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Author Topic: Nyctophilia | Jere  (Read 217 times)

* Etain Marie O'Brien

    (04/03/2019 at 02:23)
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15 July 1956
An otherwise empty room in Palais Longchamp
Midnight

Etain sat with a candle in front of her as she poured over a seemingly bulky and only partially unfurled parchment. The majority of it was accordion folded on either side, and the edges would have been far more frayed were it not for the preservation charms that she had placed on it fairly quickly after Seamus had passed it to her.

Carefully she watched parts of the map as they changed, mirroring what must be happening at the school in real time. She changed the way the map was folded, revealing a different part of the castle as she checked to make sure it was working properly. The last thing she wanted to do was mess it up, so she had spent the last couple of years making a list of every spell that had been used on the map so that she could repeat the process if her own project destroyed it. The only downside was that it was going to be a pain to replicate the drawings. If she could get the twins to tag-team that, it would be done in half the time, though.

She had nearly narrowed down which invisibility spell she wanted to use, but it would still take some time to make sure she had the right one, and figure out which trigger phrases she wanted to use. she would need one to make the map appear, and one to clear it.

Though her change to it was not the hardest one to make. That one would fall to whichever of the twins she gave the map to. she already knew the spell that needed to be used, but it required a great deal of power and nearly an equal amount of time. She simply wasn't sure she had the power, and she was definitely running out of time.

As sound near the entrance to the room made her sit bolt upright as she realized that she had been focused on the map until what must be midnight or past! Midnight was her curfew here (wasn't Cinderella a french story....or was that Spainish. She could never remember). If that was one of the camp counselors, she was toast.


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. - Poe

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (04/03/2019 at 22:02)
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He was on his way back from the Grand Théâtre, having (for once) left Virtue Hir there at her cabin door, with only her half-smile and a kiss pressed to the corner of it for company, instead of walking with her back to his own.

And even if he felt her absence in his fingers, which curled tight not into crushed silk but into themselves, and in the distinct lack of warmth of her side too close to his, he didn't mind it. He would mind it, he thought, when he knew that she wasn't sleeping just a short walk away from him, but hundreds of miles away, in a dormitory in the dungeons whilst he was home in London. For now, though, he didn't.

It was as he crossed the main hall towards the west wing that he caught sight of it: a door that shouldn't have been ever so slightly ajar but was, and the flicker of something that looked like candlelight behind it. Part of him wanted to leave it well alone, the door and the light and whoever -- there must have been someone -- was behind it, but a vague sense of curiosity won out over the prospect of sleep, and so he turned away from the stairs leading to his cabin and towards the mystery instead.

What he found on the other side of the door, when he pushed it open the whole way and it creaked with the strain on its hinges, was Etain O'Brien blinking back at him.

She wasn't much of a mystery, he noted with something close to disappointment.

...But whatever was spread out in front of her looked like it held more promise.

"Bit late, innit."

The slight raise of his eyebrows suggested that he knew full well she should have been in her cabin by now. The slight grin that threatened to break, but didn't, across the line of his mouth suggested that he didn't care that she was here instead. He crossed the distance between them in a few short seconds, and drew to a halt just beside where she sat. Still on his feet, and with his hands in his pockets, Jeremiah looked down.

As he nodded at the parchment in front of her, "What's this, then?"
« Last Edit: 04/03/2019 at 22:03 by Jeremiah Smallweed »
juliet, the dice was loaded from the start
and I bet, and you exploded into my heart
I can’t do everythin' but I’d do anythin’ for you
I can’t do anythin’ ’cept be in love with you

* Etain Marie O'Brien

    (04/17/2019 at 15:41)
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Etain blinked as the door was pushed open. Damned if it wasn't Jeremiah Smallweed standing before her. Wasn't he the lead counselor for her cabin?

This presented a problem.

"Bit late, innit."

"I must have lost track of time," she replied offhandedly.

