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MOOD: Friendly, risky, confused

OUTFIT: Suit (click!), Mask (click!)

LOCATION: Ballroom/dining
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INTERACTIONS: Angelique, Einar, Kiara

MENTIONS: Theo, Kaz
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TL;DR: He started speaking to Angelique, was interrupted by Einar, and then was again interrupted by Kiara. He's playing nice, getting close to potential.
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BELLAMY
A tall man lingered along the corners of the ballroom. He had excused himself from dinner early, not long before the plates had begun to be cleared, and returned to vacating tables that no longer beckoned him for social interaction. His face, when fully seen, would convey to many that he was not well, that he was battling illness as he stood and watched the sea of Ilvermorny natives chat, dance to the quiet music that lingered, and mosey along to their sleeping quarters. Luckily, his black and cream harlequin mask covered the sheen of sweat that would normally shine in the many lights and the pallor of his skin, so light he might as well be see-through. He leaned heavily on a black cane, capped with a gold tip and a gold handle. His dependence on it made him seem shorter than he was, even in his heeled dress shoes. His velvet suit jacket, taupe and perfectly fit to his body, sang of money that one likely wouldn't be able to afford on a teacher's salary. It paired nicely when worn with his white button up and bookended by a black bowtie and black trousers.

If you didn't know any better, you would assume the man was Faron Bellamy: world famous auror, Frenchman, recently employed teacher. Minus the slight disheveled appearance, he was exactly what you would've seen if you met the real Bellamy and exactly what you were familiar seeing in the papers if you caught a glimpse at his magical portraits. You would never suspect that this body, this appearance, was merely a puppet for something larger. The greatest disguise, undetected by most eyes. The mind of a persuasive leader now lay behind the body of a charming, familiar face. His own face, his real face, couldn't be more different from the one he wore now. A deeper complexion, a wider and flatter nose, wider and plumper lips, straight and black hair. The one similarity between Faron Bellamy and Aadesh Pawar was their eyes. Deep, dark brown eyes peered from behind the mask, scanning individual faces, observing interactions, searching. Searching for something he would never speak of. And alert, ready for a threat.

A tall, curvy woman walked passed him, demanding his gaze. Her long, dark hair spilled down her back, broken up by stark streaks of silver, giving her an enchanting appearance even with parts of her face covered. Her bare skin sported floral tattoos that would draw the eye if her natural beauty wasn't already striking. He had studied the faculty who were accompanying representatives form other schools, learning who could be a potential ally and who could be a potential threat. He made careful attempts to memorize dress, masks, appearance, and match them with their names when introductions were made. It would be important to start early. Just as she was about to breeze passed him, he took a lumbering step forward. "Excusez-moi?" He approached, flashing his pearly white teeth. Another think Faron Bellamy and Aadesh Pawar had in common? A charisma that could not be denied. "I hope you don't mind me interrupting your night. I'm Professor Bellamy. I attended Beauxbaton and had originally planned on applying to work there before I received an offer from Hogwarts that I could not refuse. My heart misses home, and I would be remiss not to meet you..." He extended the hand that was not clutching his cane, his voice trailing off and his straight brows raising expectantly. She blushed and shook his hand, offering her name in return. "Ah, Angelique. Très heureux. You could call me Faron, if you'd like, though no one does. I suppose Bellamy has always suited me better." He grinned playfully. "Should I be warning my students of you and yours? You all seem enchantingly beautiful, I wouldn't want Mr. West to be distracted from his shot at winning."

A voice from behind him distracted him from his pleasant, new conversation with Angelique. He grinned at the booming voice as an older man approached him, doing a qucik mental rundown of its owner. Birger Einar, Durmstrang, also a former auror. Though Einar had retired before Bellamy entered the force and served for a different country, Einar's work had also reached national attention, some claiming he was of legendary status. The two shared such similarities, it would be foolish for him to be dismissed. The older man walked towards him with his own cane. "Einar, my friend!" He returned the greeting, beaming at him as if he were an old drinking buddy he had known for decades. He followed the wolf's gaze to his own student, who was carefully leaving the crowed. "I am just beginning to know my students, a wizarding tournament is such a strange way to begin my teaching career. Mr. West is already pleasantly surprising, I have great faith in him. I admire the tenacity he has already shown. If the goblet has chosen him to compete, there is no doubt in my mind that he can take the win for Hogwarts." He turned back and chuckled heartily at Einar's offer. A drink? Innocent for now. But it had the potential of becoming dangerous. In an effort to properly ration his Polyjuice Potion intake, he had hardly taken enough to last him a full night. While he was interested in starting his web of connections tonight, he would have the time to stay up late, yammering and drinking. Too much drink also threatened for a slip of the tongue, dropping information he should not share or should not know. He could already feel the remnants of his potion straining to maintain his current appearance. But... It could be advantageous.

He tilted his head downwards, a mischievous glint in his brown eyes. "I fear if your drink is not strong enough to keep me from teaching tomorrow, I may indulge in too many and be too exhausted by morning!" He laughed again, filling the room with his jovial hoot. "Though, if I do accept, I insist you invite Professor Chimere to join us. She has been so pleasant this evening, I wouldn't dare end our conversation. I believe I saw Professor Vinogradov sneak off not too long ago. Perhaps we should hunt him down and us chaperones can have a soiree of our own. I'm sure we could hunt down a nice bottle of wine to ent—"

"Bellamy?" Another interruption. Not that he minded, the growing cast of characters meant more chances to recruit himself to their good sides, though it would require more focus to balance his appearance and the conversation if he needed to start relying on his own magic. He had barely turned and caught sight of a vaguely familiar girl with dark hair and stunningly beautiful dress before she practically attacked him with a hug. The sudden impact and extra weight sent him teetering backwards, his hand almost slipping from its cane and his free arm searching for the comfort and safety of the wall. Not finding it there, he wrapped it around the girl to use her as leverage to steady him on his feet. As soon as he was stable, he removed his arm awkwardly, and she withdrew from her hug. She looked just as perplexed as he felt, though his mouth had gone dry and he found himself struggling to find proper words to speak to her that weren't 'what the fuck?' She beat him to the punch, when she finally gave him context as to who she was, Kiara... It rang a bell, but didn't conjure an image in his mind of how he knew her. Kiara... Kiara. As soon as she uttered the Sinclaire name, his memory sparked. Shit! He silently cursed himself. Aadesh had spent so long worrying about remembering everything important he could about Bellamy's significant relationships, including Adrian Sinclaire, that he had forgotten to check in on Sinclaire's significant relationships. It had come down to the wire that he had to rush to America as Bellamy, that he hadn't looked into the other Sinclaires. Just his luck that one would be here tonight.

"I must’ve grown since you saw me last." She supplied him with the lame excuse and he could do nothing but nod along, hoping to excuse any suspicion their onlookers might have. "Comme-ci, comme ça." Bellamy shrugged, a small smile on his lips. "Please forgive me, Kiara, it's been a trying year and a half. I'm practically losing my mind. You've become a beautiful young woman in that time, and I have become retired." He laughed wistfully. "There was an accident, in my last case in Austria. I can't work in the field anymore, this old thing—" He raised his cane slightly off the ground. "—slows me down by too much. So I am teaching! As I was telling your professor, Defense Against the Dark Arts was filled at Beauxbaton, so I am employed at Hogwarts." He laughed slightly, then frowned apologetically, his dark eyes searching Kiara's sparkling blue gaze. "My illness and change of career has kept me distracted the last few months, I hope I did not offend you. I hardly know where my mind is at. This is the last place I expected to be as well. I haven't even spoken to Adrian regarding my condition." The young woman's embarrassed flush was fading from her cheeks, and he offered her his freehand and squeezed it reassuringly. "I haven't forgotten you, mon étoile." In his time with Bellamy, Aadesh had discerned that my star was a favorite pet name of his to use when speaking to the children in his life, mostly fans, but he had a hunch that Kiara may be familiar with it. If she wasn't, it was no sleep lost for him, it was still a sweet pet name to diffuse any hanging awkwardness.

"I do not want to be rude to my other guests," He said, eyeing Angelique and Birger, "But, I do wish to know how are you? And Adrian?"
he got murder in his eyes
He wore the silence like a mask
now he's making up for
all the violence in his past
code by valen t.
 




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    You are worth finding. Worth knowing. Worth loving. You and all your one million layers. I know you think yourself to be full of poems and rage but you are more than your anger. I miss the girl who was really happy.

    - Your big bro






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Clara scowled as Ricky told her all about the lessons (that she didn't ask for) his professor (that she didn't care to know) could help her learn. Did her former friend really think that she would believe anything he had to say? "If he's your professor I hope he is smart," She sneered at Ricky. "Though I'm not sure how much faith I have if he's your teacher." Cosmo told her to be nice, but she ignored him in favor of glaring at the curly haired traitor before her.

Seriously, who did he think he was? Approaching her like nothing happened between them, flirting with her just to get under her skin, and now asking for her help? Surely the one brain cell he and Cosmo shared would warn him that Clara would go to great lengths to sabotage anything he did before she would ever think to help. But what if he was being sincere? She did have an interest in learning Occlumency. No, she'd be an idiot to put her faith in Ricky again. He was smarter than she gave him credit for, and she would be remiss to underestimate him twice.

A realization formed in her head, and she grinned, baring her teeth in a way that was almost threatening. A dimpled grin stretched across her face similarly to that of the Cheshire Cat, and her blue eyes flicked from her brother to Ricky.

"I will help you." She decided. Next to her, Cosmo looked at her with scrutiny. She didn't shrink under it, and turned to look at him head on with her eyebrows raised.

"You will? Why?" He asked.

Clara scoffed. "Out of the goodness of my heart, obviously." She rolled her eyes. "No. I will help because Ricky is in no position to make promises and offers on other's behalves. We'll find the house elf and my real reward will be watching him sweat it out when he tells his professor what he's done."

Cosmo looked as if he'd swallowed a rather disgusting bug on accident. Clara didn't take long to revel in it, instead turning her attention to Ricky. "Now, let's get a move on, shall we? The sooner we find this elf, the sooner you are humbled and the sooner I can go back to my evening."

Once her brother and Ricky hugged and said their goodbyes, Clara's smile fell into an expression of indifference. She observed Ricky boredly. "Do you have anything other than 'following a house elf' to go off of? What's your plan? Or do you need me to do everything just as you always have?" This wasn't true; Ricky could certainly pull his own, but she wasn't about to pay him a compliment.



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© weldherwings.





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    I don't understand muggle music. The 12 days of Christmas is completely unrealistic. There is no way that you're still accepting gifts from someone after 4 days of birds. Anyways, happy holidays. Don't forget my gift.
    - Yours truly






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Cosmo wasn't sold right away on the idea that Clara would help his friend - their friend, if she would stop being so stubborn - just because she had a change of mind. No, he had every inkling to be wary because as soon as she grinned like the devil's reincarnate that she was, she went on to explain that she was going to revel in the joy that she would get from Ricky's embarrassment. The Winter twin sighed, and gave a look to Ricky.

"Take as long as you can. The other students are probably safer with her being entertained following around an elf than they are if she's on the prowl looking for someone else to torment."

Clara placed a hand on her chest in false offense. "I do not torment."

"You do me." Cosmo muttered. He turned to Ricky and gave him a big smile, then wrapped an arm around his friend as his way of saying farewell. "Good luck, your girlfriend's been in a mood all day." He whispered, only loud enough for Ricky to hear. When he pulled back, he gave a goodbye at regular volume, then turned and strode away, tucking his hands into his pockets as he looked for his new friends. Ricky and Clara were enough trouble on their own, but together they could be quite the handful. And with one of them being mad at the other, who knew what their night was going to look like. Merlin, I hope they don't find themselves with the likes of that Vasu boy.

Thankfully before long, Raphael and Gavy found them. Cosmo grinned at them, then watched as his sister and Ricky walked off. He gave his newer friends an apologetic smile. "Sorry about them, they're doing a thing," He explained with a dismissive wave of his hand. "But hey! You two are champions! Amazing, right? Let's find the others! I'm sure either my sister or Ricky will join us later. I'm interested in this snack cart of yours."



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© weldherwings.
 
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    I changed. It's hard for me to know who I was before all of this. I molded myself into a pretender. Now, every other version of me feels fake.

    - Written about herself






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After dinner and the names were announced, Amity made herself busy with helping the other staff and elves clean up the messes that had been made. It allowed for her to keep an eye on some of the newer students as well as do something useful. She didn't have high stakes in the competition so she didn't care too much about getting intel like some of the other students and teachers did; maybe she would grow to feel differently. If she was bored it was fun to pry a little bit under the guise of a cheery and overly happy woman. But she was more concerned about keeping her identity from everyone hidden.

Her slip up with Cha-Cha earlier hadn't gone unnoticed. He didn't draw any attention to it, but a sly dog like him wouldn't miss the translation mistake she had made while talking to him. There would be more encounters between them soon, and she needed to be prepared. Normally the next step she would take would be dipping inside people's minds to see what they thought of her and craft a carefully manipulated response to get the outcome she wanted, but that wasn't something she did often, and Cha-Cha would certainly feel her if she attempted. No, her best bet would be to come clean and hope that he didn't hate her enough to turn her in.

She plotted and schemed while she helped some of the other professors tidy up. She waved her wand and scrubbed some dishes while she listened to some of the students talk and converse. The twins she had seen earlier were talking to one of Cha-Cha's students, the secondary. The one she presumed to be the brother looked a little conflicted about leaving the other two alone, and the curly haired boy looked pleasantly surprised by whatever outcome had been chosen. The girl, however, radiated barely concealed anger. The auras above her revealed that she was deeply hurt, but not on the verge of a panic attack like she had been during their dance. Something had changed. Ricky, on the other hand, had colors revealing hope and anxiety. It wasn't hard to put together that the two of them had been fighting. Perhaps not tonight, but the space between them was probably feeding into their nerves.

But they were students, so she didn't care too much. It was what was said about Cha-Cha that made Amity smirk as she magically sanitized the wooden tables in the great hall.

"He and I are sort of close. He's my favorite professor and I think you might like him if you got to know him. Plus he's really smart. For a price he might be willing to take you on as a student to learn Occulumency." the younger boy had said. The girl's snarky response made Amity wonder if Cha-Cha would take her on just because she was a pain.

Amity moved on to the other students. Most of the new ones had left already, but there were still a few lingering around. Most of the groups were in bunches of twos and threes, and not all that surprising, most of the visitors were choosing to hang out with their competition rather than the Ilvermorny students that would be staying in place the school year. She hoped that her other students wouldn't be left out, but she supposed it made sense. She herself had been rather shy back at school, she wouldn't have been brave enough to take the lunge to meet new people. Hell, she probably wouldn't have even gone as a secondary and left Hogwarts.


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© weldherwings.
 








Raphael

Beauxbatons Champion







Mood:


Pumped






Location:


Ilvermorny






Outfit:






Interactions:


Gavy and Cosmo










Raphael watched in wonder as Cosmo's sister and Ricky turned away as if they were in their own world. He couldn't blame them. They did look a little busy. He wanted to ask about what they were up to but Cosmo drew the attention back to the food and he was ready to fill his belly again. He looked down at the blonde next to him and smiled. He dramatically rubbed his belly. "I could go for a snack. Gavy, you gotta show us somewhere good!"

People were filtering out of the Great Hall which helped make it easier to take in the size of the place. To a person who didn't look like he paid attention to the finer details they wouldn't think that Raphael would notice the big and little things but he did. Their great hall was larger than the one at his school even though he was aware they probably had the same amount of students. There were more windows in there than there were back at home though. This was probably because the weather in whatever a Missouri was was different than the weather at Beauxbaton. Or maybe he just found the school too hot. Even though it was snowy outside he was uncomfortably warm from all the bodies and heat inside the school. He had the strong urge to go outside and plop himself in the snow to make snow angels until his body went numb with frostbite.

He watched Gavy's hair turn a new color. It looked pink in color and it made him smile. "That's sick!" He awed. He didn't normally touch girls but a hand reached out and he gingerly took a strand between his fingers. "I wish mine could do that! This is so cool. I always wondered what my hair would look like for all of my emotions. I bet you had so many friends before you started school here." Raphael meant no harm by this especially since he didn't know Gavy's dark history. To him it was simple. Cool hair meant more friends. Even if the friends in question would have been between the ages of seven and ten.
















Ricardo

Castelobruxo Secondary







Mood:


Nervous






Location:


Ilvermorny






Outfit:






Interactions:


Clara










Ricky wasn't as smooth as he thought he was. Clara immediately picked up on the empty promise like the clever witch he was and even though it wasn't his place he felt a rush of pride swell up in his chest. She was always a fast thinker and quick on her feet. But the threatening and alluring smile she gave him did nothing to make him regret his actions. They were paid tenfold when she finally looked at him with something other than disgust. Kiara's earlier comment about the twins being attractive was a severe understatement. Both were pretty but Ricky had always felt drawn towards Clara in a way that was inexplainable. Cha-Cha was hopeless like he was so maybe he would understand the invisible string theory. Cosmo might believe in soulmates. He might believe Ricky if he told him he thought Clara was his. Cosmo leaned in and breathed a goodbye that Ricky wanted to roll his eyes and argue at but instead pinkened. These damn twins were going to kill him.

He knew she wouldn't take it but he extended his arm out for Clara to take the same way he always did when they were not on the verge of killing each other. He hoped his smile looked real. For all the animosity on her side it felt real to him. He felt his heart sing when she agreed to help him even if it was just to see it backfire. "Right. Here's the rundown." He lowered his voice and leaned in a small fraction to talk to her so she could hear him. He tried not to focus on the enticing smell of her perfume or the way some of her soft hair tickled the side of his cheek. "We are to follow an elf and figure out where it is delivering a bottle of wine to. Don't look at me, I don't know why either. I think my professor just wants to get his dick wet. After we figure out where the room is, I am to meet him and Lis at the library."

Ricky wasn't sure how he was going to pull all of this off. Step one was finding the elf but he didn't even know where....

"I see her!" He whisper shouted. He grabbed Clara's soft hand and drug her with him to hide behind a couple of Ilvermorny students. One of the boys opened their mouths to flirt with her but he sent a scathing glare that suggested they were together. They weren't romantically together but the other man didn't need to know that. The interaction was just long enough for Ricky to catch sight of the elf as she walked out of the Great Hall.

"That was her! How do you think we should follow her?" He asked Clara. He knew he was still holding her hand but pretended to not notice it. To see how long it would take for her to snatch it away from him. Hand holding in the past wasn't common but when he shared a room with her so often it wasn't like they were worried about such a little thing.




 


  • Naomi Eun Hai (De Vries)
    Beauxbatons - Female - Muggle Born - Secondary


    Kiara’s kind words followed by the warm gesture of the gentle hand squeeze she bestowed upon Naomi brought a sweet smile to her pale pink lips that surprisingly did not fade when her classmate made a sudden and swift departure. Naomi was an understanding soul and knew the excitement of seeing one who hasn’t been seen in quite some time, thus she did not think anything wrong of Kiara excusing herself to greet another. Sitting at the table alone for several minutes longer Naomi took her sweet time carefully folding the unused napkins nearby into an array of origami animals. By the time the pale haired young woman stood to depart her place at the table she left in her wake a tiny zoo of folded creatures ranging from cranes, to bears, to giraffes and many more, each perched around the place settings and trays of food. As she stood to leave she turned to her little napkin zoo and nodded her head in farewell. She knew good and well that the house elves would undo her work soon enough but that never made it any less worth doing as it brought her a sense of peace and accomplishment to bring even a moment of beauty to something as mundane as a simple white napkin.

