Floo Network

[SANCTUARY] I'm living in twilight

Started by Odhrán Ó Dálaigh, February 08, 2021, 07:23:53 pm

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

The day had developed along an unpleasant trajectory to say the least and gone from bad to outright disaster. Odhrán felt sick and tired of the world and everyone in it. As usual, he looked to drown his unhappy thoughts with a generous glass of whiskey. It never helped with making anything better, but after a while he found that he cared less. Sometimes, that was the best one could hope for.

He was still preoccupied with a patient he had seen today. A young lady who had been obliviated by her cheating spouse. Cases like hers were two a penny, but of course that didn't mean he had to like them. Why two people who supposedly loved each other treated each other worse than enemies he would never understand: but then in his field of healing few things ever did make sense. Witches and wizards were idiosyncratic creatures and the only unifying trait he could see in all of them was selfishness. It really was a depressing situation.

Odhrán's disposition wasn't improved by the general mood around wizarding London. The squibs were marching again for equal rights and official recognition by the Ministry of Magic. In his neck of the woods, Knockturn Alley, the subject was a matter of great consternation. None of the pureblooded witches and wizards wanted to admit that squibs occasionally happened in their bloodlines. Instead, the debate was being reframed in terms of interbreeding with muggles being the cause of squib births. It made Odhrán question his remaining sanity that people could come to such conclusions despite a body of evidence indicating the contrary.

Not that he liked those folks any better than the next pureblood wizard. Of course not. As far as Odhrán was concerned he wasn't a big fan of the influence of muggleborns on wizarding culture. But still, there were lines and facts were, well, facts. In his opinion, there wasn't a shortage of other reasons to declare muggleborns as undesirable. There really was no need to make up stories about them: they were horrid enough without further embellishments. One needed to look no further than the way women were treated in non-magical society. They were dumb and regressive, what more needed to be said?

He muttered something to himself and took another drink from his glass. He needed to find something more cheerful to think about. Lately, he'd developed a new strategy for doing just that and it could only be described as dodgy. He'd use his legilimency to try and give everyone in the room a surface scan. If he found somebody in love or genuinely happy, he'd listen in on those thoughts and emotions for a while. It was nice to have some reassurance that not everybody was messed up. The way things were going at the clinic, it was easy to forget that there were those in the world with healthy minds and normal relationships.

His ritual came to a halt when his mind met with a sleek, blank surface. Someone was casually occluding. Probably not a conscious effort, but the way most trained occlumens and legilimens read to each other.  He quirked an eyebrow and turned his head in the direction the feeling had come from. The sleek mind seemed to belong to a young gentleman Odhrán hadn't noticed at Sanctuary before. He practically reeked of Ministry of Magic; not that anybody needed legillimency to determine that. It was something about the man's posture - stiff and unnatural: the hallmark of a typical bureaucrat.

The concept of an occlumens or legilimens bureaucrat though intrigued him and he let out a mirthful chuckle. Shouldn't a man of such talents be able to find a more interesting forum of employment?

Odhrán snapped his gaze back to the counter of the bar. Leaning forward a little, he had a quick conversation with the barkeeper and slid some coins in her direction with the mission statement of getting Mr Ministry a drink of his choosing. It certainly wasn't the distraction he'd been looking for, but it probably was the distraction he needed.

Pyxis Abercrombie

Pyxis let out a relieved sigh as he took a sip from the glass of whiskey in front of him. He was supposed to meet his Cousin Edward so they could catch up without his wife's prying ears or the children running under foot. However, an owl had arrived five minutes ago with a letter which informed Pyxis something urgent had come up and his Cousin would be unable to make it. Ordinarily, he would have been rather annoyed with the last minute nature of the message. The Pureblood was not one to frequent bars such as Sanctuary without good cause nor did he appreciate others seeing him being stood up.

