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the definition of family

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Post by Teddy R. Lupin Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:59 am

(Thanks! I miss polyvore but this new site is fun too. Also my muse was wonky, so sorry it’s a little all over the place)

“That would be lovely, thanks,” Lily said. She was sure Robert’s spell to fix up the greenhouse would be much faster and more efficient. Despite her need for solitude, her discomfort spending time with people who were not the closest to her… she did want to help pick out the seeds. She nodded her affirmation of the plan.



Khaat was the closest thing Teddy had ever had to a biological sister. The Potter-Weasley cousins basically functioned as siblings, and by that metric, his cousin Khaat was the strongest link he would have to his father. These little moments reminded him of that link.

Kate took center stage to further explain the set up. It sounded better than expected, knowing the limitations they were working with. It was a surprisingly large operation, though he was sure it did not often feel like that, and he was pleased to know how much they were able to handle. The small tutor pods, the birthday celebrations, the on-call staff - many of their bases were covered.

But they needed a professional to speak to, they needed to understand their trauma did not define them. These were children separated from their family, forcibly. How many would reunite with their parents, completely shifting their sense of belonging? And how many would not, would find themselves alone - because even if they found the best foster family in the world, they would always have the smallest feeling of otherhood.

He knew that well enough.

He had not worked with children in his counseling, but he had become a bit of an unofficial guidance counselor at Hogwarts. It could not be a coincidence. He wasn’t a perfect fit but certainly something was better than nothing.

He wanted to blurt out right then and there that he wanted to take on that vacancy, when Robert changed the subject. Probably for the best, he should spend more time considering everything, rack his mind for former associates with more experience in this particular field, figure out whether he even had the time to do it properly.

He followed and had to stifle a laugh at the exchange following the reveal of the hothouse. Lily, giving credence to Robert’s assertion, stepped inside, inspecting a plant seriously. She nodded and said, “I would like to take a shot at it, actually. The magic of potions starts with the ingredients but I’ve never done any cultivation outside of class. I’d really like to try.”
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Post by Khaat Lupin Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:35 am

"You are a brave woman," Kate said to Lily. "And if you can keep up with his madcap potions ideas, then you are a far better potions assistant that I am for him."

"She only comes down to the lab when I am desperate to chop up bushel baskets of new plants," Robert told her. "She can do that, but I am not likely to let her brew much of any potion. It is not her forte. I trust her implicitly in the kitchen, but in the lab? I'd rather not."

"I passed all my potions classes with Outstandings, I'll have you know," Kate frowned.

"And that was a millennium ago," Robert teased her.  Kate rolled her eyes.

"He is such a boy sometimes," she said. "You want to see how much of a boy he is? Let me show you something." She walked out of the hothouse, motioning them to follow her. Robert glanced at Khaat, wondering what Kate was on about, and Khaat shrugged her shoulders, without a clue. Kate went over to the weapons room, opened it up and walked in, turning on the lights. The shelves were chockablock with wands, staffs, various types of cloaks and boots, equipment belts, wand holsters, handcuffs, and all manner of blades. In addition there were jars upon jars of little cherry-sized fabric balls, with several jars of fabric balls that were a bit larger, about the size of tangerines, and, then there were two large crates in the corner. She took one of the jars of the little balls down and opened it and got out a few of the fabric balls.

"Oh. Those," Robert said. "They have purpose."

"They didn't until Angus found them," Kate said. She gave one to Teddy and one to Lily .

"They're fun," Robert smiled. Khaat looked at him and saw pure boyish mischief on his face. Her mother was right. He did have a bit of a boy still within him. She began to see that perhaps Remus's tales of the mischief they both got into might not have been purely fabricated after all.

"Stand over here," Kate motioned to them to stand on one side of the room. "Now, they're noisy, so just be warned. Chuck them over against the far wall." She hurled her little fabric ball over so it hit the floor right against the far wall. It blew up with a flash and a bang, and a completely opague cloud of smoke rose up from the floor. Khaat expected Abbey to be startled enough to cry, but she laughed and clapped.

"More!" Abbey said, fascinated.

"It's a smokescreen!" Khaat said.

"It is indeed," Robert said. "They're called cherry bombs. Small enough to fit a lot of them in your pocket. I made them for a Hogsmeade Halloween party one year, and I had some leftovers. Angus found them, brought them here, and I've been making them ever since. Our agents seem to like them quite a lot, and they make for some dandy pranks."

