A Time For A Change

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:36 pm

Severus simply nodded at Avalon as she entered the house.  He sensed she was in 'work mode' with a very specific line of thinking which he didn't wish to interfere with at all.  She was in her element just as Severus could get into his 'mode' and he had always resented interruptions while in that mode until he could move himself away from it after his job was done.

He stayed in the shadows and listened to what she had to say, with an increased concern.  White supremacy was disturbing on any level but to have witches and wizards fall prey to that base and unevolved level of thinking was hard to imagine for him and once again, very disturbing.

He watched the others in the room but specifically refused to look at Hermione.  She was now nothing to him.  He listened to numerous questions and he smirked at the "let's go get 'em" attitude.  Such Gryffindors.  Such knee-jerk reactions to a situation.  No stealth or subtlety at all.  It ground on his nerves at times and this was one of them.

Kingsley spoke with the most intelligence.  "This is disturbing news Avalon.  Thank you for risking much to bring us this information.  Those here are thankful for your work."  Then looking around the group at large, he then asked, "What do we wish to do?  Are there any ties from Britain to what is occurring there?  Remember, we had a bit of input from the states and other countries during our difficulties.  Do they want our help?  If so, how will we assist them and if not, then how can we stay out of it?"

There was a bit of silence at his questions and comments.  Nobody had any real answers even after all the talk.

Severus moved forward into the light at that point and looked at Avalon.

"Avalon, since you were there and felt the energy and are familiar with issues there, what would you suggest?  I believe we should seek your council before we take action."

He then leaned against his wall and crossed his arms.  He was looking at her and felt a surge of pride in her.  She was in charge and she was brilliant.  If anyone could come up with a plan, she could.  He also smirked on the inside and knowing that the Gryffindors were squirming inside.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:01 pm

She's actually surprised at the eagerness that the Order is exhibiting, as far as going after these people. It's going to be a lot more complex than that. Taking a deep breath, she listens to the chatter.

Nodding graciously at Kingsley, she's glad to be able to help. At the questions that come, she's surprised that no one is speaking up. Ah, and she smiles a bit at Severus, nodding once more. Taking a moment, her brows are furrowed in thought.

"I can't tell you how delicate this is. They're targeting minorities and the magic of their heritage, certainly, but they're also targeting half-bloods and Muggle-borns, even if they're caucasian. It's a bit like what we went through--as you said, Minister, their system is corrupt from their own Ministry of Magic. Come to think of it, it's very much like what we went through. There's an innate problem with how large the United States is. It's difficult to manage such a large area and population; however, having a local government or school in each state isn't feasible, due to varying populations." She realizes the concept of, 'large.' Large, nebulous, and an acute pain in the ass.

"Imagine if our Ministry expanded across the entire European continent. Imagine herding Witches and Wizards all across Europe as one entity. That is what we're up against. Many different traditions and flavors. Now...the common denominator is that the corrupt people need to be removed. The certainly wouldn't mind help doing that. It's simply difficult to coordinate such a large undertaking. The best case scenario is that the corrupt are removed and that the schools teach their core of magic, with indigenous magics as electives--or as a separate required class that's like a survey of magic of other peoples. Like a World Magic course." Sighing, she shakes her head.

"The focus, I think, should be on removing the corrupt individuals. The question would be: how? It is easy to prove that some are guilty, but some, not so much. They will have to be exposed. Then, the good folks are placed where they should be, and we call it good. Easier said than done, of course, but...as far as what we do, observing and perhaps recording the treachery would be a start. Then there will be hardcore evidence. Imprison the individuals and deal with them like the hardcore Death Eaters. We'll have what we need for a trial. It might be a bit difficult to camouflage us, though--with our accents and whatnot. Still, the Americans would appreciate some fresh blood to help them. If they can agree on a kind of Order like we have, and Apparate to one single location, meet, and speak, that would be another help." Rallying the masses, weeding out a select few, and making an Order. The Yanks know who they can trust, for the most part.

"It's all a bit large and jumbled. However, are there a few who wouldn't mind doing surveillance?" She asks the room out loud, before adding quickly, "Minister Shacklebolt, I think you might want to sit this mission out. Word has it the opposition isn't fond of you. You're much too handsome for their liking." She winks at him, trying to keep it playful.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:55 pm

Kingsley chuckled and nodded acquiescence at Avalons comment.  He stood up taller and faced the gathering with a cocky smile.

"See?  I've told you all along I am much too handsome for this work.  That being said, comments, concerns and ideas on Avalon's report?"

Those gathered looked around at each other and Luna Lovegood spoke up first.

"If we go to observe, won't our accents give us away as Briton's? We don't have an accent but the Americans certainly do."

Minerva piped up then.

"There are charms that can be placed on you to have you sound like an American from any part of the country.  Southern, northern or eastern so that should not be a problem."

Minerva then turned to Avalon and then looked at Kingsley, then Severus.

"Do you have a connection that we could utilize in order to do surveillance?  Your plan of observing and weeding out the corrupt is sound.  I would be happy to assist them in setting up a similar Order to keep the peace and protect those that need to be protected."

Severus moved out from the shadows at that moment and spoke softly.

"I know a few people well that are currently living in the states.  Colorado, Florida and Chicago.  Perhaps my friendship with them could be of some assistance."

Neville raised his hand and shyly volunteered to observe.  So did Hermione and Harry.  