However, on this occasion he could not bring himself to care. The Ministry, and his personal life for that matter, was an absolute mad house these days. Tension lingered in the air as sympathy for the Squib movement grew amongst the general populous. The Abercrombie sneered at the thought. Equal rights for Squibs what a preposterous notion. The society they lived in was a magical society. It was only natural that those bequeathed with the gift of magic would have prominence above those without. If the dirty squibs wanted a place where they could prosper then they should do what any decent Squib did and fade into obscurity amongst the muggles.

As far as Pyxis was concerned, the issues they faced were a clear result of the insidious enemy that is modernism. Up until a few generations ago it had been common for the old families to quietly send Squib offspring to live amongst the muggles. That way they would grow up happy and completely ignorant of the gift they'd missed out on. However, the soft hearted liberals with their cries of 'inhumane' and 'we can't separate children from their families' had gained favour in the Wizengamot and such practices became more and more frowned upon. And now their society was facing the fruits of this radicalism. Of course if the whispers Farren had shared with him were anything to go by not everyone was happy to let these attacks against their culture go unchallenged.

It was as his mind turned to this dangerous topic that it happened; a gentle probe hit against the passive Occlumency shields Pyxis had been taught to maintain without conscious thought. The young pureblood forced his expression to remain neutral. His focus shifted to reinforcing the fields to ensure a stray emotion wouldn't pass them without effort on the intruder's part. It was not Pyxis' favourite way of dealing with a Legilimency attack. His tutor with the Unspeakable's had taught him the best Occlumency was the type where an opponent didn't even realise it was being employed; that rather than presenting the Legilimens with an impregnable wall they fed them the emotions and memories they wanted them to see. However, he'd been caught off guard and it was too late for such subtle tactics.

The young pureblood tried to discreetly scan the bar for the source of the attack. It was then he locked eyes with a slightly older gentleman who seemed to be surprised by something. Pyxis took advantage of the eye contact to channel his magic into a wandless and non-verbal Legilimency probe. Pyxis was able to get a muddy and unclear impression of a room before the man broke the contact and turned his attention back to the bar. If Pyxis had to venture a guess the room was somewhere he spent a lot of time in a professional capacity. However, between the brief period of eye contact and the man passive Occlumency shields muddying the water that was all he'd been able to gather.

As a drink for Pyxis from the unnamed stranger arrived the twenty six year old smirked before lowering his Legilimency barriers enough to push forth "You know it's not polite, not to mention illegal to use Legilimency on perfect strangers right?" Of course Legilimency was not truly as simplistic as the muggle concept of telepathy and it was more emotions and imagery for the Irish man to decipher were sent. Pyxis sent the man an image of one of the back rooms before he stood and went to speak to one of the workers about renting out said room for the next while. Discussions on the mind art were not for venues were anyone could overhear and he was quite curious to find out what the man wanted with him. Pyxis soon headed into the back room with only a scarce look backwards to ensure the other man was following him

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

Whoopsie. Odhrán got the distinct impression that Mr Ministry was anything but impressed with his antics. Really, he should have seen that coming. What had he been thinking? After all, just the way the young man carried himself spoke volumes about him. Odhrán received the image of a court room scene followed another flash of the bar's back room. Really, he was gonna come for him for a casual surface scan? Yikes, where was that guy's sense of fun and adventure? Oh, well, if he wanted to play that way Odhrán would yield. The last thing he needed was trouble with the ministry. They were annoying enough already; the situation needed no further escalation.

He watched the other man leave and was giving a look backwards as if to ascertain that he had understood. Odhrán gave the young wizard a vague nod, indicating that he would follow in a moment. It was a strange strategy for making an arrest. Who went ahead and waited for the perpetrator to tag along after? Odhrán let the thought percolate while taking a last sip from his glass. As far as he was concerned, he might as well enjoy the last of his whiskey before dealing with this mess of a situation. Merlin, he needed a break. The work at the clinic was breaking him. Maybe, two or three weeks away somewhere quiet and tranquil would make all the difference.