"Give me one," Robert told Kate. She passed one to him and Robert made a pretense of letting Abbey throw one but he made sure he tossed it to the other side of the room. She was delighted by the bang it made and the bright flash of colored sparks.

"You see the larger ones behind you? They don't fit in your pocket," Kate said, pointing to the tangerine sized.

"Depends on the size of your pocket," Robert teased, "But they'll usually clear a room in under fifteen seconds."

"And those two crates? They make no sense at all," Kate said. She lifted the lids on them to show two large fabric pumpkins.

"There are only two of them," Robert sighed.

"There are only two because I would not let you make three," Kate said. "I cannot imagine how big of a cloud those will produce." Robert cast a particularly rogueish grin at them. Those were his favorites. He had done a rough calculation of how big a smokescreen it would make, but he hadn't actually tried it.

"You're not even out of Hogwarts yet, and he's going to be teaching you pyrotechnics," Kate looked at Lily. "You might not want to tell your potions professor about what you're learning."

"I'm sure this isn't the first little bit of smoke and noise you've seen," Robert looked at Lily, not concerned about her. "At any rate, this is where the replacement equipment is for the agents. Clothing, especially mission wear, is upstairs near their sleeping quarters. If you damage or lose something, not to worry, its why we have this room, so you can get things replaced quickly. I want eventually, to add some different sizes of first aid kits so that our agents have them at the ready, and I'm certainly interested in any ideas either of you have or any help you can give towards it. Very few of our agents are healers, so the kits, hopefully, would hold them until they can get back here to us."


Last edited by Khaat Lupin on Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Teddy R. Lupin Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:36 pm

Teddy could see Lily relaxing, her face not exactly smiling but smoothing over, more at ease, less uncertain of her presence. She was checking in with him less, staying fixed in the moment, holding her own in the conversation.

Teddy knew he needed to stop getting so involved in her emotional journey - he could not force her to get better, he could not guide her along in every emotionally volatile moment. She had regressed, sure, but she was not a child. And he could not fill the gaps of her parents or sometimes-absentee brothers - trying to do so would only deepen a sense of codependency he would have never thought her capable of before.

Himself, however? Yeah, that tracked.

They left, Lily a bit reluctantly, and Teddy felt a sense of dread that often came with stumbling across a discarded Dungbomb or Puking Pastille wrappers. Merlin, he could only imagine the chaos some of his students could cause with this horde - Jack Dyllan came to mind.

Having grown up with the Potters and Weasleys, he could not help but admit that the stockpile was pretty exciting. But this wasn’t a harmless collection of fun pranking devices. These were tools to be used in a dance of survival, and it all came back to him. This was a noble cause, but a dangerous one. People who were capable of kidnapping were also capable of hurting or killing those who tried to intervene. So as worried as he should be that Lily would be helping to produce these delicate concoctions, he was relieved to know she would be safely tucked away, and she would never need to actually use them.

But he was still worried about the other family members who were out in the field. Teddy turned back to Kate. “How often do your agents’ excursions get explosive?”

Lily even uttered a laugh at Kate’s warning to keep it quiet and Teddy added, “Yeah, officially, I haven’t seen any of this.” Not that any of his colleagues would even listen to him. Not that he really spoke with any of them.

“I’ve been wanting to work more on my Healing potions, so I’ll help with that too,” Lily continued, looking thoughtful. Teddy granted himself permission to officially stop worrying about her now - she was quite at home here.
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Post by Khaat Lupin Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:21 pm

"A fair question," Robert looked at Teddy. "How much danger they're in generally becomes proportionately increased with how many other people are involved. Usually one or two of our agents can slip in and back out of a place and not be seen or caught. However, our enemy is organized too, and they have multiple operatives and locations. There are times when a relatively large number of what they refer to as 'merchandise' is moved at one time. For us, those operations are large scale and require not only a large number of agents but it also requires us to be able to move large numbers of people without getting someone hurt or killed and without our location being compromised. The larger the risk, the more the need is for weapons or all kinds of different distractions. We're having to be more creative with those things all the time." He pulled a key ring out of his pocket and looked through his keys and started work to remove a key from his key ring.

