A Time For A Change

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A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:12 pm

A gentle breeze caressed the few loose tendrils of long black hair that had escaped the suede tie carelessly placed in his hair.  He felt the slight tickle along his cheek as the hairs gently brushed his face and he smiled at the irritation that the feeling evoked.  He slowed his long strides as he left his home and came to a stop while turning to looked at the front of his manor before proceeding along the worn cobblestone walkway leading to the main road that would take him to the small town of Hogsmeade and his current appointed tasks.  

He smile broadly at his new home as he always did when he walked out his front door. He still felt as though the house was new, though he had lived there for 2 years now.  The stone home was more than a cottage but certainly not a mansion.  The 2 story home had been one of Dumbledore's vacation homes that he had frequented when he was away from Hogwarts and it had been willed to Severus after his death.  The home was very comfortable with it's many fireplaces, overstuffed furniture and comforts that Severus had denied himself for so many years.  After adding a few of his personal touches, the house had certainly become a perfect place for Severus to feel at home.  He had no neighbors and because of the wards and large grounds, he felt secluded and quite pleased with being left alone to live a quiet life to read, brew potions, write his book and to simply at times, do nothing but sip wine and gaze at the roaring fire by his chair.

Making a small, contented "humph" accompanied by a customary slight nod of his head, he turned back to the path leading from his front door and continued down the path, stretching his long legs out to regain his purposeful strides towards the road that led to Hogsmeade. He loved this walk, regardless of the weather.  Today was warm and the sun felt good on his arms and face as he strode towards the town.  Two miles was an easy walk for Severus.  It gave him time to think and peruse the passing landscape for any unusual herbs, plants, fauna or fungi that he might use in potions he was inventing.  

Nothing escaped his keen eye and this walk was no exception.  The late summer sun was warm for the early morning hour and the grasses were browning from the long summer days with no rain.  The trees that he passed were full of rustling leaves and the small stream to his left brought the sounds of trickling water, bees and dragonflies whizzing in and out of the brush along the road.  

Wearing muggle jeans and a black T shirt, Severus felt carefree and his heart felt light.  Life was good, the sun was shining and he loved who he had become now.  He never thought he would ever feel this way but after the cleanup from the war was completed, the remaining death eaters rounded up and placed in Azkaban and the "trio" starting lives of their own and out of his hair............life felt good.  He was happy and content.  He needed nothing now and wished for nothing.  

As he neared the village of Hogsmeade, he slowed his pace a bit and enjoyed looking at the tops of the roofs through the shimmering haze of the summer sun for a moment.  He took a deep breath and then exhaled slowly.  He looked forward to completing his purchases and then heading home for some chilled wine on his back patio overlooking the orchard and pond.............and reading his potions journals.


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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:50 pm

It has been too hot, too early. Those who cultivate the local flora have had a difficult time, despite the magic used to keep the plants alive. As such, she has gone a bit further afield to keep the apothecary well-stocked. Generally, she prefers to use the local vendors, but she won't allow her stores to suffer. It's a delicate balance, to be sure, between her patrons and the vendors. There are times that she's opted to grow some of the plants, herself, as long as it has been cost-effective.

When she took over the apothecary, she knew what she was in for--having been a patron, herself, for many years. After the Battle of Hogwarts, the previous owner did so well that he opted to retire. He was going to sell the space and his remaining stock, but Avalon convinced him to let her carry on with the business. Thankfully, having proven herself as an adept customer and potioneer over the years--sometimes providing him with potions or using them for trade--worked in her favor. Indeed, having known each other for decades, the kind man sold her the shop with his blessing.

Along with the blessing came the warnings. Difficult customers and the like. Special requests. Grandfathered-in discounts. Sighing inwardly, she took it all in stride. Still, if any could take over for the gent, she could. Strangely enough, however, this isn't something she wanted. This isn't the life she dreamed of. She took the position and the shop because she was apt, and she needed it to stay open. No one else would have taken the job. Therefore...she became the proprietor. She did what she had to. As per usual.

This is the kind of thinking that led her to be chosen for Slytherin House, all those years ago. Her hair was still chestnut, then. After she graduated, it swiftly became a shocking white. Still, she wears it in the same style--braided, and then pinned into a severe bun, rather reminiscent of Professor McGonagall. Perhaps it's in homage to said professor, as Avalon has always respected her. However, in truth, she simply prefers it to be out of her way, when brewing. Her light hazel eyes are still the same, with filaments of olive green, red, silver, and even the smallest bit of dark blue around the pupils--almost indistinguishable from the pupils, themselves. When she was in school, she was known as Avalon Tremain. Bright. Good disposition. Gentle. This was a carefully cultivated persona, as back then, one had to be very careful with names, Houses, and the like. Her Muggle parents had no idea, when they named her, 'Morgana.' Avalon is her middle name. Before she came to the school, she read the Wizarding newspapers in Diagon Alley, and swiftly came to the decision that any association with dark magic would not bode well for her, giving the political and social climates of the time.

Thus, she became known by her middle name. Unfortunately, her personality is much more suited to her first name. Bitter, acerbic, aloof, dire, dour, cynical, angry, sardonic, and all things belonging to that nature, having to live as a pleasant individual has been more than taxing. Over the years, she's been tempted to begin using her first name. Yet, the timing has never been right. Even now. As odd as it may seem, it colors her even more, darkening her personality, giving her quite the edge. 'Avalon,' no longer suits her, but she keeps it because it would be folly, otherwise; the darker sides of Wizarding life are not welcome, she realizes--and even a part of her agrees with such sentiment. She is hardly a Dark Witch. She has no taste for the things the Death Eaters did; especially with being a Muggle-born. She merely resents having to be Mary Fucking Sunshine.

Still, that said, she's glad to see others breathe freely. It is much-deserved, and has been a long time coming. Speaking of which, she sees one Severus Snape ambling toward her shop. She can't help but smile. He's probably had the worst of it, and now he's finally able to walk around like the free man he is. She remembers him in school, of course. Four years older than she, he captivated her for the longest time. Still does, in fact. Yet, she knows she is not the type to win romantic love. Someone like her simply doesn't have anyone approach her, and she learned long ago not to approach others, for one reason or another.

At any rate, Severus is one of the sticklers the old proprietor warned her about--though he needn't have. She knows what the Potions Master of Hogwarts is like. As such, she has his order already lined up on the counter: Ashwinder eggs, individually contained and enspelled with a hovering charm so they don't touch anything; lacewing flies--a staple; asphodel; salt; newt eyes; two bicorn horns. With the combination of basic ingredients and unusual, she'd say he's experimenting.

When he enters, she doesn't assail him, but she does greet him with a respectful nod. He'll likely browse, but she has his order ready when he is--and if he has any questions, she will be sure to assist as needed. Other than that, she gives him his space. Ah, and it should be noted that she keeps the bicorn horns under the counter. One is generally acceptable, but purchasing two is considered to be...greedy, one might say. If another Witch or Wizard were to come in, they might gawp at the haul, so she keeps the noteworthy ingredients out of sight, until he is ready to go.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:13 pm

Ambling into the small village of Hogsmeade, Severus immediately made his way towards the doorway of his favorite and the only apothecary shop in the village.  It had an excellent reputation and witches and wizards from all over Britain made their way here to purchase or barter for some of the best quality potions supplies possible.  Severus had been coming to this particular shop since he was a student at Hogwarts.  He was always pleased with the rarity of products available and as a young student, he loved to imagine how the ingredients he shopped for were harvested in exotic and far away places.  Now that he was a renowned potions master, he knew first hand, where and how some of the rarest of ingredients were found, harvested, preserved and used to make some of the more esoteric potions used by only a handful of potioners around the world.  This pleased him to be rare, special and certainly a one-of-a-kind individual.

He had come to care for the proprietor, Rand Harrington.  Rand had taught Severus a great deal about potion ingredients for many years and Severus was quite pleased to know that he had escaped death or worse during and after the war.  Severus enjoyed doing business with Rand.  He was fair, struck a good deal and knew how to recognized a fair trade as well, during those days when Severus had no money, no means and only his promises.  He took good care of Severus through the years and this had made Severus job of potions master much easier as a professor.  Rand also was not squeamish about procuring some of the more...............rare and "illegal" ingredients from around the world.  Severus was a very wealthy man now and Rand and he had always been able to strike a bargain on any ingredient.  Severus didn't ask questions and Rand provided no information on some of Severus' rarer requests.  This was exactly the relationship Severus wanted from someone he was doing business with at any given time.  Business..............fair and honest.  No questions asked.

