempt to get the citrus right in it. Can I get you some tea while I'm pouring a warm up for myself? Mugs are on the sideboard. Most people seem to like to pick their own mug so they can pick their favorite color."

He gestured towards a small old sideboard that now played host to both tea and, when the occasion called for it, the obligatory firewhiskey. All the necessary accoutrements for tea had been neatly organized on the top of the sideboard, with a cluster of Kate's brightly glazed pottery mugs, each one abstractly painted differently in bright jewel tones. Robert preferred them for their perfect balance, rustic charm and their lack of pretense. He also liked the feel of them in his hand, and he felt they kept the tea warmer longer than fussy porcelain tea cups. Yes, he had porcelain cups tucked out of sight in one of the cabinets below if that was what was called for, but he hated using them. They seemed too stuffy and formal, much too much folderol for his style.

"Or you're welcome to help yourself if you'd rather. Watch the pot on the left, though, and it does seem to be feeling snarky today. It can nip if you don't show it who's boss. It's one of Michael Tremaine's quirky gift ideas of what he apparently thinks I need in a useful office companion, I think. Michael's been calling the pot Earl because its so full of itself, but I'd rather not name the kitchenware because it only seems to make it even more egotistical."

He presumed Avery could manage the weird little charm on Earl, though. After all, she did specialize in magical creatures. How much more dangerous, really, could a teapot be?

"As much as we need to talk about your evaluation, I really did not call you here to call you on the proverbial carpet," he said. "You've been an important person here for a long time, and there's never been any question about your work. When I see things off their normal pattern, that tends to alert me that something has changed for some reason, sometimes just temporarily, and sometimes, not so temporary. So, why don't you give yourself a moment to get comfortable and then just tell me what's going on and where the problem has been."

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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:58 pm
Avery certainly wasn't afraid of the nippy kettle, but she didn't really think that she had the energy or temperament to deal with it that morning. Robert was, of course, professional and polite as ever, even though she felt quite sure that she didn't deserve it. So she sighed a little to herself as she stepped over towards the two options, realizing too late that she hadn't said anything. Odd. Usually when she was uncomfortable she said too much.

"Well," she started belatedly, looking over at him with her best attempt at a smile, "I'm happy to be a tester." And so she of course went for the less volatile of the two kettles.

But once she had sat down and he started to prompt her, she found it hard to really take drinks despite finding it to actually be rather pleasant. The real question was just how honest she could be without feeling like she was doing something wrong as far as being too personal. She couldn't feel that she was at that point with Robert, of course, considering she hardly knew the man. But she could provide a few hints as to the real problem.

So despite shifting rather uncomfortably, she drew in a breath and decided to just give it her best shot. "Well... I recently found myself without the two most important people in my life, aside from my daughter. So that's been quite hard for both of us. She loved them, too, and was used to having them around. And for a while now I've been feeling like perhaps my job isn't... I mean, I know it's important. It's just, I recently found myself with the opportunity to work with a dragon first hand, and it felt like doing paperwork was a bit strange. I don't even feel like I'm good at my job, but it's just paperwork. That's ridiculous," she frowned, chiding herself.

"I guess it just doesn't suit me anymore. I've been here for a decade, doing the same thing, and I never really thought to question it before I reached out to a couple of trainers to work with my late husband's dragon. Now it feels like I'm not doing much at all, I suppose."
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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:01 am
"It certainly is understandable when the people that you love aren't in your life like they were," Robert said, understanding that. "And it is all the harder when your kids hurt too. That's more than enough reason for you to be distracted, and more than enough reason for needing a change. I'm sorry you're going through a tough time." It, in part, had been Remus's death, and the resulting powerful shockwave it sent through Robert and his wife and daughter that had caused him to leave his post working in an apothecary that had a largely muggle clientele and a very hush-hush wizard clientele too. He'd made potions that the muggles thought were "holistic herbals." Well, he was happy to let them believe what they wanted to believe. It had been a convoluted set of circumstances that had twisted everything sideways.

"Believe me, I didn't ever see myself doing this or working at St. Mungo's either," he said casually, taking a sip of tea. "Life didn't go anywhere near what we thought we'd planned. It sort of happened as things around me changed. And there surely isn't one bone in my body that has ever in love with paperwork. I can't blame you with being disenchanted with that. I suppose, for me, I enjoy when I can actually do something away from my desk, something that feels like I am having a direct impact for something I believe in. I get frustrated when I consider how many more good things I could do here if I weren't so obligated to turn out mountains of signed documents. If I were to do it all over again? I don't know, I might have been an auror, perhaps."