Severus looked at Avalon and ignored Hermione totally.

"Avalon, you know the territory and the situation best.  Who would you recommend and where?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:11 pm

Yes, Avalon thought about the point on accents. However, there may be another way to get around it. Nodding at the mention of the accent charms, she also has a simpler idea.

"We could also pose as tourists, accents and all. That way, even if we're taking photographs, we won't get hugely noticed--all we have to do is pretend we're on holiday. Most Yanks won't think any of us from the U.K. would have a stake in American Wizarding politics. We could even be Muggles, by their reckoning." That is, indeed, something to think about.

Nodding at Severus when he steps forward, she knows he definitely has connections in the States. She's not sure how many times the others have been to the states, but she's prepared to wing it, in some cases. Pleased to see the show of hands, she doesn't doubt any of them.

"All right...you're all pretty much perfect. Thank you for this. Neville, I want you to take the northwest and a little further south. You'll do well, there, and you'll blend in perfectly. Seattle, Astoria, Mt. Shasta, and San Francisco. You might spend a little time in Portland, as well. Here," she says with a smile, taking out what looks like a Muggle map of the northwest, "Here's a list of names--both friends and probable adversaries; in your region, you're going to have more friends than foes--it's in the north. That's why. Put your hand on it." Putting the map down on a table, once he touches it, she puts her wand on it. "Show me," she says clearly, and the list is revealed. "There. This map is paired to you, and you alone. All you have to say, is, 'show me,' and the list will appear. Simply let go of the map with both hands, and the ink will disappear, again, until you say the spell once more." Turning to Severus, she knows exactly where to put him.

"Sev, since you love the heat, I'm putting you in the south, in addition to checking in on your other contacts. Take a look at Reno and Vegas--behave yourself, please--as well as L.A., Phoenix, Moab, Taos, and New Orleans. I know that might sound disproportionate to what Neville's doing, you lot, but I assure you that the population concentration is going to be about the same. You, however, are going to have a mix of sane individuals and bat-shit crazy ones. Sev, c'mere. Same thing for you. Hand on the map, please." She's giving him a map of the entire United States, considering his broad area. When he puts his hand down, she pairs the map to him in the same way she did with Neville. Now, she considers Harry and Hermione...

"All right, you two...you're going to have a heavy concentration of both bigots and good guys. I'm going to leave it up to you, if you want to go as a pair, or of you want to go solo. Either way, decide amongst the two of you who wants to go where. I want you both to either go everywhere I list, or split it up to one person going to Augusta, Boston, and Salem; and the other to New York and DC. Cultural note--the Yanks in that part of the country are going to refer to DC as just, 'Washington.' Just know that they're not talking about Washington State on the other side of the country. All right? So, how do you want to roll it--together or solo?" She'll leave this to them, and she has a couple of maps, just in case. Looking at them both, what happened before between her and Hermione has no bearing.

"Also, know that I'm going to visit each of the friends listen on each map, and let them know you're coming. Get to know them. We're building alliances at this point. Also...Minerva, you and I will visit a certain few, and discuss potential American Order members, as well as whom to put in charge, after this mess is over." Taking another breath, she looks around the room.

"Is there anything else I may have forgotten?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:17 pm

Posing as tourists was also a very sound idea.  The Yanks seemed to love British accents and that might open doors for them that would otherwise be closed.

The group listened to their instructions and each bonded to their respective maps without question.  Severus simply raised his eyebrow as Avalon told him to behave himself in Reno and Vegas and the group chuckled as a whole.  He felt a certain inward smugness at the familiarity that showed as Avalon knew that he loved the heat and publicly mentioned it.  And he did actually know someone in Reno.............several years ago.............in a casual manner of speaking.  That was knowledge only to him and would stay that way of course.

Pairing to his own personal map felt quite satisfying and he was once again, impressed with Avalon's magic.  Pairing with a physical object was similar to bondings and he was an expert in bonding magic.  He was nevertheless impressed.  After picking up his map, he returned to his corner and studied it carefully.  Yes, he knew those areas and even in the midst of autumn, those areas would still be quite warm.  He would make his plan of action and report back to the group as soon as he was finished.

Stepping up again, he spoke confidently.

"After I have completed my tasks, I will report back to the group.  Perhaps we should set a meeting time so that way, we all have a report to share and we can then ascertain if there is any more action needed.  I plan on leaving almost immediately..........after I change into more comfortable clothing so I may enjoy the heat fully."

He then heard others state they would be leaving as soon as possible as well.

Kingsley spoke next.  "Then let's all meet 1 week from tonight and share our information and see where we are at.  I don't believe you have left anything out Avalon.  Well done."

Severus then walked up to Avalon and whispered in her ear, "Good job.  You are amazing.  I will let you know when I return."  He then quite covertly kissed her ear, then walked out of the house and apparated to his home.

Changing into cooler clothing of jeans and a T shirt, he packed a small muggle-looking backpack, put some paper galleons into his wallet and magically miniaturized his map and placed it in his back pocket.  He then informed Minky that he would be gone for a few days.  Going out his front door, he then apparated into one of the many above-ground grave yards that were within walking distance from Bourbon Street, New Orleans.  