Carefully, Etain folded the map as though she were just packing up for the night. Preservation charms or not, the map was still a couple decades old, and she had been the fourth - or was it fifth - person to hold it. She would not be the last either. Still, it wouldn't do to have such a thing openly in front of her at the moment. At least now all it showed was the front door, and not even the grounds.

It didn't look like he cared much that she was out after curfew. Just as well. He seemed more interested in the parchment in front of her. In truth, she didn't blame him much for that. She hadn't hastily folded it, but the fact that she had bothered with it at all would raise suspicion to anyone who wasn't dimwitted.

Her assessment of Smallweed was that he was anything but dimwitted.

"What's this, then?"

"Just a project." It was as dismissive as she could be while still being truthful. He had graduated though. There wouldn't be any harm in....no, surely not.

"If you were going to create a phrase that allowed you access to something...useful, what would it be?"

Aside from finding the right spell, thinking up the phrases to activate and deactivate it were the part holding her back the most. She'd been drawing a blank most of the night. Surely there wouldn't be any harm in asking for hypothetical help form Jere.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. - Poe

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (04/22/2019 at 22:01)
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He very much doubted that Etain O'Brien had simply lost track of time. It was an age-old excuse, one he knew too well from his own days out after curfew, back when he hadn't had the protection of a Prefect badge or the status of a summer counsellor. Nobody who was ever out after curfew was out for as simple and innocent a reason as forgetting to check their watch or to count the minutes.

The smile that had previously threatened to break did so then, flaring once and quickly before it melted away again to lurk behind the half-curl of his lip.

"Just a project," Jeremiah echoed. The yeah, right went unsaid, but he heard it nevertheless in the silent space he left for it. He wondered if she would catch it, too.

Her explanation -- that this was just a project -- Jere found hard to believe, for there seemed to be very little 'just' about it, this half-folded piece of parchment that looked far bigger and more complicated than even the longest and most boring of the philosophical theories Camilla Carstairs took to writing on every so often for no apparent reason and with no apparent goal.

Still, he was inclined to leave it, despite the vague interest he had in both the parchment and in her; he might have done so, might have left it and left her, if she hadn't taken that moment to reopen the conversation before he could close it.

"If you were going to create a phrase that allowed you access to something...useful, what would it be?"

He'd been about to step back again, but at the question, he paused, stilling where he stood. With a half-shrug to match the half-grin that pulled again at the corner of his mouth, "Open Sesame?" By way of brief explanation, "S'from a Muggle story I know."

And with genuine curiosity, for it was an odd question to be faced with at any time of day, but particularly this one, "What you askin' for?"
darling, don’t you see?
while this has been hard enough on you
it’s been hard enough on me

* Etain Marie O'Brien

    (04/29/2019 at 14:38)
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She had, legitimately, lost track of time. He would never believe it, and she knew that. What Professor or Prefect ever actually believed that a student caught out after hours had lost track of time...especially in a library if they weren't a Ravenclaw. She may or may not have been bitter about one or two instances over the years.

Jeremiah parroted her words back to her, but she could feel what he didn't say. He was good. More than that, he wasn't exactly wrong.

It was a project, just a lot bigger than her. Well, a lot bigger than just her. She was the fourth O'Brien to add to it, and she would not be the last. She just had to figure out which of the twins was more gifted with Charms.

"Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. I know it." It didn't fit. Well, it partially fit. It gave her something to show the map, which was what she had asked for, but she needed another phrase to make it disappear. How was she going to make it disappear, and it not be something used in everyday conversation?

Naturally, he asked why she would ask something like that. Fair. It was an odd question, and rather out of the blue to anyone but her. The thought that Jeremiah Smallweed had graduated already, and there would be no harm in telling just one soul what she was actually working on crossed her mind again.

"I need to make something disappear and reappear on command, but I'm having a devil of a time thinking of what phrases to use to make that happen. Thought your answer might spark an idea, but I guess it's just too late for good sparks tonight." Maybe she would dream something up. Maybe. Probably not. She still had this year, though.

