The Wilborough Helpers Association [IC] [Potterverse]

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    The quiet clinking of cutlery on china plates filled the dining room, echoing off the beams on the ceiling and reverberating through the iron chandelier hanging above the oaken tabletop. As per usual, Dorothy was sitting and peering at the Daily Prophet. The unusual part was her expression – usually rather peaceful and a little bit sleepy in the morning, today her lips were pursed as she scanned through the front page for the third time. The title rang out strong and true: “DUMBLEDORE: DAFT OR DANGEROUS?” above a moving image of the Headmaster of Hogwarts walking through the iconic front doors.

    This was not uncommon in the Prophet. All year, story after story had been discrediting the Boy Who Lived and the headmaster of Hogwarts, and it was clear that Dorothy was starting to become a little restless over the slander thrown at her ex-employer and one of the most famous wizards in the world. For some reason, it occupied her attention even more today, for she folded up the paper and slid it towards Sylvester, Luke and Amarisse whilst forgetting to do the Arithmancy Sudoku on the back page like every other morning. “I do hope you do not believe any of this tripe,” she sighed wearily and dug into her lukewarm porridge. “Strange times indeed...”

    Once again, Dorothy kept largely to herself about her musings. The trio assembled around the table knew well enough to avoid prying, lest they wanted extra chores to do after breakfast. Aside from the rather pensive mood hanging around Dorothy, 47 Lilystone Road couldn’t have been any livelier; the departure of more than half of the Association a year ago in the wake of the Death Eater attack in the Quidditch World Cup had not only made it much harder for the Wilborough Helpers Association to keep up with the tidying, but the influx of new missions and the low member count proved to be an incredibly difficult year for the regulars. Dorothy had been adamant that she would not hold any of her Helpers back if they felt they wanted to remain close to their families after the Death Eater scare, but when Dorothy’s family were the was undeniable that she found the near-desertion of her Association to be a little bit difficult.

    But the day was turning out to be warm and bright, and the first hints of summer had started to hang in the air. Some of the windows were open, allowing a pleasant breeze to float through the dining room. Birdsong punctuated the ticking of the grandfather clock and the clunks and scrubbing of the enchanted kitchen equipment whilst Dorothy shook off her ponderings and looked over at her three Helpers with that familiar, childish and excited glint in her eyes. She finished her porridge and pushed the bowl to the side, placing her hands on the table as she did whenever she would make a speech during a mealtime. It was an unspoken signal to listen.

    “I know this past year has been very hard on you all,” Dorothy started gently. “I want to remind all three of you that I am-...eternally in your debt, for sticking with little old me when you could have left. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” She smiled and inclined her head slightly – a small action, but nevertheless a very sincere gesture of immense gratitude. Such was the way with Dorothy – the short, polite and swift actions held more gravity than any flowery speech she could have woven to boost their spirits. “Today we welcome our newest members, and we shall spend the day doing our utmost to help them settle in. Listen carefully to their wishes, try to memorise their names and make sure to learn as much as you can about them. Be open, and honest. Teach them and help them. Do not let them feel lost and alone; some of these greenies have been trying very hard to be accepted into the Association...I wouldn’t want them to feel like they shouldn’t be here.”

    Dorothy rose from the table. The term ‘Greenies’, or ‘Greens’, better known as ‘Greenhorns’, was a reference to all of the newcomers who had yet to learn the ropes. It was an affectionate, albeit teasing nickname. “The schedule has not changed, and I shall be inspecting your rooms before they arrive.”

    Breakfast was drawing to a close, and all the Regulars could do is stall until the newcomers arrive so that they can get away with fewer chores to do. Dorothy pointedly excused herself without explicitly telling them to get to work as she usually did – the old woman knew the way it worked on the 28th May and silently granted them these free moments. She took her bowl and teacup to the kitchen sink where a floating sponge eagerly set to work scrubbing them clean before idly strolling upstairs to check the rooms.

    30 minutes later...

    Dorothy called out from Amarisse’s room “Here they come now!” jovially, a full 5 seconds before a buzz of magic settled in the Regulars. 47 Lilystone was a fortress of magical charms and shields, too many to count, making it practically unplottable and an utter nightmare to infiltrate. Only those who were invited could even get close to it, and only Dorothy can alter the intricate spellwork to allow the newcomers to have ‘Regular’ status and be able to apparate to the house via the street where it should be. Many arguments were held over direct apparition into the house itself, but for reasons Dorothy did not feel inclined to fully explain, the inner shields around the country cottage itself kept 47 Lilystone Road blocked from anyone hoping to suddenly appear in its halls.

    For the newcomers, it would have taken a while to actually find the house. Yes, Lilystone Road was situated in Kent and they may have hovered around 46 and 48 confusedly until an actual invitation was produced from one of their pockets, at which point a little cobblestone road became visible. The muggles seemed oblivious, an elderly man pottering around the garden, completely ignoring the collection of wizards. It lead through a thicket of trees and then broke into a vibrant garden, wildflowers and herbs sprouting from all angles but not quite reaching the stony pathway and slate steps towards the cottage itself.

    Dorothy padded down the steps and opened the front door, eyes twinkling with delight. “Welcome, dearies, I hope the journey wasn’t too hard on you all...come in, come in!” she cooed, eagerly beckoning in the group of people gathered outside. The hallway was small and cramped and lead up a creaky stairway to what must be the rooms. “Your room number should be on your invitation – Emily, darling, it’s so good to see you; you’ve got your usual room, everything should be up there already for you.” The old lady gave her granddaughter a quick peck on the cheek, chuckling warmly. “Please, settle in first. Your room key is on your pillow and I opened the windows to freshen the place up a little. Once you’re all good and ready, come downstairs to the living room, it’s...just in that door on the left, see? If you need any help, just yell; one of us will come upstairs to assist you.”

    All of the rooms were identical in space and size, save for Emily’s room which was slightly larger, with pale pink walls and little flying butterflies. Some of her old drawings from when she was a child were still taped to the walls and her toybox was placed above the looked like a child’s room, the only change being that the bed was made larger with an engorgement charm. Furthermore, Oleg’s pillow held a key and a note, reading: “Dear Oleg, I did not know which bathroom you would prefer to use, so I put you in between both. Knock on the door of the one you would prefer to use and remember it will be assigned to you unless you ask me for a change. –Dorothy.” The cupboards were empty with some coat-hangers. There was a chest of drawers in each and a lockbox on the bedside table. A vase of flowers sat on the drawers, along with a mirror and a chair. A pile of extra blankets and towels sat at the foot of the bed, and the windows were open just enough to allow a cooling breeze to drift through.
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  2. Emily waved goodbye to her parents one last time before stepping outside. Her mother would always say to always avoid magical travel where possible, so as per usual, she would make the trip to her Grandmother's house through various forms of public transport. She knew the route pretty well, even if she only visited occasionally, and told the taxi-driver to take her into town so she could catch the next train. She leant out the window and waved goodbye one last time to her family, who frankly seemed relieved to see her go. As she turned back around, she pulled her suitcase close and wrapped her jacket around her form, sighing to herself as the gentle thrum of music floated carelessly in the air.

    After being dropped off at the station, and nearly missing her train, she was already exhausted. She headed to the nearest place that served tea and slumped down in one of the chairs. She unfolded the invitation, layered on top of that sheet of paper was her travel plan. One bus, and then a long walk from the station. 47 Lilystone Road wasn't exactly a place you could get to via cab. Normally she'd take a broom but with a suitcase with her? It somehow complicated things. Emily rubbed her face, shucking off her jacket and ordered some green tea to attempt and soothe her nerves. She checked the time, ten minutes. She popped a mint into her mouth and sighed, pressing up against the chair. Feverishly rubbing her face, she sat forward again, spotting the waiter approaching with her tea. This would have to be the fastest cuppa she'd ever have. Soon she'd find herself rushing to catch the bus into town, so now she needed to unwind.

    Emily hopped off the bus at the stop nearest to Lilystone Road. The only redeeming factor of her morning is that she'd seen a dog that was very happy to say hello! She, in return, was very happy to greet the dog with many pats and happy smiles. When the owner took it away she gazed at the smudged list of directions leading to Lilystone Road. She slid her jacket off her shoulders and draped it over her suitcase. It was a long walk and an alright day, sunny, even, but she didn't plan on getting all sweaty. She began her walk, out of town, through various residential areas until it led to a long, winding forest path. Of course Granny couldn't possibly live in a residential area, she had to live secluded in the countryside. She hummed to herself, strangely she hadn't seen any other wizards approaching, perhaps she'd see them when she was a little closer. She idly checked the time, she wasn't to be late or she'd get an earful, she quickened her pace, so relieved she'd worn walking boots that day.

    Emily glanced to the street sign. Lillystone Road. She sighed and rest against a stone wall for a moment, she pulled her jacket back on and attempted to make herself look a little less dishevelled. She dragged the suitcase with her down the road. She counted the house numbers until she got to 46. She glanced to the next house, 48. She sighed and looked around, she seemed to be one of the first to arrive, with a few others gathered. "Why do you always to this to me Granny..." she muttered under her breath. There was never a time when she'd visited when Granny Wilborough hadn't kept her searching for at least 5 minutes. Soon others had gathered, she frowned and looked down at her pocket. She pulled out her invitation and held it up. This was the place. Suddenly a small, near unnoticeable cobblestone path appeared between 46 and 48. She glanced to the other wizards and stepped forward, lifting her suitcase slightly so it wouldn't get stuck on the cobbles.

    She watched as the scenery around her transformed until it were a bright, green garden with all sorts of plants sprouting all over the place. She sighed, she never had any interest in herbs. She dropped her bag down as the cobbles turned to slate path. Emily's attention was drawn by the door swinging open, revealing a familiar, friendly sounding old lady whom she'd call Granny Wilber. She smiled and stepped inside and laughed lightly as she was given a peck on the cheek. She already knew where her room is, so she would head there first, unpack a little then go and meet everyone. There was at least one familiar face that she'd wanted to inquire further on a little later.

    Emily carried her suitcase upstairs, albeit not without a struggle, and walked straight to her room, swinging the door open she beamed at the inside. It was just as she left it last time, pale pink paint decorated the walls, drawings from her childhood, various childish decorations. Emily was grown up now, but she couldn't, wouldn't dare change the room's décor, it made her happy. She was, however, relieved that she wasn't left with the same, small single bed she'd have. It just wouldn't fit her anymore. She glanced to the window, she always had a nice view of the cobble path that forever eluded her when she needed it most. The windows were thrown open and a gentle spring breeze, loaded with flowery, sweet scents flowed into the room. She glanced to the walls, decorated with moving butterflies which fluttered idly and smiled. She laid her suitcase out on the floor, now grateful of the extra space. She spotted her toybox and told herself she would investigate once she'd unpacked. She transferred her clothes to a white dresser, covered in moving stickers and placed her suitcase aside in the corner of a closet. She sat herself on the window sill. It had a single pillow there, not as comfortable as the window sill downstairs, but it was her own. She gazed out the window thoughtfully before pulling them closed.

    She got up, dusting herself down, she hung her jacket on a hook on the back side of the door. Wandering around the room she stopped before the toybox, kneeling down she pushed it open. Inside were a collection of small instruments, and other childish toys. She pulled out a small, pink violin case, clicking it open she gently lifted a beautifully crafted dark wooden violin. When she was young she loved to play this one as it gave a much deeper, richer tone than the one she had at home. Now it was too small for her to play properly for a long time but she still rest it under her chin and drew the bow across the strings, drawing a long, rich note from it. She placed it away and pulled out her small guitar stand and examined it. She sat and adjusted it, then pulled her ukulele from her bag and placed it on the stand. She nodded appreciatively at it. She gave herself a once-over in the mirror before scooping up her key and heading down stairs to get settled in and perform all those formal greetings.
  3. Oleg woke up early today - and that was obvious. He never really got that hyped: not when he tried out for St.Mungo's specialist, and not when he left his native home. He dressed up in his normal attire, and walked out. He actually didn't trust normal municipal transport, since most of his muggle-born friends said him that its painful and awful. So he decided to apparate in the Kent, and then sprint to the house.