Signs of the infamous hurricane could still be found along the famous street as he wound his way through the jazz-filled, tourist-filled streets that richly smelled of gumbo and boiling shrimp.  He pulled out a muggle cell phone that he had 'creatively acquired' and began taking pictures with it.  Soon as he completed his tourist facade, he made his way into a bar that happened to look quite sleazy on the outside, but walking inside one would find all hand-crafted wooden tables, chairs and an exquisite bar that was well known for being an original piece of furniture from 200 years ago.

He walked up to the bar and sat down, ordering a Scotch on the rocks.  After being served, he sat and listened to the conversations, until he heard a whisper of a phrase, "Ministry......." .  He finished his scotch and turned casually to look at the speaker.  It was an older woman who was wearing an amazingly ugly hat and a bright green robe.

He walked up to the woman and smiled his most winning smile and bowed a bit formally.

"Madam, do you know of a place in the city that caters to more, exotic tastes for gifted people?"

The older woman looked at Severus as he approached her and thought he looked familiar.  She looked him up and down, pausing a moment on his 'package' that was evident through his jeans, then on hearing his question she remembered where she had seen him.  Her friend had a subscription to The Daily Prophet that originated in England and she remembered seeing him on the front page several times a couple of years ago.

"Well well.............yes I know of a place where gifted people may shop.  If you would like to carry on a conversation and see more of the city, come with me."

Severus then followed her out the front door and walked with her in silence a few blocks, then entered behind her into a shop that sold muggle 'new age' books, crystals and other muggle paraphernalia.  She led him into the back room and turned to him.

"I know you wizard.  Snape isn't it?  I've read about you.  What in the hell are you doing here?"

Severus stood taller when she said his name and he appraised her carefully.

"I am here on business but have encountered some rather............disquieting witches and wizards who would rather have me do business with a specific group of people.  I am merely curious.  By not having access to all my contacts without hesitation, I am jeopardizing my business.  Perhaps you could enlighten me?"

The older woman surveyed Severus for a moment, then pulled out her wand and cast a 'silencio' on the room.

"Tread carefully wizard.  English or not, you may not be welcomed here if you go poking around.  There are strange but dangerous activities afoot.  Let me just say, that since you are white and supposedly the hero of the English wizarding world, you may find friends AND enemies here."

She then took out a small piece of parchment and with her wand, wrote down an address on it and handed it to him.

"Go here and speak with a man named Peter.  He can tell you more.  He is safe.  Merlins speed."

With that, she put her wand away and walked out of the back room and began to straighten merchandise on the shelves of her shop.  Severus nodded once in acknowledgement at being given the information and put it in his back pocket.  He followed her out of the back room and without another word or look, left the shop and into the setting sun.  It was indeed warm and he took a deep breath.  

The smell of shrimp in the air started his stomach rumbling and he headed for the nearest corner food wagon for a bowl of shrimp gumbo while pondering what he was told.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:12 pm

Avalon has always taken pride in being a tactician, so to earn Minister Shacklebolt's approval sits quite well with her. Smiling widely with Severus' praise, the expression changes to one corner of her mouth curling upward at the kiss to her ear. With Harry and Hermione deciding to work together, Avalon's mind hinges on something else, but she doesn't look at Ron or Ginny.

By and by, people filter out of the house, until only she and Minerva are left. The way the elder Witch is looking at her causes Avalon to tilt her head in question. In response, Minerva only raises an eyebrow, at first.

"You've been busy," the Headmistress observes casually.

"I have," the other admits simply, not quite sure where this is going.

"Have you been using the Weasleys' Extendable Ears?"

Here, Avalon smiles widely and shrugs.

"I still have a few tricks up my sleeve."

"You're not invincible," Minerva reminds her rather quickly, and Avalon softens.

"I know. I'm being careful. I'm like a raven among crows." A part of the younger Witch stills inside, and the Headmistress only sighs and shakes her head.

"Give me an hour. I'll get ready to go and meet you back here."

Nodding, Avalon Disapparates to her own home to pack, her mind full. By the time she and Minerva meet up again, she has even more questions. Squeezing her friend's arm gently, she then Apparates them to the west coast of the States--overlooking the ocean where Avalon first came a couple of days ago. She knows without a shadow of a doubt that they're alone, and sits down on the cliffside with her feet dangling over the ledge.

"So...we're going to be gathering people from all over the country as a group. To my knowledge, most haven't met each other, before. There might be trust issues, but I can only hope they take my word for it that they're all okay, you know what I mean?" She says, looking up at Minerva. The elder Witch doesn't exactly approve of Avalon's choice of seating, and opts for turning a rock into a decent chair, a little further back from the ledge.

"You worry that their backgrounds are going to be different enough to cause issues--based on their respective locales?"

"Yes," Avalon says quietly. "Yet...by that same token, if they get to know and like each other well enough, they might be confident to recognize each other as different chapters of the same organization--when they realize that none of them is a megalomaniac, they might be willing to work together, despite the distance and differences that brings. True, you can Apparate anywhere in the blink of an eye, but living somewhere a couple thousand miles away makes a difference in mindset and...just brings different experiences."

Here, Minerva nods and takes a deep breath.