Odhrán got up and a couple of moments later and followed the other man to the indicated location. He still didn't know what to make of the man. Maybe he was just interested in a chat? That would be nice, after all it had been Odhrán's initial intention. Then again, could it be that the other wizard had some sort of proposal? This wouldn't have been the first time that somebody had approached Odhrán about a less than legal business opportunity. Or maybe it was some sort of arrest or warning - though if it was that didn't make an awful lot of sense. He'd been given every chance to back out and run away. It was this little facet of things he found rather intriguing.

Being beyond certain that the other was not just an occlumens, but also a legillimens, he went through the familiar exercise of clearing his mind as he walked. His thoughts were adrift, moving easily, flowing naturally. His sister, some of the patients he had seen at his clinic recently, an unsuccessful treatment attempt he was rather upset about, his home in Arranmore. There were other thoughts that he elegantly stuffed below the surface. Patients in trouble with the ministry, potentially wanted by the law. He left the thoughts about his earlier surface scan at the top. If the guy investigated his mind again, he would expect to find those. It was better to let him focus on this minor offense, than have him digging around for more as there was more to be found.

When Odhrán stepped into the back room, he couldn't help but let out a mirthful chuckle. Clearly, this space was normally used for social functions if the wedding decorations and flower garlands were anything to go by. It was more spacious and much more cheerful than what he'd pictured upon receiving the other man's image. Perhaps, an indication that the younger wizard had never been here before either and therefore also hadn't known what the room looked like from the inside. Still, it was strange to be in this floral and pastel coloured fantasy together with another man.

"Charming location," Odhrán commented. "I hope you're not planning on proposing to me, Ministry. I prefer the ladies." He hoped his attempt at humour would diffuse the situation and be taken as a peace offering. "And I suppose I should apologise. Long day at work, struggling to switch off." Seeing how he had taken a moment to prepare, he felt unconcerned about looking at the other man's face and making eye contact. If he tried something strange, Odhrán was prepared to handle it.

Pyxis Abercrombie

February 15, 2021, 11:20:44 pm #3 Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 11:23:05 pm by Tyrone
Pyxis would have been quite amused had he known of Odhrán's attempts to order his mind against another Legilimency attack. The man needn't have worried so much since the Diplomat's wandless Legilimency skills required eye contact and were limited to an impression of his victim's current emotion and a few fleeting images related to their current thoughts at best. Pyxis was quite confident in his skills with the mind arts, but the fact remained, regardless of talent, he was in his mid-twenties and had much to learn.

The twenty-six-year-old grimaced as he heard Odhrán's chuckle and guessed the reason for it. When he'd requested a back room he had hoped for somewhere small and intimate. Somewhere they could talk without the fear of being overheard, not a function hall. No wonder the charge for an hour's usage had been so steep. Not that it was an issue for the Abercrombie. His pay from the Ministry was excellent, much higher than most knew, plus his cost of living was lower than most, as he had no need to worry about paying rent since the apartment he lived in was a Hartridge property gifted to him by his paternal grandfather. Still this wasn't the location he had in mind. The fact it was garishly decorated suggesting the owner, or possibly their most recent vapid bride, had no taste certainly didn't help matters.

"I'd like to think when the time comes for me to propose I'd do so somewhere that doesn't look like it was decorated by a six year old high on pumpkin juice" he retorted wryly. Pyxis eyed one of the nearby decorations with such disdain Odhrán wouldn't have needed his Legilimency skills to guess his critique of the interior was legitimate. Pyxis thought when the time came he'd propose on the grounds of Dalemain or a similar location. He liked the idea of an outdoor engagement, perhaps under the light of a new moon. It was a topic he hadn't much considered beyond an occasional musing. The Diplomat decided to ignore the jab about his sexuality. There was no way he was entering into a discussion that remotely connected him to those sorts of people.