    Turning away from her folded work Naomi began to stroll through the crowd, her mask no longer on her face but rather hanging loosely by its ties from her wrist. Upon her other wrist a thin floral patterned bracelet was coiled, the latch hidden beneath a jeweled flower that was normally colorless but was beginning to smoke with red. “Oh dear.” Naomi breathed softly and her simple stroll through the crowd turned into elegant yet rushed movements. She did her best not to bump into others but knew she accidentally shouldered several individuals during her rushed departure. “I’m sorry.” She called over her shoulder to those she ran into before fleeing from the banquet hall and following the gems of her flower bracelet, the crimson growing brighter on the petals that indicated which direction she should follow. To any unfamiliar with the trinket it might just seem like she was running blind through a new school, which in a sense she was, but with this bracelet to guide her she knew she would find the cause for her worry soon enough.

    Tearing through hallways and corridors Naomi looked down at her bracelet as it now glowed scarlet in the direction of the door right in front of her. Reaching out with a firm grasp the petite young woman carefully pulled the thick wooden door open, its creaking echoing across the stone halls, and peered inside. “Bumblebarb, what have you done?” She breathed and looked at the mess of luggage that was spread across the room where the house elves had clearly temporarily stored the students things before moving them to their assigned rooms. All across the room squirt cases and crates were wide open with different items spread out, clearly having been thoroughly investigated by someone, or better something, on the hunt for particular items. “Bumblebarb, where are you?” Naomi’s soft voice called out, clearly not wanting to draw attention to what had become of the luggage and trying to figure out how to fix it without upsetting anyone.

    To her right she spotted a thick grey and white sweater bobbing from side to side as something clearly was caught within it. “There you are!” She gasped and reached for the sweater, pulling it up from the ground to find her beloved niffler clinging to the sleeves clearly trying to removes the shiny buttons that were sewn into the cuffs of the sweater. “No little one, that will ruin it.” She scolded in a gentle tone as she pulled the tiny creature away from the buttons despite its clear protests. “Now let’s see all we need to return to the others.” She sighed as she clearly was well aware that her darling niffler had been on the hunt for the shiniest of objects among the students things. Turning his tiny body upside down a waterfall of objects began to descend from Bumblebarb’s pouch. Once the items stopped falling Naomi looked down at the pile and spotted a silver key on top. It was the key to Bumblebarb’s enclosure. “You little sneak. Stealing from the poor house elves that were trying to feed you. You should be ashamed.” Naomi lectured her little friend as she held him up in front of her. Her tone while light and gentle held a level of authority that was not normally laced within her words. “You are lucky I love you so much.” She added as Bumblebarb headbutted her thumbs.



    Mentions: OPEN FOR INTERACTIONS!



    TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 
THEODORE WEST
HOGWARTS CHAMPION
Intrigued, Guarded
Ilvermorny - The Corridors
Vasu Aviator Aviator and Chitrita honeycoves honeycoves
Theodore wasn’t entirely sure what he had been expecting from Shiva’s heir, but this was decidedly not it. In a matter of seconds, the younger boy had shifted into a bristling alley cat, the very image of a tacky halloween decoration as Theo dared to encroach on his territory. Easy, he wanted to say, I’m not an enemy yet. But he held his tongue, resolving to lie and wait a moment longer, letting Vasu serve on a platter what normally would’ve required further prying with a deft hand.

It seemed as though Vasu’s mentor had not yet cautioned him on the importance of allies… or if he had, the Koldovstoretz champion had disregarded his counsel entirely. Theodore, on the other hand, was in the process of carefully selecting those he deemed worthy of an investment. Would Vasu Saini prove himself an asset in this competition… or a liability? He mulled over such contemplations as the raven haired boy paraded around in front of him, so easily provoked by Theo’s comment that he had to wonder if there was not some sort of attachment between Vasu and the girl. Why else would he have insinuated that her family approved of him?

It was a juicy bit of information that Theo tucked away for use at a later time, if nothing else, noting that Chitrita was a surefire way to invoke Vasu’s ire. Shiva’s heir was a definitively proud person, that much Theo had already surmised. This target was one that would be more easily swayed with honey than vinegar, a stroke or two of his ego likely all he needed to secure a tentative friendship… but friendship was not what Theodore was after.

He remained stoic as Vasu struck again and again like an agitated snake, realizing that belittling him further in front of Chitrita would serve little more than his own entertainment. “I didn’t come to challenge you, Saini.” a carefully controlled exhale of breath later, “nor do I have any intentions of seducing your girlfriend.” He cast his gaze towards Chitrita then, attempting to get a read on her, surprised to find that she seemed even more entertained by this than Theo himself. Did she see the unnecessary choreography he was orchestrating to avoid stepping on Vasu’s toes?

Already, Vasu was proving more of a hassle to placate than he might’ve been worth, but Theodore was comfortable in the knowledge that he didn’t necessarily have to like Vasu in order to count him as an ally. At the very least, this gave him an opportunity to better understand his opponents, the way a mechanic might reverse engineer a curious bit of machinery to expose what exactly made it tick. Chitrita, on the other hand, reminded him of an affectionate cat brushing up against his leg with a resounding purr. An approach he found, perhaps, more threatening than Vasu’s prickly defenses. At least Theo knew what to expect from Shiva’s heir… but the possibility that the sweet kitten was concealing lethal claws gave him pause.

Before Vasu could strike further at Theo, Chitrita proposed a game of truth or dare, an invitation that he mulled over momentarily as if he were attempting to dissect different flavor notes in a glass of wine. With a wry smile and a curt nod, Theo made himself comfortable in one of antique love seats positioned across from the piano, his elbows resting on his knees as he leaned forward, his interest piqued. “Vasu… truth or dare?”
coded by natasha.
 
f96d54aa5df1614f069d9170c00cdb92.jpg


Vasu Saini // “Shiva’s Heir” // Male // 5th Year // Koldovstoretz Champion // Parselmouth
“That’s right.” Vasu had done no such thing, but his voice didn’t waver as he affirmed Chitrita’s statement that he had suggested a game of strip poker. His hands slapped onto his hips and he lifted his chin at Theodore, a matador staring down a bull across an arena of glory that ended only in death. Frankly, he’d rather play for money—something he could dearly use—than visual stimulation, but poker was a game he’d known from observing some of his father’s games. Ten men would gather in an oval around a table with green felt, sipping cheap beer from glass bottles as they bet lavish sums on a single hand, pushing veritable towers of chips into the pool. Before a maid inevitably rousted him from the room, Vasu kept his ears open for unfamiliar terms and would flip through a handheld poker dictionary he’d bought with his allowance for their meanings. Overpair, tilt, calling station, nuts, playing the rush, ranging one’s opponent. Poker had been an obsession for him as a kid, and it was a game that he was confident he could win. More importantly, it was a familiar situation, and familiarity made him feel safe. In control. Nothing to lose.
But the hope in his chest dried up when Chitrita pointed out the obvious: They had no chips to bet. Unless they could find a multitude of something else to represent sums of money. Vasu’s mind raced as he tried to think of an adequate substitute. If they played strip poker, did they even need chips? He was unfamiliar with the rules of the game, having never played such a lewd variation before, but wouldn’t it make sense for the person with the weakest hand to remove an article of clothing as penalty? He was about to point this out when Chitrita cut in, suggesting that they play truth or dare. Of course, given her imperious tone, “suggest” was the wrong word; she declared the game they’d be playing, more like. Pressure clenched Vasu’s throat tight at the same time that a feral smile broke out across Theodore’s face. Truth or dare seemed packed full of dangers, especially when he was playing with two strangers. Who was to say that they weren’t sociopaths who’d issue blatantly humiliating dares? Vasu felt he had little to gain from being peer-pressured to lick the floor.
Disguising his fear of the unknown as disdain for a children’s game, he crossed his arms and huffed, “Truth or dare, really? What are you, five? What a stupid game when I can just pick truth and lie every time. And who would know? Not you, certainly.” Nerves made him run on like an overwound clock. Peacocking was the word Chitrita had used. Vasu hadn’t fully understood her meaning at the moment, but he had the feeling that it had to do with overcompensating for one’s insecurities with bluster.
Ignoring Vasu’s objections, Theodore crossed the room, striding to a love seat positioned directly across from the piano. The chair screeched like the cries of someone waking in their coffin as he turned it around and straddled the cobalt cushion, slouched lazily, arms folded atop the back of the chair. His eyes were wide and dark as new moons as they bore into Vasu’s, who tried not to let the tension he was feeling show in his posture. Clearly not taking no for an answer, Theodore gave him an ultimatum. Truth or dare. A current of fear ran through Vasu. “Neither,” he scoffed, mimicking Theodore’s folded arms and drawing himself up on the piano bench. “I’m not playing your stupid game. Find some Ilvermorny first-years eager to throw away their dignity.”
At his refusal, Chitrita clicked her tongue, as if it were a massive shame that Vasu had to ruin their fun. Low enough for only him to hear, she muttered something about being engaged to a coward, and Vasu’s face flamed. His posture turned ramrod straight, stiff with indignation. “Fine then!” he exclaimed, his anger seeping into a shrill, unhinged note. “Dare, fuck you.” His back teeth snapped together and he hissed furious breaths between them as he leveled a molten stare at Theodore. The corner of the Hogwarts boy’s mouth slanted into an insufferable angle as he deliberated, cupping his chin with one hand thoughtfully. Vasu waited for what seemed like an eternity, seconds stretching interminably as he waited for Theodore to proclaim a sentence, the verdict already having been delivered.
Vasu’s mind raced with endless horrors. Make a dunce cap and wear it to classes all day tomorrow? Retake the stage in the Great Hall and perform an embarrassing dance for whoever still lingered? Reveal all of the spells he’d performed over the summer, away from professors’ watchful eyes? He felt sick to his stomach, resenting how easily an attractive girl had manipulated him into making a fool of himself.
Finally, Theodore, with a smile like Lucifer when he was cast out of heaven, declared the punishment for Vasu’s stupidity. Vasu blinked twice, hard, when he heard it, nonplussed. “Who the hell is Bellamy?” he snapped, defensive and wanting to take his anger out on someone other than himself. The implication that Bellamy had a cane made Vasu assume that it was the elderly silver-haired professor who’d accompanied Clara and Cosmo, but that didn’t make sense. Why would Theodore care about antagonizing someone he’d presumably never met? Theodore cocked his head and squinted his eyes at Vasu, as if he were a Muggle-born who’d never heard of Quidditch, or just a unique brand of stupid. His voice dripping with acid, Theodore clarified that this was Faron Bellamy they were talking about, Auror extraordinaire. Something clicked in Vasu’s head, a scrap of memory floating to the surface. He recalled seeing the name on the textbook he’d used for Magical Theory last semester, and before that, as a caption under moving pictures in newspapers, showing a long-nosed man slapping cuffs on Dark wizards.
“Do you mean to suggest that Faron Bellamy the celebrity is here?” Vasu asked coldly, eyebrows lifting in disbelief. “Even if he were, last time I checked Bellamy doesn’t have a cane. He’s like, what, not even thirty? Besides, Aurors can’t be cripples.” Theodore corrected Vasu, explaining that Bellamy had retired from the force and was the Hogwarts chaperone for the tournament. “No way he teaches now,” Vasu argued, unable to believe that an ace Auror would give up his career—and all the wealth and status associated with it—for a humble living as a professor. It seemed like the kind of pathetic choice that Vinogradov would make.
Theodore suggested that Vasu could interrogate his professor on his life choices as much as he liked after stealing his cane. “Yeah, okay, I’ll steal your decrepit eighty-year-old professor’s cane. Maybe I’ll give him a little push and he’ll fall right into the grave,” Vasu retorted. The fear that he might have felt at such a dangerous task was replaced by exasperation that he was being taken for a ride. He stood and cracked his knuckles, bending back to leisurely stretch his shoulders. “Can you at least point me in the right direction of your professor? Or is hunting him down part of the challenge, too?”
 


  • Gavriel Sylvie
    Ilvermorny - Female - Half-Blood - Champion


    Ricky and Clara’s immediate departure didn’t dampen Gavy’s adventurous or social drive in the slightest as they moved off without acknowledging the new arrivals. Clearly the duo had something on their mind and it wasn’t as though snack time was a requirement to be friends with Gavy, though she did appreciate those who didn’t judge her snacking habits. Her smile brightened as both young men seemed interested in the prospect of a new location to score delicious food that few other people seemed to know about. Ilvermorny had its fair share of secret locations, little gems that one might find by accident or through hidden knowledge passed down from student to student over generations. Gavy assumed most schools likely had something similar as they were all older than anyone around today, immortals excluded of course, and hidden passageways and rooms were just part of the old ancient school combo pack.

    “Great!” She beamed and held an arm out to each of the young men, an act of playful chivalry on her part towards Cosmo and Raph. She gave them a moment to decide whether to accept the offered arms or not, if they decided not to she didn’t have an issue as she knew not everyone enjoyed physical contact. Once they were on the move she glided through the great hall and towards an out-of-sight side exit that could easily be missed among the structure and decorations of the room. Remembering Cosmo’s comment about how amazing it was that she and Raph were champions resulted in the petite multi-colored-haired girl glancing up at him with a smirk. “Who knows Cosmo, maybe Clara will decide to let you fill in for her during a challenge? Then the three of us can have a blast knocking each other around.” She purred playfully. She didn’t really know Clara at all so she wasn’t sure if her suggestion was viable in the slightest but the idea of getting to go against both young men she had begun to sprout a friendship with sent thrilling lightning through her veins.

    As she led them down a narrow side corridor her attention turned to Raph who was gently running his fingers along a lock of her now majority coral-colored hair, though it did still have several streaks of other emotion-linked colors woven into the locks. “Thanks.” She beamed when he expressed his awe. As he continued speaking she felt her heart stutter at the mention of her time before Ilvermorny. For a moment her neon eyes dulled along with several locks of her brightly colored hair to a metallic silver tone (C8CBCF) with hints of blue that resembled the flesh of a blueberry (1B3869). The words sunk into her soul for a heartbeat and with it, they tore open a mixture of sorrow and pain that Gavy liked to keep safely tucked away. She blinked and as quickly as the emotions flared up she shoved them back down, determined not to let her demons drag her down on such a thrilling night. She would cave in later when she was alone, when no one was around to see the claws of her past dig into her soul and mark her with the colors of her pain. Summoning forth memories of joyous times from her mind palace Gavy’s colors changed back within the blink of an eye, the colors of sorrow and pain only there long enough to make one wonder if they were a trick of the eye. “Yeah, it is a pretty fun party trick.” She chuckled and shook her once again neon blue (00C8FF) and sunny yellow (FFF203) for whimsical dramatic effect. “And luckily I am pretty much an open book so it doesn’t really bother me that my emotions are too. One of my first-year friends actually had a chart that they posted in our dorm and did her best to record what emotion she thought each color meant. It was entertaining for myself and the other girls to watch her pour over it.” She shared. It wasn’t the same as what Raph had meant but her life before school wasn’t a place she wanted to venture into for a stroll down memory lane at this point. “I am like a walking mood ring.” She said with a slight nose scrunch when she smiled as she poked fun at herself.

    Turning the corner halfway down the hall they were currently in the trio came to a stop in front of a little alcove that looked as though it was only there to provide a pleasant little study area next to a small gargling fountain. “Get ready to have your socks knocked off.” Gavy smiled over her shoulder as she stepped forward to run her fingers along the smooth stone on the third tier of the fountain. “Suavis Macula.” She uttered as her fingers danced from one stone to the next. The small fountain began to shift as the water began to fill the cracks along the stone wall until suddenly the wall itself slid open. “Come on, this way.” Gavy waved Cosmo and Raph towards the now-open hidden passageway. On the inside the room stretched and widened into a massive pantry stocked to the brim with just about every sweet, snack, and ingredient one might be able to think up. Several shelves even seemed to be colored pale blue or bright red as though to indicate the items stored on them were already cold or hot.



    Mentions: Raph captaindanger captaindanger Cosmo pearjuice pearjuice



    TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 
KIARA SINCLAIRE
BEAUXBATONS SECONDARY
Speculative
Ilvermorny Grand Hall
Bellamy honeycoves honeycoves (Einar mentioned) Sanctuaryforall1 Sanctuaryforall1
As Bellamy began to weave a tale of his injury in Austria, prompting his premature retirement, Kiara could not help but feel slightly…apprehensive. A tension began to take hold of her limbs, an abnormal stiffness that would’ve warranted suspicion from those who knew her well, but it seemed Faron Bellamy did not fall into that category. As he continued speaking, a single question lingered at the forefront of Kiara’s mind. Why hadn’t Bellamy told Adrian of any of this? The two had been thick as thieves no more than a year ago. Surely Bellamy would’ve told Adrian of such a catastrophic development in his life… wouldn’t he?

"I haven't forgotten you, mon étoile."

The familiar nickname drew her out of her haze, prompting a practiced smile from her as she nodded passively. She tried her best not to look so noticeably suspicious, instead offering him reassuring grins and nods as he continued speaking. She made a mental note to take up the conversation with Adrain at a later time, to write him a letter perhaps, inquiring as to whether he was yet aware of Bellamy’s new position at Hogwarts. But suddenly, it was her turn to speak again, as Bellamy had inquired as to how both she and her eldest brother had been fairing nowadays.

“Adrian is well. He’s been busy raising our latest hatchling, Nemo. To be honest I think the little guy has given Adrian quite the run for his money. He has more energy than he knows what to do with.” She laughed softly, fondly reflecting on the young dragon who had stolen her own heart. “I do think Adrian will be proposing to Margot soon.” she continued, discreetly scrutinizing Bellamy’s facial expressions for any hint of recognition. Margot and Adrian had first met during their final year at Beauxbatons, and had been together ever since. When Adrian had left to join the ranks of Aurors in the French Ministry for Magic, Margot had decided to take up a teaching position as a Beauxbatons charms professor. Margot, Adrian and Bellamy had all graduated from Beauxbatons in the same year, so Kiara was expecting that Bellamy would have something to say about his friends’ pending engagement.

Just as she opened her mouth to continue her deft prying, a flicker of motion behind Bellamy’s shoulder caught her attention. The sudden shift of focus in her gaze causing Bellamy to glance behind his own shoulder, where Theodore West was rapidly approaching with a cheshire grin fixed upon his annoyingly attractive face.

“Professor Bellamy, Miss Sinclaire and… Professor Einar, is it?” Theodore extended a hand towards the Durmstrang professor, suddenly projecting the persona of an exceedingly well behaved and socially adept young wizard all to keene on monopolizing the attention of both auror-turned-professors. Kiara’s arms folded across her chest with thinly veiled disdain as she watched the interaction between the trio. What was Theodore up to? Whatever it was, it had interrupted her conversation with Bellamy just in time to absolve him of any suspicious responses, or lack thereof, to Adrian’s engagement. Kiara would have to resume that conversation with Bellamy at a later time, for now, she was more interested to see what had prompted Theo to interrupt them.

The Hogwarts champion continued to make small talk with the two professors, leaving Kiara largely uninvolved in the conversation, her eyes darting back and forth between whoever was speaking from one moment to another. If she didn’t already have such a distaste in her mouth for Theodore, she might’ve tried to reinsert herself into the conversation, but after their dance earlier she had vowed to keep her distance from him. The minutes began to toll on, and just as Kiara was about to excuse herself from the interaction, they were approached by a young girl holding a piece of parchment out to Bellamy expectantly.

