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Thread: Start of Term

  1. #121
    Auror Barclay

    By the time Rosemary returned to the main floor, Barclay was pulling away the last of his bindings. He stared at her incredulously.

    "That thing is just an... an insect!" he (incorrectly) fumed. "This is preposterous!"

    He was angry. He was humiliated. But some part of him was rational enough to realize that capturing Darren Forness - the murderer who had escaped justice for nineteen years - was more important than repaying Rosemary Bain for her disrespect.

    "Very well. Show me. But you have attacked an officer of the law, Professor! The Minister for Magic will hear of this, and you can expect an Azkaban sentence!"

    He followed her to the basement, though. And when he saw the trove the acromantula had found, he was quickly in contact with his higher-ups.

    Meanwhile, the acromantula was sticking very close to Rosemary.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #122
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Rosemary Bain

    While she was still entirely certain that she had made the right decision, she had to admit she was a bit unsettled. Barclay was right. She had assaulted him. While she would argue that it was for his own good as much as the acromantula's, there was only her word - and there were ropes on the ground proving her actions. Rosemary looked down at the young creature shifting nervously at her side.

    Whatever happened, it was worth it.

    Of course, if she got locked away, the poor thing would be back to square one or worse. If they didn't catch Forness, he would likely visit his displeasure on his ineffective house guard. She couldn't let that happen. While the auror was distracted, Rosemary stepped outside and held her hand up above her head, inviting Lucie to alight. Kneeling, she brought the two closer together.

    "Now, Lucie, this is our new friend. Friend, this is my dear friend Lucie. We don't have much time...so we need to be clear. Do you wish to come with me? And if you do, can you promise me that you won't eat any children or my friends. This is so important. I know, I know it is going to be hard. But I promise that I will protect you and I will always be your friend. Do we have a deal?"

    Rosemary didn't have much time to wait for a reply. As Auror Barclay's footsteps approached, she yanked the ammonite necklace from around her neck, draped the chain over one of the acromantula's legs and gave the fossil to Lucie. Instantly, the two animals disappeared, leaving Rosemary to stand alone in the courtyard.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  3. #123
    Auror Barclay

    "Very well, Professor Bain," Auror Barclay said as he approached. "You have been... surprisingly helpful today. The Ministry is not ungrateful."

    The grudging tone in his voice suggested that while the Ministry was not ungrateful, a certain Auror most definitely was.

    "In light of your discovery and its usefulness to our ongoing investigations of former Death Eater activity - and in light of your professional knowledge about beasts - the Ministry has decided that you and the insect may return to Hogwarts for the time being, while we focus our investigation on the whereabouts of Forness. Tomorrow afternoon at three o'clock, however, you will be expected to appear in London in the office of the Minister for Magic to account for yourself, at which time it will be determined whether your actions merit sentencing to Azkaban. I will be candid that I do not support this leniency, but fortunately for you, the matter is not up to my discretion. I will see you tomorrow."

    He turned to leave, then spun back to face her again. "Oh, and Bain? I suggest you have a defense prepared, and in the unlikely event there is anyone who can vouch for your character, bring them along. You will need all the help you can get."

  4. #124
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Rosemary Bain

    The flight back to the school gave her some time to think - and some much needed time to cool down. The Auror seemed to just automatically push her buttons through no guile or purport of his own. The manner in which he treated, well...everyone, was abominable. And now, now she was going to have to show up at the Ministry and listen to him lambaste everyone and every decision....

    Stop.

    Just stop.

    This wasn't like her. She wasn't one to let someone under her skin - she decided how she reacted to any given situation and she could only control herself. How others acted and reacted was up to them. What she needed to do was take stock of what she'd thought, felt and done and hold it up for self-inspection. Closing her eyes, she allowed the broom to slow to a more pleasant pace and breathed deeply. Yes, she had behaved according to her own compass. She could stand before the Minister and say as much without a shred of regret.

    Of course, just because she thought she'd behaved appropriately didn't mean that anyone else would. As much as she wanted her first stop to be her quarters to check in on the acromantula, she thought it wise to see the Headmaster first. Besides, she realized, she'd skipped all her afternoon classes. Hopefully none of the students had overfed the guppies. She decided to fly as close to the Headmaster's office as she could get, seeing that she was already in trouble, and promptly rapped on the door. Broom in hand, she peered into the room and announced herself in as precise a manner as she could.

    "Rosemary Bain here, Headmaster. It's...been a day."

  5. #125
    Headmistress Minerva McGonagall

    "Professor Bain? Come inside!" McGonagall glanced up and down, seeing if they were observed, before beckoning her inside with a little shooing motion.

