Start of Term (Hogwarts)

The Harry Potter books focused on the lives of Hogwarts students, but this story centers around the teachers and staff members who are in charge of educating and protecting these magical children. Set in approximately the Cursed Child time period, it follows the stories of the guardians and caretakers who keep Hogwarts safe. With great power comes great responsibility... and lots of magical headaches.
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Monkey Kitty
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Start of Term (Hogwarts)

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Rosemary Bain (written by Quaxo)

She was momentarily chagrined at her own excitement – of course, the whole point of this adventure had been to get Darren into Azkaban and thereby as far away from Eve and Liam as possible. Her next breath was used to settle herself down and bring her face into a more neutral position. She still had bad news to deliver, after all.

“Ah, well, no. We weren’t quite lucky enough to catch him at home, but we did manage to stop him from being able to spy on anyone else. He’s on the ropes now – it’s only a matter of time. I’m sorry, Eve.”

Rosemary could only offer a wrinkled-nose smile and a shoulder side hug. Of course, she also needed to tell them about what happened between her and Auror Barclay, but they were already in front of her door. The excitement returned and she turned to face both women.

“And while the fact that we didn’t catch Darren is terrible – we do have a new friend out of the whole thing. She might be a bit shy and confused – she had a bit of a run in with a certain Auror and I had to send her here with Lucie to keep her safe – but I am excited to get to introduce you all.”

Turning back, she spoke through the door before opening it by a small crack. “Hello – it’s me, from the house. I’m coming in and I have my friends with me.” Poking her head into the room, she spotted Lucie standing on the table finishing off a roll from lunch. The acromantula was nowhere to be seen. “Lucie, where is she?” The jackdaw shook her feathers down and gobbled down the last over-large crumb.

Taking a moment to explain her caution, she whispered to Eve and Cambria, “She’s an acromantula that Darren had guarding his house. She helped us out considerably and seemed willing to come with me. I just hope she’s not upset with me for sending her off without any notice.”

Taking a step into the room, she bent low to peek under the table and furniture. “Darling, please tell me you are still here. I am really hoping we can have a nice chat without that man hanging around.”
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

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Eve Travers

Eve nodded absently when Rosemary broke the news that Darren was still at large. Her heart sank a little, but she wasn’t surprised. She hadn’t really been able to imagine what it would be like to be free of him. He’d been the shadow hanging over her life since she was a teenager, the force that had shaped everything that happened since. Life without his influence - even though that influence had been indirect much longer than it had ever been direct - was unfathomable.

“It’s alright,” Eve said, the words tumbling out a little disjointedly. “You tried. Your best. Thank you.”

She was a little surprised that Rosemary had taken pity on the acromantula - but not very. Rosemary was so kind to all living things. The poor creature would be happier here. To Darren, others were just tools to be used for his own purposes. Whether they were giant spiders… or young women.

Eve remembered the house she had shared with Darren after they were married. An old house, past its prime but so ornate. And dark, with creaky stairs and uneven floors. The tall windows and vaulted ceilings…

Her eyes traced up the walls in front of her, half lost in the memory… and there was Rosemary’s quarry, clinging to the ceiling, watching them all.

“There,” Eve said, and pointed. “Is your acromantula.”
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Quaxo9
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Rosemary Bain

Looking back over her shoulder to observe Eve's line of sight, she was relieved to locate the creature. It always amazed her how spiders could make the most of their environment - not just the length and breadth, but the height. The acromantula didn't appear any worse for wear, though it was certainly on edge. She couldn't blame her. Rosemary pulled out a chair and gingerly took a seat, hands on her knees.

"Hello, this is my room as you might have guessed. You are at Hogwart's School and these are my friends Cambria and Eve. I am sure finding yourself here was a bit jarring and I apologize."

The large spider seemed to look at the door and Rosemary was hasty to add, "And that man won't be coming here. Don't worry."