Without warning Pyxis retrieved his wand, an 11 ½ inch vine with dragon heartstring, and cast several privacy charms. He purposely stated the incantations slow and precise as a way of reassuring the older man his intent was not malicious. When Odhrán apologised for the mental intrusion the twenty six year started to chuckle dryly. "You mean to tell me that you cast an illegal Legiliemncy attack on a perfect stranger as a way to unwind?" The Pureblood sounded dubious as he considered the innocence behind his companion's actions. "And here I thought you might be acting on behalf of another."

The Diplomat was of course referring to Lord Voldemort. The name was not yet known to the general wizarding populous, but he was spoken of in hushed whispers amongst the purebloods in proper society known for their disdain of mudbloods. The Unspeakables too knew of the man, though none of his associates had been able to discover his true origins. A fact they, and Pyxis, found most vexing. His cousin Farren even had the dubious pleasure of meeting the self-proclaimed Lord. His Aunt Victoria had proclaimed her allegiance to the man if his cousin's speculations were correct. The Abercrombie had thought himself exempt from the man's interest. What would someone such as he want with a random third cousin? Pyxis decided to try his Legilimency once more. It should be just enough to try and pick up Odhrán's emotional reaction to his comment. Would it be the confusion of someone completely oblivious to Lord Voldemort? Or something else?

Pyxis let out another low chuckle upon his discovery of what seemed to be a lack of apparent shields. Either Odhrán was very cocky and didn't feel the need to shield his thoughts, or "you're clearly a master at this" he mused simply, while keeping a keen eye on the Irish man for his reaction to the compliment. The twenty-six-year old decided to wait and see his companions reaction before saying anymore.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

The man in front of him was an interesting case study. Cracking a joke clearly had been the wrong move. Odhrán knew that now. Somehow, the wry comment he received in return just came across as defensive. He thought it was rather surprising that this would be the default position of a clearly handsome and possibly wealthy gentleman. His clothing suggested that he came from money; maybe he even was someone Odhrán should recognise. He didn't though.
Hearing it stated out loud, it made some amount of sense that the other was not buying his story immediately at face value. "I'm a healer," Odhrán offered up as the beginning of an explanation. "I work mostly with magically induced memory loss, accidental spell damage, severe trauma - anything that will result in severe mental damage. If I'm not looking at a bunch of messed up memories in a pensieve, I'm getting it straight from the patient. It's nice to listen in on a happy, healthy mind occasionally. It grounds me."

Admitting it was pathetic really, but it still seemed like the much safer option. Mr Ministry was clearly a somebody. Odhrán would have called the brief touching of their minds a surface scan, while this gentleman interpreted it as a full own attack. In a way, his choice of wording and reaction was more revealing than anything he had gathered from the man's mind. The impression that this was someone he should know only intensified. Still, attack? Odhrán wanted to laugh. He'd show this man an actual attack some time.

At last, the core of the other's concern revealed itself. He was thinking Odhrán was working for somebody. He was dealing with a gentleman with something to hide. Interesting. The question came with an inevitable mental probe. Odhrán let Pyxis take a good look around - after all, there was nothing to be seen. Why would he even try to spy on him? Who was he to be worth spying on in the first place? And who would want to know this man's secrets? What secrets did he even have?

"Been at it for twenty years. Guess I know a thing or two." He saw no point in trying to deny that he had curated his thoughts. Who in his position wouldn't?

As he thought he felt the other withdrawing again, he suddenly had an idea about what Pyxis was possibly concerned about. He had seen a particularly gruesome case not that long ago involving a legillimens. Was this guy an auror or ministry investigator perhaps? It would fit with how he carried himself. There wasn't much time to decide on this, but something told Odhrán that it was worth taking a little risk. He'd been curious about this case and maybe this was an opportunity to learn more.

