Boggart in a Box
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Boggart in a Box

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Post by Michael Tremaine on Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:57 pm

Michael was sleep deprived, flat out. He'd just gotten back to England before daylight from the continent where, in his role as an Unspeakable, he'd been doing typically Unspeakable things. He'd stopped by the Ministry offices, debriefed with Robert who had been waiting on him, and then Michael had gone home, only to find that his home had been broken into while he was gone--of all the cheek. Who was foolish enough to break into the house of a cat-burglar anyway? He'd find them he was certain, when he was refreshed enough to do it, but he was completely put out by the fact that whoever it was had taken the wooden box that his boggart had been in. They'd apparently opened the box in the back garden and let the boggart loose. What nerve to take out a man's boggart and forget to put it back!. He had left the box on the back step in the garden and had infused himself with a couple of cups of dark roast coffee and a cigarette and then had gone to Hogsmeade.

He'd gone to Dervish and Banges to get a new spellproof padlock for the boggart box. This one, they promised, would stand up to any tests any burglar could give it. Michael had laughed out loud. He hadn't found a padlock he couldn't crack. Still, he was wagering the average thief might have trouble with this one. He'd paid for the lock and had dropped the lock in his pocket. Now, with wand in hand, he was off to find the boggart and chase it back to its proper box. He'd gotten the box from Flint Kenelm years ago, and it was nothing Michael wanted rid of. It was always good for taking Robert down a peg or two if he got too big for his shorts. Michael would simply take the boggart to some unsuspecting haunt of Robert's, open the box and unleash the boggart and wait for the fun to begin. Of course, paybacks being what they were, Robert always found a way to get back at Michael, but still, Michael liked having the boggart in its box, which was supposed to be in his cellar and was right now on the loose. The trouble with looking for a boggart was that one had to be prepared to have a couple of months frightened off of his life in the process. So far as Michael knew, the only way to truly know if one had found the boggart was if the boggart retaliated by scaring the daylights out of its pursuer.

He went behind the Hogs Head and threw open the coal chute and was immediately startled with the vision of a heavily veiled bride racing at him with massive iron shackles, ready to cuff him hand and foot. The bride raced at him and then cackled with amused laughter and then floated off at breakneck speed and disappeared.

"Come back here, you little dickens!" Michael shouted and fired his wand at the boggart now,as if it were going to do much good. He'd missed the shot because he still had the horrifying vision of being forced into marriage--any marriage--still alive in his mind. It had created enough of a distraction that the boggart had gotten away. "Damn," Michael sighed. He walked back out to the main street and took a look around, wondering where to look next.

Frustrated, he lit a cigarette and exhaled deeply. There just had to be an easier way.
Michael Tremaine
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Post by James William Wilson on Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:16 am

It was truly different being in Hogsmeade without all the snow. Certainly, he had visited the place many times throughout the year, but as a student and teacher at Hogwarts, he would most often go during the winter period, when the small, dreamy village was a white delight. That image carved itself into his mind and he would always look at the place differently when it was just ''normal''. It wasn't uneasiness, just a general feeling of strangeness, of being in a totally different place. 

As he was reacquainting himself with the architecture and the position of all the stores, he heard some old man shout spells at something behind one of the shops or houses. He then saw something float away and heard another series of shouts. There's lunatics are everywhere nowadays, he thought to himself while rolling his eyes. Hogsmeade was known as a quiet place (until you entered the Hog's Head, but that wasn't representative) and to hear an old fool shout at a bird or whatever that floating creature was, was queer, if not completely surreal. 

But, to his general surprise (and a simultaneous lack of it), he soon observed the source of all that noise and chaos. The old lunatic was, indeed, an old lunatic, but an old lunatic very familiar to him and Doyle, his old mentor and now close friend. It was, of all the people, Michael Tremaine, who helped the Order and the school back in the days. He was an eccentric old fool, but highly intelligent and very amusing. Wilson liked him. He reminded him of Doyle, who was also a lunatic in his own accord. Well, it certainly does explain why they had gotten along so well, Wilson thought to himself as he was approaching Michael. This was an unique opportunity for him, as their paths never crossed that often. 