    When Oleg reached the end of London, he took his wand out. He would spin on his foot, disappearing with a quiet bang. After a short flight in darkness, Oleg opened his eyes, already locating in Kent. He looked on himself, checking if he got split up during apparition. Nope, Oleg was full, alive, and each finger was on it's place. He levitated his luggage with a simple non-verbal floating charm, and walked in the way of house.
    -Hm... 47 Lilystone... 47- Aha!-
    After an hour of pointless searching, and arguing with native wizards, he arrived to see... A number error? There was already standing a woman and three others, but he really didn't pay attention to them.
    -Wait... Shouldn't it b- Ooh...-
    He didn't finish his phrase, as wall started to transform. After it fully morphed, he walked after the girl, his luggage automatically floating after him.
    -So beautiful..-
    He muttered, looking around in blooming garden. It was the right word to describe the landscape of the garden. When the group finally made it through the garden to cottage, the front door opened, and he saw her - Dorothy Wilborough.
    -Hello Madam Wilborough!-
    Oleg said, smiling from ear to ear. The house was the same one he and his mother visited a long ago, Ahh... Memories...

    After turning back from "happy memories" state, he nodded to what Madam Wilborough said, as he walked to his room. Room was pretty good, as he instantly found a key and... A note? Madam Wilborough said about the key... But note?
    He quickly checked the note, his lips cringing in huge smile.
    He rated the message, slowly walking out.
    -Mmm, I've got a strategical position between two bathrooms...-
    He knocked on male shower, and then slowly leaped down, levitating downstairs.
  4. Hana Beckett - Charms Expert

    Hana woke before dawn, her nerves humming with excitement. She stood for some time at her bedroom window in the London townhouse, overlooking a dark, cobbled side-street, willing the sun to rise. She hadn't been this jittery since her first Quidditch game at Hogwarts. It was just so nerve-wracking and thrilling to be starting a job where she could really use her skills and help people. Besides that, she really had no idea what to expect at the Wilborough Helpers Association. Who would they be helping? What would they be fighting? It was all a mystery, to be discovered one day at a time. Hana loved that aspect of the work, too - the surprises, the spontaneity, the unexpected twists. It was infinitely better than sitting behind a desk all day, waiting for a bunch of bureaucrats to approve paperwork.

    At last a dim orangey-pink light began to filter through the foggy morning air, and Hana went down to breakfast. She had just shoved a huge bite of toast in her mouth when her mother came shuffling in, covering a yawn.

    "Did you sleep at all?" she asked, putting the kettle on. The kitchen was Mum's domain, and therefore completely non-magical. When Mum wasn't around Hana sometimes sped things up with a charm or three, but if she did it in her mother's presence she would get swatted with a spatula.

    Hana shook her head, spraying crumbs everywhere. Her mother tsked at her, muttered in Japanese, and wet a rag to wipe up the mess. "I hope you'll pay more attention to what you're doing once you're there. I'm sure this Wilborough woman will have no patience for your slovenly ways."

    Hana swallowed her bite and washed it down with orange juice before responding. "I'll try not to shame you, Haha." Her mother made a stern face at her, knowing that Hana was at her most un-serious when she started calling her "mum" in Japanese.

    "And none of your back-talk!" she said, pointing an accusatory finger at her wayward daughter. Hana ducked her head with a grin, murmuring a meek apology in Japanese.

    "Weeellll, excited, Chickie?" asked a cheerful voice from the kitchen doorway. Mr. Beckett stood there, clad in wizard's robes, rubbing his large hands together with an exuberant smile. Hana grinned in response and nodded. Unlike her mother, Dad shared her wicked sense of humour. "Oh, I almost forgot!" he continued, taking out his wand and waving it before him. A giant card appeared from thin air, with a picture of a group of people waving enthusiastically on the front. "The office sent you a farewell card, and wished you good luck!" He took the card from the air and handed it to Hana. Looking at the picture, she laughed as little Ernie tripped over his own shoelaces and fell flat on his face. The boy had always been a complete klutz.

    "Tell them thanks for me, Dad," she said, smiling up at him.

    He reached down to hug her roughly around the shoulders. "Ah, we'll miss you around here, Chickie!"

    Her mother had insisted on driving Hana to her new home, despite her daughter's many protests that she would look silly arriving with her Muggle mother in tow. Well, she didn't mention the Muggle part aloud. Mum was very sensitive about that. After breakfast, Mr. Beckett helped Hana stuff her large trunk into the boot of her mother's sedan. "If only you'd let me put a small Engorgement charm on this, Yuki!" he grunted, trying to slam the boot shut.

    "No! I don't want any magic on my car, Ed!" It was an age-old argument, and one Mr. Beckett would never win. He didn't use the car himself, so he really didn't care that much how inconvenient it was for his wife. He just didn't understand her aversion to making her life easier.

    Hana interrupted the quarrel by hugging her dad fiercely. "Bye Dad! Keep me updated on all the gossip from the Ministry!"

    Mr. Beckett chuckled and hugged her back. "Of course, Chickie. You be good, now, and work hard!" Hana nodded, blinking tears from her dark eyes. She knew she wouldn't be that far from her parents, but it felt so odd to venturing out on her own for the first time.

    Mrs. Beckett kissed her husband, who was heading off to work. "Have a good day, dear," she said.

    "Drive safe!" he replied, with a chuckle, waving at his girls. It was one of the many Muggle phrases he had managed to pick up over the years, but it still amused him to say it.

    It was only a couple hours' drive down to Kent, most of that time spent navigating out of London traffic. Hana stared out the window, lost in thought, and felt like she had merely blinked and they were there. Mrs. Beckett pulled the car up alongside Lilystone Road, looking at the house numbers in confusion. "46... 48... Where is it?"

    Hana leaned around her to look out the window. There were several other people milling around in between the two visible houses, clearly trying to figure out the same thing. "Erm, I think it may not appear until you're not here," she said, with an apologetic look at her mother.

    Mrs. Beckett pursed her lips and glared at her daughter. "Oh, it's magicked from Muggles, is it?" she asked sourly.

    Hana beamed at her mother and nodded. "Yes, exactly!" She knew her mother wasn't really that annoyed about it. She had been married to a wizard for too long not to understand the ways of their world. "Dai suki yoooooo," Hana said, planting a big, wet kiss on her mother's cheek.

    "I love you, too," her mother replied, eyes softening. "Go on, get your stuff, your friends are waiting." Hana scrambled out of the car and dragged her trunk out of the boot, not without a struggle. She didn't dare magic it yet - this seemed to be a Muggle-heavy neighbourhood. Wrapping the strap firmly around one hand, she lugged the trunk over to the group, kissing her hand and waving at her mother one last time as she passed. Mrs. Beckett waved back, and then drove off into the distance. Hana bit her lip as the maroon sedan disappeared over the hill.

    As soon as the car had disappeared, one of the women pulled her invitation out of her pocket and held it up. The scene before them twisted and shifted, revealing a cobblestone path that wound into a patch of trees. The girl with the invitation led the way in, followed by a very tall man with greyish hair. There seemed to be some unspoken rule that they wouldn't talk to each other until they got inside. Hana shrugged, and dragged her trunk along the bumpy path behind them.

    Once under the cover of the trees, Hana dropped the trunks straps and pulled out her wand. "Wingardium Leviosa!" she said, with a flick of her wrist. The trunk rose up several feet off the ground, and floated past her through a colourful garden and up toward the house.

    An older, motherly-looking witch emerged from the front door, welcoming them cheerfully. Hana grinned, recognizing Professor Wilborough. "Hello, Professor!" she said. It would probably take her a while to break the habit of calling her 'Professor', even though the woman hadn't taught in 10 years. She nodded at Dorothy's instructions, and sent her trunk up the stairs with another little flick of her wand. Upstairs, she pulled her own invitation from her pocket, and checked her room number. "This way," she instructed the trunk, which had turned down the hall in completely the opposite direction. Opening her door, she found a neat and cozy room, complete with plenty of storage and extra blankets and towels. "Here!" she commanded the trunk, pointing at the foot of the bed. It plunked down obediently, and snapped open.

    With a sigh, Hana began to unpack her things, flicking her wand wearily at the clothes until they flew to the wardrobe and chest of drawers, folding themselves up or hanging them accordingly. She hated this task, even using magic, but she knew if she didn't unpack everything now she would just live out of her trunk forever, letting clothes pile up all over the floor and furniture until she couldn't find anything under the mess.

    Once her trunk was empty and locked shut, Hana changed out of her Muggle outfit and into some simple black robes. She set a pointed hat on her bright blue locks, tilted slightly off center, then made her way back downstairs. She entered the room Dorothy had indicated, and smiled at everyone gathered there. "Hi everyone! I'm Hana Beckett." ​
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  5. Michelle Rose Ward
    Michelle huffed and placed her luggage in the middle of the road, looking back and forth. She knew very well that the address of the helpers association is 47 Lilystone Road, so why in the world is she staring at 46 and 48 with no 47 in sight? Perhaps it's similar to Platform 9 3/4? Michelle thought before looking around for someone to help. As she was about to ask one of her fellow witches and wizards, a familiar looking girl pulled out an invitation out of her pocket. Just then, a cobblestone road suddenly appeared that lead through a thicket of trees.

    Everyone started walking with Michelle following behind, her luggage scraping against the path. She knew she could just use magic so her luggage can float but she didn't want to mess up her hair. As usual, she used her wand again as some sort of chopstick.

    "This is it" Michelle mumbled to herself as she pulled her own invitation out of her pocket and clutched it tightly in her chest. This is the moment she's been waiting for. She's going to be Miss Dorothy's herbologist. She can feel the excitement pumping in her veins and as it soon the scenery changed into a vibrant garden with wildflowers and herbs sprouting from all angles but not quite reaching the stony pathway, Michelle let out a squeal.

    Never in her life had she seen such a beautiful garden! It is much more impressive than her mother's garden and that's saying something. Quickly leaving her luggage in an unladylike manner, she crouched down the path and started picking leaves and pods. She knew what she's doing right now is rather unladylike but she didn't care. She was too busy being consumed by excitement. "Oh my, a ditanny! and a puffapod too. Is that a shrivelfig over there? Oh dear! I must have one!"

    As she was about to reach for the shrivelfig, Miss Dorothy opened the front door, immediately making her feel embarrassed and ashamed. She felt like a kid caught stealing from the cookie jar! Quickly withdrawing her hand back, she tried to gracefully stand up and gave the miss a curtsy. "M-Miss Dorothy! Good morning!" Michelle greeted, pulling down the hem of her pastel pink pencil dress and smoothing it out. "I-I'm sorry. I just can't contain my excitement. Please do forgive me."

    Dorothy then started explaining which rooms are theirs and then instructed them to go downstairs once they settled down. Nodding her head, Michelle dragged her luggage upstairs and went straight to her room.