"We are fortunate," he continued, "to have some agents who are well trained and experienced extraction specialists, some of them are either current or former aurors or Unspeakables, but you never heard me say that. When we have no choice but to remove someone from a dangerous situation--that's what's known in the espionage world as an extraction, and there are people who particularly specialize in knowing do those sorts of missions. Of anything we do, the large scale extraction operations are by far the most dangerous." He tried to shield his own emotions well, but even so, Robert could not completely hold back his anger and revulsion at the practices he'd come up against so many times over the years. "And in those cases we can be rescuing sometimes 20 or 30 frightened children--usually of all sorts of ages--and trying to do it quickly and without injury. When those large scale operations happen, it's almost always at night because that's when our enemy is moving, and it's an all hands on deck thing. We need agents in the field, and we need agents here. Those operations are always as well planned and coordinated as we can make them, and it can be a long and very busy night. We all hold our collective breaths until everyone is back safe and sound."

Changing subjects, he turned to Lily. "Before I forget to give this to you, I want to give you this." He handed her the key. "This key will open the door of the hothouse and the potions lab. The only other people that have keys to the lab are Brian, Kate, Angus, and me. Brian and Angus do not brew potions. They only have keys because of their position in the organization and in their occasional need to see if we have a certain potion on hand. The only potions makers in this operation are me and you. I think the ingredients stores are in good shape, but if we're missing something, let me know, and we'll get it. And, you'll soon be able to get those things yourself. I'm glad you're interested in healing potions, and I can help you polish your skills with those since I brew most of the ones used at St. Mungo's. We do use a fair amount of things here, too. I have a book of the formulas we need, and it's laying on the workbench in the lab. I've made little sidebar notes as I've used them to note down any special tips or tricks in each formula. It should help you if you need it. There's a separate book that has not only an inventory of equipment and ingredients but also a list of what potions we already keep at the ready. You're welcome use my lab at the farm too. It carries some of the more oddball ingredients there, so you might enjoy some of those things too. Shall we go see the lab?"

He walked across the hall and opened the door to the lab, the place that he often found himself spending time in. He flicked on the lights, wondering how many hundreds of hours he'd spent here over the years, and he was getting the feeling that Lily was going to be making this a home away from home as well, just like he had done. It was what he needed her to do. He needed her to take some leadership of this portion of the operation because he had so many other irons in the fire and in so many different places. He needed to be able to leave this in very capable hands, and he had a good feeling about her.

The labs he worked in now, whether it was here or home or St Mungos, were quite a bit different from the academic lab in Hogwarts, or at least from what he remembered the school's lab being. This was not a dark, ominous looking teaching lab. This was a workhorse of a lab. It was designed for one or two people to work quite comfortably in, with a lot of room, well organized, impeccably clean, and well lit with stained glass magical lamps. The shelves were backlit, causing the jars to look like hundreds of additional colored lights. There were some lush hanging plants in front of the cellar windows, partly to conceal the lab and partly to give a sense of life to the place. There was a wizarding radio on the far corner of the worktable because music helped to drive away the silence, especially in the wee hours when the nights got long. On the outer wall of the room were the shelves of cauldrons and equipment and a large farmhouse sink for all the washing up, with a counter and a pot for coffee and one for tea, with a hanging rack of some of Kate's colorful pottery mugs. There were two trash bins, one near the sink, and the smaller one was built into the workbench. A handy hole in the surface of the workbench allowed the entire bench to be cleaned off with a mere swipe of a bench scraper, straight into the bin. On another wall was a smallish Victorian era fireplace with a cast iron grate that was still in working order. It could easily drive off any winter damp and cold, and in front of it were two deep and comfortable wing chairs and a somewhat worn Persian rug for those periodic breaks that every potions maker desperately needed. Robert thought it was a rather pleasant space, if any potions lab could be considered pleasant.

"All he needs is a cot and a shower, and I'd lose him down here for weeks," Kate said. "Feel free to update this if you need to, Lily. Put your own touches to it."


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Post by Lily Luna Potter Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:34 am

Lily kept her breath steady but she felt almost faint. It was becoming more real, being here, hearing the dangers outlined. She was the daughter of heroes but she was no hero. She had not even managed to save herself, felt in jeopardy just under the weight of everyday pressure. She would surely crumble under the pressure of other lives, of the risks involved. She was as much a liability as she was an asset - maybe moreso.

No.

She was not a Potter, that was not what she had to offer. Her name was the liability, not an asset, and she had more to offer beyond it. She was a skilled Potioneer, and being a Potter did not help not impede that. Locked away here, she could let those worldly pressures melt away, she could pretend it was some other celebrity kid who had messed up so awfully, who had nearly let everyone down - only her secrecy protected her.