He approached him from the side, put his long, thin arm on his shoulder and smiled. ''You seem to be having some problems, old man! Can a former Defence Against the Dark Arts professor possibly be of assistance to you?'', he asked. 
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Post by Michael Tremaine on Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:41 am

Michael felt someone grip his shoulder and for a split second he thought it was his boggart bride coming back to claim him. Marriage--God! It made his blood run cold. He looked and saw, of all people, James Wilson. What a relief.

"Well, well," he smiled, glad to see his old friend. "If you're in the mood for a boggart hunt, then, yes. You could be of assistance. Hello, James. Good to see you again. You've come just in time. Come with me. I need to go get my box." He motioned Wilson to walk with him.

"You remember that boggart that Flint gave to me?" Michael asked, with a certain presumption that it was unusual enough for a man to have a boggart that it was most likely memorable. "I still have it. Or, rather, I did, until some cheeky little amateur devil broke into my house, and amongst other things, he took my boggart box, let my boggart loose and didn't put him back. And I need him--I have plans for him."

Michael cast James a look that was pure boyish mischief, the look of a man perfectly willing to engage in tomfoolery and to enjoy every single second of it.

"Where have you been, Wilson? It's about time you came home. Things are entirely too quiet when you're away," he said to Wilson, as he peaked behind a particularly lush boxwood shrub, expecting to have a bride jump out at him. He breathed a sigh of relief.

"We're most likely looking for a hideous looking bride who cackles like a sea hag and is dragging around shackles and handcuffs the size of boat chains, in case you're wondering," Michael said. "Unless it prefers you instead, of course."
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Post by James William Wilson on Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:23 am

Wilson grinned. The grin amazed even himself, because he never grinned, but seeing Michael Tremaine after so much time and in his usual surreal self was more than amusing. He felt like a child watching a funny old man entertain it. And, of course, the story Michael had was brilliant and, had it been told by anyone else except him (or, maybe, Doyle), completely unbelievable. But of course, the old thief who was now... Wilson wasn't sure what Michael did not, but he was sure he'd find out...  he would get, of course, robbed and relieved of his more prized possession - a boggart. Wilson remembered the tale Michael was referring to, but he never thought anyone would steal from Michael, let alone his Boggart. ''It seems to me, old friend, that you're having an identity crisis. You're now doing the work of the people that did it after you stole from other people's houses'', Wilson replied with a brief laugh. ''But certainly, since you cordially accepted in my place, lead the way'', the professor said and followed the old man. 

''I taught about Boggarts while I was teaching Defence. Nasty little critters, but this is the first time I am actually chasing one and around Hogsmeade. There's a first time for everything, I guess'', Wilson said, not sure whether he was talking to Michael or to himself. ''You have plans for him? What kind of bloody plans do you have now, Tremaine?'', Wilson asked, remembering that detail. 

As Michael was looking through shrubs and rocks and other quite indecent places, which suited him in some odd way, Wilson was wondering what the Boggart would look like. He remembered his last experience with one. He saw himself, powerless, scared, watching the people he cares about perish. It was a horrible sight and the only thing he truly feared. In his experience, both in and out of Hogwarts, people seldom saw themselves when facing Boggarts. It was always someone or something else. He asked about that phenomenon and got the answer that those who see s Boggart turn into themselves have deep and strong fears that can completely destroy a person; thus, the Boggart serves both as a warning sign and a character reflection in such cases, as it shows the need for strengthening oneself. Those people are almost always strong, noble and sincere, but also have a strong emotion that could, if abused or exposed, destroy their psyche. On the other hand, there was Michael Tremaine, whose Boggart turned into a woman in a wedding dress. ''Your Boggart's a bride, really? How... quaint. I think Doyle and you have the most queer Boggarts I know of. He sees himself without his cane, with a healthy leg and wearing shiny shoes, and not All-Stars. He says it's the most horrid sight he's ever seen'', Wilson commented. 