Etain stifled a yawn as she packed up everything she had been working with. It really amounted to the map, a pen, and a pad of paper that was completely blank where she had meant to write ideas as they came.

If they came.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. - Poe

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (05/04/2019 at 17:21)
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That she knew it, the story, well enough to know the name, came as a surprise. It showed in the way he looked at her, in the slight raise of his eyebrows and the curiosity reflecting back at her once again in his gaze. Etain O'Brien was full of surprises, it seemed, and he was only learning them now, six years down the line and only once he had left the castle for good.

It was a shame; he was finding that he quite liked her company.

"Sorry I ain't much help."

He meant it, too, which was more than he could say for most of his apologies, few and far between as they were. He felt, somehow and inexplicably, like he had let her down, though it seemed absurd; he barely knew her or what she wanted, and his guess at an answer had been a stab in the dark, unprepared as he had been for the strangeness of it -- the question, the situation, everything about the encounter. It should have been no surprise that he hadn't been able to offer what she was looking for, and yet there was a lingering sense of disappointment that he couldn't shake.

Silence fell as she began to pack up. Jere stayed where he was, just behind her chair, watching as she gathered her things and apparently prepared to head back to her cabin. He still wasn't certain of the significance of the huge parchment -- which, by now, had been folded into something of a more reasonable size -- but he knew, at least, that it was significant. She wouldn't have been up so late, alone and working, if it wasn't.

"Sounds like a pretty big project." He didn't want to be as curious as he was, for it seemed -- from her responses and her reactions -- that it wasn't something she particularly wanted to share. He could understand having secrets. Still, something pushed him further to ask, "What's it for? Just for fun, or--?"

It seemed like it was giving her more trouble than a simple hobby was worth.
I promise tonight not to do no harm
I promise you, babe , I won't do you no harm
and we’re caught up in the crossfire
of heaven and hell

* Etain Marie O'Brien

    (05/04/2019 at 18:26)
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This would be her last year, and then she would be free of Hogwarts. The thought that their paths might cross again was a pleasant one, and she mentally berated herself for not making more friends, or trying to get to know people like Jeremiah sooner.

Maybe it wasn't too late.

"It's kinda been passed down through the students in my family," she admitted. "It's a map of Hogwarts. My mum did most of the drawing, Ashling added the Hedge Maze and the Dungeons, and Seamus figured out how to make the stairs and maze and other parts move like they actually do. I'm just trying to make it so that not everyone can use it. Imagine if this fell into the wrong hands..."

Like hers. Or maybe like his? It was a good thing her intentions were mostly pure in this regard.

"What are you planning to do after camp ends?" It was an equally personal question to him asking about the map, at least in her mind.

She couldn't explain why, but she just had a gut feeling that their paths had crossed now and not before for a reason. It was like how she knew what needed to be done to the map, even if she was having some difficulty pulling it together.

She turned to him as she awaited his answer, though her mind was on something else.
Open Sesame Maybe he had provided a better idea than she had thought. Maybe he had actually provided the answer she had needed, and she just wasn't thinking about it right.

Something that wouldn't be used in conversation or easily guessed. Something her family would know, and could be discovered if one worked hard enough to figure it out. Yes, he had given her an answer she could work with.

"You're more helpful than you think. I just needed to look at it a different way." She smiled at Jeremiah, then. A genuine, friendly smile.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. - Poe

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (05/06/2019 at 21:45)
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He'd assumed that he'd get brushed off with some sort of half-answer, or that his question would be redirected with another well-timed one of her own. She handled it in neither of these ways, which was a surprise that perhaps shouldn't have been surprising, given that she had already caught him off guard several times in the ten minutes or so since he had found her.

What he was graced with instead was the truth -- or, at least, something that sounded a hell of a lot like the truth, and which he had to take as such until she gave him reason to doubt.

