A Time For A Change

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:58 pm

She gleefully leaves the shop that day and marches to Hogwarts. The only thing she feels for her new obligation is loathing. Absolute loathing. Leaving it all behind with every step physically, in her mind she is plotting on how to unload it.

Slinking into the great castle, she's tempted to go pay Minerva and Albus a visit...but having read the owl several times over, she is eager to go see Madam Sprout. As she wanders through the castle, she tests its wards. Not bad. Not great, but not bad. Certainly nothing like it was before the war, as it used to be the accrual of all the past wards, over time. All of them are gone, now. New ones are in their place, but time tends to solidify such magic and meld them together.

As she moves deeper into Hufflepuff territory, she bristles upon seeing the still life portrait of the fruit bowl that leads to the kitchens. Whoever thought about tickling a goddamn pear? Whoever thought of that should be slapped. Whenever she went to the kitchens when she was a student, she'd brush the pear with her fingertip. Once. That's all it got. Creepy fucking pear. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't fucking giggle. Jesus Christ...

Scowling at the fruit as she passes it by, she stoically ignores all else until she comes to Pomona Sprout's office. She's always been on very good terms with the elder Witch. Professor Sprout taught her how to harvest all the things that grow, which is essential to what she does. Part of why Avalon makes such good money is because her skill at harvesting is excellent, all thanks to the Head of Hufflepuff House. Knocking lightly on the door, she waits...and smiles broadly when she's greeted by the perpetually dirt-smudged woman.

"Avalon! Come in, come in!" She bustles back from the door, "I was just making tea..."

"Afternoon, Professor. I heard congratulations are in order," smiling, she follows Pomona in and promptly receives a cuppa.

"Indeed! After so long, I just...feel that it's time. I don't want to be sitting on my laurels, mind, but teaching is...quite laborious."

"No doubt!" Chuckling, Avalon nods and takes a sip. Wait...she doesn't want to be idle. Albus mentioned that this meeting would facilitate free time for Avalon. Blinking, she feels herself grow very, very still. Oh...oh, please, yes... "Do you have anything in mind to keep yourself busy?"

"Well...I'm not certain. Not sure if anyone could use an old biddy who can hardly work in her garden, anymore." There is a moment where Pomona looks a bit forlorn, and almost uncertain.

"Come man the apothecary in Hogsmeade for me," Avalon says without missing a beat. "I hate it. It would give me great pleasure to not be there. Ever."

Professor Sprouts brows rise...and Avalon does her damnedest to try and hide her wolfish grin.

***

At about ten minutes to eight, Avalon Apparates outside Severus' home. Not even in the door, yet, she sings out, "Seeeeeeeeveruuuus! Where aaaaaaare youuuuuu?" She's trying to soften the blow, though it shouldn't be too bad. Minky has the front door open and the witch waves to her animatedly before skittering into the Wizard's home. "I've been busy today," she smirks, rocking back and forth on her feet when she finds him. Let's see...how to put this delicately...?

"I unloaded the shop!"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:17 pm

Severus spent his day tending his potions and small herb garden on the far side of his property throughout the day.  He love puttering in the garden and actually getting his hands in the rich soil.

After several hours of work, he realized that the time was nearing for Avalon to arrive before the meeting.  He walked to his home, took a quick shower and changed into more wizard-appropriate attire.  Eating a quick snack, he was just about to sit in his living room and await her arrival, when he heard her dulcet, sing-song voice calling him.  He grinned and stood and was walking to the door when Minky opens it.  

As she entered his home, she said something that stopped Severus in his tracks.  Did he hear her correctly??!!  She "unloaded" the shop?  What the hell??  He walked up to her and looked quite nonplussed.

"What do you mean, unloaded the store?  You are no longer the owner?"

Severus felt very nervous about what might have happened to it and who in the world would now run it.

It was getting very close to the time when they must leave for the meeting but he needed answers.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:59 pm

Oh, the poor soul. Just as she suspected, he's about to have an aneurism about the whole ordeal. Should she put him out of his misery, now, or wait it out a little?

"Well, I think the details can wait until after the meeting, don't you?" Batting her eyelashes at him, she's smirking as she wraps her arms around him. Inside, she's cackling, but what comes out is only a slightly evil chuckle. Priceless. She knows full well what this is doing to him. Is that a vein bulging on his forehead? Relenting, she draws back with a laugh, patting his back gently.

"It's all right, Sev. Pomona Sprout is retiring, and was wondering what to do with her life--not wanting to just sit around on her laurels, as she said. So, she will be manning the shop. Technically, it is still in my name, but I supply it. She sends me orders of what we need, and forwards special requests to me from the clients via owl." If Avalon had a tail, it would be wagging.

"So! Not so bad, yeah? Come along, on to the Order meeting. We don't want to keep the little kittens waiting." Smirking, she means the group of Gryffindors, of course. Little lion cubs, they are--roaring at the world, but understanding little of it, in some cases. Granted, not all are like that, but they all have that leonine stoutness and stubbornness that just isn't well-suited for all occasions.

Looping her arm through his, she nudges him playfully. As she waits for him to Apparate them away, she looks a bit more innocent, now that the teasing has run its course. Resting her chin on his shoulder, she blinks up at him peacefully.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:45 pm

Severus growled inwardly at her teasing AND her close proximity.  He felt the vein in his forehead ease to almost disappearing when he heard that Sprout was going to be taking over most of the duties of the shop and that Avalon would still be in ownership as well as procuring it's supplies.  Excellent news!!

"Little kittens??  We shall see!"  He immediately thought of them being called pussies and that surely would not go over well with all of them.  He grinned at the idea of the melee and duels that would ensue.................until Minerva stopped it all..............oh well!

Feeling her arm loop through his, he smiled at her and sighed.  She was going to be the death of him yet!  Quickly twisting with a crack, they arrived outside of the Burrow's property.  Walking the short ways to the front door, they arrived and Arthur opened it for the both of them.

"You are the last to arrive.  Welcome Sev and to you Avalon!"