"Well, let's just put them on the right path. Introduce them to each other and let them get to know each other as viable allies in this. The more like-minded people there are out for the same cause, who actually know each other and respect each other, the better." As Minerva finishes her thought, Avalon smiles. After a moment longer, she gets up and takes her mentor by the hand, squeezing it fondly. With a smirk, Minerva changes her chair back to its rocky self, and Avalon Apparates them to their first destination so speak with a certain Washingtonian about the details of a meeting.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:02 pm

Severus savored the last of his shrimp and headed out towards the address that was given to him.  The address was in the parish of Lake Pontchartrain.  He had never been there before but only had vaguely heard of it as part of the flooding disaster during hurricane Katrina.  After walking about 1 hour, he found the address and walked slowly by it.  It was a somewhat modest house about a block from the lake.  There were no lights on and it almost looked like nobody was home.  He turned and walked by once again and this time, a younger man came out and sat on his porch, looking at Severus.

Severus continued to walk on and the man on the porch cleared his throat loudly.  Stopping, Severus turned around and he noticed that the man was holding up what looked like a thin stick with sparkles coming out of the tip.  With a smirk, Severus walked to the porch and addressed him formally.

"Am I addressing Peter?  I was sent to you.  May we speak?"

The younger man tucked his 'stick' into his sweatshirt and then stood.  

"Come with me.  I have wine and news."

Severus walked up the steps to the porch and followed Peter into the house where all the lights suddenly flicked on to brighten up the home instantly.  It was modest but pleasant with ceiling fans circulating the warm, muggy night air and the smell of stew that might have been the evening meal.

Peter gestured to a chair by the empty fireplace and he sat next to him.  It didn't take long for Severus to speak softly and carefully.

"I have come to help you form an Order so that all may have an equal voice.  YOUR organization can put an end to corruption and the intolerance that is dividing your community.  Are you interested?  You are the first I have spoken with for now.  I have many others I am attempting to organized for a common goal.  The Order that is in Britain has many members and they are talking to others all over the country.  We plan to bring everyone together to meet and plan how you can be free from the tyranny besieging all magical people in your community now."

Peter watched him closely as he spoke and then sat up straighter.  He wasn't sanguine about taking direction from anyone other than himself, but he was less happy with what was happening within his magical community and the rumors of killings and hate crimes were rising.

"Let me know when the meeting is and I will be there, at least to hear the others out.  I may participate.  I may not.  We will see."

Severus nodded, knowing this was the best that could be gained at this time.  He then stood and bowed fractionally to Peter and left the house.  After walking down the street a ways, he apparated to his favorite beach in Los Angeles.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:04 pm

Jessa's house is an old Victorian home overlooking Ruston Way in Tacoma. The mature part of town sports a decent amount of grand old houses that have largely been turned into condos. After dragging Minerva to a restaurant that serves lobster clam chowder, a very full and happy pair shuffle toward the house.

Knocking, they do not have to wait long. The door opens wide, and smirks meet smirks as Jessa eyes the two women. Curly black hair, caramel complexion, she pulls Avalon into a hug before placing a hand on Minerva to guide them into her home.

"Hey. Glad you're back. It's getting weird. Well--weirder. You couldn't pay me to live in Chicago, right now," Jessa says with a bit of a wry tint to her voice.

"No joke. Jess, this is Minerva, the person I was telling you about. We're here to gather ideas, as far as leadership goes." Avalon guides Minerva to a plush couch and sits, hands folded in her lap.

"Well, that's a damn good idea. Who are you thinking?"

"You," Avalon says simply, and Jessa raises an eyebrow.

"Excuse me?"

"You're one of them, anyway. You know a lot of people, and you have a decent sense for people. You know when someone's full of shit, and you'd be a damn good barometer for the budding organization."

"Hmkay." Jesse looks skeptical, and sighs. "This is going to entail sticking my neck out, right? I'm up here in my nice, safe little corner, and you want me to attract attention, here?"

"Fair point," Avalon concedes, but moves on, "However, if you're quiet about it--relatively, as your Order is supposed to be a secret thing full of trusted individuals--it mightn't be too bad. Anyway, we want to bring you along once we have enough people gathered at a meeting that's pending...and we want you to scout out who would be good to spearhead this organization. We'll be doing the same, but we could use another filter. Know what I mean?"

"Yeah," Jessa says, accepting this with a thoughtful nod. "The asinine part is that we have to adhere to the International Statute of Secrecy. This isn't something we can openly protest, exactly, because we're Witches and Wizards. It's hard to get support for something when we're not sure WHERE we all exist. There are dozens of pockets all over the place. Muggles just think it's other Muggles behaving badly, you know?"

"I know. It sucks balls." Avalon grins as Jessa laughs.

"Too bad you can't run it, Av."

"Nah, I'm good. I have enough shit to deal with, joining the Order in the U.K." Smirking at Minerva, she then turns back to the other woman, "You in?"

"Yeah."

"For better or for worse?"

"Yeah, yeah," she says with a wave of her hand.

Grinning, Avalon rises and pats her shoulder, "No worries. We'll help. We'll keep you posted as to a time."

With a wink, she pulls Minerva up and Disapparates to Chicago. The landscape is vastly different. Tacoma isn't Seattle, for certain. Seattle is larger, by far. Chicago, however, is a different story, entirely. It's a beast. Sighing, she looks at Minerva warily.