"That sounds proper useful. Could've done with somethin' like that my first couple of years here."

"What are you planning to do after camp ends?"

It was a pretty personal question, coming from someone he barely knew. He supposed she had earned the truth from him, given that she had been willing enough to share hers.

"Still workin' on that one." He shot her a smile, but it fell a little short of something genuine. "There's a bar in Knockturn what just reopened--been all done up new and everything, I think. The Snake Pit." He wondered if she knew it; it wasn't the bar's name so much as the owner's that had caught his attention, for the Black name was as familiar in darker circles as it was in Pureblood ones. "Reckon I might give it a shot."

She was smiling at him now, only hers was a real one, more real than his. He found the corners of his own mouth curling in response, and he found, too, that it was easier to mean it this time.

"Yeah? Good." The disappointment from before eased into something less tense, less regretful. He finally drew back, like he'd been meaning to do since he'd arrived. He was conscious of the late hour, and of the fact that he had said he would pick True up before breakfast tomorrow. 

Even as he took a step backward, towards the door, he felt like this was a conversation that was not yet finished. "Close Sesame. That's the other half." Just in case she'd forgotten, just in case she needed it.
« Last Edit: 05/13/2019 at 13:58 by Jeremiah Smallweed »
darling, don’t you see?
while this has been hard enough on you
it’s been hard enough on me

* Etain Marie O'Brien

    (05/11/2019 at 19:16)
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She had forgotten, or had never really remembered in the first place. One of the two. It had been a really long time since she had read the story, after all.

If he was looking at working at the Snake Pit, then she had a clue as to the sort of work he might be interested in. She'd probably need to ask if he had an opening first, but....

"I might know a guy who can offer the sort of work you're looking for. If you want, I could ask if he has an opening?" The last was more of a question than a statement.

Seamus had both legitimate and....less legitimate enterprises. What work he had for Jeremiah would likely depend on what the young man was interested in, and how his particular skills fit in to benefit the business as a whole. Her older brother had always been good at human resources and logistics.

"If you're not busy around the winter holidays, it might be nice to hang out a bit. By then, I should know if there's an opening."

Etain stood then, and stretched. It was late. Probably closer to one than she would want to admit. She needed sleep. He probably needed sleep. and unless she was dead wrong, she may have just found a friend once she was free of the school. She already knew she had a business, but a friend or two was never a bad thing.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. - Poe

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (05/13/2019 at 14:30)
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He was midway through turning properly to leave when she spoke again, her words of enough significance that he spun back around again to face her.

"Oh yeah?"

The sort of work he was looking for.

He wondered whether that meant what he thought it meant, and came to the conclusion that yes, it probably did. Etain O'Brien was proving to be more and more surprising, more and more interesting, with every minute he spent with her. Still, he didn't ask for clarification -- asking was perhaps the worst thing you could do when it came to this kind of work that relied on shadows and hidden meanings.

"That'd be well nice of ya. If it ain't no trouble or nothin'."

Again, he wondered how it was that she, a girl who was seemingly respectable enough, knew a guy that could help him. Again, he kept his questions to himself. There was time for that if she ever followed through on her offer -- and he knew there was a chance that she wouldn't, when it came down to it.

As they walked back together out of the room and in the general direction of the dorms, he nodded, "Holidays works for me. I'm in Hackney when I'm home--don't mind comin' to Diagon or somethin' instead, if that's easier, though. Or maybe I'll get that job and you can drop by." He wouldn't mind meeting up with Etain O'Brien, Jeremiah decided then, even if the work she thought she might have for him fell through, after all.

At the entrance to the east wing, he stopped. "Come find me tomorrow, I'll give you my address. Then we can figure shit out closer to the time."

He waited until she was already halfway down the corridor back to her cabin before he called down the space between them, with the twitch of a smile, "Night, O'Brien."


fin.
darling, don’t you see?
while this has been hard enough on you
it’s been hard enough on me