Lunch at the Black Lake
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Lunch at the Black Lake

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Post by Scott Fenwick on Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:33 pm

Scott wasn't a breakfast eater. He personally preferred coffee, but the house elves acted as if it were a high criminal offense to have coffee so early in the day and had served tea--tea with just a splash of milk. He had gotten to be a coffee convert because of his many travels, but he was here now, for awhile at least, so he was going to have to assimilate into tradition, the bane of castles everywhere. Likewise, lunch had been served on time, and Scott had been busy watching the castle caretaker cleaning out some old confiscated items. He was keenly interested the vintage Zonkos that had been tossed out in the bin. When the caretaker had left, Scott had rescued them, shoving them hastily into an old green canvas backpack, and then he had taken Max and headed for the kitchens. The house elves had presumed they could simply chase Max out of the kitchen, but the enormous Akbash took to trying to herd the little elves in their own kitchen, and some magical mayhem had ensued. Scott had sharply reigned in the dog, which was taller at the shoulder than the elves, but not before magic had been fired askew in every feasible direction, leaving the kitchen in disarray. He felt it best to get what he wanted rather quickly and excuse himself and the dog, and so he had made a quick sandwich, hastily grabbed a piece of meat and a couple of kippers, a bottle of water, and a few pieces of fruit and had made a hasty retreat and headed outside onto the grounds, which now faced the Black Lake.

"You got us into a bit of trouble, Mate," Scott told the dog as they made their way from the castle to the lake. "I'm liable to hear about that later. Mind, I only got you in here with me because I said you were well behaved, a perfect companion. I'm liable to be told you are not so perfect if you keep this up." The dog spotted the geese down by the lake and sprang off to go try his luck at herding them, but Scott didn't feel the dog would actually fare much better with them in the end. Still, they were relatively harmless, when compared with house elves, and the enormous dog needed to run.

Scott took his backpack and settled in under the tree, rescuing the water bottle first and then, his chief interest, the Zonkos he'd rescued. He wasn't as interested in the things that he already had, but there were a few choice picks that would be marvelous in his collection. Those definitely deserved his interest.
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Post by Ace Longbottom on Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:40 am

Herbology had come and gone. She came, she corrected, she conquered. Her potting partner gave her a dirty look as the class strode up towards the castle and she watched his retreating back with a firm expression, refusing to betray the deep thud of her heart. She knew her ideals set her apart, she know she came off as a know-it-all, and she knew she couldn't have it both ways. She couldn't stick to her beliefs and be beloved. And in the end, beliefs won out. So that meant telling the professor that your potting partner refused to put on their safety equipment. And she wasn't going to regret that.

Still. At the end of the day, the snide looks, the rolled eyes, the pointed glares. They hurt. She might have ideals but she was still only fifteen years old. It was hard, carrying this much responsibility on top of all your school books.

She didn't want to go inside. Edgar was surely going to be complaining about her. She sighed and scanned the grounds and that's when she saw Professor Fenwick. More importantly, his dog.

She was moving without a second thought. This issue had been turning over in her head all summer and she had decided to do something about it. She wanted to be careful though. She could only do so much investigation before everyone knew they couldn't trust her. And it seemed that she was the only one who was going to bother.

She stopped in front of the professor and adjusted the strap on her book bag. "Professor? I have a question about your dog. Would he be able to tell if there was a werewolf or a vampire on school grounds?"
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Post by Scott Fenwick on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:31 am

"Oh, hello, Miss Longbottom," he smiled, surprised to see her, "Sit, if you like." He looked over at Max, who seemed to be having the time of his life chasing the geese into a real dither. He wondered if they'd get to such a state that the headmaster would be put out about that as well. "My dog," he sighed. "Do you know what sort he is? He's an Akbash. They're big dogs from Turkey, and the entire lot of them are known for three things--first, they're good at herding things...like those argy-bargy geese over there. Or--and they're particularly good at this--guarding things. Mind you, they have a mind of their own. Stubborn as the day is long, but, they're some of the best guard dogs around."

He reached into his pack and pulled out two pears. "Oh, look at that. Didn't know I'd gotten those. Here--have a French butter pear. Dinner is liable to be late tonight. I...well, let's just say I have a bit of inside information on that." He offered her one of the pears and bit into the other, savoring it's creamy, buttery fruit. "Delicious," he smiled. "The third thing is that they're one of the giant dog breeds. It's like feeding a small cow, but I wouldn't trade him for the world. As to your question, werewolves and vampires? Maybe. I don't really know. He's not beyond going after something dangerous, though, if it presented a threat, that's for sure. It's an interesting question, though. Tell me more about your thoughts on the matter. I want to hear. I am all attention."

