A Time For A Change

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:47 pm

Avalon is worried. Would he think she's ridiculous? Surely not, though, because it's a very practical idea, and she believes him to be a very practical man. As she watches his expression shift, she relaxes, hugely relieved. He's all right with it. Thank goodness. It's sweet how formal he is about starting a friendship.

"Good night, Severus," she smiles, feeling comfortable using his first name, considering the nature of their association, now. "I enjoyed our time together, as well. Have a good night, and enjoy the storm. Until later. I look forward to harassing you in the near future." Nodding, she then disappears into her shop so as not to be awkward.

In truth, she's thinking about stalking The Three Broomsticks to see if any chickens might be had. However...she's just not up to dealing with more people, and she'll call it good for the night. Warding her shop, she Disapparates away to her home from inside. She's all right with people thinking she lives at the shop. No one will see her leave, and that suits her just fine. Apparating directly into her home, she is the only one allowed to do so, as her many and complex wards recognize her magical signature, alone.

Every now and again, she thinks about adopting a House Elf. It would be easier, in some ways. It's not that she wants to come home to cooked dinners and whatnot...though that would be nice. It's just that, now that she has the shop, she's away for part of the day, and she worries about her menagerie.

Four dogs clamber in, and are the first to greet her, closely followed by a Kneazle. Her owl hoots its own greeting. Oh, she needs more hands! Chuckling, she gives each lots of love. Yes, it was much simpler when they could all laze around the house, and she would go off on small expeditions for a few hours each day to gather potions ingredients. Sighing, she doesn't know how long she'll be able to do this before her anti-social nature just...implodes everything. She doesn't want to disappoint Rand. She'll stick it out as long as she can. Who knows, she might grow to like it, despite dealing with people all day.

Looking out of the large bay window, the river that flows by her house looks ethereal in the waning light. It's wide, shallow, and slow at the far end of her property--almost like a lake--but then there's a waterfall that brings the river cascading by. Her home is surrounded by trees and water, and she would have it no other way. Now that the inside animals have been tended to, there's the outside...

When she bought the place, the house and the nearby barn were separate. With some magic and a hell of a lot of river stones, she connected one outside door to the barn by a large above-ground tunnel, lit with torches. Walking through it, she can already hear her horse whickering. Chuckling as she gives him lots of attention, she then checks in on her unofficial residents. Her horse has his own stable, and can go in and out to the pasture beyond from his own door. However, there's a part of the barn that's quite open...and is more like a nest, of sorts. Here, she is frequented by a small herd of Thestrals who seem to have adopted her, a few hippogriffs, and even the occasional unicorn. Making sure all are happy and cared for, she is content.

When she comes back to the house, lightning is lighting up the sky. Oh, how she loves this... Putting a charm on most of the house to keep her animals from being nervous, they lounge about as though nothing is going on. She, however, goes up to her bedroom suite and takes off all her clothes before going to the outside balcony. As private as the area is, she has no qualms with being naked outside. The rain pelts her, and she feels alive. Soaking in the storm as much as she can, she eventually returns inside and draws a bath to soak in a different way, turning on quiet music after lighting candles, and getting into the bubbly water.

Her mind flits here and there. She thinks about work, her animals, her experiments, and Severus. Still tentative on some topics, she only allows her mind to think of him briefly, and with no agenda or anything of the sort. Time will tell, in all things.

After a good long while, she's drained. Carefully getting out of the water, she dries herself off, brushes her teeth, and slinks into bed. Exhausted, it takes her no time whatsoever to fall asleep.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:33 pm

The storm blew itself out and Severus slept for about 4 hours, then woke.  He slipped on a pair of slippers and a long night shirt, then headed down to his ingredient storage area where Avalon had placed his new purchases.

He looked at a strange-looking device on the wall that looked somewhat like a clock but didn't tell the time of the day, but told the time of the month from the position of the moon.  The moon was waxing now and Severus began his preparation of the new ingredients he just purchased.  He very much enjoyed this time of the early morning.  It was quiet and he found he could really concentrate on his work.

After all his ingredients have been prepared, he began a potion that he was hoping would render a person's memory nearly flawless.  The use of veritaserum was over-used and the side effects were unfortunate for the individual who drank the potion............severe diarrhea for hours.  He hoped to add veritaserum with his new potion he was making so the person would have to tell the truth and their memory would be flawless........without the side effects!

After he completed his potion...........at least the 1st stage, he realized it was nearly noon.  Time always flew by for him when he was working.

As he exited his potions lab, Minkey brought him a large mug of coffee with cream and the Daily Prophet.  He thanked her and walked out onto the deck in his back yard, sat down and read the paper while feeling the cool lake breeze on his face.  The day felt cooler than yesterday and he was relieved for the respite from the daunting heat that he been torturing the area for weeks.

As he turned to the last page of the Prophet, he noticed that there was an article about Harry Potters new son.  He wondered how he was doing as a father and snorted his amusement at the thought of that individual parenting a child.  The world would never be the same he was sure of it!

Severus looked out over the lake while sipping his coffee and thought of Avalon.  He wondered what kind of person she really was.  She appeared to him to be engaging and bright.  He also found her sense of humor amusing and she was circumspect about revealing too much about herself............being somewhat shy and private.  He wondered what made HER laugh.  What did she enjoy?   Did she have any hobbies or passions?  He found he enjoyed thinking about her.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:51 am

Having the shop to tend to means that she has to keep regular hours, and she finds that stressful, as well. Getting up early in the morning is definitely not her forte. Yet, she will do what must be done, and dutifully wakes in order to open the damn thing up. Not for the first time, she's thinking about changing its hours of operation. After bathing, she then sports a dress of deep scarlet, putting the leather over-dress on over it for protection.

Tending to the animals, she then Apparates straight to the shop to unlock the door. Perhaps she could charm a bell at her house to ring, if someone enters her shop? That way, she wouldn't have to wait around for someone to show up? That sounds like a grand idea... This cuts into her brewing time, and that irritates her to no end. The one thing she does love is going through all the myriad ingredients, though. That's a very big plus, for her.

Deciding to make some purchases with the money from Severus' order, she then realizes that this, too, will take her away from the shop. How did Rand do it? She knows that he would put a sign in the window saying something to the effect of, 'Back in however-many-long minutes,' but she feels guilty, as the new proprietor, for doing so. By the time the shop closes, the other shops are closing, too. Inwardly flailing with irritation, she takes a deep breath. Everything will iron itself out, in time.

Trying not to grouse, she then makes the realization that Severus is probably tending to his potions right now, happy as a sans obligations clam...and immediately starts grousing. Quickly, she crosses to the sign in the window that posts the hours of operation, drags it to the table in the back like a jaguar with its kill, and starts ravaging the schedule to her liking. Also, she devises a repelling charm for when she's away from the shop--as she doesn't put it above some Wizards and Witches to try and do a smash-and-grab while she's away. Just in case. She'll put the charm on when she goes home for the night, as well. Oh, yes...this is going to be better.

Replacing the sign, she then walks out of the shop into the cool air, and feels much better. Often, she would order online--and yes, Rand was smart enough to have his shop rigged up for Muggle devices such as computers, and sometimes she brings her laptop here. However, with the purchases she's going to make, she marches through Hogsmeade with a purpose. First, she purchases that bell for her home--so it would ring when the shop bell rings. Next, she goes to the Owl Post...and purchases an enormous eagle owl for the shop...and realizes that she doesn't like the thought of leaving him at the shop alone overnight, so she'll introduce him to her home so he can go back and forth with her to work.

Heading back to the shop with her purchases, she'll install the bell when she comes home for the night. Pondering names for her new owl as she sets up his perch and whatnot, she finds that she enjoys having an animal here. Part of her wants to bring her dogs, but that would get complicated. They'd all want to go, and she can't take all of them. The Kneazle would get jealous, too. Sighing, she strokes the back of her owl's neck and watches as it gets sleepy. Trying not to chuckle, her thoughts once again turn to Severus.

After a few moments, she finds a parchment and a quill and begins writing.

Dear Severus,

I very much enjoyed our time last night, and was wondering if I might trouble you sometime in the near future. To be accurate, I'd be troubling your House Elf, Minky, as well. Thoughts?

~Avalon


She realizes that there aren't many pleasantries, and that the letter is rather cut and dry, but she just can't handle too many pleasantries. However, she does add:

P.S. This is Titan. I was going to name him something outlandish...like Humphrey...but I didn't have the heart. Cheers!

Giving Titan his first job, she rolls up the parchment and ties the missive to his leg. Giving him lots of kisses, she then sends him on his way to find Severus.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:56 pm

Severus was just about ready to stand after finishing his coffee when a beautiful and huge eagle owl was spotted flying across his lake directly towards him.  He watched with curiosity and he then stood when he realized that the owl was heading directly towards him.  He held up his arm and the owl landed precisely on his arm and held out his leg.  Taking off the message neatly attached to his leg he gave the owl some scraps of a danish that he took from his kitchen, not wanting to have Minkey catch him eating sweets again.  He thought that the owl would devour any evidence of his sneaking his favorite treats.   Minkey always told him that the sweets would harm his health but he managed to find and eat them anyway.  The owl then hopped onto the table next to his chair and munched the rest of the danish while he read the message.