    The room was cosy and fairly simple, a little small for Michelle's taste but still cosy. She removed her pastel pink cardigan and placed it on the coat rack before rolling the white sleeves underneath her dress up to her elbows. She needed to unpack fast or else she'd miss the introductions. Most of Michelle's clothes were dresses and preppy clothes so there's nothing much to unpack. Once she's done and finally settled in, she grabbed her room under the pillow, looked at the mirror and retouched her makeup before smiling to herself "Time to meet the Helpers"

    Michelle walked down the stairs and entered the living room with a smile, already noticing that there's two girls in there: one with a blue hair and one who looks very familiar. The blue haired girl then introduced herself as Hana Beckett. "Pleasure to meet you, Miss Hana" Michelle greeted, reaching out her hand for a handshake "I'm Michelle Rose Ward, the new botanist. If I may be so bold, I love your hair. It's.. exciting!"
  6. Breakfast at the Wilborough headquarters had become very quiet. Members have come and gone and now it was just Sylvester, Luke and Amarisse with the kindly madame Wilborough. Sylvester couldn't say much and eat much, taking his cereals piece by piece and chewing on it until it disintegrated, as if it wasn't as soggy as oatmeal by then. He was too sad about the diminished numbers though he understood why and chose not to complain. His hair had turned a dull shade of blue grey from his gloomy thoughts and it hung heavier than usual over his now ebony eyes as he had little control over its color. It was often the quickest indicator of his thoughts, like a mood ring. With its currently dull color, he looked like a looped clip from a monochromatic film.

    He noticed a new owl waiting patiently for Amarisse and he stared at it. The bird stared back and they tilted their head at the same time. With his mouth as a beak, he greeted the owl politely, with the appropriate head movements. It gave him a stern look and turned away, making him wonder if it was a Slytherin's owl. Likely Amarisse's brother's whom Syl automatically assumed was in the same house the Slytherin Queen was in, so he looked away with his mouth and nose back to normal. The Hogwarts houses was something he hadn't quite grown out of.

    He looked up at the paper that Dorothy was reading and wasn't surprised by the bad news. His father taught him to not believe everything the newspaper said; it was as good as word of mouth. Of course, such a statement may have been colored by the fact that he was quite the Dumbledore loyalist. Most if not all of the members were, too. “I do hope you do not believe any of this tripe. Strange times indeed.” Dorothy spoke and Sylvester blinked at the paper she had passed to the three remaining members. Sylvester looked from the paper to Dorothy and sensed she was about to address their situation. Amarisse had taken it when Dorothy spoke.

    “I know this past year has been very hard on you all. I want to remind all three of you that I am...eternally in your debt, for sticking with little old me when you could have left. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” she said and this made Sylvester's hair fade into a despondent grey. "I', Madame Dotty." he murmured. He meant to sound reassuring, but he was quite touched that the words didn't come out right.

    "Today we welcome our newest members, and we shall spend the day doing our utmost to help them settle in." She went on. Sylvester brightened up, sitting a little straighter as if the mentioned greenies were already observing them. "Listen carefully to their wishes, try to memorise their names"-Sylvester looked away sheepishly- "and make sure to learn as much as you can about them. Be open, and honest. Teach them and help them. Do not let them feel lost and alone; some of these greenies have been trying very hard to be accepted into the Association...I wouldn’t want them to feel like they shouldn’t be here.”

    Sylvester nodded and grinned. Having been to different places and being the "new guy" pretty often as he grew up, he made it a point to give greenies the warmest welcome he could muster, no matter how awkward he felt around new people. He was sure the others would take charge after he'd greet the newbies and he can safely disappear after that, just the way he used to in school: by either camouflaging as someone else or hiding as an animal. He enthusiastically finished his cereals and flicked his wand at his empty bowl and used spoon. They zoomed to the sink and began washing itself as he bounded happily to his room while Dorothy remind them of the inspection.

    There was noting much to clean up in his room since he barely used it. Accustomed to life on the go, all his things were in a bewitched trunk at the foot of his bed. He had all sorts of tools and artefacts inside, and a few potion ingredients he planned to pass to Luke. It had five locks that all opened to different compartments. He was a tidy person and preferred to dump all his things inside if they weren't in use, as if his nine whole years with the Association still meant he would have to move rooms often. A few wand swishes and everything was dust free, linens were folded and curtains were drawn, just as it had been when he first came in. His mind was on the greenies so he didn't think too much about it.

    He was excited to make new friends and he glanced at his faded reflection on the window glass. His hair had gone bright orange while he bounced on his heels. He figured he wanted to know what kind of people the greenies were before they met him so he converted himself into an innocent looking barn owl smaller than Amarisse's brother's and swooped out to the roof as he heard Dorothy announce their arrival.

    There were three newcomers. The girl with black and blue hair made Sylvester a little hopeful that she was like him. The other girl looked like a doll with her pretty eyes, blond hair and delicate features. The tall young man had silver-ish hair seemed to be from somewhere else, like Amarisse. The poised dark-haired girl who attempted to take a plant looked oddly familiar to Sylvester so he assumed she was a fellow Hufflepuff.

    Seeing them enter made him inexplicably anxious and he flew right into one of the other windows, returning to his normal self half way but accidentally crashing onto Luke.

    "Sorry! Sorry, sorry. The-coming-are-greenies!" He coughed. He was glad he didn't collide with the taller man too forcefully and was able to help Luke collect himself. "I mean-the-well-you know!"

    "All right, all right. I have to tend to this potion but I'll be right there." Luke replied and retreated back into his room. Sylvester wondered if Luke was annoyed or something, but he had other things to attend to-the greenies!

    He looked around for Amarisse but wasn't sure where she went so he jogged down to meet the newcomers and froze like a deer in the headlights, unsure if they had noticed him just standing there already. When he saw that they didn't, he made sure that his hair was in the right color and walked toward the group.

    "Hello!" He said cheerily, looking at each of them at a time and bowing in a fancy way that was more appropriate for dances in the middle ages. He had an awkwardly goofy grin on his face that may come off as creepy to those who didn't know him. "Um! I'm Sylvester! Sylvester Crowley! I like animals! I mean, I'm in charge of magical creatures! Welcome! I can answer questions!" He wondered if he had scared off Luke and Amarisse when he greeted them that way long ago. He had more questions than he was probably ready to answer, though. "I mean, about the association. And about the magical creatures. And about me, but that's beside the point." He was muttering and then he stopped abruptly and remembered there was a platter of pastries in the kitchen. He waved his wand so that it came into the room. "Tea and cakes?" He offered, completely forgetting to bring out the tea.
    #6 Banana-senpai, Jul 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
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  7. Amarisse rose out of bed and dressed into the comfortable trousers and soft cashmere sweater she chose the night before and put on her boots. After she changed, she began her morning routine by combing her hair fifty times. She picked up her brush and started counting while brushing her hair to fifty. "...achtundvierzig, neunundvierzig, fünfzig." She stopped with a smile as her hair sparkled in the morning light, pleased at the image she looked in the mirror. "Your hair looks absolutely stunning this morning, child." her mirror commented happily. "You look quite radiant, as always."

    Amarisse couldn't help but give a haughty smirk and raise her chin in the air at the mirror's words and nodded her thanks to the mirror's gracious comment then applied her light make up. It wasn't that she needed make up, she knew she was beautiful with or without it, but makeup to her was a battle paint to make her ready for the day. Or at least, that's what Ms. Louisa told her when she was given her first lipstick. Pouting her lips at the mirror, Ama found herself ready. Humming, she stood and made sure her room was in complete order for the inspection Madam Wilborough will do later after breakfast. Giving herself one last glance at the mirror, she smiled at her reflection and left the room.

    She entered the dining room and froze at the heavy atmosphere and cringed to herself. No, this would NOT do at all. She seated herself between the two males, Luke to her left and awkward Sylvester to her right. She smiled and nodded at Luke. Turning herself to Sylvester, she frowned even more. Rolling her eyes at his hair colour. 'Hufflepuffs!' She sneered in her head. 'Almost as bad as Griffindors! Wearing their hearts on their sleeves.' Just before she could open her mouth to make a joke - which is STILL funny, no matter how many times they tell her otherwise- a large screeching owl swept in through the open window and Ama flinched as it landed on her empty plate. Her right eye twitched at the possibility of the owl landing on a plate filled with food. "Thank Magic for small mercies." She muttered and finally noticed that this was her younger brother's owl. A Great Grey Owl she had bought him back on his 11th birthday. A small gentle smile filled her face. She extracted the letter and offered the huge owl a sausage, noticing that Sylvester was looking at it with curiosity and Luke moving away slightly. She instructed the owl to rest in her room and she'll send him off with the reply later. With a loud screech, it flew past the door and up to her room.

    Just as she was about to allow Sylvester to speak, she noticed the shift in atmosphere and faced Madam Wilborough, knowing that whatever she was going to say was important. “I do hope you do not believe any of this tripe,” she told them as she went back to her porridge. Ama snatched the paper before the others could but enough for them to read over her shoulders. She read the headlines with narrowed eyes. While her parent's weren't quite avid Dumbledore followers, they were quite grateful for his presence in the Ministry. He was a solid man of the Light despite it all. And Ama herself had one odd conversation back when she was in Hogwarts. It was something that made her see why everyone wanted to follow this old bearded man.

    I know this past year has been very hard on you all,” Dorothy started gently. “I want to remind all three of you that I am-...eternally in your debt, for sticking with little old me when you could have left. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” Ama smiled at the kind old lady and said nothing. Actions were always better than words, Madam Wilborough always reminded her. She wasn't going to abandon her now, not when she opened her home to her and gave her a choice of leaving. Amarisse understood why nearly all, but the three of them, had left. They wanted to be there to protect their own family, but Ama knew her mama and papa was safe behind their blood wards and tons of wards that Ama herself had checked. She also managed to bully her brother to leave for the main lands and head to his paramour in Italy where the darker forces wouldn't hit him. She understood why they left, but she wouldn't. Ama's loyalty was as equal as a Hufflepuff.

    Today we welcome our newest members, and we shall spend the day doing our utmost to help them settle in. Listen carefully to their wishes, try to memorise their names-" Here she saw Sylvester wince and she had to smirk at him but quickly looked back to Madam, pretending it never happened,"-and make sure to learn as much as you can about them. Be open, and honest. Teach them and help them. Do not let them feel lost and alone; some of these greenies have been trying very hard to be accepted into the Association...I wouldn’t want them to feel like they shouldn’t be here.” At the last line, Ama had to wince herself. That line was for her, wasn't it? It was hard to not be in 'Slytherin Queen' mode. She can, maybe?, tweek it? She can't turn it off. Maybe she can just make a joke, to lessen her dominating personality.

    The schedule has not changed, and I shall be inspecting your rooms before they arrive.” Madam Wilborough ended and quietly left the table. Ama took a roll of croissant and buttered it and poured herself a cup of coffee and adding just a dash of sugar and milk. Smiling at the effect, she rushed through her breakfast, seeing as Sylvester was done and Luke was too. She rolled her eyes, always last to finish. Again. "I'll take the plates. You both need to fix your rooms for Madam. Else you both get scolded." She told them staring them down, then swallowing the last of her bread and her coffee, wincing as it scalded her tongue. She took the plates from Sylvester, knowing he was going to acquiesce because he was kind like that, nothing to do with her bullying him to it.

    Smiling to herself, she pulled out her wand and stopped, hiding it back in her wand holster. Rolling her eyes, she manually took all the plates and utensils and mugs and cups and everything else. She wanted to try and get her household charms working, but she'd rather not on the day they were all supposed to look good in front of the greenies. "Manual labour is for the house elves, not veelas." She muttered, but she'd rather not bring up that discussion with Madam who wouldn't appreciate it.

    Once done, she saw the two other men had left and she began to clean up the table, putting them away all the left overs. After making sure that the kitchen was clean with manual labour, she nodded to herself, pleased. She flitted herself up the stairs to her room and picked herself one of her parchments and began her letter. "Now what to say?" she asked herself and remembered something. "I do need more pickled weasels for my potions..." She whispered out loud. There was a knock on her open door and smiled when she saw Madam Wilborough at the entrance. "Madam!" she exclaimed and stood, beckoning her inside. "As you can see, nothing out of place, all very neat and put away properly, nothing broken or smoking or on fire." She nodded, adding that little joke in, though self consciously checking her room to make sure that everything is okay. Looking back to her employer who was looking at her amused at her for double checking, "I mean, isn't it?" She asked, now abandoning her subtle ways and looking around looking for a spot that missed. Madam broke her out of it and nodded to her that it was all very good. Ama breathed a sigh of relief and they both heard Sylvester cry a "The-coming-are-greenies!" down below. Ama and Madam Wilborough shared an amused-slight-exasperated smile. Madam left her room and politely closed her door as she went down to greet the greenies.