“You’re the real Faron Bellamy, I can’t believe it!”

And then another, seemingly appearing from nowhere.

“Oh my god, Faron Bellamy!!”

Kiara crinkled her nose at the distinct american accent that caused the word ‘god’ to sound more like ‘gawd.’ These Ilvermorny girls were beginning to swarm, and she found herself taking a step back to avoid getting trampled in the ensuing chaos as one by one they continued pestering Bellamy for his autograph.

Tell us what happened in Austria!
Can I see your wand?
Bellamy, are you single?


Kiara’s eyes rolled to the back of her head as she watched them gather like moths to a flame, each one more incessant than the last. She had known that Bellamy had quite the following back in France, but had his notoriety really progressed to an international level? She wasn’t sure where to look as the hoard of young girls began to overwhelm Bellamy.
coded by natasha.
 
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  • lisandro valencia
    castelobruxo champion


    L
    isandro tried to listen as Cha-Cha explained what they were doing, but his so-called explanation didn’t clear much up for him. Gangs? … Poison? He couldn’t tell how literal his professor was being. Lis wasn’t very good with metaphorical language, always taking things a bit more seriously than people had intended. It drove his mother insane, with her metaphors and wide generalizations, always chastising him for taking her so literally. He glanced between his professor and the dark hallway behind him as he spoke, straining not only to understand but also to hear him, between his own iffy spellcasting and Cha-Cha’s low tones. Does that make sense?


    Lis nodded lamely. A lie. He didn’t fully grasp his meaning, but decided that if he couldn’t trust his professor, he really couldn’t trust anybody. So, he followed Cha-Cha closely through the hallway, almost directly into a cook exiting the kitchen as Cha-Cha seemingly disappeared in thin air just before the other man appeared. His professor yanked him out of the way and then asked if he needed to leave Lis behind. This question took Lis by surprise – he knew he wasn’t the best at sneaking, but what use was training him if he wasn’t even there?


    He shook his head determinedly at the question, and his face grew a little hot with embarrassment – had he done that poorly for Cha-Cha’s standards thus far? If he couldn’t succeed in sneaking down an empty hallway, what was even the point of trying to compete? Maybe he should just go home, pack his bags and let Ricky take his shot at the competition. He wondered how he could even face his family if he did that. Perhaps he’d see Nestor again sooner than he’d expected. As he was planning his future life as an outcast hermit, his professor began to sneak into the kitchen.


    Lis followed, blinking hard in the excruciating lights, the transition harsh from the dark hallway. He took a moment to adjust to the light – a bit too long, as Cha-Cha was already past an elf who was spraying water. Lis stepped carefully, deliberately, almost slipping with every other step. His dress shoes weren’t made to step through the wet and grime of a kitchen, and he tried to maintain his balance. Once, he slipped on an indiscriminate pile of food and water and slipped hard, almost losing his legs completely out from under him, but he grabbed the line next to him hard to maintain his balance before Cha-Cha noticed, straining the muscles in his legs and back, but otherwise not making a loud sound or distracting from their journey through the kitchen.


    As Lis caught up to him, Cha-Cha told him to move and then tossed an apple across the entire kitchen. Lis was at first perplexed – didn’t he want their presence to remain a secret? But as the scene before him unfolded he realized what it was – a distraction. The chef the apple hit was yelling, trying to fight his coworkers and shoving off whoever was trying to help. Lis jumped when Cha-Cha nudged him, enthralled with the chaotic scene unfolding before him. He didn’t realize how jumpy this sneaking around had made him, but he didn't like it. He followed Cha-Cha into the dry storage.


    He stood behind the older man awkwardly as he searched for the bottles, not sure how much distance to maintain – what if someone walked in, or Cha-Cha said something quietly to him that he couldn’t hear? He thought about tinkering with his Muffliato spell, hoping to tweak it just enough that it would work as intended – he wasn’t sure what was causing the issues, if it was his own hearing or something simple like that, or if his abilities were just like that. Mediocre, but passable. He figured it was probably the latter as Cha-Cha spun around and nearly punched him. He took a quick step back as Cha-Cha grabbed his own and then a few steps more back towards the door.


    Four bottles seemed a bit overkill, but Lis shrugged it off as Cha-Cha reasoned that it was for “insurance.” Whatever they needed to ensure they could do with four bottles of cooking oil made Lis nervous but he tried to put their actual task at the back of his mind and take it step by step. Lis peeked out the door a bit to see the argument still going on, then slipped out with Cha-Cha hot on his trail. He’d made it halfway to the door when he heard a loud splat behind him and froze in his tracks for a moment. Slowly, he glanced behind at his professor and the lone bottle of oil on the floor. Time seemed frozen for a few seconds as the arguing in the kitchen stopped and all eyes were on then, but then Cha-Cha urged him forward and he raced out of the doors and didn’t stop until he’d made it to the library, his heart threatening to pound out of his chest, from the run and adrenaline from almost getting caught


    He wished he didn’t agree to doing this… mission, or whatever it was, for his professor. Perhaps he should have let him go in the kitchen on his own. He set his bottles of oil down on a table next to Cha-Cha’s, then leaned against the table, trying to calm himself down. He was terrified that they’d be caught, perhaps someone from the kitchen had followed the mysterious floating bottles of oil to the library, or somehow his spells had revealed them to the kitchen at the most inopportune moment.


    It was then that he allowed the concealment spells to falter a bit, his concentration directed towards his anxiety more than keeping up their silence. They probably were allowed in the library, anyhow, and what was the harm in them being here, other than someone stumbling across them with their potentially incriminating oil bottles?


    Lisandro had started chewing at the nails on his left hand when his professor offered him a cigarette. Lis would normally have refused – he was 16, most of his professors wouldn’t have even offered him one in the first place, and he wasn’t a habitual smoker. But he often smoked at parties socially and it had always calmed his nerves a bit then. So, he didn’t know what overtook him but he found himself reaching for a cigarette from the offered tin and let his professor light it for him.


    “Thanks.”


    He was curious if this is what would end up getting them caught – cigarette smoke in the library, which he was sure wasn’t allowed. But a librarian was nowhere to be seen at this late time, a night before the school year had even started, so Lis tried not to agonize about it and instead glanced at the library around him.


    It was huge, but seemingly built more for function than grandeur, which seemed to be the motivation behind many of the decisions in Ilvermorny’s design. This was unlike Castelobruxo, which seemingly tried to show off around every corner with its walls literally lined in gold. Lis examined the books and they were a bit the same – a mixture of old, worn down books and brand new side by side on the shelves.


    He found himself, as always, wandering to the herbology section to see if they had anything new. Encyclopedia of Toadstools….. Guide to Herbology…. Shrubs and Trees for the Garden… They had the basics, but mostly what Lis had seen before. He took a couple of puffs on his cigarette and coughed, then picked up a book and began leafing through it. He hoped Ricky would get there soon, he wasn’t sure what else to say to his professor in their few moments of down time. He felt guilty for accepting the cigarette, his mother's voice in the back of his head yelling at him that it wasn't proper, that he shouldn't even be smoking in the first place, let alone in front of a professor. Let alone with one.


    Honestly, he was just ready for a hot shower and to lay down in a bed. He missed his cat Lupe, and was ready for a moment’s peace after an extremely long day. Perhaps he’d have slept more on the train had he realized Cha-Cha had such excitement in store for them. Hopefully they’d be done with this ordeal soon. Hopefully they wouldn’t get caught — meeting the Ilvermorny headmaster one-on-one wasn’t really on his agenda any time soon.


    As he was reading, ash from his cigarette dropped onto the book he was holding and he wiped it away in a panic, just not before the ember singed the page where it landed. He took it as a sign to stop both smoking and reading. He returned the book to the shelf and put his half smoked cigarette out on the ground before returning it to his pocket for later. He walked back to where Cha-Cha was standing at the table with the oil and took a seat to wait for Ricky.


    “So... how long before we worry?”








    location:
    the ilvermorny library






    interaction:
    Cha-Cha Aviator Aviator






    feeling:
    nervous


    sugar coded ♡
 


  • Professor Birger Einar
    Durmstrang - Male - Pureblood - History of Magic Professor


    Despite their icy blue shade, Einar’s gaze radiated warmth as Bellamy considered his offer for a drink and suggested they extend the invite to those professors still milling about the great hall. The old man had every intention of offering his flask to the lovely young woman he now knew to be professor Angelique Chimere, the chaperone for the Beauxbatons students. He gazed towards the young woman and gave her a kind smile, holding his flask in her direction and nodding his head. “I would be more than delighted to share with company as fine as those before me.” He chuckled with his thunderous voice low like a distant yet soothing rumble among the mountains. “I have no doubt the both of you could handle your drinks far better than many members of the Durmstrang staff though you did not hear such things from me.” He added with a wink, clearly not afraid to make playful digs towards his colleagues back home. He held them no ill will in the slightest but had learned after one too many incidents at staff parties over the years who he should cheers with and who he should encourage to lower the bottle after several drinks. He had no intention of repeating the chimera incident of ‘05 as many of the schools statues still refused to let poor Professor Nassman forget his blunders or how Einar had to save the man who had allowed a bit too much liquid courage convince him he could ride such a beast without any prior knowledge or training.

    Einar had just been about to agree to the lovely idea of gathering the remaining staff for drinks when a young student, he remembered her name to be Kiara, approached the small group of educators. Einar pivoted his stance slightly, still holding his cane firm within his grasp, to allow the lovely young student a place of her own to stand. It seemed that she had some familiarity with the Hogwarts professor though for a moment Einar’s old eyes caught something interesting within the way Bellamy looked upon the girl. Kiara had greeted Bellamy with such familiarity that it seemed the two had some form of an obvious history. Bellamy however looked upon her initially with what Einar could only observe as confusion and a flicker of…panic? It was odd and something that the former auror couldn’t help but take mental note of though he did not let his cheerful demeanor fade. There could be any number of reasons for the young man to respond in such a way and after a few heartbeats, Bellamy seemed to regain his footing as he greeted Kiara and spoke to her as though they were old friends. Einar listened to the two individuals as they continued their exchange, the words flowing between them feeling as though they were woven with tight strings that might snap and unfold something more if just the right pressure were applied. However, no one bothered to press and see what unfolded.

    Just as Kiara was about to answer Bellamy’s question regarding someone named Adrian another individual appeared in the shape of Theodore West. “That would be correct young man,” Einar confirmed as he met the Hogwarts champion's gaze with his own, a smile on his bearded features, and his grip strong as ever when he reached out to shake the offered hand. Despite his age the old wolf was far from blind and certainly picked up on the way Theodore’s presence affected Kiara. Once again it seemed something more was going on behind the curtain and by the way the young woman soon marched off Einar knew it couldn’t be anything good. If his daughters had a look like Kiara currently wore on their faces he would drop everything to find the reason and it seemed that after all these years such a belief still stood as a pillar of who he was as a person. “As delightful as this interaction has been I fear I must depart. I look forward to taking time for proper conversation in the future.” He bid the small group farewell and with his cane clinking in step with his stride the old man cut through the crowd to where he saw Kiara disappearing. It took him a moment to make his way past the growing gathering of students but soon the old wolf was a few yards down the hall from the Beauxbatons secondary. “Ms. Sinclair?” He called out as he kept a respectful distance from her. “Are you quite alright?”


    Mentions: Bellamy honeycoves honeycoves Angelique Wolfiee Wolfiee Kiara & Theo WanderLust. WanderLust.



    TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 




/* ------ left side ------ */




/* ------ tabs ------ */









  • /* ------ sticky note letter ------ */
    You are worth finding. Worth knowing. Worth loving. You and all your one million layers. I know you think yourself to be full of poems and rage but you are more than your anger. I miss the girl who was really happy.

    - Your big bro






/* ------ right side ------ */

Clara glared at her brother and ex friend as they hugged out their goodbyes. Ricardo's blush wasn't missed, but it didn't take a genius to guess what Cosmo had whispered. Ricky offered his arm and she didn't take it, instead choosing to stare at him with disinterest until he let it drop to his side. He leaned in, but not so much that she was uncomfortable, and began explaining the wild goose-hunt he was on. From the sounds of it, Cha-Cha cared about where the wine ended up because he'd asked the elf to deliver it himself. Probably to some witch that worked at Ilvermorny like Ricky had already guessed. But why did his professor care where the room was? Was he that bad at talking to people that he had to go to the length of stalking to plan on 'accidentally' running into the woman he sought after? It would have been a decent plan if it wasn't just downright sad. He must have no game. She rolled her eyes, then was chided for it, which earned him another cold stare.

Strange for a killer, she noted, then shuddered. Did she really want to help him? It was one thing to respect his intelligence and study his notes from afar, but it was another to actually do something for him. She didn't support anything he'd done, even if she understood why he did it. As often as she joked about strangling Cosmo, she didn't really like violence. What if whatever professor he was following around was one of his victims? He's violent, not stupid. There's a larger chance of him birthing a troll than him killing someone. He's probably being watched closely. The thought relaxed her a little, but not by a large margin. She still needed to be careful. Because she had learned about him at school (then done her own research like the studious person she was), she knew that he had every reason to hate pureblood families like the Winters.

She pulled a hairpin out of her hair and pulled out her wand. First she shrank it down and flattened it, then used another spell to attach it to the wine bottle itself. She watched as her hairpin slid in between the dark glass the elf was carrying and the label on the bottle. Clara looked at Ricky. "Do you happen to have parchment on your person?" If he produced one of his own, Clara would take it, but if he didn't, she would venture off to one of the Ilvermorny students and flirt her way into obtaining it, then return to Ricky.

With the parchment now obtained, she tapped it with her wand and muttered a few incantations. In their universe, it was assumed that things such as the Marauder's Map didn't exist; nobody knew of the Git Who Lived or of any of the other canon characters since they didn't exist. So mischievous souls like Clara's had to take matters into their own hands. A special and intentional combination of spells would allow for a map to be created, but only by them walking the length of the location at least once. Another spell would allow her to see her location and watch as the marker moved with her in real time, but she wouldn't be able to see anyone else, nor would she have any way of seeing secret entries and exits without first discovering them herself. This was fine though, because if they really did have to follow the elf anyways, then at least they could turn the map in when they met with Cha-Cha and Lisandro.

But there was still the matter of following the elf without being caught. The tracker was already showing on the map, but the map didn't build around the tracker's movement, it built the map around Clara discovering it herself (the hairpin was incase Ricky messed up and she had no choice but to follow the series of blinks and vibrations from her wand, which would tell her how close or far they were from the hairpin). How were they going to trail behind an elf without getting in trouble? What if the elf didn't go to the room by foot, what if they just popped in and out like so many elves were prone to doing?

"Ah," She thought of something. She grabbed Ricky's hand and tugged him as she led them away from the mass of people. She really hoped people didn't think they were walking together because they were friends, but it wasn't like she couldn't twist that story into something better anyways. "Do you remember when we followed Aire into Cosmo's room?" She asked, referencing a certain Christmas party that the Winters had hosted. She couldn't remember the finer details or why Ricky had ended up there - only that they weren't friends yet. Aire was the Winter's elf, and for reasons she couldn't remember, Clara and Ricky both wanted to sneak inside his room. They'd worked together with success, only to be caught by Cosmo himself after they had already made it in his room. The finer details didn't matter though; she just needed him to remember that they'd done it by silencing themselves and using an invisibility charm. It had been hard to communicate without being able to speak, but it wasn't like much talking needed to be done. Embarrassingly, their invisibility spell had worn off, but just as the elf had turned around and noticed them, Ricky had saved the day by pretending to snog the lights out of her. His hand had actually been pressed over her mouth, but the elf had been so embarrassed at catching two teens pretending to passionately work their way into the bathroom nearby that he had otherwise ignored them and quickly rounded the corner of the lavish Winter Manor. This time she didn't plan on getting that close with Ricky.

When they were finally alone, Clara dug around in her purse until her hand made contact with a soft, silk material. She pulled out her Invisibility Cloak, and tried not to feel smug at the way her old friend's eyes lit up in recognition. They'd used it together many times since she'd gotten it from Vasu's family shop, but it had been a while since Clara and Ricky used it. She wasn't looking forward to cramping underneath it with him and having to move at a small shuffle to keep up with the elf. "We'll use this," She told him. "Don't get touchy."

Clara handed the cloak to Ricky since he was taller. He shook it out and put it on over himself, then held it open. She joined him underneath it, and refrained from elbowing him when he had to step close in order for both of them to remain hidden. His arm went around her the same way it always had before, but it was different this time. She was stiff and uncomfortable as his hand rested on her shoulder, some of his arm resting across her chest. There were worse ways to be held by an enemy, she conceded. A small part of her mind recognized that there was more muscle where there was usually just boney joints, but the thoughts were replaced with anger at both herself for recognizing it and him for asking her for help. She didn't want to give him the time of day, but the opportunity to make him look like an idiot was too good to pass up.

Sneaking around an elf was no easy feat. Despite all of them not wanting or being allowed to have a wand, they were very powerful creatures. They were better at performing advanced magic than wizards, which meant that they also usually had an inkling as to when magic was being used around them. The further they got from other students and staff the father behind the two of them had to trail. The cloak was charmed, but it was strong too. Most cloaks faded over time and lost their abilities, but not an Invisibility Cloak. They were powerful, and it meant that if they were too close, the elf they were following would sense it. They took small but precise footsteps to follow the elf in what was silence at first. Clara fielded some comments that were either hostile or flirty (she couldn't tell) and they fell into easy rhymth. It made her a little sad to sneak around with him again because it was like they were communicating in a way she couldn't with anyone else. If she'd tried to do this exact plan with someone else, surely they would have been caught before they even made it up to the second floor of the school.

They only had one close encounter. Clara had been paying attention to the map to make sure they weren't going too fast, and Ricky had noticed they were about to run into a professor. He pushed her into a wall and he pressed into her when she'd accidentally let out a quiet gasp, resulting in the professor investigating the noise. His arms caged her head and she tried to ignore that she could smell what must have been his cologne and the achingly familiar scent of his shampoo. Finally they found the room. They both watched, peering around the corner as the elf hand delivered the bottle to a room. As the elf knocked on the door, Clara used Accio to obtain her hairpin back; the elf looked down shortly after the pin was already in her hand, but the elf didn't seem too sure that any magic had been used.

Once the elf was gone, Clara tugged the cloak off of them and quickly stepped away, feeling too warm from their close proximity. She walked over to the end of the hallway and waited as the rest of her map was being sketched. "I could have gone without the wall, but I suppose I've had worse partners," She dolled out the compliment with the pleasure of a racoon getting ran over. "But it's your turn to pull your weight. Get us to the library, I haven't a clue where it is."



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© weldherwings.





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    I don't understand muggle music. The 12 days of Christmas is completely unrealistic. There is no way that you're still accepting gifts from someone after 4 days of birds. Anyways, happy holidays. Don't forget my gift.
    - Yours truly






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Cosmo followed Raphael and Gavy with interest, the promise of always finding food whenever he inevitably irritated his sister only furthering the good mood he was already in. Curiously, he watched as her hair was momentarily interrupted with streaks of silver and blue before settling on yellow and a brighter shade of blue that didn't look so terribly sad. He wondered if it was connected to when Raphael had mentioned her childhood, then became thankful that he wasn't someone who narrated his every thoughts. Had his sister been there, she surely would have mocked him for his split second stupidity. Gavy and Raphael seemed much kinder, the type to tease him without actually counting it as a mark against his reputation with them.