He felt a huge smile cross his face while reading and he was overjoyed to feel that Avalon might be interested in him as well..............at least to enjoy each other's company as friends.  He chuckled at the last sentence.  Humphrey??  No............!!!!  

After reading the note, Severus turned it over and accio'd a quill already filled with ink.  He penned on the back, "Avalon, I would indeed enjoy your company soon.  May I inform Minkey that you will be troubling us for dinner this evening?  I rather enjoy a Muggle BBQ and though I am not as good a cook as Rosmerta, I do cook up an excellent BBQ'd chicken with roasted vegetables.  Shall I look forward to you troubling me tonight for dinner?"

"P.S. Titan is a perfect name for this beautiful bird.  Also, I fed him some danish as a treat for his delivery.  Please let me know if this is not something you would like me to continue.  Also I would appreciate it if you didn't mention the danish to Minkey."

"With anticipation,  Severus"

He attached the message onto Titan's leg and sent him on his way.  He watched as the enormous bird's wingspan gracefully arched across the lake, sending a beautiful reflection across the still, early morning water on the lake.

Turning as the bird flew out of sight, he walked into his home with a light step.

"Minkey?"

Minkey arrived quickly and looked up at her master.

"Would you please purchase a whole chicken, carrots, new peas and new potatoes and lemons?  I believe we are expecting a dinner guest tonight.............Avalon.  I will be using the BBQ as well.  Also, perhaps you could visit Char's bakery and pick us up something sweet..............only for dinner of course.  Perhaps some dark chocolate?  Thank you Minkey."

Minkey immediately left to complete her tasks and Severus walked upstairs to shower and dress for the day.  This was indeed going to be a great day.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:55 pm

She's actually quite impressed at how quickly Titan reappears. Ah, she did choose well, indeed. Holding her arm out, he lands effortlessly, and she unties the missive gently while crooning softly to him. Then, he climbs up to her shoulder like an over-sized parrot and starts...dancing. Looking up at him, he's bobbing his head to some unheard beat, and Avalon can only chuckle.

"Are you high? Good lord, bird..." Reading the reply, her brows rise. Dinner? An Englishman barbecuing? Oho, this she has to see. As she continues to read the post-script...she deadpans...and re-reads... Sliding her eyes up to her dancing owl, then back to the parchment, she sighs, smiling. She can only smile. Setting the parchment down, she scrubs her face, chuckling. Taking out a new piece of parchment, she takes a good, long while trying to think of how to word her response.

My Dear Severus,

I was wondering why my new owl was dancing like a maniac. He looks like he's from a 90s grunge band, head-banging. It might be a good idea to go easy on the Danish and other such things, as it appears that this owl can't handle his sugar. However, I do thank you for being so kind as to share your breakfast with him!


At this moment, Titan begins hooting cheerfully...and frequently. Snickering, Avalon keeps breathing. "Freak," she mutters under her breath at her new feathered friend. "Should've called you, 'Hootie.'"

If he ends up with a different name by the end of the day, it will be your doing...and yes, I'm laughing--in a good way. As far as your secret goes, I shall keep it under my hat until the next time you feed my owl something from a bakery. If I have to track him down at a go-go club, Minky and I are going to have a nice long chat.

~Avalon

P.S. I'd very much like to trouble you for dinner tonight, if it's not too much trouble. Thank you so much for the gracious invitation. Just let me know when to arrive and what to bring, and I'll be there promptly. I look forward to it.


"All right, Hootie McFlappersons. Hold still." Trying not to shake from snickering so much, she ties on the missive and then sends Titan to go work off his sugar rush, serenading him with a rousing rendition of, 'Born Free,' as he goes. She can only hope Severus appreciates her dry sense of humor.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:13 pm

Standing his his shower and scrubbing his hair, Titan flew into Severus' bathing room through a large opened window.  The owl sat patiently waiting on the edge of the large area that could easily have been a swimming pool with his leg out while holding another message.  Severus preferred to use the large bathing area as a shower rather than a bath...........it just depended.  He smiled as he finished rinsing his hair out and turned off the water. Raking his hair back off his face and grabbing a towel, he wrapped it around his waist and walked on over to the owl.  Taking the letter off his leg he read the note from Avalon with a grin on his face.  

Padding up the steps and out of the bathing area, he walked into his bedroom and picked up a quill.  Turning the note over he quickly wrote out a message to Avalon that would read:

"Dinner is at 7 pm.  You are welcome to my home any time you wish to arrive.  I will be brewing most of the day and I would welcome your company and opinions on some of my more delicate concoctions and experiments if you wish.  I can show you that your efforts to purchase excellent potion ingredients are not lost on me as your customer.  You need only bring yourself and your delightful sense of humor.  We will be dining on the back patio along the lake.  It will be warm but the trees provide excellent shade and a cool breeze from across the lake makes this an excellent location to spend a beautiful summer evening.  

P.S.   I will no longer give Titan any more danish.  The threat to inform Minkey of my continued taste for sweets could be my undoing!  Titan may enjoy spending time with my owl Jake.  He too is an eagle owl and they may have much to say to each other.  Until you arrive.  Severus."

Severus tied the parchment to Titan's leg after giving him a large owl treat.  Titan didn't look as impressed as he did when he was given half of Severus' danish but took the treat nevertheless and flew off out of Severus' bedroom window.

Dressing in black pants and a T shirt, Severus left his bedroom and headed down into his labs.  Donning his black robe that repelled and protected him from any inadvertent splashes or drops of any mixture onto his skin or face, he was ready to begin his brewing for the day.  Waving his wand in the direction of one of the walls, Muggle classic rock began to play loudly throughout the room.  

Without Severus being aware of it, Harry Potter was making plans to pay a visit to his old potions master.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:37 pm

By the time Titan has returned, Avalon has dealt with two more customers who've come in for newt eyes by the scoop, bat wings, aconite, mortal essence...the usual. Nothing too outlandish or interesting. Certainly nothing that would pique her interest and ask them what they're making. As they make their exit, Titan glides in through the window and alights on his perch. Sliding her eyes to him, checking on him, she smirks, seeing that the sugar is working his way out of his system. Oh, yes...he looks much more dignified, now...



Chuckling, she relieves him of his missive and reads through it. Her brows rise once more, fairly early on, at the gracious invitation. Hm...this does sound rather inviting. Interesting. Smirking at the post-script, she looks at Titan and debates on whether or not to send another message. Perhaps she should be using her personal owl to send these messages. She knows that Archimedes would be scandalized if he were to be left behind. The look he would give her...



She adores her snowy owl, and though he's quite large, she doesn't want to tire him out. Perhaps she could use them both for personal and business matters. She makes her own rules, now, after all. Speaking of which...when to drop in on Severus?

Deciding that the message in her hand isn't in need of direct reply, she goes about her day at the shop until it's time to close. Apparating straight home, she takes care of her menagerie, then sets to work creating a new space for Titan in her home. Archimedes, to his credit, isn't nearly as affronted as she thought he might be when his new cohort flies in through the window. Mm, and she'll certainly make space for both of them at the shop, too.

After a quick wash, she dresses in black gaucho pants that go down to her shins and a white tunic. Daring, for attending a barbecue. Wearing simple black leather flip-flops, the tattoos of forests of trees forming anklets around both ankles are easily seen. Refreshed, she sets out to walk to Severus' home, an owl on each shoulder. With her white hair, tawny eyes, white shirt, and black pants, she rather looks like one of them, in some ways. The effect might be a bit striking, but thankfully she's broad-shouldered enough to handle them both. Upon arriving, she knocks at the door and waits patiently.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:44 pm




As usual, Severus had become immersed in his brewing when Minkey knocked on the main potion lab door and then entered as Severus had her knock in a particular pattern and she then had permission to enter.  

"Masters,  Avalon has arrived.  May I show the miss in sirs?"

Severus looked quickly up from his work and smiled, almost dropping his tweezers that held a particularly precious ingredient.

"Yes Minkey, please show Avalon in and escort her to the patio.  Ask her if she would like a refreshment and also please let her know I shall be with her immediately.  Thank you Minkey."

Minkey nodded and immediately left.  Severus added the ingredient to his potion and stirred it 4 times counterclockwise with a gold spoon, then waved his wand over the concoction, preserving it for the moment when he would arrive next.  He then pondered his attire for a moment, then waved his wand over his body, refreshing is skin and hair so he didn't smell like some of his odious brews and then made sure, magically, he was then wearing khaki's, a black shirt that he opened at the collar with rolled up the sleeves and a pair of leather loafers.  He walked to the small bathing room in his lab and brushed back his hair and bound it in a small silver clasp shaped like a snake.  He gave his image another last minute check and he looked and smelled presentable.  He certainly hoped Avalon felt that way.