    Ama went back to her letter, writing the initial 'I'm okay, don't come back, I'm perfectly safe and stay where you are or else feel my wrath little brother and oh, we have new members, I hope I don't scare them away' part of the letter, all in perfect polite language, of course. She requested a fresh stock of pickled weasels (disgusting things, but necessary, unfortunately), some sprig of cedar bark dipped in the rivers of the Nile (frustrating but important) and the blood of a Singing Nightingale bled on a full moon (cruel but needed). Turning to the door as she heard them scatter passed her room to reach the flight of stars, she allowed the ink to dry and stood up. Her brother's owl needed to rest from his flight, so she left her room instead. Going down stairs, she breathed in and out and smelled Darjeeling. She followed her nose and entered the kitchen where the tea was sitting, but without the biscuits. Raising her eyebrow, she shook her head and daintily grabbed it and entered the living room.

    "Calm, Sylvester. I brought your tea." she greeted as she heard the last of his stuttering. She walked in with a small smile on her face, turning her blue eyes to the greenies, examining them with ease of a Slytherin. "Welcome, Helpers. My name is Amarisse Corell-Beilschmidt, resident Curse Breaker." She introduced herself with a wink, "I believe our resident Beast Expert offered you some tea to go with those biscuits?" She gently placed the tea on the table and gestured for them to sit, listening to their introduction of names. "Please call me Ama or Amarisse, if you prefer not to butcher my name." She told them with a laugh, one attempt of her joking. "Our other member is a Potions Master, but I believe he's...stuck somewhere..." she told them, trailing with Luke's disappearance. "Don't worry, he'll turn up eventually." She told them, as she sat on the couch while bodily pulling Sylvester to sit with her, handing him a biscuit and turned back to the greenies with that same smile.

    "While we wait for Madam, Sylvester and I could try and answer any of your questions." She said with one of her smiles that many say enhances her "charm", hoping Luke would hurry and get here. Polite conversation could only get so far and her face was hurting with all this smiling. Amarisse poured them all tea and looked up to each of them. "So, how do you like your tea?" She asked with a smile, as she poured herself one with a dash of milk and three lumps of sugar and moving to make Sylvester one next. Let Luke hurry, he was better at this small talk.
    #7 Boss Megu, Jul 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016

  8. Luke was typically quiet at breakfast. With their smaller group the past year, he'd found that while breakfast was quieter, he was drawn into what conversation there was much more often. Such it was this morning that he was brought out of his thoughts on the incoming greenies by Dorothy's comment. “I do hope you do not believe any of this tripe. Strange times indeed.” He paused mid bite to look at the paper Dorothy had been reading. The cover story was another of the Prophet's attempts to discredit Dumbledore. He nudged his plate, heaped with generous servings of everything, to the side and reached forward to grab the paper only for Amarisse to snatch it up. Typical. He returned to his breakfast as he eyed the paper. He'd grown used to the tone the Prophet used when discussing Dumbledore, but making it this explicit was a change. Of course it was all Fudge. The fool was so complacent and comfortable in his position, any remotely competent wizard could pose a threat to him. Still, he had to wonder about their commentary on the famous Harry Potter. Of course he didn't really take anything Rita Skeeter said seriously, but there was clearly something off about the boy. Too many strange things happened to him to be coincidence. And the incident with the Triwizard tournament? What other reason could there possibly be for that other than to throw him into the spotlight again.

    Still, he was finding there was less and less that made any sense in the time since the World Cup. The reappearance of the Dark Mark at an event otherwise full of good cheer and kinship had really shaken the magical community. The results could be seen right here at their table, for one. “I know this past year has been very hard on you all. I want to remind all three of you that I am-...eternally in your debt, for sticking with little old me when you could have left. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” She wasn't joking. There'd been a sense of unease following the World Cup. Luke himself had gone home to check on his own family, spending the better part of two weeks setting up various protections, all while trying not to let on that there was anything going on. But despite his concern, the world kept moving and he couldn't leave the Helpers. "I'm sure you'd have managed." Luke gave Dorothy a faint smile, amused by the thought of this one woman single-handedly tackling all of the world's problems one at a time.

    “Today we welcome our newest members, and we shall spend the day doing our utmost to help them settle in. Listen carefully to their wishes, try to memorise their names and make sure to learn as much as you can about them. Be open, and honest. Teach them and help them. Do not let them feel lost and alone; some of these greenies have been trying very hard to be accepted into the Association...I wouldn’t want them to feel like they shouldn’t be here.” Luke nodded once. It wasn't anything he hadn't heard before. He may have only been here for four years, but he'd seen his share of greenies come in. It was always the same. He felt the same today as he'd felt the past few times. His tendency to stand back quietly and his large frame often caused the greenies to find him intimidating, but he didn't have any issues with them. Not as long as they showed up ready to work. To be honest, he was just glad that they'd soon have a Herbologist again. The tangled mess that was the garden caused him a headache every time he needed to collect anything. Luke couldn't say the same for the others, however. He smirked, glancing at Ama. That one could come across as downright unwelcoming at times. Sylvester's enthusiasm would surely make up for both of them though.

    After, Dorothy had excused herself to check their rooms, Luke finished cleaning off his plate and followed suit. He left his the dishes in the kitchen sink and retreated to his room to check on a few potions he'd had brewing. He stood before a clean spotless table with two cauldrons simmering away. One was a simple doxycide solution, simple enough that he could leave it simmering at this stage for as long as he wanted before continuing. Simpler missions often required it so Luke was always replenishing their supply. The Vigilance Tonic was about to require his attention. He'd attempted to time it to be finished before the new Helpers arrived, but it couldn't be helped. Of course this was an experimental batch, he'd done some reading on varying the ratio of wolfberry to albino rat tail to better control its effect on different senses. Luke realized it would be a good idea to go to the restroom now before he was distracted by the tonic and then the newcomers, so after double checking that he had enough time before it was necessary to add the next ingredients and triple checking his alarms, he walked off down the hall. He was walking back a few minutes later when Sylvester collided with him, shifting out of owl form. "Sorry! Sorry, sorry. The-coming-are-greenies! I mean-the-well-you know!"

    Luke shook his head. "All right, all right. I have to tend to this potion but I'll be right there." He shut himself up once more to finish up the tonic. Once he'd bottled it up, made his notes, and cleaned up, he returned to the living room to find everyone gathered. "I see Ama and Sylvester have rolled out the welcome wagon. Don't let them scare you off." Although he wasn't sure if he wasn't scaring them off himself. "We're all normal people. I promise. We just haven't had much company in a while. We're delighted to have you. I'm Luke Winters, as some of you may remember. It is a pleasure to see some of my old classmates joining us." Put them at ease with some humor. Check. Introduce yourself. Check. He took a seat in a chair near the window. "Take a seat, make yourselves comfortable. Miss Dorothy will start us up soon, but in the meantime we can get to know each other. Or catch up in some cases." Get them comfortable and talking. Check. It was a sort of routine he'd learned from Cassie when she took it on herself to welcome new Helpers. Of course it sounded really mechanical and impersonal when he put it in checklist form. "Anyone have trouble finding the place?" An uncommon amused grin spread across his face.
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  9. Emily was dismayed to see that upon coming downstairs, all her setting up had come without circumstance. It appeared that she was perhaps the only one gathered, so she'd just have to wait for the others to arrive. First to arrive was a man she hadn't recognised, with silvery hair. Rather interesting, she'd thought. Then a girl with cropped, black and blue hair. She stared at it in mute shock. She could never do anything like that to her hair, she liked it too much the way it was, nice and long. She frankly was scared of cutting it off in case it wouldn't suit her. She noted her name was "Hana Beckett". Then a familiar girl walked in, she tilted her head but said nothing, she approached the sofa and sat herself on it while the others were introducing themselves. She gazed toward the person who had just called, a man who was bowing to them. She adjusted her seated position uncomfortably, she wasn't the type of person people would bow to, so seeing it was a new experience. Her discomfort was only made worse by the scary looking grin on his face. She gripped the sofa's arm as if it would save her. However she did make a mental note of his name, even if it were to ask him to stay away, though she'd hope that wouldn't be necessary. Judging by the way he stumbled over his words, he was probably harmless. To other wizards that is. To seem less intimidated by him, she reached for one of the pastries which had floated by her on its way to the coffee table and bit into it, while purposefully looking away from Sylvester.

    Then she'd realised that she'd heard a name belonging to the very familiar girl, Michelle Rose Ward. They used to be pretty close friends at Hogwarts! She'd wait until Mishy would settle down before bringing it up, though, introductions were already busy and exciting. Her attention was drawn very suddenly to a rather pretty girl who walked like she was royalty. Emily shifted uncomfortably under her stare. The way she talked to Sylvester, it appeared they were the scariest duo she'd ever met. She made a mental note not to get on either of their bad sides. After all she wouldn't want to be trapped in a wicked curse or ravaged by beasts without their expertise to help her out. The curse breaker, her name was Ama, or Amarisse. The way she'd mentioned 'butchering' she'd be sure to call her Amarisse. The last person to enter was a tall, broad blond who was just as intimidating as the rest. She started to feel panicky, so she balled her hands into fists and leant on the arm of the sofa while she noted that the dangerous duo had taken a seat beside her. She averted her gaze and tried to keep calm. She should introduce herself...

    "I've just been sitting here and listening to all your introductions, so I suppose it's time I introduce myself! I'm Emily Wilborough and I can't wait to work with you all and um-... Get to know you all, as well. I'd like to think we'll be great friends!" She offered a bright smile and tucked her long blonde hair back behind her ear. She glanced to Luke who mentioned having trouble finding it. She rolled her eyes and laughed, though it seemed more of a nervous laugh, the way she was on edge. Such big personalities around her. "No more than the usual. Though by now I've learnt to keep the invitation with me, there was one time... I shouldn't dwell it was a bad day." She trailed off. Sitting around in the rain until Granny Wilber had noticed she wasn't around wasn't exactly what one would call a pleasant experience.

    "I feel sort of intimidated now, all you people with nice skills, curse breaker, magical creatures expert, botanist? I'm afraid I'm only here as the brute force." She flexed, jokingly, because clearly she had little to no physical strength. "Uhm aha, you'll find out in battle - it's not all there at the moment. But yeah woah, all you specialists. I'm afraid I wasn't good at any of that stuff, haha, so it's really impressive to be around so many skilled people." She grinned. "By the looks of it, some of you were in my year at Hogwarts? If not most of you, I recognise Mishy - ah uhm.. Michelle, and Miss Beckett looks around my age too. And Mr Winters. So that's refreshing, I'm glad to know I'm not starting from scratch with at least a few of you. Even if it was a "we-passed-each-other-in-the-hallway-sometimes" sort of thing at least it's something?" She laughed, thankful that all this talking was making her feel marginally better, she bit into the pastry she'd taken and was thankful for the sweet relief of not talking. When she was nervous she'd tend to talk on a fair amount.

    Emily was normally quite confident around people but everyone here has such big personalities, so strong, scary, or confident in their own, amazing ways. She was just the average person in this group of specialists. Never taking to any hobby too strongly, unless it was music. Oh that reminded her. "Ah um I hope you guys like music, you'll probably be hearing a lot of it from me. I don't have all my intruments with me, of course! Just a ukulele I'm trying to learn... It's the only stringed instrument I've been having trouble with you see. I'm determined to get it right." She said, jokingly. She thought of the ukulele and frowned. It was more difficult than she'd liked it to be, only because it was so different from the violin, and had fewer strings than a guitar, and yet was nothing like a bass guitar!
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  10. Dorothy seemed to flow in and around the house, perfectly at ease with Amarisse’s formal and polite reports, Luke’s sturdy yet awkward attempts at discussion and Sylvester’s...well, Dorothy knew he was trying in his own special way, even if Emily looked like she had just seen a ghost. She gave her little trio some time to introduce herself before idly trailing in after them. With a sweet smile, she reached over and placed a trowel in Sylvester’s hands. “Your room was too clean, dearie. You know I can always tell.” And that was that; Dorothy condemned the poor animagus to garden duty for the morning. “Do stick around though until I’m done, Sylvester, you might have a friend to help you.”