As they were walking around the village, Wilson decided to answer Michael's last question. ''I've been... around, I guess. You know what happened, you've been there. After my Fiendfyre in Hogwarts and all that conflict, I got drained. I felt... empty inside. So I resigned my position at Hogwarts, took a break and decided to travel the continent. I needed that, really, after everything that's happened. I met some interesting people, seen some interesting places and garnered some interesting knowledge. Even got one of Gryffindor's Mensia, that might interest you. And no, you cannot have it'', Wilson spoke. ''After a year, I came back. Not long ago, actually. I'm Deputy Headmaster now and I teach some menial things. My former position was filled. And that's about it, briefly. I could tell you a lot about Europe, but I don't think it's the time or place for such long digressions'', he finished. ''And you, Michael? What have you been plotting while I was away? You seem to miss me. Maybe things will get more dynamic now that I am back'', he finally asked. 

After some time without any sign of the Boggart, Wilson got an idea. ''You know, there is no spell for summoning or luring a Boggart, but we could use you as live bait? I mean, sure, you'd have to see a bride again, which would be hilarious if you ask me, and it could work. I mean, it's here somewhere and it's yours. It'll probably try to find you eventually so why not fast forward to that moment?'', he suggested.
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Post by Michael Tremaine on Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:45 pm

"This was a rank amateur, I assure you," Robert said. "They didn't even recognize the best bits at my house. Frankly, most of what they got were some potions out of the cabinet in my bathroom. My pepper up potion, some pain potion--that sort of thing. Enough to make me wonder if they were potions addicts. A few bottles of firewhiskey but they left behind all my top shelf stuff. They took whatever they could get to first and didn't bother going back far enough in the cellar to find the good stuff.  Maybe they thought the boggart box was a treasure chest or something. Who knows? My hat rack was quite put out by it all, and Otto, one of my footstools, evidently got a bite out of them because he had a scrap of black denim and a bit of black sock. Otto ate the bite of sock, though."

He was quite sure that, of anyone around, no one had better knowledge of boggarts than Wilson. He was actually surprised though that Wilson had apparently never been boggart hunting.

"How is it that a man of your knowledge and reputation has never been boggart hunting?" Michael frowned at his friend. "You are clearly deprived, then, my friend. One hasn't lived until they find themselves actually trying to bring home one of those things that loves to go bump in the night that everybody else is trying to get rid of." As they reached Michael's house on the street behind Honeydukes where Michael picked up the empty boggart box.

"It does me no good to find him if I don't have his box. Anyway, Robert and I have an over 50 year long streak of seeing who can out prank the other. I prank him and he thinks he needs to pay me back in kind. And, of course, all that means is that I have to return the favor. The boggart is one of my favorites. I haven't used him in awhile. The last prank I did was I gave Robert a teakettle for his office, but the thing is ill tempered. It bites. I figured that would set him off good and proper but he actually likes the thing. He says it gets sassy with him if he's about to burn the tea, and he ends up getting a perfect cup every time. Who knew the kettle would take a shine to him?

"This time, I think I have him. I'm going to set the boggart off in the men's dressing room in the gym in the basement of St. Mungos. He's enough of an insomniac that he often goes there to work out in the wee hours of the morning when he's usually the only one there. That ought to fix him right up when he goes back to shower after his workout."

He laughed when Wilson told him of Doyle's boggart. He wasn't surprised that Doyle's boggart reeked of conservatism. If there was one thing about Edgar Doyle, it was a general disdain of what was socially appropriate and conservative.

"You know, the very image of seeing Edgar Doyle in a pair of patent leather oxfords boggles the mind," Michael said. "That is about as oxymoronic as it gets for me, I'm afraid. I can understand why it terrifies him. I like Doyle. I need to stop around and see him sometime. It's been a long time. What's he doing now, anyway?"