Reputation was a funny thing. He was glad that these two seemed to not know who he was. He didn't have any recognition when he heard their names, which suggested that they were maybe halfbloods or mudbloods, or that his shitty parents simply didn't have any connections to them. It was for the best, probably. While his name was just as known as Clara's (and he was generally seen as "good" in comparison to her), he actually didn't really like his family ties. When he was under his mother's thumb, he was forced to pretend to be someone he wasn't; a purist. Someone obsessed with keeping magic and bloodlines clean. For someone who grew up so posh, he felt rather dirty. He was dreading the time that would inevitably come when they would arrive at Durmstrang and everyone he met would soon see the monster he came from.

Gavy recited something from memory and the wall in front of them split open. Cosmo's eyes widened in surprise, and he followed her inside, his eyes bouncing around the room and struggling to land on anywhere specific. Titles of names hovered in front of stocked items and ingredients, most things with a red or blue hue around it; it reminded him of his own manor, where things were similarly kept at the right temperature. Their organization was far better than Ilvermorny's - heaven forbid Clara found out they had such a hellish sorting system - but Cosmo didn't care. Food was what mattered.

"You weren't kidding when you said you knew a place," He agreed in wonder, looking around the room in awe. He did a slow spin, his eyes traveling up and down. There was just about anything a person could imagine in there. How did she even know about this? Was Ilvermorny a more trendy school where they allowed students to come here for food, or was it somewhere they weren't supposed to be? He didn't care. This was awesome. "I think the three of us just might have finally found that bottomless pit that can sustain us."



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© weldherwings.
 








Raphael

Beauxbatons Champion







Mood:


Pumped






Location:


Ilvermorny






Outfit:






Interactions:


Gavy and Cosmo










Raphael trailed behind Gavy and Cosmo on their trek to snacks after a brief moment where he almost thought that the smile on Gavy's face looked stiff while her hair and eyes flashed many colors. He hoped it wasn't a bad thing. Did he already find a way to hurt her feelings? Girls were so weird and complicated. They thought far too much. If he hurt her feelings he didn't mean to. She had to be hungry. Yes. That's what it was. She was hungry or feeling melancholy about her childhood where she didn't have a secret stash of food to run to whenever she was hungry.

Growing up Raphael was poor or homeless. Usually both. The homes he rotated in and out of didn't treat him well and part of his bad habit of eating was because his next meal wasn't always guaranteed. He liked being at school in spite of the classes he had to go to because it meant there was a roof over his head and all of his meals were promised. He was like that musical one of his halfblood friends was really into. The one with the fruity wanna-be presidents or some other nonsensical thing. He was young and scrappy and hungry. All of those words aligned with how he saw himself. Except he didn't need to sing about it. He would let everyone write songs about him once he won the tournament but they wouldn't talk about his belly. Gavy looked like she was willing to take on the job of keeping him full so a song about how much he could eat wouldn't be required.

His eyes went wide in fascination at the large room she led them into after the walls shifted and granted them access to what lay behind. His heart stuttered in his chest when he thought of how many kids all the food could feed. Was all of this really necessary? It looked like it was. It was surely enough to feed the army that was Ilvermorny and all of their guests. Everything came labeled and color coded in a way that was simple enough for even Raphael to understand. Red meant hot stuff and cold meant hot stuff and everything else was room temperature.

He laughed at Cosmo's joke and Raphael turned to extend his grin to Gavy, who was becoming more of an angel in his eyes. "All right!" he cheered while he wrapped an arm around her and Cosmo. "This is great! Whatdoya say we grab a buncha snacks and sneak out for a while? Do you know any other cool secret spots? We can all hang out for a while."
















Ricardo

Castelobruxo Secondary







Mood:


Nervous






Location:


Ilvermorny






Outfit:






Interactions:


Clara










--- Warning this is a long reply for the sake of getting everyone to the library. I added in some details of them fighting so feel free to take it and run with it pear. If Cha-Cha wants to go into Ricky's mind go ahead!

Ricky watched Clara's face when he told her what they were to do. He pretended to not pay attention but his eyes danced between her eyes and her mouth. Watching her plot and getting to plot with her was a treat he wasn't privy to anymore. It used to be them doing it together. Sneaking around and lying and making competition out of anything. He knew she was thinking of every possible outcome for any plan that came to her mind so he waited until she asked for parchment.

He dug into his pocket and pulled out a very wrinkled paper that he then handed to her. Her nose wrinkled as if she was considering telling him to never mind. But she took it with a remark about his lack of care for his belongings and that it must extend to his friendships as well. "It's a piece of paper. Not a gem." He argued with false disdain. "If you want your own perfect paper then bring your own Miss Nitprick." She stilled long enough to glare at him before she sent the hairclip to the elf and it was almost enough time for him to stifle his grin.

The plan was easy. He didn't need her for it but it was easier to do with her cloak and her secondary backup plan. It helped that they were going to be trekking down some of the school together and communicating in whispers. Ricky remembered the party in mind and smiled when she brought it up. "How could I forget? You never let it go that it was the only time I was able to think quickly on my feet." He remembered it differently. He had tried to catch Clara's eye all throughout the party but she had been rather uninterested. He was awkward and trailed behind Cosmo all night long as he introduced him to everyone except for his dreadfully beautiful sister. Finally there was an opportunity when Cosmo was busy with his dad that he noticed Clara leaving and he followed her. Then he got caught up in her plan by pretending to also need to go into Cosmo's room and from then on he was no longer some face at a party. He was Clara's number two.

"Don't get touchy."

"Me? I wouldn't dream of it darling." A lie told in bitter amusement. He dreamed of her often.

One hand wrapped around the front of her and closed on her shoulder. His other hand moved consistently between his side and combing through his hair. The cloak was large enough that he didn't need to hold it closed. If it needed to be then she would grab it with her mapped hand like she used to. He was guiding them while she was in charge of light and the map. They didn't really need the light so she kept her eyes lowered. Ricky appropriately contained the thrill he got about her trusting him enough to walk them safely through winding hallways. Eventually he noticed his hand kept brushing her cheek. He moved his arm down to her middle. His hand was on her soft hip and it wasn't an excuse to hold her closer. Not at all.

When he had to move them into the wall he used both of his hands on her hips to guide her. She didn't see the older man walking by but she had nearly ran into him. Ricky used his hands to turn her around to face him before he pushed them into the wall. One hand went to cup the back of her head so that it didn't knock into the jagged texture of the wall and his other forearm leaned against the wall next to her head. Clara's breath fanned against his bare neck. Then he remembered that she would need to be able to see so he slowly moved his hand from behind her head and tilted a little so she could see past him. He forgot how soft her hair was.

Ricky watched Clara again as they waited out their unwelcome company. He wasn't sure how many more chances he would get to be this close to her again. She had a little bit of freckles that normally weren't visible with all the makeup she wore but for some reason he could see some of them. He forgot how much he missed those. He would never tell anyone but seeing her freckles when she went bare faced without makeup was something he enjoyed more than anything else about her on the days they would spend out in the sun during summer. They were little constellations that he only associated with her even though there were many people with more freckles than her.

The old man left and they continued their synchronized steps. Clara ignored Ricky and he was too aware of everything regarding the little thing in his arm. It was bittersweet that the wonderful torture would be over in just minutes. Soon Clara was getting out and away from Ricky and telling him he didn't do too shabby.

"Wow. That's high praise coming from you." Ricky couldn't resist poking the beautiful bear. He batted his lashes. "What do I have to do to get you to call me a good boy?"

She didn't pretend to consider the question. She told him to lead them to the library and ignored his jab altogether. So uncooperative.

"I don't know where it is. You've been here as many times as I have. Did we happen to pass it on our way up here?" Clara looked down at the map and shook her head.

"I bet it's on the first floor. Let's go back downstairs. Shall we?" He created an entrance in the cloak for her to get back under with him. Since they weren't supposed to be upstairs they would have to sneak back down. She joined him and together they made their way down with no surprises. At the very earliest convenience she ripped away from him. Ricky cleared his throat and handed her Invisibility Cloak back to her with a resigned deflation of his chest. She folded it neatly and put it back in her purse.

They argued on the way to the library. Clara stormed off after some back and forth and he was left following her around. He should have been helping look for the library and he tried but he wasn't ready for their time together to be done. He was trying to find a way to prolong it. He did but only for a few minutes. He was able to get her to turn around and argue. This time he didn't let so much of his contentment show. He cornered her into a wall again. She jutted her chin up at him. Ricky felt every inch of her unwavering eye contact and the electricity he felt from it. But she must have seen the mischief in his eyes or realized that when he'd reached out and grabbed her face that his thumb was stroking her cheek. They were close enough to kiss but didn't. His other hand held her wrist until she finally pulled back and shoved him off. Ricky didn't miss the flush in her face when she passed him. She didn't miss the disappointment in his.

They were still pink and frustrated when they found the library. Ricky jogged ahead to get the door for Clara. From the way she faltered before walking through the doors he knew she may have been considering walking inside a different door he wasn't holding but he was glad she didn't go to such lengths to hurt him. The library smelled of smoke and Ricky used a spell to rid of the smell because he knew she didn't like the smell of it. She turned on her heel and scowled at him. He looked at her in surprise.

"Stop doing that," She hissed. "Acting like you care. You can't trick me. I know who you really are."

"Me? Tricks? I've never heard of something so preposterous."

Ricky was able to tamper down his real emotion until she growled and turned around. She was seething but he was smiling widely again at the back of her head. He recognized his professor and Lisandro with four bottles on a table. His confusion was obvious and he walked ahead of Clara. It was habit to put himself in front of her when there was conflict going on but this time he did it to explain why she was there.

"Lis. Cha-Cha." He gave them a smile and nodded to Clara. "She's with me. We have a map for you." He didn't point out that Clara did all of the work. She would waste no time in making that known. "This is Clara Winter. We're old friends. I'm friends with her brother too." He remembered that his teacher knew how to dive into his mind. Shoot. He didn't warn Clara because he wanted it to be a surprise but if Cha-Cha went into her mind she would be angry. Angrier than she already was. But when their friendship came into question and her brother was brought up anything was possible.




 
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Chahaya “Cha-Cha” Arif // “Magnificent Bastard” // Male // Age 32 // Castelobruxo Professor // Legilimens

Cha-Cha reclined at one of the round study tables in the library, his feet kicked up so that the light caught the scratches along the cheap leather of his derby shoes, the same pair that he’d used biannually for formal functions for the past five years. As he took a long drag on his cigarette, he idly wondered how well they would hold up in a 400-meter sprint from a crime scene. The tingly, lighter-than-air feeling that the wine had induced in him at dinner was fading rapidly, replacing itself with a nascent headache and a growing weight behind his eyelids. He fought the relaxation that plastered him to his chair, numbing his muscles in a way that would have been welcome any other time except in the minutes before a heist. He needed to be alert. Like, the supercharged, ready-to-take-on-the-world alertness that was achieved through a roll in the snow. Immediately on the heels of this thought was doubt that, had it not been for steadily working his way through a whole bottle of Malbec over the course of dinner, he ever would have conceived of the idea of burning down the room of a man he’d just met, let alone risked two-hundred-and-seventy American dollars and his and his students’ futures for it.
A shadow fell over him from behind and Cha-Cha jumped in his chair, his elevated feet twitching and almost knocking over the bottles of vegetable oil, laid on their sides with his suit jacket thrown over them to disguise their shape. Lisandro emerged, and despite his eyes registering the curled-shouldered slouch of his student, his heart skipped a dizzying beat, as if he’d come close to missing a step and taking a tumble. Cha-Cha was unsure whether it was a result of gradual hearing loss or a pampered career of pedagogy making him soft, but his senses weren’t as razor-sharp as they’d been even five years ago. And it will only get worse from here, he thought grimly. Taking a long, calming lungful of smoke, Cha-Cha gave Lis his full attention as the boy took the chair next to him, glad for the distraction from the downward spiral of his thoughts.
Lis’s voice was sharp like a broken harp string, betraying his fear for the unknown task ahead. Despite his words, if Cha-Cha didn’t know any better, he’d think that Lis would be half-relieved if Ricky didn’t return, so that they couldn’t go on with the job. He had a sneaking suspicion that the only reason he’d gone along with Cha-Cha so far was less out of loyalty to his professor, and more about his fear of how Cha-Cha would respond to disobedience was greater and more immediate than the possibility of them getting caught. A pang of guilt for using his student to settle a score and calling it training hit Cha-Cha, but they’d come too far to let his conscience get the better of him now.
“Hey, no need to worry. We’ve overcome some pretty tough challenges together so far. You’re doing great,” he said obliquely, answering with a nonanswer. He offered Lis a small smile, feeding the part of him that had been deprived of parental praise all his young life, and placed his hand reassuringly on Lis’s wrist. While Lis looked down at the point of contact, Cha-Cha snuck a glance at his watch, noting the time as 11:15. Whether or not Ricky had been successful in tracking it down, the bottle of wine had been delivered fifteen minutes ago. Cha-Cha tried to tamp down anxiety that his student would be returning at all, let alone with clear directions to the room. What if Ricky had been seen following the House Elf? Would that be a grave enough offense to land him in some Ilvermorny disciplinarian’s office, where the details of Cha-Cha’s plan would be laid bare? His mind raced, imagining a hundred ways that their cover could be blown and the plan would go to hell. And they hadn’t even stepped foot in Marcello Bellini’s room yet.
Just when his composure was threatening to unravel, one of the library’s large glass-and-metal doors swung open with a low groan. Lis whirled, and Cha-Cha removed his shoes from the tabletop, sitting upright. To his disappointment, it wasn’t Ricky who walked through the doors, but a familiar-looking girl in a seafoam-green dress, and Cha-Cha scowled. Who the hell would peruse the library at almost midnight before the first day of classes? But there! Filing in behind the girl was a familiar head of cherubic blond curls. From across the library, Ricky shot Cha-Cha a nervous grin, and he overtook the girl just as Cha-Cha realized why she looked familiar. Not only was she one of the international students, but Cha-Cha had conversed with her briefly on the caboose of the train. Clara Winter. Edgy e-girl who’d borrowed his white leather jacket and apparently read obscure articles on the parts of a subject’s brain a Legilimens needed to activate to get the results he wanted. She’d been appointed Durmstrang champion at the ceremony, Cha-Cha remembered. He made a mental note to ask for the jacket back—the white leather paired strikingly with just about anything else in his wardrobe—but not now.
A thundercloud of displeasure roiled inside of Cha-Cha as the girl trailed Ricky past rows of bookshelves like a shadow. It was evident that they were together and hadn’t just chanced to walk into the library at the same time, meaning that Clara Winter, obsessive fangirl, likely knew parts of the job. Cha-Cha wondered with dismay whether the details of the clandestine quest he’d given Ricky would appear on some online blog for paparazzi and conspiracy theorists tomorrow. Frustration snapped in him like a muscle pulled taut. Goddammit, Ricky, he seethed internally. What part of “don’t be seen” did you take as a cue to source outside help? Now there was a new security risk. Another possibility for word to get back to Bellini that the Castelobruxo team had been the ones behind the deed. Lis and Ricky he trusted relatively, especially when their participation in the job made them culpable if it went wrong. But Cha-Cha had no idea how much this unknown variable knew of his plan, or influenced its outcome. Especially when it might be in her interest to tell and disqualify a competing champion from the tournament.
“Ricardo,” Cha-Cha returned the greeting, mimicking his student’s civil tone. A cloud of smoke escaped his mouth on the exhale, nullifying Ricky’s spell to freshen the air. What… the… FUCK have you done? “Glad to see you’ve returned.” You and this fucking reason that I will go back to prison and you and Lis will be expelled. He smiled coldly. But it was a conversation for another day. Dinner had ended almost an hour ago, meaning that it had been almost an hour since Professor Kawakami had propositioned Bellini to join her in her room for dessert. Time to argue was not a luxury he could afford. Plus, there was no way he could have this conversation with Ricky in front of Clara, when everything they said could be used as further incriminations.
Cha-Cha was just deciding that he could never trust Ricky with an unlawful venture again, even something as trivial as smoking weed, when Ricky produced a wrinkled piece of parchment, folded up into four squares. Cha-Cha’s eyes fell on it with interest. “A map, eh?” He accepted the parchment and unfolded it, smoothing it out on the table with the crisp aroma of aged ink. In playful green penmanship were the names of key landmarks throughout the school intermixed with several odd, vaguely unsettling labels. There were items as ordinary as “Women’s Restroom” and “Advanced Potions Lab.” And then there were more peculiar titles like “Highly Intelligent Dog,” “Never-Ending Staircase,” and “Entrance to Underground Tunnels of Death and Dismemberment.” As Cha-Cha scanned the map, his right eyebrow was beginning to ache from all the raising it was being forced to do.
Finally he looked up. “Did you make this?” he asked Ricky. Behind him, Clara made a sound and tried to sidestep Ricky, her mouth open to interject into the conversation, but Ricky cut her off. He confirmed that yes, they’d made it together. Clara shot him a glare, to which Ricky responded with a one-shoulder shrug and sheepish smile. Cha-Cha frowned around his cigarette as he observed the tension between them, sharp and metallic like unspilled blood. “Very well done, both of you,” he said, genuinely impressed. He’d been expecting much, much less, like Ricky rattling off some vague directions to Bellini’s room that sounded like, Second star to the right and straight on till morning. “Not only did you accomplish the task I set for you, but you’ve also likely provided me with hours of entertainment investigating… these…” He squinted at the parchment. “‘Ghosts Who Like to Misplace Students’ Belongings.’” A few other labels caught his eye, including “Notebook that Brings Doodles to Life” and “Priceless and Likely Deadly Concentration of Acromantula Venom.” He threw a pointed look at Clara, the troubled teen who looked like she’d been on her way to a My Chemical Romance concert when he first met her. “What is it with your map and death?”
As if he were reluctant to hear Clara’s answer to that question, or just realizing that he had yet to introduce her, Ricky stepped in once again to share Clara’s name. “Yes, we’ve met already. Clearly you have too,” he added, his mind working to figure out the relationship between Ricky and Einar’s student. Cha-Cha had pretended not to know Einar at dinner, but he really did not relish the thought of his student losing to Einar’s. Just one glance at Clara’s straight-backed carriage and artfully styled hair gave the impression that she was far more capable than Ricky, who’d almost received a faceful of carriage door earlier that night when he’d been staring off into space. And Cha-Cha was beginning to get an idea of what—or who—that space might have been. Unfortunately for Ricky, Clara’s seeming determination to look anywhere but at him indicated that it was a one-sided attraction.
“Yes, I’ve heard so much about this brother. Twice in as many conversations,” Cha-Cha said pensively. On the train Clara had mentioned that she had a notebook reserved for the express purpose of tormenting her brother, as if his existence were a lifelong grievance for her. He wanted to see how she responded to a little needling in that vein. “He must be a truly exceptional young wizard to have earned such a reputation. I wonder why he wasn’t chosen champion. Huh.” Cha-Cha stared at Clara intently, long enough to perhaps make her wonder if he wasn’t sifting through the contents of her mind for the answer right then and there. His lips parted, allowing a puff of smoke through, and then he quickly inhaled, recapturing it through an open mouth. Clara finally shivered, hugging her arms around herself as if she could cover up the indecent parts of her psyche. A thrill of sadistic pleasure ran through Cha-Cha.
He extinguished his cigarette on the tabletop, rolled the map up, and stood. “Anyway, Lisandro and I must be going now. Thank you for the map, Ricky. Congratulations on your championship, Miss Winter. Give your professor my regards.” And then, unable to resist, he looked her dead in the eye and said, “I look forward to our future discussions.” Feeling wonderfully vile, Cha-Cha picked up his candy apple-red suit jacket from the table, swung it over his shoulders, and pulled his ponytail through the collar. “Lisandro? If you’d be so kind,” he said, passing his protege two bottles of cooking oil and taking the last one for himself while he fiddled with the map. Thankfully, neither Ricky nor Clara asked what the purpose of their endeavor had been or where Cha-Cha and Lis were off to as they exited the library, so Cha-Cha didn’t tell.
As they were nestled in the landing between the second and third floor, he cued Lis to obscure them from sight and sound once again. Lis seemed tired, all the warmth in his dusky complexion seeped out like a wilted flower, but he obliged. Cha-Cha reassured him that they had reached the last leg of their training session as they climbed the stairs to the fifth floor of the castle, where the darkened classrooms were replaced with doors with homey touches, brass knockers in the shape of lion heads and welcome mats. At last. The professor residences, just as Ricky and Clara’s map had directed them to. On its parchment surface, poisonous-green footsteps traced partway down the hallway to a room marked 505, which was circled in blotchy ink.
Sweat glued Cha-Cha’s shirt to the small of his back as he and Lis arrived at a plain ivory door, devoid of any decorations. Please don’t be the wrong door, please don’t be the wrong door, Cha-Cha prayed silently. His frantic thoughts were interrupted by a girlish squeal from two doors down and across the hall, followed by a heavy thump. And then there was another one, and another, until a rhythm was established. Looks like Kawakami delivered after all… in more ways than one, Cha-Cha thought, relieved. Even Lis could hear the antics going on down the hall, evidenced by the way he’d turned pinker than a glass of rosé. All the same, Cha-Cha rapped experimentally on the door with the backs of his knuckles; you could never be too careful. He waited half a minute, knocked again, and then when no one answered, decided that the inhabitant was not inside.
He turned to Lisandro, who was looking distinctly uncomfortable, grasping at his collar as if it were too tight and his eyes fixed on something in the middle distance. “Lis, you’ve done an exemplary job getting us this far,” Cha-Cha said in an undertone, not wanting to alert anyone in the hallway that there was a pair of ne’er-do-wells loitering outside of a room that was clearly not theirs. “There’s just one more obstacle we need to overcome, and that’s the only thing standing between us and success.” And by we, I mean you, Cha-Cha thought. He set the bottle of cooking oil he was carrying on the floor so he could use his hands to indicate. “This lock right here. Bypass it any way you know how, please. Break it if you have to, just make sure that whatever method you choose isn’t overloud. As you can tell, the walls in this hall are thin.”
A muscle tensed in Lis’s jaw, as if he wanted to argue but didn’t know how. Cha-Cha felt bad for using him this way, but he couldn’t risk casting any suspicious-looking spells that could be traced if someone examined his wand. During the period that they’d been waiting for Ricky in the library, Cha-Cha had taken care to cast some random, harmless spells, so that the complete absence of spells from his wand during the time of the heist wouldn’t be conspicuous, either. Lis turned a downcast gaze to the doorknob, considering it. It appeared to be a standard button lock, but Cha-Cha was convinced there was more to it. So far, infiltrating the professor residences had been too easy. What was to stop a student with a knack for spellcasting from breaking in? Unless, of course… there was an alarm that would be triggered by any spells cast on the lock.
“Wait,” Cha-Cha breathed, snatching Lis’s wrist just as the boy had leveled his wand at the lock. “I think that’s what he wants us to do.” This comment was uttered mostly to himself, but its enigmatic nature made Lis’s head whip toward Cha-Cha. “All students have wands, don’t they? If they wanted to break in, using spells would be the simplest solution,” he murmured, reaching for his back pocket and flipping open his wallet. Cha-Cha rifled through until he found a credit card that was due to expire at the end of the year. Whether it succeeded or not, what he was about to do would ruin the magnetic strip on the card, rendering it invalid. “But I bet most of the students don’t have credit cards. Watch and learn.” Cha-Cha lowered himself into a half-crouch, his eyes level with the knob. He slid the credit card at a ninety-degree angle in the vertical crack between the door and the frame, tilted it toward the knob, and bent it back the opposite way. Half a minute of brow-furrowing wiggling elapsed, and then the lock yielded with a soft click!
The door drifted toward Lis and him, as if a wraith had pushed it from the other side. They exchanged a look, waiting for an alarm to blare. But the only sounds in the hallway were the labored sounds of their breathing, and from room 510 a few low moans punctuated by the occasional thud of a headboard. Not satisfied, Cha-Cha lobbed his bottle of cooking oil over the threshold and into the room, letting it bounce into a lavish foyer adorned with abstract paintings and sculptures. It fell on its side, the liquid sloshing madly inside. Yet still, nothing happened. No strobing red lights. No raucous Caterwauling Charm. For all intents and purposes, it appeared as though Cha-Cha had tricked the likely spelled lock into thinking it’d been opened with a key. “Well, then.” His eyes connected with Lis’s, a sinister smile nocked like an arrow on his lips. “Shall we?” Without waiting for Lis’s response, Cha-Cha stepped inside the dragon’s lair of his latest nemesis, fighting the persistent feeling that he was about to do something irrevocably stupid.
 
