Long Time No See
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Long Time No See

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Post by Khaat Lupin on Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:16 pm

Khaat had been at Gringotts doing a bit of banking. Her marriage to Brian had united his large bank account and her own large bank account, making them, as a couple, considerably wealthy. And Brian's estate was expensive to own and to run. That meant careful money management, and sometimes moving money from their joint account to the estate account, which was what she had been doing. The employees did seem to enjoy getting paid,after all.

Otherwise, she was taking advantage of a Saturday morning off. Her mother was babysitting Abbey this morning. Well, it was more likely that her mother was spoiling the two year old child. Kate Lupin had stated clearly that spoiling grandchildren was her right to do now that she was a grandmother. At any rate, it gave Khaat some well deserved free time. And that meant shopping.

She had a list of things she intended to look into. As a relatively new mom, she was learning that kids grew quickly in their first years, and that Abbey was no different. Abbey grew into new sizes well before her clothes wore out. Khaat was having to look into some warmer clothes for Abbey because fall weather was coming quickly, and she was going to need sweaters and hoodies and warmer pajamas, all sorts of things. That was top on her list today, along with picking up some books for her father at Flourish and Blotts, more food for her own eagle and a number of other errands.

She read over the list, and headed back up Diagon Alley towards Eeylops for food for her eagle when she thought she spotted someone. Could it be? Was Wilson back in town? It had been so long, and she had missed him so. She wold gladly abandon all else on her schedule today if it were really him. She quickened her pace, hoping to keep him in sight. The closer she got, the more she began to think it was indeed Wilson.

"Wilson?" she called. "Is that really you?"
Khaat Lupin
Khaat Lupin
Gryffindor Graduate
Gryffindor Graduate

Number of posts : 19042
Special Abilities : Energy Worker, Medium, Heightened Sensitivity
Occupation : Director of St. Mungos, Owner of Sparks Bistro

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Post by James William Wilson on Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:33 am

He liked late summer, when fall was just around the corner. The temperatures were quite nice and there was still enough sunny days to give the impression of some pastoral sanctuary. Diagon Alley was always busy this time around, which is why Wilson decided to abuse that fact to his advantage. Returning from Europe after a year was not as easy as he thought it would be. A lot has happened back then. He taught, he had to set half the school on fire with serious Dark Magic and then got involved in a war he thought he'd never have to relive. It was a chaotic time and after it was over, nothing remained the same. Himself included. 

Aware of the changes and the ruins left behind another madman's game, Wilson, considered by some a hero of the conflict, but (luckily for him) unknown to most people, decided to leave. He left everyone and everything - his friends, his pupils, his teaching position - everything was not an eternal part of his memories, but not his present. He packed one bag, took his wand and went to Europe. The continent was different. Some parts didn't even know about the war, some suffered more than Britain. But the experience was unique. He discovered and learned new forms of magic, he met a lot of interesting people and all that contributed to the general and absolutely necessary catharsis he yearned for. 

He had returned to London not long ago, telling no one of his return. He did not change, Europe did not change him. But he was - rested. The utter exhaustion he felt back then disappeared completely and he was, once more, his usual grim self, but with a new curiosity he wanted to explore further while back home. After settling back to his apartment, he decided to go for a walk around Diagon Alley. His intention was to stroll the streets, get lost among the people and enjoy the breeze, for the first time in a while. However cold he might come off, Wilson was a melancholic and enjoyed the small things, he just had to devise a barrier for him so as to keep the idealist from getting hurt. Much. By the end of the day, he would probably have met with Doyle as to inform him of his return. 

But, as life would have it, the dice had other plans for him. Before leaving, he left three messages - one for Doyle, one for McCoy and one for Arthur. No one else knew he was going away, and not even them knew when he would be back. It was for the best, he thought back then and although he missed them enormously, he knew he would not be of much use to them at that time, considering the state he was in. He did not plan to meet anyone today, except Doyle. He wasn't even sure whether he wanted to meet anyone familiar. But he did. He recognized her voice immediately and he knew how she saw him, seeing how he was taller than most people in the streets. It was Khaat Lupin, a very good friend of his. He quickly turned around, let a brief smile escape his face and nodded, with a slight bow. It is me, old friend, he thought to himself as he started pushing through the people to greet her. ''My dear Khaat, you look better than I remember you. I see this break from all the fighting has been more than good to you'', he said gently. 
James William Wilson
James William Wilson

Number of posts : 1079
Occupation : Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts / Apparition Instructor

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Post by Khaat Lupin on Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:50 pm

"Thank you," she smiled. "And you. You look wonderful. I didn't expect to see you today, but what a nice surprise. I didn't know you were back, but, if I know you at all, there aren't many of us that knows you're back yet. You always did prefer to keep under the radar if you could manage it. It isn't a bad strategy when one can manage it. So what are you up to these days? Teaching again yet?"