They entered the home and could hear the murmur of many voices and the feel of magical ability in the air was potent.  They followed Arthur through the house and arrived in the main living area.  It was filled with wizards and witches............all of whom Severus knew.  Mentally counting heads, there must have been at least 30 people in the small room, seated around on the furniture and some even resting on the floor.  Severus nodded to the room with Avalon's arm still looped through his.  He made his way across the room to the far side, where a small sofa was vacated by Harry and Ginny for him and Avalon to seat themselves.   He held up his hand to let them know he was thankful for the thought, but preferred to stand as he assumed Avalon would as well.  Harry and Ginny sat back down on the sofa.

Arthur came to the center of the room and began to speak.

"Welcome to the Burrow, all of you.  I'm glad you have all come at my request.  There are two issues I would like to bring to all of you.  Firstly, I wanted to let you know that the issue of Alecto and Umbridge is now finalized.  They will no longer be bothering anyone for the rest of their lives but I wish to point out that in the States, there is a growing contingent of dark witches and wizards who are simulating closely, the very same issues we have had to deal with here in Britain.  The Headmistress from the Salem School of Wizardry has asked for council from our own Minister of Magic, Shacklebolt.  They have spoken and they have requested a number from the Order assist them in eradicating the bullies and offending dark wizards in that state.  Their version of the Ministry has become corrupt and inept.  If you remember the days when our Ministry was such, then you can understand the scope of their problem.  I would welcome any discussion you might have about assisting them."

"Secondly, we have a person here who has been recommended to join the Order if she so chooses.  Avalon Tremain has particularly strong magical powers and has proven herself in the most recent skirmish with Alecto and Umbridge.  I would like to invite her to join the Order.  What say you Avalon and any others?"

There was silence for a moment, then it seemed that everyone began to talk at once regarding the issues occurring currently in the United States.  A few eyes turned to Avalon since they had not met her as yet and were curious.

Kinglsey stood then and held up his hands.  His deep voiced boomed in the room and there was silence immediately.

"Please people, one issue and person at a time.  Can we discuss Avalon and this topic to begin with?  It just seems logical to me.  Thank you."

Turning to Avalon still standing next to Severus, he nodded and then invited her to speak.

"What say you Avalon, to your inclusion into the Order?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:31 pm

She's glad to see that he's not traumatized by the changes afoot. He nearly filleted her when they met, but if he should try that with Madam Sprout, she might put a bit of extra mandrake in his order...and Avalon would certainly help her to mellow this man out. Take him down a notch. Yeesh. She so wants to tease him in that he needs to get laid, but she dares not.

Ah, and with a pop, they're at what can only be: The Burrow. What an interesting place! It looks almost precarious, in some ways, but how brilliant! Avalon already loves the structure. In some ways, it reminds her of her home--it carries the handprints of its makers in its bones.

Oh! A ginger! He looks rather familiar. She knows she's seen him, before... Wait...is this...? Is this the Weasleys' home?! It must be! She always suspected that the Weasleys were a part of the Order. Looking around when they get inside, her eyes flit about until she finds...yes. There he is! Bill! Immediately, she's trying not to grin, smirk, or laugh. No doubt he would be puzzled, because he still has no idea who she is. Her mouth wiggles a bit as she forces it to behave.

There are a lot of people here. Surely all four Houses must be represented, though perhaps not. Interesting. Nodding at Harry and Ginny, she angles with Severus toward a wall and leans lightly against it. Her empathic self feels something...beyond different in the room, and her eyes glance toward the source.

George Weasley. He is in unspeakable pain. Naturally, she gravitates toward those who really need help, and her mind is already thinking of how to reach the remaining twin. She will approach him, later, but for now: business is at hand.

Listening to the patriarch, she remembers his name easily. Arthur. Good man. Yes, she used to see him in the Daily Prophet, here and there, before it went corrupt. Oh, so the shenanigans are starting Stateside, are they? Interesting. Time to nip that shit in the bud. Immediately.

Ah, and now the attention is directed toward her. Not her favorite. She can feel her face color brightly with a red blush, but she keeps her features neutral. Then, discussion diverts away, and she's quite all right with that. Oh, balls! Kingsley! Growling inwardly in that eyes are back on her, she sighs inwardly. Shit. Here we go... Nodding, she pushes away from the wall lightly, as well as Severus.

"Thank you. As far as joining you lot, I'm game. Some of you might be wondering as to my background, my reasons, or my qualifications, as far as being here. Albus Dumbledore, in his portrait can vouch for me, as can Minerva McGonagall." Here, she nods at the Witch, who nods back. "In addition, I underwent Veritaserum in the presence of those two, as well as Minister Shacklebolt, Mr. Potter, and Severus Snape. I assure you, I don't need anymore questions. I'm here to help, and I'm on the side of the Light. That's all you need to know, and that should be good enough. If not? Tough shit. You'll be fine." Smiling a bit lopsidedly, she shrugs. Minerva is pinching the bridge of her nose disapprovingly of that last little bit.

"Ah, and as far as the ruckus going on in the States, I'll go," she says simply.

"What do you mean, you'll go?" Asks Hermione. Oh, here we go... Keeping herself in check, Avalon takes a deep breath.

"I mean I'm going to go over, infiltrate, do a bit of recon, a bit of subterfuge, and collect data on a first-hand basis that I will pass along to you lot so that we can form an accurate game plan." Derp. Herp-derp.

"Perhaps you should take another or two over with you," supplies Minerva, but Avalon shakes her head.

"Nah, I'm good. The rest of the Wizarding World looks to the U.K., and you lot are all rather easily recognized. I can go over, not worry about Polyjuice, and call it good. It'll be faster. Trust me."

"Shouldn't we have a plan, first?" Says Hermione, already starting to twitch with apprehension.

"That IS my plan--and it's MY plan, for myself. You lot can do as you like, but I will still operate outside you. As I said, I will tell you everything I know--and don't worry, I will be swift about it. You won't be waiting long. A couple of days, at most."

"So fast?" Hermione, again. "You'll surely need more time than that."