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  • Aurelia Quansah
    Uagadou - Female - Pure Blood - Secondary


    Flashes of gold glistening in the dimly lit courtyard flickered like tiny flames as Aurelia nodded along. It seemed Malaika was of a similar mindset to herself when it came to what exactly would be best for the two of them to know about each other. She listened carefully as Malaika listed off her top subjects as well as the ones she did not thrive within and committed them to memory. Her mind was one of her greatest weapons, often aided by her photographic memory, so she liked to ensure it was well-stocked with important knowledge. Her photographic memory wasn’t something she exactly flaunted but she had a feeling many professors had clued into it as she tended to absorb books and cling to every bit of information she could find. Some of her favorite professors had even introduced her to their private collections that stored books not found in common shops or school libraries and she also took advantage of the grand family library back home on Mauritius Island. It was a hidden wealth of knowledge her family had gathered over generations and from all across the world. Ever since she was a small child she had managed to find her way into its sacred shelves and after the millionth time being caught with her nose in ancient script Asha had finally conceded and granted her her full blessing to study the knowledge held within the ancient walls.

    Auri had no intentions of publicly advertising what advantages she or Malaika might have in any of the competitions. She didn’t know exactly how much the other competitors knew about her, Malaika, or their school. It was fairly common knowledge that students from Uagadou excelled in the arts of transfiguration and casting spells without wands but that didn’t mean every student could do so. Auri was lucky enough to have mastered both and could turn into a striking animagus form while also being capable of casting spells with just her hands, though she brought a wand for show. She had no intention of revealing either abilities to the other students until she needed to. It wasn't even guaranteed that she would ever set foot in the competition but there was always the chance Malaika might need to step away for some unforeseen reason or another in which case Auri would fill in for her.

    “My best subjects are Transfigurations, Potions, Astronomy and Divinations, as well as Care for Magical Creatures.” She revealed in kind as Malaika had done a moment before. “I am not strong in the subject of Legilimency and Occlumency despite my best efforts.” The young heiress to-be admitted with a slight shrug of her shoulders. As much as she strived to achieve everything she set her mind to she knew there would always be areas where she would fall short, just as the case was for any person. “I am excellent at research and puzzles, they are a great passion of mine. I can hold my own in a fight as well so it sounds like we are both confident there.” She confirmed. Auri was incredibly in tune with her strengths and weaknesses as any leader, or leader in the making, should be. She also knew eyes would be on her performance in these games even just as a secondary. There would always be those seeking any excuse to deem her unfit for her destiny and she would need to constantly be ready to stand her ground and make her case against them. “It sounds like we both have solid overlapping knowledge but also our own strengths to bring to the table. I do not intend to sound intrusive but is there anything you feel as though you might struggle with in a challenge so I know how to best assist you?” She inquired in a soft tone to ensure no one else overheard.



    Mentions: Malaika Wolfiee Wolfiee



    TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 
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MOOD: Nervous, sick

OUTFIT: suit(click!) mask(click!)

LOCATION: Dining/dance hall > library > closet/storage
two
INTERACTIONS: Naomi

MENTIONS: Considers the Winters in his internal monologue
two
TL;DR: Reflects on the day so far, escapes to the library. Is haunted by a harmless book. Runs into Naomi and has an awful vision. Decides he wil help Naomi and asks to hang out.
two
PIPER
So far, the Octowizard Tournament had been fairly overwhelming. Before ever even arriving at Ilvermorny, the whole event had become a lot to handle. He had been warned pretty last minute by Headmaster Eide that he had been selected to accompany two other Durmstrang students to represent their school in the tournament. Durmstrang had had a competition for representative selection and the end of the previous school year, and he was confident that, while he did well on paper, his personality and lack of personal connections within the student body would have scratched him off the list. Even though the Katzenbach name used to carry some weight, his mother had practically tarnished it in the last five years and the man he once believed to be his father practically disinherited him publicly, and if his name was what mattered there were four other Katzenbachs perfectly capable and possibly more worthy to get the spot. Any of them would've been good representatives of the school. Even if Ottilie and Averil were discredited for being too young, Asten had a kind heart and sharp mind and Keiron was obviously the better of the twins. Stronger, socially capable, brutal, cunning. Yeah, Piper hated Keiron in a way, but he knew deep down that Keiron was likely the better wizard. The better man.

No, he was confident that his selection as representative boiled down to something else. Headmaster Eide was not a man who would be swayed by any influence, money, or power his mother could have offered him, and the Katzenbach name was about as valuable as deutsche mark. Just as Eide had been warned of Chip's condition before Chip chose to leave Durmstrang, Eide had also been given a courtesy memo about Piper's. What Piper had was a gift, more than a condition, a rare gift to see into the future. His mother had pushed for him to warn Eide not long before the competition for the chance to be champion was over. It seemed that Eide had mulled on it for a few months and pulled Petia Macedonski from the originally picked trio. The only good thing about the tournament thus far was that facing tall, muscular Petia, who had become known for the ass-whooping she handed out in quidditch matches and the meanest bat bogey hexes possibly in all of northern Europe, was a far-off problem.

Instead, he had a much closer, much more complicated problem to face. While Professor Einar had been notified of the change in the cast, the rest of the trio had not. Honestly, Piper had half forgotten who else was selected when he was dreading Petia's wrath and the surefire revenge Keiron and Averil would take since he obviously cheated and connived to get the position. Seeing Clara that morning had curdled an already sour mood. Her slate gaze cut like daggers when her striking blue eyes weren't practically looking straight through him. Being around Clara since their breakup had a way of putting his heart in his throat and a pit in his stomach.

His relationship with Cosmo had stayed relatively intact, given how brutal and dramatic the breakup had been between Clara and himself. Regardless, he found himself isolated for these early parts of their trip due to the twins' close connection with each other. It was rare to see one Winter without the other nearby. The Winter twins together was usually a bad sign, where as the Katzenbach twins together was practically a death omen. Piper spent the last significant chunk of time avoiding the Winters, mostly to avoid the drama of the breakup. He had a hard time telling who needed the space from the other more, him or Clara.

He found himself spending a significant portion of the evening in solitude, which was how he would prefer to spend it if he weren't going to spend it with Cosmo or Clara. He enjoyed the peace that being alone brought, no expectation for him to be a perfectly functioning human. He could read, or write— not that he'd ever be caught dead with his journal out at a public function— or study. The moments where he needed to spend time with others were unsurprisingly agonious. He spent his dances clumsily navigating niceties and conversation, translating between languages in his head and trying to keep up with the varied accents and conversations, faces blurring together as he and his assigned partners whirled around the room. He spent dinner nodding awkwardly as some Ilvermorny girl babbled nonsense in his ear, her twangy accent so thick and chatter so quick that the words she spoke were practically nonsense. He pulled at his white bowtie nervously and wiped his sweaty palms on his pants. He picked aimlessly at the white embroidery that decorated his mask. He felt like he hadn't taken a full breath all night until the plates from the last course began to clear and he let out a sigh he didn't know he was holding.

Once the Ilvermorny girl— Ashley-Mae? Annie-Kay? Marnie-Ray? He couldn't understand her name when she told him— was tugged away by her giggling friends whispering unsubtly about the foreigners that had joined them this evening, he became excited to be left to his own devices. He knew exactly where he would want to go, as it'd be his number one spot to visit in each of the other seven schools: the library. Since he was alone, he was able to slip away from the dining, dancing, and merriment, and explore the halls alone. There weren't many people, each spaced peppered with a small group of friends or a lone wanderer in the torchlight. It didn't take him long to find the library either, which was it's own delight.

He spent some time scanning the shelves and walls of books, looking for an interesting title to catch his eye. Most of the selection in the magical theory section was already familiar to him, despite their titles now being in English, and the foreign books seemed uninteresting at the moment. He could always come back later to read, for he was likely to spend some amount of time here while the tournament was stopped in Ilvermorny. Now that he wasn't named champion, his time was free to spend learning instead of competing. He had spent sometime browsing, leaving his mask unattended on a nearby table, trying to ignore the half-hushed conversations of the few other stragglers that had picked the library for their refuge. Before long, he found himself staring at a worn copy of Death Omens: What to Do When You Know the Worst is Coming.

It was just a book. It shouldn't have made him feel as ill as it did. This reaction probably could've been reserved for the copy of Lupine Lawlessness: Why Lycanthropes Don't Deserve to Live, given his blood relation to a modern Lycan. However, as upsetting as Picardy's categorically false scrawling about how werewolves were objectively immoral was, it was a notion he had faced frequently in the last two years. But death omens... He got that awful, pit-filled feeling that seeing Clara earlier had given him. It was like his peripheral vision quit working, his heart pounded in his chest, and his mouth felt dry. He gingerly raised his hand, his fingertip trailing down the embossed title along the book's spine. He swallowed the urge to puke. He hesitated for a moment, primed to pluck the book from its place on the shelf. A ringing noise overtook his ears.

"Damn it!" He whispered to himself, snapping out of the daze. Piper had turned his hearing aids down for the festivities, since the large amounts of noise could be consuming. He always had them turned down on the first night of school at Durmstrang, finding the crowd noise to be a good distraction from the typical ringing of his ears and the volume of that many bodies to be loud enough to nod need them cranked up. In the quiet library, it was time to turn them up. With trembling hands, he decided to take a break from the library. Maybe it would be best to visit the library another time. Perhaps he'd run into Maisie-Day or whatever her name was and she could point him out to some interesting, new material. He half suspected that Ellie-Bay wasn't a reader anyway. He just needed to splash some cool water on his face and he'd feel better. He was sure of it.

He moved swiftly, carefully opening doors that didn't seem too uninviting or off limits, ignoring his shaky grip. Each door was opened carefully, so if he was entering the wrong room he'd have time to close it before someone got offended or yelled at him. The problem arose when the door he was trying to open was fairly heavy. He struggled to open it as gingerly as he had the others. Was it stuck? He gave one hard pull and practically threw the door open and earned quite a shock to find someone standing on the other side. "Oh!" He exclaimed, his surprise causing his hand to loosen around the handle. The door began to swing shut between himself and the girl, and he almost let it, until he noticed a sweater tucked in her arms.

Piper extended his arm to catch the door— and tried to hide his wince as it slammed into his palm— "U-um," He could be brave enough to ask her how she got a hold of his clothes. It wasn't a big deal, right? "That's my sweater— woah..." His voice trailed as his eyes found the upturned room, clothes, belongings and luggage strewn about as pets still in their cages moved restlessly in their enclosure. His cheeks tingled with embarrassment as the girl looked at him, and he found himself struggling to find words to speak to her. "Uh, um," He half shook his head, as if knocking the words around in his brain to form a complete sentence. "I-I'm sorry. But you're holding my sweater." He tilted his head forward, his blue eyes finding the thick, gray and white knit in the crook of her arm. He took a careful step forward, allowing the door to swing close behind him, but looked away as if breaking any eye contact would hide his bashful blush.

Her airy laugh prompted him to turn back to her, and he felt the tingling mortification migrate to his ears. She was pretty, petite with rosy blonde hair and deep brown eyes that sparkled in the light of the glorified coat closet they stood in. She held his sweater out to him, and he took it from her sheepishly. "Thank you. I-I'll just, I'll help you put some of this stuff away." He found his own half-opened, strewn about luggage, and unceremoniously shoved the sweater into it and tucked away the sleeves that hung out. When he turned around, he cast a cleaning charm that would at least neatly put the remaining belongings aside. As the mess of clothes, trinkets, robes, and books floated into a blank corner of the room, neatly organizing themselves, he noticed that she was holding a niffler in her hand. "Woah, is that the little guy responsible for all this?" He approached her cautiously, peering at the creature in her hands. "I've read about them, but I've never seen one in person. The groundskeeper said they were so destructive..." He clasped his hands behind his back and leaned in to examine the niffler carefully. "It's so cool to see one up close." He glanced up at the girl, and suddenly becoming self-conscious, straightened.

"Um. My charm didn't put the mess away, but maybe it'll be easier for the house elves or the other students to find their things." He smiled nervously. "I- uh, I apologize for my intrusion..." He trailed off, unsure if he should call her miss or ask for her name. Before he could make a decision, she supplemented him with hers.

"Naomi."

"Naomi." He repeated with a curt nod. "I'm Piper. I'll uh—" Go.

A dark fog obscured his view. "Naomi!" A girl's voice shrieked. He strained his eyes to see further than the fog, taking careful steps forward. He couldn't see the ground, but something crunched under his footsteps. Leaves? Glass? Snow? He got that pit in his stomach, his heart pounded in his chest. The ringing in his ears were back, but it wasn't the usual tinnitus he faced. Something was wrong. Something bad was happening. "Naomi!" The girl's voice was closer now. The fog was clearing up, he could see a slight figure on the ground. Sprawled out on her back, unconscious, her rosy blonde hair around her face.
"Naomi." His own words snapped him out of his daze. He felt cold sweat roll down his back. This was bad. Having visions were usually bad, but Naomi... She was about to be hurt. Seers saw the most likely future. But... It wasn't set in stone.

He shoved his hands in his pockets, eager to hide their trembles as his vision had taken another toll on him. "Uh, um. Naomi. Would you care to take a, um, a walk with me?" He fumbled for words. "I– I haven't seen my friends all night and um, I would feel better exploring the castle with a, uh, buddy." That was a lie. He'd definitely prefer to traverse the grounds alone. The way his heart thundered in his chest pushed him to lie. He'd never tried to thwart the most likely future before, but he couldn't just let this girl get hurt. He learned his lesson after sitting idly by while Chip and Rainer suffered. He didn't exactly know Naomi, but whatever was coming he was sure she wouldn't deserve it.
sometimes i act like i know
but i'm really just a kid
with two corks in his eyes
and a bully in his brain
code by valen t.
 
If needed I’ll remove it.