    "May I ask what is going on, Bain?" the headmistress asked without preamble or unnecessary niceties. "The students are reporting they had no instructor for afternoon classes. Then I received a very angry letter from my least favorite Auror claiming that you attacked him and strongly implying you're on your way to Azkaban. So can you please - for the sake of my sanity - clarify how one of my professors has gotten into such a mess, and if it's possible for us to get you out again?"

  6. #126
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    Rosemary Bain

    The adrenaline that had sustained her throughout her flight back to the school was starting to wear off. Without waiting for permission, Rosemary plunked herself down on an antique stool, her arms propping up her shoulders by driving her knuckles against her knees. It made her feel a bit like a schoolgirl called to the office, but of course, in a way she was. Though older, she was still definitely in trouble and most deserving of being seated exactly where she was.

    "I do apologize for missing classes - that was uncalled for - I should have had the presence of mind to..." Rosemary looked up and flashed Minerva a quick smile. "I suppose I had better start at the beginning." It was unclear if the smile was in regards to having started in the middle of the tale or that missing classes was the only thing she felt was worthy of an apology.

    "The day started to unravel when Auror Barclay and his troupe appeared this morning intent on arresting Eve for something that didn't happen. He swore up and down that she'd been seen in the presence of a known Death Eater the night before in Hogsmeade and how that wasn't allowed, blah blah - but you see, no one in that pub knew that the man in the corner was Darren Forness. I only found out after I'd followed the man outside and he'd revealed his face, though not his identity. Anyway, the fact that someone had tipped off the Auror when no one knew about the man's presence suggested that the informant was none other than Forness himself. We...that is, Eve, Cambria and I, surmised that Forness must have a way to track Eve - else how would he have known to be at the pub while we were there?"

    At this point, much like she had a lunch, Rosemary sprung into action. Tucking her hands behind her, she began pacing the width of the office, no longer intent on keeping eye contact with the Headmaster. She was lost in retelling.

    "That was when I thought to send Lucie to look for him. She'd met Forness last night too and I thought that maybe she'd be able to find him in town or...I don't know...it seems like such a long shot now. But it worked. She did find him - and barely made it back to my classroom with a ring in her mouth. Dear bird likely picked it up because it was shiny, she couldn't have known it was Eve's wedding ring that the man had charmed to keep an eye on her."

    That reminded her - she still had to get rid of it. She pulled it from her pocket now and showed it to the Headmaster. Perhaps it could exist for a moment longer as evidence. Perhaps she could use it to convince the Minister that Eve hadn't wilfully met with Darren last night. It might even help her defend her own actions. Hopefully Eve wouldn't mind its existence for another day.

    "Once I knew the ring was Eve's, I...I couldn't just...sit there. That sick man had charmed that ring so he could sit there and keep tabs on her in prison - watch her doing time for him. I knew I sh...couldn't go alone, so I contacted the only Auror I knew personally. Unfortunately, the one I'd run into earlier in the day and, well, we did have an exchange of words that didn't go entirely in his favour. I was a bit surprised that he came in response to my letter. If I'd thought he would follow Lucie on his own, I would have sent her off with him, but...he doesn't seem the type to trust an animal."

    Rosemary paused in her pacing once more, brown knitting together and her chin tucked down, before raising it to meet McGonagall's gaze. "I should have informed you of my intentions long before the Auror arrived. That was an error - in addition to leaving my classes without a professor - this situation affected more than one of the professors at this school and you had a right to know what was going on. I apologize for my behaviour and I will work doubly hard to catch my students up without undue pressure on them." She cleared her throat and forced herself to retake her seat to continue her story.

    "I left with Auror Barclay to find Forness - I didn't want to wait in case Lucie had spooked him. I wanted to catch him and be done with this whole business. When we arrived, he wasn't there, but his house guard was. You'd have thought Barclay had never seen an acromantula before - really, his behaviour was disgusting. I was shocked. But he stepped aside and suggested I take care of it, so I did. She and I were having a chat and the dear thing was answering all my questions when Barclay suddenly started shouting, pushed me aside and made to attack the very helpful friend we'd just made. So...I did what I thought was best and removed the aggressor from the situation before either the Auror or the acromantula got hurt."

    Obviously, the 'aggressor' was Barclay in Rosemary's tale. The woman's eyes were blazing, her back ramrod straight and made from solid indignance.

    "It was a simple immobilizing spell - nothing harmful - just possibly humiliating. Nothing less than he deserved, but I digress. We were quite fortunate that he hadn't offended the acromantula beyond its willingness to help. She took me into the house and showed me that Forness wasn't just tracking Eve - oh no, he was tracking an innumerable crowd of witches and wizards. You can't imagine it. It was stunning. Anyway, Barclay loosed himself and managed to keep his wand sheathed long enough for me to show him Forness' stash. Of course, he is still charging me for wrapping him up - but it was for his own good!"