There were bigger problems in the world and if she could help solve a few of them, she owed the world that. Not as a Potter, or the child of heroes, but as someone capable of helping.

Capable.

She glanced towards Teddy but he was engrossed in the explanation, for once not constantly checking in on her. It was a relief and she felt herself relax. But he was paying attention as someone memorizing every detailing, preparing… he would go along with them all, he would be in danger’s way. They couldn’t lose Teddy. Losing Teddy would completely untether what was left of her family. She would see her brothers at his funeral and then never again until the next funeral. She could not lose him, and she could not stop him.

These thoughts were thankfully interrupted as Robert addressed her and she hesitated before slowly reaching out to take the key. It had been a long time since someone had given her such a show of good faith. She had felt a bit incompetent since losing her prefect title and this was… too much.

Her face spoke of this surprise, this uncertainty to rise to the occasion, but only for a moment. Her face smoothed over and she hoped no one would consider it further. “Thank you. I… I really appreciate it and I’m looking forward to helping.” She nodded a bit numbly at his offer to see the lab and she fell into step with him.

Teddy fell behind with Kate and Khaat, sinking deeper into thought. “What’s happening with the villains behind the kidnappings? I assume most of the effort is focused solely on the kids, on getting them out. Any follow up with the criminals?”

Lily’s eyes widened when they entered the lab. The dungeons were a safe place to contain explosions and open flame but Merlin they were dreary, of course Potions was one of the least favored classes. This revealed the true potential of a Potions lab, the cleanliness, the sharp lines against the warmth of life. She thrived in its scientific accuracy, the precision. One’s output matched its input, it was reassuringly predictable when mastered.

“It’s brilliant,” she summed up, beginning to shine. “I don’t think there’s any improving it. I may bring my own cauldron… if I can? I’ve been planning on picking up a specialty copper cauldron - seems as good an occasion as ever.”
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Post by Khaat Lupin Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:18 am

(this put my memory to the test, trying to remember the villain's name and his backstory. I could have started fresh, but i got a wild hair to get it right. lol)

Robert saw Lily shine when he handed her the key, and when he finally let her in the lab, he saw a light in her face that he rarely ever saw in someone who worked in the St. Mungo's lab simply duplicating the things that the hospital needed. She had passion, a real and rare desire to be in the lab. He could see it, and he could feel it. And that heart that he saw meant more to him than any of the insecurity he could also see. This, he could work with.

"Of course," he smiled when she asked about the copper. He liked her thinking. "Copper cauldrons are some of my favorites. I used to have a nice one here, and one of our aurors believe he could simply open my book and brew one of my potions. He buggered it and split my good copper cauldron completely in half and caught the workbench on fire. Hence, the reason why there are only certain people allowed now in the lab, and that's why I don't actually have a copper pot here right now. It's an excellent choice.

"When you get a chance, you brew me a potion," he told her looking straight at her. He wanted her to see that he did believe in her. She had already proven herself to him, even if perhaps she didn't know how she'd done it. That was irrelevant. Now he needed to see where her skills were. "You pick it. Help yourself to any ingredient you find in here, and put together for me your signature, favorite potion--something that you think shows me your best skills in some area, whether you're showing me knowledge, or technique or finesse or your own creativity. That's all up to you. It isn't a job interview, understand? You've got the job already, and I'm turning you loose to work in this lab or at the farm, either one. I'll give you a key to the farm too. You come and go as you want. I just want to see where your strong suits are, so show me your chops."

"The story of our enemy is goes back longer than our agency has been around," Kate told Teddy. "We're dealing with a family named Gelding--a powerful, wizarding criminal family with a large scale business that isn't afraid to extend it's tendrils all over the wizarding world from one end to the other. They're into making money in all sorts of ways, but over the last two generations, they've focused in pretty tightly, believe it or not, on making muggle money. Think about it--muggle money is almost endless. Most wizards don't even think about muggle money, and it's easy to get it converted to our currency. And, in point of fact, it goes almost completely unchecked because of the universal prohibition in letting muggles know about our world. It ties our hands from creating a cooperative agreement with the muggles. The Geldings do it on an unabashed basis because it's the key to what makes their operation work.