"I assure you, I won't." Avalon's smile is almost wolfish on the young Witch. Then, she purposely turns her attention away, as though looking for the next set of nay-sayers.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:17 pm

As Hermione stood and faced Avalon, Ron tugged gently at her shirt in order for her to shut up and sit down but Hermione slapped his hand away.  She took a step forward to face Avalon squarely.

Severus at that point, crossed his arms and a smirk slid across his face.  This was going to be GOOD!!!

"How can you come here and tell us what you plan to do without even discussing this with the group?  We don't dictate orders here.  We talk and PLAN.  Your idea has some merit but it lacks forethought as well as the common thread of being mutually agreed upon."

Hermione slapped Ron's hand away again with an irritated sigh.

"Ronald stop!"

Turning back to Avalon, Hermione was determined to get her point across so Avalon would at least slow down a bit.

"You are new here and perhaps don't understand how we do things in the Order.  We take time and discuss.  We come up with plans and alternatives.  We take care of one another that way.  Maybe you have been on your own so long, you forgot how to work and play well with others?"

With that last statement, there was a very audible intake of breath from almost everyone in the room.  Ron stood up and Ginny glared at Hermione.  Severus put his hand over his mouth to stop a loud guffaw from erupting from it.  This was indeed GOOD!  He couldn't wait for Avalon to take that slip of a girl down to size for once!

Hermione stared at Avalon, her cheeks flushed with frustration.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:38 pm

Oh, indeed! Here we go! Avalon is still smiling. Grimly. Licking her left top eyetooth, her lips curl up in a grin, now, but those a bit wiser as far as body cues go will recognize it as baring one's teeth.

"Point one: are all members subjected to a chain of command? You just said you don't dictate orders, yet here you are, telling me what I should or shouldn't do. By that alone, you can sit down--though I doubt you will, which is just fine with me. Is this a bureaucracy where everything is to be put to a vote, and if it's fifty-one percent to forty-nine percent, the losing side, in fact, loses? How very diplomatic." Standing there amused, her arms cross, and she can see feathers starting to get ruffled. Good.

"While you're taking time and discussing, that's all well and fine. Go ahead. Point two: in the mean time, someone can go get much-needed info so we can actually have something TO discuss. Something of matter and substance. That's when the real planning takes place--when we actually have something to go on." At this point, she starts to laugh. Really laugh.

"Ah, and as far as being on my own and forgetting how to work and play well with others, it could be that you, yourself, are so steeped in each other that you don't know how to do anything for yourself, anymore. Excellent work with the Catch-and-Release Program, by the way. That went well, didn't it? I should've been on your committee so that perhaps you would have seen sense: people with enough patience will jump through any hoops to get out of Azkaban--or any other dire situation. No matter, now. Your mistake has been corrected, and only one person died because of it." Here, her voice gets very, very quiet. "Sit down, and do not assume to confront me and, 'put me in my place,' so easily. You do not rule me--or anyone else, here, under your personal feigned umbrella of democracy." Turning her attention to the rest of the group.

"Any qualms with obtaining more information?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Hermione clenched her teeth and her hands balled into fists.  Ron put a hand on Hermione's arm but she shrugged him off.  Taking a final step to face Avalon, she was infuriated.

"You have NO idea what you are talking about, coming in here and acting like such a know-it-all and so filled with smug self-pride.  We have been through hell and back...............our friends and family have DIED so you can freely talk your shit.  Don't you DARE presume to dictate terms of service to this group or EVER to me.  What were you doing during the war?  Wrapping bandages?  Hiding out so you wouldn't get dirty, you little piece of Slytherin filth!"

At that point Harry and Kingsley stood and held Hermione back............knowing that at any point she was going to pull out her wand.

Severus hearing the 'Slytherin filth' stood tall and took one step to face Hermione and scowled at the group but turned to Hermione and spoke softly.

"Had this 'piece of Slytherin filth' not completed his job, you would ALL be dead and rotting in shallow graves................if you were lucky.  Now if you will excuse me, this meeting............for me...........has ended."

He turned on his heel and left the room, his robe billowing out behind him.  He was infuriated and the only thing that was holding him back from hexing the hell out of Hermione was the group standing in the way.  Before he left the house, he turned and stopped to see if Avalon was following him out.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:28 pm

Oh, how droll...the little kitten thinks she has claws. Avalon looks actually rather bored; she could so, so easily lay the girl flat with a non-verbal spell. She doesn't even need her wand, for that, as skilled as she is. Shrugging, she watches nonchalantly as the young one is restrained. Listening to Severus say his peace, she watches him go, sighing inwardly. Staying where she is, she looks at Hermione quietly, simply.

"A know-it-all with smug self-pride? From what I know about you--and rest assured, I know more than you think--that's rather rich. As for myself, I've been through hell and back long before you were born. I was there the first time, so you've no right to talk to me. At all. Ever. My friends died, too. Do not think that just because you're in the Order, you're the only ones who suffered casualties. How presumptuous. The whole world was suffering. Again, you must look outside your own little world." Taking a breath, she cants her head, still totally calm and collected.

"As far as the most recent war, I was supplying much-needed potions, ingredients, and whatnot to Rand--free of charge--who then gave them to Aberforth, who then gave them to Neville Longbottom and the rest of those who were in peril at Hogwarts. Most requests were analgesics--ingredients to help with pain. I was also causing the mysterious disappearances of Death Eaters in Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley, and the world at large--as this went far beyond just the U.K., as you know. I EVEN went to the States, so I already know the whispers I'm looking for. As far as getting dirty...your hands are sterling, in comparison, if you really want to go there--though, no doubt you'll now scream that my hands are bloody. Yes. All for the greater good. Just because I wasn't formally a part of the Order, doesn't mean I wasn't working with it and alongside it, the entire time. Who's the neophyte, now? I was one of the ghost-contacts Albus didn't want anyone to know about. It gave me freedom to act, and I'll be damned if that changes, now." That was between her and Albus. She doesn't think even Minerva knew about that. Taking a moment, she shrugs.