Climbing up his stairs and out into a hallway that led to the main part of the house, he then turned and entered the kitchen.  He doubled checked that everything was to his liking regarding his meal preparations and then walked out towards the patio.  Seeing Avalon, he stopped to admire her.  She looked quite beautiful.  He found her quite appealing as he watched her looking out across the lake.  She looked regal and poised.  Sophisticated and bright.  He felt his loins stir..........and he clamped down on the reaction. Her beauty and intelligence was a huge turn-on for him.  He would have to be careful and not embarrass himself in front of her.  Witches had a sixth sense in knowing when a wizard was aroused around them and he didn't want to give her the wrong impression.  Perhaps some day he would WANT her to know that she aroused and interested him but now, they were exploring a friendship.

He took a deep breath and then walked out of his kitchen door and out onto the walkway leading to the patio and lake.  He loved his home and he hoped she found his home and his view as enchanting as he did.



"Avalon, how lovely to see you.  Welcome to my home.  I hope you find it as relaxing as I do.  Has Minkey been treating you well?  Do you need anything before I begin preparing our meal?  I see Minkey has poured two glasses of wine.  Forgive me as I didn't let Minkey know you are not a wine drinker."

He reached her and then gave her a welcoming and winning smile.

A few hundred miles away, a Mr. Harry Potter was finishing up his work at his office and was just preparing to leave.  He needed to ask Severus a question and only he could provide the answer.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:02 pm

When the door opens, she looks around the height where Severus' head should be. For a split second, she's quite puzzled, cocking her head to the side, but then looks down with a wide grin at Minky. "Oh! Hello, Minky!" She says brightly. The little one greets her a bit shyly, but pleasantly, and delivers Severus' messages as they walk out to the patio. Declining refreshment for the time being, she takes a seat on the chaise and leans against the corner, indeed, lounging.

Avalon took her shoes off as soon as she got into the house--a bit of a habit, when not wearing her boots--and now resists putting her bare feet on anything but the ground. Having performed a quick cleansing charm on them, they're perfectly clean, but still, she'd rather not test Severus' foot tolerance from the get-go.

At the magical appearance of wine, she can only smile. House Elves really are quite thoughtful. She mustn't forget her original purpose for coming here, but there will be time, later. For now, she takes in the scenery. She wouldn't mind swimming in that lake, that's for damn sure.

Sensing movement behind her, she can tell that it's Severus. If some people have a sixth sense, as far as being omniscient, then Avalon has a seventh sense, as well. Waiting quietly, suspecting that he's taking stock of the situation--what refreshment has been brought out, etc.--she keeps her gaze on the water, content.

Ah, and she smiles, turning her head when he speaks. Standing, she meets him half way and gives him a gentle squeeze on his arm. "Severus, thank you so much for having me." Chuckling, she takes him by the shoulders and squeezes, giving him a soft, playful nudge, "No need to be so formal, though I do appreciate your gentlemanly manners. Your home truly is beautiful. As are the grounds. Minky has been wonderful, and I can't think of anything at the moment, but if you're the type to snack while you prepare dinner, I will happily join you. Ah, and no worries about the wine--you can have both and relax." Smirking, she gives him a bit of a sly smile and then returns to her seat.

"Is there a giant squid in your lake, too?" That almost sounded...never mind how it almost sounded. Snickering inside her head, she pays herself no mind, crossing her legs and folding her hands in her lap. "Oh, actually, do you want a hand with anything? I'm a dab hand in the kitchen, but I will, of course, defer to the master in his own home." That might not've followed well, either, but to hell with it. She reasons that anything can sound dirty, with the right frame of mind. Mentally slapping herself, it's not that she's trying to be coy or tease him. It's just slipping out, and she makes no move to censor or chastise herself, lest she dig a hole for them both. By not reacting, she's salvaging this conversation instead of going down with the ship...as it were.

Watching him quietly, he looks quite fetching in his modern Muggle clothing. Ah, his hair looks quite nice, tied that way--with an homage to their House, no less. Still, she is the type to pay it no mind, at first. Yes, she had a huge thing for him when they were in school, but much has changed since then, and since they never bonded back then, it's a bit like starting from scratch, for her, now. As such, she will notice more as their bond grows.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:45 pm

Severus usually cringed and tightened his entire body when touched by someone but with Avalon, he felt himself relax as Avalon touched his arm and then placed her hands up on his shoulders.  He almost leaned into her but held himself in check and continued to smile sincerely at her.

"I'm so glad you like the home.  It was something that Albus left me.  I can't imagine how he found this gem but it suits my needs exactly.  I've put some of my own personal touches here but I do love the setting as well.  "

He walked over to the BBQ and lit it up.  It was a newer model propane BBQ and was something that was very rare in the wizarding world.  There were some things that the muggles did that were exactly "right" and BBQ's were one of them.  He lowered the steel lid on the BBQ unit and then walked over to sit next to Avalon in a cushioned chair that faced the lake.  A gentle warm breeze rustled the leaves in the trees surrounding the patio area and the setting was simply very relaxing.

Severus chuckled loudly at Avalon's comment about a giant squid in the lake.  The innuendo was not lost on him but he let the comment pass.........until perhaps another time.   He smiled warmly at her and shook his head.

"No there is not a giant squid in the lake but there are indeed plenty of trout and pike.  If you fish, you would be quite content in catching your dinner if you are so inclined.  I've never really been fond of fishing but Minky does every so often when I entertain individuals who enjoy the delicacy of fresh trout."

At that moment Minky came out onto the patio carrying a large plate of raw chicken and a BBQ sauce and vegetable marinade that Severus had made the day before.  Food always tasted better after sitting a bit.  Minky also was hovering a large plate of vegetables that was follower her as well.  Severus stood and took the plate of vegetables and meat from Minky and set them down on a prep table next to the BBQ.

"Certainly you can help and I'd appreciate it.  You can brush the chicken with this sauce and I'll begin marinating the vegetables in another special sauce I put together yesterday along with the sauce for the chicken.  On occasion, I enjoy cooking very much.  I find it relaxing."

He handed her the chicken and BBQ sauce along with a cooking brush and he then started in on the vegetables.  He then picked up one of the glasses of wine and began to sip.  The wine tasted delicious and perfectly chilled.   He watched Avalon a bit as he doused carrots, turnips, potatoes and brussel sprouts with his marinade and she looked perfectly happy cooking and preparing food with him.  She looked like she was at home with him and that felt very good, and this surprised him a bit.

After Avalon was done brushing all the chicken, Severus placed the pieces on the grill and the sizzle of the meat hitting the hot steel and flames sent a wonderful smell that wafted throughout the patio.  He then placed the vegetables on the top grill shelf to cook slower and then lowered the lid.

"Thank you for your help.  Food and I believe, just about everything is better when shared don't you think?"

He motioned her to walk with him up to the lake.  Soon they reached the edge of the water that lapped gently up against beige sand along a crescent-shaped beach.  A large family of owls lived in a few of the trees along the lake and they were just awakening as the early evening was approaching.  They could be heard hooting to each other to awaken as they saw Severus and another person along the lake.

"Do you swim?  I swim regularly here.  The water has been magically warmed, but not warm enough to kill the fish or cause problems with the environment, but warm enough to swim and feel refreshed..........not frozen.  I find the exercise good for my health and soul and..............it's just plain fun to swim, especially at night by the light of the stars and moon."

He did not go into detail on HOW he swam in the lake.............feeling that skinny dipping might be a premature topic to broach with her at this time.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:40 pm

Avalon can't stand most for very long. Therefore, it's quite curious that she's so at ease with Severus. At the mention of how Albus Dumbledore left him the house, her brows rise. "Perhaps he created it for you. I wouldn't be surprised. He no doubt had the expertise, and I know he was fond of you. He would know exactly what you'd need here, as well."

Looking at the barbecuer, she smiles. Ah...so either Severus comes from at least a slightly Muggle background, too. No Wizard would go through the trouble to have such a contraption, here.

When he comes to sit beside her, she smiles. He's not afraid of her. It could be that they are both of the opinion that the other should rightly be afraid of them--for one reason or another--and it's a bit comical.

Ooh, fish! Yum! Looking at the lake rather keenly, she hums in thought, "Hm, that might be a thought, at some point. I do enjoy trout. I'm partial to salmon, cod, halibut, and the like, but trout can be delightful." Rising, she now sets to work with the chicken, and she is a liberal baster. "I'm ace with spices--I think that's my forte. Doing what we do, I would say that combining ingredients and concocting edible things comes fairly natural to us. I enjoy it, as well." She can smell the spices, in fact, and can pick out different herbs and whatnot in the sauces. In fact, she can probably replicate it, if she wanted to. This thought brings a smirk to her face, but she doesn't voice it.

"You're most welcome," she says brightly as the lid to the barbecuer shuts. Her mouth is already watering, and she could probably delve face-first into whatever comes out of that grill. "Remind me not to burn my tongue," she says wryly. She will. She knows she will. She'll be too hungry for chicken to wait, but the burn will probably be worth it. "Ah, and yes, most things are better when shared--but it depends. Colds, viruses, abdominal distress, delusions, hallucinations...things probably better left unshared. That way, one poor sod can help the other in their misery." Having a fierce passion for reality, she just...tells it like it is.