"What they do is reprehensible," Kate continued. "They either take wizarding children or they manage to find the most desperate wizards and witches and make deals by giving them a payoff of some sort for their children, almost always a pitiable sum. That's why we can't return some of our rescued children--their parents have sold them to Gelding who eases any trace that the child exists. The Geldings prefer to get children who are just starting to come into their magic, and they only teach them the few spells they want the children to know, and then they make lucrative deals with equally greedy muggles and place the children with them. The job of the children is use what little magic they know, working for the muggles making them wealthy and passing on the majority of the money they make back into the ones who placed the children there. We have reason to think that when the children reach a certain age, they are administered either a potion or spell that blocks that child's magic on a long term basis, and then they are turned out into the muggle world to live out their lives as muggles. That allows another child to be placed into that same muggle home, creating turnover opportunities."

"They're slippery and nigh onto impossible to catch," Robert sighed. "We damage them on a regular basis, but they always somehow survive and live to try my patience  another day. There are times it does feel like we're one little crew battling an enormous kraken. Thomas Gelding, the man who heads their operation now is the grandson of Jeremiah Gelding, the man who started it. Jeremiah was a squib who was deeply bitter about not having magical powers, so he made up his mind to take full advantage of his knowledge of the muggle world, and it was his twisted thinking that came up with this. He was an old man by the time that we knew of him at all back in the early days, and he was in the process then of turning the reins over to his son, Isadore, a man who was not a squib like his father. Isadore inherited the magic his father had not, but he had been well indoctrinated into the family business and the lure of big money. Jeremiah died twenty years ago or longer--I'd have to double check the dates, and Isadore died about ten years ago..."

"Tell them the full truth," Kate said to Robert. "Don't sugar coat it. They don't need it. Robert killed Isadore to save one of our other operatives. Robert used to go out on each and every extraction we did in those days because the design and command of those missions had fallen to him. He and Michael and I were the only founding members left. It was a serious blow to them that night, and now they hate everything Robert stands for. He has to be a good deal more selective now on whether he dares to go out or not, and if he does, he nearly always has to use something like polyjuice to do it, and that just isn't healthy for him to have to do over and over multiple times, year after year. I'm not willing to have him tax his body like that. I plan on both him and me living very long lives and growing completely ancient together even by wizard standards."

"Ancient?" Robert frowned. "Do we really want to be ancient? At any rate, we're dealing now with Thom Gelding, who is very bitter that I killed his father. If there is a good side, he is not quite as gifted with IQ points as Isadore, and he's hot tempered and impulsive. He likes to live large, and that sort of ostentatiousness makes him more visible and, at times, more careless. That leads him to be more prone to making small mistakes that can give us some little openings, and so far, we've been able to watch him for every little crack we can find and we use those to get more children back, which of course only yanks his chain a bit harder. It's been a bit of a back and forth contest, and, since they're not operating in England, I can't do much about it in the way I'd like. We could wrestle some of the tendrils of the thing but in order to shut them down for good, we need to hit the beast right in its filthy core, which is here. Frustrates the daylights out of me, but that's the nutshell version of it all. Part of the obstacle is that for any of the wizarding governments to acknowledge that Gelding's operation even exists means that they would have to admit that the primary directives of wizarding law that prohibit muggles from knowing that magic exists has been openly violated and has been allowed to continue to be violated for nigh onto fifty years, and that would cause a massive panic in our world--a panic that they think they can avoid by simply turning a blind eye to Gelding completely. Obviously, I can't settle for that because it also turns a blind eye on the children, and I won't ever do that. I can't. It isn't in me to leave them behind."
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Post by Lily Luna Potter Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:57 pm

((haha no worries! Sorry my two are asking sooo many questions lmao but I’m also stoked about this, it’s a full fledged plot I’m excited to explore!))

Lily was getting excited to have someone to talk to about this niche minutiae. It wasn’t like she could talk to Teddy or her cousins about the difference between copper and pewter cauldrons, or the merits of a thinner bottom during a Wideye Potion as opposed to a more expensive cauldron with double thickness. It was strange to suppose she would have anything of consequence to share with Robert Lupin, a seasoned expert in his field with a wide net of connections. Even so. It would just… be nice.

She nodded at his challenge, and her mind reeled. She’d have to consider it further, she was not much of an improviser and did not like having to make quick decisions. If it was within the context of a potion recipe and a quick substitution - no problem. But having to make a choice, without thought - not her cup of tea. She was excited for the opportunity - she knew that once she figured out what she was doing, she was going to thrive. She had to.

Teddy pulled out a stool and sat, listening carefully, wincing along with some of the more horrific details. She watched him sigh, dropping his head to run a hand through his hair, and then over his face, pulling his features down and briefly aging him. He looked so much like Remus in that moment that the connection to that generation reverberated through Lily’s chest. They would always be tied to the events of the past - just as it seemed Geldon would be too.