"Careful. This is one of the hot-spots. We're in the thick of it, now, and it's going to get weird--as Jessa said. This is one of the beasts we're currently in the belly of...so, yeah. Even being British isn't going to serve us particularly well." Chicago has a past...and a history. It always has. Keeping alert as they navigate toward another restaurant--an upscale Italian establishment rather well-known in the area--she doesn't make eye contact with any they pass.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:23 pm

Taking time to breathe in the warm, fresh salt air of Los Angeles, Severus smiled inwardly.  He loved the beaches in warm climates.................and even though this wasn't Florida, this was still beautiful country.

He looked around for a moment then headed south down the beach towards a large home that he knew his contact would be residing.  After walking about 45 minutes Severus spotted the home in the near distance.  He stopped after a moment of studying the home as it came into view.  Something wasn't right.  He felt his skin crawl and his senses told him that there was immediate danger.  Rather than heading straight for the home, he headed up into the tall beach grasses to the east of the home and sat and watched for a while.  He placed a disillusioning charm around him so he blended into his surroundings perfectly.  It wasn't long before he was rewarded with a vision that sent a chill down his back.  Flashes of bright light appeared through the windows of the home.  Too soon, he saw a familiar green flash of light and then darkness remained in the home.  Sitting very still, he heard a bang that sounded like an apparition and then all that was heard was the constant roaring of the waves and the soft sound of the ocean breeze in the tall grasses that surrounded him.

With his brow furrowed and his wand now out, he stood and watched for a moment longer when he saw a woman with a young child appear at the front of the home, let themselves into the home and saw lights flickering on.  His head hung and he closed his eyes tightly against the sound he knew would come soon...............and he cringed with he heard the young woman's screaming sobs filling the now cool night air.

He stayed for only a moment longer, then apparated to his home.  He needed time to think and to gather information.  His good friend had been killed.  He knew it.  He watched his young wife and daughter enter the home and come across his dead body.  The loss to the wizarding world would be enormous as he was a very famous potioneer and healer as well as a huge supporter of the wizarding world in Britain.  He had provided safe harbor to many witches and wizards in Britain during the war............to those that could escape.  Severus walked up to his bedroom and stood at the opened window..........looking out across the lake and pondered life and its fragility.  He mourned the loss of his good friend for several hours before pulling himself together and after showering, apparated to Phoenix.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:04 pm

"Why does this building look familiar?" Minerva asks as they enter through the front door, taking in their surroundings. Avalon doesn't quite have the heart to answer right away. Using the young host who seats them as an excuse not to speak just yet, they're brought to a private seating area, blocked off from the view of the rest of the restaurant--just the two of them for right now. When they're alone once more, Avalon slides her eyes to Minerva.

"Quite possibly because it's been in the news a few times, a few decades ago. Mob bosses being killed. You know." She says out of the corner of her mouth.

Minerva looks rather mutinous, but she scrubs her face with her hands. Avalon takes that as a good sign, really. When the host returns, the younger Witch has to bump the elder Witch gently to keep her from ordering a drink.

"Hey, Gianni," says Avalon with a smirk, and Minerva has to do a double-take. Avalon chuckles. Yes, Wizards and Witches are in the food industry...and have some of the best information, as it happens. "Have you or your dad heard anything, lately? Ah, this is Minerva McGonagall, by the way. You've heard me talk about her."

"Oh, hey!" Says the younger male, and grins, holding out his hand for Minerva to shake. Just after that, however, he sobers, again. "Seriously, I don't even know where to begin. There are riots all over the place. Muggles, Witches, Wizards, Purebloods, Muggle-borns, and everything in between. Everyone's up in arms. Ma's about ready to move."

"Where? What about the police?"

"Anywhere. She mentioned the Dakotas." He shivers a little at that, and Avalon nods.

"White bread nowhere," she murmurs to Minerva before addressing him once more, "I don't think it will help. You've olive enough to where some might get a little antsy. When they hear you're from Chicago, I can just see it..."

Sighing, Gianni nods. "I know. Believe me, I know."

"Still, what about the police?" Avalon asks again.

"It's a madhouse out here. Some are all right. Some are less than all right. Some are freaked out that someone's going to pull a trigger on them. A lot of them have PTSD, and they can't tell what's lethal and what's not, anymore." The young Wizard looks troubled by it all, and with good reason.

"Hey," says Avalon quietly, "Want to help change it?"

"How?" Gianni asks.

"Well...that's going to depend. First thing's first: knowing who you can trust, across the country. We want you and your family to attend a meeting. All neutral ground. Tell your ma she can bring the food, if she likes." Winking at him, Gianni chuckles and nods.

"Fair enough. Can I get you something, so she doesn't ask too many questions too quickly?"

"Roy Rodgers," says Avalon with a grin.

"A glass of the strongest red wine you have," adds Minerva, and Avalon snickers heartily before patting her on the shoulder. Gianni grins and heads out, and Avalon gives her mentor a hug.

"You'll be all right. You'll like Gianni and his family. They're like Italian Weasleys."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:11 pm

Arriving in Phoenix, Severus was not feeling himself.  The death of his friend had shaken him.  Even though he had seen many deaths and much tragedy in his life, the sobbing screams of his friends' wife still echoed in his mind even as he inhaled the heat of the dry, desert air.

Taking another deep breath to try and focus his thoughts, he walked down a main street until he found the address he had not visited in many a year.  This acquaintance of several years had been a student of Dumbledore's many years ago.  It was very rare for an American to attend Hogwarts, but Dumbledore had spoken of this particular student often enough to know that she was brilliant, skilled and very much against Dark Arts for power and destruction.  