Lucie took this opportunity to imitate said man. Puffing out her chest, she started strutting around the table, coughing and hemming. Her owner couldn't help a snicker at the little display and did nothing to stop the bird from her antics. Perhaps that wasn't the wisest course of action, but she was still rather upset with the auror and seeing the acromantula again just brought those protective feelings to the surface.

Unsure of how precisely to proceed, she hoped to encourage the acromantula to continue its willing interaction with humans. "Of course, this was just to keep you safe. Where we go from here is up to you. The forest has been home to many of your species in the past. You can perhaps find a new nest there. Or, if you want to perhaps stay in touch, you might consider staying. Here, or I have a classroom along the edge of the forest." She was offering a lot of different scenarios, she knew, and offered a reassuring smile. "Your comfort and happiness is my priority. But I confess, I don't know what might make that happen for you." A look of realization came across her face and she had to laugh at herself. "Of course, I don't even know your name!"
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

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Eve Travers

Eve laughed at the bird's impression of Barclay... but then her laughter turned into a worried little gasp. She glanced behind her, as if the man would be lurking there, ready to throw her back into Azkaban. Just like he was always lurking, ready to lock her away again. But the Auror wasn't there, of course. Cambria and Rosemary were laughing too. Eve tried to relax, but there was still a little shiver running up and down her spine.

The acromantula clicked nervously and skittered side to side when Rosemary suggested going to live in the forest. The creature had been taken from the wild as a hatchling. She had never since lived with other acromantulas. Although intimidating to humans, by the standard of her kind, she wasn't exactly an imposing specimen. The idea of going to live in the forest seemed very frightening indeed.

The idea of 'here' seemed much more appealing to the creature. Her movements became less nervous, and then she sank into a more relaxed posture.

"She probably doesn't have one," Eve offered. "A name. Darren. Not big on getting attached."

Her tone was mild and utterly neutral, but the meaning was not hard to transfer from pet to wife.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Rosemary Bain

She was unbelievably relieved when the acromantula appeared to want to stay with her. Relieved and excited. She'd always wanted to befriend an acromantula. They were so much more than simple creatures. How lucky that she would get to have one as a friend. Rosemary missed Eve's delivery of her information due to her focus on her eight-legged friend. The idea that the poor thing hadn't had a name all this time was most upsetting.

"No name?" She confirmed with the acromantula. Nodding, she sat back in her chair briefly before leaning forward once more. "Would you mind if I gave you one?" The creature seemed to perk up, so she continued gazing at her thoughtfully.

"What about...Keeva. I think it suits. What do you think?" She looked at the acromantula, then over at Eve and Cambria. "Ladies? What do you think?"
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

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Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

The acromantula seemed happy with the name... although it seemed to be more the principle than the name itself. Any name would have sufficed, to make the creature feel welcomed.

"I like it," Eve said. "It's nice."

Cambria nodded agreement. As gently as possible - knowing it would probably upset Eve, but that seemed inevitable - she asked, "I... couldn't help but overhear another rumor. That you annoyed Auror Barclay? Apparently one of the students heard a rather outlandish story from a parent who works at the Ministry. They're saying... erm. That you... that he wants to... send you to Azkaban."

There was a crash as Eve's chair fell over, with Eve still in it.

"Are you alright, Eve?" Cambria asked worriedly.

Eve was beyond forming words. From her place on the floor, she made a waving gesture dismissing the concern, and then a beckoning gesture that they needed the information from Rosemary.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Rosemary Bain

She had known she couldn't avoid it forever, though she had hoped that she could delay telling Eve about the issue with Auror Barclay after the meeting at the Ministry tomorrow. A meeting whose result she was now a bit more assured about than she'd been when first informed of it. Disregarding Eve's wave off, she bent to help her up while launching into her explanation.

"Well, yes, Auror Barclay and I had a bit of a disagreement, but to be fair, I think he'd threaten to send someone to Azkaban for jaywalking." A gross overstatement, but one she hoped would bring some levity to the room before she had to reveal exactly what had happened.