Heading down to the lake, she immediately goes for the water, walking in the shallows. "I do swim! I'm fairly certain I was a water creature in a past life--or one well-acquainted with the water. Penguin, polar bear...something like that. I'm very at home, there, and yes, swimming at night is an absolute treat." At a thought, she looks over at him and smiles, "If you're offering, my transfiguration skills are definitely up to snuff." She could fashion a swimsuit out of her clothes in no time. "After our dinner has settled in our systems, perhaps? Though, I don't want to detain you from your potions. Plus, I have to get back to my menagerie at some point."

As if on cue, Titan and Archimedes swoop down to greet their mistress, each taking a shoulder. "You know Titan, but my snowy owl is Archimedes. He's my personal owl, though I'm debating on delivery methods at the moment." Reaching up with both hands, she rubs the back of their necks, and they both lean forward, eyes closing sleepily. At the hooting of owls, though, they perk up. "What's that?" She asks them both. "Are those friends? You can go play." Talking to them as though they can understand every word, she sends them off with a shrug of her shoulders.

Smiling at Severus...she can't resist nudging him playfully, just a bit. It might be toward the water, and it's certainly not strong enough to push him in, but she definitely wants it known that she's bold enough to tease him about it. "Luckily for you, we're still new to each other. If we weren't, you'd be swimming right now. Oh! Random, have you heard of the game, 'Cards Against Humanity?'" Always looking for new players, this game also tells her what kind of people she's playing with.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:50 pm

Severus hadn't actually contemplated the thought that Albus had actually purchased the home he now enjoyed so much in the hopes of someday gifting Severus with it when it was the right time to do so.  He had never considered this before until Avalon actually suggested it.  This was something to ponder.  Albus certainly had an uncanny way of getting under your skin and being correct much of the time......much to Severus' constant annoyance much of the time he worked at Hogwarts.  It would be just like Albus to give Severus the home as his last word in a long standing argument that they always had about Severus taking better care of himself.  He snorted to himself at the old memories.  :: The twinkling-eyed old fool was right again......damn it!::

To Avalon he stated, "I had never though of that possibility before.  It would be like Albus to do something like that.  You may be right. He and I had many a discussion on how I should take better care of myself and I do find that this home and its location to be perfect for me. I'll have to give it some thought."

Listening to her speak about her cooking and how it resembled potions brewing reminded him of exactly how he thought of cooking as well.  Speaking of which, he asked Minky to bring out the appetizers he had made himself which he hoped she liked.  There was a sampling of shrimp, egg rolls, small sausages, cheeses and fruits.  Minky also brought out iced tea and water as well.

"There we go.  If you are as hungry as I am, then this might tide us over until the chicken is done."

Avalon was certainly a pleasure to be around and he was enjoying himself immensely.  At that moment, her eagle owls appeared and he was reminded immediately of the snowy owl that Potter owned at one time......but was killed.  He mourned the loss of that beautiful creature but never would have shown it to that brat of a child at the time.  Her owls were beautiful and they seemed to love and trust her a great deal.   As they few up into the trees, he called Jake, his eagle owl and Jake quickly flew onto Severus' shoulder.

"This is Jake.  He has been with me for a long time, this fellow.  He is unusually gifted with being able to carry heavy packages and also has an uncanny regard for sweets.  Off you go there Jake.  You have some new friends to acquaint yourself with now.  Off you go."

Jake lifted off from Severus' shoulder and headed for the trees where apparently there would be quite the owl convention in the trees as well as perhaps a hunting party in the early nighttime hours as evidenced by all the friendly hooting and noise going on.

Watching Avalon a bit as she walked through the water brought a rather playful smile to Severus' face and with her nudge and playful push, he felt a smirk come to his face.

"Playful is she?  Ho ho................this could be fun!"

He nudged her back a bit so that she was taken off balance but she righted herself quickly.  It had been a long time since he had played and this could be quite fun actually.  He rolled up the pant legs of his slacks and waded out a little deeper into the water.  The hot sun was just beginning to set and the water felt gloriously cooling.  Perhaps they could swim later?

In the house, there was a ring at the door and before Minky could get to answer it, Harry Potter opened the door and walked into the house with a smug look on his face.  Severus had warned him that he would be putting wards up at his front door that prevented Harry specifically from entering his home without proper invitation........and if he entered unannounced, some viscous and odoriferous substance would douse him on the landing.  Harry felt smug because apparently, like many of things Severus said to him.............they were mostly bluff. Severus had always threatened Harry with something vile and gruesome.  He had endured this for years.  Now wasn't too much different now other than Harry simply laughed at Severus just to rile him up further.

Harry and Severus had come to somewhat of an 'understanding' in the last 2 years.  They understood each other and if they actually sat down and talked to one another, they would find that they were quite fond of each other..............in a fashion.

Harry started to walk through the house when Minky caught up to him.

"Minky always welcomes Harry Potter.  Master is in the back but doesn't know you are to comes here.  Shall I....?"

"No Minky.  I would like to surprise your master.  Where might he be?"

Minky looked behind her towards the lake and patio, then tilted her head in thought.

"Master is in the lake with a mistress lady who is very, very nice to Minky."

"REALLY??!!  Now THIS I have to see!!  Don't tell Severus that I am here Minky.  It would ruin the surprise I have for him!  Thank you!!"

Harry felt like he had died and gone to 'Ways to Further Irritate and Annoy Severus Snape Heaven.'  He walked through the living area, in through the kitchen and stopped to look through the kitchen window so he could not be seen right away.  Was this rich or what? Was that Sev playing in the lake??  Was the woman that was with him pretty or what??..................with Sev?????  REALLY????!!!!!  And she looked like she was having a good time so she probably wasn't under the Imperius Curse.  Wait until he told Ginny!!!

Harry continued to watch as the two adults played in the water and Harry felt a grin creep onto his face.  His grin wasn't out of malice but was out of happiness because it looked like Severus was finally enjoying life at long last................and this was excellent blackmail fodder if he never needed it!

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:07 pm

Avalon can't help but think about the food back at the patio. She loves the water, but the scent of the chicken is making her salivate like one of Pavlov's dogs, and it's unfortunate. However, she's pleasantly distracted by the appearance of...Jake? Oh! Jake!

Smiling warmly at the interaction between Severus and his owl, she wonders how he came by that name. With her eagle owl being so large, 'Titan,' seemed fitting. With Archimedes, she named him for the grumpy owl that seemed to be affronted about nearly everything, from Disney's, 'The Sword in the Stone.' When Jake flies off, there's a great deal of hooting going on, and Avalon chuckles, looking at them.

"I love how they sou-und!" She yelps as Severus tries to off-balance her. Narrowing her eyes playfully at him, she smirks. Game on. Oho, and her host is rolling up his pant legs and going deeper? Brave soul. "You realize, of course, that only puts you in a more vulnerable position," she says lightly.

She senses a presence nearby, but it's probably Minky. Not paying it any mind, she concentrates on what might be her quarry. "Mm, and yes, she IS playful...so behave yourself, or you'll find out exactly how playful she can be." Smirking, she walks proudly out of the water and traipses up to the appetizers.

"I'm seriously considering loading up my plate and coming back to sit in the water," she chuckles. Seriously, though, that sounds amazing. As she's placing all manners of things on her plate, she looks up...and nearly jumps out of her skin at the sight of a bespectacled young man in the window.

"Oh, balls!" She gasps, turning away and laughing heartily. "Severus! You have a visitor! It's Public Enemy Number One!" Of course she recognizes Harry Potter--Hogsmeade was plastered with posters of him during the war, demanding that anyone who sees him turn him in immediately and whatnot.

She did see him, as it turns out, and from the safety of her shop, surreptitiously blocked some Death Eaters from capturing him when he was heading toward Aberforth. At any rate, she couldn't help but use the old nickname, though tongue-in-cheekly. From what she's heard over the years, he's a good lad.

Looking over her shoulder at Severus, she gauges his reaction. If Harry's in his home, no doubt he's allowed. Minky wouldn't allow anyone in, otherwise. Unless the lad is breaking and entering, which she doubts. However...that would be interesting to see.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:41 pm

Severus was laughing and just about to comment on sitting in the water to eat when he heard the comment of "Balls" and "Public Enemy Number One".  He followed Avalon's gaze and saw Harry standing in his kitchen looking out the window.  Good feeling gone!!!

Severus walked directly out of the water, passed Avalon and whispered to her as he passed, "Would you be willing to turn the chicken while I attend to this..........matter?"

Severus smiled softly at Avalon and gently squeezed her arm to hopefully reassure her that he was here for her and would return shortly.

He then moved his gaze to Harry who had disappeared from the window and was casually striding out onto the patio with a grin on his face.  Severus however, was not smiling.  He was not even close to smiling.  He walked towards Harry and his intense stare at him would have had anyone else quaking in fear............but not Harry.  He just grinned broader which made Severus teeth grind almost painfully in rage.

They met in the middle of the patio and Harry smiled up broadly at Severus.

"Sev, you are entertaining a guest AND making my favorite meal.  My timing is impeccable.  I can smell your BBQ'd chicken a mile from your house.  It has always been my favorite!  And please, introduce me to your companion."

Harry then brushed past Severus and walked up to Avalon, holding his hand out in introduction.