He listened to Wilson's view of the Fiendfyre that took part of Hogwarts. It had had mixed reactions from the public, but Michael understood it had been a necessary move on Wilson's part at the time. It had been unavoidable. He had been thorough the same thing with Robert when Robert had taken down the entire Ministry building to protect it from falling into the wrong hands. It had been horrendous, too, in its own way. Michael understood that sort of soul wrenching fatigue. He'd seen some men never get past it. Wilson brightened briefly when he said he had one of Gryffindor's Mensia. That did interest Michael. He believed it was in its proper hands in Wilson's care. He didn't want it for himself, but he was interested in perhaps seeing it.

"I understand how that feels," he said to Wilson when Wilson spoke of the deep fatigue that had driven him away from England. "You missed the destruction of the Ministry while you were gone. It was much like your Fiendfyre. Robert had no choice, the same way you had no choice. He had to take down the ministry or allow it and all it holds to fall into the wrong hands. He refused to do that, so he disassembled it entirely brick by brick, down to the ground. That was an ugly business too. but I'd support him again in it, just like I'd support you. You can indeed be a formidible opponent, James. I am glad we are on the same side. I would not want to ever oppose you, that's for certain. I am equally glad you are the custodian of the Mesium. You are, I think, the most capable and qualified for such an artifact. You do have to at least show it to me, though.

"And I am glad to hear you are the new Deputy Headmaster. It seems to me like you would be of great use there. From what I hear, the Headmaster these days is a figurehead and little more. About the same as our witless Minister. She's worthless too, and, for what it's worth, it's a good thing she has Robert because she knows nothing about national security or anything related to it. She looks better in a little black cocktail dress than Robert would but that's about all the positives I can find in her, honestly. That, and she knows how to schmooze at a party if she thinks it'll help her cause." The words had more venom than Michael had intended but his own job had become a good deal more lethal since she'd been elected. He'd had more close shaves in his job now than ever, and he blamed it on how ineffective she was in international affairs.

"Me?" he cast Wilson a bit of a sideways glance briefly when the question had come up. He chose his words carefully to tell Wilson what he wanted to know without violating anything. He trusted Wilson with sensitive information, so he saw no harm. Wilson had been the most trusted of all of them in the Order when he had last been in England, so he was sure it would come as little surprise to him.

"There are always 'unspeakable' things that a man like me finds himself into. After all, who better to penetrate between the proverbial 'rock and a hard place' than a catburglar?And speaking of tight places, not that I look forward to it but I suppose you're right. I'm probably best served as bait. I did notice that Gladrags put their newest fall wedding gown in their show window. I suppose if we were to go over near that window, the temptation might be irresistable for any boggart. Much as I have no desire to look at any wedding dress, it just might work. What do you think?"
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Post by James William Wilson on Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:14 am

Wilson wasn't sure whether he was surprised or not when Michael spoke of his sock-eating footstool. It was odd, that was certain, but he was in enjoying the company of Michael Tremaine and a sock-eating footstool was the exact thing one could expect Michael having. And it had a name. Otto. How... pleasant. ''Why do you have a sock-eating footstool, Michael? Wouldn't it have been easier to buy a three-headed dog or something like that? A dragon? It might be more prone to conditioning than a footstool named Otto'', he asked, also reflecting on the whole issue himself. It was a bizarre set of circumstances, that much was certain. 

And no, actually, he had never been Boggart hunting. ''As it stands, I never had the need. My Boggarts would usually find me, Michael, which is both humorous and sad at the same time, don't you think?'', he replied with a gloomy smile. ''You must have quite a feisty one, Michael, as Boggarts are usually not that chaotic. I mean, they wish to pray on their owner, not actually run away and make him chase them. But, seeing how your Boggarts turns into a chasing bride, it's actually funny'', he soon chuckled. It was truly ironic - Michael's Boggart wanted Michael to chase it so it could turn into a bride and chase Michael. Wilson's Boggart wouldn't want to chase him away, but with Michael - it had to be amusing. 

