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🌷 Spring 70
Books + Books = Books

Started by Molly King, July 20, 2021, 04:59:05 pm

Molly King

July 20, 2021, 04:59:05 pm Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 05:01:46 pm by Molly King Reason: spelling
Molly's morning had started off with the simple task of running to Ollivanders to have her wand repaired after she had found her cat chewing on the end of it the night before. A quick in and out trip, which quickly devolved into an entire day of errands she hadn't intended to complete all at once. It had started innocently enough. As she was about to leave she received an owl from her older sister, Charlotte, asking if she could send over some chocolate frogs for her niece, Erika's, birthday the following week. Since she was going to be in the area, she figured it wouldn't hurt to kill two birds with one stone.

While in Sugarplum's Sweet Shop, Molly had thought about Erika's little brother, Christopher, and how much he enjoyed pranking his sister and mother. Molly, always one to encourage her nephew's sense of humor, decided a quick stop at Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop to get a small gift for Chris as well couldn't possibly hurt. Besides, her sister was always irritated by her anyway, so it wouldn't make a difference if Charlotte was upset with Molly for encouraging Christopher's rambunctious behavior.

After finally sending everything off at the post office, and dropping off her wand at Ollivanders, it was then she realized she should have reversed her errands, and dropped off her wand first. Now she had some time to waste before her wand would be ready. Strolling over to Obscurus Books, Molly began browsing the shelves for anything of interest. While many trips to the shop were fruitless, occasionally she had found a book or journal about a magical creature.

After almost giving up, a title on the top shelf caught her attention. Did that say something about a clabbert? She could make it out from so high up. Instinctively, Molly reached for her wand to bring the book down to her, then realized she didn't have it at all. Determined to have what she wanted, without waiting for help, Molly carefully placed her foot on the bottom shelf in attempt to boost herself up enough to reach the book. Desperately she stretched her arm above her head, her fingertips barely grazing the spine of the book.

Aurelius Audish

For once in his life Audish had managed to finish work early. Following the unpleasant happenings for the last couple of days, it was a welcome change of pace. He could still feel anger and frustration coiling up inside of him. A French healer had been brought in by a patient's family to give a consult on one of the cases assigned to his department and shortly thereafter the patient had been transferred away. It was not a good look for him, his staff or the hospital and he resented the motion of no-confidence; no matter how justified it might have been.  Not to mention that the names wrapped up in the entire affair were a terrifying blast from the past. Something didn't smell right about it.

He had tried to puzzle it out for a while, but in the end relented that distraction, then rest were the order of the day. It would be easier to get to the bottom of all this with a fresh mind, sharply in focus. He weaved through the throngs of witches and wizards in Diagon Alley. Audish checked his pocket watch and wondered what all these people were doing out and about? Were none of them in gainful employment? It was a familiar song and dance in his mind, trying to decide if he was jealous of their freedom or resentful for their apparent means. Here he was a successful Chief Healer at St Mungo's who couldn't afford to take a day off. He was riddled by, well, not exactly guilt for taking the afternoon off, but perhaps fear of being considered unworthy after allowing himself such an indulgence.

Audish slipped into Obscurus Books in the hope of finding his distraction there. He'd dabbled in blood magic of late and a good textbook on the subject would hopefully provide the much-needed distraction he was after. He scurried down the familiar corridors between shelves, looking for any new titles that might capture his attention.

And captured it was. A few feet ahead of him a vision of a young woman was trying to reach for a book on one of the upper shelves. She had graceful, elfin features, pale skin, and beautiful long, flowy hair. All he could think was that she was a far cry from the dowdy and awkward woman that would await him at home, should he choose to interact with his wife. Felicity Audish had never been a beauty, but now that their son Avilius was four months old, he seemed to notice it more keenly. She was a mess without makeup and diligent work by a good stylist. This lady on the other hand, well, maybe he should have married for beauty rather than blood.