He forcefully pushed the memory of a patient to the top of his mind, not wanting to put this into words. It was much easier to show than it was to tell. He showed the image young man that had come into his practise in a desperate state. Odhrán engaged all his discipline and mental power to keep the images in tight sequence, never showing the face of the victim. At first, Odhrán had thought this was yet another case of obliviation, but it hadn't taken him long to uncover the tracks of an earlier invasion with legillimency and the characteristic marks left behind by two of the unforgiveable curses.  Blunted edges of trauma remained, emotional memory still intact where chronological and episodic memory were completely disrupted.

"You think I'm that guy or part of his gang, don't you?" He shrugged, as he pushed the thought away restoring the ordered pathways of his mind.  "Afraid I'll have to disappoint. I've only been cleaning up their messes for a while. I had a few patients through the door like that in the last year. Can't tell you much on the perpetrators other than that there's more than one and that they're quite good at what they're doing."

As an afterthought he realised they'd never made introductions. "I'm Odhrán Ó Dálaigh, by the way, and I think you know by now that the mental clinic round the corner is mine. Who do I have the pleasure of meeting?"

Pyxis Abercrombie

Pyxis stared blankly at the older man as he shared his occupation. The Pureblood didn't bother with using Legilimency to ascertain the legitimacy of his claim when Odhrán elaborated. There was no point; his companion was far too skilled at Occlumency. The twenty six year old resisted the urge to frown as the other man spoke of his need for grounding. It was something he could relate to. He had come across some truly horrid things during his work for the Unspeakables. Pyxis knew what it was like to feel burdened with the worst of humanity, to need a tether, a light in the dark, anything that would stop him from spiralling deep in to the abyss. The Unspeakable decided he couldn't hold his actions against the healer.

Pyxis had opened his mouth to say as much when the image of a man suddenly appeared in his mind's eye. The Pureblood fought hard not to recoil as he came to realise just how badly damaged the man was. Anyone who knew him wouldn't have described the Abercrombie as the softest of men, but the sight before him made his stomach churn. How could anyone treat another human being like that? Pyxis was no healer, but even he knew enough to realise the chances of the victim ever leading a normal life again was slim. Pyxis had been wary when his Cousin Farren spoke of a lunch with the self-proclaimed Lord Voldemort six years ago. While he was all for fighting to defend Pureblood Culture against the insidious attempts to replace it with crass muggle values the idea of doing so behind a figure using the French for flight from death as a pseudonym didn't sit well with him. If he had any doubts before the healers vision had eradicated him. He could never get behind someone who could do this to another human.

"It did cross my mind yes" he confirmed simply as he considered what he should say next. The Pureblood knew he needed to be very careful what he said lest his reluctance to join Voldemort got back to the wrong people. "I had heard rumours... of a man who was trying to rally Purebloods behind him. I must confess I did not realise he and his followers had taken things that far." Pyxis was careful to hide the disgust he felt; the words were delivered in a bland matter of fact tone instead. He knew this was something he would have to discuss with his Cousin Farren, perhaps even show her in the Pensieve his grandfather kept in Harlington. If Voldemort and his followers were willing to go this far they'd have to be very careful indeed.

The Pureblood took a deep breathe before he decided to take a gamble and be honest with the man. "My name is Pyxis Abercrombie. I work at the Ministry of Magic." He wasn't surprised Odhrán hadn't heard of him. He was only mentioned in the media as a side note while in the company of his Cousin Farren. However, he'd be surprised if O'Dálaigh failed to recognise his surname. The Abercrombies were one of, if not the best known, families in their world after all.

"I know you can't give names, patient confidentiality and all that, but can I ask, off the record, how many cases have you come across? Are the victims all injured to that extent? Or was this a particularly grievous case?" The more information he could gather on what was happening in their world the better. Pyxis knew his Aunt Victoria and her mother in law Farrah were enamoured with Voldemort, but they wouldn't participate in torture, would they?