He listened carefully as Michael explained his plan and its backstory. He did not expect to hear Robert Lupin's name in connection with it, but only because he'd perceived him as too serious of a man to enable Michael's ludicrous games. But he did. And it was amusing, just everything connected to Michael was. ''Honestly, I think you're a bloody madman, Michael, but you knew that already. Beside that, it's a good plan and I think it could work. Knowing Boggarts, it would enjoy the atmosphere. Not sure what Robert's Boggart is, but if it's something believable, something that could make its way in a dark locker room in the early hours of the morning, I think you might have a winner. Not sure how anyone could beat that, seeing he'd have you as his opponent'', Wilson explained with a smile. ''I really don't know what leverage anyone could have on you, that is more creative than this. You're mad! And it's always difficult to outwit mad people!'', he added. 

The subject switched to Doyle, which was actually a smooth continuation of the conversation they had on the topic of utter lunacy. Tremaine and Doyle were similarly eccentric and Wilson was still unsure as to which one of them was more... liberal in his approach to life. ''Just seeing Doyle in anything decent is difficult to imagine... him in full formal attire? Impossible'', Wilson laughed slightly. ''Doyle's back in Diagon Alley. I went to see him once I settled back in. He's one of the few friends I still have, after everything. He's back at Slug & Jiggers, he's supposedly doing something similar to your game with Robert, but with a guy who owns a nearby cauldron shop. He's supposedly a complete moron, but I wouldn't take his word for it, since most people in Doyle's book are complete morons'', he added. ''But you should definitely visit him. I think he would be happy to see you. Genuinely happy'', he finished. 

He listened to Michael reflect on his history. Michael was there. Michael knew what happened. And hearing him say those words of support, that he would stand by him even if he did it again, it meant a lot. Although he was much better now, Wilson was a more tormented man than he'd dare to admit. He did not have visions or nightmares, or anything similar, but he kept wondering if had done the right thing, he kept awaiting something similar in the future. He was very anxious and very alert. He was always alert, though, but not in this manner. This was something new even for him. ''Thank you, my dear friend'', he practically whispered those words and placed his hand on Michael's shoulder, smiling faintly. ''You have no idea how much that means to me'', he added. As for Robert's deconstruction of the Ministry, Wilson had heard about that while he was somewhere East, in Siberia. Siberia was an amazing, but also horrifying experience. The things he saw and learned there still gave him shivers. While there, news broke of the destruction of Britain's Ministry. He was a tad surprised to learn it was Robert Lupin, but he was likewise certain his friend had a valid reason for doing it. Michael was right. Their actions were similar in their consequences, but probably also in their motivations. Wilson did what had to be done back then, in order to save the school, the children, the world - he had to destroy it. He was the only one who could do it. He was the only one who knew how to cast Fiendfyre within the Order. And that spell was the only possible solution. The Order took a blow after it, but they all recovered and they eventually did what had to be done. He was not aware of the exact circumstances surrounding Robert's act, but he was certain his train of thought was identical to his. Robert would, probably, understand better than anyone else. ''I've heard about the Ministry incident'', he finally spoke, after returning from his pensieve, ''and I am sure Robert did the right thing. I would have been there. Had I been there. I might go and see Robert, it might do us both good. As for the Mensia, I got in a very peculiar game of chess in Sweden. I just might tell you about it if you drop by my office. You have my permission to come to the school''.

He smiled at Michael's compliments about his abilities. Certainly, he was powerful, he was a formidable opponent to anyone, but he was always so critical and never satisfied. ''Thank you, Michael... I just hope... this knowledge will be of use to someone someday'', he added briefly. He had much more to learn, he knew that. The pilgrimage he made showed him how restricted his knowledge was and how much there was to learn. He would never master all of it, but he would certainly try. 

''As far as the school goes, things didn't change much since then. The Headmaster was rarely useful, with a few notable exceptions, Doyle himself included. Ogden is, as you've said, as useful as the portraits hanging in his office, albeit they might have more wisdom in them than him. He's rarely there, so I am practically running the whole school myself. It's not that fulfilling, but at least I'm back where I belong. I hope I'll be back in my old classroom soon enough. I taught Defence, in case you've forgotten'', he explained. ''I presume the situation in the Ministry's not much better. I remember it being almost worse than the school back in the day'', he added. He smiled after hearing Michael's job description. So he'd become an Unspeakable. That was also ironic, but a man as skilled as Michael was absolutely prefect for such a position. ''So, tell me, are there many unspeakable things happening in the world right now or is the Daily Prophet finally up to date?'', he asked. 