Audish lazily lifted his hand and dislodged the book from its shelf with a bit of wandless magic. "Allow me, Ma'am," he ventured politely, giving her a charming smile while floating the book down into her hands. "The Curious Proclivities of the Common Clabbert," he read the title in astonishment. Why would anyone pick up that book? "I must say a most curious choice. Though I do suppose these little creatures can be rather decorative with their flashing lights. Anyway, is there anything else you'd like me to get for you?"

Molly King

Molly flinched slightly when a hand suddenly came from beside her and took the book off the shelf. Looking over to see who the limb belonged to she stepped down from the shelf she had been perched on. As he handed her the book, Molly brushed the dust that had transferred to her clothing off the front of her long burgundy skirt, and cream colored blouse.

"Oh, thank you so much sir! Your timing, and height, are much appreciated!" she said with a warm smile, hoping she hadn't looked too foolish having been basically climbing a bookshelf like an unruly toddler.

Molly took in the man standing beside her. Tall, well dressed, seemingly polite. There was something dark about him though. Something mysterious that Molly couldn't quite place. However, all hesitations regarding the stranger in front of her were quickly swept under the rug at the mention of clabberts. One reliable way to distract Molly from almost anything was the mention of magical creatures.

"Oh there is so much more to them than being decorative. They are really quite fascinating! They have a rather nasty bite if you make one angry enough, and some research suggests that the pustules, which are what flash, could potentially change colors for mating purposes.....although no one has been able to witness it as of yet." Molly began rambling, clearly excited over the little frog-monkey creatures. "They also have this incredible abi......."

Molly trailed off and let out a quick sigh as she shook her head, a polite smile playing on her rosy lips. She could hear her mother's voice in her head saying "No one wants to hear about your weird creatures Molly. Seriously. Where are your manners?" after all these years, and she still couldn't get her mother to shut up in her head.

"Oh goodness, I'm rambling." she said tucking some stray hair behind her ear. "I'm so sorry sir. I don't normally assault strangers with facts about creatures.....I also don't normally climb bookshelves." she laughed softly "I supposed you've caught me in rare form today..."

Aurelius Audish

"That's a shame," Audish joked with the pretty lady in front of him. "I always thought the bookshelf-climbing women were more interesting that the plain ones." He pushed his glasses up into his hair now that they were standing next to each other just talking. He needed them for reading, but for a conversation not having them on was infinitely preferable.

"As for the clabbert, believe me, I know they can bite! We have a few specimens down in the laboratories at St Mungo's. The pustules are rather valued in potion making and the process of humanely extracting the juice in small quantities can be quite harrowing. Really preferred we didn't have to, but the restorative properties are really something else. We just recently had a patient with a severe spinal injury and it's like it never happened. Quite the amazing little creature."

It occurred to him only in retrospect that talking about medical uses of clabberts was probably not what this lady wanted to hear about. She seemed to be rather fond of those weirdly slimy, little creatures. Audish didn't mind them in general, but he wouldn't have gone as far as to say that he liked them. His distaste for having to handle them in the lab stemmed mostly from the fact that he'd have preferred to have a supplier dealing with the extraction of the pustule juice. Alright, maybe, he should backtrack a little.

"It's fascinating, don't you find, how properties like that evolve naturally? I wonder what purpose that pustule serves out in the wild. Someone really ought to make a study of that. It would be fascinating reading, wouldn't it?" Well, more likely it would make for an adequate paper weight, but that was a thought he should definitely keep to himself.

"Forgive my curiosity, are you a professional in the field?" He offered up a vague smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. In his mind he was mulling over something his mother used to say to his father many moons ago. 'You're not even interested in me. You never ask me about my interests.' He'd learned from that. If there was one thing women enjoyed talking about it was themselves. Hopefully, that was a strategy he could employ to his advantage with this woman. 