"Let's see...what else...? I'm a Muggle-born Slytherin, so you can only imagine what that was like, as a Muggle-born, yourself. I had to keep mum about it, as my House-mates would have killed me, back in the day. I also just outed myself for your benefit. Thankfully, you're not the type to use that information against me. Now...you seemed to be originally up in arms in that I won't stay and plan with you. Really? What's it to you if I live or die--especially now? You, who are so quick to judge. Though, perhaps that was my goal--to place distance between us so you won't give a damn whether or not I survive, as long as I can do my thing and you get what you need from me. It's easier that way, isn't it? No grief. Business as usual. This is the issue with having so many who are so alike making all the decisions that affect the Wizarding World. You don't understand those who think differently. You don't know how to interact with those from other Houses. You're suspicious, when you needn't be. You're used to making decisions in a core group, when Severus--and now myself--have to fight for our ideas a lot harder to be heard. Thank goodness I refuse to conform to the kind of person you want me to be in this organization--another team player. Forgive me if I don't adhere to YOUR rules, Hermione. The system gets bogged down with diplomacy. Mad-Eye would have agreed with me, and I KNOW you wouldn't give him such hell. What--a woman can't have balls like that?" Oh, yes...Avalon knew Alastor Moody very well. As an Auror, he was one of her best customers--especially since he liked to keep his orders private. Perhaps referencing Moody resonated with the group, as she feels the energy shift even more. "Now, I know you favor logic, and I've no doubt you're especially pissed off because everything I say makes perfect sense, and it infuriates you. I'm older, more experienced, and yes, Hermione, smarter than you. Get over it. It happens. If you need confirmation for why I'm here, talk to Professors McGonagall and Dumbledore. I'm sure they'd be happy to set you straight on me." A part of Avalon knows that Hermione must be feeling extremely guilty that the butcher died--and that it could have gone much worse. That, or Hermione has been trying not to acknowledge it, until Avalon called her on it. There also might be frustration in that the upstart newcomer cleaned up her mess. Ah, well. Lifting her head, she nods graciously to the rest.

"Forgive the fireworks, folks. I've no desire to stir anything up. I'm just not going to be collared. I will help you lot, though, and if that means being a part of this organization, then so be it. I will return after doing damage control with Sev and after my trip to the States, I'll let you know what I find. Good night." Turning, she leaves and shuts the door to the room softly behind her. She actually feels rather light. Seeing Severus up ahead, she scampers up to him and catches him by the arm, kissing his shoulder and wondering how much he heard.

"Hey," she says softly.

***

Back in the other room, Minerva is too angry to speak. After a moment, she gets up and walks quietly to face Hermione. Her voice is soft, but carries a great deal to it.

"I have never been more disappointed in you than I am in this moment. You were upset that she doesn't play like the rest of us. Did anyone else have an issue with it, or was it just you? JUST you, Hermione. Think about that. You showed the worst parts of our House these last few minutes, and if you persist in touting Gryffindor superiority, I'm going to recommend you stay home during the next meeting, until you can put your prejudices aside." She could say more. She could say much more, but she doesn't. Coming back to her seat, she folds her hands.

"I can vouch that any information Avalon brings back will be good and accurate. She won't hold her altercation with Hermione against anyone else, and she has the good of all at the front of her mind, at all times. We could have used her during the first and second wars, but she would have been like Severus--a spy--and to have two spies would have been too dangerous. That is why Albus didn't include her. We would have lost both her and Severus, and we would have been utterly crippled. At any rate...let her go gather information. We need it, and would have come to that conclusion, anyway." Pointedly, she looks anywhere BUT Hermione, clenching her teeth.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:44 pm

Kinglsey and Harry stand in shock at not only Hermione's 'performance' but also with Avalon's cool demeanor and what she revealed to the group.  She was a muggle-born Slytherin??  That certainly explained a great deal of why she liked to work alone.  Thinking as an Auror, Harry now understood Avalon much more than he thought he ever would.  She was an exceptional woman and actually quite the warrior.  No wonder Albus kept her under wraps and no wonder she and Severus seemed to get along well together.  They were very much alike in many ways.  It never actually occurred to Harry that Slytherin was any part of their similarities............but he understood a bit more now.

Hermione sat down and looked chagrined......but only a bit.  She was angry and she felt a loathing for Avalon that she had never really felt for another person since her days at Hogwarts.  She didn't bother to examine her feelings but she knew she disliked the 'newcomer'.  The words that Minerva spoke to her felt like a slap in the face and she was somberly quiet as she thought about what Minerva said to her.  As she listened to what Minerva knew about Avalon's work with Albus and that she was similar in her deeds as Severus...............she didn't succumb to guilt.  She still felt angst and..................yes it was jealousy.  She was jealous of Avalon.  She was beautiful, fit and saw action.  She was as good as an Auror though she didn't have the title officially.  Hermione felt a yearning to DO something outside of her books and the law and the official business she was tasked with on a daily basis.  Even her personal life, though fulfilling to her, was set and stable.  She wanted a taste of danger and adventure..............and SHE wanted to go to the States and seek out what was happening..........

She sighed and sat looking at her hands.  She was a total arse and she suddenly knew it.  She behaved badly in front of many of those she cared a great deal about.  She would have to apologize.........................some day.

In the ensuing discussion after Severus and Avalon had left the meeting, everyone, except Hermione, agreed to have Severus and Avalon go to the states and bring back information and a possible solution to the issues that were arising there.  

*********************************

Severus waited outside the front door of the Burrow for Avalon.  His jaw was working and he was gritting his teeth, until he turned and smiled a brief but soft smile for Avalon when she kissed his shoulder and looped her arm in his.  He placed his hand on top of hers and looked up at the sky for a moment, hoping to clear is agitation and anger, though just Avalon's touch was soothing him quickly.

"Shall we get the hell out of here?  Do you trust me?"

He looked down at Avalon with an almost impish smile.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:00 pm

Though everyone seemed to think Severus would be going with Avalon, Minerva knows better. The white-haired Witch said that she would be going...and didn't elaborate. Avalon is exacting like that. If she didn't mention any names, it means that she would be going alone.