She tried to remember what had happened in her life that he did not know. She believed he had been around when she had married Rob but there was so much that had happened afterwards that, so far as she knew, Wilson had most likely missed. The path her life had taken from her marriage on had been quite the rollercoaster ride, but for now, she was blissfully happy, with the exception of one enormous werewolf that had a most unhealthy fixation for her. In fact, she would have had her own bodyguard with her today as well but he had business elsewhere, and she had promised she would not stray from Diagon Alley and the most recognized shops so Brian would not worry. This werewolf was the very reason Robert had hired Marcus to go everywhere she went--except today. Here with Wilson, though, she felt immediately safer. No crazed werewolf would lay claim to her while Wilson was around, she was positive. Still, getting out of the open might well be the best strategy, she decided.

"Are you in a hurry?" she asked. "Might I talk you into tea someplace or something? We should catch up. We're not far from Sparks. We could go there, if you like. My treat. Besides, my chef has asked me to stop by and sample her ideas for autumn pastries, and it's always nice to have a second opinion."

Sparks was Khaat's haven for creativity. Angus, the man who now ran her estate and cooked for them, was the man behind all the food at Sparks. She was blessed that the bistro always seemed to get good reviews because of it's light, laid back atmosphere and it's reputation for good food. Angus designed the recipes, and Lizzie, the restaurant's chef, often had pastry ideas of her own. These new things she wanted Khaat to try were her thoughts for new dessert offerings that would embrace the fall season and take advantage of fruits and vegetables that would be at their best as the weather cooled. And, her father supplied flavored teas. His interest in potions had fueled an interest in taking different tea blends and flavoring them in all sorts of ways. She was sure Sparks had some new fall offerings for her to sample before they were added to the menu as well.

It was also a place she had always felt safe. There were no particular protections around the place, but there had not been any trouble here. It was a place she could go and take a briefcase of paperwork and sit in a quiet corner with a cup of French roast coffee and not be bothered at almost any time of day. The only places that were more or less forbidden for her these days was the alley that ran alongside the bistro and the one that ran behind it. At night they were both full of shadows that were difficult to light, and she had to admit both alleys gave her shivers at night, and moreso since there had been werewolf sightings in the back alleyways near Diagon Alley lately. She didn't know whether it connected to the weirdo that had designs on her, but she didn't care to find out either.
Khaat Lupin
Khaat Lupin
Gryffindor Graduate
Gryffindor Graduate

Number of posts : 19042
Special Abilities : Energy Worker, Medium, Heightened Sensitivity
Occupation : Director of St. Mungos, Owner of Sparks Bistro

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Post by James William Wilson on Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:23 am

''Yes, actually, you've caught me by pure chance'', he said. ''And thank you, but... do you know how I know people are being polite to me? If they tell me I look wonderful'', he laughed a bit. ''I've never looked wonderful my whole life. But thank you nevertheless'', he added. ''I came back only recently, I took a long break from Britain after everything that had happened. You know it as well as I do. I was... empty. I couldn't be here. So I left and traveled the Continent for a year or so. I went as far as Russia'', Wilson explained. He had not had the chance to speak to anyone about his pilgrimage, as he liked to call it. He saw a lot. He met a lot of different people, but most importantly - he had learned a lot. There was so much to magic that Wilson had never even heard of and he had the opportunity to learn some of those things. ''Not many people knew I went away. Even less know I am back. You know me, dear Khaat... that hasn't changed. Always a shadow, but always near'', he said. 

She really did look good. He was glad about it. He really was. He cared for a handful of people and despite him still being shook by everything that had happened, he was truly happy to see others doing well. It comforted him slightly, it showed him his effort was not in vain. Maybe he did too much, but ultimately - some people live in a happier place because of what he did. ''Seeing you like this makes me happy, really'', he smiled. 

She offered him tea. Technically, he was not in a hurry, he had absolutely nothing to do at the moment, but was he ready for that? ''Your chef? I deduce Sparks is yours? But, I don't remember you owning a dining place in Diagon Alley? Heck, I don't remember the place itself'', he commented. He was still thinking what to say. He wanted to, but he was afraid he was not ready for it. They had all moved on, they continued with their lives in this happier version of a world that rose from his hellfire back in Hogwarts, while he - although more experienced and knowledgeable - wasn't sure whether he had moved on. They were all happy. He... wasn't. He wasn't sad, but he could not say he was happy. He could never do it, even before, but now - he was more sure in it than ever. She didn't need him in such a state. No one did. ''Khaat, I...'', he said and paused. Whywouldshewanttoseeyou? whydoyouwanttogoyesthenaccept,butnoyou'renotinaconditionto gogonogodontgodo... ''... I accept'', he finally said. This answer took a lot out of him. ''But, you will have to lead the way'', he said and tried to smile, ''I don't know where the mentioned place is''. 