"I think working with dragons sounds like it would be great fun," he grinned, a bit of an adrenalin junkie himself. "My wife would not be amused, but I think it would be amazing." He wasn't known for shying away from a wand fight or sending in an auror into any place he was too afraid to go himself. "So, maybe a change of pace is in order for you? Maybe another department or another position you could transfer to, if you wanted." There were other positions, certainly. The most active positions were, actually, the auror department and some positions in the Department of Mysteries. There was the whole business of keeping the Department of Mysteries a mystery, though, so he did not intend to put that on the table for her, not yet. Heck, even people in the Department of Mysteries didn't seem to know what happened there. It was odd business that was an old system that was not the easiest to update, even in this day and age. But--if Bishop wanted to consider stepping into a different world, he would do what he could to help her find what she was looking for.

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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:34 pm
Avery rolled her lips together at his empathy, grateful but a little uncomfortable, still, with discussing it. What she really needed to do was talk to her sister. Eventually, anyway. Perhaps she could put it off until Claire noticed -- when she dropped off Sophie or they happened to leave their homes at the same time. Either way, she wasn't used to people knowing if they didn't have to. This probably counted as Robert 'having to,' though.

"Well... In truth, I always loved dragons. But after trying to work with Robin's dragon, Fergus, it just seems like perhaps I'm not of the right temperament to take them on. Not in a way that would be safe for me or for them." She tilted her head to the side, contemplative. "I don't think I would have any authority with them. I suppose it's just that, while paperwork is fine and necessary, it seems like something I could take on an apprentice, and give to them, and then... what would I do? You know? That makes me wonder what I could be doing if I worked elsewhere. And I'm not really trained in dueling or anything. I'm only just now realizing what limited qualifications I have, unfortunately. The beasts department does feel like home. But I feel like there ought to be more asked of me, or more that I can go out of my way to do. And I just had never gotten around to it. I was too content with staying put."

She shrugged, sipping from the teacup. When it was settled safely back on her leg, she went on. "Are there any more active roles within the department that you need filled? I may not suit them yet, but perhaps it would give me an idea of things I could work towards."
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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:13 am
"Temperament," he sighed, "A fickle master, isn't it? There are precious few that have ever mastered their own temperament as much as they would like." He knew that as hard as he did to master his own temperament, it often felt to him like it was more theatrical than genuine, and it certainly made sense to him that it could not be easy to work with dragons. How Charlie Weasley had come to not just survive them but thrive on them was a bit of an enigma to Robert.

"It sounds very much like you would like a bit of variety and perhaps a challenge. You could always go into law enforcement if you would like. Or--if you are in the mood for a challenge above the norm, and more unpredictable than even law enforcement, I believe I could offer you that. However, that sort of unpredictability does not come without risk--sometimes a good deal of it. It would give you the enjoyment of adrenalin that so many of us enjoy, and it is often more away from a desk than not. It can, at times, become quite dangerous. There is an opening in the Department of Mysteries. There are two main branches there--one is more paperwork oriented, and I am not certain that would do for you because you might well find yourself in all too familiar surroundings. However, if you are willing to work on more classified matters, it might be something that you might find rewarding. There are, also, a leadership opportunity or two that are open there, but I would certainly want you to train with some of the specialists that are already there and, depending on what training you need, I might also refer you to gather some specialization from some who have done that sort of work but perhaps are not actually in the Department of Mysteries anymore."

He sighed, almost always frustrated when he reached this point of talking to someone about shifting from the normal into the abnormal in the Department of Mysteries. It was not at all easy to ask someone to try an entirely new career sight unseen, to invest into a job blindly and to understand, at least in a rudimentary manner, that the job was secretive an was not something one could casually discuss at the pub over a pint with friends. It was a very hush-hushed sort of world that was not for everyone, and most seemed to gather, by the nature of the word 'classified' that it was not something that was open, casual conversation. That was, though, what he was required to try to do when he had to broach the subject with someone. Bishop was exceptionally bright, and he believed she would get the gist. If so, that meant the conversation might well go into a more definitive manner where he could tell her more.

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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:34 pm
As Robert spoke, shock washed over her, unsettling but also exciting. She had never considered that department, and honestly wasn't thrilled about the idea of seeing Jack again now that she and Teddy weren't speaking. But he warned her that it would be dangerous and she hesitated. If something happened to her, who would take Sophie? Claire or their mum, perhaps. They wouldn't leave her, of course. Keiran might even change his mind and step up at that point. Risk was something Avery had always wanted to take but had never allowed herself. And now the opportunity was there.