Molly King

The thought that someone could, even in the slightest way, consider Molly to be anything but plain was hard to wrap her head around. Molly considered herself to painfully average, especially in comparison to her older siblings. Rather than entertain the thought that someone would dare find her interesting, Molly focused on the man in front of her and their conversation. It wasn't every day you stumbled upon someone willing to discuss the pustules on a strange little frog-monkey-lizard.

"Wait...you having living clabberts at St Mungo's? Yes I find their genetic make up completely fascinating! Just the fact that they are able to produce such powerful fluids is incredible, especially since it seems their only use for it is for their bioluminescence!" she said trying (and somewhat failing) to contain her excitement about the little creatures. Molly couldn't help it. When it came to magical creatures, she was in her element, and it showed. Her smile was big and her eyes sparkled with curiosity.

She had spent several months in the southern regions of America, desperately trying to get a decent look at them. However, the sneaky little buggers wouldn't allow her to get more than a few dozen yards away from their main nesting area. The only one she had managed to see was one a local wizard had caught in an effort to heal it's broken leg, before releasing it back into the wild. Perhaps her potentially new found friend could give her a glimpse into the world of these little animals. Of course she didn't dare assume he would be able to show them to her. She assumed hospitals wouldn't be to keen on the idea of some wide eyed girl coming in to stare at their specimens for a few hours. Part of her was also curious about their living conditions and the quality of life that these animals potentially had.

"What sort of habitat do you have them in? OH! Is the diet they are on similar to what they eat in the wild, or have they adapted to eat something that is more like cat food? Do you know if they are males or females." Molly gasped as a sudden though popped into her head. "Is it possible you could have a mating pair?! That would be absolutely fantastic!"

Molly paused when he asked her profession. Mentally she kicked herself for, once again, letting herself get carried away when it came to creatures.

"I am so sorry. I've completely forgotten my manners." she said, suppressing the overwhelming enthusiasm that had been in her voice, and returning to a more normal state. "My name is Molly King. I'm a magizoologist, and the new professor of  Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts. It's nice to meet you." she said sticking her petite hand out for the man to shake, a sweet smile again pulling at the corners of her lips.

Aurelius Audish

July 21, 2021, 08:27:50 am #5 Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 10:58:12 pm by Royal_Poet
She wanted to know the details on how the beasts were kept? Audish actually didn't even have the faintest idea. That was what junior healers in their first year and nurses were for. He usually assigned the unpleasant lab tasks to them. Still, since she was so very interested, he tried to picture where the clabberts were kept. Catch more flies with honey.

"I don't think we have a breeding pair, or at least if we do, I've never heard of it. It might even be that it's an all-female population. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I believe we don't have any males. There was something about the females of the species being easier to handle and more docile in temperament. It's pretty difficult to create ideal conditions at St Mungo's, but we do have a vivarium with some trees and shrubs. It's really pushing the limits of what an extension charm will let you hold inside a building. The diet though, I couldn't tell you. I don't spend an awful lot of time in the laboratory anymore. I'm usually needed elsewhere."

She seemed to realise the strangeness of their conversation and paused to introduce herself. A Hogwarts professor? His eyes lit up. Now that, was interesting.

"Professor King, my pleasure to meet you. I don't think Albus mentioned you to me on my last visit to Hogwarts. Are you replacing Professor McAwley then?"

Immediately his brain was trying to figure out how he could use this situation to his advantage. Though he never quite understood it, Voldemort was absolutely obsessed with Hogwarts. Ever since his appointment to the Hogwarts Board of Governors he had been quite pleased, asking frequent questions about the establishment. Probably something he intended to use in the future. Voldemort was a very smart man. It was hard to keep up with his plans and machinations.

"Well, I suppose I really ought to introduce myself in turn. I'm Healer Aurelio Audish, Chief of the spell and curse damage department at St Mungo's Hospital. I'm also a member of the Hogwarts Board of Governors since earlier this year. I guess we'll have the pleasure of seeing each other often and working together in the future. I look forward to it." 