Angelique Chimere
Professor
location here
mood here
outfit here
interactions

Bellamy honeycoves honeycoves

Angelique had been watching some of the students making sure none of them were up to anything bad. She was a professor at Beauxbaton however that didn’t mean that she couldn’t couldn’t help the other professors out and deal with their students as well if they were misbehaving. So when she was suddenly approached by a tall dark haired man who, like herself, was also French. A warmth coated her cheeks as the man was very handsome and already exhibiting a lovely amount of charisma. When his hand extended she reached out, taking it in her own her eyes flicking to the cane he also wielded as well. She offered her name to him and when he spoke of his she couldn’t help but give a small amused laugh a grin curving her lips. “Ah it seems you are trying to steal my name. Here I thought it was the women who took on a male's name.”she teased softly.”My middle name is Bellamy so i suppose since it’s your last one I shall let you have it.”her tone still teasing as her gaze traveled over him before looking towards others for a moment. “By all means allow yourself and Mr.West to be distracted by myself or my students. That leaves us a greater chance of winning which I will gladly take for Beaxbaton.”

She saw Einer not far off and allowed Professor Bellamy to address him as well; this gave her the time to check on her own students making sure they were doing alright. It wasn’t much longer before she was also drawn into conversation with Einer, Bellamy, and what seemed to be a fan base of Bellamy’s. A red eyebrow raised as students and others alike swarmed Bellamy what surprised her more was when a student suddenly basically tackled him for a hug nearly knocking him over. Her hand had reached out for half a second before withdrawing as he steadied himself by hugging the girl back awkwardly. It seemed at least the girl did actually know him and wasn’t some weirdo who liked to hug people they thought were famous. Her voice spoke of him having known her when she was smaller and how she must have grown in his eyes since they last saw one another. Once she actually focused on said student she realized it was one of her own Kiara Sinclaire well that wasn’t super surprising that she would know someone who was a fellow from their home academy. She once again moved her gaze seeking out her other students making sure they were alright. Once she spotted them she hovered a bit awkwardly as she wasn’t sure if Bellamy wanted to continue their conversation or not.

Her thoughts began to drift wondering if she also knew Professor Bellamy it would make sense if maybe they knew of one another in passing. She was pretty sure someone like him would be memorable so chances were that they had crossed paths just not enough to have actually spoken before now. She finally approached after several moments. “Well if you’d like to continue this conversation later I’m sure you can find me.”she said with a grin before departing.



coded by natasha.
 
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lisandro valencia
castelobruxo champion

L
is gave a taut smile at his professor’s response to the question, knowing when he was being talked down to. He was used to it, due to his timid nature. People often thought he couldn’t handle himself, even with the smallest things. Sometimes he couldn’t. While on the one hand, he appreciated Cha-Cha’s praise, on the other, he felt the familiar twinge in his gut as when people were patronizing him.

Lis tried to shoo the thought from his mind, not trying to dwell on feelings he was likely projecting onto his professor in the first place. Professors are supposed to encourage you, after all. Perhaps Lis’s exhaustion was causing him to take Cha-Cha’s words a bit wrong, and after all, it wasn’t a big deal. He just got rubbed the wrong way when people were a little too encouraging when he hadn’t done much. And it didn’t feel like he had done much, just casting some mediocre spells and running out of the kitchen didn’t feel like an excellent job. On the other hand, it was hard to plan ahead and do better when he didn’t exactly know the plan.

Lis didn’t get much time to dwell on that thought before a girl waltzed into the library. As she grew closer, Lis recognized her as Ricky’s friend, Clara, and saw that Ricky was following her not far behind. Relief filled him, glad to no longer be left alone with their professor. Perhaps they would be done soon and Ricky’s arrival was the closing to their very strange evening. Something told him that Cha-Cha’s plan spanned at least a bit further as he took a glance at the bottles of oil, and it made him uneasy – he didn’t know how much longer he’d be able to be along for the ride.

He remained quiet as Cha-Cha and Ricky spoke, but gave Ricky a small wave and Clara an uneasy smile as they drew closer. He wasn’t the most in-tune with other people’s emotions, but as Ricky and Cha-Cha talked even he could feel the iciness that Cha-Cha had in his words.

He glanced towards the map as it was tossed on the table and strained to look at it as Cha-Cha unfolded and studied it. A map to… wherever they were going. It was neat and detailed and Lis wondered how they’d made it – was it a spell, or were they just quick? Lis was impressed either way, and so was his professor. It took a bit of the chill out of the air, and soon the conversation had turned toward Clara.

Lis zoned out for a bit, only snapping back to reality when he heard his name and realized that they were leaving… and without Ricky. His stomach churned as the oil bottles were thrust into his hands and they started to leave. As he passed Ricky, he flashed him another nervous smile that almost said help me.

As his professor requested, he concealed their location as best he could, focusing as hard as he could. As he followed his professor, he blinked his sleepy eyes hard and hoped they would be done soon. As they walked down what seemed like a residential hallway, Lis grew nervous. Who lived here? Was it the professors? It didn’t seem like the dorms at Castelobruxo, which wouldn’t have been accessible directly to the hallway, usually having a “Common Room” area that was typical before leading to the bedrooms.

If it was the professor living area…. What were they doing here? Lis swallowed hard, nervously looking around them as his professor looked for where they were going. Moments after stopping in front of a door, they began to hear a thump, which caused Lis to jump at first, and then turn very red as the thump turned rhythmic. He knew that… things often happened, but the thought of a professor having sex grossed him out. He liked to think he was mature enough to handle the idea, but it still embarrassed him, especially as he was with his professor.

Without addressing it or missing a beat, Cha-Cha began to knock on the door in front of them, and then coach Lis to…. Open this locked door? Lis had gone along with everything thus far, because he couldn’t think of a necessarily bad or immoral reasoning for what they were doing but now… he felt like this was hardly training anymore. What use would unlocking some random door give him?

A twinge in him wondered if Cha-Cha was pulling some prank on him, or perhaps even sabotaging him. He didn’t think his professor would do that, but the situation was so absurd he couldn’t think of any other explanation. If he didn’t think Lis could do it, Lis wished he would have just said something instead of leading him on this truly wild goose chase. Lis halfheartedly raised his wand to use a spell to unlock the door when Cha-Cha caught his wrist. … That's what he wants us to do.

A vague statement, but Lis whipped his head towards Cha-Cha. He? Who was he? Why couldn’t Cha-Cha just tell him what they were doing. He stepped back as Cha-Cha started fiddling with the lock and a “credit card.” Watching his professor pick the lock made his stomach tie in knots and he felt almost sick. The cryptic reasons that they were there… the sneaking around. Picking someone’s lock. It was collectively almost too much for Lis, who couldn’t think of a reasonable explanation to his professor sneaking around like this. Another student might be pulling a prank on their professor, but why would his professor come into a brand new school and decide to pull a prank on the first night there?

As the door opened, he glanced nervously at Cha-Cha, hoping there was no alarm or some kind of warning to their entrance. With no response, Cha-Cha lead the charge inside. Lis hesitated just outside the door for a few moments, his head swirling with all his deliberating and worrying. But when he realized how odd it would be for him to be seen standing outside of this door with two large bottles of oil in his arms, he took a step inside and closed the door quietly behind him.

He followed Cha-Cha closely once he was inside, worried someone they didn’t expect would be inside, or would soon return to their room. He glanced around the seemingly innocuous room, trying to deduce whose room this might be and why they might deserve... whatever Cha-Cha had planned. As they got deeper into the room, Lis began to feel his feet turning into lead and his heart jump into his throat. He didn’t know exactly what to say, but this scenario was almost too much for him and he stared as his professor creeped further into the room and began fiddling with the oil bottle he had in his hand.

Lis's mind suddenly flashed to their earlier conversation when Cha-Cha specified that they weren't cooking something, but rather somewhere, and Lis's throat closed up as the put the puzzle together. Were they going to light this room ablaze? Why would they do that? How would that be training? How could they not get in trouble? What was going on in Cha-Cha's mind? He knew the professor to be a bit odd, but he'd never thought he'd go this far.

He took a couple of steps back towards the door and leaned against the wall, trying to quietly take a couple of deep breaths to calm his breathing down before he sent himself further into a spiral. With his professor’s back still to him, he whispered just loud enough for him to hear. “Why exactly are we doing this?"




location:
Bellini's room




interaction:
Cha-Cha Aviator Aviator




feeling:
on the verge of a panic attack

 
cb81ceba702fa834f06339a0c5170a93.jpg


Vasu Saini // “Shiva’s Heir” // Male // 5th Year // Koldovstoretz Champion // Parselmouth
Conveniently, they didn’t have to search far for Faron Bellamy. Theodore ducked out of the classroom and returned a minute later, confirming that Bellamy was still standing in the Great Hall, socializing and regaling an audience with tales of grandeur, right where his students had left him. Well, that’s one problem solved, Vasu thought anxiously. He hadn’t even stepped foot outside of the music room, and his blood was sloshing around like wine in a cask at the thought of his own daring. Was he really about to do this? Jeopardize his champion status for a children’s game? The logical answer was to refuse, yet as his eyes slid to Chitrita, who sat looking bored and cold and regal on the piano bench, he had the overwhelming feeling that was what she expected him to do. And then she’d go tell all her friends that she was engaged to a chicken, and that label would haunt Vasu for the duration of the tournament. Him, a Saini, of all people! It felt heretical to tarnish the great family name like that, because now that their wealth was gone, legacy was all they had left. Until Vasu won the tournament and restored his family’s former glory, of course.
As he beckoned for Vasu to follow, Theodore smiled at him magnanimously, an expression that resembled the leer of a shark. Just seeing it made Vasu’s heart sink in his chest, as if he’d egregiously misjudged the menace of a roller coaster from a distance. Fuck me, he thought with foreboding as he followed the Hogwarts champion down the hall, as if he were being escorted to the gallows. Vasu’s mind worked furiously as he walked, because it was the only way to keep the panic at bay. He was not one to go into battle unprepared. What did he know about Faron Bellamy, and how could he use it to his advantage?
He was so lost in thought that he did not register the blond whirlwind about to engulf him before it was too late.
If he had been paying attention, he would have noticed covert glances and conspiratorial whispers behind hands and a building tension in the air. “That’s him. The Koldovstoretz champion. The one with the rose!”
“Are you serious? Holy shit—no way.”
“His eyes are so dreamy.”
“Did you see that girl who was with him? I’d’ve given anything to be her. I don’t think I’d even mind being a secondary, so long as I had him in all my classes.”
“Why isn’t he Russian?”
“Eleanor, you’re not supposed to ask questions like that!”
With a rabid shriek that made Vasu draw his wand halfway, there was the sound of running feet, and then a pack of girls descended on him before he’d even stepped fully out of the hallway into the Great Hall. As if they’d been lying in wait. He stole only the barest glance at the knot of individuals standing at the center of the Great Hall, illuminated in amber candlelight. At their center was a long-nosed, stern-looking man with heavy brows and a crown of coffee-brown curls. Vasu recognized him immediately as the multi-time headliner of the Daily Prophet and author of a series of magical language textbooks. To someone born and raised in the Wizarding World, Faron Bellamy was unmistakable.
And then a wall of five Ilvermorny students curtained off his view, forming a pentagram of girlish adoration around him. They chirped over one another, clamoring for his attention. Vasu swallowed and then gave a satisfied smile, somehow feeling both uneasy and flattered.
He was unsure where to look first until a rail-thin girl in paint-splattered overalls shouldered two of her friends aside and broke the stalemate, pushing to the front. Vasu recognized her as the one called Eleanor.
“Quiet!” she snapped, throwing baleful glares around the circle until the other girls quieted. She cleared her throat and redirected her attention at Vasu, pasting on a look of angelic sweetness. “Mr. Vasu Saini, is it all right if we call you Vasu?” Without waiting for a response, “Vasu, we loved your entrance tonight. You were so cool up there on the staaaage!” Eleanor’s voice pitched to a shrill squeal, and Vasu suppressed a flinch. “Anyway, we were wondering, is it possible we could get your autograph? We’re such big fans, you see, and we’ll all be rooting for you in the tournament!”
The girl next to her, pudgy with her hair piled atop her head in two small buns like an anime character, thrust a red notebook covered in stickers at him. A gel pen followed. Vasu reluctantly accepted them, pinching the unfamiliar items by the corners. Nonetheless, he manufactured a million-dollar smile. These girls could be useful to him. Best to play along, so that they’d eventually become players in his game.
“Certainly,” he replied, noting with a hint of amusement that they hadn’t mentioned Sasha at all, despite him and her having taken a bow on the stage together. He flipped open the notebook, revolted by the massive stain of what looked like coffee on the first page. The school year hadn’t even started yet. How had the owner of the brand-new notebook soiled it already? Turning to a clean page, Vasu signed his name in neat, looping cursive that looked like the product of many penmanship lessons, and instantly regretted it. Weren’t celebrities supposed to have messy, careless signatures? Eleanor insisted that each of the girls have her own copy, adding a belated “please,” and he endeavored to sign the next four pages with measured sloppiness.
Five autographs had given him time to contemplate the best plan of attack. While another girl thanked him profusely—and clearly on behalf of all her friends—Eleanor reached to snatch the notebook the second he’d laid the pen down. Keenly aware that he had something they wanted, Vasu twitched the notebook away, so that her hand passed through empty air. He produced a rakish smile, as if it were all part of an affectionate tease from idol to fan, and not him clinging to the only leverage he had. The other girls hooted like owls at Vasu’s prank. Eleanor flushed red momentarily, and then she batted her lashes, eager to please.
The group went more quiet than Vasu assumed they were physically capable of as they waited for him to speak. He smiled wider, striving for the look of a friendly, selfless helper. “While I’m flattered that you ladies think so highly of me, I don’t deserve all the attention. Yesterday I wasn’t famous,” he said modestly, pleased with himself.
“That’s why we want your autographs now,” interjected the owner of the notebook. Vasu wondered at the appearance of her other notebooks, whether they had nasty coffee splotches on them too. “So that way we’ll be the first!”
Yeah, fat chance, Vasu thought. If these girls were truly so enamored with him, they would have known that he’d played in the International Quidditch Cup two years ago, and there was a slew of fans before them. Fair-weather fans, because they’d quickly forgotten about him after the Red Court lost to Papillonlisse, but fans all the same.
His patience faltering at the interruption, Vasu’s smile pulled tighter than fresh stitches. “Well, as a champion who wants the very best for his fans, let me help you out. Do you know who that man is over there?” Vasu briefly searched for an opening amid the cluster, and then pointed at Faron Bellamy. Who appeared fearful for his own mortality as a girl in a baby-blue dress squeezed him in a bear hug. Whoever she was, Vasu’s spirits soared at her appearance; her fawning affection was a testimony to Bellamy’s fame.
“Um…? Should we?” hedged a girl with blond pigtails.
“He looks kinda familiar, now that you mention it,” contributed the notebook owner.
“No, who is he?” Eleanor said bluntly, ever the charmer.
Damn girl, with that kind of attitude you’d better be able to hold your own in a duel, Vasu thought bitterly, fighting the temptation to throttle her. Instead, he said, “Gosh, really?” Heightening the suspense. “Are you sure? You don’t recognize him from the Daily Prophet?” Realizing that he may not be playing to an audience of purebloods, he groped for the name of a Muggle media outlet. “Or, um, YouTwo. Flitter, too, I’m pretty sure,” he added uncertainly.
The girls stared, mystified. Vasu deflated, seeing that he would have to spell it out for them. “Why, that’s Faron Bellamy, Auror extraordinaire,” he said reverently, a voice reserved for saints and sacred places. “The one and only! The guy who took down that vampire that killed forty-six wizards. And brokered a peace treaty with the sirens of the Mediterranean Sea.” He looked around at his audience desperately. “Rumor has it Hollywood’s contracted him to star in his own autobiographical film. He’s gonna be a movie star!” A ridiculous claim, yet as soon as he said it, Vasu knew he’d struck gold.
There was a palpable shift in the air as the girls’ interest began to accumulate, gathering like a thunderstorm. They buzzed with whispers, conspiring, the pig-tailed blond’s enthusiasm infecting the group. It was decided that they would take Vasu’s advice, and she gave a hysteric giggle. “Thank you for the information, Vasu. And for giving us your autograph,” she said.
He gave her the notebook when she reached for it, deciding that he liked her the most out of the group because she’d shown the appropriate respect and didn’t own a gross notebook. “Anytime,” he said with another dimple-inducing smile, buffeted by the resultant gust of wind as the girls sped off toward their next target. Bellamy was deep in conversation with the student in the blue dress, whom the Ilvermorny fans knocked aside in their earnestness. Much as they had Vasu, they formed a circle around Bellamy, like devoted acolytes who’d summoned a deity through a candlelit ritual. The other two professors were likewise shut out, and as the ring around Bellamy tightened, they acknowledged their loss of a companion and peeled off.
Vasu started over, significantly more slowly. As Theodore prudently stepped back to avoid getting bulldozed, their eyes locked, and the corner of Vasu’s mouth lifted smugly. He straightened the collar of his sherwani, feeling capable. “Didn’t think you’d have to do all the work, did you, Westie Dog?” Vasu said in a stage whisper when he came within range. Before Theodore could inevitably draw him into another pissing contest, Vasu pushed forward, throwing himself into the congregation of worshipers.
“Bellamy, you must have been so brave facing down that vampire!”
“Do you have a special girl back home? Or guy?”
“Is it true they’re gonna make a movie about you? Can I be in it?”
The wall of sound was mildly discombobulating, even to someone on its fringes. Miraculously, more notebooks had been procured in the time since they’d swarmed Vasu, presumably via magical means. The girls jockeyed for the center of Bellamy’s field of vision, stabbing at him with their notebooks and pens. Not wanting to be noticed immediately, Vasu skulked at the back of the crowd, circling until he found an opening, like a vulture hunting for room on a juicy carcass.
“Bellamy, would you sign my notebook and my cast?”
“Would you prefer to use a red or green pen? Or both!”
“Please don’t judge the coffee stain, Bellamy.”
Too late there, Vasu thought viciously, but he was fighting off a delirious grin. This onslaught of hurricane force was better than anything he could have hoped for. In its midst, Bellamy’s grin of delight was fading into a sigh of despair; every time he tried to answer a question or tell a story another fan shouted over the last one. Sweat visibly formed on his brow as he struggled to juggle the various notebooks and pens pushed at him, plus his cane. Vasu’s eyes homed in on his prize. Bellamy’s fingers shook, trying to hold five handfuls of stationary in two hands, and he nearly dropped his cane.
Vasu seized his chance. “Would you like me to hold your cane for you, sir?” he prodded with a thief’s light touch. Not wanting his interest in the cane to seem conspicuous, he made an effort to blend with the fanbase. “It would mean the world to me if you could give me an autograph, too, please. I have a little sister back home who’s a big fan of yours. When that article about your adventure with the reanimated mummies was printed, you’re all she talked about for days, sir.” Vasu extended a polite hand, eager to help this hero he admired in any way he could.
 
MOOD: Friendly, risky, confused

OUTFIT: Suit (click!), Mask (click!)

LOCATION: Ballroom/dining
two
INTERACTIONS: Angelique, Einar, Kiara, Theo, Vasu, gaggle of girls

MENTIONS: Theo, Kaz
two
TL;DR: Conversing, trying to recover from his previous blunder when he's bombarded by a group of girls. He trusts Vasu to hold his cane before he disappears. He stumbles trying to go after Kiara.
two
BELLAMY
The more he spoke with Kiara the more weary he was becoming. Her facial expressions were perfectly neutral, her smiles imperceptibly strained, and her crystal blue eyes were her only betrayal. It was like Kiara was elsewhere while they spoke, her gaze distant but not vacant. Every word exchanged felt tiresome, and with his polyjuice potion beginning to wear off the need for his transfiguration magic to begin, he felt like he just might pass out. He hated suspicious people. Sometimes they were more fun than bothersome, something to toy with. But today and right now was not the time nor the place. For now, he would feign interest, his thick brows knit in concentration. He would have to be exceptionally aware of his facial expressions as this Kiara was incredibly scrutinous and observant if their current interaction was any indication of her true nature.