She took a few moments to really come to terms with the idea, but in the end she nodded. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but... That sounds like something that could teach me a lot. I used to dream of adventure, when all I wanted was to be away from home. I've never been brave enough to let myself, though. I'd just need to work out details with my sister about taking care of my daughter while we're working, but... I think it's something I'd want to try."
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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:43 pm
"Very well," Robert nodded not disappointed with her choice. "I think you should give it a fair try, and then we should talk again. Understand, you may talk with another member of your own department, but much of what you will see or be involved in are things that can go no further. Many of your assignments will come straight from me, and for those, you will report straight to me. You will be issued different equipment, and you'll need training not just in using your new gear, but also just for the position itself. You can get some of the basic physical, defensive, and offensive training from Brian Quinn. You may shadow or partner with some of your co-workers, and, if you choose, you may also do some training with some of the people who have done the job and who are, at times, paid consultant fees for their periodic continued services.

"To partner or shadow a co-worker, I would suggest you partner with either Jack Dyllan or Michael Tremaine. Andrew Diamond is also new to the department, so he's going to be doing beginning training as well. If you're looking for someone to practice with, you might try him. Michael's skills are probably a bit different from what you will normally be working, but he does have a lot he can teach you. Jack is in much the same boat. For someone who has done the job that you might be most interested in, you might want to work with a different partner, and I can put him on retainer to work with you to get you up to speed fairly quickly. He normally works for me privately, but he's got the skills you're going to want. His name is Marcus Belby, and he did the job for many years that you're looking at doing. He works in personal protections now, but I think you may find that all those people have something to offer you."

He opened the drawer of his desk and drew out a plain wooden box and released its magical seal by laying his hand on the box. The box opened slowly on its own then, and the contents in the box gave off a soft multicolored glow. He looked through the trinkets in the box and laid out two items on the desk in front of her. One was a small subtle tie tack with a singular shimmering round sapphire blue stone. The other was a small, elegant little white gold pendant set with one understated glowing sapphire stone.

"You will need to wear at least one of these at all times. Some women have chosen to take both of these so they have some sort of style option, and if that's your choice, that's fine with me. You may use a simple transfiguration to change only the shape of the stone. However, the stone itself does resist other sorts of tinkering. The stone allows you access into your new department in the Department of Mysteries. It also will alert me and your co-workers in the case of distress and will allow them to apparate to you. Conversely, it also alerts you if any of your co-workers or I might be in distress and will alert you to apparate to them. You'll find that little shiny business they're doing now will go out when you put them on. The only time they'll glow once you wear them is if they're alerting you. There are also a couple of rings in here, if you'd rather have a ring. Whatever you think might work best for you."

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Re: Beastly Burnout

on Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:30 pm
Robert agreed and then, immediately, it was beginning. Why Avery hadn't expected that, she couldn't say. Foolishness, perhaps. Despite the way her pulse skittered, some part of that was because she was excited. This completely new idea was already fascinating. Already scary, too, but kind of in a good way. She had always been easily frightened, and had always been the first person to blame herself for something going wrong - particularly when it made no sense for her to think it. It was, perhaps, a long shot for her to hope it, but she found herself thinking that maybe she would finally grow up a little. Not in the way she had with Sophie, of course. But as far as courage and trusting herself.

Her eyebrows lifted at the list of names, trying her best to remember them all. She was twenty-eight since February, and she somehow just knew that this Andrew person was much younger. It felt a little silly to begin training so late, but what did it matter now? She had already agreed. But one thing was still nagging at her. "I'm sorry, this is probably just... me being naÔve," she started as he finished his suggestions, "but what exactly will be I be doing that is so different from Jack or Michael? It doesn't sound like office work, as you've said, but..." Avery shrugged, shaking her head. What even existed as far as jobs in that department? Merlin, this was going to be a long road. "I'm sure whatever you have in mind will work out fine, I just... What is my position, as far as title?"

But then she thought about the list. Jack she would try and avoid as much as possible, considering she didn't think the redhead and her ex-boyfriend were particularly close -- though she could well be wrong. If Jack knew about Teddy choosing someone else, would she treat Avery differently? Probably not. But Avery didn't like that the potential was there, regardless.

"Well, it sounds like perhaps Marcus and Michael would be the best places to start," she mused, almost to herself. "Though I'm sure working with Andrew would be helpful as well."

He drew out a box, opening and placing items on his desk in front of her. She stared at them a bit too openly, feeling like she had just gained access to a part of their world that had never actually existed before. But that obviously was not true. Thinking over his suggestions, she tilted her head. "I think perhaps the pendant and the ring rather than the tie tack. If I'm going to be rushing off places, having a necklace that could catch on things might not always be the best idea, depending on the situation."
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