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

March 02, 2021, 10:10:54 pm #6 Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 10:14:55 pm by Royal_Poet
Abercrombie? Really. Well, the man in front of him had to be a high animal then. Odhrán had heard the name before, but it was about seven rungs up the ladder from where he found himself. London high society, sacred purebloods - he knew a little bit about it, that stuff had been among the aspirational goals of his father a long time ago. Before he'd gone to Azkaban. Before their lives had fallen apart.

He gave a wry smile, overcome by the strange realisation that meeting this man was among the many things his father had once wanted for Odhrán. Well, here he was and the sensation of it was underwhelming. Not that he had anything against Abercrombie - just that getting to meet him didn't feel like it was worth all that his family had sacrificed in their ill-advised attempts to ascend in society.

"People go as far as possible, when given the authority to do so," Odhrán said distantly still distracted by the thought of his father. He hadn't thought about him in some time.

"If it were just one person acting, there would be limits. But there are no bounds to what a wizard is willing to do in the name of another. I only did as I was told. I am not responsible. Someone cast the Imperius Curse on me."

He seemed strangely detached, repeating these words. The defeated look in his eyes, made it obvious that he had heard these words before to justify a great many things. After all, he didn't just see patients who had their memory taken, but also those who really wanted to forget. Sometimes, he had patients who wanted to forget what had happened to them. But the worst kind of patient, the people that made him sick to the stomach were the people who wanted to forget what they had done.

They were the fuel of Odhrán's nightmares, the root cause of why he had stopped believing in humankind some time ago. One of the reasons he needed grounding. One of the reasons he struggled to hold on when he had a rough day. Nobody ever admitted guilt. Nobody ever wanted to make amends. No, they just wanted to move on. There was no such thing as remorse.

"Truthfully, that's one of the ... cleaner cases I could have shown you. So far, not that many, but they are becoming more frequent. Maybe five or six in the last year that I have seen. Probably more over at St. Mangled's. I run a small, private clinic. I'm not usually where people come as a first port of call when something's wrong. I only get referred the cases when folks like Dankworth and Audish can't fix it."

"So, not that it's any of my business, but are your ministry mates doing anything about this mess? I wouldn't mind a sound night's sleep again."

Pyxis Abercrombie

The Pureblood nodded in agreement as he considered the older man's words. They were spoken in a tone which suggested the healer had personal experience with such sentiments. Pyxis would have liked to have known more, but they were strangers and certainly not close enough to share something so personal. While he had no personal experiences with such things (he wasn't an Auror or a Lawyer, thank you very much) he did recall reading about similar arguments being used for the trials after Grindelwald's fall to the cantankerous old fool.

He resisted the urge to snort upon hearing Odhrán's nickname for St. Mungo's. While both the Hartridge and Abercrombie families had made numerous donations to the wizarding hospital over the years both families preferred the services of private healers, as they found the treatment provided far superior to that offered to the masses. That and private healers had a greater sense of discretion as some of the underpaid staff of St. Mungo's had a nasty habit of revealing information about their well-known clients to the press for a quick buck.

"If that's a 'clean' case I don't think I'd have liked to see a messier one" he stated honestly. While Pyxis wasn't a bleeding heart liberal even he couldn't bring himself to enjoy such displays of cruelty. "I can't say I'm familiar with Healers Dankworth and Audish, but at least I know who to avoid now if I ever require therapy" he quipped as a way of distracting himself from the continued discomfort he felt. How could his Aunt Victoria have associated herself with such people? Yes, he knew Farren's mother held strong beliefs in the importance of preserving blood purity and with it magical culture, as did Pyxis himself, but there was a stark difference between trying to use the system to achieve their goals and torturing people.