    “Right! Let’s get straight to it, shall we?” called out Dorothy, settling down in her armchair. Her enchanted knitting needles reluctantly moved out of the way, clicking as they continued to perl and knit a very long scarf. “I see Sylvester, Amarisse and Luke have all tried their best to make you feel welcome...” she couldn’t help but smirk amusedly; the regulars were so unused to new company that they stumbled their way through introductions. Typical. There was a detectable shift in Dorothy’s personality as the little smiling lady seemed to become firmer, almost younger in her businesslike tone and expressive body language. The faintest shadow of the true Dorothy Wilborough hid behind this figure in her armchair – the real Dorothy Wilborough, renowned for outsmarting sphinxes and fist-fighting trolls. The ex-Auror, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and all-round adventurer.

    “I have cancelled missions for this afternoon in favour of doing things a little...differently than our usual. I would really like you all to truly get to know each other before we even begin to tackle some of our requests – such a large number of new recruits is quite rare for my association, and you’re outnumbering our more experienced members,” she spoke levelly and calmly, despite the little glint of mischief in her eye. “So I have asked for a portkey to take us all to Hogsmeade Village for the afternoon. I’m sure it’s been a fair few years since you all last visited; I remember a few of you from my teaching days in Hogwarts. Some of you may have never seen it before. To clarify, Hogsmeade is the only all-magical village in Britain and has an impressive array of shops and taverns that you simply cannot find in Diagon Alley.” Dorothy smiled and reached for her knitting, checking the stitches before taking over for the knitting needles. She didn't look up, speaking in a casual, off-hand tone. “Of course, don’t all rush off on your own when you get there – the idea is to make friends, not shop. We’ll have lunch in the Three Broomsticks at 1 in the afternoon. But first, we need to talk about the morning routine.”

    “Take away a wizard’s wand, and - for most cases - you’re left with a vulnerable squib.” Dorothy’s gaze flickered over to Amarisse with a very, very subtle grin. “In this profession, there is very little room for vulnerability; I plan to make you all as self-sufficient as possible, so you can survive even without your magic. And what kind of muggle is unable to clean a house? The only chore that is done magically in 47 Lilystone Road is the dishes and cleaning of the kitchen, which leaves the rest of it up to you. Naturally,” Dorothy rubbed her back painfully, adding a little more wobble to her voice as she laid on the ‘old lady’ persona thick, “I’m getting a bit old for home maintenance. You all have to do at least one chore, but Michelle, I do believe you should go with Sylvester this morning and learn the ins-and-outs of the garden. Luke will be very grateful, I’m sure. As for the rest of you, there’s a list pinned to the notice board in the hallway. Pick a chore from there and you’ll find the cleaning supplies in the cupboard under the stairs.”

    Dorothy looked up from her knitting, that old lady trick gone, her tone severe and almost menacing. “And don’t think you can pull a fast one on me and slip in a few charms, either. Every year we have at least one greenie who tries it, and every year it always seems to...accidentally backfire and cause a lot more mess than it was meant to. I’m sure Sylvester can tell you a lot about that after he’s done trying to beat the devil’s snare behind the shed into submission.” Dorothy smiled sweetly, reclined in her armchair, and went back to her knitting. “I’ll be in the living room if you need me; you have...oh, around 4 hours to finish up before we head off to grab that portkey. Goodluck!”
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  11. Michelle Rose Ward
    Michelle turned around as a man with brown shaggy hair and bright blue eyes walked in, introducing himself as Sylvester. She had to bite her lip to stop herself from giggling at how awkward and weird he was acting: bowing down in a fancy way that was more appropriate for dances in the middle ages, a creepy smile, and talking like he was nervous to meet them. He reminded her of someone she briefly met in the Hufflepuff common room back in Hogwarts. A fellow Hufflepuff that she often saw with animals. The man then offered them tea and cakes but only the cake arrived. Deciding to ignore it, she smiled politely and gave Sylvester a curtsy "Its a pleasure to meet you Mister Sylvester. As I said earlier, I'm Michelle Rose Ward but you may know me as Mishy. I believe we've met before?"

    Just then, the smell of Darjeeling tea filled her nose, followed by a sight of a girl with a platinum blonde with a tea tray in her hands. Michelle resisted the strong urge to touch her hair and pat it down to make sure it looks good or in place. The girl in front of her is just so beautiful that for a moment Michelle thought the girl was a veela. Maybe she is but Michelle won't ask. The way the girl spoke intimidated her and just hearing the girl's lengthy name is enough to make Michelle think she's royalty. Michelle decided to just smile and nod her head towards the girl who now she knew as Amarisse before reaching for a cup of tea and adding a dash or two of milk, taking a sip afterwards.

    Another guy decided to join them after a couple of minutes, introducing himself as Luke. To be completely honest, Michelle was a bit scared of him. He was big and buff and BIG. For someone small like her, Luke looks like a freaking tower. She nervously smiled towards the buff blonde and opened her mouth to speak. "Um-,"

    Michelle listened carefully and took a mental note to find something to wear for their little trip to Hogsmeade. She knew that she shouldn't be thinking about what she should be wearing but Amarisse intimidates her. She felt like she needed to be dressed to the nines if she wanted for Amarisse to befriend her. She also took a mental note to visit Dogweed and Deathcap if she had time to shop...even if Dorothy told them that the reason they're going to Hogsmeade was to get to know each other, not to shop.

    Miss Dorothy then explained that manual labor is a must around the house and that they can only use magic when doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Good thing Michelle is used to not using magic so much, being a herbologist and all. She's more of a hands on person that a magical girl. Besides, her mother always says that to be a proper lady, one must know how to do household chores like muggles: without magic.

    She nodded her head as Dorothy told her to help Sylvester in the garden, quickly assuming that the garden that needed tending to is the one she saw at front. She then put down her tea cup and smiled at Sylvester "Shall we start with the chores then, Mr. Slyvester? I very much prefer to finish our work as early as possible. And perhaps we can get to know each other better as we work? I mean, not in an intimate way, of course! I meant that I remember you back in Hogwarts with the owls and the hippogriffs... "
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  12. "Its a pleasure to meet you Mister Sylvester. As I said earlier, I'm Michelle Rose Ward but you may know me as Mishy. I believe we've met before?"

    Astonished when Michelle addressed him with a "mister"and even gave a curtsy, he blushed and chuckled shyly. "M-mister? No one's ever called me that." His mind went blank, wondering where they did meet if they ever did. He liked to think he was great with faces, but he got names wrong pretty often that he usually pretended to completely forget people instead.

    When Emily introduced herself, Sylvester paid her all the attention in the world. This was just how he showed interest and respect and how he usually was, but the intensity of his gaze and the little dumb grin on his lips were things that easily formed on his face without him noticing. It was a look that ladies are warned against, in pubs. He sat up with a gasp when he realized something. "Wilborough? Are you related to madame Dotty? Your room must be the pretty room with the butterflies! I've been there!" He paused and gulped, wondering if he was in trouble for accidentally going into the wrong room when he meant to find Luke that one time just yesterday. "I mean, I didn't mean to snoop. Your drawings are lovely. I mean, I was looking for look. Luke! I was looking for Luke. That sounds odd. But um yeah." He was practically muttering to himself and was probably not heard by anyone at that point. When Emily finished, he wanted to make up for snooping and let her know that music was very much appreciated, but Dorothy had come in. He bit his mouth shut immediately, hoping she didn't overhear him confessing to entering her relative's room without permission. It would have been pretty harmless if he didn't stay in fascination for the kind of decorative charms around.

    She had put a trowel in his hands and he went pale. “Your room was too clean, dearie. You know I can always tell.” He opened his mouth to speak but was promptly assigned garden work which immediately shut him up and made him literally shrink a few sizes. He wasn't good with plants, no matter how hard he tried and in fact, the more effort he put into anything, the worse he got. He was known to try too hard most of the time so he was kept away from everyone else's work but it was fair enough that no one handled beasts that were as dangerous as level 5 better than he did. Any other employer might have gotten rid of him but thank goodness Dorothy was an expert in handling the creatures expert. Perhaps having worked with his wilder father gave her a few hints.

    He fiddled with the trowel as Dorothy talked but stopped when she mentioned going to Hogsmeade. He wondered if the change was brought about by Emily joining. With a shrug, he decided it was for the best since he needed to drop by Dervish and Banges and The Magic Neep.

    Dorothy went on to remind them of the importance of learning non-magical skills. This reminded Sylvester of his muggle-born mother's similar beliefs. He had hoped that he can keep his clumsiness at bay using magic on everything ever since he came of age. "The only chore that is done magically in 47 Lilystone Road is the dishes and cleaning of the kitchen, which leaves the rest of it up to you. Naturally.” His eyes darted to the floor, a little embarrassed for not keeping this in mind and getting punished in front of the greenies. He was now the oldest member (after Dorothy of course), and he knew it's about time he showed a more responsible air.

    “I’m getting a bit old for home maintenance. You all have to do at least one chore, but Michelle, I do believe you should go with Sylvester this morning and learn the ins-and-outs of the garden. Luke will be very grateful, I’m sure." Sylvester gulped, gripping the trowel as his hair faded into a sickly green. He had to do garden duty in front of a professional herbologist right after he decided to put on his best self. He knew he was doomed. He glanced at Luke and considered apologizing in advance if he messed up, but Michelle spoke to him gently. "Shall we start with the chores then, Mr. Slyvester? I very much prefer to finish our work as early as possible. And perhaps we can get to know each other better as we work? I mean, not in an intimate way, of course! I meant that I remember you back in Hogwarts with the owls and the hippogriffs... "

    "M-mister." He echoed, back to fiddling with the trowel. "You can call me Sylvester. Or Syl, if that's a mouthful." Her smile made him settle down so he cleared his throat and straightened his shoulders. He smiled back and skipped to the front door happily. "This way, please." He opened the door for her, with a bow. This time, it was reminiscent of a Victorian footman. He closed the door quietly after she followed him outside and he gestured to the direction of the garden.

    At the garden... (open)

    Varied magical creatures are hard to handle all together. Sylvester feels the same about humans. While he's a lot more mellow with people he's used to (and people used to him), he gets easily excited when meeting more than one person at a time. Now that it was just him and Michelle, he was a lot more tame. Add to the fact that they had common ground to talk about.

    "So," He turned to her slightly as he walked. "Hufflepuff!" He pumped his fist happily. "I usually hung out with animals, yes. Sometimes the house elves too, because they like to give food. And the ghosts, they loved telling stories. Oh, I was a chaser for a year, maybe you've seen me. I'm sorry if I never got to say hello back then. It's nothing personal. I think I scared Emmy, that's what happens when I try. Was her name Emmy? Sorry, I'm bad at names." He prattled. "And your name. Is Mishy? It sounds like squishy. I mean, that's a new way to remember. Madame Dotty taught me. Find a rhyme for the name. Anyway, welcome to the garden!"

    "This is equivalent to three Hogwarts greenhouses in number of species! Or was it plants." He said, making a grand gesture toward the mostly overgrown and now weedy plants. Some parts of the garden rustled where gnomes took a peek. There were fairies hovering near some of the flowerbeds. "Or at least that's what the past Herbologist told me before. He's an auror now. My mother was an herbologist too. Her parents were botanists-muggles who did the same things. Madame Dotty reminds me of my mom with all the manual labour thing." He walked carefully on the small pathway to the shed. He gently shoved away any crossing creature as they passed. "Luke and I took over the garden because Ama rarely needs plants. This is the shed." He gave another animated gesture to present the little wooden shed. "Owls stay there, and the tools, too. Let's go in."