Oddly, Minerva actually approves of this--because if Avalon is caught, the Headmistress has a sneaking suspicion that Severus would go find her--and lead the rest of the Order with him, if need be. If both of them go, and both of them are caught, it would be much more difficult to get them out, because Severus is their resourceful one, used to being sly about reconnaissance. Gryffindors don't quite have the same knack for it, and Minerva knows it.

The thing is...does Severus know he's not going? That might prove difficult for him, and Minerva knows Avalon would know why. As the meeting winds down, she keeps to her own thoughts on most everything. Though she's not distracted, her mind is capable of resting on more than one topic at once.

When the meeting comes to a close, there are quite a few that linger, and many eyes are turned toward the Headmistress. Yet, with Hermione in the room, it seems like many are reluctant to speak. Seeing this, Minerva's not going to beat around the bush for anyone's sake.

"Yes...?" She asks the room at large.

"That was the owner of the dragon Patronus, wasn't it?" Asks Ron.

"Yes, Mr. Weasley, it was." She confirms with a hint of pride.

"Bloody hell," comes the muttered reply. He certainly understands the connection.

"She really had a hand in capturing Alecto and Umbridge?" Comes the question from the Weasley matriarch.

"No, Mrs. Weasley--she had THE hand, the ONLY hand, in capturing Alecto and Umbridge," says Harry, still shaking his head over the whole thing. "She did it all, and didn't even need us there. It was...comical, in a way. Here we were, plotting and planning, and she just...flushed them out of the forest using her Patronus. Like a hunter's dog flushing pheasants for its master. She made it look easy. It's so weird, but I have no doubt I could learn so much from her. It's like...it's like someone playing at wilderness survival, and then meeting someone who actually lives in the woods."

"Cool," says Ron, grinning.

"I know her from somewhere," says Bill. "I have no idea where...but I sense...something very, very familiar. It's driving me to distraction. Does anyone know her from anywhere?"

"She's the new owner of Rand's old apothecary shop in Hogsmeade..." Supplies Ginny.

"No...it's not in about potions or ingredients." Bill is puzzled, but shrugs. "I'll have to ask her when she gets back."

The rest of the group has no idea. Avalon has only told one other person about her working for Gringott's. Indeed, everyone knows a little something different, and that's likely why she's still alive.

***

Smirking up at Severus, she shrugs playfully. Oh, goodness...what could be on his mind? Thinking of what he might be up to, she tilts her head to the side.

"You asked me that last night, my dear--if I trust you. I assure you, not much has changed since then, so I suppose my answer is still, 'yes.'" Looking up at him innocently in the face of his mischievousness, they balance each other quite well.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:02 pm

Severus patted Avalon's hand that was still hooked through his arm and grinned.  He pulled her close to him and twisted..............and almost immediately found themselves standing in a small field of high altitude flowers.  Close by was a small shop that catered to the magical population all year around.  Coming around the corner of the small shop, vast mountains came into view that soared high into the sky with snow capping their tops.  A gentle, cool breeze ruffled Severus' hair in the high mountain air.  Looking down at Avalon he grinned.

"Welcome to the top of Colorado.  There is a special little place we can get a cup of tea or coffee and I would like to hear your plan."

He grinned down at Avalon and still arm in arm, walked down through the small field, past the shop and down the street until they came to a rather charming, high-mountain cafe that looked rather like a large log cabin.  There was a large front porch that held several rocking chairs that faced the long line of beautiful mountains.  Flowers filled the flower boxes along the large windows that looked out across the beautiful mountain range.

Walking in, the proprietor nodded with a smile at Severus.  It appeared that he recognized him from previous visits.  Taking a seat by a window in the front of the cafe, they were greeted by a small, round woman with bright red cheeks and a large smile.

"Welcome Mr. Snape!  It's been a while since we saw you.  Spring time I believe.  Shall I get you your usual?  And what would your companion like this morning?"

She smiled congenially at Severus then at Avalon.  It was early morning in Colorado and they had just opened for the day.  It was time for a hearty breakfast and Severus was hungry and needed some coffee.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:32 am

The man has a thing for Apparating her places. She can only smile, though. He's awfully cute, in his way. Looking around them, she has the urge to burst out into song with, 'The hills are alive with the sound of music,' but she just barely refrains...because it's then that she realizes where he brought them, and she sighs, smiling.

"Mhm," comes the noncommittal noise, and she squeezes his arm. Instead, she whistles the tune from, 'The Sound of Music,' as they walk to the shop. The seasons will be changing soon, for certain, as there's a bit of a chill in the Colorado mountain air.

Aha, so Severus is a regular, here. For some reason, this doesn't surprise Avalon too much. Hm, and the woman has a good memory, for having remembered Severus' last time there, as well as what he likes. Interesting.

"Hot chocolate for me, thanks," she smiles quietly. Left with menus, she knows what she wants--something that sounds disgusting in the U.K., but is actually quite delicious, and not what it sounds like.

"So! What will you be up to, for the two days I disappear?" She asks with a small smile, putting her intentions right out there.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:41 pm

Severus nodded his thanks to the waitress for bringing him coffee with an ample container of cream.  As he stirred his coffee he felt a small frown cross his lips when Avalon asked him what he would be doing for the two days she was on recon.  Setting his spoon down softly, he took a long sip while looking at her.  Then, setting his cup down, he then leaned forward.

"You are sure about this?  I am not questioning your tactics or your intentions OR your abilities.  But, is this wise to go on this particular reconnaissance alone?  Even when I was in the midst of some of the most horrific meetings and missions alone, there was at least one person who knew where I was going...............if for no other reason that to try and collect the body."

He didn't like the idea of her being alone and possible being hurt and him not being close.  Perhaps he wouldn't have to let her know he would be close, but were they close enough that he could follow her?  He had only felt the beginnings of a possible bonding physically with her.  There was so much more that could connect between the two if they were a true mated pair.

"Tell me your plans."