Hogwarts was known to have exceptional security and the few lapses they'd had had been the things of legend. It seemed nigh onto impossible to think that an out of control vampire or werewolf would escape the numerous charms and protections the castle had. Scott ventured that they were rather laid out like grids or nets, geared to catch all sorts of threats, but that was just a guess on his part. Why was this 15 year old asking about it? Was it curiosity, or did she have some reason to believe the threat was possible, however remote it might be to one of the professors. He truly did want to hear her out.
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Post by Ace Longbottom on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:52 am

She didn't understand why adults were always so calm. All of them. She supposed your sense of urgency somehow disappeared when you graduated, or you developed a sense of patience overnight. Whatever it was, she couldn't relate. When she wanted answers, she wanted them now. When she had a question, it was immediate. She couldn't eat or think until she knew, until she understood. But adults... they could chat about the weather or muse to themselves. She supposed she'd understand when she was there. If she ever got there.

She had no intentions of sitting, knowing she would want to pace, probably need to pace. She was thinking, which meant she needed to outrun her thoughts and keep them in check. She watched the frolicking dog as the professor explained, her eyebrows slowly creeping closer and closer together.

She went to wave off the pear before realizing how little she had eaten that day, and she took it, quickly taking a bite. It was likely she was soon to forget all about it...

And here was where she stepped in it. She had no proof. She had rumors. She had gut feelings. And she had accounts from students who were not meant to be out of their beds. All in all, it boiled down to being a tattle-tell.

She could feel Edgar's gaze...

"Statistics."

That was what came out of her mouth. For a moment she stared blankly at him, and then she began to pace. "I was reading up on the protocol for registering with the Ministry as a werewolf or a vampire - anything that requires any sort of moderation from outside forces. Considering how big Hogwarts is... it just makes sense. And if I'm not mistaken there are even some people in the castle walls who have werewolf parentage."

She stopped in her tracks. Well. There was the line, and she had just paced right over it. She wasn't sure she believed Teddy Lupin was a werewolf but she know it was out there. She chewed on her lip. "Sorry. Just... a thought."

Only a professor could provoke an apology where she wasn't certain she believed it.
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Post by Scott Fenwick on Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:45 pm

"Statistics--hm. Well, yes, that makes sense," he said smoothly, taking another bite of the pear to be able to use the pause for a bit of quick thinking. Statistics, my eye. Not an accomplished little liar, was she? Unless the curriculum had changed, there wasn't much of a use of statistics, not really, and then there was this constant state of anxiety that Ms. Longbottom seemed to carry about her. What was it she wanted to hear? Truth? Something soothing? Well, Scott thought, perhaps the proverbial arrow was better aimed at a midground.

"Pardon my snacking, but I missed breakfast and lunch both," he said after a moment. "So far as Max goes, he is quite perceptive, I think, about things that are not where they should be. I can give you an example. At home, Max was very good at warding off an adder a year or so ago because he just seemed to know it did not belong up close to the house. If he saw something as dark intentioned as, generally, vampires and werewolves tend to be out of their human forms, then, I think that he probably would be most protective." He heard Max yip and looked up to see that a gander had nipped him. "Max, leave the geese alone, Mate." The dog growled at the ill tempered gander and ran the bird into the lake.

"Stubborn buggar," Scott breathed. "You are correct, historically, about Hogwarts, so far as you've taken it, but you do seem to be missing some important bits. Hogwarts does do a thorough checking of both students and staff before they are admitted to the school, so if someone is affected with either any sort of creature curse, they do need to be taking some precaution to ensure the safety of the others here before they are admitted. Vampires, for example, need to be using some sort of provided supply of blood or plasma, and St. Mungos has had a program of providing such a thing without cost as a treatment methodology for years now. I doubt any vampire would be allowed to be here without an adequate constant supply. Werewolves, on the other hand, would be required to take wolfsbane in order to stop the transformation at the full moon, and if there were any doubt, safety measures would be taken to make sure that the unfortunate curse victim would be cared for in a secure manner for everyone's protection. Let me ask you this. How schooled are you on how someone becomes a vampire or a werewolf? That will likely have some effect on your statistics, I would think."
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Post by Ace Longbottom on Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:40 am

Her eyes briefly lifted and she could see students strolling along the lake, hear the tinkling of their laughter as they chatted and gossiped, sharing secrets and hopes with each other. They all effortlessly found each other. Although she supposed none of them skipped lunch to grill professors.

Ace had really stepped in it. She was regretting everything. She was just mad about Edgar, so she took the first opportunity she found to feel productive. But she didn’t want to alert the professors. Which was probably a bad thing to admit, considering just how dangerous the suspicion was. But she didn’t just want it solved. She wanted to be the one to solve it.

He was asking more questions, but it was with Professor eyes, a look of concern. She had to abort.