Lily did not sit. She flexed her knees and kept her chin from dipping, watching each speaker in turn. She did not like to think of Teddy going up against someone so nefarious - she did not want to think of Khaat or Kate or Robert in the thick of danger. But to think of what would happen to those kids if they did not act was much, much worse. Are these the feelings her father and mother felt, a sense of dread meeting against the conviction that they had to do whatever they could?

After Robert finished, Lily glanced over to Teddy as though waiting for him, but he still seemed to be processing and she felt the need to say… something. Slowly, she said, “Well… I want to be able to help keep all of you in the field safe. I can get started this week. I’ll start doing research.”

This roused Teddy and he locked eyes with Robert, offering him a nod with a slightly clenched jaw. “I mean… this is bad. This must mean that there are people in the Improper Use of Magic office helping cover this up, otherwise all this underage magic would trigger some sort of investigation, yes? It’s not just one man and some cronies but systematic corruption. Generational. Who knows how many other unrelated cases of neglect have been ignored in the wake of such a broken system.”

His hair was darkening, the stubble on his chin nearly becoming a five o’clock shadow, his eyes sharpening. Lily’s eyes widened - he hadn’t morphed from emotion in years. He had always been remarkably controlled. He realized it immediately and let out a breath, coming back to his regular self. “We’re going to fix it, though, aren’t we?”

It wasn’t a question.
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Post by Khaat Lupin Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:38 pm

(Awesome, because Robert wants to get into the training room with Teddy and spar with him, and he wants to get into the lab with Lily. And all of mine want to go on this upcoming night mission to round up kiddos. lol)

"Well, you're right, of course," Robert said to Teddy, "and corruption being what it is, I am equally sure that there is some element of corruption in al the wizarding governments regarding the prime directive and how secure it is or isn't, and the motivations around it, both pro and con, are surely, endless, as they have always been. In my own humble opinion, I've always thought that how long our world stays secret is only a matter of time. Eventually, if we are wise, the two worlds will have to learn how to co-exist in some form or another." He heard the tension in Teddy's voice and the need for some sort of reassurance that the battle could be won. Robert didn't have a doubt about that. Regardless of how much time it too, they would win, and the children would be rid of people like Tom Gelding.

"The situation with Gelding isn't as desperate as it seems. Remember, we have the advantage at this point," Robert reminded Teddy. "Tom Gelding is interested in looking like he has the world by the horns. He lives exorbitantly so he can flash money and all kinds of accoutrements of wealth. That's what motivates him. His father and grandfather were only motivated by bitterness and rage. This guy? Not so much. His ancestors were more cunning, and, fortunately for us, Tom Gelding has made a serious mistake. He's been entirely too open about where this particular auction is going to take place. Our intelligence says that he has been caught bragging to too many people that I am too old to be any sort of force to be reckoned with." Robert laughed. "I truly don't know which misstep was the most foolhardy. He truly has no clue that I'm about to take him to task in a way he's never considered. This mission that's coming up this weekend is his most ambitious yet, and so we have to minimally match him one for one on it. I'd prefer to do better, though. That's why you're getting this quick little crash course in espionage. One of Brian's informants says that there could be as many as 40 or 50 children that could be moved from our world to the muggle world in a single night. Gelding's never tried to move that many before, and it will be a hard thing to accomplish. And,yes, it will be equally hard for us to extradite that many and do it quickly and safely, but we will try because it's only way out for those kids. Without us, they have no way out, so yes, we will be there."

He took a breath and then exhaled slowly, needing a pause for himself and that strategic part of his brain that had been already working, strategizing, mapping out the event site and moving units and agents around in that site. He noticed Abbey was getting quite restless now with him only standing in one spot. He was sorely trying the patience of a three year old. Khaat saw her squirming and she reached in her pocket and got out one of Teddy's cookies and gave it to her. Abbey was never going to be a child who refused a cookie. She took it and immediately settled again with the cookie, happily munching away and dropping crumbs on Robert who had more important things to consider than cookie crumbs.

"Good," Robert said to Lily, satisfied with her desire to keep everyone safe and her drive to start in right away. "The notebooks in this lab are only the formulas we use the most. If you want to research something else, I would suggest either Hogwarts' library or my own library at the farm. You haven't seen that yet."