At that moment, hot chocolate arrived and a large serving of what looked like potatoes covered in onions, peppers and bacon with a dollop of sour cream.  He sprinkled hot sauce over the entire lot and began to eat, curious about her answer and how much she would reveal.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:27 pm

Ah, so he did anticipate coming along. She thought as much. Listening to him, she sighs inwardly and casts a Babbling Silence charm around them. To outsiders, it will sound as though they're having a chat about random pleasantries, but what they're actually saying is masked behind a wall of silence.

"I'm sure. I plan on being in and out so fast, that having a person along and keeping track of them will take more time. Planning between us would take time. Conversing would take time. Putting up pretenses would take time. I plan on going to many different places in rapid succession, and to explain what I'm looking for--or who--would take time. You might want to stay longer to get caught up on the situation, when I know we would need to be gone. In doing this, I am protecting us both." Taking up her hot chocolate, she takes a sip, relishing the whipped cream. Eyeing her biscuits and gravy hungrily, she takes a bite before considering the rest.

"I'm not too terribly attached to my body to desire that it is collected. It would be safer for everyone if it isn't collected--you don't get put into harm's way, and the others benefit from you being alive. If you get killed, the Order would be even more of a cluster-fuck, and I'd rather that my death didn't do that, thankyouverymuch," she chuckles. "They need all the help they can get, and that means you: there. Alive." Yes, she realizes that some people do get rather attached to the notion of going to visit the dead--and she freely admits that she's done this, too.

"When all is said and done, and the States are under control, again, then you can look for my remains, collect them, and put them...inside the bowels of Hogwarts, because I believe the school will continue to benefit from my protection," she smiles grimly before taking another bite.

"Yet, I sincerely doubt I will die. I also sincerely doubt I will be captured. This endeavor I'm going on is going to be very lightly done--and I know how to tread softly. Don't worry. They won't even see me, and they won't even know I'm coming. They've no idea who I am, so there is little to no risk." Mm, hot chocolate, again. Sipping, she gauges to him to see how he's doing with this.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:33 pm

Severus felt the spell of concealment wash over them and he was pleased.  She seemed to think of everything.  He listened to what she had to say with his "working hat" on and her strategy made sense.  It was logical and would be effective.

He finished his loaded potatoes while she spoke and after having his coffee refilled, he watched her closely and made a decision.  He would not follow her or interfere in any way.  To do so could possibly destroy their budding relationship and it would be insulting to her.  Her logic was sound and he realized it was his macho ego talking to him earlier.  He still had as yet to fully trust her, but he would give her the dignity of knowing what she was talking about.  If she were wounded or captured, she would find a way to let him know and woe to the individual who had harmed her!

"Your strategy and logic is sound Avalon.  I won't interfere.  Do what you need to do and then..............come back to me all in one piece."

He finished his coffee and set his cup down and watched her sip her hot chocolate.  If anything happened to her, he would certainly place her in the bowels of Hogwarts.  He was curious though...............how would her body continue to protect the school?  He would ask at a later date!

"I will be at my home.  You know how to get there and you are always welcome.  Do you know where you will be going?  I know that the Salem Academy is on the other side of the continent............and that might be a good place to start unless you have other contacts or another idea?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:24 am

Oh, he's processing...and a part of her is gearing up for a debate. However, she is pleasantly surprised when he relents, giving her what she needs so she can serve the Order best. In truth, she smiles widely. Good man... Good, good man!

Happily, she now digs into her biscuits and gravy with abandon. It doesn't take her long. Listening to his own game plan, she certainly approves.

"When I have what I need, I will come see you, first." Finishing her hot chocolate, she sets her cup down and nods thoughtfully, "Oh, yes, I know exactly where I'll be going. The Academy is actually going to be my last destination--or next to last." Here, she gets up, but instead of leaving, she comes to sit directly beside him with a grin, wraps her arms around him, touches his cheek to guide him to look at her, and then kisses him soundly upon the mouth.

The kiss is chaste, but decidedly romantic. Her light hazel eyes are alight with her smile, and the hand that was on his cheek comes up to glide through his hair.

"For being so wonderful to trust me," she says softly. "Oh! I nearly forgot. Minky's friend, Wubbles, worked out swimmingly--and they'll be looking after the place while I'm away. Thanks to you both for that." Pulling away to take out a small wallet, she withdraws enough money to cover the tab and gratuity.

"There we are...it's only fair, since you've been feeding me since we met. Now, you be good, and I'll be back soon." Grinning, she leans in one more time...to lightly suckle his bottom lip...before standing and scampering out of the cafe with a light heart.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:04 pm

Severus felt his mind alight with joy at feeling Avalon's arms around him and her kiss ignited a wildfire of desire and need within him when she kissed him on the mouth.  He leaned into her kiss and oh-too-soon it was over.  Closing his eyes when she ran her hand through his hair, he opened them at her words.  Listening to her soft words of thanks he smiled softly at her, still acutely aware of her very close proximity.  Her scent, her soft, sweet breath along his face and her touch, her voice, her energy.............everything about her, pulled him into her and he knew he had made the correct choice in wanting her.  She completed him.

His right arm wound around her body and he pulled her close so her body rested snugly against his.

"I'm glad to hear that your house elf is working out and of course I trust you," he whispered softly to her while looking deeply into her eyes.

She pulled back from him, paid the bill and then Severus' body abruptly flared to life when she leaned in to suckle his lip.  All-to-soon once again, she was gone.  He sat for a moment to gather his wits.  That woman was wreaking havoc with is mind and body.  Soon, though, he stood and left the cafe, but not before the owner of the cafe winked at him as he left.  He sighed and nodded an acknowledgement to her of thanks for the meal as well as the intimate moment she surely witnessed that was shared between Avalon and him.

Avalon had left.  He felt a pang of anxiety surge through him at the thought of her mission, but then dismissed it and headed to the small field behind the cafe.  He immediately apparated to London where he entered the The Leaky Cauldron and after nodding to the proprietor, entered the back of the store, where he entered Diagon Alley.