Just before entering the shop, he felt his senses prickle with a well-known familiarity that he hadn't felt since the last death eater had been hauled away to Azkaban.  Warning.  Potential danger.  Caution.  Old habits kicked in immediately and he slowed his pace and his eyes quickly scanned the area.  He knew from past experience to trust his intuition.  There was change afoot...........and he was alert and ready.  He immediately felt his wand located in the side of his jeans in a specially made pocket along his thigh.  His best friend.  

He entered the open door of the shop slowly and immediately recognized his order on the counter.  He noticed that nobody was else in the shop at this time so he closed the door softly behind him.  As he approached the counter his eyes slid from his special order to the woman behind the counter.  He recognized her as well and nodded briefly in courteous recognition and acknowledgement.............but he was confused and deeply curious, his senses were still prickling and he felt that small crease begin to furrow his brow.............directly between his eyes that generally signaled to others to begin to tread lightly.

"Good Morning Madam.  Avalon is it not?  May I ask where Rand might be?  I do business with him and him only."

He looked at her as he did anyone who he requested (demanded) something from and he expected an answer immediately.  He actually expected Rand to assist him immediately.  His deeply brown eyes bordering on black watched the woman intently.  From long years of practice, he made his assessment of her quickly as well.  Remembering her from school, she was bright, quick, somewhat of a loner but amiable enough, stayed out of trouble and was ambitious.  She was a Slytherin all right.  She had aged well though her hair style was much too severe for his liking.  One might say she was attractive.................and he briefly wondered what she would look like with her hair down.............and quickly changed his course of thinking to wondering where the proprietor of the shop was located and when he would make his appearance.

His brow furrowed a bit more.  He didn't like change.  He'd had enough of it.  As he continued to look at her, he felt his eyebrow begin to raise in question.  He wanted an answer and he wanted it now.


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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:13 am

Oh, indeed! As the door closes, she shouldn't be surprised. Of course he would prefer to conduct his business in private. From what she remembers of him in school, and from what Rand spoke about him, she knows he is an intensely private and careful individual. There is no fear in her as he approaches. Calm, quiet, she looks at him softly as he inspects her. Ah, interesting--he recognizes her. Yet, she is still an unknown entity, and she can actually commiserate with his actions, as she'd be wary, as well, were she in his position.

Hearing him speak, a deep part of her relaxes, thawing a bit toward him. Polite, good memory, and concern for a long-time associate. Good man. Of course, she's heard of the stories of the double-agent; the Daily Prophet published quite the feature after young Harry Potter vouched for Severus. Still, even before all that, she always knew the dark-haired man before her to be more than what he seems. She has an innate sense for people, though she tends to dislike most. Usually when they open their mouths. Not this one, however. He continues to be in her good graces, even with the most minimal interactions.

"Forgive me, Sir--and yes, it is Avalon," she answers promptly, seeing the agitation growing by the lack of space between his eyebrows, one lifting quite eloquently, in fact, "Rand has just recently retired to the Florida Keys. He left this for you." Immediately producing an envelope with Severus' name on it, written in Rand's own hand, she offers it to him with an easy, fluid gesture. "He asked me to tell you to read it immediately when you came." Rand actually told her the exact words to use, knowing the trigger word would spike Severus' attention and more than likely get him to read it. If he should comply, the letter is as follows:

My Dear Severus,

Long has it been since you first walked through my door. So help me, I've been trying to think of something to say, in this moment. I'm sure--beyond a shadow of a doubt--that you're not pleased to see someone else behind the counter. You never did like change, in any way, shape, or form. In some ways, I wish I were there at the shop to make the transition a bit easier for you--to introduce you to the new proprietor and tell you directly that she has the shop with my blessing. Yet, at the same time, I know you too well: you would sulk, grouse, and avoid the shop entirely because you would know I wasn't there, anymore. As such, I chose to do it this way. You see, I know Avalon, as well--no doubt she already has your order ready and the price already configured, and anything, 'special,' is prudently out of sight, but still close at hand. I will tell you that I had no hand in this order whatsoever; everything has been procured by her--one way or another--and she is as much of a stickler as you are, when it comes to ingredients. Believe me. You two should have struck up a friendship long ago.

In truth, you two have always been my favorites. Thank you for always being exactly who you are. I toyed with the idea of giving the shop to you, but I'm fairly certain you would have been irate with me at the merest thought of being made to interact with people on a daily basis. I'm also fairly certain that Avalon isn't pleased with the new arrangement, either, but it was either she take it, or I sold completely. I didn't want to leave Hogsmeade in the lurch, and she is the only one I would trust to keep the place going, since you wouldn't be keen.

At any rate...this isn't goodbye. Far from it. Please, I invite you to come to Key West and visit. Feel free to come anytime to give me an earful for my abrupt departure. I am armed with warm water, white sand, tropical breezes, something about a lime pie, rum, and the most incredible sunrises and sunsets that anyone has ever seen. Do try to be angry with me while I'm in paradise. I welcome the challenge.

So...forgive me. Come see me. Rant and rail all you want, but don't hex the messenger; Avalon is probably standing right there, hands folded, waiting to speak when spoken to. Be nice. Ah, and it should be noted that I'm not saying this for her benefit, but for yours. Don't piss her off. I know there's a universal saying that's, 'Don't irritate the people who prepare your food.' The same rule applies to those who sell potions ingredients. I'm not saying she WOULD do anything...but I'm not saying she wouldn't, either. She might be more straightforward about things and just... Well, I won't tell you what happened to the Ravenclaw boy I watched her level, once. You might ask her about it, though, sometime. At any rate, rest assured, you are in good, competent, and quiet hands.

I'll see you soon. Until later. Cheers.

Rand

Hands folded on the counter, Avalon diplomatically inspects a separate batch of Lacewing flies for flaws with her eyes only, not needing to pick them up. One can tell with simple light refraction on the wings to see if the batch is good. For her part, she observes not only each fly, but each wing. Silently, she waits to be addressed. That, or he might just leave--and she wouldn't be surprised if he did, in a way. Another part of her expects to be held at wand point while he verifies the veracity of the letter. All fine, really. Having seen it all, she takes everything in stride, nowadays. With her peripheral vision, she takes in the man before her. Being demisexual and sapiosexual, she isn't the type to fawn over looks alone--though he is extremely handsome. All business, she observes him in all ways.


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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:49 pm

How in the world could Severus explain in mere words how displeased he was to find that Rand was not behind the counter and this.............this slip of a woman was where Rand should be?  The crevice now permanently afixed to his brow could contain his entire potions order on the counter before him............he was that aggravated.

Listening to her speak, a part of him quieted slightly but he remained keenly displeased while watching her as closely as he used to watch the Dark Lord.  She spoke softly and confidently, then produced a letter, holding it out to him.

::Immediately I should read this?  Merlin's left nut what has happened?  Shit Rand............what the fuck have you done?::

He glanced at the letter and then back at Avalon.  He noted that her hand didn't shake and was rock steady as she held out the envelope for him.  He held up his left hand, palm out to her and then slowly withdrew his wand from the secret pocket of his jeans.  He slowly pointed the wand at the letter, brow furrowed and felt the magical signature contained in the envelope.  Severus made a soft hurmphing growl deep within his throat when Rand's magical "touch" was felt within the envelope..............satisfied that the envelope was not filled with a dark magic targeting him.  He had seen horrific results contained in innocent-looking envelopes when opened by the unwary and foolish.

Lowering his left hand and swiftly pocketing his wand, he took the letter from Avalon slowly and opened it, never taking his eyes off Avalon.............almost like he was sizing her up, testing her and making sure she could withstand his scrutiny in this very hazardous time they were currently sharing.  

Lowering his eyes he opened the letter contained in the envelope and started reading.  He continued to keep Avalon in his peripheral vision and if she moved, she would instantly be the center of his attention.