"Hello and it's a pleasure to meet you.  And you are.....?"

"This is Avalon who is the new owner of the................"

Severus butted in and then he stopped.........feeling that Avalon would probably want to introduce herself and that he was being a pompous ass to answer for her.  He ground his teeth together and his dagger-like glare at Harry softened when he looked at Avalon.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:30 am

Oh, the expression on Severus' face. For a moment, Avalon wonders if her host might, indeed, hex the lad to bits. That really would be entertaining to watch, actually. If only there was popcorn...

Amused, she's also intrigued that Severus is coming toward her, first. At his reassuring touch, she smiles widely and angles toward the chicken. "Certainly!" Opening the lid to the barbecuer, she takes the tongs and effortlessly begins turning their meal.

Sliding her eyes to the two bulls, one is decidedly smug, the other murderous. Obviously, Severus isn't pleased at having a third guest, but why is that? She's heard that the relationship between the two is complicated--having heard that from both Rand and Aberforth. There seems to be a decent amount of love-hate, and Avalon seems...chipper, really.

Oh! Incoming! Juggling the tongs to her other hand, she reaches out and takes Harry's hand gently, but firmly. About to answer, it almost seems as though Severus is...protective of her? That's the timbre she gets when she hears him start to answer for her. Gentling when the elder Wizard looks at her, she then regards Harry once more.

"I am, indeed, Avalon; and I'm the new proprietor of the apothecary in Hogsmeade--Rand was the previous owner-operator. I hear congratulations are in order, with you being a new father. Other than that, however, I confess I'm a bit terrified of children, so most of my pleasantries end there, I'm afraid. Full disclosure." Giving him a self-deprecating smile, she shrugs.

"Ah, but I am glad to see you're alive and well. Good man. Ah--well, I should say that Severus here looks like he might want to hex you and your smugness within an inch of your life, but that's between you two. Just try not to fling any spells toward the food, hm? Else, I'll put both of you lads in the lake to cool off." She smiles sweetly, looking at the two of them and gesturing with the tongs in her hand. Oh, she'll do it, too. Not one breast or thigh of chicken or slab of summer sausage may be out of place. These things will remain untainted by magic, and will not be relocated onto the patio, grass, sand, or into the water.

Looking between the two of them, she waits for whatever may come. Still smiling lightly, she snags a shrimp and munches away. Ooh, delicious! These are going to disappear quickly.

"So! What brings you to our little garden party, Mr. Potter?" She asks jovially. She figures that if she balances her timing just right, Severus will have time to de-fuze, and Harry will have his teasing focus directed elsewhere.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:11 pm

Severus glanced surreptitiously a few times at Harry as Avalon 'scolded' them regarding not damaging the food at all if they 'got into it' and finding himself in the lake without Avalon sounded decidedly unpleasant.  He continued to throw Harry a few "go away forever" looks but other than that, he wisely kept his mouth shut.  Harry, found it wise to do the same as he too, listened to Avalon.  He was relieved when she asked him a very pleasant question.

"Actually I came to ask Severus a question but I see I have come at the perfect time for some of Severus' famous grilled chicken.  It's pretty good and he only fixes this for special people or special occasions.  May I join you?"

Severus was about to immediately tell the young man to leave (get the hell out NOW) but realized he didn't wish to look and behave like a total ass in front of Avalon.  He was looking at both of them, and it appeared that Avalon hoped that they would arrive at a peaceful settlement of this current awkward situation.  Severus decided that he would feed the little shit and then get him the hell out so he could have a night time swim with Avalon.  He also knew that Harry understood that ALL of this was going through Severus' mind and when he glanced at him, Harry just grinned.  He cleared his throat and tried to feign indifference.

"Potter you may certainly stay for dinner.  We have plenty and I would like to hear your question.  Anything you have to ask you can ask with Avalon here."

Severus looked towards the house.

"Minky..........."

The house elf arrived quickly and as usual, she had thought ahead for her master.

"Minky already has a place set for Master Harry Potters at the patios sir."

Severus nodded, quite resigned to his fate and smiled at Avalon, then smiled/grimaced at Harry...........gesturing them to have a seat at the patio table.  He walked over to the BBQ, lifted the lid and stabbed a chicken thigh, rather more than was necessary for cooking and turned it over.  He proceeded to turn the rest of the chicken as Minky watched and he told her that the meat would be done in about 5 minutes so could she bring out the rest of the dishes for dinner.

As Minky rushed off the patio towards the kitchen, Severus lowered the BBQ lid and turned to Harry who was sitting next to Avalon.

"Your question Potter?"

Harry finished his small talk with Avalon and then looked up at Severus with a more serious look on his face.

"Oh right..............so.................you remember the Carrows from 2 years ago?  I am speaking specifically of Alecto.  She spent some time in Azkaban but is no longer there.  She sought release and it was granted, amazingly enough.  Hermione tried to keep her in Azkaban but Alecto's representative fought a good fight and she was released.  We wanted to keep an eye on her after her release but have lost her whereabouts.  I was wondering if you had any information regarding her."

Harry quickly held up his hand at the instantaneously appalled look on Severus' face and he quickly quantified his statement.

"Sev,  I understand this is a touchy question for you but it is not meant to dredge up hard feelings or make any accusations.  This is a simple inquiry with no agenda or spin.  I know that you had to work with them and I need to know if she has had any contact with you or if you have any information regarding her."

Harry was all business now and there was a darkness in his eyes that showed he was still haunted when he had to discuss those dark times.  Only Ginny had the magic that could ease his troubled heart when he had to handle issues from what he called The Dark Times.

Severus waited until Minky had delivered the sumptuous dishes that would compliment his grilled chicken.  Severus then picked up a large white glass platter and lifting the BBQ grill lid, moved the chicken to the platter, turned off the grill and set the platter on the table next to the rest of the food.  These simple tasks allowed Severus time to think and compose his emotions.  It was extremely difficult for him to deal with the past.  In fact, he never really had given much time to healing other than physically after Nagini's attack.  He spent a great time relaxing but mostly worked at finding ways to distract himself for 2 years so he didn't HAVE to think about the past.  This was much easier for him rather than come to terms with all that happened for so long in his life.  He and Harry had come to terms but Severus allowed no other issue to "bother him" when it came to his past.

Sitting, he then motioned others to please help themselves to food.  He knew Avalon was hungry and he was as well but his appetite had been somewhat diminished now.  He sat back and steepled his fingers while looking at Harry.

"I have had no contact with that individual.  If they attempt to contact me, I would render them 'incapacitated' and summon one of the aurors.  I have no compunction nor any reason to have any contact with that person."

Severus then turned to Avalon and picking up the large platter of chicken, held it for her so she could take first pick of the sumptuous meat.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:19 pm

A question? Intriguing? Evidently, it's not something that can be just asked, as he's broaching the subject, first. Grilled chicken is only reserved for special people, hm? Also intriguing.

Looking back and forth at them, she notices that they're...all looking at each other. Ah! There we are, she knew a solution would be forthcoming. She finds it interesting that Severus is comfortable enough with her to say that Harry can ask any manner of questions in front of her.

Coming to the table, she can't help but be curious in regards to the various goings on--and there are many undercurrents, as well. Out of the corner of her eye, she keeps track of Severus while she and Harry talk. Small talk is still rather elusive to her, but they muddle their way through it.

Ah, and now for the question. Sliding her eyes between the lads, her brows twitch at how Harry opens. 'Do you remember the Carrows?' Merlin's third nipple, EVERYONE remembers the Carrows. No doubt Severus does, because he was the bloody Headmaster while the Death Eater siblings wrought havoc on the school. Good lord, boy!

Wait, Alecto is out of Azkaban? The hell? The furrow in her brows deepens. Actually, she thinks it's rather a fair question--with Severus being so well-connected and all. He was there at the school to protect the students as best he could during his time as Headmaster, and with that would come many contacts, for good or ill. Plus, indeed, working with her may shed some light on where she might go.

They all have scars. Severus' and Harry's stories have been well-documented by the Daily Prophet. So many have stories that have gone untold. Avalon stays quiet.

There's a good deal of tension as Severus thinks. She has no desire to fill the silence with any sort of babble, so she simply stays quiet.

He won't even say her name. He wants to distance himself from everything of that time, and Avalon doesn't blame him. As she takes a chicken breast, she then carefully takes the platter from her host and offers it to Harry.

"I'm certain there's no need to vindicate yourself, Severus," she says softly, "Harry's only wondering if you've heard any whisperings of anything, through any connections that may be available to you." Instinctively, she tries to bring him back to the present. It feels as though he's presenting himself in front of the Wizengamot. "No doubt you would have said something, if you had. Still, something to listen for, in the future."

She doesn't usually say as much. Still, she feels the need to soothe him, as he's obviously stressed at the merest mention of those times. Once Harry has his chicken, she serves Severus from the platter, as well, smiling warmly. There might be a hint of reassurance to her smile, as well. Gentle with both of them, she makes the realization that she's playing referee, in a way. Such is the story of her life, being able to see many points of view.