"I knew I couldn't go after Darren myself, which is why I wrote the Auror for assistance. If I could have trusted him to follow Lucie on his own...anyway. What happened was that he told me to 'deal' with Keeva - then attempted to kill her for her being helpful. I, well, I tied him up. And dragged him out of the way. And pretended he wasn't there while I had a chat with Keeva."

It sounded so ridiculous this time around, but Rosemary was as certain as ever that she'd done the right thing. "I couldn't let him hurt her - and it wouldn't have done to have him injured either, so it really was the best option. McGonagall agrees and she's going to be my character witness at a hearing tomorrow. She seems to think that I have a good case and that everything should go fine."

Her friends still looked worried, so she added hastily, "That's to say, I don't expect to actually go to prison. Please, don't worry."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

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Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

"There's another option," Eve said. "A safer option."

Eve's tone, and the cadence of her words, made Cambria glance over sharply. Eve's usual hesitation and odd speech patterns had fallen aside.

Eve went on, "If you blame me, Barclay will believe you. Tell him I put you under the Imperius curse. He would love for that to be true; he won't question it. I can still help Cambria from Azkaban. I'll send you potion instructions, and you can try to brew them and let me know the results so I can refine them."

"No!" Cambria said, shaken by Eve's tone and her... well, her finality. Abruptly, she realized why Eve's speech was so much clearer and more fluid. Eve wasn't fighting an unfamiliar world anymore. She was resigned to the end of it, to falling back into the past.

"We can't risk this!" Eve insisted. "Not for Rosemary. I'm already broken. We can't let them break her too."

The same offer she had made to her son, Cambria noted - and for the same reasons. Eve had been so traumatized by her experience that she was protecting everyone she cared for from it, even at her own expense.

"No one is going to Azkaban!" Cambria said firmly. "Rosemary is right. This is fixable. Barclay may be unreasonable, but the Minister isn't. We'll convince her. We'll work together. No one is going away. Not either of you."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Rosemary Bain

"No way. I absolutely will not tell that ridiculous lie. Eve. I won't."

Rosemary had felt fear rise up in her at Eve's suggestion. Possibly the same fear that Eve had felt on her behalf. In this case, Rosemary felt that her position was the mores justified one. She softened her tone considerably and reached out to her touch her friend's shoulder.

"I made the decision to do what I did with the full knowledge that I would make Barclay angry. But I also know it was the right thing to do. McGonagall thinks that the Minister will agree. Honestly. It's going to be okay."

She bent down to try to catch Eve's eye, offering what she hoped was a comforting smile.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Start of Term (Hogwarts)

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Eve Travers and Cambria Morehouse

"I'm... I'm afraid," Eve said softly, biting her lip.

"You're afraid because you care," Cambria said gently. "You're afraid because you're attached to Rosemary and you don't want anything bad to happen to her. You see, Eve? You have people now. You have connections. You aren't alone anymore."

"That's true," Eve acknowledged.

For so long, she'd had little to be afraid of. At first, in Azkaban, she'd been terrified. The place was horrific and frightening, and the other inmates were vicious and dangerous. None of those things had changed. But over time, it had just mattered less. She'd stopped caring about herself. About anything. If she lived, or died - it wasn't important. If she suffered, it was expected. Time meant nothing. Days and nights blurred into each other, all the same. With nothing to hold onto, there was nothing to lose.

That were different now, and the fear was hard. But Eve had to admit, it was still better than being by herself.

"So what's the plan?" Cambria asked Rosemary. "You said McGonagall will be your character witness? I will too, if you want. Is there anything else you need?"

"I shouldn't," Eve said wryly. "Be a character witness. Because Barclay will believe the opposite of anything I say. Maybe I should say you're a terrible monster. So he'll think you're an angel."

It was a weak joke, but even a stab at humor was better than nursing the cold dread.
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