::NEW PROPRIETOR????  THIS SLIP OF A WOMAN???  She probably doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground.  THE FLORIDA KEYS??  DAMN LUCKY BASTARD!!!  Damn right you wouldn't want to give this shop to me.  I'm not a fucking clerk!  At least that was smart of you Rand.  Strike up a friendship with this woman?  What the fuck am I............a social club?  Not a fucking chance in hell!  She put this order together herself.  FUCK........... THERE GOES MY GALLONS RIGHT DOWN THE SHITTER.   DAMN RIGHT I'LL COME AND VISIT YOU SO I CAN HEX YOUR SORRY ASS FROM THOSE FUCKING SUN-FILLED KEYS TO THE DESERTS OF SNOWY SIBERIA..............DICK!!!  CHEERS???  FUCKING CHEERS??????? Wonder what she did to that Ravenclaw boy?  Now that might be a story to hear before I destroy something................And what the FUCK do you mean that I should watch myself with her?  Don't piss HER off???  So...........she could be a worthy opponent?  Hmmmmmmmmmmm  Now THAT would be interesting.  It's been a while since I really enjoyed...........NO NEVER MIND THAT!!!!::

Each time one of those thoughts and emotions popped into Severus' head, he made a small growl deep in his throat.  He lips were in a very tight line and he was in the mood to walk out and leave the whole fucking mess.  

He re-read the letter quickly once again, raised his eyes to Avalon when he finished, then folded the letter quickly, placing it back in its envelope and stuffed it into his back pocked all while never taking his eyes off of her.  When he was done, he straightened himself to his full height.  When he spoke, his voice was low and velvety soft...............this was Severus Snape totally at his most dangerous.

"Madam, the letter stated that you are now the new proprietor................and Rand has even gone so far as to suggest that I give you a chance.  He even had the gall to suggest that I tread carefully around you as you might possibly have some mettle to you."

He then looked at her as thoroughly as he could while she stood behind the counter, hiding most of her body.  He hoped she felt his scathing contempt to even suggest that she could hold her own with him...........................in ANYTHING.

He took three slow steps to reach the counter while never taking his eyes off of Avalon.  When he arrived smoothly to the counter he lowered his face to match her height and looked directly into her eyes.  A small sneer began to play along the side of his mouth.  His words were mere whispers.

"Do NOT try me woman.  I wish to brook no ill will towards you...........but do NOT try me.  I would lay you out before you could say OR think your first spell."

Severus stood his full height and then backed up a bit from the counter while giving his head a slight nod...............to let her know that he was satisfied that she understood him clearly.  He schooled his thoughts and feelings once again and he scowled.  Her scent was appealing to him and her eyes were quite lovely.

"We will see how true to his word my friend was to appoint you to this task."

He then glanced down at the counter and began to look at his order.  He immediately noticed the magical containers around some of his ingredients.  This was a pleasant surprise.  This told him she at least could adequately perform NEWT-level preservations and precautions spells and............ she had a memory as he had taught her those very lessons.  Severus could sense that Avalons' magic was pure and without flaw.  The magic also had a very decidedly feminine feel to it that sent a distinct shiver down Severus' spine.  Distracting himself from the inconvenient feeling he looked closely, without touching or breathing on them, the lacewing flies.  They were without flaw.  They smelled and looked fresh and it looked as though the membranes on the wings were fully intact.  He made a small grunt/growl of reluctant approval with his inspection.

Straightening up and while looking squarely at her he asked with an almost innocent tone of voice,  "And the bihorns Madam? I trust that you had no issues obtaining them and that discretion was paramount in your..............negotiations?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:16 pm

There is a point where she looks up at him--curiously watching on as he performs the charms to ensure the envelope is sound--and when she does, she notices...there's a single hair between his eyebrows...and it's getting swallowed by the crease, there. Reassigning her attention to his eyes when he takes the letter, analyzing her at every turn, she looks at him guilelessly. As he starts reading...she watches...with the tiniest movements between his brows, the hair starts to emerge and disappear back and forth. Perversely, she assigns it a squeaking noise. Quickly, she bites the inside of her cheek to avoid smiling at all costs. Oh, and the sounds he's making! Sweet Merlin... Ah, and it's much more fitting that she assigns his vocalizations to the hair's actions. There we go. Yes.

He's less than pleased, of course. She has no idea what the letter contains, but she doesn't have a burning need to know. Now watching on quietly, she once again goes back to her Lacewings after a little while--until she hears the rustle of parchment, signaling that he's finished. Meeting his gaze...his very intense gaze...it's actually rather interesting to her, how dire he is, directly towards her. Watching him posturing, she continues to hold her ground, not budging an inch.

Silently, she listens to him speak to her...and she is very calm. Breathing deeply, her entire body is still--but not in fear. Meeting his gaze as he approaches...and warns her...she gives nothing away. Not yet. He might be satisfied with his little display, but she is not. As he backs off and looks at his order, her mind works, cool and calculated.

Not having said a word the entire time, her brows rise at his change of tone. Reaching just under the counter, she brings out a tray lined with cotton--and not any other fabric, because it gets residue on the bicorn horns--with said horns atop it for him to inspect. "I make no negotiations," she says simply. "I prefer to do the harvesting, myself." That way, she is ensured that the animals, especially, are treated humanely.

As she watches him, her face is devoid of expression. Taking a breath, she finds herself speaking, her hands cold, "I'm not sure what memories you may or may not have of me to taint your opinion of me, now--to look down on me the way you do, to belittle me, and imply that my skills and I mean nothing...that you are so great, in every way, that you could knock me down, whether I deserve it or not. You warned me and threatened me..." Here, she trails off, looking at him quietly. "I realize that you've been up against those who DO wish you ill. In time, I can assure you that I am not one of those. So, let us move on, shall we?"

She's angry. Not enough to throw him out or taint his ingredients, but she IS angry. Nothing like a round of unprovoked bullying to start a business association. She will only allow so much; however, threatening him, in kind, would likely be counterproductive. She's not the type. She'd much rather show him what a complete dick he's being--if he has the balls to acknowledge it and feel rightfully ashamed. If he sees it at all, of course.

Hands folded once more, she simply waits for more questions, comments, verbal slings and/or arrows, or whatever else he may come up with. She doesn't tout her own horn, or boast about her own capabilities. Her words, actions, and wares will speak for themselves. However, she realizes that his eyes likely see ghosts where there are none. He will learn, in time.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:48 pm

Severus nodded slightly to acknowledged his satisfaction with her comments about the bicorn horns.  Had he owned the shop, he would have harvested them himself as well for quality and the well-being of the animal.  He hadn't harvested bicorn horns for a long time and now preferred that someone else do so.

He tilted his head to the side to inspect the cuts she had made to the horns.  He once again nodded slightly in satisfaction to the cuts that were along the grain of the horn rather than against.  Excellent and as it should be.  Also the horns looked as though they were taken from a female.  That was very good as well and exactly as he had requested.  

Standing once again he looked at her as she spoke.  Was she calling him out??  She WAS actually calling him out!!  He was for the first moment, appalled.........then his eye brown rose in amusement and another feeling he hadn't felt for another human being in a very long time...........he felt rather............impressed.  Not many people in this world had the guts to call Severus Snape out for ANYTHING.  Apparently she felt she had that right.  Well, she didn't have the right but he was intrigued nonetheless.  Allowing her to finish without interrupting her he then did something totally unexpected when she had finished her tirade at him.............even though it was quite a well-behaved tirade................he smiled at her and gave her a combination of a small nod and a bow.

"Indeed Madam.  Let us move on.  I am satisfied with this order and you have done well with the bicorn horns.  Please have the items delivered to my address before the evening hour.  The horns must be prepared by the waxing of the moon, which is tonight."

He pulled out a leather wallet and produced several pieces of paper.  Taking out his wand, he tapped the paper and an impressive and neatly stacked collection of golden galleons filled  a good portion of the counter.  There was more money on the counter than many wizards and witches made in a years time.  He replaced his wand and wallet efficiently and quickly.

"You will find that the amount is the agreed upon total for the ingredients with the usual percentage of gratuity.  If you wish another gratuity amount you and I may negotiate THAT at a later time if you wish."

He looked deeply at her once again and bowed slightly in her honor, then departed the store, leaving the door opened just as he had found it when he arrived.

::Jesus Rand.................she is quite the ballsy thing.  If I didn't have to get these potions started, I'd head for the Keys tonight.  I'll not have to deal with her for another long while thank Merlin...............I wonder what she looks like behind that counter?  She wasn't bad from what I could see..............but what a mouth!  Mettle indeed.::

He walked farther into town and headed straight for the Three Broomsticks.  He needed a drink and a conversation with the bar keep.  He would get the info on that mouthy woman soon.

Entering the establishment quietly, he walked to the bar and sat down at the very end.  The bar was stuffy and smokey......not really to his preference but he needed information.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh there was Rosmerta.