As they went, he did notice something odd about Khaat. He had noticed it, briefly, when they met, but it was now more obvious. Someone else might not have noticed it, but he knew Khaat and he knew how to observe details. ''Khaat, is everything alright?'', he looked around. ''You seem to be a tad anxious? I hope I am not to blame. I know I can have that effect on people...'', he added, still watching. 
James William Wilson
James William Wilson

Number of posts : 1079
Occupation : Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts / Apparition Instructor

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Post by Khaat Lupin on Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:04 am

"Now, why would I try to butter you up like that?" she laughed. "I admit to being a little biased but you will always look good to me, my friend." She listened to his explanation for his absence. It made sense to her. "You were certainly entitled to recovery time and a change of pace," she said. "You were in a horrendous position in that last Hogwarts battle. When good people have to do terrible things for good purposes that they don't want to do, the effects can be nightmarish--or worse."

She did at least somewhat understand it--the loneliness, the hurt, the emptiness, all of it. And if there was one thing she did not want for Wilson it was all of that ugly empty place that came after marching through hell. she'd been in that place herself twice in her life that she could remember. Was what she experienced anything close to what Wilson had, in its own way? She didn't know but she felt her father had been there twice--or would he consider it to be three times now? She wasn't sure. She took his arm, as a woman might do with a gentleman.

"You were right to come home," she said, "because I don't think you'll find the rest of what you're looking for by yourself. Its time to be amongst friends again. And what makes me happy today is being with you."

"This way," she said with a smile, gesturing forward down the street to get to Sparks. "I started Sparks just before everything at Hogwarts went off the proverbial rails, so you might not have even heard we were here. It's sort of a bistro/coffee shop/bakery. Part of what makes us a bit out of the norm here is that I use only seasonally fresh ingredients, and everything is freshly made, by hand, nothing conjured--ever. I have a couple of really good chefs, and my father has a hobby of tinkering with tea blends. He creates all our flavored teas according to the season and all our herbal teas, and they're always good sellers--especially the almond tea. People like that we have sofas and comfy chairs in front of the fireplace and not just tables and chairs. And, we started conjuring some simple little animated animal figures out of sparkling light for the kids, and the kids love watching the animals dancing or playing around on the ceilings or walls, and that's how we got the name Sparks. Our servers started calling the little spark animals 'sparks' because kids asked to go to the place with sparks."

And then he'd noticed. She had not wanted him to see, but he had always been a master of observation. Of course he had noticed. So, what to do? Brush it off? Would Wilson be brushed off? Not likely at all.

"You're not to blame, believe me," she said, deciding to be honest. "You're the very reason I feel safe. I am always safe with you. Someone has been...admiring me...in a most unhealthy way. I don't see him here right now, but it has me looking over my shoulder, I'm afraid. If he were here, we would both most certainly notice him. He stands 7'2", so he's hard to miss. I'll tell you more about that later. My husband didn't want me coming here alone, but I promised him I would stick to Diagon Alley. And Sparks is a safe place, so I am keeping my word."

"You know," she said, "it occurs to me that you probably aren't up on the fact that I am no longer Mrs. Dent. That's a long story but the one sentence version of the story is that it didn't work out--except for my wonderful daughter, Abbey. She's two now. She's the only good thing that came out of that relationship. And, since, I have remarried to the Ministry's auror trainer, Brian Quinn in fighting and dueling tactics, and he's good at all kinds of law enforcement work and private investigative work. He and I grew up together--he was my best friend since we were eight years old. I never had any romantic thoughts about him while we were in Hogwarts, but that's clearly changed. You're going to like him, I think. He's a good husband, and he's a great father. He thinks of Abbey as his, and I am looking to make that official. Oh--here we are." They had reached Sparks. "This is it. Come in," she said, .

Inside, the large bistro was warm and welcoming, with a full bakery counter and tea and coffee counter on the left for people who wanted to buy their goods and go. There were tables with comfortable chairs, and on the other side of the bistro were tables and booths, more tables and chairs, and a large seating area with loveseats, comfortable club chairs, coffee tables and side tables, all close to a large fireplace or near the Bistro's large windows. The Bistro's colors were warm taupe walls with clean white trim, and it was decorated with white art work on the walls, white accent colors and a lot of lush green plants, making the place clean, friendly and comfortable.

"This is it. This is my place," She said. "Let's find an out of the way table, shall we? Do you have a preference for fireplace or window?" she asked him. As she spoke, a waitress conjured a little sparkling outline of a teal bunny on the back wall near a little boy, and the bunny hopped up the wall, around the ceiling and lingered and seemed to play with a lighted picture of a tea cup above the tea counter before diving into the lighted tea cup in the picture and disappearing. The little boy beamed with excitement and clapped. "See what I mean? You should see it when we do a child's birthday party," she laughed.
Khaat Lupin
Khaat Lupin
Gryffindor Graduate
Gryffindor Graduate

Number of posts : 19042
Special Abilities : Energy Worker, Medium, Heightened Sensitivity
Occupation : Director of St. Mungos, Owner of Sparks Bistro

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