In the back of his mind, he considered Adrian Sinclaire's file to the best of his recollection. The Sinclaire family, to his knowledge, was larger than just Adrian and Kiara. There were more Sinclaires out there, and the family had been one of interest when discussing Children of Morgana's plans to move forward. The Sinclaires' status as former dragon breeders and current dragon rescuers made them formidable opponents and coveted allies. The recent plan had developed to targeting Adrian Sinclaire, due to his closeness to Faron Bellamy, since he'd be an easily accessible contact for COM and his relationship with Bellamy may have earned COM some sway. Now, he'd consider Kiara more valuable than her brother. He had direct access to her now, and maybe she had even more pull in regards to her family than Bellamy would have directly communicating with Adrian. He scanned the girl's words for something recognizable, something he could hang onto. Something that could put him back into the young Sinclaire's good graces,

"I do think Adrian will be proposing to Margot soon..." Margot! This chance would not escape him this time. He didn't miss a beat to break out into a large smile. "Ah!" He felt prepared to respond to this conversation. Margot had been on his radar more than Kiara had, as he had originally looked for employment at Beauxbatons before Hogwarts. The idea of working so closely with Margot had prompted him to need more information about her. He couldn't risk a slipup in front of someone who had known him. Otherwise, he'd be in this tiresome situation with someone with a lot more life and magical experience than Kiara. Just as Margot's name was forming on his lips, Kiara's gaze directed him elsewhere. He turned to find Theodore approaching, the young man confidently strutting over to the growing group along the wall.

Bellamy's feelings landed somewhere between relief that Theo would reprieve him of Kiara's scrutinous gaze and disappointment that the opportunity to save face and show his knowledge of the Sinclaires was squandered. He beamed, nonetheless, offering the young man a warm, welcoming smile. "Ah, Mr. West!" He clasped a firm hand on his students shoulder, a good-natured gesture of friendship. "How pleasant of you to join us." He allowed Theo to greet Birger with no interruption. After the two broke their handshake, he directed him to their other companions. "It seems you've already met Miss Sinclaire. This is her escorting professor, Professor Chimere." He stole a glance at Kiara, his pleasant smile nearly faltering. It seemed that Theo was higher on Kiara's shitlist than he was at the moment. His presence had caused her to fall silent, and her flinty glare seemed to target her fellow pupil the most. "Miss Sinclaire and I are old family friends," He told Theo. "Her brother and I have been close since our school days. You are, of course, free to strategize as you choose, Champion, but I would not discredit her as an ally if I were you. She's a skilled young witch. She knows how to tip the scales in her favor." He shot Kiara a playful glance, maybe she would be amused by an inside joke regarding her family's business.

He volleyed conversation with Einar, Theo, and Angel for a few moments— Kiara seemed to prefer to sit out— before a high pitched squeal tore his attention from the group. His head snapped up, surprised by the noise, and then he felt a rush of embarrassment when he realized it was aimed towards him. He laughed awkwardly as his company watched a teenaged girl practically trip over herself to get to him and their eyes each looked at him expectantly. "It seems my employment at Hogwarts is becoming public more quickly than I had anticipated. I had hoped I would slip under the radar, but you think I would know better by now." He chuckled. The professor offered the girl who scrambled over a kind smile as she extended the piece of parchment she clutched tightly with her hand.

"You’re the real Faron Bellamy, I can’t believe it!” She exclaimed, pushing a quill into his free hand and asking for an autograph.

"Er, you might have to hold the parchment still for me. I am not as stable as I should be." He said apologetically, barely lifting his cane as a half-shrug. As he slowly, clumsily, but as carefully as he could, scrawled his signature—which, by the way, Aadesh spent forever perfecting to get the same kind of effortless Faron would have had— another girl showed up.

"Oh my god, Faron Bellamy!" She bumped up against the first girl, her eyes the size of moons as she stared up at him. Bellamy was growing warm, weary, and nervous with the growing crowd and attention. More strain and effort was being put towards upholding and maintaining his physical appearance. All he could do was smile apologetically at Kiara, Theo, Einar, and Angel. One by one, students(mostly young girls) began to swarm him, chattering questions and asking for autographs. One girl clutched a camera in her hands and snapped an unwitting picture of him.

"My apologies, my friends, I may be a bit slow. I am a bit encumbered nowadays."

He lifted his cane to pin it between his elbow and his ribcage, taking papers and quills into his trembling fingers one at a time, trying to find the balance and dexterity required to sign all of these signatures. Despite the mounting pressure to perform, Bellamy smiled and nodded effortlessly, occasionally knitting his brows to concentrate on what his hands were doing. He did his best to answer the questions that came flying at him, stopping from time to time to readjust his cane under his arm and laugh friendlily when the moment allowed.

"Lord Nicodemus was almost an old friend at that point, we had run across him so many times. For awhile he was my white whale. Vampires are not innately evil, but Nicodemus certainly was."
"Ah, I've spend years keeping international secrets, young lady. I would not kiss and tell now."
He allowed himself to steal a glance at Angelique, but by this time she had already disappeared, and the duties of the begging crowd beckoned.
"I will need a marker to sign your cast, but I would be delighted to sign your cast, ma poupette."
"Let's go with green. I have been fond of it since my Beauxbaton days."
"Ah, a girl after my own heart. I would never judge another coffee lover."


He felt his energy sapping with each word and interaction, and his frustration grew as he struggled to manage holding paper, pens, notebooks, and his cane all at once. As the pages between his fingers increased, and his hearty laughs shook his body, his cane slipped from its safekeeping spot and nearly clattered to the floor before he caught it, crumpling some of his signed papers slightly. He smiled sheepishly at the girls before him. "Would you like me to hold your cane for you, sir?" A boy that had appeared at his elbow spoke, half-surprising the professor and drawing his gaze. Bellamy hesitated for a second, examining the young man. He knew that this boy was a champion, that he went to Koldovstoretz, that the Wampus cat had named him one with the bravest of hearts. Something at the back of his neck prickled as he looked at Vasu. "It would mean the world to me if you could give me an autograph, too, please. I have a little sister back home who’s a big fan of yours. When that article about your adventure with the reanimated mummies was printed, you’re all she talked about for days, sir."

Little sister... Bellamy softened, offering Vasu a soft, warm smile. Aadesh knew what it was like to have a young sister who was excited about something she loved. The way Rita would chatter on and on about dancers and ballet was endearingly irritating. He knew, if he had had the chance to meet one of her heroes when they were young— before he left Mahoutokoro— he would've. "Thank you, young man." He handed over the cane, placing it into Vasu's palm, and turned to the girl with the coffee-stained notebook. "Would you mind if I stole a paper for a tournament champion? I promise I will find a means to make it up to you." He flashed a charming smile, bowing his head gratefully, and steadied a pen in his shaking fingers. "Your sister, what is her name? I will write her a personal mess—" He turned back to Vasu, or rather where Vasu had been standing, to find that the young boy and his cane, had disappeared. "—age..."

He looked around wildly before finding the back of Vasu's head, moving swiftly but inconspicuously amongst any remnants of this evening's crowd. He watched Vasu slither away. He turned back to the crowd of girls, passing back their autographs and pens and papers, as if nothing had happened. His head snapped up when he caught a silverly blue figure stalking away, prowling after the cane thief. "Kiara!" He called after her. If she heard him, she did not react. He squeezed his eyes shut. Think! Think! What does the Sinclaire file say? What do Kiara's pages look like? He could see it. He could see her name printed on the manila envelope in perfect, black lettering. His eyes flew open. "Kiara Ophelia Sinclaire! Get back here!" He bellowed. He took an unsteady step forward, making a move to follow after her. He took a second, and his knee buckled underneath him. He tumbled forward, only saved from disgracefully hitting the floor as someone caught his arm.

"Thank you," He grimaced, rising haphazardly to his feet with the help of his savior. He straightened, smoothed out his suit, and gazed after Kiara, where she disappeared into the hall.
he got murder in his eyes
He wore the silence like a mask
now he's making up for
all the violence in his past
code by valen t.
 
MOOD: Happy, embarrassed, shy

OUTFIT: red plaid pjs and baggy t-shirt

LOCATION: the hallways
two
INTERACTIONS: Ramona

MENTIONS: n/a
two
TL;DR: Chatting with Ramona in the kitchens as they make tea.
two
mey
Speaking with Ramona made Mey feel both a little frazzled and very excited. Her new companion was displaying a kindness many of her Koldovstoretz classmates lacked, and because they were from a foreign country that Mey knew little about, there was lots of questions she had that could be answered. She couldn't help but grin as Ramona laughed at her comments about the angry Americans she had heard so much about. When they laughed, Mey could feel that she was laughing with her instead of at her. It was a nice change of pace, being around such goodwill and understanding.

She reached out excitedly as they offered her their arm to feel their suit. Under her finger tips, it felt plush—much like her own pants— bur far more textured and luxurious. "Oooooh," The sound escaped her lips before she could stop it. The green material felt fine, rich under her hand. It was something she knew her mother and father would never be able to afford themselves. It was why she was borrowing her cousin's kaftan. Not that her mother would allow Mey to wear a suit anyway, since it was too unladylike, and unladylike things were the bane of her mother's existence. She could hear her mother's voice now. "Mey, sit up straight. Ladies do not slouch. Mey, remove your elbows from the table. Ladies do not eat like hooligans. Mey, quit your yapping. Ladies are meant to be seen, not heard."

Her face lit up as Ramona returned the compliment, mentioning her pants. "Oh, you enjoy them? You can have them, if you wish. I do not know how they will fit. You are very tall, which is very pleasant, but I am very short. But then they will not drag on the floor, because they will not be long enough. Are you sure you do not want them? They are very, um, 'cozy', as you said. You can pet them too, if you would like. I can go change into more sleep pants. Please, please, I insist you have them. No? Are you sure? I must insist. Please, you must take them. Okay. You do not want them, I understand. But you may have them, if you wish. You can let me know if you change your mind. If you want them, there will be a gift for you." She smiled, clasping her hands in front of her. "It is okay if you get distracted. I get distracted many times. Mother is always telling me that a fish stinks from the head down." She shrugged slightly, as if there was nothing to done about stinking from the head down, and glanced around. She rocked back and forth on her feet, her gaze taking in the stone and wooden walls of the castle.

When Ramona offered Mey their arm, she grinned again, instantly hooking her arm into theirs. "Many thanks!" She exclaimed, practically skipping alongside her new companion as they ventured to the mysterious kitchens that she could not seem to locate herself. She happily pressed her lips together in a gleeful smile, keeping her mouth shut for their short walk together. She let her eyes wander, taking in the students and art that they passed. She noticed her arm fit comfortably in Ramona's, despite their height difference. She stole a glance at Ramona's face in the dim torchlight, taking in her full, pink lips and dark but warm eyes. When their gaze met, she offered another smile, and glanced away quickly.

As the two got set up in the kitchen, she stayed as quiet as possible, finding things to look at to distract her mind. She watched the kitchen staff as they milled about, cleaning up from tonight's festivities and making overnight prep for breakfast tomorrow. She examined the brass of the stovetops, peered into crystal glasses that sat upon the countertops, and ran her fingers along the butcherblock. She watched Ramona move with such carefully measured grace, something Mey knew she could never match, clapping excitedly when the kettle was put over the flame. She would not dare to try to hop up onto the counter like Ramona did, for fear of embarrassing herself with her clumsiness, but instead leaned against the island opposite of them.

She listened carefully, her brow furrowed and her head tilted to the side. Her cheeks tinged pink, as she thought about Koldovstoretz. When she spoke, it was at a much slower meter than anything she had said thusfar tonight. Her gaze shifted to the kettle. "My school is... different. I am thinking I am liking this school, your school. The people here are much friendlier..." She paused, absentmindedly reaching up for a strand of hair to smooth between her fingertips. "I have many fortune to be here with Koldovstoretzians who are kinder to me than others. Sasha and I have not really exchanged words, she is so quiet. Like little mouse. Vasu is not unkind to me, though he has had chances to. At Koldovstoretz, your blood matters. Durmstrang, too. I could not apply to Durmstrang because my parents are not wizards. So I go to Koldovstoretz, though many of my school are not very nice to me because of my blood. It is smaller. Colder. Meaner..." She nibbled on her lip tentatively. "Koldovstoretz iz not a bad place, but it is very different. I am liking Ilvermorny. It is a good different here. It is only the first day, but I am feeling happy here."

She glanced up at Ramona, shyly, nervous for what she would say. The nerves were so overwhelming, she couldn't let them sit for more than a heartbeat. "You will like it, though!" She straightened, smiling earnestly to try and reassure them. "You will be important guest when you come, they will not care what is in your blood. And you will see us play quidditch! I am hearing it is different here in the west. Do you not play on trees? I find that so silly. I believe my school will be much cooler than Castelobruxo, but you will get to visit both! Is that not so cool? This is better than exchanging with them. You will get to see everything. Besides Russia and Türkiye, America is my first country I am truly visiting. I have heard the food is not so nice, but," She shrugged, "I did not taste it yet. Everything is so large here, too. And you Americans seem so confident. Many of you seem to do what you wish. You get to be your own peoples. I admire that. It is very strong-seeming. Anything is possible for Americans. I believe it." Mey grinned again, before melting back into her sheepish reservation. "You may tell me when I am speaking too much. My mother and my professors are all telling me I am speaking too much. If my class does not glare at me for my blood, it is because of my speaking."
well, you cured my January blues
Yeah, you made it alright
I've got a feelin' I've lit the very fuse
That you were tryin' not to light
code by valen t.
 


  • Naomi Eun Hai (De Vries)
    Beauxbatons - Female - Muggle Born - Secondary


    The sudden appearance of a new face within the storage room might have made some nervous that trouble was ahead but Naomi wasn’t like most people. If anyone were to get angry she would simply apologize and explain that Bumblebarb hadn’t meant any harm and was simply exhibiting healthy Niffler behavior through his curiosity and gathering impulses. Luckily it seemed no true explanation was necessary as the young man who stood before her with shock and uncertainty painted upon his sculpted features seemed to take the whole situation relatively well. That was something Naomi could respect in another individual, being able to be shocked without becoming angry. Too many people were quick to anger and for her, such an emotion was one of the last she would resort to. Of course, she was more than capable of anger but in truth, she had experienced enough of it in her life that she no longer wished to let it dwell within herself.

    With a wave of his wand, the young fair-haired stranger cast a cleaning charm that began to undo the damage her beloved companion had caused. Bowing her head in thanks Naomi cradled Bumblebarb against her chest and blinked an expression of gratitude to the young man. “Thank you for your kindness. You cast charms with the grace of Merlin himself.” She praised as clothes and trinkets danced through the air into little folded piles that would allow sorting them to become far less of a hassle later down the line. “Such a splendid display.” She spoke with an airy tone that made her words sound whimsical as they left her lips. As the attention in the room turned towards the little white and gold niffler tucked into her arms she looked down upon the small soul's face and into his wide black eyes that were focused on her necklace. “Yes, this little criminal made quick work of his enclosure and helped himself to the belongings of our fellow competitors. Luckily those beautiful buttons on your sweater were spared from Bumblebarb’s wrath.” She chuckled with warmth in her delicate tone.

    It occurred to her when the young man began to trail off as he spoke that the two of them had yet to become acquainted. “Naomi.” She introduced herself with another respectful bow of her head. Her small smile widened slightly as Piper introduced himself but soon a look of concern took residence upon her delicate features as his lids opened and closed over the stone blues of his eyes and his hands came to quickly settle in his pockets. Was he nervous? Had the mess upset him more than she realized? She couldn’t be certain and was attempting to find the words to ask when suddenly his demeanor changed once more and his light pink lips began to release a fumbling of words that involved the two of them remaining in each other's company. She didn’t know Piper but clearly he was in need of something and if her company could help then who was she to refuse? She didn’t have any plans aside from getting Bumblebarb back into his enchanted enclosure and she wasn’t opposed to the possibility of making a new friend out of the sandy-blonde Durmstrang student. “I would be delighted to accompany you for a stroll.” She agreed with a genuine smile beaming from her fae-like features. “And perhaps if we run into your friends they could join us as well? Though the spirit of exploration will certainly be strong enough between the two of us.” She added as she gently ushered Bumblebarb back into his carrier which was far more spacious and luxurious inside than one might guess. Taking her time to twist the silver key within the lock she made certain to tuck it securely into the pocket of her gown to ensure little paws did not snatch it away as she turned to leave.

    Making her way toward the storage room door Naomi pushed it open with far more ease now that the clutter had been tended to and held it for Piper as the duo departed. He was quite a bit taller than her but she found it interesting as they strolled the dimly lit hallways how their shadows seemed to stretch before them as though in some sort of race. “Is this your first time finding yourself upon another school's grounds?” She inquired as they walked between several moving portraits that seemed to be sharing the same party energy as had recently existed within the great hall. For Naomi visiting another school wasn’t entirely uncommon. She had actually been to one or two of the other schools during her travel for quidditch. She certainly didn’t know them like the back of her hand but she could remember helpful little bits and pieces about Hogwarts and Mahoutokoro.



    Mentions: Piper honeycoves honeycoves



    TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 
THEODORE WEST
HOGWARTS CHAMPION
Calculated
Ilvermorny - The Grand Hall
Vasu Aviator Aviator and Bellamy honeycoves honeycoves
Theo was not unaware of Kiara’s reaction to his presence. While he wasn’t particularly elated by her evident disinterest in him, he wasn’t terribly surprised either. The large, brooding male had often been described as intimidating, and was no stranger to being shied away from - if he could even describe it as that. The Beauxbatons girl’s wary gaze and cautious demeanor were all too familiar to him, and so he did his best to shrug it off, hoping that her bristling did not draw too much attention from the other participants in their conversation.

Ah, Mr. West! How pleasant of you to join us. It seems you’ve already met Miss Sinclaire.

“I had the honor of sharing a dance with her earlier this evening.” his amber gaze shifted from Kiara to her professor, whom Bellamy had introduced as Professor Chimere. “I see Beauxbatons is in no short supply of beautiful women. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Professor Chimere.” Theo extended a hand towards the raven haired beauty who appeared to be scarcely older than Kiara herself, licking his lower lip instinctively when their gazes crossed. Professor Chimere was undeniably attractive, and the fact that she was a professor made the thought that much more lurid as he tilted his head at her, his eyes thinly veiling a hunger that he didn’t care enough to disguise.

Although his original intention had been to distract Bellamy so that Vasu might stand a chance of completing his dare, it seemed Bellamy was intent on distracting Theodore in return, first with Kiara and then with Professor Chimere. The Hogwarts champion was beginning to resign himself to the fact that Vasu would have to figure out a strategy on his own when the group was approached by a young, blonde, Ilvermorny student with her hair styled in pigtails. Behind her followed another girl whose pigtails had been twirled into small ballerina buns, and a third girl in paint-splattered overalls. After the three of them, Theodore lost count, though their number didn’t stop climbing.