Rosmerta had watched Severus walk into the establishment and up to the bar.  She smiled broadly at him and met him on the other side of the ornately carved wooden bar.

"Well met Severus.  What brings you to the dark corners of my world now on such a bright summer day?"

"Ah lovely Rosmerta.  You are charming indeed.  May I have a fire whiskey over ice.  I'm here for some information and you, my dear lady, are always full of the most intriguing information since the war."  Severus was genuinely pleased to see Rosmerta.  She was a fine woman to look upon and her curves and pretty face always tended to stir his loins.  She was also bright.  He enjoyed and respected smart women and Rosmerta was a smart one indeed.   He smiled broadly at her.

"Always the charmer Severus Snape.  I haven't seen you here for a while.  Information indeed.  What do you need to know?"

"What do you know about the woman running the apothecary in Rand's absence?  I just left there.  Rand sold the business to her, much to my chagrin to say the LEAST.  Do you know anything about her?"

Rosmerta placed Severus' drink on the table and then smiled a bit at him.

"Interested Severus?  No actually I don't know much about her other than she was a student at Hogwarts............so you must know a bit about her.  She comes in here every once in a while but she mostly stays to herself.  When she does come in, she keeps to herself though she is pleasant enough.  Otherwise I really don't know her."

She then smiled slyly at Severus and leaned on the counter, displaying her ample bosom to him.

"If you want more information Severus, why don't you ASK her.  You've been alone too long Severus."

She then stood and turned her back to him while pretending to straighten glasses on the counter behind the bar.

Severus scowled at her back but not before drinking in her ample cleavage and flowery scent before she turned her back to him.  Gods she looked good enough to devour from head to toe.

He threw back the drink quickly and gave her back a snort of derision, rose from his stool, slapped a galleon on the counter and walked out.

::Damn smart ass woman.  She needs a good fuck is what she needs.::

He felt the warmth of the fire whiskey begin to ooze along the muscles in his legs and arms and it felt good to relax again.  He began the walk back home and enjoyed the heat of the sun on the back of his neck.  He was once more in a good mood and mulled over the letter that Rand had left him.  He would indeed be paying Rand a visit in the near future.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:53 pm

Avalon is a bit puzzled. Is he...amused? A part of her is amused at his amusement--as if he thinks he's off the hook for his assholery, he has another thing coming. The other part of her...is decidedly not amused, for the exact same reason. The smile-nod-bow combination...was that an acknowledgment of a worthy opponent, or more of a placating move? Or both? No matter how one slices it, she stays very still, and will mull this over later.

'Oh, good, he's satisfied,' she thinks wryly, silently to herself. She takes the praise, as this is coming from the former Potions Master and Headmaster of Hogwarts and fellow potioneer of high distinction. Of course, he wasn't her professor or headmaster, but she will still give him appropriate respect...even if he did display much dickery.

Wait, what? Delivery? He's not taking them, now? About to ask him if his fucking arms are broken, she clamps her jaw shut when he opens his wallet. Is it worth it? Looking at the gold that appears, she isn't a fool. That's good money, and more than fair. On sight, she would say that it's probably the exact amount he usually pays Rand for such items. She would bet Severus is a fair man, in that regard. If he weren't, there would be hell to pay--but it seems he's safe, in this regard. In THIS regard. At the mention of gratuity negotiations at a later time, she simply gives a small nod. Once she's had time to sort through the coins, she'll give him her answer.

Then, without another word, he's gone. Avalon has to unclench her jaw, and it's a bit stiff, getting it working again. Exhaling audibly, she then licks her lips. What is she going to do with this one?

Sighing, she quickly tends to the money on her counter, getting it out of sight before someone walks in and becomes interested. Counting it quickly, it's a fair amount, and well within the window Rand told her to expect. There might even be a bit more, possibly because of the absence of a middle-man, in regards to the bicorn horns.

Considering the amount of items in the order, it might be wise to purchase a large delivery owl, as Rand took his with him...but she doesn't like to leave deliveries unattended, and sometimes weather can be a factor, as well as altitude. Plus, he didn't give a definite time, and there's no telling when he may or may not be home... Dammit. Glaring at the ingredients in front of her, she now has another conundrum.

About another hour later finds Avalon sitting on Severus' doorstep. Guarding his order. Eating an apple. The apple is mealy. Not crisp, or crunchy, as it should be. She is, in a word: displeased. Having carried the order by hand, her arms are rather...achy, after the ordeal. Legs crossed, her long, flowing green robes reach her knee-booted ankles, as she sits, stock-still, gnawing that goddamn apple. Under her robes is a fitted brown leather dress, comfortable and practical to work in. Plus, there is an added bonus that she rather looks like an archer, which is fitting, because she longs to just...shoot something.

Blank eyes stare sightlessly down the path, just waiting for movement. Taking another bite, she is very careful to NOT think of anything she would like to say...else she'll say it. IF she can get a word in edgewise, this time, without him waltzing off. Yes, keeping her mind blank is probably best. Though she might seem oblivious to her surroundings, she is actually quite alert, her senses keen, as per usual, bordering on hyper-aware. She's almost daring something to come along and challenge her, her body on an absolute hair-trigger.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:05 pm

Severus was in his kitchen pouring himself a cup of coffee when the wards in his home began to tinkle softly throughout the house with a crystal wind chime sound.  The wards alerted Severus immediately if a wizard or witch was at his door.  Another sound would chime through if an animal entered his protected zone and another chime sounding like wood wind chimes would jangle hollowly if a person approached his property in another direction from his front door.  This sound was for a female at his front door.................which was a rarity for him.  He hadn't heard that sound since Minerva had come to pay him a call many months ago.

Turning and leaving his kitchen while sipping his coffee, he hoped that his potions were being delivered though who might be delivering the large order was unknown to him.  Rand used to use his owl.  He hoped that some dunderhead wasn't at his door.

When he reached his front door, he put his coffee down on a table next to the door and opened it gently.  He looked down and saw Avalon sitting on his front doorstep with a very unpleasant look on her face.  He felt a small smile tug at the corner of his mouth as he looked down at her.  He found the situation somewhat amusing, once again. She looked quite angry and was surrounded by a plethora of potions ingredients.  A very familiar feeling to be sure...........to feel anger amongst such ingredients.

"Madam, we meet again, though you do not look pleased about the prospect.    I see you have made the delivery of my order personally.  What a pleasant surprise.  Please come in and let me take some of these from you.  The bicorns can become heavy after a while."

Severus opened the door widely and picked up the bicorns as well as 2 other packages, then stepped back into his home and waited by the front door as an invitation for Avalon to enter.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:56 am

She thinks she feels...movement from behind her. Even before the door opens, she can feel something, and...THAT HAD BETTER NOT BE HIM!! She KNOCKED AND RANG the bell when she got here, and so help her... Yep. There he is. Hearing and feeling the door open behind her, she stops, mid-chew.

She's going to kill him. She's going to kill him, herself. The war might've spared him, but she is not so inclined. HOW long has she been sitting on this bloody doorstep?! She thought he wasn't home! Hence the sitting on the GODDAMN, SONOFABITCH, FUCKINGHELL... Shit. Piss. Fuck. Goddammit.

She can almost hear the ancient-door-like creaking of her neck as she swivels her head to look up at him. Blinking slowly, she stays very still. Oho, he can tell she's not pleased? Well, lah-dee-dah! Oh, and if he thinks she WANTED to deliver the goods personally, he has YET ANOTHER thing coming!

Rising stiffly, she powers through it, not wanting him to see any discomfort whatsoever. "Forgive me, Sir, I am most likely displeased with my apple." Most likely. Oh, yes, she chooses her words carefully, leaving a window--a margin for the possibility of another reason, or reasons, for her ire. "Ah, and as far as the delivery process goes, I'd rather take the responsibility, myself, in some ways. I don't have to tell you that some ingredients are touchy." Talking shop tends to calm her, though she is by no means warm and fuzzy. She is civil, cordial, and not quite plotting his immediate death; being distracted does help, yes...

At the thought of being invited in, she's not too sure about that. However, he has ahold of some of the items, and in the interest of not wanting to make two trips--because that would be backtracking, and she wants out of here--she bends and picks up the last parcel. While he's gathering the other items, she hucks the apple as hard and as far as she can out into the woods. There. That felt good. Plus, she gave the gift of squirrel food to the critters out there...and maybe it will attract a kneazle to do big chores in his garden. She's all right with that.