    Again with his footman character, he opened the door for her and followed her inside. While it looked small from the outside, it was about as spacious as their bedroom. The tools were arranged neatly at the wall and the owls were sleeping in a corner, sitting on specially installed poles. "Sorry if it's dingy. I'll spice it up later. Anyway, what would you like to do at the garden first? I don't bug the gnomes much, but I do have a special flute that leads them away. I had a jervie before but it certainly isn't very kind. I had lots of other little friends but like Madame Dotty said, they're happier finding their own place." He sounded a little sad. Of course, he had to be told this during his first year as a Helper. "Oh and don't go behind this shed by yourself, the Devil Snares there are nasty! I mean, well, I suppose you know better about them than I do. But just be safe. They're really scary."

    #12 Banana-senpai, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  13. Amarisse barely could hide her sense of relief when Luke towered himself in the room and bouldered his way into making them feel at ease. Though that didn't quite work as well as he thought. She gave him a good amused look, though she couldn't say she was any better. She let him continue talking as she made Michelle her cup of tea and noticed that the other two didn't respond. She flipped her hair back on her shoulder, catching the sun shine on her hair. Their loss, this Darjeeling was a gift from her mama to Madam Wilborough. It only meant the best. She noticed that the youngest; Emily, if she heard her right, looking at them and stuttered her way into an introduction and smiled at her reassuringly, but with the way she curled away, Ama didn't think her smile was friendly enough.

    She did notice how they all looked at her when she came in and it made her want to preen in delight. She's glad to know that they thought of her attractive. When Madam arrived, she sat straighter. And when Madam gave him the trowel, she couldn't help but look at Sylvester with amusement. The garden task was something she hated with a passion. Not only does it involve a LOT of manual labour, but it leaves her filthy and sweaty and icky and with gunk all over her clothes. It was nearly as bad as potions. She inwardly shivered. Better him than her.

    I see Sylvester, Amarisse and Luke have all tried their best to make you feel welcome...” Madam started, looking very amused, and Ama had to look away in embarrassment. She was never good at making friends. Though in time, these greenies will come to accept her personality as norm and to not be intimidated by her beauty. Taking a sip of her tea, she smirked. Ama knew she was pretty. It simply is, a fact of life, like breathing air or that the sun shines in the morning.

    She did perk up at her announcement of going to Hogsmeade, but deflated when she heard it wasn't for shopping. She twitched her nose. What was going there for, if not for shopping? Sighing, she listened d to Madam as she mentioned the morning routine. Great, more manual labour. “Take away a wizard’s wand, and - for most cases - you’re left with a vulnerable squib.” Madam Wilborough met her eye and gave her a subtle grin. Ama narrowed her eyes at her in playful mock anger, but smiled soon after. Ah, but Amarisse wasn't most people, now was she? Despite her incompatibility with charms, she passed all her OWLS and NEWTs and survived the gruelling internship with Gringotts as one of their more accomplished Curse-Breaker. Common everyday charms evade her but Madam knew she could hold her own in a fight, if needed. Amarisse knew that she wasn't much of a fighter and that she was best in subterfuge. But, she still wasn't like the norm.

    She had to roll her eyes at Madam's warning. “And don’t think you can pull a fast one on me and slip in a few charms, either. Every year we have at least one greenie who tries it, and every year it always seems to...accidentally backfire and cause a lot more mess than it was meant to.” Madam Wilborough stated as she went back to her knitting. It happens nearly all the time with the greenies, but as Ama swept her eyes with the new hires. She didn't think they'd do anything of the sort.

    Amarisse stood up as she finished the last of her tea, stealing one more biscuit from the plate and moved towards the door to check the list of chores she could do. But before she could fully leave, Madam added, "...oh, around 4 hours to finish up before we head off to grab that portkey. Goodluck!” Huffing in amusement, she went towards the foyer and saw the list of chores she could do.

    "Floor sweeping, dusting, clean the bathroom--ew, no." Amarisse read outloud and cringed at the thought of cleaning the male restroom. "Definitely not that. Window cleaning, beating the rugs and cushions...uh, no. Polish the ornaments, and end up smelling like wax in polite company? No." She muttered, "Tend to the owls, I know next to nothing about owls - so no...clean the owlery, again ew, and the garden work is already set...clean the fireplace, very soot-y. That's also a no." Amarisse laughed a little at her joke and paused as mulled over what she wanted to do. She needed to hurry and paused. "I suppose I could take the floors." She said as she moved towards the supply cabinet under the stairs, amused despite herself. "I'm very adept at this point. Mama would get herself into such a state if she knew her precious erbin is made to clean floors like a house elf." She laughed as she turned to those who came out of the hall as she began to climb up the stairs. "I'll start cleaning the floors upstairs and bring myself down, if you need me."

    She grabbed a hair tie and half-haphazardly tied her hair in a braid and grabbed the broom (not the one for quidditch, wretched sport) and nodded to herself as she began to sweep the floors. If some one tried to get her attention or if she completely ignored them or bumped into them with no signs of stopping, she'll likely have to explain her "tunnel-vision" then. Completely harmless, unless they were under attack.

    Humming to herself, she wiped the accumulated sweat off her forehead in pride. She managed to do her job, well, if she said so herself. Then she noticed her state. Cringing at herself, she was covered in a light layer of sweat! SWEAT! She raced upstairs to her room, passing by the rest of the Helpers, new and old. She opened her closet and pulled a new dress shirt and sweater-vest combination. Changing quickly, she freshened herself up and made sure she applied perfume, lightly, of course. Looking at the mirror, she smiled at the powder blue sweater vest. "Very good taste, darling. That jumper complements your eyes." Her mirror told her and Ama nodded in agreement. "Of course it does. I'm me." She told it and decided to keep her hair in the messy braid, before leaving her room to the living room where Madam Wilborough was waiting.

    "Hello, Madam." She stated, popping in with a smile. "I've cleaned the floors with--," she paused to look at the clock, "--half an hour to spare." Amarisse's smile faltered. Did she take that long to finish? Or was it that she took too long freshening up? She looked around, was she last one to finish? If she was, she'd flush in embarrassment. Her vanity will one day be the death of her.
    #13 Boss Megu, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  14. Hana Beckett - Charms Expert

    Hana grinned as Michelle complimented her hair. She looked like the last girl on earth to dye her hair funny colours. "Thanks. Yeah, it's exciting all right, it's called Electric Shock Blue," she joked. Hana's nose crinkled as she tried to place the girl's face, which was very familiar to her. "I think I remember you. Hufflepuff, right?" she asked, shaking Michelle's hand. She wasn't really surprised that Michelle didn't seem to remember her - as she recalled, the girl had always seemed like a bit of a snob. Something about the way she always held herself so prim and proper, and spoke in that painfully correct way. It reminded Hana of her grandmother, who would beat her with her cane if Hana didn't sit up straight enough for her taste.

    Hana had to bite her lip to keep from giggling at the next member who introduced himself, a disheveled man who rather had the appearance of being always lost and late. She smiled as he waved the cakes in without the tea, and politely took a pastry. She couldn't help but like the silly man, despite his wayward speech.

    The next one to enter, however, she did not like. A very blonde and very beautiful girl, who clearly knew just how pretty she was, strode in with the tea, and proceeded to give the most haughty introduction Hana thought she had ever heard. She was left with a distinct bitter taste in her mouth, and wondered how long it would be before someone bashed this boastful beauty on the head. She clearly needed it.

    After her, finally, a normal person walked in. Hana grinned, recognising the tall wizard. "Luke, good to see you again," she said, taking a seat near him and as far from the arrogant blonde girl as possible. He had only been a year ahead of her at Hogwarts, and in the same House. "No trouble, once this one showed us what to do," she said, nodding at Emily, who then proceeded to introduce herself.

    Hana vaguely remembered seeing Emily around Hogwarts, but she didn't think she had ever even known the girl's name before. She, too, raised an eyebrow at her surname - a relation of Professor Wilborough's? She just hoped the girl had useful skills, as well, and wasn't just a pity hire... the way she talked about herself wasn't at all promising. Hana grimaced at the mention of a ukulele. Not that she had any objection to music, she just hated hearing people learning instruments drone on with the same songs day in and day out, constantly making mistakes. She would have to charm some silence-inducing earmuffs or something. The girl was clearly babbling nervously, so Hana cracked a joke to try to calm her. "What do a ukulele and a lawsuit have in common?" she asked with a grin. Blank faces started back at her. "Everyone's happy when the case is closed!" She chuckled a bit, not caring whether anyone else laughed or not.

    Fortunately, at that moment Madame Wilborough came in to explain to them all how the house worked. Hana winced a little at the thought of doing so much manual cleaning, but then she was somewhat accustomed to it since her mother never let anyone do magic in her kitchen. It was ironic that here the one room that was magicked was the only room Hana really knew how to clean by hand! Oh well, she supposed it was good to learn more things, even if it did mean harder work.

    They all broke up to check the chores chart, Hana wondering what all there was to do. The list was surprisingly long, and involved quite a lot of chores that sounded entirely intolerable. The pretty girl, after dismissing all the other tasks as beneath her or too dirty, marched off to sweep the floors. Hana made a face behind her retreating back, then ran her finger down the list posted to the notice board. Hmmm what sounded closest to kitchen cleaning? She supposed bathrooms, but that just sounded too gross to start off with. Windows, that could work. Just like washing dishes, right? She followed Ama to the cupboard under the stairs, and pulled out sponges, a bucket, and soap. After filling the bucket at the kitchen tap until it was a warm, frothy, bubbling mess, she took her gear to the dining room and started on the window there.

    It was sort of pleasant at first, just scrubbing the windows and thinking about her new home. They had a strange bunch gathered there. She wasn't sure if she would get along with all of them, especially that blonde girl. Hana was an easy-going girl, but there were some types of people that just got under her skin, and people who were full of themselves were at the top of that list. Sylvester seemed funny, though, and she knew Luke was alright, and probably if the other two girls would relax and lighten up they'd be pretty cool, too.

    By the time she finished with the downstairs windows, Hana's arm was aching. She dropped her sponge in the bucket and shook out the limb, looking around for a clock. There was still time left, so she trudged upstairs to finish the job. In the hallway, Ama bumped straight into her, without seeming to notice she was there. "Watch it!" Hana called, shaking her head. "Like a bull in a china shop... a very small bull." She snorted, picturing Ama as a lumbering beast. That would knock the girl down a peg or two.

    Most of the windows on the upper floor were in people's bedchambers, though, so there wasn't much to do here. Just one window at the end of the hallway, and one in each bathroom and she was finished. Hana threw the dirty, soapy water down the tub and put away her cleaning supplies before washing her hands thoroughly. Her fingers were all pruny and wrinkled, and her arm was nearly numb from the effort. Grumbling to herself and massaging her hand, she made her way back to the living room, where she found Ama already present and wearing a different outfit. She smelled like she had spent more time cleaning herself than the house. Hana just shook her head again and laughed, taking a seat on the sofa. "The windows are sparkling clean, Madame Wilborough," she said with a sigh. The fact that the windows had been progressively less sparkly the more tired she got went unnoticed, by Hana at least.​
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  15. Michelle Rose Ward

    Michelle followed Slyvester out of the door, smiling a little bit and giving him a curtsy as he opened the foor for her. He was acting like a footman which she finds quite...cute. She had never met such well mannered yet awkward person before. She listened carefully as Sylvester talked and began babbling about one topic to another. "Chaser, huh? Well you must forgive me. I rarely watch Qudditch when I was in Hogwarts. Was busy studying plants and all that."