A swarm of Ilvermorny students was beginning to gather around Bellamy, each more incessant than the last as they pestered him for autographs or invitations to a supposed movie release whose legitimacy Theo doubted heavily. One by one the girls began to shove past him, claiming the space between Theodore and Bellamy until there was none left. He searched for Vasu among the chaos, turning his head to the left, only to hear the other boy's voice to his right a moment later. “Didn’t think you’d have to do all the work, did you, Westie Dog?”

Theodore cringed at the nickname, wondering if such deplorable monikers were commonplace at Koldovstoretz and praying that it wouldn’t stick. It was quickly becoming evident that his assistance was no longer necessary. Whatever scheme Vasu had orchestrated was quickly overwhelming Bellamy, so much so that he doubted the professor would notice a missing cane when a tumultuous sea of hormonal tweens threatened to engulf the retired auror if he did not cater to their every request.

Theo had never been so grateful for his relative anonymity amongst the hordes of Ilvermorny students. Normally, he thrived under the watchful gaze of an audience. He was used to attention, liked it even, but under the current circumstances he was happy to let his professor take the brunt of the squealing fans. His honeyed gaze roamed over the various heads of styled hair until they landed on the ebony crown of Vasu’s dark locks. Somehow, the younger boy had managed to squeeze himself in amongst the other students vying for Bellamy’s attention. There was a certain irony to the fact that he had been able to do so with such ease… a notion that Theo was sure to tuck away in the back of his mind should Vasu again attempt to - what had Chitrita called it - Peacock?

There was a certain fluidity to Vasu’s movements as the events slowly began to unfold before Theodore, who had unintentionally secured a front row seat to the show. One moment, a notebook was shoved into Bellamy’s left hand, next, a pen was placed in his right. All the while, Theodore’s eyes tracked the placement of his professor’s cane, which had been sandwiched between his elbow and his ribcage. A surplus of loose bits of parchment seemed to tip the scales just enough to send Bellamy’s cane nearly clattering to the floor, granting Vasu the perfect opportunity to selflessly offer to ease the professor's burden.

And then it hit him, an unexpected twinge of guilt like a coiled snake in his stomach. Bellamy was undeniably overwhelmed, the sudden materialization of a dozen fans putting an evident strain on his already weary body as he struggled to keep up with all the papers and pens that were being shoved into his hands. Yet as Vasu slithered away with his prize secured, it was Kiara that Bellamy called out for, causing Theo’s eyes to narrow in confusion. Why was Kiara so intent on trailing Vasu? Bellamy had mentioned that she was an old family friend, but something about her demeanor insinuated her actions had much less benign motivations. Bellamy moved to follow after her, his leg failing him without the support of his cane. Theo was able to catch the professor's left arm just in time to prevent him from taking a rather unceremonious tumble.

“Are you alright, Professor?” The concern in Theo’s voice was surprisingly genuine, a weakness of his that he was rather unfond of as he attempted to help Bellamy regain his balance. Placing a hand gently on his shoulder, Theo followed the other man’s gaze towards where it followed after Kiara, who had resumed her hunt of Vasu. The unlikely pair were quickly wandering out of sight. Vasu had rounded a corner that would lead him down one of the winding corridors of the Ilvermorny halls but Kiara remained in hot pursuit. As the Beauxbatons secondary rounded the same corner, Theo could’ve sworn he saw her draw her wand.

Panic flushed through his veins like ice as he began to wonder if the consequences of their childish game would have much more mature repercussions. Did Kiara really mean to attack Vasu over a cane? “Don’t worry - I’ll go and fetch her for you.” He muttered over his shoulder to Bellamy as he began to take off in the same direction Vasu and Kiara had gone.
coded by natasha.
 
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MOOD: bored > exasperated > curious

OUTFIT: lehenga(click!)

LOCATION: Music room > halls > Great Hall > halls
two
INTERACTIONS: Vasu + Theo

MENTIONS: Kiara
two
TL;DR: Watching, waiting, judging.
two
chitrita
Honestly, the way the boys talked to each other Chitrita could almost be invisible. For whatever reason, Theodore seemed to make Vasu's blood boil and Vasu was a target for Theo's torture. The tension between the two boys was palpable, and she was half confident that if she left the room now and closed the door behind her, she'd return to find them making out. Or dead. Either scenario seemed equally likely. Now that the boys had taken the offer to play her game, she did what she always did: watched and listened. Her eyes darted back and forth between Vasu and Theo as they practically spat at each other.

“Vasu… truth or dare?” She looked at Theo, who was leaned forward, his amber eyes boring into Vasu.
“Neither,” Her fiance scoffed incredulously, seeming to play a game of mime as he mimicked Theo's position and movements. “I’m not playing your stupid game. Find some Ilvermorny first-years eager to throw away their dignity.”

She rolled her eyes, clicking her tongue in disapproval. Vasu acting like he was above fun and games when he had basically just asked her to gamble. Which, in her opinion, seemed far more childish than a game of truth or dare. People who had money did not gamble. Desperate children who thought they could make it quick did. She sighed heavily, turning her face away from the boys. "Didn't realize I'd be marrying a coward." She mumbled, her voice just loud enough for Vasu to hear her. She could practically hear his head snap up as he straightened, and she stifled a smug smile. As he got angry, his voice came out strained, squeaky, and she did her best not to snicker at his tension. Currently, Vasu's misery was bringing her delight.

She spent time gazing around the room as Vasu was dared and Theo and Vasu took turns speaking. No way Faron Bellamy is here, that's a stupid dare. Hey, idiot, he retired and he's teaching at Hogwarts now. Well he's not crippled, that's ridiculous. Why don't you ask him yourself why he's crippled? Okay, maybe the conversation didn't go exactly like that, but she was growing bored and only half listening. The only thing that this interaction was telling her was that each boy hated to be wrong, and that in each other's presence they each got increasingly annoying and exasperating. She even considered returning to the piano to entertain herself. They were squabbling like small kids, arguing over the facts of life and trying to one up each other. Still peacocking. She sighed impatiently and flipped her hair over her shoulder, a clear signal to each boy that she was done with the arguing and whining. "He's probably still in the Great Hall. If he's that crippled, it's not like he could get very far very fast." Her statement was cold, but likely true. "I believe Theodore can lead the way."

The trio left together. Theo lead, Chitrita hung out at his elbow, and Vasu trailed behind. They walked in silence. As her heels clicked on the stone floors, she dared a glance up at Theo, who was moving with purpose and intention. She looked at his sharp jaw, the hard look in his eyes as he strutted down the halls, and his effortlessly perfect appearance tonight. Gazing up at him, she felt something constrict in her chest, prompting her to look away. The group walked a couple more paces, and she peered back at Vasu instead. She took in his wavy, overgrown hair, his dimpled cheeks, and his dark, fiery eyes. The way he quietly fumed, the way he was so quickly pulled into trouble, was almost endearingly amusing. Almost. She smiled back at him.

Her ears perked to the whispers and hushed conversations that followed them as they moved. She had a knack for hearing secrets, and any quieted conferences drew her like a moth to a flame. She turned her face back to the path before her, straining to hear what was being said. Most of the murmurings seemed to relate to Vasu. His entrance had made quite the stir earlier that night, and it seemed he had made himself a local celebrity among the American girls. She listened for anything she might have missed while she was busy dancing with the boys on her dance card— and the man that was not— but couldn't help but roll her eyes at their desperation and absurdity.

"Did you see that girl who was with him? I’d’ve given anything to be her. I don’t think I’d even mind being a secondary, so long as I had him in all my classes."

"Tch." The indignant noise she let out was accompanied by a threatening glare over her shoulder at the girl who certainly didn't notice her, too swept up by her new doll's presence. That girl with him... They must've been talking about one of Vasu's classmates. It hadn't occurred to her that Vasu was possibly romantically involved with someone at Koldovstoretz. She knew the Russian school had taken two girls in addition to Vasu to represent them in the competition, but she could hardly recall their entrance. She could've sworn he entered as a duo. She had been preoccupied at the moment, but tried to conjure an image of this girl in her mind. She could picture a small girl with fluffy blonde hair, and a ridiculous dress that Rita would only be able to describe as hideous. They wanted to be that girl? She looked back at Vasu just intime to watch him get cornered by swarm of teenage girls. She rolled her eyes again, snapping her attention to the front. She and Theo were entering the Great Hall anyway.

As Theo approached the group of people who stood around and conversed with Bellamy, she hung a right to hang along the wall and observe. She watched the rouse carefully, examining each move made by Theo as he waited for Vasu to arrive, each mannerism of Vasu as he and his hoard of Mrs. Saini wannabes bombarded the professor, and each action taken by the bystanders who were unwise to the game. As Vasu slunk away with the cane, and Theo was stalled by Bellamy's need for assistance, she found herself at a standstill for herself. She could watch either boy, or help one or the other. She could even take the cane from Vasu and return it, since she had not been directly involved in the siege of the mobility aid, allowing herself to fall in the good graces of the new professors she had yet to make an impression on. Then, she caught sight of a girl trailing Vasu. She turned her face away from Vasu and the beautifully dress girl as they passed, rounding the corner just behind her. The girl had her wand drawn and was clearly taking this personally.

Chitrita caught Theo's elbow as he came to rush passed her, to get involved, stopping him in his tracks. "Wait," She commanded in a hushed voice, tugging him into an enclave. They would be just out of eyeshot if they leaned in and could observe if they leaned slightly out. At the very least, they had a good view of Kiara. When Theo looked at her, she shrugged slightly. "Denial plausibility." She whispered. If any of the professors that were still milling about in the Great Hall had decided to pursue the girl, Vasu, and Theo, she couldn't be caught hanging around. Being caught in the corner with a tall, handsome boy, it'd be reasonable for them to pretend they'd missed the commotion. She slid her wand out of her sleeve and into her palm, just as the girl let her first offensive spell fly. She gripped it tightly, but made no move to help, yet. This was a rare chance to watch others' magical skills before the tournament had really started. She, still expected to help Locjaw to represent Mahoutokoro, would want to internalize this. She would want to know, in the case a future face off between herself and this girl or Vasu was necessary.

"Who is she?" She breathed, glancing back at Theo. "She seems to know quite a few people here." She leaned forward slightly to get another look at Vasu as another round of spells were exchanged. If necessary, she would step in and help him. She and Theo, hidden in the enclave, had the element of surprise as an ally for themselves. She herself would be more limited in the actions she could take than Theo, as using any dark magic would result in her immediate expulsion from school. It put hexes and jinxes on an immediate list of things she couldn't do. But a simple disarming charm that she wasn't prepared to protect could do the trick. For now, though, she would allow Vasu to fight his own battle.
I could draw you dot to dot
I know I could save you
I deserve a special spot
I could be your favorite
code by valen t.
 
cc76d82cd85fd382210f3666155d2b21.jpg


Chahaya “Cha-Cha” Arif // “Magnificent Bastard” // Male // Age 32 // Castelobruxo Professor // Legilimens
Marcello Bellini’s room seemed as if it had been designed for the express purpose of seducing young women. The furniture was all black leather and dark wood paneling, with a luxurious purple carpet in front of the fireplace. There were plenty of brass fittings in which reflections could be glimpsed, and stereos that would blare out the Wizarding World's latest trendy musical numbers. The bathroom door was ajar, revealing an exceptionally large bathtub in the shape of a gold shell. Nestled in an alcove across from the bathroom was an orange-felt pool table. Arranged decoratively amid several vases of colorful flowers were the Stag’s Leap wine bottle and tray of scones that Cha-Cha had discreetly ordered to the room. As he surveyed the decor, he casually popped a cinnamon scone into his mouth, reminiscing about his last undercover job before his release from Azkaban, which had occurred in a chic apartment not unlike this one.
He and his handler had been deployed to Belgium to investigate an Antoine Hendriks, the director of operations of a group of Catholic missionaries that was suspected of smuggling highly illegal Runespoor eggs inside of rosary statues. After several weeks of casual surveillance of the director, it’d been discovered that, for a religious man, he’d had a liberal interpretation of the Bible’s decrees about same-sex relations. He was a regular at a nightclub called the Gladiator, where he liked to pick up pretty boys half his age and took them back to his penthouse apartment after the club closed for the evening. And so it had been Cha-Cha and Hendriks and a bottle of ninety-four-proof Kraken Rum, and under the guise of flattering the director’s lavish apartment, Cha-Cha had wheedled the details of his employment out of him over the course of four hours and planted numerous recording devices throughout the apartment. The hundred-and-sixty-one Runespoor eggs that had been recovered as a result of the operation had amounted to some ten million Euros’ worth of contraband.
Cha-Cha eyed the bottle of wine morosely, thinking it a shame that such a fine specimen should have to go to waste. Although he’d been tipsy when he conceived of the plan to break into Bellini’s rooms and torch the place, he figured it would be prudent to be sober for the execution. Especially since it would involve running like hell down multiple flights of stairs. Plus, while wizards generally eschewed Muggle forensic technology, he didn’t want to tempt fate by leaving more traces of his DNA than absolutely necessary. The doorknob to the room could be wiped down with some water and a microfiber cloth. Anything else would require a more complex cleanup, for which Cha-Cha had neither the time nor materials.
Lisandro shut the door to the room, jolting Cha-Cha from his reverie. The voice that issued from him was the whisper of a man with a cut throat. His protege was emanating such strong waves of fear and barely contained panic that Cha-Cha could pinpoint his exact location and posture in the room without turning around. “Try not to touch anything, please,” Cha-Cha instructed calmly. “That includes leaning on surfaces. Anyway, though.” And here there was a sardonic uptick of false praise in his voice as he turned around. “I’d like to congratulate you on asking the right question. Other acceptable answers would have been, ‘Why don’t you have a key to this room, Professor?’ or ‘What is this place?’”
Cha-Cha patiently clasped his hands, a bottle of cooking oil gripped in one of them, in front of himself as he explained. “There’s a long answer and a short answer to your question. The long answer is, I’ve never seen your behavior in a perilous situation with real potential to go drastically wrong; thus, how can I adequately instruct you until I know what I’m working with? The short answer is this.” And here Cha-Cha’s voice sharpened to ground glass. It was a vicious tone that Lisandro had almost certainly never heard from him before, carrying the promise of fiery retribution. “The man who owns these rooms is an absolute twat. Did you hear what he said to me?” He crossed his arms proudly and looked away with a soft scoff. “Nobody talks to me like that.”
Cha-Cha rubbed his head as if he could reshuffle his thoughts and be dealt a better hand, still shaking off the remnants of the Malbec. “Enough of my personal drama. Let’s do this.” He unscrewed the lemon-yellow cap on the first greasy bottle of cooking oil and relished the soft plash of liquid over the thick purple carpet, leaving a trail as he wove between tables and couches, dousing what he could and making the liquid stretch. “Hand me that last one if you’d be so kind, Lisandro? Also, you might want to move before I paint you into a—”
There was the faint sound of a lock popping and a door opening. Girlish laughter drifted out of a room across the hall. A man’s voice bidding her goodnight. The floor creaked with footfalls that gradually, dangerously increased in volume as Marcello Bellini approached his chambers. There was a surreal moment of unreality where Cha-Cha tried to convince himself that he was terribly mistaken, and this couldn’t be happening, because he had no contingency plans in the event of getting caught. And then, as a key rattled in the lock of the front door, understanding lodged in his throat like a wad of paper, the receipt for the incalculable price of his foolishness.
There would be a half-second between Bellini opening the door and stepping inside his ravaged chambers where Cha-Cha would have the advantage of surprise. But Cha-Cha had broken into private property, so he couldn’t even claim self-defense for any harm he inflicted on Bellini. If he indeed inflicted any. During their showdown in the Great Hall, Bellini had proven himself a more than capable Legilimens, perhaps even more skilled than Cha-Cha himself. And then there was the matter of Lisandro, adding a whole other dimension to the situation. It was bad enough that Cha-Cha would suffer the consequences, either in the form of an immediate, unpleasant jinx or latent legal ones, but what about the innocent student he had dragged into this mess under the pretense of training? Lis was sure to be caught in the crossfire of a duel, if not outright targeted because he was the smaller fish. Perhaps there was the possibility that if Cha-Cha surrendered and admitted that his student had just been following his orders, Bellini would spare Lisandro. Yet here Lis was, caught red-handed at the scene of the crime. For all intents and purposes, he appeared equally guilty. And Cha-Cha couldn’t trust the mercy of a man who was clearly his enemy.
All of this went through his head in the span of three seconds. Cha-Cha took a half-step in front of Lis, shielding the boy from an incoming curse. He drew his wand and prepared himself for a fight, reminding himself that he’d faced worse odds before. Just not with a student in harm’s way. And then, on the other side of the door, he heard a voice that he never would have expected to come to his rescue.
The voice was sweet as lemonade, with a laugh that carried like bells. It spoke slowly, leisurely, alternating between dropping syllables and adding extra ones, swaddling vowels in a silk-soft twang. Cha-Cha remembered thinking it a Southern accent exaggerated to a ridiculous extent at dinner. He recalled a tall, statuesque woman with cosmic-blue eyes framed by inky curtains of hair, her gown swirling around her ankles as they danced together. Her name was suitably peculiar: Amity Monroe.
Amity was too far away for him to hear her exact words. But Bellini was closer, and he heard the response, firing like gunshots through the door, the only slim barrier standing between Cha-Cha and his fate.
“Not at all, my dear. What can I help you with?” He spoke in a velvety voice that Cha-Cha imagined Bellini only used for young women who conformed to a certain external checklist.
Amity spoke again, indiscernibly. A tremulous pause hovered in the air. And then there was the sound of the key sliding out of the lock and Bellini’s footsteps retreating in the direction of her voice. “It would be my pleasure, Amity, love. Lead the way, please.” Her voice pitched upward as she thanked him profusely, but already the pair of Ilvermorny professors was slipping out of audible range, their footsteps fading to nothingness. A half-minute passed, and then, just on the threshold of his hearing, Cha-Cha heard a door at the opposite end of the hallway close.
He and Lisandro stood statue-still and looked at each other for a wild-eyed moment, lips parted wordlessly as they tried to wrangle their racing hearts under control. Cha-Cha recovered the abilities of voluntary movement and speech first. Working so fast that he was practically a blur of motion, he emptied the last gallon of cooking oil throughout the room, hitting the leather couches, bases of the walls, and the mass of firewood that was the pool table. Then, careful to grip handles with the microfiber cloth he used for cleaning his phone screen, he ran the cloth under some water and scrubbed first the empty bottles of oil and then the doorknob clean of fingerprints. He made sure that everything was in place for a quick escape, because this place would go up like the wick of a candle.
“Run, Lisandro,” Cha-Cha said as he reached inside the pocket of his garnet-red jacket. His fingers did not shake as he withdrew a lighter and flicked the switch. There was a soft hiss, and then a tiny nimbus of light danced at its tip. “You run left and I’ll run right down the hallway. Do not stop for anything until you’ve put at least four floors between this room and yourself. If anyone accosts you, say you saw a very scary ghost that made you jump out of your skin. This adjourns your training for the evening. You did very well.” With his other hand gloved in the cloth, Cha-Cha bent down and touched the lighter to the slimy, highly flammable liquid that coated the room. There was a flash of flame so bright it hurt the eyes, and then it spread in crackling orange currents, greedy fingers reaching for anything they could claim. Cha-Cha flung the door open, ushered Lis out, and peeled off down the hallway in the opposite direction. He flew down the stairs so fast that he tore one ankle of his khakis open on a leafy protrusion of the wrought iron bannister, yet he continued without fuss.
 
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