Looking for all the world like nothing just happened as he straightens up in the next moment, she passes through the open door with a quiet, "Thank you," giving him a wide berth; for one, she doesn't want to accidentally bump any of the parcels he now holds, and for another, she doesn't want to know what he smells like. If he smells good, that would just piss her off. Even more. Patiently waiting as she stands off to the side in the entryway, she politely looks at him, and not anywhere else, not wanting to be nosy in the man's home. Patiently, she waits to be led further in, or for further instruction.

She doesn't say much, but that's usually just because she's quiet, by nature. As such, when she speaks up, she usually has something to say. This is not one of those times, and so she just rolls with whatever he might come up with, next. Actually, there is a bit of a point of order in regards to the bicorn horns: she wants to add that they're not THAT heavy...but she stays quiet, not wanting to get into a philosophical discussion of the weight of female bicorn horns. She's just not ready for that step, yet.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:40 am

Holding the door opened, Severus watched with some degree of mirth as Avalon picked up the rest of his order and walked through the door.  It was not hard to sense that she was not happy...........and in fact rather pissed off.  It also did not escape his notice that she passed him while giving him a wide berth.  His acute senses took in her scent has she passed by.  Yes, she smelled good and he inhaled deeply but silently.  She had a decidedly flowery yet musky scent.........not strong but certainly and decidedly very female.  Feeling that tingle down his spine he immediate squashed it and turned his attention back to the business at hand.

After she had fully entered his home, he closed the door with his foot and turned to walk deeper into the house.

"Please follow me.  I have a receiving area just for this purpose."

He lead them out of the foyer with its now empty fireplace, slate floors and hall tree with robes, cloaks and hats hanging from them, to the right through a very old and ancient-looking stone archway.  To the left was another huge arched and wide doorway that upon quick glance lead into the living room that was light, airy and at the far wall boasts floor to beamed ceiling windows overlooking the grounds with the small lake close by.  The furniture was a black leather sofa, love seat and recliner in addition to overstuffed chairs and standing lamps all facing a huge river rock fireplace............now currently filled with summer wildflowers and sunflowers rather than a roaring fire.

Passing through the stone archway lead them through a smallish hallway into another room that was clearly off of the kitchen.  It held a long marble counter with a shelved wall completely filled with bowls of all makes and sizes, glass vials and jars of all sizes and several sorts of odds and ends of knives, spoons, scrapers and anything else that one would use to receive potion ingredients.  There were high windows along the ceiling but not close to the marble counter.............as direct light can be either a friend or foe to potion ingredients.  Across from the counter was what could only be a refrigeration unit attached to a warming unit.  A muggle might think the entire stainless steel unit was a refrigerator on it's side...........but in actuality it would keep ingredients preserved for as long as Severus would use them in exactly the correct environment they needed to stay fresh.

Setting down the bicorns gently on the marble, Severus gently took the remaining ingredients from Avalon and set them gently on the counter as well.  He removed his wand from his jeans and pointed it at all his ingredients and waved it gently across the entire order.  That would preserve his order until he could attend to them.

Turning back to Avalon, he smiled a small smile which was meant to be cordial.

"It was Rands' custom upon his delivering my order, to share a glass of wine and news with me.  I would welcome your company if you have some time.  I would like to get to know you more as you will be handling my orders personally from now on.  I appreciate the care with which you have taken to assure a safe delivery of my purchases.  It is rare to find the more personal touch even in the wizarding world now.  I take care of those who take such efforts.  I take care of them very well."

He awaited her answer while pulling out his wallet once again.  He would of course pay her for the personal delivery above and beyond the original cost of the purchase.........as was his custom with Rand.  He took good care of those who went out of their way to assist him.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:59 pm

Man. Severus Snape smells like a man. Musk. Dark. Spice. Earth. Water. This appeals to her. She decidedly pays it no mind. She also entirely disregards that his energy is good. It appeals to her on a deep level. Oh, yes, she certainly ignores this. Being sapiosexual, she's not going to latch on to anyone who isn't intelligent. He is that, in some ways. Yet, there are some incredibly intelligent individuals who just...aren't there, otherwise. Time will tell, with this one. He is balancing out his transgressions with politeness, and that is certainly welcome. However, also being demisexual, she's not going to latch on to anyone without a substantial connection, first. As such, she really is able to put any things she notices about him aside, and is all-business as she follows him further into his home.

His lovely home. She approves of the stone and river rocks. The light that cascades in through the windows is just the right amount, and showcases the changing seasons in a beautiful way. Especially the lake, looking like a sapphire in the waning sunlight. It's interesting that the fireplace is full of flowers. She didn't think he'd be a...colorful kind of person. Quiet by nature, she says nothing. One wouldn't quite know it, but she's shy, as well, and has long since learned to keep her mouth shut, until she knows what she wants to say.

Seeing the antechamber reserved for ingredients, she approves. This is an excellent setup. It's professional, for certain. Everything has been taken into account--even the lighting--and she admires the space a great deal. Recognizing the equipment for what it is, including the warming and cooling elements, she finds herself relaxing marginally.

She stands stock-still as he relieves her of her burdens, holding her breath reflexively, and ready to catch anything that might drop. Watching him work, she looks up at him when he addresses her once more...and finds her brows rising with surprise. Hospitality is not quite what she was expecting. Nevertheless, she can tell it's a genuine offer, and coming from this complicated man that she's going to be working with, perhaps it might be a good idea to sit down and learn each other's...quirks...so that she mightn't feel the need to hex the man every time she sees him. Mouth opening, she's about to speak when she sees him pull out his wallet. Eyes widening, she gently puts her hands out, covering the wallet, and gives him a tiny smile.

"Please, there's no need to pay me for something that's a personal touch, as you say." Withdrawing her hands, she looks earnestly up at him. No, she doesn't want more money. She's never been greedy, and to receive more would just feel...strange, to her. She hopes she doesn't offend him, and so she keeps talking to distract him, "I would be glad to join you...though I admit, I'm useless when it comes to wine." Giving him a self-deprecating smile, she feels a bit chagrined, "I've never had the tastebuds for it, I'm afraid. If there is apple cider, hot chocolate, or tea to be had, I would be quite content, thank you."

Looking up at him, she has no idea, as far as what to talk about. Potions would be the safest topic. News, possibly, though she tries to stay away from news pertaining individuals. She doesn't give a good goddamn what's happening with whom, and doesn't pay attention, for the most part. As far as more personal matters go, he's going to quickly find out how dull she is. Not one to tout her own horn in any regard, she's notoriously tight-lipped. Most people know nothing about her, and she prefers it that way. Others know facets of her, but never the entire story. She also prefers that.

Waiting patiently for him to lead on, she is an expert at steering conversations. That is, when she's allowed to talk. After dealing with the public for even a short amount of time, she's noticed that most people talk about themselves, anyway, and give her little to no chance to add anything, even if she did want to say something. Oh, yes, she's learned a great deal. He mightn't be one of those people, but she instinctively keeps quiet, anyway.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:52 pm

He smiled warmly at Avalon and motioned for her to lead the way out of the prep room.  As she left, Severus passed her and lead the way back into the living room where he sat down at one of the overstuffed chairs at the far end of the room that faced the large windows overlooking the lake.  The trees were still green with tinges of red forming on their tips and the lake shimmered the the westering sunshine.

He motioned to one of the chairs facing him and though there was a slate coffee-type table between them they were still within 6 feet of one another.

"Please make yourself comfortable.  Minky?"

A house elf with enormous eyes and a spotlessly clean tea towel appeared and bowed slightly at Severus and then at Avalon.

"Please bring us both a cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.........and something salty if you please.  Cashews and some fruit w/ cheese?  Thank you."

Minky eyed Severus oddly at the hot chocolate request but smiled cordially.

"Right away Sirs and Ma'ams!"

Severus settled back into his chair and glanced at the lake.  He loved this end of the house and had spent many hours contemplating life looking at the lake and it's minute by minute changes.  Looking back at Avalon he smiled once again.

"Thank you for joining me.  Our repast will be arriving shortly.  So tell me what did you do after you left Hogwarts?  I had not heard of you and your adventures so to speak after I left school and the recent war left us all scattered throughout the globe."