"He has a library that is three floors of books, and probably between a third and a half of those books are potions related books," Khaat told Lily. "Most people are bored stiff with a library full of that many potions books, but i have a feeling you aren't going to be so put off by it."

Kate reached in her pocket and got out a key on a keychain with a small silver doxy charm.

"Oh, don't give her that one," Robert frowned at Kate.

"It'll be fine. He's enchanted, not stupid. You worry too much," Kate said. She looked at the little doxy. "Behave yourself now. You are a gift to someone new, so don't bite her."  The little charm made a little chirping sound.

"If you bite her one time, I will take all your teeth out," Robert told the little doxy who promptly stuck out its tongue at Robert and blew raspberries at him.

"He's enchanted to not be venomous," Kate told Lily, "but his teeth are sharp. If he does bite you it will give you quite a pinch. When he gets to like you, he's liable to bite anyone else but you that tries to pick him up, just so you know. Your farm key." She handed the key chain to Lily.

"A friend of mine who sometimes rather likes practical jokes gave me that keychain some years ago," Robert said, "after he had enchanted the thing, and Kate took a liking to it. I had other plans for it, but Kate rescued it and it seems to like her. If it gives you trouble, you let us know straight away."

"Just let him know you mean business and he'll be fine, Dear," Kate told Lily.
Khaat Lupin
Khaat Lupin
Gryffindor Graduate
Gryffindor Graduate

Number of posts : 19058
Special Abilities : Energy Worker, Medium, Heightened Sensitivity
Occupation : Director of St. Mungos, Owner of Sparks Bistro

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Post by Teddy R. Lupin Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:28 am

((I’m going to jump ahead if that’s okay!))

For days, Lily stared at the little doxy chain, and had quickly learned to use a thimble to reduce the irritation caused by the creature’s stinging bite. In only a matter of days it became a strange reflex that, while she sat in bed reading or brushed her hair, she would slowly reach out her thimble-clad finger and hear the little pings of teeth on metal. The creature quite seemed to like it as well.

She named it Zobie.

Summer vacation had become somehow more lonelier the older and more independent she became. No longer a prisoner to the whims of the adults in her life, she was not constantly dragged here or there, brough to the house of aunts, uncles, family friends, work mates. She was free to go where she please, but with the head space she was in that was, really, not anywhere.

She did, however, miss the company of a cauldron. Teddy’s house was ill suited for it and she still felt a trill of excitement every now and then when she thought of the potions lab at the Lupin farm. But it was against her nature, or rather her nature of late, to act on the impulse of doing what she wanted.

She decided to convince herself that they needed her, that her potions were required and that she was doing active harm by not whiling away her days, stewing over eel eyes and ginger root.

On the fifth day, she dressed in casual, comfortable clothes that would keep her warm but allow for movement, and reached out for Zobie. He bit the thimble and she carefully picked him up, scooped up the dubloon necklace, and headed downstairs.

It was the weekend and Teddy was reading the paper as she walked through the living room.

“I’m going to go to Paris… to work in the lab.”

Teddy dropped his paper.

- - -

Nothing she could have said could have kept Teddy from tagging along. They arrived into the noise and bustle of that house and were greeted by some of the agents. The Lupins weren’t here but some of them were expected at any moment, it seemed, but both Lily and Teddy were encouraged to go ahead without them. Teddy, now at a loss as to what he was meant to do here, shadowed Lily on her path to the lab. At the door, she glanced back at him with the look of a teenager embarrassed by an overprotective parent and didn’t have to say anything. “Right! I’m going to go check in, see if.. Angus or… someone is here.”

She nodded at him and disappeared into the lab and he let out a breath, looking around awkwardly before heading back upstairs. It weirdly felt like the first day at a new job, before you knew anyone’s name or where the kitchen was. Truthfully, he felt ashamed that it had been Lily who had first taken initiative to visit once more. He had been caught up in curriculum planning and re-tiling the bathroom - which, in comparison, did not seem quite so worthy of his attention.

A little girl suddenly stumbled into his path and stared up at him. She couldn’t have been older than four, had one of her fingers decidedly up her nose, and was holding a toy in her arms.

“Oh, well, hello.”

She stared at him. After a beat she pointed at him (not with the finger in her nose, oh no, that stayed right where it was) and said, “Who’re you?”

“My name is Teddy, what’s yours?”

“Bianca.” She pronounced it closer to Banka, but he understood well enough. “Are you friends with Robert?” This was pronounced Bobert and Teddy was struggling not to laugh.