She, like himself, knew the seduction that the Dark Arts could subtlety ensnare oneself by seeping into a person's mind and even body.  The power was like a potent drug that clouded the mind.  But, if one was wise and skilled enough, one could use the Dark Arts without becoming fooled by its allure.  The woman he was about to meet was one such person.  Severus was another, but at a very high cost for him personally.

Turning a corner and finding the restaurant he was seeking, he walked in and felt the rush of cooler air as the muggle air conditioning washed over him.

He waited to be seated, and after a short wait, he was seated by a window.  A young woman brought him a glass of ice water and left.  Severus waited for a bit, then felt, rather than saw, when Rhiannon came into his seated area.  Turning his gaze from the window to his left, he watched a poised and sophisticated woman approach him.  She was thin and tall with shockingly white hair that was cropped short to her skull.  Her eyes were a bright blue and though she had several laugh lines around her eyes and mouth, she was stunningly beautiful.  Her beauty did not belie the fact that enormous magical power exuded from her.   She smiled as she approached Severus and he stood in her presence and bowed slightly as was the custom of men in the magical world in the presence of a lady.

Gesturing for her to sit, she did and then Severus sat across from her.

"Greetings to you Severus.  I heard you would be coming here to speak to me regarding a meeting.  A peace conference I understand, for those who wish to unite against the tide of darkness stealing over our land.  Is this true?"

"Thank you Madam for graciously taking the time to meet with me.  Yes Rhiannon, there is a meeting being planned for all those that are interested in bringing peace to your country.  You know that we triumphed in Britain over the same cancer that is creeping into your heartland.  If you are willing to receive the summons, you will be notified of the time and place."

"I shall be there.  But..............there is pain in your eyes.  But I also sense.............a bright light in your heart as well."

With her statement, she took his large hand in hers and looked into his eyes.  Severus did not pull his hand away and looked back at her.  Rhiannon was a touch empath and could sense a great deal of the contents of someones heart and their emotions through touch.  Her hands were warm and soft.

Severus swallowed thickly and though not moving his eyes from hers, he felt acutely, the pain of loss he just experienced in LA.  When he spoke, his voice was thick with emotion.

"We lost Stan in LA.  His wife and child found him..........."

Rhiannon pulled her hands slowly from his and tears filled her eyes.  She had known the contacts from LA and this news send a sharp shard of pain into her heart.

"I am so deeply sorry Severus.  This is ill news for all of us.  I will be where you need me."

She was about to rise but she leaned forward and patted his hand lightly.

"Take heart dear Severus.  We will succeed in bringing our land back into the light............and there is someone in your heart that can bring the light back into your heart.  Allow her to love you Severus and open your heart."

She then stood and walked away.  Severus sat at the table for a moment longer, then stood and walked out of the restaurant and into the hot air.  Taking a deep cleansing breath, he apparated out into the middle of the nearby desert and sat down upon a tall rock next to a huge arch of stone.  He sat there for a very long time, watching the sun set in flaming reds and purples that lit up the sands of the desert landscape.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:34 am

"I don't know if I can handle much more food, my dear," Minerva says, sitting back in her seat after one more meatball. "How many more of our contacts are associated with food?"

Chuckling, Avalon is still going after her meatballs, washing them down with a Shirley Temple before wiping her mouth and responding, "All of them, probably. That's one thing often shared by our two countries--if you show up, you get fed, one way or another."

The Headmistress looks secretly pleased and shrugs lightly, "Any bakers on the horizon?"

Smirking, Avalon wiggles her eyebrows. "I'll see what I can do."

As the day goes on, it occurs to the younger witch that they should probably wrap it up at some point in the near future. Her thoughts have been bending toward Severus several times, recently, and she knows that her instincts are fairly good. Feeling a bit pensive without him, she avoids Minerva's scrutiny with pretty decent alacrity, but still decides to send him her Patronus, just to check in.

Of course, it's huge as hell, but thankfully the Muggles don't see it. As it glides away, she finds herself wanting to see him in person. Keeping her facial expressions quiet, she turns to Minerva once more and places a warm hand on her back.

"Shall we call it a day, soon?" Avalon asks. To her credit, Minerva says nothing about the Patronus, what the message could have been, or to whom it was sent.

"That might be an idea. We can always Apparate, and come and go as we need to. I imagine you'd like to check in...though the only issue is the time zones. I imagine you'd like to sleep, too," says Minerva. In the middle of yawning, Avalon chuckles and nods.

"I'll see you safely home, first," she says softly, and taking her arm, Apparates them directly to the gates of Hogwarts. Knowing Minerva will be safe, there, Avalon Disapparates back to the States, wondering how her Patronus is faring. Sitting on the edge of a waterfall in Yellowstone, Montana, she crosses her legs and waits, hugging her knees to her chest.

***

Meanwhile, in Arizona, a very large dragon glides through the sky and flaps its great wings before touching down directly in front of Severus. It is almost solid, but it has just enough translucence to make it look like an opal without the rich colors inside. Curling up at the Wizard's feet--as much as a dragon of its size can do--Avalon's voice message is transmitted quietly, "I miss you. I want to see you."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:37 pm

Severus watched the last of the sun's rays sink into the still-shimmering golden landscape of the stark desert when he saw what he thought was a bat from a distance.  Realizing that it was not, a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth and he watched as the huge dragon lit on the ground and actually curled up at his feet.