She shook her head. "Sorry, I... ignore me. My parents say I have an active imagination. I just... the world has been calm for too long. It feels too good to be true I guess."
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Post by Scott Fenwick on Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:30 pm

"It does feel unsettled from time to time, doesn't it?" he agreed, not so quick to brush her off. "Let me give you something to consider, though. Your parents have, presumably, done their years at wizarding school some time ago. They probably don't feel the same need you do to explore and ask questions. Now, perhaps you need to decide what you're here for. Perhaps you need to decide if you're here to be the person your parents want you to be, or if you want to take advantage of what the school has to offer to find out who you are, regardless of anyone else's expectations. Consider this--which of our most famous witches and wizards throughout history have ever done great things without asking questions and taking chances? If you have questions, then, by all means, ask away. That's how we learn, and it's how we sometimes stumble onto great things. Imagination breeds questions, and they're all worth asking if they're things you really want to know and, equally as important, if you're really ready to hear the answers."

He glanced up and saw Max heading for a patch of nettles, and he whistled for the great beast and called him back. The dog came at a run back to him and flopped down on the grass beside Scott, expecting a belly rub. Scott complied, and the dog immediately bounced up and went over to Longbottom, with a wagging tail, and sniffed her rather noisily.

"Take him, for example. He's asking nothing but questions about you right now," Scott laughed. "And I think the biggest question he's asking is whether you want to meet him. He's always open to making a new friend."
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Post by Ace Longbottom on Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:04 pm

Ace listened to the professor, her eyebrows knit together, chin tucked low, eyes firmly on the ground beneath her. She was chewing on her lip, rubbing her fingers together as she tried to stimulate thought, tried to get the gears going. She was a quick study, a fine student, but these tricky little moral dilemmas always tripped her up. She knew what was right, and she knew what she wanted to do. But she also knew her instincts didn't always yield the results she hoped for. Merlin, she couldn't wait to graduate and just... make the difference she knew she could.

In truth, her parents didn't seem to have high expectations for her. Not that they didn't think she was capable, but they had never put much pressure on either of their children, seemingly happy so long as their kids were. As long as they did their best, were true to themselves, and put family towards the forefront, Neville and Hannah were proud of them. Merlin, they were proud of her for everything she did, no matter how trivial or unimpressive.

He called the dog over as a means to demonstrate, and Ace looked down, almost in confusion, at the creature. She was equally as un-intuitive with creatures as she was with people, but the dog was nosing for her hand, so she stretched it out for him. As he sniffed her hand, she finally addressed the professor again.

"I'm not ready to share my questions." She squinted, trying to clarify. "I just... I feel like everyone feels the wizarding war was ages ago, and, sure, it was. But it wasn't... that far. And it feels strange that people aren't more worried it could happen again, and I feel like there must be something we could be doing to make sure it doesn't happen. I dunno."
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Post by Scott Fenwick on Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:10 pm

"Ah, well, now that's a much darker concern," he said darkly. Those years--they weren't a long time ago in his mind, and they were never far away. Not ever. It was part of why, with his dark arts skills, he didn't want to have to use them again. "Don't let your own perception that someone might look happy as perhaps forgetfulness. I agree that some people do tend to live in the moment and don't think any farther than that. However, that definitely isn't true for everyone. There are some that spend their entire lives, even now, trying to prevent us from ever being back in that again." He finished his pear and took great satisfaction in pitching the core, with a long overhanded throw, into the lake.

"For what it's worth," he said, "I saw that war, and I would give my life to make sure we didn't go back there again. And on that, I can give you my word. It sounds very much like there's a part of you that would like to be a part of something more. And there's nothing wrong with that. Perhaps, though, on your next trip to Hogsmeade, you'd like to meet some of those other folks who, like you, feel like we should be vigilant against something. If you'd like that, then, I'll meet you, and if we see someone worthy of your time and intelligence, then I'll introduce you to them. Maybe if you felt like you weren't so alone, that would help, but I assure you, you're not.

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Post by Ace Longbottom on Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:26 am

There were some who spent their lives, even now, fighting to prevent it.

She visibly perked at that, completely incapable of squashing that spirit that she had constantly overflowing her small, fifteen year old body. She had been fighting from the beginning of her life, a child that squirmed in her mother’s arms, that refused to speak for days when she was angry. No one, including herself knew what she was fighting against, or fighting for. She had supposed she was one of those people who just couldn’t be agreeable.

And then she met her grandparents.

That was what she was fighting against. No one would ever go through what her grandparents went through. Ever.

“I don’t want to be apart of something more, I just refuse to be apart of anything less,” she said. There was no grand philosophy to the rather clever statement, no pride in what she believed, just full, unbridled conviction. Some people were born with their purpose hanging from their neck. Just because she couldn’t fully define it didn’t mean she didn’t feel it’s weight.

“I would like to meet them,” she said, her voice level, the pear in her hand completely forgotten. “I don’t care about being alone - I just want to know I can be doing.”
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