''I told you, Boggarts are specific critters. They feed on the fear. Not like Dementors, but they like it. And since this one is so attached to you, I suppose it'll want to scare you again. If you're to scared, I shall be there to intervene. I've had my fair share of experience with them. Do you have your box with you?'', he asked and looked around. ''Do you have any idea where it flew off to? We have to find a suitable place - a clearing for us with a hiding place for the Boggart'', he added. 
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Post by Michael Tremaine on Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:14 pm

"Oh, that's not the half of it. I have two footstools that think they're cocker spaniels, and a litter of puppies because Robert thinks its great fun not to tell me how to spay or neuter a footstool.  Want a puppy? And, the bloke who thinks he runs my house is a kleptomaniac hat rack named Snidely who can play a mean hand of five card stud, when he doesn't cheat. I caught him yesterday flirting with my mailbox. It's all Khaat's fault, really. She owns the house and lived there up until she had Abbey and moved in with Brian. Some time or another when she lived here, she buggared up her magic and all the stuff in the house got a mind of its own. I rent the house from her, and when I agreed to rent it, she made me promise I wouldn't change them back. She thinks its wrong to inanimate them now that they have conscious thought of their own. And, believe it or not, I am a sucker when it comes to giving into my goddaughter with such simple requests. Frankly, I enjoy the dogs, as long as I can keep up with the bill for the black socks they eat. It's the only thing they eat. That, and an occasional argyle as a treat.

"As for the boggart, Flint told me he got the boggart from Xenophilius Lovegood, and Lovegood had told him that it had been the property of the 'strange one' in the Lovegood family, if that tells you anything. I think someone managed to hide and seek with this boggart long enough that it seems to expect it every now and again. It's the only thing that seems to make any sense. Probably why Flint wanted to get rid of it." Michael listene to Wilson's appreciation of his creativity.

"Crazy like a fox," Michael flashed a boyish grin at him. "Although, Robert got me good and proper last time, which is why, of course, I have to get him back. This last time, he slipped a touch of sleeping potion in my glass of after dinner port one night, and he paid some friend of his to get her in on the plot. The next morning I woke up in my bed, literally chained hand and foot to a real woman in a wedding dress who was sleeping next to me on my bed, and on my other foot he'd shackled a ball and chain around my ankle. He hadn't bothered with the boggart. He'd simply taken things into his own hands. The man almost gave me a heart attack," Michael mused. "It's funny now, but only because I'm out for revenge."

"We are all our most toxic critics," he said when Wilson put his hand on his shoulder. "And you judge yourself much too harshly. A good many people would have died had you not done what you did. Robert and I were bloody proud of you that night. It took some calm and clear headed thinking to do what you did but it was, without question, the right choice. He brightened at the thought of coming by the school. It had been years since he had been there. Well, since Wilson had been there last. "I'll take you up on that," he smiled. "Thank you."

"Well," Michael had said when Wilson had asked, "I don't know if the Prophet will ever be up to date. The closest we came to that is when James Roland ran it, much as I didn't exactly car for the man. He was a good journalist. For my part, I've been doing a lot of extraction, rescue, retrieval and reconnaissance for the ministry. Amongst other things, I'm the guy they call when something all blown to hell, and they need someone to go in and get our people out from a deadly situation that's gotten even deadlier." Michael was also the one who sometimes had to go and retrieve the body of an operative who had been eliminated. He stole whatever needed to be stolen, retrieved what someone else had taken. He sometimes became the voice of experience for younger operatives who were sometimes too enamored with spy stories for their own good.

He picked up the wooden box off the ground and then looked around. He wasn't honestly sure where the boggart had gone off to, but he looked towards a woods behind his back garden. That might be the perfect spot. Michael sometimes walked the dogs back there.

"There's a couple of decent sized clearings back there in those trees," he indicated. "That might be a good spot. What do you think? It's not far from home, and it would provide a lot of cover."
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