At that moment Minky arrived with their drinks and food.  Severus picked up a mug and turned the handle to serve her.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:23 pm

As they do the polite hallway dance of, 'lady goes first,' and, 'host leads the way,' Avalon plays her part admirably. If she had to do this several times a day--and play nice--she would be exhausted. Yet, maybe it wouldn't be such a horrible gig, harvesting, delivering, talking, and getting paid. However, with some of her customers, she knows that she could never converse with them for long. Those would be the air-deliveries. If she's ever asked to deliver them personally, she can likely fabricate an excuse of some sort. If they ask why she's giving the former Headmaster special treatment, she can't exactly tell them she's delivering contraband to Severus' home, but she can probably come up with something along the lines of them being time-sensitive. No matter, really. She think on that later, after she's had some time to reflect.

Sitting in the offered chair, she sinks down a bit. Not overly fond of leather because it's too cold in the winter, too stick-to-your-thighs in the summer, this is a decent temperature for them, thankfully. Suddenly, she makes the realization that personal deliveries are now going to be expected with this one. Dammit. She intended for this to be a one-time thing, but...life could be worse, at the moment.

At first, she's wondering if he's offering her a...minky. She has NO idea what that means, or entails, and she's about to politely decline, when a House Elf appears. Ah! Got it! Nodding and smiling at the little being, she softens. She likes House Elves. At one point in her life, she figures that she's probably the reincarnation of one of the creatures, as she loved to be helpful. Now, she's learned to be more sparing, in that regard.

Mm, hot chocolate with whipped cream. Delightful. As Minky disappears, she glances at Severus. Seeing him taking in the scenery, she feels safe in doing so, as well. Ah, and now the talking. Oh, dear. Spared a few moments longer by the offer of a hot beverage, she smiles a bit. "Thank you, Minky--and thank you, Sir." Still unsure of what to call Severus--as they were peers, in a relative way--she sticks with the formalities, just in case.

"After Hogwarts, I did my damnedest to become a hermit," she says simply, honestly. "I traveled. Made a living by harvesting and selling to people like Rand. Worked on potions of my own. Did other potions on commission." She leaves everything personal out, simply sticking to the most pertinent facts. She hid when she had to, being a Muggle-born. However, with a name that sounds like it comes from a bygone era, not many thought to check into her background. Curiously, the Death Eaters left her alone. It was the Ministry she had to hide from. No, she doesn't speak of the war. She helped. She was part of Rand's underground efforts to get healing supplies to Hogwarts. She gathered the ingredients and gave them to him, free of charge. Then, he was the distributor to the injured students--through Minerva, she suspects. The memories are close to her eyes, but she quietly sips her hot chocolate.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:56 pm

Sipping the hot chocolate and then eating some cashews to break the sweet taste, Severus listened carefully to Avalon and what she was and WASN'T saying.  He noticed she stayed totally business-like and divulged nothing of herself personally.  This is exactly as he would have done with a stranger in an awkward social position, which he knew she was feeling at this moment.  She was being cordial though and he appreciated that a great deal.

"Have you ever been to the states?  There are precious potion ingredients there in an area known as Colorado.  The mountains are exquisite and the high altitude flora there is like no other.  They have some delightful restaurants there as well if you are interested in Muggle food.  But there is a very nice wizard/witch pub in Veil that is quite worth mentioning as well.  If you get that way, be sure to check it out."

He finished his hot chocolate and began to eat nuts, cheese and fruit.  The chocolate was good but very sweet and he preferred salty foods.

He chose to delve a bit into the personal but would back off depending on her answers.

"Do you have any family in the area?  I have no family here but some very good friends.  Some of which are in London and a few are in Hogsmeade.  Though I prefer a solitary life, I do enjoy the company of good friends on occasion.  Also, I would like to know if you have a specialty in brewing.  Is there a particular type or potion that you do well or that you might call your 'signature' brew?"

Severus found that he was enjoying her company though she was giving very little of herself.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:29 pm

Even if this was someone she knew from her past, her answers might be very similar. Closed, quiet, she doesn't trust many. She has great affection for most of her former professors at Hogwarts, however. Perhaps, if he had been her professor, she would be a bit warmer. At this thought, she relents just a hair. Inwardly. Not outwardly.

"I have. Several times. I've been to Colorado on a few occasions, yes. I enjoy the mountains and the rock formations. As far as the food, I don't frequent restaurants much, I admit--Muggle or Magical. I think I can count the number of times I've been to The Three Broomsticks on one hand." Smiling a bit, she nurses her hot chocolate slowly, going after the whipped cream, first. Eyeballing the strawberries and red grapes, she squints slightly at the apple slices, remembering the one from before. She enjoys cashews, as well, but one thing at a time.

She actually prefers not going to any shop in Hogsmeade, if she can help it. Only when in dire need will she go out. Small towns usually expect residents to be cordial, and that just irritates her to no end. Once again, being Mary Fucking Sunshine has no appeal to her. Yes, there's community and whatnot, and yes, she comes to care for some, but only on her terms.

"No family, no," she says nebulously. "I prefer a solitary life, as well." With her disposition, she has the air of being apart from most, and she thinks others avoid asking her to be social because they can sense it. Even with the few friends she has, she's very fond of them, but she only sees them once a year, perhaps. At his next question, she gives it some thought. "As far as specialties go...yes...but I'm debating on whether or not to tell you what that might be." Smiling, abashed, she continues more quietly, "Forgive me, I'm not being intentionally coy. I'm simply careful, and hold my cards close to my chest." She's very straightforward about this. There may come a time when she will need to use these particular potions again, and sometimes more lives are spared--in more than one way--if others don't know what she can do. Plus, that means people don't come to rely on her, and if someone should die before she can get to them and save them, knowing that they were waiting for her, that won't be on her conscience.

"What about you?" She asks, diverting attention away from herself, "What is your specialty--besides Wolfbane?" She adds the last with a small smile, a bit of warmth to her eyes. Approving of him brewing for Remus Lupin when he was alive, it shows. She knows the lads were at odds, certainly, but Rand told her that Severus made the brew, anyway.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:49 pm

He was pleased to hear that she enjoyed traveling and had been to the states.  It was an unusual culture and leaved much to be desired in ways, but in others, it was quite delightfully different than Britain.

He nodded at her exclamation that she liked a solitary life.  He understood this completely.  No family here then?  That was good in a sense.  Family tended to complicate lives and an uncomplicated life was what Severus worked hard to achieve now.  

He smiled when he noticed that she was not going to divulge her craft too willingly even though the question gave her an opportunity to shine.  He understood this as well.  Then when she turned the topic back to him, his smile broadened and he nodded slightly at her.

"My specialties?  Wolfbane certainly is one of them but my strongest specialty is not actually tied to potions, though that may surprise you.  My specialty, if you will, is dueling and bondings coupled with unbreakable vows.  I seem to have what you might call a 'knack' for them and the magic I use is particularly potent.  I have had several occasions to use the unbreakable vows.............and they have worked to my favor on more than one occasion."

He decided to cut to the chase and see if she would be honest with him.  He knew exactly what she did during the war and the parts she played.  Minerva had shared with him on numerous occasions..........especially while he was Headmaster at Hogwarts................allowing the healing potions and and poultices to come into the castle while distracting the Carrows from noticing.  He also had set a spell on the room of requirement, making sure that the Carrows would never find it so the stream of healing potions could have a safe place to stay and work their magic.

"So Avalon, what did you do during the war?  What part or parts did you play?  I am merely curious is all.  My parts are well documented on many fronts, much to my chagrin and I assure you they are much over-stated.  I was merely only one of the many pieces in that extraordinarily complex game of life and death."

He casually picked up some grapes and cheese and began munching.  He was hungry and was very curious as to what she would say next.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:31 pm

She's relieved to see him smiling--that he doesn't think her rude for evading such questions. It's true in that many lives have been spared; the less people know, the safer they are. Including herself. It'd be just her luck to have another insurgency of some sort of Dark power, and have them on her doorstep. That said, she does not live in the apartment above the apothecary. She's of the opinion that the public shouldn't frequent the place where you work.

Whether the information surprises her or not, she gives no indication. Ah, indeed... Nodding, she murmurs softly, "I remember your alacrity with dueling in school." It was admirable, but she doesn't say as much. He already knows this, and no doubt many people have told him. She doesn't touch on the Unbreakable Vows whatsoever. If a person breaks them, they die. She'd rather not be forced into such a thing--and though she knows he probably wasn't an instrument in that regard, there are other Death Eaters who did engage in such things. As a whole, they appeal to some, and certainly, some are good ideas, but in general, the thought disconcerts her.