    The last sentence came out in a rush and she had to visibly rein in the diatribe that seemed game to follow. Settling her shoulders and letting a slow breath out of her nose she realized she needed to relay a few extra details.

    "The acromantula is currently in my room. Auror Barclay told me to be at the Ministry at 3 o'clock tomorrow and to bring a character witness. I had rather hoped you would consider the task."

    Belatedly, she realized it might have helped her case to at least appear contrite over her treatment of Barclay, but she honestly couldn't bring herself to do it. As far as she was concerned, she'd done the right thing and was more than willing to say as much. That fact would be all too clear to the Headmaster as her Professor sat on the wee stool, head held high.

  7. #127
    Headmistress McGonagall

    McGonagall let Rosemary speak without interruption. Her gaze remained perfectly level, and she confirmed with the occasional nod that she was still listening. At one point her mouth quirked upward slightly, though whether in amusement or disapproval wasn't clear.

    "Well, Professor Bain," she finally said, letting out a breath. "Rosemary. That's quite a story. I admit it's a bit more convoluted than I was expecting. I am certainly glad that you are so zealous about preventing a Death Eater from doing harm - and that you feel attached enough to Professor Travers to want to protect her. Eve seems to have had precious little of that..."

    Realizing this was straying too close to emotional territory, the headmistress edged back quickly. "I'm also relieved to hear that in the future, you will ensure your class obligations are covered before you go galivanting off. In this case, though, we can safely agree it was in a good cause. Nor can I fault you for 'removing from the situation' this particular Auror. I confess I may have wanted to do the same on occasion."

    This was her school... and Barclay had repeatedly questioned her judgment in running it. If anything might cause McGonagall to hold a grudge, it was that.

    "I will happily act as your character witness. The Minister for Magic is a former student of mine. Confidentially between the two of us, I hope this results in Barclay being taken down a peg or two. He could use it."

  8. #128
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Rosemary Bain

    That the Headmaster wasn't angry with her over - well, any of it - was a great relief and honestly a bit of a surprise. Rosemary hadn't expected to find an ally in the war against Auror Barclay in Minerva McGonagall. Perhaps they could start a club. Still, as much as she was glad to have found a sympathetic ear, she was still in a bit of a mess. At least, until tomorrow - if things went her way.

    "Thank-you Headmaster. I can't begin to describe what a relief it is to know that you're in my corner. Thank-you for your understanding - and your leniency. I appreciate your optimism about tomorrow's meeting. If the Minister is as obliging as you have been, well, you may get your wish concerning a certain Auror. At least, one can only hope."

    Rosemary stood, brushing imaginary crumbs off her robes and promptly tucking her hands into a pair of pockets. "If there's nothing else at the moment, I think I should be seeing to that acromantula. I ported the dear thing off with very little explanation, I'm afraid." She leaned a little closer to Minerva as though someone might overhear her next statement, "I was a trifle worried that Barclay would simply walk out and zap her with no warning at all."

    Thus excusing herself, she picked up her broomstick on the way out and strode through the halls, head down in thought. But where to start. She had so much to set straight - her defence for tomorrow, where the acromantula was going to stay - did she even have a name?, what to tell Eve, how they were going to find Darren now that they'd disturbed his residence...

    "Professor Bain?"

    She'd nearly run them over. Three earnest faces stared up at her - four if you counted the rat perched on young Wilbur Hartney's shoulder. Definitely four faces, but only three of them looked worried.

    "Did you get busted? Everyone's talking about it!"

    "Shush! It's none of our business!"

    "Is too, she's our professor. No Auror's gonna take her away, right Professor Bain?"

    Rosemary couldn't help but smile. The children were talking over each other and she could feel the stares of other students with either more propriety or less moxie on their little group. She pulled her hands out of her pockets to steady herself over her thighs as she bent low to talk to them.

    "Everything's fine, young masters. I called the Auror myself and we had a bit of an adventure. Nothing to trouble yourselves over - though I am sorry I missed class and worried you all. But, tomorrow is another day! I'll see you then."

    The trio scurried away with an added look from their teacher, despite the use of the word 'adventure' piquing their interest. She really wasn't ready to talk about any of this with her students. No, she really needed to talk to her posse first. Funny how her mindless walking had all but taken her to the door of Cambria's classroom. Poking her head inside, she didn't bother with pretense.

    "Hey, got a story and a half to tell you - and someone you need to meet. Need to grab Eve too."

    Her friend likely didn't need the marked toss of head to indicate that the situation was of the nowish sort - Rosemary's face was a dead giveaway. She could hardly wait to introduce them to her new friend. Everything else that had happened that day was temporarily forgotten.

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