He took her hand and gave it a firm and determined shake.

"Anyway, how are you enjoying Hogwarts? Have you settled in alright? There seem to have been a lot of staff changes this year. Must be a nice time to start when there are others who are just making the same journey."

Audish cast his mind back to his recent conversation with Headmaster Dumbledore and the things that had been discussed. One matter that had come up was the appointment of Professor Harold Prendergast, a skilled Arithmancer. Maybe, meeting Professor King could be an opportunity to find out more about the man. Audish had made a discreet inquiry with a 'friend' at the ministry where the man had precviously been employed. It had yielded a rather interesting result: Nobody seemed to know anything about the guy other than him having been left by his wife in a shockingly callous move. 

However, Audish recognised the absence of information for what it was: a red flag.  He had to have worked on something classified and now that would most certainly be of interest to Voldemort.

"How are you getting along with Professors Montgomery and Prendergast? I remember discussing their appointments with Albus a little while ago and he was very excited to have two new faculty members with such a wealth of experience and more interestingly ongoing, academic research projects. I hope you had a chance to look at the excellent work that is being done there. I was rather hoping to stop by for a visit soon to see how Prendergast's research in particular may be applied at St Mungo's."

Now, hopefully he hadn't gone through this whole song and dance for her not to know any details. That would be a bummer. On the other hand, if he managed to befriend her, maybe he could use her as an inadvertent informant. Audish was starting to think that she might be good for a more than a little affair on the side.

Molly King

In any other situation, a stranger being so absolutely delighted about the fact that Molly was a professor would have made her question why on earth they cared so much. Most people's reactions to finding out she was a teacher had been unapologetically lack luster thus far. Something akin to the reaction a person has when discovering the coffee shop forgot to add whipped cream to their hot chocolate, mild disappointment immediate followed by indifferent acceptance of the situation. Even Molly's own mother and father had only been able to muster a "nice job sweetie" in the owl they had responded with.

However, when she heard him say he was a board member for Hogwarts, she suddenly felt a bit more embarrassed about having been so quick to ramble, and even more foolish for having been standing on a bookshelf when he had spotted her. This was her first professional job, and the last thing she wanted was for a board member to tell Dumbledore that they had been bored to death by an unwelcome lecture on clabberts after finding her acting like an impatient child. Molly shoved her insecurities deep down inside her. She'd make sure that when they were finished with this particular interaction, Mr Audish would have nothing but good things to say about her, should Dumbledore ask.

"Mr Audish, it's an honor. Please forgive my naivete. Professor Dumbledore mentioned all the board members names at our staff orientation. I must admit I am not the best at remembering when I don't have a face to put with the name." she said as he shook her hand. Did that sound too formal? Too desperate? Molly was hoping it didn't, while also acknowledging the fact that it was rather silly to apologize for not recognizing someone she had never seen before. However, if anyone could pull off being a bit awkward, while simultaneously conveying just how genuinely kind hearted a person could be, it was Molly.

"Oh Hogwarts has always been a second home to me." Molly explained with a smile. "I loved the school when I was a student, and now that I'm a professor it feels just like home again. I'll have to admit though, that unfortunately I haven't had a chance to get to know Professor Prendergast and Professor Montgomery. It seems our paths just haven't crossed yet. Although considering how much research I've heard Professor Prendergast is doing, I can't blame him for not having much time to spend socializing."

Molly couldn't even fathom undertaking major research projects, while also getting used to teaching students, and adjusting to castle life. While Professor Prendergast and herself has exchanged polite nods, and "how do you dos" at dinner, or in passing in the halls, they had never held a decent conversation.

"I do hope his research can be of use to you at the hospital though. I'm ashamed to say I don't know much about his work. My students have kept me rather busy lately." Molly added. Remembering who she was talking to Molly laughed slightly, "Oh goodness, what am I saying. A man such as yourself must have a "to do" list so much longer than mine. I don't mean to bore you with my excuses."