"How long has it been since Alecto's been out?" She asks Harry curiously. "Any thoughts on what her motives are? Is she angry? Is she vengeful? Is she subdued? Is she going to come after anyone...?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:12 pm

Severus amazingly allowed Avalon to serve him and fill his plate with other foods from the table.  This was a first for him.  He has never allowed anyone else that familiarity before and he gave Avalon a warm smile of thanks, then his gaze turned back to Harry.......hating him for being there, hating him for bringing up the past, but understanding that there might be a problem now that Alecto was out of Azkaban.

He took a long sip from his iced tea and then folded his hands once again while looking at Avalon.  His eyes softened as he looked at her and he spoke softly but loud enough for Harry to hear while he ate.

"I have no idea how long she has been out or what the details of her release might be, but when I interacted with her there was no doubt that she was insane.......similar to Bellatrix Lestrange.  Bellatrix was her idol and Alecto spoke often of following her lead in all things.  The difference between the two was that Alecto was much more intelligent than Bellatrix.  Bellatrix was a woman who blindly followed.  Alecto would follow but she considered her instructions.  She was a careful and thinking being...........which made her much more dangerous than Bellatrix.  She was cruel and sadistic in the true sense of the word."

He paused for a moment then looked at Harry.

"Motives?  I would have no idea.  Vengeance?  That I would not know.  Her stay in Azkaban would have left her more disturbed and thus more unpredictable.  Who knows what her plans might be, if she even has any plans.  What DOES concern me is that she may indeed come to contact me in time.  After she hears the end of the war stories she will consider me a traitor and would perhaps seek to destroy me.  I would suggest that you inform the Order and pass on this information.  I would be willing to bear witness, once again, to the Order if you so chose and need me to do so.  If you choose to hold such a meeting, then please let me know.  I will share what I can."

Severus then began to eat and the chicken was indeed excellent.  The fruit salad and shrimp was superb as well.

Harry pausing in his meal to ask Severus a few more questions.  He really didn't know the answers and needed to know more.

"You saw her at her trial and your bore witness to her deeds.  Did she say anything to you before being taken away?  Would she know where you live?  I suppose she could find out in time.  Do you want protection?  I will speak with my colleagues and see if an Order meeting is needed.  I do agree with you and that people need to know and have a plan.  Hermione contacted me about this and I came to see you first, before I spoke with anyone else."

He looked over to Avalon, pondered for a moment, then looked back at Severus.

"I am sorry that I had to intrude on your evening and I give you my apologies to you Avalon especially.  This was an important question that involves Severus' and now perhaps your safety.................especially if you choose to hang about with this guy."

He smirked at Severus and then began eating once again.  He loved to poke Severus and he was hoping to lighten the mood.  He knew exactly what he would be doing as soon as he left Severus' home.  He would be heading to The Burrow to speak with Arthur and Molly.  Ginny was there with the baby, James Sirius, and would need to hear this information as well.  He didn't want to scare Avalon, but she didn't seem the sort of woman that frightened easily.  She could probably take care of Severus as well.  He fleetingly hoped that the relationship he was watching unfold, would be a good and lasting one for Severus.  They seemed like an interesting pair that was well-suited to each other.  He hoped fervently that Alecto would not in some way destroy what appeared to be just starting for those two.

"To answer your additional questions, she did not say anything to me after the trial.  As you recall I only had to state that she worked at Hogwarts and that she had abused several of the children there and that she was a follower of Voldemort.  There was no other information requested of me at the time and I volunteered no other information other than what was necessary.  I do not need any protection.  I am quite capable of taking care of myself or anyone else in my charge."

He turned his attention back to his meal and helped himself to seconds of the chicken.

"Minky", Severus called after finishing his meal.  Minky arrived quickly and smiled at the company around her Master.

"Minky has anyone called for me, been by the home or on the property in the past 2 weeks, besides Avalon or Mr. Potter here?"

"No Master Severus.  Nobody comes to the house but the person who delivered our groceries."

"A person delivered our groceries?  When was this Minky?"

"A nice old lady to Minky brought our chicken and vegetables to the door.  She says that she was helping out our Mr. Higgleborough since he was sicks with the pox."

Severus spoke clearly and slowly so as not to alarm Minky but this was an unfortunate development.

"Did the old lady have a name Minky and did she come into the house?"

"She not tells Minky her names but broughts the box of groceries into the kitchen for Minky.  She was an old lady and I gave her a drink of water for her efforts to help Mr. Higgleboroughs out."

"When was she here Minky?"

"She cames today and brought our BBQ foods.  She saids we have a pretty house."

"Did she say anything else?"

"No she leaves and Minky closes the door.  She goes back into town."

"Thank you Minky.  Thank you very much.  If anyone comes to our door or onto our property, do not open the door.  Please notify me immediately.  If I am not at home, please do not answer the door and put up the outer wards around the property now would you please?"

Severus sat back and looked at Avalon and then at Harry.  He watched Minky leave and head back into the kitchen and then spoke softly.

"Mr. Higgleborough does not have the pox.  I spoke to him yesterday and he was fine.  It looks as though we have a mystery on our hands and I am concerned."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:57 am

Watching a change come over Severus, she is glad that her presence seems to settle him. It strikes her that as he speaks, it's almost as though he's doing it for her benefit, and nor Harry's. If the subject wasn't so dire, this would amuse her.

On par with Bellatrix? Grand. That's JUST what they need.

Avalon quickly realizes how dire the situation really is. Alecto is out. Severus testified against her. Ms. Carrow will most likely be coming to call.

At the mention of the Order, Avalon takes a moment to remember--ah! Harry must be talking about the Order of the Phoenix. She heard about it from Aberforth, mainly, though she was never formally offered to be a part of the organization. She was more...peripheral, one might say.

Returning her attention back to Harry, her brows rise. She hadn't even considered her own safety. Though, she supposes she should, now.

"No worries! Really, this is certainly important--and rather imperative, in my opinion. I'm glad you didn't wait on it at all." Time is fickle, as always. There's never enough of it when it is needed.

Oh, hell, and it doesn't surprise her that Severus is being stubborn, turning down extra protection. Brows furrowed, she sighs inwardly, but says nothing just yet. Eating her meal, her ears perk up again when Severus calls for Minky.

Oh, hell. Oh, balls. Listening to their conversation unfold, Avalon slowly sets down her fork. Mystery, her ass!

"Oh! Severus! Your potion!" She jumps up from her seat quickly, "Harry, come on, you'll want to see this!" For all the world, she looks excited, like Severus has magically stumbled upon something interesting and new.

All the while, while heading into the house, she thinks to herself, 'Be smart enough to follow me. Be smart enough to follow me. Be smart enough to SHUT THE HELL UP, NOT SAY A WORD, and follow me.' Harry might not know any different--for all he knows there, MIGHT be a potion in the works that might intrigue him.

Once they're inside, she, indeed, takes them into the room Severus showed her, yesterday--the potions storeroom. Closing the door, warding it, she also dons sunglasses and closes the shutters as though preparing for something bright. Once everything is shut completely, she takes her sunglasses off and takes a small wallet out of her pants pocket.

"Gentlemen..." Producing three bezoars out of the wallet, she gives one to each of them. "Down the hatch." Swallowing her bezoar, she waits for the other two to do the same.

"Hmkay, here's the thing: if Mr. Higgleborough doesn't have the pox, then it's likely safe to say that Alecto was the probably Polyjuiced deliverer of the ingredients of tonight's meal. Agreed? We might try to track him down to see if he's alive. Now, the next steps: Severus, if you can ascertain if the food is, in fact, poisoned, that'll confirm our suspicions. I thought it best if we took the bezoars, anyway, just in case--as that's not something to wait on. If she's not in the vicinity, then perhaps a pair of us could go to St. Mungo's and feign near-death. She'll likely be waiting to hear for such a thing, and if we're not quite dead, yet, she might show up to finish the job. If she IS lurking, waiting to watch us become ill, then we can go back to the patio, put on a show, and draw it out long enough for Aurors to get here. Thoughts?"

Actually, she takes out another bezoar and calls softly for Minky, just in case. When the little one pops into the room, Avalon immediately gives her the other bezoar. "Here we are...take this, sweet one."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:56 pm

Severus needed only to catch Avalon's eye to completely grasp her concerns and take action.  He rose immediately and ran up the walk with her, hoping that Potter followed.  If he didn't, then he was indeed stupid and needed to be taken out of the gene pool..............oh damn.............too late for that!

Running into the ingredient storage room, he swallowed the offered bezoar quickly.  Looking like Potter made it after all.............Minky made it in just in time as well and Severus nodded to Minky to do as Avalon instructed her.  She swallowed the bezoar quickly and blinked up at her Master in fear.

"Minky didn't mean to put her Master in fears for his life.  Minky is a bad elf.......Minky............"  She broke into heart-wrenching sobs and covered her face with her hands.

Severus knelt down and gently placed his hands on her shoulders.

"Minky, you didn't know.  Even I would not have known.  You did nothing wrong Minky.  You are a good house elf and I am pleased with your service. Hush now.  Will you please go out and bring all the food into the kitchen and place it on the kitchen table?  We will not be eating but I want to check the food.  Thank you."

