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Thread: Start of Term

  1. #31
    Eve Travers

    Eve was glad that they would be eating breakfast in Rosemary's quarters instead of the Great Hall. The Great Hall was... a lot. So many voices. So much sound and movement. And so many people staring at her. Staring at her and wondering. Eve didn't begrudge them that. She probably would have wondered too, in their place. But it was all so overwhelming. She wasn't sure she could face that at every meal. It was nice to have a break.

    She wondered what it would be like standing at the front of a classroom. Eve was an excellent potioneer, always praised for her natural talent - but she had never taught anyone in her life. Ability to brew was very different than ability to instruct. She hoped she was up to the task. It seemed daunting. But that was the price of freedom, and she would do her best to earn it.

    And now, that was the price for saving Cambria, too. When she first came here, preserving Cambria's life had just been another task on her Hogwarts to-do list. Now that they were friends, it had taken on vital importance.

    "Oh, alright!" Eve told the very persistent kitten as it twined around her legs and mewed for its breakfast. "I'll find you something to eat. You had better behave, though, or we'll get in trouble."

    She folded the kitten into her robes again and met Cambria outside Rosemary's room.

    "Good morning," Eve said to Rosemary when they had been invited inside. Her tone seemed brighter than the night before. More optimistic. The moment she sat down, a tiny feline spilled from beneath her robes. "I stole the kitten," she said calmly. "Please don't tell anyone. They said if I did anything wrong, they'd send me back to Azkaban. But... it was very hungry."
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #32
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    Rosemary Bain

    As the two came through the door, she allowed her chair to move back onto its four feet. The kitten was a welcome addition.

    "Well hello there! I remember you! Let's get you a little something." Rosemary patted the kitten's head and stood to gather a shallow dish and a tin of sardines from the cupboard. Returning to the table, she split up the tin between the kitten's dish and a spare plate, mixed some cream into the bowl, and set it down for the littlest member of the group. As she put the items together, she spoke in Eve's general direction, "I believe it's 'adopting' a kitten, not 'stealing', when the kitten is, in fact, without an owner. I won't tell, but I also think you shouldn't worry."

    She winked as she settled back into her chair and proceeded to help herself to oatcakes, butter and sardines. There were all manner of things laid out, including a small pot of a coffee and one of tea, a bowl of crab apples, and muffins and jam. "Please, help yourselves. There's plenty. I wasn't sure if you drank coffee or tea, Eve - I suppose there's also un-tainted water if you'd prefer!"

    Rosemary was rather the hands on sort. Certainly she used her magic for some mundane tasks - like writing notes on chalkboards - but she liked doing things for herself. Like making and laying out breakfast, for instance. Oatcake in one hand and cup of coffee in the other, she once again tipped back on her chair, balancing on the back two legs like a schoolgirl. She was still feeling a bit on edge, so decided to see if anyone else had felt it an odd day or if it was just her.

    "Sleep well?" She asked, casually.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  3. #33
    Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

    "Adopting, not stealing," Eve mused, loosely echoing what Rosemary had said.

    Adoption... Eve's son had been adopted. She hadn't been given a choice about that - but what would there have been to choose? A child couldn't be raised in Azkaban. She had been pregnant when she was arrested, and they had given the baby to another family as soon as he was born. Eve hoped he was doing well, and that he was happy. She knew she would never see him again. That he didn't need her. She could accept that. She just wished she knew his name, so she knew what to think of him as.

    "Thank you," she told Rosemary when she offered food to the kitten - a kitten who really needed a name soon. Eve couldn't quite decide. Nothing she had tried had fit just right yet.

    Cambria exchanged a look with Eve when Rosemary asked how their night had been. She wasn't sure how much Eve would want her to say, and didn't want to embarrass her friend with what Cambria couldn't help witnessing.

    Eve seemed unconcerned about that, however. "I kind of freaked out," Eve replied conversationally. "I forgot where I was and was trying to get out. Cambria helped me and let me sleep in her room."

    "Brilliant move, wasn't it, putting her down in the dungeon?" Cambria said with an eye roll.

  4. #34
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    Rosemary Bain

    She grunted her agreement through the biscuit, but followed through after swallowing. "Yes, I am working on it. I spoke to the magister this morning. He is a difficult read, so I'm not sure what will happen. I presented a reasonable argument and I will continue to do so until he rules in favour of having Eve's room moved somewhere more practical."

    There it was. She would wait for the answer, but she wouldn't stop until she got the answer she wanted. Anyone knowing of Rosemary's penchant for persistence generally gave in to her (generally reasonable) requests just to save time. Rosemary slopped some jam on a second biscuit and grinned. "If he's smart, he'll have it set up soon. Until then, maybe you should bunk in with one of us."

    "So, what potion are you going to attempt to teach the students first? I know I totally botched the first one Professor Snape set out for our class. I spent the next seven years trying to make up for it...ha. It was good for me though. Made me apply myself."

    She found herself rambling - like she was nervous. Except, she had no reason to be nervous. Today was shaping up to be a very strange day.

  5. #35
    Eve Travers

    Eve knew that - sooner rather than later - she was going to have to teach. It was, after all, the justification McGonagall had used to get Eve to Hogwarts so she could try to help Cambria. Eve had agreed to it... but she was nonetheless terrified of actually standing in front of a classroom.

    It wasn't the subject matter. Simple student potions - she could have brewed them in her sleep, even after all those years in Azkaban without practice. No, what frightened her was the idea of speaking in front of a room full of pupils. After how badly her schoolmates had bullied her when she was young - why would they listen to her now?