At the naked question, she pauses inwardly. Did Rand ever divulge to him what she did? Interestingly...Avalon knew, innately, what side Severus was on, during the war. She didn't know the reasons at the time, but she knew he was the last line of defense to try and protect the students. Rand trusted him--she got that impression right away. Seeing that their relationship never changed, she knew...but of course, she could never let on, and would never get directly in the way of the goings on at Hogwarts. She's much too Slytherin. Staying in the shadows, again, kept her, and others, alive.

"During the war, I supplied Rand with potions ingredients, as always. Business carried on, as per usual." That is the safest answer. However, she smiles a bit more, "In addition to whatever Rand, Minerva, or Aberforth might have told you." There. That should be an acceptable olive branch. Keeping hold of her hot chocolate, she continues to sip quietly. She was a smuggler, essentially. Ingredients. Medical supplies. Books of defensive spells. A Wizarding Wireless device so the students could listen in the Room of Requirement. She didn't even tell Rand how she was able to do some of the things she did. One would have had to have had an invisibility cloak, or something to that effect, for some of the things she did. Not possessing one, she did what she could, with more success than one might think--and herein lies her unspoken specialty.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:58 pm

Severus' smile broadened at the notion that she was still keeping her peace.  He would no longer press.  She was either being modest or she was invested in keeping her information to herself.  He would give her a break and let it lie.  If she wanted to talk to him, she would do so.  He knew much more than she was letting on, but he would leave it be.  He respected her and would not press.

"Well I can see that you are a woman of few words but I shall let you know that Minerva and Rand told me a great deal.  I appreciate your alacrity and won't press you.  Time has passed, but caution has not, which is still a very valued trait, even now."

Severus stood then to signal that the social hour had ended.  It was clear that she was uncomfortable and he would not persist in placing her in this unnerving situation.

"Thank you for indulging me Avalon.  I like to get to know the person who is working with me in procuring items so I may enjoy my most precious of pastimes, my potions and brewing.  I appreciate your time and your skills.  I generally place an order 1 time per month, depending on my needs.  I am working on a few new ideas and may need your services more frequently but I shall give you a full measure of advance notice for my requests.  My eagle owl will bring you my requests.  I always pay in person and have my purchases delivered in person.  Once again, thank you for indulging me."

He looked briefly down at the floor and then back up at Avalon.

"I understand that I am somewhat of a pain and quite eccentric, but I am who I am Avalon and am a proud man.  Thank you for your silence and your patience.  I will show you out.  If I may, I would walk you back to the shop if you are returning there.  It is almost dark and I would be a cad to allow you to walk home unaccompanied."

He looked at her, wondering what she would choose.................an escape or more discomfort.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:06 pm

Both modest and not forthcoming with information, she knows she's not at her most loquacious tonight, and a part of her does feel guilty, as he's being kind. Ah, and now he's making that exact observation, and color comes to her cheeks. Ducking her head, she sighs inwardly at herself, but she knows it's for the best, overall.

Oh, hell. Minerva and Rand told him? Her face burns even brighter. Glad he won't press the matters, she's curious about what Rand and Minerva told him. Listening to his wording, he sounds rather like...he values these things about her, but she doesn't want to read too much into that.

When he stands, she rises, as well. Ah, time to go, then... Taking note of what he says, she can't help but feel that her awkwardness curtailed the evening. Or, perhaps he's giving her an easy way out.

"Certainly. My thanks for your hospitality--this is my first delivery, and I didn't know what to expect. This was a nice surprise." Her words are simple, but truthful, and she sets her empty cup down on the coffee table. A part of her feels guilty, wanting to take it and wash it, herself, but she doesn't want to traverse through the man's home to his kitchen and scandalize his House Elf in the process by doing work, herself. "Feel free to owl any time. I keep odd hours, sometimes, and it all varies, but I assure you I will be prompt in my correspondence." She finds she's rather enjoying his company--when he's not being a threatening arse. It's a shame he'll place his order by owl, as perhaps they could have a dialogue about what else he might need for his experiments. Perhaps he'll come to this conclusion, in time.

Noticing his brief glance away, she tilts her head to the side. Is he...apologizing? Apologizing for being a wanker, earlier? Yes...it seems so. Softening marginally, she gives him a small smile, seeing a brief glimpse of his true nature.

"Make no mistake, I am under no illusions as to my own personality. I'm more than a pain, and more than a bit eccentric, myself. I can't say I'm proud, but...it is what it is." Shrugging, she then smiles a bit wider, "I should warn you that as the months go on, you might find me less and less silent, in regards to the world in general. We'll see. Ask Rand. I will strive to remain patient, but I imagine sooner or later you'll see beyond the mask I wear. I beg your forgiveness in advance, because I'll probably lose my filter, and I'm a bit of a handful when uncensored." Giving a bit of a chagrined smile, she angles toward the door, waiting for him to follow alongside her. "Ah, and if you walk me to the shop, who would walk you back home? I suppose you could Apparate, though." Of course, she could Apparate directly home, but she doesn't point that out. If he wants to make nice, she'll let him. She lives out of town a ways, and she'll Apparate home once inside the shop. "I assure you, anyone who would dare assail me would beg you to protect them from me, but I would be glad for the company."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:41 pm

Nodding at his acceptance of Avalons self appraisal, Severus feels the beginnings of interest..........intrigue.  She is an interesting woman.  She is smart, quite bright actually, is apparently brilliant at what she does or Rand would have never allowed her to purchase the shop......and she is attractive to boot.  Her sense of humor is dry and sharp.  This pleases him and he finds that he will actually enjoy walking her home.

Severus comments on her inquiry of who would walk HIM home with a soft chuckle.

"I believe I can find my way home............without fear.  Most find the thought of confronting me rather daunting and it sounds as though you can handle yourself as well. Times are more secure than they were 2 years ago but it is a smart person who keeps their defensive skills honed.

"Also, loosing your filter might be most enlightening to say the least.  Perhaps one day I may find out", he added with another soft chuckle.

They made their way out of the living room and walked back into the foyer.  Severus opened the door for Avalon and they walked outside into the heat of the early evening.  Severus closed the door and taking out his wand, waved it across his door and set out to walk with Avalon to town.

The sun was setting in a couple of hours but the heat was almost oppressive.  There was no whisper of a breeze and dark clouds were building along the horizon.  There would be a storm tonight no doubt.

As they walked along in companionable silence along the road Severus wondered what the real Avalon was like.  Perhaps she had a partner or a significant other in her life.  She wasn't wearing a ring but that didn't mean anything in today's world.  He couldn't sense anything of her private life.  She seemed to be almost shielded.  He thought he would test the waters.

"So Avalon, taking this walk with you won't complicate your life for you will it?  Hogsmeade is a small town and I wouldn't wish for you to reap uncomfortable repercussions from our innocent walk to the shop."

Severus looked over at Avalon and was curious as to what she would say.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:06 pm

She made him laugh! Well, it was small, but it was still there. She feels rather accomplished, in this regard. Throughout the years she's somewhat-known him/known OF him, he's always been so dire. It's nice to see him doing...well. He's doing well. Still, she can't help but tease him with a bit of word-play, "Well, if you happen to get lost, just follow your sense of smell back to the shop. Though, I admit, Madam Rosmerta has a very nicely-seasoned roast chicken--I wouldn't blame you for getting sidetracked. Ah, and as far as losing my filter, be careful what you wish for." That last bit she added dryly, wryly.

Once again doing the social politeness dance of male-opens-door, female-preceeds-him-then-waits, she feels herself having a bit of a spring in her step as they walk along...until she notices how hot it is. Instantly, her face turns more dour. She's about to sportingly shed light on the matter so she doesn't disconcert him, but his line of questioning comes first. Jaw dropping, she huffs a rather mirthless laugh and quickly shakes her head, "No, my honor is definitely not at stake. I think I terrify most, and I'm way okay with that." She is. Said simply and matter-of-factly, she doesn't give a damn about most. Let them wonder. Let them also sense that she is not one to be trifled with. Period. In any way, shape, or form.

Licking the inside of her molars at the thought of...people...she has to take a deep breath. She has no patience for most, anymore. Brows furrowed, she doesn't ask after his own status, in that regard. It hasn't occurred to her to wonder whether or not he's involved with anyone, until now. From what she's heard, he's a bachelor. However, that means nothing--he could be seeing someone, and someone as notoriously private as he could likely conceal a relationship, if he was so inclined. He could be walking her home out of the goodness of his heart, and that's what she assumes, anyway.