After walking for a bit, he entered a small shop that sold rarities and valuable gems that had been found and collected from all over the world.  He browsed around the shop and found exactly what he wanted and purchased the trinket quickly.  After leaving the shop, he apparated to his home and after wrapping the gift and placing it on a table in his living room, he walked out to sit in a chair beside his lake.

He watched several large V's of geese cross the sky above his lake as the sun crossed the sky into early evening.  The sounds of late autumn were upon his lake and home and a cold breeze accompanied by red and golden leaves skittered across his property to herald evening was upon him.

After several hours, Minky came alongside her master and informed him that it was time to come inside and escape the cold and rain that was threatening to set in for the night.   Rising, Severus followed Minky into his warm house and he settled into his favorite chair in front of his blazing fireplace.  He sipped a glass of wine and stared into the fire.............saying his own set of prayers that Avalon would be safe and return soon.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:24 pm

His scent still lingers. Being in his arms felt wonderful, and it will be a reward to go back to them when her mission is complete. Indeed, it won't take long.

She has some time. Apparating to the west coast, she sits on the rocky coastline and watches the water while mentally going through her game plan. Wishing she could stay a little while longer than a few hours, she watches her favorite animals at play out in the water while she can.

Yawning, she decides to take a bit of a nap, while she's at it. Smirking, she makes sure she's alone before changing shape. She always feels a twinge of regret in that she's not registered. Minerva would be proud, if she knew. Hopping up into a tree, she has a snooze, as the real work will begin at night.

Thankfully, the days are getting shorter, and the night comes much earlier. That means she can get more done. Rousing when it's dark out, she drops from the tree, changes, and Disapparates.

Seattle, Astoria, Mt. Shasta, Reno, Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix. She takes a bit of a break before continuing to Moab, Taos, New Orleans, DC, New York, Augusta, and then Boston before Salem. There IS a lot going on. Yes, she works from west to east, as the cover of night is in her favor, and as the night turns to early morning, more tired tongues are wagging over various beverages.

Interesting...very interesting. She could probably sleep at this point, when morning comes, but she'd rather not. Years of being careful--habit--have kept her alive, and so she trusts being careful.

She could laugh at the absurd dynamics, but they work so well in the Order's favor, it excites her more than amuses her. As such, she stays up the second day, visiting just a few more places before Disapparating once more. When she arrives back outside Severus' home, she yawns hugely and approaches the door, knocking politely.

Bloody time zones! It's morning in the U.K., and when Minky lets her in, she shuffles straight for Severus' couch. It's likely that Severus is up, but she plops down to wait, just in case. Her plan: to let him see that she's here and alive before going back to her place and crashing.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:07 pm

Severus had been tending to his potions in the early morning hours of the second day Avalon had been gone when his wards jangled enticingly within his body and mind.  Avalon has arrived!  He placed a 'Minding Charm' on the potion he was tending to and removed his leather robes that covered his clothing.  Taking the stairs 3 at a time,  he quickly arrived upstairs and entered his living room to find Avalon sitting there, looking extremely tired but also very much alive.

He walked up to her quickly and sat next to her on the sofa.  He gently moved a strand of white hair that has fallen over her eyes behind her ear and then smiled.

"It is good to see you!!  Do you want to tell me briefly what you found before you sleep?  You can give your full report when you've rested."

He turned to the room at large and spoke.

"Minky please bring Avalon some hot chocolate."

He turned back to Avalon, drinking in the glorious fact that she was alive and well and though exhausted, was doing well.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:34 pm

She can hear him coming--it almost sounds like he's stomping up the stairs, but she instinctively knows he isn't. Smiling the moment she sees him, she relaxes. He's alive and well, too, and she will always be glad for that sight. When he sits next to her, she shifts so that she leans against him, curled against his side.

"Call a meeting," she murmurs softly. "Tonight. After my nap. You would not BELIEVE the weird shit I have heard."

Scrubbing her face, she knows she has to stay awake for a little while longer. Gratefully taking the hot chocolate from Minky, she sips carefully, enjoying how the whipped cream has a cooling effect on the beverage. Some people love coffee...she loves tea and hot chocolate.

"I don't even know where to begin. It's just bizarre." Shaking her head, she sighs and slides her eyes to his, "They're in for another Civil War. Magical, for certain, if not Muggle." Sighing again, she takes another sip, "I really can't tell you more without getting into the whole thing, and I don't have the energy for that just yet. Let me know when the meeting is, and I'll set my alarm, Apparate here, and we'll go over together, yeah?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:39 pm

Hearing Avalon's request and plan for a meeting to tell the Order what she discovered, he nodded and then took her in his arms and kissed her forehead.  Letting her go, he then stood.

"You have done well Avalon and I will call for a meeting.  Go home and sleep.  You look exhausted but it's a well earned exhaustion.  I also want to hear what you have to say and if what is happening in the states will have any impact here."

He held out his hand to pull her up from the sofa.

"Also, with you rested, you will be able to keep me from hexing that insufferable know-it-all."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:16 pm

All is well. Her world is good. Severus is such a good man, and is doing all the right things. Nodding, she takes his hand and hauls herself up as lightly as she can.

"Oh, christ, don't remind me," she snorts, thinking about Hermione. "It's taking all my patience not to do any non-verbal, wandless magic to just..." Sighing, she shakes her head. She doesn't want to divulge too much--as yes, she can, in fact, do a great deal of magic wandlessly. Wandlessly and wordlessly...

"Anyway...owl me. Or Patronus me. I'll set my alarm." Leaning up, she kisses his jaw tenderly before waddling back out of his living room, ricocheting off of the walls like a pinball. Slipping out of the front door, she Disapparates home...

...and is immediately assailed by fur and kisses when she steps inside. Getting her fill of love from her menagerie, she loves on each of them in return, as they are none too pleased with her absence. Granted, Wubbles is wonderful, but still. It's not Mama. Saying a chipper hello to her House Elf, she then goes out to the barn, repeats the greeting process, and then slinks back into the house, upstairs.