“Yes, he is my family, actually.”

“Ohhh. He’s looking for my fam-ly.”

Teddy’s heart sank but at that moment there was a flurry of noise and action. Someone had arrived and Bianca turned and ran off to see who it was. Teddy gave himself a moment to collect himself and then went in search to see who it was, hoping to be of use to someone. Anyone.
Teddy R. Lupin
Teddy R. Lupin
Hufflepuff Graduate
Hufflepuff Graduate

Number of posts : 224
Occupation : Professor

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Post by Robert Lupin Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:53 pm

Angus had learned a thing about baking pastries in Paris--don't do it. He loved to delight the kids and the staff there with his signature cinnamon rolls but when he tried to bake them in Paris, he had a million little fingers in the dough, in the icing, burning their fingers on hot sheet pans, and, in short, making it nigh onto impossible. So, he had stayed up late making the dough at Khaat's and setting the large batch of yeast dough out to rise all night and, after having to leap into a last minute rescue mission to save Robert's backside in a botched rescue mission overnight, he had returned to Khaat's to find that Khaat had baked them and iced them for him and had packaged them up while they were still warm in a stack of white paper bakery boxes. Angus had picked up the boxes and had ported back to Paris where a large egg casserole waited in the refrigerator to be baked off.

Robert would be arriving at any moment, and he was going to need a hand, maybe two or three of them. They had rescued twin pureblood newborns that were descended from ancient bloodlines that ran in both their parents, but it had all gone completely off the rails. Robert was going to pick up the babies to bring them into hiding, and he was going to need baby bottles and a patch kit, probably in that order.

"Anybody home?" Angus called out rather rhetorically. Of course there were people here, but no one on the third floor with the kiddos was likely to hear him down here. No one in Paris had known this mission was happening, which was why the house was quiet. If the mission had been on the schedule, the place would have been buzzing with electricity. As it was, the kiddos were almost all likely to be upstairs, probably waiting on a breakfast that was going to be more of a brunch or an early lunch than an appropriately on-time breakfast.

He ported into the kitchen and put the boxes on the counter. Then he reached into the kitchen pantry and got out two baby bottles prefilled with powdered formula and added water to them and heated them gently with a quick charm. He heard the crackle of someone apparating in--Robert, unquestionably. He could hear the irritation in the apparating spell.  Robert hated when things got buggared up, and Angus believed it sometimes came out unintentionally in Robert's spellwork. He could hear what he believed was the extra sizzling and snapping in the apparating spell that seemed to tell him that Robert was irked. Automatically, he glanced at the empty tea pot and empty coffee pot. Well, that wasn't helpful either. They were going to need both tea and coffee, he felt.

Down the hall, Robert apparated in from where he had gotten the children, just outside Paris. He had transfigured his cloak into a baby carrier and had one baby strapped to his chest in the carrier and he had the other tucked safely in his arm, and he had used his free hand to apparate in. The babies were hungry and wet and unhappy about it, and on his left shoulder, a warm wet pool of blood was spreading, staining his dove gray button down--he hadn't even had time for appropriate mission wear. He'd left his suit jacket behind at St. Mungo's and he wasn't sure what he'd done with his tie. He hadn't dodged a wand blast nearly soon enough and if Angus hadn't been there, the hole in his shoulder might have been a hole straight through his heart. He would have to tend to that soon, and better here than to let Kate see it. If she saw it, the lecturing would surely begin, and he wasn't in the mood for it. The two operatives that had bungled the mission were alive, and in the end of it, that was all that mattered. He would not bother with lecturing them but rather, he would focus on training instead to avoid a repeat of it. He had rescued the two novice operatives who had gone on this goose chase without telling anyone or following procedure, but it had taken Angus to rescue him. Annoyed with it all and with two cranky newborns, he accio'd baby bottles and resolved to try to do first things first.

In the kitchen, Angus was replacing the nipples on the bottles when they started to levitate. He snatched them out of the air and quickly finished the job of capping them as the bottles kept trying to jerk out of his hands, even more evidence that Robert was edgy. He let go of the bottles and they zipped out of the kitchen towards the hallway. There were surely better ways to either end a mission or start a morning.

_________________
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Robert Lupin
Robert Lupin
Gryffindor Graduate
Gryffindor Graduate

Number of posts : 1317
Special Abilities : Master Healer, Potionsmaster, Energy Worker, Portkey Creation
Occupation : Minister of Magic, Chief of Staff at St. Mungos

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