Minky stopped sobbing and looked at Severus with huge red eyes and a tear-stained face.............seeking reassurance, she found what she needed in Severus' soft smile and reassuring gentle squeeze of her shoulders.  Severus also knew that she needed to be of service to bolster her confidence so sending her on a task immediately would also help her feel that she was needed and serving her Master well.

Severus stood and looked at Avalon and Harry with a sneer after Minky left.  His eyes stayed on Harry a moment longer that on Avalons.

"Not a word you two.  I need to keep my reputation as an ass."

They then left the storage room and walked into the kitchen.  Minky had just placed all the food and dishes onto the kitchen table when they arrived.  Harry and Severus held their wands over the food and muttered the same spell...........and the chicken began to glow an eerie green color........but all the rest of the food didn't have the strange glow to it.

"It was the chicken Severus.  Somehow she knew that you would be fixing it personally and thought to nail you specifically..........and like most Death Eaters of the past, could have cared less if the kill count was higher than their specified target.  In fact, I rather think she would have been pleased if she had killed me and Avalon as well.  Three for the price of one.  I'm sure she wasn't planning on that!"

Harry didn't bother to pad his words this time.  He was not happy at this new development and nodded approval at Avalon.

"Fast thinking Avalon.  You may just have saved our lives......."

Severus continued to examine the chicken but needed another wand specific to his potions and to do some experimenting.........but he suspected a slow acting poison and one that would have been indeed fatal.  Standing, he tucked his wand away and nodded while looking at Avalon.

"Indeed.  Thank you!  I appreciate your quick thinking and as observed, you are indeed a potion's mistress....................only a potions mistress would keep bezoars on her person at all times!"

"Severus, I'm heading to The Burrow.  Stay safe.  I'll be in touch."

Harry twisted quickly and apparated out of the kitchen with a bang.

Left in the kitchen was Severus and Avalon.  Minky was starting to put the food away and Severus reminded her to keep the chicken preserved so he could take it down to his lab to analyze.  Turning to Avalon he smiled rather sheepishly.

"I am so sorry that our time together turned out to be so chaotic and dramatic! I had rather planned on a casual dining experience and perhaps a swim in the lake.  If you will allow me a rain check on the swim and another dining experience, I would feel honored."

He was just planning on suggesting they settle down for either a late night cup of cocoa or to accompany Avalon to her home, when an owl zipped into his kitchen window with a letter.  The owl was a tawny brown and Severus didn't immediately recognize it.  Taking the letter from the owls leg he opened it quickly.  The message was short but clear.

::The Burrow.  1 Hour::

He opened a drawer and pulled out a kitchen drawer and removed a quill and ink.  He scribbled on the back of the letter.......::I shall attend.  SS::

The owl left quickly back out the window and into the warm late summer night.

"Well Avalon, I must be leaving shortly.  May I accompany you to your home?  I wish to make sure you arrive safely and to help you in making sure your home is secure."

He turned to her and placed his hand on her upper arm and grasped her gently with a fondness that she would surely notice, then he removed his hand.

"I do hope we have the chance to spend time together again, soon, sans the drama."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:50 pm

Ah. House Elf drama. That would be something that Avalon would have to deal with, as well, if she were to find one. Wondering why on earth Severus is making that face, she tilts her head to the side curiously. Looking at Harry, a bit nonplussed, she sees nothing wrong with being kind to a House Elf.

As the lads check the food, Avalon stays true to who she is and munches on shrimp and egg rolls as soon as the coast is clear. Delicious. Surreptitiously licking a bit of sausage from between her molars, she watches the other two quietly.

Indeed, to have killed Severus Snape and Harry Potter would be quite the feather in Alecto's cap. At the thanks, she smiles and shrugs, "I'm here to help." She'd debate on whether only potions masters and mistresses carry bezoars, from her experience with the war, but now isn't the time, and she doesn't want to be pedantic.

Brows rising as Harry pops out of sight, she blinks. Ah, alone, again. Smiling softly, shakes her head, "It's all right, Severus. No need to apologize. The situation is certainly out of anyone's control."

Her head turns at the appearance of an owl. Ah, business... Waiting patiently, she certainly doesn't take offense. This is Severus' life we're talking about, and that is becoming important, the more time she spends with him.

At the offer of walking her home and wards and whatnot, she can only smile, especially with the addition of the hand on her shoulder.

"I'd enjoy another go at spending time together. As far as arriving home, I can Apparate us there--that might be safest. Also, my home is unplottable, so that should set your mind at ease." Looking slightly up at him, she tilts her head to the side. Perhaps its her Slytherin nature, but...

"We can catch her, you know. I can't help but wonder if she's out there, watching your house and waiting for something to happen. We could play opossum, and if she's vain enough, she might try to come in for the kill while we're acting sick. We can get her, then--if your Order friends are at the ready, they can close in on her from behind while she gets closer to us. Or...as I said earlier, we could go to St. Mungo's and do somewhat of the same thing. Lure her in by leaking a story about how we're, 'recuperating,' and wait for her to come to us and finish the job." She states the ideas simply and matter-of-factly, as though planning an outing, rather than a rather dangerous operation.

The war has taught her many things, though she's been crafty to begin with. Necessity is always the mother of invention, and being a Muggle-born has been interesting, avoiding Death Eaters and the Ministry, alike. Though, essentially they were the same entity, technically.

"Also, a bit off-topic, but if you could ask Minky if she has a friend that's looking for a place of employment, I find myself in need of a House Elf for my menagerie." Rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet, hands behind her back, she smiles softly.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:17 pm

Severus nodded and gave Avalon a knowing smile in acknowledgement of her wishing to see him again.  He was pleased by this and the thought of seeing her again gave him a willingness to live a full life filled with promise and joy................something he hadn't felt in a very, very long time.  But now, to the matter at hand.

Listening to her thoughts on strategy, he also had similar thoughts but did not plan on doing any of this alone.......he now knew that he had an entire Order of well-trained aurors and others who could protect him and anyone he cared about.

"Those are good thoughts Avalon and ones which we may employ.  I am sure that the house is being watched..........perhaps it has been for a while if Alecto is not working alone.  I have no idea.  But, the meeting I am attending will perhaps answer those questions.  That meeting will also come up with a plan..............a strategy if you will, for dealing with this situation.  I feel confident that we can come up with a plan to keep ourselves safe and to discover if she is acting alone or if there is a larger plan behind her actions.  But come, I will see you home and check your wards.  You lead the way please.  But first, I must change.  I will only be a moment.  Please check with Minky to see if she knows of a house elf needing a family."

With that, he left the kitchen and walked through the living area, through the foyer and up the stairs to the second floor.  Walking down the hallway and entering his bedroom suite, he quickly changed into black wool slacks and a black shirt with silver stays.  He took a black robe from a nearby hook and placed it around his shoulders.  He stood briefly in front of the body-length mirror and gazed upon his reflection for a moment.  He fully looked the part, once again, of the potions master of Hogwarts.  He hadn't planned on wearing these particular clothes for a while............but here he was.  Turning, he left his room and headed downstairs to Avalon.

Upon reaching her, he smiled down at her.  

"You lead the way."

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:55 pm

Oh, indeed...she hadn't considered that Alecto mightn't be alone. Avalon rather hoped that any other Death Eater ties might all be in Azkaban or so deep in hiding that they wouldn't dare raise their heads, again. Seeing as Ms. Carrow has some power to her, others might be emboldened and rally to her. Grand, indeed...

Thinking about the meeting, she can't help but want to come. However, she knows it isn't her place so she doesn't even attempt to ask. Perhaps as the members of the secret society come to know her, that will change, but she will be patient. The least she can do is suggest plans of action for Severus to relay to the others. Being a rather brilliant tactician, she usually keeps her ideas to herself, unless others are willing to listen--or she gets frustrated enough to verbally hit them over the head.

Nodding at the plan, she goes to find Minky. With a large smile, she crouches down and sits on her heels, arms folded on her knees. Asking softly if she knows of any House Elves needing a family, the little one's eyes grow large, and Avalon's brows rise reflexively. They really do have large eyes... It's rather creepy, but the Witch will get over it. Hopefully. Minky assures her that she will ask her contacts, if Severus will allow her to go out. Grinning widely, Avalon reaches out to shake her hand, and the House Elf nearly falls over herself to shake it, in return, almost bursting into tears. Chuckling, the Witch straightens.

Just then, Severus appears, looking quite dapper. Black and white. They do make quite the pair. Coming close, she puts a hand in the crook of his arm, noting his energy and scent. Pleasing.

However, before she allows the thought to fully register, she twists, Apparating them both within the wards on the outside of her home. Facing the side of it, the river is on the left, and it runs swift, deep, and dark. A cliff wall runs steep and tall right down into the water, no bank whatsoever. Hardy trees cling to the rocks, and the forest continues along the top of the cliffs and hills around the house. On the right of where they're facing, is the meadow, ringed by trees. The stone cottage is in the middle of the forest, and is her sanctuary.

"It's hard to find, even without it being unplottable," she smiles. "Apologies for Apparating us outside instead of inside, but the menagerie isn't fond of the cracking noise."