"I am not an Auror" he stated bluntly in response to the Irish man's query about the work of the Ministry. "So I cannot give you the specifics of what they're up to" although he did have more of an idea than most thanks to his association with the Unspeakables. However, Pyxis wasn't inclined to share the Ministry's secrets with a total stranger. "However, from what I can tell it seems Minister Jenkins isn't aware there is a mess to solve aside from the general tensions caused by the Squib marches." The Minister's name was spoken with a sneer, which openly conveyed the contempt he felt for the woman. While Pyxis didn't agree with the actions of the so called Lord Voldemort and his merry followers he could never bring himself to feel anything but loathing for a diehard liberal like their current Minister. "So I would keep your doors locked and avoid going out after dark if I were you" he warned simply with a shrug. The young pureblood shrugged before offering in a seemingly casual tone "it's really a shame you have patient confidentiality laws to abide by. If I were able to catch you in an unguarded moment... a look at the list of those who've been targeted might provide some insight into the motivations of this group..."

Pyxis of course already had some ideas, but nonetheless he would be very interested in discovering whether the attacks had been limited to halfbloods and mudbloods alone or had the terror been stretched to his own kind. If only he could keep O'Dálaigh to take the bait.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

Interesting. He wasn't an auror. That didn't leave too many other options in Odhrán's mind. Nobody hired a legillimens to manage the Office for Misuse of Muggle Artefacts. In a way the fact that Mr Abercrombie didn't specify what he did was more telling than anything he could have said. Odhrán felt the temptation to brush through the other man's mind and take a closer look, but he knew there was no chance he would get away with it and therefore didn't.

"Ugh, Jenkins," Odhrán sighed. "I am not sure the public could have found a more gormless woman to elect to office if they tried. But then, what were the alternatives?"

As far as Odhrán was concerned politics felt like a sad joke. It didn't really matter which of the clowns you put into power, they were all as bad, as absurd, as corrupt as each other. Jenkins, admittedly, seemed less bad than other options, but that was mostly because he would have described her as bland and uninspired. It was hard to disagree with somebody who didn't have much to say in the first place. And it was hard to condemn the actions of a woman who set herself apart mostly by doing nothing. 

"I remain unconvinced there is such a thing as a competent politician. They all play for their own gain. The only question is really to which degree they're prepared to admit to it. The one we have is too cowardly to take a stand on anything as it may offend potential voters. I wonder how far she is willing to let this go before she will intervene."

Though Odhrán was perhaps more liberal than many purebloods, he still found it difficult to condone their current minister of magic. He didn't quite hate her as much as the late Wilhelmina Tuft, but there were few people who could match his low opinion of that woman.

The young Abercrombie in front of him issued a warning and then seemed to be angling for more information. Interesting again.

"I know what you mean. Not to worry though, I know how to look after myself."

He'd been through worse than a few undesirables floating through the neighbourhood. It wasn't the first time he'd been near some dodgy stuff and doubted it would be the last.

"And I'm afraid I can't give you the patient list, even if I might want to. But what I can say from what I've seen is that there are two motives at play. There are those thrown to the wolves as a gratuitous outlet for violence and those that hold information, power or items that are wanted for a greater plan. Everything I see boils down to one motive only: consolidating power through terror and maybe fear. I think they are capable or much, much worse than anything we have seen so far." 

Pyxis Abercrombie

Pyxis snorted in amusement upon hearing Odhrán's description of Minister Jenkins as gormless. It was a rather accurate description of the woman, as she had a tendency to try and pacify all sides, but ultimately made them resent her as she didn't go far enough in the support offered. "There is a reason the vast majority of Politician's who climb high in the ranks hail from Slytherin house" he agreed in a serious tone. Pyxis himself knew part of what motivated him into attempting to ascend into the International Confederation of Wizards was a desire to strength the Potions Empire ran by the Hartridge family and consolidate the holdings of Abercrombie Publishing. After all, it put him in a position to ensure trade laws remained in their favour, and it gave him enough exposure to other politicians to sense the political mood of their allied countries and act accordingly.