His smile broadened and he felt deeply touched at the gentle gesture of the magnificent beast.  Suddenly he heard Avalon's clear, distinct and gentle voice call out to him.

"I miss you.  I want to see you."

Tears filled his eyes suddenly and he reached out a hand to touch the beautiful patronus.  Tears then began to fall down his face as the giant head of the beast attempted to caress his arm with the side of his massive head.

"I am coming home.  I miss you and....................I need you."

The enormous beast gave his arm one last "caress" and lifted off into the warm night.  Watching it as it disappeared into the now darkened sky, Severus stood and stretched his long legs and cramped muscles.  He had been sitting for hours.

He gathered his cloak, looked around one last time, wiped his face with his hands and turned on the spot to go home.

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

Upon his arrival, he opened his front door.  It was late afternoon of the next day.  Before he walked into his home, he felt the cool air on his slightly sunburned face.  It felt good.  Walking into his home, he closed the door quickly and hung up his cloak.  Gods it felt good to be home.  

All he could think of was Avalon.  Her face.  Her hair.  Her voice.  Her gentle touch.  The softness of her skin.  Her bright and active mind.  Her frequent ability to give him a scathing repartee when he needed it the most.  All he wanted to do was hold onto her and breath the scent of her hair............to create the memory he so deeply needed and craved..............with her.  He wanted to make passionate love to her.................show her how deeply he wanted, desired and needed her.  His physical need was agony.  His emotional need was desperate and acute.  He had finally opened up his heart and was willing to take a risk once again.

He breathed deeply and walked into his kitchen and poured himself a tall ice cold glass of water and waited for her arrival.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:15 pm

As she waits, she takes in some of her favorite sights. Waterfalls. Wildlife. The wildness of this place is incredible, and she loves it. It is the land that time forgot. The last frontier. Taking a deep breath, she thinks about a great deal. Indeed, she has much to think about. There are the tasks at hand, of course. She spares a thought for Harry and Hermione. Minerva. However, she finds herself mostly thinking about Severus. There's something weighing in her mind, and she trusts her instincts.

In the dawn of early morning, she smiles to see her large dragon sailing through the sky. When it lands on the cliffside in front of her, its expression is the first thing that catches her eye. It looks…sad. Brows furrowing, she reaches out to it gently, and it leans its great muzzle into her hand.

"Sweet one, what is it?" She asks, immediately becoming worried about Severus. Before she realizes it, her heart is hammering at the idea, feeling suddenly sick with worry.

It's then that she hears Severus' voice. He sounds absolutely desolate, and her heart clenches. He's alive. He's alive, but he's in anguish. What happened?! In the next moment, she's Disapparating back to the U.K., straight to Severus' home. The wards allow her in, and she nods politely to Minky as she strides inside.

"Severus?" She calls out for him, her voice higher pitched than usual with her concern. Upon seeing him, she sags inwardly with relief that he's uninjured. However, she sees the expression on his face, and what looks like tear tracks, and quickly crosses the distance to wrap her arms around his neck. "I'm here. I'm here… What's the matter? Come here." Gently, she leads him to the nearest couch and sits with him, holding him tenderly.

Absorbing his scent, as well as the feeling of him in her arms, she nuzzles him softly. This feels lovely. Natural. Closing her eyes, she lets herself sink against him, feeling completely settled.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:28 pm

Seeing and hearing Avalon come into his home sent waves of relief and utter comfort through him that momentarily abated the deep grief and pain he was feeling.  He allowed the feelings inspired by Avalon to wash over him for a moment while feeling her arms wrap around his neck.  He closed his eyes briefly and also allowed her to lead him to his couch where she folded into him.  He then leaned into her as well and he noticed they fit perfectly together with his head on her shoulder and his arms intertwined with hers.

Taking a deep breath before speaking, he then closed his eyes and saw his dear friend and family in his minds-eye.  He had known Stan for 30 years.  They had been friends at Hogwarts even though he had been sorted into Ravenclaw.  He still enjoyed his company.  

The sounds of his wife screaming in anguish returned to his memory and he flinched inwardly.............then the tears began to flow.  He tightened his arms around Avalon and just wept.  He wept for the loss of such a brilliant wizard.  He wept for the loss of his dear friend.  He also wept for the pain that his wife and child would endure.................and part of him wept that he had no family to miss him and care for him.  He was exhausted and was just plain tired of war and death.

He attempted to speak through his tears, leaving his voice gravely yet quiet.

"My childhood friend from school and many years afterward was killed. You might have heard of him............Stan Wilson.  He was my connection in Los Angeles..........and was the author of THE only potion journal worth reading.  I saw the killing curse light and then........that horrific silence..........then I saw and..................heard his wife come across his body.  The scream of pain and loss was unbearable........someone apparated away before she arrived...............I never saw them.  I left.  I couldn't bear......................I just couldn't..........I..........."

He began to weep with earnest now with his face buried in Avalons shoulder......as he hadn't done for countless years.

His thoughts swirled around loss, pain and a deep, desperate loneliness that threatened to consume him.  He had lost so many dear people in his life.

He lifted his head and the anguish etched across his face softened when he looked into Avalons eyes.  She was here.  She was holding and comforting him.  He sensed she cared.  