    When he associated her named with squishy, she laughed so hard that she snorted. Realizing this, she quickly covered her mouth and looked down to hide her blushing face. "S-Sorry about that. That was quite unladylike of me. But to be perfectly honest, I find you funny and quite refreshing. You're amazing. You're my first friend here in the Association, except Emily of course, and you're the first person here who heard me snort. You're a breathe of fresh air, Syl. I look forward spending more time with you"

    As they finally arrived at the garden, her jaws almost went slack. It was more of an abandoned lot than a garden! There were weeds growing everywhere, overgrown shrubs and bushes, pixies, gnomes and Merlin knows what! How can anyone let this poor garden turn into such monstrosity? Clearly the boys didn't do a great job taking care of the garden.

    All Michelle could do was sigh. There's a lot of work to do and it all needed to be done without magic. She followed Sylvester towards the shed and breathed out a sigh of relief. Good thing the shed's organized and cleaned. "Right.. Well, if you ever find yourself urrounded by devil's snare just cast a spell. Devil's snares are afraid of sunlight" She then grabbed a pair of gloves and gave it to Syl before grabbing her own pair and the gardening shears. They needed to work as soon as possible or they might not be going to Hogsmeade. "Now, I might sound bossy but here's what we should do. I'm going to trim the shrubs and tall grasses on the left side of the garden while you do the right. Maybe put some plants in pots if we have extra time. I'll also harvest some useful herbs and parts so they won't go to waste. You pluck out the dead plants and some weeds. Also clean the pond but be careful! We don't know what's in there. Wear gloves all the time and a mask. If you see a mandrake don't pull it out! Um, what else.. Ah, never ever anger the creatures living around and don't destroy their homes. I want them to live here in harmony and maybe take care of the garden for us once its all cleaned up"

    Three hours and thirty minutes later, Michelle was covered in mud, sweat and plant sap, with leaves and twigs stuck in her hair. She managed to remove half the weeds and dead plants on her side of the garden, harvested a few useful herbs and potted some plants. Of course the garden still looks like a wreck but not much. She knew she could do better but she easily gets tired. Besides, she fought plants and creatures juat so she could clean the garden! Clearly, four hours is not enough! It would take a week to turn the hideous garden into something like the front lawn!

    Deciding to continue the job tomorrow, Michelle stood up and hollered "Syl, I'm heading inside. I need to get ready for Hogsmeade. Will you be fine by yourself? I promise I'll do the garden tomorrow. I'll see you inside" She then headed inside and walked to her room, threw herself on top of her bed and buried her face on a pillow. She was so tired and exhausted all she wanted to do right now is to sleep. "So..tired. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to take a nap? I still half half an hour.. Just...a little..nap.." She then let herself relax and closed her eyes, not noticing that she's slowly falling into a deep slumber.
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  16. Luke was glad to see that at least somebody remembered him, even if it was someone in his own house. He didn't have any sort of reputation while at Hogwarts, but he though he'd have at least made some sort of impression on the rest of them.

    He stared out the window tapping his fingers on the armrest as Dorothy went through her welcome. At the mention of Hogsmeade, color crept into Luke's face and he turned to listen to the rest of her speech. He couldn't help but smirk at her comment on being a vulnerable squib without a wand. In his experience, many witches and wizards were so used to their magic, they were hopeless without it. He'd believed from his first year that Muggle Studies should be a required subject. With her usual warning not to use magic, Dorothy left them to it.

    Luke watched as the group scattered, each to get to their assigned chores or to find a chore to take care of. He himself, already had decided on what to do. It was a job that no one ever touched. It just seemed natural to let the big guy do it, and if he was to be completely honest, of all the daily chores, it was his favorite. Once the living room was clear, he proceeded to move the furniture to the edges of the room to access the rug. He rolled up the rug, and tossing it over his shoulder, took it outside. He walked to the clothesline, which was thankfully free of clothes today, and after tightening it a bit, tossed the rug over it. He walked back inside, collecting all the cushions from around the main living area in a basket. The stack extended well above the rim of the basket, but it was never an issue. He retrieved the carpet beater and returned to the clothesline.

    By this point, Syl and Mishy were well into their work in the garden. While Syl was putting the usual amount of effort into his work, Mishy seemed to be attacking the garden with all she had. She was clearly making a lot of progress, but tiring herself out in the process. Luke sighed as he took to the rug with the beater. He simply didn't have the heart to tell her that the fight with a garden was a hopeless case. He'd learned long ago that it was always ten steps forward and nine steps back on any attempts to bring it into line. The dulls thuds resounded in the garden as he steadily beat the carpet. There was something satisfying about watching clouds of dust puff out and flow away in the wind. Once he was satisfied with the rug, Luke took to the cushions, holding each one in front of him and beating it individually. It always reminded him of someone hitting a really soft gong. All in all, it was the number of cushions, and the awkward stance he needed to take that took most of his time.

    When it was said and done, Luke gave his robes a good shake out to remove the dust that had gathered on his own clothes. He then returned the rug to its former spot, followed by the cushions and furniture. He had finished just before Dorothy returned to the living room. "Got a little sweaty and dusty out there. Just going to clean up a bit," he excused himself upstairs.
  17. Emily shifted as she was placed under the very attentive gaze of Sylvester. In a way she supposed it was nice to see that he was invested in what she had to say but she couldn't bring herself to meet his gaze as it was so intense. She did, however glance toward him as he spoke. She sat in mute shock as he prattled on about her room, though as he trailed off into incoherent mumbling, she decided to pipe up, seeing him drive himself into nervous mumbling made her feel bad. "Ah um, I'm Granny Wilber's granddaughter, and yes that is my room. Of course I don't accuse you - before today you couldn't possibly have known it was mine, so I don't mind if you've been in it before." She tried to smile forgivingly. She glanced to Hana as she piped up, she wracked her brain for any similarities before she said the punchline. She seemed relieved for the joke and laughed too, even if the others weren't. "Ah don't worry I'm not god-awful, I'll try and make it at least a little entertaining for you." She chimed happily, feeling much more comfortable. She glanced back to Sylvester who was clearly about to speak, but was drawn away just as quickly as him as Granny Wilber had walked in. She shut herself up too.

    When she'd heard that they'd have to do chores, Emily didn't seem phased at all, after all it was what she had to do ever since she was a child. Frankly she was only relieved that the garden duty was put on someone else, the scary, yet charming, man, Sylvester. After Granny Wilber revealed that Michelle was put to garden duty with him she felt a little bad for the pair. She couldn't help but recall one vivid memory of being stuck doing garden work and being ensnared and Granny Wilber refusing to help, repeating the fact that wizards should be able to get themselves out of their own messes. Then she went inside for tea while Emily was stuck battling plants, with small creatures crawling all over her for the next hour or so until she got herself out. The garden was a cruel and thankless job, and probably the most dangerous chore. Although the thought of going to Hogsmeade intrigued her, it also intimidated her, of course the trip was for making friends, so surely it'd be a good time. In fact this trip would probably help her feel a little more comfortable with everyone. She'd certainly calmed down since she'd started talking thanks to Hana, and maybe even Sylvester.

    Emily watched as people started heading to the hallway, she got up and followed them through. She stood by Amarisse as she listened to her listing off the chores she would not do, some of them didn't seem too bad, and was grateful that they were not chosen. She watched breathlessly as the goddess-like girl walked off after picking floor-sweeping, then watched Hana go, after choosing to clean the windows. She'd noticed all the good chores were getting taken, so she'd decided to dust the ornaments, and if she'd have time she would polish them, too. After all four hours is a long time for a little dusting. She collected a duster from the supply cabinet beneath the stairs and placed it down. She rolled up her sleeves and drew her long hair back into a messy looking ponytail as to keep it out of her face.

    Emily re-entered the living room and paused at the doorway she spotted the tall boy, Luke, who seemed oddly familiar, perhaps he was in her year at Hogwarts. As hard to believe as it seemed with his stature. Anyway, he was moving the furniture around. She said nothing, as surely it was a chore he was working on, but waited until he'd left with the rolled up rug slung across his shoulder before carefully picking her way around the re-arranged furniture as to not disturb his work. She began dusting, paying acute attention to the ornaments across the tables and shelves that decorated the room. she hummed as Hana wiped down a window in the corner of her eyes and Luke reappeared to remove the cushions and then leave outside again. She lifted and dusted beneath the ornaments too, only leaving the room to head outside and shake off the duster, listening to the dull thuds of the rug or cushion beating each time she'd left the living room, a constant, steady noise that was hard to tune out.

    By the time Emily was content with the dusting, only an hour and half had passed. She put away the duster back in the cabinet beneath the stairs, carefully picking her way around the moved furniture and removed the polish and a rag. She walked back into the living room and collected all the polish-able ornaments, laying them out on the ground before her. She sat down and methodically picked up each ornament, polishing them until she could see some form of reflection in it. This wasn't very time consuming either, as only photos and vases were really able to be polished. She frowned as she'd finished with an hour and a half still to spare. She huffed and looked around, her eyes settled on the fireplace and heaved a sigh. She gently returned all the ornaments back in place and swapped out the polish for a sooty bucket of stiff-bristled brushes.

    The first couple of minutes, Emily scraped out all the old, burnt wood, putting them in the sooty bucket that had once held the brushes, thick black soot worked its way around her hands but she worked with it nonetheless. After all it was a job someone had to do. She took the bucket and emptied it into a barrel which held ash, some people used it for potions or other things, and the barrel was regularly emptied. She wiped her forehead, careful not to get too much soot on it. She returned inside and took the stiff bristled brushes. Grateful for being small still, she crawled past the metal grate that protected the fireplace and spent the next half hour brushing away at the inside of the fireplace, removing the thick layer of soot that had built up. The thick black dust settled on her clothes, her hair and speckled her face, she gently swept the soot into a dustpan, emptying the dust into a bucket then once she was satisfied, she gently sprayed the fireplace down with water, removing the last of the sparse areas of soot revealing the brick beneath it. She wiped down the bricks with a sooty rag and crawled out again, careful not to dirty anything else with soot as she emptied it outside.

    Emily stowed away the brushes and bucket before glancing to the nearest clock. She had only twenty minutes to get ready?! She hurried upstairs and into her bedroom, thankful that most people were done with their chores. She'd noted that Michelle had disappeared into her room. She plucked out some new clothes. A white formfitting top, a cropped black leather jacket and some light blue jeans. She was careful not to get soot on them as she carried them to the girl's bathroom. She laid them down and shucked off her own clothes, not caring who walked in at this point, she just had to hurry! She leant over the sink and washed her hands and face from the soot, thankful for putting her long hair in a ponytail as it was clear of soot. She scrubbed away the last of the soot and dried off before hurriedly pulling on the clothes. She threw herself out of the bathroom, putting her old clothes in her room. She sprayed a bit of perfume on herself then stepped out, with only a few minutes to spare she walked back to the bathroom, to ensure all the soot was out of the sink, just to keep it clean. Once she'd rinsed the basin she'd noticed Michelle still was in her room. She walked by it and stopped hesitantly. She pressed her ear against the door and heard nothing and frowned. "Um... Mishy?" She knocked on the door, she'd hoped Michelle was alright! She decisively knocked again. "Michelle it's about time to go, are you alright in there?" She called, a little louder. Knowing Michelle she was either distracted by something, or perhaps asleep. She stepped back from the door, running a hand through her hair. She should wait for Michelle, it'd be nice to do.
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  18. Dorothy simply sat there knitting peacefully, smiling. She looked up every so often to see Emily or Amarisse wander around cleaning which only widened her smile - Amarisse was doing a terrible job, as per usual. The old woman leant over to a little dustpan and brush, muttering "Go lend her a hand, would you?" - as if on command, the dustpan woke up and started following after Amarisse, cleaning up just behind her. It was so used to doing this that it knew exactly where to float so Amarisse wouldn't notice it...then again, if it wasn't in her immediate range of vision then the half Veela wouldn't notice it in the slightest. Dorothy caught Emily peering at the dustpan and brush in outrage and Dorothy sighed. "I want you all to learn valuable life lessons," she explained patiently, "but I also want clean floors, so..."