    "They gave me a lesson plan I have to follow," Eve said. Her nose wrinkled slightly at the thought. "It says what potions I have to teach them and when. Safe, innocuous potions. Nothing that I could use to make them into future Death Eaters."

    When she was speaking about potions, Eve's speech was noticeably more confident and articulate. Her eyes were more focused. There was even a faint spark of... could it be passion?

    "But it's a terrible idea. They need to learn the dark parts too. They need to understand poisons, for one thing."

    Hastily, she added, "Not so they can be like me. I don't want that any more than anyone else does. But they need to understand the threat. What happens if they run into a dark wizard or witch like me someday and they don't have time to go to the library to dig up an obscure antidote? If they understood how the poison worked, they could break down a formula for the antidote themselves."

    She sighed, and hung her head. "I'm probably going to get in trouble," she said.

  6. #36
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    Rosemary Bain

    She set her coffee down carefully. Eve was right. It wouldn't be fair for students to be sent out into the world without proper instruction in poisons. However, jumping into that topic might get Eve expelled right from the start. Starting by teaching what the curriculum indicated then switching would make Eve seem duplicitous, which also wouldn't do.

    "I agree. Students need to be taught about poisons. I have an idea, though. Start your first class with a potion from the list - then tell the students that they will be learning about poisons ... next week, or Thursday, or whatever. Let the students' excitement about the new topic overrun the nay-sayers. The other professors will have time to complain, but ultimately, they'll have to bring it up with the Headmaster and I'm sure she'd see your logic. Sure, you might get in trouble, but this way you will likely get a chance to defend your point of view while winning the students' hearts. I mean, what young wizard doesn't want to learn this stuff? What do you think?"

  7. #37
    Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

    A smile slowly crept across Eve's face. "Yes!" she said, face flushing a little with relief. "Yes, I think... that will work. That way maybe I can show them how to protect themselves without McGonagall worrying that they'll turn out like me."

    "You should stop saying 'like me,' Eve," Cambria interjected. "You aren't a bad person. You needn't talk as if you are."

    Eve's smile fled, and she stopped meeting their eyes. "I was, Cambria. It may seem like I'm not, seeing me like this, but I did terrible things. I'm not innocent. I wasn't falsely accused. If you knew me then..."

    "That was nineteen years ago, Eve! That was half your lifetime ago. You have a new start now. A fresh start. Allow yourself to take it."

    Eve was quiet for a moment. Then she appeared to change the subject - except for her, it wasn't. It was the logical progression from what Cambria had said.

    "You've both been at Hogwarts for a little while," Eve said thoughtfully. "Did you ever meet a boy who looked a bit like me? He'd be nineteen now. I don't know his name."

  8. #38
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    Rosemary Bain

    Cupping her mug in both hands, stared into the swirling steam for a long minute. She could imagine how the two topics were connected. Somewhere in the past, Eve had a child and when she was sent to Azkaban, he was taken away. A double departure. Images of some past students flickered through her brain, but none expressly looked like Eve. It would be hard to know for sure. Finally, she looked up at Eve.

    "It is hard to say for certain, Eve. Sure, students have come through with certain features that could be similar to yours, but they'd have to be your twin for me to feel certain enough about it to say so. They change so much over their time here - by the time they are in their seventh year they are almost unrecognizable from when they first arrived." She paused, "But if you want to find your son, there are other ways to go about it. You're bound by blood - we could use a finding spell using your hair and see what turns up."

  9. #39
    Eve Travers

    "Oh, no!" Eve said quickly, clinking her cup against her saucer inadvertently with her shaking hand. "No. No thank you. I just wanted to know if he's okay. But if I try to find him... I would be too tempted to talk to him. And I can't do that. It wouldn't be fair to him. He has a different life now. I want what's best for him. And what's best for him is to stay far away from me."

    It was a very, very hard offer to turn down. All of Eve's willpower was being exerted to say no. But she was trying so hard to do the right things now. Surely this was the right thing for her son.

    She still loved him, after all these years. But sometimes love meant staying away. It meant protecting the person from yourself.

    "He doesn't need me. He got free of all this. It's better for me not to know."

  10. #40
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    Rosemary Bain

    She felt sad for Eve - not the pitying sort of sad, but a deep sadness that she had difficulty finding words to convey. It was obvious that she loved her son. However, it was also obvious that she wished to protect him from her past, which was fair. If the boy and the people around him didn't know that his parents were death eaters, that would probably be for the best. But...his mother was a former death eater. Surely there was strength in knowing that. To have been seduced by evil only to tear herself away and hurl herself back into the light. Of course, should the boy choose to seek out his birth mother upon his adulthood, well, there was little Eve could do about that. Rosemary kept mum on this particular idea, as she was certain that Eve would start setting up wards against such things. If it were meant to be, it would occur.

    "While that may be, I hope you consider that it may not be. You turned your face away from evil before it swallowed you. There is great triumph in that. Don't forget that you are worth knowing."

    Rosemary glanced up over Cambria's shoulder at the cuckoo clock. The morning was getting on and the first day of class was an important one. She hoped she could help set the tone for a prosperous year.

    "I think that this year's potions students are very lucky to have you. You already sound like a teacher - putting your students' needs ahead of your own. Hang in there. The first day is a wild ride, but rest assured whatever happens - it's only just one day." As an afterthought, she added, "If you find your storeroom low on anything that the herbarium can't provide, let me know. We can get a lot of things in the forest and I will be spending lots of time outdoors. I mightaswell make doubly-good use of my time!"

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