"Competency and self-serving are not mutually exclusive" he countered with a light shrug of his shoulders. "Every politician is in it for something. What makes a good, or at least decent, politician is one whose self interest lies in common with the public that voted them in." The Pureblood was of course referring to the old Wizarding families when he referred to 'the public'. What did it matter if the views of mudbloods and squibs were represented?

The brunette nodded in acknowledgement as Odhrán commented that he knew how to look after himself. Between his profession as a mind healer and the area he worked in Pyxis was willing to take the man at his word. The former Slytherin didn't bother to ask Odhrán for further information on the safety measures he had in place. The Irish man would have needed to be a fool to answer and Pyxis sensed the man was anything but that. A little careless sometimes (he did get caught out using Legilimency on a perfect stranger after all), but not a fool.

Pyxis sighed as the man denied him access to the list. He wasn't surprised, it would have been a major breach of patient confidentiality after all, but a general idea of the people targeted by Mr. Flight from Death would have been nice. He raised a brow at the mention of power and items and for the first time felt relieved his Aunt Victoria had chosen to follow the cause. There was no doubt in his mind the Abercrombie library, the largest in all of Europe, would have come to the attention of this group, if it hadn't already.

"I have the feeling you're right Mr. Dálaigh. Thanks for sharing with me the memory of what you've experienced" the words were spoken sincerely. While he had his reservations about this Lord Voldemort for a while now, what type of man went around calling himself the flight from death? Now he was outright terrified of the man and the devastation he'd bring to their world. "Between this crowd and those on the opposite end of the political spectrum campaigning for Squib rights I fear we're headed for war, a total blood bath" the words spoken in a grave tone.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

"I'm afraid you're right," Odhrán agreed. "They seem even more unhinged than the last lunatic with a cause and his cronies."

He wondered why they always seemed to be obsessed with muggles. Grindelwald had wanted to rule over them, and this new nutjob seemed to want to be rid of them entirely. Or maybe he was just tapping into popular sentiment to establish a following. It was hard ton tell. The anti-muggle rhetoric was everywhere and while Odhrán found himself agreeing with a lot of the problems that were identified, it was far more difficult to get behind the proposed solutions.

"There are only ever losers in war," he said with a sigh.

Though Grindelwald had been defeated and imprisoned when Odhrán had been only ten years old, there seemed to be more than enough cases even now where people were struggling to deal with their war experiences.

"I wonder," he said slowly, "how many of the old acolytes are falling in with this new crowd. They're not a million miles apart politically and I very much doubt that the ministry managed to clean them up in '45 given how many were from rich or influential families. If I were looking for information, I suppose any of the families once on Grindelwald's roster are an easy starting point."

This was one uncomfortable conversation to have. He crossed his arms in front of his chest.

"One of the things I can tell you is that there is some kind of propaganda going on with skulls and snakes. I've seen that imagery in a lot of patient's minds. Might be of use if you're trying to find these folks and what they are up to."

"I'd tell you to be careful, but you probably already know that. Men like you and me would probably be quite useful to them. And while I have some sympathy it's hard to not see how short-sighted and reckless all of this is. It'll set us back for a long time no matter if they win or if they lose."

Another sigh. Maybe it wasn't wise to talk politics like this, but Abercrombie seemed to be somewhat of a kindred spirit. Not a liberal by any stretch of the imagining, but not an extremist either. It was nice to feel like there were normal, well-adjusted wizards left in the world. It was easy to lose faith in that these days.

"You know what if you're ever in need of a sparring partner let me know. You seem alright."

His thoughts drifted back to his youth and practising his skills with his close friend Helene. He missed her, but with her being busy in Switzerland they only saw each other on rare occasion. He could count the times he had seen her since he'd moved away from Montreux on one hand. It was sad how easy it was to lose touch with a dear and close friend. Well, there was a chance that Karl-Friedrich perhaps had more to do with the matter than the distance.

"I've lived in France and Switzerland for most of my live. Being back here, it's hard to get to know people. Especially one's that aren't patients."