Even though she's quite sure of her wards, she'll let him check, for his own peace of mind. Indeed, she's indulging him. Walking straight for the house, the barn is on the far side, so she lets them in through a secret door that's in plain sight, hidden in the rocks.

"Here we are," she says to Severus, and many clawed feet can be heard scuttling over the floor shortly after. "Kids! Behave yourselves," she says in a playfully warning tone. "Yes, there's a new friend for you. Be nice, now. So...the Great Dane is Duke, the Borzoi is Turk, the two Pugs are Pavlov and Sigmund--but they're both females, so I call them Lovey and Ziggy. The cat is Madam. You've met the two owls, and Jove is in the barn."

Showing him through the lower levels, the river rock and natural tones of the house make it seem larger than it is. The large bay window seat looks out over the black river in the more private living area. Crossing to the far end, she leads him through the tunnel to check on Jove while Severus checks on the wards. "Ah! More guests!" She chuckles, looking at the small herd of Thestrals warmly--and there's even one hippogriff in the nest of hay.

"Did you wish to inspect the upper levels, as well?" She asks him simply. "Also, seeing as there's about fifty-five minutes until your meeting, can I interest you in something warm to drink? Hot chocolate, apple cider, and tea are all plentiful, and I suppose I could scrounge up some coffee, if you'd like...?"

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:29 pm

Apparating neatly outside of Avalon's home further impressed Severus.  Her magic was clean and accurate.  As he gazed around the grounds by her house, he was very impressed once again.  The grounds were stunningly beautiful.  The sound of the river was soothing even in it's quick current. The nearby forest setting was filled with the scent of pine and spruce..............rejuvenating!  

He was just about to tell Avalon how beautiful the grounds were for her home when she began to walk through a hidden door in the rock wall. Brilliant and unplottable!  The only curiosity he had was.............menagerie?  

As they walked through the hidden door he barely heard what Avalon was saying when he was assailed by 4-legged beings that seemed thrilled that she was home AND that she was not alone.  The dogs were as varied as he could have ever have possibly imagined.  He looked from the Great Dane to what looked like a very hairy greyhound to the pugs and then over to Avalon.  The dogs seemed very friendly, happy and well cared for.  The hairy greyhound seemed to take a particular liking to Severus and stayed by him while after the brief introduction, while the other dogs scampered away to play.

"Nice to meet you Turk.  Tell your companions it was nice to meet them as well."

Severus then followed Avalon through the well-appointed home and then through a tunnel.  This was an interesting house without a doubt.  At the end of the tunnel, he abruptly came out into a large building.............a barn of sorts.  The smells that accompanied their entrance into the large building were fresh and filled with clean animal smells.  He always loved the smell of a barn and he inhaled deeply at the fresh, earthy smell.  His gaze immediately fell on the thestrals.  He was impressed............and surprised.   Thestrals rarely felt comfortable around humans and here was what could only be called a small herd of them.

He walked forward, enthralled...........and muttered softly, "Outstanding Avalon."  

Walking further into the barn, he stopped a short way away from the thestrals and looked at their dark eyes and skeletal bodies.  They were stunningly beautiful in a dark and gaunt way.  He rummaged through his memory of all that he knew about them and then turned suddenly, realizing that she could see them, as could he.  He wondered what had led to her being able to see them and then he also realized that she might be wondering the same thing of him.

"Perhaps you will tell me your story some day.  They are magnificent but also a of portent death and ill fate.  And in fair exchange, some day I may tell you my story as well."

He felt a small nudge at his arm and Turk was at his side, "smiling" up at him.

He gave the dog a gentle pat on the side of his head and then turned back to Avalon.

"Yes.  I wish to double check your wards.  Not because I doubt you, but because I am aware of the abilities that the Death Eater's have in defeating wards, enchantments, shields and spells.  I wish to double check that they haven't compromised your efforts.  I shall return."

Severus turned then and went back to the home while Avalon tended to the menagerie.  He walked through the downstairs areas that were available to him with his wand out.  He had spoken a spell after taking out his wand and it glowed with an almost neon blue light as he scanned the rooms, windows and each corner of each room.  Downstairs was clear.  He found a staircase and walked upstairs, the wand still glowing a blue light.  The upstairs was cozy and as he entered each room, he felt and smelled the feminine aura's throughout.  He walked down the hallway to the last door and walked in.  This had to be Avalon's private area.  He felt somewhat uncomfortable invading her private area and he worked hard to ignore the clothing and assorted feminine apparel he encountered as well.  He noticed that there was a reading room off of her sleeping area and it was filled with amazing books........collectors, potions, old spell books that looked like first editions.  He had to tear his eyes away from the books and not get "sucked in" to reading.  He had to leave.  His wand still was glowing blue so there were no breaches in the upstairs either.  Turk, who had accompanied him nudged him out of the room, also seeming to know that he should not be loitering.  He could spend some real quality time in this room...............as he left, he took one last look at the huge 4-poster wooden-carved bed with the canopy.............and he left quickly with Turk on Severus' tail.

Entering the main living area once again he pointed his wand at the ceiling to reach the attic and the wards were still intact.  He repeated his spell towards the basement and again, the wards were intact.  Good.  Perhaps Avalon's home and grounds were safe.  This would do a lot to relieve Severus' mind as he already felt guilty about involving her in his life that seemed to contain never ending trials and pain.

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Re: A Time For A Change

Post by CallaHaruka on Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:02 am

Avalon can only smile as Turk takes a liking to Severus. Thankfully, it will only take a quick charm over the potions master's clothing to spruce him up--Turk is a great, big, hairy beast, and with him being pure white...

Good, sweet Merlin, Avalon hopes that Harry won't think those are HER hairs. Yes, she'll tend to Severus before he Apparates away.

She's glad to see that her human companion seems to take well to the animals. Relieved, really. Her animals are her kids, and she has a hard time being without four-legged critters around.

When she hears him speak, she's giving her horse, Jove, a pat. She sometimes wonders if he can see the thestrals, or if he can just sense they're there by scent. He's never been bothered by them, and they're of course fine with Jove. Watching Severus get closer to the herd, she knew he would be able to see them, but she is curious as to how long he's been able to see them.

Blinking as Severus turns toward her, she smiles a bit in regards to her, 'story.' Yes, she knows what he's referring to. Not giving anything away, she nods, "Indeed...perhaps."

Listening to him speak about Death Eaters and their efforts, her smile widens a little more. "As you like. I'll put the kettle on."

As he takes his leave, she sets to work on the area, refreshing the bedding and whatnot, making sure everyone has enough food and water. Magic makes everything an absolute breeze, but it would still be nice to have a House Elf for the animals to have company. Plus, there would be added security, and it really would be nice to have dinner ready for her when she comes home. She might have an easier time balancing the shop, that way.

When she returns to the main house, she enters and does a bit more housework, there, as well, magically cleaning the animals'  bedding. Her home is always presentable, but she likes to keep on top of it, anyway. Satisfied, she moves to the kitchen and puts the kettle on.

Out of the corners of her eyes, she can see most of her menagerie--mostly lounging about, now that they're content their mistress is home--she notices that one is missing. Blinking, she turns around and heads to the living area...to see Turk leaning affectionately against Severus' leg.

"I see you have a new friend," she says lightly, amused. "Did you want to go out and inspect the grounds, as well? I'll have something hot for you to drink when you get in. Ah, and if you go beyond the wards, I'll come get you--I refresh and change them...often. Weekly. I learned a spell that has a repelling charm on it. When people get too close to the borders, the wards radiate a specific kind of energy that causes the sympathetic nervous system to fire--the fight, flight, or freeze response. Most hightail it back the way they came. However, if they persist in coming forward, the wards will actually cause their heart rate to increase until they feel like they're having a panic or heart attack...and they very well might." She says all this matter-of-factly, as though going over his options for warm beverages. "Even though you know where this place is, you don't know the method of getting back in. So...I'll come get you." Here, she's a bit sheepish, as she fully realizes the extent of her wards. If tested, they could very well prove deadly to someone trying to enter by force, and she's rather all right with that.

She's unapologetic, but still, she realizes the severity of her wards. Indeed, she put a great deal of thought into them, and there's a definite edginess to that kind of magic from her. Well, truth be told, there is an edginess to her magic, period.

"I won't tell you what happens to people who try to Floo in, unauthorized," she smiles, a bit chagrined. Oh, yes, she is inventive. Her Slytherin cunning shines through amply in many regards. That's the Morgana in her. At a thought, she chuckles softly, "Do you remember when you asked me what my specialties are, as far as magic goes?" In a small gesture, she opens her hands, indicating the house, in general. Wards. Wards are her specialty, as well as protective magic on a broader scale.

It's no secret that the Weasleys were all part of the Order, as such, she doesn't mind saying, "Bill Weasley was--and perhaps still is--a curse-breaker for Gringott's, as you probably know. I'd ask you to tell him, 'hello,' for me when you go to your meeting, later, but he has no idea who I am. Mm, and it's probably best it stays that way." Another story.

"So, what can I make for you?" She wonders if Severus will go outside, after all, or if he'll choose to stay inside. Either way, she'll have something for him to drink, shortly.

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