Because of this, he took his first step towards healing.  Laying his head back down on her shoulder, he took a deep breath and simply looked at the lake through the window across from the couch.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:18 pm

Avalon waits patiently. Whatever it is, is tearing Severus apart, but she won't rush him. Whatever is lodged inside him will eke its way out, like a dam breaking. Sitting with her eyes closed, she expected words, at first. However, some hurts are too much for words. Feeling him breaking, she only holds him tighter, giving him a physical sensation to hold onto, and hopefully it will override the emotional pain inside him.

Her heart goes out to him as he cries. Gently, she rubs his back, knowing that this poison needs to be let out of him. Goodness knows how long he's been storing such emotions inside him. If he's only now feeling safe enough to let them out, she will help him through it.

When the words do come, she feels a pang in her chest. The name is familiar. Most potioneers know of him--at least because of the journal he wrote. How could she possibly make this better? She is the kind of person where if someone comes to her with a problem, she helps to fix it. Yet, this is not something that can be fixed, per se. Stan will never return. However, what the Order is doing right now, in secret, will help. It will dismantle the corruption and eradicate those who perpetuate it.

The tale is so sad, her throat aches. With her eyes closed, she rocks him gently as he cries what seems like years of hurt inside him. After awhile, she feels him raise his head, and she looks at him, holding his gaze. He is so beautiful. Those expressive eyes... In a kind of magic all its own, she watches as it seems as though he feels relief, just looking at her. This dear spirit. As a result, she softens, as well, and gives a small smile as he rests his head once more.

Tenderly, she strokes his hair and rubs his back, looking out the window, as well. There are no words, of course. Even if there were, she wouldn't know what to say, or how to say them. After a small eternity, as the many minutes flow on, her brows rise as her voice comes quietly, conversationally, "He must have been very special, for you to call him, 'friend.' I am glad you two knew each other. He was an important part of your life, and that is very, very worthy. He would be happy to know you think so well of him." True enough, it is praise, indeed, to have Severus Snape's approval--and his friendship is even more rare.

"What do you need?" She asks quietly. "Food? Water? Something stronger to drink? A swim? Or, we could have a bonfire when it gets dark. I'll make milkshakes. We could even cook outside." Normalcy. That might be a strange thing for Severus to grasp at the moment, but Avalon is anything but normal...and sometimes her fairly normal suggestions end up being oddball as hell. That is partially the story of her life.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:48 pm

Severus changed his sightless gaze from the lake to Avalon's face and smiled minutely.  He reached up and gently traced his thumb along the side of her cheek as a caring gesture to reassure her that he was not angry or upset with her, then rose.  He walked slowly to the windows overlooking the lake and placed his hands in the pocket of his robes.

He thought for a while and then softly said, "I need death to end.  I need to find a place where there is no pain, no endings and no more war.  I need peace in my heart and life."

He sighed while still looking out at his lake and said ever so softly, almost to himself, "And I know I shall never find it.  What I seek is not reality."

He then turned and walked briskly to his kitchen, and turned to the counter and smiled rather grimly at Avalon while he poured himself a fire whiskey.

"Is there anything I can get you?  Thank you for your kindness and gentle, sweet caring.  I really don't deserve it but I thank you nonetheless."

He downed the drink in one swallow and poured himself another.  He then walked back over to the sofa and sat next to Avalon.

"What have you learned in your travels?"

It was very clear that Severus was deeply upset and disturbed but Avalon, not knowing him well enough yet, would not know that this was his way of avoiding the pain............distraction.  He was not ready to divulge any more pain to her and the display of the emotions that he had already shown her made him feel awkward and vulnerable.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:03 pm

Avalon smiled briefly at Severus, not quite sure of his change of attitude but realizing suddenly that he did not wish to share with her.  She stood and walked over to him and placed her hand over his heart.  She whispered to him softly.

"When you are ready.  Only then."

She then turned and left his home without a backward glance.  Her head was held high and she refused to allow him to interpret any sorrow or pain in her leaving.  He was carrying enough for both of them.  As she softly closed his front door, she noticed with only a small pang of pain, that he hadn't come to follow her.  She took a deep breath and apparated to her own home and the comfort that she always felt when surrounded by her familiars and her own belongings.

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

Severus watched her leave and stood rooted to his spot in the kitchen.  He didn't follow her.  He felt a pang of longing but knew that he had to settle his own pain and open his heart once again before he could allow anything in again.  Wasn't it just a few days ago that he yearned to have Avalon in his life.............to bed and perhaps even wed her?  Wasn't it only a few days ago that he felt so certain of his life, his place in it and his future? Now, he was unsure of everything.  The death of his friend had shaken him to his core and the demons he thought he had put in their place, rose to engulf his heart and mind once again.

He knew that he was good for nobody when he was in this place..............and the last time he was in this place was years ago at Hogwarts.  Despair, solitude, focus and resignation ruled his world so many years ago..............and the darkness was threatening to settle in once again.

He poured himself another fire whiskey and downed it in one gulp, blowing his breath out quickly from the pain and fire in his mouth and chest. Rather than cloud his mind, he felt more focused and attuned to what he must do.

Setting the glass down on the counter, he called out to Minkey.

"I shall return.  I am off to Hogwarts."

He walked out of his house and closing the front door, he turned and apparated to Hogsmeade, ignoring his duty, his mission and his responsibilities.

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Re: A Time For A Change

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