It doesn't even occur to her that he may be interested. The men who she's come across are either nice and uninterested, or want to fuck her. She's fairly oblivious to advances, anymore, and just figures that men fall into either of those two categories. Plus, she sees people as potential friends, first...and she and Severus are working on being amiable business partners. Perhaps Rand was right--they might get on well.

"Not to default on the topic of weather, but I will be glad to see the end of this heat. I loathe it, and if you see me slipping into, 'bitch-face,' I give you my word, it's the temperature and not the company. If it storms tonight, I will be thrilled." Glaring at the clouds, they had better produce SOMETHING...

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:35 pm

Severus was thoroughly enjoying himself and their shared walk.  He found himself listening to her every word and wanting to hear more.  He found her fascinating and wanted to learn how in the world she could loath most people..............though he did as well most of the time.  He was very curious as to how she arrived at that point in her life.  He knew exactly how he arrived at that point.

Severus actually laughed out loud at her mention of following the smell out of the Three Broomsticks.  Rosmerta was actually well known for her roasted chicken and people flocked to the pub nightly to get their share before she ran out.

"Do you know how many times in the past year that I have missed out on Rosmerta's roast chicken dinner?  I hear she makes a chicken to keep them coming back...........and they certainly do apparently as I was nearly run over by a family trying to get into the pub for dinner a few weeks ago.  I was not..................pleased."

They continued walking and they were nearing the last bend in the road before the town would come into view.  At her last comment, he actually burst out in a guffaw that startled even him.

"Bitch face?  I've not heard that term before but I shall watch out for it and will hope for rain tonight.  You know what they say about your face "sticking that way?  Sounds most unpleasant!"

They continued to talk small talk, bantering a bit back and forth until all too quickly, they approached her shop steps and he stopped.

"It has been a very pleasant evening Avalon.  I've enjoyed your company and I am hoping...........perhaps if you find me fit..........to share some more time together........for pleasure not for work.  I am a gentleman so you need not fear my intentions.  Perhaps one day soon we could beat that dratted family to the Three Broomsticks for a taste of that famous chicken dinner."

A rumble of thunder rolled from the distance and he smiled.

"It looks like I will be spared your bitch face after all with the coming storm.  I actually enjoy the heat and rather enjoy warm summer evenings and actually deplore the cold, probably much to what you might have heard about me working in the dungeons of Hogwarts for so long."

"Well I am stalling...........Good night Madam.  It has been a pleasant evening and I hope to hear from you soon..........outside of our mutual business arrangement if that also pleases you."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:11 am

It occurs to her that he's at a disadvantage in that due to being who he is--professor, former Headmaster, person of note, and whatnot--she knows more about him than he does about her. Indeed, she's been observing him off and on for years, albeit quietly. Having kept a polite interest, she's never gone out of her way to discover the details of his life. That said, while she's been curious about him since their school years, he's probably never given her a second thought. Of course, she never gave him reason to, before now. That's all right, though--she prefers her shadows. He'll learn what he wishes, in time.

Rewarded with another laugh, Avalon is rather of the opinion that she should keep track--if she can make him laugh five times per meeting or more, then she can consider said meeting a success. At the thought of him being steamrolled by a family for a chicken dinner, she shakes her head, smiling. "Poor little mite," she commiserates playfully. Eyes widening when he laughs so loudly, she beams at him reflexively. "Indeed, the term, 'resting bitch-face,' is becoming rather popular, for people who look angry when they're just sitting there thinking or looking at someone--or something. See? A teacher is always learning..." She teases him, smiling and pleased with herself. "Ah, and yes, muscles do get stuck that way; muscle memory is just strong, is all, and the muscles remember being in that one position."

Sighing inwardly when they reach the shop, she's sorely tempted to see if she can go rustle up one of those chickens--she can smell it, dammit--but she's too tired to eat. Instead of dealing with people, she will opt to crash in bed. That sounds lovely. When he addresses her, her smile is small, but relaxed and genuine. Wait, what? Share time together? As in...? Brows raised, the thunder occurs as if on cue, and she looks up over her shoulder with an almost comical face.

Rather saddened that he doesn't enjoy the cold, and instead revels in the heat, perhaps she should have expected that--most share that same opinion of the weather. "I get nauseated with the heat, and dizzy, at times. I'm very sensitive, and burn much too easily. The sun is not my friend. I get sleepy, too." In truth, her mind is still hovering around the other part of the conversation; the part just when Mother Nature made herself known.

Ah...and there it is, again. He IS saying what she thinks he's saying! Shocked as hell, she...has no idea what to think. This has never quite happened, before. At his words of parting, she does something uncharacteristic, for her: she reaches out and gently touches his arm. For a moment, she looks almost sad. However, she smiles a bit before relinquishing her hold on him. "I have a rule, I'm afraid; and some like it, some don't. If you want to take our association beyond customer and proprietor, I have no objection. However, I'm simply not the type to dive into relationship, first off--no matter how tentative we test the waters. What I propose is a friendship, first. See if you like me on that level, before going on to the next. Does that sound fair? That way, we can remain friends or acquaintances without it getting awkward at any point. The romance may or may not come quickly, but at least you'd know what you're in for." There. That sounds rather sporting of her. She hopes he's amenable to the idea, but if not, that's fine, too--and at least they know up front. "I just think that a relationship should have a solid basis in friendship, that's all...because if you're not friends with the person you're with, that just sounds like you're sitting on a chair with three legs, does that make sense?" It will give them ample opportunity to observe each other, and that will be key on whether or not they take it to the next step. Watching his expressions, she keeps politely hopeful.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:49 pm

He definitely felt his heart quicken when Avalon placed her hand on his arm and he felt himself brace for a rejection when he noticed her sad smile.

Severus nodded and his heart filled with hope as he listened to Avalon's need and request for a friendship before "dating" or taking their relationship to another level.  He was fine with that on so many levels and was quite pleased with her response actually..............either because he agreed with her or possibly because he was so deeply relieved not to have been rejected outright.  He returned her smile and noticed that he still felt her hand on his arm after she removed it, oddly enough.

"Friendship is absolutely imperative in any relationship and I agree with you wholeheartedly.  I do feel honored that you would consider starting a friendship with me Avalon and I look forward to getting to know you better over the time we will share together.  And for now, you have a wonderful rest of your evening and I shall call on you again.  Soon.  I enjoyed our time together. Good evening and enjoy the coming thunderstorm.  I thoroughly enjoy storms myself and look forward to listening to it throughout the night.  Until later."

He gave her a small bow, smiled and then turned and headed back up the path to his home.  He would enjoy the walk home in the summer night.  The fireflies were now flashing in and out of the bushes and he smiled, delighted in his new opportunity with a very smart and attractive woman.

The thunder rumbled louder and quicker now as he neared his home and the flashes of lightening were coming closer and closer as well.  Just as he felt the first drops of warm rain, he ducked into the area over his front door, waved his wand and entered his home.

Minkey greeted him and asked him if he needed or wanted anything and Severus dismissed her with a quick thanks for making sure his guest was well taken care of during her visit.

Severus then went upstairs to his bedroom, opened his windows and stood looking out at the lightening.  The wind was blowing the sheer curtains around his windows and the rain was pelting down around his grounds and out into the lake.  His spell would allow him to enjoy the storm with his windows opened but not allow any rain to enter past his windows.  He loved evenings like this.  The lightening crackled and the thunder boomed frequently as he stood in front of the largest window in his suite.  He fleetingly wondered what it would be like to share an evening like this with Avalon snugly wrapped in his arms while they made love during a storm.  Perhaps one day he would be fortunate enough to find out.  He knew that she would not be a casual dalliance.  He had had enough of those in his past and was no longer interested in such things, though his body longed for comfort from the intense sexual tension he was feeling and felt on a daily basis.  No, Avalon would not be a casual affair in his mind.  She was much too valuable for that.

Turning from the window, he stripped off his clothing and headed into his bathing and bathroom suite.  He stepped down into his bathing pool and turned a tap to 'shower mode' and allowed warm water to cascade down his head and body. This felt glorious and he enjoyed hearing the storm pounding around his house as he began to wash.

After drying himself, he slid into his bed and lit a number of candles with a sweep of his wand. He propped himself up in bed and began to read the latest Daily Profit while listening to the storm crash around him.  After reading the trash in the Profit, he waved his wand and the candles blew themselves out.  He laid in bed and watched the storm flash and boom around his lake and the trees on the other side of his lake.  He smile as time passed and after a bit, he fell asleep thinking of possibilities.

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Re: A Time For A Change

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