    Naturally, her granddaughter was the first to finish. She had been doing this her entire life, after all. Dorothy did not even have to give her another job, the little girl went off and did something else to fill in the time. Luke came back covered in dust and sweat and excused himself upstairs to get changed, and Dorothy found all the cushions and rugs were free of dust. Hana made it back next with an unfortunately sloppy job at cleaning the windows, but Dorothy was willing to make exceptions for greenies. Amarisse proudly showed off her impeccable floor cleaning skills and Dorothy nodded politely. "Well done, Amarisse," she congratulated her whilst the dustpan hid itself in the cupboard under the stairs. Sylvester and Michelle were missing and Dorothy sighed, putting away the knitting and getting to her feet. "What do you think, Sylvester bitten by the venomous tentacula, Michelle's getting beaten up by gnomes? I had a bad feeling about sending the greenie out with Syl..." she picked up her wand and went outside, peering around the edge of the garden. "Homenum Revelio," she called out; but she was surprised to see that neither were in the garden. Did they die? No, no - there were three people upstairs who must be Emily, Sylvester and Mishy.

    Dorothy strolled up the stairs idly and knocked on the doors. "Come along, let's get moving. Up, up! I know the garden is exhausting but you're going to miss the portkey. Emily dearest, head downstairs with the others, that's a good girl. Michelle, you've got three minutes before I come in!" Eventually Dorothy returned with a bleary-eyed Michelle and a bedraggled Sylvester in tow, smiling sweetly. "Everyone enjoys garden duty," she explained sarcastically whilst she pulled on her coat and shoes. She flicked her wand as a small bag floated towards her. "Don't forget your bags - I'm looking at you, Sylvester - always very important, even if it's not a mission..." Dorothy checked everything was in hers before nodding. "Alright, everyone here? Got your wands? Good. Let's go."

    Dorothy took the group down the cobbled pathway, gently tapping each picket on the fencing as she passed with her wand. Only the Regulars knew she was checking and bolstering the myriad of charms, shields and wards surrounding her property; she did it every time she left the house, without fail. It was this strictness and vigilance that helped prevent some nasty accidents in the past, including (but not restricted to) one poor helper trying to apparate into the house whilst in the grip of a very stupid troll several years back. Once they left the cobbled path and entered the street, a faint breeze, or an icy chill, may sweep over some of the helpers - it was the sign that they had passed through several enchantments at once.

    Dorothy wandered down the street and took a turn into the woodland surrounding it, leaves crunching as she entered the forest. "Now, if you head down that street and turn right, down the hill, you'll find the nearest town - shops and restaurants and the like. All muggle, of course. Little place in there called the winking bullfinch; go to the bar, ask for Mary-Anne, the bartender will take you into the back room where you can buy a few magical odds and ends using some wizard money or even buy some muggle money. Exchange rates are a bit off, though. Always mention me so you don't get a rip-off. I'd only do that if you're not in the mood for a proper shop though - apparating into Diagon Alley is always the better option." Dorothy stepped over a tree root and ducked under some bushes, reaching a muddy clearing where a deflated football sat under a couple of leaves. "Remember you cannot apparate into the house, only onto the front path or the back garden. A general rule of thumb...true Helpers apparate into the garden. Going in and out through the front door is only for missions, entering, or leaving the Association. It's always been that way, and you'll probably make some of our more experienced members a bit upset if you tried to break tradition." Dorothy stooped down and picked up the old football, dusting it off. "You've all used a portkey, right? Well, I suppose it doesn't matter - just touch the football. Quickly, now!"

    Dorothy held the old football out for everyone to grab onto. Just as the final Helper snatched the football, there was a sudden jerk from her navel and she was yanked backwards through the air. Flashing lights and shapes swirled past at high speeds for several incredibly long seconds before suddenly they stopped moving - Dorothy landed on her feet. The same couldn't be said for some of the others. Dorothy chuckled as she watched a couple people tumble onto the floor. She dug around her bag and pulled out several coinpouches, handing one out to each Helper.

    Hogsmeade Village looked different, mainly because the snow had all melted and the steep rooftops were bare, the tall chimneys not emanating their clouds of smoke like usual. Wildflower fields surrounded the village and cheerful music was playing from the village square where some sort of spring celebration was taking place, wizards were dancing in and out of the plaza. A few fireworks went off here and there, and the streets were bustling with activity. Shops of all shapes and sizes were selling fantastical wares. A man was busy trying to peddle off empty vials as invisible ink to the poor saps who would believe him, the petshop had taken some cages out with brightly coloured birds and several ferrets, and the smell of sugar wafted around Honeydukes.

    "The only rule is - if it looks like I won't want it in my house, don't buy it. No pets, and treat Zonko's with caution...the last time I smelt a dungbomb there was hell to pay. Oh, and don't go off by yourself! Go find something you all enjoy. And remember - The Three Broomsticks, 1pm for lunch." Dorothy explained whilst she dished out the money. There were quite a few galleons in here! "Now, off you trot. And you three!" Dorothy turned on Amarisse, Luke and Sylvester. "Keep an eye on the greenies. If any of them get lost or split up I'm counting on you to find them."
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  19. Emily glanced to Granny Wilber as she was instructed downstairs, she tugged at her jacket and walked downstairs. Soon followed by her grandmother and Michelle. She slung her bag over her shoulder as instructed and followed Granny Wilber out the cottage. She hummed to herself as she walked, watching idly as the wand bounced off each picket. She pulled the jacket closer to her body as she felt the light chill that she was so familiar with. She followed Granny Wilber's gaze down the street and furrowed her brows at the seeming con artist's shop. She followed Granny Wilber into the wooded clearing, looking at it with a rather unimpressed gaze, though as she was bombarded by all this information, she could only follow instruction without thinking too hard on it. She reached out and placed a hand onto the football and felt sickeningly ripped from her current position as it uncomfortably slung her through the world until they got to it's desired destination. She stumbled back and fell onto her butt at the supposed "Landing" and looked around.

    Emily pressed her hands against the floor to get her bearings. That was the floor, yes? Not the ceiling? She glanced up at the sky. The outdoors didn't have a ceiling, so she was seemingly safe, though as she did she saw Granny Wilber chuckling at her lack of grace and balance. She opened her mouth to discredit her fall to simple clumsiness but was interrupted as the coin pouch landed in her lap. She took it into her hands and gazed around. Were they even in the right place? Distant noise of festivities filled the air and a sweet smell drifted past her. She begrudgingly got to her feet, albeit still a little wobbly from the travel, and listened to Granny Wilber's 'ground rules'. All those she would expect, nothing silly, no pets, no dungbombs. Which was probably in the best interests of everyone, and of course 'don't go alone'. She sighed and looked around. Should she go with someone she knew already? Or would that be cheating. Perhaps go with someone she doesn't know? And risk making a horrible impression? She felt sick at the idea. So instead she walked to Granny Wilber and stood by her side. "I'll go around with you..." she stated decisively, if anyone were to join them that would make her life easier, she wasn't the type to make hard decisions.

    Emily pulled a ukulele out of her bag, an enlargement charm only so that she could carry the ukulele around easily, and tried to listen to the festivity's music, a string of chords repeated jovially. She frowned down at the neck of the ukulele and found her fingering. She strummed the chords, satisfied by them being correct, and although the chord changing was slow, she managed to keep in time with only brief pauses. She smiled, clearly content with learning the simple string of chords. Perhaps she'll join in the spring festivities later.
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  20. The sound of knocking immediately woke Michelle up as she bolted and sat up straight on her bed, her mind still a bit hazy. She was certain that someone was calling her name.. Or perhaps it was just a dream? She was about to head back to bed again when she suddenly hear madam Dorothy's voice.

    Panic and fear quickly rose inside her as she scrambled up to her feet, removing her clothes and nearly knocking the lamp shade on the bedside table. She needed to cast a spell fast or else Madam Dorothy will see her dirty or worse. Naked! "Accio clothes!" Her closet suddenly bursts open as dozens of clothes came flying towards her. She knew it was a disaster to cast a spell but she had no choice! She clearly doesn't have any time to plan her outfit or clean up the mess so she grabbed the first dress she sees and cast another spell for her clothes to hide. Some of her clothes squeezed themselves inside the closet, unfolded and unpressed, while others hid under her bed. She then cast another spell for her hair and makeup before putting on the lace dress she grabbed, putting on her flat shoes, fixing her wand back on her hair and grabbing her magical purse afterwards.

    When Madam Dorothy went inside her room, everything was spic and span; not a single thing out of place. Michelle could only give Madam Dorothy a nervous smile before letting out a silent sigh of relief as they walk out of the room. She prayed to Merlin that Madam Dorothy won't notice a thing or else she's going to get a scolding from her. She then followed Madam Dorothy as she took the group down the cobbled pathway, noticing madam tapping each picket on the fence. The action made Michelle quite curious but decided not to ask. Perhaps it's how Madam checks the security around here.

    Madam Dorothy started giving them instructions and Michelle listened carefully while trudging down the path and ducking underneath low branches. I already have a wand in my hair. I think that's enough. She continued on listening and nodded her head when madam warned them about apparating. It was kind of odd how everyone was supposed to apparate in the garden and not in front of the house. She wanted to ask who started the tradition but decided to keep quiet about it. Michelle was still getting used to everyone and she doesn't want the helpers to think she's stupid for asking too many questions. Madame Dorothy then ordered them to touch the football quickly, which Michelle obliged.

    A sucking and twisting sensation filled Michelle's senses as the port key transported them to their destination. It was her first time using a port key so it was inevitable for her not to land on her feet. "Ooooww.." Michelle groaned as she sat up from her lying down position, rubbing the back of her head. She fell pretty damn hard and she can feel a bump forming at the back of her head. "That hurts.." She then looked around to see what happened to the rest of the group, pouting a little bit when she saw some of them landing perfectly.

    Michelle usually visits the village around Christmas season so it was a shocker to see Hogsmeade in a different way. The snow had already melted to show the stone paths and the steep roofs, cheerful songs replaced the Christmas ones, and wild flowers covered the once snow surroundings. It was a breathtaking sight! Everyone looked so happy and jolly that Michelle kind of forgot about what's really happening around them. She forgot about the Triwizard tournament, forgot about You-Know-Who and forgot about what's happening at the Ministry. "Today really is a great day" Michelle smiled to herself before looking at the group. All the excitement was starting to get to her that she's starting to feel giddy. She wanted to do some shopping and have lots of fun! Perhaps get acquainted with everyone and show her true self. It was a bit exhausting to be her posh self all the time.

    "Madam, I would like to accompany you too if that's alright" Michelle asked as she heard Emily going with Madam Dorothy. Not only will she get to catch up with Emily, she's going to have a chance to talk to Madam Dorothy too. She wanted to ask her about the questions she's been keeping quiet about and wanted to ask her about the garden. Seriously, how did that garden became a disaster? She was about to ask Madam Dorothy when she noticed Emily pulling out a ukelele out of her bag and started strumming it. Michelle was quite fond of music so her attention was quickly focused on Emily. She couldn't help but hum a little bit at the tune, her foot tapping as she listened. "So...a ukelele huh? I have a knack for music as well but I can only play the harp and the violin" she said, trying to engage Emily for a conversation. She was feeling a bit awkward since its been a long time since she talked to her but she decided to still talk. She wanted to be friends with her again, and perhaps continue the friendship they started in Hogwarts. "anyway, I'm sorry for not sending you any letters. I was busy with work and I did not expect things to get so busy. Everything was so different after we graduated. Please forgive me."
    #20 DANAsaur, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
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