Taking off all of her clothing, she falls into bed with a satisfied groan and lolls about the bed, naked. Nothing feels better than this. Well...not at the moment, anyway. Smirking, she burrows under the covers and blinks, tiredly waiting for the notification of the meeting time.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:22 pm

Severus smiled with the kiss Avalon placed on his jaw and then watched with concern as she looked like a wayward pinball as she bounced off his walls.  He rushed to reach out to catch her lest she fall, and she apparated with a loud crack.  He smiled then and shook his head at her 'antics' and then turned to go into his office that was around the corner from his bedroom suite upstairs.

He loved this room.  It was filled with leather and dark mahogany walls and furniture.  The black leather was a wonderful accent to the light green and silver-colored walls.  A large antique grandfather clock stood in one corner of the room, which happened to reside in the Slytherin common room for two hundred years.  He was very proud of that clock and it's chiming on the hour.  He was also very proud of how he acquired it.   It's soft ticking comforted him.  He sat at his hand-carved large antique desk and called for Jake, his eagle owl.  Soon, the large bird flew in through the opened window and settled on a perch that stood out from the desk.  Severus handed him a large owl treat and then finished the note that would be addressed to Arthur Weasley.

"Meeting tonight.  My home.  We have news.  8 pm."

Severus attached the note to Jake who had finished his treat and had been preening his wings.  Jake then soared out of the window and out of sight. Staying seated, Severus poured through his neglected mail, catalogs and journals until it was about an hour until the meeting would begin.

Walking into his bedroom suite, he showered and dressed in a pair of black wool slacks and a dark brown shirt.  Pulling on his boots and fixing his hair, he quickly made his way downstairs to oversee Minky's snack preparations when his wards jangled.

Glancing at the wall clock in his kitchen he realized that members would soon be arriving.  He walked to the door, opened it and welcomed Kingsley into his home.

"Well met Severus.  Good to see you.  Any idea of the news?"

"Not a clue other than there seem to be serious issues going on abroad.  When Avalon arrived, she was exhausted and was saving her news for the meeting tonight.  We shall all learn together what she discovered."

Kingsley nodded and turned when there was tapping on Severus' door.  

"Go ahead and make yourself at home King.  The hoard is arriving."

There were several members at the door when Severus opened it and they all nodded their acknowledgment of Severus as they entered his home.  It wasn't long before all were assembled sipping tea and munching on small biscuits and fruits awaiting news.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:07 am

As she dozes, she hears the tapping of an owl she doesn't recognize. Opening her eyes, she then groggily sits up and lets the large bird in. As it extends its leg, waiting patiently, she removes the missive and then sits down on the bed to read it. In lieu of treats, she pets the owl the entire time, and the bird looks like it's way okay with that.

Ah! It's from the Minister, letting her know when and where the meeting is. Severus' home, this time. That's convenient. Smirking, she knows that Severus is going to have an interesting time when everyone arrives, as he's going to feel the presence and, 'fingerprint,' or, 'flavor,' of everyone who walks through the wards.

Chuckling to herself, she has no reply, so she ends up giving the owl a treat and sending it on its way. After that, however, she curls into bed, sets her alarm, and sleeps. One by one, the house-animals gravitate to her bedroom and either snooze on the bed or nearby.

***

Waking to a bunch of fur in her face, she lounges in bed, half-asleep, for a little while longer, before actually rising, showering, and getting dressed. This time, a light sage green sweater and black jeans. Nothing fancy. Just something fuzzy and warm for the cooler temperatures--though no doubt Severus' home will be getting warmer with all the people inside it.

Apparating directly outside Severus' house, she waves to Minky on her way in and slips through the door. Ah, and there are a great many here, already. Excellent. Avalon does love a punctual crowd.

She doesn't bother mingling, as it always makes her uncomfortable in a setting like this. Catching Severus' eye, she nods and takes a place standing against the wall, as per usual. Noticing that many sets of eyes are on her, she doesn't do anything just yet, until she gets the go ahead, and then she nods.

"All right, you lot. Here's the thing: it is a right mess over there. I'm going to try and sum everything up in one fell swoop, and then I'll break down the details after the summary. So! To summarize...there are several points of contention. The feeling amongst the Witches and Wizards there is that they are about to have a Civil War of their own. Once again, just like the Muggles, it's a division of North and South, and largely for the same points that made the South secede from the Union, originally." Taking a deep breath, she sighs, brows furrowing.

"Okay...so, there is basically the Wizarding equivalent of the KKK in the South. In fact, some members of the Klan are magical. They are absolutely, positively up in arms about the state of the nation, and are striving to promote white Pureblood superiority. So, anyone who's a Witch or Wizard and not white and Pureblood, they're starting to target. Of course, a lot of these folks are in the US government, as well--Republicans, mostly, but a few Democrats, as well. Blood status is being looked at, data collected. African-Americans and immigrants from Mexico, Asia, and especially the Middle East, as well as Native Americans, are taking the brunt of all this. On a smaller--but still insidious--front, it's being said that their, 'Voodoo-magic,' is tainting what magic, 'should,' be. There's an education war, as far as what's being taught in the Wizarding schools. As we know, there's quite a lot to indigenous magic, having roots and strengths all over the world. This is being looked at and reviewed; there are those who don't want those elements taught in classes; namely: the Southern white contingent. That said, there are those who are mostly in the North who remain all-inclusive. There are, of course, those in the South who do not share the same views of superiority, but those poor bastards are outnumbered, it seems." Refraining from rubbing her temples, she shakes her head.

"It's a culture war. Thankfully, these idiots want this to be a grassroots operation, and aren't looking for help elsewhere in the world--just from within--and they're so divisive, they're having issues being a solid presence. As a result, unfortunately, there are many pockets of people with the same aim, but no one singular individual that we could silence and call it a day." Folding her arms, she looks around the room quietly before adding, "Basically, it's a eugenics thing, but no one's really saying it out loud; and they're using education as a secondary platform to try and separate and divide people...while they're quietly terrorizing and killing people in the background." Knowing that's a lot to take in, she gestures with both hands, silently opening up the field for questions and discussion.

CallaHaruka

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Re: A Time For A Change

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